The Dog Ate My Conflict — Car Accident — Ventilator — Disconnected Phones: Miscellany from the January 6 Investigation

I’m working on a few other things but wanted to capture a few details about the January 6 investigation.

John Pierce succeeds in hiring a new client from the COVID ward

Last week, I described how Ryan Marshall, an associate of John Pierce — the trial lawyer attempting to represent 17 January 6 defendants — claimed Pierce couldn’t be at a hearing for someone who would be his 18th because, “Mr. Pierce is in the hospital, we believe, with COVID-19, on a ventilator, non-responsive.”

After another hearing in which that associate, Marshall, showed up with few explanations, DOJ sent out notices to most of the defendants purportedly represented by Pierce, explaining the many conflicting explanations for Pierce’s absence offered in the last week.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has had no contact with Mr. Pierce—by phone, e-mail, or otherwise—since Monday, August 23, 2021, when he appeared for a hearing before the Honorable Paul L. Friedman in United States v. Jeremiah Caplinger, No. 21-cr-342 (PLF). Since that time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has heard conflicting information about Mr. Pierce’s health and whereabouts. The morning of Tuesday, August 24, Mr. Pierce was scheduled to appear before Judge Friedman for a status hearing in United States v. Nathaniel DeGrave, No. 21-cr-90. Mr. Pierce was not present at the hearing. Instead, Ryan Marshall—an associate from Mr. Pierce’s law firm who is not a licensed attorney—appeared in Mr. Pierce’s place and represented to the court that Mr. Pierce’s absence was due to a conflict. A few hours later, Mr. Marshall attended a reverse-proffer session with a different defendant represented by Mr. Pierce, telling the Assistant U.S. Attorney that he had just gotten word that Mr. Pierce had been in an accident and was on his way to the hospital. Mr. Marshall then proceeded with the reverse-proffer session in Mr. Pierce’s absence.

The next morning, August 25, Mr. Marshall again appeared in Mr. Pierce’s place at a hearing before the Honorable Amit P. Mehta in United States v. Shane Jenkins, No. 21-cr-245. At that hearing, Mr. Marshall represented to the court that Mr. Pierce was hospitalized with COVID19, on a ventilator, and non-responsive. After that information was reported publicly, a different individual reached out to an NPR correspondent and wrote that Mr. Pierce did not, in fact, have COVID, but instead “was hospitalized on Monday due to symptoms that he believed might be related to Covid-19”; “appears to have been suffering from dehydration and exhaustion”; and “remains under the care of his doctors[.]”3 On Thursday, August 26, Mr. Marshall again appeared before Judge Mehta in Mr. Pierce’s stead, this time in United States v. Peter Schwartz, No. 21-cr178. Before that hearing, Mr. Marshall told the Assistant U.S. Attorney that he had not had any direct contact with Mr. Pierce, but that one of Mr. Pierce’s friends had told him that Mr. Pierce was sick with COVID-19 and another had said he was not. During the hearing, Mr. Marshall requested, and was granted, a sealed bench conference at which to discuss Mr. Pierce’s condition. Later that evening, the same NPR correspondent reported that “[o]ne source close to attorney John Pierce tells me that [Mr.] Pierce is currently hospitalized, and has been diagnosed with COVID19, but firmly denied that he was ever placed on a ventilator.”4 Adding to the confusion, Mr. Pierce, who generally posts multiple messages to Twitter on a daily basis, has not tweeted since August 20.5 And there are reports that “multiple phone numbers for Pierce’s law firm, Pierce Bainbridge P.C., have been disconnected.” [my emphasis]

DOJ then declared all those cases to be “effectively at a standstill” and invited the respective judges to “take any steps [they] believe[] necessary to ensure that the defendant’s rights are adequately protected while Mr. Pierce remains hospitalized.”

Just as all these letters started to go out, the Notice of Attorney Appearance that Marshall had claimed had been filed on August 24, only dated August 30 and auto-signed by Pierce (who may or may not be on a ventilator), appeared in the docket for Shane Jenkins, the defendant at whose hearing Marshall first reported that Pierce was on a ventilator. Shortly thereafter a notice letter covering Jenkins went to Judge Amit Mehta, who had already received at least one for other Pierce defendants. It noted,

At an August 25, 2021, hearing before the Honorable Amit P. Mehta in United States v. Shane Jenkins, No. 21-cr-245 (APM), Ryan Marshall, an associate at Mr. Pierce’s firm, stated that Mr. Pierce now also represents Jenkins. A notice of appearance, purportedly signed by Mr. Pierce, was filed this morning (DE 22).

