What DOJ Was Doing While You Were Wasting Time Whinging on Twitter

Because people are so desperate for information on investigations into Trump, they’re over-reading articles to see only the most panic-inducing details.

So I wanted to collect all the known details of investigative steps against Trump and his associates. This will be a running thread.

Note that while I’ve focused on named subjects, these investigations absolutely intersect. That’s readily apparent with the fake electors investigation, but less so with the “Stop the Steal” nexus (best seen in the Ali Alexander entry below; which is where I’m putting some movement activists who played key roles). Those who were speakers on January 5, VIPs who were removed from the speaker’s list on January 6, or who were on Stone’s Friends of Stone or Alexander’s Stop the Steal lists often had roles both in ginning up mobs in states or advance planning for events at the Capitol on January 6 and played some role as things rolled out that day. These people would likely be the “influencers” identified in the investigative plan put together before Michael Sherwin left.

Rudy Giuliani

April 13, 2021: SDNY obtains historic and prospective cell site warrant for Rudy.

April 21, 2021: Warrants for Ukraine-related investigation approved. This was Lisa Monaco’s first day as Deputy Attorney General. The temporal scope on the Ukraine warrants extends from August 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019.

April 28, 2021: Warrants executed. Around 18 devices seized, of which 16 can be cracked.

September 3, 2021: SDNY argues that the privilege review for Rudy’s devices must be conducted pre-scope (meaning, before just the information on Ukraine is identified) and generously offers to limit temporal range of review to items post-dating January 1, 2018, significantly expanding the temporal scope of the privilege review vis a vis the known warrants.

September 16, 2021: Judge Paul Oetken approves SDNY’s desired treatment of Rudy’s phones, meaning anything that post-dates January 1, 2018, regardless of topic, will be reviewed for privilege.

November 2, 2021: Special Master releases contents of 7 devices, for which privilege review extended through seizure. 2,223 items were provided to the government.

January 15, 2022: WaPo quotes Rob Jenkins, who represents a number of Proud Boy defendants, explaining that DOJ is asking about Roger Stone and Rudy Giuliani’s ties to militia members.

January 19, 2022: Special Master releases contents through April 2021 of one phone amounting to over 25,000 items, as well as eight other devices for which the privilege review extended from December 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019.

April 12, 2022: In guise of coming to a final decision on the Ukraine influence-peddling that hasn’t happened yet, DOJ asks Rudy to unlock last several devices.

May 26, 2022: Subpoenas (CNN, NYT) relating to the fake elector plot ask for information on:

  • Rudy Giuliani,
  • Boris Epshteyn
  • Justin Clark
  • John Eastman
  • Bernard Kerik
  • Joe diGenova
  • Victoria Toensing
  • Jenna Ellis
  • Kenneth Chesebro

July 22, 2022: In grand jury testimony, Marc Short and (earlier) Greg Jacob are asked about Rudy and Eastman.

Roger Stone

March 17, 2021: In response to motion for bail for Connie Meggs, DOJ includes picture showing both she and Graydon Young worked a Roger Stone event on December 14, 2020.

June 23, 2021: Oath Keeper Graydon Young, who interacted with Stone in Florida in December 2020, enters into a cooperation agreement.

June 30, 2021: Oath Keeper Mark Grods, who worked the Willard the morning of the insurrection, enters into a cooperation agreement.

September 15, 2021: Oath Keeper Jason Dolan, who guarded Stone in both Florida and DC and would have witnessed discussions between Kelly Meggs and Roger Stone in December, enters into a cooperation agreement.

January 15, 2022: WaPo quotes Rob Jenkins, who represents a number of Proud Boy defendants, explaining that DOJ is asking about Roger Stone and Rudy Giuliani’s ties to militia members.

March 2, 2022: Oath Keeper Joshua James, who oversaw security of Stone on the morning of January 6 and reported back frequently, enters into a cooperation agreement. James also provides statement to NYPD inquiry of Stone associate Sal Greco.

March 4, 2022: WaPo describes hours of documentary video tracking Stone’s events leading up to the attack, including details from a Friends of Stone list on which Stone started planning Stop the Steal immediately after the election. Both DOJ and January 6 sought the outtakes, with Oath Keeper prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler offering to fly to Denmark to make the request. [Note this entry has been corrected to reflect ongoing efforts to get the footage.]

May 2022: NYT describes more about the FOS list, confirming that Owen Shroyer, Enrique Tarrio, Stewart Rhodes, and Ivan Raiklin took part. By June 23, 2022, DOJ had extracted the contents of Shroyer, Tarrio, and Rhodes’ phones.

Sidney Powell

June 2021: Nikki Fried announces Sidney Powell’s Defending the Republic had been raising funds in Florida without registering as a charity.

August 24, 2021: Powell’s fund settles with Florida.

September 2021: AUSA Molly Gaston issues subpoena for records relating to Sidney Powell’s grift going back to November 2, 2020.

November 30, 2021: Several outlets report on subpoenas relating to Powell. (WaPo, Daily Beast)

January 22, 2022: Powell’s attorney claims to be “cooperating” with DOJ investigation.

June 22, 2022: Months after BuzzFeed and Mother Jones report on the scheme, DOJ asks Judge Amit Mehta to conduct conflict inquiry regarding Powell’s funding of Oath Keeper defendants’ defense.

Alex Jones

April 13, 2021: Jones videographer Sam Montoya arrested on trespassing charges related to January 6.

August 19, 2021: Jones sidekick and January 5 speaker Owen Shroyer arrested for violating a non-prosecution agreement by trespassing; Shroyer did not enter the Capitol.

January 20, 2022: Judge Tim Kelly denies Shroyer’s motion to dismiss, effectively agreeing with DOJ that Shroyer (and so Alexander and Jones) weren’t invited by cops to the East steps and didn’t de-escalate the crowd. According to his pre-released testimony, Alexander had claimed they were de-escalating in his sworn testimony to the January 6 Committee.

May 5, 2022: Montoya asks for 60 day extension to discuss plea deal.

May 9, 2022: At status hearing, Shroyer attorney Norm Pattis describes talks of a plea deal.

June 14, 2022: Long-time Jones attorney Norm Pattis, who is representing Owen Shroyer, joins Joe Biggs’ defense team.

June 23, 2022: DOJ provides Shroyer unscoped contents of his phone, to provide scoped contents later.

Ali Alexander

January 25, 2021: Brandon Straka arrested for trespassing and civil disorder. Straka was a key player in the Stop the Steal movement, playing a key role at the riot at the TCF vote counting center in Michigan after the election, spoke at the January 5 rally, sat next to Mike Flynn at Trump’s speech, and stopped at the Willard before heading to the riot. Straka was also on Alexander’s Stop the Steal LISTSERV.

February 17, 2021: First FBI interview with Straka.

March 25, 2021: Second interview with Straka.

December 8, 2021: In released testimony for an appearance before J6C, Alexander told a story that DOJ had already debunked in the Owen Shroyer case. For this and other appearances, Alexander was represented by Paul Kamenar, the same attorney that guided Andrew Miller through stalling the Mueller investigation for a year.

January 5, 2022: Third interview with Straka.

