After Threats Elicited by Gary Shapley’s Misleading Testimony, Hunter Biden Prosecutors Reneged on the Plea Deal

In the wake of two news reports on the communications leading up to the aborted Hunter Biden plea, Jim Jordan et al demanded the documents shared with the Politico and NYT from Hunter’s lawyers. In response, Lowell sent the following documents, which Betsy Woodruff Swan published here:

While the letters include a familiar catalog of the Shapley and Ziegler media tour, there are a few details worth noting.

First, the August 14 letter goes to great lengths to distinguish the topic of Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler’s purported whistleblowing — prosecutorial misconduct — from the materials released, which focus on investigative material implicating Hunter Biden. That distinction ought be a way for DOJ to rein in the two purported whistleblowers, as Merrick Garland quickly did in the case of Michael Sherwin.

The letter claims, as Abbe Lowell has in the past, that some of the statements Shapley and Ziegler have made are false.

[T]he “facts” disclosed and conclusions reached are either false, legally incorrect, or were otherwise addressed during the various meetings between defense counsel and your Office.

If that’s true, Lowell should ask for a criminal investigation for their false statements before Congress.

It also reveals something that should be obvious but I hadn’t realized: The iCloud warrant which produced a bunch of WhatsApp texts, which Shapley discussed at length in his original testimony, has never been disclosed to Hunter himself, so must be sealed.

On several occasions during their testimony, Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler discussed a sealed search warrant, and showed and discussed with the Committee certain fruits of that sealed search warrant. Because we have never been notified of any such “electronic search warrant for iCloud backup”— nor of any other warrant to search for and seize any property of our client 13—we must presume that Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler were discussing, in violation of a sealing order, a search warrant that has been sealed. Nevertheless, Mr. Shapley purportedly produced WhatsApp messages that are the: fruit of these warrants, and they have now been published.” Moreover, Mr. Ziegler offered to produce to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee additional and more fulsome grand jury materials concerning these messages, with the intent of making such materials public.

So it’s not just that Shapley was violating grand jury secrecy (he was authorized by Ways and Means Chief Counsel to share tax information, but not grand jury information), he was also almost certainly violating a sealing order that remained in effect almost two months after Hunter Biden received a summons in conjunction with the tax charges (conveniently so for the purported whistleblowers, because the warrant affidavit may rely on poisoned fruit from their mistreatment of “the laptop”). Whatever judge authorized that warrant and gag — presumably DE’s Chief Judge, Colm Connolly — might be interested that investigative agents are just blowing off the gag they themselves presumably asked for.

The most alarming thing in the August 14 letter, though, is a claim that Leo Wise — who has taken the lead role in the prosecution — claimed in a July 31 call to be unaware of any grand jury leaks in the investigation, at all!

On a July 31, 2023, call, Assistant United States Attorney Wise stated he was “not aware” of any leak of grand jury information by the Government during the course of the Government’s investigation of our client. Such a statement was surprising given that Mr. Biden’s counsel have discussed such leaks with the Goverment on multiple occasions over the past two years and addressed these leaks in at least four prior letters and countless telephone calls with your Office.


Yet, given your Office’s inaction in the face of a torrent of illegal leaks about your investigation of Mr. Biden, and now your reinvented denial that leaks ever happened at all—your Offices assurances are being rendered false.

It’s as if the guy Weiss brought in to salvage the case believes he has to simply deny what everyone watching can plainly see, that Shapely and Ziegler have set off a torrent of prejudicial information that could make it impossible for Hunter to get a fair trial, much less be exonerated if not charged.

In both the August 14 letter and the one from yesterday, Lowell claims that the political pressure Jordan et al have put on Weiss led the newly minted Special Counsel to ratchet up his charges.

The change to a rare misdemeanor failure to file/pay and a felony diversion for possession of a firearm (and now the actual filing of those firearm charges) occurred only after a chain of events starting with the improper disclosures arranged by you and your Committees of the so-called “whistleblowers” claims of prosecutorial misconduct and your, and the right-wing media with whom you coordinate, taking up those claims.

But there’s something that Lowell didn’t mention.

It’s not just political pressure that this media blitz has created.

It’s credible threats of violence.

As Ken Dilanian first reported, after Shapley started representing Lesley Wolf’s adherence to DOJ and FBI guidelines as political interference, she was targeted with credible threats. Thomas Sobicinski told the House Judiciary Committee how Shapley’s testimony had led to the harassment of employees, employees whose parents got calls and children got followed. He specifically agreed that Wolf “has concerns for her own safety.”

