Patterico's Pontifications

2/14/2024

Another look at Trump’s Republican Party

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:31 pm



[guest post by Dana]

The current leader of the Republican Party makes no bones about it: a fellow election denier should fill Ronna McDaniel’s soon-to-be vacancy:

In pushing Michael Whatley as the next leader of the Republican National Committee, Donald Trump zeroed in on the North Carolina GOP chairman’s dedication to “election integrity,” baselessly suggesting he would ensure the 2024 race “can’t be stolen.”

SMDH. Every time Trump uses the word “integrity,” my eyeballs threaten to get stuck at the back of my head from such aggressive eye-rolling…

Whatley has faced criticism from some of his fellow Republicans, who believe that he “manufactured” his win as state party head. Of course there is irony:

“The next chair of the Republican Party is running on election integrity. His own election was called into question…” said Anderson Clayton, chairwoman of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Anyway, this is yet another indicator of the direction Trump is taking the party. Oh, and let’s not forget that his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, is the person he would like to see as the RNC co-chair. She’s made it clear what her priority will be:

“Every single penny will go to the No. 1 and the only job of the RNC – that is electing Donald J. Trump as president of the United States and saving this country,” she added.

P.S. By the way, a real concern about Trump taking over the RNC (and Lara Trump’s possible involvement), is that the committee may end up paying Trump’s ongoing legal fees.

—Dana

95 Responses to “Another look at Trump’s Republican Party”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e902f)

  2. Trump’s republican party. Election denier group true the vote tells Georgia judge it has no evidence for its claim of election fraud. (DU) Democratic trend continues since dobbs decision on abortion last night in NY. and Pa. and nearly in heavily republican district in OK. Voters who think Biden senile said last night in exit polling that they still had to vote democrat because of abortion. Similar to democrats getting defeated for many years over gun control.

    asset (30e1db)

  3. **sigh**

    We coulda had Ron DeSantis and avoided this.

    whembly (895faa)

  4. I’ve added a little postscript to the post.

    Dana (8e902f)

  5. We coulda had Ron DeSantis and avoided this.

    whembly (895faa) — 2/14/2024 @ 8:16 pm

    Too bad Republican voters disagreed.

    Rip Murdock (364a93)

  6. P.S. By the way, a real concern about Trump taking over the RNC (and Lara Trump’s possible involvement), is that the committee may end up paying Trump’s ongoing legal fees.

    Well, Lara Trump did promise that the RNC would spend “every single penny” electing her father-in-law. It makes sense, as Trump has turned his court appearances into campaign events.

    Rip Murdock (364a93)

  7. Of course, that means Republican candidates nationwide won’t be receiving any funding from the RNC in the run up to the general election.

    Rip Murdock (047daf)

  8. Trump’s super PACs are starting to hurt because of the legal fees:

    ……….
    Trump spent $51.2 million in 2023 on legal expenses (through his Save America PAC), and can tap another $26.6 million stashed in an allied super political action committee (MAGA, Inc.) that he can use to pay his lawyers. But as his four criminal cases ramp up, those funds are expected to run out at a critical time — around July, when the Republican National Convention triggers the official start to the general election campaign.
    …………
    He could compel the Republican National Committee, which faces its own cash woes, to pay his bills, leaving the group with less money to support his campaign. He could siphon off more money from his army of small-dollar donors to his leadership PAC, Save America, which is financing his defense in multiple criminal and civil proceedings. Trump already diverts 10% of online contributions made to his reelection toward Save America for legal bills — a move which accounted for $9.9 million in 2023.
    …………
    ………..MAGA Inc. is permitted to refund $26.6 million more to Save America, but can’t transfer any more after that.
    ………….
    The RNC is already behind on raising money, starting the year with just $8 million, compared to the Democratic National Committee, which had $21 million in the bank.
    ………….

    Trump should at least stop paying the legal costs of his co-defendants and/or tap into his own wealth. He’s a billionaire after all.

