OROn Friday, Donald Trump received two more unwanted reminders that he is no longer president. As much as he and his henchmen yell “Lock her up” on Hillary Clinton and other enemies, it is he who remains in legal danger and in political limbo.
Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill will once again be forced to defend the indefensible. That won’t be a bother: QAnon is his creed, Trump is his Caesar and Gladiator is still the movie of our time.
But in other ways, the world has changed. The justice department is no longer an extension of Trump’s west wing. The levers of government are no longer at your disposal.
Next year, as much as Trump helped hand over both Georgia Senate seats to Democrats in January on the eve of the insurrection, his antics may cost Republicans a chance to retake the Senate.
Documents that likely would not have seen the light of day had Trump succeeded in reversing the election are now open to scrutiny, whether they are contemporary accounts of his conversations about that dishonest goal or his tax returns.
Those who claim that the events of January 6 were more than a failed coup attempt would do well to propose a better line. Or a different alternate reality.
Ashli Babbitt is not a martyr. Trump will not be reinstated to the presidency, no matter what the MyPillow guy says. Trump’s machinations and protests convey the despair that comes with floating above the abyss. He knows what he has said and done.
First, on Friday morning, it emerged that the Justice Department had provided Congress with copies of the notes from a condemnatory conversation on December 27, 2020 between Trump, Jeffrey Rosen, then Acting Attorney General, and Deputy Richard Donoghue. of Rosen.
As the New York Times first reported, the Main Justice powers told Trump there was no evidence of large-scale voter fraud in his clear loss to Joe Biden.
He replied, “Just say the election was corrupt. [and] leave the rest to me. “
That goes beyond simply seeking to bend the truth. Like George Conway, a prominent well-connected anti-Trump Republican, tweeted: “It’s hard to overstate how much the ex-guy smells of criminal intent.”
A White House veteran who served under the Bush presidency told The Guardian: “‘Leave the rest to me’ it sure sounds like prior knowledge.”
Just “connect the dots and the dates,” said the former assistant.
The insurrection came ten days later. As former Trump campaign chairman and White House strategist Steve Bannon framed it on January 5: “All hell is going to break loose.”
Truer words were never spoken.
Unfortunately for Trump, Friday’s news cycle did not end with the events of December 27. A few hours later, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), its policy-setting arm, once headed by Bill Barr, Trump’s second attorney general, opined that Trump’s tax returns could no longer be kept out of the House Ways and Means committee.
Since Watergate, presidents and presidential candidates have released their tax returns as a matter of standard operating procedure. Trump’s refusal to do so was a further broken rule, and a harbinger of what followed.
OLC concluded that the committee’s demand for those records was consistent with the relevant statute. Beyond that, he noted that the request would advance the panel’s “stated primary goal of evaluating the IRS presidential audit program, a clearly legitimate area for Congressional investigation.”
Here, the DoJ was doing nothing less than echoing the supreme court. Just over a year ago, the court rejected Trump’s argument that the Manhattan district attorney could not examine his tax returns and, in a separate case, held that Congress could also examine his taxes.
In the latter case, in a 7-2 decision, the court gutted the president’s argument that Congress had no right to review his tax returns and financial records. Writing for the majority, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts observed: “When Congress seeks information ‘necessary for intelligent legislative action,’ ‘it certainly’ remains ‘the duty of all citizens to cooperate.’
At the time, Trump had made two appointments to the superior court. Both joined the result. Too much to feel in debt.
Potential witnesses before the House selection committee on the events of January 6 should start to worry. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Congressman Jim Jordan – This means you. By her own admissions, she spoke to Trump that day.
It was one thing for the Merrick Garland Justice Department to continue the government defense of Trump in the E Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit. It’s completely different to expect Biden’s attorney general to play by blocking Trump. It is highly unlikely here.
The justice department does not appear willing to come to the aid of those who tried to overturn the elections. He has already refused to defend Mo Brooks, the Alabama congressman who wore a Kevlar vest at a pre-riot rally on Jan.6.
On top of that, Democrats control Congress and Liz Cheney, a dissident Republican from Wyoming and a member of the Jan.6 committee, hates Jordan. Is personal.
That damn Jim Jordan guy. That son of a bitch, ”Cheney told the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley about Jordan, according to Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker of the Washington Post.
Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who, like Cheney, voted to impeach Trump on January 6 and has joined the select committee, may also be in the mood to teach a lesson. Congressional Democrats may want to see Jordan and McCarthy sweat. The House Republican Party got the committee it asked for when it withdrew cooperation. You face unintended consequences.
As for Trump, he may well continue to harbor presidential aspirations and dreams of revenge. But how Ringo Starr sang, “Is not easy”. In fact, after Friday’s twin blows, things probably got a lot more difficult.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism