Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

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bobsal u1553115
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2022 12:28 pm

Turning Point for Garland as Justice Dept. Grapples With Trump Inquiries

After months of an already hyperpartisan political environment, the attorney general appears to be acknowledging that his approach has to be recalibrated.


By Glenn Thrush
Nov. 28, 2022Updated 12:43 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, a stoic former federal judge intent on restoring rule-of-law order at the Justice Department, gradually came to accept that he would need to appoint a special counsel to investigate Donald J. Trump if the former president ran for the White House again.

But that did not mean he liked doing it.

Mr. Garland made it clear from the start that he was not inclined to tap outsiders to run investigations and indicated that the department was perfectly capable of functioning as an impartial arbiter in the two criminal inquiries involving Mr. Trump, according to several people familiar with the situation.

But the appointment of a special counsel, Jack Smith, on Nov. 18, and a painstakingly planned rollout of the announcement, signaled a significant, if subtle, shift in that approach. Mr. Garland has shown a growing willingness to operate outside his comfort zone — within the confines of the rule book — in response to the extraordinary circumstance he now finds himself in: investigating Mr. Trump, a top contender for the 2024 nomination of a party that is increasingly rallying around the charge that Mr. Garland has weaponized the Justice Department against Republicans.

“There is a political dimension that can’t be ignored — this is an investigation that is being used by the target and his allies as a mobilization moment in a political campaign,” said Daniel C. Richman, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at Columbia University. “That’s why you are seeing the department leaning forward in making these moves, and getting as much detailed information about an ongoing investigation out there as it can.”

Appointing a special counsel had been under consideration since the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington began examining Mr. Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 attack.

In studying how to proceed, Mr. Garland has tried to steer clear of issuing the unusual public statements favored by the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, believing that those actions, and political meddling during the Trump administration, violated department protocols.

The department’s leaders have, however, tried to counter Mr. Trump’s claims that they are engaged in a partisan witch hunt intended to destroy him.

Top officials, led by Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, have leveraged Mr. Trump’s court challenges in the investigation into his handling of sensitive government documents as an opportunity to broadcast previously hidden details, while adhering to department policy.

The Justice Department did not officially support the effort to unseal the affidavit used to obtain the warrant for the search of Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and residence in August. But when Mr. Trump’s lawyers did not oppose that bid, department officials seized the moment, and used the filing to offer a detailed timeline of Mr. Trump’s actions that established the public narrative of the case.

After Mr. Trump sought an independent review of documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago, department lawyers discussed sharing several photographs of the seized records to provide visual proof that Mr. Trump had not fully complied with a subpoena in May that required the documents’ return, according to people familiar with the situation.

Mr. Garland signed off on the decision to release a single picture of the files, some bearing high-level classification markings, arrayed on the floor of Mr. Trump’s office — now the defining image of the investigation.

He cast the appointment of Mr. Smith as voluntary, but compulsory, dictated by the section of the law that allows an attorney general to install a special counsel under “extraordinary circumstances.”

Mr. Garland appears to view Mr. Smith as more of an internal decision maker than a public buffer: The attorney general intends to follow the letter of the statute, and will most likely accept Mr. Smith’s findings unless his conclusions are “inappropriate or unwarranted” under the department’s precedents, a person familiar with his thinking said.

Already, Mr. Garland is dealing with two comparable cases, both inherited from the Trump administration, and in each he has appeared inclined to abide by the decisions of the special counsels overseeing the investigations.

Mr. Garland did not, for instance, overrule John H. Durham, appointed under Attorney General William P. Barr to investigate the F.B.I.’s inquiry into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia, when he brought two criminal cases, now widely seen as flimsy, that resulted in acquittals. He has also kept an arm’s length from the investigation of President Biden’s son Hunter by a Trump appointee, David C. Weiss, the top federal prosecutor in Delaware, even though he rejected the idea of appointing a special counsel.

Mr. Smith, who once led the department’s public integrity unit, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the documents investigation, and of the investigation into Mr. Trump’s bid to cling to power after his electoral defeat in 2020. He will decide whether to prosecute, but Mr. Garland has the power to overrule the decision. He could also produce a report, which the attorney general could choose to make public.

