Roger Stone Takes Georgia, and the Senate, Hostage

As far as I know, virtually no one else has accurately reported on the significance of this footnote in the Mueller Report, liberated by BuzzFeed hours before election day.

1279 Some of the factual uncertainties are the subject of ongoing investigations that have been referred by this Office to the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The footnote explains why, on March 22, 2019, the Mueller team had not yet charged Roger Stone for conspiring with Russian intelligence officers to steal files from Democrats that could be leaked to help Donald Trump get elected President: because DOJ was still investigating it. The footnote — and the entire public record since then — make it clear that that investigation into Stone on CFAA conspiracy charges was ongoing. Indeed, I have shown that the Stone trial for lying to Congress to cover up the identity of his claimed go-between with WikiLeaks strongly suggests that his go-between was neither Jerome Corsi nor Randy Credico, but Guccifer 2.0, quite possibly an American cut-out working with the Russians.

While there are signs that Bill Barr effectively shut down that ongoing investigation by forcing the four Stone prosecutors to withdraw from the case, an investigation into whether Stone conspired with Russia would neither be tolled nor precluded on double jeopardy grounds. Nor would such crimes be covered by Trump’s commutation of Stone’s sentence for covering up who his go-between with WikiLeaks was, which appears to have been an effort to distract from his ties directly to the Russian operation. They are entirely different crimes. To pardon Stone for conspiring with Russia, Trump might well have to specify that Stone did conspire with Russia, something that would not only create legal jeopardy for himself, but would require admitting what he has tried to deny for four straight years, that his campaign “colluded” — conspired even! — with Russia to win.

It would be uncontroversial for Joe Biden’s Attorney General to reopen a case against Roger Stone for conspiring with Russia.

That may be useful background to the news that, after remaining relatively quiet for much of the 2020 election (or at least fronted by Steve Bannon), Stone is now threatening to hold Georgia’s Senate seats — and with it, GOP control of the Senate — hostage.

Conservative operatives and a super PAC with ties to infamous GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone are calling for Trump supporters to punish Republicans by sitting out Georgia’s crucial Senate runoffs or writing in Trump’s name instead. And though their efforts remains on the party’s fringes, the trajectory of the movement has Republicans fearful that it could cost the GOP control of the Senate.

The most aggressive call to boycott or cast protest ballots in the two runoff races has, so far, come from a dormant pro-Trump super PAC with ties to Stone, which unveiled a new initiative to retaliate against the Republican Party’s supposed turncoats by handing Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

The group, dubbed the Committee for American Sovereignty, unveiled a new website encouraging Georgia Republicans to write in Trump’s name in both of the upcoming Senate runoff elections, which could determine the party that controls the upper chamber during President-elect Joe Biden’s first two years in office. The PAC argued that doing so will show support for the president in addition to forcing Republicans to address the wild election-fraud conspiracy theories floated by Trump supporters and members of his own legal team.

The effort uses some of the same infrastructure that the Mueller team scrutinized as part of its investigation of Stone.

The Committee for American Sovereignty and a sister nonprofit group were set up in 2016 as vehicles for prominent pro-Trump operatives—most notably Stone and former Blackwater chief Erik Prince—to attempt to suppress the Black vote by amplifying claims that Bill Clinton had an illegitimate biracial son. It’s been mostly quiet since then. The PAC’s recent filings with the Federal Election Commission disclose nothing but outstanding federal and state tax liabilities, and its new effort in Georgia doesn’t appear to have received much pickup yet.

A request for comment sent to the Committee for American Sovereignty email address on file with the FEC was not returned. Efforts to reach Pamela Jensen, a California political activist who leads the group, were not successful. Her husband, an attorney named Paul Jensen who describes Stone as a “long time client,” told The Daily Beast in an email his wife “has no comment, and nor do I.” Stone did not respond to inquiries about his present involvement with the group.

Stone made fairly naked threats in the days leading up to Trump’s commutation of his sentence, in that case to share information with prosecutors about Trump’s knowledge of his 2016 activities. The threats worked. This time around, Trump may not have the power to respond to Stone’s threats.

But Stone has proven in the past he’s willing to take reckless actions when he is cornered.

110 replies
  1. phred says:

    So what is his end game here? It doesn’t help him if Dems get the upper hand in the Senate, so what is he trying to coerce the Republican Party / Mitch McConnell to do for him?

      • joel fisher says:

        I think you’re right, but there’s still a possibility that Trump pardons some activity and leaves the commuted sentence in place, thus preserving some of Stone’s 5th amendment privilege. I also think the 1st half of 2021 will see a bonanza of pardon litigation perhaps even a case regarding self-pardon validity.

    • subtropolis says:

      There appears to be a schism within the Republican Party, and the Q Believers are willing to burn it to the ground, that they may cleanse it of the old guard. As such, logic need not pertain.

      It looks to me that Stone is jumping on a bandwagon here that others had already got rolling. It may well be that he’s being sure to be a prominent player so that Trump doesn’t forget him. (I think that Marcy is wrong in suggesting that Stone is threatening Trump. This is ostensibly to his benefit, wrongheaded though it is.)

