Trump Watch: The Conservative Condition

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Aug 10, 2022.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    The only standard now is that you can't participate in a rebellion. Specifically you cannot hold elected office in the US if you “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

    So ironically he could be convicted of rape and making child pornography and still run - but if he is convicted of even a misdemeanor charge for any of his actions on Jan 6th, he can't.

    I think the hope was that no one convicted of sexual assault would ever run for president, and even if they did, no one would vote for them. Unfortunately . . . .
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    OK, then I guess you are surprised.

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    Anyone can run for President. I think there is an exception if you are convicted of treason or something like that, otherwise there is no barrier other than being over 35 and a natural born US citizen.
     
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  5. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting. So, serial killers can run for POTUS if they match all of the other criteria?

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    What a disgrace.

    I think it's time to raise the bar, yea?

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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I think it's time to figure out why half the country would vote for such a person. In the "old days" if any little thing come out about a candidate their campaign was over. Gary Hart cheated on his wife and the public found out and that was it (as I recall).

    Today the response would be "meh". Nixon resigned because someone broke into the Watergate Hotel, he tried to cover it up and the public found out. Trump's people stormed the Capital..."meh".

    IMO, it's not the law that needs to be changed, it's whatever is wrong with so many people.
     
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  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The majority of those who voted for him in 2016 surely aren't waifs wandering around in Peony's garden. I've yet to talk to anyone who believes he has moral character. Dozens of women over the years had accused Trump of sexual misconduct or assault, in addition to the innuendo and accusations of other offenses against the state.

    While his supporters weren't necessarily seeking to "hire" a hitman, Trump was at least regarded as the equivalent of an impervious and unrelenting mercenary to them. The qualifications for either job role actually entail not being a choirboy, boy scout, etc.

    So voting for Trump again would just be consistency. This verdict hasn't added anything new to their perceptions (excluding again, that minority of waifs).

    In a general fuzzy context, the public knows he's done bad things. A civil case decided against him -- its lesser standards -- thereby merely cause one particular to glow a little brighter amongst the bevy of other specific bad-deed candidates floating around him. (The burden of proof is lower in civil cases. The jury also knows the defendant isn't going to receive institutional punishment, just pay up. Trump has been under the spotlight for enough decades in NYC that members of any jury there will have preconceived opinions of him.)

    That said, however, his support probably is eroding to some degree amongst those outside the Western chauvinist circle. For Trump to win as in 2016 would require lots of Democrats to stay at home due to Biden's age and potential mental decline.

    That's very unlikely to happen, from the standpoint that they'd still go out to vote against Trump, if not for enthusiasm about Biden. (Most Democrats don’t want Biden to run again, poll finds—but they’ll probably vote for him anyway)

    Trump is a magnate who wanted to be a celebrity early on, and rubbed shoulders with entertainment industry elite for decades, learning from them in the process. The much sought after "glitterati" factor that causes yearn for -- to give them momentum -- has always embraced the crass bad-boy image, too, not just the posh and suave:

    Robert P. Crease: "Celebrities are a boon to causes. They are charismatic, able to motivate and focus people, and know how to enthrall reporters and beckon cameras. Baldwin, in particular, knew how to get audiences to ignore personal warts and transform a bad boy reputation into an engaging, even cute persona with a social conscience. His crude and belligerent language and outrageous statements were charming; when challenged, he might walk back his remark, or say he was misquoted or joking. He rambled in public pronouncements, but his celebrity status and powerful media presence attracted new audiences. [...] As he told a reporter at New York Magazine, “I want to be a ‘feral’ Democrat” and a “ferocious liberal.” (Inside Alec Baldwin's crusade to take down a Nobel Prize winning lab

    The rare thing about Trump, though, is that he was a potential super-celebrity for the other side. But granted, if a significant number of proles hadn't migrated away from the party, he might have otherwise done as he suggested in 1990. From "Most of Donald Trump's political money went to democrats — until 2010.":

    "Well, if I ever ran for office, I'd do better as a Democrat than as a Republican," Donald Trump told Playboy in 1990. "And that's not because I'd be more liberal, because I'm conservative. But the working guy would elect me. He likes me."

    In the late 19th-century, the intellectual bracket finally succeeded (on a global scale) in driving and organizing proles to rebel against the establishment, or the latter's social hierarchy. But the problem there is that once that scholarly ideological orientation itself becomes what is ingrained or promoted in the establishments of many nations, one has to continue making proles the center of one's attention (i.e., keep recognizing that [former] heavy dependency on the working class in terms of holding onto or procuring power).

    While crusading for "other" sub-category population groups (those marginalized) was always there, too (social democrat websites have uncovered many unsung instances), it wasn't until more recent times that such starting eating severely into the spotlight on traditional prole-hood (that of narrower human attributes) and its ego. Thereby engendering that "feeling" of being alienated from what they once looked to as their customary champion or paladin.
    _
     
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Seattle:

    You're attempting to troll me. Stop it.

