Scooter Libby, Whom Trump Pardoned, Serves as Precedent for the CIPA Challenge His Prosecution Presents

If and when former President Trump goes on trial, the Classified Information Procedures Act will govern what information gets submitted at trial and in what form. I wrote about CIPA in conjunction with the Igor Danchenko case here. Former National Security Division prosecutor David Aaron wrote about it the other day.

I’d like to give three examples of what documents that have gone through the CIPA process look like.

First, here’s one of the many CIA cables introduced at Jeffrey Sterling’s trial (here’s a larger set). Sterling was convicted of leaking details about a scheme to use a former Russian nuclear scientist to deal fake blueprints to Iran in an attempt to bollox their nuclear program. The cables would include substitutions for all the organizational details of how CIA works, as well as for the names of the Russian — Merlin — and all the covert CIA officers involved. Entire paragraphs that weren’t crucial to the meaning of the document were redacted.

This particular document was 15 years old when it was used at trial. Most if not all of the Sterling exhibits were classified Secret.

This exhibit includes the parts of Josh Schulte’s prison notebook introduced at trial. This was tied to the allegation that he was launching an Information War from jail, planning to leak further classified information to damage the CIA.

The government was able to substitute the name of a cybersecurity company that had IDed one of the CIA’s hacking tools, so as to avoid confirming that the tool referred to as Bartender in the WikiLeaks release was the malware discussed in the vendor report. But several other things were entirely redacted — such as details of the role that Schulte played at the CIA.

Some of these redactions cover other information — such as his privileged material or stuff that’s particularly inflammatory.

Schulte wrote these notes in 2018; they were first introduced for his 2020 trial, then again for his trial last year.

The case that may present the most analogous challenges to a trial against Trump is the Scooter Libby case, which — like the documents charged against Trump — involved a lot of classified communications to the White House. Here are the exhibits used in his 2nd Grand Jury appearance, at which he lied to cover up the orders Dick Cheney gave him.

Many of these are CIA documents from which the classification markings and entire sentenced were redacted. Like two of the exhibits charged against Trump, these have hand-written notes — sometimes Libby’s, sometimes Cheney’s — which were important to the case. One HUMINT report involving Joe Wilson redacted all the front-matter, including the classification marks (in this case, the notation of Wilson’s name was the important bit).

Even still, the vast majority of the documents introduced at trial were still just classified Secret, not Top Secret with compartments like most of the documents charged against Trump.

The exceptions were often Libby’s notes of Daily Briefings (including PDBs), which he used as part of a gray-mail campaign to try to make the case impossible to try. Though they didn’t have any classification marks (as is true of a document charged against Trump), they were treated as TS/SCI.

Here’s one example of from Libby’s own notes:

The vast majority of this had to be declassified because it was central to the defense Libby was mounting. Just the Foreign Leader and the US official were masked.

The Libby documents are similar to those charged against Trump in another way. These were just 4 years old when presented at trial. If Trump were to go to trial next year, the most recent documents, from 2020, would be four years old.

These cases are all in different circuits than Trump would be prosecuted in. Nevertheless, given the scant number of CIPA cases, it’s possible that the case of Josh Schulte — about whose case was one of the first times Trump shared classified information — and Scooter Libby, whom Trump pardoned, will serve as precedents for his prosecution.

61 replies
  1. Waban1966 says:

    The observations by MTW here and in the prior post reinforce my view that Judge Cannon might actually be as good a draw as one could hope for, in these circumstances. Jack Smith obviously would have thought through the nuances of the assignment wheel in SD Fla, knowing that there was a very high chance Judge Cannon would get the case. And the way Smith did this retains a lot of optionality about the charges. As much as could be retained while wanting to avoid the venue dispute if he had taken this to DC.

