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  • Carlson’s Text That Alarmed Fox Leaders: ‘It’s Not How White Men Fight’


    Tucker Carlson speaks in Phoenix, Dec. 17, 2022.

    A text message sent by Tucker Carlson that set off a panic at the highest levels of Fox on the eve of its billion-dollar defamation trial showed its most popular host sharing his private, inflammatory views about violence and race.

    The discovery of the message contributed to a chain of events that ultimately led to Carlson’s firing.

    In the message, sent to one of his producers in the hours after violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Carlson described how he had recently watched a video of a group of men — Trump supporters, he said — violently attacking “an Antifa kid.”

    It was “three against one, at least,” he wrote.

    And then he expressed a sense of dismay that the attackers, like him, were white.

    “Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously,” he wrote.

    “It’s not how white men fight,” he said. But he said he found himself for a moment wanting the group to kill the person he had described as the Antifa kid.

    For years, Carlson espoused views on his show that amplified the ideology of white nationalism. But the text message revealed more about his views on racial superiority.

    The text alarmed the Fox board, which saw the message a day before Fox was set to defend itself against Dominion Voting Systems before a jury. The board grew concerned that the message could become public at trial when Carlson was on the stand, creating a sensational and damaging moment that would raise broader questions about the company.

    The day after the discovery, the board told Fox executives it was bringing in an outside law firm to conduct an investigation into Carlson’s conduct.

    The text message added to a growing number of internal issues involving Carlson that led the company’s leadership to conclude he was more of a problem than an asset and had to go, according to several people with knowledge of the decision. In other messages he had referred to women — including a senior Fox executive — in crude and misogynistic terms. The message about the fight also played a role in the company’s decision to settle with Dominion for $787.5 million, the highest known payout in a defamation case.

    A representative for Carlson said he had no comment.

    The text is part of redacted court filings, and its contents were previously unreported. The contents of the text were disclosed in interviews with several people close to the defamation lawsuit against Fox. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a message that is protected by a court order. In public filings, it remains hidden behind a block of black text.

    Carlson’s messages were collected as part of the defamation lawsuit filed against Fox by Dominion, which accused the network of knowingly airing falsehoods about election fraud. Many messages shared in the case, including those among Fox executives and hosts, were released publicly. But others, including the one between Carlson and one of his producers in the hours after Jan. 6, 2021, remain redacted.

    In that text, Carlson described his own emotions as he watched the video of the violent clash, which he said took place on the streets of Washington. Carlson did not describe the race of the man being attacked.

    “I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it,” he wrote. “Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be.”

    After all, he wrote, “Somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed.”

    “If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?” he wrote.

    The text message came to the attention of Fox’s board of directors and even some senior executives only last month, on the Sunday before the trial was set to begin, according to two people with knowledge of Fox’s internal deliberations. At the time, Fox’s negotiators were entering discussions about an out-of-court settlement before the swearing in of what was shaping up to be a diverse jury.

    The next day, the board told Fox’s leadership about its plan to have the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz investigate Carlson. That disclosure set up the possibility that there could be a continuing investigation into what was behind Carlson’s messages at the same time as a trial, and as he was serving as its top host in prime time.

    Fox has not commented about Carlson’s ouster last week beyond an initial statement announcing that they “agreed to part ways” and thanking “him for his service.” It did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday on the contents of Carlson’s redacted message.

    It remains unclear how the text escaped more notice earlier, given that the Fox legal team was aware of it and other offensive texts written by Carlson. Fox’s lawyers had produced the text as part of the discovery process and were involved in the redactions. Carlson had even been asked about it during a deposition, according to several people who have read the unredacted transcripts of his deposition.

    It was not guaranteed that the text would have been revealed in open court. Dominion’s lawyers had still not decided whether they would introduce the text in front of the jury, according to people with knowledge of their plans. The two sides disagreed on whether Dominion lawyers could have presented such a redacted message at trial if they had decided to do so, a decision that would have ultimately fallen to the judge. The difference became moot after Fox struck an 11th-hour deal on April 18 to pay Dominion $787.5 million and avoid trial.

    How Fox’s executives and board handled the case in the months before the trial was scheduled to begin is expected to be at issue in shareholder lawsuits filed against the company in Delaware.

    Though Carlson’s show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” was only a small factor in the Dominion suit, his personal texts were drawing outsize scrutiny.

    The text about the fight came on top of a damaging chain of messages that had been revealed publicly before trial, and that were shocking in their own right. Writing to one of his producers after the assault on the Capitol, Carlson described the president he championed on his show as a “demonic force” and a “destroyer.”

