Patterico's Pontifications

3/8/2024

An Editorial at The Dispatch Paraphrases P.J. O’Rourke But Misses His Point

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:58 pm



The editors of The Dispatch have published one of their rare editorials. This one is titled The American People Should Demand Better.

The following passage from the editorial caught my eye:

In 2016, Trump ran on trade protectionism, an isolationist foreign policy, and a crackdown on both illegal and legal immigration—policy ideas with which we may have disagreed but which, to paraphrase the late P.J. O’Rourke, were wrong within normal parameters. Watch a Trump rally today, though, and it immediately becomes clear that policy—of any kind—couldn’t be further from his mind.

Bold emphasis is mine.

I thought their paraphrasing of P.J. O’Rourke was an odd choice, given that his actual quote about “normal parameters” was a description, not of Trump or his policies, but of Hillary Clinton — whom O’Rourke had announced he was endorsing because, and I quote, “She’s wrong about absolutely everything, but she’s wrong within normal parameters.”

I left the following comment over there under the Dispatch editorial, and thought I would share it with you here:

To me, it is ironic that you paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke’s quote about “normal parameters” to argue that Trump’s policies in 2016 were within normal parameters. Of course, O’Rourke never described Trump or his policies as being within normal parameters. On the contrary. O’Rourke was speaking about Hillary Clinton, and explaining why he was endorsing her. His actual quote: “She’s wrong about absolutely everything, but she’s wrong within normal parameters.”

You guys should be following O’Rourke’s example and endorsing the Democrat who is wrong about everything, but within normal parameters.

You accurately describe Biden as someone who has pursued ineffective and even stupid policies; who has demagogued issues; and who has behaved in an extreme and stubborn manner. In other words: a standard Democrat politician who is wrong about everything, but wrong within normal parameters.

By contrast, you accurately describe Trump as a frightening authoritarian who, among other atrocities, tried to steal an election, wanted to start an unjustified nuclear war, and sought to order our troops to shoot American citizens for protesting his policies. (I don’t think you even mentioned his crimes.) In other words, someone decidedly far outside normal parameters.

And then you throw up your hands and say “gee, it’s a bad choice!”

Yes, it is. But when faced with a bad choice between a standard-issue dumb, ineffective, extreme politician who is wrong about everything within normal parameters, and someone who commits 91 felonies and two impeachable offenses and tries to steal elections and wants to use nuclear weapons on a whim and shoot protestors … you should follow P.J. O’Rourke’s example.

Hold your nose and endorse the Democrat.

I have heard it said that killing a man is tough the first time, but it gets easier. Well, I can tell you the same is true of voting for a Democrat for President. I did it for the first time in 2020 (having cast a protest vote in 2016). It was hard. It will be easier this time.

It’s hard as a conservative media outlet to endorse a Democrat. But you guys have done tough things before because you knew you were doing the right thing. I hope you come to see that the same is true here. The right thing is to endorse the decrepit incompetent guy who has screwed up for the last four years.

Biden is terrible. He really is.

But within normal parameters.

229 Responses to “An Editorial at The Dispatch Paraphrases P.J. O’Rourke But Misses His Point”

  1. So say I.

    Patterico (235f15)

  2. Biden is a totalitarian nightmare that is flooding our country with invaders and flushing the American Dream down the toilet.

    NJRob (d44433)

  3. NJRob This is utter nonsense.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  4. You misspelled “Trump,” NJRob. By pushing opposition to the Lankford immigration bill, Trump has harmed our ability to deal with the border crisis more than any other American.

    Patterico (235f15)

  5. I note that The Dispatch didn’t actually recommend a protest vote or a vote for Biden, but did say that Trump is “manifestly unfit”. Their piece is a encapsulation of what I’ve said before, that Biden should lose and deserves to lose, but Trump must lose. This is why I keep saying that Nikki should take the brave, historic step of running under No Labels.

    I also note their John Kelly quote, that Trump is “a person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law.” In other words, Trump hates America. Don’t be fooled by him hugging and kissing flags. He’s one of the most unpatriotic, un-American persons out there, literally using J6 insurrectionists to sing the National Anthem at his gatherings.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  6. I could be wrong, Pat but there’s a generous interpretaron that they might be saying *they* think Trump was wrong within normal parameters. As PJ might have also said about someone (not necessarily Trump).

    Nate (62fb11)

  7. Magnificent comment, Patterico.

    And here’s another bit of irony. The Dispatch won’t endorse Biden for the same reason Goldberg and French had to leave National Review–too many subscribers will cancel their subscriptions if the editors say what they really think.

    norcal (a5b268)

  8. Clarification: I don’t know for a fact the reason(s) why Goldberg and French left National Review. I’m just going with Occam’s Razor.

    norcal (a5b268)

  9. I reject the premise that Biden is a “wrong but within normal parameters” politician.

    There’s nothing “normal” about this Biden administration.

    You can make the case that a Trump administration would be outside of normal parameters, but you don’t need to gaslight your readers that POTUS Biden & his administration is within “normal” parameters.

    Laughable, really.

    Unless, you truly believe that the border polices is a “normal” policy difference…

    Or, the manner by which he withdrew from Afghanistan is within “normal parameters…

    Or, the constant thumbing at SCOTUS over school loan forgiveness, amounting to nearly a HALF a trillion dollars is somehow within “normal parameters”…

    Or, how this administration sought out to use social media to silence their critics, as clear as a infringement of free speech by proxy as you can get, as “normal” political behaviors…

    Or, how this administration lost their ever loving minds during covid lockdown, as somehow “within parameters”.

    I could go on and on…

    So, please don’t insult your readers with this “Biden is wrong, but within normal parameters” bs.

    whembly (5f7596)

  10. The quote that *I* was reminded of wrt this election is “No one has gone broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  11. The quote that *I* was reminded of wrt this election is “No one has gone broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/8/2024 @ 2:59 pm

    Yes. It’s like George Carlin’s joke: Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of the population is dumber than that!

    I miss George Carlin.

    norcal (a5b268)

  12. I agree that Trump is not withing normal parameters, but I wonder if Biden really is either. The student loan cancellation(s), the apparent drive to import as many Central Americans as humanly possible, and the interference in the labor market with pandemic UI support carrying on long after emergency (forcing employers to outbid the US government’s dole to get workers).

    But yeah, he didn’t try to subvert the peaceful transfer of power. Of course, he did win. Wait until he loses and they try to use 14.3 at that point.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  13. norcal,

    Trump has made a practice of speaking at a 6th grade level, seeking support from what The Waco Kid called “the salt of the earth.” Biden is trying to copy him lately.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  14. Trump has made a practice of speaking at a 6th grade level

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/8/2024 @ 3:07 pm

    Not just speaking. Writing, too. His tweets are so juvenile, with the all caps and exclamation points.

    It’s professional wrestling as politics. Shameful.

    norcal (a5b268)

  15. Patterico, I hope you will forgive me, but I cannot vote for either. Both candidates are distillations of mindless partisanship—alphabetism. Our system is broken, and I cannot in good conscience vote for either one.

    Again, what principles do we believe in, and how do those candidates exemplify those principles? Or do we just care about the letter than comes after a name, or the fearmoongering that the “other” is worse.

    The truth is simple: you can say that you would rather eat cow poop than chicken poop, but you must admit that choosing poop is not what our nation should be about.

    For Biden supporters, you know perfectly well the poor guy isn’t home, and his unelected staff is making decisions.

    For Trump supporters, the same is true…but the sheer inablility of him to control himself is alarming.

    So ends our experiment in democracy, I fear.

    Simon Jester (1ad6f7)

  16. Simon Jester, thank you for expressing my very thoughts, in a way I could only aspire to. If anyone thinks you are wasting your vote, they can take a walk. The true waste would be voting for a candidate who is unhinged or one whose hinge has rusted off!

    For too long I voted for “the lesser of two evils”. I now use a different standard: who has earned my vote? In this case, the answer is neither, and neither will get it.

    Kenneth P. (1f45e0)

  17. It’s not always fearmongering that the other is worse. We’ve seen Joe Biden and Donald Trump both be President. Donald Trump was worse.

    I’m conservative and don’t like the Democrats’ policies, either, but “caring about the letter that comes after a name” is exemplified by conservatives still grasping at straws to say the Democrat is just as bad or worse than Trump. Because saying the Democrat is worse than the Republican is what they are used to saying, and it’s what makes them feel like the world makes sense in the way they want to understand things.

    Of course, that requires pretending that “Joe Biden does Democrat things, and he’s old and his staff has to do most of the work” is equally bad as “Donald Trump is openly campaigning on letting Russia “do whatever the hell it wants” to our NATO allies, punishing his political enemies, being a dictator but “only for one day” (wink wink), making everyone accept that the President has complete immunity to crimes, making everyone accept that the idea he could ever lose an election is illegitimate and it must have been stolen, and the incarcerated people who attempted to help him in his coup attempt are “patriots”. Also, he has been found liable for sexual assault, liable for fraud, he is facing 90+ more felony indictments, he was caught on tape trying to force the Georgia Secretary of State to falsify election results, he was caught on tape trying to extort Ukraine by withholding aid unless they fabricated stories that would hurt his political opponents here, he went on national television to tell the American people perhaps they should try to inject household disinfectants to cure Covid, he mocks American soldiers for getting killed, wounded or captured, and he wanted the military to shoot protesters because they hurt his feelings.”

    It’s not equivalent. At all. This isn’t the Republican Party we used to know, and Joe Biden is actually better than the Republican nominee for President we’re going to get.

    Turd Ferguson (e930ea)

  18. It’s not always fearmongering that the other is worse. We’ve seen Joe Biden and Donald Trump both be President. Donald Trump was worse.

    Factually incorrect. It took a Chinese-made, novel virus to destroy the economy we were enjoying under his Presidency, incomes were better, we selected justices that weren’t iunqualified tools of the left, the world was less on fire and the government and media were spent most of their time complaining about him saying obnoxious things that they ignored him cutting unnecessary regulations.

    But carry on carrying water. Just don’t lie about it.

    NJRob (d44433)

  19. This is a rather curious election to say, “I used to hold my nose and vote for the lesser of two evils, but now that one of the candidates is a cult leader who wants to be a dictator and the other is not – NOW is when I’ll stop doing that.”

    Turd Ferguson (e930ea)

  20. Factually incorrect. It took a Chinese-made, novel virus to destroy the economy we were enjoying under his Presidency, incomes were better, we selected justices that weren’t iunqualified tools of the left, the world was less on fire and the government and media were spent most of their time complaining about him saying obnoxious things that they ignored him cutting unnecessary regulations.

    But carry on carrying water. Just don’t lie about it.

    Incomes were not higher (speaking of lying and factually incorrect is rich from you). Median household incomes are higher now https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA646N. I assume you will pivot to some other argument about inflation now, but you are wrong about incomes.

    I do prefer Trump’s SCOTUS appointments to a Democrat’s appointments, but that’s only one factor that doesn’t outweigh all the outrageous negatives that he brings with him.

    Finally, Republicans trying the whole “are you better off than you were 4 years ago thing” is laughable. The last year of Trump’s administration featured the worst stock market crash and worst economy since the Great Depression, the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu and a completely inept response to it from Trump’s government, Americans living in lockdown, race riots, and untold other calamities. You can try to whitewash that by blaming it all on China, but the fact remains that four years ago on Trump’s watch was the worst year this country has had since at least the Great Depression and probably the Civil War. And yet you say the world was less on fire then, and Trump is going to campaign on how much better things were on his watch. Ok. I’m sure you also believe an illegal immigrant never crossed the border and committed a crime while Donald Trump was President.

    Turd Ferguson (e930ea)

  21. That’s a turd of a graph. It shows that household income has nearly quadrupled since 1985. Do you believe that? No? Then why do you bring that garbage here?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  22. I’ll let the Federal Reserve know their data is wrong. Do you have the real data?

    Turd Ferguson (e930ea)

  23. Biden may somehow be within normal parameters but his judicial appointments are not, and his judges will be torching the Constitution decades after both candidates are long gone.

    lloyd (de99c7)

  24. That’s a turd of a graph. It shows that household income has nearly quadrupled since 1985. Do you believe that? No? Then why do you bring that garbage here?

    For a serious reply, yes, of course I believe that. The growth rate of median incomes on that chart is only about 3% annually. That’s barely outpacing inflation.

    38 years is a long time. The Dow Jones has gone up about 13x since 1985 as opposed to less than 4x for household incomes.

    Turd Ferguson (e930ea)

  25. Sorry, actually the Dow has gone up about 25x since the end of 1985, not 13x. Mea culpa. https://www.google.com/finance/quote/.DJI:INDEXDJX?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiPwLaO-eWEAxVoGVkFHTQlA1QQ3ecFegQIJBAY&window=MAX

    Turd Ferguson (e930ea)

  26. This is why I keep saying that Nikki should take the brave, historic step of running under No Labels.

    Given her Shermanesque statements to the contrary, I don’t think that will happen.

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  27. NJRob (d44433) — 3/8/2024 @ 4:02 pm

    And then Trump lied about the virus, downtalked it, botched the testing, offered spurious treatments, pooh-poohed social distancing, adopted crackpot theories like the Barrington Declaration.

    It was all that stuff that caused Trump to lose his job, and then he undermined our democracy by continuously spouting his Big Lie, and then plotted and attempted a soft coup to overturn a legitimate election result. IMO, that is exactly outside “normal parameters”, because no other president in American history tried to pull off that crap, and it is fully disqualifying for future office, whether the Supreme Court concludes so or not.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  28. I’ll let the Federal Reserve know their data is wrong. Do you have the real data?

    You really have to be a winning liar to present a graph based on “current dollars” and then say that inflation has nothing to do with it.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  29. OOOps. Missed #24.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  30. I assume you will pivot to some other argument about inflation now, but you are wrong about incomes.

    Oh, I see. You’re a pedant.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  31. #19. It’s not THE election where I came to this decision. I originally refused to be ritually herded into the R or D catch-22 in 2016 after having been a loyal Republican my entire life. As a teen, I liked Gerald Ford, but preferred Ronald Reagan. Since then, I strongly favored Republicans, as they more closely represented my views than the left-leaning Democrats, even though I was frequently disappointed by many members of the party. Now, I’ve been shown the door because I won’t pretend that the bullsh*t spewed by Trump and his followers has any basis in reality.

