Seth Meyers lauded a significant blow to Donald Trump’s attempts to skirt accountability for the 6 January attack on the Capitol on Wednesday’s Late Night, one evening after a federal judge denied Trump’s petition to keep certain White House records secret.
The judge ruled that a list of records compiled by the National Archives including handwritten notes specifically about 6 January, call logs between Trump and Mike Pence, White House visitor logs and daily schedules must be made available to the House’s 6 January select committee.
“I’m shocked to learn there even was a daily schedule,” Meyers said. “Remember when we found out most days it said ‘executive time’ and that was just code for Trump not wanting to leave the bedroom? He’d just spend the morning in his PJs calling in to Fox & Friends while viewers waited for them to blink to make sure they’re still alive?
“Maybe that’s why Trump didn’t care about the pandemic – he was the first president to work remotely,” he added. “And even when he did show up to the office, I’d be shocked if there were ever actually records or official documents in that White House.
“Do you think anyone ever took notes in a meeting with Trump?” he wondered. “When they finally subpoena those notepads, they’re just going to be filled with random doodles and inscrutable comments like ‘ingest bleach, maybe?’”
Stephen Colbert also celebrated federal judge Tanya Chutkan’s denial of Trump’s attempt to shield records from the committee. “That is the worst denial for the former president since anytime he tried to hold his wife’s hand,” the Late Show host joked.
In the court filing, Trump argued that he maintained a “residual right” to executive privilege even while out of office. “You don’t get to keep any part of a job you lost!” said Colbert. “It’s all gone! That’s why you didn’t see Christian Bale playing Dick Cheney in a Batman suit.”
Chutkan wrote in her ruling that Trump’s request for executive privilege was “outweighed by President Biden’s decision not to uphold the privilege” because “there can be only one president at a time.”
“Presidents are not kings,” she wrote in what Colbert called a “knockout blow”, and “Plaintiff is not President.”
“I have not seen such a brutal attack on an elected official since January 6th,” Colbert quipped.
On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah riffed on the uproar in Congress over Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, who posted a photoshopped anime video depicting him killing the progressive representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking Joe Biden. Gosar defended the video as a “symbolic cartoon” that wasn’t a “targeted attack” on either Ocasio-Cortez or the president.
“Get the fuck out of here. It’s ‘symbolic?’” Noah fumed. “Just admit you posted the thing for a laugh!
“I’ll be honest with you guys, I know we’re supposed to put on our concerned faces and wag our finger at him for threatening violence, but I don’t know about you, it’s hard to watch that cartoon and see it as a real threat,” he continued. Pointing to a picture of Gosar, he noted, “does he look like he can pick up two swords at once? It’s clearly a fantasy.
“On the other hand, though, it’s harder to believe that Gosar didn’t intend a targeted attack when he supported a targeted attack on January 6th,” Noah added. “You can do memes, or you can plot an insurrection. You can’t do both.”
And on Full Frontal, Samantha Bee celebrated the passage of Biden’s $1.2tn infrastructure bill, which she called a “major victory”.
“The bipartisan bill will positively impact so many people,” she explained. “It addresses hugely pressing problems that we’ve been trying to fix for years,” from protecting water infrastructure from climate change and cyber-attacks to removal of pollution from soil to repairs and replacements for 45,000 bridges in poor condition.
Besides being a much-needed win for the president, the infrastructure bill is also a victory for the Democrats, and especially the Congressional Black Caucus and the speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who wrangled progressive support with calls and voicemails. “I feel like maybe half of them signed on to avoid getting more voicemails from Nancy Pelosi,” Bee mused, “but still, it worked.”
The bill also received rare bipartisan support: 13 GOP House members and 19 Republican senators signed on, bringing the total number of supportive votes in the Senate to 69. “And if that number doesn’t say mutually beneficial, I don’t know what does,” Bee said.