January 13, 2022: DOJ includes sealed cooperation memo in Straka’s sentencing memo.

April 19, 2022: After 15 months of continuations, Anthime “Baked Alaska” Gionet charged with a single trespassing charge, a charge understood to have required some cooperation in advance.

May 11, 2022: Anthime “Baked Alaska” Gionet balks at a plea hearing for a cooperative misdemeanor plea. It is understood that Gionet shared certain materials to avoid a felony indictment. Gionet was given two months (until July 22) to plead to the misdemeanor or face the prospect of felony charges relying on his cooperation.

June 24, 2022: Ali Alexander testifies before grand jury.

June 28, 2022: Alexander returns to DC.

Jeffrey Clark

Note there are two Trump lawyers named Clark: Jeffrey is the DOJ official who would have replaced Jeffrey Rosen . Justin worked on campaign issues. [Really bad error corrected.]

January 25, 2021: DOJ IG Michael Horowitz opens probe into whether current or former DOJ officials attempted to overturn the election.

July 26, 2021: Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer writes former top Trump DOJ officials permitting them to testify on efforts, led by but not limited to Clark, to involve DOJ in an attempt to overturn the election. This was the first of a series of Executive Privilege review waivers DOJ asked Biden to make and roughly coincided with the delayed institution of a Contact Policy preventing Biden from learning about investigations.

June 22, 2022: Agents search Clark’s home and seize his devices. Per CNN, DOJ IG coordinated with the wider investigation into January 6.

John Eastman

March 28, 2022: Judge David Carter rules it is more likely than not that Eastman and Trump conspired to obstruct the vote certification. DOJ would be able to obtain any emails Judge Carter released directly from Chapman University covertly.

May 26, 2022: Subpoenas (CNN, NYT) relating to the fake elector plot ask for information on:

  • Rudy Giuliani,
  • Boris Epshteyn
  • Justin Clark
  • John Eastman
  • Bernard Kerik
  • Joe diGenova
  • Victoria Toensing
  • Jenna Ellis
  • Kenneth Chesebro

June 28, 2022: FBI seizes Eastman’s phone, gets him to unlock it.

July 22, 2022: In grand jury testimony, Marc Short and (earlier) Greg Jacob are asked about Rudy and Eastman.

Fake Electors

Fall 2021: According to NYT, Thomas Windom assigned, “to pull together some of the disparate strands of the elector scheme.”

January 25, 2022: Lisa Monaco confirms on the record that DOJ is investigating the fake elector scheme.

May 26, 2022: Subpoenas (CNN, NYT) relating to the fake elector plot ask for information on:

  • Rudy Giuliani,
  • Boris Epshteyn
  • Justin Clark
  • John Eastman
  • Bernard Kerik
  • Joe diGenova
  • Victoria Toensing
  • Jenna Ellis
  • Kenneth Chesebro

June 21, 2022: On July 25, 2022, WaPo published subpoenas to AZ fake electors Karen Fann and Kelly Townsend. In addition to AZ-specific list and the already published list of names of interest, those add:

  • James Troupis
  • Joshua Findlay
  • Mike Roman

June 22, 2022: DOJ takes a slew of overt steps in their investigation into the fake electors:

  • WaPo: Law enforcement activity targeting GA lawyer Brad Carver and Trump staffer Thomas Lane, subpoenas for GA GOP Chair David Shafer and Michigan fake electors
  • NYT: Subpoenas to Trump campaign aide in MI, Shawn Flynn, as well as Carver, Lane, and Shafer
  • CBS: Search warrants for NV GOP Chair Michael McDonald and Secretary James DeGraffenreid
  • CNN: Subpoena for Shafer, a warrant for David Carver’s phone, information on a GA Signal chat

July 8, 2022: Due date for June 21 subpoenas.

July 13, 2022: Talks between J6C and DOJ about sharing transcripts prioritizes fake electors scheme.

The Mark Meadows Gap

As I was writing this timeline, I realized that, aside from efforts on behalf of the Archives to force Meadows to reconstruct the insurrection he carried out on his personal phone and email, we really do have little information about an active investigation into Meadows’ role in the plot. That may explain why DOJ had not considered interviewing Cassidy Hutchinson before they saw her testimony.

Meadows should be included in the fake electors investigation, but thus far, he’s not. He would be included in any DOJ investigation of pressure in Georgia, but thus far, it seems DOJ has let Fani Willis take the lead on that investigation.

With the exception of Scott Perry, Meadows would be an absolutely necessary pivot to members of Congress who conspired in an attack on their own institution.

Additionally, there are credible allegations of obstruction against Meadows — for replacing his phone, likely deleting Signal and other encrypted app texts, after the FBI investigation started; for burning documents; for pressuring Hutchinson not to testify.

All that said, while Meadows is undeniably the most important gap in this timeline, Trumpsters are predicting that Meadows will go to jail, citing not just his own schemes, but his finances.

Steve Bannon

September 23, 2021: January 6 Committee subpoenas Bannon.

November 3 and 8, 2021: At interviews Bannon attorney Robert Costello did with DC US Attorney’s Office, at which FBI Agents were present, he gives materially inconsistent answers.

November 11, 2021: DOJ obtains Internet and telephony toll records for Robert Costello spanning from March 5 through November 12, which cannot pertain exclusively to the subpoena from a Committee the founding of which came months after the start date of toll request.

November 2021: DOJ subpoenas the toll records for two people — one is a financial advisor — under whose accounts he was believed to communicate in the past; DOJ provided these in discovery on July 8, 2022. The scope for at least one of the subpoenas is for September 22, 2021 through October 21, 2021.

November 12, 2021: DOJ indicts Bannon for contempt.

December 2, 2021: After DOJ raises concerns about Costello serving as a witness, he joins Bannon’s legal team until just before trial.

June 29, 2022: Pursuant to a trial subpoena, DOJ interviews Trump attorney Justin Clark about circumstances of Bannon’s non-compliance.

July 22, 2022: Jury finds Bannon guilty of both counts of contempt.

Peter Navarro

June 2, 2022: DOJ indicts Navarro on two counts of contempt.

Stolen classified documents

February 18, 2022: NARA informs Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney that there were classified documents among the 15 boxes taken to Mar-a-Lago.

February 22, 2022: Merrick Garland implies DOJ will investigate the mishandled documents.

April 7, 2022: Because DOJ opened investigation into documents, NARA refuses request for more information from Maloney.

May 12, 2022: DOJ issues subpoena to NARA regarding documents and requests interviews with those involved in packing boxes before leaving the White House.

Other key dates

January 4, 2021: DC authorities seize Enrique Tarrio’s phone.

January 8, 2021: Grand jury that carries out bulk of investigation on Capitol and ultimately charges Oath Keepers with sedition convened.

May 25, 2021: Grand jury that indicted Bannon, handful of Jan6ers convened.

August 11, 2021: Grand jury that indicted Michael Riley (Capitol Policeman), several serious defendants (including a superseding) convened.

Summer 2021: FBI interviewed Doug Mastriano about January 6.

October 21, 2021: In Congressional hearing, Merrick Garland makes clear that the OLC memo prohibiting the prosecution of a sitting President is not pertinent to whether Trump can be charged.

