“The Illegality…Was Obvious”: An Analysis of the Carter Opinion on Jan. 6th

“The illegality of the plan was obvious.” Those words of Judge David O. Carter in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California this week have electrified commentators across the networks and the Internet. Judge Carter was praised for his “simple clarity” in declaring that “it is more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.”  The declarations by the court have led to a frenzy in the media and renewed calls for the prosecution of the former president. However, there are elements to the decision that are deeply concerning on issues ranging from free speech to attorney-client privilege.

The Washington Post was quick to breathlessly declare that the time had finally come . . . again. Given the Posts long record of running professed slam dunk criminal charges against Trump that amounted to nothing, that is hardly a surprise. However, Carter’s opinion was immediately portrayed as ending all speculation. It seems now like little more than an administrative matter before Trump is marched off to the slammer.

Post columnist Jennifer Rubin declared “Carter has issued a clear invitation — almost a plea — for the Justice Department to pursue charges against both Eastman and Trump . . . [Attorney General Merrick] Garland will have an exceptionally hard time justifying a decision not to prosecute.”

If you read such columns, it is difficult to see why Trump has not been charged after two years. After all, the media heralded the statements of D.C. Attorney General Racine that he was pursuing possible charges. Yet, neither Racine nor the Biden Administration have charged Trump. Why?

The reason that hasn’t happened is that Judge Carter’s “invitation” is strikingly short of clear evidence of such criminal conduct.

Judge Carter was ruling on the disclosure of material claimed as privileged by Eastman, who advised Trump after he spoke at the Jan. 6, 2021, rally near the White House. Eastman believed Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to certify the election and send the electoral votes back to the states. Carter ruled that such legal advice failed under the “crime/fraud exception” because the president knew there was no basis for such a challenge.

As legal experts celebrate Carter’s decision as a great victory against Trump, it is important to consider the implications for both free speech and attorney-client privilege. That is not because I agree with Eastman’s claims; to the contrary, I criticized Trump’s speech as he gave it and later called for Congress to censure him. I also supported Vice President Pence’s interpretation of federal law and disagreed with Eastman’s interpretation.

Moreover, as I have repeatedly stated, Congress has a legitimate interest in getting a full record of what occurred on Jan. 6th.  However, none of that should blind us to the dangerous elements of this decision.

Judge Carter notes that Eastman still believes that the statute is unconstitutional as written. The court simply brushes that aside and states the “ignorance of the law is no excuse” and “believing the Electoral Count Act was unconstitutional did not give President Trump license to violate it.”

More importantly, the court simply declares that Trump knew that the election was not stolen and thus “the illegality of the plan was obvious.” Putting aside the court’s assumption of what Trump secretly concluded on the election, a sizable number of Americans still do not view Biden as legitimately elected. The court is not simply saying that they are wrong in that view but, because they are wrong, legislative challenges amounted to criminal obstruction of Congress.

In 2005, it was Democrats who alleged that a presidential election was stolen and challenged the certification in Congress of the votes in Ohio. The claim was equally frivolous but Democratic leadership praised the effort, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi who praised Sen. Barbara Boxer’s challenge and insisted that “this debate is fundamental to our democracy.”

The Democrats did not, however, demand that Vice President Dick Cheney refuse to certify, an important distinction to be sure. Jan. 6th was a desecration of our constitutional process and one of the most disgraceful days in our history.

However, the lack of factual foundation for the challenge (cited repeatedly by Judge Carter in the Trump challenge) did not make this a criminal or fraudulent effort.

Some attorneys believed (and still believe) that it was possible for Pence to refuse to certify. Holding such a legal view is not a crime and sharing that view with the White House is not a conspiracy. Indeed, Eastman and others were publicly stating essentially the same thing. That is what triggered the debate with many of us challenging their interpretation.

Yet, Carter is conclusory and dismissive on this critical point in declaring “President Trump and Dr. Eastman justified the plan with allegations of election fraud — but President Trump likely knew the justification was baseless, and therefore that the entire plan was unlawful.” Trump is still insisting that he believes the opposite. The question is why arguing that point with Pence and others amounted to a criminal act. In the end, wiser minds prevailed and the theory was not used by Pence.

There were crimes that day, of course. Some of those at the rally rioted and were charged largely with trespass and unlawful entry. A handful have been charged with seditious conspiracy. The court does not cite any evidence that Trump directly advocated violence while noting that Trump told the crowd to peacefully go to the Hill.

Consider the implications of Carter’s opinion. There was rioting when President Trump was elected while various Democratic leaders continued to claim that he was not the legitimately elected president, a view echoed by Hillary Clinton. While they did not riot in Congress, they committed other crimes.

