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  #6951  
Old 01-21-2020, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Monty View Post
So, UltraVires, are you aware that your argument is that the United States cannot arrest, prosecute, and deport "those here illegally"?
It is not my argument. I disagree with the argument. But it is AN argument that would not get you laughed out of court. It certainly is not, as the poster and the article suggested, an argument that the 14th Amendment is "unconstitutional." NOBODY has argued that.

Again, if I argue that flag burning should be prohibited, I am not saying, just as the 4 Justices in dissent, including Stevens, that the First Amendment is "unconstitutional." That article was absurd.

However, to address your point, and after I've said I don't want to hijack the thread, but certainly everyone here can be arrested. An invading army or the Indian tribes back in the day, would have been dealt with by U.S. justice when necessary, but they wouldn't have been "subject to the jurisdiction." The question is not that absurd.
  #6952  
Old 01-22-2020, 07:35 PM
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You are correct.
Meaning what, exactly? If I may, let me just paraphrase part of what I said earlier.

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Alan Dershowitz recently said that while no actual crime on the books is necessary for impeachment, criminal-like acts are sufficient, but they must be similar to treason and bribery as mentioned in the constitution. Again, Dershowitz's own words. He has said that "abuse of power" as stated in the first article of impeachment doesn't rise to the level necessary. What he has not said is anything about the specific way the article says he abused that power, specifically that Trump directed military aid to be withheld unless a Biden investigation was announced. Even though this is not technically a bribe, it has the same effect. To me, it is essentially the same thing.
I want to add to it, because maybe I wasn't clear. So, if Dershowitz were to say to Rachel Maddow, "abuse of power doesn't rise to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor", wouldn't a logical response from Maddow be, "but Alan, you are simply using the phrase abuse of power because it's in the first part of the first article of impeachment, but ignoring what Trump is actually accused of in the rest of it. If you were to acknowledge what the other part of the article says, you would have to admit that since it claims that Trump in effect committed bribery, that obviously means it rises to level of an impeachable offense and therefore you argument here is nonsense."

Assuming there is a problem with this and I am missing something, fine. But if it's accurate, it truly boggles my mind that I have not heard one House rep, nor senator, nor any TV personality bring it up.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 01-22-2020 at 07:37 PM.
  #6953  
Old 01-22-2020, 11:36 PM
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Meaning what, exactly? If I may, let me just paraphrase part of what I said earlier.
Meaning that you ended your post asking if you were wrong.

You were not wrong. You were correct.
  #6954  
Old 01-22-2020, 11:57 PM
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Assuming there is a problem with this and I am missing something, fine. But if it's accurate, it truly boggles my mind that I have not heard one House rep, nor senator, nor any TV personality bring it up.
I think there just isn't time to get to it. There are so many bad faith arguments here that schiff et al already have to spend a lot of their time firefighting. And I think they're right not to focus on arguments that it should not be impeachable -- because it's a dreadful argument not only legally but in terms of public opinion too.

It's essentially saying "OK, just five minutes ago we were saying the whole thing was a hoax and a sham, but now I want to pivot across to saying that, OK, the president put himself ahead of the country and abused his power, but we should let him off on a technicality. Vote Trump 2020!"

Last edited by Mijin; 01-22-2020 at 11:58 PM.
  #6955  
Old 01-23-2020, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Meaning what, exactly? If I may, let me just paraphrase part of what I said earlier.



I want to add to it, because maybe I wasn't clear. So, if Dershowitz were to say to Rachel Maddow, "abuse of power doesn't rise to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor", wouldn't a logical response from Maddow be, "but Alan, you are simply using the phrase abuse of power because it's in the first part of the first article of impeachment, but ignoring what Trump is actually accused of in the rest of it. If you were to acknowledge what the other part of the article says, you would have to admit that since it claims that Trump in effect committed bribery, that obviously means it rises to level of an impeachable offense and therefore you argument here is nonsense."

Assuming there is a problem with this and I am missing something, fine. But if it's accurate, it truly boggles my mind that I have not heard one House rep, nor senator, nor any TV personality bring it up.
Explain how Trump is guilty of bribery. When did that happen?
  #6956  
Old 01-23-2020, 01:02 AM
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I am more and more tired of people using the word "bribery" and also "quid pro quo" in this thread, and all threads on this subject, and in all the newspaper and radio and on-line commentary, and coming from all the lawyers everywhere and in the once-esteemed Halls of Congress.

Coming from Trump supporters, that's just semantic nit-pickery (argle-bargle?) to downplay Trump's malfeasance.

Coming from Trump critics, that's just taking the bait and falling into the trap.

What Trump did wasn't bribery, actual or attempted, by any definition I know.

And what Trump did wasn't a "quid pro quo", actual (well, maybe attempted).

