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The 2021 Impeachment, Trial and Acquittal of Donald John Trump

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  • #16
    After tomorrow, Trump will be a regular citizen. So is a Senate trial even valid at that point for someone who is no longer president? Or is it that since the alleged crime was committed when he was in office, he still can only be tried by the Senate? I am not sure how this works.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Firestorm View Post
      After tomorrow, Trump will be a regular citizen. So is a Senate trial even valid at that point for someone who is no longer president? Or is it that since the alleged crime was committed when he was in office, he still can only be tried by the Senate? I am not sure how this works.
      Multiple Constitutional law professors say that the trial is valid, for the exact reason that you described. The point of conviction will be twofold: To demonstrate that Trump is not above the law, and to bar him from ever holding office again.
      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

      Comment


      • #18
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        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

          Multiple Constitutional law professors say that the trial is valid, for the exact reason that you described. The point of conviction will be twofold: To demonstrate that Trump is not above the law, and to bar him from ever holding office again.
          The real 'win' would be getting over the line on that last point, regardless of anything else. Although I suppose he could still 'push' a family member into the limelight to take his place in some future election with him running the show behind the scenes. (Oh joy.)
          If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

          Comment


          • #20
            Trump spends first night as a private citizen 'looking for lawyers for his impeachment trial'

            Donald Trump spent his first night as a private citizen settling into his new home at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he has reportedly already begun preparing for his upcoming impeachment hearing.

            Mr Trump’s final engagement in Washington DC as president was attending his farewell at Joint Base Andrews in DC, which was attended only by some 250 of his most loyal aides and supporters. Notably absent were close White House aides and his own vice president Mike Pence.

            The former president then left for Florida as President Joe Biden was being sworn in, where he received a much warmer welcome.

            Supporters lined Mr Trump’s route to Mar-a-Lago, waving “Trump 2020” flags and signs reading “welcome home!”, while others screamed “I love you” as his motorcade drove past. Some still refused to accept the results of the election.

            "I am almost in denial," Willie Guardiola, who had rallied people along the route, told NBC. "I don't want to believe that this could be his last day.”

            Mr Trump was said to have been surrounded by family on his first night back in Florida, where he has spent considerable time over the last few decades. He was joined by his eldest son Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, his other son Eric and his wife Lara.

            Notably absent were daughter Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner, who were not on the Air Force One flight from DC. It was not immediately clear where the family would spend the coming days and weeks, but the couple has purchased a plot of land near Palm Beach to be closer to the former president.

            One of Mr Trump’s first calls as a private citizen was reportedly to Lindsey Graham, South Carolina senator and staunch ally, according to the Huffington Post. “He says this is probably the second nicest place other than the White House,” Mr Graham says Mr Trump said of his new full-time residence.

            The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary said Mr Trump was now “looking for some lawyers” for his impending impeachment trial. “He’s trying to put together a team,” Mr Graham told reporters.

            Mr Trump will not be drawing on his usual litigators: Rudy Giuliani, his longtime personal lawyer, has stepped aside as he could be called as a witness in the case, while attorneys who represented him at the first impeachment hearing have reportedly declined.

            He will likely spend the coming days preparing for any Senate trial, which could start as early as next week.

            Mr Trump will of course no longer have access to White House staff who will now be working under the new administration, but he will still enjoy protection from the US Secret Service.

            Before leaving office former President Trump ensured that his extended family would receive protection for the next six months, according to reports. The Secret Service will protect Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with their three children; Donald Trump Jr. and his five children; Eric Trump and wife Lara; and Tiffany Trump.

            The arrangement will come at no cost to the Trump family and is funded by taxpayers, the Washington Post reported.

            His inner circle of confidences has narrowed significantly since Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6. If indicted in the Senate, Mr Trump will face a ban on ever holding office again.

            It would put an end to his purported to plans he has to form a party, known as the Patriot Party, to continue his political career from Palm Beach.

            “Isolated and shunned at the end,” tweeted Maggie Haberman, who has been covering the Trump presidency for the NYT for the last four years. “The former president will be waking up to a very different reality at Mar-a-Lago, with no extensive government-funded staff, no aide following him with a diet coke, and no guarantee people will return his calls.”