    Tiassa's issues are Tiassa's issues, not yours. You'd be best advised to pull your head out of that nonsense.
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    The Story of the Flood

    CNN↱ reports:

    An employee at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence drained the resort's swimming pool last October and ended up flooding a room where computer servers containing surveillance video logs were kept, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

    While it's unclear if the room was intentionally flooded or if it happened by mistake, the incident occurred amid a series of events that federal prosecutors found suspicious.

    At least one witness has been asked by prosecutors about the flooded server room as part of the federal investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents, according to one of the sources.

    The incident, which has not been previously reported, came roughly two months after the FBI retrieved hundreds of classified documents from the Florida residence and as prosecutors obtained surveillance footage to track how White House records were moved around the resort. Prosecutors have been examining any effort to obstruct the Justice Department's investigation after Trump received a subpoena in May 2022 for classified documents.

    Prosecutors have heard testimony that the IT equipment in the room was not damaged in the flood, according to one source.

    The language feels fuzzy: "and as prosecutors obtained surveillance footage". It feels like there is both an obvious implication, but also some measure of uncertainty, such as what it means that the incident occurred "as prosecutors obtained surveillance footage".

    Because, here's the thing:

    Prosecutors for special counsel Jack Smith have been asking questions in recent months about the handling of surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago resort and discussions Trump's employees had about the surveillance system after the subpoena last summer for the footage, according to multiple sources.

    Recently, investigators have asked questions indicating they are trying to determine if workers at Mar-a-Lago received specific direction from above, particularly from Trump himself, to obstruct the investigation ....

    .... Prosecutors from the special counsel's office have focused their obstruction inquiries around Trump, Trump's body man Walt Nauta and a maintenance worker who helped Nauta move boxes of classified documents ahead of federal agents searching the property last summer, and potentially others, sources told CNN.

    The sources say that the maintenance worker is the person who drained the pool that led to the flooding of the IT room where the surveillance footage was held.

    At some point this starts to feel like a farce. If you were making a cinematic telling of the tale, how would this scene not be farcical? No, really, writers' meeting: To drain the pool and flood the security IT facility? How is that even possible? The actual answers had better be amazing. This isn't exactly a Rose Mary Stretch.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Polantz, Katelyn, Jeremy Herb, and Kaitlan Collins. "Exclusive: Mar-a-Lago pool flood raises suspicions among prosecutors in Trump classified documents case". CNN. 5 June 2023. CNN.com. 5 June 2023. https://bit.ly/3MUOTWq
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Pressure Drop: Indicted Again

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    When it Drop: It seems such a long time ago.

    Donald Trump is indicted on seven federal counts. Per ABC News↱:

    Former President Donald Trump has been indicted for a second time, this time on federal charges in relation to his handling of classified information while out of office, sources familiar confirm to ABC News.

    He is set to be arraigned in federal court in Miami on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET, sources said.

    "We're learning from our sources that there appear to be at least seven counts here. This ranges from everything from the willful retention of national defense information to conspiracy to a scheme to conceal, to false statements and representations," ABC News' Katherine Faulders reported during a special report on the network.

    In a statement on social media, Trump wrote Thursday he had been told of the indictment and insisted the case was a "hoax."

    Honestly, when I heard, yesterday, the scuttlebutt that Trump would be indicted today, I actually didn't believe it, instead tending toward the target letter being the significant development.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Faulders, Katherine. "Donald Trump indicted for 2nd time, in classified documents investigation: Sources". ABC News. 8 June 2023. ABCNews.Go.com. 8 June 2023. https://bit.ly/3P3sWHz

     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Visualize it: Clicking is probably the better option.

    Historian Michael Beschloss↱ notes:

    More evidence tonight that Gerald Ford made a mistake in handing Nixon a quick pardon without full confession of guilt, even before Nixon was indicted. Had Nixon been at least arrested and fingerprinted, a later President like Trump might not have been so tempted to break rules.

    It's a reasonable point; he continues↱:

    Trump certainly doesn't study history, but he might have thought a little more carefully about breaking rules had Nixon been fingerprinted, handcuffed and jailed and Trump had seen photos of Nixon in custody.
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Author Jeff Sharlet↱ observes alleged incitement toward violence by Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA03):

    Take this seriously. “Perimeter probe”: Higgins thinks indictment precedes bigger attack. “rPOTUS”: “real POTUS,” Trump. “Hold”: “stand back & stand by.” “Buckle up”: prepare for war. “1/50 k”: military scale maps. “Know your bridges”: militia speak for prepare to seize bridges.

    RawStory↱ frames the moment this way:

    Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) mystified many social media users with his response to Donald Trump's indictment, but one militia expert interpreted his tweet as a call to arms.