What Trump did was outright attempted extortion at least. This particular incendiary word is only infrequently mentioned throughout the whole sordid history of this case. Why?

Trump was in a position to threaten outright harm to Ukraine if he didn't get his way, and he did so threaten. That's attempted extortion. And in fact, he really did withhold the money for a while, to Ukraine's harm. So more than attempted extortion, there was extortion threatened and performed.

Extortion.

That's a crime even more dangerous and major than mere "bribery". And much worse than "quid pro quo", which per se is not necessarily wrongful at all.
  #6957  
Old 01-23-2020, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
I am more and more tired of people using the word "bribery" and also "quid pro quo" in this thread, and all threads on this subject, and in all the newspaper and radio and on-line commentary, and coming from all the lawyers everywhere and in the once-esteemed Halls of Congress.

Coming from Trump supporters, that's just semantic nit-pickery (argle-bargle?) to downplay Trump's malfeasance.

Coming from Trump critics, that's just taking the bait and falling into the trap.

What Trump did wasn't bribery, actual or attempted, by any definition I know.

And what Trump did wasn't a "quid pro quo", actual (well, maybe attempted).

What Trump did was outright attempted extortion at least. This particular incendiary word is only infrequently mentioned throughout the whole sordid history of this case. Why?

Trump was in a position to threaten outright harm to Ukraine if he didn't get his way, and he did so threaten. That's attempted extortion. And in fact, he really did withhold the money for a while, to Ukraine's harm. So more than attempted extortion, there was extortion threatened and performed.

Extortion.

That's a crime even more dangerous and major than mere "bribery". And much worse than "quid pro quo", which per se is not necessarily wrongful at all.
Extortion is to use threats to compel someone to do something for you.

Solicitation of a bribe is to refuse to perform your professional or legal obligations, unless someone pays an extra fee that they should not have to. Bribing is to pay someone to do something for you that they should not.

Trump solicited a bribe, under extortative circumstances.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-23-2020 at 01:26 AM.
  #6958  
Old 01-23-2020, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
I am more and more tired of people using the word "bribery" and also "quid pro quo" in this thread, and all threads on this subject, and in all the newspaper and radio and on-line commentary, and coming from all the lawyers everywhere and in the once-esteemed Halls of Congress.

Coming from Trump supporters, that's just semantic nit-pickery (argle-bargle?) to downplay Trump's malfeasance.

Coming from Trump critics, that's just taking the bait and falling into the trap.

What Trump did wasn't bribery, actual or attempted, by any definition I know.

And what Trump did wasn't a "quid pro quo", actual (well, maybe attempted).

What Trump did was outright attempted extortion at least. This particular incendiary word is only infrequently mentioned throughout the whole sordid history of this case. Why?

Trump was in a position to threaten outright harm to Ukraine if he didn't get his way, and he did so threaten. That's attempted extortion. And in fact, he really did withhold the money for a while, to Ukraine's harm. So more than attempted extortion, there was extortion threatened and performed.

Extortion.

That's a crime even more dangerous and major than mere "bribery". And much worse than "quid pro quo", which per se is not necessarily wrongful at all.
But throughout history we have conditioned foreign aid on another country doing or not doing a certain thing. For example for years we refused to trade with South Africa because of apartheid. I fail to see how the term "extortion" wouldn't apply to that if we are using such an expansive definition.

I mean, if I don't give my daughter her allowance unless she cleans her room, is that extortion?

I can hear the string of replies now that this is different because Trump did it for corrupt personal motives, and withholding benefits from South Africa was for a noble goal, but the motive doesn't change whether it is extortion or not. That seems to me a deliberately pejorative term that doesn't apply to Trump's actions, even if he did what he is alleged to have done.

I still don't understand bribery, though. Who took money or another thing of value?
  #6959  
Old 01-23-2020, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
I am more and more tired of people using the word "bribery" and also "quid pro quo" in this thread, and all threads on this subject, and in all the newspaper and radio and on-line commentary, and coming from all the lawyers everywhere and in the once-esteemed Halls of Congress.

Coming from Trump supporters, that's just semantic nit-pickery (argle-bargle?) to downplay Trump's malfeasance.

Coming from Trump critics, that's just taking the bait and falling into the trap.

What Trump did wasn't bribery, actual or attempted, by any definition I know.

And what Trump did wasn't a "quid pro quo", actual (well, maybe attempted).

What Trump did was outright attempted extortion at least. This particular incendiary word is only infrequently mentioned throughout the whole sordid history of this case. Why?

Trump was in a position to threaten outright harm to Ukraine if he didn't get his way, and he did so threaten. That's attempted extortion. And in fact, he really did withhold the money for a while, to Ukraine's harm. So more than attempted extortion, there was extortion threatened and performed.

Extortion.

