Man, when you’re on the kind of roll that Jack Smith is on right now, you call in sick and head for Vegas on the weekend If he promises to rub some of that luck off on me, he can sleep on my La-Z-Boy.
First he gets his big break on the Mar-A-Lago documents case compliments of former Chief DC District Judge Beryl Howell, who told Trump Florida attorney to wait whining like a crybaby bastard, put his big boy pants on, and go answer questions for that nice man in the room with the other people in it about what Trump did and didn’t know when he ordered that bogus letter written and delivered to the DOJ.
Evan Corcoran appeared in front of the DC grand jury today, and according to anonymous sources did not invoke his 5th Amendment privileges. We’ll deal with that in a minute.
But it turns out that Judge Howell just couldn’t say goodbye to former President Trump just yet. She just had to give him a little parting gift, after all he’d been such an amusing and entertaining contestant in the courtroom version of Hollywood Squares.
So she laid Trump out Beryl Howell style. She dropped her mallet on that dead muskrat on top of Traitor Tot’s head by ruling that executive privilege did not apply in Trump’s case, and ordering some eight holdouts to testify in front of Smith’s DC grand jury. The holdouts include miscreants like The Cooch, former faux DHS head Ken Cuccinelli, and then the gold ring in the jack-in-the-box packet, former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Howell just handed Smith the keys to Aladdin’s cave. Just with what we know from J6 hearing heroine Cassidy Hutchinson, Meadows was right in the thick during not only the Capitol riot, but for the planning of the rally. At one point Meadows even wanted to go to a January 5th meeting with Bannon and Stone at the Willard Hotel war room, before Hutchinson talked him out of it.
The toughest part of prosecuting a criminal charge, especially conspiracy is proving criminal intent, the defendants actual frame of mind. And through his personal interactions and conversations with Trump not only on January 6th, but in the planning stages, Meadows can give Smith a walking tour of criminal intent, not just Trump’s, but nitwits like Bannon, Stone, Giuliani, and who knows how many others. Smith is now a prosecutor with an embarrassment of riches.
I can almost guarantee you what happens next. Smith hauls Meadows’ sorry ass in front of the grand jury, and Meadows hides behind his 5th Amendment rights. Which leaves Smith with a choice to make. Either he gives Meadows qualified immunity to tell what he knows with no fear of prosecution, or he decides he has enough on Trump and indicts Meadows too. I know which way I’d go. Folks, if you have Caesar on the steps, you may as well have Brutus’s back when he sticks the shiv in.
And because Howell is such a generous host, she gave Smith a parting gift too. One of the people who has to testify is former Trump Florida attorney Jennifer Little. I tell you, this Judge Howell really knows how to party! I want to do spring break with her sometime.
Little can be crucial in the Mar-A-Lago documents case. She was one of a small group of lawyers who advised Trump when he was first forced to deal with the FBI and the DOJ for returning the documents. Reporting shows that Little immediately counseled complete cooperation in the return of the documents. She left the team shortly after Corcoran joined. But again, Little can give Smith a personally guided tour of Trump’s possible criminal intent by his own feelings and plans for dealing with the DOJ and the documents. It’s starting to look like Jack Smith is about to have criminal intent squirting out of his ears.
One last thing. I promised you above that I would deal with Evan Corcoran’s testimony, and here we go. As I said, it appears that Corcoran did not invoke his 5th Amendment privileges in front of the grand jury. There are two logical reasons for this. The first is that none of the questions he was asked put him in personal jeopardy, so he could answer truthfully.
The second is just as likely. Corcoran was one of two lawyers counseling Trump on the wisdom of writing the declaration, but Corcoran wasn’t the one who wrote the letter for Christina Bobb to sign. If Corcoran counseled Trump against writing the declaration, and Trump went ahead and did it with the other lawyer anyway, Corcoran is off of the hook. Either way, there’s that goddamned criminal intent again.
I have repeatedly said that when the story of the 2020 election saga is written, it will be the judicial branch that stood tall in being the most critical guardrail that refused to break. And if Trump is eventually brought to justice, it will once again be the judiciary that stood tall by not letting him hide behind legal sophistry. And that includes the SCOTUS, who ruled that his business records could be released, and twice ruled against him on the executive privilege boondoggle. Strap in, this could move fast from here on out.