    The Louisiana Republican tweeted out a seemingly inscrutable message Thursday after the former president confirmed he had been indicted in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, but award-winning journalist and author Jeff Sharlet saw the message as a violent threat ....

    .... Sharlet, whose latest book, The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, features in-depth reporting on right-wing extremists, warned that the GOP lawmaker appeared to be calling for an insurgency.

    "Deep scary: 1/50 k refers to military scale maps & publicly available US Geological Survey maps of areas mostly surrounding military installations," Sharlet said. "This isn't a metaphor. This isn't slow civil war. This is a congressman calling for the real thing."

    The article notes that Congressman Higgins is "a former police officer who claims to hold an 'active commission' in law enforcement", and "was caught on video last month manhandling an activist who asked him about his ties to right-wing extremists". Moreover, "he resigned from one police department in 2007 before he could face discipline for using unnecessary force by slapping a Black man while on duty".

    Higgins is a fan of police violence, posting videos of himself in a police uniform and threatening people he considers "animals" and "heathens" with violence. He is also an insurrectionist sympathizer, at least, speaking to seditious groups like the Oath Keepers, and selling Three Percent merchandise; in 2020, he threatened to shoot Black people protesting against police violence.

    "If you're laughing at Rep Clay Higgins using militia speak, referencing military grade maps, & telling Trumpers to 'know your bridges,' recall that Canadian far rightists held border bridges recently in a tense stand off," Sharlet warned. "This is on the table."

    Sharlet went through and defined the phrases the congressman deployed and determined he was calling for a "county-level insurrection" in response to Trump's federal indictment, which Higgins characterized as an act of war.

    It is easy enough to wonder if Sharlet is overstating potentials, but it is also easy enough to remind that we're still sorting out the last insurrection that Americans just didn't believe was coming, no matter how many times the insurrectionists told us.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    @JeffSharlet. "Take this seriously. 'Perimeter probe': Higgins thinks indictment precedes bigger attack. 'rPOTUS': 'real POTUS,' Trump. 'Hold': 'stand back & stand by.' 'Buckle up': prepare for war. '1/50 k': military scale maps. 'Know your bridges': militia speak for prepare to seize bridges." Twitter. 9 June 2023. Twitter.com. 9 June 2023. https://bit.ly/3WWWXL4

    Gettys, Travis. "'Scary as hell': Militia expert says Trump tweet from GOP's Clay Higgins is call for 'civil war'". RawStory. 9 June 2023. RawStory.com. 9 June 2023. https://bit.ly/3WXkU4O
     
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    ¿Huhwhat?

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    Clicking out isn't the worst idea.

    "These charges are unprecedented and it’s a sad day for our country, especially in light of what clearly appears to be a two-tiered justice system where some are selectively prosecuted, and others are not. Parents in Virginia know firsthand what it’s like to be targeted by politically motivated actions. Regardless of your party, this undermines faith in our judicial system at exactly the time when we should be working to restore that trust."


    What the hell does that even mean?​
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    There is a saying in social media, that somebody is "having a normal one", and the underlying joke is the strangeness of what passes as normal.

    For instance, Kari Lake, whose failed bid for the Arizona governorship has marked her as the second-sorest loser in political memory. Not only did she do her part to foment insurrection after Trump's electoral loss, Lake has repeatedly lost her own court bids demanding a judge install her as governor.

    And last night, in Georgia, the former news anchor threatened the Attorney General and Special Counsel in an attempt to intimidate the prosecution of Donald Trump:

    If you want to get to Trump, you're going to have to go through me, and you're going to have to go through seventy-five million Americans just like me. And most of us are card carrying members of the NRA. That's not a threat, that's a public service announcement.

    That's Kari Lake totally having a normal one.

    And, sure, it's always interesting how people who threaten say, "that's not a threat", as if that actually changes anything. But, even more, observe that Filipkowski's tweet↱ of Lake's words includes video from Posobiec, a right-wing operative, conspiracy theorist, and propagandist. That is, Lake's threat is being promulgated by conservatives in hopes of fulfilling her words.

    Or, as Moxon↱ summarizes in translation:

    We're the good guys, which is why we get to do crimes, and if you try to stop us, we'll murder you with guns, because we are law-abiding, and so very good that announcing our intention to murder you with guns in response to prosecuting us for crimes can not be taken as a threat.

    It's hardly an unfamiliar attitude. To the other, if Moxon's summary feels nearly petulant, that petulance carries over from the original. One thing that is difficult to measure is just how much the American right is confusing reality for an internet argument. If, for instance, we imagine the Sciforums version of why Lake's words aren't a threat, it ought not surprise us if, at some point in the near future, we encounter some analyst or politician making the same argument on television with a straight face.

    Seriously, what are those millions of NRA members going to do, challenge the world record for largest coordinated pop idol pantomime? Lake's point is to intimidate, and in this case, it's an insurrectionist threatening prosecutors with political violence.

