Author Topic: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice  (Read 21753 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #120 on: August 20, 2020, 07:16:00 am »
Thursday, 20th August 2o2o
steve bannon Arrested!
by The Associated Press

(Manhattan, NEW YORK) — Former White House adviser Steve Bannon was arrested Thursday on charges that he and three others ripped off donors to an online fundraising scheme “We Build The Wall.”

The charges were contained in an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Bannon and three others “orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors” in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.

A phone at the office of Bannon’s lawyer went unanswered Thursday morning.

A spokeswoman for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 04:02:39 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #121 on: November 16, 2020, 07:18:08 pm »
Monday, 16th November 2o2o
Straight Outta USSR
by Tom Davies

(INDIANAPOLIS) — republican Victoria Spartz has won a hotly contested congressional district in central Indiana, extending the gop’s decades-long hold on a seat that was a top target of Democrats.

Spartz, 42, a state senator from Noblesville who immigrated from Ukraine, won the Republican primary after flooding TV screens and mailboxes with ads fueled largely by some $1.2 million she loaned to her campaign.

That enabled her to build name identification after three years in the state Senate.

Spartz won a crowded Republican primary race that largely turned into a contest of loyalty to individual-1.

But she afterward shifted away from talking about individual-1 during the general election campaign.

The congressional race became a partisan battleground as cracks in the republican dominance have appeared in the past couple years in the 5th District, which stretches from the north side of Indianapolis north into rural areas and the smaller cities of Anderson and Marion.

A Democrat last represented the Hamilton County area in Congress more than five decades ago and it has long been one of the state’s strongest sources of Republican votes.

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Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #122 on: January 30, 2021, 06:30:15 am »
Saturday, 30th January Two Thousand and Twenty One
There Is Precedent For Trying A Former Government Official, Established 145 Years Ago
by Domenico Montanaro

The forming narrative among those who don't want a Senate impeachment trial for former Individual-1 is along the lines of, "He's out of office. What's the point?"

Others are going so far as to claim that conducting an impeachment trial for Individual-1 now that he's out of office is unconstitutional.

"I think the ex-president's rhetoric on the day was inflammatory," said Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who was criticized for his role in the January 6th violence as well.

Hawley was one of the instigators of objecting to Congress' traditionally ceremonial electoral vote counting.

"I think it was irresponsible. I think it was wrong. But I think that this impeachment effort is, I mean, I think it's blatantly unconstitutional. It's a really, really, really dangerous precedent."

It's not blatantly unconstitutional.

And there is already precedent for the Senate trying an official after he has left office.

It happened 145 years ago, and the impeachment managers in that 19th-century case believed that by holding that trial no one would again question whether it was allowed.

Still, even a more moderate senator, like retiring Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, sided with 44 other Republicans on Tuesday in a failed attempt to dismiss the trial based on Individual-1 being a private citizen.

"I've been very clear that former Individual-1 bears some responsibility for what happened on January 6th through his words and actions," Portman said in a statement after the vote.

"I will listen as a juror, but as I have said, I do have questions about the constitutionality of holding a Senate trial and removing from office someone who is now a private citizen."

Republicans are relying, at least in part, on a professor who appears to be at odds with himself — arguing now that it's unconstitutional, but writing the opposite 22 years ago, after a Democrat had been impeached.

So let's dive into the constitutionality question, as well as that 1876 case that Democrats have begun citing as evidence that trying a president after he leaves office is well within the bounds of what the Senate can do.

Individual-1 made practical what were previously esoteric constitutional questions, the stuff of hypothetical "what if?" scholarly journal articles.

These events are rare.

Only 20 people in U.S. history have ever been impeached — 15 judges, a U.S. senator, a Cabinet member and three presidents.

The Senate has convicted only eight, all federal judges.

Only two presidents had ever been impeached before Individual-1; a president had never been impeached twice before Individual-1; and no president has ever been tried by the Senate after leaving office.

President Richard Nixon resigned before the House voted on articles of impeachment filed against him.

The House then dropped the case.

But is the Senate allowed to take up an impeachment trial after someone leaves office?

What does the Constitution say about it, and what did the Framers think?

There is certainly some debate about it, as NPR's Nina Totenberg explored this month.

But the prevailing consensus is that it is within the scope of the Senate, especially considering it voted on the very subject in 1876 and said, yes, it did have jurisdiction.