    My vote is my own, and I won’t give it freely. If Biden wants my vote, he needs to show that he wants it. He’s had four years to do so, and it’s not been good.

    If he loses by one vote, maybe you can blame me. Otherwise, I will have no remorse.

    Kenneth P. (1f45e0)

  32. Simon, as I said on last weeks thread to someone bashing Biden:

    You really don’t get it: There are two sh1t sandwiches on offer. One of them is far and away more sh1tty, but pointing to the other one and saying “That’s sh1t” does not make the first one look any better.

    I did not vote for Joe Biden. I did not vote for Hillary Clinton. I will never vote for Donald Trump. If that is all there is to choose from, I will write in “Dead Richard Nixon” as my preference.

    and

    I think the disconnect I have is that I no longer favor the two-party system. At one point it created useful tension over the issues that the center was concerned about.

    But lately the system doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what the center is concerned about. Both parties have devolved into the purer-than-thou internal contests that normally infect third parties. Neither party can talk about immigration reform, abortion laws, gun laws, criminal justice or social welfare without going to the mattresses. It’s either hard-this or hard-that.

    And so, we have party primaries where only the most intransigent and bloody-minded candidates can prevail. Never mind what 60% of the electorate wants or thinks. The electorate is pretty much a Bell Curve on the issues. The two parties now field candidates a good standard deviation off of the center and often more, leaving a vast gulf between them. I’d say a no-man’s land, but it’s really a most-man’s land.

    I’m not sure that this can be fixed, but the best non-structural method is having independents run in the middle and win, so that [the two parties] can get their minds right.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  33. @19: I last voted for a major party in 2012.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  34. Trump should pick katie britt for his vp like nixon picked spiro agnew.

    asset (d0ec75)

  35. So, please don’t insult your readers with this “Biden is wrong, but within normal parameters” bs.

    whembly (5f7596) — 3/8/2024 @ 2:02 pm

    One normal parameter Biden is definitely within: he has not yet tried to steal an election after the fact.

    Demosthenes (f60404)

  36. Biden is far outside normal parameters. The entire leftist party is. They don’t believe in free speech, they support a racist, classist society, they continue to wreck the economy, destroy energy independence, put justices on courts that ignore the law and push socialist policies that are antithetical to our system of governance.

    But carry on carrying water. Just hope you’ll be dead before they put you up against the wall. In socialist regimes it always ends the same way.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  37. Is Trump within normal parameters? Do normal parameters include praising authoritarian leaders for being.. well authoritarian?

    Trump with Orban tonight:

    “There’s nobody that’s better, smarter or a better leader than Viktor Orban. He’s fantastic…He’s a non-controversial figure because he says, ‘This is the way it’s going to be,’ and that’s the end of it. Right? He’s the boss. No, he’s a great leader.”

    Occasional reader (f93ef8)

  38. Incomes were not higher (speaking of lying and factually incorrect is rich from you). Median household incomes are higher now

    Turd Ferguson (e930ea) — 3/8/2024 @ 4:15 pm

    The Weimar Republic approves of your propaganda.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  39. Biden is far outside normal parameters. The entire leftist party is. They don’t believe in free speech, they support a racist, classist society, they continue to wreck the economy, destroy energy independence, put justices on courts that ignore the law and push socialist policies that are antithetical to our system of governance.

    Here’s a suggestion. To really get your point across, mebbe add some hyperbole and fearmongering. That’ll be a convincer.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  40. Here’s a suggestion. To really get your point across, mebbe add some hyperbole and fearmongering. That’ll be a convincer.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/9/2024 @ 5:47 am

    Rob actually has convinced me of something, Paul. It’s just not what he wanted…

    Demosthenes (9b7424)

  41. One normal parameter Biden is definitely within: he has not yet tried to steal an election after the fact.

    Well, he won, so he didn’t have to. Not much of a claim. Wait until he loses to an Insurrectionist.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  42. Catoggio and Patterico are in violent agreement.

    But who the next president is matters less to me than who the next president isn’t. Reelecting a man who tried once before to smash the constitutional order and who shows all indications of trying again would mean the end of America as we’ve known it, without exaggeration. Whether or not it would “destroy” the country in the sense that civil order would break down, it would amount to a popular repudiation of the classical liberalism on which the constitutional scheme is based. To absolve him for January 6 by restoring him to power would be to condone Caesarism as a model for American government, inescapably.

    You can’t elect an authoritarian demagogue vowing “retribution” against his enemies and scheming to co-opt arms of the state to his own vindictive ends and still credibly posture as “the last best hope of earth.” The disillusionment felt afterward by those of us who imagined we lived in a country nobler than that will be unfathomable.

    Americans will never recover from it. No amount of wheezing about the genius of the Founders or the majesty of the Constitution after the Trump era ends will obscure the painful truth about what this country has become once that truth has been unmasked.

    In a democracy, a country is whatever its people wish it to be. The institutions in which those people take, or used to take, such pride are a bequest from earlier generations, and bequests can be disclaimed. A vote for Trump is a vote to disgorge the American inheritance.

    The “tell” that even some partisan conservatives recognize the stakes of this election is the frequency with which some of them attack Biden on social media as an “existential threat.” It’s a laughable idea, especially in light of the president’s senescence: Sometimes it seems like he has trouble ending a sentence, never mind ending the American experiment. And insofar as his policy agenda threatens anything, the great likelihood of a Republican majority in the Senate next year means the Democrats’ chances of moving ambitious legislation will soon approach zero.

    But “Biden is an existential threat” is the sort of nonsense you need to promote in order to persuade wary undecideds to vote Republican. If Trump is the only true threat on the ballot, then the choice for voters is clear; if both candidates are a threat, however, then those voters might as well stick with the party whose policies they prefer, as America is doomed either way.

    I trust that partisan conservatives would rather argue that neither candidate is an existential threat, as that’s another scenario in which policy should and probably would decide the election in their favor. But they can’t plausibly argue that in 2024. They know better, and they know that you know better.

    We’ve all seen the videos.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  43. Patterico, I hope you will forgive me, but I cannot vote for either. Both candidates are distillations of mindless partisanship—alphabetism. Our system is broken, and I cannot in good conscience vote for either one.

    I understand, Simon. Of course I believe everyone should be free to make up their own mind. Then I ask myself: so why are you telling the Dispatch editors they “should” be endorsing Biden? I think the reason is that I suspect, and worry, that they know in their hearts that Biden is the better choice of the two, but may be fearful of saying so and what that means for their reputation. That may be unfair to them, but they’re smart people and they can see the difference in the nature of the criticisms they are leveling.

    Nick Catoggio wrote a rebuttal to their editorial that was firmly in the camp of voting for Biden, and I found that one far more fearless and convincing. I’ll give you a little taste here:

    Biden is plainly too old to serve competently for another four years, one “fiery and confident” address notwithstanding, and his agenda is too liberal to make any conservative happy.

    I’ll be at the polls early on Election Day to vote for him.

    . . . .

    To me, an “endorsement” requires a certain amount of earnest enthusiasm for a candidate and their program. I endorse Nikki Haley for president. I don’t endorse Joe Biden.

    But who the next president is matters less to me than who the next president isn’t. Reelecting a man who tried once before to smash the constitutional order and who shows all indications of trying again would mean the end of America as we’ve known it, without exaggeration. Whether or not it would “destroy” the country in the sense that civil order would break down, it would amount to a popular repudiation of the classical liberalism on which the constitutional scheme is based. To absolve him for January 6 by restoring him to power would be to condone Caesarism as a model for American government, inescapably.

    You can’t elect an authoritarian demagogue vowing “retribution” against his enemies and scheming to co-opt arms of the state to his own vindictive ends and still credibly posture as “the last best hope of earth.” The disillusionment felt afterward by those of us who imagined we lived in a country nobler than that will be unfathomable.

    Americans will never recover from it. No amount of wheezing about the genius of the Founders or the majesty of the Constitution after the Trump era ends will obscure the painful truth about what this country has become once that truth has been unmasked.

    In a democracy, a country is whatever its people wish it to be. The institutions in which those people take, or used to take, such pride are a bequest from earlier generations, and bequests can be disclaimed. A vote for Trump is a vote to disgorge the American inheritance.

    It sums up my position more eloquently than I ever could. Nick is such a talented writer and has such a rational, centered perspective. He is truly the example of someone who says what he thinks and lets the chips fall where they may. I think his piece is far better than the Dispatch editorial, and I hope the editors read it and absorb his wisdom.

    Patterico (679c8b)

  44. AllahNick on why agnosticism doesn’t cut it. Let me say: Simon, just as he expresses affection and respect for his editors who adopt the agnosticism he counsels against here, so too do I express affection and respect for you and the other folks here like Paul Montagu whose comments are edifying and respectful, but who thus far cannot bring themselves to pull the lever for Biden. I can’t imagine a better entreaty to awesome folks like you than this one:

    That was defensible in 2016, when the contours of a Trump presidency were still hypothetical and the alternative was Hillary Clinton. It’s entirely unserious in 2024 after two impeachments, four indictments, a coup attempt, and an insurrection. If, against all odds, we get a third-party candidate this year who’s fit for office and stands a real chance of winning 270 electoral votes, there will be a fair argument that preventing a second Trump term does not require supporting a second Biden term.

    But if we don’t get that candidate, and we almost certainly will not, there’s no alternative. An earnest effort to avert a Trump disaster has no room for writing in the Gipper.

    And so, with respect and affection for my editors, I would say that agnosticism about the choice before us doesn’t cut it. Both candidates are unfit for office, but only one leads a movement that exalts boorish authoritarians keen to midwife a terrible form of politics in America. Empower them and they’ll make the state and the culture meaner, dumber, more corrupt, and more intrusive than it already is.

    I don’t endorse Biden but I emphatically endorse stopping Trump. So Biden it is.

    That’s how I feel. I can respect people with a different view, but this sums up my view perfectly.

    As I said elsewhere yesterday, to say that both candidates are unfit for office is like saying that the pond out back and the Atlantic Ocean are both large bodies of water. I can agree with you that the pond out back is a mighty big pond, but still.

    Patterico (679c8b)

  45. Thank you Patterico, and I always appreciate Simon’s comments.

    Catoggio made a small distinction in his piece, that he doesn’t endorse Biden but will still vote for him. I think there’s room for traditional conservatives to disagree on whether to vote fully against Trump (vote for Biden) or half against Trump (protest or non vote), and the Electoral College makes it possible for strategic voting.

    I’ll also say that it is a traditionally conservative position to oppose a shitstain like Trump because of his anti-democratic and anti-constitutional actions from 11/3/2020 to 1/6/2021.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  46. Thank you Patterico, and I always appreciate Simon’s comments.

    Catoggio made a small distinction in his piece, that he doesn’t endorse Biden but will still vote for him. I think there’s room for traditional conservatives to disagree on whether to vote fully against Trump (vote for Biden) or half against Trump (protest or non vote), and the Electoral College makes it possible for strategic voting.

    I’ll also say that it is a traditionally conservative position to oppose a sh-tstain like Trump because of his anti-democratic and anti-constitutional actions from 11/3/2020 to 1/6/2021.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  47. A counter argument: Is is shameful to acquiesce to a choice such as this? To me it is. The protest vote or the non vote are the only way I have of protesting the disastrous choice these duopoly parties have wrought. If it were possible to outlaw them both, I would.

    To vote for Joe Biden would be to accept the legitimacy of this election.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  48. If Trump is truly an unprecedented threat, and I think he is, then a transactional, short-term alliance with Biden, unattractive as it may be, will increase the chances that Trump and the MAGA cult are resoundingly defeated.

    I plan on voting for the Democratic nominee for President for the first time in my life.

    norcal (42bff2)

  49. I voted for Haley in the primary, but I would have voted for any of the other Republicans (except Trump and his mini-me Ramaswamy) over Biden in the general election.

    norcal (42bff2)

  50. But carry on carrying water. Just hope you’ll be dead beforr they put you up against the wall. In socialist regimes it always ends the same way.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 3/9/2024 @ 3:58 am

    I am sad to see you are still writing such hateful, personal comments.

    Trump is the one who has said he wants to be an authoritarian. If anyone “shoots someone on 5th Ave” (or anywhere) or orders an assasination, it will be Trump.

    DRJ (c673a9)

  51. Commenter James L at The Dispatch makes a good point for those who live in a markedly blue or red state, and are considering a protest vote due to that fact.

    Several commenters have made the (unarguable) point that their votes won’t matter for the electoral college math. As a resident of Texas, I understand.

    But I would urge well-meaning people to consider how important the “popular vote” was to Trump in 2016 and especially why it was so important… so much so that he convened a circus-committee to try to prove he won the popular vote.

    Trump’s pathology is his need for approval, for “follows,” for clicks, for ratings, for attention. He, and a shocking number of his MAGA acolytes, have not ever understood why the electoral college even exists: precisely so that clicks, follows, ratings, approval, and attention don’t swamp the serious project of constitutional democracy.

    The popular vote matters, not as a practical matter about who gets elected. It matters because the post-factual world of the Trump movement has a much harder time proving its alternative reality when the numbers are solid.

    I’d urge that TD readers who feel their blue-vote doesn’t matter consider that. This is a tactical, not a strategic, matter. A close election is bad enough. A disparity between popular and electoral votes is a proven vulnerability to be exploited by the most unscrupulous gamer-of-the-system we’ve seen in a very long time, if not ever.

    It is important that Trump and his cult lose overwhelmingly, not just in the electoral college, but in the popular vote as well. Every little bit helps.

    norcal (42bff2)

  52. “Every little bit helps.”

    This argument has me on the fence. On one hand, elections aren’t run to generate the most popular vote so who cares if 70% of California votes for Biden? On the other, the popular vote has grown to be some sort of test of legitimacy. If a big popular vote loss coupled with an electoral vote loss could happen, maybe just maybe it starts to break the Trump trance. I’m leaning toward not rewarding the DEMs for renominating someone who is in cognitive decline….and send a message to both parties….but much of this is navel gazing. My vote is practically unimportant. It’s more about my own sense of peace. I’ve really slept well after the 2016 and 2020 elections. Sleep is important….

