A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.
Barrack Allegedly Came Up Big For UAE
Key takeaways from the criminal filings:
- Trump Role? President-elect Trump was directly touched by the scandal, with Barrack allegedly succeeding in arranging calls between Trump and UAE officials. Trump is actually portrayed by prosecutors as a victim, betrayed by his friend and confidante Barrack (more on this in a moment).
- Hubris Kills: Barrack voluntarily talked to investigators and then allegedly lied to them, leading to a whole set of charges in addition to the violations of FARA.
- Curious Timing: The charged conduct took place from 2016-18. Barrack allegedly lied to investigators in an interview in June 2019. It took more than two years after that for an indictment. Was this case bottled up in the Trump Justice Department?
How Far Does the Barrack Scandal Reach?
- Rotten To The Core: The contours of the case suggest a thorough and deep corruption of U.S. foreign policy under Trump. Duh, I know.
- So THAT Explains It: The scandal potentially sheds new light on previously inexplicable Trump administration policy toward UAE, Saudi, and Qatar–and on other countries’ behavior toward the U.S. It doesn’t take long for word to get around that you gotta pay to play.
- Who Played Whom? Was Trump really a victim of Barrack, as prosecutors say? A pro-UAE tilt and a thumb on the scale for its close ally Saudi Arabia was the order of the day in the Trump administration, and that involved a lot of people in the Trump orbit across an array of issues. Just one example:
What a surprise that Pompeo was such a relentless advocate for the Saudis and UAE. https://t.co/Q0PM2QQjK0
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) July 21, 2021
Buzzfeed has the deepest of dives on the making of the case against the alleged plotters to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).
Danger, Danger, Danger!
Where Trump voters stand on Jan. 6, according to a new CBS News poll:
Most Americans still call what happened on Jan 6 an insurrection. But descriptors like “defending freedom” and “patriotism” are relegated to a smaller part of the political right, and Trump voters are more likely than Americans as a whole to use them. pic.twitter.com/qczocH8a2u
— CBS News Poll (@CBSNewsPoll) July 20, 2021
Armed And Doofus
A DEA special agent has been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection:
- Mark Ibrahim didn’t enter the Capitol, but he did allegedly trespass on the grounds of the building and later lied about it.
- He was showing off his government-issued gun and badge to protestors and falsely claiming he was there to help the FBI, prosecutors alleged.
- Ibrahim was there to promote a podcast and cigar brand he was planning to launch after leaving the DEA, according to a friend.
Caught On Tape
- The Tarrant City councilman has a contentious relationship with the city’s first Black mayor.
- The slur was directed toward a Black city councilwoman, who reportedly left the council chamber in tears.
Did Everyone Get The Same Memo?
A pro-vaccine sea change among conservative and Trumpian media types and electeds happened virtually overnight. Is there a giant class action case in the works I don’t know about that everyone is trying to get ahead of?
Largest One-Year Decline Since WWII
COVID caused life expectancy in the U.S. to drop in 2020 by a year and a half.
While the rest of the world struggles to amass COVID vaccine supplies, vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. means millions of unused doses will soon expire.
Dealing With A Different Beast
Is The J&J Vaccine Enough?
Trustbusting On The Agenda
Biden to nominate progressive fave and Google critic Jonathan Kanter as head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division.
Fake Crisis Alert!
Republicans are gearing up to manufacture another debt ceiling crisis:
- “I can’t imagine there will be a single Republican voting to raise the debt ceiling after what we’ve been experiencing,” Mitch McConnell told Punchbowl last night.
- Steve Benen has the sordid history of Republican brinksmanship on the debt ceiling.
In advance of his new book, TPM alum Spencer Ackerman is launching a journalism experiment “guided by a socialist perspective that demands the destruction of the War on Terror, U.S. global hegemony, and the American Exceptionalism that created and sustains them.”
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