That’s it. Nothing more to say. I just thought I would open a thread in case anyone here wanted to discuss this.
They should have waited until tomorrow.
I for one welcome an era in which US presidents are not above the law. This was long overdue. Hopefully justice will be served.
The indictment is still sealed, so it is very difficult to know what is happening and whether the case has much chance of success. I fear it will get lost in accounting details and just wither into “minor” technicalities"—and Trump will declare victory even if he gets convicted of some inconsequential accounting violation which voters won’t care about. From what I know so far (very little), it wouldn’t surprise me if, at worst, he pays a fine and that’s it. I’m not so sure that a felony will come out of this.
The Florida election-tampering situation seems far more consequential to me.
I think you’re probably right about the outcome of this particular indictment. However another take I’ve heard is that nobody wanted to be the first to indict a former president (muh “precedent”), so this might open the floodgates to many others concerning things like election fraud, January 6th insurrection etc. I have no idea, but it sounds plausible.
I may be naive, but I think it most likely that it has taken this long to secure an indictment simply because it is a complicated case just on its own terms, and gathering evidence in such cases is just a slow process. It is entirely possible that the Manhattan DA is treating this as any other case that does NOT involve a former President. Could be, no?
I am also a bit bemused by those who predict this case will help Trump politically. Sure, it will further fuel the paranoid fantasies of the paste-eating morons that make up his base. But what won’t do that. Many of them actually think that the indictment is part of Trump’s brilliant master plan, in that it sets a precedent to criminally prosecute, convict, and execute Obama, Biden the Clintons, etc. The “base” is not made up of serious people. For the average voters, who have already rejected Trump at the ballot box, keeping in the news cycle a story of how Trump cheated on his wife with a porn star then paid said porn star $100,000 to keep quiet about it is not going to make them more likely to vote for him, whatever the legal outcome.
I have difficulty believing that The Orange Peril can be elected to another term. 2016 was a close-run thing in which he lost the popular vote by millions, and I know some people who voted for him and then were flat-out horrified by the four years that followed. At the same time, I am beginning to think that there’s no way he doesn’t win the nomination. For the nomination, the whole “woe is me, I am being persecuted by the George Soros-backed prosecutors” thing may actually help him, but for the general election, I don’t see how.
But, then: the voters are not merely stupider than we do imagine; they are stupider than we can imagine.
You all are making solid observations. I admit to getting a bit depressed whenever this topic arises. I try to look on the bright side and hope that a series of indictments will be announced in the coming months, especially in Georgia. If the infamous phone call was not a blatant attempt at election tampering, I don’t know what would qualify. I’ve listened to much of that “perfect” phone call and can’t imagine how it isn’t a smoking gun. The Georgia Secretary of State was basically threatened with imprisonment if he didn’t find (flip?) a sufficient number of votes.
Yes. And that scares me enough to consider raiding the liquor cabinet—and I don’t even have one. Cuz I don’t drink. Not even a little.
I remember the olden days (early 1970’s??) when Tom Eagleton suddenly became unelectable because the public learned that he had been treated for depression. It didn’t take much to take a candidate out of the running. Today, I cannot figure out just where the electable boundary line might be.
I have plenty of friends who are “family values” voters and yet love Trump. Go figure. Yesterday I even heard a very brief line in a pastor’s sermon that seemed to be an only slightly veiled reference (the ex-president’s name was not mentioned) to a “biased” judicial witch hunt (without actually using any of those terms.) I have much familiarity and experience with that subculture and I still struggle to understand the mindset. Is it really that hard to believe that an indictment might be warranted?
Obviously, I have tremendous respect for the teachings of Jesus. It pains me to see them sullied by association with even briefly implied defenses of outrageous (and illegal) behavior.
At this point my therapist looks at his watch and says, “I see that our time is up . . .”
A couple stray observation on yesterday’s festivities:
Unless I missed it, I did not hear a single one of Trump’s lawyers or spokespeople deny the central facts of this case: That Trump had an affair with a porn star, paid her off to keep quiet about it during the election campaign, then engaged in some hinky bookkeeping to make it look like this was a non-campaign related business expense.
The arguments have, rather, been legalistic (that Trump’s actions do not meet the treshold of a felony) and political (that if anyone else did the same thing they would not have been prosecuted). Even if those arguments are sound, they do not dispute the facts mentioned above. And, as I said earlier, I am not convinced we have yet reached the point that conduct of this nature is not seriously, if not fatally, damaging to someone’s political aspirations.
I also note that, so far at least, the widespread violent retaliations by Trump’s minions that many feared have not materialized.
To Trump’s fans he can do nothing wrong. This one just keeps being completely true about his sycophants: “He didn’t say that. And if he did, he didn’t mean that. And if he did, you didn’t understand it. And if you did, it’s not a big deal. And if it is, others have said worse.”
Inb4 Hillary, Hunter Biden, leftist liberal communist prosecutor, judge, etc.
Oh, yes, for sure. His hardcore fans will stick with him to the death (sadly, some have done that literally). But those numbers are dwindling, and I don’t see how sex scandals involving illegal payouts to porn stars helps reverse that trend, even if if they don’t wind up with him convicted of a felony. If nothing else, this case keeps the salacious aspects of that whole affair on the front pages for months to come, probably into primary season.
The big issue appears to be the mistemeener bookkeeping falsification put in place to support felony violations of New York tax code. Trump’s affairs may grab the headlines, but this will boila down to accounting and tax fraud.
So, just like Al Capone.
Except that a very small jar will be sufficient.
Then rinse and repeat.
I couldn’t help but read the entire indictment when it was posted online. It is clear that the D.A. has abundant hard evidence for each of the 34 counts. I guess nothing in the indictment surprised me, other than the fact that we finally have a stack of snapshots illustrating how Trump conducts “business” on a daily basis. If not so tragic, it would be downright humorous. Meanwhile, his defenders were rationalizing all as “nitpicky bookkeeping details.” Considering the general public’s ignorance of basic accounting and why fraudulent records matter, I suppose I should have expected this gaslighting tactic.
I found it interesting that instead of Trump paying back his lawyer with a $130,000 reimbursement check, the indictment said that he told the lawyer to bill him for $260,000 in bogus hours of legal services. The indictment explained that the attorney’s tax bracket brought his taxes (presumably state and federal income taxes plus Medicare taxes) on that $260,000 to 50%. So the goal was, via fraudulent billing and bookkeeping, to allow his attorney to break even on his paying off the porn star while hiding/burying the payoff. Wow. Couldn’t Trump at least have given him a bonus for doing his dirty work (and eventually going to prison) by leaving him a little extra after taxes?
I especially appreciated how Trump’s defenders said that Trump did nothing but what people routinely do everyday: arrange NDA (non-disclosure agreements) along with financial settlements which admit nothing. Yeah, they’ve got me there. I admit that whenever I pay off the porn stars I’ve had affairs with, I always reward them with a generous check through my attorney (carefully laundered, of course) and make sure everybody signs an NDA. I mean, who doesn’t do that?
Let he who is without porn star NDAs cast the first stone.
I couldn’t have said it any better myself.
And just to stave off any confusion, what Trump does with porn stars I couldn’t care less about (in fact I’d rather not know). I like porn stars no less than any other regular dude. Sue me.
It’s more that he’s an idol and religious icon of “family values” Christian conservatives, that he commits fraud to hide and lie about it, and that his family value conservative evangelical base is either ignoring or making excuses for it, that I find objectionable. Fraud, lies, crimes, and staggering hypocrisy.
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