Rome was once sacked by the goths and vandals and Washington, D.C. was sacked by the vulgarians, long before the MAGAs began smashing the doors and windows of the Capitol. The appearance of the first, Donald Trump and his aides, his first wave of shock troops as it were, made possible the appearance of the second. One of Trump’s most disreputable aides was Joe diGenova. DiGenova was a late addition to the Trump regime, made at a time when he was casting around desperately for “TV lawyers. I need more TV lawyers,” and a “killer.” “Where are my killers?” he lamented, when Jeff Sessions didn’t want to help him overthrow the government and toilet patenter Matthew Whittaker turned out to be a dismal disappointment.
Trump saw diGenova on Fox News, naturally, and asked him to come to the White House. The two did not hit it off in real life, surprisingly, but as both became more desperate for what the other could potentially do for him, they eventually got together, an alliance born transactionally as all of Trump’s are.
DiGenova puttered along nicely for a while, spewing disinformation on TV and raising the toxicity level of the national discourse and then he stepped in it big time on Newsmax. He said in an interview about the Big Lie aired November 30, that former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Christopher Krebs “should be drawn and quartered” and “taken out at dawn and shot,” after Krebs went on “60 Minutes” to expose Trump as a liar and dispute that the election was rigged. DiGenova made his horrific statement and Krebs sued him. Axios:
Details: The lawsuit claims that diGenova, the Trump campaign and Newsmax are “engaged in a conspiracy to defame and inflict severe emotional distress on” Krebs and other Republicans “who refuse to subserviently hew to the [Trump] campaign’s false narratives” on election fraud.
- The lawsuit also says that the defendants knowingly defamed Krebs by suggesting that he committed treason — and provoked threats from users on social media — to cause Krebs “so much pain and suffering that he … fall in line.”
What they’re saying: “Newsmax, the campaign, and diGenova have a symbiotic relationship,” the lawsuit reads.
“Newsmax disseminates and amplifies the [Trump] campaign’s and diGenova’s attacks on perceived political threats and allegations of election stealing, which pleases viewers, prompts endorsements from President Trump, increases ratings, supports the political goals of the campaign, and helps raise more money from duped supporters.”
That was the state of play the end of last year and it seems like ages ago. And here’s the great part: diGenova had to eat crow publicly. This will not in and of itself unravel the Big Lie, but it is a loosening of the skein, let’s put it that way.
“During the show, I made regrettable statements regarding Christopher Krebs, which many interpreted as a call for violence against him,” diGenova said.
“A few days later on Newsmax, I apologized for my grossly inappropriate statements, and today I reiterate my public apology to Mr. Krebs and his family for any harm my words caused.”
“Given today’s political climate, I should have more carefully expressed my criticism of Mr. Krebs, who was just doing his job,” he concluded.
Now here’s the takeaway and it says everything about Trump’s fascist empire and the people who join up to help run it: diGenova didn’t just realize this a few days ago. He knew this all along. He knew full well Krebs was just doing his job and that the Big Lie was a farce. He deliberately chose to push the envelope as far as he could in order to further Trump’s sick agenda and toxify the national discourse. That’s the simple truth. And diGenova’s ugly, violent statement was just one more brick in the road to the Capitol riot.
It’s good that he’s forced to back down, as we knew he would be when Krebs filed his suit, but it is tragic that things in this country have taken this kind of a downward turn and gotten to this level in the first place.