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2020 American Political Scene

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  • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    The GOP finally finds its balls (barely). Some of them, anyway.

    Let's see just how much Trump gives a damn about the country.
    Fixed it

    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain


    • Let's see just how much Trump gives a damn about the country: Not one goddamn bit
      Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

      Fixed it
      Answered it
      “They’re coming and we can’t stop them from breaching" ~ Capitol Police radio transmission January 6th 2020


      • House Intelligence Member and former Presidential candidate was compromised by communist Chinese Spy.


        • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
          House Intelligence Member and former Presidential candidate was compromised by communist Chinese Spy.

          You misspelled "targeted", because that's all the link you provided, but didn't quote from, says about Swalwell.

          Want to continue venturing outside of your troll threads? Start posting like you actually give a damn.
          “They’re coming and we can’t stop them from breaching" ~ Capitol Police radio transmission January 6th 2020


          • Trumpism Triumphant
            Even in defeat, the GOP surrenders to the nutcases.

            Off and on, for 25 years, I participated in National Review cruises as a speaker. I met lots of wonderful people who were intelligent, curious, and great company—but there were always cranks and conspiracy theorists too. Once, during the Clinton administration, people at my dinner table were repeating the story that Hillary had killed Vince Foster. I choked down my bite of chicken Kiev and responded, as equably as possible, “Well, for that to be true, she would also have had to transport his body to Fort Marcy Park without the Secret Service or anyone else noticing.” Several people at the table blinked back at me. Yeah? So?

            It was a tell, though I didn’t know it at the time. In later years, I noticed that cruisers weren’t citing mainstream publications for their information. They weren’t even citing National Review (which a fair percentage of the cruisers didn’t even read, I learned). They were getting their news from email lists and subscription newsletters. I noticed the same thing when speaking to conservative audiences. Someone was always buttonholing me and thrusting some obscure publication into my hands.

            These people were not hard up. They hadn’t been displaced from their union jobs by outsourcing. The ladies wore designer dresses and the men sported pinky diamonds. In 2020, people earning more than $100,000 voted for Trump over Biden by 11 points, whereas Biden earned the support of those earning less than $50,000 by 15 points.

            There’s a theory that people have rallied to Trump and alternative news sources because they feel disrespected by the mainstream, liberal-leaning press. They bristle at the condescension of liberals who, they believe, despise country music, guns, and Cracker Barrel. There is some truth in this, but my experience with conservatives makes me skeptical of that as a complete explanation. Sure, the urban/rural divide is real—and not limited to the United States—but resentment of elites has always been with us. From suspicion of the First Bank of the United States among the Jeffersonians to the populist movement of the 1890s, “coastal elites” have always been despised by some. But it didn’t drive people into abject lunacy in the past, or at least, not on the scale we see today.

            The resentment motive can’t account for our volume of crazy. A theme that unified these conspiracy-minded people was a sense of superiority—not inferiority. They felt that they had access to the hidden truth that the deluded masses didn’t understand. It was a key feature of Rush Limbaugh’s appeal. He frequently suggested that he understood that real story beneath the official version, and could penetrate the opaque Washington drama by stripping away the polite fictions to reveal the ugly realities beneath.

            After decades of this diet, and with an enormous turbo-charge from Trump, the conspiracists are in the driver’s seat of the Republican party. Today, the glazed-eyed-Hillary-murdered-Vince Foster-Republicans are, if not the majority, at least a plurality of the Republican party. This is profoundly worrying, because, let’s face it, they’ve suspended their critical faculties. Trump spent months saying mail-in ballots were ripe for fraud. He openly declared that he would not accept the legitimacy of any election he lost. He pressured friendly state legislatures, like Pennsylvania’s, not to count mail ballots until election day so that he could weave a story of victory if he did well with in-person voting on Election night, knowing that the count for mail ballots would take longer.

            Now consider the average Republican voter. If anyone of their personal acquaintance had said, about an upcoming company baseball game, or their kid’s weekend soccer match, that the refs were all corrupt and that the other team always cheats, and then after losing the game, claimed that it was all rigged, they’d roll their eyes and say, “That guy is a little cracked.”

            Trump is more than a little cracked. What Peter Wehner calls his “disordered personality” has been on vivid display for years. The peevishness, the pettiness, the colossal narcissism—to say nothing of his larger faults. But the normal, ordinary evaluations of character and credibility are suspended in Trump’s case.