      Whatever the details are, I support their efforts. The Special Election cannot come soon enough.

  2. pseudonymous in nc says:

    My first thought is “grift” — that crappy web page doesn’t have a donation link yet, but I assume it will soon enough. If it doesn’t, that’s more interesting: maybe it’ll get funds sluiced in from some other shady Stone-affiliated source, or maybe it’ll spend no more than the web hosting fee. (I don’t know if there’s a good way to stop these PACs from being placed in cold storage for years, only to be reactivated whenever a ratfucker needs a ride. Seems like there ought to be.)

    Stone could be offered a blanket pardon to obfuscate the specific nature of his legal jeopardy, but even that would need to have some kind of date range, and when someone’s criming all the time you can never be sure you’ve covered [up] all the crimes.

    As that piece says, I think the number of deadender magahats and Collins-or-busters is likely to be small (if loud) but when the margins are that tight any drop-off in R support matters and can be weaponized. We also have no idea what kind of shite will have come from the White House by January 5.

    • emptywheel says:

      Grift doesn’t make sense, bc if this was (just) grift, he would have been more active during the General.

  3. skua says:

    An effect of Stone’s PAC’s anti-Repub-establishment action is to deepen the divide between Trump’s base and the Repub party.
    S. Powell also divided with her attack on Georgian Repub leaders. She has committed to continue on that path.
    It seems unlikely but might Trump be using both Stone and Powell to separate his base from the Repub Party?

    • Raven Eye says:

      Taking some themes from the BNP guidebook, I’d love to see Stone and friends/fiends launch something along those lines. They’d have to come up with a new name since American National Party (ANP) is already taken.

  4. VinnieGambone says:

    Maybe Stone has another $1,000,000 IRS tax lien he wants withdrawn.
    Georgians should be told about this.

  5. Rugger9 says:

    DKos had the Parler story yesterday, but even the most Machiavellian purveyor of Rube Goldberg contraptions would have a hard time making sense of trying to remove the current GOP control of the Senate. It’s their firewall for preventing all sorts of inconvenient (for the GOP) actions like Medicare for All and undoing all of DJT’s garbage plus it will add the Senate to the list of entities that will conduct investigations of DJT and his minions.

    Unlike other places in the world, boycotting elections have no weight here in terms of symbolism. Elections are scheduled, run and counted (allowing for voter suppression and other GOP dirty tricks) on a predictable cycle and if a party decides to ditch participation that’s too bad.

    So if the Proud Boys, et al want to boycott, go for it.

    • Fred Fnord says:

      Stone is easy to understand, as long as you remember that he doesn’t actually give a shit about conservatism. Or anything but himself. He just likes hurting people and avoiding any consequences. If you’re asking yourself ‘why is Stone doing X’, it’s always because he found someone he wants to hurt (god knows who in this case) and a way to hurt them. And he’s dead certain he’ll be pardoned for everything the day before Trump leaves office, so that’ll avoid any consequences.

      And Democratic control of the Senate just means more opportunities to be hired to hurt people in the 2022 election.

      • Rugger9 says:

        That assumes more doesn’t come out between now and Inauguration Day as well as when the investigations start. Stone won’t have DJT or AG Barr to protect him any longer.

    • subtropolis says:

      I’m told that Rush Limbaugh is now pushing this, too. And I saw video of the protesters in Atlanta on Saturday calling for the same. From what I can gather, their strategy is to write in Trump’s name and, when the Republicans see this result, they will [something something] overturn the presidential election.

      • skua says:

        That course would turn Trump’s base against the Repub Party.
        Those Georgian Senate run-off are ? a month and a half away?
        It is hard to imagine Limbaugh, Stone and Powell continuing on this course. (But then I couldn’t imagine Trump getting the nomination.)

  6. Chetnolian says:

    Has there ever been a time before when those on this site would like Roger Stone to succeed? Savour the moment.

    • skua says:

      It’s possible that Stone, Powell and Limbaugh have an end point in mind that no one here would want to see reached.

      I’ve read stories of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. When angry and fearful mobs let their feelings rule then very bad things happen. Trump’s feeling-led base may be in the process of being split off from the (amoral and self-serving) rationality of the Republican Party.
      If successful the nation could be so very divided that coherence would fail.

  7. madwand says:

    Trump efforts recounts et al in Georgia merely help the democrats in this base and will arguably bring them out to vote in the Special Election of January 5. They are breaking the record again for requests on absentee ballots and allowing plenty of time for early voting. Before at the general election there were nothing but Kelly Loeffler commerials down here, so many in fact as to become an irritant. Now it seems Warnock and Ossoff are getting their own commercials in and fighting back and these often air back to back with the Loeffler/Purdue adds. Loeffler and Purdue are hitting hard on socialism and bringing back the ghost of Jeremy Wright which I think works to their disadvantage as it will motivate black voters to come out and vote against them. Democrats are hitting hard back on insider trading and coronavirus. So come on down ratfucker, you will only help the good guys.

