Donnie The Wimp And His Impeachment Coffin

There was a pretty astounding report by CNN early this morning depicting the, and I am being kind here, disarray in Trump’s impeachment defense. The gist is this:

Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, who were expected to be two of the lead attorneys, are no longer on the team. A source familiar with the changes said it was a mutual decision for both to leave the legal team. As the lead attorney, Bowers assembled the team.
Josh Howard, a North Carolina attorney who was recently added to the team, has also left, according to another source familiar with the changes. Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, from South Carolina, are no longer involved with the case, either.

No other attorneys have announced they are working on Trump’s impeachment defense.

A person familiar with the departures told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he’s left office. Trump was not receptive to the discussions about how they should proceed in that regard.

That sounds ominous!

But here is the part that even more stuck out to me:

“As the lead attorney, Bowers assembled the team.”

and, most notably,

“The attorneys had not yet been paid any advance fees and a letter of intent was never signed.”

Lol, for the uninitiated, that means Trump never paid a dime as to a retainer, and never signed a fee agreement. That not only is inappropriate, in most jurisdictions it is, in and of itself, unethical. Even when the lawyer is agreeing to do work pro bono, there is a retainer agreement. Always, because real lawyers don’t blithely hang their asses out on the line without specified parameters. That is just how it is.

As I said on Twitter:

A rather large discussion ensued. Go look if you so desire, but I will stand by that for now. No, I do not really know, but it almost makes sense.

Trump is not cash rich. Expending collected campaign funds to perpetrate a fraudulent defense might be a dicey proposition. And no competent attorneys are lining up to pitch that. Trump may literally be down to Rudy and Jenna Ellis. Dershowitz and Jon Turley are squirrely as shit, but even they may not be that stupid.

So, where art thou go Donald?

242 replies
  1. Al Phobett says:

    Turley loves the spot light, but obviously has zero interest in actually doing work to advance his screwball interpretations of law beyond writing for The Hill or going on TV. He did enjoy being the “expert” before Congress that one time, but that was more akin to being a guest on TV than an advocate for a client.

    • chicago_bunny says:

      Turley is a professor, not a lawyer. Playing expert is something he can do; leading a defense is not.

      • bmaz says:

        Sadly, Turley is really a lawyer. The only case I am aware of that he actively litigated was on behalf of the so called “sister-wives” polygamous sect in Utah.

        Turley is also best friends with Bill Barr. Which may not surprise anybody.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          The GWU mafia. Second-rate law school, and pretty much second-rate every other school. As former GWU President Steve Trachtenberg came to regret boasting years ago, the school is basically a real estate development company that does a little education on the side. Totally enmeshed with local government, which does its bidding for campaign cash and astro-turfing help as it has destroyed/subsumed the former residential neighborhood and turned it into a “campus.”

        • hollywood says:

          Turley worked the Clinton impeachment. Turley worked the first Trump impeachment defense. Turley is a shill for Turley and his far right site res ipsa loquitur. Meanwhile he has convinced somebody to underwrite his “chair” at GWU while he spouts his libertarian nonsense while pretending to be liberal. He now continues to shill for Trump claiming the impeachment is unconstitutional. Turley knows some law but he lies repeatedly. Why? Because some right wingers seem to endow his “chair” and his readers love him. Meanwhile he variously claims to be an expert on tort law, criminal law, public interest law, constitutional law. All of that is his big lie.

  2. CHETAN R MURTHY says:

    The smart move for him would be to “make his impeachment case to the American People”. AKA Go stage some really mega-size rallies in Red States, get his base really riled-up, scare the Bejesus outta those GrOPer Senators. Kinda surprised he isn’t doin’ it.

    • Norskeflamthrower says:

      “The smart move would be to ‘make his impeachment case to the American people’, AKA. Go stage some really mega-size rallies in Red States, get his base really riled-up, scare the Bejesus outta those GrOPer Senators.” What makes you think that’s not what he’s gunna do and if he does do it , as I think he will, does that remain in your mind a “smart move”? I think it’s a Kamikaze action that may very well take the government down.

        • Hika says:

          Impeachment 2.0 should not be a one day event. It should take weeks to flesh out details of all the sketchy crapola Trump and his lieutenants were brewing up for Jan.6 and should include ongoing efforts to emphasize why it can’t be a case of walk on by. He’s still working the Big Lie and so are members of Congress. A quick trial allows everyone to hold to their original positions without deep questioning of their appreciation of the evidence. Make it take time and then pin the R’s down on details that cannot be denied. Doing so will make it extra costly to them to hold loyal to Trump. And by costly, I mean it will lose them votes and put their jobs in peril. They have to know that holding on to Trump loses them general elections even as splitting from Trump will lose them primaries.

          • FL Resister says:

            Agree, and make it compelling. It is well past time to turn the screws on the Republicans. Expose them. Be relentless. We’re at a turning point.

            There’s plenty of video and audio to build a case. Include Trump’s ‘if I don’t win, then the election is fraudulent’ statement made before the election when Trump was clearly down in the polls. Document Trump’s words and show how he created The Big Lie and perpetuated the false narrative that he really won, rather than really did lose, the election.

            Use the production team that brought us the Democratic National Convention. They seem to understand how to present something that can resonate with a lot of people.

        • BraveNewWorld says:

          True. But he does have a government detail to protect him. Add say 10 rich buddies with black limos and some mini American flags and you cam make an entrance to an arena or lawn care shop look like a full on presidential motorcade. Then again maybe he has his plane painted to look like AF1.

          As for money, I just can’t imagine that there aren’t enough MAGA bots to pay his fees. More likely the Lawyers didn’t like what they saw around his fundraising for it or weren’t willing to argue what what the former terrorist in chief wanted them to argue.

          • harpie says:

            He’s evidently had a seal made [ie: to place on his car…or wherever] that looks official and says
            Office of the Former President.

            Also, in press releases from his office, instead of saying “Former President” [Name], as everyone else does, his office writes:
            The 45th President of the United States.

  3. Rapier says:

    He’s got 70 million Americans behind him. He doesn’t need any stinking lawyers. Not to put too fine a point on it.

    • Wajim says:

      Well, his vote was, what, just under 74 mil? Biden hit about 81 mil. There are far more of us than them, as I argue that’s Cheeto’s ceiling and Biden’s floor. And that is both the GOP and Trump’s acute and chronic problem, and the reason for Q and “the Storm”®, et al, (Loud Boysƒ, Oaf Keepers†), and so on. If they had a viable, long-term majority there would be no need for insurrections, MTG, and their ilk.

          • ducktree says:

            My sense is that among those 70 mil “voters” for Trump are many that are already well armed, with short fuses and short on senses of reason.

            Among the 81 mil not so much. . ?

              • Greg Hunter says:

                The idea that D’s do not have guns is ludicrous. There are plenty and most of them seem to have far better minds and be in far better shape than the shoot from the UTV crowd.

                I keep hoping they come to their senses, but we shall see. Prosecutions have to happen. No mulligans for insurrection.

                • cavenewt says:

                  Right. Lots of liberals have guns, especially out here in the west, but don’t feel the need to parade them around, so much.

                  Shucks, I have a black powder gun. So I’m good for one shot if the zombies come around.

                  • Raven Eye says:

                    LOL — I worked for a guy who was (1) a dead shot with almost anything, and (2) would make beautiful black powder rifles starting with a barrel and hunk of walnut or maple.

                    His strategy (as stated to me) was to hide in the bushes, wait for one of those dorks, fire one shot, and steal his “black gun”, ammo, and as much of his supplies as he could carry away.

                    • madwand says:

                      Back in the day, Huey drivers were issued a 38 as their personal weapon. During training the instructor explained, if you got shot down, hide in the bushes and ambush a Viet Cong. Take his AK and ammo, and your chances of survival have increased 100%.

                • Robin Harper says:

                  Forgive me for jumping in here…I don’t often post here as I’m certainly not as well informed as those who do post…(I come here to learn!)

                  “The idea that D’s do not have guns is ludicrous.”

