The No-Show Option: Trump Could Sit Out The Senate Trial And Still Prevail

Below is my column in the Hill on why President Donald Trump might want to consider skipping the upcoming Senate trial. This is an expanded version of that column. Rumors continue to suggest that Trump is considering Rudy Giuliani as counsel — a role that would be viewed as open contempt to the Senate and, as Karl Rove noted, would increase the chances of a conviction.  There is a better defense: no defense.

Here is the column:

In a matter of days, this country will face an unprecedented Senate trial. The Senate not only will try a president for a second time but will do so after he has left office.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris assures us the Senate can politically “multitask” to deal with an impeachment, an incoming Biden administration and a pandemic. However, the threshold question is whether this is constitutionally one of those tasks — and for soon-to-be citizen Donald Trump, the best defense may be no defense at all.

In fairness, people on both sides are struggling to deal with this novel impeachment. While I have stated that I do not wish to serve as the president’s counsel, I have spoken to members of Congress and the White House on the historical and constitutional backgrounds for a trial.  In my 1999, Duke Law Journal article on impeachment, I wrote that “[t]he Senate majority, however, was correct in its view that impeachments historically extended to former officials, such as Warren Hastings.” See Jonathan Turley, Senate Trials and Factional Disputes: Impeachment as a Madisonian Device, 49 Duke Law Journal 1-146 (1999). It indeed was used retroactively in Great Britain. Yet, there are significant differences in the use of impeachment in both countries. Indeed, the colonial impeachments were strikingly different in many respects. As I noted in the Duke article, “Even if the only penalty is disqualification from future office, the open presentation of the evidence and witnesses represents the very element that was missing in colonial impeachments.” This has remained an open question and much contested in the United States as I noted in my later North Carolina article.  Jonathan Turley, The    “Executive    Function”    Theory,    the    Hamilton    Affair    and    Other    Constitutional Mythologies, 77 North Carolina Law Review 1791-1866 (1999).  The point of that piece is that impeachment is not limited to violations of an executive function but can involve other violations like perjury.  We are left with the value of a trial for a public judgment on past conduct and the costs of a retroactive trial on the constitutional system. That has remained unresolved though my views have evolved over the last 30 years on aspects of this question. The prior discussion addressed how impeachment serves a type of dialogic role in our society. Such trials can have value as with Trump. However, there are also serious countervailing costs that are equally evident in the case of Trump.

From a purely strategic perspective, I believe Trump may be wise to skip any trial.

For a notorious counterpuncher, avoiding a fight might be the most difficult decision of all, particularly because he has obvious defenses. First, he was denied due process when the House held an unprecedented “snap impeachment” without a hearing or inquiry even though a trial likely would not occur immediately. Even a one-day hearing would have allowed evidence to be discussed as well as a formal request for a response.

Second, the impeachment article is poorly crafted and poorly conceived, built around assertions that Trump’s Jan. 6 speech to supporters was an “incitement to insurrection.” His speech raised potentially impeachable grounds; I condemned it as he gave it and opposed his challenge of electoral votes from the outset. But as I wrote previously, it would have been far better to censure him for it in a bipartisan, bicameral resolution.

While impeachment can be based on noncriminal grounds, Trump’s speech alone did not amount to criminal incitement. Absent direct evidence of intent, a criminal charge would likely collapse in an actual trial or on appeal on First Amendment grounds. Trump expressly called for his supporters “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” He told them to go to the Capitol “to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,” to “fight like hell” to challenge the election, and to remind unsupportive Republicans that their actions would not be forgotten. It was a reckless speech — but, in a court of law, it would constitute protected speech.

Despite the strength of such defenses, the president must first decide whether he wants to sit for trial at all. He can legitimately argue that a private citizen cannot be impeached and that the Senate cannot remove a person from office who has already left.

Article I, Section 4, of the Constitution states that the sole purpose of an impeachment trial is whether “the president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office.” While the Senate can later add a disqualification from holding federal office again, that is only after removal is decided — because it is a question of the penalty, not the purpose of the proceeding.

The Constitution refers to a present-tense status of “the president.” That status is key to other provisions bestowing official powers and privileges, which do not linger after leaving office. No one would argue that Trump could continue to exercise those powers once President-elect Biden is sworn in. Yet a Senate trial would insist that, while Trump has no continuing powers, he remains subject to continued penalties tied to the office. Moreover, the stated purpose of the impeachment trial is whether a president “shall be removed.” Thus, the only person constitutionally subject to an impeachment trial would be the sitting president, Joe Biden.

This issue has been debated since the first impeachment in 1797, when Sen. William Blount of Tennessee faced allegations of conspiring to help Great Britain seize what is now Louisiana. Blount was expelled from the Senate before being impeached, so he insisted he was not subject to trial and refused to appear. The Senate apparently agreed and dismissed the case — just 10 years after the Constitution’s ratification, with most of the Framers still alive and some serving in Congress. (Indeed, Blount was one of its signers.)

The second case fared little better. In 1876, former Secretary of War William Belknap was tried even though he resigned before being impeached. Almost half of the senators voted that they did not have jurisdiction, and Belknap was later acquitted, in part due to doubts over the trial’s legitimacy.

The absence of a defendant or defense counsel might not be the only curious element in this trial. It is unclear, for example, if Chief Justice John Roberts would be called upon to preside. After all, the Constitution stipulates that when “the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside” — but the president will be Biden, not Trump.

The failure to put on a defense is not an admission of guilt. The Senate has a duty to resolve whether there is a valid impeachment trial to be held and then whether the constitutional standard has been satisfied. If the Senate does not dismiss the case in a threshold vote, Trump can treat the proceeding as an extraconstitutional act because he is no longer subject to removal. If the Senate were to convict, he would have standing to challenge any disqualification from future federal offices. He could well prevail, and the Senate would have created a precedent against itself: history’s first judicial reversal of an impeachment verdict.

Courts have long maintained that impeachments are left to Congress. Yet this is different. This is a question of whether a private citizen can be subjected to a proceeding that is expressly committed to the removal of officeholders. Impeachments go to the status of an officeholder, while indictments go to the status of an individual. If prosecutors believe Trump incited insurrection, they should charge him. However, the Senate must decide if it wants to hold a trial based on a legal fiction: a vote to remove someone who is no longer in office.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law with George Washington University and served as the last lead counsel during a Senate impeachment trial. He testified as an expert for the impeachment hearings of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Follow him with Twitter @JonathanTurley.

 

This column was updated.

302 thoughts on “The No-Show Option: Trump Could Sit Out The Senate Trial And Still Prevail”

    1. After 50 postings like this, people stop wondering about the riots, and they start wondering about you.

      1. for all of 2020 riots burned through America. No one will forget them particularly the calling by Democrats to defund the police.

      1. Not condemned enough if the Rs won’t convict over it. Putting the blame only on a few rioters is giving everyone else a pass.

        1. Well, as much as some might want to beat a dead horse, I’m going to have to sign off. Night Night.

        2. Have you condemned Sam Adams ? Paul Revere, the minutemen ?

          Please explain the difference ?

          I would suggest reading the declaration of independence.

          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,”

          49 minutemen and 73 british soldiers were killed at lexington and concord.

          The violence at the capital was unlike that during the summer – prosecute those few at the capital who committed arson or looting.

          Petitioning the govenrment IN THE CAPITAL is legitimate – it is a constitutional right. It is a right that all legitimate govenrment must respect.

          Those in government should be affraid when citizens petition govenrment – it means government has failed.

          “Please, show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful, Because I can show you that outraged citizens are what made the country what she is and led to any major milestone. To be honest, this is not a tranquil time. Too many see the protests as the problem, No, the problem is what forced your fellow citizens to take the streets. Persistent and poisonous inequities and injustice.”

          Chris Cuomo.

          Oops.

          Alas, Alas for you hypocrites that you be.

    1. This is a recent video done by Dalton Bennett, Emma Brown, Sarah Cahlan, Joyce Sohyun Lee, Meg Kelly, Elyse Samuels, Jon Swaine of the Washington Post.

      JANUARY 16, 2021

      “Using facial recognition, exclusive, unpublished video and interviews with lawmakers, The Post reconstructed the chaos inside the seat of government.”

