WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 2022
...about those Secret Service texts? According to our contemporaneous notes, the yelling began at 6:21 A.M.
Joe Scarborough had already been ranting for a while, taking his "analysis" well beyond what he actually knew.
But at or around 6:21, the yelling began. Regarding those Secret Service texts, the cable star ended up saying this:
"This is a cover-up of a fascist takeover of American democracy!"
As recorded by The Wrap, Joe's more extended analysis went exactly like this:
JOE (7/19/22): The people the taxpayers pay to protect the presidency—not Donald Trump, but the presidency—they destroyed text messages that would’ve taken us to the heart of the fascist conspiracy to overthrow American democracy. This isn’t a normal day at the office, Merrick. This isn’t a normal day at the office for the head of the DHS. This is a cover-up of a fascist takeover of American democracy.
Is this a cover-up of a fascist takeover of American democracy? Would the presumptive text messages in question have taken us to the heart of this fascist conspiracy?
And if those texts really were destroyed, were they destroyed as part of a cover-up? Were they destroyed deliberately, for a nefarious purpose?
We don't know how to answer those questions. That said, saying it louder makes it more true in the world Morning Joe has helped make.
Indeed, as we list the (many) systems which are breaking down as our political culture nears its end, the disintegration of our cable news stars—our people like this—would have to be part of the list.
Meanwhile, what are the actual facts concerning those Secret Service text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021? It's still hard to find a coherent account of where the facts currently stand, but CNN's Jamie Gangel has seemed to come up with a written source—and with a few basic facts.
To read Gangel's rather jumbled account, you can just click this. As she starts, she cites a source the New York Times and the Washington Post didn't seem to have access to as of this morning's editions:
GANGEL (7/20/22): The Secret Service was only able to provide a single text exchange to the DHS inspector general who had requested a month's worth of records for 24 Secret Service personnel, according to a letter to the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, and obtained by CNN.
Inspector General Joseph Cuffari—having already received an initial batch of documents including "hundreds of thousands of disclosures of agency documents, policies, radio communications, emails, briefings and interviews"—requested in June 2021 text messages sent and received by 24 Secret Service personnel between December 7, 2020 and January 8, 2021, according to the letter, the details of which had not been previously reported. The letter does not identify the 24 personnel.
"The Secret Service submitted the responsive records it identified, namely, a text message conversation from former US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to former Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Thomas Sullivan requesting assistance on January 6, 2021, and advised the agency did not have any further records responsive to the DHS OIG's request for text messages," Assistant Director Ronald Rowe wrote in the letter to the January 6 committee.
For now, let's stop right there.
According to Gangel, CNN has obtained a letter to the January 6 committee. As she continues, her jumbled prose makes it sound like the letter was written in the past few days, though she doesn't quite make that point clear.
She says the letter was written by Assistant Director Ronald Rowe, though she doesn't quite manage to say what agency the gentleman is assistant director of. That said, the letter obtained by CNN seems to include a few basic facts:
Way back in the beginning, Inspector General Cuffari was seeking text messages sent by 24 different Secret Service agents, over a roughly month-long period. Presumably, these were the agents who were protecting Donald J. Trump, and possibly Vice President Pence, during the period cited.
Beyond that, we'd say things still aren't completely clear. It sounds like the Secret Service couldn't locate any text messages from any of these 24 agents.
That said, we'd still be slow to assume that's accurate, given the murky exposition found throughout the mainstream press with respect to this matter. As we've read through various accounts, dangerous words like "some" and "new" just keep confusing the issue.
At any rate, it sounds like any and all text messages were lost, though we're still not entirely sure about that. Of one thing, though, we are quite sure:
Our mainstream press corps is one of the entities which is falling apart as our failing (or failed) society continues to slide toward the sea. As Joe and Lawrence rant and yell, clear exposition of fact disappears.
It's all Storyline / ranting now. It's lock-them-up all the way down.
We bark out an assignment: According to Cassidy Hutchinson, Bobby Engel was one of the Secret Service agents in the Suburban with Donald J. Trump on January 6.
Do any text messages survive from Engel? Has he been interviewed about this matter?
What did Bobby Engel text, and when did Engel text it? We'd like to see our multimillionaire cable "journalists" create a list of definable questions like that.
Instead, our tribunes rant and yell. His agents were going to drive Mike Pence away and lose him in Luray Caverns!
What's the story on the texts? It sounds like, out of 24 agents, zero text messages survive, over a month-long period.
Is that the current state of the facts? We'd like to see a sober account. First, though, the children must yell.