James Comer’s Second Impeachment Hearing More of a Circus than the First

The House Oversight and Judiciary Committees are attempting to hold split screen mark-up meetings to hold Hunter Biden in contempt.

It was going to be a shit-show in any case. Between the two committees, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Scott Perry all blew off January 6 Committee subpoenas. Ranking Member of the Oversight Committee, Jamie Raskin explained what Perry had done in advance of January 6 as Perry visibly seethed.

Neither Chair — Jordan or Comer — keep their committees in order. Comer in particular has problems keeping Majorie Taylor Greene from doing really outrageous things (Jordan doesn’t make the same efforts to keep Matt Gaetz in line on HJC). Indeed, she attempted to submit something into evidence that led to a halt of the hearing as staffers from both sides discussed whether whatever she had on placards could properly come in; they did not.

One after another Democrat used their turn to focus on the emoluments report they recently released, with Republicans dedicating much of their time trying to explain away that Trump was on the take of China during his presidency, while Comer desperately tried to tie a 2017 or 2018 payment from CEFC to Hunter Biden to his father, after Biden left government.

Every public hearing is going to continue to be like this — testament not just that Donald Trump has done what Republicans have found no evidence showing Biden has — but also showing that rather than government, or funding government, Republicans continue to sniff Hunter Biden’s dick pics.

Democratic Representative Robert Garcia even said that, dick pics, in the hearing.

This is the face Donald Trump has demanded that House Republicans show to the American people.

And then, to make it worse, Hunter Biden showed up himself, with Abbe Lowell in tow.

Nancy Mace immediately accused Hunter of having no balls, because it’s never a House Oversight hearing without Hunter’s genitalia being the central issue.

Comer failed to find a way to get CSPAN to stop tracking how Hunter and his attorney were responding. He similarly was helpless to prevent CSPAN showing his miserable face as Raskin made point after point.

Jared Moskowitz asked for a show of hands of Republicans who wanted to just question Hunter right then and there. Until — as soon as MTG first spoke, they all got up and walked out of the room.

Before the Committees broke for votes, Raskin was taking to calling his colleagues cult members, doing the bidding of Donald Trump.

This is the face of the Republican House. That’s what Donald Trump is demanding will be the face of the Republican House.

222 replies
    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Thanks, for the links, Harpie.
      My favorite part: “Spartz says that the mob attacked the Capitol on Jan6 bc govt–led at the time by Donald Trump–wasn’t doing anything for the people.”
      OMG, that’s funny! It should make an interesting campaign ad.

      “Now saying it’s Unamerican to call them insurrectionists. She says she knew a lot of people there in the crowd.”
      I’ll bet she did!

      “She says we have to decide if we’re going to be adults in the room.”
      I’m at a loss for words.

  1. ApacheTrout says:

    Democrats came armed with facts, and more importantly, stunts for sound bites to give the media things to run with AND understand themselves.Game the ‘refs’ is a solid strategy.

    • timbozone says:

      Good luck getting it on national news media though? Local, sure. National news generally panders to Trump when it comes to sound-bites.

      • Mike from Delaware says:

        One needs more than luck finding coverage of Comer’s circus in the national news. What is in the news this morning is Trump’s town hall, Trump’s Civil trial, Trump Can’t Make Final Arguments, Will you vote for Trump, Debate without Trump. There is some coverage of yesterday’s shitshow, (House GOP Advances HB Contempt Resolution after Fiery Hearing) but you need to look for it. Sadly, that news doesn’t generate enough clicks to be profitable.

          • SEASanders says:

            MTG was no doubt trying to raise the profile of the hearing by introducing some headline making graphics again. She was just trying to help get the message out, and look at how little thanks we give her. /s

  2. Rugger_9 says:

    It certainly explains the GOP desire for closed hearings beyond the ability to filter out inconvenient facts. Of course it’s a shitshow, and even if HB didn’t show up it would still be a shitshow. However, HB and Lowell proved once again how to get into the heads of the hyenas trying to drag Joe Biden down. One wonders whether Weiss realizes just how little he can deploy in his prosecution.

    Many of the most rambunctious GOP types like Comer, Jordan, Mace and MTG have pretty significant skeletons in their closets. Mace’s may not be as apparent yet but it’s only a matter of time after a bad breakup before the whispers start.

    So, why would Comer do this without making certain HB wouldn’t show? Correctly citing that Comer’s invite included public testimony, HB and Lowell just cut the legs out of any valid referral to DoJ for a contempt prosecution and just showed how partisan the GOP hyenas are. It will be interesting to see how this is played by the RWNM as well as the courtier press. I don’t think it will go smoothly, and FWIW, Comer probably did his crusade more damage than good.

    Also, consider the background of the budget votes coming due. The MAGA maniacs in the GOP caucus are mad at the Speaker for cutting a deal like MyKevin did, so perhaps the Comer hearing was intended to give them a chance to blow off some steam and pretend to be tough.

    • Peterr says:

      More likely, however, is that having failed to squeeze HB’s balls in a vice, the MAGA wing of the GOP will take it out on everyone else and jam up the budget votes.

      It is not beyond the realm of possibility that these folks are pissed off enough that they will demand Mike Johnson’s gavel, and we’ll be in for another couple of weeks of Speaker-rama! squabbling.

      Seriously, these folks hate to lose, and if they feel bad about being losers, they will find a way to make everyone else feel worse.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        The House GOP are classic losers. They are all hat and no cattle. They were the stupid kids in high school who didn’t understand the assigned reading and made fools of themselves trying to argue their positions in class. The lack of evidence in their arguments was compensated for by speaking loudly and for a very long time, using vocabulary that they were only somewhat sure of the definition. (see Gym Jordan and MTG)

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          “They were the stupid kids in high school who didn’t understand the assigned reading and made fools of themselves trying to argue their positions in class.”
          But in this case, the members know they’re behaving stupidly—it’s what they have to do for Donald’s approval.

          • Molly Pitcher says:

            Oh, I think there are a bunch in there who think they are very clever, but they are unencumbered by reality.

            • punaise says:

              Or as Jimmy Kimmel said of doofus QB Rodgers, he got two As on his report card, and they are both in “Aaron”.

              • Molly Pitcher says:

                HA! Better than the two Ss in ‘a**hole’, which also applies to him. He has really gone way out on the end of the limb. I try not to remind people that he was once a great Cal QB any more.

      • BobBobCon says:

        A big part of their expectation that they can jam up the budget votes is based on their assumption that the business-as-usual Capitol Hill press corps will treat it as part of the dynamic they’ve enabled since the days Gingrich was a back bencher.