    Rip Murdock (047daf)

  9. Sorry about repeating Dana’s point about Lara Trump.

    Rip Murdock (047daf)

  10. Aside from Trump’s penchant penchant for appointing family members to Trump subsidiaries, another reason that Lara Trump in particular was appointed is that RNC has a rule that the top two staffers must be of different genders.

    Rip Murdock (047daf)

  11. Will donations to rnc drop if donors are paying trumps legal fees instead of funding candidates?

    asset (30e1db)

  12. Whembly,

    too many Republicans don’t support DeSantis because he successfully pushes Republican priorities.

    NJRob (35cef2)

  13. We saw from the House antics that election denialism is the sine qua non for a leadership position in the GOPT.

    On the other hand, Lara Trump, or as I like to call her Easy Pickings (no special reason, I just like to call her that), is what Donnie wanted to grow up to be when he was a little girl.

    nk (7de409)

  14. #12

    Intriguing comment. Are you suggesting that true GOP nevertrumps would have all supported DeSantis?

    Appalled (a849d7)

  15. https://twitter.com/FordFischer/status/1757851464553091388

    The Communists running the nation support the desecration of our Constitution.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  16. Intriguing comment. Are you suggesting that true GOP nevertrumps would have all supported DeSantis?

    Appalled (a849d7) — 2/15/2024 @ 6:36 am

    No because he pushes conservative priorities.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  17. Let’s take this another way. If a person is a self-identified conservative, and also anti-Trump, their conservative bona fides are in question if they did not line up behind DeSantis?

    Appalled (a56e5c)

  18. Apparently the conservative policies pushed by DeSantis were unacceptable to the vast number of Republican voters.

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  19. Depends on what they consider “conservative.”

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  20. Supporting social leftism is not conservative.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  21. @16

    Intriguing comment. Are you suggesting that true GOP nevertrumps would have all supported DeSantis?

    Appalled (a849d7) — 2/15/2024 @ 6:36 am

    No because he pushes conservative priorities.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/15/2024 @ 6:55 am

    This.

    I never got the sense that the #NeverTrumpers gave DeSantis any chance.

    whembly (5f7596)

  22. So much for the idea that Trump is a Putie-poo pant:
    https://hotair.com/jazz-shaw/2024/02/15/putin-of-course-we-prefer-biden-n3782980

    When asked who he would prefer to see win the American election this year, Putin was careful to say that Russia would work with “any U.S. leader who the American people trust.” But he first said that he would prefer Biden because he’s “more experienced, more predictable.” That shouldn’t be too difficult for the public to translate. He was also asked about Biden’s health and mental fitness. Putin dodged the question, saying that he’s “not a doctor” and that he didn’t feel it was appropriate to comment on that. (AP)

    Getting back to the endorsement question, there are plenty of reasons why Russia would want Joe Biden to win another term. Putin provided the most compelling one in his first sentence. While it’s true that Joe Biden has “more experience” in political terms, he’s also “more predictable.” Putin knew that invading Ukraine wouldn’t provoke more out of Biden than the largely political and economic response that we’ve observed thus far. By contrast, Putin knows all too well that Donald Trump is entirely unpredictable. There would have been no way for him to know if Trump might go nuclear in response, either metaphorically or literally. This supports Trump’s argument that the Ukraine war wouldn’t have happened if he’d been in office and might end quickly if he returns.

    Straight from the horse’s mouth.

    whembly (5f7596)

  23. More legal fees out the door:

    ..………….
    Judge Juan Merchan denied Trump’s motion to dismiss the (criminal charges related to a “hush money” payments to adult actress Stormy Daniels) at the beginning of the hearing. “At this point I can inform you that we’re moving ahead with jury selection on March 25,” he told the court. He later said he expected the trial to last about six weeks.

    Trump’s attorneys immediately protested the judge’s decision to proceed to trial, saying they expected to be able to discuss timing at the hearing. Todd Blanche, one of the key members of Trump’s legal team, said the decision was a “grave injustice” and pointed to the former president’s various other legal entanglements.
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  24. whembly (5f7596) — 2/15/2024 @ 7:19 am

    Nice to know you take the word of an authoritarian as the gospel truth.

