Page 1 of 5 [ 71 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

17 Mar 2023, 2:50 pm

Trump’s Prosecution Primary Has Already Begun. It’s Going to Be Wild

Quote:
A strange and volatile early stage of the 2024 presidential race has already begun, where investigations in Atlanta and Washington D.C. into former President Donald Trump are set to upstage his campaign rallies in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Welcome to the prosecution primary, where Trump’s legal threats are moving faster than the political calendar.

The biggest action of the next few months won’t take place on the campaign trail, but in the hushed conference rooms of District Attorneys and the Department of Justice, where prosecutors will decide whether to indict the former president. Three separate groups of prosecutors are preparing to make charging determinations within the next few months, ahead of next year’s GOP primaries.

That means law enforcement officials in Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Manhattan are primed to have an outsized, early influence in the race.

If Trump is indicted in the first half of 2023, a criminal trial could start before the end of this year, or in the first half of 2024. The resulting possible scenarios seem outlandish to even consider: Will we see a Trump mug shot this summer? If Trump is released on bond, will he do presidential debates wearing an ankle monitor? If he is charged, and refuses to abandon his campaign, will he finally succeed in splitting the GOP?

And, perhaps most importantly: Would criminal charges actually hurt Trump’s chances at winning the GOP nomination, or will his ride-or-die supporters stick with him?

In the prosecution primary, it’s Trump vs the law, with no historical precedent for what follows.

Prosecutors eyeing Trump show every sign of making decisions soon, legal experts say.

But any of these probes could soon erupt into the first prosecution of a former president in U.S. history. Or, in a bizarre, legal cataclysm, he could become ensnared in all three, at the same time—in the middle of running for president.

There was a time when being charged with a felony would have blocked any candidate’s path to the White House, but Trump’s proven ability to survive endless scandals debunked the idea that a criminal indictment would derail his campaign.

There’s no legal reason why Trump would have to step aside after receiving an indictment, or even if he’s later convicted at trial and sentenced to prison. The Constitution gives only three criteria for winning the presidency—you must be at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and a resident in the U.S. for 14 years. Technically, Trump could even win the presidency from inside prison.

In 2016, Trump proclaimed during the 2016 GOP primaries that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters.” Though he didn’t go that far, Republican primary voters shrugged off his litany of lies and legal liabilities during the 2016 primaries, from a lengthy list of sexual assault allegations to the $25 million settlement of a fraud lawsuit over Trump University. Every time he got in trouble during the general election, the response was a collective “but her emails” about Hillary Clinton’s own scandal. Republican voters—and enough independents—simply didn’t care about Trump’s immense legal baggage.

That only got more true during his presidency.

“When he’s held accountable, it can be a motivator for his base,” Norm Eisen, who served as co-counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during the first impeachment and trial of President Donald Trump in 2020, told VICE News.

Only about 10% of Republicans supported Trump’s first impeachment, for threatening to withhold defensive weapons from Ukraine unless its leaders dug up dirt on President Joe Biden. After the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, there was a brief dip in GOP support for Trump—but they rallied against his second impeachment in early 2021 and bear-hugged his claims the election had been stolen from him afterwards.

“We actually saw his popularity rise with his core supporters at certain points during the impeachment,” Eisen told VICE News.

During the midterms in 2022, Republican voters overwhelmingly backed Trump’s election-denying nominees for office—while booting out almost every GOP member of Congress who backed Trump’s second impeachment.

And the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid last summer actually boosted Trump’s support among Republican voters, according to polls.

He’s shown that he can effectively rally his base against law enforcement officials by casting their probes as pure politics.

The former president has already spent months painting the prosecutors who are now poised to indict him as bogeymen to his rightwing base. Willis—a Black woman, Democrat, and daughter of a Black Panther—hails from liberal Atlanta, a city Trump and Republicans love to hate.

And Republicans’ contempt for Atlanta is nothing like their loathing for New York City, where Bragg, who is also Black, already secured a conviction for criminal tax fraud against Trump’s company last year.

Trump spent his entire presidency convincing his supporters that the FBI is part of the “deep state” that’s out to get him, priming them to see any prosecution as a politically motivated witch hunt. And he’s started to do the same with his current foes.

His base is conditioned to believe that any legal action against him is from the nefarious ‘Deep State,’” said Rick Wilson, an anti-Trump Republican strategist who cofounded the Lincoln Project.

“They’re going to say ‘they’re just doing this to get Trump,’” Wilson told VICE News. “The base will look at it as a badge of honor. They will not respond the way ordinary voters would have responded at any point in our prior history.”

But while a large number of Republicans seem fine with Trump breaking rules, they don’t like to lose—which could point to Trump’s actual weakness if he gets charged. The biggest polling dip in Trump’s support in years came right after his slate of candidates got walloped in the 2022 midterms.

And that points to a different kind of vulnerability: Trump’s legal troubles can and have actually hurt him and his party with swing voters, costing them general elections. And Republican primary voters do care about electability.

Past events prove that criminal behavior isn’t a dealbreaker for Republican voters. But if Trump’s legal troubles get bad enough in 2024, his primary opponents may have an opening to argue he’s a loser who blew it in 2020, hurt them in 2018 and 2022, and whose baggage could sink them in 2024, too.

That might be an actual drag on his chances at the GOP nomination—and his chances of returning to the White House.

Anybody who thinks they know how this will all shake out in the end both legally and politically are thinking with their emotions or basing their conclusions on the bubble they are in.
Emotions can run two ways
1. Wishcasting - Basing your conclusions on what you desperately want to happen.
2. Doomcasting - This is less obvious at first but it is concluding what you desperately want to happen won’t. I am looking at me. A lifetime of him finding a way of escaping the seemingly impossible time and time again makes this appear to be the logical conclusion to make. But he has never faced a combination of four concurrent criminal investigations and a series of election defeats. That has to be too much for even him to escape or is it?


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


The_Walrus
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,775
Location: London

17 Mar 2023, 2:57 pm

I'm not especially fussed what happens to Trump, as long as he doesn't get back in the White House.

I'll believe he's going to be indicted when he is actually indicted. I'll believe he's being convicted when he is convicted. I'll believe he's going to prison when he's sentenced. No predictions from me.



Honey69
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Jan 2023
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,970
Location: Llareggub

17 Mar 2023, 3:17 pm

Should be entertaining. Probably his followers will be assassinating people.


_________________
May you be blessed by YHWH and his Asherah


Honey69
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Jan 2023
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,970
Location: Llareggub

22 Mar 2023, 11:44 am

It doesn't look like New York has an especially strong case.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/legal-intric ... 40928.html

Seems ironic, given that Stormy Daniels sent Michael Cohen to prison. Prosecutors don't typically like to lose cases. Particularly high profile cases. My guess is that New York will drop the case, and not bring charges.


