#COVID19Chronicles-300: February 1, 2021: Trump lawyered up, again :)

It’s not quite Buggin’s Turn or ‘last man standing’…A new team has been drafted in to defend the former president in his impeachment trial: trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr. will lead Donald Trump’s impeachment defence team.

Wrinkly? It seems that the legal firm represented by the new team had sued Trump and the US Postal Service in the past…challenging his claim that mail-in voting was rife with fraud! Ho-hum. In it for the money?

The team leaders have an interesting ‘pedigree’:

According to the Guardian-‘Schoen previously represented Roger Stone, who was convicted of obstructing a congressional investigation into Trump’s collusion with Russia, and also met convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein while the financier was preparing for a sexual exploitation trial. Castor is a former acting attorney general of Pennsylvania, who opposed reforms to support victims of sexual abuse and declined to prosecute Bill Cosby a decade before he was convicted.’

The trial is due to start on February 8. Still plenty of time to make another change? The deadline to submit a preliminary memo outlining the former president’s defense is tomorrow. Get cracking!

Will any of this matter, if Republicans are not going to vote on the merits of the impeachment article?

Football fans will note that this change occurred just ahead of the January transfer window deadline 🙂

#COVID19Chronicles-299: January 31, 2021-Trump unlawyered!

Before I went to bed last night, I was reading about the team of lawyers in the team to defend Donald Trump at his second impeachment trial, led by Butch Bowers from South Carolina.

When I got up, I was shocked to read that five of the legal team had quit!

CNN broke the story that two lead lawyers had skedaddled by “mutual decision”:

But it seems things slid downhill fast. They say a week is a long time in politics; it seems to be true.

The stumbling block was Trump’s insisting that the case be built on the election having been subject to massive voter fraud. No evidence exists of that and this line had failed miserably in court cases brought by Trump’s lawyers before the results were certified and confirmed. As was seen in those cases, lawyers wouldn’t cross the ethical line of peddling lies in proper legal settings, irrespective of words uttered outside such settings. So, it seems again. Many legal minds think a better line would be to contest the constitutionality of the case, which would give more leeway for an acquittal.

‘The Donald’ is nothing if not a dog with a bone on this obsession.

The question, now, of course, is who will lead the legal team now. It’s unlikely to be Rudy Guiliani, as he may himself be a subject in the trial.

The interesting times just keep getting more interesting.

#COVID19Chronicles-269: January 2, 2021-I’m coming to eat you! A Trumpian feeding frenzy gets bloody.

It’s worse than the worst shaggy dog story. Donald Trump lost the election but insists on trying to make it seem he won in a series of demented legal assaults and textual missiles that appeared shot by a blind man who doesn’t care where they land. The man craves attention; he’s a narcissist. Duh! His worst nightmare is to be forced to leave the stage on someone else’s terms.

His strategy has a number of inevitable twists and the latest is acting like those animals that eat their own kind–there are a mere 7 listed, without adding the snakiness of electoral or sporting banter:

All manner of Republican Party/GOP children are now being eaten by Papa bear as he growls and scratches at anyone who comes too close; he’s now called the November vote in Georgia “illegal” and “invalid”:

So, here’s the glaring problem with this latest match thrown into the barn of drying hay. I know consistently reasoned arguments are not POTUS45’s strong suit. So, while he’s clearly sabotaging the Republican Senate runoff election candidates, he’s ignoring the obvious point that had he won Georgia would have made the same argument and be ready to ditch those results that were in his favour? Also, if this glaring problem is sticking in his craw, why did it not jam in the gullet in the Spring? Could it be that he assumed losing was not an option?

The self-feeding and more are now turning out all sorts of nutty scenarios. One that was around before, but means more a few days away from the Georgia run of is the idea of Donald Trump being elected as a senator if people write him in on the ballot:

But, in for a penny, in for pound and ‘nutty buddies’ are having their day. Serial maniac attorney, Lin Wood, just issued a series of vile threats to Vice President Mike Pence, who could “face execution by firing squad” for “treason”.

To round off the feeding frenzy, various Trumpites on the president’s legal team are finding this kind of trumpeting too much, even for them, and distancing themselves. Jenna Ellis went public on this:

If you feel that things are carrying out of control in the crazed efforts to suborn US democracy, you’re not wrong. A few more week of this and 2021 could get off to the kind of flying start that could help it knock 2020 into a hat for being bad.

