Michigan Legislators Face Calls For Possible Criminal Charges After Meeting With President Trump On Certification

We have been discussing the campaign of The Lincoln Project and others to harass and abuse lawyers who represent the Trump campaign or other parties bringing election challenges. Similar campaigns have targeted election officials who object to counting irregularities.  Now, the Michigan Attorney General and others are suggesting that Republicans who oppose certification or even meet with President Donald Trump on the issue could be criminally investigated or charged. Once again, the media is silent on this clearly abusive use of the criminal code target members of the opposing party in their raising objections under state law.

On Friday afternoon, leaders of Michigan’s Republican-controlled state legislature met with Trump in the White House at his invitation.  My column today explores the difficulty in any strategy to trigger an electoral college fight. However, the objections from legislators could focus on an host of sworn complaints from voters or irregularities in voting counts. We have not seen evidence establishing the type of systemic problems that would flip a state, let alone the election as a whole. While the legal team did raise some credible electoral concerns, I was also critical of Rudy Giuliani’s global communist conspiracy claim at the press conference this week. Some of these questions are being addressed in the courts. In the meantime, state legislators have a right to raise electoral objections and seek resolution in the legislative branch.

According to the Washington Post, Dana Nessel “is conferring with election law experts on whether officials may have violated any state laws prohibiting them from engaging in bribery, perjury and conspiracy.”  It is same weaponization of the criminal code for political purposes that we have seen in the last four years against Trump.  Notably, the focus is the same discredited interpretation used against Trump and notably not adopted by the impeachment-eager House Judiciary Committee: bribery.

In Politico, Richard Primus wrote that these legislators should not attend a meeting with Trump because “it threatens the two Michigan legislators, personally, with the risk of criminal investigation.” This ridiculous legal claims is based on the bribery theory:

The danger for Shirkey and Chatfield, then, is that they are being visibly invited to a meeting where the likely agenda involves the felony of attempting to bribe a public official.

Under Michigan law, any member of the Legislature who “corruptly” accepts a promise of some beneficial act in return for exercising his authority in a certain way is “forever disqualified to hold any public office” and “shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 10 years[.]”

We repeatedly discussed this theory during the Trump presidency. As I have previously written, a leading proponent has been former prosecutor and Washington Post columnist Randall D. Eliason, who insisted that “allegations of a wrongful quid pro quo are really just another way of saying that there was a bribe … it’s bribery if a quid pro quo is sought with corrupt intent, if the president is not pursuing legitimate U.S. policy but instead is wrongfully demanding actions by Ukraine that would benefit him personally.” Eliason further endorsed the House report and assured that “The legal and factual analysis of bribery and honest services fraud in the House report is exactly right” and “outlines compelling evidence of federal criminal violations.” 

The theory was never “exactly” or even remotely right, as evidenced by the decision not to use it as a basis for impeachment. And yet, it’s back. Indeed, the greatest danger of the theory was not that it would ever pass muster in the federal court system but that it would be used (as here) in the political system to criminalize policy and legal disagreements. (Eliason recently defended the attacks on fellow lawyers who are represented those challenging election results or practices).

In my testimony, I went into historical and legal detail to explain why this theory was never credible.  While it was gleefully presented by papers like the Washington Post, it ignored case law that rejected precisely this type of limitless definition of the offense.  As I told the House Judiciary Committee, the Supreme Court has repeatedly narrowed the scope of the statutory definition of bribery, including distinctions with direct relevance to the current controversy in cases like McDonnell v. United States, where the Court overturned the conviction of former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell. Chief Justice John Roberts eviscerated what he called the “boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute.” The Court explained the such “boundless interpretations” are inimical to constitutional rights because they deny citizens the notice of what acts are presumptively criminal: “[U]nder the Government’s interpretation, the term ‘official act’ is not defined ‘with sufficient definiteness that ordinary people can understand what conduct is prohibited,’ or ‘in a manner that does not encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.’” 

I will not repeat the litany of cases rejecting this type of broad interpretation. However, the case law did not matter then and it does not matter now to those who believe that the criminal code is endless flexible to meet political agenda.

It doesn’t even matter that the Supreme Court reaffirmed prior rejections of such broad interpretations in a recent unanimous ruling written by Justice Elena Kagan. In Kelly v. United States, the Supreme Court threw out the convictions in the “Bridgegate” case involving the controversial closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge to create traffic problems for the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., who refused to endorse then-Gov. Chris Christie. The Court observed:

“That requirement, this Court has made clear, prevents these statutes from criminalizing all acts of dishonesty by state and local officials. Some decades ago, courts of appeals often construed the federal fraud laws to “proscribe[] schemes to defraud citizens of their intangible rights to honest and impartial government.” McNally, 483 U. S., at 355. This Court declined to go along. The fraud statutes, we held in McNally, were “limited in scope to the protection of property rights.” Id., at 360. They did not authorize federal prosecutors to “set[] standards of disclosure and good government for local and state officials.” Ibid.”

That is the argument that I raised in the impeachment against the proposed articles of impeachment — supported by a host of experts on MSNBC and CNN as well as Democratic members — that the Ukrainian allegations could be charged as mail and wire fraud as well as crimes like extortion.

What is most disturbing is that, if there was an objection to voting irregularities or fraud, these legislators would be acting under their state constitutional authority. They would be investigated for carrying out their official duties under state law. Many of us can disagree with such objections. (I have stated repeatedly that I do not see the evidence of systemic voting problems to reverse such state results and  I have criticized President Trump’s rhetoric). However, when Democrats like Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Cal.) challenged the certification of Ohio’s electoral votes in 2004, no one suggested criminal investigations. Nessel is threatening state legislators that, if they meet to discuss such objections, they might be targets of criminal investigations. That would seem an effort to use the criminal code for the purposes of intimidation or coercion. Imagine if this was U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr threatening Democratic legislators with possible criminal investigation for challenging Trump votes. The media would be apoplectic. Yet, when used against Republicans, major publications and politicians are celebrated for the use of the criminal code for such politically motivated threats.

As with the attacks on Republican lawyers, the threats against Republican legislators has been met with utter silence in the media. Just the familiar sound of crickets.

385 thoughts on “Michigan Legislators Face Calls For Possible Criminal Charges After Meeting With President Trump On Certification”

  1. Well, this is how the Left has operated, out in the open. It is the government ruling class.

    Biden bragged, on camera, about a quid pro quo with Ukraine that just so happened to have benefited the company that was paying his son millions of dollars, for which he was totally unqualified.

    Trump got impeached for inquiring about it.

    Democrats openly threatened to ruin, or murder, Republicans who questioned “irregularities” in 71% of absentee voter ballots in Michigan counties.

    Republicans and Trump are being threatened with charges for inquiring about it.

    Are moderate Democrats asleep, brainwashed, or do they persist in exclusively watching media that deny them this information?

    1. “Biden bragged, on camera, about a quid pro quo with Ukraine that just so happened to have benefited the company that was paying his son millions of dollars”

      No, Karen, Biden bragged, on camera, about a legal quid pro quo with Ukraine that worked **against** Burisma’s corruption.

      That you still don’t understand this suggests that you have your hands over your eyes and ears.

      “Trump got impeached for inquiring about it.”

      No, he got impeached for trying to bribe Ukraine into an unwarranted investigation of a political rival for show, and for obstruction of Congress. He should have been impeached for additional crimes.

      1. ” Biden bragged, on camera, about a legal quid pro quo”

        Unfortunately that legality is clouded by the Biden Family Fortune. Trump did what he was supposed to do. Corruption is endemic in Ukraine. Biden’s boast made our country look bad and the financials released by the FBI show a financial connection between the Biden Family Fortune and Ukraine. If Biden was innocent the investigation would not taint him but remove a cloud. Trump wasn’t doing the investigation just informing them, as was his duty under the law.

        1. Kayla, it’s your opinion that “Biden’s boast made our country look bad.” It’s my opinion that his boast only showed that he’d carry out U.S. policy, using our power to increase the odds of Ukraine investigating fraud, and I don’t think that reflects badly on the U.S.

          “If Biden was innocent the investigation would not taint him but remove a cloud.”

          I don’t buy that kind of argument, especially since Sondland testified that what Trump really wanted wasn’t the investigation itself but a **public announcment** of an investigation (see “Sondland confirms that the “deliverable” refers to the public statement announcing the political investigations that Trump and Giuliani had been seeking into the Bidens and the debunked theory of Ukrainian interference on behalf of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election,” https://www.justsecurity.org/66271/timeline-trump-giuliani-bidens-and-ukrainegate/).

          But if you do buy that kind of argument, do you also argue that Trump should release his tax returns and provide his DNA to E. Jean Carroll in order to remove clouds?

          More the the point, in 2019 “Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Lutsenko [told] Bloomberg News that he has ‘no evidence of wrongdoing’ by either of the Bidens and that neither Hunter Biden nor Burisma were the focus of any current investigation” (quoting again from the Just Security timeline, which links to a Bloomberg article about that), so it’s unclear what needed to be investigated. If Lutsenko’s statement didn’t remove the cloud, why not?

          When you say “Trump wasn’t doing the investigation just informing them, as was his duty under the law,” by “they” do you mean Zelenskyy? (The referent of “they” isn’t clear.) What did Trump inform them of / what law requires it?

          If you’re talking about “favor” that Trump ask for from Zelenskyy, Trump asked for 2 specific things: that Zelenskyy have his A.G. investigate whether the DNC server was in Ukraine (a conspiracy theory) and investigate whether “Biden stopped the prosecution” of an unnamed person or company. Neither request was “just informing” Zelenskyy of something; they were very explicit requests. I also don’t see how either involved a duty under U.S. law, so why don’t you explain your claim about that?
          Here’s the semi-transcript to refresh your memory: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf
          If you’re talking about something else, please clarify what you’re talking about.

          1. “It’s my opinion that his boast only showed that he’d carry out U.S. policy, using our power to increase the odds of Ukraine investigating fraud, and I don’t think that reflects badly on the U.S.”