November 10, 2021: Still-active grand jury indicting more serious ongoing assault cases, among others, convened.

November 22, 2021: In hearing in Garret Miller case, Judge Carl Nichols asks AUSA James Pearce whether DOJ’s application of 18 USC 1512(c)(2) to the vote certification could apply to someone like Trump. Nichols would go on to be the lone DC judge to reject this application.

December 2021: FBI first gets access to Tarrio’s phone.

December 10, 2021: Judge Dabney Friedrich is the first DC Judge to uphold DOJ’s application of 18 USC 1512(c)(2) to the certification of the vote, the same crime discussed for use with Trump.

January 5, 2022: Garland promises DOJ, “remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy. We will follow the facts wherever they lead” and describes, “follow[ing] the money.”

January 12, 2022: DOJ charges Oath Keepers with sedition (and adds Stewart Rhodes to conspiracy).

Mid-January 2022: After filter review, DOJ first obtains materials from Tarrio’s phone that was seized over a year earlier.

January 19, 2022: SCOTUS rejects Trump’s bid to shield January 6 records under Executive Privilege. Not only will J6C get subpoenaed materials directly, but DOJ will be able to obtain the same materials directly, using privilege waiver Biden made for the Committee without violating contact rules.

February 14, 2022: Grand jury that charges Proud Boys with sedition convened.

February 15, 2022: Grand jury that charges Peter Navarro convened.

February 18, 2022: Judge Mehta denies Trump’s motion to dismiss various lawsuits, finding it plausible that Trump conspired with rioters at the Capitol, that he conspired with the militias who attacked the Capitol, and that he has aid and abet liability for assaults at the Capitol, including on cops.

March 3, 2022: Judge Carl Nichols holds that 18 USC 1512(c)(2) must have a documentary component and applies the rule of lenity to dismiss obstruction charge against Garret Miller. In briefing in this case, Nichols had hypothetically asked whether the law could apply to the then-President.

March 7, 2022: DOJ adds Enrique Tarrio to Proud Boy Leaders conspiracy.

March 28, 2022: Judge David Carter rules it is more likely than not that Eastman and Trump conspired to obstruct the vote certification.

May 25, 2022: Garland issues memo affirming that the same rules that always apply to DOJ investigations still apply to DOJ investigations.

June 6, 2022: DOJ charges Proud Boy leaders with sedition.

June 28, 2022: Testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson said to “jolt” DOJ to discuss Trump crimes other than those tied to inspiring rioters, though that report also says that, “change that was underway even before Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony.”

June 29, 2022: In a public appearance, Lisa Monaco says, Congress “is doing their job and we’re doing ours” and describes that DOJ is “deep” into its January 6 probe.

July 15, 2022: After declining to prosecute Mark Meadows for contempt in June, DOJ weighs in on Meadows lawsuit against J6C to opine that Hutchinson’s testimony demonstrated that the Committee is unable to obtain necessary information from other sources.

July 20, 2022: In response to a question about whether DOJ guidance on opening sensitive investigations would be affected if Trump announced he was running, Lisa Monaco reiterates that DOJ would follow the facts, “no matter where they lead, no matter to what level.”

July 21, 2022: Merrick Garland suggests that those who claim DOJ should, but is not, doing a hub-and-spoke investigation are speculating, and calls the investigation “the most wide-ranging” investigation that the Justice Department has ever entered into.

July 22, 2022: Marc Short appears before a grand jury (Greg Jacob did by July 22 as well).

162 replies
  1. peter says:

    “January 20, 2021: Judge Tim Kelly denies Shroyer’s motion to dismiss,”

    Should be 2022

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Peter” or “Pete” including one of our contributors. I think Marcy fixed the date, shout if you see anything else in need of attention. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  2. Badger Robert says:

    Thanks Ms. Wheeler. No trash talk this weekend? The Dodgers are very good. I hate them.

    • John Colvin says:

      The Seattle Mariners just won their 13th straight game. They may claw their way into the playoffs after a two decade absence.

    • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

      It’s not just the Dodgers that are worth hating. It’s also their awful stadium.

        • bmaz says:

          Other than getting in and out of there, which is hell, I think Dodger Stadium is beautiful and pretty awesome.

          • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

            I should have been more precise. It is the hell of getting in and out of the stadium that ruins the experience (for me).

          • MB says:

            Contrast that with Angels Stadium in Anaheim, where the parking area is a gigantic nondescript flat rectangle and if you forget to note the specific parking section number upon leaving the car to enter the game…

            This happened to me once: after leaving the game, everything looked alike and my friend and I literally spent 30 minutes wandering the parking lot looking for the car, while cursing our stupidity for not jotting down the parking section #. The only comic relief to be had while doing this is that we noticed several other groups of people in the same predicament. Of course, once you actually found the car, it was easy enough to drive out – no traffic (after all it was the Angels)

              • J R in WV says:

                Airport parking, returning home from a 3 week trip to AZ, temp lot on tarmac, few lights, midnight in winter snowstorm, seeking a white VW. All the cars were white, it’s called snow. Was a terrible thing, thought I was gonna freeze.

                At least the car started OK once I found it! And we drove home in the storm w.o. incident.

                • bmaz says:

                  When up in Boulder, was an early giant storm, and all the cars in our apartment parking lot were just white mounds. I could not remember which spot I left mine in. How do you know?

          • ducktree says:

            Today’s LAT has a whole section devoted to Dodger Stadium, with lots of memorable events including a Beatles concert and a mass led by the Pope. For instance, General Admission tickets were $1.50 in 1962, the only time I attended a game there (when I was 7 yo). Full disclosure, I’m not a sports fan . . . But it was “Bat Day” and every child entering was given a baseball bat.

  3. greenbird says:

    all by itself, this entry is enough to induce a restful sleep. thanks, marcy. does it need to be separate to highlight any follows-up? [neologism … per moi.
    * June 22, 2022: DOJ takes a slew of overt steps in their investigation into the fake electors:
    . WaPo: Law enforcement activity targeting GA lawyer David Carver and Trump staffer Thomas Lane, subpoenas for GA GOP Chair David Shafer and Michigan fake electors
    . NYT: Subpoenas to Trump campaign aide in MI, Shawn Flynn, as well as Carver, Lane, and Shafer
    . CBS: Search warrants for NV GOP Chair Michael McDonald and Secretary James DeGraffenreid
    . CNN: Subpoena for Shafer, a warrant for David Carver’s phone, information on a GA Signal chat

    • Rayne says:

      I want to point out a particularly important nugget in that collection of data points: the GA Signal chat.

      Based on that tidbit, we know right now the communications Carver had with others about GA election may be goddamned hard to crack if Carver didn’t 1) keep a local copy of Signal-based communications 2) under encryption in the app and 3) the phone. That’s three potential barriers which may take time to surmount and make a case which sticks.

  4. John Colvin says:

    The Seattle Mariners just won their 13th straight game. They may claw their way into the playoffs after a two decade absence.

  5. Charles says:

    While agreeing that Emptywheel is one of the few (the only?) journalist to accurately characterize the state of the known investigations into the crimes of Election 2020 and, further, that all of the pundits would do well to read and memorize what she has uncovered so they don’t sound like idiots, I think there’s a reason that so many DoJ alumni and others who are in a position to know better than they do are complaining about the pace of things.