Under Carter’s theory, the baseless claims that Trump was not legitimately elected could have been used by the Trump Administration to seize confidential legal material given to the 2005 leaders. After all, there was not a solid factual basis for these claims and they knew it. They further fueled the mob by making these claims in public.

What is particularly concerning is that none of this was necessary. The Congress has every right, indeed it has a duty, to investigate if there was a criminal conspiracy.  Yet, it already knows the legal advice given by Eastman and other witnesses have testified as to what he said in critical meetings.

In the Post column, Rubin reminds readers “this is a federal court, not a pundit or politician.” Yet, at points it was hard to tell the difference. Judge Carter seemed intent on rendering judgment on what he described as a “coup” rather than a riot: “Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election . . . Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower — it was a coup in search of a legal theory.”

That last comment was particularly interesting because it suggests that Eastman, who was dean and on the faculty of Chapman Law School, could have made the same articles as a professor. However, when he took his academic views and applied them as counsel, it somehow became part of a criminal conspiracy and attempted coup.

That is what is so disturbing about Carter’s opinion. While I agree with many aspects of Judge Carter’s decision, there is no clear limiting principle of when a legal opinion becomes a criminal conspiracy beyond the court’s predisposition of the meaning of these facts.

205 thoughts on ““The Illegality…Was Obvious”: An Analysis of the Carter Opinion on Jan. 6th”

  1. JT – If Trump bloviating deceptively “I won the election (2020), and by a landslide” (in defiance of 59 Court decisions to the contrary) is protected free speech under the 1st Amendment, then why not have it also protect “The Constitution is a snakepit of corruption — it’s not worth the paper it’s written on”. Why not allow convicted criminal defendants to wage a massive misinformation campaign to reverse the public’s understanding of a guilty verdict, saying “the court found me innocent”?

    There are official decisions flowing from election officials and Judges that are established fact (not a matter of personal opinion). As a practicing lawyer, you know this to be a bedrock principle of our society. In such official actions, truth is not relativistic.

    You’d actually allow fabricating a pretext for violent revolution as a form of protected “opinion”? Give me a break.

    Trump, Eastman, Giuliani and possibly others need to stand trial for gaming the U.S. Constitution’s Presidential elections and term of office structures. They planned to pull off a pseudo-Constitutional coup. The nation is lucky that Mike Pence stopped it in its tracks.

  2. Prof. Turley completely misses the fundamentally flawed and most frightening element of the decision.
    “Carter ruled that such legal advice failed under the “crime/fraud exception” because the president knew there was no basis for such a challenge.”
    Are judges now allowed to divine the opinions of defendants to be the very opposite of every statement they have made?

  3. I pray every day that A. The republicans gain a two third majority in the House and Senate and simply expelled all the Democrats and impeach 20 to 40 Senators. B. Gain 51% and impeach about 30% of Federal judges with Sullivan ,Jackson, the entire 9th Circuit, DC appellate court and all the Federal judges who blocked President Trump’s executive orders, I don’t even understand how a lower court can interfere with the president that’s equivalent to an enlisted sailor blocking an Army General’s orders.

  4. This piece by Prof. Turley has really hit a lightning rod, with the ‘left’ and ‘right’ commenters throwing legalities at each other, with the occasional vitriole.
    Judge Carter may be subject to disciplinary action by the Judges to whom he is answerable. That has yet to be seen.
    Suppose a Judge, upon reviewing the evidence back in November of 2020, had issued a public statement that ‘it is more likely than not that Joseph R. Biden did not win the election?’

    1. Subject to disciplinary action for what?

      Your question makes no sense. It’s the judge’s job to determine whether the crime-fraud exception applied to the memo. It’s not his job to determine who won the election.

  5. Jonathan: I read all of Judge Carter’s 44 page decision in the Eastman case. I must have read a different decision than the one you have distorted. The one I read does not raise either “free speech” or “attorney-client privilege” issues. On the latter Judge Carter ruled against Eastman on his claims. That’s the part you apparently missed in your reading.

    You say Judge Carter “notes that Eastman still believes that the statute [ECA] is unconstitutional”. That’s irrelevant. Carter found that Trump/Eastman violated 18USC, Sec. 1512(c) which makes it a crime to obstruct or attempt to obstruct an official proceeding. Carter points out that Eastman “likely knew that the plan was unlawful. Dr. Eastman heard from numerous mentors and like-minded colleagues [e.g., former conservative jurist Luttig] that his plan had no basis in history or precedent…Eastman admitted more than once that his proposal violate[d] several provisions of statutory law”. Judge Carter concluded: “Dr. Eastman likely admitted deceitfully and dishonestly each time he pushed an outcome-driven plan that he knew was unsupported by the law”. If Eastman actually had a good-faith belief the ECA was unconstitutional why didn’t he urge Trump to challenge the Act in court. As Judge Carter points out Eastman admitted that if the case reached the Supreme Court it would rejected–9 to 0. Well, maybe 8-1 with Clarence Thomas as the sole dissenter!

