Where’s Rudy?

There’s an interesting passage in this Daily Beast article, one of several articles in the last day describing the snowballing madness in the Oval Office. For the last day or so, Rudy Giuliani has gone missing.

Meanwhile, Trump, whose rhetoric helped incite the Jan. 6 rioting, is increasingly cut off from once-loyal senior officials, some of whom have resigned in recent days. Instead, the president is focused on managing the fallout, both legally and reputationally, from the attack and the deaths that resulted from it. Even the president’s personal attorney and close confidant, Rudy Giuliani, has been somewhat absent in the last 24 hours, caught up with his own personal problems, including the New York Bar Association’s move to open an inquiry into his removal from its membership, according to one individual with direct knowledge of the situation. [my emphasis]

It doesn’t actually make sense that the Bar Association challenge is that pressing a problem. It’ll go forward regardless of what he does, and it’s not actually the legally meaningful challenge to his bar membership (though a NY State Senator’s request to the state courts could be). Aside from some ill-fated appearances in voter fraud cases, though, Rudy’s not actually practicing courts anymore so much as influence-peddling.

Which may explain two graver threats to Rudy. Last Friday, Dominion Voting Systems sued Sidney Powell for $1.3 billion. Dominion has said they plan to follow up that lawsuit with others, potentially targeting Wood, the media that magnified Powell’s claims (including Fox, OANN, and Epoch Times), and Rudy himself.

Meanwhile, yesterday Treasury sanctioned Rudy’s buddies from Ukraine. The statement on the designation includes a shout-out to meetings involving Rudy (and implicating Devin Nunes and other Republican lawmakers).

Since at least 2019, Derkach and his associates have leveraged U.S. media, U.S.-based social media platforms, and influential U.S. persons to spread misleading and unsubstantiated allegations that current and former U.S. officials engaged in corruption, money laundering, and unlawful political influence in Ukraine.

Former Ukrainian Government officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Andriy Telizhenko, and current Ukraine Member of Parliament Oleksandr Dubinsky have publicly appeared or affiliated themselves with Derkach through the coordinated dissemination and promotion of fraudulent and unsubstantiated allegations involving a U.S. political candidate. They have made repeated public statements to advance disinformation narratives that U.S. government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine. These efforts are consistent with and in support of Derkach’s efforts, acting as an agent of the Russian intelligence services, to influence the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.

Kulyk, a former prosecutor for the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, formed an alliance with Derkach to spread false accusations of international corruption. Onyshchenko, a fugitive from Ukrainian justice due to charges of corruption, provided edited audio tape copies of purported audio recordings of conversations between former Ukrainian and U.S. officials, which Derkach released between May and July 2020 to discredit U.S. officials and influence the U.S. elections. Telizhenko, a former low-level Ukrainian diplomat, orchestrated meetings between Derkach and U.S. persons to help propagate false claims concerning corruption in Ukraine. Dubinsky, who serves alongside Derkach in Ukraine’s parliament, joined Derkach in press conferences designed to perpetuate these and other false narratives and denigrate U.S. presidential candidates and their families.

Kulyk, Onyshchenko, Telizhenko, and Dubinsky are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13848 for having directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign influence in a United States election.

Effectively, the sanctions make it clear — Rudy’s denials notwithstanding — that the people whose dirt he has been peddling for years was disinformation seeded by Russia.

And that couldn’t come at a worse time.

For years, Rudy as been operating as if he had impunity. And he probably did, as it has become clear for some time that Trump would pardon him.

Except now that Trump’s incitement of sedition has complicated pardoning his troubles away, Trump has started wailing that if he’s not allowed to self-pardon, then no one else can have a pardon either.

The President had been warned, David, by some of his lawyers that if he goes ahead and pardons himself, he could be more vulnerable to civil lawsuits, including from some of those injured in the Capitol riot because a self-pardon would be seen as an admission that he did something wrong that he would need to be pardoned for. The President is angry. He has not taken that well. And I am told that he is now saying that he doesn’t want to see pardons for anybody. So the attitude seems to be, if I can’t get a pardon, then nobody else should get one either.

This actually isn’t a bad legal decision. It has always been true that if Trump pardoned his co-conspirators of stuff they’ve protected him on so far, then they could be forced to testify against him. This was, at least, he and his co-conspirators all go down together.

But that would be a very bad thing for Mr. Giuliani, because he has been wracking up crimes with abandon, with the apparent belief that they would all be wiped away before January 20.

It’s unclear whether that has driven Rudy away … or whether he’s making a belated attempt to clean up his exposure.

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149 replies
  1. OldTulsaDude says:

    The frothy right have all been operating as disinformation agents for Russia; too bad each one can’t or won’t be charged with FARA violations.

  2. Rugger9 says:

    I saw that Collins had admitted to one her state’s papers that her first thoughts were that the Iranians were attacking the Capitol, knowing full well that the only crowd in the vicinity were MAGA cultists. Mainers must be so proud to have re-elected her (again) for six more years just because she says she’s independent when she’s a Trump poodle. The Iranian angle was part of a full court press by the RWNM to cover for and justify the insurrection (even Hannity was still flogging ANTIFA well after it was debunked).

