“Pure insanity”

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A general view of the U.S. Department of Justice, in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Recent news reports have revealed a growing scandal at the Trump Administration Justice Department, that carried into the early Biden Administration, where journalists and Members of Congress had their email records subpoenaed in leak investigations in acts of apparent political retribution. Photo by Graeme Sloan/Reuters.

It’s been an interesting week for Donald Trump’s Department of Justice, despite the fact that Donald Trump isn’t president anymore. This week, we saw communications from Trump administration officials pressuring people in the Department of Justice to investigate increasingly erratic claims about the November election. In one exchange, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to look into a matter dubbed “Italygate.” Rosen forwarded the request to his acting deputy attorney general, who replied “pure insanity.” What’s revealed in these communications? Why didn’t they ultimately bend to the will of the Trump White House? Was anything about their communications legally irresponsible? Ken says you shouldn’t underestimate the motivating forces of self preservation, institutional preservation, and the likelihood that many people in Trump’s Department of Justice were about to be on the job hunt.

Then, we knew that the Trump administration had subpoenaed journalists’ information as part of its leak investigations, but this week, we found out that extended to lawmakers too. Did they necessarily suspect certain lawmakers were leaking material? What were they looking for?

Plus: former White House counsel Don McGahn finally testified and it was kind of boring, new indictments and new plea deals for those involved in the Capitol riots, and Ken makes a connection between Ewoks, Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti because Ken’s gonna Ken.



Sara Fay