The Guts of the Alleged Conspiracy: Scott Hall

Much of the attention on Georgia’s processing of Trump’s co-conspirators in advance of the former President’s glorious fourth arrest on Thursday has been focused on the high profile perps: John Eastman turned himself in and issued a statement repeating his conspiracy theories, all so he could return in timely fashion to California for further disbarment hearings. Fani Willis informed Mark Meadows’ lawyers, “Your client is no different than any other criminal defendant in this jurisdiction.” Jeffrey Clark based his request for an emergency stay of his self-reporting in Fulton County on the risk that, “Mr. Clark [would be] required to book a flight to Georgia under such extreme time pressure.”

Another charged co-conspirator turned himself in yesterday as well, one whose role continues to be understated: Scott Hall, a Georgia bail bondsman.

In the indictment, Hall is charged just in the RICO charge and the Coffee County tabulator conspiracies.

But he allegedly played a much more sustained role in the conspiracy, including in one way that has escaped much notice.

David Bossie’s brother-in-law’s conspiracies about the Georgia vote count

As Anna Bower describes in a superb chronicle of the Coffee County plot, after an initial hearing in Georgia, Hall reached out to Lin Wood with allegations of impropriety.

Hall, like Latham, believed that something nefarious had gone on in Georgia during the election. On Nov. 17, as Trump’s legal team prepared litigation in Georgia, Hall and his wife, Robin, reached out to [Lin] Wood, claiming that they had “proof” of voter fraud in Fulton County. “We watched them count boxes of mail-in votes that were 100% Biden and 0% Trump,” Robin wrote in an email to Wood obtained by Lawfare.

On the same day, an attorney named Carlos Silva sent an email to Wood and other lawyers working on Georgia election matters. “Just had a long conversation with Scott Hall,” Silva wrote in an email obtained by Lawfare. “He seems very knowledgeable when it comes to algorithms and other material information that he has on the Dominion voting system that was used in this election. He also has personal knowledge of the fraud that took place and is providing an affidavit.” In another email obtained by Lawfare, Silva wrote to Wood and others that he intended to meet Hall the next morning at the office of Ray Smith, an attorney also charged in the indictment for alleged crimes related to statements he made at Georgia legislative hearings.

Later that evening, Hall’s affidavit was filed as a part of a suit, Wood v. Raffensperger, which sought to halt certification of the presidential election in Georgia. In his sworn statement, Hall alleged that he had personally observed ballots that “appeared to be pre-printed with the selections already made.” “Hundreds of ballots at a time were counted for Biden only,” he wrote.

On November 20, then Georgia GOP Chair and now charged co-conspirator, David Shafer, asked Trump campaign worker Robert Sinners (known to be cooperating in investigations and described as co-conspirator 4 in the indictment) to help Hall chase down the names of absentee voters.

Scott Hall has been looking into the election on behalf of the President at the request of David Bossie.

David Bossie, of course, helped Trump win the 2016 election and has all sorts of ties to Republican rat-fuckery. Hall is reportedly Bossie’s brother-in-law.

Scott Hall ties Jeffrey Clark to Georgia

By January 2, Hall was coordinating with Jeffrey Clark. They spoke for over an hour on January 2.

On or about the 2nd day of January 2021, SCOTT GRAHAM HALL, a Georgia bail bondsman, placed a telephone call to JEFFREY BOSSERT CLARK and discussed the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia. The telephone call was 63 minutes in duration.

By order in the indictment, this call precedes Clark’s renewed effort to get his superiors at DOJ to write a letter to Georgia about “significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia,” suggesting that Hall’s allegations were one thing that triggered renewed pressure on Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, which would lead in turn to the confrontation at the White House on January 3.

Today at 3PM, Fani Willis will have to respond in both the Meadows and Clark motions for removal, to explain why both men should have to come to Georgia and turn themselves in before their efforts to remove the proceedings. One challenge Clark has already raised is that he doesn’t have enough ties to Georgia to be prosecuted there.

Mr. Clark also possesses a substantial defense based on insufficient contacts with the State of Georgia to permit the assertion of personal jurisdiction over him under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. We reserve that defense, however, for presentation by separate motion at the appropriate time.

Indeed, one reason he doesn’t want to turn himself in is to prevent Willis from “making the argument that he has voluntarily accepted that he is subject to the criminal jurisdiction of Fulton County, which Mr. Clark decidedly does not accept).”

Like Meadows’ bid, Clark’s bid to remove his prosecution is not frivolous, particularly given that (unlike Meadows) he is not alleged to have gone to Georgia during this period. Both Jack Smith and Fani Willis will have a challenge explaining why efforts Clark made on Trump’s orders were not part of his job, explaining why Trump’s choice to bypass DOJ contact guidelines to leverage Clark against his superiors at DOJ is proof of a conspiracy rather than just executive prerogative.

So this call with Hall, the content of which Willis may not know, could be a key part of proving jurisdiction over Clark.

The call between Clark and Hall also precedes, at least by order in the indictment, Trump’s call to Brad Raffensperger the same day.

David Bossie’s brother-in-law coordinates with the pressure campaign on Ruby Freeman

The part of the Georgia indictment that has largely escaped notice, however, is that Scott Hall also had a tie to the pressure campaign on Ruby Freeman.

You’ll recall there were several attempts to pressure Freeman into lying about fraud in Fulton County. In the first, minister Stephen Lee, traveled to her home on both December 14 and 15, in the guise of helping her, in an attempt to get her to admit to fraud that didn’t occur. Those efforts are charged as counts 20 and 21 of the indictment.

Lee coordinated on a second effort with Black Voices for Trump operative Harrison Floyd and Trevian Kutti, Kanye’s former publicist. Kutti met with Freeman, again feigning an attempt to protect her, and allegedly tried to get her to confess to fraud. Those efforts are charged as counts 30 and 31 of the indictment.

As described in the RICO conspiracy, that second effort started shortly after Lee’s first failed attempt, when he recruited Floyd, believing a Black man could win the trust of Freeman. On January 3, Floyd makes ten calls or texts, including several failed efforts to speak to Freeman. One of those calls is to unindicted co-conspirator 23, who may be the sole witness to the topic of these contacts.

The next day, Kutti traveled to Atlanta, reached out to Freeman, and ultimately met with her for an hour in a Cobb County police station (with Floyd calling in on the phone), offering her protection but still attempting to get her to confess to fraud.

According to public reports, Kutti told Freeman that people would come to her home in 48 hours if she didn’t confess.

According to the indictment, Ms Freeman met the publicist at a Cobb County Police Department precinct on 4 January 2021.

During the meeting, Ms Kutti allegedly asked Ms Freeman to confess to voter fraud and told her she was “in danger”.

Ms Kutti allegedly also warned people would come to Ms Freeman’s home in 48 hours if she didn’t confess.

On that day, Floyd seemingly reports in about all this to Shafer, the GOP Chair, at 8:10PM.

The day after Floyd seemingly checks in with Shafer, Robert Cheeley — a Georgia lawyer charged in the conspiracy count and on Trump’s side of the fake electors plot (Shafer is charged on the Georgia side) and Hall get involved with the Ruby Freeman plotters.

