Lazy Caturday Reads

Psyche, after John William Waterhouse (see original painting here). By Susan Herbert. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

Psyche, after John William Waterhouse, by Susan Herbert. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

Happy Caturday!!

After a packed news day yesterday, it looks like this weekend will be even busier for the media. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Trump is trying to incite violence in advance of his possible arrest by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in the Stormy Daniels payoff case. Trump is predicting he will be arrested on Tuesday.

Trump can’t possibly know what the New York grand jury is going to do on Monday, but he wants to get his cult followers worked up to cause trouble if it happens. It’s another iteration of his “stand back and stand by” message to the Proud Boys in a 2020 presidential debate. In his statement on Truth Social, Trump called for protests, and notably didn’t specify that they be peaceful. Sadly, much of the media is spreading his insane posts far and wide without adding any context.

Liz Johnstone at NBC News: Trump says ‘illegal leaks’ indicate he will be arrested Tuesday in N.Y. hush money probe.

Former President Donald Trump said Saturday that “illegal leaks” have indicated that he will be arrested Tuesday and called on supporters to protest.

Trump, in posts on his social media platform Truth Social, referenced reports that he could soon face possible criminal charges in New York relating to a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Trump did not say whether he had been informed by law enforcement of a coming indictment. A spokesperson for Trump later clarified in a statement that there “has been no notification, other than illegal leaks from the Justice Dept. and the DA’s office, to NBC” and other news outlets.

The spokesperson added, “President Trump is rightfully highlighting his innocence and the weaponization of our injustice system. He will be in Texas next weekend for a giant rally. Make America Great Again!”

NBC News reported Friday that law enforcement agencies are prepping for a possible Trump indictment as early as next week.

Trump, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, decried “illegal leaks” that “indicate” he would be arrested on Tuesday.


No one in the media is reporting “leaks” from the Manhattan DA’s office. It’s possible Trump’s attorneys were warned to be prepared if the grand jury does vote on an indictment on Monday. It’s Trump who is spreading rumors.

Musica (Melody), after Kate Elizabeth Bunce (see original painting here). Image credit By Susan Herbert. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

Musica (Melody), after Kate Elizabeth Bunce, by Susan Herbert. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

This is from The New York Times with multiple by-lines: Trump Claims His Arrest Is Imminent and Calls for Protests, Echoing Jan. 6. His indictment by a Manhattan grand jury is expected, but its timing is unclear.

With former President Donald J. Trump facing indictment by a Manhattan grand jury but the timing of the charges uncertain, he declared on his social media site that he would be arrested on Tuesday and demanded that his supporters protest on his behalf.


Two hours later, a spokesman issued a statement clarifying that Mr. Trump had not written his post with direct knowledge of the timing of any arrest.

“President Trump is rightfully highlighting his innocence and the weaponization of our injustice system,” the statement said.

A lawyer for Mr. Trump, Susan R. Necheles, said that his post had been based on news reports, and accused the Manhattan district attorney’s office of conducting a “political prosecution.”

A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment.

Prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, have signaled that an indictment of Mr. Trump could be imminent. But they have not told Mr. Trump’s lawyers when the charges — expected to stem from a 2016 hush money payment to a porn star — would be sought or when an arrest would be made, people with knowledge of the matter said. At least one more witness is expected to testify in front of the grand jury, which could delay an indictment, the people said.

One of the people said that even if the grand jury were to vote to indict the former president on Monday, a Tuesday surrender was unlikely given the need to arrange timing, travel and other logistics.

The statement from Mr. Trump’s spokesman did not explain how he landed on Tuesday as an arrest date. One person with knowledge of the matter said that Mr. Trump’s advisers had guessed that it could happen around then, and that someone might have relayed that to the former president.

So Trump is just trying to rile up his supporters in advance. At least he didn’t add “will be wild.”

