Patterico's Pontifications

8/1/2023

Trump Indicted Over Efforts to Steal Election

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:27 pm



The indictment is here.

UPDATE: Sincere question for those who think the government can’t prove Trump knowingly lied about the election: what sort of evidence would it take for you to agree that, in fact, the government can prove that?

Because there is a passage in the indictment that states:

On November 25, Co-Conspirator 3 filed a lawsuit against the Governor of Georgia falsely alleging “massive election fraud” accomplished through the voting machine company’s election software and hardware. Before the lawsuit was even filed, the Defendant retweeted a post promoting it. The Defendant did this despite the fact that when he had discussed CoConspirator 3’s far-fetched public claims regarding the voting machine company in private with advisors, the Defendant had conceded that they were unsupported and that Co-Conspirator 3 sounded “crazy.”

To me, telling people privately that a claims is crazy and unsupported, and then pushing it publicly, seems like the paradigmatic example of proof of a knowing lie. But I’m just a simple country lawyer. Explain to me why I’m wrong.

312 Responses to “Trump Indicted Over Efforts to Steal Election”

  1. Updates as appropriate, but I have things to do tonight, so don’t hold your breath.

    Patterico (ebec04)

  2. I’ve read through most of the indictment, and it confirms what I suspected: Trump’s role in the Fake Electors scheme was extensive, and he abused the powers of his office and the DOJ in furtherance of this fraudulent act.
    And that’s the irony of this whole thing: He squealed, falsely, from Minute One that there was “massive fraud” while committing serious acts of fraud, and he did it because he’s a fraudster, a con man, who could not bring himself to accept that he lost, and this was made worse because The People put him in our nation’s highest office, a position where he could wreak more havoc on our democracy than any other position in government.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  3. This indictment is about January 6. The charges get at the heart of the whole rotten business and what Trump meant to do. This is what Trump has to answer to and answer for. The Stormy Daniels business was a stupid distraction and stupid indictment. The classified document fiasco also, frankly, is a distraction. It’s a real case, but not the central problem Trump has given us.

    This is the important case. I hope it is tried quickly. Personally, I would prefer Trump sit in jail until it is adjudicated. I won’t be that lucky.

    Appalled (92e7f8)

  4. I 100% believe that a DC judge and jury will convict Trump on this.

    I also, believe, that the DC Court of Appeals, and if necessary SCOTUS, will reverse.

    The indictment tells a damning story.

    But, I’m dubious that the penal statutes fit the indictment that Jack Smith is pushing.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  5. This indictment is about January 6.

    You have found criminal counts about Jan 6 protests in the indictment?

    Or are you just referring to the date as a point in time when the electors are tallied under the supervision of the Vice President?

    BuDuh (580a1f)

  6. Whoa… Turley blasted Jack Smith:

    @JonathanTurley
    Special Counsel Jack Smith just issued the first criminal indictment of alleged disinformation in my view. If you take a red pen to all of the material presumptively protected by the First Amendment, you can reduce much of the indictment to haiku…

    The press conference held by Smith only deepened the unease for some of us. Smith railed against the January 6th riot and made it sound like he was indicting Trump on incitement. He didn’t. The disconnect was glaring and concerning.

    @KevinTober94
    Andy McCarthy pours cold water on Jack Smith’s latest prosecution of Trump: “He has extravagantly stretched these statues in order to try to capture this behavior and that’s because this is really a proxy for what should have been a political impeachment process…”

    whembly (c88dc4)

  7. BuDuh,

    If you prefer, the indictment is about the Big Lie and the attempted coup it was meant to fuel. As a technical matter, it seems focused on the fake elector scheme, which seems trivial in all of this, but is where the laws were broken.

    I am sure you will find fault. Poor Donald, a victim again.

    Appalled (92e7f8)

  8. Who cares about Donald if he broke the law? Not me.

    But I do appreciate you now looking at the indictment in a “technical matter” sort of way.

    It beats arm waving about charges that don’t exist yet.

    BuDuh (580a1f)

  9. You have found criminal counts about Jan 6 protests in the indictment?

    I noted that too. Maybe they are still working on those.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  10. The elector scheme is actual fraud. It took me a while to realize this, because Trump already had slates of electors in each of those states. They just weren’t the slate the voters selected.

    IF, and I mean IF, Trump hand managed to get those states to discover a different outcome, they would still not need to create a new panel of electors — they had them on standby already.

    So, the new-elector scheme was a fraud, to supplant the electors the state was sending with another group asserting authority. You really cannot do that, and any planning to accomplish this fraud is a crime.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  11. The fake elector scheme is NOT trivial, as it undermines the validity of the electoral vote. If is an attempt to steal the presidential election by stealing the only votes that matter.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  12. Turley is misleading when he said it was a “criminal indictment of alleged disinformation”.
    As it relates to J6, it was his inaction in stopping the riot, which is why he was charged for obstructing an official proceeding. He was the singular person with the ability to stop the violent mob.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  13. @ Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/1/2023 @ 7:45 pm

    Ok. i’ll nibble.
    I cannot recall an example of one man stopping a violent mob.

    Joe (78bd5e)

  14. Do you care if Biden broke the law, Buduh? Do you care if anyone breaks the law, or is Trump the only one you don’t care about? I am curious why you don’t care.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  15. I can’t resist, Joe:

    Upon the re-admittance of Texas into the Union in 1876 and the return to a freely elected government, the Rangers played an integral part in restoring law and order to Texas. It was during this period that legend records a Texas Ranger stepping down from a train in a riot-torn town and being met by the locals who said, “They only sent one Ranger?” His reply, “You only got one riot, don’t you?” assured the Rangers’ place in Texas lore. “One riot, one Ranger” personifies the image of the Texas Rangers held by Texans.

    Link

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  16. Joe, when Trump made his statement J6, people left the Capitol. Most everyone at that riot was plugged into social media looking for updates. What we know for sure is that doing nothing but sending an incendiary tweet or two did not quell the riot.

    AJ_Liberty (11f29a)

  17. I cannot recall an example of one man stopping a violent mob.

    Trump did, at 4:17pm on J6 when he released his video tweet, three-plus hours after the mob violence started. The violence dissipated after that.

    117. After the 4: 17 p.m. Tweet, as the Defendant joined others in the outer Oval Office to watch the attack on the Capitol on television, the Defendant said, “See, this is what happens when they try to steal an election. These people are angry. These people are really angry about it. This is what happens.”
    118. At 6:01 p.m., the Defendant tweeted, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  18. I see where you got that idea, DRJ. I will rewrite it the way it sounded in my head.

    “Who will care about the fate of Donald if he really did break the law. Not me.”

    To be as clear as I thought I have always been, I do not like law breakers.

    Appalled did one of his caricature bits and tried to impart onto me a position I have never taken. I was responding too quickly to see how my reply could have been misunderstood.

    BuDuh (580a1f)

  19. @12

    Turley is misleading when he said it was a “criminal indictment of alleged disinformation”.
    As it relates to J6, it was his inaction in stopping the riot, which is why he was charged for obstructing an official proceeding. He was the singular person with the ability to stop the violent mob.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/1/2023 @ 7:45 pm

    I’m on record that Congress should’ve impeached/removed Trump within 24hrs of J6.

    But, is inaction, while impeachment worthy imo, doesn’t rises to the level of “obstructing an official proceeding”. It’s really chicken guano.

    Furthermore, Capitol security isn’t the primary responsibility of the President. That the Speaker’s role. Trump could’ve just sent in more federal officers to quash the riot, and ask for forgiveness later. But, again, his inaction doesn’t rise to the level of what everyone understood to be “obstructing an offical proceeding”.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  20. Paragraph 90(c) of the indictment.

    On January 1, the Defendant called the Vice President and berated him because he had learned that the Vice President had opposed a lawsuit seeking a judicial decision that, at the certification, the Vice President had the authority to reject or return votes to the states under the Constitution. The Vice President responded that he thought there was no constitutional basis for such authority and that it was improper. In response, the Defendant told the Vice President, “You’re too honest.” Within hours of the conversation, the Defendant reminded his supporters to meet in Washington before the certification proceeding, tweeting, “The BIG Protest Rally in Washington, D.C., will take place at 11.00 A.M. on January 6th. Locational details to follow. StopTheSteal!”

    If Pence was being “too honest”, the implication is that the VP wasn’t being a lying d0uchebag like Trump, that he wouldn’t lie for Trump.
    But it’s not that Pence didn’t lie. BuDuh did note that Pence said one thing in public but obviously something else in private.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  21. Furthermore, Capitol security isn’t the primary responsibility of the President. That the Speaker’s role.

    No, it’s not the Speaker’s role, whembly. The Capitol Police Board has three members, the Sergeants-at-Arms from both houses of Congress, and the Capitol Architect, who was appointed by Trump. Chief of USCP Sund was also a board member, but it’s non-voting (link). Bottom line, the Senate Majority Leader (who was McConnell at the time) was just as responsible as Pelosi, but it’s funny that you don’t hear about McConnell being condemned for USCP shortcomings.

    Trump didn’t have direct control over the Capitol Police, but he did have direct control of the DC National Guard, and Chief Sund made the call to the DC National Guard within an hour after Trump’s speech ended. Or, even better, Trump was watching the violence unfold on his flatscreen. All he had to do was pick up the phone, but he never did.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  22. If you didn’t already know you were at Patterico.com you know it when the classified documents case is called a “distraction” even though valid and today’s J6 indictment which is not valid is the “important” case.

    Again, I hate Trump’s guts. But if you are going to indict him it has to be an actual offense. Trump (or ANY Republican) will likely be convicted by a DC jury but it will be overturned by higher courts.

    DN (c8d0a7)

  23. The distraction is the stupid, insipid, lame and no good single New York misdemeanor that is literally Trumped-up into 33 felony counts. The judge should dismiss all but a single misdemeanor (falsifying a business record) and let Trump plead no contest.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  24. It would be a distraction if people keep bringing up Stormy Daniels, Kevin, but I’ve scarcely heard about the case, because even the Left knows that it’s weak. But if you want the latest on Hunter or the “Biden crime family”, just switch over to FoxNews and wait a few minutes, and you won’t be disappointed.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  25. UPDATE: Sincere question for those who think the government can’t prove Trump knowingly lied about the election: what sort of evidence would it take for you to agree that, in fact, the government can prove that?

    Because there is a passage in the indictment that states:

    On November 25, Co-Conspirator 3 filed a lawsuit against the Governor of Georgia falsely alleging “massive election fraud” accomplished through the voting machine company’s election software and hardware. Before the lawsuit was even filed, the Defendant retweeted a post promoting it. The Defendant did this despite the fact that when he had discussed CoConspirator 3’s far-fetched public claims regarding the voting machine company in private with advisors, the Defendant had conceded that they were unsupported and that Co-Conspirator 3 sounded “crazy.”

    To me, telling people privately that a claims is crazy and unsupported, and then pushing it publicly, seems like the paradigmatic example of proof of a knowing lie. But I’m just a simple country lawyer. Explain to me why I’m wrong.

    Patterico (ebec04)

  26. Explain to me why I’m wrong.

    Well, Pat, it’s like this: Everyone knows that every word that comes out of Trump’s mouth is a lie. So, where’s the fraud? The only mystery is whether it’s a lie or a damned lie.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  27. It would be a distraction if people keep bringing up Stormy Daniels, Kevin, but I’ve scarcely heard about the case, because even the Left knows that it’s weak.

    When the case goes to court, and Trump wins, or mostly wins, it will be both a distraction and a blunder. And it will allow Trump’s legions to reinvigorate their claim that all of this is a “witch hunt.” All so some asshat politician can try for the governor’s house.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  28. Trump actually appointed Jeffrey Clark (Criminal Co-Conspirator #4), a guy who was willing to use our armed forces to keep Trump in office, i.e., he supported an armed coup, until top officials in the White House told Trump they would resign en masse if he took the job.

    80. Also on the morning of January 3, Co-Conspirator 4 met with the Defendant at the White House-again without having informed senior Justice Department officials-and accepted the Defendant’s offer that he become Acting Attorney General.

    81. On the afternoon of January 3, Co-Conspirator 4 spoke with a Deputy White House Counsel. The previous month, the Deputy White House Counsel had informed the Defendant that “there is no world, there is no option in which you do not leave the White House on January 20th.” Now, the same Deputy White House Counsel tried to dissuade Co-Conspirator 4 from assuming the role of Acting Attorney General. The Deputy White House Counsel reiterated to Co-Conspirator 4 that there had not been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that if the Defendant remained in office nonetheless, there would be “riots in every major city in the United States.” Co-Conspirator 4 responded, “Well, [Deputy White House Counsel], that’s why there’s an Insurrection Act.”

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  29. This:

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/08/trump-trial-2024-historic-jack-smith-indictment.html

    The Republican Party and the nation and Donald Trump need to squarely face January 6. This is the mechanism for getting that done. I know of no other.

    Appalled (f0e582)

  30. @ DRJ (2e4ac4) — 8/1/2023 @ 8:32 pm

    Good Morning:
    I would think that is not close enough. “riot-torn town” is not an actual riot.
    Agree/Disagree?

    Joe (78bd5e)

  31. Trump as a Texas Ranger is kind of incongruous. I can just see him tweeting “I feel sorry for Clyde, Bonnie’s new partner in love, whose parents are devastated at the thought of their son being with Bonnie, a true loser.”

    nk (c54ea7)

  32. So, what is the dividing line between free speech and lies used to perpetuate a fraud? Most of what I’ve heard out of Fox News or from Trump lawyers is that Trump believed that fraudulent election rules caused him to lose the election….and even if he didn’t believe that that was true, the first amendment still protected his political right to energize his base with the distortions: That political hyperbole is protected. Turley also seems content with stopping at this point and no one seems to have been available to challenge his conclusion. Hmmm.

    The problem is there was a scheme hatching to reject certain electoral votes and substitute others. Turley seems oblivious of this, though of course he’s a very smart guy and can read the 45-page indictment and understands that there has to be a 1st amendment line that stops at fraud. I’ll let others speculate about what he’s doing…..the same with DeSantis who graduated from Harvard Law School and was Navy lawyer.

    But, but, but…did Trump know this was a lie? Well the list of people who told him that there was no fraud on the levels needed to sway the election is impressive. It included Trump’s campaign attorneys; his attorney general and assistant attorney general; Republican election officials in Georgia and elsewhere; Michigan congressional Republicans; his campaign staff; his vice-president; top U.S. intelligence and cybersecurity officials; White House lawyers; a senior campaign adviser who warned that none of his wild claims of fraud could be backed up.

    At some point if he didn’t know, any reasonably intelligent individual SHOULD have known. Complete ignorance can’t be a defense. On Fox News this impressive list documented in the indictment was misrepresented. The guest suggested the opposite, that Trump was actually being told there was significant fraud and was only following this advice. Of course, this wasn’t challenged by the interviewer or by another guest because that’s no longer what goes on at Fox News. BS that fits the narrative persist.

    Trump willfully chose to go with Eastman’s plan and continue to lie about the election because, I believe, he thinks as President he can do whatever he wants….the law be damned. His lies furthered a conspiracy that led to disrupting an official congressional proceeding. The punishment should have been impeachment. At minimum, the GOP should have soundly rejected his current pursuit of the nomination. This indictment is the last shot at accountability….and for the GOP to support the rule of law. The current performance is not encouraging….

    AJ_Liberty (3c0ca6)

  33. #26 “Everyone knows that every word that comes out of Trump’s mouth is a lie.”

    Everyone?

    You may wish to qualify that. (Though I wish you wee right.)

    Jim Miller (e7232e)

  34. Here’s what some British bettors are saying about the indictment.

    Jim Miller (e7232e)

  35. @25

    UPDATE: Sincere question for those who think the government can’t prove Trump knowingly lied about the election: what sort of evidence would it take for you to agree that, in fact, the government can prove that?

    Because there is a passage in the indictment that states:

    On November 25, Co-Conspirator 3 filed a lawsuit against the Governor of Georgia falsely alleging “massive election fraud” accomplished through the voting machine company’s election software and hardware. Before the lawsuit was even filed, the Defendant retweeted a post promoting it. The Defendant did this despite the fact that when he had discussed CoConspirator 3’s far-fetched public claims regarding the voting machine company in private with advisors, the Defendant had conceded that they were unsupported and that Co-Conspirator 3 sounded “crazy.”

    To me, telling people privately that a claims is crazy and unsupported, and then pushing it publicly, seems like the paradigmatic example of proof of a knowing lie. But I’m just a simple country lawyer. Explain to me why I’m wrong.

    Patterico (ebec04) — 8/1/2023 @ 10:11 pm

    That narrative of Trump claiming he knew it was unsupported and sounded “crazy” seems to be cherry picked. I skimmed the indictment and I didn’t see the full quote to ascertain the full context.

    To answer your question, you’d almost need some bright, black & white documentation that the defendant knew what he was saying was patently false.

    But, if Smith’s indictment is going to be the standard, someone would need to explain to me how the Clinton campaign doesn’t get charged with these standards for perpetuating the Russian Collusion story.

    whembly (5f7596)

  36. whembly, I think had the Obama administration tried to institute a plan to prevent a transfer of power to Trump and instead install Clinton as President and made substantially more extravagant claims than they did, and instigated a riot that sought to overthrow democracy, then maybe you could make your question and sound like a reasonable person?

    Nate (1f1d55)

  37. The Jan 6 report documented that Trump knew he was lying about the election but lied anyway. Here is a summary.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  38. Yup… this is where I’m at. (but willing to be convinced otherwise!):
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/08/this-trump-indictment-shouldnt-stand/


    Here, it is not even clear that Smith has alleged anything that the law forbids. The indictment relates in detail Trump’s deceptions, but that doesn’t mean they constitute criminal fraud. As the Supreme Court reaffirmed just a few weeks ago, fraud in federal criminal law is a scheme to swindle victims out of money or tangible property. Mendacious rhetoric in seeking to retain political office is damnable — and, again, impeachable — but it’s not criminal fraud, although that is what Smith has charged. Indeed, assuming a prosecutor could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump hadn’t actually convinced himself that the election was stolen from him (good luck with that), hyperbole and even worse are protected political speech.

    As for obstruction, Americans, presidents included, have a right to attempt to influence Congress, even based on dubious or imagined evidence. To establish obstruction, Smith must prove that Trump’s efforts at persuasion were corrupt — again, in the sense that he knew his badgering and lobbying had no factual or legal merit. The concept of corruption is meant to reach clearly criminal conduct, such as evidence manipulation or witness tampering. It has never been understood to reach wrong-headed legal theories. To apply it that way, as Smith proposes, would chill not only political speech, but the constitutional right of a defendant to mount a legal defense.

    Finally, Smith is charging Trump with a civil-rights violation, on the theory that he sought to counteract the votes of Americans in contested states and based on a post–Civil War statute designed to punish violent intimidation and forcible attacks against blacks attempting to exercise their right to vote. What Trump did, though reprehensible, bears no relation to what the statute covers.

    whembly (5f7596)

  39. @38

    The Jan 6 report documented that Trump knew he was lying about the election but lied anyway. Here is a summary.

    DRJ (2e4ac4) — 8/2/2023 @ 7:37 am

    I’m not sorry here… I don’t take the J6 report as gospel as it was an one-sided affair.

    whembly (5f7596)

  40. #7

    whembly, I think had the Obama administration tried to institute a plan to prevent a transfer of power to Trump and instead install Clinton as President and made substantially more extravagant claims than they did, and instigated a riot that sought to overthrow democracy, then maybe you could make your question and sound like a reasonable person?

