And We're Not Even Going To Mention Santos Or Gaetz
Usually when you think of a Republican criminal, you think of Trump and those around him. At a MAGA rally in Iowa on Saturday, Trump claimed he’s already spent $100 million in legal fees (which presumably includes the $15,000 in fines for running his mouth, threatening court officials and witnesses). He was lying about the amount— and doesn’t pay his attorneys anyway, unless they get the money in advance. In the same speech, he said it cost him ‘A couple billion dollars’ in opportunity costs whole he was president, another lie.
Leon Cooperman is a Republican through and through— and the hedge fund billionaire puts his money where his mouth is. He’s spent millions of dollars trying toilet Republicans to office. But when it came to Trump… he reluctantly voted for Biden in 2020. Late last week, he told CNN that “It would be terrible for the country if Donald Trump were reelected. He’s a divisive human being who belongs in jail.”
But there are all kinds of Republicans all over the country who are criminals heading to prison without anything to do with the MAGA movement per se. Although… our first case today, Arthur Ray Hanson II (59), actually very much is a MAGAt. He comes from Huntsville which is located in two Alabama counties on the Tennessee border, Madison and Limestone. In 2020, Madison went for Trump 52.8% to 44.8% and Limestone voted the same way, but worse— 70.4% to 44.8%. It was represented by Blue Dog Bud Cramer for 2 decades and when he retired fellow Blue Dog Parker Griffith won the seat. He was elected as a Democrat (2008), voted with the Republicans and by the end of his first year had switched parties and ran for reelection as a Republican. Mo Brooks beat him in the primary. When Griffith switched parties, he became the first Republican to represent the district since John Callis who won a single term during Reconstruction (1868-1870). Now it’s a deep red district. When Mo Brooks retired in 2022, Republican Dale strong beat Democrat Kathy Warner-Stanton in a landslide, 67.2% to 29.6%. This is MAGA country now.
On August 6, Hanson II called the Fulton County government customer service line twice and left two voicemails— the first for Sheriff Patrick Labat and the second for Fani Willis. The first one: “If you think you gonna take a mugshot of my President Donald Trump and it's gonna be ok, you gonna find out that after you take that mugshot, some bad shit’s probably gonna happen to you… I'm warning you right now before you fuck up your life and get hurt real bad.”
His message to Willis warned her to “watch it when you’re going to the car at night, when you’re going into your house, watch everywhere that you’re going;” “I would be very afraid if I were you because you can’t be around people all the time that are going to protect you;” “there’s gonna be moments when you’re gonna be vulnerable;” “when you charge Trump on that fourth indictment, anytime you’re alone, be looking over your shoulder;” and “what you put out there, shit, comes back at you ten times harder, and don’t ever forget it.”
The free speech amendment doesn’t cover threats to public officials and Hanson II was indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta on charges of transmitting interstate threats to injure the two officials. U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan: “Sending interstate threats to physically harm prosecutors and law enforcement officers is a vile act intended to interfere with the administration of justice and intimidate individuals who accept a solemn duty to protect and safeguard the rights of citizens. When someone threatens to harm public servants for doing their jobs to enforce our criminal laws, it potentially weakens the very foundation of our society. Our office will labor tirelessly with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to help ensure that law enforcement officials are free to serve our communities without the threat of physical attack.”
Another unruly MAGAt, Vitali Gossjankowski (34), went wild in DC on Monday and had to be restrained by half a dozen US Marshalls. What a bunch these Trump supporters are! Gossjankowski is a convicted insurrectionist and Judge Paul Friedman revoked his pre-sentencing release “after federal prosecutors brought intimidating and harassing messages he'd sent to law enforcement to the court's attention. Gossjankowski was convicted of multiple felony counts in March, including assaulting police, for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.”
In revoking his release, the judge said that “Gossjankowski posting the names, phone numbers and emails of law enforcement and prosecutors on social media, as well as calling for the ‘employment extermination’ of the FBI's Washington Field Office, was inciting behavior. ‘All of this is extremely troubling,’ Friedman said. ‘It's dangerous. It's putting others in danger, including prosecutors and law enforcement. I'm just stunned.’… When the hearing ended, Gossjankowski began making low moaning sounds— and when a Marshal approached him to take him into custody, he resisted. Other Marshals and FBI agents who were in the courtroom rushed to assist, leading to a scuffle in which Gossjankowski, whose large frame towered over several of the officers, dragged multiple men along with him as he tried to reach the courtroom door.”
Just random schlemiels you say? Could be anyone? Nothing to do with the Republican Party? How about child rapist, North Dakota Republican ex-state Sen. Ray Holmberg (79), the longest-serving state legislator in the country when he was forced to retire last year when the scandal began to break? Grandpa Holmberg was flying back and forth to Prague— a beautiful city far from Grand Forks— to have sex with young boys, so young that what he did was rape, even though he was paying them.
If he was in the Czech Republic he could be charged with raping a child. But in the U.S. he can only be charged with traveling to Prague with the intent to rape a minor. He served more than 45 years in the state legislature and he may well serve the rest of his life in prison. Holmberg, retired school guidance counselor, was arrested yesterday. It appears that at least some his trips abroad were paid for by taxpayer money.
Yesterday he pleaded not guilty to the sex tourism charge and to another charge about receiving pornography of underage boys (including naked pictures of two prepubescent boys) being abused. Let’s hope that soon they’ll be dragging Clarence and Ginny Thomas off to prison before they day?