Act 127 of the RICO charge describes the following calls that it suggests (presumably based off testimony from CC23) are all connected:

  • 11:32AM: Lee calls Kutti
  • 12:14PM: The three Ruby Freeman plotters have a four-way call with CC23
  • 12:19PM: Hall calls Cheeley
  • 12:34PM: Hall calls Cheeley
  • 1:07PM: Cheeley calls Hall
  • 1:09PM: Cheeley calls Hall
  • 2:30PM: Cheeley calls Floyd
  • 2:45PM: Floyd calls Cheeley
  • 3:59PM: Cheeley calls Hall
  • 4:42PM: Lee calls Cheeley
  • 4:50PM: Lee calls Floyd
  • 5:05PM: Lee calls Floyd
  • 7:19PM: Kutti calls Cheeley
  • 7:48PM: Cheeley calls Kutti
  • 8:27PM: Cheeley calls Kutti
  • 8:49PM: Cheeley calls Lee
  • 9:18PM: Hall calls Cheeley
  • 9:31PM: Kutti calls Cheeley
  • 10:14PM: Cheeley calls Lee
  • 11:16PM: Cheeley calls Kutti
  • 11:25PM: Hall calls Cheeley
  • 11:35PM: Cheeley, Kutti, and Hall have a call
  • 12:09AM: Kutti calls Cheeley

On January 4, Kutti allegedly told Freeman that people would be coming to her house in 48 hours if she didn’t confess to fraud (that didn’t occur).

Then, for over 12 hours on January 5, extending past the period when, in DC, Trump was riling up his mob and targeting Pence, Cheeley, Hall, and the charged Ruby Freeman conspirators exchange a series of over twenty calls.

Less than a day later, as Bowers lays out, Hall was focusing his attention on obtaining the code from the Coffee County election hardware.

At 4:17 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, the president of the United States belatedly tweeted out his video message to the mob that had forcibly disrupted the counting of electoral votes. “You have to go home now,” he finally said.

But even as Giuliani was keeping up pressure on senators to “slow it down,” Coffee County officials were undeterred.

Nine minutes after the president’s tweet, at 4:26 p.m. that afternoon, Hampton sent a text to Chaney: “Scott Hall is on the phone with Cathy about wanting to come scan our ballots from the general election like we talked about the other day,” she wrote.

The next morning, on Jan. 7, Latham texted Hampton to tell her that the SullivanStrickler forensics team had departed Atlanta and were on their way to Coffee County. Hall, she added, was flying in, too. “Yay!!!!” Hampton responded. These events are also mentioned in Acts 142-143 of Count 1 of the Fulton County indictment.

The Ruby Freeman pressure campaign has often been described as a separate track of the RICO conspiracy — first the fake electors, then the effort to dupe Freeman into confessing to fraud, and finally the effort to seize the Dominion data. But between Shafer, Cheeley, and Hall, they all overlap on those series of calls on January 4 and 5, with Shafer and Cheeley playing central roles in the fake elector plot and Hall playing a central role in the Coffee County plot.

So while we’re all awaiting the next mugshot of a high profile charged co-conspirator, the key to understanding how all these strands fit together may lie with the lower profile Georgia bail bondsman, released yesterday on bail himself.

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139 replies
  1. Neil Calvin Leach says:

    Thank you for all the hard work. Stay safe out there.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. “Neil Calvin Leach” is your second user name; you last commented as “Neil C. Leach, Jr.” Pick one of these names and use it each time you comment. Please also avoid filling in the URL field if you do not have a personal website you’re going to use continuously. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  2. oldtulsadude says:

    When you connect the dots connecting all the nefarious actors in this alleged conspiracy what emerges is the picture of a gigantic spider web hiding in a dark corner and Trump situated in its center.

    I don’t know how brilliant people like Marcy can unwind these webs so we ordinary can understand it-but I am grateful she can and does and allows me to read about it.

  3. Peterr says:

    I am fascinated by Lee and his role in this. Even by LCMS standards, he’s waaayyy out there on the right.

    Last September, Reuters had a piece on Lee and his role in approaching Ruby Freeman, first on his own and then with the help of Floyd and Kutti. Reuters includes this:

    Freeman was so shaken by Lee’s attempts to contact her that she called 911 three times on Dec. 15, 2020, the morning he parked in her driveway. Two Cobb County Police officers responded, one of whom interviewed Lee outside her home. Lee said he wanted to speak with Freeman and produced his Illinois driver’s license, according to previously unreported body camera footage obtained through a public-records request.

    “I’m a pastor, and I’m also working with some folks who are trying to help Ruby out,” Lee told the officer, without identifying the people. “And also get to some truth of what’s going on.”

    [snip]

    The chaplain [Lee] then turned to Floyd for help. In the December interview, Floyd did not identify the chaplain by name but said his visit was captured on police bodycam video, which Reuters reviewed. The clergyman “was sent to talk to her,” Floyd added. He declined to say who sent him, but said the chaplain had been contacted by “connections that he had in law enforcement.” The chaplain reached out to Floyd because he believed Freeman would not trust a white stranger, Floyd said. Freeman and Floyd are both Black.

    Floyd also said people “involved with the Trump campaign” contacted him and said they had heard Freeman wanted immunity.

    Freeman has repeatedly said she is innocent and therefore never sought any immunity deal. Prosecutors never considered offering her immunity because they had no reason to believe she was involved in fraud, according to a former Department of Justice official with direct knowledge of the matter.

    Nevertheless, Floyd said he received calls from attorneys in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan who said a confession from Freeman would help their litigation efforts.

    Two things leap out:
    (1) Lee’s “I’m also working with some folks” and Floyd’s declining to say who sent Lee. This is a biggie, as it shows Lee was not acting alone or only with Floyd and Kutti, and it is confirmed by the string of phone calls on the log in the indictment. [Some of those calls seem paired, and are likely “Can’t talk now – call me back in 15 minutes”.]

    (2) Who are the attorneys in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan who called Floyd? This from Floyd confirmed that all this was not just a Georgia thing, but tied to a national effort by the Trump folks, and only helps to support the RICO aspect of Willis’ charges.

    I suspect Willis knows who sent Lee and who those lawyers are, based on phone records and interviews, but she’s holding that back at this point from public view. She unveiled a lot in the indictment — enough to make not just the named defendants and their lawyers nervous, but a lot of other Trump folks as well. (Waving to Roger Stone and Michael Flynn)

    • Ravenous Hoarde says:

      Reuters had a 2021 article too.

      “Kutti was accompanied at the meeting by another Trump campaign figure: Garrison Douglas, who was a Georgia leader in Black Voices for Trump during the campaign and now works as a Republican Party spokesperson in the state.”

      I wonder if Douglas gave up some information already. But I find it interesting he came onto RNC payroll after this stunt. Last I looked him up, he still was.

    • Playdohglobe says:

      IANAL – It is scary that this much co-ordinated pressure, vile threats and multiple lines of unethical lawyers went after this one woman. The Time Line above strongly suggests they apparently committed co-ordinated acts of intimidation against a woman of color, in the deep south who was trying to ensure a free and fair election in a state. Georgia is an independent sovereign state.

      “Article I, Section 4, Clause 1:

      The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.”

      Seems to me Georgia has a serious interest in defending people like Miss Ruby from outsiders and insiders who are trying to undermine election integrity and threatening a citizen of Georgia.

      Very Glad Fulton County Grand jury of her peers have returned indictments in defense of the Sate of Georgia and her citizens.

      SC Smith and DA Willis are using the US justice system to hold all these characters to account. The People of each sovereign should have the ability to use all legal methods to hold people accountable who commit crimes of violence in the state and federal courts.

