Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-03 11:29pm

Giuliani: Trump could have shot James Comey and not been indicted.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/03/politics ... index.html
Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed Sunday that the President hypothetically could have shot the former FBI director to end the Russia investigation and not face prosecution for it while in office.

Giuliani told HuffPost in an interview that Trump's presidential power extends so far that "in no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted."

"I don't know how you can indict while he's in office. No matter what it is," he said.

The President's attorney said Trump would face impeachment rather than prosecution if he had shot former FBI Director James Comey in the Oval Office to end the Russia probe instead of firing him, which Trump did last May.
That's a pretty specific example you gave there, Rudi. Got tired of trying to build a career on the bodies of 9/11 victims and decided to switch to fantasizing about shooting public servants for doing their duty?

This could also be seen as a veiled threat/suggestion to the base.

So, Trump's team is literally claiming that he is immune to prosecution even if he murders government employees for doing their duty and investigating him. They still acknowledge the right to impeach a President (for now, anyway), but this fits with my suspicions about their game plan- they're not thinking in terms of a legal defense, so much as a political one. Bank on the tradition/policy of not indicting a sitting President holding, and then play to the base and smear the opposition in the hopes of keeping enough seats in Congress to block impeachment.

If anyone is thinking about staying home on election day this November, or voting third party, remember this.
"If he shot James Comey, he'd be impeached the next day," Giuliani said to HuffPost. "Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to him.
Challenge accepted, Rudi.

Edit: He also apparently claimed that Trump could pardon himself for the Russia scandal. But of course he wouldn't and has no reason to. :wanker:
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-04 12:22am

The Romulan Rrpublic wrote:I saw Jimmy Carter on Colbert recently. Still very sharp, considering he's what, 93? Colbert, jokingly, suggested that he could run in 2020 (since he only served one term). If only...
Legally, he could run in 2020, serve two full terms, take 2025-28, off, and serve two more terms. If he lives that long(he won't), and if people will vote for him(they won't). The 22nd Amendment only forbids the President to serve more than two consecutive terms.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2018-06-04 12:51am

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-06-04 12:22am
The 22nd Amendment only forbids the President to serve more than two consecutive terms.
That's not true. That's how the Russian constitution works.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-06-04 01:16am

Raj Ahten wrote:
2018-05-31 09:25pm
Trump's just testing the water so that when his lawyer I mean bagman is indicted he'll be immediately pardoned and no one will react.
Last I heard, the president has no power to pardon state prosecutions. Which is what Cohen is facing.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-06-04 04:06am

He is facing both.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-06-04 12:33pm

You people want appalling? I'll give you appalling:

CNBC
Trump: 'I have the absolute right to PARDON myself'
President Trump said "I have the absolute right to PARDON myself."
But he suggested he wouldn't do that because "I have done nothing wrong."
Trump's lawyers argued that the president holds broad constitutional powers, including the power to pardon, in matters related to the special counsel's Russia probe.
This is where we're at in our political leadership.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-04 12:52pm

On the express elevator to Hell, going down.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-06-04 12:57pm

ONE of the most scary things about all of this... Is that even when Trump is gone, the damage he has done will be around for decades if not longer.
The "Lesson" of Trump for the right is basically:
"Once you are in office... You can do ANYTHING"

I mean, for the entity of American Politics, politicians, especially the President, has forever been concerned with "Public Opinion" and about possibly doing something that could "Alienate Voters" with Trump, the message is loud and clear... It doesn't matter. Once you are in office, you can do whatever you want, consequences be damned, because in modern America, THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES.
Praying is another way of doing nothing helpful
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Khaat » 2018-06-04 01:01pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-06-04 12:22am
The 22nd Amendment only forbids the President to serve more than two consecutive terms.
22nd Amendment wrote:Section 1:
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Just an FYI.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-04 01:10pm

Well, now, that makes a difference.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law

"The Constitution's a piece of paper. A kick in the head is a jolt."
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"Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty."
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-04 02:10pm

Crossroads Inc. wrote:
2018-06-04 12:57pm
ONE of the most scary things about all of this... Is that even when Trump is gone, the damage he has done will be around for decades if not longer.
The "Lesson" of Trump for the right is basically:
"Once you are in office... You can do ANYTHING"

I mean, for the entity of American Politics, politicians, especially the President, has forever been concerned with "Public Opinion" and about possibly doing something that could "Alienate Voters" with Trump, the message is loud and clear... It doesn't matter. Once you are in office, you can do whatever you want, consequences be damned, because in modern America, THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES.
This, above all, is why I think its essential that Trump not merely be voted out, or impeached, or God forbid, die in office- he has to stand trial. I don't know if it will happen (we set an awful precedent there with Nixon, and another with not trying Bush Administration officials for war crimes). But that's what needs to happen. People need to see the law holding the President accountable, to show that there still is a rule of law in America.

