Mark Meadows pressed acting AG Rosen to investigate unfounded election fraud claims & conspiracy theories, including “Italygate,” as Trump and his allies spent their last days in office trying to undermine, or even nullify, the election resultshttps://t.co/r3veVYR24T
— Katie Benner (@ktbenner) June 5, 2021
… In five emails sent during the last week of December and early January, Mr. Meadows asked Jeffrey A. Rosen, then the acting attorney general, to examine debunked claims of election fraud in New Mexico and an array of baseless conspiracies that held that Mr. Trump had been the actual victor. That included a fantastical theory that people in Italy had used military technology and satellites to remotely tamper with voting machines in the United States and switch votes for Mr. Trump to votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr…
Mr. Trump chose Mr. Meadows, an ultraconservative congressman from North Carolina, to serve as his fourth and final chief of staff last March. A founder of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, Mr. Meadows was among Mr. Trump’s most loyal and vocal defenders on Capitol Hill, and had been a fierce critic of the Russia investigation.
Mr. Meadows’s involvement in the former president’s attack on the election results was broadly known at the time… Yet the newly unearthed messages show how Mr. Meadows’s private efforts veered into the realm of the outlandish, and sought official validation for misinformation that was circulating rampantly among Mr. Trump’s supporters…
“This new evidence underscores the depths of the White House’s efforts to co-opt the department and influence the electoral vote certification,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and the chairman of the committee, said in a statement. “I will demand all evidence of Trump’s efforts to weaponize the Justice Department in his election subversion scheme.”
A spokesman for Mr. Meadows declined to comment, as did the Justice Department. Mr. Rosen did not respond to a request for comment…
Don't call it a "coup", you liberal hysterics. The POTUS & his staff were just using powers of govt to frantically try to find any way possible to overturn the results of the election, which culminated in leading his followers into a violent insurrection on the capitol. Move. On. https://t.co/KftsnPt25x
— Centrism Fan Acct ?? (@Wilson__Valdez) June 5, 2021
Jack Holmes, at Esquire:
More and more, it looks like Mark Meadows was the Forrest Gump of the Trump camp’s sprawling and extended campaign to steal the 2020 election. This makes some sense. Meadows first made his name as the right-winger’s right-winger as a congressman from North Carolina,* co-founding the “Freedom Caucus” on the basis that Paul Ryan—a man who dreamed aloud of cutting Medicaid at college keggers—was too squishy on government spending, or whatever. Basically, the Freedom club was reserved for the House Republican contingent’s biggest assholes. (Will the admissions process be part of the festivities in Tokyo?) But once Meadows jumped ship to serve as Donald Trump’s fourth and final chief of staff—only to be replaced in his congressional seat by Madison Cawthorn, God help us all—he became more than a belligerent legislative vandal. He became party to an unprecedented assault on the basic foundations of American democracy that continues to this day…
… Meadows should be forced to tell this country what he knows. He should be subpoenaed by Congress to testify on national television about his role in every stage of the campaign to steal the election. If he claims he cannot talk out of some deference to “executive privilege,” he should be placed in contempt. There is no rationale for keeping this stuff secret. It is not in the national interest. It’s in Trump’s interest, which overtook the national interest as a priority of the Executive Branch around 12:01 p.m. on January 20, 2017. Make Meadows testify. Demand the truth and impose consequences, or this will happen again. It’s already happening.
Important context here: As Trump fans descended upon DC on the 6th, they expected to hear undeniable proof from the president that the election had been stolen.
"The Italians did it" was the main conspiracy theory going around 8kun/TheDonald that morning.https://t.co/Miz2MvTQHf
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) June 5, 2021
It looks like 2020 did more to prove the potential of subversion to skeptical Republicans than anything else. Last time, insurrection was a gamble, its consequences unthinkable. Next time, it's an option with known risks & costs. That's the greatest danger. https://t.co/0h1C8sPjmr
— chatham harrison dba SENATUS DELENDUS EST (@chathamharrison) June 7, 2021
people who study government and politics–experts, you might call them–are frantically waving their hands in alarm but the national media is like "look at these freaks over there, they clearly don't understand how LIFE IN THE ARENA ™ works"
— Gerry Doyle (@mgerrydoyle) June 7, 2021
Villago Delenda Est
These criminals need to suffer for their crimes. LOCK THEM UP!
