Jack Smith Looking at Trump’s “Disloyalty” Fires

The Big Move is almost upon me. I’ll be taking up residence in my new place on June 1.

I understand the House is going to vote on the debt ceiling deal today. It’s expected to pass, but we’ll see.

Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Swan report for the New York Times that Jack Smith has subpoenaed some Trump White House aides in regard to the firing of Christopher Krebs (no paywall). You might remember that Krebs was the administration’s cybersecurity expert who judged the 2020 election to have been “the most secure in American history,” which pissed off Trump.

The team led by the special counsel, Jack Smith, has been asking witnesses about the events surrounding the firing of Christopher Krebs, who was the Trump administration’s top cybersecurity official during the 2020 election. Mr. Krebs’s assessment that the election was secure was at odds with Mr. Trump’s baseless assertions that it was a “fraud on the American public.”

Mr. Smith’s team is also seeking information about how White House officials, including in the Presidential Personnel Office, approached the Justice Department, which Mr. Trump turned to after his election loss as a way to try to stay in power, people familiar with the questions said.

The investigators appear focused on Mr. Trump’s state of mind around the firing of Mr. Krebs, as well as on establishing a timeline of events leading up to the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6, 2021. The latest subpoenas, issued roughly two weeks ago, went to officials in the personnel office, according to the two people familiar with the matter. …

…“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised,” the statement from Mr. Krebs’s agency read.

Five days later, Mr. Trump tweeted that Mr. Krebs was “terminated” after releasing a “highly inaccurate” statement about the 2020 election.

It gets better.

Within the Presidential Personnel Office, a small group of Trump loyalists, led by Mr. Trump’s former personal aide, John McEntee, were on a mission to find and fire people perceived as disloyal to Mr. Trump within the federal bureaucracy. And they had fingered the outspoken Mr. Krebs, who had been appointed by Mr. Trump himself, as among the ranks of the disloyal.

Staff members within the personnel office had drafted a document about Mr. Krebs that outlined reasons to distrust him. The memo, first reported by Jonathan Karl of ABC News, detailed a litany of Mr. Krebs’s alleged sins against Mr. Trump, including: “Wife posted a family photo on Facebook with the ‘Biden Harris’ logo watermarked at the bottom.”

Jack Smith is also looking into personnel interactions between the White House and the Justice Department during the time Trump was grasping at anything to overturn the election result.

14 thoughts on “Jack Smith Looking at Trump’s “Disloyalty” Fires

  1. Speaking of loyalty I expect Kayleigh "Milktoast" McEnany must now have an enlightened perception of that concept after the years she devoted to debasing herself by publicly scrubbing the shit from his diapers.

  2. It might be better to start getting indictments on the cases he can make than chasing this rather wispy target.

    That's not to say there's no case here: I have no reason to believe Smith is an idiot, or in any way operating unethically. But this is weak tea when one considers the galaxy  of  wrongdoing Trump has inhabited.  

    • I don't think that Smith is pursuing this incident as a crime. It goes to the allegation the prosecution will make that Trump KNEW he lost the election. There's other indications  – for example, Trump paid for private investigations (two) into how the election was stolen. Both written reports (thet DOJ has) told Trump there was no organized or mass fraud and the incidental irregularities were not sufficient to overturn ANY of the states. The House inquiry went into others in Trump's orbit who told Trump – he lost. 

      The jury has to decide what is credible. There may be one person on the jury who will do mental gymnastics to believe Trump. Smith is probably preparing on the basis that "reasonable doubt" will be abused by at least one juror. Each point has to be ironclad. 

      I've seen some focus groups and talked to conservatives. IMO, a lot of non-democrats in the middle do not think Trump won in 2020, but they believe that Trump has convinced himself. The truth that Smith has to show the jury in  J6 trial s that Trump knew from many sources that Biden won AND Trump conspired to overcome his defeat by deception. One result of the Big Lie is that almost a thousand Trump cultists got in trouble with the law by attempting (some by extreme violence) to prevent the certification of Biden. 

      Smith has to make Trump own the J6 violence and convince the jury of the sophisticated deception behind it. Trump's 'army' marched only because they believed Trump's lies, The mob is responsible for what they did but Trump created the mob by deliberate deception.

      In sentencing, the judge will look at "fault" as a degree – HOW much is Trump at fault, how much harm was done in the crime? I think this is the matter of fact that will destroy Trump – thousands of people were duped into committing crimes for Trump. He directed them, Trump knowingly deceived them for his own vanity and ambition. He sacrificed them as pawns. If the DC cops were as cold as Trump, there would have been a bloodbath.

      If Smith has as powerful a case as I think he does, Trump will do years in prison if he goes to trial for J6. 

  3. And let us not forget the latest news.

    To me, it's the piece de resistance:

    It was revealed today that Smith has tRUMP on tape talking about a classified document he kept!

