Three Things: Ugly Goes Clean to the Bone [UPDATE-1]

[NB: As always, check the byline. Updates will appear at the bottom. Thanks. /~Rayne]

Friday we got badly wanted news; we wanted it badly enough we didn’t blink at its arrival in the late Friday afternoon news dump zone.

But it wasn’t enough. It was only the start, a mere teaser.

~ 3 ~

At 3:53 p.m. last Friday, the Department of Justice tweeted the indictment news:

The internet was paying attention:

…even if Steve Bannon hadn’t been.

Rather hubristic to carry on as if he didn’t expect to be indicted, but then many of us were beginning to think it would never happen.

Bannon is supposed to surrender himself today, which may be a bit of a circus since Bannon now has a new attorney, David Schoen. Schoen was one of Trump’s impeachment attorneys in 2020.

~ 2 ~

The well-meaning sages who insisted things were under control — it was a good sign it was taking nearly a month to indict Bannon, don’t be like deplorables, blah-blah-blah — all had their say.

But which is it?

These things just need more time because DOJ must be cautious?

Or these things just needed this one person who wasn’t approved as DC-US Attorney until October 28 and sworn in more than a week later on November 5 to do the thing — which, by the way, took one week from oath to indictment?

Because it sure looks like the entirety of the House January 6 committee’s ability to wield its inherent powers on intransigent witnesses was completely dependent on the absence/presence of a single Biden appointee which some jerk like Sen. Ted Cruz could have held up the way he is currently holding our foreign policy hostage with holds on State Department nominees.

Are we supposed to accept with a pat on our heads that our democracy yet again depended on one person’s role?

If the DC-US Attorney were to become incapacitated at any time when the January 6 committee refers a contempt charge to DOJ, are we supposed to accept the platitudes “this takes time” or “don’t be a deplorable” when nothing happens?

What kind of government continuity is this?

~ 1 ~

Which brings us to the problem of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who received communications both Thursday and Friday from the chair of the January 6 committee about his lack of response to a subpoena issued by the committee on September 23.

Using false or misleading claims, Meadows had attempted to spur the DOJ to investigate election fraud claims including a bizarre theory that unknown persons located in Italy used military technology and satellites to remotely switch votes from Trump to Biden. These claims were sent to then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen between December and January — after the 2020 election but before the January 6 insurrection.

Meadows was supposed to appear before the committee on October 15 to answer questions about these claims and his role in pushing them toward the DOJ, a week after he was supposed to have furnished documents requested by the committee in relation to these false election fraud claims.

The committee’s chair sent a letter last Thursday to Meadow’s attorney:

And on Friday the committee emphasized it’s going to use the tools available to it to obtain compliance with the subpoena — or else.

Meadow’s attorney sent a massively ballsy op-ed to the Washington Post as a rebuttal to the committee’s subpoena:

Opinion: In abandoning executive privilege, Biden rejects 200 years of history

George J. Terwilliger III is a partner at McGuireWoods LLP in Washington and previously served as deputy attorney general.

As counsel for former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, I was surprised and disappointed to receive a letter Thursday informing me that the Biden administration will be the first in history not to resist a congressional subpoena for testimony from a senior White House aide. …

WaPo treated this like any other conservative’s op-ed; no caveat this op-ed may be tampering with an investigation.

Rather interesting how Terwilliger was able to get a 789-word op-ed published at 3:30 p.m. on the same day the January 6 committee issued its letter. This isn’t the first time Terwilliger has opined in WaPo about someone involved in the January 6 insurrection though Terwilliger’s last op-ed was a defense of former AG Bill Barr’s interference in Roger Stone’s sentencing. Can’t have the GOP’s senior ratfucker excessively punished during an election season after all.

Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean didn’t think much of Terwilliger’s op-ed:

I think I’d put my money behind Dean as to which of these two attorneys has a better grasp on the limits of executive privilege.

But it gets worse for Meadows since the soon-to-be-released book about the January 6 insurrection by reporter Jonathan Karl revealed yet another memo outlining steps to effect the autogolpe overthrowing the election.

Meadows had forwarded by email to then-VP Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short a memo prepared by attorney Jennifer Ellis outlining the steps Pence needed to take to avoid certifying the election for Biden until a new alternate slate of electors for Trump could be introduced from just enough states to flip the election to Trump.