            You could argue that, but for the fact that the Biden Family Fortune with FBI documented money transfers from Ukraine, Russia, China and elsewhere paint a different story. You have to incorporate all the facts, not just the ones you like.

            You want to involve Trump in the appearance of a quid pro quo by Biden. Trump was cleared of one. Biden was not. The FBI papers are devastating and many reports are as well but the MSM doesn’t want to let you know about them. Trump wasn’t even specific. His words were very benign and true as demonstrated in the declassified document. There was a brief non specific mention of Biden’s son and that Biden stopped the prosecution. If the prosecution wasn’t looking into Burisma then stopping the prosecution has little meaning. Then Trump brought up Biden’s brag. That’s on Biden not Trump. Biden’s Family Fortune is the problem. That is on the Biden Family.

            What Trump said was appropriate. It was according to the law and in America’s interest. Your only problem with it is that the Biden Family Fortune was made from corrupt dollars and you don’t want the American public to know that.

  2. Those who “con” the American people or our republic, are called Republic Con men or RepubliCons.
    No human should talk to the Trumpster.

  3. It always baffles me when people think they can abuse highly addictive drugs because they will be different from the countless saps ruined by them. It puzzles me equally how advocates of violations of civil liberties to achieve their aims, fail to see that as soon as their views fall out of favor, the same tactics will be used on them.

    I watch with amusement on Twitter how every time Jake Tapper tries to make a reasoned point on something, his woke mob turns on him and drags him mercilessly.

  4. Another bit of dismay about the latest Democratic shenanigan. You put the pieces together and you see what the Democratic Party is: a criminal organization.

    1. The Democrat Commie mafia is going to charge our President for what crime, because he talked to Legislators about the democrat commie Coup, the theft of the election? It’s pretty darn cold up there so I I do think it is time for the Honorable Citizens/Patriots to crowd the Legislature and Democrats offices and demand they resign. Has Law Enforcement shifted to the side of the Republic and Citizens, yet?.

  5. A lot of typing and meandering rumination that’s entirely beside the point. Let’s focus on the REAL story: Trump is attempting to subvert the results of a free and fair election in which Joe Biden won a decisive victory. Are you ideological blinders so difficult to remove that you can’t recognize what’s going on?

      1. Like there were any russkis first time around you dolt. But never mind it’s CHINESE communists that are the real issue…. you know the chicoms that have so conveniently bought china joe and his son whore hunter like a cheap tea set at a flea market.

        1. Yeah, don’t you know that those Russian troll farms and the Russian hack of the DNC are just a figment of everyone’s imagination?

        2. I was being sarcastic, phergus.

          My point to Del, was to highlight the obvious fact that according to brainwashed simpletons like him and his fellow members of the “Resistance”, it’s amazing that the 2016 election was allegedly fraudulent and “stolen” from Hillary due to a vast Trump/Putin/Russian conspiracy, and just a few years later this election was deemed to be completely “free and fair”.

      1. Trying to convince state legislatures to ignore the popular vote in their state and award Trump electors he didn’t win is trying to subvert the voters will, don’t you think?

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-strategy/trumps-election-power-play-persuade-republican-legislators-to-do-what-u-s-voters-did-not-idUSKBN27Z30G?il=0
        “Trump’s election power play: Persuade Republican legislators to do what U.S. voters did not
        “… Trump’s lawyers are seeking to take the power of appointing electors away from the governors and secretaries of state and give it to friendly state lawmakers from his party, saying the U.S. Constitution gives legislatures the ultimate authority. … The campaign is betting that many of those lawmakers, who come from districts Trump won, will face a backlash from voters if they refuse to act. The campaign believes the longer they can drag this out, the more they will have an opportunity to persuade lawmakers to intervene, the official said.
        “… Trump’s lawyers already have implemented the strategy in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of Pennsylvania, where Trump trails by 82,000 votes. In a court filing on Wednesday, his lawyers said they would ask a federal judge to either block the state from certifying the results or to declare that they were “defective” and allow the state’s Republican-led legislature to choose its own slate of electors.
        “… ‘The results in Michigan and Pennsylvania are not particularly close, and the Trump campaign has come forth with no facts or legal theory that would justify disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters or throwing out the election results,’ said Rick Hasen, an expert on election law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. ‘This is a dangerous though almost certainly ineffective attempt to thwart the will of the voters or to delegitimize a Biden presidency based upon false claims of a stolen election,’ he said.'”

        1. Explain how “popular vote” is real considering the tens of thousands of illegal/fraudulent votes therein ?. You can’t have it both ways.

          1. After you to provide evidence of “the tens of thousands of illegal/fraudulent votes,” I’ll answer your question.

            Why don’t you start with Georgia, where they already did a hand recount.

            1. Did they count signatures or did they again count the illegal votes? Somewhere along the line Commit has to use a bit of common sense.

              1. Perhaps grandma has a little dementia and her son filled out the ballot. Why do u think in these cases it is going to favor Biden?

                1. “Perhaps grandma has a little dementia and her son filled out the ballot. Why do u think in these cases it is going to favor Biden?”

                  There are good reasons, but that is why challenges to the vote exist.

    1. Commit, I think you are intelligent enough to recognize that fraud existed. The only questions on the table are how much and will fraud be proven to such an extent that the nation has to question the results. Do you wish to hide the results or live by them. No one is giving the Trump team a pass. If anything the loudest voices are fighting to shut the Trump team up.

      Do you think shutting up the Trump team helps or hinders the healing of the nation? Do you think not carrying the process through helps or hinders the healing of the nation?

      Transparency and lots of speech while following the law is, if he wins, Biden’s best chance of unifying the nation. Do you disagree?

      1. Kayla, of course I recognize that some voter fraud occurs. Not only do I recognize that, I’ve posted links to a couple of stories about people who’ve been arrested for it. An example: https://www.wnep.com/article/news/local/luzerne-county/man-arrested-for-voter-fraud-in-luzerne-county/523-7fc4fd2f-9105-47e7-a510-2b5ff176ab2c

        If Trump and his allies have evidence of massive voter fraud, they should present it ASAP. Alleging widespread fraud without presenting evidence is harmful, and Trump is a pathological liar, so I have no reason to trust his claims without evidence.

        1. “Kayla, of course I recognize that some voter fraud occurs.”

          Good.

          “If Trump and his allies have evidence of massive voter fraud, they should present it ASAP. ”

          That is exactly what they are attempting to do in a very short time frame.
          ——-

          “Trump is a pathological liar”

          I don’t know what compels you to have to add that or something like that in every discussion. That is an emotional outburst that doesn’t help your position.

          1. I don’t care whether you consider it an emotional outburst, Kayla.

            It’s based on thousands and thousands of demonstrably false claims that Trump has made since his candidacy, sometimes repeating them over a hundred times. Here’s one database of several years of his lies during his presidency: https://projects.thestar.com/donald-trump-fact-check/
            It’s a wholly relevant point to make **in this discussion**. He is alleging widespread fraud, but he’s a pathological liar, therefore there is no reason to assume his claim of widespread fraud is true, absent evidence to substantiate it. Either he will present evidence confirming it, or he won’t. I will rely on the actual evidence presented (or absent, if they fail to present it, as I suspect will be the case). I will not assume that there’s any “there” there, unless and until they present valid evidence of it. So far, they haven’t done that. So far, it’s simply an empty claim and comes across as gaslighting.

            “That is exactly what they are attempting to do in a very short time frame.”

            Where did they attempt to present it?

            If they don’t have it already, they shouldn’t be claiming widespread fraud. If they do have it already, they should present it already.

            1. “I don’t care whether you consider it an emotional outburst, Kayla.”

              Apparently not. You do it all the time, but I have seen others ask you for proof and you pretend to provide the evidence, but it is not there. If you wish to continue with these emotional outbursts, go ahead if they make you feel better, but those outbursts don’t contribute to a high level of discussion nor do they serve a social purpose on this blog. Stop providing libraries instead of cogent arguments to back up your claims. As primary responses they too lack the quality of a high level debate.

              1. “I have seen others ask you for proof and you pretend to provide the evidence, but it is not there”

                Rather ironic that you complain about a lack of evidence while not providing any for your claim. How about you quote or link to an example where someone asked me to provide evidence and I only “pretended” to provide it?

                FWIW, I do ignore some commenters on this website, as their past responses convince me that exchanges with them are a waste of time, and Turley also has a “do not feed” request. But in that case, I don’t respond at all.

                “stop providing libraries …”

                What you call “libraries,” I call evidence.

                Still waiting for your evidence that “[If Trump and his allies have evidence of massive voter fraud, they should present it ASAP] is exactly what they are attempting to do in a very short time frame.”

                Where have they attempted to present evidence of massive voter fraud?

                1. Commit, you are starting to sound very hostile. I have been more than polite.

                  Someone a few posts back caught you using a double standard. You might not recognize it as one, but they told you to apply your standard for Republicans and Democrats alike. It was the Nevada claim where that person agreed with you that a judge should decide right and wrong but you never accept that when the same argument is used in favor of the Republican side.

                  Here we have the same thing. ” is exactly what they are attempting to do in a very short time frame.” They have to compile the evidence and provide it to a judge all the way up the system until accepted or refused by the SC. You say the Nevada case will be decided by a judge and that is exactly what I am saying about this case. There aren’t many days before it must be before the judge so either you don’t know the law or you are responding with a one-sided argument and not in a very nice way.

    1. Simply this , Dominion/sequoia/smartmatic is too busy right now deleting their internet histories and shredding documents to be bothered with a fake frivolous lawsuit.

  6. The Dems have gone from physically attacking the opposition to criminalizing it. Are there any Democrats on the blog that oppose that which is akin to the Stalinization of the Democratic Party?

  7. What I’m struck with Nessel’s position is how close it comes to criminalizing an activity that is counter to the stated position of the Democrat Party. And how close this comports to what we know of Russian jurisprudence during the Stalin era when Russia was the U.S.S.R. Under any totalitarian system, dissent is criminal. They’re trying to apply that basic tenet without holding complete power. It’s stunning in it’s audacity.

