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#309898 - 12/16/18 06:47 PM Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump
NW Ponderer Offline
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Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16741
Rudy Giuliani has been spouting off, again, today. Giuliani: 'I can produce 20 witnesses' to defend hush money payments (Politico). It is not akin to, it is exactly, "I can produce 20 witnesses who didn't see anything." His assertions in today's interviews are legally wrong, period. Let's take a look, shall we?

Quote:
Giuliani’s comments echoed other defenses from the president’s allies, who contend that the payments were not illegal because they were, at least in part, a private matter meant to shield Trump's family from emotional distress.
Initially... seriously? Donald Trump was concerned about embarrassing his family? No juror, even in Russia, would believe that for an instant.

Quote:
“It has to be for the sole purpose. If there's another purpose, it’s no longer a campaign contribution if there‘s a personal purpose,” he said.
That, of course, is not at all the law. "Contribution" and "Expenditure" are defined in the Federal Election Campaign Act as anything "for the purpose of influencing any election." 52 USC §30101. To Wit:
Quote:
(8)(A) The term "contribution" includes-

(i) any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office; or

(ii) the payment by any person of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a political committee without charge for any purpose.

(9)(A) The term "expenditure" includes-

(i) any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office; and

(ii) a written contract, promise, or agreement to make an expenditure.
Note: it does not say "for the sole purpose" as Giuliani alleges. Moreover, Giuliani elides the most important legal issue in the Edwards comparison.

In a preliminary order, the District Court Judge ruled that Edwards' case made a legal case under the law - that is, the payoff could constitute a violation of the law, depending on the facts.
Quote:
Edwards repeatedly argued that the payments were not campaign contributions because they were not made exclusively to further his campaign. The judge rejected this argument as a matter of law, ruling that a payment to a candidate’s extramarital sexual partner is a campaign contribution if “one of” the reasons the payment is made is to influence the election.
Trump’s claim that he didn’t violate campaign finance law is weak — and dangerous (WaPo, Opinion, Subscription). Edwards' case was not dismissed, he was acquitted by the jury, one member of which later said "there just wasn't enough evidence." The additional charges that were "hung" were not pursued by the DoJ for practical, not legal, reasons. The two most important witnesses were not available - one had died, and the other was aged 101.

Moreover, the facts of the cases of Edwards and Trump, et al. differ dramatically. In Edwards' case, the payments started before he announced his candidacy (when his child was born), and continued after he had concluded his run, his wife had been diagnosed with cancer, and there was child support to consider. None of those issues appear in Trump's case.
Quote:
Not only is the legal theory against Trump stronger because of the Edwards precedent; the facts of the Trump case appear much stronger than the Edwards case as well. Here there appears to be both testimony of Cohen and people from AMI (the National Enquirer parent company) who have said that they coordinated with Trump to make the payments in order to help Trump's election chances. There was no corroboration for Edwards but apparently plenty for Trump.
Did Trump Violate Campaign Finance Laws? (Reason).

Further, Trump's behavior and public lies demonstrate a "consciousness of guilt".
Quote:
Trump has offered up three defenses. His first was to repeatedly lie. For quite some time, he flatly denied knowledge about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. But now he seems to be acknowledging that he knew (since his personal company reimbursed Cohen for the payment, he ought to). Now Trump and his acolytes have turned to two other excuses: They point to an earlier case involving former senator John Edwards to argue that what Trump did wasn’t a crime; and they say, even if it was a crime, it wasn’t a biggie — there are lots of crimes, so what, who cares.
Trump’s claim that he didn’t violate campaign finance law is weak — and dangerous (WaPo, Opinion, Subscription). When lawyers start turning to "legalities" in public pronouncements, they know their client is in trouble.

