The “Why Not” Culture: Why the Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All

(MSNBC/Screengrab via YouTube)

Below is my column in the Hill on release of the final report of the Special Purpose Grand Jury in Georgia. The recommendation for sweeping indictments involving 39 people, including current and former senators, only magnifies fears over political prosecutions. For many of us, the inclusion of figures like the senators reflects a rogue grand jury. However, Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Cal.) insisted that Sen. Lindsey Graham was “lucky” not to be indicted. According to Schiff, Graham calling Georgia officials about the counting or discarding of votes was enough to justify a criminal charge. Presumably, since Graham could be indicted with Trump, Schiff would also consider him eligible to be barred from ever running again for office under the 14th Amendment, as discussed below. It is the “why not” approach to criminal and constitutional law.

Here is my column:

With the release of the special grand jury final report in Georgia, the nation finally was able to see what foreperson Emily Kohrs last February was giggling about in interviews.

Call it the “Why not?” report.

Back then, when Kohrs was asked if there were recommended charges, she chuckled and said, “Can you imagine doing this for eight months and not coming out with a whole list of recommended indictments? It’s not a short list. It’s not.’”

In addition to nodding at an expected Trump indictment, she added, “There may be some names on that list that you wouldn’t expect.” After all, why not?

The final product did not disappoint. The members recommended 39 people for prosecution, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and former Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.). They also included lawyers who argued for recounts or investigations into alleged election fraud.

While the report expressly claims that the Fulton County District Attorney’s office did not create the list, it was the office of Fani Willis that presented the law, the evidence and potential targets to the special grand jury. During that process, these members concluded that politicians voicing support for the former president and his allegations could be criminally charged for doing so.

The news that Willis did not indict Graham and others infuriated many on the left. Liberal websites were inundated with comments like “I want all the enablers charged, tried, and given long sentences as traitors to our country” and asking why the list did not include Senators Grassley, Cruz, Lee and “147 current and former members of the House, just to name a few.”

The disappointment of the special grand jury members and commentators is understandable. When one reads the indictment of the 19 defendants, it is surprising that all of the other 20 were dropped. While the indictment does contain serious charges against some individuals, Willis used a sweeping racketeering theory to indict in gross.

One possible reason Willis dropped some of these targets is that she knew the indictment of these senators would have been quickly and firmly rejected by the courts as the criminalization of political speech.

However, the 160 individual acts detailed in Willis’s report include speeches and social media postings by Trump and others claiming evidence of widespread voting fraud.

I disagree with those claims, but many citizens held the same suspicions of the election. Many still do.

It is understandable why the grand jurors thought that anyone pushing these claims was committing a crime, given the 160 acts cited by Willis. Graham, for example, called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after the November 2020 election to ask about absentee ballots and whether groups of ballots could be rejected.

That call was not ultimately deemed worthy of an indictment. However, Willis launched her investigation based on Trump’s continued demands that Raffensperger investigate the vote tally in two other calls. Once again, I agreed then and now with Raffensperger in his refusal. But the question is whether such requests are evidence of a crime.

I have long criticized the misrepresentation of the two Georgia calls by the Washington Post, which later issued a correction in its reporting. Although it recently made a startling contradictory statement on the truth of its original claims, the transcript of the calls shows that Trump did not tell officials to simply add more than 11,000 votes.

I still disagree with his claims, but I have maintained that Trump was making a predictable argument in a settlement negotiation that he only needed that number of votes and that a new recount or continued investigation would find them.

My questioning of the use of the calls as evidence of a crime has given many people the vapors. They insist that it was preposterous to think that Trump was actually asking for continued recounts or investigations instead of demanding that Raffensperger commit fraud. Yet Raffensperger himself recently took the stand and confirmed that the call was a “settlement negotiation” over whether to conduct further recounts or investigations.

The question is when advocacy or inquiries or negotiations become criminal acts. Willis’s first grand jury clearly believed that senators who called for recounts or Raffensperger’s resignation should go to prison. The comparison between their recommendations and the eventual indictment does not clearly answer how such acts are distinguishable as crimes.

The same lack of limiting principle is evident in the new theory being pushed by various experts under the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from ballots on the grounds that he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Beyond the tendentious claim that the Jan. 6 riot was an actual insurrection, they also maintain that the provision is self-executing, requiring no vote of Congress for secretaries of state to bar Trump from next year’s ballots.

Even though Trump has not been charged, let alone convicted, of insurrection (or even incitement), these advocates believe that he can be removed from the ballot because of his election claims, his inflammatory rhetoric and his delay in calling for supporters to leave the Capitol. This is one of the most dangerous legal theories to arise in decades.

This week, Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes aptly described the claimed right to disqualify as a “radical” measure that would “encompass every elected office in our government — state, local, federal, and so forth.” Indeed, Democrats have called for barring not just Trump but 120 Republicans in Congress from running for office.

As with the Georgia special grand jury, the question is “Why not?” If the standard is “giving aid or comfort” to insurrectionists, then why not throw hundreds of other Republicans who supported the challenge to certification on Jan. 6 off the ballot? And while we’re at it, why not bar every lawyer who helped file claims of voting fraud from ever running for office? They all gave aid or comfort with their actions.

By this reasoning, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and other Democrats could have been barred from ballots for opposing Trump’s certification in 2016 without any basis, along with leaders such as Hillary Clinton, who continued to call the election “stolen” for years. In 2016, there were also violent riots in Washington opposing Trump’s inauguration, thanks in no small part to such rhetoric. We can then have different candidates of both parties removed from ballots in every state.

This “Why not?” philosophy is all part of our impulse-buy politics, where there is little thought to the implications of actions beyond immediate vengeance and satisfaction. It is a criminal and political system based on the giddy philosophy of Emily Kohrs.

Jonathan Turley is the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at the George Washington University Law School.

358 thoughts on “The “Why Not” Culture: Why the Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All”

  1. I have heard that Fani committed worse election misconduct in the past. Perhaps the grand jury might reopen and include her actions as part of their inquiry, but I suppose bias may interfere with their judgement.

  2. How can anyone who posts on this blog site believe that this country is not on some kind of automatic pilot. From the White House to capital hill we have elected officials who cognitively don’t know what’s going on. Our country must be run by bureaus and bureaucrats. Is our federal government that big that it just goes on and on with no legislative leadership?

  3. As Scott Adams correctly noted, weaponization of the 14th amendment introduces the Iranian system of vetted candidates in the US.

    1. Agreed. Her conduct is the definition of a “bimbo eruption” – a term used by the 1992 Bill Clinton campaign to deal with all the women coming forward to tell how then-Governor Clinton had abused them.

  4. Dennis:

    Looks like your boy is at it again…now Pedo Joe claims he was at ground zero the day after 9/11. He, of course, was not.

    Another blatant lie, or another sign of senility???

    1. Of course, its not much worse than him whipping out his “lying dog faced pony soldier” line again, in his 3 minute, cringeworthy, brain dead walk on golden pond. He didnt get any part of it correct, and his attempts to tell it without saying something racially insensitive is no longer funny. Its embarrassing. You have to know that people around the world ask themselves, is this the best they’ve got over there??? This was their answer to Trump???

      1. Thankfully, KJP cued the music, cut him off mid sentence, and put an end to him embarrassing our country further. I hope she got him his warm milk and tucked in before he collapsed.

      2. But, at least they have figured out how to get him to walk off the stage without getting lost. They taught him to just follow the music.

    2. And if you listen to the cackling candles speech after 9/11….sniffy lifted he speech because it’s eerily similar

  5. The rabid seething haters of left have a fever and the only cure is more indictments.
    Yes please.
    I dare you to indict more republican office holders.

  6. Is the requirement to be 35 years of age self-executing?

    Or, would a 34 year old be able to be elected unless a court determines he/she is ineligible?

    Why is a self-executing provision dangerous?

    It is much more dangerous to read into the Constitution words which were intentionally left out. The drafters of the 14th Amendment could have included language like the Treason clause and the impeachment clause, which clearly lay out additional procedures, but they did not here, just as additional procedures for determining one’s age were not included in the Constitution.

    (And before anyone thinks age is “obvious”, please read how age is counted in many Asian cultures. It is not always determined the same way…)

          1. The Senate was not required to defer to the states when judging the qualifications of their own members.

    1. It’s an interesting question. But I think it depends on who has the initial burden of proof. If someone wants to run for president, they have to submit paperwork showing their eligibility in all respects. They have that initial burden. OTOH, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The government has the initial burden to overcome the presumption of innocence.

      1. But, according to an originalist like Scalia, “guilt” is irrelevant here. Nowhere in the 14th Amendment is guilt of a crime required for determining whether a candidate is disqualified by virtue of having given aid and comfort to an insurrection. If guilt was required, the drafters would have included this requirement. They did not.

        An originalist does not care about practical considerations, such as — “well if guilt is not required, then how must one determine whether one’s actions invalidate their candidacy?” Such reasonable, pragmatic questions are the realm of functionalists and progressives.