    1. “Under any totalitarian system, dissent is criminal.”

      Not necessarily or exclusively criminal. “Delusional” will also work. It depends on whether the state wants to put you in a prison or in a psychiatric hospital.

      A new wave of US totalitarianism rolled out under the Bush administration following 9/11. The problem does not appear to be exclusively Democratic.

      1. “A new wave of US totalitarianism rolled out under the Bush administration following 9/11. The problem does not appear to be exclusively Democratic.”

        Jonathan, that is true. Both parties wish for more power and you know “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. That is one of the reasons Trump was elected. He was outside the power structure and one of the biggest things he has done is revealed that both parties have abused power though in this point of history the left has been trying to lead with despotic power.

        Trump’s overall actions haven’t increased the power of the Presidency. His administration has been revealing the dirty doings of politicians and now the election process. During his administration the criminality of the Biden family has been released along with a hard demonstration of the consolidation of power between the Democratic Party, MSM, Academia, Hollywood, corporations and social media. Everyone should be scared sh1tless because that is a recipe for despotism.

        The loss of Donald Trump will be a great loss to those that believe the power of Washington should be reduced.

        1. Paul Craig Roberts agrees with you:

          “As I have previously reported, most Republicans are not fighters. They are members of the Establishment and Trump is not. Most Republicans also are inclined to sweep election fraud under the rug in order to preserve the reputation of American democracy. This makes it hard for Trump, who has a support base in the American people but not in the Republican Party.”

          https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/11/20/classified-us-embassy-cable-proves-smartmatics-connection-to-venezuela/

          1. Thanks for the opinion of a holocaust denier Jonathan.

            Shouldn’t you be a little more discerning in your reading habits?

                  1. Fair question, Mel.

                    Part 1: https://jonathanturley.org/2020/11/13/colorado-professor-compares-questioning-voting-results-to-holocaust-denial/comment-page-3/#comment-2025393

                    This is the UN reference-point I am using for Holocaust denial. Anything less than a deliberate campaign by Hitler and the Nazis to completely eliminate the Jews, and anything less than 6 million Jews dead, is a denial of the Holocaust. If I have misunderstood the UN standard please correct me.

                    Part 2: Paul Craig Roberts quotes in FPJ

                    A. “Truth is seldom welcomed. David Irving, without any doubt the best historian of the European part of World War II, learned at his great expense that challenging myths does not go unpunished. Nevertheless, Irving persevered. If you want to escape from the lies about World War II that still direct our disastrous course, you only need to study two books by David Irving: Hitler’s War and the first volume of his Churchill biography, Churchill’s War: The Struggle for Power.”

                    Roberts declines to mention this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irving_v_Penguin_Books_Ltd

                    Note also the Wikipedia page on David Irving.

                    B. “No German plans, or orders from Hitler, or from Himmler or anyone else have ever been found for an organized holocaust by gas and cremation of Jews…There are documented orders given by Hitler preventing massacres of Jews. Hitler said over and over that “the Jewish problem” would be settled after the war.”

                    “The “death camps” were in fact work camps. Auschwitz, for example, today a Holocaust museum, was the site of Germany’s essential artificial rubber factory.”

                    “Every camp had crematoriums. Their purpose was not to exterminate populations but to dispose of deaths from the scourge of typhus, natural deaths, and other diseases.”

                    Part 3: Does Roberts deny the existence of the Holocaust? Judging by the UN standard, I am inclined to say yes.

                    What’s your read on it, Mel?

                    1. “What’s your read on it, Mel?”

                      JM, my first consideration is not calling someone a Holocaust denier unless he is proven to be so because that can cause harm to the memory of the Holocaust. I suspect Roberts of denial, but I have not seen an outright statement that proves the case.

                      You use the 6 million number in your statement about the UN definition. I suspect the number is closer to 7 million, but if someone were to say 5.9 million would you consider them a Holocaust denier? That becomes problematic, something that Roberts discusses at

                      https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/12/08/the-holocaust-2/

                      Roberts discusses a significantly lower number, but despite the UN definition, I don’t know that we can etch the number in stone. [It would be helpful for the link to the exact UN definition and other definitions.]

                      I believe Roberts made other errors in his explanation (link provided above), but I don’t know if those explanations qualify for the title. My emotional mindset says yes, but intellectually I would have to put a lot more thought into the question.

                      “The “death camps” were in fact work camps. Auschwitz, for example, today a Holocaust museum, was the site of Germany’s essential artificial rubber factory.”

                      Some commonly known concentration camps were work camps where people also died. Terezin is an example. It was a way station to extermination camps (Also, it was a part of the Nazi propaganda machine). Work occurred at Auschwitz, or better stated, the Jews were worked to death and then exterminated.

                      Is Roberts a Holocaust denier? I am waiting for an in-context quote to prove he is, but I don’t need that to conclude that he stands too close to those that are.

                    2. JM, if I recall correctly I saw a UN FAQ but not their official definition of a Holocaust denier. The definition would be very concise. If you have it or any other definitions for it please post the link and if lengthy where the definition lies.

                      “Is Roberts a Holocaust denier?”

                      I don’t think you answered that question. You could be in the same position as I but if you have a definitive thought on that perhaps you would mention it. I’m not interested in Roberts rather I am interested in how one comes to such a decision.

                    3. Mel:

                      1. Regarding a UN standard definition of “Holocaust denier,” what I wrote previously is what I extracted from the two UN website links I have already cited. If you can find anything from the UN that is more concise, let me know. Regardless of the language in any UN General Assembly resolutions, it is necessary to look state-by-state at Holocaust denial legislation and precedent.

                      2. The UK, like the US, does not criminalize Holocaust denial. Nonetheless, in the course of a defamation lawsuit initiated by Irving, Justice Gray found it substantially accurate (and therefore not libelous) for Lipstadt to describe Irving as a Holocaust denier. For a complete picture of the steps Justice Gray followed in deciding that Irving was a Holocaust denier, see:

                      http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2000/115.html

                      Here are three excerpts from Gray’s decision (Sections 8.3., 8.4, 8.5 and 13.167):

                      “Evans [for the defense] argued that the term [Holocaust] is generally understood to denote “the attempt by Nazi Germany, led by Hitler, to exterminate the Jewish population in Europe, which attempt succeeded to the extent of murdering between 5 and 6 million Jews in a variety of ways, including mass gassings in camps built for the purpose”. It follows that a “Holocaust denier” is someone who, for one reason or another or for a combination of reasons, repudiates the notion that the above definition of the Holocaust is apt to describe what was sought to be done to the European Jews by the Nazis during World War 2. Evans testified that a characteristic of Holocaust denial is that it involves a politically motivated falsification of history.”

                      “In the opinion of Evans, the views expressed by Holocaust deniers include the following: that Jews were not killed in gas chambers or at least not on any significant scale; that the Nazis had no policy and made no systematic attempt to exterminate European Jewry and that such deaths as did occur were the consequence of individual excesses unauthorised at senior level; that the number of Jews murdered did not run into millions and that the true death toll was far lower; that the Holocaust is largely or entirely a myth invented during the war by Allied propagandists and sustained after the war by Jews in order to obtain financial support for the newly-created state of Israel.”

                      “According to Evans, whilst the expression of those views is typical, Holocaust deniers do not necessarily subscribe to all of them and the views of some deniers may be more extreme than others. Irving made the point that it would be absurd to label a person a Holocaust denier merely because he or she questions the number of Jews killed under the Nazi regime.”

                      “The charges which I have found to be substantially true include the charges that Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-semitic and racist and that he associates with right wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.”

                      3. As I read Roberts, he is aware of Irving v Penguin and that Irving did prison time in Austria for Holocaust denial, yet he glorifies Irving as the best historian of the European part of World War II and lauds Irving’s “debunking” of the official Holocaust narrative in the FPJ and on his personal blog. Roberts writes:

                      “Despite many such accolades, today Irving is demonized and has to publish his own books. I will avoid the story of how this came to be, but, yes, you guessed it, it was the Zionists. You simply cannot say anything that alters their propagandistic picture of history.”

                      4. Lipstadt does not believe censorship is the best way to defeat Holocaust denial. Under US law, Roberts should be challenged to clarify his position, defend himself against the label, and change his position in light of better arguments and evidence.

                      5. I am not a Holocaust historian and have not read the entirety of Justice Gray’s decision. I am not here claiming to have proven a case against Roberts.

                    4. JM, as I said earlier I think I saw the FAQ but not the precise legal definition according to the UN. I ask for that only to confirm the exact words for a better understanding. I usually don’t trust the UN when dealing with political issues. There is too much bias there. I don’t think it affects our discussion as we seem to be mostly aligned in our thoughts.

                      Thank you for the citation. I already believed that Irving was a Holocaust denier.

                      However, it adds some understanding to the words, Holocaust Denier:

                      8.4 In the opinion of Evans, the views expressed by Holocaust deniers include the following:

                      • that Jews were not killed in gas chambers or at least not on any significant scale;

                      • that the Nazis had no policy and made no systematic attempt to exterminate European Jewry and that such deaths as did occur were the consequence of individual excesses unauthorised at senior level;

                      • that the number of Jews murdered did not run into millions and that the true death toll was far lower;

                      • that the Holocaust is largely or entirely a myth invented during the war by Allied propagandists and sustained after the war by Jews in order to obtain financial support for the newly-created state of Israel.

                      This is a better definition than saying a distinct number such as 6,000,000 that I mentioned earlier that could be attacked with line drawing. I am not saying, however, that this is a complete list.

                      Censorship doesn’t work. Anti-Semitism exists in many places and where anti-Semitism exists you can expect Holocaust Deniers.

                      Hate seems to be the cause of many problems and when one sees hate one frequently notes that the emotions are so heightened that critical thinking skills are lost. We see that on this blog.

            1. “Thanks for the opinion of a holocaust denier Jonathan.”

              Another logical fallacy from Joe Friday. Attacking the man not the argument. That is pure stupidity. The man has voiced intelligent arguments elsewhere.

