No, Joe Biden Should Not Pardon Donald Trump

Former FBI Director James Comey declared yesterday that he believes Joe Biden should consider granting clemency for President Donald Trump “as part of the healing of the country.” Just as I have long opposed self-pardons as an abuse of presidential power, I also have long opposed such pardons by their presidential successors.  Comey is echoing the Ford rationale used in the Nixon pardon, which I continue to view as the wrong decision.  Impeachments go to the status of presidents as the officeholders. Indictments go to their status as individuals.  Indeed, I have long believed that presidents can be indicted while in office, including both President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump.Comey stated “I obviously think he belongs in jail but I don’t think pursuing that is in the best interest of the entire nation.”

I fail to see the logic of the Ford position. To use Comey’s words, if “he belongs in jail,” he should go to jail. The notion that our country cannot handle the criminal prosecution of a former president borders on slander. If a president is a criminal, he belongs in jail.  In Nixon’s case, he rejected the need for a pardon. Yet, Ford prevents a trial on Nixon’s culpability in the crimes of Watergate — crimes which sent various individuals to jail. That was not a victory for the rule of law or the country.

I do not believe that the President’s speech constituted criminal incitement unless there is more evidence of the President’s intent or knowledge. Many legal experts maintain that the speech, particularly in the context of his election challenge, is sufficient to convict. The D.C. Attorney General has said that he may charge Trump. So be it. I believe such a prosecution would collapse at trial or upon appeal. The legal system should be allowed to run its course.

The more threatening cases concern allegations of bank and tax fraud, including cases out of New York. There is also the election violation issue that was raised in the Michael Cohen plea bargain. In his plea, Cohen referenced election finance violations in connection to the Stormy Daniels payment. If Cohen was culpable of election violations in the Stormy Daniels matter, there is an obvious implication of that the President was also culpable.

I have never understood why it is so unnerving or destructive to try a former president. We are a country based on the rule of law. The prosecution of a former president shows that no one is above the law.  That does not mean that Trump will be convicted or that these cases are valid.  However, he must answer for such criminal allegations like any citizen.

230 thoughts on “No, Joe Biden Should Not Pardon Donald Trump”

  1. I think President Trump would welcome being arrested. He loves a fight. They would further alienate half the country and he would become more of a martyr and his support would rise even higher.

      1. Hating Trump doesn’t change his character. He didn’t have to put himself through the abuse of the last four years, but he loves this country. And while you fight to destroy it, we will not be deterred from carrying on his legacy. Some things like the truth can’t be erased or canceled.

        1. But clearly, losing an election does. Carry on watching trump disappoint you every single day knowing that, yes, on the worst of those days, there will always be that trump bear next to you to cheer you on.

          Elvis Bug

          1. Hate destroys health. You are cutting years off your life. Hate comes from a place of fear. There is a whole world outside politics to find joy. Don’t spend your whole life in the misery of hate. It won’t stop with Trump. The next person to challenge Marxism will be a target of your party’s hate and yours. I’m sorry for you.

              1. I know you are of the party that demands silence from your opposition, but it’s not going to happen until we’re led off to those concentration camps you have waiting for us. I’m of the party that still believes in free speech, even the Vice President-Elect’s call for the rioters this Summer to continue rioting up until and Eve after the elections and then participating in bailout of any arrested. That is the party you belong to….persecute any opposition. That is cowardice.

            1. Phyllis, you are on target. Trump loves America and he shows it while the left tries to grab complete power to eliminate any opposition while using the power of a dictator. The left doesn’t fight Trump on principle or policy because good policy is not their objective. Power is.

              Anonymous the Stupid objects to all this. When asked about communism, Nazism and fascism anonymous didn’t realize that big business, control over the media and large government were all part of those ism’s. Do you know why Anonymous the Stupid didn’t know this? Because Anonymous the Stupid is stupid.

              1. S. Meyer, sometimes I think all these Someones and Anonymous commenters are high school kids on here to bully. Thankfully there are still some centrists Democrats that you can have a civil conversation with but they rarely engage anymore because they will be ostracized, too.

    1. Full-blown Trump cultists are not half the country. Are they even half of conservative voters? It’s mind blowing that Trump has any supporters left at all after 1/6/21. He fired up his most ardent cultists with the belief they were on the precipice of an historic revolutionary victory. He lied about their prospects and he lied about joining them at the capitol. Once the wheels were in motion, he abandoned them like a coward to hide out and gauge the political winds before finally denouncing those who loved him most. Sad. Trump has very little respect for anyone and probably even less for the people who buy into his brand. But go ahead and declare him a martyr, if it makes you feel better.

        1. Voting against Joe Biden doesn’t make one a cultist. Investing all trust and hope for the future into a disaster like Trump does.

          Polling? LOL. So Biden would win a rematch by even more? Keep following those polls!

