Whinger Verbs: To Investigate … To Prosecute … To Indict

Because Alvin Bragg chose not to prosecute Donald Trump, the whingers are out again complaining about Merrick Garland, who last I checked was an entirely different person.

I’ve copied the “Key January 6 posts” from my post showing what reporting on the January 6 investigation — rather than simply fear-mongering to rile up CNN viewers or your Patreon readers — really looks like below.

But for now I’d like to talk about the language the whingers — those complaining that Merrick Garland hasn’t shown people who aren’t looking what DOJ is doing. It’s telling.

Take this post from David Atkins that opines, accurately, that “Refusing to Prosecute Trump Is a Political Act,” but which stumbles in its sub-head — “The evidence is clear. It’s time to prosecute the former president, and Merrick Garland shouldn’t wait.” — and then completely collapses when it asserts that there are just two possible reasons why Merrick Garland has not “prosecuted” Trump.

But there is a deeper question as to why Attorney General Merrick Garland and the DOJ have not prosecuted Trump. No one at the department is talking on the record, but there are only two possible answers—neither of which is satisfactory.

It is possible that prosecutors do not believe there is enough evidence against Trump to convince a jury of his guilt. I’m not a lawyer, but this seems somewhat difficult to believe.


The second possibility is that the Department of Justice hasn’t prosecuted Trump because of political pressure. Again, this is speculation. But if Garland is succumbing to either internal or external pressure to avoid charging Trump out of fears of civil conflict, or the appearance of political motivation, that would be a grave error—not prosecutorial discretion but prosecutorial dereliction. Allowing fears of violent reprisals to derail a prosecution would be a grave injustice.

Atkins is wrong about the reasons. I wrote here about why the ten acts of obstruction Mueller identified are almost universally misrepresented by whingers, in part because Billy Barr did real damage to those charges (as he did to other ongoing investigations), and in part because the ten acts that existed in March 2019 are not the acts of obstruction that exist today.

We know part of why Trump hasn’t been charged for political crimes: because Trump ensured the FEC remained dysfunctional and Republicans have voted not to pursue them (something that whingers might more productively spend their time pursuing).

It seems nutty to suggest that Trump should be “prosecuted” already for taking classified documents to Mar-a-Lago when that was referred just weeks ago. It’s also worth considering whether it would be easier to prosecute Trump for obstruction for these actions, tied to one of his other malfeasance, and then consider where investigations related to that malfeasance already exist.

Bizarrely, Atkins doesn’t consider it a possibility that it would take Merrick Garland’s DOJ more than 380 days to prosecute the former President. It took months to just wade through Stewart Rhodes’ Signal texts. It has taken 11 months, so far, to conduct a privilege review of Rudy’s phones (for which DOJ obtained a warrant on Lisa Monaco’s first day on the job). DOJ has six known cooperators in the Oath Keeper case (at least four with direct ties to Roger Stone) and one known cooperator in the Proud Boys case (and likely a bunch more we don’t know about). Particularly in the Oath Keeper investigation, DOJ has been rolling people up serially. But that process has taken longer because of COVID, discovery challenges, and the novelty of the crime.

But that goes to Atkins’ curious choice of the word “prosecute” here. I generally use the verb to refer to what happens after an indictment — the years long process of rebuffing frivolous legal challenges, but for an organized crime network, “prosecute” might also mean working your way up from people like militia members guarding your rat-fucker to the militia leaders planning with your rat-fucker to the rat-fucker to the crime boss.

I think what Atkins actually means, though, is “indict,” or “charge.” But his entire post betrays a fantasy where one can simply arrest a white collar criminal in the act after he has committed the act.

What whingers often say, though, is they want Garland to “investigate” Trump. Then they list a bunch of things — like cooperating witnesses or grand jury leaks or raids or indictments — that we’ve already seen, and insist we would see those things if there were an investigation but take from that that there’s not an investigation even though we see the things that they say we would see if there were an investigation.

Whinger brain confuses me sometimes.

The point, though, is that the language whingers use to describe what they imagine is Garland’s inaction or cowardice (none of these people have done the work to figure out whether that’s really the case), is designed to be impossible. That makes it necessarily an expression of helplessness, because their demand is actually that Trump be disappeared from the political scene tomorrow, and that’s hasn’t happened with multiple investigations implicating him, it sure as hell won’t happen if and when he is indicted, and it wouldn’t happen during a hypothetical extended period during which Trump is prosecuted.

Indeed, I’ve lost count of the number of people who tell me Bannon hasn’t been indicted, even though Bannon has been indicted. It’s just that he’s entitled to due process and in many ways being indicted provides him a way to play the victim.

There are multiple investigations implicating close Trump associates and the January 6 investigation is absolutely designed to incorporate Trump, if DOJ manages to continue building from the crime scene backwards. But that’s not actually what people want. None of these verbs — to investigate, to indict, to prosecute — are the ones that whingers are really hoping to see.

And the verbs they’re hoping to see — perhaps “neutralize” or “disappear” — are not ones that happen as part of due process.

And none of the due process verbs — “investigate,” “indict,” “prosecute” — are likely to work unless people at the same time think of things like “discredit.”

Key January 6 posts

The Structure of the January 6 Assault: “I will settle with seeing [normies] smash some pigs to dust”

DOJ Is Treating January 6 as an Act of Terrorism, But Not All January 6 Defendants Are Terrorists

While TV Lawyers Wailed Impotently, DOJ Was Acquiring the Communications of Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and (Probably) Mark Meadows

Why to Delay a Mark Meadows Indictment: Bannon Is Using His Contempt Prosecution to Monitor the Ongoing January 6 Investigation

The Eight Trump Associates Whom DOJ Is Investigating

January 6 Is Unknowable

“I’m Just There to Open the Envelopes:” The Select Committee and DOJ Investigations Converge at Mike Pence

Why It Would Be Counterproductive To Appoint a Special Counsel to Investigate January 6

DOJ’s Approximate January 6 Conspiracies

Easy Cases: Why Austin Sarat’s Argument That Trump Should Not Be Prosecuted Is Wrong

How a Trump Prosecution for January 6 Would Work

Judge Mehta’s Ruling that Donald Trump May Have Aided and Abetted Assaults on Cops Is More Important Than His Conspiracy Decision

“Fill the Silence:” On Obstruction, Listen to DOJ and Merrick Garland

139 replies
  1. ApacheTrout says:

    I count myself a member of the ‘Hurry Up and Indict, Dagnabbit” camp.The rational part of me understands that this is a dangerous camp to be in, and members around the fire may not be as friendly as they seem, and might be quick to dismiss Due Process for other folks, not just the ones I want to see sleep with rattlesnakes. So from time to time, I try to leave for saner pastures, but then the seemingly slow walk/reluctance to issue subpoenas or DOJ inaction on a Contempt of Congress referral by the House has me back near the flames, tin cup in hand, hoping for whiskey at the chow line.

