The Appeals Court hands Trump his ass

It was a bad day for Trump. It was a far worse day for Judge Cannon in Florida. The appeals court ruled that every element of Judge Cannon’s ruling was incorrect, and totally agreed with the DoJ in every particular.

Trump’s declassification argument was ruled (1) unproved; and (2) even if it had been proved, irrelevant. It is irrelevant for two reasons: (1) declassification does not impact the content of the documents, and none of the cited criminal statutes are affected by whether any documents are classified; (2) even if everything was declassified, the documents would still belong to the United States, not to Trump, and the government agents therefore had the right, and obligation, to seize them.

The appeal was reviewed by a three-judge panel, two of whom were Trump appointees.

There is another issue with declassification that nobody has mentioned but (surprisingly) Bill Barr. If Trump did in fact declassify some documents that include material that needs to be secret for the security of the United States, thus making them accessible to anyone through the freedom of information act, that would be an act of recklessness more dangerous than anything else Trump has ever done.

To make an extreme example, suppose some documents showed that Al-Qaeda was developing a nuclear weapon, based on a tip by our spy within Al Qaeda. If declassification allowed Al-Qaeda to find out about the spy and to move their base of operations, and thus to continue the operation while eliminating our eyes on it, that would be providing aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States.

Declassifying that kind of information would meet the precise constitutional definition of treason. If I were in his shoes, I’d be less concerned with a charge of mishandling some papers than a charge of treason. I think it would be wise of him to drop that “I declassified everything” argument.

But then again, when has he ever been wise?

Note: The fact that somebody has the POWER to do something does not automatically make it legal. A President of the United States has pretty much unlimited power to grant federal pardons, but if he offered to grant pardons for ten million dollars each, it would still be corrupt and would be prosecuted (after the President left office) under the RICO and other statutes.

Similarly, the Vice-President has the POWER to break a tie in the Senate, but if she were to do so in return for a massive kickback from the Pharma companies, it would be criminal.

The same logic applies to declassification. If the Presidential declassification of a necessarily secret document provides aid and comfort to America’s enemies … well, he has the POWER to do that, but it could be an act of treason.

(Those are hypothetical arguments. I have no idea what is actually in the secret papers because … well, mainly because if a schmuck like me knew, they wouldn’t be very secret, would they?)

HUMOROUS SIDEBAR: I assume that back in his school days, Trump’s excuse for not having his homework was that he did it in his head. Today he said there is no documentation of declassification because he did it in his head!

“If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, ‘It’s declassified.’ Even by thinking about it.”

He also speculated that the FBI may have been looking in his desk for the missing Hilary Clinton e-mails, a speculation which is utterly demented even by his own lofty standards.

58 thoughts on “The Appeals Court hands Trump his ass

  1. So Trump is reportedly mad that DeInsane stole his original idea of shipping migrant ideas… What is his original idea?

    “Former official says Trump ordered staffers to find ‘murderers,’ ‘rapists,’ and ‘criminals’ at the border and ‘dump them into Democratic cities'”

    This is simply despicable on any level. There needs to be a criminal investigation big time into Trump.

    This is nothing less than Trump terrorizing his own citizens indiscriminately acting as a terrorist mastermind.

    I mean these potential murderers, rapists, criminals unleashing hell on innocent citizens, whether conservatives, progressive, black or white has nothing to do with politics.

    This is setting off real crimes, green lighted by none other than POTUS Trump at the time.

      1. Probably keeping a few trump keyboard commando lemmings off the streets so serving a somewhat useful purpose. 😉

        Apologies to actual lemmings …

      2. Wretched are the Pharisees. They are like the dog lying in the cow’s manger. He cannot eat, and will not let the cows eat.

        1. And there shall in that time be rumours of things going astray, and there will be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia work base, that has an attachment…at this time, a friend shall lose his friend’s hammer and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before around eight o’clock…

  2. I only hope I live to see Trump in jail permanently. He’s been astoundingly privileged his entire life, conning & swindling people, faking his wealth to a large extent, lying about anything & everything that might get him in trouble. Getting elected POTUS sent him over the edge of sanity; he discovered over 70 million Americans actually bought into his lies and would even fight for him. He could guide them to do his evil bidding like a mindless, toothless, meth addicted army of trailer trash zombies. They’d even drink Lysol to combat a pandemic, and attack the Capitol based on his election lies. In prison, none of that matters. Stupid as they are, they’re not breaking into prison to get him out. He can be the Dictator of his crackhead cellmate, that’s about it.

  3. Say it with me now for judge’s proper name, so that we all remember…

    Judge iLean “Favors Toward Criminal Trump” Cannon

  4. Re: Cannon et al ~ but, but, but the trumpster only hires and nominates the best people ~ seriously! 😉

    Indeed, if Trump and all the little trumps can finagle their way outta this dumpster fire they truly are Houdini’s, eh.