    If the coming days will tell us much about the conservative condition, remember that the baseline measurement, right now, does not reflect a healthy relationship with reality. Most days, it's easy enough to expect that we're not about to see the outbreak of a large-scale shooting war, but even if that is how Lake's bluster plays out, we're still looking at a basic circumstance in which such questions are actually viable.

    And this is a lot like what goes on with wilful unconstitutionality: Propose a law that cannot withstand scrutiny, either win or lose politically. If they lose on votes, it must be a conspiracy. If they win on votes, their law goes to court, where they lose, but this can only be a conspiracy against them. For the most part, no, they're not bringing seventy-five million people to bear. Probably not even a million. Will it be thousands? Maybe, but how will it go down? In D.C.? Scattered all over the country? The thing is, when they lose, they will feel like the millions have been crushed. And many of the millions who didn't turn out will dutifully feel as if they, too, were ground under the heel of unjust authority. It's like how, these years later, so many people who otherwise would claim to believe in and fight for freedom are still so damn upset that they weren't allowed to censor library books twenty and thirty years ago.

    Think about the idea that the best assessment conservatives can hope for when historians of a later generation look back at the record will be one of those absurd pretenses like saying the Civil War wasn't about slavery. That they sought to intimidate prosecutors in order to defend a confessed felon who has boasted of endangering national security is not the narrative they will carry forward. That they pursued censorship, supremacism, and even apartheid will not be something their narrative easily acknowledges. It's like the man who shot his girlfriend for not being obedient enough↗: Akin to the states' rights argument, maybe they will tell us it wasn't about women, but the equal rights of men.

    They told us, for over a decade, that they were coming.

    They're telling us, again. It would behoove the Republic to actually believe them.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    @JuliusGoat. "We're the good guys, which is why we get to do crimes, and if you try to stop us, we'll murder you with guns, because we are law-abiding, and so very good that announcing our intention to murder you with guns in response to prosecuting us for crimes can not be taken as a threat." Twitter. 10 June 2023. Twitter.com. 10 June 2023. https://bit.ly/45Uva1X

    @RonFilipkowski. "Lake: 'If you want to get to Trump, you're going to have to go through me, and 75 million Americans just like me. And most of us are card carrying members of the NRA. That's not a threat, that's a public service announcement.'" Twitter. 10 June 2023. Twitter.com. 10 June 2023. https://bit.ly/3NpKbBS
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Speculation in Realtime

    Docket-watcher Tim Hogan↱ notes, "Two sealed dockets just popped up in DC," and suggests, "Based on their proximity to a filing dated June 14, I'd guess they were likely filed Wednesday or Thursday of last week."

    This has many possible meanings, but since we can always check to see how this works out, Hogan's suggestion is, "With Wapo article, that I think showed signs was cleared by main justice, this could be the big one."

    Interpretation: Something about the recent WaPo article on about Trump's lawyers trying to forestall indictment looks like it was cleared by main justice, i.e., certain disclosures were authorized. Hogan's speculation is that DoJ is ready to let certain details into the light because the sealed dockets in D.C. might be indictments against Trump.

    We'll have to see.

    Hogan also notes↱ a sealed docket entry in SDFL, at West Palm, with a case number "immediately following the Trump indictment".

    And, again, we'll have to see.

    So goes the scuttlebutt and speculation. I think if these filings turn out to be unrelated, that would probably be the more useful object lesson.

    Besides, Trump's not mouthing off like he's about to be indicted in D.C.
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Meanwhile ....

    The headline ... never mind. Anyway, this is how it's going.

    Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will present the evidence in her 2020 election investigation to a grand jury in the coming months.

    If you live in Fulton and you’ve recently received a jury summons, there’s a chance you could be picked to hear the case against former President Donald Trump and his allies.

    Willis' findings will be presented to jurors during the upcoming court term that runs from July 11 to Sept. 1. They will decide who — if anyone — will be indicted for criminally interfering in the state's 2020 presidential election.

    Fulton County Superior and State Court Jury Manager Amy von Kelsch confirmed to 11Alive that jury summonses for that term were sent. It's unclear exactly how many were sent out.

    “I think they are going to try and get a bigger pool," said Danny Porter a former Gwinnett County District Attorney. I think they are going to need more as people figure out that this might be the Trump grand jury and all that may entail.”


    (Wooten↱)

    The upshot, for Trump, is that lots of people are going to be talking about him, all summer long.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Wooten, Nick. "Did you just get a Fulton County jury summons? You might hear all the evidence against Donald Trump". 11 Alive. 21 June 2023. 11Alive.com. 21 June 2023. https://bit.ly/438Rfrb
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Approach Vectors

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    It will be a rough landing for Donald Trump, if this part of the evidence holds up:

    Emails first released by the Jan. 6 Committee that have not previously been reported on in detail reveal how several key Trump attorneys coordinated the actions of two fake electors from the state of Nevada — both of whom have now reportedly received immunity in exchange for testimony in Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation.

