“JIM IS COMING FOR YOU:” Aspiring Speaker Jordan’s Stochastic Lynching as Oversight


Because the way Capitol Hill beats work, the prospect of a vote that could put Jim Jordan second in line to the Presidency has focused on horserace.

To be sure, given the narrow margins and the historic incapability of Republican men to count votes, the horserace will be determinative. For example, to succeed, Jordan would not only have to win the support of most of the 55 people who voted against him last week in a secret ballot where he had no challenger, but if only 205 Republicans vote — as reportedly happened in that poll — then Hakeem Jeffries would be elected Speaker with the 212 Democrats expected to show up and vote for him.

But almost no reporting has focused on how catastrophic a Jordan Speakership would be — the earliest death knells of democracy that the election of Trump, which a Jordan Speakership would primarily serve, would guarantee.

What reporting there has been has focused on Jordan’s role, 30 months ago, in Trump’s attempted coup, which the January 6 Committee summarized this way:

Representative Jordan was a significant player in President Trump’s efforts. He participated in numerous post-election meetings in which senior White House officials, Rudolph Giuliani, and others, discussed strategies for challenging the election, chief among them claims that the election had been tainted by fraud. On January 2, 2021, Representative Jordan led a conference call in which he, President Trump, and other Members of Congress discussed strategies for delaying the January 6th joint session. During that call, the group also discussed issuing social media posts encouraging President Trump’s supporters to “march to the Capitol” on the 6th.661 An hour and a half later, President Trump and Representative Jordan spoke by phone for 18 minutes.662 The day before January 6th, Representative Jordan texted Mark Meadows, passing along advice that Vice President Pence should “call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.” 663 He spoke with President Trump by phone at least twice on January 6th, though he has provided inconsistent public statements about how many times they spoke and what they discussed.664 He also received five calls from Rudolph Giuliani that evening, and the two connected at least twice, at 7:33 p.m. and 7:49 p.m.665 During that time, Giuliani has testified, he was attempting to reach Members of Congress after the joint session resumed to encourage them to continue objecting to Joe Biden’s electoral votes.666 And, in the days followingJanuary 6th, Representative Jordan spoke with White House staff about the prospect of Presidential pardons for Members of Congress.667

To be sure, in his role in the attack, Jordan exhibited utter contempt for democracy.

But what has gotten less attention is the degree to which Jordan has used his position chairing the Judiciary Committee and Weaponization Committee to serve the longer slow-moving attack on democracy.

A Jordan Speakership would undoubtedly escalate Jordan’s assault on rule of law generally and any prosecution of Donald Trump specifically. It would likely directly (by platforming Russian disinformation) and indirectly (by undermining further US aid) help Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Both would make it more likely Trump would win the 2024 election.

Indeed, that’s a telling aspect of Matt Gaetz’ comments when he first announced his (ultimately successful) attempt to depose Kevin McCarthy. Gaetz repeatedly complained that the House hadn’t yet subpoenaed Hunter Biden, and demanded that Republicans use “the power of the purse” to,

zero out the salaries of the bureaucrats who have broken bad, targeted President Trump, or cut sweetheart deals for Hunter Biden.


Joe Biden deserves impeachment for converting the Vice Presidency into an ATM machine for virtually his entire family.

At least for Gaetz (who might well be rewarded with a gavel in a key committee, were Jordan to succeed), this is about shutting down investigations into Trump and fabricating investigations into Biden from the fumes of five year old dick pics.

There’s a specific aspect of Jordan’s actions, however, that deserves more attention in advance of tomorrow’s scheduled public vote: The degree to which Jordan has used the power of his gavel to engage in the same kind of stochastic terrorism that Trump uses to enforce his will.

I’ve already noted how the Gary Shapley media tour (in which Jordan cooperated with James Comer and Jason Smith) ended up getting the team of investigators, including ones still pursuing indictments of Hunter Biden, targeted. As Thomas Sobocinski — who continues to oversee FBI agents investigating Hunter Biden — explained in testimony in early September, the family members of his own team have been followed and AUSA Lesley Wolf has faced specific threats.

[T]his is affecting my employees. I now have FBI employees that names are out there. I have FBI employees and former FBI retired agents who’ve served for 20plus years whose parents are getting phone calls, whose photos with their girlfriends, who their children who are being followed. That is not something that we were prepared for, and I was concerned about having that continue or expand to other one of my employees.


[W]ithout going into specifics, my office and the FBI have done things and initiated things to ensure that [Lesley Wolf] remains safe.

Again, some of these people are currently trying to indict Hunter Biden, and they’re getting swarmed by a mob teed up by Republican efforts.

In the recent Matthew Graves testimony, Graves repeatedly refused to name the members of his team because he knew the transcript would be made public, resulting in threats against prosecutors, on top of the ones DC prosecutors have already faced.

What I can tell you is, I’ve unfortunately had way too many instances of documents getting into the public domain that have our prosecutors’ names in them and me receiving what we call urgent reports about security concerns because of threatening or harassing behavior that they’re receiving … and that we’ve had to take steps for a number of people in our office to mitigate the risk.

Nevertheless, Jordan persisted, to his very last question to include those names in this transcript (I assume he’ll send out letters under their names, as he has with others involved in these investigations).

In the Tim Thibault interview, in which it became clear over time that Republicans had ruined the career and reputation of the guy who had led investigations into two Democratic members of Congress and single-handedly opened an investigation, in 2016, into the Clinton Foundation off of Clinton Cash based off the unsubstantiated claims of others trying to get payback, Thibault described not just how he was targeted — for which he accepted a good deal of the blame on account of his social media posts — but how others were impugned by association.

[T]hose two agents that worked on the Tony Bobulinski EC, I’m aware that they received significant backlash for only doing their job. Why? Because of my social media conduct and Mr. Bobulinski thinking I was a bad agent, that put them in a bad spotlight. Those are the guys that are the victims, the true victims. And no one came and spoke on their behalf. Right? They — they’re just line agents doing their darn job.

As one Democratic staffer noted, though none of 18 sources for such claims to Jordan’s committees have offered any corroboration for the claims, Jordan and his staffers nevertheless continued to push the claims to the media. “[T]he public push or allegations that were being sort of repeated by this committee never stopped.” Jordan is cultivating rumors about the FBI and other agencies to foster retaliation campaigns in the media.

His actions with Fani Willis are perhaps most telling. Jordan first started tampering in Willis’ investigation in August, though — perhaps having learned his lesson when he similarly tampered in Alvin Bragg’s case — he has chosen to send letters rather than subpoenas.

As is the norm for Jordan, his claims are based on conspiracy theories from biased sources. His most recent letter for example, dated to September 27, sources his claim that “there are credible reports” that Willis coordinated with Jack Smith to two articles, one ten months old.

Finally, there are credible reports that your investigation and indictment was coordinated with the Department of Justice and Special Counsel Jack Smith. 30

30 Josh Gerstein, Prosecutor in Trump documents case has history pursuing prominent politicians, POLITICO (June 13, 2023); Jerry Dunleavy, Trump special counsel Jack Smith was involved in Lois Lerner IRS scandal, WASHINGTON EXAMINER (Nov. 25, 2022). [links added]

Not even the propaganda outlet, Washington Examiner, supports Jordan’s claim. Neither of those stories even mention either Willis or Georgia.

Notably, Jordan doesn’t note that in his September 12 interview — an interview conducted just over two weeks before he sent this letter — Thibault denied interacting with Willis’ team four times: “No, ma’am. … Never. … Never. … No, ma’am.” Jordan doesn’t note that this particular conspiracy theory — which, even if true, would be squarely within the expectation that state and federal law enforcement can cooperate and share information — has not been substantiated by a guy who would have had firsthand visibility (though, because of the delay in predicating an investigation against the fake electors, only on the earliest parts of the DC investigation; Jordan did not, publicly at least, ask Steve D’Antuono this question during his June interview).

A far more important detail from these letters is in Willis’ first reply, dated September 7 (which she resent as part of her recent response). After laying out constitutional reasons why Jordan shouldn’t get involved and referring him, as a non-member of the bar, to where he could information on Georgia’s RICO law, she provides ways that the House Judiciary Committee could more usefully spend their time, such as on funding for victim-witness advocates.