That vote wasn't without controversy, though.

Let's start with what the Constitution says:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment ... and Conviction."

Some conservatives point to that language and say it means impeachment applies to only current officeholders — and that the principal goal of impeachment and conviction is to remove someone from office.

But that's not the view of the preponderance of scholars.

This is from a Congressional Research Service legal briefing on January 15th, two days after Individual-1's impeachment and in anticipation of the likelihood that the Senate would take up an impeachment trial after Individual-1's term was up:

"Though the text [of the Constitution] is open to debate, it appears that most scholars who have closely examined the question have concluded that Congress has authority to extend the impeachment process to officials who are no longer in office."

There are two penalties for impeachment:

[1] Removal from office is one, but

[2] barring someone from holding public office again is another option.

Here's Article 1, Section 3, Clause 7 (emphasis ours):

"Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law."

Given that, there's good reason to believe impeachment applies to former officeholders.

"If impeachment does not apply to former officials," the CRS report notes, "then Congress could never bar an official from holding office in the future as long as that individual resigns first."

There is also evidence that the delegates at the Constitutional Convention accepted that officials could be impeached after stepping down, according to the CRS report.

And it notes, "This understanding also tracks with certain state constitutions predating the Constitution, which allowed for impeachments of officials after they left office."

There is actually an example of a former British governor, Warren Hastings, who was impeached by the British government two years after he left office.

He was tried for corruption and was eventually acquitted, but all of it happened at the time of the Constitutional Convention.

His impeachment "was noted expressly by the delegates without expressing disapproval of the timing," according to the CRS report.

"While the Framers were aware of the British and state practices of impeaching former officials, scholars have noted that they chose not to explicitly rule out impeachment after an official leaves office."

Former President John Quincy Adams, who wasn't a Founding Father, but was the son of one, also subscribed to this view.

"I hold myself, so long as I have the breath of life in my body, amenable to impeachment by this House for everything I did during the time I held any public office," he said in 1846, after he left office.

The CRS report also makes another important point — that impeachable offenses are not necessarily ones a politician can or will be tried for in the court system:

"Alexander Hamilton noted that impeachable offenses were 'political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.'

For example, Congress has impeached federal judges for misconduct and corruption that was not necessarily criminal.

One scholar notes that impeachment after an official leaves office is important because it 'reaches offenses and provides punishment that the criminal process' does not."

Even the professor whom Republicans lunched with Tuesday, Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, who now claims "removal of a president is the primary purpose of such a trial," was saying something very different 22 years ago, as pointed out by University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck.

Drawing on the 1876 Senate impeachment trial of William Belknap — who was war secretary under President Ulysses S. Grant and who was tried after he resigned — Turley argued that the Senate "was correct in its view that impeachments historically had extended to former officials, such as Warren Hastings."

He wrote in the Duke Law Journal that a trial of a former officeholder would serve as a "deterrent to the executive branch" and stand up for "core values in a society," even if the person wasn't convicted and "even if the only penalty is disqualification from future office."

That was in 1999, the year after Democratic President Bill Clinton was impeached.

Belknap was a former Iowa state legislator who went on to be a Civil War hero and general for the Union Army.

Grant made him his secretary of war, a post he held for eight years.

But Belknap became known in Washington instead for his high-society living and lavish parties and spending, according to the Senate Historical Office.

No one knew where the money was coming from — until they did.

Belknap made a salary of $8,000 a year, about $200,000 in today's money.

That's a very good salary, but not enough to prop up the kind of lifestyle Belknap was leading.

It turned out Belknap was on the take. Someone he installed to run a military trading post in Indian territory promised kickbacks for the appointment.

And he delivered.

Belknap was pulling in some $20,000 a quarter from the scheme, 10 times his salary, for an equivalent today of about $2 million a year.

When Congress found out about it, articles of impeachment were filed that included "basely prostituting his high office to his lust for private gain."

In an effort to stave off the impeachment, "Belknap raced to the Executive Mansion, handed Grant his resignation, and burst into tears," the Senate Historian's office notes.

It didn't work.

The House impeached him later that day.

When the case moved to the Senate, Belknap's lawyer argued that he couldn't be tried because he was now a private citizen.

The House impeachment managers countered that all the charges stemmed from things Belknap did when he was war secretary.

