Trump’s Tweets Are Cathartic and Costly But Not Crimes

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedBelow is my column in USA Today on the most recent claim that the tweets of President Donald Trump concerning the Special Counsel are acts of obstruction.  Once again, there is a blind eagerness to claim a prime facie criminal case against Trump. However, the implications of such a charge are enormous. It would mean that a subject or target of an investigation could be criminally charged for publicly denouncing the prosecutors or their investigation.  While it is certainly true that a president is not just any investigatory subject and has powers that do mean a menacing meaning to such tweets, it would radically extend the scope of obstruction into more ambiguous areas.  In the end, this is still the exercise of free speech in this context.

Even for a morning Trump tweet, the blast on Wednesday had the feel of a command rather than a comment: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now.”

It is the “right now” that gave the presidential tweet a sense of urgency for some and desperation for others. For a man who warned people not to expect “Perry Mason” moments from his confronting dictator Vladimir Putin over Russian interference in the  2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump seems to tweet them daily like some guy jumping spontaneously up in a courtroom and yelling, “It’s not me!”

The ill-advised tweet was immediately held up by Trump’s opponents as clear evidence of obstruction of justice in, again, pressuring Sessions to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, declared soon after the tweet: “The President of the United States just called on his Attorney General to put an end to an investigation in which the President, his family and campaign may be implicated. This is an attempt to obstruct justice hiding in plain sight.”

It is indeed in plain sight, but it is also plainly not a crime. If Trump’s tweet were used as the basis for a criminal allegation, it would reduce Mueller from hunting Russian collaborators in our presidential election to punishing presidential trolling on social media. Many of us have criticized Trump’s tweets, but those who are arguing for a tweet-based indictment should consider implications of such a prosecution.

Trump continues to ignore the universal advice of sympathetic lawyers and Republican politicians to stop tweeting about this criminal investigation. From the outside, Mueller’s case thus far for any criminal conduct by Trump of obstruction or conspiracy is exceptionally weak. For that reason, a rational approach would be to let the investigation go forward, supporting it as a way to clear any lingering public doubts about Trump’s electoral victory. Trump’s continued tweets only fuel doubts by making the president appear obsessed and unnerved.

Moreover, the worst possible course at this stage would be for Sessions to do as Trump has demanded. Sessions correctly recused himself from this matter upon the advice of career officials and ethicists at the Justice Department. Not only would Sessions have to violate that recusal position, but the order to terminate Mueller and his investigation would trigger a cascading series of events that would not turn out well for this administration. Sessions would likely have to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and others at the Justice Department. The decision would write the first count of impeachment for the House of Representatives if it switched hands in November.

Tweets do not constitute obstruction of justice

Putting all of that aside, those who insist that these tweets constitute obstruction of justice are dangerously misinformed. Subjects and even targets of investigations do not surrender their First Amendment rights.

Trump insists that he is innocent, and he might well be. He views this investigation as a partisan effort by Justice Department officials with expressly hostile views of him and his candidacy. He has every right to speak publicly about the allegations against him. He notably has not used his inherent powers to take action against Sessions, Rosenstein or Mueller.

When the Clintons were under investigation in Whitewater and related allegations, they and their associates continually attacked the “vast right-wing conspiracy” allegedly behind the effort. They savaged the reputation of independent counsel Kenneth Starr. There were no calls for obstruction prosecutions coming from many of the commentators and members calling for such prosecution this week.

More important, loose talk about such tweets as obstruction continues to ignore the legal definitions of obstruction. There are various such provisions, but none would fit this type of assertion of innocence or criticism of an investigation. If it did, much of our political discourse could be charged as obstruction. There is no evidence of such willful actions as “bribery” under Section 1510 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code.

Even under the broader definition inSection 1505, these tweets do not represent someone who “corruptly” endeavors to obstruct the proper administration of law “under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States.”

Trump’s tweets have backfired in the past

This does not mean that Mueller cannot include these tweets in a report detailing inappropriate statements and conduct by Trump. The president’s tweets proved costly in the immigration litigation in giving the courts ample ammunition to shoot down his executive orders.

I disagreed with those decisions in their reliance on tweets as opposed to the conventional record of review. Yet, it took more than a year to get the Supreme Court to reverse the decisions of the lower courts.

As a public figure, Trump is speaking out against what he views as unfair and partisan allegations. He clearly does not believe that the media are a faithful and neutral source for such news. That fuels his desire to speak directly to his base on the basis for the investigation. Moreover, Trump’s modus operandi helps him in this respect. Trump vents not only on this investigation but on every controversy from North Korea to immigration to NFL protests. He is often criticized for inflammatory and inappropriate language.

In other words, this is not a case where an otherwise circumspect president is lashing out on this one subject. The only consistent restraint demonstrated in past Trump tweets is the character count on Twitter. His tweets have regularly thrown his administration into chaos both domestically and globally.

On Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders simply said the president was “angry” and expressing that anger. Tweeting while angry is never a good practice for anyone, and it is downright dangerous for someone under investigation. However, the cacophony of tweets from this president has become a type of background drone as he repeatedly asserts his innocence and the guilt of his accusers.

That makes these tweets both cathartic and costly for Trump, but they are not crimes.

Jonathan Turley, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley

317 thoughts on “Trump’s Tweets Are Cathartic and Costly But Not Crimes”

  1. FWIW – I was bemoaning all the toxicity going on right now — media liars, Trump tweets, Mad Max’s exhortation to harass people, Russia Russia Russia, the latest update from the Mueller daily “digest” etc etc – to a fellow Progressive. I said, “damn, I almost long for the Obama regime” as it was much more “civilized and peaceful”

    He sent me this video which reminded me of how horrible and disappointing Obama was and it all came back. No, we don’t need another corporate controlled war mongering Constituional Amendment-stripping liar as president — whether Dem or Rep.

    1. And lest Liberals complain that I am a pro Trumper…. This is not a Partisan issue –

    2. Autumn
      No one can become president if their primary loyalty is to the majority of citizens over that of the ruling class, and if they somehow manage to gain the office, they won’t last long. And if they aren’t JFKed, a soft (Carter) or silent coup (Nixon) will achieve the same result.

    3. Autumn….
      Good thing none of that toxicity has found its way here in these comment sections.😉😀😃

  2. “Sessions correctly recused himself from this matter upon the advice of career officials and ethicists at the Justice Department.”

    I don’t agree because I believe the recusal came too early. However, that doesn’t mean such an opinion is without merit. What bothers me most is is the fact that Rod Rosenstein hasn’t recused himself and his involvement presents a much greater need for recusal than that of Sessions.

      1. What is the deflection? What did Sessions do that made it so he needed to recuse himself? Now think about Rosenstein signing the FISA document and his central relationship to all the people involved in trying to prevent Trump from being President.

        You truly do have cognitive dissonance. Your arguments make little sense and seldom contain a factual basis.

          1. I refer everyone to your posting that turns out to be near meaningless spin. I replied to them and wait for you to crawl out from under your rock. Let’s deal with facts that are known instead of you pretending you have any. You didn’t even check out the actual IRS forms that provide all the information the IRS requires for non-profits. That demonstrates ignorance.

            You are a fool.

            1. Allan, I am deeply indebted to you for posting the link to the Trump Foundation’s 2016 tax return. Are you calm? Are you sitting down? The return, like Trump, is a fraud. David Farenthold of WaPo won a Pulitzer for exposing its lies. Here’s but a summary.
              “In one of several memorable examples, Fahrenthold, who joined The Post as an intern in 2000, posted images of the handwritten list of charities he had contacted to ask whether Trump had contributed to them (almost none said he had). He asked readers for names of other likely recipients, receiving dozens of suggestions.

              “With the assistance of Post researcher Alice Crites, Fahrenthold found that Trump had not donated any of his own money to the Donald J. Trump Foundation since 2008. Instead, he had solicited money from others. He further discovered that the foundation was not registered to make such solicitations, as required by New York state law. The revelation prompted authorities in New York to order the foundation to suspend further fundraising.