    Rudy was the one talking about storming the Capitol, so he’s intimately liable and I suspect that even if DJT does pardon him, I cannot see how his current legal team (save Cipillone) would be competent enough to craft the pardon to cover all of the stuff Rudy’s been doing and prevent DJT exposure down the line. Rudy also called the Senate looking for Tuberville (who was the other Senator besides Lee of UT?) so there’s plenty to answer for here.

    IANAL, but I would suspect that the relevant bar association(s) can disbar Rudy without a conviction based on the evidence we already have in the undisputed public record. Hit him in the pocketbook.

      • omphaloscepsis says:

        From Senator Collins’s piece in the Bangor Daily News:

        “I called and texted my closest contact at the White House to urge that the president immediately tell the rioters to stop their violence and go home. But President Donald Trump completely undercut that message by repeating his grievances and telling the rioters that he knew how they felt. This was terrible, especially since he incited them in the first place.”

        Seems to be telegraphing her vote, if it comes to that point, this time.

        “The rest of the night I spent at Murkowski’s home because I was worried about finding a parking space that late and about the violent extremists knowing where I live, given the threats and security problems I have encountered during the past two years. The police drove us to Murkowski’s home . . . “

        • Ruthie says:

          Despite currently living in NH, I donated monthly in the hope of ejecting the execrable senator from my home state. Unfortunately it didn’t work.

      • John Paul Jones says:

        Roy Blunt repeated the same idea the other day, that Trump had put his hand on a hot stove, and by golly, he wouldn’t do it again. It reminded me of a conversation I once had with a (distant) family member about their sociopathic child – the kid was a compulsive liar and a thief and ended up in jail five years later – and them telling me that I was being too judgemental, that the boy had a lot of compassion. Blunt and Collins strike me as similarly deluded.

      • Fran of the North says:

        The unfortunate truth is that Collins was correct – he did learn his lesson. Just not the one that she thought he had.

        What Trump learned was that virtually the entire leadership of the GOP were servile toadies, and wouldn’t resist anything he did.

        Collins needs to be constantly reminded of that albatross. She bought it lock, stock and barrel.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          McConnell is pleased that Trump will be impeached again. And why not, Trump cost McConnell his job!

          “In addition to the Capitol siege, The Times said that McConnell blames Trump for Republicans losing two critical Senate seats in Georgia in the dual January 5 runoff elections, which not only cost Republicans control of the upper chamber but personally cost McConnell his job as Senate majority leader.”

          I’m still grateful for small favors, but Mitch is, as always, the ultimate cynic.

          More small favors:
          “The Times said that while McConnell wants to fully review the article of impeachment the House plans to vote on before taking a public position on impeachment or censure, he wants to do some damage to Trump’s career prospects on Trump’s way out the door”
          Sure hope so.

          https://www.businessinsider.com/
          ‘mitch-mcconnell-pleased-at-prospect-of-trump-being-impeached-nyt-2021-1”

          • skau says:

            A very privileged elderly man has promoted and defended Trump’s despoiling of America.
            And now wants payback because Trump has cost him his high position in society.

            From an anthropological perspective this is very interesting.

          • fm says:

            McConnell isn’t pleased enough to do anything about the impeachment unfortunately. If he really cared about our Constitution he would call the Senate back into session and vote to convict by Friday, but he has already said he won’t and the Senate trial won’t start until after Biden has been inaugurated. Funny, he won’t have any say then because he won’t be the Senate majority leader anymore.

      • cavenewt says:

        A year ago Collins said Trump “learned his lesson,” trusting he would not do anything illegal again.

        I assumed she was auditioning for her future career as a standup comedian.

    • BobCon says:

      To clarify, the article linked in the post notes that the push to revoke Giuliani’s license went to a NY state office that is separate from the NY Bar Association. The Bar Association has its own dismissal effort, but that isn’t connected to what the state licensing authority does.

      • bmaz says:

        Yes, in NY, the “Bar Association” is basically an Elk’s Club for lawyers. They have meetings, seminars, and put on continuing education programs, among other things. But they are not the actual state bar. No personal knowledge, but it is my understanding that to get really disbarred, it also must go through a court process. So the Bar Association, well known for their petitions and group letters of concern and whatnot, is irrelevant to Rudy at this point.

    • e.a.f. says:

      OMG, that is actually funny, she thought it was the Iranians???? How did she think thousands of Iranians would just wind up in the Capitol rioting? If people in Maine actually believe that, no wonder they voted her back into office. It would have made more sense to say the British had arrived via Canada, repeat of 1812,

      It might be best if she retires. If that was actually her thinking at the moment. You don’t want that type of mentality governing the U.S.A.

      I’m sorry but I’m still laughing. Iranians??????

      • Ruthie says:

        My guess is that she believed no such thing. It was simply the best (incredibly lame) option she could think of that wouldn’t implicate her vote against impeachment.