Appointing a special counsel was briefly considered under a menu of options by prosecutors handling the case in the fall of 2021, when the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington began examining Mr. Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 attack, according to people familiar with the situation.

It was taken up more seriously after F.B.I. agents searched Mr. Trump’s residence on Aug. 8, but Mr. Garland and his aides intensively discussed the option as the midterm elections neared. The final decision was prompted by Mr. Trump’s announcement this month that he planned to run again, and Mr. Biden’s suggestion that he would seek re-election.

Mr. Smith has been on the Justice Department’s radar for a while. One former official described him as a “golden unicorn” — a former prosecutor with three decades of experience investigating politicians and war criminals who is registered as an independent.

Another selling point: Mr. Smith’s time abroad during most of Mr. Trump’s administration. Since 2018, he has worked as a war crimes prosecutor in The Hague and can credibly claim to be approaching the investigations with an outsider’s perspective.

The appointment also merged two sprawling investigations, involving dozens of prosecutors operating on separate tracks, under a single supervisor, Mr. Smith.

Department officials emphasized that Mr. Smith would not start from scratch but would bring existing investigations to their conclusion and develop potential links between the two lines of inquiry.

The documents case appears to be proceeding more quickly than the Jan. 6 investigation. Public filings and interactions between law enforcement officials and defense lawyers indicate that a lot of work remains, and law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation emphasized that the department was unlikely to sign off on charges unless it was convinced that it would prevail in court.

Evidence made public points to a case based on a section of the Espionage Act, which makes it a crime to mishandle closely held national defense information — and a potential obstruction of justice charge stemming from the former president’s refusal to comply with the subpoena in May.

“The obstruction charge looks more and more to be the most compelling charge for the government to bring,” said David H. Laufman, the former chief of the counterintelligence unit of the Justice Department, which is leading the Mar-a-Lago investigation.

One of the biggest questions Mr. Smith is likely to face is whether prosecutors would consider bringing only an obstruction case without addressing the underlying possibility of an Espionage Act violation. Some prosecutors see that as the most straightforward path to a prosecution. Mr. Garland’s announcement of a special counsel referred to obstruction three times.

If Mr. Smith’s appointment shifted operational responsibility for the investigation, it did little to take the pressure off Mr. Garland.

The appointment is likely to offer limited protection from a coming partisan siege. The new Republican majority in the House has pledged to investigate what it has described as the “politicization” of the Justice Department, including “the department’s unprecedented raid on President Trump’s residence.”

Mr. Trump wasted little time trying to undermine confidence in Mr. Smith’s impartiality after it was disclosed that his wife served as a producer on a Michelle Obama documentary and donated $2,000 to Mr. Biden’s 2020 campaign.

It is, at least, a familiar position for Mr. Garland: Few public figures have been so tempest-tossed by the politics of the moment, and few have tried so hard to rise above the hyperpartisan environment in Washington.

Senate Republicans blocked his nomination to the Supreme Court in 2016 in a brazen power play that helped Mr. Trump cement a conservative supermajority. Ron Klain, Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, backed his selection as attorney general in early 2021, believing Mr. Garland would be the best person to restore order at the Justice Department after the Trump administration.

For his part, Mr. Biden believed Mr. Garland deserved an important position after the Supreme Court debacle, as did several key Republicans, ensuring his confirmation.

Other factors might have played a part in his selection, according to several Democratic aides. Political advisers to Mr. Biden believed that picking someone with whom the incoming president had a closer relationship, like the former Alabama senator Doug Jones, would be seen by critics as an attempt to control the department’s long-running investigation of Hunter Biden.

In public, Mr. Garland has forcefully rejected suggestions that external political forces have influenced any of his decisions, and he has gone to extremes to avoid the slightest appearance of partisanship.

In October, he initially pulled out of a convention of police chiefs in Dallas when his staff flagged concerns that it could be interpreted as a violation of his ban on political speech in an election year, according to a person involved in organizing the event. He eventually attended, but only after his aides reconsidered the decision.

Mr. Garland’s critics on the left have also expressed concerns about Mr. Smith’s appointment, contending it would delay a decision on the cases until after the 2024 campaign.

Mr. Garland resisted that characterization, and Mr. Smith, who is recovering from a knee injury in the Netherlands, issued an even more emphatic statement, saying that the “pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch.”