        A hard-core originalist would argue that the language should be amended if it his hard to follow.

        1. If guilt of a crime wasnt the standard, then naming two CRIMES was pretty dumb. They should have just said “if the poopy head does something a SoS doesnt like”….

        2. I believe you’re not being precise in your language. Of course “guilt” is required; without it, the person in question has not engaged in a rebellion or insurrection. So I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Are you saying a verdict of guilt is not required by the constitutional text? Without a trial and verdict, how is the factual question of whether the person is guilty or not supposed to be resolved – by what procedure, and by what standard? The candidate says he’s not guilty, some commentators and/or his opponent say he is, so how is that disagreement to be resolved? A provision of the Constitution literally cannot be self-executing if there is no procedure or standard by which to determine whether it applies in a given case.

          If you do want to answer me in this, I really don’t care what you think Scalia would have said or what a “hard-core originalist” would say. Scalia was one person and in any event he did not consider himself an originalist by a textualist. Ultimately, the question is what would the Supreme Court say, speaking as a Court, not what would a single judge on that court say.

          1. Oldman,

            Section 3 is self-executing in the way that other self-executing provisions of law are, not in the way that laws of nature are. To say that Section 3 is self-executing is to say only that government officials can and indeed must give it effect even absent implementing legislation. Section 3 is self-executing in the exact same way that a self-executing treaty is.

            More strikingly, Section 3 is self-executing in the same way that other qualifications for the Presidency are. If a 33-year-old sought to be listed as a candidate for the Presidency, state or local election officials would properly deny her a place on the ballot. If she then wished to contest the denial–perhaps on the ground that she was actually 35 and can prove it–she would be entitled to do so.

            Or suppose that someone had sued to block Senator John McCain’s place on the 2008 Presidential ballot on the supposed ground that he was not a natural born citizen. McCain and his campaign could have defended on the ground that although McCain was born in Panama, he was a citizen at birth (in virtue of the fact that both of his parents were citizens) and that, as a legal matter, that suffices to make him a natural born citizen. One way or another, contests over the law and facts regarding eligibility for office end up in court.

            With respect to Section 3, a Secretary of State or other state official can therefore disqualify Trump or declare him eligible, which determination would be challenged the same way as the above examples.

            For everyone claiming that a Secretary of State can disqualify Biden for [insert inane reason], YES, they can! They will just need to prove it in court.

            There is no requirement that a court must hold that conviction is required to disqualify the candidate, however.

            If you think this is a terrible procedure and highly impractical, I would agree. But an originalist and textualist would say that the solution to these problems is to change the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, then, to clarify what the procedure should be (i.e., a requirement of conviction, for example).

            1. Anon – now you’re speaking more precisely. I would guess you’re a different anonymous commenter than the prior one.

              It helps to define terms. By self-executing, no legislation from Congress is needed, right? In that broad sense, you may be right, I’m not sure, and I would be very interested in whether any court has interpreted the text in that manner – do you happen to know? (In a search of a legal database I have not found any such court decisions.)

              But it helps to identify nuances. There can be a self-executing provision that says: “municipalities may by majority vote of the governing body issue revenue bonds to pay for the cost of a municipally owned public utility” ( Municipalities can just do it, they don’t need anything else.

              But in this case, let me see if I understand you. You agree that a secretary of state has to make a ruling of some sort, an administrative adjudication if you will, that Mr. Smith is ineligible due to previous engagement in a rebellion or insurrection. Without that, Mr. Smith, upon filing the appropriate paperwork, must be placed on the ballot. But now let’s assume the SoS has flat-out refused to place Mr. Smith on the ballot due to the SoS’s subjective belief that Mr. Smith is guilty under Amendment XIV, §3. Then Mr. Smith can challenge it – perhaps through an action seeking mandamus relief – and the court has to render some verdict on the question, even if it uses the civil standard of preponderance rather than beyond a reasonable doubt. So is that what you’re saying? IOW, the court cannot just grant the mandamus relief, it has to hold an evidentiary hearing and if the SoS can prove it, then relief would be denied, right?

              1. Oldman

                Good questions, but that doesnt sound very “self executing” to me.
                And at the end, there is no defined standard, which is exactly how the deranged people calling for this remedy, want it.

                1. Tom – yeah it would help if people would define terms, otherwise we are talking past each other, or, we are quibbling about the meaning of words rather than the substance of how the constitutional provision operates in the real world.

                  According to the Legal Information Institute, self-executing “broadly refers to something that goes into effect or can be enforced after being created without anything else required.” It’s the “anything else” part that may be the sticking point here. Does “anything else” exclusively mean an act of Congress? That seems to be how Anon is using it.

                  But in the end it doesn’t really matter how people are using these terms, because quibbling about terms is of limited relevance. It seems to me that what really matters is: does Amendment XIV, Section 3 really mean a candidate can be kept off a ballot rather than being kept from office? And if so, what are the preconditions to keeping that candidate off the ballot? And will those preconditions have been satisfied by any SoS who actually makes a decision to bar him from their state’s ballot?

                  1. I haven’t been closely following this discussion because some are twisting the Constitution solely for preposterous political reasons. This section of the Amendment has to do with the Reconstruction era, brought out of mothballs for, I think, a second time where the first use never ended with a decision based on the merits.

                    We had a Civil War with almost a million dead. It lasted for years and involved tremendous numbers of military troops. That differs from Jan 6, so the law is not specific enough to be considered. In part, the interpretation depends on the mindset of those who voted for it, and I do not believe they intended the protest to be considered insurrection.

                    I wish someone could explain to me why one would consider using this Amendment for anything but political reasons.

                    1. S. Meyer: I’ll take the challenge. Almost all applications of portions of the Constitution have “political” consequences. The fights today over the meaning of the 1st Amendment are “political” in nature. When Scalia wrote the decision in Heller protecting the individual right to possess a firearm it was based in politics. For years the NRA, firearms manufacturers and other gun rights groups had conducted a political campaign to loosen firearm restrictions. Scalia took the 2nd Amendment (passed in 1791) “out of the mothballs” and reinterpreted to apply to the individual right to posses a firearm. That was all “politics” because the Founders meant the 2nd Amendment to apply only to “well regulated militias” not to the right of ordinary citizens to posses firearms.

                      The Q is whether Section 3 should be applied DJT to keep him off the ballot next year. Very conservatives like Michael Luttig and 2 Federalist legal scholars think so. They have looked at the plain language “insurrection or rebellion” and concluded it applies to what happened on Jan. 6. I suggest you read the Pennsylvania law review article by William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, two conservative Federalist Society members, who argue DJT is prevented from being on the ballot under Section 3.

                      Over 600,00 died in the Civil War that lasted 4 years. That differs from Jan. 6 that lasted just one day. But the difference is only a matter of degree. The aforementioned scholars didn’t take Section 3 “out of the mothballs”. It has always been part of the Constitution.

                      We can’t disregard any part of the Constitution–including all the Amendments– just because we don’t like how they may be applied. Nothing in the Constitution is in the “mothballs” because it is a living document that is always reinterpreted to address the issues of today. The only Q should be whether DJT engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” on Jan. 6. We’ll save that argument for another day.

                    2. We need to kick Brandon off the ballot because he aided and comforted the Taliban in 2021!

                    3. Yes, the Bill of Civil Rioghts was only meant to control how the government disciplines the militia.

                      The 4th Amendment was only to make sure the gunny had a good reason before being allowed to search a recruit’s foot locker. It wasn’t mean to allow the crook and the mugger and the carjacker and the gang member to conceal evidence of their crimes!

                    4. Dennis, I appreciate your response and desire for discussion, but we must deal with the present situation before changing the subject to guns and Scalia. We can do that later.

                      You provide the names of people who argue “insurrection or rebellion.” We need to unpeel the onion slowly. I don’t generally steal from another, but this time, I will steal from Tom, and you can review his postings on the subject.

                      Tom Writes: “Since NO ONE has even been charged with those crimes, “they” have no basis to conclude that is what occurred on Jan 6. ”

                      In other words, Tom’s response is the issue at its core, and he expands on it.

                      Good job, Tom.

                    5. Since for some reason, Dennis’ retarded comments dont have a reply box, i will reply to them here.

                      “They have looked at the plain language “insurrection or rebellion” and concluded it applies to what happened on Jan. 6.”

                      Oh “they” have concluded that. Well, debate over….NOT

                      Those plain terms are defined in 18 USC 2383, like it or not. And cross referenced to 14A. They are crimes.

                      To have committed those crimes
                      a) an insurrection or rebellion must have occurred. Since NO ONE has even been charged with those crimes, “they” have no basis to conclude that is what occurred on Jan 6. Quite the contrary.
                      b) the person in question must have been found to have committed those crimes by A JURY OF THEIR PEERS, not by the dunderheads you reference.

                    6. “The only Q should be whether DJT engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” on Jan. 6. We’ll save that argument for another day.”

                      It’s not a question. Those are crimes, defined in 18 USC 2383 and cross referenced therein to the 14th Amendment. He will have committed those crimes when he is found to have committed those crimes by a JURY OF HIS PEERS.