      1. Yes, we all find it amazing – those who burned out country, caused $2B plus in damage were with very rare exceptions not charged. In fact rioting proved profitable – the left paid their bail, and then dropped the charges so that the bail paid by others was refunded to them.

        When you are actually prepared to hold accountable those who were rioting looting, and engaged in arson.

        Then and only then can we consider whether there is any legitimacy to holding those protesting a lawless and likely fraudulent election in which the people have no confidence.

        If 20% of the people thought the election was fraudulent – that would leave the government weak and without legitimacy.

        But a plurality of people beleive the election was stolen – and a majority beleive it was fraud ridden.

        Yes, those governing our country should fear the people – ALWAYS.

        When, in the grip of fear, we allow the state to exercise unchecked authority in dealing with its enemies – it will eventually use that authority against us as well.

        The concept that people shouldn’t fear their government but government should fear its people is neither a liberal nor conservative idea. But in a free society it is a valid one.

    2. “ProPublica reviewed thousands of videos uploaded publicly to the service that were archived by a programmer before Parler was taken offline by its web host. Below is a collection of more than 500 videos that ProPublica determined were taken during the events of Jan. 6 and were relevant and newsworthy. Taken together, they provide one of the most comprehensive records of a dark event in American history through the eyes of those who took part.”

      https://projects.propublica.org/parler-capitol-videos/

      1. The capital protests were planned on Twitter – this has been well established. The more offensive planning occured on 8Chan.
        There was nothing of consequence on Parler.

        1. If you’d bothered to look, the documentation isn’t about planning, but about what occurred.

          How strange that you think what occurred is “nothing of consequence.”

          1. “If you’d bothered to look, the documentation isn’t about planning, but about what occurred.”

            Parler was shutdown quite rapidly after the capital protest. It is highly unlikely that there was much of the content you described.
            Further it makes no sense that you plan your actions on A and report them on B
            Finally, even assuming you are correct – that means taking down Parler was a stupid mistake.

            Bur what should one expect.

            “How strange that you think what occurred is “nothing of consequence.””

            Not strange at all. To the extent the Capital protest meant anything, it hopefully told our elected officials they are accountable to the people.

            Contra the left there was very little in the way of destruction for the sake of destruction or looting.
            Whatever you may have found – prosecute those people.

            The vast majority of those who entered the capital building where let in – invited in by the capital police – there is plenty of video of that.
            They marched through the capital chanting staying inside the rope lines.

            A small number – mostly those who got there BEFORE trump’s speech broke in. The broke in to a public building that is constitutionally required to be open while congress is in session. You can not “petition government” – if government has locked itself into a fortress and stuffed earplugs in its ears. If you choose to run for political office – you have accepted the responsibility to take an earful from the people.
            You have an absolute right to privacy – when you are not conducting the business of the people. If you crave safety and do not wish to deal with the people – GO HOME – I will absolutely arrest those who come to your home to “protest” and harrass you.
            As BLM did with Sen Hawley or Tucker Carlson. Those in government have the right to privacy like the rest of us – when they are not doing the business of government. They have no such rights when they are doing the business of the people.

            When government locks the people out of the capital when the congress is in session – you violate the constitution.

            I would note that the right to petition the government is highest with respect to congress and higher still when congress is acting or making laws.

            The executive for the most part enacts the legislation passed by congress. You protest legislation at congress. There are decisions and actions of the executive that are sufficiently independent that we can protest those. But my point was that protests of congress are nearly always legitimate. While executive protests are not. Protests of the judiciary are pretty much only legitimate when the judiciary is acting outside the law or constitution. If they are following it – recourse is with congress.

            Regardless, my point is that no protestor should ever have to break in to congress while it is in session.

            Further there are 2400 capital police assigned specifically to the capital building. It would have been trivial tor them to setup screening points outside the building check for weapons and allow legitimate protestors inside. They also could have controlled the numbers such that those inside the capital could have been managed by the capital police inside the capital.

            There is a point at which actually disrupting the congress is legitimate. Arguably preventing congress from certifying a lawless and untrustworthy election is one of those.

            Contra you and others here – duty to conduct a lawful trustworthy election rests with govenment. It is not the job of candidates or those unhappy with the results to prove fraud. The lack of trustworthyness of mailin elections is a pretty globally established fact.
            Conducting one inherently destroys trust in the results. But this was worse. This was done in violation fo state constitutions. State election laws were violated wholesale. All of those result in a loss of trust. Trustworthy elections are governments job – not the peoples.
            It is the duty of all branches of government to deliver on that. It is not the duty of the people to prove the election was untrustworthy. It is the duty of government to prove it was. The legitimacy of government comes from out trust. There is no exception legitimizing government via the imprimatur of the courts. It is the duty of the courts to examine the elections so as to build our trust in them. But in the end the standard is the trust of the people – not the decisions of the courts. If people are not persuaded by the courts – the people did not fail – the courts did.

            So yes, I beleive protestors are entitled to go to the floor of the house and disrupt the certification of an election that does not have the trust of even a substantial minority of the people.

            In April of 1775, Continental minutemen – no different from those gathered outside the capital. Shot and killed 73 British Soldiers.
            When government does not have the trust of the people – even violence is justifiable.

            That is where we are headed. That is why congress is scared. That is why you are scared. You do not fix a lack of trust in government by arresting people. You fix it by restoring trust. Not pretending you have it.
            You do not, and you will not make that better by suppressing dissent.

            Frankly you are lucky that things were not much worse.
            Things are very dangerous when government has lost the trust of the people. That is governments problem – not the peoples.

    3. “Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.”

      Those who govern us should always fear us.

      “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
      John F. Kennedy

  1. ‘”I’m not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021,” Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin says as he presses forward with the article of impeachment against President Trump while mourning his son’

    A compelling and moving video:

    https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1350876793264353282

    Jamie Raskin also taught Constitutional Law. I wonder how Jonathan Turley might feel, if he had been locked down in the Capitol when it was under attack.

    1. Rep. Raskin should feel threatened.

      He is in part responsible for the loss of his country.

      If he is a constitutional scholar he should know that the legitimacy of government comes from the consent of the governed – the current federal governnment does not have that.

      Regardless his FIRST duty as a representative is to assure the legitimacy of government – without that legitimacy – even the constitution is without meaning.

      I would remind him and you – that the minutemen in Lexington and concorde shot and killed 73 representatives of the government of the colonies. Whether that act was justified or treason depends on whether government has the trust of the people.

      This government does not.

  2. Trump Stooge Out At Census Bureau After Trying To Release Dubious Report

    The Trump-appointed director of the U.S. Census Bureau is stepping down close to a week after whistleblower complaints about his role in attempting to rush out an incomplete data report about noncitizens became public.

    In an internal email announcement on Monday, Steven Dillingham said he is retiring from the bureau on Wednesday, more than 11 months before his term expires at the end of this year, according to a Census Bureau employee who spoke to NPR and asked not to be named for fear of retaliation at work.

    This month, while the bureau was continuing work on the latest state population counts, Dillingham attempted to pressure career employees to make a technical data report about “documented and undocumented persons” a “number one priority” to be produced by Jan. 15, according to a memo by the inspector general’s office at the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau.

    The data report, Dillingham explained to the bureau’s internal watchdog, was part of an effort to review how far along the bureau was in meeting Trump’s executive order about using government records to produce “data on the number of citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens” in the country.

    Dillingham’s push for the data in the final days of the Trump administration came to light after whistleblowers at the bureau warned that the report would be “statistically indefensible” and could be “misinterpreted, misused, or otherwise tarnish the Bureau’s reputation.”

    In response, civil rights group leaders and key Democratic members of Congress started calling for Dillingham to immediately resign.

    Edited From: “Trump’s Census Director To Quit After Trying To Rush Out ‘Indenfsible Report”

    Today’s NPR

    1. And about 80% of the country wants to know WHY people who are not citizens are counted with respect to the allocation of congressional seats, and why people who are not legal residents are counted for benefits ?

      You want to rant and rave about something most Americans support.

      You can support open boards and still not want to count non-citizens in allocating congressional seats.

      not count non-residents in allocating benefits.

      1. John Say, the concept of a census is an accurate count. Whether you want immigrants here or not, we need to know how many people are in a jurisdiction.

        1. “John Say, the concept of a census is an accurate count. ”
          Of what ?