    Let’s take one element, the fake electors. No later than 12/15/20, it is reported that lawyer Ian Northon has attempted to gain access to the Michigan Capitol under false pretenses for the purposes of creating a slate of electors and that Attorney General Dana Nessel is aware of this. By January 8th, 2021, the National Archives had contacted the head of Michigan Elections and Governor Whitmer and, after the formation of the January 6th Committee, that committee.

    Only several months later is John Windom reportedly working on it.

    Of course, he may have been working on it much earlier. We (or at least I) don’t know.

    But in the meantime, what has been going on in Michigan? Continued efforts by Republicans to weaken elections and promote election deniers.

    Consider an alternative reality in which Northon and others are charged with serious crimes in 2021 and prosecuted vigorously. The investigation is extended to potential tampering of voting machines in Antrim County, and any other attempts to falsify the results, resulting in several other indictments of senior Republicans.

    Question: would the Republicans have been as aggressive in continuing their subversion?

    There are two viewpoints: “what strategy makes for the best prosecution?” and “what strategy best protects the country?” In the first viewpoint, of course the DoJ is proceeding correctly–and against tough odds given the wreckage left by Donald Trump in the Department.

    But the second viewpoint matters. And, wrong as they are on the facts, the whiners and detractors and recklessly wrong pundits have a point. We are months away from discovering whether those who sought to destroy the Republic will succeed in gaining control of the Congress, and with that, the potential to subvert, block, and spoil every investigation that hasn’t been concluded. At the other end of the Justice system, we have a Supreme Court which can overturn every conviction by novel reinterpretations of the law.

    When it comes to the facts on what DoJ has been doing, of course I rely on Marcy.

    When it comes to the appropriate level of panic, I think everyone else is right… and that even in their error, they are generating the political pressure that might yet save us.

    • Steve says:

      I’m not a lawyer but I was involved in a very complicated financial crime as a victim. It took over 2.5 years to get the case to trial and 2 more months to convict them ALL.
      THE AUSAs I worked with were absolutely committed to prosecuting the charges fully. There was a point that they could have tried about 2/3 of the guilty parties but it took a lot longer to get through the brick wall they had setup to protect the bosses.
      I guess I’m saying patience paid off in my case.

      [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Steve,” “Steven,” and “Stephen.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • emptywheel says:

      1) One thing that was going on in MI (and AZ) was an investigation of the fake electors. Until this became a national issue–via referral from NARA or one of the AGs–then DOJ will cede to the states.
      2) It’s not that I don’t understand the risk. I ALSO understand that Merrick Garland has talked about the risk over and over, but there are some things you cannot rush, like cracking a cell phone.
      3) There’s no evidence pressure works (though it does lead people to misrepresent the work DOJ has done). What DOES work are credible criminal referrals.

    • bmaz says:

      This is yet another version of “DOJ MUST do something, and do it faster, to protect democracy”. Because politicians continue to try to game the system. Except that is very much NOT their job. In fact, it would be hideously wrong for DOJ to be concerned with that. The criminal justice system is not a salve for the political fears and pains people and pundits perceive. They should keep their head down and plug along appropriately, and prosecute only if and when a case is ready and just. That’s it.

    • glenn storey says:

      noun [ U ] UK informal disapproving
      UK /ˈwɪndʒ.ɪŋ/ US /ˈwɪndʒ.ɪŋ/

      continuous complaining, especially about something that does not seem important:

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Whinge is an anglicism; we use a lot of them around here, like arsehole and gobsmacked. In American, it’s whine, which is used less around here than wine.

        • Rayne says:

          Sorry, no, EoH. “Whine” has been used in comments here 627 times in its history while “whinge” has only been used 54.

          The proprietress may be possessed of dual citizenship, but she and her audience lean into American English and not that of the British Queen.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Thanks for the detail. I did say we used whinge a lot here. What we use more than whine, though, was wine. But I could be mistaken about which bottles empty the fastest in the likker cabinet. Tequila or whisky might beat out the wine.

        • nord dakota says:

          I wonder what is the source of the continued infiltration of anglicisms in American English. I learn many of the terms through British (and Irish) crime fiction (“eejit” had me baffled when I first started with the Irish), and there ae those British BBC crime series and other series on Netflix, but is it all that? The one that does annoy me is “presser” because CNN (probably others) seem to use it a lot.

        • RacerX says:

          Stop leaning against the bonnet of that auto and get those packets of crisps, biscuits, and fags out the lorry and into the boot!

          • P J Evans says:

            Some of us grew up bilingual. (My parents had a 48 Austin, a 51 Riley, and my mother read British mysteries.)

    • Benji says:

      Yeah, I had to look it up the first time I saw that. I like learning new words.

      On a related grammar note: I had a friend who had her semi-colon removed.

      She had to punctuate in a bag for the rest of her life…

      (Exit, stage left!)

    • goatrodeo says:

      Whinging is one of the best words in the English language, lolz, stop whinging about spelling!

      • bg says:

        And all along I thought this was just one of the occasional typos that became legend. So grateful to have not just learned another word/meaning but to stand corrected on my mental pronunciation of same. I was not giving the g its full sense of self. Whinge!

  6. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Interesting that we all feel that way. What a relief! Reading truth is calming. And I guess none of us could quite put together what we were knowing the way EW does.

    Despite the thrill and satisfaction, it’s a sad thing, too. If this was common knowledge, public conversation would be quite different—more productive and more conducive to expectations of success. Frustrating. As Pinter said, we are obligated to learn the truth of our lives.

  7. Doctor My Eyes says:

    A question. As an investigation of a criminal conspiracy narrows in on people investigators would most love to prosecute because they are near the top, is it preferable to already have the evidence you want from other sources before issuing subpoenas to your top targets? Why haven’t we seen subpoenas of Stone devices?

    (Sorry this is worded so clumsily.)

  8. wetzel says:

    I’m putting this here because it seems like an important piece of information regarding the fraudulent electors, and I have seen it come up yet here. Politico reported Friday that Mark Roman, Trump’s 2020 Director of Operations was the person who delivered the fraudulent elector certificates from WI and MI to Mike Kelly’s Chief of Staff. This article in Raw Story puts it together that before joining Trump’s White House in 2017, Mark Roman headed Charles and David Koch’s ‘surveillance and intelligence unit’.


    With Kilimnik and Manafort and the elder Lebedev and Boris Johnson, we hear there is no such thing as ex-KGB. I suspect that there is also no such thing as quitting the Koch’s, when you have been their chief spook. It believe it is well-founded at least to suspect if not to conclude from this fact set that the Koch organization understood the coup was happening in real time and supported it, at least passively.

    • Rayne says:

      I get really irritated when commenters cite Rawstory instead of the original reporters. Rawstory siphons off traffic and data which the original reporting deserves — in this case, Politico’s Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu. There’s even a citation and link in the story to the original reporting from which Rawstory rewrote their post.

      See https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/15/jan-6-trump-operative-false-electors-00046175

      If you want quality reporting for which you aren’t paying with anything but your attention and personal data, then go to the source and “pay” them.