    • Al Ostello says:

      I understand wanting indictments asap…but then I remind myself that past careful investigations (such as Watergate) take a lot of time. The DOJ took 2 long years of careful investigations before dozens of Nixon’s aides were indicted after the WATERGATE break-in. Many additional months for them to be jailed.

      And this hopeful nugget…Months after the springtime WATERGATE public hearings…. Nixon’s approval dropped 15 pts and his party lost the midterms. :D

      • Theodora30 says:

        Back then there was no Fox News. If there had been Nixon’s poll numbers probably wouldn’t have dropped nearly as much, if at all.

        As for the Whingers saying if Garland were investigating we would know about it, my guess is that they are used to that happening, at least when Democrats are being investigated. Republicans make sure things leak. After all Ken Starr and Louie Freeh repeatedly did that to Clinton, the NY FBI did it that to Hillary and also assured info would leak by pressuring the spineless Comey and McCabe to leak for them.

    • John Hintze says:

      I’ve read that the DOJ is not investigating Trump or other top officials, because if it were we’d hear about it from the defendants, but we haven’t. That argument would seem to hold water, but does it? I get that due process can be slow and steady, but wouldn’t we hear something from those folks on Fox News?

  2. Hoping4Better_Times says:

    Trump survived two trials in the Senate to remove him from office. Like it or not, he has political power and he wields it like a cudgel. He will claim it is a political vendetta if he were to be indicted for anything in any jurisdiction. That said there is a grand jury in the US called the Voters. Eighty-one million voters denied him a second term and that was before the Jan 6 insurrection. I look forward to the Jan 6 Select Committee hearings. The people around trump aided and abetted the Jan 6th attack on the capital. Testimony and/or documents will implicate trump in those hearings.

    • Rugger9 says:

      That’s one good reason to be certain in the cases (but not let perfect be the enemy of good), because Individual-1 will have his supporters with their own platforms for misinformation. Part of the process I think needs to include reducing as much as possible the willingness of those supporters to continue their support so when AG Garland comes knocking there will be muted blowback.

      One very useful card to play in the ands to come is Individual-1 himself, who to put it mildly will not shut up. He also launched his social media platform with lots of ‘real American’ investors but never uses it so those small fry get to feel very stupid like that truck driver interviewed this week. Stupid goes to anger very quickly and it will be permanent. I wonder how Nunes is taking it, I could use a good laugh.

      • Charles Wolf says:

        “I wonder how Nunes is taking it, I could use a good laugh.”

        I bet he’s having a cow.

  3. FiestyBlueBird says:

    Thank you, Marcy.

    Speaking of rat-fuckers, Benjamin Wofford’s “The Fixer” piece in the April ’22 issue of Wired is quite a read. The subject is Brooks Brothers mafia alumni member Joel Kaplan’s enormous contribution to the flowering of fascism in this country via Zuckerberg’s invention. It chronicles his presence at the BB riot, his Bush years tenure, and up through his Facebook decisions that played a role in enabling Jan 6.

    I’m not sure if it is available online yet. I read it hard-copy.

    It is as fascinatingly depressing as anything one might read here, although your post today is certainly not that. So thank you again for all your work and insight.

    • BobCon says:

      If you want to be less bummed, be aware that Rule 1 of PR is the PR should never be the story.

      Any time the PR person is the story it’s a sign of two things. One is that the PR person has lost control of the story, and potentially worse from a PR standpoint, it’s a sign the CEO above the PR person is bad at their job.

      And this is only the latest Joel Kaplan story. The Wired story has good reporting, although they could have stressed these points more to highlight the point they made that Kaplan’s tactical maneuvers have masked much bigger strategic failures.

      The bigger issue is that this highlights how weak Zuckerberg is — the Kaplan problem has been public for a while and Zuck still hasn’t fixed it.

  4. obsessed says:

    While we wait to see if Garland is going to prosecute Trump, is there anyone here taking Bragg’s side in Bragg v. Pomerantz? If so, why? And if not, is there any explanation or remedy?

    • Marinela says:

      Reading the latest reporting on why Alvin Bragg would do what he did.
      Nobody can came up with a good explanation. By now, he had plenty time to explain his position, didn’t see any explanations.
      Looks like he is waiting on the story to die out and people move on to the next outrage.
      Maybe there are no good explanations.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      NYC, like Londongrad, is not a town that likes to investigate or prosecute a member of the wealth elite that controls it. It works hard to avoid it, while lying about it. But all we have is conjecture. Nobody who knows the whole story is revealing it with receipts.

        • bmaz says:

          What a load of shit. If you have even one ounce of evidence for that statement, put it up immediately. And never, ever, say that kind of cheap junk again here.

        • Mactree says:

          Yes because no politician has ever been given cash in order to do/not do something. What is it you mean; that no DA has ever taken a bribe; that Al Ostello has no physical evidence of this so shouldn’t EVER imply that this might be true; that the elected officials of our country would never take bribes; and this is “cheap junk” ? Spiro Agnew. Donald Trump. The fascination & reverence for The Law & lawyers on this site is ridiculous. I’ve seen plenty of people arrested before there has even been a Grand Jury to indict, so I’m fine with calling the Manhattan DA a coward & possibly subject to bribery or political & social pressure. And BMAZ, ‘never ever’; I had to post just because of that. “Never, ever”. Sheeesh.

        • bmaz says:

          Waaaaaah. So you have nothing either. Thanks for playing through. This whiny ass uninformed bullshit is really tiring.

          “The Law & lawyers on this site is ridiculous.” Feel free to take your “talents” elsewhere then.

        • Al Ostello says:

          Did someone take your toys when you were a kid?

          I bet you would benefit from an anger management class BM ass.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          I *think* all he meant was not to make inflammatory accusations without some shreds of evidence being cited. But I could be wrong.

        • PJB says:

          Not only is it slanderous (not that I care too much; Bragg is a public figure, he can take it) but that it doesn’t advance the discussion at all. Any idiot can make baseless accusations. I come to this page for intelligent discussion (and a few puns). I can get drivel anywhere.

        • paulka says:

          Is not the act of stopping the investigation enough evidence of potential wrongdoing? Especially given the 2 investigating attorneys resigned and then, I believe relatively unprecedented, went public with their dismay, In my mind, that is sufficient evidence worthy of contemplating the reasons.

          But then again, I have always said all along Trump will never be indicted for any crime, so it is as I expected. My prediction is the GA investigation will fade away this summer.

