Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events Part B

Tue 22 Nov, 2022 06:26 pm
Since Joseph Biden has been sworn in two years, it's time to move the discussion along.
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bobsal u1553115
Tue 22 Nov, 2022 06:28 pm
'Goodbye Cannon': Legal experts expect appeals court to rule against controversial Trump judge

Bob Brigham
November 22, 2022

The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case over the appointment of special master Raymond Dearie by Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon to oversee the government documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI and National Archives and Records Administration.

"As former President Donald Trump faces the new reality of a special counsel leading Justice Department investigations on his conduct, a federal appeals court on Tuesday is hearing oral arguments about whether it should remove what has been a notable hurdle in one of the probes," CNN reported. "The move by a Florida-based judge to appoint a third party to help decide what of the roughly 22,000 pages of materials obtained in the search belongs in the hands of investigators – threw a significant wrench in the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into whether records from Trump’s White House were mishandled."


Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal wrote, "My God, in the Trump Special Master appeal, I don't think I've ever heard an oral argument go worse for a litigant. The panel is three judges, and they are demolishing Trump's lawyer. It's not close."

"The common refrain is 'you can't predict a case from oral argument.' Um, this one you can," Katyal added. "The only question is how fast Trump will lose. He will lose, badly. The Judges were extraordinarily well prepared."

full article @ https://www.rawstory.com/aileen-cannon-2658768596/
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bobsal u1553115
Tue 22 Nov, 2022 06:42 pm
Supreme Court OKs Handover of Trump Tax Returns to Congress


The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the handover of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to a congressional committee after a three-year legal fight.

By Associated Press
Nov. 22, 2022, at 6:07 p.m.
U.S. News & World Report

Supreme Court OKs Handover of Trump Tax Returns to Congress
The Associated Press

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 in Palm Beach, Fla. The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the handover of former President Donald Trump's tax returns to a congressional committee after a three-year legal fight. The Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee had asked for six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his businesses, from 2015 to 2020. The court's order on Nov. 22 leaves no legal obstacle in the way. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File) The Associated Press

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for the imminent handover of former President Donald Trump's tax returns to a congressional committee after a three-year legal fight.

The court, with no noted dissents, rejected Trump's plea for an order that would have prevented the Treasury Department from giving six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his businesses to the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee.

Alone among recent presidents, Trump refused to release his tax returns either during his successful 2016 campaign or his four years in the White House, citing what he said was an ongoing audit by the IRS. Last week, Trump announced he would run again in 2024.

It was the former president's second loss at the Supreme Court in as many months, and third this year. In October, the court refused to step into the legal fight surrounding the FBI search of Trump's Florida estate that turned up classified documents.

In January, the court refused to stop the National Archives from turning over documents to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Justice Clarence Thomas was the only vote in Trump's favor.

In the dispute over his tax returns, the Treasury Department had refused to provide the records during Trump's presidency. But the Biden administration said federal law is clear that the committee has the right to examine any taxpayer's return, including the president's.

Lower courts agreed that the committee has broad authority to obtain tax returns and rejected Trump’s claims that it was overstepping and only wanted the documents so they could be made public.

Chief Justice John Roberts imposed a temporary freeze on Nov. 1 to allow the court to weigh the legal issues raised by Trump's lawyers and the counter arguments of the administration and the House of Representatives.

Just over three weeks later, the court lifted Roberts' order without comment.

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the committee chairman until the next Congress begins in January, said in a statement that his committee "will now conduct the oversight that we’ve sought for the last three and a half years.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The House contended an order preventing the IRS from providing the tax returns would leave lawmakers “little or no time to complete their legislative work during this Congress, which is quickly approaching its end.”

Had Trump persuaded the nation’s highest court to intervene, he could have run out the clock on the committee, with Republicans ready to take control of the House in January. They almost certainly would have dropped the records request if the issue had not been resolved by then.

The House Ways and Means panel first requested Trump’s tax returns in 2019 as part of an investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s audit program and tax law compliance by the former president. A federal law says the Internal Revenue Service “shall furnish” the returns of any taxpayer to a handful of top lawmakers.

The Justice Department under the Trump administration had defended a decision by then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to withhold the tax returns from Congress. Mnuchin argued that he could withhold the documents because he concluded they were being sought by Democrats for partisan reasons. A lawsuit ensued.