Villago Delenda Est
Also, too, Gerry Doyle is on target.
Nuke the damn Village from orbit.
Only way to be sure.
unlike mark meadows, forrest gump actually graduated from a four year college.
Forrest was not malevolent.
Mark Meadows is not a nice person.
OK, it’s about Joe Fucking Manchin, but a funny WaPost reader comment on a Eugene Robinson piece.
I understand the political considerations, but I do wish Democrats were more willing to go for the jugular. The corruption and criminality of the previous administration is shocking and they’re getting ready to do it again.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@FelonyGovt: Serious question: What does “going for the jugular” look like? Criminal trials take a very long time [adding, and that’s the least of the complications they present]. Congressional hearings only work if people care. We don’t have a lot of time, and we’ve spent five years trying to make the majority of people care
ETA: Look at the 1/6 commission. Mitch McConnell has calculated he will pay no political price for strangling it in its cradle. Reporters say MoC and Senators were surprised how little they heard about it from their constituents. We can laugh about trump claiming he’ll be reinstated in August. I’m praying, atheist that I am, that he’s not ginning up another “wild’ response when he isn’t
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Oh, I understand all that very well. I would like to see Congressional inquiries which are actually reported on by the press. I would like to see our Justice Department being a little less respectful of how things were “always” done.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m with you. Expect August to be a long month. And if you live in a blue congressional district, expect to be voting in a special election to replace your recently departed congressman, hopefully in time to prevent speaker Gym Jordan from announcing a revision to the electoral vote. No. I’m not kidding.
Get rid of the Electoral College.
Tighten up the transition. ONE month instead of two and a half.
Daniel Holland? (@DannyDutch) tweeted at 1:20 PM on Mon, Jun 07, 2021:
Sir Tom Jones is 81 years old today, I’m sure he could still dance like this if he wanted to.
Please enjoy a thread from his tv show a lifetime ago, it’s hard to comprehend how many musical giants he hosted on there. https://t.co/N0T5B9NsT9
Got-damn, that’s the mother lode!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@FelonyGovt: trump was impeached. Twice. It was exhaustively covered by the press. I’m biased but I thought in both cases the impeachment managers did a very good and persuasive job. I think the only Republicans who are in electoral jeopardy because of their votes are Republicans who voted for impeachment or conviction. I won’t be surprised if Romney doesn’t run for re-election.
This isn’t on Democrats. Or the press. The article linked here is a perfect example. The NYT is showing voters where the water is, they don’t want to drink. I don’t get it, I’ve been in a near constant state of bafflement that there isn’t more of a public reaction to the blatant and multifarious corruption of the former administration. I am become Bob Dole, and bitter and cranky old man crying “Where’s the outrage?” into the wind. Wandering the metaphorical streets of the city with my lantern, looking for righteous indignation in my fellow Americans. It isn’t there.
The only way out is through the mid-terms. Hold and increase Dems’ margins. Be smart about our selection of candidates and issues. Learn the lessons of 2018 and 2020, unlearn the widespread misapprehensions of 2016 (and in case that was too subtle, I mean: Biden, not Bernie)
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The Virginia elections this November will be instructive. The GQP is still dead here and unless tomorrow’s primary is hugely surprising that will be clear in the general election.
I continue to think that 1/6 shocked a lot of people who were nominal TFG supporters. Flags disappeared in a flash.
The economy is recovering quickly, but still has a long way to go. Biden-Harris are handling hot-button issues well. They’re showing that competence actually exists and progress can be made. It’s not as fast as we’d like, but it is good progress.
I like our chances in 2022.
But we need to make sure our candidates and institutions have the resources they need now, not just a few weeks before 11/08/2022. We need to channel our angst in positive directions.
Mike in NC
it’s awfully hard to think of a shittier Trump sychophant than Mark Meadows.
