Patterico's Pontifications

6/7/2023

Mike Pence and Chris Christie Make It Official

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:29 am



[guest post by Dana]

Mike Pence has officially launched his bid for the presidency:

Unfortunately for Pence, the Republican Party doesn’t seem terribly interested in his brand of conservatism, at least if it doesn’t come with clenched fists ready to brawl. However, this transition of the Party didn’t happen without Pence’s own willingness to avert his eyes:

Mr. Pence served as Mr. Trump’s yes-man for three years and 11 months. In that final month, Mr. Pence refused to follow a presidential order that was plainly unconstitutional: to single-handedly overturn the 2020 election. His loyalty to the Constitution was rewarded with people in a pro-Trump mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence” as they stormed the Capitol, while Mr. Pence and his family rushed to a barely secure room.

Instead of punishing Mr. Trump for how he treated Mr. Pence, Republican voters have made him their front-runner. More than 50 percent of Republicans support the former president in national polls. Mr. Pence draws around 4 percent. Even in heavily evangelical Iowa, where Mr. Pence is staking his candidacy, he polls around 5 percent.

But it’s not just Mr. Pence’s anti-populist policies that hobble him. It’s that Republican voters have sharply different expectations of their leaders than they did during Mr. Pence’s political rise as a member of Congress and then governor of Indiana.

For the past seven years, Mr. Trump has trained Republican voters to value a different set of virtues in their candidates. He has trained them to value Republicans who fight hard and dirty, using whatever tactics are necessary to vanquish their opponents. He has also trained them to avert their gazes from behaviors that were once considered disqualifying.

For four years, Mr. Pence, too, averted his gaze. He stuck with Mr. Trump through numerous controversies including the leak of the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Mr. Trump boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia. He vouched for Mr. Trump’s character with skeptical evangelicals with whom Mr. Trump ultimately forged his own relationship.

When Mr. Trump, as president, showered praise on the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, his vice president, bound by loyalty, stayed silent. Yet recently on the campaign trail, after Mr. Trump had congratulated Mr. Kim for his country’s readmission to the World Health Organization’s executive board, Mr. Pence scolded his former boss for “praising the dictator in North Korea.”

Mr. Pence may finally feel liberated to tell voters what he really thinks about Mr. Trump. His problem is that most Republicans don’t want to hear it.

(emphasis added)

Meanwhile, Chris Christie has also entered the race. The once-Trump ally seems convinced that he alone is the candidate that will take down Trump:

As he said in New Hampshire on Tuesday (a state in which Trump easily beat his opponent in 2020…):

“I can’t guarantee you success in what I’m about to do. But I guarantee you that at the end of it, you will have no doubt in my mind who I am and what I stand for and whether I deserve it,” Christie said, partially referencing a letter from founding father John Adams to his wife Abigail Adams. “That’s why I came back to New Hampshire to tell all of you that I intend to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2024.”

He then name-checked Trump:

Christie said other Republican candidates are treating Trump like the Harry Potter villain Voldemort, tip-toeing around criticizing him by name.

“Let me be clear, in case I have not been already,” Christie said after bashing Trump. “The person I am talking about — who is obsessed with the mirror, who never admits a mistake, who never admits a fault and who always finds someone else and something else to blame for whatever goes wrong, but finds every reason to take credit for anything that goes right — is Donald Trump.”

–Dana

149 Responses to “Mike Pence and Chris Christie Make It Official”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (560c99)

  2. Don’t forget Doug Burgum.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  3. Christie: disgruntled former office-seeker

    Pence: disgruntled former office-holder

    The Pence Lesson: Trump will always screw you in the end. Melania should take note.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  4. There is only one thing that makes sense here: They all know something about Donald Trump’s future and it does not involve him remaining a candidate. There is information floating around the Secret Masters Club that we are not yet privy to.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  5. When people say that the GOP has surrendered to Donald Trump, look again at all these people challenging him. This is not what “surrender” looks like. It may be Quixotic, but it is not surrender.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  6. Scott Walker today in the WSJ (free link), on what he should have done:

    As more candidates enter the 2024 contest, they’d do well to remember the lessons I learned the hard way. A record of strong conservative policies may get you onto the debate stage, but you must build on those successes with equally tenacious proposals to go further.

    My advice to the contenders for the GOP nomination: Take a risk and lay out a bold vision for the country. Sell it directly to the voters. Anything short of that and you may well find yourself in the dust.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  7. When people say that the GOP has surrendered to Donald Trump, look again at all these people challenging him. This is not what “surrender” looks like. It may be Quixotic, but it is not surrender.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 10:45 am

    LOL!

    Morning Consult Tracking Poll 6/6/23

    ……….
    The bulk of the GOP’s electorate (56%) would back Trump if the primary or caucus were held in their state today, compared with 22% who would support DeSantis.

    Pence is backed by 7% of the party’s electorate, while South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott each have 3% support. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Christie have 1% support, respectively.
    ………
    Hypothetical head-to-head matchups show Biden leading Trump by 2 points and DeSantis by 3 points.
    ………
    Trump is popular with 75% of the party’s potential electorate, while 23% view him unfavorably.
    ………
    Almost 3 in 5 GOP primary voters (57%) view Pence favorably, compared with 32% who view the former vice president unfavorably. Potential GOP primary voters are 9 points more likely to hold unfavorable views than favorable views of Christie (39% to 30%), while 62% haven’t heard of Burgam.
    ………
    Three in 5 of GOP primary voters heard nothing about Christie in advance of his campaign launch, while 51% said the same of Pence. Almost 9 in 10 (88%) heard nothing about Burgam.
    ………

    One of the criteria to participate in the Milwaukee Republican primary debate is standing in at least three national polls.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. Supporting one of Lilliputians is truly quixotic, something which I do. I just have low expectations for them.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  9. Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 10:51 am

    Who?

    /sarc

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  10. Who?

    That’s actually his point. But read the whole thing.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  11. Supporting one of Lilliputians is truly quixotic, something which I do. I just have low expectations for them.

    Suppose, somehow, maybe an Act of God, that Trump was no longer available to run. What then?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  12. I’d vote for any of ’em, even Pence, because they’re not Trump.
    But Pence has no valid reason to run. Asa Hutchinson already occupies that small space where traditional conservatives inhabit, and Pence is splotched with that awful taint of being Trump’s VP.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  13. Pence being a pushover 1,460 out of 1,461 days of his vice presidency is not a Profile in Courage.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  14. @2

    Don’t forget Doug Burgum.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/7/2023 @ 10:36 am

    Who?

    Seriously… but why?

    whembly (d116f3)

  15. Suppose, somehow, maybe an Act of God, that Trump was no longer available to run. What then?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 11:30 am

    I’ll watch how the Lilliputians perform against DeSantis. The Trump wing of the Republican primary field (Trump, DeSantis, Vivek) currently is far out performing the non-Trump wing (Darling Nikki is somewhere between the two). Outside of Hutchinson, and now Christie, no one has completely broken with Trump and Trumpism. That would be my first criterion of support.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  16. Seriously, Pence was so brave that it took him over a year to criticize Trump for putting his family in danger on J6.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  17. Don’t forget Doug Burgum.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/7/2023 @ 10:36 am

    Who?

    Seriously… but why?

    whembly (d116f3) — 6/7/2023 @ 11:36 am

    Why not? He’s conservative (signing anti-transgender bills and one of the toughest abortion laws in the country) but not a fire-breather, interested in energy policy, a successful entrepreneur (selling his software company to Microsoft for $1.1B) so he can spend nearly unlimited amounts of his own money, and has none of the baggage (except lack of name recognition) of anyone in the race. If both Trump and DeSantis flame out, he could be poised to take over the race. When he ran for governor he was polling at 10% at the time and won by more than 10%.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. no one has completely broken with Trump and Trumpism. That would be my first criterion of support.