    AJ_Liberty (ebd73f)

  53. I hear you, AJ. To me, it’s not about giving rewards, but stopping unprecedented threats.

    norcal (42bff2)

  54. I guess i have to comment here.

    I am the one who has been saying, Trump is a symptom not the actual disease.

    Voted Clinton, Dole, Bush, Bush, Romney, Palin, Trump, Trump….

    I have seen every republican nominee labeled “Hitler”. Who would believe Romney is Hitler? The media do it to every single one.

    Trump is my protest vote against the Republican establishment that never seems to get anything done. He was my protest vote against federal spending (a failure here), a better immigration policy, more conservative justices (unsure).

    I am tired of being told that i am not an American for disagreeing that I am supporting Tyranny for wanting Trump to win. Is he the best candidate? Heck no.
    But is there another candidate that has requested my vote with something other than a sneer? No.

    I am tired of failure, and Trump is different.
    He is the symptoms or the political class failing the voters. If that continues we will get worse than Trump.
    And the more liberal American are watching and learning, they too are tired of their policies not getting carried out.

    You have every right to vote for whom you want. Biden, not for me. Debt is past the tipping point. They want a war with China. If you think $1 trillion/ 3 months is more dangerous that Trump Tyranny than we are just going to have to disagree…..

    Sorry for ramblings, just got in from taking care of farm animals. Have a great weekend.

    Joe (141406)

  55. I am sad to see you are still writing such hateful, personal comments.

    Trump is the one who has said he wants to be an authoritarian. If anyone “shoots someone on 5th Ave” (or anywhere) or orders an assasination, it will be Trump.

    DRJ (c673a9) — 3/9/2024 @ 3:03 pm

    Biden is being authoritarian. He’s using his DOJ to try and imprison his political opponent. That you choose to not see that is beyond me.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  56. Hillary beat Trump by nearly 3 million votes in the 2016 popular vote. Biden beat him by 7 million in 2020.

    We’re talking about Trump here, folks. The Commander In Cheat. Who counts getting on the green as making the putt. Really. Literally.

    You will never get him to admit that he lost. You have to jam it down his throat. And he will still keep lying about it to his supporters and they will still go along.

    nk (7613d2)

  57. Good Lord NJRob is now cribbing directly from Trump. The destruction of social conservatism occurs when they vote for a lying, cheating, bullying, corrupt rapist. You just can’t come back and moralize after that. He is you. Rob is relegated back to backround noise…and we’ll pray for his soul….

    AJ_Liberty (ebd73f)

  58. At The Dispatch, of more than a thousand comments on this article, yours is the most liked, Patterico.

    Well done!

    norcal (a0adc4)

  59. He’s using his DOJ to try and imprison his political opponent. That you choose to see that is beyond me.

    FIFY

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  60. Patterico from Trumps 4 years in office what policies of his do you feel were out side of normal parameters?

    Mattsky (c3e34d)

  61. I do think one should look back at the 1948 campaign, and Truman’s October 25th speech where he called Dewey and the Republicans Nazis. The following is the headline from the NY Times:

    PRESIDENT LIKENS DEWEY TO HITLER AS FASCISTS’ TOOL

    Says When Bigots, Profiteers Get Control of Country They Select ‘Front Man’ to Rule

    DICTATORSHIP STRESSED

    Truman Tells Chicago Audience a Republican Victory Will Threaten U.S. Liberty TRUMAN SAYS GOP PERILS U.S. LIBERTY

    https://www.nytimes.com/1948/10/26/archives/president-likens-dewey-to-hitler-as-fascists-tool-says-when-bigots.html

    (PDF of full article)

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  62. Patterico from Trumps 4 years in office what policies of his do you feel were out side of normal parameters?

    You guys continually miss the point. It’s not about policies at all. It’s about the MAN HIMSELF being outside of normal parameters (i.e. he’s a infantile, ignorant, stupid and out-of-control crazy person).

    It is so bad that Patterico and others are saying they will vote for someone whose policies they despise because the only opposition is the above infantile, ignorant, stupid and out-of-control crazy person.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  63. If you want someone to beat Biden, well, DO BETTER.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  64. @53, that’s one way to look at it. Another is that there’s ample evidence that Trump committed criminal acts and support a prosecution

    Time123 (1b9783)

  65. “What I know about parameters is that I take a parameter and I drop it in a glass of water and it’s not a parameter anymore. Unless it’s made John Deere.

    I met Viktor Orban,the Prime Minister of Hungary, at Mar-a-Lago. And he came up to me and said ‘Sir’, he said, ‘of all the things I regret, what I regret most is that your grandfather emigrated to America. Because there is no one I would rather have as Emperor of Austria-Hungary more than you.'”

    nk (cb388a)

  66. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/resurfaced-nyt-report-says-joe-biden-pressured-merrick-garland-to-prosecute-donald-trump/ar-AA1lX2AE

    Just a reminder that so many like to ignore.

    And that’s with all the leftist spin attached. But you cannot hide reality.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  67. You make that sound like it’s a bad thing, NJRob. I would have pressured Garland to prosecute Trump, too, and the only reason I did not is that stupid Article II does not vest me with the Executive Power.

    nk (c1a9cb)

  68. It’s another example of where the title doesn’t match the content, because the content clearly stated that “the president has never communicated his frustrations directly to Mr. Garland”. Indeed, there was spin, just not the kind Rob keeps imagining.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  69. “the president has never communicated his frustrations directly to Mr. Garland”

    That what minions are for.

    But I agree with nk.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  70. Also, they keep talking about a “resurfaced New York Times report”, but they never actually reference the NYT report. Their links all go to an outfit named Analyzing America, which is just another of many right-wing, low-credibility “news” sites. But right-wingers like their confirmation bias, I suppose.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  71. Anybody who doesn’t think Trump should be in prison should not be President of the United States or hold any elected or appointed office under the United States or under any State or local government. All the way down to water meter reader, snow plow driver, sewer worker, or street sweeper.

    nk (c1a9cb)

  72. As I recall, Trump pressured a resistant FBI Director so much that he sacked him, then he obstructed a Special Counsel investigation, then he pressured his AG to hire Durham to investigate the investigators, which was basically as successful as his attempt to prove that actually won the popular vote in 2016. I don’t recall Rob getting Katie Britt breathless over any of that, more the opposite.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)


  73. You guys continually miss the point. It’s not about policies at all. It’s about the MAN HIMSELF being outside of normal parameters (i.e. he’s a infantile, ignorant, stupid and out-of-control crazy person).

    I get the point. I voted the Libertarian ticket in 2016. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Trump or Clinton. I don’t like Trump but the policies during his 4 years were within normal parameters including no new wars. In 2020 I voted for Trump because I feared what 4 years of Biden might bring. I also saw signs of early dementia.

    Now I’m faced with Biden VS Trump again. I fear 4 more years of Biden more than 4 more years of Trump. I fear Biden policy and his mental state more than I do mean tweets.

    If you want someone to beat Biden, well, DO BETTER.

    If you want somebody to beat Trump DO BETTER than a man that belongs on a dementia ward.

    BTW does lawfare to keep the likely nominee of the apposing party off the ballet fall within normal parameters? I don’t recall that in my life time or reading about that happening in any history books.

    Mattsky (f16ff6)

  74. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.

    felipe (5045ed)

  75. “BTW does lawfare to keep the likely nominee of the apposing party off the ballet fall within normal parameters?”

    This is another of the great lies that said often enough becomes the common understanding. It joins “stolen election” and “perfect call”.

    Though one can question elevating the Manhattan charges from misdemeanors to felonies, business records were in fact manipulated to hide the hush payments that were trying to keep the affair concealed. It’s the orphan sister case that somewhat distracts from the main courses.

    Even whembly here concedes that Jack Smith has Trump dead to rights on the classified documents obstruction charges. He will stretch himself into a pretzel to grant Trump an ability to de-classify anything just with his mind, but he can’t square purposefully evading the document collection. So how is that lawfare?

    The J6 charges follow from the GOP Senate’s argument that you can’t convict an impeached President once he finishes his last day….implying the only recourse at that point is the Courts. We may argue about what constitutes an insurrection and did Trump actively participate in one, but that’s not what he’s charged with. Did Trump purposefully disrupt a Congressional proceeding. 300+ Americans saw it live on TV. The House established a record that Trump sat 3hrs as the violence surged….and did nothing. You may assert that that or the fake elector scheme does not rise to a criminal offense but that’s what trials in the end are for. The lawfare is actually Trump trying to evade any responsibility so he can run out the clock and cynically pardon himself. Answer the charges.

    The GOP wants someone who is reasonably criminally accused. It’s baffling when you have a popular Florida governor and South Carolina governor to choose as an alternative. Trump is not owed a third run but he needs it to help stay out of prison. How the heck is that in the Overton Window?!

    AJ_Liberty (ebd73f)

  76. “I don’t like Trump but the policies during his 4 years were within normal parameters including no new wars.”

    A GOP President embracing and excusing Putin is no where near the Overton Window of normalcy. Bush looking into Putin’s heart was before Georgia, Crimea, and many of the political assassinations that Putin orchestrated. With those as back knowledge, why does Trump bend over to excuse a tyrant?

    I would add escalating from criticisms of NATO, which would fall in the normal range, to actually pulling us out of NATO (which caused a Congressional response) or stepping away from our Article 5 commitments. All indications from Trump’s national security folks were that this was Trump’s hobby horse that they had to distract him with shiny objects to step back from….and that is coming in a second term. NATO is a bulwark against Russian expansionism, economic chaos, and death. We are integral to the organization. I would place dismantling it or sabotaging it and going against the vast opinion of national security experts as being outside normal.

    We could also add Trump’s continued fascination with dropping nuclear bombs on Iran or North Korea as documented by Mike Esper and General Kelly. He also floated pulling troops out of S. Korea and Africa. One could argue that isolationism has a vibrant history in our country, but for a single man to iniate this on a very weak intellectual basis is abnormal. It’s handing the world over to our geopolitical rivals.

    I would also add the original Muslim bans which were rejected by the Supreme Court were not exactly following in the best tradition of the country. The gross over and under inclusion bit at basic reasonableness.

    We can quibble about the great Schedule F plan and internment camps planned for our country as whether those are in or outside of the window. I think making the Justice DEpartment a resolving door of fierce partisans is especially worrisome. It;s one more step toward disabling our democracy and creating a strongman regime.

    AJ_Liberty (ebd73f)

  77. Trump Civil Litigation Watch, Loser Pays Edition

    A judge in London on Thursday ordered former President Donald Trump to pay nearly $400,000 to a private intelligence company owned by former British spy Christopher Steele over an abortive data protection lawsuit dismissed by the same judge earlier this year.

    On Feb. 1, Judge Karen Steyn ruled the 45th president “has no reasonable grounds for bringing a claim for compensation or damages” and entered judgment in the company’s favor.

    On Thursday, Steyn ordered Trump to pay initial legal fees of at least 300,000 pounds sterling — roughly equivalent to just north of $384,000, according to the latest exchange rates at the time of publication. But the ex-president’s final costs could easily double.
    …………..
    The case brought by Trump against Orbis Business Intelligence was filed in the High Court of Justice King’s Bench Division in October 2022. The lawsuit was subsequently amended and an additional claim was added. Orbis then moved for summary judgment.

    The basis for the failed lawsuit was the lurid allegations contained in the discredited Steele dossier………..

    The initial claims were based on two U.K. data protection laws passed in 2018. Trump’s legal team essentially moved to amend the lawsuit and only sue Orbis in February 2023 — and to include a claim based on a 1998 data protection law.

    In the end, the judge determined Trump’s lawsuit contained no valid claims under the 2018 laws — because those two laws “came into force” well after the completion of the complained-of memos in the 2016 dossier. And, Steyn also found, the six-year statute of limitations for the claim based on the 1998 law had passed by the time Trump’s English barrister Hugh Tomlinson thought to include that later claim.
    ……………..
    Steyn in her dismissal, makes clear to point out that her judgment does not address the alleged “personal and reputational damage and distress” cited by Trump in his original complaint.
    …………….

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  78. Like I said.

    Excuses aplenty. So many would be comfortable with Lavrentiy Beria running the nation.

    NJRob (9d1fef)

  79. Here’s the problem.

    Biden isn’t wrong within normal parameters. The volume of illegal immigration and inflation spending (including on debt forgiveness) is beyond unfair to the working class American. It’s a permanent threat to the way of life. It’s cementing a new voting bloc. It’s making it very difficult for young adults to afford a home with depress wages and increased costs. We can say that’s normal because of a series of whatabouts, but it’s not.

    The main response to this is yet another lame whatabout, that Trump or the GOP didn’t legalize enormous amounts of illegal immigration in the recent bill, therefore they must not deserve for the law to be enforced or something. That too, that ideological obnoxiousness, is a threat.

    And the proof: Trump’s most angry critics (other than me, I guess) didn’t care if he was nominated. They refused even a small compromise to replace him with a socially conservative leader who is totally ethical… just happens to support the idea of a secure border. So on a guy level, a lot of nevertrumpers have proven they were indeed not very sincere about this notion Trump is a threat to the continued existence of the Milky Way galaxy.

    That leaves folks like me in an awkward position, as I do think Trump is a serious ethical problem, probably not to democracy continuing but maybe. Enough of a threat that I won’t support him. But this idea I need to turn off my brain and do what I’m told, support Biden, because Trump is totally unacceptable: that’s coming from folks who refused a really slight compromise in the primary. It’s insulting. It’s as insulting as telling me that recent immigration bill was good for the country.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  80. A president so mentally gone that he can’t stand trial for mishandling classified documents is being put forth as within normal parameters.

    That Trump is deemed competent to stand trial should serve as an endorsement.

    lloyd (5852e0)

  81. @70 Paul, are you pleased Kevin Clinesmith is back practicing law?

    lloyd (1b978a)

  82. Paul, are you pleased Kevin Clinesmith is back practicing law?

    No. Why would I be? Why do you ask?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  83. A president so mentally gone that he can’t stand trial for mishandling classified documents is being put forth as within normal parameters.

    I expect that Trump will order Biden’s prosecution if he becomes president. Hur’s “determination” of Biden’s mental competence was his opinion, and certainly not made by a medical professional. It certainly not legally binding on a future Justice Department.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  84. @74

    “I don’t like Trump but the policies during his 4 years were within normal parameters including no new wars.”

