The threat of Trump returning to office is severe, thanks in part to Merrick Garland

The Sarah Kendzior Newsletter

November 15, 2023

I do not want to talk about Merrick Garland again. It feels like doing homework for a class my country already failed.

But it is necessary to do so. There is a shroud over the USA. It is woven of decades of deceit and impunity, but it is not interminable. There are threads that, when pulled, cause the shroud to unravel and Americans to see the light.

One of those threads is Merrick Garland’s rise to power, and the role of his mentor and lifelong best friend, Jamie Gorelick, in that rise.

I have told this story in pieces over the years. I am now putting the information in one article to make it easier to find. The story touches on so many atrocities that it is impossible for me to cover them all, and I encourage folks to pick up where I left off. The point of describing a crisis is to give people tools to fix it. This shadow network affects everyone, regardless of where you live or for whom you voted.

It is common to hear Garland described as an institutionalist. This is true. He protects a broken and corrupt institution, the Department of Justice. He protects it instead of protecting the United States or its people. He protects it above democracy or freedom or a future. He protects it over justice itself.

The DOJ Industrial Propaganda Complex that emerges when any critique of Garland is made insists that justice is imminent. They bleat that Garland is merely “dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s”.

Which he is, in the word COMPLICIT.

Sarah Kendzior

Merrick Garland is a cog in the Biden Placeholder Presidency. He serves to streamline an aspiring autocracy into an entrenched one. You can read about that process here.

The Biden Placeholder Presidency was designed to exist between two terms of Trump, Mafia Grover Cleveland style. The threat of Trump returning to office to complete his autocratic agenda is severe. But that he is able to do it – that the US is the only country in history to allow a coup to go unpunished and a seditionist to run for president again – is due to Garland, the DOJ, and their accomplices in Congress.

Garland is not unique in his role as a mafia state enabler. He follows a long line of DOJ cover-up operatives marketed as saviors of American democracy: James Comey, Robert Mueller, Bill Barr, Cy Vance, and so on. Over and over, Americans are told that these prosecutors are going to “get Trump” and dismantle his criminal network. Over and over, they serve their real role, which is to run out the clock and allow criminal elites to escape accountability.

Theirs is a time-tested strategy. It is a necessary strategy, since members of the DOJ have worked, or continue to work, for the very transnational criminal networks they claim to fight. Among them are William Sessions and Louis Freeh, FBI heads who went on to serve Semyon Mogilevich and his transnational mafia operation. I explain this complex network in my books Hiding in Plain Sight and They Knew.

The FBI and DOJ need to protect Trump, because in doing so, they protect themselves.

Trump knows what crimes the US government carried out because he and officials in his orbit abetted them or witnessed them. These servants of the mafia state would not intervene even when public safety was at grave risk. The longer they waited, the more power Trump accumulated.

As a career criminal with deep ties in business, media, and organized crime as well as access to classified information, Trump now has more leverage over the American government than they do over him.

There are a lot of ways to blackmail a government. Not all of it has to do with individuals and their personal secrets. You could expose horrific prior actions a government did against its own people, for example.

Unspeakable things.

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Trump is a career mafioso trained in the arts of blackmail and bribery by his mentor, Roy Cohn. He and his backers continually threaten physical violence against anyone in their way. But it is not necessary to deploy threats when the ostensible target – the DOJ — is their willing accomplice.

Many fail to understand Garland’s role due to an elaborate propaganda network (the mechanics of which I will break down) and a reluctance to recognize complicity among officials who are often portrayed as feuding. It is easier to attribute disaster to one political party instead of examining networks and recurring figures responsible for a multitude of tragedies over the past twenty-five years.

Jamie Gorelick is one of these figures, a Forrest Gump of 21st century corruption. Like Garland, she is a Democrat who serves GOP objectives, the most notable of which for Garland was working as Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s lawyer and getting them the White House clearances that they should have been denied due to conflicts of interest.

As a result of Gorelick’s actions, Kushner gained classified intelligence that he likely shared with or sold to foreign states, including Saudi Arabia, from which he pocketed two billion dollars, and Israel, to which he has been tied since birth due to his family’s long friendship with the Netanyahu family, to the point that Benjamin Netanyahu slept in Jared’s bed when visiting the United States.

Garland has refused to investigate Kushner. A likely reason is that, were he to investigate Kushner – who remains a profound national security threat – he would also be investigating his best friend.

It is one big club, and it is destroying our country.

Crises of institutional integrity are beyond partisanship. They cannot be fixed by elections. They can only begin to be remedied when the rot is revealed. The road to accountability begins with evidence, context, and history.

Reckoning with this horror is difficult, but an informed public is a powerful public. Never forget that state officials are paid to serve you. You deserve more than a plate of platitudes meant to weaken your capacity for critical thought.

You deserve the truth, as unpleasant as it may be.

Monument Valley on the Navajo Nation, photographed March 2023

Merrick Garland gained national prominence when he was blocked from the Supreme Court by Republicans in 2016. The refusal of the GOP to hold hearings gave the Americans the false impression that Garland is a staunch Democrat and defender of liberty.