      • wetzel says:

        I credited Rawstory for assembling the fact set, and I credited Politico for the reporting, but I should have put a link you included. Rawstory’s analysis in this story put Roman’s various roles together in one place. All Politico said was “former aide to the conservative Koch network.” That is insufficient for my claim, so I owe Rawstory. Somebody over there did some research, anyway. I appreciate your comment. Rawstory isn’t a primary source.

    • Eureka says:

      It’s Mike Roman, not “Mark.”

      • Three threads going back to Election Day 2020, with links to original reporting and research on his ratfucking [& other jobs] extending back decades:


      He played a key role in Stop the Steal/Trump campaign’s “poll watchers” propaganda ahead of and on Election Day 2020 in Philadelphia (see AP, ProPublica, contemporaneous comment at E-day link).

      • Also, before Politico’s 7-15-22 update report where sources revealed Roman’s role, some of the reporting from 7-14 on this angle of PA US Rep. Mike Lee’s then-CoS Matt Stroia’s involvement in handling the MI & WI fake electors [—> Ron Johnson(‘s office) –/–> Pence] linked on the previous page:


      • From EW’s thread of the June 21 J6C hearing on the matter:

      Ron Johnson staffer wants to hand-deliver the fake ballots from MI and WI to Pence.

      There’s your 1512(C)(2), Judge Nichols.
      2:06 PM · Jun 21, 2022

      Noting for searchability and harpie’s sake, besides.

      • Eureka says:

        It’s important to note that Roman succeeded in overturning an election before, in 1993. The candidate he helped seat, Bruce Marks, turns up at John Eastman’s side in 2020 litigation (next comment). Via that Nov. 2, 2020 AP:

        Mike Roman, Trump’s director of Election Day Operations, is a former White House aide from Pennsylvania who gathered claims in 1993 of voter fraud, resulting in a court ruling overturning election results and getting his candidate seated in the Pennsylvania State Senate.

        It’s a strategy that Trump has been advocating on Twitter and on the stump.

        For months the president has been trying to undercut the validity of mail-in ballots […]


        He got his political start running ballot security operations in Philadelphia for Republican Bruce Marks, who campaigned for the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1993 and lost narrowly to his Democratic opponent.

        As Roman and Marks tell it in a June blog post on Marks’ website, control of the Pennsylvania State Senate turned on the race, and “the Democratic machine’s operatives descended on the District to steal the election.” Their legal team later convinced a federal judge that there were so many ballots in Latino neighborhoods with irregularities that he threw out hundreds of ballots, overturning the result and sending Marks to a State Senate seat.

        Marks, who has made his legal career representing wealthy Ukrainian and Russian clients and briefly defended Trump’s 2016 campaign, said Roman’s working-class background gave him an innate understanding of ballot-box politics.

        (internal link omitted)

        Trump ‘army’ of poll watchers led by veteran of fraud claims
        By MICHAEL BIESECKER and GARANCE BURKE November 2, 2020

      • Eureka says:

        (cont.) About that candidate Roman got seated by overturning an election in 1993, Bruce Marks: Marks joined Eastman in filing a 2020 SCOTUS petition (besides that he “was engaged by” the Trump campaign in both 2016 and 2020 re election-related litigation). The tactics, a throughline. From Marks’ wiki:

        In 1993, he was nominated by the GOP in a special election for the 2nd district in the Pennsylvania Senate. In the initial as well as certified official results, he trailed William G. Stinson. However, on February 17, 1994, federal judge Clarence Charles Newcomer declared him the winner, stating that the campaign of Philadelphia Democratic Party had engaged in election fraud by soliciting votes door-to-door in Philadelphian minority neighborhoods.[7][8][4] The decision was criticized as partisan by legal scholars and Democratic activists, as it invalidated all absentee ballots in the district, regardless of their validity. Critics pointed to Newcomer’s history as an elected Republican and his appointment by Republican president Richard Nixon, as well as the fact that the district had not elected a Republican since 1953, and a sudden surge of Republican votes in a majority-minority district was statistically unlikely. This ruling gave Republicans control of the Pennsylvania Senate, as the 1992 elections had resulted in a tie, with Democratic lieutenant governor Mark Singel breaking ties.

        Marks was seated in the Senate on April 28, 1994.[9]

        [internal links omitted; emphasis added]


        Representation of President Trump

        In 2016, as a result of his connection with then-President Donald Trump arising from his 1994 campaign, Marks was engaged by the Trump campaign to defend a lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party in federal court, stating that the Trump campaign and Pennsylvania Republican Party intended to engage in voter suppression targeted at minority communities in Philadelphia.

        In 2020, Marks was engaged by President Trump’s reelection campaign to advise on litigation related to the 2020 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania. Marks, along with Professor John Eastman, filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States challenging the 2020 election results based on false claims that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court illegally changed election law, resulting in the counting of sufficient illegal ballots to change the result and cost Trump the election. The petition contained no supporting arguments that were not previously dismissed by other federal courts and state courts, and contained no evidence so-called ‘illegal ballots’. The petition was dismissed, and both the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and Congress certified Joe Biden as the president-elect.[16][17]

        [internal links omitted; emphasis added]


        • Eureka says:

          Interesting unreferenced statement there about his “connection” with Trump via his 1994 campaign.

          See also the “Private practice” section (has offices in Philadelphia and Moscow) — sounds like quite a complicated international law/fare resume. Also touts his “extensive” experience with RICO — he testified for Russia that US RICO law could apply in a Russian court when the Russian gov was trying to make a NY bank liable for RICO claims. See the linked NYT article from July 4, 2008.

          Also testifying then on behalf of the Russian government: Alan Dershowitz. 2-0-0-8. This stuff goes so deep … (and yes much greater time-depth than this…)

            • Eureka says:

              Lettuce rap!

              Let us wrap this era of democracide.

              (Checks clock calendar — too wilted to dress this up further.)

          • wetzel says:

            I saw the other day where Alan Dershowitz is upset. He’s been cancelled. Nobody invites him to parties on Martha’s Vineyard anymore. I’m afraid to tell you the site where I saw the story.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Eureka, this is an extraordinary addition to the timeline/record. I did not remember that PA state senate election until you brought it up and drew the salient link to Trump’s 2020 team. More evidence of the very long game the GOP has been playing, and how the extremists tried to make it pay off by stealing an election as their coup de grace (after stacking the Supreme Court, they seem to have been drunk on success).

  9. Ddub says:

    As to the slow pace of the investigation, some frustration and fear rests on the idea that if the GQP wins in ’24 they would halt or curtail the investigation. This could very well be true, but in the meantime the work can’t be rushed.
    Given the SC docket in the fall, the threat could come from the ridiculous Independent State legislatures theory put in practice. And who knows what else! They are on a roll.
    Contemplating just what a shitshow the ’24 election season will be, the DOJ charging some main players before and in that timeframe could be a huge boon to the Dems.
    I may be way wrong but I see TFG as a wounded beast that won’t be viable in ’24. He is diminishing daily. If anything he helps by splitting the party. Charges on political operatives OTOH might reduce the ratfucking.

    • bmaz says:

      DOJ is not there to be a “boon to Democrats”. People really need to stop thinking in those terms.

