Trump Arrest Watch

And, they are doing it pro bono.
Too bad they don’t know that yet.

2 Likes

I think the SC want a decision to affirm or reject so want the arguments made before the appellate court. I’m sure a few, Thomas in particular, just want to give Trump blanket immunity, but others may want to make an actual legal ruling and may feel that some day a Democratic might take advantage of the blanket immunity if they grant it and that would be really bad in their eyes.

In a non-political (ok less political) case, i think a 3-0 decision (this seems to be, haven’t seen direct confirmation) by appeals is less likely to be accepted en banc unless the other judges think there is a judicial point that was unexplored. SCOTUS will likely take up due to the significance of the case. I would love both of them to say the 3 judge panel said it all. Appeal denied.

1 Like

I don’t expect Joe to do it, but, if presidents do have blanket immunity, this whole Trump problem could be solved pretty easily…

1 Like

43 people were President before Trump. Probably 42 of them didn’t think they had immunity. Nixon maybe did.

If Nixon believed he had immunity, he wouldn’t have resigned.

2 Likes

Oh, he said so himself to David Frost that whatever a President does is legal.
He argued to prevent his incriminating tapes from being released, believing that he was above the law cuz President.

But he was going to get impeached, and the GOP senators back then were ready to expel him for what he did, and not to let him go just because of which party he was in.
This is the major difference between then and now.

Here is a long account of what happened back then.

It was legal because I was the president was just as invalid an argument then as it is now.

1 Like

I agree.
But Nixon had believed he had immunity from, specifically, crimes regarding covering up the connection between the burglars and the White House. The Supreme Court said no, and THEN, after impeachment articles were created, he resigned.

Yeah… DT could have just resigned, gotten a blanket pardon from his VP and spent the rest of his life in a golden tower eating Big Macs.

Meanwhile, in the NY fraud case, Engoron has asked for briefs as to why he shouldn’t disregard all of Weisselberg’s testimony given the perjury allegations. Briefs to be submitted by tomorrow at 5.

let me google that then link it for you:

This will surprise no one.

1 Like

Jury selection on the New York state case (the weakest of the four) scheduled to start on March 25th. Since it concerns acts before he was President, the gambit to delay by appealing for immunity doesn’t apply.

(This is also the case least likely to sway voters who have tasted but not fully become addicted to the MAGA Kool-Aid.)

Is this case really the weakest? I mean it may be the least consequential but isn’t it pretty much an open and shut case of fraud as his tax return shows him deducting the clearly nondeductible payment to Stormy on his New York State tax return?

Or do I have something wrong in this case?

1 Like

I think “least consequential” is probably a better framing than “weakest”.

It’s the one that is least likely to matter in the minds of swayable voters. It’s also the case where the charges are ones that (IIRC) it felt like the district attorney was stretching to reach the threshold of felony (and thus something that the statute of limitations hadn’t expired on).

It’s also the one where the charges feel least like a “real crime”. Misdeeds may have been done, but from my armchair, inexpert position…if we were talking about anyone else, I would expect a fine and a slap on the wrist as being the intuitive punishment.

1 Like

He can make hush money payments to try and keep his wife from finding out he was sleeping with porn star while she was pregnant with his kid. It’s when he tries to deduct that payment as a legitimate business expense it becomes a crime. Sure it’s cheating on your taxes while collar crime, but it’s still a crime.

1 Like

It’s all inconsequential enough that it will help prepare his cultists for defending the crimes against the country.

3 Likes

I agree that it’s a crime. However, if we were talking about a normal person, if this were the only thing that was alleged to have been done… absent other aggravating factors, I don’t think this feels like the kind of crime that merits prison time, or one that voters-in-general would see as necessarily disqualifying them from office. There should certainly be suitable consequences (like a fine, being barred to lead a business in the state, maybe community service), but a months-long stay someplace like Sing Sing…?

If individuals had directly been harmed by the falsified business records (as opposed to essentially just having cheated on taxes), I’d think differently.

Contrast this to the January 6th cases or the records cases. Both of those are intuitively related to the question of whether a particular individual should be trusted with public office. And, for the January 6th charges, people were harmed and property damaged as a direct result of the of the alleged actions, making the potential for donning an orange prison jumpsuit more intuitive.

1 Like

I agree. As much as I’d like to see Trump in prison, this isn’t the right case.

IIRC, Trump is being charged with “falsifying business records”. I’m guessing the business is a sole proprietorship (or effectively similar) owned by Trump. I don’t know why it would be a crime to falsify my records of my business.

If he were being charged with tax evasion, that would be a thing. But, I don’t recall that being charged. It may be that the way he did this, running it through Cohen’s business, and giving Cohen additional money just so Cohen could pay the tax, is sufficiently muddy that it would be hard to convince a jury that the gov’t actually lost any revenue on the deal.

I’ll guess that lots of business owners have hidden something from a spouse by running it through the business. It may be illegal in NY, but it typically isn’t discovered or charged. In cases with a whistleblower, a prosecutor may bring charges. The likely result is a plea deal that involves a modest fine. These things don’t go to trial.

The falsifying becomes a felony only if it is connected to some other crime. I assume that is some lever to get at organized crime – money laundering, murder for hire, or whatever. That’s not the case here.

Bragg did not say what other crime he is going to assert. We know that Trump hasn’t been convicted of any crime. Speculation was on federal campaign finance laws. Again, Trump hasn’t been charged much less convicted.

I think that Bragg really is stretching to try to turn a molehill into a mountain here.

2 Likes