    A recurring theme of his show during the six years that it ran in prime time on Fox News was the displacement of white Americans by people of color. Carlson often framed topics in the news as part of a larger struggle between “us” and “them,” with immigrants and other marginalized groups steadily and surely taking from whites what had long been theirs: political and cultural power in the United States.

    He attacked Black social justice activists and portrayed immigrants from Central America as a blight on the nation. He said in 2018 that immigrants make the country “dirtier.”

    In the aftermath of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, at the hands of a gunman who cited white supremacist beliefs in his manifesto, Carlson declared on his show that white supremacy was “not a real problem,” likening it to a conspiracy theory.

    On Monday, The New York Times and other news organizations urged the judge overseeing the Dominion case to release some of the messages that were redacted.
    _________

    Always saying that quiet part out loud even while trying to assuage his conscience over the vile shit he's been spewing for years on the air to a receptive audience...
    “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

    Comment


    • Voters oust Michigan clerk who doubts election results


      The Michigan State Police exit the Adams Township Hall after executing a search warrant, Oct. 29, 2021 in Hillsdale, Mich. The search warrant was part of an investigation into actions by Clerk Stephanie Scott who has been stripped of her role in future elections. Voters in one of Michigan's most conservative counties on Tuesday, May 3, 2023, ousted Scott accused of improperly handling voting equipment after casting doubt on President Joe Biden’s election victory.


      ADAMS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Voters in one of Michigan's most conservative counties have ousted a small-town clerk accused of improperly handling voting equipment after casting doubt on President Joe Biden’s election victory.

      Stephanie Scott lost Tuesday's recall election in Hillsdale County’s Adams Township to Suzy Roberts, who got 406 votes to Scott's 214, according to unofficial results reported by the county clerk’s office.


      Roberts, a Republican who identifies as an independent, filed as non-party-affiliated in the recall election because Michigan law does not allow for challengers to file under the same political party, the Hillsdale Daily News reported previously.

      Scott had run unopposed as a first-time Republican candidate when she was chosen in the November 2020 election to handle the voting in Adams Township, a reliably Republican community where the ticket of Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence received nearly 76% of the vote that year.

      But she joined a crew of GOP elections officials around the nation who have questioned the accuracy of U.S. voting systems. Scott is among a number of elections officials around the country accused of mishandling voting equipment in their zeal to uncover fraud.

      Before Tuesday’s recall election against Scott, her challenger said that “the lying has to stop.”

      “Somehow, nationwide, we have to make lying wrong,” said Roberts, 69. “If you got caught in the lie there was a feeling of shame. It has to be wrong again.”

      A message seeking comment was left Wednesday with Roberts. Scott and her attorney did not answer questions or provide comment before Tuesday’s election, and additional messages seeking comment were left Wednesday.

      During preparations for her township’s November 2021 election, Scott said she had voting accuracy concerns and had considered paper ballots and a hand count before settling on using the same voting system.

      The state intervened after Scott allegedly refused to allow a contractor to perform preventive maintenance and failed to conduct accuracy tests, among other issues. She was stripped of her duties running township elections in October 2021.

      When the Hillsdale County clerk’s office took custody of an election tabulator and a voter-assist terminal from township offices to prepare for a public accuracy test, they discovered the tabulator’s tablet had been removed. It was later seized by Michigan State Police after Scott allegedly refused to turn it over.

      One of Scott’s supporters, Adams Township Supervisor Mark Nichols, also lost in Tuesday’s recall election. Challenger Randy G. Johnson bested Nichols by 394 to 222 votes, unofficial results show.
      _______________

      Soooo much election fraud....
      “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

      Comment


      • Tucker Carlson’s Ouster Was Part of Settlement

        Variety: “On April 26, Carlson spoke by phone with one of Fox Corp.’s eight board members, who told the host that his recent benching was a condition of Fox News’ settlement with Dominion Voting Systems.”

        “The unnamed board member told Carlson that the condition does not appear in any of the settlement’s documents, and instead was a verbal agreement. If Fox didn’t comply, the settlement was off, Carlson was told. Dominion had plenty of leverage given that the $787.5 million deal to settle Dominion’s defamation suit against the network wouldn’t officially close until late-May.
        ________

        Ah karma...thou arty a pitiless bitch
        “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
          Tucker Carlson’s Ouster Was Part of Settlement

          Variety: “On April 26, Carlson spoke by phone with one of Fox Corp.’s eight board members, who told the host that his recent benching was a condition of Fox News’ settlement with Dominion Voting Systems.”