    • Eichhörnchen says:

      “Correctly citing that Comer’s invite included public testimony, HB and Lowell just cut the legs out of any valid referral to DoJ for a contempt prosecution and just showed how partisan the GOP hyenas are.”

      It’s a win-win, from Comer’s perspective. Either the DoJ pursues the contempt charge, or they don’t and Comer, et al. bray about the corruption of “Biden’s DoJ.”

  3. lastoneawake says:

    I thought that MTG made it pretty clear that Hunter has balls.

    And today, he showed up to confirm it.

    • ExRacerX says:

      Nancy Mace: You have no balls!

      HB: With all due respect, everyone here has already seen my balls, Madam.

      • Peterr says:

        Her calling out Hunter as using white privilege was quite the “did she really say that?” moment for me.

        OTOH, as she’s a southern white woman, perhaps I should acknowledge that she certainly might know a thing or two about white privilege.

            • Peterr says:

              NOTE TO ALL COMMENTERS . . .

              If you are reading here and come across a comment with the user name “punaise” attached to it, *before* proceeding to read the comment itself you should immediately set down all beverages and move them somewhere safe. Emptywheel.net, its founder, moderators, and front page contributors are not responsible for any ruined phones, keyboards, monitors, or other devices that may be damaged as a result of a reader ignoring this note.

              YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

              But once your beverages have been placed in a safe place, by all means read what punaise has to say, as it usually provides a measure of well-needed levity in the midst of the great pain and chaos that lies at the heart of politics these days.

              Note also that we can neither confirm nor deny that rumor that punaise adds a hashmark to his computer case every time an EW commenter’s spit-take ruins a monitor, keyboard, phone or other device.

              • punaise says:

                Nice disclaimer Peterr… you’re a model of tolerance. Goodness knows I’ve given plenty of (usually silly) fodder to warrant being de-sand-boxed here.

              • eyesoars says:

                Too true!
                If there were a ‘spit take’ counter on each page, the damage might be counted into the millions. Fortunately, my cell-phone and laptop are fairly liquid tolerant.

  4. RitaRita says:

    When modern day Republicans are the majority, House Committee hearings are always more show than substance. Who can forget Darryl Issa turning off Elijah Cummings microphone when he tried to object? Or the 11 hr Benghazi hearing with Sec. Clinton? Or any hearing where Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan are members? The degradation continues and with little pretense that anything remotely resembling legislation or oversight is going to happen.

  5. Zinsky123 says:

    BOOM! That was one of the most masterful take-downs of the modern day GOP that I have read in a while! Thank you, EW! Yes, the current House so-called Oversight Committee is the lamest kangaroo court ever assembled and James Comer continues to reprise the role of Mr. Haney in Green Acres to a startling degree. I am now a very big Hunter Biden fan!

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Hunter Biden sitting there was like Frank Pentangeli in Godfather 2. The GOP’s circus was already a shit-show. Then, Hunter shows up and all he has to do is sit there to make them look even more stupid.

    • keith hanson says:

      Green Acres fursure. And MteeGreen is played by Arnold.

      [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 used a different email address than you did back in August which caused this comment to go into moderation. Future comments may not clear if you do not use the same email address. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  6. IainUlysses says:

    How will showing up and having the committee choose not to question him play out in court? From a technical perspective he didn’t show up when he was subpoenaed to show up.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      This is from Rugger9, back up thread a ways:

      “Correctly citing that Comer’s invite included public testimony, HB and Lowell just cut the legs out of any valid referral to DoJ for a contempt prosecution.”

      Hunter has now shown up twice while the committee was holding hearings and shown a willingness to testify in public, just as he was asked to do by the Committee. Therefore, one could argue, he has not, in substance, defied the subpoena. I’m not sure that would be a winning argument in court all by itself, but it works as a public demonstration.

  7. Matt Foley says:

    I loved when Hunter walked out on MTG; no one should listen to her shrill nasal whine any longer than necessary. I also loved when Fox cut away from her and went to Hunter. She did her usual fake smile to hide her MAGA rage.

    Jared Moskowitz is an absolute joy to watch.

  8. boloboffin says:

    MTG couldn’t help herself. She displayed the dick pics again. Sigh. Don’t these folks have a Speaker of the House to yeet back up Sinai?

  9. flounder says:

    I hope a Democrats take Nancy Mace’s speech where she eloquently points out all the important Civil Rights leaders and events that harken from her district, then uses them to make the point that except for her, Republicans don’t believe in Civil Rights for Blacks, and turn it into an ad.

  10. Badger Robert says:

    Much of this is the result of Gerrymandering. There is considerably less of this in the Senate.
    I posted a long time ago the best thing for Mr. Biden to do was show up. He did. And brought his attorney and few prepared quips.

    • Just Some Guy says:

      It’s not that there’s “considerably less” gerrymandering in the Senate — there’s none at all since U.S. Senators are state-wide elected positions, without districts or boundaries other than state lines.

      However since the Senate consists of two Senators for each state, no matter how small or large (population-wise, natch), by its nature it presents a related issue wherein a minority can exercise far more political power than the constituents it represents.

      • Baltimark says:

        I believe the word “this” in BRob’s second sentence is pointing to the same referent as the “this” in his first sentence — the agitprop drama. And there is indeed “considerably less” of that in the Senate, but still _some_. I’m reasonably certain BRob understands that there is no gerrymandering at all in the Senate.

      • goatrodeo says:

        One might argue gerrymandering is baked in to the Senate. Yes, it’s not called gerrymandering per se, the allotment of 2 senators to 700,000 population states and the same 2 senators to 20+ million population states, but the effect is very much the same. This allocation of senators is constitutionally prescribed, baked in so to speak, and thus far, the nation has abided. But it is not sustainable, imho. And as long as it is sustained, probably for a great many years to come, there will be a constant tension, along the same lines we are seeing now, as Just Some Guy describes “a minority can exercise far more political power.” Will this tension boil over? The more apt question is when.

        • Just Some Guy says:

          Agree with your comment in the sense that both House district gerrymandering and the composition of the Senate produce anti-democratic results, but the former tends to be a powerful majority enacting a method that deprives the political power of a minority, while the latter enables a minority to usurp the political power of a majority. Maybe that’s not a distinction that matters to some, but I find it important.

          Also I agree that you are correct about the Senate’s composition producing unsustainable results.

