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Thursday, January 07, 2021

Noisy withdrawals (Updated)

Everywhere today. Some questions remain: Are these exits appropriate and appropriately done? And why now--other than consequences resulting from the conduct of others, was Trump's conduct before and after the putsch any different than what he has been doing and saying for 3 years and 50 weeks? And with 13 days left, how is this different than giving two weeks notice.

Facebook (and other social media sites followed).

The attorney in Philadelphia whom the court called out for saying there were "non-zero" Republican observes in the counting areas. I would like to hear from PR experts whether this was done in an appropriate manner. I have seen some lawyers suggesting that the noisiest of withdrawals should not include specific accusations that may breach confidentiality.

Chad Wolf as nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security. This is tangled up in competing stories about the timing of the re-nomination and withdrawal.

Bill Barr, who already withdrew but is not being noisier about it. This one rings hollow, given his fawning statement as he stepped out the door.

Several national-security officials have resigned in the past 24 hours and reports are more may be coming in the next few hours or days.


Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (aka Mr. Elaine Chao, the Senate-Majority-Leader-for-the-moment), effective Monday. There is some question whether acting cabinet members can participate in the 25th Amendment process, so similar resignations could make that path trickier than it otherwise might be.

Forgot Mick Mulvaney, who resigned  as special envoy to Northern Ireland, saying "I can’t do it. I can’t stay." Mulvaney will (or should) forever be tagged for his November 7 Wall Street Journal article (paywalled) guaranteeing Trump will concede gracefully if he loses.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 7, 2021 at 01:18 PM in Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


Don’t the resignations have a negative effect on already obstructive transition processes?

Posted by: J. Bogart | Jan 7, 2021 9:53:52 PM

Many of the President's critics have stated something to the effect that "everything he touches dies". Good reputations are so fragile, usually hard won, and so easily lost. As Super Chicken reminded Fred, countless times, "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it".
Sorry, I have no empathy for these people. They were not seduced by "the dark side"; they made their decisions with all of the facts readily available.

Posted by: Paul Sonnenfeld | Jan 7, 2021 8:48:53 PM

My earlier comment might have been moderated into oblivion (I used a possibly naughty word*), but in any case, what I was intending to point out was that the "aka" description of Chao in the parenthetical seems wrong. Shouldn't it be that she is Mr. Mitch McConnell? Otherwise it doesn't really make sense.

*the name of a substance also known as "Colombian marching powder" (the "aka" pun there was actually unintentional)

Posted by: hardreaders | Jan 7, 2021 4:59:34 PM

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