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  #101  
Old 09-26-2019, 08:42 PM
carnivorousplant is offline
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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
Do you think declaring a known mobster and foreign spy to be innocent of treason preemptively makes any sense at all? We may not "declare war" in the modern era, but we still authorize military action & we are fighting wars all the time. You don't get to make treasonous acts acceptable by pretending the crime requires a formal "declaration of war", when we call them "authorizations" now.
If we aren't at war, it isn't treason.
Calm down, you are going to bust something.
  #102  
Old 09-26-2019, 10:21 PM
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John Brown "the Martyr"? Is that a thing people call him?
I call him the greatest American hero, but I think "the Martyr" is pretty clear.
  #103  
Old 09-26-2019, 10:42 PM
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If we aren't at war, it isn't treason.
Calm down, you are going to bust something.
We are always at war.
  #104  
Old 09-26-2019, 10:57 PM
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Okay, let's talk treason.

The United States is at war. We started fighting with North Korea in 1950 and that war has never officially ended. We just have an ongoing ceasefire agreement. So North Korea is still an enemy nation.

And Donald Trump has stated he is in love with Kim Jong-Un. And since he fell in love, he has supported North Korea when they have been working on their nuclear weapons program.

So Trump is helping a country we are at war with acquire weapons of mass destruction. Which is adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 09-26-2019 at 10:57 PM.
  #105  
Old 09-27-2019, 01:57 PM
Max S. is online now
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I'd like to jump ahead a little and talk about after the endgame. Regardless of how Trump's administration ends, impeachment or election, there is going to be talk of pardons ala Nixon.

No. Absolutely not.

Assuming that the president has America's best interests as his priority is what got us here. We can no longer coast along on that assumption.
Trump, his family, and everyone in his administration need to be prosecuted for any laws they broke. I'm not interested in comparing it to Soviet purges or similar. The republicans wanted to stir things up and they elected someone whose whole history was as a liar and a conman. I don't want that to ever happen again. We need to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, including Treason.
As HurricaneDitka is taking some time off, I suppose I can try and fill in as a conservative. But I'm not a Trump supporter, so I don't think I can offer that perspective.

In my opinion, if the president committed crimes while in office and if he is convicted in the Senate, he deserves the full punishment of the law. I would want to see him tried by jury and put in jail, not pardoned. Many people voted for Mr. Trump as the better of two bad choices, and I don't think his prosecution for actual crimes would be too terribly divisive.

If Mr. Trump is elected out of office, I don't believe his official acts are touchable. This is a legal opinion and I am open to debating it. His acts before the presidency and in an unofficial capacity during the presidency would still be fair game, if within the statute of limitations.

I am not currently convinced that Mr. Trump has committed any crimes, but then again I haven't done a deep dive (yet). He may well have directed Mr. Cohen to violate campaign finance laws, but I don't think that is an impeachable offense (throw the book at him when he is out of office). I think the recent allegations against the president, if true, may constitute violations of campaign finance and bribery laws. But there are significant legal and evidentiary hurdles I would need to pass before reaching that conclusion. As to whether the recent scandal qualifies as impeachable "high crimes", to me the only issue is evidentiary. Abuse of authority is a "high crime" regardless of criminal law.

Conviction for treason in the legal sense does not presently seem appropriate.

~Max
  #106  
Old 09-27-2019, 02:10 PM
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We are always at war.
... with Eastasia.
  #107  
Old 09-27-2019, 02:23 PM
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Do you not see what is happening? Trump is currently USING THE OFFICE of the president of the United States to influence elections. "prosecute him after he's out of office?"!!!! How does one do that when his action of gaining the assistance of a foreign power to smear his political rivals are designed specifically to KEEP HIM IN OFFICE.

Do you honestly not see a problem with these actions? Is holding power THAT IMPORTANT to you that you can just look away?

Do you not think that withholding congressional money from a foreign country until they come up with smears against his political rival is "serious" enough? REALLY?
If the president did abuse his authority, the proper resolution is for the Congress to remove him from office (for abusing his authority) and then the feds can initiate criminal prosecution. Speaking hypothetically, if the Congress is "in on it", the voters must elect a different Congress. And if the hypothetical legislative and executive branches have succeeded in undermining the democratic process so as to disenfranchise the population, then the American experiment has failed. The only way out would be something like a coup.