    Only in America!

    Yielding back the balance of my time …

  5. In my opinion, Democrats are, at least to an extent, responsible for the success of Trump in a “boy who cried wolf” kind of way. No matter how mainstream a Republican president or presidential nominee is there will be a segment of Democrats referring to them as fascists. Remember, in 2012 Joe Biden said Mitt Romney would put an African-American audience “back in chains.” I believe, as a result, many GOP voters just learned to tune out such attacks. But then comes along a candidate that is worthy of all those attacks and more but the words have lost their bite. Trump has proven to be a master of Stalin’s “big lie.” Now, to be clear, I am not saying Trump is all the Democrats fault. GOP voters deserve the vast majority of the blame for Trump and only they can (figuratively) slay the monster. But it’s worth remembering that exaggerating the negatives of (or just making stuff up about) political opponents can have a serious downside.

    My mind went to Trump as a fascist because his declassification argument reminded me of Orwell’s 1984 and how “Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia” even though just 4 years before they had been allied with Eurasia and at war with East Asia Bill Barr wasn’t the only one to raise that issue. Jonah Goldberg of the Dispatch brought it up in several places. In a sane world, Trump’s story about declassifying anything that entered Mar-a-lago should be disqualifying for all the reasons raised here. Unfortunately, too many of Trump’s supporters don’t care that he is obviously lying. Even more unfortunately, Trump’s lawyers have thus far been able to convince him not to make such claims to a Court, in a deposition, or to a federal agent and have thus made sure his lies about declassification are completely legal.

    1. Oh, yes, God forbid those poor innocent Republicans should be responsible for what happened to the Republican Party. The big bad Democrats made them sell out to billionaires and do whatever those guys wanted done, and appeal to the worst, most racist and delusional people in the the USA.

      I thought people like you believed in personal responsiblity? Now here you are playing the vicitim card for the whole GOP. Poor babies, the Dems talked mean about them!

      Oh, no, it couldn’t be that Republican Party went farther and farther right, peddling rascism, nationalism, nativism, and homophobia because that was the only way they could both serve the billionaires and get enough votes to matter? Votes from the people who believed every word Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson ever said. (Heck, some of them even believe Alex Jones. Do you know how crazy a person has to be to do that?)

      BTW, the fascist talk did not go mainstream until the GOP actually started doing blatantly fascist stuff, like the election results denials, the nutso conspiracy theories at the highest levels, the voter suppression in red states, and, oh yeah, the attempted coup. (Boy, do you guys want to sweep THAT under the rug!)

      If the shoe fits, wear it. If you don’t like it, for gods sake stop trying to polish the GOP turd and start a DECENT conservative party. The GOP is not, and has no desire at all to be one.

      1. Roger, did you happen to see the part where I wrote ” I am not saying Trump is all the Democrats fault. GOP voters deserve the vast majority of the blame for Trump and only they can (figuratively) slay the monster.” Here’s the thing. My entire adult life, I have heard Democrats compare Republicans to fascists. Not all Democrats do that, but enough have over the years that GOP voters just tune those attacks out. But in Trump, there is a Republican where such comparisons are fair and deserved. But those criticisms are just less effective because of how they were used in the past. The Democrats were the party that cried wolf.

        I do believe in personal responsibility. That’s why I have voted AGAINST Trump in both the GOP primary and in both general elections. If/when Trump runs again, I intend to vote against him again. One pf my sisters was a Republican, but she became an independent because of Trump. I am clearly out of step with most Republicans and have considered following in my sister’s footsteps. But our political system pretty much locks in 2 major parties. Creating a new conservative party to replace the GOP sounds awesome but it would never work. That’s why I haven’t changed my registration. I want to be able to vote against Trump and other Trumpy candidates in GOP primaries. Robert Heinlein, in the novel Time Enough for Love gave this advice: “Always vote. There may not be a candidate you want to vote for, but there will always be a candidate you want to vote against.” Trump is the candidate I will always want to vote against.

        1. First, no, I did not see that. because when a post starts out that bad, I don’t bother to read it real closely, because what’s the point? It’s still mostly bad.

          Second, the poison pill in the sentence you quote is the word “all”. Saying the Democrats deserve ANY of the blame for Trump is outrageous. See my earlier post for why. Jeebus, the GOP went bad because IT WANTED TO, VERY VERY MUCH.

          The only blame I can assign to the Democrats is not appealing to the voters who were deeply unhappy with the status quo in politics. The Democrats needed to move left, in Bernie Sander’s direction, to give those voters a real choice that would be of advantage to them.