If we don't draw this line now, with Trump, we'll have to draw it at some point in the future, and the longer we wait, the harder its likely to be. This time, if we're lucky, we might be able to draw it without a civil war. Maybe.

I'd also be in favor of undoing as much of Trump's policies as possible on principle. We probably can't revoke his pardons or remove his judicial appointments, short of proving election fraud sufficient to have his presidency declared invalid and/or a constitutional amendment that realistically isn't going to happen, but one question that absolutely needs to be asked of every contender in 2020 is "If you are elected, will you make systematically revoking Trump's executive orders a top priority?"

Then we need several constitutional amendments reforming the electoral system, confirming that a President can be indicted*, and limiting or abolishing the pardon power.

*On that note, while I doubt that they'll do it, if Congress refuses to impeach regardless of evidence, I'd love it if Mueller and Rosenstein decided "Fuck it, let's put it to the test whether a sitting President cannot be indicted." Because that's not a law, or at least not unambiguously so. Its Justice Department policy, but there's no clear legal precedent on the issue. And this is a question we need answered, I think.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-06-04 02:44pm

I am just curious, but do you deny the President has the power to pardon himself as a matter of Constitutional fact? If so, please explain.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-04 03:03pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-06-04 02:44pm
I am just curious, but do you deny the President has the power to pardon himself as a matter of Constitutional fact? If so, please explain.
Its never been tested in court, of course, but I personally think the answer is (and definitely should be, since America is a country ostensibly founded on the rule of law, not the concentration of autocratic power): no.

Here's an article on the subject: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... s-weigh-in

The experts asked generally seem to feel that it would be a terrible idea, and some think that it would be grounds for impeachment if the President abused his pardon power, but most seem unwilling to give a straight answer on whether its illegal (although suggesting that its impeachable would seem to imply that it is). The strongest argument against it, and the closest thing to precedent, seems to be this bit:
Andy Wright, a former White House associate counsel and a professor at Savannah Law School, writing for Just Security in July 2017

Three days before [Richard]Nixon resigned, OLC [the Office of Legal Counsel] issued an opinion that '(u)nder the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the president cannot pardon himself'. Most legal experts supported that view, although the arguments as to why vary from natural law (first principles such as 'no man can be a judge in his own case'0 to constitutional structure (a self-pardon would defeat the purposes of article I, section 4, which expressly allows officeholders removed by impeachment to be subject to criminal prosecution). A handful of Republican members of Congress cited the possibility of self-pardon as a justification for their votes to impeach Bill Clinton, which is discussed in the introduction to this Oklahoma law Review article. While some doubt remains about whether the president has the authority to pardon himself, a self-pardon is most likely legally ineffective from shielding a president from future federal prosecution.
Out of curiosity, do you feel that the President is legally able to pardon himself? If so, why?

Edit: Had to change the brackets around (u) from [ ] to ( ) because it was fucking with the formatting of the text, and causing most of the quote to be underlined.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-06-04 03:45pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-06-04 03:03pm
Its never been tested in court, of course, but I personally think the answer is (and definitely should be, since America is a country ostensibly founded on the rule of law, not the concentration of autocratic power): no.
Things don't have to be tested in court to be legal. The concentration of autocratic power is not mutually exclusive with the rule of law.
Here's an article on the subject: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... s-weigh-in

The experts asked generally seem to feel that it would be a terrible idea, and some think that it would be grounds for impeachment if the President abused his pardon power, but most seem unwilling to give a straight answer on whether its illegal (although suggesting that its impeachable would seem to imply that it is). The strongest argument against it, and the closest thing to precedent, seems to be this bit:
A terrible idea does not illegal make. Abuse does not illegal make. Impeachable does not illegal make. You can, as a matter of legal fact, abuse a power legally, and you can be impeached for such a legal abuse.