That's a crime even more dangerous and major than mere "bribery". And much worse than "quid pro quo", which per se is not necessarily wrongful at all.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/bribery

Quote:
Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty.
Quote:
Solicitation of a bribe also constitutes a crime and is completed regardless of whether the solicitation results in the receipt of a valuable gift.
  #6960  
Old 01-23-2020, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I mean, if I don't give my daughter her allowance unless she cleans her room, is that extortion?
If you don't give her allowance until she punches some guy she doesn't even know, what is that? Or - more on point - if she lies to the cops that this guy she doesn't know committed a crime?

Last edited by squeegee; 01-23-2020 at 01:38 AM.
  #6961  
Old 01-23-2020, 01:39 AM
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Extortion is to use threats to compel someone to do something for you.

Solicitation of a bribe is to refuse to perform your professional or legal obligations, unless someone pays an extra fee that they should not have to. Bribing is to pay someone to do something for you that they should not.

Trump solicited a bribe, under extortative circumstances.
First, it seems fairly clear that the bribery talked about in the Constitution ("treason, bribery, and other high crimes or misdemeanors") refers to an official in the United States receiving a bribe from a foreign power to do their bidding. It's right there next to treason in the list and has to be taken in that context. I doubt the framers would have cared if we paid a bribe to a foreign country to get them to do what we want. We paid "tribute" to the Barbary corsairs for years.

Also, like with extortion, such an expansive definition calls into question any action. Am I bribing my daughter with an allowance to clean her room? Is my (hypothetical) employer bribing me to perform tasks at work? Were we attempting to bribe South Africa to end apartheid?

After all, South Africa was/is a sovereign nation and had every right to enact whatever social policies they liked within their own country. Was that an attempted bribe?
  #6962  
Old 01-23-2020, 01:43 AM
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If you don't give her allowance until she punches some guy she doesn't even know, what is that? Or - more on point - if she lies to the cops that this guy she doesn't know committed a crime?
It would definitely be an illegal contract; probably violate a few criminal laws against solicitation of a crime, and I would be liable in tort law at minimum. She would probably be in the juvy system if she agreed. But how is it bribery or extortion?
  #6963  
Old 01-23-2020, 01:55 AM
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What Trump did was outright attempted extortion at least. This particular incendiary word is only infrequently mentioned throughout the whole sordid history of this case. Why?

Trump was in a position to threaten outright harm to Ukraine if he didn't get his way, and he did so threaten. That's attempted extortion. And in fact, he really did withhold the money for a while, to Ukraine's harm. So more than attempted extortion, there was extortion threatened and performed.

Extortion.

That's a crime even more dangerous and major than mere "bribery". And much worse than "quid pro quo", which per se is not necessarily wrongful at all.
*snip. Respectfully, this is both wrong and really too much. The harm in extortion is a direct harm: If you (not you a hypothetical you) do not pay me $1000, I will kill you. Extortion. Trump didn't threaten to invade the Ukraine or conduct airstrikes if they didn't investigate.

What is not extortion is a refusal to provide a third party benefit. Under your scenario if some bad guys are after me, it would be extortion for a private security company to refuse to protect me unless I paid them.

The extorting party must be the one that will cause the harm.
  #6964  
Old 01-23-2020, 05:34 AM
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I like how you think this argument somehow exonerates Trump.
  #6965  
Old 01-23-2020, 06:22 AM
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I still don't understand bribery, though.
Have you read the Federal bribery statute?
  #6966  
Old 01-23-2020, 07:07 AM
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What is not extortion is a refusal to provide a third party benefit. Under your scenario if some bad guys are after me, it would be extortion for a private security company to refuse to protect me unless I paid them.
And it would be okay if the CEO refused to protect me if I didn't give him money under the table when the board of directors had already signed a contract saying they'd protect me.

Last edited by Ludovic; 01-23-2020 at 07:09 AM.
  #6967  
Old 01-23-2020, 08:02 AM
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Bribery is about personal gain, not national gain. Trump tried to solicit a bribe in the form of an announcement of an investigation that would benefit him personally in exchange for Congressional mandated aid to Ukraine (and high-profile visits from the Prez/VP). The "quid pro quo" is the aid for the investigation announcement and visits.

It's always been considered corrupt and an abuse of power to use one's official role for personal gain. Many officials have been prosecuted for this. It's not credible to argue that this wasn't about personal gain for Trump, and that such an act for personal gain is not corrupt and an abuse of power. Clear as day.
  #6968  
Old 01-23-2020, 09:11 AM
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I've been following Heather Cox Richardson for the past several months on Facebook and she posts outstanding summaries of the day's events; they're generally fairly long but worth the read. Her latest:

https://www.facebook.com/heathercoxr...235?__tn__=K-R


Quick points:


1. Adam Schiff and the House impeachment managers have been impressive. They compiled and presented clear and compelling.