                      Its not up to you, me, those idiots you quoted, any SoS, any judge up to and including the SCOTUS.

                      Repeating a lie doesnt make it true, Denny. Just makes you a LIAR

                    7. “because the Founders meant the 2nd Amendment to apply only to “well regulated militias” not to the right of ordinary citizens to posses firearms.”

                      Once again, Dennis claims to have more knowledge of the Founders intent than the SCOTUS.

                      Its simple, if SCOTUS agrees with Dennis, they are right. If they don’t they are wrong and their ruling is null and void.

                      Never stopping to ask why the government needed to give the government the right to keep and bear arms. The Bill of Rights are rights of the people, not the government. Its so ridiculous, its hardly worth discussing.

                    8. Again, its easy to see why Dennis doesnt show up in discussions much…because he sux at it. This time he thought he’d be safe by regurgitating his nonsensical posting from yesterday, here. When he goes off script, he is as lost as his mentor, Pedo Joe.

                      Hey dennis, are “insurrection and rebellion” defined in US Code? Are they crimes? Are these crimes cross referenced to the 14th Amendment?

                      Did the Constitution create and regulate “militias”?

                      Is the Bill of Rights the rights of the people or of the government?

                    9. “S. Meyer: I’ll take the challenge. “

                      Dennis did the challenge end because the question to you was hard? I am waiting for you reply.

              2. Personally I don’t think any procedure is specified in the Amendment.

                The originalist authors do believe a hearing is needed, however they don’t adequately explain how they arrive at that conclusion.

                An extreme textualist would say that is wrong because it adding procedural language that is not in the text.

                1. “Personally I don’t think any procedure is specified in the Amendment.”

                  Nope, but it is in 18 USC 2383.

                  They are crimes. The only way one can be found to have committed a crime is to be tried by a JURY IF THEIR PEERS. A SoS cannot make that determination.

                  Its cross referenced to the 14th Amendment, like it or not.

          2. And are the terms insurrection, rebellion, aid and comfort defined? SoS’s could also say Biden aided our enemies with his actions. Then he too could be disqualified.

          3. The only non-Confederate Section 3 case against a federal official was that of Victor Berger. The House exercised its pre-existing constitutional authority to disqualify him from office. Later, they judged that Berger became qualified, and they seated him.

            Another commenter has argued that FJB is disqualified due to aiding and comforting the Taliban during the Afghanistan withdrawal. The Constitution already prescribes a method by which FJB could be removed on the basis of being disqualified.

            Perhaps an argument could be made that Congress could enact legislation opening additional venues of removing disqualified officials; it has not done so.

        3. What is going to stop The SoS of Florida and Texas from removing Biden from the ballot using the 14th amendment?

          1. Read above. According to an originalist, NOTHING. They can (and probably will in retaliation).

            This is precisely why unbridled originalism and textualism is pretty dumb. But, I bring this up on this site because conservatives conveniently tout originalism and textualism whenever it suits the desired outcome.

            1. No, u say that originalism requires that result. And i say it doesnt. Originally, this article was designed to preclude confederates from sitting at the table again. Period.

              The original words are insurrection or rebellion. There is nothing in the original text to indicate that a person must prove they have never been in an insurrection or rebellion.

              Your argument is so spurious its almost not worth debating.

                1. So, by your ridiculous argument, we dont even need a supreme court. All we need is websters lol.

                  To answer your question, that would have been redundant, since to that point, we’d only had the one. Also, if you engage in an insurrection or rebellion, your are, by definition, a confederate.

                  1. Tom – in my opinion they didn’t use Confederate because they wanted it to also cover any future civil wars. At the time, the idea of another civil war may have seemed not-far-fetched since they had just been through one.

                    1. Agreed. I didnt use Confederate either. I used confederate. Which anyone who engages in a civil war against the existing government, is.

                      But they did choose two specific words, which are crimes. Anyone engaged in these crimes is a criminal. Except you’re not a criminal until you are CONVICTED. The 14th didnt need to spell out the due process that was already guaranteed by the 4th, 5th and 6th.

                      These fools want not only to make it “self executing”, they want it to “stand alone” as if the rest of the constitution doesnt exist.

                      Btw, the 14th Amendment is cross referenced in the text of 18 USC 2383. Like it or not, those terms are defined and criminalized there. So to have engaged in them, one must be found to have engaged in them, by an authority with the power to find that one engaged in them. A jury of one’s peers. Period.

            2. This is precisely why unbridled originalism and textualism is pretty dumb.

              What do you propose instead? Shouldn’t the text of the Constitution be what guides us in how to apply it? Or if not the text alone, then the history behind its passage, which would be consulted in an attempt to ascertain the original meaning of the text, i.e., the intent of the framers of that part of the Constitution. What do you mean by “unbridled”?

              1. You know “unbridled originalism”….when the term “originalism” just doesnt make your point.

                Its the way of the left. If your argument falls on hard times, make up, just make up a new term. You know, like “gender identity”.

              2. Oldman,

                Before law school, I loved the idea of textualism and originalism. But after seeing how it was so quickly abandoned each time it was inconvenient, I grew to understand that it was just a means to an end. Attempting to understand what the drafters intended has some value but must be taken with a grain of salt. Usually – as the case with the current court – the justifies would rather spoon-feed their own opinions and claim them as the original understanding of the text.

                I think functionalism, when kept in check, is a better model.

                1. You have an odd notion of what originalism is. We still rely on jurists to apply the original text to the issue at hand. As i said, otherwise all we need is websters. That is entirely different than making it up out of whole cloth, or in the case of someone like KBJ, argue that, well, its unconstitutional, but there’s a study that shows this way is just better.

            3. Our answer in Section 5.

              The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

              1. Michael – that’s an interesting observation, and there’s undeniable logic to what you said. I would like to hear from the other side, why they think that even without such legislation the disability from office is still enforceable, and how.

                The why would have to “explain away” the enforcement clause. The how is to me one of the most important questions. We touched on it above – e.g., a state SoS refusing to put a candidate on the ballot based on the SoS’s subjective belief that the candidate is guilty.

                These are all just arguments of (mostly) anonymous commenters on a blog, but they would become more compelling if anyone could cite a court decision to back up their position.

                1. Oldman,

                  This issue was addressed in In Re Griffin. Some notes:

                  (1) Griffin was a decision by Chief Justice Chase in his capacity as a circuit justice, not a decision of the full Supreme Court. Thus it lacks the full force of stare decisis.

                  (2) Chief Justice Chase cannot be trusted on this question. Before he decided Griffin, he ruled that Section 3 was self-executing, that it was a form of punishment, and that it operated as the exclusive punishment for Confederate traitors, thus immunizing Jefferson Davis from prosecution for treason. That determination was set for review in the Supreme Court but the issue was mooted when President Andrew Johnson pardoned all of the Confederates. In his Griffin opinion, Chief Justice Chase refers to the position he himself took on self-execution in Davis as the view of unnamed “enlightened jurists.” As Professors Baude and Paulsen say, the quick flip-flopping shows “that Chief Justice Chase was not shooting straight in his applications of Section Three.”

                  (3) Perhaps most importantly, the reasoning in Griffin is contrary to the obvious import of Section 3’s text. To my mind, the crucial constitutional language is the last sentence of Section 3: “But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.” That implies that Section 3 by itself disables insurrectionists and rebels from office, full stop, unless a super-majority of Congress acts. Yet, relying on the enforcement clause in Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment–a clause that empowers Congress to enforce all of the Amendment–Chief Justice Chase in Griffin reversed the default, concluding that in the absence of congressional legislation, there can be no Section 3 disqualification.

                  That’s very peculiar. The more specific language in Section 3 itself should be more pertinent than the general enforcement power in Section 5. And in any event, Section 5 is not even read to render other provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment–especially the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses–non-self-executing.

                  Accordingly, I am persuaded that there is no need for Congressional action to make Section 3 effective. Section 3 is self-executing. However–and this is an obvious but crucial point–that does not mean that it is literally self-executing. State and local election officials who attempt to place Donald Trump’s name on a primary or general election ballot will not find their hands stayed by a mysterious force field or a lightning bolt.

                  1. Accordingly, I am persuaded that there is no need for Congressional action to make Section 3 effective. Section 3 is self-executing. However–and this is an obvious but crucial point–that does not mean that it is literally self-executing. State and local election officials who attempt to place Donald Trump’s name on a primary or general election ballot will not find their hands stayed by a mysterious force field or a lightning bolt.

                    So, who executes Section 3.

                    Who decides who committed an insurrection? Or provided aid or comfort to the enemy.

                    One of the commenters claim that FJB is disqualified for aiding the Taliban? Who makes that judgment? A random commenter on a blog?

                    The U.S. military?

                2. It is important to note that pre-existing legislation or constitutional provisions can empower particular officials to enforce Section 3.

                  The House has the authority to judge the qualifications of its members. So it was within the House’s authority to refuse to seat Victor Berger.

