BuzzFeed News report published late Thursday night found that President Donald Trump has been implicated in Michael Cohen’s criminal lies to Congress. According to the report, Trump directed Cohen to lie about the 2016 Trump Tower Moscow negotiations, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller has evidence to prove it.
Given that Cohen has already pleaded guilty to this crime, legal experts argued that, if the report is accurate, it is devastating for the president.
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) January 18, 2019
If there are text messages and other receipts, that’s the ballgame. That’s the smoking gun. https://t.co/4Jd1LLn8Id
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) January 18, 2019
If true, he’s done: President Trump Directed His Attorney To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project https://t.co/B7fbVMIONW via @jasonleopold @MSNBC @BWilliams @11thHour @NicolleDWallace @DeadlineWH @NBCInvestigates @NBCNews
— Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) January 18, 2019
There’s even footage of Lindsey Graham asking him this exact question. What a time to be alive. https://t.co/V93EWS6uYV
— Matt Ford (@fordm) January 18, 2019
This sounds like conspiracy to commit/suborning perjury. And of course, there are others in Trump’s orbit who testified as well. There could be a lot more shoes dropping here.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) January 18, 2019
We are entering territory in which a lack of response from Congress is starting to become frightening. If this isn’t enough, then what could be?
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) January 18, 2019
“There’s nothing wrong with telling Cohen to lie to Congress” is gonna be lit.
— NeverSaid”Hat” (@Popehat) January 18, 2019
This story is a very big deal. It’s a big enough deal that I’m going to refrain from commenting on it tonight. I and the team will put together our thoughts early in the morning over coffee on @lawfareblog. Good night. Yours til the ship sinks!
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) January 18, 2019
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The Only Way to ‘Heal’ America Is to Investigate and Prosecute Donald Trump: Columnist
In an extensive piece for the New York Times Magazine, author Jonathan Mahler makes a persuasive case that, not only should Donald Trump face criminal charges after he leaves office, but that it is necessary for the country to heal, knowing that future Trump’s will have been put on notice that they won’t be able to use the presidency as a shield against corruption charges.
Pointing out that incoming President Joe Biden declared it a “time to heal,” in his first address to the nation after the election was called in his favor, the author said that president elect’s words echoed those of former President Gerald Ford when he pardoned disgraced ex-President Richard Nixon.
However, he noted, Donald Trump is a whole different situation.
As the election approached and the polls pointed to a Trump defeat, there was a growing sense that his moment of reckoning was coming. He was, after all, already the subject of a criminal investigation by the district attorney of Manhattan as well as a civil investigation by the attorney general of New York State,” he wrote. “Both of those inquiries concern his conduct as a private businessman. The bigger and infinitely more fraught question is how to address Trump’s potentially criminal acts as a political candidate and president. Those would most likely be federal crimes that could only be prosecuted by the federal government.”
Noting that David Cole, the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that, should Trump lose re-election, “My gut is that you’re very unlikely to see a federal prosecution. For me, the real accountability will be on Nov. 3, if he is sent packing from the White House,” Mahler said federal criminal charges wouldn’t be easy — but that doesn’t mean the legal process shouldn’t run its course.
“The stakes of an indictment would be very high. The commander in chief’s broad powers under the Constitution could make it difficult to secure convictions. The damage to democracy that would be caused by a failed prosecution of a former president is hard to even fathom. An acquittal could also set back future efforts at accountability, and embolden aspiring abusers of authority,” he explained while admitting that the desire to “move on” is likely to grow after Trump is gone and Biden attempts to undo the damage of the last four years.
Adding that the impeachment of Trump was hindered by his own Justice Department — and stood no chance in a Republican-controlled Senate — the author said a full accounting of the Trump years is necessary.
“The stakes of prosecuting Donald Trump may be high; but so are the costs of not prosecuting him, which would send a dangerous message, one that transcends even the presidency, about the country’s commitment to the rule of law. Trump has presented Biden — and America, really — with a very difficult dilemma,” he wrote before adding that financial crimes not already being looked into by the state of New York would be fair game as well as election improprieties, public corruption and obstruction of justice.
“In the end, the dilemma over what to do about Donald Trump may be less about Trump than it is about the structural problems his presidency exposed. Trump may have turned the executive branch into an instrument for his personal gain and deliverance, but it was the country’s legal and political systems that enabled him to do it. And even out of office, he may still face no consequences,” he explained. “The nation may desire healing. But there is also the matter of justice, and there is no guarantee that what feels right now will look right through the longer lens of history.”
He then concluded, “It’s hard not to wonder if a Trump presidency would have been possible if Nixon had been criminally prosecuted rather than pardoned. In that sense, the problem that Trump poses for Biden may also present an opportunity, a chance to repair more than just the damage of the last four years. To begin with, this may require recognizing that when a president brazenly flouts the law, electoral defeat might not be enough of a punishment.”
You can read the whole piece here.
‘Furious’ Federal Judge Orders Postmaster General DeJoy to Be Deposed Over Missing 300,000 Ballots: Reports
A federal judge reportedly has ordered Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to be deposed, and ordered another USPS official to appear before him in court. DeJoy refused to comply with Judge Emmet Sullivan’s Wednesday order that all 300,000 missing ballots that had been scanned in to the postal system but were not recorded as delivered be found and delivered.
NBC 4 Investigative Reporter Scott MacFarland:
NEW: Federal judge says US Postmaster General will have to be deposed or appear in case in DC over USPS handling and search for unaccounted ballots
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) November 4, 2020
“I agree the postmaster is either going to have to be deposed or appear before me,” Judge Sullivan says, according to Spectrum News’s Austin Landis.
Today’s hearing was scheduled to start at 1:30 PM.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney notes Judge Sullivan is “furious.”
SULLIVAN is *furious.* He says “11th hour” decision not to comply is a problem.
“Someone may have to pay a price for that,” he says.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 4, 2020
🚨 SULLIVAN says he expects to ask DEJOY to be deposed or appear in court to answer for noncompliance with his orders. “I’m not going to forget it.”
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 4, 2020
On Tuesday DeJoy neglected to meet a 3:00 PM deadline to find and process all the missing ballots. In a court filing the USPS claimed shifting the duties of the postal inspectors to scour USPS facilities would have disrupted other work, so they chose to ignore the judge’s order, which could be illegal.
In that filing DeJoy also claimed that despite the judge’s clear deadline he was unaware of it.
Bolton: ‘Trump Will Not Leave Graciously if He Loses’
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he doesn’t anticipate President Donald Trump will go quietly if he loses in November.
Speaking to Tapper as part of a special on former Trump officials who have turned against him, Bolton confessed that he doesn’t have faith in the president’s maturity to move forward after a loss.
“I think the Defense Department is in good hands with [Mark] Esper and [Mark] Milley,” said Bolton. “I have no concerns as long as they’re still in office. Let’s be clear: Trump will not leave graciously if he loses. He will not leave graciously. Whether he carries it to the extreme, I don’t think we know. It is — it is very troubling that he has said, ‘I can’t lose unless there’s fraud.’ Of course, he can lose in an honest election. And I think this is really on the leadership of the party, elected officials, private citizens. If it is clear, what the outcome is, it is up to Republicans, not Democrats, to say, ‘This is on us. He has to go.’”
See Bolton’s comments in the video below:
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