              “He also found several instances in which the future president had spent money from the foundation to buy things for himself and his for-profit companies, potentially violating laws against “self dealing” by a charitable entity.”

              Now, I previously linked you the State of New York’s complaint against Trump and his Foundation. You apparently were unable to comprehend this. The first 90 paragraphs of the complaint detail the illegalities of the Foundation. Trump hasn’t given any money to the Foundation since 2008. He has scammed others into giving money to it. He has used the money to promote his campaign at rallies with big phony checks that he did not fund–if any money ever changed hands at all. He used Foundation money for business and personal purposes. In short, Trump is a fraud, the foundation is a fraud, the tax return is a fraud.
              Start reading.
              And after having read all this material, I can only conclude that you Allan are also a fraud. You should hang your head in shame for trying to perpetrate your own fraud.

              1. It seems the fool can only post and repost what he said before.

                You are a fool.

              2. hollywood – didn’t someone win a Pulitzer for work that was later found to be made up from whole-cloth?

                1. Janet Cooke of The Washington Post, I believe, around about 1980. She was a serial fabricator. Loads of fiction on her resume.

    1. From “Crazy Abe” Lincoln to “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone” and DACA Obama,

      bleeding-heart liberals have nullified and ignored the Constitution.

      The law and circumstance did not require recusal.

      Jeff Sessions either dutifully followed orders from or idiotically caved to the forces of the Obama coup d’etat.

      Jeff Sessions is either completely corrupt or completely stupid.

      Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “…a dupe which will live in infamy.”

      1. What did Christopher Wray know and when did he know it?

        If Christopher Wray didn’t know about the Obama coup d’etat, he is grossly incompetent.

        If Christopher Wray did know about the Obama coup d’etat, he is grossly corrupt.

        Lisa Page to Peter Strzok,”…POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.”

        Lisa Page to Congress, “…the texts mean what the texts say.”

      2. George, though I understand some of your Constitutional complaints of Lincoln we have to remember that his top priority was to secure one nation. Some think the south was benign. They weren’t and many leaders of the south advocated expansion. One nation of the nature our nation was is not easy to separate. Once the egg is broken it can’t be put back together again. Whether the Civil War occurred or not the two sides were heading for war even if separation occurred instead of the Civil War. It was only a matter of time.

        1. The Constitution holds dominion. The CSA seceded constitutionally. The constitutional solution to buying another man in the free markets of the private sector was to use constitutional freedom to stop buying slaves, speak and dissuade, to boycott and to divest from slavery. Brexit, Catalonia, Scotland, Pakistan, Bangladesh and every nation if the former Soviet Union availed themselves of the natural and God-given right to secession. Lincoln was wrong. Most Americans did not want the Civil War and war was unnecessary for the elimination of slavery. The slaves lived. 1 million Americans ultimately died. South Africa was disabused of Apartheid by dissuasion, boycotts and divestiture. There was no civil war in South Africa.

          1. ” The CSA seceded constitutionally. ”

            Section 8 Article 1: “provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections…”

          2. Crazy George misses the Confederacy. That’s why he’s crazy George.
            How about the 19th Amendment Crazy George, still crying about that?

  3. Imagine if you will, and submitting for your approval a place of smoke and mirrors in the world of a bubble of their own making.You’re moving into a land of where the sky is green, and the grass is blue, where only right turns are used and obeyed so they move only to the place where they have been before. Where truth and facts are not wanted or needed, Where moral compasses are not used, as to have their ignorance justified in their own minds. Where indefensible, morally complicit behavior is rejoiced and cheered. You are entering a world of alternate universe and reality that pulls a person into a void of pathological lies and deceit………You are now entering the Trump Zone.

    1. We’re watching Trump’s breakdown in real time via his tweets. It’s really something.

      1. “We’re watching Trump’s breakdown in real time via his tweets.”

        I don’t think Red realizes how Trump’s tweets helped him get elected, get the news out where a hostile media refuses to report positive events and how the tweets distract the media and his enemies while Trump dismantles almost everything Obama built through executive orders and regulations.

        1. Trump got elected on lies: Drain the swamp-Trump is the swamp, curtail special interests and oligarchs-Trump is the chief oligarch and has pandered to special interests, cronyism, nepotism, buffoonery; in short, Trump is everything he railed against and continues to rail against. Trump feeds the mob mentality of blame, anger, mean spirit, and the general ‘let’s get em’ energy. Trump’s core supporters are diminishing and he lost the popular vote by 3 million. The country’s population can be divided into four groups: the rabid Trump supporters, the rabid Trump haters, those who can’t care, and those who are to ashamed to get involved. The ashamed group grows each time Trump opens his mouth at a rally or tweets. Hopefully the ashamed group will grow and bounce Trump’s circus come voting day. As far as executive orders and the abuse thereof goes, Obama’s executive orders primarily benefited the majority of the people, whereas Trump’s benefit the select few richest, oligarchs, and special interests.

          1. “Trump got elected on lies:”

            Trump got elected on policy. Look at all the polls and see what drew the voter to Trump. He also got elected based on the fact that Hillary was a terrible candidate. A lot of Bernie supporters voted for Trump because of Hillary and the fact that Trump and Bernie had some things in common.

            Immigration was a major factor in his victory and that had almost nothing to do with racism. You neither know what you are writing about nor can you back it up except via spin media. Start looking at the data.

            1. Trump got elected primarily because wasn’t Hillary……..her negatives were probably underestimated.
              And that ” lesser of two evils” “selling point” for Hillary that Isaac and others were peddling was not effective enough to get her elected.
              Gonna be really interesting to watch the 2020 campaign kick off, probably within 6? months.
              Flake and Kasich are sending signals that they’ll challenge Trump, and there will likely be c.15 Democrats fighting it out for the nomination.
              For sheer entertainment value, I hope Biden gets the nomination.

              1. I don’t know what the strongest link was to his success. Either immigration or Hillary IMO. Both were easy to understand.

    1. Red, you are a perfect example of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Keep it up because while you vent your crazy ideas others like you are distracted. That provides the space for Trump to reverse Obama’s legacy and move the country in a new and better direction. GDP 4.1% unemployment 3.9.

      1. Trump’s narcissism would obviously lead him to claim responsibility for much of the economic improvement that was handed to him by Obama and you just toady along.

        1. the economic improvement that was handed to him by Obama

          Partisan Democrats are typically economic illiterates.

          1. You could try googling the unemployment numbers and all the GDP data under Obama. It’s clear you don’t want to acknowledge that Obama was handed a great recession and eight years later, Trump was handed a very good economy.

            1. Draw a curve and compare rates of improvement. Do you know how to do that?

            2. You could learn something about causality, about the effect of political actors on economic-decision making, about theoretical relationships between, and about empirically verified and quantified relationships between variables. If you did, you’d discover that it’s an involved enterprise to attribute medium-term or long-term changes in the tempo of production to policy shifts during any administration. Assessing price dynamics and the labor market can be done more readily, of course. See Casey Mulligan’s theoretical discussions of the effect of administration policy on demand for labor. It’s not to the Administration’s benefit.

              Now you need another layer of attribution, and that’s to differentiate the President’s contribution from that of other actors. Good luck with that.

          2. Spastic, are you trying to say the expansion began when Trump took office..??

            For the record, this expansion began in the second quarter of 2009. And it is doubtful Obama would have ever been reelected had most Americans not felt the recession was ‘behind’ them in November of 2012.

            1. No, I’m not. I’m trying to say the DNC press agents on this board are making themselves look silly by attributing the tempo of production to the presence of a particular elected official without any analysis whatsoever. Obama didn’t hand Trump anything but the keys.

              1. So Trump didn’t eff up the very good economy he was handed. Let’s give him a participation trophy.

                And let’s see where things go with his tariffs and the Fed raising interest rates.

              2. “Obama didn’t hand Trump anything but the keys.”

                Actually, Obama handed him the reins; Trump turned them into keys.

                1. mespo……that’s a beautiful way to phrase it! Are you published? Seriously?

            2. My goodness, how stupid can people be? After a downturn, there is an upturn. That is your lesson for now. You really are totally ignorant of economics.

