Previous posts in this discussion:
PostWill the Law Finally Catch Up with Trump? (Leo Goldberger, USA, 02/18/21 7:01 am)
It is truly a disappointment that so many of our fellow citizens show a total disregard for essential moral behavior--such as chronic lying, financially deceiving the IRS, assaulting women and manipulating scores of people for their self-centered selves.
Our recent president is finally to be indicted on one or more of these counts---and more than likely (after the usual appeals and delays) found guilty. Whatever one might think of Trump's pre-pandemic days in office and however his politics may have appealed to their financial or white supremacist aims, his final demise in the end was surely as legal as it could be according to all his many appeals and obvious provocation on the masses.
And, John, you as our extraordinary fair moderator, ought to be proud of your fair openness to whatever came your way via this unusually stimulating forum. Thanks.
JE comments: Leo, I am honored by your words, and by your presence in the WAIS ranks. Several other colleagues have written in response to A. J. Cave's post on editorial bias. I'll assemble them all in one compendium for publication later today.
So...will the law finally catch up with Trump? So far he has proven himself 100 times slipperier than Teflon. I do note that he recently fired Giuliani as his personal lawyer. Any insight on this development? Is it simply a move to cheat Rudy out of his $20K per day retainer?
Trump's Biggest Legal Problem May be in Georgia
(Timothy Ashby, -Spain
02/19/21 3:03 AM)
I wish to defend--and compliment--John on his moderation of the WAIS exchanges. He is invariably fair and I continue to be amazed and grateful that he takes the time to serve as the nexus for WAIS considering his busy schedule.
Writing as both a lawyer (licensed in Florida and the District of Columbia) as well as a former senior political appointee in the Reagan and Bush administrations, I thought from the beginning that Trump's impeachment for "incitement of insurrection" against the US government and "lawless action at the Capitol" would turn out to be little more than political grandstanding.
However, his attempt on 2 January to influence the results of the election by pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to change the state's vote total appears to be a far more serious criminal act. Earlier this month, Raffensperger's office opened an investigation of potential election interference, including Trump's phone calls, a step that could lead to a criminal investigation by state and local authorities. Trump's calls may have violated at least three state criminal election laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, and intentional interference with performance of election duties. The possible felony and misdemeanor violations are punishable by fines or imprisonment.
Unfortunately, If Trump were prosecuted, he would likely argue that he genuinely believed the election was rigged against him. Criminal laws generally require a "mens rea"--guilty state of mind--and an "actus reus"--an overt act in furtherance of a crime. This may be a high hurdle to clear in this case.
JE comments: Tim, I am flattered by your first paragraph, and grateful for your years of support. As for Trump's legal woes in Georgia, can you walk us through the legality of the recording? Federal law permits "one-party consent"--meaning, I can record any incoming call I want, as long as it's to me, or record a call I make. Is this correct? And more importantly, did Trump know he was being recorded by Raffensperger?
A second question reaches into psychology. Pathological liars enjoy the advantage of believing what they say. In such a case, how can mens rea be proven in court?