I think you probably know which one. Surprisingly, Jimmy Carter was never indicted over those two drifters he killed.
In the article “Republican rivals, leaders rally around Donald Trump after indictment,” not one single Trump defender suggested he was innocent! All of the defenses are deflections, basically consisting of “Sure he’s a crook, but he’s OUR crook, and those mean old Democrats are just using his guilt as a political weapon.”
58 thoughts on “Former U.S. President indicted on criminal charges”
Neither here nor there, but after Nixon resigned in disgrace after being caught violating the U.S, Constitution every which way but loose still had @ 25% job approval! 😮 American politics, specifically the Republican party, in a nutshell.
Indeed, if a Dem politician has a sex scandal they resign almost instantly ~ Reps not so much. And then there was Clinton lol. In a lotta ways slick willy paved the way for Trump. Oh the irony!
I haven’t read all the comments here so I don’t know if this has been mentioned previously.
1.It sounds to me like this is more about tax evasion than breaking of campaign finance laws.
2.This isn’t unique to the United States, but it’s clearly an indictment of the U.S ‘Justice’ system that Donald Trump didn’t go to jail 40-50 years ago, and his equally evil father before that, and Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric as well.
Correct, Adam. Your point 1 was made & discussed. My only contribution was to the same effect (ie, none) as your point 2.
Re point #1: Maybe. Nobody knows the details of the indictments. There are several possibilities.
It appears that the distinction between Trump’s personal money, Trump Campaign funds and Trump Org money was not handled with the precision required by law.
It also appears that the payoff to Stormy Daniels was ultimately handled as if it had been a payment for legal fees, and those are in separate categories for tax purposes. (Only the latter is a legitimate business expense.)
It may or may not be that the payoff to Stormy Daniels should properly be reported as a campaign contribution. There is no limit to how much a candidate may contribute to his own campaign, so the only crime there would be the failure to report it as such IF Trump paid it out of his own pocketbook. If the money to repay Cohen came from a different entity (like Trump Org), and it is ruled a campaign contribution, then the campaign contribution itself (not just the failure to report it) may be illegal.
We really have to see the specifics of the indictments to see how Bragg presented the case.
If I understand the pertinent laws (and that may not be a good understanding), if Trump had handled the entire incident by paying Stormy Daniels directly out of his own pocket, and had reported it as a campaign expenditure, no crime would have been committed, which means the crime(s) all derive from improper paper-shuffling and reporting, also resulting in possible tax evasion. (There may be more to it than that, since Bragg seems to have 30+ counts to present.)
I’m guessing that it will not be an easy case to prove, since there are so many individual elements and connections that will have to be established “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and it will not be an easy one to explain to a jury.
The hard part will be finding a jury of his peers in Manhattan + who the hell would want want to be on this jury? Under the circumstances basically a mob trial. About 20 yrs a ago my sister, who lives wayyy out on L.I., got picked for a mob trial in Brooklyn ?!? and she had to drive to Brooklyn for about two wks. She was not happy. Digressing.
Asked her at the time ~ not enough people in Brooklyn? 😉
Get ready to start addressing him as President Trump again. Your boy Bragg just got him re-elected.
Your usual incoherent nonsense aside, a day is an eternity in presidential politics.
Yielding back the balance of my time.
April Fool’s joke? He’s ikely not evading the other investigations in Georgia and in regard to the WH documents. Some of the stuff they took from Trump’s castle was so highly classified that several of the examiners had to get higher clearances before they were allowed to go through them.
Although I don’t give the prediction itself any credence, & I don’t have a more credible prediction to make—in that sense, I agree with shiloh that time will tell & we cannot yet—I don’t agree with him that “Trump is fucked”, necessarily. Likewise, maybe the more “serious” investigations will impede Trump, as Bill DeeCee suggests, but my lean is that it’s quite unlikely.
Scoopy & some opinion writers choose a stance that the order of developments in the various cases could affect public sentiments… While no doubt true, we can’t subject that hypothesis to test. The future will unfold, & we’ll continue to have no data on the counterfactuals.
My belief in American “justice” will be restored when Trump dies in prison while serving a life sentence, & Lloyd Blankfein does, too… I mean, no sooner than that, but probably later.
Short of that, it’s a joke… & funny like Macbeth.
BTW, this was in reaction to all the kneejerk rhetorical bullshit that “no one is above the law”.