                  It does, however, appear that there is no legislation that allows SoS’s to remove candidates for federal office from the ballot. No one has cited such legislation, nor does such authority flow from any provision of the Constitution.

                  The 13th Amendment also has a section similar to Section 5 of the 14th Amendment. The manner in which the 13th Amendment is enforced must arise either from other provisions of the Constitution, or from legislation enacted by Congress (including any pre-existing legislation)

    2. Anon – why do you constantly say that sec 3 of Amendment XIV is “self-executing”? Section 5 says: “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” So, it is crystal clear to an “originalist”, or a “textualist” any other kind of interpretor of texts, that ONLY Congress has the power to enforce the prohibiion in Section 3. This would be by legislation setting up a procedure for determining if someone falls within the scope of the amendment. Even in the absence of section 5, it would be obviously absurd to let state offficials determine who can serve in federal offices.

    3. The drafters of the 14th Amendment could have included language like the Treason clause and the impeachment clause, which clearly lay out additional procedures, but they did not here, just as additional procedures for determining one’s age were not included in the Constitution.

      What the drafters of the 14th Amendment did inclucde was the following section.

      “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

      Any power to enforce the 14th must come from a law enacted by Congress, and perhaps other constitutional provisions.

      The only non-Confederate Section 3 enforcement against an elected official was Victor Berger, who had been elected to the House of Representatives. The House used their authority vested by Article I to disqualify him.

      1. “But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

        This is the final sentence of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. When interpreting statutes or the Constitution, whenever there is a conflict in language, the specific should supersede the general. Here that rule applies.

    4. “The drafters of the 14th Amendment could have included language . . .”

      The drafters of the original Constitution did include such language. It’s called 6A and 5A.

      When you cherry-pick the Constitution, you can use it as a means to satisfy whatever desire you wish.

      Further, if a state’s Secretary of State gets to decide who is or is not guilty of insurrection, by what logic is that “self-executing?” And since when did a SoS become Supreme prosecutor, judge, and jury?

      The self-executing fantasy aside, someone has to make that decision, by some standard and process. In a country of laws (and not of men) such decisions are made by the judicial branch.

      1. “such decisions are made by the judicial branch.”

        They are made, more specifically, by a jury of one’s peers. And the standard is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, agreed upon unanimously.

        Anyone saying otherwise is pretending 18USC2383 doesnt exist.

      2. What part of the 6th and/or 5th Amendment is relevant here?

        This is not a criminal proceeding, so the 6th Amendment and 5th Amendments are irrelevant.

        Do you think these amendments apply to a civil fraud case because the word “fraud” also happens to be the name of the crime? That is essentially the argument you are making…

  7. Professor Turley,

    You have yet again repeated the false statement that Raffensperger characterized that call as a “settlement negotiation.” No news outlet (other than Breitbart, citing you!) has made that claim. The WaPo confirmed that Raffensperger disagreed with another witness’s characterization of the call as a “settlement negotiation.”

    Why do you continue to spread this falsehood?

    1. The WaPo!!! Wahahahaha

      Thats your counter for Breitbart???


      Now, go get that diaper changed, bug face the lawn boy.

      1. To help you understand the above, the Breitbart “article” cited Turley’s unsubstantiated claim. Which speaks to it’s lack of journalistic standards.

        From WaPo:

        “One witness described the call as a “settlement negotiation,” since three lawyers working with the campaign were on the call.

        Jones, the judge, appeared skeptical of that argument. When Raffensperger later took the stand, Jones interrupted questioning to ask one himself: Was there any discussion of a settlement negotiation?

        No, Raffensperger replied, adding that he viewed the call as inappropriate because of the pending litigation.”

        1. Can you be so naive as to believe that anything you quote from the washington compost will be received as legitimate?

      2. “The WaPo confirmed”

        Was this the same Wapo that confirmed the validity of the Steele/clinton dossier???

        LMAO at the total lack os self awareness

        1. Do you have a news article that cites Raffensperger as having considered this call a “settlement negotiation”?

          There is nothing out there that does, other than Turley. Unless Turley was physically present during the Georgia proceeding, the WaPo article is the ONLY source to have reported on this.

          If you blindly trust an opinion article such as Turley’s posts without verifying the accuracy of its claims, who here is the one demonstrating a lack of self-awareness?

          I try to verify everything that I read. I don’t trust the WaPo or any other site blindly, which is why I discovered the Breitbart re-hashing of Turley’s false claim. But if no other site has firsthand reporting on this topic, then all we have is the primary reporting from WaPo.

          Please offer me a news article opposing the WaPo article (other than Breitbart’s citation of Turley, obviously). I would love to read it.

          1. You have the entire transcript (supposedly). Why do you need the WaPo (or anyone else) to characterize it for you?

            I don’t recall giving any deference to Turley’s account, so i dont think my self awareness is in question.

            In the absence of any other outlet even considering it relevant, I still would not choose to accept the WaPo account. Your willingness to accept it from proven liars (on multiple occasions) is the reason I question your reasonableness.

            1. Why do you think I have the transcript? All I can do is base my understanding off multiple news reports of the hearing.

              As noted below, Lawfare supports WaPo’s account as well. I don’t see any article supporting Turley’s account.

              As for your statement about “proven liars,” there is no news source that is 100% accurate, which is why it is important to source news from multiple outlets. This is of course not possible if only a few report on a particular event, as is the case here.

              1. So you refuse to acknowledge that the WaPo is a left leaning, if not outright partisan rag? Nothing else to discuss here then, really.

                1. Of course WaPo is left leaning. It is a partisan rag just like ALL news sources are partisan rags. There is not one legitimate non-partisan news source in America. So this is a constant.

                  But it (and the NYT and Lawfare) are the ONLY sources reporting on this. So, there isn’t an alternative. I will continue to ask for an alternative source, but I am guessing if you haven’t provided one by now, one does not exist.

          2. Lawfare’s original reporting of the hearing also supports the WaPo reporting and does not support Turley’s account:

            “While Raffensperger says he was initially reluctant to take the call, he ultimately agreed to speak to Trump at Fuchs’s suggestion. According to Raffensperger, his understanding was that Trump wanted to speak with him about election-related matters.

            “Those were Trump campaign lawyers. I thought it was a campaign call,” Raffensperger says.

            Judge Jones interjects to ask if Governor Brian Kemp had already certified the election at this point. “Yes, your honor,” Raffensperger replies. So, Jones wonders aloud, was there “anything to settle” at this point in time? “I don’t think so, your honor,” Raffensperger replies.”


            1. Read what just happened there with some intellect. Was Judge Jones question an honest one? He knew damn well that the phone call occurred after the certification. Why is he leading the witness? Then your rag says the judge “wonders aloud”…lmao give me a break.

              1. A judge does not have to follow the rules of evidence…

                So I am not sure what you are getting at here? What is your point?

                1. i didnt ask or even question what the judge is allowed to do. I asked what it tells you. To a critical thinker, it might suggest that the judge was biased and looking for an answer that he already knew. Then he leads the witness to a conclusion he himself has already made with his next question, and the “reporter” describes it as the judge “wonders aloud”. Give me a f-ing break. When i see reporting like this, i take it with a huge grain of salt.

                  1. I’m guessing you had the same opinion of the judge in the Hunter Biden case asking questions.

                    In both situations, the judge is acting appropriately.

                    1. Again, i didnt question the appropriateness of the judges actions. Red herring alert. I am questioning the reporting.
                      However, your analogy is flawed. In the hunter case, the judge wasnt aiding the prosecution and questioning a witness in such away as to reveal bias. But again, this discussion is not really about that.

                      Its about you calling Turley a liar, with the lying a$$ washington post as your basis. What i was pointing out is the reason their reporting cant be trusted. To which you responded with another rags account, to which i responded with evidence that their account might be biased as well. “The judge wonders aloud”…hardly.

                  2. I will ask a 5th time – do you have a source with original reporting of the hearing (or a transcript thereof)? If not, then what are you actually offering as an alternative?

      3. Tom, what gets me is that these anonymous creatures rely on WaPo when they can read the transcript. They are not smart enough to realize that WaPo could have quoted the President’s statement, but they didn’t. Why? Because they want to put words in Trump’s mouth and say what Trump didn’t say. If the WaPo quoted Trump, they would show themselves to be liars, just like the anonymous creature below who linked to them.

        1. S. Meyer

          Exactly. So if this “reporter” will lie and mislead about characterizing a situation, whats to say he wouldnt lie about what was actually said??

          And this guy runs with it and calls Turley a liar, just because there is no one refuting it. When i call him on his source, his response is “you cant prove i’m lying”.

          1. “they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”

        2. Where is a transcript of the hearing?

          A transcript of the “call” is not the what we are talking about… Reading comprehension is hard.

          1. The first statement of the thread is, ” You have yet again repeated the false statement that Raffensperger characterized that *****call***** as a “settlement negotiation.”