      • Ddub says:

        Why is a bad idea to look for political advantage in the J6 investigation?
        I understand your point that DOJ won’t save us, but it would be foolish not to try to capitalize on it (no pun intended).

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, maybe I badly misread that, I took it as to DOJ! Of course J6 is political, so that is fine. I really don’t think they will move the needle much though. Currently Dems are only +3 as to Hispanics, where they were previously +21. Blacks are starting to migrate away from Dems too. I don’t think J6 is going to make any difference in that regard. The Dems have mostly ignored these constituencies, and youth, for far too long, and it is catching up to them.

          • wetzel says:

            But Ruy Teixeira promised us the majority! All we have to do is wait another twenty years!

          • Scott Johnson says:

            Why do you suppose that is?

            I’m not Hispanic, so I’m a little leery in discussing what Hispanic voters think; after all what recent and first-generation Mexican immigrants in CA think is bound to be different what Tejanos or Cubans think. But from most sources I’ve read, so take with a grain of salt, it’s due to some variation of “Democrats are too woke” or “too leftist”, as opposed to concerns they’ve tacked too far to the center.

            As someone who supports the party’s left, this concerns me greatly… but many actual working class people (men in particular) can be conservative or even reactionary in their social politics, and many leftist movements throughout history have foundered on these rocks. LBJ’s words

            Of course, the same right-wing billionaires that have given this country a huge right-wing media ecosystem in English, have done the same in Spanish. LBJ’s observation is still true today, and applies to more than just (Anglo) whites.

            • J R in WV says:

              I think any political “data” being reported should be regarded with the utmost suspicion. It benefits the RWNJs to convince people that minorities are going to vote for Republicans, in spite of the fact that Republicans despise and oppress minorities openly. Faux News isn’t the only source of distorted and false stories out there.

              In other words, I do not believe the voting plans of minorities are changing to the degree posited above! If anything, it seems to me that minorities are typically aware of political shenanigans to a far greater degree than white middle class people.

              No, I have no evidence to prove my position. Why should I do more work than the NYT reporters?

  10. Joberly says:

    The header to the section on Jeffrey Clark reads, “Note there are two Trump lawyers named Clark: Jeffrey is the Chapman U prof…”

    EW: I think this sentence mistakes Jeffrey Clark for John Eastman. Clark came from Kirkland & Ellis, not Chapman University.

    • emptywheel says:

      TY. That was a truly epic error. And you’re right: these shoddy old white lawyers all look the same to me.


      • TimB says:

        The Clark twins, at least on their wikipedia pages, look about as similar as Bannon and Stone.

  11. Carole says:

    On Friday, July 15, the DOJ released what Politico is calling a landmark ruling. Briefly, the ruling states that immediate advisors to former Presidents do not have absolute immunity when subpoenaed by Congress. These former advisors have qualified immunity that can be overcome if Congress’ legislative purpose warrants taking that step. In the case of Meadows v Pelosi et al the
    DOJ said the purpose overcomes the qualified immunity.

    Could this be why the DOJ did not charge Meadows with contempt?


    • emptywheel says:

      They distinguish Meadows from Bannon, in that he was doing his job. But also that he provided docs, whereas Navarro and Bannon did not.

      It is a fascinating ruling.

    • Critter7 says:

      I’ve heard elsewhere that DOJ did not charge Meadows with contempt because they may indict him eventually. A contempt citation would enable Meadows to engage DOJ in discovery. If DOJ expects to indict Meadows eventually, allowing him to go through discovery prior to the indictment would not be in their interest.

      I have no legal training. I ask those who know more about legal processes, does that speculation make sense?

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I was wondering about this too, Critter7–whether holding off on indictments for Meadows and Scavino might in part be a means to delay providing them discovery in advance of possible future indictment, especially in Meadows’ case. I understand that Meadows turned over a portion of requested documents (not all); that both Meadows and Scavino have engaged in “negotiations with” the J6C; and that their ongoing WH roles differentiate them from Bannon. Since DOJ went ahead with Navarro, who was also still in the administration, that can’t be the sole reason.

      • Overshire says:

        The thing that’s been puzzling me about Meadows & Scavino is that the majority, if not all, of the documents and records they were asked for should properly have been classed as government property in the first place, and were required to be turned over to NARA when Biden took office. Is there any chance that A) they haven’t been indicted because Archives has already turned them over, or B) they could be subsequently charged with theft of (potentially classified?) government property?

  12. Cthulhu says:

    This all sounds wonderful. It does. But we have to remember, we’re on a clock, and it’s running out quickly.

    • bmaz says:

      The DOJ is NOT on your little clock. Nor should they ever be. Jesus this gets tiring, DOJ is not there to act on your political concerns, nor clock, and it is beyond gross to think and insinuate that they are, or should be. Seriously, get a grip.

      • ex_DOJ_guy says:

        Gee, when I was in the DOJ, a looming election changed my sense of urgency for matters the other party did not like. Get it in the box before we are all fired (political appointees) or shut down (longsuffering permanent staff).
        Also, the problem of ongoing attacks on the United States by a cabal overlapping with the folks now under investigation creates a little policy urgency. Policy urgency is not political urgency.
        I do not mean to suggest that I infer DOJ is going too slow. First, that is not knowable from the outside, and second, what is known (more of it to be found here at emptywheel.net than anyplace else) does not suggest sloth at all.
        Also, I take bmaz’ point that an overtly political goal for prosecution is terrible. Part of the problem here is, if the obvious theory of the cases is true, the attack on the US is closely linked to one political party, and the other party holds the presidency. So there is this difficult overlap between political advantage and proper defense of the rule of law.
        Still, I am sympathetic to the worried calls for speed. While most of those calls are whinging, they may not be improper nor foolish. That they are not going to change anything the DOJ does (maybe even more Tums tossed back, but not anything they do) reinforces the whingy-ness.
        Mods, I am not sockpuppeting, just want to be anonymous on this one for obvious reasons.

        • bmaz says:

          Gee, over all the years I have interacted with DOJ, this kind of thought process was antithetical. But, hey, now it is oh so efficacious, so heave ho? Sorry I will never buy that.

          This is the kind of justification that the Trumpies conveniently used, and that people on this blog used to complain about. I guess things are flexible. And, yeah, it is whinging by people that care more about immediate results than integrity. So, I will not join you in that.

          As to your anonymity for this comment, no worries, that is fine.

        • rip says:

          Hi, ex guy (DOJ?)

          I hope your ex-career was not as well stated as this posting in this blog. It may just be me, but most of your text looked like it was generated from some semi-AI text-analysis and bot creation. You show no specificity but just a parroting of phrases bashed around. How would anyone know that you actually know anything?

          Also, a bit of writing organization would be nice. If you have something new to bring to the conversation, please do so.

      • Benji says:

        Right. And no one had ever seen the Jackson 5 and the Osmonds together in the same place at the same time…

        Curious, that.

        Waiting for the RWNJ mouth breathers to try to tie Ivana’s demise to the Clintons doing tRump a solid because – Jeffrey Epstein? – and Ivana was in the know?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Falls are the leading cause of death among the elderly. Ivana was 73. Even multi-millionaire former wives of narcissistic pricks fall down the stairs. Unless you’ve got evidence, give it a rest, please.