              As far as Paul Craig Roberts being a proven Holocaust denier I don’t know either way. From what I have seen he may have certain tendencies but I don’t think he ever directly denied the Holocaust. It might be that he denies it but is smart enough not to admit it. If he did I would like to see direct proof, not tangential. My desire is not for argument on this blog rather to supplement my own knowledge. I know that I disagree with certain things he says on this subject but that alone is not enough to call him a Holocaust denier.

          2. “Paul Craig Roberts agrees with you:”

            Thank you.

            I think I noted your claim of being a committed libertarian. Perhaps I am wrong. Libertarians would be pushing for less Presidential power and less government intervention. I know libertarians can arise from both the left and the right generally having to do with civil liberties. However, they don’t generally support the usurpation of more power.

          3. Jonathan, since when is Trump’s base not in the Republican Party?!?

            Trump keeps bragging that he has 95% approval among Republicans.

            If he’s somehow trying to distinguish between Republican politicians and the Republican electorate, he isn’t doing so very clearly, and his argument that Trump doesn’t have support from Republican politicians is nonsense, as is clear from the votes and statements of Republicans in Congress.

            That someone claims something doesn’t make it true. Why quote someone’s dishonest argument?

            1. “Jonathan, since when is Trump’s base not in the Republican Party?!?”

              Time is limited so I am going to restrict what I say and leave everyone to fend for themselves getting the numbers.

              When Trump won in 2016 many Bernie supporters crossed the line and voted for him. Independent voters voted for him. He increased the black and hispanic vote.

              Of course the Republican base voted for Trump but he expanded the party and got rid of a lot of lousy people such as those in the Lincoln Project. The Republican Party is shifting into a new party, the party of the working person and the party of minorities. This is happening while the Democratic Party shifting to the party of the corporation while losing parts of its base.

              1. I’m sure the minorities – Biden won non-whites by 46% – are very impressed by Trump and the GOP trying to throw out their votes in Philly and Detroit.

                On income, Biden bested Hillary among those making $50k-99k by 11% while Trump increased his share of those making over$100k by 7%. Yeah, a real working class hero. More like white guy hero.

                1. AS far as any facts you bring to the table I have learned not to trust anything you say. Additionally you seem to be responding not to me but to yourself.

            2. CTHD asks: “Why quote someone’s dishonest argument?”

              Quotation does not equal endorsement.

              Khamenei tweets: “Holocaust is an event whose reality is uncertain and if it has happened, it’s uncertain how it has happened.”

              https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/status/446928689943420928

              Compliance with UN Holocaust Remembrance standards is important, especially by heads of state, but there is no Twitter censorship label attached to this tweet.

              What do we think Twitter would do if President Trump tweeted the exact same words?

              Rhetorical question.

              https://www.timesofisrael.com/twitter-ceo-suggests-holocaust-denial-not-banned-on-platform-in-senate-grilling/

              1. I recognize that quoting per se isn’t endorsement. But in general, when I quote something I don’t endorse, I make my lack of endorsement explicit in some way.

        2. For some reason, Trump’s base doesn’t understand that Trump desires absolute power, even though he says things like “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s total.” and “The federal government has absolute power.” For some reason, Trump’s base doesn’t see that he is a dirty politician and a dirty businessman.

          1. You believe that because you are ignorant. I don’t like calling another ignorant, but one can’t deal with a person who is consistently without proof or one whose limitations are talking points which are taken out of context. He was President for almost four years. That means he has been in that position long enough for you to have tangible actions to prove your point.

            Tell us the significant instances where Trump went beyond the powers afforded to him by the Constitution. There can be differences of opinion and that is where the courts come in. If he wrongly assessed his powers but followed the court’s rulings he is not abusing power.

            I hope you take this in a way to make you focus your thoughts in a more appropriate way so that no one in the future can continue to call you ignorant.

          2. “. . . Trump desires absolute power, even though he says things like ‘When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s total.’ [A]nd ‘The federal government has absolute power.’”

            It is at best sloppy, and at worst dishonest, to delete the context of a quote.

            He made those statements in the context of states shutting down, the covid19 pandemic, and a president’s powers under a declared “national emergency.”

            The irony of your position is that Trump is criticized for not doing enough — i.e., for *not* exercising his (supposed) powers. And that it is governors, mayors, and public health bureaucrats who have used “absolute power” to exercise total control of the individual’s life.

            1. “It is at best sloppy, and at worst dishonest, to delete the context of a quote.”

              Unfortunately based on prior history this is the best anonymous can do, intentionally quote out of context. Most of what he says is totally empty or filled with lies.

      2. “A new wave of US totalitarianism rolled out under the Bush administration following 9/11. The problem does not appear to be exclusively Democratic.”

        +100

    2. According to the Post, “Michigan’s attorney general is exploring whether officials there risk committing crimes if they bend to President Trump’s wishes in seeking to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in their state, according to two people familiar with the review.”

      How is that “close … to criminalizing an activity that is counter to the stated position of the Democrat Party” or anywhere close to criminalizing dissent? Blocking certification isn’t simply speech.

        1. JM, blocking certification is a legal process and is part of political free speech which was the part of speech the framers of the constitution were most worried about. If you disagree can you explain why? If not how can you say, “Good point, CTHD.”

          1. As I understand you, Mel, a debate about the possible blocking of vote certification in Michigan is protected political speech that extends all the way up the chain to include a conversation between President Trump and leading Michigan lawmakers. As I understand CTHD, the blocking of certification can only proceed for good cause, and without undue interference, as blocking disenfranchises voters. Blocking certification for other than good cause, after undue interference, is not a protected speech process. Have I gotten one of you wrong?

            1. FWIW, my argument was actually that talking about blocking certification is speech, but actually carrying it out — blocking certification — is not speech. As for whether talking about it is protected speech, I assume it’s protected unless the speech occurs in the context of a crime (e.g., if Trump were attempting to bribe them, and they were indicating willingness to be bribed, that’s not protected).

              1. “if Trump were attempting to bribe them, and they were indicating willingness to be bribed, that’s not protected).”

                Trump wasn’t bribing anyone. Trump is using a lawful process attempting to prove that Democrats engaged in corruption during this election. There is plenty of indirect evidence but direct evidence is needed to prove their case.

                1. I simply making the point that not all speech is protected, and I used a conditional (“if”) claim to do so. I wasn’t assuming that the condition is true. Neither of us knows what was said in private.

                  1. You used innuendo to say Trump was bribing officials. It’s not normal to create such an assumption. If you were being generic about protected speech you wouldn’t have been so specific (“bribe”). You could have defaulted to the word criminal.

                    I don’t like listening to this type of word usage. You accuse Trump of it but you do it constantly. That is a very bad habit.

                    1. “You used innuendo to say Trump was bribing officials.”

                      No, I didn’t. You inferred something that I neither said nor implied.

                    2. I spelled it out. You used innuendo and now you are saying something that isn’t true. You could have used criminal speech. You used bribe something used earlier. Innuendo is a remark that is disparaging (bribe) and oblique.

              2. It could be a crime if the intent and discussion went to “how can we steal this election” from the voters of Michigan.. That clearly appears to be Trump’s motive.

            2. ” Have I gotten one of you wrong?”

              JM, I don’t know if you have gotten me wrong. “Blocking certification” is permitted by law. We don’t know if the argument wins until it is litigated. ARE you going to define “Good Cause”? Alternatively are you going to leave that definition up to a person who places emotion in front of logic?

              1. As I understand the Republican side of the ledger, Mel, two Republican canvassers who wanted to block certification for cause in Wayne County, Michigan, were subjected to threats of violence.

                “Two Republican Wayne County canvassers have signed affidavits saying they regret their votes Tuesday to certify the Nov. 3 election, arguing that “intense bullying and coercion” plus bad legal advice forced them to agree to certify the election after they had voted no.”

                https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/11/19/gop-canvassers-attempt-rescind-votes-certify-wayne-county-vote/3775246001/

                That is undue influence. But even though they were subjected to threats, they may still have wanted to block the votes for purely partisan or even racist reasons. Or their opponents may have wanted to certify the results for purely partisan or even racist reasons. I don’t know anything about the details and would prefer to rule out partisanship and racism on both sides, dealing solely with cause.

                All of this is fair game for POTUS and leading Michigan lawmakers to discuss in a routine but deadline-sensitive meeting at the White House, according to many legal experts, as long the meeting doesn’t cross the line into bribery or coercion, of which there is no evidence at present.

                Wayne County certification went ahead anyway. Statewide certification is set for Monday, but MI Republicans have written to the MI Board of Elections requesting a two-week adjournment and an audit. State has declined. What, if anything, should the courts do now?

                https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-55030617

                My preference is for reason and emotion working together in what Linehan calls “wise mind.”

                I’ve said too much to avoid some error, no doubt, but hopefully I am understanding you in general terms.

      1. I agree — not seeing a particular problem at this point with the Michigan AG conferring with election law experts who presumably know about the Supreme Court cases cited by JT. Let’s see what happens next.

  8. MICHIGAN DEM AG is nothing more than a Stooge for all the Trump Haters. She hates Trump and uses her position to make things up. How any one voted for her is amazing. The DEMS and Trump HAters are afraid of what is found out and they are afraid the courts will over turn their illegal vote stuffing and etc.

    This AG has lost every case in the Courts against Trump and Trump supporters, she lost against the Barber who refused to close, she lost against the over reach by the Governor from Hell and she will loose again.

  9. Turley valiantly tries to thread the needle. Campaigns targeting election officials who object to counting irregularities? What, no mention of Trump firing Homeland Security’s cyber security chief? Krebs crime? Concluding that “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

    No mention of Republican Senate candidates Loeffler & Perdue demanding Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State resign for finding no evidence of voter fraud?

    Here are the Republican lawyers Turley strongly defends. Sidney Powell: “The entire election, frankly, in all the swing states should be overturned and the legislatures should make sure that the electors are selected for Trump.”

    Mark Levin: “Reminder to the Republican State Legislatures. You have the final say over choosing the electors, not the board of elections, secretary of state, governor, or even court.”