    The emails show Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro directing would-be fake electors Jim DeGraffenreid and Michael McDonald how to become fake electors — a topic now at the center of Smith's review of Trump's effort to reverse the 2020 election. Private messages, also released by the committee, show that McDonald, DeGraffenreid, and other Nevada fake electors were eager to participate in what Chesebro described to them as an effort to "keep alive the possibility that the votes could be flipped to Trump and Biden."

    But the messages also show that the electors were aware, and at times concerned, about the potential legal issues at play. In one message that DeGraffenreid sent to another fake elector the day before they cast their ballots on Dec. 14 the two discussed the procedures needed under state law to cast the electoral votes, with DeGraffenreid writing that "facts and legalities don't matter – only what you can burn someone with."


    (Kovensky↱)

    The article from Talking Points Memo is laden with implications of bad news, but here's the thing: In a world where one side says one thing, and the other says something else, and how are you to know who's right, there are some pretty straightforward answers. And this might be one of those occasions.

    Overturning the 2020 election, as Josh Kovensky explains, "required persuading real people to lie — not in the imaginary world where Trump reversed his loss, but in the actual world where lying has consequences." This is easily the sort of thing one might write off as a political summary, except it's not. While TPM is, after all, a generally liberal news and analysis source, there is evidence, and inasmuch as we might argue political interpretations, some of that evidence is in itself self-evident. To wit: "While filling out a document proclaiming yourself an elector for a losing candidate is not a crime," Kovensky reminds, "lying to the federal government — or presenting a document to federal agencies or Congress saying that you are an elector — is."

    Still, if the available comms "show Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro directing would-be fake electors Jim DeGraffenreid and Michael McDonald how to become fake electors", that's pretty straightforward. And private messages suggest both that "fake electors were eager to participate", and "were aware, and at times concerned, about the potential legal issues at play". A message DeGraffenreid sent to another participant "discussed the procedures needed under state law to cast the electoral votes, with DeGraffenreid writing that 'facts and legalities don't matter – only what you can burn someone with.'" And that, too, seems pretty straightforward.

    If the electors and lawyer didn't return TPM's calls, Kovensky could at least find one unnamed GOP operative to suggest "that the electors themselves had been misled". According to that source, "These guys were innocent people just doing what folks they trusted had asked them to do," and "knew they couldn't win in Nevada". It's a striking contrast, but here is the hairsbreadth distinction: Yes, they knew they were putting on a show they couldn't possibly win, but they didn't know they were doing anything illegal.

    And if Kovensky said, "several", this telling focuses largely on Chesebro, but includes Rudy Giuliani, Justin Clark, and Jim Troupis, and Jesse Binnall. Giuliani spoke with the Special prosecutor's office last week, under proffer; that is, Rudy is trying to cooperate in order to save himself.

    Chesebro described Nevada in a Dec. 9, 2020 memo to Wisconsin Trump attorney Jim Troupis as "extremely problematic" because that state's laws imposed more requirements on the electors than others did.

    The next day, Chesebro made his pitch to the Nevada electors themselves. Introducing himself as an attorney who was contacting them at Giuliani's direction, Chesebro explained over a series of messages how they would become "alternate electors," and how he would ensure that it was legal.

    Chesebro attached copies of the memos that he had circulated within the Trump campaign, telling the electors that their ballots would go to Congress with two purposes in mind: to debate "election irregularities," and to "keep alive the possibility that the votes could be flipped to Trump and Biden." In a separate message, Chesebro sent a manual on how to cast Electoral College votes in Nevada, drafts of Nevada Electoral College ballots, a draft certificate of Trump-Pence elector votes, and a form to fill Electoral College vacancies in Nevada to a group of RNC regional political directors. That message was forwarded on to DeGraffenreid and McDonald — both of whom have now received immunity.

    And if analyst David Becker told TPM the ballots were problematic because, it's not simply a matter of keeping possibility alive:

    "By that point, we already knew who won those elections," [Becker] said.

    The messages show that Chesebro was aware of the issue, asking DeGraffenreid on Dec. 11 if he knew whether "all court challenges in Nevada are final." DeGraffenreid forwarded the message to Jesse Binnall, another Trump campaign attorney involved in the 2020 election litigation.

    While the fake electors themselves at times seem to understand that what they were involved in was legally perilous and, at other times, appear to believe that the reasoning provided by Chesebro gave them a path forward.

    Later that day, DeGraffenreid forwarded Chesebro's messages to other electors, saying that they explained the "process and the justification for our actions."

    After receiving direction from Chesebro on how to become fake electors, and discussing it among themselves, DeGrafffenreid and others acted: they cast ballots presenting themselves as Nevada's electors. Now, they've reportedly received immunity to testify about the experience.