And with that filing, a man who may be incapacitated acquired an 18th defendant to represent.

WaPo has a good story on Pierce’s other shenanigans, including telling other defense attorneys that this is all a false flag operation and leaving one co-counsel unpaid.

“This whole thing was absolutely a false-flag FBI and intelligence community and military special operations set-up,” he wrote in a late July email to a group of lawyers coordinating defense efforts. The message was shared with The Washington Post. “I don’t [think] a single defendant should take any plea that involves one additional day in jail. At least that’s my mind-set.”

Another attorney replied, “John, can you explain more about how this false flag set-up worked? I’m unclear about the details of what you’re saying.” Pierce did not elaborate.

In another email chain discussing Capitol Police interviews, Pierce wrote, “THIS WHOLE THING WAS AN LEO/IC SET-UP,” referring to law enforcement officers and the intelligence community, “AND WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TO PROVE IT.”


James Kelly, listed as co-counsel with Pierce in a Jan. 6 case, said Monday that he cut ties with the firm in June because he wasn’t paid, is withdrawing from the case and declined further public comment.

The December 17 cooperation update in the Oath Keepers investigation

Meanwhile, things seem to be progressing in the Oath Keepers case. As a reminder, there are four known cooperators in the case: Jon Schaffer, Mark Grods, Graydon Young, and Caleb Berry. In each, Judge Amit Mehta set a two month deadline for the first status report.

In the Schaffer case, the status report submitted on or before June 16 was quickly sealed; indeed, everything since his plea remains sealed.

In both the Graydon Young and Mark Grods case, however, the status report recently got filed.

In the case of Young, the notice similarly reported on ongoing cooperation, asked that Young’s release conditions be relaxed (to match those of other cooperators, though it doesn’t say this), and asked for December 17 to be the next status report in Graydon Young’s case.

The parties report that Defendant Graydon Young continues to cooperate with the government. We request the opportunity to file a further status report by December 17, 2021.

Defendant Young requests that the Court modify his release conditions, stepping him down from home incarceration to an appearance bond on personal recognizance, with the following conditions: not obtain a passport, surrender any passport, not possess any firearms or destructive weapons, not have any contact with co-defendants or associates or affiliates of the Oath Keepers, stay out of Washington, D.C., and notify Pretrial of any travel outside the Middle District of Florida. The government does not oppose this request.

In the Grods case, DOJ asked for the next status report to be due on the same day, December 17.

The parties report that Defendant Mark Grods continues to cooperate with the government. We request the opportunity to file a further status report by December 17, 2021

Berry pled guilty more recently, so his first status report isn’t due until September 21, two months after his plea.

None of this is all that surprising, but the fact that DOJ harmonized the next report date for Young and Grods, who would otherwise be a week apart, suggests DOJ thinks of that as a milestone in the Oath Keeper case. It may be tied to the first trial date for the conspirators, currently set for January 31, 2022. Or it may reflect some understanding of what the prosecutors think they have before them.

If it’s the latter, it says they’ve got four more months of investigation to complete before they’ll finish.

Update, September 18: The two sides have submitted a status report in the Caleb Berry case, and there, too, they’re asking for a December 17 report date.

“Zachary Studabaker’s” best-in-riot passwords

In a bid to delay trial for Zachary Alam, the guy who punched through the Speaker’s Lobby door with his bare fist, prosecutor Candice Wong gave an updated status on discovery for him (see this post on discovery provided to those who helped Alam break through the Speaker’s Lobby doors; Wong has sent Alam one, two, three, four, five, six). As part of that paragraph, Wong disclosed that the government is still trying to crack the passwords on multiple devices belonging to Alam.

The government has provided defense counsel with significant case-specific discovery, as outlined in seven discovery notices filed with the Court between March 26, 2021, and July 14, 2021. See ECF Nos. 10, 14, 17, 20-22, 24. The materials provided include videos encompassing surveillance footage from the U.S. Capitol Police, body-worn-camera footage from the Metropolitan Police Department, open-source videos posted on news and social media platforms, and videos obtained through legal process or voluntary productions in other Capitol investigations that depict the defendant. Case-specific discovery provided to the defendant also includes reports of interviews with civilian and law enforcement witnesses, grand jury materials, search warrant returns, subpoena returns, and jail calls. As the defendant was inside the Capitol for over half an hour, covered four floors, and had multiple interactions while he was there, the government continues to identify and produce additional case-specific materials. Also forthcoming are extractions of the multiple digital devices recovered from the defendant upon his arrest, for which law enforcement is still attempting to decrypt the defendant’s password protections.

