Cup of Joe – August 13, 2023

“Donald Trump’s campaign strategy is increasingly colliding with the legal one, sapping his time and financial resources as he pursues the twin goals of winning another term in the White House and staying out of prison,” the Wall Street Journal reports.  “The former president says he is so politically energized by the three criminal indictments he faces that he claims he needs one more to ensure his election—a wish he could receive in the coming days from a Georgia grand jury over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.”

“But Trump’s inflammatory attacks on prosecutors and judges are in direct conflict with his lawyers’ efforts to win him acquittals.”

The Economist: “Mr Trump’s political strategy is his legal strategy, and vice versa. They reinforce each other by reinforcing delusions about Mr Trump that most Republicans believe, according to polls, including that he is the victim of conspirators out to protect their privileges from his insurgent politics. Mr Trump’s climb into his dominant position in the Republican field began in late March after his first indictment, on business-fraud charges in Manhattan.”

“The multiplying felony counts against him—78 so far, with more probably coming—are consuming his campaign funds, and Democrats hope they will distract him from the campaign trail. This is wishful thinking. In 2024 the Trump trials will be the trail. They will focus attention on him and his message of fearless challenge in the face of persecution.”

Donald Trump last week “joined more than 1,100 people who have been charged in connection with the January 6 Capitol riot,” Axios reports. “By the numbers: 110 people have been found guilty at trial and about 366 have been sentenced to incarceration in connection to the attack… About 632 people have pleaded guilty to federal charges, including many who could face incarceration at sentencing.”

New York Times: “The new disclosures revealed the remarkable degree to which Mr. Trump’s political and legal cash are intermingled, much like his own political and legal fate.”

“Mr. Trump’s complex political orbit is already spending more than it is taking in, and tapping into money it raised years ago — an unusual trajectory this far out from an election. And the burn rate raises questions about whether such an approach is untenable, or whether Mr. Trump will eventually need to dip into his own fortune to pay for his lawyers, his 2024 campaign or both.”

“Attorneys for President Joe Biden and the special counsel appointed to investigate his handling of classified documents have been negotiating for about a month over the terms under which he would be interviewed,” NBC News reports.

“Discussions between Biden’s lawyers and special counsel Robert Hur’s office are focused on how, when and where the interview might take place, as well as the scope of the questions, these people said. They stressed that the negotiations are ongoing and that no agreement has been reached.”

“The back-and-forth suggests that the probe — now in its eighth month — may not be wrapping up imminently.”

J. Michael Luttig, a conservative retired federal judge and key adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, declared on Wednesday that “there is no Republican Party,” CNN reports. Said Luttig: “American democracy simply cannot function without two equally healthy and equally strong political parties. So today, in my view, there is no Republican Party to counter the Democratic Party in the country. And for that reason, American democracy is in grave peril.”

He added: “A political party is a collection and assemblage of individuals who share a set of beliefs and principles and policy views about the United States of America. Today, there is no such shared set of beliefs and values and principles or even policy views as within the Republican Party for America.”

“Attorney John Eastman, an architect of Donald Trump’s last-ditch efforts to subvert the 2020 election, is asking a California judge to postpone disbarment proceedings lodged against him, saying he’s increasingly concerned he’s about to be criminally charged by special counsel Jack Smith,” Politico reports.

Just hours after former Mike Pence national security adviser Keith Kellogg endorsed Donald Trump for president, CNN reported on emails Kellogg wrote on January 6, 2021 urging Pence to “finish the Electoral College issue tonight” and certify the election.

“Twenty-five Democratic lawmakers on Monday urged Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives to stop calling for further cuts to the largest U.S. food aid program for low-income Americans as a key committee considers a $728 billion farm and nutrition spending bill,” Reuters reports.

“Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan is trying to keep secret more than 1,600 texts he exchanged with a Michigan lawyer who was indicted on charges of illegally accessing voting machines as part of a plot to overturn 2020 election results,” the Arizona Republic reports. “Logan sent and received nearly 2,400 texts with Stefanie Lambert, more than any other person he messaged while leading the Arizona Senate’s ‘audit’ of 2020 ballots cast in Maricopa County, records show.”

“And now Logan and Lambert appear to have coordinated efforts to redact and conceal most of their messages — including ones directly related to the ballot review — despite multiple court orders to turn them over.”

“The voting technology company Smartmatic blasted Rudy Giuliani in court filings Monday night, accusing him of fabricating ‘excuse after excuse’ to avoid turning over documents in its massive defamation suit against him, Fox News and others who spread lies about the 2020 election,” CNN reports.