          “The unnamed board member told Carlson that the condition does not appear in any of the settlement’s documents, and instead was a verbal agreement. If Fox didn’t comply, the settlement was off, Carlson was told. Dominion had plenty of leverage given that the $787.5 million deal to settle Dominion’s defamation suit against the network wouldn’t officially close until late-May.
          ________

          Ah karma...thou arty a pitiless bitch
          Payback's a medevac!
          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain

          Comment


          • Wisconsin judge allows for lawsuit against fake Trump electors to proceed
            MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge on Monday refused to break up a lawsuit filed against 10 fake electors for former President Donald Trump and two of his attorneys, saying the case could proceed in the county where it was filed.

            The lawsuit seeks $2.4 million from the fake electors and their attorneys, alleging they were part of a conspiracy by Trump and his allies to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential race. It also seeks to disqualify the Republicans from ever serving as electors again.

            Fake electors met in Wisconsin and other battleground states where Trump was defeated in 2020, attempting to cast ballots for the former president even though he lost. Republicans who participated in Wisconsin said they were trying to preserve Trump’s legal standing in case courts overturned his defeat.

            Nine of the 10 fake electors in Wisconsin, and one of Trump's attorneys, argued that the lawsuit against them was wrongly filed in Dane County Circuit Court. Since none of them lived in that county, they argued, the lawsuit should be refiled against each of them in their respective home counties.

            But Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington disagreed on Monday, saying the lawsuit was properly filed because, in part, at least one of the defendants appears to live in Dane County or does not present evidence to the contrary.

            One of Trump's attorneys, James Troupis, and fake elector Scott Grabins, the former Dane County Republican Party chair, both live in Dane County. Neither of them provided any evidence of where they lived, the judge said. Neither did Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro, who practices law in the Boston area.

            Attorneys for the fake electors who don't live in Dane County argued that a 2007 state law allows for venue changes to courts in the defendant's home county in cases that relate to elections or election law. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants broke several criminal and civil laws when they met at the Wisconsin state Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, in an attempt to cast the state’s electoral votes for Trump.

            Remington said the law requires that the case be heard in Dane County where it was filed.

            “Wisconsin law does not allow the problematic consequences of ten judges simultaneously litigating the same claims in ten different courts, or ten juries — some 120 jurors — hearing the same claims and rendering ten different verdicts,” Remington wrote.

            The lawsuit was filed a year ago this month by two Democratic electors and a voter. They are represented by the Madison-based Law Forward law firm and the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at the Georgetown University Law Center.

            “Although likely not the last, this was just the latest effort to delay any type of accountability,” said Law Forward attorney Scott Thompson. “We are pleased this matter will be resolved in the Dane County Courthouse, just one block from where the fake electors scheme was carried out.”

            Attorneys for the fake electors did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

            Remington last week also revived a complaint brought by Law Forward against the fake electors filed with the Wisconsin Elections Commission. That complaint sought sanctions against the fake electors.

            Remington ruled last week that the complaint must be heard again because a commissioner who considered the complaint last time should have recused himself. That commissioner, Robert Spindell, also served as a fake elector and is one of the defendants in the lawsuit seeking damages.

            President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by nearly 21,000 votes, a result that has withstood recounts, partisan-led investigations, a nonpartisan audit and multiple lawsuits.
            __________
            “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

            Comment


            • Judge clears way for disciplinary proceedings against Trump ally Jeffrey Clark
              D.C. Bar authorities charged Clark, a top ally in the effort to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election, with engaging in “dishonest” conduct.


              In the weeks before former President Donald Trump left office, Jeffrey Clark spearheaded the drafting of a letter urging state governments in states won by Joe Biden to consider convening their legislatures and revisiting the results of the election.

              A federal judge has cleared the way for District of Columbia Bar authorities to resume long-stalled disciplinary proceedings against Jeffrey Clark, a top ally in Donald Trump’s bid to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election.

              Clark, an assistant attorney general in Trump’s Justice Department — whom Trump considered naming acting attorney general amid his final, frenzied bid to remain in power — had tied up those proceedings for nearly eight months as he sought to transfer the battle to federal court.

              But U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras rejected Clark’s effort on Thursday, issuing a 36-page opinion concluding that federal courts have no jurisdiction over disciplinary proceedings meant to be managed by the D.C. Bar and local courts.

              D.C. Bar authorities charged Clark in July 2022 with engaging in “dishonest” conduct and seeking to “seriously interfere with the administration of justice” when he embarked on a weekslong effort to help Trump sow doubt about the results of the 2020 election.

              In the weeks before Trump left office, Clark — then the acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division — spearheaded the drafting of a letter urging state governments in states won by Joe Biden to consider convening their legislatures and revisiting the results of the election. He leaned on Justice Department leaders to send the letter but was repeatedly rebuffed.