It’s not just that Shapley’s testimony has led to political pressure. It has led directly to credible threats of violence against the prosecutor who crafted the original plea deal.

And in the wake of those credible threats of violence, David Weiss decided to ratchet up the charges against the President’s son.

The threats of violence may not have caused Weiss’ subsequent decision to renege on the plea deal (though that is one thing that is likely to be the topic of litigation going forward).  But the public record, at least, makes clear that those threats of violence correlate with a decision to seek more punitive treatment of the President’s son.

And that’s a very chilling prospect: that MAGA right wingers could bully prosecutors into taking punitive action against Hunter Biden.

109 replies
  1. Boatsail says:

    It was also the political pressure brought by Reps Jim Jordan and James Comer who called it a “sweetheart deal”.

    When this haippened Weiss reneged on his agreement with Hunter Biden. No honorable lawyer would have done this.

    Merrick Garland should be condemned for allowing this to happen and allowing politics to invade the Department of Justicel

    • P J Evans says:

      Politics has always been part of government. And, just in case you were asleep, the former guy was deliberately installing political appointees at DOJ. Blaming Garland is a cheap shot.

      • Robot-seventeen says:

        And so, Garland took the opportunity to name one of those appointees as a SC rather than go outside the department per usual policy? Doesn’t seem that cheap to me in retrospect.

        • Robot-seventeen says:

          It seems to me he’s more concerned about appearances than he is the fair administration of justice. It’s now obvious that Weiss is basing his decisions on right wing reactions and Garland could have brought in an independent counsel if he felt it so necessary to appoint one. There was nothing in the DoJ policy that I’m aware of (I could be wrong) that required Weiss to continue.

        • Robot-seventeen says:

          Correct. I personally don’t want to see another round of bungling by DoJ in pursuit of a ridiculous prosecution based on political interference. You got me there.

        • Harry Eagar says:

          Better than that, from the point of view of trump haters. On CNN, Lowell was asked about Weiss’s motivation and he said (not an exact quote): I could not say because i haven’t seen his emails — yet.

          Unless some judge interferes by prematurely (from my point of view) dismissing all charges against HBiden with prejudice, we are in for a saturnalia of revelations. Jordan is beyond shame but he ain’t gonna like it.

  2. Upisdown says:

    It will be interesting to see if the full transcripts of the recent FBI agent interviews get released. Both individuals debunked Shapley’s claim that Weiss said he wasn’t allowed to charge outside of Delaware.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think that overstates it. THey didn’t hear that. But it’s clear from Shapley’s notes that because he doesn’t understand what he’s hearing, he is mishearing things. Such as how Weiss said he WILL get permission to charge in LA and Shapley heard that Weiss would have to.

  3. ifthethunder says:

    “And that’s a very chilling prospect: that MAGA right wingers could bully prosecutors into taking punitive action against Hunter Biden.”
    Dovetails with the chilling reality of MAGAs attacking election officials and volunteers around the country wherever they don’t like the results.

  4. Jimijamflimflam says:

    I wonder if MAGA RWers pushed the prosecutor or did the prosecutor simply walk over? Because it sure seems to me they were ready, willing and biting the bit to do so.

  5. Another dude from G-ville says:

    “agents are just blowing off the gag they themselves presumably asked for.”
    Why do you think they wanted it to remain sealed?

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. You omitted the hyphen in your username which created a new identity causing your comment to go into moderation. I’ve edited it this once. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • timbozone says:

      So as not to taint interviews with witnesses. So as not to prejudice potential jurors. And to make sure that the statements were verified before the seal on this was lifted. Plus maybe some other reasons like protecting innocent people who are only incidentally caught up in this investigation. Can you think of any other reasons?

      • Fedupin10 says:

        As in the case of Defendant 1, to keep the knowledge of the subpoena from the target. Did Hunter Biden even know about this alternate iCloud account?

  6. Ginevra diBenci says:

    Mitt Romney, according to McKay Coppins’s new book, heard GOP senators say they wanted to convict Trump in his second impeachment, but voted to acquit because they feared for their own and their families’ safety. When will we label Trump as what he is: a terrorist?