                1. Probably with most of the pages removed and a few special highlights for them to memorize.

                2. Mespo,…
                  There is still the ShareBlue guidance from David Brock, publications like Vox, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, etc.
                  Plus about a dozen? other organisations and publications largely funded by Soros; a chart is needed to figure out which Soros entity under which name funds this other entity which in turn funds other.
                  And don’t forget the True Believers who, armed with their own set of facts, post dogma derive from those publications and organizations mentioned above.
                  So I have to disagree with you, Mespo, that they only have one book to guide, lead, and inspire them.
                  Fortunately,we have enough “deporables” 😉here to counter them. >😈<

        2. DSS is correct. Economic illiterates often spout the things you say. Look at the economic data and draw a graph. You will see marked changes when the crash occurred, then when the crash was resolving followed by a flattening, and then you will see an upsurge. That upsurge represents Trump’s results denied to Obama due to Obama’s stupid policies. Perhaps I should say denied to Obama due to Obama’s narcissism since it was so extreme, but the fact is his stupid policies had more of an effect.

          1. I think we ought to get over attributing the tempo of production to the acts and omissions of particular politicians.

            1. DSS, yes and no. Presidents set a tone and set policy. Just the thought of such change can radically affect the stock market which can have a lesser effect down the chain. Short-term actions mostly have short-term results while things like the long-term removal of regulations can have long term results. In the case of Trump he is greatly responsible for the policy of change we are seeing today. He is enacting things he advocated 20-30 years ago.

              1. Allan, there’s been a secular decline in economic dynamism during the post war period. Growth rates in per capita product averaged around 2.3% from 1947 to 1970, around 2.0% from 1970 to 1991, and around 1.6% from 1991 to 2009. I’d have to check, but I think it’s been something like 1.2% in the last 9 years. Why this has been happening is not well-understood.

                1. DSS, there is no question that economic dynamism represents a problem and was involved indirectly in a discussion between you and me regarding immigration. You had earlier added to the debate that % immigration levels dropped substantially during the decades before the Kennedy bill on immigration. Though I think the cause is extremely multifactorial immigration may have played a part. I don’t have the tables available for the twentieth century to compare these things and don’t want to put in the effort but I think proper legislation involving immigration would help to at least slightly improve economic dynamism. There are too many other important variables that I can think of so I can’t flat out state that changes in immigration law would substantially improve it.

                  1. Economic Dynamism? Is that like Charles Atlas’ Dynamic Tension? Or like Hubbard’s Dianetics? Or like Ryan’s Dynamic Scoring that doesn’t add up?

                    1. Hollowood, you are an exhibitionist who instead of exhibiting his body exhibits his ignorance.

                1. Trickle down if interpreted correctly is a leftist type of economic activity and the term probably shouldn’t even exist. Let the government spend and let that money trickle down to the masses.

                  Trump isn’t using that style. He is trying to increase economic production.

                  Hollowood, you are big on slogans and short on content.

                  1. I see no content in your post. You are the hollow man! Trickle down that I refer to is what Trump is doing. It’s the old Laffer curve nonsense. It does not work. It hasn’t worked. It’s not working now as the linked material shows.

                    1. Hollowood, trickle down became a popular term during the Reagan administration but the term was inaccurate as far as he was doing. It is a term that is easy for economic illiterates to use. Did you look at the Trump Foundation IRS forms yet to see what a fool you made of yourself?

            1. In other words, by the time Trump took office, the unemployment rate had already fallen dramatically from its recession high. 4.6% would be considered a very acceptable level in any economy. Trump inherited an economy that was already at full throttle. Therefore the Trump tax cuts were a needless sugar rush that came at the expense of infrastructure improvements.

              1. Peter,…-When an administration doubles a c. $10 Trillion National Dept. in 8 years, that fiscal stimulation, coupled with tremendous monetary stimulation, will buy a lot of jobs for any administration.
                A key selling point of Obama’s first stimulative package was that shovel ready infrastructure projects would be off and running.
                That never happened, at least not to any meaningful extent.
                Items like $10,000 tax CREDITS for homebuyer, and other similar goodies, took up the bulk of stimulus packages.

                  1. Ah, yes, “Shovel ready!” What farce….I think we misunderstood. Obama actually said “Shuffle Ready” because of the thorazine-like stupor exhibited by his supporters, especially the media. Zombies, all.

                1. Tom, conservatives gloss over a milestone that occurred during Obama’s first term. In 2011 the first Baby Boomers retired. For the rest of Obama’s presidency, Baby Boomers retired in a demographic wave that shall continue for another 10 years. Never has this country seen such a wave of retirements.

                  Paul Ryan saw this coming. And that was his motivation for wanting to privatize Social Security and Medicare. Ryan knows that tax cuts are irresponsible with such a wave of retirees. We should be doing everything we can right now to pay-down deficits.

                  But the Trump tax cut passed last fall will add another $100 Billion per year to the annual deficit. According to recent reports, that tax cut has already hit the Treasury with a recession-like impact. Meaning the Treasury saw a drop in revenues most often associated with deepening recessions.

                  In short the Republican obsession with big tax cuts is “Voodoo Economics” as George HW Bush said back in 1980.

                  1. But the Trump tax cut passed last fall will add another $100 Billion per year to the annual deficit.

                    Prove it. In the meantime, identify the spending cuts recommended by both Democrats and Republicans that would begin to reduce our deficit. For example, if you feared your household income was going to be less in the coming year than the last, would you whine about it and not change your spending habits? Would you look for ways to cut your expenses?

                    1. Listen Shill, do you even read the headline of the article you linked? How the Trump Tax Cut Is Helping to Push the Federal Deficit to $1 Trillion Helping; meaning there are other factors to consider…like spending!

                      The article concludes “This tax law is working, in the sense that now shareholders have access to their cash,” Ms. Clausing said, “but whether that translates to investment is a much different question.”

                      The 2nd quarter GDP has validated our economy is growing at a rate well beyond forecasts. You still haven’t answered the spending cut question. You do realize deficit has two basic factors contributing to its calculation, right? Revenue, Spending. Budgets are created based on forecasted revenue and spending. So if our economy is strong, then Congress should work within expected revenues and not mess with the tax rates to support known deficit spending. It is the responsibility of Congress to not pass a budget that produces a deficit. If they will not do what is right because they risk their own political career, then they are not the right person for the job.

                    2. Peter, you supplied us with a graph, but it didn’t tell us precisely what the Y axis represented. The NYTimes frequently does that to push their storyline assuming you couldn’t figure out what that Y-axis % really meant. Without that number, the graph that you wish everyone to see is totally meaningless. I think after the information is provided we will find the graph didn’t show us what you presumed.

                    3. Olly, moderate deficits are relatively harmless. We don’t have to balance the budget completely. Unless you want to slash Defense Spending. That’s not necessarily my choice.

                      It would make sense to raise taxes while the economy is surging. Now’s the time to pay down debt and deficit. But more importantly we have to stop demonizing government for the sake of ‘justifying’ tax cuts. And that’s what demonization is about. This constant, righteous griping that government is onerous.

                      The Republicans, in fact, made a very concerted effort to demonize the IRS. Which strikes me as stupid. The IRS has the mission of collecting government revenues. By crippling that agency, Republicans are undermining America’s fiscal health. Pretty stupid, I think.

                    4. “government is onerous.”

                      Government is good and needed but when government grows too big it becomes onerous and self-destructive.

                  2. Peter,…
                    i’ll try to get back to you on that, but on a related issue, do you remember the Simpson -Bowles Commision?

                    1. Yeah, Tom, Simpson-Bowls issued their report when Fiscal Hawks were riding high during Obama’s first term. I don’t believe either party took them all that seriously.