A rather pathetic carrot offered to Pence with the stick to follow on the day of the insurrection — a threat of violence and possible assassination by mob because Pence didn’t take the memo as a White House-approved order.

Looks like the number of questions Meadows must now answer has grown even longer.

~ 0 ~

The title of this post comes from an aphorism attributed to a favorite writer, Dorothy Parker: “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” Meadows may be more physically attractive and better dressed than Bannon but they’re both deeply ugly people who represent an existential threat to American democracy.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 10:00 P.M. ET —


For a guy who was simply asked to appear before a House committee to answer some questions about what happened leading up to and on the day of January 6, this guy sure wants his audience to believe he’s being uniquely singled out for harassment by a president who both believes in the equal but separate powers inherent to each branch of government, and who believes the DOJ should be independent of the White House. Perhaps Bannon’s projecting since he was just fine with Trump’s DOJ acting like his personal police force.

Bannon could have just shown up, told the committee on a question by question basis, “I can’t answer that because my lawyer said it’s under executive privilege as Trump has claimed,” and simply gone about his day, coming off cool and collected like someone with nothing to hide.

But no, Bannon has to make a big scene because it’s a grift for more money; you know when he said “Stand by,” he will likely elaborate soon saying, “Stand by, because I’m going to ask you for help soon,” and then he’ll point to a link for donations for his legal fund.

Wow, he doesn’t even need to claim he’s building a border wall this time.

63 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Yes, bmaz, I know you’re not a fan, but I wonder how this could play out if he’s right.

    EDIT — 10:16 AM — Never let an opportunity to grift go unstreamed.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Perhaps it was internet scuttlebutt, but doesn’t an “advice of my attorney” defense also open up the attorney-client notes for background on the “advice”? It looks like Bannon is trying to blame someone else in true Trumpworld fashion.

      As it is, the events investigated by the committee occurred in 2020 and 2021, while Bannon was out of government service (and therefore executive privilege) in 2017. I would think that point by itself should sink any EP claims.

      • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

        Advice of counsel defense likely requires both the client and their advising counsel to testify to have a realistic chance of success in front of an unbiased fact finder. In the civil tax context to avoid penalties, I’ve won this issue only in cases where both the client and the adviser have testified.

        Asserting this defense waives the privilege as to ALL legal advice received on this issue, not just advice from the advising/testifying attorney.

        The advice must be reasonable. Hence the importance of seeking sanctions against Attorneys who take batshit crazy positions, to demonstrate their positions are not reasonable.

      • subtropolis says:

        Not so much blaming someone else as an attempt to run out the clock. His lawyer’s role will be to swear up and down that his advice was a good faith acknowledgement of Trump’s so very legitimate appeal to executive privilege. “We’re just trying to defer to the process, your honor. Out of an abundance of caution, you see. This is a grave Constitutional matter.”

  2. ernesto1581 says:

    OT. it’s official, pat leahy retiring. let the chariot races begin.
    two remarkable women likely to contend for peter welch’s house seat, rebecca balint (vt senate pres. pro tem) & keisha ram hinsdale (vt state senator.) also savvy machine pol & jenny-come-lately molly may (lieut. governor) who comes with heavy DNC support.

    • rip says:

      Quick correction: that’s “Molly Gray” come-lately.

      Another candidate for the junior senator position (after Bernie) is the current republican governor, Phil Scott. Scott would be an interesting choice as he has been considered one of the most non-illiberal repub governors and has mainly led the state well through the pandemic. I believe that many dems would support him altho it could further wreak havoc with their party’s chances.

      • ernesto1581 says:

        Thanks, Gray it is.
        Phil Scott’s an interesting and personable guy. For the most part he has stood well apart from both national Repub governors and (more importantly) the state Repub party for some time — at least since Brady Toensing went to DC as VT Trump campaign chair and left the party in the hands of a deranged Deb Billado. Scott did not vote for Trump either time; issued a directive last spring (?) to Sec of State Jim Condos to make sure every registered voter gets a mail-in ballot for every local, state and federal election; did a fine and thoughtful job with the pandemic during its first and second waves during which he was seen and heard every week on local tv and radio with state health commissioner Mark Levine at his side and sharing equal time.