    A GOP President embracing and excusing Putin is no where near the Overton Window of normalcy. Bush looking into Putin’s heart was before Georgia, Crimea, and many of the political assassinations that Putin orchestrated. With those as back knowledge, why does Trump bend over to excuse a tyrant?

    So, being caught on a hot-mic telling Medevdev “flexibility” to Putin within parameters? Which was the beginnings of the ‘Little Green Men™’ seen in Crimea?
    https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE82P0JI/

    Or how ’bout the current President, seemingly gave Putin the “go ahead” to go hot in his war with Ukraine?
    https://www.heritage.org/global-politics/commentary/joe-bidens-minor-incursion-russia-remark-history-proves-it-was-mistake#:~:text=Russia%2C%20he%20suggested%20would%20face,left%20officials%20in%20Kyiv%20gobsmacked.

    Are these within this “Overton Window of normalcy”?

    I certainly don’t think so…

    I would add escalating from criticisms of NATO, which would fall in the normal range, to actually pulling us out of NATO (which caused a Congressional response) or stepping away from our Article 5 commitments. All indications from Trump’s national security folks were that this was Trump’s hobby horse that they had to distract him with shiny objects to step back from….and that is coming in a second term. NATO is a bulwark against Russian expansionism, economic chaos, and death. We are integral to the organization. I would place dismantling it or sabotaging it and going against the vast opinion of national security experts as being outside normal.

    Or, it could be Donny’s way of engaging in an “Art of the Deal” negotiations to get NATO members to actually meet their goals in the alliance.

    We could also add Trump’s continued fascination with dropping nuclear bombs on Iran or North Korea as documented by Mike Esper and General Kelly. He also floated pulling troops out of S. Korea and Africa. One could argue that isolationism has a vibrant history in our country, but for a single man to iniate this on a very weak intellectual basis is abnormal. It’s handing the world over to our geopolitical rivals.

    Please. Tell me more of this.

    I would also add the original Muslim bans which were rejected by the Supreme Court were not exactly following in the best tradition of the country. The gross over and under inclusion bit at basic reasonableness.

    That was rejected by liberal justices and the 9th Circuit. I don’t recall SCOTUS getting involved in that.

    In any case, yes, such a ban are within normal parameters as the basic justification was that there were no information sharing agreement between those targetted nations.

    We can quibble about the great Schedule F plan and internment camps planned for our country as whether those are in or outside of the window. I think making the Justice DEpartment a resolving door of fierce partisans is especially worrisome. It;s one more step toward disabling our democracy and creating a strongman regime.

    AJ_Liberty (ebd73f) — 3/10/2024 @ 8:44 am

    I’m 100% for this plan.

    Because what we CANNOT have, agencies working to undermine the political agendas set by the Whitehouse.

    whembly (10b95a)

  85. @77

    But this idea I need to turn off my brain and do what I’m told, support Biden, because Trump is totally unacceptable: that’s coming from folks who refused a really slight compromise in the primary. It’s insulting. It’s as insulting as telling me that recent immigration bill was good for the country.

    Dustin (c1324d) — 3/10/2024 @ 9:04 am

    This.

    I’m beyond frustrated that the NeverTrumper crowd never really got together and put forth a not-Trump candidate to take down Trump in the primary. There was never any plan or organization to do so…and instead, we got a typical primary when everyone new that Trump would win in a fractured primary season. When NeverTrumpers continually say that Trump is a danger and must never be President again, but seems to be totally absent when the rubber meets the road. I can only presume, that they truly don’t believe he’s that much of a danger.

    What gives?

    whembly (10b95a)

  86. ‘Fundamentally wrong‘:

    In a flurry of filings later Thursday, special counsel Jack Smith attacked various arguments that Donald Trump’s defense lawyers have advanced in bids to dismiss his Espionage Act indictment, including assertions about the Presidential Records Act (PRA).
    ………….
    “Trump’s reliance on the PRA as a basis for dismissing the indictment is wrong. The PRA does not exempt Trump from the criminal law, entitle him to unilaterally declare highly classified presidential records to be personal records, or shield him from criminal investigations—let alone allow him to obstruct a federal investigation with impunity,” the filing said, only getting sharper from there.

    …………. Smith pointed out that executive order 13526 — “in force throughout Trump’s Presidency and through the allegations in the Superseding Indictment” — states that classified materials “can be accessed only by a person who an appropriate United States official determines is eligible for such access; who has signed an approved non-disclosure agreement; and who has a ‘need to know’ the classified information.”

    “Under the provisions of EO 13526, the Superseding Indictment alleges, once Trump left office, he no longer had authorization to possess classified information, he never received a waiver entitling him, as a former President, to possess it, and he stored documents at a location that was not an authorized location for the storage, possession, review, display, or discussion of classified documents,” the special counsel said.
    …………..
    “The PRA provides no specific exception to EO 13526 that would authorize Trump to keep classified government records at Mar-a-Lago,” Smith wrote, before adding a footnote saying that even the Hur Report on President Joe Biden agrees:
    ………….
    (Smith’s brief continues):

    Trump alludes to DOJ’s inaction over former President Reagan’s diaries, which he retained after leaving office and which contained classified information. ECF No. 327 at 7. But DOJ’s decisions decades ago with respect to a former President’s diaries establish no legal precedent for the interaction of the PRA and Executive Orders governing classified documents.

    This case involves classified records created by intelligence and military officials for highly sensitive Presidential briefings. Trump did not create them, they do not reflect his personal thoughts, they came into his possession only through his official duties, and (except for one charged document) bear classification markings.

    They have no resemblance to diaries. See 44 U.S.C. § 2201(3)(A) (defining “personal records” to include “diaries, journals or other notes serving as the functional equivalent of a diary or journal which are not prepared or utilized for, or circulated or communicated in the course of, transacting Government business”)……..
    ………………
    Finally, Trump contends that NARA made an improper referral to DOJ on February 9, 2022, and that the FBI therefore had no basis to “predicate” an investigation of his unauthorized possession of classified government documents.

    He claims that, as a result, the obstruction and false-statement allegations in Counts 33-42 must be dismissed. Each aspect of that argument is fundamentally wrong. Nothing in the PRA preempts the application of federal criminal law or divests the Government of criminal investigative authorities, and in any event, an individual’s claim that the Government lacked authority to investigate provides no defense to charges for obstructing its investigation.

    ……………

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  87. Smith’s Presidential Records Act filing.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  88. I’m beyond frustrated that the NeverTrumper crowd never really got together and put forth a not-Trump candidate to take down Trump in the primary.

    whembly (10b95a) — 3/10/2024 @ 1:04 pm

    Even if the Never Trumpers had somehow pulled off a magical plan and organization to get only DeSantis to run against Trump, and then somehow got a majority of the votes to secure the nomination for DeSantis, do you really think Trump would have conceded the race, or would he have claimed fraud again (like he did when Ted Cruz won the Iowa primary in 2016)?

    And, do you really think Trump would have supported DeSantis in the general after losing to him? We should all know how Trump rolls by now. Enough Trump fans would pout and, taking their cue from Trump’s lack of support for DeSantis, just not vote. Enough to ensure a defeat for DeSantis in the general.

    norcal (6a8e7d)

  89. I’m beyond frustrated that the NeverTrumper crowd never really got together and put forth a not-Trump candidate to take down Trump in the primary. There was never any plan or organization to do so…and instead, we got a typical primary when everyone new that Trump would win in a fractured primary season.
    When NeverTrumpers continually say that Trump is a danger and must never be President again, but seems to be totally absent when the rubber meets the road. I can only presume, that they truly don’t believe he’s that much of a danger.

    Even if Never Trumpers had consolidated around one candidate, Trump’s polling numbers were far beyond 50%. It wouldn’t have mattered; the Republican electorate wants Trump.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  90. ‘No legal basis to dismiss‘

    …………
    In their February motion to dismiss (the classified documents indictment) on grounds of unconstitutional vagueness, Trump lawyers singled out count 19 as a particular affront to a defendant they claimed had a “‘Q’ clearance” in the mind of the Department of Energy.

    …………. “Whatever §793(e) means—and that much is unconstitutionally unclear—the Authorization Clause does not prohibit possession of a document by the holder of a valid security clearance, and someone who is cleared to the appropriate level cannot willfully violate the statute.”

    ………..The nineteenth “willful retention of national defense information” count in the Trump indictment relates to an “Undated document concerning nuclear weaponry of the United States,” with a date of offense running from Joe Biden’s inauguration as president until Aug. 8, 2022, when the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago.
    …………
    The first reason (that Trump’s argument “lacks merit”) Smith said, is that the indictment “properly tracks the statutory language and charges that Trump possessed the document charged in Count 19 without authorization and willfully retained it.”………..

    Second, at trial the Government will show that the evidence identified by Trump shows that he did not possess a security clearance after the end of his term in office. As reflected in records produced in discovery and cited by Trump, “as a matter of law, the Q clearance granted to Donald J. Trump on February 9, 2017, terminated, by the conditions of its original grant, upon the completion of Mr. Trump’s term as President of the United States at 12:00 PM on January 20, 2021.” ECF No. 262, Ex. 59 at USA-01116848.

    Whether or not the Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) records were up to date or continued to reflect an active Q clearance after Trump’s term had ended, it has no bearing on Trump’s actual entitlement to access documents requiring a Q clearance.

    …………..

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  91. ‘No one will be above the law’:

    …………
    In one such filing (last Thursday), special counsel Jack Smith argues that Trump knowingly taking classified national security documents from the White House is far more brazen — and unlawful — than other high-profile political figures who found themselves embroiled in scandals concerning the mishandling of classified information, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    The filing is an opposition brief responding to Trump’s claim that he is the victim of “selective and vindictive prosecution”…….….
    ………….
    The difference in Trump’s case, Smith said, is that Trump “knowingly possessed and willfully retained the classified documents,” even after he had been ordered to return them.

    “That alone distinguishes his conduct from a litany of former government officials who have retained classified documents beyond their terms in office through inadvertence or carelessness, but then returned them upon their discovery.”
    …………
    “Rather than simply comply with the subpoena, he orchestrated a scheme to obstruct the criminal investigation and the continuing effort to recover the documents,” Smith wrote. “Among other things, the scheme included an effort to enlist his own attorney in the corrupt endeavor, suggesting that the attorney falsely tell the FBI and grand jury that Trump did not have any documents, and suggesting that his attorney hide or destroy documents rather than produce them to the government.”
    …………..
    “In his 2016 campaign, Trump called for charges to be brought against Clinton for this conduct, emphasizing that ‘We can’t have someone in the Oval Office who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word confidential or classified,’ and promising, ‘In my administration, I’m going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law.’”

    ……………

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  92. Even if the Never Trumpers had somehow pulled off a magical plan and organization to get only DeSantis to run against Trump, and then somehow got a majority of the votes to secure the nomination for DeSantis, do you really think Trump would have conceded the race

    It would have been a bumpy ride, but seriously, had the ‘nevertrumper’ primary of Desantis vs Haley been definitively on the side of the decent person, a ton of Trump agnostics would have supported Desantis, who can serve two terms. At any rate, your argument misses the point entirely.

    Rejecting the social conservative who has the objectively better path to the nomination than Haley (in fact, Haley had absolutely no path) means a bunch of nevertrumpers are fake. They just aren’t conservative and reject conservatives, and their claims Trump is a threat to the republic were insincere.

    So they have now forfeited their argument to support Biden. It’s just not worth the time of day. It’s like saying the recent border bill was good. LOL no.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  93. #60. “It’s about the MAN HIMSELF being outside of normal parameters (i.e. he’s a infantile, stupid and out of control crazy person.”

    A description that fits Biden perfectly. An irony this site never grasps is that Biden is the public figure who most resembles Trump. Also like Trump, Biden talks too much, thinks out loud, says stupid things into an open microphone, etc. etc.

    DN (4e7e08)

  94. A description that fits Biden perfectly. An irony this site never grasps is that Biden is the public figure who most resembles Trump. Also like Trump, Biden talks too much, thinks out loud, says stupid things into an open microphone, etc. etc.

    DN (4e7e08) — 3/10/2024 @ 4:05 pm

    Which is where any resemblance ends. Biden hasn’t done anything of the things Trump is accused of: interfering with an election to retain power or failing to return classified documents after being asked to do so.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  95. Well said Dustin.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  96. …….. had the ‘nevertrumper’ primary of Desantis vs Haley been definitively on the side of the decent person, a ton of Trump agnostics would have supported Desantis……..

    Still wouldn’t have been enough to overtake Trump; there were never enough “Trump agnostics” to make DeSantis a viable contender. There is no evidence that any Trump supporters were willing to switch to DeSantis, which would have been necessary to challenge Trump.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  97. Between late May, when DeSantis announced his candidacy, Trump was polling at 53% (DeSantis was at 21%). Except for a brief moment in early July when he polled at 51%, Trump’s numbers never declined below that level. By the time of the Iowa caucuses, Trump was at 61%.

    There was never any evidence of Trump’s voters up for grabs.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  98. “Biden hasn’t done anything of the things Trump is accused of.”

    No, Biden only brought in millions of illegals. FWIW, if Trump (whom I also despise) had won in 2020 Laken Riley would still be alive. Let that sink in.

    I repeat. I loathe Trump and wish he had gone away, but he’s to stupid, shameless, and too much the egomaniac to leave the scene. I voted AGAINST Hillary Clinton and Biden, not FOR Trump. I am leaning toward not voting this time.

    DN (4e7e08)

  99. How will you keep them on the campaign trail when Bridget Ziegler is in Sarasota?

    Okay, okay, okay! No need to bristle!

    Although I still firmly believe that the so-called GOP primary was a sham and a charade, and DeSantis was “Trump’s boy in there” to block any serious challenger, I am willing to concede that if DeSantis had seen that he had a real chance of getting the nomination, he would have double-crossed Trump in a heartbeat. But he did not, so he went and fetched Trump’s slippers and got his ears scratched.

    nk (a44a36)

  100. It’s like saying the recent border bill was good. LOL no.

    As someone who thinks it was good, I’d love to discuss this with you, since you’re one of the most reasonable people I know online.

    Patterico (679c8b)

  101. Joe,

    Debt is past the tipping point.

