Tom Barrack Appears to Claim Trump Knew Barrack Was Catering US Foreign Policy to the Emirates

In this post, I described the import of the false statement and obstruction charges against Tom Barrack. While Barrack may have been honest about his ties to the Emirates in a 2017 interview with Robert Mueller’s prosecutors, he is accused of lying about those ties in 2019, which — if DOJ has the goods on those later lies — will make it clear he was affirmatively hiding his role at that point.

[A]ssuming the FBI didn’t charge a billionaire with false statements without having him dead to rights on the charges, by June 2019, the FBI foreclosed several of the defenses that Barrack might offer going forward: that he was doing all this as a legal commercial transaction (which is exempt from the foreign agent charges) or that he wasn’t really working for UAE, he just thought the alliance really served US interests and indulged the Emiratis by referring to MbZ as “boss.” By denying very basic things that the FBI appears to have records for, then, Barrack made it a lot harder to argue — in 2021 — that’s there’s an innocent explanation for all this.


This case will sink or swim on the strength of the false statements charges, because if Barrack’s alleged lies in June 2019 were clearcut, when he presumably believed he would be protected by Barr and Trump, then it makes several likely defenses a lot harder to pull off now.

The government made the same argument in a filing last month responding to Barrack’s motion to dismiss: If Barrack did not know his back channel with the Emirates was a problem, why did he (allegedly) lie about it?

Although not dispositive to Barrack’s vagueness challenge, if Barrack actually believed that he had done nothing wrong, it is unclear why he allegedly lied to FBI special agents during his voluntary June 20, 2019 interview as set forth in Counts Three through Seven of the Indictment.

It’s now clear that Barrack’s alleged false statements are even more important than that.

That’s because Barrack is now arguing that, because the Trump Administration approved of how Barrack was peddling US policy to the Emirates, Barrack could not have been a secret foreign agent under 18 USC 951.

That revelation has slowly become clear over the course of a dispute over discovery (motion, response, reply) pertaining to Barrack’s demand, among other things, for, “all communications between Mr. Barrack and the Trump Campaign and Administration regarding the Middle East.”

In the government’s response, they note that 18 USC 951 requires notice to the Attorney General, not to members of a private political campaign.

The defendants argue that evidence of Barrack’s disclosure of his UAE connections to members of the Trump Campaign are exculpatory. But Section 951 requires notice to the Attorney General, not to private citizens affiliated with the Trump Campaign. See 18 U.S.C. § 951(a). This makes sense, since the Attorney General is the official charged with enforcing the law and the senior official in charge of the FBI, the agency responsible for investigating and responding to unlawful foreign government activity inside the United States. By contrast, members of the Trump Campaign have no such responsibilities with respect to the internal national security of the United States and had no authority to sanction or bless the defendants’ illegal conduct. They are not government officials, and even if they were, they are not the Attorney General or a representative thereof.

According to the indictment, Paul Manafort not only knew that Barrack was working for the Emirates, but was cooperating with Barrack’s efforts.

In Barrack’s reply, after a heavily redacted passage, he complains about DOJ’s claim — made in the press conference announcing his arrest — that he had deceived Trump about what he was doing.

The government’s position is particularly astonishing in light of its public claim at the time of Mr. Barrack’s arrest that he had deceived Mr. Trump and the administration. Specifically, the then-Acting Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division announced that the “conduct alleged in the indictment is nothing short of a betrayal of those officials in the United States, including the former President,” and that this indictment was needed to deter such “undisclosed foreign influence.” [citation removed] In that same press release, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI NY Field Office asserted that the indictment was about “secret attempts to influence our highest officials.” Id. When Mr. Barrack raised concerns with the government about these false statements in the press release, the government responded that these statements were a fair representation of the conduct alleged in the indictment. [citation removed] Thus, in one breath the government claims that Mr. Barrack deceived Mr. Trump and the administration and that such evidence is part of its case, but in the next breath contends that contrary evidence is neither relevant nor exculpatory and apparently withheld such discovery on that basis.

Barrack’s lawyers include the 2021 comments about whether Trump knew of all this as exhibits, but more recent correspondence about it remains sealed.

In other words, Barrack seems to be arguing, he didn’t betray Trump; Trump wanted him to cater American foreign policy to rich Gulf Arab nations.