    First, if the case drew anyone other than Judge Cannon, Trump would be hammering away on the judge already. He’s got his best choice, and if/when Judge Cannon makes any rulings against Trump, it will reinforce the legitimacy of Smith inside the Beltway press corps. If Judge Cannon rules in favor of Trump, Smith has the best possible chance of CA11 viewing her as making an error, after the special master nonsense, compared to any other judge. Everything is going up on appeal so this gives Smith the best chances.

    All this matters a lot. Trump will still turn on Judge Cannon and complain, but it will matter with speed of appellate and trial process. And legitimacy inside DC.

    Sure, Judge Cannon can shade jury selection to maximize chances of a mistrial, without any practical risk of appeal. But the E Jean Carroll jury having a MAGA and still unanimously convicting says there is probably my better. By the time it gets to jury selection in SD Fla, Smith will have indicted on Jan 6 (at least by now Smith knows whether he will have that card to play). After a strong Jan 6 indictment, a mistrial in Florida will not be seen broadly as acquittal (even if Trump claims it), but rather as MAGA holdout.

    But as MTW pointed out in an earlier post (labeling this a tactical nuc and calling it the “Mar-a-Lago Indictment” to distinguish from other future possibilities). Smith has likely preserved that this isn’t the only potential indictment on documents.

    Of massive importance in this is that we now know that the “Bedminster Boxes” exist(ed). One possible tactic would be to leave out actually indicting on the Bedminster Boxes (which Smith did) until you see which SD Fla judge you get. Smith can then go to NJ if he wants, after he sees some initial Judge Cannon rulings and tests her “lessons learned” from the harsh 11th Circuit special master reversal.

    For example, Smith could have included a lot of very-highly-classified stuff (as MTW’s post describes) because under CIPA there is an initial ex parte hearing (so I have read). Using this Smith can first gauge ex parte how Judge Cannon is acting. By including really, really shocking stuff, he can show Cannon the seriousness of the situation, while Smith can still withdraw particular counts (particular documents) to address public disclosure issues. Maybe even withdraw before Smith has to disclose the super-classified stuff to Trump, if Judge Cannon does something after the CIPA hearing that is like the out-of-bounds position on the special master.

    And it’s possible that Smith withdrawing some documents from the SD Fla case after any adverse Judge Cannon ruling on disclosure would actually increase the public mystery around those documents. It only enhances the message that what Trump took was super secret. Again this will help with the DC press and any other appeals to CA11. Having to withdraw certain documents might also help with standing for government interlocutory appeals (that I don’t know enough about process on).

    Another example, to take this to a logical conclusion: Smith can wait to see what public statements Trump makes after arraignment, and then likely seek some kind of limited gag and restricted viewing by Trump order, as Trump received in NYC. Having the super-classified documents in the initial case makes a gag-and-disclosure motion the hardest possible decision for Cannon, and at that stage redacted documents probably still work. If Cannon won’t issue an appropriate order, Smith can selectively drop what he wants. Indeed if he thinks he can bring charges in NJ, it’s not impossible that some of the Mar-Lago documents could be charged there too (like the “Milley war plan”).

    • Thesmokies says:

      As a non-expert, I have looked for analysis from experts of Cannon being assigned the case. I was surprised how varied those responses are, from she won’t be a problem, to she will be off the case eventually, to Trump will get off scot free. I am looking forward to hearing what the Emptywheel site has to say about Judge Cannon’s assignment to the case.

      (This is my new, “legal” name.)

      [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

  2. Rugger_9 says:

    Good post, and for what it’s worth I fully expect a warped version of CIPA will be presented as part of the defense’s allegedly plausible arguments for delay and ditching of evidence. This is a situation where Cannon’s inexperience in national security matters will be a problem. I will say the game will become apparent very quickly, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, if for example Defendant-1 is allowed to keep his passport.

  3. massappeal says:

    Apologies for going off topic (“Squirrel!”), but did a high-ranking CIA official really give the same code name (Merlin) to a Russian agent that John Le Carre’s fictional traitor British traitor Bill Haydon did in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” nearly 50 years ago?