          “Whether you want immigrants here or not”
          Why do you presume I do not want immigrants ?
          My children are immigrants.

          “we need to know how many people are in a jurisdiction.”
          No one disagrees with that.
          For most of US history the census has recorded citizenship. It has also recorded race. For almost a century it recorded whether you were a slave or not.

          YOU are the one seeking to NOT have an accurate count.
          I want to know how many citizens there are.
          How many legal residents,
          and how many illegal ones.

          And I do not want guesses.

          Like it or not the rights of citizens, legal residents and illegal residents are not the same. The privileges are not the same.
          Rational public policy requires knowing the answers.

          In 2017 a team at Harvard sought to debunk purported right wing claims that there might be as many as 10M illegal immigrants in the US.
          They found the likely number is 22M or higher OOPS!!

          Regardless we need to know.

          The left is talking about a $15 Minimum wage. I say GO FOR IT! F’over every low skilled person in the country.
          Regardless changes to the MW have a direct impact on the employment of illegal immigrants who do not have to be paid the MW.

          I know you do not like that – the left likes to arrest and prosecute those who employ illegal immigrants.
          The most overt hypocracy I have ever seen in my life. Practically beg these people to come to the US, and then jail those who hire them ?

          What do you want – to bring them here to be homeless and without jobs ?

          I will be happy to dicuss rational immigration policy with you – I am actually very pro immigrant.

          I will agree to open borders – if you will agree to end government benefits and the MW.
          Otherwise we go bankrupt.

      2. Because when it comes to the enumeration in the Census, the Constitution says “persons,” not “citizens,” and because all persons have been counted for our entire history as a country. The onus is on you to amend the Constitution if you don’t like it.

        1. All citizens have been identified and counted almost our entire history.

          Slaves were also counted.

          As you say the constitution says count people – if you claim that is the correct originalist meaning – then there is nothing else that may be counted – you may not ask ages or race or sex, or income or anything else.

          The constitution says count people – nothing else, no attributes of those people.

          But we have counted several attributes of the people we counted – including sex, citizenship, and free/slave status, since the first census.

          Please learn something about the actual history of this country before spouting nonsense.

        2. Do you remember the posts about lack of critical thinking ?

          You have just demonstrated clearly your own inability to do so.

          If you want to pretend to be an originalist and take the constitution literally – then you must ACTUALLY do that.

          The constitution says count persons – not sex, not race, not income, not orientation. not age. not any of the myraids of things we have counted – some in every single census, some only in recent censuses.

          I have no problem with a census that only counts people – so long as you have no problem with a census that ONLY counts people.

          I did not construct a country in which the rights of citizens, residents and illegal residents were all different.

          The constitution make only one distinction between those residing in the country – can they vote or not?

          But you have decided that there are somethings only citizens can do, and somethings only citizens and legal residents are entitled to.

          As that is the case we are required to know, home many citizens we have, how many legal residents and how many illegal residents.

          You made the problem – I did not.

          You are also the one who can not even forsee the actual consequences of your own arguments.

          So lets count people – ONLY people. You can not ask about sex, race, income, age, you can not ask peoples names – something we have been doing since the first census.

          Please take a course in logic. No matter how bad your critical thinking skills are – they can be improved – atleast a little.

          1. Count X does not logically imply Count Only X.

            It’s your critical thinking skills that need work.

            1. “Count X does not logically imply Count Only X.”

              Correct – now you are getting it. If the constitutional requirement to count people does not limit us to ONLY counting people,
              then it does not preclude us from counting citizens, legal residents, and illegal residents. Something that was done through most of our history.

              “It’s your critical thinking skills that need work.”
              Your argument makes my point – and are blind to it.

              If the counstitution says “count people” there are only two possibilities.
              1) You may only count people – not sex, race, income, citizenship.
              2) You may count people as well as their attributes – like sex, age, citizenship.

              There is not a constitutionally mandated third choice.

              Again critical thinking.

              Please take a course in logic.

  3. So, Turley’s legal advice is to have the Trump term of crack lawyers and Trump sit and hold their breath and kick their feet hoping the whole thing goes away.

    1. Does Trump’s legal team consist of Crazy Rudy and QAnon crackpot Sidney Powell?
      If so we’re in for a lot of laughs.

  4. Can’t tell you how depressing it is today to get an earful of Turley’s divide and conquer nonsense that contradicts his past positions on impeachment.

    Elvis Bug

  5. The Ties That Bind

    Dominion Voting Systems (DVS) claims that it *is* not connected to Smartmatic (an elections company), or to Venezuela (and its corrupt elections). Now we discover that Dominion is pulling a Clinton: “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

    Smartmatic grew up in Venezuela, with the help of a $120-million contract from the Venezuelan government (which also owned about 28% of the company). With that windfall, in 2005, it purchased Sequoia Voting Systems (SVS). In 2010, Smartmatic sold Sequoia to — wait for it: Dominion Voting Systems. (*) Dominion took control of the physical assets, IP, and key personnel of the very company (Smartmatic) that grew up in Venezuela.

    Those are the ties that bind Dominion to Smartmatic and to Venezuela.

    Those who deceive like to play games with verb tense.

    And they like to re-write their history. As a sure sign that Smartmatic is hiding something, they have erased documents from their website about the Sequoia transactions.

    (*) Don’t be fooled by the following diversion: The claim that Smartmatic sold Sequoia in 2007. On the surface, that is true. But if you did deeper, you discover this: It sold Sequoia to members of *its own management team.”

    “U.S. Investigates Voting Machines’ Venezuela Ties”: The article is about Smartmatic — published in, of all places, “The New York Times.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/29/washington/29ballot.html

    1. https://thepostmillennial.com/the-new-yorker-runs-antifa-propaganda-days-before-election

      The New Yorker runs Antifa propaganda days before election

      Their defense of Antifa ignores the evidence that shows this loosely affiliated group to be violent and intent on the destruction of American democracy.

      The New Yorker published an expose defending Antifa militants who are simply “protecting their communities,” affirming that “confronting fascists with violence can be justified.” Their defense of Antifa ignores the evidence that shows this loosely affiliated group to be violent and intent on the destruction of American democracy.

      .@lukemogelson interviews members of Rose City Antifa, a Portland group that has been confronting Proud Boys and other right-wing groups that hold rallies in their city.
      — The New Yorker (@NewYorker) October 26, 2020

      The defensive piece, entitled “In the Streets with Antifa,” is prefaced: “Trump is vowing to designate the movement as a terrorist organization. But its supporters believe that they are protecting their communities—and that confronting fascists with violence can be justified.”

      In the promotional tweet, The New Yorker tagged the contributing writer, Luke Mogelson. According to the Twitter handle mentioned, the account had only seven followers at the time of publication and a bio that read: “Their Voices Will Become The Voices Of Creeps Their Joy Will Become Their Sudden Death.”

      Mogelson first described an afternoon gathering co-sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America’s Portland arm on Sept. 26, in which approximately 1,500 Antifa activists congregated on the lawn of Peninsula Park in black bloc attire—the monochromatic clothing that anonymizes suspects to law enforcement.

      “[B]ut the event was family-friendly…” Mogelson reported, detailing the hippie aesthetic of Woodstock with booths set up in a leafy grove that offered free barbecue, herbal teas and tinctures, arts and crafts, condoms and morning-after pills, radical zines, and organic vegetables.

      Later that night, projectiles were launched at Portland Police Bureau officers including full beverages cans, firecrackers, and ball bearings fired from sling shots. Earlier in the day, one large banner hung on the pavilion above the stage read: “Everyday Antifascist / Come for the anarchy / Stay for the soup.”

      Before the rain began (it is currently drizzling) chanting could be heard nearly a block away from those gathered at Peninsula Park.
      — Lesley McL (@Human42LM) September 26, 2020

      Mogelson attacked President Donald Trump for alleging “without evidence” that anarchists had weaponized cans and bags of soup to hurl at law enforcement. The president also cited bricks, rocks, bats, Molotov cocktails, and frozen bottles of water used to assault police officers.

      “Somebody said last night, one of the protesters—I saw it—he said, ‘It’s only water. How can water hurt you?’ Yeah, they don’t say it’s frozen, in a bottle the size of a football. And they throw it at the police. It’s unbelievable,” Trump mimicked.