    When “the leader of a party” retains that position due to threats of violence, that is the definition of terrorism. Calling it bullying, as I used to, domesticates and over-softens a movement that behaves more and more like a MAGA Taliban. The kingpin will always have those who embrace his tactics out of their own desire for power. But more and more it seems that others perceived as within the fold are simply, starkly terrified.

    That is how terrorists succeed. And the rest of us fail.

      • Fraud Guy says:

        You mean whatever information caused a large number of anti-Trump Republicans to turn into his fawning sycophants?

      • Unabogie says:

        I find it hard to believe that GOPers were sharing sexual peccadilloes in those emails, so what was it that flipped so many of them? I tend to believe that it was folks like David Pecker who had collected and killed various stories. There are plenty of rumors of what Lindsey Graham’s stories would be about. I just think in the age of George Santos, Graham being outed as gay would not be enough to move any needles. There’s something else at work with that guy.

        • ButteredToast says:

          It seems very unlikely to me that there’s dirt on every Republican who’s stayed in line behind Trump, or even on everyone who turned from critic to sycophant. IMO, the most likely explanation has always been the simplest: they’re motivated by a combination—in varying proportions—of career ambition, thirst for power, and shallow partisanship, with a healthy dose of cowardice thrown in. And as Ginevra diBenci noted, some may also be kept in line by actual fear (as opposed to “fear” of losing their next primary or getting roasted by Tucker Carlson).

          The one case for which this explanation seems insufficient is Lindsey Graham. The timing of his 180 on Trump and some of his bizarre TV appearances do suggest there’s something more.

      • Maureen A Donnelly says:

        TY Rayne. I have been screaming into the void for years about the hacked but not released RNC emails. I have wagered all my pennies that the contents of those emails must have made Lindsey and all the rest of them come to love Trump . . .

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Yes. I wasn’t thinking of that, but Putin being the supreme terrorist would hold Trump (and clearly many other GOPers) in his clutches. And still does.

        • Rayne says:

          Quite likely in the RNC emails are discussions about funding which may not comply with FEC regulations. One source which became de facto GOP-only money was the NRA after the Citizens United decision; the Russians flooded the NRA with millions which in turn went almost solely to GOP candidates and electeds. I would bet dollars to donuts this is discussed in the RNC emails, along with Citizens United and the politics behind the decision itself.

          And I’m sure there are other exchanges about donors like the Saudis, Qatar, Turkey, China, more, as well as who in GOP is vulnerable to blackmail and other forms of co-option including sexual abuse, relationships which aren’t acceptable to GOP voters, sketchy business transactions, investments, more.

          Funny how we’ve never heard a lick of this kind of content from Russian hackers though the GOP has a ridiculous number of persons in its ranks who’ve been caught, investigated, and/or charged with criminal behaviors from MO’s Eric Greitens to Trump himself.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          How is it that Maria Butina and her NRA escapades seem like decades ago and last year simultaneously? Thanks for the reminder, Rayne.

    • FiestyBlueBird says:

      ‘Terrorist leader” is the description of Trump I’ve had swirling in my head for many months now.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        So has Kathleen Belew. Jeffrey Toobin advances a similar argument, although not so bluntly, in Homegrown, his book about Timothy McVeigh.

        The problem as I see it is labeling. This has been the right’s strong suit for years; they catch the public off guard time and again. Truth often fails to catch up. In this case I would borrow from Oscar Wilde and call a spade a spade *first* by naming Trump the terrorist he is, in public and out loud. Over and over and over. You know–how they do it.

    • LaMissy! says:

      I think Sarah Kendzior lays it out best:

      Under Trump’s administration:
      “We alternate between having a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government and a government that masks a transnational crime syndicate. Either way, it leads to the same outcome: a conspiracy against the American public.”

  7. soundgood2 says:

    Just wanted to thank you for always linking the underlying documents you refer to. Your distillations are great, but I also love reading the documents myself. From my reading, I don’t see how Hunter Biden could get a fair trial and any attempt will be extremely treacherous for the DOJ. Any chance the Dems will do anything with this? They have credible reasons to raise hell and they don’t while Republicans have no problem creating hell to raise.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      The false statements charges largely avoid those problems. They may have other problems but they don’t rely principally on Grand Jury testimony or investigative material, etc. that was improperly leaked.

      • Shadowalker says:

        The GJ would still need some evidence that it was false, even with the lower bar set to probable. The bar is set to unanimous beyond reasonable doubt at trial, instead of minimum 12 voting yes out of minimum 16 present that’s needed for a true bill.

