Patterico's Pontifications

8/15/2023

Why “OH SO NOW TWEETING IS A CRIME?” Is a Dumb Comment

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am



A short observation in response to the commentary I am seeing out there about how Fani Willis is criminalizing speech. People are citing, for example, paragraphs in the new indictment that characterize as “overt acts” things like Trump sending a tweet. “OH SO NOW TWEETS ARE A CRIME?” go the ignorant responses.

No, they are overt acts. The law has always been very clear that overt acts in furtherance of a conspiracy might be innocent in and of themselves, but become an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy when there is an agreement to commit a crime, and the otherwise innocent act is done in furtherance of that agreement.

So, if you buy a ski mask at a store, that is not a crime in and of itself. But if you have agreed to do a bank robbery, and tell a co-conspirator that you will now buy a ski mask to hide your face during the robbery, then buying the ski mask can be an overt act.

OH SO NOW BUYING A SKI MASK IS A CRIME?

These are the perils of listening to partisan morons.

P.S. I make a similar point in my newsletter from yesterday about the notion that Jack Smith is criminalizing speech:

[L]et’s say a disinterested observer who is not part of (or even coordinating with) the Trump campaign writes an op-ed in a newspaper, which advocates the following thesis: Trump really won the election, but Joe Biden stole it. So Trump should persuade state legislators to create alternate slates of electors that Congress can vote for on January 6, 2021. A disinterested citizen writing or publishing such an op-ed could not be prosecuted for that op-ed in the criminal courts. It would be protected by the First Amendment. This is true even though the op-ed is certifiably insane, and advocates a course of action without any basis in law or evidence.

But if Trump or his co-conspirators go around trying to pass off fraudulent claims of election irregularities, as part of a scheme to get public officials to throw out lawfully cast votes for a federal election, some of the same “speech” could end up forming an operative part of the fraudulent scheme. If, for example, Trump and his cronies are engaged in a plot to create a phony slate of electors, and he goes around making the same sorts of false claims as part of the scheme, then all of a sudden some of that “speech” might begin to look like part of a crime.

What we call “speech” is often part of the commission of a crime. It’s impossible to imagine fraud without “speech.” After all, fraud involves misrepresentations, which means “speech”—but not the sort of “speech” that is protected by the First Amendment.

There’s a great analogy in there from Walter Olson about the difference between using claims of stolen valor to boast (bad but legal) and using them to fraudulently obtain veterans’ benefits (bad and illegal).

If you have not read that newsletter, consider taking a look at it now.

188 Responses to “Why “OH SO NOW TWEETING IS A CRIME?” Is a Dumb Comment”

  1. Writing it helped me learn about the federal indictment. I hope reading it helps y’all learn about it.

    Patterico (f5a1b0)

  2. The question is: What exactly did Trump conspire to do?

    I think he “conspired to challenge the election results, (if he lost) regardless of merit. (that should not be, in and of itself, a crime)

    And the first overt acts took place BEFORE the election. In fact, telling people not to vote by mail could be the FIRST overt act. (That increased his risk of losing, but made it easier to challenge the results) There is a question of how well Trump understood this.

    Not everybody was on the same page. People were creating fake evidence or false indications of vote fraud on their own. Trump, however, had to use t=it fr=or it to be of any value,

    Sammy Finkelman (1b5c2d)

  3. In the simplest terms, Sammy, he conspire to disenfranchise the voters of seven States. To not have those States’ Electoral Votes counted as certified by the States’ election officials.

    nk (d99edb)

  4. He conspired to overturn the election results, not to challenge them. He knew there was no factual basis for the allegation that the election has been stolen, and he pushed the claim anyway in an attempt to manipulate other officials into stealing the election for him under color of law.

    aphrael (e4e55b)

  5. 1864, Sammy. That’s the only time a State’s Electoral Votes were not counted. That’s because eleven of them called themselves The Confederate States of America and were in a shooting war with the United States.

    For some perspective.

    nk (fef06a)

  6. Legally challenging an electoral result and attempting to illegally overturn the result are two different concepts.

    Regarding Trump telling his supporters to vote in person versus by mail, that is an overt act, an overt act of overt stupidity, especially during a pandemic, because all it did was suppress the vote among his faithful.

    At the risk of hijacking the thread, another dumb comment comes from Putin supporters who, when they’ve run out of arguments in defense of his evil, say sh-t like “If you support Ukraine so much, why don’t you go sign up to fight?” As this site noted…

    But take the same argument and apply it elsewhere and it sounds so stupid. “Oh you don’t like crime? Why don’t you join the police force?” “Don’t like cancer? Go to med school and do something about it.”

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  7. In fact, telling people not to vote by mail could be the FIRST overt act. (That increased his risk of losing…

    It actually caused it. He would have won had he not done that. ONLY his partisans obeyed him, and the statistics of his loss are such that nearly any perturbation in his favor would have given him the win. If he only lost 1 vote in 100 this way, through people being unable/to lazy/too sanguine to get to the polls day-of, it was 750,000 votes he did not get.

    A don’t-get-out-the-vote campaign.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  8. 1864, Sammy. That’s the only time a State’s Electoral Votes were not counted.

    1876 as well. Three states had competing slates of electors, with no good way to sort it out. A commission was appointed to do so, and they basically decided on the winner, then made the vote count come out right.

    The 1876 situation was probably the same kind of fraud, btw, but hard to resolve in an era where telegraph was the epitome of communication.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  9. Part of losing respect for the Rule of Law is not caring how the law works or what it means. Trump and his current supporters show us every day that they don’t care about the law.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  10. As I said in response to the Substack,

    Trump’s assertions of fraud, both general and specific might be protected political speech, even if knowing lies. But…

    There is no way on God’s green earth that conspiring to present false Electoral College documents to the Congress of the United States is “protected political speech.”

    And once we get to that point, the lies about “fraud” appear to be establishing a justification for the later criminal actions. That goes to the conspiracy charge.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  11. Part of losing respect for the Rule of Law is not caring how the law works or what it means.

    If you already view “the Law” as Calvinball — and some of the lawfare directed at Trump, particularly from a few Hawaiian judges — might make one think that, how it is supposed to work is less interesting.

    But that was not John Eastman’s problem (or even Sidney Powell’s). Eastman’s plan was a thorough gaming of the Electoral Count Act with clever misstatements about its meaning. He did care about how the law worked as he was attempting to slalom through it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  12. People who view American law as a rigged game don’t hang out at law blogs. It is more likely they are at Trump rallies and websites.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  13. The question is why they do that. Some might have had legal problems that influence their view, but not all. Most simply believe anything Trump tells them because they are open to authoritarianism: “So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.”

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  14. So Trump should persuade state legislators to create alternate slates of electors that Congress can vote for on January 6, 2021

    This statement bugged me last night, and now it bugs me again.

    AIUI, no state legislature was so persuaded, and no state legislature even entertained such a proposal, not even the crazy people in Arizona. At best, Trump had a few legislators who agreed on the plan, and some of them were losing Electors whose “votes” were submitted to Congress.

    Which then brings up the question of who in Congress was a knowing participant in accepting these false affidavits? Are they not also culpable?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  15. People who view American law as a rigged game don’t hang out at law blogs. It is more likely they are at Trump rallies and websites.

    TBF, they also hang out at BLM rallies and demonstrations. This is, in part, because the Law sometimes IS a rigged game (see the Jim Crow regime for examples) and often a poor approximation of “justice” even when no animus is present.

    Disrespect for the law is sometimes just simple disrespect. The 55 MPH speed limit, for example, or laws against “recreational” drug use from about 1965 on, led to a weakening of respect for petty law. Roe et al led to disrespect for judicial decisions on the Right, and recent rulings are being used to generate disrespect on the Left.

    Trump and Trumpies are but symptoms.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  16. Disagree.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  17. Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/15/2023 @ 9:40 am

    Which then brings up the question of who in Congress was a knowing participant in accepting these false affidavits? Are they not also culpable?

    Nobody, except maybe Ron Johnson, because they weren’t delivered.

    Sammy Finkelman (1b5c2d)

  18. People who view American law as a rigged game don’t hang out at law blogs. It is more likely they are at Trump rallies and websites.

