Mark Meadows is the latest Republican runaway in the House, joining a long list of other quitters. Instead of wanting to spend more time with family, he would like to spend more time firmly ensconced in Trump’s rectum:
Meadows, who is known for his ambition, quietly explored other career options this year, from potential bids for higher office in North Carolina to other roles in the administration. Earlier this month, however, he told friends that he would probably be most comfortable playing a major role in the 2020 campaign as one of Trump’s top boosters, according to one person who has spoken with him about his plans.
Trump already rejected him when he made a play to become his Chief of Staff, but apparently he wants to stand on the lawn with his boombox instead of staying in his safe seat.
Speaking of other Trump asslickers, and recognizing that Trump is unpredictable, I wouldn’t expect Manafort or Flynn to get a pardon. I know they’re angling for one, but unless they have some really good kompromat, they’re of no further use to Trump, so why should he bother spending any political capital on them?
After the redistricting of North Carolina, I don’t think his seat is all that safe anymore.
No point trying to predict who Trump will pardon. But I can see him using Bevin as an example.
Maybe kompromat, but also could be signaling to other indicted or soon-to-be-indicted henchmen to keep their silence.
Nancy Smash holding her weekly press conference right now. Talking about legislation.
She’s wearing her cadaceus (sp? the intertwined snakes symbol for physicians) pin again.
She just called McConnell “the Grim Reaper.” Says re legislation: he “fears it will pass, otherwise he would take it up.”
Now do Jim Jordan.
ETA. No. Not snakes. Think it’s an American eagle at the top. Lovely pin.
Gin & Tonic
Devin Nunes was apparently on Fox yesterday kissing Manafort’s ass. I don’t know if that’s signaling, or what he’s doing, but Nunes seems to me far too stupid to realize that a guy like Manafort would shiv Nunes without even thinking about it.
Trump doesn’t care about political capital. He thinks more like a crime boss. He thinks it cool that he has a key that will unlock the prison, if he desires, for any of his minions. If he uses it for Manafort or Flynn, it will be a muscle flex to signal future flunkies that he can save them if he so chooses.
She just identified it as “my Speaker’s pin.” Opened floor to questions.
First up: is it risky to hold the articles too long?
There’s an article about the pin in the WaPo today. It’s an interpretation of the ceremonial mace for the House. It’s basically a symbol of the House’s authority.
I love that she baits the press with a list of other topics they could ask about, but are not.
She just mentioned “those of you who care about substance.”
I’ve long thought that neither Manafort nor Flynn would get a pardon, but I’m willing to consider the possibility that Trump would pardon one of them because he thinks it would please the base. Flynn would seem like the better candidate for that kind of treatment – Manafort never was front and center.
Do we have to? =/
“Let us pray for the President.”
[Says he is uncomfortable with statesmen, look at how he treated John McCain and John Dingell.]
“What the president does not understand is that cruelty is not wit …. just because he gets a laugh …”
Took a good swipe at Trump’s horrible supporters, too.
Jackal Nancy Smash.
I’ve been reading tweets from Col. Morris Davis — he’ll be a good candidate.
@randy khan: Respect muh authoritie! ;)
@Elizabelle: ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
Speaking of breaking points, the BBC reporting that there was a shooting with an automatic weapon in the FSB headquarters in Moscow. Early reports are that 1 person is dead and the shooter has been “neutralized”.
@randy khan: Thank you. Hadn’t seen that. And I love its last sentence. Well said, Robin Givhan.
WaPost: Robin Givhan:
Nancy Pelosi’s pin at the impeachment debate was a declaration: The republic will survive this
@randy khan: I doubt that Manafort et. al. will be pardoned. Trump’s short attention span plus the lack of any immediate benefit to Donald Trump makes it unlikely, at best.
Free and fair elections are a bitch, aren’t they Mr. Meadows?
@randy khan: I agree Flynn is the more likely candidate for a pardon, if for no other reason than that it would rally the base (stick it to the Deep State!) and, arguably, his crimes were not as serious as Manafort’s. (Making false statements to FBI vs. conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion).
If I had to guess, I’d say Meadows does have a shot at the CoS job now. Mulvaney probably wants out: remember how he made them put “Acting” on his business cards? Trump probably blames Mulvaney for his on-camera confession of the Ukraine shakedown, even though Trump almost certainly instructed Mulvaney to say it as a trial balloon.
The personal scandals that tripped up Meadows’ initial bid for the job (lying about his education like a common Third Lady, failing to fire a sexual harasser on his staff, etc.) have been miniaturized by the epic scale of the overall Trump admin scandal culture. Also, before he was a pol, Meadows was a grifty real estate developer, so he speaks Trump’s language, and he proved shamelessly obsequious during the House hearings. Perfect fit!
Gin & Tonic
@Another Scott: Russia’s support of the NRA paying dividends?
At the very least, Meadows probably assumes that his slavering loyalty will win him a prime time spot, leading into Hannity, on the cable news network Trump will almost certainly establish when he leaves office to hound whatever Democrat is elected to come in and clean up his mess.
It’s easy to predict that whatever he does will be all about Trump. He’ll throw around pardons that serve to aggrandize Trump. But he’ll show no loyalty to anyone who fell on their swords for him. That’s just how Trump rolls and always has. So he’ll pardon people like Joe Arpaio if it means read meat for his MAGA base, but not so much people like Manafort who they don’t care about.
At least that’s my prediction.
@Kent: It’s why Rethugs are so dead set against them: they always lose. In a fair fight (of ideas/principles), they lose. That’s why they do everything, legal/illegal, to make sure they don’t have a fair match up.
