Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Zac Anderson: Like many things that Trump does, bringing back into the fold a group of political operatives that he pardoned has no modern historical precedent. ... "With Lincoln, they had a team of rivals," [Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley] said. "With Trump, you have a team of felons." Presidents normally try not to be associated with criminals, Brinkley noted.



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In fact, just yesterday, as part of the parade of partisan allies showing up at the Manhattan Criminal Court, Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner, was on hand to show his support for the defendant.

Kerik, of course, also went to prison after pleading guilty to federal tax fraud and other charges before his release in 2013. As Marketwatch noted, he also received a Trump pardon in 2020.

The former president's courthouse entourage also included Chuck Zito, who, as The New Republic noted, also spent several years in prison for drug conspiracy charges.

This comes a week after the public learned that Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, also had an advisory role with the Republican National Convention, despite Manafort having gone to prison - right up until Trump pardoned him shortly before Christmas 2020, rewarding his former aide for failing to cooperate with law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Peter Navarro, another member of Trump's inner circle, is currently in prison, while it appears increasingly likely that Steve Bannon, who remains close with the former president's operation, will soon be behind bars, too.

USA Today's report added that Michael Flynn and Roger Stone "are spending time with former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago," and both received Trump pardons after being accused of serious felonies.

The number of people in Trump's orbit who've been convicted of crimes in recent years is so great, The Washington Post once described it as the "remarkable universe of criminality" surrounding the former president.

Steve Benen

It's absolutely amazing that the party of law and order is allowing itself to be headed by an unrepentant Mafia boss wannabe, masquerading as a politician while using donors to fund his own lifestyle.

Never in history has any President been surrounded by convicted criminals like Donald Trump is. And he's proud to have their backing to the point he's either pardoned or commuted their sentences, completely rendering justice moot as long as you're one of his close friends, donors, or advisors.

Criminals gonna commit crimes. It's who they are and what they do.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2024-05-21 03:36 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

Mafia Nation.

#2 | Posted by Corky at 2024-05-21 03:48 PM | Reply

It doesn't matter anymore. We just watched (or listened) to Trump's whole defense case explode right before his eyes.

I'm shocked the Defense didn't prep Costello before they put him on the stand. Obviously, a client driven decision.

Shall we say it again? Everything Trump touches dies.

#3 | Posted by Twinpac at 2024-05-21 05:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Since Trump was too chicken to testify, Costello did his best Trump Impression, being such a jerk *off that the Judge cleared the Court and read him the Riot Act.

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2024-05-21 05:30 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Trump has a specific audience he's playing to.

They aren't really law abiding types.

It's a go for broke play. If he Wins,he's gonna dismantle the government into a Kleptocracy.

If he Loses... Jeffery Epstein comes to mind.

Trump has nothing to lose so he's dangerous like a cornered animal.

#5 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2024-05-21 05:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

@#5 ... Trump has nothing to lose so he's dangerous like a cornered animal. ...

He has a lot to lose if he loses in November.

A Lot.

For example, how long can Judge Cannon do her apparent slow-walk (oh-so slow-walk) of the classified documents case?

#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2024-05-21 07:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


"A lot."

So does Vladimir Putin. He wants to get the U.S.S.R. back again.

He's counting on Trump's help to pulverize Ukraine and get NATO out of his way.

#7 | Posted by Twinpac at 2024-05-21 07:51 PM | Reply

CORKY @ #4

Trump is still delusional. He called Costello's testimony "impressive."

#8 | Posted by Twinpac at 2024-05-21 08:46 PM | Reply

@#7 ... So does Vladimir Putin. He wants to get the U.S.S.R. back again.

He's counting on Trump's help to pulverize Ukraine and get NATO out of his way. ...


As the #5 current alias seems to be pushing each day here.

#9 | Posted by LampLighter at 2024-05-21 11:14 PM | Reply

@#8 ... Trump is still delusional. He called Costello's testimony "impressive. ...

From what I distilled from the court case, Mr Cohen seemed to have a "spidey-sense" against using Mr Costello as his lawyer.

Wasn't Mr Costello the lawyer who advised Mr Steve Bannon against responding to the Congressional subpoena? (at some point I hope I will be able to spell "subpoena" without the assistance of spell-check.... But, that's a different topic, i.e., words you wish yu could spell ...)

#10 | Posted by LampLighter at 2024-05-21 11:20 PM | Reply

There's this...

Why Steve Bannon's Contempt Prosecution Revolves Around His Attorney, Robert J. Costello (2022)

... Criminal defense attorney Robert J. Costello claims that prosecutors are doing grave injustices to his client, Stephen K. Bannon. Bannon, 68, is the right-wing media entrepreneur turned podcast host who, for a period of seven months in 2017, served as chief strategist and senior counselor to President Trump.

In the days leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, Bannon was reportedly a member of a "war room" command center at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C."which consisted of a group of pro-Trump operatives, including Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani and Professor John Eastman, who were trying to overturn the 2020 election. The night before the attack on the Capitol, Bannon predicted on his podcast"titled, coincidentally, War Room: "All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It's gonna be moving. It's gonna be quick. And all I can say is, strap in, the War Room, a posse. You have made this happen and tomorrow is game day."

Citing these circumstances, among others, the Select House Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol issued Bannon a subpoena on Sept. 23. It ordered him to produce 17 categories of documents and communications on Oct. 7 and to appear for a deposition on Oct. 14.

Following Costello's legal advice, Bannon did neither. Instead, he told the committee, through Costello, that former President Trump had instructed him to invoke executive privilege and that he was therefore "legally unable to comply with [the] subpoena requests." ...

#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2024-05-21 11:23 PM | Reply

LAMP @ #10

(((I keep a list pinned to a corkboard)))

#12 | Posted by Twinpac at 2024-05-22 12:14 AM | Reply


I was wrong to predict that Mr. Trump was going to have a hard time finding an attorney to handle his appeal in the hush-hush money trial. I think Trump has just found his 'Roy Cohn.'

#13 | Posted by Twinpac at 2024-05-22 12:44 AM | Reply

Rudy Giuliani just pleaded not guilty to felony charges in Arizona yesterday (Tuesday).

#14 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2024-05-22 02:15 AM | Reply


Yes, and Rudy was complaining bitterly because he was the only one of the 11 that got a $10,000 bond, cash or otherwise assured.

Rudy doesn't appear to have either. Maybe Costello help him out.

#15 | Posted by Twinpac at 2024-05-22 03:33 AM | Reply


I'd be very surprised if he needs an appeal. He just needs one friendly Juror in the current trial.

#16 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2024-05-22 09:43 AM | Reply


I'd be very surprised if he needs an appeal. He just needs one friendly Juror in the current trial.


If there were only one charge I might agree. But there are 34 charges. Surely they can all agree on at least one. Or it will become painfully obvious if only one juror refused to agree on all 34 charges. I don't think the other 11 jurors would let him or her get away with it without some kind of justification.

#17 | Posted by donnerboy at 2024-05-22 11:05 AM | Reply


I hope you're right.

We'll find out soon enough.

#18 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2024-05-22 04:32 PM | Reply

Another Trump mafia member to be added soon: Rudy aka "Big Colludy" Giuliani.

He pleaded not guilty in AZ but they have the goods on him.

#19 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2024-05-23 04:07 AM | Reply

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