      “And then they have cans of soup. And they throw the cans of soup. That’s better than a brick because you can’t throw a brick. It’s too heavy,” Trump said at the July meeting with National Association of Police Organizations leadership. “But a can of soup, you can really put some power into that, right? And then when they get caught, they say, ‘No, this is soup for my family.’ They’re so innocent. This is soup for my family.” Eventually, “soup for my family” turned into a tongue-in-cheek slogan at Portland riots.

      ‘Some things just don’t get any crazier’

      I give you Donald Trump on…………..soup#soupgate #campbellconspiracy
      — Jelle Simons (@jelle_simons) September 2, 2020

      “Other Presidential statements have been harder to make light of,” Mogelson continued, claiming that Trump has “vilified demonstrators as nefarious insurrectionists” throughout the nationwide upheaval set in motion by George Floyd’s death on May 25.

      “Much as adversaries of the civil-rights movement once contended that it had been infiltrated by Communists,” the president “invokes antifascists” to “delegitimatize” the Black Lives Matter movement, he wrote.

      As civil unrest spread from the Minneapolis uprising to other Democratic-led cities, Trump factually declared as a “president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters” at a Rose Garden press conference just as rioters clashed on the opposite side of Pennsylvania Avenue: “Our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa, and others.”

      President Trump speaks in the Rose Garden:

      “We cannot allow the righteous cries of peaceful to be drowned out by an angry mob. The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities and as their president, I will fight to keep them safe.”

      1. Antifa stinks. Also, the right wing extremists who follow Trump stink. And Trump himself? He’s a lying, depraved, unAmerican sack of shit.

        And he also stinks.

  6. Fox News Pays Out Millions In Settlement With Family Of Seth Rich

    Seth Rich was that young, low-level DNC employee mysteriously murdered on a Washington Street at 5 am. Fox News insanely promoted the story that Rich’s murder was a hit by shadowy DNC operatives because Rich had sent the DNC emails to Wikileaks. The allegations were impossible to substantiate.
    Fox was essentially left in lurch; revealed as the liars they are.

    This settlement leads to serious questions regarding the credibility of all Fox New stories; most notably false election claims.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/business/media/fox-news-seth-rich-settlement.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

    1. We’ll see. What if Trump pardons Assange? I question the New York Times frequently, and I grew up thinking I had to check with them to find out what I thought for the day, just like my dad told me to do. I had no idea how far they’d leaned to propagandize.

      1. REGARDING ABOVE:

        Betsy L is our blog troll originally known as Estovir. But he changes names 20 times per day so no one can see for sure how much he is really posting.

      2. Assange has repeatedly claimed the source was a leak not a hack.

        CrowdStrike testified under oath that it had no eividence that the emails were exfiltrated via a hack.

        CrowdStrike testified that it could not know who hacked the DNC – The DNC was hacked twice.

        VIPS determined that it was significantly more likely the emails were leaked than hacked.

          1. Whether political or not, whether right or left, settlements are quite common.

            They prove nothing.

            I personally settled an employment discrimination case for 2500. I was accused of discriminating based on age, race, religion, and health.

            The employee was unproductive, under 55, white, christian, his wife was actually in bad health.

            I kept him for several years because I was able to find one job he could do and we had a client that would pay for it.
            It was a loser, but only a small one. But that client stopped, and we were in a recession and were cutting staff and we had to cut him or someone more valuable – like the gay guy. or the lesbians. Anyway he was laid off. He refused to cobra his insurance, but I was so concerned given his wife’s bad health I continued him on our insurance for another 18months. This came out in the complaint.

            The ALJ took my attorney aside and told him – we were going to win, but the case would go on for another 3 days and that he thought he could get the guy to settle for 2500. He would feel vindicated and we all could go home. I agreed. It would cost twice that to come back for 3 more says.

            Settlements can not be presumed to mean much – especially if you can only speculate on the amounts.

            But beleive what you want.

            But I would be curious what you think the cause of action was against Fox ?
            There is no defamation here, and inaccuracy is not a valid tort.

        1. From the recently released report os the GOP majority led Senate Intel Committee

          “The Committee found that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian
          effort to hack computer networks and accounts affiliated with the Democratic Party and leak
          information damaging to Hillary Clinton and her campaign for president. Moscow’s intent was
          to harm the Clinton Campaign, tarnish an expected Clinton presidential administration, help the
          Trump Campaign after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, and undermine the
          U.S. democratic process.
          -WikiLeaks actively sought, and played, a key role in the Russian
          influen~ery likely knew it was assistin a Russian intelli ence influence
          effort. The Committee found si nificant indications tha
          At the time of the
          first WikiLeaks releases, the U.S. Government had not yet declared WikiLeaks a hostile
          organization and many treated itas a journalistic entity.
          (U) While the GRU and WikiLeaks were releasing hacked documents, the Trump
          Campaign sought to maximize the impact of those leaks to aid Trump’s electoral
          prospects. Staff on the Trump Campaign sought advance notice about WikiLeaks releases,
          created messaging strategies to promote and share the materials in anticipation of and following
          thdr release, and encouraged further leaks. The Trump Campaign publicly undermined the
          attribution of the hack-and-leak campaign to Russia and was indifferent to whether it and
          WikiLeaks were furthering a Russian election interference effort. The Committee found no
          evidence that Campaign officials received an authoritative government notification that the hack
          was perpetrated by the Russian government before October 7, 2016, when the ODNI and DHS
          issued a joint statement to that effect. However, the Campaign was aware of the extensive media
          reporting and other private sector attribution of the hack to Russian actors prior to that point.
          (U) Trump and senior Campaign offici.als sought to obtain advance information about
          WikiLeaks’s planned releases through Roger Stone. At their direction, Stone took action to gain inside knowledge for the Campaign and shared his purported knowledge directly with Trump
          and senior Campaign offictals on multiple occasions. Trump and the Campaign believed that
          Stone had inside information and expressed satisfaction that Stone’s information suggested more
          releases would be forthcoming. The Committee could not reliably determine the extent.of
          authentic, non-public knowledge about WikiLeaks that Stone obtained and shared with the
          Campaign. ”

          https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/report_volume5.pdf

          1. JF – every single aspect of this has been dismembered step by step.

            Why are you still selling garbage ?

            1. Oh this is my favorite John Say rhetorical tactic! Claim accepted evidence as being debunked, or in this case, dismembered (makes me wonder further about John, actually). Surprised he didn’t follow up with his classic: “….what, because you say so?” followed by twenty paragraphs of fever dream confusion and libertarian rhetoric.

                1. I have provided actual evidence – and there is far more than I have provided.

                  What have the leftists provided – beyond fallacy ?

              1. Glenn Greenwald has an excellent editorial on the extremely high credibility of the allegations against the Biden family.

                The claims of the left and the media have been DEBUNKED. Many fo the allegations are confirmed by first hand accounts.

                With respect to JF’s collusion delusion redeux – there is uncontroverted sworn testimony before the senate that rebuts many of the claims.
                And a totoal lack of actual evidence that rebuts others.

            2. John, the report was published in August, Can you please link the “dismembering” you are referring to?

              Thanks

              1. You seem quite adept at searching past comments when you want to.

                Regardless, I have done so many times.

                With respect to the Senate report – you can start by reading the actual unrebutted testimony of the people the left relied on such as crowdsource. Or actual export reports from former ranking NSA members such as VIPS. Or ….

                It is amazing that under oath stories change.

                As to YOUR OWN claims – you have a reputation for error and misrepresentation.

                If you said the sun will rise tomorow, I would question that your error rate is so high.

                Nothing you post can be relied on. Every claim you make must be verified – even the most mundane.
                The only good part is you make few actual claims.

    2. The Washington Post and CNN Pay Out Millions In Settlement With Nick Sandmann

      These settlements lead to serious questions regarding the credibility of all Washington Post and CNN stories; most notably false claims that the election was fair.

      Two can play that stupid game.

      1. I’d be fascinated to know what the Richs supposed cause of action was and how the Sulzberger’s got hold of confidential settlement terms. (And that might lead you to ask if in fact there was any settlement at all outside the reporter’s imagination).

        1. Deco, this settlement was foreseen almost as soon as Fox News ran the story. No observer ever thought Fox could possibly validate the story.

          As for the Rich’s, they were inundated with calls and mail from crazed conspiracy mongers that went on for months.