        • PJB says:

          I would say that I don’t know how to address the phrase “evidence of potential wrongdoing.” The point is not that Bragg necessarily acted in good faith or without criminality, it is that no one has put forth evidence of the opposite conclusion. Surely there are a host of potentials between the goalposts of righteous non-prosecution and bribery. How about, for example, good faith but wrong prosecutorial decision? How about lack of courage? How about, there’s something in the grand jury evidence that did not bode well for conviction that we don’t know about?

          I think it wise to reserve judgment until we learn more. Venting feels good of course, but it isn’t furthering the search for truth.

        • Dopey-o says:

          There are at least 3 explanations for why Bragg seems to have dropped prosecuting Trump.

          1. Bags of cash.
          2. Russian mafia threatening his family.
          3. Bragg has limited resources and limited time. Bragg knows Trump will delay and derail prosecution. Bragg wants to run for re-election with the 50 convictions he can get instead of 1 failed Trump prosecution.

          #1 and #2 make for exciting drama. #3 is probably how the real world operates. IANAL, but I watch them on TV.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Sure they are, as are corrupt politicians and corrupt bidnesspeople. But you have to bridge the gap between suspicion and provable fact. That’s built on evidence. On Bragg, it’s not there and it may never be.

      • Leoghann says:

        It took me awhile to realize that this is not the place for personal suspicions, with the possible exception of those backed up with solid, stated reasoning.

    • BobCon says:

      A lot of full time political reporters are pretty clueless on this too. They seem to think committees operate by the rules of Jason Bourne or Avengers movies.

      • Al Ostello says:

        I recall leading a citizens group and being shocked how reporters would always totally jack up even the simplest story (after receiving a press release that clearly spelled everything out and a face to face interview.)

        • P J Evans says:

          A co-worker was interviewed once for a story about rail commuters. He told us that what they reported wasn’t what he told them.

        • BobCon says:

          A lot of times when that happens the reporter has largely written the story already, and they’re fishing for a quote to fill it out.

          Reading some of Michael Schmidt’s mangled reporting on 1/6, I pretty strongly suspect he’s done the same thing. My guess is one of his top level GOP (or GOP friendly) sources has sold him on a narrative that DOJ isn’t doing anything and the 1/6 Committee is trying to corner them with a criminal referral.

          He’s seemed to have gone out then to grab a couple of noncommittal quotes to back his thesis.

          It’s interesting to me that today’s front page Ginni Thomas article excludes anyone on the byline from the DC bureau. In a best case scenario it’s a recognition by the editors that Schmidt/Haberman clique in DC is too compromised to cover 1/6, but I am guessing before long we’ll get more of the DC bureau laundering of GOP opinions to sell why this isn’t a big deal after all.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Sometimes reporters get it wrong–misconstrue, mix up notes/attributions, run out of time to recheck with sources. I always tried to get quotes exactly right, but then you can run into another problem: you know you’ve quoted a source verbatim (it’s on tape) and they decide ex post facto that they don’t like how they sound. Or someone else complains to them, so they claim they were misquoted. It’s not always the reporter. Most do try–for very scant pay.

  5. Alan Charbonneau says:

    “… there are only two possible answers…”
    Whenever someone says there are only X explanations, it pays to investigate to see if they are correct.

    One of the arguments of a moon landing being shot in a Hollywood studio is a photo of two astronauts standing next to each other and approximately the same height with two shadows that are not the same size. The argument goes “the only way the two shadows could be of different lengths is if there were two light sources, each at a different angle. Since there is only one sun, presto! It must’ve been shot in a studio!”. Such people feel they are very clever, that there was a huge conspiracy to keep this quiet and the people who faked the photos were too stupid to use a single light source. It’s astounding, but such people exist.

    The Garland analysis is far less stupid than this, but a failure to consider other explanations is emblematic of people who can’t be bothered to think.

  6. SilverWolf says:

    A crime can be ongoing for years and uncovered in an instant, however the clear and documented path to the Docket in an instant, not so much.

  7. massappeal says:

    Another excellent post, thank-you. As much as I’d like DOJ to move faster, what’s perhaps more important (imho) is for the politicians to do their jobs. In this case, that primarily means the House Select Committee and that means (again, imho) holding extensive public hearings.

    We all were reminded this week with Judge Jackson’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings how powerfully congressional hearings can dominate and change the nation’s politics. Some older folks can recall the impact the Senate Watergate Committee (1973) and the House Judiciary Committee (1974) had on public opinion and debate. Defeating Trump (and Trumpism) is as much (or more!) a political process as it is a legal process.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Biden was doing well regarding Ukraine, then he had to say publicly that there’s no resolution to this crisis without toppling Putin. Biden’s purpose and logic escape me entirely.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I wouldn’t have said it either but Rep Ted Lieu thought it to be awesome, and he’s usually pretty smart. Taken in context of the rest of the speech it was clear to me Biden was singling out Putin and not Russia in general.

      However, as the headlines and sound bites are reporting it’s a call to dump Putin not so very different from getting rid of Saddam Hussein and FWIW I think Putin plays this as a ‘Putin = Russia’ card and digs in with more local support.

      • Charles Wolf says:

        I thought it was brilliant. I wonder if they also rehearsed that “… he ad libbed it response…” thing. To me it looks more like he ad Lobbed it.
        The whole conversation will now switch to Putin’s survivability.
        I pity the Chuck Todd watchers.

      • jdmckay says:

        I am glad Biden said that. Have thought what I would do in his position, and this is one of the things. In tandem, begin…
        a) Generating demand among NATO (and any other) leader demanding free, internationally supervised elections in Russia.
        b) Begin professionally produced documentation of Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Find a way to make this widely available to Russian public.

        I am sure the majority of Russians would support both these endeavors if they new the atrocities being committed in Ukraine.

        > it’s a call to dump Putin not so very different from getting rid of Saddam Hussein

        I think that a misleading analogy. In Iraq under SH, Iraq was more closely analogous to Ukraine today (not Russia): eg. a very unjust, (IMO) criminal “liberation” of Iraq. If you recall, people from all walks of life came from all over the ME to defend Iraq. And, most of what Bush/Rumsfeld (etc.) publicly accussed SH of was manufactured lies.

        Now, Putin’s only justifications are those of a madman. Destruction of Ukraine has no value to Russia. Most Russians I believe are disgusted with Putin’s corruption and mega-wealth accumulation. And I think most Russians understand morally, over the long haul what is being done in Ukraine (if they knew it) is going to be ball-and-chain for them, for a long time.

        I am not convinced a bloodless coup overthrowing Putin is that far fetched.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The sentiment might be mirrored in every foreign office on the globe, but none of them would say it publicly, for good reason. It hardens the opposition and gives Putin no out, which usually means he’ll use even more extreme measures, which will primarily hurt Ukrainians and, secondarily, Putin’s Russian opponents.

