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Thread: The case for prosecuting Donald Trump

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    The case for prosecuting Donald Trump

    Saving American democracy for the long run requires a clear condemnation of the Trump presidency. That means making clear that no one is above the law.

    Norms in a democracy are only as good as our willingness to enforce them.

    After the precedent-busting, lawbreaking presidency of Donald Trump, Congress needs to pass new laws to constrain future officeholders. That’s the case the Globe has made in this series: curbs on the pardon power, safeguards against nepotism, broadening the power of Congress to investigate the president, protections for whistle-blowers, requirements that presidents make financial disclosures to root out conflicts of interest.

    All of that is crucial to protect Americans against a repeat of the last four years.

    But imposing stricter rules on future presidents, by itself, is clearly insufficient. Those presidents also need a clear message, one that will echo through history, that breaking the law in the Oval Office will actually be punished — that ethics policies and legal requirements, both the existing ones and those Congress will hopefully enact in the future, are more than just words on paper.

    Trump’s presidency didn’t just expose glaring legal weaknesses: It also made clear that our institutions are incapable of holding presidents accountable for breaking even our existing laws. If Congress had played the role the Founders envisioned, by removing Trump from the presidency after his criminality became clear in the Ukraine affair, that might have been enough of a deterrent to scare future presidents straight. But lawmakers didn’t.

    "Filing charges against former leaders is not a radical step."
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

    Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor but because we can't satisfy the rich.

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    This is the thing though, hyperbole aside, this really does feel like the end of our democracy. We are supposed to make Trump an example of what happens when you incite a riot in DC... turns into a defense of the protestors who just wanted to be heard. The President tweeted that VP Pence failed him, after the Capitol Building is being entered. There was at least one GOP Legislature tweeting about the whereabouts of Speaker Pelosi. VP Pence had more security than VP Cheney had the day after 9/11, and VP Pence was a Republican being defended from Trump supporters. How morally bankrupt is the GOP? VP Pence isn't publicly calling out the GOP for defending the asshole that could have (and seemed to try to) gotten him killed! And Pence himself... he says he and Trump just won't see "eye to eye" on the insurrection.

    And what? In the Electoral College, McConnell says the GOP must rise above what the Democrats do. The GOP blocks the trial under GOP control of the Senate. The GOP votes not to convict Trump of impeachment of the most obvious kind of treachery. And the GOP blocked an investigation into the insurrection because some of their members were part of it. Add to this, the GOP is still kissing Trump's ring!

    One-half of the Governing body is out of their mind and their appears to be no coming back, and while in 2016, the blissful ignorance told us the Trump nomination would bury the GOP by losing so badly... Trump proved he could harm the US just as well by losing in 2020 as he did, winning in 2016, and the populace has shown a propensity for poor decision making in elections after decent times with the other party, W after Clinton, Trump after Obama. The GOP will win again, whether 2022 or 2024, and that might be it.

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    I don't know.

    The anger was based entirely on Trump lies.

    The planning was clear. It was not coincidence people turned up in helmets with flak jackets.

    All Trump said was that the people had to fight if they wanted to keep their nation.

    The crowd went directly from Trump to the Capitol. Some were already there (planning). Some directed the crowd with megaphones (planning).

    The crowd shouted "Fight for Trump".

    But I don't know.

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    Elder Contributor barbos's Avatar
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    No one in Congress likes Trump. All this theater is about getting (re)elected and have $200K salary and other expenses for the next 2/6 years.
    If there were term limits and people were not worried about getting reelected at all, then a lot of republicans would behave more like human beings.
    Democrats are also guilty of that and not just Joe Manchin. Damn, he is annoying piece of work.

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    Senior Member starwater's Avatar
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    And 21 Greed Over People reps voted against giving the capitol police congressional medals of honor, because you know that nasty word "insurrection" was in the bill.

