It's Friday - Let's Get Out of Here

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Do you think Miley Cyrus Guy has any regrets a decade later?

  •  I told you yesterday that you would learn about Jeffrey Clark from the January 6th hearing. I just didn't know he would also be a headline because federal agents raided his home. Maybe, just maybe, we about to learn that the Justice Department won't let someone try to overthrow the United States.
  • January 6 Committee Highlights and We Have A Huge Development. Stay with me here: 
    • Preface. Much of the testimony yesterday was based on high ranking attorneys/prosecutors in Trump's own Administration. Steven Engel, Jeffrey Rosen, and Richard Donoghue. They are true American heroes. Honest and decent men.

    • First, I'll start with Trump and the smoking gun. The statement below should be enough to get him indicted: He told the Justice Department that he really wasn't interested in them investigating anything, he just wanted them to say that the election was corrupt. (Notes were taken by deputy attorney general Donoghue and were revealed yesterday.) Trump didn't care about the facts, he just wanted the support of the Justice Department for his coup as cover. "Leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressman," Trump said. Good gawd.

    • But let me set up and break down the Big Reveal from yesterday. Everyone is still trying to wrap their heads around this.  
      • We knew that Trump wanted to appoint Jeffrey Clark, a totally unqualified man inside the Justice Department, to actually become he head of the Department. Why? Because Clark would say that the election was corrupt. And how do we know that? Because Clark, without approval, had prepared and circulated a draft letter, purportedly on behalf of the Justice Department, addressed to the State of Georgia saying something that wasn't true: That the Justice Department thought the election was corrupt and that Georgia need to select an alternative set of Electors. Sound familiar?  (Clark's bosses hit the roof when they saw that letter.) 
        ABC News first obtained the 7 page draft letter

      • But what we didn't know until yesterday was how Clark, and unassuming environmental lawyer by trade, came to be the author that crazy letter. That really never made sense. Hold that thought.
      • Anyway, once Trump "learned" of the letter he began talking to Clark behind the AG's back. He went so far as to exchange multiple calls a day with him as he considered appointing Clark as head of the Justice Department. Why would he do that? Trump knew that with Clark in charge of Justice that the letter would actually be sent to Georgia and then all hell would break lose. 
      • Amazingly, the official White House call logs even began referencing Clark as the "Acting Attorney General" on January 3rd. Incredible. 

      • Then, when Clark's bosses at Justice learned that Clark was going to meet with Trump in person on the evening of January 3rd, they rushed to the Oval Office to intervene. With Clark in the room, they told Trump that there would be resignations en masse if Clark was appointed as Acting Attorney General. "Jeff Clark will be left leading a graveyard," they told him. More importantly, they convinced Trump that no one would listen to Clark's crazy letter - not the FBI, not anyone -- if he were appointed. 
      • And White House lawyer Pat Cipollone also told Trump at that meeting that the letter was not the magic bullet he thought it was. "That letter is a murder-suicide pact,"  he said. "It's going to damage everyone who touches it." 

      • But here is the big news. How did Clark come to write that draft letter that he wanted to go out on Justice Department letterhead? It doesn't make sense that a little dopey environmental lawyer would become the mastermind of that document. Well just listen to what Liz Chaney announced at the hearing yesterday, and enter a man named Ken Klukowski

      • So wait a second. Some guy named Klukowski gets a last second job at the Justice Department and makes his way to Clark and they draft the letter together?  Does it sound like Klukowski might be a plant in some larger scheme? Well hold that thought as well because there is more from Chaney: 

      • Holy cow. John Eastman! The architect of the fake electors scheme! How jaw dropping is that?  This certainly looks like Eastman's boy Klukowski was somehow planted inside the Justice Department and then Klukowski used Jeffrey Clark to make it appear that the letter, which has Eastman's fingerprint's all over it, just appeared organically out of the the Justice Department. Wow. 
      • But, wait, there's more.   The Committee got ahold of an email that makes this story crazier: 

      • So Klukowski is simultaneously a mysterious new hire at the Justice Department, "helping" Clark draft the letter, all the while working with Eastman in their attempt to pressure Pence to not count the electors.  Folks, we've got us a full blown criminal conspiracy here. 
        No one paid attention to this deposition at the time.

      • Who is Klukowski? He's a former Breitbart employee and the author of a book which has an extremely ironic title at the moment. 

      • It's all coming together. Eastman and Giuliani and Trump. The plant of Klukowski in the Justice Department. And the recruitment of Jeffrey Clark as a stooge for cover. Now you know why federal agents raided Clark's home a couple of days ago. Eastman is a big, big player in all this and is in big, big trouble. And this is getting extremely close to Trump.
        Eastman revving up the crowd on January 6th.