                  3. Peter,…
                    The bipartisan Social Security modifications in the Reagan Administration were put in place in anticipation of the large group of baby boomers who would be retiring in about a generation.
                    Increased SS payroll taxes and gradually raising the retirement age for full benefits were the main features of the reforms.
                    I think a c$3Trillion surplus was built up before the surplus peaked several years ago.
                    And the leading edge of the 1946-1964 baby boom generation did start retiring within 2-3 years of Obama’s first term.
                    3 of the biggest chunks of our budget are SS, MediCare, and MediCaid.
                    While MediCare and SS budgets have grown every year ( and SS probably at a faster rate in the last 7-8 year), I think that the % growth of the MediCAID program far outpaced the % increases in SS and MediCARE spending.
                    A very high percentage of the ObamaCare newly insured ended up on MediCaid, due to less restrictive eligibilty requirements.
                    I started to download some PDF files that were taking forever, so I didn’t recently review the numbers.
                    But I would bet that MediCAID spending at least doubled during Obama’s administration.
                    I don’t think that there was anywhere near that big of an increase in SS and MediCARE programs during Obama’s time in office.
                    If you get the numbers, let me know…I “spent” all of my. 4G bandwidth allowance, so for the reminder of this billing cycle it’ll be s-l-o-w going.

                    1. Tom, Medicaid did expand under Obama. But ‘before’ Obamacare, the uninsured were putting huge pressures on hospitals.

                      Hospitals were getting burned every time the uninsured showed up. Counties and states were picking up part of the tab. Lack of health insurance was the leading cause of credit card debt before Obama took office. And that was a component in the Financial Crisis.

                      Therefore money spent on Obamacare, expanding Medicaid, relieves financial pressures from hospitals, counties and states.

                    2. Funny that you mention the Reagan years. David Stockman conceded that trickle down/Laffer Curve was utter B.S. Why wake the dead?

              2. Firstly Peter one should not only look at the U3 for when one is unemployed and stops looking for work the U3 can fall even though true unemployment is rising. Secondly one has to look at job distribution and salary matching that to the skills of the people entering the employment market.

                As unemployment comes closer to full employment the rate of increased employment falls. Despite that fact the U6 (more accurate) In a 12 month period under Trump fell 2.5 -3 times as fast as it did under Obama. We are now at a point that is considered the approximation of full employment. Anyone who looks at the graph can watch the changes in employment and see what a bad job Obama did. One can look at his policies and note that they would inhibit growth and employment. That recession was as bad as it was probably due in good part to Obama’s policies and many state and federal banking laws that stopped the real estate market from falling to the bottom quicker after the event happened.

            2. June 2009
              Recession of 2007-2009 officially ends….for comparison purposes, not a bad time to take office c.5 months earlier.
              Herbert Hoover “inherited” an economy that seemed to be “at fully throttle” but was about to crash.
              Stock market crash in Oct. 1929, 6-7 months after Hoover is sworn in.
              For comparison purposes, a very bad time to start your administration.
              There are other examples…e.g., an incredibly overvalued stock market started crashing in March, 2000
              – Slick Willy is out the door before that selloff really hits the economy, and whoever follows him has to contend with the full impact of the bust.

      2. Unemployment is low. Wages are flat. GDP is boosted this quarter by the one time advance stockpiling done by foreigners to avoid the tariffs. Look out next quarter. Meanwhile, tourism is down.
        TDS is actually an ailment that blinds Trump advocates to reality, making them think he is doing well when in fact he is selling them out for his personal gain. The afflicted also exhibit ODS and CDS. Sad!

        1. Mother Jones is a spin machine that feeds Trump Derangement Syndrome and acts like an opioid for those with cognitive dissonance so I understand why you rely upon such a site for data when the data is available at .gov sites and demonstrates things quite different than what Mother Jones concludes. Funny opioids cloud the mind as well and causes people to make bad decisions.

          1. As has been suggested, Mother Jones is the sort of publication people read more for emotional validation than anything else. And it has a long history of economic illiteracy, starting with its founder, Barbara Ehrenreich. Ehrenreich was a great source of howlers.

            1. Yes, yes and yes. Hollywood’s mind is polluted with such cr-p and he doesn’t have the slightest idea how to logically look at data. The public schools have failed in that type of mission.

          2. Demonstrating your foolishness for all to see. The data in the piece I linked is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and it’s in the form of graphs which you seem to love. “Draw a curve and compare rates of improvement. Do you know how to do that?” per Allan the one with true TDS.

            1. Along with understanding graphs, one has to understand the quality of the data. You understand neither and are sounding dumber and dumber.

                1. You are to blame, Hollywood, for your own lack of education on the subject matter at hand. You throw things out without considering what those things mean or how to quantify their value. Then you start trying to insult the other despite the fact that I have been patient at times trying to spoon feed you important knowledge on the subject. You are not interested in growing your mind. You are only interested in seeing how long you can throw out BS without any proof. That type of experience only makes you dumb everything down.

                  1. Yes, Allan, I can see your disinterested intellectualism extends to ignoring the valid data I post. Good job, Mr. Head in the Sand in denial.

                    1. You post almost nothing of significance other than your lack of education. What is of significance you don’t even understand.

                      When someone proves to you a fact and gives you exactly where the proof lies you forget about it. D J Trump Foundation tax returns.

            1. Hollowood, you can repeat what you want over and over again. That is how you avoid dealing with the facts provided and questions asked.

              You are a fool.

  4. There is a guy out on the internet on some blog who says: that he himself is a guy, that he is Bhuddist; that Jesus Christ was not killed on the Cross but was stabbed in the back while raping a woman and died shortly thereafter; that Jesus was hung on the Cross for all to see. The guy says that the Christians changed the story. I wonder if he will be charged with lying or something. Is this not free speech?

  5. I’m grateful that the Professor is helping the rest of the public (via USA Today), understand the legal consequences of Pres. Trump’s tweets. Isn’t it true that, back in the day, FDR’s Fireside Chats were viewed in the same way by his distractors?
    In my mind, Pres. Obama set the bar, discussing ongoing investigations (low), by announcing that “the police acted stupidly” when the Skip Gates’ story broke.
    I’m just a country housewife, but I was shocked when he said that, live from the White House! By publicly pre-judging the event, Obama created the possibility that any fact finder would be unduly influenced. Isn’t that right, attorneys?
    But I don’t remember any outcry, from the public, the press, or the legal community.
    Does anyone else?

    1. When you were in your coma, there was a huge outcry from both sides [for different reasons] because Obama, correctly, said the police acted stupidly when they arrested a Harvard professor who was trying to get into his home when the door jammed. Maybe Obama said this because he was, correctly, sick and tired of people of color being harassed, arrested, and killed by policeman for the crime of living your life while also being black.

      And, now the trumpets are comparing Trump tweets to FDR chats. That’s a new one. Heard one of the enablers compare Mike Flynn to MLK. And, of course, Trump himself thinks he is second only to Lincoln. These are called delusions of grandeur. Meds can help.

            1. HAHAHAHA. When you have no intelligent response to my comment, all you have left is sophomoric piffle.

              1. Cindy, I think you are right. Red needs a hug and a hand. Red is totally off balance.

        1. TDS explains it. What are the police supposed to do when they see a person that looks like he is breaking into a home? Obama made it all about race when it was all about protecting the community.

          We see what happens when this type of thinking goes wild. Think of the killing that occurs in Democratic cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit where the good citizens that are minorities want such police protection so their kids can play in the streets and come home alive.

            1. Red, in your case it represents Trump Derangement Syndrome. By the way, what alias fell into such disrepute that you had to select a new one?

          1. Recently, people of color have been reported to the police for sleeping in their dorm common area, eating in the cafeteria, and selling lemonade.

            1. “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” __Jessie Jackson

            2. Red, you live in a country with 322 million people in it, including 41 million blacks. Someone, somewhere is bound to be inconvenienced, irritated, subject to mistaken identity &c. Every day of the year. Deal with it.

            3. “people of color”…Well, don’t keep us in suspense. Which color? No need to speak in code, Be direct, son.

    2. I’ve heard FDR’s chats compared with Reagan’s radio and TV appearances, but I have never heard anyone make a valid case that Trump’s tweets bear any relationship to those intelligible communications.

