An incredible moment of honesty caught on tape

On Monday, Joe Manchin met with a group of wealthy donors to coordinate a strategy to defend the filibuster. The biggest threat to it, he argued, was Republicans’ refusal to support a January 6th commission, because it made anybody who claimed bipartisanship is still possible look like a buffoon, with people saying to him, “How’s that bipartisan working for you now, Joe?”

The obvious solution, then, he argued, is to find a handful of Republicans who will switch their votes and support a commission. A key target, he said, is Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. His suggestion was extraordinary for how explicit it made the link between legislative behavior and the pursuit of post-career riches. 

“Roy Blunt is a great, just a good friend of mine, a great guy,” Manchin said in audio The Intercept obtained. “Roy is retiring. If some of you all who might be working with Roy in his next life could tell him, that’d be nice and it’d help our country. That would be very good to get him to change his vote. And we’re going to have another vote on this thing. That’ll give me one more shot at it.”

Incredible. There’s a lot more from the meeting to digest, and it’s included in this story by Lee Fang and me. To hear the audio and our dissection of it, check out this week’s Deconstructed podcast (free on any podcast platform).