The fifth discovery letter, above, describes four devices obtained via a warrant.

It’s not surprising that Alam would have pretty solid passwords. A detention motion in the case described that Alam used aliases…

Moreover, the defendant is known to have used aliases. Lawfully obtained records show that the defendant has provided multiple false names to service providers, including at least one false name – “Zachary Studabaker” – for services since the events of January 6, 2021.

Stolen license plates…

In addition, according to the government’s information, the defendant was at the time of his arrest driving a vehicle that he had purchased around September 2020 but never registered, and for which the defendant had used multiple license plates, including in recent months. These include a Washington, D.C. license plate, found inside the defendant’s vehicle in Pennsylvania, which was reported stolen in 2018 by an individual who indicated that the front license plate was taken off his vehicle while parked in Northwest D.C. D.C. traffic cameras captured a black Chevy truck matching the description of the defendant’s vehicle bearing this license plate as recently as January 4, 2021. Moreover, when agents located the defendant at the motel in Pennsylvania, they observed the defendant’s black Chevy truck parked outside and noted that it bore Pennsylvania license plates for a Mazda vehicle.

False identification…

Upon arrest, moreover, the defendant had multiple identification cards in his wallet, including a D.C. driver’s license and a D.C. identification card for one male, a Permanent Resident card for a second male, and University student identification card for a female.

Burner phones…

Among the items agents seized from the defendant’s motel room nightstand, moreover, were two mobile phones – a Verizon flip phone as well as an iPhone.


For “Sun 1/10/21,” the defendant had written “activate burner,” indicating that four days after the events at the U.S. Capitol, he began using a “burner” phone. That “burner” appears to refer to the Verizon flip phone that agents recovered, as executing agents photographed a receipt dated January 10, 2021, for a “Verizon” phone paid for with $65.13 in cash at a Walmart in Pennsylvania.


The defendant’s other notes from January 10 referred to his intent to “buy crypto[currency]” and “consolidate crypto,”


Meanwhile, on “Wed 1/13,” the notes indicate that the defendant planned to “buy CRV on Binance,” an online exchange for trading cryptocurrencies.


He also wrote on another page, “Research security (location intelligence)” and “Research how to launder BTC [bitcoin]” right above notes that likewise appear to concern January 6: “Wanted a civilized discussion w/ our representatives but the door wouldn’t open” and “Call out Pence – should have been over.”

And (a poorly implemented) VPN…

Indeed, in a jail call he made on February 21, 2021, the defendant told an individual that he believed he had been tracked down by law enforcement through GPS on his phone and complained that he had downloaded “VPN on my phone” and “got IP Vanish” but that it was “a bullshit service”; “I tried to make that thing run all the time, and it just shut off like randomly sometimes… They can’t f–ing have the VPN running 24 hours? Basically the same thing as not having it… That’s how they figured out my general location.”

But that’s the thing: Alam was using a great deal of operational security. But when it came down to it, he used a free VPN and had his burner phone sitting on a nightstand right next to his smart phone. He was attempting to use operational security, but he was botching it at every opportunity.

And yet the FBI has not yet cracked passwords on multiple — at least two — of the four devices they seized from him, after arresting him seven months ago. FBI has had limited difficulties getting into January 6 defendants’ phones (the most notable of which was solved when they forced Guy Reffitt to use his face to open his Surface Pro), and there are suspects — including two charged suspects and one who fled bail — who have spent longer periods than Alam as fugitives. But this detail seems to suggest that Alam has the best passwords among the 600 January 6 defendants.

101 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    James Kelly, listed as co-counsel with Pierce in a Jan. 6 case, said Monday that he cut ties with the firm in June because he wasn’t paid, is withdrawing from the case and declined further public comment.

    Have none of these lawyers for right wing clients been introduced to the concept of “retainer fee”?

    • Rugger9 says:

      Apparently not, and let’s recall how DJT said he’d pay legal fees for his supporters (IIRC it involved roughing up reporters). I’m sure these MAGA cultists think DJT will parachute in and save them.