      Apart from offering military and other aid to Ukraine, and offering aid to rebuild it after the war, it would have been more productive for Biden to offer specific aid to Poland and the other countries collectively taking in millions of Ukrainian refugees. Hosting them will cost billions that will be hard to find.

      Yes, the statement seems intended to encourage Putin’s domestic opposition. It says that the US position will be all stick and no carrot until Putin is gone. But it seems likely to hurt others, not Putin. Unless, that is, Biden has intel that says Putin’s removal is likely to happen soon. With seven or eight dead Russian generals in Ukraine, lots of Russians must be unhappy with Putin’s desperate attempt to recreate a long-dead empire and rule forever.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        A possibility is that everyone now aligned against Putin agrees that this has no end while Putin remains in power, and that that position has voluminously leaked to Putin, making denying it impractical. So make a virtue of it.

        The US and the UK, for example, have had the opposition and governing parties, respectively, amply penetrated by Russian and right wing money. Biden would be briefing the Gang of Four, which means McConnell and McCarthy. Boris Johnson and his patrons, notably the moguls of the City and real estate markets, are dependent on oligarch money. There are many in Poland, Hungary and elsewhere similarly situated. Russian intelligence would have had no lack of sources on the issue.

    • rev funky says:

      Keep in mind that it was the media (which can always be counted on to sensationalize and distort anything and everything for the sake of ratings) that told us Biden was threatening to bring about “regime change” in Russia. But Biden didn’t say that; They did.

      Biden simply stated an obvious truth: As long as Putin remains in power, he will pursue this war. He will not be deterred by any rational calculation because he is obsessed with Napoleonic fantasies of restoring the glorious Russian empire. This vision requires the conquest of Ukraine at all costs, even if it means driving Russia into the ground. He launched the invasion despite intensive diplomacy and nearly unanimous world opposition, willingly inviting crippling sanctions upon his own people, which also degrade his ability to carry out his plans.

      As further evidence of his intractability, after severely misjudging the capability of his military, he then doubled down by escalating the conflict, shifting from military objectives to attacks on civilians, endangering his own troops and opening himself up to charges of war crimes. He belligerently threatened to unleash chemical, biological and nuclear attacks on anyone who stands up to him. All this has made him an international pariah, with no effect whatsoever on his behavior. He has eliminated all voices of reason within the Kremlin, the military and intelligence services. All of these counterproductive decisions demonstrate that he has absolutely no inclination or capacity to change course. Clearly, there can be no resolution to the present crisis (and no viable future for Russia) as long as Putin remains in power. That is the context for Biden’s statement.

      Biden should have chosen his words more carefully, since his enemies, foreign and domestic (not to mention the media), are always poised to use them against him. But he wasn’t wrong.

      On a related note, a recent NPR/Ipsos poll shows that 52% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the Ukraine crisis, with only 36% in favor. But the same poll shows that the public strongly supports the individual elements of Biden’s approach. They just don’t give him credit for pursuing that approach, thanks, in large part, to the media’s self-serving coverage.

  9. SomeGuyInMaine says:

    Whingers: We see no evidence of footprints!!!

    EW: Stop staring at the ceiling. There are footprints all over the place.

    Whingers: (resolutely staring at the ceiling) We see nothing! Why is this taking so long?!! We’re doomed.

    EW: (sigh) please stop looking only at the ceiling … maybe look at the list of place where there are footprints.

  10. ollie says:

    I’m been almost panicked that the DOJ isn’t going to get trump. I know that’s silly but Marcy or anyone? I’m mostly worried about the midterm elections. What if: GOP take house/senate and they’ve already stated they’re shutting down the 1/6 committee AND any DOJ investigations. THAT is what’s keeping me up at nights.

    Missed you all. Always kept tabs on Marcy and Bmaz. It’s comforting to get trusted journalism…thank you

      • emb says:

        They can, and likely will, throw up a lot of obstacles to the DOJ investigation, though, including shutting down the government and harrassing DOJ personnel with bogus investigations. I am becoming increasingly pessimistic that a democracy can defend itself by democratic means when one of the two major political parties and at least a third of the population are bent on overthrowing that democracy.

        • bmaz says:

          Hi. My name is bmaz. I have been around from the start. And, sometimes, it just gets hard to keep up with stupidity. Who are you, Al?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          You must be new here. It pays to read the items in the top right-hand corner, especially the one labeled, “About.”

          There are a lot of sites on the Internets that don’t mind unsupported accusations and conspiracy theory rants. This isn’t one of them.

        • rip says:

          There may have been a few of us who have wanted to question bmaz about various pronouncements. Sometimes we might do so. But rarely in such a frontal attack. Good luck and god bless.

        • bmaz says:

          Am more friendly than may seem. I try to get things right. Think usually do, but obviously not always.

        • BobCon says:

          As background, there’s been a bubbling narrative among the WhY ISn’T GaRLanD SEndiNG TrumP TO GiTmO? types that a GOP committee could somehow shut down prosecutions.

          I’ll repeat my point that a lot of people think Jim Jordan as a chairman has powers out of an Avengers movie.

        • Mactree says:

          They are Republicans; funny how if you’ve been around from the beginning you still don’t seem to grasp contemporary American politics. Is this another instance of no one can call Republicans out because he’s not producing ‘evidence’? The idea you don’t know who “they” are is absurd. But cool, unless you’ve been indicted you can’t be criticized on this site. We wouldn’t want any impropriety. You must be very very important in the life of the world, sorry to be such a commoner & miss such an important persons worth. I’m with Al.

        • bmaz says:

          You are full of shit. You do not know me, and do not presume you do. And that entire comment is shit. Thanks for playing.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Passion and sarcasm, without facts, is what motivates the MAGA crowd. We try to do better here.

      • ollie says:

        hey thanks for the reply cmarlow. You know, somewhere I think I knew that but I’m still re.organizing it all after that idiot trump broke the trust of ‘norms’….. I’m an old body surfer and political life ‘feels’ exactly like when I’d get caught in a triple set and I’d go down once,
        twice and
        rolling around by the third had me panicking. same here.

  11. Rugger9 says:

    I had noted on one of the KBJ posts about how with the GQP it is usually about projection, especially on sleazy and disgusting topics like corruption and child porn. So, when Senator Hawley was busy pounding away on Judge Jackson about being soft on offenders, it would seem he’s had practice letting friends off on sex crime prosecutions. One hopes that in the floor debate that a senator (maybe Padilla, he was an AG too) will point that fact out. Take a bow, Senator Josh:


    • Marinela says:

      The democrats, what they should do find few questions that were presented to Amy Coney Barrett that were obvious in her lane and she refused to answer because she thought she was cute.
      Then make a point that ACB didn’t answer the question and compare with the answer that KBJ presents.

    • Leoghann says:

      These things make me madder than hell. But I don’t think anyone is blind to the fact that Hawley is a blazing hypocrite.

