Yesterday, it was reported that another rat had just deserted Trump's sinking ship. Trump's anti-science, COVID-friendly science advisor Scott Atlas is leaving the regime. Jim Acosta reported that "A source close to the task force told CNN on Monday that Atlas' departure comes as welcome news, as his discredited theories will no longer have a seat at the table. A separate official said the task force remains intact following Atlas' departure." No one knows if Stanford will welcome him back. The school has sought to distance itself from him and from his whackadoodle views on the pandemic. A friend of mine who works at Stanford, told me last night that "Atlas is a laughing stock and figure of disdain in the academic community" and that, at least for now, Stanford would rather not be involved with him.
This morning's NY Times reported that Giuliani "has led the most extensive efforts to damage [Trump's] political rivals and undermine the election results" and has discussed with Señor T the possibility of receiving a pre-emptive pardon before the mad orange pig leaves office. "Giuliani’s potential criminal exposure is unclear. He was under investigation as recently as last summer by federal prosecutors in Manhattan for his business dealings in Ukraine and his role in ousting the American ambassador there, a plot that was at the heart" of the Trumpanzee impeachment. Even if Trump gets away with pardoning him-- he presumably promised him one before Giuliani took on the tasks Trump assigned him-- nothing will prevent Guilaini from being disbarred.
And speaking people who probably have preemptive pardons in the work but who should be disbarred, Trump consiglieri, William Barr, admitted in an interview with the Associated Press that "the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election." He said that "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.
The AP report added that "Giuliani has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence. Local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making similar unsupported claims. Trump has railed against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. Trump recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but has still refused to admit he lost."
This afternoon, CNN reported that the Justice Department is investigating bribes being paid to Trump for presidential pardons, according to court records unsealed Tuesday in federal court... "The disclosure is in 20 pages of partially redacted documents made public by the DC District Court on Tuesday afternoon. The records show Chief Judge Beryl Howell's review in August of a request from prosecutors to access documents obtained in a search as part of a bribery-for-pardon investigation." There are no names attached. But, no doubt, that will come with time, although at least one of the people sounds like Giuliani. "The political strategy to obtain a presidential pardon was 'parallel' to and distinct from [redacted]'s role as an attorney-advocate for [redacted name]," Howell wrote in her court order. The grand jury investigation also appears to relate to unnamed people acting as unregistered 'lobbyists to senior White House officials' as they sought to secure a pardon and use an intermediary to send a bribe, the unsealed court records say." Hmmm... sounds like Kushner is the bag man for the scheme. How happy would you be to see him locked up in his father's old prison cell?
Did you watch the 60 Minutes clip up top. Trump's handpicked election security official, Chris Krebs, called the 2020 election "the most secure in American history." As you might guess, that was enough to earn him a pink-slip from Trump: "You're Fired!" One of the Trump attorneys, discredited right-wing seditionist Joe DiGenova, went further-- going on a neo-Nazi hate talk radio show hosted by Howie Carr to call on Krebs to be murdered: "Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity... that guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot." When I got my broadcast radio license, there was no question that that kind of incitement would lose a station its license. Why the Bar doesn't strip DiGenova of his right to practice law is also a mystery.
From fringe Trumpists in the Ohio state legislature filing impeachment charges against conservative Republican Governor Mike DeWine to neo-Nazis threatening the life of Miles Taylor, the former deputy chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security, Trump has released another plague on our country besides from the COVID pandemic he caused. Writing this morning for the Washington Post, Manuel Roig-Franzia reported that "In the weeks since Taylor’s self-induced unmasking, he has shuffled between at least 10 undisclosed locations, he says, bunking in private homes and hotels after receiving a deluge of death threats. Haters on the political right despise him, nudged along by Trump calling him a 'traitor.' Haters on the left demean him for staying more than two years in an administration they consider corrupt and amoral, and for working at a Department of Homeland Security notable for its inhumane immigration policies-- positions that he says he did not support and sought to soften. Worried that he’ll be attacked, Taylor now employs private security. Trump has publicly called him "a real stiff," a "sleazebag" and a "low-level lowlife" who should be prosecuted.
I don't want to totally skip over the GOP impeachment effort against DeWine. While working much harder than most Republican governors to contain the pandemic and protect his state's citizens, DeWine has faced throngs of armed protesters at the statehouse and crowds outside his home. Now, 4 GOP crackpots elected in deep red counties filed 12 articles of impeachment against him, asserting that the governor violated state and federal laws by requiring masks in public and ordering some businesses to close. The crackpots are John Becker, Candice Keller (68.4% to 67.5%), Candice Keller of Middletown, Nino Vitale, who I thought had been committed to an asylum for the criminally insane early this year and Paul Zeltwanger. "These are pretty much the craziest people in Columbus," a friend mine who serves with them in the House told me this evening. "Look where they're from and who they represent. Their voters live in an alternative reality created by Trump, Hannity and Carlson." So I did; I checked the 4 counties the 4 crackpots represent. Each voted for Trump by really big margins in both in 2016 and 2020. Predictably, the most fascist-oriented, Vitale, lives in Champaign County where 70% of the primitive residents voted for Trump in 2016 and 73.1% last month. I might add that on June 30, Vitale posted a long screed on his Facebook page claiming that masks "drop oxygen below danger levels in 5 seconds," which has no basis in fact whatsoever. The post was tagged #masksdoharm and #masksdonotwork. Before facebook deleted it, the post was shared more than 13,000 times.