Cup of Joe – July 20, 2023

“The special counsel’s letter to Donald Trump related to Jan. 6 listed the federal statutes under which Trump is expected to be charged, including conspiracy, obstruction, and civil rights violations,” Rolling Stone reports.

“The letter mentions three federal statutes: Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States; deprivation of rights under color of law; and tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant. It does not offer further details, nor does it detail how the special counsel believes Trump may have violated the statutes.”

“The letter does not mention statues on sedition or insurrection… Trump is the only person named in the letter.”

“The Justice Department appears to be on a fast track to charge former President Donald Trump with election interference before a potential case is brought in Georgia next month,” Bloomberg reports.

“The avalanche of legal troubles facing Trump comes just as the Republican presidential primary season heats up.”

Special counsel Jack Smith’s team has contacted former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who Donald Trump pressured to overturn the 2020 election, CNN reports.

“Federal prosecutors examining former President Donald Trump’s attempt to hold onto power following the 2020 election requested surveillance and other security footage recorded at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“Former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik is in talks to be interviewed by special counsel Jack Smith’s team investigating efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election,” the Daily Beast reports.

“Kerik worked with Rudy Giuliani after the election to find evidence of voter fraud and later provided documents about a plan to keep Donald Trump in power to the House Jan. 6 committee.”

“The indictments of Donald Trump — past and pending — are becoming the background music of the 2024 presidential campaign: always there, shaping the mood, yet not fully the focus,” the New York Times reports.

“Like so much of the Trump presidency itself, the extraordinary has become so flattened that Mr. Trump’s warning on Tuesday that he was facing a possible third indictment this year, this time over his involvement in the events that led to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, drew shrugs from some quarters of his party and a muddled response from his rivals.”

“It’s about time. It’s been obvious for a long time.”— Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), quoted by Axios, when asked about the target letter sent to Donald Trump in the January 6 investigation.

Playbook: “The timing of Trump’s announcement that he’d received the target letter — which, as a reminder, he got Sunday — was so perfectly synced with DeSantis’ CNN appearance that we had to ask Trump world if it was intentional. Was the former president trolling his top 2024 opponent by taking over the news cycle? We were told that no, it wasn’t intentional — though Trump’s team didn’t mind how it rained on DeSantis’ parade.”

“The entire situation underscores the almost Groundhog Day-like dynamic that continues to plague the 2024 GOP primary: Over and over again, Trump’s scandals suck up all the oxygen as other candidates struggle to garner attention.”

“And we’re not just talking about DeSantis. News dropped yesterday that a super PAC backing Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is placing $40 million in TV and digital ads propping up their guy in early voting states. Any other day, that headline would be a top talker. Instead, it was just an afterthought.”

“House Republicans stood behind former President Donald Trump Tuesday after he said he was told he is a target in the Justice Department’s probe of the January 6 Capitol riots,” The Messenger reports.

Said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA): “It’s interesting that it happens more and more as Trump rises in the polls and Biden falls in the polls. That’s an unfortunate part of this and an unequal application of Justice.”

Said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA): “This is absolute bullshit. This is weaponized government. Democrats can’t win an election so they have to arrest their political opponents.”

Greene later called Special Counsel Jack Smith “a weak little bitch for the Democrats.”

“I think it shows that politicians lie and they know they’re lying… The liar knows that people know he’s lying, and the people that are being lied to know they’re being lied to. That is political reality in 2023.”— Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), quoted by the HuffPost, on the public’s numbness to more possible Trump indictments.

Ben Wittes: “We basically know three things, two of them from Trump, and one of them from the press. From Trump we know (1) that he received the target letter on Sunday, and that (2) it gave him four days to come into the grand jury. From the press, we know (3) that one of Smith’s senior prosecutors was spending quality time with the grand jury last week.”

“This last fact is important, because it suggests that prosecutors may have already presented their case to the grand jury and have held off only on having the grand jury vote on whether to hand up the charges. In other words, it suggests that the gun is loaded and the safety is off. They don’t need any additional time or steps before pulling the trigger.”