    Lin Wood: “Donald Trump won, I believe, a 70% plus landslide election in the nation. He probably won over 400 electoral votes.”

    It’s hardly surprising Turley has leapt to the defense of these fine fellow Republican attorneys.

    1. You’re making Turley’s point for him. Trump can fire any executive appointee for cause or no cause, on a whim or after serious deliberation. The Executive power resides in his office and his office alone. The only prohibited wielding of this power than I can contemplate is that it clearly cannot be used in furtherance of a crime, or High Crime and Misdemeanor.
      When in doubt, see Article II

    2. And your legalistic twisting trying to validate the demoratzi position of corruption is more than surprising. It’s quite immoral and patently dishonest.

  10. “It is same weaponization of the criminal code for political purposes that we have seen in the last four years against Trump. Notably, the focus is the same discredited interpretation used against Trump and notably not adopted by the impeachment-eager House Judiciary Committee: bribery.”

    SMH.

    The first article of impeachment corresponded to bribery. Here’s an explanation from Fordham Law School prof. Jed Shugerman:
    https://twitter.com/jedshug/status/1221998767295160322 and twitter.com/jedshug/status/1218895986602336256

    Trump has likely committed multiple crimes and high crimes — not only bribery, but also emoluments clause violations, obstruction of justice, breaking campaign finance laws and omitting required info on his financial disclosure form and then certifying it as “true, correct and complete,” tax fraud, …

    On the flip side, Trump has repeatedly asked Barr to weaponize the criminal code for political purposes on Trump’s behalf.

    1. When in doubt, always fall back on the four D’s: Deny, Deflect, Dissemble, Democrat. Works every time.

    2. Hey Committed, your tweet accuses my worthless side kick Biden of corruption and it is proven on a tape. Cut it out. If you don’t I’m coming after you. Just because I no longer in office doesn’t mean I have no power over my weaponized DOJ and FBI. You can see from the criminality that has occurred since I left office that I still control them. You can attack Trump all you want whether or not you have proof, but attacking Joe is attacking me. Attack me and I get you.

      Got it?

    3. Weaponize the criminal code? Such as resulted in Ruby Ridge, Waco, Fast and Furious, the video guy on Benghazi, Roger Stone, Senator Stevens? That weaponizing?

      1. Don’t mix wheat with chaff. The first three are failed legitimate criminal investigations. Ruby Ridge and Waco were disasters because the government tried to make a bugger case than there was. Both Weaver and Coresh sold illegally altered guns to agents. They should have just been arrested on the spot and brought to trial. Fast and F’ed up was just that, poorly conceived and implemented program.
        The other three seem to be spot on examples.

  11. I am not a lawyer. Have no background in such matters. But when Trump attempts to change what has legally taken place in voting and state laws, the the author of this piece is overly partisan and makes his legal background seem fully inadequate. I am in my 90s and have served in Korean War and an enlistment prior to that. I did not serve my nation so that the laws of our land might be bent and distorted to suit the whims of a president who defies our customs, conventions and indeed our state laws so that he might twist the results of a fair and legal election to suit his needs.

    1. Thank you for your service, Mr. Lapides, but I think that you have missed an important point here. Your response to the column includes an assumption that the voting process was legal. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. Potential irregularities have been reported. President Trump and his legal team are entitled to investigate those situations. And, from a lawyer’s perspective, I do not believe that Professor Turley’s commentary on the actions of the Michigan AG are partisan. He is simply pointing out important issues that the mainstream media won’t cover. You served our country and we appreciate that. Do you want to allow the media to speak in unison in a voice that reports facts selectively?

    2. “But when Trump attempts to change what has legally taken place in voting”

      Fred, your definition of “legally” is extremely distorted.

      As to the time you spent in the armed forces. You got paid for that.

    3. Fred, I didn’t serve 20 years in the Navy to watch an election be stolen. Legal challenges are part of the process and if the burden of proof is not met, then we’ll have a President-elect Biden.

      1. Olly, then I assume you oppose the President’s attempt to up end the will of the voters of Michigan and attempting to enlist state legislators in his effort. There are legal methods to challenge election results and so far every effort but one – on a minor and irrelevant issue which does not affect the results – has been upended. Plotting with state legislators who have no roll to play in the legal process could be illegal tampering with the election and should be investigated.

        Lock him up.

        Hopefully there will be lawsuits if not criminal prosecution for criminal negligence in blocking Pres Elect Biden’s access to coronavirus administration. People will likely die because of this infantile behavior which is based on putting America Last!

        1. Whoa there man. Take a breath and see with open eyes your hypocrisy . You do realize that the senile guy china joe is NOT president. He has not acquired the 270 electoral votes. The election chaos and corruption has been brought to us by none other than demoratzi apparatchiks in demoratzi controlled cities in certain states. Coupled with the help of Dominion/sequoia/smartmatic corruption it’s a no brainer this election needs to be looked at and remedied . That you refuse to acknowledge the obvious says a lot about you and your motives.

        2. Oh no! People will die if anyone legally challenges the legitimacy of our election? 😃

          As usual, your assumptions defy reason. Whatever the will of the voters was should be highlighted by legal scrutiny, not obscured by threats of prosecution for anyone pursuing that course.

          As long as we’re wish-casting; I wish all our domestic enemies would be rounded up and air-dropped into China. Parachutes optional.

    4. Fred ; I served RA and ARNG …13 years combined from 85-via 98, desert storm vet. But for you to sit there and then accuse our president of doing EXACTLY what Obama did , and EXACTLY what the current demorat party is DOING is dishonest and defies facts.
      Wake up brother…the demorat party has sold out to the dark side a long time ago. They are awash in chicom money/influence parroting socialist jingo for all to see. And you are not sickened by that ?.

  12. This is a clear case of political persecution and discrimination against political opponents. Anti-discrimination laws have to be enforced here.

  13. Here is the statement Chatfield issued Friday evening after his meeting with Trump. It focuses on COVID-19 aid to Michigan and reports no finding that would change the outcome of the election in the state:

    https://twitter.com/LeeChatfield/status/1329932383030824960

    This morning, Trump retweeted the Chatfield letter with this message:

    “Massive voter fraud will be shown!”

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1330137741078695939

    1. Trump will show massive fraud in the same way that he’ll release his health plan. IOW, he won’t.

      The WSJ’s Editorial Board notes the giant hole in Trump’s (Giuliani’s, Powell’s, …) Dominion conspiracy:
      “If software flipped Georgia’s electronic totals, there would be some big, unexplained discrepancy between those data and the paper ballots. The hand recount found nothing of the sort.”
      https://www.wsj.com/articles/georgia-certifies-donald-trump-lost-11605915757 (paywalled)

      I hope Chatfield’s summary is accurate. A reminder that Trump has already shown bias in distributing COVID aid: more goes to the states where he gets the political support he wants. It’s the kind of quid pro quo that Prof. Karlan discussed in her impeachment testimony: “Imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that’s prone to devastating hurricanes and flooding. What would you think if you lived there, and your governor asked for a meeting with the president to discuss getting disaster aid that Congress has provided for. What would you think if that president said, ‘I would like you to do us a favor. I’ll meet with you, and I’ll send the disaster relief, once you brand my opponent a criminal.’ Wouldn’t you know in your gut that such a president had abused his office? That he’d betrayed the national interest, and that he was trying to corrupt the electoral process? I believe the evidentiary record shows wrongful acts on those scale here.”

      I’m looking forward to having a president who’ll distribute aid to all states regardless of their politics, because we’re all Americans.

      1. That dirty Trump, he got rid of the tax ..no er, he got rid of the penalty for not carrying my wonderful insurance that sticks it big time to the middle class. I’m big on proposals that cost a lot and provide less.

        By the way I never said it was a tax and neither did anyone else. In fact if it was written up as a tax my weasel Democrats would never have passed it. Thank you Justice Roberts for lying for me. I got caught lying about the $2,500 each citizen would benefit by with the passage of the bill.

        You in the back, shut up we don’t want to hear your opinion. What he said: “if we didn’t lie to the American public we never could have passed the bill” isn’t true. I never lie. I am Obama. I am Great. I am the best. I am the creator. I am. I am….

        1. “FO”

          Is that F-ck Obama? How dare you, a piece of turd you are. You will lay in the ground where you belong. My minions will see to it. Everyone loves me. I am great. You are turd. I am….

      2. You make some great points, CTHD.

        Regarding Michigan “irregularities,” I do wish Chatfield and Shirkey had more specifically addressed the single large vote dump that President Trump has cited as evidence of election fraud.

        Regarding Professor Karlan’s comparison, why does it not apply equally well to Biden’s use of financial pressure to fire Viktor Shokin?

        https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4818165/user-clip-joe-biden-confesses-bribery&fbclid=IwAR1CnsXldgee8ySf0SrdXDV0O3Cu7u841OxiHKS_UCIARAYqN_gChP2kvv0

        https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/ukraine-police-closes-biden-probe-initiated-ousted-prosecutor-n1247320

        Was Shokin at any time involved in the investigation of Burisma benefits to Biden kin?

        1. Jonathan, it does not apply because Biden was carrying out the policy of the US government, the EU, and the IMF, as well as acting in accordance with requests from US Senators like the dips..t Ron Johnson, GOP hack who ran the senate “investigation” into Biden and the Ukraine and claimed he didn’t remember the letter he wrote encouraging cleaning up the Prosecutor’s office.


          Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told reporters Thursday he did not recall signing a letter urging reforms in the office of the Ukrainian prosecutor President Trump

          DONALD JOHN TRUMP
          Ben Carson says he’s ‘out of the woods’ after being ‘extremely sick’ with COVID-19
          Biden will receive @POTUS Twitter account on Jan. 20 even if Trump doesn’t concede, company says
          Trump to participate in virtual G-20 summit amid coronavirus surge
          MORE
          has alleged former Vice President Joe Biden improperly had ousted, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

          Trump has repeatedly alleged Biden used his office to have Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin fired and prevent him from investigating a gas company whose board included Biden’s son Hunter.