_________________
May you be blessed by YHWH and his Asherah


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

22 Mar 2023, 7:28 pm

What a Donald Trump 2024 Campaign From Prison Could Look Like

Quote:
The ongoing probes raise the question about whether Trump could be end up behind bars as the 2024 campaign begins in earnest. In the New York case, he could be facing up to four years in prison if he is convicted of a felony.

Trump, who has repeatedly denied the accusations, has not been charged with any crime and a potential prison sentence remains hypothetical. Political scientists who spoke to Newsweek said that an indictment would change Trump's political strategy but a prison term may not prevent him from running in 2024.

Handcuffing Trump
It's not possible to say that Trump will even be indicted, despite the former president's own prediction. And even if he is, that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be convicted.

"I expect that Trump will not be campaigning from prison," David A. Bateman, an associate professor of government at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, told Newsweek.

"Unless he is convicted before or during the primaries or before November 2024, which is not guaranteed given the length of time to trial and the trial itself, the most likely effect of an indictment will not be to disrupt his campaigning but to shift strategies and focus," he said.

There has been speculation about whether Trump could be placed in handcuffs and possibly photographed wearing them, but Bateman suggested that was unlikely.

"If he is indicted, he will probably negotiate his turning himself in—he might even be able to avoid appearing in person in New York if his lawyers can negotiate for an online appearance," Bateman said.

The alternative "would be to hole up at Mar-a-Lago" and try to pressure Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis not to extradite him to New York, Bateman said, but this would also limit Trump's ability to campaign.

"He will probably be able to negotiate not being in handcuffs, and the privileged can often get away without doing the inhumane 'perp walk,'" Bateman said.

"He'll probably be released on his own recognizance, since he's not really a flight risk and since New York State bail reform limits its use for non-violent offenders. So he can probably keep campaigning without any real disruption up until the days where he needs to be in court for the trial," he said.

A Long Process
If Trump is indicted and has to stand trial, the process is likely to take time and may not result in any conviction. Even if the former president is convicted, there's no way to know if he'll serve prison time.

"Preparation for U.S. criminal trials can take a long time, and I wouldn't be surprised if Trump's lawyers are pros at dragging this out," Bateman said.

Bateman noted that once the trial starts defendants are generally required to be present at each distinct stage, which could disrupt his ability to campaign across the country in-person—but not affect his access to social media.

"But there are exceptions and waivers—it is the defendant's right to be present, at least as much as their obligation—and I expect Trump's lawyers would try to make sure that he was present insofar as it helped him amplify his already considerable ability to focus attention on himself, but absent when he wanted to be," he said.

Virtual Rallies from Prison
In a worst-case scenario for Trump, he could be serving time as he campaigns for the 2024 Republican nomination, but he would still be able to continue in the race for the White House.

Paul Quirk, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia, in Canada, told Newsweek Trump could be "speaking to television audiences from a platform in a prison yard."

"Prison authorities have a great deal of discretion about the conditions of incarceration," Quirk said. "Many prisoners spend much of their day outside their cells—working in the laundry, taking part in rehabilitation programs, or studying law in the prison library."

Quirk said that if Trump were in prison during the 2024 presidential campaign "prison management would face heavy political pressure to accommodate his campaign activities."

"There would be no legal barrier to their doing so. Trump would likely be able to hold virtual rallies regularly, wearing a blue suit and red tie, with a row of American flags behind him," he said.

"From a constitutional standpoint, there would be strong grounds for permitting him to campaign and letting the people decide what to make of his criminal record," Quirk added.

Quirk said many Trump supporters "would see his incarceration as just more proof of his deep state and Soros-themed conspiracy theories."

Formidable Impediments to a Campaign
As Eugene V. Debs showed, it is possible to run from prison and win a considerable number of votes, but the prospect poses considerable difficulties, according to Robert Singh, a professor of politics at Birkbeck, University of London, U.K.

"There is nothing to stop him 'running' from chokey, and it is not unprecedented," Singh told Newsweek, pointing to Debs.

"Practically, the impediments would be formidable," Singh said. "Most obviously, he would be unable to 'appear' at campaign rallies, events, or give speeches in person.

"Whether he could do this online would presumably depend on the prison authorities, but even if they allowed that, it would be a pale imitation of an in-person event."

Retail Politics
The 2024 primary season is less than a year way and Republican hopefuls are likely to make many visits to early voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire—which may not be possible if Trump is in prison.

Singh said that much campaigning in the Republican primaries and caucuses "relies heavily on retail politics—meeting voters in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada—that would afford Trump's rivals a major boost."

Social media could not fully mitigate Trump's absence from the campaign, Singh said.

"Moreover, would the RNC really allow him to appear in Republican Party presidential debates virtually?" he asked. "Even if that occurred, his put-downs and zingers would hardly resonate in the same way as sharing an actual stage with his competitors."

"Beyond this, it is far from clear how he could run a campaign in terms of a campaign team and organization," Singh added.

Singh said that Trump could "devolve its management, finance raising operations, advertising and so on—not much different from a 'proper' campaign."

"But whether he could speak to his team, and how often, would again rely on the generosity of the prison authorities," he said. "Cynics might suggest this could actually prove more stable than his 2016 campaign, with its staff turnover and incoherence, but that may be a stretch."

'Devastating Ridicule'
One problem with a presidential campaign run from prison would be public perception. While at the moment the prospect is only theoretical, the practicalities could make Trump's campaign look absurd.

"The prospect of a former American president running a national campaign from behind bars is like something out of a bad Hollywood script—a film that would never get made because the storyline is too outlandish," Thomas Gift, founding director of University College London's Centre on U.S. Politics, told Newsweek.

"And yet, here we are talking about it in an only mildly hypothetical way," he added. "The prospect remains fanciful, but raises interesting questions about how the logistics could work."

"Ultra-MAGA rallies would be out, and it would certainly cramp Trump's style," Gift said. "At the same time, I suppose that Trump could take reassurance in the fact that, if Biden was able to win in 2020 by voluntarily locking himself into his Delaware basement, there's no reason why Trump couldn't win in 2024 by being forcibly locked up in a New York jail cell."

Quirk told Newsweek that "the absurdity of such a campaign would not be lost" on most Americans.

"Trump making campaign appearances from prison would constantly remind the public of his crimes. Such a campaign would be subject to devastating ridicule. The cartoons would draw themselves," he said.

However, Quirk said that with "Trump's ownership of the Republican base, neither the likely disastrous results of such a campaign, nor the long-term harm it would do to the party, can prevent it from happening."

"The slow movement of the wheels of justice almost certainly will," he said. "As a best guess at this stage, Trump at the height of the 2024 campaign season will be fighting multiple criminal charges. Even if already convicted, he will probably be free pending appeal. So he will be able to conduct campaign rallies, between court dates, in person."

Running as a Felon
A Trump campaign from prison would pose logistical as well as political problems but such an unprecedented move would also raise serious issues for Trump personally and, in the long term, for governing the country.

"There is the simple but serious problem that running as a felon would pose," said Singh. "Even for some of his more ardent supporters in the GOP base, seeing an aspirant president speaking from prison would be, to understate matters, jarring."

