Crooked Media - What A Day: Clown by law

Thursday, March 28, 2024
BY CROOKED MEDIA

—Steve Bannon, who was sentenced to four months pending appeal, before his next criminal trial kicks off in May... warning that, hey, it's Trump’s opponents who have to worry about the law.

Trump’s lawyers are having another rough one. And the mainstream media could learn a lesson from the legal profession and how it handles accountability for unethical behavior and corruption.

 
  • Lawyers for disgraced former President Donald Trump have a long, sordid, and darkly hilarious history of getting charged with crimes, going to prison, facing disbarment, comparing Trump to a “mob boss,” and warning the country not to re-elect him. This week, the saga of accountability for the former guy’s band of legal misfits continued apace. While 2020 coup lawyer and Trump co-conspirator Jeffrey Clark, was taking the Fifth over and over in his D.C. disbarment hearing yesterday, across the country, another corrupt Trump attorney faced accountability of his own. John Eastman was a key architect not only of the scheme to recruit fake electors, but also of the plan to convince Veep Mike Pence to reject legit Biden electors so the fakes could be slotted in on Jan. 6. Eastman’s professional colleagues in California noticed, and they don’t want him around any more. 
     

  • As of a judge’s ruling yesterday, Eastman is no longer fit to practice law in the State of California. Unless he wins a longshot appeal, he’ll be officially disbarred by Saturday. It’s worth taking a second to look at Judge Yvette Roland’s ruling, because like so much of what’s become standard from Trumpworld, it’s shocking. Roland wrote that Eastman lied in court documents, that he knew his fake elector and Jan. 6 plan was illegal, and that he repeatedly lied about evidence of voter fraud. She said Eastman’s conduct was worse than that of Nixon lawyer and henchman Donald Segretti in Watergate. At least Segretti eventually acknowledged his crimes. Eastman, the court ruled, can no longer be trusted to practice law with honesty and integrity.
     

  • Now, just for fun, let’s draw a comparison with parallel events in the media over the past week. Ronna McDaniel served as the head of the Republican National Committee for much of the Trump years and their messy aftermath. She operated in politics, not the law, but followed the same playbook as Eastman. She trafficked lies about the election, pushed democracy-damaging conspiracy theories, and worked to undermine accountability for crimes (remember when the RNC called Jan. 6 “legitimate political discourse”?). But NBC News executives still thought she was fit to act as a contributor and analyst in election coverage. That NBC’s journalists so quickly rejected McDaniel as a liar unfit at the table of journalism—regardless of party—was heartening. But the fact that their bosses thought McDaniel deserved that seat shows how the mainstream media, eight years into Trump’s assault on democracy, still struggles to recognize what it means to defend its institution. The RNC responded by threatening to limit NBC’s access to this summer’s convention—in what amounts to saying, effectively: “Air our lies or pay the consequences.” It’s a move that should prove to those execs that they arrived at the right decision, eventually.
     

  • Eastman, as we noted above, is far from alone. Many—nearly all, in fact—of Trump’s cadre of coup-promoting lawyers have faced accountability in some form. Jeffrey Clark may be on his way to disbarment (he’s also charged with crimes); Rudy Giuliani is charged and can’t practice law; Jenna Ellis, censured and pleaded guilty; Ken Chesebro, guilty; Sidney Powell, guilty and sanctioned
     

Although it takes some time, the legal profession knows how to deal with fraudulent crackpots. It has demonstrated an ability to defend its institution against the liars and cheats Trump has dispatched in his attack on democracy. It’s well past time the mainstream media outlets responsible for covering 2024 figure it out.
 

Once more for the people in the back: Pod Save America just dropped 2024 Democracy or Else tour dates! If you’re in Brooklyn, Boston, Madison, Phoenix, Philly, or Ann Arbor, Jon, Jon, and Tommy are bringing their hot, fresh content directly to you this summer. There’s a VIP ticket bundle that includes a signed copy of our new book Democracy or Else: How to Save America in 10 Easy Steps. To see all the tour dates & get tickets for Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It, head to crooked.com/events.