Barrack spends four pages of his reply making the same kinds of complaints about the documentation of his 2019 FBI interview that Mike Flynn made in 2020, even complaining that the fact that the AUSAs prosecuting the case were in the room makes them conflicted on the case. It’s clear why he did so: because if Barrack did lie to an FBI run by Trump’s appointed FBI Director and ultimately overseen by Bill Barr in 2019, then he was continuing to hide his influence-peddling from the one person that mattered under the law, Bill Barr (though given what we know of Barr’s interference in Ukraine investigations, I would be unsurprised if Barr knew that Trump knew of Barrack’s ties to the Emirates, which would explain why he swapped out US Attorneys in EDNY at the time).

Remember: Barrack is alleged to have been pursuing policies pushed by Mohammed bin Zayed. But among the things he is accused of doing for the Emirates was to “force” the White House to elevate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (then just the Deputy Crown Prince) during a visit to DC in March 2017. At the time the FBI interviewed Barrack in June 2019, Trump was under significant pressure for his possible complicity in the Jamal Khashoggi assassination.

And now — at a time when EDNY is talking about indicting Barrack’s not-yet indicted co-conspirators — we learn that MbS invested $2 billion dollars in Jared Kushner’s brand new firm even in spite of all the reasons not to.

Six months after leaving the White House, Jared Kushner secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi crown prince, a close ally during the Trump administration, despite objections from the fund’s advisers about the merits of the deal.

A panel that screens investments for the main Saudi sovereign wealth fund cited concerns about the proposed deal with Mr. Kushner’s newly formed private equity firm, Affinity Partners, previously undisclosed documents show.

Those objections included: “the inexperience of the Affinity Fund management”;the possibility that the kingdom would be responsible for “the bulk of the investment and risk”; due diligence on the fledgling firm’s operations that found them “unsatisfactory in all aspects”; a proposed asset management fee that “seems excessive”; and “public relations risks” from Mr. Kushner’s prior role as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, former President Donald J. Trump, according to minutes of the panel’s meeting last June 30.

But days later the full board of the $620 billion Public Investment Fund — led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and a beneficiary of Mr. Kushner’s support when he worked as a White House adviser — overruled the panel.

Barrack’s apparent claim that Trump knew exactly what he was doing does nothing to change his legal posture before Trump became President, and DOJ indicted this before the statute of limitation expired on that conduct.

But the apparent claim that Trump knew about this — and the possibility that Barr did too, at least after the fact — would change the kind of crime that happened in 2017, after Trump became President. And, possibly, the culprit.

98 replies
  1. klynn says:

    While I am in awe of your writing, research and ability to connect the facts on record as well as estimate what may lie in the gaps, my favorite part of your writing has been your closing paragraphs.

    “But the apparent claim that Trump knew about this — and the possibility that Barr did too, at least after the fact — would change the kind of crime that happened in 2017, after Trump became President. And, possibly, the culprit.”

    Oh the last 30 words of this paragraph just jumped off the page for me!

    Thank you for all your efforts.

  2. Rugger9 says:

    Well, it would seem to me that Barrack’s citation of WH approval is an indicator that fissures are appearing in the stone walls. Others will need to assess whether it is worth it to them to risk all for propping up an ungrateful Individual-1 who has less and less pull in politics by the day. It seems the progressives did remarkably well in WI yesterday’s elections which might signal a change in how the winds will blow. We’ll see who flips next.

    As for the MBS and Emirati injection of support it makes me wonder why outside of O’Donnell the courtier press seems to be far more interested in Hunter Biden than Jared’s worse quid pro quos. After all, the 666 development was going under until a genie appeared to shovel massive $$$ into the project and for that kind of money, there are great expectations of return value. Oh, yeah, IOKIYAR.

    • John Lehman says:

      “… 666 development…”
      How does the fundamentalist “Christian” right interpret “666” again?

      Perhaps Peterr could help.

      Just which circle of hell are they living in?

      • Leoghann says:

        I don’t believe the number has any spiritual significance, and there’s strong evidence that John originally wrote 6-1-8, and that it only became 6-6-6 through a monk’s copying error. But it has strong meaning to a good number of Christian believers, and I was astonished at their choice of that particular address. They had a choice of anything between 636 and 680. Frontloading a big dose of existential dread isn’t considered a good ploy for commercial development.

        • bidrec says:

          I think the address was just easy to remember. That was originally the Tishman Building, and Jerry Speyer who owns Rockefeller Center was Tishman’s son-in-law. There used to be a restaurant on the top floor called “Top of The Sixes”, and a diner at the bottom called Bottom of The Sixes. David Susskind’s studios were in this building, and Carnival Cruise Line’s New York offices were here. Kushner paid too much.