      OT: I do wonder how the not-Charlie Pierce fiasco was really intended to delay the various proceedings until (they hope) the GOP retakes the House and/or Senate to shut down the committees. I also observe that the Mesa County (CO) election official currently on the lam in an apparent attempt to do the same thing. Lots more reporting about her prior peccadillos ae circulating now.
      The CO state officials have apparently pulled her off the job for abandoning her post. If the idea of these antics is to delay things until the MAGA cavalry comes in, January 2023 is a very long time away and no guarantees that November 2022 will go as the GQP plans.

      Also OT, doesn’t Mr. Marshall face significant legal exposure for practicing law without a license (or as importantly any indication that the 18 defendants agreed for him to represent them) including criminal charges?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Looks like co-counsel was brought in by Pierce and paid too little attention to how far Pierce’s reputation had outrun his current state of mind. By all accounts, John Pierce is swirling down to the bottom of the barrel. He seems determined to take everyone around him with him. It’s what you do when your mind keeps telling you that denial is only a river in Egypt. Textbook addictive behavior.

      Pierce’s debts are reportedly in the tens of millions and it’s been years since he earned enough to pay them. And that’s without taking into account his state of mind and inability to manage himself or his affairs. He seems too far down his rat hole for the courts and bar authorities to responsibly do anything but pull the plug on his license to practice anywhere.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Pierce’s 18 odd criminal defendant clients – being Trumpies and like those who would swill bleach or take Ivermectin because Donald or DeSantis said it was good for them – will probably assume that the ton of adverse information coming out about Pierce is propaganda, put out by liberals and those afraid of his superhuman talents.

    As a temporary measure, the courts might still protect them from themselves – and reduce the odds of lengthy Sixth Amendment appeals about Pierce’s effectiveness as counsel – if they withdrew Pierce’s PHV admission(s), which would require them to seek other counsel.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I would think such an action by the federal system requires some sort of trigger event, such as a BK filing or client complaint that shows J. Pierce is not acting in the client’s interest. If the dodging adventures of J. Pierce can be independently documented (i.e. we only have Marshall’s input at the moment as I understand it) then the courts can use that pattern and perhaps even send him on a 5150 (in CA) to get examined.

      Outside of that the co-counsel can litigate J. Pierce civilly and I do not think the court will intervene until the co-counsel asks the judge to step in.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Apart from failing to appear multiple times – with conflicting and no credible explanations, none of which Pierce has supplied directly to the court(s) – there appear to be a number of reasons to revoke Pierce’s admission(s) PHV. That’s not punishment, btw, or the withdrawal of a right without due process. It is withdrawing a discretionary privilege for the benefit of his criminal defendant clients. In any case, the withdrawal is subject to notice and an opportunity to be heard.

        For example, Pierce seems to have violated or failed to comply with at least two important requirements: 1) limits on the annual number of cases for which you can be admitted PHV, which can’t be exceeded without special permission. In Virginia, for example, I think the number is twelve. In other jurisdictions, it’s five. 2) You must uniformly associate yourself with a sponsoring, locally-admitted attorney. If Pierce has done so, why is his not-locally admitted associate Ryan Marshall saying jack shit?

        Pending bar complaints and disciplinary proceedings can also be a bar. Pierce signing up that 18th client – while remaining incommunicado for unconvincing reasons, some of which imply Pierce is temporarily incompetent – also deserves attention.

        • Judy says:

          Thank you for outlining options for the courts or defendents to remove Pierce. I have been wondering about that, after reading about all the excuses his associate presented and the financial problems bearing down on him.

    • Leoghann says:

      When he resigned under pressure from Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal team, the prosecution had already filed a motion to deny his application to practice in Wisconsin, to force his removal from the case, and the judge in Kenosha had commented about it. That was based on the (apparently very accurate) appearance that the “Free Kyle” fund he had been touting on social media was actually being used as a personal slush fund by Pierce.

  3. BobCon says:

    I know it is a very major step for a judge to tell a defendant that their attorney is disqualified from a case. I’m curious how close Pierce has come to this point.

    Obviously joining Marc Bernier and Dick Farrel would do it, but I don’t know what steps short of that would be enough for a court to DQ an attorney.

  4. Ravenclaw says:

    Given Pierce’s background (probable history of drug abuse, most likely of the cocaine/alcohol/benzodiazepine type, but for which his last *real* employer remanded him to treatment after he assaulted another staff member, then fired him when he refused), I am beginning to wonder whether all this smoke & mirrors around his health status is due to his having OD’d or collapsed after a long binge. But of course COVID is always a contender!