            That call where everything spins from is in the transcript. From that point, we hear an argument where your BS tries to twist everything into a pretzel while you quote sources proven to lie at the start of the issue. Note Professor Turley recognized that The WaPo lied.

            You say, “I try to verify everything that I read. ” but that is a lie and an attempt to deceive. While promoting these lies and deceptions, you make sure they drift aimlessly.

            Then you say, “But if no other site has firsthand reporting on this topic, then all we have is the primary reporting from WaPo.”

            That is stupid because the entire issue revolves around the call, and a transcript exists. It demonstrates Trump did nothing wrong. But you are a cheat, so you will even say I have poor reading comprehension. That isn’t true, but that is how you argue, along with lies and deception. You are dishonest.

            Then we listen to your garbage. “Please offer me a news article opposing the WaPo article ” It is hard for conservatives to find news articles with their point of view. The algorithms hide them, and today, Google doesn’t provide the ability to start at the middle or the end of the search request where our articles frequently reside. What we get is more and more WaPo. When we provide information from sources, despite the fact those sources proved correct continuously while the WaPo lied, you state they aren’t good sources.

            Again, I have to call you what you are. A liar and deceitful. You even use an anonymous icon and name to confuse. That is all you know. Why people don’t call you out for what you are is something I do not understand.

            In the past, I have proven everything I say about you, including your spitefulness, where you used a banned account, so all responses disappeared. (Today, we have Bug, who is banned. That permits you to hide behind him as well.) You also created pretend anonymous characters to agree with you and boost your ego along with other aliases, all posting together. You are a mess.

            When another person says you have the transcript, you deflect, “As noted below, Lawfare supports WaPo’s account as well.” That tells us how you feed BS to the blog.
            Then you provide this BS.
            “As for your statement about “proven liars,” there is no news source that is 100% accurate, which is why it is important to source news from multiple outlets. ”

            The transcript exists, and all else is nearly meaningless because it is the call under discussion, not the news reports. The transcript exists and proves you to be a liar and a deceiver.

            Now, back to still another twist.

            “A transcript of the “call” is not what we are talking about… Reading comprehension is hard.”

            My reading comprehension is not under discussion. This entire discussion here and elsewhere revolves around lies about what the President said in that call to him. All further hearings are branches from the same trunk, even if they look as if they are the primary concern.

            The question at hand is did Trump threatened Raffenperger to create votes and the foolish question of whether or not Trump is an election denier. All else stems from those beliefs. The transcript provides the truth. Trump said nothing wrong, and it proves Trump had significant knowledge for anyone to believe fraud existed in the election. Meadow’s statements are there as well. All the rest that follows is an attempt to create a crime where none existed.

              1. Tom, I applaud you and your actions that also make me laugh. I don’t mind serious discussions, but I don’t like the dishonesty ATS brings to the table. He has used every nasty trick in the book. I will debate him without animosity, but only if he is honest. If not, he needs to be called out.

            1. NO.

              If you read Turley’s article, he is referring to the HEARING, in which Raffensperger allegedly referred to the call as a “settlement negotiation.”

              Did you even read Turley’s article? This post is a response to Turley’s article, where he seemingly invents out of thin air this mischaracterization of Raffensperger’s testimony. Other sites (Lawfare, WaPo, NYT – which are the only ones with original reporting on the HEARING – meaning they had a reporter there in person) state precisely the opposite – that Raffensperger objected to a SEPARATE WITNESS’S characterization of the call as a “settlement negotation,” by responding that he in, in fact, thought it was a “campaign call.”

              What part of this is hard to understand???

              1. “what foreperson Emily Kohrs last February was “giggling about”

                You are what people giggle about on the blog. Why? You are arrogant, stupid, and dishonest. To summarize, you are a fool.

                There is a lot of stuff in this Turley piece, but it all revolves around the call made to Raffensperger, and Turley mentions it and even hyperlinks to an earlier article quoting from his prior blog. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have”__Trump

                You want to talk about what The Washington Post said, which was a lie. Of course, you do because you are a liar who constantly deceives. Everything revolves around that one phone call where Trump provided his prescient opinion, proven more accurate daily.

                No rational person on this blog should reply to you without demonstrating their recognition of your reprehensible distortions of the truth.

        3. Also this has nothing to do with the Presidents statement

          This is the hearing of Meadows and in particular the words used by Raffensperger in the that hearing. Why are you talking about the President??

          1. Read the transcript of the call. Meadow’s statements are there as well along with proof that it was logical to believe fraud existed. Those are the questions at hand. The rest is an attempt to entrap.

            You are a liar and trickster. You should be condemned in every response.

            1. The transcript of the call is irrelevant to the subject of this post.

              See above.

              Why is it so difficult to understand that a CALL and a HEARING ABOUT THE CALL are separate things and therefore would have SEPARATE TRANSCRIPTS.

              Yikes. I worry for the state of American education.

  8. Here’s to everyone who, like me, has a birthday on 9/11 and who had their birthday hijacked in 2001 along with those planes, and whose friends and relatives never remember their birthday anymore, even to just send a happy-birthday email. So happy birthday, all you nine-eleveners.

      1. Thanks. One would think that the famous date would make it EASIER to remember — like being born on Christmas — but I guess it doesn’t work that way. I think only once, maybe twice, in the last 22 years have any of my friends or family remembered my birthday, whereas prior to 9-11-01 they all remembered it every year. I wonder whether a generation or two earlier people born on Pearl Harbor Day experienced the same phenom. It’s curious. I’ve run into others with my same birthday who’ve mentioned the same thing happening in their lives.

        1. I know exactly what you mean. I have a nephew who was born on Christmas and I usually forget his birthday.

          1. I remember when the Westboro Baptist Church put out a flyer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the JFK assasination.

  9. Jonathan: Now on to your argument about the challenges to DJT’s candidacy under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. You talk about the “tendentious claim that the Jan. 6 riot was an actual insurrection, they [the proponents of removal] also maintain the the provision is self-executing, requiring no vote of Congress for secretaries of state to bar Trump from next year’s ballots”. You’re right, under the plain language of Section 3 it doesn’t require an act of Congress nor does it require DJT be convicted of “insurrection or rebellion”. As to your continued claim Jan. 6 was just a “riot” that was debunked by the report of the Special House Committee re Jan. 6. They found, after 1000 interviews and witness testimony, that DJT did engage in an “insurrection”.

    Now you mention the Arizona challenge to DJT being on the ballot. What you don’t discuss is the latest and most important challenge in Colorado. There 6 voters have sued the Secy of State to compel DJT’s removal from the ballot. The day after that filing DJT immediately filed to get his case removed to federal court. What happened? DJT’s lawyers just filed to have the case remanded back to state court. Why the uturn? It seems DJT’s lawyers screwed up. Not the first time this has happened. DJT’s lawyers now concede their client had no “standing” for removal and the case belongs back in state court. It seems DJT’s lawyers did not meet the basic procedural requirements for removal. The Q is why the lawyers could screw up so badly? I have a guess. DJT can’t seem to find competent lawyers to defend him. The real good ones won’t touch him with a 10 ft. pole!

    So where is the Colorado case going? The plaintiffs cite extensively from the Jan. 6 House report in their complaint. No doubt Secy. of State Gena Griswold, a Democrat, will want to conduct a thorough investigation, even hold hearings, to review the facts and evidence produced by the Jan. 6 House report–maybe even call witnesses. If she concludes DJT did violate Section 3 he’ll be off the 2024 ballot in Colorado. Unless, DJT appeals–and you can assured he will.

    Now I know what you and your loyal supporters on this blog are thinking. It’s all a “witch hunt” to get DJT by Democratic Secretaries of State. Nope. Had DJT simply accepted the results of the 2020 and the peaceful transition of power he wouldn’t be in this pickle! As they say “you make your bed and then you have to lie in it”.

    1. Hey Dennis
      Are insurrection and rebellion crimes, or not?

      Everything you have to say beyond that about the 14th is a lie or ignorance, your choice.

        1. Trump is the one who turned loose 5,000 Taliban from prison and drew down US troops from 14,000 to 2,500 and didn’t arrange for a land or air base in Afghanistan. He’s also the one who failed to involve the Afghans in negotiations with the Taliban, so they just gave up.

            1. He could have sought an agreement that they would only be released AFTER America pulled out–not before. Our Afghan allies would keep them in prison. He could have sought an agreement for a land/air base to facilitate removal of those who wanted to leave. Your “master dealmaker” isn’t.

          1. Gigi, did you notice that the Taliban didn’t engage despite the reduction in troops under Trump. That is because we had Trump, a competent leader. Did you notice the deaths and chaos with the incompetent Biden?

            What do you mean Trump didn’t arrange for an air base in Afghanistan. Biden is the one who withdrew from that airbase not Trump. Why don’t you know these things?

            How can you be on this blog and know so little?