I don't think it is feasible to allow criminal prosecution against official acts of a sitting president, even one who attempts to undermine the political process. The president can quite literally fire any federal prosecutor at any time for any or no reason. See the firings of Archibald Cox and James Comey, and reportedly the near-firing of Robert Mueller. It also doesn't make sense for state prosecutors to go after a sitting president because such action would give the states an inappropriate check upon the federal government, and besides, they might not even have jurisdiction.

~Max
  #108  
Old 09-27-2019, 04:24 PM
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I am not currently convinced that Mr. Trump has committed any crimes, but then again I haven't done a deep dive (yet). He may well have directed Mr. Cohen to violate campaign finance laws, but I don't think that is an impeachable offense (throw the book at him when he is out of office). I think the recent allegations against the president, if true, may constitute violations of campaign finance and bribery laws. But there are significant legal and evidentiary hurdles I would need to pass before reaching that conclusion. As to whether the recent scandal qualifies as impeachable "high crimes", to me the only issue is evidentiary. Abuse of authority is a "high crime" regardless of criminal law.
I feel that using the power of his office to influence the outcome of American elections is the most impeachable thing a President can do. Our system of government needs to be able to rely on having fair elections. If a President is able to get elected and then use his power to make sure he stays elected then we're no longer a democracy.

With any other crime or wrongful act, we have recourse - we can vote the offender out of power. Influencing elections is the one crime that is immune to that check. And by making a President immune to being voted out, it makes him unanswerable for any other crime of wrongful act he wishes to commit.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 09-27-2019 at 04:26 PM.
  #109  
Old 09-27-2019, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
[...] North Korea is still an enemy nation.

And Donald Trump has [...] supported North Korea when they have been working on their nuclear weapons program.

So Trump is helping a country we are at war with acquire weapons of mass destruction. Which is adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
I hesitate to classify what were ostensibly denuclearization talks between two heads of state during a ceasefire as treason, or "adhering to" our "enemies". You have to be careful that your reading of the treason clause does not encompass the traditional diplomatic process.

~Max
  #110  
Old 09-27-2019, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I feel that using the power of his office to influence the outcome of American elections is the most impeachable thing a President can do. Our system of government needs to be able to rely on having fair elections. If a President is able to get elected and then use his power to make sure he stays elected then we're no longer a democracy.
I agree, and think this is consistent with what I have written above.

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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
With any other crime or wrongful act, we have recourse - we can vote the offender out of power. Influencing elections is the one crime that is immune to that check. And by making a President immune to being voted out, it makes him unanswerable for any other crime of wrongful act he wishes to commit.
I also agree with this, see my response to Euphonious Polemic in post #107. In my opinion, the correct way to address a sitting president's abuse of power - even electoral interference - would be through impeachment then criminal prosecution if applicable.

~Max
  #111  
Old 09-27-2019, 08:57 PM
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I also agree with this, see my response to Euphonious Polemic in post #107. In my opinion, the correct way to address a sitting president's abuse of power - even electoral interference - would be through impeachment then criminal prosecution if applicable.
I agree with this in general. I do think there are potential scenarios where a President could crimes so egregious that he shouldn't be allowed to remain in office while the impeachment process is played out (say a President actually did shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue). In some cases, there would need to be an immediate arrest and taking the President into custody. If a case like that arose, I'd say that the 25th Amendment should be invoked to temporarily remove the President from power while the impeachment process is going on.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 09-27-2019 at 08:59 PM.
  #112  
Old 09-27-2019, 09:08 PM
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I hesitate to classify what were ostensibly denuclearization talks between two heads of state during a ceasefire as treason, or "adhering to" our "enemies". You have to be careful that your reading of the treason clause does not encompass the traditional diplomatic process.
I was thinking more about how Trump has chosen to block sanctions that were intended to discourage North Korea from working on its nuclear weapons program. I think there's a strong argument that if the sanctions were intended to make it more difficult for North Korea to develop its nuclear arsenal then blocking those sanctions must have the opposite effect. So Trump took actions which made it easier for North Korea to develop its nuclear arsenal. I think that falls within "supporting North Korea when they have been working on their nuclear weapons program" and "helping a country we are at war with acquire weapons of mass destruction".
  #113  
Old 09-27-2019, 10:03 PM
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My preference is that politicos not use criminal law to settle political disputes. I don't think that's healthy for the country. There's a good reason it's been a long-standing tradition here.