    So therefore vote for Trump, because he did well with the debt?

    If that is your argument, I have some bad news.

    Patterico (679c8b)

  102. Dustin,

    I’m pretty confident that if DeSantis had made it to California and was one-on-one with Trump like Haley was, I would have voted for him.

    Frankly, though, his appeals to the know-nothing Trump base — constantly echoing the refrain that Trump was an unfair victim of a DOJ out of control and such — disgusted me. His use of government to go after speech he did not like frightened me. I think he was a very bad candidate. Better than Trump, to be sure, as almost any human would be. But bad.

    I am surprised you were such a fan. But again, I respect you and would be happy to discuss it with you.

    Patterico (679c8b)

  103. @99 For 50 years conservatives have complained about the debt until they are asked how much they want their taxes raised to pay it. No! cut welfare spending don’t raise my taxes. If debt becomes a real problem their are many ways to deal with it. Economists have written many books on how to deal with the debt.

    asset (4d0d54)

  104. Biden is being authoritarian. He’s using his DOJ to try and imprison his political opponent. That you choose to not see that is beyond me.

    Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!

    Sorry, just channeling a chant I heard a lot in 2016 but changing the gender.

    Patterico (679c8b)

  105. Biden is being authoritarian. He’s using his DOJ to try and imprison his political opponent. That you choose to not see that is beyond me.

    I wrote recently about the lack of control Biden obviously has over these prosecutions. Sorry you missed that.

    Patterico (679c8b)

  106. If biden is an authoritarian why hasn’t his fcc pulled the licenses of right wing radio stations.

    asset (4d0d54)

  107. Tell me Dustin, who caused DeSantis’ poll collapse from 30%+ to 15%?

    If it was any other candidate, it would have to be Trump as no one else gained as DeSantis lost.

    Kevin M (de3773)

  108. Haley did not start to rise until after DeSantis cratered. It was due to DeSantis’ failure that other candidates were tried.

    Kevin M (de3773)

  109. “who caused DeSantis’ poll collapse from 30%+ to 15%?”

    The collapse of DeSantis began with the indictments of Trump.

    lloyd (5852e0)

  110. The collapse of DeSantis began with the indictments of Trump.

    lloyd (5852e0) — 3/10/2024 @ 9:28 pm

    That’s a really interesting thought process.

    “You know, I think DeSantis would make a better President. Oh, wait. Trump has been indicted? Then I don’t care if DeSantis would make a better President!”

    norcal (f9a244)

  111. And yet that seems to have been the thinking of a lot of people.

    Patterico (9adca6)

  112. Yeah. I don’t get it.

    norcal (f9a244)

  113. Someone is also going to have to explain to me why the 15% of right leaning voters who are NeverTrump are somehow responsible for Trump’s candidacy (because they can’t invert the laws of mathematics, no less) as opposed to all the people who actually vote for him. It’s like when some people blame Ukraine for not achieving peace with Russia.

    Maybe the burden should be on the bad guy and his supporters to actually act decently? Pretending like Trump and his voters have no agency of their own and it is all someone else’s responsibility to save them from themselves is a pretty strange way to look at things. “Supporting Haley and/or Desantis didn’t work, so now my hands are tied and I have to vote for Trump” just means you were going to vote for the Republican nominee no matter what. Which is fine, if you’re a partisan Republican. But if Never Trump actually means … well, Never Trump … then why wouldn’t you expect someone like that to oppose Trump in the GOP primary AND in the general election?

    Turd Ferguson (71d376)

  114. Your problem. Younger voters that our now joining trump’s republican party think like trump not like young well to do children of the republican establishment. Their goal is not lowering taxes on the rich but attacking woke and illegal aliens. They support putin not ukraine and only give lip service to Israel ;but they do like netanyahu! They oppose free trade because they come from white working class not the rich. You have lost a generation to trump who has answers to questions you do not ask.

    asset (4d0d54)

  115. I think we end up at 60% support for Trump because the overwhelming majority of right-wing opinionators and influencers gave their permission.

    Oh sure you have your Jonah Goldbergs, Kevin Williamsons, and Mitt Romneys but there are so few in News Entertainment, Talk Radio, and from the blogosphere that had the courage to call Trump out and conclude, “this is just wrong”. Simply, there’s no critical mass. It’s why Chris Christie never stood a chance. And following him down that path was self-defeating.

    Candidates are one thing. Mass communication is another. You can’t have a President sit while the Capitol is stormed, especially after lying to his supporters for months about fraud and whipping them up about fighting for their country. Oh and then throw in a conspiracy to just not count electoral votes that are inconvenient. It’s unacceptable. Throw in the Georgia “vote finding” pressure and the deliberate hide-and-seek with classified documents and there should be no question about rejecting Trump and moving on.

    Except we saw the opposite and a drift into conspiracy land and building the narrative that Biden was in fact even worse. How much ink and electrons have been expended on the meme that Trump is no worse and himself a victim? It was unserious, and purposefully deceptive while playing on the worst aspects of hyper-partisanship.

    Sure, there was co-dependency going on. The media couldn’t go where the viewers didn’t want to go. Viwers are entertained by Trump….he’s the reality TV show drama train. And if you listen closely to those rationalizing not wanting a normal Republican, there’s always a weird unrealistic expectation of what politics can or should achieve. They’re mad that things couldn’t get done, but then create an even more toxic political environment to ensure things can’t get done — moving us closer and closer to turning things over to a strongman who will just break the rules “to get things done”.

    By our partisan silence, we authorize more and more radical Executive Orders because we refuse to hold Congress accountable and refuse to create the safe space for deals to actually get done. Everything is 24/7 and amplified by traditional and social media hungering for content. The worst thing for politicians is being outed for collaborating with the enemy. What’s left is a lot of compromised mediocrity — See Scott, Tim. Ukraine and immigration bills tell the tale.

    At the end of this train wreck must be accountability and a reckoning. There’s just too many people who should have known better….

    AJ_Liberty (ee85c5)

  116. I want people who are sober about the power we give them. We need politics to get more serious, not less. Trump makes our politics more toxic.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  117. @103

    I wrote recently about the lack of control Biden obviously has over these prosecutions. Sorry you missed that.

    Patterico (679c8b) — 3/10/2024 @ 7:46 pm

    I really have a hard time believing that.

    At best, it’s a Henry II ‘Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?’ ordeal.

    At worst, it’s the Whitehouse pressuring the DOJ behinds the scene while maintaining plausible deniability in order to maximize the political pain during a presidential election season.

    It’s probably somewhere in between… but, the biggest indication to me that this was all done in bad faith is that the prosecution waited to tee this up during the election. There was no good reason to wait that long and charges could’ve been brought in the same year Trump left office.

    whembly (5f7596)

  118. @108

    The collapse of DeSantis began with the indictments of Trump.

    lloyd (5852e0) — 3/10/2024 @ 9:28 pm

    That’s a really interesting thought process.

    “You know, I think DeSantis would make a better President. Oh, wait. Trump has been indicted? Then I don’t care if DeSantis would make a better President!”

    norcal (f9a244) — 3/10/2024 @ 9:44 pm

    @109

    And yet that seems to have been the thinking of a lot of people.

    Patterico (9adca6) — 3/10/2024 @ 10:06 pm

    @110

    Yeah. I don’t get it.

    norcal (f9a244) — 3/10/2024 @ 10:08 pm

    I don’t think it’s a…
    I think DeSantis would make a better President. Oh, wait. Trump has been indicted? Then I don’t care if DeSantis would make a better President!”
    It’s a fundamental backlash against Trump’s opponent of what is being percieved as a political persecution.

    Or, more succinctly, “how do we signal to Democrats that this behavior is unacceptible… oh? You really, REALLY don’t like Trump? Then you must get more Trump!”.

    I don’t agree with it, but I understand it.

    To me, the best response would’ve been to nominate someone like DeSantis, who’s not afraid to tumble with political adversaries and would be far more effective than Trump.

    whembly (5f7596)

  119. @111

    Someone is also going to have to explain to me why the 15% of right leaning voters who are NeverTrump are somehow responsible for Trump’s candidacy (because they can’t invert the laws of mathematics, no less) as opposed to all the people who actually vote for him. It’s like when some people blame Ukraine for not achieving peace with Russia.

    Turd Ferguson (71d376) — 3/10/2024 @ 11:33 pm

    NeverTrumpers never seemed to get their act together.

    Any rando could see that a traditional primary with Trump and multitude of other candidates only ensures that Trump would win the primary.

    That means, the NeverTrumpers would have to work harder to convince the rest of the party to change course, by doing something like this (not an exclusive list):
    –Identify a not-Trump candidate way before primary season starts.

    –Aggressive funding for this candidate.

    –Run for party positions, up to RNC, to exert any influence towards this goal of having just Trump v. not-Trump race at the start.

    –Aggressively discourage the other not-Trump candidate from even running, to ensure that it’s a Trump v. not-Trump primary from the beginning.

    –NeverTrumpers extends grace to Trump voters by making the case that this not-Trump candidate can win AND thread the needled to welcome both NeverTrump, indies and MAGA voters.

    The fact that they didn’t even try something like this, tells me by their actions that as a group, they really don’t view Trump as such a civic disaster.

    Or, simply that they were lazy and were hoping that Democrats are able to knock Trump out of the race by virtue of the various lawfare he’s currently tied down with.

    In short, the fact that they didn’t participate in the primary PROCESS, and I’m not talking about voting, means they’ve outsourced the primary selection process to someone else.

    They deserve the candidates that are selected.

    Would it work? Who knows… but, the lack of action is pretty stark.

    whembly (5f7596)

  120. Even agreeing on a single “non-Trump” candidate probably wouldn’t have made a difference; this faction of Republicans was just too small compared to the numbers who favored Trump. There is no evidence that there were enough dissenting Trump supporters who would be willing to switch and deny Trump a majority.

    It’s all “coulda woulda shoulda” speculation.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  121. Correct. Besides, they funded Desantis. And then he turned out to have the charisma of a pine cone and quickly tanked in the polls. So then they funded Haley, even though she had no chance. It was a Trump vs. Haley primary by New Hampshire. Trump always had the overwhelming majority of votes no matter what happened.

    By whembly’s logic, I guess we should blame the Jews for not convincing most Nazis that Hitler was wrong about them.

    It certainly is curious how enthusiastic Trump supporters feel they need to blame someone else for their just having to support Trump against their will. At least have the backbone to own it.

    Turd Ferguson (71d376)

  122. “NeverTrumpers never seemed to get their act together.”

    MAGA was immovable. They could have gone to the right with DeSantis or towards the middle with Haley, but instead chose to stick with the guy facing 4 felony indictments, defamation charges, financial fraud civil remedies, and 2 impeachments. The problem isn’t the people that rejected Trump; it’s the people that circled the wagons and found every reason imaginable to excuse him. Right now we’re the opposite of smoke-filled rooms where deals get cut. Republicans want the bad guy precisely because he’s bad and because he indiscriminately acts out. They think that’s what’s leadership and that character is over-valued.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  123. @119

    Correct. Besides, they funded Desantis. And then he turned out to have the charisma of a pine cone and quickly tanked in the polls. So then they funded Haley, even though she had no chance. It was a Trump vs. Haley primary by New Hampshire.

    By then, it’s too late.

    Trump always had the overwhelming majority of votes no matter what happened.

    We would never know because NeverTrumpers waited too long.

    By whembly’s logic, I guess we should blame the Jews for not convincing most Nazis that Hitler was wrong about them.

    Good job Goodwin’ing yourself.

    It certainly is curious how enthusiastic Trump supporters feel they need to blame someone else for their just having to support Trump against their will. At least have the backbone to own it.

    Turd Ferguson (71d376) — 3/11/2024 @ 9:11 am

    I’m certainly unenthusiastic about a Trump ‘back with a vengeance’ tour.

    But, I have a backbone to own my vote simply because I view Democrat’s a bridge too far to me than a neutered Trump’s comeback tour.

    At least have the backbone to acknowledge that with 20/20 vision, ya’ll should’ve done something different.

    whembly (5f7596)

  124. Haha. Oh yes. It was too late to have a 1 vs. 1 contest by the SECOND PRIMARY. All the poor mistreated Trump voters just had no other choice but to vote for him on Super Tuesday.

    He even turns his supporters into perpetual victims. Or maybe that’s his appeal. Party of personal responsibility, indeed.

    Turd Ferguson (42947d)

  125. @122 Turd Ferguson (42947d) — 3/11/2024 @ 9:31 am
    I see that you’re new here.

    I was here way before the primary started for people to get more engaged in the primaries to advocate for a singular not-Trump candidate. I participated in my GOP conferences in my neck of the woods articulating as such.

    Have a good day Mr. Godwin.

    whembly (5f7596)

  126. Trump always had the overwhelming majority of votes no matter what happened.

    We would never know because NeverTrumpers waited too long.

    This assumes facts not in evidence that a Trump voter would have chosen a single NeverTrumper candidate as a opposed to Trump. As I have pointed out, the NeverTrump coalition was not a significant part of the Republican electorate, and there is no evidence that Trump voters were moving away from their candidate, on the contrary, his support consistently increased from July 2023 to January 15th, the day of the Iowa Caucuses.

    Show your work.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  127. Trump voters had multiple choices to select a non-Trump candidate, but his supporters chose not do so; the polling for non-Trump candidates only increased at the expense of another non-Trump candidate, not Trump.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  128. The same people who cheered the leftist lawfare, and continue to do so, are shocked that Republicans are repulsed by it and rallied to the perceived victim.

    If only they understood human nature.

    If you had just ignored Trump, but you had to get him by any means necessary.

    NJRob (96490d)

  129. And yet that seems to have been the thinking of a lot of people.

    Voting with the middle finger

    Kevin M (de3773)

  130. Republicans want the bad guy precisely because he’s bad

    A “No more Mr Nice Guy!” reaction. There’s a problem with invoking demons though.

    Kevin M (de3773)

  131. If you had just ignored Trump, but you had to get him by any means necessary.

    NJRob, Do you think that Trump is innocent of ALL of the felonies charged?

    Yes or no.

    Kevin M (de3773)

  132. Comedy Gold!:

    ………
    The very next day (after posting a $91M bond for defaming E. Jean Carroll), Trump told his supporters at a Georgia rally that Carroll’s “fake story, totally made-up story” was what led to the second judgment against him.