            His legal challenges to the results have been so absurd that if they’d been filed by anyone other than the president of the United States, they might have been thrown out as “frivolous.” They have lost 49 of the 50 suits they’ve filed, and not just lost, but lost with blistering smackdowns from the judges, including those appointed by Trump. “Voters, not lawyers, choose the president,” wrote Stephanos Bibas, a judge on the Third Circuit. Another judge wrote:
            This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.

            In case you missed it, the Republican party of Arizona is actually asking Republicans to “fight and die” for Trump’s stolen election lie. Retweeting Trumpist Ali Akbar who said “I am willing to give my life for this fight,” the Arizona GOP replied “He is. Are you?” (The account has since deleted the tweets.)

            Eric Metaxas, who wrote a well-received biography of William Wilberforce in 2007 but has tumbled all the way down the rabbit hole into Trump cultism, released a video testament telling Trump, “I’d be happy to die in this fight. This is a fight for everything. God is with us.” Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is calling for a military coup. One of the president’s lawyers called for an official who oversaw election cybersecurity to be shot at dawn.

            Even more disturbing than the crackpot statements of hard-core cultists are the Republican elected officials who are behaving like automatons stamped out of a brain-removal factory. The Washington Post contacted all of the Republicans serving in the House and Senate to ask who won the election. Two said Trump, 27 said Biden, and the other 220 declined to say. Ted Cruz, Mr. “Constitutional Conservative,” is volunteering to argue Trump’s utterly fraudulent stolen election case before the Supreme Court. The Court has other ideas.

            A Republican Georgia election official pleaded with the president and others to behave with minimal decency. Noting that people simply doing their jobs—along with their family members—had received explicit rape and death threats, Gabriel Sterling got emotional, predicting, “Someone is going to get shot. Someone is going to get killed,” if the president and his henchmen continue the incitement. Within hours of that plea, dozens of armed people gathered outside the home of the Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson as she was decorating a Christmas tree with her four-year-old son. “Stop the steal,” they chanted, and “you’re murderers.

            And then there are the polls showing that shocking numbers of rank-and-file Republicans are buying this big lie. A YouGov/Economist poll found that 73 percent of Republicans had little or no confidence that the election was conducted fairly. A Morning Consult/Politico survey found that 67 percent of Republicans said the election was probably or definitely not free and fair. And a Monmouth University poll found that 75 percent of Republicans were “not too confident” or “not at all confident” that the 2020 election was conducted fairly and accurately. Sixty-four Republican members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives have signed a letter asking that members of Congress throw out Pennsylvania’s slate of electors.

            We have now reached the stage where it isn’t just that Republicans fail to rebuke Trump. It isn’t just that Republicans are frightened into silence by fear of the base. We are now at the stage when a critical mass of the Republican party has adopted Trump’s disordered personality for its own. The Republican party is, in this iteration, a danger to American democracy. Our urgent task is, to borrow a phrase, to repeal and replace it.
            “They’re coming and we can’t stop them from breaching" ~ Capitol Police radio transmission January 6th 2020


            • Arizona Supreme Court unanimously rejects GOP bid to void Biden's win

              The Arizona Supreme Court agreed late Tuesday that President-elect Joe Biden won Arizona and its 11 electoral votes, rejecting an appeal by Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward to void Biden's win due to alleged fraud. Biden beat President Trump by 10,457 votes in Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) certified last week, making him the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1996.

              Ward had filed her suit in Maricopa County Superior Court, but after a day and a half of testimony and oral arguments, she and her lawyers failed to persuade Judge Randall Warner that there's evidence of anything but a small number of honest mistakes in the vote count. The Arizona Supreme Court agreed unanimously.

              Ward's team failed to "present any evidence of 'misconduct,' 'illegal votes,' or that the Biden Electors 'did not in fact receive the highest number of votes for office,' let alone establish any degree of fraud or a sufficient error rate that would undermine the certainty of the election results," Chief Justice Robert Brutinel wrote. "The validity of an election is not voided by honest mistakes or omissions unless they affect the result, or at least render it uncertain," and "it is ordered affirming the trial court decision and confirming the election of the Biden Electors."