                  I agree, totally. My son is a member of a shooting club. These are mostly moderate to left leaning to absolutely Progressive folks. One thing I learned about them is to NEVER strike up a conversation about shooting. They will regale you with unlimited information about distance, proper barrel ‘rifling’, the best way to adjust for wind speeds and directions, which weapon is best for which competition. It’s not just a ‘gun’. For them, it’s a tool used to challenge themselves to do better than their colleagues…better in distance and accuracy. It’s a competition of not just hitting a target, but doing so ‘better’ than others. The awards these people earn is a true source of pride for them, and it’s about the knowledge they have of their weapons that is the most important to them.

                  I think about these folks (and this is just one small group, but somehow I believe it’s true of all legitimate shooting clubs), and then the ‘good ol’ boys’ who shoot at beer cans in the back yard, and succeed in little more than blowing the hell out of the fence, the neighbor’s garage wall and scaring the hell out of the local wildlife. Between the two groups, I know which one would ‘win’ at any sort of confrontation. (Although the type of confrontation the good ol’ boy terrorists envision won’t have any real winners sadly, just far too many losers.)

                  Liberals/Democrats not only own guns, but I believe they are better educated about their weapons, and are better at aiming and hitting a target.

                  (Just my observation/opinion. I apoligize if this comment is in any way unacceptable.)

            • BroD says:

              Guns? Who needs guns? At the rate they’re sharing Covid amongst themselves, we don’t need no stinkin’ guns.

      • Wajim says:

        Oh, lord, please, please, please make Donny take Bannon’s advice and defend himself in a Senate chamber appearance. To quote Keenan Wynn’s “Winter Warlock” in “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” (after he’s turned a new icicle), “Oh, please, one last time, just a little magic?” I assume he’s now praying to his better angels. Don’t ever think Don’s icy heart will melt like that

      • person1597 says:

        “Forces of evil in a bozo nightmare
        Ban all the music with a phony gas chamber

        ‘Cause one’s got a weasel and the other’s got a flag
        One’s on the pole, shove the other in a bag”

  4. der says:

    I’m leaning toward Trump running a con on his followers to crowd fund his legal bills, “hiring” Sidney Powell and Ellis to throw shit at the wall leaving his Senate enablers to explain it all as a 21st century one-off or a once every 200 year intrusion and a big strategy fail by the Democrats so move on, “get over it!”

  5. harpie says:

    It seems from what I’ve read so far,

    Trump is not even denying the alleged conduct:
    Incitement of Insurrection

    According to Trump: #DonaldTrumpdidnothingwrong.

        • Hika says:

          And that’s why the Senate trial needs to take more than a couple of days. It needs to take as long as possible (weeks) so the details of what was done get some coverage, not just the end votes. Get undeniable details into the public mind and then pin R’s down on those details so when they decide to ignore all the evidence, it is electoral poison to them. They fear the Trumpy base coming at them in primaries if they split from Trump. The trial needs to put as many R’s as possible in the position of losing their next election if they stay loyal to Trump.

          • Fran of the North says:

            Lindsey Graham is making noises about how no witnesses should be called – because it will only lengthen the process and prevent the healing for the country.

            Not to mention present the criminal acts performed on behalf of the impeached one.

            Every fact that is brought out, every witness that testifies makes it harder for votes to acquit.

  6. rip says:

    Aren’t those fine beltway/K-Street lawyers Digenova and Toensing available? I know they feel as zealously about the theft of the election as Lin Wood – and probably just as (??)competent.

  7. BobCon says:

    “That not only is inappropriate, in most jurisdictions it is, in and of itself, unethical.”

    What are the underlying reasons? Is it simply because it puts the firm at risk, or is there a concern about potential damage to the client’s needs too? Are there concerns about what might happen to a legal proceding if there is no agreement?

    • bmaz says:

      Most states’ ethical rules and bar associations require a fee agreement. For both parties’ interests.

      • cavenewt says:

        Are you saying that these lawyers who just quit have *already* acted unethically?

        Just a question from a legally unsophisticated citizen.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, no, not at all. Things happen fast sometimes. But there are basics you have to cover as soon as you can. Not doing so would be a real problem.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              A fee agreement defines the scope of work to be performed, the time frame involved, and the charges for the work or each type of work. No competent lawyer would work for Trump without one.

              Among the reasons for that are that Trump never follows advice; he relishes breaking his promises; he constantly speaks out publicly, wreaking havoc with establishing fact patterns and pursuing a legal strategy; he never pays up front; and never pays the agreed amount. His likely liabilities by now exceed liquid assets and probable income, making most debts against him uncollectable.

              Trump also constantly redefines the work to be performed. He wants done whatever he wants done in the moment, regardless of agreed parameters. And he doesn’t want to pay extra for changing those parameters.

              Moreover, there’s no upside anymore to working for Trump and considerable down side. It’s acid rain falling on your reputation, and the arrangement works out, in effect, to the lawyer paying Trump. And most of what Trump wants is ethically suspect or criminal.

              Any lawyer who works for him now is probably broke, incompetent, one step away from being disbarred, or as ethically damaged and exposed as Trump. So, yea, these Trump lawyers quit and he’ll have a hard time finding new ones just when his legal jeopardy is greatest. But then, Trump hasn’t a clue about strategery.

              • duckree says:

                Worse than acid rain . . . Agent Orange, a concentrated carcinogen.

                Intended to destroy everything it contacts.

              • vvv says:

                FWIW, in IL a fee agreement is required on contingency fee and retainer cases, else one violates the Canons of Ethics. As bmaz said, sometimes things get moving fast, which is a no harm-no foul (unlikely to even be disclosed) as long as the contract is signed before there are any issues relating to representation.

                What issues? An attorney-client contract deals with the scope of representation which should address the expectations of the client, as earlofhuntington discusses, and the extent of both power and responsibility in the representation by the lawyer. The public policy behind the contract is to clarify those issues and prevent abuse of the relationship by either the client or the attorney – mostly the latter through delineating the attorney’s responsibilities.

                Penalty to the attorney, besides the regulatory (a no harm-no foul is still a violation if it comes to light in a dispute and could result in penalty toward the licensure to practice), is that in a contingency suit the percentage is waived and only *quantum meruit* (and costs) is likely available, which is ruled on by the court, and often in an amount far less than sought.

                In retainer cases the retainer may be returned without any deduction for the attorney, hourly billings denied, etc. The attorney usually gets costs expended back.

                The consequence to the client, as bmaz said, is that the attorney is not fully contractually and even ethically bound, and can disengage with greater ease.

                (Yeah, I litigate this stuff pretty often.)

              • Chris.EL says:

                Saw this on Lawrence O’Donnell Twitter — bet these attorneys will also be working on the sexually-related and defamation litigation!

                Mary Trump’s case too — Trump may actually be more worried about those cases — Roberta Kaplan seems to be a very good lawyer!
                From Twitter:
                “Lawrence O’Donnell Retweeted
                “Michael M. Grynbaum
                “One of Trump’s new impeachment lawyers met with Jeffrey Epstein in prison and told Fox he didn’t believe he killed himself.

                The other declined to prosecute Bill Cosby in 2005 for sexual assault, citing insufficient evidence.” …

      • Ed Walker says:

        No. The attorney-client privilege attaches to all discussions about the case made in connection with seeking representation.

        • vvv says:

          “all discussions about the case made in connection with seeking representation” – that’s the fun stuff!

          I’ve mentioned before, there is case law in my state that the time and place of the initial meeting is not protected. Insurance -paid defense, for example, likes to argue an early meeting somehow implies exaggeration of facts and injury, manufactured evidence, constructed testimony, even possible conspiracy, etc.

          I mention this because such issues might – just might – arise regarding say, the retention of a “personal lawyer” or three or more.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Imputing malintent rather than proving it is typical insurance company tilting of the playing field. If preparation were evidence of malintent, insurance companies would never win a case – or a mandatory arbitration. Insurance companies prefer that plaintiffs not be as organized, planful, and aggressive as they are.

  8. joel fisher says:

    He’s going to do what Clinton should have done in the Paula Jones lawsuit: default. Only this time the trier of fact is at least 45% pieces of shit, and he will prevail. Fun times watching the videos and watching the scum rise to the surface. GOP sociopaths won’t be squirming, though.
    Trump’s situation reminds me of the story about Clark Clifford.