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  25. @24

    whembly (5f7596) — 2/15/2024 @ 7:19 am

    Nice to know you take the word of an authoritarian as the gospel truth.

    Rip Murdock (f51515) — 2/15/2024 @ 7:25 am

    I don’t.

    But you surely do.

    whembly (5f7596)

  26. ” … may end up paying Trump’s ongoing legal fees.”

    Of course, the retired farmers and mechanics can continue sending their money as well for this noble cause.

    John Boddie (dcf99c)

  27. I think it’s foolish to assume that any answer from Putin about American politics is a sincere statement of his thoughts. About all you can conclude is that he thinks making that statement is in his best interest.

    Time123 (49a013)

  28. I likely wouldn’t have supported Desantis in the general, but I’d for sure have voted for him over Trump in a 2 way primary.

    Time123 (49a013)

  29. At this point I would support Haley in the general.

    Time123 (49a013)

  30. > We coulda had Ron DeSantis and avoided this.

    You could have, but the elected officials in the party don’t have the courage to stand up to Trump (and most of those who do have been run out of the party), and the voters in the party prefer Trump to everyone else by a large margin.

    Republicans *chose* this. (I think they chose it because they’d been manipulated by a con man, but it’s been going on for nine years, so my sympathy to them has somewhat worn thin by now, but *they chose it*). This is what Republicans *want*.

    aphrael (a4cec9)

  31. @27

    I think it’s foolish to assume that any answer from Putin about American politics is a sincere statement of his thoughts. About all you can conclude is that he thinks making that statement is in his best interest.

    Time123 (49a013) — 2/15/2024 @ 7:57 am

    Absolutely this.

    whembly (5f7596)

  32. > The Communists running the nation support the desecration of our Constitution.

    How do you go from ‘two activists did something unacceptable and illegal in the capitol rotunda and were immediately arrested’ to ‘the people running the nation support what the activists did’?

    aphrael (a4cec9)

  33. 2024 RNC primary voters “chose” Trump in the same way Ukraine “chose” to go to war with Russia. When Biden’s DOJ brought out the law fare against Trump, they knew they’d elicit a Pavlovian response of “rally around the attacked” that would energize the base to “protect their Guy”.

    DeSantis was leading in the polls before the indictments. Once they dropped, there was nothing anyone could do: Biden had chosen his opponent.

    SaveFarris (6ad4a7)

  34. We coulda had Ron DeSantis and avoided this.

    We coulda had Mitt Romney in 2012 and avoided this. Even Ted Cruz in 2016 would have been better. But now the party is a bunch of criminals and suckups. Burn it down.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  35. 2024 RNC primary voters “chose” Trump in the same way Ukraine “chose” to go to war with Russia.

    Hardly. The one was done out of stupidity, the other out of self-preservation. There is nothing in a new Trump term that will help the MAGA idiots get what they are looking for. They’re the rubes.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  36. Supporting social leftism is not conservative.

    Supporting bigotry is not conservative either.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  37. DeSantis was leading in the polls before the indictments.

    Not true.

    DeSantis started far behind Trump and never caught up; when he made his campaign announcement on May 23, 2023 he was trailing Trump by 32 points. The indictments occurred after his announcement.

    Classified documents indictment June 2023
    Georgia indictment August 2023
    Federal election interference indictment August 2023

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  38. DeSantos was, at one point, a clear contender. But his campaign never really jelled. A lot of governors have this problem as they try to go national; what works in the home state doesn’t translate.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  39. *DeSantis

    How soon we forget.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  40. The closest that Ron DeSantis polled against Trump was five months prior to his announcement, in January 2023, when DeSantis was only 9 points behind Trump.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  41. Meanwhile Trump is given a gift from New York, in that the ludicrously over-charged payoff case (at most 3 misdemeanors) is going forward. Look for a Trump victory.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  42. If Donald Trump implodes for some reason in the few months and doesn’t become the nominee, I can foresee the convention turning to DeSantis instead of Haley. DeSantis’s policies are much more in tune with MAGA politics than Haley.