If the rollout seemed to outsiders like a typically scripted statement, it was seen by the attorney general’s allies as a sign, albeit a modest one, that he is willing to make adjustments to confront the challenges ahead.

Mr. Garland waited three days before delivering a brief public explanation for the search of Mr. Trump’s Florida estate in August, giving the former president’s supporters time to spread vitriol and conspiracy theories.

When he appeared before cameras to announce Mr. Smith’s appointment three months later, he seemed determined not to repeat the delay, offering a far more expansive statement an hour after he had signed the order.

“Appointing a special counsel here is the right thing to do,” Mr. Garland said.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2022 01:04 pm
Well that’s comforting. Garland may be a coward, but he’s a very deliberative coward. He gave a lot of thought to the special counsel dodge.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2022 05:14 pm
Lash wrote:
Why didn't he codify Roe when he could've?

The Supreme Court was quite clear that it is a matter for the states.

Any federal law on the matter would have been quickly struck down by the courts as unconstitutional.

This also includes Republican attempts at a federal law outlawing abortion.
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2022 05:21 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Kenneth Ray McCain wrote:
combat veteran here...just a perspective: If you arrive armed to a place where violence is happening, prepared for violence, and you engage in violence, there is no self defense, you are in fact a willing combatant.

That is incorrect. People have the right to defend themselves when deranged progressives try to murder them.

Kenneth Ray McCain wrote:
IF you do this without being sanctioned by a government outside of a combat zone, you are also, in fact, a terrorist. We had another word for armed civilians operating outside the military as well: insurgent.

That is incorrect. Terrorists deliberately attack civilian noncombatants.

Anyone who does not deliberately attack civilian noncombatants, is not a terrorist.

There is more to the definition of terrorist than just that. But that is one key part of the definition.

Kenneth Ray McCain wrote:
If your recourse to the terrorist is to look up the criminal history of the victims,

That is incorrect. Mr. Rittenhouse is not a terrorist. See above.

Kenneth Ray McCain wrote:
it is no different than looking up the criminal past of everyone that died on 9/11 in order to justify the hijackers.

That is incorrect. "Looking at someone's actions during the event" is not "looking up their criminal history."

More to the point, looking at the actions of the people who died in the World Trade Center shows no attempts to harm the hijackers.

Looking at the actions of the people who were shot by Mr. Rittenhouse shows that they were all trying to murder Mr. Rittenhouse when he shot them.

Kenneth Ray McCain wrote:
The kid was illegal all the way around, this **** is ridiculous.

That is incorrect. Mr. Rittenhouse did not violate any laws.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2022 08:01 pm
News flash: If you outlaw abortions, criminalize providing gender affirming care for trans youth, dictate what educators can teach in schools, and stop people from voting, you're not the party of "limited government."
0 Replies
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 03:52 am
Four of twelve unions have rejected the deal the administration brokered in mid-September between rail carriers and union workers to avert a national strike. They remain concerned about their lack of paid sick days. More generally, though, they oppose a new staffing system implemented after 2018, which created record profits for the country’s main rail carriers but cost the industry 40,000 jobs, mainly among the people who actually operate the trains, leading to brutal schedules and dangerous working conditions.   

The new system, called Precision Schedule Railroading (PSR), made trains far more efficient by keeping workers on very tight schedules that leave little time for anything but work. Any disruption in those schedules—a family emergency, for example—brought disciplinary action and possible job loss. Although workers got an average of 3 weeks’ vacation and holidays, the rest of their time, including weekends, was tightly controlled, while smaller crews meant more dangerous working conditions.

Union leaders and railroad management negotiated for more than two and a half years for new contracts without success. In July, Biden established a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to try to resolve the differences before the September 16 deadline by which the railway workers could legally strike. The PEB’s August report called for significant wage increases and health care benefits but kicked down the road the problems associated with PSR. The National Carriers Conference Committee, which represents the railroads, called the report “fair and appropriate,” but not all the unions did.

Now four of the unions are holding out for better sick leave provisions, and it is likely that the unions will all walk out together if they go. 

This threatens supply chains and the economy in general—down to the safety of water systems, since trains carry the chemicals that purify water systems—right before the holidays and as we try to stave off a recession. The deadline for agreeing to the deal is December 9. 

