Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro May Have Inadvertently F–ked Over Trump’s Claims of Executive Privilege
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Donald Trump really, really, really does not want the January 6 committee to access records or talk to people who can shed light on what he was doing before, during, and after the attack on the Capitol, presumably because it makes him look worse than he already does, which is saying quite a lot. In arguing why various congressional subpoenas from the House committee investigating the insurrection should be ignored, Trump and his lawyers have asserted executive privilege, insisting, among other things, that it could hurt future officeholders if such information is released.
To that, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said the White House is not concerned about setting a precedent that could come back to haunt Joe Biden—or any of his successors—because “this president has no intention to lead an insurrection on our nation’s Capitol.” Other things the White House has said? That Trump is a has-been who lost the election and his claims of executive privilege are a joke, a position a federal judge seems poised to agree with. (“There is only one executive,” District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan said on Thursday.)
So that’s not great from the standpoint of a guy hoping he can just stonewall his way out of this thing, and another thing that’s not great for said guy is the fact that his campaign paid for a “command center” set up to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which may further undermine the executive privilege claim. And the sidesplittingly funny part about that is that the checks were reportedly cut after some nudging from one of his biggest Fox News supporters. Per The Washington Post:
According to Richard Ben-Veniste, a Watergate prosecutor, the use of campaign funds “further undermines a wildly broad assertion of executive privilege.… Executive privilege is typically limited to the protection of communications involving a president’s official duties—not to those relating to personal or political campaign matters.” John Yoo, the arch conservative attorney, agreed with Ben-Veniste, telling the Post, “If he acts as a president, he gets these things we talk about—executive privilege and immunity. But if he’s acting as a candidate, he’s deprived of all of those protections.”
In a statement to the Post, Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Trump, said the former president “is making executive privilege determinations carefully, based on the merits and in accordance with law and customs of interbranch comity,” and, it has to be said, the idea of Trump carefully determining anything based on merits and in accordance with the law is completely hilarious. Budowich also accused the Biden administration of “jeopardizing the office of the presidency by refusing to assert privilege over clearly privileged documents.”
On Monday, the January 6 committee said it is issuing subpoenas to more top Trump associates, including
2020 campaign manager William Stepien; former senior adviser to the campaign Jason Miller; John Eastman, the attorney who helped come up with Trump’s argument that the election was stolen; disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn, who wanted Trump to invoke martial law; Angela McCallum, national executive assistant to the 2020 reelection campaign; and Kerik. According to the Post, both Kerik and Eastman were “active” in the Willard hotel command center. According to CNN, Miller attended a meeting at the command center on January 5.
“In the days before the January 6th attack, the former president’s closest allies and advisers drove a campaign of misinformation about the election and planned ways to stop the count of Electoral College votes,” Select Committee chairman Bennie Thompson said in a statement on Monday. “The Select Committee needs to know every detail about their efforts to overturn the election, including who they were talking to in the White House and in Congress, what connections they had with rallies that escalated into a riot, and who paid for it all.” Thompson added: “The Select Committee expects all witnesses to cooperate with our investigation as we work to get answers for the American people, recommend changes to our laws that will strengthen our democracy, and help ensure nothing like January 6th ever happens again.” These are the first subpoenas issued since Congress voted to hold Stephen Bannon in contempt for ignoring his, CNN noted.
In related news, CNN reported last month that at least five former Trump staffers have provided information to the committee investigating January 6, either because they “believe they have information worth sharing” or to preempt a potential subpoena. So that’s not great news for the former guy!
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Republicans’ latest target: Big Bird
The GOP has reacted to the Sesame Street character speaking approvingly of the COVID-19 vaccine as though he told young viewers where and how to buy crack. Per NBC News:
Sesame Street has been addressing the coronavirus throughout the pandemic, discussing, among other things, vaccines, masks, and ways for kids to stay healthy, unlike Republicans, who think we should just roll the dice on which kids get to live.
Donald Trump’s chances of doing time in prison continue to rise
On top of criminal investigations in New York and D.C., the ex-president’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election is being probed in Georgia, a matter that is, according to The New York Times, heating up:
Aides to Trump did not respond to the Times’ request for comment; in February, a spokesman for the former president called the Fulton County inquiry “the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against President Trump.”
In a book published last week, Raffensperger wrote, “The president was asking me to do something that I knew was wrong, and I was not going to do that,” adding “I felt then—and still believe today—that this was a threat.” (Raffensperger has said that he would “gladly participate” in an interview Willis’s office.) In September the Brookings Institution released a 109-page report analyzing publicly available evidence concerning Trump’s and his allies’ efforts to pressure Georgia officials to “change the lawful outcome of the election,” concluding that the ex-president could be charged with multiple crimes, including “criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; intentional interference with performance of election duties; conspiracy to commit election fraud; criminal solicitation; and state RICO violations,” in addition to violations of more than a dozen other Georgia state statutes.
Meanwhile, Trump, who is not very bright, has continued to hurt his own case. At a rally in September, Trump recounted how he begged Georgia governor Brian Kemp to overturn the results of the election, saying he told told Kemp during a phone call, “Brian, listen. You have a big election-integrity problem in Georgia. I hope you can help us out and call a special election, and let’s get to the bottom of it for the good of the country.” As Norman Eisen, who served as a special counsel to Barack Obama, told the Times: “I think he worsened his exposure with those comments. The mere fact of his conversation with Kemp is evidence of solicitation of election fraud, because Trump’s demand was based on falsehoods. By commenting on it further at the rally, he offered the prosecution free admissions about the content of that exchange.”
Ted Cruz paints a picture of hell
White House instructs companies with more than 100 employees to follow vaccine mandate (The Washington Post)
House Jan. 6 committee issues subpoenas to 6 top Trump advisers, including pair involved in Willard hotel “command center” (The Washington Post)
Capitol rioter who fled to Belarus says he may seek asylum there (CNN)
GOP Rep. Clyde racks up $15,500 in mask fines (The Hill)
Doughnuts and Delays as Europeans Fly to U.S. After 600 Days (Bloomberg)
People “unvaccinated by choice” in Singapore no longer can receive free COVID-19 treatment (The Washington Post)
The Aristocrats Funding the Critical Race Theory Backlash (The Daily Beast)
“I moved my family off-grid to prepare for a zombie apocalypse” (The Sun)
Winning Horse Appears to Blow Cover of Trader Hiding in Florida (Bloomberg)
— In Major Shift, NIH Admits Funding Risky Virus Research in Wuhan
— Matt Gaetz Reportedly Screwed Six Ways From Sunday
— Joe Biden Reaffirms Trump’s Has-Been Status Over Jan. 6 Documents
— The Metaverse Is About to Change Everything
— The Weirdness of Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s Reluctant Leader
— The Jan. 6 Committee Is Finally Getting Trump Allies to Spill
— Jeffrey Epstein’s Billionaire Friend Leon Black Is Under Investigation
— Facebook’s Reckoning With Reality—And the Metaverse-Size Problems to Come
— From the Archive: Robert Durst, the Fugitive Heir
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Published at Mon, 08 Nov 2021 23:59:03 +0000