To be more clear, the "high crimes and misdemeanor" you are being impeached for requires no action via the Executive's law enforcement apprentice for Congress to impeach and convict. They can do it entirely inside their own bodies independently. They don't even have to apply statutes in doing so. They can make it up as they go, and this makes a lot of sense when you think about which branch of government the framers envisioned as the primary seat of Federal power (hint, it was not the Executive).
Out of curiosity, do you feel that the President is legally able to pardon himself? If so, why?
Yes, it is obviously legal and its not really a question for any serious Constitutional scholar. The relevant section of the Constitution is surprisingly clear on the matter, not just establishing a pardon power but also expressing narrowly the specific circumstances (impeachments) it can't be used and what it applies to (crimes against the United States). The portion of Article II, Section II in question:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

The only restrictions on pardon power is that it has to be an offense against the United States (so a federal crime, not a state (or foreign for that matter)) and it can't be applied to an impeachment. It doesn't get any more clear than that.

You will note that this means Congress gets the last word should they decide such a pardon is an abuse of power, even if it is a legally allowable use, as their impeachment against a President can't be pardoned. However, the ex-President would still be immune from follow on criminal prosecution for whatever was pardoned.

Its also important to note that even if the technical exercise of a pardon is not illegal, the thing the pardon is meant to do can be. For instance, if a pardon was issued to silence a witness, that's still witness tampering. You would be impeaching for the witness tampering, not the pardon. It may seem like a meaningless distinction, but it really is quite important. But again, they could just impeach for the pardon, it just won't invalidate it.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-04 04:35pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-06-04 03:45pm
Things don't have to be tested in court to be legal.
No shit. But it can be difficult sometimes to determine whether something is legal or not, if it has never been put to the test. Ultimately, its something that the Supreme Court would have to rule on, if the issue were ever to be put to the test. That's how a Constitutional Crisis works.
The concentration of autocratic power is not mutually exclusive with the rule of law.
No, but it is mutually exclusive with the Founders' intent to prevent an autocracy, which was my main point here. Do you deny that?
A terrible idea does not illegal make. Abuse does not illegal make. Impeachable does not illegal make.
Out of curiosity, I'd actually like your opinion on whether you believe that a Presidential self-pardon by Trump would be a) a terrible idea, b) Abuse of power, or c) impeachable.
You can, as a matter of legal fact, abuse a power legally, and you can be impeached for such a legal abuse.
Doesn't the Constitution specifically say that the President can be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors"?
To be more clear, the "high crimes and misdemeanor" you are being impeached for requires no action via the Executive's law enforcement apprentice for Congress to impeach and convict. They can do it entirely inside their own bodies independently. They don't even have to apply statutes in doing so. They can make it up as they go, and this makes a lot of sense when you think about which branch of government the framers envisioned as the primary seat of Federal power (hint, it was not the Executive).
If impeachment was intended to be for "high crimes and misdemeanors", does not that imply that for something to be impeachable, it must also be illegal?
Yes, it is obviously legal and its not really a question for any serious Constitutional scholar.
Those are some pretty bold assertions, given the scant evidence you've provided (hint: Appeal to Authority works better if you actually cite some specific authorities).
The relevant section of the Constitution is surprisingly clear on the matter, not just establishing a pardon power but also expressing narrowly the specific circumstances (impeachments) it can't be used and what it applies to (crimes against the United States). The portion of Article II, Section II in question:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

The only restrictions on pardon power is that it has to be an offense against the United States (so a federal crime, not a state (or foreign for that matter)) and it can't be applied to an impeachment. It doesn't get any more clear than that.
What about the argument that a "pardon" is implicitly not something one can grant to oneself? Because you know as well as I that things like precedent and the underlying intent of the law matter in its interpretation, not just a literal reading of the text.
You will note that this means Congress gets the last word should they decide such a pardon is an abuse of power, even if it is a legally allowable use, as their impeachment against a President can't be pardoned. However, the ex-President would still be immune from follow on criminal prosecution for whatever was pardoned.
To clarify, then, your position is that the President effectively has absolute immunity for all federal crimes, up to and including treason, terrorism, etc.?

