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 —

10 thoughts on “Old and New News on Trump Investigations

  1. … 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.

    The $64K Question is how much money has been laundered into Trump family pockets?

    The Balloons appear to be one heck of a lot of attention to very damn little.  The one-trick ponies on MSNBC have covered it on every program today – usually as the ‘lead story’. There is way too much coverage that amounts to 2 minutes of “what we actually know” and 13 minutes of speculation or sharing of the “Inside The Beltway” wisdom of the day.

    The history of the British Invasion of Tibet was interesting reading and I did get a kick out of it.  Thanks for the link.  Some things never change;  governments using their militaries for 'negotiations' and ending with egg on their face.


    • The British invasion story is pure farce. I only learned about it recently. Somebody should make it into a movie. But the Empire had to be protected from those dangerous Tibetan yak rustlers, you know. 

  2. Regarding the Georgia investigation: this is "imminent." Georgia requires a two-step process when a Special Grand Jury investigates. That stage is complete. The report and results are (I think) before a regular Grand Jury. The regular Grand Jury can recommend charges. (The Special Grand Jury delivered a report – only.) 

    I think the GA prosecutions are ripe and could drop, quite literally any day now.  If I was the prosecutor, I'd like to have Rudy roll on The Donald. I'm not sure if they have that yet. If/when Rudy sees charges and his team assesses the risk of hard time in a Georgia penitentiary, I think Rudy will want to make a deal. Thinking as a DA, if I had Rudy's testimony that he did what he did at Trump's direction, I think that's a Trump felony conviction because it establishes full knowledge and intent.

    With the disclaimer that I am NOT a lawyer, I think the Mir-a-Lago documents case is a slam dunk. To shut the door on comparisons to Biden and Pence having classified documents, only charge Trump with Obstruction. There is no obstruction with Pence or Biden. Get that case charged so it can be tried in 2024!

    J6 might get a lot less messy depending on how the Georgia case works out. If the Georgia case establishes Trump's intent to overturn the election as a legal fact, that's a big chunk of the federal case. If Rudy has rolled, he should also be accessible as a federal witness to testify to Trump's level of awareness that he LOST the election.

    The NY civil case is THIS year. The ask is 250 million for business fraud. Other civil cases (liability for J6) are proceeding despite attempts to get them thrown out. If those civil cases are heard in DC last this year, some elements of Trump's personal liability and responsibility for J6 will be tested in court. It might affect how DOJ presents its case.

    By the time the USSC hears the issue of Executive Privilege re Pence, the primaries will be underway. If the legal experts are right, Pence will have to testify to DOJ and it will be AFTER Pence knows that his aspirations to sit behind the big desk in the Oval Office is history. The Fetus People like Pence – he's the real deal while Trump was a useful tool. The money from the Christian fascists will dry up when the actual numbers Pence delivers are lower than the polls suggested. Pence won't go far in his own pocket to run. So that might all work out nicely.

    NY might move forward with criminal charges. If the civil case in NY goes well, might it set the stage for criminal prosecution? The DA is Bragg – I'm not sure what his political ambitions are but if he sees that prosecuting Trump will open doors, he'll go for it. That's the wrong reason but if it leads to the right action, I'll take it.

  3. "The Prisoner."

    What a GREAT series!

    But like you, maha I don't ever expect to see the former presiDUNCE as a prisoner in jail.

    And what would tRUMP's number have been on the island in that show?

    Number 2:  "Look!  Number XXXXXXL is ordering another couple of buckets of KFC, 16 more Big Mac's, each with super-sized fries, and 12 gallons of Diet Coke for dinner!  How does Uber know where our island full of ex-spies is?  Call in 'The Giant Blimp Ball” to chase the Uber driver down!  No! Not THAT one!!!!!  The white blimp, you idiots!  The Orange Blimp just got his dinner.  And after that meal, he couldn't chase down a statue!!!!!"

    End scene.

    Exeunt Number 2.

    • Will he go to jail?

      I think the question is whether Trump will leave the US to avoid the risk of incarceration. There's nothing to prevent Trump from flying out of the country on the day the jury begins deliberations if Trump thinks the prosecution nailed him. 

      But, but… the prosecution will demand Trump's passport when charges are filed. Yep, but Trump isn't gonna fly out on Virgin Airlines. Trump's pilot might lose his license in the US for flying Trump out of the country, but he'd be paid for it. 

      What about extradition? There is no extradition from Russia. 

  4. "I am not a number, I am a Free Man!!!"

    Whoever came up with the sound effects for Rover was a genius. Probably McGoohan, he knew exactly what he wanted, even changing the theme music from something languid and dreamy, to up-tempo and biting.

    There's a YouTube done by an Engish woman who visited Portmeiron (the Village), and it's very poetic, her voice overdubs with all sorts of coy references to various scenes from the series. It closes with a large sculpted head of McGoohan which sits outdoors in it's own little sculpture park. Wish I could give you a link, it's worth trying to find. Someday I hope to visit, it was a big part of my 60s childhood.

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

  6. You are *not* "the only one not concerned about the balloons" (except Rover!).  To me, the hysteria is the story.  It's a slightly different version of Wag The Dog, where media blows up a story and Government then has to go blow up something to avoid being called "weak" in the next election.

    OTOH, USA probably does need to develop new technology to fly up and inspect (and maybe grab) things floating at that height and speed.  It's an interesting technical challenge; we have planes that can fly that high, but only when going very fast.  But more importantly, we need to use diplomacy before force.

    Also, thx for the link to the history of the British invasion of Tibet!  


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