    You are destined for the wilderness then. The GOP will not “completely break with … Trumpism” in your lifetime. The status quo ante is unrecoverable.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  19. @17

    Why not? He’s conservative (signing anti-transgender bills and one of the toughest abortion laws in the country) but not a fire-breather, interested in energy policy, a successful entrepreneur (selling his software company to Microsoft for $1.1B) so he can spend nearly unlimited amounts of his own money, and has none of the baggage (except lack of name recognition) of anyone in the race. If both Trump and DeSantis flame out, he could be poised to take over the race. When he ran for governor he was polling at 10% at the time and won by more than 10%.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/7/2023 @ 11:54 am

    I mean… he has my vote if he’s the nominee, but he has little to no name recognition outside of his state.

    It’s just that, he dilutes the “not-Trump” votes.

    I worry that it’s only helping Trump when there’s that many candidates vying for the nomination.

    I don’t WANT Trump, and I think it’s a majority of GOP voters. So, those voters need to come together somehow.

    whembly (d116f3)

  20. Pence is splotched with that awful taint of being Trump’s VP.

    Which is why being his running mate or, God forbid, one of his Cabinet officers is not the plum it seems. It’s like being a kid in a drunk’s household and having to constantly explain your bruises.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  21. When he ran for governor he was polling at 10% at the time and won by more than 10%.

    In North Dakota those percentages are far easier to come by.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  22. Trump’s lawyers have been told that a federal indictment is coming shortly.

    https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/all-things-trump/feds-inform-trump-he-target-likely-be-indicted-doj-rebuffs

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  23. Pence seems like the type of guy who doesn’t like to put out the dirty laundry, prefers to keep it in house. Pence has zero chance of winning more than 3% of the primary vote with a possible exception in Indiana where he might still hit single digits. Pence would be a massive improvement at Secretary of Transportation over fellow Hoosier Buttigieg
    Christie seems like he wants to run in the primary as the Trump wrecking ball, mean cop to Pence’s nice cop, and is really running for AG or as head of some 3 letter agency.
    Haley wants to be President and should not be underestimated, but she needs to connect with voters
    Scott wants to be President, has the best true life story (unlike Biden). If Scott is the GOP nominee, do not engage in any drinking games where you slam a beer every time a Democrat calls Scott some form of household help. Your liver will give out within days

    steveg (1e2f4c)

  24. I don’t WANT Trump, and I think it’s a majority of GOP voters. ……

    whembly (d116f3) — 6/7/2023 @ 12:26 pm

    The current polling says otherwise.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  25. You are destined for the wilderness then.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 12:22 pm

    Me and the country.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  26. Trump’s lawyers have been told that a federal indictment is coming shortly.

    Like his prediction of his imminent arrest in NY, I’ll believe when I see it.


    Trump says he has not been told he’s being indicted in federal investigation

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  27. The cynic in me is saying that all these candidates are throwing their hats in now because they smell more indictments in the water.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  28. I watched 30min of Christie’s announcement before CNN broke away to do its own hyperventilating about the grand jury in Florida (yes news, but beyond 30sec, all speculation).

    Christie was an adult….talking about leadership and not dividing our country further. He emphasized that Obama, Trump, and Biden have mainly kept us divided and have made the country smaller as a consequence. I thought the speech was well constructed, but it also told some hard truths about who we’ve become as a nation. His jabs at Trump were affective, though I wish I had heard the second half of the speech to see where they went. I don’t know how much of the base tuned in and how they might have reacted.

    It will be a challenge for Christie to get to the debate stage, especially with him bypassing Iowa again which isn’t going to help him get to the threshold polling, but maybe. He needs NeverTrump to lift him onto the debate stage. He’s certainly smart and looks and sounds like the prosecutor he was. It’s a tough base for him to surmount, but his job is to change the terms of debate. Let him go.

    Pence just doesn’t do anything for me. Maybe my ask was too big, but I really wanted him to cooperate with the J6 committee and drive the narrative that Trump was unfit. Anything he does just seems too little too late. I just don’t trust his judgment.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  29. no one has completely broken with Trump and Trumpism. That would be my first criterion of support.

    You are destined for the wilderness then. The GOP will not “completely break with … Trumpism” in your lifetime. The status quo ante is unrecoverable.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 12:22 pm

    I disagree that Trumpism (hopefully) is the forever future of the Republican party. There are leaders (like Sununu and others) who are not beholden to Trump or Trumpism. Haley could be one of them, but she wants to be Trump’s (or DeSantis’s) VP.

    If Trumpism (conspiracy mongering, paranoid, denigrating to ones’ opponents, narcissistic, rejection of democratic norms and rules, deliberately oblivious to overseas threats, not just kowtowing but congratulatory toward dictatorships) is the future of the Republican Party, then should have no future.

    But it probably will.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  30. @24

    The current polling says otherwise.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/7/2023 @ 1:40 pm

    Polling is crapshoot this early.

    At this time of the year Rudy Guiliani was leading the pack in 2015.

    whembly (d116f3)

  31. The cynic in me is saying that all these candidates are throwing their hats in now because they smell more indictments in the water.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 6/7/2023 @ 1:52 pm

    Trump may be indicted but I’ll bet he will still run and probably win the nomination. As James Comey said, Trump could be giving his nomination acceptance speech wearing an ankle bracelet.

    Any trial(s) won’t start until next year at the earliest, and like with the NY indictment, Trump will delay, delay, delay……..and delay.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  32. Polling is crapshoot this early.

    At this time of the year Rudy Guiliani was leading the pack in 2015.

    whembly (d116f3) — 6/7/2023 @ 2:05 pm

    Polling this early is being used by the Republican National Committee to determine who gets on the debate stage.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. Pence just doesn’t do anything for me. Maybe my ask was too big, but I really wanted him to cooperate with the J6 committee and drive the narrative that Trump was unfit. Anything he does just seems too little too late. I just don’t trust his judgment.

    Same here. Cooperating with J6 would have not only been the right thing to do, I think, but it would have also clearly signaled that Pence was making a final break from Trump. No loyalties, and no fear about ticking off his former boss. As it stands, he appears timid and concerned as he gingerly walks on eggshells re Trump.

    Dana (560c99)

  34. Things are moving, and it should put a skip in the steps of the candidates not named Trump.

    The Department of Justice is preparing to ask a Washington, DC grand jury to indict former president Donald Trump for violating the Espionage Act and for obstruction of justice as soon as Thursday, adding further weight to the legal baggage facing Mr Trump as he campaigns for his party’s nomination in next year’s presidential election.

    The Independent has learned that prosecutors are ready to ask grand jurors to approve an indictment against Mr Trump for violating a portion of the US criminal code known as Section 793, which prohibits “gathering, transmitting or losing” any “information respecting the national defence”.

    The use of Section 793, which does not make reference to classified information, is understood to be a strategic decision by prosecutors that has been made to short-circuit Mr Trump’s ability to claim that he used his authority as president to declassify documents he removed from the White House and kept at his Palm Beach, Florida property long after his term expired on 20 January 2021.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  35. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/7/2023 @ 1:44 pm

    More on possible Trump MAL indictment:

    ……….
    The investigation has focused on whether Trump mishandled sensitive government information and whether he obstructed the probe into that question. It has closely examined actions Trump took at his Florida resort. The Justice Department might need to bring any criminal charges within the district in which they occurred, some former prosecutors said.