Did you guys watch HBO’s QAnon Documentary “Into the Storm”? How are there still any QAnon believers? Ron Watkins outed himself as being “Q”. Basically, all these people followed Ron Watkins and his father into this lunacy. If you see these guys you you wonder what made that many people so stupid that they followed these two losers into this lunacy/
@MontyTheClipArtMongoose: @debbie: I’m not understanding the Forrest Gump comparison at all. Meadows is of below average intelligence? Meadows ends up at the center of big events through an accident of fate?
Agreed. I will remember to vote tomorrow.
E. Jean Carroll lawsuit against Trump: DOJ argues it should substitute as defendant – CNNPolitics
I said here when he was appointed that Merrick Garland would prove to be another useless institutionalist in the mould of Comey/Mueller etc.
No shit! I did not see Tom Jones with CSNY. And everyone getting into it!
They lost. Time for them to get over it and go fuck their feelings.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Did you? that’s nice. Would you like a cookie?
@Another Scott: yup.
@Anya: is watkins for sure q? or is this like that trump white house dipshi owning parler?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: He’s a pie. Why does he need a cookie??
@MontyTheClipArtMongoose: To me it was clear from the documentary that he was Q.
Complete bullshit. Let Trump defend his own worthless ass on private matters, which this was.
@Steeplejack: Seems Biden doesn’t want to defend Garland on this
Josh Gerstein on Twitter: “UPDATE: Biden WH distances from DOJ stance on Carroll suit, issues statement saying it ‘was not consulted by DOJ on the decision to file this brief or its contents’ and ‘Biden and his team have utterly different standards’ More: https://t.co/D70fN1WJD5” / Twitter
Adam L Silverman
@MontyTheClipArtMongoose: @Anya: He is most likely not Q.
Moreover, it doesn’t matter who Q is, what matters is what was being done both in terms of creating the puzzle game logic/structure for the various conspiracies that have now been pulled together under the QAnon label, then leveraging those structures to promulgate belief in it, and then leveraging that to mobilize action.
That’s where the real focus should be and that’s why the documentary was basically audio-visual masturbation.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Why would members of Congress and Senators need to hear from us about this? They’re the ones who would have ended up hanging from ropes, beat to death with fire hydrants and had their heads mounted on flagpoles if the insurrection had succeeded. That’s not enough to motivate them to do what needs to be done? They need us to hold their fucking hands?
Adam L Silverman
@sanjeevs: Until or unless the Westfall Act is repealed, there’s little wiggle room for the DOJ on this.
I am not just directing this at you, but people need to understand that neither our political system, nor our criminal justice system are designed to and/or have developed over time to actually deal with people like Trump and hold him accountable.
Our political system – from structures to institutions to processes – are not set up to deal with the anti-Constitutional and criminal behavior we’ve seen from Trump, those he appointed and employed in his administration, those in Congress and the RNC and the state and county parties that support him, and his other surrogates and catspaws. The political solutions we do have – impeachment, conviction, and removal or censure or expulsion or recall where that is an option – are all inadequate tools. We’ve seen impeachment fail twice. There’s no way given the current compositions of the House and Senate to censure or expel the worst Republican senators and representatives involved with this stuff. And because of the nature of the state’s and districts that elect them, there’s no way to use recalls even if they’re available. And here too we have the same problem for voting them out of office. Between the hyper-partisan gerrymanders that the GOP put in place for the House and state legislatures back in 2011 and the fact that the Senate by its nature comes pre-gerrymandered, as does the Electoral College, unless a huge tsunami of turnout occurs and everything aligns just right, there’s no way to vote these people out.
