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Legal Experts Respond to Report Trump Attorneys Now Preparing Criminal Defense: ‘Would Have Started 18 Months Ago’

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Legal experts are weighing in on news that attorneys for Donald Trump are “increasingly anxious” and starting to prepare for possible criminal charges against the former president.

“Members of the Trump legal team are quietly preparing, in the event charges are brought,” a person “familiar with the situation” told Rolling Stone in a report published Sunday night. “It would be career malpractice not to. Do the [former] president’s attorneys believe everything Cassidy [Hutchinson] said? No … Do they think the Department of Justice would be wise to charge him? No. But we’ve gotten to a point where if you don’t think criminal charges are at least somewhat likely, you are not serving the [former] president’s best interests.”

Rolling Stone adds that “Trump’s team has discussed strategies that involve shifting blame from Trump to his advisors for the efforts to overturn the election, per the three sources, reflecting a broader push to find a fall fall-guy — or fall-guys.”

READ MORE: George Conway: Donald Trump Engaged in a ‘Multi-Faceted Criminal Conspiracy’

One source said: “Trump got some terrible advice from attorneys who, some people would argue, should have or must have known better.”

“An ‘advice of counsel’ defense would be a big one,” they added.

The Rolling Stone report also suggests Trump has been aware of the possibility of charges for some time.

“Trump also seems keenly aware of the blowback that could result from a federal indictment — and is telling supporters it could be politically advantageous. Early this year, the former president told fans at a Texas rally that if prosecutors go after him, ‘we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had…in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere,'” the report states.

READ MORE: Georgia Election Investigation ‘Will Send Donald Trump to Jail’: Former Watergate Prosecutor

Top national security attorney Bradley Moss commented on Trump’s attorneys beginning to work on his criminal defense: “I would have started that work 18 months ago but that’s me.”

Attorney George Conway, spouse to former top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, appeared to weigh in hours after pointing to the Rolling Stone report.

“There is nothing in the statute books or in the DOJ prosecution manual or in criminal law generally that says incompetent and unsuccessful criminal conspiracies don’t get prosecuted. The nation’s prisons are filled with maladroit miscreants. Tfg would be perfectly at home.”

He also pointed to a June tweet from former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a law professor and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst.

READ MORE: ‘Clear and Present Danger’: Conservative Former Judge Testifies Donald Trump and Allies Are Threat to Democracy (Video)

“I’ve prosecuted many an incompetent conspiracy. You don’t get a pass for that,” she wrote.

And at one point Conway mocked, “I’ve always envisioned him making defective license plates.”

Retired and noted Harvard Law School law professor Laurence Tribe, who wrote a major book on the Constitution, focused on the portion of the report that mentions “a broader push to find a fall fall-guy — or fall-guys.”

He writes: “Who’d be surprised?”

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says, “Obviously, since Trump is the subject of a federal criminal investigation, his lawyers are beginning to consider what his defense would be. I don’t find this news surprising.”

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law law professor Orrin Kerr, also focusing on the “fall guy” portion of the report, appeared to mock the former president.

“After all the top lawyers and officials I had appointed told me this was illegal, I looked around and found *someone* with a bar membership willing to tell me what I was going to do was not obviously illegal, and I relied on them on the advice of counsel.”

Katie S. Phang, an anchor and Legal Contributor at NBC and MSNBC, offered a colorful response.

“Trump is going to allege a Covfefe Conspiracy between everyone else, but him. Hey Meadows, Giuliani, Eastman, Clark, et al.: buckle up because you’re about to go through some things.”

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

 

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‘Sociopath Party’: Morning Joe Panel Horrified by Chance of Trump-Greene ‘Crackpot’ Ticket

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is reportedly angling to become Donald Trump’s running mate — or possibly even president herself — and panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” are worried.

The second-term Georgia Republican has tried to rebrand herself as a liaison between the Republican Party’s establishment and its right-wing fringes, but the show’s co-host Mika Brzezinski said Greene couldn’t escape her controversial reputation so quickly.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene, I will just put my marker down right here and say this is a potential reality unless people get their heads on straight,” Brzezinski said.

Guest George Conway agreed the firebrand lawmaker would only make Trump worse as his running mate.

“I mean, in a way she’s perfect — Trump-Greene ’24, a crack in every pot,” Conway said. “This will be the sociopath party ticket. She absolutely would play to his worst instincts and play to the worst elements of the Republican base. I think it would turn off the center of the electorate, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s going to be serious that she would get this because Trump cannot take someone as a vice president who’s going to potentially upstage him. That’s why Mike Pence was so perfect for him.”