          1. It is irrelevant whether the story was true or false, validatable or not.

            The only question is whether it was defamatory.

          2. they were inundated with calls and mail from crazed conspiracy mongers that went on for months.

            Even if that were true, paint chips, how does it generate a cause of action against a news organization?

        2. How can you derfame someone by reporting that they were the whistleblower who exposed the truth about the DNC screwing Sanders ?

            1. Of course they did.

              That is what the leaked DNC emails were all about.
              All the ways the media and the DNC and the Clinton campaign conspired to screw sanders.

              How badly informed are you ?

              What do you think was in the DNC emails that cost Hillary the election ?
              Paedophialia ?

              The DNC emails likely cause significant numbers of Biden voters to sit out the election.

              1. Noted that John does not state how the DNC reputedly “screwed” Sanders.

                Typical that John writes novel length posts but without any beef – admittedly this latest is blessedly short.

                “I’ve got nothing.” would be shorter.

                1. “Noted that John does not state how the DNC reputedly “screwed” Sanders.”

                  Read the DNC emails.

                  Here is just one story – from NPR no less.
                  There are hundreds more like it.

                  https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/07/23/487179496/leaked-democratic-party-emails-show-members-tried-to-undercut-sanders

                  “Typical that John writes novel length posts but without any beef – admittedly this latest is blessedly short.”

                  I do not owe you proof the sun rose yesterday.

                  Regardless you are spouting idiocy – if the DNC emails were favorable to Clinton – why were you and she so livid about them ?

                  I do not personally care about them – they proved nothing to me I did not already know.

                  Here is another.

                  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/these-wikileaks-emails-prove-just-what-a-monster-hillary-clinton-is_n_581a1ecce4b08f9841acad73

        1. Anon, no business is going to hand out millions of dollars if they believe their actions were justified. You defend the Washington Post and CNN when they were not willing to defend themselves. $250 million from the Post and $275 million from CNN. They don’t just settle for this kind of money out of the kindness of their hearts. They did it because the evidence was on film. Do you have to be a contrarian on every point?. Maybe you do because someone might be watching.

        2. Multiple Sandman cases were settled. The settlements are sealed – we can not know what was proven. We only know that several media companies gave sandman alot of money to go way.

          1. “gave sandman alot of money to go way.”

            They gave him enough money to make him go away. Just how much remains to be seen.

    3. I have no idea about the settlement.

      But whether the Fox stories about Rich were true or false – they were not defamation.

      How do you defame someone by claiming they were the whistleblower who revealed the truth about the DNC deliberately sabatoging the Sanders camaign ?

      You can not defame someone by calling them a murdered hero even if you are wrong.

      1. John Say, the last thing bereaved parents want is hundreds of nut-cases harassing them with calls and crazy emails.

        1. Then do not run for congress.

          I have great sympathy for his bereavement as a parent.

          But he chose to be a congressmen. That comes with dealing with crazy people left and right, and angry constituents, and protestors,

          And one of the responsibilities of congress is to certify presidential elections. If as a congressmen you blindly certified an election in which even a significant minority of people thought was fraudulently stolen – then you failed to do you duty.

          You can call them crazy – though frankly you have given them so many reasons to distrust you – they are not the ones who appear crazy,
          Regardless, government requires their consent – their trust to be legitimate. You must earning.

          Elections are a part – not the whole of trust worthy govenrment. Following the law is another. Conducting elections that people can trust is another.

          We can argue the extent of the actual fraud that is not really known.
          There is no argument this election was lawful. State election laws and state constitutional provisions were violated, and worse the courts did nothing. – not before, not afterwards.
          There is also no argument that the election was conducted in a trustworthy fashion. Perfection may not be acheivable. But we have not had an election where large scale fraud was so possible since the 19th century.

          Regardless, republicans are very good at learning from the left. California made the odious practice of Ballot Harvesting legal. It cost Republicans one election cycle – now they are nearly as good as democrats – and they will inevitably get better.
          Most CA republicans want to end the practice – it is blatantly fraud prone. But so long as it is legal and democrats are doing it – Republicans must too.

          In 2020 you have made massive mailin fraud possible. The overwhelming majority of Republicans beleive that it was not only possible but that fraud was widely done.
          Do you think in 2022 they are going to sit back and watch as you fraudulently take another election ?

          Do you think it is not possible for republicans with the current system to do to democrats what they beleive was done to them.

          You have Paul Manafort and Roger Stone – do you think they are incapable of trying to game the system you created ?

          Clean the mess you made up – or there will be consequences. That is how politics works. Whatever you make possible – someone will do.

          Charges were just filed for massive voter Fraud in texas. The exact same fraud is documented in Ilhan Omar’s district in minesota – are you going to investigate that ? There is plenty of evidence on video of buying votes in very large numbers.
          Biden’s campaign spent $125 for every single vote he got. In reality he spent tens of thousands for votes in swing states.

          Do you think no one thought – it would be far easier and cheaper to just pay people for their votes ?
          If no one figured that out in 2020 – ha ha – do you think no one will figure it out by 2022 ?

          There is a reason that 28 states in require secret voting that makes that impossible. There is a reason that developed countries do not put ballots in the mail That in many states it is a crime to be in possession of an official ballot outside of a polling place.
          Why we bar electionering inside the polls. Why voters ID is verified THEN the are given a ballot, and they vote in a room where even election officials are forbidden and where they must scan or deposit their ballot before they leave.
          Why cameras are barred inside polls ?

          If you can prove how you voted – you can be paid or coerced into voting.

          Would you be OK with employers telling their staff that they must bring their mailin ballots to work, and fil them out as directed and if they did not they would be fired ?

  7. Go ahead and do it Turley. Make a total fool of yourself. Represent Trump. Then listen to how your prior writings, in which you admitted that someone no longer holding office can still be impeached, will be used against you. After that, we’ll see how many paying gigs you get other than on Fox. Oh, and don’t forget–when Trump doesn’t get what he wants, he doesn’t pay his legal bills.

    1. Go ahead and do it Comrade Collective machine part you always make a perfect fool of yourself and just who is the programmer this time that’s using a name off a print out that doesn’t exist as a real human being.

    2. Natacha, maybe Professor Turley isn’t concerned about gigs that pay. If paying gigs were his concern he wouldn’t write or say things that would keep him off of CNN, MSNBC, ABC,NBC, etc. he’s missing out on the big money. If he was careful about what he says he could bring in the bucks from them all. Somehow your doing it for the money argument doesn’t pass the sniff test.

      1. Why else would anyone with any brains, faith in the Almighty, or even a scintilla of patriotism use their talent and credentials. to help such an incompetent, deceitful and downright cruel narcissist like Trump? Look at the state of our country right now: record COVID infections and deaths, nowhere near the number of vials of vaccine promised, no cohesive or comprehensive plan for vaccine administration, economy in shambles, insurrection at the Capitol leaving 5 dead, migrants still in cages, over 600 brown children whose parents cannot be located, unemployment the worst in decades and the same for our trade deficit and national debt. Other media consult Professor Laurence Tribe of the Harvard Law School, someone Turley constantly criticizes. Tribe is considered the main expert on Constitutional law. Turley has become a hack for the worst person ever to occupy the Oval Office.

        1. Natacha, so Trump was the god who could have waved his hand and stoped the Corana virus. He was the god who could have controlled the distribution of the vaccine by the states. Trump was the god who could have just created new jobs during a pandemic. Trump was the god who could have freed the children in cages during the Obama administration. Trump was the god who could have located the parents of children who want their children to remain in the U.S. to escape the terrible poverty in their own nation. Could you imagine having to make such a decision because you could not feed your children. You fault him for not waving his magic wand and making the pandemic and it’s effect on our economy disappear. He’s doesn’t have the power of a god. Yet you call for him to be the almighty and short of that nothing else will do. Fairness of thought?

        2. You have just insulted every member of the ACLU – or atleast the ACLU or decades ago.
          You have insulted every criminal defense attorney in the country.

          You have insulted prominent members of the left such as Brian Stevenson.

          People help those who are loathed by the rest of us – specifically because they are loathed by the rest of us.

          Because YOU have no more rights that the least rights you will give those you hate the most.