              But Clark continued pressing to issue the letter and, with the help of Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), caught the attention of Trump, who was prepared to make Clark the acting attorney general in early January 2021 — until a mass resignation threat by senior Justice Department officials caused him to reverse his decision. Clark’s involvement in the episode has drawn intense scrutiny from federal prosecutors, who raided his home a year ago, and the Jan. 6 select committee, which highlighted Clark’s role in Trump’s bid to subvert the election during its public hearings.
              Jan. 6 panel shows Rep. Scott Perry texts urging Meadows to promote Jeffrey Clark


              In his legal filings, Clark contended that the D.C. Bar proceedings — which could result in his suspension or disbarment from law practice in Washington — are improper to bring against someone who worked as an attorney in the federal government. The District of Columbia, Clark contended, was specifically exempted from federal laws granting states the authority over bar discipline.

              But Contreras sharply rejected Clark’s assessment of the history of these laws.

              “To accept Mr. Clark’s position would be to subscribe to the absurd proposition that Congress chose to make these officials subject to jurisdictional rules of professional conduct everywhere except where they work.” he argued. “That D.C. is home to, by far, the most government lawyers in the country only compounds this absurdity.”

              Contreras’ ruling could kickstart a proceeding that has been used against other officials connected to Trump’s bid to stay in power. D.C. Bar authorities temporarily suspended Rudy Giuliani’s law license after two weeks of proceedings there and are due to make a final determination on his potential disbarment imminently. California Bar authorities are preparing to try John Eastman, an architect of Trump’s bid to derail the transfer of power, over the next few weeks.

              But Clark has so far successfully stymied D.C. Bar investigators’ bid to advance their inquiry since filing suit in October.

              In his ruling, Contreras noted that the federal law itself, which was amended in 1998, was rooted, in part, in Democrats’ concerns about the conduct of then-Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and his investigation of then-President Bill Clinton.

              “This context, including broad upset among President Clinton’s supporters over a perception of prosecutorial overreach, affected Congress’s consideration,” Contreras noted. Congress added the independent counsel to the jurisdiction of the D.C. Bar authorities, which Contreras said underscored the fact that Congress intended those provisions to apply to lawyers working for the federal government.

              Clark, in his filings, also argue that D.C. Bar proceedings have features of both civil and criminal proceedings that can be legally redirected to federal court. But Contreras rejected that view, as well, saying bar discipline proceedings are neither civil nor criminal and therefore not subject to the laws that provide for transferring cases out of the states.
              _______
              “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

              Comment


              • Georgia poll workers targeted by Trump are cleared of false election fraud claims
                The official state report comes years after law enforcement agencies interviewed Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss.


                Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother, Ruby Freeman, as she testifies at a House Jan. 6 committee hearing in Washington on June 21, 2022.

                Years after their lives were turned upside down by conspiracy theorists, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss, were officially cleared by Georgia authorities on Tuesday.

                Georgia’s State Election Board dismissed its yearslong investigation into alleged election fraud at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, more than two years after conspiracy theorists — and then-President Donald Trump — claimed that Freeman and her daughter had committed election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

                The fraud claims were “unsubstantiated and found to have no merit,” the investigation concluded, reporting on the work of the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and investigators from the Secretary of State’s office vetting the alleged fraud.

                During their efforts to overturn the results of the election, Trump and his ally Rudy Giuliani repeatedly claimed that Freeman and Moss had committed election fraud. A heavily edited, brief clip of security footage was widely circulated online and by Trump allies as supposed proof.

                Giuliani said Freeman and Moss were passing USB drives “like vials of heroin or cocaine” during ballot-counting operations. Moss later explained her mother handed her a ginger mint during ballot counting.

                Freeman in particular became a regular target for Trump, and the former president made false comments about her on social media as recently as January.

                The Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

                State officials said at the time that the election workers had done nothing wrong, but both women were relentlessly harassed. Freeman fled her home, fearing for her safety.

                Last year, the U.S. House's Jan. 6 committee played taped testimony from Freeman and Moss during a congressional hearing.

                “There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere,” Freeman said last June. “I have lost my name and I have lost my reputation. ... All because a group of people starting with number 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter."

                Investigators interviewed or received affidavits from nine election workers. They also identified and interviewed an unnamed man who created an Instagram account purporting to be Freeman and claiming to have committed election fraud.

                "The account creator admitted he created the fake account and confirmed the content that was posted on the account was fake," the report said.


                The bulk of the investigation appears to have been conducted in December 2020 and January 2021, but both the State Election Board and the Georgia Secretary of State's office was backed up reviewing claims, according to Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

                This particular report, due to the partisan nature of the allegations, took a particularly long time because it "needed to be beyond reproach," he added.

                Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger applauded the conclusion of the investigation in a statement on Wednesday: "False claims and knowingly false allegations made against these election workers have done tremendous harm. Election workers deserve our praise for being on the front lines."

                Moss and Freeman have sued outlets and individuals who advanced false claims about them for defamation. One America Network settled one defamation lawsuit, while other claims are still ongoing.
                ______

                “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                Comment


                • Some one needs to go to jail for what was done to these women. Law suits might give you financial compensation but the claim is still out there despite it being debunked. There will always be some who will keep on believing they are guilty because "this is the way" of the Cult.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                    Some one needs to go to jail for what was done to these women. Law suits might give you financial compensation but the claim is still out there despite it being debunked. There will always be some who will keep on believing they are guilty because "this is the way" of the Cult.
                    Assuming the plaintiffs win (which in the case of most of the 'stolen election' defamation suits is pretty much a foregone conclusion now) civil cases actually do have have an impact on public perceptions. But only if the wins are well publicized. As much as the MAGA crowd are welded on to Trump and all the conspiracy theories circulating around him they still love their money more. Watching prominent members of their club, sorry I should have said fellow 'patriots' having their beloved pet theories taken apart in open court piece by piece and exposed as lies, watching them squirm and admit they have no evidence to justify the harassment and harm they've caused the victims AND watching those same perpetrators get taken to the cleaners?

                    That tends to make the majority of that crowd pull their heads in. It won't change their minds of course but it does tend to make them much, much more cautious about expressing those views publicly in the future. For example you don't see anyone smack talking Dominion and the other voting machine companies very much if at all now. What's that Rupert? You have something to add? Of course long term nothing much changes. The loons just move on to the next new 'theory' in the queue and start defaming some other victims and around we go again.
                    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                    Comment


                    • Judge Orders Giuliani to Pay Georgia Election Workers' Attorney Fees
                      Back when the House was investigating the Jan. 6 coup attempt, two of the witnesses were Georgia election workers Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman. They thought they were just doing their civic duty, helping run Georgia elections and told the House members that. However, their lives changed instantly on Dec. 10, 2020, when Rudy Giuliani claimed they had rigged the 2020 election for Joe Biden. He said they brought in suitcases full of fake ballots and scanned them multiple times. The death threats poured in. They were scared. They quit their jobs. They went into hiding. They also sued Giuliani for defamation.

                      The judge in the case, Beryl Howell, ordered Giuliani to turn over certain evidence. He didn't bother. Must have been too busy to comply, just like Donald Trump. Howell was not amused. On Friday, she ordered Giuliani to pay Freeman and Moss' attorneys' fees. She didn't specify the amount, but clearly she is annoyed with Giuliani and probably isn't going to take much more stalling from him.

                      There is no indication how long the case will take, but Giuliani is in a weak position since his statement was widely circulated and the damage it caused Freeman and Moss is easy to prove. Like Trump in the E. Jean Carroll case, he could be hit with a major judgment. Which he may or may not have the money to pay.

                      Oh, and while we are on the subject of defamation lawsuits, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer just filed a lawsuit against Kari Lake for repeatedly claiming that he interfered with the 2022 gubernatorial election results, causing her to lose. Richer says that he has had death threats and more as a result of her lies. The Carroll case showed that defamation cases against public figures sometimes win, despite the high standard of proof required. The Dominion Voting Systems case showed that sometimes the defendants see that their case is hopeless and give up. (V)
                      ________
                      “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                      Comment


                      • It’s Not Looking Good for Trump’s Coup Lawyer John Eastman



                        The latest chapter of accountability for the bloody Jan. 6 riot is playing out in a quiet California courtroom, where disgraced law school professor John Eastman is going through a disbarment hearing over his role fueling former President Donald Trump’s belief that he could disregard the 2020 election and remain in power.

                        At issue is whether lawyers can claim they’re “just doing their job.” In Eastman’s case, that means actively playing along with a plot to damage American democracy by giving dubious advice to one of the world’s most difficult legal clients: Donald J. Trump.

                        One week into defending himself from an 11-count disciplinary charge filed in January, things aren’t looking good for Eastman.

                        Although it’s essentially a professional regulatory rebuke, the disciplinary charge reads like a criminal indictment. Eastman is charged with making false representations and failing to support the nation’s Constitution and its laws. He’s accused of committing “an act of moral turpitude, dishonesty, and corruption,” as stated in the charge notice.

