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The Republican Party as it continues in the Donald Trump era has gone to such a strange place that Mike Pence appears almost radical, according to a new editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The newspaper noted the "buzz" over Pence telling republicans they should not attack the FBI.
"It is only in this party, in these frenzied times, that such a bare-minimum acknowledgment of political norms would merit comment, let alone kudos. But, under the circumstances, it does," the editorial board wrote.
The editorial board contrasted Pence with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
"In the face of all this, Pence’s milquetoast comments in New Hampshire sounded almost radically responsible," the editorial board wrote. "He asserted that the GOP is still 'the party of law and order' — which may be wishful thinking in the Trump era, but was refreshing to hear anyway."
Pence also saying he would not blow off a Jan. 6 select committee subpoena was described as a "once-normal comment that sounded radical in the context of Trump’s GOP, under which ignoring congressional inquiries and even subpoenas has become standard practice. That Pence would come off as almost rebellious by merely talking like a normal Republican highlights just how abnormal his party has become."
Read the full editorial.
On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," anchor Chris Hayes marked the guilty plea of former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg with a list of all the major Trump allies who have similarly found themselves pleading to or being convicted of crimes.
"Now, I have been looking at politics for about two decades, and generally, the rule of thumb, it's not a good thing when a politician, or their associates, are charged with a crime or convicted of a crime," said Hayes. "But it happens a lot to people in Donald Trump's circle. Let's just take a step back."
Among those in Trump's orbit convicted of crimes Hayes listed off, included his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, for bank fraud, tax evasion, and campaign finance violations; RNC official Elliott Broidy, who pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act for his role trying to quash investigation of the 1MDB scandal; George Nader, a Broidy associate now in prison for child sex offenses; and RNC official Tom Barrack, who also violated FARA.
"Barrack was one who told Trump to hire Paul Manafort back in 2016," noted Hayes. "And Manafort ultimately pleaded guilty on conspiracy charges, relating to money he earned working as an unregistered foreign agent in Ukraine, sensing a theme from the first campaign? Manafort was also pardoned by Donald Trump. Manafort's close ally, Rick Gates, who was Trump's campaign manager, pleaded guilty for assisting Manafort in laundering Ukrainian money as well as lying to the FBI."
Also pardoned by Trump were George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone, all Trump allies who lied to investigators in the Russia probe. In Papadopoulos' case, the pardon was actually handed down after he already served his sentence.
"Trump campaign CEO and senior adviser Steve Bannon, he's an interesting case," Hayes continued, noting that he too received a pardon after his indictment in the "We Build The Wall" scheme where he defrauded Trump supporters of their money. "But Bannon was convicted of two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the January 6 Committee. Speaking of contempt of Congress, Peter Navarro, he is also been indicted for his refusal to cooperate with the committee. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial."
And meanwhile, Hayes noted, all this comes as Trump lawyer Giuliani has been informed he is criminal target of the Fulton County, Georgia DA's probe into efforts to steal the election — for which he spent six hours testifying to a grand jury today.
"That is a lot," concluded Hayes. "I mean, it's more than any politician I have ever covered in my life. It's more than any politician that I would be willing to bet that anyone has covered in last few decades. The cult of criminality surrounding Donald Trump has been present since he first ran for president. So, Trump executive Allen Weisselberg is really just the latest in a very long list of people charged with crimes in Trump's orbit — and it shows no sign of slowing down."
On Thursday, NBC News reported that a January 6 rioter from Texas who flew to Washington, D.C. on a private jet has reached a plea agreement.
"Katherine Schwab of Texas, who said she accepted an offer to fly on the personal aircraft of a Facebook friend, admitted to writing in messages before the Capitol attack that 's--t will go down' and that she needed to 'stop the steal,'" said the report. "Schwab traveled to Washington, D.C., with codefendants Jenna Ryan and Jason Lee Hyland, and admitted she was the first of the trio to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6." The charge Schwab will accept is disorderly conduct in a restricted building.
"Schwab admitted to kicking and throwing media equipment with other members of the mob outside the Capitol," said the report. "'I went into the f---ing Capitol,' Schwab admitted saying in a video recording on the day of the riot, calling police 'traitors,' 'sheep' and 'pathetic.' 'You want a revolution, the revolution’s gonna come... you want a f---ing revolution, it’ll happen,' Schwab also admitted saying."
According to a filing by federal officials, "Before leaving the Capitol grounds, Hyland, Schwab, and Ryan arrived at a press enclosure where members of the crowd were attacking media equipment. Schwab joined the assault, kicking media equipment and throwing one piece of equipment on the ground while Hyland and Ryan observed."
Schwab's coconspirator Ryan became infamous for openly boasting that "I have blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I’m not going to jail." When she was sentenced to 60 days in jail, she claimed that she was being treated like the Jews in Nazi Germany. She has subsequently served her sentence and been released.
Nearly 900 people have now been charged in connection with the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Most face misdemeanor charges like unlawful picketing and trespassing, but others are charged with assaulting police and, in the case of some members of the far right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, seditious conspiracy.