    #wishcasting

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  43. Look for a Trump victory.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/15/2024 @ 9:17 am

    But it does tie him in a court without cameras for six weeks or so. And he will be probably convicted at trial, with vindication coming much later.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  44. DeSantis was, at one point, a clear contender. ……

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/15/2024 @ 9:15 am

    Only in his own mind. As I pointed out in post 37, DeSantis started way behind and only fell further behind Trump as a result of Trump’s relentless attacks that eviscerated him, and coupled with DeSantis’s failure to respond, sealed his fate.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  45. And he will be probably convicted at trial, with vindication coming much later.

    I was a bit surprised that the judge let the piecewise charging of a single crime stand. It’s like charging an embezzler with a separate crime for each false entry on the books when it’s really all one thing. Then the repetition is used to escalate misdemeanors into felonies. Calling it Trumped-up is actually pretty accurate.

    Are all NY courts this crooked?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  46. Trump’s relentless attacks that eviscerated him

    DeSantis eviscerated himself, particularly with his Florida-style attacks on Disney that didn’t work. He also came off as inauthentic and insincere in debate, and unable to separate himself from a pack of mostly second-raters.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  47. Tell me, what was DeSantis FOR? We knew things he was against, but you need more than that.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  48. DeSantis eviscerated himself, particularly with his Florida-style attacks on Disney that didn’t work. He also came off as inauthentic and insincere in debate, and unable to separate himself from a pack of mostly second-raters.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/15/2024 @ 9:54 am

    Complete leftwing revisionist bs.

    NJRob (4ed648)

  49. George Will has some thoughts worth reading on the modern Republican Party.

    Sample: “It is actually charitable to ascribe to cynical opportunism these legislators’ pandering to their most Trumpian constituents. The alternative is to convict the legislators of believing two preposterous things: that our nation cannot afford to aid Ukraine and cannot manage to address the southern border crisis while aiding Ukraine.

    In 1862, the annus horribilis of Shiloh, Antietam and Fredericksburg, Congress, while funding and supervising resistance to secession, passed the Homestead Act (accelerating settlement of the Great Plains), the Morrill Act (creating land-grant colleges) and the Pacific Railway Act (speeding completion of the transcontinental railroad). Time was, Congress could do several things simultaneously. Today’s legislators cannot even budget: In the past decade, the government has operated under continuing resolutions 36 percent of the time.”
    (Links omitted.)

    These failures would be funny — if they were happening in an enemy nation. Which, come to think of it, might explain some of the Loser’s followers’ inactions in Congress.

    Jim Miller (ca3e99)

  50. . The alternative is to convict the legislators of believing two preposterous things: that our nation cannot afford to aid Ukraine and cannot manage to address the southern border crisis while aiding Ukraine.

    The argument is not that it cannot, but that it shouldn’t because anything pertaining to U.S. borders is more important to the United States than something pertaining to the border of Ukraine.

    It can sort of sound like a plausible argument for leaving Ukraine in the lurch so long as everything is not done to their satisfaction on border control if you don’t actually try to make sense of it.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  51. Kevin: “I was a bit surprised that the judge let the piecewise charging of a single crime stand. It’s like charging an embezzler with a separate crime for each false entry on the books when it’s really all one thing. Then the repetition is used to escalate misdemeanors into felonies.”

    From Deputy District Attorney for LA County Patrick Frey:

    “Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor that is elevated to a felony when the intent behind the falsification includes an intent to commit, aid, or conceal “another crime.” The critical observation to make here is that “another crime” does not have to be Donald Trump’s own violations of federal campaign finance law. You can be guilty of a felony if you intend to “aid” or even “conceal” “another crime” committed by someone else. Notably, a campaign finance violation committed by Michael Cohen could be “another crime” that Trump was trying to conceal with the false recordkeeping. And Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations regarding both the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal payoffs. Even an intent to conceal Cohen’s campaign finance violations is a sufficient basis to elevate Trump’s falsification of records to a felony.”
    More here https://thedispatch.com/article/a-modest-case-for-the-case-against-trump/

