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  #51  
Old 03-01-2019, 07:06 AM
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Campaign finance law requires that a person breaking the law know that their behavior is illegal. No politician, before Edwards, had ever been accused under the law resulting from a third party payment of the nature of that made by Bunny Mellon to Edward's mistress. Therefore it was far easier to argue credibly that the candidate did not meet the requirement of knowing that his behavior was illegal. But only the first person so charged can make that argument because knowledge of the Edwards case makes that argument far less credible, especially when you're arranging for the payment to be made via a cutout.
So Edwards wasn't convicted, therefore Trump should know that it was illegal? That also lacks in logic.

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Shodan
  #52  
Old 03-01-2019, 09:41 AM
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The crime exists, he wasn't found guilty of it. By your reasoning, he should not even have been tried, since the crime did not exist. If he had been accused of leprechaun abuse, you would have a point.
  #53  
Old 03-01-2019, 11:50 AM
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What a wasted opportunity this was. Legislators could have asked meaningful questions, the answers to which would have provided fodder for more hearings and possibly criminal proceedings. Instead, most of them on both sides chose to bloviate and grandstand. One of the few exceptions was AOC, who put aside the pompous speechifying and asked meaningful questions. What a disgusting show.
  #54  
Old 03-01-2019, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
What a wasted opportunity this was. Legislators could have asked meaningful questions, the answers to which would have provided fodder for more hearings and possibly criminal proceedings. Instead, most of them on both sides chose to bloviate and grandstand. One of the few exceptions was AOC, who put aside the pompous speechifying and asked meaningful questions. What a disgusting show.
The criminal proceedings are already underway. The fact that it was all a bit lame is just part of the evidence to that fact.

But note that Cohen is spending days at a time talking to Congress in secret, and weeks of time talking to the SDNY.

The FBI isn't just going after Trump, they're also going after Elliott Broidy, Tom Barrack, Deutsche Bank, Ilyas Khrapunov, the Kushner family, Ukrainian mafia, and who knows who all else. If Trump was just committing crimes on his own, they might have decided to pass on investigating a few crimes, and let Congress have some fun going through the other stuff that's harder to prove. But his operating process usually involves others, so that everyone has someone else to point fingers at if the cops come looking. Trump's get-out-of-jail card was always, "I was just hired to manage the building once it's built! I didn't have anything to do with the development!"

But he touches so many other criminal entities that, most likely, the FBI was already investigating that almost everything Cohen has to talk about is immediately part of some ongoing investigation the minute he mentions who all was part of the plan.

The "Mueller Investigation" and the "SDNY Investigation" is not so much an investigation of Trump as it's a mega investigation of a whole bunch of criminal enterprises. The Trump presidency is, in some sense, a godsend to the FBI because Trump's people were all so incompetent and lightweight that they provide a good "in" to harder criminal organizations, who run a tight ship and will kill people for talking.

Trump is going to take down a few dozen major figures.
  #55  
Old 03-01-2019, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
What a wasted opportunity this was. Legislators could have asked meaningful questions, the answers to which would have provided fodder for more hearings and possibly criminal proceedings. Instead, most of them on both sides chose to bloviate and grandstand. One of the few exceptions was AOC, who put aside the pompous speechifying and asked meaningful questions. What a disgusting show.
I figured the real questioning went on yesterday in the closed-door session. I hope that's what happened!
  #56  
Old 03-01-2019, 06:06 PM
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I figured the real questioning went on yesterday in the closed-door session. I hope that's what happened!
This was strongly suggested on Lawrence O'Donnell last night. He interviewed Raja Krishnamoorthi (who is on both the Intelligence and Oversight Committees), and while Krishnamoorthi obviously couldn't go into detail about the Intelligence Committee hearing he did say that the questioning was much more on point.
  #57  
Old 03-02-2019, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
What a wasted opportunity this was. Legislators could have asked meaningful questions, the answers to which would have provided fodder for more hearings and possibly criminal proceedings. Instead, most of them on both sides chose to bloviate and grandstand. One of the few exceptions was AOC, who put aside the pompous speechifying and asked meaningful questions. What a disgusting show.
++. At least one of the D Senators even spent their five minutes listening to themselves repeat what we'd learned on the news a year ago.
Without AOC, the names of two guys (one named Calamari ) might not have been entered into the records and been subpoenaed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"He was lying then; he's probably lying now" is such a popular fallacy among the GOP it should have its own name. Recall that when David Brock revealed that The Real Anita Hill was all a lying hatchet-job, the GOP response was "Maybe he's lying now." These ideas do not pass a sniff test.

Anyone unclear about Lying in Trump's world may want to consider DJT's own words. For a while "Michael Cohen is a very honorable man. He won't rat me out." Then when Cohen did the honorable thing, "Cohen has been a liar all his life." I'd have more respect for people bragging about how Trump became Potus despite being a criminal, liar and traitor, than for those who pretend to be unable to grasp the logic of justice system, human nature and common sense.
  #58  
Old 03-02-2019, 09:20 AM
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I have a general question about Congressional hearings. Perhaps I should start a GQ thread but I'll try here first.

Much time was wasted in the Cohen hearing. Almost 50% of the time was deliberately wasted by the GOP, and even some of the time spent by D's could have been better spent if questions were asked by trained interrogators. I assume that closed hearings, where Congressmen are not playing to the cameras would be much better, but even there is half the time spent fighting the truth?