The  Washington Post has an article that explores how the hush money case was revived after it appeared to be dead: The prosecutor, the ex-president and the ‘zombie’ case that came back to life.

It was just weeks into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s time in office, and he was being assailed on multiple fronts.

A memo he had released outlining his strategy for prosecuting crimes in New York City was being vilified by critics, including the mayor and police commissioner. Bragg became a punching bag across cable news and on tabloid covers. Then two prosecutors from his office quit in protest over what they called Bragg’s decision not to prosecute former president Donald Trump. People who know Bragg say he was deeply stung by the criticism.

The district attorney soon issued an unusual public statement — emphasizing that the investigation into Trump and his business was far from over and that a team of investigators was “exploring evidence not previously explored.”

The message he wanted conveyed, it seemed, was simple: I’m still on this.

Susan Herbert, after Evelyn de Morgan's Flora

Susan Herbert, after Evelyn de Morgan’s Flora

Almost a year later, Bragg’s investigation into one particular issue involving Trump — a payment made before the 2016 presidential election to an adult-film actressto keep her from publicly discussing an affair she said she had with Trumpyears earlier — appears to be nearing its conclusion.

A grand jury in Manhattan looking at the case could be on the precipice of charging Trump with a crime, though no decision has been announced and it remains unclear whether the group will issue an indictment or when that could happen.

Trump has lumped this case in with others, including the ongoing investigations into his handling of highly classified material and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, denying wrongdoing and denouncingtheprobes as part of a system that’s out to get him.

For Bragg, meanwhile, the case is a high-wire balancing act for an official who has navigated controversies before but could find himself both being praised and pilloriedif he becomes the first prosecutor to criminally charge a former president.

Bragg has been circumspect in his public remarks about the Trump probe, sayingmainlythat investigators were continuing their work. After his office won a conviction of Trump’s namesake business for tax crimes last year, Bragg noted in one interview: “We’re going to do our talking in the courtroom.”

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, there were developments in the Special Counsel’s investigation of Trump’s theft of government documents.

CNN: Trump attorney ordered to testify before grand jury investigating former president.

In a monumental ruling Friday, a federal judge ordered Donald Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to provide additional testimony as part of an investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

Corcoran has the potential to become one of the most crucial witnesses in special counsel Jack Smith’s criminal investigation into possible mishandling of classified records after the Trump presidency and obstruction of justice.

District Judge Beryl Howell said in an order under seal that Justice Department prosecutors have met the threshold for the crime-fraud exception for Corcoran, the source said.

The scope of what DOJ will be allowed to ask, however, was not immediately clear. Trump’s team is expected to appeal and ask for the judge’s order to be stayed while legal proceedings play out.

The decision hands Trump yet another loss under seal in court as his team and allies have tried to hold off Smith’s investigators from learning about direct conversations the former president had with some of his closest advisers.

The development is particularly notable because of accusations prosecutors would have made about Trump as they argued to the judge for the grand jury testimony….

Corcoran, an attorney-turned-witness, had previously testified to the grand jury but declined to answer some questions, citing attorney-client privilege. The department argued to the judge he should not be able to avoid answering, because his discussions with the former president may have been part of an attempt to plan a crime.

Susan Herbert, Princes in the Tower, After after Sir John Everett Millais (see original painting here). Image credit By Susan Herbert. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

Susan Herbert, Princes in the Tower, After after Sir John Everett Millais, by Susan Herbert. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

And from Jose Pagliery at The Daily Beast: Federal Judge Hands Over Trump’s Lawyer’s Notes to DOJ.

On her final day as the top judge in the District of Columbia on Friday afternoon—in her final act—Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell did more than grant the Justice Department permission to question former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney. She actually took the rare step of handing over the lawyer’s notes to federal prosecutors, according to a person familiar with the arrangement.

In doing so, Howell may have planted the seeds for a future constitutional challenge. But in the immediate term, she’s handed Justice Department Special Prosecutor Jack Smith a parting gift: what she deemed evidence of a crime involving the former president improperly hoarding classified documents after he left office.

