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Thread: Mueller Report

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Given the Attorney General and DoJ work for the President, who would have judicial standing to go against him in that case?
    You could use the same argument at the state level (for governors), and sitting governors have been charged with state-level crimes (including the governor of Missouri just last year). The concept of pardon was never intended to be used on the person issuing it. Precedent would certainly not be on the president's side.

    Wraith, the case of impeachment mentioned in that clause refers to impeachment of other officials.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  2. #62
    I accounted for both interpretations, and state != federal. States have their own rules and laws, and the powers they give to their governors have no bearing on the powers the President has.

    Come on, it's understandable for the non-Americans, but I thought it was common knowledge here that if you want to try a sitting President for a crime, you have to get Congress to do it. It was an explicit power given to them. Do you really want to defend an interpretation that allows any prosecuting attorney with a grudge, a law-enforcement buddy, and a messiah complex to go and arrest the President whenever he's in their jursidiction? Because there's some extra secret invisible words in the Constitution? That's silly.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    I accounted for both interpretations, and state != federal. States have their own rules and laws, and the powers they give to their governors have no bearing on the powers the President has.

    Come on, it's understandable for the non-Americans, but I thought it was common knowledge here that if you want to try a sitting President for a crime, you have to get Congress to do it. It was an explicit power given to them. Do you really want to defend an interpretation that allows any prosecuting attorney with a grudge, a law-enforcement buddy, and a messiah complex to go and arrest the President whenever he's in their jursidiction? Because there's some extra secret invisible words in the Constitution? That's silly.
    TDS in action. Some people will always believe the ends justifies the means.

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Still believing in the Russian collusion hoax?
    Still getting your news from Fox?

    The 2nd part of Muller's report was about Obstruction of Justice: attempts to create false evidence, limit the investigation, witness tampering and intimidation. "But for the OLC memo..." Trump would be charged, prosecuted, and likely convicted.

    I'm not sure if/how that memo applies to state prosecutions for crimes like bank fraud, insurance fraud, or money laundering. But if Trump puts his thumb on the scale and tries to use his position to make those investigations go away, that's not just Obstruction of Justice but Abuse of Power.

  5. #65
    Can pardons be granted before any (criminal) indictment is made?

    If POTUS can't be indicted while in office, the whole "self-pardoning" thing is moot. The more likely scenario is that a president could be charged for crimes after leaving office, but could be pardoned by their successor.

    I'm not clear about granting broad immunity from future charges, but isn't that what Ford did for Nixon?

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Can pardons be granted before any (criminal) indictment is made?
    The constitution implies that you don't need charges, but I don't think you can apply double jeopardy rules unless charges have been brought. Without charges brought the pardon is effectively pointless, or at least vulnerable to challenge.

    I don't know how well tested this one is in court. I don't think Nixon was charged before he was pardoned, but I don't think anybody ever challenged it either.
    If POTUS can't be indicted while in office, the whole "self-pardoning" thing is moot. The more likely scenario is that a president could be charged for crimes after leaving office, but could be pardoned by their successor.
    I don't think there's anything explicitly prohibiting indictment, it's just that indictments are toothless and counter-productive while he's President.

    I doubt Trump's successor is going to be keen on pardoning him. Though maybe they'll still be worried about what they'll be charged with when they leave office, and hope the other party reciprocates later.

    I'm not clear about granting broad immunity from future charges, but isn't that what Ford did for Nixon?
    I believe the Supreme Court ruled that Presidential pardons can't be applied to crimes that haven't happened yet. Keeps a President from saying "I pardon myself from everything in perpetuity" on his way out the door. Though it'd be fun to see Jimmy Carter with a license to kill.
    Last edited by Wraith; 05-31-2019 at 05:45 AM.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Still believing in the Russian collusion hoax?
    He's referring to obstruction of justice.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    He's referring to obstruction of justice.
    Ah yes the "obstruction" of covering up a crime that never happened. You need some ocean front property in Arizona?

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Ah yes the "obstruction" of covering up a crime that never happened. You need some ocean front property in Arizona?
    Are you an idiot or is there some other reason why you don't understand what obstruction of justice is?
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Ah yes the "obstruction" of covering up a crime that never happened. You need some ocean front property in Arizona?
    Obstruction is independent of the crime being investigated. Interfering with an investigation is a crime no matter what the investigation would have found otherwise.

