Donald Trump is terrified of Jack Smith. That’s pretty clear. He has called Smith more derogatory names in the past few weeks than he’s called a lot of people in their entire lifetimes. More on that below.
Trump is salivating over the reinstatement of the Holman rule. The Holman rule allows members to propose amendments to appropriations bills that cut the salaries of specific federal workers or funding for specific programs down to $1, effectively defunding them.
Trump wants the House to use the Holman rule on Jack Smith, and toute suite.
Trump calls on Congress to defund Jack Smith’s investigation of him. pic.twitter.com/xc9RCuSZP5
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) January 15, 2023
Naturally, Trump doesn’t have even a cursory idea of what is going on. Yes, the Holman rule could defund appropriations, that’s what it’s designed for. But the immediacy which Trump is demanding that this specific investigation and specific government employee be defunded is not realistic.
First, the appropriations for the Department of Justice, some $196 million, has already been approved for this year, at least until September. And Jack Smith can do a lot of investigating between now and September.
Second, even if Kevin McCarthy drops everything and puts this issue first, he’s not going to be able to defund the entire Department of Justice without some kind of cooperation from the Senate and that’s not going to happen. And he may not be able to cherry pick people and programs within the DOJ to defund. So Trump’s demand to McCarthy is essentially toothless.
And don’t get me wrong. I think the Holman rule is dangerous. I was not happy to see it included in the rules package. It can be used to do a lot of damage and that’s precisely what Trump is proposing here. On the facts of the government today, with both the White House and the Senate in Democratic hands and the House in GOP hands by the slenderest of threads, I don’t see the Holman rule as being the H-Bomb it could be and that it is designed to be. But I knew that this is where Trump would go with this, and at the very least time will be wasted while McCarthy and tribe chase the ghosts and demons that bedevil their unstable leader.
And tweak the scenario a bit, get a situation where both chambers of congress are in Republican hands and the Holman rule could be very damaging indeed.
Trump’s looking for a miracle, as usual. And McCarthy may very well find a way to gum up the works with the Holman rule. I put nothing past him.
But as to Jack Smith being unemployed and the Department of Justice being defunded anytime in the very near future, fuggedaboutit, Trumpty.
As promised, here’s a list of names that Trump has called Jack Smith.
In the past week, Trump has used the following terms to describe Jack Smith:
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) January 14, 2023
Trump also called Smith a terrorist, but that may have been after this list was compiled. He’s obviously scared to death of Smith. Good.