Impeaching Donald John Trump — Again [UPDATE-3]

[NB: Check the byline. Updates will be posted at the bottom. /~Rayne]

The House is now voting on H.R. 24 to impeach Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors.

At 4:24 p.m. ET the vote stands at 228 Yea, 194 Nay, with 11 Not Voting or as-yet uncast votes.

There was a report that no GOP House member from North Carolina was present, which may boost the NV number higher than expected.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 4:36 PM ET   — 

House members are being asked if they have voted and if any of them wants to vote. There’s no change.

H.R. 24 passes, 231 Yeas (including 10 GOP votes) to 197 Nays with 5 Not Voting.

Donald John Trump has been impeached a second time during his term, this time for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-2 — 4:50 PM ET —

In comments below I said I’d like to know how many phone calls there were from the White House to GOP reps over the last 24 hours.

Rep. Jason Crow told MSNBC, “I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues. … A couple of them broke down in tears … saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for this impeachment.”

Sure sounds like the White House may have extorted Nays from GOP representatives considering the level of fear Crow shared.

In other words, even as the House was preparing to vote to impeach Trump for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, he may well have been committing more crimes.

House whip Steny Hoyer committed to sending H.R. 24 immediately to the Senate for action. What happens next is on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been making noises which sound supportive of conviction — but this is McConnell, who has so far done nothing during the last four years to the benefit of the country and in defense of the Constitution, sucking up instead to Trump or the corporate donor class.

Who will McConnell suck up to with this resolution? Will he ignore the clear and present danger Trump poses to national security every moment he remains in power between now and noon ET on January 20?

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-3 — 2:25 AM ET 14-JAN-2021 —

The final vote count was 232-197, with the following GOP representatives voting for impeachment:

Adam Kinzinger (IL)
Liz Cheney (WY)
John Katko (NY)
Fred Upton (MI)
Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA)
Dan Newhouse (WA)
Peter Meijer (MI)
Anthony Gonzalez (OH)
Tom Rice (SC)
David Valadao (CA)

Nice that two were from my state, Michigan, and one of the two a freshman; still, Michigan had five Trump-y GOP representatives who voted No.

These members did not vote:

Kay Granger (TX)
Andy Harris (MD)
Greg Murphy (NC)
Daniel Webster (FL)

All four are GOP representatives.

This past weekend Senate Majority Leader toyed around with GOP donors — or perhaps with Trump — indicating he had left Team Trump’s camp.

McConnell spoke to major Republican donors last weekend to assess their thinking about Trump and was told that they believed Trump had clearly crossed a line, the strategist said. McConnell told them he was finished with Trump, according to the consultant.

After the impeachment vote McConnell issued this statement saying the earliest he can start a trial is next week.

It’s not like there’s a clear and present danger to national security in the White House which has encouraged the assassination of the Vice President and members of Congress including the next couple of people in the line of presidential succession.

I wonder what McConnell received in exchange for refusing to move to an emergency session to take up the trial.

I’d also like to know what the big GOP donors think of McConnell’s foot dragging. The number of corporate PACs which have said they won’t donate to seditionist members of Congress has grown and includes Fortune 100 companies; how do they feel about McConnell leaving national security hanging as it is for another week?

House Speaker Pelosi named the impeachment managers Tuesday; the nine House members are a good lineup of attorneys including litigators, public defenders, and prosecutors:

Jamie Raskin (MD), lead
Diana DeGette (CO)
David Cicilline (RI)
Joaquin Castro (TX)
Eric Swalwell (CA)
Ted Lieu (CA)
Stacey Plaskett (VI)
Joe Neguse (CO)
Madeleine Dean (PA)

Let’s hope they make a tight and impactful case for conviction though Trump did a pretty good job all by himself, caught entirely on camera a little after noon on January 6, exhorting the rioters to show strength and march on the Capitol Building.

It’s a pity the seditionist caucus can’t be tried at the same time. Every member of Congress who aided and abetted this insurrection should be expelled; their districts and states deserve better representation from people who take their oath of office seriously, including protecting the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.

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290 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    I’d really like to know how many phone calls were made to GOP reps from the White House over the last 24 hours about this vote.

    • BobCon says:

      I’m really curious who else was calling the GOP reps, what threats they were making, and what the White House did to drive those calls.

      I am guessing the infrastructure for creating deniability and cover for the White House is threadbare at this point. I also bet there is little interest there in reining in the threats. They may have been pretty openly telling groups to get their members to let it all fly.

      There are a lot more eyes and ears keeping check on the kooks, as well as who is talking to them. I am curious what kind of links between threats and the White House may turn up.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        You put it better than I could, but I think this needs clear explanation in a future investigation.

      • Stacey says:

        I do NOT at all mean to imply that I don’t think some threatening calls may have happened in that interim from the white house, but I would like to point out that none would be necessary to achieve the result of Rs knowing that an impeachment vote would put their family in jeopardy. At this point, I doubt they need to have that called out directly. I forget the female R’s name who stated out right to a media source about getting on their stolen election bandwagon a few weeks ago and she said “I say the election was fair and square and someone blows up my house tonight.” I think they know.

  2. P J Evans says:

    Hoyer is a good argument for an age limit. Or a limit on seniority. (So is Grassley.)
    I’d rather see AOC get a good committee assignment: she has a future ahead of her, and I can see her as Speaker in a few years.

    • Ruthie says:

      Agree on both points.

      My husband, who to be fair has way less free time to read about this stuff but is nevertheless well informed, is a little too ready to tar AOC with the radical label despite agreeing that free college, healthcare for all and climate change legislation etc are all good policy. He takes cues from more mainstream press than me.

      • Rayne says:

        Tell your husband AOC isn’t advocating anything that Teddy Kennedy — for whom she once interned — didn’t advocate in 1980, except that what was once environmentalism is now reframed due to the urgency of the climate crisis, the urgency of the public’s need in the face of a pandemic on top of decades of stagnant wages, and an improved recognition that the human rights of many Americans have been denied for too long.

        Compare:

        Ted Kennedy’s 1980 concession speech
        AOC’s first floor speech to Congress
        AOC’s nomination speech at 2020 DNC convention for Sanders

        He needs to ask himself is it really the content of what she’s saying, or the fact she’s a brown woman saying it?

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          A young brown woman who has been relentlessly demonized by the rightwing press and inadequately defended by the elite media, who seem to treat her like the proverbial third rail–don’t go there unless you want to get zapped. She is a serious politician and deserves much more serious consideration than she receives. Sure, she has made a few gaffes, but that happens when you put yourself out there in the 21st century.

        • Ruthie says:

          Believe me, I challenge him on his attitude towards her whenever it comes up.

          His politics are colored by the fact that he grew up in the last part of the Franco regime, and lived through a subsequent coup attempt much like the one we just experienced, plus sometimes violent street demonstrations.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          I’m a good example of how propaganda works. I watch exactly zero mainstream media, don’t rely on NPR the way I used to, finding the way they color stories I know about to be infuriatingly misplaced. I hated when the media or the women created the nickname The Squad. I can’t stand a stereotypical self-righteous liberal, liberal though I be. So, I had this opinion of AOC that I respected her and applauded her big mouth and her policies, but assumed her to be some kind of shallow firebrand useful for bringing attention to issues but too obnoxious to be effective. It only took one time finally watching her and listening her to completely change my opinion. Whip smart, honest, and huge commitment to the people’s welfare. It’s no wonder the sidelining of her started in earnest from the beginning. AOC is the perfect symbol of whether the Democratic Party will ever be willing to move beyond corporate politics to stand up for the popular causes they take milksop stances on just enough to get votes from “the left” without losing the big corporate dollars they think are their life blood.

          • bmaz says:

            Excellent, and smart view. AOC may be young, but she truly seems to be something different; potentially great.

          • Elizabeth Hanson says:

            I agree. I (65 year-old early modern literature professor and faculty union president who is not fond of what I take to be intellectually lazy social justice warriors) think she is a political genius. She grasps policy, process and how to move people with equal precision. I am glad to be alive to witness her work.

            • RMD says:

              Absolutely agree. I’ve seen many come and go…and Alexandria Occasio-Cortez is phenomenal. I wish her great success.

            • BobCon says:

              It’s worth mentioning that one of the critical things AOC did early was refuse to follow the lead of almost every other member of Congress who goes to a private office and makes fundraising calls for 4-5 hours every day.

              She went to an online, small donor fundraising model and uses the time instead for research, strategizing, and outreach.

              Members of Congress are largely captives of the fundraising process to the point where congressional business has atrophied. Where committees and subcommittees used to meet 200+ days a year until the 1990s for hearings and to consider legislation, they often meet just 1/4 as often, and it is not uncommon for them to hold hearings only a few times a month.