Is Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s candidacy a bigger threat to Joe Biden or Donald Trump? No one knows, but everyone’s nervous about it. Dems definitely see the threat RFK represents simply based on his Democratic name ID. Trump has certainly seen the polling showing Kennedy could siphon some of his support with anti-vax quackery and creepy conspiracy theories. We have a long way to go before it’s clear how many state ballots RFK qualifies for, and how effectively other campaigns marginalize him. He chose for his running mate, however, the ultra-wealthy lawyer Nicole Shanahan—a woman who received an unknown sum in a confidential divorce settlement from ex-husband and Google billionaire Sergei Brin, after reportedly seeking $1 billion. It therefore appears highly likely that RFK Jr. will have enough funds to cause weirdo-havoc until the end, if he chooses.

What’s clear is that RFK is a threat to public safety. Forget about polls and swing state margins. Just three months into 2024, measles cases have already surpassed the US total for 2023. The cases are almost entirely among children who haven’t been vaccinated. Measles vaccine rates are falling, thanks to the anti-vax campaigns of RFK and mostly right-wing conspiracy mongers. There’s no way around the fact that the more public attention he gets, the more currency anti-vax thinking receives. Talk to your local public health expert about how safe that is for children. 

RFK got a lot of coverage for his whack-job antisemitic statements about Covid. But here’s one not enough people noticed: Kennedy toyed with Nazi-signaling code words as he was seeking attention early in his campaign. Last July, while complaining about his inability to score Secret Service protection, he tweeted two numbers close together that are widely understood as a neo-Nazi dog whistle—14 and 88. He wrote: “Typical turnaround time for pro forma protection requests from presidential candidates is 14-days. After 88-days of no response and after several follow-ups by our campaign, the Biden Administration just denied our request.” But the number 14 and 88 mean a lot to Nazis. Putting them side by side is like Nazi Christmas. Later, RFK Jr. claimed he got the numbers from a security consultant who handled his negotiations with the Secret Service, and didn’t “invent” them. He also said: “What’s ironic about this… is these are people who have been accusing me of being a conspiracy theorist.” Uh… okay, man!  

The Kennedys themselves seem to recognize the danger their Bobby Jr. poses to the country, especially via the risk he poses to Biden. Just keep in mind there's a lot more at stake with RFK than third-party horse-race politics.

 

Republicans are scrambling to encourage mail in voting after Trump spent literally years…and the last few months…attacking it.

A court ordered South Carolina to use an electoral map deemed an illegal racial gerrymander…all because the Supreme Court has been too slow to rule on it. 

Republicans have started warning it’s “outrageous” for Congress to fund reconstruction of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge… including (right on cue) those who’ve celebrated federally-built bridges in their districts!

Joe Biden’s campaign will raise a record $25 million from a New York fundraiser tonight at Radio City Music Hall, including appearances from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Lizzo, and a bunch of other stars. 

Record-breaking crypto-scammer Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to pay $11 billion in forfeiture for defrauding investors. 

The GOP campaign operative who said American Conservative Union’s Matt Schlapp didn’t pay him to drop a sexual assault suit was…wait for it… indeed paid by ACU’s insurance policy.

Russia is using increasingly sophisticated methods to promote isolationism and undermine funding for Ukraine ahead of the 2024 election, according to intelligence agencies. 

Donald Trump’s lawyers were in Fulton County court today trying to get the sprawling case against him dismissed on the grounds that all his election lies are protected 1st Amendment free speech. Lawyers for Fulton County argued that lies in furtherance of crimes like fraud and racketeering are, in fact, illegal. 

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) swears she has brand new evidence that Trump’s request for GA election officials to “find” him votes was totally legit. Turns out it’s definitely bullshit.

MyPillow guy and election conspiracy wizard Mike Lindell is getting kicked out of a Minnesota warehouse where he owes $217,489 in back rent. But he says his business is totally fine. 

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The Atlantic magazine topped 1 million subscribers and achieved profitability. Rare good news in an otherwise dismal media landscape!

Robotic dogs are creepy, and not actual dogs. Still, hooray for this heroic robotic dog, taking bullets for real people.

Get cooking with this lil guy!

. . . . . .


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