The Scottish Parliament will hold a vote this week into whether the government should pursue an “unexplained wealth order” to investigate the source of financing for Donald Trump’s Scottish resorts, The Scotsman reports.
A must-read: The New York Times reconstructs Donal Trump’s 77 days trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
New York Times: “Mr. Trump’s strongest fund-raising came in the immediate aftermath of the election… The donations were made public over the weekend in a Federal Election Commission filing by WinRed.”
“The new records show that his fund-raising fell sharply in December compared with November, with an especially notably dip after Dec. 14, the day the Electoral College formally cast its ballots to make Mr. Biden the nation’s 46th president.”
“Former President Donald Trump’s five impeachment defense attorneys have left a little more than a week before his trial is set to begin, according to people familiar with the case, amid a disagreement over his legal strategy,” CNN reports.
“It was a dramatic development in the second impeachment trial for Trump, who has struggled to find lawyers willing to take his case. And now, with legal briefs due next week and a trial set to begin only days later, Trump is clinging to his election fraud charade and suddenly finds himself without legal representation.”
A New York Supreme Court judge ruled Friday that a former Trump Organization law firm was obliged to hand over documents to state investigators, Bloomberg reports.
In a newly discovered video from a December 19 “Stop the Steal” rally in Arizona, organizer Ali Alexander bragged about being “on the phone” with “people from the White House” and appeared to encourage physical violence against members of Congress and other politicians who he claimed helped “steal” the election, Media Matters reports.
At that same rally, Alexander appeared to advocate for physical attacks against members of Congress who he said helped “steal” the election, calling it a “moral obligation” to do so.
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis said the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol was “fomented” by former President Donald Trump, and exemplified the “internal threats” faced by the U.S. that should be viewed “with every bit as much gravity as the external problems, and perhaps more so,” Yahoo News reports.
Michael Kruse: “What will Trump’s post-presidency look like — and what will it do to America? There is no real precedent in the annals of the nation — and thus no real playbook for how to manage the kind of civic disruption it is likely to cause. But from history, and from people who’ve known him, it’s possible to stitch together a more-than-educated guess at what the country’s in for — a portrait of the nation’s first real anti-presidency.”
Politico: “The only person charged in the Justice Department’s investigation into the origins of the probe of former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and its ties to Russia was spared prison time for altering an email used to support a surveillance application. Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, 38, received the sentence of 12 months probation.”
“Donald Trump has mused about forming a third party. But it’s not clear why he needs one,” the AP reports.
“As he faces an impeachment trial for inciting insurrection, state and county Republican Party committees have rushed to Trump’s defense — highlighting the former president’s firm control of the GOP machinery.”
“Three weeks ago, Donald Trump was radioactive, even in the top quarters of his own party. Now, those same Republicans are convinced they can’t live without the energy he gives off, even if it proves toxic,” Politico reports.
“The GOP is engaged in a delicate dance to keep Trump and his base of voters in the fold while not seeming too beholden to him. Without Trump’s cooperation, the party fears losing a fundraising giant just as it pivots to a midterm cycle in which it hopes to regain majorities in each chamber of Congress.”
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is joining the Conservative Partnership Institute, a group run by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint that operates as a “networking hub” for conservatives, Axios reports.
“Meadows, who is still in frequent contact with former President Trump and has been advising him ahead of his impeachment trial, will now operate behind the scenes to help create more members like Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley — conservative firebrands with strong networks and staffs.”
“Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is the latest official to take advantage of the revolving door between Fox News and the Trump administration,” according to her termination financial disclosure report.
Donald Trump announced Monday the official opening of the “Office of the Former President” in Palm Beach County, Florida, which is tasked with overseeing the 45th president’s official activities in his post-presidency life, CBS News reports.
“Former President Donald Trump, determined to remain a force in G.O.P. politics, is gaining new opportunities with a crucial Senate seat unexpectedly coming open in Ohio, an ally announcing for governor of Arkansas and rising pressure on Republicans in Congress who did not stand with him during this month’s impeachment vote,” the New York Times reports.
“The surprise announcement on Monday by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio that he would not seek a third term sparked a political land rush, with top strategists in the state receiving a flood of phone calls from potential candidates testing their viability. One consultant said he had received calls from five would-be candidates by midday.”
“That opening, along with another statewide contest next year in which Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to face at least one Trump-aligned primary challenger, are likely to make Ohio a central battleground for control of the Republican Party, and an inviting one for Mr. Trump, who held on to Ohio in the election while losing three other northern battleground states.”
A new Monmouth poll finds 56% of Americans approve of the House of Representatives impeaching Trump for incitement of insurrection, while 42% disapprove.
“The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed two cases over whether former President Donald Trump unlawfully profited from his businesses while in office,” CNBC reports.
“The suits, which were brought by a nonprofit as well as the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, alleged that the former president violated the Constitution’s emoluments clauses, little-known provisions that bar presidents from receiving gifts from local or foreign governments.”
Politico: “Many other aides have left his side, eager to start anew far away from their former boss. White House aides and administration officials who once relished their West Wing perches have jetted off on remote getaways — cashing in on a mountain of unused vacation time. Others are frantically asking former colleagues for help finding work as they prioritize their own careers over whatever chapter Trump is planning for himself.”
“It’s not been easy. Tainted by Trump’s reputation, several Trump aides described an increasingly bleak job market with virtually no chance of landing jobs in corporate America and some even having seen promising leads disappear after the rampage at the U.S. Capitol. A second former White House official said they knew of “people who got jobs rescinded because of Jan. 6.'”
A Republican strategist was blunter: “They are really fucked.”