    Client to Clifford: “What do I do about this situation?”
    Clifford to client: “Nothing.”
    Clifford to client: “$5,000, please.”
    Client to Clifford: “Why?”
    Clifford to client: “Because I said so.”
    Clifford to client: “”10,000, please.”
    Perhaps apocryphal, but it does underline the important legal strategy of doing nothing. It might be his good fortune to not have a lawyer just now.

  9. Raven Eye says:

    So Sidney and Rudy aren’t driving down I-95 at this very moment to offer their expertise?

    (That rental car will keep the expenses down and there is Super-8 about 9 miles away.)

    • timbo says:

      Lol. Rudy has already said he’s a witness and therefore cannot serve as counsel. And even if he could, he might be arrested for incitement of insurrection at any moment. He’s not the most reliable egg to have in the basket at the moment.

    • Eureka says:

      No, they stayed back upon receiving urgent messages through the teevee that The Storm Is Coming; The Storm is HERE!

      #nor’easter joke

  10. cavenewt says:

    If Trump has no lawyer and does nothing and doesn’t even show up, can the impeachment managers still present evidence and stuff?

    Otherwise, people who have been investing in popcorn futures will be very disappointed.

    More seriously, seems it would be important to get that evidence in the historical record.

    • P J Evans says:

      Yes. That’s what happened the first time around. Remember, it isn’t a criminal trial, so the rules aren’t really the same.

      • BobCon says:

        I am curious how time will be allocated assuming he doesn’t show — do the House managers and Democratic Senators get to use it, does it get split with the GOP, or does it simply mean the proceedings are over sooner.

  11. Valley girl says:

    What happens at the Senate trial if Trump has no lawyers to defend him? Would it be the Senate Rs speaking on his behalf?

    Gee, maybe Pam Bondi will step up…

  12. Phil says:

    Question: I’m not sure the analogy holds, but if the impeachment was taking place in civil court and the defendant failed to mount a defense, that would set him up for a default judgment being entered wouldn’t it? You’d never get to take the case to a jury. So by extension, does Trump face any sort of similar risk by failing to mount a defense to these impeachment charges?

      • Stacey says:

        In that case, check the impeachment trial box as soon as possibly and move this circus into a venue where the jury is not his captive political prisoners and then he will have no attorney’s willing to present his case and a default would be a meaningful outcome, would it not?

        Nothing like watching your opponent’s pre-game practice to see what his moves are, huh?

      • Desider says:

        And will perjury matter under oath if he takes the stand, or is it another asterisk exception for The Don?

        • timbo says:

          Lying to Congress during a trial on incitement to insurrection is very likely to be prosecuted one would think… but then it is the 2020DP leadership we’re talking about here so who knows?

    • vvv says:

      “You’d never get to take the case to a jury.”

      In a civil case, after default you would prove up the damages before a jury, assuming one was properly demanded. In a criminal case, there could, I believe, be trial before a jury *in absentia*, again if a jury was properly demanded.

      I would think in this instance the finders of fact – the Senate – would need the evidence presented to convict.

      Remember, the analogy of the approval of the article of impeachment is that it’s similar to an indictment, with the House serving as the grand jury.

      If my analogizing is correct – I admit I am guessing – the “default”, however far it goes, would not necessarily be enough for the Senate to rule on the issue of barring future candidacy. As well, I think there’s an issue re his pension, etc.

  13. Epicurus says:

    Why does Trump need anyone to defend him? It’s innocent until proven guilty to the jury. Trump knows that rule and the jury. The jury is 100 Senators and they need 67 for conviction. 45 Republican Senators just voted the process unconstitutional so they could have an exit ramp without addressing the real issue and give a trump card to the Trump voters. Trump can count as well as anyone. His coin of the realm in this situation is votes, not cash. And he doesn’t care about ethics. Putin could be his lawyer and it wouldn’t make any difference. He’s walking away politically undamaged.

    • bmaz says:

      No, it very much is NOT “innocent until proven guilty”. This is not even a “preponderance of the evidence” normal civil case, much less an “innocent until guilty” beyond a reasonable doubt case. This is a political case, and Trump has already been “impeached’, it is simply a question of what political will lies ahead.

      And, why defend dadioc1? To make a record, if you have one to make. That’s why.

      • Epicurus says:

        I disagree. Impeachment is a three step process at the federal level: Congress investigates, The House impeaches (meaning it has formally alleged an “impeachable” offense), and the Senate tries the allegation. Senators take an oath – “I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of , now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.” In the argument against my belief in another thread you made it clear you believe we are a nation of laws, not of political parties as I had argued, and that my beleif was garbage. So here we are now with an oath in front of us the Senators take to do their duty as jurists. Why is it now a matter of political will per your stance above? Are the Constitution and the impeachment process not matters of law?

        • cavenewt says:

          You lawyers can argue about the law stuff, but the idea of senators taking their oath seriously is, these days, chortle material.

    • timbo says:

      Uh, being impeached is damaging. Further, the Congress can now compel direct testimony and might go so far as to impeach Supreme Court justices as well if they decide to come down on the side of sedition and insurrection if the Supreme Court does not tow the line on compelled testimony.

      • Epicurus says:

        Timbo, Congress is going to impeach Supreme Court Justices and compel direct testimony!?! My grandchildren would say “Oh Da!”. I would say more succinctly the chances are slim and none and Slim just walked out the door. People need to realize one thing, get on with life, and stop being fixated. Forget Trump! Trump is a con man. He won his Presidential cons. Just don’t fall for it again. Move forward with Biden’s, Pelosi’s, and Schumer’s best elements and do the right thing.

        • cavenewt says:

          Move forward? Yes! but forget Trump? I must protest. I’m not a lawyer, just a regular citizen. But I have raised a child and several cats, and I know that if you let them get away with something, they (or the other cats) will do it again.

        • timbo says:

          I agree that expecting the gang that can’t impeach straight to get us out of the current mess isn’t necessary a thing to count on. However, it is a possibility, especially if the Supreme Court starts making up imaginary Constitutional rules while the Congress is trying to investigate incitement of insurrection.

        • Min says:

          @ Epicurus

          You know that Trump is a con man, I know that Trump is a con man, Scott Adams, who is, or was, a Trump cheerleader, always knew and said that Trump is a con man. But millions of people in the US do not know that he is a con man, and prominent politicians are complicit in the con. Nor are those millions and those politicians willing to move on and forget Trump. Would that they were.

          So how do we break the spell and convince those millions that they have been conned? So that they can move on, and remember Trump ruefully, if at all. Right now the best way is to garner enough votes in the Senate to convict Trump. Or, failing that, present a strong case to the Senate and the public that has a chance of debunking Trump’s con, sooner or later.

          • cavenewt says:

            The Trump faithful are just that: faithful. It’s a religion, a cult. Many have woven Trump into their religious faith. They are impervious to facts. You have only to cruise through a little bit of right-wing nutjob social media to confirm this. Convicting Trump might not make any difference.

            Personally I think the only way to turn some of them around is for the new government to improve their lives—covid relief, economic turnaround, and the like.

            The rest? Attrition maybe. But it’s late, and I’m feeling cynical.

          • Epicurus says:

            Min, only time breaks the spell. I changed and think convicting Trump on impeachment makes him a martyr and a cause to many, many people. It would condition his conned group to support him even more strongly. Right now he doesn’t have his greatest force and power, i.e. access to the conned to continue the con through twitter and facebook. Don’t give him another public platform with an impeachment conviction and rub salt into the wounds of those that voted for Trump. Forget Trump and focus on the here and now. Focus on life. Let other state courts and venues do their job and take him to task legally and die a slow public death in the legal bureaucracy.

            • Min says:

              @ Epicurus

              Only time breaks the spell?

              Would that were so.

              If time were enough to break the spell, Emmett Till would not have been killed, nor would there have been a long line of lynchings up to then, as well as other murders and White race riots. We would not have had Governor Wallace drumming up racism in the North, nor, I may add, would Donald Trump have been elected President in the first place, as Wallace’s successful appeal to Northern racism laid the groundwork for the Republican Southern strategy, which paved the way for Trump. Candidate Trump made no bones about his racism, his misogyny, or anything else, except for obvious denials.

              I have little hope that Trump will be convicted by the Senate. However, in the future people will be able to see a record of the strong case against him. Sweeping the facts under the rug is not helpful.

            • Min says:

              Even a conviction by the Senate would not make Trump a martyr. It’s not even as bad as banishment.

