Senior Trump campaign officials lobbied the nonpartisan presidential debate commission last month over the makeup of its board of directors and its moderator choices, pushing for a process they deemed as “fair” and warning that the president may not participate if he is not satisfied, according to people familiar with the meeting.The December conversation between Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, campaign operating officer Michael Glassner and Frank Fahrenkopf, the co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, came as the president weighed whether to participate in the trio of debates scheduled for this fall and as he attacked the commission on Twitter.Privately, the president has discussed with allies a push to remake the board but has not yet taken specific actions, according to people familiar with the conversations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private encounter.Parscale complained to Fahrenkopf that so many members of the board of directors were, in his estimation, against the president and that he wanted the commission to choose moderators that were viewed as fair by the president’s team.
When Trump goons like Parscale show up and snarl that Trump had better get treated fairly or else, actual fairness is not what they really have in mind.
* George Conway makes a strong case that the real missing witness at the impeachment trial is Trump himself, and shows why the questions he’d face would make it impossible for Trump to avoid revealing the naked truth about his corrupt conduct.
* Elizabeth Warren has an interesting Twitter thread pledging to release all the documents that Trump has withheld on her first day as president. That’s a good way to speak to the need for a serious reckoning after Trump.
* Legal expert Noah Feldman had a fascinating podcast conversation with Brian Beutler that illustrates just how deeply troubling Trump’s impeachment trial really is.
* Paul Krugman explains how Trump is shamelessly abusing his tariff powers, even as he’s facing a Senate trial over his impeachment for other abuses. Now imagine how emboldened he’ll be after acquittal.
* Dana Milbank has a great piece on the poetic justice of seeing John Roberts forced to preside over a Senate trial that in many ways captures the mess he and his Supreme Court colleagues have made of our democracy.
* Paul Rosenzweig, who worked on Starr’s investigation of Bill Clinton, explains why the actual arguments that Trump’s defenders are making, if accepted by the Senate, pose a profound threat to the foundations of American government.
* And Matt Gertz surveys some of the laughable and disingenuous content that Fox News ran in place of airing the Democratic arguments in Trump’s impeachment trial. Weird that they wouldn’t want to bring this grand exoneration of Trump to their viewers, isn’t it?