    DRJ (95ee8b) — 8/15/2023 @ 9:33 am

    Touché!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  19. People who view American law as a rigged game hang out here.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  20. So, BLM supporters don’t view American law as a rigged game?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  21. People who view American law as a rigged game hang out here, too.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  22. Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/15/2023 @ 11:49 am

    I wouldn’t know-I’ve never visited the site.

    Rip Murdock (dbaf46)

  23. Abuse of legal processes (any number of activist judges Left and Right), or blatantly unfair legal rules (again, Jim Crow), tend to diminish the Law. Only when these are seen as uncommon aberrations is the Law safe.

    Science has the same issues. When politics is used to drive “scientific” claims, particularly when the Scientific Method is subordinated to political demands, the people start to view Science and scientists with suspicion. This is made worse when the barrier to understanding is high. The Law can be complex and rife with contradictions, but the barriers to understanding (at least to spot abuses) is a lot lower than, say, statistics or meteorological modeling (the latter often being too complex for anyone’s understanding).

    But the people who hang out on Science blogs are generally favorable towards Science.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  24. > Are they not also culpable?

    Yes, but it’s probably unprosecutable due to this:

    > They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

    there are ways to manipulate around it but american law hasn’t generally supported that, and the basic principle that legislators cannot be prosecuted for things they do on the floor *as legislators* is sufficiently important that we should probably let this one go.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  25. aphrael,

    That’s immunity for what they say in “speech or debate” — they can libel the Pope and get away with it. If they counterfeit money in their apartment, however, they can be arrested nonetheless, so long as it’s not in the chambers or on their way to or from.

    A number of sitting Congresspeople have been arrested for bribery. Convicted, too.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  26. Actually it would be very good if the Dersh’s predictions came true.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  27. MAGAWorld Pundit Reaction:

    ……….
    “Stalin would be proud” of the Fulton County indictment, claimed right-wing radio host Mark Levine during a Monday night appearance on Fox News. (Not mentioned during the broadcast: emails from the January 6 committee show Levin chatting with John Eastman, a Trump attorney who was also charged in the Georgia racketeering case.)

    Other commentators suggested that prosecutors were setting off a potentially catastrophic backlash against the left.

    “Civil war,” tweeted media personality Tim Pool (who, in fairness, has authored similar posts for years).
    ……….
    “How are all the lawyers in America feeling today?” tweeted Dilbert creator-turned-wingnut Scott Adams. “Safe?”

    Jenna Ellis, a Trump lawyer indicted in Fulton County for alleged racketeering offenses, tweeted that “the Democrats and the Fulton County DA are criminalizing the practice of law. I am resolved to trust the Lord and I will simply continue to honor, praise, and serve Him.”

    Other Trump fans claim the indictment imperils even more Americans for innocuous activities.

    “Apparently illegal in America now,” tweeted former One America News Network personality Liz Wheeler, listing out activities mentioned in the indictment like “Telling people to watch TV,” “Asking for phone numbers,” “Renting rooms at the Capitol,” “Advocating for signature verification,” and “Tweets.”

    “It’s not just Trump they’re coming after,” Wheeler wrote. “They’re coming next for our free speech if we dare dissent.”
    ……….
    Some talking heads suggested radical action to block a Trump conviction. “I think this is so dangerous to the very survival of the republic that it has to be stopped,” (former Georgia Congressman and House Speaker Newt) Gingrich said on Fox.

    Another Monday night Fox guest, Mike Davis, pointed to the difficulty of securing a pardon in Georgia. ……..

    “Under the Georgia law, there is a statute that limits the Republican governor’s ability to pardon, and I think that the legislature in Georgia needs to amend that statute and give Governor Kemp the ability to pardon in this situation because this is clear election interference,” Davis said.
    ………..

    More on changing Georgia’s pardon process:

    Though Georgia’s legislature is dominated by Republicans, Mississippi Free Press editor Ashton Pittman noted that implementing Davis’ idea “would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers to amend Georgia’s Constitution, which would then require voters to approve it on a statewide ballot.” Sherrilyn Ifill, former president & director-counsel of NAACP Legal Defense Fund, pointed out that Davis, a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, “essentially argues that if adhering to the rule of law results in holding Trump to account, Georgia legislators should change their law to allow Gov. Kemp to pardon Trump.” State Rep. Eric Woods, D-Mo., argued that it is “horrifying that the Republican response to these indictments is ‘We should change the law so Trump can be pardoned’ and not ‘If Trump committed crimes, he should be punished.’ That’s the REAL banana republic stuff.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  28. Actually it would be very good if the Dersh’s predictions came true.

    It was more this:

    “You know, it’s Alice in Wonderland — verdict first, execution, and then trial. That’s what we’re having here. And it’s such an undercutting of our Constitution. I predicted this all in, Get Trump,” the lawyer said, touting his latest book.

    “And I predict there’ll be some convictions. I think the strategy is to get bad convictions, but to get them fast in New York, in Florida, in Washington, and in Fulton County, then they’ll be reversed on appeal, but they’ll be reversed on appeal after the election,” Dershowitz explained.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  29. “Civil war,” tweeted media personality Tim Pool

    A modest proposal:

    Get everyone on every side who favors a civil war, give them machine guns, cluster bomb launchers, whatever restricted-range items they desire, and take them out to the Nevada Test and Training Range and let them have at it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  30. Only the NY case is bad law. Assuming that Trump doesn’t piss the judge off entirely, I expect he will fold up the charges to 2 or 3, and maybe just misdemeanors.

    The rest of the cases are righteous.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  31. Why would Brian Kemp want to pardon the carpetbagger?

    nk (a20f2c)

  32. Truly. Every state-wide candidate that Trump backs in GA loses.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  33. I guess it’s “non-virtue-signalling” by the state reps.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  34. Why would Brian Kemp want to pardon the carpetbagger?

    nk (a20f2c) — 8/15/2023 @ 3:10 pm

    A point they ignore.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  35. nk (a20f2c) — 8/15/2023 @ 3:10 pm

    Why would Brian Kemp want to pardon the carpetbagger?

    To end our long national nightmare, like Ford did. At least prevent him from going to jail for crimes against the constitution.
    .

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  36. Trump thinks he can use mathematics (and possibly bad evidence) to prove that he won.

    But the math is as good (bad) as that proving racism causes unequal health outcomes for blacks.

    Sammy FInkelman (1d215a)

  37. To end our long national nightmare, like Ford did

    Are you kidding? Georgia could make his prison into a glass house and sell tickets. If not stones.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  38. Trump thinks he can use mathematics

    Too funny.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  39. I’m baffled by what happened to Dershowitz here — he is smart enough, or used to be, to know how conspiracy charges work, and to read the allegations in the indictment and see how they point to conspiracy.

    Maybe he just thinks it ought to be ok to conspire to steal an election by lying about non-existent fraud and manipulating officials into taking actions based on the lie?

    But if so, man, has he changed from the person he was three decades ago.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  40. And so it begins:

    Christie pulls ahead of DeSantis in New Hampshire GOP primary: poll

    Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has surpassed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
    Ron DeSantis (R) in the critical early presidential primary state of New Hampshire, according to an Emerson College survey released Tuesday.

    Christie leapfrogged DeSantis for second place in the Granite State, garnering 9 percent support. DeSantis’s support, on the other hand, fell to 8 percent from 17 percent in March.

    In the upcoming debate I expect most of the field (I am looking at you Haley and Scott) will break with Trump almost entirely, shocked, SHOCKED!!! at the charges that have been made, and call on GOP voters to find someone who can win.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  41. At what point will you consider the possibility that Trump has so broken the Republican party that it’s impossible for his base or the party leadership to break with him?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  42. To end our long national nightmare, like Ford did.

    Except Ford didn’t end our long national nightmare. Like an incomplete course of antibiotics, he soothed the symptoms and drove the infection underground. There it festered, while developing immunity to the tools we should have used to eradicate it in the first place. Now, fifty years later, it’s re-emerged, more virulent than ever.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  43. Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/15/2023 @ 4:56 pm

    LOL! Which puts Christie 40 points behind Donald Trump instead of DeSantis. 🤣

    Rip Murdock (dbaf46)

  44. And given the poll’s 3.4% margin of error the 1-point difference between the two is a rounding error.

    Rip Murdock (dbaf46)

  45. I’m baffled by what happened to Dershowitz here

    Ken White:

    The other way to be a public legal commenter is to be an advocate pretending to be a fair reporter — to take what you think the law should be based on your sympathies or politics and present it deceitfully as what the law inarguably is. I’ve often criticized Alan Dershowitz for doing this — for instance, for telling the public “you can’t convict someone of lying to the federal government if the federal government knew they were lying,” even though every modern court to consider that argument has rejected it.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  46. He’s 84 years old.

    nk (da795f)

  47. Tim Scott responds to the latest Trump indictment: “we’ve seen the legal system being weaponized against political opponents, that is un-American and unacceptable.”