 This evening, President Joe Biden issued a statement calling on Congress to pass legislation to put the agreement into force to avert a “potentially crippling” railway shutdown. “Let me be clear,” he said, “a rail shutdown would devastate our economy. Without freight rail, many U.S. industries would shut down…[and] as many as 765,000 Americans—many union workers themselves—could be put out of work in the first two weeks alone. Communities could lose access to chemicals necessary to ensure clean drinking water. Farms and ranches across the country could be unable to feed their livestock.” 

“As a proud pro-labor President,” he continued, “I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement.” He wants laws to establish paid leave and stronger protections for workers, he said, “but at this critical moment for our economy, in the holiday season, we cannot let our strongly held conviction for better outcomes for workers deny workers the benefits of the bargain they reached, and hurl this nation into a devastating rail freight shutdown.” “In this case,” he said, “where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families—I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.” He asked lawmakers to get a bill to his desk immediately, well before December 9. 

Railway Age, a trade magazine for the rail transport agency, reported that neither side in the negotiations could find a way to avoid a work stoppage, but since neither side wanted one, they were eager to have Congress overrule the small percentage of workers who opposed the deal and impose the one most workers have accepted. That way, neither side would have to face criticism from those who oppose the deal, and they would not have to deal with a Republican House as they seek to find a solution. 

House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the House would take up a bill adopting the agreement this week. “ It is my hope that this necessary, strike-averting legislation will earn a strongly bipartisan vote, giving America’s families confidence in our commitment to protecting their financial futures,” she said. 

Meanwhile, former president Trump appears to be increasingly nervous about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of Special Counsel Jack Smith to take over the investigations of Trump’s theft of national security documents and incitement of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump is lashing out wildly, calling Smith, for example, “a hit man for Obama.” 

Of perhaps more concern for his lawyers was his post on his social media network saying: "When will you invade the other Presidents’ homes in search of documents, which are voluminous, which they took with them, but not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?"

Meanwhile, a reporter for ABC News spotted Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway going into the offices of the January 6th Committee. A recent book by Jon Lemire cites Trump’s query of Conway how he could have lost “to f*cking Joe Biden,” indicating he did, in fact, understand that he had lost the election. 

Committee member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said on November 20 that the committee will release to the public its report and all the evidence it has gathered “within a month.”

Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 04:48 am
Now four of the unions are holding out for better sick leave provisions, and it is likely that the unions will all walk out together if they go. 

0 Replies
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 10:44 am
With Federal Aid on the Table, Utilities Shift to Embrace Climate Goals

WASHINGTON — Just two years ago, DTE Energy, a Michigan-based electric utility, was still enmeshed in a court fight with federal regulators over emissions from a coal-burning power plant on the western shore of Lake Erie that ranks as one of the nation’s largest sources of climate-changing air pollution.

But in September, Gerard M. Anderson, who led DTE for the last decade, was on the South Lawn of the White House alongside hundreds of other supporters of President Biden, giving a standing ovation to the president for his success in pushing a climate change package through Congress — a law that will help accelerate the closure of the very same coal-burning behemoth, known as DTE Monroe, that his company had been fighting to protect.

Mr. Anderson’s position reflects a fundamental shift among major electric utilities nationwide as they deploy their considerable clout in Washington: After years of taking steps like backing dark-money groups to sue the government to block tighter air pollution rules, DTE and a growing number of other utilities have joined forces to speed the transition away from fossil fuels.

Their new stance is driven less by evolving ideology than the changing economics of renewable energy, fueled in part by the sheer amount of money the federal government is putting on the table to encourage utilities to move more quickly to cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy like solar and wind.

In that way, it is a leading example of the effects of the Biden administration’s willingness to engage in what is often called industrial policy: providing public funding to bolster critical industries in support of the nation’s broad strategic goals.

But if industrial policy initiatives can provide powerful incentives to corporations to pursue those goals, they also inevitably raise questions about whether they are constructed in ways that reward companies for taking actions that market forces would lead them to take anyway — an issue that hovers over the legislation embraced by both Mr. Biden and the electric utilities.