    Keep messing with 45

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    New York prosecutors reportedly give Trump Organization a Monday deadline for final arguments

    New York prosecutors reportedly have told lawyers for former U.S. President Donald Trump they must respond by Monday with any last arguments as to why criminal charges should not be filed against his family business.

    The deadline was another strong signal that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James are considering criminal charges.
    President Donald Trump they must respond by Monday with any last arguments as to why criminal charges should not be filed against his family business, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

    The Post, citing two people familiar with the matter, said the deadline was another strong signal that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James are considering criminal charges against the company as an entity.

    On Friday, the New York Times reported that Vance could announce charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, as soon as next week.

    A lawyer for the company did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Vance declined to confirm the reports or to comment on them.
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

    Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor but because we can't satisfy the rich.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Unless both parties agree to the measure, I fear that the wrong message will be sent. Is it "we as a united democracy stand against attempts to violently subvert the electoral process", or just "we won't get to do things our way until the Democrats are out of power"?
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    It would be great to see Trump prosecuted and convicted of felonies, but prosecution followed by acquittal would be much too horrid — don't charge the guy if acquittal is likely. And "white-collar" crime is very difficult to prosecute. Conviction for criminal fraud requires proof of intentional deceit, but how do you prove intention? ("Your Honor, my client is simply too stupid to have known that his statements were false.") One charge is that Trump assigned high valuations to real estate when applying for bank loans, but later lowered the valuations when that reduced his taxes. He's already defended that by saying his "feeling" about value varies over time.

    I regard Trump as a serial criminal: a sexual molester, fraudster, perjurer, bribe-taker, common thief, and even traitor. But is there a single specific charge for which conviction is near-certain?

    The checks for Stormy Daniels were campaign finance violations, but that's beyond the New York County DA's purview. (And could the Feds even get a conviction for that anyway? The case would depend on testimony from Michael Cohen, a convicted perjurer.)

    We may need to be satisfied with conviction (and subsequent bankruptcy) of the Trump Organization. Will that be enough to change opinions among the 50+ million Trump-lickers?

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    Nothing will change the base. They're over the edge. Watching 500,000 Americans die from covid under his grotesque, often crazy "leadership" didn't do it. Watching him fire up a bunch of criminals who sacked our Capitol didn't do it. Somehow they love this bloated lout. I agree with you on the need for air-tight strategy, and I hope there's some top legal brain power on the case right now. (I suspect there's more than just valuation misstatements in those tax returns, too -- something that's not ambiguous or open to legal parsing that Trump doesn't want the country to see.)

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    Veteran Member KeepTalking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swammerdami View Post
    It would be great to see Trump prosecuted and convicted of felonies, but prosecution followed by acquittal would be much too horrid — don't charge the guy if acquittal is likely. And "white-collar" crime is very difficult to prosecute. Conviction for criminal fraud requires proof of intentional deceit, but how do you prove intention? ("Your Honor, my client is simply too stupid to have known that his statements were false.") One charge is that Trump assigned high valuations to real estate when applying for bank loans, but later lowered the valuations when that reduced his taxes. He's already defended that by saying his "feeling" about value varies over time.

    I regard Trump as a serial criminal: a sexual molester, fraudster, perjurer, bribe-taker, common thief, and even traitor. But is there a single specific charge for which conviction is near-certain?

    The checks for Stormy Daniels were campaign finance violations, but that's beyond the New York County DA's purview. (And could the Feds even get a conviction for that anyway? The case would depend on testimony from Michael Cohen, a convicted perjurer.)

    We may need to be satisfied with conviction (and subsequent bankruptcy) of the Trump Organization. Will that be enough to change opinions among the 50+ million Trump-lickers?
    I think the current prosecution is about getting Weisselberg to flip. He is the one that charges will fall on, and they are signaling that they are coming for him to see what he will sing about. He might be 90% sure that he can beat the rap, but if he can get a guarantee of no charges if he provides something prosecutable with regard to Trump, that might be enough to flip him.

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