            There does, however, remain a few loyal lieutenants who continue to stand by him.

            Jenna Ellis, the attorney who represented Mr Trump in a number of his election lawsuits, responded to Ns Haberman by saying: “He is neither isolated nor shunned. The beltway isn’t all of America. America by and large loves Donald Trump.”
            ________

            Still people in denial....and this trial ain't gonna be a farce like the last one.
            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

            Comment


            • #21
              Since 1958, the Former Presidents Act (FPA) provides ex-presidents with a pension, staff, office support (furniture, office rental), travel funds and mailing privileges (assuming the US Post Office is capable of doing its job).

              The pension is the same as a cabinet secretary's salary (half of the POTUS salary). Staff and travel perks are said to be worth about $1 million p.a., plus $500,000 for Melania's travel and security.

              According to the FPA, a former president is someone who held the office and “whose service in such office shall have terminated other than by removal pursuant to section 4 of article II of the Constitution of the United States of America,” which spells out impeachment and removal from office. Bear in mind that He Who Should Not Be Named was not removed from office via impeachment, so the financial penalties don't apply. Congress can, of course, pass a new law just for dealing with insurrection-encouragement.

              If
              He Who Should Not Be Name were convicted by the Senate post-POTUS, the Senate could by a simple majority deny him the right to run for a future federal office.




              Trust me?
              I'm an economist!

              Comment


              • #22
                Trump starts taking his second impeachment seriously
                The president is hiring a respected legal hand with a familiarity on voting laws as a Senate trial nears.

                Donald Trump appears to be finally getting serious about his upcoming impeachment trial.

                The former president has hired Butch Bowers, a longtime Republican attorney with experience in election law, to represent him when the Senate considers an article of impeachment, likely in a matter of days or weeks.

                The hiring comes after Trump opted against building out a war room or communications infrastructure to push back against impeachment when it was considered by the House. The former president had also initially struggled to find someone to lead his impeachment defense, as attorneys who previously represented him declined to sign on for a second trial and suggested his political opponents had a stronger case this time.

                “This is political theater and I am neither a politician or an actor. I don’t see a role for me as a lawyer,” said Alan Dershowitz, the Trump-allied attorney who joined Trump’s impeachment defense team last January.

                Unlike Dershowitz, who’s faced scrutiny from bipartisan lawmakers over his ties to the late convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, Trump’s new defense attorney received praise on Thursday from some of his former Republican clients. The South Carolina-based attorney previously represented former Govs. Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford, and serves as a judge advocate general officer for the South Carolina National Guard.

                “Butch is a good friend and a fine lawyer. President Trump is fortunate to have him on his team,” Haley said through a spokesperson.

                Sanford, who was represented by Bowers during his own battle with impeachment after he fled to Argentina with a mistress during his term as South Carolina governor, described Bowers as “ethical and competent.”

                "Butch is a first-class human being. In the fifteen years … where I’ve worked with Butch in different capacities, it was just sort of run of the mill. He was perfunctory and professional,” Sanford said, adding that he does not believe Bowers will use his position on Trump’s defense team to amplify the ex-president’s baseless voter fraud allegations.
                The news of Bowers hire was first reported by Punchbowl News.

                Some Trump allies believe the president plans to use his trial to further his baseless claims that the election was stolen from him, according to two former aides familiar with his strategy. One of the aides cautioned that no defense strategy had been definitively agreed upon, though.

                Bowers’ history suggests that the ex-president is keen on focusing on how votes were cast and counted during the 2020 cycle.Bowers served under President George W. Bush as special counsel for voting matters in the Justice Department, and worked as counsel in Florida for John McCain’s 2008 presidential run.

                "All I can say is based on the Butch Bowers I know and respect, I would hope that he wouldn't be sucked in as a tool in advancing the president's conspiracy theories,” Sanford said.

                Trump’s push to bolster his defense team comes one week after House Democrats impeached him for a second time on charges of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the building — injuring law enforcement officials and forcing the evacuation of members of Congress — after rallying with the ex-president outside the White House.