2. Jennifer Rubin, a conservative writer for the Washington Post wrote “making clear to the entire country that Trump did exactly what he is accused of, but that his own party, suffering from political cowardice and intellectual corruption, do not have the nerve to stop him.”

3. And the topper of it all: Republican senators aren't paying attention. They're getting up and leaving, they're out of the chamber for long periods of time, and they're goofing off. Rand Paul, for instance, displayed a hand written message pretending to be a hostage victim and openly worked on a crossword puzzle during the proceedings.


So it seems that Chief Justice Roberts needs to take control of the proceedings and kill the goofing off. If Republicans aren't going to pay attention to the evidence what would stop Roberts from dismissing them from the proceedings? Does that create another constitutional crisis if they are removed from voting?

Last edited by Intergalactic Gladiator; 01-23-2020 at 09:12 AM.
  #6969  
Old 01-23-2020, 09:44 AM
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I can hear the string of replies now that this is different because Trump did it for corrupt personal motives, and withholding benefits from South Africa was for a noble goal, but the motive doesn't change whether it is extortion or not.
I'm curious why you would conclude that motive is irrelevant in judging actions? Again, if you're simply fighting a semantic battle over the proper definition of "extortion", I guess you can have at it. Completely irrelevant to the impeachment, but go ahead. But if you're somehow saying that motive is irrelevant to whether a President can be impeached, you are waaaaaayyyyyyyy off base.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires
First, it seems fairly clear that the bribery talked about in the Constitution ("treason, bribery, and other high crimes or misdemeanors") refers to an official in the United States receiving a bribe from a foreign power to do their bidding.
That isn't the full extent of the Founder's use of the term Bribery in the impeachment clause. I would suggest reading a bit of Lawrence Tribe's To End a Presidency.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires
Respectfully, this is both wrong and really too much. The harm in extortion is a direct harm: If you (not you a hypothetical you) do not pay me $1000, I will kill you. Extortion. Trump didn't threaten to invade the Ukraine or conduct airstrikes if they didn't investigate.

What is not extortion is a refusal to provide a third party benefit. Under your scenario if some bad guys are after me, it would be extortion for a private security company to refuse to protect me unless I paid them.
Again, if you're conducting a semantic argument over the precise definition of "extortion", have at it. Enjoy. If you're trying to persuade someone that somehow the President's actions somehow have to meet your particular definition of "extortion" before he can be impeached, then we'll have a problem.

To be honest, I don't really understand what you're trying to do with these posts in this thread.

Last edited by Hamlet; 01-23-2020 at 09:49 AM.
  #6970  
Old 01-23-2020, 09:50 AM
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I'm curious why you would conclude that motive is irrelevant in judging actions? Again, if you're simply fighting a semantic battle over the proper definition of "extortion", I guess you can have at it. Completely irrelevant to the impeachment, but go ahead. But if you're somehow saying that motive is irrelevant to whether a President can be impeached, you are waaaaaayyyyyyyy off base.

That isn't the full extent of the Founder's use of the term Bribery in the impeachment clause. I would suggest reading a bit of Lawrence Tribe's To End a Presidency.

Again, if you're conducting a semantic argument over the precise definition of "extortion", have at it. Enjoy. If you're trying to persuade someone that somehow the President's actions somehow have to meet your particular definition of "extortion" before he can be impeached, then we'll have a problem.
All of this goalpost shifting keeps going on in any Trump thread. Other posters said that Trump was guilty of bribery and extortion. It seems then that it is pretty reasonable to define bribery and extortion and doing so is not "semantic."

I swear I think that if someone said Trump was guilty of genocide and I pointed out that he really wasn't, someone else would come along and said that I was nitpicking because Trump really is the worst person ever and should have been removed from office yesterday and that I must be Trump's whipping boy for wanting to defend him.

The board is about fighting ignorance. Whatever he is guilty of, it is not bribery or extortion. When you try to oversell your case it takes away from what you do have.
  #6971  
Old 01-23-2020, 09:55 AM
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All of this goalpost shifting keeps going on in any Trump thread. Other posters said that Trump was guilty of bribery and extortion. It seems then that it is pretty reasonable to define bribery and extortion and doing so is not "semantic."
Bribery and extortion are merely words used to describe the President's actions, not requirements for impeachment. Feel free to continue to tilt at windmills around the precise definition of general usage words though.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires
I swear I think that if someone said Trump was guilty of genocide and I pointed out that he really wasn't, someone else would come along and said that I was nitpicking because Trump really is the worst person ever and should have been removed from office yesterday and that I must be Trump's whipping boy for wanting to defend him.

The board is about fighting ignorance. Whatever he is guilty of, it is not bribery or extortion. When you try to oversell your case it takes away from what you do have.
I would say he's guilty of bribery and extortion in the common vernacular use of those words.