She then notes that Jordan should show more concern about the safety of people involved in the criminal justice system — precisely the kind of people that Jordan has instead sown threats against.

As it seems you have a personal interest in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, you should consider directing the USDOJ to investigate the racist threats that have come to my staff and me because of this investigation. For your information, I am attaching ten examples of threats this office has received. See Exhibits F through O. I am providing these examples to give you a window into what has happened to my staff and me as I keep the promise of my oath to the United States and Georgia Constitutions and do not allow myself to be bullied and threatened by Members of Congress, local elected officials, or others who believe lady justice should not be blind and that America has different laws for different citizens.

As noted, she included a number of the threats she and her office have received. We always hear about such threats, but only get to see what they include if they get charged.

The dripping racism of many of these threats is breathtaking.

Of particular interest are the two threats sent on the same day that Jordan first targeted Willis, on August 24, especially the one that echoes things Jordan included in his letter — such as the paragraph in which Jordan argues Willis should have charged this in 2021 and since she didn’t was obviously just trying to impact the election. Even more notably, this threat appears to invoke Jordan’s campaign against Willis explicitly.


This is, quite simply, the language of the lynch mob.

And if the taunt, “Jim is coming for you,” is, indeed, indication that the person who sent this threat had read Jordan’s earlier letter to Willis, it means it took just hours for Jordan’s threats, posing as oversight, to translate into violent racist threats against Willis, her daughter (in the other threat sent that day), and the entire city of Atlanta.

This is not new. Jordan has been sowing threats against Donald Trump’s enemies for years, since the focus on Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

But even in his current position, Jordan is using his gavel as a means to tee up threats based on conspiracy theories, threats designed to make every single imagined opponent of Donald Trump worry about their careers, their safety, their life.

This week, Jordan will and already has been mobilizing similar mobs against his fellow Republican members of Congress in order to pursue even more power, an even bigger gavel.

Which is why all the stochastic threats Jordan has already mobilized deserve more attention.

184 replies
  1. fubar jack says:

    Basically it comes down to can Jordan threaten a significant portion of the gop caucus into giving him the speakership using the maga base. How many that voted no to Jordan in a secret ballot do the same in public?

      • wajimsays says:

        Just wait for the roadside IEDs; I predicted to many friends they are coming some ten years ago. These nihilist nutsacks are slavering for a real war

          • Roger Mexico says:

            No IEDs that I know of at the moment. But I do agree it’s probably coming. At the moment the power grid is under regular attack by people trying to trigger civic breakdown.

            The biennial power grid exercise is coming up next month. It’s an integrated exercise among power companies to try to prepare for this kind of thing.

            URLs obfuscated with an underscore.

              • Mister_Sterling says:

                I have to agree. The last 75 years have taught us that strong roadside bombs only appear in nations that are are under military occupation. Otherwise, they are a fantasy of the right wing in books like The Turner Diaries. I will say that the destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995 seemed like an outlier, until it was proven that the bombing was a direct retaliation for the 1993 Waco siege. So my theory is the big TNT explosives only come if the right wing militia movement (a) grows a lot more, and (b) feels cornered/trapped. But bmaz, nothing is too far fetched. I had a 767 fly into my office tower once. It was crazy!

                • bmaz says:

                  Where I live, am more worried about the giant potholes and crappy roads than I am roadway bombs. The 767 into building thing though, that was crazy!

          • Mart7890 says:

            I consult at factories all over. When BLM was in the news had four different maintenance men tell me about the upcoming race war and how they are prepping for it. I told all of them that I don’t own a gun for my safety and to please stop.

          • Carl Fors says:

            I would be curious to hear your opinion on the pipe bombs at the DNC and RNC then? In the USA? In the capitol? And you are acting like it is a ridiculous notion?

            (Long time lurker new account, not attacking, genuine curiosity why that seems ridiculous to you)

            • bmaz says:

              Yes, it is ridiculous. I live in a city where you have to drive on the extant roads, and have no fear whatsoever of IEDs in the road. This is total bullshit. And, no, the committee HQs pipe bombs are not analogous.

                • bmaz says:

                  On common American roads, no. Who is pushing this crap? Nobody need be afraid to drive around because of IEDs. This is truly moronic.

                  • trnc2023 says:

                    FWIW, I didn’t get the impression that anyone is suggesting that people stop driving for fear of IEDs. It doesn’t take a big leap of imagination given how brazen the RWNJs have become in the last several years. I certainly didn’t have “semi regular attacks on power grids” or “Speaker candidate engages in stochastic terrorism” on my bingo card a few years ago.

            • harold hecuba says:

              Will there be a pipe bomb somewhere sometime? Probably. But there’s not going to be some coordinated laying of IEDs or pipe bombs or fart bombs or whatever strewn across the US.

              Yes, there are crazies out there, but making bombs is much harder than using a gun. More important things to worry about/concern than whether we’ll have to armor up our vehicles, or pull open our mailboxes with a fifty foot piece of string.

              • trnc2023 says:

                I don’t think anyone suggested those remedies any more than anyone suggests wearing kevlar vests everywhere you go, even though we have 2 mass shootings per day now.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        This is what terrorism looks like. I believe Rogers was appealed to as “MAGA”–which now means get on board or Hannity will dox you.

    • ecsCoffee says:

      Congressional Republicans have already proven themselves cowards many times over; the very few who voted to impeach Trump after the insurrection are already gone. If they can reconcile themselves to support Trump for president, why wouldn’t they support Jordan as speaker? I’ll pray for a miracle but I won’t hold my breath.

      My husband and I have been debating the merits of Dem’s decisions not to “save” feckless Kevin McCarthy’s speakership. I’ve defended the Dem strategy so far, but I hadn’t fully thought through the additional risk that Jordan would pose to the 2024 elections, which emptywheel helpfully lays out.

      What sad times these are.

      • Spank Flaps says:

        I was quite concerned when McCarthy was booted, they’d pick someone much worse.
        The same goes for Mitch McConnell, and Putin!
        Maybe the Dems figured that even if McCarthy stayed as Speaker, there would be sham shenanigans in Congress/Committees through 2024 anyway?

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          Well Jordan, Comey, et al were all going ultra-Benghazi in every evidence-free direction they could concoct prior to the Gaetz debacle, so we’ve at least had 2 weeks of respite from that shit.

          Kev was booted because he was too conciliatory with the Democrats whom he’d backstabbed so many times that the Dems were too busy triaging their wounds to listen to his plea for them to throw him a life preserver when his own crew made him walk the plank — so cognative dissonance is, by definition, what these folks are mired in — and have been for decades.

          It almost doesn’t matter what happens going forward unless 5 Republicans are willing to jump their grounded ship and dogpaddle to Sanity Island. With Rogers stowing his own life preserver and lashing himself to Jordan’s mast, that prospect looks somewhat bleak right now.

          So MAGAtastrophe, here we come!

          You make decent comments, but they are always overly long. Really, can’t you work on that? – bmaz

  2. BRUCE F COLE says:

    In a very weird way, this stochastic threatening tracks tellingly with how he delt with his wrestlers at OSU informing him that Strauss was molesting them — by his responding to them that if Strauss ever did that to himself, he would “snap his neck like dried piece of balsa wood.” IOW, he was conveying suggestions of violence directly to those kids as a remedy for something he was innately incapable of remediating himself.

    In the OSU case, his inability to stop an actual predator was due to his cowardice — which he compensated for by making impotent violent threats; in the Fani Willis case, his impotence to stop a legitimate prosecution of his political sponsor is due to federal law and the US Constitution — which he compensates for by stoking the MAGAsphere’s violence-spawning matrix of delusion-fed paranoia and racism (because like breaking Strauss’ neck, it is something that he is only capable of alluding to as a violent, illegal “remedy” he disturbingly hopes, even urges, someone else might employ).

    Those two sets of behaviors are, again, weirdly like mirror images of the same personality disorder.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      A GOP congresscritter was on MTP yesterday trying to claim there were no credible reports that Gym Jordan knew about the wrestler abuse, despite several of those wrestlers specifically accusing Jordan in 2018 about his knowledge.

