In political writing about the federal judiciary, there is a convention to treat the partisan affiliation of a judge or justice as a mere curiosity, to pretend that it does not matter that much whether a jurist was nominated by Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton or George W. Bush or Barack Obama so long as he or she can faithfully uphold the law. The issue with this convention, as we’ve seen in the legal drama over the classified materials found in President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago, is that it isn’t equipped to deal with the problem of hyperpartisan, ideological judges who are less committed to the rule of law than to their presidential patron. In particular, this way of thinking about federal courts isn’t equipped to deal with the problem of Trump judges. In the case of the documents, the judge in question is Aileen Cannon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, nominated by Trump in the spring of 2020 and confirmed by the Senate (with 12 Democratic … [Read more...] about The Wrong Trump Judge at the Right Time Can Wreak Havoc
Mar a lago club
For four long years, the United States was run by a “sophisticated parrot,” as campaign aides reportedly called him. Rather than asking a high-ranking general to further elucidate a concept he didn’t quite grasp, Donald Trump, the nation’s commander-in-chief, instead “shouted down the teachers.” When preparing to debate sensitive issues such as transgender rights, he inquired as to whether the subject of one hypothetical scenario was “cocked or decocked.” And while certain people believed Trump had a malign intent in many of his decisions, such as impulsively tweeting out a classified image in 2019 of an Iranian missile launch facility, others “believed he was operating with the emotional development of a 12-year-old,” playing fast-and-loose with state secrets “to get attention for himself.” “If you take out the classification that’s the sexy part,” Trump allegedly responded to horrified advisers at the time.That’s all according to Confidence Man: The Making of Donald … [Read more...] about Bomb Mexico, Fire Javanka: All the Wildest Bits From Maggie Haberman’s New Trump Book
Former Trump administration official Kash Patel has defended his use of a slogan used by QAnon followers who falsely believe cannibalistic pedophiles control world events. Patel, who previously served as chief of staff to then–Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, defended his use of the phrase "where we go one, we go all" during an appearance on a podcast hosted by QAnon supporters. The phrase, shortened to "WWG1WGA." is regularly used as a rallying cry by followers of the conspiracy theory. Many followers of the unfounded conspiracy theory believe Donald Trump is secretly in a battle against a global cabal of satanic cannibalistic pedophiles made up of politicians, celebrities and business leaders. QAnon followers have previously been involved in violent incidents, harassment campaigns and killings after one supposed adherent shot his wife and one of his daughters in Walled Lake, Michigan, on September 11. Speaking with QAnon podcast host Jeffrey Pedersen on … [Read more...] about Ex-Trump official defends using QAnon slogan: “What’s wrong with it?”
Gail Collins: Bret, which do you think is more of a threat to Donald Trump’s political future, the classified document drama at Mar-a-Lago or the legal challenge to his businesses in New York? Bret Stephens: Gail, I suspect the most serious threats to Trump’s future, political or otherwise, are Big Macs and KFC buckets. Otherwise, I fear the various efforts to put the 45th president out of business or in prison make it considerably more likely that he’ll wind up in the White House as the 47th president. How about you? Gail: Sigh. You’re probably right but I’m still sorta hoping New York’s attorney general can hit him in the pocketbook. He’s super vulnerable when it comes to his shady finances — I’m even surprised he can find lawyers who have confidence they’ll keep being paid. Bret: No doubt the Trump Organization was run with the kind of fierce moral and financial rectitude you’d expect if Elizabeth Holmes had been put in charge of Enron. But the essential currency of … [Read more...] about Does It Matter That Investigators Are Closing In on Trump?