"It would surely compound the sense among many that the time is ripe for Trumpism without Trump," he added. "There is also the consideration of what mental state confinement for weeks or months—after so many decades of the high-life—would have on someone who is, after all, in his 70s."

"All told, while imprisonment might not preclude a campaign, it probably would suffice to keep him from securing either the nomination or winning a general election," Singh added.

A Constitutional Crisis?
Bateman told Newsweek that the timing and how the GOP responds to a potential Trump indictment will matter.

"If a conviction happens before or during the primaries, party elites have to decide whether to coordinate against him," Bateman said. "If Trump has already lost a few primaries, or is clearly behind in the polls, that will be easier.

"But if Trump were nominated by the GOP or elected president in 2024 and was convicted by the time of the inauguration, we'd be in a clear constitutional crisis."

If Trump is already elected "there is simply no guidance for resolving such a dispute between state and federal authority."

"If he's the nominee, then the GOP will have to decide to stick with him or somehow throw him out," Bateman said. "If he were still on trial and inaugurated, there would still be a constitutional crisis. It'll be dangerous territory no matter the case, though not as dangerous as establishing a principle of legal impunity for the political class of this country."


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

01 Apr 2023, 5:53 pm

The Republican Bind
Abe Greenwald is executive editor of Commentary

Quote:
Donald Trump got millions of Republicans on board his crusade against America’s supposedly crooked system. He molded the GOP, after his own image, into an anti-establishment party. And now, with his indictment by the Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, he’s the establishment’s prime victim, a populist hero on the verge of becoming a political prisoner. There is no way for a Republican with “new-right” credibility to run against Donald Trump without defending Donald Trump. And there’s no way for a Republican without new-right credibility to become the nominee.

Under normal circumstances, an indicted presidential candidate is a non-starter. We’re nowhere near normal circumstances. If you need more proof, this is from a statement on the indictment released by the New York Young Republicans Club: “President Trump embodies the American people—our psyche from id to super-ego—as does no other figure; his soul is totally bonded with our core values and emotions, and he is our total and indisputable champion. This tremendous connection threatens the established order.” The statement ends with the bolded claim, “This is total war.”

Trump took a political party and fashioned it into a fantasy role-playing club. There are evil sorcerers, brave knights, monster hordes, liberating armies, and only one man—invested with superpowers—who can protect the realm. If you don’t play the game, you’re not in the club. Simple as that.

So what’s the current state of play? If you’re a Republican leader or a Republican presidential hopeful, you offer a full-throated defense of Trump before even seeing the contents of the indictment.

And the thing is, they might be right. Alvin Bragg’s case, as it was previously outlined in news reports, looks weak and tortured. And his effort to nab Trump reeks of a political witch hunt. Which means that if the case is thrown out or Trump wins, his power over the right will be even greater than it currently is. But we don’t know the exact charges against Trump or what evidence the grand jury saw. So maybe it would be wise to show some prudence.

But trust in the system only earns you the distrust of the new right. So if you’re DeSantis or Haley, you’re headed into a race where aggressively defending the frontrunner is a base qualification for running against him. If Donald Trump wasn’t facing the possibility of jail time, this would be the greatest political achievement in history. And if he beats the case, it might turn out to be just that.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

02 Apr 2023, 9:43 pm

Never Again Trump - David Frum for The Atlantic

Quote:
Things weren’t going so well for Ron DeSantis even before Donald Trump was indicted. The Florida governor had dropped 30 points behind the ex-president in the last pre-indictment poll of Republicans and Republican-leaners. Back in mid-February, a major poll had showed DeSantis running almost even with Trump in a presumed primary contest.

You can insert your guess here as to why DeSantis has slumped so badly. His evasions and reversals on the Russian war in Ukraine? Trump’s hits on the governor’s votes against retirement benefits, culminating in a seven-figure anti-DeSantis ad campaign by a pro-Trump super PAC? Some X factor of personality or charisma—or the lack thereof? Or are observers looking in the wrong direction? Maybe it was not DeSantis who deflated, but Trump who rose—boosted by advance news of his imminent indictment.

Republican politics in the Trump era has been an exercise in dominance. Trump behaves as an abusive bully. Potential rivals meekly submit. He looks like the leader of the pack; they look like weaklings.

DeSantis presented himself as a fearless tough guy, as in this reelection ad from 2022, titled “Top Gov.” In a flight suit and with a B-roll of combat jets, DeSantis vowed: “Never, ever back down from a fight.”

But when Trump started fights with him, DeSantis always backed down. When Trump promoted a meme accusing DeSantis of grooming teenage girls with alcohol, DeSantis scarcely retorted. When Trump denounced one of the governor’s most cherished bills as “the biggest insurance company BAILOUT to Globalist Insurance Companies, IN HISTORY,” DeSantis did not defend his measure. He abjectly retreated, barring cameras and reporters from the signing ceremony for his new law.

The DeSantis campaign has been built on an impossible contradiction. His message to his party was: I offer you Trump’s style, minus Trump’s scandals. That offer only made sense on the assumption that Trump’s scandals were bad. Yet when any major new Trump scandal has erupted, DeSantis has jumped to deny or defend it.

The only case for DeSantis—or any alternative, be it Nikki Haley or Glenn Youngkin or Mike Pompeo or Mike Pence—is to acknowledge that it’s a problem that the past president stands criminally accused; to acknowledge that Trump is not a victim, but the author of his own legal trouble. Otherwise, who needs a replacement for the original? Why hire the tribute band?

Many prominent Republicans want Trump gone. But they are caught in a trap of their own bad faith: They want prosecutors to do for them the job they are too scared and broken to do for themselves. But they also, for their own crass political advantage, want to pretend to be on Trump’s side during the prosecution—while inwardly cheering on the prosecutors.

Bad faith is a coward’s method, and these bad-faith Republicans are earning the coward’s reward. They hope that the legal system will rescue them from their own humiliating submission, but they are acting to deliver the Republican nomination to Trump for a third time. If Trump does win the nomination, they’ll submit again.

When Trump ran for president in 2016, he at least paid lip service to issues Republican voters cared about: immigration, opioid addiction, trade disparities, and so on. The corruption, authoritarianism, and incitements to violence were present even then, of course.

This time, however, Trump is offering no lip service.

Republicans nodded along when Paul Ryan assured CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump was fading on his own. They took solace when Rupert Murdoch instituted a “soft ban” against Trump on his TV network, which instead hailed DeSantis as the party’s new leader.

All of that is proving false. Trump is triumphing—as an explicitly insurrectionary leader, on a platform of impunity for his own lawbreaking and presidential pardons for his supporters.

Inwardly anti-Trump Republicans reassure themselves that Trump at least cannot win the presidency again. Maybe they will have to endure him for a few more excruciating months—but November 2024 will arrive soon enough, and after that they’ll be done with him. This is false comfort. If Trump secures the Republican nomination, of course he can win the election. Maybe because of his bad record and personal obnoxiousness, he’s got a little less than the usual 50–50 chance, but not much less. The incumbent president and vice president have electoral vulnerabilities, too. And there could be anti-incumbent shocks—a recession, a natural disaster, a border crisis—between now and Election Day. Maybe Trump cannot win on his own merits, but Biden can fall victim to events.