          • Baltimark says:

            I agree, Just Some Guy. Senste composition is a real problem but IMO we do the discourse a diservice by conflating true gerrymandering and the Constitutional structure of the Senate. Gerrymandering is a state-by-state lecel issue with at least SOME level of healthy bipartisan opposition and csn be fought without opening the Pandora’s box of a con con.

            Some takes can be valid but simultaneously non-useful or even deleterious in practical terms and for me at least, calling the Senate’s rural/urban disparities “gerrymandering” is just such a take. I’d give it credence as a debate judge but would prefer to keep it widely at bay in the practical trenches of gerrymandering reform and related public messaging.

            • Just Some Guy says:

              Your concern about “conflating” would be more convincing if I had done so. My first comment here was to note an inaccurate statement that could be interpreted to state that gerrymandering exists as an issue for the Senate.

              • Rayne says:

                Let’s end this exchange because it’s not on topic, capisce? The topic of this post is Rep. James Comer’s circus as impeachment hearing.

  11. WilliamOckham says:

    Comer is exceedingly bad at his job of being the Oversight Committee chair. Also, although it saddens me to think about what took him there, Jamie “Zero Fucks Left to Give” Raskin is the best Jamie Raskin for our country.

    • xyxyxyxy says:

      As far as Comer being exceedingly bad at his job, it’s the Republicans aim to prove that government is bad and they/we need to get rid of government and tear it all down.

      • RipNoLonger says:

        “…it’s the Republicans aim to prove that government is bad,,,”

        “… it’s the Russian/plutocrats aim to prove that the US government is bad…”

        One and the same. The (r)epuglicons are all pwned/owned/c[kompromised. The existing critters have no safe exit and will take everything down if they can.

      • Fraud Guy says:

        Never let someone who says government can’t work get into government and prove themselves right. I believe I have mentioned this before.

    • BobBobCon says:

      Both Raskin and Elijah Cummings before him make Comer look like a drooling idiot.

      It’s a sign of the absolute failure of the Capitol Hill press corps that they can’t admit it in the name of fake fairness and balance. And what that ends up meaning is that they grossly insult Raskin and the memory of Cummings by suggesting there’s any kind of equivalency.

    • Peterr says:

      Depends what you think the job of being the Oversight Committee chair is. Given that the MAGA wing demanded the Oversight chair for one of their own, back in days when they reluctantly agreed to elect Kevin McCarthy speaker of the house after God-knows-how-many ballots, it’s their job description that matters.

      His job, from the MAGA POV is to (a) not be a RINO, and (b) provide as many opportunities as possible for grandstanding by the MTGs and Nancy Mace’s of the House, as well as for ranting and raving by the OAN, Newsmax, and Fox ranters and ravers. They don’t care about the quality of these opportunities as much as the do the volume.

      By that standard, he’s good at his job. Not great, but good enough for the MAGA world.

      • BobBobCon says:

        Is he really providing as many opportunities as possible, though? At least in their minds?

        One of the basic demands of delusional people is that someone like Comer has a Pearl Harbor attack sized headline on the front page of the NY Times and a 22 minute special report on the evening news of every network every day.

        They also want the same thing at the same time from Jim Jordan. And the chair of the House Armed Sevices Committee, the governor of Oklahoma, and the school board of Polk County Ohio.

        It doesn’t matter if their expectations are remotely realistic. Is Comer really feeding the beast the way they expect? And will they devour him if he isn’t?

      • emptywheel says:

        I think he has done his job for the last year, but it’s about to get a lot harder, because his lies are less protected, and there’ll be more circuses like yesterday.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      In this particular case, I was referring to Comer’s ability to run a hearing. He was ill-prepared and ineffective at controlling either side. He seemed to have no idea what was coming next. He wasn’t even good at being sanctimonious. That’s one of the easiest things to pull off.

  12. Badger Robert says:

    I am old. But its time to recall the words of Joseph N. Welch: Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?
    The lasting damage that McCarthy did to the Republican Party in Wisconsin can hardly be measured. Make them all Joe and Josephine McCarthy.

    • punaise says:

      Speaking of old (as am I); I’m too lazy to link to it at sad and useless dot com, but the cartoon shows two old farts at a bar and one says to the other:

      “Kids theses days need to quit their whining and do what we did: be born white, male, and seventy years ago.”

      • Purple Martin says:

        Appreciate that reference. I’m going to save it and send it out to friends and family on my 70th birthday next month.

        Some will be highly indignant and reply with variations on a theme of Harrumph Harrumph.

        With others, I hope to inspire a number of punaise-worthy spit-takes!

        My Thanks, Good Sir!

  13. LaMissy! says:

    Jasmine Crockett goes for the kill: I don’t know how y’all are still standing you must be dizzy from spinning so much. Wonderful.

    • Harry Eagar says:

      Where did she come from? I’d never heard of her till seeing her on MSNBC last night. She’s spunky.

      BTW, this a.m. Fox & Friends is all about Wills’ love life, and Bartiromo is pretending inflation is still raging. While the Shit Show may have provided great entertainment for such as read Emptywheel. I suspect it was a non-event for Republicans. Or did they tune into C-SPAN in numbers? Is there a metric for that?

    • Peterr says:

      I hear echoes of Ann Richards in Crockett. The chief weapon used by Texas women in politics is exactly this kind of “bless your heart” critique/condemnation of their opponents, and Crockett seems at least as effective as Richards at using it.

    • Badger Robert says:

      Its the old joke about the third lady saying, My husband paid for me to attend charm school, where I learned to say “How nice” instead of “**** you”.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        Semi-related, when one of her friends complained about Harry’s use of the word ‘manure’ in conversation, Bess Truman sighed and told her ‘Do you realize just how long it took me to get him to say manure?’

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Representative Crockett is a sparkling addition to the House. Steel-trap, rattlesnake-fast mind of the best lawyers on that committee, along with the Southern Belle manners my mother tried and failed to pass on to me. I’m royally sick of the whole false eyelashes trend, but for her I’ll make an exception, because she wields them like the weapons they should be.

      • FL Resister says:

        Rep Jasmine Crockett of TX laid open Republican malfeasance on the House floor, had her speech trend on Xitter, and appeared on Chris Hays’ show all in the same day. She’s an articulate, committed, and clear-thinking young rising star in the Democratic Party.

    • LaMissy! says:

      She’s a freshman and former public defender. If you want more, there’s a video from MSNBC on YouTube titled “Bringing the Receipts”. What brought her to my attention was her comments about the documents found at Mar-a-Lago “These are our national secrets and looks like they were in the shitter to me.”