    Incidentally, the other Pierce associate who emailed news outlets about his status, Brody Womack, is listed on the articles of incorporation of Pierce’s phony think tank/fundraising organization as the one and only principal of the organization, but with no proper address or contact information. If he’s the one person of that name actually living in Wyoming (where the group is registered) he’s about 19 years old. But there may be another one living in Pennsylvania (without any Internet footprint to speak of) and maybe that’s more likely…

    • Leoghann says:

      The Brody Womack in California is the one. Although he’s a lawyer, he’s a fairly new one, with little to no court experience. But Womack is the person who has written all the florid, glorious descriptions of Pierce and their foundation for the press and websites. He also wrote the email saying his “dear friend” Pierce was hospitalized, but not for covid, which carried on about Pierce’s exaggerated military record and what a strong fighter he was.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        I know this thread is getting old, but just wanted to add: I can see the FB profile of the correct Brody Womack all right. But I can’t find anything to support the statement that he is a lawyer – no references anywhere on the web to his legal work or education that I can see. I reckon Leoghann is correct, but it seems odd that a lawyer would have basically zero presence aside from a flurry of news reports about his new ‘mouthpiece’ role. Anyway, probably not terribly important; he’s just a youngish guy with a right-wing agenda trying to find his place in the constellation of dim stars of which Pierce is one.

    • emptywheel says:

      The substance abuse issues were the first people thought of. But there’s good reason to believe he really does have COVID.

      • Leoghann says:

        There’s also good reason to believe that most of his (only two) associates would deny he has covid. That particularly goes for Brody Womack, who seems to view himself as Pierce’s defender and mouthpiece.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I thought maybe it really was Covid too, until the “exhaustion and dehydration” quote got issued. Those have always been Hollywood code for drug bender, which his prior erratic activity definitely suggested.

  5. Peterr says:

    “And there are reports that “multiple phone numbers for Pierce’s law firm, Pierce Bainbridge P.C., have been disconnected.”

    I’m sure that’s what every attorney who goes into the hospital does, right?


    But let’s play with that for a moment. Who exactly is Pierce trying to dodge? Bill collectors? Pesky clients (current or former or both)? DOJ investigators?

    Hmmm . . .

    From the NYT:

    “I’m like Gerard Butler in ‘300,’” Mr. Pierce said in an interview before dropping out of sight, comparing himself to the action star who played a Spartan king. “I’m in the hot gates at Thermopylae, holding the pass against the million-man Persian army.”

    Delusions of grandeur much?

  6. WilliamOckham says:

    I would hate to be the one to break it to Alam that if you leave either your cell service or Location Services enabled on an iPhone, using a VPN isn’t going to do you any good.
    Also, even if you do all that, if you use your burner cell phone and don’t block your number to call someone who’s ratting you out to the FBI, it really doesn’t matter what you do with your iPhone, the FBI will track the cell site data for your burner phone…

    OpSec is hard. OpSec while using a cell phone is damned hard.

  7. Lawnboy says:

    Re: Phones etc.
    These NSA (2 grads) were hired by my firm to demonstrate the methods used to break both an Apple and a Blackberry. It took no more than 17 minutes with the gear they had brought along circa 2010ish.
    As a computer tech, I was impressed, never thought it could be done. Our company was in a huge trade fight with China and we were being phished for info for an upcoming hearing and we needed to be aware of the attempts.
    Then, it hit me that once the device was “soiled”, it could then act as a port to my laptop when they were close to each other. We were told they could load there own Phone OS to then record all your logins etc.

    I find it odd that the phones could remain locked up with all the tools they must have at there disposal. Or, is it the apps the phone is using that cant be cracked??? ( could use some Rayne here)

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Just a couple of points to add here. A lot has changed in the last 10 years. Apple has gotten much more serious about security of their devices. Also, exploiting for intelligence purposes is very different from gathering information that can be used in a U.S. trial. Many of the techniques that can be used to “hack” into a phone require actively changing information on the phone. Which, in a just world, would preclude the feds from using that at trial.