With the passage of the climate and economic policy bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act, DTE and other big utilities like American Electric Power, NextEra Energy and Southern Company stand to benefit from the largest package of subsidies ever granted to the industry.

It is a 10-year, $220 billion hodgepodge of tax breaks and major changes in federal tax law and other climate-change-inspired inducements that amount to a kind of lobbyist wish list never before considered even remotely possible by the industry.

With so much on the line financially, the industry ramped up spending on lobbyists to help push the package through the House and the Senate. It has also directed at least $17 million in campaign contributions to lawmakers since last year, targeting in particular key players like Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic majority leader, and Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, whose consent was vital to getting the measure passed.

The legislation will do more than just accelerate efforts to meet climate change goals, according to an analysis by The New York Times of the 273-page law.

Buried in the hundreds of pages are carefully crafted provisions that will eventually help electric utilities gain additional profits for years to come, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars per year for some of the larger players, according to Wall Street analysts.

In the course of its two-year lobbying effort, the industry managed to help knock out of the legislation measures that would have mandated actions to curb pollution, largely leaving only those provisions that rewarded it for doing so — in effect securing more carrots while tossing aside the stick.

“Let’s be honest — these guys can say all they want about the environment and how we are all aligned,” said Shahriar Pourreza, who has spent two decades studying the utility industry for Wall Street firms. “But you strip back the layers of the onion and this is also a major long-term growth opportunity for these utilities.”
0 Replies
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 11:06 am
Trump doesn't have 'absolute immunity' over efforts to overturn 2020 election, judge says

A federal judge on Monday rejected former President Donald Trump’s argument that he has “absolute immunity” in response to a lawsuit alleging he committed civil rights violations in his attempts to challenge the 2020 presidential election results.

The lawsuit, filed by the NAACP, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and others, accuses the former president and the Republican National Committee of efforts to disenfranchise voters through targeted harassment, intimidation and efforts to prevent the complete counting and certification of ballots after the 2020 election.

The ruling notes that Trump’s lawyers previously argued that he is “absolutely immune” from damages for his actions within the “outer perimeter” of his official responsibilities as president.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington sided with the civil rights groups, writing that Trump’s conduct after the 2020 election was “purely political and therefore well beyond the contours of presidential immunity.”

“If former President Trump disrupted the certification of the electoral vote count, as plaintiffs allege here, such actions would not constitute executive action in defense of the Constitution," Sullivan wrote. "For these reasons, the court concludes that former President Trump is not immune from monetary damages in this suit
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 01:35 pm
oralloy wrote:

Lash wrote:
Why didn't he codify Roe when he could've?

The Supreme Court was quite clear that it is a matter for the states

Absolutely wrong.
1. The SCOTUS is part of the Federal Gov't.
2. Roe was argued that STATE laws against abortion were unconstitutional due "equal access provisions of the Constitution".
3. Don't believe it. Look it up and try to prove me wrong.

How in the hell did you manage to get this soooooooo wrong? Right off the bat, there were no federal laws against abortion to rule against. The Supreme Court ruled against state with restrictive laws and made them responsible for changing their laws and regulations to allow all women the right to abortion.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 01:39 pm
US courts ruling in favor of justice department turns legal tide on Trump


The ex-president’s supporters will no longer be able to avoid testifying before grand juries in Washington DC and Georgia

Peter Stone in Washington
Tue 29 Nov 2022 05.00 EST
Last modified on Tue 29 Nov 2022 08.27 EST

A spate of major court rulings rejecting claims of executive privilege and other arguments by Donald Trump and his top allies are boosting investigations by the US justice department (DoJ) and a special Georgia grand jury into whether the former US president broke laws as he sought to overturn the 2020 election results.

Former prosecutors say the upshot of these court rulings is that key Trump backers and ex-administration lawyers – such as ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows and legal adviser John Eastman – can no longer stave off testifying before grand juries in DC and Georgia. They are wanted for questioning about their knowledge of – or active roles in – Trump’s crusade to stop Joe Biden from taking office by leveling false charges of fraud.

Due to a number of court decisions, Meadows, Eastman, Senator Lindsey Graham and others must testify before a special Georgia grand jury working with the Fulton county district attorney focused on the intense drive by Trump and top loyalists to pressure the Georgia secretary of state and other officials to thwart Biden’s victory there.