    Bringing a case in Florida would help avoid arguments from Trump’s lawyers he would be deprived a fair trial by Washington jurors, whom they perceive as skewing Democratic, legal experts said.

    A prosecution in Florida would be “an opportunity for DOJ to say, ‘we have a strong case, we’re going to bring this on your home turf,’” said John Fishwick, a former U.S. attorney in Virginia.
    ……..
    “No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI,” Trump said in a post Wednesday on his Truth Social platform.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  36. Here is a link to Sec. 793 of the Espionage Act.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. “No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI,” Trump said in a post Wednesday on his Truth Social platform.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/7/2023 @ 3:04 pm

    “I frequently use ALL CAPS, and even Capitalize words that shouldn’t be capitalized, so as to get the attention of the rubes my supporters.”

    DJT

    norcal (8b5267)

  38. The current polling says otherwise.

    The media echo chamber. Don’t be a sheep.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  39. I often marvel how well our country works, in spite of so many idiots within it.

    norcal (8b5267)

  40. If Scott is the GOP nominee, do not engage in any drinking games where you slam a beer every time a Democrat calls Scott some form of household help.

    This will stop when they get the poll numbers back from Black voters.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  41. The cynic in me is saying that all these candidates are throwing their hats in now because they smell more indictments in the water.

    @4

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  42. Chris Christie is the only Republican running against Donald Trump
    ……….
    ………..Pence’s announcement is readily contrasted with former New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s, which unfolded in a town-hall-style event in New Hampshire on Tuesday night.
    ……….
    Christie framed his candidacy as a response to the tendency of Americans to become more insular and their worlds smaller and more comfortable. Trump’s divisiveness, he argued, exacerbated that effect. (He also appeared to ding Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), saying that “we have candidates for president who are talking about issues that are so small that sometimes it’s hard to even understand them.”)
    ……….
    Christie’s dismissals of Trump weren’t limited to his personality. He blamed Trump for the surge in migration at the border, given that Trump had pledged to build a wall that was never completed (much less paid for by Mexico). He criticized Trump’s family, including the multibillion-dollar investment Jared Kushner received from Saudi interests. He compared Trump’s position on Ukraine to disgraced British prime minister Neville Chamberlain. He even accused Trump of lying when he told voters in 2016 that he wouldn’t play golf as president.
    ……….
    “Christie doesn’t really care about winning. All he cares about doing is destroying Trump,” Christie said. “Now, let me ask you something. How are those two things mutually exclusive?”

    “The reason I’m going after Trump is twofold,” he added. “One, he deserves it. And two, it’s the way to win.”

    ……….Christie’s dismissal of the idea that there were “Trump voters” (noting that he, too, had voted for Trump twice) was a bit of transparent gloss on the challenge he faces, as was his noting that Trump was in the single digits himself in mid-2015. What happened after that point was that Trump’s pugilistic style, attacking Republicans and the left equally as he scrambled for power, built a large, sustained, loyal core of support that is a central impediment to Christie’s — and everyone else’s — path forward.

    But Christie, unlike his opponents and unlike Trump’s former vice president, is not going to worry about alienating that core.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  43. Anything he does just seems too little too late. I just don’t trust his judgment.

    Even a candid tell-all afterwards would have been too little too late. The man was in a position to witness any number of illegal acts, yet he kept silent.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  44. Indictments won’t have the desired effect of splitting Trump’s voters away from him. They will either cling to him until the bitter end or just not vote.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  45. Even a candid tell-all afterwards would have been too little too late. The man was in a position to witness any number of illegal acts, yet he kept silent.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 3:40 pm

    Yes.

    “Dynamic” is not a word that exists in Pence’s universe.

    norcal (8b5267)

  46. Any trial(s) won’t start until next year at the earliest, and like with the NY indictment, Trump will delay, delay, delay……..and delay.

    He may try, but judges don’t have to go along. He has a right to a speedy trial, he does not have a right to his preference of delay. I don’t know if they give bail in Espionage Act cases.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  47. Polling this early is being used by the Republican National Committee to determine who gets on the debate stage.

    A 1% rule lets about 8 people on the stage.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  48. “I frequently use ALL CAPS, and even Capitalize words that shouldn’t be capitalized, so as to get the attention of the rubes my supporters.”

    DJT

    norcal (8b5267) — 6/7/2023 @ 3:33 pm

    It’s like the Garrett Morris/Chevy Chase skit on SNL-“News For The Hard of Hearing.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  49. The Justice Department might need to bring any criminal charges within the district in which they occurred, some former prosecutors said.

    Considering that is what the Constitution says, it’s a fair guess.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  50. A 1% rule lets about 8 people on the stage.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 3:44 pm

    There is also a fund raising criterion: Have a minimum of 40,000 unique donors to candidate’s principal presidential campaign committee (or exploratory committee), with at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20+ states and/or territories. That could kickoff some Lilliputians.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  51. 18 U.S. Code § 794 – Gathering or delivering defense information to aid foreign government

    (a) Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicates, delivers, or transmits, or attempts to communicate, deliver, or transmit, to any foreign government, or to any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, or to any representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen thereof, either directly or indirectly, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, note, instrument, appliance, or information relating to the national defense, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life, except that the sentence of death shall not be imposed unless the jury or, if there is no jury, the court, further finds that the offense resulted in the identification by a foreign power (as defined in section 101(a) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978) of an individual acting as an agent of the United States and consequently in the death of that individual, or directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, early warning systems, or other means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack; war plans; communications intelligence or cryptographic information; or any other major weapons system or major element of defense strategy.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  52. On one side of his mouth, Pence said that Trump should “never be president of the United States again,” and on the other side of his mouth agreed to the RNC pledge to support the Republican nominee. Sigh.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  53. @51: Asa Hutchinson and ND Governor Watsisname might have a problem with that. Christie has a network from past years and Nikki and Scott are well past that number.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  54. @53: I agree with Hutchinson that the pledge ought to be “will not run a 3rd party campaign; loyalty oaths suck” or words to that effect.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  55. Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 3:51 pm

    What is the evidence that Trump intended, or had reason to believe, the classified documents would be used “to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation” or to be transferred to a foreign government or party?

    That’s a pretty big matzo ball hanging out there.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  56. On one side of his mouth, Pence said that Trump should “never be president of the United States again,” and on the other side of his mouth agreed to the RNC pledge to support the Republican nominee.

    That’s the price for participating in the RNC debates. Which is why Gulliver (Trump) won’t be there (and it’s not to his advantage to be punching bag).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  57. Which is why Gulliver (Trump) won’t be there (and it’s not to his advantage to be punching bag).

    Trump is the DCSCA of every debate. He won’t be missed. And when he finds out that it wasn’t all about him, he’ll return to troll later debates.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  58. The large field is indicative of Trump’s looming incarceration.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  59. The large field is indicative of Trump’s looming incarceration.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 4:27 pm

    Comedy gold!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  60. The large field is indicative of Trump’s looming incarceration.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 4:27 pm

    Comedy gold!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/7/2023 @ 4:36 pm

    That is about as accurate as your prediction that Trump could face the death penalty, which is to say not at all.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  61. Andrew McCarthy doesn’t believe that Trump will be indicted for mishandling the documents, because that would call into question why Mike Pence wasn’t prosecuted and would reflect very poorly on Joe Biden’s own mishandling. He thinks that the indictment likely only be with respect to the obstruction of the investigation.