          • Spencer Dawkins says:

            Well, yes, but saying Collins couldn’t think of a better story for the insurrectionists than “they must be Iranian” isn’t much of a recommendation for someone’s intellectual capacity, or ability to think under pressure.

            I can think of a number of people I knew as middle school girls who would have been thinking more clearly than that …

      • Nehoa says:

        It is a well-known and widely understood fact that all Iranians are taught how to say, “Hang Pence.” No wonder she thought what she did. Please make understanding.

  3. BobCon says:

    I have to assume part of Giuliani’s problem is that a pardon for activities up to Inauguration doesn’t help him after Inauguration (same for some of the others in the same boat, probably including Trump).

    Pardonees have to be disentangled from others carrying out ongoing criminal activity once the clock chimes on Inauguration Day or else. Some of them would be helped by a pardon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Giuliani isn’t able to pay his credit card bill or rent if he suddenly cuts ties with his patrons.

    I assume a lot of the pardon game was intended to raise the barrier for ongoing pursuit by law enforcement high enough to encourage them to call it a day rather than go after lesser charges.

    I think the calculation has changed and the crime ring realizes it may be like SPOILER WARNING the end of The Irishman where the FBI is so rattled by the Hoffa murder that they start throwing elderly mobsters in prison for whatever crimes they can find, and stop worrying about proving major violations.

      • StuartC says:

        Not sure about Hoffa. But, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your third user name. It should be the last you use. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  4. Peterr says:

    So the attitude seems to be, if I can’t get a pardon, then nobody else should get one either.

    If this holds, things could get very interesting for Rudy and everyone else who’s been acting as if their pardon was a done deal, as well as for prosecutors in NY, VA, MD, DC, and elsewhere.

    As various lawyers are no doubt reminding their various highly placed WH clients right about now, “In any conspiracy case, the first defendant to make a deal gets the best deal.”

    • MattyG says:

      Besides things getting “very interesting” for those who expected pardons, it raises the odds ever so slightly that DT will in fact resign in exchange for a Pence pardon – choppy waters at this point for sure given DTs backhand blows to his XO.

      • OmAli says:

        Oh, I fully expect to see Pence on his knees, kissing Trump’s whatever. He will publicly thank President Donald J. Trump and the Baby Jesus for the incredible blessing of being able to grant pardons to the greatest president ever, as well as his spawn. Or at least, Daughter Wife.

        • MattyG says:

          Pence would have to ask for a pardon from DT before DT resigns or who would be left to pardon him? Pence can’t possible think he could self-pardon at that point. The Pardon Conga gets confusing!

          • bmaz says:

            Pence does not need a pardon. If you think he has real criminal exposure, you have not been paying attention. Pence has always stayed just out of that danger zone.

            • MattyG says:

              Yes you are correct – I’ve read that here. The quip is really playful conjecture. But as we don’t know the whole picture yet it’s conceivable Pence may feel the need for some sort of protection given the current mayhem. His behavior early on in the term – transition period through Flynn – has never quite seemed to add up. I’m still fixated on the Russian connection to the DT campaign and WH relations with the Kremlin. But as you say Pence has managed to maintain a clean outward appearance – certainly relative to the field.

              • bmaz says:

                That argument is more than fair. Still have a hard time seeing any criminal exposure for Pence, and doubt he wants to risk becoming part of an ongoing conspiracy. As Marcy has pointed out, Pence is not particularly bright, but his handlers are.

                • Ginevra diBenci says:

                  Like MattyG, I’ve long suspected Pence’s actions during the transition period of 2016-17 make him much more complicit than the accepted narrative indicates. But he (or his handlers, as you suggest, bmaz) so adeptly manipulated that narrative that nothing stuck. And given his closing act, “saving democracy,” I’m betting nothing will.

      • fm says:

        I would be surprised if Trump resigns for Pence to give him a pardon. Trump doesn’t seem like a trusting guy and especially may not trust Pence after his mob tried to “Hang Mike Pence” at the Capital on Wed. He’ll probably self pardon and take the chance that the Biden appointed AG won’t indict him on anything.

        • BeingThere says:

          Trump will be on his 727 as fast as his little legs will carry him, away to some extradition exempt location. He already told his supporters this last year at a rally.
          Hmmm, could he pardon Assange or Snowdon in exchange for tips? The London Equadorian Embassy has a spare room.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      I hope Uncle Sam has some reputable handwriting analysts or knows where to find some. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the grift grafters were actively seeking out forgers for help. These days, technology could easily assist their efforts. Would there have to be actual people in the WH who would confirm the pardons? Besides Donald and family.

      • ThoughtMail says:

        Or …

        Even if Trump executes a pardon for him, is there any staff left that will be able to find the Presidential Seal that other staff have put into safekeeping where he won’t find it?

        I don’t think it would work very well on a paper napkin, anyways.

