What Conspiracy? Anti-Trump Media Lawyers Zoom Calling Once a Week, Sometimes Have 'Special Guests'

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP

So there I was, doing my morning bouncing around on X - checking in with friends, watching the world burn - when what to my wondering eyes should appear? 

But a Mollie Hemingway tweet featuring the Politico snooker story of the year


Inside the Off-the-Record Calls Held by Anti-Trump Legal Pundits

Some of the country’s most prominent legal commentators are holding off-the-record sessions to hash out the latest twists and turns in Donald Trump’s legal saga.

What on earth could they mean by that, I wondered.

After just a cursory glance, my jaw was on the floor because I realized the headline is actually underselling what the story reports. Once you get into the article, you realize there's a calculated reason for that.

It's not "some" of the most prominent and vicious, unhinged anti-Trump "legal" partisans you see on CNN, MSNC, NBC, etc. It's damn near every last swinging Toobin of them. It turns out they've all been in weekly Zoom consultation cahoots with each other, like a coffee klatch or ladies' book club. Not to mention those sessions are being augmented with special guest appearances by everyone from Jan 6 committee staffers to E. Jean Carroll's legal team post-victory. The inside scoop on why Trump sucks!

...The group’s gathering was not a one-time event, but in fact an installment in an exclusive weekly digital salon, whose existence has not been previously reported, for prominent legal analysts and progressive and conservative anti-Trump lawyers and pundits. Every Friday, they meet on Zoom to hash out the latest twists and turns in the Trump legal saga — and intellectually stress-test the arguments facing Trump on his journey through the American legal system.

The meetings are off the record — a chance for the group’s members, many of whom are formally or loosely affiliated with different media outlets, to grapple with a seemingly endless array of novel legal issues before they hit the airwaves or take to print or digital outlets to weigh in with their thoughts. About a dozen or more people join any given call, though no one takes attendance. Some group members wouldn’t describe themselves with any partisan or ideological lean, but most are united by their dislike of Trump.

The regular attendees on Eisen’s call include Bill Kristol, the longtime conservative commentator, and Laurence Tribe, the famed liberal constitutional law professor. John Dean, who was White House counsel under Richard Nixon before pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with Watergate, joins the calls, as does George Conway, a conservative lawyer and co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project. Andrew Weissmann, a longtime federal prosecutor who served as one of the senior prosecutors on Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation and is now a legal analyst for MSNBC, is another regular on the calls. Jeffrey Toobin, a pioneer in the field of cable news legal analysis, is also a member of the crew. The rest of the group includes recognizable names from the worlds of politics, law and media.


Lemme do just a quick major media count here by Googling a couple of the names and checking for appearances and articles - CNN, MSNBC, PBS, C-Span, Bloomberg,  The Atlantic, NBC, ABC, and CBS News...I mean, they have the airwaves and major print wrapped up! They own them.

Such sober luminaries in the Orange Man Bad Boys' Bitch Club, too. "Famed" constitutional law scholars like Harvard's Laurence Tribe, who reveres the legal process in all its facets and nuances not related to Trump.

(All we've got compared to that is Jonathan Turley? Oh, I weep.) (PFFT!)

And talk about choices in wording. CNN's Jeffrey Toobin is much more than just "a pioneer" in the field of cable news "legal' analysis. Who could forget Toobin being hard at work on other things while on camera? Toobin's a hands-on analyst like no other.

Then there's even-keeled Kristol waxing poetic on PBS stations in interviews, warning that the sky is falling. The Bad Orange Man careening toward a victory will crush you.

Bill Kristol: Trump’s “Authoritarian Vision” for a 2nd Term

Watch out below for the Orange Crush!

Heh. I likey.

But you see the problem here. Their messages are bad enough with the sheer extent of their grip on every media outlet except talk radio and X. Now we know that they're coordinating these same arguments and points weekly before, say, appearing on Sunday talk shows to run their fingers lovingly through George Stephanopoulos's hair, or give Margaret Brennan, Jenn Psaki, or Jake Tapper a tongue bath? So it's massaged to the point where "every scholar agrees that Trump is ____ed [fill in the blank]" or "Bragg's Pecker move was so smooth!" are committee-approved, anti-Trump slanted messaging points, not dispassionate legal analysis from some, frankly, questionable and highly biased sources.



Oh, but you know, it's all for "Trump-hungry consumers." It would never be any subversive attempt by admitted Trump haters to coordinate blatantly ghastly press coverage across the media spectrum in unceasing and unrelentingly negative terms regarding the former president and current candidate.

...Trump’s unprecedented legal situation has generated intense public interest and a robust media ecosystem of its own. Suddenly, lawyers and legal pundits who might once have been relegated to unglamorous client or academic work are in very high demand in the media — even more so today than during Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation. They are hosting podcasts, writing books and popular Substacks and crafting well-followed social media feeds that often appear to serve, as a practical matter, as self-promotional tools for their other media products and as a mechanism to attract the attention of television bookers with the latest hot take about Trump’s court cases. For them, this is a unique opportunity to weigh in with the public at a critical juncture in American politics and to obtain a level of public recognition and stature that few lawyers can ever attain. The people on this call — and on some level the call itself — are essential cogs in that system, helping to generate and shape content for Trump-hungry consumers.

All-in-all, they're just another cog in the anti-Trump wall (Apologies to Pink Floyd).

After stumbling across this paragraph deep within the piece, I felt duty-bound to share it with everyone who was starting to feel like maybe they're trying to pull the wool over our lying eyes.



There. I fixed it for them.

And, yes, it IS a media messaging conspiracy, but at a level we of the knuckle-dragging classes are too simple-minded to understand either the necessity for or the nuances of.

...“It feels almost like a seminar in law school,” said a participant in the group. Most calls comprise “deliberation, debate and discussion,” albeit “with a distinct anti-Trump tilt to it.”

So...shut up about it already.

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