    Yeah, can’t vote for that. Tell the truth. Be a leader. Be a man. Scott failed at two impeachment votes that could have ended this. I’m done listening to him.

    AJ_Liberty (0f14c4)

  48. This is political. Evidence will mean little to trumpster trying to get on jury and little more to trump hater trying to get on jury. Question what good is evidence if trumpster or more then one gets on jury? Unless its graft or bribery jurors will revert to their tribes. This is the problem with political trials.

    asset (1032ef)

  49. I just hope that the GOP primary voters starts to realize that all these indictments is not a PLUS if he does win the Whitehouse. His administration will be handcuffed and be the lamest of lame duck administration.

    I’m hoping for DeSantis to win Iowa and NH to generate some momentum. I think that’s what we’re waiting for… any momentum that can overtake Trump.

    whembly (f645cf)

  50. @50 I am hoping to win the lottery. You have better odds ;but not that much better. The gop primary voters are trump loving populists 50% in blue states 60% in purple states and 70%+ in red states. They hate never trumpers and every thing they stand for. Why do you hope trumpsters who loathe never trumpers will stop loathing never trumpers.

    asset (1032ef)

  51. “Actually it would be very good if the Dersh’s predictions came true”

    He predicted that all four indictments will take place before the 2024 election (not exactly a bold prediction) and that they will be reversed on appeal after the election. This would actually be a very bad outcome for the Republic. I don’t really understand why this would be in any way good. And as a prediction, it’s not exactly outlandish.

    lloyd (7a7c63)

  52. LOL! Which puts Christie 40 points behind Donald Trump instead of DeSantis.

    Here’s a plan.

    1) Trump gets convicted of lots of stuff, in GA and DC if not Florida. One way or another he is not the nominee. Perhaps he’s disqualified by the courts. Maybe the party comes to its senses. Whatever.

    2) Now Trump needs a pardon. To get that, not only does a GOP president need to be elected (and I’d advise the candidate to be at least “considering it”), but they need lots of GA legislators as well to get the pardon power back in the governor’s hands.

    3) So, it is imperative that Trump’s minions crawl over ground glass to vote for the Republicans — even though they may hate most of them — so that Trump can get his pardon(s).

    Then I supposed one has to give them to him. Or at least a commutation to house arrest at Mar-a-Lago.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  53. But I really do expect that half of Trump’s support will be gone by October.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  54. He predicted that all four indictments will take place before the 2024 election (not exactly a bold prediction)

    I believe his prediction was that all four trials would be done before the election. I refuse to call anything Dersh says “bold,” but I’d bet money he’s wrong.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  55. And given the poll’s 3.4% margin of error the 1-point difference between the two is a rounding error.

    Golly, Rip, I really did not know that you knew about “rounding errors.” You don’t talk about them much.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  56. I suspect that the first line in Mitch McConnell’s obituary will read something like:

    “Mitch McConnell, the Republican senate leader who failed to rally his party to convict Donald Trump in 2021 ….”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  57. The only trials that matter are in GA and DC. NY is a couple of misdemeanors. The Florida thing is a sideshow.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  58. Yeah, can’t vote for that. Tell the truth. Be a leader. Be a man. Scott failed at two impeachment votes that could have ended this. I’m done listening to him.

    How disappointing. He’s running to be second fiddle to Donald Trump. I should ask for my money back. This thing is going to break in the August debate and any candidate who is still waffling is early roadkill.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  59. It seems we have a whole new crop of bad GOP campaign consultants.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  60. I am hoping to win the lottery. You have better odds ;but not that much better.

    You are more likely to be mauled on the same day by a polar bear and a real bear than win the lottery. But there are lots of ways that Trump is not the nominee. For example, he could have a heart attack and die. He could have a stroke. He could be hit by a bus. All more likely that winning the lottery, and at this point more likely than winning the general election.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  61. But I really do expect that half of Trump’s support will be gone by October.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/15/2023 @ 9:53 pm

    What year?

    Rip Murdock (dbaf46)

  62. Golly, Rip, I really did not know that you knew about “rounding errors.” You don’t talk about them much.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/15/2023 @ 9:54 pm

    Gee whiz, Kevin, maybe it’s because Gulliver’s lead in the polls over any of the Lilliputians exceeds their margins of error by multiples. For the most part the Lilliputians are stuck within the margins of error.

    Rip Murdock (dbaf46)

  63. In the upcoming debate I expect most of the field (I am looking at you Haley and Scott) will break with Trump almost entirely…….

    Tim Scott: See above.

    Nikki Haley: MIA.

    Maybe they put her picture on a milk carton: “Have you seen this candidate’s position on Donald Trump’s indictment?”

    Rip Murdock (dbaf46)

  64. The Florida thing is a sideshow.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/15/2023 @ 9:58 pm

    I disagree. Of all the indictments, the Espionage Act charges is an open and shut case.

    Rip Murdock (dbaf46)

  65. I disagree. Of all the indictments, the Espionage Act charges is an open and shut case.

    Yes, but it does not touch charges around J6, which is what it really important. Also, the judge there is going to drag her feet.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  66. It should be noted that whatever Trump was doing in GA, he was doing elsewhere, too.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  67. @53 hillary clinton called this fairy dust. She was talking about sanders ;but she turned out to be the fairy dust! @54 why? Underestimating trump supporters has gotten never trumpers exactly what? Trump and populists have the same hate/enemies list. Trump support is as strong as always among the populist base. Never trumpers and the vermin in the media keep asking the base to stop supporting trump as they sprinkle fairy dust around.

    asset (1032ef)

  68. @65 better ask the jurors who will be asked what do you think of trump? They will decide if it is open and shut case.

    asset (1032ef)

  69. AJ, The GOP base is pretty deeply committed to their conspiracy theories and persecution complex. Distinctions about what makes one statement protected speech and another an overt act are ignored. Distinctions around the evidence available to prove intent are ignored. The fact that there was good reason to suspect Trump/Russia as well as bad reason is ignored.

    The end result being that the base will not support a candidate that doesn’t feed their preconceptions.

    Part of this is justified. I strongly suspect that HRC was a highly competent criminal surrounded by ppl who helped her just barely not break the law. Looking at someone you hate repeatedly walk right up to the line over and over again without punishment is infuriating and makes you believe that there is no real justice. Just a pointless game that’s being abused.

    I have limited sympathy for this because when the GOP has power they’ve done little to nothing to push reforms for the things that bother them and Hunter isn’t much more corrupt then any number of Nepo-babies. He’s just a crack head who did a terrible job of “technically” following the rules.

    If he’d gotten a degree in international relations from a near Ivy and set up a law firm or a consulting company he’d have likely colored inside the lines and Biden White House would be able to say it’s just work his firm did and there wasn’t any improper act. It would be a lie, but it’s a lie a lot of our leaders have used. (Since he didn’t color inside the lines I’m thrilled to see him being charged and look forward to a new norm of thurough investigations of all the nepo-babies)

    Time123 (7e71ad)

  70. Time, we are seeing the death of shame. There is no where to go where a super-majority of society can confidently agree that they are getting at least 90% of the truth.

    There is no Walter Cronkite that is telling us “that’s the way it is”….and most agree with those facts. We tediously spin and dissemble because there is little cost to doing so. We are nasty as hell with each other because we now accept that as discourse. Our internet manners are affecting our civic manners.

    Someone recently made an observation about Jonah Goldberg on Twitter. The person observed that Jonah would post something and get a dozen responses. Eleven would be good faith and would offer promise of engagement. The twelfth would a bad faith response, dripping in sarcasm or nastiness, trollish in character. Which of the dozen does Jonah respond to? Exactly, the troll. So, good conversations don’t happen and instead everything gets pulled down to some nasty brutish level…because there’s no shame. I see Patterico getting pulled similarly. So much brain power and time is wasted on ceremonially winning the internet, because we just can’t help ourselves.