          1. PC Schulte,…
            I don’t think that Trump himself has compared his tweets to the fireside chats.
            If he were to make a comparison, it seems more likely that he’d rank his tweets up there with the Gettysburg Address.😊

            1. Tom Nash – the nice thing about criticism is that it lets you see what the author didn’t. I had an English teacher who could find symbolism is a radiator. That is what is going to happen to DJT’s tweets in 20 years or so. Some doctoral student will be finding hidden symbolism in them. 😉

          1. hollywood – just because you do not think I did not make a valid case does mean I did not make one. 😉

            1. Paul, your statement could have stopped at: “hollywood – just because you do not think”

              1. Allan – I am not as upset with hollywood as you are. 😉 BTW, I have put Bastiat on my reading list, you guys are driving me crazy.

                1. One Congressman used to carry a copy of “The Law” by Bastiat in the inside pocket of his jacket. When I asked him to show me he did. I would support him for any office.

                2. Good for you Paul. The Law would likely take you about an hour to read. It and the DoI are the only two I would recommend people start with.

                  1. OLLY – I am starting with the DOL. I have to rely on Gutenberg. 🙂

                1. If it were that easy, the troll Hollywood would have been gone a few weeks ago for the whining and the lying.
                  Those are not descriptions that I use casually, and when a low-life troll shows those characteristics right out of the gate….among the very first posts, then it just becomes one more piece of trash to sidestep in these threads.
                  But at least Hollywood showed those characteristics early on, so it does “save time”,as I’ve noted before.
                  Now, let’s see one of the brilliant comebacks from Hollyweed , like “you troll,
                  not me”

                  1. Tom, I gave Hollowood a chance to have an ordinary discussion. I learned what you had earlier found out.

                    He is a fool.

                2. It seems Hollowood, that all you are able to do is copy and paste and are unable to create a legitimate argument.

                  You are a fool.


    “Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”

    Trump is referring to a Washington Post story from Saturday night that claimed he was privately worried that Don Jr. was in legal jeopardy regarding that Trump Tower meeting, in the summer of 2016, with a Russian, Kremlin-connected lawyer. Campaign Manager Paul Manafort and son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended said meeting.

    This morning The Washington Post covered this tweet and found contradictions. The following are excerpts from that piece:

    Two issues.

    The first is that Trump appears to have broken some new ground here when it comes to admitting the true purpose of the Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-aligned lawyer — and even further contradicted the initial statement he helped draft about it. At the time, Donald Trump Jr. issued a statement explaining that he and the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.” We have since learned that the elder Trump actually dictated that statement.

    Quickly, though, that explanation fell apart, and we learned that Trump Jr. had actually been promised harmful information about Democrats, including Hillary Clinton. The president himself seemed to shrug it off, saying in July 2017 that, “from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting.” He added: “It’s called opposition research or even research into your opponent.” But at the same time, he still suggested that the meeting was, in large part, about adoption.

    Sunday’s tweet appears to acknowledge that the meeting was actually predicated on opposition research: “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent.” The initial denial — which, again, Trump himself dictated — is pretty irreconcilable with that. (You could perhaps argue that adoption was mostly discussed, even if the meeting was set up to discuss oppo research, but that’s a stretch.) And if you’re Robert Mueller and you’re looking at whether Trump obstructed justice, you’ve now got even more evidence of a clear attempt to mislead the public and obscure the truth. Trump’s July 2017 comments came before we knew he was involved in drafting that initial misleading response; now Trump is in the public record as having authored it.

    The second issue here are the final words of the tweet. “I did not know about it!” This is something Trump has said regularly about the Trump Tower meeting and something he has re-upped now that Michael Cohen is reportedly telling people that Trump did know about it.

    But here’s the thing: This is a tweet about how the Trump Tower meeting was totally fine — nothing illegal to see here. If you’ve got no real concern about legal exposure from the meeting, why distance yourself from it? Trump seems to be arguing against his own point by assuring us that he had nothing to do with this meeting, which — oh, by the way — was totally on the up-and-up. Trump might as well have just confirmed The Post’s report that he is worried about what the meeting portends for his son.

    Is this tweet, in and of itself, damning? Probably not. But obstruction-of-justice cases are about proving that someone had “corrupt intent” when they took the actions they did. And for the second time in less than a week, Trump tweeted something that suggested his intent wasn’t terribly wholesome. He also suggested that he isn’t as convinced as he’d like us to believe that there’s nothing to see here.

    Edited from: “Trump Just Made 2 Problematic Admissions About Trump Tower Meeting”.



      Adam Schiff
      The Russians offered damaging info on your opponent. Your campaign accepted. And the Russians delivered. You then misled the country about the purpose of the Trump Tower meeting when it became public. Now you say you didn’t know in advance. None of this is normal or credible.…


        In an interview with journalist George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow shrugged off questions about his own changing stories on the Trump Tower meeting, saying that he “had bad information at the time,” and that “doesn’t mean illegality.” He said he has “no knowledge at all” of Trump Jr. being told he’s the target of an investigation and echoed the president’s argument that whatever happened in that meeting, it’s not illegal anyway.

        Edited from: “This Was A Meeting To Get Information On An Opponent: Trump Changes His Story On Russia Meeting”

        This morning’s edition of VOX

        1. Peter Hill,…
          I think that the Senate Intelligence Committee released 1800? pages a few months ago that are said to include Trump Jr.’s testimony months earlier.
          Not sure if it includes testimony from others who were at the Trump Tower meeting.
          I haven’t seen a good summary of that testimony, but a publication which had waded through the entire SI Committee material said that “I don’t recall” was a common answer.
          I don’t know if they tallied them all up, or if they compared JR’.s “I don’t recall” numbers to others ( with poor memories😊) who have given Congressional testimony over the years.



    2. I read the Shill daily report.

      If all the combinations and permutations were taken into account none of them would lead to criminality.

  7. An issue which will come up this week is: Can Trump speak freely from a Trump Tower?
    There are some who say that he cannot speak freely on the internet and send out what are called Tweets or Twits.
    Now there are others who say that he has no right to speak freely from any of his own Trump Towers. When he goes to France he will speak from the Eiffel Tower. But in English and not in French.
    Some people from the Birther Movement who said that Obama was born in Kenya are now saying that Trump is a Jew and was born in Israel. Is there any truth to that?

  8. The president’s tweets are official WH statements per the WH. Doubtful that the Mueller team needs Turley’s advise on how to use them.

    His tweets this morning: confessing AWA fomenting violence against journalists.

    And why was Mueller witness Hope Hicks hanging out on AF1 yesterday? Did she miss the best part of her old job- steaming his pants before rallies?

    1. Hope Hicks and Trump were probably discussing Trump’s grandchildren.😒😕😉

  9. Of course dumb donald tweets or any statements made in whatever media could be usable against our president/traitor/russian asset in a future legal proceeding. with the walls closing in, its not surprising the racist alt-right is attempting to redefine law.

    btw – can some trumper or trumpette please explain how wearing hats and carrying other swag made in China (did u see trumps flags on the chinese factory floor?) makes America better.

    1. Trump has convinced the rubes that it’s okay for him [and daughter] to make their products in Asia but not okay for anyone else.

        1. Are you denying that their products have been made in China and elsewhere overseas?

          1. Absolutely not, but Trump is trying to change the dynamics. We will always have some things made abroad. He is not advocating a cessation of trade rather rebalancing it. You also commented about his daughter. Ivanka closed her fashion brand.

  10. If you tweet you’re a twit…
    You’re a twit all the way..
    From your first piece of tail..
    To your last dying day!
    The Trumpster’s a tweeter and he stays up all night.
    He thinks about such things that make you have fright.
    But he is on duty at mid morning day..
    And then he’s not tweeting or rolling in the hay.

    Save time for your critics and keep your ears closed.
    This day is for crisis and not small things hosed.

  11. Like a broken clock Mr Trump is correct about two things. The media has historically failed to provide fair and balanced news, and Russiagate is a hoax. That doesn’t change the fact that he is incompetent, inappropriate, offensive, and highly destructive.