              AOC is so much better prepared than 95% of her colleagues because she spends her time on actual congressional work.

              She also pays her main staff more than most reps and tries to provide a better work/life balance, on the theory that avoiding the high turnover in a lot of offices encourages better staff work.

              She seems to understand a lot of institutional problems of Congress better than the leadership.

              • AndTheSlithyToves says:

                “She seems to understand a lot of institutional problems of Congress better than the leadership.”
                Thank you for seeing this and fleshing it out, BobCon. AOC is the real deal, as are her “Squad” affiliates (much as I despise that term) and Reps like Katie Porter, Val Demings and others. Congress (particularly the Senate) is a big club and it has been all about the money for decades. Time for the Baby Boomers (and I’m one of them) to move over. They’ve done enough damage.

              • Ravenclaw says:

                Thank you for this clear and simple analysis. Looks like AOC has many friends here – as well she ought.

          • Tracylynn says:

            I, too, had a similar opinion about AOC until I watched her politely grill Michael Cohen with sensible questions that none of the other (grandstanding) Democrats chose to ask. I hope she sticks with politics–she did talk about not running again. I’m also offended that the Democratic establishment didn’t have her back when she got death threats and was being mercilessly abused by the media (both right wing and mainstream).

            • posaune says:

              I was also impressed with AOC’s questioning of Michael Cohen. She asked a particularly relevant question: Did DJT provide false valuations of building in insurance applications? This is significant in NYC, b/c the NYCBC allows revocation of the certificate of occupancy upon evidence of insurance fraud. Covid caused vacancies sooner, though.

          • Frank Anon says:

            The proof of AOC’s effectiveness is that an endless stream of propaganda and negative framing does not appear, at all, to diminish her effectiveness, and this is highlighted by the rather narrow importance applied to Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib. Ayanna Presley’s intellectual heft and seeming distance from the others has elevated her, but AOC remains not just the star, but the only one who can really move policy

            • Rugger9 says:

              Combine AOC’s policies and Pelosi’s skill at building coalitions (and I think AOC will get that too because she is genuine) and I think AOC might be moving into leadership within the next four years. Pelosi should work on getting that transition moved forward (also Omar, Pressley, Tlaib, Porter) because these are excellent talents, leaving her time for fundraising.

              One of the reasons that these reps are doing so well is because they do not ignore where they came from and why it is important.

        • Marc says:

          AOC is certainly a breadth of fresh air the stuffy House needs. I used to Intern for Ted Kennedy, I wouldn’t necessarily infer much about interning for him. It bugs me the GOP has this catchy name the “squad “ but how is it the Dems never came up with a name for for the likes if Nunes, Jordan, and now the new crop of freshman House deplorables. Hillary called that one.

          • Rayne says:

            Why did Dems never come up with a name for the likes of Nunes, Jordan, Gaetz, so on? Because some of us have always called them assholes. They’re so plentiful and appear in every sector, public or private, that differentiating them seems a waste of time when one’s busy swatting them away like a horde of mosquitoes.

            At this point they’ve managed to make their own names epithets — no further investment of effort required. Try it: “Jesus Nunes Christ, what a Boebert.” Or “He’s a Gaetz-headed twit who was Jordan gymmed.”

        • laMissy says:

          Here’s a link to AOC’s instagram live feed of January 13. She spoke extemporaneously for over an hour at 11:00 PM to an audience that was in the neighborhood of 100,000.

          Toward the end, she also answered questions. One thing I find striking is that she is always teaching as she goes along. She is never condescending, never brushes anyone off. My two daughters, Latinas in her peer group, and their friends, see in AOC an argument for how and why regular people can, ought and must shape their government.

          I find her genuine, brilliant and inspiring.

          https://www.instagram.com/tv/CJ-OkgNAO1N/

          • Rayne says:

            I’ll have to see if I can find it copied to YouTube, thanks anyhow. I don’t use Facebook products including WhatsApp and Instagram.

              • Rayne says:

                Thanks much for that. Watching it now and it already displays a feature oldsters may struggle with — the asynchrony and discontinuous nature of communications combined with low production values. This isn’t less legitimate for its address to an audience which isn’t all assembled at once, for its free form content and production without camera persons, gaffers, grips, stylists, set decor, so on. Authority isn’t conferred with a studio.

                AOC is also willing to talk about feelings and real life experience — her call out to those who’ve experienced school shootings or mandatory training for mass shooting threats is a perfect example of how she can both share something personal and find the relatability. This isn’t easy to navigate for both older politicians and older constituents.

    • JACKZ says:

      Also thought Dems handled the debate time poorly. Rather than giving almost everyone 30 seconds, followed by near-interminable and repetitive Hoyer, it would have been preferable to periodically give someone time to rebut some of the GOP speakers (non-)arguments, esp the laughable appeals to “unity”. We’ll take those appeals seriously only when prefaced by “Biden won a free and fair election. The President lost and has been lying about it for two months.”

    • Rayne says:

      I didn’t catch which rep stood up and announced that AOC was voting for impeachment, but it wasn’t her. Might have been Doris Mitsui?

      • bg says:

        Apparently she came face to face w terrorists or something like that and thought she was going to be killed.

        • vvv says:

          While she did speak of her belief that the 1-6-21 attack was intended to result in assassinations of members, apparently did see some up close, what basis do you have for implying that’s why she voted by proxy?

          None, I bet.

  3. chuck says:

    Step one done. Here’s to about a 75 million more in hopes of a thorough investigation and conviction.

    • chuck says:

      https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1348442735745912838

      And to the hope that all the platforms that have delisted Trump have some serious receipts around the coordination involved. With his, “We love you” in the heart of the moment, how do you think his DMs read? All the platforms that have now taken him off know. May we see it all in the senate. (not to mention all the people on the other end… I’m guessing some Medal of Freedom winners have him on a direct line…)

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What a hoot. The MSM, Ashley Parker, for example, is labeling the House GOP votes for impeachment, “statements of principle.” To paraphrase Flight Officer Ripley, have IQs suddenly declined? Have politics suddenly disappeared from the hearts and minds of ten GOP representatives, or have they simply revised their thinking about what’s good for them and their politics? The claim that principle has raised its worn and exhausted head among a few members of the GOP seems to be unthinking optimism rather than reporting.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        It was the context that reminded me of Aliens. Ellen Ripley suffers through a corporate debriefing about why she nuked her space freighter and then slept for the next 60-odd years of drifting through the core systems. After one tiring interjection after another, Ripley has to bring a corporate stooge up short with her question about declining IQs by reminding her that the alien was not “indigenous” to LV-426. It was alien.

        Equally alien in today’s GOP is thought, principle, and an interest in the public good. There’s also the slime left by Paul Reiser’s malevolent character, the likes of which will shortly have to be steam-cleaned from the White House and West Wing – and most federal offices.

        • Fran of the North says:

          If you’re an Alien franchise fan and haven’t seen Memory: The Origins of Alien – a documentary from 2019, it’s a must watch. Absolutely fantastic.

            • Fran of the North says:

              I did a deep dive a couple of months back and watched both back to back, and then watched Origins. Up to that point I’d never seen Covenant.

              Saw the original when it came out and it just blew me away. So unlike anything Sci-Fi up to that point. That’s what Origins covers. Somebody described it as “Jaws in Space”. Yeah.

              But… ;)

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Agree, earl. Those GOP reps with enough intelligence and forethought want last week’s attack to go away. Impeaching Trump velcro’s it to him; conveniently enough, he’ll be departing anyway. They’re counting on the blood adhering to his hands; theirs already came back from the cleaners.

      • Ruthie says:

        Can’t remember where, but someone I read made the point that *before* the failed coup attempt, it was crickets from this crew. The decision to impeach now is too little, too late.

  5. John DAlessandro says:

    I wonder whart Mcconnell’s game is here, besides the obvious one of getting his majority back in 2022. What gets him there? If this all is forgotten after the inaugural, or made to seem like pointless revenge? And then he can bludgeon the Dems for wasting time over a former president who is irrelevant to the current needs of the people. On the other hand, Cong. Merrill has made some scary charges of collaboration which are not going away. If the Q Anon GOP tipped the terrorists off on Jan 5 and pointed them to the prime spots, what happened today isn’t a fart in the bathtub compared to what’s coming.

    • P J Evans says:

      The panic buttons that were removed from at least one office – completely, ripped right out – say that someone with access was willing to see people injured if not killed. I read, but haven’t seen more, that several offices had it happen – all of them black members. Which argues knowledge, because the doors don’t indicate that. I hope there’s security footage from the days and nights before, because I can’t rule out someone getting in at night.

      • Chris.EL says:

        Of all the news surrounding this, the panic button removal is one thing that was just *chilling*! — Don’t know why, my thought went to the guys that Trump recently installed in DOD — and the computer software machinations.
        ~~~~~~~~
        Does Congress have a policy of no firearms in the chamber?