    • Keith McClary says:

      I thought he would pardon the mob, but he has thrown them under the bus:

      “Millions of our citizens watched on Wednesday as a mob stormed the Capitol and trashed the halls of government,”

      Of course he could flip-flop.

      • fm says:

        I saw that too and have wondered what in the heck his mob insurrectionists are thinking about that. I read a Sanford firefighter has been arrested for trespassing in the capital and other charges. “The President and the Capitol Police encouraged despicable behavior, Mr. Williams took part in none of it,” Citro, Williams lawyer said. So apparently they are starting to blame Trump.

    • Stacey says:

      The Calvin and Hobbes/Trump and his publicist cartoon should do that picture: little Trump pounding his tiny fists on the floor screaming ‘if I can’t have a pardon, no one else gets one either!’ and then picturing all of the criminal associates that leaves out sort of side-eying each other warily. LMAO

  5. drouse says:

    I never thought that Trump’s infantile behavior could turn out to be a good thing, but a lack of pardons will make things a little easier for Biden’s DOJ.

  6. Molly Pitcher says:

    I am concerned that Pompeo has canceled his trip to Brussels. That is something a Secty of State does if there is an anticipation of a major event.

    I wish that the Biden transition/inaugural team could be convinced to NOT hold the inauguration outside. No one needs the symbolism of Biden’s courage, I want an intact administration with no excuse for Trump to try to seize power in the event that something horrible happens on the 20th.

    • Peterr says:

      I think Pompeo’s decision may have been driven by this, from the US Embassy in Brussels:

      COVID-19 Information

      Country-specific Information

      . . . Schools have restricted the level of in-person study allowed based on the student’s age.
      Teleworking is mandatory for jobs when it is possible.
      Bars and restaurants are closed, though takeaway service may be an option. In hotels, food must be taken in-room. Receiving visitors at home is restricted to one close contact, or two if single.
      Face masks and social distancing are obligatory. A curfew is in effect from 12:00-5:00 am in Flanders and 10:00 pm – 6:00 am for Wallonia and the Brussels Capital Region.

      Entry and Exit Requirements:

      Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No.

      Even if there is an exception for diplomatic travel, with restrictions like these, Pompeo would be basically locked in his hotel room for the duration.

    • Raven Eye says:

      I’d also like to see the inauguration moved indoors. I think the Rotunda of the Capitol would be appropriate. Suitably distant seating, with big screens, could be arranged in the House and Senate Chambers.

    • Peterr says:

      Looks like I was wrong. From The Guardian, 30 minutes ago:

      Secretary of state Mike Pompeo cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute today after Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet him, European diplomats and other people familiar with the matter said. . . .

      A third diplomatic source said allies were “embarrassed” by Pompeo after the violence in Washington last week. . . .

      Appalled by the January 6 storming of the US Capitol by pro-Trump rioters seeking to overturn the results of the November 3 US election, [Luxembergy’s Foreign Minister Jean] Asselborn had called Trump a “criminal” and a “political pyromaniac” on RTL Radio the next day.

      Sounds like the EU has had enough of Secretary Swagger.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Yikes! In detective school they call that a “clue”.

        Declining a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State is a pretty big deal. The markets, financial institutions, and maybe one or two Republican senators will probably take notice.

        It not only shows what they think of Trump, but even more of what they think of Pompeo. If he was a good Secretary of State who happened to be burdened with a dirt bag President, they’d still meet with him.

      • P J Evans says:

        They’ve tightened their virus restrictions. No US residents allowed in; people who are allowed in have to quarantine in their hotels, including eating meals in their rooms.
        Pompeo could maybe have gotten in, but he would have been restricted (and would have had to wear a mask).
        Germany is requiring N95 type masks.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Pompeo trying to leave town for Europe??? My bet would be he was trying to ensure he couldn’t be “blamed” for whatever is up. Its like when some one makes sure they are seen in public while their enemy is murdered. Pompeo ought to have known the Europeans weren’t going to let him in. Scotland wasn’t letting Trump in. Now it might be said Trump wanted to play golf and Pompeo was there on business, but I’ve got a “feeling” it was his business, not the business of the E.U. The E.U. leadership might have had to deal with these low class idiots from the U.S.A. when they were in office, but their days are numbered. I’m sure the E.U. will just wait until the Dems are in office to meet with any one from the U.S.A.

          This was the E.U.’s way of telling Pompeo, el al you’re too low class to meet with us, please enter by the rear door next time you’re around.