                During that rally, Trump encouraged protesters “to walk down to the Capitol” — a phrase likely to become a focal point of his impeachment trial. Less than two hours after Trump made the remark, hundreds of his supporters burst through a security perimeter outside the building and eventually made their way inside.

                Trump’s decision to hire Bowers was announced by his ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) during a Senate GOP meeting on Thursday. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has asked for Trump to receive two weeks to prepare his legal case for trial. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said they had received a proposal from McConnell “that only deals with pre-trial motions” and that they would “review it and discuss it with him.”

                Graham, who said he has known Bowers for “a long time,” said Trump is still putting together his legal team. “Butch Bowers I think will be the sort of the anchor tenant,” Graham said.

                Trump, Graham told reporters, believes a post-presidential impeachment is “unconstitutional and damages his presidency.” Legal scholars disagree with that assessment arguing that one form of punishment that Trump could receive—a prohibition from running for future office—makes clear that the founders envisioned impeachment as a tool that could be applied to current and former presidents.

                Bowers could not be reached for comment.
                __________

                Better get those legal fees paid well in advance...and make sure the check clears your bank Butch.

                Oh and kiss your reputation goodbye. You just became another Trump stooge.
                Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                Comment


                • #23
                  Schumer: House to send Trump impeachment article Monday

                  WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to send the article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, launching the start of the former president's trial on a charge of incitement of insurrection over the deadly Capitol riot.

                  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the schedule Friday.

                  “There will be a trial,” Schumer said. "It will be a full trial, it will be a fair trial”

                  Trump is the first president to be twice impeached and the first to face a trial after leaving office.

                  While the transmission of the article launches the trial, the schedule ahead remains uncertain.

                  On Thursday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell proposed pushing back the start Trump's impeachment trial to February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case.

                  House Democrats who voted to impeach Trump last week for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot say a full reckoning is necessary before the country — and the Congress — can move on.

                  But McConnell in a statement Thursday evening suggested a more expansive timeline that would see the House transmit the article of impeachment next week, on Jan. 28, launching the trial's first phase. After that, the Senate would give the president's defense team and House prosecutors two weeks to file briefs. Arguments in the trial would likely begin in mid-February.

                  “Senate Republicans are strongly united behind the principle that the institution of the Senate, the office of the presidency, and former President Trump himself all deserve a full and fair process that respects his rights and the serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake,” especially given the unprecedented speed of the House process, McConnell said.

                  Schumer, D-N.Y., is reviewing the plan and will discuss it with McConnell, a spokesperson said. The two leaders are also negotiating how the new 50-50 Senate will work and how they will balance other priorities.

                  A trial delay could appeal to some Democrats, as it would give the Senate more time to confirm President Joe Biden's Cabinet nominees and debate a new round of coronavirus relief. Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a key ally of the president's, told CNN that Democrats would consider a delay “if we are making progress on confirming the very talented, seasoned and diverse team that President Joe Biden has nominated..

                  Pelosi said Trump doesn’t deserve a “get-out-of-jail card” just because he has left office and Biden and others are calling for national unity.

                  Facing his second impeachment trial in two years, Trump began to assemble his defense team by hiring attorney Butch Bowers to represent him, according to an adviser. Bowers previously served as counsel to former South Carolina Govs. Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford.

                  Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina helped Trump find Bowers after members of his past legal teams indicated they did not plan to join the new effort. Trump is at a disadvantage compared to his first trial, in which he had the full resources of the White House counsel's office to defend him.

                  Pelosi's nine impeachment managers, who will be prosecuting the House case, have been regularly meeting to discuss strategy. Pelosi said she would talk to them “in the next few days” about when the Senate might be ready for a trial.

                  Shortly before the Jan. 6 insurrection, Trump told thousands of his supporters at a rally near the White House to “fight like hell” against the election results that Congress was certifying. A mob marched down to the Capitol and rushed in, interrupting the count. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the mayhem, and the House impeached Trump a week later, with 10 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

                  Pelosi said it would be “harmful to unity” to forget that “people died here on Jan. 6, the attempt to undermine our election, to undermine our democracy, to dishonor our Constitution.”