        • P J Evans says:

          I understand yes – they can keep them in their offices, but they’re not supposed to bring them in to the chamber. Needs to have teeth like the masks are getting.

      • Stacey says:

        Same here, the the panic buttons ripped out was the thing that said “This shit just got real!” to me when I heard that. Only an insider would even know those exist!!!

        Is there ANY chance that entire building isn’t surveilled 24/7 in every corner to catch who did that? Please? I’ve thought before that the yahoos weren’t the only ones ‘getting footage’ of them in there, none of which would be released to the public but the FBI has all of that. They didn’t seem smart enough to take out cameras since they all brought their own.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          “They” didn’t seem smart enough – doesn’t that depend on which “they” we’re speaking of? Granted. the mob of wandering yahoos was pretty brainless, or at least checked their brains at the rally. And I don’t think the organized groups of street brawlers (like Proud Boys) are especially gifted. But there were also people going about their business in a quiet, determined way – people who looked like they were carrying out a plan – and they (or their handlers!) probably have brains enough to think about such things. Of course, they were counting on the mob to provide cover and hoping to complete the mission – whether by forcing Congress to cast votes against the election or by executing those deemed enemies of the new order, I have no idea. But I’m much more interested in them – and in any Congressional staff members, Capitol Police, or other insiders who were involved – than in the roaming hordes of people I want to refer to in insulting terms but who don’t really pose a threat to the nation without lots of guidance.

          • cavenewt says:

            the mob of wandering yahoos was pretty brainless…the roaming hordes of people I want to refer to in insulting terms

            My favorite term is “LARPer pawns”

    • jerryy says:

      With him it is always about money and power.

      In 2022, there are 14 (Democratic) Senatorial seats up for election, these are mostly in heavily Democratic Party supporting areas. There are 20 (Republican) Senatorial seats up for election. Lots of sources are reporting that the big money donors are abandoning the Republicans that challenged the Electoral College voting. That means this campaign will be very expensive for the Republicans to buy back the Senate, err, hmm, …, for the Republicans to spend money to convince voters to support them. McConnell is not going to do that out of his pocket, so he needs to get those donors back.

  6. Molly Pitcher says:

    ‘mass interest’ posted this link on the Liz Cheney/BabyDick thread:

    https://www.newsweek.com/capitol-hill-riots-panic-buttons-torn-out-staffer-1561191

    It is about the fact that Ayanna Pressley found that all of the panic buttons in her offices had been completely removed once they barricaded themselves in the offices. They had been used fairly recently because of the death threats she has been receiving.

    If she can continue to take the moral stands that she takes in the face of death threats, the GOP Reps need to find the guts to do the same. They should have stood on the floor and admitted that they were afraid to vote their conviction because their family had been threatened.

    And any one who has any doubts about the size of this attempted coup we are in the middle of only needs to consider how all of those panic buttons were completely removed without the Congresswoman’s staff knowing about it.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Also, entirely consistent with Liz Cheney’s remarks that people will be shocked when the truth comes out.
      Not a trivial, offhand remark.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Two are from WA state:
      Herrera Buetler is from Camas, WA. Used to be lumber, pulp mills, blue collar. Not a liberal paradise.
      Newhouse is from Sunnyside, WA. Vineyards, dairy, ag. I know a bunch of people who grew up with him, and he’s no liberal snowflake. (Also, a Wazzu grad, so woohoo!)

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        A wazzu grad, huh. I’ll bet he gets Cougar cheese at Christmas. I do !
        (I’m not a grad but my brother-in-law works there)

  7. madwand says:

    Trump can now be officially called a single digit midget, a term GIs use when they are less than ten days in a combat zone and short timers. Kinda knew McConnell wouldn’t pull the plug on him prior to Inauguration. Still think we are in for some shit, we will see.

  8. Eureka says:

    Jayapal just said that her husband is now COVID positive, too (on MSNBC).

    (Pressley had announced not long ago that her husband is also COVID positive.)

  9. Eureka says:

    Rick Wilson on MSNBC now saying a GOP rep told him that if he voted for impeachment he’d never know when the magas would kill his wife and kids.

    • Tracylynn says:

      How do those MAGAs convey these threats? I’ve heard they get them as texts, but aren’t those (somewhat) easily tracked?

      • Eureka says:

        My bet is that they mostly convey them (in a generalized way, to create the climate of fear) in the form of calls to the constituent phone lines — besides the vicious, relentless trollery that can be seen in the replies to any congressperson’s/elected’s social media. Protracted venom and imagery go far. I hadn’t heard of the texts but in this context it wouldn’t take much to pepper in some vague threat that way, and the language might be carefully crafted via burners (or even overseas hired robodialers) amidst such a flood that only so many can be pursued.

        Add in the fact that public officials’ addresses are generally known and it wouldn’t take much from these psychos for officials to imagine what they might do.

        One female PA legislator told the NYT last month (possibly late November, but prob December) that she declined to sign a statement against Trump’s shenanigans with the PA electors because if she did the magas would bomb her house (by the next day or two, she did sign onto an amicus brief for one of his election lawsuits). That read to me like she had filled in the blanks herself, as do a lot of the other statements of fear of the magas.

        I always go back to Kathy Griffin: she’s the first person* who experienced the Trump wood chipper (as she called it) and no one cared then, most shunned her. She suffered media attacks (not merely criticism, but MSM and other powerful outlets acting as Trump force amplifiers), twitter swarms fueled by the family/GOP officials, robocalled bomb threats shutting down her tour, credible death threats (including, later, via Caesar Sayoc’s list) (she had FBI agents assisting her the whole while — they told her how to handle her mail, which threats to forward or disregard). She’s also explained how Trump used the power of his office to try to silence her (a true violation of First Amendment rights) via Sessions’ DOJ and SSUS investigations; she was put on the no fly list, the Interpol list. On and on.

        She really was the exemplar for what happens when Trump and his machine feel crossed, too bad more didn’t realize that and act accordingly — her case is a microcosm of what the country is experiencing now — though we could say that about most of the fair warnings from his history.


        *Not to discount in any way what he did to the Central Park Five (six) with traditional media, for example. But Griffin’s case, in the throes of new media and with IRA trolls for the assist, is of a different scale, and occurred while he had presidential powers.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Thanks, Eureka, for bringing the Kathy Griffin shunning up. More even than the “revelations” about Flynn and other Trump people performing their entirely predictable dirty tricks, what happened to Griffin terrified me at the time. This is how Nazi Germany happened: not with bad guys doing bad things, but with supposedly good guys rushing to stay in the good graces of the bully. Anderson Cooper dumping her from the NYE show? What price access? The cravenness ran neck and neck with the sheer idiocy. Judith/Holofernes: it could’ve been a teachable moment, but no one wanted to learn a damn thing.

          • vvv says:

            One of the craven, it might have been Jordan or Boebert – funny how even they are interchangeable in their yelling rants – name-checked Griffin in a projectile vomit of whataboutism during the impeachment hearing.

  10. punaise says:

    Crazy to think that despite his complete awfulness and havoc wreaked, were it not for Covid Trump almost certainly would have been re-elected. That’s *almost* as depressing as taking stock of our damaged country today.

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      All he had to do was mouth presidential words at the TV cameras and not turn the existence of a virus into a political litmus test. And I think he could have won. The Washington press corp would have turned him into corona lincoln if he just pretended to give two shits.

      • Epicurus says:

        But there was Covid and he couldn’t do “All he had to do was..” So he wasn’t reelected. Now he’s impeached but the people with the most power over him, forever, are individual citizens who can cut out his tongue legally. It is those that control social media outlets. Trump can’t fight his own personna so the threats and extortion against others he has lived by forever now take on the best defense against allowing him access to the masses. He will always revert to his extortionist personna and the Zuckerbergs of the world can just cut him off literally as a instigator of violence to society. Trump handed the keys to his own destruction and to his real source of power to someone else.

        • madwand says:

          Yep if he had addressed Covid rather than treat it as an existential threat to himself and listened to the scientists he would most likely been reelected and throwing in $2000 before the election would have sealed the deal.

  11. punaise says:

    [Sidebar interface observation: on my laptop Firefox randomly fails to load the most recent posts. Chrome (laptop) and Safari (iPhone) don’t exhibit the same behavior. Anybody else experiencing this? Maybe it’s something on my end? – cache, cookies, what have you.]

  12. Eureka says:

    On the whole Ali Alexander thing, does anyone know/suspect if he is naming Gosar, Biggs, and Brooks while burying other names?

    • P J Evans says:

      I’d say it’s possible, but Brooks and Gosar have been pretty vocal about the election, and Brooks was at the pre-insurrection rally.