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    The constitution implies that you don't need charges, but I don't think you can apply double jeopardy rules unless charges have been brought. Without charges brought the pardon is essentially pointless.
    And you can't invoke 5th Amendment Rights (against self-incrimination) unless charges are brought first. I think?

    I don't think there's anything explicitly prohibiting indictment, it's just that indictments are toothless and counter-productive while he's President.
    And in charge of the executive branch, which includes the DoJ. So that OLC 'memo' continues as internal policy and 'Rule of Law', until it's challenged. But 'policy' prohibits any challenge...do I have the clusterfuck right?



    I doubt Trump's successor is going to be keen on pardoning him. Though maybe they'll still be worried about what they'll be charged with when they leave office, and hope the other party reciprocates later.
    VP Pence would. Assuming he'd be Trump's successor when impeachment/removal from office or resignation would take effect, after a re-elected second term. Quite a stretch, but never say never.

  12. #72
    Just learned this, and it seemed relevant enough to share:

    After Ford left the White House in 1977, he privately justified his pardon of Nixon by carrying in his wallet a portion of the text of Burdick v. United States, a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court decision that suggests that a pardon carries an imputation of guilt and that acceptance carries a confession of guilt.

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    And you can't invoke 5th Amendment Rights (against self-incrimination) unless charges are brought first. I think?
    The double jeopardy clause says nobody can "be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb", so you need to be put in jeopardy once before it activates. I believe you can take the self-incrimination clause of the fifth any time you'd otherwise provide evidence that could be used against you.

    And in charge of the executive branch, which includes the DoJ. So that OLC 'memo' continues as internal policy and 'Rule of Law', until it's challenged. But 'policy' prohibits any challenge...do I have the clusterfuck right?
    Sounds about right to me.

    VP Pence would. Assuming he'd be Trump's successor when impeachment/removal from office or resignation would take effect, after a re-elected second term. Quite a stretch, but never say never.
    Yeah, you're right about Pence. I was only thinking about the cases where that doesn't happen. I think that's more likely - this congress doesn't seem likely to impeach & convict, and if Trump gets re-elected, I think I'll just be done with this country so it won't matter.
    Last edited by Wraith; 05-31-2019 at 06:29 AM.

  14. #74
    Interesting. But Nixon still has a presidential library, and guys like Roger Stone have 'memorialized' Nixon with tattoes on their back.

    Better yet is how Oliver North turned his crimes into pardons, got his own show on Fox, made movies and wrote books, then became president of the NRA.

    Yeah, we really do have two Americas, and certain people really ARE above the law. Imputation and acceptance of guilt? What a joke

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    .....and if Trump gets re-elected, I think I'll just be done with this country so it won't matter.
    We can't all move to Canada!

    If Trump can't be impeached it's because Senate Republicans have sold out to power and greed. And if Trump gets re-elected it's because we've sold our souls to the sell-outs. We get the government we deserve, so shame on us if we sign up for four more years of this crap.

  16. #76
    This might be the most I've ever agreed with you. I'll treasure this memory always.

  17. #77
    (Wraith, I meant that if someone gets a pardon, they lose the right to invoke the 5th Amendment because the double jeopardy rule no longer applies.)

    Hey, nothing beats a bunch of lay people bantering about legal stuff, right? On our worst days we still sound smarter than Trump and his sycophant psychos

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    I accounted for both interpretations, and state != federal. States have their own rules and laws, and the powers they give to their governors have no bearing on the powers the President has.

    Come on, it's understandable for the non-Americans, but I thought it was common knowledge here that if you want to try a sitting President for a crime, you have to get Congress to do it. It was an explicit power given to them. Do you really want to defend an interpretation that allows any prosecuting attorney with a grudge, a law-enforcement buddy, and a messiah complex to go and arrest the President whenever he's in their jursidiction? Because there's some extra secret invisible words in the Constitution? That's silly.
    The pardoning powers of most governors are based on that of the president. If state officials can charge a sitting governor despite technically working for them, I don't see why the same can't happen at the federal level.

    Your argument equally applies to governors. And yet we allow it and it's a power that hasn't been abused. We don't put someone above the law just because to do otherwise would inconvenience them.

    It certainly is not common knowledge (think about why Nixon didn't pardon himself after deciding he was going to resign). I've talked to people who teach constitutional law for a living and the consensus is that there's no consensus. It really can go either way depending on how you interpret the text as well as precedent.