    JVW (08ac24)

  62. supreme court justices release new financial disclosure statements for more transparency. Guess who refuses? Good guess thomas and samy the fish alito.

    asset (a1b1bc)

  63. The reason there are so many people running for the Republican nomination is simple: Republicans are the party out of power and they think Biden is beatable.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  64. The difference between the Pence and Biden cases and Trump is that Pence and Biden quickly surrendered the documents, but Trump fought tooth and nail to keep his (and possibly induced his lawyers to lie about it).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  65. If biden and pence skate and trumps indicted things could get interesting as mr. spock says!

    asset (a1b1bc)

  66. The difference between the Pence and Biden cases and Trump is that Pence and Biden quickly surrendered the documents, but Trump fought tooth and nail to keep his (and possibly induced his lawyers to lie about it).

    Hence why McCarthy thinks the indictment will be about obstruction, not mishandling.

    JVW (917b25)

  67. What to look for if Trump is indicted by the DOJ
    ……….
    ……(T)he rule of law requires that Trump be charged, based on the wealth of publicly available facts and the history of the Justice Department charging people who did far less. Just last week, a former Army lieutenant colonel was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal retention of classified documents.
    ………
    Look to see whether the charges include not just illegal “retention” of national defense information, but also a separate allegation of “dissemination.”……(A) dissemination case is particularly egregious, as an illegal retention case deals only with the risk of improper dissemination, not the actuality. …….

    Examine whether Smith decides to jettison all Espionage Act-related offenses and charge only obstruction offenses. Such a slimmed-down approach could be aimed at differentiating the Trump prosecution from the apparent facts in the Biden and now-closed Pence investigations. All three involve improper possession of government documents, but only Trump’s case raises the issue of obstruction of justice.
    ………
    ……..(T)o explain to the American public why this is a righteous case, this indictment could (and should) be what is known as a “speaking indictment” and lay out specific obstruction evidence, such as former White House counsel and personal Trump lawyers advising the former president to return the documents; Trump’s reported efforts to hide documents at Mar-a-Lago (and elsewhere); and any specific lies Trump told or caused to be told to the National Archives and Records Administration, the Justice Department and even his own lawyers.
    …….
    We will be keeping a close eye for how highly sensitive the information in the government documents Trump kept was. What subjects do the documents concern…… Do they reveal information about U.S. surveillance capabilities, sources and other intelligence methods?
    ………
    (As to motive) does the indictment allege Trump used the classified information as a means of settling scores with perceived enemies…….. a narcissistic belief that laws simply do not apply to him in or out of office (Trump’s statement to Sean Hannity) or something even more pernicious, such as potentially using them to court financial favor (Saudi Arabia financial deals).
    ……..
    Will Trump be the sole defendant or will others be charged? There are several implications if the special counsel charges a conspiracy. …….. conspiracy charges can expand the choice of venue where the government can try the case.
    ……..
    …….If the charges included conspiracy, illegal removal of government records from the White House or obstructive activity that occurred in the District, the prosecutors’ hand would be strengthened in claiming that the nation’s capital is the appropriate jurisdiction.

    If the case were one solely of illegal retention, then Trump has the best argument that such charges must be brought in Florida (or wherever else he kept the documents).
    ………
    If (the Special Counsel indicts Trump under 18 USC 798 and 1924, which only address classified documents) it is a show of force implying that prosecutors have a strong hand and won’t blink in the face of Trump’s and his attorneys’ implausible claims of “declassification.”

    Look for whether the alleged facts include documents at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J. …….
    ……..
    ……..To win public acceptance for such charges, the Justice Department should do everything possible to be transparent about its proof — and about why Trump is being treated the same way anyone else would be who had behaved this way.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  68. Hence why McCarthy thinks the indictment will be about obstruction, not mishandling.

    JVW (917b25) — 6/7/2023 @ 5:16 pm

    The universe isn’t limited to ex-Presidents or Vice Presidents, the universe is how anyone who has pled or found guilty of illegally retaining classified information has been treated, and those people have usually gone to prison.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  69. Trump Made It A Felony To Mishandle Classified Documents In 2018
    ……….
    Tucked into a bill Trump signed into law in January 2018 was a provision increasing the punishment for knowingly removing classified materials with the intent to retain them at an “unauthorized location.”

    Previously, someone found guilty of this crime could face up to one year in prison. When former CIA Director David Petraeus was charged in 2015 with mishandling classified data, he pleaded guilty under this statute to avoid a felony charge, as Politico pointed out. A similar situation unfolded a decade earlier, when former national security adviser Samuel Berger pleaded guilty to removing terrorism-related materials from the National Archives in 2005.

    Now, a person convicted of violating this law can face up to five years in prison ― making it a felony-level offense to mishandle classified documents under 18 U.S.C. 1924.
    ………

    Bummer.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  70. I don’t think the Fort Lee scandal will hurt Christie much this time around. The unanimous Supreme Court decision that the US Attorney didn’t know what wire fraud is/was lets Christie say both: “I did not participate and besides the Supreme Court decision proved that partisan hack appointed by Obama is a moron”, even though this from Justice Kagan casts some shade on Christie’s staff that puts a little stink back on him “That requirement (property) this Court has made clear, prevents these statutes from criminalizing all acts of dishonesty by state and local officials.”

    How far can Christie bounce back? Low single digits?
    Punch Trump hard for the next year or so and then hope for a job

    steveg (f35c69)

  71. Guy from No Dak is a darkhorse, he has money, but is the US ever going to elect someone without an f-ing pedigree again? No. Single digits for 8 figures spent

    By they way, I’m happy to be wrong about any of the candidates except Trump. I don’t think he’ll make it to the finish as GOP #1 and even though we all know he is a #2 I don’t see him rising to the top of the bowl

    steveg (f35c69)

  72. I’m watching Pence on the CNN townhall and he engaged in some major waffling about Trump’s document problem, saying on one side of his mouth that Trump should get equal treatment under the law but on the other side that he shouldn’t be indicted because it’s “divisive”, which puts Trump above the law.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  73. “At this time of the year Rudy Guiliani was leading the pack in 2015.”

    I think you meant 2007. Scott Walker in 2015.

    AJ_Liberty (8b6951)

  74. That is about as accurate as your prediction that Trump could face the death penalty, which is to say not at all.

    I never predicted that. I just hoped for it. If he did face a severe penalty then the Agnew Option become credible.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  75. because that would call into question why Mike Pence wasn’t prosecuted and would reflect very poorly on Joe Biden’s own mishandling.

    Well, there is that audio recording which steps over a different line.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  76. dissemination case is particularly egregious, as an illegal retention case deals only with the risk of improper dissemination, not the actuality. …….

    Indeed. Almost all incarceration is due to either dissemination, suspected dissemination (that guy who got 3 years), or abject carelessness so bad as to likely result in dissemination (the case with Hillary). Someone who did what Biden or Pence did would not usually be jailed, although they would likely lose their clearance.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  77. Punch Trump hard for the next year or so and then hope for a job

    He didn’t get a job after a year of ass-kissing, why should he get one now?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  78. As for what they will charge, we don’t know what the others involved have discussed. It may be worse than we think — Trump is capable for really stupid stuff.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  79. If Burgum gets the nomination, it almost guarantees that the GOP will once again carry ND. And as a software entrepreneur, he might be the one candidate that could test the security of our electoral process. Of course, if he polls this week at 63%, we wil know he’s onto something. At minimum, king of the Lilliputians!

    AJ_Liberty (459e7c)

  80. The universe isn’t limited to ex-Presidents or Vice Presidents, the universe is how anyone who has pled or found guilty of illegally retaining classified information has been treated, and those people have usually gone to prison.