The former New Jersey governor—and early Trump endorser—Chris Christie now describes his past support for Trump as a “strategic error.” He’s not wrong, if several years late. Suppose that enough Republicans had deserted Trump in 2016 to convert his popular-vote deficit into an Electoral College defeat. What would have happened next? Hillary Clinton would have won the presidency, and of course Republicans would not have liked that. But there would have been a Republican-controlled House and Senate to check her—with margins that surely would have expanded in the midterm elections of 2018. Republicans would have scored important state and local gains that year too. Then the coronavirus pandemic would have struck, and the election of 2020 likely would have resulted in a GOP landslide. So not exactly the end of the world from a Republican point of view—better than things are now, right?

The inhibitions against correcting the strategic error of 2016 are daunting even to people of character—and the anti-Trump dissenters within the party elite are not all people of character. Yet the price of repeating the error will be heavy—heavy for Republicans if Trump costs them the presidency once again, or tragically heavy for the United States and the world if Trump somehow scores a second win.

A proverb says that even a worm will turn. The controlling elite within the Republican Party rejected “Never Trump” in 2016. Now they have a second chance to put country before party: “Never Again Trump.” Let the lapel flag mean something. Don’t give up. Back an alternative to Trump, and win if you can. But if you can’t win with your candidate, keep fighting Trump. This time, no surrender.


bolding and underlining=mine:

I find a lot to like in this commentary that why I bolded stuff probably more than any article I posted so far but that last paragraph is pathetic. It contradicts everything written before. I was going say Never Trump is a lost cause but it never really started. Give it up David, this is who the Republican are.

Yes David I get it. The Democrats are against most of the core things you believe in. They enable too much wokeism, some of our allies are talking with Iran, dropping the dollar for the Yuan, and our just arming Ukraine enough to stalemate looks too much like Vietnam for comfort. It sucks royally but the effin Dems are the only hope of preventing Trump or a Trump clone from winning the Presidency. This choice is not between the lesser of two evils but the lesser of two hells. Anti Trump Republicans and Conservatives time to make the dreaded choice. Do like the rest of your ideological cohorts and jump on the Trump train or not.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 24,108
Location: 28th Path of Tzaddi

03 Apr 2023, 6:16 am

Louis Rossman chiming in on the issue (16 1/2 min), making the case that if he (Louis) can remove 600K in fines and tax liens from the State of New York by providing receipts and records that they lost / mishandled and do so by himself that Trump and his legal team should have no problem taking this thing apart early if they didn't step outside of campaign finance laws.


_________________
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.” - James Baldwin


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

05 Apr 2023, 6:39 pm

Trump’s trial is on a collision course with the start of the GOP presidential primaries

Quote:
ust as Republican voters in the crucial early states get ready to choose their presidential nominee next year, another spectacle may be taking place in the country's biggest city that could affect the outcome of the election: the trial of Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, Judge Juan Merchan set a Dec. 4 date for the next hearing in the Manhattan district attorney's case against Trump. The former president pleaded not guilty to the indictment accusing him of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of a scheme to shield the electorate from information about past alleged affairs.

Prosecutors pushed for the trial to start in January, while Trump's defense team requested that it begin “later in the spring” next year.

If the prosecution gets its way, the country would get a split screen of Trump fighting to prove his innocence in New York while campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, which hold their nominating contests on Feb. 5 and Feb. 13.

On one hand, a trial could greatly limit how much campaigning Trump might be able to do in the closing weeks of those races. On the other, it might offer him a substantial megaphone and media attention that would greatly overshadow the campaigning of his chief rivals.

Both Trump allies and critics suggested that they see the latter as the more likely outcome.

"This entire primary is now guaranteed to be completely dominated by Trump earned-media-wise," a Republican strategist supportive of Trump said. "Probably the best-case scenario for him, timing-wise."

"It was already extremely tough to effectively attack Trump from the right, and now I think it just became basically impossible," this person added. "How can you effectively land a shot in a way that the base will accept as Democrats are literally trying to put this guy in jail over BS charges?”

A national Democratic operative, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the colliding storylines, said news that the Manhattan case will at a minimum drag out through the winter was bad news not for Trump, but for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who consistently polls as Trump's leading rival for the GOP nomination — and the rest of the Republican field.

"DeSantis' worst nightmare is the fact that he’s going to have to spend the next nine months answering questions about how he feels about Donald Trump’s indictment," this person said, adding that the GOP "hasn’t demonstrated a single inkling that they’re willing to drive a wedge with him."

"Because we all know the overwhelming base of the Republican Party right now are MAGA voters, and you can’t alienate them."

Still, the fact that Trump's legal team is pushing for a spring start date for the trial could suggest he wants to get through the early states before he is on trial.

Merchan described the Trump legal team's spring request as “reasonable,” according to a court transcript, but added, "The message I would like to deliver is we would like to move ahead as expeditiously as possible, without undue delay."

Should Trump be hindered from campaigning as the early state contests near, the Democratic operative noted, he would still be able to get attention in cities like Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa.

"Donald Trump can get on the phone with reporters and get the local Iowa TV station sound bites and still reach Iowa voters if he isn't there physically," the Democratic operative said. "Donald Trump doesn't have to do the glad-handing and kissing the babies in the same way that, like, Ron DeSantis or Tim Scott does."

It would not be the first time a Trump trial has clashed with the opening presidential contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. In February 2020, Trump's first impeachment trial kept a handful of Democratic senators who were running for president in Washington and off the campaign trail as the vote neared. The trial began in mid-January, and Trump was acquitted on Feb. 5, 2020, two days after the Iowa caucuses.

But those senators were not the ones on trial; the high-profile nature of the proceedings instead offered senators a large earned-media opportunity to show off their roles in the trial.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

09 Apr 2023, 5:37 pm

Donald Trump's shadow over Washington, U.S. grows longer with indictment
Behind a paywall

Quote:
he shadow that former President Donald Trump casts across Washington and the rest of the country grew a little longer with the unveiling of the criminal indictment by the Manhattan district attorney last Tuesday.

During President Joe Biden’s first two years in office, Trump lost his dominant place on the national stage, but as the first former president to be arrested and arraigned for a crime, he stands poised to reclaim the spotlight as he runs for a second term in the White House.

Trump’s presence not only will be felt in the political arena as he seeks to outrun Republican rival Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, but it will also reverberate in the U.S. Capitol, where his support from his base will ensure he keeps his hold on House Republicans.

“Sex, hush money, adult film star, Trump and the National Enquirer — how can America resist?” said Jim Kessler, executive vice president for policy at The Third Way, a moderate Democratic policy group in Washington, D.C.