    Nate (1f1d55) — 8/2/2023 @ 7:08 am

    Oh, sure, I’m the unreasonable one and but you have to resort to hyperbole to make your point.

    Yeah, not buying what you’re selling.

    whembly (5f7596)

  41. DRJ, did you see my 8:49pm?

    BuDuh (853714)

  42. Mendacious rhetoric in seeking to retain political office is damnable — and, again, impeachable — but it’s not criminal fraud.

    McCarthy is being as misleading as Turley. It wasn’t Trump’s “mendacious rhetoric that was criminal, it was his criminal acts, such as his orchestrating a Fake Elector scheme to overturn the legitimate certified election result, and which has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment.

    As for obstructing an official proceeding, I agree with Rep. McCarthy: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  43. @43

    McCarthy is being as misleading as Turley. It wasn’t Trump’s “mendacious rhetoric that was criminal, it was his criminal acts, such as his orchestrating a Fake Elector scheme to overturn the legitimate certified election result, and which has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/2/2023 @ 8:03 am

    The “Fake Elector” scheme is overwrought imo as I understood it, states can always submit an alternate elector slate to Congress.

    Did I misunderstood that?

    whembly (5f7596)

  44. Man… I just got caught up on the Ashely Biden diary saga.

    I don’t think you can look at this, and not come to the conclusion that our President is a legit, honest-to-god a pedo.

    Imma go puke.

    whembly (5f7596)

  45. …states can always submit an alternate elector slate to Congress.

    Yes, true, they can, whembly, but the point is that none of the states approve an alternate slate, because none of them were approved by any state legislature. The problem is that these Fake Electors tried to pass of their alleged Electoral Votes as legitimate, and therefore committed electoral fraud.

    And this leads to a question: Has been any state secretly passed a law or resolution or edict any other official act by a group of elected officials hiding out in the capitol basement when the legislature in not in session? Because that’s what these fraudsters did, and it’s not how government business should be conducted.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  46. I did not, Buduh. Thank you for your comment. I see what you were saying now.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  47. Whembly,

    Ok. The parts of the report that document Trump knew he was lying are based on witness testimony — people who were with Trump, not Democrats.

    Would the only evidence that will convince you be that Trump admits he knew he was lying?

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  48. Man… I just got caught up on the Ashely Biden diary saga.

    I don’t think you can look at this, and not come to the conclusion that our President is a legit, honest-to-god a pedo.

    No, the pedos are the wingnuts who concocted the fiction you read.

    nk (c54ea7)

  49. It is real, nk, but what she said is that she sometimes showered with her father as a little girl and she thinks that contributed to her sex addiction. She also said she was “sexualized” by another family member. The person’s name was redacted but since Joe’s name/role was not redacted from reports about her diary, it is unlikely she was talking about her father.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  50. OK, here’s a question I posed at The Dispatch: when would an assertion of power by the executive branch move from being constitutionally defective to criminally unlawful? Let’s say that Pence had buckled, electoral votes were thrown out, others substituted, and Trump declared the winner. The process would then be for Biden to challenge Trump’s interpretation of the Electoral Count Act in court with the ultimate decision going to the Supreme Court. Now aside from the obvious chaos this would cause and even the potential for civil unrest, the result likely would be a 9-0 decision for Biden, with Thomas maybe a bit grudging. Both Pence and Trump would likely have been impeached, with the national outcry greater for removal….though again, likely after they had already left office.

    Now I tend to come down on whether the assertion of power was in fact good faith…or not. Here, I don’t think it was. All of the experts at Trump’s disposal counseled otherwise. This was not a close call and such an assertion of power was in fact illegal.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  51. @48

    Whembly,

    Ok. The parts of the report that document Trump knew he was lying are based on witness testimony — people who were with Trump, not Democrats.

    Would the only evidence that will convince you be that Trump admits he knew he was lying?

    DRJ (2e4ac4) — 8/2/2023 @ 9:54 am

    I think people are attributing too much there.

    He’s acknowledge that lost the election. (obviously, as he’s not that POTUS now)

    But, he’s also argued that the election was unfair.

    I think people are hanging their hats on the “lost the election”, and ignoring his arguments that if the election was held fairly, he’d win.

    whembly (5f7596)

  52. Would the only evidence that will convince you be that Trump admits he knew he was lying?

    And even that would be wholly unbelievable because everything out of mouth is a lie!

    Dana (771705)

  53. We often sentence people to vote unlawfully harshly. In some cases even when the unlawful vote was cast in good faith due to a legitimate error around eligibility.

    The reason is to enforce the norms about voting being important and discourage anyone from a large scale ballot stuffing activity.

    I think we should be equally strict with fraudulent electors and anyone that broke the law in furtherance of a fraudulent elector scheme.

    Trump’s behavior and actions went far beyond sour grapes/complaints about losing. There’s compelling evidence that he was pushing a scheme to delay recognition the results of the lawful election based on lies with the end result being that he be certified as having won based on those lies / flawed legal theories.

    Not every bad act is criminal. But if he (or others) broke the law as part of this scheme and the evidence meets the standard he should be indicted.

    So far I’ve seen little to no evidence that DOJ has been treating the Jan 6 defendants unfairly or unusually harshly (it’s been somewhat gentle from what I can see) so I don’t see much reason to assume
    This is malicious or unjustified.

    Time123 (3ffea7)

  54. Congress approves new election certification rules in response to Jan. 6
    Politics Dec 23, 2022 5:12 PM EDT
    Congress on Friday gave final passage to legislation changing the arcane law that governs the certification of a presidential contest, the strongest effort yet to avoid a repeat of Donald Trump’s violence-inflaming push to reverse his loss in the 2020 election.

    The House passed an overhaul of the Electoral Count Act as part of its massive, end-of-the-year spending bill, after the Senate approved identical wording Thursday. The legislation now goes to President Joe Biden for his signature.

    Biden hailed the provisions’ inclusion in the spending bill in a statement Friday, calling it “critical bipartisan action that will help ensure that the will of the people is preserved.”

    It’s the most significant legislative response Congress has made yet to Trump’s aggressive efforts to upend the popular vote, and a step that been urged by the House select committee that conducted the most thorough investigation into the violent siege of the Capitol.

    READ MORE: Jan. 6 panel releases final report, alleges Trump engaged in ‘conspiracy’ to overturn election

    The provisions amending the 1887 law — which has long been criticized as poorly and confusingly written — won bipartisan support and would make it harder for future presidential losers to prevent the ascension of their foes, as Trump tried to do on Jan. 6, 2021.

    “It’s a monumental accomplishment, particularly in this partisan atmosphere, for such a major rewrite of a law that’s so crucial to our democracy,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California Los Angeles. “This law goes a long way toward shutting down the avenues Trump and his allies tried to use in 2020, and could have been exploited in future elections.”

    On Jan. 6, Trump targeted Congress’ ratification of the Electoral College’s vote. He tried to exploit the vice president’s role in reading out the states’ electors to get Mike Pence to block Biden from becoming the next president by omitting some states Biden won from the roll. The new provisions make clear that the vice president’s responsibilities in the process are merely ceremonial and that the vice president has no say in determining who actually won the election.

    The new legislation also raises the threshold required for members of Congress to object to certifying the electors. Before, only one member of the House and Senate respectively had to object to force a roll call vote on a state’s electors. That helped make objections to new presidents something of a routine partisan tactic — Democrats objected to certifying both of George W. Bush’s elections and Trump’s in 2016.

    Those objections, however, were mainly symbolic and came after Democrats had conceded that the Republican candidates won the presidency. On Jan. 6, 2021, Republicans forced a vote on certifying Biden’s wins in Arizona and Pennsylvania even after the violent attack on the Capitol, as Trump continued to insist falsely that he won the election. That led some members of Congress to worry the process could be too easily manipulated.

    Under the new rules, one-fifth of each chamber would be required to force a vote on states’ slates of electors.

    The new provisions also ensure only one slate of electors makes it to Congress after Trump and his allies unsuccessfully tried to create alternative slates of electors in states Biden won. Each governor would now be required to sign off on electors, and Congress cannot consider slates submitted by different officials. The bill creates a legal process if any of those electors are challenged by a presidential candidate.

    The legislation would also close a loophole that wasn’t used in 2020 but election experts feared could be, a provision that state legislatures can name electors in defiance of their state’s popular vote in the event of a “failed” election. That term has been understood to mean a contest that was disrupted or so in doubt that there’s no way to determine the actual winner, but it is not well-defined in the prior law.

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/congress-approves-new-election-certification-rules-in-response-to-jan-6

    There certainly was a lot of law clarifying after Trump “lied” about a novel scheme.

    It is almost as if lawyers were being lawyers on the face of ambiguity and were hoping the judiciary would have intervened.

    BuDuh (681e00)

  55. …in the face of…

    BuDuh (681e00)

  56. Buduh, do you believe Trump’s claims were made in good faith and based on assertions that are supported by evidence?

    Time123 (3ffea7)

  57. But, he’s also argued that the election was unfair.

    I think people are hanging their hats on the “lost the election”, and ignoring his arguments that if the election was held fairly, he’d wiN

    He’s made many statements.

    Some of them can be categorized as “unfair or illegitimate” which could be argued to include events that fall within the law such as the media not covering events in the way he wanted.

    Some of the others can be categorized as “determined by fraudulent votes.”

    It’s the second one that’s more of a provable statement of fact, and from what I recall motivates many of his supporters.

    Time123 (3ffea7)

  58. But, if Smith’s indictment is going to be the standard, someone would need to explain to me how the Clinton campaign doesn’t get charged with these standards for perpetuating the Russian Collusion story.

    What law do think was broken based on their statements?

    Durham looked hard for that law and didn’t find much he could prove in court.

    Time123 (3ffea7)

  59. Buduh, do you believe Trump’s claims were made in good faith and based on assertions that are supported by evidence?

    I agree with Paul and Rip that until every last shred of evidence has been turned over to the public either outright, through hearings, or through a trial, we have no way of knowing what is partisan tripe.

    BuDuh (681e00)

  60. @57

    Buduh, do you believe Trump’s claims were made in good faith and based on assertions that are supported by evidence?

    Time123 (3ffea7) — 8/2/2023 @ 11:15 am

    I’m not Buduh…

    But, I genuinely believe Trump claims were made in good faith.

    The evidence is belied by the fact that in much of those contested states, election laws were update/laxed due to COVID with massive influx of absentee ballots.

    When you have massive absentee ballots, like in 2020, you’re leaving the election vulnerable to shenanigans by the simple fact that “chain of custody” is almost non-existent, and impossible to prove wrong doings.

    Trump knows he lost the election. He’s not LARP’ing around in his Trump Plane™ running the executive branch.

    He continually believes there were fraud. 10 seconds on Truth Social will tell you that.

    If you continue to believe something is “x”, then you are acting in good faith based on that, even if you end up being wrong.

    That’s why I don’t think the Government would have an easy time convicting Trump on whether he knew his fraud claims was a lie. However, I’ll assert that in a DC court/jury, I’m betting that he’ll be convicted easily simply because of the partisan nature.

    whembly (7baeb9)

  61. @59

    What law do think was broken based on their statements?

    Durham looked hard for that law and didn’t find much he could prove in court.

    Time123 (3ffea7) — 8/2/2023 @ 11:24 am

    Because Durham isn’t using the same rationale as Smith.

    Also, Durham can see that he won’t get a favorable court case in DC, so why press the issue? He literally caught that lawyer red-handed in forging the FISA records, and the lawyer basically got off scott-free.

    whembly (7baeb9)

  62. states can always submit an alternate elector slate to Congress.

    Did I misunderstood that?

    whembly (5f7596) — 8/2/2023 @ 8:46 am

    Yes. States can only submit elector slates the support the certified election results, and the fake election slates weren’t the Trump electors that would have been submitted had Trump won those states. The fake electors were recruited after the election results were certified.

    The Trump plan began with an effort to persuade Republican officials in the targeted states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — to help draft, or to put their names on, documents that declared Mr. Trump to be the victor.
    ………….
    ………….(A)s Mr. Trump had been told by his campaign aides and eventually even his attorney general, there were no legitimate claims of fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the race, and the seven states all certified Mr. Biden’s Electoral College victory on Dec. 14, 2020. Mr. Trump and his allies barreled ahead with the electors plan nonetheless, with an increasing focus on using the ceremonial congressional certification process on Jan. 6 to derail the transfer of power.

    Ultimately, several dozen of Mr. Trump’s allies in the states signed false slates of electors, and most were unequivocal in their contention that Mr. Trump had won. ………

    Once the false pro-Trump slates had been created, Mr. Trump and his allies turned to the second part of the plan: strong-arming Mr. Pence into considering them during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. The point was to persuade Mr. Pence to say that the election was somehow flawed or in doubt.
    …………
    Some pro-Trump elector slates were filed with the National Archives. It is a federal crime to knowingly submit false statements or documentation to a federal agency for an undue end.
    …………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  63. Durham didn’t catch the lawyer. The IG caught him and gave it to Durham to prosecute. Durham chose to plead it out.

    Time123 (3ffea7)

  64. I agree with Paul and Rip that until every last shred of evidence has been turned over to the public either outright, through hearings, or through a trial, we have no way of knowing what is partisan tripe.

    BuDuh (681e00) — 8/2/2023 @ 11:24 am

    I know partisan tripe when I see it here.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  65. I have seen a few internet commenters say that this indictment is a real close version of the Impeachment articles. Some suggested that if that were true, then double jeopardy may come into play.

    Here is the how the jury voted on the Impeachment:

    Question: Guilty or Not Guilty (Article of Impeachment Against Former President Donald John Trump )
    Vote Number: 59
    Vote Date: February 13, 2021, 03:39 PM
    Required For Majority: 2/3
    Vote Result: Not Guilty

    https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_votes/vote1171/vote_117_1_00059.htm

    An interesting concept to debate, IMO.

    BuDuh (681e00)

  66. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/2/2023 @ 11:45 am

    LOL!

    BuDuh (681e00)

  67. I agree with Paul and Rip that until every last shred of evidence has been turned over to the public either outright, through hearings, or through a trial, we have no way of knowing what is partisan tripe.

    BuDuh, care to enlighten me about where/when I said that?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  68. Maybe I misunderstood the Hunter Biden evidence requests.

    BuDuh (681e00)

  69. I have seen a few internet commenters say that this indictment is a real close version of the Impeachment articles. Some suggested that if that were true, then double jeopardy may come into play.

    Impeachment is not a criminal prosecution, therefore double jeopardy would not apply. The only “punishment” is removal and/or ban from office. A person’s liberty is not at issue in an impeachment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  70. So not an interesting concept to debate.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  71. @66 BuDuh (681e00) — 8/2/2023 @ 11:45 am
    Impeachment isn’t a judicial prosecution. It’s a political process.

    So, no double-jeopardy claims here.

    whembly (5f7596)

  72. oof…

    Rip ninja’ed me XD

    whembly (5f7596)

  73. Impeachment is not a criminal prosecution, therefore double jeopardy would not apply. The only “punishment” is removal and/or ban from office. A person’s liberty is not at issue in an impeachment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/2/2023 @ 11:52 am

    See here.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  74. Ahhh.

    Thanks.

    BuDuh (681e00)

  75. BuDuh has made it clear he is against law breakers and law breaking, folks. It’s just that he cannot ever find an occasion when an indictment against Trump involves a law he might have broken.

    Appalled (bad7ac)

  76. Not that he’s saying Trump is innocent or anything…he’s just pointing out flaws in the arguments.

    Time123 (3ffea7)

  77. Appalled goes for the win!

    Wahoo!!

    BuDuh (681e00)

  78. I couldn’t have done it without Time123’s able contribution.

    Appalled (5135d6)

  79. This looks interesting, but I will have to read it later.

    Whether a Former President May Be Indicted and Tried for the Same Offenses for Which He was Impeached by the House and Acquitted by the Senate

    The Constitution permits a former President to be indicted and tried for the same offenses for which he was impeached by the House of Representatives and acquitted by the Senate.
    August 18, 2000
    Memorandum Opinion for the Attorney General

    I skipped to the conclusion:

    IV. Conclusion
    We conclude that the Constitution permits a former [’resident to be criminally prosecuted for the same offenses for which he was impeached by the House and acquitted by the Senate while in office.
    As the length of this memorandum indicates, we think the question is more complicated than it might first appear. In particular, we think that there is a reason­able argument that the Impeachment Judgment Clause should be read to bar prosecutions following acquittal by the Senate and that disqualification from fed­ eral office upon conviction by the Senate bears some of the markers of criminal punishment. Nonetheless, we think our conclusion accords with the text of the Constitution, reflects the founders’ understanding of the new process of impeach­ ment they were creating, fits the Senate’s understanding of its role as the impeach­ ment tribunal, and makes for a sensible and fair system of responding to the mis­ deeds of federal officials.

    I wonder what the “reasonable argument” is. Hopefully it is outlined in the memorandum.

    Is this something else that has not really been tested?

    This article has an interesting question as well: https://verdict.justia.com/amp/2020/01/03/can-a-president-who-is-reelected-after-being-acquitted-in-one-impeachment-case-be-retried-by-a-subsequent-senate

    At least it is interesting to me.

    BuDuh (681e00)

  80. Good on you for the shout out, Appalled.

    BuDuh (681e00)

  81. A situation where Trump is convicted before the election, then wins on appeal after the election, would be a worst case scenario for the Republic. A criminal suit targeting a political opponent had better be slam dunk, considering all possible appeals. Novel legal theories are not to be played with. That his claims of a rigged 2020 election are bogus won’t matter when you hand him the legal high ground to claim the 2024 election was rigged. I’d rather his claims remain in the bogus domain.

    lloyd (ba21a9)

  82. Morning Consult Republican Primary Tracking Poll (Pre-Third Indictment Edition)

    ………
    With 58% backing, Trump leads DeSantis by 43 percentage points among potential GOP primary voters, one of the former president’s largest advantages over his nearest challenger since Morning Consult began tracking the primary race in early December. DeSantis’ support has flatlined in recent days at 15%, a tracking low.

    While DeSantis’ support has slipped over the past month, Vivek Ramaswamy has been steadily trending upward. …….

    Potential GOP primary voters are 21 points more likely to hold negative views than positive views about former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, marking his worst showing by that metric since he entered the race in June. ……..
    ……..
    Ramaswamy is backed by 9% of the party’s potential voters, followed by former Vice President Mike Pence (7%), and Haley, Scott and Christie (each at 3%). North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Rep. Will Hurd are each backed by 1% of the GOP’s expected electorate.
    ………
    Hypothetical head-to-head matchups show Biden leading Trump by 3 points and DeSantis by 6 points among the general electorate. ……..
    ………
    Trump is popular with 71% of the party’s potential electorate, while 26% view him unfavorably. It marks a low point in Trump’s net favorability rating among Republican primary voters since tracking began, though he remains more popular than any other GOP candidate.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  83. Maybe I misunderstood the Hunter Biden evidence requests.

    Maybe you did, BuDuh, because that was a partisan and tripey thing of you to do, putting your words in my mouth.
    I don’t recall saying much about Hunter and evidence.
    I do recall saying that a serious allegation such as Joe Biden taking a bribe while VP demands serious evidence, but that’s just common sense, right?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  84. From the Weekend Open Thread:

    What? No insurrection or sedition charges???