While I agree that abuse of the pardon is something that Congress should address, I'm not convinced that its something that cannot be addressed outside of Congress- that the President is immune to prosecution. And if that IS determined to be the case (a determination that the Supreme Court would ultimately have to make, if it were put to the test), then that would essentially mark the end of the rule of law in America, and set an absolutely damning precedent, as it would essentially say that a President can break Federal law with absolute impunity for personal gain, with the only possible repercussion being loss of office (and not even that if he has a friendly Congress).

In that case, I have three follow-up questions:

1. Do you believe that the President should have such immunity?
2. Do you believe that it is consistent with the Founders' intent in writing the Constitution?
3. Would you still hold this view if Hillary Clinton were President and was weighing the possibility of pardoning herself for EmailGate?
4. Would you support a Constitutional Amendment to limit the President's power to pardon?
Its also important to note that even if the technical exercise of a pardon is not illegal, the thing the pardon is meant to do can be. For instance, if a pardon was issued to silence a witness, that's still witness tampering. You would be impeaching for the witness tampering, not the pardon. It may seem like a meaningless distinction, but it really is quite important. But again, they could just impeach for the pardon, it just won't invalidate it.
That's a valid point, but if you are correct, the President could just pardon himself or herself for those crimes as well.

I guess there's still the possibility of state charges. As far as Trump's concerned, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being nailed by the State of New York, and I don't much care whether its a federal or New York state prison he spends his twilight years in. But in a larger sense, I think that its deeply dangerous to a republic for a President to have the ability to grant themselves immunity to all federal law.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-05 08:12am

For the past 200+ years, we've been interpreting the Constitution as a document written by intelligent people who want government to function, for intelligent people who want government to function. That means we as a nation, and the Supreme Court in particular, don't usually play, or tolerate the playing of, the kind of juvenile bullshit "I FOUND A LOOPHOLE" games that amateurs can play just by reading the Constitution and then applying a bit of lateral thinking. Even originalist/literalists tend to work on the assumption that the Constitution was seriously intended to function and to provide a workable set of interlocking, mutually restraining rules and government powers.

There is NO sign that the Founding Fathers EVER seriously considered that a president could use the pardon power to render himself effectively above the law. That is very obviously not what they meant; they took great pains to ensure that no part of the government they were designing would be above the law.

So when Donald Trump and his team of lawyers straight from central casting try to tell you they "FOUND A LOOPHOLE" that lets the president make himself the biggest, hugest above-the-law asshole ever, it's a safe bet that no, they're wrong, and nobody else in the legal system is likely to humor them.

You'd better hope nobody does, because if anyone does, we're no more than a few more election cycles away from a dictatorship.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-06-05 10:23am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-06-05 08:12am
So when Donald Trump and his team of lawyers straight from central casting try to tell you they "FOUND A LOOPHOLE" that lets the president make himself the biggest, hugest above-the-law asshole ever, it's a safe bet that no, they're wrong, and nobody else in the legal system is likely to humor them.
One way I've heard this put recently is that the universal consensus among legal scholars, including justices in the types of courts that would have jurisdiction in this type of case, is that any interpretation of part of the constitution that would cause another part of the constitution to become nonsensical is automatically invalid, and there's more consensus than you'd think as to what qualifies as nonsensical, even among justices that have very difficult political views.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-05 03:53pm

Yeah. Which is part of why the Judicial Branch is the only branch of the Federal government in who's integrity I still have any confidence.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Napoleon the Clown » 2018-06-05 04:17pm

So here's a fun thought: It is not impossible that Trump's lawyers are saying all this moronic shit for a reason other than staying in President Anuslips' good graces. It is legitimately possible that they are making these absurd, moronic, and downright insane declarations so that the Malevolent Tangerine can try and use "incompetent legal representation" at a later juncture to dodge all manner of problems. Jester Cheetah, naturally, is not clever enough to figure this out. His lawyers? They may well be clever enough and so devoid of ethics that they would do it. No respectable lawyer is willing to represent Agent Orange, so just by representing the fucker they've lost face.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-05 04:58pm

Yeah, that possibility occurred to me too. Although it may just be that any lawyer willing to represent him now is a hard-line Right-wing ideologue who actually believes this shit (Guiliani certainly is). Even an amoral man wouldn't necessarily want to be tied to the Trump sinking ship, out of self-interest if nothing else.