        • notjonathon says:

          My sister took me to dinner once at the Top of the Sixes on my most recent visit to New York–in 1959.

        • Will says:

          in China ‘666’ pretty much means ‘cool’x3. And 6 is a good luck number, maybe they figured they could wash Chinese money there to diversify.

        • Anonymouse says:

          Ill start by saying that I believe that there is no more corrosive a force for evil in our world today than religion. But encoded in the bible is A LOT of math and science knowledge. 666 for example is a reference to the orbital velocity of earth.

          According to Nasa the mean orbital velocity of earth is 29.78 km/s. If you do the math that is exactly 66,600 MPH.

          This guy in this and many other videos goes over some of the knowledge and symbolism hidden in texts across many different religions.

        • civil says:

          Actually, if you do the math, it’s approximately 66,615.963 mph. It’s ridiculous to suggest that the appearance of 666 in the Bible is a reference to Earth’s orbital velocity in mph.

        • Purple Martin says:

          …and the exact speed of light is 186,282 miles per second. Please tell us what 186 symbolizes, perhaps in terms of “Let there be light!” Really, we’re all fascinated.

      • Rugger9 says:

        It’s the street number and I think it’s on Fifth Avenue. However, the intersection with Kushner’s company was just too perfect.

        • bidrec says:

          The building across the street is even more star-crossed. Because 650 5th belonged to the Shah of Iran anti-Shah Iranians (Persians) picketed it so much it did not have a ground floor retail tenant for ten years. The space was empty. Marc Rich had five floors. Israel needed oil but refused to buy it from Iran so they bought it from Marc Rich who bought it from Iran. When “Clarendon” folded Ivan Boesky took over the upper two floors of the space and Jefferies the lower three floors. Clarendon was Marc Rich without Marc Rich. When Marc Rich skipped to Zug his firm was fined $50,000 a day until it turned over its tax records. That fine was paid on a twice weekly basis for six months.

    • john paul jones says:

      Which raises a couple of other questions. Would any of Trump’s lawyers let him testify, knowing how uncontrolled he can be? And what value would his testimony have, given that, at the time of the offenses, he was not President? The best Barrack could argue is that Trump retroactively approved of his outreach; but that in itself might be taken to confirm the validity of the charges.

      And the standard caveat: I am not a lawyer, and may have this entirely back-asswards.

      • Rugger9 says:

        The March 2017 Emirati intervention would be while Individual-1 was in office. The status of Individual-1 would be irrelevant to the value of the testimony, because this is an alleged co-conspirator. Let’s remember who we’re talking about here for testimony.

        Where it does possibly come into play (IANAL either) is whether Barrack’s team can force testimony from Individual-1. I have no doubt that DJT would refuse to cooperate, but it’s harder to justify as a private citizen rather than POTUS. Given how Individual-1 has tried to expand executive privilege claims in the past, I’d be surprised that he’d go meekly. In a variation of thoughtcrime from ‘1984’, I think it more likely that he’d claim because it was under consideration during the campaign it’s really Presidentially privileged.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        “…how uncontrolled he can be?”

        Trump embodies a principle previously unrecognized in physics, narcissistic entropy. Of control there is none. The only thing holding it together in human form is a too-long tie, which is why tennis/golf clothes reveal the particle decay. The immensity of his self-concern holds his universe intact while destroying all others.

      • The Old Redneck says:

        Trump is all about self-preservation, and is well known for not leaving a paper trail. Anything is possible, but those things make it less likely that he’d be on Barrack’s witness list.

      • Peterr says:

        Putting him on the list, or getting him to actually testify? The former might not be that difficult, but the latter surely would be.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, I could put you on a list of witnesses and exhibits. So, yeah, but making anything of it would never happen

        • Peterr says:

          I can hear the phone call now . . .

          Barrack: “This trial is a witch hunt!”
          Trump: “Absolutely. They’re just going after you because they can’t get me.”
          Barrack: “Right. So the best way to stick it to them is for you to testify on my behalf. You tell the court that I was doing this on your behalf, and the charges go away.”
          Barrack: “That would really show them, wouldn’t it?”
          Barrack: “Hello? Mr. President? Are you there?”

        • justlp says:

          She looks just like someone he’d think is good because she is attractive and speaks up for him on TV. The man is so stupidly shallow it boggles the mind.

  3. xy xy says:

    What do you mean by “dead to rights” in “[A]ssuming the FBI didn’t charge a billionaire with false statements without having him dead to rights on the charges”?