          CNN on Thursday reported that three Republican senators, including Johnson, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and then-Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) signed a 2016 letter urging “urgent reforms to the Prosecutor General’s office and Judiciary.””

          Jonathan, perhaps you should better research issues before floating inaccurately loaded questions. There is plenty of independent reporting on Shokin’s firing, and all dovetail on the facts: Biden was working for the US and European allies concerned about lending money to a corrupt Ukraine and Shokin was a ring leader for doing nothing. The WSJ, Bloomberg, NYTs and WaPo have all covered this.

            1. Hey let him Anonymous. I love seeing my name in lights.

              It’s disappointing that Steve is dim enough to not be able to handle a reasoned discussion without going personal. If he’s a lawyer, he’s another posting here that apparently lack the minimum level of intelligence I would have thought necessary to get in law school and finish. Or if they do possess it, I’m waiting for evidence of it.

              By the way, even a personal put down might be a worthy post of smart and funny, but “your gig is up” in bold? C’mon man, you can do better than that, right?

              1. Never judge a book by it’s cover…, but never say never… Something’s not quite right about that guy — Steve Witherspoon. The photo tells one a lot. Yeah…a picture’s worth…a thousand words — or more.

                1. Anonymous wrote, “Never judge a book by it’s cover…, but never say never… Something’s not quite right about that guy — Steve Witherspoon. The photo tells one a lot. Yeah…a picture’s worth…a thousand words — or more.”

                  Some of you seem to be under the false impression that I give a crap what you think, write, or troll about me. This particular personal rhetorical attack on me in one of the most character revealing petty attacks that any anonymously posting internet trolls can perpetrate. It’s signature significant for someone that’s intentionally hiding behind a psydonyme and not post a personal photo and then attack the photo of a non-anonymous poster who has the personal fortitude to post their actual personal photo and to publicly stand up for what he believe is right regardless of the nonsensical personal attacks spew his way. Mentally Anonymous, you’re a mental midget child, grow the f*** up coward.

                  Here is what my blog comment policies state about this kind of behavior…

                  “3. Anonymity as a commenter will be honored. With very few exceptions, I really don’t care what you use as a pseudonym as long as it’s not profanity, it’s the content of your comments that represent who you are. Petty comments attacking others for choosing anonymity will not be tolerated and comments from anonymous comment posters that personally attack the personal attributes of commenters that choose not to be anonymous will also not be tolerated; these comments will be deleted and the commenter will be either warned or banned.”

                  Back to the Joe Friday issue;
                  You all can choose to openly engage with this Joe Friday, who is likely a foreign agent, if you like; as for me there will be no conversations just a rhetorical hammer beating down a foreign agent troll. You all can make your own choices and I’ll stick to mine whether you like it or not.

              2. Anonymous wrote, “Steve is trolling for IP addresses.”

                That comment shows so much ignorance that it’s real clear that you don’t have a freaking clue about how the internet works and what’s legal and illegal to do on the internet.

          1. “it does not apply because Biden was carrying out the policy of the US government”

            So was Trump. The difference is that the Biden family profited financially. Trump didn’t.

              1. You say: “Trump wasn’t carrying out US policy”

                Then you don’t know the law.

                You say: “the Biden family didn’t profit financially from Shokin being fired.”

                Then you didn’t see the FBI financial papers on Burisma and haven’t taken note of testimony and the Biden computer.

                That is the problem dealing with ignorant people. They don’t know enough to have a two way discussion.

                1. That is the problem dealing with ignorant people. They don’t know enough to have a two way discussion.

                  Allan is blind to irony.

        2. I’m not sure what MI vote dump you’re referring to, Jonathan.
          This one? https://www.factcheck.org/2020/11/clerical-error-prompts-unfounded-claims-about-michigan-results/
          If not, please clarify which vote dump you’re referring to.

          Re: Karlan, I disagree that her analogy applies equally well to Biden’s use of financial pressure to get Viktor Shokin fired. There was no personal favor involved. The pressure to fire Shokin had international support (as your NBC article notes), as well as bipartisan Congressional support (see, e.g., https://www.vox.com/2019/10/3/20896869/trump-biden-ukraine-2016-letter-portman-johnson — they’re referring to Shokin though he isn’t named). Shokin wasn’t investigating fraud, that’s the reason that the international community wanted him fired: he wasn’t doing his job. If anything, despite the misleading Republican arguments to the contrary, Biden’s act increased the likelihood of Burisma being investigated.

          Why do you see it as analogous?

          To be clear: quid pro quo often is often perfectly legal and doesn’t constitute bribery. If you purchase something at a store, you exchange money for a good. That’s quid pro quo, and it’s perfectly legal. So the issue isn’t whether someone has engaged in quid pro quo per se, but whether they’ve engaged in **illegal** quid pro quo.

          Trump was accused of **illegal** quid pro quo, whereas I don’t see anything illegal in your C-Span clip. Would you explain why you consider it illegal?

          1. “Shokin wasn’t investigating fraud, that’s the reason that the international community wanted him fired”

            That is the excuse from the left but there is little concrete proof that the excuse is valid. Why do you accept lame excuses from the left but you have difficulty accepting good excuses from the right?

            1. “there is little concrete proof that [Shokin wasn’t investigating fraud and that’s the reason that the international community wanted him fired]”

              What would you accept as concrete proof?

              Do you accept the evidence discussed and linked to in the following timeline?
              https://www.justsecurity.org/66271/timeline-trump-giuliani-bidens-and-ukrainegate/

              If not, say what evidence you’d accept.

              As for “Why do you accept lame excuses from the left but you have difficulty accepting good excuses from the right?,” why do you ask loaded questions? They’re fallacious, and you should try to avoid them.

              1. What in particular, Commit, do you find is evidence. You provided a long article but not the specific items. That means if I point out one statement the article makes that isn’t a concrete argument your whole argument falls apart. I don’t want to do it that way so the ball is in your court.

                1. a) You didn’t answer my question: What would you accept as concrete proof? Do you accept the evidence discussed and linked to in the following timeline?
                  https://www.justsecurity.org/66271/timeline-trump-giuliani-bidens-and-ukrainegate/
                  If not, say what evidence you’d accept.

                  b) The timeline links to evidence for its claims. Don’t you see all of the hyperlinks in the article?

                  c) Your claim that “if I point out one statement the article makes that isn’t a concrete argument your whole argument falls apart” is false. If one statement is false, it doesn’t mean that the entire argument falls apart. Also, you haven’t identified anything in the timeline that’s false.

                  1. Concrete proof: I would accept less than absolute proof but you aren’t providing any. You are providing a lengthy analysis that might have some facts in it along with errors and opinion. You have to let me know what the facts are along with the proof. If you could do that you would write it out. You can’t so you try to bury people with references. Nice try, but on a practical level you get an F.

                    “If one statement is false, it doesn’t mean that the entire argument falls apart.”

                    Yes it does if the reference is your proof and you didn’t exclude those things that weren’t true.

                    1. If you won’t accept any of the evidence cited in that timeline, then we are at an impasse.

                      “you would write it out.”

                      *You* might write it out, but when I know of a good reference, I cite it instead of wasting my time rewriting what they said.

                      “if the reference is your proof”

                      But that “if” clause is false. That reference cites proof from dozens of other sources. It’s those other sources that are the proof, not the reference per se. That reference is simply a handy, well-organized (by time) collection of links to of all of the proof elsewhere.

                    2. It appears I am dealing with a word salad and I don’t have any dressing.

                      “I know of a good reference, I cite it instead of wasting my time rewriting what they said.”

                      They said a lot and some of the stuff said was wrong. Do you stand by the errors they made? When I know of a long reference with errors, I cite the fact that the site was too error ridden to figure out what was good instead of wasting my time rewriting what they said.

                      Take note how I copied your language so that when you asked for the errors you got in advance the same reply you gave me. No one has to deal with a double standard.

                    3. “Do you stand by the errors they made?”

                      You haven’t identified any errors they made. After you identify what you believe their errors to be (quoting whatever you think is false and providing evidence it’s false), I’ll be able to respond to your question.

                    4. ““Do you stand by the errors they made?””

                      In other words you won’t write the argument that is in a lengthy article. Probably because you can’t. But when it comes to whether or not you stand by the errors you want a list of errors. A double standard noted by a number of people.

                      I copied my response above predicting what you would say (repeated below). What is good for me is not good for thee. A double standard noted by a number of people.

                      —-

                      “They said a lot and some of the stuff said was wrong. Do you stand by the errors they made? When I know of a long reference with errors, I cite the fact that the site was too error ridden to figure out what was good instead of wasting my time rewriting what they said.

                      Take note how I copied your language so that when you asked for the errors you got in advance the same reply you gave me. No one has to deal with a double standard.”

          2. CTHD:

            I am talking about the MI vote dump Trump highlights in this tweet:

            https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1329602736053252107/photo/1

            With respect to the questionable legality of Biden’s use of economic coercion to fire Shokin:

            “In the “Budapest Memorandum,” Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States promised that none of them would ever threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. They also pledged that none of them would ever use economic coercion to subordinate Ukraine to their own interest.”

            https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-explainer-budapest-memorandum/25280502.html

            On the apparent conflict of interest in Biden’s Shokin firing:

            “It is clear that members of Vice President Biden’s staff wanted to distance him from an individual whom the State Department clearly believed was corrupt and an individual who employed his son. This stands in stark contrast to then-Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, who
            identified Zlochevsky by name as a corrupt actor during a September 2015 speech in Odessa, Ukraine. But the Committees were not able to locate any public statements Vice President Biden gave from 2014 to 2016 in which he called Zlochevsky corrupt. Instead, in December 2015,Biden’s spokeswoman told reporters, “the vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”

            hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/HSGAC_Finance_Report_FINAL.pdf

            1. Jonathan, thanks for linking to the Trump tweet you had in mind.

              You’d said “Regarding Michigan “irregularities,” I do wish Chatfield and Shirkey had more specifically addressed the single large vote dump that President Trump has cited as evidence of election fraud.” Trump didn’t actually say in the tweet that it’s evidence of fraud. He only said “Look at this in Michigan! A day AFTER the election, Biden receives a dump of 134,886 votes at 6:31AM!” But I think it’s reasonable to infer that Trump wants people to interpret it as evidence of fraud.