    Rip, why are we going back and forth on this? The point is that we’ve already seen that Hillary Clinton was given a whole hell of a lot of leeway in the investigation of her that nobody else residing in “the universe” of illegally retained classified information violators has been given. We may all believe that Trump was guilty and desire his punishment, but all Andy McCarthy is trying to point out (and I am agreeing to) is that the James Comey/Loretta Lynch decision to let Hillary Clinton skate is going to complicate the efforts to nail Donald Trump. And I don’t really care about how closely anybody wants to parse the details of the respective cases, the fact that the Clinton team deleted email messages without authorization, destroyed hard-drives and devices, and repeatedly told investigators (or at least told the public) that they had turned over all of the “personal” emails only to have thousands more suddenly appear out of nowhere suggests that she obstructed the investigations too. It’s just that she had allies on her side which Trump lacks.

    JVW (65bed0)

  81. I don’t know that Christie has always been entirely inside the law and he can be petty, but he seems practical and I have appreciation for that. Haley also has potential, IMO, but I’m so tired of people banging on about trans people. They are a tiny portion of the population.

    Nic (896fdf)

  82. There were two critical aspects about Comey and Hillary.
    First, he said that she was “extremely careless”, which carries no legal penalty, and he avoided the phrase “gross negligence” (discussion here), where criminality attaches. Personally, I think “gross negligence” applied but Comey didn’t go there.
    Second, Comey stated in his infamous July 2016 public statement that Hillary cooperated with the investigation, while Trump did the opposite of cooperating.
    One other thing, it’s not like Comey was the final word on investigating Hillary. Under Trump, and probably at his urging, both Tillerson and Pompeo tried to nail Hillary and they didn’t or couldn’t come up the goods.

    With Trump, the case is clear-cut, IMO. He took and willfully retained materials relating to the national defense, and then he obstructed their return, which falls squarely under the Espionage Act. If only he’d returned the materials when asked, but his vain overinflated ego would have none of that.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  83. pled or found guilty of illegally retaining classified information has been treated, and those people have usually gone to prison.

    You keep saying this and it is still not true. People who mishandle classified information usually do NOT go to prison unless 1) they disseminated it, or 2) it looks like they may have disseminated it, or 3) they were so effing careless that it got unintentionally disseminated.

    But if there was no harm, and no indication that they intended harm, they usually get probation, if they are even prosecuted.

    Every case you have ever shown anyone here has been in one of those 3 categories. I really do not understand why you are so stubborn on this point.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  84. Hillary would be in category 3.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  85. With Trump, the case is clear-cut, IMO. He took and willfully retained materials relating to the national defense, and then he obstructed their return

    I can’t speak to the obstruction charge, but Sandy Berger got 2 years probation for something a bit more egregious (he stole classified documents from the National Archive and destroyed them so that the 9/11 Commission could not see Bill Clinton’s orders regarding Osama bin Laden).

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  86. I think Hillary should have been prosecuted, and I don’t know why the Trump Administration failed to do so. The FBI doesn’t make charging decisions, that’s up to the US Attorney.

    Rip Murdock (afd316)

  87. Sandy Berger and David Petraeus got lighter sentences because the law at the time allowed it. See post 71.

    Rip Murdock (afd316)

  88. Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 11:10 pm

    I might say the same thing.

    Rip Murdock (afd316)

  89. mr. pence and mr. christie

    i think that their wives just want them out of the house

    or they want to get away from their wives

    which is the same thing, really

    nk (11773a)

  90. Christie has the usual stink: where were you in 2018, 2019, 2020, and right after J6? Where was the “straight talk” when the party could have impeached and removed Trump…and moved on? This is opportunism. His only lane is NeverTrump. Now I’m happy someone is making that case. Is there anyone who was making the case before the 2020 election besides Romney and a coterie of people who literally stepped away from politics? So I’m not looking for Christie to take off, but talking about the 600lb turd in the room is the starting point. Maybe it drags DeSantis, Haley, and Scott into the firing range. Maybe. The voters must reward “straight talk”. I’m just not confident that they want that much of it.

    AJ_Liberty (459e7c)

  91. Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 11:11 pm

    Hillary would be in category 3.

    \She may have shown some people classified information in her State Department office; she may have had some things sent to her home in DC by fax; ahe may have communicated things verbally, but her emails did not get out. None of them, or something would have been leaked. When she asked for all non-deleted emails to be made public, she didn;t realize that some of them would be considered classified, because her private email system was a substitute for the unclassified State Department email, not the classified one.

    So it wasn’t supposed to be possible for anything classified to be there, theoretically. But some information is classified at birth or it could have been sent to her with a classification mark against her instructions (aomething like her schedule, on some days, for instance)

    She never had a State Department state.gov emil address, although she may have sent a copy of email sent to the White House to a dummy state.gov email address.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  92. JVW (65bed0) — 6/7/2023 @ 8:23 pm

    the James Comey/Loretta Lynch decision to let Hillary Clinton skate

    Loretta Lynch and James Comey pretended it was Jaames Comey’s decision, but the only decision James Comey had to make was what rationalization to give for it, and he made it barely qualify for non-prosecution.

    They also pretended that there was nothing unusual about the FBI making a prosecution.non-prosecution recommendation (Loretta Lynch had said previously that she would abide by it)\\\The purpose was to make the decision not to prosecute look non-political.)

    And Hillary’s Clinton’s lawyers may have known at least the gist of what he wass going to say, because they were not enumerated among the persons who hadd no prior knowledge of waht he was about to say.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  93. Rip Murdock (afd316) — 6/8/2023 @ 1:33 am

    I think Hillary should have been prosecuted, and I don’t know why the Trump Administration failed to do so.

    Attorney General Jeff \\sessions had recused himself and to revive the case would have bee a blatantly political prosecution.

    (The case against Mike Flynn was revived deliberately by Mike Flynn as part of the plea bargaining process.)

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  94. 88. Rip Murdock (afd316) — 6/8/2023 @ 1:33 am

    The FBI doesn’t make charging decisions, that’s up to the US Attorney.

    And they are political appointees.\

    That’s actually who made the decision in the Hilllary Clinton email case, but Loretta Lynch and James Comey pretended otherwise for public relations purposes.

    The prosecution.non-prosecution decisionn was completely out of James Comey’s hands, but this was kept very very quiet.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  95. 69.

    illegal removal of government records from the White House

    How could that be illegal? He was president then.

    Why do people try to raise the charges\/

    There are two grand juries we now know, one in DC and a new one in Florida.

    I think the reason he may be indicted in Florida is that it makes courtroom security less burdensome and easier.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  96. When Mr. Trump, as president, showered praise on the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, his vice president, bound by loyalty, stayed silent. Yet recently on the campaign trail, after Mr. Trump had congratulated Mr. Kim for his country’s readmission to the World Health Organization’s executive board, Mr. Pence scolded his former boss for “praising the dictator in North Korea.”

    The praise (which was not about the way he ruled North Korea but about his willingness to come to an agreement and about how much he – Trump – liked him) might be flattery, but the congratulations on the WHO is bad because North Korea has lied about Covid.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  97. I think the reason he may be indicted in Florida is that it makes courtroom security less burdensome and easier.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee) — 6/8/2023 @ 7:24 am

    It depends on what crimes are charged:

    …….If the charges included conspiracy, illegal removal of government records from the White House or obstructive activity that occurred in the District, the prosecutors’ hand would be strengthened in claiming that the nation’s capital is the appropriate jurisdiction.

    If the case were one solely of illegal retention, then Trump has the best argument that such charges must be brought in Florida (or wherever else he kept the documents).

