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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

law

Senator Claire McCaskill

As more information becomes available about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, questions are surfacing beyond President Donald Trump's role, including what he was doing for hours while even his political allies were begging him to intervene.

Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on Monday, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is also a former state prosecutor, explained what she would encourage Attorney General Merrick Garland to do in terms of persuading members of a grand jury to indict Trump criminally. She encouraged prosecutors to walk jurors through what it looked like in those moments when Trump was watching television coverage of the riots.

According to those who were there in the White House on Jan. 6, Trump was glued to the TV, excited over what his supporters were doing for him. What McCaskill explained is that the text messages, emails, phone calls and desperate requests for help he and his staff were getting are all evidence of Trump's malicious intent.

"We can go through and we can put the images at a specific time," she explained. "And we can then fill in the text messages, the phone calls that were flooding the White House saying, get him to call them off. Now, what was he watching on TV at those moments? He was watching windows being broken. He was watching police officers being stabbed with flag poles. He was watching people hang from the balcony in the Senate. He was watching people carry around government property proudly like trophies in the capital. And, frankly, he was watching a confrontation at the door of the House where someone was killed."

According to the accounts of those present, Trump loved it.

"Give me those facts. Give me those timelines, and give me a jury," McCaskill said. "I'm just telling you, any responsible leader would want to end the violence, not provoke it. That's what he did that day, and that's what this committee is going to layout. And that's where Merrick Garland is either going to rise to the occasion or go down in infamy as one of the worst attorney generals in this country's history."

Watch the entire interview below:

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

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President Donald Trump speaks at The Villages in Florida n October 3, 2019

Less than two weeks after reports that New York Attorney General Letitia James was seeking to depose Donald Trump in her investigation into his business practices, Trump is suing to end her investigation. He’s doing that at least in part with lawyers paid for by the Republican National Commitee, which has spent more than $120,000 on Trump’s legal bills relating to the investigations by James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance

.“Her mission is guided solely by political animus and a desire to harass, intimidate, and retaliate against a private citizen who she views as a political opponent,” the suit, filed Monday, claims. Where to even start?

First, Trump is the guy who really reintroduced to the United States the idea of overtly trying to criminalize your political opponents, campaigning on “Lock her up” chants and trying to use the power of the presidency to get another country to investigate the person who ultimately defeated him in 2020. It’s predictable but hilarious that he would go all woe-is-me over himself facing an investigation. And note that, unlike Trump’s ideas of how to go after his political opponents, James is doing things by the book. She’s carrying out a methodical investigation. She’s using legal means to try to get Trump to sit for a deposition, as is standard in such a matter.

Second, when it comes to an investigation into his business practices, Trump is “a private citizen.” When it comes to documents relating to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, he’s trying to assert executive privilege, essentially on the claim that he is not a private citizen. He has also leaned on the “special solicitude accorded former Presidents” in his efforts to keep the House Ways and Means Committee from getting his tax returns. (Yet another investigation, Vance’s criminal investigation into Trump’s business practices, already has his tax returns.)

It’s kind of appropriate that this is a legal version of some of the business practices James and Vance are investigating, in which Trump would give vastly different assessments of the value of his assets depending on what was most profitable for him. If he was angling for lower taxes, his buildings were worth practically nothing. If he was trying to get a loan, his buildings were the most valuable property in all of Manhattan. In one case, he told lenders a building was worth $527 million while telling tax officials the same building was worth $16.9 million. Similarly, Trump is either a private citizen or a possessor of executive privilege, depending on which lawsuit or investigation you look at.

The new lawsuit trying to force James to end her investigation sure makes it seem like Trump is sweating over it. And of course this investigation, along with Vance’s and the one by Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah, won’t just go away if Republicans retake the House.