        • Benji says:

          Easy there earlof, perhaps the snark was not obvious. Jacksons and Osmonds opening was a dead giveaway…snark stands on its own.

          RWNJ world will try to spin anything in their echo chamber, anything to keep the doomscrollers frothing. That was the and will be the point with these morons as long as the uneducated are the bulk of the far right base.

          And yeah – and older woman falling down the stairs is tragic and it happens – but no matter what the truth is the mouth breathers will glom onto some bizarre, off the wall theory rather than, say, the Mike Roman angle.

          Which I think may be something, but IANAL.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            You’ll note from the way my comment was nested that I was responding to earthworm, not Benji.

      • skua says:

        Saw a twitter post claiming that Ivana’s blunt force injuries to torso had never been seen by the self-described Twitter expert in the field.

        cf https:LINKBREAK//www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-09/daniel-andrews-hospitalised-after-fall/13229014
        (Link broken as Rayne likes ’em broke. I know bmaz likes ’em whole.)
        “…slipping on wet stairs …” “… several broken ribs and vertebrae damage …” “… I remain in intensive care …”

        • Rayne says:

          Look, it’s not that I like links ‘broken’. Security measures here may not let your comment clear if there’s an active link.

          I prefer links ‘broken’ to sites which have sketchy history, may be more likely to be attacked by hackers/hostile nation-state actors, have poor security (ex. no HTTPS vs HTTP), or may track EW community members. This isn’t a matter of like/dislike but for your own damned security as well as that of the community and this site.

          • skua says:

            My pref is for broken links. I often browse emptywheel on a small device and too often hit links I don’t intend to.
            Usually it’s the Reply link but I’ve hit offsite links too.

            • bmaz says:

              Counterpoint: Rayne is right, broken links for garbage sites are fine because they are, well, garbage sites. As to reputable sites, they are just a pain in the ass that makes the link totally unusable. Post a broken link and there is close to zero chance I will ever see that content. Which, if it is a garbage site, is fine, but if it is a normal one, I just want to be able to click and receive the content.

        • bg says:

          I tried to imagine how blunt force trauma to the torso would happen in a fall down the stairs. I suppose ribs and back are actually torso, and rib and back injuries are not uncommon, though injuries to the torso are not really noted as much as sprains and injuries to spine, hips and ankles. Also head injuries are common. I didn’t really think about it much after the coroner released the report, but someone else pointed out the relative uncommon mention of injuries to the torso from a fall down the stairs. I guess one could fall straight forward in a cardiac event, but a head injury would also seem a likely mention in that case. I recently found a deceased person who apparently had a heart attack and fell flat on his back. There was a head injury which did not bleed, giving the OMI the indication that the heart stopped beating before he hit the ground. Or something along that line.

          • bg says:

            Also, if one fell going up the stairs and then slid down, torso trauma would be likely I guess.

          • P J Evans says:

            With falls, a lot of it is how you’re standing or moving at the time.
            (I read that she had been told she needed a hip replaced, which would contribute to falling, and possibly result in a fall that was not simple.)

            • bmaz says:

              Yeah, exactly. But this is like Epstein, nobody here really knows, so let’s not all go Quincy Medical Examiner. Old people fall sometimes.

  13. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    What about Scavino? He failed to provide any docs or cooperate for a period of time, in contrast to Meadows.

    Also, when subpoenaed by Congress, isn’t it mandatory for a former president’s staff to appear and assert qualified immunity on a question-by-question basis? Questions could pertain to post-January 20 matters or pre-Jan 20 matters not related to the president. Furthermore, are not subpoenas for documents treated differently than for testimony under the doctrine of qualified immunity?

    • Rayne says:

      Good question about Scavino, who was subpoenaed by the J6 committee last September. DOJ declined to charge Scavino as they did Meadows, which hasn’t gone over well with committee members.

      But Scavino’s phone records were also subpoenaed; he tried to fight the subpoena with some stupid shenanigans but was shot down.

      Both Navarro and Scavino were referred by J6 to DOJ at the same time. I’m guessing Navarro was a cake walk for DOJ because of his book and his big mouth flapping all over media, which made DOJ’s case too easy to decline. If J6 was still fighting for Scavino’s records earlier this year, could be why DOJ declined referral. But IANAL or a former prosecutor, YMMV.

  14. Whinge Daddy says:

    Excellent article. Thank you for this the timing is great as I’m like most organic free whinge sheeple on the Twitter impatiently expecting an indictments party. Does champagne age like wine?

    • goatrodeo says:

      “Free whinge sheeple” hilarious. Somehow needs to be shopped into that cartoon of the sheep grazing beneath the billboard with the picture of the wolf saying “I will eat you.” lolz

  15. RMD says:

    There’s been some rumination on the Wall Street Putsch of 1933….and parallels to the present. Major financial and industrial backers pushing for fascist coup, enlisting the services of ret. Gen. Smedley Butler…..who backed out and informed J. Edgar Hoover of the plot.

    There are differences in the makeup of those presently involved with Trump…but there are resonances/ reminders that many corporations seem to see little downside to supporting moves to fascism.
    A while back WaPo did a write up.

    “Wealthy bankers and businessmen plotted to overthrow FDR. A retired general foiled it.”https(colon)//www(dot)washingtonpost.com/history/2021/01/13/fdr-roosevelt-coup-business-plot/

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Gen. Butler did not “back out.” He never supported the attempt to enlist him in a coup against FDR. He reported it and cooperated with the congressional investigation.

      That was entirely consistent with Butler’s career. As safety director for Philadelphia, when on leave from the Marine Corps, he enforced prohibition, among other laws. The mayor did not renew his term when he enforced it against the country club set.

      • RMD says:

        that was sloppy of me…. meant to write he was approached/enlisted and instead reported it….

  16. J R in WV says:

    IIRC General Smedley Butler received not merely one Medal of Honor, but TWO Medals of Honor. And was a patriot who recalled his oath to support and defend the Constitution, unlike so many members of the previous administration, who could not recall what day of the week it was on any given day.

    Marcy, thanks so much for this organized review of many of DoJ’s activities so far. I expect we are all aware that many of DoJ’s actions are still closely held secrets, I for one am proud of this Administration’s ability to keep secrets secret as needed! Even tho it makes my feet ache to not know what I don’t know yet. I still think the AG and Lisa Monaco are doing what needs to be done, have brought a ton of experienced major case prosecutors on board, and are managing a ton of different criminal threads all at one time.

    If I can’t maintain optimism throughout this lengthy ordeal, I’m lost. Imagine the number of court cases we will try to follow once that phase of this giant criminal conspiracy begins ~!!~

  17. biff murphy says:

    Thanks for the lesson
    I had to look that one up…

    “What is the difference between whining and whinging?
    Though Americans use only one word, “whine,” the British use both: “whining” covers a variety of meanings, including sounds made by people, animals, or inanimate objects, and “whingeing” (also spelled “whinging”) is more specifically for peevish or fretful complaining”

    • grennan says:

      It’s probably a portmanteau of ‘whine’ and ‘cringe’, as in cringe-making; or less likely ‘binge’.