  8. MB says:

    Hmmm…if enough folks follow Roger’s advice and write-in Trump’s name…and if he wins one of the seats (which one?), then Trump could become a new senator from Georgia and would have to work underneath McConnell. That would be a very fitting post-presidential punishment, methinks…

    • emptywheel says:

      There’s not actually a way to cast a write-in vote in the run-off. I suspect you can submit a ballot with Trump’s name written in one of the spaces where the other candidate appears. But it could never count. The idea is to force a 50%+1 winner.

  9. William E Newnam says:

    Stone is not the only one threatening boycotts, etc. Lin Wood is major Republican attorney tied back to Gingrich days. He lost the first case in Georgia which included a filing of an affidavit by an anonymous person alleged to be a former Venezuelan military officer claiming to witness Maduro playing with the dominion machines. Wood is boycotting because of the alleged election corruption of SOS Republican Raffensberger and Gov. Kemp. I came across some tweets that indicated there are others joining him. As for motive, I don’t think Trump or Stone care who wins the Georgia Senate race. It won’t affect either of them personally in any way, so if they gain some benefit (financial, future political opportunities, or the exhilaration from the raw exercise of power), they will do that. Neither Stone nor Trump give a damn about who controls the Senate with Trump out of power. This situation reflects the divide between establishment Republicans who have to govern, and Republicans who are merely disrupters, bomb-throwers, and “agents of chaos.” The more chaos the better for the anti-establishment disrupters, and the worse off for the established, or governing class of Republicans. But because their power comes from the energy among the disrupters, Loeffler and Perdue dare not challenge them publicly, even when they are being attacked by opinion leaders. They are boxed in. The question is: will enough Georgia voters be turned off by “election corruption” by Georgia Republican leaders and the “disappointment” of Trump supporters to match what will be a uniquely high Democratic turnout in a run-off? Ossoff lost the general by nearly 100,000 votes. With over 70% turnout in the general, if all of the infighting leads to 100,000 Republicans staying home, the Dems have a chance. Initially, I thought there is no way, but as this governing/disrupter split seems to be growing, I am becoming more optimistic.

    • dude says:

      Another variable: 2.3 % of the race for Senate in the Perdue-Ossoff race (115,000 votes) was for a Libertarian candidate, Shane Hazel. Given the naroow margin between Perdue and Ossoff, that is no small number. If they vote at all in the runoff, my guess is they will lean to Perdue or follow Stone’s write-in advice.

  10. viget says:

    Maybe this is Trump’s/Stone’s first salvo in attempting to create a viable racist 3rd party that is completely owned by RU/other mobligarchies. If it’s big enough, they can siphon off enough votes to get reps in Congress and even influence the presidential election again, especially if prominent Southern Repubs defect.

    All the more reason why Trump/Stone/Flynn/Manafort’s sedition needs to be exposed and prosecuted.

    • Raven Eye says:

      I think a Stone-inspired, Trump-led third party is a grand endeavor. It would mostly siphon off Republicans. Trump would feel comfortable with that business model – similar to the way he managed to get his three Atlantic City casinos to cannibalize each other into bankruptcy.

      I’m sure there’s some tacky building in Florida that is in desperate need of a tenant and some gold-plated bathroom fixtures.

      And a statue would be nice. I’d recommend something that combined the strength of Red Mountain, Alabama’s “Vulcan” (also known as “Moon over Homewood”), and the reality of the “Manneken Pis”.

      • dude says:

        I think just changing the face on the Bad Boy Peeing decal you see on lots of pick-up trucks is more appropriate to the new party Trump envisions.

        I used to live near Vulcan on the Birmingham side. That mixed with the manneken pis image is hilarious.

  11. Mickquinas says:

    A useful and relevant piece of information that many Republicans and right-wing “spoilers” are apparently unaware of, from the Georgia Secretary of State: (

    “Individuals may only qualify as a write-in candidate for a general or special election. No write-in candidates may qualify for general or special primaries. No person shall be eligible as a write-in candidate in a special or general primary, a special or general primary runoff, or in a special or general election runoff.” (Page 4)

  12. gmoke says:

    Looks like something is going on. It’s not just Roger Stone but Rush Limbaugh too:

    “Yeah we want to win the two seats, yeah we want the Republicans to maintain control, but there’s a lot of people out there right now who are ambivalent and wouldn’t mind if the Republicans lost those two seats and sit around and watch the Democrats and the Republicans deal with the mess that they have made.”

    Maybe this is just sour grapes “I’ll take my bat and ball and go home so nobody can have a ball game” sore loserism but maybe it is something else. Trmp split the Republican Party into Never-Trmpers and full-bore Trmpists. Now what’s left is splintering into smaller pieces.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Bill Kristol (who usually gets everything wrong) has also weighed in to write in DJT to show the national GOP who’s boss. Then again, Bloody Bill did get the 2020 election right.

  13. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    Bless you, Marcy!

