Cup of Joe – August 19, 2023

“Lawyers for former President Donald Trump asked a judge on Thursday to reject the government’s proposal to take Mr. Trump to trial in early January on charges of seeking to overturn the 2020 election and to instead push back the proceeding until April 2026 — nearly a year and a half after the 2024 election,” the New York Times reports.

“The lawyers said the extraordinary delay was needed because of the historic nature of the case and the extraordinary volume of discovery evidence they will have to sort through — as much as 8.5 terabytes of materials, totaling over 11.5 million pages, they wrote in a filing to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who is overseeing the case.”

“Mr. Trump’s aggressive request to postpone the trial in Federal District Court in Washington followed an equally ambitious proposal made last week by prosecutors in the office of the special counsel, Jack Smith, to get the case in front of a jury by the first week of 2024.”

We learned this week that Special Counsel Jack Smith had served a search warrant on Twitter to obtain data from Donald Trump’s account, including all his direct messages, draft tweets, and location data from October 2020 to January 2021.

The revelation that there were private messages in Trump’s account was particularly extraordinary, since the former president has been famously cautious about using written forms of communications in his dealings with aides and allies.

But Twitter’s lawyer told the court that the company had found both “deleted” and “nondeleted” direct messages associated with Trump’s account.

It’s also very curious as to why Elon Musk stalled cooperating with the search warrant while he met with House Republican leaders, including two who had the ability to send direct messages to Trump.

I’m skeptical Trump actually used Twitter to send his own messages, but that doesn’t mean people in Trump’s inner circle didn’t attempt to message him. As the insurrection unfolded at the Capitol on January 6, aides and allies frantically trying to reach Trump might have used Twitter direct messages since they knew he was glued to his phone.

On November 21, 2022, The Verge reported that Twitter was moving to encrypt all DMs. Musk said he wanted to make it so that “I can’t look at anyone’s DMs if somebody has a gun to my head.” Interestingly, just three days earlier, Smith took over the ongoing federal criminal investigation of Trump. Was Musk trying to shield Trump’s direct messages from the special counsel?

Trump’s relentless use of Twitter is detailed in the special counsel’s indictment.

It seems highly relevant that Smith now has Trump’s private messages too.

“The Fulton County sheriff’s department is investigating threats made against Georgia grand jurors who indicted former President Donald Trump for election interference,” Semafor reports.

“The jurors’ personal information had been shared on various platforms.”

CNN: “The 98-page document alleges the 30 unindicted co-conspirators, who are not named, ‘constituted a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in various related criminal activities’ across the 41 charges laid out in the indictment.”

“CNN was able to identify some of the co-conspirators by piecing together details included in the indictment. Documents reviewed from previous reporting also provide clues, especially the reams of emails and testimony from the House January 6 Committee’s report released late last year.”

Donald Trump said on Truth Social that his lawyers would prefer that he didn’t have a Monday new conference to unveil his “irrefutable” evidence of fraud in the 2020 Georgia election.

Instead, he said the lawyers will “put it in formal legal filings.”

Donald Trump is upset that Fox News continues to use photos of him that make him look fat and orange.

Write Trump on Truth Social: “Why doesn’t Fox and Friends show all of the Polls where I am beating Biden, by a lot. They just won’t do it! Also, they purposely show the absolutely worst pictures of me, especially the big ‘orange’ one with my chin pulled way back. They think they are getting away with something, they’re not. Just like 2016 all over again… And then they want me to debate!”

 “Former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin said she believes Donald Trump intentionally used the word ‘riggers’ as a racial dog whistle following his Georgia indictment,” the HuffPost reports.

Said Griffin: “With Trump, you don’t need to look for a dog whistle — it’s a bullhorn when it comes to race.”

Clark Neily: “Being an inveterate liar is a major liability in litigation. So is being openly disdainful of the entire process. And so is complexity. But put all three of those together at the same time for the same defendant, and his goose is cooked. So you can put a fork in Donald Trump—he’s done.”

“President Joe Biden is using the presidential retreat at Camp David to help with a diplomatic mission – hosting the first-ever trilateral summit with Japan and South Korea, two countries that are putting aside a fraught history in the face of shared security challenges,” CNN reports.

“Long among the most sensitive subjects inside the West Wing, Hunter Biden’s legal saga now appears destined to play out amid his father’s bid for reelection, frustrating the president but so far causing little real concern among his advisers,” CNN reports.

“The probe into Hunter Biden is now one of two special counsel investigations – the other being an inquiry into his father’s handling of classified documents after leaving the Senate and the vice president’s office – that both appear poised to extend for months to come.”

