Capitol Hill police are putting up security barricades around the Capitol and getting ready for the violent mega-MAGA “domestic terrorist” protest that Democratic strategists are surely hoping for.
With all the political mileage they got out of Jan. 6, it’s easy to imagine them rubbing their hands together with glee at the thought of another one, eagerly watching security structures going up in D.C. and thinking wistfully, “If we build it, they will come!”
I would hope that at this point, there is not even one Trump supporter with the bad sense to go to the Capitol with anything destructive in mind, now that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg — who campaigned on indicting Trump — has signaled his intention to arrest and indict the former president of the United States over a $130,000 payment made by then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels seven years ago.
Don’t even go NEAR the Capitol building, or any other federal building in the area.
Trump himself has said he anticipates being arrested Tuesday, and he has encouraged “protest.” Of course, as on Jan. 6, he means the peaceful assembly protected by the First Amendment. So pray for peace, in D.C. and in Manhattan as well. Anyone causing a disturbance had better be some antifa chucklehead with his MAGA hat on backwards, not a real Trump supporter.
Personally, I’d recommend ignoring the whole thing. Besides, developments on Monday have made it look as though this arrest isn’t going to happen — at least for now and maybe not at all — because the case is simply falling apart. More on that here.
Maybe Bragg has come to see that if they arrest Trump — especially if they offer the visual of Trump in handcuffs — they have pretty much handed him the nomination and maybe even the election. (After the Mar-a-Lago raid, Trump’s poll numbers went up 11 points.) My writers say that the moment they arrest him, their trusty old “Trump 2020” flags are going back up in front of their houses.
Any party that finally succeeds in transforming our beloved republic into the “banana” kind with this level of abuse of power should never, ever be in power again.
In fact, the sight of Trump in handcuffs might send such a powerful message about the state of “our democracy” that we even thought he might try a little reverse psychology, as in “Br’er Rabbit and the Briar Patch”:
“Oh, Mister DA! Mister DA! Please have mercy! You can do whatever you want to me — accuse me of whatever you want, tie me up in court for years, anything you want! Just please, PLEASE, whatever you do, don’t put me in handcuffs! It’s just too humiliating; I’ll die of embarrassment! PLEASE don’t put me in handcuffs!”
We’re just having a little fun with this because the point is probably moot. Bragg’s case is a disaster. Unless George Soros made Trump’s indictment an iron-clad condition of his contributions to the Bragg campaign — we’ll never know but can easily see that being the case — Bragg might want to rethink the whole thing.
Elon Musk tweeted that if the former president is handcuffed, arrested and paraded in front of the cameras, “Trump will be re-elected in a landslide victory.” The Trump indictment, he said, is the result of planning and funding by Soros, who apparently thinks differently.
On Monday, three Republican House committee chairs demanded from Bragg all documents and communications related to his investigation of Trump. Reps. Jim Jordan (Judiciary Committee), James Comer (Oversight) and Bryan Steil (Administration) are also calling for him to sit for a transcribed interview, which he has until 10 a.m. Thursday to schedule.
Their letter is appropriately biting: “You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for office.”
You can read the whole letter here; it’s quite magnificent, summing up the problems with the case, including the total lack of credibility of its main witness, Michael Cohen; the obvious political motivation for it; and the tenuous legal theory propping it up.
“Your actions will erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the course of the 2024 Presidential election,” they wrote.
Also, anticipating that Bragg will try to delay by saying they’ve not specified a legislative purpose for their demands, they spelled it out for him:
“Your decision to pursue such a politically motivated prosecution — while adopting progressive criminal justice policies that allow career ‘criminals [to] run the streets’ of Manhattan — requires congressional scrutiny about how public safety funds appropriated by Congress are implemented by local law-enforcement agencies.
“In addition, your apparent decision to pursue criminal charges where federal authorities declined to do so requires oversight to inform potential legislative reforms about the delineation of prosecutorial authority between federal and local officials.
“Finally, because the circumstances of this matter stem, in part, from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, Congress may consider legislative reforms to the authorities of special counsels and their relationships with other prosecuting entities.”
There you go — specific legislative purpose! Several, in fact.
In new developments Monday, Cohen’s former legal advisor Robert Costello testified before Bragg’s grand jury for more than two hours and just about dismantled the case, calling Cohen a “serial liar.”
Cohen had implicated Trump in the payoff scheme to Daniels as part of his plea deal in 2019, but prosecutors — this was before Bragg was DA — opted out of charging Trump then. In 2021, the Federal Election Commission also took a pass, with former Commissioner Brad Smith writing that this payment was not a campaign finance violation. It was considered a personal expenditure.
Costello told reporters in front of his Manhattan office building that he’d testified to the grand jury that Trump did not know about the payments Cohen had made for non-disclosure agreements with two women, Daniels and model Karen McDougal. (Cohen testified in 2018 that Trump had “directed” the payments.)
Costello said he’d told grand jurors that Cohen is a convicted perjurer and can’t be trusted to tell the truth. He described a meeting in April 2018, after the FBI’s search of Cohen’s home and office, in which Cohen was utterly panicked — even suicidal — at the thought of spending even one day in jail. He was desperately looking to make a deal, saying over and over, “I want you guys to know I will do whatever the f*** it takes.”
Costello told the reporters that Cohen, who did indeed go to jail on a three-year sentence in 2018, is “now on the revenge tour.” (Cohen later responded that Costello’s remarks were “fantastical.”) More details at Fox News.
Later in the day, Costello went on the air with Tucker Carlson to say that “Michael Cohen was lying about just about everything.” He also said it was clear that the DA’s office didn’t want to get to the truth. But Costello managed to work it into his testimony, even when not directly asked about it. He explains in a must-see interview.
Another must-see is the interview Judge Jeanine Pirro (subbing for Sean Hannity) did Monday night with Trump attorney Joe Tacopina, who makes the problems with this case crystal-clear.
Mike Davis, former chief nominations counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee and founder of the Article III Project, spoke late Monday night with Trace Gallagher, observing that the case translates into “bogus, trumped-up charges … part of the Democrats’ pattern of going after President Trump. They’re afraid they can’t beat him in the polls, so they want to indict him.” A recent poll supports that view.
The legal theory is weak, Davis said, “and their star witnesses are a stripper and a disbarred attorney, so good luck to you, Alvin Bragg.”
Finally, here’s a piece by Don Surber showing that even Daniels’ former attorney, “creepy porn lawyer” Michael Avenatti, is saying from prison that the case against Trump is bogus.
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