      • Lawnboy says:

        Thanks, and your right wrt legal/chain of custody and the like.
        Also, might there be some methods/tech that will not see the light of day ? (until the next Wiki-wonder)

  8. Dopey-o says:

    If you’re dumb enough to think that you and several hundred bozos can march into the Capitol and shut down all election-related business, you shouldn’t be wandering around with a smart phone. There are ways to make a smart phone secure, but most of them involve a hammer. Or reading comprehension.
    Also, don’t discuss criminal acts online, don’t go to a crime scene where other criminals are live-streaming photos, videos or discussions of ongoing criminal acts, and don’t keep multiple forged documents in your wallet.
    Best way to subvert government processes and / or the will of the voters: Money. US currency is best, but I think rubles have been proven effective in the past….

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    @nycsouthpaw takes issue with ICE’s contention that it is not a creature of GW Bush or Donald Trump; rather, it dates back to the Founding Fathers. ICE’s mythology starts with the Treasury Dept (1789), which begat the Division of Customs (1875), which begat the Bureau of Customs (1928). ICE itself, however, does not emerge from its government womb until March 2003, a few months after its parent agency, DHS.

    Both are creatures of Dick Cheney, whose main goal in forming DHS was to disable public sector unions. He dumped into DHS a miscellany of armed federal agencies, then argued that their employees were too critical to be allowed to conceal carry the right to strike or any other rights associated with organized labor. Anyone who thought otherwise need not submit their job application.

    ICE’s media hacks flunk history, but they illustrate in living color the harm GOP Senators do when they block Biden’s most important nominees. (DHS, ICE and CBP desperately need overhauls.) Customs enforcement, for example, has been important since the time of Alexander Hamilton. But immigration enforcement was a non sequitur during the era of westward expansion, and was left to the states until about 1890 – 1920. (The Page and Chinese Exclusion Acts are exceptions.) It was an era in which the US finally reached from sea to shining sea. Robber Barons decided they had enough labor for their railroads and satanic mills and to fill the land emptied of Native Americans. It was an era in which racists and protestants argued that southern and eastern European papist immigrants would pollute the national blood supply, and Russian and Jewish zealots would contaminate our workers heads with socialist ideas.

    • P J Evans says:

      For much of the 19th century, only the [male] adults* in the family had to do the naturalization process – which was fairly short. Sometimes you can find records in state or even county courts (which one is always an interesting question, and in some places it’s the probate court).
      *over 18, AFAIK.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Another part of that that crippled DHS at the headquarters level. None of the congressional committees wanted to give up their oversight of the agency elements that were jammed into DHS (22 of them) so senior leaders had to spend a greater proportion of their time preparing for and going to hearings. That may seem like a mere bureaucratic annoyance, but is a drain on resources.

      Some of those joiner functions, split from their former agencies/departments, had almost no admin support. Until things got sorted out and the structures put in place, large agencies, like the Coast Guard, ended up doing all kinds of contracting and procurement tasks in addition to their normal work load.

      It was a real cluster.

      (I was actually in the first tranche of GS people hired into DHS and somewhere still have my “special” DHS lapel pin with the Tom Ridge “autograph” on the back. It was with an agency that legitimately could trace its origins back to 1790 and Hamilton.)

  10. P J Evans says:

    The media are picking up on this one now. Apparently the FBI is now trying to find Pierce, so far with no luck.

  11. Rugger9 says:

    OT: it seems Lindell is selling off MyPillow assets to fund the defense against Dominion. Isn’t MyPillow publicly traded? If so, then the stockholders ought to have a say. If not, “‘bye Felicia”.

    • Peterr says:

      Three thoughts: (1) Got a link for that? (2) No, it is privately held. (3) What kind of assets are we talking about here?

      If Lindell is selling warehouses, machinery, and property owned by MyPillow, that’s pretty ordinary. But if he’s selling some of his own stock to raise money, the people buying this stock from him would have to be True Believers, as purchasing stock — a stake in the company — also means purchasing a stake in both the company’s assets and liabilities, including any future liabilities like a court judgement against them. And note, please, that Dominion sued both Lindell AND MyPillow.

      Money, meet drain.

  12. The Old Redneck says:

    That DOJ filing about Pierce was some of the most epic trolling I’ve ever seen. Whoever wrote that has probably never had more fun at a keyboard.
    That being said, Pierce is in quicksand up to his neck – if he ever recovers from whatever ails him.