    And it is easy enough to observe, as one former federal prosecutor does, that Chesebro worked closely with attorney John Eastman and consultant Boris Epshteyn, and that proximity to Trump offers a tempting leap, but one of the most spectacular parts of all this will be the endeavor to separate Trump, but as a straightforward question, it really shouldn't be so close to the former president.

    Moreover, these records put much of the politicking to rest, though it is unlikely sympathetic surrogates and advocates will care. But given how much Trump's defense in all this is invested in pretenses of uncertainty, we are considerably less uncertain about the answers to some questions. For instance, it seems clear from the evidence these would-be electors either knew or reasonably should have known they were undertaking criminal exposure.

    Immunity suggests DeGraffenreid and McDonald understand the implication. A proffer from Giuliani strongly suggests he believes he has exposure. The only question is whether Donald Trump's lawyers were running this scheme without his knowledge, and at this point, uncertainty is going to require something spectacular, because how can Donald Trump be president if he cannot control his own legal team and prevent them from committing felonies on his behalf. Controlled descent is one thing, but can he land this thing on blown tires?
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Kovensky, Josh. "Newly Unearthed Emails Show Trump Attorneys Coordinating Fake Electors". Talking Points Memo. 30 June 2023. TalkingPointsMemo.com. 3 July 2023. https://bit.ly/3rk5Wdm
     
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    As the World Turns

    Ryan J. Reilly↱ noted, "The grand jury has left for the day, as has Windom. No notable witnesses were spotted in the courthouse." Allison Gill↱ suggests, "This is significant. No notable witnesses were spotted. So either someone snuck in the back door, or they're getting ready to indict. Or some weird third option that I haven't thought of".

    The thing about indictments, of course, is that we will believe they are coming when they come.

    Reilly, with Michael Mitsanas↱, offered a general overview of Donald Trump and Jack Smith's investigation. While the former president is indicted on thirty-seven federal counts in Flordia, a grand jury in Washington, D.C. has investigated the January 6 putsch:

    Bringing charges against Trump in connection with his speech at the Ellipse before the Capitol attack on Jan. 6 was always going to pose a challenge. Trump’s words are protected by the First Amendment, and his rhetoric — telling the people in the crowd they were "not going to have a country anymore" if they didn’t "fight like hell" — could fit within the realm of heated political rhetoric. Trump also explicitly told the crowd to march "peacefully," which would make charges even more difficult.

    Instead, Smith’s team has investigated areas where there might be a clearer instance of potentially illegal conduct. The witnesses called indicate that the special counsel probe has focused particularly on the "fake electors" scheme in which false slates of electors from states Trump lost would assert that he won. In total, 84 fake electors in seven swing states signed documents falsely declaring Trump the winner.

    The NBC News narrative suggests an all-star list of witnesses: Former VP Mike Pence, his chief of staff Marc Short, and counsel Greg Jacob. At least two of the fake electors have spoken with the grand jury, and apparently with immunity↑; Trump campaign deputy director Gary Michael Brown, who delivered the fake electors' votes to Congress and celebrated with a selfie outside the Capitol, has also testified. Rudy Giuliani has spoken with members of the special counsel's office, and allegedly under proffer. Giuliani's attorney, Robert Costello, has apparently also met with investigators. Former White House lawyers Patrick Philbin and Pat Cipollone appeared at the courthouse, as did former White House officials Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino. Former DHS stand-in Ken Cuccinelli, and former DNI John Ratcliffe have testified. Activist and rally organizer Ali Alexander confirmed that he testified, and news reports suggest Newt Gingrich made an appearance. Several Secret Service agents have testified. Former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who refused to participate in the fake elector plot, has testified, and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensparger has spoken wtih investigators from the special counsel's office. Steve Bannon has also received a grand jury subpoena, with documents and testimony still to come.

    In September 2022, before Smith took over the investigation, the Justice Department issued about 40 subpoenas, including to former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who also worked with Giuliani’s legal team, and Epshteyn, who recently met with the special counsel for two days, ABC News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Epshteyn did not respond to a request for comment on his reported appearance.

    After Smith took over in November, his team subpoenaed officials in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania, asking them for communications with or involving Trump, his campaign and 19 Trump associates, including Eastman, Giuliani, Justin Clark, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis.

    It's unclear which caveat or caution or flaming marker should go here. To wit, Lisa Rubin↱ considers:

    … a volatile Dec. 18, 2020 meeting at the White House. What started in the Oval Office erupted into an expletive-filled shouting match that nearly turned into a brawl and ended in the president's residence after midnight.

    In light of all the other unhinged meetings and plots during Donald Trump's administration, you might be asking yourself, "What is so special about that meeting?"

