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Tywin et al.

US Politics: It’s Not A Crime If Your Feelings Got Hurt

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

See my post above. Ignorance is a valid excuse depending on your degrees of power, and being a famous, rich, white, straight, Christian male who happens to be president is the maximum level of power one can have.

Sadly, you're spot on. And that's infuriating. 

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17 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

When knowledge of the criminality of the action is included as an element of the crime that must be proven.  In other words, because, that’s the way this law was written.

That said, the fact that this may not have constituted a crime by Trump does not keep his actions, in attempting to undermine and control the investigation, from being impeachable.  All Presidents should be held to higher standards.

I don't even know how to respond to that. Maybe the law needs to change, because I don't believe for a minute that Trump wouldn't know that what he was doing was wrong. 

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6 minutes ago, Ice Queen said:

I don't even know how to respond to that. Maybe the law needs to change, because I don't believe for a minute that Trump wouldn't know that what he was doing was wrong. 

It's not about knowing that it's wrong, exactly (at least the laws that I think Scot is talking about) - it's that you have to be doing something with a specific intent. Obstruction, for instance, is often difficult to prove because you have to show both that the person's actions were actually disruptive to an investigation AND that the reason they did those actions was to actually obstruct the investigation - that that was their goal. If you can't show the latter - usually by witness accounts or other documentation - then you don't have a case, even if they did something Really Obstructive.

There's a lot of laws like that - it's the difference between Murder in the first degree and other murders, and murder and manslaughter. 

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6 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

And I grew up believing the US was the greatest shining light of democracy in the world, and constantly bragged about being the greatest light of democracy in the world, and that every country in the world should follow US example.

Much of America tonight.

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There's one funny side note to this whole affair. By the mid 90's the Trump Organization was in shambles and he was in near ruin. He then went on to revive his career and image through The Apprentice, a show based largely around the catch phrase, "You're Fired!"*

Flash forward two decades. One of the major findings of the Mueller Report is that the people around Trump were keeping him out of trouble because they ignored his orders. Had he actually been the man he claimed to be, he would have been firing people left and right until he got what he wanted, which would have lead to criminal charges of obstruction. But because Trump is such a wimpy man-child, he never acted. 

Funny how life works I guess.

 

*Why was a show like that ever popular? Shouldn't we hate the jerk boss who callously fires people?

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Posted (edited)

Barr is such a fucking liar:

 

From the Introduction to Volume II :

Quote

First, a traditional prosecution or declination decision entails a binary determination to initiate or declin e a prosecution, but we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has issued an opinion finding that "t he indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions" in violation of "the constitutional separation of powers." 1 Given the role of the Special Counsel as an attorney in the Department of Justice and the framework of the Special Counsel regulations , see 28 U.S.C. § 515; 28 C.F.R. § 600.7(a), this Office accepted OLC's legal conclusion for the purpose of exerc ising prosecutorial jurisdiction. And apart from OLC's constitutional view, we recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President's capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct. 2

Pretty much what Barr denied when asked about why the report didn't find obstruction.

eta:

Quote

Third, we considered whether to evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions, but we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes. The threshold step under the Justice Manual standards is to assess whether a person's conduct "constitutes a federal offense." U.S. Dep't of Justice, Justice Manual§ 9-27.220 (2018) (Justice Manual). Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongly accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast , a prosecutor's judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought , affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator . 5 The concerns about the fairness of such a determination would be heightened in the case of a sitting President, where a federal prosecutor's accusation of a crime, even in an internal report , could carry consequences that extend beyond the realm of criminal justice. OLC noted similar concerns about sealed indictments. Even if an indictment were sealed during the President's term , OLC reasoned, "it would be very difficult to preserve [an indictment 's] secrecy, " and if an indictment became public, "[t]he stigma and opprobrium" could imperil the President's ability to govern." 6 Although a prosecutor's internal report would not represent a formal public accusation akin to an indictment, the possibility of the report 's public disclosure and the absence of a neutral adjudicatory forum to review its findings counseled against potentially determining "that the person's conduct constitutes a federal offense ." Justice Manual § 9-27.220.

sorry for the WOT, this is just such a spin job it's insane.  Can't wait to hear what BS Taibbi and Greenwald come up with re: the report.