        It’s true, he was favored by many Dems last gubernatorial election; the so-called Prog David Zuckerman provided a poorly-articulated alternative. But I doubt either Progs or many Dems would come out for him in a senatorial race. And were he to declare he would almost certainly be primaried by someone or something ugly from the Repub caucus (which, by the way, is so moribund that it meets in the men’s room of the Rutland Motel 6.)

        Scott’s been in state govt since Howard Dean left town, back in the ‘aughts — his heart at this point may well be in the stock car circuit at Thunder Road in Barre. (As of summer 2019, he had won some 30-plus events, placing him third all-time in his division.)

        n.b. I mispelled “Kesha” Ram Hinsdale’s name as well.

  3. Rugger9 says:

    OT, but did anyone else notice that Jenna Ellis also wrote a memo like Eastman’s? IIRC she’s on the subpoena list but given her prior peccadillos in CO she really should be disbarred (I know she won’t).

    • Rayne says:

      There’s a link to the story in the post:

      But it gets worse for Meadows since the soon-to-be-released book about the January 6 insurrection by reporter Jonathan Karl revealed yet another memo outlining steps to effect the autogolpe overthrowing the election.

      Meadows had forwarded by email to then-VP Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short a memo prepared by attorney Jennifer Ellis outlining the steps Pence needed to take to avoid certifying the election for Biden until a new alternate slate of electors for Trump could be introduced from just enough states to flip the election to Trump.

      See it?

      • Rugger9 says:

        I wanted to know what Jenna Ellis had been doing, since she’d been so quiet post-J6. Now we know why, and we’ll see what the committee gets out of her. I don’t see her flipping unless every ruling goes against Team DJT and even then it’s a maybe.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          In Landslide, Michael Wolff suggests that Jenna Ellis slipped out the back door once the excitement and glamour (accompanying Giuliani to absurdist-theater performances of lawyering their doomed suits in various courtrooms, egged on by such towering legal minds as Ken Paxton and Sidney Powell) turned sour in her mouth. Literally–she was the one subjected to Rudy’s farts. Between sensory torture and the dawning idea that in trying to raise her profile beyond Fox News, she had dived into the wrong pool: she pulled off a cannonball but looked like a candidate for disbarment.

          I’ve taken great interest in Jonathan Karl’s report of a “second memo.” (Which would actually be a third memo, at least, since Eastman put two forward himself.) I assume she produced it while still flush with visions of un-presidented glory (i.e., the stripping of Joe Biden of his victory/title). Like so many of these people Ellis is both an intriguing enigma and, as far as I can tell, an opportunistic cipher. Ultimately I don’t have time to seek for the truth behind the lipstick. But if someone here has, I’d love to hear about it.

          As a great woman once said, If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit with me.

  4. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. Excellent ending paragraph.
    With Bannon, you have to be taught to hate. The lyrics from South Pacific come to mind:

    You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught lyrics
    You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear,
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year to year,
    It’s got to be drummed
    In your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.
    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.
    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
    Before you are six or seven or eight,
    To hate all the people your relatives hate,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught!

    • Solo says:

      Thank you, Rayne, for drilling right into this, right to the bone.

      Bannon and his hung-over cover, not fooled by anyone here, also brings to mind lyrics from a song written around 2007, still living in Minnesota, during the overlapping terms of ex – Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and ex – House of Rep. Republican Michelle Bachman.

      The voice of the NEW SAVAGES: Their very own KUMBAYA, passed along now, from campfire to campfire . . .
      New Savages

      See this ugliness here? We want this ugliness gone.
      We’re resetting the clocks that had never been wrong.
      Our Lord meant for us to have this great fenced land.
      ‘Cause dead Indians and you savages never knew what you had.

      All beauty upended.
      Old Chevys crushed rusty. Carhops gone blind.
      All beauty upended.
      Gonna bring it all back for one more . . . glorious time.

      On the rails to the future. We are back on track
      Get your messes out of here. You are not coming back.
      With our God-given bullets. Our home-made wine.
      Blessed germs of destruction. Holy nooses of twine.