      Ann Richards would be so proud; Barbara Jordan, too.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I am none too pleased with MSNBC lately, but I do have to give them credit for bringing Jasmine Crockett to my attention back when she was serving as a state rep. in Texas. She’s always had that blazing star power, like a Southern AOC with less self-consciousness born of relentless harassment in AOC’s case. I look forward to the alliances she will form going forward.

  14. Clare Kelly says:

    “Nancy Mace immediately accused Hunter of having no balls, because it’s never a House Oversight hearing without Hunter’s genitalia being the central issue.”

    I’ve long learned to read Marcy’s columns on my iPad rather than my MacBook, where the morning coffee I inevitably spew meets no keyboard.

  15. harpie says:

    Lisa Rubin is in Engoron’s courtroom live-tweeting [with great annotation!] closing arguments,
    [she’s not real consistent about threading though]:



    Kise is now arguing that Trump is entitled to value Mar-a-Lago as a single family residence because nothing in Trump’s agreement with the Town of Palm Beach prohibits it. Suffice it to say that I expect a robust answer to this by the AG’s office.

      • harpie says:

        It’s easy to lose track of the rising MAGA threat on display at Donald Trump’s bank fraud trial.

        He has directed the insatiable anger of his cult on this judge & law clerk.

        Then assassination threats to them both, bomb calls to the court & now this

    • Rayne says:

      LOL Trying to think of single-family residences which bring in so much revenue like membership or entrance fees…I can only think of places not occupied by living owners, ex. Graceland, Hearst’s Castle. Good luck with that, Trump.

        • Rayne says:

          Name one, though.

          Might also point out that MaL could also be a “full-service resort”; access to its list of services went missing briefly about the time Robert Kraft was arrested farther north up Florida’s coast for buying sex services.

    • harpie says:

      Jan 11, 2024 · 4:21 PM UTC

      As a former securities lawyer, I find Trump’s lawyer’s argument about what financial information is and is not material shocking. What matters legally is whether information would be material to a reasonable investor/financial institution. 1/ [THREAD?]

      In Trump World, however, information is material only if it would have altered the decisions of the specific institution — Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management group — from which Trump borrowed.

      • SteveBev says:

        And on NBC live feed LisaR noted that Engoron intervened (again) to accurately state the law, thus dismissing Kise misstatement on the spot

      • Badger Robert says:

        If the credit worthiness of the recipient of the funds is irrelevant, don’t we usually consider that a gift or a bribe? Where did Duetsche Bank get the money? Inquiring minds want to know.

        • ColdFusion says:

          I like the part about Trump saying it’s ok he got paid millions by China and others because he provided a service for them. Well, what services exactly could the POTUS render foreign governments? If a democrat every said something like this We’d lose the GOP. They would all die of stroke within minutes.

      • Harry Eagar says:

        Plus, is it not a fact (though I do not know if it was introduced into evidence) that another division of DeutscheBank did decline trump’s business? So it is not correct to say that the documents had no significance.

    • harpie says:

      Marcy just retweeted Adam Klasfeld who is also live-tweeting, also with great annotation. Here’s the beginning of his THREAD:

      Jan 11, 2024 · 2:33 PM UTC

      [THREAD] Kise argues that the AG is going after Trump in a “victimless” offense.

      “It’s insane,” he says.

      The AG’s counsel Kevin Wallace argued it wasn’t “victimless” in opening statements, and the state almost certainly will dispute this assertion this afternoon. [THREAD]

    • Peterr says:

      Two thoughts . . .

      (1) Either Kise has never seen the agreement, or he’s lying through his teeth. From Article II: “The use of the land shall be for a private social club . . .” with no kitchen spaces allowed in the guest suites, and all kinds of other non-residential restrictions.

      (2) If Trump wants to value the property outrageously, under oath in Engoran’s courtroom, I am sure Palm Beach would be willing to reassess it and tax it accordingly. Given that Trump is claiming that this was the value in prior years, I am sure Palm Beach would be willing to send him a revised assessment for those prior years.

      • SteveBev says:

        Kise is deranged

        Apart from the factual, procedural and legal misstatements at one point he said

        “Kise to the judge:

        “Think of your legacy. This is precedent.””

        Per Klarsfeld thread

      • Rayne says:

        I swear after re-reading that agreement we could find numerous examples of Trump and Trump org violating the terms. I seriously doubt there were variances granted for all the events held over the years at the club from which Trump org earned beaucoup.

        I know there was a dispute with Palm Beach about his residency — he tried to get around it by calling himself (and Melania) onsite staff.

    • harpie says:

      Klasfeld at 5:01 PM UTC

      […] As his arguments closed, Kise hammered home a theme of “weaponization.”

      “I know that word gets tossed around,” he notes.

      But he argues the theory of the case hands “limitless” power to the attorney general in a way that threatens the business community.

      15 minute break.

      Rubin at 4:59 PM UTC

      “It’s not a license for the AG to strip individuals of all their property” just because she says so based on her interpretation of a “consumer fraud statute.” “Don’t do it, Your Honor.” And with that, Kise sits down.

      • ColdFusion says:

        Pretty sure it’s to strip a *company* of it’s property. If someone has all their wealth owned by their company to get out of paying taxes and things and commits fraud on top of it, that’s their gamble.

    • harpie says:

      Klasfeld’s new THREAD after the break:
      Jan 11, 2024 · 5:16 PM UTC

      Tweet #2:

      Habba tells the judge:

      “You are now being dragged through a political agenda.”

      Engoron interrupts and reminds her that closings are for the facts and evidence. He notes that he already rejected the bias claims:

      “I’ve ruled on that, and I’ve been upheld on that.”

      It’s going to be a long day.

    • harpie says:

      Jan 11, 2024 · 5:18 PM UTC

      Alina Habba, prowling the well of the courtroom, said this case started before Tish James was elected, pointing at the Attorney General. Engoron reminds her to stick to the facts, which she says she is trying to do, but that James’s conduct is part of the factual record. 1/ [THREAD]
      Habba then refocuses on Weisselberg and McConney, who she represents and said the Attorney General used as “pawns” because “they can’t get to the president.”

    • harpie says:

      Lisa Rubin at 5:41 PM UTC

      The last person to speak is Cliff Robert, who represents the people who perhaps have the most to lose, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who run the Trump Organization today and are their dad’s figurative and literal heirs.

      Robert has less than 15 minutes, but he’s focused: No witness has testified to Eric or Junior having anything more than “peripheral involvement” with the statements of financial condition.

      Robert is conveniently forgetting that a Trump Org. witness testified to a relatively recent Zoom call with those two specifically about the statements of financial condition.

