Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Literary Corner: For Our Sins


Image by Cowicide, December 2021.

Happy Easter Everyone!

By Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

Happy Easter to all, including crooked
and corrupt prosecutors and judges
that are doing everything possible
to interfere with the presidential
election of 2024, and put me in prison,
including those many people that I completely &
totally despise because they want to destroy
America, a now failing nation, like “deranged”
Jack Smith, who is evil and “sick,”
Mrs. Fani “Fauni” Wade, who said
she hardly knew the “special” prosecutor,
only to find that he spent years “loving” her,
long before the Georgia persecution
of President Trump began (and thereby making
the case against me null, void, and illegal!),
and lazy on violent crime Alvin Bragg who,
with crooked Joe’s DOJ thugs, unfairly working
in the D.A.’s office, illegally indicted me
on a case he never wanted to bring and
virtually all legal scholars say is a case
that should not be brought, is breaking the
law in doing so (Pomerantz!), was turned
down by all other law enforcement authorities,
and is not a crime. Happy Easter everyone!

As is traditional in his annual Easter messages, the former president (who has eloquently said of Easter that it is "just a very special— time for me. And it really represents family and get-together and—and something, you know, if you're a—a Christian"), takes time to reach out to folks he may have neglected for a while over the past year, especially those engaged in what he calls "election interference", by which he means trying to hold him to account for the various crimes he's committed over the past eight-odd years, which might, if he's convicted, make it harder for him to win another term, kind of like the 48 Russian athletes who had Olympic medals taken from them since 2008, just because they used performance-enhancing drugs. It really seems unfair, if you think about it, or even more if you don't think about it.

I mean, in the sense that, if you get caught trying to hide your hush money payments of $130,000 and $150,000 respectively to an adult film star and a Playboy centerfold model to stop them from talking about your dalliances (and your mushroom), you could possibly end up in prison. Just because smurfing business records is illegal in New York State! How can that even be?

No, of course he never said anything of that kind. He never talks about any of the evidence against him, except in the stolen documents case, where he claims he didn't steal them because "the Presidential Records Act says it all belongs to me!" which is the exact opposite of what the Presidential Records Act says (that all presidential records are the property of the National Archive, except for clearly personal documents such as diaries kept by the former president—no word in the case law about hanging on to letters from foreign potentates or top secret information on other nations' nuclear capacities).

He only talks in these effusions about the moral character of the prosecutors and judges and their families,  as if to say he's entitled to certify whether or not they're good enough, as humans, to charge him and judge him. No, not "as if", he comes out and says it, though it's not always clear how the logic works.

So special counsel Jack Smith is evil and "sick", but we aren't told what the scare quotes mean (looking, as I am wont to do, for patterns, I notice that he's the top white man in the list, so perhaps his willingness to indict Trump is to be seen as a kind of perversion, if you know what I mean—I mean in years back they'd have called him a "race traitor").

Atlanta D.A. Fani Willis has to be renamed "Mrs. Fani 'Fauni' Wade", apparently to suggest that she ought to have been married to Nathan Wade ("I've been 'loving' you for so many years," he didn't say), the prosecutor she hired to manage the vast RICO case against Trump and confederates for their efforts to defeat the 2020 election as it focused on Georgia, because the two of them had an office affair, which ended up including some international travel, which really made me crazy, because I couldn't stop thinking about what a fantastic African American Tracy-Hepburn romcom it would have made—two brilliant Black lawyers "meeting cute" as they land on the case of their lives, nabbing an American ex-president in an attempt to take over the government, with a little appealing stereotyping (she's the hippie demanding justice at any price, he's the cynic who's not ready for historic change) and a bittersweet ending (just one of those fabulous flights). The scenario preferred by the right (Willis criminally assigned Wade to the gig just to make him some money) is just ridiculous in comparison; it's not really a story at all. It's only stupid, leaving completely aside the failures of fact (Trump's team was unable to provide any believable testimony for the rumor they'd gotten together before the case did).

Not sure what to make of "Fauni". Trump probably thinks there's something foreign in how she pronounces her name. I don't think he means to suggest Willis is a masculine plural goat-footed Roman woodland spirit, though it's always possible. But whatever he means, it definitely does not make his case for him either. 

As to Alvin Bragg's alleged laziness with respect to violence, he's responsible for 

appointing the first ever Executive Assistant District Attorney for Gun Violence Prevention to lead the effort, dismantling gun trafficking operations, investing in Summer Youth Crime Prevention, hosting successful gun buyback events, and advocating for needed legislation including recently signed legislation mandating microstamping technology in pistols. In year to date gun cases, the DA Office went from a 91% prosecution rate in 2019 to a 95% rate now, and from 217 prosecutions to 473. In addition, it went from 147 indictments to 300, and from 131 convictions to 368.

and an extraordinary increase in hate crimes prosecutions:

The "DOJ thugs" seem to be just one thug, Matthew Colangelo, a former acting associate attorney general in the Biden administration and a veteran alongside Bragg in the New York attorney general's office, where the two of them got a good deal of experience in investigating Trump, so you can see why Trump would think that was a little unfair. 

Pomerantz! is not the name of a Broadway musical, at least not yet, but Mark F. Pomerantz, an attorney with Paul, Weiss, and something of a legal star, who went to work for the previous Manhattan D.A., Cy Vance, in 2021, to work on Trump cases, and resigned after Bragg took over in 2022 in protest against Bragg's decision not to prosecute Trump criminally in the mess of fraud cases in which the Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg have been convicted (Trump himself lost the civil case, along with his sons, that is costing him $454 million plus interest). Pomerantz wrote a book on his experience, and Bragg decided to ask a grand jury to indict Trump criminally after all, in the case of the hush money.

Then Gym Jordan and Jim Comer dragged Pomerantz into one of their hearing circus clown shows, apparently in the belief that they could get him to deliver some trash talk about Bragg, which did not happen; after a lot of wrangling, suits and countersuits, in testimony of May 2023, Pomerantz mainly gave them the Fifth Amendment.

Pomerantz in a written opening statement called the committee’s inquiry itself “an act of political theater.” He also explained he was invoking the Fifth Amendment because the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had previously warned him before he published a book on the investigation that he could face criminal liability if he revealed grand jury material or violated a provision of the New York City Charter dealing with misuse of confidential information....

“This deposition is for show,” Pomerantz also said in prepared remarks. “I do not believe for a moment that I am here to assist a genuine effort to enact legislation or conduct legislative ‘oversight.’”

Now that we understand Jordan's and Comer's methods better than we did back then, I think we can assume that they knew this would be the result. It wasn't actually an attempt to get some trash talk, it was just more shit to flood the zone with—invocations of the Fifth Amendment being just as good as anything else for that purpose, hinting at dark doings without giving any clue as to what the dark doings might have been, and the political theater talk could just be ignored. Which is just fine, of course, with The Former Guy. 

And virtually no legal scholars have suggested that the case is "illegal" or "turned down by other legal authorities", as Pomerantz has made clear in his book or in this NPR appearance, where he consistently says Trump should have been indicted much, much more.

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