Three faces we should all know

John Durham

John Durham, Special Counsel appointed by Bill Barr to investigate and root out the “traitors” who brought the “baseless, lying, partisan witch hunt” investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians to the Department of Justice. Durham has now been at his work longer than Mueller was. He recently issued a third indictment, arresting a man who allegedly did the same kind of thing Mike Flynn did — lying to conceal the fact that he was lying.

In Flynn’s case the lies were eventually deemed ‘immaterial’ by Barr. In the case of the indicted Clinton-supporting alleged liar who gave unfounded rumors to the author of the anti-Trump Steele Dossier (a document which was not, in fact relied on by Mueller – the definition of ‘immaterial’ lies when investigating the oringes of the “Rusher thing”), and allegedly lied about it to Durham’s investigators, he will face justice.

Durham’s face (and this seems to be his official DOJ photo) says a lot about him — he is fierce, implacable, deeply conservative, a devout Catholic (like fellow Christian dominionists [1] Bill Barr, former White House Counsel Pat Cippolini, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo) and a dogged ratter.

So as not to appear “political” Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland has authorized Durham to continue hunting for the partisan liars who brought the fake and embarrassing “Rusher thing” in an attempt to compromise and humiliate the honest and never the least bit corrupt or “transactional” Donald Trump.

Presumably the same fear of appearing partisan has restrained Garland from convening grand juries to indict any of the people we now know conspired with the defeated former president1 to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Not Rudy Giuiliani (who brought numerous baseless post election lawsuits promoting Trump’s Big Lie and, prior to the election, played a key role in the smearing and ouster of US ambassador Marie Yavonovich, so as to promote a fake Ukrainian investigation into Hunter Biden), not either of the two lunatic fringe Federalist Society lawyers, Jefferey Bossert Clark and John C. Eastman, who energetically served the mad former president in his mission to remain in office after losing the election.

Jeffrey Bossert Clark

Clark is the ambitious Trump appointed weasel [2] who wrote a letter based on Trump’s lies and tried to pressure the acting Attorney General into signing the letter to top Georgia officials falsely claiming there had been massive voter fraud in Georgia, that there was an ongoing DOJ investigation into that fraud. Both claims were false, knowing lies, in Barr’s phrase “bullshit.” Clark gave it his best shot in the days immediately before the January 6 riot, he was ready to step in as acting AG, sign the lying letter himself, if Trump said the word. Trump backed down under pressure from DOJ officials and his own White House Counsel.

On January 14th Clark resigned his post at the Department of Justice and immediately went to work for a far right nonprofit that brought lawsuits against mask and vaccine mandates and abortion providers. The latest on this fucker, who cited a vague privilege instead of testifying before the January 6 Committer on Friday:

“The Trump taint is sticking to Jeffrey Clark,” Business Insider reported Thursday. “In the 10 months since the would-be Justice Department coup, Clark’s name has been scrubbed from the conservative legal group where he’d landed his first post-Trump job. He lawyered up in the face of congressional scrutiny. But, just days before his Friday interview with the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Clark parted ways with the defense lawyer Robert Driscoll, Politico reported late Wednesday.”

Clark is just the latest attorney to suffer repercussions for their relationship with Trump.

“In the eyes of several former colleagues, Clark has joined the ranks of once respected conservative lawyers — including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the former prosecutor Sidney Powell, and the constitutional scholar John Eastman — who have been burned flying too close to Trump,” the report noted.

After Clark stonewalled the January 6 Committee last week he should have been found in contempt and locked up pursuant to Congress’s power of inherent contempt, until he agreed to testify truthfully. Unfortunately, while legal, it would appear as “political” as the prosecutions Merrick Garland is thus far not pursuing. To the party that honors rules and norms, and places a quaint reliance on empirical facts, this kind of hardball tactic is apparently inconceivable.

Which brings us to another Federalist Society stalwart and former dean of a presumably right wing law school, John Eastman.

This jackass, who spoke at the January 6th Stop the Steal rally and subsequently lost his job, turns out to have authored a battle plan for Mike Pence to defy the Constitution, and more than 200 years of precedent, on January 6th and insist that since there were alternate slates of electors from each swing state Trump lost (there were no alternate electors — every state had certified its electors a month earlier) he was invoking his (imaginary, counter-factual) Twelfth Amendment power to disqualify the electors in those disputed states, call the election undecided for lack of an Electoral College majority and send it to the gerrymandered House for a straight party-line vote (that would, under the rules for deciding a deadlocked election, bypass the actual majority in the House) where Trump could be declared president by the loyal members of his own party, who enjoyed a majority in the House for this purpose only. You can read this braying jackass’s short, to the point, memo to Pence HERE.

