Monday, June 27, 2022

"Someone who isn't frightened of what's going to be done to their reputation"


Jeffrey Clark, the loathsome Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division who offered himself up as the Roy Cohn Trump was always saying he wanted, somehow had an aide in his office beginning in mid-December 2020, Ken Klukowski, who was simultaneously working for John Eastman, one of Donald Trump's private attorneys. It was Klukowski who drafted the letter to the governor of Georgia and leaders of the Georgia legislature dated 28 December that acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and his deputy Richard Donoghue refused to send when Trump told them to:

That's Donald Trump, president of the United States, bringing a letter by an assistant in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ (who was simultaneously an assistant to one of his lawyers) to the attention of the head of the DOJ, ordering him to send it to a state government. A letter demanding that the Georgia government see what it could do to change its mind about the slate of presidential electors it had named two weeks earlier on 14 December and maybe name another slate, because of "various irregularities in the 2020 election" that it claimed the department was investigating (it wasn't, having found long since that there were no irregularities), and please get it done in a week.

Oh, and Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) was in the mix too. It was the Pennsylvania congressman who introduced the assistant AG for the Environment and Natural Resources Division to President Trump and advised Trump to fire acting AG Rosen and hire Clark to replace him:

Clark was introduced to Trump by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and quickly became a leading advocate for the Justice Department to send a letter to Georgia asking the state to suspend its certification of the 2020 election results pending a DOJ investigation into nonexistent fraud. 

Perry was among the representatives agitating for a presidential pardon for themselves after the 6 January putsch attempt, along with Trump's lawyer Eastman, the rally speaker in the elegant scarf and borsalino outfit ("I've decided I should be on the pardon list, if that's still in the works," he said breezily, like announcing what hat he planned to wear next) who now turns out to be in some fashion Klukowski's employer, though Klukowski was also employed by the Environment and Natural Resources Division, which was interested in the outcome of the November election in Georgia how exactly? 

Ever since I found myself listening to the testimony on these matters on Thursday, learning around the same time that FBI agents had raided Jeffrey Clark's home that morning, putting him on the street in his pajamas while they seized all his electronic devices, I've been trying to wrap my head around it. It seems to be the operations of an actual cabal, a secret though not-very-Deep State of conspirators in relationships that have no direct connection to their actual status within the surface state, told not with the dreamy vagueness of a paranoid episode but the dry specificity of a committee hearing. 

Except we don't get much information on how these guys know to interact with each other, in what kind of organization, where a congressman takes a minor Justice Department official to the White House to push him for a job promotion, or a private lawyer plants somebody in the official's office to get a particular letter written. But we do know what they did!

Other than that, I don't know quite what to say, except that the qualification Giuliani was talking about is the shamelessness he himself manifests in his recent activities, that carelessness about his reputation that lets him expose himself not just as an shyster, but a basically incompetent one.

That kind of goes for the Supreme Court justices too:

They're not taking any pride in their work.

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