That's also irrelevant to whether or not he can or should be impeached over his actions.

Do you have a legal position on that?

Last edited by Hamlet; 01-23-2020 at 09:56 AM.
  #6972  
Old 01-23-2020, 09:59 AM
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All of this goalpost shifting keeps going on in any Trump thread. Other posters said that Trump was guilty of bribery and extortion. It seems then that it is pretty reasonable to define bribery and extortion and doing so is not "semantic."

I swear I think that if someone said Trump was guilty of genocide and I pointed out that he really wasn't, someone else would come along and said that I was nitpicking because Trump really is the worst person ever and should have been removed from office yesterday and that I must be Trump's whipping boy for wanting to defend him.

The board is about fighting ignorance. Whatever he is guilty of, it is not bribery or extortion. When you try to oversell your case it takes away from what you do have.
If Trump had said (I'm going to use literal text here instead of Trump speaking through subordinates and in code to keep things simple)

"I will release the miltary aid to Ukraine, if the Ukraine transfers $1,000,000 to my personal bank account."

, then is that bribery, extortion or none-of-the-above?
  #6973  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:03 AM
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And when we say that what he did was "wrong", just precisely what do we mean? Do we mean he made a factual mistake, like confusing a Whopper with a Big Mac? Heavens, if such was the Founders intent, who among us would not be liable to impeachment? And if we have such difficulty with "wrong", how much more so words like "extortion" and "lying sack of shit"!

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  #6974  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:10 AM
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Other posters said that Trump was guilty of bribery and extortion. It seems then that it is pretty reasonable to define bribery and extortion and doing so is not "semantic."....

The board is about fighting ignorance. Whatever he is guilty of, it is not bribery or extortion. When you try to oversell your case it takes away from what you do have.
Have you read the Federal bribery statute?
  #6975  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:15 AM
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Bribery and extortion are merely words used to describe the President's actions, not requirements for impeachment. Feel free to continue to tilt at windmills around the precise definition of general usage words though.

I would say he's guilty of bribery and extortion in the common vernacular use of those words.

That's also irrelevant to whether or not he can or should be impeached over his actions.

Do you have a legal position on that?
If Trump is guilty of bribery or extortion, then every politician in the history of the United States is guilty of it. You want that farm subsidy included in next week's spending bill? You really should vote for my health care bill today. We are going to put sanctions on you unless you stop trying to build nuclear weapons. We will invade you unless you let us inspect your weapons dismantling program. It happens all of the time and has happened throughout history.

Trump asked another country to investigate a possible law violation by the Bidens. That's his job. Just because you want him to do it another way does not make it impeachable. Just because Biden is his political rival does not make it impeachable. The Constitution does not say that the President is only to enforce the laws against his political friends lest it look like a conflict of interest. It doesn't say that he must conduct investigations the way past presidents have done. And if the Bidens didn't do anything wrong, there is nothing to report.

This is a big bunch of nothing cooked up by a party that has hated him before he was elected, have made fun of everything he says or does, and have believed that almost every action he has taken is impeachment worthy. When you cry wolf too many times, people don't believe you. Especially when you throw around ridiculous terms like bribery and extortion. Hell, I've even heard murder being thrown around because a couple of illegal immigrants died in custody.

I mean, this whole board is filled with Tramp, Drumpf, comments about his orange skin, his weight, his hair. Every damn thread has to have a Trump reference. We could be talking about coin collecting and by post 20 there would be a shot at Trump. We get it that you hate the guy. But he was elected despite your hate of him. The remedy for that is to go out and win next time not devote 4 years towards finding anything at all to get rid of him. What happened to the Russia collusion? That's all we heard about for years and now nothing. This Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real thing.
  #6976  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:23 AM
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Just admit that you don't know what the law actually says.
  #6977  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Trump asked another country to investigate a possible law violation by the Bidens. That's his job.
This is not his job. Not only is it clear that this was done for personal gain, rather than national interest, but there's no record (unless you have a cite) of any President ever asking a foreign government (much less one known for corruption, and much less a political rival) to investigate a US citizen of wrongdoing.

How is this acceptable to you -- Trump using his official position and powers for personal political gain? Would it be fine with you if every President going forward asks other countries to try and dig up dirt (yes, that's clearly what he was asking for) on their political opponents?

If this is acceptable to you, and to the country, then our system has no chance of surviving. It needs legitimacy and the trust of the public to survive long-term -- this was not a legitimate act of a public servant. There's no chance of maintaining the trust of the public in the American system if officials are allowed to openly use their official position to influence/pressure/manipulate others for personal gain.
  #6978  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
If Trump is guilty of bribery or extortion, then every politician in the history of the United States is guilty of it. You want that farm subsidy included in next week's spending bill? You really should vote for my health care bill today. We are going to put sanctions on you unless you stop trying to build nuclear weapons. We will invade you unless you let us inspect your weapons dismantling program. It happens all of the time and has happened throughout history.
You really cannot tell the difference between those things and getting something for Trump's personal gain?