    Cowards were afraid they’d be lynched.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/1/2023 @ 3:08 pm

    ………

    Those may still be added by superseding indictments.

    whembly (5f7596) — 8/1/2023 @ 3:15 pm

    I think Trump wasn’t charged with insurrection or sedition is that they are hard to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The reason the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys were convicted of sedition is that the was text message trails within each group that linked members in a common conspiracy to commit sedition. Unless the Special Counsel had the same type of evidence linking Trump to those two groups it would almost be impossible to charge him with those two crimes. Trump’s Ellipse speech alone would not be enough, the First Amendment protected that speech. The SC would need to identify overt acts committed by Trump to justify an insurrection and/or seditious conspiracy indictment. I doubt we will see a superseding indictment for these crimes.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  85. To those bringing up the False Elector scheme is enough to convict Trump:
    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/you-cant-change-reality-just-by-sending-lies-to-the-national-archives/

    Item one: As part of the baseless effort to dispute Joe Biden’s victory, Trump electors in seven states met in their states and cast purported “electoral votes” for Trump, even though Biden had won the popular vote in those states. As I detailed at the time, those votes were never authorized or certified by any arm of their states’ governments. Yet, the existence of these thoroughly bogus “electoral votes” was the predicate for John Eastman’s advice to Donald Trump and Mike Pence about how Pence and/or Republicans in Congress might thwart the counting of Biden’s electors. In order to provide a fig leaf of justification for that scheme, phony “certificates” were sent to the National Archives, which under the Electoral Count Act plays a role in receiving and transmitting the legitimate certificates signed by each state’s governor. The phony certificates were, apparently, made up in the same format as legitimate ones, with similar recitals.

    This is, of course, indefensible, and a sign of detachment from reality. But is it a crime? Because these were false statements intended to influence the outcome of a legal process, some have argued that it is. George Conway, for example: “Anyone who prepared or submitted, or aided, abetted or conspired in the preparation or submission of, false electoral-vote certificates, would presumably be guilty of a host of federal and state criminal offenses.” The Justice Department is investigating, and Democratic politicians such as Nevada governor Steve Sisolak are calling for prosecution. Certainly, at least some of the key elements of a federal or state crime are present here.

    The people who filed the fake certificates have nobody but themselves to blame if they get prosecuted, but there are reasons to doubt that a criminal case would actually stand up in court, and prosecutors ought to think twice about bringing one. There would be one big obstacle to prosecution, at least under most of the major federal laws, and many state laws as well:
    Lies and fraud have to be material. Materiality is a traditional common-law element of fraud that the Supreme Court has read into most false statement and fraud statutes. A false statement is material if it has “a natural tendency to influence, or [is] capable of influencing, the decision of the decisionmaking body to which it was addressed.” United States v. Gaudin (1995). The requirement of materiality prevents not only civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions over trivial matters, but also over lies when the person receiving the lie knows the truth anyway, or does not care. As the Supreme Court explained in 2016 in Universal Health Servs., Inc. v. United States, a False Claims Act case involving false representations that a claimant has complied with all relevant laws:

    Under any understanding of the concept, materiality look to the effect on the likely or actual behavior of the recipient of the alleged misrepresentation. In tort law, for instance, a matter is material in only two circumstances: (1) if a reasonable man would attach importance to it in determining his choice of action in the transaction; or (2) if the defendant knew or had reason to know that the recipient of the representation attaches importance to the specific matter in determining his choice of action, even though a reasonable person would not . . .

    If the Government pays a particular claim in full despite its actual knowledge that certain requirements were violated, that is very strong evidence that those requirements are not material. Or, if the Government regularly pays a particular type of claim in full despite actual knowledge that certain requirements were violated, and has signaled no change in position, that is strong evidence that the requirements are not material. (Quotations and citations omitted)

    Prosecutors may argue that the existence of the false certificates was material because they were used as a pretext by those who objected to Biden’s certification. But the reality is, everybody involved in the process knew that these were not real certificates backed by a governor, a legislature, or any arm of a state government, or representing the outcome of the actual popular vote in those states. That was all out in the open, and widely reported at the time, in press reports I summarized as they happened.

    but the simple reality is that everybody knew these were not real certificates just because they were sent to the National Archives. It was all a fantasy.

    whembly (5f7596)

  86. Another point I’ve seen making rounds, is this:

    If these crimes that Smith are so heinous, with such grave implications… why isn’t he charging the co-conspirators?

    By not indicting the co-conspirators, Jack Smith has unwittingly lent support to the notion that this is all about stopping Trump from being President again than to seek justice.

    whembly (5f7596)

  87. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/2/2023 @ 12:52 pm

    Trump’s Ellipse speech alone would not be enough, the First Amendment protected that speech.

    And reality. You couldn’t start a riot with that speech even if you wanted to. There’s legitimacy behind this first amendment ruling.

    Trump could not be guilty of causing the storming of the Capitol unless he was in secret planning with the “insurrectionist” and the evidence is that he did not expect it (although some of his top aides, like Mark Meadows, were worried – and the disorder had already started in fact when he left the podium at the Ellipse) and schemed to prevent him from going to the Capitol, where he intended to give another speech, and then probably go inside and lobby Congressional Republicans in person. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy dearly did not want him to go into his office and communicated that several days before.

    The SC would need to identify overt acts committed by Trump to justify an insurrection and/or seditious conspiracy indictment.

    There were none. Not on the part of Donald Trump. He had other plans which conflicted with that. It should not have been in the impeachment resolution.

    This indictment is based entirely on the “legal” and peaceful strategy, and on some attempts to get some people to act contrary to the constitution or to the law, (including an aborted attempt to get the Department of Justice to issue a statement saying they had found evidence of significant election fraud, which they had not!) most of which came to nothing..

    Trump simply didn’t have the votes for any of what he was doing to work, and not enough Republicans were corruptly influenced. They were most influenced where they knew it wouldn’t matter. (i.e. they voted to object to electoral votes when they knew the vote would lose.)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  88. whembly, I think Smith is prioritizing Trump over his henchmen, for timing reasons, and I see nothing wrong with that. Also, it’s possible they could flip, like Meadows did.

    As for McLaughlin’s piece, I don’t think Trump should get a pass because his scheme was ill-conceived and amateurish and badly executed. Intent matters, and Trump intended to reverse a legitimate election result. Should a bank robber be any less penalized because he tripped and fell on his face on the way out, and then his getaway car stalled?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  89. 84. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/2/2023 @ 12:38 pm

    I do recall saying that a serious allegation such as Joe Biden taking a bribe while VP demands serious evidence, but that’s just common sense, right?

    There was an allegation that might be about Joe Biden (but actually might be about Jim Biden) and is anyway likely false, because Zlochevsky had an interest in claiming to have bribed people too big to touch.

    But the IRS agents had a legitimate complaint in that this not followed up.

    You just let something like that hang there?

    Let’s say Zlochevsky laundered money, maybe pocketed most of it himself

    Where was it really going?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  90. Whembly @86 seems like a fraudulent elector (not to be confused with a faithless one) would be far more material then a single (or even a few thousand) fraudulent votes. Yet we prosecute voter fraud aggressively.

    Details of the specific laws will matter a lot obviously.

    Time123 (f0a8ca)

  91. Whembly,

    I always thought the alternate electors scheme was kind of pathetic. However, had January 6 gone as planned, it was one of the steps precedent to overturning the election. So I think these little pieces of paper are material to Trump’s corrupt scheme. They were meant to provide a basis for objecting to the election.

    Appalled (0003aa)

  92. think the government can’t prove Trump knowingly lied about the election: what sort of evidence would it take for you to agree that, in fact, the government can prove that?

    A lot of things.

    Maybe they could use the fact that several people gave Trump detailed point by point rebuttals of the election fraud claims he was getting, and he would seem to concede the point, but later repeated allegations again as though he’d never heard the rebuttals.

    Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen and the others who were with him went through all of them.

    https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/day-5-of-jan-6-committee-hearings-6-23-22-transcript

    Mr. Donahue: (39:28)
    So I felt in that conversation that was incumbent on me to make it very clear to the president, what our investigations had revealed, and that we had concluded based on actual investigations, actual witness interviews, actual reviews of documents that these allegations simply had no merit. I wanted to try to cut through the noise because it was clear to us that there were a lot of people whispering his ear, feeding him these conspiracy theories and allegations. And I felt that being very blunt in that conversation might help make it clear to the president that these allegations were simply not true.

    Mr. Donahue: (40:07)
    So as he went through them and what for me was a 90-minute conversation or so, and what for the former acting AG was a two hour conversation. As the president went through them, I went piece by piece to say, “No, that’s false. That is not true.” And to correct him really in a serial fashion as he moved from one theory to another.

    Adam Kinzinger: (40:28)
    Can you give me an example of one or two of those theories?

    Mr. Donahue: (40:31)
    So one that was very clear at that point was the Antrim County, the ASOG report that I mentioned earlier. The Allied Security Operations Group released this report that 68% error rate. There was in fact, an Antrim County, a hand recount. Had nothing to do with the department. The department did not request that. That Was pursuant to litigation brought by other parties. But there was a hand recount…

    ….Mr. Donahue: (41:35)
    So that was one very explicit one. And I think you see that reflected in my notes. We went through a series of others. The truck driver who claimed to have moved an entire truck to trailer of ballots from New York to Pennsylvania. That was also incorrect. We did an investigation with the FBI interview witnesses at the front end and the back end of that trailer’s transit from New York to Pennsylvania. We looked at loading manifest. We interviewed witnesses including of course the driver. And we knew it wasn’t true. Whether the driver believed or not was never clear to me, but it was just not true. So that was another one that I tried to educate the president on. There were a series of others, mostly in swing states. Of course, he wanted to talk a great deal about Georgia, the State Farm arena video, which he believed for various reasons was as he said it, “Fraud staring you right in the face.”

    ….Adam Kinzinger: (42:36)
    So during this conversation, did you take handwritten notes directly quoting the president?

    Mr. Donahue: (42:41)
    I did. And to make it clear, Attorney General Rosen called me on my government cell phone said he’d been on the phone with the president for some time. The president had a lot of these allegations. I was better versed in what the department had done just because I had closer contact with the investigations and the AG asked me to get on the call. Of course, I agreed. I began taking notes only because at the outset the president made an allegation I had not heard.

    Mr. Donahue: (43:09)
    I had heard many of these things. I knew many of them were investigated, but when the president, at least, when I came to the conversation, when he began speaking, he brought up an allegation I was completely unaware of. And of course that concerned us. So I simply reached out and grabbed a note pad off my wife’s nightstand and a pen, and I started jotting it down. That had to do with an allegation that more than 200,000 votes were certified in the state of Pennsylvania that were not actually cast. Sometimes the president would say, it was 205. Sometimes he would say it was 250, but I’d not heard this before.

    Mr. Donahue: (43:44)
    I wanted to get the allegation down clearly so that we can look into it if appropriate. And that’s why I started taking those notes. And then as the conversation continued, I just continued to take the notes.

    And then there was the attempt to get DOJ to say something it did not believe:

    Adam Kinzinger: (45:44)

    Let’s take a look at another one of your notes. You also noted that Mr. Rosen said to Mr. Trump, quote, “DOJ can’t and won’t snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election.” How did the president respond to that, sir?

    Mr. Donahue: (45:59)
    He responded very quickly and said, “Essentially, that’s not what I’m asking you to do. What I’m just asking you to do is just say it was
    corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.”

    The indictment says it was to affect state election officials. But the testimony is that Trump said he wanted some members of Congress to use this (false) statement by DOJ in an argument.

    Trump may have believed there was fraud to find but they were telling him that to date they had not found any such thing. None of these allegations had checked out.

    You can use things like that to argue that Trump knew he was lying.

    But not the mere fact that a lot of people told him that the election wasn’t stolen from him.

    And I personally do not believe that Trump thought any of these allegations were true. Because he can’t be that stupid.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  93. To me, telling people privately that a claims is crazy and unsupported, and then pushing it publicly, seems like the paradigmatic example of proof of a knowing lie.

    That’s true, at least for that point.. Although he could have changed his mind. But Trump is willing to say anything he likes that some other people have previously said.

    What is not proof that he knew he was lying is that plenty of people he should have trusted told him that he lost the election and that’s the thing I don’t like..

    Point by point rebuttals is more like it.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  94. Everyone?

    Everyone I’m willing to talk to.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  95. Appalled (0003aa) — 8/2/2023 @ 2:09 pm

    So I think these little pieces of paper are material to Trump’s corrupt scheme. They were meant to provide a basis for objecting to the election.

    No, the basis was the stolen election claims.

    The little pieces of paper were to give him some other Electoral votes that Congress could accept, if there were the votes to do it. But there weren’t, and there weren’t going to be, and truthfully it wouldn’t end there if Congress did.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  96. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/2/2023 @ 1:36 p

    Trump intended to reverse a legitimate election result. Should a bank robber be any less penalized because he tripped and fell on his face on the way out, and then his getaway car stalled?

    Trump intended to try and this was like a bank robber who came up with a plan for robbing a bank that could never work.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  97. I think Trump wasn’t charged with insurrection or sedition is that they are hard to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    But insurrection, or at least aiding and abetting same, doesn’t rely on proving a state of mind, only in proving actions and their logical consequences. It might be hard to prove, but what they did charge is no easier, at best.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  98. The insurrection lasted until Trump told them to go home. He delayed doing that for hours, despite family members and aides pleading with him to do so.

    You may not be able to prove that he instigated the riot, but he abetted it and that can be proven.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  99. whembly (c88dc4) — 8/1/2023 @ 6:24 pm

    @JonathanTurley
    Special Counsel Jack Smith just issued the first criminal indictment of

    alleged disinformation in my view. If you take a red pen to all of the material presumptively protected by the First Amendment, you can reduce much of the indictment to haiku…

    Shouldn’t he say Swiss cheese?

    And doesn’t that mean he thinks there’d still be a little bit left that was indictable?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  100. 99. Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/2/2023 @ 2:32 pm

    The insurrection lasted until Trump told them to go home. He delayed doing that for hours, despite family members and aides pleading with him to do so.

    But before he told them to go home, he told them not to attack the police. This is routinely omitted.

    Trump simply didn’t want to end the rally just because some of the people there had stormed into the building..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  101. BuDuh (681e00) — 8/2/2023 @ 11:45 am

    I have seen a few internet commenters say that this indictment is a real close version of the Impeachment articles.

    It’s more like what the second impeachment resolution should have been, because it is more truthful.

    Whether to convict depends upon how egregious you think Trump’s actions were.

    There;s no issue of double jeopardy in any case.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  102. The regular Republican electors apparently weren’t willing to go along. The hope was the state legislature might retroactively authorize them.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  103. @99

    The insurrection lasted until Trump told them to go home. He delayed doing that for hours, despite family members and aides pleading with him to do so.

    You may not be able to prove that he instigated the riot, but he abetted it and that can be proven.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/2/2023 @ 2:32 pm

    What specific statute is that? The “he abetted it and that can be proven“???

    We need to be careful here and clearly denote what is a political speech/action vs criminal acts.

    Impeachment/Removal was absolutely the right thing to do there and Congress F’ed up there.

    These indictments smacks of impeachment via Criminal Lawfare.

    whembly (5f7596)

  104. The criminal charges that Trump abetted the insurrection are the indictments that involve Trump conspiring with co-conspirator 4.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  105. But before he told them to go home, “he told them not to attack the police.” This is routinely omitted.

    FIFY.

    Did you know that, during Prohibition, grape growers would sell grapes through the mail, with careful and detailed instructions on how NOT to make wine accidentally.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  106. What specific statute is that? The “he abetted it and that can be proven“???

    18 USC 2383:

    Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  107. Folks: can we please not have candidates who are alternately egomaniacal and senile? I am so tired of people on both sides defending Trump or Biden.

    One can hold one’s nose when voting—I always have—but this is ridiculous. Trump lacks all self control and defeats his own goals, and Biden is now completely run by various special interest groups.

    No one can think these are good candidates, despite all the cheerleading.

    Me, I want NONE OF THE ABOVE as an option on every ballot. And if it wins a plurality, things have to start over.

    I just read AllahNick’s essay. You all should too.

    https://thedispatch.com/newsletter/boilingfrogs/were-not-coming-all-the-way-back-from-this/

    What a terrible world we live in now.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  108. There was an allegation that might be about Joe Biden (but actually might be about Jim Biden) and is anyway likely false, because Zlochevsky had an interest in claiming to have bribed people too big to touch.

    No, Sammy. There was an allegation, based on the FD-1023 form that Grassley released, that Zlochevsky paid $5 million to Hunter and $5 million to Joe while he was VP. But it’s an allegation, there’s no evidence of such payments occurring.

    But the IRS agents had a legitimate complaint in that this not followed up.

    That’s a separate issue, and that’s really between Ziegler-Shapley and Weiss.

    You just let something like that hang there?

    It’s not up to me let something hang or not hang. Weiss is going to testify under oath next month, and I’m reserving judgment until he does. I saw Ziegler on Smerconish and he made a strong case. But again, that’s a conflict between DOJ and Treasury.

    Let’s say Zlochevsky laundered money, maybe pocketed most of it himself. Where was it really going?

    Let’s not say, because I’d rather not engage in hypotheticals. We do know that he was investigated by the UK for laundering $23 million, and Shokin blocked the UK’s efforts.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  109. Cheer up, Simon. We still have the DOJ to trust. They will get us back on track.

    BuDuh (681e00)

  110. If a person has moments of acquiescence to election results being fair, is every denial of those results that follows, a lie?

    Am I right in guessing the lie needs to be established?

    I see Trump as arguing he has been overwhelmingly consistent in saying for 2.5 years that he believes with his heart, body and soul that his win was stolen, and the statements to the contrary attributed to him were at best, snapshots in a turbulent time as he was considering alternative points of view.

    steveg (596202)

  111. I see Trump as arguing he has been overwhelmingly consistent in saying for 2.5 years that he believes with his heart, body and soul that his win was stolen

    Grifters grift by making you think that they believe the BS.

    norcal (b2912a)

  112. I agree, norcal. Trump needed more than the public to nelieve him he needed lots of very specific people to believe he won or had votes stolen — lawyers, election officials, state officials, Pence and other federal officials, etc. Trump had to stick to the stolen election script to make that happen.

    But I don’t think the legal requirement is what did Trump believe in his heart of hearts. I think it is enough to show that his public statements were not consistent with his private statements.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  113. The 6th criminal co-conspirator is Boris Epshtyn. All six are lawyers, and they should’ve known better.

    Also, I echo Simon’s comments about Catoggio.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  114. I argued as far back as 2016 that the GOP needed to split. If all that can happen now is for Trump to be renominated, the actual Right needs to find another path.

    Sure, it will result in disaster in 2024 (and maybe 2026), but the split is now unavoidable. It’s happened before (the Democrat Convention of 1860 for one), but in the end, that split settled the issue that split it. It happened in 1828, when the Democrat Party split into Jacksonian and Whig factions.

    It needs to split now. Hijacking the “No Labels” effort might be a way.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  115. If God wants to intervene, it’s fine with me.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  116. There may have been issues with how states promoted mail-in voting, and some of that may have been unfair. But ALL Trump needed to do was get his people voting by mail too and he would have won handily.