    Source

    Rip Murdock (afd316)

  98. “Weird clown” sounds about right.
    The two candidates I favor the most, Scott and Hutchinson, are polling at 1.6% and 0.4% on average, respectively, which is still lower combined than foreign policy idjit Ramaswamy and the weird clown.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  99. @100, yeah, sign me up for Hutchinson. Every time I listen to him, I think, oh that’s what an adult sounds like. He’s just not performative during a time when the electorate wants politics to be entertaining. I like boring competence. Flashy generally means you won’t get anything done. Low drama means you understand the job and are comfortable in your skin.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  100. but the congratulations on the WHO is bad because North Korea has lied about Covid.

    I took his comment about Kim Jong-un and the WHO as pure sarcasm.

    This is why:

    Trump cutting U.S. ties with World Health Organization over virus

    WASHINGTON/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States will end its relationship with the World Health Organization over the body’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday, accusing the U.N. agency of becoming a puppet of China.

    The move to quit the Geneva-based body, which the United States formally joined in 1948, comes amid growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over the coronavirus outbreak. The virus first emerged in China’s Wuhan city late last year.

    Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said Chinese officials “ignored their reporting obligations” to the WHO about the virus – that has killed hundreds of thousands of people globally – and pressured the agency to “mislead the world.”

    “China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying which is approximately $450 million a year,” he said.

    Trump’s decision follows a May 18 pledge of $2 billion by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the World Health Assembly – the WHO decision-making body – to help deal with the coronavirus and economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries. It was not immediately clear how much of that money would actually go to the WHO.

    Trump last month halted funding for the 194-member organization, then in a May 18 letter gave the WHO 30 days to commit to reforms.

    U.S. President Donald Trump makes an announcement about U.S. trade relations with China and Hong Kong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” Trump said on Friday.

    It was not immediately clear when his decision would come into effect. A 1948 joint resolution of Congress on U.S. membership of the WHO said the country “reserves its right to withdraw from the organization on a one-year notice.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-trump-who/trump-cutting-u-s-ties-with-world-health-organization-over-virus-idUSKBN2352YJ

    BuDuh (921160)

  101. RIP, Pat Robertson, 93

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  102. No RIP for Pat.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  103. Karma, Rip.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  104. Predictions….

    How do you think the non-Trump Republican presidential primary candidates will react to Trump’s indictment? Here are my guesses:

    A. Outrage at the indictment, Un-American, a “dangerous moment”, “politically motivated” etc.-DeSantis, Ramaswamy, Elder

    B. Deploring the “sad state of affairs” but not challenging Trump to withdraw-Pence, Haley

    C. What indictment?-Scott

    D. Trump should immediately withdraw-Hutchinson, Christie

    E. Who knows-Burgum

    Thoughts?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  105. Karma, Rip.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/8/2023 @ 8:50 am

    We all eventually die. I just don’t like religiously-based politics.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  106. Rip,

    I think Scott is a B, not a C. And there will be at least one surprise — maybe DeSantis deciding to go for door D, if the charges are severe enough.

    Appalled (fcb5b5)

  107. maybe DeSantis deciding to go for door D, if the charges are severe enough.

    Only if Trump’s MAGA voters agree, which I doubt.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  108. @108, agreed. Scott seems to be in the Haley mode. I don’t think anyone is D except maybe Gary Johnson. The contest for VP will go through A….so Kari Lake will be an unambiguous and proud A…and wear it proudly on her dress. I still doubt Haley/Scott are positioning for Trump’s VP. For starters, I can’t imagine Trump picking them. Of course, it could be a sneaky way to get to the POTUS seat (impeachment, death, incarceration, assassination)…it’s a gamble, but maybe it’s good to be #2!

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  109. 106: I think your likes and dislikes are apparent here. I doubt anyone would pretend to be ignorant of the indictment — that’s fatal to any candidate. Why do you suggest that Scott would feign ignorance?

    I also think that there is a different “C”

    C. Suggests that Trump should consider whether his candidacy remains viable, which is where I put Haley and Scott.

    It may also be that Christie makes criticism of Trump more acceptable, in “well, I won’t go as far as Christie or Cheney but…”

    There is also an E: Demands that Trump be excluded from GOP primaries. I’d put Christie there.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  110. it’s a gamble, but maybe it’s good to be #2!

    Just don’t stand too close.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  111. Only DeSantis benefits from Trump staying in the race as it will narrow the field considerably. He wants Trump to go, but not now.

    The rest of them, and especially the ones running to win (as opposed to those running to carry a message), need Trump gone ASAP. They just don’t want their fingerprints on the knife.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  112. I think your likes and dislikes are apparent here. I doubt anyone would pretend to be ignorant of the indictment — that’s fatal to any candidate. Why do you suggest that Scott would feign ignorance?……There is also an E: Demands that Trump be excluded from GOP primaries. I’d put Christie there.

    Of course my post reflects by opinions. Just as your posts reflect yours.

    Tim Scott’s message is one of optimism and the future, not the past. I think he would rather avoid the question entirely, since he wants to remain on Trump’s good side.

    How would Trump be excluded from running in the primaries. Candidates can demand all they want, but as long as Trump meets the legal qualifications to run in a state’s primary, he can. The voters will have the final decision.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  113. @82

    Rip, why are we going back and forth on this? The point is that we’ve already seen that Hillary Clinton was given a whole hell of a lot of leeway in the investigation of her that nobody else residing in “the universe” of illegally retained classified information violators has been given. We may all believe that Trump was guilty and desire his punishment, but all Andy McCarthy is trying to point out (and I am agreeing to) is that the James Comey/Loretta Lynch decision to let Hillary Clinton skate is going to complicate the efforts to nail Donald Trump. And I don’t really care about how closely anybody wants to parse the details of the respective cases, the fact that the Clinton team deleted email messages without authorization, destroyed hard-drives and devices, and repeatedly told investigators (or at least told the public) that they had turned over all of the “personal” emails only to have thousands more suddenly appear out of nowhere suggests that she obstructed the investigations too. It’s just that she had allies on her side which Trump lacks.

    JVW (65bed0) — 6/7/2023 @ 8:23 pm

    JVW… if I could like a post here, this would have all of mine. Particularly that last sentence.

    I don’t know how they can move forward with an obstruction case against Trump, but Hillary nor her staff didn’t arise to that occasion.

    Maybe we can be convinced that now, this is the new standard and we should forget about the past. From this point forward, former POTUS should face the letter of the law like everyone else and Trump is going to be the first under this new precedent.

    But if so, how do you square Biden’s mishandling of documents pre-POTUS term? The issue isn’t just Biden, but his staff, as his staff had to have had access as well. Are we sure when want the same exacting principles when he’s out of office?

    I asked, “are we sure” because I’m not convinced we thought of “and then what” going forward, and it’s impact politically. Meaning, is the public going to support government only going after Trump and not anyone else??

    whembly (ea5e48)

  114. @84

    There were two critical aspects about Comey and Hillary.
    First, he said that she was “extremely careless”, which carries no legal penalty, and he avoided the phrase “gross negligence” (discussion here), where criminality attaches. Personally, I think “gross negligence” applied but Comey didn’t go there.
    Second, Comey stated in his infamous July 2016 public statement that Hillary cooperated with the investigation, while Trump did the opposite of cooperating.
    One other thing, it’s not like Comey was the final word on investigating Hillary. Under Trump, and probably at his urging, both Tillerson and Pompeo tried to nail Hillary and they didn’t or couldn’t come up the goods.

    With Trump, the case is clear-cut, IMO. He took and willfully retained materials relating to the national defense, and then he obstructed their return, which falls squarely under the Espionage Act. If only he’d returned the materials when asked, but his vain overinflated ego would have none of that.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 6/7/2023 @ 9:44 pm

    So, now we’re trusting Comey’s own word here?

