This DOJ news puts the whole Mark Meadows – Cassidy Hutchinson thing in a whole new context

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After Cassidy Hutchinson publicly testified, there were reports that the DOJ was caught off guard by it and felt blindsided. At the time, I took this to mean they were already investigating Mark Meadows, and they were disappointed that they hadn’t been able to get this kind of testimony out of Hutchinson themselves. But just about everyone else in the industry simply decided that it meant the DOJ was doing “nothing.”

Now we have confirmation from the Washington Post that the DOJ had indeed already been investigating Meadows for months before Hutchinson’s testimony. It’s also being reported by ABC News that Hutchinson has been working with the DOJ probe ever since her public testimony.

We still don’t know if the DOJ questioned her prior to her public testimony and didn’t get much out of her, or if they just didn’t question her. The former seems more likely, given that she was Meadows’ top aide. If the DOJ is going as far as having Mike Pence’s aides testify about Meadows, it certainly would have already interviewed Meadows’ aides as well, right?

Keep in mind that the 1/6 committee reportedly interviewed Hutchinson privately four times, and apparently didn’t get a lot of this stuff out of her the first three times. If you’re an interrogator and you don’t already have at least some sense of what information a witness is sitting on, it’s tricky to get them to cough it up.

Powerful people in Trump world were illegally intimidating Hutchinson throughout the process, so she can’t be blamed for initially not being forthcoming. Nor can the DOJ or 1/6 committee be blamed for not initially getting the full story out of her. There’s a reason witness intimidation is a felony; it keeps investigators from being able to do their jobs, even if they’re good at their jobs.

The upshot is this: when it was reported that the DOJ was blindsided by her public testimony, it was a good indication they were already investigating Meadows and Trump. But the entire media went the other way with it, because the “DOJ is doing nothing” narrative was more ratings-friendly.

   

What’s stunning is that nearly the entire media and pundit class can get this stuff wrong over and over again, simply because getting it wrong makes for a more ratings-friendly news cycle in the short term, and they just… get away with it. Everyone, including me, honestly gets some interpretations and predictions wrong. But nearly the entire industry has spent all year seemingly getting every aspect of this DOJ Trump probe wrong on purpose, just to trick audiences into believing the DOJ was doing nothing, so they’d be scared and outraged enough to stay tuned in. That kind of behavior won’t stop until you, the audience, put a stop to it.

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