Odds and Ends — 10 August 2022
Cryptocurrency, Investing, Money, Economy, and Debt:
For what it’s worth, What will cryptocurrency market look like in 2027? Here are 5 predictions
Tornado Cash isn’t a company, a service or a person – it’s a series of words, and likely protected by the U.S. First Amendment.
Coronavirus News, Analysis, and Opinion:
Other long-lasting symptoms were muscle aches, fever and chills.
The posts on these pro-Trump forums tonight are as violent as I've seen them since before January 6th. Maybe even moreso.— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) August 8, 2022
It’s not entirely clear why the FBI targeted Mar-a-Lago. Trump, who was not there, predictably characterized the search as a Democratic hit job. But the feds were apparently searching for classified records Trump stashed in Palm Beach after leaving the White House. He has already returned some files that the National Archives said belonged to the government, but Bloomberg News and the New York Times reported that the search was focused on records he might have kept.
Theft of government records is the least of Trump’s legal worries, however. Attorney General Merrick Garland appears to be finally bringing the full weight of federal law enforcement to bear on the former president. Depending on how aggressively Garland pursues Trump for the attempted coup that he and his co-conspirators tried to engineer after he lost the 2020 presidential election, the list of criminal charges could include seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the US and obstruction of official proceedings.
"Donald Trump, you have a copy of the warrant. It explains what they were looking for, what statutes they think were violated, what judge signed off on that...If you believe this is such an abuse, release the warrant and let us decide for ourselves." @neal_katyal pic.twitter.com/j3PH8m8ACI— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 9, 2022
It turns out that the warrant was issued by Bruce Reinhart, a U.S. magistrate for the Southern District of Florida. Surprise, surprise, right wing media are ignoring the scope of the warrant, instead focusing on the irrelevancies that some of his former clients from the time when he was in private practice were employees of Jeffrey Epstein (it comes as a shock to them that loathsome people can have attorneys?) and that he once donated to Obama (oddly, they fail to mention that he also donated to Jeb Bush). The right wing media also fail to mention that Reinhart was appointed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, which has a majority of Republican-appointed judges and, of those Republican judges, a majority were appointed by Trump.
He’ll try to compel it no matter what the FBI finds. If Republicans kowtow, they might as well hand him the 2024 nomination now.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the House Ways and Means Committee can obtain former President Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service.
Trump has been fighting the release of his tax returns to the committee for more than three years.
There’s a game prosecutors play. Let’s say I suspect X committed an armed robbery, but I know X is dealing drugs. So, I write a search-warrant application laying out my overwhelming probable cause that X has been selling small amounts of cocaine from his apartment. I don’t say a word in the warrant about the robbery, but I don’t have to. If the court grants me the warrant for the comparatively minor crime of cocaine distribution, the agents are then authorized to search the whole apartment.
If they find robbery tools, a mask, and a gun, the law allows them to seize those items. As long as agents are conducting a legitimate search, they are authorized to seize any obviously incriminating evidence they come across. Even though the warrant was ostensibly about drug offenses, the prosecutors can use the evidence seized to charge robbery.
I believe that principle is key to understanding the FBI’s search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Monday. The ostensible justification for the search of Trump’s compound is his potentially unlawful retention of government records and mishandling of classified information. The real reason is the Capitol riot.
Back in 2016, future Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (who is now Arkansas’ GOP gubernatorial nominee) had this to say in response to criticism over the FBI’s Clinton email probe:
>Fast forward to now:
When you're attacking FBI agents because you're under criminal investigation, you're losing https://t.co/SIoAxatCjp— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) November 3, 2016
If you’re not yet appalled by the total abuse of power from Democrats in Washington, you’re not paying attention.— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) August 9, 2022
In six months. That’s more than Soviet casualties in nine years of fighting in Afghanistan.
A 17-year-old girl and her mother have been charged with a series of felonies and misdemeanors after an apparent medication abortion at home in Nebraska.
The state’s case relies on evidence from the teenager’s private Facebook messages, obtained directly from Facebook by court order, which show the mother and daughter allegedly bought medication online to induce abortion, and then disposed of the body of the fetus.
While the court documents, obtained by Motherboard, allege that the abortion took place before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, they show in shocking detail how abortion could and will be prosecuted in the United States, and how tech companies will be enlisted by law enforcement to help prosecute their cases.
No one is asking if this will be the thing that finally pries Republicans away from Trump. For seven years we had a series of episodes—mocking John McCain, ‘grab ‘em by the pussy,’ Charlottesville, the Ukraine blackmail, January 6—at which point non-believers honestly thought that the latest outrage would be a bridge too far and that some Trump supporters would turn on him.
Well, we seem to have finally touched bottom on reality. No one anywhere in America believes that the potential criminal prosecution of Donald Trump could move a single one of his followers, either at the popular or elite levels.
That’s progress, of a sort. It means that supporters of democracy finally understand the realities of what they are facing.
Donald Trump has a copy of the search warrant. He’d show us the warrant if he were so wronged. Show it or shut it.— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) August 9, 2022
Image credit: created with craiyon.