    Based on the evidence Judge Carter found Trump/Eastman violated 2 federal criminal statutes. I must have read a different decision than the one you read from which you conclude, falsely, that Trump/Eastman did not engage in a “criminal or fraudulent effort”. But you cling to a specious argument that “some attorneys believed (and still believe) that it was possible for Pence to refuse to certify”. Who might those attorneys be? It appears it’s only John Eastman! Trump/Eastman knew their plan was unlawful and that’s why they should be prosecuted. Let’s hope AG Garland has the cajones to act because no one, not even a former president, is above the law.

    1. Dennis,

      You’re mistaken that “Carter found that Trump/Eastman violated 18USC, Sec. 1512(c). … Based on the evidence Judge Carter found Trump/Eastman violated 2 federal criminal statutes.”

      This this wasn’t a criminal case, Carter wasn’t charged with determining whether Trump and Eastman *did* violate 18 U.S. Code § 1512, and he didn’t find that anyone violated criminal statutes. It was only a civil case. What Carter actually found is that of the 111 documents that Eastman claimed were either covered by attorney-client privilege or privileged work product, none were covered under attorney-client privilege, most also were not privileged work product, and one was ordered disclosed under the crime-fraud exception.

      As part of his analysis for the crime-fraud exception, Carter had to assess whether the probability was greater than 50% — more likely than not, a preponderance of evidence standard — that Trump violated that law, and Carter concluded “the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021″ (emphasis added). But saying (paraphrasing) “it’s more likely than not that Trump violated a criminal law” is not the same as concluding “Trump did violate a criminal law.”

      1. Anonymous: Thank you for your comment and I stand corrected. As Judge Carter pointed out in his decision (at p. 44) : “This is not a criminal prosecution; this not even a civil liability case. At most, this case is a warning about the danger of ‘legal theories’ gone wrong, the powerful abusing public platforms, and desperation to win at all costs. If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.” Carter’s words practically ask the DOJ to charge Trump/Eastman with obstruction and conspiracy to defraud–criminal violations. The big question is how is AG Garland going to respond? He is under a lot of pressure. If he doesn’t prosecute Trump/Eastman the former president will be emboldened to do the same thing again. Biden didn’t make the job easier for Garland by coming out in favor of prosecution. Biden should have stayed out of the case. I think Garland will wait for the House Committee’s full report to make a decision. But I think Judge Carter’s full decision will be incorporated in the Committee’s report. What is your take?

    1. I do, and I smile when I think of her getting bugged by devils nonstop. The traitor is where she belongs.

          1. You are trolling under my account. I have reported you to Professor Turley because trolls are gonna troll

          2. “I do not post under other names”

            You are a liar, and I will prove it by providing the address for other names you have posted under using the same icon you are presently using. You are not honorable or trustworthy. You are a liar, as is your twin Anonymous the Stupid.

            Here is Edison
            https://jonathanturley.org/2022/01/03/tick-tick-tick-the-supreme-court-readies-an-explosive-docket-for-2022/comment-page-1/#comment-2148119

            Here is Molly G.
            https://jonathanturley.org/2022/01/06/destroying-a-democracy-to-save-it-democrats-call-for-the-disqualification-of-dozens-of-republican-members/comment-page-1/#comment-2149066

            All have the same icon, yet you dare to say you don’t post under other names. BS. You are a liar. You have posted under a lot of different names.

            1. Those are the many names of gays who have blocked him on Grindr. He is venting his anger and trying to malign them. That or he wishes he were as butch as them

              😜

      1. Ashli Babbitt was an unarmed, 105 pound woman. A loving wife. A patriotic American and veteran who served our nation with distinction. Ashli did not deserve to die at the hands of the Capitol Police.

        Yet leftist Democrats- like Sammy above, who proudly takes pleasure in her suffering – cheer her death because she was a Trump supporter.

        Her death reminds all of us in the moral depravity of the progressive Democrat’s divisive ideology. More positively, Ashli’s memory is an inspiring symbol of the American peoples’ resilience and hopes for a stronger, unified nation.

        Remember Ashli Babbitt
        -January 6, 2021

        1. Babbitt participated in an attempted coup of the US government and was intent on killing members of congress. In crazyland is that “patriotic”? She got better then she deserved.

