There are some of us at this site that now believe that the fake electoral certificates submitted to Congress, say again – submitted to Congress, now represent Trump’s most significant criminal exposure if he knew of the plot (and try to imagine a scenario where he did not?). But the crime that calls out for punishment and retribution is the attack on the Capitol, the one that invites further violence in this country’s future unless it’s prosecuted and nipped in the bud.
To that end, George Conway made an appearance on Joe Scarborough this morning. Without regard for one’s feelings about George Conway or his personal and private life, one thing can be said beyond cavil. He is one of the most powerful attorneys in Washington DC and he achieved that position for a reason. So when he speaks it is worth listening – again, even if one hates the man – for two reasons. One, of course, very few can break down the legal issues like Conway. And second, a far more subtle reason, people in his position “hear things” from others, maybe attorneys they’ve mentored, maybe friends, maybe pols that they’ve lobbied.
We are never going to “hear” the things he “hears” behind the scenes. But what is heard behind the scenes informs how far someone like Conway might be willing to go in what he says in front of the camera.
This morning, on Morning Joe, Conway had a lot to say about the stories we’re hearing about those 187 minutes:
“The criminal law aspect of it goes back to the question of Trump’s intent. He sat there in his private dining room or whatever by the Oval Office watching television, watching this for hours while people were pleading with him, including his daughter, including his chief of staff, and probably people calling him on the phone to say something, do something, stop it.
We hear that he was watching it with glee. He wanted this to happen. He wanted anything to happen that would stop, delay, hinder — use the words of the statute — the execution of the laws of the United States that would transfer power from him to Joe Biden. That’s some of the most telling pieces of evidence that we have.
Some of us are on record saying that it is even more important to find something, anything – no matter how small, indicating that Trump knew that there was some kind of plan to interrupt Congress, somehow – even if he didn’t know exactly how. But some of us aren’t George Conway:
Joe Scarborough jumped in to note how powerful it would be in a closing argument:
You can almost hear it in a closing arguments against the president, not that there would ever be a closing argument against the president because he seems to get away with everything.
But you could almost hear a closing argument of the president being a part of this sedition sitting there watching gleefully and wanting the riot to go on, and then the prosecution tells the jury [that] then they finally dragged him out hours later to give a recorded message to stop the rioters and stop the seditionists, and the first take he wouldn’t say say it. They made him do it again. He makes the second take to the rioters, still wouldn’t tell them to stop.
“It takes them three times after an afternoon of bloodshed, after an afternoon of police being savaged by rioters, by seditionists trying to actually commit insurrection against the United States for the president of the United States to finally compliment them, but then say go home,
Joe is right in that, “he seems to get away with everything,” but we might note that there is some momentum picking up over the last two to three weeks that might indicate that the dynamic is changing. It should not be taken as a given anymore that Trump will not be prosecuted.
Conway then noted that those first takes will be in the National Archives and will be incredibly damning:
“It takes three takes, but only that, they didn’t trust him to do it live. They didn’t trust him to do it live because they afraid of what he would say, so they threw out two takes and he got it semi-right on the third take.
Wait until we actually see those two takes because no doubt those were preserved documents that were probably produced to the committee by the National Archives. It’s going to be something. When those videos come out, I bet you it’s going to be something.”
It is going to be something. But concurrently – and Conway knows this – they are going to need to demonstrate that everyone in that building knew that Trump didn’t win the election. (And every single one in that building knew he didn’t). Perhaps Trump convinced himself he won because he doesn’t lose, that would make him a loser. Everyone else knew. To put the insurrection in its real context, one must melt the MAGA mind regarding the truth – hearing it from other MAGAs, ones that called it a steal. Only then are the MAGAs going to have to hear that they attacked the Capitol over a lie.
We suspect that the Committee has that evidence waiting, too.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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