In other news, Mueller has added witness tampering to the charges against Manafort, and is suggesting that his bail be revoked and he be moved to jail.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-colu ... nald-trump
Coincidences do happen, but this seems to be an unlikely one. On Sunday morning, seemingly apropos of nothing, Donald Trump posted a message on Twitter that stated the following: "As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn't the FBI or Department of 'Justice' have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign? Should have told me!"

Even by Trump's standards, this message seemed a bit weird. A few minutes later, the President posted another one, which said, "Paul Manafort came into the campaign very late and was with us for a short period of time (he represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole & many others over the years), but we should have been told that Comey and the boys were doing a number on him, and he wouldn't have been hired!"

Trump says a lot of things on Twitter, of course. But prior to this outburst, he hadn't talked much recently about Manafort, who made millions of dollars working as a political consultant for despots around the world and is facing trial in two federal courts on charges that include money laundering, bank fraud, and failing to disclose his U.S. lobbying work for a foreign government-all of which were brought by the special counsel, Robert Mueller. why Trump's sudden interest? One possible inference was that the President had somehow heard that there was more bad news coming about Manafort, and he was trying to limit some of the damage in advance of its release. If that was indeed the case, we now know the source of Trump's concern.

In a filing made in U.S. district court, in Washington, on Monday night, Mueller's office accused Manafort, who is out on bail, of trying to tamper with potential witnesses earlier this year, and asked a judge to consider jailing him before his trial. at this stage, obviously, we don't know how the court will rule. But Manafort is already facing considerable pressure to cooperate with the special counsel's investigation. If the court were to revoke his freedom, this pressure would sharply increase.

The initial charges filed against Manafort relate primarily to political-consulting work he did for a pro-Russia politician and a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine. The special counsel's office also claims that Manafort secretly arranged for a group of former European officials, known as the Hapsburg group, to lobby inside the United States on his clients' behalf, and that Manafort didn't disclose this activity on federal disclosure forms.

The court filing alleges that, beginning on February 24th, Manafort and a longtime associate-referred to as "Person A"-contacted two public-relations executives-referred to as "Person D1" and "Person D2"-and asked them to pass a message to the members of the Hapsburg group which stated that they never did any lobbying in the United States. One text message, which Person A sent to Person D1, on February 28th, said, "Basically P wants to give him a quick summary that he says to everybody (which is true) that our friends never lobbied in the U.S., and the purpose of the program was E.U."

The court filing states that Manafort was trying to get the witness to lie on his behalf: "Person D1 has told the government that he understood Manafort's outreach to be an effort to 'suborn perjury,' because person D1 knew that the Hapsburg group worked in the United States-not just Europe." The filing also says, "persons D1 and D2 both preserved the messages they received from Manafort and Person A"-Manafort's longtime associate-"which were sent on encrypted applications, and have provided them to the government."

Assuming that the information in the new filing is accurate, Manafort's actions seem brazen or desperate, or perhaps both. On Monday night, reporters identified Person A as Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian with Russian citizenship, who once worked for Manafort's consulting firm. In a previous court filing, Mueller's team said that Kilimnik has been "assessed" to have ties to Russian intelligence, an allegation that Kilimnik has denied. His name came up last year, when Mueller's team claimed he helped edit an op-ed for a Kiev newspaper in cooperation with Manafort. The special counsel said that this op-ed violated a gag order that had been placed on Manafort.

Even before this latest charge, Manafort's predicament was a very serious one. If he is convicted on all of the charges brought against him, he could face many years in jail. Earlier this year, Manafort's lawyers challenged Mueller's legal authority to bring the charges, on the grounds that they were not directly related to the 2016 election. At the end of April, a federal judge tossed out this argument, leaving Manafort to face the prospect of a trial in Virginia next month, followed by another one, in Washington, D.C., in September.

Last December, a judge released Manafort from house arrest on bail of ten million dollars, allowing him to travel to and from Florida, where he has a home, and Washington, where his lawyers are located. Even if the circuit court in D.C. doesn't send Manafort to jail now for witness tampering, the prosecutors at his trial and possible sentencing will be able to bring up the contacts he had. On Monday night, Manafort's lawyer didn't make a comment about Mueller's new court filing. Neither did Trump-but he didn't need to. He had already tried to run as far as possible from his former campaign chairman. Now, like everyone else, he will watch what happens next in court, and see if Manafort becomes a cooperating witness.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-06-08 02:06pm

Paste Magazine
The EPA Will No Longer Evaluate the Health Risks of Asbestos Because Trump Believes it's 100-Percent Safe
By Allison Bolt | June 7, 2018 | 2:03pm
Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty
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The EPA Will No Longer Evaluate the Health Risks of Asbestos Because Trump Believes it's 100-Percent Safe
The Environmental Protection Agency will no longer evaluate asbestos in homes and businesses as a danger or health risk, as Newsweek reports. Scott Pruitt announced the decision last Friday under President Trump, who believes asbestos is “100 percent safe, once applied.”