          But of course, their minds were already poisoned by decades of right wing/Republican propaganda about how “socialism = communism = the boogieman is gonna getcha, make you marry a gay person, force women to have abortions, and confiscate all the guns on Day 1.”

          And yes, I am glad that you are a decent person and voted against Trump. I had hoped that would be a pretty low bar for a decent person, but 74 million people could not clear it, so you actually are a class act.

          But stop pretending the GOP did not make its own bed, VERY willingly, and has no desire to ever get out of it. Like I said, you want a decent conservative party, you and people like you need to make one. The Republicans DON’T WANT THAT.

          You are trying to revive a cremated corpse. We may be locked into a two party system, but parties have died and been replaced before, like the Federalists and the Whigs. The GOP stands for nothing good now, and who will believe them if they claim to have changed?

          1. “I did not see that. because when a post starts out that bad, I don’t bother to read it real closely, because what’s the point?” The point is that if you are going to criticize someone for what they write, it is a generally a good idea to read what you are criticizing.

            The Republican electorate deserves the blame for nominating Trump and for continuing to support him and the candidates he endorses. But like the Democratic Party, the GOP is a coalition party and it’s members are not monolithic. I could say that the current dysfunction of our political system is the fault of both parties. But I could also say that is the parties lack of real power that leads to that dysfunction. There was a time that the parties had a gatekeeping function that prevented unfit candidates from getting their nominations. When the first campaign finance laws went into effect they were supposed to prevent the rich from donating large amounts of money to buy politicians. But there was a loophole that allowed unlimited donations to political parties and the parties were allowed to use that money to support their candidates. Except that loophole was closed and all the money moved to outside groups that can spend the money for or against candidates. Today, small dollar donations are king. While that might seem like a good thing, the big money donors also served to weed out unacceptable candidates.

            Our political and social institutions are being undermined. It used to be that there was a certain amount of good character expected in a president. I don’t mean to say all past presidents were ethical men of good character. But obvious bad character was seen as disqualifying. But in order to defend Clinton during his impeachment it was argued that a president’s private moral failings weren’t important. All that really mattered was how good a job he did as president. If not for Clinton, the well deserved attacks on Trump’s character might have been enough to keep him from being president.

            But again, I am not trying to say it’s all the Democrats fault. Both parties are responsible. Leave aside for a moment everything that Trump did after his election loss. Which of Trump’s “accomplishments” have upset Democrats the most? Trump’s 3 Supreme Court nominees are probably near if not at the top of any list. If not for those 3, Roe v. Wade would almost certainly not been overturned. But ask yourself this: Would Trump have been able to get 3 nominees confirmed if Harry Reid hadn’t eliminated the filibuster for judicial nominees? Reid decided to eliminate the filibuster for lower court nominees because he felt Republicans were being too obstructive of Obama’s nominees. But would the GOP have been obstructing those nominees if the Democrats hadn’t obstructed Bush’s nominees?

            Each side reacts to whatever new “outrage” is perpetrated by the other side and the country is all the worse for it. I’d say a pox on both their houses, but we need some way to elect a government.

  6. In his rambling Hannity interview he also opined that the Clinton emails might have been in those boxes….really? He unknowingly had the evidence against her all this time? So tragic.

    1. Splain how The Fuckstick can just wave his dick to de-classify, like he’s the Pope or something

      1. You see the sliver in your brother’s eye, but you do not see the log in your own eye. When you remove the log from your eye, then you will see clearly enough to remove the sliver from your brother’s eye.

          1. Recognize what is in front of you, and what is hidden from you will be revealed. There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.

          2. Excepting, apparently, any line of reasoning from you. You’re accepting Trump’s word on faith alone: he’s your god now, shitheel. Wake up and smell the brimstone.

          3. If those who guide you say: Look, the Kingdom is in the sky! Then the birds are closer than you. If they say: Look, it is in the sea! Then the fish already know it. The Kingdom is inside you, and it is outside you. When you know yourself, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the child of the Living Father; but if you do not know yourself, you will live in vain and you will be vanity.

          4. Hey I’m not the one who came swanning in here saying I was right and everyone else (who were mainly just pointing out the obvious) was wrong, then by way of clarification, offering a bunch of vague gnomic twaddle. Sounds like pure, refined vanity to me.

            It’s people like you who have made this country what it is today.

          5. If you fast, you will be at fault. If you pray, you will be wrong. If you give to charity, you will corrupt your mind. When you go into any land and walk through the countryside, if they welcome you, eat whatever they offer you. You can heal their sick. It is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you, it is what comes out of your mouth that defiles you.