    Then again, he probably never understood Statistics, which is odd for such a frequent liar.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  117. From AllahNick’s piece:

    [P]ause here and reflect that the “Trump really believed this insanity” insanity defense is being offered on behalf of a person who’s 35 points ahead in the Republican presidential primary. Much of the right will soon be claiming simultaneously that he can’t be convicted because he can’t distinguish self-serving delusions from reality—and also that he should be president again, with America’s nuclear arsenal at his command.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  118. trump and biden the two party system in action. As a progressive I am waiting to see which titanic hits the iceberg first. AOC 2028!

    asset (7479fb)

  119. trump and biden the two party system in action

    asset (7479fb) — 8/2/2023 @ 6:24 pm

    For the umpteenth time, it’s not the “system”. It’s dumb voters.

    norcal (b2912a)

  120. For the umpteenth time, it’s not the “system”. It’s dumb voters.

    norcal (b2912a) — 8/2/2023 @ 6:55 pm

    Lol.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  121. For the umpteenth time, it’s not the “system”. It’s dumb voters.

    It may be worse than that. It’s the Internet. Before the Internet, people had a hard time discovering the “preference cascade” — like minded people who didn’t know how common their views were and believed the gaslighting from the top.

    Now, they’ve discovered that many many people believe, like they do, that the Moon landing was faked, that W was behind 9-11, and that vaccines are the Devil’s work (as is that “Science” and “Math” stuff that flunked them out of High School).

    Now, they have POWER, and won’t be fooled again.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  122. @107

    What specific statute is that? The “he abetted it and that can be proven“???

    18 USC 2383:

    Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/2/2023 @ 3:33 pm

    That’s really stretching it there my dude.

    whembly (5f7596)

  123. whembly, it is actually stretching the benefit of the doubt to say he did not do ALL of that.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  124. @108

    Folks: can we please not have candidates who are alternately egomaniacal and senile? I am so tired of people on both sides defending Trump or Biden.

    One can hold one’s nose when voting—I always have—but this is ridiculous. Trump lacks all self control and defeats his own goals, and Biden is now completely run by various special interest groups.

    No one can think these are good candidates, despite all the cheerleading.

    Me, I want NONE OF THE ABOVE as an option on every ballot. And if it wins a plurality, things have to start over.

    I just read AllahNick’s essay. You all should too.

    https://thedispatch.com/newsletter/boilingfrogs/were-not-coming-all-the-way-back-from-this/

    What a terrible world we live in now.

    Simon Jester (c8876d) — 8/2/2023 @ 3:36 pm

    I’m right there with you. Why do you think I’m an advocate for DeSantis?

    However, if it’s Biden/Harris/Newsom/pick-your-flavor-Democrats vs. Trump in the general? I’m voting Trump. Because I truly think Democrat policies will be far lasting than any mercurial Trumpian things he’d do in 4 years.

    whembly (5f7596)

  125. @124

    whembly, it is actually stretching the benefit of the doubt to say he did not do ALL of that.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/2/2023 @ 7:31 pm

    It’s not really stretching the benefit of the doubt.

    You’d open the barn door of placing legal consequences on politicking and speech.

    So, let’s break down 18 USC 2383:

    Whoever incites

    Trump’s behavior, while deplorable, doesn’t not rise to the legal standard if incitement.

    , sets on foot

    We know he didn’t do that.

    , assists

    He’s where you’re pointing out Trump may qualify – what actual material assistance did he provide to those folks who rioted?

    , or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto,

    Seeking redress to courts and government isn’t a rebellion nor insurrection. Publicly announcing that he believe the election was stolen, while wrong, isn’t any of the above and his political speech.

    Again, Jack Smith, who’s a hack in his own right, is twisting and pulling these statute in hopes that anything sticks.

    I want Trump out of the picture here, but not at the expense that pandora’s box is opened and political acts can be prosecuted.

    whembly (5f7596)

  126. This is our problem

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  127. I want Trump out of the picture here, but not at the expense that pandora’s box is opened and political acts can be prosecuted.

    I think that it would be healthy to dial back what politicians can claim.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  128. @128

    I want Trump out of the picture here, but not at the expense that pandora’s box is opened and political acts can be prosecuted.

    I think that it would be healthy to dial back what politicians can claim.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/2/2023 @ 7:54 pm

    That’s for Congress…and ultimately the voting public to decide.

    Not for the justice system to curtail free speech.

    whembly (5f7596)

  129. Yup… this is where I’m at. (but willing to be convinced otherwise!):
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/08/this-trump-indictment-shouldnt-stand/

    Here, it is not even clear that Smith has alleged anything that the law forbids. The indictment relates in detail Trump’s deceptions, but that doesn’t mean they constitute criminal fraud. As the Supreme Court reaffirmed just a few weeks ago, fraud in federal criminal law is a scheme to swindle victims out of money or tangible property. Mendacious rhetoric in seeking to retain political office is damnable — and, again, impeachable — but it’s not criminal fraud, although that is what Smith has charged. […]

    whembly (5f7596) — 8/2/2023 @ 7:44 am

    Ken White characterizes that NRO assertion as an outright lie:

    “National Review is lying to you about the Supreme Court and about what’s charged here. The Special Counsel charged Trump with defrauding the United States under Section 371. The Supreme Court and lower courts have repeatedly and specifically ruled that Section 371 doesn’t require a scheme to take money or property. National Review is referring to the latest in a line of cases interpreting a completely different statute, the wire fraud statute, that includes a “money or property” requirement in its text:

    Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice . . . .

    Justice Thomas, in the 2023 case to which National Review alludes, expressly relies on that language to find that the wire fraud statute requires a scheme to take money or (as traditionally defined) property. He does not even mention Section 371, which does not include the “money or property” language and which has a long history of Supreme Court and lower court cases holding that the object of the fraud need not be money or property, but can be interfering with government function.

    That’s not just misleading; it’s a flat-out lie about the law.”

    As they say, read the whole thing.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  130. That’s for Congress…and ultimately the voting public to decide.

    Not for the justice system to curtail free speech.

    I’m pretty sure that Congress passed the laws that DoJ is using. Look, you have to be deeply in the tank to think that Trump did not intend and was not pleased with what happened on Jan 6th.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  131. @131

    I’m pretty sure that Congress passed the laws that DoJ is using.

    Kevin, Andrew McCarthy and other lawyer commmentators (albeit Ken White objects, but I think he’s willfully ignoring recent SCOTUS precedents) is arguing that fraud in legal context must be of financial context. He breaks it down really good in the link I posted above, particularly with the recent precedents set by SCOTUS.

    Look, you have to be deeply in the tank to think that Trump did not intend and was not pleased with what happened on Jan 6th.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/2/2023 @ 8:07 pm

    I don’t think he intended for J6 riot to occurred, but I’m sure it didn’t bother him as much as, imo, he took too long to act as President.

    whembly (5f7596)

  132. Kevin, Andrew McCarthy and other lawyer commmentators (albeit Ken White objects, but I think he’s willfully ignoring recent SCOTUS precedents) is arguing that fraud in legal context must be of financial context. He breaks it down really good in the link I posted above, particularly with the recent precedents set by SCOTUS.

    Lol. So Ken’s not just overlooking it, mot just misunderstanding it, but willfully ignoring it. And your evidence for that is? Did you read his post? He specifically addresses the recent SCOTUS precedents. He addresses McCarthy specifically as well as the NRO editorial, and how each of them mis-cited precedent. Care to respond to Ken’s actual legal argument? It’s not complicated.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  133. Look, you have to be deeply in the tank to think that Trump did not intend and was not pleased with what happened on Jan 6th.

    Trump’s a moral cretin. Obviously he was delighted by what unfolded. But being happy that something awful is happening isn’t proof you caused it. There’s a reason I’ve been telling you since day one that he’ll probably be indicted for the crimes (or similar ones) he was charged with, and not for insurrection, sedition, or under any circumstances treason. You have to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended and conspired in, caused or abetted the actual things you’re accusing him of conspiring in, causing or abetting. If that proof exists for Trump, Jan.6 and sedition or insurrection, I’m still waiting for it. Reasonable suspicion? Absolutely. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Not that I’ve seen.

    Prove me wrong. I’ll be thrilled. Start by tying Trump beyond a reasonable doubt to the assault on the Capital. Without that tie, what you’re left are the crimes for which he’s been charged, and for which I hope he’ll be convicted.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  134. *what you’re left with*

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  135. Ken’s piece is masterful. I referenced it at the Dispatch for someone clearly cribbing from the NRO article and relying on Ciminelli. It’s hard to argue with Ken’s reasoning, though perhaps his use of “lying” might be a little overheated.

    Still, with all of the intellectual firepower available at NRO, it is a bit disturbing that they appear to have the law wrong. Sloppiness in rushing to print? Unhealthy advocacy? I just wish people would slow down and really think through what they are saying. For instance, the implications about what some are saying about the 1A and political speech is staggering. I mean you can lie and complain….ala Stacey Abrams….you can’t lie to enable fraud. And the kicker as brought out by Popehat is you don’t need a pecuniary element.

    It’s discouraging that so many flawed analogies are going unchallenged. Seek truth….not just partisan talking points.

    AJ_Liberty (77970e)

  136. @133, please see 130.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  137. It’s not complicated what I want: Trump hanged on the National Mall as an example to all future wannabe Emperors. I realize I won’t get that, but those Roman senators had the right idea when they stitched up Julius Caesar.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  138. perhaps his use of “lying” might be a little overheated

    Yeah, when there’s any doubt, give me Hanlon’s razor. Ken seems to think there is no room for doubt, that McCarthy and NRO are too smart and well-informed to have made that mistake innocently. That’s hard to dispute, but I’d still be less categorical about calling it a lie. If our times have taught us anything, it’s that even extremely smart, well-informed people are capable of honestly persuading themselves of falsehoods they have an interest in believing.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  139. #139

    Geez, all I want is having him have to sit in jail while awaiting his trial, while being denied a phone. He won’t be able to feel his humiliation while hanging stone cold dead on the Mall.

    Appalled (526f03)

  140. This all should have been done in February, 2021. Intead of the meaningless impeachment. But it’s still the same sh!t, different year. The Democrats don’t want Trump gone or in prison. They want him out and about doing his best to help them win elections.

    nk (bb519a)

  141. I’d say that Mr. White was rightfully impassioned, lurker, all the more so because he used to write there.
    It’s not the first time I’ve seen intellectual dishonesty from Andrew McCarthy in defense of Trump. Disappointing.

    Hillary was wrong about a lot of things, almost all things, but she was right about this.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  142. #142

    Emotionally, I feel the way you do. But let’s devil’s advocate — how long does it take to put together a case like this under our current legal system? My “what took you so long” is a real question. (One I have always hoped our gracious host would post about.)

    Appalled (526f03)

  143. @144, yes, it would be great to hear Patterico’s insights into building these cases….and the tactics that Smith might be considering. A lot we just don’t see. We don’t know if Meadows and Kushner are cooperating. We don’t know how likely Giuliani will testify against Trump to avoid finishing his mortal time on earth in a cage without hair dye. But it would be valuable to hear what he believes Smith’s toughest challenges will be….and whether all of this can realistically happen before convention time, especially with the inevitable appeals and requests for delays.

    It’s nice to see him chime in occasionally at The Dispatch. I understand why he prefers to post there as there are just a lot more eyeballs.

    AJ_Liberty (77970e)

  144. To change the subject. Do you remember earlier in the week that Comer had the whole Hunter Biden thing nailed down via his all important hearing featuring Hunter’s partner? Comer even provided a summary of the testimony? Well, it’s being reported that Comer didn’t even show for the hearing.

    https://news.yahoo.com/james-comer-skipped-panel-big-173657040.html

    It’s hard to take this stuff seriously if the people promoting this don’t seem to do so.

    Appalled (f49231)

  145. One last link — for those interested. Devon Archer’s testimony is now fully available:

    https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Devon-Archer-Transcript.pdf

    Have at it.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  146. Geez, all I want is having him have to sit in jail while awaiting his trial, while being denied a phone.

    To be mean, you could fill his cell with books.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  147. From Appalled’s link:

    Q Did — during that I’ll say after dinner at the Four Seasons, did Mykola Zlochevsky or Vadym ask Hunter Biden to make any phone calls?

    A Yes, though I was not party to that phone call.

    Q What was the request?

    A The request was I think they were getting pressure and they requested
    Hunter, you know, help them with some of that pressure.

    Q What pressure?

    A Government. Government pressure on their — you know, government pressure from Ukrainian Government investigations into Mykola, et cetera.
    But it was — it was not — it wasn’t like a specific — not a specific request. It was just we were sitting there at the Four Seasons having, you know, coffee and there was — there was Mykola, there was one of the managers for the Four Seasons who managed that property, Vadym. So it wasn’t like a closed — it was not like a specific meeting.

    Q When you say pressure from the government, at this time were you aware that Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma?

    A To the best, I vaguely — whether it was Shokin, I vague — there was a lot of pressure initially. There was — there was several pressure issues. It was kind of a theme of Burisma.
    There was capital tied up in London, 23 million pounds. There was, you know, a U.S. visa denied and then a Mexico visa denied. And then there was — so Shokin wasn’t specifically on my radar as being an individual that was — that was targeting him. But yes, there was constant pressure. And it was like — it was like whack-a-mole in regards to the pressures that had to resolve.

    Mr. Jordan: The request from Mr. — from Mykola Zlochevsky and Vadym to Mr. Biden and/or if you said it was to you, the request for help from whom to deal with what pressure?

    Mr. Archer: The request — you know, basically the request is like, can D.C. help? But there were not — you know, I’m not going to — there were not — it wasn’t like — there weren’t specific, you know, can the big guy help? It was — it’s always this amorphous, can we get help in D.C.?

    Mr. Jordan: The request was help from the United States Government to deal with the pressure they were under from their prosecutor, and that entailed the freezing of assets at the London bank and other things that were going on in Ukraine?

    Mr Archer: Correct

    I don’t know about all the rest of the Shokin malarkey in the excerpt I selected, but the part of the excerpt that I bolded should clear up any confusion as to who The Big Guy is.

    I am hoping that the LOL defense that Hunter partnered with an untrustworthy criminal gets used again. Double edged character assassination is a sight to see.

    BuDuh (681e00)

  148. @144, 145:

    Garland could have appointed a special prosecutor in 2021 and we’d be done with this now. Instead he Gollumed the thing until he was forced to act. The result, intentional or otherwise, is to thoroughly ratfu*k the GOP nomination process.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  149. What specific statute is that? The “he abetted it and that can be proven“???

    18 USC 2383:

    Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/2/2023 @ 3:33 pm

    As I said before, proving incitement or assisting an insurrection would require overt acts, and the mens rea, to prove such a charge. Unless there is evidence (like text/email messages, witnesses to conversations, etc.) it would be very difficult to prosecute Trump for insurrection. Apparently there is not any evidence to prove it “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  150. Convicted felons (and those on the lam) always make the best witnesses.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  151. Regarding Trump’s admission that he lost, yes, he admitted, and I’m sure Smith has more witnesses.

    1. “I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark. This is embarrassing. Figure it out. We need to figure it out. I don’t want people to know that we lost.” — President Trump in December 2020, according to Cassidy Hutchinson.

    2. “A lot of times he’ll tell me that he lost, but he wants to keep fighting it, and he thinks that there might be enough to overturn the election.” — Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, according to Cassidy Hutchinson.

    3. “Can you believe I lost to this guy?” — Trump while watching Biden on TV after the election, according to Alyssa Farah Griffin,

    4. “I’ve had a few conversations with the president where he acknowledged he’s lost. He hasn’t acknowledged that he wants to concede, but he acknowledges that he lost the election.” — Trump Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, according to Cassidy Hutchinson.

    5. “When I didn’t win the election. . . . ” — Trump in 2021, on video, referring to how happy a foreign official was when Trump didn’t win in 2020.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  152. This all should have been done in February, 2021.

    Unfortunately, much of the evidence developed by the January 6th Committee and the Justice Department wasn’t available at that time. In addition, many of the witnesses actively resisted providing any testimony.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  153. The Democrats Republican voters don’t want Trump gone or in prison. They want him out and about doing his best to help them win elections.

    FIFY. Given Trump’s current mortal lock on the Republican electorate (both in polling and betting markets), neither do Republican voters.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  154. 8:15:

    I am hoping that the LOL defense that Hunter partnered with an untrustworthy criminal gets used again.

    8:37:

    Convicted felons (and those on the lam) always make the best witnesses.

    LOL!

    BuDuh (681e00)

  155. There was capital tied up in London, 23 million pounds.

    This could point to Hunter being an unregistered agent under FARA, and if he’s guilty, then he should pay the price.
    However, the excerpt isn’t an indictment against Joe for getting Shokin fired, because this “capital tied up” were funds laundered by Zlochevsky under investigation by the UK, not Shokin.

    Hunter Biden had joined the board of Burisma in April 2014, the same month that British officials froze Zlochevsky’s London bank accounts containing $23 million. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, was conducting a money-laundering investigation and refused to allow Zlochevsky or Burisma Holdings, the company’s chief legal officer, and another company owned by Zlochevsky access to the accounts.

    But the British money-laundering investigation was stymied by Ukrainian prosecutors’ refusal to cooperate. The Ukrainian prosecutors would not turn over documents needed in the British investigation, and without that documentary evidence, a British court ordered Britain’s Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets.

    In September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt gave a speech in which he attacked the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office for failing to cooperate with the British investigation. In his speech — which I quoted in my story — Pyatt mentioned Burisma’s owner by name.

    “In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,” Pyatt said. Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.”

    The $23 million was one of the reasons why US diplomats in Ukraine, like Pyatt, wanted Shokin out.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  156. the excerpt isn’t an indictment against Joe for getting Shokin fired,

    I thought I was pretty clear that I didn’t post the excerpt for that reason nor did I speculate about anything you discussing.

    My focus was narrow.

    Archer describes two kinds of help. “Specific” which is “the big guy,” and “amorphous” which is “help in DC.”

    BuDuh (681e00)

  157. I’m responding to the words in your excerpt, BuDuh. I’m not obligated to follow whatever focus you want it narrowed to, but I did comment about Hunter and FARA.

    Also, I note that Archer demurred on Jordan’s leading and false question “…at this time were you aware that Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma?”
    Lastly, there’s no indication that the US government “helped” Zlochevsky by pressuring Shokin to not cooperate with UK authorities.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  158. It is possible that Trump is hopelessly corrupt AND that the Biden DoJ is weaponized. Trump being the low-hanging fruit.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  159. I’m not obligated to follow whatever focus you want it narrowed to,

    👍

    BuDuh (681e00)

  160. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/3/2023 @ 9:33 am

    Also, I note that Archer demurred on Jordan’s leading and false question “…at this time were you aware that Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma?”

    That’s a big issue.

    And he also could have been conducting a sham or minor investigation.

    Actually the right question here is:

    Did Zlochevsky want anything done with regard to ukrainian Prosecutor General viktor Shokin?

    After all, wa=hat matters is not whether or not or how seriously Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma, but what Zlochevsky or Burisma wanted done.

    Sammy Finkelman (bb74ac)

  161. The “delusion defense” (that Trump genuinely believed his own lies about election fraud) is being teased by Trump’s legal team:

    ………….
    If they proceed to trial, Trump’s lawyers effectively could be asking a jury to believe that the former president was delusional — undermining special counsel Jack Smith’s core thesis that Trump “knowingly” sought to defraud the country.