    2. Phyllis – I agree completely. I think Trump would be glad to have a martyr role, and given the past 4-5 years of totally counterproductive law enforcement and intelligence abuse, he will be able to make a strong argument. Those who are not interested in moving forward to deal with very real problems the USA will fall into the quicksand of “wanting to fight.” But at some point, the “fighting” is going to go too far. We are on the precipice of that right now. Rational and deliberate Americans want to step back from this, get their emotions in check, and remember all of the real work that needs to be done.

      1. If you think Democrat leadership is “marxist” then you must have missed the gobs of donations that billionaires and big corporations have been giving them the past year, and the news within 48 hours of cutting off the water to such Republicans as they still fancied

        The billionaires are not “marxist” Phyllis and neither are the Democrats. All the talk from AOC and the like is a head fake, a smokescreen

        Republicans better become more the party of the workers, or they are finished,

        Sal Sar

        1. SAL, of course the billionaires aren’t Marxist but many support those with Marxist ideas. Further, one has to ask themselves what Marxism really is as there is much confusion over the philosophy.

          1. Yes many do support what I would call, Leftist ideas, which divide and atomize society, so that they are more powerful relatively speaking, than the organic human communities that they rule, which could endanger them

            Leftist ideas, but not really Marxist ones

            You are right Meyer that it does get into the history of philosophy. There was a point at which the Left, particularly in Europe, threw economics and the interests of the workers overboard, in favor of a lot of other stuff that had nothing to do with regular people’s concerns. The homosexual agenda is one such thing. It is inconsequential to the average workers whether or not homosexuals can marry, because most people are not homosexuals. They claim 10% sometimes but I believe that is a gross exagerration.

            Much the same criticism I would aim at “Civil Rights” narratives about black versus white. These sound like they elevate blacks, but in economic terms, have they really done so? Opinions differ. And, like it or not. when you elevate on group of workers, you may be pushing down another. I’ll be very frank about this. A lot of that “progress” has come at the expense of the white working class.

            Likewise we could talk about decolonialism. This elevated the third world perhaps, or did it? and if it did, perhaps it came at the expense of certain segements of the population in the West. And yet, the billionaires, or their predecessors, did not seem to mind or be harmed by it. Indeed, they — the billionaires– actually prospered from decolonization, it seems to me.

            So it is not genuinely Marxist or communist in the sense that those things as they arose in the 19th century, were aimed at elevating the interests of all the workers, and not a few narrow segments here or there.

            This is why I believe, it is inaccurate to call the modern day “Left” which is the kept woman of the billionaires, Marxist

            Saloth Sar

            1. “A lot of that “progress” has come at the expense of the white working class.”

              Sol, A lot more probably came at the expense of black families and the entire nation. The one’s that have benefited most are the elites and perhaps the rich that use social policy to advance their own agendas. Look at how Covid was used to enrich large box retailers at the expense of family owned businesses. No race involved. Covid doesn’t seem like it should be political but it is.

              “This is why I believe, it is inaccurate to call the modern day “Left” which is the kept woman of the billionaires, Marxist“

              Technically they are not Marxist at all. In fact many self-proclaimed Marxists aren’t Marxists either and are not terribly well educated as far as what Marx actually wrote. All that is unimportant because Marx’s most important bits of philosophically derived logic was wrong.

              For example according to Marx, surplus of production doesn’t arise from the capitalist but from the working person who works longer hours. But look at where we see surplus of production. In countries that are rich and the workers work less hours.

  2. “Their not going to stop” On and on encouragement to riot, loot and burn causing loss of life, jobs and homes. That is what the Dems have stood for and continue to stand for. They are not honest players. They are the new fascists.

    1. You’re not an honest player, Allan. Some Republicans, Democrats, and independents approve of criminal behavior, but most don’t. Your unwillingness to accept that makes you part of the problem.

      1. 15M more votes than 2016. 3rd standard deviation whereas no election ever even reached the 2nd standard deviation. nearly 100% biden vote dumps. 42 republican senators and entire judiciary didn’t see any fraud. Essentially all elected and appointed people serve the oligarchs. Crooked as a dog’s hind leg. You get the govt big money pays for.

        1. LMAO that you cite standard deviations without specifying what set you’re calculating the deviation from. How about you make that explicit?

        2. Joe, keep the faith and stay strong, the final act is about to reach its conclusion.

          The Atomic Sledgehammer Of Truth & Justice is falling….and it is accelerating…and it will obliterate the long list of miscreants who have betrayed this nation.

          It will be merciless…and it will be glorious.

          Nothing can stop what is coming…the final seconds are ticking away…


          1. Qtard, please spare us your slogans. Adults are speaking in the room.

            Any Trump voter who is still inhaling the poisoned vapors of the Q disinformation needs to see the doctor, stat

            Saloth Sar

  3. Careful Turley, reports are there would have been more republican house members vote for impeachment, but they were afraid of the Trump cult. Your site will go dark if they feel you have turned on the Dear Leader. They will turn on you as fast as Mike Pence if need be. Turley, you have been waist deep in Trump’s swamp, now you are tying to walk it back?