                  Trump was acquitted by the Republican-led Senate at his first impeachment trial. The White House legal team, aided by Trump's personal lawyers, aggressively fought the House charges that he had encouraged the president of Ukraine to investigate Biden in exchange for military aid. This time around, Pelosi noted, the House is not seeking to convict the president over private conversations but for a very public insurrection that they themselves experienced and that played out on live television.

                  “This year, the whole world bore witness to the president’s incitement,” Pelosi said.

                  Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said it was still too early to know how long a trial would take or if Democrats would want to call witnesses. But he said, “You don’t need to tell us what was going on with the mob scene we were rushing down the staircase to escape.”

                  McConnell, who said this week that Trump “provoked” his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote. He told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience.

                  Democrats would need the support of at least 17 Republicans to convict Trump, a high bar. While a handful of Senate Republicans have indicated they are open to conviction, most have said they believe a trial will be divisive and questioned the legality of trying a president after he has left office.

                  Graham said that if he were Trump’s lawyer, he would focus on that argument and on the merits of the case — and whether it was “incitement” under the law.

                  “I guess the public record is your television screen,” Graham said. “So, I don’t see why this would take a long time.”

                  ___

                  Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    McConnell privately says he wants Trump gone as Republicans quietly lobby him to convict

                    Washington (CNN)As the House prepares to send articles of impeachment to the Senate on Monday, CNN has learned that dozens of influential Republicans around Washington -- including former top Trump administration officials -- have been quietly lobbying GOP members of Congress to impeach and convict Donald Trump. The effort is not coordinated but reflects a wider battle inside the GOP between those loyal to Trump and those who want to sever ties and ensure he can never run for President again.

                    The lobbying started in the House after the January 6 attack on the Capitol and in the days leading up to impeachment. But it's now more focused on Sen. Mitch McConnell, the powerful minority leader who has signaled he may support convicting Trump.
                    "Mitch said to me he wants Trump gone," one Republican member of Congress told CNN. "It is in his political interest to have him gone. It is in the GOP interest to have him gone. The question is, do we get there?"
                    McConnell had proposed delaying the trial until February, but with the articles coming to the Senate on Monday, the process will likely be set in motion sooner. It would take 17 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats in order to convict. While the bar is high, some GOP sources think there is more of an appetite to punish the former President than is publicly apparent.
                    "There were 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment. There were probably over 150 who supported it," said Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman and CNN contributor.
                    The ongoing Republican whisper campaign, according to more than a dozen sources who spoke to CNN, is based on a shared belief that a successful conviction is critical for the future of the Republican party. Multiple sources describe this moment as a reckoning for the party.


                    "Trump created a cult of personality that is hard to dismantle," said a former senior Republican official. "Conviction could do that."
                    The lobbying effort has included behind-the-scenes pressure by Republican donors, calls from former top Trump White House officials, and a set of talking points circulating among Republicans arguing for Trump's impeachment.
                    The 9-point memo charges that "it is difficult to find a more anti-conservative outburst by a U.S. president than Donald Trump the last two months." Other points include that Trump "urged supporters from across the nation to come to Washington, DC, to disrupt" Congress on January 6 and egged on the crowd, which was "widely understood to include people who were planning to fight physically, and who were prepared to die in response to his false claims of a 'stolen election.''
                    The memo goes on to point out Trump "tweeted and made other statements against the Vice President as the Secret Service was being forced to rush Mike Pence out of the Senate chamber and into a protective bunker." It's unclear how widely disseminated the memo is among Republicans in Washington.