      So, the MAGA caucus goes LALALALA to avoid seeing their ‘hero’ get the coverage he deserves. Then if/when Gym gets elected it will be ‘old news’ like every other time there has been a scandal involving GOP types.

      • ButteredToast says:

        Don’t know if he was the same person who was on MTP, but Mike Turner, chair of HPSCI and someone who pretends to be reasonable, said on Face the Nation that no one had even alleged Jordan knew about the sexual assaults. Turner didn’t even say he trusted Jordan’s denials. Instead he outright lied and pretended there was nothing to deny.

        • Fran of the North says:

          This is just a different flavor / different day of the non-denial denial that is far to common with GOPers: “I haven’t seen that and so can’t comment”.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          That’s the one. The variation old ‘no one could have foreseen’ defense which is debunked since 2018 and several times in the last week. Of course, Kristin Welker didn’t call him out for the obvious lie.

            • Peterr says:

              Mandated reporters in Ohio are required to report suspicions of abuse of children — minors under 18. From what I have read of the allegations against Strauss, all his victims were student-athletes who were 18 or older.

              That doesn’t mean that Jordan shouldn’t have reported the abuse of student wrestlers on his team. Far from it. But trying to shoehorn this to fit under the state “mandated reporter law” for child abuse does not work.

            • Peterr says:

              Also, as I read it, the CA law does not cover Jordan’s situation either. CA mandated reporters must report abuse against children, elders and other “dependent adults” (i.e, adults unable to live on their own), and cases of domestic violence. It does not require reporting of abuse of adults.

              Again, this does not mean Jordan should not be held to account for not addressing this situation and defending the wrestlers on his team. It just means that a mandated reporter law is not a vehicle for doing so.

              • Susan D Einbinder says:

                Title IX requirements mandate that faculty and coaches and other employees who work with students to report EVERY allegation of sexual harassment — in CA, that includes discrimination due to race, gender, age, religion, etc. — whether the student wants it reported or not. We have to take an online training every single year (that has all white people in it for 75% of it before they show a person of color) that repeatedly reminds us that we HAVE to report it. Since Title IX is federal, he would be mandated, too. Yes?

                • Savage Librarian says:

                  In my experience, I found that the public library could also report abuses to the U. S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights because the library received some federal funds. Although it was racial discrimination that I reported, other kinds of violations could be reported. In fact, part of the resolution to my complaint was mandatory, systemwide training to staff. Strangely though, the City chose to title the training, “Beyond Sexual Harassment.”

          • Knowa Tall says:

            Yes. This is exactly what Condi Rice said after 9/11. “No one could have foreseen flying an airplane into a building”, as if King Kong hadn’t been made. And there are ‘serious’ people who would have her run for President. Apparently feigned ignorance passes for intelligent commentary in the MAGAsphere.

  3. BobBobCon says:

    It’s worth adding that Jordan’s Plan B if he loses control of the House is almost certainly to purge the House GOP post 2024 of anyone interested in things like funding projects in their district, fixing agriculture policies, or any of the traditional functions of a US rep.

    As minority leader he wouldn’t need 218 votes like he would to become Speaker, more like 90-100 out of the minority caucus.

    The House GOP during Democratic control was obstructive on major issues but cooperative on minor ones. That would end and the sole purpose of being a GOP rep would be warfare.

    And of course he could count on cretins like Carl Hulse of the NY Times to portray his radicalism as a function of Democrats becoming more extreme.

    • CaptainCondorcet says:

      And the worst thing is that a blue wave would give him that level of internal party support almost without any active need to purge on his part, as the seats that flip would inevitably be those of his internal opponents. Then it’s simply a matter of changing party rules (again, relatively easy behind closed doors as an embattled minority party) to ensure he’s immune to McCarthy’s fate. After that, conveniently assigning the few remaining “almost-RINOs” to garbage committees would finalize the sweep.

      But at the risk of incurring bmaz’s wrath by going morbid, it should be remembered that just three years after Stalin died, Khrushchev (who was certainly not Stalin’s preferred pick) delivered his damning “secret speech”. Why did it take three years? Because there was a massive internal civil war, and the truth of the matter was that no one could match the cult of personality Stalin brought as a leader, so they had to find an entirely different set of paths. I sometimes reflect on this history when I get disheartened by current events.

  4. Chetnolian says:

    OT The former guy is suing Christopher Steele’s Company in the High Court in London for a breach of our Data Protection Act in not preventing the dossier being leaked in the USA. He may be out of time (he is for libel) but if not, it should be worth watching. He is so keen he has voluntarily submitted a witness statement. Should be fun to follow.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Another clickbait distraction. I assume that having given a witness statement, he can be called in court to provide evidence. I hope his lawyers were paid upfront.

      Hard to imagine Trump can prove the leak was Steel’s fault, or that he really wants to go into Steele’s ability to keep private a work made for hire for someone else.

    • Fran of the North says:

      My impression is that this is an attempt at getting more free press on and to go on offense rather than constantly playing defense. I’ll wager that he’ll thro up more suits in the coming weeks and months.

      Any press on topics other than his indictments is good press.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      It would be good to hear from the barristers and solicitors on this for what UK law actually provides. There is another suit ballyhooed today but as I look at it I can’t see why Defendant-1 really wants the dossier in evidence because while there are flaws (remember Steele didn’t have time to analyze it before it was released as raw data) quite a lot of the information is on target.

      There does not appear to be a real tort here or there (though IANAL), because Mueller stated clearly that the dossier was not used as a predicate to investigate, nor is there any lost revenue in the UK AFAIK that would justify a legal action. What is the damage to remedy?

      Also, Jordan also has the problem of J6, being a critical cog for the coup and also flouting a validly issued subpoena for over 500 days to testify. That of course is why Defendant-1 wants Gym Jordan as Speaker, because all investigations will get sandbagged and FWIW will force Chuck Schumer to take up the torch. None of the Sunday shows seemed to ask about that.

      • SteveBev says:

        This is the 3rd set of litigation in London where Orbis and Steele were defendants/defence witnesses

        The first two cases are
        1: Aven & Ors v Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd [2020] EWHC 1812 (QB) (8 June 2020)

        2: Gubarev & Anor v Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd & Anor [2020] EWHC 2912 (QB) (30 October 2020)

        Both heard by Mr Justice Warby

        Gubarev was a libel case, arguing that Orbis and Steele were responsible for defamation arising from Buzzfeeds 10 Jan 2017 publication of the Steele dossier. He lost. He failed to prove the defendants were responsible for Buzzfeeds publication of the defamation. There was some discussion within the judgement of the overlap between this case and Aven, but it acknowledged there was more extensive evidence produced in Gubarevs case

        The Aven case was a case brought under the Data Protection Act 1998, which as I understand it from media reports is the central issue in the case Trump now brings.

        The issues regarding the accuracy or otherwise of the particular information affecting the Plaintiffs will be different. But it may be of interest to see how the legal and factual issues were dealt with.
        This is a complex topic, The result of the case was a very limited finding against Orbis on quite a narrow ground relating to processing information. There was a small damages award.

        Hugh Tomlinson KC represented the Plaintiffs in Aven, and represents Trump.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Gym Jordan is gutless, but he has a zealot’s fervor in working for his master, and for that purpose, borrows his master’s zeal as well, overcoming his lack of courage. Fascist regimes are full of such banal lieutenant-bureaucrats. Their violence is already palpable, and a whisper away from reality.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      Yes, and stochastic brutality is the backbone of every fascist endeavor. The Brownshirts and Blackshirts were exactly of that gameplan, as were Franco’s Falangists, as are the folks harrassing a large swath of the LE and judicial officials involved in bringing Trump to account at the behest of Jordan and the MAGA heirarchy today. Their constant refrain that we’re headed for a civil war is a key part of that stochastic incitement.

  6. Kelly says:

    “This is, quite simply, the language of the lynch mob.”

    It sure is.

    It becomes much easier to current US politics if you visualize it as a power hungry blood thirsty lynch mob, bent on installing their Chief Lyncher and merrily destroying whomsoever he decrees and everyone else they don’t like along the way.