        3. “Look at the state of our country right now: record COVID infections and deaths”

          Recent studies”

          the effectiveness of masks in the real world – at best 20% over 3 months (10% over 6, …)

          Lockdowns – at best delay the inevitiable by a few weeks.

          All manditory measures – at best no worse than voluntary measures – but in all likelyhood they make things worse.

          “nowhere near the number of vials of vaccine promised”
          Vaccines were delivered to the states as promised long ago, and continue to be delivered.

          All failures are at the state level.

          “no cohesive or comprehensive plan for vaccine administration”

          And yet West Virginia is leading the nation – and NY is failing miserably.

          “economy in shambles”
          Because of the policies of blue states.

          “insurrection at the Capitol leaving 5 dead”
          500000 died in the civil war.

          During the recolutionary war 130,000 people died of small pox.
          8.000 died in the war.

          Lexington and Concord – 73 british deaths, 49 patriots.

          “migrants still in cages”
          Bult by obama.

          “over 600 brown children whose parents cannot be located”
          False nearly all parents have been located, there are approximately 400 who do not want their children back.

          “unemployment the worst in decades”
          BLS data – Unemployment is 6.7%.
          That is the same or LOWER than every year from 2008-2013 – i.e. MOST of the obama administration.

          “and the same for our trade deficit”
          Trade deficits are meaningless – this is true whether you are republicans ranting about trade deficits or democrats.
          Current Trade Deficits are the same as those from 2005-2008.

          “and national debt.”
          Yup Obama/Biden bloated debt. Trump bloated it further, and now Biden is trying to outdo Trump/

          “Other media consult Professor Laurence Tribe of the Harvard Law School, Tribe is considered the main expert on Constitutional law”

          I have met, and conversed with Prof. Tribe. I have read his text on constitutional law.
          He was once the most brilliant constitutional scholar on the left.
          He was once someone I greatly respected.
          You can read his past work – you are unlikely to like it.

          Today he is a hack.

          1. “…there are approximately 400 who do not want their children back.”

            And why do you suppose they “don not want their children back”??

            1. Because their children have been placed in foster care int he US and are have an oportunity to live the american dream.

              I care deeply for those who would march thousands of miles with their children for a chance to live secretly under the front porch in the land of opportunity.

              There are 750M people throughout the world – mostly in circumstances as bad or worse than those who are fortunate enough to be able to sneak accross our southern border.

              I adopted my daughter from China. I can not watch “save the children” commercials without weeping.
              I contribute money to children in $hithole countries arround the world.

              But neither this country nor any other has the resources to take in all those in the world who would come here if they could and give to them all the priviledges that acrue to US residents.

              When you have an answer to that problem – we can talk.

              Regardless, I have an answer for you.

              Lets eliminate all of our immigration laws. Anyone who wishes may come here – if they have a sponsor. No welfare, no public assistance of anykind. Come here and live in the land of oportunity, so long as you have someone who is already hear who will take real financial responsibility for you if you fail.

              Anyone can sponsor anyone anywhere in the world – as many as they wish.

              Sponsor doctors, or farmers or people with no skills at all. Sponsor refugees, sponsor the victims of terror or unstable governments.
              But no government aide of any kind at all.

              Corporations can sponsor, churches, civic groups, unions, anyone at all.

              You are free to bring as many people into the country as you wish – but take real responsibility for them.

              Do not demand that this country must open its doors to everyone – and someone else must pay for it.
              That is tyranny, that is theft.

  8. Barr Told Trump Election Claims Are Bullsh_t

    Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president’s theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were “bullsh_t.”

    White House counsel Pat Cipollone and a few other aides in the room were shocked Barr had come out and said it — although they knew it was true. For good measure, the attorney general threw in a warning that the new legal team Trump was betting his future on was “clownish.”

    Trump had angrily dragged Barr in to explain himself after seeing a breaking AP story all over Twitter, with the headline: “Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud.” But Barr was not backing down. Three weeks later, he would be gone.

    The relationship between the president and his attorney general was arguably the most consequential in Trump’s Cabinet. And in the six months leading up to this meeting, the relationship between the two men had quietly disintegrated. Nobody was more loyal than Bill Barr. But for Trump, it was never enough.

    The president had become too manic for even his most loyal allies, listening increasingly to the conspiracy theorists who echoed his own views and offered an illusion, an alternate reality.

    Edited from: “Off The Rails: Inside The Disintegration Of Trump’s Relationship With Bill Barr”

    Axios, 1/18/21
    …………………………………………..

    The impeachment is primarily focused on Trump’s incitement of the mobs. But one must keep in mind that false election claims were a major factor in the siege.

    1. Anon, another “anonymous sources say” story. I wonder which Anonymous they used. Could it be the Anonymous found on this page? There sure are a lot of Anonymouses out there that we are supposed to believe. Like reading the National Enquirer. Now we’ve got those rag time blues.

      1. That’s another Paint Chips post. If you’re expecting critical distance, you’re bound to be disappointed.

          1. Having said nothing there is nothing to doubt especially the rantings of another Seig Heiler.

      2. Thinkthrough, your name is Estovir. Stick to that name and don’t worry about who’s using ‘Anonymous’.

          1. Michael, what reality are ‘you’ coming from? You think Barr resigned prematurely to get a head start on his retirement??

            1. Anon, Barr said he was retiring early because he wanted to spend Christmas with his family. You interpret it as Barr quits Trump. You crawled right inside his head and found what you were looking for. Oh great Swamy please tell us more of what you will reveal. We especially like the troll stories. Again (clapping of little hands). Again, tell us the story again.

        1. Anon, your troll hysteria rises to the surface every day. Your favorite answer to a counter argument is “It must be a troll”. Such great wit and letters directed against an argument we very seldom witness.

          1. Thinkthrough, you are the one and only troll on this blog and everyone knows by now.

            You are Estovir, Ralph, Rhodes, James, Em, Princess Trohar, MoFo and countless One-Day-Only names. Your efforts to cripple this blog with mindless, Trump-friendly posts have been sadly effective. This blog is now considerably dumber than it was was before you were hired.

            1. Anon, once again the answer to an argument by Anonymous is name calling and more troll hysteria. Very impressive. We are all waiting for your next nugget of wisdom.

            2. “You are Estovir, Ralph, Rhodes, James, Em, Princess Trohar, MoFo and countless One-Day-Only names”

              You graduate from 7th grade this year?

              Do you get to stop having to take the short bus to school every day next year as long as you agree to take your meds on a daily basis?

              Never mind. Come to think of it, they don’t have short buses in China.

              1. REGARDING ABOVE:

                Estovir / Rhodes is changing names again because he can’t possibly stand and fight.

        2. Anon, I am not worried about the Anonymouses on this forum. My concern is the knee jerk belief in stories attributed to anonymous sources and representation of these sources as the gospel truth. It would be simple to interview AG Barr to see if he will confirm the story. Axios would not want to do such a thing because they would lose the readership of all the anonymouses of the world and there gospel chapter would be cancelled.

          1. Estovir, Trump’s election claims were rejected in more than 50 courts. So it is quite logical to think Barr told this to Trump before resigning.

                    1. John Say spews all over this blog, but when asked to back up one of his claims, he punts… No surprise there.

                    2. You have been provided massive evidence. That you close your eyes and plug your ears and claim otherwise is YOUR problem.

                      Jeremiah 5:21
                      Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

              1. Deco, Trump lost before at least 40 Republican-appointed judges; including some of of his own. It strains all logic to think that many judges would find no reason to consider credible claims. ‘None were credible’, is the only explanation.

                But I think the credibility of Trump’s claims are almost beside the point. Trump supporters dwell in a fact-free universe where the truth is whatever Trump says .

                1. No it does not strain logic.

                  Please use words correctly.

                  We can debate all kinds of legal issues and whether the courts erred legally and whether they looked at the merits.

                  But ultimately – govenrment, the courts failed at their most critical duty – securing the consent of the governed.

                  The results are not trusted. they are not trusted by a plurality of people – which is far higher than the burden at which government does not have the consent of the governed.

                  1. John should list his best evidence.

                    The obvious truth is he’s been had, taken in by the Big Lie repeated so many times by the con man who hatched the story before the 1st vote was cast as his excuse for losing. He know the indisputable truth will out eventually, though he never wants to talk facts.

                    We all know he can’t admit losing, can’t even admit not being the best of any thing.