    • Raven Eye says:

      I can’t shake the image of him using the quicksand cure for Covid. Probably heard about it from some “expert” doctor in Idaho.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Texas has all but seceded from the Union. Let it finish the job, allow entry from anyone who wants to emigrate from it, without requiring SIVs, and impose the standard trade and customs rules on it without restraint. Then negotiate the usual treaties, and include compliance with human rights standards. Having tossed out the latter, it would have to invent them out of whole cloth, publicly, while serially failing to agree to provide them. It might be the only thing that would encourage its legislature to hold more than one session every two years (which allows its most powerful families and their pet governor to rule in between).

    But it’s the Sup.Ct.’s sexist radical christianist proto-fascist right wing that makes a mockery of freedom in America. It makes a mockery of states rights by inverting the Supremacy Clause. And it brings legal impunity to a gun fight, but only for one side in what is now a non-stop conflict.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      In the unlikely event anyone missed it, Texas now sets the ceiling for abortion rights in Red State America. As if it weren’t already, it will be front and center in the 2022 and 2024 campaigns. Ain’t no way around that – except perhaps to reform the S.Ct.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I think so as well. It will require the Ds to show up in 2022, by which time we will have had several more inconvenient truths revealed about Kevin and Devin (and DJT, and …) plus what will likely be more shadow docket shenanigans. It will apparently take that much hubris by the Six GQP Hacks (riffing off of Charlie Pierce) to make the Ds do what must be done.

        IIRC, the Texas law had been challenged and SCOTUS declined to grant cert or something like that on the shadow docket. Since 4 are needed for cert, the Six GQP Hacks were OK with blowing off Roe, Casey and probably Griswold too.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The Roberts majority accomplished this by doing nothing – that is, by not overturning an overtly unconstitutional Texas state law – which avoids giving the minority an opportunity to contest on the record their spurious rationales for effectively overturning Roe v. Wade.

        • Raven Eye says:

          How would you like being a white collar/high tech worker in some place like Austin? Maybe not an airlift, but I imagine a lot of employees are going to be having conversations with HR. Any health plans will need to be carefully checked and scrubbed where necessary.

          It would raise the drama level if some very high paid CEO(s) established secure counseling links to out-of-state providers, made sure the employees were informed, and then sat back and suggested that these wing nuts take their best shot.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The seemingly ALEC-designed Texas SB8 is a smorgasbord of misogyny, racism and Federalist Society claptrap decades in the making. If not successfully challenged, it will be replicated for similar – and dissimilar – purposes across Red State America. It makes earlier GOP “tort reform” efforts look like pale reeds. It is a full-scale assault on the law – and society – as we know it.

      • Solo says:

        Thanks for the Guardian link, Earl. Setting aside all the amazing individuals who’ve come out of Texas (Tish Hinojosa, Larry McMurtry, James McMurtry . . . ) a ranching friend from New Mexico maintains the only two good things to come out of Texas are I-10 and an empty bus.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Owing to its state-funded but private right of action – its minimum $10K “reward” to the bounty hunter snitch, for example – Texas SB8 is designed to bring the law and the courts into disrepute. Other GOP legislatures will quickly adopt its template. Texas courts will be flooded, for example, with claims that Joe or Jane arranged transport to NOLA for a Houston mother-teen-runaway-rape victim-divorcee-immigrant to have an abortion. (Meanwhile, the Dallas ingenue or society hostess who needs an abortion will obtain one unmolested.)

        Federal courts will be flooded with claims that the private lawsuits are unconstitutional, and that the state “reward” scheme is a disguise for unlawful state action. The reliably craven Fifth Circuit will dismiss most of those. But at some point, the Supremes will have to go on record. By then, chaos and cruelty will be order of the day, and the rate of safe abortions will dwindle. For S.Ct. and other zealots, no conduct, no other harm is too extreme to save the unborn (after which god can sort them out, because the unwanted are an evil drain on society).

        With laws and the courts in disrepute, who dares, wins will become the order of the day. The louder you shout, the more extreme you become, the more violent you are willing to be, the more power you have and the more you get your way. MTG metastasized. It’s a perfect fit for a GOP destined to lose election after election, owing to demographics and the rejection by a majority of Americans of its extreme violent lawless behavior. The model comes straight out of 1930s Germany.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          A lot of those lawsuits will become uncontested default judgments, because so many defendants will not learn about them in time, or have the knowledge or means to contest them. The consequences will be permanent and life-changing, which makes this law a major new front in the right’s unremitting culture war. As Adam Serwer says, cruelty is the point.