    • harpie says:

      Jan 11, 2024 · 5:55 PM UTC

      NEW: Chris Kise asks for permission to have Trump speak. Engoron, “Do you promise to just comment on the facts and the law?” Trump starts talking immediately without agreeing.

      “This was a political witch hunt; we should receive damages for what they have taken our company through. They have no documents—they have nothing!” The only thing they have, Trump concedes, is the triplex, which was a mistake.
      “What has happened here is a fraud on ME. . . . The amount of taxes I have paid over this period is close to $300 million. They don’t want me here anymore. I have a problem; they want to make sure I don’t run again.”

      Trump goes on — without any interruption from Engoron or her team — and attacks James, accusing her of election interference. “You have your own agenda,” Trump angrily says to Engoron. “You can’t listen for more than one minute!”

      Engoron pleads with Kise, “Mr. Kise, please control your client.” Trump nonetheless accuses James of going after him for her political gain, including an allegedly “failed” run for Governor, at which point Engoron shuts it down

        • harpie says:

          The last email in the exchange [excerpt], 1/10/24 12:12 PM

          Engoron to Kise:

          Dear Mr. Kise,
          Not having heard from you by the third extended deadline (noon today), I assume that Mr. Trump will not agree to the reasonable, lawful limits I have imposed as a precondition to giving a closing statement above and beyond those given by his attorneys, and that, therefore, he will not be speaking in court tomorrow. […]

        • SteveBev says:

          The question now is whether the Judge is going to sanction Trump.

          The Judge clearly set out parameters in the emails.

          That was not a matter for consent by Trump. The only is of ‘consent’ was that he was required to acknowledge the conditions before the Judge would grant permission.

          Trump is clearly on notice of the conditions and the sanctions that would be imposed for breach. (By virtue of the acknowledgement of the conditions and attempt to negotiate them, by Trumps counsel on his behalf)

          Engoron has little option but to revisit the matter especially as there is a direct breach of the pre-existing gag order.

          • harpie says:

            Yes, thanks for clarifying about the consent required.

            The only is of ‘consent’ was that he was required to acknowledge the conditions before the Judge would grant permission.

            And, the conditions were those that
            any attorney would have had to abide by in closing arguments.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Engoron may be tempted to roll that amount into his final judgment, rather than create another issue for appeal.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              But since Trump theatrically stalked out of the courtroom after his banned tirade, avoiding an immediate response from the court, Engoron will be sorely tempted to sanction him, separate and apart from rendering final judgment.

            • SteveBev says:

              In actual fact I am not sure that the gag order was breached.

              Klarsfeld refers to all the conditions set out in the emails having been breached, but looking through the reports it doesn’t seem that Greenfield was referred to in the tirade. So that particular contempt may not have been committed, albeit that the conditions in the emails were otherwise fairly comprehensively breached.
              So the threatened $50,000 sanction for a breach of the gag does not in fact seem to be made out.
              However, bearing in mind the sanctions which had previously been imposed, a 50k sanction for new contempts would not perhaps be unreasonable.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I think Trump and Kise sandbagged Engoron by delaying the request to speak. Normally, such a request would have come up early, not after the defense had already exhausted its allotted time to speak. Not to mention, Engoron probably had no sleep last night, owing to being swatted again, this time via a bomb threat.

          Trump, of course, didn’t wait for Engoron’s answer to Kise’s request. He just vomited up the things he was banned from saying, but only took about a minute to do it.

          Trump knows he’s pissing off the guy who decides the facts and law, and settles on a final amount of damages. He must be hoping Engoron will slip and commit an error, or create a soundbite Trump can use through the election.

          He’s betting that the appeals of the inevitably bad for him verdict will take so long, he’ll be able to derail the most costly aspects of them. I don’t imagine odds makers in Vegas will give him much chance of that.

          • SteveBev says:

            It is definitely a poser for the Judge.

            A contempt in the face of the court is difficult to ignore or soft pedal on.

            And more so in the face of warnings that were set out with clarity.


            • SteveBev says:

              A fuller write up of the incident by Klarsfeld

              Which concludes with this
              “Engoron, narrowing his eyes on the former president, silently allowed the speech to proceed and then interjected after Trump claimed he never had a problem.

              “You said you never had a problem. Haven’t you been sued before?” the judge asked.

              “I’ve been sued,” Trump replied

              “Isn’t that a problem?” Engoron shot back.

              Trump told the judge that he cannot listen, and the exchange ended with the judge calling a lunch recess. The attorney general’s closing arguments will begin at 2:15 p.m. EST”

              A shrewd set of moves by the Judge, not allowing himself to be baited into precipitate action, establishing that he has taken in what has been said and is on top of the situation, leaving Trump to flounce off in a huff.

              I still think he ought to address the matter of the contempt at some point, but the headmasterly approach would be to return to the matter after the AG has completed their summation, keeping Team Trump in suspense like a gaggle of schoolchildren.

        • RitaRita says:

          Perhaps this outburst was another attempt to bait the judge into prejudicial conduct to bolster the appeal. Irritating the judge for that purpose seems more like a gamble than a legal strategy.

          Regardless of financial penalties, the judge should bar Trump and his company from doing business in the state. He has admitted that his financial statements are worthless as financial statements. His long time controller and CFO look like dunces and cheats and Trump and his sons profess to knowing little and caring less about the content.

          Deutsche Bank comes off looking more like a public relations outfit and less like a bank.

          No wonder we have periodic financial institution melt downs. Risk management is a paper tiger.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Deutsche Bank is one of world banking’s great bad actors. It has been fined billions just in the US.

            Just because DB made money lending to a serious credit risk like Trump, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have made a lot more money – or obtained other, non-cash value – if it had had more accurate financial information on Trump’s condition.

            • RitaRita says:

              I wish the media explained the issues in this case instead of just treating this as another Trump circus.

              I’ve heard comments that everyone in business inflates their net worth. Maybe. But the next time there is a financial institution crisis maybe people should look more carefully at customary practices.

              DB has had to clean up their portfolio. IIRC the bank told Trump to find a greater fool lender.

            • Dark Phoenix says:

              Didn’t the DB representative the Trump team called basically say on the stand, under oath, that DB didn’t care about Trump’s financial situation, because they were way more interested in having a high profile borrower like Trump doing business with them?

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                Given the frequency of its financial improprieties and the massive amount of fines it’s paid, just in the US, DB’s business practices are a pretty low bar. And HP covers a lot of territory. How about Bernie Madoff? He would have been HP.