  12. civil says:

    I can think of one “smaller” crime within the DOJ’s purview, where there’s been plenty of time to investigate and I think the SoL expires in a few months: Trump’s choice to omit his debt to Michael Cohen (for paying off Stormy Daniels) from his first required financial disclosure form, OGE Form 278, submitted in June, 2017, with the certification that it was “true, complete and correct to the best of my knowledge.” Trump acknowledged the liability on the following year’s form, but disputed that he was required to report it, and the Office of Government Ethics — in response to a letter from CREW to Rod Rosenstein and the Acting OGE Director about it — wrote Rosenstein confirming that it was required to be reported. That willful omission could be charged, though perhaps they’ve decided that it would be too hard to show that it was “knowingly” omitted, in the sense that Trump would argue that he didn’t think he had to report it. Or perhaps they’re more focused on other potential crimes. Here’s the OGE page discussing the statutes under which he could be charged: https://www.oge.gov [break] /Web/278eGuide.nsf/Content/For+Ethics+Officials+Document~1.06:+Failure+to+File+and+Falsification+Penalties

  13. skua says:

    One aspect of our current situation is heightened emotionality. Especially anger, fear and doubt.
    These things mess with rational thought.
    And those who refuse to look at what Garland’s DoJ is actually doing are increasing their own, and their audiences’, disconnect from reality and heightened emotionality.
    AIUI one approach is to establish communication and then lead to a dispassionate review of the facts.
    Seeing R. Maddow-types being categorised as whingers does feel good. But I’m not sure how effective it will be in leading whingers towards a rational evaluation of the facts.

  14. joel fisher says:

    At the risk of feeling the sweet bite of a moderator’s lash, I find my self often wondering why TFG is not under indictment for the same fraud-type charge that Bannon was pardoned for: taking morons’ money to build a non-existent wall. TFG has taken morons’ money to stop a non-existent steal. This is TFG’s least dangerous piece of mis-behavior–far down the list from, say, destroying our democracy–and really a first rate attack on bad people who need to have their money stolen, but he did/does it right out in the open with a declared intent to commit the fraud. No namby-pambying around about what his intent was and, presumably, less need for pre-trial gymnastics. Bring on the lash.

    • Leoghann says:

      What evidence do you have that there is not an ongoing investigation toward prosecuting that?

      • joel fisher says:

        Ha; you caught me. My only evidence is the personal observation over the years that LE tends to arrest people pretty quickly if they can do so to end a crime spree. Stop the Steal seems like a crime spree to me.

        • P J Evans says:

          Lot of people, and the evidence is harder to get because some of those involved destroyed it and others never put it in a form that could be gotten easily.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          You might read up on how LE deals with organized and white collar crime. It might cause you to revise your notion of, “arrest people pretty quickly.”

        • joel fisher says:

          You may be right as I was thinking of carjackings and bank robberies. Still, my original example was Bannon whose arrest was in the Summer of 2020; We Build the Wall only started up in January 2019, basically 18 months apart. I don’t know if Bannon was involved from the gitgo or later, but that’s about the time frame we’re looking at here for stop the steal. TFG’s misbehavior is so overt it gives the exact opposite impression from what one might see as desirable: different rules–and timelines–for carjackers and the TFG.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      My sense (could be wrong; haven’t read the articles of incorporation or whatever) is that the funds collected post-election can be used in any way that either fosters a return to power of TFG, attacks the electoral system, or helps TFG mitigate the damage/costs attendant upon his behavior. In other words, it can more-or-less legitimately be used as a huge slush fund, including any legal costs and probably even paying down debts. But still the suckers line up with their wads of cash…

      • joel fisher says:

        I’m pretty sure the moron donors haven’t/can’t read any articles of incorporation either. They simply gave money to stop the steal. But then, maybe I should remind myself of the old maxim: “It ain’t what they do that’s illegal that’s so bad; it’s what they do that’s perfectly legal that’s so outrageous.”

  15. BROUX says:

    Your posts on J6 are serious and well documented. You basically point out that there are indications that DOJ is doing serious work and there are no indications that this serious work is especially designed to miss the TFG. I get that.

    Nonetheless, it is demoralizing to see someone whose financial crimes seem to be well documented get off the hook in NY. I am not a lawyer and I am not an accountant, but I would have thought that giving different numbers to insurance companies, to banks, and the IRS when the differences in in millions of dollards, would be pretty much a black and white transgression. Michael Cohen went to jail because the Stormy Daniels thing, and TFG was “individual one” who was signing those checks (some from the Oval Office).

    It is demoralizing to witness the invariable impunity of this crook. People explain this situation by saying that it is difficult to prosecute white collar crimes. But is it difficult because of the inherent nature of the crimes, or because the justice system is subjectively not taking those crimes seriously enough? People in power make subjective decisions about these matters and then hide behind rules and traditions like some bright line that cannot be crossed, as if a decision to investigate or to prosecute was like solving an algebraic equation with only one clear answer. This is such BS. Recall that the prosecutors initially declined to even investigate the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, and now the 3 accused are all guilty. All decisions regarding the function of the justice system are subjective and often imperfect decisions. There is much more grey area than many like to admit.

    • Dr Gonzo says:

      Broux, thanks, you’ve articulated my concerns and frustrations perfectly.

      Seriously, how many crimes does one have to commit in broad daylight in this country to be indicted for one or several of them, if, because of their wealth and fame and political connections, it’s understood the “normal” rules do not apply?

      “Infuriating” is the word that comes to my mind. Our justice system seems incapable of holding the obscenely privileged as accountable as the rest of us. Pitchforks and torches may ultimately represent the only accept path forward. (I’m ordering mine, as we speak. Maybe others will join me?)

      Perhaps it’s true that, Below the radar, the Wheels of Justice are systematically grinding their way to an acceptable resolution of TGF’s multiple assaults on the democratic, accountable, separation-of-powers principle that we hold dear in this country. But the track record to date sure doesn’t look good. While we wait for our ponderous legal system to swoop in on horseback and save the day, the territory’s cattle rustlers continue to steal our herds, and they continue to boast about it loudly and openly, every night at the town saloon. That doesn’t build confidence.

      Steve Bannon’s next court date, to be held accountable for his contempt of Congress charges is — what? — still five months away? God save us. This feels like Waiting for Godot on barbiturates.

      Color me unconvinced that our ossified system can or will move fast enough to stop the slow-motion train wreck that we’re watching develop in broad daylight: namely, a Congress that, in 2024, will refuse to certify the presidential election results for any Democrat.