“Of all the criminal cases against Trump, this one is considered the least likely to succeed legally. But it’s the easiest to understand and hardest to turn away from,” Kessler told Newsday. “I don’t think Trump has a choice when it comes to the spotlight because he craves it and it craves him.”

Or as George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley put it on Fox News: “It's a curious thing … to lead with this case because the chaos that is erupting is pretty much the element for Donald Trump. It's like trying to kill an orca by throwing him in the water.”

And analysts said leading up to the 2024 election, Trump could be as unpredictable as he has been in the past, creating problems for negotiations over the debt ceiling and the federal budget, and possibly hampering Republicans’ attempts to retake the Senate and increase the party's majority in the House.

Poll watching
Political analysts say they are keeping a close watch on the polls following the spectacle of Trump’s motorcade arrival and departure at Manhattan criminal court. He sat, unsmiling, as he appeared before Judge Juan Merchan to plead not guilty to 34 criminal counts.

One of the most recently published polls, by Yahoo/YouGov, after the filing of the sealed indictment on March 30, found Americans split almost evenly over whether the criminal charges against Trump would make him a stronger or weaker candidate for president.

Predictably, twice as many Democrats as Republicans said it would weaken him, and three times as many Republicans as Democrats said it would make him stronger. Independents split evenly on the question.

Since leaving office, Trump has had an approval rating of between 39% and 44%, according to polling averages calculated by FiveThirtyEight, the statistical analysis publication. That is about the same as Biden’s approval rating for the past year, those averages show.

In the week since the filing of the sealed indictment, however, Trump’s lead over DeSantis has grown from about 46% to 51%, while DeSantis has fallen from 29% to 25%, according to polling averages compiled by the right-leaning Real Clear Politics website.

Pundits ponder
Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Trump on business record violations for hush money payoffs to an adult film star as well as a Playboy model has stirred considerable debate about whether it will boost or bust Trump’s bid for a second term.

Democrats should not underestimate Trump, Kessler warned. “He will be the Republican nominee for president in 2024. There’s no politician in my lifetime who has been able to turn bad press into more votes,” he said.

“No question many Republicans, even his opponents, are rallying around him right now,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political science professor. “But what happens if there are further indictments about more serious matters such as trying to overturn the election and his unlawful holding of federal documents?”

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and others have grumbled about the unorthodox candidates backed by Trump who lost last year, allowing Democrats to continue to control the Senate and producing a narrow, five-vote majority for House Republicans.

“The success Democrats had in the 2022 midterms reminds us that the more Trump dominates the headlines, the more voters want an alternative,” said Steve Israel, the former Long Island Democratic congressman who ran his party’s national House campaign committee.

“There are 18 House Republicans in districts won by President Biden. Those members do not want Trump on center stage. They want him behind the curtain,” said Israel, director of The Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University.

Peter King, a former Republican representative from Seaford, said Trump might be wearing out his welcome.

Disruptive force
Trump’s move back to center stage also could cloud pending negotiations between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Biden over the looming debt ceiling deadline and a compromise deal on a spending bill to keep the government open.

“Kevin's in a tough spot,” King said.

No matter how good the deal McCarthy can work out with Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), King said, it will not satisfy Trump’s supporters in the House.

“Trump’s biggest effect on the congressional GOP is to divide it internally even more deeply,” said Frances Lee, a professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University. “Trump makes it hard for Republicans to stand pat on their party’s old fiscal orthodoxies.”

Trump has never expressed much concern about federal deficits, for example, even though many House Republicans are deeply concerned.

Fiscally conservative Republicans are calling for cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but Trump has warned them to leave those social service programs untouched.

“Trump’s stance against tackling entitlement spending is a factor behind the inability of the House GOP to reach agreement on a budget this spring,” Lee said.

Ultimately, Trump will be operating in uncharted territory.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

23 Apr 2023, 6:41 pm

NBC News poll: Nearly 70% of GOP voters stand behind Trump amid indictment and investigations

Quote:
A whopping two-thirds of Republican primary voters say they stand behind former President Donald Trump and dismiss concerns about his electability, despite his recent criminal arrest and other legal investigations into his past conduct, a new national NBC News poll finds.

That — along with his double-digit lead over his nearest potential GOP rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — makes Trump the clear front-runner in the early race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Republican Party’s continued enthusiasm for Trump stands in contrast to an anxious nation’s displeasure with how the 2024 race is shaping up. Substantial majorities of Americans don’t want Trump or President Joe Biden to run for president in 2024, setting up a potentially divisive and uninspiring general-election rematch between the two men, with Biden expected to launch his re-election bid in the coming days.

And half of those who don’t want Biden, 80, to run say the president’s age is a “major” reason why.

Trump is 76 years old.

“At this stage, 2024 is shaping up to be a sequel of the 2020 election,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research, which conducted this poll with Republican pollster Bill McInturff and his team at Public Opinion Strategies. “Sequels are frequently hits at the box office, but apparently not at the ballot box.”

McInturff, the GOP pollster, said: “It’s clear that people do not want a Biden-Trump rematch.”

The NBC News poll — conducted April 14-18 — comes after Trump’s arrest and arraignment in New York City over charges that he falsified business records to conceal damaging information in a hush-money case.

Forty-six percent of Republican primary voters pick Trump as their first choice, while 31% select DeSantis as the 2024 candidate they favor.

They’re followed by former Vice President Mike Pence at 6%, and by former South Carolina Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. (who’s exploring a 2024 bid), and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who are all tied at 3%. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has 2%.

Meanwhile, DeSantis is the second choice of 33% of GOP primary voters, Trump is the second pick of 20%, and Haley is the second choice of 14%.

Yet what also stands out in the poll are the nearly 70% of Republican primary voters who say they stand behind Trump despite the various investigations he’s facing.

Sixty-eight percent of GOP primary voters agree with the statement that the investigations into Trump are politically motivated and are designed to stop him from being president again, and that they must support him now to stop his opponents from winning.

That’s compared with 26% who agree with the opposite statement — that it’s important to nominate a different candidate who won’t be distracted and who can focus only on beating Biden in the general election.

Yet among all voters — not just Republicans — 52% believe that Trump is being held to the same standard as anyone else accused of doing what he did as he faces charges in New York. Another 43% disagree and say he’s being unfairly targeted.

The NBC News poll also comes just days before Biden’s expected announcement for re-election.

According to the survey, 70% of all Americans — including 51% of Democrats — believe he should not run for a second term.

As for Trump, 60% of Americans — including a third of Republicans — think the former president shouldn’t run in 2024.

The NBC News survey finds a combined 41% of registered voters saying they’d definitely or probably vote for Biden in the general election, versus 47% who say they’d vote for the eventual Republican nominee.

President Biden’s numbers are not where they need to be at this stage,” said Horwitt, the Democratic pollster, noting the president’s struggles with independents.

Still, Biden remains more popular than Trump: 38% of adults have a positive view of the current president, versus 48% with a negative view (-10).

That’s compared with Trump’s 34% positive, 53% negative rating (-19).

