Steve Bannon’s “Alleged” Non-Contemptuous Behavior
On Friday, the two sides in the Steve Bannon contempt prosecution filed a bunch of motions about the scope of the case. They are:
- Bannon’s 62-page Motion to Dismiss, primarily arguing that OLC memos mean he didn’t need to comply with Jan 6 Committee’s subpoena
- DOJ’s motion in limine arguing that Bannon cannot introduce OLC memos because they didn’t apply to him
- DOJ’s motion in limine arguing that Bannon cannot rely for his defense on issues he didn’t raise with the committee (some of which also appear in his MTD)
- DOJ’s motion in limine arguing that Bannon can’t claim he has an “alleged” history of compliance with subpoenas
Office of Legal Counsel memos
The fight over OLC memos is likely to get the bulk of attention, possibly even from Judge Carl Nichols (who relied on one of the OLC memos at issue in the Harriet Miers case). While there’s no telling what a Clarence Thomas clerk might do, I view this fight as mostly tactical. One way for Bannon’s attempt to fail (Nichols improbably ruling that OLC memos cannot be relied on in court) would upend the entire way DOJ treats OLC memos. That might have salutary benefits in the long term, but in the short term it would expose anyone, like Vice President Dick Cheney, who had relied on OLC memos in the past to protect themselves from torture and illegal wiretapping exposure themselves.
In my opinion this challenge is, in part, a threat to Liz Cheney.
But as DOJ (I think correctly) argues, none of this should matter. That’s because — as they show with two exhibits — none of the OLC memos apply to Bannon, and not just because he was not a government employee when he was plotting a coup.
On October 6, 2021, Trump attorney Justin Clark wrote to Bannon attorney Robert Costello (citing no prior contact with Costello), instructing him not to comply to the extent permitted by law:
Therefore, to the fullest extent permitted by law, President Trump instructs Mr. Bannon to: (a) where appropriate, invoke any immunities and privileges he may have from compelled testimony in response to the Subpoena; (b) not produce any documents concerning privileged material in response to the Subpoena; and (c) not provide any testimony concerning privileged material in response to the Subpoena.
But on October 14, Clark wrote and corrected Costello about claims he had made in a letter to Benny Thompson.
Bob–I just read your letter dated October 13, 2021 to Congressman Benny Thompson. In that letter you stated that “[a]s recently as today, counsel for President Trump, Justin Clark Esq., informed us that President Trump is exercising his executive privilege; therefore he has directed Mr. Bannon not to produce documents or testify until the issue of executive privilege is resolved.”
To be clear, in our conversation yesterday I simply reiterated the instruction from my letter to you dated October 6, 2021, and attached below.
Then again on October 16, Clark wrote Costello stating clearly that Bannon did not have immunity from testimony.
Bob–In light of press reports regarding your client I wanted to reach out. Just to reiterate, our letter referenced below didn’t indicate that we believe there is immunity from testimony for your client. As I indicated to you the other day, we don’t believe there is. Now, you may have made a different determination. That is entirely your call. But as I also indicated the other day other avenues to invoke the privilege — if you believe it to be appropriate — exist and are your responsibility.
In other words, before Bannon completely blew off the Committee, Trump’s lawyer had told him not to do it on Trump’s account. (See this post which captures how Robert Costello had tried to bullshit his way through this.) That, by itself, should kill any claim that he was relying on an OLC memo.
Bannon’s prior (alleged) non-contemptuous past behavior
For different reasons, I’m a bit more interested in DOJ’s attempt to prevent Bannon from talking about what a good, subpoena-obeying citizen he has been in the past. Costello had made this argument to DOJ in an interview Bannon is trying to get excluded.
DOJ argues, uncontroversially, that because Bannon’s character is not an element of the offense, such evidence of prior compliance with a subpoena would be irrelevant.
Just as the fact that a person did not rob a bank on one day is irrelevant to determining whether he robbed a bank on another, whether the Defendant complied with other subpoenas or requests for testimony—even those involving communications with the former President—is irrelevant to determining whether he unlawfully refused to comply with the Committee’s subpoena here.
I expect Judge Nichols will agree.
What I’m interested in, though, is the way the filing refers to Bannon’s past compliance with subpoenas as “alleged.” It does so nine times:
The Defendant has suggested that, because he (allegedly) was not contemptuous in the past, he is not a contemptuous person and was not, therefore, contemptuous here.
Mr. Costello advised that the Defendant had testified once before the Special Counsel’s Office of Robert S. Mueller, III (the “SCO”), although Mr. Costello did not specify whether the pertinent appearance was before the grand jury or in some other context; once before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; and twice before the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. See id. Although, in his letter to the Committee and his interview, Mr. Costello said nothing about whether the Defendant was subpoenaed for documents by those authorities and whether the Defendant did produce any, and he did not say whether those other subpoenas or requests were limited to communications with the former President or involved other topics as well, the Defendant and Mr. Costello have asserted, essentially, that the Defendant’s alleged prior compliance demonstrates that he understands the process of navigating executive privilege, illustrates his willingness to comply with subpoenas involving communications with the former President, and rebuts evidence that his total noncompliance with the Committee’s subpoena was willful.
The Defendant cannot defend the charges in this case by offering evidence of his experience with and alleged prior compliance with requests or subpoenas for information issued by Congress and the SCO.