  4. Gnommon says:

    Agree, Smith must have assumed FL is hostile with brainless MAGA zombies and a Cannon Demogorgon. He must have hedged his bets. Let’s at least hope he prepped for this.

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. Please be sure to use this new username on all of your future comments. /~Rayne]

  5. ZircZirc says:

    First: I hope my name meets reqs. I will stick to it if it does so.
    Second: As a person who has had a clearance and who has received annual training on the responsibilities of handling classified information, I don’t see the necessity of exposing the information in the documents Trump kept. More important to my mind is hammering home the damage disclosure of such information entails. Going from memory here, but I recall Confidential being information the disclosure of which entails damage to the United States, Secret being information the disclosure of which entails serious damage to the United States, and Top Secret being information the disclosure of which entails exceptionally grave damage to the United States. A jury needs to know this. Jurors also need to know that Joe Biden didn’t classify the information, nor did the DOJ/FBI. The original classification authorities did, and they did so based on expertise, experience, and classification guides that are reviewed according to procedure. Surely an expert witness or two with familiarity with such procedures and information could help make the point. While I understand that the juicy details of each document may hit home harder, I believe that focusing on damages caused or potentially caused by the cavalier (if not malign) handling of this information should do the trick.


    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

  6. flounder says:

    So what I don’t get here is why much, if any of the substance of the documents even matters here? In the Libby Case the subject matter and when/where/why/how/with whom of discussing the classified material with the VP and POTUS was central to the case. Here, whether a particular document refers to Saudis, nuclear, Afghanistan, Ukraine, etc. doesn’t matter because the case revolves around Trump having things the US Government claims to be their property and not giving them back when given multiple chances to do so. Fights about whether the substance of one particular document or another need to be released or not seem to be a sideshow. If I steal a yellow Camaro and you find it a same year yellow Camaro in my garage, Fighting over the service intervals or whether the tires are recommended for that vehicle doesn’t make sense.
    It wouldn’t be surprising if Trump or Cannon want to turn this case into a pendantic struggle over classification, but it doesn’t seem central to the case.

    • Waban1966 says:

      I think it’s because an element of the offense is that the document be “National defense information.” Indeed I think MTW has previously shown that it’s a jury question. A jury can’t decide that unless it knows the substance of the document. Perhaps the same for the Atomic Energy Act count.

      CIPA allows redactions. However, any redaction over a Trump objection will be a very simple ground for appeal, even if to SCOTUS. So likely need to put it all in. I recognize that CIPA doesn’t require it, even against some constitutional challenges. The reality is in a case like this, it will have to be less redaction rather than more, and maybe none by time of a trial.

      And all that doesn’t even get to the speedy trial issues. Much of which would be eliminated by just not redacting, when it comes down to it.

      • emptywheel says:

        That’s exactly right. The crime is not about classified docs. It’s about National Defense information. And it’s up to the jury to decide. These docs are heavy on defense stuff, including some that are about contingency planning for the US military.

        • timbozone says:

          Also heavy on daily briefing bullet points from analysts and NSC staff that would likely expose intelligence collection methods/contemporaneous capabilities in several worldwide and geographically local clandestine intelligence gathering efforts.

        • greenbird says:

          nope and nope but maybe …
          “Additionally, the Undersigned has already coordinated with the court reporter to provide an expedited transcript of tomorrow’s hearing. The Undersigned anticipates that the transcript will, in fact, be available tomorrow …” Doc 11 re US v Trump.Nauta 10pm EDT

    • Peterr says:


      The Scooter Libby document where everything except the name “Wilson” was redacted is a perfect example. In that legal case, the US had to prove the link between Scooter/Cheney and Wilson – that was the heart of the case.

      By contrast, in this case, the content of the National Security documents is immaterial to both the prosecution and the defense. It wouldn’t make any difference whether the information in the document described as “Document dated November 2017 concerning military capabilities of a foreign country” was about Russia, China, Greenland, or Vatican City. For the case at issue, what matters is the mere fact that Trump possessed it, refused to return it, and took steps in a conspiracy with others to retain it.