      • Side note: And you want to know how bright Clark is?  The dumb s.o.b. showed up on Tucker Carlson last night!  The man who took the Fifth over 100 times in front of the Committee showed up on national TV!
        "Former Trump employee?"

    • Finally, on a different note, one of the craziest revelations yesterday was that, at Trump's urging, officials in Trump's Defense Department — Kash Patel and acting Secretary Christopher Miller — were pushed to investigate insane claims of U.S. voting machine  manipulation by Italian satellites. It was a conspiracy theory from a 20 minute YouTube video.
      • And when the Justice Department was also asked to look at the Italian satellite theory, they told Trump the story was nuts. Trump's reply: "You guys may not be following the Internet the way I do."
  • Changing gears.
  • The Supreme Court made it next to impossible for the state's to regulate firearms. Here is the new rule. .  

    • The rule is nonsensical gibberish.  Historical tradition? For modern weapons? Huh? Even the phrase "delimits the outer bounds" makes no sense. Constitutional law is, and has always been, making stuff up 98% of the time.
    • But Uvalde made its way into the dissenting opinion.  

  • The Wise County grand jury met yesterday. I'm counting 65 indictments
  • Dickey's BBQ is coming to Decatur in the strip shopping center right off FM 51.
  • Scooter's coffee in Bridgeport is doing big business for its first week. 
    (Not actual building but might as well be.)
  • Texas is definitely back, right? No question? Definitely? (Side note: Tim Brando said that Texas stays in Big 12 for two more years and would not leave early for the SEC.)

  • In the murder case out of Chico, I obtained the probable cause affidavit which gave rise to the arrest warrant.  It's here. The blood evidence, if it is blood, will be important. 
  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office, despite having a full male DNA profile, has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener in her home at Lake Bridgeport: 1,087 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Ten years ago this week, Dave Barnett, during a game, suddenly uttered an incoherent sentence: "Go-ahead run is at fifth, on what Adams is insisting on calling it a botched robbery. What actually happened was his henchman, took a piece, literally, out of my . . . . "  It came out of nowhere. Listen. He strangely never worked for the Rangers again although he did find gigs elsewhere.

  • They "would not confirm if the leave was paid or unpaid." Story.

  • The reaction to the Senate clearing the way for the "gun bill" (which really has nothing to do with guns) was about what you would expect in some circles. 
    • Fox News' Carlson Tucker was handling it well. 
    • As did the Jewish Laser QAnon Princess who has somehow become a Republican leader. Video.

  • The January 6th Committee's fourth televised hearing today will focus on Trump trying to strong arm the Justice Department to overturn the election. It's a crazy chapter in an unfolding crazy book.  And you'll also get to learn the name of Jeffrey Clark who took part in a bizzaro meeting in the Oval Office. 

    • He was a spare environmental lawyer inside the Justice Department who gullibly would accept Internet rumors and "was the butt of the joke, a guy who — in spite of his education — lacked the ability to discern fact from fiction on the World Wide Web." He also wanted to overturn the election. Trump found out about him, loved him, and invited him to the Oval Office to consider appointing him as the Attorney General to lead the attempted coup. (Bill Barr had just resigned over Trump's craziness.) 
    • When "acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen [learned of the meeting] he tracked down his deputy, Richard Donoghue, who had been walking on the Mall in muddy jeans and an Army T-shirt. There was no time to change. They raced to the Oval Office." They would threatened Trump with mass resignations in the Justice Department if Clark was appointed. 
    • That showdown meeting also led to one of the greatest all-time lines, issued by Donoghue, during that tense showdown: “You’re an environmental lawyer. How about you go back to your office, and we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill.” 

  • Pretty dramatic pictures of a two-time American Olympian being rescued by her coach during training.  

  • Not only was the actual Vietnam war helicopter used for "tourism", it also "appeared in a number of films, including Die Hard, The Rock,  and Baywatch."

  • In Harris County during "jury appreciation week", the District Clerk decided to bring in speakers to briefly address potential jurors who had been called in for jury duty. Think that's a good idea before they head off for formal jury selection in individual courts? How about if one of the speakers basically gave a prosecution pep talk and said, "I’ve seen juries bring justice to many families in Harris County who have lost loved ones to senseless violence.” 

  • A West Virginia town came up with an alternative plan for speeders. They could either go to court and handle the case there, or they could just, up front, make a "donation" of  toys,  gift cards, or cash which would then be "provided to the needy."  What could possibly go wrong? Especially if there was no oversight or auditing of the donations. You guessed it

  • I'll admit I didn't even know the Fox News mogul was married to Mick Jagger's ex.

    • I also just learned Jerry Hall had a cameo in Urban Cowboy

  • Texas being Texas again.

  • I'm really surprised by this. (The story isn't online yet. I want to know what they were paying.) 