    And a lot goes into the answer: "First," Rubin explains, "it is a prime example of White House aides and government officials pushing back on claims of widespread election fraud and telling Trump in unambiguous terms that he lacked the authority to seize voting machines." It is a remarkable sentence, in and of itself, but the dazzle can drown the detail. But, yes, it undermines what Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD08) described as "baseless factual claims and ridiculous legal arguments". That is, Trump cannot claim he didn't know. "Second", she continues, "it was incredibly well-attended".

    The size and scope of who was there matters because although Trump lost multiple, successive battles to block grand jury testimony on grounds of executive privilege, his attorney-client privilege has been overcome in court only in two known instances: the House's battle for John Eastman's documents and the special counsel's fight for testimony from Trump's personal lawyer Evan Corcoran ....

    Though multiple people in the room or on the phone during that meeting served as lawyers to the White House or the Trump 2020 campaign, others present — namely Powell, Flynn and former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne — were no longer or never within the scope of any arguable attorney-client privilege.

    The meeting, therefore, is a ripe and easily mined source of evidence of the advice, warnings, and perhaps most significantly, facts that Trump ignored as he continued his bid to overturn the 2020 election. And collectively, that proof could be used to demonstrate Trump and others' intent to commit federal crimes, such as conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, and even garden-variety wire fraud as it relates to the campaign's fundraising emails.

    Rubin also notes the "meeting could lead to proof of a pivot point in the overall plan", suggesting:

    … less than two hours after the meeting ended, at 1:42 a.m. ET, Trump tweeted the infamous "be there! Will be wild!" tweet that began his promotion of the Jan. 6 rally, his begging state election officials and state legislative leaders to intervene, and even the pressure campaign on then-Vice President Mike Pence to change history on his own. How Trump went from watching a manic free-for-all about the legality of seizing voting machines to crafting that tweet at nearly 2 in the morning is one of the greatest mysteries of the post-2020 election period ....

    .... In his congressional testimony, Giuliani did not recall having any privileged or non-privileged conversation about Jan. 6 plans that evening. But Smith's team likely probed further in their recent meeting with Giuliani to understand: Is there a connection between the demise of Powell's "seize the voting machines" plan and Trump's promotion of the Jan. 6 rally?

    After all, within two days, on Dec. 21, 2020, Trump had another now-infamous meeting — this one also attended by Meadows and Giuliani, but also by GOP Reps. Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, and Marjorie Taylor Greene as well as other members of the House Freedom Caucus. It was during this meeting that Trump and his allies plotted out their effort to block the congressional certification of Joe Biden's election victory.

    And if former NSA Robert O'Brien has also spoken with the special counsel's office about his role in the December 18 meeting, that's just one more all-star witness, but we also need to think about how close this gets to the private-side endeavor. This meeting is one of the places where Trump's connection to insurrection might extend beyond charging incitement for public speech.

    The idea that the D.C. grand jury is ready to indict someone? Sure, take your pick.

    They're probably not indicting Trump, yet.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    @MuellerSheWrote. "This is significant. No notable witnesses were spotted. So either someone snuck in the back door, or they're getting ready to indict. Or some weird third option that I haven't thought of - that's always a possibility lol". Twitter. 11 July 20223. Twitter.com. 11 July 2023. https://bit.ly/44jxwX1

    @ryanjreilly. "The grand jury has left for the day, as has Windom. No notable witnesses were spotted in the courthouse." Twitter. 11 July 2023. Twitter.com. 11 July 2023. https://bit.ly/46LHwKb

    Reilly, Ryan J. and Michael Mitsanas. "Dozens of witnesses have testified as the Jan. 6-focused grand jury probes Trump". NBC News. 9 July 2023. NBCNews.com. 11 July 2023. https://bit.ly/44lCPFq

    Rubin, Lisa. "Why this Dec. 2020 meeting is a focus of Jack Smith's Jan. 6 probe". MSNBC. 11 July 2023. MSNBC.com 11 July 2023. https://bit.ly/3NN4ckK
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    37,888
    When It's That Obvious

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    Phillip Klein↱ considers the prospect that "the only problem with Ron DeSantis is that he's running against Donald Trump. And while generally agreeing with his National Review editor in chief Rich Lowry, there are a couple points Klein would add in the context of a field without Trump. The first has to do with the idea "that it often feels like DeSantis is running as if Trump is not in the race", and it's a strangely complex calculation. Klein suggests Desantis "has obviously made the calculation that he can go after Trump from the right … but by adopting a preachy tone about an issue such as indictments or January 6, he risks sounding like just another establishment Republican". But even that is too simplistic:

    The problem for DeSantis is that while this might be politically savvy in a situation in which Trump is not in the race and in which there would be little to gain by antagonizing him, with Trump in the race, it's important to draw a stark contrast. When Trump attacks DeSantis, he doesn't stop to think whether the attack will be from the right or left .... Trump's strategy is to relentlessly attack his opponents on everything — and so it's hard to run against him if you're trying to walk on eggshells when it comes to January 6.