      Here’s the specific language from CIPA, with emphasis added to highlight the relevant passage near the end:

      (c) Alternative Procedure for Disclosure of Classified Information.—
      (1) Upon any determination by the court authorizing the disclosure of specific classified information under the procedures established by this section, the United States may move that, in lieu of the disclosure of such specific classified information, the court order—
      (A) the substitution for such classified information of a statement admitting relevant facts that the specific classified information would tend to prove; or
      (B) the substitution for such classified information of a summary of the specific classified information.

      The court shall grant such a motion of the United States if it finds that the statement or summary will provide the defendant with substantially the same ability to make his defense as would disclosure of the specific classified information. The court shall hold a hearing on any motion under this section. Any such hearing shall be held in camera at the request of the Attorney General.

      My sense after reading the indictment again is that the table on pp. 28-33 will be included in just such a motion to substitute made at a CIPA hearing. They will ask the judge to approve this table of descriptions as {a} accurate as to the classified content of the document, and then to (b) approve substituting this information for the classified documents themselves.

      • Waban1966 says:

        I have no doubt that CIPA would, for any other defendant, allow a lot of substitution, even as far as you suggest. But the question for this defendant in this case is appellate risk, from appellate judges who might be happy to reprise the overturn of the John Poindexter conviction at a later state where it can’t effectively be retried.

        Plus delay, delay, delay is all in Trump’s favor. And that’s what CIPA litigation will create.

        The way out of that is to, at an appropriate time prior to trial (not immediately) take off the table factual and detailed litigation over CIPA. The appellate risk runs both ways for DoJ. They want to leave the trial judge with as few things to decide that would result in reversal. For example, Judge Cannon could rule partly in the government’s favor (or fully as you suggest) with Trump then appealing. OTOH, if the government is willing to forego CIPA where it can and let go the counts on some documents as too sensitive, you maximize the chances of lots of other appeals the government might want to take.

        And most importantly, legitimacy must be maintained. There was a post on here just after the indictment talking about how Jack Smith understands the legitimacy concerns that Justice Jackson did. Doing what would be said to be “hiding” evidence behind CIPA is a big problem for that.

        • Peterr says:

          Yeah, I am familiar with that post on Justice Jackson. I wrote it.

          And there’s nothing about CIPA that involves hiding evidence. It’s about minimizing other classified information *not pertinent* to the specific charges that might otherwise come out or force the government to drop the case.

          • [email protected] says:

            It’s not whether it is in fact hiding evidence. To the point of your post (apologies, I should have looked up whose it was), it’s the appearance and argument from the defendant that affects the legitimacy.

            One thing I dont understand is that if the NDI question is a jury question, how can just the chart be enough? Doesn’t the jury have to have context? Trump will be objecting. This is a genuine question.

            I hope you are right, and have no doubt you are right under the statute. My view is only that in the end, this prosecution is going to have to be super clean not just “on the law of prior precedents with ordinary defendants.” Super clean without technicalities matters for the public, the both-sides journalism points that can be made, and appellate courts that would love to have a technical ground for reversal. They can distinguish any prior case they want, in a case like this. It’s about pressuring the courts to know they will be seen as illegitimate if they let trump walk. That means that any arguments (because trump will raise some) can’t be “in the weeds.” You will likely disagree, but CIPA redaction litigation will be in the weeds for these purposes.

            As a last point, this is all even more true since the trial will not be televised. Televised trial also controls for a lot of nonsense, although of course it comes with costs for the “ordinary”criminal defendant.

            • bmaz says:

              “It’s not whether it is in fact hiding evidence. To the point of your post (apologies, I should have looked up whose it was), it’s the appearance and argument from the defendant that affects the legitimacy.”

              Lol, bullshit. You handle complicated cases with the rules as they exist.