            1. Trump is incompetent in everything because he is a malgnant narcissist, he has some form of ADD, and everything in his pathetic existence revolves around him, Him, HIM!. Trump cut the deal with the Taliban to end the Afghanistan war, and saddled Biden with an impossibly bad deal–our troops drawn down from14,000 to 2,500, released 5,000 Taliban, no air or land base, and he didn’t even involve our Afghan allies in settlement discussions, so they just gave up. Trump’s literal incompetence is responsible for the messy withdrawal form Afghanistan. “Everything Trump Touches Dies”–by Rick Wilson. You should read it.

          2. Today, on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, Joe Biden did the following:

            1) Praised the Saudis
            2) Joked about football
            3) Lied about being at ground zero
            4) Gave Iran $6 billion


    2. “Special House Committee re Jan. 6. “

      There is that “special” word again. Special counsel, special grand jury, special house committee, and Dennis. All riding the special bus.

      Whatcha think about Fani hiring some old white dude to handle Trumps case. “First intelligent black woman in a courtroom”, eh Dennis?


    3. “he wouldn’t be in this pickle!”

      Saving this one for when, if any Dem SoS is dumb enough to try it, they get shot down by SCOTUS again.

      I’m sure that when that happens, Dennis will claim his lawyerly superiority over the SC again.

    4. Along with the numerous comments from LeftAnon, these comments by DM show the utter desperation of the American Left. They are so afraid of a fair election contest, they will resort to every means possible of eliminating their opponents before an election can be held. They are not afraid of Donald Trump. They are afraid of the American people.

      1. Edwardmahl,
        I recall a number of comments and articles after the 2016 election of Trump being a sign and symptom.
        Naturally, they spun it as a bad thing as if things like free speech, thinking for oneself, questioning authorities or experts or the narrative. Lacking trust in government institutions or MSM.
        Not long ago, those would of been considered healthy for a democracy.
        Now leftists demonize anyone to the right of leftists thinking as far right-wing.

    5. Yeah, and he wouldn’t have been accused of being a Russian Agent and 51 bottom feeders wouldn’t have signed a letter saying The Laptop From Hell was Russian disinformation, and Ivermectin would kill you but the Jab would keep you from all harm and and and. All the lies are being seen for what they are. Truth is Eternal. Try it. It will set you free

  10. 🇺🇸 In Memoriam: Sept 11, 2001 🇺🇸

    I remember….

    Alan Jackson – Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)

    🎶 I’m just a singer of simple songs
    I’m not a real political man
    I watch CNN
    But I’m not sure I can tell you
    The difference in Iraq and Iran
    But I know Jesus and I talk to God
    And I remember this from when I was young
    Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
    And the greatest is love

  11. Turley says: “The recommendation for sweeping indictments involving 39 people, including current and former senators, only magnifies fears over political prosecutions.” Uh, no, Turley. That comment could only be true if Trump hadn’t started lying about nonexistent voter fraud even before Election Day, if he hadn’t taken a victory lap at 2:00 the next morning, if he hadn’t gon on “Stop the Steal” tours to rile up his fans into believeing the election was rigged, if there hadn’t been the pressure campaign agiinst Pence, Raffensberger and other SoSx, if there hadn’t been the insurrection and if there hadn’t been the fake electors who signed false Electoral College certificates. Your employer pushes the “political persecution” theme, which only can be possible if you ignore the foregoing.

    The recommendation for so many indictments proves how sinister and pervasive the Big Lie was–how so many people got sucked in and who were willing to commit crimes to help Trump stay in power despite doing a terrible job as POTUS and fulfilling the predictions of all of the polls that he would lose. It shows the extent to which Republicans will go to try to hang onto power despite being rejected by the majority of the American people, and their cynical vie that power is to be obtained even if you can’t get it legally. Their massive gerrymandering wasn’t enough. Throwing away values and rules to get and keep power is the “Trump Effect”. At one time, the Republican Party was the “law and order” party. Trump changed all of that.

    1. Cheat to win
      Cheat to win
      The other side does it
      Have to cheat to win

      brought to you by Paranoid Zealots of America (PZA)

      1. Paranoia may destroy ya

        There’s a red under my bed
        And there’s a little ORANGE man in my head
        And he said, “You’re not going crazy, you’re just a bit sad
        ‘Cause there’s a man in ya, gnawing ya, tearing ya into two”

    2. Hey Gig The Liar:

      How many oil fired power plants are there in Texas?

      Who does the DC National guard answer to, besides the President?

      What were the inflation rates for June and July, 2023?

      What was the actual inflation rate when Trump left office?

      How much more does a $240,000 house cost, on a 30 year note, at 7% interest versus 3%?

      Who is Amos Hochstein and what is his connection to Hunter and Joe Biden?

      Did Joe Biden really call for Shokin’s dismissal because he WAS NOT investigating Burisma?

      Which networks peddled lies about 1) Steele Dossier 2) Alpha Bank 3)Nicholas Sandmann 4)Hunter laptop Russian disinfo?

      You’re still trying to sow doubt about the provenance of Hunter’s laptop by lying about the chain of custody. Why would anyone give any credence to a word you say?


  12. In 1860, this same or a similar headline read:  “The ‘Why Not’ Culture: Why the ‘SPRINGFIELD ILLINOIS’ Final Report Should Worry Us All.”

    A national “Reign of Terror” was about to be unleashed on Americans, killing one million and destroying half the nation with Sherman’s “Total War.” 

    Not to worry!  

    Americans are used to it.

    “Crazy Abe” Lincoln taught Americans that he and his despotic, ad hoc “government” had sweeping “emergency powers” that allowed him to do anything he wanted including seize power, nullify and void the Constitution and Bill of Rights, start an unconstitutional war, kill one million Americans, throw political opponents in prison, smash printing presses, ignore extant immigration law, raze much of the nation, and even “customize” the Constitution with, not one, but three impossible-to-ratify constitutional amendments that would ultimately result in the delivery of the country to foreign, illegal alien, non-citizen, invaders – Lincoln having left a foreign, 3-million-man, standing army on U.S. soil.  

    Of course, “Crazy Abe” had absolutely no “emergency powers.” It mattered not that “Crazy Abe’s” comprehensive “emergency powers” never did, and do not, exist in the Constitution; it only mattered that all subjects did as “Crazy Abe” ordered.

    If, in a society of laws, ignoring statutory and fundamental law was good enough for “Crazy Abe,” it’s good enough for those enslaved by his dictatorial, communist state – communism being the inverse of American freedom.

    Oh, and mask requirements are on their way back.

    Thanks to “Crazy Abe’s” seizure of power and imposition of martial law, Americans are used to it and fully prepared to follow orders, as occurs in the deafening silence of the lambs to the slaughter.

    Forget your constitutional rights, freedoms, privileges, and immunities and do exactly as you are told. The sheeple did it for “Crazy Abe” – of course, they had a gun to their heads, which, for many, is sufficient motivation – and the sheeple will do it now.

    1. You want to indict, charge, prosecute, and convict someone?

      Charge the highest, historic, American criminal-of-high-office, the Coup Leader, General Secretary and Fundamental-Transformer-In-Chief, Comrade Barack Hussein Obama, aka foreign national Barry Soetoro (i.e. Jakarta statue).

      “If Comey had indicted Hillary, Comey would have convicted Obama.”

      – Andrew C. McCarthy

      “Comey Confirms: In Clinton Emails Caper, the Fix Was In”

      “He knew Obama’s Justice Department would sweep Hillary’s violations under the rug, so he played along.”

      – Andrew C. McCarthy

      “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

      – Barack Obama

      “We will stop him.”

      – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour Lisa Page

      “[Obama] wants to know everything we’re doing.”

      – Lisa Page to FBI paramour Peter Strzok

      “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before 40.”

      – Peter Strzok to FBI parmour Lisa Page

      “People on the 7th floor to include Director are fired up about this [Trump] server.”

      – Bill Priestap

      The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious crime in American political history. The co-conspirators are:

      Kevin Clinesmith, Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann,

      James Comey, Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Sally Yates,

      James Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove,

      Christopher Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper,

      Azra Turk, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power,

      Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Pelosi, Obama,

      Joe Biden, James E. Boasberg, Emmet Sullivan, Gen. Milley, George Soros, John McCain,

      Marc Elias, Igor Danchenko, Fiona Hill, Charles H. Dolan, Jake Sullivan, Strobe Talbot,

      Cody Shear, Victoria Nuland, Ray “Red Hat” Epps, Don Berlin, Kathy Ruemmler, Rodney Joffe,

      Paul Vixie, L. Jean Camp, Andrew Whitney, Lisa O. Monaco et al.

    2. You have particular antipathy toward “ol’ Abe” which I think you have spoken about before in this forum. While Jonathan’s article has nothing to do with Mr. Lincoln, I offer the opposing viewpoint:

      The War of the Rebellion was indeed a terror to everyone living at that time. That much is true. The hordes that died and those that were maimed have never before been duplicated. We can only hope it stays in the past and is never repeated.