After President Joe Biden took office, the committee renewed the request, seeking Trump’s tax returns and additional information from 2015-2020. The White House took the position that the request was a valid one and that the Treasury Department had no choice but to comply. Trump then attempted to halt the handover in court.

Then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. obtained copies of Trump’s personal and business tax records as part of a criminal investigation. That case, too, went to the Supreme Court, which rejected Trump’s argument that he had broad immunity as president.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags: Associated Press, personal finance, business, courts
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bobsal u1553115
Tue 22 Nov, 2022 10:14 pm
After Court Fight, Lindsey Graham Appears Before Atlanta Grand Jury

Lawyers for Mr. Graham had fought to keep him from having to testify in the investigation of election interference by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies.

By Richard Fausset and Danny Hakim
Nov. 22, 2022Updated 9:05 p.m. ET


ATLANTA — A week after Donald J. Trump declared his third candidacy for president, there was a fresh reminder on Tuesday of his ongoing legal entanglements when one of his closest allies on Capitol Hill, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, was forced to testify before a Georgia special grand jury that is investigating election interference by Mr. Trump and his advisers.

Mr. Graham’s lawyers had fought for months to keep him from having to testify, taking their effort all the way to the Supreme Court. But his legal team, which includes Donald McGahn, Mr. Trump’s former White House counsel, ultimately failed, leaving Mr. Graham to potentially face questions about whether he coordinated with the Trump campaign or others as they sought to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results in Mr. Trump’s favor.

Like a number of other recent witnesses called before the special grand jury, Mr. Graham avoided walking into the Fulton County courthouse through the front door on Tuesday morning to give testimony in the closed-door proceeding. His lawyers have previously said that Mr. Graham is not a target of the Georgia investigation.

“Today, Senator Graham appeared before the Fulton County special grand jury for just over two hours and answered all questions,” his office said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon. “The senator feels he was treated with respect, professionalism and courtesy. Out of respect for the grand jury process, he will not comment on the substance of the questions.”

His appearance was a victory for Fani T. Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, who is leading the investigation and has indicated that it could result in a multidefendant racketeering or conspiracy case. Underscoring Mr. Trump’s legal challenges, Mr. Graham’s appearance took place a few blocks away from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which heard arguments in the afternoon in a case that could determine whether a special master should review documents seized in August from Mr. Trump’s Florida home.

Mr. Graham’s appearance was a victory for Fani T. Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, who is leading the investigation.

Mr. Graham’s testimony comes as three other high-profile allies of Mr. Trump continue to fight orders to travel to Atlanta to testify. All three — Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff; Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser; and Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker — have appealed rulings that said they had to comply with the subpoenas.

An immediate legal threat to Trump. Fani T. Willis, the Atlanta area district attorney, has been investigating whether former President Donald J. Trump and his allies interfered with the 2020 election in Georgia. The case could be one of the most perilous legal problems for Mr. Trump. Here’s what to know:

Looking for votes. Prosecutors in Georgia opened their investigation in February 2021, just weeks after Mr. Trump made a phone call to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, and urged him to “find” enough votes to overturn the results of the election there.

What are prosecutors looking at? In addition to Mr. Trump’s call to Mr. Raffensperger, Ms. Willis has homed in on a plot by Trump allies to send fake Georgia electors to Washington and misstatements about the election results made before the state legislature by Rudolph W. Giuliani, who spearheaded efforts to keep Mr. Trump in power as his personal lawyer. An election data breach in Coffee County, Ga., is also part of the investigation.

Who is under scrutiny? Mr. Giuliani has been told that he is a target of the investigation, and prosecutors have warned some state officials and pro-Trump “alternate electors” that they could be indicted. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, has been fighting efforts to force him to appear before a grand jury.

The potential charges. Experts say that Ms. Willis appears to be building a case that could target multiple defendants with charges of conspiracy to commit election fraud or racketeering-related charges for engaging in a coordinated scheme to undermine the election.

Mr. Trump announced on Nov. 15 that he would seek another term. Even before he officially kicked off his new campaign, he publicly attacked Ms. Willis and other prosecutors investigating him at a rally early this year as “vicious, horrible people” who are “mentally sick.”

Such rhetoric has done little to prevent the nearly two-year-old Georgia investigation from grinding forward. The special grand jury is expected to finish its work reviewing voluminous documents and testimony in the coming months. While it cannot issue indictments, it is expected to issue a report that could serve as the basis for indictments by a regular grand jury.