The Defendant’s alleged prior compliance with subpoenas or requests for information is of no consequence in determining whether he was contemptuous here.
Specifically, the Defendant’s alleged compliance with other demands for testimony is not probative of his state of mind in failing to respond to the Committee’s subpoena, and his alleged non-contemptuous character is not an element of the contempt offenses charged in this case.
1 1 To the extent the Defendant seeks to introduce evidence of his general character for law-abidingness, see In re Sealed Case, 352 F.3d 409, 412 (D.C. Cir. 2003), he cannot use evidence of his alleged prior subpoena compliance to do so. Evidence of “pertinent traits,” such as law-abidingness, only can be introduced through reputation or opinion testimony, not by evidence of specific acts. See Fed. R. Evid. 404(a)(2)(A); Fed. R. Evid. 405(a); Washington, 106 F.3d at 999.
Second, whatever probative value the Defendant’s alleged prior compliance in other circumstances might serve, that value is substantially outweighed by the trial-within-a-trial it will prompt and the confusion it will inevitably cause the jury.
The Defendant’s reliance on counsel and/or his alleged good faith in response to prior subpoenas is thus not pertinent to any available defense and is irrelevant to determining whether his failure to produce documents and appear for testimony in response to the Committee’s subpoena was willful. [my emphasis]
The reason DOJ always referred to Bannon’s past compliance with subpoenas as “alleged” is because calling the claim “bullshit” — which is what it is — would be unseemly in a DOJ filing.
As a reminder, here’s the history of Bannon’s “alleged” past compliance with subpoenas (it is unknown whether he was subpoenaed in the Build the Wall fraud investigation):
HPSCI: Bannon got subpoenaed after running his mouth off in the wake of the release of Fire and Fury (Republicans likely acceded to that so they could discipline Bannon for his brief and soon-aborted effort to distance himself from Trump). In his first appearance, Bannon refused to answer a bunch of questions. Then, in a second appearance and after the intervention of Devin Nunes, Bannon reeled off a bunch of “no” answers that had been scripted by Nunes and the White House, some of which amounted to misdirection and some of which probably were lies. Bannon also claimed that all relevant communications would have been turned over by the campaign, even though evidence submitted in the Roger Stone case showed that Bannon was hiding responsive — and very damning — communications on his personal email and devices.
SSCI: Bannon was referred in June 2019 by the Republican-led committee to DOJ for making false statements to the Committee.
According to the letter, the committee believed Bannon may have lied about his interactions with Erik Prince, a private security contractor; Rick Gerson, a hedge fund manager; and Kirill Dmitriev, the head of a Russian sovereign fund.
All were involved in closely scrutinized meetings in the Seychelles before Trump’s inauguration.
No charges were filed in connection with the meetings. But investigators suspected that the men may have been seeking to arrange a clandestine back-channel between the incoming Trump administration and Moscow. It’s unclear from the committee’s letter what Bannon and Prince might have lied about, but he and Prince have told conflicting stories about the Seychelles meeting.
Prince said he returned to the United States and updated Bannon about his conversations; Bannon said that never happened, according to the special counsel’s office.
Mueller: Over the course of a year — starting in two long interviews in February 2018 where Bannon lied with abandon (including about whether any of his personal comms would contain relevant information), followed by an October 2018 interview where Bannon’s testimony came to more closely match the personal communications he had tried to hide, followed by a January 2019 interview prior to a grand jury appearance — Bannon slowly told Mueller a story that more closely approximated the truth — so much so that Roger Stone has been squealing about things Bannon told the grand jury (possibly including about a December 2016 meeting at which Stone appears to have tried to blackmail Trump) ever since. Here’s a post linking Bannon’s known interview records and some backup.
But then the DC US Attorney’s Office (in efforts likely overseen by people JP Cooney, who is an attorney of record on this case) subpoenaed Bannon in advance of the Stone trial, and in a preparatory interview, Bannon reneged on some of his testimony that had implicated Stone. At Stone’s trial, prosecutors used his grand jury transcript to force Bannon to adhere to his most truthful testimony, though he did so begrudgingly.
In other words, the record shows that Bannon has always been contemptuous, unless and until you gather so much evidence against him as to force him to blurt out some truths.
Which is why I find it curious that DOJ moved to exclude Bannon’s past contemptuousness, rather than moving to admit it as 404(b) evidence showing that, as a general rule, Bannon always acts contemptuously. His character, DOJ could have claimed, is one of deceit and contempt. The reason may be the same (that contempt is a one-time act in which only current state of mind matters).
But I’m also mindful of how the Mueller Report explained not prosecuting three people, one of whom is undoubtedly Bannon.
We also considered three other individuals interviewed — [redacted] — but do not address them here because they are involved in aspects of ongoing investigations or active prosecutions to which their statements to this Office may be relevant.
That is, one reason Bannon wasn’t prosecuted for lying to Mueller was because of his import in, at least, the ongoing Roger Stone prosecution. That explains why DOJ didn’t charge him in 2019, to retain the viability of his testimony against Stone. I’m interested in why they continue the same approach. It seems DOJ’s decision to treat Bannon’s past lies — even to SSCI! — as “alleged” rather than “criminally-referred” by SSCI, may also reflect ongoing equities in whatever Bannon told the the grand jury two years ago. One thing Bannon lied about at first, for example, was the back channel to Dubai that may get him named as a co-conspirator in the Tom Barrack prosecution.