              The Arizona Supreme Court upheld Biden's win hours after the U.S. Supreme Court tersely rejected a bid by a few Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers to decertify Biden's win in the Keystone State, and hours before the "safe harbor" deadline for resolving election disputes. Trump and his allies are have lost all but one of their more than 50 lawsuits to overturn Biden's win, according to a running tally by Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias.
              “They’re coming and we can’t stop them from breaching" ~ Capitol Police radio transmission January 6th 2020


              • More influence operations at the Fox faction of the shadow government ministry of propaganda...

                Originally posted by Fox_News

                Judge Andrew P. Napolitano: Can President Trump pardon himself?

                The pardoning power is expressly and exclusively granted to the president in the Constitution

                Opinion: Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
                10 December 2020

                Most presidential pardons — indeed all pardons that President Trump has issued — have been for specific crimes of which the subject of the pardon has already been charged and convicted. Yet, Trump — never one to be restrained by precedent — has let it be hinted that he might issue prophylactic pardons to relatives and colleagues who have neither been convicted nor charged with any crimes.

                And Trump might pardon himself. Can he do that? The short answer is yes. Here is the backstory.

                The pardoning power is expressly and exclusively granted to the president in the Constitution. Article Two, Section 2, Clause 1 states that the president “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

                When unpacked, that broad language reveals that the president can only pardon for federal crimes, not for anyone’s impeachment, and he does not need the approval of anyone else in the government.

                Trump is the subject of a criminal investigation for alleged or potential violations of New York state laws. But the existence of a state criminal probe of the president does not impair his ability to insulate himself from the legal consequences of a federal criminal probe, since it is clear that the president cannot pardon anyone — including himself — for state offenses.

                As there has been little modern litigation over the validity and scope of individual pardons for federal offenses, there is little case law. What case law does exist broadly favors an expansive view of presidential pardon power.

                The leading case is Ex parte Garland from 1866. There, the Supreme Court upheld a pardon issued to Augustus Hill Garland, a former Arkansas senator in the Confederate States of America.

                Garland, who supported his native Arkansas during the Civil War, was pardoned after the war of all offenses against the United States by President Andrew Johnson, even though the former senator had not been charged with any crimes. When federal officials, pursuant to a statute, refused to allow Garland to practice law in federal courts due to his support of the Confederacy and failure to renounce that support, he sued them.

                The Supreme Court ruled in Garland’s favor and held that the presidential pardon power “extends to every (federal) offense known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment.”

                The language in the Garland case should put an end to speculation about the legal validity of prophylactic pardons, as should our collective memories. President Gerald R. Ford famously pardoned former President Richard M. Nixon in 1974, a pardon Nixon accepted even though he had not been charged with committing any federal crime.

                And in 1977, on his first day in office, President Jimmy Carter pardoned hundreds of thousands of young men who declined to be drafted into the military during the Vietnam War era, many of whom had fled to Canada, and nearly all of whom had not been charged with draft evasion.

                President George H.W. Bush pardoned six Reagan-era officials in the Iran-Contra affair in 1992, including former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger — whose trial was about to commence at the time of the pardon and at which the pre-presidential behavior of Bush was to have been laid before the jury.

                In 2001, President Bill Clinton pardoned his half-brother, Roger, over an old cocaine possession conviction. President Clinton pardoned his former business partner Susan McDougal over a land deal in which he and Hillary Clinton had arguably been involved.

                President Clinton also infamously pardoned Marc Rich for a conviction of income tax evasion, and then accepted a substantial donation to the Clinton Foundation from Mrs. Rich.

                All of these pardons were and remain legally valid.

                It was well-known to the framers of our Constitution that British monarchs only pardoned for specific, already-charged offenses. Professor Aaron Rappaport of Hastings College of the Law at the University of California, Berkeley, has argued that the original understanding of the pardon power was that it would be used only for crimes that had already been charged.

                Others have argued that the concept of bilateral fairness — which certainly animated James Madison when he drafted the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment — mandates that no person shall be a judge in his own case.

                Both of these points are well-taken and historically correct. If the president pardons for crimes not yet charged, is he exercising powers that the framers never understood that they were giving him? If the president pardons himself, is he acting as a judge in his own case? The answer to both of these questions is yes. Yet, the Supreme Court and history teach that while such pardons may be eviscerated politically, they will be upheld legally.

                Before the president pardons his children, his colleagues and himself, he should pardon all those convicted under federal drug laws for use and possession. They harmed no one. He should also pardon Julian Assange, who revealed the slaughter of innocent civilians and the cover-up by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, and Edward Snowden, who revealed that the feds have engaged in secret, unlawful and warrantless spying on hundreds of millions of innocent Americans.