  16. Frank Anon says:

    It’s hard to avoid seeing the double standards in accountability. Just look at today’s NY Times discussing the potential fallout from Ginni Thomas’ behavior. Where there could be very specific instances of a Supreme Court justice voting to suppress evidence of his wife’s potentially illegal activity – emphasis on the potential, but still clear minimum threshold for investigation – the article cites too many people who don’t want to “sully the good name of a Supreme Court Justice” or believe it may be “too dangerous” to investigate the wife of a Justice. The vast majority of us are not afforded this level of deference and, while I understand that this isn’t little ol me, but the highest levels of government, the story we all swallowed at youth was that in America, that didn’t matter. The delay in prosecutorial decision, no matter how prudent, reasonable or even savvy, runs up against this impulse.

    • BobCon says:

      Maybe this is the soft bigotry of low expectations, to borrow a phrase from the Bill Gates crowd, but today’s NY Times article was better than their usual crud.

      The structure of the piece put the damaging side on the front page and well into the inside page. The typical DC desk structure goes with a lede something like “although some critics complain… here are reasons why critics are dummies.”

      I’m open to a rebuttal that the Times will claw this back. I think the top leadership there is either absent or malignant. But this particular piece is at least a small step forward. I’ll probably live to regret this hope.

  17. Derek says:

    Ah words. To love the law is to love words. Probably no other field of human endeavour is more concerned with the warp and weft, the nuances and shades of meaning of words and language. Whinge, for example, is a great word; “to complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way”. Hate that. Investigate, indict, prosecute, convict, sentence, so important to get the order right. Then there are those words that are so great you want to use capital letters all over the place. “A government of laws and not of men”, for example. Thank you John Adams for those words. Then there is the word “impunity”. From the latin “unpunished” and more, to be free of the threat of punishment. One could reasonably suppose that if this last word was applied to a person, that person would not live in the country Adams was talking about. I think what Marcy is missing here is that whatever the Department of Justice or Merrick Garland are doing or not doing or how clever or strategic they are or are not acting in pursuit of justice the perception (another great word) that Donald Trump has impunity and is above the law is an absolutely mortal strike at the foundation of democracy. A perception, unlike a fact, does not have to command a legally tight definition to be effectual. It will not matter that in fact all legal process is slow and fraught with the risk of “technical” argument and procedural pitfalls that could derail the whole process. From the point of view of perception (I would argue of both trumpies and the rest of us) Donald Trump is obviously guilty of numerous very serious crimes and while the ponderous and occasionally capricious legal process obviously benefits perps with deep pockets resulting in occasionally tarnishing the majesty of the law, the brazenness and the fact that one can reasonably suspect that the man has committed crimes from rape to whatever you want to call stealing elections simply elevates his non accountability in ways that simply cannot be ignored. I realize that what I am articulating is at least as much a political problem as a legal one but Trump’s litigious style and his brazen flouting of both law and norm pose a direct challenge to the Law writ large and I would like to gently and with great affection suggest that rather than continuing to whinge about those who wish the DoJ and Garland to act we could spend a wee while noticing the elephant in the room.

  18. Caliban says:

    If the DOJ was free of undue political influence and interference that became the norm under Trump, one could relax about MG. But the DOJ has changed and if the investigation is still on-going when Trump reclaims office in 2025, well, it will be extinguished ASAP. This is not Ford after Nixon territory.

    Assuming Trump runs in 2024, repubs have made it clear he will win even if he loses. 1/6 was a practice run and repubs now know what they have to do. Primary season runs in 2023 and so realistically MG has not much time left to do anything at all.

    And I get the fear MG and the DOJ have: Trump has literally called for riots if he is indicted. I cannot blame DOJ for fearing for their lives.

    • Doug Fir says:

      Please do not state it as a given that TFG will be elected in 2024. Framing a hypothetical as a given distorts reality.

      • Parker Dooley says:

        Talk about distorting reality, TFG is like a giant black hole, or at least neutron star whose gravitational field warps the jurisprudential space until his felonies, misdemeanors, peccadilloes, frauds and prevarications vanish behind an event horizon of judicial delays and evasions.

        Surely, due process is vital to a democratic justice system, but it has become inescapably obvious that some animals are “duer” than others.

        OK, bmaz — that’s my opinion & I’m sticking to it.

        • Leoghann says:

          The appearance that some defendants are “duer” than others is because they are adept at delaying–with brinksmanship toward court orders, appeals of rulings, requests for more time to review evidence (some bogus), and postponing hearings. All that takes lawyers and deep pockets. The Trump Organization, being basically a white-collar crime institution, is top notch at all those tactics. But those maneuvers are perfectly legal, and can be used by anyone.

      • Bobby Gladd says:

        Based on his obvious continuing cognitive decline, Trump is more likely to be sitting in his robe drooling in his cream of wheat in 2024. His phone interview with Stuart Varney on FOXBusiness last Monday was priceless. Complete word salad.

        • paulka says:

          I give the odds around 70-30 that Trump will be reelected in 2024 given the efforts the GOP has taken to suppress voting. In fact, Trump will likely not need a second 1/6. The best chance we have to keep him from returning to office is his health-he has proven immune to scandal, he has terrified the moderate GOPers, the investigations will not touch him.

          Like it or not he is the head of the republican party, he has no serious rivals, so, the republicans will rally to him in 2024.

          Since the presidential campaign will start in the spring of 2023, we have about a year to do something, cause once he announces, it certainly would seem to me quite unpalatable to indict or even publicly investigate him at that point-any action will be condemned as political. I realize that that statement will be screamed down here, but the real politics of the situation say otherwise.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I’ll take those odds. TFG’s forte is gaming the system, not in doing what he says he’ll do. For him, power means breaking the system, making money from it, and getting away with it. He also thinks that only fools spend their own money when someone else’s is available.

          Right now, he has over $108 million in a slush fund, er, series of super PACs, with few limits on how he can spend that money. If he officially runs, serious restrictions kick in. He games the system best by implying what he might do while not committing to it, which allows him to raise money with few restrictions.

          The most important thing he can do with that money is threaten to use it without using it, leaving his cash horde undiminished. He can suggest support without paying for it, or threaten retaliation without spending money on it. So far, the only thing he spends money on his own legal defense.

          It’s a long way to November 2024. Who knows what the political landscape will look like then? TFG might have fast-fooded his way into a disabling heart attack or stroke (how would his behavior be different?). He might be bankrupt. The GOP is likely to be even more extreme, affecting its viability, and Dems and the economy might be in a very different posture.

          That election is very much up for grabs. That should tell the Dems to get their fingers out of where they are now and move their collective asses.

        • civil says:

          Arguably, the most important (to him) thing that he can do with the funds is rent rooms at his own properties, funneling the funds into his personal pockets to spend as he wants. That is indeed continuing to occur. One overview: opensecrets.org/trump/trump-properties

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It would be a lot of money to me, but it’s peanuts compared to donations from dark money groups – which do not want a broadly functioning government – and the MAGA millions lovingly sent his way through small-dollar donations.