                    Who believes he is too honorable to have sold this Big Lie?

                    Please chime in!

                    Your choice. Keep silent or acknowledge what a poor judge of human character you are.

                    1. “John should list his best evidence.”

                      Been done, over an over.

                      Numerous examples of voter fraud convictions were posted TODAY.
                      There is plenty of voter Fraud, I have been addressing it since 2001.

                      Try reading.

                      “The obvious truth is he’s been had, taken in by the Big Lie repeated so many times by the con man who hatched the story before the 1st vote was cast as his excuse for losing. He know the indisputable truth will out eventually, though he never wants to talk facts.

                      We all know he can’t admit losing, can’t even admit not being the best of any thing.

                      Who believes he is too honorable to have sold this Big Lie?

                      Please chime in!

                      Your choice. Keep silent or acknowledge what a poor judge of human character you are.”

                      Do you have a single fact to support anything you ever claim ?

                      You just reposted – for the umpteenth time the tiny excerp that you fixate on in the Senate inteligence report that is all long ago thoroighy discredited bunkum. Not that it was very damaging to begin with.

                      After that we get a bunch of clairvoyance. ad hominem and random speculation.

                      I would be embarrased to be you.

                      I debated anonymous that critical thinking is not common.

                      Thank you for further proof.

                    2. Noted that John will not list his “best evidence”:for justifying hi being a sucker to Trump’s election con.

                      Also noted that he ignores the FACT that the GOP majority report investigated and accepts the proof that the Russians hacked the DNC and provided that information to Wiki-leaks, which was in contact with Roger Stone, a personal confidant of Trump.

                    3. JF – the evidence is out there for everyone.

                      A plurality of the people have already determined that the election was sufficiently fraudulent to change the outcome.
                      another 11% beleive there was fraud but they are unsure that changed the outcome.

                      I do not need any more evidence than that. This government does not have the consent of the governed. The election failed.

                      I beleive that the reasons of the people – the lawlessness in particular are correct. But even if the people were wrong. And even if only half so many beleived the election was untrustworthy I would still have proven everything I need to prove.

                      When the people do not trust govenrment, government is not legitimate PERIOD.

                      The courts failed to fix that – Right or wrong about the law and the issues – they failed to secure the trust of the people.
                      The duty to establish trust rests with government – because without that trust government is not legitimate.

                      You failed. PERIOD.

                      I have nothing I need to prove – the burden is ALWAYS on govenrment to establish legitimacy.

                      You are not right about lawlessness and fraud – but even if you were – you lost the trust of the people and that is all that matters.

                      It you had the trust of 80% of the people – that would not be enough. But you do not – you barely have half that.

                      Even if over time people change their minds – you STILL failed. You risked insurrection and revolution to win.
                      You once again acted on the ends justify the means.

                      Until you realize that there are alot of people who do not trust you and you need to do something about it – this just gets worse.

                    4. Noted that John will not list his “best evidence”:for justifying hi being a sucker to Trump’s election con.

                    5. JF – I am not obligated to prove to you that the sun will rise tommorow.

                      A majority of people do not trust this election. A plurality beleive it was stolen.

                      That means that govenrment did not come close to establishing “the consent of the governed”.

                      I need demonstrate nothing more.

                      Everything beyond that is gravy.

                      But I will note that at one time or another I have refuted pretty much every claim you have made – quite often with left wing nut press sources. You can not even get the arguments of your own side straight.

                      I thank god that I was not born you.

                    6. “I don’t think anyone (outside of people like Allan) truly doubts the existence of the pee tape. ”

                      Really ?

                      There are so many reasons that is wrong – as well as your error on Mueller.

                      Do you understand the massive amounts of efforts that have gone into finding not just the pee tape but even evidence of it.
                      Even evidence that it could have happened.

                      It is near impossible to prove a negative – but the exhaustive efforts to find the pee tape or prove any substantive claim against Trump are the closest thing we can ever have to proving a negative.

                      Sometime you have to reject wishful thinking and grasp that it just does not exist, it never happened.

                      I can cite other reasons specific to that. Urolagnia is a fetish. We know far too much about Trump’s sex life it is incredibly vanilla, and his only aparent fetish is tame and consistent with his personality. Urolagnia is not, and there is no evidence it is a fetish of Trump’s.

                      Regardless, if this was true – there are far too many people involved – some prostitute, some pimp, some hotel busboy, someone would have come forward with some corroboration.

                      And this is the deep deep flaw of the entire Mueller report – it exhaustively explores everything finds nothing and claims that if only he could have been more exhaustive maybe something would be found. Ignoring the fact that nearly the whole world participated in this snipe hunt – and no snipes were found.

                      You are demonstrating a massive failure of critical thinking.

                      When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
                      Sherlock Holmes.

                      Either Trump AND his cohorts all have IQ’s over 160 and tradecraft beyond james bond, or you are fishing a dry well.

                    7. Amended statement: I don’t think anyone (outside of people like Allan) truly doubts the existence of the pee tape.

                      to >> I don’t think anyone (outside of people like Allan *and John Say*) truly doubts the existence of the pee tape.

                      Elvis Bug

                    8. Elvis and JF appear to be the only ones who buy the Pee Tape.

                      Mueller only mentions it once in a footnote confirming it was a fraud – there was an actual pee tape. It was not Trump.

                2. Just a few days ago a Texas Election official was arrested and charged with “massive” voter fraud.

                  Pretending it did not occur does not make it so.

                    1. duckduckgo is your friend – google certainly isn’t.

                      are you saying you are unable to find a story on an arrest for election fraud in texas ?

                      I will be happy to find it for you – when you tell me that a task that most 8 year olds can manage is beyond you.

                    1. That is one of Several.

                      “In October 2020, the Denton County, Texas Sheriff’s Office arrested 39-year-old Zul Mirza Mohamed for an alleged mail-in voter fraud operation. Mohamed, charged with 109 counts of voter fraud, was allegedly using a fraudulently obtained PO Box to request and deliver tons of absentee ballots that he would then fill out and turn in.”

                      https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/news-room/press-releases-and-statements/2012/02/14/pew-one-in-eight-voter-registrations-inaccurate-51-million-citizens-unregistered

                      data from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the Election Administration and Voting Surveys for the 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 election cycles finds that nearly 30 million mail-in ballots sent to registered voters went missing.

                      In 2012, for instance, more than 33 million mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters. Of those, nearly four million went missing, more than 425,000 were undeliverable, and almost 260,000 were rejected.

                      For the 2014 election cycle, the number of mail-in ballots that went missing spiked to more than eight million. In that election, 29.2 million mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters. More than 610,000 of those mail-in ballots were undeliverable, and about 269,000 were rejected. Another 8.2 million of those mail-in ballots went missing.

                    2. The woman you found was charged with buying votes and coercing votes. Something that can only happen when you do not have secret ballots – such as mailin voting.

                      I would note that Raquel Rodriguez was working for both republicans and democrats.

                      Rodrigez admitted to fraud involving thousands of ballots – is that not massive enough for you ?

                      It is extremely hard to catch and convict those engaged in election fraud. Short of catching them on video – how are you going to prove a case ?

                    3. PA is prosecuting atleast 3 cases in which people voted for dead relatives.
                      But prosecutions are rare – because we do not look for them.
                      Several people have been charged in Michigan – again these cases have to practically fall into prosecutors laps, because we do not look for them.

                      A milwaukee couple voted twice in every election since 2008 – they were acquited by a jury – because they claimed they thought their absentee ballots were lost – though they never asked election workers.

                      This is one of the easiest forms of election fraud to catch and yet it took 12 years.

                      There are myriads of other examples.

                      https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/us-attorney-william-m-mcswain-announces-charges-and-guilty-plea-former-philadelphia

                      And for every prosecution there are hundreds, probably thousands that are never caught.

                      Many people have succeded in voting multiple times inperson – which is much harder than mailin elections.

                      You have claimed there is no fraud.

                      That is bunk.

                      The only question is how much fraud is there. and we know that very little effort is put into finding election fraud.

                    4. Trafalgar Group pollster Robert Cahaly recently said of Trump that “I think he’s going to need to win Pennsylvania by four or five (percentage points) to overcome the voter fraud that’s going to happen there.”