    “91 million based on false accusations made about me by a woman that I knew nothing about,” he added.

    This prompted former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal to remark that Trump was essentially “writing” a third lawsuit for Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan to file.
    ……….
    ……….Trump once again commented publicly on Carroll, this time calling her “Miss Bergdorf Goodman” on CNBC.

    “I have no idea who she is, except one thing, I got sued. From that point on I said, ‘Wow, that’s crazy, what this is,’” Trump said, before claiming the “false accusation” is to blame for his legal issues.

    “I got charged, I was given a false accusation and had to post a $91 million bond on a false accusation,” he said.
    ………..
    Conservative lawyer George Conway opined that Trump made things even worse for himself because the CNBC remarks, unlike the Georgia rally comments, could have him back before the same judge in the Southern District of New York.

    “But now that he libeled her on Squawk Box, which is anchored in Manhattan, she likely may now sue in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York,” Conway said. “If she does that, the case would be assigned to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan as a case related to the earlier two cases that produced $88.3 million in damages awards.”
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  133. @115, Trump should have been impeached and removed after J6. I don’t recall our partisan friends here pounding the table and demanding his removal. You know, communicating to their representatives and the media outlets that Trump was persona non grata. It never happened. In fact, it became the Democrats’ fault for messing up the charges or some nonsense. If the GOP wanted different charges that they would have signed off on, this fact was missed. Seemed more like they were more than content voting non-guilty because Trump was out of office…and never to be seen again. Whoops.

    The J6 committee was yet another opportunity for Republicans to take the charges seriously….so they proposed two of the least serious representatives to join the committee…and when they couldn’t get their wish, they took their ball and went home to cry witch hunt. The committee’s work got transferred to Jack Smith who needed to decide if there was enough there to indict and on what charges. I think Patterico would be in the best position to levy an estimate of whether or not that was slow walked. No serious lawyer complains about this. If anything, Trump’s team has delayed as much a possible.

    There’s never been a time…maybe outside of J7….when the majority of Republicans wanted to exorcize themselves of Trump. The whole process was just one more excuse to blame the Democrats, including the lark that anyone is weaponizing the process. Team R is stuck with seeing no evil, hearing no evil, and saying no evil. Trump would be gone if most Republicans wanted him gone. They don’t. The party is broken. Fix your party and stop blaming its dysfunction on NeverTrump. We’ve been clear eyed….

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  134. Kevin,

    I think if he was still a “loyal Democrat” he’d be loved and not have a single charge on his record.

    I think the Carrol stuff is fabulist hogwash.

    NJRob (96490d)

  135. If you had just ignored Trump, but you had to get him by any means necessary.

    Ignoring Trump was tried, and failed miserably.

    Paul Montagu (383f45)

  136. So, Trump is not innocent of all the felonies, but you’ve invented a hypothetical in your own mind that says he’d corruptly be let off the hook if he were a Democrat. So, that makes it ok that he’s a felon, and further proves the Democrats are the real bad guys when it comes to Donald Trump committing felonies.

    Most impressive.

    Btw, if Donald Trump were still a loyal Democrat, he never would have been elected President. I’m sure that also speaks poorly of Democrats.

    Turd Ferguson (af70c0)

  137. Turd,

    thanks for the detailed, well-reasoned input.

    Oh wait, You offered nothing.

    NJRob (96490d)

  138. Laurenty Beria smiles again.

    NJRob (96490d)

  139. NJRob, yes or no

    Kevin M (de3773)

  140. Not actionable. They are crimes that haven’t been enforced in the past that are only being enforced to attack the Republican candidate for president.

    NJRob (96490d)

  141. Rob, prior presidents haven’t committed the crimes Trump has. You’re evading Kevin’s question.

    Paul Montagu (383f45)

  142. E. Jean Carroll got on the stand and testified and was cross-examined under oath. Widdle Twump did not. He hid behind Mommy MAGA’s skirts to snivel, whine, and vilify.

    nk (7dc8c4)

  143. Carroll is a serial fabulust who has accused several men of abuse

    She couldn’t even say what year the alleged crimes happened.

    She also never came forth on anything till it became politically expedient to do so.

    She’s profited exorbitantly from being a tool for the left. She is the modern day Cindy Sheehan.

    NJRob (96490d)

  144. When Iran drops their first nuke all Biden supporters will be morally responsible for it.

    NJRob (96490d)

  145. I’m not. Its BS attacks from partisans who know they cannot win at the ballot box so they are trying to tar their opponent with so much that people will throw up their hands at it all. It’s the standard playbook in 3rd world, socialist regimes.

    NJRob (96490d)

  146. Carroll won.

    Winning is everything, right?

    Patterico (7d3c50)

  147. Not actionable. They are crimes that haven’t been enforced in the past that are only being enforced to attack the Republican candidate for president.

    NJRob (96490d) — 3/11/2024 @ 12:12 pm

    Really? Seriously?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  148. When Iran drops their first nuke all Biden supporters will be morally responsible for it.

    That logic makes you morally responsible for January 6. Not cool of you to do January 6, man.

    Patterico (7d3c50)

  149. NJRob, Do you think that Trump is innocent of ALL of the felonies charged?

    Yes or no.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer, Kevin M. We need you to stick around.

    Patterico (7d3c50)

  150. Rob, Trump was caught dead to rights obstructing the return of classified documents, and they’re documents that are indisputably not his personal property. This is a first in presidential history.
    So is committing electoral fraud via a fake elector scheme in multiple states.
    So is bullying his vice president to stop a vote certification, which would’ve been a violation of the 12th Amendment and Electoral Count Act had Pence acquiesced.
    So is strong-arming a Secretary of State to change an electoral result.
    So is fomenting a riot or insurrection involving the zealots he invited, and then doing nothing for three-plus hours to stop it.
    So is lying incessantly about “massive fraud” and a “stollen” election. He is the sorest presidential loser in American history, and it’s not even close.
    So is running a literal criminal enterprise (the Trump Organization was criminally convicted), with his CFO was jailed for tax fraud.
    So is having his university shut down for fraud and forced to reimburse his “students” for swindling them.
    So is having his foundation shut down for fraud.
    So is having his criminal enterprise also found liable for additional fraud.
    So is buying the silence of a woman of ill repute for an affair he had with her during his 3rd marriage, with that payoff occurring in the heat of a presidential campaign.

    There is no other president in our history who has done any of that.

    Regarding Carroll, a jury concluded that, based on the preponderance of the evidence, Trump grabbed Ms. Carroll by the pizda without her consent and then lied about her, and Trump has so little self-control over gish-galloping tongue that there will likely be a 3rd payday for her.

    These are all facts. I find it laughable that you’re waving it all off as as “BS attacks from partisans”.

    Paul Montagu (383f45)

  151. “Right” or “wrong”, a 90-pound, 80-year old lady whupped Trump’s ass. Whupped it good!

    Can anybody think of anything Trump did right? At any time? From his initial response to the accusation to the entry of the judgment?

    nk (edaf70)

  152. Also a first in history is a former president ordering his minions to move classified documents from his Florida beach club to his New Jersey golf club.

    Butler told CNN how he unknowingly helped Nauta deliver boxes of classified information from Mar-a-Lago to the former president’s plane in June 2022 – the same day that Trump and his attorney were meeting with the Justice Department at Mar-a-Lago about the classified documents.

    And instead of resorting to yet another ad hominem about CNN, this was an interview of a Mar-A-Lago employee (now former employee, for obvious reasons) who’d been there 20 years and finally had enough.

    Paul Montagu (383f45)

  153. Speaking of Mar-a-Lago, it is Chinese-leased land again.

    House to Move Ahead With Bill Targeting TikTok as Trump Flips to Oppose It
    Bipartisan legislation to force the Chinese owners of the platform to divest or face a ban was moving forward in Congress even after former President Donald J. Trump came out strongly against banning it.

    House Republican leaders are moving this week to pass legislation that would force the Chinese owners of TikTok to sell the platform or face being barred in the United States, even after former President Donald J. Trump came out against targeting the popular social media app he once vowed to ban.
    ….
    But Mr. Trump, who as president issued an executive order that did exactly that, has now changed course and is vocally opposing the bill, a move that will test his ability to continue tanking bipartisan legislation in Congress from the campaign trail.

    Mr. Trump on Monday offered a rambling explanation for his reversal, saying that he did not want to alienate young voters or imbue Facebook, which he considers a mortal foe, with more power.

    An entirely foreseeable consequence of half-billion dollar legal judgments. Donnie needs money.

    nk (e50a9c)

  154. @129 “Do you think that Trump is innocent of ALL of the felonies charged? Yes or no.”

    No.

    That question should be coupled to this one:
    Do you think ALL of Trump’s indictments are free of political motivation?

    Yes or No?

    If Yes, then fine. Cling to that. If No, then is whether Trump did something illegal the primary concern?

    Whether we can survive four years of Trump, or survive overtly using the justice system as a political tool, is worth debate. Reducing it to just a question about whether Trump did something illegal is skirting that debate.

    lloyd (fb0e7e)

  155. Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer, Kevin M. We need you to stick around.

    Patterico (7d3c50) — 3/11/2024 @ 1:34 pm

    No.

    I also know he wouldn’t be charged if he was a Democrat. See Hillary and Biden for examples.

    Now admit these charges would never see the light of day against a Democrat favorite running for office.

    NJRob (96490d)

  156. @152

    Whether we can survive four years of Trump, or survive overtly using the justice system as a political tool, is worth debate. Reducing it to just a question about whether Trump did something illegal is skirting that debate.

    lloyd (fb0e7e) — 3/11/2024 @ 3:31 pm

    It is a worthy debate, and the Trump critics seems loathed to confront it.

    I think the whole hand-waving, including by our host, when Trump supporters argues that what we’re seeing is “lawfare” is missing the point.

    It’s not the “leveraging” the law to go after a political target, aka “lawfare”, itself is the problem. As, we’ve seen other political critters facing legal liabilities all the time.

    It’s the asymmetry of this particular lawfare… namely it appears to be a crusade to use courts as a proxy for failed impeachments, to charge morally and politically appalling conduct thru tortuous novel legal theories that otherwise wouldn’t have be used to charge anyone else, and through partisan selective prosecutions that threatens to demolish any precedence and norms to such degree, that no one seems concerned that “the other team” gets to bat too at some point in the future.

    I really, really don’t want to say “I told you so” at some point in the future…

    whembly (5f7596)

  157. Translation: We want that immunity and if we can’t get it one way we’ll argue for another.

    nk (bcbc85)

  158. For an explanation as to why the classified document charges against Trump are more egregious and distinguishable from the actions of the Clintons, Biden, Comey, Petraeus, Sandy Berger, etc., see here.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  159. ………
    Trump nevertheless knowingly possessed and willfully retained the classified documents. That alone distinguishes his conduct from a litany of former government officials who have retained classified documents beyond their terms in office through inadvertence or carelessness, but then returned them upon their discovery. ……

    Rather than simply comply with the subpoena, he orchestrated a scheme to obstruct the criminal investigation and the continuing effort to recover the documents. Among other things, the scheme included an effort to enlist his own attorney in the corrupt endeavor, suggesting that the attorney falsely tell the FBI and grand jury that Trump did not have any documents, and suggesting that his attorney hide or destroy documents rather than produce them to the government. Separately, Trump enlisted his trusted body man, codefendant Waltine Nauta, in a scheme to deceive the attorney by moving boxes to conceal his continued possession of classified documents. As a result, Trump, through his attorney, again returned only a portion of the classified documents in his possession while falsely claiming that his production was complete.
    ……….
    To satisfy the first prong of his selective prosecution claim (requiring a defendant to “demonstrate [1] that the federal prosecutorial policy had a discriminatory effect and [2] that it was motivated by a discriminatory purpose” (United States v. Smith, 231 F.3d 800)), Trump offers nine individuals who he contends are similarly situated. But while each of them, to varying degrees, bears a slight resemblance to this case, insofar as they involved the mishandling of classified documents, none is alleged to have willfully retained a vast trove of highly sensitive, confidential materials and repeatedly sought to thwart their lawful return and engaged in a multifaceted scheme of deception and obstruction—a scheme that included not only Trump’s own repeated efforts to stymie the investigation, but his recruitment and direction of his subordinates to join in the conspiracy. There is no one who is similarly situated.
    ……….

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  160. I really, really don’t want to say “I told you so” at some point in the future…

    Don’t worry. That’s gonna be me. But we’ll likely be in such dire circumstances that having been right will be of small comfort.

    Patterico (997b4d)

  161. TRUMP: Does unprecedented thing.

    SYSTEM: Attempts to hold him accountable.

    TRUMP PARTISANS: UNPRECEDENTED!!!!1!!!!1!

    Patterico (997b4d)

  162. For an explanation as to why the classified document charges against Trump are more egregious and distinguishable from the actions of the Clintons, Biden, Comey, Petraeus, Sandy Berger, etc., see here.

    Rip, it’s so obvious it doesn’t need an explanation. And if you reversed the parties, you wouldn’t need one to explain it to this crowd. They would be losing their minds at how unbelievable the behavior of [insert any Democrat who behaved remotely as badly as Trump] has been.

    There is no point in citing arguments based on facts, evidence, logic, and reason with this crowd. As the saying goes, you can’t reason someone out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.

    Patterico (997b4d)

  163. Do you think ALL of Trump’s indictments are free of political motivation?

    Yes or No?

    I am on record saying I think the NY hush money case is a couple of misdemeanors trumped up and overcharged for political reasons. The NY fraud case is not criminal, although people act as though it is. I object to using civil law to prosecute people for crimes as the defendant is denied certain constitutional rights they would be accorded in a criminal case.

    I think that the E Jean Carrol case is righteous, and would have resulted in a criminal rape conviction had the statute of limitations not intervened.

    The DC, Florida and Georgia cases are righteous.

    Kevin M (de3773)

  164. Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

    Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

    The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

    Cain said to the LORD, “Hey, NOBODY has ever been punished for murder before. This is unprecedented, and therefore, not actionable.”

    And then Cain was made President for life, because it would have been lawfare not to do so.

    Turd Ferguson (6c1af5)

  165. Sandy Berger

    Sandy Berger should have gone to prison for a decade. The others not so much.