Jim Jordan’s total bias/incompetency aside, both he and his demi-god Trump are perfect examples of The Peter Principle. That is all.
btw, Trump’s political witch hunt defense should go over well in court.
If the facts are on your side pound the facts. If the law is on your side pound the law. If neither the facts or the law are on you side pound the table!
I liked on the news when they covered that Pecker guy from the Enquirer testifying. They said he could be a very damaging witness as far as laying out the whole “catch & kill” strategy. Then they said he might be the final witness “unless there’s another Pecker waiting in the wings”. Made me think of DeSantis, cos with the Rs there’s *always* another pecker waiting in the wings.
The only way Trump wins is if he takes the stand iow he’s totally fucked as someone who has lied 24/7 his entire life. 😮
Stay tuned … as the trial probably won’t start ’til a year from now, but the ‘bating before the final “climax” should be quite entertaining. 🙂
I really hate to agree with Jim Jordan about this, but Bragg’s prosecution of Trump really is outrageous. Let me say this first. I despise Trump. I’d love for Trump to actually go to prison, if for no other reason than to find out if Secret Service agents would follow him everywhere he goes in the prison. But I believe this prosecution actually makes it less likely he serves time.
I haven’t read the indictment, but based on media reports, Bragg is going to charge Trump with filing a false business record. Trump listed his reimbursement of the money Cohen paid Stormy as legal fees. But there are problems. First, these events happened in 2016. Filing a false business record is a misdemeanor with a 2 year statute of limitations that would have run out in 2018. But if the false business record was done to cover up another crime it can be charged as a felony with a 5 year statute of limitations. That may have also run out, but it’s possible the statute has been tolled since 2019 when Trump moved to Florida.
The crime Trump allegedly wanted to cover up is a campaign finance violation that Bragg has no jurisdiction over. The U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of NY declined to prosecute him. But even if Bragg could bootstrap his indictment on the federal law, he couldn’t prove the violation. The Justice Department prosecuted John Edwards on very similar facts but lost. Bragg would need to prove the hush payment was solely because of the election and not for another purpose such as keeping it from his wife.
No matter what Trump is charged with he will claim it is a political witch hunt. If the Atlanta DA or the Special Counsel bring there more serious and easier to prove charges against Trump, he will claim he is being persecuted because of politics. He has already been saying that. The problem is that with Bragg’s indictment it’s true. So when he makes the same claim about the other prosecutions, lots of people will believe him.
Trump is a very very bad man. But we should only charge him with crimes he actually committed and that can be proven. It’s very much like A Man For All Seasons, except Trump is arguably worse than the Devil.
“William Roper : So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More : Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper : Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More : Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”
I agree with Jordan that the charge seems contrived, and almost impossible to prove. (Said I, without knowing the details.) I don’t agree that Jordan has any basis to investigate it, based on that pesky 10th Amendment. I can’t imagine how Jordan thinks he has the justification specifically granted by the Constitution to interfere in a state’s criminal courts, and I can’t see how he can argue that such interference has a legitimate legislative purpose.
I agree that congressional Republicans shouldn’t be investigating Bragg. But the argument for why they have jurisdiction to investigate him is because Bragg’s office receives federal funding and investigating how those funds are spent is a legislative purpose.
I find that argument unpersuasive. That would give Congress some authority to investigate the proper application of the highly specific programs that are supported by federal grants, like funds earmarked for victim compensation. That would not give Congress the right to investigate whether local prosecutions were conducted fairly or prioritized correctly.
It seems to me that the 10th Amendment places those things on sacred ground. If not, how could any powerful congressman ever be prosecuted without interference? If Gym Jordan shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, he should not be able to protect himself by calling in the Nevada prosecutors for endless hearings, or requiring them to show every detail of the case against him, including secret grand jury proceedings.
Way less than 1% of the district attorney budget is derived from federal funding. They will never miss your federal funding Gymmy.