    The gambit could prove successful in court, where an already unfurling debate over the First Amendment is expected to play a starring role.

    Politically, however, the “delusion defense” would force Republicans into the uncomfortable position of defending a candidate who can’t be trusted to distinguish reality from conspiracy — and who now wants to be president again.
    …………
    “I would like [prosecutors] to try to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Donald Trump believed that these allegations were false,” Trump attorney John Lauro said on Fox News last night.
    …………
    Citing the subpoena power that Trump’s lawyers will be entitled to in the discovery process, Lauro pledged to “re-litigate every single issue in the 2020 election.”
    ……….

    But the indictment takes on Trump’s “delusions”:

    One question this raises is, how might Smith try to prove Trump knew?

    The indictment focuses mostly on what Trump was told, and the overall implausibility of him thinking he had won. But I wonder if Smith might have more direct evidence than the indictment lets on.

    In particular, there have been reports of Trump telling other people that he lost. Here are some of the more prominent examples from the public record:

    “I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark. This is embarrassing. Figure it out. We need to figure it out. I don’t want people to know that we lost.” — President Trump in December 2020, according to Cassidy Hutchinson.

    “A lot of times he’ll tell me that he lost, but he wants to keep fighting it, and he thinks that there might be enough to overturn the election.” — Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, according to Cassidy Hutchinson.

    “Can you believe I lost to this guy?” — Trump while watching Biden on TV after the election, according to Alyssa Farah Griffin,

    “I’ve had a few conversations with the president where he acknowledged he’s lost. He hasn’t acknowledged that he wants to concede, but he acknowledges that he lost the election.” — Trump Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, according to Cassidy Hutchinson.

    “When I didn’t win the election. . . . ” — Trump in 2021, on video, referring to how happy a foreign official was when Trump didn’t win in 2020.

    Granted, the indictment does include a tiny bit of this. Perhaps the most notable is Paragraph 83’s Trump quote that “it’s too late for us. We’re going to give that to the next guy.” But there’s much less in the indictment than in the public record.

    And for all we know, what is in the public record is only part of the story. For example, of the five examples above, two are hearsay. They are Cassidy Hutchinson’s reports of what Meadows and Ratcliffe told her Trump had said. But Smith probably knows more than we do. There have been reports that Mark Meadows cooperated and testified before the grand jury investigating Trump’s post-election conduct. There have also been reports that John Ratcliffe cooperated and testified before that grand jury.

    We can’t be sure, but it seems likely that Jack Smith has testimony directly from Meadows and Ratcliffe of what Trump told them. And if they were talking to Trump every day about this stuff, they presumably know a lot. And there may be other witnesses who talked to Trump at the time, and who are ready to testify about it at trial. We don’t know.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  162. Appalled (03f53c) — 8/3/2023 @ 7:54 am

    One last link — for those interested. Devon Archer’s testimony is now fully available:

    It was reported that it might take several weeks to get the transcript approved.

    I am not too surprised that was wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (bb74ac)

  163. “Can you believe I lost to this guy?” — Trump while watching Biden on TV after the election, according to Alyssa Farah Griffin,

    That’s what I referenced earlier except I had it “I can’t believe I lost to this guy.”

    When saying he won wouldn”t work, sometimes Trump conceded with the person he was talking to that he lost.

    Bill O’Reilly said yesterday that he talks to Trump (Trump calls him, not vice versa) and he thinks Trump truly believes that he won (Why>) “Because he wants to believe it, It’s not hard.”

    I think Trump is just being a good actor who stays in character,

    Sammy Finkelman (bb74ac)

  164. Why wasn’t Trump charged with insurrection?

    ………
    The most significant omission was that Trump was not indicted for insurrection, 18 U.S.C. § 2383. This decision was not particularly surprising, since none of the January 6 defendants have been charged with insurrection. ……
    ………
    ……… (I)f Smith had indicted Trump for violating Section 2383, he would have had to lay out in a systematic fashion why Trump’s conduct amounted to insurrection. Regardless of whether Trump was convicted of violating that statute, state election boards could have relied on that indictment as the predicate to disqualify Trump. In other words, there would have been a common nucleus of operating facts for a Section 3 claim against Trump. Smith’s indictment could have been copied-and-pasted nationwide. But we do not have those facts. …….
    ………
    ………In some legal circles, advocates contend that it is so obvious that Trump committed insurrection. Yet, the special counsel, after studying the issue for months, opted not to bring that charge. Why? Perhaps Smith determined that he could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump engaged in insurrection. Or maybe Smith determined there were considerable legal questions about how to obtain such a conviction–most critically, was there an actual insurrection? (Yes, for the Supreme Court to knock Trump off the ballot, you need five votes to say that there was an insurrection as a matter of law–good luck with that!) Perhaps Smith engaged in a political calculus, and determined that he didn’t need to wade into murky insurrection waters. There were so many other ways to obtain a conviction. Indeed, I speculated that Smith’s decision to avoid “distracting fights” would counsel against bringing a Section 2383 charge. ……
    ………
    Why didn’t Smith charge Trump with inciting violence?

    If you read through the indictment, there are many allegations that seem perfectly suited for an incitement charge. Here is a sampling:
    ………
    Judge Amit Mehta, in a detailed opinion, refused to dismiss the civil incitement lawsuits against Trump. …….. Right or wrong, Smith could have relied on Mehta’s First Amendment analysis to indict Trump for criminal incitement. But Smith didn’t? Why? Maybe he thought the First Amendment analysis would not hold up on appeal to the Supreme Court. Maybe he thought that he may not be able to obtain a criminal conviction with proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Or Smith worried that criminalizing what was, to some at least, a political rally, was too risky. …….
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  165. The New Jack Smith Indictment Is Where Whataboutism Goes to Die

    ……….
    ……….To not have brought this case against Mr. Trump would have been an act of selective non-prosecution. The Justice Department has already charged and obtained convictions for myriad foot soldiers related to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, including charging well over 300 people for obstructing the congressional proceedings. In this indictment, the special counsel Jack Smith wisely brings that same charge, but now against the alleged leader of the effort to thwart the transfer of power.
    ……….
    Although the Jan. 6 select committee referred Mr. Trump for investigation for inciting an insurrection, Mr. Smith wisely demurred. The Justice Department has not charged that offense in any other case involving the attack on the Capitol, and insurrection has not been charged since the 19th century. Of course, no president has engaged in it since then — but since no one else has been charged with that crime relating to Jan. 6, it likely would have been an issue. And since the penalty for the insurrection offense is that the defendant would not be eligible to hold federal office, it would have fueled a claim of weaponizing the Justice Department to defeat a political rival.
    ……….
    To not charge Mr. Trump for trying to criminally interfere with the transfer of power to a duly elected president would be to politicize the matter. It would mean external political considerations had infected the Justice Department’s decision-making and steered the institution away from its commitment to holding everyone equally accountable under the law.

    What those circling their wagons around Mr. Trump are in effect asking for is a two-tiered system, in which the people who were stirred by lies to interrupt the congressional certification are held to account but not the chief instigator. That injustice has not been lost on judges overseeing cases related to Jan. 6. ………
    ………Where both the Manhattan hush money case and classified documents case have been, in some part, mired in discussions of whataboutism, the 2020 election interference indictment is where whataboutism goes to die.

    ………Given the record of robust prosecutions of Jan. 6 foot soldiers and Mr. Trump’s responsibility for their actions, he has had to resort to saying the Capitol attack was good, and he and his enablers have lauded convicted felons as heroes and “political prisoners.” Mr. Trump’s continued statements in favor of the Jan. 6 defendants can and likely will be used against him in any trial.
    ……..
    What is also clear from the indictment is that Mr. Trump will most likely not be the last white-collar defendant charged for the set of crimes it sets out. Mr. Smith clearly, and properly, considers that the six co-conspirators — parts of the indictment describe actions by co-conspirators that correspond with those taken by, for example, Mr. Eastman and Rudy Giuliani — committed federal offenses that threatened the core of our democracy. The rule of law cannot tolerate those actors facing charges with the main protagonist going scot free.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  166. Trump plane about to take off for 4 pm arraignment in DC.

    Also, LIRR train derailment in Queens.,

    Sammy Finkelman (bb74ac)

  167. Actually the right question here is…

    That may be your right question, Sammy, but it’s not mine.
    The false claim that keeps being made by the Trumpist Right is that Shokin was investigating Zlochevsky and Burisma when VP Joe urged his sacking, the clear implication being that Joe was shielding his son from investigations by Ukrainian authorities, but there’s no evidence Shokin did any kind of investigation into the matter. More the opposite, going by his stonewalling UK authorities.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  168. Although there are witnesses who heard Trump admit he lost, per my Reason link above, such admission may not be necessary. To this non-lawyer and non-expert on the US Code, it sounds plausible because the acts speak for themselves. Res ipsa something, because who can accurately divine the mental spaghetti that is Trump’s Brain.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  169. So I re-read Ken White’s recent post, and after you get over his aggressive “they’re lying to you”, I do think he’s right in that, it’s the control precedent and SCOTUS hasn’t ruled on that section, as they did with the section NRO’s position did that it must be financial.

    I’m still worried about issues surrounding 1st Amendment principles and that fraud must be a) deceptive and b) Knowing wrong. Not sure how the government can navigate this.

    whembly (3fad18)

  170. fraud must be a) deceptive and b) Knowing wrong

    That’s separates a crime from merely lying.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  171. I would encourage everyone to list to the podcast The McCarthy Report.

    He addresses obliquely Ken White’s position.

    tldr: McNaulty (sp?) is the controlling precedent. It doesn’t matter that there are older precedent (that Smith is using) to make the case that fraud can be for non-financial acts. In McNaulty, the court emphatically says the in federal law “fraud” is only to be use for financial/property cases.

    I don’t think McCarthy (nor editors of NRO) is going to be persuaded by the likes of Ken Whites.

    whembly (5f7596)

  172. I don’t think McCarthy (nor editors of NRO) is going to be persuaded by the likes of Ken Whites.

    whembly (5f7596) — 8/3/2023 @ 1:40 pm

    That reflects poorly on NRO. From my experience, Ken White is as astute as they come.

    NRO lost its luster when it started holding back so as not to offend Trump voters. It has to worry about subscribers. Ken White? Not so much.

    norcal (515f12)

  173. Item 3 could trip Trump up. SC Smith better a list over to Trump’s lawyers.

    CONDITIONS OF TRUMP RELEASE—
    1. Trump must not violate federal or state law.
    2. Trump must appear in court as directed and must sign an appearance bond.
    3. Trump must not communicate with anyone he knows to be a witness, except through his lawyers or in the presence of his lawyers.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  174. I think #1 could be a problem too. 🤣

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  175. 😂🤣😂😂😅

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  176. I think #1 could be a problem too. 🤣

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/3/2023 @ 2:08 pm

    Ahaha!

    norcal (515f12)

  177. McNaulty (sp?) is the controlling precedent.

    Congress overruled McNally, and Trump has not been charged under the federal mail fraud statute.

    McNally v. United States, decided in 1987, invalidated the government’s “honest services” fraud theory under the mail fraud statute, on the grounds that the law only covers traditional property interests. Congress responded the following year by explicitly recognizing “honest services” as an intangible right protected under federal law.

    Source

    “Honest services fraud” is a scheme to to defraud another of the intangible right to honest services through a scheme to violate a fiduciary duty by bribery or kickbacks, none of which applies to this case.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  178. Corrected link to federal mail fraud statute.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  179. Congress responded the following year by explicitly recognizing “honest services” as an intangible right protected under federal law.

    See Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7603(a):

    SEC. 7603. DEFINITION FOR MAIL FRAUD CHAPTER OF TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE. (a) IN GENERAL.-Chapter 63 of title 18 of the United States Code is amended by adding at the end the following: “§ 1346. Definition of ‘scheme or artifice to defraud’ “For the purposes of this chapter, the term scheme or artifice to defraud’ includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  180. @181 Rip…
    SCOTUS in Skilling v. United States narrowed this definition:
    “§ 1346. Definition of ‘scheme or artifice to defraud’ “For the purposes of this chapter, the term scheme or artifice to defraud’ includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”
    As unconstitutionally vague.

    Pulled from Gorsuch’s controlling opinion in Percoco v. United States from a few months ago, citing Skilling v. United States:

    “[T]he intangible right of
    honest services” must be defned with the clarity typical of
    criminal statutes and should not be held to reach an illdefned category of circumstances simply because of a smat-
    tering of pre-McNally decisions. With this lesson in mind,
    we turn to the question whether the theory endorsed by the
    lower courts in this case gave § 1346 an uncertain breadth
    that raises “the due process concerns underlying the vagueness doctrine.” See 561 U. S., at 408.

    So the Skilling controlling opinion, the precedent, is that Congress’s honest-services statute applies only to bribery and kickback schemes.

    Putting it all together:
    #1 ‘Fraud’, in federal criminal law is confined to deceptive schemes to obtain money or tangible property, and to bribery and kickbacks

    #2 Per the control opinions of SCOTUS, the concept of fraud could be expanded that’s kosher with the Constitution, but:
    (a) that could only be done by Congress, not by creative prosecutors and judges, and…
    (b) if Congress so chooses to enact a new law, it must articulate with sufficient clarity that the average person can reasonably be expected to understand the scope of what is prohibited (citing Scalia here).

    whembly (5f7596)

  181. Irrelevant. None of portions of the US Code are cited in those SC decisions are mentioned in Trump’s indictment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  182. Trump is not charged with “honest services fraud”, or under the mail or wire fraud statutes. If you want to make the case, cite SC decisions interpreting the US code sections mentioned in Trump’s indictment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  183. The judge gave Trump a choice of August 21, August 22 or August 28 for his next court appearance. His lawyers chose August 28, probably following their general policy of delay.

    Trump must also appear August 25 in the documents case in Florida, if I got that right.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  184. 169. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/3/2023 @ 11:11 am

    The false claim that keeps being made by the Trumpist Right is that Shokin was investigating Zlochevsky and Burisma when VP Joe urged his sacking, the clear implication being that Joe was shielding his son from investigations by Ukrainian authorities, but there’s no evidence Shokin did any kind of investigation into the matter. More the opposite, going by his stonewalling UK authorities.

    I said the key question actually is whether Zlochevsky and Burisma asked Hunter Biden (and others e could influence ) to do anything with regard to Shokin, whether he was or was not (seriously) investigating Zlochevsky or Burisma.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  185. @183 Irrelevant. None of portions of the US Code are cited in those SC decisions are mentioned in Trump’s indictment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/3/2023 @ 3:42 pm
    It’s important because if you read those opinions, you’d see how SCOTUS would rule if such a case came before them.

    Prosecutors (and really Congress), really need to take heed from cases like these.

    whembly (5f7596)

  186. It’s important because if you read those opinions, you’d see how SCOTUS would rule if such a case came before them.

    Prosecutors (and really Congress), really need to take heed from cases like these.

    whembly (5f7596) — 8/3/2023 @ 4:01 pm

    The SC has changed a lot since those cases were decided, and the crimes that Trump has been charged with a far more serious than honest services, mail, or wire fraud. We shall see.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  187. First of all, Shokin was not fired at the time of a Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev in March 2016. He was replaced in June 2016 and that’s when the loon guarantees (not cash) were made

    Nobody wants to debunk it. The Republicans because it conflicts with their narrative, and the Democrats because it would sow that Joe Biden lied about causing the firing of the prosecutor at the Q&A session of his speech at the Council on Foreign Relations on January 23, 2018.

    The Washington Post attempted to move Joe Biden’s intervention to December 2015: (while still not saying Biden lied. A lie, I think, Vladimir Putin exploited to influence Giuliani and Trump in 2019)

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/02/correcting-media-error-bidens-ukraine-showdown-was-december/

    This is just a sampling of the many news organizations — starting with the New York Times in the first paragraph of a front-page article — that reported that Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid unless a top prosecutor was fired while on a trip to Kiev in March 2016.

    But here’s the rub: Biden never traveled to Ukraine that month. The Ukrainian president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, traveled to Washington in March — but only after the prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, had already been dismissed by the Ukrainian parliament.

    Why the confusion? Because Biden managed to squeeze months of diplomacy into a few hours when he recounted the story years later at the Council on Foreign Relations. Biden’s tale, ironically, has become exhibit 1 in President Trump’s false narrative that Biden ousted the prosecutor because he was investigating a company associated with his son Hunter Biden. As we have reported, the drive to push out Shokin was an international effort widely celebrated at the time….

    But the loan guarantees were not made in March. They were made after the Ukrainian Parliament passed some anti-corruption laws the U.S. favored.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-crisis-usa-idUKKCN0YP10E

    WORLD NEWS

    JUNE 3, 20165:46 AM UPDATED 7 YEARS AGO

    U.S. signs third $1 billion loan guarantee agreement for Ukraine

    KIEV (Reuters) – The United States and Ukraine signed a $1 billion loan guarantee agreement on Friday, the third such agreement provided by Washington to Kiev since May 2014.

    Washington had promised the aid last November but made it contingent on Kiev continuing to push reforms, which had been derailed by months of political turmoil.

    The signing comes a day after the Ukrainian parliament passed legislation aimed at tackling entrenched corruption in the judicial system.

    “The $1 billion loan guarantee will help support the Government of Ukraine as it continues to implement its economic reform agenda,” U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said in a statement.

    Ukraine is still in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for the third tranche of a bailout deal worth $1.7 billion.

    Joe Biden had nothing to do with withholding or approving the loan guarantee, and the loan guarantee was not tied just to Shokin

    That Vice President Joe Biden personally withheld the loan guarantees and caused the firing of a prosecutor is a BIG LIE which has escaped notice because it’s not in the interests of either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party to debunk it, and because nobody checks it out, or listens carefully..

    Republicans say that Biden had a corrupt motive in causing the firing of the prosecutor and Democrats say firing the prosecutor was U.S. government and other country’s goal and not just something Joe Biden wanted.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  188. The BIG LIE updated version (The beta version was in an online addendum to the August 2016 issue of the Atlantic Monthly)

    HAASS: Before I call—I just want to put one other issue on the floor before I get another question or two, which is Ukraine. This administration, unlike the administration you worked in, decided to provide limited defense articles to Ukraine. Do you think that was a wise decision? And more broadly, do you see any scope for any sort of a deal on eastern Ukraine?

    BIDEN: The answer is yes, I think it was a wise decision. But then again, I was pushing that for two years before we left, so. And the reason is I think the more you up the ante, the cost to Russia for their aggression—I mean, as you all know, and you know this better than anybody, you know, the one big lie going on about Ukraine back in—and the rest of Russia is that no Russian soldiers are engaged. They’re not dying. No body bags are coming home, et cetera. Because there’s overwhelming opposition on the part of the body politic in Russia for engagement in Ukraine in a military sense.

    Do I think they’re—I think the Donbas has potential to be able to be solved, but it takes two things. One of those things is missing now. And that is I’m desperately concerned about the backsliding on the part of Kiev in terms of corruption. They made—I mean, I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

    So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

    Je Biden made tis whole story up.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  189. The beta version of Biden’s lie, the one with the flabbergasted U.S. Ambassador (but not the abruptly cancelled press conference in Kiev):

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/08/joe-biden-interview/497633

    ….For example, [Ukraine President] Poroshenko, I pushed him on getting rid of a corrupt [prosecutor] general. We had committed a billion dollars, I said, “Petro, you’re not getting your billion dollars. It’s OK, you can keep the [prosecutor] general. Just understand—we’re not paying if you do.” I suspended it on the spot, to the point where our ambassador looked at me like, “Whoa, what’d you just do? Do you have the authority?” “Yeah, I got the authority. It’s not going to happen, Petro.” But I really mean it. It wasn’t a threat. I said, “Look, Petro, I understand. We’re not gonna play. It’ll hurt us the following way, so make your own call here.”