              And even supposing that Trump did become a martyr, a martyr to what? To the cult of Trump. Trump has never stood for anything but himself.

              • Epicurus says:

                Min, I thought you were asking me about breaking the Trump con man spell. I honestly did not understand you were talking about the racism spell. For that I would have no answers.

                Anyone for whom history has meaning can see Trump’s effect. He has been impeached, so nothing has been swept under the rug. The impeachment is the historical record of the strong case against him. I believe for the most part Senators vote their personal and party agendas first. So House Republicans impeached Clinton and now House Dems have twice impeached Trump. But neither was or will be convicted, I believe, for several reasons having to do with Senator personal/party agendas, party loyalty, and fear of what it means for their re-election.

                Trump would become a martyr to people who have been conned into believing he represents their voice in government. That is different from racism although elements of that exist. He would become a martyr because they would think the Democrats are taking away that voice. It isn’t a cult. As with all of us, you have many neighbors and co-workers who believe society’s best interests are not being best-served by Democrats (as many think the same of Republicans). This nation has never figured out a resolution for that situation. It is one reason why the Constitution was created, a template for how to approach creating a more perfect union (of “diametrically opposed foes”). We choose not to put our hopes and dreams first in that template however, but rather first in political parties that exclude broad swaths of the population in their agendas. It reminds me of a Frank Gorshin Star Trek episode where Gorshin is from a planet where individuals are born with one side of their face white and the other side black. For half the population black is on the right side of the face and white is on the left side. For the other half of the population the pigmentation/lack therof is reversed. For centuries they have been in civil war over domination by one side or the other based on placement of the pigmentation. It’s pretty much where our political parties are. They only fight for their agendas and their interpretations of the “right/conservative” side or the “left/progressive” side.

                So I say move on from Trump and find a way to express to the population that everyone’s voice matters. We can only do that if political parties ultimately come second.

                • Min says:

                  @ Epicurus

                  Thank you for your thoughtful reply. :)

                  I was not talking about breaking the racism spell, although it underlies Trump’s con, and why so many people are vulnerable to it. Racism is part of the feeling of grievance that Trump is mining. But racism was a dramatic example of time alone not lifting a spell.

                  Yes, there are spells or myths that disappear over time. Who today believes that Britain was founded by Brutus? But there are also those that do not. There are still people who believe Kennedy was killed by a gunman on the grassy knoll. But nobody (I hope) still believes that the Maine was sunk as an act of war. Why not? Because of evidence. Time may allow people to be open to changing their minds, but unless you want to wait decades for the spell to be broken, you need evidence. Evidence does not change the minds of true believers in the short run, but time does not do so in the long run. You really need both.

                  Trump’s con is not over. It is still being perpetrated by him and by politicians and pundits. If we stand by and let that continue, the con could destroy our republic.

                  • Min says:

                    I am not claiming that all of Trump’s followers or those who voted for him are racists. But racist beliefs underlie much of the passion among those he has conned. Trump’s con relies upon conjuring up the threat of enemies within, and racist beliefs provide the answer as to who those enemies are.

                • timbo says:

                  Rather he was a martyred corrupt politician than one who was an example of how ineffective the law is against corruption. What people need to have better lives is less corrupt like Trump running things. That won’t happen until their are concrete consequences for his corrupt acts.

                  • Epicurus says:

                    Timbo, the “law” will always be ineffective against preventing corruption unless we move to the world of Philip Dick and pre-cogs in The Minority Report. At best we hope that the people elected and appointed to run things remain faithful to the institution’s purpose (usually an unrealistic hope the longer they are in the institution) and not put their own personal agendas first.

    • madwand says:

      Trump thrives off of commanding the news cycle, It doesn’t really matter whether it is positive or negative. After being kicked off of numerous social media platforms, he will be looking to have a media event in the impeachment trial. Look for it.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Agree with you, madwand. And I have little confidence in the media’s ability to resist playing right into his game, should he play it this way. OT, but seeing 60 Minutes again let itself get commandeered by Q/MAGA rhetoric last night (Bill Evanina’s incessant repetition of the phrase “Communist Party of China,” an unsubtle variant on the dog whistle “CCP,” when it was completely unnecessary to say anything more than “China” or “the Chinese government”) gave me that familiar, doomed feeling.

      • cavenewt says:

        Trump priorities:
        1. Attention
        2. Money
        Presenting his case at the impeachment trial, no matter how ludicrous it may turn out to be, will maintain that lucrative donation stream from his brainwashed supporters.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Absolutely, cavenewt. Until a few weeks ago, he was systematically transmogrifying the attention into dollars, monetizing the grievance as he stoked it. Since early January, however, I have stopped getting the relentless emails demanding fealty in the form of contributions. Addressed to “Friend” or “Patriot,” these typically asked for 45.00 and the fine print identified them as coming from the campaign, or entities supporting it. Their mailing list–among their most valuable possessions–must be languishing somewhere due to . . . lack of funds? Focus? I’m waiting for the resumption of The Big Ask, apparently (according to today’s reporting) still in service to The Big Lie.

          • madwand says:

            Yeah Ginevra, I haven’t received any since early January either. If it had my name on it I shredded it. Also shredded the questionnaires but was tempted more than once to write in the answers rather than select one of the answers they put on the sheet. Absolutely none of them ever applied to anything I thought.

          • Fran of the North says:

            Somebody here (apologies for not remembering) mentioned that during the Trump deplatforming, one of the services that pulled accounts was responsible for their fund raising emails. It might have been Salesforce, but don’t hold me to that.

            So they’ve been locked out of their neat, tidy and easy to execute mailing campaign platform. Although the mailing list data is probably scattered in other places, it will take time and money to reassemble and fire up.

  14. Hopeful says:

    Not so hopeful about the impeachment.

    But it needs to be done.

    What are the chances Trump, the reality show star, just uses the proceedings to stage his show “How the Election Was a Fraud”?

    He has probably made political calculations that the impeachment will not be successful, no matter what evidence is introduced. So why even try to fight it.

    Use the process as a platform.


    • timbo says:

      That appears to be exactly what he is going to do. Just like in the first impeachment hearings last year, he and his Twisslerings will cast the DP as the problem and not actually permit addressing the facts in the matter at hand itself. What’s different this time is that the Congress is going to compel testimony in all likelihood.

    • vvv says:

      Ellie Honig, CNN’s legal guy, said Leahy can shut down that line of defense based on the numerous prior court rulings.

      I would think that opinion is correct.

      • Vicks says:

        How could Trump could pull all that stolen election bullshit into the trial without it being clear he was explaining his motivation for committing the crime he is on trial for?

        • timbo says:

          Indeed. Seeking justification for a crime is not a good defense, particularly when there were many people killed as a result. “I didn’t kill them, you did because…!!” isn’t going to go over too well here.

  15. Eureka says:

    OMG Trump new legal team just announced to include Bruce L Castor, Jr — botched the Cosby case (at time of Constand’s rape), other issues (Bruce Godschalk case another famous one featured on national programs, where as DA he refused to allow DNA testing; Innocence Project finally prevailed). Wow.

    Also David Schoen.

    “Inbox: Trump announces new legal team [screenshot]”
    6:03 PM · Jan 31, 2021

    Bruce Godschalk Celebrates 17 Years of Freedom Today

    • P J Evans says:

      Lawyers who keep saying the impeachment is unconstitutional are lying. The impeachment is done, and it was done *while he was in office*. If they’re going to argue that the trial is unconstitutional – there are precedents against them. (I also don’t think that there’s a requirement that either one be before leaving office.)

        • ThoughtMail says:

          Essentially correct. But don’t be confused by the difference in a court’s treatment of “moot”, as opposed to “mute”. Furthermore, don’t be confused that this is a proceeding of a court of law, or justiciable. But this is a different sort of “court”, replete with courtiers and courtesans, some of whom have grabbed their ankles for so long, they don’t know what else to do.

    • Eureka says:

      (^ by “botched”, I mean the interests of justice — not that he is an unqualified attorney)

      And then later when the new DA brought the case against Cosby, Castor went to bat for Cosby [claiming that a verbal non-prosecution agreement had existed, which was disputed by the DA (Vetri Ferman) who had served in between the prosecuting one and Castor, who was also First ADA in Castor’s office during the relevant time period, and had been the one to revive the investigation –> charging before the clock tolled]; was sued by Constand for defamation (Castor sued her, too); complicated set of facts with years-long twists and turns … etc.