According to the Abestos Nation Campaign, asbestos kills 12,000 to 15,000 Americans every year. Fifty-five countries have completely banned the use of asbestos in any case, including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Japan and so on, in spite of which the EPA decided it was no longer necessary to evaluate the health risks of this chemical. The EPA will continue to evaluate and require approval for any new introduction or use of asbestos in the environment, but let the already-present chemical remain in schools, houses and public buildings. This decision comes shortly after the 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act. These amendments made it mandatory for the EPA to do safety reviews of dangerous chemicals, such as asbestos, and create public notices of the safety information for those chemicals. The amendments also allowed the EPA to ban the use of asbestos in particular cases.


The EPA’s decision didn’t draw any backlash from the current administration because it aligns with Trump’s opinions on asbestos—Trump wrote about the chemical in his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback. He wrote, “I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented.”

However, the decision is facing extreme backlash from organizations such as the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. The President of the organization Linda Reinstein stated, “The end result will be a seriously inadequate risk evaluation that fails to address major contributors to the heavy and growing toll of asbestos mortality and disease in the United States.” Reinstein sat down with the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention’s deputy assistant administrator Nancy Beck to discuss the decision. Reinstein was joined by the International Association of Fire Fighters and AFL-CIO representatives. The group was armed with over 100 studies proving the hazards of asbestos, even in low doses, and documentation showing that any exposure could cause disease. Other organizations also reached out attempting to stop the decision, such as the American Chemistry Council, but Beck didn’t back down and the decision remained unchanged.

Reinstein said of the situation:

If you don’t evaluate the dangerous legacy of asbestos you don’t know how much contamination still exists in the United States. We know it’s in our homes, schools, workplace and environment but the average American can’t identify and evaluate the risk. We have taken risk evaluation off the table.

A recent report released by Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts revealed that the government doesn’t have a record of how many schools contain asbestos. Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., a ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, also spoke out against the decision, saying, “EPA’s refusal to address longstanding concerns around the use and disposal of asbestos is further proof that Administrator Pruitt will bend over backwards to help industry, but won’t lift a finger to protect public health.”
Trump, making Americans safer by slowly killing them.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-08 06:01pm

If Trump thinks asbestos is so safe, why doesn't he go eat some?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-06-08 06:58pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-06-05 08:12am
There is NO sign that the Founding Fathers EVER seriously considered that a president could use the pardon power to render himself effectively above the law. That is very obviously not what they meant; they took great pains to ensure that no part of the government they were designing would be above the law.
Yeah, but at the same time I think a few of them might have also had trouble with the ideas of emancipation, and extending voting to people who aren't just white guys.

Maybe appealing to the intent of eighteenth century people to run a country in the twenty-first century may not be a recipe for success. :P
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-08 07:24pm

True. Intent, the letter of the law, and legal precedent are all things to consider in a situation like this.

Ultimately, "Can the President pardon himself?" is in the same category as "Can the President be indicted?"- something which is of uncertain legality, and would ultimately have to be decided upon by the Supreme Court in the event that someone decided to put it to the test.

Update on Manafort and the Mueller investigation:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/08/politics ... index.html

Excerpt:
Robert Mueller's special counsel's office hit former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with two more criminal charges Friday and added his longtime business associate Konstantine Kilimnik as a second defendant in the case, after accusing them earlier in the week of attempting to convince witnesses to commit perjury.
According to the count on CNN this afternoon, that makes twenty people and three organizations indicted, one person sentenced, and five guilty pleas.

Yup, a whole lot of nothing there.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-06-08 09:13pm

Ok so going into far end of crazy...
What happens if Trump proactively says:
“Anyone convicted by Mullet will be automatically pardoned”
Just to dick with everyone?
Praying is another way of doing nothing helpful
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