Trump’s vulnerabilities for 2024 mount after new testimony
A former White House aide this week described Trump as an unhinged leader with no regard for the safety of elected officials in either party as he clung to power on Jan. 6, 2021. The testimony from the congressional panel investigating the Capitol attack provided a roadmap for prosecutors to potentially charge Trump with a crime, some legal experts say.
Republican voters – and Trump’s would-be rivals in the 2024 presidential race – took notice.
“It does not matter”
“It won’t change a single vote”
“The committee won’t … wait … wut?”
“He did what?”
Will Bunch / Philadelphia Inquirer:
Cassidy Hutchinson and coup’s great mystery: What if Trump went to the Capitol?
A White House aide’s stunning testimony proves Donald Trump was eager to recreate Mussolini’s March on Rome, and raises a lot of ‘what ifs.’
The nation’s right wing – swelled by disgruntled military veterans and those with a penchant for violence – had grown increasingly restless that fall, with occasional street clashes between these reactionaries and anti-fascists on the left. Finally, the leader of the right bloc – a big man who strutted on stage, sometimes buffoonishly – massed his followers and urged them to march on the capital and fight for their country, even though in the end he did not march with them.
Instead, Benito Mussolini would get in a car and drive to Rome in October 1922, where he again met up with the throng of as many as 60,000 who’d marched there after the future dictator’s speech to them in Naples. This was the-now notorious March on Rome, and the intimidation of Italy’s ruling elites by this large, angry mob and its “strongman” leader worked beyond anyone’s wildest dream. By month’s end, King Victor Emmanuel III had ceded all political power to Mussolini and the fascists, who would not relinquish it for two decades.
Nicholas Grossman / Arc Digital:
Indict Them All
The US government has to treat a lawbreaking coup attempt as criminal, despite the prosecutorial challenges
Prosecuting former White House attorneys, let alone a former president — one who looks poised to run again — presents challenges, no question. But after the pile of evidence shown in televised hearings, many arguments against indictment boil down to politics, not facts and law, often relying on overly confident guesses about unknowable outcomes.
It’s important to appreciate the complications, but it’s also possible to overcomplicate, to overrate one’s ability to predict public reactions, to erroneously seek a savvy, complex strategy over the straightforward, obvious one.
EJ Dionne / WaPo:
The alternative to Supreme Court enlargement is surrender
Liberals are at a special disadvantage when it comes to confronting a radically conservative Supreme Court because most of them are, by nature, institutionalists. They are wary of upsetting long-standing arrangements for fear of mimicking the destructive behavior of the other side and, in the process, legitimizing it.
But the aggressiveness of the right has turned this procedural delicacy into a rationalization for surrender.
Drew Harwell / WaPo:
Trump supporters raced to debunk Jan. 6 testimony. Then they got confused.
The former president’s backers quickly spun an online conspiracy theory that he couldn’t possibly have lunged for his driver’s steering wheel on Jan. 6, 2021. When evidence suggested otherwise, they changed tack.
Trump supporters quickly snapped back online that they’d found an obvious sign she was lying: The presidential limousine, known as “the Beast,” is so heavily fortified that they argued it would be “physically impossible”For Trump to cross from the back cabin to the driver’s seat.
But Trump was not riding in the limousine that day; videos show he actually rode in a Secret Service SUV, where the seats are closer together.
Even if he had ridden in the Beast, the rear and front seats have a glass window the president can lower whenever he’d like – a detail noted even in the same infographic that Trump supporters shared as proof that Hutchinson’s story could not be right .
On the pro-Trump message board patriots.win, one poster said, “She sounds like a child gossiping.” Some patriots.win posters said the testimony showed how unfairly Trump had been treated. One poster said the story showed that “the Deep State coup plotters” of the Secret Service had “effectively kidnapped the President of the United States of America against his wishes” as part of a “CIA Military Industrial Complex coup d’etat.”
Some there argued she should be “locked up for lying under oath,” while another poster there suggested her wild testimony was just Washington as usual.
“Even if she’s telling the truth,” the anonymous patriots.win The poster said, “where’s the f — ing problem?”
Rick Hasen / Slate:
It’s Hard to Overstate the Danger of the Voting Case the Supreme Court Just Agreed to Hear
The issue presented in this case has been a recurring one in recent years. Two parts of the Constitution, Article I, Section 4 as to congressional elections and Article II as to presidential elections, give state “legislatures” the power to set certain rules (in the Art. I, section 4 context, subject to congressional override). . In cases such as Smiley v. Holm, the Supreme Court has long understood the use of the term legislature here to broadly encompass a state’s legislative process, such as the need for a governor’s signature on legislative action (or veto override) about congressional elections. As recently as 2015, in Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission v. Arizona Legislature, the Supreme Court held that the voters in Arizona could use the initiative process to create an independent redistricting commission to draw congressional districts even when the state legislature objected. The majority saw voters passing legislation via initiative as part of that legislative process.
But that latter case was 5-4 with a strong dissent by Chief Justice John Roberts, who believed the legislature could not be cut out of the process. Most of the justices in the majority in that case are now off the court.
There’s a more radical version of the idea that the legislature has power, standing on its own as a body and not part of the general structure of state government, in the independent state legislature theory.
Top Georgia Democrats take different paths on abortion limits
And a fact checker from KFF for you (2019, presented to help you evaluate the debate):
Abortions Later in Pregnancy
“Late term” abortion typically refers to abortions obtained at or after 21 weeks, however it is not an accepted medical term, nor is there a consensus around to which gestational ages it refers. Members of the medical community have criticized the term “late-term” abortion, as it implies abortions are taking place after a pregnancy has reached “term” (37 weeks) or “late term” (> 41 weeks) which is false.
- Abortions at or after 21 weeks are uncommon, and represent 1% of all abortions in the US. Typically, these procedures cost well over $ 1,000, excluding the cost of travel and lost wages. They normally require treatment over multiple days, and are only performed by a subset of all abortion providers.
- Reasons individuals seek abortions later in pregnancy include medical concerns such as fetal anomalies or maternal life endangerment, as well as barriers to care that cause delays in obtaining an abortion.
Reminder about these rough estimates:
Awareness of pregnancy = / + six weeks (one-third of women become aware later than six weeks)
Viability 23 weeks
Third trimester 27 weeks
Term 37 weeks
Jonathan Weiler / Substack:
First, a quick comment on Tuesday’s January 6 Select Committee hearings. Cassidy Hutchinson was a compelling witness. Barely twenty four at the time of the attempt to overthrow the 2020 elections, Hutchinson had a frankly astonishing degree of influence as a top aide to the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. That House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would call Hutchinson on the afternoon of the 6th to insist that * she * stop the President from coming to Capitol Hill reflects the extraordinary position she had come to hold in our government. People with legal expertise I lack believe that her revelations provide a critical new piece of the foundation for potential criminal charges against Trump. For laypeople like myself, perhaps the most eye-popping story Hutchinson told was of Trump’s supposed attempt to commandeer the presidential vehicle to drive it to the Capitol that day. But the most revealing was the tantrum Trump threw because not enough people were coming to his rally on January 6, his insistence that security stop screening for weapons at that rally, and his rejection of entreaties to continue screening by saying “they’re not here to hurt me. ” That both reveals his state of mind and awareness of the nature of the crowd he was about to incite * and * his general psychopathy.
One more note. The Trumpist frenzy that descended upon Hutchinson after her testimony on Tuesday has included many versions of “she’s a nothing, she’s a peon, why should we take her seriously?” At times like this, it takes so little to reveal the right’s sneering elitist contempt, its relentless anti-elitist branding notwithstanding.