      So as in all things Trump there is some resonance in choices (there’s no way the national press will not bring this up; Cosby’s PR team will be in overdrive and all this stuff will get rehashed).

      But as to Trump and his “defense”, Castor is a real, qualified attorney.

      Why he is getting involved in this is another question.

      Sample, not time to find the articles I’d like:

      How Bruce Castor’s deal complicates the case against Bill Cosby – On top of Philly news

      Andrea Constand v. William H. Cosby, Jr.,_Jr.

      ^^^ this is for the civil suit, but links to other wikis incl Castor’s

    • Eureka says:

      Jennifer Jacobs: “Trump’s new impeachment lawyer David Schoen also represented Roger Stone in Stone’s sentencing and appeal.” [mid-thread]

      Gabe Fleisher: “Schoen met with Jeffrey Epstein in the last days of his life and agreed to lead Epstein’s legal team. (He has also advanced the theory that Epstein was murdered.) [link; QT of Jacobs – same thread as above]”

    • BobCon says:

      I’m curious how the rules will govern conduct during the trial and if Leahy will have the authority to rein in inappropriate behavior and irrelevant arguments.

      I assume the B Team’s marching orders are to turn this into a farce, but I am hoping that grandstanding can be shut down.

      • Hika says:

        Exactly. But Trump will be quite happy to see a shouting argument between his team and Leahy presiding. Anything that damages the process will be a win to Trump.
        If things go right of the rails, what sort of consequences are there for Trump’s advocates if they are in contempt of the Senate?

      • Min says:

        From what I have read, Leahy can make a ruling, and if another Senator objects, the Senate votes on the ruling. Don’t know if that is right, or if there are other niceties.

        • timbo says:

          They likely can table the issue if it is not seen as overarchingly germane to the matter at hand? Sometimes rulings are needed to proceed and other times they’re just needed for clarification. In the case where the proceeding cannot continue without resolving a ruling, those are the likely issues to be dealt with by the Senate directly if and when they arise.

  16. SaltinWound says:

    I’m surprised Dershowitz hasn’t signed on like he did for the first impeachment, splitting hairs, pretending to be above the fray: “I’m not defending Trump, I’m speaking to the constitutional issue of impeaching a former president…”

    • Chris.EL says:

      I used to have such respect for Dershowitz.

      Not anymore. Nope. Dershowitz is connected to Epstein as well. [this is me, scratching my head…]

      • Hika says:

        Dershowitz has denied any wrong-doing in his conduct with Epstein, but for all that, he acts like someone who was compromised and knows that Trump knows.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      As bmaz and others have noted, he already holds the world record for being impeached, twice, so Dershowitz has nothing to “argue” in that regard.

      • Chris.EL says:

        Way out here — in the Golden State — the odor of *Trump’s unmistakable panic* is wafting about.

        Currently, said odor is not tainted, befouled, or sullied by wildfire smoke or blooming cannabis — ahh, bliss.

        Farewell, massive con; “thy days are numbered”?

  17. Peter_Aussie says:

    It’s gonna be 45/55 done deal unless dots are joined – example – can the Miller letter be linked to a “tape” wherein Donnie ordered same – I’m guessing not although difficult to believe Miller destroyed his life without such backup – time is on Donnie’s side on this

    • Chris.EL says:

      Saw this on Twitter (one party tweeted to A., who tweeted to B. who tweeted to C.) OK ……

      It’s a “Memorandum for Secretary of the Army” from Acting __________ Christopher C. Miller (? forbidding D.C. National Guard from?) **clumsiest language EVER**:

      …”Without my subsequent, personal authorization, the DCNG is not authorized the following:”…×900

      … take a look — see if it makes any sense to you?!

      • madwand says:

        It would be great to find a link between Trump and Miller, but most likely took place in person in the week preceding. Neither will subscribe to any linkage now, but think about it logically, where did Miller get his memorandum items from, could only be from higher as we put it in the military, that means WH in this case. Since these orders, in effect, inhibit the responses by the DCNG in dealing with the insurrection, the only conclusion one can draw is that it was designed to delay and make any response ineffectual.

        On the other side Trump has been criticized for not having the military in his pocket when executing a coup. We can be thankful he didn’t and the Joint Chiefs issued their own memorandum of non-involvement of the military in politics. When the military is involved in a coup it goes faster as in Myanmar today. That’s as opposed to the US led coup in Iran in 1953 where the instigators arrived in country in May and the government was finally overthrown in August.

      • Vicks says:

        Before you formulate your opinion of these orders I think it’s important to consider the fact that we are not (yet) a country where leadership can call on an armed military to enforce our laws without very (very) careful consideration.
        Even under Trump’s wanna-be authoritarian displays, to the best of my knowledge the NG that eventually were allowed weapons were only those sent by pandering governors, and only allowed to use them as self defense, And only when guarding federal property.

  18. flounder says:

    Listen, the only lawyer who can possibly be as dishonest and unethical as Corona Don needs to be in his defense has to be, is someone who is near impervious to the law. The Speech and Debare Clause allows Senators the ability to say all sorts of crazy shit without fear of legal retribution. The Corona Don’s defense must be led by a Senator. Now “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz volunteered a month to represent Corona D at the Supreme Court in that batshit crazy case brought by Texas.
    Ted Cruz must be drafted to represent the Corona Don in the Impeachment Trial.

  19. Nehoa says:

    Thank you for the Stevie Ray Vaughn video. Saw him live at a theater in Philadelphia not too long before he died. Great, great player and performer. He is missed.

      • pablo says:

        I was very good friends with the guy who designed and made the guitar straps SRV used, and he called and said Stevie was at Carnegie Hall that night and he had backstage passes, wanna come. Declined, I was tired.

    • Lawnboy says:

      Re; SRV

      Late one night I saw him for the first time on our local tv station, Gobsmacked I was. “Who is this guy”? I am sure he was here at Dan Lanois Grant Ave Studio recording and we had the good fortune of a display of the talented new comer.

      And there’s this….ALBERT KING & STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN – CHCH Studios Hamilton Canada December 6th 1983 (1 LP)
      Format: LP Record.
      see Amazon for this LP.

      Keep up the great work DR. Wheeler and wheelies, and thanks bmaz for the wayback on vinyl.

      • MissingGeorgeCarlin says:

        I saw SRV on 4-20-88 at Sunrise Musical Theater (sort of W. Ft. Lauderdale) in FL. A blistering, soul grabbing barrage of sound was unleashed by the man. Oh how I miss live music….

        • bmaz says:

          I miss live music too. Last big show I saw was the Stones in August 2019. Probably no more big shows in my future unless Pink Floyd tours again. But I really do miss the small venue local stuff a lot. Phoenix/Tempe is a fantastic local music scene, and I’d kill to get it back.

    • dpa says:

      SRV was in a band in high school, the Blackbirds. We use to go to Dallas to hear them play. They had “this kid who was a phenomenal guitar player.” Then they upped and moved to Austin, too far to drive. They teach about him now in the music lit classes at the University. What a long strange trip it’s been.

      • Sambucus says:

        In the early 80’s I would get off a swing shift on Friday nights and watch a local video show in LA called “Goodnight LA”. They showed a video one night of this guy I had never heard of, the song was “Lovestruck Baby”. I thought he was the greatest guitar player I had ever heard, and I became a HUGE fan.

        Years later, he was playing the Greek Theater. I was going to go, but decided to catch him “next time”. And there was no “next time”.

        I regret that to this day.

  20. Stacey says:

    Marc Elias has a tweet stating “It appears that Trump’s new impeachment lawyer’s firm sued Trump and the US Postal Service.
    In their lawsuit, they noted that Trump has made “repeated claims” “that voting by mail is ripe with fraud despite having no evidence in support of those claims.”

    Anytime I’ve talked to a law office they do a check to see if they’ve ever had dealings with the person/entity I’m needing to have dealings against. How does it work out that the firm he’s just hired has matters before a court claiming exactly the opposite of what Trump is going to claim here? They can’t be telling the truth in both matters? How do they navigate that?