    The bottom line is that the 54% of the GOP supporting Trump should suffer shame. They should be embarrassed for supporting a candidate that will likely be in prison…or at least convicted. They should be embarrassed for supporting someone who continuously lies, who started a riot at the Capitol because of election lies, and who so boldly mocks the rule of law. They should be embarrassed for…in many cases….of being so willingly ignorant of the facts….and so manipulatable. Democracy is heading toward a violent crash unless interest in truth and facts makes a comeback. The grifters are winning…..and they know it.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  71. I feel like you’re not wrong but missing part of the attraction of Trump.
    Rich Lowery provides a good explanation.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/10/the-only-middle-finger-available/

    Add in the human response to justify any choice you’ve made and the desire to refuse to give ground to ppl you think hate you and that accelerates what you laid out.

    Time123 (7e71ad)

  72. Interesting now, that it looks like this GA case is going to be moved to federal courts.

    At minimum, this is simply a defense of federalism because, in general, the states CANNOT use state law against federal officials for things they did as federal officers.

    whembly (5f7596)

  73. At minimum, this is simply a defense of federalism because, in general, the states CANNOT use state law against federal officials for things they did as federal officers.

    There’s an exception to that, specifically that the federal officer was doing his official duties, and there was nothing official about Meadows trying to help Trump illegally overturn an election.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  74. “but missing part of the attraction of Trump.”

    Oh I get the attraction to Trump, but is it healthy for a party to pick a candidate on the basis of how awful he will treat the other side? Oh and by the way, that means half of the country. And what drives this is the existential fear that the other side is winning….especially culturally. Now I’m skeptical that electing the President will do much at all in changing the culture. Our system of government just doesn’t work like that unless we are willing to enable an authoritarian who is willing to lie, cheat, and steal to impose a certain orthodoxy. The GOP is being led by propagandists who make their money based on how much hate, anger and fear they can maintain.

    This is a pluralistic society. We need to appreciate that. A lot of this “warring” is itself a war against pluralism in our country. We all have the liberty to structure and live our lives as we see fit. And structure our local and state governments to reflect our own values and priorities. There will always be churn. Trumpism is giving up on what makes our country great. It’s a dead end that should hold little attraction.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  75. Meadows has a hard row to hoe. He may be exempt from the Hatch Act but, as Paul pointed out, offering to have Trump’s campaign pay for an “investigation” by Raffensperger is not an official duty of the White House Chief of Staff.

    nk (8ac4d9)

  76. Time, we are seeing the death of shame.

    We are seeing a [further] unraveling of the Rule of Law. If the powerful flaunt it openly they lead by example and it becomes more normal. Gaming the system is pretty common these days, as is shoplifting and open drug use. I think we might be past the tipping point.

    Jailing Trump and disqualifying him from office will be divisive, but I am edging towards the “It’s necessary” camp. Followed by some prominent Democrats.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  77. Meadows would be far better off cutting a plea for a misdemeanor and testifying.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  78. Oh I get the attraction to Trump, but is it healthy for a party to pick a candidate on the basis of how awful he will treat the other side?

    The Democrats are watching and they have a faction that would be happy to do just that, starting with re-education camps for capitalists, business owners and stockholders.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  79. This is a pluralistic society. We need to appreciate that. A lot of this “warring” is itself a war against pluralism in our country.

    Now, here the warfare is mostly coming from the Left. The pushback on the Right (e.g. DeSantis) is simply a reaction to a concerted (and effective) limiting of acceptable thought and behavior to a socially Left belief system that functions like a doctrinaire religion. And a state religion in many settings.

    Diversity oaths are anti-pluralism. Speech codes are anti-pluralism. Shouting down speakers is anti-pluralism.

    It’s not just Trump, and in many ways Trump is, again, just a symptom of a deeper sickness.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  80. At minimum, this is simply a defense of federalism because, in general, the states CANNOT use state law against federal officials for things they did as federal officers.

    whembly (5f7596) — 8/16/2023 @ 7:26 am

    Maybe, maybe not.

    Beginning with In Re: Neagle, the Supreme Court defined the doctrine of Supremacy Clause immunity in a series of cases between 1890 and 1920. Taken together, Supreme Court and 11th Circuit precedent provide that Trump would need to make three key showings to successfully raise a Supremacy Clause immunity defense to criminal prosecution in Georgia.

    First, Trump would need to demonstrate that he was acting pursuant to either an express grant of authority or an implied grant “growing out of the Constitution” and “the nature of the government under the Constitution.”

    Second, from an objective point of view, he would need to demonstrate that he did only what was necessary to pursue a valid federal objective.

    Finally, he would need to prove that he acted with proper subjective motivation—such as his belief that his actions were closely related to pursuing a legitimate federal objective—and not an improper one—such as his own personal political gain. An improper subjective motivation could be understood as either nullifying his authority in the presence of self-interest or criminal intent, or as defeating the reasonableness of his conduct.

    Trump’s Supremacy Clause immunity defense would be unpersuasive at any step of this analysis. First, no statute authorized him to interfere in Georgia’s ballot-counting process, and his attempt to force a state to take action to keep him in power was, if anything, directly contrary to the constitutional structure. Second, his actions bore no objectively reasonable relationship to the accomplishment of any valid federal objective or the enforcement of any federal statute.

    Finally, Trump’s subjective intentions fail to establish immunity in any formulation. There is no evidence demonstrating that he believed his own claims of fraud, and there is substantial evidence that he should not (and would not) have believed them. The context and the content of his statements to Georgia officials provide overpowering evidence that he acted in a self-interested manner, rather than in furtherance of a federal goal. For all these reasons, there would be no merit to an argument by Trump that he is shielded by Supremacy Clause immunity.

    Source (page 184), Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  81. I get Meadows wanting to move the case to federal courts, so that he can get it dismissed.

    But, I’m missing where it’d be to Trump’s benefit to move it to federal court. Outside of the prosecutors, GA is a purplish-former red state that I doubt he woudn’t get a favorable jury pool, as he only needs one to not convict.

    whembly (5f7596)

  82. If Trump requests that the Georgia case be transferred to federal court (as he probably will), such a request may or may not be granted:

    In the event that Trump faces criminal charges in Fulton County, he likely will attempt to remove the prosecution to federal court. It is highly unusual for a state criminal prosecution to face the prospect of removal. But under Section 1442(a), “any officer … of the United States” may remove to federal court a criminal action brought against them in state court if the prosecution is “for or relating to any act under color of such office.”863 This law is “designed to provide federal officials with a federal forum in which to raise defenses arising from their official duties.” To remove a case, the federal official must file a notice of removal in the federal district court, which has jurisdiction over the removal question. After removal occurs, the state authorities—in this case the prosecutor—who filed the case have the option of filing a motion to remand.

    Under Section 1442(a), removal is authorized if the defendant is an “officer of the United States” and has “raise[d] a colorable federal defense.”……If prosecutors were to file a motion to remand the case to state court, they would address those issues at the outset of the litigation, prior to discovery, and with a standard asking only whether Trump’s contentions are “colorable.” Trump’s position should fail even under that forgiving standard.

    As the Supreme Court made clear in Mesa v. California, not all removal efforts under Section 1442(a) are meritorious. If prosecutors seek a remand, they have two compelling arguments available to them. The first and strongest is that Trump’s conduct does not implicate any colorable defense. Under those principles, the district attorney has a strong argument that President Trump should not be afforded immunity because neither the Constitution nor applicable federal statutes vest the president with any authority or responsibility to interfere with the administration of the Georgia election. …….

    But there is a second possibility that merits further exploration. It is that the statutory text does not expressly cover the president as an “officer … of the United States” for purposes of removal. The phrase “officer [] of the United States” is a term of art with constitutional foundation: Under the Appointments Clause, the president is vested with authority to appoint “all … Officers of the United States,” and the Constitution elsewhere refers separately to the president as distinct from the “Officers” he appoints. Invoking this distinction, prosecutors could argue on textualist grounds that Section 1442(a) does not cover Trump, even though that outcome may seem counterintuitive from a policy perspective (since the major purpose of this statute is to afford a federal forum for the resolution of federal defenses)……..