                Assange and Snowden have been bitterly targeted and verbally savaged by the Deep State, but these heroes risked their lives and liberties so we might know the truth about government lawbreaking.

                Should pardons produce justice? Sometimes they do — as would be the case for Assange and Snowden. But the essence of a pardon is mercy, not justice — and they are often opposites.




                • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                  House Intelligence Member and former Presidential candidate was compromised by communist Chinese Spy.
                  Unlike some GOP members of Congress when notified by the FBI REP Swalwell immediately cut ties with the individual and fully cooperated with the FBI in the investigation.

                  And that was 5 years ago.
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain


                  • Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody backs Texas challenge to election results in 4 states

                    Democratic state representative calls case 'joke'

                    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Wednesday joined 16 other states in backing a last-chance effort by Texas to get the U.S. Supreme Court to block election results in four swing states where the vote went in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

                    State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, called the case a "joke."

                    "Oh come on. I know we have more important issues to address like housing and unemployment versus a joke lawsuit about an election that ended a month ago," Eskamani tweeted.

                    From the Orlando Sentinel

                    Broward Democratic activist Seth Platt responded to Moody on Twitter, writing that “You are supposed to stop criminals, not aid and abet them.”


                    Trust me?
                    I'm an economist!


                    • Relax, A Trump Comeback In 2024 Is Not Going To Happen
                      We’ve seen this president’s type before. They always fade away.

                      Donald Trump lost the presidency, but his opponents so far have not achieved the victory they want most: A fatal puncturing of the Trump movement, a repudiation so complete that it severs his astonishing grip on supporters and leaves him with no choice but to slink offstage and into the blurry past.

                      For now, Trump dominates conversations about both present and future. His outlandish claims that he won the election except for comprehensive fraud have helped raise more than $200 million since Election Day. Many of his partisans share his dream of recapturing the presidency in 2024. For those who despise him, to paraphrase a famous Democratic speech, it seems clear the work goes on, the cause endures, the fear still lives, and the nightmare shall never die.

                      Except it will die — most likely with more speed and force than looks possible today.
                      There are three primary reasons to be deeply skeptical that Trump’s moment of dominating his party and public consciousness will continue long after Jan. 20.

                      Most important are the abundant precedents suggesting Trump does not have another important act in national politics. The perception that Trump will remain relevant hinges on the possibility that he is a unique historical figure. Trump, however, is singular in one sense only: No politician of his stripe has ever achieved the presidency. In multiple other ways, he is a familiar American type, anticipated by such diverse figures as Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace, and Ross Perot.

                      Like Trump, they all possessed flamboyant, self-dramatizing personas. They tapped into genuine popular grievance toward elites, and had ascendant moments in which they caused the system to quake and intimidated conventional politicians of both parties. In every case, their movements decayed rapidly. Cults of personality in American politics are quite common. But they never live long, and Trump has offered no reason to suppose he will be an exception.

                      That’s the second reason Trump is not well-positioned to retain his hold on public attention: He has largely abandoned any pretense that he thinks about anything other than his personal resentments, or that he is trying to harness his movement to big ideas that will improve the lives of citizens. When he vaulted into presidential politics five years ago, Trump’s still-potent gifts — for channeling anger, for mockery, for conspiracy theory — were once channeled to an agenda that fellow Republicans were largely neglecting, over trade, immigration, globalization, and perceptions of national decline. These days, no one can follow Trump’s Twitter feed and believe that he cares more about the public’s problems than his own, and that is not a recipe for sustaining political power.

                      Here is the third reason to be bearish on Trump’s future: Politics never stands still, but Trump largely does. As he leaves the White House, Trump should be haunted by a stark reality — if he had any capacity for self-calibration, he wouldn’t be leaving the White House at all. He’s got one set of political tools. When things are going well, his instinct is to double down on those. When things are going poorly, his instinct is to double down on those. In political terms, the pandemic demanded modulation of Trump’s blame-casting brand of politics — but also would have lavishly rewarded him if he had done so.

                      Trump didn’t change because he didn’t perceive the need and couldn’t conceive of how to do so. That’s a combination of flawed judgment and impoverished imagination that hardly supports optimism about his ability to retain power in the new circumstances that await him once gone from the White House.