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  190. I wonder if Obama told Biden in June that this whole story could explode.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  191. As long as we’re talking about the law, you all know that status crime are unconstitutional, right? It’s not a crime to be a vagrant, or mentally ill, or an addict, for example. Now, from that point of view, has Trump done anything more than be Trump?

    nk (60bf82)

  192. @182. As Rip suggests, you’re ing that Skilling narrowed the meaning of fraud only under the wire fraud statute, a statute that includes the “money or property” requirement Thomas relied on in Cimineli. Who knows, when Trump’s case reaches the Supreme Court, maybe they’ll extend Skilling and Cimineli to overrule Hass v. Henkel and Hammerschmidt v. US‘s reading of Sec.371. But as of now, Hass and Hammerschmidt are still good law.

    Just to remind you, here’s what CJ Taft said in Hammerschmidt:

    To conspire to defraud the United States means primarily to cheat the Government out of property or money, but it also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful governmental functions by deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest. It is not necessary that the Government shall be subjected to property or pecuniary loss by the fraud, but only that its legitimate official action and purpose shall be defeated by misrepresentation, chicane or the overreaching of those charged with carrying out the governmental intention.

    As I said earlier, I won’t call NRO’s and McCarthy’s posts lies, but they’re certainly misleading at best.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  193. *you’re eliding*

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  194. For what it’s worth, I’ve long considered counts 2 and 3 (the obstruction counts) the strongest ones. If Trump is convicted of those and skates on 1 and/or 4, whether by the jury’s doing or SCOTUS’s, I’ll sleep just fine.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  195. If we are going to make SCOTUS predictions, I think the Court might treat the requirement of proof Trump knew he was lying like Countermann vs Colorado (discussed recently by Popehat).

    In that case, Countermann sent messages to a local musician that she found threatening and he was arrested for stalking. His defense was free speech. The law required a showing that Countermann intended the speech as threatening. The Court held instead of subjective proof of threatening intent, it was enough to show he was reckles in how his words would be perceived.

    In Popehat’s words:

    Now, finally, the Court has resolved the question: the First Amendment requires that, at a minimum, the government prove that a speaker was reckless about whether their statement would be interpreted as threatening.

    There us more to it so read the link, but I can see courts holding that proof of subjective intent isn’t required. It is enough to show recklessness.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  196. Specifically, a Court might hold that the First Amendment requires that, at a minimum, the government prove that a speaker was reckless about whether their statement would be interpreted as false.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  197. … or interpreted as true.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  198. The question really isn’t whether Trump lied (he did) or even whether he believed his lies (probably not). Both are protected activities. What is important are the actions he undertook to subvert the electoral process beyond lawsuits, and these are spelled out in paragraph 10 (“The Manner and Means,” on pages 5-6) of the indictment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  199. All are important because all are required elements.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  200. And when you say he “probably” knew it to be false, that is reasonable doubt to defense counsel.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  201. From our erstwhile Attorney General:

    Former Attorney General Bill Barr on Wednesday undermined a key pillar of his old boss’ defense in the special counsel’s probe into 2020 election interference, telling CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that Donald Trump “knew well he lost the election.”

    The former attorney general also described Trump’s alleged actions as detailed in the indictment as “nauseating” and “despicable,” saying on “The Source,” “someone who engaged in that kind of bullying about a process that is fundamental to our system and to our self-government shouldn’t be anywhere near the Oval Office.”

    […]

    While Barr said his former boss should not be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, he would not on Wednesday rule out voting for Trump if he were to be the nominee.

    After all, who among us hasn’t refused to rule out voting for someone whose criminal abuse of our fundamental system of self-governance was so nauseating and despicable that they have no business being anywhere near the Oval Office?

    Lol.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  202. It has to worry about subscribers.

    See The Weekly Standard.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  203. “Can you believe I lost to this guy?” — Trump while watching Biden on TV after the election

    Somewhere, Hillary is screaming.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  204. state election boards could have relied on that indictment as the predicate to disqualify Trump.

    I suspect they will anyway. It would be interesting if they refused to let him onto the primary ballot.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  205. The NM courts kicked a county supervisor off his board because he had been convicted of trespassing on J6. The “it wasn’t insurrection and I didn’t do that anyway” defense didn’t work.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  206. Try that again.

    The NM courts kicked a county supervisor off his board because he had been convicted of trespassing on J6. The “it wasn’t insurrection and I didn’t do that anyway” defense didn’t work.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  207. And when you say he “probably” knew it to be false, that is reasonable doubt to defense counsel.

    But if you say “he didn’t care” if it was false, we are back at “reckless.”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  208. whembly (5f7596) — 8/3/2023 @ 1:40 pm

    Here’s more on the distinction you, McCarthy and NRO editors elide between fraud under the mail and wire fraud statutes and fraud under Section 371. This time the source is McNally v. US, the 1987 SCOTUS decision that articulated the pecuniary requirement for fraud under the mail and wire acts:

    Footnote 8.

    Hammerschmidt concerned the scope of the predecessor of 18 U.S.C. § 371, which makes criminal any conspiracy “to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.” Hammerschmidt indicates, in regard to that statute, that while “[t]o conspire to defraud the United States means primarily to cheat the Government out of property or money, . . . it also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful governmental functions by deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest.”

    Other cases have held that § 371 reaches conspiracies other than those directed at property interests. However, we believe that this broad construction of § 371 is based on a consideration not applicable to the mail fraud statute. In Curley v. United States, 130 F. 1 (CA1 1904), cited with approval in Haas v. Henkel, supra, the court stated: “Quite likely, the word ‘defraud,’ as ordinarily used in the common law and as used in English statutes and in the statutes of our states, enacted with the object of protecting property and property rights of communities and individuals, as well as of municipal governments, which exist largely for the purpose of administering local financial affairs, has reference to frauds relating to money and property.” The court concluded, however, that “[a] statute which . . . has for its object the protection of the individual property rights of the members of the civic body is one thing; a statute which has for its object the protection and welfare of the government alone, which exists for the purpose of administering itself in the interests of the public, [is] quite another.” [emphasis added]

    Section 371 is a statute aimed at protecting the Federal Government alone; however, the mail fraud statute, as we have indicated, had its origin in the desire to protect individual property rights, and any benefit which the Government derives from the statute must be limited to the Government’s interests as property holder.

    [Some citations and paragraph breaks omitted]

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  209. Looks like trump will get an all black jury in D.C. Trial.

    asset (1f3ef1)

  210. So, wait, there is no such thing as election fraud?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  211. That’s not as much of a guarantee of a guilty verdict as you think, asset. Even if all their clothing and victuals are purchased with direct and indirect swamp money.

    urbanleftbehind (f725ae)

  212. Sammy, I don’t doubt that Biden lied and exaggerated about his role in Shokin’s sacking, but that’s not really the issue. Politicians lie and exaggerate about their exploits as easily as they breathe, and Biden is no exception in this case. Biden wanted to sound like the tough guy who put Ukraine in its place, the white hat who came in and cleaned house, using loan guarantees as his chin-music fastball.

    The reason the sacking became an issue were allegations of corruption, that Joe got the Chief Prosecutor fired because he was investigating the VP’s son and his employer, and the corruption allegations only grew when the accusation was made about Joe getting a $5 million bribe from Zlochevsky while serving as VP. There’s no evidence of any of it. This is not a “scandal of unprecedented proportions” as one commenter declared, but trying to overthrow a democracy is.

    It’s a phony story, but there’s no end to it because the Trumpist Right needs a boogeyman in Hunter to deflect from Trump’s extensive and proven corruption, to declare that “the Biden crime family” is worse than Trump when there’s actually no equivalency or comparison whatsoever, legally or morally.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  213. The Big Guy

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  214. Every once in while there’s some good stuff in a Disqus comment section.

    “When I was drunk I absolutely believed I wasn’t, even though all my friends and the bartender tried to convince me I was, so I asked my ‘lawyer’ crazy drunk Rudy at the end of the bar, and he told me he didn’t think I was drunk, and I wanted to believe him, so I did. So I’m innocent of DUI.”
    –Donald J. Trump, if ever arrested for DUI

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  215. Hahahaha! WhooHoooo hooo! Hohoho!!! Hahahaha!!!

    That is funny stuff!! Brilliant!!

    😂😂😂😂

    Excellent.

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  216. BuDuh is also in the bar. He’s the little guy giggling that, though Trump is drunk, he’s going to get away with it, because he always gets away with it, because there is always an exception to the laws that might apply to Trump and Trump always finds the exception. Not that BuDuh supports him, mind…

    Appalled (03f53c)

  217. Caricature assassination!!

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  218. Appalled, do you have any doubts that Joe Biden is also know as The Big Guy to Hunter’s business partners?

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  219. …known as…

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  220. @197

    If we are going to make SCOTUS predictions, I think the Court might treat the requirement of proof Trump knew he was lying like Countermann vs Colorado (discussed recently by Popehat).

    In that case, Countermann sent messages to a local musician that she found threatening and he was arrested for stalking. His defense was free speech. The law required a showing that Countermann intended the speech as threatening. The Court held instead of subjective proof of threatening intent, it was enough to show he was reckles in how his words would be perceived.

    In Popehat’s words:

    Now, finally, the Court has resolved the question: the First Amendment requires that, at a minimum, the government prove that a speaker was reckless about whether their statement would be interpreted as threatening.

    There us more to it so read the link, but I can see courts holding that proof of subjective intent isn’t required. It is enough to show recklessness.

    @198

    DRJ (2e4ac4) — 8/3/2023 @ 5:45 pm

    Specifically, a Court might hold that the First Amendment requires that, at a minimum, the government prove that a speaker was reckless about whether their statement would be interpreted as false.

    @199

    DRJ (2e4ac4) — 8/3/2023 @ 5:48 pm

    … or interpreted as true.

    DRJ (2e4ac4) — 8/3/2023 @ 5:55 pm

    Thanks…this was an interesting read.

    Let me put my contrarian hat on for a bit – Shouldn’t we avoid advocating for laws/interpretation that a particular speech was “reckless”?

    How does that square with current understanding of incitement laws (Brandenburg test ??)

    It seems too subjective and would open the courts to a lot more frivolous cases.

    I mean, but that standard, the government *could* argue that it doesn’t infringe on 1st Amendment principles if they censored anti-COVID vax people.

    Michael Brown’s stepfather, stood on top of a car and gave an angry speech to an agitated crowd and ended it by angrily saying”…we go’n to burn this mf place down!”. That night, Ferguson had the worst night if riots/crimes/arsons. Would he be in legal jeopardy of being “reckless” with his speech, and should’ve been held to account, sans Brandenburg?

    I think Congress and Courts would do well to foster, bright and clear lines what the 1st Amendment does and doesn’t protects.

    whembly (5f7596)

  221. For over at The Dispatch

    “Goldman and the Democratic staff pressed Archer on the lack of evidence implicating Joe Biden’s direct involvement. Archer agreed that Hunter’s presentation was “an illusion of access to his father” aside from the social niceties exchanged over the phone or at a few dinners. He affirmed that Hunter would take credit for actions his father took but in which Hunter had had no role. “It’s not that Hunter Biden was influencing U.S. policy,” a member of the panel proffered to Archer. “It’s that Hunter Biden was falsely giving the Burisma executives the impression that he had any influence over U.S. policy.” Archer affirmed the assessment: “I think that’s fair.””

    AJ_Liberty (58300b)

  222. About that “illusion of access:”

    WATCH: Catherine Herridge Busts Dan Goldman for Mischaracterizing What Archer Said in Interview

    https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2023/08/03/watch-catherine-herridge-busts-dan-goldman-for-mischaracterizing-what-archer-said-in-interview-n787112

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  223. BuDuh,

    Hunter was clearly peddling influence using his father’s name and position and it appears Joe knew it and let him. If you guys weren’t so intent on running the fascist coup plotter, I’d be more exercised about it. (Should it come to Biden vs Trump, you’ll vote Trump)

    Archer did not get us any closer to Biden actually taking actions based on what Hunter was peddling. As Hunter’s business partner, he ought to know whether Joe was getting a piece of the action.

    The Justice Department has definitely played games with this investigation. In normal times, that is where the Congressional committee would put its focus. But they want the big kill, without caring that they don’t have the support.

    By the way — I will stop needling you if you stop the passive-aggressive “I’m just an idiot with stupid positions so why are you arguing with me because I agree I’m an idiot” stuff. You can make cogent, serious arguments, when you choose to do so, and I don’t mind engaging.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  224. Judge Cannon’s mistakes in a jury trial last June does not instill confidence, especially after her botched rulings wrt Trump last September.
    Her jury trial experience amounts to four as a federal judge and four as a federal prosecutor.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  225. Then why do you mind answering whether or not, in your opinion, that there is little to no doubt that Joe Biden is also known as The Big Guy to Hunter’s business partners, Appalled?

    This stems from your own link to the transcript. Let us both be cogent on this one topic. Please.

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  226. But if you say “he didn’t care” if it was false, we are back at “reckless.”

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/3/2023 @ 9:48 pm

    Good point, but I am not sure that is the standard. I was speculating about SCOTUS.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  227. BuDuh:

    Honest answer is that I have not read the entire transcript and don’t understand the importance you assign to this. I have stated my thought — Hunter made millions peddling his name. There is evidence Biden did nothing to disrupt his kid’s business plan. That creates an appearance of impropriety for Joe of the kind that would cause a problem if you are a judge or work in the accounting profession.

    But so far, no demonstrable quid pro quo.

    Appalled (fdfe42)

  228. whembly,

    I have no problem with a “reckless standard” for incitement or any free speech issue.

    Courts are always dealing with limits on the Bill of Rights. Due process, search and seizure, gun ownership, and free speech limits have changed over time as the rules are refined and experimented with. The Internet Age is changing free speech concerns and a “reckless standard” seems like a reasonable approach to try, as SCOTUS has done in Countermann.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  229. I am not asking about quid pro quo.

    Thanks for making an attempt.

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  230. Hunter was clearly peddling influence using his father’s name and position and it appears Joe knew it and let him.

    That’s not clear at all. That’s just speculation.

    Who is Devon Archer’s father? How did he get on the Burisma board?

    Hunter’s father got him Yale and Georgetown and a DC political sea in which he swam since birth. Sure, he would not have been possible without Joe Biden, but only in the sense that Kobe Bryant would not have been possible without Joe Bryant either.

    nk (4f2ac5)

  231. The jury is not going to read statutes or cases. It will hear instructions. And the instructions will have been worked out in advance, in the judge’s chambers, and will be based only on what the government has made a prima facie case of. If the Circuit has relevant pattern instructions, those will be used. If not, the parties and the judge will draft them, and those may or may not be the subject of an appeal. After the verdict.

    nk (4f2ac5)

  232. #231

    Well, I am still in the dark on why it matters that Hunter Biden referred to Joe Biden as the Big Guy. Maybe you’ll connect the dots?

    Appalled (03f53c)

  233. @230

    whembly,

    I have no problem with a “reckless standard” for incitement or any free speech issue.

    Courts are always dealing with limits on the Bill of Rights. Due process, search and seizure, gun ownership, and free speech limits have changed over time as the rules are refined and experimented with. The Internet Age is changing free speech concerns and a “reckless standard” seems like a reasonable approach to try, as SCOTUS has done in Countermann.

    DRJ (2e4ac4) — 8/4/2023 @ 7:59 am

    I’m not sure where I land on this “reckless standard” proposal.

    But, I’m worried that it can be abused by the government, since it’s proven that the Biden administration tasked willing Tech company to censor unorthodox speech on their behalf.

    In short, my worry is that some form of “reckless standard” in the free speech sphere would all government to censor by proxy.

    whembly (5f7596)

  234. …would allow government….

    whembly (5f7596)

  235. Let me know when you have read enough to have made the decision as to whether or not Hunter’s business partners also knew Joe Biden as “The Big Guy,” Appalled. Then I can reengage.

    Thanks again.

    Later.

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  236. @234

    #231

    Well, I am still in the dark on why it matters that Hunter Biden referred to Joe Biden as the Big Guy. Maybe you’ll connect the dots?

    Appalled (03f53c) — 8/4/2023 @ 8:20 am

    Because there’s documented correspondence that the “Big Guy” gets 10%.

    There’s correspondence by Hunter who said that his dad makes him give his dad ‘half’.

    Ten percent of what?

    Half of what?

    The Bidens haven’t given us a colorable explanation, and instead, steadfastly avoiding to address it.

    Look. It’s rare for these sorts of things that you’ll see something akin to a photograph showing a suitcase full of money being handed to Joe Biden.

    You look at the totality of what we know, and we can infer.

    Even if Biden wasn’t POTUS, it would still be of concern and worthy of investigation.

    But because he’s POTUS, it’s doubly concerning because we don’t know if his policies were truly steered in a way that is not in America’s best interests.

    I suspect, that much of this reflective “defense” of the Bidens is simply because Trump is in the picture. Folks don’t want to admit, that Biden may be doing something bad enough that gives Trump some cover to his malfeasances. But, I would implore you to take Trump out of it. He doesn’t matter. Biden is the POTUS, and his actions, along with all the evidence we’ve seen should cause you to at least understand where his distractors are coming from.

    whembly (5f7596)

  237. It’s a phony story, but there’s no end to it because the Trumpist Right needs a boogeyman in Hunter to deflect from Trump’s extensive and proven corruption, to declare that “the Biden crime family” is worse than Trump when there’s actually no equivalency or comparison whatsoever, legally or morally.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/4/2023 @ 5:47 am

    Yeah. Disregard that Biden said he did it. NeverTrump claimed Trump wishing someone would get Hillary’s emails was proof of Russian collusion.

    If you were any further in the tank for Biden you’d be on the payroll.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  238. I suspect, that much of this reflective “defense” of the Bidens is simply because Trump is in the picture. Folks don’t want to admit, that Biden may be doing something bad enough that gives Trump some cover to his malfeasances. But, I would implore you to take Trump out of it. He doesn’t matter. Biden is the POTUS, and his actions, along with all the evidence we’ve seen should cause you to at least understand where his distractors are coming from.

    I am filing this under “Things That Never Get Said or Considered at The Dispatch.”

    BuDuh (9a76cd)

  239. I get that. It might. But consider something nonpolitical like cyberbullying, which some state laws treat as harassment. Texas law defines harassment as abusive behaviors with the “intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass” someone. I think a reckless standard is reasonable for the intent element even though it could and probably would limit speech.

    I can understand not wanting to limit political speech, but is a reckless standard that bad? The legal standard for reckless is that someone is “aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur.” This would still require proof of defendant’s state of mind.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  240. An orange baby lost re-election by more votes than any seating President in the history of the United States, and his sycophants are striking out blindly in all directions like scorpions with sunstroke.

    nk (4f2ac5)

  241. #238

    It is not in my power to take Trump out of the picture. That belongs to the GOP, who won’t.