                Wanting a HP borrower is not the same thing as wanting a borrower whose income and liquidity are so poor that he’s a walking default risk. Nor does it mean they would not have charged higher rates/fees if he’d been honest about his financial condition, or even have been able to sell the loan to higher ups in the bank as an acceptable risk without the covenants he almost certainly breached when he signed up to them.

      • -mamake- says:

        Thanks Harpie. I read this as it was posting on the Guardian UK live thread. I don’t for the life of me understand why the Judge didn’t stop him at the start when he did not agree.

        Another case of not setting firm (no hard) boundaries for this toddler tyrant…SO frustrating! Grrr.

        IANAL so maybe legal minds see a reason here I do not.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I can see the rationale for Engoron’s decision. It takes much of the wind out of Trump’s sails in regards to the “unfairly silenced” argument; having allowed him to bloviate, uninterrupted, for five minutes–knowing in advance what the rules and penalties are–Engoron is no longer open to Trump’s most simplistic charge against him.

          That probably won’t save him from being swatted again, I fear.

      • Bears7485 says:

        INAL, but how often is a defendant allowed to speak in court while not on the stand and under oath.

        Perhaps I’ve watched far too many crime dramas, but wasn’t Trump in contempt the moment he started his verbal diarrhea?

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Apparently Trump practiced his “closing argument” for days beforehand. It seems like all Alina Habba practiced is her pout.

        Her pout has reached Melania level, but none of her legal arguments got out of the parking garage.

  16. harpie says:

    o/t…via Laura Rozen:

    Jan 11, 2024 · 4:23 PM UTC

    In Israel, sharp differences emerged between Blinken and Defense Minister Gallant, who has been promoting a postwar plan for Gaza that excludes a role for the PA and requires an international force including US troops to handle security, with reconstruction paid for by the Arabs [THREAD]

    Blinken’s team made clear that the United States was not willing to dedicate forces to maintain security in Gaza and that the only way Israel could secure Arab financing for reconstruction was through a credible path to a two-state solution, per a senior State Dept official

    In his meeting with Israel’s war cabinet, Blinken said that comments from Ben Gvir and Smotrich about permanently displacing Palestinians were extremely unhelpful and that Netanyahu needed to disavow them publicly. More details in my report from Cairo: [WaPo link]

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Thank you for that, harpie. This inquiring mind definitely wanted to know about Blinken’s stance, and wasn’t hearing it on NPR. At least not yet.

    • boatgeek says:

      FFS, Gallant must be delusional if he thinks that the US is going to sign up to be a police force in yet another Middle Eastern country. And, as Blinken said, that Arabs might be interested in financing reconstruction of what Israel broke when there’s no guarantee that Israel won’t just go and break it again.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Gallant is a ranting ideologue, part of the government that at best looked away while Hamas prepared for this attack, in pursuit of political ambitions. His current dehumanizing bloodlust for Palestinian lives looks from here like simply an attempt to retroactively distract from his own failures/calculations.

        • boatgeek says:

          The whole Israeli right wing has Israeli blood up to their elbows for supporting Hamas to kneecap the PA and prevent a 2-state solution. Gallant is just a poster child. I can only hope that the Israeli public will see that at the next election, which I hope will be very soon.

          • Matt___B says:

            Problem is that the Israeli government has been remarkably unstable since 2019 – they’ve had 5 elections since then! It’s a parliamentary system with multiple parties which means a coaltion government is a must since there is no majority party (at least not since 1969). Netanyahu, in his 3rd term, has chosen to partner with the Israeli equivalent of MAGA and the results are plain to see. Plus, because Israel has similar statutes (laws? rules?) as the U.S. does about a serving Prime Minister being immune from prosecution while in office, he’s avoiding attending his own corruption trial, which was begun right before he won the latest election. Too many similarities to what’s going on here. His attempt to “reform” the Israeli judiciary is a preview for what Trump could try to do here…

  17. MsJennyMD says:

    Jimmy Kimmel monologue last night
    Republicans Thrown into a Tizzy Over Hunter Biden Surprise Visit, DeSantis vs Haley & Where’s Iowa?

    LOL, Best Line: “Nancy Mace immediately accused Hunter of having no balls, because it’s never a House Oversight hearing without Hunter’s genitalia being the central issue.”

  18. harpie says:

    Afternoon closing arguments in Engoron’s court:

    Lisa Rubin
    Jan 11, 2024 · 7:23 PM UTC

    NEW: Kevin Wallace is about to begin for the Attorney General’s office. He says this is deja vu because all of the arguments have been made before. And the law of the case remains that the statements of financial condition were false and misleading for years.

    Adam Klasfeld:
    Jan 11, 2024 · 7:23 PM UTC

    Assistant AG Kevin Wallace kicks off his closing arguments with a Watergate reference:

    “What did the defendants know, and when did they know it?”

    • harpie says:

      Klasfeld at 7:33 PM UTC

      Side note: Trump isn’t in court right now, as he’s reportedly giving a press conference at one of his properties: 40 Wall Street.

      Rubin at 7:35 PM UTC

      Engoron now asks about the severance paid to Weisselberg and McConney. Why is it suspicious? Wallace says Weisselberg got his severance after he was convicted and sentenced in a trial where he took the complete fall for the company.

      It’s also suspicious because the agreement says don’t go talking to the authorities. The amounts are suspicious because of the timing and the conditions, Wallace says. But he returns to defendants’ experts.

    • harpie says:

      Rubin at 7:42 PM UTC

      Wallace is dismantling the testimony of Trump’s 11 (!) expert witnesses, who he argues were not asked to render opinions based on deliberately partial aspects of the factual record.
      [about 5 minutes]
      Chris Kise just interrupted Wallace, who described the 11 experts as a “murderer’s row,” which Kise screamed was “outrageous.” Engoron is unmoved; Wallace notes Lawrence Moens’s valuation of Mar-a-Lago is only possible if one ignores the legal restrictions on the use of Mar-a-Lago.

      Kise is back on his feet, objecting that there is no evidence to support another of Wallace’s arguments: that the Trump Org. was bleeding cash. “Chris, just stop!” Wallace blurts. Engoron diffuses what could have devolved quickly.

      • harpie says:

        Rubin adds:

        (What Kise is doing is tactical. He is purposefully trying to break Wallace’s flow—and is doing so with some success.)

      • Dark Phoenix says:

        Is Chris Kise seriously trying to suggest that anyone in America wouldn’t know what a “Murderer’s Row” is?

    • harpie says:

      Klasfeld at 7:46 PM UTC

      Kise furiously objects after Wallace turns to what he calls the defense’s “Murderers’ Row of experts.”