Is there a rule that almost 50% of the time has to be given to enemies of the people? What if a Committee Chair were to declare that 50% of the time was for the use of his own staff lawyers and the remaining 50% would be evenly split among Congresspeople?
  #59  
Old 03-02-2019, 09:41 AM
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Where has the SDNY been for the last 35 years? None of this shit about Trump or any one of a hundred other grifters in NYC has ever been a secret.
  #60  
Old 03-02-2019, 02:05 PM
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We have a culture of fraud and deception. People who would quickly condemn someone for using physical force and threats to steal money will shrug if you outsmarted some poor dumb shmuck. The stupid are the natural prey of the clever.

The good and generous who are also smart are a blessing to us all, the predator who is clever is an unequaled curse. I suppose we might count our blessings that Il Douche is not as smart as he thinks he is.

Last edited by elucidator; 03-02-2019 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Malform follows malfunction
  #61  
Old 03-02-2019, 08:17 PM
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Has a transcript emerged yet of the open-session testimony?
  #62  
Old 03-02-2019, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
Campaign finance law requires that a person breaking the law know that their behavior is illegal. No politician, before Edwards, had ever been accused under the law resulting from a third party payment of the nature of that made by Bunny Mellon to Edward's mistress. Therefore it was far easier to argue credibly that the candidate did not meet the requirement of knowing that his behavior was illegal. But only the first person so charged can make that argument because knowledge of the Edwards case makes that argument far less credible, especially when you're arranging for the payment to be made via a cutout.
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
So Edwards wasn't convicted, therefore Trump should know that it was illegal? That also lacks in logic.

Regards,
Shodan
Well, yeah, I suppose it does when the initial premise is Edwards wasn’t convicted. Given how E-DUB presented his argument, though, it strikes me as a bit questionable to insist on “Edwards wasn’t convicted” as a fundamental premise in that syllogism. A more straightforward summation of his point would be ”Edwards was prosecuted, therefore Trump [sic] should know that it was illegal.”
  #63  
Old 03-03-2019, 05:54 AM
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The premise of the accusation of campaign finance law violation is not that Cohen told Trump it was illegal or that Trump told Cohen he knew it was illegal or that there's some document that shows either. Yet. Testimony or documents to that effect may come out.

It's the way the payments were executed. You have Trump on tape saying "Cash." and Cohen saying "No no no no no. No." in the conversation where they are talking about Weisselberg setting up a shell corp to pay Pecker. Now, is that enough? Eh.

Trump's defense at this point would be either "I was just trying to hide it and this is how they told me to do it." or, "I knew I was trying to get around something, but I didn't know what."

If deliberate and premeditated is required, it's going to be hard to pin it on him without a smoking gun.
  #64  
Old 03-03-2019, 05:22 PM
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Where has the SDNY been for the last 35 years? None of this shit about Trump or any one of a hundred other grifters in NYC has ever been a secret.
It's quite possible that SDNY has looked at Trump and his kids and his Organization in the past.

But if we look at violations of state laws (as opposed to the federal laws SDNY would deal with), we see that the Trumps have come in for scrutiny:

Quote:
... For two years starting in 2010, the aspiring entrepreneur [Ivanka] and her brother Donald Trump Jr. were under investigation in a felony real estate fraud case involving Trump SoHo, a luxury hotel and condominium project in New York City that they were developing for their father’s Trump Organization, according to a new story by the New Yorker.

But then Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, intervened with a meeting with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Kasowitz had donated generously to Vance’s re-election campaign. Within a few months the investigation was dropped, according to the report, a collaboration of the New Yorker, ProPublica and WNYC.

“For two years, prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had been building a criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo,” reads the story. ...
https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/...tment-in-2012/

Just as the fix appears to have been in for those state charges, "something" could have happened with potential federal charges; that's one of the things that may become known as investigations proceed.
  #65  
Old 03-04-2019, 09:32 AM
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Well, yeah, I suppose it does when the initial premise is Edwards wasn’t convicted. Given how E-DUB presented his argument, though, it strikes me as a bit questionable to insist on “Edwards wasn’t convicted” as a fundamental premise in that syllogism. A more straightforward summation of his point would be ”Edwards was prosecuted, therefore Trump [sic] should know that it was illegal.”
Lacking in logic to an equal degree. Being prosecuted does not establish that anything illegal has been done. That's why we have trials.

Can you cite me a case where it was established that one person broke the law by the fact that someone else was not convicted of breaking the same law?

Regards,
Shodan
  #66  
Old 03-04-2019, 10:28 AM
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Where has the SDNY been for the last 35 years? None of this shit about Trump or any one of a hundred other grifters in NYC has ever been a secret.
It had previously all been small-time stuff, for him as well as the hundred others. Who do you go after? But the other hundred still don't endanger national security or the Constitution. Now, the SDNY has had piles of evidence dumped upon them for free, and an easy prosecution ahead of them.
  #67  
Old 03-04-2019, 12:36 PM
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Wasn't there video of Trump criticizing Edwards' law-breaking, at the time? It's kind of hard to say that he didn't know it was illegal, after that.
  #68  
Old 03-04-2019, 12:59 PM
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Wasn't there video of Trump criticizing Edwards' law-breaking, at the time? It's kind of hard to say that he didn't know it was illegal, after that.
He also declared he knows more about campaign finance law that anyone else. For what that's worth.
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