M. Evan Corcoran, a former federal prosecutor, has represented Trump in that classified documents scandal. And while Corcoran already has his hands full as Trump’s lawyer, the probe now appears to have put Corcoran in legal jeopardy himself.

According to a source, Corcoran’s professional notes about private communications with his client were turned over to Judge Howell, who was conducting an “in camera review”—a carefully controlled screening of confidential records that typically takes place in a judge’s chambers.

Judges who come to the conclusion that some legally protected and sensitive material must be turned over to an opposing side normally issue an order directing one side to do it, along with a deadline. Doing so gives the losing side the ability to appeal to a higher court—and prevent irreversible damage that could forever taint a case, according to two lawyers not involved in the case who spoke to The Daily Beast but asked not to be identified.

But Howell appears to have skipped that careful yet tedious approach—and just handed Smith a batch of documents that may show Trump and one of his lawyers planning a crime.

Either way, Trump’s legal team is left without recourse, and federal prosecutors have more evidence to bolster the next steps in their ballooning investigation.

There’s more at the link.

So Trump could be indicted soon, and he will use that to inflame his followers in hopes of winning back into the White House in 2024. Even though he expects to be indicted soon, Trump is planning to hold a campaign rally in a very provocative place–Waco, Texas. He’s claiming this is his first official rally, even though he held a rally in Iowa recently.

The Texas Tribune: Former President Donald Trump’s first 2024 campaign rally will be in Waco.

Texas is the first stop on the 2024 presidential campaign trail for Donald Trump, the former president’s team announced Friday. In this third consecutive bid for the White House, Trump will hold a rally March 25 at the Waco Regional Airport.

The Light of the Worlds, after William Holman Hunt (see original painting here). Photo credit By Susan Herbert. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

The Light of the Worlds, after William Holman Hunt, by Susan Herbert. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

Why not Oklahoma City next? That would be another signal that he wants his followers to be violent.

More stories to check out today:

Raw Story: ‘Disgraceful’ Kevin McCarthy buried for new plan to tamper with Trump investigations.

The Guardian: Are Texas’s abortion laws being used for state-sponsored spouse harassment?

NBC News: New Covid origins data suggests pandemic linked to raccoon dogs at Wuhan market.

Slate: Wait, What’s a Raccoon Dog? Meet the mischievous—and mistreated—creatures that may have started the pandemic.

HuffPost: Michigan Is Becoming The Anti-Florida On LGBTQ Rights ― And A Lot More.

The New York Times: Wyoming Becomes First State to Outlaw the Use of Pills for Abortion.

NBC News: 9 Republicans pull support from South Carolina bill allowing the death penalty for abortion.

Have a great weekend, Sky Dancers!!

15 Comments on “Lazy Caturday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    On the images: The late Susan Herbert put cats into parodies of famous works of art. See this piece at HuffPost for more examples and links to the original paintings.

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. bostonboomer says:

  5. dakinikat says:

    I love the lord and lady cats! It’s another cold day spitting something icky. I’m glad to be warm inside with the fur family. Just got some groceries. Need to walk up to get dog food but wow, the weather!

  6. quixote says:

    “But Howell appears to have skipped that careful yet tedious approach—and just handed Smith a batch of documents that may show Trump and one of his lawyers planning a crime.”

    Fercryinoutloud. The Dump uses every delaying tactic within and without the law. He treats the legal system with contempt and uses it as a weapon. He’s had so much due process the whole democracy is drowning in it.

    It’s not a “careful yet tedious” approach. It would be a “playing into his hands” approach and at this point everybody knows it. It’s way past time to stop pretending any of this is normal. Call it what it is. Enough with poltroonery like she “just handed” the docs over, as if it was late on a Friday and she cleared her inbox by sweeping it into the trash.

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