“Executive privilege” is a media-driven red herring that won’t impact the takedown of Donald Trump

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Ever since it was reported days ago that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith had subpoenaed Mike Pence to testify against Donald Trump to a grand jury, all we’ve heard from the media is an endless diatribe about how “executive privilege” is somehow going to derail the criminal case against Trump. Suddenly the media has found its new doomsday catch phrase for why you should stare all day at your screen in outrage and fear, because Trump is magically getting away with it all! But as always tends to eb the case, these narratives are (willfully) getting the entire story wrong.

First of all, Pence himself is obviously the one who leaked to the media that the DOJ had subpoenaed him. He’s the one who planted the narrative that he’s going to use executive privilege to fight this subpoena. It’s a ratings-friendly enough narrative that the media is running with it without scrutinizing it, which of course is why Pence leaked it.

Everybody knows that Pence desperately wants the DOJ to take Trump off the board before 2024, so Pence can run for President. The notion that Pence would engage in some court battle to protect Trump is laugh out loud absurd. But Pence also surely doesn’t want to be seen as the one who took Trump down, so of course he would leak that he’s going to fight a harsh battle to protect Trump even if he’s helping to take Trump down. That’s just… obvious.

For that matter, Pence appears to be the only source for this “executive privilege” narrative, and given that he has a long track record as a constant liar, he cannot be treated as a reliable narrator. In other words, the notion that Pence is going to use executive privilege to protect Trump is completely without substance. It’s a likely lie, coming from a known liar. If George Santos were the only source for a claim, you’d presume it was likely false, right? Pence lies just as often as Santos, just not nearly as bombastically.

To give you an idea of what might really be going on, consider the other big news to emerge over the past few days. Donald Trump’s own attorney, Evan Corcoran, reportedly testified last month to the DOJ grand jury that’s in the process of indicting Trump. By definition, grand juries only have witnesses for the prosecution. So it’s not as if Corcoran was in there defending Trump. He was testifying against Trump. And while he reportedly declined to answer certain questions on the ground of attorney client privilege, his testimony lasted for four hours – meaning he gave lengthy and substantive answers to a whole lot of other questions about Trump’s guilt.

Think about it. Trump’s own attorney testified against him to a grand jury last month, and no one on Trump’s side could find any way to stop it from happening. This means that any court battles they fought over this already came and went before Corcoran took the stand. Nothing about these legal battles ever came out publicly, and still hasn’t. But some kind of legal battles obviously happened over whether the DOJ was allowed to put Corcoran on the stand against Trump, and the DOJ obviously won (or mostly won) those battles.

Now let’s apply the same logic to the executive privilege story. Special Counsel Jack Smith and the DOJ are not rubes who were too naive to expect that executive privilege would be claimed at some point. Why are we presuming these legal battles haven’t already been fought and won by the DOJ? All we know is that 1) nothing has come out publicly about any such battles, and 2) Pence is claiming he’s about to wage an executive privilege holy war. But neither of these things is in any way an indicator that the DOJ hasn’t already fought and won all these executive privilege battles.

The problem right now is that, with Jack Smith and the DOJ obviously being so close to criminally indicting Donald Trump, everyone out there is trying to publicly position themselves ahead of that indictment. Many of the people trying to do that positioning are known liars, like Pence. And because so many of these liars are skilled at feeding the media the kinds of ratings-friendly lies that the media will automatically jump on, even as the DOJ declines to comment on this kind of silliness one way or the other, the biggest liars in all of this are the ones controlling the media narratives.

What that means is that all of the self-serving stuff that’s being fed to the media right now should simply be ignored. Mike Pence wants us to believe that he’s somehow protecting a guy that he desperately wants to be in prison before 2024? Come on, that’s a punchline. And so is anyone in the media and pundit class who tries to feed you that narrative.

At times like this, the most important thing you can do as a consumer of political news is to figure out what to ignore. The closer Jack Smith and the DOJ come to indicting Donald Trump, the more absurdly self-serving the leaks are going to get from everyone who’s not Jack Smith or the DOJ. As a rule, if a news report is pretty clearly sourced to a known liar, and just happens to lay out precisely the narrative that the known liar wants out there, you can dismiss that news report entirely. The tricky part is also tuning out the entire media’s endless repetition of that obviously worthless news report.

Executive privilege is a red herring that isn’t going to play a real role in Trump’s takedown. Court battles over things like executive privilege are precisely what the DOJ has been working on all this time, even as so many idiots have been yelling “the DOJ is doing nothing!” Unless you want to let yourself be manipulated by Mike Pence, and a mainstream media that’s so ratings-hungry it’s willing to pretend Mike Pence is a credible source, you have to tune out this kind of doomsday hysteria entirely.

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