        • Max404 says:

          Your comment provoked me to go listen to that interview. It is word salad, by all means. But it is word salad with a message: a combination of the “stab in the back” legend and the “lost cause”. He is the glue that binds the fascists and the unrepentant confederacy in the US. That, unfortunately, is alot of people and his utterances are all directed toward them. The precious moment in the interview was when asked “is Putin crazy?” After a very long pause, you could hear the gears grinding, he says, “well he has changed since I knew him.” The hotel deal is needless to say off the table.

        • Leoghann says:

          Then, at his poorly-attended Georgia rally over the weekend, he said, “Judge Jackson was unbelievably disrespectful to Republican Senators that in many cases were really nicely asking questions. . . . She had total disdain and even hatred for them.” Another statement from the bizarro world that is Trump’s brain.

      • pcpablo says:

        I think it’s a given that if TFG runs in 2024 and loses by 20-30 million votes he will declare victory and say, again, it was stolen and Insurrection 2.0 will happen. This time with automatic weapons leading the way.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The meek might inherit the earth, but not anytime soon.

          But I agree with the underlying premise: Republicans no longer support democracy or the Constitution through which they hold office. They have no policy except power. They refuse to govern, which requires talent and work, preferring to leave the playing field to their powerful economic patrons.

        • Dr Gonzo says:

          TFG doesn’t need Insurrection 2.0.

          All he needs is a Congress that refuses to certify the election results until it gets a slate of electors it likes.

          He’s likely to get just that Republican Congress in the 2022 elections. At which point it’s basically game-over, IMO. They already showed their cards in January 2021. A tiger does not change its stripes. On what possible basis would Congressional refusal to certify the election of a Democrat NOT happen in 2024/25? Because of their integrity and loyalty to the US Constitution? Yeah, right.

  19. Savage Librarian says:

    Before I leave this world, I’d like to be able to think I did my part in helping to maintain democracy, or even to have inched it forward. I’d be the 1st to tell you that my experience as a plaintiff really sucked. I wouldn’t want to do it again. IMO, in the case I filed the defendants, city attorneys, city employees, and politicians behaved terribly. Before, during, and even long after there was a settlement in the case. And something tells me that some of those people might say the same about me.

    But the fact is, the democracy I live in allowed me to take the actions I did. That I will always cherish. Autocracy would never permit that. But, believe me, it took years, commitment, and fortitude to achieve the very small accomplishment I made. Still, I had that opportunity. And so do other residents of the USA.

    I’m with Marcy and bmaz in being sick and tired of all the coddled whingers. Get it together. There will be results. Some will be surprising, some will be disappointing. That’s what usually happens. And, based on my own experience, that’s what I expect. But I also believe it will help continue to move democracy forward.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Your description of your experiences with the legal system very much struck a chord with me. But despite the intimidating formality, the seemingly infinite documents, and my nerves, what impressed me most was the consistent dedication of those who work in city and county courts, from the court reporters to the judges, to helping people through the process.

      • bmaz says:

        You know, that is exactly right. Why I constantly implore people to go down to their state and local trial courts, and see it in person. Far from perfect, but they really do try. It is a lot different than the whingers postulate.

  20. Leoghann says:

    Public Announcement: The verb that “whingers” is derived from is “whinge,” not “whing.” Whinging is not followed by dinging.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Further to your point, whinge is an anglicism, whine is the American version. A bit like the difference between arse and asshole. Then there are humorous variations, like Anthony Whiner.

  21. Bay State Librul says:

    I think Louis Brandeis said it best “For my tax evasion, I should be punished. For my tax avoidance, I should be commended.” The tragedy of life today is that so few people know that the free bridge even exists.”

    Why the commenters on this platform are so pissed?

    The NY prosecutors know the difference.
    The IRS knows the difference.
    Trump and his fucking lawyers know the difference.
    A jury will know the difference.
    Paul Manfort knew the difference and was quickly convicted.

    We want accountability, and we want it now, not kicked down the road, ad infinitum.

  22. Whinger says:

    I don’t think the question is how long these things normally take. The question is how much longer we have left on the clock. If a Republican wins in 2024, they will pardon Trump. So, say that the trial and appeals takes 2 years from the time when he is indicted. That means the maximum sentence Trump could actually serve, if we indicted today, would be 10 months, if a Republican wins next. And that maximum drops by one day each day.

    And that is being optimistic about how quickly the trial and appeals would go. It could well take 3 years. We could already be past the point where the process would even return a final result at all before he gets pardoned.

    This shouldn’t be a “business as usual” situation. This should be a situation where we figure out the deadline for indicting, then figure out what resources we need to have in place to hit that deadline. It doesn’t seem we did that.

    • bmaz says:

      No, it ought exactly be done by the book. Cries that “golly we got to speed it all up because politics” is exactly the worst possible take.

      Adding: These cases against Trump are nowhere near, at least in their current state, to being as solid as people seem to blithely think. If Trump were indicted today for incitement and obstruction, I am pretty darn sure I would walk him as to incitement, and then I would use that to bootstrap the thought to the jury that the obstruction count elements, including mens rea, are not met either. Would it work? No way to know at this point, but I guarantee you that is exactly the prism Garland and DOJ are looking at it through. People need to take a chill pill.

      • Whinger says:

        It isn’t “because politics,” it is because he potentially becomes immune in under 3 years. In this case, they only have a certain window to do whatever they’re going to do. It is comparable to, say, a statute of limitations. They either file charges in the window, or they let the person walk. They absolutely will move more quickly to hit those kinds of deadlines, and I don’t see this as being any different (although this is a deadline for resolving all appeals, not a deadline for charging). By all means, yes, it should all be by the book. Don’t cut any corners. But do put 100 more folks on the project, if that’s what you need.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, that is exactly politics. And an absurd view, not to mention the antithesis of DOJ charging policy and protocols.

          This is not some AOL Message board for internet ranters, we have been doing it a very long time and have a pretty good grip on things. We have been here for 15 years. There is a record. You have, literally, been here about 15 minutes, so don’t lecture us with your uninformed nonsense. Thanks.

        • Whinger says:

          It isn’t politics, it’s just math. If they don’t indict Trump soon, they’re taking something like a 50/50 chance on whether the rule of law will fail. There should be a giant clock on the wall of every office of the DOJ counting down to the moment when that date will have passed. If they let Trump get away with this, that will have been the biggest failure of law enforcement in the country’s history. Whether you or I wish it was that way doesn’t matter, that’s how it is.