  4. I think Professor Turley may be overlooking the more obvious rationale; anything that involves pre-election FBI could be dangerous to Comey and even then, Comey could be dragged into it and still put on the stand and raked over the coals.

    The tax cases still strike me as political fishing expeditions, especially since both AG’s involved ran on prosecuting Trump. If they New York Times had 10 years of tax returns, wouldn’t the first thing they would say is what crime Trump committed?

    Further, a pardon would keep Cohen off of the stand and protect the SDNY if they pressured Cohen to say something that wasn’t exactly true in exchange for leniency (I read the plea deal; He had a really sweet deal) whereas if a good defense attorney were to get Cohen to admit that he lied at the behest of the SDNY, it could undermine the SDNY’s credibility and open the door to other appeals.

    Remember, the judge asked Cohen if he had been drinking when he plead.

  5. Glad to see Turley post something I agree with.

    Just as one needs to clean a physical wound for it to heal properly, one need to clean a political wound for it to heal properly.

    Understanding the truth of Trump’s crimes is part of cleaning the political wound. He should be indicted and tried for his crimes.

      1. Obstruction, incitement, tax fraud, extortion, insurance fraud for starters. Might be easier to answer ‘what crimes trump didn’t commit’. Sitting down and getting popcorn preparing for the the shock when trumpers see their leader get indicted for things he couldn’t be prosecuted for as a sitting president.

        Elvis Bug

        1. Gosh, you keep saying things that aren’t true. Maybe that works on your family and friends, but not here. Here you have to provide proof but when you spit it out all we see is pop corn.


          1. Gosh darn it, Darlene…, I wonder what you’ll have to mumble to yourself once Justice Dept. guidelines no longer restrain NY state from getting to trump. Do I really care??? Nah. But visions of the robot’s head spinning in old school LOST IN SPACE episodes do come to mind.

            Elvis Bug

    1. I notice in recent days Turley is elaborating and reinforcing his condemnation of Trump’s conduct in more emphatic terms. Seems he has his finger to the wind! Still, he bites his tongue when he appears on Fox News programs. He does not volunteer his moral repulsion of Trump as he does on this blog. He is an obedient employee, or- if not so expressly instructed-nonetheless, he knows not to rock the Fox boat and goes along with the hosts in order to get along. Not very admirable.

  6. My mot h er always said look who’s talking ..comey since president trump.won in 2016 comey was part of the resistance together with the democrats 4 years with the russia colution and spying before and what happened to those people nothing ….

    1. They all got away with it. Brennan, Comey, Strzok, McCabe, Rice, Powers, Biden, Obama, Clinton, et al. Every single one of them got away with it.

      Can’t you just feeeel all the healing and unity….?

  7. Not to stereotype all Trump supporters, some simply oppose the Democrats values, but there is a “separatist and anarchist wing” of the Trump voter base. This wing of his voter base have never wanted to unify the nation and never wanted to improve the American “constitutional rule of law system”.

    This extreme wing appears to want to tear the American model down and never want to unify with Democrats or anyone else. Anyone in this extreme wing is banned by US law from having any authority in any government job from police officers to federal agencies (Title 5 US Code 3331, Title 5 US Code 1173, the 14th Amendment and Article VI of the US Constitution).

    Don’t worry about impeachment dividing us further, these are separatists not interested in uniting with other Americans. They aren’t seeking equal justice under law, they support Dick Cheney’s “unitary executive” theory that we essentially elect dictators every 4 years.

  8. Not a slam dunk, but a good case.

    In your dreams only. See Ann Althouse parsing of the speech.

      1. According to Congress, it did. Otherwise, why would they not be prepared for something much worse than what happened on the 6th?

  9. In a reasonable column Turley writes:

    “I do not believe that the President’s speech constituted criminal incitement unless there is more evidence of the President’s intent or knowledge.”

    The speech did not happen in a vacuum and also included both incendiary and peace encouraging language (well,one of the latter). The president began selling a rigged election many months before the 1st vote was cast, and therefore before any “evidence”, and then used that to pump his supporters up for a rally promising to yield big results. The only way those results could occur would be an insurrection as both Pence and the Congress were powerless – fortunately – to overturn election results from that sates that ran it.

    Not a slam dunk, but a good case.

    1. Even had Trump not given a speech before that crowd, I would impeach him- not for criminal incitement- but for the Big Lie about the massive fraud by which the election was stolen. That lie was what caused the thugs to storm the Capital- no further incitement that day was necessary! The Big Lie enabled principally by Fox News has yet to be acknowledged by Turley to his shame. I do not fault him for his good faith questioning whether the change in the voting procedures may have contributed to some incidental fraud; I fault him for not his failure to honestly state that Fox News and the Republicans were NOT acting in good faith in promoting the “Stop the Steal” lie. Turley needs to concede this point even if his employer will not appreciate his honesty.