          1. Sammy You are a total sycophant and I scrape stuff like you off the soles of my shoes. Remember the 2000 election? Ai Gore and the Dems stopped the election process and demanded recounts. NY TIMES right there and all the press went to FLA for viewing. 1960 election, Richard Nixon had ample evidence enough to demand recounts, eg., Cook County Illinois, etc. Watch the Dems scream from the 2022 upcoming elections and you and the MSM will be right there demanding recounts.

            1. Asking for a recount using normal legal means and trying to murder members of congress in a coup attempt are very different. How down the Trump-Facist rabbit hole are you to not know the difference.

              1. Sammy-

                The depth of progressive Democrats’ open, unbridled hatred for their political opponents has become shockingly apparent to the American people. As are the lengths to which the Democrats will go to destroy those who threaten their agenda.

                Democrats are rightly terrified that they are losing their grip on political power. So desperate that they will do anything to cling to what remains of that power. Literally anything. Even celebrate the death of Ashli Babbitt. And, like you, take pleasure in her suffering.

                The answer to the progressive disease? Americans recognize the the way forward is to inspire and unite the American people – people of all races, nationalities and backgrounds – to work together toward a stronger America for all. Ashli’s memory is a catalyst toward that positive future. Her memory will endure.

              2. Sammy: JUst continue the parroting and embleshings sycophant. FBI already rendered a report that there was no organized activities that they ascertained. But come hell or high water y’all have your opinions, and only your opinions count or matter, right pseudo savant one? So you Dem Socialists can invsgigate and do a better job than the FBI right?

          2. The depth of progressive Democrats’ open, unbridled hatred for their political opponents has become shockingly apparent to the American people. As are the lengths to which the Democrats will go to destroy those who threaten their agenda.

            Democrats are rightly terrified that they are losing their grip on political power. So desperate that they will do anything to cling to what remains of that power. Literally anything. Even celebrate the death of Ashli Babbitt. And take pleasure in her suffering.

            The answer to the progressive disease? Americans recognize the the way forward is to inspire and unite the American people – people of all races, nationalities and backgrounds – to work together toward a stronger America for all. Ashli’s memory is a catalyst toward that positive future. Her memory will endure.

            1. Yes, of course I hate Republicans. Look at just how evil they are. They spent two years lying about covid, convincing people not to take the vaccine and fighting every and all prevention measure. They celebrate a violent attempted coup. They support an authoritative leader who is a pathological liar with not a shred of humanity. Republicans are dismantling the very fabric of the US democracy. Republicans are moving towards full fascism every day. And ya I am freaked out that at least 35% of the US population likes this. The US as a free county will fall within my lifetime, and the Republicans will cheer.

              1. “ Yes, of course I hate Republicans ”

                IOW, they wont thump you.

                🤣

              2. “Yes, of course I hate Republicans. Look at just how evil they are. They spent two years lying about covid, convincing people not to take the vaccine”

                You can’t get away from being stupid. Trump a Republican was responsible for the quick action in getting a vaccine.

                1. While attempting to suppress the true infection rates, demonizing his chief medical officers, and suggesting people inject bleach into their bodies. He was great!!

            2. EDKH, I’ve read your posts attempting to lionize Ashli Babbitt. I find your take absurd. Regardless of what you believe about her intentions or the sentiments she held, if you also believe in “the rule of law” which most modern Republicans claim as their touchstone, you have to conclude Babbitt acted foolishly and suffered the consequences for her own actions. Was she unlawfully inside the Capital? Was she attempting to gain access to a secure area within the Capital? Should she have known she could potentially meet with armed resistance from police within the Capital? The answer is obviously Yes to all these. Yet after being warned repeatedly not to do so by law enforcement, she attempted to climb through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby, hoisted by other reckless rioters. These are the facts.

              Ok take Babbitt out of the Capital and place her in your driveway with a group of her marauding friends. Smashing the windows of your house, forcing entry into your foyer, chanting to hang you or your wife. I believe you would act appropriately, defend yourself and your house, and respond to them as the home-invading gang that they are. No reasonable person would find fault with you in that instance. But because Babbitt espoused your political ideology, somehow all bets are off? That’s the lunacy of your side.

              Democrats didn’t destroy anyone “threaten[ing] their agenda”. A law enforcement officer did his job to protect federally elected officials from a rampaging mob. Many of whom were duped and inspired to risk their lives for a lie. They aren’t heroes, just sad pawns.