“Indeed, the Mahattan DA’s office has helped the Federal govt secure more than one billion dollars in asset forfeiture funds in the past (15) yrs”. 😮
The Manhattan prosecution rests its case re: federal funds …
Ironically, it’s usually Republicans that make federalism arguments. But the idea that certain functions and/or issues were for the states alone was fatally wounded by Wickard v. Filburn (1942) in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Interstate Commerce Clause allowed the Federal government to penalize a farmer that grew too much wheat even though he used all that wheat on his own farm to feed his animals. He argued that his wheat, since it wasn’t sold, was not involved in commerce, much less interstate commerce. But the Court reasoned that if he hadn’t grown wheat he would have had to buy it, therefore his actions affected interstate commerce. But the spending power has permitted almost as much federal involvement in state issues as the Interstate Commerce Clause. But I would be completely in favor of the federal government’s powers being limited to the powers enumerated in the Constitution without stretching those powers so far as to make them unrecognisable.
Michael, if I were to try & give one middle school talk on “democracy”, not that I’m qualified, I’d start with the question that’s often asked, “Is America a democracy, or a republic?”
By “democracy”, I mean “self-government”, roughly. That is, “a gov’t of, by & for the people”, whatever that means. The term “republic” means no more & no less than “nation-state”. In modern practice, all nations are constituted as democratic republics, pretty much. Both some concepts of self-government & some form of federalism are baked in, generally. Thus, the answer is certainly that America is simply, just like almost every country in the world, both.
In principle, anyway. But the concepts are broad—I mean vague. The details vary from place to place & over time. There are many ways to make things work right, & many ways they can go wrong. The federalism debate is sort of a red herring.
It’s one way of compartmentalizing power, but it’s more a tactic than a strategy. In practice, it has been used in sort of the same way as judge-shopping. Whenever we’re losing in a tug-of-war, we seek to shift the battleground. That’s why sometimes it’s conservatives who argue for it, & at times it’s liberals invoking it.
Central to all variations on self-government, though, is one core tenet: power corrupts. There is a concept called “republicanism”, not to be confused with “conservatism”, though they’re related, that tries to control powers thru limits & so-called checks-and-balances.
In working against the eternal problem of decay & corruption, there’s a tension between limits & exceptions—that is, how & how much we can stop corruption thru rights & powers, & by limiting them. Thus we come to the matter of constitutions, & the principle we call strict enumeration.
America was the modern world’s first try at self-government. After a couple of centuries, strict enumeration hasn’t been totally workable, in the long run. Neither of rights nor powers, & neither at the federal nor state gov’t levels. We continue to have abuses & debates over when & how we ought to evoke “eminent domain”, for example. Indeed, a frequent belief of the “haves” in a “republic” is that there’s no place among the core tenets of even a self-governing “democracy” for any consideration of any kind of any so-called “common weal”.
Because of this tug-of-war between the rights we feel we should be entitled to & the powers our gov’t & corporate giants exert over us, the enumerating of new rights has become a key tactic. Both “sides” engage in it. The federalism debate has been reduced to a side-show. As the past year’s battles in the abortion war show us, once the anti campaign succeeded in moving the fight back to the states, now they want to leverage their local gains to nationalize their victory. States-rights was only a gimmick.
An argument has come forth, lately, that maybe we need to focus more on limiting powerful entities, & less on rights. That sounds good to me. But it’s easy to propose such a broad notion, entirely another to put it into actual practice. I hesitate to credit the push for “small government” as having done as much as an ounce of better governance or remotely beneficial political outcomes. That persuasive slogan of “starve the beast” has been nothing but a gigantic head-fake.
All of our mechanisms of governing are broken or rusted shut. From national injunctions by local judges, to legislative deadlock, to captured regulators, to partisan state gov’ts, to lopsided citizen input hog-tying progress almost everywhere, we’re increasingly a has-been—of a once self-governing country.
I would hold my thoughts until you actually see what he is indicted with.
Nearly all the pundits have been incorrect about the details of this case…
Keep your powder dry and your wig on until all the facts are in.
That’s a good point. The specifics may cast the case in a completely different light.
“Trump is arguably worse than the Devil.”
You had a well thought out, intelligent comment up until this statement, then you lost me. Writing such a ridiculous thing just shows your biased hatred toward him for whatever your reasons are. Trump is a sleazeball liar that would do and say almost anything to achieve is goal. (You know who else is like that? EVERY SINGLE POLITICIAN IN THE COUNTRY!), but the Devil? The Devil??? Really? Wow.
I wish you well. Good luck!
It is not reasonable to compare Trump to other politicians. What makes him different is that if he had to make a choice between what was good for the country and what was good for Donald Trump he would choose the latter. There may be a few other outliers in that category, but for the most part, this is what makes Trump nearly unique.