      Lincoln was commander-in-chief of all US forces in existence at that time. That power is given him in Article II of the Constitution. Lincoln did not start the Civil War. South Carolina secessionists did that when they attacked a federal installation in 1861 (Fort Sumter). Lincoln issued a proclamation on April 15, 1861, calling for 75,000 volunteers to serve for a period of three months to suppress the rebellion and restore federal authority. This proclamation is often considered the official start of the involvement of Union forces. Lincoln invoked the Insurrection Act of 1807 which granted him the ability to raise troops, issue military orders, and even declare martial law in certain places. All of these official acts were totally within his prerogative as president and legal. (The invoking of the Insurrection Act supersedes/suspends the Posse Comitatus Act of 1847.)

      General Sherman’s “March to the Sea” began in Atlanta and ended in Savannah, GA in 1864. This 285-mile march sought to deprive rebel forces of their valuable infrastructure and supply lines. Along the way, Sherman’s forces destroyed or confiscated Confederate military supplies, railroads, telegraph lines, and factories. They also confiscated livestock and food stores. This scorched-earth strategy aimed to deprive the Confederate army of resources and demonstrate to Southern civilians the high cost of continued resistance. By modern standards, Sherman’s actions might be considered excessive, though they were not considered so then. Your statement regarding a million dead might be accurate if it includes those killed outright and those that died from disease or complications of surgery, but to say that Sherman destroyed half the country is wildly erroneous.

      Lincoln DID on his own initiative suspend the writ of habeas corpus which was challenged in court. Lincoln lost in court with SCOTUS declaring that the suspension of the writ had not been approved by Congress as constitutionally required. Lincoln ignored the SCOTUS opinion and ordered his forces not to adhere to it. To some, this is a blot on the Lincoln presidency but history has not been too critical on this point. In March 1863, Congress passed the Habeas Corpus Act, also known as the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act. This legislation retroactively ratified and legalized Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus from the beginning of the Civil War. The act provided legal justification for the suspension and established certain procedures for military arrests and detention during the war. It essentially allowed individuals detained by military authorities to be held without a civil trial or access to the writ of habeas corpus. It also reflected Congress’s recognition of the extraordinary circumstances of the Civil War and its willingness to grant the executive branch certain powers to deal with the rebellion.

      Lincoln DID NOT nullify and make void the Constitution. He did not “seize” power — he was duly elected. He used laws in place at the time as well as executive orders to accomplish his goal of restoring the Union and freeing enslaved Blacks. Lincoln’s approach to dealing with political opponents and those perceived as disloyal to the Union reflected the challenges and complexities of governing during the Civil War.

      The 13th Amendment was approved by Congress in early 1865 but was not ratified until some 8 months after Lincoln’s death. Neither Lincoln nor any other president has any authority to approve/disapprove of proposed constitutional amendments. He therefore had not role in “customizing” the 13th Amendment passed before his death or any amendment passed after his death.

      1. Please cite the Constitution for the power of the executive branch to declare martial law.

        Lincoln had no power to suspend habeas corpus and Chief Justice Roger Taney informed him of his criminal act.

        Habeas corpus may be suspended by Congress in the case of “rebellion” or “invasion,” neither of which occurred during Lincoln’s term.

        “By General Orders No. 141, September 25, 1862, Lincoln subjected protestors to martial law and the suspension of habeas corpus. The suspension of habeas corpus was one of Lincoln’s most controversial decisions.”

        -Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

  13. A judge in Arizona just ruled that 100’s of thousands of votes were illegal because they failed to adhere to the signature verification required by law.
    Wisconsin and Michigan has seen similar rulings finding the law was violated in the handling of ballots.
    There was massive violations of election law, and 100’s of thousands of votes should have been rejected.
    Fulton County cant provide chain of custody evidence, and, again signature verification, required by law was ignored.

    There is massive voter fraud.

    1. @Iowan
      Yup like I said, the election was stolen and the way they did it is starting to come to light.

      It was all done right in front of you and you didn’t even notice it.

      Like allowing a mail in ballot to be cured. That’s where the trouble began.
      Of course you have the voter roll issues too.

      Notice the states where the fraud occurred. Targeted.
      Ballot stuffing may be legal in Kalifornia… but not in some of the other states where it happened.


  14. Jonathan…you might take a longer-term perspective on whether to actually be encouraging the kind of post-election pressuring of election officials to obtain a “favorable” recount that went on for weeks after exhausting the courts. I personally wouldn’t feel bad if all 39 got fines and reasonable prison time, if it draws a red line in the future. Because, without that red line, we’ll have people eventually fomenting the use of guns to decide a contested outcome. And that will be the end of fair elections for decades.

    The whole “it’s a political witchhunt” is just another chapter is hyper-defensive infowarfare. Why aren’t Democrats trying at this point to jail DeSantis, Christie and Ramaswamy? Their policies will be just as disagreeable to Dems as Trump’s. We both know why not….because they are all 3 willing to subordinate themselves to the voters’ decision.

    Trump brazenly distrusted and discredited the voters and the voting processes who didn’t make him the winner. He is a lawbreaking sociopath, quite unlike any other political figure in US history (except perhaps traitor Aaron Burr).
    If you’re thinking it improper for the criminal law to hold his cabal accountable for their overreach, how do you propose to deter another post-election coup attempt in the future?

    1. >”He is a lawbreaking sociopath, quite unlike any other political figure in US history (except perhaps traitor Aaron Burr).”

      He’s a hoot, alright, but you don’t have to go back to Aaron Burr. Compared with Joe Biden, Trump is like a choir boy on his first date.

      *the lesser of two evils .. . is such a thing is possible.

      1. So I have to choose who is worse, and then exonerate all wrongdoing on the part of runner-up-for-worst?
        That tribal thought process is exactly how high standards of conduct are undermined. I’ll support Biden’s prosecution for grifting, money laundering, FARA violation — I’m equally behind BOTH prosecutions, and determined to restore honesty to High Office. Stop with the false choice.

        1. It is not a false choice. Many chose to put in simple and understandable language the evidence against Biden, and it is considerable. None have done the same for Trump. You talk a story, but you can’t list the crimes you accuse Trump of doing.

          We can see Biden’s corruption and all the other potential illegalities, but more importantly, we can see his failures domestically and abroad. The Trump administration is surrounded by success stories, and not much more.

          All you are saying is that you are pre-determined to vote for one party, no matter the evidence. You haven’t yet shown anything to prove that statement wrong.

          1. Go back and reread a transcript of Trump’s J6th speech. Search on the word “President”. Twice, he boasts that Giuliani, Eastman and he are have been scheming for Trump to continue as President. That’s a self-incriminating admission of a coup plot. I rest my case. (In Georgia Court, this video clip of Trump’s self-admission will be perfect for closing argument).

            1. That is not self-incriminating. Scheming isn’t incriminating of Giuliani or Eastman either. That is not proof of a coup. Just because it is irritating to you, following the law is not illegal.

              Tell us what law was broken by Trump and where the speech proves that contention.

              If you can’t do that, you have no case.

            2. Here is a quote from an article written by Michael Tracey.


              John Podesta, the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman whose Gmail account was reputed to have been successfully “phished” by fearsome Russian “hackers,” issued a statement demanding that electors be granted an unheard-of “intelligence briefing” — with the implication for what should be done with that “briefing” information too obvious to need stating outright.

              (emphasis added)

              Was this a coup attempt?

        2. >”So I have to choose who is worse, and then exonerate all wrongdoing on the part of runner-up-for-worst?”

          Yes. All signs point to another Biden v Trump Superbowl Showdown, a MAGA vs BBB media reality extravaganza that consumes all light, time and space (i.e. a blackhole), the final battle between good and evil .. . a fight for the soul of the nation.

          And no. Criticism of Biden is not the same thing as support for, or ‘exoneration of’, Trump . .. and vice versa.

          *don’t blame me, I’m only the messenger.

    2. “. . . red line in the future.”

      By that “logic,” every D should be in jail. That way, BLM/Antifa will be deterred from using violence to influence an election. And, of course, preserve democracy.

  15. Jonathan: You call the Fulton County SPGJ report part of the “Why Not Culture”. Why? Because it wanted to charge a sitting Senator, Lindsey Graham, as part of the RICO conspiracy. Horror of horrors! That a Senator would be recommended simply for engaging, as you claim, in “political speech”. Here’s the answer to your repeated false claims:

    First, The SPGJ investigation found that Graham tried to get Brad Raffensperger to discard absentee ballots–even after there had been 3 recounts and the the vote certified. Second, a sitting Senator’s duties do not include asking a state to change the vote count. That’s “election interference” (a term DJT often uses these days) and not “political speech”. So I agree with Adam Schiff, Graham was “lucky” not to be indicted.

    There is another reason Fani Willis didn’t include Graham as part of her “why not” indictments. Willis didn’t want Graham to delay “speedy trials” by claims under the “speech and debate” clause. He tried that when the SPGJ called for him to testify. He took his case all the way to the SC–and lost. He was forced to eventually testify but that took months. Willis didn’t want that to happen a second time. It’s called “prosecutorial discretion”. A concept you may not be familiar with because you were never a federal or state prosecutor. I say this because you make the nonsensical observation “When one reads the indictment of the 19 defendants, it is surprising that all of the other 20 were dropped”. Not “surprising” at all if you understood how RICO conspiracies are prosecuted. Having never prosecuted a RICO case I can understand your lapse in knowledge.