  6. Professor Turley Writes:

    “The court simply declares that Trump knew that the election was not stolen and thus “the illegality of the plan was obvious.” Putting aside the court’s assumption of what Trump secretly concluded on the election, a sizable number of Americans still do not view Biden as legitimately elected”.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Johnathan Turley, a law professor, would have us believe Donald Trump had legitimate reasons to believe the election was stolen. Yet Trump was told by Attorney General William Barr that the rigged election claims were “bullsh!t”. Below is an article from “The Hill” recounting Barr’s counsel:
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    The former attorney general had sat down with AP reporter Michael Balsamo, explaining that the Department of Justice had been probing Trump’s allegations of substantial voter fraud. He added that the DOJ had not found fraud on a scale that would change the outcome of the presidential election.

    When he was asked to meet with Trump later on, Barr recalled the then-president was visibly angry, and probed him on his interview with the AP.

    “You must hate Trump. You would only do this if you hate Trump,” Trump allegedly said, according to Barr.

    “Our mission is to investigate and prosecute actual fraud,” Barr responded. “The fact is, we have looked at the major claims your people are making, and they are bullsh!t.”

    “The reason you are in this position is that you wheeled out a clown show, and no quality lawyers who would otherwise be willing to help will get anywhere near it.”

    Trump became “very angry” in response to the conversation, according to Barr. Barr offered to resign, and Trump “slammed the table with his palm” and said ‘Accepted. Accepted.’ And then boom. He slapped it again. ‘Accepted. Go home. Don’t go back to your office. Go home. You’re done.’”

    Edited From:

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/596750-barr-says-he-told-trump-that-election-fraud-claims-were-bulls/
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Until this meeting, William Barr was considered one of Trump’s most trusted allies. Barr was also nearing the end of his ‘second’ stint as Attorney General. By the time this meeting took place, Trump’s election claims had already been dismissed from dozens of courts. So the question becomes: “Could a reasonable president still think he ‘won’ at this point?”

    1. The above is not accurate. Barr was talking about investigations that had already proven things. However, the time span provided was too short to detail all the fraud occurring. Barr concentrated on the known and failed to recognize that more was unknown than known.

      We now know that the investigations were in their infancy at the time. Today things are much clearer with some people being charged and some convicted. Many election irregularities have been found that could invalidate those votes cast. The number of irregularities continues to rise and surpass what Barr was looking at at the time.

      The article states, “DOJ had not found fraud on a scale that would change the outcome of the presidential election.” That means they weren’t looking hard enough or didn’t have enough time because Barr made his comments almost 1.5 years ago. Since then, the number of questionable votes has risen tremendously, and the investigators have been able to focus on specific areas of corruption. Such corruption has been located in those areas before.

      The article is a hit piece that regurgitates information almost 1.5 years old when the data has significantly changed. The author did not add any new data. That is the type of material the “Edited From” is providing. He has run away from his previous name and many others because it was apparent that nothing he posted added anything to the discussion or was worthwhile to read. Hit pieces only convince those with little knowledge of the subject, like the poster.

  7. THE REASONING BEHIND JUDGE CARTER’S RULING

    The more challenging aspect of each allegation lies in the intent. Did Trump try to obstruct the electoral-vote count corruptly; that is, knowing that it was dishonest to do so? Did the conspiracy to obstruct the function of government occur thanks to “deceitful or dishonest means” — or did Trump perhaps sincerely believe that the election had been stolen?

    That’s why Judge Carter’s isolation of Trump’s comments in his phone call with Georgia’s secretary of state on Jan. 2, 2021, is so important.

    You probably remember that call. Trump phoned the man in charge of Georgia’s elections, Brad Raffensperger, and repeatedly tried to cajole him into identifying enough “fraudulent” votes that Trump could win the state.

    During the conversation, Trump repeatedly tried to claim that various buckets of votes were questionable and Raffensperger repeatedly indicated that the claims were unfounded or unproven. Then Trump, who lost the state by fewer than 12,000 votes, laid his cards on the table, telling Raffensperger, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”

    “President Trump’s repeated pleas for Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger clearly demonstrate that his justification was not to investigate fraud, but to win the election,” Carter wrote in his opinion. He quoted Trump: “So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.”

    “Taken together, this evidence demonstrates that President Trump likely knew the electoral count plan had no factual justification,” Carter continued.

    Edited From:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/03/28/heres-how-federal-judge-believes-trump-likely-broke-law/

    1. If the MAGAs want to use “Trump really believed it” as their defense, then they must admit that their president was so out of his mind that he could not even think rationally. And they still support the guy who lead an attempted coup based on his own delusions.

    2. “. Did Trump try to obstruct the electoral-vote count corruptly; that is, knowing that it was dishonest to do so?”

      This isn’t even something that should be under discussion. Trump did not illegally obstruct the electoral-vote count. He asked people to walk peacefully. You are trying to read his mind and then become judge and juror on what was on his mind. There is no evidence of a crime, so most of the Jan 6 witch-hunt is nothing more than a witch-hunt to create political material for use in the next election. That is what fascists do. That is what Stalin did. That is what Beria did, “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.”

