The U.S. Senate campaign by Republican former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt is facing fallout from two indicted associates of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
"Well, that didn't take long. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman are now officially haunting Adam Laxalt's U.S. Senate campaign. This past week, Politico first reported that prosecutors plan to call Laxalt to testify in the upcoming trial of Parnas, who is charged with violating federal straw and foreign donor bans in connection with contributions to 2018 state and federal political campaigns," John L. Smith reported for the Nevada Independent. "That included a pair of $5,000 contributions from Parnas running mate Fruman to Laxalt's unsuccessful run for governor."
The report noted an image of Fruman, Laxalt and Parnas that the publication had previously described as "a picture worth a thousand headaches for Laxalt."
OPINION "On the 2018 campaign’s grip-&-grin circuit, Eastern European business hustlers Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas fou… https://t.co/rlaDafdFg8— Nevada Independent (@Nevada Independent) 1630256520.0
"Those pass-through contributions were punctuated by a cringe-worthy grip-and-grin photo of Parnas and Fruman flanking a smiling Laxalt. The picture places Laxalt in infamous company given the roles Parnas and Fruman played in assisting former President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani in a fruitless search for Ukrainian dirt on Joe Biden. The resulting scandal led to Trump's second impeachment," the publication reported.
Laxalt also pushed the "Big Lie" that resulted in Trump's second impeachment.
"He fought valiantly against the Election Fraud, which took place in Nevada," Trump falsely claimed in an August endorsement emailed to reporters.
Laxalt was ridiculed for being suckered by the Giuliani associates.
"But at least take time to acknowledge that, at the time of their indictment, the political tell about Parnas and Fruman was painfully obvious: They were more stooges than sages. Anyone who bothered to look might have noticed that," Smith reported. "If Laxalt was slow to pick up on the ham-handed Lev-and-Igor hustle, it raises the issue of whether Nevadans want to send a carnival rube to the Senate. If he had suspicions about the pair's political provenance and declined to act, it would put him in an even worse light."
Read the full analysis.
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner noted that the new lawsuit from President Donald Trump against his niece, Dr. Mary Trump, and the New York Times was a big mistake on his part.
MSNBC's Alex Witt played an interview from Saturday with former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen said that they should all fight the lawsuit. Witt asked if that was the easiest path in the lawsuit.
"Yeah, perhaps threaten that Donald Trump will have to sit in a deposition," suggested Kirschner. "I think he would be hard-pressed after the first question, 'please state your name,' to sort of answer truthfully any other question moving forward if he was grilled by a skilled examiner. So, you know, it looks like this is Donald Trump weaponizing civil lawsuits. And I don't think it sort of escaped us that about 24 hours after we learned there may be more indictments coming in the New York district attorney prosecution of the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg, 24 hours later Donald Trump files a $100 million lawsuit against his niece. This to me feels like a tactic, it feels like a distraction more than anything else."
They went on to discuss the subpoena of Steve Bannon by the Jan. 6 select committee and Kirschner explained that if Bannon's lawyers are smart at all they would warn him to use his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. He explained that based on the comments unveiled in Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's new book Peril, Bannon was essentially pushing sedition.
See the full interview below:
Trump can't give a deposition or he's in trouble www.youtube.com
Rich GOP businessmen struggle to ‘give the rubes exactly what you think they want, good and hard’: analysis
The style of Republican businessmen who once dominated the party when it was largely dominated by the country club class are struggling to connect with the extremist base that has dominated the GOP in the era of Donald Trump.
In a new analysis for the Nevada Independent, David Colborne examined how this trend is impacting two Republicans running for statewide office in the 2022 midterm elections.
"Dean Heller and J.D. Vance have quite a bit in common. Both men attended private universities — Dean Heller received his degree in business administration from the University of Southern California; J. D. Vance went to law school at Yale," he explained. "Both men are also now running for statewide office as Republicans — governor, in Dean Heller's case, while J. D. Vance is running for Senate in Ohio. To succeed, they both need to rebrand themselves, fast."
Colborne wrote that both GOP candidates were once "prominent Never Trumpers" who are now attempting to run on his MAGA message.
"The problem for both of them is, less than a decade ago, it was largely assumed there were two kinds of Republicans — successful conservative capitalist businessmen and the voters who grudgingly supported them," he explained. "Sure, few people trust, much less like, angry conspiracy theorists, bloodthirsty racists, or loudly hypocritical Bible thumpers, but nobody really likes conservative businessmen, either."
Their wealth is no longer insulating them from the whims of the GOP base.
"It's also hard to be politically active without becoming openly contemptuous of most of the people you have to talk to, especially when you're the sort of person who always has a few million in the bank to fall back on," he explained. "That's a problem for Heller and Vance, who both grew accustomed to wealth and connections keeping them safely unmoored from the worst vicissitudes of Republican opinion while they pursued their careers. Now they have to find some way to relate to, and gain favor from, some of the most stubbornly, persistently unlikeable people on the planet — the very same people they sought to rise above and avoid when they enrolled in college."
He described the approach both are using to imagine what the GOP base wants.
"When you view your audience with thinly veiled contempt but still need something from them, the obvious approach is to embrace your inner H. L. Mencken and give the rubes exactly what you think they want, good and hard — which is exactly what both Heller and Vance are doing," he explained.
Read the full analysis.
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