“Counting four days from Sunday would bring us to Thursday evening…. So I’m thinking an indictment on Thursday or Friday is the most likely scenario.”

Charlie Sykes: “The wheels of justice grind exceeding slow, but it now seems likely that within a few weeks, the twice impeached, defeated ex-president will face four separate criminal indictments.”

“This will be on top of the conviction of the Trump Organizations on 17 felony counts, including tax fraud, and a federal jury finding that the ex-president had raped and defamed E. Jean Carroll.”

“By any rational measure, Trump’s disgrace is absolute, comprehensive, and about to get far worse. As Tom Nichols noted on our podcast yesterday: ‘It is a ghastly reality that the only job left that Donald Trump could get in this country is president of the United States.’”

“And yet, his grip on the GOP seems stronger than ever.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel charged 16 “fake electors” with 8 felonies, including forgery and conspiracy.

The defendants signed certificates falsely claiming Donald Trump won Michigan in the 2020 presidential election.

Washington Post: “The charges stem from a state investigation that is separate from a federal probe by special counsel Jack Smith into attempts to reverse the 2020 results.”

Judge Aileen Cannon says the government’s proposal of a mid-December classified documents trial for Donald Trump is “a bit rushed,” CNN reports.

Cannon did not decide on a trial date but said she plans to “promptly” issue an order on the matter.

“A federal judge on Wednesday rejected Donald Trump’s request for a new trial in a civil case brought by E. Jean Carroll, where a jury found the former U.S. president liable for sexually abusing and defaming the writer and awarded her $5 million in damages,” Reuters reports.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t attend next month’s summit of BRICS leaders in Johannesburg in person, resolving a potential dilemma South Africa faced over whether to execute an International Criminal Court warrant for his arrest if he did come,” Bloomberg reports.

Foreign Affairs: “Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin loom over geopolitics in a way that few leaders have in decades. Not even Mao and Stalin drove global events the way Xi and Putin do today.”

“Who they are, how they view the world, and what they want are some of the most important and pressing questions in foreign policy and international affairs.”

Asked if Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is still alive, MI6 boss Sir Richard Moore said: “As far we we can tell, Prigozhin is floating around,” Sky News reports. He added that Prigozhin went to tea with Putin in recent days: “These things are mysterious even for me.”

Politico: “House Democrats are planning to force a censure vote within the next two weeks on the New York GOP’s biggest political liability. It’ll come roughly two months after their last attempt to discipline the indicted Republican on the floor, which resulted in a days-long scramble by Speaker Kevin McCarthy to convince his frustrated bloc of New Yorkers not to vote with Democrats to end Santos’ congressional career.”

“This time, Democrats will force a less severe vote — a censure, instead of a full-on expulsion. And at least three first-term New York Republicans told Politico they would support the measure: Reps. Nick Lalota, Marc Molinaro and Anthony D’Esposito. All three have already called on Santos to resign as he faces a litany of federal charges.”

“House Republicans struck three Democratic projects that would provide services to the LGBTQ community during Tuesday’s fiscal 2024 Transportation-HUD Appropriations markup, enraging Democrats on the committee,” Roll Call reports.

“The three earmarks total $3.62 million, with two in Massachusetts and one in Pennsylvania. The projects were eliminated as part of a Republican en bloc amendment that advanced a range of Republican cultural priorities, including a provision that would ban flying gay pride flags over government buildings.”

“House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) called her Republican colleagues ‘terrorists’ Tuesday afternoon, sending the committee into recess,” the Washington Examiner reports.

Said DeLauro: “You are negotiating with terrorists. Members on your side, I will continue to call out the harm you are doing in this process, both in what these bills proposed to do and in your approach on how we treat one another.”

“DeLauro was apparently referring to some in the House Freedom Caucus.”

“House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) is strongly considering holding Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress this month, a move that could happen as early as next week,” Fox Business reports.  “Jordan, who ascended to the top position on the powerful House Judiciary Committee earlier this year, has aggressively targeted the Big Tech giant for internal documents since serving in the minority on the committee last Congress.”