    As Cheri Jacobus posits in a recent interview (it’s long but well worth a listen), perhaps if the aberrant Roger Stone, had been rightfully punished back in the 1970s for his criminality in the Nixon administration, we would not be in this situation today.

    Most importantly, Cheri describes in detail (starting at 21:50 of the interview) what I’m convinced happened in the 2016 election–which Trump was losing–through the Electoral College, unleashing a four-year-long Russian psy-ops campaign run out of the White House. As Yale’s Timothy Snyder described it, the US electoral system sustained a successful cyberattack from an adversarial nation and has been a Russian cyber-colony since then. My bet is that the “Gang of Eight” all know this. Because I am sure that, in addition to being a malignant narcissist, Trump is severely impaired with ongoing dementia and needs to be institutionalized, my questions now are: 1. Who on the Trump team made the decision to let the Russkies in; and 2. Who is really running the show now.

  14. Rugger9 says:

    OT, on pardons since KGO’s blathering on about an article that advocated Biden pardoning DJT to heal the nation, and the host wasn’t having it. He also said Burdick says that guilt has to be accepted (according to bmaz, et al, nope) and that pardons do not apply to the state courts. However, some things are important to point out here:

    The OLC opinion is the only reason DJT hasn’t been prosecuted, but has yet to be tested as actual legal precedent. There is nothing I can see where DJT wouldn’t demand that state prosecutions also be affected (see the E Jean Carroll case). The Supreme Court as it is currently set would be likely to side with DJT and set a really offensive precedent.

    The pardon power applies to “crimes against the United States” which has been applied as a legal norm in the past to only apply to federal crimes. However, I suspect that DJT will claim that the “United States” applies individually to each state as well as the whole country since there is no precedent that says otherwise (or, is there?) and the SCOTUS will back him on that too. That means the expected prosecutions in NYS will be barred.

    The idea of the pardon is bad for many reasons, not least because of prior history of such pardons emboldening the others to try again. We do not know the extent of the crimes and damage which would be revealed in court cases and/or Congressional investigations and/or a “truth commission”, so we’d be getting a promise from a guy who routinely breaks them. Given what we already know, the question must be asked: if not now, then when will a bad president actually be held accountable for criminal behavior? A future president may decide that elections are no longer necessary or employ more active voter suppression (with billy clubs) across the nation with impunity and/or interfere with the counting, channeling Stalin on the topic and since prosecution would be barred by the OLC and pardon precedent, that would end the American experiment.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      Scary thoughts be gone. Too late.

      The treason clause distinguishes between levying war against The United States or a State thereof. But the distinction seems to imply the inclusive interpretation of the or-statement–as in levying war against both The United States and a State thereof.

      But I don’t know, nor think, that the respective jurisdictions of a State Court versus a United States Court could work that same inclusive sort of way just because the treason clause seems to work that way.

      Hopefully NOT.

      • Mitch Neher says:

        Strike that. The treason clause does not make that distinction. I’ll find something else to worry about–like memory loss, for instance.

      • Rugger9 says:

        You might be thinking of the Supremacy Clause where federal interests supersede state ones on the same topic (it’s what was used to pry open segregated schools for example).

        However, it is not so much a scary thought as a warning for what DJT will try and to prepare countermeasures now. A lot of what I noted above has to do with political norms and the GOP is perfectly willing to go along with DJT gambits if their party profits from the challenges. DJT not only disrespects norms but blows off precedents and black-letter law (i.e. presidential records among many, many others) so blowback for trying this stuff needs to be sharp and severe. It’s what kept MI in line IMHO.

  15. Doctor My Eyes says:

    What gives me the heebie jeebies is the idea that front man Putin has the assets in place throughout the US government to create the destruction he wants. Trump is no longer needed by him and there are various reasons it would be advantageous to see the whole thing fall apart during a Democratic administration, not least of all the schadenfreude of taking down an actual adversary rather than a useful idiot. I usually keep my paranoid ideas to myself, but it makes me nervous these last months not to have more often heard the words “compromised”, “asset”, and “infiltrated”. Back when Jared’s collection of classified information was in the news, I felt the most damaging thing he could have provided the Russians would be the names and addresses of top people in the national security community. It would not be shocking to learn that Stone and Limbaugh’s behavior has more to do with what Russia wants than with any domestic calculations. I doubt Putin has been as incompetent and flailing as Trump et al have for the last 3 plus years.

    • tinao says:

      I’m a bit of a paranoid as a mere mortal myself Doctor My Eyes. and unfortunately that is a real possibility. Ehhwoo, gonna have to postpone my dinner just taking that to a logical conclusion.

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Biden is set to get the President’s Daily Briefing. I hope it’s the real one, not the cartoon and voice bubble version Trump gets but has bits of it read to him. (In fact, it’s likely to be more complete, since the IC will be pitching it at Biden more than Trump.) The stuff Trump doesn’t know and everything he’s ignoring is likely to gobsmack Biden and his top aides.