                        Eastman was the author of a now-infamous memo in which he argued Vice President Mike Pence could single-handedly reject electoral college votes to buy Republican state legislatures time to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory. And his six-page memo laying out how Pence could reject the electoral college is the heart of the case.

                        The idea was to pull the plug on the traditionally seamless transfer of power from one American president to another. The coup failed both in courtrooms and in Congress, which turned into a literal battlefield with Capitol Police and rioters on Jan. 6, 2021. But Eastman has mostly avoided any real repercussions besides reputation to damage—until now.

                        Last week, the judge on his case said that “luckily” he's not on trial for all of the false statements he made in one article published less than two weeks after the insurrection, where Eastman defended the legal advice he gave Trump. In that article, Eastman repeated debunked claims about Georgia’s “suitcases of ballots” and Michigan’s vote-flipping machines, “illegal ballot harvesting,” and ghost absentee votes.

                        “The vice president was not being asked to decide the matter himself, but to pause the proceedings long enough,” Eastman claimed.

                        Those words now carry a more haunting weight given the fuller picture provided by the House Jan. 6 Committee. The panel revealed a year ago this week how MAGA Republicans assembled fake electors in seven swing states to erase the victory of now-President Joe Biden.

                        Since then, Eastman was forced to retire from his spot as dean of Chapman University’s law school just outside Los Angeles. The feds seized his phone. His reputation was eviscerated when a California federal judge cited evidence of a crime or fraud and forced Eastman to turn over his emails to Congress. And the extent of his personal involvement in Trump’s failed coup was laid bare in those messages, which were splashed on TVs all across the country last summer and showed how Pence’s own lawyer ripped into Trump’s kooky professor as a violent mob descended on them in the Capitol.

                        “Thanks to your bullshit, we are now under siege,” Greg Jacob wrote to Eastman at 3:14 p.m. that day, only to have Eastman throw the blame right back at him.

                        “My ‘bullshit’ — seriously?” he shot back. “The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so the American people can see for themselves what happened.”


                        So far, Eastman’s disbarment trial has rehashed many of the same damning details that were already released during the nearly dozen House Jan. 6 Committee hearings, where Jacob testified about the pressure aimed at convincing Pence to abuse his authority.

                        Jacob appeared again last week, this time in the Los Angeles courtroom, where he testified that Eastman knew his stop-the-vote plan was utterly ludicrous—plainly evident by the way the conservative legal scholar came to the obvious conclusion himself that it would never pass the Supreme Court, even the present one packed with Trump appointees.

                        Jacob previously recalled Eastman asking, “If this case got to the Supreme Court, we’d lose 9-0, wouldn’t we, if we actually took your position and it got up there?” To which Eastman eventually responded: “Yeah, all right, it would be 9-0.”

                        Jacob repeated the story in court on Wednesday, noting that Eastman at first believed he could at least convince the iconoclastic and conservative judge he’d once clerked for: Justice Clarence Thomas.

                        Eastman’s own testimony was interrupted by Jacob’s appearance in court, which took precedence because of his limited availability. The scholar on trial is expected to take the stand again in the coming days, with the trial resuming on Tuesday.

                        One question that remains to be answered is how significant of a role Eastman’s own guilty conscience will play in the trial. The Jan. 6 Committee exposed messages from Eastman that showed him taking steps to avoid a potential prosecution when his clearly illegal plan failed.



                        “I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works,” Eastman emailed Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

                        MAGA ire is now being directed at Judge Yvette D. Roland over her stern approach from the very start of the trial, when she began dismantling Eastman’s defense by blocking several of his proposed witnesses from testifying. Among them was a certified public accountant, Joseph Fried, who wrote a book that’s skeptical about the 2020 election results—but someone whom the judge concluded had no relevant training or expertise in elections.

                        Over the weekend, the conservative Arizona Sun Times seized on the fact that Roland had donated to Democrats to attack her.

                        “I have NEVER encountered a judge before who contributed to political parties AFTER they became a sitting judge! She's obviously extremely partisan but ruling on a clearly politically tinged trial over a conservative attorney advising a Republican president,” noted writer Rachel Alexander, who was herself a lawyer before Arizona suspended her for misconduct 10 years ago this month, according to records pulled by The Daily Beast.

                        However, Federal Election Commission records show that nearly all of the judge’s political donations occurred when she was still a lawyer working at a private firm; and the $344 she contributed in the past four years to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s re-election bid and the progressive fundraiser ActBlue were well below the amount allowed in the state’s judicial ethics code.

                        The fate of Eastman’s law license is largely in Roland’s hands. She alone will decide the trial’s outcome, though her ruling could be appealed and end up in California’s Supreme Court.

