The big news tonight is that federal prosecutors appear to be gathering evidence that Trump acted with corrupt intent when he tried to overturn the 2020 election. (Duh.) Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times:
Federal prosecutors investigating former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election have questioned multiple witnesses in recent weeks — including Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner — about whether Mr. Trump had privately acknowledged in the days after the 2020 election that he had lost, according to four people briefed on the matter.
The line of questioning suggests prosecutors are trying to establish whether Mr. Trump was acting with corrupt intent as he sought to remain in power — essentially that his efforts were knowingly based on a lie — evidence that could substantially bolster any case they might decide to bring against him.
There was testimony during the January 6 House committee hearings that Trump admitted privately he had lost. So I don’t think this is in question.
In other news. I’m curious whether Ray Epps has yet figured out how much he was used and who used him. Epps was a Trump supporter who believed the Big Lie and who went to the Capital on January 6. And then he had the misfortune to be chosen as a sacrifice of sorts. He was picked out of the crowd to serve as a scapegoat for why the riot turned into a riot. Philip Bump writes at WaPo,
After failing to pin the Capitol riot on Antifa, right-wing media outlets refocused their efforts to reshape their narrative around Mr Epps. According to the New York Times, obscure right-wing outlets like Revolver Media began reporting on selectively-edited videos of Mr Epps during the Capitol riot, and later capitalised on the footage from 5 January in which he called for people to enter the Capitol.
The theory claims that Mr Epps, who was not arrested in the wake of the Capitol riot despite apparently encouraging people to enter the building and participating in the event himself, could only have evaded law enforcement if he was working with the government.
To explain this apparent contradiction, outlets and conspiracy theorists decided that Mr Epps had to have been an FBI agent sent into the crowd to stir dissent and set up a “false flag” event meant to justify the incarceration of hundreds of Trump supporters.
According to Philip Bump, back in 2001 when Epps realized the FBI was trying to identify him from videos he called the FBI and identified himself. That’s the major reason he hasn’t faced the criminal justice system yet. But the lawsuit Epps filed against Fox indicates he has been informed he will face some charges.
Naturally Epps and his wife had their lives upended by MAGA thugs. They closed their successful wedding venue business and gave up their home to move into a trailer in another state. Yet the mouth breathers of the Right are still spreading the same lies aboubt Epps. Yesterday when FBI Director Christopher Wray was a guest at the House Judiciary Committee Clown Show, one member brought up Epps. Philip Bump:
Bump goes on to explain why this isn’t true. The Epps-was-a-fed story has been debunked any way it can be debunked, but MAGAts like Rep. Troy E. Nehls can’t let go of it.
Speaking of clown shows, some of the more hard-right critters in the House tried to introduce measures to a defense bill to stop money going to Ukraine. But a majority of Republicans disagreed, and of course Democrats disagreed also.