After three days of hearing arguments about it and two weeks of secret deliberations, the Senate voted 37-29 that Belknap was "amenable to trial by impeachment for acts done as Secretary of War, notwithstanding his resignation of said office before he was impeached."

In the end, a majority of senators voted to convict Belknap, but that was short of the two-thirds necessary.

Nearly two dozen senators who voted to acquit cited their belief that the Senate lacked jurisdiction.

Just three said their vote was because of the evidence.

In a report after the case, the House impeachment managers said those who voted to acquit because they didn't think the Senate had the right to try the case showed they "refused to be governed by the deliberate judgment of the majority."

In the end, though, they thought going through with the case was important because it would set the precedent that just because someone had left office didn't mean the person was immune from consequences of Congress.

"It has been settled thereby that persons who have held civil office in the United States are impeachable, and that the Senate has jurisdiction to try them," they wrote.

They said the effort was "worth infinitely more than all the time, labor, and expense of the protracted trial closed by the verdict of yesterday."

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Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #123 on: January 30, 2021, 12:08:24 pm »
Saturday, 30th January Two Thousand and Twenty One
South Carolina GOP censures Representative Tom Rice after his vote to impeach individual-1
by Caroline Kenny

The South Carolina Republican Party voted Saturday to formally censure Representative Tom Rice, who represents the state's 7th Congressional District, for his vote to impeach individual-1 in the House of Representatives.

"We made our disappointment clear the night of the impeachment vote. Trying to impeach a president, with a week left in his term, is never legitimate and is nothing more than a political kick on the way out the door," said SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick in a statement Saturday afternoon.

"Congressman Rice's vote unfortunately played right into the Democrats' game, and the people in his district, and ultimately our State Executive Committee, wanted him to know they wholeheartedly disagree with his decision."

Forty-three members of the state party's executive committee voted in favor of the resolution, with no members against and two abstaining, according to South Carolina Republican Party spokeswoman Claire Robinson.

Rice's office did not immediately return a request for comment.

The congressman's district covers the eastern part of the state including Myrtle Beach and bordering North Carolina. He won reelection in November with more than 61% of the vote.

McKissick, immediately after the impeachment vote on January 13th, put out a statement saying,

"We completely disagree with this sham and to say I'm severely disappointed in Congressman Tom Rice would be an understatement."

Last week, the Arizona Republican Party voted to censure Governor Doug Ducey, former Senator Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, all of whom opposed individual-1's efforts to overturn President Joe Biden's victory, or in the case of Flake and McCain, endorsed the Democrat before the election.

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Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #124 on: February 06, 2021, 06:42:10 pm »

Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #125 on: February 16, 2021, 12:52:47 pm »
Tuesday, 16th February Two Thousand and Twenty One

Leading House Democrat sues individual-1 under a post-Civil War law for conspiracy to incite US Capitol riot
by Jessica Schneider

Individual-1 and attorney rudy giuliani are being accused of conspiring with the domestic terrorist group known as proud boys and oath keepers to incite the January 6th insurrection in a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court by the Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

The suit cites a post-Civil War law designed to combat violence and intimidation by the notorious domestic terrorist group known as the ku klux klan.

The lawsuit, filed by Mississippi Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson in his personal capacity, is the first civil action filed against individual-1 related to the attack at the US Capitol and comes days after the Senate acquitted individual-1 in his impeachment trial.

If it proceeds, it would mean individual-1 and others would be subject to discovery and depositions, potentially exposing details and evidence that weren't released during the Senate impeachment trial.

Thompson points to individual-1's words and tweets in the months leading up to the insurrection to accuse individual-1 and giuliani of mobilizing and preparing their supporters for an attack to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 election results on January 6th.

The lawsuit cites a scarcely used federal statute passed after the Civil War that was intended to combat violence from the notorious domestic terrorist group known as the ku klux klan; it allows civil actions to be brought against people who use "force, intimidation, or threat" to prevent anyone from upholding the duties of their office.

The NAACP is backing the lawsuit and helping to represent Thompson in court.

"As part of this unified plan to prevent the counting of Electoral College votes," the lawsuit states,

"The domestic terrorist group known as proud boys and oath keepers, through their leadership, acted in concert to spearhead the assault on the Capitol while the angry mob that Defendants individual-1 and giuliani incited descended on the Capitol.

The carefully orchestrated series of events that unfolded at the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol was no accident or coincidence.

It was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully coordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College."