    As to the number of counts, that seems consistent with something like child porn where you get a charge for every piece that you possess. It doesn’t offend me as each time a check is passed, it’s a new opportunity to make a choice. It’s also part of a broader conspiracy to payoff individuals to keep incriminating charges out of the public eye to help his campaign. Does he payoff Stormy Daniels if Trump isn’t running for office? This alleged overcharging isn’t something that seems to be bothering prosecutors who comment on this case. It seems like the issue is who else does Bragg have as witnesses and what can they establish.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  52. KevinM: “DeSantis eviscerated himself, particularly with his Florida-style attacks on Disney that didn’t work. He also came off as inauthentic and insincere in debate, and unable to separate himself from a pack of mostly second-raters.”

    NJRob: “Complete leftwing revisionist bs.”

    If Kevin is wrong, then what is your theory? DeSantis ran to the right of Trump on cultural issues and ran as a more competent Trump without the baggage. Obviously the strategy failed and GOP voters still prefer Trump and NeverTrump prefer Haley (or previously Christie). The reality is that few GOP politicians were willing to get off the Trump train. Kim Reynolds was a notable exception. The right-wing entertainment sphere never really chose to abandon Trump either. Once they chose to look at his indictments as partisan political persecution and almost as a badge of honor, the flock followed their lead. 2024 is a referendum on Trump and the majority of the party still prefer the drama. DeSantis also has a social awkwardness that might be endearing in other times, but probably came across as creepy to those enamored with Trump. Trump connects in ways that DeSantis does not in public venues.

    DeSantis was never high on my list, but I would have gladly supported him if it meant the end of Trumpism. I was always suspect that harsh culture warring would be the way to win in swing states. You win Talk Radio but do you win suburban moms? It’s not so clear.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  53. Legally I think the NYC business record case is solid.

    Politically, though – this is the sort of thing people generally assume everyone in politics is doing behind the scenes, and trump will declare he is being unfairly persecuted, and because people think every politician does this, the claims of unfair persecution will resonate and make trump more sympathetic.

    aphrael (7475ca)

  54. DeSantis is the p-value (0.05) of the theory that you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some pf the time. He is a gangster and a thug and an in-party fixer who only fooled wishful thinkers and not anybody who looked at the empirical evidence.

    nk (3be620)

  55. DeSantis is competent to stand trial, would that ever be necessary, which means he was overqualified for the position he sought.

    lloyd (c37c56)

  56. Complete leftwing revisionist bs.

    Complete looney-fringe crackpot bs.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  57. As to the number of counts, that seems consistent with something like child porn where you get a charge for every piece that you possess

    But that’s NOT what this is. There was ONE thing to cover up, ONE person who was paid, and ONE go-between for each of these INSTALLMENT payments.

    To compare it to child porn would be 10 charges for each section of a single image torn into 10 fragments.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  58. And Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations regarding both the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal payoffs.

    Cohen pleading guilty to, well, anything, does not mean that he actually committed a given crime, only that he is willing to trade that plea for the promised package. And it certainly does not mean that the guy he moved the money for committed a crime — you can’t plead guilty for someone else.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  59. *random* wishful thinkers. And I don’t include his Florida political cronies in the hockey stick. They knew what was what.

    nk (3be620)

  60. I was always suspect that harsh culture warring would be the way to win in swing states. You win Talk Radio but do you win suburban moms? It’s not so clear.

    This is the real MAGA disconnect. Trump has huge and unwavering support from his core followers, and is constantly wowing them at rallies. But it’s the choir he’s preaching to and as much as they love him for it, outside those spaces people aren’t convinced. When goes on about how Putin deserves our help against NATO, the choir eats it up and everyone goes “WTF?”

    It’s a bubble that has little chance of expanding.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  61. Legally I think the NYC business record case is solid.