      This attitude mimics Stalin and Beria with a little Mao on top. Like Stalin, he and his motives are not to be trusted. In the end, if his teachers get their way, everyone else loses their rights.

  8. rdee11210 claims:

    “We, who have done the research on the details of electronic voting on 11/3/20, on the details of 12 million unregistered votes for Biden, and the execution of the color revolution in DC on 1/6/21, understand the nature and intent of the current coup which has controlled the Federal Government since 1/20/21”

    Well, you have certainly come to the right place, rdee. I dare say that most Trumpists and Q-Anon followers here agree with your astounding beliefs. You should fit right in as a member of Turley’s “blog family!” Welcome!

  9. We, who have done the research on the details of electronic voting on 11/3/20, on the details of 12 million unregistered votes for Biden, and the execution of the color revolution in DC on 1/6/21, understand the nature and intent of the current coup which has controlled the Federal Government .since 1/20/21

    Heavy handed fascism has been reported in hundreds of sworn affidavits concerning illegal and irregular election poll activities on 1/4/20. You have seen these affidavits or have ignored them. This fascism was expected to continue if the coup had been successful. Indeed we have seen the occupied Federal Government control private industry, media, and social media, to eliminate speech by those who want to discuss differences of fact and opinion as compared to the current federal regime.

    Also, the Second Amendment has not been repealed, but the rights of the use of that Amendment have been legally penalized by the justice system and the blessings of the coup DOJ.

    That same constitutionally-rogue DOJ has used the FBI to arrest local parents who do not agree with school boards across the Country. Their FBI thugs have also arrested silent participants who merely attended these meetings. You have seen the videos, or have ignored them.

    The DHS of the coup has put out a nationwide memo concerning those who disagree with ANY level of government, about ANY matter, Those citizens, who differ in opinion are defined as “terrortists” in that memo. You have read that memo or ignored it.

    This leads to my answer concerning the arrest and jailing of political opposition by the coup. They have already treated January 6 protesters inhumanely to such a degree that at least one has chosen suicide rather than continued torture by the DC and DOJ “justice” system.

    Of course, any capable fascist coup will try to make criminals out of its political opponents such as the ousted President, and those in Congress who choose freedom over fascism.

  10. Professor ………What was wrong with President Trump’s Jan. 6 speech?
    Also, why do you consider the Capitol “riot” to be one of the most disgraceful events in our nation’s history?
    Really? Was the Boston Tea Party disgraceful?
    I really don’t understand the gravity and disgust that you and others have assigned to Jan 6..

    1. Cindy Bragg asks:

      “What was wrong with President Trump’s Jan. 6 speech?”

      Good question. Turley did not elaborate why he called it “reckless.”

      You ask:

      “Also, why do you consider the Capitol “riot” to be one of the most disgraceful events in our nation’s history?”

      Another good question. Turley said this on the 1 year anniversary:

      “This is the one year anniversary of the disgraceful rioting in the Capitol building. The scenes of that day are seared in the memory of many of us. I publicly condemned Trump’s speech while it was being given and I called for a bipartisan vote of censure over his responsibility in the riots.”

      https://jonathanturley.org/2022/01/06/what-ever-happened-to-the-prosecution-of-donald-trump-for-incitement/

      My guess is that he believes that most real Americans don’t need an explanation, and if the gravity of that day escapes you and you don’t share his disgust, you are either a Trumpist or a Q-Anon follower.

      You do know that Turley is a NeverTrumper. He self-identified as such many years ago when he disparaged Trump as a “carnival snake charmer,” in other words, a conman. No doubt, you will reflexively accuse Turley of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” as Trumpists are wont to do.

      1. “You do know that Turley is a NeverTrumper.”

        Since Truly doesn’t meet the definition of a Never Trumper, the rest of what you say is probably wrong.

      2. A far worse ailment is Sycophantic Trump Disorder (STD)., which I suspect Cindy Bragg and many others here are afflicted with.

    2. Jan 6 was the first attempted coup in US history. So ya, it ranks pretty high on the bad day list.

      1. You and your alter ego are about as dumb as the come. No guns were brought into the Capitol and sane people know Jan 6 wasn’t an attempted coup.

        Your knowledge is very lacking in all spheres.

        Did you forget Shays’ Rebellion?

    1. Again: the memo that was subject to the crime-fraud exception wasn’t written by any of Trump’s lawyers.

      As for Eastman, he didn’t just offer a legal opinion to Trump and Pence, he actively tried to convince Pence to act. Even in the midst of the Jan. 6 violence, he was still urging Pence’s lawyer to get Pence to take an action that Eastman admitted was a “violation” of the law.