“Pence was, you know, so much of a cipher,” Conway added. “He drank water when President Trump drank water at a meeting. He would basically nod and agree with what Trump said up until that day on Jan. 6, which could have been prevented if we had a vice president with a spine who had conceded the election as it should have been conceded long before then. So I don’t think it’s a realistic possibility, but the fact that we’re even talking about it is horrific.”

 
Image: L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock

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Watch: Santos Shuts Door on Reporters, Says ‘No Comment’ on $500,000 ‘Personal’ Loan After Amending FEC Report

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U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is continuing his campaign of obfuscation, just one day after amending his campaign finance report telling the Federal Elections Commission on Tuesday the half-million dollars he claimed to have personally loaned his campaign was not actually from his personal funds.

Calling it a “tense exchange,” CNN’s Manu Raja reports Santos “would not explain to us why he amended his public filings to show that $500K from his contributions did not come from his personal funds.”

“Sir — let’s make it very clear: I don’t amend anything, I don’t touch any of my FEC stuff, right?” Santos said, berating the press.

Adding again that the embattled freshman New York Republican “refused to explain source of money,” Raju adds Santos told him, “don’t be disingenuous and report that I did because you know that every campaign hires fiduciaries.”

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘Whole Vision’ Is to Be Trump’s Vice President: Report

“’So, I’m not aware of that answer and we’ll have an answer for the press regarding the amendments in yesterday’s’ filing,” Santos said,

CBS News’ Cristina Corujo posted video of Congressman Santos telling reporters, “no comment,” and “I have no clue on what you are talking about ma’am,” when asked about the $500,000 loan and amended FEC report.

On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that “Santos’ political operation filed a flurry of amended campaign finance reports, telling the feds, among other things, that a $500,000 loan he gave to his campaign didn’t, in fact, come from his personal funds as he’d previously claimed.”

READ MORE: Watch: Pope Francis Says Homosexuality Is ‘A Sin’ But Not ‘A Crime’

Some say that might be a crime.

Pointing to a New York Post article on Santos’ $500,000 FEC correction, former CNBC and Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky says, “This is de facto admission by George Santos of a crime. Candidates for federal office may loan or gift campaigns unlimited personal money. Everything else is limited to a few thousand dollars per donor and all of it must be disclosed on FEC paperwork.”

Watch the video of Santos above or at this link.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘Whole Vision’ Is to Be Trump’s Vice President: Report

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has one singular goal: becoming Donald Trump’s vice president. The far-right Georgia Republican has gone from chasing a young mass shooting survivor and anti-gun violence activist around the streets of Washington, D.C., to a Congresswoman stripped of her committees after revelations she said the Democratic Speaker of the House was “guilty of treason,” which she noted is “a crime punishable by death,” to one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress.

NBC News reports Greene “is angling to be Donald Trump’s running mate in 2024,” citing two sources, including far right extremist and former top Trump advisor Steve Bannon.

“This is no shrinking violet, she’s ambitious — she’s not shy about that, nor should she be,” Bannon said of Greene. “She sees herself on the short list for Trump’s VP. Paraphrasing Cokie Roberts, when MTG looks in the mirror she sees a potential president smiling back.”

READ MORE: ‘I Can Speak From Personal Experience’: Just Two Weeks Ago Pence Called for Special Counsel for Biden Classified Docs

Another source “who has advised Greene said her ‘whole vision is to be vice president.’ The source, who has ties to Trump but spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said he also believes Greene would be on Trump’s short list.”

Bannon, who was convicted on two criminal contempt of Congress charges, which he is appealing, says Greene is “both strategic and disciplined — she made a power move, knowing it would run up hard against her most ardent crew,” referring to far right House Republicans.

“She was prepared to take the intense heat/hatred short-term for the long-term goal of being a player.”

READ MORE: Watch: Top Trump Ally Lindsey Graham Defends Biden In Classified Docs Probe

Earlier this month The Daily Beast reported, “Donald Trump’s campaign has pretty much been asleep since he announced. But that isn’t stopping him or his confidants from gaming out a vice-presidential pick,” noting all the names being floated are women.

Among them, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat turned independent, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“Greene’s positioning within Trump’s inner circle has only prospered in the former president’s post-presidential tenure bunkering down at Mar-a-Lago,” The Daily Beast observed. “She has become a fixture at his MAGA rallies, with the congresswoman often lingering in the press pen to give exclusive interviews to Right Side Broadcasting, a YouTube channel that streams the rallies in their entirety to an audience of 1.57 million subscribers.”

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