  7. Eureka says:

    An aside, a bit of accountability for Stefanik. Every smidge matters:

    A Donald Not Booted from this Website: “This is good. Institutions that say they support democracy should remove privileges from those who have attacked democracy. Stefanik participated in the Big Lie and voted to overturn an election.” [thread]
    https://twitter.com/donmoyn/status/1349016961414557701
    10:34 AM · Jan 12, 2021

    Emilie Munson: “BREAKING: Harvard’s Institute of Politics asked @RepStefanik to leave its advisory committee bc she “made public assertions about voter fraud in November’s presidential election that have no basis in evidence.” Stefanik declined to step down. Harvard will now remove her.”
    https://twitter.com/emiliemunson/status/1349009647701811202

    • BobCon says:

      Harvard and other top universities have had a horrible affirmative action plan for right wingers for years. African Americans have unfairly been accused of benefitting from admissions offices rewarding mediocrity, but there is no way to look at uninspired soggy bread brains like Stefanik, Hawley and Kris Kobach getting their tickets stamped without realizing that they are the real quota babies by a system that bends over backwards to reward conservatives.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Yes, it’s about damn time Harvard got principles regarding its role in advancing the careers of the Hawleys among their alums. It’s one thing to grant them the enormous privilege of earning a degree that will open doors the rest of their lives. It’s another thing to use their purported “conservative” credentials as a shield against fundamentally empty right-wing accusations of liberal bias. This is about fund-raising from wealthy alumni; I have witnessed such appeasement from the inside, and it leads inevitably to “legacy” acceptances along with invitations to Hawley, et. al., to return. And then there’s the outright selling of the Harvard name to the likes of Charles Kushner for the benefit of his unqualified son Jared (and Harvard).

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      Stefanik is an opportunist hack. She represents my original home district (St. Lawrence Co.), which was combined with much more southern and eastern parts of upstate NY after the 2010 Census. Hope this ends her career.

      • Eureka says:

        Same (but re district boundaries now). Her rhetoric is stirring up shit in towns full of empty mills and opioid addicts, fueling radicalization rallies. She makes my blood boil. #TedraCobb is not giving up, either.

  8. Fran of the North says:

    Not sure where it was given the pandemonium of the past week, but somewhere I saw that Trump was floating ideas of pardoning Guilfoyle, former Foxer and current paramour of Don Jr.

    1) What might she have been involved in that her name came up? Inquiring minds want to know…

    2) Surely he’s got to be considering pardons for his spawn? At the very least his favorite daughter…

    • Eureka says:

      Perhaps she has campaign finance related risks associated with receiving a monthly allowance from one of Parscale’s PACs (see SV Date’s reporting at HuffPo) (no one really knows the innards of that sausage, so while the payments are documented, any risk of exposure related to them is speculative).

    • rosalind says:

      Kimberly was Trump’s National Finance Chair for his campaign. Lots of articles online re. the chaos and disfunction under her “leadership”. Imagine there are many shady areas re. $$$ where she has potential exposure.

    • Eureka says:

      Thank you, harpie.

      [Also, I am proud of you for swearing in full text on another page somewhere I can’t recall now.]

    • Eureka says:

      170 cases open now (ca 70 charged — I missed the exact number, it was in the 70s, possibly 76), expects hundreds more in the next few weeks (earlier Sherwin made clear that it would be months/ ? years of investigation generally)

      lists case types as examples, ending with civil rights excessive force case…. does he mean inadequate force? /s

      325p building seditious conspiracy cases

      327p specific prosecutors to focus on assaults on the media

      327p questions begin

      • Eureka says:

        Reviewing broadcast:

        “More than 170 subject files”

        “Of those 170 cases [expected to grow to the hundreds in the next coming weeks/suspect number to grow into the hundreds (sic, think he means “by the hundreds”)] we’ve already charged over 70 cases”

        Klasfeld’s thread w more info:

        https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/status/1349083913789059077

        Didn’t see this at the beginning, so I just started typing!

    • Eureka says:

      (FBI’s Steven D’Antuono is also participating, taking questions)

      330p no fly list? : …331p SD’A: “something we are actively looking at” (not a real answer)

      331p pipe bombs Q:

      MS: investigating if diversionary tactic, looking for persons who planted devices

      “I don’t like this tyranny of labels (calling something) domestic terrorism” — lists already significant crimes they have on books, refers again to strikeforce on seditious conspiracy

      334p Q re taking members of Congress hostage?:

      SD’A steps back to note 50k reward re bomb suspect IDs

      returns to hostage Q– we are questioning people re their true purpose for being in DC that day

      335p Q: 1-Officer killed; 2-intelligence ahead of the day were authorities on the Hill ready?

      SD’A: ongoing investigation; that was a thread on a message board (re Norfolk) nonspecific, briefed that within 40 mins; got shared; “that’s the action that we took on that and that’s it”

      337p that concludes our Q&A session you may now disconnect


      NB: I missed a bunch in first 323p comment (introductory info, nothing earth shattering); also not a great typist

    • Eureka says:

      Dr. emptywheel on the subject:

      “Catherine Herridge asking intelligent questions like the former serious journalist she was before she became the High Gaslighter.”
      https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1349091853061259265
      3:32 PM · Jan 12, 2021

      “Sherwin doesn’t seem to think they need a DOMTERR law–he’s naming a slew of charges. That’s a good thing.”
      https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1349092300484456449
      3:34 PM · Jan 12, 2021

      “Now that Sherwin has said they’re investigating sedition can we call this event the January 6 Sedition?”
      https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1349096328534622208
      3:50 PM · Jan 12, 2021

  9. e.a.f. says:

    Where is Rudy? Now that you mention it haven’t seen him on T.V., but thought the press simply was ignoring him. He might be meeting with doctors/shrinks working on a defense, I was crazy at the time, etc. I’m sure bmaz will let me know if that is a crazy thought also. Don’t know how American law works exactly in that area. But crazy/mentally incompetent might be a defense and he is working on it. He might be meeting with his lawyers and bankers to “hide”/move his assets to protect them from a lawsuit.