    • MB says:

      Well…hmmm…he used to be Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff before attaining glory in the Trump administration. Maybe he could go back to working for the ex-AG/ex-Senator on a 2022 comeback??

    • SC says:

      The odds are very high that Miller is a guest at Harvard IOP soon but I’m putting my money on him landing at the Hoover Institution.

    • pdaly says:

      Some at Harvard are actively circulating a petition to keep some of the Trump admin alumni out of the Harvard Kennedy School/Institute of Politics.

      ” “The Institute of Politics at HKS, or any other center, has the responsibility to boldly confront Trump administration alumni invited to speak at Harvard about their collaboration or passive acceptance of this attack on truth and fundamental democratic principles — or not invite them to speak at all,” the letter reads.”

      and emeritus Harvard Law professor Dershowitz, poor guy, is none too happy:

      ” “My only regret in having retired from Harvard after 50 years is not being there to stand up to these student bullies,” Dershowitz added.” “

    • Rugger9 says:

      McD’s is hiring as is Amazon. But, I think Miller will become the PR Director for the Washington Football Team because he has so much in common with Danny Boy Snyder. That or go work for Ingraham or Pirro or Dobbs.

  17. MattyG says:

    How DT must seethe knowing his GOP punching bags like Mitch and Lindsey cruised to victory while he lost (their cheating worked! They screwed me over!). DT craves othing more than seeing any Repulican who won lose or lose power – and Stone is happy to oblidge. Mitch and Lindsey won’t leave the Senate but a Dem win in GA knocks them off their perch – a win-win for DT and Stone, and Stone sees an ego boost and dollars from the ride he will get out if it too.

    • phred says:

      I think you’re on to something here, petty jealousy is DJT’s primary motivator (tightly coupled to personal profit). The possibility that Mitch will carry on as Senate Majority Leader while he’s booted out of the WH must have Trump absolutely seething with rage. I can see him turning to his pet rat fucker to screw McConnell just for the fun of it.

      • MattyG says:

        I don’t think DT gives a rat’s arse about Biden or the Dems, or “politics” or the country for that matter. It’s knowing Republican winners watch him and judge him. If he can bring the party down he will try.

        He’ll speed up his Kremlin payments and sabotage as much as possible but the fire is his resentment of Republicans – as odd as tt sounds. It’s a psychological issue “losing to other dumbass GOP” here.

      • MattyG says:

        For one thing they know he doesn’t have sway with the cough cough (Kremlin) cough cough anymore – so that leverage on them is gone or lessened. They are back to business as usual and have remedies to deal with uncomforatable “third party” situations.

        I bet they suspect DT has a lot of unpaid “third party” tabs and they feel less threatened. Had he continued in office he’d still have the implied threat of Kremlin assets to throw around – not so much now.

        DT is in the cold now with little power to demand much of anyone or to threaten them with. Assuming he avoids prison or doesn’t do a bunk to the East, his future in “politics” is basically to destroy the GOP and demand the rank an file follow him instead. But that’s just my rosy assessment – YMMV.

    • rip says:

      From what I can vaguely remember in the years before these four interminable ones…

      DJT was a “democrat” and switched allegiances. Why? Perhaps to be a spoiler/brat?
      I think he had no fuzzy relationship with the (r)epuglicons, especially with the mitch-thing. He would probably love to see them crash if he crashes.

      • Hika says:

        You’re right to put ” ” around Democrat for Trump as Trump’s political inclinations, if they ever raised to the level of thought, never got beyond, “Can I get something out of this?”
        Trump went with the Republican party because that was the one full of people wanting an authoritarian leader to validate their innermost insecurities and hatreds. He went with the Republicans because he knew his “schtick” works with enough of them because Limbaugh et al. had already proved it.

  18. Eureka says:

    It makes sense when you consider this effort to be one of offering tweaked product to junkies.

    They are just adding in a new spire to help carry forward the Mercer-Bannon grift-based chaos/chaos-based grift. The Q party replaces the Tea Party in the destruction of America.

    Flynn and the post-election litigation are going to be less useful for those projects going forward. Late Sunday night they got a ~ “Sidney represents ME” hashtag going, but limply.

    Their grievances have to, escalatingly, “Not make sense”. Helps spike the dopamine (as does a different focus than the dems for a moment, tho there is some “Owning the cons to own the libs!” in there).

    They’ve met the marriage of addictive social media and IRL actions (like going to rallies, throwing away votes, giving cash) and at some point it becomes never enough. And then it becomes never enough again. And again…

    Those who’ve thrown* their vote this way (if this gets off the ground; it could be just a spaghetti-fling/ see what works to keep altering people’s behavior) and their sympaticos can have protests, which others in the guild can watch on SM and the shows. Cycle cycle cycle… keep interested and expand the number of Americans game for, and ready to die or kill for, folly.

    *It occurred to me that write-ins might ‘jam’ or bother the counting machines, though I don’t know enough of the mechanics in GA. But the meme of X number of “rejected votes” would serve their purposes.