    Yes. Trump is guilty of a few misdemeanors. Charging him with 100s of years of felony time is not justice. Even if you hate him, it’s William Roper’s mistake.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  62. Trump’s relentless attacks that eviscerated him

    DeSantis eviscerated himself, particularly with his Florida-style attacks on Disney that didn’t work. He also came off as inauthentic and insincere in debate, and unable to separate himself from a pack of mostly second-raters.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/15/2024 @ 9:54 am

    Both can be, and are, true.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  63. Coming in late, Dana, but the most relevant part is your P.S., because Trump intends to raid the RNC’s cash reserves to pay his legal bills, and Ronna stood in the way of that.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  64. Where does the RNC keep its money? Donnie better “shop the forum” carefully.

    nk (3be620)

  65. > It’s a bubble that has little chance of expanding.

    You don’t need the bubble to expand if you can win once and then rig the game so you keep winning.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  66. > Cohen pleading guilty to, well, anything, does not mean that he actually committed a given crime, only that he is willing to trade that plea for the promised package. And it certainly does not mean that the guy he moved the money for committed a crime — you can’t plead guilty for someone else.

    Yes, and …

    in a trial for the guy who had him move the money, it’s now an established fact that the movement of the money was a crime. that’s already been proven under the law.

    if i pay you to commit a crime, that’s generally illegal, even if i do not myself realize a crime.

    which makes this a trivial case from the legal perspective.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  67. > for each of these INSTALLMENT payments.

    each installment payment is a seperate illegal payment and an independent violation of the law.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  68. > DeSantis was leading in the polls before the indictments.

    This is, as already noted, not true.

    > When Biden’s DOJ brought out the law fare against Trump, they knew they’d elicit a Pavlovian response of “rally around the attacked” that would energize the base to “protect their Guy”.

    You think Republican voters are puppets of the Democrats, and I think they’ve been brainwashed by a conman, and regardless of which of us is right (maybe neither of us are), they are also adult agents with moral responsibility for their choices, regardless of whether they are brainwashed puppets or not. They *chose*.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  69. aphrael (71d87c) — 2/15/2024 @ 4:16 pm

    in a trial for the guy who had him move the money, it’s now an established fact that the movement of the money was a crime. that’s already been proven under the law.

    Who are you talking about It was a crime for Michael Cohen, because he had no personal interest in shutting Stormy Daniels up, but for Trump it would have been the opposite – using campaign money was likely to be considered a crime.

    if i pay you to commit a crime, that’s generally illegal, even if i do not myself realize a crime.

    MC claims that Trump agreed with him that it should be done because of the campaign. All the evidence points to the fact that Trump did not agree with this.

    Trump had to be argued into reimbursing Michael Cohen – and then he had to pay him extra to cover the income taxes on the reimbursement.

    Nor did this in any way facilitate Michael Cohen covering up what was for him an illegal campaign contribution.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  70. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/15/2024 @ 1:18 pm

    Yes. Trump is guilty of a few misdemeanors.

    If so, it was precluded by the statute iof limitations at the time of the indictment. But I think it was probably not illegal, as legal bills are entitled to be falsified in order to preserve attorney-client privilege, as long as the client known what it is really for. And Michael Cohen was legally entitled to be paid for doing nothing.

    Charging him with 100s of years of felony time is not justice.

    It had to felonies to get past the statute of limitations.

    What made it qualify as a felony was that he was charged with altering business records for the purpose of covering up another crime.

    At first the DA thought he might have him on falsely deducting the payments to Michael Cohen as a business expense, but Allen Weisselberg made sure that did not happen. So he had to make the underlying crime Michael Cohen’s illegal over the limit campaign contribution or an illegal loan without collateral to Trump for campaign purposes.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  71. each installment payment is a seperate illegal payment and an independent violation of the law.

    Says an overcharging prosecutor.

    See here: https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/prosecutorial-overcharging

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  72. in a trial for the guy who had him move the money, it’s now an established fact that the movement of the money was a crime. that’s already been proven under the law.

    NO it is NOT. What is “proven” is that, for a lenient deal on not paying taxes on millions of dollars in income, Cohen admitted to a crime in which no evidence was offered to any court OTHER than he was willing too plead guilty.

    If I admit to you helping you commit a fraud, that does not mean that you committed a fraud. It is, perhaps, evidence but it is hardly proof.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  73. *If I admit to you helping you commit a fraud…

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  74. “Charging him with 100s of years of felony time is not justice.”

