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On CNN Tuesday, following the convictions of the far-right militia the Oath Keepers' leaders for seditious conspiracy and various other offenses in connection with the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti broke down how the verdict spells trouble for key allies of former President Donald Trump.
In particular, Mariotti zeroed in on longtime Trump associate Roger Stone, who was flanked by Oath Keepers acting as bodyguards in D.C. shortly before they joined the attack.
"We know that Oath Keepers were in contact with individuals close to former President Trump, including Roger Stone and Michael Flynn," said anchor Jake Tapper. "How might this verdict today, this guilty verdict for two of the five seditious conspiracy and guilty for all five for obstructing official proceedings, a potential 20 years in prison each for the seditious conspiracy charge — how could this impact Donald Trump's associates like Roger Stone and Mike Flynn?"
"Well, they have to be concerned, because — particularly the individuals, like you said, Roger Stone, who have very specific and personal ties to these groups," said Mariotti. "You know, Jake, when I represent clients who are, you know, part of a series of cases that are getting charged, I usually track the different cases and sentences and the results in a spreadsheet and keep my clients up to date on how all those cases are going, working their way through the courts. If I represented Roger Stone here and I was giving him advice, I would tell him, you know, we need to be very concerned about your involvement, your relationships with these groups."
All of this matters, said Mariotti, because the January 6 investigation at the Justice Department is "ongoing."
"You don't want yourself to get caught up in a seditious conspiracy charge," said Mariotti. "I mean, what I think the Justice Department proved today is they can try seditious conspiracy cases, and they can win and get a conviction on these facts, on the January 6th conspiracy. And I think that's — that's something that was a question mark up until now, there was doubters out there — and everyone associated with the January 6th conspirators, I think, have to take note of that and be concerned."
Renato Mariotti says Roger Stone could be next after Oath Keepers trial www.youtube.com
Coulter isn't the only well-known Republican who is hoping that Trump won't be the GOP's next presidential nominee. Others include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
During a late November discussion on SubStack, Coulter argued, "No, don't tell me, 'Oh, you're voting for Mitch McConnell or Romney if you're for DeSantis.' No, DeSantis is the true right-winger. Trump is the j*****s RINO."
Coulter, during the conversation, pushed back against the view that Trump maintains a firm grip on the Republican Party even after its many disappointments in the 2022 midterms — which found a long list of Trump-backed MAGA candidates losing to Democrats.
"He is so done," Coulter remarked. "He is on his last legs…. There are so few Trump diehards…. Trump won't be the nominee."
One anti-Trump conservative who clearly doesn't share that view is Lincoln Project co-founder and former GOP strategist Rick Wilson. The Never Trumper, during a late November interview with The Guardian, predicted that Trump will be the Republican Party's 2024 nominee and crush DeSantis in the primary.
Wilson told The Guardian, "Has Ron DeSantis been to the rodeo? Has he been out there in the fight? Has he actually faced up against a full campaign of the brutality and the cruelty that Donald Trump will level against him? He has not. It's like he's walked onto the field onto third base and thought he hit a grand slam home run…. Even Trump in a weakened state still has an innate feral sense of cruelty and cunning that Ron DeSantis does not have."
Wilson commented that whenever a pundit claims that the GOP is ready to move on from Trump, it doesn't happen. "I've just been to this f*****g party too many times now," Wilson told The Guardian.
Interviewed by Newsweek, Coulter compared Trump's 2024 campaign to his activities in 2012.
Coulter told Newsweek, "They've been saying, 'It's 2016, again' through three losing election cycles. No, it's 2012, again. That's when Trump tried to run for president by activating the crazies, crashed and burned. 2016 was the exception, when — instead of birtherism or a stolen election — he ran on my book, 'Adios, America!' Then, he blew off his promises on immigration, and went right back to his losing streak."
Watch Coulter's SubStack discussion at this link:
Longtime reporter on matters involving the Secret Service, Carol Leonnig, revealed that former Secret Service agent turned Deputy Chief of Staff, Tony Ornato was still testifying before the Jan. 6 committee as of 4 p.m. EST after coming in early Tuesday morning.
Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace about the final interviews of the House Select Committee investigation the Jan. 6 attack and attempt to overthrow the 2020 election, Leonnig said that her sources are telling her that the questioning might continue on for another few hours.
The focus of the discussion is the testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson, the longtime aide to the chief of staff Mark Meadows who spoke out about the actions of Ornato as well as the Secret Service on Jan. 6.
"Did you tell Cassidy Hutchinson, were you told by Bobby Engel, that the president almost came to blows with his lead security agent over being told that he couldn't join the mob of supporters heading up to the Capitol?" Leonnig said, is one question she assumes is being asked. She also recalled that some of the protesters were armed with weapons, guns, batons, fire extinguisher extinguishers, and bear spray. So, Ornato is "also being asked a lot, Nicolle, about whether or not there were other elements of violence and the foreshadowing of violence that the Secret Service warned the president about in the hours before the actual speech that he gave at the ellipse."