      • Eureka says:

        Right, and the AZ GOP (via tweets, at least) have been the most rabidly vocal/vocally rabid I can recall (and of course Alabama is Alabama…).

        But Ali had already publicly credited those three, and himself, with planning the Jan 6th “rally” back on (at least) December 28th when he was complaining that the PB’s fav DC hotel had closed for the days around the event. [Ali doesn’t mention Alex Jones in that Dec 28th posting, yet he and Jones were working together on the 6th.]

        There’s also all of those pix of Ali with (what I’ll call) maga bigwigs like Wood, Powell; PB leaders; others.

        Makes me wonder if his earlier public declaration of the reps’ involvement was a “jumping them in” gang initiation. The behind the scenes folks need faces, pawns, willing/ useful idiots (I forget which one of the three reps denied any involvement to Will Sommer*).

        So saying those three names now, and not saying more, is to the plotters’ advantage and reveals nothing the public doesn’t already have.

        That’s mostly why I’m suspicious. [Isn’t that convenient.]


        *That DB piece is pretty funny for the parts where it looks like Ali had been trying to suggest better opsec to their mob before the insurrection. To no avail.

  13. RMD says:

    In a somewhat related item. Colbert interviewed former FBI Director Jim Comey last night. Was furious to hear his thoughts on holding Trump accountable, putting him on trial, impeaching him.
    It seems Comey wants to add something to his 2016 investigation into HRC’s email.

    slight paraphrase: Comey: “I don’t think we should put him on trial… that’s what Trump lives for. Attention. We shouldn’t, as a Nation, have him in the news for the next 3 years, taking attention away from more important matters. We should deny him the limelight that he craves.”
    He went on to extoll the tremendous capabilities of the FBI to identify and bring to justice those who took part in the assault on the Capitol.

    Shorter: prosecute little fish. Big fish? Too big for justice.

    Someone watching: “Are you fucking kidding me?”

    Please, Jim, go away.

  14. Worried says:

    I get a big laugh out of the GOP argument that this impeachment will set a bad precedent. “There’s only a week left in his term and he lost, WTF?”

    What about the precedent of letting a sitting president violate his Oath of Office during the end of his term and walk away? Now, to me, that is an unbelievably bad precedent!

    What’s next?

    Do they send the approved House Impeachment resolution immediately to the Senate for McConnell’s treatment?

    I’m leery of that, he is the master of legislative maneuvering. I think he can run circles about almost anyone (similar to Dick Cheney’s bureaucratic capabilities (helped by Addison)).

    I hope that they wait until the two new Senators from Georgia are sworn in (not sure when that will be); then the chamber will be in Democratic control.

    Just a normal layman, who is extraordinarily poor at politics (and poker), but I hope superior minds find the most effective approach.

    • P J Evans says:

      They expect Warnock and Ossoff to be sworn in next week, probably the 22d, because of Georgia’s laws on elections.

    • ccm says:

      Personally not a big proponent of impeachment. This should be handled through the criminal courts as felonies. Impeachment is for high crimes, those related to conduct of office. This was not that. The Founding Fathers would have had a speedy trial and hung him. The rest of his life in prison achieves all what impeachment does.

      • P J Evans says:

        “High crimes and misdemeanors” is exactly what this is. It’s not a criminal thing, it’s political. Read the posts here from the previous one; I’m sure that this was explained then.

  15. Vinnie Gambone says:

    AOC, while often correct, is never going to be able to bring the country together. Can’t put my finger on it but something about her evokes a strong dislike in me. Smugness ? Glory hog ? Something. Lincoln once said,” I don’t like that guy. I”ll have to get to know him better.” That’s helped me various times to come around to someone.
    I’ve tried to get to know AOC better. I still don’t like her. I do fear for her. The next step for the insurrections is more violence. They are going to start targeting politicians. The twain ain’t ever going to meet. I am going to cultivate my garden. Good luck america, but you are so fucked.

    • RMD says:

      I’m sorry, too much o’ the crazy can make a mind hazy.
      Peddle your misogynistic ‘read’ at Tucker’s frownfest.
      You don’t like outspoken, intelligent, principled women?

      can smell that from here.

      • RMD says:

        …shouldn’t have referenced the cowardly slug…
        over at HuffPo:
        “Fucker Carlson Slammed For ‘Vile And Vicious’ Attack On Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      Two X chromosomes?

      She is refreshingly authentic, laser focused on big popular ideas, and calls out leadership failures and timidity. We need more like her.

      • e.a.f. says:

        that’s why I like her

        She’s what we were looking for, for the future when the feminist movement started back in the 1960/70s and we were young. Some of us dreamed women like AOC would be where she is today and doing what she’s doing.

        Vinnie, don’t know if you’re female or male or how old, but if you’re an older male or just male, I understand why you don’t like her. Some People would not have liked her at any time in history, but there she is, the realization of centuries of work, being your own person, having the vote, being a prominent politician all the while being a young female. OMG, its wonderful. She is the future and its now. She is smart, alive, courageous. Not like all the old game players and the not so old game players. She and her Squad are what the U.S.A. needs.

      • punaise says:

        (Can’t be shrill on the Hill, now, right?)

        XY I find her refreshingly authentic and a strong communicator with good political instincts but have not paid close enough attention to her policy positions to go beyond that.

    • Rayne says:

      Been digesting this for a while. Apart from your unacknowledged misogyny which has been encouraged by this patriarchal culture whether you recognize the patriarchy at work or not, the “Glory Hog” isn’t on her. It’s a function of more than average media coverage focused on her, a media which is still dominated by men behind the camera.

      She’s also a fresh target now that Hillary Clinton has met the end of her career as a Democratic politician. The reason so many people — again, overwhelmingly men — still find Clinton unappealing is the aggressive coverage by media.

      Much of the coverage of Clinton was also spurred by GOP men who both needed a target and feared her because she was more gifted than her spouse without his sexual proclivities. Take everything Hillary is, make her a young woman of color without a partner competing for political success, teach her how to organize grassroots campaigns so effectively she successfully primaries a white male Dem, and boom, you have a politician who will be vilified by the GOP and the media every time she takes a breath — and men watching her will think, “Wow, glory hog.”

      There’s one more fillip to this which won’t sit well with people who aren’t used to it, and that’s her ease with disintermediation via social media platforms. She’ll seem even more present on top of the media’s excessive focus because like people her age she’s a social media native. She’s perfectly at ease streaming whatever she’s cooking for dinner or playing online using platforms like Twitter and Twitch. It’s not “glory hogging” but entirely natural for her generation.

      I say this listening to my twenty-something kid upstairs streaming game play online right now, talking with people their age. This is what they do and it’s completely foreign to the older establishment including the media which freaks out and races to cover AOC playing a game online.

      • blueedredcounty says:

        Thanks, Rayne. This is exactly right.

        AOC could walk on water, and the only thing you would hear from the media is, “She refuses to swim!”

        • Rayne says:

          LOL that, exactly. It’s not just AOC, it’s just that she’s got more boxes to check off. Every woman who has the temerity speak out loud and claim space will be pummeled for it — it’s been that way for millennia, just ask Cambridge classicist Mary Beard about it:

          I want to start very near the beginning of the tradition of Western literature, and its first recorded example of a man telling a woman to ‘shut up’; telling her that her voice was not to be heard in public. I’m thinking of a moment immortalised at the start of the Odyssey. We tend now to think of the Odyssey as the story of Odysseus and the adventures and scrapes he had returning home after the Trojan War – while for decades Penelope loyally waited for him, fending off the suitors who were pressing for her hand.1 But the Odyssey is just as much the story of Telemachus, the son of Odysseus and Penelope; the story of his growing up; how over the course of the poem he matures from boy to man. The process starts in the first book with Penelope coming down from her private quarters into the great hall, to find a bard performing to throngs of her suitors; he’s singing about the difficulties the Greek heroes are having in reaching home. She isn’t amused, and in front of everyone she asks him to choose another, happier number. At which point young Telemachus intervenes: ‘Mother,’ he says, ‘go back up into your quarters, and take up your own work, the loom and the distaff … speech will be the business of men, all men, and of me most of all; for mine is the power in this household.’ And off she goes, back upstairs.2

          We’re over it, done with it, had e-fucking-nough of being told to shut up and get some man a goddamned sandwich. Choke on it, we’re reclaiming our voice and space.

          • fm says:

            I agree, AOC is terrific. She is going places in politics. That’s exactly why GOP are attacking her, but it won’t stop her. And she is going to continue to gain support, as are other smart women.

      • blueedredcounty says:

        I was in the middle of adding this to my last post when it timed out.