    • Rugger9 says:

      Are these lawyers known for being combative defense types or for being good at negotiating settlements. I see DJT trying the “settlement” route if he gets the idea a conviction is possible.

  21. Rugger9 says:

    Well, we also have the prior statement of DJT telling Rudy he wasn’t going to pay Giuliani for his “work” perambulating around ginning up election conspiracies. Something to continually remind the RWNJs about is that every one of the dozens of times that the campaign team was asked directly by the court whether fraud was alleged they said “no”, plus no alternative slates of electors were submitted from any of the states.

    However, true to form DJT allegedly demanded that the case allege that the election was “stolen” which these five lawyers wouldn’t do and they left probably also recalling how DJT treated Rudy. I think it was Preet Bharara who noted that DJT defending himself in the Senate trial would get great ratings, methinks it was a way for Bharara to prod DJT into being himself and scuttling his defense.

    However, the memos coming out this week, such as the one from the DoD to prevent the DC Guard from preparing for the sedition will make it quite ugly for DJT and his GOP enablers. I also wonder what happened to Sekulow and the other personal lawyers making the rounds in the WH and prior trials including the first impeachment.

    Remember that the impeachment trial completely a political exercise which therefore has limited effect (though important to prevent the return of Kaiser Quisling) so rules of evidence and verdicts don’t really apply. We saw this in round 1, so the Ds need to get the new stuff (like the DoD memo) out into the record.

    • cavenewt says:

      I also wonder what happened to Sekulow and the other personal lawyers

      Relaxing at home with a cocktail, and thanking their lucky stars they’re out of it, I would imagine.

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, you must have missed this here years ago. The Money Honey. And this video is even way better. Weird story, but as Joey was getting sick and heading to death, he and Bartiromo kind of became friends.

      • Hopeful says:

        Yes, I either missed it, or didn’t remember. Sorry.

        That song is a classic, was one of my favorites. But now stained with knowledge…..

        She has probably moved on from her view of life a decade or so ago. And the video you posted back then is superior.

        • bmaz says:

          Ha, no apologies necessary. I post all kinds of music, sometimes even I don’t remember. That one I did, because it is a really kick ass song. Ramone died in 2001. Twenty years ago. Seems so hard to believe it was that long ago.

          • Hopeful says:

            Yeah, so long ago…….

            I was into Ramones, Sex Pistols (and Clash), etc. way back when.

            But, one day more recently, driving in my car listening to Little Steven’s Underground Garage (Ch 21, Sirius XM) I heard on a between songs clip a lady saying “Hi, I am Maria Bartiromo and I listen to the best songs in rock n roll history on Little Steven’s Underground Garage”.

            You can guess the song that followed. I had never heard it before and I couldn’t believe how good it was.

            Who was she??

            Well, I looked her up. My wife told me she was on TV.

            The rest is history. Sometimes the more you know about a person, the less you want to know…….

            • bmaz says:

              Heh, what is weirder, Joey Ramone recording a song about her, or her doing a radio plug for Little Steven? I just dunno……

              • Eureka says:

                Hey bmaz I had a comment vanish over on the Tunnels… page. Can you see if it is anywhere? (It did NOT say it went to moderation, it DID change the page url like a comment was created, but it did not appear and the page just went to the top. I tried to redo it a couple times to no avail.) Thank you!

  22. Nehoa says:

    BMaz. I endured many, many attempts on my life between 16 and 24, and a few after that. It was all in the service of bringing down the local crime syndicate. I won. I live none and of them do. There is only disorganized crime now.
    And then I went to China. Mostly safe, but a few places I had to revert to my old ways. I don’t think we are here in America yet, but I will let you know.

  23. foggycoast says:

    curious. impeachment bering a political rather than criminal or civil trial:
    can trump be compelled to appear?
    can he be subpoenaed if he refuses?
    can he be held in contempt if he fails to respond to it?

  24. observiter says:

    Has Donald/his father ever made an appearance in court or complied with court orders during his/his father’s lifespan?

    • Chris.EL says:

      Trump appearing in the Senate would make for a great “beautiful” show — wouldn’t it?

      Trump loves that vain crap. IMVHO just don’t see him appearing. Trump is too much of a coward; how unfortunate.

      Pelosi, Schumer, House Impeachment Managers and _________________? should go to Trump’s Florida residence and ask to meet with him. Be equipped and ready to swear and depose him. Bring the trial to Trump. Enough with this crap!!!
      Every time I see a photo of Josh Hawley I have to tell myself that it is NOT that weird flipper-alien guy from Men In Black.

      Case in point: [link]

      • ThoughtMail says:

        You’re trying to suggest that something like cowardice would come between Trump and a microphone, a camera, or a crowd?

        “We’ll have to see.”

    • My Uncle Fred says:

      Above (through many threads) is lots of discussion of Trump appearing/no-showing using arguments about his need for: attention; fund-raising; conviction-avoidance; and legalities of his trial.

      This discussion ATMO sells short Donny’s deep psychological need to prove himself correct. He ‘knows’ that he won the election and is still looking to prove it so and gain affirmation from others. Grandstanding, fundraising, avoiding-punishment are, secondary considerations in his mind.

      Over the years, we have witnessed DJT repeatedly refuse to serve what should be his better interests. Instead, he never abandons a position or decision because: Donny is Right!!! This is his fatal flaw, and largely why we are all here today.

      Note too that, since Gingrich, the Republican party has shared similar character traits (we must win at all costs, we are right and the Democrats are evil, we don’t compromise, who cares about the needs of others [such as constituents]). And the Republicans and Trump share many tactics such as: punishing those who disagree; communicating “alternate facts”; authoritarian behavior; and appeals to the delusions (especially that others are stealing what belongs to their constituency). Did I point out that the Republicans are (and must be) always right?

      As always, its easier to address the others if they have obvious distinguishing characteristics (religion/race/language). This is not unique to this point in history or to the American polity. But has showed itself more clearly under Trump than at any time since Nixon launched the Southern Strategy.

      I’m not betting on what will happen in the Senate trial. But I’m sure that Trump wants to be there and present all of his ‘perfect’ arguments proving that he ‘won’ the election. It will be hard to keep him away, although we can expect that the Republican party will try to convince him stand down.

      The more facts the Democrats present in the hearing, the harder it is for all the Republicans to disagree.

      Individuals’ psyches all vary regarding how easily they maintain the lie. Some number of Trump supporters can be persuaded with facts. And some will even find the facts to be a convenient off-ramp from their part in the mass psychosis.

      Its important to remember that Nixon was going to survive his trial (despite many Republicans’ willful blindness), until he wasn’t. Then he quickly resigned. Trump’s fatal flaw prevented him from strategically resigning. And if conviction becomes immanent, its hard to predict what he will do. It will certainly be an unbearable situation for him, but one where he has fewer tools to wield (apart from sharing any of his secrets with Pooty Putin). That said, the Republican party has an easier route to strategically resign from Trump.

      Let the fact be stated clearly and boldly, then lets see where democracy takes us.

      Donny’s defense, both legal and political, will attempt to obscure the facts with rhetorical clouds. Documents and testimony that repeats and reinforces from many sources is the only way to overcome these clouds. And this is true, regardless of whether he’s on trial or if this simply devolves to a hearing about what happened.

      • Chris.EL says:

        Uncle Fred — your points are excellent, very well taken!

        I still see Trump avoiding the room — I think the spectre Trump has in his mind — the mental image he envisions when he pictures himself sitting at the table, puts him as a *defendant* — Trump abhors such an image.

        Trump is always standing alone, at the podium, shouting at *others* — not vice versa.

        Trump is also TERRIFIED of being put under oath and being forced to answer questions — am I right?

        This axios story is something!! Titled — “Bonus episode: Inside the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency”


        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Wow. What’s the most bizarro piece of that batshit meeting? For me, it will always be the image of DJT wandering out of the Oval as the Overstock guy battles “Pat Cipollone” (not Pat Cipollone) for the future of democracy. Wonder what Trump found in the dining room?
          Thanks, Chris.El, for this scary/mesmerizing link.

          • Chris.EL says:

            What else could it be? Diet Coke — yuck — with pigs in blankets and little swedish meatballs.

            What a guy — no qualifications for public office, sits around all day eating and buzzing for more Diet Coke!