    1. Chris Bacon – Trump is not incompetent. The rest is probably true and that is why we voted for him. We voted for a wrecking ball, not Obama 2.0

      1. Paul

        You voted for a wrecking ball, someone who would drain the swamp; I remember the lines. But, instead, we all got this hypocrite, liar, and the worst swamp creature there is. Trump talked about getting rid of special interests and oligarchs. Trump opened the door to special interests and is himself the head oligarch. You, and the other dupes that make up his mob incensed core still believe the lies and BS, instead of stepping back and viewing the mayhem, chaos, and further disintegration of what is left of democracy in America. You believe in the illusion and in doing so are participating in the destruction of the goals set forth by the founding fathers.

        Obama wasn’t perfect, as is constantly iterated, however, he stood for what the founding fathers had in mind. Trump could care less about what was intended or what is truth and justice. Trump cares only about himself. Read the tweets carefully. There is something telling about someone who lies more often than he tells the truth. Trump screams it out, his incompetence, buffoonery, lying, stupidity.

        1. Obama wasn’t perfect, as is constantly iterated, however, he stood for what the founding fathers had in mind.

          To anyone remotely familiar with the political history of the late 18th and early 19th century in this country, a remark like this is positively unreal. You fancy you know what you’re talking about, and it’s Dunning-Kruger all the way down.

          1. PC Schulte,..
            Someone wrote in an earlier comment about “ravaging”, or something to that effect.
            Can’t find that comment right now, but after reading Isaac’s comments, could they have meant “raving” instead?

          2. PC Schulte,…
            I don’t think it is treatable, but symptoms can subside in 4-8 years from the onset.

        2. however, he stood for what the founding fathers had in mind.

          If by had in mind you mean a tyrant, then that is precisely what our founding fathers had in mind when they crafted the laundry list of grievances against the King and his parliament. On the other hand, if by had in mind you believe the founding fathers believed the executive branch of government should be weaponized against political opponents and the President should have the power to do what he wants if Congress fails to do his bidding, then you’re woefully ignorant of every bit of our founding history.

          1. Olly

            You and your right wing extremists continually refer to Obama’s tyrant like actions. The tyrant aspect of the Presidency was not invented or uniquely expressed by Obama. Every President before and now Trump uses the ‘absolute’ power, where it exists, of the presidency. One either agrees with the intent or not. The use of this ‘tyrant’ power either bears fruit or not.

            So, here we have a President, who is a tyrant; Trump. The big difference between Obama and Trump is that Obama was focused on the best interests of all Americans, or most. Trump is focused on the select few at the top. Trump is an oligarch and champion of the special interest. This is not what the founding fathers intended.

            As for the tyrant issue, it is not what can be interpreted as tyrannical but what is in the best interest of all Americans, or most. Obama, like all politicians in this perversity claimed to be a democracy by the delusional, lied, obfuscated, overstepped, etc. However, as much as Obama, as with all politicians had to address and respond to the oligarchs that funded his campaigns, he was not an oligarch. Trump is the quintessential oligarch: life of privilege, life of advantage, life where the ‘little guy’ gets the shaft to preserve the profit margin, etc. Trump is part of that unfortunate segment of American society that controls our representatives, an oligarch that is in the White House. So much for the ‘check and balance system’. The only way to make America great again or ever is to bounce Trump’s disgusting routine in 2020, starting with taking back the Senate and Congress. It will take another Obama to fix this mess, regardless of how tyrannical.

            1. As for the tyrant issue, it is not what can be interpreted as tyrannical but what is in the best interest of all Americans, or most.

              If you studied the history of tyrants and those of proponents of the slave trade, that is precisely the moral argument they made. It is always what can be interpreted as tyrannical, as opposed to being constitutional… period! That is what’s in the best interest of all Americans, whether they realize it or not.

        3. “someone who would drain the swamp”

          It seems many of the major players of the FBI, Brennan, and Clapper have been exposed. Many illegal actions by the Obama administration have been exposed. Trump is doing a good job at cleaning the swamp but there are a lot of swamp creatures in Washington so it looks like it might require two terms to complete the job.

    2. No, Chris. He upsets you. You deserve to be upset. If the future is more just than the past, you will be upset for the rest of your life.

  12. If Trump doesn’t Tweet, he doesn’t get his message out. Besides, he said should didn’t he?

      1. Red – the Lame Stream Media mismessages him, i.e. Jim Acosta. However, his tweets are like FDR’s Fireside Talks, except with more venom.

        1. Paul C….I just left a comment making a similar observation about the Fireside Chats…but you said it better, counselor.
          P,S, Ferlinghetti is sill alive and 99 years old!!! (according to Wiki!)

          1. Cindy Bragg – I hope he is still writing, I love his poetry. His imagery is incredible.

            1. Paul C. …So true.
              Do you realize he has out-lived “Maynard G. Krebs”?!

        2. He sits at his keyboard, trying to think of the right word. He gives up and makes it up, “mismessage.” He smiles, pleased with himself. The world would laugh at him, but nobody notices him.

          1. Doug – two things. 1) words are made up all the time which is why we have the OED (something David Benson cannot find) and 2) Cindy noticed.

          1. Red – I watched Acosta lie like a rug. If I were the WH I would pull his credentials. And I would really vet whomever CNN wanted to replace him with. Most people here will tell you that I am a free thinker, I do not follow anyone. I will agree or disagree with you depending on the situation. Or agree in part and disagree in part. If you do a Gish Gallop, I am only going to deal with one part of the Gallop. Just enough to invalidate the entire Gallop. If you do ad hominems, I am going to strike back.

            BTW, I am sane. My mother had me tested. 😉

              1. hollywood – I am an orphan. I have been since 1985. Now, don’t you feel silly?

  13. They are ‘costly’ only in the mental world of lawyers, were everybody who isn’t a lawyer is expected to shut their mouth. Public relations and electoral politics are not the moderators trades. (He isn’t a working lawyer, either, while we’re at it).

  14. If Donald Trump hadn’t won the election, Manafort would not be in a courtroom. It’s that simple.

    1. I disagree. Do you think a Hillary administration would have ignored evidence of tax evasion and other fiscal hanky-panky?

        1. But what they didn’t have was Manafort being Trump campaign chair for four months. That’s the key.

          1. Three months, and his association with Trump is why the federal lawfare apparatus changed it’s mind about whether it was worth the candle to prosecute him.

            1. Yes, five months total, three as campaign chair. My error.

              And OF COURSE his association with Trump is why they took another look. They have been friends and associates for decades. I mean, FFS, he had an apt in Trump Tower.

              1. Manafort has 7 different residences, and has spent much of his time overseas.
                It isn’t likely that. Trump and Manafort chatted at the mailbox, or that they were even in the same building together very often.
                As far as them being them being ” friends and associates for decades”, I never seen any account of their relationship that ties them that closely.
                Also, Manafort had a mutual friend write to Trump asking for a job for Manafort; it sounded like a letter of introduction as well as a recommendation.
                That would not have been necessary if Trump and Manafort had been “friends and associates for decades”.

                1. I suspect the ‘friends and associates for decades’ is another nonsense meme peddled by the talking-point mills.

      1. Jay S, you really ought to read what the Clintons have done. You seem to have no memory since the Clintons came into the picture.

  15. Manaforts situation has nothing to do with the original stated purpose of the investigation. Meuller hopes he can justify his own actions. Instead he forgot the ethics and moral standards that his profession once lived by and any reference to the standards of Constitutional law are in Meuller’s case accidental.

    Even if he does prove a criminal activity the evidence was gathered as a result of two or more of his own wrongdoings. 1. Violated the law of ‘double jeopardy. 2. Used a false and falsified set of evidence to obtain information and 3 has failed to investigate the source of that illegally obtained information. – fruit of the poisoned tree.

    The Judge has already all but brought his actions to a halt for those three actions.

    And so far all he has left or hopes to find will result in something that in and of itself is not a crime but just some bungled activities by people who are amateurs.

    Meuller is supposed to be a professional and Rosenstein the same. Yet Rosenstein is Manaforts first witness for the defense having already as a prosecuting attorney looked at Manafort’s actions and in the end watched the courts reject the allegations.

    But none of it had anything to do with the stated mission except to uncover the true criminals in the Russian Collusion investigation. which is still a weak effort.