But there were other truths that Bannon ultimately told that may make it worthwhile to avoid confirming that those truths only came after a whole bunch of lies.
Update: Thanks to Jason Kint for reminding me that Bannon refused to be served an FTC subpoena pertaining to Cambridge Analytica in 2019.
Bannon’s argument about past compliance sounds remarkably like what Jesse James might have sounded like, had he been arrested and brought to trial. “Your honor, I am shocked at the charges against me. I have been in many banks and ridden many trains without robbing them!”
You owe me a new keyboard!
Calling on Pinkerton’s to uncover the truth?
They pull no punches.
From a layperson’s perspective, Bannon’s motion to dismiss seems ineffective, his arguments barely credible. This makes me wonder if the motion is 1) a delay tactic, 2) yet another example of his contemptuousness as he trolls DOJ, or 3) something else more nefarious. Bannon always has an angle, what’s his game this time?
Has he declared bankruptcy yet?
D) likely all of the above
If Nichols allowed Bannon to introduce arguments regarding his “noncontemptuous” character, wouldn’t that open the door for DOJ prosecutors to make a full (public) showing of his past lies and fraud? Could DOJ’s in limine motion against the Bannon/Costello character defense in fact be a kind of feint? I mean, I think you’re right, Dr. Wheeler, about the potential for confusing a jury, but if this ever reaches a jury it’s going to pose challenges anyway–might as well mine them for all in inculpatory evidence they’re worth.
Either that or I watch way too much Law & Order.
I would think so since Bannon opened the door about his character (IANAL, though). However, DoJ points out that it’s irrelevant to the question at hand, i.e. is Bannon in contempt for flouting the J6SC? DoJ should prepare in case Nichols falls for it, but hammer away on relevance.
To Mr. Rocco’s question there is doubtless an angle (BK doesn’t help Bannon here since this is a criminal referral, not a civil one) but I think delay is the idea as well as a trial balloon for another defense tactic. The problem for the GQP as I see it is that the longer this gets into the news (i.e. all summer) the less likely voters will forget who the seditionist party is.
I see that Utah Senator Lee has been identified as part of the planning, which makes it much more plausible that the WH call to his phone on J6 wasn’t really an accidental butt dial looking for Senator Tuberville, it was Individual-1 looking for guidance from Lee. I think the J6SC should dig into this topic, genteel comity be damned.
I also see that Dr. Ronny Jackson warranted some tracking/protection by the OKs / PBs because he had “critical data to protect” that Politico yanked from a court filing (consider the source, there’s a reason Charlie Pierce calls Politico ‘Tiger Beat on the Potomac’). The J6SC should look at Jackson as well as the other known seditionists (Brooks, Boebert, Gosar, MTG, …) since his is a name I’ve not heard before as a conspirator.
Ronny Jackson stays drunk, pretty much 24/7. There’s no telling what he might say, or what he might get himself into.
Thank you, Dr Wheeler, for telling us that there is more than one case pending that could land this contemptuous weasel, Bannon, in jail.
Wait until the weasel is about to be put into a correctional facility, and then we will hear him squeal.
Right now the delusional weasel thinks very highly of his “clever” efforts to drag out his trial until he can be pardoned.
When the reality sets in (maybe just before he is sentenced later this year), he will have all kinds of things to say.
I agree. I hold this man in at least as much contempt as Trump himself. Bannon’s “fog of disinformation” paradigm will do greater long-term damage to this country than Trump himself, because it will outlive him. Trump is too lazy and dumb to do what he has done on his own – Bannon operationalized Trump’s black-hearted tendencies. Bannon is the Godfather of #DarkMAGA!
The answer to #DarkMAGA is… Dark Magus! https://youtu.be/GMNLXkx2QU8
Jail? Not gonna happen. is there a single coup person in jail for a failure to honor a subpoena? To the best of my recollection. Bannon knows this will take a couple of years and then when repubs take the house and/or Trump is appointed president- poof- it is gone. Delay is the name of the game.
I wonder how Alexandra Preate’s interview went with the J6 committee (on 4/6/22 ?). Is the committee confined to solely J6 info? Or might they have asked her other things pertaining to Bannon?
What’s going to happen in reality is that the judge won’t allow any of it. In all likelihood, no one will be allowed to try and prove he was previously contemptuous or non-contemptuous. The trial is supposed to be about whether he was in contempt on one occasion. That’s why the bank robbery analogy works: it’s a single act, not a series of them. If you did things any other way, you’d have trials which would digress into a series of sideshows about past events (what Dr. Wheeler correctly refers to as a trial within a trial).
That’s the short answer. Whether DOJ is also playing a long game here, as Dr. Wheeler ponders, is an open and interesting question.
I can’t tell if DOJ is playing the short game, the long game, or no game.
Home Plate Umpire: “Game called because of darkness and the cheer-’em attitude of the far-right lawyers.” The game will resume in 2023.
What a fucking mess!
It seems DOJ is playing a number of long games, many of which intersect and reinforce each other. Too much of the media seems to be playing the role of the (mostly willfully) Blind Man confronted with The Elephant–that is, passing judgment, especially on AG Garland, based on what they’ve gleaned from headlines.
