Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Last Call For Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

The Trump MAGA Chuds want blood after this week's FBI search of Mar-a Lago, and odds are real good they're going to unleash some significant violence in the weeks and months ahead as November gets closer.

Far-right extremists on pro-Donald Trump message boards and social networks are making violent, antisemitic threats against the judge who reportedly signed the warrant that allowed the FBI to search the former president's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida.

Multiple members of these toxic online communities are even posting what appears to be Judge Bruce Reinhart’s home address, phone numbers, and names of his family members alongside threats of extreme violence.

“This is the piece of shit judge who approved FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago,” a user wrote on the pro-Trump message board formerly known as TheDonald. “I see a rope around his neck.”

Responding, another user wrote: “Idgaf [I don’t give a fuck] anymore. Name? Address? Put that shit all up on here.” Moments later, a different member replied with what appears to be Reinhart’s current address, phone numbers, previous addresses, and names of possible relatives.

In another post on the same message board, one user commented, “Let's find out if he has children....where they go to school, where they live...EVERYTHING.”

These threats of violence and antisemitic slurs on a range of platforms, including 4chan, Telegram, Gettr, Gab, and Trump’s own platforms called Truth Social, were first uncovered by Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization that conducts public-interest investigations.

“The threats against Judge Reinhart in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid are significant,” Daniel J. Jones, founder of Advance Democracy, told VICE News. “In addition to the antisemitic and violent slurs, we’re seeing his address and other personal information being shared online—with the implied or explicit purpose of ‘real-life’ action.”

A message board where a number of these threats were posted also happens to be the same one where many of those involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot posted threats of violence in the lead-up to Jan. 6.

These threats against the judge, Jones told VICE News, are “all the more alerting given the events of January 6.”

These threats made against Reinhart and his family didn’t occur in a vacuum: Within hours of the FBI searching Trump’s Palm Beach home, the former president’s supporters reacted furiously, calling for civil war and the dismantling of the FBI. As Trump has scrambled to explain why his home was searched, he has also pushed conspiracy theories about the FBI supposedly planting evidence there.

Right-wing news outlets have also tried to connect the judge to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Reinhart worked as a federal prosecutor until 2008, and a day after he quit, he became the defense attorney for a number of Epstein’s employees, including his pilots and a scheduler, according to his 2018 Miami Herald report. The link between Reinhart and Epstein has been weaponized by Trump supporters to incorrectly imply Reinhart was Epstein’s own lawyer, and, by extension, was corrupt and possibly a pedophile. (A small note in light of these accusations: Trump had a long personal relationship with Epstein, and once famously told New York Magazine that he was a “terrific guy.”)

On fringe message board 4chan, one user posted an image of Reinhart with the caption: “About that Judge that signed the search Warrant…Bruce Reinhart once quit his job as a U.S. Attorney to work for Jeffrey Epstein. Another 4chan user wrote in response: “That is a k***. And a pedophile … He should be tried for treason and executed.”

“The U.S. Marshals are responsible for the protection of the federal judicial process, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals told VICE News when asked for comment about the threats. “While we do not discuss our specific security measures, we continuously review the measures in place and take appropriate steps to ensure the integrity of the federal judicial process.”

As I said before, we need to be prepared for the very real violence that will come if Trump is indicted, and as Damon Linker explains, we as a country are not in any way, shape or form ready.
I’m already on the record opposing the federal prosecution of the former president for his actions leading up to and throughout the insurrectionary violence on Capitol Hill during the afternoon of January 6, 2021. At the moment, it’s unclear if Monday’s raid was connected to the Justice Department’s investigation of those actions, or if the search for classified documents in Trump’s home was part of some other investigation. But it doesn’t really matter, since the theatrics of the event served as a preliminary test of how the country will respond to any effort by law enforcement to prosecute Trump.

And America is already failing that test.

In a country where the political system, including its two major parties, believed in the rule of law and trusted the nation’s public institutions to uphold it, response to the raid would have been muted. Republicans would have joined with Democrats in releasing grave but cautious statements, calling for patience, making the point that the unprecedented criminal investigation of a former president must be allowed to run its course before firm opinions can be reached.