    And it's one thing if Trump supporters don't really care that he is inconsistent as long as he gets his shots in. But consider the context Klein applies, "A secondary point, which may seem somewhat contradictory":

    … it isn’t at all clear that a different strategy would do much to change the overall picture. We can sit here and second-guess everything DeSantis is saying and doing, or not saying and not doing, but it isn’t clear that a different strategy would be any more effective than the current one. The bottom line is that considering DeSantis is running against a former president who has been impeached twice, indicted twice, and found liable for sexual assault in a jury trial; who is directly or substantially responsible for Republican defeats in three straight election cycles; who refused to accept defeat in a presidential election and triggered a mob assault on the nation’s Capitol; who is overwhelmingly unpopular among general-election voters; who would be limited to one term even if elected; and who, in spite of all of this, is still polling with 53 percent support among Republicans in a crowded primary field, it’s not obvious to me there is a strategy that is going to work.

    Here, a conservative analyst faces the nature of the Republican electorate. Again:

    The bottom line is that considering DeSantis is running against a former president who has been impeached twice, indicted twice, and found liable for sexual assault in a jury trial; who is directly or substantially responsible for Republican defeats in three straight election cycles; who refused to accept defeat in a presidential election and triggered a mob assault on the nation’s Capitol; who is overwhelmingly unpopular among general-election voters; who would be limited to one term even if elected; and who, in spite of all of this, is still polling with 53 percent support among Republicans in a crowded primary field, it’s not obvious to me there is a strategy that is going to work.

    Of which, Mark Joseph Stern↱ observes—

    Kind of amazing that the National Review boys can clearly articulate this reality without ever once contemplating what it reveals about the Republican Party and their support of it

    —and, well, yeah: Klein goes on to consider how, "given all that Trump has been through and how resilient his support is, I don’t envy the job of a political strategist trying to figure out what it would take to get his support to crater by the 20-30 points". And, sure, it's an analytical question, but neither a Trump nor DeSantis nomination will fail to feature Nazi moms and Christian nationalists, and we could expect their presidencies to bear witness to pogrom and interstate bounty-hunting of women.

    It's not obvious there is a strategy for the hollow sack or any other American conservative to overcome a national icon of corruption and incompetence.

    This didn't happen overnight.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    @mjs_DC. "Kind of amazing that the National Review boys can clearly articulate this reality without ever once contemplating what it reveals about the Republican Party and their support of it". Twitter. 13 July 2023. Twitter.com. 13 July 2023. https://bit.ly/43u4d2C

    Klein, Phillip. "Ron DeSantis and a Field without Trump". The Corner. 13 July 2023. NationalReview.com. 13 July 2023. https://bit.ly/3JYn9zP
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    37,888
    Superseding Indictment

    Per NBC News↱:

    Former President Donald Trump faces new charges in connection with his handling of classified documents in Mar-a-Lago after the special counsel filed a new indictment Thursday.

    The charges allege that Trump was part of a scheme to delete surveillance footage, and that a newly charged defendant — a maintenance worker at Mar-a-Lago — told another employee that "the boss" wanted the server deleted.

    Carlos De Oliveira, a maintenance official, was added to the court docket on Thursday. His lawyer, John Irving, declined to comment.

    Court documents say that De Oliveira denied that he was involved in moving boxes. "Never saw anything," he told the FBI, per documents. "Never saw anything," he repeated.

    We'll get more on the charges as the analyses roll in, but this indictment would seem to change the dimensions of the Mar-a-Lago case significantly.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Reilly, Ryan J., Daniel Barnes, and Ken Dilanian. "Trump faces additional charges in Mar-a-Lago documents case". NBC News. 27 July 2023. NBCNews.com. 27 July 2023. https://bit.ly/43SJXrW
     
  22. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,394
    Apparently, there was a "4th Trump employee" that they tried to get to go along with this, who didn't, and then provided testimony.
    Also in this new indictment was a charge relating to the military plans he was waving about in that recorded conversation. It seems that, not only was that particular document in with the stuff they recovered from him, but that they have other corroborating evidence that that was indeed what he was holding and showing off ( despite Trump's later claim that it was just random papers.)
     
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,643
    I recommend reading the superseding indictment. It shows a remarkably complete set of evidence against him - from recorded conversations, to texts, to actual pictures of spilled boxes taken by staffers, to video recordings of staffers moving boxes. In several places they have traced out the entire timeline of: evidence demanded by DOJ - Trump phone call to staffer - staffer trip to Mar-A-Lago - staffer texts to his friend about the trip - videos of staffer getting boxes - texts of staffer completing move of boxes. It will be VERY difficult for Trump to claim that he didn't know the staffer was hiding boxes.

    https://www.msnbc.com/deadline-whit...ment-pdf-mar-a-lago-classified-docs-rcna96769
     

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