“Yes, Joe Biden has work to do, but he still is viewed less negatively than Donald Trump,” Horwitt added.

Finally, the national NBC News poll shows nearly 6 in 10 adults — 58% — saying abortion should be legal, either always (38%) or most of the time (20%).

By contrast, a combined 38% believe abortion should be illegal, either with exceptions (32%) or without exceptions (6%).


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

26 Apr 2023, 8:16 pm

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson formally announces presidential bid

Quote:
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson formally announced his 2024 presidential campaign Wednesday with a series of criticisms of the Biden administration as he outlined his policy plans, saying he would get the “economy back on track” if elected.

“The Biden administration has turned its back on the American worker,” the former Republican governor said. “To turn our economy around we have to stop the 'break-the-bank' federal spending that has led to high inflation and rising interest rates.”

“Every hard-working American family gets a double hit from the Biden economy,” he added. “Their paycheck doesn’t go as far, and they are paying more on car loans and credit card debt because of the high-interest rates. That is not acceptable.”

Hutchinson called the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021 a “disastrous” move that “left our friends abandoned and our allies confused.”

“America looked weak and that weakness was seen as an opportunity for Russia to invade Ukraine and then for China to threaten and be aggressive toward Taiwan,” Hutchinson said. “Let me assure you that as President, I will bring out the best of America . . . we will stand with our allies and friends. We will not abandon our friends in times of need.”

Hutchinson argued that the Biden administration has not been tough enough on crime, accusing it of “a flagrant disrespect for human dignity and the rule of law.”

Although he did not appear to reference former President Donald Trump, who announced his 2024 presidential bid late last year, Hutchinson seemed to eschew the isolationist approach Trump took to foreign policy.

“There are some who want the U.S. to disengage from the world and to isolate ourselves," he said. "Isolationism only leads to weakness and weakness leads to war. Americans want peace and the best way to secure and preserve peace is to have the most prepared military in the world."

Hutchinson also appeared to take aim at Republican governors Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is expected to launch a bid for the GOP nomination in the 2024 presidential race, and Greg Abbott of Texas.

“When I had pressure from Washington and the national media to shelter in place, I said ‘no,’” Hutchinson said, referring to Covid-19 restrictions, which DeSantis and Abbott also pushed back against. “And the result was that our businesses survived and we had more days of in-classroom instruction during the pandemic than almost any other state. Yes, that’s right . . . we beat Florida and Texas!”

Hutchinson has been a prominent figure in Arkansas politics since the 1980s, when the state was predominantly Democratic. When he served in Congress, he acted as one of the House managers prosecuting the impeachment case against President Bill Clinton.

Hutchinson also served in the administration of President George W. Bush as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and an undersecretary of homeland security.

Throughout his speech, Hutchinson touted his leadership record as positioned himself as a Republican who has “continued to fight the establishment.” He noted a time when he assisted an FBI hostage rescue team in negotiating the surrender of an armed terrorist group, his support of law enforcement and opposition to defunding it, and his commitment to ensuring the stability of Social Security and Medicare.



Ron DeSantis is set to jump into the 2024 presidential fray in mid-May
Quote:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is poised to jump into the presidential fray as soon as mid-May, four GOP operatives familiar with the conversations told NBC News.

One of the sources emphasized that it would be an exploratory committee, with the official launch coming soon after.

Some of his backers are urging him to declare as early as May 11, in an effort to counter the creeping national narrative that former President Donald Trump is the overwhelming front-runner for the 2024 GOP nomination. Others in the governor’s orbit, however, have argued that that date would be too soon, according to two of those sources. All emphasized, however, that mid-May is the target.

DeSantis, long viewed as Trump’s strongest Republican challenger in 2024, has traveled far outside Florida in recent weeks to raise his profile. But some of DeSantis’ allies have started to question his readiness as his poll numbers have lagged and he has fell victim of a series of self-inflicted wounds.

An imminent launch would help alleviate the compounding anxiety among supporters over DeSantis taking too long to jump into the fray and risking missing his moment.

In a clear sign of movement on the campaign front, national political vendors descended on Tallahassee this week, vying for work on DeSantis’ forthcoming campaign.

“There has been an influx of national firms in town over the last few days,” said one of the Florida Republican operatives familiar with the meetings. “It feels like a team that is staffing up, not scaling down.”

A second operative said they signal a likely presidential launch sooner than some expect, even as DeSantis has increasingly faced headwinds and fledgling poll numbers in recent months.

“Large campaigns require in-house planning and this has been ‘vendors: assemble’ week in Tallahassee,” said a third source familiar with the meetings.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

10 May 2023, 10:08 am

Senate Republicans question Trump’s 2024 viability after sexual abuse verdict

Quote:
Senate Republicans aired concerns Tuesday about former President Trump’s viability in a 2024 presidential election after a civil jury found he had sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll and ordered him to pay her $5 million in damages.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters that he does not believe Trump stands a chance in a November setting but added he didn’t think the verdict would move voters.

en. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has long been one of Trump’s foremost antagonists in the GOP, argued the verdict is further proof the 45th president has no business being the party’s standard bearer once again.

“I hope the American people, the jury of the American people, reach the same conclusion as the jury of his peers, which is that Donald Trump should not be our nominee and he certainly shouldn’t be president of the United States,” Romney said. “We have other people who are highly qualified that could lead our party to victory, and someone who’s been found to have committed sexual assault should not be the face of the Republican Party.”

“I think that there will be some people, surely, who say, ‘You know, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have someone who’s been convicted of sexual assault to be the face for my children and my grandchildren and the world,’” Romney added.

A number of other Senate Republicans questioned Trump’s ability to win a second, non-consecutive term if he is the GOP presidential nominee next year.

“Of course it creates a concern. How could it not create a concern? If what the woman says … he’s been found to be civilly liable, how could it do anything else but create a concern?” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told reporters when asked about the verdict.

A number of Senate Republicans, however, declined to wade into whether the latest development will hurt him in the looming 2024 contest.

“I think it’s clearly up to the voters. They’ll figure out what’s important to them,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who is up for reelection next year, told reporters.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said that he still believes the ex-president will be the GOP presidential nominee and added that Trump being found liable for sexual abuse will make the general election “interesting.” He said voters will have to weigh that against the “continuing pileup of scandals from the Biden White House.”

That’s a choice that the voters make. … I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t [the nominee]” Hawley said.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

13 May 2023, 9:07 am

Mike Pence navigates anger from all sides as he inches toward a presidential run

Quote:
Mike Pence recalled Tuesday that he didn't find out until later that insurrectionists had chanted "Hang Mike Pence" while he hid in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

As he spoke in a sun-filled atrium of the Duke Energy Convention Center here, gay rights protesters serenaded the former vice president with chants of "F--- Mike Pence."

Shouting from the sidewalk outside and brandishing rainbow flags and homemade signs, the protesters were loud enough to briefly interrupt Pence's exclusive interview with NBC News.