Individual-1 and many republicans argued the impeachment trial was unconstitutional because he is no longer in office.

As such, Thompson notes Senate Minority Leader's speech Saturday where the Kentucky republican seemed to encourage litigation against individual-1.

"We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation," the minority leader said after voting to acquit individual-1.

"And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one."

Jason Miller, a spokesman for individual-1, said individual-1 did not incite or work to incite riots at the Capitol.

"Individual-1 has been acquitted in the Democrats' latest Impeachment Witch Hunt, and the facts are irrefutable," Miller said in a statement.

"Individual-1 did not plan, produce or organize the January 6th rally on the Ellipse. Individual-1 did not incite or conspire to incite any violence at the Capitol on January 6th."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been briefed on the lawsuit, a source tells CNN.

Thompson's lawsuit ties individual-1's repeated refusal to accept the election results in the weeks after November 3rd to the threats of violence against elected officials like Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, accusing individual-1 of endorsing the threats rather than denouncing them.

The lawsuit also alleges that individual-1's refusal to directly condemn the the domestic terrorist group known as proud boys during the first Presidential debate in September encouraged their violent plans leading up to January 6th.

The lawsuit links the hours-long standoff at the Capitol directly to individual-1's rally earlier in the day where individual-1 told his supporters,

"...if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."

Individual-1 also said, "You have to show strength, and you have to be strong."

Giuliani, the lawsuit alleges, also riled up the crowd by continuing to talk about unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud and telling supporters on January 6th:

"Let's have trial by combat."

The lawsuit accuses individual-1 of delaying the delivery of his speech to the crowd at the Ellipse on January 6th as a way to give the domestic terrorist group known as proud boys time to get to the Capitol and overcome the police presence there, though there is no evidence provided that individual-1's speech was delayed or that any delay was intentional.

In addition to individual-1 and giuliani, the lawsuit names the domestic terrorist group known as proud boys and oath keepers as defendants.

Several members of these domestic terrorist groups have been charged for their involvement in the riot.

The Justice Department has charged more than a dozen the domestic terrorist group known as proud boys so far for storming the Capitol, and recently brought conspiracy charges against a group of five people associated with the group.

DOJ also indicted three members of the domestic terrorist groups in late January, including one member, Jessica Watkins, whose attorney told the judge last week that she believed she was following directions from individual-1.

The lawsuit has been randomly assigned to Judge Amit Mehta, an appointee of former President Barack Obama. 

Mehta has handled various lawsuits related to individual-1's financial records.

In 2019, he ruled that individual-1 financial firm Mazars USA had to turn over records to Congress.

He also earlier denied a request from House Democrats, in the minority at the time, attempting to get individual-1 hotel records from the General Services Administration.

The legal underpinnings of the lawsuit could face an uphill battle in court, since the notorious domestic terrorist group known as the ku klux klan statute has not been widely used.

"It was specifically meant to provide federal civil remedies for federal officers who were prevented from performing their duties by two or more individuals, whether federal marshals in the post-Civil War South, federal judges in un-reconstructed lower courts; or federal legislators," University of Texas Law professor and Supreme Court analyst Stephen Vladeck explained.

"It's not at all hard to see how that provision maps onto what happened on January 6th -- where, quite obviously, two or more people conspired to prevent the Joint Session of Congress from performing its constitutional function of certifying President Biden's Electoral College victory.

The harder question is whether individual-1 himself can be connected to that conspiracy," Vladeck said.

Attorney Joseph Sellers, who is representing Thompson, said that the specific purpose of the statute was to provide a remedy against efforts to interfere with Congress' duties.

"The fact that there's very little precedent [involving this section of the statute] is a reflection of how extraordinary the events were that give rise to this lawsuit," Sellers said.

Other members of Congress, including Democratic Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey intend to join the lawsuit as plaintiffs, according to a statement that accompanied the lawsuit.

"While the majority of republicans in the Senate abdicated their responsibility to hold individual-1 accountable, we must hold him accountable for the insurrection that he so blatantly planned," Thompson said in the statement.

"Failure to do so will only invite this type of authoritarianism for the anti-democratic forces on the far right that are so intent on destroying our country."

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« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 01:01:47 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #126 on: February 18, 2021, 02:37:28 am »
Thursday, 18th February Two Thousand and Twenty One

Do you believe the backlash bill o'reilly received for questioning President Biden's warnings about white supremacists was or was not warranted?