Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Rudy Giuliani realized he can't actually be Trump's impeachment lawyer because he's a witness in the case
  • Rudy Giuliani told ABC News that he would not be able to represent President Trump during his second impeachment trial because he himself is a witness in the case.
  • Giuliani appeared with Trump at the January 6 "Save America" rally where Trump is alleged to have incited an insurrection, and called for "trial by combat."
  • It was widely expected that Giuliani, who served as lead counsel on the president's various challenges to the 2020 election, would head up Trump's impeachment legal team.

Trump plans to issue 100 pardons and commutations on his final day in office, many to people he thinks could help him prosper after the presidency, reports say
  • President Donald Trump plans to pardon or commute the sentences of 100 people on his last day in the White House, CNN reported,
  • The list was drawn up during a Sunday meeting between Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and other aides, and will likely be made public on Monday or Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.
  • Some allies believes Trump expects to benefit from many of those pardons and commutations after the presidency, CNN reported, citing a source: "He likes doing favors for people he thinks will owe him."
  • The list of pardons and commutations could include Dr. Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor convicted for healthcare fraud, and the rapper Lil Wayne.
  • The list is not expected to include himself, CNN said, though the president has been considering pardoning himself and his family.
Trump is reportedly considering reviving his TV career, building a $2 billion presidential library, launching a TV or social media network, or running for president again in 2024.

And in the final months of his presidency, Trump has been inundated with requests for pardons, including from "Tiger King" star Joe Exotic and "Q-Anon Shaman" Jacob Anthony Chansley.

However, a pardon may not come cheap.

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that an assistant to Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, told an ex-CIA officer that a pardon would "cost $2 million." Giuliani told The Times he doesn't recall the meeting.

... White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, senior advisor Stephen Miller, director of personnel John McEntee, and social media director Dan Scavino, were also being considered, the outlet said.

Former Trump campaign staffers helped organize the rally that led to the deadly Capitol riot, records show, despite the campaign's repeated claims it wasn't involved
  • Some former staffers on President Donald Trump's reelection campaign helped secure the permit for the January 6 rally that preceded the deadly Capitol riot, according to public records.
  • The Trump campaign has repeatedly denied being directly involved in the organization of the rally.
  • According to the Associated Press, among those listed as organizers on official paperwork for the rally are former campaign staffers Megan Powers, Caroline Wren, Maggie Mulvaney, Justin Caporale, and Tim Unes.
  • Some of those former staffers scrambled to hide their connections to the rally after it took place, the AP added.
The "Women for Trump" group, which is not officially connected to the campaign, technically hosted the event.

But paperwork reviewed by the AP shows that several former Trump campaign staffers helped the group get the permit to hold the rally at the Ellipse, a park near the White House.

Several of these former campaign and White House staffers were also listed on this paperwork as being on-site staff during the event,
  • Megan Powers, who according to the AP was listed as one of two operations managers for the rally. Her LinkedIn profile says she worked as the Trump campaign's director of operations as recently as this month.
  • Caroline Wren, who was listed as a VIP advisor on the rally's permit paperwork, according to the AP. Federal Election Commission records show she was paid $20,000 by Trump's reelection campaign between mid-March and mid-November. The AP also found that Wren deleted several tweets about the rally after the riot.
  • Maggie Mulvaney was listed as a VIP lead for the rally, according to the AP. Mulvaney, the niece of former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — who quit his role as a US envoy to Northern Ireland, citing the Capitol riot — worked as the director of finance operations for the Trump campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile.
  • Justin Caporale, a former top aide to first lady Melania Trump, was listed as the event's project manager, the AP reports. FEC filings show he was on the Trump campaign payroll for most of 2020.
  • Tim Unes, Caporale's business partner at Event Strategies, was listed as the rally's stage manager, according to the AP. According to an Insider review of FEC filings, Unes has regularly been paid by the Trump campaign, his most recent payment being for more than $6,000 in November.
  • Hannah Salem, who spent three years as a senior White House press aide, according to her LinkedIn profile, was the rally's "operations manager for logistics and communications," according to the AP.
The Washington Post also reported that several established Republican groups were involved in the rallies that led to the riot, and have since tried to distance themselves from the violence. The groups include the Republican Attorneys General Association, and the activist groups Turning Point Action and Tea Party Patriots.