    You see, what Biden is alleged to have done is far, far less than what we know Trump did. And our system is dishing out binary choices, lesser of two evils, etc etc. This is what you get. Mediocre senescence with a side of family shenanigans is better than a President for Life wannabe and his band of rag tag racists.

    So, you find in my case that I really don’t care as much about Hunter Biden and his laptop than perhaps I should. I do believe that the IRS investigation and plea deal smells very bad and that should be investigated. I don’t care much about H Biden’s own words, because it is in his own interest to lie to other players, to keep the dollars flowing. There is a phrase in political science called “rational ignornance” — and that, in my case, applies to the ins and outs of Hunter Biden.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  242. Let me be more practical. We have a speech problem and despite what politicians say, it doesn’t come because government is criminalizing speech. Politicians benefit from angry constituents so they encourage it.

    Our speech problem comes because people threaten other people and have forgotten how to be tolerant of other views. They don’t have to accept or believe other views but they do have to tolerate them, and this isn’t a right or left problem. If religion and morality no longer makes that happen, maybe the law should.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  243. Free speech should be protected. The freedom to threaten should not.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  244. The difficult question for me is the freedom to incite people to take action. Trump is a master at that, and it is part of politics. But I think he may have crossed the line in 2020.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  245. We give more protection from defamation for public figures. Maybe we should give them less free speech protection for threatening, inciting or harassing.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  246. Looks like trump will get an all black jury in D.C. Trial.

    asset (1f3ef1) — 8/3/2023 @ 10:33 pm

    Which is why he wants to move his trial to West Virginia:

    Trump said on Truth Social late Wednesday that his case will “hopefully” be moved to a more “impartial” venue like the “politically unbiased” West Virginia, claiming it’s “IMPOSSIBLE to get a fair trial in Washington, D.C.” given the district’s political leanings.
    ………..
    The Sixth Amendment grants criminal defendants the right to trial “by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed,” which in Trump’s case would be D.C., given that’s where he conducted his efforts to overturn the election.
    ……….
    That seems unlikely here, however, as D.C. judges have repeatedly refused to move other cases for January 6 rioters to different courts as the defendants have requested, making similar claims to Trump that any D.C. jury would be biased against them.
    ……….

    Trump won WVA by over 40 points.

    I doubt the jury will be all one race. Depending on how long the trial is expected to last, most of those who can serve for a long trial would be those whose employers provide for more than 5 days jury duty. Most small businesses don’t even do that.

    Speculating how the Supreme Court would rule on anything (assuming it gets that far) is fool’s errand. You might as well predict who will win the 2024 general election.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  247. Free speech should be protected. The freedom to threaten should not.

    Nor should the freedom to libel be protected, but it mostly is.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  248. I doubt the jury will be all one race. Depending on how long the trial is expected to last, most of those who can serve for a long trial would be those whose employers provide for more than 5 days jury duty. Most small businesses don’t even do that.

    I’m pretty sure that Trump’s lawyers will attempt to avoid that outcome. I doubt it will be all registered Democrats either.

    On the other hand, public employees and those receiving government benefits get full income while on jury duty.

    On the gripping hand, jury pay is a national disgrace. Minimum wage would be the rock-bottom minimum. What’s good for the goose….

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  249. At least three things are giving Trump cover:

    1. Hunter Biden and DoJ collusion.
    2. The insanely Trumped-up picayune charges in the NY case.
    3. The perceived political animus from the federal establishment wrt Trump.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  250. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 8/2/2023 @ 8:03 am

    it wasn’t Trump’s “mendacious rhetoric that was criminal, it was his criminal acts, such as his orchestrating a Fake Elector scheme to overturn the legitimate certified election result, and which has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment.

    It seems to be a claim that to misuse official acts or to try to get others to =do so is “fraud”

    Sammy Finkelman (868801)

  251. “with all the evidence we’ve seen”

    I don’t think we share the same understanding of those words.

    Hunter Biden appears to tell a lot of whoppers, especially with regards to his father. Also, an addict burning through 100’s of thousands of dollars will say and do anything, and would likely not be sharing payoffs unless he absolutely had to. I agree with Appalled. Either Joe Biden knew or he (or his people) should have known what his son was up to. So, he’s created the appearance of a problem and he should pay politically for at minimum the appearance of corruption. But I still need more due diligence on discerning what of Hunter Biden’s statements can be factually established. Him saying that the “Big Guy” got a cut does not prove that the “Big Guy” actually got a cut….any more than Hunter saying that he influenced some US policy actually proves that he did. Preferably one needs an actual money trail.

    Nothing changes whether there’s Trump or no Trump. Again, both are awful candidates though I again agree with Appalled that in the pantheon of outrageous conduct, Trump leads handily. I also suspect that going forward, Hunter/Joe shakedowns aren’t going to happen because the gig, if there was ever one, is up. With Trump, I suspect the awfulness will actually get ratcheted up. I suspect further that no one in his perspective cabinet will have stones to push back on whatever “retribution” Trump imagines (yes Trump lies prolifically too, but this one I think comes from teh man’s heart). The days of General Kelly and Pat Cipollone are over. We will get “yes” men and conspiracy cranks. I can only cringe at who will being running Trump’s DoJ and what “reform” will look like. The risk of future corrupt and criminal behavior seems much higher with Trump. That creates an awful choice that I wish more in the GOP would take to heart.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  252. …even if he didn’t tell the people he was urging to do wrong things that they were wrong – and he usually didn;t, although there’s things like telling Pence (according to Pence – he put it in a book) “You’re too honest.”

    Sammy Finkelman (868801)

  253. Speculating how the Supreme Court would rule on anything (assuming it gets that far) is fool’s errand. You might as well predict who will win the 2024 general election.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/4/2023 @ 9:29 am

    Just call me a fool!

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  254. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 8/4/2023 @ 9:55 am

    Hunter Biden appears to tell a lot of whoppers, especially with regards to his father.

    Republican investigators want to insist, or at least assume as a starting point, that they are not whoppers..

    Also, an addict burning through 100’s of thousands of dollars will say and do anything, and would likely not be sharing payoffs unless he absolutely had to.

    Steohen Bannon interpreted something Hunter wrote as meaning just that — but I think the context is his nuclear family

    I agree with Appalled. Either Joe Biden knew or he (or his people) should have known what his son was up to.

    Sort of…..

    But he no doubt wanted his son to stay on the right side of the law, Ethics is another story..

    So, he’s created the appearance of a problem and he should pay politically for at minimum the appearance of corruption. But I still need more due diligence on discerning what of Hunter Biden’s statements can be factually established. Him saying that the “Big Guy” got a cut does not prove that the “Big Guy” actually got a cut….any more than Hunter saying that he influenced some US policy actually proves that he did.

    He had every reason to claim > his father would get asecret cut in order to establish credibility..

    Preferably one needs an actual money trail.

    Which I think Joe Biden is confident does not exist..

    Nothing changes whether there’s Trump or no Trump. Again, both are awful candidates though I again agree with Appalled that in the pantheon of outrageous conduct, Trump leads handily. I also suspect that going forward, Hunter/Joe shakedowns aren’t going to happen because the gig, if there was ever one, is up.

    It was up in 2019. Of course, there’s the paintings and people paying his taxes for him. But any quid pro quo is different.

    With Trump, I suspect the awfulness will actually get ratcheted up.

    That’s true..

    I suspect further that no one in his perspective cabinet will have stones to push back on whatever “retribution” Trump imagines (yes Trump lies prolifically too, but this one I think comes from teh man’s heart). The days of General Kelly and Pat Cipollone are over. We will get “yes” men and conspiracy cranks.

    But there’s the problem of needing Senate confirmation for many positions.

    Sammy Finkelman (868801)

  255. AJ Liberty 253,

    Exactly.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  256. Hunter Biden appears to tell a lot of whoppers…….

    Like father, like son.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  257. Dodging the Question:

    Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy would not say if he would have certified the election results like former Vice President Mike Pence did on Jan. 6, 2021, sidestepping repeated questions on Thursday.

    “I would have never let it get to that point,” Ramaswamy said in response to POLITICO’s questions. “I would have never put myself — or been part of an administration, if I was in a serious position of leadership — to ever have allowed us to have gotten to that doorstep.”

    Pressed on whether he would have tried to stop Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Ramaswamy again said “we would have never been in that position.”

    Ramaswamy comments, coming the same day former President Donald Trump was charged with crimes related to his actions around the certification of the 2020 election, underscore the difficult line the Republican field continues to walk around Jan. 6. ……..

    On Thursday, Ramaswamy argued that a “year of systemic, pervasive suppression of truth” led to the riots on Jan. 6, casting the violent disruption of Congress’ election certification as “the final domino of a domino effect that started far earlier.”

    He did, however, restate his pledge to pardon Trump if elected president. ………
    ……….
    ………Trump’s deepening legal morass is rarely mentioned in the Elks lodges and diners of New Hampshire. Trump’s rivals are more commonly asked in the first primary state about their stances on Ukraine and various economic issues. The only question Ramaswamy faced about Trump from voters at two events in southern New Hampshire that played out simultaneously with the former president’s arraignment in D.C. was about how the two differ in policy and personality.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  258. “You’re too honest.”

    Words to live by. They’ll stad proudly along with “The buck stops here”, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” and “Ask not what your country can do for you…”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  259. So, I happened to be listening to some Fox show on my XM radio, and they did a “people in the street” segment about “what is these new charges against Trump.” It is amazing just how ignorant and/or stupid the common person is. Unflipping believable. The funniest thing was that Fox thought this was an indictment of the DoJ, not the foolish and insipid morons they interviewed.

    There should be some itsy-bitsy floor to who can vote. Being able to name the nation’s capital, from a multiple-choice list would be an improvement.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  260. Kevin, those are words to live by. But they were also words that did not represent the events at those moments.

    DRJ (2e4ac4)

  261. @Rip, @Paul and @AJ
    https://twitter.com/HouseGOP/status/1687508548480122880

    Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s longtime business partner, responds to claims that there was no corruption and that Joe Biden had no role whatsoever in Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings or knowledge of it.

    “That’s categorically false.”

    whembly (5f7596)

  262. Whembly

    From what I took away from Archers testimony Hunter was selling his ability to open doors because he was Biden’s son and knowledge of who to talk to. Archer didn’t seem to be saying Hunter promised to sway Joe or that Joe offered that. He seemed to be saying that Hunter was selling his “importance” as being Joes kid.

    Also, I read up on FARA and I think you’re right that Hunter is in violation of it.

    Time123 (62e27f)

  263. https://nypost.com/2023/08/03/number-of-joe-bidens-sitdowns-with-hunter-biden-clients-is-damning

    …Notably, Archer debunked the pro-Biden lie that Joe barely stopped by an April 2015 dinner with a pack of Hunter clients.

    Goldman cited a 2021 Washington Post piece claiming that Joe spoke only with a priest there.

    “No,” Archer replied: It was actually “a regular dinner” and “that’s not correct reporting.”

    With his decades of foreign-policy experience, Joe surely knew that all these foreigners hailed from countries where a politician’s son selling dad’s influence is typical. Somebody leaked a lie. But then they lied about problems with the laptop information.

    Sammy Finkelman (868801)

  264. It’s hard to believe that Biden did not know what his kid was doing. That’s like believing Trump honestly beleived the election was stolen from him.

    What has not been proved was that Joe was profiting.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  265. @266

    What has not been proved was that Joe was profiting.

    Appalled (03f53c) — 8/4/2023 @ 12:34 pm

    That’s why it’s important for Congress to begin impeachment hearings.

    We only have of the picture based on correspondences:
    Ten percent of what?

    Half of what?

    whembly (5f7596)

  266. The fact that Joe Biden had knowledge of some of Hunter’s business partners is a long way from being actively involved in the actual business dealings…and the Tucker interview did not bring out any information about that. And then there’s a much bigger jump to then show Joe Biden illegally profited from Hunter’s dealings. Again, I think Joe should have known what Hunter was up to….as VP then as a prospective Presidential candidate…someone on his campaign side should have been on Hunter detail. I remain unconvinced that especially at this stage of life and his career, that Joe Biden would risk everything…including his legacy….to shake down people for a few million….when he’s already a millionaire. If he’s supposedly done this his entire 50 years, are we to believe that he’s so smart that he’s left no evidence of clear corruption until now? He’s has to be both brain dead and gaffe machine and a master criminal. Trump’s had a history of grifts and questionable actions…he’s always had a sketchy side to his business and personal affairs. Nothing being alleged is outside his character sketch. Everything seems like a bit of a reach for Biden. many of the Republicans whipping this horse can’t bring themselves to see anything wrong with anything that Trump does. If you’re lying to me using false equivalencies and bad legal analysis, how can I trust you aren’t lying to me about supposedly connecting dots on Biden. This is a big problem for me right now…they’ve burned any sort of benefit of the doubt…

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  267. Not with Trump hanging around, Whembly. Also, this is better for hearings (you know, ones not featuring Hunter Biden’ nekkid flix) rather than go straight for impeachment for what is still an allegation.

    Appalled (a63ae8)

  268. 269

    Apologies for a misread of your comment, Whembly. I believe the H Biden matter needs investigation that is far more credible than what we have seen and I have no faith the House GOP cares to deliver that, because an actual investigation would shut down all the fun speculations they have been doing.

    Appalled (a63ae8)

  269. If he’s supposedly done this his entire 50 years, are we to believe that he’s so smart that he’s left no evidence of clear corruption until now?

    Who’s naive now, Kate?

    This kind of thing may be so rampant that only people who rock the boat get smacked, and Biden is not a huge boat-rocker. Then again, you may believe in “good government” more than I do. Chicago has always been crooked, but the city worked until the honest ideologues took over.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  270. * Kay. Old man brain fart.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  271. He’s has to be both brain dead and gaffe machine and a master criminal.

    It’s possible that this is just elder abuse. Hunter may just be working the defenseless old man.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  272. But, AJ, I get it that your argument is that attention should be on Trump. It’s just that his opponents create all these stupid distractions. Even GOP candidates prattle on about policy and reform when they should ALSO be focused only on Trump and his crimes.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  273. Plea deal for Trump:

    All but one felony dismissed.
    Serves a term of 10 years home confinement.
    Cannot hold public office during the confinement term.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  274. Cannot hold public office during the confinement term.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/4/2023 @ 2:54 pm

    That sounds unconstitutional to me, but IANAL.

    norcal (dc1a5d)

  275. Uhhhhh…… Not Gonna Happen:

    A day after being arraigned for the third time, former President Donald Trump complained about the time and cost spent on his many legal battles and called on the Supreme Court to “intercede.”

    “My political opponent has hit me with a barrage of weak lawsuits, including D.A., A.G., and others, which require massive amounts of my time & money to adjudicate,” Trump complained on Truth Social. “Resources that would have gone into Ads and Rallies, will now have to be spent fighting these Radical Left Thugs in numerous courts throughout the Country. I am leading in all Polls, including against Crooked Joe, but this is not a level playing field. It is Election Interference, & the Supreme Court must intercede.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  276. Disregard that Biden said he did it.

    I didn’t deny anything, Rob. Biden said that he threatened to withhold loan guarantees (and such withholding is not illegal) unless-until the corrupt Chief Prosecutor was sacked (urging a foreign power to clean house, like what you need to with this sad-sack Republican Party, is also not illegal).

    Do you understand what Biden said, exactly? Because it seems that you don’t, because what he did was Diplomacy 101, using a bit of financial leverage to move a country to make the right decision.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  277. whembly (5f7596) — 8/4/2023 @ 11:51 am

    From that video snippet, whembly, Archer said that Biden was “aware” of Hunter’s business dealings. Biden surely lied when he said earlier that he didn’t know what his son’s business affairs were, but being “aware” of Hunter’s dealings is not illegal. And like I mentioned previously, Hunter is not off the hook because he could well have run afoul of FARA.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  278. If you were any further in the tank for Biden you’d be on the payroll.

    Thanks again displaying your hyperpartisan brainlessness, Rob. What I’m doing is calling balls and strikes, and you’re the chucklehead in the dugout with the rally cap on, screaming that the belt-high fastball down the middle was really a ball.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  279. I’m sure everyone else has read it by now, but David Brooks (not usually a fan) has an extremely insightful column about Trumpism: What if We’re the Bad Guys Here? (free NYT link)

    I ask you to try on a vantage point in which we anti-Trumpers are not the eternal good guys. In fact, we’re the bad guys.

    This story begins in the 1960s, when high school grads had to go off to fight in Vietnam but the children of the educated class got college deferments. It continues in the 1970s, when the authorities imposed busing on working-class areas in Boston but not on the upscale communities like Wellesley where they themselves lived.

    The ideal that we’re all in this together was replaced with the reality that the educated class lives in a world up here and everybody else is forced into a world down there. Members of our class are always publicly speaking out for the marginalized, but somehow we always end up building systems that serve ourselves.

    The most important of those systems is the modern meritocracy. We built an entire social order that sorts and excludes people on the basis of the quality that we possess most: academic achievement. Highly educated parents go to elite schools, marry each other, work at high-paying professional jobs and pour enormous resources into our children, who get into the same elite schools, marry each other and pass their exclusive class privileges down from generation to generation….

    Or, as Markovits puts it, “elite graduates monopolize the best jobs and at the same time invent new technologies that privilege superskilled workers, making the best jobs better and all other jobs worse.”

    Members of our class also segregate ourselves into a few booming metro areas: San Francisco, D.C., Austin and so on. In 2020, Biden won only 500 or so counties, but together they are responsible for 71 percent of the American economy. Trump won over 2,500 counties, responsible for only 29 percent. Once we find our cliques, we don’t get out much. In the book “Social Class in the 21st Century,” the sociologist Mike Savage and his co-researchers found that the members of the highly educated class tend to be the most insular, measured by how often we have contact with those who have jobs unlike our own.Or, as Markovits puts it, “elite graduates monopolize the best jobs and at the same time invent new technologies that privilege superskilled workers, making the best jobs better and all other jobs worse.”

    Members of our class also segregate ourselves into a few booming metro areas: San Francisco, D.C., Austin and so on. In 2020, Biden won only 500 or so counties, but together they are responsible for 71 percent of the American economy. Trump won over 2,500 counties, responsible for only 29 percent. Once we find our cliques, we don’t get out much. In the book “Social Class in the 21st Century,” the sociologist Mike Savage and his co-researchers found that the members of the highly educated class tend to be the most insular, measured by how often we have contact with those who have jobs unlike our own….

    Armed with all kinds of economic, cultural and political power, we support policies that help ourselves. Free trade makes the products we buy cheaper, and our jobs are unlikely to be moved to China. Open immigration makes our service staff cheaper, but new, less-educated immigrants aren’t likely to put downward pressure on our wages.

    Like all elites, we use language and mores as tools to recognize one another and exclude others. Using words like “problematic,” “cisgender,” “Latinx” and “intersectional” is a sure sign that you’ve got cultural capital coming out of your ears. Meanwhile, members of the less-educated classes have to walk on eggshells because they never know when we’ve changed the usage rules so that something that was sayable five years ago now gets you fired.

    Armed with all kinds of economic, cultural and political power, we support policies that help ourselves. Free trade makes the products we buy cheaper, and our jobs are unlikely to be moved to China. Open immigration makes our service staff cheaper, but new, less-educated immigrants aren’t likely to put downward pressure on our wages.