  8. Matt Foley says:

    Pro tip for Hunter:
    Run for any office and use election funds to pay lawyers, cry “ELECTION INTERFERENCE!”.
    Whoever came up with this idea is brilliant!

  9. Rugger_9 says:

    As a practical trial matter, how many of these leaked communications be stricken by Lowell on misconduct / failure to provide discovery grounds, and what would be the case that is left behind? IANAL, but it sure seems to me that Weiss can’t even bust Hunter on a jaywalking rap if the ‘whistleblower’ testimony is tossed out.

    After this particular case is over, Shapley and J Ziegler need to be prosecuted for their false statements and GJ testimony leaks, even if they become RWNM ‘martyrs’.

    • timbozone says:

      It’s more likely they might be used to demonstrate that this was a selective prosecution with little regard to investigation security as long it damaged Biden politically.

      • Harry Eagar says:

        I’d like to think that this was a devious trap set by Garland to entrap Jordan, Comer et al, but I don’t think that.

        Just lucky is my guess.

  10. oldtulsadude says:

    We are now engaged in a great Propaganda War testing whether this nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.

    • TimothyB says:

      That is funny! Thanks. Also thanks for the reporting, emptywheel.

      Not so funny is that government of the people, by the people, for the people is in dire danger of perishing from the earth.

  11. atriana smith says:

    Shouldn’t or couldn’t the AG appoint a special counsel to investigate the HB’s investigators?

    You know, like Durham, only with legit reasons and solid proof?

    • Shadowalker says:

      They don’t need a Special Counsel, just an IG that will do their job, and if they won’t, replace them with someone who will.

      • bmaz says:

        Welp, you are not in luck. The current DOJ IG, Michael Horowitz, is not great, to the extent of being terrible. Secondly, the DOJ IG does not have jurisdiction over department attorneys.

    • emptywheel says:

      We know there were/are two Inspector General investigations into the leaks, at least.

      We know the October 2022 one was referred criminally.

      We know two of the letters in this packet were sent to DOJ IG.

  12. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I firmly believe that the now-common development of public accusation of officials followed by credible threats against those officials is more than stochastic terrorism–naturally occurring grassroots threats from true believers. In my opinion, such threats arise from the organized attempt to destroy our government and ultimately, our functioning society. We see how far Russia is willing to go to destroy Ukraine and their culture. We in the US are in the same crosshairs.

    The main reason I read here religiously is that the judicial system is the only remaining institution in which truth and facts continue to matter. It’s the only realm so far which continues to operate for the most part within the realm of rules rather than personalities. Of course, the highest court in the land is an exception to this rule, and Judge Cannon has shown that the rot may be setting in farther down, We have seen judges threatened with violence as well, and murders of judge’s families, so the violence spreads. Here’s hoping the judicial system somehow withstands these onslaughts and manages, even with the corrupt SCOTUS, to keep what semblance of democracy we enjoyed before the Russian information war against US society and institutions.

    It is deeply soothing to me to read truth and facts carrying the day in court rulings and decisions. To me, this is the only area left in which truth is backed by real power.

    • sohelpmedog says:

      I imagine that after reading Lowell’s letter to him, that Weiss may regret he got himself into this mess.

    • HikaakiH says:

      Don’t imagine for a moment that Russia is the only foreign power amplifying discord in the USA. No doubt their efforts are the most obvious, but there are others hard at work.

      • Mike Stone says:

        Exactly correct. After monitoring the successes of manipulating various prominent voices in our society, casting doubts on our system of Government, casting doubts on election integrity, etc. all of the USA’s enemies are carefully watching this play out and developing methods to further weaken us.

        Moreover, with unlimited money to spend (thanks John Roberts) and many willing people in high positions to help them, they are getting better in executing their strategies.

        The country needs to come to grips with developing ways to stop and counter these issues and fast. But with the current state of affairs in our Congress and society, I am very worried that this is not going to end well for us.

        • ButteredToast says:

          Undoubtedly true. The unfortunate thing is that Russia, China, etc. barely have to try at this point, if they ever needed to do much. Radical rightwing politics in the US are a homegrown phenomenon. For example, the sowing of distrust in government and elections, openness to authoritarianism—these were initiated and encouraged by Republican politicians and talking heads, including many who are foreign policy hawks. Needless to say, the US has a deplorable legacy of politicians exploiting bigotry for support. And this country’s rightwing media complex, which has something to do with 40% of voters living in an alternate universe, is American, as are its demagogues. So are Facebook and Tw(X)itter.