              “…appellate courts that would love to have a technical ground for reversal. They can distinguish any prior case they want, in a case like this. It’s about pressuring the courts to know they will be seen as illegitimate if they let trump walk.”

              Again, bullshit. You are just making stuff up.

              • waban1966 says:

                FWIW, the government (or any litigant) does not have to avail itself of every protection the law affords it. There are plenty of reasons in all kinds of litigation to forego procedural and substantive protections like CIPA. It’s a choice, just like the choice of which documents to charge and not charge. Especially when you are trying to go fast and minimize risk on appeal of procedural error. Anyway, there is certainly room for disagreement on the tactics, legitimacy effects, desirability of going as fast as possible, and what nobody except Jack Smith knows right now, which is whether he can actually disclose the documents.

                I hope I am wrong; I just used to be in the business of litigation with inherently biased courts, blinding speed, and the need to play for the appeal from the very beginning. That’s just my lens.

                I appreciate the differing views. I always learn something here.

                If the government proceeds under CIPA, how long will this be to trial? Trump could ask for 1292(b) review for every/many order(s), and it wouldn’t surprise me if Judge Cannon certifies several orders for appeal. Only the government has a statutory interlocutory appeal as of right under CIPA, but it’s easy enough for Trump’s lawyers to write motions arguing that a CIPA issue as applied to his documents “has substantial grounds for a difference of opinion and would materially advance the termination of the litigation.” I get that this standard is usually very, very hard. But in the special master litigation Judge Cannon clearly understood the delay-game.

                Jack Smith said that Trump would get a speedy trial. Unless the government gives on some procedures (maybe CIPA, maybe overbroad Brady disclosure, etc), are we into the territory of more than 18 months to trial if a judge wants to take it slow and appeals courts operate expeditiously (still several months each time), given the automatic speedy-trial tolling events? The special master proceeding, from the search thru appeal, wasn’t that complicated, almost purely on the law with no factual disputes, and still took four months. It would only take two such interlocutory appeals to probably push this trial to after the election, because Judge Cannon can stretch time to decide pretrial motions, and her scheduling generally. And the government likely wouldn’t press her to the precise limit of where the speedy trial clock lands after the preliminaries with their tolling.

                • BRUCE F COLE says:

                  “The special master proceeding, from the search thru appeal, wasn’t that complicated, almost purely on the law with no factual disputes…”

                  …except for the one about a Judge being able to bald-facedly and novelly advocate for a defendant to whom they think they owe their seat on the bench more than they owe adherence to the US Code.

                  What Marcy’s saying about this, I think, is that the IC must have to assume that these docs, for whatever reason — be it malignity, abject disregard, stupidity, or psychopathy — can never be assumed not to have been compromised in full. (Did you see the post on another site spotting the printer partially hidden by doc boxes in one of the storage room photos?)

                  When and if that happens (decompartmentalizing) they would need to weigh any further damage to NATSEC and the Acronyms (which is a great band name, btw), whether it be exposure of infrastructure or simple bad PR, or whatever — against nailing the shit out of the bastard in the most enduring manner.

                  I don’t think that probably, in at least several of the 31 charges, that that call to nail him unambiguously, with high resolution, will be a tough call.

                  He is their declared enemy, for crissake.

            • Peterr says:

              “how can just the chart be enough?”

              Trump is charged with possessing NDI he had no right to hold (after Jan 20, 2021), refusing to return them in response to a legally issued subpoena, and orchestrating a conspiracy to avoid having the documents seized. THAT’S THE CHARGE.

              If the court certifies to the jury that the chart reflects the fact that these documents are NDI, that’s all the jury needs to know in order to do their job.

              To do their job in assessing Trump’s actions and inactions, they don’t need to know what countries are referred to in these docs. To do their job, they don’t need to know what weapon systems (ours or others) are mentioned in these docs. To do their job, they don’t need to know what signal intelligence systems provided the information in these docs. To do their job, they don’t need to know what human assets contributed to these docs.