Our criminal justice/rule of law system is suffering from similar problems. At some point over the past fifty years we simply decided not to actually do anything about those portions of organized crime that we call white collar crime. In fact we’ve done a lot to encourage it instead of deter it. We’ve defanged the IRS and the SEC and placed them both on very short leashes. We’ve legalized politically bribery as lobbying. McConnell, working through his catspaw Don McGahn, gutted the FEC so it can’t do anything at all. We’ve reworked the tax code so that inheritable wealth is largely untouchable, thereby further concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands who then leverage all of the above structural and institutional flaws to further concentrate and protect their wealth. Our entire counterintelligence apparatus was allowed to wither on the vine after the Soviet Union fell and even before that it was never intended to actually lead to prosecutions, which was and still is a serious structural flaw. And, finally, our criminal justice system is not equipped to handle criminals that commit their crimes – from the conspiring to actual commission – out in the open in public and then brag about it. Especially if it is being done by criminals who are also political actors and are committing their crimes under the color of law.
And to top all of the above off, the process for restructuring the system is functionally impotent. There is absolutely no way, shape, or form that you could amend the Constitution in 2021. Individual amendments to fix things will be filibustered to death in the Senate and should one make it through, there’s no way to get the supermajority of states to ratify it. And a convention of the states is a good way to just say: “fine, we’ll let the surviving Koch brother and the Mercers and Uhliens and Peter Thiel, etc write the constitution they want.” As it is the one we have isn’t being interpreted according to it, it is being interpreted according to the Gospel of Leonard Leo and in line with the Confederacy’s constitution, which, interestingly enough, copied everything from the US Constitution except for the part about promoting the general welfare because it was within the Confederates understanding of how the US Constitution and then their own should be understood that originalism actually originated.
I don’t mean to sound negative, but waiting for the system to work at this point is accelerating us towards what Trump and his supporters want or the version that McConnell wants, which is the same thing, but without Trump and his family running things. I’m not saying that something unconstitutional or illegal needs to be done, but we need to recognize that we’re in a fight over raw power, that the other side recognizes no legitimacy other than their own, and that they are, as I put in my post on the topic, engaging in both parts of Revolutionary Warfare: guerrilla warfare and political action. Which means we need to get our tuchases in gear on counter-political action and civic action before we run out of time.
We are off the looking glass and through the map.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m not surprised people aren’t that outraged by Trump/Republican corruption because I think the average low-information voter believes most politicians are corrupt. They believe they’d all be like Trump if they could get away with it. I think a lot of them admire that Trump can get away with so much. It’s disgusting but true.
Adam L Silverman
@sanjeevs: And that’s the difference between Trump and Biden. Biden is not going to interfere with what the DOJ is doing even if it would be politically beneficial for him.
The Oracle of Solace
@Anya: I hope this doesn’t sound too pompous of me, but when I was researching a video on QAnon, the Blood Libel, witch hunts, abortion politics, and role-playing games, I found a quote that helped me understand much about the modern GOP: “…the more outrageous and unsubstantiated a knowledge claim is that members in a particular community hold, the more profound loyalty the members show the others in that community.” That is, the work one puts in to believing something ridiculous pays off in stronger social ties with fellow-travellers.
And of course a lot of beliefs are simply justifications for actions one wishes to take. Trumpists want to decisively seize power and hurt those whom they deem beneath them, so when the con-men of the GOP tell them it’s okay to resort to violence in order to overturn elections, they buy it.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Soprano2: I forget which MSNBC anchor– probably Stephanie Ruehle– said a couple years ago that a Harvard-educated relative, male, had said to her (from memory, “I know I shouldn’t, but I just love the way he gets away with everything! I’m jealous!”
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Lots of people admire the brazenness of what Trump does, and since they think all politicians are corrupt crooks it doesn’t bother them.
Seriously? This all happened decades before he was president. Doesn’t matter that she only divulged it recently. Apparently, her dress has DNA and she put it away immediately after and never had it cleaned. I don’t know how credible that story is, but that is my understanding of the situation. I have no idea how that or anything related to it is relevant to this particular lawsuit as IANAL and I have no idea what is relevant and what is not. But it would seem to me that this, being a civil suit, needs less stringent burden of proof and, if the DNA evidence is credible, I don’t see how it doesn’t meet the same criteria as the suit of Clinton v Jones (or whatever the formal name of the case is) that eventually was a large part of what led to the Lewinski scandal impeachment Ugh, I hate to think how long this shit had already been happening, what happened then and how it is still happening. If I’m deathly sick of this shit. I can’t imagine how Black or LGTBQ must have felt all my life and far before that.