    Trump is a first time offender and would likely face no jail time, so the experts say. Justice works its way through this. I’ll pound the table too if he gets sentenced to a 100 years. I see no one in the legal community worrying about this.

    AJ_Liberty (19f091)

  75. There was one crime — a false business statement about why some money was paid to hide an embarrassing fact from the electorate. This crime was a misdemeanor.

    It is arguable that the purpose involved another crime — to contribute illegally to a campaign — but that legal theory has not been tested in court (other than Cohen signing off on it to avoid a decade in jail for tax evasion). It is this second part that allows the felony charge.

    But we do NOT have 33 independent felonies. We have a series of payments and statements, all with a SINGLE purpose, among the same people that would be no less (or more) criminal if it had been one payment, but it being charged as individual crimes PRIMARILY so that the DA can say “THIRTY-THREE” to the newspapers.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  76. I will NOT burn down the Laws to get at the Devil. Some apparently will.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  77. I am continually amazed at folks who view anyone who attempts to score off of Donald Trump as some kind of sainted warrior of the People.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  78. Nothing is binding on the jury in a criminal trial. Not even the defendant’s own confession, let alone a claimed co-conspirator’s now turned state’s witness.

    Bragg will need to prove two corpora delicti. Cohen’s crime as well as Trump’s. Beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury instructions will be critical as well as the defense closing argument.

    nk (424923)

  79. @66

    > Cohen pleading guilty to, well, anything, does not mean that he actually committed a given crime, only that he is willing to trade that plea for the promised package. And it certainly does not mean that the guy he moved the money for committed a crime — you can’t plead guilty for someone else.

    Yes, and …

    in a trial for the guy who had him move the money, it’s now an established fact that the movement of the money was a crime. that’s already been proven under the law.

    if i pay you to commit a crime, that’s generally illegal, even if i do not myself realize a crime.

    which makes this a trivial case from the legal perspective.

    aphrael (71d87c) — 2/15/2024 @ 4:16 pm

    The biggest problem with this case is that…

    Cohen is the star witness.

    whembly (91931e)

  80. Bragg will need to prove two corpora delicti. Cohen’s crime as well as Trump’s. Beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury instructions will be critical as well as the defense closing argument.

    nk (424923) — 2/15/2024 @ 7:58 pm

    He won’t have to prove anything. Trump will get convicted for being Trump.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  81. He won’t have to prove anything. Trump will get convicted for being Trump.

    My basic problem is that this is a very weak case. Unlike the others, I expect Trump to beat this, or at least beat it down to a couple misdemeanors. And then USE that to paint all the rest of the (much better) cases as equally tainted — something his supporters already believe.

    This is a likely “own goal.”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  82. > If I admit to you helping you commit a fraud, that does not mean that you committed a fraud. It is, perhaps, evidence but it is hardly proof.

    Sure, and yet.

    The way the courts actually work? This isn’t a question for the jury. The fact that Cohen committed a crime is established for the purposes of the legal system. He was convicted (he pled guilty, but this counts as a conviction), so unless the conviction itself is being challenged on appeal, it is a legal fact. It is not subject to dispute in a different trial.

    If I am convicted of killing you, and then your wife is brought up on trial for killing me in retaliation, the fact that I killed you is simply an established thing, doesn’t need to be independently proven. Same thing here.

    nk is right that the jury can ignore it — the jury can in practice ignore *anything* — but the defense can’t challenge it directly and the prosecution doesn’t have to prove anything more than the bare fact of the conviction.

    aphrael (771b00)

  83. House republican centerests have come up with aid package for ukraine/Israel and also border solution. 4 republicans and 4 democrats are sponsoring the bill. (DU) They say they will have the votes for discharge petition.

    asset (6ddfda)

  84. nk is right that the jury can ignore it — the jury can in practice ignore *anything* — but the defense can’t challenge it directly and the prosecution doesn’t have to prove anything more than the bare fact of the conviction.