                        The trial was supposed to end after two weeks, but the judge added an extra week at the end of August, as delays and thorny legal issues have popped up along the way, meaning Eastman might not know for another two-plus months whether he’ll keep his law license.

                        As Los Angeles legal journalist Meghann Cuniff pointed out, Eastman has refused to name people in court other than Trump, whom he advised about what turned out to be a failed plan, citing attorney-client privilege that normally protects correspondence between the two.

                        “The fact that someone is a client is not covered,” Roland asserted in court.

                        “When the question, Your Honor, with all due respect, is ‘Who are the clients you would have provided this advice to?’ revealing the name of the client reveals the advice that I gave to them,” Cuniff quoted Eastman as saying in court.

                        By pushing back the potential end of the trial to late August, the judge has also opened up an awkward possibility that Eastman will be implicated in yet another case before this one wraps up: the Atlanta-area criminal investigation into the Trump effort to overturn Georgia’s state election and recruit a slate of fake electors.

                        Prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, are widely expected to bring charges against Trump and a handful of co-conspirators who tried to erase Biden’s lead there by intimidating the state’s top elections official and replacing electors slated to vote for Biden with Trump loyalists who signed a document purporting to represent the state’s real electors.

                        While Eastman losing his law license in California would be the sternest punishment he’s faced yet, it would hardly compare to a criminal indictment in Fulton County.
                        _________

                        I have a feeling that the Georgia grand jury is make this look like a kiss from a pretty girl....
                        “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                        Comment


                        • It sucks to suck!
                          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                          Mark Twain

                          Comment


                          • How the Supreme Court’s decision on election law could shut the door on future fake electors
                            “It keeps the toothpaste in the tube,” one election expert said.


                            Attorney John Eastman is currently facing disbarment in California for his actions to subvert the 2020 election.

                            The Supreme Court’s rejection of a controversial election theory may also have another huge political consequence for future presidential contests: It obliterated the dubious fake elector scheme that Donald Trump deployed in his failed attempt to seize a second term.

                            That scheme relied on friendly state legislatures appointing “alternate” slates of pro-Trump presidential electors — even if state laws certified victory for Joe Biden. Backed by fringe theories crafted by attorneys like John Eastman, Trump contended that state legislatures could unilaterally reverse the outcome and override their own laws and constitutions to do so.

                            Mainstream election lawyers on both sides of the aisle denounced the theory in the months after the 2020 election. But because no court had ever directly ruled on the theory, its proponents were able to describe it as a plausible, if untested, interpretation of constitutional law. Eastman himself, currently facing disbarment in California for his actions to subvert the election, has claimed that he was engaged in “good-faith” advocacy on an unsettled legal question.

                            But by rejecting the so-called independent state legislature theory in Moore v. Harper on Tuesday, Chief Justice Roberts effectively extinguished it as a plausible path in 2024 and beyond.

                            “It keeps the toothpaste in the tube, in the sense that the theories that would give state legislatures unvarnished power has been rejected,” said Ben Ginsberg, a prominent Republican elections attorney who loudly pushed back against Trump’s attempts in 2020 to overturn his loss. “State legislatures thinking that they can just, if they feel like it after an election, replace the popular will with a slate of electors is as gone as ‘there can’t be any review of redistricting plans.’”

                            Tuesday’s opinion primarily revolves around an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’s elections clause, which says that state legislatures can set rules for congressional elections in their states.

                            Though some on the right have interpreted the clause as giving state legislatures total authority to write and rewrite election procedures, without any input from governors or state courts, the Supreme Court rejected that notion.

                            That decision cuts the already-wobbly legal legs out from under Trump’s last-ditch efforts to remain in power. When Trump tried to subvert the 2020 election, his allies relied, in part, on a similarly fringe interpretation of the Constitution’s electors clause, which permits state legislatures to determine the method for appointing presidential electors. Eastman and other Trump allies argued that state legislatures could determine unilaterally that Trump was the rightful winner, appointing their own electors to be counted on Jan. 6, 2021.

                            No state legislatures embraced Eastman’s calls, and the effort collapsed when then-Vice President Mike Pence refused a simultaneous pressure campaign to single-handedly postpone the counting of electoral votes.

                            Tuesday’s decision contained just glancing discussion of the electors clause in its majority opinion, which was joined by liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson and conservatives Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. But in soundly rejecting the independent state legislature theory, the implications were clear: “The Elections Clause does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of state judicial review,” Roberts wrote.

                            “Today’s ruling makes clear, for example, that an elected state legislature cannot cut the people of the state out of the loop of picking presidential elections if the state constitution requires that electors to the electoral college be popularly selected,” argued Vikram Amar, a law professor at the University of Illinois, on a call organized by the group Protect Democracy and others who opposed the independent state legislature theory.