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GasLit Nation: Indictment Special IV – A New Hope

August 16, 2023


That familiar refrain at Gaslit Nation: So many traitors, so little time. Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis made the time for a sweeping, detailed indictment of Trump and 18 others in his Kremlin Klown Kar for trying to overturn the will of the people of Georgia. You can read the annotated indictment here. And we finally got RICO! Charged with being the crime boss that he is, Trump faces a minimum of five years in prison if found guilty of racketeering.RICO is historically used to break up organized crime as one of the indicted, Rudy Giuliani, knows very well. Trump’s longtime friend and former lawyer Giuliani used RICO to go after the Italian mafia in New York City, which made room for Trump’s longtime benefactors: the Russian mafia and their easy, endless supply of money. The Idiot Sons Don Jr. and Eric have even admited the Trump family’s businesses depended on Russian money.In this fourth (and counting?) Trump Indictment special, Andrea discusses some of the red flags, some reasons for hope, and what’s next as a Russian mafia asset continues to run for president as Russia wages war against the democratic world, carrying out horrific war crimes and genocide in Ukraine.

Show Notes:

Opening clip of Fani Willis

Sean Hannity clip of Paul Manafort

Trump’s 4 indictments, ranked by the stakes

Rudy Giuliani, who pioneered the use of RICO when he was a US attorney, just got indicted onRICO charges asked 11 legal experts if Trump’s lawyer obstructed justice

Paul Manafort’s Book Deal May Breach His Plea Agreement

GasLit Nation: The U.S. vs. Donald J. Trump

August 2, 2023


In The United States vs. Donald J. Trump, Special Counsel Jack Smith hits Trump and Trump alone with four charges of trying to violently overthrow our democracy and install himself as dictator. Read the 45 page indictment of the 45th president here. The case has randomly been assigned to Judge Tanya Chutkan who famously told Trump,” Presidents are not kings.” She also has a record of appropriate tough sentencing of January 6 insurrectionists, another Black woman on the frontlines of protecting our democracy, and doing so at much personal risk to herself and her family. This mini-episode was recorded before the reports of a possible active shooter today at the U.S. Capitol, a chilling reminder of our nation’s slow moving civil war, as recent Gaslit Nation guest Jeff Sharlet appropriately calls it.For those who want to go back in time to see Gaslit Nation’s own indictment of Trump’s violent coup attempt, read the transcript or listen to our January 13, 2021 episode Clear Intent, laying out Trump’s clear intention to overthrow our democracy, something prosecutors must now prove in court in order to send Trump to prison where he belongs.

GasLit Nation: Can Florida, and the rest of our democracy be saved?

May 31, 2023


This conversation was recorded May 24, 2023 as a Gaslit Nation live taping and includes at the end a 
Q&A of questions dropped in the chat by our audience. Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Can Florida, and with it, the rest of our democracy be saved? Or is Florida destined to be an authoritarian cesspool under Brooks Brother Viktor Orbán – Ron DeSantis? In this special solution-rich episode of Gaslit Nation, author David Pepper discusses his latest book Saving Democracy: A User’s Manual for Every American.

David shares important lessons from the upset of Jacksonville’s mayoral race; why Florida’s Democratic Party State Chair Nikki Fried could give DeSantis a run for his money, and we discuss how Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota have their acts together while New York’s Democratic Party remains stuck under Jay Jacobs who handed the House to Kevin McCarthy, bringing the American and therefore the global economy to the brink. (Elections have consequences, which is why Jay Jacobs must be replaced – join the movement here!)

If you’re stuck in a so-called blue state like New York that’s failing due to machine politics and complacency, or if you live in a fascist-gerrymandered hostage state known as a red state, this discussion has concrete steps you can take to empower your community. Local elections are the frontlines of our democracy, no matter where you live. And none of us are in this battle alone.

Thank you to everyone who joined our live taping with David Pepper. Be sure to check out his book Saving Democracy. If you would like to join a future live taping of Gaslit Nation, be sure to support the show at the Truth-teller level or higher. And to submit questions for our regular Q&As, sign up at the Democracy Defender level or higher. We’ll be back with an all new Q&A this coming Friday so stay tuned! Thank you to everyone who supports the show – we could not make Gaslit Nation without you!

GasLit Nation: Is America headed for civil war?

May 4, 2023


With political violence on the rise in America, along with disinformation, mainstream propaganda and the consolidation of media under conservative ownership, the scapegoating of LGBTQ+ people, women, and nonwhite people, and the weaponization of government in several Republican-led states, are we headed towards a civil war?

In this week’s episode, Andrea interviews Jeff Sharlet, the author of the new book Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War. Sharlet is also the author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, that launched the must-watch Netflix series of the same name, that takes viewers into the dark heart of corruption known as the National Prayer Breakfast, and how it’s used as a tool for the extreme religious right to consolidate power. In Undertow, Sharlet takes readers on a cross-country roadtrip to show how we’re in a slow-motion civil war, and provides ways to confront this dangerous crossroads, including lessons from Civil Rights leader and artist Harry Belafonte.

Sharlet is the New York Times best-selling author or editor of eight books. His writing and photography have appeared in many publications, including Vanity Fair, for which he is a contributing editor; the New York Times MagazineGQEsquireHarper’s; and VQR, for which he is an editor at large. He currently teaches the art of writing as a professor at Dartmouth College. In our bonus episode, out later this week for Patreon subscribers at the Truth-teller level or higher, Sharlet takes the Gaslit Nation Self-Care Q&A to share what art, music, books, and documentaries and other cultural resources that he recommends to help process the times we live in. We will share a free excerpt of that for all listeners wherever you get your podcasts.