Old and New News on Trump Investigations

Three sections of the Fulton County Special Grand Jury’s final report will be released to the public on Thursday, per an order from a Fulton County district judge. Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers are saying they really truly have looked everywhere and have turned over all the classified documents now. This time they really did. Cross their hearts and hope to die.

One of the last bits the Trump lawyers turned over was an empty folder marked “classified evening summary.” The lawyers were a bit miffed that the authorities even wanted the folder, which was empty. Trump was using it as a lampshade.

“He has one of those landline telephones next to his bed, and it has a blue light on it, and it keeps him up at night. So he took the manilla folder and put it over so it would keep the light down so he could sleep at night,” Parlatore [one of the lawyers] said. “It’s just this folder. It says ‘Classified Evening Summary’ on it. It’s not a classification marking. It’s not anything that is controlled in any way. There is nothing illegal about it.”

I’m not sure I’d take the word of a Trump lawyer about what is illegal and what isn’t.

Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush and Alan Feuer have a long article at the New York Times headlined Jack Smith, Special Counsel for Trump Inquiries, Steps Up the Pace. (No paywall.)

Did former President Donald J. Trump consume detailed information about foreign countries while in office? How extensively did he seek information about whether voting machines had been tampered with? Did he indicate he knew he was leaving when his term ended?

Those are among the questions that Justice Department investigators have been directing at witnesses as the special counsel, Jack Smith, takes control of the federal investigations into Mr. Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss and his handling of classified documents found in his possession after he left office.

I liked this part.

In addition to the documents and Jan. 6 investigations, Mr. Smith appears to be pursuing an offshoot of the Jan. 6 case, examining Save America, a pro-Trump political action committee, through which Mr. Trump raised millions of dollars with his false claims of election fraud. That investigation includes looking into how and why the committee’s vendors were paid. …

… A vast array of Trump vendors have been subpoenaed. Investigators have been posing questions related to how money was paid to other vendors, indicating that they are interested in whether some entities were used to mask who was being paid or if the payments were for genuine services rendered.

Of course Trump misused donations to his PAC, just as he misused donations to his old charity, and we still don’t know where the inauguration money went.

The intensified pace of activity speaks to his goal of finishing up before the 2024 campaign gets going in earnest, probably by summer. At the same time, the sheer scale and complexity and the topics he is focused on — and the potential for the legal process to drag on, for example in a likely battle over whether any testimony by Mr. Pence would be subject to executive privilege — suggest that coming to firm conclusions within a matter of months could be a stretch.

I’ve gotten to the point that I just want to live long enough to see Trump in jail. Sometimes it seems we’ll both die of old age first.

Next item: The balloons. Am I the only one not concerned about the balloons? The balloons are mildly interesting. They are not hair-on-fire worrisome. This was a scary balloon:

The recent balloons just aren’t that frightening. For all we know the smaller balloons shot down over the weekend were somebody’s hobby.

I’ve been writing nerdy history articles at another site called Patheos. Some of y’all might get a kick out of this one, on the British invasion of Tibet. I bet you didn’t know the British ever invaded Tibet. It’s not something Britain celebrates, I’ve noticed, even though they sorta kinda won. I even found an illustration, from a French magazine —