Cup of Joe – March 26, 2023

“A federal judge has rejected former President Donald Trump’s claims of executive privilege and has ordered Mark Meadows and other former top aides to testify before a federal grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol,” ABC News reports.

“Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, was subpoenaed along with the other former aides by Special counsel Jack Smith for testimony and documents related to the probe.”

“A key lawyer for Donald Trump appeared Friday before a federal grand jury investigating whether the former president sought to keep top-secret documents in his home — testimony that capped an ultimately losing effort by Trump’s legal team to prevent prosecutors from reviewing the lawyer’s notes and other documents in the case,” the Washington Post reports.

“Grand jury proceedings are secret, so it wasn’t immediately clear how helpful Corcoran’s testimony might be to special counsel Jack Smith and his team, who are trying to determine whether Trump obstructed justice or mishandled national security information.”

 “Trump and his inner orbit are already drawing up ways to take revenge on Alvin Bragg, aiming to punish the Manhattan district attorney for his investigation into the former president, according to two sources familiar with the matter and two other people close to Trump,” Rolling Stone reports.

“For months, Trump and several of his political and policy advisers have outlined legal strategies for how they could use the Justice Department to pursue certain prosecutors and DAs… Bragg had already been near the top of Trump’s wish list of potential targets for a while. But as the Manhattan DA’s criminal investigation into the Trump and the Stormy Daniels hush-money scheme accelerated and reached the point of likely indictment, Bragg’s name started coming up even more frequently in these conversations with Trump.”

Margaret Sullivan says Trump’s indictment over hush money to a porn star would be poetic justice.

“After all of Donald Trump’s well-documented malfeasance over the decades – his fake university and failed casino, his Covid denialism, his consorting with dictators, his blatant lies about election fraud, his incitement of a deadly riot – it has taken a hush money payment to a porn actress to create the most imminent threat that he’ll face criminal charges

It may seem bizarre that such a small-time offense – a mere $130,000 to conceal a reported affair — could be the thing to bring down this world-class con man. But in the never-ending weirdness of Trump World, it would make a kind of inevitable sense. The tawdriness of the Stormy Daniels situation, after all, is a perfect match for one of Trump’s enduring qualities.”

Insider: “Trump’s fans sent him $1.5 million in 3 days after he falsely predicted that he’d be arrested Tuesday. Donald Trump wasn’t arrested Tuesday, but he got a big fundraising boost after claiming he would be. He raised $1.5 million in the three days after saying he’d be arrested, per multiple reports. That’s nearly double the daily average he got in the weeks before and after launching his 2024 bid.”

Donald Trump will hold a rally in Waco, Texas for a predicted 15,000 supporters, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports.

Heather Cox Richardson notes it’s the anniversary of “a 1993 government siege to extricate the leader of a religious cult who witnesses said was stockpiling weapons led to a gun battle and a fire that left seventy-six people dead…”

“After the Waco siege the modern militia movement took off, and Trump is clearly using the anniversary to tap into domestic violence against the government to defend him in advance of possible indictments.”

House Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX) told reporters that Republicans are working on a written offer on the debt limit, which will likely come out before they release their full budget resolution.

But Speaker Kevin McCarthy responded with bewilderment: “I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

“Prosecutors in Brazil have agreed to a deal with Rep. George Santos in a case in which he is accused of defrauding a Rio de Janeiro area clerk of $1,300 over clothes and shoes in 2008,” CNN reports.

“A petition from Santos’ attorney requesting a deal says Santos would agree to formally confess to the crime and pay damages to the victim, a Rio de Janeiro area clerk, as is required under Brazilian law.”

“House Republicans are set to pass a bill Friday that would guarantee parents access to information about their children’s public education, fulfilling a midterm promise the lawmakers hope will excite their base ahead of the 2024 election,” the Washington Post reports.

Tara Palmeri: “Hunter Biden, the president’s troubled lobbyist-cum-author-cum-artist troubled son and tabloid media curiosity, has been assembling a more combative legal and communications apparatus to defend himself against House G.O.P. investigators looking to probe whether he sold access to Joe Biden.”

“But while the president has publicly distanced himself from Hunter’s legal and personal affairs, which have at times been an embarrassment to the administration, the bare-knuckle tactics of his allies are beginning to aggravate some senior officials in the White House.”

Tesnim Zekeria and Rebecca Crosby say Trump allies misrepresent crime in NYC”

“Trump’s top allies have coalesced around that narrative, arguing that Bragg should forget about Trump and focus on the “skyrocketing” crime in New York City.

In an interview on ABC News, former Vice President Mike Pence said he was “taken aback” at the reports of a potential indictment. “At a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City, the fact that the Manhattan DA thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority just tells you everything you need to know about the radical left,” Pence said.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) echoed the same argument, claiming that crime is so bad in New York that “people are afraid to walk the streets.” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) followed suit, saying, “What we’ve seen in Manhattan is we’ve seen the crime rate go up, and we’ve seen citizens become less safe.”

This argument was also amplified by numerous members of Congress, including Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who argued that “[v]iolent crime [is] skyrocketing.” Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH), Bryan Steil (R-WI), and James Comer (R-KY), wrote a letter to Bragg arguing that he should not “pursue such a politically motivated prosecution” while also allowing “criminals [to] run[ ] the streets.” Jordan furthered the claim on Twitter, stating that Bragg “[i]gnores record crime in New York City to attack political opponents.”

All of these arguments are based on the false presumption that street crime is inherently more serious than white-collar crime. But there is an even bigger issue: the claim that crime is at record levels in New York City is false.”

Bloomberg: “While there seems to be enough domestic fiber optic cable to connect communities, the electronic components such as routers that transform glass strands into data highways are made mainly in other countries. Cable providers, chip makers and wireless carriers are pleading for relief from the requirement to ‘buy American.’”

The Washington Post breaks down the “five families” of the House Republican caucus: who’s in which group, how the ideological spread breaks down and why leadership doesn’t like the term.

North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood (D) was convicted Thursday of a hit-and-run charge related to a December crash in a state-owned car after pleading guilty in court, WRAL reports.

Ron Brownstein: “The escalating confrontation between the parties over the federal budget rests on a fundamental paradox: The Republican majority in the House of Representatives is now more likely than Democrats to represent districts filled with older and lower-income voters who rely on the social programs that the GOP wants to cut.”

“A much larger share of Republican than Democratic House members represent districts where seniors exceed their share of the national population, census data show. Republicans are also more likely to represent districts where the median income trails the national level, or the proportion of people without health insurance is greater than in the nation overall.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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