It’s purely ironic, as well as completely in character, that Donald Trump, the man who cries Witch Hunt! constantly, was in fact the perpetrator of a witch hunt of his own. The New York Times is reporting that Jack Smith has subpoenaed a number of individuals with knowledge of Trump’s abrupt termination of his own cybersecurity expert, Christopher Krebs, for doing his job and signing off on the 2020 election as “the most secure in American history.” Trump fired Krebs and it was obvious at the time that Krebs refused to play ball with Trump and report what he wanted Krebs to report and not what the facts actually were. Now Jack Smith is getting to the bottom of things.
The team led by the special counsel, Jack Smith, has been asking witnesses about the events surrounding the firing of Christopher Krebs, who was the Trump administration’s top cybersecurity official during the 2020 election. Mr. Krebs’s assessment that the election was secure was at odds with Mr. Trump’s baseless assertions that it was a “fraud on the American public.”
Mr. Smith’s team is also seeking information about how White House officials, including in the Presidential Personnel Office, approached the Justice Department, which Mr. Trump turned to after his election loss as a way to try to stay in power, people familiar with the questions said.
Where this gets interesting is that Trump soon became laser focused on Krebs’ “loyalty to the president” which Krebs testified about before the January 6 Committee. That’s intriguing for a couple of reasons: First, Krebs’ primary loyalty should have been to doing his job, which in fact it was, luckily for us. Had he thrown in with Trump the result could have been devastating. Secondly, Trump is already making noises about how he’ll eliminate Civil Service and fill the administration with Trump loyalists should be ever regain the Oval Office. This is part of the “retribution” Trump promised MAGAs at CPAC.
Mr. Krebs later testified to the House special committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that before his firing, he was aware of “skepticism” among Trump allies about his “loyalty to the president.”
It was far more than skepticism. Within the Presidential Personnel Office, a small group of Trump loyalists, led by Mr. Trump’s former personal aide, John McEntee, were on a mission to find and fire people perceived as disloyal to Mr. Trump within the federal bureaucracy. And they had fingered the outspoken Mr. Krebs, who had been appointed by Mr. Trump himself, as among the ranks of the disloyal. […]
Mr. Smith’s team is asking witnesses about broader efforts made by Mr. Trump’s personnel officials to test the loyalty of federal officials and potential hires, the people briefed on the matter said. Mr. McEntee was seen going into the grand jury in recent months.
Months before the 2020 election, Mr. McEntee, now the head of a dating app for conservatives, and a deputy sought to overhaul the government’s hiring process. They developed what became known by some officials as “the loyalty test” — a new questionnaire for government hires that asked such questions as “What part of Candidate Trump’s campaign message most appealed to you and why?”
And don’t forget. Before McEntee went into the dating app business, he carried Trump’s bags and originally met Trump when he delivered a turkey sandwich to Trump Tower, according to Jonathan Karl’s book. This is pure Trump and therefore pure madness.
The Times goes on to elaborate how one of Stephen Miller’s moles attempted to get information she was not entitled to from the Department of Justice and how Jeffrey Clark then came into the ascendancy. You recall how Trump was thinking of making Clark the Acting Attorney General after Bill Barr resigned and Jeffrey Rosen took over.
Trump was performing a coup d’etat. The actual, physical coup d’etat was January 6, in the streets of the Capitol. But make no mistake, all the inside work for a coup d’etat was also in the works. With any luck, Jack Smith will release a treasure trove of information. I have no doubt that it’s there.