  • A landlord can't discriminate when it comes to renting housing, but what if you have the weird situation where it's not the landlord who wants to discriminate but the HOA doing it? In Providence Village in Denton County, an HOA enacted a rule which "fines landlords $300 per week as long as they participate in the federal voucher program"-- a program which provides financial assistance to renters who are historically low income minorities.  And the whole town town is covered by HOAs. The new rule will cause 150 families to move out. How wild.  Story. 

  • Very, very nerdy legal stuff: (1) A criminal case on appeal, which I had mentioned here before because it had been reversed by the Fort Worth court of appeals, is now going to be heard by Texas' highest criminal court. Defense lawyer Ray Napolitan has the case which has taken on a life of its own. (2) That highest court took strange action on two cases yesterday which, after deciding to hear them, abruptly changed is mind and dismissed the appeals as "improvidently granted." And the two were high profile cases: Roy Oliver, the Balch Springs cop convicted of murder, and a crazy case out of Houston involving Sandra Jean Melgar which had been featured on 20/20.


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

I've received lots of tips over the years. 

  • Uvalde revelations from yesterday continued to stun:
    • The classroom door was unlocked. In fact, it couldn't even have been locked from the inside. 

    • Did anyone check the door? Not according to DPS Director Steve McCraw yesterday: "We've gone back and checked -- did anybody touch the door? . . . How about trying the door and see if it was unlocked? Okay? You know, what we used to call a 'clue.' Why not? And of course, no one had."

    • There were officers from eight different agencies in the hallway waiting for an hour. 
    • Three minutes. 

    • McCraw also testified to this yesterday:

    • And McCraw threw Chief Pete Arredondo even further under the bus: “The on-scene commander chose to put the lives of officers before the lives of children. The officers had weapons, the children had none.” Holy cow. That's as harsh as I've ever heard one police officer speak of another. 

    • McCraw released the transcript of Arredondo's phone calls to dispatch.

    • Firing back, the mayor of Uvalde called McCraw a liar last night at a city council meeting. I was halfway expecting him to call him the $300,000 Man.

      • He's got a good point. How many troopers and Texas Rangers were on the scene?
      • Here's more from the mayor as he scorched DPS last night. 
    • We got a pretty good diagram from DPS of the layout of the school and the shooter's movements (in red.)

    • Recall that it was just 28 days ago Gov. Greg Abbott told us officers displayed "amazing courage by running toward gunfire." 
  • The January 6th Hearing yesterday was shocking. 
    • We heard from three honorable men who stood up to Trump's plan to overturn the election in Arizona and Georgia.  These are what normal Republicans look like. Good and decent men.  And the harassment and threats that they were subjected to by mobs inspired by Trump's lies was sickening. 

    • If you do anything, please watch the testimony of Rusty Bowers, the Speaker of the House in Arizona.  (I've got it cued up for you.) He was almost in tears as he described how the President of the United States directly tried to get him to lie.   This info was all new. And There's a reason Fox News is ignoring it. 

    • It is becoming increasingly clear that in a normal country, at the very least, Trump, Rudy Giuliana, Jenna Ellis and John Eastman would be in jail.  Ninety-five percent of the people I have personally represented in my career who had been indicted by a Wise County Grand Jury have done far less than them.

    • The fake electors scheme is jaw-dropping.  
      • And we got a new tidbit yesterday when we learned a legislative aide of Rep. Rob Johnson (R-Wisconsin) texted VP Pence's legislative director on the morning of January 6th in order to arrange for Johnson to personally hand Pence a fake elector document. "Do not give that to him," was the response. 

      • After the hearing, watch Rep. Johnson flat out lie about not knowing anything about it.  Video. “We got handed an envelope that was supposed to go to the Vice President. I don't know." But he says he didn't know who delivered it, didn't know what was in it, but still his staff tried to arrange where he could hand it to Pence. It's gold. 

    • I got more of a feeling of Trump having a private army of 1930s brownshirts and stormtroopers after listening to what this woman was subjected to. A plain little Georgia election worker -- a private citizen --  trying to do her job during a pandemic.  Destroyed due to Trump propaganda. 

    • Seems appropriate.

  • The Supreme Court tore down the wall between church and state yesterday when it approved taxpayer funded vouchers going into the pockets of private church schools. Justice Sotomayer's last paragraph of her dissent: 

  • There's an 80 story high rise probably going into downtown Dallas. It will be the city's tallest building ever. 

  • That's was a weird way to introduce your press release:

  • The Messenger has a good story today about the Wise County Sheriff's Office investigation into the murder of a Chico man.  They may or may not have arrested the right guy, but they relied heavily on a "presumptive blood test" which I can tell you is more often wrong than right. And there is a weird trend of the Sheriff's office running off to Montague County to have a district judge up there sign arrest warrants or search warrants instead of going to a Wise County judge. They did that in in the botched Lauren Whitener murder case, too. Why?
  • Messenger: Above the Fold