    Source pp. 187-189. Footnotes removed. For a further discussion of why a President is not an “officer of the United States,” see Part I of this paper here.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  83. But, I’m missing where it’d be to Trump’s benefit to move it to federal court. Outside of the prosecutors, GA is a purplish-former red state that I doubt he woudn’t get a favorable jury pool, as he only needs one to not convict.

    whembly (5f7596) — 8/16/2023 @ 9:09 am

    Larger jury pool and the possibility of a Trump-appointed judge. Not counting the senior judges in the Northern District of Georgia (which includes Fulton County), there are 11 district judges of which 4 were appointed by Trump, 4 by Obama, and 2 by Biden, and the chief judge who was appointed by GW Bush.

    Also delay, delay, delay.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  84. There is no way on God’s green earth that conspiring to present false Electoral College documents to the Congress of the United States is “protected political speech.”

    Not protected political speech, but protected political action.

    I don’t feel that challenging election results; using bad arguments for fraud; making unnecessary checks and recounts, or making bad legal arguments should be considered criminal here, but only creating false evidence of vote fraud, or encouraging election officials to do anything they did not genuinely believe to be honest – and there has to be a meeting of minds on that last point.

    I don’t feel we should go into whether or not, in challenging results etc, the person challenging or disputing the results genuinely believed he was in the right.

    Sammy Finkelman (477e6a)

  85. lurker (cd7cd4) — 8/15/2023 @ 5:25 pm

    Except Ford didn’t end our long national nightmare.

    Yes, that’s right. what he id is he stopped the movie.

    He should have waited at least until there was an indictment – specific crimes Nixon was accuse of.

    And it wasn’t so bad a nightmare.

    But that was his motive.

    Sammy Finkelman (477e6a)

  86. But under Section 1442(a), “any officer … of the United States” may remove to federal court a criminal action brought against them in state court if the prosecution is “for or relating to any act under color of such office.

    I think there may be only one or two counts that fit that definition – the attempted appointment of Jeffrey Clark as Acting Attorney General might be one.

    Everything else was in Trump’s capacity as a candidate.

    Sammy Finkelman (477e6a)

  87. @81 & 83:

    Thanks, Rip, that’s informative. What bothers me, though, is that the offenses being charged are, in some cases, also covered by federal statutes (e.g. RICO) and the pattern of behavior in Georgia was quite likely not limited to Georgia (the specific perjury/forgery/fraud claims were GA-specific).

    Could Trump make an argument that the RICO portion of this case, at least, presents federal questions best tried in federal court? Might that be used to drag the other charges there too? I can see other jurisdictions, such as Arizona or Pennsylvania, being upset with the way their electoral votes were gamed.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  88. Trump’s only game plan is to delay until after his landslide election victory, then hide behind the Presidency for those charges he cannot try to pardon himself for. I expect the GA cases to be litigated to death if the GA judge will permit it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  89. Except Ford didn’t end our long national nightmare.

    The really annoying part was that Ford did not require Nixon to publicly admit his crimes as a condition of the pardon. Nixon was required to testify at a trial (Haldeman?) and could not invoke the 5th, nor perjure himself. He was apparently forthright about the case at hand, but it was far from a full confession.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  90. Except Ford didn’t end our long national nightmare.

    (channeling DCSCA) Except he did. The national psyche had been frozen for about a year as the Watergate case consumed all the oxygen, much like Donald Trump is doing now. Nixon’s pardon stopped a process that would have extended the pain for another year or two, accomplishing little. Nixon’s inner circle all went to jail, were disbarred (except for the contemptible John Dean), and never served in government again.

    The difference now is that Trump’s defeat was insufficient to stop the oxygen-sucking and further measures are needed. My personal feeling is that only his death will stop it, but we’ll try prison first.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  91. I agree with your comment 89, Kevin.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  92. As for 88, the Georgia RICO charges are pursuant to Georgia laws. NPR explains it is based on federal law but is a Georgia law that is broader than the federal statute.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  93. I assume that they could also be charged in federal court for RICO violations, just as defendants are sometimes charged in state courts and in federal courts for the same conduct. EG, police officers charged with excessive force in state court and civil rights violations in federal court.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  94. Arizona, Pennsylvania, etc., are free to bring charges, too, but my guess is they don’t have the recordings and other evidence that the Georgia officials preserved.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  95. DRJ,

    I’m not really arguing law here — don’t know enough — but AIUI, one of the objectives of federal law is to regularize law among states, when the issues are common and not noticeably unique, to avoid a patchwork of laws that make intrastate business impossible.

    I don’t know what favor the so-called “Dormant Commerce Clause” is held these days, considering what California does with non-tariff barriers, but it would seem that 50 RICO laws could cause problems.

    Why does Georgia need a Georgia-specific RICO law?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  96. *interstate

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  97. > But I really do expect that half of Trump’s support will be gone by October.

    Yeah, but you’ve consistently underestimated the intensity of Republican support for and attachment to Trump and have repeatedly been surprised at how wrong your estimation is.

    I don’t trust this estimation to mean anything because your previous estimations have been … oto kind to your tribemates.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  98. There used to be a legal doctrine that you could not bring different charges in different forums on the same facts, but now the federal prosecutors bring charges under the civil rights laws in cases where the States also brought charges on the same facts.

    I understand why they do this. There is a feeling that the State charges did not result in justice and/or there were civil rights violations not dealt with in the State courts. Sometimes defendants will argue double jeopardy but it rarely works. The fact is that federal and State laws vary because they prioritize different issues.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  99. > but is it healthy for a party to pick a candidate on the basis of how awful he will treat the other side?

    No.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  100. Then again, neither party is healthy. The Democrats are ALSO picking Trump as a candidate, on the basis of how awful he will be for the independents.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  101. But I really do expect that half of Trump’s support will be gone by October.

    Yeah, but you’ve consistently underestimated the intensity of Republican support for and attachment to Trump

    Admittedly, I’ve been hoping for sanity to return since 2015. But very shortly the other GOP candidates will have to pick their side instead of waffling. You cannot make a case for yourself if you won’t make the OBVIOUS case against your main competition. Chris Christie is going to shine on August 23rd. Scott and Haley are going to look awfully weak (not to mention the “why are you wasting our time?” problem) if they just tiptoe around the ONLY issue for most Republicans, pro-Trump or not, and talk about the need to balance the budget or reform Medicare.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  102. if they just tiptoe around the ONLY issue for most Republicans, pro-Trump or not, and talk about the need to balance the budget or reform Medicare.

    (channeling Rip)

    If you don’t think that Trump is the only issue, scroll back to the last PP thread on balanced budgets or reforming Medicare.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  103. Could Trump make an argument that the RICO portion of this case, at least, presents federal questions best tried in federal court? Might that be used to drag the other charges there too? I can see other jurisdictions, such as Arizona or Pennsylvania, being upset with the way their electoral votes were gamed.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/16/2023 @ 10:17 am

    Since Trump is accused of state crimes, Georgia’s more expansive RICO law applies. Thirty-one states have RICO laws, including Arizona and Pennsylvania. They can indict Trump and his associates as well.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  104. Why does Georgia need a Georgia-specific RICO law?

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/16/2023 @ 11:36 am

    Because there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents a state from mimicking a federal statute.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  105. For example, both the federal government (The Brooks Act) and California (“Mini-Brooks“) have laws that that the procurement of architectural, engineering, and similar services be based on qualifications, not cost.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  106. I hope I am wrong but I think Trump has the nomination. At this point, voters that disapprove of him will leave the GOP instead of supporting someone else.

    DRJ (b1f67c)

  107. Invitation to Harassment (Or Worse):

    The purported names and addresses of members of the grand jury that indicted Donald Trump and 18 of his co-defendants on state racketeering charges this week have been posted on a fringe website that often features violent rhetoric, NBC News has learned.

    NBC News is choosing not to name the website featuring the addresses to avoid further spreading the information.
    ………
    The grand juror’s purported addresses were spotted by Advance Democracy, Inc., a non-partisan research group founded by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI investigator and staffer for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
    ……..
    Advance Democracy also noted that users were posting on other social media sites the names and images of people believed to have been grand jurors. The posts asserted that the jurors had posted on social media in support of Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., former President Barack Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement.