      “To use that caustic term, that’s outrageous,” Kise declares.

      Engoron: “I take it to be poetic license, not literal.”

      Engoron asks if he was accusing the defense experts of being murderers.

      Wallace: “No, I was accusing them of being the ’27 Yankees.” (laughter)

      Klasfeld links to this:

        • harpie says:

          re the above, Dan Alexander at 8:01 PM UTC

          9/ The attorney general’s office then shows a slide suggesting that, if Trump had been forced to pay higher interest rates, he would have either (a) run out of cash or (b) had to cut back some of his expenditures, like funding a presidential campaign. Super interesting.

          Marcy links to Alexander:
          Jan 11, 2024 · 9:32 PM UTC

          This is particularly interesting given the allegation that Egypt gave Trump $10M in September 2016.

          …I found it particularly interesting when the years 2016-2017 came up.

    • harpie says:

      Rubin at 7:55 PM UTC

      Wallace is arguing that by 2016, Trump’s liquidity was of real concern to Deutsche Bank, and had Trump been honest about his assets, he would have been close to the liquidity threshold that DB had set. By 2017, Trump had a real “cash crunch.”

      It was so bad that they borrowed $12 million from Ladder Capital to pay the Trump University settlement, sold a penthouse in which Ivanka had lived for 60 cents on the dollar. The interest rates were critical to them; without those savings, there wasn’t enough cash to do it all!

      Without the interest rate savings, he would have been below DB’s $50 million required in cash in 2016, and it would have gotten even worse in future years.

    • harpie says:

      Jan 11, 2024 · 8:03 PM UTC

      Now we’re hearing from AG special litigation counsel Andrew Amer.

      He asserts that the state already proved that Trump had “intent to defraud.”

      Rubin at 8:08 PM UTC

      Now, Andrew Amer is up for the AG to talk about the testimonial evidence of intent. McConney admitted that he included Trump foundation cash on the spreadsheet one year, only to be blocked by Bender.

      But McConney nonetheless included another significant source of cash Trump did not control “year after year,” which Amer says is proof that he knew what he was doing was wrong.

      Amer: I wasn’t going to spend more time on materiality because it seems so obvious. But “it clearly is an objective standard in New York; it’s what a reasonable banker would think.

    • harpie says:

      Klasfeld at 8:23 PM UTC

      McConney testified that he had a copy of the deed restricting the use of Mar-a-Lago when he valued the property.

      Amer argues that this is knowledge of fraud.

      The AG’s counsel displays this transcript passage of McConney’s testimony about Mar-a-Lago.

      Q: And why was it not valued as a private club?
      A: I don’t remember off the top of my head.

      Amer, incredulous, asks: “Really, your honor?

      Amer calls the exchange even more remarkable because it wasn’t a surprise question from the government’s cross-examination.

      It was a question by McConney’s own lawyer, Amer notes.

    • harpie says:

      Back from break

      Jan 11, 2024 · 8:59 PM UTC

      NEW: In the final stretch of their closing argument, the New York AG’s office focuses on Trump’s own intent. He testified he reviewed and approved the final versions of the statements of financial condition and occasionally had comments.

      After reminding the court that Cohen testified he was tasked with “reverse engineering” valuations based on Trump’s goals for his net worth, Andrew Amer notes the defense never asked Trump (or Weisselberg) to confirm that did not happen.

      Jan 11, 2024 · 8:57 PM UTC

      We’re back.

      Amer turns to what the evidence says about Trump’s conduct.

      McConney confirmed that Trump got final review of the financial statements, a proposition that’s undisputed, according to court documents.

      Amer turns to Michael Cohen’s testimony that Trump directed him to “reverse engineer” the assets to reach an “arbitrarily” elected number.

      The defense attorneys laugh quietly among each other at this statement, after having attacked Cohen’s credibility.

    • harpie says:

      Rubin at 9:21 PM UTC

      Engoron interrupts to ask about Don Jr. and Eric’s intent. “I don’t see the evidence.”

      Amer’s response? They held themselves out to the world as co-CEOs and represented they were fulfilling their legal responsibilities as trustee or CEO and then “put their heads in the sand.” That kind of recklessness is enough from which the court can infer intent.

      Engoron: “But you are not claiming Don Jr. had actual knowledge of the fraud?” Amer allows that Don Jr’s knowledge is more constructive knowledge.

      But with respect to the 2021 statements of financial condition, Don Jr. had actual knowledge, Amer argues, because he approved how the statement would be put together on the call about which Birney testified.

      Paglieri at 9:20 PM UTC

      Justice Engoron just pushed back in a notable way, saying that the AG keeps stressing that Trump and his two sons knew there was fraud. How are you sure?

      Amer leans on the “head in the sand” concept.

      “They had the legal responsibility as co-CEOs, they signed certifications.”

      Judge: You’re claiming they had constructive knowledge? You’re claiming he ‘had to know.’

      Amer: “We’re certainly claiming that with Eric Trump.”

      But then his voice gets a bit weak when he discusses Don Jr., basically saying knowledge can be inferred.

      Amer stresses that, by 2021, both Trump sons would have had definite knowledge given their involvement in the business—and being atop the organization for 7+ years.

    • harpie says:

      Klasfeld at 9:31 PM UTC

      A bombshell question by Justice Engoron questioning evidence of Eric Trump and Don Jr.’s intent.

      Q: “What evidence do you have — I haven’t seen it — that they knew that there was fraud?”

      Amer responds there’s no “stick-your-head-in-the-sand” defense.


      “It’s either that you intended to defraud or you engaged in, frankly, gross recklessness.”

      • RitaRita says:

        Totally plausible that Eric and Junior didn’t bother to familiarize themselves with the contents of financial statements they signed, trusting their father, the CFO, the Controller and the outside accountants. It is equally plausible that they just did as their father ordered. Maybe the judge won’t find them as culpable as their father. But people who sign off on financial applications and paperwork are chargeable with knowledge of the contents. The judge should prohibit the three of them from doing business in the state.

        • RipNoLonger says:

          I’m sure Beavis and Butt-head were too eager to get on their private jet to a game farm to shoot helpless creatures.

          “Sure, just show me where to sign. There. I’m off!”

          Not sure how that works as a legal defense.

        • P J Evans says:

          I had to sign off on stuff at some of my various jobs, The one where my boss insisted that it was okay to do that when I knew that it hadn’t met those requirements…I was glad to leave.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Doing what their father wanted is inconsistent with not familiarizing themselves with financial statements. He wanted them to make sure they showed that he had a certain minimum net worth. So, no, not familiarizing themselves with what was in the f/s is not credible.