                      Time moves on. Ambitious Republicans who wish to regain control of the party and become president themselves do not have to confront and defeat Trump, as his 2016 rivals tried and failed to do. They merely have to transcend him, using issues to create leadership personas that will soon enough make the 74-year-old Trump look irrelevant, an artifact of an era that has passed. What about his 88-million Twitter followers, and the possibility that in his ex-presidency he will start his own news network? It is true that Trump will not lack for avenues to get his message out. But what will that message be, beyond repeating claims of a stolen election that his own attorney general has said are not true. Conspiracy theories, of course, can have power, even when the evidence is nil — that’s just proof of how deep and wide the conspiracy must go. But this isn’t a promising basis to return Trump to the White House or make him kingmaker.

                      This brings the mind back to the figure who is the most vivid antecedent of Trump: Joe McCarthy.

                      A comparison to McCarthy is usually invoked as an insult. Certainly I do not intend it as a compliment. But in this case let’s keep the comparison entirely clinical. Like McCarthy, Trump used accusation and grave warnings of national betrayal and decline to tap into currents of nativism and suspicion of elites that stretched back to the country’s early days. Like McCarthy, Trump is regarded by people who know him well as vastly more interested in publicity for himself than he is about the issues on which he inveighs. And just like McCarthy, Trump seemed to become intoxicated by publicity and power, becoming louder and more unleashed from fact the more he was challenged and the more his moment seemed to be slipping away.

                      In the Washington Post the other day, Yale historian Beverly Gage noted that McCarthyism didn’t die after Joe McCarthy was censured by his fellow senators in 1954. That’s true. But McCarthy as a figure who could instill fear or command influence did recede rapidly.

                      In an engaging memoir, “Without Precedent,” one of the secondary participants of the McCarthy drama shared an arresting recollection. John G. Adams was a fellow attorney with Joseph Welch (famous for his challenge to McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”) in the Army-McCarthy hearings that were the Wisconsin senator’s undoing. After his censure, McCarthy on separate occasions kept calling Adams for the two to get together, to somehow demonstrate no hard feelings, in what McCarthy apparently believed would be part of his public rehabilitation. He proposed a dinner with spouses. “She despises you,” Adams replied. “She wouldn’t set foot in your door.” McCarthy giggled. “Heh, heh, you know the girls,” the disgraced senator said. “They take these things seriously.”

                      This reminded me of something a reporter who has covered Trump since his New York years once told me: “It’s not that his bark is worse than his bite. He doesn’t really want to bite at all. He wants to be petted.”

                      In the case of Adams and McCarthy, they did finally have their meeting, in which the senator spun fantasies of comeback. His adversary told him: “It’s no good, Joe. It’s over and finished; that’s all.”

                      That turned out to be true for McCarthy, who died as a pathetic alcoholic at age 48 in 1957. It was basically true for George Wallace, who won 13.5 percent of the vote as a third-party candidate of racial and class backlash in 1968. He was shot in an attempted assassination when he tried again in 1972, by which it was already pretty clear that his hour of consequence had past. Perot, a more benign representation of the American fascination with supposed strong men who burst on the scene in noisy opposition to conventional politics, won nearly 20 percent of the vote as a Reform Party candidate in 1992. That dwindled to 8 percent when he tried again in 1996, and Perot continued to slip from public view.

                      It is not just in American history but American imagination that self-invented, outsized outsiders don’t have staying power. Willie Stark, modeled after Huey Long, was shot at the end of “All the King’s Men.” F. Scott Fitzgerald delivered the same fate to Jay Gatsby. Not long after the Wizard of Oz is exposed as an amiable fraud (“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”), Dorothy awakens to discover it was all just a dream.

                      The Trump years were not just a hallucination. But chances are they will soon enough come to feel like they were — which won’t leave much opportunity to return to real power.

                      I have a feeling that the basic premise of this op-ed is correct: Trump won't run again in 2024. But I don't think Trump is going to fade away so quickly unless he chooses to (doubtful), dies (keep scarfing down that fast food!) or dementia grabs him by the genitals (likely).

                      The Cult of Trump is unlike anything that came before him. McCarthy, Wallace and Perot never commanded the numbers of Kool-Aid drinkers that Trump does. That trio also never got off scot-free after brazenly insulting some of the most (formerly) sacred American totems.