            Can’t believe the amount of money people shell out for sugar water and CO-2!

  25. Rugger9 says:

    I had forgotten about Bondi as well as Sekulow, and am curious as to why neither of these personal lawyers are helping DJT out here since both are Dominionist culture warriors that need DJT to prevail. I would speculate that they both know any political career is toast when hooked up to DJT’s wagon, even in FL. Bondi was the one who dropped FL’s prosecution of TrumpU for IIRC a 25 k$ contribution to her campaign so it’s not like there are a lot of scruples for her to give up here.

    So, would DJT come to DC to testify / defend himself? I’m sure his lawyers say “no” but since it’s an article of his faith that the election was “stolen” I would guess that some of the Ds will find a way to goad DJT into making a scene to support his Senate defenders. Like Joseph McCarthy before him (“I have here in my hand…”) DJT is his own worst enemy linked by Roy Cohn and equally capable of trying to show fabricated “evidence” as alternative facts like Joe McC did before he went after the Army on Ike’s turf.

  26. Badger Robert says:

    Thanks to bmaz for a great post.
    I suspect though, we need a little dog and a teenage girl with a great voice to expose the mass marketing gas bag as a giant humbug.

    • scribe says:

      Actually, what we need is some Mario Lanza. Yesterday would have been his 100th birthday and, sadly, he seems largely forgotten here. On the European classical music stations, not. One of the stations ended their article about Lanza with a quote about him from Placido Domingo: “I owe my love of opera to a kid from Philadelphia.”

  27. scribe says:

    As the distinguished federal judge who taught my class in Federal Appellate Procedure said: “Get your money up front. If you win, it [the proceeding] will have been the worst possible experience in the client’s life and every time he has to think about it, and paying you, it will bring back all those bad memories and he won’t pay you. If you lose, he’ll be in prison and won’t want to pay for your losing, nor will he have any money anyway.”
    Same judge recounted representing a famous trial lawyer, admitted pro hac vice, who was hauled up on ethics charges for what was, in a word, contemptuous behavior during the trial he was brought in for. Caused a mistrial, IIRC. Told the pro hac lawyer/client before the hearing (before the state supreme court) “You are to do one thing and one thing only: stand up, say ‘I’m sorry’ and take whatever comes at you without resistance or comment.”
    Client didn’t. Spent a half hour or 5 minutes bloviating. Things went badly.

    Kudos to the lawyers for walking out.

    • blueedredcounty says:

      Thank you for posting this about a lawyer being held accountable for “contemptuous” behavior.

      In the post-election cases filed on Trump’s behalf trying to overturn the election, a number of law firms asked to withdraw from cases. However, the cases appeared to continue in the courts under Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and/or Lin Wood. I know one Twitter thread I saw, I believe it was a page-by-page analysis of one of the MI cases filed under Sidney Powell, got to a point about 60 pages into the filing where there was a re-introduction of a point from another case that had already been litigated and decided, and none of the necessary citations to the previous case were included. The lawyer writing that Twitter thread hit that part of the filing, and immediately responded with “This is absolutely sanctionable.” On another of the filings, where Rudy Giuliani was presenting himself to the court, he claimed he was a member in good standing of the bar in question, but he had had not paid his dues for at least a year to keep current.

      My question for you, bmaz, or any of the other attorneys who are on the site, because I am not a lawyer. At what point does any of this behavior on the part of Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, or Rudy Giuliani rise to the level that they face consequences? These corrupt stunts damage the legal profession and the courts, and erode the rule of law. Especially when the perpetrators skate on accountability.

  28. observiter says:

    What kind of legal teeth does the Senate proceeding have re trump? So what if he is convicted?

    Meanwhile, while eyes are on the Senate, it appears the extremists are focusing full attention on altering election laws in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, etc.

    And, it appears Jim Watkins has been outed as “Q” and that he runs other websites, including one with a child pornography theme.

    • cavenewt says:

      So what if he is convicted?

      As I understand it, he would be stripped of pension and lifetime security and travel benefits. Definitely worth it for the taxpayers! Also the Senate could then vote to disqualify him from ever holding office again (which I think only requires a majority vote, not 2/3).

      Of course he would also go down in history as being the only president convicted of impeachment, even if not removed from office. But since he has no shame, that probably doesn’t matter. If the sentence was that he be officially labeled a “Loser”, now *that* would be effective.

      • MB says:

        To my knowledge, Watkins has been “suspected” of being Q, but according to Wikipedia:

        “Numerous journalists and conspiracy theory researchers believe that Watkins or his son, Ron Watkins, are working with Q, know Q’s identity, or are themselves Q”

        If there’s newer news than that, I’d like to see it. Also, depends on what the definition of “outed” is. He hasn’t admitted anything.

        • PeterS says:

          Agreed. It seems almost certain that Watkins is/are Q, or is working hand in hand with some other faker, which pretty much comes to the same thing.

          My point was more that whatever “outed” means, it didn’t seem to be news. If there’s newer news I too would like to see it.

  29. cavenewt says:

    IANAL. Two maybe dumb questions:

    1. Trump doesn’t have to present a defense in the impeachment trial, and probably shouldn’t because he will likely get off anyway. But it seems like he’s desperately searching for any lawyer who will present his argument that the election was stolen (never mind that this implies he is arguing the violence was justified). He would be doing this in order to keep frothing up his supporters about the supposedly fraudulent election, not to mention keeping that revenue stream of “legal defense” donations alive. What do you think?

    2. Given the fact the Senate will probably let him off again, would it be possible to charge him with federal criminal offenses like conspiracy, sedition, etc.?

    • P J Evans says:

      Criminal charges would come after that. And they’re finding more evidence of WH involvement (which basically means Trmp) in the insurrection. Right up until the 5th, it was a protest at the ellipse, to last through the congressional proceedings. Then it suddenly became a march to the Capitol, and he was billed as going with them.

    • BobCon says:

      I think prosecutors will be looking at charges related to 1/6 issues, but there is no way that would be the sole focus of what they do.

      As Bmaz has pointed out repeatedly, it will probably take a lot of time to develop those charges, and if there is a Manafort-style major fraud case that is easy to prove, I can’t imagine prosecutors waiting, especially if the statute of limitations is ticking.

      There will be (are already) multiple tracks for investigators.

      • cavenewt says:

        I think prosecutors will be looking at charges related to 1/6 issues, but there is no way that would be the sole focus of what they do…There will be (are already) multiple tracks for investigators.

        Lo, a veritable cornucopia of crime.

        I think I’ve already asked this elsewhere, but if he is convicted of a felony would that disqualify him from future office?

        • cavenewt says:

          In answer to my own question about whether a convicted felon [guess who] can run for president: Yes.

          However, there is this:

          Fourteenth Amendment, Section 3

          No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

          It’s not enumerated specifically (curious), but I presume “any office, civil or military, under the United States” includes the Presidency?

          So even if the Senate lets him off and there is no vote disqualifying him from future office, if there is a later criminal trial that finds him guilty of insurrection, then he would be disqualified. Getting out on a limb here in terms of my legal expertise which is essentially none.

          • vicks says:

            It is my understanding that the purpose of this section of the 14th amendment was to prevent those who supported the confederacy from holding office.
            If you notice it says nothing about being found guilty, or any legal process taking place..
            Maybe that’s because they felt insurrectionists are simply too dangerous to merit the usual checks and balances?
            Much like our defeated former president.

  30. observiter says:

    Re the Senate hearing, I assume Trump will not appear. Why would (his) attorney(s) even appear?

    Who pays the cost of the attorneys if he is convicted?

  31. J Dalessandro says:

    I feel strongly about these two things, one of which i mentioned the other day:
    This impeachment is a gift to the GOP, which lacks the courage to accept it. Leaving Trump around is by far their worst option, like leaving a tumor in their bodies. McConnell knows this, obviously.
    The GOP Senators being such cowards, they can be stampeded to convict if Trump’s representation is as horrible as we think its going to be. This is not over, in spite of Rand Paul’s glorious victory. The quote from Senator Cassidy today can be interpreted as an attempt to leave his options open. Enough of these guys will cave if the thing is pressed.
    I don’t want Trump convicted, for reasons stated, but i think it’s a possibility.
    As we always say, mere conjecture and surmise.