      I am grateful for the US system. If the State is using constitutionally approved methods to hold such perpetrators to account, the defendants get to answer with the same system. I hope a jury of the defendant’s peers get to decide for Miss Freeman and all the people who legally voted to stay a representative democracy, get their day in court.

      Who was that guy from the 70s with who said, “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

      We have Justice system, now let us se how it works out for the State and the defendants.

  4. Bears7485 says:

    Thank Aletheia that Ruby Freeman had the integrity to stand by her innocence and refuse to fall for these ratfucker’s efforts. She and Shaye Moss deserve all of the money for what they’ve suffered.

  5. Jharp jharp says:

    I’m starting to believe that Trump’s co conspirators would rather win by cheating than win with a normal human being as a candidate.

    Kind of like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers playing pretend army.

    It makes them feel important and needed.

      • coral reef says:

        Amen. Power is the motive running through all these charges, from Trump down to the lowliest co-conspirators, and the Trump cult in the GOP.

  6. Peterr says:

    Well this is interesting . . . From the Daily Beast, right after the indictment was made public:

    “I can tell you that he’s nervous,” Lee’s attorney, David Shestokas, told The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview.

    “Anybody charged with a crime that serious—a five-year mandatory minimum, and a possible 20-year maximum—is not going to sleep easy at night, regardless of whatever comfort and counseling I’m able to offer,” Shestokas said, referring to the penalty for violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. “But even under those circumstances, I certainly have no guarantees for him.”

    [snip]

    Despite Lee having been the subject of intense media focus related to Trump’s coup attempt, and knowing that Georgia authorities had him under a microscope, his indictment still took them both by complete surprise, Shestokas said.

    “Neither the reverend nor I were ever contacted by anyone from Fulton County,” he claimed. “We were quite surprised by the reverend’s indictment since Fulton County had not even been able to make a case in an Illinois court that Rev. Lee was a material witness. With that in mind, we were quite astounded to learn of his indictment as a defendant.”

    Later on in the piece, Shestokas reveals two elements of his likely defense:

    Shestokas insists Lee’s admittedly “goofy” overtures to Freeman were not part of a wide-ranging criminal enterprise, but rather, a personal humanitarian gesture, of sorts. According to Shestokas, Lee, a Trump acolyte from the very beginning who worked as a police officer in California before becoming a man of the cloth, showed up at Freeman’s door of his own volition, simply because he had seen her situation go “viral,” and wanted to help her weather what he figured was a difficult period. Lee had taken it upon himself to travel to the Ground Zero wreckage in 2001 so he could minister to those affected, and did the same thing for survivors of the Columbine school shooting in 1999, the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, and various other disasters, Stestokas said, providing The Daily Beast with an assortment of newspaper clippings about his client’s various past adventures.

    “If you consider Reverend Lee’s history of traveling to unusual settings, and offering this combination of law enforcement and pastoral experience to assist people that are under stress, it’s not out of character,” Shestokas went on. “And it may not be something you do, or I do—I wouldn’t—but I don’t have the same history that he has… You know, so many of the big stories that are headlines around the country in the last 30 years, he’s been there. He’s kind of the Forrest Gump of crises in America. He’s always been there in some way, shape, or form.”

    If you take a deeper look at Lee, though, you might come to the conclusion that he is a self-promoting grifter. But I digress.

    Shestokas made a special effort to argue that Lee operated independently, and claimed—contrary to what prosecutors say they can prove in court—that he was not part of a broader conspiracy to overturn Georgia’s vote.

    “He has no, if you will, close relationship, or close ties, with anybody on that list,” Shestokas said. “He’s never met President Trump. He doesn’t know Rudy Giuliani.”

    Two thoughts here:
    (1) The list of phone calls above punctures that whole “Lee doesn’t know these Trump folks” defense.
    (2) In the past, Lee has leaned hard on his connections to Rudy Giuliani and Bernie Kerik, dating back to 9/11. From Sojourners:

    In an October 2021 speech, Lee endorsed James Marter, a pro-Trump Republican candidate for U.S. Congress from Illinois. In supporting Marter, who later lost the Republican primary, Lee said he had always avoided politics but felt compelled to get involved because “we’re facing the extinction of America.”

    Billed by Marter’s campaign as the “Ground Zero” chaplain, Lee told the audience he provided religious support to New York City police and other emergency responders for about a month after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    At the time, Bernard Kerik was New York City police commissioner and Rudy Giuliani was mayor. Both were deeply involved at the Ground Zero site, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed. And both men emerged after the 2020 election as prominent figures pushing Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in Fulton County.

    Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment, and Reuters could not independently verify whether he knew Lee or knew of his work after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Kerik said he did not recall meeting Lee, either after the attacks or since the 2020 election.

    A speech of Lee endorsing Marter is on YouTube, but it lacks a date so I don’t know for sure that it is the speech referred to by Soujourners.

    At least right now it is on YouTube, as lots of Lee’s stuff has been scrubbed from the Internet.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      “Personal humanitarian gesture.” Guffaw.

      A big white stranger showing up and parking in her driveway, unannounced and uninvited – amid angry false claims about her supposedly improper and illegal conduct – is probably not high on any Black Georgian’s, “I’m feeling warm and secure” list.

      • P J Evans says:

        It wouldn’t make *me* feel warm and secure. And from a longish distance? He’s not doing it out of the goodness of his heart.

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        Lee was attempting to induce a form of Stockholm Syndrome on Freeman. He wasn’t taking her hostage, but he an his cohorts were attempting, strenuously, to make her feel like she was under siege and in need of (his/their) shelter.

        What a perverse set of manipulative fools.

        • Rayne says:

          No. This was extortive harassment — go along with this, you uppity woman or it’ll be worse for you.

          Put yourself in the shoes of a middle-aged Black woman confronted by a white male with even the shallowest patina of authority: if you’re Black the assumption is you’re in the wrong and if you’re a woman you’re not to be believed. The choice extended to her by her harassers is to cooperate and make the impending nightmare go away.

          I wish I could make it clearer just how much this was an implicit threat of lynching.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Excellent additional reporting and analyses, Peterr. My thanks to everyone that contributes more detail and more viewpoints on these very complex issues.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      The key graf in Peterr’s earlier, linked, posting is in the September Reuters story:

      “I’m a pastor, and I’m also working with some folks who are trying to help Ruby out,” Lee told the officer, without identifying the people. “And also get to some truth of what’s going on.”

      When the cops show up, the first thing that pops is the cover story (I’m only doing what I always do in times of national crisis), but pretty soon the real motive bubbles up (I think she’s lying and I’m here to get her to confess).

      And of course, another scarcely conscious motive lies behind all of this: sexism; as in — of course we can get this done; after all, she’s just a girl, and like all such she has no character worth speaking of, and will do whatever she’s told if a little pressure is applied. Despicable, both in legal and human terms.

    • Tech Support says:

      If Shestokas was surprised at the indictment, I can only imagine how surprised he’s going to be once he receives discovery materials.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Shestokas’s surprise at the indictment is as credible as Captain Renault’s shock at learning that gambling took place at Rick’s Cafe.

        • Peterr says:

          If there is surprise, it will come from realizing just how much the DA has on his client.

          Of course, if he thought his client’s problems were over once he had an Illinois court beat back an attempt to force Lee to testify to the grand jury, it’s surprising he’s still a lawyer.