    ETA: recall Saturday night Sidney was explicating the “Makes No Sense” (to us) angle against Kemp and GA SoS:

  19. subtropolis says:

    Now Stone is denying it; claims it’s a frame-up:

    Additionally, an attorney for the Stone-linked PAC claims that it has nothing to do with the website. (

    Now, it could be that Stone was chewed out for doing this. After all, Trump jr is now tweeting out that people should ignore this, suggesting that Trump himself is not in favour. (Or, has changed his mind.)

    Or, it could be that these dimwits are being played. While it seems obvious that this really did begin among the Q Believers, I’ll point out that now Bill Kristol is encouraging voters to write in Trump’s name.

    It’s a wilderness of mirrors!

  20. Rugger9 says:

    OT, but rumors are swirling that DJT is about to pardon Michael Flynn (Jonathan Swan at Axios). We’ll see, but it will be an another admission of guilt by DJT’s WH and should be immediately followed by House hearings under oath. After the election was certified today there is no real political risk otherwise since the MAGA cult will not care about the Russian footsie.

    • Eureka says:

      Why now, why is this coming up today — slow news day? Chatter about Bannon, too, though I’ve seen no additional reporting (and what Axios has is not substantive — merely a topic-changer; also nothing as to immanence):

      President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

      Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

      Jonathan Swan: “SCOOP: Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn, per two sources with direct knowledge. [Axios]”
      9:05 PM · Nov 24, 2020

      Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn – Axios

      • Eureka says:

        This public announcement centered on Flynn could be a call to stand down, and go with Marcy’s premise here as to Stone — if considered as applied to the whole cabal out there running this GA operation. Powell’s recent remarks about Barr not being in control of DOJ (scroll up to my 8:40p comment for link to that Newsmax interview) are consistent with Flynn — by her proxy — now _wanting_ a pardon (a change from her September statement where she claimed she had asked Trump not to pardon Flynn).

        • Hika says:

          I take the timing of a pardon for Flynn to be a sign that Flynn saw Trump dump Powell for being too crazy to work in with Rudy’s level of crazy and realized that he put his welfare in the hands of a wild-eyed-loon and he no longer believes her assurances that his case is working out as planned.
          Flynn’s ‘martyrdom’ is no longer an electoral asset for the Republican party and Flynn has worked out that without a pardon, he is(was) going to prison with the only variable being how long his case takes in the courts.

        • bmaz says:

          Grrrrr, Mag Habs is killing me. NO Maggie, Flynn did NOT plead guilty twice. Only once. Just because the court felt compelled to confirm his initial factual basis allocution does NOT mean there was a second plea. Jeebus.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It took a million-dollar reporter at the NYT and four years of exposure to Trump insiders to make that trite observation? SAD.

  21. earlofhuntingdon says:

    An important essay from George Monbiot in the Guardian. It’s on the internecine war between capitalism’s “warlords” – who instigate and profit from chaos – and “housetrained” capitalism – which seeks “an accommodation with the administrative state, and benefits from stability.” His context is the costs of Brexit, but the analysis has broad applications.

    Warlord capitalism is readily seen in the current melding of Neoliberals and the Republican Party. Monbiot’s description of it could have come from quotes by today’s oligarchs or one of their chief critics, Anand Giridharadas.

    [Warlord capitalism] sees all restraints on accumulation – including taxes, regulations and the public ownership of essential services – as illegitimate. Nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of profit-making. Its justifying ideology was formulated by Friedrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty and by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. These books sweep away social complexity and other people’s interests. They fetishise something they call “liberty”, which turns out to mean total freedom for plutocrats, at society’s expense.

    Regardless of when Trump leaves the scene, Trumpism will remain. It’s not an aberration, it is the American voice of warlord capitalism.

    • Eureka says:

      Thanks — this might be the best summary of Brexit and our current ails that I’ve read. As such, this model might be a way to de-spell and dispel some Trumpers in our midst, hopefully enough and before it’s too late.

      Chilling closer, too:

      But it’s not about us. We are just caught in the crossfire of capitalism’s civil war.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Monbiot’s work is an elegant synthesis of other work. Much of it and its themes we’ve discussed here.

      Housetrained capitalists dominated in the US from the Second World War until Richard Nixon and the advent of Ronald Reagan. Their accommodation with labor and the left led to great social improvements: the GI Bill and expansion of higher education, the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, expansion of Social Security, improvements in wage and labor conditions. It was a boon to the middle class and the promise, at least, of improvements for women and people of color.

      Since then, warlord capitalism and its Grendel-like progeny – financialization – has ruled the roost. It experimented offshore ahead of time, of course, notably in Indonesia, Chile and the Southern Cone.

      Its rule has led to half a century of stagnant wages, worsened labor conditions, massive outsourcing, cutbacks in education and infrastructure, the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, and ever more rapacious resource extraction and pollution. Economic and social justice has been driven into the wilderness. Time for a reset. It will not be pretty.