    That situation is not going to change with the former guy in prison or dead. It’s this ghastly lynching-id we live with that is the problem here, and it’s not going to go away. Never has.

    I think that is the real reason political journalists must both-sides and horse race everything, because how can you write about approximately a third of the people in this country as bat shit insane nazi & klan types that actually want this lynching stuff to happen, including a ton of their media bretheren?

    • rattlemullet says:

      Eloquently stated to simply say that 33% of Americans are full blown racist. That number is probably low in reality. You correct in the fact that the situation will not change with the former president out of the picture. The cauldron of racial hatred first started to rise its ugly head when Obama was elected president. A black man in a White House. The when trump was elected the pandoras box of racial hatred was opened and given permission to be expressed openly in so many vile ways. JJ is a vile goon and may he never see the speakers gavel but I have no faith in republican courage to do the right thing.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      Yes, racism still permeates our society despite progress in stigmatizing it and, yes, much of that progress has recently been lost. Some of that backsliding is attributable to the mainstreaming of MAGA-denial of its existence, coupled with their faux-racist-victimhood theater, ala MTG, etc.

      I call that last bit “Bryant Donham Syndrome.”
      The Southern Strategy come home to roost.

    • Skelly00 says:

      American society is broken, in that significant portions of the population don’t feel any connection to different significant portions. It is most obvious in the rich, who feel nothing for the little people. It is apparent in the whole “they’ve earned their lot” attitude – the rich owe nothing to the common folk, not even a sprinkling of noblesse oblige. When the rich are worse than medieval nobles, it doesn’t end well.

      More and more that attitude is being reflected in the lower middle and working classes feeling disconnected from the rich and the power brokers, and the end point of that trend, from a sociological perspective, is civil war. There are historical and institutional forces resisting that trend, but they have been losing the fight of late.

      The whole world will be vastly worse off if this decline continues, so we are watching with dismay. I know most of those reading this site are all on the side of angels, but if Trump wins, there will be a bounty on white wings.

      • bmaz says:

        Huh. Because I live in the “American society”, and it is mostly fine. Where do you live when you cannot push shit on the internet?

        • Skelly00 says:

          Each paragraph above has a testable statement. Which statement do you feel is shit? Problems require accurate definitions if you want to solve them. The social fracturing is a (the?) root cause of the American situation. This is an old thread already, so whatevs.

          You have my email if you’d like to discuss this, but I know you have far better things to do with your time…and I’m Canadian, but have lived a few places over the years, including a stint in the US. When the US sneezes, Canada catches a cold so I very much am cheering for your side.

      • Knowa Tall says:

        In business, I do a “blue sky-black sky” analysis for when we need to make big decisions. No idea is off limits, but they all need to be challenged or buttressed. I think there is a non-zero probability of total social disintegration, but that is the lower bound, and try to garner information wherever possible to put a guesstimate at the upper bound. None of the major arrows are pointing in the positive direction, and it never hurts to have a safety/escape plan in place. On the positive side, a great majority of the current population is invested in some sort of status quo, and that argues against any near term disaster. But, as my economist friend says, “it’s all fine until it isn’t”.

  7. Golden Bough says:

    “At least for Gaetz (who might well be rewarded with a gavel in a key committee, were Jordan to succeed), this is about shutting down investigations into Trump and fabricating investigations into Biden from the fumes of five year old dick pics.”

    A more succinct description of the current situation could not be made. Fantastically done.

      • ButteredToast says:

        Jordan is currently Judiciary chair, and I heard that Darrell Issa is expected to succeed him. I could definitely see Jordan putting Gaetz in charge of the “Weaponization” committee, though. I admit to having no proof, but it would be no surprise if Jordan threatened to strip Rogers, etc. of their chairmanships (and put in his own allies) if they opposed his Speaker bid. Either that or withhold campaign money and back a primary challenger.

          • ButteredToast says:

            Maybe worse, in the sense that the news media is more likely to regurgitate uncritically what comes from Issa than what comes from a more brash and high-profile clown like Gaetz.

          • elcajon64 says:

            Issa was instrumental in the recall of CA governor Gray Davis in 2003. He was the first example I remember of an organized right wing effort to reverse the outcome of an election instead of trying again the next cycle.

            He also made his fortune making the world’s most annoying car alarms, so there’s that.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Not to mention the curious way that his car alarm company’s offices and warehouse burned down, a few weeks after he increased the fire insurance by about 450%. The fire started in two places and there were traces of accelerant at both, but arson was never proven.

            • Savage Librarian says:

              It’s ironic that Issa has something to do with car alarms. According to his wiki, he was indicted twice for car theft (1972 & 1980.) And in 1972 he pled guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm and was sentenced to six months’ probation and a fine.

              Born in Cleveland, OH, as a Christian Lebanese-American, I wonder if he knew or knows George Nader (Mueller Report) who moved there as a teen from Lebanon.

              • Greg Hunter says:

                Issa also slept with Mike Turner’s wife resulting in divorce. Issa was Turner’s best man at their nuptials.

                • Knowa Tall says:

                  That is some serious TMZ OMG! Even in the New Yorker article (showing how sleazy Issa is) from years ago didn’t mention that one. Perhaps it’s more recent than the article. But how do these people manage to be in the same room together?

  8. tdbach says:

    Spot on, Marcy. I’m old enough to remember when “the press” was a relatively small universe of newspapers, radio, and television news outlets. But I guess I’m so old I’ve forgotten whether horse-race analysis prevailed in its coverage of politics. Probably did, because it’s easier and, perhaps, more engaging to the wider populace. But these days, when our very republic is threatened, when a clearer and more holistic and scrutinizing eye is so needed, they stick with horse-race analysis, because, in their calculation, it avoids accusations of bias .Screw that. They’re being blamed as “liberal” shills for Democrats anyway. What is wrong with pointing out that the guy being put up for Speaker of the House has a long record of trying to use his power to thwart the will of the people and threaten foes? Just as it has been inexcusable of the MSM not to feature, at length, the serial criminality of Trump, rather than report at arm’s length investigations and prosecutions while speculating on their impact on his base in purely horse-race terms. The NYT and WP, among others, even today have a lot of investigative resources they could apply, but for the most part have not.

    • OldTulsaDude says:

      News departments used to be money-losers for the networks but then rode in Ted Turner and 24-hour news and unbridled capitalism crushed whatever was leftover.

  9. BobBobCon says:

    “almost no reporting has focused on how catastrophic a Jordan Speakership would be — the earliest death knells of democracy that the election of Trump, which a Jordan Speakership would primarily serve, would guarantee.”

    One of the truly stupid aspects of this is Hill reporters are ignoring the likelihood that the press itself will be a victim.

    If you get a Jordan-Trump combo, any reporter who uncovers dirt will be at risk of subpoenas demanding sources and threatened with contempt of Congress charges. Whether actual charges get filed will be besides the point — editors and publishers will back off.

    Part of the dynamic why Hill reporters aren’t taking this seriously right now is that they are unlikely to be targets. People like Jake Sherman consider their job to sit outside the Speaker’s office and file stories about leadership strategy sprinkled with anonymous sources from GOP insiders.

    It will be reporters on investigation beats, not politics desks, who are at risk, along with local reporters. If all of your sources are trusted lieutenants of Jordan, you know you’ll never be the one targeted. That’s something reporters who do real digging have to worry about.

  10. SteveBev says:

    O/T but sort of related

    I note that Judge Chutkan has partially granted the Government’s request for restrictions upon extrajudicial statements by Trump.

    One one the statements considered in the hearing was his post on TruthSocial yesterday (October 16,2023 at 4:38 am BST), some of the terms of which would violate the order.
    I noted that at the time it was mentioned in the hearing it had 6.2k reposts and 19.2k likes, both metrics have substantially increased.

    I think we can probably expect to see his “truths” recycled by his MAGA fans in a similar way, unless the order has been crafted so as to prevent the republishing by others of material which emanated from him, and which would violate the order if he reposted it himself.

      • SteveBev says:

        I had suspected that it would not be permissible eg to order him to remove content which he had posted prior to the order.

        The recycling of previously posted content will continue I suspect and be egged on by MGT and others no doubt.

          • SteveBev says:

            Yes of course.