Well now be fair, he did say “arguably”. That argument might go something like this: the devil is fictional, Trump is all too real. The devil’s fans are mostly Scandinavian black-metal rockers. Trump’s are ordinary-looking dimbulbs, possibly concealed-carrying, who feel justified – even smug about – throwing down on anyone they see as adversaries.
Apologies to Scandinavian black-metal rockers …
That is exactly what I was thinking when I wrote that Trump was arguably worse than the Devil. That statement also relates to something I’ve written about Rudy Giuliani on several occasions. He would have been much better off if only he had sold his soul to the Devil instead of Trump.
I am definitely biased against Trump. I thought that was kind of obvious since I wrote that I despise him. But that only goes to reinforce my main point, that someone that hates Trump as much as I do still believes this prosecution is wrong. I think it’s obvious Bragg only indicted Trump in order to reinforce his left wing support as Bragg is quite unpopular in Manhattan for his decision to not charge armed robbery as a felony and to not seek jail time for it unless someone was seriously hurt in that robbery. I actually think I am safer living in the Bronx than Manhattan these days.
Many are calling it “sad.” Yes it is sad, that a man who incited a deadly insurrection, sucked Putin’s cock for 4 years, heinously cheated on his taxes for decades, and told the public to drink disinfectant to cure covid, is being indicted for hush money to a hooker.
It’s almost worth it though, just to see him him scream and writhe like he is now. He only does that when he’s afraid. And right now he is REALLY afraid – like Michael Jackson was when he shelled out millions for a prime time hour after he was charged with pedophilia. What an acting job, “The police came in my house and took photos of my penis! I am innocent!” Or Paris Hilton in the back of that cop car when all she could do was yell, “MOM!!”
I wish this charge had come after the important ones. I can only speculate on the specifics of these charges, but as it now appears, a man who tried to overthrow the U.S. Government has only been charged with putting $130,000 on the wrong line of his tax return. Sure he’s probably guilty, but the charge seems like much ado over nothing, and it appears that it would only constitute a felony if it was done in to cover up or commit another crime, which Bragg will have a hard time proving.
(Did Trump pay Stormy Daniels to win the Presidency, or was it simply to hide this behavior from his wife? If the latter, there’s no campaign finance violation, and therefore no felony. Can Bragg convince a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was the former? That seems like something that a good defense attorney could rip to shreds – if Trump will allow that line of defense.)
(Also, there is no limit on how much a candidate may contribute to his own campaign, as long as he reports it, so even if Bragg can prove it was a campaign contribution, the only crime is in the failure to report it. That’s kind of a chickenshit crime, even if Bragg can prove every link in the chain.)
“I wish this charge had come after the important ones.”
This charge/action, Stormy Daniel hush $$$, helped, many would argue, clinched the donald winning the electoral college iow without this action Trump would have never been potus unable to commit his plethora of other crimes.
Sooo there is a certain symmetry to making fucking a porn star the 1st indictment, eh. A+B=C ~ simple math.
Plus it’s a state charge cumin’ from the folks who know him best, NYC, specifically Queens. Start spreading the news …
Yielding back the balance of my time.
The timing of the payment to Stormy Daniels contradicts your argument. Michael Cohen paid Stormy in October of 2016. If it had constituted a campaign expenditure that needed to be reported, it would not have needed to be reported until after the election meaning the “failure to report” it had no effect on his election.
Campaign expenditure court case aside, what I’m saying is keeping Stormy silent definitely helped his campaign regardless ie knowing he fucked a porn star probably wouldn’t have helped his election chances in specifically MI/PA/WI let alone swing voters in the rest of the country.
Stormy was gonna go public and Trump and his “handlers” squashed it as per usual. Whether he can squirm his way out of a conviction as per usual is another matter.
Again, stay tuned …
On December 12, 2018, Cohen was sentenced to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine after pleading guilty to tax evasion and campaign-finance violations.
Re: Trump ~ apples and oranges, eh.
Two things to consider… And I also do not know the details.
1. Did he, in fact, use his own money to pay of Daniels or did he redirect money from his campaign to pay her and is that illegal? Fact – we all know Trump doesn’t pay for anything out of his own pocket if he can avoid it.
2. Does this seemingly minor charge open the gates for deeper investigation into the real crimes. If I understand, and my experience with the judicial investigative process is based on extensive time on the couch watching TV and movies, now that they have an indictment it opens the floodgates to subpoena and warrant power.