    Like all elites, we use language and mores as tools to recognize one another and exclude others. Using words like “problematic,” “cisgender,” “Latinx” and “intersectional” is a sure sign that you’ve got cultural capital coming out of your ears. Meanwhile, members of the less-educated classes have to walk on eggshells because they never know when we’ve changed the usage rules so that something that was sayable five years ago now gets you fired.

    Is it any wonder that the middle and working classes are receptive to Trump’s message that they are getting screwed? Because they are.

    Brooks ideas here aren’t all that new. Charles Murray pointed out much the same thing in early 2016 in his classic “Trump’s America” explanation.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  280. Sorry about the repeat burp. I miss the preview.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  281. Allahnick has a bit today about televising Trump’s trial. He seems to focus on what the utility would be on a help/harm Trump axis. I think that’s wrong. NOT televising it would allow the reality to be replaced by a constant stream of unrebuttable misinformation. As always, the best solution to liars is more speech, not less.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  282. @Kevin@281 I was talking with my parents the other night about how it was understandable that people voted for Trump the first time around. There’s a lot of anger in my generation and the millennials about economic factors that in part led to both occupy wall-street and Trump (my guess is probably it was underlying in black lives matter too, but I have no expertise in that area) and no outlet for it. Our congressmen don’t really care because all the money is from the wealthy and business interests and they think they can placate the masses by talking about benefits or religion. The Republicans yell about “social issues” while most people under 50 don’t give a flying fig at a rolling doughnut that gay people are existing publicly and the Dems want to yell about trans-rights and there are only 12 of them. It’s all a distraction in the hopes we won’t notice that so many of our jobs disappeared to China and our towns are falling apart and we will not be doing better than our parents did (or even own our own homes for many). It is the economy, stupid, but not the one that they were talking about and lowering income taxes on people who make 80 gazillion dollars at a company that mostly employs people outside the US doesn’t help us.

    Nic (896fdf)

  283. Cannot hold public office during the confinement term.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/4/2023 @ 2:54 pm

    That sounds unconstitutional to me, but IANAL.

    norcal (dc1a5d) — 8/4/2023 @ 3:08 pm

    Trump won’t take a plea deal (he would need to admit he was guilty which would destroy his reputation and image among his supporters) but his punishment will be a problem.

    Rip Murdock (b0912e)

  284. That sounds unconstitutional to me, but IANAL.

    He can always choose prison. It’s a deal: they can ban chewing gum if they have cause.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  285. Trump won’t take a plea deal (he would need to admit he was guilty which would destroy his reputation and image among his supporters) but his punishment will be a problem.

    Fine, then after he’s convicted, it can be imposed.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  286. It’s all a distraction in the hopes we won’t notice that so many of our jobs disappeared to China and our towns are falling apart and we will not be doing better than our parents did (or even own our own homes for many). It is the economy, stupid, but not the one that they were talking about and lowering income taxes on people who make 80 gazillion dollars at a company that mostly employs people outside the US doesn’t help us.

    More. That whole meme about an educational elite that cripples the middle class is exacerbated by the costs of going to a elite private college for those middle-class kids who can make the cut. Starting life with wealthy parents is a heck of a lot better than starting with $100K in student loans.

    As someone who actually made that transition (I was raised by wolves) many years ago, I am also concerned about the chances for a white middle-class first-in-family kid to get into one of those schools in the first place. The only thing they have to compete with are test scores and grades, and those are exactly the things that are being deprecated in admissions. So they go into the “not encouraged to apply” folder.

    It’s not just that the educational elites look down on those without the proper accreditation, but the doors to higher learning aren’t as open and the costs are usually beyond their means. An engineering degree from CalTech is a bit more of a door opener than one from Cal State Dominguez Hills.

    This should be no surprise — the idea of democracy is to level the playing field and the idea of elites is to prevent that. This is why I am, in principle, not opposed to bouts of Populism. It is a necessary corrective force when things get too uneven. Even though it is a blunt hammer, it only comes at a time when the elites have refused to see reason.

    The real pity is not Donald Trump, but that someone better didn’t get in front of the parade.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  287. “Is it any wonder that the middle and working classes are receptive to Trump’s message that they are getting screwed?”

    Still, in the past 3 years, has Trump been on the trail flushing out a grand economic revitalization plan….or has he been predominantly talking about the 2020 election and how badly he’s been wronged?

    I don’t think Trump’s continued popularity is driven by anything but personality and weird cultism. The devil is in the details of what he was actually able to achieve over his four years in office. The one signature piece of legislation…the tax cut…was largely authored by Paul Ryan and it principally cut corporate tax rates. So a lot of rich people benefited. We can argue trickle down but that’s generally anathema to the populist eat the rich gripe.

    Certainly Trump was tough on immigration but his signature “wall” project shrunk in scale and scope as the term progressed. There was no art-of-the-deal magic that produced an end-product that one could proudly marvel at…or even applaud. Immigration…and its economic incentives…requires a comprehensive approach that Trump lacks the political skills to realize. This is an issue that requires leadership, consensus, and compromise. Trump doesn’t offer any of this. Walling off the country is not the solution.

    What about trade deals? By rejecting TPP, did we accomplish much or only leave the door open to Chinese influence in the trans pacific? Is the new NAFTA demonstrably better than the old NAFTA? There are some protection carve outs where government picks some winners with there being some losers. The same goes for tariffs and trade wars. How many farmers were hurt and required bailing out? Most of populism’s knee jerk reactions are just poorly thought-through. It’s checkers played in a chess match.

    Trump’s energy and regulatory policies are certainly preferable to Biden’s, but they differ little from what any Republican would advocate. We are no closer to using more nuclear power in our energy mix to buy us time for technological innovation. Does anyone really believe that our long-term solution is just more drilling? Should national policy be driven by naivety?

    There is no magic way to return us to 1950 and our manufacturing dominance. There’s no way to uninvite China from the world economy. It’s a bad idea to have government involved in picking winners and losers. A bigger pie requires more trade partners and opening markets. The idea of walling off the country to competition is just another version of picking winners and losers. Government does not produce wealth…it either gets in the way or gets out of the way. Populism wants it to get in the way more.

    So though Trumpism has some root in marketing and exploiting economic angst, the man himself doesn’t really have the intelligence and political skills to actually get anything done, let alone solved. This is just “Trump Steaks” or “Trump University” as national policy. Cynical marketing to satiate a narcissist’s need for attention is nothing that I can applaud. Those being grifted first need to understand the grift…

    AJ_Liberty (604c13)

  288. So though Trumpism has some root in marketing and exploiting economic angst, the man himself doesn’t really have the intelligence and political skills to actually get anything done, let alone solved. This is just “Trump Steaks” or “Trump University” as national policy. Cynical marketing to satiate a narcissist’s need for attention is nothing that I can applaud. Those being grifted first need to understand the grift…

    Tamam, effendi! Tamam!

    nk (1c9c4c)

  289. I don’t think Trump’s continued popularity is driven by anything but personality and weird cultism.

    AJ, you are still looking at this from your perspective.

    1) The tax cut may have helped corporations, but taxes were raised on the upper-middle class (through SALT elimination, tightening other deductions and tiny changes in brackets. For those in the top bracket in California, their 2.8% rate cut was matched by eliminating a 13% tax deduction (worth 4.8% at the federal level). It was a 2% tax hike for every California billionaire.

    OTOH, the giant increase in the standard deduction (from 12.7K to 24K for marrieds, half that for singles) helped everyone making under, oh, $70K and also got a marginal rate cut and didn’t much care about the SALT cap. It stopped taxation entirely on everyone on Social Security with no other taxable income.

    2) No argument on immigration and Trump’s inability to solve it. But I would point out that the most brilliant plan would have died in the Senate, as have the last few, scuttled by bumper-sticker arguments dumber than Trump. Enforcement of the law to the letter is probably the only way to nudge the needle off “tilt.”

    3) Trade deals. TPP was a sweetheart deal for corporations, particularly on copyright laws that have twice now reneged on anything going to the Public Domain. As for trade with China, Biden is, if anything, doubling down on Trump. Almost all of Trump’s tariffs are in place or increased. Relations are worse and worser, despite Hunter Biden’s efforts.

    Tariffs need to be viewed as a sin tax. Don’t buy from China, capice? Again we get back to a conflict between “cheap goods for the affluent” and “jobs for the middle-class.” No lawyer, professor, doctor and damn few engineers lost a job to China. Their stock portfolios did well. Assembly workers took it in the shorts and they noticed.

    4) Manufacturing is already coming back. If not to the US, then near-shoring to places where people immigrate from for lack of work. The transfer of IC manufacturing to Asia is in full reverse. Invest in Intel. THey are the only game in town for ICs in the USA and that will become more and more important.

    I agree that governments should not pick winners and losers, even though the last, oh, 500 years have seen them do just that with regularity. It’s called “governing.” I much prefer unbiased rebates to buyers of socially-helpful products, but Biden’s EV and Solar rebates are stuffed with conditions and favorites. They penalize Tesla, for example, for not having union workers. This will hit Toyota and other non-union shops even after then have US-produced batteries.

    You cannot blame Trump for stuff that has been going on since Elizabeth turned England’s trade policy over to the the Earl of Cumberland and the East Indies Company.

    The people who were harmed Open Borders and the hollowing out of US manufacturing are still hurting, and might well react to Trump’s claim that “they” want him out of the way so “they” can continue the screw. Just because it is not hurting you does not mean they have no cause.

    The real pity is not Donald Trump, but that someone better didn’t get in front of the parade.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  290. Shorter: By the time that Bill Clinton became president, both parties were pandering to the investing class pretty shamelessly. A rising tide is supposed to lift all boats, but with the rush to Asia a lot of domestic boats were left in drydock. The Obama-Romney match (which I look back now with some fondness) was to many the last straw. Ask yourself which of those two was even tangentially concerned with the plight of the middle and working classes (more welfare doesn’t count).

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  291. Tamam, effendi! Tamam!

    Yet he managed to eat the entire Republican Party’s lunch. They did not have to let that happen. The Teas showed the way, but the GOP leadership conspired with Obama to suppress them.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  292. Is it grift when someone correctly points out that you are being screwed? And by whom and why? Trump’s actual grift was pretending that he could fix it. But no one else cared to upset the donor class, so it was Trump or the status quo ante.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  293. He can always choose prison. It’s a deal: they can ban chewing gum if they have cause.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/5/2023 @ 6:26 am

    As my link in post 285 suggests, the Secret Service may have a problem with that.

    Let’s see if Trump is convicted before we engage in fantasies regarding his punishment. Assuming his convictions in any of his cases are upheld on appeal, he will probably avoid prison time as an elderly, first time, and non-violent offender with special security needs.

    Rip Murdock (b0912e)

  294. I would also expect that if a Democrat wins in 2024 his federal sentences would be commuted as an act of mercy.

    Of course most of the Republican candidates have already said they would completely pardon Trump.

    Rip Murdock (b0912e)

  295. As my link in post 285 suggests, the Secret Service may have a problem with that.

    They can be his guards. In shifts. It may suck,but it’s better than chasing counterfeiters in Fairbanks. But, given a choice between the run of Mar-a-Lago or a Supermax, I’ll bet that Trump will accept some conditions.

    “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”
    — D. Vader

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  296. Of course most of the Republican candidates have already said they would completely pardon Trump.

    Except for Ratsaswarmy, none have said that. They have mostly said no, or been non-committal.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  297. How bad is Trump’s corruption for the GOP?

    Let’s look at two historically “corrupt” GOP presidents: Grant and Harding.

    Grant: The GOP won every election between 1868 and 1908, except for the two that Grover Cleveland won. 9-2

    Harding: Harding won election with a 26% margin. Coolidge won 25% up and even Hoover had a 17% edge. Then, of course the crash of ’29 where Hoover lost re-election by about 18%. But that was not Harding’s fault.

    Grant is on the $50 bill, a status Trump will never achieve unless they start printing the $3 one.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  298. Kevin, do you believe that “Trump University” was a grift? Do you think that Trump raising $250B after the election to fight “the stolen election” was a grift? Much of Trump’s signature casino businesses are built on the false allure of easy money. Using his resort sites for business and charging the secret service to stay there is a grift. Grifters grift. Hopefully that much is not in question.

    Now are there Americans in economic duress? Are there roots in globalization and immigration? Certainly and I’m sure that every politician alive acknowledges this. The Left advocates for more government subsidies, training programs, and trade protectionism; the Right typically looks at economic growth spurred by lower tax rates, less regulation, and more opportunities for trade. As with anything, circumstances may dictate what blend is best. For example, I strongly endorse the government helping to expand advanced IC fab facilities in this country…for both supply chain immunity and national security goals. I also have no problem with government seeding development of technologies when the market fails to do so (say with advanced batteries for electric cars or power system energy storage), though this can be risky without clear industrial buy-in and potential marketable products. That is, not all public investment is bad, though history shows much can be.

    With Trump, he took a truism and aggressive marketed simplistic solutions: a wall, scrapping trade agreements, tariffs, and guaranteeing the biggest and best tax cut…along with providing the best health care system, cutting the deficit in an unbelievably short time, and curing cancer if he put his big brain on it. So a lot of what politicians do with the added flair of a prolific marketer. Targeting the angst of the middle class is smart politics but the rubber hits the road with the proposed solutions. Populist solutions seems too simplistic because they generally are. Did Trump run for President because he really wanted to solve these problems or because he saw it as a way to promote his brand and create a cult of personality worship? You know where I stand. I think everything, including pushing the envelope with trying to ban Muslims from entering the country, was designed to enable the largest ever political grifts. His inability to even try to push for legislation beyond the tax cut plan shows not just his lack of skill, but I think his lack of actually caring that much about the immigration problem.

    So I look at Trump as getting into politics no because he genuinely wanted to Make America Great Again, but because he saw an opportunity and saw a market for drama and simple solutions that he can sell. Grifting? Yeah I kinda think it is.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  299. whoops $250M

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  300. Trump was the status quo ante, he just yelled louder about stuff people wanted to hear.

    Europe and Canada have mostly done a better job of balancing the world economy with national needs while we have basically ended up deeper and deeper in a Vimes Boot Theory cycle.

    Nic (896fdf)

  301. Kevin, do you believe that “Trump University” was a grift?

    Dear God, but can you not understand that the attraction to Trump was not because of his grift but IN SPITE OF IT? He was the only person actually listening to the vast center of this country that was increasingly disaffected. Populism is not an aberration, it’s a normal reaction to elites that do not do their &@^%ing job.

    PLease stop talking about “Trump and his grift” when that wasn’t part of the deal. Of course he’s a grifter, and a stupid one a that. But so is Joe Biden. He’s just not venal, his grift is different (e.g. “Romney’s gonna put you back in chains”). His son is though.

    This has no relation to the popular support he gets.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  302. Now are there Americans in economic duress? Are there roots in globalization and immigration? Certainly and I’m sure that every politician alive acknowledges this

    Biden has co-opted every last trade policy that Trump proposed. Go take a look at his last SotU speech.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  303. Election Interference Indictment: This is Why Most Republican Politicians Back Trump

    It’s where their voters are.

    The share of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who believe that President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win was not legitimate has ticked back up, according to a new CNN poll fielded throughout July. All told, 69% of Republicans and Republican-leaners say Biden’s win was not legitimate, up from 63% earlier this year and through last fall, even as there is no evidence of election fraud that would have altered the outcome of the contest.
    …………
    Among Republican-aligned adults, the share who believe there is solid evidence proving the election was not legitimate stands at 39%, while 30% say it is merely their suspicion that Biden did not win legitimately, and 29% say Biden’s election was legitimate.
    ……….
    Overall, 61% of Americans say Biden did legitimately win enough votes to win the presidency, and 38% believe that he did not. Among registered voters who say they cast a ballot for Trump in 2020, 75% say they have doubts about Biden’s legitimacy.
    …………
    But those who supported Trump in 2020 are actually less likely than those who backed Biden to say that a shared view on that year’s election is a must for them to support candidates for federal office next year. ………..

    About half of Americans continue to feel that it is at least somewhat likely that elected officials will successfully overturn the results of a US election if their party does not win (50%). ………
    And most Americans lack confidence that elections in the US today reflect the will of the people.…….

    Rip Murdock (af637b)

  304. Paul Montagu — 8/1/2023 @ 8:58 pm

    If Pence was being “too honest”, the implication is that the VP wasn’t being a lying d0uchebag like Trump, that he wouldn’t lie for Trump.

    But it’s not that Pence didn’t lie. BuDuh did note that Pence said one thing in public but obviously something else in private.

    The context in which Pence quoted Trump as saying to him “you’re too honest” was in supporting some claim(s) Trump wanted to make in a lawsuit. Pence was against making some claim.

    Trump by the way, just deied ever saying that to Pence (naturally)

    Pence didn’t use that quote until the indictment (beyond putting it in his book) precisely because it is obvious he wasn’t being generally honest withthe public. But them Trump didn’t say Pence was honest, but just more honest that he wanted him to be

    Sammy Finkelman (598e7c)

  305. Nikki Haley has said, in regard to the documents case, that she’d be inclined to pardon Donald Trump, but only after a conviction.

    Sammy Finkelman (598e7c)

  306. You’re parsing, Sammy. Again.
    One, the “you’re too honest” comment wouldn’t have been in the indictment without corroboration.
    Two, preceding “you’re too honest” was this: “The Vice President responded that he thought there was no constitutional basis for such authority and that it was improper.” Trump didn’t say “you’re wrong” or “I disagree”, he said “you’re too honest”, the implication being that Trump wasn’t honest, i.e., was lying to get what he wanted.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  307. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/nov/09/trump-pence-honest-jan-6-capitol-attack-lincoln-project-book

    Pence’s book, So Help Me God, will be published in the US on Tuesday. An extract was published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

    Describing a conversation on New Year’s Day 2021, five days before supporters Trump told to “fight like hell” stormed the US Capitol, Pence writes that he and Trump discussed a lawsuit filed by Republicans, asking a judge to declare the vice-president had “‘exclusive authority and sole discretion to decide which electoral votes should count”.

    Pence says Trump told him that if the suit “gives you the power, why would you oppose it?”

    Pence says he “told him, as I had many times, that I didn’t believe I possessed that power under the constitution”.

    “You’re too honest,” Trump chided. “Hundreds of thousands are gonna hate your guts … People are gonna think you’re stupid.”nd sole discretion to decide which electoral votes should count”.

    Sammy Finkelman (598e7c)

  308. Trump actually offered no opinion as to whether the legal claim had merit — only that Pence should not let a lack of belief in the legal claim stop him from asking a court to agree,

    Sammy Finkelman (598e7c)

  309. BuDuh to Appalled 8/4/2023 @ 7:12 am

    do you have any doubts that Joe Biden is also known as The Big Guy to Hunter’s business partners?

    There is little reason to doubt that Hunter intended his Chinese associates in 2017 to believe that his father would be getting 10% of the money sent to his company, but there is good reason to doubt it was true.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  310. 267. whembly (5f7596) — 8/4/2023 @ 1:12 pm

    Ten percent of what?

    Of whatever CEFC was going to pay Hunter and his partners.

    Half of what?

    Half of Hunter Biden’s salary, probably 25 years before, as means of Hunter paying back what his father had advanced him (best guess)

    This was in response to his daughter Naomi who had asked him for money at the beginning of 2019. He said he wouldn’t ask for half her salary like “Pops” had done.

    Hunter also said he’d been supporting his family for 30 years.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)


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