      1. “Eastman, he didn’t just offer a legal opinion to Trump and Pence, he actively tried to convince Pence to act. Even in the midst of the Jan. 6 violence, he was still urging Pence’s lawyer to get Pence to take an action that Eastman admitted was a “violation” of the law.”

        You are mostly speculating and being deceitful again, adding words that are not true to create a story that doesn’t exist.

        Tell us in what form Eastman was urging Pence’s lawyer, NOT EVEN PENCE. If verbal, provide the transcript. If written, provide the written material.

        “to take an action that Eastman admitted was a “violation” of the law.”

        How do you know what the action was or said?

        You can’t respond to these logical questions. All you can do is reproduce the documents we have already seen and then create your storyline in your typical deceitful manner.

        You don’t have the slightest idea of what you are talking about.

        1. You are the one and only Anonymous the Stupid, also known as Meyer the Troll Liar.

          “How do you know what the action was or said?”

          I know what was said because I read the emails, which were widely reported a month ago after they were attached as an exhibit in the Eastman v Thompson legal documents. You are apparently too inattentive and/or too lazy to have read them.

          https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/62613089/160/14/john-c-eastman-v-bennie-g-thompson/

          “You can’t respond to these logical questions.”

          I just did respond to your single question. You lie that I cannot. You lie a lot. You are Meyer the Liar.

          “All you can do is reproduce the documents we have already seen”

          If you’d already seen it, Meyer the Liar, you wouldn’t be asking me to produce it.

          “deceitful … deceitful … You don’t have the slightest idea of what you are talking about.”

          As always, Meyer the Troll Liar, your insults only ever describe you. You project your personal faults onto others every day.

          1. No, Anonymous the Stupid. We all know about those emails. They are not in question. What is in question is your deceitful data. You can say you read whatever you wish, but that doesn’t prove your case.

            You try to prove your case by inappropriately linking things together. That is not ‘proving.’ That is lying. Tell us each item to prove what you are saying but make sure that the items are described and accurately linked. You are seldom able to do that.

            Your statements like “he actively tried to convince Pence to act” are meaningless because nothing is illegal in telling people to do something. You are playing word games and lying. Maybe you don’t understand how one links a good argument together. Perhaps that is why you are known as Anonymous the Stupid.

            1. You are the one and only Anonymous the Stupid, also known as Meyer the Troll Liar.

              “Tell us …”

              I don’t take orders from you.

              “nothing is illegal in telling people to do something.”

              You keep digging your hole of stupidity ever deeper. If you wanted to start learning about the situations in which it is indeed illegal to tell someone to do something, you could read Judge Carter’s ruling and then read the laws he cites. But you do not want to learn. You’d rather wallow in the false claims you cling to.

    2. Of course it can. If the “legal opinoon” discusses committing or attempting to commit a future crime. Calling something a “legal opinoon” does not magically make it immune from conspiracy or other laws.

  11. Jennifer Rubin is a sick puppy. It’s astounding that she actually has an audience or a platform to spew her garbage.

    1. Exactly. Sick puppies ought to be deprived of public platforms to spew garbage. They should be forced to look elsewhere to find an audience willing to listen to their crap.

      1. The funny thing is that JT’s feuds with columnists and Professors such as Rubin, Tribe, Feldman, Mystal, and Glaude give them a new platform — often times I am not aware of their latest thoughts until JT brings them up and provides a link.

        1. It’s ironic that Turley criticizes these individuals likely unbeknownst to them just as I criticize Turley though I am likely unbeknownst to him.

          It does strike me that Turley goes out of his way to lash out at certain liberal pundits while begrudgingly criticizing conservatives unless it would be indefensible not to do so, e.g., Marjorie Taylor Greene, etc.

          1. Turley lashes out at the worst hypocrisy and those trying to suppress freedom of speech. The worst are Democrats, while the only ones trying to protect freedom of speech are non-Democrats. That is your answer.

            He would look at you and laugh, wondering how you ever obtained a law degree. Then he would think of Avenatti and realize obtaining a law degree doesn’t instantaneously make you knowledgeable of the law or honest.

              1. This is one of the best things about you Anonymous the Stupid, you will reach out to those whose intellectual abilities are similar to yours, NONEXISTENT.

                In this case it is Balless Jeff who Turley would look at and laugh wondering how he ever obtained a law degree. Then he would think of Avenatti and realize obtaining a law degree doesn’t instantaneously make you knowledgeable of the law or honest.

  12. ‘As some polls start showing Trump would beat Biden in 2024, Biden starts pressing the DOJ to indict Trump. Who’s the authoritarian again?’