              Is it evidence of fraud? By itself, no, not at all:
              https://www.newsweek.com/trump-makes-new-unverified-claim-about-michigan-votes-after-meeting-state-republicans-1548896

              Both MI and WI have Republican legislatures that wouldn’t allow mail-in ballots to be counted before election day, so you end up with large dumps of data after Election Day as they get counted, and since Trump was discouraging his voters from using mail-in ballots, it’s no surprise that the mail-in ballots include more votes for Biden than for Trump. This was anticipated / discussed before Election Day.

              Re: “the questionable legality of Biden’s use of economic coercion to fire Shokin,” I don’t buy the argument that the pressure to fire Shokin because he **wasn’t investigating corruption** constitutes “economic coercion to subordinate Ukraine to their own interest.” Isn’t it in Ukraine’s interest to have a prosecutor who investigates corruption instead of being in the pocket of oligarchs? Read some of the reporting about it at the time: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/eu-hails-sacking-of-ukraine-s-prosecutor-viktor-shokin-1.2591190, atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/shokin-s-revenge-ukraine-s-odious-prosecutor-general-fires-honest-deputy-before-parliament-sacks-him/

              I don’t see why Biden would need to condemn Zlochevsky by name. The point is that he was pressuring Ukraine on behalf of the U.S. and the EU and with bipartisan Congressional approval to fire a prosecutor who wasn’t investigating corruption, with the hope that the replacement *would* investigate corruption. Since Zlochevsky was part of that corruption (as is clear from Pyatt’s speech, partly excerpted here: thebulwark.com/truth-lies-and-the-nonsense-trump-biden-ukraine-false-equivalency/), Shokin being fired *increased* the likelihood of Zlochevsky / Burisma being investigated. So I’m baffled that you think there’s an “apparent conflict of interest” in Biden pressing for Shokin to be fired. What is the conflict of interest?

              Did Biden identify other corrupt oligarchs by name? If so, who? If not, then why would anyone expect him to name Zlochevsky?

              1. Even though we often disagree, I can count on you for thoughtful and amply cited responses, CTHD.

                You write: “But I think it’s reasonable to infer that Trump wants people to interpret it as evidence of fraud.”

                You’re being kind. I got sloppy and overstated Trump’s tweet.

                Newsweek contacted the Michigan Board of Elections for comment on that 6:31 AM vote dump, but doesn’t seem to have gotten a response. 96% of the vote went to Biden. I understand we can fit a lawful pro-Biden explanation to the data in that chart, but the chart raises obvious questions on the other side. It doesn’t seem too much to ask for an audited explanation of the dump from the MI Board of Elections and even from the MI Legislature.

                You make a good point that Biden’s firing of Shokin may have been in Ukraine’s interest, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t economic coercion of the type prohibited by the Budapest Memorandum, nonetheless. It was plainly economic coercion and the agent responsible for the coercion was plainly the US. It certainly wasn’t sensitive for the US to twist Ukraine’s arm, and it may well have been illegal. The IMF and EU alone could have exerted the anti-corruption pressure, and we’d all be much better off.

                If Biden had named Zlochevksy we’d also be better off, but I don’t consider this definitive, merely suggestive. Shokin’s affidavit is more concerning:

                https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/463307-solomon-these-once-secret-memos-cast-doubt-on-joe-bidens-ukraine-story

                “In a newly sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin testified that when he was fired in March 2016, he was told the reason was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation. “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified.”

                “On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation,” Shokin added.

                1. Thanks. I appreciate that you’re civil and honest and aiming for a sincere discussion. Unfortunately many people here aren’t looking for that. I aim for that, but sometimes become less than civil if I feel someone is trolling, so I’ve increasingly decided to just ignore some people here rather than get drawn into acting in a way I dislike.

                  Vote audits are fine by me. This website — https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/2020-michigan-election-results-voting-polls-proposals-vote — notes “The former vice president trailed for much of Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, but a surge of mail in ballots from Wayne and Macomb counties overwhelmingly favored the Democrat.” Those counties include parts of the Detroit metro area. I just took a look at my county’s vote (in a blue county in a different state), and the first of two mail-in vote count drops was over 90% for Biden, compared to ~53% for Biden in the in-person voting on Election Day, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’d get 96% of the votes from a drop of Wayne and Macomb county mail-in votes.

                  Re: the pressure to fire Shokin, I just looked up the original wording of the relevant section of Budapest Memorandum, which is “The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.” I don’t interpret that as a pledge “to refrain from economic coercion” of any kind, and I assume that if they’d intended to commit to the latter, that’s how they would have worded it.

                  Re: Shokin’s affidavit, here’s one discussion of some relevant context: https://theintercept.com/2019/10/17/ukrainian-oligarch-helping-trump-smear-biden-evade-u-s-corruption-charges/
                  So I don’t assume that Shokin’s claims are true without corroborating evidence.

                  Some additional context re: Solomon having been the one to publish it: thehill.com/homenews/news/483600-the-hills-review-of-john-solomons-columns-on-ukraine

                  1. Long day. You’re a marathon writer, CTHD.

                    I agree with you on the MI vote audit and the value of corroborating evidence regarding the Shokin affidavit. I probably disagree with you on the Budapest Memorandum but here I am likely up against good lawyers and area specialists in the State Department who must have been advising then VP Biden.

                    Among other reservations, I note item 6 of the Memorandum:

                    “6. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.”

                    If Moscow questions the US interpretation of economic coercion with sufficient rigor, the decision to fire Shokin should have been cleared by all parties to the Memorandum, i.e., it was not the West’s unilateral call to make.

            1. Jonathan, why are you quoting a Trump tweet. The man is a liar and conspiracy mongerer famous for promoting BS. Here’s your answer (do the math on the clerical error):

              “A momentary keystroke — an extra zero on unofficial results during a long day — is adding fire to false claims about voter fraud in Michigan one week after the presidential election.

              Just north of Lansing in Shiawassee County, Republican Clerk Caroline Wilson says she accidentally boosted Democrat Joe Biden’s unofficial lead from 15,371 to 153,710 — more than twice the number of registered voters in the county — during the early morning of Nov. 4.

              “It was a typo,” Wilson told Bridge.

              She quickly corrected the error, and GOP President Donald Trump went on to win the county by more than 8,000 votes.

              No matter. Since then, the mistake has spread throughout social media and is being cited by Republicans as an example of irregularities that may have denied Trump victory in Michigan, a state he lost by nearly 150,000 votes.

              Within hours of the Shiawassee County mistake, Matt Mackowiack, a GOP consultant and chairperson for the Travis County Republican Party in Texas, shared screenshots of a map of election results from Decision Desk HQ, an election data firm, in which it appeared Biden had gained 138,000 votes in the overall Michigan tally, while Trump brought in none.

              “An update gives Biden 100% of new votes – 128k +,” Mackowiak wrote in the tweet.

              Mackowiak later deleted the original tweet and admitted the Decision Desk data was due to the county typo, which had been fixed.

              Meet Michigan’s ‘dead’ voters. They’re quite alive, despite vote fraud claims
              Human error, Dominion voting equipment fuel false vote claims in Michigan
              GOP calls for Michigan election probe. Officials say their claims are weak.
              Michigan elections vulnerable to hacks but not as much as others, report says
              Sharpies didn’t ruin Michigan ballots. In fact, they’re often preferred
              The damage was done.

              That same morning, on Nov. 4, Trump retweeted a post containing Mackowiak’s original tweet with the caption, “WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?””

              https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/gop-clerks-typo-michigan-fuels-false-vote-dumping-claims

              He’s still tweeting about it, just like he kept repeatedly falsely claiming there were more Detroit votes than Detroit voters.

              By the way, there were less Detroit voters this year than in 2016, BIden underperformed Hillary in Philly – while outperforming her across teh state in read and blue districts, and there were 248k votes in Milwaukee in 2016 and 248k in 2020. Does that sound like vote rigging by the mob?

          3. CTHD:

            With respect to the questionable legality of Biden’s use of economic coercion to fire Shokin:

            “In the “Budapest Memorandum,” Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States promised that none of them would ever threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. They also pledged that none of them would ever use economic coercion to subordinate Ukraine to their own interest.”

            https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-explainer-budapest-memorandum/25280502.html

            On the apparent conflict of interest in Biden’s Shokin firing:

            “It is clear that members of Vice President Biden’s staff wanted to distance him from an individual whom the State Department clearly believed was corrupt and an individual who employed his son. This stands in stark contrast to then-Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, who
            identified Zlochevsky by name as a corrupt actor during a September 2015 speech in Odessa, Ukraine. But the Committees were not able to locate any public statements Vice President Biden gave from 2014 to 2016 in which he called Zlochevsky corrupt. Instead, in December 2015,Biden’s spokeswoman told reporters, “the vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”

            https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/HSGAC_Finance_Report_FINAL.pdf

          4. CTHD, that is the “vote dump” Trump tweeted about on Thursday (11/19), citing 134,366 votes. Do the math on the clerical error you cited. 153,710-15,371 = 138339.

            Here is the local paper on it:

            “A momentary keystroke — an extra zero on unofficial results during a long day — is adding fire to false claims about voter fraud in Michigan one week after the presidential election.

            Just north of Lansing in Shiawassee County, Republican Clerk Caroline Wilson says she accidentally boosted Democrat Joe Biden’s unofficial lead from 15,371 to 153,710 — more than twice the number of registered voters in the county — during the early morning of Nov. 4.

            “It was a typo,” Wilson told Bridge.

            She quickly corrected the error, and GOP President Donald Trump went on to win the county by more than 8,000 votes.

            No matter. Since then, the mistake has spread throughout social media and is being cited by Republicans as an example of irregularities that may have denied Trump victory in Michigan, a state he lost by nearly 150,000 votes.