            They are free to comment and regurgitate his comments previously made.

            It is an unfortunate reality that screenshots and reposts of “authentic expressions of his grievances” will be given further currency – but there it is.

    • P'villain says:

      Yes, my understanding is that he is barred from reposting things by others that would violate the order, but not vice-versa. And of course, the order does not apply to his campaign, sons, or other surrogates — though their reach is not as broad as his.

      • Peterr says:

        Don Jr’s will be, as soon as he regularly starts his posts with “My dad is being illegally banned from speaking on this, but if he wasn’t, this is what he’d say . . . “

  11. haydnew says:

    Josh Marshall updates:
    Late Update: Now another, Ann Wagner (MO), has flipped. The rationale is refusal to be forced to work with Democrats to elect a Speaker. Steve Womack seems to be the only high profile NeverJim who’s holding tough. My assumption now is the Jordan probably wins this. Though we need to see more to know.

    Later Update: I think this is close to done. Jordan is going to be Speaker. Maybe not tomorrow but soon. And in all likelihood probably tomorrow.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      She lasted four days in the ‘hell no’ camp. All this does is highlight how craven the GOP is, cowering before the prospect of the MAGA voters turfing them out in the primaries. They’re not entirely wrong to be worried, but being cowardly like this only encourages more demands.

      I don’t know whether the national ban on abortion (without de facto exceptions) or the resurrection of the Simpson-Bowles Cat Food Commission (about Social Security) is up next for consideration.

      • Alzero53 says:

        Is it fear of being primaried, or fear of death or injury to family or person? We do not know the contents of the calls and emails directed at these representatives.

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username, email address, and URL each time you comment so that community members get to know you. You published this comment as “Alzero p53”; it has been edited this one time to “Alzero53” which is the name you’ve used on previous 14 comments. Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • Peterr says:

          Here in MO, it is likely all of the above. Definitely fear of being primaried, but I would not at all discount physical fears. Lots and lots of guns in rural Missouri, and a definite anger at DC govt. During the height of the pandemic, there were parts of rural Missouri with shops that had signs saying “No Masks Allowed.” Jordan’s anti-DC, anti-Dem, anti-govt rhetoric plays quite well with these folks, and I am not surprised that Wagner reversed course. Disappointed, yes. Surprised, no.

          Five words should tell you everything you need to know about her district: Todd Akin was her predecessor.

    • Snowdog of the North says:

      And if *that* is elected speaker by Republicans, no one should ever listen again to claims that there is such a thing as a Republican “moderate.”

      • chocolateislove says:

        To paraphrase MeatLoaf
        The GOP will do anything to elect a Speaker
        But they won’t do that.

        I’m with you. If Jordan gets elected Speaker because no Republican will work with Democrats, then there is effectively no “moderate” or “reasonable” Republicans.

        Liz Cheney claims the GOP will lose the House with a Jordan Speakership. And all I can think is: If only.

    • bmaz says:

      Who is “Pussolini”? Do you think that is cute or helpful in the least? Why do people insist on doing this cheap garbage?

      By the way, curb your glee, the order is very limited and has no enforcement mechanism. Which is fine for now, it was the proper restraint by the court. But Trump will violate it. Probably today.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        From what I read of Parloff’s live tweet thread (last time I looked was about 3 hours ago), Chutkan got a laugh or two, so kept her humor and was very reasonable and patient with the defense’s (at times ludicrous) arguments, while making it clear that the electoral process has nothing to do with the judicial process in her courtroom.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, that is what I saw. As have said before, you have to set this up, and it is exponentially harder when the defendant is a former President and is now the leading candidate for his party in 2024. Chutkan did fine.

          PS: Even if not here at EW, Brandi Buchman is still doing work. Find her!

          • Purple Martin says:

            Agree! For those not following Brandi Buchman’s social media feeds (including me), she’s writing often on Law & Crime…this seems her latest:

            Trump campaign staffers can air their grievances after 2016 campaign NDA agreements officially voided by judge
            BRANDI BUCHMAN
            | Oct 13th, 2023, 3:53 pm

            Hundreds of former staffers of Donald Trump‘s 2016 campaign can officially air their grievances about their time on the campaign trail without fear of retaliation after a federal judge issued an order this week officially voiding terms of their non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements.

            Thursday’s order [link] from U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in the Southern District of New York formalizes a settlement with the campaign that was tentatively struck in January and then largely approved in June….


      • Matt Foley says:

        $11780 says he’ll violate the gag order by the weekend. He loves the sound of his own voice too much to shut up.

      • Kevin Hayden says:

        Seems like the new plan is to issue his threats via a make-pretend ‘Trump spokesperson’ now, that the gag order doesn’t extend to.

  12. johno808 says:

    Joe and Kamala should avoid being in the same place. And both should have a name ready for immediate appointment to VP if needed.

    • vigetnovus says:

      There’s an issue with that. Any VP candidate has to be confirmed by both the Senate AND the house.

      These are dark times indeed.

      • SteveBev says:

        The demonstration of support also gives the US greater leverage in trying to open up channels for evacuating civilians and getting more humanitarian aid on the ground where the civilians are being pushed towards, At least that’s what I hope is the case. Whether that will ultimately amount to a fig leaf for a cruel onslaught remains to be seen, but the pause in Isreal using ground troops is a good thing, The projection of US power on their behalf allows Isreali Government to pause somewhat without losing face.

        But obviously I maybe giving Biden too much credit for complex diplomatic strategy.

  13. tje.esq@23 says:

    Last I checked, the judge has not issued her written order, but I expect it might look like this one, which Trump used to BOLSTER his case that a gag order would be unconstitutional. Starts after number 29, under APPENDIX A.


    (Ironically, but not relevant – the Congressman involved in this non-binding-precedent case is the father of the lone-Democrat Fox News pundit who rotates the chair with Jessica Tarlov on The Five. Harold E. Ford, Sr. was tried and acquitted.)

    As Marcy’s post above eloquently demonstrates, it is important to not only READ footnotes, but also to CHECK if they support the ascertion they are attached to, which, I guess, Jim Jordan did not expect Willis’ team to do. I venture to add another: It is also important to read the Appendices, especially when the appellate court strikes the lower courts’ gag order and imposes ITS OWN gag order.

    For our IANAL’s, the techical legalese term for this failure is called “cutting off your nose to spite your face. . .”

    Or, perhaps, to spike your fate(?)

  14. Benoit Roux says:

    I am confused. Apparently one big conspiracy thing is whether Willis communicated with Smith. If they didn’t, then they didn’t. But what if they did? Aren’t professional in law enforcement supposed to coordinate and work together? Are there circumstances where communications between a federal prosecutor and state prosecutor would be illegal or unethical?

  15. harpie says:

    https://nitter.net/Acyn/status/1714030009751622021#m []
    Oct 16, 2023 · 9:26 PM UTC

    Trump attacks Chutkan: Her whole life is not liking me [VIDEO]

    TRUMP: A judge, uh, gave a gag order today, did you hear that, on speech [jeering], which I believe is totally unconstitutional, what she did. A judge gave a gag order, a judge doesn’t like me too much. Her whole life is not liking me. But, ah, she gave a gag order. You know what a gag order is? You can’t speak badly about your opponent. But this is weaponry all being done because Joe Biden is losing the election, and losing very, very badly to all of us.

    • harpie says:

      Chutkan’s gag order hasn’t been filed yet, but she described it in court today:
      Roger Parloff:
      Oct 16, 2023 · 4:21 PM UTC

      won’t restrict statements on Biden Adm or DOJ.
      i will however prohibit all parties from making or reposting statements public targeting Special Counsel, his staff; my staff; court personnel. statements targeting family of these people also prohibited as well.

      can’t call prosecutors ‘deranged’ or ‘thugs’
      can’t villify or incite violence against public officials.
      also going to [bar] statements about witnesses or substance of expected testimony. … there is real risk witnesses may be intimidated … other witnesses may be /73

      … reluctant to go forward.
      trump can assert his belief that this prosecution is politically motivated. but can’t launch smear campaign against participants in this case … no other criminal def can do that. he can’t either. […]


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      For Trump, it’s always and everywhere all about him. Pretty sure Judge Chutkan’s life is so NOT all about him, it would make Trump swoon.