Wallace noted that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) had a theory that there was no real intelligence failure in Jan. 6, but rather the intelligence reached the Oval Office through Ornato, Homeland Security, DHS and the Secret Service, it simply didn't go beyond that. Leonnig agreed that it's among the things they're focusing on in the testimony Tuesday.
"I mean, why is it important that former president, then President Donald Trump was alerted that people likely had arms, that they had weapons, that they were concealing outside the rally?" pondered Leonnig. "The Secret Service knew that and shared that up the chain. Why is it important that Donald Trump was alerted to that, either by Ornato or his chief of staff? Because it goes to his state of mind, as he's calling that group a few hours later, to follow him as he marches with them to the Capitol."
She continued, saying that inciting people to be violent when he knew that they were armed could be the key piece in the Justice Department being able to link Trump to knowingly pushing the attack.
"The idea of taking people who plan to be violent, have warned ahead of their arrival that they plan to quote-unquote 'draw down on law enforcement' and 'attack the Capitol guard,' the idea that he would urge them and would join them on going to the Capitol tells you a little bit about what he hoped would happen on Jan. 6th," said Leonnig. "And that's pretty critical. It's also critical to understand how angry he was that he couldn't join his followers at the Capitol. I mean, that also goes to state of mind. Why was he so desperate to join a group of people, again, with firearms, with weapons, with them as he basically pressured his vice president not to accept the peaceful transfer of power and the legitimate election of Joe Biden as president?"
In the second half of the segment, Wallace also noted that one question about Ornato involved former National Security Adviser to the vice president, Keith Kellog, said of speaking to Ornato. Kellogg said that he knows how the Secret Service works and if they got Pence in the cars and out of the Capitol he'd be on his way to Alaska. Pence, at the same time, was being told to get in the cars but refused, saying that he too was worried he would be rushed from the Capitol. It has raised the question of whether that was part of the plan, knowing that Pence couldn't certify the election if he was taken out of the Capitol.
"Ornato denied having this conversation with Kellogg," Wallace noted. She then asked if she thought the Secret Service lied about their role in the things around the Jan. 6 plot.
"You know, I don't like to call anybody out as a liar unless I know that they intentionally gave false information, so I'm going to answer this question this way: the Secret Service over the history of the time that I've written about it and chronicled it and even back to [President John F.] Kennedy, has tried to avoid revealing information about presidents that were embarrassing or humiliating."
Her reporting throughout President Barack Obama's administration also proved that the Secret Service attempted to hide anything that was embarrassing or humiliating to the Secret Service itself as well as the agents. There were incidents that involved advance agents hiring prostitutes while on the job. A Mike Prence detail agent also spoke with a prostitute and was suspended after the fact. Another agent accidentally bumped a concrete barrier while intoxicated after hours. Some were found to have cheated on tests. Another was intoxicated during a bomb threat. There were allegations of sexual misconduct as well. The Secret Service was also attacked for several years as people continued to jump the fence at the White House and attack the president or his family. It was only after Donald Trump took over that the new fence was installed that was taller and more difficult to scale.
While there are years of the Secret Service staying quiet over embarrassing presidential affairs like Bill Clinton or Kennedy, in the case of other officials like Mike Pence or Barack Obama, it was the agents themselves that were trying to protect their own careers. In the case of Donald Trump, there are questions of whether the Secret Service was complicit, or involved, in an attempt to overthrow the government and then obstruct justice by eliminating evidence. Officials at the Pentagon, Homeland Security and all of the Secret Service had text messages from Jan. 5 and 6 that disappeared.
"The Secret Service over and over again conceals information that it could view as basically outing a president of information that's dangerous or inculpatory," Leonnig said, referring to Donald Trump's Jan. 6 involvement. "And the likelihood that Keith Kellogg made this up, compared to someone else saying they didn't recall it, it is low. I think one of the reasons Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony was such a blockbuster and while Keith Kellogg's testimony also sort of still hangs there over this whole event, is that both individuals don't have the motive to exaggerate or to shade or to gussy up. Cassidy Hutchinson was extremely careful in her public testimony. We haven't seen Keith Kellogg's public testimony, but in her testimony, she repeatedly said, here's what I saw, here's what I heard. Here's what so and so told me."
Those are the kind of witnesses in criminal trials that jurors pay attention to, Leonnig continued. Ornato may have compelling testimony to explain why Hutchinson was wrong or misunderstood him, but saying, "I don't recall that," isn't going to do it.
See the full segment below:
Part 1 www.youtube.com
Part 2 www.youtube.com