        It is understandable to read Vinnie’s “I just don’t like her” as him being misogynistic and sexist. But I think Rayne’s point about the constant (mostly negative) media coverage is important. I have two female friends who have stated “I just don’t like her!” in regards to every female politician I have ever heard them mention. Ironic, because they are both married and have careers outside the home, and neither has children. And they would fiercely deny they were being misogynistic. I don’t think it is partisan-based, either (at least, for one of them).

        I think it is a mix of media coverage and deeply ingrained societal expectations on women’s roles and women’s behavior. And as a society, we do not raise or train people to be introspective or, deities forbid, rethink anything.

        • Rayne says:

          Yes. That’s the patriarchy at work, makes some women handmaids because they do just fine if they don’t rock the boat and they keep other women from making waves. We’ve had 28 years of highly-toxic negative framing around Hillary and those who are vocal in their support of her in spite of it must be prepared to fight back depending on where they’re at.

          Meanwhile we end up with the biggest fucking douchebag of corruption in the White House and the same people who harangue about Hillary are just fine with his wretchedness. The double standard and toxicity of patriarchy is so damned obvious if one isn’t brainwashed.

          • P J Evans says:

            I watched most of “Finding Your Roots” this week, because one of this week’s people was Pelosi. It came out that her mother invented (and patented) a facial process based on olive oil that used vapor, and when it was ready to go as a business, her father shut it down. Her mother also bought a lot in Ocean City, MD, and her father had it reverted, because he was very Old World about what women could do. (I think Pelosi feels a lot closer to her mother.)

    • PeterS says:

      Good grief. A strong, intelligent, principled man would no doubt get your respect but a strong, intelligent, principled woman needs to pass a “likeability” test? Ugly echoes of Hillary Clinton indeed. Perhaps “smugness” is just being confident and happy in who she is. And rightly so.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Might be a generational thing, but I’d say it’s on you, not her. She is remarkably in touch with her generation and others. She is bright, aware, socially skilled, and doesn’t take crap from people who put their hands on or stiff the wait staff – or the taxpayers.

      She has great future ahead of her. It can only improve if Biden actually begins to fix things and put in place policies that make government work for the average person more than for the wealthy.

      Reagan lied when he said gubmint was the problem, not the cure. That was another script he read, paid for by people so powerful that only gubmint can keep them in check, which is why they work so hard to keep it working only for them.

      • Epicurus says:

        I am touching the third rail here. AOC sponsored 23 bills in the 116th Congress, the one just ended. 22 are referred to or in Committee. One is on the floor of the Senate. The question would be why more didn’t make it to the floor of the Senate. I understand why McConnell killed all bills on the Senate floor but the question would be her effectiveness in the Democratic caucus in getting her sponsored bills to the Senate floor. 1 of 23 means she is batting .043 in the lineup. I wouldn’t bet on a really bright political future not only because of the patriarchy/misogyny/sexist/fear of women elements noted above but also because she seems an Antoine Saint-Just for our times, unable to compromise in all matters big and small. She seems unable, as they say in the musical Hamilton, to hold her nose and close her eyes.

        • tinao says:

          I’m not so sure she could not bring herself to compromise. My reasoning is this; when you have a critical patient close to death if you do not save them, you right off the chances for their life to improve. I had to use this logic when I held my nose and voted for hillary. If i can do it AOC surely can. Yes, i think she is fantastic!

    • CCM says:

      I do like her. She is a politician and you may be picking up on that. They are psychologically different than normal people. She is young and years from now if she remains serious in her craft she could be a stateswoman.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Vinnie, I want you to imagine the last three politicians you *did* approve of. Now ask yourself, if they were young women (I’m dead sure they weren’t) wouldn’t they too be accused of being “glory hogs”? I’m thinking Barack Obama. Joe Biden. Bill Clinton. Be honest with yourself, because glory-hogging is a quintessential quality of successful politicking. Without it you get nowhere.

    • John Langston says:

      Yeah, AOC.

      Hard to like her. She’s really smart, progressive and empathetic, …. educated, well spoken and direct, modest background, self-made, honest, witty, doesn’t suffer fools, stands up for her beliefs, savvy, kind and attractive.

      Hey, no one likes all that.

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      Is Trump seriously not going to pay Guliani his hush money? Even a moron like Trump should understand Guliani has some stormy waters in his future and will be a liability if he feels shut out.

      • Eureka says:

        He (and this made me choke with laughter) apparently wants to pore over Rudy’s expenses for the traveling road show *personally.* Very important!

        I’m imagining an old-school style printed receipt for Fantasy Island, the sex shop next to Four Seasons (Not the Hotel!). Maybe some greasy burger receipts.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Trump is cheap. When he declared bankruptcy some of the people he stiffed where working trades people who were owed as little as $3K. Rudy,. well the going rate for a “working” person can be $5K to $10K per night. So if Rudy. is at it 24/7 perhaps he feels $20K is what he is worth. However, neither Trump nor Rudy. are worth 5 cents.

          Trump will try to avoid paying Guilliani bills. no surprise there and it ought not to be a surprise to Rudy either. Actually it might be fun if Trump doesn’t pay Rudy.

          • P J Evans says:

            He stiffed workers who did demolition work – they were promised decent wages, and he paid them less and then threatened them with immigration authorities, because they were undocumented and from Poland.

            • posaune says:

              The construction workers on Trump Tower 5th Ave were Polish, like you said, and they slept for months in the building in which they were working. Plus, he stiffed them. He also stiffed a music store in Atlantic City in the “rental” of pianos for the casino.

              • Chris.EL says:

                This is a little off topic — I’ve been puzzling over Poland — over time the Polish people seem to get the “short end of the stick.”

                In “The Last Witness” it describes, well here is Wikipedia: “A young, ambitious journalist risks love, career and ultimately his life to uncover the true identity of an Eastern European refugee and his connection to the British Government’s collusion in the cover up of the Katyn massacre, one of Stalin’s most notorious crimes.”

                ~~~~~~~~~
                Perhaps Trump’s admiration for Russia stems from racism: few brown, black people there — and anyone they don’t like are just killed.

                Six more days of Trump (–only– we pray).

          • P J Evans says:

            “$5k to 10K per night”? That’s $800 to 1200 *per hour* – and I don’t think there are many lawyers who charge that. Rudy isn’t worth that much money.

        • Rayne says:

          I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump was pissed off and taking it out on Giuliani who really was a fuck up, but I also wouldn’t discount this as a last ditch opportunity to launder some cash. Giuliani sues Trump for cost, additional damage, plus a punitive amount; Trump loses, but it’s his campaign that pays the settlement — like the Russian laundromat.

          • Eureka says:

            Yeah that’s likely the best summary of today’s edition of Grift Theater.

            Maybe Parscale gets sued too in a secondary/tertiary matter. (But that’s for the next chapter.) Can SuperPACs declare bankruptcy? /s

            Where’s the cash coming from for Sidney, Lin, and Eastman? I mean they all failed as spectacularly as did Rudy (except for the fomenting insurrection part) (AND KNOCK ON WOOD). (My guess is Mercer-RU sources for the two formers, Uihlein for latter.)

            • harpie says:

              Reminded me of:
              Stone to Bannon [10/4/16]

              […] I’ve raise $150K for the targeted black digital campaign thru a C-4
              Tell Rebecca to send us some $$$

            • BobCon says:

              It’s not the same as a business bankruptcy, but PACs and campaigns go in the red and shut down all the time, leaving creditors and employees unpaid.

              Like a lot of business bankruptcies, the government oversight varies a lot, and usually depends on how much work creditors want to put into helping build a case.

              But I am guessing Trump and his donors are going to be under the microscope even if his donors and creditors keep quiet. It is possible one piece of the corporate retreat from donating to the coup backers in Congress is they want to get ahead of bad press that may come out of campaign finance disclosures.

          • BobCon says:

            You could be right, but if he was smart he would stay away from using his campaign money as a personal piggy bank. The legal implications of this would be a lot worse than if Trump just paid him.

            But he may not have another pile of cash to use, and he may be facing such a big investigation of his campaign accounts that he doesn’t care.

            • Rayne says:

              It could appear to be a reasonable use of campaign funds if Giuliani billed the campaign for services he rendered the re-election. This is how the campaign funds would be converted to private funds — through an ensuing lawsuit, right under our noses. Then Giuliani offshores the money and it’s distributed from there.

              • BobCon says:

                I agree that is the angle he could try to play. I’m not sure it would withstand scrutiny though. Forexample, if Giuliani wants reimbursement for criminal activity and Trump uses campaign money for it, that’s potentially a problem for Trump.