    I’m seeing is both Rosenstein and the the Clinton involvement and the DNC involvement as three sources and all Meuller is doing is again trying to cover tracks not the least of which are his own.

    Manafort probably is guilty of something, possibly should be convicted of something. But the bungling will in the end only serve to give him a walk on water card.

    We will have to have another investigation on the DNC/FBI/Clinton investigation but by whom? Secret Service and NSA?

    What we don’t need are two things. It must be finished no matter where it leads. The question is who? Doesn’t the FBI have an Internal Affairs Department? Or has the rot gotten that far and that deep?

    No matter the need and the known evidence is absolute.

      1. Hollywood swinger:
        “This is absolute propaganda that means nothing.”
        So much so that you read every word and commented! God what fools these Leftists be,

        1. It’s “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Shakespeare didn’t take sides.

            1. Apparently, mespo wasn’t b/c he said God instead of Lord. You’re welcome.

              1. hollywood:

                I am but I try not to completely plagiarize. Now for $400 Alex, name the play and the speaker.

                Hint: The speaker sometimes comes bob, bob, bobbing along on his way past the goalie!

                1. It’s Midsummer Night’s Dream but I’m not in the mood to look up the speaker.

          1. hollywood – Shakespeare did take sides, he was just very clever in keeping it secret.

      1. Jay S – paying the least amount of taxes possible is not a crime, it is a civic duty. 😉

        1. Tax evasion is a crime! But then I realize only little people lay taxes or go to jail for tax evasion.

        2. Don’t you mean minimizing your legal tax obligation, Paul?
          Had Manafort done that he wouldn’t be facing jail today.

          1. You’re assuming Mueller operates in good faith and that all defendants are guilty. Both stupidities should keep you off juries for the rest of your life.

          2. wildbill99 – I use a tax accountant to pay the least amount possible. I have been audited twice and both times the government owed me more money. They have not audited me since. 😉

          3. Wildbill is again drawing conclusions before the facts are in. How foolish. To date even though it appears none of us like him there is no definitive proof that Manafort is guilty of the charges against him.

            Can’t trust these leftists.

  16. Costly? To whom? That guy with the 50% approval rating? I guess it could be higher if some things wern’t tweeted. And why are we always talking about Trump, and very seldom about the wacko things Leftist spew forth? Maxine Waters is an constant ongoing embarrassment, much more so than Trump, but, shhh.. we can’t bad mouth the Left around here, can we John.

          1. Radmussen is the type of polling that will ask the question, who was the worst black President of all time and publish the results from viewers of Fox News.

            1. So you say. Pick some upcoming race that they and others have polling on and let’s see who gets closest to the outcome.

                  1. Place the data on the table. Make sure you have all the variables and leave space for unknown variables. Don’t forget selection and quality.

                    1. We see again how Allan asks for material but never supplies any. He talks about Trump Foundation tax returns but he doesn’t supply them. What he seems most eager to do is hand out insults at no cost. Thanks, Allan, you’re a prince.

                    2. “He talks about Trump Foundation tax returns but he doesn’t supply them”

                      Hollowood, are you trying to tell me you don’t know how to find public records of non-profit foundations and you need someone to hand them to you on a silver platter?

                      If you are just honest enough to admit when you don’t know something and not accuse others of not knowing when they do I will provide the rest of the address for the 2016 returns.


  17. How many Christians gathered against the Violent Demo Leftest Commie/Fascist today in Portland Or Today?

    What about Ohio?

    Trump /Trumps supporters are winning even more support on the American battle fields.

    A warning to all the tone deaf Commie/Fascist American Hatin Judges… Impeachment, you may be amazed just how fast the wrath of the American Citizenship sends your traitorous PH’kin azzes to Gitmo.

    Trump Train 2020, Toot, Toot! LOL:)

  18. Yet again Professor, you take the atomistic approach and address only one aspect of Trump’s actions, behavior and statements. Once again you determine that no, this (the tweets) is not criminal. Time has moved on. Trump continues to ravage our nation, our rule of law, its press, its people and its allies. It is time for you to step up and take a holistic approach and examine the whole picture of Trump and his repeated misdeeds. That is where we will find crimes aplenty. As George Wallace would say, it’s time for you to stop pussyfootin’ around. Enjoy your vacation in Hawaii, but it’s time to get down to the truth. Mahalo.

    1. Let’s see you want to ok one set of evil crimes by pointing your finger and what you say but show now proofs for are another set of evil crimes.

      Now that in itself is one of the major fallacies in debate also called two wrongs make a right. Worse when you can’t prove but only have some slight inductive comments on one but give the other which has the benefit for it’s adherents of deductive reasoning based on facts

      What it does do and not much else is offer proof by self admission you yourself are an individual who is in favor of evil.. First you define it as lesser or greater to one extent or the other.Then you prefer the evil you have chosen to be the lesser.

      Which leaves you as nothing more than a supporter of evil in secular terms an adherent to your own devil’s congregation.

      Either way in any argument, using the word as a method of philosophical ‘discussion’ based on a premise etc. there are three possible conclusions not the two of greater or lesser evils. Thus alwas a third choice.

      The three are a correct conclusion, an incorrect conclusion and a compromise.

      Two false answers and one valid answer.

      And the valid answer for your stated premises is:


      But get behind me will do just as well.

    2. The nation isn’t ‘ravaged’. Partisan Democrats are suffering emotional upsets because they’re not very well put together.

    3. Of course dumb donald tweets or any statements made in whatever media could be usable against our president/traitor/russian asset in a future legal proceeding. with the walls closing in, its not surprising the racist alt-right is attempting to redefine law.

    4. “…you take the atomistic approach…”
      In other words, take all the little non illegal things he has done and you have one giant illegal thing? I could be wrong, but I don’t think it works that way.

      1. If you take all Trump’s crap together, you will find the one thing that Turley can’t find in Trump’s individual actions: intent.

    5. “Once again you determine that no, this (the tweets) is not criminal.”

      Professor Turley provides a legal rationalization for his claims while you do not. Why is that? Ignorance of the law or an inability to think straight due to cognitive dissonance?

      1. You’re a riot. You need a cleanse. Try going three days without referring to cognitive dissonance.

        1. Hollywood, you are demonstrating that you are not very smart. As long as you are around there is cognitive dissonance and there is no way of changing that unless you are able to get a grip on yourself.

          1. Yep, “Allaninny*” is always here — spouting Allanonsense.

            *Thanks and credit to L4D.

                1. I think that is a stupid and meaningless statement, anonymous. A cluck is a sound that is made. I’ll stick with you are as dumb as a brick because that seems like the best description for you.

                    1. Thanks. I knew of dumb cluck, but I didn’t know slang shortened it to “cluck”. I wonder why? Did the added word “dumb” require too many letters? I’ll give you a score.

                    1. Americans use the language very liberally and words change. There is nothing wrong with Webster’s but I wonder if the Oxford English Dictionary would consider the use of cluck in this fashion, slang?

              1. I gave, and still acknowledge, that the dull normal like anonymous are working up to their potential.😶
                Anonymous can post links, parrot other 😕peoples’ thoughts, and contribute a sentence or two every now and then that adds nothing to the discussions, but much to the Bitchy Little Remark anthology. 😤

                1. Tom, I can pretty much say what you said in the above paragraph in 4 words. She is ‘dumb as a brick’. 🙂

          2. Allan, I am deeply indebted to you for posting the link to the Trump Foundation’s 2016 tax return. Are you calm? Are you sitting down? The return, like Trump, is a fraud. David Farenthold of WaPo won a Pulitzer for exposing its lies. Here’s but a summary.
            “In one of several memorable examples, Fahrenthold, who joined The Post as an intern in 2000, posted images of the handwritten list of charities he had contacted to ask whether Trump had contributed to them (almost none said he had). He asked readers for names of other likely recipients, receiving dozens of suggestions.

            “With the assistance of Post researcher Alice Crites, Fahrenthold found that Trump had not donated any of his own money to the Donald J. Trump Foundation since 2008. Instead, he had solicited money from others. He further discovered that the foundation was not registered to make such solicitations, as required by New York state law. The revelation prompted authorities in New York to order the foundation to suspend further fundraising.