          • Ravenous hoarde says:

            That was one of my favorite prongs when following this story. Clearly, she’s not going to fight another state for preliminary information from Lee. She has enough and she’s just going to indict him.

            Some articles presented Lee the way they presented people like Jacki Deason.

            Except she wasn’t dumb enough to physically leave her state to intimidate random election workers.

  7. HCinND says:

    Not sure I understand this statement:
    “Both Jack Smith and Fani Willis will have a challenge explaining why efforts Clark made on Trump’s orders were not part of his job”
    Clark was not campaign employee he was. DOJ employee. How is it a DOJ employee’s job to intervene on behalf of a presidential candidate?

    • 0Alexander Platt0 says:

      If there are illegal actions surrounding a federal election it’s the DOJ’s job to investigate. As EW points out, the premise is basically sound and it will take real legal work by Smith and Willis to show that that the particulars of the situation contradict this.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Illegalities for which there was no credible evidence, and substantial evidence to the contrary from state election officials. Context matters.

        • Just Some Guy says:

          Not to mention that since Clark’s position at the time was acting head of DoJ’s Civil Division, wouldn’t voting irregularities not be anywhere near Clark’s job duties? I was under the impression that would be the purview of the Civil Rights Division, which didn’t exactly have a stellar reputation during the Trump administration:

          https :// civilrights . org/trump-rollbacks/

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            “Illegalities” which Clark’s superiors in the DoJ found so lacking in foundation, they laughed at him.

            • Just Some Guy says:

              Yes, obviously. But again, it wasn’t even his division’s purview. While I’m sure that government employees have a First Amendment right to answer the phone, I’m not sure it follows they have a right to choose whatever it is they work on, even if they’re an acting head of a DoJ division.

          • BRUCE F COLE says:

            If Willis can prove that all these CCs (and especially the higer-ups like Clark) were cognizant that the Big Lie was just that, then she will have removed all semblance of an “official” patina to their fake-electors attempted putch.

            At that point their efforts become political, and not of the legal variety at that. They were carrying out actions that had the M.O. of Boss Tweed/Tammany Hall — and if RICO had existed back then, Tweed would have been a legitimate target.

            • bmaz says:

              This is complete bullshit. It is never the RICO, and it is not properly here either. And this horse manure is exactly why what Fulton County is doing is outrageous and damaging to all criminal law in the US. It is truly destructive, because rubes like you will now propagate RICO and other nonsense, including local county attorneys having jurisdiction over federal law matters.

              But, hey, if you don’t believe me, here is a quote from a person who has even more experience with RICO than I do, though I have more than a little, both criminally and civilly:

              “In my view, the Georgia RICO indictment is gratuitous, self-indulgent, and careless of the appearance of legitimacy.”

              and

              “Before Ms. Willis took office, an appellate court rebuked the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for making a “bizarre” argument defending a conviction, and they leaned into it as a point of pride, making “Bizarre for Justice” t-shirts.”

              That is from Ken White, aka Popehat. And he is exactly right about the absurd proclivity of Fulton County to try to dance the RICO.

              For the love of anything and everything holy, do not promote this absolute bullshit.

              • bmaz says:

                By the way, for all the Willis Fani boys and girls, here is another quote:

                “In a perfect world, fans of Fani Willis would think about how this approach works when applied to people who aren’t famous or rich or conservative. For instance, how many people can defend themselves if Fani Willis decides to add them to a 28-count indictment for RICO where jury selection alone has taken eight months? Can she – can any DA — be trusted to wield the RICO statute fairly, or will they inevitably resort to using it to strongarm court reporters for using the wrong font to make more money? In that same perfect world, Trump supporters (or anti-anti-Trump folks) would have an epiphany — holy shit, if they can do this to Trump and his crew, what are they doing to regular folks? Is my trust in police and prosecutors misplaced?

                Isn’t it pretty to think so.

                But, hey, why deal with actual lawyers who have done this for decades when you can just jerk off to internet bullshit.

                • BRUCE F COLE says:

                  Speaking of ciber-masturbation: we’re supposed to be impressed with an argument that uses the ridiculous, ad absurdum example of court reporters being charged with RICO for using the wrong font? And posited by a guy who got the fucking National Review to post this claptrap,
                  https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/06/trump-investigation-shows-how-easy-it-feds-create-crimes/
                  warning us that Mueller was threatening ruin upon our judicial system by going after Trump associates, comparing their cases with Martha Stuart’s, and dissing the Scooter Libby trial for underhanded prosecutorial tricksterism?

                  Oh, and Mr P-Hat posts this walk-back at the top of the story you quote, which is actually reasonable in contrast to his text:

                  “No, Fani Willis is not making Tweets or phone calls into crimes. But maybe her indictment is a bit indulgent and gratuitous.”

                  Reading the whole article and the 76 comments below, it’s apparent that he’s not as RICO-averse as you, and is leaning heavily on style-critiques in his commentary.

                  But one thing he does get right is not hurling gratuitous, low-brow insults at his readership.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Yes, because some people, unlike you, actually have experience in this. And, no, Ken is pretty much exactly as averse to RICO as I am. You, on the other hand, are spewing bullshit and making this comment section dumber.

  8. haydnewp says:

    Tiny typo: According to public reports, Kutti told Freeman that people would come to her her in 48 hours if she didn’t confess.

  9. scroogemcduck says:

    Well my name it is Scott Hall, Scott Hall.
    Yes my name it is Scott Hall, it is Scott Hall.
    Well my name it is Scott Hall, and I hate you one and all. And I’m lined up to take the fall. Damn your eyes!

  10. Rugger_9 says:

    Tied to Roger Stone too?

    There’s a rumor floating around that CREW has evidence that a USSS agent was acting as an ‘unofficial liaison’ with Stuart Rhodes in September 2020, which would tell me that the organization of the J6 insurrection was always on the list as a Plan B.

    It would also make me wonder whether the USSS agents trying to get Mike Pence on ice away from the Capitol on J6 were coordinated with the OKs. Defendant-1 worked hard in his last year to politicize everything else in his administration, so why not the USSS too?

    https://www.citizensforethics.org/reports-investigations/crew-investigations/emails-reveal-secret-service-contacts-with-oath-keepers/

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      According to CREW, the USSS agent thought highly of OK as former LEO/military and seemed to advocate working with them, calling himself the unofficial/official liaison to them.

      Since when does the USSS work with domestic terrorists or give anyone outside the USSS information on the president’s movements or the procedures they use to protect him? If verified, seems like the executive branch should do a little house cleaning.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      It is not just CREW who is talking about this, but NBC, CBS, AP, CNN, Forbes and many more. No wonder Biden’s dogs have been biting the Secret Service.

  11. ExRacerX says:

    Hall’s mugshot is a study of malevolence and defiance. I fervently hope he and the rest of these poisonous actors are held accountable for the parts they played.

    “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Indeed.

  12. SteveBev says:

    Re Hall call to Clark being the key to the question of Georgia jurisdiction over Clark

    It may be of some interest to note what Clark’s removal notice/motion has to say about that call at paragraphs 28, 29

    “29. The indictment never explains how Mr Clark, a federal official , taking a phone call from a citizen could be anything other than protected conduct under the First Amendment of the US Constitution’s petition clause. Mr Clark was a federal official at the time of the alleged phone call. Mr Clark is also entitled to his own opinions and to freedom of speech about them under the First Amendment.”