      • Hika says:

        The plutocrats conception of liberty forgets the fundamental liberty of the serfs to take collective action against their oppressors. Whether that is by unions negotiating better pay and conditions from employers or by mobs with nothing to lose wielding torches and pitchforks is a decision made by the plutocrats. Too many people read with fascination of the building of great empires. Too few read carefully about how such empires fall apart. They have always fallen apart. Every single one of them. And discontent with paying the taxes needed for the central power to remain strong has featured almost every time.

  22. harpie says:

    bmaz retweeted:
    11:33 PM · Nov 24, 2020

    News: Trump is expected to join Giuliani in Gettysburg, PA tomorrow [11/25] where GOP state lawmakers are holding a “hearing” on allegations of fraud in the 2020 election, two sources familiar with the plans tell me. Not on his schedule, but being planned as an unannounced movement

    It would be Trump’s first trip outside the DC area since Election Day.

    Because it’s an unplanned “OTR” movement, one source cautioned that the plans could change & this could be canceled. But as of now, this is the plan.
    More about this “hearing”: [link to: Senate committee to discuss election issues in Pennsylvania]

    I feel like the timing of this announcement and the location of this event may indicate the next shot in Trump’s [and QAnon’s] “civil war”.

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, I also commented that it is a shame Sid Powell will not be participating in the “President’s Lawyers” tent show.

      • harpie says:

        It may or may not be a “tent show”, but there are many [likely prone-to-violence] followers of the Q-Anon conspiracy theory who are TRUE BELIEVERS in what Trump and his pack are peddling.

    • harpie says:

      Trump’s not going after all…
      didn’t he say he’s now immune to the coronavirus?
      10:53 AM · Nov 25, 2020

      Trump’s trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with Rudy Giuliani has just been canceled, 2 sources tell me & @KristenhCNN

      Comes after Giuliani was exposed to a 2nd person in the last week who tested positive for coronavirus

      Well, as with his Ukraine “request”, it might be the ANNOUNCEMENT of his intentions to go that’s important to him [and Rudy].

    • harpie says:

      Chris Hayes on 11/19 observed:
      3:38 PM · Nov 19, 2020

      Apropos of nothing, the Confederacy’s refusal to actually accept defeat and instead embrace a Lost Cause narrative of betrayal was a key aspect of its successful efforts to wrench back one-party totalitarian control of the South, which it did both through violence and propaganda.

      That’s the same day the GOP Twitter account retweeted a VIDEO of Sidney Powell [with Rudy standing next to her]:
      1:25 PM · Nov 19, 2020

      “We will not be intimidated…We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom.”—Sidney Powell [VIDEO]

      Twitter slapped a strongly worded [/s] warning on the GOP tweet:

      !!! Multiple sources called this election differently

      • harpie says:

        Transcript of Powell on this video:

        Powell: This is stunning. Heartbreaking. Infuriating. And the most unpatriotic acts I can even imagine for people in this country to have participated in in any way shape or form. And I want the American public to know right now that we will not be intimidated. American patriots are fed up with the corruption from the local level to the highest level of our government. And we are going to take this country back. We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to back down. We are going to clean this mess up, now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom.

        That’s their “LOST CAUSE” narrative.
        And today, the “True Patriots” will hear that Founding Myth from the Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg, Pa.

        • Hika says:

          Just to invoke Godwin’s Law: the Nazi’s also relied on “the stab in the back” fiction for imperial Germany’s loss in WW1. It’s part of creating and maintaining the raging sense of injustice that keeps the rubes riled up enough to keep sending cash, watching and listening to the great right-wing-noise-machine and turning up to rallies.

    • harpie says:

      Trump spoke to attendees via Janna Ellis’ phone:

      **”This was an election that we won easily,”
      **”This election was rigged and we can’t let that happen.”
      **”This election has to be turned around.”
      **We won this election by a lot, we got 74 million votes,”
      **”This election was lost by the Democrats,”
      **”All we need is for some judge to listen to it properly,”

      [To Rudy:] “I want to thank Rudy Giuliani for having the courage to do this. There were other lawyers that backed down because they were being screamed at.”
      “This is going to be your crowning achievement because you’re saving our country.”

      **”this election has to be turned around because we won Pennsylvania by a lot and we won all of these swing states by a lot,”
      **”If you were a Republican poll watcher you were treated like a dog,”
      **”we have to turn the election over, because there’s no doubt we have all the evidence we have all the affidavits, we have everything. All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly without having a political opinion or having another kind of a problem…”

      [To Rudy:] “What you’re doing now is far more important than being a great Mayor of the City of New York and being its greatest mayor, by far, by the way, by far, this is going to be your crowning achievement, because you’re saving our country.”