  13. jdmckay8 says:

    You are relentless!!!

    I’m so impressed with everything Lowell has done since taking the lead. No grandstanding. On point always, and thorough command of the facts. He always seems to be ahead of things.

  14. freebird says:

    This whole IRS case reminds of a sneaky IRS agent I was dealing with when I was a neophyte commercial lender. I was negotiating with a company to give it an advance for payroll. Before we concluded, the IRS agent placed a federal tax lien on the account. This lien would have put the company out of business. The agent and I then made an oral agreement that he would take the tax lien off and let the company make its payroll. I trusted the agent and did’t get it writing. The advance was made, the agent re-instated the lien, swiped the money, and the business failed. It was a small company and this agent spent more time imposing the lien and causing hardship to a dozen families than the recovery merited. After heated discussions with the agent and his boss, I decided to let it go.

    The irony here is that his boss was my tax accounting professor who wanted to offer me a job as an IRS agent.

    • Shadowalker says:

      Ugh. Yeah, the IRS always does things in writing. And if they ever send a letter stating you still owe. Pay them. Then fight it out in tax court, and if you win, you get the money back with interest.

      • freebird says:

        I learned the hard way. But, I have been dispensing pay the tax fight in court advice monthly. It is amazing how some people are cavalier regarding paying taxes. When I take on consulting contracts the first thing I ask for is proof that all taxes have been paid.

  15. JonathanW says:

    On townhall dot com some folks claim this whole thing is a conspiracy to let Hunter Biden off, rather than a response to political pressure from the right. Maybe that’s some 3d chess where they realize that the charges will mostly fall apart and they’re preparing a new narrative for how it was all a scheme by Weiss to let Hunter off, because Weiss works for Biden. But it also could just be standard issue conspiracy mongering.

    • Upisdown says:

      Sounds similar to the claims that Hillary was behind the hacks that made her lose to Trump, so she could then accuse Russia and Trump of being behind them.

    • LadyHawke says:

      They’ll never be satisfied unless Hunter gets 20 years, at least, preferably hauled away in chains.

      And I hate to be pedantic, but they need to stop misspelling his name; it’s J-a-r-e-d. Is that so hard to remember?

      • Grain of Sand says:

        Names can be hard. I can manage Jared, but there ARE alternate spellings.
        With many students over the years, I find that efforts to retain correct spellings of some names gets supplanted with successive crops of students with alternative spellings of the same phonetic name.

  16. Peterr says:

    I’ve read through those letters from Chris Clark and Abbe Lowell that Marcy put at the top of the post three times now, and four things are very clear:

    1. Abbe Lowell will make a damn fine questioner when the trial comes and witnesses take the stand.
    2. Chris Clark will make a damn fine witness when he answers the questions Lowell poses.
    3. There are about a half dozen DOJ lawyers — the folks to whom these letters were addressed — who may be facing their own time in the witness chair, called to explain what they did or did not do with respect to the complaints by Clark and Lowell.
    4. The DOJ lawyer who sits at the prosecution table across from Lowell will no doubt be soiling his/her pants as Lowell does his thing with both Clark and the DOJ lawyers on the stand.

    And Jim Jordan ought to thank his stars that back in the day, Lowell wasn’t an AUSA working on the Ohio State wrestling team sexual abuse case.

    • Shadowalker says:

      One item jumped out at me. The IRS owed Hunter on his 2018 taxes because he overpaid. Weiss is going to have to be really good to get a conviction on that, or getting it raised to a felony. They can’t even penalize you for filing late or not filing at all if you are due a refund, since the penalty is based on what taxes are owed.

      • emptywheel says:

        Clark, in the plea hearing, said that Hunter’s accountants overstated his income.

        So, yeah, there’s a reason that was charged as a misdemeanor.

        • Shadowalker says:

          For overstating income? I could see understating income, but overstating? What a huge waste of time for the courts. Wouldn’t even get by a grand jury since the only victim would be Hunter himself, because he was claiming a non-existent tax liability.

      • bmaz says:

        There has already been a stipulated plea bargain. It should simply be enforced. There is no reason in the world Hunter Biden should be forced to do it yet again. This is literally vindictive prosecution at this point.