    Clark’s exposition about the allegations he faces was deliberately constructed to obscure the connection between two alleged overt acts on 2 Jan 2020 – the phone call alleged in indictment paragraph 110, with the allegation in paragraph 111 ( letter re DOJ having “identified significant concerns” re Georgia elections)

    In general terms the motion in paragraphs 24 -30 slides over any and all references to Georgia. As if he’d never heard of Georgia or ever spoken to anyone from Georgia. Yet he did for 63 minutes speak to a Georgian and shortly afterwards pressed his draft letter making false statements again.

  13. Ginevra diBenci says:

    I keep wondering about SullivanStrickler’s apparently knowing and certainly voluntary exposure in the Coffee County scheme. Their only public utterance (that I’ve found) is a panicked-seeming no-comment. They seem to have jumped in over their heads, but to have done so with eyes open, simply at Sidney Powell’s bidding (and payout).

    Why have they not been charged? Is there some kind of bumbling independent contractor exception for criminal conduct?

    • emptywheel says:

      The contractors in MI weren’t charged either. I think there were false representations about the legality of the access to data.

      • Peterr says:

        I don’t think there were false representations – I’d bet on it.

        From the Anna Bower link in the post above:

        Shortly before noon on Jan. 7, 2021, with the nation still reeling from the aftermath of the attempted insurrection in Washington, D.C., a Republican Party official ushers a computer forensics team into an elections office in far-away Coffee County, Georgia.

        According to a combination of court filings, depositions in subsequent litigation, and the indictment filed Monday evening in Fulton County, Georgia, the forensics team—a group of employees of an Atlanta-based firm called SullivanStrickler—has driven into the rural south Georgia town of Douglas at the behest of Sidney Powell, a lawyer working with then-President Donald Trump’s legal team. They are joined by a man named Scott Hall, a bail bondsman and Republican poll watcher who flew down separately from Atlanta.

        Cathy Latham, a public school teacher and chairwoman of the Coffee County GOP, escorts the group inside. There, they are welcomed by two local elections officials, Misty Hampton and Eric Chaney, and a former member of the elections board, Ed Voyles.

        I’m guessing that the presence of Hampton and Chaney — actual current election officials — were enough to assure the contractors that it was fine to do what they were being asked to do.

        I suspect that when the authorities came knocking, these contractors fell over themselves to tell what they knew. I don’t think they were bumbling, but got hoodwinked.

        • Greg Hunter says:

          Do Contractors get hoodwinked? Or do they get a pass? I suppose it depends, but at this level I think not. However, the Contractor and their personnel usually have no vested interest in raising any stink.

          You are very good at telling a compelling narrative based on the information provided and I would invite your trained eye to review the events preceding the shutdown of US Airspace as a result of a Contractor conducting “routine” maintenance operations.

          Mayor Pete and the FAA.

          https://abcnews.go.com/US/faa-monitoring-systems-high-level-after-notam-failure/story?id=96391067

          • fatvegan000 says:

            I didn’t see any mention of Secretary Pete in the article you linked – and what does the shutdown of US airspace have to do with the conspiracy or any of the conspirators?

            • Greg Hunter says:

              That is true, there is no mention of Pete or the name of the contractor that supplied the engineer that took down the NOTAMs.

              Secretary Pete was swinging pretty hard at the airline industry in the weeks prior to the shutdown. So when it did happen I immediately flashed back to my experiences working for the FAA and wondered whether a contractor would be bold enough to send a message?

              Secretary Pete certainly articulated what the FAA wanted to hear by claiming that there has never been enough money to update computer systems.

              I had no intentions of what about, I was just pointing out my experiences with contractors and whether they play games?

              • Rayne says:

                I did tell you to get back on topic, yes? You could have initially said in your experience contractors play games instead of dragging in the wholly unrelated FAA and SecTransportation Buttigieg.

                You’re not going to get another warning.

      • Purple Martin says:

        The last 20 years of my professional career was with the Information Security & Privacy consulting practice of a Big, global IT company, the last 2 years leading their Application Security group (secure development practices and app testing). Every contract included very carefully and expertly written Get Out of Jail Free language (we had a lot of really good lawyers)

        This GOJF Card always included both 1) explicit client acknowledgement that they owned or had full rights over any environment we were going to touch (hardware, software, or comms) including their own legal agreements with service providers (like, ahem, Dominion), and 2) full indemnification if we got sued anyway.

        Not often but occasionally, we turned down work because the client wanted us to do security testing (including ethical hacking) of a partner or service provider without giving us verifiable assurance of that organization’s approval.

        The contract’s non-disclosure language also always included circumstances in which we would disclose otherwise confidential information, including when required by law. I imagine SullivanStrickler will be OK.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          From what I’ve found, however, SullivanStrickler (for all its imposing name) is a small firm. Nor does it seem very sophisticated, at least if you judge from how they are handling the public-relations aspect of this situation. And it’s not like they didn’t have two+ years to prepare.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        What I managed to learn about the Michigan instance at the time definitely reinforces your take, EW. But the limited available information about SullivanStrickler (mostly the initial August 14 indictment and a few press reports) seems to hint in the opposite direction–that is, that the people who did the actual work understood the project, and it was such a small operation that there wasn’t necessarily a distinction between management and IT.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Following your thread, wouldn’t SullivanStrickler also know about the huge controversy surrounding the voting and trump’s “Stop the steal”, and be very wary about getting involved – unless they were so inclined?

      It seems like a minor amount of money to perhaps besmirch your firm’s reputation – unless they were already part of that group.

  14. tje.esq@23 says:

    Here is the part I find the most chilling, but I have not seen this connection addressed, nor explained, anywhere: (quote from Reuters report, linked below)

    “On Jan. 5, the day after Freeman’s meeting with Kutti, an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation called Freeman and urged her to leave her home of 20 years because it wasn’t safe, Freeman said.

    The following day, Jan. 6, Kutti’s prediction that people would descend on Freeman’s home in 48 hours proved correct, according to a defamation lawsuit Freeman and Moss filed last week against a far-right news site. Freeman, the lawsuit said, left hours before a mob of angry Trump supporters surrounded her home, shouting through bullhorns.”

    https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/kanye-west-publicist-pressed-georgia-election-worker-confess-bogus-fraud-charges-2021-12-10/

    How did the Trump supporters who approached Ruby indeed know what would occur at her house in 2 days, (that the FBI received a tip about and found concerning enough to advise Ruby to flee from her home)? Because it’s not mentioned in the indictment nor cited elsewhere that I’ve seen, is it completely insane to wonder if the violence that Hall, Lee, Kutti, and Floyd were warning Ruby about was ‘violence’, or at least a loud, intimidating protest, that THEY THEMSELVES were helping PLAN? How else did they know what would happen on Ruby’s doorstep in 48 hours?

    Because this would be EXTORTION, a very serious crime that IS NOT CHARGED, nor even hinted to in the indictment, I assume I must be wrong here.

    But, has no one been asking this question? Am I overlooking something? How did Hall and Lee (via Kutti’s and Floyd’s words) ‘correctly predict’ what did indeed happen in 48 hours?

    Or was their prediction about the ‘potential harm’ they told Ruby that she and ‘a family member’ would face in 48 hours, a prediction about something else entirely that never did occur . . . because the loud, intimidating protest outside her home, 48 hours later, was simply a mere coincidence? What exactly was the FBI tipped off to that compelled an agent to tell Ruby to flee her home because the FBI credibly believed Ruby’s life was in danger?

