Wednesday, November 24, 2021

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian....

 After dithering for weeks, the Justice Department has indicted Trump's mate Steve Bannon for contempt of congress. Some had worried that the ever-cautious attorney general, Merrick Garland, would delay charging Bannon, or not charge him at all; after all, in October, Garland let the five-year statute of limitations run against Michael Cohen's unindicted co-conspirator in the Stormy Daniels hush-money payments: "Individual-l", one Donald Trump.

It was another Houdini escape for El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago. The payments, clear violations of election law, were under investigation by the Federal Election Commission as Trump's term ended, but holdover Republican appointees on the evenly-divided commission engineered a case closure on technical grounds.

If scandal and disgrace fail to sink Trump or his Republican caucus, there's still a faint prospect that the  congressional insurrectionists could be expelled, as they were in 1866, and Trump himself could be disqualified (or "lustrated") from office. 

It's essential that Trump be stopped from standing again, as all the indications are that he's planning a coup in 2024; that's why so much depends upon the work of the House Select Committee that is currently investigating the unsuccessful 2020 coup attempt. 

Even as the committee was sitting, shocking new evidence emerged of Trump's efforts to cling to power, e.g, the Eastman memos, and now, the Ellis and McEntee memos. Jenna Ellis was a Trump campaign lawyer; Johnny McEntee was the 29-year-old White House personnel director who forced out Defence Secretary Mark Esper for (among other things) resisting Trump's efforts to involve the Pentagon in his Putsch.

Even with the overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing, there's little time left for house Democrats to deal with Trump. The recent Virginia state elections exposed the continuing credulity of Republican voters, a softening of Democrat support and most worryingly, 2020 Biden voters with a short memory.

In November 2022 there will be congressional elections. Inflamed by the ceaseless Stolen-Election lie and powered by gerrymanders that would make Bjelke-Petersen blush, Trump's Fox-fed Lumpenproletariat will regain control of the House of Reps and put an end to its inquiries into Trump's malefactions. 

Yet there's no lack of ongoing litigation (here's the latest list), with a fresh grand jury inquiry into the Trump Organisation. Trump remains in personal legal peril with the January 6th jailings: his aiding and abetting the Capitol occupation would be one of the easiest cases for prosecutors to prove. As well, there's the incriminating Hatch Act violations of underlings in which he's implicated.