      1. And the fact he’s fundraised off the Big Lie since the election. Seems rather fraudulent territory, pretty much the old trump foundation play book and we know what happened there.

        Elvis Bug

  10. LOL @ “pardon”

    There isn’t going to be a Biden presidency. Trump will remain president for 4 more years.

    You can’t stop what is coming…nothing can stop what is coming…midnight draws near…the clock is ticking down…



    1. Trump lost the election. If something happens to Biden before the 20th (heart attack, assassination, …), Harris would become President. If something happened to her as well, Pelosi would become President. But Trump will not remain President, no matter what your fevered imagination thinks.

  11. The purpose of the FISA Act and FISA Court after Watergate was to create an exclusive legal path (one and only path) for a president to follow or it was a felony crime for a president in office. The entire premise was a risk of penalty, of criminal indictment, while still in office.

    Bush & Cheney used FISA and FISA not as a check & balance on presidents that are disloyal to their oath of office, but used FISA in order to bypass 4th Amendment legal requirements. In one instance, the Bush era FISA Court created an special unconstitutional “after-the-fact” search warrant for exigent circumstances. Even with the special warrant, the Bush DOJ attorneys broke the law anyway – a felony crime.

    Congress needs to convene a 21st Century “Truth Commission” on unconstitutional-authoritarianism starting with investigating Bush DOJ attorneys and ending with Trump’s DOJ practices.

  12. What you’re forgetting is the prosecution of Paul Manafort. The Weissmann crew dusted off old tax charges on which the Tax division had taken a pass years earlier. Right now, the attorney-general in New York – a political sectary who is notionally a lawyer – is banking on tax charges in an attempt to injure Trump. Sorosphere prosecutors are happy to use process-is-punishment charges against their social enemies (Derek Chauvin, Kyle Rittenhouse, the McCloskeys) while letting their clients skate (Antifa everywhere). There is no justice when liberals have discretion.

    1. Over 14,000 people were arrested during the Floyd protests. Only in your imagination are they skating.

        1. They’re charged when they’re arrested.

          Not sure why you’re introducing convictions. Chauvin and Rittenhouse haven’t been tried yet, why would you expect everyone else to have been tried?

    2. What you’re missing is that Mueller put the reigns on financial investigation of trump and that combined with being forced to close up shop before getting a physical interview with trump hung some serious weight on the investigation.

      Cohen testimony + bank tesitimony + insurance testimony + lack of OLC non prosecution guidelines = really, really bad news for trump. It explains his desperation for a second term in a job he functionally hates because a second term would provide limitations protection.

      Apparently Weisman dives into this and shares his thoughts on being shackled by Mueller in his book.

      Elvis Bug

      1. It’s easy to talk when one doesn’t know what they are talking about. Maybe one day you will learn about the Mueller investigation. Until then you would be better off being silent.


          1. Nah, Darlene can’t be troubled with actually reading the report without putting her hands over her ears and saying ‘na na na na…’

            It may be that’s the best we can get from her.

            Elvis Bug

              1. Oh you like a massage, Darlene?

                What are we talking…, Swedish with some acupuncture points thrown in? Straight shiatsu or amma? Perhaps some cupping and moxibustion? Or full on bean boner, get you off through your own hand while getting skull hammered?

                Please be more specific with your desires.

                Elvis Bug

                1. “Oh you like a massage, Darlene?”

                  Not from a dirty old man like you.

                  Do your sexual proclivities make up for your small brain?


  13. Ford’s contention at the time was that Nixon matters were taking up an exorbitant amount of his attention. Ford had never held an executive position before. His press secretary’s memoir of the administration paints a portrait of him learning by doing – experimenting with one administrative scheme and then abandoning it and bedeviled by the lack of cohesion on his staff.

    I have a suspicion that subjecting Nixon to a professional prosecutor, and impartial jury, and an impartial judge (ie not John Sirica) would have been a disappointment for Nixon haters. See the prosecution of Oliver North: a grandstanding 23 count indictment led to convictions on 3 counts which were then vacated on appeal. Nixon was not a people person. John Dean, who was notionally Counsel to the President, was not sure during the period running from May 1970 and June 1972 that Nixon knew his name; the two met only 3x and never had a private meeting. Nixon was tight with John Mitchell. I’m not sure you could find evidence that he’d ever had so much as a phone call with Gordon Liddy or Jeb Magruder. Gordon Liddy has attested that John Dean and Gordon Strachan were aware of what his crew was doing. It’s possible that information was passed from Strachan to Haldeman to Nixon or from Dean to Ehrlichman to Nixon. Or not. Officials of the Nixon White House were willing and able to entertain a great deal of skulduggery, but that’s something different than implementing it. (See, for example, Charles Colson’s harebrained scheme to firebomb the Brookings Institution and then have burglars infiltrate the building by tagging along with firefighters – never implemented; or see Liddy’s Operation Gemstone as originally conceived – Dean and Magruder were struck dumb and he was told to scale-down). There was quite a bit of criminal activity during 1971, 1972, and 1973, but proving Nixon was in on it would have been a challenge.