“Even some of Biden’s allies acknowledge they threaten to complicate or erode the moral high ground the president asserts as he seeks reelection. Hunter Biden, of course, is not himself running for president and the White House has taken pains to avoid interference in the case – all points of contrast with the president’s most likely Republican rival.”

Washington Post: How Republicans overhype the findings of their Hunter Biden probe.

“John Dean, the White House counsel to former President Nixon, predicted a grim fate for former New York City mayor and Trump ally Rudy Giuliani, who faces mounting legal fees in addition to what Dean said looks like an ‘overwhelming’ case in Georgia and unresolved issues at the federal level,” The Hill reports.

Said Dean: “I think Rudy is going to get destroyed by this. It’s sad but true.”

Chronicle of Higher Education: “When a committee of the New College of Florida Board of Trustees met in July, a whopping 36 faculty members had already left since Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis initiated a conservative restructuring of the institution in January. That number has subsequently grown to more than 40…”

“This fall will mark the first new academic year since DeSantis began his overhaul of the liberal arts college, the smallest public institution in Florida, by appointing six new conservative trustees. Many students were nervous about returning to NCF under the new leadership, which in short order fired former president Patricia Okker, axed the diversity, equity and inclusion office and denied five faculty members tenure. But as the fall semester inches closer, it is becoming increasingly apparent just how much dysfunction New College’s students will have to contend with this year.”

“Ken Paxton gave Nate Paul ‘unfettered access’ to the Texas Attorney General’s office that the developer ‘harnessed to harass his enemies,’ according to new details in a series of documents filed by House impeachment managers on Tuesday,” the Dallas Morning News reports.

“Paxton repeatedly abused his power to help Paul fight a federal investigation into his businesses and then the attorney general masked his behavior by using burner phones and a secret personal email address, according to the managers, who will argue in a trial next month that Paxton should be removed from office.”

Jewish Insider: “When she visited Qatar last November to watch the World Cup, it was unclear who had paid for the trip, which the progressive lawmaker neglected to clarify. Her office did not answer questions from The New York Times in December about the funding source after she had returned.”

“It turns out that the trip was funded by the Qatari government.”

“When conspiracy theorist Alex Jones marched his way to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, riling up his legion of supporters, an unassuming middle-aged man in a red ‘Trump 2020’ hat conspicuously tagged along,” CNN reports.

“Videos and photographs reviewed by CNN show the man dutifully recording Jones with his phone as the bombastic media personality ascended to the restricted area of the Capitol grounds where mobs of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters eventually broke in.”

“While the man’s actions outside the Capitol that day have drawn little scrutiny, his alleged connections to a plot to overthrow the 2020 election have recently come into sharp focus: He is attorney Kenneth Chesebro, the alleged architect of the scheme to subvert the 2020 Electoral College process by using fake GOP electors in multiple states.”

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) is calling on both the Biden administration and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) to soften their positions and find a “middle ground” on a Pentagon policy involving abortion in order to end the Republican’s monthslong blockade of hundreds of military promotions, NBC News reports.

“North Korea’s successful test launch on July 12 of a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile equipped to penetrate U.S. missile defenses is likely the result of technical cooperation sourced to Russia,” according to a new think tank report first obtained by NBC News.

“The new missile represents a sudden and significant advancement of North Korea’s ballistic missile arsenal, according to North Korea’s own pronouncements confirmed by U.S. officials. The rocket is solid-fueled, making it harder for Western intelligence to detect than liquid propellant ICBMS.”

“The U.S. intelligence community assesses that Ukraine’s counteroffensive will fail to reach the key southeastern city of Melitopol, a finding that, should it prove correct, would mean Kyiv won’t fulfill its principal objective of severing Russia’s land bridge to Crimea in this year’s push,” the Washington Post reports.

“Gavin Newsom hasn’t been mayor of San Francisco for more than a decade, but this spring he summoned his Cabinet for a meeting in the city’s troubled Tenderloin neighborhood. The California governor privately told them they all needed to feel responsible for the open-air drug markets and homeless camps surrounding his old City Hall office,” Politico reports.

“The downtown blocks he toured have plunged deeper into despair over the past dozen years, with the pandemic emptying out offices that dot its skyline and a surge in fentanyl overdoses causing deaths on city streets. While he now oversees the world’s fifth-largest economy, Newsom has increasingly been moonlighting as a quasi-city executive of his hometown and approaching its woes as a litmus test for his success in Sacramento.”

“The House Judiciary Committee is escalating its probe into Biden administration efforts to address disinformation, issuing subpoenas to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray,” The Hill reports.

Said Chair Jim Jordan: “To develop effective legislation, such as the possible enactment of new statutory limits on the Executive Branch’s ability to work with social media platforms and other companies to restrict the circulation of content and deplatform users, the Committee on the Judiciary must first understand the nature of this collusion and coercion.”

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

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