Welcome to Brandi Buchman

As some of you likely know, last week, Brandi Buchman was one of a number of people laid off from DailyKos.

She was laid off perhaps halfway through her coverage of the Proud Boy Leaders trial (and in the midst of a really tough personal week for her). This trial is of historic import, both on its own terms, and for the prospect of holding related participants in January 6 accountable. She is just one of a few journalists who has covered the grueling trial from the start.

We at emptywheel are really privileged to welcome Brandi to emptywheel to finish her important work covering the trial. I know I’ve relied on Brandi’s coverage; if you haven’t yet followed her live-tweeting, she’s at https://twitter.com/brandi_buchman.

The trial is likely to last at least five more weeks — another week for the government case, plus at least two weeks for defense witnesses (the lawyer Joe Biggs shares with Alex Jones, Norm Pattis, claims he wants to call Donald Trump to testify), plus any rebuttal case, and finally, jury watch.

We don’t host advertising and do not paywall our site.

From emptywheel, 4/2: Thanks to the generosity of emptywheel readers we have funded Brandi’s coverage for the rest of the trial. If you’d like to show your further appreciation for Brandi’s great work, here’s her PayPal tip jar.


And welcome to Brandi!

44 replies
  1. harpie says:

    WELCOME, Brandi! We are SO glad YOU are here!
    Your coverage of the trial has been indispensable.
    And, of course, THANKS to Marcy and Crew at emptywheel!
    And THANKS to all those who can donate!

    • ZereldaLee says:

      So very good to see that BB will be continuing her coverage here. Her writing on DK has been outstanding!

  2. TimothyB says:

    This is a great development. I have sent some $ to emptywheel (link is in post) to support it. Ms. Buchman is a terrific reporter who has taken a lot of incoming fire lately and yet is back in court this morning for the 32nd day of the Proud Boys trial on seditious conspiracy charges. Follow on twitter at @Brandi_Buchman

  3. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Great news! Good on Empty Wheel for supporting good journalism. I threw in a few bucks to help.

    Welcome to Brandi. I think it’s precise use of the word to call what she’s doing “yeoman’s work”. I appreciate the daily summaries also.

  4. RMD says:

    Thank you Marcy for inviting Brandi Buchman to continue her important coverage…I’ve added a little extra to the basket

  5. Critter7 says:

    Brandi’s reporting on the Oathkeepers’ trial was also excellent and much appreciated. Thank you, Brandi.

  6. bmaz says:

    Said this before, but it still holds: Kelly would have to be insane to let Pattis call Trump. Cannot possibly see that being allowed under any application of Rule 403.

    • harpie says:

      Yes, and he does not seem to be insane.

      You’re referencing what Marcy says above: (the lawyer Joe Biggs shares with Alex Jones, Norm Pattis, claims he wants to call Donald Trump to testify)

      This is from Kyle Cheney, yesterday:
      12:05 PM · Mar 6, 2023

      Biggs attorney Norm PATTIS says you could reasonably argue that many people in the Jan. 6 crowd are “tools” of someone else, “including the 45th president of the United States.”

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Norm Pattis very much *is* a tool in the colloquial, pejorative sense. I wonder who’s paying him for this trial, because he doesn’t make a habit of letting himself get wielded cheap. I’ve speculated that he’s seeking exposure (perhaps to make up for his Alex Jones pratfall), but that’s never enough for Pattis.

          And hats off to Brandi Buchman! We can’t pay you enough to cover Pattis so well!

        • bmaz says:

          I dunno, maybe somebody is paying Norm big bucks for the PB trial, and maybe not. Don’t be fooled, Pattis was at one time a well known and respected criminal trial lawyer. It is a smaller community than you might think, we all mostly either knew, or knew of, the others. He even had a blog, “Crime and Federalism”, that was pretty well thought of in the criminal defense community (yes, even I often read it all the way on the other side of the country).

          I don’t recall personally meeting Norm, but it is certainly possible as there is an awful lot of heavy drinking and chatting at NACDL conventions and other similar confabs. And then he went off the rails in the mid to late 2000’s. But my friend Scott knew Pattis well and you can read about how Pattis went over the edge here if you are so inclined. It is not pretty.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          bmaz, thank you for linking to Mr. Greenfield’s blog post. He expresses a highly informed and nuanced version of the experience that many of us who have known Norm Pattis for many years shared: after the initial attraction to someone with such talent who seemed to have a true calling, a disappointment which turned to anger and then ice, despair, or rage, depending on how close you were to Pattis and how he affected you.

          Pattis seemed to grasp about twenty years ago that he could have a much-coveted “national profile.” As your friend describes, he burned many local bridges and his original friendships to get where he is now. I am and always have been far on the periphery of this legal world, but having met him early on and watching his “rise” draw him inexorably from what I thought were his principles, I have utter sympathy for people like Scott Greenfield.

    • Katherine Williams says:

      Maybe the purpose of calling Trump is just the same old, same old republican tactic of delaying the process.

  7. soundgood2 says:

    Welcome Brandi, and thanks Emptywheel.net for bringing her on. Another reason to keep contributing.

  8. SaltinWound says:

    I love Brandi’s coverage and will donate. Reupping my request for email acknowledgments of contributions, if possible.