      All beauty upended . . .

      We will sweep up your music. Set fire to your art.
      Do what’s required so this won’t come apart.
      With our winds. With our teeth. With our balancing eyes.
      Charges have been set. Man, you are in for a surprise.

      All beauty upended . . .

      See this ugliness here? We want this ugliness gone.

  5. joel fisher says:

    The conversations regarding executive decisions fall into 2 categories: 1) Stuff about running the country, perhaps arguably privileged; and 2) Stuff about planning, financing, and executing a criminal conspiracy, unprivileged. I don’t believe the Former did much of #1, so I’m betting there’s plenty going to be a lot of #2. Given the unprivileged status of #2, the Judge might have to appoint a Special Master to see what’s what and, maybe I’m dreamin’, but the process could be shorter.

    • Rayne says:

      Process could be shorter if they went through the documents the committee requested and simply explained why specific ones are privileged because they’re not all privileged. Bannon and Meadows are just plain stalling.

  6. harpie says:

    12/31/20 TRUMP Administration COS, MEADOWS sends MEMO written by TRUMP Campaign Lawyer, Jenna ELLIS [“A detailed plan for undoing President Joe Biden’s election victory”], to top PENCE Aide. [I guess that means Marc SHORT?]

    1/1/21 TRUMP Administration Aide John MCENTEE sent another [Campaign] MEMO, titled “Jefferson used his position as VP to win.”, to PENCE’s COS, Marc SHORT.

    For TRUMP, et al, there was NO boundary between Government and Politics.

    [#J6TL ;-) /~Rayne]

    • harpie says:

      12/30/20 TRUMP Campaign Lawyer Cleta MITCHELL sends MEADOWS a copy of the [Political] lawsuit filed against Raffensperger and offered to provide the TRUMP Administration Justice Department with 1,800 pages of exhibits.
      Meadows forwards the email to acting TRUMP Administration Attorney General Jeffrey ROSEN.
      MEADOWS: “Can you have your team look into these allegations of wrongdoing. Only the alleged fraudulent activity”

      It seems like MEADOWS’ full time job in the TRUMP Administration was all POLITICS.
      But, I guess that’s to be expected because for 4 years, that was TRUMP’s FULL TIME JOB, too.

      Thanks for adding the hashtag!

    • P J Evans says:

      The memo about Jefferson ignores the changes in the law and the Constitution since that election. (Ought to get McEntee stomped by the court.)

    • harpie says:

      Johnny MCENTEE:
      2016 – Trump Campaign
      2017 – Trump Administration
      2018 – FIRED by Kelly > HIRED by Trump 2020 Campaign
      2020 REHIRED by Trump Administration [to be the LOYALTY ENFORCER]

      The re-hiring happened literally ON a campaign flight to this Trump Campaign rally in New Hampshire >
      8:31 PM · Feb 10, 2020

      “Advisers hoped that Secret Service moves in Manchester to secure the area for president would make it harder for Democratic candidates and their supporters to transverse the state’s largest city in the hours before the primary’s first votes are cast” [link]

      2/11/20 AP Story: Trump plunges into New Hampshire race, aiming to rattle Dems
      2/13/20 2/13/20
      11:02 AM · Feb 13, 2020

      MORE in White House staff moves – Johnny McEntee, the aide removed by Kelly over security clearance issues who recently returned to the West Wing, is expected to take over the office that oversees presidential personnel appointments, per 2 ppl briefed.

      Sean Doocey, who had overseen PPO, is moving to the State Department, per additional sources.

      McEntee wanted the personnel job, according to several people briefed on the events. Doocey could have stayed and worked for him, but instead opted to move to State

    • harpie says:
      5:44 PM · Nov 17, 2021

      One year ago today, [11/17/20] @C_C_Krebs was fired as the top cyber security official at DHS. His sins against Trump were outlined in this memo by Johnny McEntee’s team, including this: “His wife posted a family photo on Facebook with the ‘Biden Harris’ logo watermarked at the bottom” [screenshot]

      Marcy points to this line from the MCENTEE Memo on Krebs:
      Has broken from White House direction on election security, and has pushed narratives of foreign interference.
      6:32 PM · Nov 17, 2021

      This is a fucking stunning line in Johnny McEntee’s baseball card for @C_C_Krebs. Most charitably, is says Krebs is a target because he won’t lie about vote fraud. Less charitably it means Krebs actually wants to protect the vote.

