A Federal Judge Found That Trump “Likely” Committed Serious Crimes—Now What?
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The Right's Cancel Culture Comes for Disney.
JVL: Ukraine Goes on Offense.
THE SECRET PODCAST: Against April Fool's Day.
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
According to an order issued on Monday by a federal judge, Donald Trump “likely” committed multiple crimes in connection with the 2020 presidential election and the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol. The ruling has been widely quoted this week, because of what it reveals about what the House Jan. 6th Committee has learned regarding Trump’s involvement and because of the judge’s ringing criticism of Trump. It’s also an urgent call for the Department of Justice to take action. Yet for anyone hoping for a shred of legal accountability to attach to the former president, this is no moment to celebrate.
U.S. District Judge David O. Carter’s decision sprung from an effort by John C. Eastman—the law professor who wrote the infamous memos outlining a bogus constitutional justification for thwarting the certification of the Electoral College votes—to block his former university from complying with a records request by the Select Committee. Eastman claimed the documents are protected from disclosure under attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine. Carter’s opinion dealt only with those discrete legal concepts, which operate to keep certain information from opposing counsel in the context of civil or criminal litigation. As the judge explained, “Eastman claims attorney-client privilege over only nine documents: five emails and four attachments.” He claimed work-product protection for 111 documents, including the nine purportedly privileged ones. So by any stretch, this is hardly a sweeping ruling.
MICHAEL J. TOTTEN: Before the Ukrainians, It Was the Finns Who Kicked Russia’s Ass.
When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, it seemed apt to compare it to the Soviet Union’s invasions of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, when those states sought to throw off Moscow’s yoke and go their own way. The Soviet army needed barely a week to extinguish the last breaths of the Hungarian resistance, and it took only a day to put down Czechoslovakia’s.
But Ukraine is not Hungary, and it is not Czechoslovakia. Five weeks in, the Ukrainians have killed thousands of Russian soldiers, destroyed entire enemy columns, downed planes, sunk at least one ship, captured more than a thousand prisoners, towed abandoned tanks off the road, pushed Russian forces away from Kyiv, and liberated the occupied cities of Makariv, Irpin, and parts of the larger city of Kherson. Russia, clearly humiliated, now declares that its military objective is limited to the “liberation” of the eastern Donbas region rather than regime change, nationwide occupation, or state death.
“Don’t Say Gay” is giving panhandle Karens permission to spout anti-gay and anti-transgender rhetoric, and kids are feeling afraid. Plus, the media’s fail on Hunter’s laptop and Trump’s aid and comfort to a military foe. Tim Miller’s back with Charlie Sykes on this weekend’s podcast.
The Atlantic’s Jonathan Rauch joins the group (including Cathy Young) to consider whether a federal judge saying Trump is a likely criminal should spur DOJ? Also, the “Don’t Say Gay” law, Ginni Thomas, Biden’s popularity, and more.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
Amanda Carpenter, Tim Miller, and Will Saletan join JVL to discuss
Lollapalooza Brasil and American Greatness… er, Supreme Court spouses behaving badly, Judge Carter’s ruling on the Jan 6 Committee’s subpoena for documents from John Eastman and much more.
On February 23, the day before Russian troops invaded Ukraine, the Economist ran an article about a 1944 Russian play, The Dragon, by Evgeny Schwartz, depicting it as a remarkably timely exploration of autocracy and its corrupting effects on the human soul. Timely indeed: the play, a trenchant political and philosophical parable in the guise of a fairytale, has ripped-from-the-headlines passages that could have been written as an allegory for Vladimir Putin’s war. The Dragon has been keenly relevant to several generations of Russians; it deserves to be better known beyond Russia as well.
Schwartz, alternately spelled Shvarts (1896–1958), was primarily a children’s writer whose work, finely balancing drama and humor, often appealed to both young and adult audiences; his legacy includes brilliant stage and screen adaptations of Cinderella, Don Quixote, and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen . He also wrote two extraordinary political plays that were promptly banned from the stage after the opening night: The Shadow, another Andersen adaptation, in 1940, and The Dragon in 1944.
Are you telling me that Florida’s COVID numbers are suspect? Say it ain’t so!
It’s really happening, isn’t it? The TN GOP went after a Trumpy carpetbagger.
The birthers are at it it again… This will not come as a surprise.
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.