    • bmaz says:

      Or, as we say, bonkers. But thanks for playing.

      Also, please, do NOT sock puppet us with varying handles and spelling thereof. That is not going to work.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Your theory would have better reception if the GOP did something about Marjorie Greene instead of putting her on sensitive committees. Before that it was Louie Gohmert and the Kings (of Iowa and NY) who were let loose flying their freak flags.

    • PeterS says:

      Even Rob Portman, who is retiring, was hiding behind constitutionality arguments yesterday. These people are not leaders, they’re followers, and while “the base” appears stuck on Trump they’ll show as much courage and integrity as normal. (I have doubts about the size of “the base”, but that’s another story).

    • cavenewt says:

      Just noodling here, trying to think of a way to encourage reasonable (i.e. non-batshit-crazy) Republicans to stop quaking in their boots about being primaried.

      What if large numbers of independents (like me) could be persuaded in upcoming elections to switch to Republican in order to vote for the saner candidate in R primaries — I’m talking all levels here, state legislatures, Congress, Senate, dogcatcher. Perhaps a cogent argument could be made that this will encourage non-insane Republicans to grow a spine.

      I myself have voted this way for many years, because where I lived until recently — Wyoming — the Republican primary was the only one that mattered. Now I’m in Utah, same difference. Democrats, as a rule, run reasonable people so their primaries tended to take care of themselves.

      You can always switch back right after the primary, to minimize whatever bad taste might linger, and to reduce the number of R data points.

      We might even whisper that registered Democrats can do the same, in service of getting rid of the danger of crazy elements in our government. Talk about uniting!

      Of course then in the main election we could all vote for whoever we want.

  32. J Dalessandro says:

    I don’t know what sock puppeting is, but i use the same email each time, and my real name. Thanks for the discussion.

  33. Dizz says:

    Spurred By The Capitol Riot, Thousands Of Republicans Drop Out Of GOP
    February 1, 2021 5:00 AM ET

    In the week from Jan. 6 through Jan. 12, about 4,600 Republicans changed their party status in Colorado, according to a CPR News analysis. There was no comparable effect with any other party. CPR News was able to contact dozens of them by tracking changes in the state’s voter file. The number of people changing parties spiked immediately after the Capitol breach. The same phenomenon is playing out nationwide. News outlets documented about 6,000 defections from the party in North Carolina, 10,000 in Pennsylvania and 5,000 in Arizona.

    Also Dozens of former Bush officials leave Republican Party, calling it ‘Trump cult’

    The party is currently caught between disaffected moderate Republicans and independents disgusted by the hold Trump still has over elected officials, and Trump’s fervently loyal base. Without the enthusiastic support of both groups, the party will struggle to win national elections, according to polling, Republican officials and strategists.

    I agree that Trump is unlikely to be convicted. I just don’t see where that gets Senate Republicans anywhere but further down the hole to irrelevance. Why can’t they see that – especially after Georgia?

  34. Chuffy says:

    I keep trying to figure out what his end game is. I’m pretty sure he can lean on the 45 Senators who have all committed to the, “but he’s not president, so we’re going to go with unConstitutional and whine a lot,” approach. But it doesn’t smell right, and I keep coming back to the idea that this slow moving coup is still in play. That he is going to gather the people he has on the inside who are still loyal to him, and really set off that civil war he’s alluded to.

    His whole position seems like he’s been able to just ignore the law, and nobody has held him to account. What happens if he just flips the Democrats in Congress the bird? Are they really going to go after a retired president? He still hasn’t officially conceded, so there is a lot of wiggle room to just mount a mutiny and see where it leads.

    And I haven’t seen any real signs that the Democrats have ever had the spine to respond without calculating the optics…which are never on their side, regardless.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump is a psychopath. One needs to recognize that in order to explain his behavior.

      Trump will do whatever he can get away with, a set of behaviors he thinks has virtually no limit. As PeterS said, concession is a courtesy, a set of behaviors Trump knows nothing about, except that he derides them as “weak” and an existential threat.

      • Chris.EL says:

        So Trump’s plan is to do a coup, march right into the Oval Office: ” I’m ba-ack!!!”

        Careful Don!

        JOE HAS DOGS!!

        Not one, but TWO German Shepherds!! Ouch!

    • cavenewt says:

      Thanks for the memories. I saw John Prine in the 80s in a tiny bar in Jackson Hole, fifty people tops. It was magical.

    • Hopeful says:


      I remember playing his first album over and over again in my room at a military academy. Sam Stone and Illegal Smile …….. and the rest.

      He could make 10 words paint a picture in your mind that you would swear required at least a thousand.

      I never got to see him in concert, one of my misses in life.

      When he contacted COVID, I crossed my fingers in every possible way and wished for his recovery as hard as I could.

      He didn’t make it (RIP); and I will never cross my fingers again. Makes me very sad just to reflect.

  35. Vinnie Gambone says:

    Scott Perry introduced Clark to Trump in the failed AG coup.
    He’s likely person who brought Bruce Castor in as well. The PA state GOP have already circled wagons around Trump. Perry savors being in the room with Trump.He plans to use his role as Trump’s helper in statewide campaigns later. Perhaps he’s compared PA Trump’s totals to what Gov. Wolfe’s totals were, ditto Toomey’s. He thinking Trump’s endorsement can help him win one or the other.

  36. Bobster33 says:

    If the Democrats want to win anything out of this, they need to start and finish with the dead Capitol police officer. Sedition, insurrection, promotion, etc. are movable goal posts if you listen to Fox, OANN, Newsmax. The dead officer is not.

    Trump is likely to get off because at least 30 Senators are terrified of his political wrath. But the Democrats have a political arrow in their quiver if they can say that certain Republican Senators did not defend a police officer.

    • Hopeful says:

      I agree.

      Gotta emphasize the number of dead and injured people that occurred during and after the insurrection.

      The result of Trump’s urging his followers to storm the Capitol was not a game.

      It was Deadly serious, and we cannot forget that.

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      Aaaah yes…

      Willie the Pimp…

      Peaches En Regalia…

      “You can’t always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.”

      F. Zappa

  37. Nehoa says:

    I am going to go quiet for a while. If you don’t hear from me in the next year, I am either dead or in a Chinese prison camp (obviously with no internet). I am scared shitless, but I have to go. My best wishes to you all.

  38. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    Read someplace this morning that the prior legal team quit over a dispute about money…

    (I’m sure others have seen this too…)

    The article said something to the effect that Bowers asked Trump for $3MM up front, Trump tried to bargain him down to $1MM, a furious argument ensued, and the first legal team left the building, so to speak.

    Simply astonishing, no?

    How much did Trump soak his supporters for following his loss? Something north of $200 MILLION? And now, he’s trying to lowball his own defense team?

    Where’d the $200 MM go, debt payments to Russian mobsters?

  39. observiter says:

    I suspect Trump hasn’t relished losing the “protection” of the presidency. He’s fought to avoid the day. Is it realistic to think Trump could eventually lose Mar a Lago, Trump Tower, etc., through RICO and other means?

    • Chris.EL says:

      Observiter! Happy, happy thoughts!

      Okay, this may be the only compliment I grant Trump: Mar-a-Lago and the old D.C. postal building were excellent acquisitions — the old, grand buildings were saved from further decline and renovated — a very good thing. Only issue is — where the FFF did he get the money? Now how are they being profitable? Doesn’t add up.
      Lin Wood is in the news: he may have voted illegally in Georgia!!! From WSB TV Atlanta:

      ..”Gray confirmed Tuesday that the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has launched an investigation into whether Wood was eligible to vote in Georgia, whether he broke the law by casting his ballot and whether he was actually a Georgia resident.”…

      • skua says:

        Crystal Mason of Fort Worth got 5 years for voting illegally.
        Appeals court held that ignorance of the law was not relevant.
        And here we’ve got Lin, a lawyer, privileged, educated, with ready access to up-to-date legal information, legal colleagues to consult, and a professional responsibility to be informed of laws relevant to his conduct. Dear oh dear,much much worse, that would that be? 9 years? … oh wait a second, Lin is white? And supports Trump?
        (sarcasm)Taking this innocent, inconsequential mistake by a patriot any further would just be divisive political harassment.(/sarcasm)

Comments are closed.