          • pasha says:

            if i understand this correctly, the civil suit is brought against the person providing or assisting in an abortion, not the mother herself. i don’t know about texas, but around here state civil suits have been taking over two years to get heard. this may be — at least in the short term — more performance art by the texas right wing than anything else

        • Raven Eye says:

          On the side, is there a likelihood for First Amendment federal suits? That could cover donations and verbal or written pro-choice activities. (I haven’t talked to the family 1A lawyer yet…)

      • Rugger9 says:

        One does wonder TX will do if a woman leaves TX to get the abortion but gets ratted out on her return. HIPAA is pretty strict about patient records, and as I see it TX would have to prove she got the abortion in TX. Anywhere else, and TX can piss in the wind. For now, until SCOTUS overturns next year.

    • harpie says:

      What The Texas Abortion Ban Does — And What It Means For Other States September 1, 2021

      […] Anyone who successfully sues an abortion provider under this law could be awarded at least $10,000. And to prepare for that, Texas Right to Life has set up what they call a “whistleblower” website where people can submit anonymous tips about anyone they believe to be violating the law. […]

      For a look at the “whistleblower” form:
      9:15 AM · Sep 1, 2021

      be a shame if everyone logged on to report ted cruz [screenshot]

      This is what it says:

      If you want to help enforce the Texas Heartbeat Act anonymously, or have a tip on how you think the law has been violated, fill out the form below. We will not follow up with or contact you.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Apparently the internet / TikTok warriors are creatively trolling websites. Keep up the good work to buy some more time.

      • Raven Eye says:

        I wonder how long it will be before someone publishes a list of all the elected officials in Texas who are some kind of medical practitioner?

    • P J Evans says:

      Give them a choice: they can be part of the US with the money, government facilities, and consitutional responsibilities those involve, or they can go it alone, without any help from the US government, and with no facilities like NASA or the military. And with CBP at all the borders that have been only state lines.

  14. Eureka says:

    Hello, my name is “Externality of the Petrol Industry (frackers!) and Their Handsomely Paid Senators”, and Ida sux.

    So do near all the storms now. In our (major population center) region we’re having record numbers of tornado warnings (breaking the record set last year), actual tornadoes, and tornadoes of greater strength. Besides the flooding and whatnot. Someone on twitter noted that NWS Mount Holly (NJ, incl. southeastern PA) has issued more tornado warnings this year than has NWS Norman (OK). Area meteorologist calls it #NewTornadoAlley. Yay! Tons of tornadoes! (We may have more basements per capita in these parts butcha can’t seek shelter in a flooding one.)

    My thoughts are with those in Ida’s wake and path (Newark Liberty is flooded, too).

    So when will we be doing anything about all this? Can we recalculate the true price of a gallon of gas or all that freaking Koched-up plastic to include the countless people’s and municipalities’ costs, including not just all the damages but regular stress and time (I’ll be up all night manning sump pumps, etc., while being super thankful that I have power — vicous circle. So sorry we cannot send you folks out west some of our rain).

    At least the sirens have paused for now, but that just means they’re blaring in someone else’s back yard.

    We are all so in the throes of this climate disaster … we get to keep our regular regional weather problems, but worse, and with new ones at the rate of Oprah doling out gifts.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    To summarize Marcy’s twtr feed on this point this morning, the unbarred-in-DC Ryan Marshall is still trying to stand in for “John Pierce,” who remains “in hospital” somewhere, with an unspecified illness, but expects to be out “next week.” (Judge Mehta has allowed Marshall to appear in his courtroom for limited purposes, mostly, I suspect, to act as an information conduit for the absent “John Pierce.”)

    Per Marshall, Pierce Bainbridge PC’s attempts to engage DC-barred co-counsel have come to nought. No shit. Who would want to be co-counsel with a non-appearing “John Pierce” – who do you sign a contract with? – who has an outsized ego even by DC standards, seems to be swirling down the toilet, has a now dubious record and debts up to his eyeballs? As for who the Bainbridge is in that firm name, Mr. Marshall does not know. (The firm website seems to be on the blink now, like its telephones.)

    Co-counsel would have to be paid directly by the client or risk becoming another unsecured creditor to the overly-debt-burdened “John Pierce.” “Pierce” would object to that, he does not seem to like to share, and no client wants to pay twice for the same legal work – or, as here, for no apparent work at all. Far better to wait and take up the case yourself, after “Pierce” no longer needs to be reckoned with. Mehta seems to be taking a softly-softly approach by asking to have local PDs act as advisory counsel, pending “John Pierce’s” “return.” Good call.

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