    Kevin M (de3773)

  166. @156 Did Biden break the law with his handling of classified documents? “Biden didn’t do as bad as Trump” isn’t a legal argument.

    lloyd (54adc9)

  167. Of course, “Biden didn’t do as bad as Trump” is a legal argument, and a rather fundamental one in terms of comparing law enforcement actions in different cases. Should we also have a deep examination of why Timothy McVeigh and Martha Stewart weren’t charged with the same crimes and given the same punishments?

    Turd Ferguson (6c1af5)

  168. I think that the E Jean Carrol case is righteous, and would have resulted in a criminal rape conviction had the statute of limitations not intervened.

    Trump could have waived tth statute of limitations and made NY prove he raped Carroll beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Kevin M (de3773)

  169. There is no point in citing arguments based on facts, evidence, logic, and reason with this crowd. As the saying goes, you can’t reason someone out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.

    Patterico (997b4d) — 3/11/2024 @ 5:48 pm

    Ain’t that the truth, but it’s all I’ve got.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  170. Ain’t that the truth, but it’s all I’ve got.

    I know; me too.

    Sigh.

    Patterico (997b4d)

  171. Trump could have waived tth statute of limitations and made NY prove he raped Carroll beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Kevin M (de3773) — 3/11/2024 @ 6:04 pm

    A roll of the dice.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  172. I think that the E Jean Carrol case is righteous, and would have resulted in a criminal rape conviction had the statute of limitations not intervened.

    I’m . . . pretty sure that the civil jury had an opportunity to find Trump liable for rape, and Carroll could not prove that by a preponderance. So it seems unlikely there could have been a conviction under the higher reasonable doubt standard.

    Patterico (997b4d)

  173. Sandy Berger should have gone to prison for a decade. The others not so much.

    Kevin M (de3773) — 3/11/2024 @ 5:58 pm

    I disagree. Petraeus is the one I would pick for a long prison sentence. He allowed his paramour to review classified documents.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  174. To those who are very, veery upset about the unequal application of the law to some and not others . . .

    Can you link me to your outraged diatribes over Hunter Biden being charged with being an addict with a firearm?

    Just post in the comments. Can’t wait to check it out!

    Patterico (997b4d)

  175. If I thought someone here was sincere in their concern over the unequal application of the law, and would have the same concern if the parties were switched, I would be fascinated to have an ind-depth conversation with them on the topic.

    If I thought they were insincere and using any handy nearby weapon as a partisan cudgel, I would . . . simply mock them. Or ignore them.

    You’ll notice whom I have invited on this thread to have a conversation with me about something on which we disagree. That person is Dustin, and I am still open to the conversation with him.

    Also, I would love to have a discussion with Paul Montagu about his decision to vote third party.

    I think I could have those conversations and come out of them respecting these individuals as much as I did going in, which is highly. Even if we disagreed.

    Patterico (997b4d)

  176. @172 It wasn’t my comment, but…

    I really, really don’t want to say “I told you so” at some point in the future…
    whembly (5f7596) — 3/11/2024 @ 4:07 pm

    lloyd (54adc9)

  177. I must say that I appreciate the Turd in the Patterico punchbowl.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  178. LOL

    Patterico (997b4d)

  179. Cain said to the LORD, “Hey, NOBODY has ever been punished for murder before. This is unprecedented, and therefore, not actionable.”

    And then Cain was made President for life, because it would have been lawfare not to do so.

    LOL!

    Patterico (997b4d)

  180. @172 It wasn’t my comment, but…

    I really, really don’t want to say “I told you so” at some point in the future…
    whembly (5f7596) — 3/11/2024 @ 4:07 pm

    lloyd (54adc9) — 3/11/2024 @ 6:22 pm

    No need to be subtle. Trump has already promised retribution.

    nk (bcbc85)

  181. I disagree. Petraeus is the one I would pick for a long prison sentence

    Berger stole a document, subpoenaed by a National Commission, from the National Archives and destroyed it so that former President Clinton’s notes on bin Laden were unavailable to those investigating the 9/11 attacks.

    This is intentionally felonious and should have been relentlessly prosecuted.

    Kevin M (de3773)

  182. I’m . . . pretty sure that the civil jury had an opportunity to find Trump liable for rape

    Hmmm. It appears you are right. Would that have resulted in a bigger award? And should Trump opted for the criminal trial, if he had the choice?

    Kevin M (de3773)

  183. And should Trump opted for the criminal trial, if he had the choice?

    Kevin M (de3773) — 3/11/2024 @ 7:01 pm

    Since the Carroll lawsuit was tried in federal court, it would have been pointless. And NY would have the choice of not trying him.

    Rip Murdock (fd2d05)

  184. Also, I would love to have a discussion with Paul Montagu about his decision to vote third party.

    Thanks for asking, and I respect the decisions of conservatives to vote against Trump by voting for Biden, but those votes are only actually relevant in battleground states. That’s not my opinion, it’s math. The popular vote is basically irrelevant, because what counts is a constitutional majority. This isn’t new or earth-shattering, just reiterating what is.

    If I were in Michigan or Georgia, my voting strategy would be different, and I could see myself crossing that Rubicon of voting for Biden in those states.

    Patterico, you’re probably in the very safest state in the Union to lodge a protest vote, given that Trump lost by millions in 2016 and 2020, and will likely lose by millions again this year. There are too many Democrats and too few Republicans to alter that dynamic. But, I can see where a vote for Biden sends a message.

    In WA State, Trump lost by 16 in 2016 and by 19 in 2020, so my protest vote was safe in those two cycles and will likely be again in 2024, so that’s what I’ll be doing. Also, it’s not that I don’t vote for Democrats, because I have. But for Biden, I just can’t bring myself to that decision, and fortunately I have the luxury of not having to.

    This all assumes that the Biden-Harris ticket is unchanged, that Trump’s VP pick is loyal and docile and a yes man to a fault, and none of the candidates run into health issues, be it physical or mental.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  185. NJ Robb Your complaints about others inaction on Iran reminds me vietnam vet Chuck Hagel’s invitation to vietnam war draft dodger and chicken hawk dead eye dick cheney to be on the first chopper into bagdad since he was so gung ho for war or netanayahu wanting us to bomb bomb bomb Iran for him as the old beach boys song goes. Also anyone who didn’t have to pick up a gun and hit the beach demanding a second front NOW! in world war II.

    asset (4f0f64)

  186. For a certain value of “normal”, I guess. 😋

    Towering Barbarian (177cd9)

  187. @172

    To those who are very, veery upset about the unequal application of the law to some and not others . . .

    Can you link me to your outraged diatribes over Hunter Biden being charged with being an addict with a firearm?

    Just post in the comments. Can’t wait to check it out!

    Patterico (997b4d) — 3/11/2024 @ 6:16 pm

    That’s the lowest, of lowest hanging fruit that an absolute joke of a prosecutor could blindly stumble into court to get a conviction for that charge. Which you just know that his dad will pardon him when he’s re-elected.

    But, hey, you seem to be okay with Hunter’s prosecution team slow walk the investigation to allow the alleged crimes to be time-barred due to statute of limitations.

    Nary a peep from you when same prosecution team tried to sneak an agreement that essentially let Hunter walk in which the Judge blew up simply by asking basic questions.

    whembly (5f7596)

  188. @173

    If I thought someone here was sincere in their concern over the unequal application of the law, and would have the same concern if the parties were switched, I would be fascinated to have an ind-depth conversation with them on the topic.

    Patterico (997b4d) — 3/11/2024 @ 6:21 pm

    Sorry, can’t hear you because the Clinton staff taking hammers breaking their subpoenaed communication devices.

    Oh… wait… I’ve been reliably assured by James Comey that no prosecutor would ever charge anyone in the Clinton circles, so it’s all totes cool.

    Nevermind that AG Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress and was thus never was held accountable. But hey, them Trump circles totes deserves prosecutions for their contempt of Congress.

    Oh… what was that? Biden as Senator has classified documents in his garage and other offsite locations for decades? Pish posh homie, no prosecutor would bring this (post Presidency of course) because, gosh darn he’s just too old to stand trial.

    Geez wiz Pat, why did all the prosecuting minions have their thumb up their arses in 2020/21? What wait? What made them hurry the F up to try to coordinate these cases during the 24 election period? There must be a good faith reason…right? I eagerly await such justification for this one.

    Surely none of these demonstrates any asymmetry between the two parties… I must be losing my ever loving mind!

    But, sincerely, with tears in my eyes… please do consider the current efforts to “get Trump” be also applied to any opposing political parties.

    That’s my primary concern. You would be mistaken to read my scribes here as nothing more than a Trump defender.

    The other “side” gets to bat too at some point.

    I want the exact same standard that’s being applied to Trump be ALSO applied to Biden.

    These prosecutions are awfully intertwined politically, and will have discrete impact to the electoral process. Not enough neurons are being spent here to truly consider such ramifications.

    whembly (5f7596)

  189. There is no bottom to Trump’s or his adherents’ pettiness and vindictiveness. If they could they would prosecute all 259 million Americans who did not vote for Trump.

    Trump has already promised retribution. To the cheers of his seat fillers. He cannot be placated. If we want to be safe from him, we need to have him incapacitated.

    nk (2097fc)

  190. I want the exact same standard that’s being applied to Trump be ALSO applied to Biden.

    It has been. What you continue to ignore are important differences in the fact patterns between Biden/Pence and Trump. The key one being Trumps active effort to hide the classified material in his possession from the government. Contrast that to Biden and Pence who turned over everything they had.

    why did all the prosecuting minions have their thumb up their arses in 2020/21? What wait? What made them hurry the F up to try to coordinate these cases during the 24 election period? There must be a good faith reason…right? I eagerly await such justification for this one.

    1. Are these moving slower then other charges?
    2. Trump has been pushing to delay the proceedings.

    That’s the lowest, of lowest hanging fruit that an absolute joke of a prosecutor could blindly stumble into court to get a conviction for that charge. Which you just know that his dad will pardon him when he’s re-elected.

    Except it’s almost never charged. Were Hunter Biden not Joe’s son no prosecutor would look at it. I’m fine with holding the corrupt children of the elite to the letter of the law btw. The fact that I think it’s politically motivated doesn’t change that.

    Time123 (774cf8)

  191. FWIW I think the Bragg prosecution is heavily politically motivated. I’ve read Patterico’s writings on it and I think I understand them. I still feel that but for Trump’s political position this prosecution would never have been brought.

    The Documents change, the Jan 6 charge, and the GA charges seem to be merited to at least a probably cause standard.

    Time123 (774cf8)

  192. I want the exact same standard that’s being applied to Trump be ALSO applied to Biden.

    As soon as Biden leaves the presidency (either through impeachment or losing the election) you may get your wish. Until then, he is protected by longstanding DOJ policy (since 1973) that a President cannot be indicted.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  193. If it weren’t for Trump’s own strategy to delay, delay, and delay his trials, they might have been resolved by now.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  194. But, sincerely, with tears in my eyes… please do consider the current efforts to “get Trump” be also applied to any opposing political parties.

    That’s my primary concern. You would be mistaken to read my scribes here as nothing more than a Trump defender.

    I believe you’re sincere in what you say. I also don’t think that we should forgo prosecting Trump for what appear to be willful criminal acts because of your concern. I don’t think many of his supporters are acting in good faith. Many still claim, despite lacking evidence, that the 2020 election was stolen. They’re going to do what they want and will fabricate a justification as needed. In response to that I think we should follow the law as it’s written and in accordance with available precedent.

    Time123 (774cf8)

  195. I want the exact same standard that’s being applied to Trump be ALSO applied to Biden.

    It has been. What you continue to ignore are important differences in the fact patterns between Biden/Pence and Trump. The key one being Trumps active effort to hide the classified material in his possession from the government. Contrast that to Biden and Pence who turned over everything they had.
    ………
    Time123 (774cf8) — 3/12/2024 @ 8:48 am

    To quote Patterico:

    There is no point in citing arguments based on facts, evidence, logic, and reason with this crowd. As the saying goes, you can’t reason someone out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.

    Patterico (997b4d) — 3/11/2024 @ 5:48 pm

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  196. Berger stole a document, subpoenaed by a National Commission, from the National Archives and destroyed it so that former President Clinton’s notes on bin Laden were unavailable to those investigating the 9/11 attacks.

    This is intentionally felonious and should have been relentlessly prosecuted.

    Kevin M (de3773) — 3/11/2024 @ 6:56 pm

    Details matter.

    In 2003, Berger visited (the National Archives and Records Administration) office to review presidential records from the Clinton administration. Over the course of two visits, Berger removed five “copies of versions of the same [classified] document,” storing them at his office, “which he knew was a location that was not authorized for the storage of classified documents,” and later shredding and discarding three of the copies. When NARA first approached him, Berger “initially . . . did not tell NARA that he had taken the documents.” Later that night, however, Berger “told NARA that he had accidentally misfiled the documents and had found two.” The next day, Berger returned the two documents that had not been destroyed. For this conduct, Berger pleaded guilty to an information charging him with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1924 (unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material, which at the time was a misdemeanor). Berger’s conduct was vastly less egregious than Trump’s, and the fact that it resulted in criminal charges (resolved via guilty plea) undercuts his claim of selective prosecution.

    References deleted.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  197. @192

    But, sincerely, with tears in my eyes… please do consider the current efforts to “get Trump” be also applied to any opposing political parties.

    That’s my primary concern. You would be mistaken to read my scribes here as nothing more than a Trump defender.

    I believe you’re sincere in what you say. I also don’t think that we should forgo prosecting Trump for what appear to be willful criminal acts because of your concern. I don’t think many of his supporters are acting in good faith. Many still claim, despite lacking evidence, that the 2020 election was stolen. They’re going to do what they want and will fabricate a justification as needed. In response to that I think we should follow the law as it’s written and in accordance with available precedent.

    Time123 (774cf8) — 3/12/2024 @ 9:02 am

    While I have concerns on the merits of some of the cases, I don’t think I’d be this animated had these cases started in 2020/21. It’s the mere fact that these cases were largely orchestrated to happen during the heat of the next presidential election cycle that should give you pause.

    whembly (5f7596)

  198. Apologies everyone, I’m super cranky today and I’ll tell you why…

    We’re now just getting more confirmation that the J6 committee hearing was nothing more than a partisan echo chamber, and we really shouldn’t take anything from this report as gospel, as some poster here continually advocates.

