There's a reason Republicans don't want a commission to document what happened on Jan 6... they know it's actually worse than has been reported. This stuff will drip out over the next year or two, as everybody within a mile of the Trump White House tries to monetize their experience.
L. Lin Wood played a starring role in the failed legal effort to alter the results of the 2020 election on behalf of former President Donald Trump. But Mr. Wood, a lawyer, now wants everyone to know that he had no real involvement in the suit to decertify the vote in Michigan, despite his name appearing on it.
âI do not specifically recall being asked about the Michigan complaint,â he said on Monday, âbut I had generally indicated to Sidney Powell that if she needed a quote-unquote trial lawyer, I would certainly be willing or available to help her.â Ms. Powell, you may recall, is the legal eagle who vowed to ârelease the Krakenâ on supposed 2020 election fraudsters, thus earning the pro-Trump legal crusade its mythic nickname.
Mr. Wood was just trying to support his Kraken co-counsel.
Mr. Woodâs, um, clarifications were made to a federal judge during a hearing on whether he, Ms. Powell and several other lawyers should be sanctioned over the Michigan case. The city of Detroit, among other entities, has accused the pro-Trump legal team of abusing the court system by pursuing a frivolous, error-riddled case. The city wants the offending lawyers punished financially and referred for possible disbarment.
Mondayâs virtual proceedings did not bode well for Team Kraken. U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker expressed skepticism bordering on dismay about some of the evidence and experts from the original case. âI donât think Iâve ever seen an affidavit that has made so many leaps,â she marveled at one point. âHow could any of you as officers of the court present this affidavit?â
Generally speaking, itâs not a good sign when a judge is characterizing oneâs evidence in terms such as âfantastical,â âspeculative,â âbad faith,â âobviously questionableâ and âlayers of hearsay.â Judge Parker brushed back Ms. Powellâs assertion that the complaintâs 960 pages of affidavits proved âdue diligence,â countering, âVolume, certainly for this court, doesnât equate with legitimacy or veracity.â (...)
More generally, the defendants maintain that the entire hearing is outrageous and baseless and â surprise! â that they are being unjustly persecuted. âI have practiced law for 43 years and have never witnessed a proceeding like this,â Ms. Powell said.
(...) The United States has never struggled to punish those radicals who stood against hierarchy and domination. Whether you were a labor radical, Black revolutionary or left-wing militant, to attempt to upset existing class and social relations â or, at times, to even associate with people who held those ideas â was to court state repression. The two Red Scares of the 20th century are evidence enough of this fact.
When a perceived internal enemy is a threat to the established hierarchy, the state springs into action. But when the challenge is in defense of those hierarchies, the incentive often runs in the other direction, either out of ideological affinity or the potential for political gain or both.
Donald Trump leads a mass movement in defense of traditional hierarchies. His most fervent supporters tried to overturn American democracy in his name. Perhaps, if he and his followers were more fringe figures, there would be greater appetite among political elites for holding him accountable.
But because Trump and his movement are essentially mainstream â because his political power weighs on the fortunes of both parties â he is insulated from the consequences of his actions. His most fervent followers may find themselves facing prosecution and jail time for what they did on Jan. 6, but he stands unchastened and unrestrained.
It almost does not matter if Trump runs for president again. The damage has been done. Not just in terms of what is possible â an attack on the Capitol building â but in terms of what is remembered. If, as Trump suggests, the insurrectionists are heroes and martyrs, then the insurrection itself is already fast becoming something of a âLost Cause.â And if experience tells us anything, itâs that we should not underestimate the power and potency of that particular narrative.
âThere was such love at that rally, you had over a million people, they were there for one reason, the rigged election, they felt the election was rigged,â Trump said, while ignoring the widespread violence that occurred on Jan. 6 as a result of his fruitless efforts to overturn the election results. âThatâs why they were there and they were peaceful people, these were great people, the crowd was unbelievable and I mentioned the word love, the love in the air Iâve never seen anything like it.â
Trump then continued his crusade of martyrizing Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was fatally shot as she tried to climb through a broken window during the insurrection. Since the Capitol insurrection over six months ago, Babbittâs death has been used as an example of federal tyranny that has been embraced by Trump and his allies, with the former president egging on his supportersâ demands to identify the officer who fatally shot Babbitt.
âWho is the person that shot an innocent, wonderful, incredible woman, a military woman, right in the head?â Trump said. âThere is no repercussion â that were on the other side, it would be the biggest story in this country. Who shot Ashli Babbitt? People want to know and why.â
This Marginal Revolution blog posted review attempts to offer a balanced view of the US response to the pandemic. h/t John Cochrane, The Grumpy Economist. It is well worthwhile but my expectations of the USA are inevitably high and I still cannot help wondering if the Trump response to the pandemic resulted in close to 200,000 avoidable American deaths. There is no doubt that the political leadership response in many other countries was also tragically inadequate, in many cases worse. -w
Like Michael Lewisâs The Premonition which I reviewed earlier, Andy Slavittâs Preventable is a story of heroes, only all the heroes are named Andy Slavitt. It begins, as all such stories do, with an urgent call from the White Houseâ¦the President needs you now! When not reminding us (e.g. xv, 14, 105, 112, 133, 242, 249) of how he did ânearly the impossibleâ and saved Obamacare he tells us how grateful other people were for his wise counsel, e.g. âJared Kushnerâs name again flashed on my phone. I picked up, and he was polite and appreciative of my past help.â (p.113), âJohn Doer was right to challenge me to make my concerns known publicly. Hundreds of thousands of people were following my tweetsâ¦â (p. 55)
Slavitt deserves praise for his work during the pandemic so I shouldnât be so churlish but Preventable is shallow and politicized and it rubbed me the wrong way. Instead of an âinside accountâ we get little more than a day-by-day account familiar to anyone who lived through the last year and half. Slavitt rarely departs from the standard narrative.