The short analysis of the evidence so far available to the public is: Trump is playing the role of the Christmas Goose on the table this year, and his skin, like the goose's, is golden brown.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#309902 - 12/16/18 07:44 PM Re: Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump [Re: NW Ponderer]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14966
Loc: Florida
Quote:
golden brown


The color of toast...
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"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#309903 - 12/16/18 10:00 PM Re: Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8549
Loc: North San Diego County
The timing of the payments makes the case. He had years to make these payoffs if he was so concerned about his wife not finding out. The payments occurred just before the election. That's no coincidence.

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#309905 - 12/16/18 10:25 PM Re: Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump [Re: NW Ponderer]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 9038
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Where did the money actually come from - the Trump Organization? If so, there is also probably tax fraud if the company claimed it as a business expense.
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#309907 - 12/17/18 01:26 AM Re: Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump [Re: logtroll]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16741
There is a reason that every organization associated with Trump is under investigation: The Trump White House, The Trump Campaign, the transition team, The Trump Organization, the Trump Foundation,
Quote:
What stands out to us is the totality of the investigations into and surrounding the president. You have:

the Mueller probe looking at Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and whether there was cooperation/coordination/assistance from the Trump campaign
New York prosecutors investigating the payments to women who allegedly had affairs with the president;
New York prosecutors looking at the inaugural committee;
New York’s attorney general examining the Trump Foundation and Trump’s business dealings;
the lawsuits looking at whether Trump is violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause through his business dealings;
and even the defamation lawsuit by Summer Zervos, who alleges that Trump defamed her after she claimed she was sexually assaulted by the president in 2007.
Any one of these investigations or inquiries would be enough to create a crisis for a presidency. But for Trump, there are at least SIX of them, and we’re not counting all of the probes into cabinet and administration officials.
Meet the Press: First Read (MSNBC)

That reason is that Trump is associated with all of them. He's a crook through and through and anything he touches turns to fraud.

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#309911 - 12/17/18 08:53 AM Re: Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8549
Loc: North San Diego County
Sort of like King Midas, except everything he touches turns to poop instead of gold.

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#309912 - 12/17/18 12:19 PM Re: Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump [Re: pondering_it_all]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 9038
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Sort of like King Midas, except everything he touches turns to poop instead of gold.

To paraphrase a certain Sufi master; unconscious people consume the good in life and transform it into shiit... conscious people consume the shiit in life and transform it into good.
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#309921 - 12/18/18 02:55 AM Re: Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16741
I've read a number of "defenses" of Trump, lately (ugh, hack, sputter, wretch), and they tend to gloss over anything that is not "collusion"-oriented as "not what the investigation was supposed to be about." What they fail to appreciate/acknowledge, is that the probe is authorized to investigate any criminality it discovers "related to" its investigation. That would include things like, campaign finance violations. Moreover, other investigative bodies, such as the FBI, the SDNY US Attorney, and Congress are not constricted thusly. Real crimes, real criminals.

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#309922 - 12/18/18 03:04 AM Re: Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16741
Alan Dershowitz has simply lost it. TRUMP DEFENDER ALAN DERSHOWITZ ON MICHAEL FLYNN: 'LYING TO THE FBI IS NOT A CRIME' (Newsweek).
Quote:
“Look, the Flynn case is fascinating,” Dershowitz told Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer. “I hope the judge understands when he has the case tomorrow that Flynn did not commit a crime by lying, because the lie has to be material to the investigation.... "And if the FBI already knew the answer to the question and only asked him the question in order to give him an opportunity to lie, his answer, even if false, was not material to the investigation. Lying to the FBI is not a crime."
His logic is so circular it is patently obvious. What's more, he knows that his argument is meritless under existing law and legal interpretations. That he would like it to be true does not make it legally sound. The fact is, Flynn lied when he was given several opportunities to "come clean". He knew he was lying, he knew it was a crime, and he did it anyway.

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#309924 - 12/18/18 03:37 AM Re: Yes, John Edwards is a precedent - that is bad for Trump [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8549
Loc: North San Diego County
Dershowitz's defense would render just about every investigation of organized crime ineffective, if it was true. I really think the guy needs to retire and stop giving bad legal advice.

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