    Incidentally, the reason we allow impeachment separate from criminal indictment is because impeachment does not require a crime to have been committed (e.g., it could be used for gross incompetence or unwillingness to obey the Constitution). It's a separate mechanism for a separate problem.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  19. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Still believing in the Russian collusion hoax?
    I suspect this will be a total waste of time but, let me ask you this: have you read what the Mueller report has to say about this yourself?
    Sing in grief, a requiem, the curse of our millennium, these souls keep whispering from the river beds
    An end to all these violent means, alive in these red water dreams, their haunted burdens stirring in my head on streets still running red
    Most went in the flood, a few were martyred by the flames, yet those who unleashed the waters are still guilty all the same
    When the ignorance of puppets serves the masters larger game, they let it rain, they let it rain
    When I get the chance to rise I'll find the light in their cold eyes or lose myself and carry out revenge
    The righteous hunt has just begun, the dimming of the bleeding sun will let these waters run clear once again



  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    I suspect this will be a total waste of time but, let me ask you this: have you read what the Mueller report has to say about this yourself?
    I've read the summary that was written by the top lawyer in the country.

  21. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    I've read the summary that was written by the top lawyer in the country.
    You have not. The "summary" is not that—it is deliberately misleading, and contains almost none of the information in the report apart from a few incomplete sentences. If you are interested in accuracy—let alone justice, and I realize both are big ifs—you can and should read analyses of the (redacted) report itself, eg. on Lawfare, JustSecurity etc, where they have gone through it in detail. Barr has repeatedly lied about the report and about Mueller's reasoning—that much is clear from what we know; to be satisfied with his inaccurate description of the investigation is just laughable.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  22. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    The pardoning powers of most governors are based on that of the president. If state officials can charge a sitting governor despite technically working for them, I don't see why the same can't happen at the federal level.
    Why stop there? Let's also say that the way a city council interprets their town charter is applicable to the President and the Constitution too. States are not the federal government, and there've been tons of cases where subtle changes in their wordings have resulted in vastly different powers available to state officials compared to their federal counterparts, both intentionally and unintentionally. State constitutions do not change the US Constitution.

    And we do have other protections to make sure the law can't be used as a political weapon. That was an often revisited topic. You also can't arrest congressmen to keep them out of a Congressional session, except in certain cases. Meanwhile, State legislators have been forced govern from jail cells before, which I guess from your earlier logic should override the Constitution. Don't tell Trump there was a secret invisible removal of that clause, he might get ideas.

    (think about why Nixon didn't pardon himself after deciding he was going to resign)
    Because it would have been easily worked around and just made him more determined enemies. Congress was set to impeach and convict, and resigning only protects him from impeachment if Congress lets it. Once impeached, his pardon would have been nullified. The Constitution explicitly allows all other legal penalties to come into play after impeachment & conviction. Pardoning himself when impeachment was already as certain as it was would have almost guaranteed he'd wind up in jail. Congress > pardon.

    Incidentally, the reason we allow impeachment separate from criminal indictment is because impeachment does not require a crime to have been committed (e.g., it could be used for gross incompetence or unwillingness to obey the Constitution). It's a separate mechanism for a separate problem.
    I know "high crimes and misdemeanors" leaves room for interpretation, but you're on pretty shaky grounds if it doesn't involve a crime.
    Last edited by Wraith; 05-31-2019 at 01:14 PM.

  23. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    You have not. The "summary" is not that—it is deliberately misleading, and contains almost none of the information in the report apart from a few incomplete sentences. If you are interested in accuracy—let alone justice, and I realize both are big ifs—you can and should read analyses of the (redacted) report itself, eg. on Lawfare, JustSecurity etc, where they have gone through it in detail. Barr has repeatedly lied about the report and about Mueller's reasoning—that much is clear from what we know; to be satisfied with his inaccurate description of the investigation is just laughable.
    Well surely Mueller would have been quick to directly condemn Barr for doing so. Can you show me a direct quote where he has?