Similarly, court rulings have meant that top Trump lawyers such as former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who opposed Trump’s zealous drive to overturn the 2020 election, had to testify without invoking executive privilege before a DC grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to block Congress from certifying Biden’s election victory.

On another legal front, some high level courts have ruled adversely for Trump regarding the hundreds of classified documents he took to his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago when he left office, thus helping an inquiry into whether he broke laws by holding onto papers that should have been sent to the National Archives.

Obtaining this testimony is a critical step ... before state and federal prosecuto rs determine whether the former president should be indicted

Michael Zeldin

“Trump’s multipronged efforts to keep former advisers from testifying or providing documents to federal and state grand juries, as well as the January 6 committee, has met with repeated failure as judge after judge has rejected his legal arguments,” ex-justice department prosecutor Michael Zeldin told the Guardian. “Obtaining this testimony is a critical step, perhaps the last step, before state and federal prosecutors determine whether the former president should be indicted … It allows prosecutors for the first time to question these witnesses about their direct conversations with the former president.”

Other ex-justice lawyers agree that Trump’s legal plight has now grown due to the key court rulings.

“Favorable rulings by judges on issues like executive privilege and the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege bode well for agencies investigating Trump,” said Barbara McQuade, a former US attorney for eastern Michigan. “Legal challenges may create delay, but on the merits, with rare exception, judges are consistently ruling against him.”

Although Trump has been irked by the spate of court rulings against him and his allies, experts point out that they have included decisions from typically conservative courts, as well as ones with more liberal leanings

Former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut, for instance, said that: “Just last month, the 11th circuit court of appeals, one of the country’s most conservative federal courts, delivered key rulings in both the Fulton county and DoJ Trump investigations.”

Specifically, the court in separate rulings gave a green light to “DoJ criminal lawyers to review the seized, classified documents that Trump took to Mar-a-Lago, reversing renegade district court judge Aileen Cannon’s freeze-in-place order”, Aftergut said.

In the other ruling, the court held that Graham “couldn’t hide behind the constitution’s ‘speech and debate’ clause to avoid testifying before the Atlanta grand jury”, Aftergut noted.

“The speech and debate clause,” he pointed out, “only affords immunities from testifying about matters relating to congressional speeches and duties. That dog didn’t hunt here.”

The irony is that the new momentum has been spurred by lawsuits that Trump and his key loyalists filed as they’ve sought to block subpoenas for their testimony and documents

Dennis Aftergut

Soon after these rulings, the supreme court left both orders in place. “It’s enough to make an old prosecutor with stubborn faith in the courts proud,” Aftergut said.

Separately, federal court judge David Carter, who issued a scathing decision earlier this year that implicated Trump and Eastman in a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, last month ruled that Eastman had to turn over 33 documents to the House January 6 panel including a number that the judge ruled were exempt from attorney-client privilege because they involved a crime or an attempted crime.

Ex-justice lawyers say that a number of the recent court rulings should prove helpful to the special counsel Jack Smith, who attorney general Merrick Garland recently tapped to oversee both DoJ’s investigation into Trump’s retention of sensitive documents post presidency and the inquiry into his efforts to stop Biden from taking office.

True to form, Trump didn’t waste any time attacking the new special counsel.

“I have been going through this for six years – for six years I have been going through this, and I am not going to go through it any more,” Trump told Fox News Digital in an interview the same day Smith was appointed. “And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this.”

Trump’s predictable pique notwithstanding, ex-prosecutors note that the court rulings that are proving beneficial to federal and state inquiries have largely come in response to lawsuits filed by Trump and key allies.

“The irony is that the new momentum has been spurred by lawsuits that Trump and his key loyalists filed as they’ve sought to block subpoenas for their testimony and documents,” Aftergut said.

The result, he added, is that multiple court rulings “are bound to have heartened those investigating Trump”.

What’s more, two lengthy reports in November by the Brookings Institution and Just Security that focused, respectively, on the Fulton county probe, and DoJ’s inquiry into Trump’s stashing of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, presented strong evidence about the mounting legal threats Trump faces.

Now some former prosecutors sound bullish that charges against Trump involving one or more of the federal and state investigations are coming.