      • sohelpmedog says:

        It’s very interesting that Chutkan did not include attacks on herself as part of the gag order (though I guess she could be considered “court staff.”) This removes a defense claim on appeal that she was motivated by being personally offended by Trump’s attacks on her – though Trump might make that argument anyway. I think it also demonstrates how judicious and how much above the fray she is. (Also how secure and cool she is.) I can’t imagine that she was laying a trap for Trump in that he may figure that she’s fair game, but perhaps he will snare himself in a trap of his own making.
        I think a good voir dire – and there will be one – will account for any bias Trump may have implanted in potential jurors, but the real danger is intimidation of witnesses. And has been pointed out here, there is little that can be done about Trump’s surrogates. “Who will say ‘will no one rid Trump of this troublesome witness?’

        • bmaz says:

          Good grief, people here really need to stop overanalyzing and freaking out on this. The court systems can handle it.

          • sohelpmedog says:

            Not freaking out at all. The gist of my comment is that the court system, through the voir dire and Chutkan’s judiciousness will likely handle it, though there are some things that are beyond the ability of the court system to handle, e.g. what non-parties might say or do. It is likely though that some witnesses may be intimidated (though that is not so much a result of what
            Trump now says, but because of who he is.) I also opined that it would be nice to see him get himself into some more trouble.

    • harpie says:

      Chutkan’s order:

      Oct 17, 2023 · 3:43 PM UTC

      JUST IN: Judge CHUTKAN has issued her formal gag order on Trump, prohibiting “interested parties” — including Trump — from attacking the special counsel, witnesses or court staff.

      She says Trump’s commentary poses “grave threats” to the proceedings. [Link][screenshot]

      NOTABLE: Chutkan has explicitly exempted Pence from part of the order because he is a current political rival. She also emphasizes Trump is perfectly welcome to criticize the govt and DOJ, claim the prosecution is politically motivated and maintain his innocence.

      Links to:

      • SteveBev says:

        I disagree that there is as wide a carve out for Pence in the order as Kyle Cheney argues.

        And there is another argument about the meaning of the order that Marcy thinks Trump may attempt to exploit

        On her Xitter feed Marcy has highlighted a possible tension in the framing of Chutkan’s order which she thinks Trump will use


        “TBH, Trump is most likely to test Chutkan by treating Mike Pence’s decision to uphold the Constitution–a key prong of his campaign–as a campaign platform, not witness testimony.

        It is both.”

        The relevant part of the opinon and order states

        “Thus, limited restrictions on extrajudicial statements are justified here. The bottom line is that equal justice under law requires the equal treatment of criminal defendants; #Defendant’s presidential candidacy cannot excuse statements that would otherwise intolerably jeopardize these proceedings.#

        Accordingly, and pursuant to Local Criminal Rule 57.7(c), it is hereby ORDERED that:

        All interested parties in this matter, including the parties and their counsel,
        are prohibited from making any public statements, or directing others to make any public statements, that target
        (1) the Special Counsel prosecuting this case or his staff;
        (2) defense counsel or their staff;
        (3) any of this court’s staff or other supporting personnel;
        *or (4) any reasonably foreseeable witness or the substance of their testimony.*

        *This Order shall not be construed to prohibit Defendant from making*
        statements criticizing the government generally, including the current administration or the Department of Justice;
        statements asserting that Defendant is innocent of the charges against him, or that his prosecution is politically motivated;
        *or statements criticizing the campaign platforms or policies of Defendant’s current political rivals, such as former Vice President Pence.* “

        Marcy’s focused on the parts highlighted *___*
        And I think it’s probably correct that Trump will try this out.

        However, IMHO any pretence by Trump that such “dual use” statements are outwith the prohibition ought to fail.

        The passage I highlighted #___# makes clear what the overarching purpose the order is intended to achieve.

        Having regard to that strong statement of purpose and intended effect of the order, it is clear that “dual use” statements cannot be excused on the grounds of presidential candidacy if they target the substance of testimony because as such they intolerably jeopardize the proceedings. Statements otherwise targeting Pence which fall generally within criticism of platform or policies are permitted.

        So Pence is permitted to be the target of criticism as candidate, but not in respect of matters touching on his foreseeable testimony as a witness.

          • SteveBev says:

            Sorry it’s a dialect term which means outside. Or more precisely ‘not inside’ ‘ not included in’.

            Habit I picked up from a Scots legal friend.

  16. Bob Roundhead says:

    Who knew being a wrestling coach with a connection to sexual assault of those in your charge would become a defining trait for Republican Speaker of the House.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      In today’s not-so-glorious Republican Party, eligibility for a top leadership position requires demonstrating a superb ability to bury your head in the sand, regardless of consequences to others. Looking at his time in Congress, it’s not hard to see that that is Gym Jordan’s only qualification for leadership.

    • tje.esq@23 says:

      The issue is not whether Jim Jordan knew or didn’t know about Dr. Strauss sexually assaulting OSU wrestlers. That’s a question of fact that cannot be easily resolved, because JORDAN REFUSED TO COOPERATE WITH THE $6 million INVESTIGATION that Ohio State commissioned, conducted by an unaffiliated law firm.

      The issue is that after Jordan was informed of the truth of the matter, he did not reach out to the victims he coached and express sorrow, compassion, grief, regret, or any other human righteous emotion. Instead, he named two of the 177 accusers and told media outlets they had criminal records and that another was a sleazy person out to make millions.


      All told, Ohio State has compensated around 300 sexual assault survivors, for cases dating from 1978 (college officials began receiving complaints in 1979) until 1998 (an average of 1 to 2 athletes sexually assaulted per month over those 20 years). Jordan coached at OSU for 8 of those 20 years (1986 to 1994).

      I’ve had the privilege of coaching elite athletes in 2 sports, but none at the college level, none in Ohio, and no wrestlers, but I have cried several times about this. If this happened on my watch and I failed to pick up on it, I’d spend the rest of my living days trying to make amends to my athletes, and see what I could do to make sure their futures stayed on a positive course.

      Jim Jordan is a victim shamer, victim blamer, and LOW CLASS RE-VICTIMIZER who has RE-TRAUMATIZED HIS ATHLETES.

      God, I pray his athletes show up tomorow for that House Speaker vote, and that the focus IS NOT on whether Jordan knew about the rampant sexual assault at the time. This red herring has distracted the media before, and is essentially unresolvable. He WAS INFORMED about the pervasive sexual assault of the boys in his care, was told the accusers were not lying, and that this happened to MANY of the athletes he personally knew and coached. He may have even been informed which kids WERE MINORS at the time they were raped.

      Jim Jordan, as Parens patriae, or “COACH,” in a 4 or 5 year role that would have more impact on the boys he coached than any college professor, mentor, or friend, not only failed to protect sexual assault victims at the time — a sin that many of us could conceivably commit — but, more grievously, Jordan failed to later acknowlege this as a misstep for a person entrusted with the care of children and young adults, and then indignantly refused to apologize to each athlete personally affected by his betrayal of their trust. Instead, he essentially, just spit in each victim’s face.

      This saddens me as a coach, but enrages me as a parent. This is inapposite of the behavior I expect from an adult that I’ve entrusted to athletically train, and physically and emotionally protect my child for 4 or 5 years, when I send him off to college. . .

      . . .and conduct that is inherently disqualifying for anyone vying to be elected “leader” of a revered institution, and who’d be second in line to ascend to the Office of President of the United States.

      • klynn says:

        Jim “The Dennis” Jordan – the “Not Quite As Bad As Hastert” GOP Speaker.

        Or “Jordan almost a Hastert 2.0 GOP speaker because they just cannot do better.

        Wish this reality would go viral.

        To think the GOP got Pizzagate to ho viral but the truth about their potential Speaker cannot, is a SMH moment in our history.


      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The issue includes Jordan’s abject failure to cooperate in the investigation. It’s an obvious red flag, given that his choices were STFU, protect his ass and don’t expose OSU or its athletics program – or protect the health and welfare of his student athletes. Nothing to wonder about why he loves Trump.