    Now that Adelson has died a big source of money has dried up, I would think.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Yes, it feels a decade since last Tuesday (Jan 5), and I simply can’t keep up.

      But I saw the news of Adelson’s passing and clicked right on over to make sure the EW crew knew. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/12/business/sheldon-adelson-dead.html

      So Trump, as well as Netanyahu, are among the most affected, perhaps?

      Meanwhile, in the past 72 hours, many corporate interests have publicly disavowed the GOP, and/or Trump and/or Hawley-Cruz-GOP House insurrectionists.

      Truly, we must be very greatly blessed to live in such very interesting times…?

    • Ravenclaw says:

      I’d guess that the mainstream media outlets don’t want to give him oxygen, and the right-wing ones don’t want to let him make an obvious fool of himself on the air. Though he did have one interview with The Hill in which he claimed his “trial by combat” exhortation was a jocular Game of Thrones reference. Of course he is probably doing a lot of stewing and fretting. *Real* disbarment proceedings have been initiated by a state senator, and the DC prosecutors are considering riot incitement charges against him.

      Here’s a question! If the president really uses Giuliani on his defense team (assuming he has not yet been disbarred at the time), how does that affect any attempt to summon him as a witness? After all, he was a speaker at the rally! Can a lawyer refuse to provide evidence of that sort, when it doesn’t really involve attorney-client privilege?

      • Dave_MB says:

        Well, yeah it’s a Game of Thrones reference. To trial by combat. Instead of going to a courtroom with a judge, they have a fight to the death. That doesn’t excuse things.

      • Matthew Harris says:

        Confidentiality covers the process of communication, not the substance itself. If you tell a lawyer “I killed a guy”, that is confidential. If your lawyer sees to kill a guy, that isn’t confidential.

        The only thing that might be confidential is if, theoretically, Trump and Giuliani wrote his speech together, with Giuliani giving advice on how to keep it within the legal boundaries of not being incitement.

        • bmaz says:

          This is laughably shallow as to the atty/client privilege. No, it runs far deeper. Now, in this instance there is a fair question as to whether Rudy was really acting as an attorney, but the privilege runs far deeper than you let on.

          • vvv says:

            I litigate the issue fairly often, fun stuff. I take the position that *any* transaction between atty and client is privileged.
            That is clearly over reach, but you have to start somewhere and I must confess, I’ve never lost the point.
            And of course, I don’t do much criminal law, and I certainly don’t – as appears in potential contrast to Mr. G. – do crimes.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      FWIW, I don’t think that we have nearly enough info on exactly who was in those halls.

      It looked an awful lot like a Manafort redux, straight out of the Yanukavitch (?sp) playbook. ‘Color Revolution’ my ass.

    • harpie says:

      When he was ID’d on the 7th, Wendy Siegelman posted:

      https://twitter.com/WendySiegelman/status/1347336857164591104
      7:18 PM · Jan 7, 2021

      Capitol rioter Aaron Mostofsky dressed in fur and a police vest, is brother of Nachman & son of Shlomo Mostofsky who both had leadership roles with National Council of Young Israel – a group that honored Giuliani associates Lev Parnas & Igor Fruman in 2019 [THREAD]

      so…who knows, maybe this is connected with Rudy’s recent absence. [lol]

    • Ravenclaw says:

      The goofballs are essential. There aren’t enough disciplined militants to stand up against the authorities in open battle, so they need cover. Rioters running amok provide perfect cover. In the chaos, nobody notices the subset of people who are carrying out planned missions. Same game plan as when insurrections were planned back in the pre-WWII years.

      • BobCon says:

        Definitely keep powder dry, but he may know things about what US intelligence and law enforcement know that a lot of his colleagues don’t know.

        McCarthy is reported to be not whipping on this (I’m sure you know but others may not know the term means not using the authority of his office in terms of committee assignments and money). That’s about as brave as he can be, the weasel, but it may also mean something is up.

        Plenty of time for things to flip, of course.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I concur, it’s more important to see what McConnell does than what he says. IIRC he wanted a “thorough examination” of the impeachment article(s) which means slow-walking in politicalese.

        • bmaz says:

          Exactly. So, now, both Pelosi AND McConnell are slow walking. The actual movement, not words, are what matters. Pelosi is already FAR behind her words, what do people think McConnell is going to be? Has he called the Senate back into session yet? No? Get back to me if he does before January 19.

          • graham firchlis says:

            You know full well Pelosi isn’t “slow-walking” anything. All of the holdup in removing Trump from office is from the Radical Reactionary Republicans, in particular Mitch McConnell. You’ve already written exactly that here.