  24. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Well surely Mueller would have been quick to directly condemn Barr for doing so. Can you show me a direct quote where he has?
    Mueller would not "surely" condemn Barr in public. He has nevertheless made several statements that directly contradict Barr's claims about the report and about the team's reasoning, in addition to the written objection he sent Barr. Surely you—an intelligent and literate man concerned with truth and criminal justice—are aware of the extensive reporting on these matters?
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  25. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    I know "high crimes and misdemeanors" leaves room for interpretation, but you're on pretty shaky grounds if it doesn't involve a crime.
    There are compelling arguments for why "misdemeanor" should be regarded as being construed more broadly in this context than it is in more familiar legal contexts. It doesn't appear to be a particularly radical view that a president can be impeached for conduct that doesn't rise to the level of a crime but that nevertheless shows him to be unfit for his high office, eg. failing to uphold the constitution, or subverting it outright:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...eached/548144/

    Of course, that is moot, given that Trump appears to have acted in ways that would have been construed as criminal obstruction of justice—were he not the president.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  26. #86
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    So much fun to go through a second iteration of Watergate. Like the first time didn't come with the destruction of reason in American politics.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  27. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    There are compelling arguments for why "misdemeanor" should be regarded as being construed more broadly in this context than it is in more familiar legal contexts. It doesn't appear to be a particularly radical view that a president can be impeached for conduct that doesn't rise to the level of a crime but that nevertheless shows him to be unfit for his high office, eg. failing to uphold the constitution, or subverting it outright:
    It's definitely open to argument, and it's not strictly defined. I remember the Democrats were arguing pretty hard back in the Clinton era that "misdemeanor" was relative to "high crimes", and that the "high" modifier applied to both, so impeachment could only happen for very serious offenses. At the same time, the Republicans were arguing just what you said - that "misdemeanor" just means any lesser offense. I can't imagine anyone seriously arguing that failing to uphold the Constitution isn't valid grounds for impeachment - it's the supreme law of the land, easily argued as treason (explicitly a reason for impeachment), breaking the Presidential oath, and most will agree that it counts as a high crime too.

    The Constitution provides another method to remove a president who is unfit and gives that to the Executive branch (specifically the Vice President), so that's a solid argument that merely being "unfit for office" isn't good enough for an impeachment. An argument, not a conclusion.

    When Congress is allowed to impeach is certainly not well defined, but there's a reason that all serious attempts at Presidential impeachment have involved actual crimes. Congress gets a lot of leverage from all the wriggle room in that phrase, but if they push it too far it'll give the Supreme Court the power to strictly define it, and that's very likely going to end with a loss of utility for Congress. I don't think we'll ever see a Presidential impeachment that doesn't involve a crime in spite of the legal possibility existing.

  28. #88
    Also agreed that the point is moot, because if Congress wanted to impeach Trump, they have the charge of obstruction. That's what Clinton was impeached for, so precedent is pretty firm.

    I think at this point though we need to just admit that impeachment isn't going to happen under this Congress. We need to just buckle up and try to make it through the next 18 months, and hope that the electorate's insanity in 2016 was only temporary and not chronic.

  29. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    I think at this point though we need to just admit that impeachment isn't going to happen under this Congress. We need to just buckle up and try to make it through the next 18 months, and hope that the electorate's insanity in 2016 was only temporary and not chronic.
    Given that we know that Russia tried to interfere in 2016, and have every reason to think they'll try and do so in 2020, that seems like a foolish optimistic strategy.
    Sing in grief, a requiem, the curse of our millennium, these souls keep whispering from the river beds
    An end to all these violent means, alive in these red water dreams, their haunted burdens stirring in my head on streets still running red
    Most went in the flood, a few were martyred by the flames, yet those who unleashed the waters are still guilty all the same
    When the ignorance of puppets serves the masters larger game, they let it rain, they let it rain
    When I get the chance to rise I'll find the light in their cold eyes or lose myself and carry out revenge
    The righteous hunt has just begun, the dimming of the bleeding sun will let these waters run clear once again



  30. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Well surely Mueller would have been quick to directly condemn Barr for doing so. Can you show me a direct quote where he has?
    Why would you use this extremely roundabout way to find out whether the Barr letter accurately represents the Mueller report, when both are available on the internet and you can just compare what they say?

    He's misleading about Russia and outright misrepresents about obstruction of justice.
    Sing in grief, a requiem, the curse of our millennium, these souls keep whispering from the river beds
    An end to all these violent means, alive in these red water dreams, their haunted burdens stirring in my head on streets still running red
    Most went in the flood, a few were martyred by the flames, yet those who unleashed the waters are still guilty all the same
    When the ignorance of puppets serves the masters larger game, they let it rain, they let it rain
    When I get the chance to rise I'll find the light in their cold eyes or lose myself and carry out revenge
    The righteous hunt has just begun, the dimming of the bleeding sun will let these waters run clear once again



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