      [The quotes are from these two threads:
      2:44 PM · Nov 25, 2020
      2:43 PM · Nov 25, 2020]

      • Eureka says:

        “All we need is some judge”:

        Hasen thread (from 11a hour to 3p hour today):

        Rick Hasen
        #ELB: Breaking: Pennsylvania State Judge Temporarily Blocks Certification, the the Extent It is Not Already Complete, of Biden as Winner, and Blocks Certification in Other Races Pending Monday Hearing https ://
        11:37 AM · Nov 25, 2020

        Update: the case has been appealed to the PA Supreme Court and the appeal acts as an automatic stay unless lifted by the State Supreme Court:

        People seem confused so here’s plain English. A judge issued a crazy order in a weak case challenging PA mail voting Judge ordered temporary stop to certification of electors (which already happened). The state’s appealed to PA Supreme Court automatically puts ruling on hold.

        The “weak case” he refers to is coordinated with some of the same Gettysburg GOPers above.

        Elias earlier:

        Congressman Mike Kelly has asked a PA judge to block certification of his own election. Even after this lawsuit is dismissed, the US House should refer his credentials to the Admin Committee prior to seating. If he doesn’t think he should be certified, the House should take note.
        11:53 AM · Nov 25, 2020

      • Eureka says:

        “All we need is some judge”, cont:

        Alan Feuer thread:

        JUST IN: This filing by state of PA sums up where we are in that state. A court today stopped the certification of the PA vote in so far as it wasn’t finished in the presidential race. The ruling seems mostly to affect some uncalled state level races. But the Penn wasn’t pleased. [screenshots]
        5:09 PM · Nov 25, 2020

        The state appealed to the Penn Supreme Court asking for emergency relief.

        To be clear, the Commonwealth Court ruling that Pennsylvania has appealed to the PA Supreme Court was a narrow one that set a hearing for Friday on the merits of the underlying suit. That said, a court’s intrusion in the certification process is a big deal.

        The underlying suit, filed by 2 GOP congressional candidates and others, seeks to find unconstitutional the PA law from last year that permitted mail in ballots.

        NEW: The Commonwealth Court that issued the order prompting all of this legal fury has just postponed Friday’s evidentiary hearing.
        Presumably that’s b/c an appeals to the PA Supreme Court acts as an automatic stay.
        Ball is in the PA SC’s…court.
        5:39 PM · Nov 25, 2020

        • P J Evans says:

          They should have appealed that law before it was used in elections. (ISTR that at least one court has already ruled on that.)

        • Eureka says:

          The law they (PA GOP) wrote and unanimously voted for, it should be noted — besides pitching to their voters in the primary and general. Also, Fetterman dunking on Ellis from the Pettysburg Address:

          John Fetterman: “Unless Pennsylvania certifies the remainder of down ballot races, our REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED Legislature will effectively cease to exist after November 30th, so how exactly would that work?”

        • P J Evans says:

          It’s almost like they think there’s a separate ballot and election for each office, instead of all of them being on one and voted on at the same time and place. (Have any of them ever actually voted?)

      • Eureka says:


        “I want to thank Rudy Giuliani for having the courage to do this. There were other lawyers that backed down because they were being screamed at.”

        “This is going to be your crowning achievement because you’re saving our country.”

        re the federal Frankenstein case Judge Brann dispensed with:

        Matthew Stiegler: “If this is granted, I will faint.”
        1:08 PM · Nov 25, 2020


        Josh Gerstein: “JUST IN: Trump camp wants Giuliani to have chance to present oral argument to 3rd Circuit in election case, even tho he’s not admitted there. 20 minutes should do it. Also they add 5 footnotes supplementing brief. Doc: [link] Earlier: [link]”

    • Eureka says:

      Former (Republican) Pennsylvania Governor and first* head of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge:

      Gov. Tom Ridge
      History will record the shameful irony that a president who lied to avoid military service staged a bogus event on the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg in a brazen attempt to undermine the Republic for which scores of real patriots had fought & died to preserve since its founding.
      4:43 PM · Nov 25, 2020

      *packs the extra punch of some Rudy 911 irony as well…

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      From the digby column you cite:

      If Stone is involved, these shenanigans are almost certainly being conducted with Trump’s approval…. Trump doesn’t care whether the Senate stays in Republican hands, even if he’s actually planning another run in 2024. The idea that he’s anybody’s team player is laughable, and he may see his personal interest in demonstrating how much power he still has with the base…. It wouldn’t surprise me if Trump’s inner circle sees an advantage in a narrative that Loeffler and Perdue were defeated because his base rejected Republicans who refused to put it all on the line for Trump.

      Trump is a psychopath. He does not care about anything but himself. He is now in psych survival mode. Everything is fair game: Loeffler and Perdue, the GOP, Democrats, democracy itself. Everything but the base. He’ll hang onto that. He needs the grift as much as he needs the psychological uplift.

      • Hika says:

        Your summation of Trump’s position is excellent:
        “Trump is a psychopath. He does not care about anything but himself. He is now in psych survival mode. Everything is fair game: Loeffler and Perdue, the GOP, Democrats, democracy itself. Everything but the base. He’ll hang onto that. He needs the grift as much as he needs the psychological uplift.”
        I’d have said malignant narcissist rather than psychopath, but at this point the decision making process is the same: Trump first, everyone (literally everyone) way later.

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