Posts Tagged ‘Jack Smith’

Streaming Indictments with Jack Smith

Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

By Bob Gaydos

Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Special Counsel Jack Smith.

  The first season of Jack Smith saves democracy finally started steaming into our consciousness in Washington, D.C., this week as the special counsel (1.) leveled three federal counts against Donald Trump for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, a coup, in effect, to which the now thrice-indicted defendant’s lawyers (2.) kept arguing that free speech gave Trump the right to lie about losing the election, which Smith never denied or charged him with and which (3.) former Vice President Mike Pence suddenly realized he always had a right to when he said (out loud and in public) that Trump asked him to reject the votes of the legitimate electors on Jan. 6, which apparently (4.) prompted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 has been a disaster, to also forget the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil GOP mantra and say, “Of course he lost the election,” when asked about Trump and 2020, even as (5.) other Republicans stuck to the script and plotted with the “conservative” Heritage Foundation to devise a “battle plan” for the first 180 days of a Republican presidency in 2025, including a strategy that would negate current efforts to slow global warming by eliminating regulations to curb greenhouse gas pollution from cars, oil and gas wells and power plants, dismantling most clean energy programs in the federal government and increasing the production of fossil fuels, even as (6.) the planet suffers through the hottest year on record, which, no one is admitting but seems at least plausible, (7.) could have contributed to flight controllers at NASA’s Cape Canaveral losing track of the Voyager 2 spacecraft for several weeks because they were, in effect, looking in the wrong place, which (8.) is what President Biden told Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who has been lobbying to move the new Space Force headquarters from Colorado, where the Air Force Academy is located and recreational pot is legal, to Alabama, where anything Republicans don’t like (abortion, LGBTQ rights, voting rights …) is illegal or tough to come by, when Biden rejected an order by Trump, who created the new military force, to locate it in Alabama, thereby also (9.) sending Tuberville a nasty message for his one-man crusade of putting a hold on hundreds of top Defense Department promotions, which has resulted for the first time in (10.)the Marines and Army both operating with acting commanders and the Joint Chiefs being short-changed, all because (11.) one man objects to a Pentagon plan to provide transportation to service members needing to go to another state for an abortion, a sensible plan in the same vein as (12.) a new Pentagon policy that places control over military sexual assault cases in the hands of a team of independent prosecutors, rather than base commanders, thereby eliminating coverups and favoritism, a policy which came in response to numerous complaints from female service members which led to (13.) legislation creating the new policy, which was spearheaded by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and which Biden signed into law, displaying a concern for the health and well-being of Americans in uniform that (14.) was seriously lacking in the case of Anthony Rizzo, who gets paid millions of dollars to put on the uniform for the New York Yankees, and was apparently allowed to play (poorly as it turned out) for two months while suffering from post-concussive syndrome and also sharing a locker room with Domingo German, who (15.), only four weeks after pitching a perfect game, proceeded to trash the Yankee clubhouse, fight with teammates, get suspended for the season and sent to alcohol rehab, which (16.) gives a whole new level of meaning to the concept of functioning alcoholic and is topped for a New York headline only by (17.) the crosstown Mets trading away Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander, their two aging super aces, whom they’re paying tens of millions of dollars to apparently try to win the pennant for two different teams in Texas, (18.) and that’s why reading the sports pages first thing in the morning isn’t as much fun as it used to be, aside from the fact (19.) in the current stream of things, you can’t find them anymore, but then, (20.) there’s always Jack Smith, Season 1, episode 1.



Trump and GOP: A Tiring, Old Story

Friday, June 16th, 2023

By Bob Gaydos

Special Counsel Jack Smith meets the press.

Special Counsel Jack Smith meets the press.

   It’s not exactly writer’s block. More like writer’s fatigue. It’s what happens, to me at least, when there’s really only one story to tell and I’ve told it from every possible angle, for, oh, about seven years now.

     That would be the transformation of the Republican Party by Donald Trump from a responsible, conservative partner in the nation’s two-party system, a party once dedicated to the rule of law and respect for the traditions on which our democratic republic was founded, into a race-baiting, power-hungry, intolerant, lying, bullying collection of ignorant bigots and cowardly hypocrites. I think that covers it.

    But how many times can you say that? It’s what’s happened and is still happening and neither a federal indictment of Trump in Florida for hoarding classified government documents after he left the White House nor a conviction and $5 million fine in New York for sexually assaulting a reporter in a changing room at Bergdorf Goodman and then defaming her has changed the basic story.

     Most Republicans, even some who are competing with him for the party’s presidential nomination, still refuse to condemn his behaviors. They refuse to say he is unfit to hold any public office, much less the highest office in the land. Some actually agree with Trump’s methods. Others don’t, but they also don’t want to roil what they still think is the party’s base of cult-like followers loyal only to Trump. Fear and loathing 2023.

      It’s a self-inflicted situation for the GOP. But there, I’ve said it again.

      These are perilous times for our democracy. I fear far too many Americans still don’t grasp that. Trump and his lackeys have threatened our very foundation — a nation where all men and women are created equal and all — regardless of status — are treated equally under the law.

   Jack Smith, Chris Christie, Chris Sununu. They get it. Smith, of course, is the no-nonsense special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Trump’s refusal to return classified government documents and his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

     My favorite Smith moment, in fact the only Smith moment thus far, was his brusk reading of a brief explanation of the documents indictment and then walking off the stage as the media shouted questions at him. It’s all there in the indictment, folks, see you in court.

      Christie is the somewhat disgraced former New Jersey governor who has entered the primary race for the GOP presidential nomination with what appears to be the sole purpose of telling the truth about Trump every chance he gets as bluntly as he can. As a New Jersey native, I can tell you that can be pretty blunt and he will not back down.

       And Sununu is a respected Republican governor of New Hampshire who has decided not to run for president, but to also point out, in a New England way, how morally, intellectually and politically unfit Trump is for the job.

       So, good for them. And good for us.

       But the Republican Party still offers the likes of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is out to prove he can be worse than Trump, and former Vice President Mike Pence, who saw the noose waiting for him on Jan. 6, brought by Trump’s army, but still can’t find the courage to tell the whole truth about his former boss.

      I always try to be optimistic, but there’s another presidential campaign looming and, as I said, I’ve told this story before. On October 20, 2016, with an election looming, I wrote: “Republicans, Trump is not one of you. He is Trump. Period. You created him. Your hypocrisy and cowardice have emboldened him and his ilk. He has sullied us all. And he has destroyed you.”

     Here’s to Jack Smith, Chris Christie and Chris Sununu.  It’s time for a new plot line, folks.