      All whinging is whining but not all whining is whinging.

  18. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    Thank you Rayne for replying to my Scavino question.

    The DOJ filing in Meadows v. Pelosi, footnote 2 states: “The [prior] OLC opinions address only immunity from compelled testimony. The rationales for such immunity do not justify any such categorical rule with respect to a subpoena for documents and, in any event, such a rule is foreclosed by the [D.C. cir. Appeals Court’s prior decision in Nixon].

    Returning to my question about Scavino, can someone explain why the DOJ has not prosecuted him for failure to produce documents?

    Note that Bannon is facing two charges, one related to documents, the other to testimony. Even though Scavino falls in the close advisor category, which could explain why he was not charged in relation to his subpoena to compel testimony, the DOJ could still bring a separate charge for documents.

    • Scott Johnson says:

      Documents can be seized involuntarily, if necessary with a search warrant. You can’t serve a search warrant on someone’s brain.

      (There is the risk that documents may be destroyed or concealed; indeed that’s probably occurred in some cases already).

    • Rayne says:

      One obvious reason is that Bannon wasn’t a White House employee at the time where Scavino and Meadows were. Another factor is witness tampering — Bannon may already have proven himself to Trump where Scavino and Meadows may not have. There’s also the nasty issue of legal representation which could play a role with Scavino and Meadows, more so than Bannon who can both afford to pay for his and may not need to be as tightly controlled. Consider what may have been going on with Hutchinson and her first Trump-affiliated attorney as an example.

      But these are all guesses on my part. You’ll have to wait along with the rest of us.

  19. Tom R. says:

    Question: Why hasn’t the committee shared all (or nearly all) of their evidence with prosecutors?

    Bennie Thompson said in May

    my understanding is they want to have access to our work product. And we told them no, we’re not giving that to anybody.

    Again I ask, why not? There is an obvious upside and little if any downside AFAICT. If they are worried about DoJ leaking, they can arrange to produce the material to the grand jury (rather than to some rando at the FBI). He also said

    You know, we can`t give them, you know, unilateral access.”

    Unilateral? Is that the problem? Are we playing by political machine rules, where you never give anything to anybody unless you get some quid pro quo? Even when it makes the world a better place, at no cost to you?

    DoJ has some material they could legally share with the committee (e.g. some info gleaned from tips, voluntary interviews, open sources, etc.) but one can understand why they would be reluctant, since congress leaks like a broken colander. If the committee wants to negotiate, that’s OK, but saying “we’re not giving our work product to anybody” seems like a dumb way to go about it.

    • Rayne says:

      There’s a need to maintain the separation of government branches which Thompson may have inaptly expressed, if I have to guess. The purpose of the J6 committee’s investigation isn’t the same as DOJ’s; DOJ shouldn’t expect the legislative branch to simply roll over and give everything it fought for under its role as legislative branch when DOJ has its own purpose, authority, and powers under the executive branch.

      That said, there should be a formal mechanism for relinquishing investigative materials relevant to an ongoing DOJ investigation — but what happens if Congress and the executive branch are split by party, and the DOJ is driven by a more highly partisan AG? We’re back to where Thompson is now, protecting the fence line.

      • Tom R. says:

        I’m not convinced by the “fence line” argument.

        1) I’m sufficiently grown up that I don’t feel the need to be constantly defending my turf. I’m happy to just do the right thing, especially when it costs me nothing. Double-especially when duplication of effort is expensive.

        2) Similarly, I’m not interested in defending some purely theoretical unenforceable precedent. I’m happy to just do the right thing in the moment.

        3) Sure, the committee and DoJ have different purposes. To a borrow a phrase: They should have their own purposes, but they should not have their own facts.

        Very commonly a fact can serve more than one purpose.

        4) In today’s situation, DoJ has asked for the documents. In the case of divided control, they wouldn’t ask. And/or the committee could say no. So that’s a non-problem.

        • Rayne says:

          You are not an institution like a branch of government, the boundaries of which are set in the Constitution and further defined by legislation and precedent but malleable depending primarily on Congress and the judicial branch at any given time.

          Rather like boundary around my autonomy as a woman which I now must defend fiercely regardless of whether I’ve done anything to deserve this bullshit.

          • Tom R. says:

            Any person, woman or otherwise, has the prerogative to say no. However, that doesn’t mean you must always say no.

            If you are obliged to say no, it was never really a prerogative, was it?

            The same goes for institutional prerogatives.

            Sure, witnesses will try to quash subpoenas by claiming that the committee is cahootsing with DoJ, but (a) they are claiming that already, and (b) the courts have consistently ruled it’s OK for the committee’s work to serve multiple purposes, so long as at least one is a legitimate legislative function. Furthermore, the committee has said they will turn over all the material eventually, so the principle of the thing is settled; we’re just haggling over the timing.

            • Rayne says:

              Oh I’m so done here with you because you have no idea what’s going on right now post-Dobbs.

              • Tom R. says:

                If you want to talk about Dobbs, we can talk about Dobbs. I think you will find I am not as clueless as you seem to assume.

                In contrast, I was talking about committee documents.

                Drawing an analogy between the two stretches me beyond the breaking point.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Your opinion about just say no seems clueless, as does your impression that they’re “just haggling over timing.”

      • bmaz says:

        Negotiating the details?? Screw Bennie Thompson. Issue a grand jury subpoena to that preening jerk and his Committee. This is just ridiculous.

        Adding: Yes, I fully understand there “could” be separation of powers argument, but make those pricks on the Committee put up or shut up. They either want what they set out to do, or they are jokers. Their game is tiring.

        • timbo says:

          Let’s hope it all works out in the end for the good of the Republic. In the meantime, it’s a good thing the Committee has been moving the public side of the investigation further into Twitler’s insurrectionist conspiracy than DOJ apparently has been able to do on its own, in private, up until now.

          • bmaz says:

            It is NOT all working out. And now the dumbshit Bennie Thompson is fucking up the Bannon criminal trial.

            • timbo says:

              It’s most certainly does seem like an excruciating slide into fascism and anarchy. Still, I do hope that there’s some individuals involved within the Federal system (in all its branches) that may right this troubled Enterprise.

  20. Badger Robert says:

    Strzok’s tweet on security issues related to the 12/18/2020 meeting in the WH raises the stakes on both the need to not miss the top planners, and to hurry up and get them. Ms, Wheeler will explain, most likely.

    • timbo says:

      Yikes! That’s another wannabe fascist dictator attempting to zoom ahead at Mark Kelly’s expense. Hopefully the GOP and/or Arizona voters in general will see through this guy’s lack of respect for stable institutions and not give him the nod.

  21. Savage Librarian says:

    Pros and Cons

    In a list of pros and cons,
    let us note with red crayons:
    One side for the chump pile-ons,
    One side for the MAGA dons.

    One side for the well defined,
    One side for the skillfully mined,
    One side’s not so hard to find,
    One side for the willfully blind.

    One side was just all elbows,
    One side’s job was to bulldoze,
    One side easily came to blows,
    One side’s cons led to the pros.

  22. JB says:

    So, the DOJ isn’t investigating any elected officials? Or am I missing something?

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “JB” or “J.B.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

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