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        Well reasoned and well put, but I disagree that whether he knew at the time or not is moot — especially if you consider the fullest impact of Strauss’ crimes on those young guys.

        They had to overcome huge cultural and psychological obstacles to even approach the prospect of going public with their charges, let alone persevering through what must have been for them an exhausting investigation. Now they’re on the other side of that heroic process and their horrific stories have been publicly confirmed — and yet one man, who has a globally-amplified megaphone and the backing of ~40% of the American population, is calling dozens of those victims whom he failed to protect “liars.”

        This is more than “he said, they said” territory, it’s “they suffered, he sneeringly maligned.”

        Certainly your points about his failure to have a shred of humanity in the face of their post-traumatic suffering is spot-on, but separating that from that other facet of his cruelty — his insistence that the guys who were harmed while under his charge are actually harming *him* — is the low mark on the depth-gauge of his depravity.

        If they do show up today at the House of Representatives, that aspect of his evil nature will be front and center, and thoroughly, rightfully unavoidable; it doesn’t need to be litigated (which is the perspective I think you’re coming from), it needs to be excoriated.

        • Bob Roundhead says:

          I think both of you are correct. The historic rhyme detailing that there is a possibility of having not one, but two, wrestling coaches involved in the sexual abuse of those in their charge ascending to Speaker of the House is mind blowing. Both from the same political party no less. In one generation. I get it, take the high road. Respect the institution. But one party has a thing for nominating wrestling coaches who either turn a blind eye to sexual assault or are “life long serial child molesters”,as Hassert was called by the judge at his sentencing,to be second in line to the presidency. It is as if the universe is begging us to talk about it.

        • tje.esq@23 says:

          Yes, it’s hard not to look through “litigator glasses;” your point is spot on. I also think my view was myopically-female. Ironically, I think the ‘me too’ movement has potentially freed more women than men to come forward, so these male athletes’ courage was hard for me to weigh. I concur it was heroic!

          “Jordan’s case not being moot in the court of public opinion,” as you all rightly suggest, was a thought I chewed on all day. I adopted this perspective, above, as a strategy, I realized, visualizing myself (day dreaming) sitting in front of my Congressman, and when he regurgitated Jordan’s blanket denial that “he knew nothing” at the time (rendered in a perfect Sgt. Schultz voice), I’d respond that this denial was not germane to this *new* accusation and press ahead . . . basically, the up-front addressing, and shutting down, of the adversarial argument.

          Then I realized if I visualized it, I might as well do it, so I sent a more verbose^, complete rewrite to my Congressman and then another complete rewrite to the Washington Post. (And I encourage anyone here to do the same! Borrow freely, if so moved!)

          Someone has to loudly protest a victim-namer, blamer, and shamer being elected our House Speaker. . .even if only in my day dreams.

          Thanks for all the feedback. You all make me a more thoughtful person.

          ^ just kidding, Bmaz. I save my most verbose posts for here. ;)

      • timbozone says:

        Unfortunately for us all, Jim Jordan apparently comes from a place of heart where we all just have to shut up and take it so we won’t cause him any complications in his thirst for power and dominance.

        • tje.esq@23 says:

          I found it particulary galling that Jordan loyalists forced one sexual assault victim to retract a statement the victim had earlier made about Jordan’s prior knowledge of events, and ‘clarify’ his statement with this one:

          “At no time did I ever say or have any direct knowledge that Jim Jordan knew of Dr. Richard Strauss’s inappropriate behavior. I have nothing but respect for Jim Jordan, as I have known him for more than 30 years and know him to be of impeccable character” (my emphasis).

          Don’t know if Marcy’s label “stochastic terrorist” is strong enough!

  17. dopefish says:

    Re the Florida documents case, Roger Parloff has an article on lawfaremedia.org describing in detail the Garcia hearing for Nauta that went off the rails.

    Assistant Special Counsel David Harbach goes to the dais. After making a very minor factual correction in Cannon’s recitation—for which Cannon thanks him—he throws an unanticipated curve ball.

    He says that the impact of the conflict is not necessarily limited to Irving’s cross-examination of witnesses he represented. “In the government’s view,” he says, “Mr. Irving is faced with the same predicament when it comes time to make [final] arguments. A lawyer who suffers under a conflict is precluded by loyalty from arguing that a former client lacks credibility and from attacking a former client’s character. It flows from the duty of loyalty. It’s not specific to confidential information” that he may possess.

    Cannon immediately turns brittle and sounds alarmed. “Did you make this argument in your papers?”

    “Not in our papers,” Harbach admits. He says the arguments made in the papers were sufficient to show that a hearing was required. He’s now pointing out an additional issue. (It’s not a great answer.)

    At first, it is not clear why Cannon seems so upset.Why doesn’t she just ask De Oliveira to waive this other potential conflict, which he seems certain to do? But it turns out that Cannon is on to something. While Harbach’s curveball won’t have any impact on De Oliveira’s hearing, it will, in about an hour-and-a-half, completely derail Nauta’s.

    • EuroTark says:

      That was a very interesting read, thank you. IANAL but it appears to me that the government filings were explicitly about why a Garcia-hearing was necessary and did not require them to list the full arguments. Including all arguments would have been smart in the sense it would avoid giving judge Cannon another reason to stall out the hearings.

      Based on the hypotheticals the government offers, it sounds like they are not going to voluntarily bring up the reason for why Emplyee #4 changed their statement, but Woodward really shouldn’t be surprised by any of this.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I don’t imagine Woodward is surprised by any of it. Cannon seems to have been giving him cover. She’s not as interested in moving things along as either McAfee or Chutkan.

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        I’m not finding it right now, but one of the articles in the press about Cannon points out that in previous cases she’s had an unusually short fuse. Not a good look for a rookie.

        Some of her rulings also bode ill: she sentenced the doestic terrorist who threatened to blow up Pelosi to less than half the govt recommendation, only 18 months.

        That Garcia hearing didn’t need to be blown up. It shouldn’t have been difficult for her to assimilate the “closing argument” point that the govt was presenting into her mindscape without freaking out. The defense freaked out about it and that’s their job, but it was her job to judge and evaluate (and order a recess in camera if necessary). Instead, she made a scene in front of the two co-ds and reinforced the impression that she’s on Trump’s side to those guys, which probably cemented their idiot, self-jeopardizing decisions not to get independent counsel (I’m assuming Nauta isn’t going to jump).

            • bmaz says:

              I do not give a damn what you think “becomes” me. And I am not the only person here admonishing people in this regard. If you have unnecessary run on syndrome, you will get dinged. If you don’t like it, run on somewhere else. We know what we are doing without your assistance.

  18. harpie says:

    A list as of 9:42 AM ET from CNN’s Annie Grayer:

    Oct 17, 2023 · 12:38 PM UTC; Updated Oct 17, 2023 · 1:42 PM UTC

    FIRM NO:
    Don Bacon
    Mike Lawler
    Mike Kelly
    Carlos Gimenez
    Mario Diaz Balart

    Ken Buck
    Victoria Spartz
    Steve Womack
    Marianette Miller-Meeks

    Young Kim
    John Rutherford
    Juan Ciscomani
    Tom Kean Jr

    Gus Bilirakis

    • klynn says:

      He can afford those 5 no votes. The hold outs are their “drama” and will try to look principled and probably state “present” and not vote. Bringing the threshold down for a win.

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        Actually, with Bilirakis out, 4 will do the trick: a tie, but still.

        One thing that’s going to factor into a Member’s calculus around jumping in the life raft is the imminent vacancy elections coming up in RI an UT.

        RI (Nov 14) will give us a Democrat, Gabe Amo (unless the DCCC plans pulling another Santos debacle), and UT will either be a Never Trumper who’s anti-Dobbs, would have voted for the second Impeachment, and who voted for Biden (but who worked as legal counsel for an election denier)…or a genuine mountain/prairie-country Democrat, Kathleen Reibe.