            “He also found several instances in which the future president had spent money from the foundation to buy things for himself and his for-profit companies, potentially violating laws against “self dealing” by a charitable entity.”

            Now, I previously linked you the State of New York’s complaint against Trump and his Foundation. You apparently were unable to comprehend this. The first 90 paragraphs of the complaint detail the illegalities of the Foundation. Trump hasn’t given any money to the Foundation since 2008. He has scammed others into giving money to it. He has used the money to promote his campaign at rallies with big phony checks that he did not fund–if any money ever changed hands at all. He used Foundation money for business and personal purposes. In short, Trump is a fraud, the foundation is a fraud, the tax return is a fraud.
            Start reading.
            And after having read all this material, I can only conclude that you Allan are also a fraud. You should hang your head in shame for trying to perpetrate your own fraud.

            1. hollywood – quick question. How much Clinton money went into the Clinton Foundation? Bonus question. How much money went out of the Clinton Foundation to pay for things like a wedding?

              1. Paul,
                I have heard suggestions that there were issues with the Clinton Foundation. OTOH, I have also heard the Foundation has given millions of dollars to worthy causes. If something is amiss, someone should investigate and if appropriate, litigate. Unless I missed something that does not appear to be happening. Odd in that Sessions controls the DoJ and he wants to “lock her up.” Instead, all I have seen is innuendo. I would appreciate any facts from a reliable source.

            2. “Allan, I am deeply indebted to you for posting the link to the Trump Foundation’s 2016 tax return. Are you calm? Are you sitting down? The return, like Trump, is a fraud. David Farenthold of WaPo won a Pulitzer for exposing its lies. Here’s but a summary.”

              Hollowood, none of that has much to do with the return I “posted” which was the actual copy from the IRS files. You are so indebted for the posting that your little mind forgot I only posted part of the address offering to post the complete address for the forms when your stupidity stopped and you acted like an adult. In other words, you haven’t even looked at the tax form. That demonstrates the low level of education you have reached.

              You prefer to listen to spin that doesn’t include the evidence. Everything I have said about this specific return is verifiable. The IRS requires this form to be filled out and signed. If your authors copied the tax forms and specifically demonstrated an illegality then one could deal with their comments. I have heard so many reports about Trump that have been proven invalid that it is futile to deal with all of them unless the actual documentation is demonstrated side by side with the claims. That is something that you fail to understand leading you to think you have an answer when all you have is an accusation frequently from sources that do not understand the subject matter they are writing about.

              Understand, I am under no illusions that Trump is a perfect human being. He isn’t. The questions being asked are whether or not he is a criminal and belongs in jail. That will not be shown by any of the investigations you talk about. The Foundations were set up under the law and the IRS has been reviewing his submissions for years without ever finding any criminal activity.

              The questions you and others raise were raised before Trump was elected President. I know of some of the things I don’t like that he did but I voted for him anyway. That is our system that you seem to so heartedly disdain.

              1. Allan, I read all the pages of the 2016 Trump Foundation return you provided. Simply put, you are lying.
                Yes, the return shows various donations to various groups, often Vets groups. But as Farenthold exposed, the groups did not get the money. It wasn’t sent. The numbers on the returns are a fraud. That’s why Farenthold got the Pulitzer.
                I then provided you with a link to the State of New York’s complaint against the Foundation. I told you to read the first 90 paragraphs which go into detail about the Foundation’s fraudulent acts.
                In short, Trump is a fraud, the Foundation is a fraud, the return is a fraud, the “donations” were never made. In continuing to support Trump’s fraud, you have become a fraud.

                1. “Allan, I read all the pages of the 2016 Trump Foundation return you provided. Simply put, you are lying.”

                  I didn’t post the pages, I posted part of the address and not the full address so all you have proven is that along with being a fool you are a liar.

            3. Now Hoolwood, let us deal with some of the accusations:

              1) “In one of several memorable examples, Fahrenthold, who joined The Post as an intern in 2000, posted images of the handwritten list of charities he had contacted to ask whether Trump had contributed to them (almost none said he had). He asked readers for names of other likely recipients, receiving dozens of suggestions.”

              Firstly that doesn’t represent the millions of dollars the Foundation gave to various charities.

              Whose handwriting was the list in? Who did they ask at the charities? Are we dealing with a whole bunch of anonymous accusations? What year did Trump say the donation was made? How much? You don’t provide any of that data because you are providing spin.

              You are a fool.

              2)“With the assistance of Post researcher Alice Crites, Fahrenthold found that Trump had not donated any of his own money to the Donald J. Trump Foundation since 2008. Instead, he had solicited money from others. “

              Without question, others have contributed to the Foundation. These are voluntary contributions and legal. That money is then sent to various charitable groups.

              Do you know who else does that? United Way. You donate money to United Way and they disperse it to other charities.

              Do you wish to put the CEO of United Way in jail?

              You are a fool.

              3) “He also found several instances in which the future president had spent money from the foundation to buy things for himself and his for-profit companies, potentially violating laws against “self dealing” by a charitable entity.”

              The last time this question came up on the list regarded the Plaza Hotel. I think the initial argument might have been with Enigma. The claim: Trump spent charitable money on a park supposedly for the hotel.

              The park is used by thousands of people and is not on hotel property. It is across the street and is also across the street from Central Park enhancing the entire area. That money benefits the citizens of NYC and all people traveling through the park.

              You are a fool.

              The sum total of these claims is that a lot of charitable money was voluntarily provided to the citizens and benefits the citizens. You have provided no evidence, only spin. What you are trying to do is make Trump look bad and spin that into making Trump look like a criminal. He is neither a prince nor a criminal.

              You are a fool.

              1. No, the money wasn’t provided.
                Good to know this issue was raised before with regard to the Plaza Hotel, but the Hotel chicanery is not one of the many items listed in the State’s complaint.

                1. ” the Hotel chicanery is not one of the many items listed in the State’s complaint.”

                  It wouldn’t be. That idea came from one of the left wing spin sites you indulge in to make yourself seem smart but it only makes you look dumb and become dumber.

                  I know the State’s complaint. The State has to win. That is the hard part. I am a bit more experienced with NYC’s chicanery than the average person. At best Trump will be fined and that will mean almost nothing. More likely there will be a settlement because that is how NY works. NY has almost unlimited taxpayer funds to spend going after people to make a name for themselves. The individual charged has to pay all the legal fees for years even if the claim was that he littered when his claim is that the tissue fell out of his pocket.

                  You are a fool and prove it with every post.

            1. hollywood – weren’t you supposed to see if you could go three days with cognitive dissonance? You have not even made one day.

              1. Haha. I think you blew your punch line. Maybe you need the cleanse as well.

                    1. hollywood – I did not make the claim against you. And Independents have nothing to have cognitive dissonance to. Nice try though.

            2. Hollowood, whatever you paid for any advanced education, get your money back.

              You are a fool.

              1. I’ve gotten my money back many times over the years. Thank you, very much.

                1. Consider yourself lucky because fools like you generally lose big time. Of course that you say you got your money back many times doesn’t mean much because the chances are that you are bad at math.

                  You are a fool.

  19. “Subjects and even targets of investigations do not lose their First Amendment rights.” Actually, they do. The prosecution is free to interview, investigate, cajole and threaten witnesses, but if the defendant contacts a potential witness, he is charged with obstruction and thrown in solitary confinement. Don’t believe me? Just ask Paul Manafort. (If he’s allowed to communicate with anyone, that is.) It shouldn’t be this way, but it is. Any subject or target speaking out is taking a huge risk. He can be charged with obstruction, but the prosecutors will never be charged with obstructing the subject’s right to mount a defense to the charges.

    1. Please, Manafort has had every legal advantage. His counsel have filed every conceivable motion. He could have consolidated the two cases into one, but he chose to go with two separate trials. He’s had the jail of his choice. He got to wear his toupee in his mugshot. He’s got a very conservative jurist running the case. Gimme a break. It’s too bad he’s asserting a phony theory of the case and the evidence is against him. But life’s a bitch, ain’t it?

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