Mr. Gingrich had argued that his willingness to sit for an interview with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol should preclude him from testifying in the Atlanta criminal investigation. But in a court filing last week, Mr. Gingrich’s lawyer, John A. Burlingame, revealed that the Jan. 6 committee had rescinded its invitation. Mr. Gingrich continued to argue, however, that he should not have to testify in Atlanta.

Mr. Graham once repudiated Mr. Trump as a “race-baiting, xenophobic bigot” but became one of his staunchest allies in the Senate, repeating Mr. Trump’s false claims about stolen elections.

Mr. Graham’s legal team won a partial victory, convincing federal courts that he should be shielded from some types of questions under the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which generally protects members of Congress from discussing their legislative work in court.
Mr. Graham, at the White House in November 2019 with President Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Graham, at the White House in November 2019 with President Donald J. Trump.Credit...Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Mr. Graham, at the White House in November 2019 with President Donald J. Trump.

But the courts ruled that such immunity did not apply regarding matters that were “political in nature rather than legislative,” leaving Mr. Graham subject to questions about what led him to make calls soon after the November 2020 election to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state. Mr. Raffensperger has said that Mr. Graham suggested rejecting all mail-in votes from counties with high rates of questionable signatures. Mr. Graham, who at the time was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said that he was acting in his official capacity.

In August, U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May ruled that Mr. Graham should not be shielded from questions having to do with his “alleged coordination” with the Trump campaign or other third parties regarding postelection efforts in Georgia. She also ruled that he would have to answer questions about any efforts to “cajole” or “exhort” Georgia election officials to change their election processes or results, and questions about “public statements or speeches he made outside of Congress about the 2020 elections.”

After his testimony, Mr. Graham was scheduled to appear on Tuesday night at a gun club in Powder Springs, Ga., in a rally supporting Herschel Walker, the former N.F.L. football star and Trump-backed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

On Jan. 4, 2021, Mr. Walker falsely claimed on Twitter that “Country wide election fraud” had occurred.

Sean Keenan contributed reporting.
A correction was made on Nov. 22, 2022

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misidentified the number of times that Donald J. Trump has run for president. This is his third run, not his second.
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Wed 23 Nov, 2022 04:05 am
I hope he gets suspended for a long time. He called for Ohio to be nuked for not voting the way he wanted for the crusades to be done "properly" this time, forcing all Muslims, including the Kurds, to convert to Chrustianity.

And now his repulsive outburst insulting the victims of another NRA murder spree in Virginia.

How can anyone be so condumed by hate?
Wed 23 Nov, 2022 05:43 am
izzythepush wrote:
I hope he gets suspended for a long time.

Progressives wish that they still had the power that they did under their hero Stalin, where anyone who told the truth could be dragged away never to be seen again.

izzythepush wrote:
He called for Ohio to be nuked for not voting the way he wanted

I've never complained about Ohio's votes for or against anything.

izzythepush wrote:
for the crusades to be done "properly" this time, forcing all Muslims, including the Kurds, to convert to Chrustianity.

I've never called for forcing all Muslims to convert to Christianity.

izzythepush wrote:
And now his repulsive outburst insulting the victims of another NRA murder spree in Virginia.

You sure have a hard times with facts. The NRA has never murdered anyone. And I've never insulted any victims.

This is in fact my first post on the internet since the Virginia incident even happened.

izzythepush wrote:
How can anyone be so condumed by hate?

Conservatives are not the ones who want everyone who they disagree with to be dragged away and silenced forever.

Only progressives want such things.
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bobsal u1553115
Wed 23 Nov, 2022 07:14 am
He's finally in deep, the question is will he spill his guts on Florida Man or take one for team Florida Man.

He's too smart to take one for a team that is on its way down with a whimper. Either way, he has left himself with a **** legacy even if he keeps his seat. He was one of the few Republicans that I thought acted with any honor in the Bill Clinton impeachment.
Wed 23 Nov, 2022 07:26 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Lindsey Graham?? How is he in deep? Mr. Trump has never done anything wrong, so all Senator Graham needs to do is tell the truth.

Most Republicans acted honorably in the Bill Clinton impeachment. It was the Democrats who mostly acted disgracefully (unfortunately their usual position).
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