    And how in the world did those planning to approach Ruby not take a moment to reflect on the history in the south, and not ponder what all this would look like to rational people learning about this in news reports, or those living in her neighborhood observing with their own eyes and ears? Drives and flights from Chicago to Atlanta take hours to complete –plenty of time for contemplation and reflection.

    • emptywheel says:

      Exactly.

      That’s one reason I focused on Hall, and his ties to Bossie, which pretty quickly gets you into militias.

      It’s not charged though. I may be they need one or more of the participants in those phone calls.

    • Ravenous hoarde says:

      I always assumed it was like the people accurately predicting 1/6. The online chatter about Freeman and Moss was already very loud in the rwnj crevices. I wouldn’t be surprised if Miller saw some plans during his normal nutcase perusals of trumpy spaces.

      But I think your point stands. I hope the investigation definitively answers that question. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were dumb enough to plan a mob at her house but also think it’s plausible they saw it online and didn’t plan it.

      Freeman and Moss are the single most lucid story about 1/6 and its precursors/aftermath in my opinion.

    • Peterr says:

      I don’t know whether or not there is any factual basis to the predictions of something happening to Ruby Freeman in the next 48 hours. I do know that by putting a specific time on the threat, Lee was ramping up the pressure on Freeman.

      It’s like a version of a bad used car salesman’s tactic, when he tells you “OK, I’ll cut you a deal. Here’s the price I can give you, but it’s only good for the next 60 minutes, ’cause I’ve got someone coming in an hour who’d really like to buy it. You better move now, while you still have a chance.”

      In essence, Lee is saying to her “You are in danger. Not in the abstract sense, but in a very concrete, sense. It’s not that something nasty will happen *sometime*, but something nasty will happen in the next 48 hours. But aren’t you lucky that I’ve come to warn you, and I also know how to make the danger go away. . . .”

      The specific time factor is designed to ramp up the pressure. Whether it is true or not is beside the point. The pressure is the point.

      And s he might have bought that, given everything that was being said about her and all the threats she was getting. But any willingness to accept this offer likely disappeared as soon as the “solution” to her problems was laid out: “All you need to do is make an official confession of your crimes . . .”

      • Ruthie2the says:

        It’s easy to say the existence of an actual plan to direct mob violence is beside the point when you’re not the intended target. Sure they were applying pressure, and no doubt hoped she’d cave to it, but it certainly looks like they were prepared to follow through. We saw a similar mix of ruthlessness and desperation in other facets of the coup plot as well.

        • Peterr says:

          An attack on the Capitol would not necessary be all that threatening to Ruby Freeman. A prediction of an attack on her in her home in the next 48 hours is much more threatening.

          I’m not downplaying what happened on J6, but focusing on the interpersonal dynamic of the conversation between Freeman and Lee. Lee didn’t tell Freeman that something bad would happen to the country, or something bad would happen to the members of Congress, but that something bad would happen TO HER.

          That very direct personal threat is what worried her, and made her call the cops.

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

      Brilliant. It hadn’t occurred to me, but then again IANAL or in law enforcement.

      Will there be a superseding indictment or will this strictly be part of Freeman and her daughter’s lawsuit?

      • tje.esq@23 says:

        The crime would be so serious that if prosecutors had enough, they would charge it, I think. But, given its seriousness, I could see wisdom in prosecutors hanging onto it for awhile, as you have a couple defendants charged here who may have been stunned to have learned after the fact that their acts could be seen as criminal, and prosecutors could use as a bargaining chip, for cooperation. But its not useful leverage if prosecutors cannot show criminal intent. This would be a critical part of charging, and proving extortion, even if prosecutors had proof of imminent threat that lay within conspirator’s control (in my hypo above, being involved in planning the event to take place Jan. 6 at Ruby’s house is an example of what I mean by this last element).

        The 2 or 3 defendants who prosecutors would want to approach with a potential exchange for their guilty plea, or with an ‘immunity deal’, however, would also be those that may have viable defenses against the charges, and capable defense attorneys would advise them of this. This would weaken the prosecutors’ hands significantly, so I could see them just springing another big surprise on Lee and his attorney once, or if, prosecutors eventually have sufficient evidence to bring a superseding indictment alleging extortion.

        Re: Ruby and Shaye’s civil case — it’s been over a year since I’ve read any of their filings, but they focused on defamation and IIED, if I recall, and did not allege any threat-based (?) intentional torts. If prosecutors have a hard time proving intent, it’s even harder for civil attorneys because in depositions, defendants would just plead the 5th and plaintiff’s counsel is not the state, so can’t offer immunity. If it ends up, in a completely separate criminal trial, being charged and proven as a crime, prior to their CIVIL case being resolved, the only place I could potentially see it coming up in their CIVIL proceedings, is at the damages phase, if punitive damages are weighed, if allowed. But these 4 people are currently not even defendants in Ruby and daughter’s civil suit, I don’t believe, so it’s hard for me to see where this could be useable in their civil case.

        A few other matters relevant to your question:
        1) FBI intercepted threats and parties crossed state lines. We’ve not heard a whisper, I don’t believe, that SC Jack Smith is investigating potential extortion in Ga, but the federal crimes that could be charged here, if mens rea is established, are very serious. Only a 2nd bite by Willis would be called a Superceder; if feds were to bring charges, it would be an entirely different, unaffiliated indictment, alleging totally different offenses (one which would most definitely be 18 U.S.C. § 241) that would be tried in federal (not viewable on TV) court.
        2) Several times in the Ga indictment, it alleges Lee et al. were engaged in, essentially “witness tampering,” and the event that a witness-Ruby-Freeman would have been called to testify in is only referred to as an “ongoing proceeding,” but does not specify WHAT proceeding, which is one of the many flaws the indictment is full of. (Federal rules are clear that indictments must include each element of the charged offense in the allegations, so each could stand alone on their own, if necessary. I’m guessing Ga rules don’t demand this in their pleadings?, but don’t really know.) Despite this, it’s possible the Ga prosecutors may view their current charge to be of comparable-seriousness* to extortion, due to the RICO bump up, so they may not be even fully pursuing evidence of extortion. Very hard to say, but one reason I brought up the link is because I find it a worthy track to pursue.

        And just fyi —and I’m curious if bmaz or others want to weigh in, but the way the Ga indictment is currently drafted, I could see only 5 to 8 counts, against up to (only) 5 defendants (2 non-Ga, and 2-3 Ga) capable of withstanding a motion for summary judgement, IF it had to meet the pleading standards of federal court. I’ll refer you back to bmaz’s nickname for the indictment: I think it was “crap”? So a superceder could be useful as a cleanup tool too.

        Sorry for such a long answer to your great question!

        *and it’s about here in my sentence where all the defense attorneys reading this start to hear fingernails scraping on the blackboard

        • theartistvvv says:

          I am presently expanding into and learning criminal law practice and it has not previously been my focus.

          But civil law has and is.

          “If prosecutors have a hard time proving intent, it’s even harder for civil attorneys because in depositions, defendants would just plead the 5th and plaintiff’s counsel is not the state, so can’t offer immunity.”

          A plea of Fifth Amendment rights by a defendant in a civil case can be fatal to the defense because such a plea in a civil case gives rise to an adverse inference presumption against the said pleader.