          • xyxyxyxy says:

            Calling a good percentage of the population idiots is not very nice.
            Have you ever read the full “Terms and Conditions” or the “Privacy Terms” of your bank account, mortgage documents or credit card application, legal documents an attorney or tax returns a CPA sticks in front of your nose or how about your medical providers’ HIPPA form before signing?

          • harold hecuba says:

            Yeah, what xy-infiniti said.

            We put our trust in our lawyers that when we sign that novel-like document for our mortgage, we’re not also signing away our firstborn.

            I hope all the Trumps find the hell they deserve, but Engoron has a good point: where’s the evidence that they _knew_ they committed fraud?

            Personally, I’m in line with RitaRita’s point, and they should’ve known what they were signing. Closing their eyes and sticking their fingers in their ears while their father engages in con games doesn’t mean they’re innocent.

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              Especially given that they were, very publicly and with much hype, supposed to be running things under / taking over the business from their father, star of The Apprentice and later President of the United States. Most of us would be extra careful then.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      No Business

      There’s no business like snow business, like no business I know,
      Everything about this I’m appealing,
      Every cash cow grievance will allow,
      Nowhere can I get that scrappy feeling
      than when I’m stealing, or from Moscow.

      There’s no people like snow people,
      they smile at quid pro quo,
      Even with a turkey
      that they know will fold,
      They may be stranded out in the cold,
      But they’d soon short-change it
      for a stranglehold,
      Just to steal enough dough.

      There’s no people like snow people,
      At trial when they are low,
      angles come from everywhere,
      They think of Jack,
      and when they lose it, they might attack,
      Where could they get money
      that they don’t give back?
      Snow braggadocio!


      “There’s No Business Like Show Business” – Ethel Merman at The Boston Pops

      • SteveBev says:

        Also late to the accolade party SL.

        Your excellent effort inspired me to attempt this contribution to the Trump/Merman showstopper song book

        “Everything Is coming up Voters”

        Here he is, boys!
        Here he is, world!
        He’s Arose !

        Curtain up!
        Light the lights!
        Play it, boys!

        Ya either got it, or ya ain’t.
        And, boys, I got it!
        Ya like it?
        Well, I got it!

        Some people got it and make it pay.
        Some people can’t even give it away.
        This people’s got it
        and this people’s spreadin’ it around!
        II’ll either have it , or I’ve had it!

        Hello, everybody!
        My game ‘s Votes. What’s yours?
        How do you like them electorals Mr Chesebro!
        Hold your hats and hallelujah.
        MAGAs gonna show it to you.
        Ready or not, shhh, here comes MAGA

        MAGAs talkin’ loud.
        MAGAs doin’ fine.
        MAGAs gettin’ hot.
        MAGAS goin’ stong.
        MAGAs movin’ on.
        MAGAs not alone.
        MAGA doesn’t care.
        MAGAs lettin’ loose.
        MAGAs got the stuff.
        MAGAs lettin’ go.
        MAGAs got the stuff.
        MAGAs gotta move.
        MAGAs gotta go.
        MAGA? MAGA?
        J6-ers gotta be let go.

        Why did I do it?
        What did it get me?
        Scrapbooks full of me in the background.
        Give ’em love and what does it get ya?
        What does it get ya?
        One quick look as each of ’em leaves you.
        All your life and what does it get ya?
        Thanks a lot and out with the garbage,
        They take pleas and you’re battin’ zero.

        I had a dream.
        I dreamed it for you, Jenna
        It wasn’t for me, Rudy
        And if it wasn’t for me
        then where would you be,
        Miss Kraken Sydney

        Well, someone tell me, when is it my turn?
        Don’t I get a dream for myself?
        Starting now it’s gonna be my turn.
        Gangway, world, get off of my runway!
        Starting now I bat a thousand!
        This time, boys, I’m taking the polls and
        Everything’s coming up voters !
        Everything’s coming up voters !
        Everything’s coming up voters
        this time for me!
        For me! For me! For me! For me! For me!
        For me!


  19. lastoneawake says:

    At this point, all I want to know is if the Secret Service will interfere if the court ever/finally decides to hold Trump in contempt and escort him to jail.

    • RJames0723 says:

      I’m not sure how that would be much different than medics transporting him to a hospital if he became incapacitated for some reason. In either case, there is no threat of harm from the EMT or LEO.

    • Peterr says:

      They will not interfere at all.

      I am certain that the Secret Service has gamed out all kinds of “what do we do if . . .?” scenarios regarding Trump, including him being incarcerated.

  20. Yohei1972 says:

    We may be laughing at this farce, but unfortunately all the mud slinging might be working as intended. According to polls from this past fall, a majority of the public, including a majority of independents, thinks Biden Sr. had or may have had shady involvement in his son’s business dealings. At least one poll from last month shows half of Americans approving of the impeachment “inquiry,” and another showed half believing Jr. is receiving preferential treatment by authorities.

    This is the same playbook as with H Clinton and the butter emails: throw up enough smoke, and the lazy, clickbait-driven, stenographer media and the low information voters will conclude there must be fire. This contributes to the “both sides do it” cynicism that suppresses turnout by swing voters and enhances the impact of more committed and ideological voters, where the right has an advantage. They don’t have to convince the uncommitted voters that Trump is good, they just have to convince them his opponent isn’t enough of an improvement to bother showing up to vote for. It worked in 2016.

    I couldn’t find more recent polls on the public’s view of the Hunt for Hunter’s Dick Pics, so I suppose it’s possible that those numbers have improved with the intervening few months of empty flailing from House Republicans. But I wouldn’t bet on it. I’d love to see data that suggests I’m wrong.

  21. Badger Robert says:

    Ask the current VP, and the men who are former VPs, including the current President, does the President have immunity if he incites a mob to attempt to kill the VP? No more abstractions, please.

  22. c-i-v-i-l says:

    Letter from Abbe Lowell to Comer today, arguing “the November 8 and 9, 2023, deposition subpoenas to Mr. Biden and the contempt resolutions approved by your committees on January 10, 2024, based on those subpoenas were and are legally invalid,” and stating “If you issue a new proper subpoena, now that there is a duly authorized impeachment inquiry, Mr. Biden will comply for a hearing or deposition. We will accept such a subpoena on Mr. Biden’s behalf.”:

    • timbozone says:

      It’s an awesome way to point out how much time and nonsense these bozos have wasted at the public and the Republic’s expense.

Comments are closed.