Many more people will go to jail, but Trump will be locked up
Plus, it's the economy, and NH churns like a lobster boat's wake
Former President Donald Trump’s valet texted that he had a “family emergency 🤫” (he really texted the emoji) come up when he changed plans in late June 2022—the weekend after Trump’s legal team received a subpoena from Department of Justice investigators asking for surveillance footage. Following that, a series of texts that even Inspector Jacques Clouseau could follow laid out a “plan” to make the security recordings disappear. These are the claims in a new, “superseding indictment”: now the DOJ has also indicted the valet, Waltine Nauta, and Carlos De Oliveira, a Mar-a-Lago employee, in what appears to be a poorly planned scheme to destroy evidence.
The request came from “the boss.” Trump, who is careful about his use of emails and texts (but not Truth Social posts), the indictment alleges, told another employee to text Nauta that he wanted to see him. Nauta received the text and then changed his travel plans, as he was scheduled to go to Illinois with Trump.
Also, Trump’s recorded showing off of classified material has yielded yet more charges, as the DOJ believes it was a map of attack plans for Iran.
Thanks for reading The Racket News ™! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.
It’s likely that De Oliveira, who is not rich, and who is facing arraignment on Monday, will face prison time if he doesn’t cooperate with federal investigators. The feds are flooding the zone with charges against the former guy, and more are likely coming, possibly as early as today, from the grand jury meeting in Washington, D.C. The new charges are related to Jack Smith’s investigation of the January 6th, 2021 Capitol riot.
Everything Trump has done was done with little forethought besides getting other people to do stupid things for him. Another disgraced president, Richard M. Nixon, had a crew of “plumbers” whose primary role was to track down, and plug, leaks in his White House circle. Nixon was set to win big time in 1972—and did—but he didn’t trust Democrats and believed they might have had some dirt, so the plumbers broke into the DNC office at the Watergate. We know the rest of the story.
Nixon used a White House recording system he had installed in 1971. Many of the conversations that did him in were recorded, except for the 14-minute gap. Nixon never thought those recordings would be used against him, but criminals always think they can out-think random stupidity. The plumbers were caught, and the trail led all the way back to the White House.
Trump is less trusting than the famously paranoid Nixon. But even his use of low-level employees and people who can’t think their way out of a locked public restroom stall has trails that lead back to him, personally. The DOJ case is very strong regarding Trump’s willful deception and efforts to thwart the National Archives effort to retrieve classified and damaging information he took when he left office. What’s dumber is that there is no reason at all to explain why Trump wanted this stuff, unless it was for the sole purpose to hoist a middle finger at the “deep state” and bring the wrath of the legal system down upon him.
I really have to believe that Trump wants to overthrow the legal system and believes he can by calling this prosecution—and all the other prosecutions—political and invalid. He really believes he can do this by allowing so many charges against him to pile up that people who are convinced he is working for them will rise up against the government in his defense.
He thinks he has thought this through and they’ll never lock him up. But they will.
At some point, politics has to take a back seat to the validity of our entire legal system. If you believe that our legal system is totally invalid, and you’re ready to back it up with violence, you are really setting yourself up to end up like Nauta and De Oliveira.
I have always been against the government going after the thousand or so people who entered the Capitol on January 6th, 2021. People like then-18-year-old Brian Cua, from Milton, Georgia, who in February 2023 was convicted of two felonies got their lives ruined for nothing. Cua, now 21, was sentenced to one year plus one day in federal prison, plus three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss said he was prepared to give Cua a harsher sentence but the young man expressed remorse and shame of his participation in a mob’s “attack on democracy.”
The government should have focused on what it’s doing now, taking down the leader of the effort to overthrow our democratic process. But perhaps it was necessary for many people to suffer to show that when Trump is convicted and sentenced to prison, anyone who rises up in the man’s defense—willing to commit a crime—will be shown no favor like the January 6th mob was shown no favor.
Perhaps it’s necessary to have more people who don’t deserve to have their lives ruined, go to prison and have their lives ruined, in order to excise the poison one man injected deep into our political system.
Trump is not smart enough to evade justice, but he believes if he can throw enough people who are also not smart enough but also don’t have his money and influence under the wheels of justice, he can overthrow justice itself. It won’t work.
The economy, and New Hampshire
It looks like the economy might recover with “soft landing,” and there’s optimism “everywhere”—at least in the New York Times newsroom’s contact lists.
Inflation has begun to cool meaningfully, but unemployment remains historically low at 3.6 percent and hiring has been robust. Consumers continue to spend at a solid pace and are helping to boost overall growth, based on strong gross domestic product data released on Thursday.
But many others are stuck in cooling markets, unable to quickly change jobs, unable to pay rising prices for everything, and they don’t see the break in the clouds. See, the “good news” of the economy is a trickle-down proposition. People with big bank accounts, positive net worth, asset allocation plans, and investment portfolios can be sanguine about the market and “soft landings.”
The people who pay rent paycheck to paycheck, and wonder if they’ll lose their jobs like the workers at Anheuser-Bush who received layoff notices, don’t get the message so fast. As in all elections, in 2024, the message will be the economy. Until the bulk of the electorate gets “soft landing,” the dissonance will be palpable and whoever uses that will be popular (not the culture warriors).
This brings me to New Hampshire. Gov. Chris Sununu announced he’s not running for a fifth term. And Kelly Ayotte, who barely lost in the Senate in 2016, is back in the mix. Her message is don’t let New Hampshire become Massachusetts. I love it.
The Boston Globe expressed insult: “Apparently, our state is a freedom-hating, high-tax hell scape, teeming with drug dealers from Lawrence and Lowell who prey on the decent citizens to the north.” Hey, I didn’t say it, but if the shoe fits…
New Hampshire has no sales tax, no income tax, and a pretty slim government. Massachusetts is a bloated bureaucracy run on taxes and more taxes. Economically, sure, there’s more money in Massachusetts, for the folks at the top of the trickle-down tree. But for those who care more about fentanyl overdoses, paying for groceries, and real economic recovery without having to move to a tax-and-spend state, Ayotte is right on target.
Now expand that message to the whole country, and someone will win the White House with it (or we’ll end up with four more years of Biden).