                I also think Trump’s legal advice is weak enough at this point he may also screw up the mechanics of reporting and accounting,

                • Rayne says:

                  I didn’t say it was going to be a successful money laundering attempt, only that we could be looking at a last-ditch effort. These old crooks don’t do something once; if they get away with it the first time, they do it again. They’ve both been moving money around through invoicing for services for a long time. As if Giuliani, who dials the wrong people and leaves incriminating messages frequently and needed help from Apple to unlock his phone, really has a legitimate cyber security business. Who you gonna’ call? Giuliani Security & Safety, if you’re looking to buy some dirt and shuffle money around for your personal security and safety.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Reminds me that we’ll have to revisit the golf laundromat theme soon. The Scots, for example, might feel more emboldened to pursue that Unexplained Wealth Order, once Trump is out of office.

            I would be surprised if Trump could show a legit source for all the cash he’s squandered on his supposed golf-cum-real estate deals there. (But then that’s probably true for a lot of money spent on high-end real estate in the UK, including from the wealthiest Brits themselves, who are famous users of blind trusts and offshore stratagems to hide their own domestic spending.)

      • Stacey says:

        Think of how insanely stupid that is for Trump to let it be known that he wants to stiff Rudy’s “legal” bills–that from a guy who’s about to need REAL attorney’s for the rest of his natural life! He already has the reputation of not paying his attorney’s, not following their advice, being a horrible client, and he’s heading for his second one in a row going to prison–what halfway decent lawyer would even take his call on Jan 21?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Exactly. According to divorce papers, Rudy can spend $2-3 million a year on himself and has done for some time. His sources of income have dried up, so he would resent more than usual the loss of income from so slavishly serving Trump. Plus, his ego is as big as Trump’s and the idea that Rudy can be stiffed will get around in a NY minute.

          Stiffing vendors is a defining Trump characteristic, but stiffing a guy who knows where so many bodies are buried might finally work to Trump’s disadvantage. About time.

        • Chris.EL says:

          … isn’t that why his daughter went to law school? She is stuck with this guy! (Sorry, fell on the floor laffing.)

        • Fran of the North says:

          This latest craziness has got to have lots of ‘insiders’ thinking about cashing in with a tell-all. Which attorney is going to sign up for the NDA fight now?

          Hopefully the respectable publishers will ix-nay on the ublish-pay for these vermin.

      • klynn says:

        No, just an overview podcast article based on Katherine Stewart’s “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.”

        Her book came out 3/2020.

        • madwand says:

          Thanks for those links, confirms my thoughts over a long period of time. I think this is more than the elephant in the room and it doesn’t seem to get much play here, I am not sure why.

            • madwand says:

              Again thanks, and I would guess you are right about Calista, and it would be a guess who she actually reports to, but Trump wouldn’t be at the top of my list, he’s just the toady, manipulated in a marriage of convenience. Two things struck me about the article, one the emphasis on millennialist theology, and the other the rejection of science at the same time.

              There have been millennialists throughout history who have died after believing that their time was the time in history that these prophesies would come true, this time is no different. The more crueler concept is the rejection of science as defined by climate change. Because of the slow pace, people are allowed to believe in this rejection. It just doesn’t affect them. But hey they use their GPS with corrected location everyday, it’s magic, lol.

              • Ginevra diBenci says:

                There are several theological strands at work here. An underappreciated one is the Barr/Hawley strain of extreme Catholicism, infused with a Calvinist belief in a small group of The Elect (of which they assume themselves to be members). The Armageddonist branch, far larger, has flooded QAnon, and vice versa. And then there are the fundamentalist evangelicals, whose more traditional Protestantism (Southern Baptist, PCA) has morphed into a “prosperity gospel” rhetoric fueling the GOP machine. It’s complicated. One thing I’ve noticed over the last ten years: a sharp uptick among the latter two groups of demonization–that is, the literal identification of those outside their group with Satan.

    • klynn says:

      Stand out moment in the Bill Moyers piece:

      “BILL MOYERS: Paul Weyrich is the man I remember saying– (block quote)

      ‘PAUL WEYRICH: I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populous goes down.’

      BILL MOYERS: He was essentially saying, as a newly anointed leader of the religious right, what their philosophy was. The fewer people vote, the better their chance.”

      ANNE NELSON: That’s right. And from the beginning, in terms of their electoral tactics, it has been a matter of weaponizing certain churches and pastors and really exerting tremendous pressure on them to use churches as instruments of a radical right ideology. And then using similar tactics to suppress votes for Democrats, especially in key battleground states

      • P J Evans says:

        People forget, if they ever knew, that the Southern Baptist Church was literally founded on slavery. It’s never really supported civil rights, even for white women. Black churches exist because of that.

  16. posaune says:

    Question for bmaz:
    I was reading the criminal complaint for Lonnie Coffman. I think he is the red-pickup-truck with guns guy who parked illegally on 1st Street SE.

    OK, here’s the question: the criminal complaint states that the Grand Jury was sworn in on January 8, 2021. Can they really get a grand jury that fast from scratch? Or, did they take another grand jury and reassign them. Complaint is dated 1/11/2021.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      Yep! Damn–I would have been on it but begged off because of COVID. They sent out jury notifications mid-November.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, they always have grand juries rotating in, it is not hard to commence one. Question is whether it is a GJ dedicated to this matter, or one that also hears other matters too.

    • BobCon says:

      To be clear, that same question should be asked by NPR about itself.

      People have been complaining for years about NPR’s reporting on extremists, including Republican politicians, and Public Editor Kelly McBride has been cheerleading for editorial timidity instead.

      This writeup is a classic example — McBride writes PR gloss on NPR’s softpedalling and misreading of the critical nature of Trump’s shakedown attempt of Georgia officials.

      https://www.npr.org/sections/publiceditor/2021/01/07/954098933/npr-had-the-leaked-trump-tape-too-heres-what-the-newsroom-did-with-it

      Their local affiliate got the recording at the same time as the Washington Post, but by the time the scoop went through the NPR News editorial meatgrinder, it was reduced to a three minute segment that only warranted a followup when they saw how it was being treated by other outlets.

      Trump’s coup plot was in plain view. NPR had a scoop on a critical piece of evidence. But their editorial compulsions led them to treating it like an insulting tweet. They have no idea what is going on.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I had no idea anything was going on at the Capitol January 6–I had NPR on, and I heard no mention of it until 2:30. By 3, they had their usual pundits arguing “partisan rancor” or some such both-sides nonsense; I turned it off. Is this an access thing, or fear of losing funding?

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        NPR is just another braindead infotainment outlet at this point and has contributed to the “frog in ever-warming water” state of this country. NPR started going downhill years ago when it allowed corporate “sponsorship”/propaganda. As with all paid media, you can’t bite the hand that feeds you.

        • P J Evans says:

          They’ve had corporate sponsorship for decades. It was defunding and the political appointees on the board, startign under Reagan and Bush41, and even more Bush43, where they were trying to “fix” the “liberal bias” they saw in all the media except Fox.

      • joel fisher says:

        May I infer that you are in the camp that believes the “except in cases of impeachment” doesn’t inhibit the pardon power? I think that issue will be battled out by lawyers who are way smarter than me.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Agreed, as are virtually all his other powers. He simply can’t pardon away his own impeachment, conviction, and its consequences.

    • madwand says:

      Fully expecting something like the self-pardon and a rash of other pardons between now and the 20th. It will be interesting if he pardons members of his family Javanka little Don etc along with himself. It will also be interesting to see who inside the White House gets the magic bullet. People like Miller, Scavino, McEnany etc, those who hung with him till the ship sunk.

      • joel fisher says:

        As bmaz has stated, more or less, the devil will be in the details. They will try to keep as much 5th A privilege as possible while, at the same time, enjoying the benefits of a pardon.

        • Chris.EL says:

          if Trump grants himself a pardon — won’t it be challenged (in court?).

          Wondering if there is such an avenue open to proceed with this — to establish precedent, once and for all.

          • BobCon says:

            If he can be charged in other ways I am not sure anyone would bring a challenge.

            I am far from convinced Trump will stop breaking laws after Inauguration Day and he can’t pardon for state crimes. He is 75 in a few months and in lousy physical shape. The first trial or two may be all he gets.

      • Stacey says:

        So heard something funny this morning on Deadline Whitehouse, regarding McEnany. Trump’s pissed that none of his usual dumbasses will go out and defend what he did–including her! And so, now we’re at the point in the story where Trump has lost Kayleigh McEnany with his little insurrection bullshit! I’m not saying that she’s personally put off by his behavior but she’s at the point in her “what happens to ME next” life choice-point where ‘how will others see ME in the context of what I do/say to defend HIM’ creates a different calculus for HER in which Trump looses. And once Trump realizes he has lost THAT battle in someone’s head, and they begin working for their own interest instead of HIS, then that pardon protection gets yanked back real quick.

        KMcEnany: “Bad dog! No biscuits!”