      • Shadowalker says:

        Weiss won’t bargain unless Hunter agrees to a non-existent FARA violation and directly implicates his father, so he can try to take down a sitting President like Starr tried to with Clinton.

  17. Fl Resister says:

    I am glad that Marcy is shouting from the cliff tops that not only is this a bogus impeachment motion the Hunter Biden charges are also a sham. Astonishing to see the supposed neutral party in the matter Weiss bow to political pressure from the right to come up with something.

    Stunning that the press will go along with pecking around the rumor and disinformation mills for Biden corruption when Donald Trump’s is blasting them in the face every day.

    Who made money off their office?
    Who engaged in fraudulent fundraising activities?
    Whose relatives had official roles in the White House besides First Ladies and scored big pay-offs?
    Where is the corruption found?

    • HikaakiH says:

      Astonishing to see the supposed neutral party in the matter Weiss bow to political pressure from the right to come up with something.
      Stunning that the press will go along with pecking around the rumor and disinformation mills for Biden corruption when Donald Trump’s is blasting them in the face every day.”

      I presume this is heavy use of irony.

  18. ShallMustMay08 says:

    Jeebus good god this post and links. The abuse and threats. Those who continue repeating the seediness for politics or “whistleblowers” 1st and bury this are Sadistic Stenographer’s.

    Relatedly I see the WH is trying to tighten up civil work force (opm dot gov) but recall what happened a few decades back in Russia with the press. Stunning they seemingly continue to ignore, don’t connect and/or refuse to consider they too, collectively as organizations and individually could be the 1st to go and possibly personally hacked. Our courts can only be there after the fact. If they’re lucky. What a time.

    Thank you.

  19. zscoreUSA says:

    Dear Chairmen Comer, Jordan, and Smith: I write in response to your September 6, 2023, letter to me and Christopher Clark requesting various documents … Your stated purpose, you claim, is your “commitment to impartial justice.”

    Jordan, “commitment to impartial justice”. I literally lol’ed and almost choked on my drink there

  20. bmaz says:

    Are there definitive facts that Weiss is not Durham is disguise? Because this is one of the most screwed up prosecutions ever.

    • Shadowalker says:

      He may be worse than Durham. If I’m not mistaken, he was appointed to the DE post right around the same time Burisma was blowing up in Rudy’s face. Could be dual tracks to sideline or hinder Sr. Biden’s election. Though you couldn’t rule out coincidence.

      • bmaz says:

        Naw. Durham killed material torture allegations and material destruction of evidence. Weiss will never match Durham’s bogosity.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Weiss seems to have bowed to political pressure. Durham embraced it as his sword and shield, an emblem of his One True Faith.

      • Shadowalker says:

        He’s been under political pressure since 2018, the only difference is he’s running into the SOL point of no return. I’m not even sure he intended to go through with the agreement and only used it to string Hunter’s lawyers along. Giving Hunter false hope and like Lucy, snatching the ball away at the last moment.

  21. KittyRehn says:

    Caught a small typo in the second block quote, there’s a colon instead of a quotation mark immediately before “fruit of these warrants.”
    Weiss and company seem to have made quite the mess out of this. I do feel bad for Hunter, having the intimate details of his life not only plastered all over the news but also waved around in Congress as some sort of political ‘gottcha’. I worry about what happens if/when this prosecution falls though and how things will play out, given that they seem to be simultaneously attempting to try him in both the court of law and the court of public opinion.

  22. oldtulsadude says:

    All these latest posts sent me back to the library to re-read How Democracies Die. It is so disheartening that in the U.S. a major political party along with 65 million voters sided with Russia and China in their determined efforts to overturn liberal democracy worldwide.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      I don’t think that political party or the supposed 65 million voters have really understood what life in USSR/Russia or CCP/China would really be like for them.

      The GOP elites wouldn’t really work well for the new bosses and would quickly be ‘offed’. The proletariat would be assigned to field work camps (that means hard labor folks.)

      A few already oligarch/autocrat US people in the upper echelons would fit in well with the Russian model but I doubt would survive the Chinese program.

      • P J Evans says:

        Most people have never met anyone who has gotten out of the PRC and talked about what it was like. I worked with a woman who had been a violinist, before being sent for “re-education”. She somehow walked out to Burma.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Republican politicians and voters think AOC and Bernie Sanders are real socialists and beyond the pale. They would not like and many would not survive life in the PRC or Russia.

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