                      In the op-ed's favor, I suspect that Trump, once shorn of the halo effect of the presidency, will certainly see his influence diminished somewhat. That of course will depend on the MSM not giving him the billions in free airtime that he's enjoyed since announcing his candidacy back in 2015 or whenever it was.

                      I'll be more than happy to be proven wrong. But I'll believe it when I see it.
                      “They’re coming and we can’t stop them from breaching" ~ Capitol Police radio transmission January 6th 2020


                      • Hunter Biden Is Under Investigation
                        On Wednesday, news broke that the U.S. Attorney's office in Delaware is investigating Hunter Biden, son of Joe. The investigation, which is being assisted by the FBI and the IRS, apparently focuses on Hunter Biden's dealings with China, and possible subversion of tax laws therein. The soon-to-be First Son released a statement that said: "I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs. I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors."

                        In theory, this should be irrelevant to the Biden presidency. The President-elect is not implicated in any way, is not under investigation, and is not responsible for what his adult children do. And if you want to argue that having children with business interests in China compromises a president's objectivity when it comes to dealing with the Chinese, well, Biden will be the second president in a row with that particular problem.

                        In practice, of course, this is a pretty big deal. If things go badly for Hunter, it will rebound onto Joe, and will give some amount of credibility to other charges that have been lodged against the President-elect. On the other hand, if Hunter is exonerated, then Democrats from the president on down will be able to say "See? All of these claims are just made-up nonsense meant to distract people from the real issues." In other words, partisans on both sides of the aisle will be watching this one closely.

                        And speaking of politics, one might be inclined to guess that this investigation is politically motivated, given how closely it tracks with the claims made by Donald Trump. And it certainly could be. But before committing too strongly to that thesis, it is worth keeping two things in mind. The first is that U.S. Attorneys don't usually play those kinds of political games. The second is that the investigation has been underway for months, having commenced well before the election. If the only real purpose was to harm Joe Biden and/or aid Trump, then it seems probable that someone would have found a way to leak the story before the election
                        “They’re coming and we can’t stop them from breaching" ~ Capitol Police radio transmission January 6th 2020


                        • This seems like it might satisfy threshold of seditious conspiracy. Key aspect is two or more conspiring to use of force.

                          Originally posted by Cornell_Law_School

                          18 U.S. Code § 2384.
                          Seditious conspiracy

                          If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

                          (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 1, 70 Stat. 623; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(N), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)
                          Originally posted by CBS_News

                          The Arizona Republican Party asked its Twitter followers this week if they would be "willing" to die to overturn President Trump's election loss.

                          On Monday, an activist associated with the "Stop the Steal" movement, which promotes baseless arguments that Democrats "stole" the election, tweeted, "I am willing to give my life for this fight."

                          In response, the official account for the Arizona branch of the GOP quote tweeted the sentiment, adding, "He is. Are you?"

                          Last week, Arizona certified President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of its 11 electoral votes. Trump's team has lost several lawsuits in the state after failing to provide evidence of voter fraud, but continues to dispute the results.

                          Despite Republican Governor Doug Ducey's support of the state's election process, the Arizona GOP account has continued its unwavering efforts to fight the election outcome, tweeting Tuesday, "Live a life of service to a cause greater than yourself."

                          In another tweet, which has since been deleted, the party shared a clip from the 2008 film "Rambo" with title character saying, "This is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something."

                          In response to a CBS News inquiry regarding both tweets, a spokesperson for the Arizona GOP said that the party does not condone violence.

                          "The Republican Party of Arizona condemns all forms of violence in the strongest terms," the spokesperson said. "Fictional movie scenes should be weighed in their proper context."

                          The movie is the fourth entry in the action franchise centered on Vietnam War veteran John Rambo, played by Sylvester Stallone. In the film, Rambo works with a team of mercenaries to rescue a group of missionaries taken hostage by soldiers from the Burmese military junta.

                          Following the series of tweets, the party was immediately criticized for appearing to encourage what many called "political violence."

                          "I've been saying since 11/4 that these unfounded detached from reality conspiracy theories and those fueling them are dangerous and here we are," Arizona's Secretary of State Katie Hobbs tweeted Tuesday in response. Hobbs, a Democrat, has said she has received threats of violence following the election.

                          "You're asking people to die for this conspiracy theory? What in the living hell is wrong with you people?" tweeted State Senator Martín Quezada, a Democrat.