            Within hours of the Shiawassee County mistake, Matt Mackowiack, a GOP consultant and chairperson for the Travis County Republican Party in Texas, shared screenshots of a map of election results from Decision Desk HQ, an election data firm, in which it appeared Biden had gained 138,000 votes in the overall Michigan tally, while Trump brought in none.

            “An update gives Biden 100% of new votes – 128k +,” Mackowiak wrote in the tweet.

            Mackowiak later deleted the original tweet and admitted the Decision Desk data was due to the county typo, which had been fixed.

            Meet Michigan’s ‘dead’ voters. They’re quite alive, despite vote fraud claims
            Human error, Dominion voting equipment fuel false vote claims in Michigan
            GOP calls for Michigan election probe. Officials say their claims are weak.
            Michigan elections vulnerable to hacks but not as much as others, report says
            Sharpies didn’t ruin Michigan ballots. In fact, they’re often preferred
            The damage was done.

            https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/gop-clerks-typo-michigan-fuels-false-vote-dumping-claims

            Trump is still tweeting about this bogus incident.

            Why Jonathan – or anyone – would quote a Trump tweet is beyond me. He is the least reliable source out there and that includes Joe Izuzu.

        3. “Was Shokin at any time involved in the investigation of Burisma benefits to Biden kin?”

          Think clearly and look at the financial reports released by the FBI. Then draw your own conclusions from that small part of the evidence.

  14. And you, Professor Turley, have not condemned Trump’s attempt to undermine the public’s confidence in our election system. Thanks to his lies a large minority of Americans will be persuaded that Biden stole the election regardless of the fact that he cannot prove in courts that there was massive voter fraud. You know it, but you won’t acknowledge it. It’s still not too late to go on record denouncing Trump’s motives. Or years from now, you will be forever associated as one of those who stood silent in the face of his con.

    1. Jeffrey, I heard this interesting On The Media segment this morning, You might find it interesting as well, as it’s connected to Trump supporters buying the idea that the election was stolen in the absence of evidence for it:
      https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/ancient-heresy-helps-us-understand-qanon-on-the-media
      “Sharlet explains how a gnostic emphasis on “hidden” truths has animated QAnon conspiracies and Trump’s base.”

      1. That was really interesting- thanks for sharing. Hadn’t thought about Gnosticism or Demiurge or apocrypha since freshman year. That professor is on to something; there’s something about accessing “hidden knowledge” that really gets the dopamine flowing.

        1. “Hadn’t thought about Gnosticism or Demiurge or apocrypha since freshman year.”

          Have you read all of the Gnostic Gospels, Dirt?

          This quote is an excellent summation of Gnosticism:

          “There are two bodies the rudimental and the complete ; corresponding with the two conditions of the worm and the butterfly. What we call “death,” is but the painful metamorphosis. Our present incarnation is progressive, preparatory, temporary. Our future is perfected, ultimate, immortal. The ultimate life is the full design.”

          – Edgar Allan Poe – “The Mesmeric Revelation”

          Sharlet is an idiot.

          1. “Sharlet is an idiot.”

            Actually, he’s not.

            ‘“HE’S THE CHOSEN ONE TO RUN AMERICA”: INSIDE THE CULT OF TRUMP, HIS RALLIES ARE CHURCH AND HE IS THE GOSPEL’

            “Trump’s rallies—a bizarre mishmash of numerology, tweetology, and white supremacy—are the rituals by which he stamps his name on the American dream. As he prepares to resume them for the first time in months, his followers are ready to receive.”

            BY JEFF SHARLET

            https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/06/inside-the-cult-of-trump-his-rallies-are-church-and-he-is-the-gospel

    2. Jeffrey Silberman wrote, “And you, Professor Turley, have not condemned Trump’s attempt to undermine the public’s confidence in our election system.”

      You have a rather short memory Jeffrey; it’s not President Trump that has undermined the public’s confidence in our election system it’s the Democrats and it started the day President Trump was elected in November 2016. Remember the cries from the left that President Trump was “illegitimate”, “Not My President”, boycotting the inauguration by Democrats, anti-Trump protests on inauguration day supported by Democrats, attacks on the Electoral College, intimidation of members of the Electoral College, want’s to abolish the Electoral College, to this day Hillary Clinton still says that President Trump is illegitimate, etc, etc. No Jeffrey, it’s quite evident that the Democrats are the ones that have actively undermined our election system for four years and the Trump campaign that wants a legal election that’s free of fraud and illegal votes.

      Jeffrey Silberman wrote, “Thanks to his lies a large minority of Americans will be persuaded that Biden stole the election regardless of the fact that he cannot prove in courts that there was massive voter fraud. You know it, but you won’t acknowledge it.”

      Actually Jeffrey no one knows yet whether they can prove their massive voter fraud claims in court, it hasn’t been in court yet. Let the law suits play out and the chips fall where they may.

      Do you want to know if there was voter fraud in the election or not; do you even care?

      Does the ends justify the means as long as it gets President Trump out of office?

      Jeffrey Silberman wrote, “It’s still not too late to go on record denouncing Trump’s motives.”

      Why would any rational person want to denounce efforts to insure that the election is free of fraud, that all the legal votes are counted and all the illegal votes are not counted?

      Jeffrey Silberman wrote, “Or years from now, you will be forever associated as one of those who stood silent in the face of his con.”

      What if turns out to be you that’s the immoral hack that wants/wanted to completely ignore possible voter fraud in the election and you are the one that stood silent in the face of a fraud filled election?

      Personally I don’t know if there is wide spread fraud in this election or not, I don’t have the evidence the Trump campaign has but what I do think is that it’s people just like you that really don’t give a damn if our election system is free from fraud as long as your candidate wins. It’s people like you that are morally bankrupt.

      1. Democrats didn’t undermine the public’s confidence in our election system. They attacked Trump and Russian interference, not the election system.

        1. . . and failing that, they tried an abortive impeachment. Given all the tricks and attempts to railroad Donald Trump, do you think the Liberals wouldn’t stoop to ballot manipulation in this election?

        2. Anonymous wrote, “Democrats didn’t undermine the public’s confidence in our election system.”

          Attacks on the Electoral College, intentional intimidation of members of the Electoral College to change their votes from Trump to Clinton, four years of calling to abolish the Electoral College is all self-evident attacks on our election system and these attacks directly and indirectly undermine our election system, you denying those facts does not make them not exist.

          Anonymous wrote, “They attacked Trump and Russian interference, not the election system.”

          Continuing to look at events through permanently attached industrial-strength weapons-grade thickened ideological blinders just deepens your obvious bias.

          1. Steve, calling for changes in the EC – or for it’s end – do not undermine the election system, but enhance it. Unless your team had the loser, why would we want a system which has awarded the presidency twice in 16 years (that’s 2 out of 5 elections) to the loser? Winner take all state delegations are not in the constitution nor is there any logic to the results where the loser won – Kerry could have won 2004 while losing the national vote if 60k votes in Ohio had changed. The result during the campaign is an intense focus on 5-10 states max by candidates while ignoring California and its millions of Republican voters and Texas with it’s millions of Democratic voters.

            Trying to block tens of thousands of votes in targeted locations while claiming without proof that the election was rigged, is undermining our election system.

    3. “regardless of the fact that he cannot prove in courts that there was massive voter fraud”

      Are you a psychic, Jeffrey? You actually have foreknowledge of what can or cannot be proven in court?

      BTW, any voter fraud, much less “massive voter fraud”, is unacceptable to “We the People”, regardless of which Party the fraud benefits.

      So, you just unwittingly admitted that there was voter fraud.

      “years from now, you will be forever associated as one of those who stood silent in the face of his con”

      Remember that statement, Jeffrey.

      1. Elections MUST be stripped of human error ( whether accidental or deliberate ). After the massive mail-in voting, what’s next? . . voting by ‘ Smart Phone ‘ ?

        The traditional boogyman haunting elections is the deliberate alteration of ballots cast, ‘ stuffing ‘ the ballot box, ballots lost in transit, or hoards of illegal voters swarming the polling places, casting several ballots . . . . . even voting systems themselves ( punch cards anyone ? ). But we’re now in the era of ‘ Big Data ‘ where mischief is concealed within ( ephemeral ) software seemingly absolving any humans of errors ( whether accidental or ‘ deliberate ‘).

        Losers feel cheated and want to get to the bottom of it. Winners don’t give a dang, just happy to have won. Maybe the multitude of Polls conducted incessantly leading up to the Big Day are the culprit? ” Hey! The XYZ poll said I should have won by a big margin! But the vote count said that I lost! Something’s rotten here and I want to get to the bottom of it !! ” Oh well . . . maybe 2022 ??

      2. Rhodes, prove it. Times almost up. In fact Trump’s lawyers, including Guiliani have specifically said in court that they were not alleging fraud because they could end up in jail for lying.

        Where’s the beef. Time’s almost up.

    4. You know it, but you won’t acknowledge it. It’s still not too late to go on record denouncing Trump’s motives.

      Partisans attack motives when they lack legal arguments. Once the legal challenges work their way through the courts, then we’ll have a clearer understanding of the reliability of our electoral process. The citizens deserve as much clarity as possible. I’d question the motives of anyone trying to prevent any legal challenges.

            1. Nope. It apparently didn’t register in that head of yours that I and every other citizen has a duty to defend our country from those subverting our rule of law. What’s telling is you consider that defense as an attack. Not that it was necessary, but you have clearly demonstrated which side you’re on. And sadly, you aren’t even aware of it.

              1. If you believe that it’s sometimes appropriate to attack people’s motives, that undermines your argument that Partisans attack motives when they lack legal arguments.

            2. “you often attack people’s motives”

              That is all you do.

              And in light of the fact that you’re on here posting all day, every day, it appears to be your job.

              Who’s paying you to troll?

              Is it the dink who looks just like Pooh Bear?

  15. The Democrats have used baseless accusations of racism, doxxed them and their children, used death threats, so I guess lawfare is the next step.

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