    1. Which is why trump’s tax fraud in NY state is what will differentiate him from Nixon and crew.

      Fun fact: my father used to make me go to his work cocktail parties where he and other Staties and NOC’s would get a bit hammered, fill up the bath tub for the great seal of the United States, and jump up on tables to recite Shakespeare. Turns out I met Haldeman back then but just knew him as ‘Bob’.

      Of course this was back in the days where Dems and Repubs would still interact socially a bit. My father being old school New England Dem invited to work at NASA by Lyndon Johnson and staying on into the Nixon administration.

      Don’t ask me whether when he hired me to make homemade pizzas for these cocktail parties with all the other deranged intelligence children if we ever threw hash on those pizzas because I’ll never admit it.

      Elvis Bug

      1. Which is why trump’s tax fraud in NY state is what will differentiate him from Nixon and crew.

        Yes, Letitia James, quondam legal aid lawyer, will find something the IRS and the state Dept. of Taxation and Finance never did. Just keep jerking yourself off to that.

          1. I suspect the absurdist spanked the kid to the crowd rushing the Capitol as well. Possibly reruns of the Apprentice as well.

            Elvis Bug

  14. The Good Professor is right again but rocky reef of reality undoes his logical and admirable view.

    We know our Legal system favors the rich and powerful, that prosecutions are very selective and prompted as much by politics or other kinds of bias and sadly as a Nation we have no faith in the Legal system….none.

    All we have to do is look at recent events…the Summer of Riot, Arson, Mayhem that went unpunished.

    Suspect if not downright criminal acts of members of Congress, the FBI, the DOJ itself….and yes…maybe even President Trump

    I ask the Good Professor to give us a solution on how we eliminate the bias and selective prosecution and once again see a real blindfolded Woman holding that balance beam of justice

    I face a bigger punishment for keeping one fish too many or catching an out of season fish than any Rioter bailed out of jail by a Democrat slush fund and I am supposed to think the justice system is fair?

    When I see riot and anarchy go unchecked night after night and the Democrats utter not a peep about the criminal conduct….I should now have faith that they will magically restore my faith in Congress, the Courts, and Law Enforcement?

    What I see is a Snap Indictment going forth with no Investigation, no Hearings, and no public support.

    Professor Turley told the Democrats in the first Impeachment they were doing it wrong then by not gaining the support of the People….and yet here we are again and they are abandoning any such effort at all.

    Sorry folks….we are headed to an fashioned French Revolution if some steady hand is not placed on that Scale of Justice to make it right for all of us.

    When the argument begins with the question “Can we even do this…..”, how can you even proceed.

    It ought to be a clear cut, easily defined and understood patent violation of the Law, any Law, one which is easily grasped by People and condemned by them before we prosecute folks.

    As to Comey….he is hoping Trump gets Pardoned so he can be next in line should he be Indicted for his crimes.

  15. “I have never understood why it is so unnerving or destructive to try a former president”

    The precedent that it may create is not that if you’re president and you commit crimes you go to jail. The precent it may create is that if you’re a president and the opposition gains power, you will be criminally prosecuted when you leave office. Remember “lock her up, lock her up”. Trump didn’t actually try to go through with that but if the previous Republican president had been prosecuted in good faith, Trump may have done it.

    For an international comparison, in Brazil, which has much weaker institutions, 2 of the past 3 presidents are in jail, for what looks like were real crimes. A cabinet meeting of the current president was secretly filmed and released, and the president was explicit that if he leaves power the opposition will find a way to put him in jail. He asked that his cabinet fight the opposition hard. The precedent I mention above is not a hypothetical, it is one of the factors in his decision making. He’s still in his first term, and we’ll see how peaceful that transition of power will be.

  16. I am pretty much in total agreement on this one, Turley. Everything from whether or not to pardon to the most pressing case on trump (tax and insurance fraud in NY). Next after that will be extortion and obstruction in Georgia. And there is always the territory Mueller highlighted on obstruction in his report.

    The incitement in D.C. earned trump a well deserved second impeachment, but would probably be the hardest prosecution to pull off. Like a lot of mob bosses, the tax fraud will be what likely brings trump down legally…

    And I totally disagree with Comey on whether Biden should grant clemency as well. Strong case to be made that while the Ford pardon of Nixon allowed the country to move on in the short term, it actively devastated the county in the medium and long terms because a true accounting of Nixon’s adventures were hard to come by after the pardon. This paved the way for trump later on.

