A Look at the Forthcoming Election, Donald Trump, and Some Other Stories

Trump's Trial, Brad Parscale's Criminality, and the 2024 Election

Since last we convened, Donald Trump's trial has begun in New York, with the prosecution's case largely revolving around the allegation that Trump, personally and through his agent, arranged for payments to two women during the 2016 campaign in order to silence them. There are a few problems with this theory as it's been presented, and as I've laid out before: the women were publicly discussing their allegations before the payments were made, the story the prosecution is relying on from one of the women has already been proven to be a complete fabrication (this is the case of Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels), and there's no evidence that the payments in question actually had any impact on the election results. Indeed, as many have noted, there was an even more lucrative and impactful conspiracy to sway the election on the other side that the justice system has barely even blinked at.

The New York trial also brings us to another topic I've been following closely this week: the completely bananas notion, seemingly widely shared among Democratic politicians and media figures, that Trump could or should be imprisoned after he leaves office. I'm not even sure how to address this topic other than to refer you to this quote from Peggy Noonan's column this week (which, though I disagree with her overall point, I think is pretty great) about how Trump would love prison and "be the most specially treated convict in American history":

He'll be in his cell with his phone—he'll get one—live-streaming and live-truthing; he'll be posing thumbs up in his uniform surrounded by gangbangers and white collar hoodlums. He'll philosophize about how a lot of people in prison don't deserve to be there, the system's rigged, he'll consider pardons. All convicts tell you that they were railroaded, but this will be new to Trump, he'll believe them. He'll be the king of Rikers. He'll say he's learned a lot and the guards are all for Trump and he's going to get out and reform the justice system. It will be fabulous for him. He'll put himself as Martin Luther King and he'll be writing Truths From the Birmingham Jail. People forget: He loves this, loves the game, the drama, and the devil takes care of his own.

In other news from the trial, it seems that Trump's lawyers have decided to go with the "mad dash" strategy, calling a surprisingly small number of witnesses and apparently planning to wrap up their case this week. Prosecutors, meanwhile, seem to be taking their sweet time, having so far called 16 witnesses and indicating that they may not rest until the very end of the month. Notably, they apparently have no intention of calling another witness, Karen McDougal, who reportedly had a similar (but less salacious) deal to Stormy Daniels. This seems to indicate that the prosecution doesn't see Daniels' testimony as helpful to their case, and also suggests that they don't really have anything on the other women, either. Stay tuned.

While we're on the topic of Trumpland, also check out this story on Politico about how Trump asked oil executives to donate $1 billion to his campaign last month. This seems like a pretty clear-cut case of begging for bribes, but apparently it's completely legal.

More Bad News for Brad Parscale

In other news from Trumpland, The Daily Beast reported this week that a bunch of stuff that was redacted in the court records from Brad Parscale's insane gunpoint robbery has now been unredacted, and among other things, shows that the robbery was part of a larger plot to hurt Trump political adversaries that involved the FBI and DOJ. This seems

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