    No. HRC didn’t fully comply.

    She and her lawyers dragged the process to almost stand-still.

    What amazes me in this whole ordeal is that, while HRC got criticized for this, and rightly so, but her staff largely were left unscathed. HRC doesn’t do all of this by herself, as she was the boss.

    whembly (ea5e48)

  115. he wants to remain on Trump’s good side.

    Trump has no “good side.” He has a sycophant side and a terrible-person side.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  116. Meaning, is the public going to support government only going after Trump and not anyone else??

    Well, certainly that will be Trump’s refrain. But that whole “you let X skate, so I should too” argument just makes judges laugh.

    Several people tried the Geithner tax-evasion defense, one with the exact same circumstances, only to go to jail.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  117. @118

    Meaning, is the public going to support government only going after Trump and not anyone else??

    Well, certainly that will be Trump’s refrain. But that whole “you let X skate, so I should too” argument just makes judges laugh.

    Several people tried the Geithner tax-evasion defense, one with the exact same circumstances, only to go to jail.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/8/2023 @ 11:32 am

    All this deliberation is a little moot until we know what are the exact charges.

    Even if it’s obstruction, there are plenty of example of high connected people skating. And if Trump-critics supports the prosecution… don’t be surprised if these same voters demand a “persecution” on the other side.

    THAT is the norm I’m worried about.

    whembly (ce5f56)

  118. Peggy Noonan goes apocalyptic:

    If Trump Republicans propel Donald Trump over the top in the primaries, they will be doing and will have done two things. They will have made him their nominee for the presidency, and they will have ended the Republican Party.

    I don’t mean this rhetorically, in the way of people walking around the past eight years crying, “The party as I knew it is gone.” I mean it literally: The GOP will disappear as a party. Meaning the primary national vehicle of conservative thought and policy will disappear….

    If the party chooses Mr. Trump in 2024 it will mean it has changed its essential nature and meaning, and that it is split in a way that can’t be resolved by time. Republicans of the suburbs, of the more educated and affluent places, won’t agree to be the official Trump Forever Party. They just won’t. They will leave. Some will go third-party and try to build something there. Some will blend into the Democratic Party and hope they can improve things there.

    Trump supporters will stay on in a smaller, less competent party. But they will, as time passes, get tired of losing and also drift on somewhere.

    But there will be no Republican Party after a Trump ’24 race, which, again, means the vehicle of conservative thought and policy will be gone.

    She also likes Chris Christie.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  119. So, now we’re trusting Comey’s own word here?

    I already said that I disagreed with his “extremely careless” schtick, whembly, but he was Director of the FBI, and a Republican, and his two public statements in the heat of a campaign season decidedly hurt Hillary and helped Trump.
    Hillary always skirted up to the edge of slimy and illegal, and I’m sure she pulled the same kind of sh-t to stay on the good side of obstruction, but I don’t see a comparison to what Trump had been doing for well over a year.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  120. Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/8/2023 @ 11:44 am

    Peggy Noonan goes apocalyptic:

    If Trump Republicans propel Donald Trump over the top in the primaries, they will be doing and will have done two things. They will have made him their nominee for the presidency, and they will have ended the Republican Party.

    Not so. They may deeply entrench the Democratic Party but the only wsy to kill the Republican Party is for their presidential nominee to come in third or worse – and it might take two Presidential elections to do it.

    My idea of running different candidates for president in different states (but one for vice president) wouldn’t kill the party but it might make the next selection more normal. (In 1912 Taft came in third)

    https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/elections/1912

    Democrat Woodrow Wilson and Thomas R. Marshall got 435 Electoral votes and 6,294,327 popular votes or 41.8%

    Progressive Theodore Roosevelt / Hiram Johnson got 88 Electoral votes and 4,120,207 popular votes or27.4%

    Republican William Howard Taft/ Nicholas Butler got 8 Electoral votes and 3,486,343 popular votes or 23.2%

    Also Socialist Eugene V. Debs Emil Seidel got 0 Electoral votes and 900,370 popular votes or 6.0%

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  121. 116. whembly (ea5e48) — 6/8/2023 @ 11:25 am

    No. HRC didn’t fully comply.

    But she consented to an FBI interview (which she had kept postponing) after being satisfied that here was no RICO investigation going on (because Loretta Lynch had not completely avoided meeting Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport, which she would have had an active investigation involving Bill Clinton been going on.

    Of course Loretta Lynch would not schedule a meeting with Bill Clinton, And a totally involuntary meeting (on her part_ would have conveyed no information to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    What he set up conveyed information. (without there being any discussion of anything)

    She and her lawyers dragged the process to almost stand-still.

    The whole thing was timed by the Clintons just right.

    Had there been a RICO investigation Hillary Clinton would have declined an FBI interview – except it would have been too late to indict her before the election, owing to DOJ policy established by President Bill Clinton.

    She preferred to be “cleared” but she preferred to have something hanging over her to an indictment.

    What amazes me in this whole ordeal is that, while HRC got criticized for this, and rightly so, but her staff largely were left unscathed. HRC doesn’t do all of this by herself, as she was the boss

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  122. 111. Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/8/2023 @ 10:46 am

    There is also an E: Demands that Trump be excluded from GOP primaries. I’d put Christie there.

    Christie is more likely to be excluded from the debates, because he won’t commit to supporting the Republican nominee whoever it turns out too be

    Of course Trump may decline, too and the RNC, which he more or less controls, may take everybody off the hook.

    Asa Hutchinson says the condition should be that he won’t run himself as a third party candidate if he loses.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  123. 4. Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/7/2023 @ 10:42 am

    There is only one thing that makes sense here: They all know something about Donald Trump’s future and it does not involve him remaining a candidate. There is information floating around the Secret Masters Club that we are not yet privy to.

    Running for president doesn’t have to make sense.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  124. James Watt (85) has died.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  125. Running for president doesn’t have to make sense.

    True that.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  126. Mark Meadows removed classified documents from the White House the last night of Donald Trump’s presidency

    Former president Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, removed more than a thousand pages of classified documents from the White House late at night on the final evening of Trump’s presidency. according to government records and interviews with several individuals, with first-hand knowledge of the matter.
    ………
    Meadows removed the records from the White House on the orders of Donald Trump, and occurred despite advice from White House attorneys that making public the records would circumvent the long established and official procedures in place for declassifying them.
    ………
    The removal by Meadows of classified records from the White House appears to be separate from Trump’s removal from the White House of other classified documents to Mar-a-Largo, a matter long under investigation by special counsel Jack Smith and a federal grand jury.
    ……..
    ……(F)our other former Trump administration officials have confirmed that Meadows removed the papers from the White House.

    Three of them say that they have knowledge that then-President Trump directed Meadows to remove the papers from the White House and separately provide copies of some of them to two pro-Trump journalists. (Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to Meadows) also made corroborative claims that this was the case in her previously unreported comments to congressional investigators.

    The records that Trump directed Meadows to remove from the White House were known by some Trump aides as the “Russia papers”,
    ………

    There were uncorroborated reports yesterday the Meadows had accepted a plea deal, which his attorney has denied.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  127. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/8/2023 @ 1:23 pm

    He may have received an immunity deal.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  128. He probably insisted on an immunity deal in order not to take the 5th amendment. This could be done without his feeling that he is actually guilty of anything criminal.

    He may have testified both in regard to the events prior to and on January 6, 2021 and to the documents taken and held for a period by President Trump.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/06/us/politics/mark-meadows-testified-trump-grand-jury.html

    Asked about the grand jury testimony, a lawyer for Mr. Meadows, George Terwilliger, said, “Without commenting on whether or not Mr. Meadows has testified before the grand jury or in any other proceeding, Mr. Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so.”