    While he was obviously honorable enough to have worked across several administrations of both parties,Comey seems to have a really flawed sense of timing in terms of public statements it seems.

    Elvis Bug

    p.s. And interesting to see trump heading directly back to his playbook for dealing with sub contractors…,

    1. All good points Bug, but the decision will be political, not legal or principled and for that reason I expect Biden to do whatever he decides will put Trump in the rear view mirror sooner. Recall Obama made a similar decision about congressional investigations into Iraq (he had the political power to tell Congressional leaders to hold up, though not the institutional power). Presidents don’t want to spend their political capital on useless – to them – score settling, no matter how justified. Democrats didn’t want this impeachment and Pelosi was practically begging Republicans to deliver a resignation or (less likely) Amendment 25 action so she could call it off. It was undertaken as a matter of principle and not politically advantageous.

        1. I think you take up the talking to yourself territory Absurdist Art. Go drink your Ensure.

          Elvis Bug

        2. Art/TIA,

          I’ve never understood your bizarre belief that most or all of the liberals who comment here are sock puppets of a single “Gainesville” person. Why is it so hard for you to accept that more than one liberal comments here?

          1. Some days it can be a rather interesting delusion. Other days I legit worry about his sanity.

            Elvis Bug

      1. I do recall being incredibly disappointed at the Obama administration making the decision to move forward at all costs, Joe. Especially when Cheney then took up, and was granted, a special place as online critique monster on Obama policy going forward and being granted air time for his insane blatherings.

        I think part of what figured in was that Obama was always keenly aware of the bold moves he could make– but also fully cognizant where America’s inherent racism would blow up in his face if he pushed things. And history has proven him right because, even while trying to act as seamlessly as he possibly could we’ve all seen the racist backlash directed toward him through trump and trumpism.

        So Biden has a bit of a different political cauculation and you can see him shifting a bit during the last week; at first beginning with a ‘no, don’t want to be bogged down with having to spend political capital on past issues’ in the advent of his new term, to ‘yes, the senate can bifurcate it’s days for a trial’ in latest sentiment. Also there has to be an undercurrent of realizing how letting the Bushies totally skate didn’t turn out how originally intended.

        Difference here also being that trump has enough legal exposure where Biden won’t have to spend much capital on holding trump accountable because the states have so much material with which to work, so it doesn’t have to be so much of an either/ the political realm.

        Elvis Bug

        1. It’s a good question Bug what would have happened if there had been a reckoning on the Iraq War after 2008. I don’t know how it would have played. Even though I had been opposed to that war before it began and could smell the BS the Bush Administration was pumping on it, even regrettably from Powell (hard to believe he was unwitting) I favored going forward. But that could have been the wrong call. That Congress did achieve a lot and some of it barely. Who knows what they’d have gotten done if investigations were going on. The GOP was still all in for Iraq even then, though now you can’t find anyone who would admit that, and not that they were any help at all on dealing with the crash, health care, infrastructure, or anything.

          1. Absolutely, Joe. Totally on the same page with you. Failure to accurately grasp where the Bushies went in Iraq (as well as the fallout in every direction from it) led to being a perfect set up to hamstring Obama’s term in so many ways. Two wars on credit combined with insane bank deregulation literally crashed the economy. Here we have another ‘republican’ administration leaving smoking wreckage behind. I’m sensing a pattern. ha.

            Have to admit, I felt it in the pit of my stomach on the very day a bunch of dems let bush rampage in the middle east with positive votes (HRC and Biden, I’m looking at you) that it was a catastrophic mistake. I’ve always faulted democratic thinking in the mainstream for failing to efficiently restrain the war wing of the repubs on this one and am proud to be from a state where every rep/senator but one voted against giving bush that control.

            The CIA had even taken out the Taliban sufficiently in 90 days in Afghanistan before America mimicked the Russians with failed military policy in order to run interference for an oil pipeline. The fact none of it was really aired out publicly was much to our discredit. The pipeline deal was even Enron related…, wouldn’t have much of a stretch to go there.

            Elvis Bug

            1. I believe the wars in the middle east were unethical wars of aggression and i disapproved of them at the time and now

              however if you think they were failures, then the question would be, failures at what?

              they got the immediate goals of regime change done at the time, and for 20 years in Afghanistan, though the Talibs will again be in power soon, 20 years is not a short time. so success at that objective of the American political establishment

              more importantly to the billionaires and big corporations who control the American political establishment, they opened Iraq and Afghanistan to commercial penetration and exploitation by American head quartered global companies, that were previously verbotten in those countries under Saddam, the Taliban, and also, Qadaffi

              the war policy only “failed” to the extent it did not succeed in toppling the Baathist regime in Syria

              Terrorism? that was basically just an excuse.

              again, viewed from the perspective of global capital, the wars in the middle east were big successes

              the cost, the debt? nobody in washington or big corporations cares about the debt. that should be obvious by now. not then and darn sure not now

              the growth of US sovereign debt only increases the strength of the USD as world reserve currency.
              which in turn, drives financialization and deindustrialization

              they are durable conditions that persist. they have winners and losers. FIRE sector and Silicon Valley are the winners, and the workers inside America are the losers.