Edited by larrytheimp

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32 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

It's not about knowing that it's wrong, exactly (at least the laws that I think Scot is talking about) - it's that you have to be doing something with a specific intent. Obstruction, for instance, is often difficult to prove because you have to show both that the person's actions were actually disruptive to an investigation AND that the reason they did those actions was to actually obstruct the investigation - that that was their goal. If you can't show the latter - usually by witness accounts or other documentation - then you don't have a case, even if they did something Really Obstructive.

There's a lot of laws like that - it's the difference between Murder in the first degree and other murders, and murder and manslaughter. 

So he's getting away with it because he didn't actually succeed?

That's bullshit, sorry. He knew what he was doing and whether or not he was successful should be irrelevant. Intent should be the only requirement. 

To say "sorry the law sucks" when the everyone knows he's a criminal is a slap in the face to the whole country. So we have a wannabe dictator and no legal recourse to get rid of him. We just have to deal with it?

Funny how you can be impeached over a blow job, but actively court a foreign power to help you steal an election is just business as usual.

This is not justice, and we're officially a two bit banana republic. 

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1 minute ago, Ice Queen said:

So he's getting away with it because he didn't actually succeed?

That's bullshit, sorry. He knew what he was doing and whether or not he was successful should be irrelevant. Intent should be the only requirement. 

To say "sorry the law sucks" when the everyone knows he's a criminal is a slap in the face to the whole country. So we have a wannabe dictator and no legal recourse to get rid of him. We just have to deal with it?

Funny how you can be impeached over a blow job, but actively court a foreign power to help you steal an election is just business as usual.

This is not justice, and we're officially a two bit banana republic. 

No... he can be impeached.  

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1 minute ago, larrytheimp said:

No... he can be impeached.  

That requires conviction by the Senate and that's just not going to happen. The GOP is morally bankrupt and they will not do the right thing.

As I said, we have no recourse.

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1 minute ago, Ice Queen said:

Funny how you can be impeached over a blow job, but actively court a foreign power to help you steal an election is just business as usual.

This is not justice, and we're officially a two bit banana republic. 

it's a massive flaw in our system, yes. When one party decides that they are not going to find a POTUS guilty of wrongdoing, there is literally no other recourse except to wait out that person's election cycle or elect other representatives who will find them guilty. 

The reason Clinton got impeached over a blowjob is because Republicans controlled the House. The reason that Trump isn't going to be is because Democrats control the House (and are, at least right this instant, not choosing to impeach). And the reason they're not choosing to impeach is that they do not believe that they can get a conviction. (which is almost certainly accurate). 

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Just now, Ice Queen said:

That requires conviction by the Senate and that's just not going to happen. The GOP is morally bankrupt and they will not do the right thing.

As I said, we have no recourse.

If their voters demand it they might change their tune.  Call your Republican Senators.  Pelosi and Hoyer could still change their minds - Check this out

 

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20 minutes ago, Ice Queen said:

So he's getting away with it because he didn't actually succeed?

That's bullshit, sorry. He knew what he was doing and whether or not he was successful should be irrelevant. Intent should be the only requirement. 

To say "sorry the law sucks" when the everyone knows he's a criminal is a slap in the face to the whole country. So we have a wannabe dictator and no legal recourse to get rid of him. We just have to deal with it?

Funny how you can be impeached over a blow job, but actively court a foreign power to help you steal an election is just business as usual.

This is not justice, and we're officially a two bit banana republic. 

That’s because people do not understand that impeachment and trial for removal from office are political not legal actions.  This could turn into a Constitutional crisis because, per long standing Justice Department policy, the President is immune to criminal prosecution while in office.  They can be prosecuted after they leave office (or are forced to leave office by removal by the Senate) but not during their terms.

It is the system as it stands.  Like it or not.

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48 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

That’s because people do not understand that impeachment and trial for removal from office are political not legal actions.  This could turn into a Constitutional crisis because, per long standing Justice Department policy, the President is immune to criminal prosecution while in office.  They can be prosecuted after they leave office (or are forced to leave office by removal by the Senate) but not during their terms.