            Failure to removeTrump with the first impeachment is the fault the Radical Reactionary Republicans, no one else.

            Failure to invoke the 25th is the fault of Republicans, no one else.

            Failure to expedite Trump’s removal now by impeachment is the fault of the Republicans, no one else.

            Failure to bar Trump from future office will be the fault of the Radical Reactionary Republicans, no one else.

            Driveby reflexive kneejerk backhand unfounded swipes at Pelosi are unjustified and counterproductive. Matters are far to grave to indulge in petty bothsidesism ideological genuflection.

            • bmaz says:

              No, I know full well that she is doing exactly that. What is happening today could have been done last Saturday. Please pull your head out of Pelosi’s ass.

              • P J Evans says:

                IIRC, they tried, but someone on the GOP-T side – McCarthy, I think – objected to unanimous consent.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Lucy and the football.

        I expect Mitch continue making little noises, but once Trump is out of office, there will be this Gomer Pyle “Gaaaawwwww-Leeeeeeee!” moment when he “discovers” that the Republican Senators have lost interest in old news / horse is out of the barn, etc.

    • harpie says:

      MARCY:
      https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1349108419844833285
      4:38 PM · Jan 12, 2021

      This: Democrats need to realize they’d be doing the GOP a favor by letting them take out the Trump legacy.

      But bc of that they need to demand baggage too: Mo Brooks, Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Tommy Tuberville.

      So Schumer should (I hope is) asking Mitch for agreement that the insurgents are stripped of committee positions, w/o replacements for the GOP (as a way to incent GOP to replace them).

      Also that lady with the guns. And the QAnon lady.

    • Chris.EL says:

      Whoa!!! Really!!

      Heard earlier that Lindsey Graham accompanied Lil’ Trump to view the wall. Should we start recruiting volunteers to take it down?

      “Dear Trump” — Congratulations on spending **billions** on a project no one wanted and has no demonstrated benefit to the United States of America!! Get lost you loser!
      ~~~~~~~~
      WHAT IF THEY GAVE A PRESS CONFERENCE AND NO ONE CAME?

      Let’s do it!

      …”Trump makes first public appearance and comments since last week, tells pool on South Lawn that impeachment is a “continuation of…the witch hunt.”

      “I think it’s causing tremendous anger,” he said. ” …
      ~~~~~~~~~~
      Another veiled threat.
      ~~~~~~~~~~
      Why do people of USA have to pay money for this “political pyromaniac?”

      • Rugger9 says:

        Well, just wait a while, because many of the sections are falling over as noted a couple of months back pre-election.

    • harpie says:

      I used the phrase “Seditious conspiracy” a few days ago for the first time…thought it was after the 6th, but it was earlier, these fuckers:

      https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/01/02/curing-the-donald-trump-spell-the-problem/#comment-873177

      harpiesays:
      January 2, 2021 at 12:27 pm
      [https://twitter.com/ArdenFarhi LINK]
      11:16 AM · Jan 2, 2021
      NEWS: Roughly a dozen Republican senators are in talks to join Missouri Senator Josh Hawley in objecting to the electoral college results when congress meets Wednesday, according to multiple Republican sources familiar with the ongoing talks.

      added: a phrase that just popped into my head:
      18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy
      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2384 /

      We had a good discussion about it at that post.

      • P J Evans says:

        I’m unhappy with the stories that call it a riot or a protest. That’s minimizing the intent and the damage. It was an insurrection, and people who call it anything else need to check their views.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Absolutely.
          Calling it anything else is to muddy the waters, confuse matters, and spew disinformation.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Well… if it was trickling out his ears, it was most likely brown…’cause Rudy’s so full of shit, that’s the only place left for it go… out his ears.

        Sorry… a lot of the time, I just scroll thru the comments and read them… a lot of really smart people here and I like seeing what everyone’s thinking…

        Leaving a snarky comment is just my way of saying hi and letting you know I was here…

        • steve oh says:

          Long time browser here. A big thank you to Dr. Wheeler and the other contributors, moderators and insightful commentators for getting me thru the last 4 years.

          I also enjoy your snarky comments, keep ’em coming….

  10. Eureka says:

    Natalie Andrews: “NEW: Democrats to implement a fine system for non-compliance with the mask requirement on the House floor. $500 fine for first offense $2,500 for second office Fines will be deducted from Member pay. This comes after three lawmakers have tested positive since Wednesday”
    https://twitter.com/nataliewsj/status/1349105080340008966
    4:24 PM · Jan 12, 2021

    “This will be voted on when the House votes on the rule for the Raskin 25th amendment bill, that is set to pass. The House Office Building Commisssion will be considering the implementation of a similar fine system for non-compliance in the House buildings, per Dem aide”

      • Eureka says:

        Yep, the painful effect of their dilly-dallying in the appropriate use of their power (we’d be in so many fewer messes with stronger boundaries up front, this just one example). Perhaps they were afraid of the temper tantrums and grandstanding… sigh

        In other news I just discovered that the giant TRUMP flag flying up the street (on a pole, no less) is down, gone. At first I was relieved, pleased. Guess that makes me an optimist because then it occurred maybe they’re trying not to be conspicuous. (Or taking the flag to an insurrective event.)