Will the real lawyers stand up and correct me where I am wrong…
Michael Cohen made the payment to Stormy Daniels and was later reimbursed by Trump who labeled the reimbursements as legal fees. But Trump repaid Cohen with his own money not campaign funds. I think there is precedent for the proposition that it would have been illegal for Trump to pay off his former mistress with campaign funds, yet he has been charged with a felony for not reporting the payment as a campaign expense. So Bragg is apparently going to be arguing that an expense that cannot be paid for with campaign funds must still be disclosed as a campaign expense. This reminds me of the time a coworker was charged with verbal corporal punishment.
“there is no limit on how much a candidate may contribute to his own campaign” . .. effectively this is true, but not exactly. The limit on how much a candidate can contribute to his own campaign — $50,000 — is still on the books though it is largely unenforceable after Buckley v. Valeo in 1976. I wouldn’t bet on the Supreme Court reversing Buckley. But a year ago I wouldn’t have bet on them reversing Roe v. Wade either.
Everyone seems to have forgotten already: Cohen was convicted and served time for doing Trump’s bidding. It’s not like there’s no actual crime. Doesn’t mean some judge will have the balls to jam his ass in prison, though.
Agree that the real cases are trying to vote-rig Georgia, overthrow the government, and steal classified stuff. Astounding that they continue to dick around so long on those.
Cohen pled guilty to a campaign finance violations, but that is not the same thing as being able to prove he actually committed those violations. I am reminded of a meeting with an inmate at the Alderson Federal Prison that had pled guilty as part of a plea bargain but wanted to withdraw her guilty plea. “Didn’t the government have to prove X, Y, and Z?” she asked me. “I said No, because you had pled guilty.” The charge to which a defendant pleads guilty as part of a plea agreement is often based more on statutory minimum and maximum sentences than the conduct of the defendant. Just because Cohen pled guilty to a campaign finance violation doesn’t actually prove that a violation took place, much less that Trump was guilty of it. To be clear, I am not saying Trump didn’t violate campaign finance laws, just that Cohen’s plea isn’t actually evidence of Trump’s guilt.
Big mistake. Good luck.
Typical comment form the resident moron.
That’s not very nice 😢
The truth shall set you free!
I thought we were friends, even though you are an angry, ugly, hairy, gender fluid liberal. 😪
Juvenile ad hominems from a conservative. ✔ Again, all I ask for is consistency!
I’m sorry. Who personally attacked me first? It was Figaro, followed by Shiloh. I never addressed you or referenced you. Why do you feel the need to attack? You’re just an angry person who obviously hasn’t succeeded in America. You’re a dime a dozen. I pity you.
Successfully retired ~ so much so no need to collect SS ’til I’m 70. :o. Indeed, as you get older internet politics is more of a hobby than life or death, eh. No pun intended.
Always enjoyed being in the minority at a political blog and playin’ the devil’s advocate. Again, no pun intended. Although TBF was almost always in the minority regardless. It’s just more entertaining.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it’s time to pause and reflect ~ Mark Twain.
Have a lovely day …
CAIN”T WE AWL JUST GET ALONG? Though I an curious how Steverino knows who’s hairy.
Off for spring break, you guys play nice now.
Defending Trump is like trying to defend Cosby: “50 years of drugging & raping women is perfectly fine, because he’s a funny & beloved cultural icon who is now a blind old man. Just leave him alone.” Or Michael Jackson: “He raped many young boys, and paid at least one of them 20 million in hush money, but it’s forgivable since we love Thriller.” Or OJ: “He killed 2 people like cows in a slaughterhouse, but he is black & the LAPD is racist, so let’s give him a free murder pass.”
Trump doesn’t even have something good you can say about him to blow off all the crimes he commits. He’s just a random cockroach who made a deal with the devil to be human, but he can’t hide his cockroachian instincts.
Grifters gonna grift
Liars gonna lie
Criminals gonna crime
You roll the dice, takes your chances… mist of the time, the law will catch up to you, and about effing time people
Despite the constant negative press covfefe
On the upside most prisoners are allowed to watch tv which is the donalds one true passion …
Melania could not be reached for comment.
Not to worry ~ fox news will defend him.
Was it with the hammer in the semi-completed house?
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