Under Eastman’s learned constitutional analysis, the Vice President who loses a re-election bid, under powers arguably (but only by someone insane) granted by the convoluted, procedural 12th Amendment, has the absolute final say on whether or not he lost his re-election bid. Clearly the intent of the Framers, no?

The absurdity of this claim aside, Eastman provided step by step instructions for how Pence needed to proceed, to sidestep constitutional and procedural objections and silence Democrats when they “start to howl”. Eastman was in the war room at the Willard Hotel, taking the short walk over to exhort the crowd to go to the Capitol, shortly before the January 6th Stop the Steal rally unaccountably turned into a violent assault on the Capitol. His hotel bills, we learned recently, were paid by the Trump/Pence 2020 campaign.

Of course, indicting him for anything — and how can you indict a lawyer for a good faith argument for illegal actions to overturn a certified election? — would only play into the hands of the really hardcore right wingers who want a violent overthrow of democracy. And so, in Biden and Merrick Garland’s judgment, you dig, we must avoid the appearance of being overtly on the side of not overturning US elections, because, you know, it would only infuriate powerful American Nazis.

Makes me wanna holler.

[1]

Dominionism, or Christian Dominionism is a term coined by social scientists and popularized by journalists to refer to a subset of American Christianity that is conservative, politically active, and believes that Christians should, and eventually will, take control of the government. The term is sometimes used as a “catch-all” by bloggers to describe any politically active Christian, but not every conservative, politically minded Christian is a Dominionist.

Christian Dominionists believe that God desires Christians to rise to power through civil systems so that His Word might then govern the nation. The belief that “America is a Christian nation” is sometimes called “soft dominionism”; the idea that God wants only Christians to hold government office and run the country according to biblical law is called “hard dominionism.”

Dominion theology’s beliefs are based on Genesis 1:28, which says, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (emphasis added).

This verse is taken by Christian Dominionists as a divine mandate to claim dominion over the earth, physically, spiritually, and politically. However, this is taking a large step away from the text, which only says to have dominion over the creatures of earth, and to “subdue” the earth. It is likely that this verse simply means for humanity to a) multiply and expand over the face of the earth instead of staying in one place and b) keep and take care of all other living things. There were no political entities in Genesis 1.

However, dominion theology goes even further with this verse, leading to two other philosophies: Christian Reconstructionism and Kingdom Now theology. Christian Reconstructionism is an intellectually high-minded worldview, most popular among the more conservative branches of Christian faith. Reconstructionism says that dominion will be achieved by each Christian excelling in his or her individual field (Christian artists taking dominion of the art world, Christian musicians taking dominion of the music world, Christian businessmen taking dominion of the business world, etc., until all systems and fields are “subdued”).

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[2] From a January 24, 2021 story in the New York Times

WASHINGTON — It was New Year’s Eve, but the Justice Department’s top leaders had little to celebrate as they discussed Jeffrey Clark, the acting head of the civil division, who had repeatedly pushed them to help President Donald J. Trump undo his electoral loss.

Huddled in the department’s headquarters, they noted that they had rebuked him for secretly meeting with Mr. Trump, even as the department had rebuffed the president’s outlandish requests for court filings and special counsels, according to six people with knowledge of the meeting. No official would host a news conference to say that federal fraud investigations cast the results in doubt, they told him. No one would send a letter making such claims to Georgia lawmakers

When the meeting ended not long before midnight, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen hoped that the matter was settled, never suspecting that his subordinate would secretly discuss the plan for the letter with Mr. Trump, and very nearly take Mr. Rosen’s job, as part of a plot with the president to wield the department’s power to try to alter the Georgia election outcome.

It was clear that night, though, that Mr. Clark — with his willingness to entertain conspiracy theories about voting booth hacks and election fraud — was not the establishment lawyer they thought him to be. Some senior department leaders had considered him quiet, hard-working and detail-oriented. Others said they knew nothing about him, so low was his profile. He struck neither his fans in the department nor his detractors as being part of the Trumpist faction of the party, according to interviews.

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