Reading Dr. Wheeler’s posts and the incisive comments here gives us considerably more of a window, but we (generally speaking) represent a self-selected group of those craning our necks to look through that window. We understand that we’re not even seeing into what’s roiling in the corners, and behind the doors closing off central areas for now.
My guess: we’re seeing about ten percent of what DOJ is doing, give or take. More here, of course, thanks to the brilliant and indefatigable Dr. W.
I agree. And I also think “Phil” may intersect in more than one way (by my count, possibly 4 or 5.) But that’s another story and not one for me to tell. Hopefully, one day someone will be able to sum things up in a way that we can understand.
Maybe the whole “I am of sterling character” horse poop is actually a dry run for his future parole hearing.
Thank you Harvard Business School for such outstanding graduates as Bannon and GW Bush. You should name buildings after them so the rest of us can remember what kind of education you provide.
re: naming buildings at HBS
Bush Center for Ignorance Studies (ignorance study is a real thing — subgroup of sociology)
Bannon Complex for Sludge Recycling
The Burning Bush incinerator complex might be misunderstood.
Back in the “effluential” W years, San Francisco tried to rename its sewage treatment plant in his “honor”. Somehow, it didn’t come to pass.
The Stephan Bannon, Beating Your Wife In Front of Your Children, Boxing Gym.
“Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy.”
“The solution to ‘on-line harassment’ is simple: women should log off.”
Umm, by the looks of his ugly countenance and his disheveled attire Steve Bannon *is* birth control personified.
HBS provided the dirty groundwork for Bannon and others — utilizing their “case method approach” to complex business operations.
For their final examination they scored a B+ in stonewalling and manipulating the code of ethics.
All to earn millions, circumvent the IRS, and stay out of the slammer
Capitalism and accountability at its very best.
…and a Wharton School of Business graduate… (wonder who)… promised to HBS a special contribution for building a Center for the Study and Nurturing of Bottomless Avarice…which, of course, he has never or will ever pay for…
You beat me to it, with a fine example.
Perhaps Wharton could commemorate a swampy area of the campus where old geezers go to croak. Trump Hollow.
Will the US Sup Ct rule in Bannon’s favor if/when he appeals seeking to reverse the DC Circuit’s rulings that bar a defense based on defendant’s reliance on bad advice of counsel in cases such as this? Is this a cause for concern?
Also, it seems to me that Bannon should waive a jury trial and just rely on the Trump-friendly judge Nichols to rule in his favor.
Yeah, DOJ would have to consent to waiving the jury, and there is little to no chance they will do that.
That’s good to know.
In this case, all they need is one juror that is not convinced about Bannon’s guilt?
Yes, and this is why I think Trump never gets charged. But doubt they will with a trial to a Trumpy judge again, I sure wouldn’t.
Are the Mercers still in Bannon’s life in any way?
Guessing those slimy ties that bind are hard to get rid of.
Mercers seem to be quiet recently. Have they gone further underground? Or are all of their ilk just becoming more careful as open-source information becomes more focused? I don’t believe they can be rid by any silver stake.
The odds are in your favor +450/+570.
Lady Justice loses.
I am so deep under water with the J6 stuff…I’ll just put some links here as reminders:
6:41 PM · Apr 14, 2022
3:52 PM · Apr 14, 2022
12:10 PM · Apr 14, 2022
1:27 PM · Apr 14, 2022
Note: These are from NINE DAYS AGO! ACKKK!
12:35 PM HAWLEY FIST PUMP [East side of Capitol] [I have a photo of the crowd there by same photographer at about the same time, but not sure where I got it at the moment…]
12:36 PM PENCE arrives at the Capitol with his wife and daughter
PENCE’s office releases the letter to Congress they had drafted: “As a student of history … I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress…”
12:36 PM Protesters strike up a QAnon “Where we go one, we go all” chant as Pence arrives [12:36 PM] at the Capitol. [VIDEO] [EAST side] https://twitter.com/willsommer/status/1346875477605163009
12:45 PM · Jan 6, 2021
[I’ve been adding photos. That last entry [from that day] is new to the #J6TL.
Whoa. Sure would like to know who led the Qanon chant there. Crowd-as-weapon changes the perspective on it.
Can you tell me if you agree with me that that might be Joe BIGGS [just after MILES] in Image 21 [at 2:16 PM] of this Arrest Warrant? THANKS!
My comment about that warrant:
Yeah, I agree, it might be Joe Biggs. I can’t be certain unless I can find other photos to confirm the color of his pants. The plaid shirt, neck gaiter, knit hat, glasses all appear to match other photos of Biggs (see https://seditiontracker.com/suspects/joseph-biggs.html).
THANK YOU! :-)
I am pretty sure BIGGS entered the CAPITOL through the [WEST side] Senate Wing Door [not sure what they call that door] at 2:14 PM, walked straight through and EXITED at the Senate Carriage Door [NORTH EAST corner] at about 2:16 PM.
Here’s the floor plan:
^^^ That is only the first mention of WWG1WGA in the TL.
Should have added this to the timeframe:
12:40 PM BOMB reported at the
RNCCAPITOL HILL CLUB [CP, FBI and ATF respond]
Well, now I feel better…maybe someone who reads these will be interested to explore further. THANK YOU!
