Of the many rebukes Donald Trump received for his performance after the Charlottesville massacre, the collapse of his business advisory councils of corporate leaders may sting the worst. It undermines his core claim of business expertise and skill at managing the economy, and his central boast that he is adept at creating jobs and growth.
Meanwhile, 2,500 miles to the west, DreamHost LLC, a webhosting company in Los Angeles, is resisting a subpoena by the Department of Justice. During the weeks before President Trump’s inauguration, the company hosted a site called “disrupj20.org,” which allowed organizers and potential protesters to discuss, plan, and communicate about demonstrations during the upcoming inaugural weekend. On Inauguration Day, a small band of protesters did clash with police, breaking windows and setting fire to wastebaskets in the streets. Some 200 were arrested and charged with such crimes as rioting, inciting or urging to riot, conspiracy to riot, and counts of destruction of property.
As part of the prosecution, the DOJ has demanded that DreamHost turn over digital information about anyone who visited the “disrupt” site. According to the company, that will mean revealing information on 1.3 million visitors to the site—“including the time and date of the visit, the IP address for the visitor, the website pages viewed by the visitor (through their IP address), and even a detailed description of the software running in the visitor’s computer. This information, together with information from the internet service provider for the IP address, would allow the government to identify the visitor to the website and the specific computers used to visit the website.”