  17. mass interest says:

    WaPo article includes Dershowitz speculation(?) that Senate impeachment trial conducted after Biden is inaugurated would be unconstitutional due to Trump’s status as a private citizen at that time:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/14/power-up-trump-is-increasingly-isolated-after-being-impeached-again-he-still-got-alan-dershowitz/

    I’m wondering whether that factors into McConnell’s decision to delay the start of the Senate trial until after Biden’s inauguration: i.e., could SCOTUS scotch the whole thing.

      • harold hecuba says:

        Absolutely agree with that assessment. He’s a pure political animal and doesn’t give a shit about country or what Trump does/does not do now. Trump was going down in flames and McConnell can’t do anything politically with that burned out husk at this point.

      • bmaz says:

        More likely they are sworn in on the 22nd. But Trump is unlikely to be convicted in the Senate anyway, which is why Pelosi’s delay removes the sting of making McConnell show his stripes when it counts.

        • Rayne says:

          Was it Pelosi’s delay or McCarthy’s, wrt to the lack of weekend traction? She moved ahead after holding zero hearings and debate, and giving that chickenshit Pence enough to move to 25th Amendment. And I think conviction could hinge on when Ossoff and Warnock are sworn in — if they have 50 Dems and McConnell isn’t the majority leader, the GOP senators who feel they have the most to gain from conviction could be released to “vote their conscience.” There’s one more issue McConnell may be trying to avoid responsibility for, and that’s the banning of Trump from future office:

          If Trump is already gone, what’s the point of going through this?
          Members of the Congress — Democrats and at least some Republicans — are outraged that Trump incited a mob of fervent supporters to rally in Washington on Wednesday and to march to the Capitol to fight against what he falsely claimed was a “stolen election.” They believe it is necessary for Congress to remove Trump from power and rebuke him in the strongest possible terms for what Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called a “failed insurrection.”

          Moreover, if Trump were convicted on the charges, the Senate could also approve by majority vote a “disqualification to hold an office of honor, trust or profit.” This would prevent Trump from seeking the presidency again in 2024. That ban isn’t automatic. The Senate would have to vote a second time.

          (source: Los Angeles Times)

          Not certain conviction is out of the question when even McConnell calls it a “failed insurrection.”

          • bmaz says:

            No. Pelosi could have moved to start with unanimous consent, which McCarthy refused. But she could have called the body back in session with 48 hours notice. If she had had the fortitude to file the single lame article first thing last Thursday morning, and called the body back, what happened yesterday could have happened before noon Saturday. This is all an optics battle, and McConnell is still ruling the roost. There will be no more appetite to convict once Trump is out of office than there is now.

              • bmaz says:

                If you are in favor of him totally walking. Getting a conviction on a beyond a reasonable doubt standard will be extremely difficult.

                • Rayne says:

                  Aren’t you making that assessment with little but the evidence provided by media, and nothing like telecom metadata, text messages, DMs, testimony from witnesses?

                  • bmaz says:

                    No. I am making this assessment based upon an understanding on how hard it is to prove up specific intent and imminence. It is far more difficult than people think.

                    • e.a.f. says:

                      In my opinion a criminal trial would be difficult to convict Trump on much. Not only do they have to deal with Reasonable Doubt as bmaz explains, but if its a jury trial, which most are in the U.S.A., as I understand it, all you need is for a hold out or two and your out.

          • cavenewt says:

            Another reason, maybe not as important to the country writ large but not totally insubstantial, is that if convicted he would no longer receive a pension, Secret Service detail, or travel allowance.

            Call me petty and vengeful, but that would sure make me feel better, as a taxpayer.

      • mass interest says:

        Rayne, I certainly agree with your McConnell take on timing this for his own power-hungry purposes, but is there a question as to whether – constitutionally – Trump can be convicted by the Senate after the inauguration, when his status becomes that of “private citizen?”

        • harpie says:

          Here’s Steve Vladeck today in the NYT on that question:

          https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1349695810930438144
          7:32 AM · Jan 14, 2021

          In today’s @nytimes: Me on why the text and structure of the Constitution, longstanding historical practice, and common sense all *support* the Senate’s power to try Trump after next Wednesday—and to potentially disqualify him from holding future office: [LINK]

          Why Trump Can Be Convicted Even as an Ex-President
          He is the poster child for why such accountability is not just constitutionally permissible but necessary.
          https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/14/opinion/trump-impeachment-senate.html
          Stephen I. Vladeck Jan. 14, 2021, 5:00 a.m.

        • harpie says:

          Vladeck cites Article 1, Section 3, saying:

          […] That latter clause is the key, because it drives home that the Senate has two decisions to make in impeachment cases: First, it must decide whether an officer should be removed. Then it must decide whether this person should be disqualified from holding any future federal office. Indeed, of the eight officers the Senate has ever voted to remove, it subsequently voted to disqualify only three of them — reinforcing that removal and disqualification are separate inquiries. And as this procedure and historical practice make clear, by the time the Senate votes on disqualification, the officer has already been removed. In other words, disqualification, at least, is itself necessarily a vote about a former (as opposed to current) officer.

          More than that, the disqualification power is both the primary evidence of and the central reason the Constitution allows for the impeachment of former officers. Were it otherwise, an officer facing impeachment, or an officer who has already been impeached and is about to be removed, could also avoid disqualification simply by resigning. […]

      • Stacey says:

        Then the joke will be on Mitch! Lincoln Project is vowing to come after every corporate and large donor who they can find bare behind-skin showing on and make them regret the day they didn’t release a very public statement demanding to claw back every dime they gave any of the “insurrection caucus” members. McConnell could be in the position of wishing HE’D brought the articles of himself by the time they’re done with him!

      • tinao says:

        What’s been going through my mind is trump has shit on moscow mitch, so sure mm will wait till he’s out. Poof exposure gone. Who will then take trump’s ranting seriously but the crazies.

    • P J Evans says:

      Dersh needs to read up on William Belknap. Impeachment can be after the subject leaves office, and in fact, for presidents it might be easier – it can be investigated in committee, not on the floor.

  18. Duke says:

    Remembering some of the first history lessons from my youth, I recalled the first few lessons on America. Aside from the basic repetitive tropes about freedom, My fixation was General George and the cherry tree. It felt incomplete then. Perhaps we are blessed with the counterpoint which solidifies the concept of truth.

    George and the cherry tree against Trump and “IT’S HUGE!”

    I remember how disillusioned I felt back then with Nixon.

  19. harpie says:

    This person is speaking AS IF he has seen or heard descriptions of CAPITOL CCTV footage.
    [I saw this via Cynthia Kouril]

    His twitter bio:

    Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Scientist, R&D Data Tech, Strategist, Futurist, Researcher, Writer, frmr Knight-Ridder&Dix journalist, veteran, dad

    https://twitter.com/FrankSowa1/status/1349574338060685312
    11:29 PM · Jan 13, 2021

    BREAKING – Capitol Building CCTV feeds showed Rep Louie Gohmert GOP-TX, Rep Jim Jordan GOP-OH, Rep Matt Gaetz GOP-FL, Rep Lauren Boebert GOP-CO, Marjorie Taylor Greene GOP-GA, Paul Gosar GOP-AZ, Andy Biggs GOP-AZ were involved in giving ‘reconnaissance’ tours to groups 1/5.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Not sure how much faith to put in these Twitter feeds, but there is also this:
      **https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ErrsuJBWMAAi944?format=jpg&name=large**

  20. Diogenes says:

    Why do a senate trial at this point? Seriously, just have him charged like any criminal when he leaves office.

    • bmaz says:

      Because convicting Trump beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case is beyond a crapshoot, it will be improbable, if not near impossible. And impeachment has different penalties.

      • BobCon says:

        I would say the odds are dicey on this particular issue.

        They’re dicey on a lot of other issues too, and I think the peril for him lies in having so many low risk problems that one or several of them will catch up to him. But we don’t know which ones yet.

    • Rayne says:

      There will likely be charges. The point of the trial is at least two-fold — to remove him from power if there’s any chance of doing so in what remains of his term, and to reduce the possibility he’ll be a viable candidate in 2024.

      And then there’s the message to history that an executive should and will be punished by its co-equal branch of office for one of the worst possible betrayals of their oath of office.

  21. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Hoping not to seem petty with this quibble, but it feeds my fear that we as a culture are not up to facing our challenges realistically. So, members of Congress will be fined $5,000 if they don’t pass through the metal detectors. Presumably, the goal is to prevent someone from killing and maiming on the House floor. Do we imagine such a person thinking, “I was going to shoot up Congress today but that $5,000 fine is too rich for my blood?” Alternative approach: Empower the Capitol police to use whatever force is necessary to prevent anyone from bypassing a thorough screening. This is the approach that would be taken were the members not so accustomed to thinking everything is symbolic and some kind of game. Hey people, this is real life!

    • pdaly says:

      I agree. If that is the entirety of the rule, that does not protect lives from a determined gun carrier.