Jordan also threatened to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress for what he claims is the agency’s “wholly inadequate” compliance with two subpoenas issued earlier this year, The Hill reports.

“Officers working for Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative have been ordered to push small children and nursing babies back into the Rio Grande, and have been told not to give water to asylum seekers even in extreme heat, according to an email from a Department of Public Safety trooper who described the actions as ‘inhumane,’” the Houston Chronicle reports.

“The July 3 account discloses several previously unreported incidents the trooper witnessed in Eagle Pass, where the state of Texas has strung miles of razor wire and deployed a wall of buoys in the Rio Grande.”

“North Carolina lawmakers are considering not only a spate of new election restrictions but also a major overhaul of state and county-level election boards, alarming advocates who say some of the proposals could grind the state’s democratic apparatus to a halt,” NBC News reports.

“The changes would restrict same-day registration and mail-in voting. They would also give new powers to the state Legislature, where Republican lawmakers have been emboldened by a new veto-proof majority, along with a new Republican majority on the state Supreme Court.”

“The three bills, which could be considered in House committee hearings as early as this week, come as North Carolina begins to institute new voter ID rules. The state Supreme Court had previously declared the photo ID requirements unconstitutional, but the new Republican majority reversed that decision earlier this year, allowing the law to be enacted.”

Time: “In the ten years since he ended his tenure as New York City mayor, Bloomberg has become best known in the political space for his efforts promoting anti-gun violence and climate legislation, stances that in some right-wing circles have made him something of a boogeyman. But the focus on those more conspicuous endeavors ignores the area where the media mogul is arguably even more influential: the ninth-richest man in America has emerged as the nation’s mayoral tutor.”

“More than 250 cities are currently getting some level of help through the former New York City Mayor’s giving arm focused on government. Since 2017, hundreds of leaders, including more than half of the nation’s big-city mayors, have churned through the leadership bootcamp he sponsors run out of Harvard University.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) “is paying himself back hundreds of thousands of dollars for loans he made to his prior Senate campaigns, despite claiming he wouldn’t seek to recoup the money from donors,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“Johnson previously claimed that he wouldn’t seek to repay the $8.4 million in outstanding loans he claimed his campaign owes him for loans in his 2010 and 2016 campaigns.”

“The author of a satirical website said the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, is among the ‘dumbest people in the country’ after Abbott shared a fake article about his own state,” The Guardian reports.

“The Maine resident Christopher Blair, who runs the satirical website Dunning-Kruger-Times, ridiculed Abbott after the governor shared a fake article about country singer Garth Brooks being booed off a stage over his support of Bud Light.”

Said Blair: “When I saw that, I was besides myself with joy. He’s one of the dumbest people in the country.”

“Think of President Xi: central casting, brilliant guy. When I say he’s brilliant, everyone says, ‘Oh, that’s terrible.’ He runs 1.4 billion people with an iron fist: smart, brilliant, everything perfect. There is nobody in Hollywood like this guy.”— Donald Trump, in a Fox News town hall.

Donald Trump said in a new campaign video that if reelected, he would ask Europe to pay for the U.S. to rebuild its weapons stockpiles depleted by the war in Ukraine.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he is introducing legislation to defund Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigations into Donald Trump because “they are attacking our democracy.”

“He and I got a one-on-one for the first time in years and it was frankly great to see him. You know, all that nonsense between us is under the bridge and he could not have been more magnanimous.”— Megyn Kelly, saying on her show that she’s patched things up with Donald Trump

“More than one-quarter of young adults are estranged from one or both parents, or have been, a finding that suggests a societal shift away from the traditional bonds of family,” The Hill reports.

The Washington Post finds no evidence that Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has kept a key campaign pledge he made when he ran for Senate three years ago — that he would “donate very dime” he made in Washington to Alabama veterans. “Six years of a senatorial salary would mean Tuberville would be on the hook for more than $1 million in donations.”

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

1 comment on “Cup of Joe – July 20, 2023

  1. Rusty Dils

    “Big Guy” , head of the Biden Crime Family is going down

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