@Adam L Silverman: Appreciate what you’re saying but seems to me this isnt just a straightforward case of applying the Westfall Act – otherwise the first federal judge who heard it wouldnt have rejected it.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@geg6: as I recall, she’s not suing him for the attack, but for defamation because he called her a liar when she went public about the rape. So she’s suing him for something he said while in office, an employee of the government.
Not a lawyer so I can’t speak to the DoJ decision. I don’t like it, but I don’t know the rules.
We sound like sore winners. Like we weren’t trying and won anyway.
We knew this would be a slog back in 2016, that SFB is and would be the worst and it would be a long 4 yrs. It was worse than anyone expected because SFB’s ignorance, rabid self aggrandizement, and general inability to be human in the least, add in the pandemic and it’s amazing to me that it wasn’t worse. But we won with a guy who has great experience, seems to be doing a damn good over all job, has a great right hand helping him and we are whining like it’s the worst thing ever. He’s been president not quite 6 months and we are winning against a pandemic that has killed over 600,000 citizens, the economy is coming back, and yet we seemingly can’t wait to second guess everything the president does or says. Is this just the training of the last 4000 years we all just lived through, or is it that we can’t see the forest for the anger at an insane 40% of the country?
@Adam L Silverman:
I wonder how many people actually understand this, that the republican party has been working this direction for the last 100 yrs. Every conservative president since WWII save Eisenhower has been going in this direction and even Eisenhower wasn’t as good as he could have been. Hell Hoover fucked up the economy and made the depression far worse and it’s because conservatives have no idea how a democratic economy is supposed to work, they would like the Russian government if they had any idea how it is actually practiced, instead of how it is written to work – oh wait they DO like the Russian government.
Adam L Silverman
@sanjeevs: What’s straightforward is that the DOJ isn’t simply going to abandon the principle. They’ll defend it until it is no longer legally prudent to do so.
Adam L Silverman
@Ruckus: Not even the Republican Party. The Republican Party is just the host for a socio-political, socio-economic, and socio-religious ideological movement that will ride whatever host it can as long as it can to achieve its goals. For most of the 20th centuries it was riding parts of both parties. The southern, segregationist Democrats and the isolationist, nativist Republicans. When it could no longer successfully ride the Democrats, it largely detached itself and completely attached itself to the Republicans. That’s why all the political language is basically the same, why everything is socialism and communism and anti-Christian. The entire “it’s a Republic, not a Democracy” was created by these chuckleheads in the 1950s and published in National Review when Buckley was running it. He wasn’t the firewall against the extremists, he was the genteel, educated face of the extremists.
Hell, if you go back into the 19th century during Reconstruction, the anti-Reconstruction forces were calling everything that was working within Reconstruction socialism and anti-Christian.
@Adam L Silverman:
I understand and agree. I’ve said here before that conservatives all over are, by their very nature trying to conserve a way of life. And that way of life is all the power and rights to the wealthy and the rest of us can sit down and shut the fuck up. That we got some things in the constitution that somewhat allow a bit of a democracy, at least in name and we’ve been trying to actually have a not unreasonable one every since is actually amazing. But take the senate. Please. That the people’s representation has fallen by limiting the size of the house, that there is no equitable standard for choosing the districts so we have horrible gerrymandering. Etc, etc.
@Ruckus: If people are still gloomy despite Biden’s successes, it’s because the last four years have shown us how quickly everything can go to shit due to forces utterly beyond our control. The fundamental problem of our time–the fact that there are 70-80 million Americans who openly would prefer to live in a a fascist white supremacist apartheid state rather than cede power to any Democrat–is still with us and is just as intractable as it was when Bush v. Gore was handed down. Right now, everyone is hot and bothered over whether Manchin and Sinema will kill SB1, and I’m over here wondering if SB1 could pass constitutional muster if it even became law given the composition of SCOTUS.