It was a reminder that almost everywhere the mild-mannered Pence goes, he finds Americans who are moved to deep anger by his very presence. At a National Rifle Association conference last month in Indiana, he was the only featured speaker who was greeted with a cascade of lusty boos.

But Pence, who is slowly taking steps toward a 2024 presidential bid, appears to be undeterred by the vitriol — or by primary polls that consistently show him registering in single digits with Republican voters. Instead, he increasingly sounds like a candidate who has decided to enter the race but isn’t ready to make it official.

“I expect before the month of June is out, we’ll let people know of our decision,” he said. “If we choose to go forward, this race doesn’t really start until the August debate in Milwaukee.”

What remains less clear is the path to the presidency for a candidate whose traditional conservative politics, establishment bona fides and regard for democratic institutions have all been out of vogue for Republicans in the Trump era. Many of former President Donald Trump’s hardest-core supporters treat him as a traitor because he rejected Trump’s entreaties to obstruct the electoral vote count that sealed their fate in the 2020 election.

That helps explain why some veteran Republican operatives speculate that Pence could ultimately forgo a bid, even as he travels the country.

But while most campaigns-in-waiting have staffs assembled on the sidelines, Pence’s core team hasn’t expanded, and operatives in early states say there isn’t much chatter about outreach from his aides to potential hires.

By contrast, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running second to Trump and well ahead of the rest of the pack in national polls, has a super PAC that has hired aides and aired ads across the country. DeSantis is expected to launch his bid this month.

Trump, who is considering whether to skip the first primary debate sanctioned by the Republican National Committee, is the clear front-runner in a race for the nomination he has won twice before. And Pence has been reluctant to attack his former boss.

Asked Tuesday whether a jury verdict finding Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll altered his view of Trump’s fitness for the presidency, Pence sidestepped.

Along with the tightrope he would have to navigate amid factions of the Republican Party, Pence appears determined to find ways to distinguish himself from Trump without throwing hard punches. That could be a tall order considering his public record of agreeing with Trump on virtually everything from the day he joined the ticket in 2016 until Jan. 6.

“I think the people will make their own judgments about the waning days of the administration,” Pence said.

Still, he laid out points of departure from Trump that could form the core themes of a primary campaign.

“If I become a candidate for the Republican nomination for president, I’m going to talk about American leadership in the world,” he said. “I’m going to talk about the need to continue to support the military in Ukraine until they repel the Russian invasion.”

Trump has said he would end the war immediately upon taking office.

Pence said he would push for national restrictions on abortion, referring to the matter as “the calling of our time” and saying he would “seize every opportunity” to limit the procedure. Trump has been reticent on a national abortion ban, but he recently pledged to “get something done” if he’s elected president again.

He was most aggressive in criticizing Trump for vowing to oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

“The former president’s position on Social Security and Medicare is identical to Joe Biden’s,” Pence said. “Joe Biden’s position is insolvency. He says we won’t talk ever about compassionate reforms of entitlements, and the former president has taken exactly the same view.”

Pence acknowledged that Trump is the far-and-away front-runner for the nomination but said that is “a reflection of how deeply concerned people are about the failed policies of President Biden at home and abroad.”


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

13 May 2023, 5:44 pm

The Very Invisible Republican Primary - Matthew Continetti for the Washington Free Beacon

Quote:
Donald Trump won the presidency by the seat of his pants in 2016. Republicans have lost the House, the White House, the Senate, and governor's mansions in the years since. He has been impeached twice. In the past month he has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury and found liable, in a separate civil suit, for sexual assault and defamation. He remains in legal jeopardy, with prosecutors in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia, mulling charges in cases related to the 2020 election and to his transfer of classified documents to his Florida home. He has the highest unfavorable rating of any politician in the
Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of polls and less than zero interest in changing his public image.

Yet Trump is far and away the leader for the 2024 Republican nomination and is neck-and-neck with Joe Biden in general election matchups. In the RCP average he has a 30-point lead over the next closest GOP competitor, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, and is essentially tied with the incumbent president. Both the primary and general contests are a long way away, of course—but early GOP frontrunners tend to win the nomination, and Biden's age and economic record are reasons for Democrats to worry.

Why is Trump doing so well? Is it because he has constructed "an impenetrable political force field," as National Review editor in chief Rich Lowry suggests? I'm skeptical. Most voters do not like him, have voted against him, and more likely than not will vote against him again. Nor has Trump’s force field repelled attacks from his fellow Republicans. There haven't been attacks to repel. Trump is advancing toward the GOP nomination and looks competitive against Biden for a simple reason: He faces no resistance.

This has been a truly invisible primary. Historically, the frontrunner comes under attack from his or her rivals. Republican primaries since 2008 have been especially raucous. Candidates all but fling themselves at each other.

Not this year. It's as if we have two incumbent presidents in this race, and neither faces a serious internal threat. Besides Trump, at present there are four declared Republican candidates with 1 percent or more of the GOP primary vote. Only one, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, has said that the verdict in the E. Jean Carroll rape and defamation case "should be treated with seriousness and is another example of the indefensible behavior of Donald Trump."

Radio talk show host Larry Elder responded to the Trump news by naming women who have accused President Biden and former president Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. Entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy defended Trump and said that Carroll's suit was politically motivated. Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley told radio host Hugh Hewitt that "I'm not going to get into that," that "we've gotta leave the baggage and the negativity behind," and that "it's not my case, it's his case."

Most of the Republicans who might launch presidential bids in the coming months are just as evasive. They mix praise of Trump while lamenting his weaknesses. They pretend that he doesn't exist while dropping implied criticisms of his effectiveness and demeanor. Only former New Jersey governor Chris Christie slams Trump in the manner that you would expect from a competitor. Responding to Trump's refusal in a CNN town hall to say which side he preferred to win the war in Ukraine, Christie told Hewitt, "I think he's a coward, and I think he's a puppet of Putin."

Trump's closest rival, DeSantis, seems to be moving toward a June campaign launch. His book rollout, international trade mission, and successful legislative session have not reversed his decline in the polls. Nor have the millions of dollars a pro-DeSantis super PAC has spent in TV ads highlighting his biography. Other than a sly remark ahead of Trump's indictment over hush money payments to a stripper, DeSantis hasn't gone after the former president either directly or indirectly. His pre-announcement strategy has been to out-MAGA Trump on foreign policy and the culture war while avoiding a one-on-one clash with the frontrunner.

The reluctance of the Republican field to confront the frontrunner has created a weird situation in which Trump inadvertently delivers the arguments both for and against his candidacy. Trump's political cunning, rhetorical talent, and gut connection with the grassroots are evident in his public appearances and speeches. His serious liabilities are on display when he is the subject of legal action or defends his remarks on the infamous Access Hollywood tape.

We are so used to Republican presidential candidates praising, ignoring, or appeasing the former president that it came as a shock when Sen. Todd Young of Indiana told CNN on May 11 that he won't support Trump and, when pressed for a reason, said, "Where do I begin?" It's hard to imagine a candidate other than Hutchinson or Christie saying the same. Which is why Trump looks untouchable.