    What is further “surprising” is your lack of knowledge about how Georgia criminal law works. The role of a SPGJ is to investigate possible crimes and make recommendations about who should be charged. It has no power to indict anyone. Only a Regular Grand Jury can do that. After reviewing the SPGJ recommendations Fani Willis chose to indict only 19–the creme de la creme of the RICO conspiracy. That was her prerogative under Georgia’s RICO statute. This the answer to your “Why not?”.

    And you still cling to the the false notion that DJT’s call to Raffensperger was a “settlement negotiation” and he only wanted Raffensperger to conduct a “new recount or continued investigation”. In that infamous call DJT never asked Raffensper once for a recount or even further investigation. DJT knew what the final election result was because where did he come up with the “11,780 votes” he needed to win? Under the “reasonable person” test it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what DJT wanted. He wanted Raffensperger to commit election fraud by changing the vote count.

    What is not “surprising” is that, as trials of the 19 begin, none of your false claims will play any part in the the deliberations of the juries!

    1. We’re to beleive you know everything there is to know about RICO prosecutions? Are we to assume you were on the Trump call too and know he was trying to overthrow the election? Oh, and you’re a mind reader too. Quite the resume. Don’t know who D.Mcintyre is, but you sure do sound a lot like Donald Trump… raving, screaming .. . opps, I meant Adam Schiff.

      1. I listened carefully to Trump’s on J6th (and re-read the transcript). In it, before throngs of Trump loyalists and the national news cameras, Trump publicly admits to plotting to remain in office as President, and credits Eastman and Giuliani as being the legal brains behind the op:

        “and if Mike Pence does the right thing….I am President (again)”.

        It was obvious to anyone who can discern reality through the fog of defensive-infowarfare that Trump tried in several ways to mickey the Electoral College to overturn the election, including strong-arming Repub state officials to help with the plan.

        The phone call is just one count in a much larger, cohesive, organized conspiracy to change the election result (after exhausting the Courts, who only admit facts into evidence (aw, sorry Donald!)).

        Trump is a con man with no scruples. He thrives on deceptions, both self- and public frauds. Not fit character-wise for public service.

        1. I’ll assume that your derangment syndrome affected your interpretation skills of “the transcript.” – being able to read between the lines is a skill not many readers here have. Myself included. Your RICO law knowledge is worse than Mr. Mcintyre’s. Now take a long deep breath and then exhale. If possible, find a MD who can give you a dose of reality everyday.


          John Podesta, the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman whose Gmail account was reputed to have been successfully “phished” by fearsome Russian “hackers,” issued a statement demanding that electors be granted an unheard-of “intelligence briefing” — with the implication for what should be done with that “briefing” information too obvious to need stating outright.

          (emphasis added)

          What Trump did was just retaliation and payback for what was done to him. Suyrely you have heard of those concepts.

          And yet, John Podesta was not prosecuting for “election interference”.

          Of course what happened subsequently was that even years after Trump had safely taken power, the corporate media’s top luminaries continuously used the phrase “hacked the election” to describe the purported actions of Russia on behalf of Trump in 2016. Supermajorities of Democratic voters came to believe not just that Russia “interfered” in the election, but directly installed Trump into power by tampering with voting machines. Now, though, journalists who fostered these blinkered beliefs will feign incredulity that their conduct could have contributed to widespread “doubt” as to the “legitimacy” of that election. And they’ll be aghast at any suggestion that this was inevitably going to generate yet another crazed anti-legitimization initiative in 2020.

          The mad rush to impeach Trump on the ground of his very election being illegitimate began at approximately the moment that all-out “#RESISTANCE” was declared in opposition to him — perhaps when Florida was called on Election Night. It took awhile for the plan to mature, but finally culminated in December 2019 when impeachment was ratified — based on what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said was her view that with Trump, “all roads lead to Putin.” Survey a representative cross-section of people advocating for impeachment during that time and you’ll likely find they struggle to even recall what it was all supposed to be about — something to do with a Ukraine phone call. That’s because the arcane details were immaterial; impeachment was the fulfillment of a deep desire to formally censure Trump using the most sacrosanct and rarely-invoked constitutional procedure. And it all stemmed from a fundamental refusal to accept that he was ever rightfully elected in the first place.

        3. Hillary and the Dems tried “to mickey” the electoral college in 2016 by persuading Republican electors to violate their legal duties to cast votes for Donald Trump. Was that an “insurrection”?

    2. “tried to get”

      It’s official, Dennis now sounds exactly like Gigi.

      Can someone please find me a text anywhere in existence, where are the definition of a crime contains the words “tried to get”?

      Dick Head is going to have a blast with this one

        1. That’s election interference. You don’t get to decide which ballots to count. Candidates and campaigns don’t get to decide. It’s a matter of law which votes are legally cast, which are illegally cast, and which fall into a gray area (deficiencies but still to be counted after investigation).

      1. “This the answer to your “Why not?”.”——Dennis McInlyre

        “Because i am too stupid to realize that was a rhetorical question, and narcissistic enough to believe it was addressed to me”—-Dennis McInlyre

    3. D You are a self serving one big horses’ ass and great mind reader. DT did not ask Sec of State Ga to commit voter fraud. Not “surprising” at all if you understood how RICO conspiracies are prosecuted. Having never prosecuted a RICO case I can understand your lapse in knowledge.

    4. Dennis You remember that Old Chuck Berry Song “Too Much Monkey Business?
      The Trump indictment case in Georgia is well underway. And we already have the first major mistake.

      Because Trump prosecutors are going to forever regret this error they made in court.

      According to county records, Fulton County DA Fani Willis has paid private attorneys a hefty sum for their services. Some of these payments may have been related to the investigation and prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

      From January 2022 to August 2023, Nathan Wade, the primary prosecutor for Willis, received over $500,000 from the Fulton County DA’s Office.

      Records also reveal that Wade’s coworker at Wade & Campbell Firm, Christopher Campbell, was paid $116,670 between April 2021 and August 2023.

      From May 2021 through June 2022, Wade’s former coworker Terrence Bradley was paid $74,480.

      Willis chose Wade, a defense attorney who bills by the hour, to be the special prosecutor in the Trump case almost two years ago. Wade, a former municipal court judge in Cobb County, ran for and lost election to the Cobb County Superior Court in 2012, 2014, and 2016. While the legality of Willis choosing Wade over salaried career prosecutors has not been called into question at this time, some, including Phil Holloway, an Atlanta attorney with over twenty years of experience, have found the utilization of Wade to be “unorthodox.”

      Holloway characterized it as “unorthodox” and “a cash cow for any lawyer paid by the hour.” “I’ve been practicing criminal law in Georgia for 24 years, and I’ve never seen such an arrangement.”

      After launching his investigation into Trump in February 2021, Willis accused him and 18 others for racketeering last month on grounds that they had illegally plotted to reverse the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.

      On Thursday, one of the defendants, former Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer, filed a motion requesting Judge Scott McAfee to hold a hearing “regarding improper contact by special prosecutor’s law firm.” Shafer is demanding a retrial because of the large sums paid to private prosecutors.

      After being charged with “impersonating a public officer,” Shafer shared advertising he got from Wade’s firm seeking clients in need of criminal defense services.

      While the mailing had the shape of a typical advertisement, it highlighted the uncomfortable situation of a private attorney providing defense services to the individual against whom he was prosecuting.

      In the court filing, Shafer’s attorney claimed that the “anti-contact” rule had been broken because “the harassing, or mocking, and intimidating nature of the firm’s communication with Mr. Shafer causes grave injury to the appearance of fairness and propriety of this proceeding.”

      Holloway noticed that as an outsourced lawyer, Wade was able to avoid the usual responsibilities of public service.

      Holloway explained that this “for starters” circumvents the need for an oath of office and the fixed pay criteria for the selection of assistant district attorneys. According to Holloway, “the oath of office is intended to protect the public from malfeasance by public officials and carries a criminal penalty if violated.”

      Holloway warned that the morale of Willis’s office personnel may suffer if Willis comes across as finding them “incapable” because to their usage of Wade.

      No one from Willis’s office responded to repeated requests for comment.

      Defense attorney Andrew Fleischman of Georgia has also spoken out against the price tag of hiring Wade and his firm, tweeting that the money is going “to a dude who has never tried a RICO case.”

    5. First, The SPGJ investigation found that Graham tried to get Brad Raffensperger to discard absentee ballots–even after there had been 3 recounts and the the vote certified

      Because the ballots lacked sufficient signature verification, and lacked chain of custody documentation. They were not valid ballots.

    6. Willis didn’t want Graham to delay “speedy trials” by claims under the “speech and debate” clause.

      Wow, you are such a retard. The ‘speedy trials’ feature applies to the govt, not the defendants.

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