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Friday Round Up! 11/3/23
Meadows' attempts to have it both ways - in the court of law and the court of public opinion - isn't going so well.
I just got done reading a copy of the lawsuit filed by All Season’s Press (ASP) against former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, for alleged falsehoods made in his memoir, Chief of Chiefs. Coming on the heels of ABC News’ recent reporting that Meadows had received immunity from Special Counsel Jack Smith to testify in front of the grand jury, ASP alleges that Meadow’s reported testimony — namely, that Trump knew that he had lost the election — contradicts claims he made in the book, and indeed the “primary thesis” of the book itself. For example, the complaint cites the following passages from the book:
The complaint also cites the following passage about Trump’s state of mind, which literally made me laugh out loud:
ASP states that as a result of the recent reporting, it was “ethically obliged” to pull the book from shelves on November 2, thereby incurring a loss on its predicted sales. Claiming that Meadows breached the contract by representing that all of his claims were accurate and that he had no made any misrepresentations, ASP is demanding that he 1) return the $300,000 advance he received (the third installment of which was withheld during the January 6 Committee hearings because he was cooperating, but then released after Meadows stonewalled and provided “repeated assurances” that the book’s claims were true); 2) $1 million in lost profits; 3) damages for publication expenses in the amount of $600,000; and 4) $1 million in “incidental damages” to include the reputational harm Meadows has caused to the company.
For his part, Meadows has, through his lawyer, denied that Meadows is cooperating with Smith or that he has received any kind of plea deal — which jives with Smith’s indictment, since Meadows is not included as any kind of unindicted coconspirator, just as a witness. So does this mean ABC News’ reporting was wrong? Not exactly. As Renato and I discussed in this week’s podcast, Meadows may have been trying to split the baby — offering up valuable testimony to Smith in exchange for “use” immunity (we discuss what that is), while still maintaining plausible deniability in public that he hadn’t “flipped” or was “cooperating” with the Special Counsel. Sneaky and clever. Check it out:
Of course, the ASP lawsuit might blow Meadows’ cover, not least because the discovery process would force Meadows to come clean about what, exactly, was agreed upon in exchange for his testimony with the Special Counsel and, more importantly, what he said. As I’ve written previously, courts and these kinds of civil cases are increasingly becoming the arbiters of truth, and Meadows may soon learn that there is a price to pay for trying to cover his butt legally while lying to the public.
My articles this week:
My latest for CAFE Insider, on the significance of the Five Eyes peeking out from behind their spy curtains to warn the public about the threat from China
Other articles worth reading:
This Wall Street Journal piece citing U.S. intelligence warning that Russia’s private mercenary force, the Wagner Group (previously headed by Yvgeney Prigozhin, whom we have covered in the Substack course, and reportedly now headed by his son, Pavel), plans to provide an air defense system to Hezbollah, which could allow a northern front to open against Israel. We’ll be talking more about the current operations and future of the Wagner Group with Colin Clark in our upcoming Substack events (see below!)
November 14, 2 p.m. EST: Class guest speaker Colin Clarke, Director of Research for The Soufan Group. I thought of Colin as I was writing my last post on Yevgeny Prigozhin, as he has followed and written about Prigozhin’s The Wagner Group over the last several years. He will offer some great insight connecting what we are covering in class with the war in Ukraine and Russia’s global operations. Zoom link will be sent to paid subscribers at 11 a.m.
Zoom Office Hours, November 30, 12 p.m. EST, Zoom office hours to discuss the latest. Zoom link will be sent to paid subscribers at 9 a.m.
NEW! “Section 702 for Dummies,” December 5, 4 p.m. EST: You asked, I answered. Former NSA litigation counsel and current fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, George Croner, will join us to explain Section 702. George speaks to my National Security Law class every year and breaks down exactly what Section 702 is and what it isn’t so that you can follow the debate as we inch closer to the expiration of this critical surveillance tool at the end of this year. Zoom link will be sent to paid subscribers at 1 p.m.
Wine & Fries Club, December, date/time TBA: I am SO excited that I will be hosting a holiday Wine & Fries happy hour withMary L Trump, author of theThe Good in Us by Mary L. TrumpSubstack and the amazing Backstory Serial! I always love talking to Mary and getting her thoughts on the Donald and everything else going on in the world. I hope you can join us!
January, date/time TBA: Freedom Academy Book Club with by Scott Shapiro, author of Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks
Have a great weekend!