          As to your edit earlier about the case not being ready, if that really is true, then we need to put a whole ton of new people on it. The DOJ has been investigating him for 5 years. We have him on tape pressuring the SOS of GA to falsify results. We convicted Cohen years ago already for actions he took with Trump and at Trump’s direction. This isn’t like prosecuting some wily mob boss, this is prosecuting a criminal so dumb that he brags about his crimes on social media.

        • cmarlowe says:

          >> It isn’t politics, it’s just math. If they don’t indict Trump soon, they’re taking something like a 50/50 chance on whether the rule of law will fail.

          Sounds like whinging, How did you do your “math”?

        • Whinger says:

          See above. The issue I am concerned about is that if they don’t indict, very soon, Trump might be pardoned before appeals are resolved, and after 8 years at that point of the country knowing about Trump’s crimes, they will have failed to get a final guilty verdict. I see that as a massive threat to the notion of the rule of law itself. If our process isn’t capable of holding presidents accountable to the law, then that is a massive problem for the future of the Constitutional order, right?

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, you have made that crystal clear. And it is still unadulterated and unmitigated uniformed horse manure. You are very close to being done here. You took yer 15 minute shot though, eh?

        • Whinger says:

          Ok, well you don’t seem to have come up with a counter argument, right? Just pointless insults. So I guess that’s that, huh?

          [Stop poking the bear. You’re merely DDoSing this thread instead of contributing to discussion of the topic posed in this post. /~Rayne]

        • cmarlowe says:

          You didn’t answer the question – how did you get 50/50? You can’t answer. Indication of muddled thinking.

        • Whinger says:

          Oh, 50/50 is just a rough approximation for how likely a Republican will win in 2024. If one does, they will pardon Trump and this will all have been for naught if we haven’t completed the trial and appeals yet by January 2025. That’s roughly the odds the betting markets give the Republicans of winning in 2024. Checking now, as of this moment, they have the Republicans at 54% on PredictIt, if you want to be more precise.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          “Rough approximation” doesn’t quite capture a poll two and a half years out from a general election. Nor is it what I would call “precise” data.

          The odds would be better of their predicting who will win March Madness in 2023 and 2024, or next week’s weather.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          To paraphrase Sam Mussabini, the law can’t put in what the political system left out.

          Your principal complaint seems to be that the political system imposes no effective consequences on a probable serial criminal and mindless incompetent, with the ambitions of Icarus and the wings of a toad. In fact, the GOP are flying madly around him, with open umbrellas to shield his waxen winglets.

          You might fix that with more and stronger progressive politics. You won’t do it by further politicizing the legal system.

  23. obsessed says:

    Another whinging federal judge weighs in:

    ““If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution,” Carter wrote. “If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.”

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Y’er darn tootin—Would that Carter’s robes morphed into Garland’s Sunday’s best

      • bmaz says:

        BSL, this is absolute nonsense. Carter (who is a fairly decent judge, though no liberal lion), has nothing whatsoever to do with DOJ’s investigation. Trying to read that into what, legally, is a not very expansive CIVIL ruling is absurd. Please don’t propagate that garbage here.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The context that seems buried in many articles is that Judge Carter came to his conclusion in determining whether the crime-fraud exception to A-C privilege existed. He concluded that it did, which allowed him to authorize turning over to investigators what might otherwise be protected communications.

      As Carter said, his determination was not part of a criminal case, or even a civil liability suit. But it’s a damning conclusion, which I assume will be immediately appealed.

      • civil says:

        If I understood the ruling correctly, he said that the crime-fraud exception applied to one email: “a chain forwarding to Dr. Eastman a draft memo written for President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani. … The draft memo pushed a strategy that knowingly violated the Electoral Count Act, and Dr. Eastman’s later memos closely track its analysis and proposal.” Of the other 100, a couple had already been made public, and the rest were determined not to have been protected work product.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Is a “chain” of e-mails one e-mail?

          But whether it applies to one or more messages, it’s the court’s analysis of the relationship and intent among the parties that is damning, not how many e-mails it released to investigators.

          One of Carter’s points was that Eastman’s personal view that a statute was “unconstitutional,” is not sufficient to make that true, or an adequate and good faith basis on which to craft advice that the statute could be violated with impunity. Rather, that advice might be construed to be part of a conspiracy to corruptly violate the law.

        • bmaz says:

          “Is a “chain” of e-mails one e-mail?”

          Nope, nope and nope. Could you “maybe” get a chain in through one witness, or custodian? Yes, maybe. Sure would not count on that though.

  24. Legonaut says:

    Mention of Marcy Wheeler in the Post article about the Carter opinion, if you can get around the paywall: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/28/ruling-reinforces-trump-coup-attempt/

    “At this point, it’s hard to see how the Justice Department can tenably refrain from a full criminal investigation into whether Trump broke laws in connection with Jan. 6. To be clear, we don’t know whether the department is currently doing such an investigation, as the department does not typically divulge word of investigations.

    Indeed, members of the Jan. 6 committee have urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to conduct such an investigation, but are quick to add that they don’t know what Justice is or isn’t doing. Observers such as Marcy Wheeler have persuasively suggested (https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1508486606650372097) an investigation may be underway.”

    (They left out the “Dr.” honorific. Grrr…)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The WaPo’s framing implies the DoJ has not already begun a group of investigations focused on whether it can prove Trump committed serial crimes. Dr. Wheeler has gone to some lengths to suggest that’s probably not true. But the WaPo and NYT will have their bothsidesism. For them to forego it would be like afternoon without tea: an abomination.

  25. The Old Redneck says:

    We all know it’s not binding, is just a ruling on the application of a privilege claim, etc. But let’s face it: it’s still a big deal. Federal judges understand the weight of their words. Judge Carter would not have made that decision – or chosen those particular words – lightly or casually.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I would say from comments on this site that we don’t “all know it’s not binding.”

  26. Bay State Librul says:

    BMAZ @ 6:10 PM

    Holy fucks, I just got disemboweled for suggesting that democracy is at stake.
    The game of Clue is over.
    The process of elimination is complete with the 1/6/21 Committee findings.
    We have the Capitol, the weapons, and the mastermind.
    The preponderance of the evidence is overwhelming.
    “The Return of Actual Badness” has arrived as Lionel Shriver duly notes.
    We are not living in a “Watergate Environment”
    Words matter, as Justice Carter summarized the crime, as “corrupt”
    It is now all about time.
    MLB missed a golden opportunity to reduce the time of their nine inning games.
    The early results show you can reduce the average length from 3:02 hours to 2:41 hours by implementing a pitch clock. With no one on base, pitch the ball in 15 seconds, with one on, 17 seconds. If you violate the rule, the batter gets a ball, if the batter is the culprit give him a strike.
    Accountability matters.
    It is now about 107 days since the Committee forwarded their request to DOJ on Mark Meadows, a voter who lives in Virginia but voted in North Carolina?
    Act with all “deliberate speed”

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