Wow. I give up.
  #6979  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:29 AM
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First, it seems fairly clear that the bribery talked about in the Constitution ("treason, bribery, and other high crimes or misdemeanors") refers to an official in the United States receiving a bribe from a foreign power to do their bidding.
I do not believe that there is a "foreign" limiter, but Zelenskyy is foreign so that's moot.

Quote:
Also, like with extortion, such an expansive definition calls into question any action. Am I bribing my daughter with an allowance to clean her room? Is my (hypothetical) employer bribing me to perform tasks at work? Were we attempting to bribe South Africa to end apartheid?
Is it assault and battery when I pinch a little boys cheek? Is it when I punch my wife in the face? Is it when I punch her in the face because she's a filthy whore? Is it when I punch her in the face because we were practicing boxing and I goofed?

Is it theft when I pick up a fallen nickel on the ground? Is it when I cut the chain and ride off with a bicycle out front of a school?

If only we had the power of using our brain to make reasonable determinations between such questions...!

This is why one of the criteria for criminality is mens rea. It's how we say, "Yeah, you might be able to argue that any one action is or is not a crime depending on circumstances, since that can happen with almost every type of crime. So what was the actual intent of the action? Was the intent benevolent? Or was the intent criminal?"

Quote:
After all, South Africa was/is a sovereign nation and had every right to enact whatever social policies they liked within their own country. Was that an attempted bribe?
What was the intent?

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-23-2020 at 10:31 AM.
  #6980  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I swear I think that if someone said Trump was guilty of genocide and I pointed out that he really wasn't, someone else would come along and said that I was nitpicking because Trump really is the worst person ever and should have been removed from office yesterday and that I must be Trump's whipping boy for wanting to defend him.
For this analogy to apply to the discussion in this thread, you'd have to be arguing that Trump didn't commit genocide because strictly speaking not all of the hundreds of people he killed belonged to the same ethnic group. But your attempt to once again pretend that this is about partisanship and personal opinion rather than Trump's actual behavior is noted.

If it helps, we can break the relevant alleged actions down as such:

1. Trump withheld aid allocated to Ukraine by Congress without sufficient justification. This happened. There is no question that this happened. And the GAO et alia have indicated that this rises to the level of an actual crime. There is certainly scope to debate that point in a trial setting - oh, but that would require the submission of evidence, which for some reason isn't allowed.

2. Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate (or at least to announce that he was going to investigate) Joe Biden, a political rival and likely Democratic frontrunner for the 2020 election. This also definitely happened. Trump has admitted it, and the transcript released by the WH confirms it. Is it a crime? Possibly not. But it transgresses the normal law enforcement investigation protocols (i.e. to report the "corruption" concerns to the FBI) and deliberately involves a foreign power (again!) in the US electoral process. And the rationale for him doing so is extremely weak and involves quite a lot of other suspect activity at the behest of the President (see the Lev, Igor and Rudy show). Alan Dershowitz, in his correct-but-not-as-correct-as-now days, argued that corruption (and this is corruption) in the President is impeachable even if a clear crime hasn't been committed. At the very least, it's something that the President should speak to under oath...oh, but that would require calling him as a witness, which for some reason isn't allowed.

3. Trump made release of the Ukraine aid conditional on the announcement of an investigation into Biden. Not explicitly stated by Trump, although Mulvaney did openly admit that there was a "quid pro quo" and the testimony of the few people who weren't actively blocked by the White House supports that view. Is it a crime? Very likely, given that the delivery of allocated assets was being leveraged to provide a personal political benefit to Trump.

You can quibble whether 3. constitutes bribery, extortion, general malfeasance or something else, but there was at least one actual crime identified in the above list and possibly more than one.

Now add on top of that:

4. Trump and Barr refused to comply, and directed their staff members to refuse to comply, with Congressional subpoenas. Done openly, repeatedly and unapologetically. Is it a crime? Definitely. Barr prosecuted Susan McDougall for the exact same thing during the Clinton impeachment hearings. The problem is that when the law enforcement mechanism - which is this case reports directly to Barr - is fundamentally corrupt, there aren't really many other options. But the crime was still committed.

Personally I find the argument that Trump and Barr are committing crimes to cover up the fact that Trump is innocent rather implausible, although your opinion may vary. But please - keep picking at the minutiae and I'm sure the whole case against Trump will suddenly crumble. Perhaps you could doublecheck to see if the flag in the Senate chamber has a gold fringe on it .
  #6981  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
If Trump is guilty of bribery or extortion, then every politician in the history of the United States is guilty of it. You want that farm subsidy included in next week's spending bill? You really should vote for my health care bill today. We are going to put sanctions on you unless you stop trying to build nuclear weapons. We will invade you unless you let us inspect your weapons dismantling program. It happens all of the time and has happened throughout history.