    Yesterday — after Trump posted on his social media website that authorities were going “after those that fought to find the RIGGERS!” — Advance Democracy noted that Trump supporters were “using the term ‘rigger’ in lieu of a racial slur” in posts online.
    ………
    “These jurors have signed their death warrant by falsely indicting President Trump,” read one post on a pro-Trump forum in response to a post including the names of jurors, which was viewed by NBC News.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  108. Kevin, the fundamental problem is demonstrated by this quote from a new Yorker article about the desantis campaign

    > “Across several months, the source familiar with the campaign said that it consistently struggled to find a message critical of Trump that resonated with rank-and-file Republican voters. Even attaching Trump’s name to an otherwise effective message had a tendency to invert the results, this source said. If a moderator said that the covid lockdowns destroyed small businesses and facilitated the largest upward wealth transfer in modern American history, seventy per cent of the Republicans surveyed would agree. But, if the moderator said that Trump’s covid lockdowns destroyed small businesses and facilitated the largest upward wealth transfer in modern American history, the source said, seventy per cent would disagree.”

    The base is so locked in that a politician attacking trump will in effect undermine themselves. Christie can attack all he wants, and he’ll gain support from people like you and me, but lose support from the base.

    As far as I can tell the base is ready to follow trump off a cliff and would support making him a dictator; opposition to him simply means you are unamerican scum worthy of punishment.

    aphrael (e4e55b)

  109. He ought to campaign on the basis of an open convention – there’s nothing to lose.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  110. 107. DRJ (b1f67c) — 8/16/2023 @ 1:11 pm

    I hope I am wrong but I think Trump has the nomination. At this point, voters that disapprove of him will leave the GOP instead of supporting someone else.

    They’ve been leaving for years.

    Closed primaries and winner take all states help him. No contest in the Democratic primary in open primary states hurt him a little.

    Trump may not hit 50% or even 40% but he doesn’t need to if STOP TRUMP (or NO TRUMP) votes can’t be combined.

    By the way, did anyone notice that the Chairman of the RNC was not indicted even though she was involved in the selection of fake electors?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  111. Chris Christie is going to shine on August 23rd.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/16/2023 @ 12:38 pm

    I’m going to reinstate my cable package before I had planned just for the debate.

    norcal (dee9db)

  112. I disagree. Of all the indictments, the Espionage Act charges is an open and shut case.

    Yes, but it does not touch charges around J6, which is what it really important. Also, the judge there is going to drag her feet.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/15/2023 @ 11:02 pm

    When I suggested it was too soon to say Cannon won’t delay or obstruct, as I recall you didn’t think much of that opinion. What changed your mind?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  113. But, if the moderator said that Trump’s covid lockdowns destroyed small businesses and facilitated the largest upward wealth transfer in modern American history, the source said, seventy per cent would disagree.”

    aphrael (e4e55b) — 8/16/2023 @ 1:18 pm

    Sadly true.

    It brings to mind something my mother said after I gave her a subscription to National Review a few years ago. “I can’t tell if the articles are for or against Trump.”

    This story has a happy ending, however. I finally got my mom to stop worshipping Trump. How? His tweet about terminating the Constitution. You don’t mess with the Constitution and expect my mother to be in your camp.

    norcal (dee9db)

  114. I think Judge Cannon won’t sentence Trump to jail.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  115. “This story has a happy ending”

    We need more of that

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  116. I think Judge Cannon won’t sentence Trump to jail.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 8/16/2023 @ 2:44 pm

    I’d be okay with house arrest at Mar-a-Lago for the Mar-a-Loser.

    Throw in conjugal visits from Kari Lake.

    norcal (dee9db)

  117. I think Judge Cannon won’t sentence Trump to jail.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 8/16/2023 @ 2:44 pm

    Given Trump’s security requirements, his age, and as a first time offender, I don’t think he would be incarcerated for any conviction.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  118. Chris Christie is going to shine on August 23rd. Scott and Haley are going to look awfully weak (not to mention the “why are you wasting our time?” problem) if they just tiptoe around the ONLY issue for most Republicans, pro-Trump or not, and talk about the need to balance the budget or reform Medicare.

    That assumes that Trump shows up-without Christie facing his favorite target he will just be one among many Lilliputians. My prediction is that any proposals to “balance” the budget and “reform” Medicare or Social Security will be fanciful at best and politically unworkable (if not suicidal).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  119. That assumes that Trump shows up-without Christie facing his favorite target he will just be one among many Lilliputians.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/16/2023 @ 2:55 pm

    Even if Trump doesn’t show up, I’m confident Christie will go after the others for insufficient criticism of Trump.

    Stock up on popcorn.

    norcal (dee9db)

  120. Even if Trump doesn’t show up, I’m confident Christie will go after the others for insufficient criticism of Trump.

    Stock up on popcorn.

    norcal (dee9db) — 8/16/2023 @ 2:58 pm

    Then he is hitting the wrong target.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  121. Then he is hitting the wrong target.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 8/16/2023 @ 3:07 pm

    Not if the goal is to weed out the Trump suck-ups

    norcal (dee9db)

  122. What is the difference between don quixote and posters here saying what republican primary voters “should” do? Except don quixote has an ending.

    asset (73a959)

  123. > Then he is hitting the wrong target.

    I disagree — the cowards who won’t call out Trump because they’re afraid of the cost should be named and shamed, and the people who won’t call out Trump because they *support* him should be, too.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  124. By the way, did anyone notice that the Chairman of the RNC was not indicted even though she was involved in the selection of fake electors?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 8/16/2023 @ 2:20 pm

    She may be one of the 30 unindicted co-conspirators in the Georgia indictment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  125. Sometimes the bravest thing to do is stay in the game, go to work and get it done until the tide turns, or until you figure out how to turn that tide yourself. People like Christie, Haley, DeSantis are well aware they need to turn the tide themselves but its not easy

    steveg (9fd611)

  126. I don’t know about unnamed unindicted co-conspirators. My guess is numbers 1-30 either cooperated with the prosecutor and are willing to (or did) testify, or there is not enough evidence one or more committed a crime. Anyone know how that works?

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  127. I’d be okay with house arrest at Mar-a-Lago for the Mar-a-Loser.

    Throw in conjugal visits from Kari Lake.

    norcal (dee9db) — 8/16/2023 @ 2:49 pm

    I’d park a battleship within shelling distance just to be sure.

    urbanleftbehind (e3f621)

  128. I don’t know about unnamed unindicted co-conspirators. My guess is numbers 1-30 either cooperated with the prosecutor and are willing to (or did) testify, or there is not enough evidence one or more committed a crime. Anyone know how that works?

    DRJ (95ee8b) — 8/16/2023 @ 4:14 pm

    Some are the fake electors that may received immunity, and at least one (the now Lt. Governor) got a court order banning Willis from investigating him. But his turn is coming.

    Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch is apparently Individual 1, while Boris Epshteyn appears to be Individual 3 with Bernie Kerik is #5.

    Here is table of known and unknown unindicted conspirators.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  129. Not if the goal is to weed out the Trump suck-ups

    Like DeSantis, Scott and probably Haley. I say probably Haley as she has been trying (futilely) to get the conversation away for Trump’s drama. She has not commented of late and she may be bringing a new game to the debate. Or not. If she goes on about China and the border, etc, instead she’s going to need to bring her own oxygen.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  130. My HOPE is that most of the candidates will decide that Trump is toast and toss him under an Abrams tank. But I’ve been hoping that since 2015.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  131. The base is so locked in that a politician attacking trump will in effect undermine themselves. Christie can attack all he wants, and he’ll gain support from people like you and me, but lose support from the base.

    Then why bother? IF they aren’t going to vote for anyone but Trump, why court them? Instead go after the independents and moderate Democrats who’s alternative is a dead man.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  132. When I suggested it was too soon to say Cannon won’t delay or obstruct, as I recall you didn’t think much of that opinion. What changed your mind?

    She delayed.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  133. If one is planning on coming out forcefully against Trump, given these serious charges, the time to do that is in a televised debate where there is some chance that you’ll be heard in total and not chopped up into 10-second soundbites and mocked by some TV asshat.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  134. Thank you, Rip.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  135. I disagree — the cowards who won’t call out Trump because they’re afraid of the cost should be named and shamed, and the people who won’t call out Trump because they *support* him should be, too.

    aphrael (71d87c) — 8/16/2023 @ 3:46 pm

    Waiting for you to call out Biden for his bribery campaign and other leftists for their socialist takeover of your party.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  136. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/patriotism-unity/oliver-anthony-rolling-stone-a-thing-or-two

    Many could take a lesson from Oliver Anthony.