The second and third mention of WWG1WGA is in this timeframe:
– BIGGS enters Capitol northwest side [Crowd: Who’s house? Our house!]
– A rioter parades a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol [PHOTO]
2:15 PM (alarm beeping) [Crowd] Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!
2:15 PM CP call of last resort alerts that officers are in trouble at the ROTUNDA
2:16 PM JONES entourage climbing EAST steps.
– BIGGS is standing outside the NORTHEAST Carriage Door alcove, then BIGGS ENTERS the arched area where the NORTHEAST Carriage Door is. [DoJ is calling this the Senate Carriage Door]
– BOEBERT: [tweet] We were locked in the House Chambers.
– BOEBERT: [tweet] The Speaker has been removed from the chambers.
– Ford FISHER: [tweet] No connection. // Not sure if tweet will send. Trump supporters are literally storming the Capitol.
2:19 PM PROUDBOY “Boots on the Ground” channel member posts: “We just stormed the capitol.”
– PELOSI is removed from House Chamber
– Igor BOBIC: [tweet] Police officers are holding them steps away from the Senate chamber, which is locked. Senators are inside. I see a few confederate flags. [PHOTO]
– Jazmine ULLOA: [tweet] Capitol is on lockdown as protesters storm front entrance of the Capitol. They are banging on the door. They have broken the glass window. [VIDEO] // A dense group of protestors has shattered the windows of the Capitol. We can hear roaring chants of “USA” outside. [VIDEO]
[^^^ WHICH DOOR is THIS?
2:20 PM · Jan 6, 2021]
[ALSO around this TIME]:
X:XX PM VETS for TRUMP’s Josh MACIAS SPEECH at EAST FRONT of CAPITOL [LaMOTTA is there, too]
[From the ALEX JONES MOVIE:]
[Approx] 2:18 PM – 2:21 PM Alex JONES [At the top of EAST steps]
Around THIS SAME TIME https://twitter.com/capitolhunters/status/1458964978560606209
JOSH MACIAS [Vets for TRUMP] at EAST FRONT of CAPITOL [North of Central Stairs, stairs are packed] [LaMOTTA is there]
The reason I highlighted the “1776!” chant in the JONES speech above is because of the Marge GREENE proceedings yesterday.
Here’s part of what MARCY tweeted about that:
4:36 PM · Apr 22, 2022
Here’s that NewsMax clip, posted at 1/5/21 11:34 AM
11:34 AM · Jan 5, 2021
Here’s a TL of information from the
1] PROUD BOYS SUPERSEDING [3/7/22] and
2] TARRIO Detention Memo:
– An individual whose identity is known to the grand jury sends to TARRIO a 9-pg document titled, “1776 Returns,” which sets forth a plan to have as “many people as possible” occupy a few “crucial buildings”, including House and Senate office buildings, on 1/6/21, to “show our politicians We the People are in charge.” This individual states: “The revolution is important than anything.” TARRIO responds: “That’s what every waking moment consists of…I’m not playing games.” [Conversation continues the next day, 12/31/20]
And this is from my breakdown of The JOE BIGGS MOVIE, most recently brought up in this comment thread:
CNN Exclusive: ‘We need ammo. We need fraud examples. We need it this weekend.’ What the Meadows texts reveal about how two Trump congressional allies lobbied the White House to overturn the election. https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/15/politics/mike-lee-chip-roy-text-messages-jan-6-mark-meadows-overturn-election/index.html/ Updated 6:26 PM EDT, Fri April 15, 2022
READ: Mark Meadows’ texts with Mike Lee and Chip Roy https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/15/politics/read-mark-meadows-texts-mike-lee-chip-roy/index.html Updated 7:06 AM ET, Fri April 15, 2022
– ROY to MEADOWS: We have no tools / data / information to go out and fight RE: election / fraud. If you need / want it, we all need to know what’s going on. Fwiw…
– ROY to MEADOWS: What’s the message? This seems hard to sell: [something missing here ??]  Any help on message appreciated. We’re all just making generic statements…
– ROY to MEADOWS: [What came before this?] Good. Be well. If you’re still in the game… dude, we need ammo. We need fraud examples. We need it this weekend.
– LEE to MEADOWS: I want to offer words of encouragement to the president, and have reached out to Molly for that purpose. This doesn’t have to come down to a binary choice between (1) an immediate concession, and (2) a destruction of the credibility of the election process. [Note: Lee’s mention of “Molly” likely refers to Molly Michael, Trump’s executive assistant.]
– LEE to MEADOWS There is a third way exhausting legal remedies while cooperating with the transition process
– LEE to MEADOWS Please give this to the president  We’re sending this as a private communication from us to him through you. We are not issuing it as a press release.  Use it however you deem appropriate  And if it’s helpful to you for you to leak it, feel free to do so [< – M: ??]
– LEE to MEADOWS: Sydney Powell is saying that she needs to get in to see the president, but she’s being kept away from him. Apparently she has a strategy to keep things alive and put several states back in play. Can you help her get in?  – It was at the president’s request that Sydney has been working on a strategy and has been trying to get in to see him. But she’s being kept out.  [Powell email address][Powell phone number] Sidney Powell [Note: Sidney Powell was a pro-Trump lawyer who was part of the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.]