    No, aphrael. There are a couple of approaches to the question, and both in Trump’s favor. And both begin with the rule that the corpus delicti must also be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    First, res judicata. Trump was not a party in Cohen’s case. He was never tried for that crime. No need to say more.

    Second, judicial notice. In a criminal trial, the jury may, but is not required to, take judicial notice of anything, including a prior trial and judgment. It is in the rules of evidence and in pattern jury instructions.

    nk (424923)

  85. He won’t have to prove anything. Trump will get convicted for being Trump.

    That is very definitely true but maybe not in the way that you meant it. Trump is not a sympathetic defendant. He is an asshole who goes out of his way to be an asshole. The jury does not need to be prejudiced in advance. His antics will do that in the course of the trial.

    nk (424923)

  86. Whether Bragg’s case is strong or weak depends on what evidence he has in addition to Cohen. John Edwards ultimately saw no convictions when he was indicted for violating campaign finance laws with regards to his own hush money to cover up an affair during his 2008 election run. So limited precedent operates against Bragg, but the alleged crimes and venue are different. Kevin is viewing this more broadly as to how this will politically reverberate. I tend to agree that it would be better if this case started last and not first. But still, Bragg might have more than what we think.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  87. Cohen would have pleaded guilty to killing Kennedy if it meant he didn’t get the maximum sentence for tax evasion, which is what the prosecutor was holding over his head. To say that this would be proof that he killed Kennedy is absurd.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  88. He is an asshole who goes out of his way to be an asshole.

    He takes pride in being the biggest asshole, too.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  89. Cohen would have pleaded guilty to killing Kennedy

    Make it Rose Kennedy for purposes of corpus delicti. JFK was in fact killed. The commission of a crime was not in question.

    nk (6c45b4)

  90. Or Teddy.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  91. Here’s the thing. I despise Trump. I reject him and all his works. But I am not a partisan on this — I feel that facts matter, and won’t use some assertion just because it hurts Trump. There are enough crimes to hang on his head that making up others seems counter-productive.

    I dislike the whole Stormy thing because 1) it’s weak and he might beat it, and 2) the exact same case would not have been brought against Bill Clinton, who also behaved this way.

    In a similar non-partisan manner, I think the Supreme Court should rule him disqualified due to leading an insurrection, which he actually did.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  92. How can you say it’s weak if you don’t know what evidence Bragg has? You just don’t like the nature of the charges. I say wait for the evidence. If it’s a weak case, he’ll be found not guilty or get a hung jury. Trump needs to answer for himself. Let the system work.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  93. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 2/16/2024 @ 9:20 am

    How can you say it’s weak if you don’t know what evidence Bragg has?

    The case is laid out in the indictment. There are no secrets and there are not supposed to be any surprises from the prosecutor.

    Aside from Michael Cohen’s probable testimony, most of the facts are not in dispute, but Trump might have some new evidence that Michael Cohen’s tale about him approving the payment in advance is a lie.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  94. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/16/2024 @ 9:05 am

    2) the exact same case would not have been brought against Bill Clinton, who also behaved this way.

    The case is not about settling a lawsuit, but something peripheral to it, and I don’t understand what yuou mean since there’s nothing like it in the case of Bill Clinton

    In a similar non-partisan manner, I think the Supreme Court should rule him disqualified due to leading an insurrection, which he actually did.

    It was not an “insurrection”, and Trump didn’t lead it, nor has any participation in it or approval or endorsement by him been alleged in any indictment of anyone involving January 6, though his name was used to get people to take part in it, and, in one tweet during the middle of it, he attempted to excuse some of what was going on, and it turned out he could put an end to it. (because the majority of the crowd would leave and the true conspirators would have stood out had they remained in the Capitol.)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  95. How can you say it’s weak if you don’t know what evidence Bragg has?

    The case is laid out in the indictment. There are no secrets and there are not supposed to be any surprises from the prosecutor.

    Indictments don’t always lay out the full case; most of time it’s just enough to charge someone. Do you think Jack Smith has revealed all in the federal cases.

    The defense can always receive any undisclosed information in discovery.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)


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