Commentary

Democrats seize on FBI seizing McDonald’s phone

June 24, 2022 7:38 am

Boys will be boys. (Michael McDonald social media phpto)

In addition to being the long-time chairman of the Nevada State Republican Party and a fake elector who got subpoenaed by the January 6 committee, Michael McDonald was a cop once.

Although he should resign now that he’s won his primary and is running for governor full time, Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo is still a cop.

KLAS-TV reported Thursday that on Wednesday the FBI issued a search warrant on McDonald, and seized his cell phone, in connection with the investigation into January 6.

First, it’s encouraging to see the FBI broadening its January 6 investigation beyond the likes of QAnon Shaman. Perhaps the bureau has been inspired by the January 6 committee hearings detailing Trump’s sprawling and knowingly illegal conspiratorial efforts to undermine the Constitution and criminally circumvent the nation’s laws, institutions, and will of the people as declared in an election that Trump lost fair and square.

Second, while emailed statements to the press from partisan political organizations typically are in equal part hyperbolic and ignorable, the Democratic Governors Association has a point.

“As the self-proclaimed ‘law and order’ candidate, Lombardo must answer for his friend’s continued unlawful behavior that has warranted not only a subpoena from Congress but now an FBI investigation as well,” the DGA said in a missive Thursday. 

“Nevada Democratic Victory,” which is what the legacy Reid Machine calls the organization it set up after losing control of the state party to self-described socialists as a result of sheer negligence, got in on the act Thursday, too. The group delivered six McDonald’s Happy Meals – one for each of Nevada’s fake electors – to Lombardo’s campaign headquarters “to hopefully cheer him up.”

Cute. But Lombardo hardly needs cheering up. 

He and his fellow Republicans throughout Nevada and the nation are already absolutely giddy.

About what, you ask?  Why, high gas prices of course. 

Republicans don’t have any tangentially relevant let alone credible policy proposals for lowering gas prices. But they have a very strong position on the price at the pump: They hope it goes up even higher, because Democrats are in power and they’ll get the blame and Republicans will win All The Things.

With the January 6 committee presenting such a damning case proving Trump’s deliberate and wilfully criminal acts to rob the American people of their vote, the price of gas is doubly serendipitous for Republicans. Ask virtually any Republican politician in the U.S. today about the powerful and fresh details revealed by the January 6 hearings, and that Republican politician will offer a strong and immediate comment  – about the price of gas.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, who Lombardo hopes to toss from office, once called the actions of McDonald and Nevada’s five other fake electors “absolutely a crime.”

Lombardo still holds a day job as a crimefighter – although these days it’s probably more accurate to describe it as a sinecure than a job. Harkening to the GOP’s long-held fondness for portraying itself as the Daddy Party, Lombardo’s campaign handlers have spent a lot of money branding him as a cross between the grim man of steel and a likable human version of McGruff the Crime Dog.

Crime? Lombardo’s your helpful and informed and experienced – and tough! – expert. Just ask him.

Unless of course the crime in question is the role of a former fellow Las Vegas policeman in an unconstitutional scheme to disregard the will of the electorate and steal democracy out from under voters in Nevada and the nation. Ask Lombardo about that, and you know damned well what he’s going to say: “Price at the pump.”

“Joe Lombardo has made ‘law and order’ the crux of his campaign but now his ‘longtime friend’ Michael McDonald is at the center of an FBI investigation over his scheme to overturn Nevada’s election,” said DGA Senior Communication Advisor Christina Amestoy. “Lombardo must give Nevadans an explanation for his friend’s radical, unlawful, and corrupt actions.”

If only t’were true.

On Tuesday it will be exactly one year since Lombardo announced his candidacy for governor. He still hasn’t offered a clear vision of what he would do as governor or why he wants the job. Lombardo’s handlers plucked him from behind his desk and plopped him into the race because he was an easily marketable product, and as such a Republican with potential to appeal to voters in heavily Democratic Southern Nevada. Lombardo isn’t a passionate public servant with a vision for his state. He’s an answer to a Republican math problem.

The dearest wish of Lombardo’s campaign is to secure victory by having their candidate say as little as possible about anything that matters, including and especially Trump’s multiple vile – and criminal – attacks on democracy, the Constitution, and the nation’s well-being. And since voters appear to be more concerned about the price of gas than the rule of law, the strategy might work.

***

On a related, sort of, note, early this year, while Sisolak was declaring that what McDonald and his merry mischief makers did was a crime, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford issued a statement saying “while we cannot confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, rest assured that this matter is on our radar, and we take seriously any efforts to rob Nevadans of their votes…My office cannot and will not accept any efforts to overturn a free and fair election.”

Asked for an update Thursday, Ford’s office replied: “The matter of the fake electors scheme still has the attention of the Office of the Attorney General. As previously stated, we will cooperate with the federal government in its investigation into the matter. However, we still cannot confirm or deny the existence of an investigation and have nothing further to share beyond what has already been stated at this time.”

Geez. Where’s that famous diabolical Democratic deep state doggedly pursuing witch hunts of Republicans when you need ‘em? Maybe area Democrats aren’t really seizing on the FBI seizing McDonald’s cell phone after all.

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Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.

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