If there's strong evidence that he did something seriously criminal, fine, prosecute him after he's out of office, IDGAF. But this "orange man bad, we must get him" stupid witch hunt that you're on about is idiotic. The police aren't supposed to just endlessly investigate people whose politics they don't like, rummaging around in their personal history, looking for something to charge them with. It's an ugly look for you to be calling for that sort of thing.
One word:

Benghazi
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  #114  
Old 09-28-2019, 12:12 AM
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If he and/or they are pardoned there will be riots. DC will burn. A lot of cities will burn.
I doubt this, since most Americans dont even want him impeached.
  #115  
Old 09-28-2019, 12:19 AM
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Sadly, treason doesn't apply. "Enemies" in this instance is narrowly defined as people we are at war with. Still plenty of books to throw at him, though.

Not always:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ted_of_treason
Walter Allen was convicted of treason on September 16, 1922 for taking part in the 1921 Miner's March with the coal companies and the US Army on Blair Mountain, West Virginia. He was sentenced to 10 years and fined. During his appeal to the Supreme Court he disappeared while out on bail.

No war there.

John Brown, convicted of treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1859 and executed for attempting to organize armed resistance to slavery.
Aaron Dwight Stevens, took part in John Brown's raid and was executed in 1860 for treason against Virginia.


I dont see a war?

However, face it, we dont even charge people for treason anymore. That wont be something trump is convicted of.

Last edited by DrDeth; 09-28-2019 at 12:21 AM.
  #116  
Old 09-29-2019, 12:01 PM
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I agree with this in general. I do think there are potential scenarios where a President could crimes so egregious that he shouldn't be allowed to remain in office while the impeachment process is played out (say a President actually did shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue). In some cases, there would need to be an immediate arrest and taking the President into custody. If a case like that arose, I'd say that the 25th Amendment should be invoked to temporarily remove the President from power while the impeachment process is going on.
Fine by me, if the cabinet thinks it is appropriate.

~Max
  #117  
Old 09-29-2019, 12:04 PM
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I was thinking more about how Trump has chosen to block sanctions that were intended to discourage North Korea from working on its nuclear weapons program. I think there's a strong argument that if the sanctions were intended to make it more difficult for North Korea to develop its nuclear arsenal then blocking those sanctions must have the opposite effect. So Trump took actions which made it easier for North Korea to develop its nuclear arsenal. I think that falls within "supporting North Korea when they have been working on their nuclear weapons program" and "helping a country we are at war with acquire weapons of mass destruction".
I'm on the road but I believe there is precedent for waiving sanctions as part of the diplomatic process. If I remember correctly, G. W. Bush did so twice. Besides, the authority to waive sanctions is probably built in to the law.

~Max
  #118  
Old 09-29-2019, 12:06 PM
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One word:

Benghazi
What do you mean?

~Max
  #119  
Old 09-29-2019, 12:08 PM
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Not always:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ted_of_treason
Walter Allen was convicted of treason on September 16, 1922 for taking part in the 1921 Miner's March with the coal companies and the US Army on Blair Mountain, West Virginia. He was sentenced to 10 years and fined. During his appeal to the Supreme Court he disappeared while out on bail.

No war there.

John Brown, convicted of treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1859 and executed for attempting to organize armed resistance to slavery.
Aaron Dwight Stevens, took part in John Brown's raid and was executed in 1860 for treason against Virginia.


I dont see a war?

However, face it, we dont even charge people for treason anymore. That wont be something trump is convicted of.
Those convictions for treason were made on the basis of taking up arms against the United States, not aiding the enemy.

~Max
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