      Is the new rule incompletely telegraphed? For example, this would make me feel better:

      ‘Failure to go through the metal detector will trigger the $5K fine AND you will be blocked from walking additional steps into the building until you go back in line and go through the metal detector.’

      But I haven’t heard anything like the above from the media if that is indeed the case.

        • P J Evans says:

          I saw a tweet yesterday, I think, where they were wondering if it would be possible to have voting cards activated only by going through the metal detector. No pass through the detector, no vote!

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            Yeah, but even less of a deterrent. Would-be assailant would be contemplating more firm ways than a vote to get his way. Do we relish the consolation prize that he didn’t get to vote AND shoot up the gallery, only the latter?

            • P J Evans says:

              They don’t allow guns in the chambers, because they’ve had gunmen in the past. (PR radicals, back in the 50s. They didn’t kill anyone, but…)

              • skua says:

                There was also Congressman Laurence Keitt holding others back with his gun while Senator Sumner was being bashed senseless, with consequent brain damage, by Representative Preston Brooks in 1856/05/02. Intra-Congress gun violence and thuggery has a history.

    • puzzled scottish person says:

      Difficult to know how to react when your workmates won’t follow COVID-18 safety guidelines? I struggle with that one. I live in a part of the world where, up until now, we have had a low-incidence for SARS-CoV-2 but I am still a bit gobsmacked about how blase some of my colleagues are about this.

      I have been trying to balance the low risk of infection here against the risk of having to go to work every day (I am a key worker albeit a relatively low risk one).and the more recent risk of new, more infectious, variants.

      I used to work in a lab so I am naturally inclined to A) observe SOPs and risk procedures, and B) wear a mask. Some of my colleagues, on the other hand, still seem to have trouble getting to grips with this stuff. Not that they are Trump fans, they just don’t seem to think/grasp that there is a risk to them or others.

      Scares the crap out of me some days, mind, and I have said as much. The risk is going up; I hope my colleagues’ behaviour improves accordingly.

      As to your specific problem, I imagine The Donald would call on his security or the ‘second amendment people’ to be ‘very tough’ (or something) towards anyone passing through a metal detector without stopping if he was anywhere in the vicinity. (He has been very keen on executing people while he has the chance.) I definitely think the Dems should be tougher in the future. None of this ‘it will be divisive’ bollocks: Trump and the GOP spent four years pitting American against American and weren’t held to account for their behaviour. That’s the problem.

      Bar reps or senators from the floor if they won’t obey the rules. Play hardball. Treat them like McConnell has treated the Democrats. Follow every written rule but use the spaces to beat them, just like the Turtle. I had a flatmate years ago who I played D&D with and he was a ‘rule-raper’, ie, if it wasn’t written down, he would do it. That’s the McConnell way.

      Trump needs to be held ot account. I understand the desire to ‘look forward’ but you have to prosecute this guy. If not the Federal Gubmint, then the states. And throw the book at him. Full extent of the law. Otherwise this shit goes on and on and on and on and on.

      I wish you guys luck for 2021, we’re all going to need it :-)

    • vvv says:

      Rather than a step to prevent an actual purposeful shooter (member of Congress though they might be), it is an attempt to prevent the political RWNJ-posturing that takes a step toward normalizing the idea of guns everywhere as equating “liberty” and “freedom”.

  22. Rugger9 says:

    For Diogenes: A Senate conviction and removal also bars DJT from further federal office.

    It would be a good idea for Congress to limit the federal district gerrymandering by passing the law that would impose an area to boundary length limit on House districts for states with more than one representative. I’m sure 538 or one of the other political wonks can provide the data needed to provide a minimum ratio for such a threshold. I would think such a law would be essentially bulletproof from SCOTUS shenanigans as long as it is referring to federal districts.

    At least it would limit options on the GOP House takeover.

    • bmaz says:

      Note that the bar from further federal office upon conviction “can” be an element of conviction, but it is optional.

  23. PeterS says:

    Can’t we hope there’s a chance that more than a handful of GOP senators will vote to convict Trump, and then ban him from further office. In the coming weeks they can get used to the idea of a future without Trump, when his powers of intimidation have waned.

    They’ll think long and hard about those two losses in Georgia. And as the awfulness of 6 January becomes even more into focus they can pretend to discover some principles.

    Occasionally I get spasms of optimism…

    • mass interest says:

      Well, McConnell seems to be looking forward to getting rid of Trump, so perhaps he’ll be whispering in the ears of his Repub Senators about this. Maybe we’ll see some votes to convict from these cretins.

  24. OldTulsaDude says:

    It occurs to me that before any reconciliation can occur the cult of Trump must be genuinely deprogrammed. Until that happens, The Big Lie is their truth.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      According to the psychologist’s recent analysis in Scientific America, Trump is delusional and this somehow is what entrains his followers to be delusional, it’s a feature of narcissism. Don’t bother trying to talk people out of delusions–remove the stimulus and wait for the delusion to pass, so say he and others.

  25. Fran of the North says:

    What might we learn from the concept of failing upwards with respect to the grifting behavior of Donald John Trump? He’s been able to extricate himself from the piles of scat over and over because he’s been able to make the next bigger con.

    The challenge now is that there aren’t many places to go up from when you are the ex-president. Dubya lives quietly and paints. Jimmy threw himself into charity.

    Who does a con man con when everybody knows the game?

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I’m thinking he could take up making license plates in one of those state sponsored camps where you wear an orange jumpsuit.

    • skua says:

      Be semi-martyred but be taken bodily to heaven instead and become the intercessionary saint for his base, the dangerously deluded, neoliberals, libertarians and the fascistic.

  26. ThoughtMail says:

    Moments ago Jake Tapper on CNN:

    Mitch is “genuinely undecided”.

    English translation: Mitch has DECIDED to be a cowherd. Furthermore, he’s decided that insurrection might not be a bad thing.

    Infuriating.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL No. He’s decided, he’s simply testing the winds to see which way they blow and if someone will yet offer him enough to vote one way or another. He’s never been undecided about anything, never backed off his personal agenda.

      • ThoughtMail says:

        Well, sure. What you’ve said about him is a distinction without a difference. “Genuine” has never been a word that I would use to characterize anything about him (which is essentially what you just said). “Smarmy” is more apt.

        But that’s also what you’ve just said, and is a recurring theme on EW.

        • Rayne says:

          Need some artwork for that, could use it on the front page when the next stiff breeze blows him into a “haven’t decided” position.

      • blueedredcounty says:

        THIS is truth! Think of him as like a Geiger counter, but tuned to whatever passes for signals for the same on the political spectrum. He is inherently more sensitive and attuned than any device or substance otherwise discovered for what benefits himself the most.

  27. Jenny says:

    Jeremy Lee Quinn on Twitter: 12:36 PM · Jan 13, 2021
    This is the clip that’s been ripped from my lifestream… I’m ripping it back. It was a kind of autonomous organizing in that it wasn’t well organized. It felt improvised & chaotic more than anything. No indication these people knew each other but were coordinating in the moment.
    https://twitter.com/JLeeQuinn/status/1349410097831829506
    And
    12:15 AM · Jan 14, 2021
    “Are you press? You want the story of your life?”
    The guy I call Fogerty, for later riffing on Fortunate Son, invites me over.
    He takes the megaphone, “I’m going into Capitol Hill by myself. Who wants to back me the fuck up?”
    https://twitter.com/JLeeQuinn/status/1349585893401776128

  28. John Langston says:

    So if Trump were found guilty in a court of law for criminal insurrection, could he also be guilty of felony murder?

  29. Molly Pitcher says:

    James Comey on MSNBC with Nicole Wallace just now :”a counterintelligence investigation of Trump and the Russians was never done”. In answer to Wallace’s question about why, he referred her to Rod Rosenstein.

        • pdaly says:

          Yes. Comey caveated his reply by saying it’s an assumption of his based on what’s been publicly reported.
          I wondered if that leaves open the possibility, as emptywheel has been reminding us, that a counterintelligence investigation could still be active somewhere in the DOJ.

  30. pdaly says:

    If the Democratically controlled Senate is the one to take up the Impeachment II trial, then can all the information erstwhile Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R) refused to be admitted in the Impeachment I trial be brought in this time?

  31. tinao says:

    Great article Jenny, thanks. I think we are at a watershed moment in history. The only thing good trump actually did was rip the scab off of white supremacy and with klyyn’s articles the intersection of religious theocracies. It’s time for Congress to find it’s spine and do the deep dive. Wounds don’t heal unless you get to the root of the infection. They either move into the bloodstream and kill you, or they move to multiple other spots and erupt.

  32. tinao says:

    And hey, for a bit of Friday fun, guess who’s coming to my favorite teevee show? For you trekkies out there, William Shatner on Ancient Aliens! : – )

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