    I think he may earlier ae resisted on grounds of executive privilege.

    There are now two grand juries – one in Washington D.C., which may have finished taking testimony and another in Miami, Florida, which may have had testimony read to it or summarized but has also heard witnesses.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  129. Retention of documents may be a violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 but that carries no criminal penalties, but where Trump gets into trouble is lying and defying formal subpoenas.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/07/us/politics/trump-documents-florida-grand-jury.html

    On Wednesday, witnesses continued to appear in front of a federal grand jury in Miami that was hearing evidence in the documents case — among them Taylor Budowich, one of Mr. Trump’s former spokesmen.

    Aides and advisers to Mr. Trump spent the day in a state of high tension. As Mr. Budowich completed his grand jury appearance, John Solomon, a conservative journalist who serves as one of Mr. Trump’s representatives to the National Archives, published an article claiming that prosecutors were moving toward indicting Mr. Trump “imminently.”

    The New York Times contacted Mr. Trump directly to ask if he had in fact been told that he would be indicted, and he said it was “not true.”

    But when asked if he had been told he is a target of a federal investigation, Mr. Trump did not respond directly, saying “you have to understand” that he was not in direct touch with prosecutors. He then repeated that “it’s not true” that he was told he will be indicted.

    A short time later, Mr. Trump, who was at his club in Bedminster, N.J., posted a message denying Mr. Solomon’s claim on his social media platform.

    “No one has told me I’m being indicted,” Mr. Trump wrote, “and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI.”

    Trump’s in a little bit of denial.

    I read something about moving of boxes.

    The moving of boxes issue has to do with, at one point, pretending that all former White House documents had been kept more secretly until they were mostly moved into one storage room. I don’t think it is reasonable to hold his menial employees to a legal obligation to be transparent and truthful here.

    Some people are probably violating criminal laws about leaking except that may only apply to what was learned through actual grand jury testimony.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  130. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/8/2023 @ 9:02 am

    How do you think the non-Trump Republican presidential primary candidates will react to Trump’s indictment? Here are my guesses:

    If all it is obstruction of a subpoena, it’ll range between outrage and a complaint that this is overkill and shouldn’t be done. Asa Hutchinson will say he should withdraw. Maybe Christie but he is for Trump not running already.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  131. Not so. They may deeply entrench the Democratic Party but the only wsy to kill the Republican Party is for their presidential nominee to come in third or worse

    How about 25 Senators joining a new party?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  132. How about 25 Senators joining a new party?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/8/2023 @ 4:08 pm

    Which would really solidify Democratic control by splitting the opposition.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  133. More from Noonan in her column today:

    Don’t Count a Third Party Out in 2024

    But here is the potential political surprise that is on my mind. For months people have been talking about a serious third party entering the 2024 presidential race. I believe that if the major party nominees are Joe Biden and Mr. Trump—but only if they are—a third party will certainly enter the race and put up candidates for president and vice president. And if a few crucial things break its way—they have to get on almost every state ballot; and put forward a solid ticket, not a brilliant one but solid, two accomplished people, one from each party, presumably political veterans, whom people could see, hear, and think they could do the job—they’d have an even or better than even chance of surprising history by winning. …

    In March Gallup put the share of independents at 49%—pretty much the same as the two parties put together. A Gallup analyst told Axios that while it’s not unusual for the young to declare themselves independent more than the old, it is unusual that as Gen X and Millenials get older they seem to be staying independent and not joining a party, possibly out of aversion to a perceived stigma of partisanship. …

    An NBC poll in April reported 70% of voters don’t want Mr. Biden to run for re-election, and 60% don’t want Mr. Trump to run again. It said about half of Democrats don’t want Mr. Biden. An AP-NORC poll found 44% of Republicans don’t want Mr. Trump as their nominee.

    These are huge numbers, and if you believe them—they roughly comport with my observations, so I do—then the predicates for a successful third party are there. …

    But here’s where my mind always goes: Ross Perot launched his independent presidential bid in 1992, when America was a more normal country, one that colored more within the lines, and not as furious and polarized as now. Even then certain fault lines were emerging—on trade, globalism, and the growing distance between elite perceptions of what was real and important, and those of common folk. Perot was a business visionary, the founder of a great company, Electronic Data Systems. He was public-spirited and blunt-talking. In June 1992 he was leading both George Bush and Bill Clinton. But his campaign was hapless and gaffe-filled, and he was unpredictable. He dropped out of the race, re-entered in the fall, said operatives were trying to spy on him, and by the end it was pretty much out there that Ross Perot was slightly crazy.

    Even with all that, Perot got almost 20% of the vote.

    Now Perot had an advantage — he had no political home and so running as an independent did not burn bridges. For most current politicians to do that — witness Lieberman’s endorsement of Romney — would be political suicide. Yet getting on those state ballots without the kind of committed cadre of partisan fans that Perot had is damn near impossible.

    We’ll see. Maybe, if it looks hopeless there are qualified politicians who don’t care. And after all, the GOP wanted the Bull Moose back almost immediately considering Taft came in third.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  134. Which would really solidify Democratic control by splitting the opposition.

    You live just for today or something? Because that’s how they became Trump’s servants.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  135. Asa Hutchinson will say he should withdraw….

    Hutchinson ready said that in April.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  136. You live just for today or something? Because that’s how they became Trump’s servants.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/8/2023 @ 4:20 pm

    I just don’t foresee that happening. Seriously, under what circumstances do you see 25 Senators splitting from the Republican Party and joining (a non-existent) new party, one that doesn’t have an electoral base in their states? Or do you see them joining a currently existing party?

    I guess I don’t have your imagination.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  137. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 6/8/2023 @ 4:26 pm

    Fantasy political realignment camp.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  138. Seriously, under what circumstances do you see 25 Senators splitting from the Republican Party

    When the GOP is widely seen as the Dogturd Party.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  139. Justice Department Charges Trump in Documents Case

    The Justice Department took the legally and politically momentous step of lodging federal criminal charges against former President Donald J. Trump, multiple people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, following a lengthy investigation of his handling of classified documents that he took with him upon leaving office and then obstructing the government’s efforts to reclaim them.
    ……..
    It was not immediately known what specific charges Mr. Trump is facing. One person briefed on the matter said there were seven counts.

    Mr. Trump is expected to surrender himself to authorities in Miami on Tuesday, according to a person close to him and his own post on Truth Social.
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  140. Seriously, under what circumstances do you see 25 Senators splitting from the Republican Party

    When the GOP is widely seen as the Dogturd Party.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 6/8/2023 @ 4:54 pm

    So not anytime soon.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  141. Trump on Truth Social:

    “I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, who received far more votes than any sitting President in the History of our Country, and is currently leading, by far, all Candidates, both Democrat and Republican, in Polls of the 2024 Presidential Election. I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  142. Seriously, under what circumstances do you see 25 Senators splitting from the Republican Party

    When they cannot get reelected in their states running as Republicans.

    Seriously.

    nk (c84c3b)

  143. When they cannot get reelected in their states running as Republicans.

    Seriously.

    nk (c84c3b) — 6/8/2023 @ 5:02 pm

    I agree, but that will be a long time in coming.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  144. I agree, but that will be a long time in coming.

    Wait until Trump loses to Biden again, yet is leading the party still.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  145. When they cannot get reelected in their states running as Republicans.

    The same could be said for Democrats, btw. See Manchin, Sinema….

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  146. Gaah! Wrong thread! I’ll move it. I’ll move it. Leave me alone.

    lurker (cd7cd4)


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