@Ruckus: I remain convinced that in the shining utopia where Hillary became President, Justice Merrick Garland would have written the SCOTUS opinion stating that partisan gerrymandering violated the Equal Protection clause.
Adam L Silverman
@Ruckus: Give this a read:
There’s either a historian or a law professor who has been tweeting out screen grabs of 19th century references to ending slavery, Reconstruction, public education, you name it being socialism. I thought I’d bookmarked it, can’t find it, and can’t remember the guy’s name. It’s not Kruse or Zelizer.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I get this, but the subject was not an act of government or anything to do with his role as a government official. It was a private affair from the past about which he could have kept his big yap shut. Grr.
Yep. We have been here before but not in our lifetimes. A democracy is a living entity and it can be killed if not protected. And conservatism is it’s enemy. The only funny thing is that it’s likely 2/3 of the people who vote conservative and think it’s hot shit had any real idea of what they are giving up supporting conservatism they would turn on the actual power structure. Someone the other day said that current conservatism is the biggest con ever perpetrated upon that many people. And it is. It doesn’t do anything positive for the supporters, only for the power structure of it. The supporters have been conned that they would lose everything if conservatism went away, but of course they wouldn’t, the only people who would lose would be the uber wealthy. And they wouldn’t be in any way poor, they just wouldn’t be quite as ridiculously uber.
@Adam L Silverman:
That’s what I’ve been saying as well. Conservatism is theft from everyone other than the uber wealthy, whatever uber wealthy is at any time. It’s theft of being a self governing country. It’s theft from every country that’s ever been there. A true monarchy is a conservative theft of property and rights of the people. Communism as it has been practiced since day one is also conservative theft of property and rights of the people.
@Adam L Silverman:
Zelizer sounds right, but it could just be a similar sounding name. I’m not the first to see this of course nor anywhere near, like a million miles not near enough famous to have my name attached to it and it is our modern life that has allowed the use of propaganda by the conservative side of the aisle that is effective to a large enough group to threaten the limited democracy that we do have. I think we have to use the numbers and the avenues available to us to work within the system we have to actually make the limited democracy that we have far less limited. I’m not sure how that might work at the moment but I believe we are at a crossroads and it’s up to us, all of us to make the system what it was supposed to be over 200 yrs ago.
One of the things I sound like is that money is the problem. It is not money per se that is the problem, a country, a people need money to conduct business and government. It’s hoarding of money that’s the problem, it is a government that allows, encourages hoarding, like we have currently that is the problem. Conservatism allows and encourages hoarding of money by the, if you will, the true ruling class. Conservatism is those hoarders getting their way and their hoarding on that makes a democracy not work. There will still be people with more money in a true democracy, but what there will also be is a much more equitable leveling of the overall wealth of the country. Most of us add to that wealth daily by working and being productive. But as it currently stands we are not getting the fair share we deserve and the uber wealthy are getting a far, far bigger share than they deserve. This is the crux of our current situation in my mind. We have to make sure that democracy is actually better.
Conservatism is a threat to humankind and being able to evolve past their programming. It is the self-destructive gene that will forever keep humans at their lowest.
@Adam L Silverman:
I can’t find the exact quote but I remember Joseph Chamberlain, when Mayor of Birmingham, UK, when accused of being a socialist replying something along the lines of ‘Socialism being a word opponents use when they don’t have any arguments against the proposed course of action.’
@Ruckus: In the other thread we were talking about pandemic hypervigilance and the difficulty coming out of it, a little like returning to civilian life from war.
Well, there’s political hypervigilance too. And in this case we know the danger isn’t over. I recall returning Vietnam vets talking about how they came back and felt like the war was still going on at home.
I can’t stop thinking there’s better than even odds Trump is just coming back. He’ll “win” with something like a 45-55 minority, dozens of states just throwing out Biden’s vote with transparently absurd cries of fraud, and that will be that. There will be a lot of abstract handwringing about how this is a travesty but the Constitution says, etc. No rule in the book that says a mule can’t be a placekicker.
@rikyrah: That’s a bit of all right right there! Many Gracias for getting the party started.