Capitol rioters say Trump told them to do it, which some legal experts say could open him to criminal charges
  • Multiple people who stormed the Capitol have claimed they did so on the instructions of President Donald Trump, the Washington Post reported.
  • Trump instructed his supporters to come to Washington to attend a "Stop The Steal" rally as he sought to overturn the election, promising his supporters that the protest would be "wild."
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, a First Amendment expert, said that the response to Trump's direct call for supporters to visit the Capitol and "fight" meant the president could be liable.
  • Other legal experts believe the president would be protected from prosecution under legal precedent.
One man reportedly told the FBI that he and his cousin had marched towards the Capitol because "President Trump said to do so" while one man who threw a fire extinguisher at police officers told agents he had been "instructed" to go to the Capitol by the president.

Others who have been arrested for their role in the riot have sought presidential pardons from criminal charges on the grounds that they felt invited to the Capitol by the president.

The so-called "QAnon Shaman," whose distinctive costume made him the face of the Capitol protests, requested through his lawyer last week that Trump issue him with a pardon, saying that he and other rioters were "peaceful individuals who accepted the president's invitation with honorable intentions." He has been denied bail.

Jenna Ryan, a Texas realtor who was arrested after taking part in the Capitol siege, also asked President Trump for a pardon because she claimed to have been following the president's instructions.

"I just want people to know I'm a normal person," she told CBS11. "That I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol."

Another video clip cited by the Post shows a man among a crowd of angry protestors outside the Capitol shouting at police officers: "We were invited here! We were invited by the president of the United States!"

Their insistence that they were following President Trump's orders could increase his chances of being charged for incitement, say some legal experts, according to the Post.

Adam Schiff and James Comey are pushing for Trump to be cut off from post-presidential intel briefings after he leaves office
  • Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee, thinks President Trump should not be granted access to classified information after leaving office.
  • Former presidents usually get routine intelligence briefings, and granted access to classified information, but some argue Trump should not.
  • "There is no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing — not now, not in the future," Schiff told CBS News.
  • Susan Gordon, the former deputy national security director, who briefed Trump, has also expressed concern about Trump continuing to access intelligence.
  • "The guy's a lying demagogue who you can't trust," former FBI director James Comey said last week. "You want to be very, very careful about what you give him."
Schiff, a longtime critic of Trump, said that Trump had politicized intelligence during his time in office, and that US allies had withheld information because they did not believe he could be trusted with it.

That situation, he said, "makes us less safe."

... Schiff's concern that Trump may abuse the information echoes a warning by Susan Gordon, principal deputy director of national intelligence from 2017 until 2019, in an op-ed in the Washington Post Saturday.

Gordon, who gave intelligence briefings to Trump, wrote that the president has made clear that he intends to be further involved in national politics after he leaves office, in contrast to other ex-presidents.

She also noted that "Trump has significant business entanglements that involve foreign entities."

"It is not clear that he understands the tradecraft to which he has been exposed, the reasons the knowledge he has acquired must be protected from disclosure, or the intentions and capabilities of adversaries and competitors who will use any means to advance their interests at the expense of ours," Gordon wrote.

... During his term in office, Trump was accused several times of mishandling intelligence, disclosing classified information to Russian officials in a 2017 White House meeting, and tweeting out a likely classified picture of Iranian missile sites in 2019.

The man accused of breaking the window Ashli Babbitt tried to climb through when she was shot during the Capitol insurrection has been arrested
  • Chad Barrett Jones, 42, of Coxs Creek, Kentucky, was arrested in Louisville on Saturday, the FBI said in a news release.
  • Jones is accused of breaking a window of the Capitol building moments before Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot during the insurrection earlier this month.
  • He's facing multiple charges, including assault on a federal officer, destruction of government property, obstruction of justice, unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
According to an FBI charging affidavit, Jones broke a window near the House Speaker's Lobby that Babbitt tried to climb through as she was fatally shot.

The affidavit cites video from the Washington Post, alleging that Jones can be seen striking a door to the lobby's glass panels with what appeared to be a wooden flag pole.

The crowd around the man can be heard shouting "Break it down" and "let's f------ go!" as he struck the glass, the FBI said.

Seconds after the glass panel was broken, Babbitt, 35, was shot by a police officer as she tried to climb through it to enter the lobby.

... FBI Special Agent Javier Gonzalez said in the affidavit that a witness identified Jones through a tip to the FBI National Threat Operation Center.

The witness said Jones was a relative who had told him he traveled to Washington DC and had used a flag pole holding a flag supporting Trump to break the Capitol window.

Another person, who identified himself as a friend of Jones, told the FBI that Jones had called him after seeing himself on the news, and called himself an idiot, according to the affidavit.

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.