          • tje.esq@23 says:

            Ah, yes! Very good point!

            I meant no offense by implicitly suggesting that an “open ADMISSION of criminal intent” is the only tool in civil proceedings or that it’s marketedly inferior to a “5th-Amendment-invoked-INFERENCE of criminal intent” in civil cases (which, as you note, is not allowed in criminal proceedings — that is, prosecutors in criminal proceedings, are not allowed to tell the jury, or even imply, that there was something ‘telling’ about the fact that the D pled the 5th). My brain just had a hard time picturing how Ruby and Shaye could use evidence of extortion, if ever established, in their current civil suit against their current defendants, especially at the fact finding phase. (I could see them filing a future civil suit against any parties found criminally guilty of extortion in the future, should that ever occur, if permissible at that time under by SsoLs, however.)

            The ‘inference’ tool is an important one in civil law practice, to be sure. Thanks for pointing this out.

            So great you are expanding into criminal defense work.* If you’d like to gain experience in shorter time than by relying on potential clients or their family walking through your doors, you can quickly sharpen your skills doing pro-bono work for low-level ‘hobby’ (meaning not ‘career’) criminal offenders, who can often spend time in jail simply on a wait list for public defender services. The need can be even greater in jurisdictions with no public defender’s offices, where the accused simply get representation by court assignment from a list of all members of the bar in that jurisdiction, no matter their type of practice or former practice experience, whenever a judge can get around to it. Perhaps you’ve already ventured there?

            * I assume you did NOT mean here that you are considering switching jobs, running for office, or picking up a contract with a city or county to serve as its part time prosecutor in municipal court. (???) All important work as well.

            • theartistvvv says:

              My criminal law involvement is through a referral source whose practice is criminal. I’ve had occasion to back him up in his absence on a murder bond hearing, and an agg assault/attempt murder, and I second chaired a DUI,trial, so far and with more to come.

              I’m in Cook Co., IL, which doesn’t need inexperienced me to pro bono on this stuff.

              And my civil practice is fairly busy, and I serve as county arbitrator on mandatory and commercial and larger civil cases.

              But the criminal law stuff is interesting!

  15. xxbronxx says:

    re: Scott Hall, Bail Bondsman – Family in LE and great friend in criminal law, both had the same to say about bail bondsmen – “Incapable of higher human emotions like empathy and compassion”. Elmore Leonard’s (and Robert Forster’s) ‘Max Cherry’ notwithstanding, is their description close to the truth for all the JDs and LE out there?

  16. WilliamOckham says:

    Only tangentially related, did anyone else notice that Jeff Clark’s lawyer (Harry W. MacDougald) is the Freeper who started “Rathergate” back in the day?

    • RipNoLonger says:

      The talent “pool” is very shallow. Same old, same old – thinking in the box, as always. No wonder the (r)s can’t come up with a platform to actually solve problems.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Rudy Giulianni is complaining that, having been indicted in Georgia, he has to spend his valuable time traveling there to be booked and arraigned. It’s interfering with his law practice.

      That might come as a surprise to bar authorities in DC and NY, who have suspended his licenses to practice. DC is also – painfully slowly – attempting to disbar him. Rudy is making more shit up, or practicing law without a license.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        Perhaps they do, but if I were a judge getting this from any lawyer (especially Giuliani) I’d be asking what case numbers they’re working on.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          With Giulianni’s bar status, the court wouldn’t need to go there. He shouldn’t have cases.

          He could be working in bidness. Or acting as a paralegal, working under a lawyer, but the pay would be peanuts and it’s not what he claimed.

          • Rugger_9 says:

            He certainly makes it sound as though he has court duties to attend to, and almost all business meetings can be scheduled around court in the Zoom / TEAMS world we have now. I don’t think the judge will buy it anyway.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                Your list is of disbarred attorneys. As I said, Rudy was only suspended in DC and NY as of mid-2021. DC is attempting to disbar him, but it remains a recommendation that has not been finalized as of July 2023.

                • Shadowalker says:

                  There are a few suspensions on that list. I think that was what final punishment was deemed appropriate. (ex. Issam A. Abbas FINAL DISCIPLINE IMPOSED Suspended – 3 years)

                  Rudy isn’t listed because both his cases are still open.

                  NY may also disbar, they still haven’t had the required hearing from what I understand, and issued an emergency suspension after deeming his acts were and continued to be a threat to democracy. Later he asked it to be on hold while he dealt with other issues. Won’t matter if he gets convicted of a felony since that is one of two fast tracks to disbarment, the other is steal money from a client.

            • Peterr says:

              The “court duties” Rudy has to attend to these days involve him sitting at the defense table, then standing to say “Not guilty, your Honor” when asked how he pleads.

      • RipNoLonger says:

        We all know what Rudy’s real “bar” business is. He’d probably get some slack if he was in the “rehab” business. Hate to be on the air crew servicing this individual.

        • SteveBev says:

          He traveled on private plane apparently. (Per CNN)
          So no doubt he was well refreshed before his surrender.

            • Fly by Night says:

              There are “fractional” air service providers popular among the very wealthy of this country. You pay a flat annual fee (typically $25K – $50K) and that buys you a set amount of on-demand flight hours (40 hours is common) in a business jet. You call, they promise to have jet there in 3 or 4 hours, and off you go. I’ve met people who use this service just to play golf around the country.

              I have no idea if Rudy signed up for this service back before he went broke, but I would be surprised if he didn’t.

  17. Alda Earnest Goodpeople says:

    Don’t forget how David Bossie comes full circle as a key player in (Jeffrey Epstein “black book”-linked) Trump’s 2016 campaign — “engineered” by Russia (led by ICC’s child trafficker Putin, in the context the infamous Trump Tower meeting wasn’t just about dropping or evading sanctions, but trafficking children from Russia to the Trump family under an “adoptions” scheme) — elections “engineering” promised by Russian mobster and Trump advisor Felix Sater to Michael Cohen via email could be done November 2015, furthered by Flynn’s trip to Putin December 2015, and by the Mayflower Hotel meeting April 27, 2016 — and don’t forget Bossie’s film link to Steve Bannon (linked to Trump’s campaign, and to Cambridge Analytica, and to Jeffrey Epstein’s orbit), and Bossie’s link to the Citizen’s United ruling (which then links back to the family of Clarence Thomas), and Bossie’s link to (Jeffrey Epstein-linked) Bill Clinton’s investigation, and his Fox News appearances (and where Rupert Murdoch is also named in Jeffrey Epstein’s “black book”), and Bossie’s role in the censure of Cheney and Kinzinger for their role in giving some credibility to the 01/06/2021 Committee’s investigation into the insurrection (which links back to Virginia Thomas and Trump). Bossie is up to his neck in the GOP’s and/or Trump’s ongoing organized criminal conspiracies, is my opinion and a reasonable inference, as to Hall’s and Trump’s intent.

  18. Rugger_9 says:

    OT, but there are reports that Prigozhin’s plane crashed in Russia, with some reports that it was shot down by air defense staff. While it’s tempting to think Putin has expanded beyond defenestration as his MO of choice, it’s possible that given the recent Ukrainian drone attacks in Moscow (etc.) the gun crew was jumpy and trigger-happy.