    Try understanding your fellow American.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  137. Damn, a whole 2 mentions of Oliver Anthony on this blog in a 6 day span. I brought him up in post #8 of last Friday’s open thread.

    urbanleftbehind (e3f621)

  138. steveg (9fd611) — 8/16/2023 @ 4:07 pm

    Good insight.

    felipe (5879c1)

  139. Try understanding this, Rob: Trump cannot win the general election. He will lose even the most disaffected Democrat, all the independents and disaffected Republicans like me (I have yet to vote for him in a primary or general election, and nothing recently encourages me to change my mind).

    I doubt he crosses 40%

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  140. I’ll see your Oliver Anthony and raise you Rusty Kershaw.

    nk (6c45b4)

  141. Kevin,

    Yet I’ve seen you trash DeSantis, who can win, over and over again. How about supporting social conservatives for a change if you want to move forward.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  142. Because I am not a social conservative. I dislike any Statist approach to people’s lives. The political hedonists are as bad as the church ladies, I agree, but that does not mean I want to back the church ladies. A pox on both their houses.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  143. Jailing Trump and disqualifying him from office will be divisive, but I am edging towards the “It’s necessary” camp. Followed by some prominent Democrats.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/16/2023 @ 8:24 am

    I’m unaware of any prominent Democrat who’s even remotely culpable under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Slippery slopes like that are among the reasons I hope Section 3 isn’t read broadly enough to disqualify Trump. Stretching laws to punish people we think deserve it, whether or not their behavior fits the original understanding of the law, has no limiting principle. Once we start, snaring others in the newly expanded law is inevitable. It’s also inimical to our conception of rights and liberties, the prohibition on ex post facto being one.

    I detest Trump with the fire of a thousand suns. In my heart, I want him, and believe he richly deserves, to spend the rest of his life behind bars. But my principles tell me I can’t be OK with anyone, even Trump, being singled out for punishment that wouldn’t be constitutionally and otherwise legally meted out to someone else who did the same things he’s done. Trump’s cardinal sin is his assault on the rule of law. Contorting the law to punish him for that is burning the village to save the village.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  144. DeSantis is mistaking the zeitgeist. Biden’s faults have very little to do with who reads what, who has (consenting) sex with whom, how people dress, or whether Minnie Mouse is a lesbian.

    Biden is letting DeSantis, and many Republicans, battle with the hedonist libertine mob while he robs the people blind. I want a candidate who talks about what matters, and we’d have that easily except for the yammering of DeSantis and the continuing meltdown of Trump.

    I fear that when Trump dies, his cult will canonize him and start a new church. They seem that dedicated.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  145. That said, I might vote for DeSantis, if that’s the choice.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  146. I’m unaware of any prominent Democrat who’s even remotely culpable under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    I’m sorry if I implied that I did. I was thinking more of several Democrats who have been ignoring the Law or gaming the system. It seems more commonplace than before, with special treatment for our betters that needs to be dialed back.

    Trump is just the most egregious.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  147. Stretching laws to punish people we think deserve it, whether or not their behavior fits the original understanding of the law, has no limiting principle.

    Thomas More and William Roper. Yeah, I get it. I said “edging towards”, and this is my restraint.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  148. Note Allahnick’s column today about his deep pessimism about Biden v Trump. He points out that even if Trump loses in a landslide, he’ll just claim it is MORE proof the election was rigged.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  149. Because I am not a social conservative. I dislike any Statist approach to people’s lives. The political hedonists are as bad as the church ladies, I agree, but that does not mean I want to back the church ladies. A pox on both their houses.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 8/16/2023 @ 6:24 pm

    So you want what you want and screw the rest. Why would any social conservative compromise then?

    That matters more to you than stopping the socialists.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  150. Reading these comments are like asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Trump and biden are within the margin of error in the polls. Biden got 7,000,000+ more votes then trump in 2020. which ment squat. He won electoral collage by 43,000 votes in 3 states az 10,000 ga 13,000 wi 20,000. only because democrats kept green party off ballot. The issue in 2024 will be ABORTION! You know this ;but have no answer. Conservative talk radio is trannies/drag queens and trump. Their call screeners hang up on abortion callers. Since the kansas and ohio popular votes republicans are terrified about what happened to red wave in 2022 and will happen in 2024. Voters in 2024 as they did in 2022 will be voting on abortion not trannys and drag queens.

    asset (d78cb0)

  151. I think any Republican could beat Biden except the populists Trump and Ramaswamy.

    DRJ (95ee8b)

  152. That matters more to you than stopping the socialists.

    It matters more to you,actually. I’m not the one foisting this crap on the GOP.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  153. I don’t believe that Biden will be the nominee. I’m not even sure he’ll be a candidate in 2024.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  154. In order to “stop the socialists” we do not have to impose Christian morality on the nation. Nor will imposing that stop Socialism. Plenty of Christian socialists.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  155. Conservative talk radio is trannies/drag queens and trump. Their call screeners hang up on abortion callers.

    asset (d78cb0) — 8/16/2023 @ 8:24 pm

    Whose show did you call?

    norcal (0ad108)

  156. Nonsense Kevin. But your distaste of “Christian morality” is telling.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  157. @156 red eye radio eric harley & gary macnamera show I wanted their opinion of the effect on the 2024 election of the kansas vote and the ohio vote. I was told by the screener they no longer take calls on abortion issue. Same with joe pags show.

    asset (d78cb0)

  158. Chris Christie is going to shine on August 23rd.

    Christie may shine, but it won’t be at the RNC debate. Far as I know, he isn’t signing Ronna’s pledge (just like Trump isn’t), so he can’t be on stage.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  159. @159, I think Christie said that he will take the pledge in the same spirit that Trump would. I’m fine with that because the pledge is in effect compelling everyone to support a potentially convicted felon. I suppose the “out” is that it’s unclear what the pledge actually requires. Tepid support is still support. If it doesn’t require you to campaign for, help raise money for, or make speeches for….ehhh. It’s important that Trumpism is vocally opposed at this debate…and the fence sitters compelled to choose a side.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  160. I think any Republican could beat Biden except the populists Trump and Ramaswamy.

    I’m not sure that DeSantis can beat Biden either, not the way his messaging and his gubernatorial acts are going, but I’ll likely vote for him if nominated.

    Similar to 2016 with Trump and Cruz, the top two Republican candidates are unlikable assholes with high unfavorables. We were lucky in 2016 because Hillary was a weak charmless candidate with her full set of political baggage, but I doubt the GOP can strike lightning in a bottle twice.

    Biden is not so unlikable. Rather, he’s more like an amiable dunce as Reagan was once called (which isn’t actually true, because Biden is a dunce while Reagan wasn’t). Biden’s main crutch is he has a VP who is not ready for primetime and never will be (yes, Biden’s old but so’s Trump*). If Harris “gracefully declines” a 2nd term, Biden will be a shoo-in with her replacement as a running mate, but he may be a shoo-in regardless if Trump or DeSantis are nominated.

    If the GOP actually wants a Republican for president on 1/20/2025, Haley or Scott or Christie or Hutchinson or even Hurd gives us a better shot, IMO (and BTW, Ramaswamy is a “hell noway”, we don’t need an inexperienced Trump Mini-Me).

    *AllahNick: “The president is blessed to have a (likely) opponent who is himself pushing 80 and whose brain long ago turned to oatmeal. If you’re worried about age and mental capacity in the next commander in chief, the choice isn’t nearly as clear as Republicans would have you believe.”
    One more from Catoggio…

    Because we immerse ourselves in right-wing politics in this newsletter, it’s easy to forget that being indicted four times is … not great for a candidate.

    It seems great because each new felony charge appears to bolster Trump’s primary polling, a perverse testament to the corruption of the right relished by the man himself. But most Americans have not, in fact, lost their moral bearings. Being accused of a crime, or two crimes, or 91 crimes, is a bad thing to them.

    Especially, perhaps, when most of those alleged crimes relate to trying to overthrow the government.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  161. Republicans aren’t buying what DeSantis is selling.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  162. It hasn’t seemed as if the right is motivated by Christian Morality for a while. Trump really closed the lid on that box. “White Evangelical” as an political identity group seems pretty clearly established at this point. But it has little to do with the teachings of Jesus.