        That changes the number of votes the MAGA Minions (they prefer that the second M is capitalized) can afford to lose (if the Dems stay solid and everyone is present) from 5 to 4, and it’s likely that if the UT-02 winner is the Republican (Malloy), she will not side with Jordan all that often (if her bio doesn’t read like her neighbor Liz’, I’ll eat my dusty Stetson), so that means that only 3 GOP votes will be spare-able in many Jordanic-crafted measures. That makes the “coalition-emergence factor” 40% larger (and Jordan’s bean counters 400% more nervous) and has to be acting almost like a gravitational force, giving the nervous MAGA-averse leaners
        the centerward momentum that their rusty moral gyroscopes haven’t provided.

        Short version: Not looking good for Jordan or the MAGA he “commands.”

        Again with an unnecessarily long comment. You don’t learn do you? Every time you blurt out on your keyboard, stop and think whether it need be that verbose. The answer is almost always that it does not need be. This is why you go into automatic moderation, you seem unable to help yourself. – bmaz

        • tje.esq@23 says:

          But with the shorter version like you suggest, Bmaz, I don’t learn anything!

          I understand page view and scrolling difficulties arise with longer posts, and the need for moderators to reduce duplication of thought, but I personally really value Bruce’s input. Is there a compromise that moderators could offer here? I’m starting to feel like I’m watching the Tennessee House in action every time Justin Jones picks up the mic to speak. (There was a complete cultural disconnect regarding the value of Rep. Jones’ speech and divergent views by party on when his speech was supposedly ‘off topic’.)

          I’m not trying to second guess moderation policies — the work you all do make this site an informative, SANE, space. I just thought I’d offer what I know you all welcome: a divergent perspective.

          And while it might seem ridiculous, the other day when you, Bmaz, wrote 5 entire sentences — almost an entire paragraph, I was so giddy with excitement that I counted all the words! I told my hubby that for once I thought you did that just for me, the slow-learner dyslexic who has trouble inferring and reasoning, so I would finally have a chance to figure out what the heck you were talking about! Finally, a chance to ‘hear’ your non-moderator voice: it was sheer joy!

          Thank you for that. Your verbosity, Bmaz, I greatly appreciated!

          I’m really hoping mods can find a way to continue to capture Bruce’s unique perspective. Perhaps loving encouragement to read and practice chapters 1 to 4 (pp. 12-23)?

          [ Link is a FREE DOWNLOAD OF William Zinsser’s ENTIRE BOOK 30e. “Site is not secure” warning is due to no ‘s’ after ‘http’, but it passed my health checker and downloaded flawlessly. ] http://richardcolby.net/writ2000/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/On-Writing-Well-30th-Anniversa-Zinsser-William.pdf

          or perhaps its modern cousin for the legal rofession? https://www.amazon.com/Plain-English-Lawyers-Richard-Wydick/dp/153100699X

          • BRUCE F COLE says:

            Thanks for the support, TJE, but bmaz is probably right in one respect: I could have done without the “clever asides” in that post; it would have made the information I was presenting stand out more.

            But you’re right that that info (without the jokes), which is germane to the general discussion here, still needed a modicum of verbosity.

            Some like Faulkner, some like Hemmingway, some like Archie Bunker (“Stifle, Edit’!).

          • Rayne says:

            I understand page view and scrolling difficulties arise with longer posts, and the need for moderators to reduce duplication of thought, but I personally really value Bruce’s input.

            Let me offer an edited example using your own words:

            Long comments challenge other readers, but I like Bruce’s input.

            Your own comment above is full of fluff. Bruce’s comments are redolent with fluff. Both of you blow off other commenters on mobile devices, as if this place is yours alone. It’s not, and that’s why moderators ask commenters to be concise.

      • theGeoguy says:

        Slimy indeed! The scuttlebutt is that NJ-07 was changed for the 2022 election to engineer a loss for Tom Malinowski. It’s probably no coincidence that Trump’s Bedminster property is in NJ-07. From Wikipedia: “The New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission altered the boundaries of the district effective January 6, 2022. [2] Although the district remains competitive, the district is more Republican than it was previously.

        Incumbent Tom Malinowski (D) faced 2020 challenger Thomas Kean Jr. once again in 2022. In the general election held on November 8, 2022, Kean prevailed, unseating Malinowski.[25] It was one of 18 districts that voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election while being won or held by a Republican in 2022.”

        • Knowa Tall says:

          Kean Jr. was gliding on his father’s coattails. Just last night I was with a former high-ranking NJ official who opined that Kean Sr. was the best of the former GOP. The son is nowhere near. Malinowski was a big loss for the Democrats.

          [Moderator’s note: You have been here long enough to know there’s a site standard for usernames as you changed yours to comply some time ago. Now you’ve created yet another username on top of your history of sockpuppet accounts since 2019:

          So_n_so (12 comments)
          Sonsony (6)
          Sonso (212)
          SonsoWY (2)
          So so (1)
          Knowatall (90) <<— the name to which you changed to meet site standard
          Knowaall (1)
          Knowa Tall (6)

          Because of your history, you'll be asked this one time: please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you, and use the username you've already established to comply with the site's standard. /~Rayne]

    • Steve13209 says:

      FWIW, I emailed my Congressman, Brandon Williams – (R-NY22) just now:

      “Congressman Williams,

      You represent my district and I am very concerned about the lack of a Speaker of the House. While I feel a vote for a new Speaker is imperative so that budgets can be voted on as well as other important Congressional work, it would be unthinkable for you to vote for Jim Jordan to be Speaker. His actions in Congress prove that he is an unacceptable choice to be Speaker of the House. I ask that you be true to your “independent voice in Congress” campaign ads and NOT vote for him. Find someone who would actually use the Speakership to improve the lives of your constituents…not to simply block legislation.
      Thank you.”

      I asked for a response, so I’ll let you all know what I get back from his office.

      • klynn says:


        The idea of an, “Anti-democracy and pro-rape by omission,” Speaker of the House is shameful. I still stand by Larry Hogan as a suggestion for Speaker.

  19. harpie says:

    1/6/21 10:23 AM at TRUMP’s Fascist Rabble-Rousing:


    […] And it should be a message to all the Republicans who have not been willing to actually fight. (cheering) The people who did nothing to stop the steal. This gathering should send a message to them. This isn’t their Republican Party anymore. (cheering) This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party. (cheering) This is the Republican Party that will put America first. […]

    (Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!) That’s right, guys. That’s the message! These guys better fight for Trump. Because if they’re not, guess what? I’m gonna be in your backyard in a couple of months. (cheering) [..]

    Guess what, folks. If you’re gonna be the zero, and not the hero, we’re coming for you and we’re gonna have a good time doing it. (cheering) […]

  20. Rugger_9 says:

    Listening to the CSPAN count of Jordan’s first loss for Speaker, it struck me that a half dozen or so GOP types did not respond on the first round, including LaMalfa of CA who I figured would have been pro-Jordan. We’ll see how they will vote on the re-call, but in addition to the 16 or so that voted for someone else (including Zeldin??) that scotched Jordan’s hopes this time. Jefferies 211 Jordan 199, someone else 16, meaning 6-7 did not vote.

    What a profile in ‘courage’ to not even vote while the outcome was in doubt.

    Jefferies 212 Jordan 200, someone else 20 after re-call.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      La Malfa voted for MyKev. So, Jordan has to pick off 17 more votes until tomorrow when the GOP that’s on the road returns.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        La Malfa’s District, #1, covers the north end of the Central Valley and the Sacramento Valley, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, and Tehama, and most of Yuba Counties. That is home to the biggest rice growers in the state. Aside from the secessionist nutters in Siskiyou, Modoc and Lassen, those rice farmers want sanity in Congress and access to world markets for their rice.

        McCarthy is a California boy, dependent on Ag donations. He knows where his bread is buttered.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      It would be a hoot if the next D nominator reminds everyone just what Jordan did at Ohio State by looking the other way, now that Stefanik opened the door.

  21. ButteredToast says:

    20 Republican votes for someone other than Jordan on the first ballot. Still not holding my breath for them not to buckle later, however. Alternatively, this could be a case where numbers stiffen resolve that’s usually absent.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      Congratulations Jimmy! You got the same vote count as Kevvy did on his 9th, 10th and 11th ballots and that was just 9.5 long months ago!

      I would love to post an inappropriate pregnancy joke right now about induced labor looking inevitable, but that doesn’t seem appropriate, lol.

      Don’t forget to breathe, Jimmy!

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