The legal woes of Trump’s cronies mount up

The indictments by Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis against serial sex abuser Donald trump (SSAT) and eighteen others over their efforts to overturn the election results continues to have fallouts. Last month I wrote about grumbling by some of the other defendants as to why SSAT’s PACs are not paying their legal fees since they were acting in his interest and sometimes on his instructions. I said that this might portend that they might seek to defect from SSAT in an effort to reach favorable plea deals.

It appears that Jenna Ellis, one of the ‘gaggle of crackpot lawyers’ surrounding SSAT and enabling his fruitless efforts and was one of those complainers, is turning on him

Jenna Ellis – the Donald Trump lawyer who like the former president faces criminal charges regarding attempted election subversion in his defeat by Joe Biden in 2020 – says she will not vote for him in the future because he is a “malignant narcissist” who cannot admit mistakes.

“I simply can’t support him for elected office again,” Ellis said. “Why I have chosen to distance is because of that frankly malignant narcissistic tendency to simply say that he’s never done anything wrong.”

“Why I have chosen to distance is because of that, frankly, malignant narcissistic tendency to simply say that he’s never done anything wrong.

“And the total idolatry that I’m seeing from some of the supporters that are unwilling to put the constitution and the country and the conservative principles above their love for a star is really troubling.

“And I think that we do need to, as Americans and as conservatives and particularly as Christians, take this very seriously and understand where are we putting our vote.”

One response to her might be, “What took you so long?” since SSAT’s malignant narcissism has been on display since like, forever. Also, she has not indicated as yet that she is seeking a plea deal with prosecutors. Her public denunciations of SSAT may be a warning shot to SSAT that she might do so if he does not. help her out with her legal bills.

Meanwhile, we have a parade of indicted people in the Georgia case trying to have it shifted to federal court. One of them is Mark Meadows, SSAT’s chief of staff who was also indicted in Georgia. These people seem to think that just because they did something at SSAT’s behest while he was president, then that means that they were acting in an official capacity. The judge rejected his claim.

“The Court finds insufficient evidence to establish that the gravamen, or a heavy majority of overt acts alleged against Meadows relate to his role as White House Chief of Staff,” the judge wrote in an unusually detailed and extensive 49-page decision.

“Even if Meadows took on tasks that mirror the duties that he carried out when acting in his official role,” the judge wrote, “he has failed to demonstrate how the election-related activities that serve as the basis for the charges in the indictment are related to any of his official acts.”

But the judge rejected his arguments in a detailed 49-page decision, determining that Meadows did not meet his burden to show that he was acting within his job description when he undertook efforts to benefit Trump as a political candidate rather than Trump as president.

“The color of the Office of the White House Chief of Staff did not include working with or working for the Trump campaign,” the judge wrote, “except for simply coordinating the President’s schedule, traveling with the President to his campaign events, and redirecting communications to the campaign.

The rationale to seek removal to federal court is seen as twofold: the jury pool would expand beyond just the Atlanta area – which skews heavily Democratic – and a federal judge might be less deferential to local prosecutors compared with judges in the Fulton county superior court.

This does not bode well for three of the fake Georgia electors to the Electoral College who were part of the 19 who are also trying to have their case shifted to federal court on the basis that the Electoral College is a federal institution.

These three were not federal officials in 2020. Instead, they’re pushing a novel legal theory that they were acting as “contingent presidential electors,” under Trump’s direction and pursuant to the US Constitution and federal law, which spells out the Electoral College process. Thus, they were essentially acting as federal officials and should be treated as such, their lawyers argued.

US District Judge Steve Jones has already rejected a request from Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to move his case from state to federal court. And Jones was skeptical at a Monday hearing on the same topic for Trump-era Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.But the prosecution is objecting since they were never real members of the Electoral College, merely pretending to be so.

Georgia prosecutors want the case to stay in state court. [prosecutor Anna] Cross blasted the electors’ legal theory, saying it was “creatively” crafted but “not grounded in any fact or law.”

“They were not Justice Department attorneys. They were not White House attorneys. They were campaign attorneys,” Cross said, adding, “there was not a federal official in the bunch” and that the meeting at the statehouse was “coordinated with the campaign.”

“There’s extensive Supreme Court precedent that presidential electors are not federal officers, but merely exercise a federal function, something the United States Constitution empowers them to do,” [Derek Muller, an election law expert who teaches at the Notre Dame Law School] said.

Then we have SSAT’s advisor Peter Navarro who was found guilty of contempt of congress for not responding to their subpoena.

Peter Navarro, a senior trade adviser during Trump’s presidency and who had promoted his baseless claims of mass voter fraud, was convicted in Washington’s federal courthouse after a short trial.

He was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress, both punishable by up to a year behind bars.

Judge Amit Mehta scheduled Navarro’s sentencing for 12 January.