          6. And as we wind on down the road,
            Our shadows taller than our souls
            There walks a lady we all know
            Who shines white light and wants to show
            How everything still turns to gold
            And if you listen very hard
            The tune will come to you at last
            When all are one and one is all
            To be a rock and not to roll

          7. This sky will pass away, and the one above it will also pass away. The dead have no life, and the living have no death. On days when you ate what was dead, you made it alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? When you were One, you created two. But now that you are two, what will you do?

          8. Uh, DJ? There’s a Mr. Trismegistus on the phone, something about a lawsuit for copyright infringement?

          9. You search the face of heaven and earth but you do not recognize the one who is in your presence and you do not know how to experience the present moment.

    2. Hey, how come when DJT said “You poor dumb things” nobody assumed he was talking about Republicans, like I did?

      Of course, he proved me wrong minutes later, but I still like his post. It shows that all the Trumpers have left is an appeal to their twisted version of the Christian God. All factual or rational arguments have failed them.

      It’s like the way patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. They can’t play that card any more, because January 6th kind of ruined it, so they’re trying to trump it (heh) with God. Lotsa luck.

        1. Tired of Pigeon Chess. Piss off back under the rock you crawled out from. Be sure to tell everyone there how you won. They’ll buy it if you just say stuff, so that oughta fly.

          (And let me guess: your mysteries explain why the infield fly rule is a plot to sap our precious bodily fluids.)

          1. The Pharisees and the scribes have received the keys of knowledge and hidden them. They did not go within, and those who wanted to go there were prevented by them. As for you, be alert as the serpent and as simple as the dove.

          2. So I was taught that I should come to New York, become an independent woman. And my prince would come, and he would be an agent, and he would get me a role, and I would make my living waiting on tables. I would wait – till thirty, till forty, till fifty. And I was taught that to be an actress, one should be fashionable, and to be fashionable is to be androgynous. And I am androgynous not less than David Bowie himself. And they call me beautiful, and I kill with my cunt. Isn’t it fashionable? Come on, who’s next? I’ll take lessons. How to get into show business: be nice to your professor. Be nice to your agent. Be nice to your audience, be nice. How to be a woman: want them when I want you. How to be free and equal: fuck women instead of men, and you’ll discover a whole kingdom of freedom. Men won’t step on you anymore, women will. So come on, who’s next? Who wants to teach me? Come on, teach me. Are you afraid? You’re right, because they’re all dead. All my teachers.

          3. As for you, DJT, go forth and play in traffic.

            Hey, anybody notice Steverino seems to have stopped coming around? I like this new guy better, he is easier to ignore.

          4. Yeah say what you will about Steverino, at least he makes an effort. This guy just tosses word salad. Hmmm, are we sure he *isn’t* Trump?

        2. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer er …

          “Know the enemy and know yourself in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.”

  7. I strongly believe that this was the closest we’ve ever come to losing our democracy. I’m not talking about Jan 6th, I’m talking about what if Trump had gotten reelected? He would have had four more years to consolidate power, meaning putting even more of his own people in positions of power and eliminating those that opposed him. He also would have had more time to adjust the voting booth situation to something more to his liking. It was a very close thing and we got very lucky that he lost, because it would have been even harder to get rid of him with four more years under his belt.

    1. You wouldn’t have been able to get rid of him…and we may still get him back in 2024 or DeSantis…the “better” fascist.

    2. I agree, Dudeman. The Confederacy tried to end national democracy, but only for their part of the country – they did not want to turn the whole USA into an authoritarian oligarchy. They wanted all black people to be slaves, but the modern GOP is probably good with that, if they can figure out a prettier name. (McChesney here thinks different, but he is dreaming of the GOP of the past. That’s gone with the snows of yesteryear.)

      At least the Rebels were for freedom for white people. The GOP only wants rights for those who have a sufficiently massive amount of money.

  8. The scary part is that under the Dock Cheney et. al. theory of the “Unitary Executive” Trump releasing — even selling! — documents, declassified files or not, would be legal. The 35,000 foot nutshell of the insane Unitary Executive school of thought is that, in the words of Richard Nixon, “it isn’t illegal when the president does it.” In short, the Unitary Executive crowd wants a king, not a president.

    Unfortunately, and terrifyingly, who knows how our ultra-right SCOTUS would rule on that? You’d like to think that any judge in the nation would reject it for the preposterous, anti-democratic claptrap that it is, but…

  9. Allow me to present the MonicaHunterObamaBengaziemailsbothsidesTansuit rejoinder before somebody else does.

    Best line: an NBC reporter said Cannon got “bench slapped”.

    1. “Carter, Carter, Carter ~ Clinton, Clinton, Clinton ~ Obama, Obama, Obama ~ Hillary, Hillary, Hillary ~ Biden, Biden, Biden !!!”

      “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts; if you have the law on your side, pound the law; if you have neither the facts nor the law, pound the table.” or change the subject.

      or plead the fifth 😉

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