              Saloth Sar

    2. it actively devastated the county in the medium and long terms because a true accounting of Nixon’s adventures were hard to come by after the pardon.

      It had no effect on anyone but a few disappointed prosecutors and fanatics like Elizabeth Holtzman.

      1. And the entire country. In the short term, it affected public sentiment on the Iran Contra scandal. People were done and the mass media declared it because the country had tired of impeachment as a concept. But in reality, the country was disheartened that the impeachment driven resignation of the trickster wasn’t taken to its logical conclusion.

        Of course the closet core fascists such as yourself just smiled wickedly and said ‘look what we could get away with now’.

        Elvis Bug

        1. And the entire country.

          Had no effect on anyone. You’ve been a fanatic for a long time, Gainesville.

          1. At least switch it up and call me Diane like you used to ya puckered baw bag. Don’t make such a fool of yourself in public for a change.

            Elvis Bug

    3. I am pretty much in total agreement on this one, Turley. Everything from whether or not to pardon to the most pressing case on trump (tax and insurance fraud in NY). Next after that will be extortion and obstruction in Georgia. And there is always the territory Mueller highlighted on obstruction in his report.

      And this is why Turley is wrong. Tax and insurance fraud are 100% political persecutions based on 100% politically-motivated (and unconstitutional) investigations. The obstruction thing is 100% political. I don’t know enough about what Trump did in regard to Georgia to form a conclusion, but the other items are instances in which the prosecution of Trump would be purely politically motivated. That is obvious to tens of millions of people, and a prosecution/persecution will tear the country apart.

      1. Everything you said, Allan, is, of course, wildly wrong.

        Tax fraud is about taxes not politics. Complete abstraction to convert it into being politically driven.

        Elvis Bug

        1. Tax fraud charges are all about politics. They have had his tax returns for decades. There’s a reason charges were never filed.

          1. “Tax fraud charges are all about politics. They have had his tax returns for decades.”

            They have gone after Trump for all sorts of things because they try to intimate people to do their bidding and pay more taxes. NYC works hand in hand with Trump so projects are built. Then NYC complains because he could do things they never dreamed could be accomplished and they couldn’t do at such a price. They have never successfully proven a case but he has successfully demonstrated how big government acts in perverted ways. NYC recently destroyed about 70% of their restaurants, forced taxpaying folk to leave the city with many never coming back. Businesses and all sorts of enterprises that create tax revenue are leaving the city.

            That means people like Joe Friday and his pretend friend Elvis along with Anonymous the Stupid and his pretend friends will all find that some of their money will be going to bail out NYC and the elite that will still reside there. Without some drastic change or a bail out NYC and NYS might end up in bankruptcy.

          2. You’re right, they are political in this sense: Trump couldn’t have been prosecuted while in office. There’s the politics.

            As to why not years before? He had his books sanitized as all huge NY property developers do. What changed? Michael Cohen being willing to detail the sanitizing, combined with the type of forensic accounting that goes along with having enough reason to dig deep.

            You trumpers are so one dimensional, one trick pony…, it’s quite laughable, really.

            Elvis Bug

            1. it is your stereotype that is one dimensional. and you reinforce it often inside your own head, with your selective interpretation of the data coming at you.

              But feel free to remain simplistic and vindictive.

              Sal Sar

            2. Elvis, you speak without knowledge while drawing conclusions based on faulty knowledge. Based on that alone you must be Joe Friday because nothing he says is credible.

        2. When you’ve looked at tax fraud cases up close, as well as from a distance, yes, they are very often about politics, even small fry politics.

          But, feel free to keep on with your incorrect notion if it pleases you

          The IRS is pretty smart about this the past decade, the blip of Koskinnen notwithstanding. There is a decade or even two long trend of them having backed away from referring a lot of vindictive cases to DOJ for persecution. They are more focused on revenue collection than ever. For the moment.

          Sal Sar

          1. That’s wrong. The IRS funding has been regularly cut for years – mostly by Republicans protecting their wealthy constituents – and they do not have the manpower or time to fight the armies of attorneys and accountants the wealthiest scofflaws can field. The dweebs and main streeters are the low hanging fruit they go after.

            “The wealthy are rarely caught for not filing their taxes, according to a recent audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

            From 2014 to 2016, a collective $45.7 billion was owed by 879,415 high-income nonfilers.