    1. Biden hasn’t been pressing the DOJ to indict Trump. Whoever you’re quoting is wrong.

      1. ANON – EGRESS FROM UNDER NEATH THE ROCK AND LOOK AROUND AND ASCERTAIN. Although, Biden is now with his dementia (and Willis Aphasis) is now puppetiered by the puppet handlers.

      2. “A new report claims President Joe Biden has told people he wants former President Donald Trump to be prosecuted.

        The leak was published in the New York Times on Saturday as Democrats mount increasing pressure on the Justice Department to take action against Trump and people within his orbit in relation to the Capitol riot. At focus are Attorney General Merrick Garland and his “deliberative approach,” as the report put it, which is causing frustration.

        “As recently as late last year, Mr. Biden confided to his inner circle that he believed former President Donald J. Trump was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted, according to two people familiar with his comments,” the report read. “And while the president has never communicated his frustrations directly to Mr. Garland, he has said privately that he wanted Mr. Garland to act less like a ponderous judge and more like a prosecutor who is willing to take decisive action over the events of Jan. 6.”

        https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/justice/biden-wish-for-trump-prosecution-leaked-as-democrats-mount-pressure-campaign-on-doj

          1. Mary Smith warns:

            “Patriots are locked and loaded, and itching to pull our triggers.”

            Let’s see if Darren deems this threat of violence a violation of the civility code.

            Like I say, Turley would be aghast if he read the majority of hateful comments on his blog. Mary Smith and her ilk are to be shamed and her numbers on this blog not boasted of.

          2. You’re planning on killing someone if Trump is indicted?

            Trump is not “the real President of the USA.” Trump is the former President. He lost the election, no matter how many times he repeats his Big Lie.

        1. Your own source says “the president has never communicated his frustrations directly to Mr. Garland,” ergo the claim “Biden starts pressing the DOJ to indict Trump” is false to date.

          1. the president has never communicated his frustrations directly to Mr. Garland,”

            Biden in the quintessential, DC swamp dweller. Having spent 8 years as Vice President, and now sitting in the oval office. All he would need to do is mumble his concern about Garland, aloud in the Oval Office dinning room while eating breakfast alone, and the message would be in Garlands ear within an hour. The very fiber of DC runs on back channels. Those of some power, merely communicate through aides. The President uses the most loyal of tight connected persons, that would end up dead if they were a source for any media source.
            The common problem besetting President Trump, is his doing his own wet work. Not being a DC swamp rat, he did not have an already established network of back channels. Besides the fact, he was a man that did important business face to face, and his word was his honor.

            1. “his word was his honor.”

              That made me laugh. Anyone who believe that is deluding themselves.

              1. Donald Trump’s word was and is his honor If that makes you laugh, then you’ve probably
                never known honor.

              2. You have NEVER, dealt with a person of power. Highly connected.

                People like that, trade on information. Money is just a trapping of power. Power traffics in information. Giving and transmitting information that is impeccably sourced, precise, unambiguous.

                The media only survives by lying to people like you that have no clue about how the world works.

                Like the latest 7+hour phone log gap. “scandal” that wasn’t.
                Like the non event of publishing open source photographs.

                It wasn’t for the .1% of the people that dug deeper, It was for the 99.9 % of the people that only read the headline, and first paragraph

                But you take the bait…..because it validates your prejudice.

                1. Still can’t get over your wild belief that “his word was his honor.” The man tells more falsehoods than anyone I’ve ever encountered, many of them motivated by his malignant narcissism.

              3. Compare the campaign pledges of Trump and Biden. Trump fulfilled or tried to fulfill almost all of his campaign pledges. Biden lied and continues to lie as he destroys the economy, involves us in foreign wars and leaves the southern border open.

                Any time you wish to compare the policy of both Presidents, we can do so without rancor or insult, but that is something you have refused to do from the beginning.

      3. So the New York Times is lying???
        “The attorney general’s deliberative approach has come to frustrate Democratic allies of the White House and, at times, President Biden himself. As recently as late last year, Mr. Biden confided to his inner circle that he believed former President Donald J. Trump was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted, according to two people familiar with his comments. And while the president has never communicated his frustrations directly to Mr. Garland, he has said privately that he wanted Mr. Garland to act less like a ponderous judge and more like a prosecutor who is willing to take decisive action over the events of Jan. 6. – “https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/02/us/politics/merrick-garland-biden-trump.html

        1. After their coverage of “Russian Collusion” and non-coverage of the Hunter Biden laptop, why would anyone believe the NY Times?

      4. To the Anonymous who posted Biden hasn’t been pressing the DOJ to indict Trump. Whoever you’re quoting is wrong. Are you saying that you are in fact Joe Biden or just another fool

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