        • harpie says:

          No, I didn’t. Thanks!

          Using a Twitter thread and photos/screenshots of what things looked like at each particular time the National Guard was requested is a really great way to depict that timeline.

          And she adds in some very good points of reference…like the ending of Trump’s speech.

          I’m going to look back at where we spoke about those requests, and see if I can fill out those entries a bit…for one thing, I see we showed 12 requests where she shows 14 >>>

        • harpie says:

          I’m adding this new info here, just to get it in before this post closes:

          8:10 AM · Nov 20, 2021

          The former commanding general of the D.C. National Guard [Major General William Walker] is demanding the retraction of an IG report that says Army leaders had to tell him twice to send troops to the Capitol on Jan. 6, saying that the allegation is false and must be corrected.

          ~30 minute disparity in these accounts: [WaPo link] [screenshot]

          From the screenshot:

          William J. Walker, now retired from the military and serving at the Capitol as House sergeant-at-arms, said in an interview that he never received a call from Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy at 4:35 p.m., as alleged in a report by the Defense Department’s acting inspector general, Sean O’Donnell. Walker, repeating comments he made during sworn Senate testimony in March, said that he received authorization to deploy troops at 5:08 p.m. and immediately dispatched those forces already loaded onto several buses to depart the D.C. Armory.

          • harpie says:

            See this conversation between Ryan Goodman and Marcy:
            9:34 AM · Mar 12, 2021

            Scene 1: Trump’s acting Defense Secty claims critics of delays on 1/6 don’t understand how military works
            Scene 2: DC Guard Commander testifies under oath that approval process can take “minutes”
            Scene 3: DC Guard Commander testifies could have gotten forces to Capitol in 20min


            His comments made me wonder whether HE doesn’t know the norm with the Guard — it was his first deployment — and that Patel slow-walked it.
            Someone delayed telling General Walker, which might easily be attributed to an incompetent or intentionally obstructive CoS.

            Did the DOD IG talk to KASH PATEL?

  7. Tom Conroy says:

    Meadows doesn’t have Bannon’s money to engage in a protracted legal battle. The Committee has some incentive to resolve things sooner rather than later. They want to complete their investigation before it drags well into next year. Something will get worked out before a criminal indictment

    • Troutwaxer says:

      I’m not sure it will work like that. I think it’s more like this: The Committee is working their way through other types of evidence. Eventually they’ll be able to approach someone like Bannon and say, “You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you help us out we’ll give you a deal on which charges we refer to the DOJ.”

      I very much doubt the committee has any need to compromise.

      • Tom Conroy says:

        Two misdemeanor charges? Not sure the stakes are very high for Bannon. He can drag this out past next Nov. Then good bye Committee.

  8. Christy Smith says:

    Everyone noticed today that Bannon was wearing three pens in the “3 percenter” formation on his polo shirt placket, right? Signal much? You can see it plain as day in this photo:
    Because you know someone at FBI or the USAtty’s office was paying attention — especially if there is chatter online or any activity that coordinates in any way with the surrender-palooza livestream on Facebook today. His defense counsel either wasn’t paying attention, agrees with his white nationalist signaling tendencies or is about to meet what happens when your client drags you into the clown car with him. Unbelievably stupid disrespect to the federal magistrate.
    *waves to Marcy, bmaz and Rayne*

    • bmaz says:

      CHRISTY!!! How the hell are you?

      His lawyer is David Schoen, and trust me he is right at home in the MAGA clown car.

      • Christy Smith says:

        I’m good! I missed who represented him in the article but, yes, Schoen is more than familiar with the clown car. Can’t imagine anyone in the Prettyman courthouse putting up with live-streaming commentary from a criminal defendant, but maybe things have changed since the days when Reggie Walton ran a tighter ship on that sort of thing. If I had to guess, I’d say that will be addressed with counsel sooner rather than later — with particular emphasis on threats issued, veiled or otherwise, on his stupid white supremacy hour podcast.