    "Can everyone say "espionage?"

    I knew that you could."

    If this is true, tRUMP’s goose is cooked!

    • "He got away with it until he didn't" – words spoken about tRump's rule-flaunting role model and mentor Roy Cohn, who ended up with his property seized for $7 million in back taxes and disbarred, AND who quite ironically had played a key role in the prosecution of the Rosenbergs.

  4. Was watching lawyers talking about the Mar a Lago documents case, they agree that it's simpler and tighter than the J6 investigation, which is sprawling, and so I expect this to roll out soon. Joyce Vance said that when she was training to be a prosecutor, there came a time when her supervisor told her "you've been playing with your food long enough" – it's time to indict.

    Harry Litman says the infighting among Trump's lawyers, and the suspicion among them that one of them is a snitch, is music to a prosecutor's ears. They'll confess to protect themselves from going to jail.

    It's a little soon to break out the champagne, but Beau of the 5th speculated that the reason the Dems did as well as they did with the budget/debt ceiling negotiation is that the Rs chose the wrong bit of leverage. The majority of Republicans are rich and would never allow a default; had the Rs instead threatened a government shutdown, they might've had more leverage in achieving their goals. Whatever, it sure seemed like Dark Brandon prevailed.

    Hope you get settled in soon, without glitches, and can enjoy a better life, starting this summer. I've made up my mind to try and stay in California, I think it's doable.

  5. For referance:

    "Rule 43 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure deals with the presence of the defendant during the proceedings against him. It presently permits a defendant to be tried in absentia only in non-capital cases where the defendant has voluntarily absented himself after the trial has begun."

    I suspect the charges of the J6 trial will be the last to be filed – maybe sometime in 2024. My personal opinion is that Trump is lining up options to leave the country. My guess is that Trump will hang around through the first trial, the Stormy Daniels case. Trump will be charged in GA and for the federal case re documents before the Stormy Daniels case is begun. Trump will also (correctly) gauge that he'll stay out of jail pending appeals in that case.

    I do think Trump will start the next trial (probably the GA election interference trial) in 2024. He will probably be the GOP nominee for POTUS. Trump will look for a lucky break to derail that trial but if the evidence goes against Trump, I do not think he will wait for the verdict. He will leave the country (or try.) If the FBI does not intercept Trump, he won't be in the US for the J6 trial to ever start because it CAN'T start if he's not there for the first day of the trial.

  6. I'll try again, as cyberspace must have eaten my last attempt.  Thomas Edsall wrote quite the well-researched article for the NYT yesterday on the politics of delusion.  Let's just go straight to the ending:

    In other words, the irrational element of partisan hostility has seemingly created a political culture resistant to correction or reform. If so, the nation is stuck, at least for the time being, in a destructive cyclical pattern that no one so far has found a way to escape.

    The embodiment of delusional politics is, of course, Donald Trump, with his false, indeed fraudulent, claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him. The continuing willingness of a majority of Republican voters to tolerate this delusion reflects the difficulty facing the nation as it struggles to restore sanity to American politics — if it’s not too late.

    I would contend we need to restore sanity to America — if it's not too late.  Let's start by understanding that what is deemed (by whatever group does such things) as politically correct, does not make it true.  All groups harbor delusions it seems, and we hope at least some truths.  Our family had official delusions, and all were expected to follow the script to those outside the group.  Appearances had to be kept up.  The critical difference was we understood it was not really true, just politically correct.  

    Churches are groups, and they are very numerous.  They all differ a bit but on one thing they all tend to agree.  Each one of them claim that their church is the true church and the only valid ticket to heaven.  Any sane person would conclude that only one of them, at best, could be correct in its claim and the rest a bit delusional.  Some of us might even take that a step further.  Here though, any understanding of what is really true could. in some eras, get you burned at the stake.

    So too in Trump-land.  The delusions are sacred, To say the emperor has no clothes gets you fired.  You lose the right to proudly fly your Trump flag and to live with him in lala-land.   It seems more than many can tolerate but they seem quite tolerant of delusions.  

  7. Jack Smith is shaking things up! Subpoenaing Trump's White House aides over the firing of Christopher Krebs, the cybersecurity expert who called the 2020 election secure. It's clear they're digging into Trump's mindset and the events leading up to the Capitol attack. And let's not forget the loyalty police within the Presidential Personnel Office, targeting Krebs just because his wife posted a family photo with a "Biden Harris" logo. Loyalty tests gone crazy! Smith is also eyeing the White House-Jusitce Department interactions during Trump's election overturning frenzy. This investigation is getting juicier by the minute!

    • It is interesting to see the Senators who voted against the bill.  Quite the list of clowns.  The usuals like Paul Hawley Cruz and other birds of strange feather,

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