              To do their job in assessing Trump’s actions and inactions, all the jury needs to know is that these docs are in fact National Defense Information under the relevant statutes. Period.

              This is precisely why I emphasized the role of documents in the Justice Jackson post. The documents here were created during the Trump administration, by the seven agencies listed in the indictment. The heads of these agencies worked for Trump, often reporting directly to him. They were given these classifications when they were created, by the originating offices, all working under Donald Trump.

              All the jury needs to know, in order to do their job, is that these documents are indeed National Defense Information.

              I’ve sat on multiple juries, and in every case there have been things that the jury was given as “stipulated facts.” It’s the same thing here, except that the facts being stipulated are classified as national security secrets.

              • Waban1966 says:

                Aren’t stipulated facts ones that both sides agree to? Trump is unlikely to agree, both as graymail and he probably doesn’t care if the stuff gets out.

                I agree Judge Cannon could certify the chart (or other redaction) as sufficient. But that’s not stipulated. And a ruling that the jury doesn’t need to see the document (or even less than the whole document) creates the appellate issue that I worry about, with results-driven courts. A Trump case on CIPA won’t be much if any precedent in other cases where there isn’t the political dynamic.

                • bmaz says:

                  “A Trump case on CIPA won’t be much if any precedent in other cases where there isn’t the political dynamic.”

                  You have to be freaking kidding. You do not know your ass from a hole in the ground as to how this will play out, or serve as future precedent.

                  • waban1966 says:

                    Could I ask why the invective? I got a “that’s exactly right” from MTW to one of my posts above. I am happy to be wrong, but this doesn’t seem to foster discussion here. I am not making short posts without thought to them.

                    I would also like to point out that I post I made several days ago about Bedminster as venue, to which you gave similar invective, raised the issue of Bedminster venue that is now being discussed both by MTW and Lawfare. I have read this site religiously for many years (back to the Libby trial). I recently started commenting.

                    Please let me know honestly if you think my posts have nothing to offer (“I don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground”), and I will stop wasting your and my time.

                • timbozone says:

                  Note that the DOJ does not need to sustain all charges in the indictment to get a conviction. I think it likely that at least three of the marked documents on the list can be sufficiently redacted to show to the jury enough information for them to ascertain the seriousness of the national defense information breaches that all the documents cover.

                • Peterr says:

                  What information might the documents contain that is necessary to support a defense by Donald Trump? If Trump is going to appeal a ruling on the chart, he has to have an answer to that question.

                  Unless someone can point to that, there is no reason to show the documents to anyone, and no grounds to even ask for appellate review, let alone prevail on appeal.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      It would seem to be that since classification is not part of the requirements, then the outcomes would be, for example telling MBS who our agents are in the KSA would be an aggravating factor, or how we know what we know about the Iranians. I can’t see how that helps the defense so my guess is that they’ll try to keep the descriptions away from the jury, aided by Cannon’s rulings.

      We’ll get our first signals tomorrow.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        I’m still amazed at how thorough the purge was in the royal family. There had to be help and this might have been it.

  7. Spank Flaps says:

    I wondered if Trump thought stealing high level state secrets would be too sensitive to prosecute.
    Possibly a rare glimpse of method in his madness. Commit crimes so big, they are a nightmare to bring to trial.
    Personally I don’t see a chance like Trump beating Uncle Sam at such a big game.

    • P J Evans says:

      I don’t think he even considered that. He was president: he could do whatever he wanted, and it was legal because he was president.

        • USMA1986 says:

          I think the exact quote was, “There’s this thing called Article II where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, then grab ’em by the pussy – now go find me 11,780 votes.” 😉

                  • Bobby Gladd says:

                    Thanks! What’s the joke? “If I’da known I was gonna live this long (77), I’da taken better care of myself.”

                    Trump and I are ~the same age (I’m 4 mo older), both from Queens, and I am not a billionaire either.

                    I am SO sick of him.

                    • USMA1986 says:

                      “…and I am not a billionaire either”

                      Ha ha.