                      Cahaly’s firm correctly called elections in battleground states in 2016 that other pollsters had going for Hillary Clinton. This election, Trafalgar has Trump ahead in several battlegrounds that other polls are showing in the Biden camp.

                    5. Right – in extemporaneous comments recorded in vivo – she lied, But when caught and denying what she said and did she is telling the truth.

                      So long as the prosecutors are serious this will not be difficult to prove. Her actions involve many others. It will require little effort to establish where she “made it all up” or whether it is really true.

            1. Anon, what you really are saying is that it is somehow logical to assume that Barr made the statement you attribute to him. The operative word is “assume”. To base ones logic on an assumption is only seen here as the use of your own creativity

          2. Only the left has this knee jerk beleif.

            Much of the country just does not beleive – because it came from the media – and was not censored.

      3. Doesn’t “Anonymous” rhyme with Hippopotamus? “The hippo is among the most dangerous animals in the world due to its highly aggressive and unpredictable nature. “

        1. LAWRENCE:

          We have never seen your name before. Just popped out of nowhere??

          Why can’t Estovir ever stand and fight??

          1. ESTO VIR aims to help encourage, embolden, and empower intentional discipleship among men, to deepen their commitment to Jesus Christ, their families, the Catholic Church, its bishops, priests, and their communities. ESTO VIR does not wish to “stand and fight”. ESTO VIR is for peace and camaraderie.

            1. LAWRENCE:

              Yeah, Estovir is a deluded, anti-abortion activist who thinks he’s ‘doing God’s wohelp.

              Leave the Catholic Church out of this. They don’t need your ‘help’.

                1. Estovir, why can’t you ever stand and fight??

                  To answer the question, ‘You’re a lame debater with no genuine interest in politics, law or government’. You’re just an anti-abortion activist who likes to snipe at liberals, then disappear amongst a parade of puppets.

      4. Sorry, missed the anonymous source thing.

        I should have know better.

        And this from the idiocts who keep saying “hearsay is not evidence”.

        Hearsay often is – anonymous gossip is not.

    2. Rubbish and hearsay and anonymous reporting “sources say”. Wonder what anyone here thinks of the Navarro Report. (Several Google “sources” say his degree is Trump University, but I believe it’s Tufts and Harvard.) The report is only about 15 pages, and I think rather persuasive that yes, in fact, the election was fraught with illegal maneuvers and secretive counting with unlikely results. I’ve chosen words to elude algorithms. Follow that up with the massive Big Tech censorship, and you end up with 25000 federal troops needed to install Biden/Harris/Rice/Obama2. Oh, and now we have to question and “vet” each of those troops, because they might have opinions. Dark times, my friends. Dark times. I believe the vast majority in this country don’t want to waste time and money on chasing Donald Trump impeachment into rabbit holes, and 2022 will punish those who did. (If we have elections anymore.) I was a Democrat all my life. No more.
      Incitement of mobs? The Democrats have been hellishly pouring gasoline on smoldering coals for months and years.

      1. Betsy, we’ve never, ever seen your name before. Just popped out of nowhere to respond to this one post?

        It’s funny that Estovir can never, ever stand and fight with a single name.

      2. “Wonder what anyone here thinks of the Navarro Report.”

        His election reports are excellent summaries of where the election went wrong. He’s objective about what’s certain, what’s probable, and what’s merely possible. His conclusions are backed by tons of evidence, and he provides lots of references to original sources. His style is clear, engaging, and easily accessible to the layman.

        He earned his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard, and taught economics for some 20 years at UC Irvine.

        Oh, and his research is being ignored by the MSM and the talking heads.

        1. John Lott at DOJ also did a statistical study that is excellent that concludes that Fraud sufficient to change the outcome is highly probable.

          The left seems to beleive statistics are proof positive – when they support leftist claims

    3. Impeaching Trump is just another way for congress to waste tax dollars; and we are extremely short in supply.

      We don’t know the extent of irregularities with the election because there was never an attempt to verify each voter was a qualified voter. The recounts were just; verifying the count rather than verifying the eligibility of the voters. There was little mention about “election day”. Votes were accepted many days after the election day and I believe for federal office holders that should not have happened. Can states legally redefine election day for federal office holders. We go through this with every election and it casts doubt on the entire election process. There is no reason for not assuring integrity in the process; we have the technology to make it so.

      This election is now history. Let it be; but use the next 4 years to get the system in place that will assure a fair and accurate election.

    4. The “election was stolen” lie parroted by Trump and the worst of his supporters is directly responsible for the rampaging mob that invaded the Capitol Building. Hell gapes for Trump.

      1. THE FAKE INSURGENCE ON THE CAPITOL WAS TO DISTRACT FROM THE AUDIT THAT WAS NEEDED TO LEAD TO AN IN-PERSON PAPER BALLOT RE-VOTE. PELOSI IN CHARGE OF THE CAPITOL POLICE WHO LET ANTIFA THEN EVERYONE ELSE INSIDE.
        @randyquaid

      2. ‘Democrats were happy to allow your neighborhood to be burned to the ground. But when they got a small taste of the rioting so many Americans have experienced, they militarized DC and cried about the “trauma” they experienced. These people are beneath contempt.’

        @mattwalshblog

        1. There is no justification for steeling from your neighbor.
          There is no justification for burning your neighbor’s home or store.

          But all violence against government is not unjustified.
          The origin story of this country was violent.
          49 minitemen and 73 british soldiers died at lexington and concord.

          Think seriously about that before you come for peoples guns.

          The overwhelming majority of violence is wrong.

          But all violence is not wrong.

          You and I can debate whether the behavior of out govenrment has reached the point at which violence against it is justified.
          But there is no debate that point does exist, nor that we are growing nearer all the time.

          And whether you like it or not, there is no debate that the left is responsible for bringing us closer to that point.

          It was the left who illegally investigated known fraudulent allegations of foreign collusion – based ojn actual russian disinformation obtained by foreign collusion.

          It is not Trump or the Trump family getting payoffs from foreign countries or companies in return for government favors.

          It was the left who locked down the economy and destroyed the jobs of millions – through executive fiat, not lawful actions.

          It was the left who pushed the most fraud ridden form of election – rejected by every other developed nation on the country by executive fiat.

          It is the left who is censoring anyone who dares disagree with them.

          You have been repeatedly warned.

          I will give you the advice I gave my toddler when he misbehaved. If you keep it up – it only gets worse.

          You think you have gained power – but you do not have the trust of the people required for that power to be legitimate.

          That lack of legitimacy poisons everything you do.

      3. The beleif that the election was stolen is responsible for what happened at the capital.

        Regardless who are you to lecture about what people were persuaded to beleive ?

        Why would anyone selling the collusion delusion be trusted about anything ?

        You are preparing another Faux impeachment – wasn’t one enough ?

        Why should people beleive those who ranted and raved that claims of misconduct by The bidens were right wing conspiracies, Then they were russian disinformation, now they are two separate US Attornies investigations that were going on for a year BEFORE faux impeachment #1.

        Why would anyone want to listen to you lecture about what should be beleived and what should not ?

        A plurality of people beleive the election was stolen. If they are wrong – that is still a big problem and a failure of government.

        I do not know if they are wrong. But I know that the elections were lawless, and that is a problem you can not fix.

        You can not expect people to trust government or courts when government plainly did not follow election law or their state constitutions, and the court plainly ignored that.

        You do not seem to understand – we are not a monarchy or an oligarchy. The authority and legitimacy of government comes from us.
        Not the other way arround. That legitimacy must be earned – by behaving trustworthy. Not by ignoring the law and constitution. Not be hiding from evidence of fraud.

        Maybe the fraud was large, maybe it was small – only idiots beleive it was non-existant.
        I woman in texas was just charged with massive election fraud.

        Regardless, we do not determine the scope of fraud by burrying our heads in the sand.

    5. The election was clearly lawless. Bar himself should be enraged by the lawless conduct of the states.

      That he is not discredits anything else he might say.

      Regardless, all you lefties fail to understand there is only one standard that is relevant.

      The trust of the people in the results.
      It does not matter what Trump says, what Barr says. what Biden says, what the courts say – it matters whether people trust the results.

      Without trust – the government is not legitimate PERIOD.

      This is what happens when the people do not trust government.

      https://swh-826d.kxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/fall-of-berlin-wall-1989.jpg

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