It is the system as it stands.  Like it or not.

You know, that would make sense if during the president’s time in office limitation periods were suspended, but they aren’t, are they?

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I heard a pro-Trump pundit defend the president with this analogy:

If you walk into a store and tell your friend you are going to steal a candy bar, and your friend tells you that's a bad idea and you choose not to, then you're not guilty of stealing.

I think it's more like - you put the candy bar in your pocket but your friend (who drove) refuses to leave until you return it. There was a brief moment when you were guilty of stealing, but since you weren't caught red-handed, no one can prove it.

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3 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

You know, that would make sense if during the president’s time in office limitation periods were suspended, but they aren’t, are they?

My lowest bar of expectation is that once Trump is out of office, a lot of things are gonna get reviewed and clarified or modified (like this law). It's a low bar to clear, but if anyone can't do it, it's our useless Congress!

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1 hour ago, larrytheimp said:

If their voters demand it they might change their tune.  Call your Republican Senators.  Pelosi and Hoyer could still change their minds - Check this out

That link is utterly hilarious. Anyone reading it without prior knowledge would assume that the Democrats lost in 2016 because of Russian interference rather than, say, because they nominated a thoroughly disliked candidate who ran a pitiful campaign despite having twice the cash.

I doubt they'll change their minds. The report has a lot of good propaganda material, but there's nothing in there that would cause more than 15 Republican Senators to turn on Trump and impeachment without a conviction is not seen as particularly advantageous.

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1 hour ago, larrytheimp said:

Barr is such a fucking liar:

 

From the Introduction to Volume II :

Pretty much what Barr denied when asked about why the report didn't find obstruction.

eta:

sorry for the WOT, this is just such a spin job it's insane.  Can't wait to hear what BS Taibbi and Greenwald come up with re: the report.

Yeah, I felt the about the same as you after reading those passages from Mueller's report.  Mueller clearly declined to make the determination on obstruction because of the DOJ's internal guidelines against indicting a president, and my impression from Barr's 4 page memo and subsequent press conference was the opposite.  I tried to give Barr the benefit of the doubt going in to this, despite the existence of his memo on obstruction which got him the job, but he's lost all credibility.  He's confirmed that he's the Trump stooge that we all thought he was.  

And because Mueller felt that the DOJ couldn't pursue a case on obstruction even if they had a strong case, Mueller also made it clear that he felt that it was Congress' job to make the final determination on obstruction, and not the DOJ.  At this point, I'm completely in favor of House Democrats continuing the obstruction investigation.  Trump operates just like a mob boss, which is not surprising since he was taught from the beginning by Roy Cohn, a lawyer for the mafia.  Minimal paper trail, always asking for personal loyalty, and having other people do all the dirty work for him.  There plenty of leads in Mueller's report that should allow the congressional investigation to easily last to the next election.

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34 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

You know, that would make sense if during the president’s time in office limitation periods were suspended, but they aren’t, are they?

I don't think this question has ever been decided by a court.  There's only been a handful of times at most in the history of the US where this issue would have been relevant, and in Nixon's case he got pardoned.  Clinton potentially could have been charged with perjury, but he agreed to a suspension of his Arkansas law license and resigned from the Supreme Court Bar.  That said, the statute of limitations for most federal charges is 5 years, so I'm not sure that the statute of limitations was actually an issue in either case.

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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

That’s because people do not understand that impeachment and trial for removal from office are political not legal actions.  This could turn into a Constitutional crisis because, per long standing Justice Department policy, the President is immune to criminal prosecution while in office.  They can be prosecuted after they leave office (or are forced to leave office by removal by the Senate) but not during their terms.

It is the system as it stands.  Like it or not.

I understand all that, but surely you realize that leaves us all vulnerable? If we can't get rid of a corrupt wannabe despot, why did the founders include impeachment at all? What's the point? Yes, Trump will be prosecuted when he leaves office. That's not much comfort to the American people, not when he is committing crimes in broad daylight. 

And we have no recourse. 

IMO this is exactly the opposite of what the founders intended. Of course, this country got started in a rebellion against a despotic tyrant. We may go down that road again.

The one question the Dems need to ask Mueller: If he wasn't the President, would you prosecute?

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