        Have you seen anything on magas going underground? Harder to get intel on them (which would help suss if this was an individual or group decision).

        • Raven Eye says:

          I was unable to get to the Oath Keepers site yesterday and today (Tuesday).

          Not sure if there is just a glitch or they have decided to keep their heads down.

          • Eureka says:

            Best I could tell from a couple of disinfo-watcher types is that they are posting still on FB and IG (but of course), but haven’t seen any substantive screenshots emerge. Hrm…

      • Chris.EL says:

        gee, could it be that Trump is whipping up all this ***CRAP*** to distract from the PANDEMIC?

        Saw a *heart-wrenching* video from CNN — reporter Sarah ________ ***SOBBING*** over the visits to 10 southern California hospitals, witnessing families separated from each other at time of this fatal contagious illness!

        Just beyond SAD — WHEN WAS THE LAST FUCKING TIME TRUMP EXPRESSED A WORD OF CONCERN ALONG THESE LINES FOR ANY UNITED STATES CITIZEN???
        ~~~~~~~~
        Perhaps Rudy is busy writing up all those pardons for Trump.

      • BobCon says:

        Long ago they needed to require reps to ensure their offices are mask zones too, including visitors, and shut down offices that didn’t comply.

        There are disturbing reports of GOP reps who banned masks and shut down telecommuting options, leaving staff really upset.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Rep Jayapal says she’s been infected courtesy of the GOP reps that not only didn’t wear masks in lockdown but actively mocked those who accepted them. Maybe she can sue since she’ll have a direct trail to when she was exposed.

    • timbo says:

      Geez. It looks like he’s been denying his own video recorded words actually had any effect on the crowd…

  11. quebecois says:

    Rudy is heavily involved in this insurrection. That’s a given.

    What I want to know is where Roger Stone has been since the holidays where he met President Trump at Lar-A-Lagoon, thanked him for his pardon and then sat down with him to, I presume, coordinate the actions of Proud Boys.

    • Rapier says:

      Stone has found Jesus. That was announced in the American Conservative a couple weeks ago. He was on the screen at the pre assault show telling all about how he’s part of God’s plan.

  12. Alan Charbonneau says:

    Speaking of Rudy, I just read that
    “Trump has instructed aides not to pay Giuliani’s legal fees, and has demanded that he personally approve any reimbursements for the expenses Giuliani incurred while traveling on Trump’s behalf to challenge election results in key states”

    That fills me with a delightful sense of schadenfreude :)
    Does this mean he’s not getting a pardon?

    • Vicks says:

      Rudy blew it.
      His last chance to save the country was to deliver the evidence of a stolen election to a “captive” audience, while the whole world watched.
      Trump went all in to set the stage for his public redemption and Rudy was a no-show.
      Now we know from this recording that Rudy just needed a little more time.
      https://thedispatch.com/p/giuliani-to-senator-try-to-just-slow
      In all seriousness , the description the media has been using of the voice mail Rudy left on Mike Lees phone does not do it justice.

      • Rayne says:

        Have to wonder what exactly Giuliani had in the works and where, since it sounded like he only needed a day to pull it off. Somebody out there knows — hope metadata turns up as well, given how sloppy Giuliani was with op sec.

        And in the background the decision to move U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama was brewing; the decision may already have been made but not announced until yesterday. This needs to be investigated. Did the White House ever discuss Space Command with Tuberville as an incentive to assist Trump’s attempt to overthrow the election?

        • Rapier says:

          Rudy hasn’t pulled anything off in this whole affair. What was he going to pull off? The simultaneous takeover of the legislature of every state they needed who would that day send new electors?

          There was nothing to pull off and that was the most pathetic part of the whole sad tale. There was no there there, yet after all the traipsing around the world for a couple of years looking for things that weren’t there everyone repeated the words as if they had any meaning.

          • Rayne says:

            He did pull off one thing, and it’s still damaging us: he managed to maintain the Big Lie that the election was fraudulent, shepherding witnesses to an oversight committee hearing in Michigan’s legislature as just one example. He would like to have pulled off fake evidence as he was supposed to in Ukraine as part of Trump’s quid pro quo project, but he managed instead to sustain the fiction that the Bidens acted corruptly.

            He’ll continue to dine on this same Big Lie promulgation for what’s left of his life.

        • vicks says:

          Colorado Springs has a six year deal so I think they have a good chance of turning around a decision made the day before the Air Force secretary stepped down during the last week of an Administration that rarely got anything right.
          At the risk of sounding like a homer, Colorado Springs is the obvious location.
          IMHO the problem is the state has turned from purple from blue and the demographics of the new residents that have been flocking to the state over the last ten years show little hope of it turning back.

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