                    'A fight for the party'
                    McConnell is also facing pressure from a faction of Senate Republicans to stick with Trump, with some telling CNN that support for conviction could threaten McConnell's leadership.
                    "No, no, no," Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican and Trump ally, told CNN when asked if he could support McConnell if he voted to convict Trump, calling such a vote a "dangerous precedent" and adding: "I don't even think we should be having a trial."
                    "If you're wanting to erase Donald Trump from the party, you're going to get erased," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on Fox News Wednesday. "This idea of moving forward without Donald Trump in the Republican Party is a disaster for the Republican Party."
                    There have also been public appeals for Republican lawmakers to take action against Trump. Former White House chief of staff John Kelly told CNN if it was up to him, he would vote to remove Trump. Former Attorney General Bill Barr accused the President of "orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress" and went on to call his conduct a "betrayal of his office."
                    Among some former Trump administration officials, the President's actions around the January 6 riot aroused feelings of disgust.
                    "I almost threw up when I saw the President tweeting against Mike Pence," said one former senior Trump official.
                    In addition, more than 30 former Republican members of Congress signed a letter urging House members to vote to impeach. At the same time, current and former Senate aides are encouraging their bosses to seriously consider voting to convict.
                    And in the days after January 6, a handful of House staffers whose bosses supported Trump resigned, including a senior GOP staffer on the House Armed Services Committee and aides to Reps. Lauren Boebert and Jim Jordan.
                    "A lot of people view this as a fight for the party," said one former Republican Hill aide.
                    Others are hoping more Senate Republicans will step up.
                    "In the Senate, there is more institutional respect and understanding of the long-term consequences," said former Trump administration appointee Gabriel Noronha. "There is also real resentment of Trump and the damage he has done, and awareness of what this means in the next four to eight years."
                    Noronha recently made news when he was fired by the White House for a tweet condemning Trump's actions on January 6.

                    Signals from McConnell
                    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, wears a protective mask while walking to his office from the Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.
                    The consensus among the Republicans who spoke to CNN is that McConnell's decision on conviction will sway others. On Tuesday, in his most forceful comments yet, McConnell tied Trump's actions to the attack itself during a speech on the Senate floor.
                    "The mob was fed lies," McConnell said. "They were provoked by the President and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. But we pressed on."
                    Since he is known as restrained and deliberate, McConnell's words gave hope to Republicans who would like the party to split from Trump.
                    "I hope Mitch's institutional reverence for the Senate will overcome his natural political caution and will lead him to the conclusion that Trump is in the way of the party's future," said the former senior GOP official.

                    The legal arguments
                    Other Republican senators who have said they will vote to acquit cite a Jan. 12 op-ed in The Washington Post by former federal judge and conservative legal luminary J. Michael Luttig. Luttig writes an impeachment trial after Trump left office would be unconstitutional.
                    "I think a lot of people would like a reason not to convict," said a former Republican Senate staffer.
                    But other Republican legal experts are pushing back with GOP senators.
                    "It feels like the weight of the energy in Washington with legal conservatives is pretty strongly in favor of impeachment," said Gregg Nunziata, a former counsel to the Senate Republican conference who has reached out to senators himself.
                    However the fear of reprisal from Trump's allies in the media -- Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have already criticized McConnell's condemnation of Trump -- and Trump's base may prevail.The former senior Republican official who would like to see Trump convicted characterized it as an internal war within the party and expressed pessimism that enough senators would rise to the occasion.
                    "I have learned through sad experience that no one has lost money betting on the seemingly bottomless capacity of congressional R's for self-abasement and cowardice," said the former official.
                    __________
                    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Impeachment Trial Pushed to February 8

                      Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced on Friday that the Senate impeachment trial of Trump will begin the week of Feb. 8, the Washington Post reports.
                      _________

                      Good, there's no need to rush into the trial. Give the managers time to polish their case and summon witnesses...especially the people that actually stormed the building
                      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Lawyers for accused Capitol rioters outline a defense: The president made them do it

                        The presence at the scene of Chansley, who faces charges of civil disorder and entering a restricted building, “is not the issue,” Watkins said; the issue is that a group that included his client felt a special bond with Trump and were willing to do whatever he asked. “And on Jan. 6 my client, who had been fueled by an ongoing dialogue with other like-minded individuals, appeared to heed the call of the president to help him save our country,” Watkins said.

                        Watkins was indirectly citing Trump’s remarks at a rally before the riot on Jan. 6, during which he urged them to “fight like hell” to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which he falsely claims was stolen from him. The Capitol attack happened while Congress was counting the Electoral College votes to certify President Biden’s victory.