      • Christy Smith says:

        We’re great! Life is good for all of us at the moment. Brace yourself — The Peanut is a freshman in college. (I know!) I have to say, Bannon looks like he shops at the Beatnik Rejects and Fidel Castro Mystique Boutique, doesn’t he, in all that military surplus and baggy black whatever that is? Just sad.

        • P J Evans says:

          He looks like he lives on Skid Row somewhere. (I’ve heard it costs a lot of money to maintain that look.)

          • Rugger9 says:

            Billy Joel mentioned something like that outfit in “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”. You can’t look trashy ’til you spend a lot of money…

            However, what’s the read on the judge assigned to Bannon?

        • Rayne says:

          HOMG a frosh Peanut! How time flies! Welcome to empty nesting – visit here more often!

          And yeah, the Bannon couture is sad, but it’s clearly as anarchic as he is.

          EDIT: In case Christie comes back to this thread — take a look at the video of Bannon after he surrendered. There’s a clip in this tweet by Ally Samarco. Apparently he “lost” his pens.

          • Geoguy says:

            Funny you mentioned “lost” his pens. I watched the tv on 3 different channels and I didn’t see the pens. His jacket was partially closed or the reporter’s microphone was in the way or the chyron covered them. I tried Christy Smith’s link and the first 2 hits were for a porn site and a .ru site. I tried an image search for “bannon + surrender” and found it.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Congratulations to the Peanut. With my two I found the best gift to give them was to keep them out of the student loan trap. More expensive at the front, but it has paid off for both of the girls since.

    • pdaly says:

      Hi, Christy!

      Good to see your name in these threads!

      The cnbc website must have updated their link since you posted, because when I click on your link, I do not see the photo nor are the pens visible to me when watching the video at the top of that webpage.

      Nevertheless, I see Rayne captured (below your initial comment, and above my comment here) what you are talking about.
      From the same or a substitute video, I wonder?

      • Rayne says:

        I’m glad I thought to snag the .jpg link when I opened the link Christy shared. I should download a copy just in case. Next time I’ll think to archive the page in the Wayback Machine.

    • matt fischer says:

      FWIW, the Google machine reveals Bannon has been wearing pens in that manner for years, sometimes with two pens (as seen here, in November 2019, and here, in January of this year.), and sometimes with three (as seen here, in October).

  9. hollywood says:

    The question I have is where does Bannon fit in the big picture. Is he the linchpin or merely a building block? Will he waste the committee’s time or will he offer some cooperation? If he wanted, he could attempt to be a John Dean, but that’s not in him. Meanwhile it seems he gets counsel money from foreign interests (why?).
    The next question is who is the judge and how does he view this situation? Is he another Sirica or is he some right wing shill?

    • Rayne says:

      The January 6 Committee’s investigation is looking into the size of each participant’s role. We don’t know yet all the details of Bannon’s efforts, but if the National Archives’ response is any indicator, Bannon is more than a building block. Snapshot from their reply from Just Security’s Ryan Goodman via Twitter:

  10. Savage Librarian says:

    Thanks, Rayne. I’m sitting here imagining you and Dorothy Parker lighting up a crowded room. But wait…you do that all by yourself!

    My mother used to love to tell little snippets of stories about her childhood and early adult life. One was about my father having once had the opportunity to open a taxicab door for Dorothy Parker. LOL.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL Nah, I’m just a pudgy grandmotherly-type now, won’t light up anything except a chafing dish of late. If there’s a time and place I could visit in the past it would have been meetings of the Algonquin Round Table with Parker present. I envy the taxicab story.

  11. Alan Charbonneau says:

    “But no, Bannon has to make a big scene because it’s a grift for more money; you know when he said “Stand by,” he will likely elaborate soon saying, ‘Stand by, because I’m going to ask you for help soon,’ and then he’ll point to a link for donations for his legal fund.”

    It’s always about grift. Even Trump’s desire for revenge is less powerful than his desire for money:
    “ Karl also says that Trump threatened to create his own political party, backing down only when Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, countered by threatening to give away the valuable email list of his 40 million supporters for free — “effectively making it impossible for Trump to make money by renting it out.”

    As much as he was in slash and burn mode, Ronna mentions money and his actions quickly change.

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