  4. harpie says:

    Via Wendy Siegelman:
    8:54 AM · Apr 14, 2022

    Who in the Trump admin was vulnerable over Russia & Ukraine? Remember the Kushner debt crisis over 666 5th Avenue? The pressure was coming from Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital. One of their biggest clients at the time was Rinat Akhemov Akhmetov, pro-Kremlin Ukrainian oligarch. Receipts below


    Everyone will @ me saying Qatar bailed him out, but we don’t know that QIA were behind the deal. We do know pro-Kremlin Ukrainians were involved. More on that another time.

  5. punaise says:

    Wildly OT, sorry – but this adds fuel to the fire that DiFi, Inc. has lost it and should retire.

    Colleagues worry Dianne Feinstein is now mentally unfit to serve, citing recent interactions

    Four U.S. senators, including three Democrats, as well as three former Feinstein staffers and the California Democratic member of Congress told The Chronicle in recent interviews that her memory is rapidly deteriorating. They said it appears she can no longer fulfill her job duties without her staff doing much of the work required to represent the nearly 40 million people of California.

    • P J Evans says:

      I wanted her to retire years back, because she hasn’t really represented us for at least 10 years.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I agree. Jane Mayer in the New Yorker wrote on the same theme two years ago. As Justice Breyer threatened to do, she is staying too long for any good she is doing. Cromwell’s apocryphal words to the Rump Parliament come readily to mind.

      The Senate is not a private club. That she is not the only Senator in her boat – Grassley and a few Democratic senators come to mind – is no reason to delay her own resignation, especially where the odds of her seat remaining in Democratic hands are overwhelming.

      • punaise says:

        Yup. I agree with PJ: DiFi lost touch with her constituency years ago but remained enamored of her status as an “institution”. This article is a cry for an intervention. She lost her hubby recently – time to ride off into the sunset?

        • bmaz says:

          A friend elseweb pointed out that DiFi has never really been great at constituent contact etc, and that seems true. It is not that though, it is that she is foundering in committee hearings.

        • P J Evans says:

          I thought he was after the WH. Not that he’s likely to get either – so many of us want him to *go away*.

        • Dopey-o says:

          When Obama left the Senate for the White House, it fell to then-governor Blagoyovich to appoint a new Democratic senator.

          Blago shopped the seat around and went to prison. If he had just appointed himself to the Senate, he would be a free man, well-feted and financially set for life.

          Gavin could go to the Senate and have a shot at the White House in 2028/2032. Worst outcome: 20 years in the Senate and not in a federal prison.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          Unfortunately her seat isn’t up till 2025 and Gavin’s term is up this year. If he doesn’t put himself in the seat we are either stuck with her till ’25, or he misses the boat on being senator.

          We tend to not vote our senators out very frequently.

        • punaise says:

          Understood – which is why a sudden (well orchestrated?) burst of revelations might create enough public angst to nudge her to hang it up. I’m pretty sure Gavin could appoint himself, but that would indeed be unseemly. See below re prez ambitions.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          From the article in The Chronicle, cited by punaise above, “Adding urgency to the recent concerns: If Democrats retain control of the Senate next year, Feinstein will succeed retiring Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy as the Senate’s president pro tem — putting her third in line for the presidency.”

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Might be one reason this is “out there” now. DiFi seems obviously no longer qualified for that role.

        • punaise says:

          Thanks. I can just see her digging in her heels on this, even if there is a ton of peer pressure.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          That would be our DiFi. Denial is not just a river in Africa. But humility and self-awareness are not greatly in evidence among the Dems’ gerontocracy.

        • punaise says:

          @ earl: maybe a fellow San Franciscan, that young whippersnapper Nancy Pelosi could have a word with her…

        • Norskeflamethrower says:

          She needed to be gone a loooong time ago!

          [Hey Norske: This is a SECOND REQUEST: please check your username and email address for typos next time you comment. You have multiple identities here based on typo-ridden username and email addresses which cause nearly all of your comments to be moderated. It’s chewing up a lot of our time and fraying my patience in particular. Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • Rugger9 says:

          The governor’s race will doubtless be a placeholder for Gavin. I do not see Newsom leaving the race now because chaos would result, so perhaps he’s telling DiFi to wait until November and then he’ll step aside. Part of that calculation involves the Lt Governor who we elect separately in CA. If that person is ready to go, then I think Gavin jumps to the Senate.