Trump asked another country to investigate a possible law violation by the Bidens. That's his job.
Ah, here's where we get to the bullshit. That's not his job. It wasn't his job for the entirety of his Presidency until he could politically gain from it. He didn't do it for any other reason than his own political gain, which, as we pointed out, isn't his job. His job is to protect the US, not his chances of re-election.

But you know what would help. If we could hear testimony of that from people in the executive branch. If it was a matter that he wanted to fight corruption in Ukraine, by all means, lets have people testify to that so we can determine the veracity of the claim.

But nope, this administration has chosen to simply try to hide all the evidence, claim executive privilege, and obstruct the investigation. Instead they rely on their lackeys (cough, cough) to throw out claims that, if actually subjected to cross examination or intelligent probing, would be shown to be the bullshit excuses they are. But we can't. Because this adminstration knows they're bullshit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires
This is a big bunch of nothing cooked up by a party that has hated him before he was elected, have made fun of everything he says or does, and have believed that almost every action he has taken is impeachment worthy.
Just so I understand your position, if President Trump withheld Congressionally approved aid in a blatant attempt to get Ukraine to announce an investigation for purely political motives and then had people lie and refused to cooperate with the investigation or respond to lawful subpoenas, it would still be unimpeachable.

Is that right?

PS: I edited out the parts of you ranting about TDS because I think it is a disservice to you to have you so blatantly reliant on partisanship rather than a factual, rational discussion of what actually occurred and what should be done about it.

Last edited by Hamlet; 01-23-2020 at 10:36 AM.
  #6982  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:36 AM
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I don't know why anyone is trying to challenge UltraVires on the facts. He doesn't even show an interest in understanding what the law says, yet feels confident that whatever the law is, Trump didn't break it but every other politician in the world did.
  #6983  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:54 AM
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UltraVires #6955


Bribery is a noun that covers the categories of offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting for both the giver and receiver. There is only the term briber. There is no additional term for 'bribee'.

So, by soliciting a favor for his personal political benefit, Trump is guilty of bribery.
  #6984  
Old 01-23-2020, 11:41 AM
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Moreover, his contention that what Trump did is perfect normal foreign policy is at odds with the sworn testimony of Trumpís own ambassadors and foreign policy advisors who testified, under oath, that the policy (as well as the phone call) was so troubling that they contacted lawyers, threatened to resign, and were publicly critical of it.

Now, who knows more how foreign policy works: professional national security advisers with collected professional experience that easily exceeds 100 years, or some guy on a message board comparing the law to cleaning a kidís bedroom?
  #6985  
Old 01-23-2020, 11:46 AM
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Moreover, his contention that what Trump did is perfect normal foreign policy is at odds with the sworn testimony of Trumpís own ambassadors and foreign policy advisors who testified, under oath, that the policy (as well as the phone call) was so troubling that they contacted lawyers, threatened to resign, and were publicly critical of it.

Now, who knows more how foreign policy works: professional national security advisers with collected professional experience that easily exceeds 100 years, or some guy on a message board comparing the law to cleaning a kidís bedroom?
Yeah, but you're forgetting that Sondman et al. are deep state anti-Trump moles or something. Trump barely knows them!
  #6986  
Old 01-23-2020, 11:55 AM
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Trump tells the Senate one thing and the courts another when it comes to witnesses: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/polit...ent/index.html
  #6987  
Old 01-23-2020, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires
I mean, if I don't give my daughter her allowance unless she cleans her room, is that extortion?
If you don't give her allowance until she punches some guy she doesn't even know, what is that? Or - more on point - if she lies to the cops that this guy she doesn't know committed a crime?
Leaving it at cleaning the room, let's extend the analogy in the other direction: if your daughter's allowance is drawn from a fund set up for the purpose by someone else, and you have been empowered to dispense it when conditions defined by the fund-setter-uppers have been met, withholding the allowance until certain OTHER conditions (not imposed by the fund-setter-uppers, but only by you) have been met, you are guilty of extortion.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 01-23-2020 at 12:23 PM.
  #6988  
Old 01-23-2020, 12:37 PM
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The issue of how you treat your daughter is wholly irrelevant, because public officials are not subject to the same rules as families.

For example, anyone is allowed to give UV's daughter $10,000 in cash. Generally speaking, a public official is very limited in receiving gifts of cash. There are many more examples, but talking about daughters has literally nothing to do with the topic.
  #6989  
Old 01-23-2020, 12:37 PM
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I like how you think this argument somehow exonerates Trump.
This should really be written somewhere where everyone can see it, like on Rushmore or something.
  #6990  
Old 01-23-2020, 02:49 PM
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*snip. Respectfully, this is both wrong and really too much. The harm in extortion is a direct harm: If you (not you a hypothetical you) do not pay me $1000, I will kill you. Extortion. Trump didn't threaten to invade the Ukraine or conduct airstrikes if they didn't investigate.