“I think Trump is likely to be charged in Georgia and in the documents case,” Michael Bromwich, an ex inspector general at DoJ, told the Guardian. “I’ll be interested to see which happens first.”
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 02:19 pm
Trump Org. rests case on sour note in NY tax fraud trial after judge scolds defense over 11th-hour e


Trump Org. rests case on sour note in NY tax fraud trial after judge scolds defense over 11th-hour evidence dump

Laura Italiano
Mon, November 28, 2022 at 8:08 PM

The defense rested Monday in the five-week-long Manhattan tax fraud trial of Donald Trump's international real-estate empire — but not before getting a tongue-lashing from the judge over an 11th-hour evidence dump.

"It's inconsiderate at a minimum," New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan scolded defense lawyers, who at midnight Sunday had filed 18 new exhibits they'd hoped to show jurors on the last day of their case.

"There's simply no justification," for the last-minute introduction of a stack of journal entries, reports, and emails, Merchan said, likening it to "good old-fashioned sandbagging."

"I won't accept it again," the judge warned the defense, as jurors and their witness, Trump Organization longtime accountant Donald Bender, waited outside the courtroom for the last day of testimony to begin.


Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/trump-org-rests-case-sour-000810123.html
bobsal u1553115
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 02:25 pm
'Focus on murder!!!' Trump rages at law enforcement officials investigating him in multiple criminal probes
Brad Reed
November 29, 2022


Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday once again opened fire on law enforcement officials who are leading multiple criminal probes into him and his businesses.

Writing on Truth Social, Trump began by once again attacking prosecutors in New York for prosecuting longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.

Trump included multiple unsourced claims at the start of his rant about the case purportedly "falling apart," although there is no indication yet that the case is anywhere close to collapsing.

"There was no gain for 'Trump,' and we had no knowledge of it," he wrote. "Even the media is saying that if we are treated fairly, always a big question with me, we win."

The former president then accused prosecutors of going after him while they turned a blind eye to violent crime.

"This Witch Hunt has cost NYC $millions & $millions at a time when violent crime in New York has reached an all time high," Trump wrote, despite the fact that violent crime in New York City is nowhere close to the highs experienced in the 1980s and 1990s. "Went through 8 million pages of Documents and found NOTHING. Focus on MURDER!!!"

0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 02:55 pm
0 Replies
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 03:26 pm
@bobsal u1553115,

bobsal u1553115 wrote:

"It's inconsiderate at a minimum," New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan scolded defense lawyers, who at midnight Sunday had filed 18 new exhibits they'd hoped to show jurors on the last day of their case.

I do want to point out that in NY, the Supreme Court is a court of original jurisdiction. It is not at the high level that it sounds to be. That's not a criticism of the post, by the way.
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 04:10 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:
Absolutely wrong.

I think I've accurately characterized the Supreme Court's current position on abortion.

bobsal u1553115 wrote:
1. The SCOTUS is part of the Federal Gov't.


bobsal u1553115 wrote:
2. Roe was argued that STATE laws against abortion were unconstitutional due "equal access provisions of the Constitution".


But note that Roe has been overturned. Dobbs is now the Supreme Court's position on abortion.

bobsal u1553115 wrote:
How in the hell did you manage to get this soooooooo wrong?

I think I have characterized the Supreme Court's current position on abortion accurately.

bobsal u1553115 wrote:
Right off the bat, there were no federal laws against abortion to rule against.

There were previous Supreme Court rulings for them to rule against. Roe, for example. And there were one or two other abortion rulings over the years that I don't recall the names of.

bobsal u1553115 wrote:
The Supreme Court ruled against state with restrictive laws and made them responsible for changing their laws and regulations to allow all women the right to abortion.

I do not believe that is an accurate summary of the Supreme Court's current position on abortion.

When the Supreme Court does strike down a law, it does not make the state responsible for changing that law. Rather, the Supreme Court directly invalidates the law using their own innate power.
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 04:19 pm
Stewart Rhodes, leader of Oath keepers found guilty of Seditious Conspiracy!
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 04:26 pm
Reelect Mr. Trump so he can receive a pardon.
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2022 04:29 pm
I play NBA rules here: No harm, no foul!
0 Replies

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