          As noted above, if he does not go then he will be putting in a Senator young enough to stick around for a while and he’s frozen out. Because Governors do things besides talk, the future POTUS ambitions for Gavin would have to address more opportunities to get blamed for fires, drought, gas prices, etc. which will be difficult.

        • Rugger9 says:

          He kind of sees himself as a modern-day Jerry Brown, doing the same stuff. That’s why we elected a GOP LtGov (Mike Curb) back in the day to make sure Jerry did his job.

        • P J Evans says:

          Jerry Brown wasn’t even Jerry Brown, the second time around. The “green” he preferred, like Newsom, turned out to be $$$.

        • punaise says:

          No, more about his affairs as mayor and lives damaged. A commenter here really tore into him on this a while back, sorry I can’t recall who it was.

        • Rugger9 says:

          It was a friend’s wife who he later married, post Guilfoyle. At least Jerry the first time was dating Linda Ronstadt.

          The only reason DiFi is still there is that none of the other Ds were willing to primary her and the GOP candidates were godawful. Think Q before Q became a thing, or Larry Elder.

    • punaise says:

      Having successfully hijacked the tail end of this thread, I’ll add this. I often agree with pragmatic center-left pundit Ed Kilgore’s takes, but not so much this time:

      Let Dianne Feinstein Leave the Senate on Her Own Terms

      In an era of longer life spans, it’s no longer easy to know the line between old and too old. In 2024, the odds are good that we’ll have a presidential contest between an 81-year-old incumbent and a 78-year-old rival, and the winner will once again have access to the nuclear codes. Nobody is giving Feinstein the nuclear codes. Yes, as the Chronicle notes, she’s in line to become president pro tempore of the Senate if Democrats maintain control of the chamber. That would put her third in the order of presidential succession, behind the vice-president and the Speaker of the House. But in 232 years, no one other than a vice-president has ascended to the presidency through the line of succession. And if the republic could survive Strom Thurmond’s 12 years as president pro tempore, ending when he was 98, a couple of years of Feinstein in that post is hardly alarming.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Agree. Ed Kilgore is dead wrong in arguing for the seemly over the necessary. Nor is it relevant, as Nancy Pelosi argues, that she just lost her husband.

        The Senate is not a private club. It has no emeritus status for revered but semi-retired politicians. Politics is a full-contact sport. It requires wits and guts and energy. Diane Feinstein, at nearly 89, and despite her thirty years in the Senate, has few left. None of that relates to her politics or priorities.

        These are not ordinary times. Democrats hold a razor-thin margin in the Senate and might struggle to hold onto their majority in the House. Republicans have forsaken democratic governance. They have chosen, instead, the lyin’, cheatin’, and stealin’ insurrectionist Donald Trump – and all his works.

        American democracy and effective governance cannot have so frail a personality – of any age – third in line for the presidency, holding a key position in the Senate.

        • Purple Martin says:

          By the way, James Fallows had an excellent, relevant piece (well, relevant to this threadjack) in his Substack in January. Titled On life tenure, and its drawbacks, the hook was Supreme Court life tenure but it’s not limited to that. Short extract with his thesis:

          Here’s the conflict, as I see it—and the resolution. Individuals want to last forever. Institutions understand that no individual can. It’s a fundamental tension, but one that sensible rules can ease.

          1. For individuals, the wisest course is ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light.’
          We all live in the moment, and don’t have tomorrow guaranteed, let alone next year. The more time goes on, the more I respect those who turn their energies and passions into living every day, and trying every day, as if there were no tomorrow. Because there might not be…

          2. For institutions, it’s important to keep making room.
          Individuals should keep trying, experimenting, and creating, even as they age. Institutions need to keep making room for people just getting their start. …

          Good piece, far broader than just the SCOTUS issue. Well worth reading the whole thing.

          (p.s. He calls his Substack “Breaking the News” and the first word does not take the meaning one might first assume. It shares many of the issues and concerns regularly voiced here…I find it consistently interesting.)

        • bmaz says:

          Fallows is also an IFR pilot that flies everywhere. Last time I checked, in a Cirrus, which is an interesting light plane.

          Changing life tenure for federal judges will require a Constitutional amendment though, and that is near impossible as to any issue currently.

        • Purple Martin says:

          Yup, and he posts the occasional aviation piece too, often on ‘Safety of Flight’ issues that parallel infosec ‘risk management’ issues I ran across in the AF (non-flyer, SMSgt (ret) USAF). Also, because my 14-year-old granddaughter is on track to get her pilot’s license before she graduates high school, I’m suddenly interested in small plane safety.