    I’m on the record that I thought Trump was derelict as President in preparing for and on day of the riot on J6. And as such, argued we should’ve simply charge him that to convict/remove him from office.

    Please read Turley’s substack:
    https://jonathanturley.org/2024/03/12/report-trump-did-propose-10000-national-guard-troops-on-january-6th/

    This absolutely and completely undermines the idea that Trump facilitated/participated/encouraged an “insurrection”, of any sort. Further it undermines the efforts to justify to kick Trump off the ballots via states using the disqualification triggers in the 14.3 amendment. (the Colorado cases used the J6 final report).

    In fact, this is precisely WHY Special Counsel Jack Smith did NOT charge Trump with the penal crime of insurrection, because there are contemporaneous testimonies under oath, that the committee purposely suppressed, that contradicts those insurrection claims.

    Tell me why I shouldn’t take the falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus position here??

    I’m all ears.

    falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus: a legal principle that you falsely testifies about one matter, you’re also not credible to testify about any matter.

    whembly (5f7596)

  199. Going with “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus“ as a pro-Trump defense is always a bold move in any case, but especially while citing an article that says, “
    Look, Kash Patel and Tony Ornato said Trump was totally telling the truth and everyone else was lying, so case closed.”

    Turd Ferguson (9b1db6)

  200. Do you have evidence to the contrary that Patel and Ornato perjured themselved?

    Furthermore, to repeat, those testimonies were taken under oath.

    Care to share with the fam as to why you think the J6 committee suppressed this?

    whembly (5f7596)

  201. As you said yourself, why shouldn’t I take the falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus position here? Kash Patel has lied for Trump before, so everything he says defending Trump must be a lie. Glad we’re on the same page.

    Oh wait, you want me to provide evidence to the contrary of your position instead of just dismissing everything like you did?

    Why, I am shocked – shocked I say – to discover you have such double standards!

    Turd Ferguson (22b605)

  202. whembly

    Trump should have been investigated by the DOJ in 2020-2021?

    Trump was President until January 2021 so you know why he wasn’t investigated in 2020. As for an investigation in 2021, he was!

    DRJ (1a9553)

  203. The government gave him over a year to return the documents. I doubt you would have liked it had the government indicted Trump in 2021 without giving him a chance to return the documents, right?

    DRJ (1a9553)

  204. @200 DRJ (1a9553) — 3/12/2024 @ 12:11 pm
    Yup, mistyped the year.

    But my point stands.

    @201

    The government gave him over a year to return the documents. I doubt you would have liked it had the government indicted Trump in 2021 without giving him a chance to return the documents, right?

    DRJ (1a9553) — 3/12/2024 @ 12:15 pm

    I’ve always said that the obstruction charge was the most perilous for Trump, and at face value, he’s in trouble. But we don’t know what the defense is going to say and part of the problem with this whole ordeal is
    a) the initial subpoea was for “classified markings”.
    b) the MAL raid’s warrant was for “documents with national defense”.
    c) taking a + b together, you’d forgive me this doesn’t smack of a fishing expedition while at the same time, the Biden administration didn’t seem to work with the Trump people to come to an agreement.

    And that’s before getting into whether or not the claims of Presidential Records Acts are applicable here.

    If I were the Biden administration… I’d drop the charges of Espionage Act and simply prosecute the obstruction charge. That, at least, gives Smith a chance to have a court case prior to the election. Plus, it’d diffuse the claims of asymmetrical application of the law when comparing to Biden/Pence.

    whembly (5f7596)

  205. Paul Montagu (d4d407) — 3/8/2024 @ 1:28 pm

    In other words, Trump hates America.

    No, what Trump hates is precedent

    He wants everything to be de novo, and argues that way.

    Also is a bit perverse – says things just to annoy.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  206. whembly (5f7596) — 3/12/2024 @ 12:30 pm
    whembly (5f7596) — 3/12/2024 @ 12:30 pm

    I’ve always said that the obstruction charge was the most perilous for Trump,

    Andrew McCarthy says that the other counts should be dropped from the documents case.

    and at face value, he’s in trouble.

    But Andrew McCarthy says that it doesn’t have the impact (on public opinion) of holding secrets, so he thinks that’s why Jack Smith chose to include charges that he wouldn’t have pressed the case if that was all there was (as I interpret his opinion)

    But we don’t know what the defense is going to say

    Throw everything up against the wall.

    and part of the problem with this whole ordeal is
    a) the initial subpoea was for “classified markings”.
    b) the MAL raid’s warrant was for “documents with national defense”.
    c) taking a + b together, you’d forgive me this doesn’t smack of a fishing expedition

    But they knew there was fish there.

    while at the same time, the Biden administration didn’t seem to work with the Trump people to come to an agreement.

    They wanted all “Presidential records”

    If I were the Biden administration… I’d drop the charges of Espionage Act and simply prosecute the obstruction charge. That, at least, gives Smith a chance to have a court case prior to the election.

    That’s what Andrew McCarthy says. But why would that lead to having a trial sooner? No need to argue over what is national defense information?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  207. I think Trump proposed the National Guard, not to protect the Capitol or other federal buildings, but to deal with fighting between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators, as had happened before.

    It was rejected, possibly because they didn’t want scenes, or they didn’t want any anti-Trump demonstrators shot, and, in the meantime, Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser and others succeeded, by persuasion, in preventing there being any counter-demonstrations.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  208. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/12/2024 @ 8:58 am

    …Biden…is protected by longstanding DOJ policy (since 1973) that a President cannot be indicted.

    But special counsel Robert Hur, just like special counsel Robert Mueller before him in the case of Trump, wanted to say that he would not have indicted the president even if that didn’t apply. He wanted to create the impression of equal justice under law.

    This case is not going to get re-opened.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  209. Cain said to the LORD, “Hey, NOBODY has ever been punished for murder before. This is unprecedented, and therefore, not actionable.”

    And then Cain was made President for life, because it would have been lawfare not to do so.

    No, but he got immunity, and even the “Mark of Cain” that nobody should harm him — on the other hand he was not to have a permanent place of residence.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  210. Kevin M (de3773) — 3/11/2024 @ 6:56 pm

    Berger stole a document, subpoenaed by a National Commission, from the National Archives and destroyed it so that former President Clinton’s notes on bin Laden were unavailable to those investigating the 9/11 attacks.

    This is not what Paul Montague talks about and not what I think he pleaded guilty to..I think the 9/11 commission wanted to know whether there had been an offer from the Sudan to arrest bin Laden, which Bill Clinton and Sandy Berger denied even though there was a tape recording of Bill Clinton talking about it. Clinton had claimed that they didn’t want bin Laden because there was no indictment against him and they couldn’t prosecute him. There is also the matter of Bill Clinton mysteriously canceling at the last minute an operation to kill bin Laden.

    They were on to him at the National Archives, and laid a trap for him.

    Here what happened is that Sandy Berger was given a copy of 2000 millenium after action report. The copy was given to him for review (on behalf of Bill Clinton) It was supposed to go thereafter to the 9/11 commission. He destroyed it because it contradicted a fairy tale that Clinton and Berger were promoting – that Clinton had placed the U.S> government on alert and that’s why the attempt too smuggle in explosives through Washington State was detected. In reality there was no alert, and it was only the suspicions of a Customs Inspector that resulted in the explosives being detected, and after that al Qaeda cancelled the whole operation.

    https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/millennium-plot-ahmed-ressam

    Millennium Plot/Ahmed Ressam

    On December 14, 1999, Ahmed Ressam—a 32-year-old Algerian—aroused the suspicion of alert border guards at Port Angeles, Washington, as he was attempting to enter this country.

    Ressam was arrested when it was discovered that he had materials for a power explosive in the trunk of his rental car.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?154269-1/terrorism-threat

    Bill Clinton had nothing to do with stopping that plot.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  211. If I were the Biden administration… I’d drop the charges of Espionage Act and simply prosecute the obstruction charge. That, at least, gives Smith a chance to have a court case prior to the election. Plus, it’d diffuse the claims of asymmetrical application of the law when comparing to Biden/Pence.

    whembly (5f7596) — 3/12/2024 @ 12:30 pm

    LOL! As you have pointed out, the Supreme Court is likely to restrict the use of the obstruction of justice charge, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), so under your scenario Trump wouldn’t be charged with anything related to his unlawful retention of national defense information.

    Very clever.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  212. Mark Simone said on WOR 719=0 this morning that Jean Carroll’s tale was taken from a (2012) episode of Law and Order. In other words her tale was plagiarized.

    It’s discussed here:.

    https://nypost.com/2023/05/01/trump-lawyer-asks-e-jean-carroll-about-svu-episode-at-trial

    The reason the jury did not believe that is that Carroll claimed she had told the story to two people and to believe that they would have to believe her witnesses were lying. But Trump’s lawyers did not want to get into challenging her corroborating witnesses

    It is actually quite possible that they were lying, given its political importance – we saw people making accusations against Brett Kavanaugh – and the fact that Carroll’s witnesses were not her closest friends.

    But Trump’s lawyers did not want to attack the witnesses who said she had told them about it back when it happened (they couldn’t give a date either apparently). I think only one of her two witnesses could give details that matched.

    All that Jean Carroll said about the minor plotline in that episode of Law and Order was that she hadn’t seen that episode of Law and Order.

    Of course, what she said could be true if anybody had told the scriptwriter but nobody tried to question the people who worked on that episode. And of course, you could always claim it was a coincidence.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  213. Rep. ken buck quits congress making republican majority 218. I may be wrong on number If I am please correct me.

    asset (c80e0a)

  214. From newser:

    After Buck’s departure next week, there will be 218 Republicans and 213 Democrats in the House, with four vacancies, meaning that Johnson can only afford to lose two GOP votes in party-line votes if all members are present, the Hill reports.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  215. @209

    LOL! As you have pointed out, the Supreme Court is likely to restrict the use of the obstruction of justice charge, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), so under your scenario Trump wouldn’t be charged with anything related to his unlawful retention of national defense information.

    Very clever.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/12/2024 @ 1:37 pm

    There are obstruction charges in the documents case Rip…nothing to do with usc1512.

    whembly (5f7596)

  216. There are obstruction charges in the documents case Rip…nothing to do with usc1512.

    whembly (5f7596) — 3/12/2024 @ 3:39 pm

    See here.

    18 U.S.C. § 1512(k)
    18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(2)(A)
    18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(2)(B)
    18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(1)

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  217. Better link.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  218. Is 1519 an obstruction charge?

    BuDuh (ffaa13)

  219. Is 1519 an obstruction charge?

    BuDuh (ffaa13) — 3/12/2024 @ 5:14 pm

    No, 18 U.S. Code § 1519 is destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy. See Count 36 of the indictment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  220. What chapter of US Code can I find 1519, Rip?

    BuDuh (ffaa13)

  221. Specifically:

    18 U.S.C. § 1512(k)-Count 33
    18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(2)(A)-Count 34
    18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(2)(B)-Count 34
    18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(1)-Count 35

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  222. What chapter of US Code can I find 1519, Rip?

    BuDuh (ffaa13) — 3/12/2024 @ 5:32 pm

    It’s self evident.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  223. Oh goody! BuDuh can search the Internet! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  224. Oh typical! Rip is wrong about something!

    (And handles it like an oaf.)

    BuDuh (ffaa13)

  225. whembly (5f7596) — 3/12/2024 @ 10:49 am

    Given the Comer-Jordan clown show wrt the “Biden Crime Family”, I’d be skeptical of anything coming out of a GOP-majority House committee.

    Ornato testified under oath ten months later, and his answers were a lot of “I don’t recall”. Acting SecDef Miller testified under oath that Trump made no such offer. Mark Meadows also testified under an immunity deal, and no mention of such an offer.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  226. Delay, delay, delay:

    Judge Aileen Cannon has granted Donald Trump a delay in his classified documents case, despite intense objections from prosecutors.

    Cannon granted Trump a 10-day extension after hearing that he and his lawyers are preparing for Trump’s Stormy Daniels hush money trial in New York, which begins later this month.
    ……….
    Trump’s lawyers also told Cannon that they needed time to prepare for a hearing in the classified documents case and therefore need more time to file documents in support of eight objections to trial they have lodged in court.

    In his submission to the court, Trump’s lawyer, Chris Kise, wrote that he needed a 10-day extension because Trump and his lawyers have to travel to Fort Pierce for a hearing on the classified documents case on March 14 and need time to prepare for it.

    In addition, “President Trump and counsel are currently preparing for a trial in New York, New York that is scheduled to begin on March 25, 2024, and the need to simultaneously devote attention to that case”.
    ……….
    ………. Special Counsel Jack Smith also strongly objected to the delay and wrote in a court submission on Monday that Trump has long known the date of the Stormy Daniels trial and is only using it as a last-minute delay tactic.
    ……….

    More Delay, delay, delay:

    Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys are asking the judge presiding over his impending criminal trial in New York to delay the trial until after the U.S. Supreme Court issues its ruling on the scope of presidential immunity.

    If granted, the 11th-hour long-shot bid filed on Thursday would delay the trial, which is scheduled to start March 25, by several weeks, if not months.
    ………
    Trump’s filing contends that he’s immune from state prosecution based on “official acts,” and that some of the evidence against him should be kept out of trial because they were official acts — including his tweets and public comments.
    ………
    Trump tried making a similar immunity argument in the case last year when he was trying to get the matter moved to federal court, and it was firmly rejected by U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

    “The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the matter was a purely a personal item of the President — a cover-up of an embarrassing event. Hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a President’s official acts,” Hellerstein wrote in his ruling.

    “Falsifying business records to hide such reimbursement, and to transform the reimbursement into a business expense for Trump and income to Cohen, likewise does not relate to a presidential duty,” he added.
    ………

    Trump is trying to have it both ways-delay the classified documents trial citing the upcoming State of New York v. Trump trial, while at same time asking for the NY trial to be delayed until after the Supreme Court rules on his immunity claim, which won’t happen until April or May. These delays are all on Trump, which allow him to be a “martyr” to the Deep State™️

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  227. Maybe they need your expertise on what is and isn’t an obstruction charge. /sarc

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂

    BuDuh (1d1c17)


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