    Time123 (c425f1)

  163. And no poll shows DeSantis leading Biden head to head.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  164. Secular social leftists telling evangelical Christians what to believe is always entertaining.

    NJRob (d7959d)

  165. As a born-again evangelical, I have no trouble pointing out the hypocrisy of those who proclaim Christian morality while they carried water–or are carrying water–for an amoral, immoral twice-impeached malignant narcisist and adulterer and adjudicated liar and sexual abuser who tried to upend a free-fair election and who outright said that he would “terminate” the Constitution.
    The intellectual dissonance and contradictions are stunning. I only wish we had political party that was in the same region as Christian morality.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  166. > Waiting for you to call out Biden for his bribery campaign and other leftists for their socialist takeover of your party.

    I haven’t seen any evidence of a bribery campaign, so there’s nothing there to call out. I’ve seen a lot of evidence that a lot of people badly want there to be such evidence but haven’t been able to produce it.

    Socialists haven’t taken over the party; the party *defeated* Sanders and Warren, who were the most socialist candidates in 2020, and the leadership of the party is mostly bland bureaucratic technocrats. There’s nobody calling for nationalization of any industry other than health care and the people calling for nationalization of health care can’t get their agenda passed.

    I *loathe* a lot of the party leadership. Kamala Harris is a center-left authoritarian, Gavin Newsom is a sleazy a–hole, Nancy Pelosi is a (extremely effective) faceless bureaucratic technocrat. The party has a real problem figuring out how to connect with people emotionally and appears to be led by people who have *contempt* for their opponents (rather than a desire to understand them and lead them).

    But the particular things you want me to denounce are right wing hallucinations.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  167. > Try understanding your fellow American.

    Pot, kettle, black.

    I’ve never seen you show a single drop of interest in understanding those of us on the cultural left.

    > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqSA-SY5Hro

    Dude’s got a good voice. And it’s a good song. I don’t see what the controversy is.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  168. > I fear that when Trump dies, his cult will canonize him and start a new church.

    Of course they will. He will be a hero for many for at least a generation, and they will look to him as a historic symbol for *what people should aspire to*.

    Which is terrifying in and of itself — he’s simply a bad person and not worthy of aspiration, but there’s nothing to be done about it.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  169. aphrael, I’d say there’s an attempted socialist takeover by the Bernie-AOC wing, but they don’t have the votes to prevail, and they may never have because a majority of Americans just aren’t with ’em. We’re a right-leaning capitalist-friendly country that likes free and fair elections.

    It still remains that Joe was the least liberal out of all the candidates, and may pander–and has pandered–to the left wing to smooth their partisan featers, but he’s barely ahead of an unhinged right-wing mobster, so Biden can’t afford to dip too deeply into left-wing waters, so “socialist takeover” smells like hyperbole to me.
    Also, I also agree that “bribery campaign” is hyperbole, for lack of evidence.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  170. > I’d say there’s an attempted socialist takeover by the Bernie-AOC wing, but they don’t have the votes to prevail, and they may never have because a majority of Americans just aren’t with ’em. We’re a right-leaning capitalist-friendly country that likes free and fair elections.

    I wouldn’t even call them full on socialists, I would call them social democrats — they don’t want cuba or the soviet union, they want denmark or portugal.

    And *they* can’t even get control of the party leadership.

    > It still remains that Joe was the least liberal out of all the candidates, and may pander–and has pandered–to the left wing to smooth their partisan featers

    Yeah, and as someone who is to the left of the party on most issues, I consider Biden to be a vague centrist who is better than the alternative but not what I actually want.

    And I find allegations that he — or anyone in the actual party leadership — is a socialist to be *absolutely absurd*.

    But at the same time I think that for a lot of conservatives, “socialism” is just a vague swear word for things they don’t like. Much like “fascism” is a vague swear word for a lot of liberals.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  171. @165 you can believe whatever you like. It’s a free country. I’m telling you that it doesn’t appear
    That the modern conservative movement is motivated by Christian morality. You might not want that to be an accurate observation, but it is.

    Time123 (48386e)

  172. America is an increasingly pluralistic, decreasingly religious center-right country. Ppl might not like that, but it’s hard to argue the facts.

    Time123 (48386e)

  173. Paul, I think the support for Hershel Walker and lack of condemnation or even much interest in the compelling evidence that he’s paid for his girlfriend to have an abortion really solidified my view that the Christian right wasn’t really motivated by Christian morality. Abortion was and is one of their largest
    Moral stances and they were ok with it when saying otherwise could have hurt their election chances. It
    Just wasn’t somthing they were interested in.

    Time123 (48386e)

  174. Which is terrifying in and of itself — he’s simply a bad person and not worthy of aspiration, but there’s nothing to be done about it.

    The actual anti-Christ.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  175. Time123 — if you’re part of the tribe, no sin you commit matters. If you aren’t part of the tribe, no good you do matters. Tribal membership is all.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  176. But your distaste of “Christian morality” is telling.

    I have not problem with Christian morality, just as I have no problem with drag queens. I DO draw the line at making either of them mandatory. I do not believe that government should be in the business of enforcing moral codes, whether they be Christian, Buddhist or secular.

    If someone wants to stand on a soapbox reading Leviticus, fine, so long as he does not do it outside my house. If they want to do that while wearing a tutu, also fine. I can see banning bullhorns.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  177. I will say this, though … the secular humanists seem to think that imposing THEIR morality on everyone is OK, since it’s not religious (narrowly defined) and besides, they’ve got The Truth on their side.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  178. But if you ask me if I’m for secular humanism as a state religion, or Protestant Christianity (which has been that in the past), I’m not going to pick between two bad sides.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  179. @174:

    Just like the National Organization for Women backed Teddy Kennedy. They put political power first.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  180. I fear that when Trump dies, his cult will canonize him and start a new church.

    There’s always Don Jr. or Eric.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  181. Kevin, another great example.

    Time123 (8bb3cb)

  182. Don’t overt acts have to further the conspiracy, though?

    In our host’s hypothetical, buying the ski mask is a signal that the act is pre-meditated and planned. It’s a specific action to accomplish a specific task.

    In the case of Trumps tweet, how does it accomplish a specific task?

    It’s not a DM, it’s public. Which means it wasn’t directed at the (alleged) co-conspirators. It was aimed at everyone. And it’s message (“watch this thing on tv”) is only a furtherance if he had arranged some secret code or signal within the broadcast that would trigger an action: something the DA is NOT alleging.

    (Also, it has to be part of a pre-concocted plan. And as our host would agree in any other venue, when it comes to Trump and tweets, there has never been a plan or forethought.)

    SaveFarris (d54a8c)

  183. @166 I don’t care if it rains or freezes I am going to buy me a plastic jesus. Where in the bible does it say abortion is murder and the fetus is the same as a born baby?

    asset (5ad203)

  184. Where in the bible does it say abortion is murder and the fetus is the same as a born baby?

    Link

    DRJ (70bbed)

  185. In case you don’t have time to read the entire link:

    In the strictest sense, abortion advocates are correct: the Bible does not speak explicitly to abortion. But that should not leave believers in a state of moral confusion any more than the Bible’s failure to explicitly address money laundering or Internet pornography. For more than 2,000 years, the Lord’s followers have extrapolated from biblical principles that some behaviors are obviously sinful. The united witness of Jews and Christians regarding abortion is a case in point.

    Basil, Jerome, Chrysostom, Calvin and a host of other believers from every nation, tribe, people and tongue would scoff at the claim that Scripture is silent and that God’s people historically have been divided regarding abortion.

    DRJ (70bbed)

  186. SaveFarris,

    I am not sure what the evidence eill show. For instance, Trump might very well have had a plan. But, at a minimum, that tweet shows Trump was aware of the plan to go to the Capitol on January 6.

    DRJ (70bbed)

  187. DRJ (70bbed) — 8/18/2023 @ 8:34 am

    But, at a minimum, that tweet shows Trump was aware of the plan to go to the Capitol on January 6.

    Of course he was. But I think there is pretty strong evidence he was not aware of any plan to breach the barricades, nor would that be a logical result of his and other’s speechmaking at the Ellipse.

    Some of his people feared disorder, days in advance, but they figured he would ignore it if they told him, and they kind of tricked him into not going to Capitol in person.

    Sammy Finkelman (bdd397)


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