    • Richieboy says:

      I don’t know what kind of acknowledgement you’re seeking, but if you set up a recurring donation via PayPal, you get a receipt email from them every month. It’s a feel-good reminder that you’re contributing to the critical work being done by the emptywheel team.

      • SaltinWound says:

        Yes I receive an acknowledgment from PayPal that the money went somewhere. Emptywheel is the only place I donate to that doesn’t send an email. If it’s not feasible that’s fine but it’s not as if I’m requesting something unusual. In my experience it’s industry standard.

        • Rayne says:

          We’re not ‘industry’ here. If this was, you’d have advertising crammed down your gullet, cookies all over your devices, and your personal data harvested.

          That’s the tradeoff — artisanal high-end blog content with nominal footprint in your privacy, or ‘industry’.

        • SaltinWound says:

          I obviously didn’t mean industry literally. I’m referring to every contribution I make large and small. But message received.

        • theGeoguy says:

          Maybe check your PayPal settings? I have a PayPal monthly donation set up and receive an email each month when money is sent to Marcy Wheeler at [email protected] and the monthly statement shows same. I set it up through this site’s Support link. My only question is that the email contact info shown for this site is “emptywheel AT gmail.com” (without an @). Are they the same?

        • rip no longer says:

          Perhaps you’re looking for an end-of-year contribution statement that could be used to deduct from taxes?

        • Commentmonger says:

          The paypal notices I get specifically say what the $ went to. in this case. Maybe you aren’t aware that Marcy Wheeler is the emptywheel (M. T. Wheel). The alternative site name was the phrase, “Doctor, wheel her”. But Bush happened.

          >>>>Thank you for your payment to Marcy Wheeler
          Here are the details about your automatic payment for Tier1Monthly.
          About your payment
          Transaction ID
          7E333064TW1016410 Transaction date
          March 8, 2023
          Payment amount

  9. klynn says:

    Welcome Brandi! Really appreciation your live coverage of vital trials.

    EW, thank you for setting the stage for live blogging/live Tweeting years ago! And thank you for supporting those with like talent!

  10. kevtobin says:

    thank you for giving Brandi a place to share what she has been doing for this trial – I hope that when the trial ends she is able to find cause to stick around here. Sent a small donation to help.

  11. arcofjustice says:

    Welcome Brandi! So glad you have a home for this important work. So sorry about your loss(es).

  12. gs herron says:

    For the first time, I just contributed monthly to help support truth, transparency and pushback against strong disinformation headwinds. I did it when I learned Brandi Buchman was welcomed aboard by MW and the rest of the EW crew. I hope my contribution will go to the right place. I don’t post much and don’t do social media (except here a little) but read EW daily as just another concerned citizen. I’m also fascinated by real life stories, the choppy surfaces of law and politics, and the serious subsurface currents pulling our country apart to expose its real character.
    Thanks to Marcy and welcome Brandi.

  13. obsessed says:

    Great addition. I followed her on Twitter. I guess we’re back on Twitter now … sigh.

  14. Doug_Fir says:

    Great addition, and yet another reason to send more money.

    Many, many thanks to all of you who work so hard to make this such an informative resource!

  15. Alan_OrbitalMechanic says:

    Having followed that site from its earliest days, I applied for a job last year at DailyKos when they had an opening for a software engineer. Never heard back from them so I guess it was for the best.

    Anyway, what I read that site most for these days is their coverage of Ukraine. A few weeks ago I recommended one of their blog posts to someone at LGM who replied to me that yes, they had seen that, but they didn’t want to link to it because of labor problems at DK. Anyone know what’s up with that?

  16. dimmsdale says:

    Holy smoke, I just finished Brandi’s entire thread on today’s PB trial and am somewhat stunned at her level of detail and speed in relating what was happening. Haven’t always been able to follow these long threads on trial happenings, but I sure intend to read Brandi’s from now on. Well done, Ms Buchman (and Dr Wheeler). Happy to have kicked in enough scratch to buy Brandi a modest welcome bouquet.

  17. Efloyd15 says:

    I’d love to provide financial support for the emptywheel site, which I regularly follow and truly admire because, unlike any other reporting on or analysis of the topics it covers, it is logically rigorous, impeccably detailed and informed as well as well written. All of this comes with some needed pat comic relief, much of which is provided by the site’s well-informed commenters. I don’t use checks except in extremis, and I haven’t used PayPal since their problems with hacking. I’d love to support the site, so I ask: how about adopting Apple Pay or some other secure payment system for credit cards?

  18. Kathy Atherton says:

    It’s really disheartening to hear about the layoffs at DailyKos, especially in the midst of such an important trial. I’m glad to hear that Brandi Buchman was able to continue her coverage at emptywheel. It’s crucial that journalists like her are able to cover these trials in-depth and provide the public with accurate information. My question is, do you think the media industry is doing enough to support journalists who cover these kinds of stories, especially when they involve controversial topics or powerful individuals? It seems like there’s a constant struggle between the need for quality journalism and the financial pressures facing media outlets. How can we ensure that journalists like Brandi are able to continue their important work without facing job insecurity or burnout?

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