    Still speculative as to whether the Wagner head was on board, but it was his plane. IF TRUE, the world will not miss Prigozhin.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/8/23/2189113/-A-business-jet-crash-in-Russia-kills-10-and-mercenary-chief-Yevgeny-Prigozhin-was-on-passenger-list

    https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/europe/1692810307-wagner-chief-prigozhin-among-10-dead-in-russia-jet-crash

      • Rugger_9 says:

        This does have some implications here. First, challenging but not removing Putin is akin to signing your own death warrant. Second, when you’re no longer useful to Putin you are removed from the scene, which might cut into Defendant-1’s travel plans if he flees prosecution.

        I also wonder about some of the ones who have moved over to the Russian side like Snowden, etc. and if they’re still not mobiks yet.

        • ExRacerX says:

          Yeah, gotta wonder what Putin thought of Trump’s recent “joke” about fleeing to Russia.

          Re: possible mobiks, Snowden would probably survive longer than a morbidly obese 70-something with bone spurs.

        • HikaakiH says:

          That’s right – Snowden has acquired all the ‘rights’ of Russian citizenship. He’s now 40 years old, so most modern militaries wouldn’t be too interested in getting him to schlep a pack, but we know Russia isn’t a fully modern military.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      CNN says that per the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, Prigozhin was on board. His name was on the passenger manifest.

      They also said there were seven passengers and three crew members on board and all on board were killed.

      • SteveBev says:

        Rosaviatsia, the Russian aviation authority, said Prigozhin and senior Wagner commander Dmitry Utkin were among 10 people travelling on the Embraer business jet that crashed on Wednesday evening.

        Fontanka, a St Petersburg news outlet that has covered Prigozhin’s operations extensively, said Prigozhin was accompanied in the plane by Utkin, a cameraman, Wagner’s logistics manager, and Prigozhin’s personal security detail.

        Per Guardian reporting

        • Rugger_9 says:

          Call me cynical based upon my time in the USN dealing with Soviets, but I do not put it past Putin or Prigozhin to set up the paperwork to ‘disappear’. It’s all in Russia and the bodies will be unrecognizable so who knows for certain if Prigozhin was in the plane?

          So, who takes over Wagner if Prigozhin is indeed dead? Will Putin put in one of his cronies, which I think most likely?

          With that said, apparently Prigozhin had a habit of turning off his IFFF transponder to hide his movements and so would look remarkably like a drone to the air defenses. Given how much has been blown up in Moscow by the Ukrainians by drones I’m sure the soldiers on air defense duty are jumpy.

          • SteveBev says:

            I wouldn’t be surprised by anything either.

            However the Guardian is reporting that the downed plane is identified
            The plane, with the tail number RA-02795, has been under US sanctions since 2019 because of its connection to Prigozhin. The Wagner chief has been reported as using the plane, including shortly after his failed mutiny, when the plane departed from St Petersburg to Belarus on the morning of 27 June

            And politico reports
            Putin himself appeared cheery on Wednesday evening after Russian media suggested Prigozhin was dead, opening remarks at an event commemorating the Battle of Kursk in World War II with a broad smile. “Devotion to the homeland and loyalty to the military oath is what unites all participants of the special military operation,” he said in his speech, referring to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

          • Molly Pitcher says:

            Today is the two month anniversary of Prigozhin’s little failed saunter to Moscow. This was not an accident. Putin is known for commemorating events this way.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Just long enough separation in time to give Putin plausible deniability. Except that the aircraft was apparently flying at about 28,000 feet. That’s above the altitude any shoulder-fired missile could reach and the service ceiling of most drones.

              So, a ground-based or aircraft launched rocket. Except that the public will not have access to results from any credible investigation. To steal a title from Raymond Chandler, Prigozhin must have fallen out of The High Window.

              • HikaakiH says:

                It may have been a missile but don’t rule out a carefully placed bomb on board. Prigozhin’s people were no doubt careful, but it wouldn’t have taken too much for an agent of the state to get something onto the plane to make it into a firework to celebrate Putin’s continued reign.

  19. Savage Librarian says:

    So, David Bossie’s brother-in-law is Scott Hall. It has been said that Bossie was once described by coworkers as being just as bad as Roy Cohn. He also has a large network of connections. Apparently, Steve Wynn introduced Bossie to Trump. And Bossie introduced Bannon to Trump.

    Bossie’s former spokesman at Citizens United, Bryan Lanza, subsequently worked for the Trump campaign. That’s who gave Boris Epshteyn his talking points when Boris joined the campaign. Now Lanza is at Mercury Public Affairs. You may recall that Susie Wiles is now at Mercury, too.

    Interestingly, Bannon once lauded a ghost writer during an interview on PBS Frontline:

    “Now, here’s the interesting thing. The guy who’s the managing editor for me, Wynton Hall, is one of the great ghostwriters out there. Once a year, we give him permission to ghostwrite a book…”

    Wynton Hall is/was also a communication strategist for the Government Accountability Institute (Peter Schweizer, Steve Bannon, and the Mercer family.) One of the titles he ghostwrote was Donald Trump’s “policy” book, Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again (Regnery Publishing, December 5, 2011.)

    So, Wynton Hall (in Tallahassee) is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Scott Hall in GA. Wynton appears to be a number of years younger than Scott. But I do wonder how Wynton Hall came to be Bannon’s managing editor. Regardless of whether or not the two Hall men are related to each other, though, the reach of the network they belong to is wide.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/09/01/trump-enlists-veteran-operative-david-bossie-as-deputy-campaign-manager/

  20. gertibird says:

    What got me thinking with all the media publicity, is irregardless of whether ultimately Willis convicts Trump and all his cohorts, the publicity of the RICO crime may kill Trump’s attempt for a 2024 win. Every day we see on every news channel about defendants that have surrendered, been fingerprinted, bonded and photographed as the alleged criminals they are. All this will make it “real” for people, those for those for and against Trump. Most people think that doesn’t happen to innocent people. On another note: ALL the Trump supporting signs in my neck of the woods are gone.

    • timbozone says:

      The Trump signs went down after the Georgia indictments in your neck of the woods? Or was it because of the earlier Federal indictments?

  21. earlofhuntingdon says:

    “It’s not accidental they’ve indicted all his [Trump’s] lawyers.” Sure, Rudy, but I don’t think that means what you think it means. You’re also still talking as if you had a law practice, except that you haven’t had a valid law license since mid-2021. Please explain.

  22. SunZ00mSpark says:

    Looks like Mark Meadows and Jeffrey Clark will be getting their mug shots this week after all. US District Judge Steve Joned denied their requests to avoid booking.

    “As Meadows’s arguments and cases cited to the contrary are not persuasive, the Court denies Meadows’s request for the Court to decide its jurisdiction over his criminal case before holding an evidentiary hearing,” Jones ruled.

    My question is did Jack Smith know what Meadows would be facing in Fulton County and will leverage Meadow’s exposure there to get more fulsome cooperation in DC and/or Florida?

  23. vigetnovus says:

    You know, I wonder if Clark’s stunt is damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    If by some amazing feat he convinces the judge to remove the case to NDGA, well then that would establish jurisdiction there for the same acts (by and large) that Clark is accused of as Co-conspirator 4 in the Trump indictment. Would that not open the door for Smith to present his case to a NDGA grand jury and indict him for the 3 conspiracies there, effectively severing his case from Trump’s? Those penalties could be far more severe than what he’s facing in GA.

    Alternatively, if Willis prevails, now he’s got to rat out Trump and/or Hall to potentially avoid jail time, who this post would suggest is a very important nexus in the RICO conspiracy….

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