Boss Level - It’s Getting Real
And a story from Marty about a President who was prosecuted
I’ve got that watery stuff in my eyes. A member of the Bette community wrote me these words just now:
“The long arc of history bends ultimately towards justice and improved living because of journalists like you sacrificing everything.”
I’m just sitting in those words for a few minutes. I’m always in action, so when I take a moment to pause and reflect on the toll of the last seven years, it’s a bit staggering.
And then words show up, like a life raft, and we flow down the river of justice together, taking turns paddling but all moving in unison toward the same goal - the preservation and betterment of our imperfect democracy.
The words flow two ways, I write, you respond - we inspire each other. The villains of our story have cut off our communication here - with intent to harm - but we still find ways.
They are playing defense now.
We are at the boss level of this story.
We just had a riveting ‘Speakeasy’ hour with retired IRS criminal investigator, Martin Sheil, who gave us an in-depth and insightful view into Trump’s legal entanglements - the strengths and weaknesses of each case.
Most importantly, I feel very reassured that we are now nearing the mob roll up part of this assault on our country.
‘Day Old McDonald’ Trump looked very much like a carnival barker from hell at his Waco circus. His made-for-TV spectacle was a dismal display - he’s now just this side of public-access television. The networks covering his events aren’t even real.
And as Marty told us, the Georgia case ensnares others in his orbit, from lawyers to congressional insurrectionists, so that could offer quite the legal fireworks.
In addition, he pointed out that Special Counsel Jack Smith - who prosecuted Kosovo war crimes at The Hague - is no Robert Mueller, who took down everyone from Gotti to Noriega but was not in peak form by the time the Mueller Report concluded.
“Jack Smith is in his prime,” said Sheil. “And when he gets done with Trump, maybe he’ll go back to The Hague and take care of Putin.”
Like I said, boss level.
As I wrote in Things To Remember, ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin and the West is going after his bankers. I mapped out Trump’s legal cases, and noted that the authoritarian right’s enforcer, Tucker Carlson, has been discredited and has a father whose firm took big money from Viktor Orbán.
As I continued to receive emails today meant to psychologically terrorize me, I reflected on how the campaign against me is coming from the boss level. The death threats were instigated by Mike Flynn’s brother Joe, immediately after he tweeted for my arrest. Joe Flynn is tied to the network we investigate of domestic online terrorists so that means my scrappy podcast team has correctly exposed the boss level - those committing crimes against the United States of America in coordination with foreign enemy states.
Jason Stanley called Mike Flynn the most obvious example of a theocratic fascist in the United States.
“Michael Flynn is leading a true fascist - violent fascist - movement, right now,” said Stanley in an interview with RadPod. “He gives a mixture of fascist rally and people are being baptized during it.”
He said Flynn is among those who deploy the “idea that the ‘enemy’ - the opposition - the fascists always call the liberals ‘communists’, so anyone who's not a fascist is a communist.”
Recall, that Mike Flynn exposed himself when he lied to the FBI about his contact with a Russian operative directly linked to Putin, who has an arrest warrant for war crimes for trafficking children. Although he was fired from the Trump administration once his Russian ties were publicly revealed, Flynn of ‘Lock Her Up’ fame continued to ally himself with Trump, who may actually be locked up, and that must give him and others who allied themselves with Trump some sleepless nights.
The authoritarian right in America is filled with members who wear red, white, and blue, while their traitorous words and actions serve the Russian Federation and other enemy states.
As Ruth Ben-Ghiat reminds us:
“It is time to think of the GOP as an autocratic force working from within to destroy our democracy, in tandem and in sympathy with foreign autocratic states which have that same goal.”
By exposing them each step of the way, that long sought and hard fought mob roll up feels closer than ever. It would be some kind of poetic justice to think that the harassment aimed at me and my close associates could actually be the thing that expedites some convictions.
As Marty told Bette members mob stories today, I recalled a prediction I made about five years ago. I predicted that Trump will start doddering around shortly - acting like the mobster Vincent the Chin - a Genovese crime family boss who tried to evade conviction by pretending to suffer from dementia. The jury didn’t buy it, and he died in the big federal krankenhouse. I also predicted Trump, Flynn, and other mobland associates might pack up the silver and head to Moscow like Yanukovych did, with 40 of his closest criminal associates when he fled Ukraine and was later convicted of treason.
Marty also put an end to the “you can’t prosecute a sitting president” bullshittery.
The audience was rapt when Marty relayed a story about Ulysses S. Grant being prosecuted for a crime in 1872. Grant was the first US president to be arrested and prosecuted. The crime? Speeding in his horse-drawn carriage.
The arrest took place in Washington DC, four years after Grant led the Union to victory, beating the Confederacy in the Civil War, ending slavery.
The policeman who arrested Grant was African American, and a veteran of the Civil War.
“He probably voted for Grant,” said Marty, “but he still upheld the law. Grant was prosecuted and with his carriage impounded, he walked back to the White House.”
Unlike ‘Mr. Fraud’ - as Marty Noted - there were no disparaging comments, no playing victim, just an acceptance of the law, by a very decent man.
The boss level of the authoritarian right lacks decency - the least of their crimes, I know. But personally, I will always cherish the decent.
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More info about Bette Dangerous - This magazine is written by Heidi Siegmund Cuda, an Emmy-award winning investigative reporter, author, and veteran music and nightlife columnist. She is the cohost of RADICALIZED Truth Survives, an investigative show about disinformation and is part of the Byline Media team. Thank you for your support of independent investigative journalism.
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