The WØRD – “Co-conspirator!”

From chairperson Lavora Barnes – 

Arizona joined with Michigan, Georgia and Nevada this week by issuing indictments in the fake electors scheme. The defendants include several influential figures in Arizona politics, including former state GOP chair Kelli Ward and sitting state senators Anthony Kern and Jake Hoffman. Also charged was Christina Bobb, just days after she was named head of the Republican National Committee’s Election Integrity program. She is one of seven Trump confidantes also charged.

Trump, who isn’t charged, is repeatedly referred to as “Unindicted Coconspirator 1” in the 58-page indictment.

It turns out Trump is also an unindicted co-conspirator in Michigan’s fake elector case, and a defendant in the Georgia fake elector prosecution. Trump’s status as a co-conspirator in Michigan was revealed during a court hearing on some of the criminal charges against the faux electors.

It’s more clear than ever that Donald Trump and his MAGA allies are rotten to the core and have no place in the halls of power. We shouldn’t be surprised that an extremist MI-GOP that attempts to undermine the very foundations of our democracy time and time again is consistently in lockstep with the chaos and lawlessness of Trump. 

This Republican Party is clearly willing to do anything to attack our institutions. From the bottom to the top of the ballot, they have never been more out of step with our state’s values. Let’s be clear, Michiganders have continually rejected Donald Trump’s election denialism and they will do so again this November.

Meanwhile: the right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court is hinting it will create a form of immunity for Trump to protect him from criminal prosecution for some or all of his actions while President. At a minimum, court watchers say the Court will build some new delays into Trump’s federal criminal cases so that he doesn’t face trial until after the election. Of course, if Trump manages to get elected in November he will order the Justice Department to drop all charges and let him get away with it.

We need to remember that five of the nine current justices were appointed by Presidents who lost the popular vote, and then confirmed by the votes of Senators representing fewer than half of the country. It’s called “minority rule.”

In news of another Supreme Court…

Our Democratic Party Executive Committee has endorsed Kyra Harris Bolden and Kimberly Ann Thomas for Michigan’s Supreme Court. These will be some of the most consequential elections this year in Michigan as our state Supreme Court is the only court in the country that the GOP could flip to their control.

The race for Supreme Court in Michigan this year will decide whether Democrats can continue to build on all of our progress, or whether MAGA Republicans can rely on their allies on the court. From reproductive freedom to the sanctity of our election process, a conservative state Supreme Court would spell disaster for all the issues that matter most to Michiganders. This cycle, we will ensure that Michiganders understand the stakes of this election so that our freedom and democracy can continue to grow and prosper.

Justice Bolden is defending her recent appointment by Gov. Whitmer to the bench this fall. As the first Black woman to serve in the Michigan Supreme Court, Bolden is a trailblazer who is committed to ensuring equal access to justice, applying the law without fear or favor, and treating all who come before our state’s highest court with dignity and respect.

Kimberly Ann Thomas is running for an open court seat on the Michigan Supreme Court and will bring her broad base of legal experience and a new voice of integrity and fairness to the court. Thomas is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer, and law professor at the University of Michigan Law School where she co-founded and directs the Juvenile Justice Clinic. She also served on the bipartisan Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform and is committed to equal justice for all Michiganders.

Both Justice Bolden and Professor Thomas will be featured on future episodes of this podcast.

On Tuesday the two newly elected members of the Michigan House will be sworn into office. Mai Xiong and Peter Herzberg won landslide victories in special elections to fill vacancies created when their predecessors were elected mayors of their hometowns.This week we talk with Representative-elect Xiong about her groundbreaking victory.

Mai Xiong’s path to the state capitol is truly unique. Born in a Thailand refugee camp, her family moved to the United States when she was three years old. While they hardly understood English, her parents realized the importance of obtaining an education and U.S. citizenship. In 1997, they became naturalized citizens.

In 2003, after graduating high school, she moved to Warren, to attend the College for Creative Studies. I took summer classes at Macomb Community College. By 2020, she was at a point where she could give back to the community that had given her and her family so much. When I saw that my four children didn’t have leaders in office who looked like them, I knew I had to step up. She was elected by the residents of Warren to serve as the first Asian-American and former refugee on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners where she has served three terms. Representative-elect Xiong and her husband are the proud parents of four children.

This week’s Trump outrage is the United States Supreme Court and, in particular, the ethical nightmare that is Clarence Thomas.

Ed Wexler | Copyright 2023 Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

We already know about Thomas’s receipts of literally millions-of-dollars in gifts and luxury vacations from very rich people who became his friend only after he was appointed to the Court. He is a justice who has filed incomplete financial disclosures, omitting (among other things) the money collected by his wife Ginny, a radical-right activist who uses his name as an introduction to the highest reaches of MAGA-world. She is directly involved in the details of the January 6 insurrection and could even be called as a witness in a future Trump trial.

Despite the massive and very visible conflict of interest, Thomas refuses to recuse himself from insurrection-related cases. He could well be the deciding vote in multiple Trump-related cases.

The Supreme Court has no mechanism for dealing with conflicts, even the most obvious and noxious conflicts. It is up to each justice to decide whether they should step aside. Thomas refuses to do so. It is outrageous, but with his lifetime appointment there is nothing that can be done about it unless his colleagues develop some backbone on ethics. And we know that won’t happen.

In the News

Mike Luckovich – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michigan Politics
Michigan Policy
Trump/GOP Outrages