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By endorsing Trump, Joe Teirab has turned his back on his former DOJ colleagues, Marine Corps

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By endorsing Trump, Joe Teirab has turned his back on his former DOJ colleagues, Marine Corps

Feb 22, 2024 | 7:00 am ET
By J. Patrick Coolican
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By endorsing Trump, Joe Teirab has turned his back on his former DOJ colleagues, Marine Corps
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Joe Teirab spoke to Republican voters at a debate in Prior Lake's Twin Oakes Middle School on Jan. 18, 2024. Photo by Michelle Griffith/Minnesota Reformer.

In Joe Teirab, Republicans have a promising candidate in the 2nd Congressional District. He’s a Harvard Law grad, a Marine Corps veteran and former county and federal prosecutor. 

As the son of a Sudanese immigrant, Teirab could bring a broader perspective to the current U.S. House GOP caucus, where there are more guys named Mike and Michael than African Americans, by a factor of more than 10. 

Teirab seems to have the backing of Minnesota U.S. Tom Emmer, who is in House leadership, and would have a shot at beating U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, the Democrat representing the purple 2nd District. 

The problem for Teirab is that in today’s culty GOP, he can’t be the Republican nominee without endorsing former President Donald Trump, the first president to actively obstruct the peaceful transfer of power after losing an election.

When Tayler Rahm, who is Teirab’s GOP opponent for the nomination in the 2nd District, challenged Teirab on his Trump loyalty, Teirab endorsed the former game show host, accused rapist and (civilly) convicted fraudster. 

Joe Biden’s presidency has been marked by one failure after another. That’s why the only thing rising faster than Biden’s created inflation is the American public’s unhappiness with his job performance. Americans deserve a president who will deliver peace and prosperity again. It’s time for the Republican Party to unite behind President Trump and work together to ensure Joe Biden is a one-term president.

 

A rather low energy endorsement, but in any case, intriguing given his law enforcement credentials. 

Here’s what Teirab says on his website

“I will ALWAYS support law enforcement and ensure that criminals are held ACCOUNTABLE.”

Note the all-caps.

If he’s going to always support law enforcement, then he should come to the defense of his former colleagues at the Department of Justice, as well as the FBI agents who assisted Teirab in his prosecutions. Both have faced withering attacks from Trump and his allies. 

Here’s what Trump said when FBI agents searched the premises of Mar-a-Lago, where Trump was (allegedly!) holding on to the nation’s most important national security secrets in a bathroom, a ballroom and various other unsecured areas. All while hosting thousands of random people — and almost certainly a bevy of enemy spies — at his glamorous West Palm redoubt. 

“The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago. Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, “planting.” Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out?” 

 

Perhaps Teirab can educate Trump on law enforcement procedures; defense lawyers don’t have a right to observe a search. And of course what Trump is insinuating about Teirab’s former DOJ colleagues is both preposterous and shameful, and Teirab should say so. 

(Disclosure: I have a relative who is a Department of Justice employee in another part of the country, to my knowledge not associated with any of these cases.)

The legally allowed search came after Trump spent months stonewalling and lying to Teirab’s former DOJ colleagues about the purloined documents, which, according to the federal charges, included top secret information on “defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.” Trump is also alleged to have shown them to people without security clearance and who had no business seeing them. 

Trump’s former Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CNN that Trump’s hoarding of classified documents was “unauthorized, illegal and dangerous.”

Jake Tapper then asked Esper if Trump could be trusted with the nation’s secrets: “Based on his actions, again, if proven true under the indictment by the special counsel, no. It’s just irresponsible action that places our service members at risk, places our nation’s security at risk.”

One would think placing service members at risk would be of interest to Teirab, who served with the Marines in Iraq. 

Teirab’s former DOJ colleagues would also later charge Trump for his fraudulent scheme to stay in office despite losing the election. 

At one point last year, Trump urged House Republicans to “defund the DOJ and FBI until they come to their senses.” 

Teirab was working for the DOJ at that very moment, prosecuting important cases, he says, related to the $250 million Feeding Our Future pandemic relief fraud and drug and gang crime in Minneapolis. 

So, to avoid further prosecution for his crimes, Trump wanted Teirab and his FBI colleagues to go unpaid while they enforced the rule of law. 

The problem with electing someone of such low character as Trump is that his corruption spreads outward in an ever widening gyre, ensnaring even the best among us.