[There are more…taking some time to format]
– ROY to MEADOWS: I’m heading to Atlanta – let me know what I can do. We need a message that isn’t wild-eyed 
– ROY to MEADOWS: These folks don’t get that they don’t win the senate seats if they don’t fight for potus. They gotta get a manual recount before they certify and sec states being stubborn and kemp won’t pressure… and party establishment don’t get it. [Note: Kemp likely refers to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican.]  You know this but that’s the deal.
– LEE to MEADOWS: We had steering executive meeting at CPI tonight, with Sidney Powell as our guest speaker. My purpose in having the meeting was to socialize with Republican senators the fact that POTUS needs to pursue his legal remedies. You have in us a group of ready and loyal advocates who will go to bat for him, but I fear this could prove short-lived unless you hire the right legal team and set them loose immediately.
– LEE to MEADOWS: Sidney told us that the campaign lawyers who I do not know are not focused on this and are obstructing progress. I have no way of verifying or refuting that on my own, but I’ve found her to be a straight shooter. In any event, these actions need to be filed and announced in the next 48 hours or the public relations momentum we need to have behind it will start to dissipate.
– LEE to MEADOWS: I have a simple question: how many vbm ballots were tossed in PA and WI for not meeting the requirements of state law? I can’t find the stats anywhere. But in the primaries it was above the current margin of victory with much lower turnout. If they played games with that Trump has a really strong case. [Note: “vbm” likely refers to vote-by-mail ballots.]
– ROY to MEADOWS: Who has catalogued / is tracking the best case for fraud / issues? Do we know?
– ROY to MEADOWS: I’m going to object today to all the voice vote requests on suspensions.
– ROY to MEADOWS: Hey brother – we need substance or people are going to break…
– LEE to MEADOWS I’m worried about the Powell press conference.  The potential defamation liability for the president is significant here  For the campaign and for the president personally  Unless Powell can back up everything she said, which I kind of doubt she can
– LEE to MEADOWS: The temptation will be to do nothing for now.  I’m not sure doing nothing is a good option  Unless Powell can immediately substantiate what she said today, the president should probably disassociate himself and refute any claims that can’t be substantiated  He’s got deep pockets, and the accusations Powell made are very, very serious  That is an especially bad combination when you consider the damages that could easily be claimed (and indeed proven) and the deep pockets involved.
Does anyone know what CPI is? [11/9/20]
Conservative Partnership Institute, I believe. Meadows is one of the leaders (now), with Jim DeMint (DeMint founded it in 2017).
Ah! THANKS! It did sound familiar…
[although the names/acronyms are ALL TOO similar.]
Here’s an idea for a new one for these people:
Crazy-Ass Cult Absurdist [CACA] Caucus
Flood the zone with
… brought to you (us) by the Weak Tea Party.
Should mention here that Cleta Mitchell is CPI’s “Senior Legal Fellow”, also chairs their “Election Integrity Network”.
Looks like CPI has trumpeted Mike Lee since early days (“The Mike Lee Moment” — July 19th, 2017 article on him).
Interesting how DeMint’s recent org affiliations/drops [ousted from Heritage, later associated with Citizens for Self-Governance (the Constitutional Convention freaks) and CPI; then CPI/DeMint “courting” Meadows and the Trumpist wing — a marriage cheer-led by Erick Erickson, e.g.] is like a tour de force microcosm of neocon factionalism — churning with the fund-backers as it does.
It’s like you can see the Koch and DeVos money fighting, like parrying dollar bills.
We can only hope they’ll ultimately be as effectual as that visual suggests.
But I think the Mercers’ and Uihleins’ are lined with brass knuckles.
New Filings Reveal Another Billionaire Dick Uihlein Behind the Big Lie
Dick Uihlein has been a reliable GOP donor for years. But in 2020, he gave millions to groups associated with overturning the election.
Roger Sollenberger Political Reporter Updated Jan. 20, 2022 10:42AM ET / Published Jan. 20, 2022 4:59AM ET
[Retrying this comment that vanished earlier]
New Filings Reveal Another Billionaire Dick Uihlein Behind the Big Lie
Dick Uihlein has been a reliable GOP donor for years. But in 2020, he gave millions to groups associated with overturning the election.
Roger Sollenberger Political Reporter Updated Jan. 20, 2022 10:42AM ET / Published Jan. 20, 2022 4:59AM ET
emphasis added; internal links removed
Circling back to Frank Gaffney & his CSP — right back to Ginni Thomas: on another occasion we know his org paid her firm 200k (2018), ahead of the infamous 1/24/2019 WH personnel “recommendations” meeting (among other Thomas family fun) — a meeting which Gaffney also attended and at which they lobbied for Trump to hire Gaffney in the admin:
(I pasted the text of Mayer’s tweet further down in this thread; see also below in this thread for a Mercer money link)
Uilein is why I’m so happy to get my annual ULINE catalog. Company’s sent me one every year for at least 16 years, a big fat glossy thing which must cost a small fortune from which I have never ordered anything.
I enjoy shredding each page which ends up in the pulp I use to make “logs” for my fireplace. ULINE catalog must be worth a couple logs by itself.
Check their website. Cleta Mitchell is there, too.