#COVID19Chronicles-248: December 12, 2020-SCOTUS sends them packing

The US Supreme Court, yesterday, used 126 words to dismiss an absurd law suit seeking to overturn the presidential election results. That’s too ironic, given the suit was supported by 126 Republican Congressional representatives.

I say absurd because the logic of the suit was that some of the representatives had to accept that the votes for them ought to have been rejected. I’ve no way of understanding their lemming-like behaviour except by accepting it as cult-like.

The absurdity went with some truly bogus statistics claiming Biden’s chances of winning four battleground States was less than 1 in a quadrillion to the fourth power.

Put neatly, if not simply, that means seeing the proability as ludicrously small, as Bloomberg noted:

‘First, focus on how small less than one in a quadrillion to the fourth power is. One quadrillion is one million billions. Taking that to the fourth power would make it one million million million million billion billion billion billions. More than the number of atoms in the solar system. The alleged fraction is one divided by that big number. Or actually, “less than” that.’ 

It a ridiculous claim!

It was repeated by the White House press secretary. I could excuse her for parroting some flashy-sounding statistics that a mind-numbing.

But the ‘statistical’ analysis has been totally debunked by Politifact:

‘Cicchetti’s analysis flops because he makes the same error in multiple ways — assuming any two large groups of voters should generate substantially similar results.’

Remember, the SCOTUS dismissed the case, basically, because the claimants had no standing, including POTUS45 who had also intervened in the “big one”:

The SCOTUS decision cleared the path for Electoral College votes on December 14:

But, in what is seeming like a ‘groundhog day’ saga, a new twist is the secession suggested by the Chairman of Texas GOP:

The USA is on a path that could be as divisive as that taken in the 1860s.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled will there be punitive sanctions for 126 representatives, who could be charged with sedition? Some Democrats are asking for them not to be seated and cited Article 14, section 3 (disqualfication by engagement in insurrection or rebellion) of the Constitution:

House Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a damning statement on the members concerned.

Was the suit–which jumped over local courts– just an excuse to engineer a preemptive pardon? The Texas Attorney General who brought the case, Ken Paxton, five years ago, was indicted for securities fraud and remains under FBI investigation for abuse of power.

With three days to go, it would be reasonable to think this incredible post-election political dancing has run its course. But, the termites have been stirred and it’s not clear that public sentiment that has been stirred with misinformation will accept this calmly as closure. Watch for disturbances in some of the States when Elector Colleges meet to vote.

#COVID19Chronicles-227: November 22, 2020-When will he throw in the towel? Disgracing the office of The President

Bloomberg wrote yesterday: ‘A federal judge in Pennsylvania threw out a lawsuit by President Donald Trump’s campaign that aimed to block certification of the state’s election results unless it tossed out tens of thousands of mail-in ballots, rejecting the “startling” request due to a lack of evidence.’ It cited the judge’s ruling (my emphasis):

“This court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence…In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state.”

Bloomberg also wrote ‘It’s the latest and perhaps highest-profile courtroom defeat for Trump since the U.S. election Biden won by 6 million ballots. Suits filed by the campaign and its GOP allies have failed in Michigan, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona as judges declined to toss out millions of votes based on vague assertions by lawyers and sworn affidavits from voters who interpreted perceived irregularities as evidence of a Democratic conspiracy.’

In response, the Trump campaign said in a statement that it would seek an “expedited appeal” to the Third Circuit as a means to ultimately have the Supreme Court, and its 6-3 conservative majority, consider the case.

The court cases are now losing at a rate of 2 for 34.

Meanwhile, the president has checked out of governing, if he was ever checked in. As many noted, yesterday, instead of focusing on COVID with other G-20 leaders, he went golfing.

President Trump missed the virtual G20 summit’s “Pandemic Preparedness” event to visit one of his golf clubs on the same day that a record 195,500 new Covid-19 infections were reported in a 24-hour period in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins.

Much as I like being on a course, this is the metaphor that should stand as his legacy. His biggest care was about his golf score and handicap. The Guardian wrote: ‘According to a tally kept by CNN, Trump has visited one of his golf clubs on 303 occasions during his four years as president. During his 2016 campaign for the White House Trump regularly attacked his predecessor Barack Obama for hitting the links too often and insisted that he would have little time to play golf himself as president as he would be working too hard.’

Not surprisingly, this highlights yet another simple untruth uttered that has marked almost every day in office.

His biggest handicap was that he really doesn’t care for the people he is supposed to lead.