                          "'Die for Trump' is the official 'AZ GOP' twitter message? Really guys? Really?" Meghan McCain, the daughter of late Arizona senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain tweeted.

                          "Our Governor needs to put a stop to this dangerous behavior now. This is out of control," tweeted State Senator Victoria Steele, a Democrat. Ducey did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment.


                          Last edited by JRT; 10 Dec 20,, 23:09.


                          • Originally posted by JRT View Post
                            This seems like it might satisfy threshold of seditious conspiracy. Key aspect is two or more conspiring to use of force.

                            Following the series of tweets, the party was immediately criticized for appearing to encourage what many called "political violence."

                            "I've been saying since 11/4 that these unfounded detached from reality conspiracy theories and those fueling them are dangerous and here we are," Arizona's Secretary of State Katie Hobbs tweeted Tuesday in response. Hobbs, a Democrat, has said she has received threats of violence following the election.

                            "You're asking people to die for this conspiracy theory? What in the living hell is wrong with you people?" tweeted State Senator Martín Quezada, a Democrat.

                            "'Die for Trump' is the official 'AZ GOP' twitter message? Really guys? Really?" Meghan McCain, the daughter of late Arizona senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain tweeted.

                            "Our Governor needs to put a stop to this dangerous behavior now. This is out of control," tweeted State Senator Victoria Steele, a Democrat. Ducey did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment.

                            It certainly satisfies the definition of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Still haven't heard from surfgun if he's willing to die Trump and his conspiracy theories.
                            “They’re coming and we can’t stop them from breaching" ~ Capitol Police radio transmission January 6th 2020


                            • ‘Art Of The Deal’ Co-Author: Trump Will Inflict 'Suffering On All Of Us’ As Term Ends

                              Tony Schwartz, the co-author of Donald Trump’s most well-known book, “The Art of the Deal,” on Wednesday termed the president a “sociopath” who would seek to cause as much collateral damage as possible in his remaining weeks in office.

                              “Trump feels he’s been wronged by virtually everybody,” Schwartz said on MSNBC, and as an example noted that a longtime friend of the president, Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera, has said that Trump was no longer taking his calls after he acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden won November’s election.

                              Schwartz added that Trump is “feeling unbearably diminished by the country’s lack of acceptance of his dominance. So it becomes something like, ‘I’ll show them. I’ll inflict as much suffering as I can in the weeks I have left.’”

                              Asked to elaborate by host Ari Melber, Schwartz said Trump would be “inflicting suffering on all of us” before Biden is inaugurated at noon on Jan. 20.

                              “He’s going to piss people off in any way he can over the next four weeks, beginning with pardons,” Schwartz said. “Watch what he does with pardons. They will be equal opportunity offensive.”

                              Schwartz also offered his take on a viral clip from Monday when Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to famed Olympic gold-medalist wrestler Dan Gable at the White House. The footage showed that Trump’s exit from the Oval Office after the ceremony and as reporters asked him questions about the election seemed to leave Gable perplexed. (An extended version of the video shows that while Trump did make a sudden exit, he nevertheless took some questions and offered additional praise for Gable before departing.)

                              ″[I see] depression,” Schwartz said when asked what he thought of the clip. “I mean, he slunk out of that office... He just couldn’t bear to be there.”

                              Schwartz added that his greatest fear over the next four years was not necessarily the president, but the “cult of Trump” ― and said Biden needed to make “humility and decency cool again.”

                              In recent years Schwartz has repeatedly said he regrets teaming up with Trump to produce 1987′s “The Art of the Deal,” which reached the top spot on The New York Times bestseller list. Although the two shared co-authorship credit, Schwartz has said he wrote the book and Trump made some edits.

                              He has previously characterized Trump as “delusional.” In May, he said that as the death toll from COVID-19 mounted, all Trump cared about remained winning reelection.

                              A 74 year old man acting worse than a spoiled child. It'd be comical-bordering-on-contemptuous if we weren't talking about the President of the United States.

                              So, any predictions on these offensive pardons? His whole Administration is probably begging for one...
                              “They’re coming and we can’t stop them from breaching" ~ Capitol Police radio transmission January 6th 2020


                              • With Texas AG facing federal probe, lawsuit to help Trump comes amid whispers of pardons

                                The Texas politician who filed the Supreme Court election challenge that President Donald Trump touted as "the big one" may have good reason to curry favor with the White House at this moment.