Yes, I meant to note that earlier FTR but was busy. Should have added to her list of bona fides above the “Who’s Counting with Cleta” offshoot with its own domain:
Also, I posted a comment above that vanished — gave no indication that it was in mod or anything, then went to reply to you and that comment was preloaded in box. So went back to post it above and got a “duplicate comment” message — so it never posted either time. Can you find it?
[I was offline late last night but I’ve checked our bins this morning and can’t see the comment you attempted to post. I suspect it had something to do with links you may have included, combined with a possible reset of security settings given the hour. We’ve had a recent resurgence of overseas phishing spam which coincidentally comes from Russia. Very sorry. /~Rayne]
5/16/19 – 5/18/19 Rachel BOVARD of the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI) was a ”participant” in Tom FITTON’s [Judicial Watch] “Action Session” at Council for National Policy event detailed here: https://www.emptywheel.net/2022/04/02/on-ginni-thomas-obstruction-exposure-and-clarences-former-clerk-carl-nichols/#comment-929924
Ginni [SCOTUS Spouse] THOMAS and [“I’m not asking you Cleta, honestly”] MITCHELL are organizers.
12/10/20 CONSERVATIVE ACTION PROJECT publishes CONSERVATIVES CALL ON STATE LEGISLATORS TO APPOINT NEW ELECTORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONSTITUTION [written by Cleta MITCHELL] http://conservativeactionproject.com/conservatives-call-on-state-legislators-to-appoint-new-electors-in-accordance-with-the-constitution/
Among the illustrious signatories:
> The Honorable Jim DeMint Chairman, Conservative Partnership Institute // Member, US Senate (SC 2005-2013) [Former Senator and ex-Heritage President Jim DeMint]
> Ed Corrigan Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project // President & CEO, Conservative Partnership Institute
– LEE to MEADOWS: Please give me something to work with. I just need to know what I should be saying.
– ROY to MEADOWS: Opportunity for POTUS: [What’s missing?]
– ROY to MEADOWS: If we don’t get logic and reason in this before 11/30 – the GOP conference will bolt (all except the most hard core Trump guys)  We need a controlled message ASAP.
– LEE to MEADOWS: Please tell me what I should be saying.  There are a few of us in the Senate who want to be helpful (although I sense that number might be dwindling).  Meanwhile, we are struggling to figure out how to respond to things like this:  [broken]twitter[dot]com/ByronYork/status/1330534125997088768
– LEE to MEADOWS: If you haven’t yet watched tonight’s episode of Life, Liberty, and Levin, you should do so if you can fit it in. Mark Levin makes a very compelling case for the need for litigation related to this election.  Also, I have an additional idea for the campaign. Something is not right in a few states. I think it could be proven or disproven easily with an audit (a physical counting of all ballots cast) in PA, WI, GA, and MI.  John Eastman has some really interesting research on this. The good news is is that Eastman is proposing an approach that unlike what Sidney Powell has propose could be examined very quickly.  But to do this, you’d have to act very soon. Some believe today might be the deadline for some of this in PA.
– ROY to MEADOWS: This is great. Will we get this chance in PA, AZ, GA, WI? Did we file any of the evidence with the PA BOE?
[Links to: [broken]twitter[dot]com/MarkMeadows/status/1331427949342568448
9:42 PM · Nov 24, 2020
– ROY to MEADOWS: Where do we stand, brother? do we have anything to put out that can make the case?
– ROY to MEADOWS: Happy Thanksgiving, Mark. Stay healthy and well. Please man, help us up together a message to go on offense. I am trying to piece together 11th Cir, Nevada, Pa Hearing, etc… and I think there is a strong message that would be louder and better than Sydney/Rudy have been doing, but it’s hard to keep up.
– LEE to MEADOWS: If a very small handful of states were to have their legislatures appoint alternative slates of delegates, there could be a path.
9:39 PM · Aug 13, 2021]
– LEE to MEADOWS: Also, [What came before this?] if you want senators to object, we need to hear from you on that ideally getting some guidance on what arguments to raise.  I think we’re now passed the point where we can expect anyone will do it without some direction and a strong evidentiary argument.
– LEE to MEADOWS: [text message is blank]
– ROY to MEADOWS: [links to: > [broken]twitter[dot]com/MarkMeadows/status/1341157317451124745
6:03 PM · Dec 21, 2020
– ROY to MEADOWS: The President should call everyone off. [From WHAT?] It’s the only path. If we substitute the will of states through electors with a vote by Congress every 4 years… we have destroyed the electoral college… Respectfully.  Give a statesman speech. End strong.
– ROY to MEADOWS: If POTUS allows this to occur… we’re driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic… [What is “THIS”?]
– LEE to MEADOWS: I have grave concerns with the way my friend Ted is going about this effort.  This will not inure to the benefit of the president.  Everything changes, of course, if the swing states submit competing slates of electors pursuant to state law.  But if not, this could help people like Ted and Josh to the detriment of DJT. [Note: “Ted and Josh” likely refers to Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri.]