                            The elections clause and electors clause contain very similar language. The elections clause reads that the “times, places and manner” of electing senators and representatives “shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof,” while also granting explicit powers to Congress to do the same. The electors clause similarly says each state shall appoint presidential electors “in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.”

                            “The operative constitutional language in the two clauses is essentially identical,” said Michael Luttig, a former conservative federal appellate judge who advised Pence to reject those alternative slate of electors on Jan. 6.

                            The clearest link between Tuesday’s decision and the Trump election gambit was in the references to a 140-year-old Supreme Court decision in McPherson v. Blacker — a ruling cited repeatedly by Trump’s allies as they sought to justify their efforts to supplant Biden’s electors with their own.

                            That 1892 decision paved the way for a Michigan law that permitted the appointment of electors by congressional district, and it emphasized the power of legislatures to dictate the way presidential electors are chosen.

                            Eastman has repeatedly cited that ruling as evidence that state legislatures could simply ignore state court decisions they disliked regarding the appointment of electors, and he has reupped those arguments as he seeks to hold onto his California law license this month.

                            Like Eastman, then-DOJ official Jeffrey Clark cited the McPherson decision in a now-infamous letter that he pressed Justice Department leaders to issue on the cusp of Jan. 6, 2021, urging them to call their legislatures into session and consider appointing a new slate of electors. Trump appeared to briefly appoint Clark as acting attorney general amid this battle before rescinding the decision amid a mass resignation threat by top DOJ officials.



                            “Our decision in McPherson … had nothing to do with any conflict between provisions of the Michigan Constitution and action by the State’s legislature — the issue we confront today,” he wrote.

                            Conversely, the dissent from the Roberts opinion, authored by Justice Clarence — whom Eastman clerked for in 1996 — might provide Eastman a boost in his effort to save his bar license. Eastman has argued that even if his legal theory was wrong, it’s not a punishable offense to give incorrect or unpopular legal advice.

                            Bar discipline authorities seeking to disbar him, however, say Eastman’s advice was catastrophically wrong and built on assumptions and inferences that no lawyer could make in good faith. They have repeatedly emphasized that Eastman sought to avoid court battles over his theory because they might have resulted in an adverse decision before Jan. 6.

                            But Thomas’ dissent made clear he endorsed a key aspect of Eastman’s view: that state legislatures are not bound by their own constitutions when it comes to the appointment of electors. Citing McPherson, Thomas rejected Roberts’ interpretation of the case.

                            “Contrary to the majority’s suggestion of ambiguity … this statement can only have meant that the state legislature’s power to direct the manner of appointing electors may not be limited by the state constitution,” Thomas wrote in a footnote. One other justice — conservative Neil Gorsuch — signed onto that portion of Thomas’ dissent.

                            Eastman had urged Pence to consider electoral votes purportedly cast by pro-Trump activists in several states that Biden won, even when no state legislatures agreed to endorse a slate of “alternate” electors.

                            That push has landed Eastman at the center of both bar disciplinary actions as well as ongoing criminal probes in Washington and Georgia.
                            __________

                            "But Thomas’ dissent made clear he endorsed a key aspect of Eastman’s view: that state legislatures are not bound by their own constitutions when it comes to the appointment of electors."

                            Did I read that right? Not one but two hard-right conservative Justices just endorsed the idea that state legislatures can violate their own constitutions when it comes to appointing electors? Really?
                            “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                            Comment


                            • "But Thomas’ dissent made clear he endorsed a key aspect of Eastman’s view: that state legislatures are not bound by their own constitutions when it comes to the appointment of electors."

                              Did I read that right? Not one but two hard-right conservative Justices just endorsed the idea that state legislatures can violate their own constitutions when it comes to appointing electors? Really?


                              Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, surprises me about this court anymore.

                              That loud humming you hear are John Marshall and Oliver Wendell Holmes spinning in their graves. Worst court since Taney.
                              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                              Mark Twain

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                                "But Thomas’ dissent made clear he endorsed a key aspect of Eastman’s view: that state legislatures are not bound by their own constitutions when it comes to the appointment of electors."

                                Did I read that right? Not one but two hard-right conservative Justices just endorsed the idea that state legislatures can violate their own constitutions when it comes to appointing electors? Really?


                                Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, surprises me about this court anymore.

                                That loud humming you hear are John Marshall and Oliver Wendell Holmes spinning in their graves. Worst court since Taney.
                                But, But, but, StatesRights ?
                                Trust me?
                                I'm an economist!

                                Comment

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