Instead, leading Republicans immediately treated the raid as an illegitimate act undertaken by an alien, tyrannical “Regime” resembling a Third World dictatorship. Several used language about law enforcement being “weaponized” for political purposes. Many also connected it to the recent party-line passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which included provisions for hiring an additional 87,000 IRS agents to pursue tax cheats. This was the message: If they can raid the home of the former president, they will be coming for you next.

The Republican response confirms at least two troubling things about the state of the party and the country.

First, Trump maintains an iron grip on the GOP. If you want to understand why so many leading Republicans rose immediately to his defense, look at the results of the straw poll at last weekend’s CPAC conference, which the former president won with 69 percent. That’s up from 55 percent in February 2021 and 59 percent in February of this year—showing that devotion to Trump is increasing over time among the most committed voters and activists on the right, despite considerable admiration for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and despite (or maybe because of) the January 6 hearings. Trump remains the boss, in other words. The Republican base trusts him more than the institutions of American government, which is why elected members of the party are quick to side with him against the latter.

That points to the second thing that reaction to the raid has confirmed: Confidence or trust in American institutions is at historic lows. Trump’s political rise was a manifestation of that lack of trust—and, as a master demagogue, his very presence on the political scene continually drives those numbers lower.

He accomplishes this by refusing to play along with the atmospherics of high-minded politics. No one is given the benefit of the doubt unless they personally ingratiate themselves to him. No Democrat (like Attorney General Merrick Garland) could possibly be trying to do the right thing. There’s always a baser motive to point to, always an interpretation of events that suggests an effort to cloak a power-grab in exalted language. Law (and its enforcement) is indistinguishable from politics. The effort to pretend otherwise is just another (more deceptive) act of self-aggrandizement.

All of which means that for the better part of a decade now, Trump has been teaching his party that “the rule of law” is for saps, suckers, and chumps—and its voters have learned their lessons well.

To this, many Democrats and anti-Trump conservatives respond: All the more reason why we need to prosecute him, to vindicate the rule of law and show that justice can still be done.

And hey, I get it. In theory, that sounds exactly right. I’d love to see Trump punished for any acts that broke the law, both for the sake of justice and in order to deter future acts of political treachery. The problem is that this is a polity, not a graduate seminar in Kantian ethics. If only one of the country’s two major parties accepts the legitimacy of prosecuting a former (and possibly future) president, then the rule of law will not be vindicated, only Democrats will think that justice has been done, and no future bad actors will be deterred. Rather than healing the country’s civic wounds, the effort to punish Trump will only deepen them
The cost of indicting and prosecuting Donald Trump is going to come at a ruinous cost. It's the right thing to do, but the bill is going to be covered in blood.
We're not going to make it to the other side without losing some good people, is what I'm saying.
And we're not ready to hear that.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Donald Trump indeed made good on his promise that he would testify in New York AG Tish James's investigation into corruption at the Trump Organization, and in true Trump fashion, he took the Fifth on every question.

Donald Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination as he testified under oath Wednesday in the New York attorney general’s long-running civil investigation into his business dealings, the former president said in a statement.

Trump arrived at Attorney General Letitia James’ Manhattan offices in a motorcade shortly before 9 a.m., before announcing more than an hour later that he “declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution.”

“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” the statement said. “When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”

As vociferous as Trump has been in defending himself in written statements and on the rally stage, legal experts said answering questions in a deposition was risky because anything he said could potentially be used against him in a parallel criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney. The Fifth Amendment protects people from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves in a criminal case.

Still, New York University law professor Stephen Gillers said he was surprised, given Trump’s previous experience with depositions, a legal term for sworn testimony that’s not given in court.

“Jousting with lawyers at depositions, while avoiding lying, is something he’s proud of,” Gillers said. “Perhaps his lawyers feared that his impetuosity would imperil him.”

Trump has undergone many depositions, dating to his career as a real estate developer. He has sometimes seemed to relish giving answers: For example, he said he was “pleased to have had the opportunity to tell my side” last October in a lawsuit brought by protesters who say his security guard roughed them up outside Trump Tower in 2015.

However, Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment to refuse to answer 97 questions in a 1990 divorce deposition.
Between this and the Mar-a-Lago search warrant, Trump is 100% going to ride the victim card back to the 2024 nomination.  I don't expect any indictments here in NY, in Georgia with Fani Willis's Fulton County case against him over election interference, and I especially don't expect any federal indictments from Merricik Garland. 
I do however expect breathtakingly deadly white supremacist terrorist violence in his name and for Democrats investigating Trump to be blamed for the massacres until these cases are dropped, or they are dropped for them by Republicans.

Retribution Execution, Con't

House Republicans, greasy assurance of control of the chamber next year plastered all over their faces, are all but promising months of investigations they say are going to send Hunter Biden and his dad to the clink as payback for this week's FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. The MAGA CHUDs will demand it, and Democrats should welcome it because it might be the "only way" to sate enraged Trump voters and stop them from violence against liberals, or something.

As House Republicans rush to argue that the FBI search of Donald Trump’s home is marred by politics, they are readying a future Hunter Biden investigation designed to ensnare Joe Biden ahead of a potential reelection bid.

House Republicans see no contradiction between their suspicion of the FBI’s law enforcement activity at Mar-a-Lago and their interest in digging into the business dealings of the president’s son and other family members. Oversight of the Bidens, they contend, would counterbalance what they see as a Justice Department where partisanship influences decisions like the probe of 2020 election subversion that’s drawing closer to Trump.

But the House GOP’s eagerness to say the quiet part out loud about their Biden investigation, injecting presidential politics into an already acrimonious chamber, underscores how far it has come since Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took intra-party heat in 2015 for touting the electoral payoff of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.

These days, Republicans are making no secret of their plans to use a Hunter Biden inquiry next year as a platform to go after his father — after years of brushing off conflicts of interest within Trump’s family.
No evidence has emerged to show that the business dealings of Hunter Biden, who’s faced a years-long federal investigation, affected his father’s decisions as president.

GOP lawmakers are pushing ahead anyway, planning a sprawling probe that will reach into the ethics of Hunter Biden’s artwork sales and other business deals, as well as policy decisions by the Biden administration.

“I’m not exactly sure I see a big difference” between starting with Hunter and incorporating Joe Biden from the getgo, said Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), a member of the Oversight Committee, which is expected to take the lead on a House inquiry into Hunter Biden. “Obviously, you start with Hunter … [but] it appears as though the president is involved as well, and it’s something you’re going to have to look into.”

The president’s son has long fueled a conservative media fixation on par with Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified material, and a House majority would help Republicans try to push their narrative into the mainstream. But GOP plans to poke at Hunter Biden may have to compete with a growing GOP appetite for an in-depth House inquiry into the DOJ’s scrutiny of Trump, particularly if Republicans decide to form a select committee instead of launching an investigation through the Judiciary Committee.

Conversations Tuesday with more than a half-dozen House Republicans revealed deep concern about constituents panicked and infuriated by the FBI’s daylong Mar-a-Lago search.

“The base has lost its mind. If Trump decides to call them to arms, then I think he could get another Jan. 6,” one senior House Republican said in an interview, speaking on condition of anonymity.

But before this week’s law enforcement activity against Trump, House Republicans had been homing in on Hunter, and several name-checked him in their response to the FBI’s search. Months before an election that will determine whether they control the House, GOP lawmakers and committee aides are already doing prep work, including planning hearings, collecting documents and nailing down potential witnesses — including former business associates and banks.

Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), set to chair the Oversight Committee if Republicans win the majority, said he’ll be ready to formally launch an investigation in January, when the new Congress is sworn in.

“We’re going to have a great hearing early on the potential wrongdoing within the Biden family,” Comer said in an interview. “The fear is that these shady business dealings have compromised the president
Hearings on Hunter Biden. Hearings on the Trump investigation. Hearing on immigration. Hearings on the COVID-19 vaccine. Hearings on the January 6th hearings, All televised, wall-to-wall House Republicans screaming SCANDAL and IMPEACH for months, if not years.
And no legislation to help actually solve any of America's problems.

That's what's coming if these trolls get back in power.

Vote like your country depends on it, because it does.

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