          As to SCOTUS, I’m not qualified to judge the strength of the primary ‘It is too Constitutional!’ argument (Fallows references it, with cites—essentially that after two 18-year terms, Justices may be moved to life-tenured Senior Status)…but I so much want it to be true!

        • bmaz says:

          Excellent! Encourage your granddaughter. Flying is not only fun, but teaches a young person a lot across a broad spectrum of things. It is as safe as anything we did at that age. Arguably safer than some of what I did.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          For most pilots, a good rule of thumb is to fly the plane, not the instruments.

          Are you suggesting flying is safer than circling a racetrack?

        • bmaz says:

          Depends on the speed. And ground terrain. I can suggest not blithely trying to jump giant canals on a motorcycle.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Yes to that! My sister is a pilot. She started learning in her thirties, and mastering flying gave her a huge self-esteem boost in addition to the thrill of taking her kin around the northern midwest at a couple thousand feet with light clouds.

      • Purple Martin says:

        Neither Joe Biden nor Bernie Sanders were on my original 2020 list of acceptable presidential candidates. That’s because my four necessary-but-not-sufficient conditions were:

        1) Actually running to be elected President, not as a protest or to send a message
        2) Core principles I can accept—I won’t vote for an authoritarian or a xenophobe
        3) Realistically electable in the general election (pass/fail, not a letter-grade)
        4) Mental and physical capability to be an effective, two-term US President

        That last qualifying prerequisite includes a high actuarial likelihood of retaining the ability to serve as an effective president through the end of two terms. Other candidates met those four conditions well enough to be acceptable nominees for their parties

        The same general principle applies to Senators such as Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Grassley (both 88). It’s similar to the difference between very young bad drivers and very old bad drivers. 16-year-old bad drivers may start as the worse of the two, but usually get better as their brains mature. 75-year-old bad drivers will get worse, the only question being how long it takes. And I didn’t want us to have to take away Joe’s or Bernie’s car keys part way through a presidency (or anyone else who would have to serve into their 80’s).

        I’m glad Patrick Leahy (D-VT, 82), Richard Shelby (R-AL, 87), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK, 87) have decided to either not run again or, (Inhofe) resign. It is unfortunate that Feinstein may no longer capable of rationally deciding that, and Grassley seems most likely to be next in the situation.

      • P J Evans says:

        I’d prefer that people in Congress, especially senators, have all their marbles and know who they’re talking to.

  6. e says:

    Is tom barrack related to this one?

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next; a single letter is insufficient to establish a memorable identity so that community members get to know you. CAUTION: This is not the first time you’ve been asked to use a differentiated identity which is the same each time you post. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  7. punaise says:

    SF Chron editorial board is sort of piling on, but the headline is more emphatic than the substance of the opinion piece.

    Editorial: If Feinstein is mentally unfit, Democrats need to tell her openly. And she should resign

    In an interview with The Chronicle’s editorial board on Thursday, Feinstein came off as diminished but lucid and responsive. She said she does not plan to step down before the end of her term, which runs through 2024.

    It was clear from our conversation with the senator that moments of clarity still reign.

    moments? that’s all we get?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The Senate itself operates only in moments of clarity and purpose, so that would be fitting, if the two coincided. They don’t.

      Gerontocrats are gonna gerontocrat: hanging on beyond any good they are doing is what they do. Their lack of self-awareness and humility means they have no sense of the opportunity costs of their doing so.

      • Rayne says:

        I’m not certain why smart people aren’t more concerned that “gerontocrats” aren’t the individuals performing the office to which they were elected but instead their staffers who are unelected and potentially using “gerontocrats” like meat puppets. The lack of self-awareness and memory problems would be features, not bugs, in these cases.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          You’ve nicely articulated an additional problem, which isn’t limited to the aged and infirm, but to pliable sock puppets of any age, a broader set of politicians.

        • Rayne says:

          This may not be an additional problem. What if the only reason some elderly remain in their roles is their value as puppets? How would we know?

          It bothers me that staffers haven’t appeared to be asking family to step in. Ex. why isn’t it obvious to the public that Feinstein’s daughter, who is an attorney herself, is aware of her mother’s problem and preparing the state party for both an intervention and the next occupant of that seat?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It would be an additional problem when personalities such as Herschel Walker are groomed and become elected officials. Not being able to lose a skill set they never had, their handlers would always have been in charge.

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