                        “They listened to [Trump] and his cohorts speak to them in a fashion that is akin to a high school football coach on a Friday evening talking to his team and getting them all hyped up in the locker room before he runs out to the football field with them,” Watkins said.

                        But Trump did not run onto the metaphorical field, returning instead to the White House to watch the mayhem on television. After tweeting out his “love” for the rioters (“you’re very special,” he added), he eventually — after it became apparent that the effort to overthrow the government had failed — denounced the riot, if not explicitly the rioters.

                        “Mob violence goes against everything I believe in,” Trump said in a video, “and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.” Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Jan. 13 over his role in encouraging the attack and is expected to stand trial in the Senate.
                        Trump supporter Richard Barnett occupies the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Jan. 6. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
                        Mike Scibetta, a Rochester, N.Y., attorney who represents Dominic Pezzola, charged with obstruction of an official proceeding and destruction of government property, said his defense team is mindful of how Trump’s involvement may affect the case against his client.

                        “We have one arm of the prosecutorial government, apparently going to prosecute a president for inciting and inviting these individuals to come down there,” Scibetta told Yahoo News. “That begs the question. How, on the other hand, can you not say that they weren't invited to come down there? Were they invited to break things? Probably not. But certainly trespass begs the question: Am I trespassing when the highest power in the country invited me down to come on down to the Capitol?”

                        The Capitol, for the record, is the seat of Congress, a separate and co-equal branch of government over which the president has no direct authority.

                        Lori Ulrich, a federal public defender in Harrisburg, Pa., said at a hearing in Pennsylvania for her client Riley June Williams that it’s “regrettable that Ms.Williams took the president's bait and went inside the Capitol,” NBC Philadelphia reported. Williams is accused of stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop from her office with the intent to sell it to Russian intelligence, according to the criminal complaint against Williams. Ulrich declined to comment further on her statement in an interview with Yahoo News. “We are at the very early stages of the proceeding,” she said, “so there is a lot we don’t know.”
                        A pro-Trump protester carries the lectern of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi through the Roturnda of the U.S. Capitol Building after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)More
                        Of the attorneys who have spoken publicly, Watkins is perhaps the most willing to put the blame squarely on Trump, but other attorneys have at least tacitly acknowledged that they are considering what is known as a “public authority” defense, namely, that their clients believed they were acting at the direction of the president.

                        “I can't say whether Trump has any responsibility,” James Whalen, a Frisco, Texas, attorney for Troy Smocks, told Yahoo News. Smocks is charged with making threats related to the riot on the now defunct conservative social media app Parler.

                        According to the criminal complaint, Smocks allegedly wrote: “Today, January 6 , 2021, We Patriots by the millions have arrived in Washington, DC, carrying banners of support for the greatest President the World has ever known. But if we must...Many of us will return on January 19 , 2021, carrying our weapons in support of Our nation’s resolve, to which the world will never forget. We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match. However, the police are NOT our enemy, unless they choose to be! All who will not stand with the American Patriots...or cannot stand with us, then, that would be a good time for you to take a few vacation days.”
                        Militant supporters of former President Donald Trump inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)
                        There was more, Whalen said, adding “when you look at the entire post in its context, there is reference to what President Trump said in his [Jan. 6] speech.”

                        Whalen, along with every other attorney who spoke to Yahoo News, denied the allegations on behalf of their clients but acknowledged that they were at the Capitol during the riot.

                        Scibetta said Trump’s perceived role is “something to explore” as a legal argument. “It’s a legitimate, rational basis for these people, [who] in most instances would've been home, going about their daily lives, had the most powerful man, arguably in the world but certainly the country, not said, ‘Come on down, make your voice heard, come to the Capitol.’”
                        Pro-Trump rioters breaking into the Capitol. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
                        With dozens of defendants from across the country, and a chaotic scene to parse through, some attorneys are distancing their clients from what they describe as bad actors who appeared to spur the violence and destruction at the Capitol.