                                Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took the lead in the long-shot legal bid to overturn Trump's 2020 election defeat just two weeks after reports surfaced that he is the subject of an FBI investigation into allegations he abused his office to benefit a wealthy donor -- a thorny problem Trump could eliminate with a presidential pardon.

                                Paxton and a group of Republican state attorneys general met with the president at the White House on Thursday, days after filing the case that now shoulders Trump's hopes of holding onto his job for another term. Paxton's attorney, Philip H. Hilder, declined to comment on the nature of Paxton's discussions with the president.

                                Democrats have gone public with speculation about Paxton's possible motivation for filing the suit, which legal experts have assessed as a case unlikely to find favor with the Supreme Court, even with the court's conservative majority.

                                "This was an act of some bizarre-world desperation. I don't know what drove it," Marc Elias, the lead attorney for the Democrats fending off a barrage of election lawsuits from Trump and his allies, said in an appearance on CNN.

                                "I don't know if it's politics, or I read that it may be because Paxton is fishing for a pardon," Elias said. "I don't know what's behind it, but this is honestly a bizarre lawsuit."

                                "The idea that Texas could sue four other states because Texas didn't like their elections? Well, guess what, Texas? There are a whole bunch of states who don't like the way you disenfranchise voters in Texas," Elias added, in apparent reference the state’s controversial efforts to limit alternatives for voters during the coronavirus pandemic.

                                It's not clear whether Paxton has had direct conversations with the president or the White House about a potential pardon. He did not respond to ABC News' request for comment Thursday afternoon.

                                Paxton's lawsuit came after calls with members of President Trump's legal team pushing for him to take the lead on behalf of other state attorneys general to defend the president, as the legal team recognizes they are running out of options, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

                                In the case, Texas is attempting to sue four swing states that loosened voting restrictions as a result of the pandemic. It appears aimed squarely at helping Trump flip the outcome of the presidential contest.

                                "The case that everyone has been waiting for is the State's case with Texas and numerous others joining. It is very strong, ALL CRITERIA MET," Trump tweeted Wednesday.

                                Trump's use of pardon power to reward loyalty and assist his political allies has been an increasing focus as he has neared the end of his term. In late November, Trump pardoned Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a loyal ally who had pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents during the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign before Flynn was swept into a protracted legal fight over the charges.

                                Trump is not the first president to use his pardon power as a means to benefit his friends and family. But many legal experts say he has already shown an unusual willingness to employ that special power impulsively.

                                "In previous presidencies there have been clearer lines," Michigan State Law Professor Brian C. Kalt told ABC News. "You get a sense with President Trump, he hasn't distinguished between what's good for him personally and what's good policy."

                                Those who spoke with ABC News about Paxton's White House visit said they were only able to speculate about the nature of the conversation. Neither Paxton nor the White House would say whether a pardon is on the table.

                                The Texas politician has been dogged by legal challenges for the better part of his tenure in office. Paxton pleaded not guilty in 2015 to three felony counts related to allegations he misled investors in his private investment dealings -- a case that has languished in state court ever since. As that case became stalled in a related dispute over the funding for the special prosecutors who brought it, reports surfaced of a new probe -- this one federal.

                                The Associated Press reported that the federal case relates to allegations made by seven senior lawyers in Paxton's office who had accused him of abuse of office, bribery, and other crimes. The former colleagues have all left the office, and several brought a civil suit against Paxton as well.

                                The AP reported that the full extent of what those former colleagues told the FBI remains unknown, and the scope of the federal probe is unclear. An attorney for Paxton reached this week declined to comment on the reports, or on the status of the federal investigation.

                                Paxton was scheduled to meet one-on-one with Trump Thursday ahead of a larger gathering that includes state officials who have filed papers in support of the Texas case.

                                Peter Shane, an Ohio State University law professor, said that while the law prohibits people from giving anything of value to a government official in exchange for an official act, he does not think the circumstances of Paxton's lawsuit -- even if it had been filed in hopes of garnering himself clemency -- would be subject to legal scrutiny.

                                "I think it would be very hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an act like filing the Texas lawsuit, however it might ingratiate the attorney general to Trump, is specifically linked to a hoped-for pardon," Shane said.

                                Speaking of offensive pardons....
                                “They’re coming and we can’t stop them from breaching" ~ Capitol Police radio transmission January 6th 2020