Today’s DOJ part of the hearings (the plan to corruptly replace institutionalist Jeff Rosen with loyalist Jeffrey Clark) was temporarily suspended (Zoe Lofgren says the videographers need more time). This is from the Washington Post:
Inside the explosive Oval Office confrontation three days before Jan. 6
Donoghue then told Trump that Clark had no qualification to be attorney general: “He has never been a criminal attorney. He never conducted a criminal investigation in his life. He’s never been in front of a grand jury, much less a trial jury. “
“Well, I’ve done a lot of very complicated appeals and civil litigation, environmental litigation, and things like that,” Clark said, according to Donoghue’s deposition.
“That’s right,” Donoghue said. “You’re an environmental lawyer. How about you go back to your office, and we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill. “
Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, told Trump that Clark’s proposed letter was “a murder-suicide pact,” according to Donoghue’s deposition. “It’s going to damage everyone who touches it. And we should have nothing to do with that letter. I do not ever want to see that letter again. ” Cipollone declined to comment.
Things are getting real. This Jeffrey Clark story is the big story of the day.
Celeste Katz Marston / Nieman Reports:
American Democracy is Under Threat – and Newsrooms Are Mobilizing to Cover It
Reporters need to focus on local election agencies and move beyond horse race political coverage
While the insurrection was a wake-up call for the nation as a whole, and the profession of reporting in particular, covering it long term is not as clear cut as covering a riot. For a responsible free press, guarding democracy is much more akin to “watching a leak,” says Tony Marcano, managing editor of Southern California Public Radio (KPCC) and LAist, which is launching a Civics and Democracy beat. “You have to pay attention, because that leak could turn into a crack that can turn into damage, and the next thing you know, your house is falling down.”
In other words, if the real story of the dangers to the US system of government is to be told, it will not necessarily be a made-for-TV mutiny. Instead, it will happen at local election agencies, statehouses, and school boards. But connecting the dots between what’s going on in disparate communities and menaces on a greater scale takes vigilance – and a willingness to look beyond both traditional horse race coverage and bothsidesism. Simply reporting that certain officials “claim” the 2020 presidential election was rigged by fraudulent voting or voting machine hacks and others “deny” those claims isn’t a framing that goes far enough because there’s no evidence for widespread, game-changing malfeasance. And, giving a platform to former government officials who were actively involved in trying to subvert the 2020 election or covering politicians – like many of the Sunday talk shows do – can normalize their actions.
Tim Miller / Bulwark:
No, Bill Stepien, You Weren’t On “Team Normal.” You Were On “Team Coup.”
On the self-delusion that led a Trump accomplice to believe he was one of the good coupers.
Team Normal. How about that for some self-flattery.
Bill Stepien spent 5 years watching Donald Trump’s cruelty, pathological duplicity, irrationality, narcissistic personality disorder, buffoonery, and criminality. After that half-decade of evidence, this “professional” decided to accept a role as the campaign manager for Trump’s flagging re-election campaign.
And he did not just take some arm’s length consultancy providing powerpoint decks from the comfort of a Cape May beach house. He chose to sit in the big-boy chair as the man-child responsible for getting Trump four more years in power.
When he made that decision, at some level he knew — because we all knew, because Trump told us—That were his boss to lose, he would not go quietly into the night. He knew that Trump would go all manner of lengths to keep his grip on power, democracy be damned.
And yet on election night 2020, as this fate was coming to pass, Bill Stepien testified that he advised the president to give a measured statement about how it’s “too early to tell.” He wanted Trump to be dignified about how the team was “proud of the race we ran” and close by offering that he would have “more to say” after the votes came in
Why this time was different on guns
The Senate’s ability to tackle mass shootings with both Democratic and GOP leaders’ blessing relied on four lawmakers with disparate political identities coming together.
Yet the formation of the four-senator negotiating group was the most important moment in the gun safety talks, according to interviews with more than a dozen senators and aides. And after years of failed gun negotiations, the personalities and policy profiles of the foursome proved critical to success in a 50-50 Senate where progress is unusually swayed by “gangs” of aspiring dealmakers.
Max Boot / WaPo:
I thought the Jan. 6 committee would not matter. I was wrong.
I admit to having been skeptical, ahead of time, of the hearings planned by the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021. What more is there to be said, I wondered? The evidence of Donald Trump’s guilt in inciting an insurrection was already so obvious that it was hard to imagine that the committee would have much to add. This was not, after all, a situation such as Watergate, where the scandal happened behind closed doors. The entire nation saw Trump’s incendiary remarks and tweets, and the riot that followed, on national television.
I am happy to say I was wrong. The committee’s hearings are exceeding expectations, because it is not behaving like a typical congressional committee. There is no grandstanding and no preening. There are no petty partisan squabbles. There is not even the disjointedness that normally occurs when a bunch of politicians are each given five minutes to question each witness. There is only the relentless march of evidence, all of it deeply incriminating to a certain former president who keeps insisting that he was robbed of his rightful election victory.
They do not just catch up with you in the US
Fintan O’Toole / Irish Times:
Brexitland is another country. They do things differently there
Truth and moral sensibility have no place in the Johnsonian metaverse
When Boris Johnson has nowhere to go, the nowhere he goes to is Northern Ireland. It is, for him, an empty space, a vacuum he can fill with any old blather that is useful to him at the time.
What suits him right now is to try to reassemble the old Brexit band of 2019 – the ERG and the DUP – in the hope that the forces that brought him to power will help keep him there.
Tearing up the Northern Ireland protocol to the withdrawal agreement he negotiated, signed and urged both parliament and the electorate to endorse, is just another raid on Northern Ireland’s treasure-house of grievance.
The needs and desires of the people of Northern Ireland are neither here nor there. NI stands for Not Interested.
This is what Northern Ireland is to Johnson: a small and irritating appendage. But he also realized that getting the Northern Ireland tail to wag the Westminster dog could actually be politically expedient.
The protocol was the itch the Brexit zealots would keep scratching. It could create enough agitation to convince them that their whole project is not (as it so obviously is) stuck in the doldrums of anticlimax. The grand old cause is alive!
Perhaps this twist was built into the whole Brexit narrative. Play-acting war with Brussels has been a way of life, a habit of mind, even an addiction. It has molded political careers, supplied thousands of entertaining stories and outraged columns for journalist-politicians like Johnson, and given a shape to an otherwise inchoate English nationalism.
Alex Massie / Spectator:
The game is up, Boris Johnson
Britain deserves better than this farce
And my, the shamelessness. Hark at how the government – or at least the Prime Minister’s – line has evolved in recent months. First, there were no parties in Downing Street and the Prime Minister was not just surprised but furious to discover there might have been. Then there were parties but the Prime Minister was neither present nor involved. Then there were parties at which he was undeniably both. But these parties were special parties, being redefined as work events even though work events of this kind were prohibited at the time they took place. When that line could not hold, they reverted to their bog standard party status but with a twist: it was actually right and wholly proper for the Prime Minister to attend these shindigs. Damn straight it was and not only had he done nothing wrong, he would in fact do it all again. This is the caliber of the man ministers are defending this morning.