“The trucking company Yellow, which received a controversial $700 million pandemic loan from the Trump administration, filed for bankruptcy on Monday and plans to liquidate its business,” Semafor reports. “Defense Department analysts initially concluded that Yellow didn’t qualify for the program, which was aimed at companies considered critical to national security. But the Pentagon reversed course after an apparent lobbying effort from the Treasury Department and White House, according to a lengthy Congressional oversight report.”

“When The New York Times reported in April that a contractor had purchased and deployed a spying tool made by NSO, the contentious Israeli hacking firm, for use by the U.S. government, White House officials said they were unaware of the contract and put the FBI in charge of figuring out who might have been using the technology,” the New York Times reports. “After an investigation, the FBI uncovered at least part of the answer: It was the FBI.”

“U.S. spy agencies will share more intelligence with U.S. companies, nongovernmental organizations and academia under a new strategy released this week that acknowledges concerns over new threats, such as another pandemic and increasing cyberattacks,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The National Intelligence Strategy, which sets broad goals for the sprawling U.S. intelligence community, says that spy agencies must reach beyond the traditional walls of secrecy and partner with outside groups to detect and deter supply-chain disruptions, infectious diseases and other growing transnational threats.”

Americans are now less likely to express “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the U.S. military, with a noticeable decline that has persisted for the past five years, according to a new Gallup Poll.  “At 60%, confidence in the military was last this low in 1997, and it hasn’t been lower since 1988, when 58% were confident. From the late 1970s to the early 1980s — during the Cold War and amid threats to U.S. power, including the Iran hostage crisis — between 50% and 58% of Americans were confident in the military.”

“The then-leader of the US Coast Guard covered up an explosive investigation four years ago into rapes and sexual assaults at the agency’s academy despite prior plans by top officials to come clean about the inquiry,” CNN reports.  “Commandant Karl L. Schultz took charge of the agency in June of 2018 as the secret investigation, dubbed Operation Fouled Anchor, was concluding. The inquiry revealed a dark history of sexual misconduct at the prestigious academy, substantiating dozens of rapes and assaults from the late 1980s to 2006.”

“All 16 of the so-called fake electors charged for a scheme to falsely give Michigan’s electoral votes to former President Donald Trump instead of President Joe Biden in 2020 have now pleaded not guilty to felony charges,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

“Three Michigan Republicans will face misdemeanor charges for altercations involving state GOP meetings and GOP officials in Clare County,” the Detroit News reports.

Former Michigan attorney general candidate Matt DePerno (R) and former state Rep. Daire Rendon (R) “are facing criminal charges for their alleged roles in an effort to gain access to Michigan voting machines after the 2020 presidential election,” the Detroit News reports.

“Everybody has been hoping that Tuberville would back down. We have to come to the conclusion that that is not happening and that he is prepared to burn the military down.”— Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), quoted by Punchbowl News, on Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) blockade of all military promotions.

Washington Post: “Three weeks after his Wiregrass appearance, Tuberville sold, for nearly $1.1 million, the last properties that he owned in Alabama, according to real estate records. The properties, known as Tiger Farms LLC, are in Macon and Tallapoosa counties, on the outskirts of Auburn. That same month, he also sold one Florida condo for $850,000 and bought another for $825,000.”

“Tuberville’s office says his primary residence is an Auburn house that records show is owned by his wife and son. But campaign finance reports and his signature on property documents indicate that his home is actually a $3 million, 4,000-square-foot beach house he has lived in for nearly two decades in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., located in the Florida Panhandle about 90 miles south of Dothan.”

Donald Trump called his former Attorney General Bill Barr a “coward” for not prosecuting Hunter Biden or investigating alleged election fraud, The Hill reports.  Said Trump: “You know, Bill Barr was a coward. He was afraid to do things; he was afraid he was going to be impeached.”

Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of insults against President Biden, attacking him in personal terms as Trump’s legal problems continue to mount, The Hill reports.  Wrote Trump, on Truth Social: “What Crooked Joe Biden, who can’t string two sentences together, has done to our once great Country through his Open Borders CATASTROPHE, may go down as the greatest and most damaging mistake ever made in USA HISTORY. It is not even believable that such incompetence and stupidity could have been allowed to happen.”

He added that Biden has the “mind, ideas, and I.Q. of a First Grader” and called him “a stark raving Lunatic.”

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

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