What is not extortion is a refusal to provide a third party benefit. Under your scenario if some bad guys are after me, it would be extortion for a private security company to refuse to protect me unless I paid them.

The extorting party must be the one that will cause the harm.
So, if I say óď if you donít give me money my brother will kill youĒ - thatís isnít extortion? Cool, Iíve got some calls to make.
  #6991  
Old 01-23-2020, 02:54 PM
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Apparently, "You have a nice fruit stand here; would be a shame if anything happened to it" is also not extortion. It's just too hypothetical.
  #6992  
Old 01-23-2020, 03:17 PM
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Explain how Trump is guilty of bribery. When did that happen?
I never said he was guilty of bribery. Back in post #6943 I said

Quote:
Now, a bribe is when you offer money to someone to do something. By this standard, what Trump did may not have been technically a bribe, but certainly withholding money already promised legitimately unless something new is done (the investigation) is essentially the same thing, and thus rises to the level of a bribe, and is a perfectly acceptable article of impeachment.
I am claiming that what he is accused of doing is akin to a bribe, which fits Dershowitz's standard as to what is impeachable, and thus he is being disingenuous when he just uses the phrase "abuse of power", and ignores the actual, underlying abuse.
  #6993  
Old 01-23-2020, 04:07 PM
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Does anyone know why the House didn’t write the articles of impeachment in terms of bribery and/or extortion? It certainly would have eliminated an entire line of argument.
  #6994  
Old 01-23-2020, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
But throughout history we have conditioned foreign aid on another country doing or not doing a certain thing.
Do you really not understand the difference between something that is in the National interest and something that is in his personal and political interest and actually hurts our national interests?



Quote:
I still don't understand bribery, though. Who took money or another thing of value?
It may be difficult to put a specific price tag on what it means to the president of the United States, but are you honestly saying you feel there is no value?


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  #6995  
Old 01-23-2020, 09:51 PM
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I don't get it. There has been overwhelming evidences for years showing what a corrupt person Trump is. Yet people voted for him. And now, when the spotlight is on him, and the evidence is once again clear, people still defend him.

Unbelievable, but it's the con man's secret. No one wants to admit they got conned. And in this case, conned by such a moronic obvious crook.
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  #6996  
Old 01-23-2020, 11:33 PM
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You're also forgetting what a joy it is for them to stick it to the libs. Honestly, they would have no problem fiddling while Rome burned as long as Rome was the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco or some other similarly liberal enclave.

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  #6997  
Old 01-24-2020, 08:31 AM
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You're also forgetting what a joy it is for them to stick it to the libs. Honestly, they would have no problem fiddling while Rome burned as long as Rome was the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco or some other similarly liberal enclave.

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Dirty rotten libs who keep forcing us to be fair and polite to minorities.
  #6998  
Old 01-24-2020, 10:25 AM
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I don't get it. There has been overwhelming evidences for years showing what a corrupt person Trump is. Yet people voted for him. And now, when the spotlight is on him, and the evidence is once again clear, people still defend him.

Unbelievable, but it's the con man's secret. No one wants to admit they got conned. And in this case, conned by such a moronic obvious crook.
If anyone asks you about Trump's success tell them that his dad owned about a hundred buildings, most in high property value areas. Trump owns about five buildings, most on the edge of town, which he bought after dad died, using his money.

The secret to success: Be in the will of someone who's good with money.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-24-2020 at 10:26 AM.
  #6999  
Old 01-24-2020, 10:55 AM
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If anyone asks you about Trump's success tell them that his dad owned about a hundred buildings, most in high property value areas. Trump owns about five buildings, most on the edge of town, which he bought after dad died, using his money.

The secret to success: Be in the will of someone who's good with money.
Sharing.
  #7000  
Old 01-24-2020, 11:32 AM
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All of this goalpost shifting keeps going on in any Trump thread. Other posters said that Trump was guilty of bribery and extortion. It seems then that it is pretty reasonable to define bribery and extortion and doing so is not "semantic."
Then define bribery and extortion and proceed from there.

Trump is guilty of bribery by any reasonable definition.

Trump is guilty of extortion by an reasonable definition.

Trump is guilty of corruption by any reasonable definition.

The terms, when reasonably defined, are not mutually exclusive so there's no need to pick just one.

Go ahead and define those terms if that's the game you want to play, but I suspect you have no actual interest in doing so. I'm guessing you'd rather play some version of your favorite game, "Where do we draw the line?"
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