                        “He’s being lumped in with certain individuals that may have acted violently,” defense attorney Jason DiPasquale said of his client, Peter Harding, who’s from a town near Buffalo, N.Y. Harding is charged with entering a restricted building as well as violent and disorderly conduct, which DiPasquale notes are misdemeanors.

                        “He in no way, shape or form gained entry [to the Capitol] through violence,” DiPasquale said, “or partook in any of the violent acts that have been displayed [by] the media, that others may have engaged in.”

                        Watkins said there’s footage of his client being let into the building. “Some [people] had no intentions of ever walking to the Capitol, much less going into it,” he said. “[And] you had some that were bad apples.”

                        Some legal experts are doubtful that these arguments will gain traction before a judge or a jury. “For the most part, these claims don’t amount to serious legal defenses,” Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Columbia Law School, told Yahoo News via email.
                        Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon shaman, at the Capitol on Jan. 6. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
                        “They still might get before juries, if the cases go to trial, and potentially affect assessments of intent and knowledge,” he said. “But since so few cases go to trial, and the ones that do will go before DC jurors who I suspect won't incline toward sympathy, I would be surprised if the claims made headway.”

                        Maneka Sinha, a criminal defense expert and professor at the University of Maryland Law School, told Yahoo News that some of these defenses may be better served for mitigation purposes, specifically during the sentencing phase or when they’re arguing for pretrial release.

                        “If these cases go to trial, juries are going to have to decide whether claims like that are credible. But as an initial matter, the information that’s already available to the public seems to somewhat belie the idea that it would be easy to believe that you weren’t doing anything wrong. We’ve got fencing, we've got barricades, police officers pushing people back, orders to stop. And then on top of that, the pretty basic facts that they’re entering federal property while Congress was in session, many with this explicit purpose of overturning the election.”

                        Sinha noted that it’s too early to speculate on the outcome of the cases. While many criminal cases are resolved with a plea agreement, the Capitol riot cases many not have that option.

                        “It’s not every day that the Capitol is breached,” she said. “So we don’t know if prosecutors are going to treat these cases the way they treat ordinary cases, and they may not.”
                        _______________

                        These weak-minded fools are going to have a merry time explaining that shit in front of the judge.

                        At the same time, every last one of them should be subpoenaed to testify before Congress
                        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                        • #27
                          Two seperate and very much hypothetical questions.

                          Does anybody find the scenario of impeaching trump and then Biden pardoning him attractive ?

                          And does anybody find the scenario of finding the protestors guilty and then pardoning them if they didnt physcially commit violent acts?

                          Its ironic that the republicans could be saved from four more years of Trump destroying the party and another possible eleletion run to cap it off by the democrats impeaching him. Potential GOP saviours. Still obviously the lesser of two evils. But it does leave a foul taste helping the GOP as a byproduct of helping America.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                            Two seperate and very much hypothetical questions.

                            Does anybody find the scenario of impeaching trump and then Biden pardoning him attractive ?
                            Not attractive and not possible under the Constitution:

                            Article II, Section 2, Clause 1:

                            The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

                            Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                            And does anybody find the scenario of finding the protestors guilty and then pardoning them if they didnt physcially commit violent acts?
                            I find it neither attractive nor likely at all. The "protestors" that are found guilty will go proceed through the justice system without any sort of reprieve or pardon from Joe Biden, you can count on that. I can't predict what future Republican presidents will do for the insurrectionists of course.

                            Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                            Its ironic that the republicans could be saved from four more years of Trump destroying the party and another possible eleletion run to cap it off by the democrats impeaching him. Potential GOP saviours. Still obviously the lesser of two evils. But it does leave a foul taste helping the GOP as a byproduct of helping America.
                            That is quite amusing, yeah, that the GOP might well have been saved from destruction by Biden's victory. Or maybe not, who knows.
                            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                              Not attractive and not possible under the Constitution:

                              Article II, Section 2, Clause 1:

                              The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

                              .
                              I didn't know that

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                                That is quite amusing, yeah, that the GOP might well have been saved from destruction by Biden's victory. Or maybe not, who knows.
                                I was more in the thinking that the impeachment could do them a great favour, not bidens victory but ofcourse both can be true

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