                      I read your comment earlier but missed the “either” part. 😂
                      See, happens to the best of us. I can’t even blame it on dyskinesia – just lazy reading comprehension. :)

                  • Bobby Gladd says:

                    Thanks. Sorry about your mom. 💔
                    Been on sinemet for 2 yrs now (I was dx’d in 2019). The dyskinesia is an annoying side effect of sinemet long term use. Messes with sleeping.

                    Whatever. I’m just lucky to still be alive.

                    Big day tomorrow. Hope no one gets hurt or worse.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Eh, it will all be okay. Keep happy and keep with the music. Music is one of the best cures of all.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      Yup. Mom was on it for 19 years. She was DXed at 60. All the meds mess with a lot of things!

                      The best thing she did was keep exercising.

                  • Molly Pitcher says:

                    Marcy, I am sorry to hear about your Mother and Aunt.

                    My son-in-law is closely associated with the Michael J Fox Foundation because his father also has PD. My best friend’s husband, a world famous pediatric oncologist, also has it so I pay attention to research.

                    You might be interested in the discovery that was just announced [below] regarding a potential cause. It could lead to treatment to slow the disease’s symptoms.


                • harpie says:

                  Hi Bobby! The first time I read USMA1986’s [hilarious! *] comment, I did NOT see the emoji, so depending on when you clicked on it to respond, you may not have either. Just thought you might want to know. :-)

                  * – I was trying to figure out where in that comment “I need you to do us a favor though” could have been placed…

                  • USMA1986 says:

                    That totally makes sense. It didn’t even cross my mind, but guilty as charged!

                    When post a comment I use the 5 minute “edit window” to tweak because it’s the first time I can see the entire comment on one screen.

                    Damn, now I feel like we’ve been gaslighting Bobby. Sorry, man!

                    • harpie says:

                      I didn’t blame you. We all use the edit function like that…that’s what it’s for…[and thank goodness it’s available, LOL!] I don’t think anything bad about it, I just thought Bobby would like to know. :-)

  8. Schychka says:

    Trump is alleged to have committed extraordinary crimes, is a threat to our national security, has a lot of money, his own commercial grade jet and fellow villain friends around the world.
    Short of immediate jail time (which I think is clearly warranted) what terms are appropriate for his release?
    How have others been treated when charged with crimes relatively modest in comparison to those DOJ has levied against Trump?

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, that was almost a given, especially as the IA/arraignment is in Miami and not Fort Pierce.

  9. Philip Munger says:

    Your book on that trial was, more than anything else, what inspired me to become a blogger, back in 2007. I’ve reread it twice, to fortify myself to maybe someday write my own book. Thanks, Dr. Wheeler!

  10. xxbronxx says:

    If only to post using the 8-character minimum, I’d just like to say that as with Elmer Stewart Rhodes we use Irving (also Irving or Irve) “Scooter” Libby each time we use his name in the spirit of journalistic fairness. Scooter Libby sounds like a 5th generation Ivy League legacy while using all three names puts those named in a much darker class with political assassins.

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

  11. nomorewalking4me says:

    Random, off tangent, but does anyone have any completely shot in the dark estimation of what trump will be paying his for his attorney fees / upfronts / retainers etc…? Random curiosity, nothing more.

    [Moderator’s note: Please don’t sockpuppet here. If you don’t recall your previous username, just say so. /~Rayne]

    • Operandi says:

      Trump loves using his “Save America” PAC as a piggybank for this purpose. If he keeps up the practice, the spending will eventually show up in future FEC filings for our rubbernecking pleasure.

      Haberman had an article several months back that tallied up last year’s PAC spending to $10m across his many lawyers and cases (with a sizable chunk of that to the firms of lawyers that touched this case at one point or another):

      There might be other non-PAC payments he made we can’t see (though I doubt he’d spend his own money if he thought he could spend PAC donor money), but that should give a good ballpark.

Comments are closed.