– LEE to MEADOWS: I don’t think the president is grasping the distinction between what we can do and what he would like us to do. Nor do I think he’s grasping the distinction between what certain members are saying that sound like they could help him, but would really hurt him. He’s got a very real opportunity for a win in 2024. That opportunity could be harmed in multiple ways this effort.  Again, all of this could change if the states in question certified Trump electors pursuant to state law. But in the absence of that, this effort is destined not only to fail, but to hurt DJT in the process.  Between you and me, I fear that for some this could be a feature, not a bug.  There are plenty of others, perhaps, who are advocating this strategy with the best of intentions, but without fully understanding the ramifications.  I don’t purport to know who fits into which category. I know only that this will end badly for the president unless we have the Constitution on our side. And unless these states submit new slates of Trump electors pursuant to state law, we do not.
– LEE to MEADOWS: We should chat then. [What is he responding to?] I’d love to be proven wrong about my concerns. But I really think this could all backfire badly unless we have legislatures submitting trump slates (based on a conclusion that this was the proper result under state law). Even setting aside constitutional concerns, this will be harmful to the president if we don’t channel this effort properly. We simply have no authority to reject a state’s certified electoral votes in the absence of a dueling slates, with the Trump slate coming from a state legislative determination. [Links to Washington Examiner: Trump Urges State Legislators to Reject Electoral College Votes You are the Real] Should I take this as a good sign that he gets it?
– MEADOWS to LEE: Apparently, he was told that you came out with a letter against the electoral objections. I told him that you were being very helpful. Bad intel
– ROY to MEADOWS: I am truly sorry I am in a different spot then you and our brothers re: Wednesday. [1/6/21] But I will defend all.
– ROY to MEADOWS: This is a sh*tshow  Fix this now.
Here’s the list of Ginni [SCOTUS Spouse] THOMAS’s texts with MEADOWS
Now, taking ALL THAT ^^^^ into account,
look at some dates from these two articles:
1] Ginni Thomas also texted Meadows about another friend who shared election fraud conspiracy theories https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/20/politics/ginni-thomas-mark-meadows-connie-hair-texts-january-6/index.html Updated 6:08 AM ET, Wed April 20, 2022
2] The military-intelligence veterans who helped lead Trump’s campaign of disinformation After Donald Trump lost the White House, ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and three other current and former U.S. Army officers challenged the vote’s legitimacy and pushed baseless conspiracy claims. Military ethicists say their actions threaten to weaken the public’s faith in democracy. https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-election-military/ Dec. 15, 2021
11/7/20 GIULIANI press conference in Philadelphia in which he claimed the result had been swayed by suspect mail-in ballots and votes cast in the names of dead people.
11/7/20 GOHMERT COS Connie HAIR writes on FB: “Was on a call with the Trump campaign manager and legal folks for a briefing this morning. WE ARE SEEING THIS THROUGH TO THE END OF THE COURT/COUNT BATTLE 
11/8/20 Phil [FLYNN underling] WALDRON [says he] speaks with GOHMERT on the phone.
11/8/20 [WALDRON says] GOHMERT immediately calls TRUMP
11/10/20 WALDRON travels to DC and
1] [early AM] meets with Sidney [FLYNN “defense”] POWELL in a hotel conference room that “functioned as her headquarters” Howard KLEINHENDLER, confirms Waldron was part of the group.
[<<< THIS might be the meeting, probably at the WESTIN in Arlingoton, listed as “shortly after the election” in this comment thread: [I’ll post the whole link in the next comment:]the-valentines-day-massacre-how-doj-lost-lucas-denney-and-found-enrique-tarrio/#comment-931709 ]
2] WALDRON meets with GIULIANI [Who is working out of the MANDARIN ORIENTAL at this time] for 45 minutes.
11/14/20 Ginni [SCOTUS Spouse] THOMAS to MEADOWS: [seeming to quote GOHMERT CoS HAIR’s belief that]:
11/XX/20 WALDRON begins working with FLYNN [by the second week of November]
11/21/20 GOHMERT CoS HAIR on FB: “Massive amounts of voter fraud in big cities throughout the contested states.”
1/6/21 GOHMERT’s lawsuit reaches SCOTUS: “Our nation stands at the crossroads of a Constitutional crisis fraught by chaos and turmoil brought into play by a viral plague, anti-democratic interference from domestic and foreign sources, and hastily enacted State voting measures ostensibly placed to protect voters from catching the plague”
1/7/21 SCOTUS denies GOHMERT’s lawsuit, with no dissents noted [DISSENTS are NOT ALWAYS noted]
Recall Connie Hair was with Ginni Thomas at the January 2019 White House meeting lobbying Trump over personnel. [You already placed her there in the timeline from my comment/our discussion several weeks ago (same page w/the GT/Meadows’ texts you linked above).]
More from Haberman and Karni then re Hair:
Given the further info you added above (today), fair bet that Hair is the one of the purveyors of unattributed comments about the military.
Lying liars who lie about what they said and did before and during the insurrection, and which side they were on.
When my comment’s out of moderation, this will make more sense:
1] The link I promised: https://www.emptywheel.net/2022/04/11/the-valentines-day-massacre-how-doj-lost-lucas-denney-and-found-enrique-tarrio/#comment-931709
2] GOHMERT CoS HAIR’s comment that “the most important thing you can realize right now is that there are no rules in war.” reminded me of something from TRUMP’s Rally speech: https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/02/08/in-his-impeachment-defense-trump-spends-five-times-as-long-not-addressing-the-mike-pence-allegations/#comment-882266