Should Flynn receive a *residential pardon, he would lose his 5th amendment protections, amitrite? what would then prevent him from being summoned to Schiff’s Intel Committee and being forced to testifiy about his role (and the *resident’s) in talks with the Russians and Putin?
Speaker Pelosi ain’t playing around.
Prompted by you, I went to Aaron Rupar and watched the key moments of Pelosi’s press conference. So good.
I’m not one for fashion (sandals with socks are better for walking in light snow than bare feet, eh?) but that piece held me through to that last sentence.
@Patricia Kayden: How she didn’t call Moscow Mitch a craven sack of shit is beyond me.
@Leto: No. We can sliently acknowledge with a nod that they’re Trump asslickers.
Gin & Tonic
@dopey-o: Should he be forced to testify, what would prevent him from replying “gee, I don’t remember” to every question?
@Gin & Tonic: Sorry Gin. The proper response is “I don’t recall.” See Gonzalez, Alberto.
I was doing impressions of the Repubs for my trainer this morning, and she was cracking up — “They really said that?”
The Pilate comparison got a lot of attention, but I wish I could remember which one said that “As we speak, a woman in NYC is about to be forced to have an abortion by Planned Parenthood.”
I just pray that any normal people who might have tuned in would be shocked at the depths to which the Republicans have sunk. These people are in the House of Representatives? Sad.
@Jerry: He is in western North Carolina, which is the Appalachian part of North Carolina, on the Tennessee border. Although he did not win by the overwhelming margin I might have expected. He received 59% of the vote, but that’s reversible with the right candidate in a presidential election with higher turnout, or even slightly modified boundaries.
@randy khan: Manafort has information Dump does NOT want him to reveal. Flynn has already shown his ass. I think Manafort will likely get a pardon.
I just called Rosa DeLauro’s office to thank her for voting yes, and Murphy’s and Blumenthal’s offices to buck them up. I hear that the Trumpanzees are calling in larger numbers than our side, so I think everyone should take the time to call.
I’ve seen explanations that Trump doesn’t want to pardon his already convinced henchmen because the exception to the president’s absolute pardon power is in instances of impeachment, so pardoning co-conspirators in his crime wave could fall under that exception. Maybe not, but there’s a close enough tie that someone could go to court to challenge it, and if the court rules against Trump’s pardon, there goes his ability to pardon himself and his current co-conspirators (plus his kids) on the way out the door. He doesn’t know the answer and doesn’t want to know – yet. On the way out, it might be considered too much trouble to litigate.
@dopey-o: He could always just not show up. There has so far been zero consequence to that other than to add another article of impeachment which the senate will ignore.
@MattF: But it would piss off the libs! Bonus!
Nice piece of writing, that, thanks!
In every other way you are spot on and I heartily agree, but I think he pardoned Arpaio and the war criminal as a statement of principle. In Trump’s America, brutality against brown people is not a crime. Trump has few ideals, but he has consistently demonstrated that ‘very fine people’ Nazi level white supremacy is one of them.
He does issue pardons because he thinks it makes him look good. That is a demonstrated Thing. But he’s also a hardcore white supremacist doing his damnedest to hurt minorities wherever he can.
So did Cohen. So have most of them. It hasn’t done any of them any good. When wolves are chasing, Trump throws someone off the sled. It’s what he does. He’s such a mean shit he seems unable to grasp any other strategy.
@sdhays: This is actually exactly why I don’t expect either of them to get pardons. It would destroy their ability to take the Fifth Amendment, because there would no longer be grounds for self-incrimination. In other words, they’d have to testify… which would almost certainly uncover further crimes on Trump’s part. Even lawyers as incompetent as Rudy 9iu11ani should know that much.
Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.
That doesn’t make sense because it misunderstands what the “except in cases of impeachment” means. It doesn’t mean that the president’s pardons become invalid if he’s impeached; it means the President can’t use a pardon to undo the results of an impeachment. So if AG Barr were impeached, removed from office, and declared unfit to hold office again (pray let it be so) Trump couldn’t pardon him and appoint him to be AG again.
@Elizabelle: I just ordered the mace pin for my mom for Christmas. I can think of no better gift.
I’m sure his voters are thrilled that he’s abandoning them for a chance at being de-pantsed daily by Jared.
James E Powell
Merrick Garland is the #4 trending on my twitter.
@Gin & Tonic: Can you be convicted of perjury for being “unable” to remember anything of substance?
@Other MJS: I assume, from my LLD in Lawyering from years of watching TV, that the way to get around “I don’t remember” answers is to do things like the following:
“Mr. Witness I present you with People’s Exhibit #37 which is a contract with a signature in blood. The document is a contract, is it not? Would you read the highlighted line that begins, ‘I, Mr. Witness, do solemnly swear to Do All The Crimes with Rudy and Donnie …’? Is that your signature in blood at the bottom?…”
IOW, don’t ask them if they remember. As them yes or no questions based on rock-solid evidence. (If you can.)
Corrections welcome. ;-)
Not saying that the president’s pardons become invalid if he’s impeached, but as I understand it, there’s a legal question about whether the president can pardon people who are involved with the actions that he’s being or been impeached for. If he can do that, then he can legally obstruct justice. There’s been no ruling that the president canNOT pardon his co-conspirators, because no president has ever tried it before. But if Trump tried it, someone would be sure to challenge it, and he might get an answer that he didn’t like. So the theory is that he’s not going to try it until it’s really important to him, like himself and his kids.
J R in WV
Deleted. Already posted information.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
He’ll pardon Flynn, but not Manafort, only because Manafort would be taken into custody by the Manhattan DA and transferred to Rikers Island. DC lock-up is the French Rivera when compared to Rikers.
Wonder what he was *promised* ?