He's not, though. It's at least plausible that a Republican could consolidate college-educated GOP voters and make inroads into Trump's non-college coalition, especially if that Republican narrows the field to two candidates. First, though, that Republican would have to explain why he or she should be the nominee instead of Trump.

The Democrats understand that Joe Biden's best—perhaps sole—chance for a second term is to remobilize the anti-Trump coalition that has appeared in every post-2016 cycle except 2021. This primary may end up an exercise in obeisance, but the general won't be. Contrasts will be drawn. Memories will be jogged. Fears will be revived. If Republican challengers won't say why Donald Trump should be denied the presidency, Democrats will.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 33,931
Location: Long Island, New York

18 May 2023, 9:39 pm

New glimpse into documents case suggests a fateful new reckoning is looming over Trump

Quote:
Latest revelations from the special counsel’s probe into ex-President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents deepen a sense that a grave political moment is approaching.

An exclusive CNN report that appears to point to a core weakness in Trump’s case is reinforcing the possibility that the 2024 presidential contender is in a heap of legal trouble.

Possible evidence that Trump knew that his claims that he could simply declassify material on a whim were false highlight his characteristic belief that laws and codes of presidential behavior do not apply to him. This is a factor that made his White House term a daily test of America’s democracy and legal system and may become even more acute if he wins the 2024 election.

The latest glimpse into special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation also shows that while any charges against Trump for potential violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice might be justified in a purely legal context, they would come with a high level of responsibility to explain to the public why such a step in a potentially complex case was merited in the charged atmosphere of a presidential election.

On the one hand, there is nothing more sacred than protecting the country’s secrets, especially those that could harm allies, help US enemies and endanger covert operatives. But the proposition that inside Washington a

And fierce controversies still raging around Trump over the 2016 election show how toxic campaign season probes can be to American unity and US political and judicial institutions – all of which sharpens the need for a strong national interest justification for any prosecution.

National Archives and Trump again at odds
The exclusive report by CNN’s Jamie Gangel, Zachary Cohen, Evan Perez and Paula Reid is another serious sign of Trump’s potential legal exposure in the documents case — one of a flurry of investigations that include Smith’s examination of the ex-president’s role ahead of his supporters’ attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and a separate probe by a local district attorney into his effort to overturn Joe Biden’s election win in Georgia. Trump has already been indicted in Manhattan over alleged business irregularities related to a hush money payment in 2016.

CNN reported that the National Archives plans to hand 16 documents over to the special counsel that show Trump knew the correct procedure for declassifying such material. This could be significant because it gets to the question of whether Trump had criminal intent, a building block of any case against him. If there is evidence that the ex-president knew he couldn’t just declassify documents by taking them away from the White House – or even with a private thought as he once suggested – his defense on the issue of records stored at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida becomes more difficult.

In a May 16 letter obtained by CNN, acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall wrote to Trump – “The 16 records in question all reflect communications involving close presidential advisers, some of them directed to you personally, concerning whether, why, and how you should declassify certain classified records.”

In a CNN town hall event last week, Trump falsely claimed of top-secret documents: “By the way, they become automatically declassified when I took them.”

But former Trump White House lawyer Ty Cobb told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday that the latest CNN reporting surrounding the National Archives was a sign that Smith was taking steps that could signal he may soon move against Trump.

“I think this is ‘i’ dotting and ‘t’ crossing. I think that this case is ready to go,” Cobb said.

“The simple fact is there is a process … and (Trump) totally ignored that and believes that the mere fact he took them declassifies (the documents). That is not the law.”

If Cobb is right and Smith could be moving toward an indictment, Americans could soon be wrestling with an increasingly familiar question: What is the appropriate way to hold to account a president and presidential candidate whose core political model is rooted in breaking all the rules but whose indictment could further inflame an already deeply polarized nation?

Where does the national interest lie in pursuing Trump?
There is a clear national interest in protecting classified information and enforcing laws surrounding presidential conduct in order to prevent an erosion of the political institutions that underpin the democracy that Trump has tried so often to weaken. And there is also a national interest in proving that no one — whether they are a president or ex-president is above the law.

At the same time however, there is also a profound national interest in the peaceful conduct of a presidential election that all Americans see as fair. And Trump has already successfully cast deep suspicion on the motives of the Justice Department and the Biden administration – arguing, that he is the target of a coordinated campaign of political persecution.

Smith has an obligation to follow the law and the evidence where it leads, and to make decisions on potential indictments and prosecutions on the same basis. But this case cannot unspool in isolation given Trump’s previous role and current presidential campaign. It comes with an obligation – presumably for Attorney General Merrick Garland – to look at the wider potential consequences of putting a former president and current presidential candidate on trial.

This also begs the question of whether a case over the mishandling of classified documents – which could turn on complex legal arguments and questions of motivation – will be an easy sell to a wider public audience and could play into Trump’s claims that he is being victimized. These may be false, but they help brew the secret political sauce which his supporters love.

The case is especially sensitive because Biden also had his own classified documents problem over material found in an office he used after leaving the vice presidency and his garage. The cases are distinct because there is no sign that the president deliberately took the documents and, unlike Trump, made no attempt to prevent their return to the Archives when they were found. But it will be easy for the ex-president and his allies to fog the details of these cases and make a political case that legal double standards are at play and there is a political motivation.

How would multiple indictments weigh on Trump’s 2024 campaign?
The question of the political impact of prosecuting Trump already came up since his indictment in a case being prosecuted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg appeared to spike his popularity in the GOP nominating race. It also caused his potential rivals for the top of the ticket to condemn the move as politicized, complicating their own attempts to defeat the ex-president. The case, focusing on alleged violations of book-keeping, is also a complex one to boil down into an argument that might convince millions of Americans Trump is being fairly dealt with.

One big unknown of the current presidential campaign is whether future and multiple indictments would further embolden Trump and cause persuadable voters that he’s being unfairly targeted? Or could it cause his campaign to sink into an abyss of legal and criminal liability?

The release this week of a report by another special counsel – the Trump administration-appointed John Durham – gave Trump fresh political ammunition to argue he’s being victimized. Durham argued that the investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia in 2016 should never have started – even though officials who were serving at the time and many legal analysts disputed his findings. Trump immediately seized on the report to embroider his claims that he is the victim of politicized investigations, casting his argument forward to seek to taint the Smith probe, the Georgia case and the Manhattan indictment.

Wednesday’s new details about his apparently deeper-than-previously-known jeopardy in the documents probe only add to a profound issue clouding the 2024 election.

It may be contrary to the national interest to ignore huge affronts to the rule of law by a previously sitting president – including alleged mishandling of classified information – since questions fundamental to American democracy are in play. But a prosecution could again create a political inferno that could further damage confidence among millions of Americans about the country’s legal and election systems.

This is the treacherous brink to which Trump has again brought the nation.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman