[Update: SCOTUS has rejected Trump’s demands to shield White House documents from the January 6 Committee. The National Archives is free to hand it all over to the committee.]
While we’re waiting for the vote in which Manchin, Sinema, and 50 Republican senators kill voting rights and democracy in America, let’s take a look at the court filing from New York Attorney General Letitia James. This was not, I was disappointed to learn, a filing of actual criminal charges against the Trumps. (Note that James says she isn’t planning criminal charges, but civil ones, but we can hope.) Instead, it “seeks a court order enforcing testimonial subpoenas issued to Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump, as well as the production of documents held by Donald J. Trump. … Earlier this month, the Trumps filed a motion to quash these interviews, and the papers filed today by the Attorney General oppose that motion.”
It does appear that James has documentary evidence up the wazoo that the Trumps have engaged in fraudulent activity. The Trumps, of course, dismiss James’s evidence as just politics and animus against the poor, put-upon Trumps.
Philip Bump writes at WaPo that The Trumps always wiggle out of whatever they’ve done wrong.
Ol’ Donny Trump’s ability to wriggle out of jams has long depended heavily on the support of his allies and supporters — and, in some cases, attorneys. There is a massive ecosystem dedicated to helping Trump pry himself free from controversy, an ecosystem that is, by now, extremely well-versed in how to make that happen. It has been strained, as with the “Access Hollywood” tape or the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but no wriggle-proof jam has been identified yet.
So, yeah, until there are indictments I’m not going to hold my breath. One does wonder what holds the massive ecosystem of Trump support together, though. I know part of it is made up of his deluded supporters, and part of it is made up of people who see Trump as their ticket to their own power and money, somehow (even though this rarely if ever works). But unless there are other people further up the chain, people even Trump is afraid of, I question whether this ecosystem would have held so tightly together for so long. Trump is not that wealthy, you know. There are many other people on the planet who could buy and sell him several times over, I’m sure. And Trump is certainly not that smart.
People who attach themselves to Trump often find this association doesn’t turn out well — ask Rudy Giuliani or Brian Kemp about that — and now it may be the Oath Keepers’ turn to be tossed out with the trash. They’re in a heap o’ trouble. A filing today by the U.S. Attorney for D.C. includes photos showing Edward Vallejo carting what prosecutors say are weapons, ammunition and essential supplies to last thirty days into the QRF hotel in Virginia. Vallejo is one of the Oath Keeper leaders who has been indicted for seditious conspiracy. He and some other men at the hotel were a heavily armed Quick Reaction Force planning to move on the Capitol when signaled to do so by the guys in the Capitol buidling. What happened on January 6 was supposed to be just the spearhead of a larger effort.
Josh Kovensky writes at Talking Points Memo that the Oath Keepers were working with a Serbian national in Texas, who pointed them toward the 2000 ouster of Slobodan Miloševic as president of the Republic of Yugoslavia. Miloševic had tried to stay in power after a disputed election, meaning that he lost, but wouldn’t admit it. Mass demonstrations took place; armed police moved against him and persuaded him to retire. In the minds of the Oath Keeprs Joe Biden is Miloševic, even though Trump is a much closer match. In any event, they started planning the violent overthrow of the election in November, according to Kovensky.