According to Rudy Giuliani, this news really upset SSAT and him.

Donald Trump was “really, really upset” when he learned that his former White House adviser Peter Navarro had been convicted of contempt of Congress, according to the ex-president’s close ally Rudy Giuliani.

“This one really got to me,” Giuliani – the former New York City mayor and Trump attorney – said Friday on the far-right media outlet Newsmax. “I was with former president Trump when we found out about it [on Thursday], and I’ve got to tell you, he was really, really upset about it.”

Giuliani told the Newsmax host Eric Bolling that pending criminal charges against him and Trump were “one thing” – but it was different to see “your family, your friends, the people working for you” to get in similar trouble.

“I mean, this is absurd,” Giuliani said.

They were upset likely because Navarro had exerted the claim of ‘executive privilege’ as if it was some kind of magic mantra that allowed anyone in SSAT’s orbit to avoid repercussions for their actions. But the judge ruled that actions need to be demonstrated clearly that they fall under executive privilege exemptions, not breezily asserted.

Meanwhile, Giuliani has not yet turned on SSAT for not paying his legal fees that are mounting steadily as he faces all manner of charges. He is being sued by own lawyer over unpaid fees.

The New York mayor turned Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has been sued by his own lawyer, who seeks more than $1.3m in outstanding fees.

“This action simply seeks payment of an outstanding bill for legal services rendered by plaintiffs in the amount of $1,360,196.10,” said a lawsuit filed in New York state supreme court on Monday by Robert J Costello, of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron.

The suit, which also seeks interest and costs, is the latest heavy blow for Giuliani, whose proliferating legal troubles arising from work for Trump – prominently including efforts to overturn the 2020 election – have left him by his own lawyers’ account struggling to deal with spiraling bills.

Like Trump, Giuliani has pleaded not guilty to 13 racketeering and conspiracy counts in Georgia. In the same state, Giuliani was found liable for defaming two election workers.

Among other troubles, he faces a $10m lawsuit from a former assistant who alleges offenses including abuse of power, wage theft, sexual assault and harassment. The DC Bar Association has recommended Giuliani be disbarred.

Giuliani says that he is short of funds, although one has to be a little wary of such claims as he might have squirreled them away somewhere to avoid having to pay his bills.

SSAT has not authorized his PACs to pay Giuliani’s bills but did apparently host a fundraiser for him, maybe to avoid having him defect like Ellis.

Former President Donald Trump hosted a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club as Giuliani struggles to pay his mounting legal bills.

Giuliani’s son, Andrew, said in a radio interview that the Thursday night event was expected to raise more than $1 million for his father and that Trump had committed to hosting a second event at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, later in the fall or early winter.

And if that is not enough, a former White House staffer claims that Giuliani also groped her.

Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump aide turned crucial January 6 witness, says in a new book she was groped by Rudy Giuliani, who was “like a wolf closing in on its prey”, on the day of the attack on the Capitol.

Describing meeting with Giuliani backstage at Donald Trump’s speech near the White House before his supporters marched on Congress in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election, Hutchinson says the former New York mayor turned Trump lawyer put his hand “under my blazer, then my skirt”

“I feel his frozen fingers trail up my thigh,” she writes. “He tilts his chin up. The whites of his eyes look jaundiced. My eyes dart to [Trump adviser] John Eastman, who flashes a leering grin.

“I fight against the tension in my muscles and recoil from Rudy’s grip … filled with rage, I storm through the tent, on yet another quest for Mark.”

It does not surprise me in the least that Giuliani would have done this. I acknowledge that this is just an allegation at this stage and that everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence and so on. But there are some people that when you hear such allegations against them, make you immediately think, “Yeah, he is certainly the kind of person who would do something like that”.


  1. johnson catman says

    Former President Donald Trump hosted a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani . . . Giuliani’s son, Andrew, said in a radio interview that the Thursday night event was expected to raise more than $1 million for his father . . ..

    So, maybe ten people were expected to attend the dinner? What a show of support!

  2. JM says

    Legal experts are also saying that Trump (and the group as a whole) have gotten themselves into more trouble because they don’t have coordinated legal defenses. Because Trump isn’t paying for any of them each defendant is doing what they think is in their best interest, and this is a group that includes some really kooky lawyers. So they are throwing up different defenses in ways that sometimes contradict each other and make things harder for Trump.
    If Mark Meadows argues that he did it but Trump ordered him to while Sidney Powell argues that the whole thing is a misunderstanding and nothing illegal happened they end up in a situation where both can be wrong but they can’t both be right. And once Meadows is found guilty because even if Trump did order it it was still illegal it becomes somewhat harder for Trump to say he didn’t order it done.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Like Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry films, I will experience pleasure from the harm these norm violators suffer.

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