            Of these nonfilers, 369,180 weren’t worked on by the IRS for tax collection and 510,235 are sitting in the IRS’ inventory to be worked on — and they likely won’t be because of declining resources.”


    4. Elvis said ” Like a lot of mob bosses”

      A lot? Really? Since when?

      You’re out of date, thinking of Al Capone. A RICO case is way easier to win than a tax fraud case
      And if you’re talking Cosa Nostra, the majority who are still locked up are in the pen for RICO charges

      Sal Sar

      1. True enough. Once RICO charges were established they took center stage. Same principle though, Saloth Kurtz. They get taken taken down on operational terms more than tactical ones. Or the tactical feeds the operational.

        Elvis Bug

        1. Michael Franceze was incarcerated for evading gasoline tax, but that was a RICO conviction. Tax fraud is a predicate.

          One surmises that RICO charges seem to require less proof of the predicates, than if the predicates had been charged separately.
          By less proof, I mean, less proof needed to convince juries if the charges go to trial. Of course these days they rarely do.

          Sal Sar

      2. I believe until Sammy the Bull flipped it’s how Gotti got pulled in too. True enough, things have democratized a bit since straight Cosa Nostra days but looking at the big picture seems to be the way of the future/present.

        Elvis Bug

  17. It’s impossible for Trump to be pardoned for being impeached. Trump waited too long, he missed the deadline under Article II (Section 2) of the U.S. Constitution. That’s why Nixon resigned before impeachment, so Ford could erase it.

  18. “I have never understood why it is so unnerving or destructive to try a former president. We are a country based on the rule of law. The prosecution of a former president shows that no one is above the law. That does not mean that Trump will be convicted or that these cases are valid. However, he must answer for such criminal allegations like any citizen.”
    The rule of law? Seen Minneapolis lately? Or Richmond? Or DC? In the context of our two-tiered legal system that almost no one has confidence in anymore, you are inviting anarchy by reviving political differences and that’s all this is about. We are on the verge of civil war and a criminal trial of an advocate of a group increasing and justifiably feeling discriminated against will not end well regardless of outcome. A cooling off period is in order. That’s why.

    1. Mespo has been saying – and threatening – “civil war” for quite awhile now, but he’s got too much to lose and so do we all. There is no civil war coming, much as the hysterics and drama queens wish for it. What it be about? Trump’s Twitter account? Mail in ballots? A public option? A line item veto?

      Give me a break.

      1. “There is no civil war coming”

        You’re right. It’s not “coming”, because it is already here, and has been here for years, courtesy of the us versus them Dialectic fomented by a failed two Party system for decades that keeps them in power.

        Them includes Republicans and Democrats who in reality are one Party.

        The good news is, that “system” is in its final death throes.

        1. Although I’m pretty sure we’d wildly disgree on the specifics here, as a broad prescription you’ve touched on some common ground, Rhodesy. Ever since the Berlin wall came down and pure communism crashed, pure capitalism has been on the same path.

          Elvis Bug

      2. I bet Big Mess starts clamming up a bit on the armed revolution talk going forward, Joe. The white male privilege jumped the couch and put these guys under the FBI’s lens in the last week.

        Elvis Bug

      3. A cursory look around at the rise of militias and Antifa, credible threats of violence at the inauguration, storming the Capitol, proliferation of unvetted immigration,one-sided cancel culture and you don’t see a powder keg as folks realize their way of life is threatened? You remind of those naysayers in Charleston in a 1861 who said there would be no civil war until they saw the bombs bursting over the harbor. They got their wish.

      4. I would call this “low intensity conflict.” It is on the greyscale of insurgency and if you look at the CIA playbooks that have been declassified, many of the tactics and methods of insurgency and counterinsurgency are being used presently onshore in the US. I think we are definitely in incipient phases of LIC

        Here is a recent article from RAND about how the Libya conflict may foreshadow trends

        Sal Sar

        1. “It is far more cost-effective for a country like Russia to do its bidding through private security contractors and social-media campaigns instead of deploying Russian troops and risking the backlash that would come both domestically and internationally.”

          For the U.S. as well. Certainly it played a huge role in Iraq. The concept of merc flown fighters and drones is fascinating…and horrifying. Looks like the world is aiming toward mercs, bot disinformation and higher and higher war tech — controlled privately.

          No doubt the playground includes the emerging tech of how to hack drones and commandeer them.

          Interesting times.

          Elvis Bug

          1. and to accomplish it, the race towards artificial general intelligence, that may end up being a Frankenstein that hurts us all in ways we can’t yet imagine

            Sal Sar

  19. “ I have never understood why it is so unnerving or destructive to try a former president. ”

    Look at the attacks planned on the capitol by his “boogaloo boy” supporters as to why that may be the case here. I agree pardoning teaches the wrong lesson and we have to bite the bullet and deal with the problem sooner rather than later but love him or hate him, Trump exploited and expanded a huge rift in this country

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