Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certification

Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Aug 17, 2022 11:45 pm

GOP lawmakers [Marjorie Taylor Greene] adopt ‘defund’ rallying cry for FBI, not police
by Cheyanne M. Daniels
The Hill
08/13/22 5:59 AM ET

Image

The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many other Black Americans by police officers in recent years have sparked protests around the country. Many activists demanded cities defund their police, an idea scorned by Republicans.

Now, though, some GOP leaders have adopted the rallying cry when it comes to the FBI and former President Trump.

After the FBI conducted a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday, Republicans reacted in outrage, with a handful calling for the FBI to be defunded or abolished.

South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan (R) wrote on Twitter, “The FBI has proven time and again that it is corrupt to the core. At what point do we abolish the Bureau and start over?”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted “DEFUND THE FBI!” and is now selling apparel bearing the same slogan.

It’s quite a turnaround for any Republican to talk about defunding a national law enforcement group, given that the GOP has used calls from progressives to “defund the police” as a political attack line.

In fact, those GOP arguments were so politically potent that most Democrats have abstained from the “defund the police” slogan even when they are deeply in favor of police reform. President Biden has made it clear he does not want to defund the police.

Most Republicans attacking the FBI over its search of Trump’s estate also were not calling for the FBI to be defunded, even as they did question its actions.

Those that did use the phrase, however, showed few signs of walking it back, even after a search warrant was released publicly on Friday and showed authorities are looking into whether the Espionage Act was evaded through classified materials being brought to Mar-a-Lago.

Greene’s office said she was not available for an interview with The Hill. But she has been active on social media, accusing Biden of “weaponizing” the FBI and the Department of Justice in a Telegram post.

In an interview on former Trump strategist Steve Bannon’s podcast, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) compared the FBI officers to East German Stasi officers.

“The antidote has to be not one more damn penny for this administrative state that has been weaponized against our people in a very fascist way,” said Gaetz.

However, in a statement to The Hill, Gaetz said his comments “do not call for defunding the FBI” but for “reformation of the worst elements of the administrative state. Congress should use the power of the purse to achieve that goal.”

He added, “Taxpayer money shouldn’t fund any agency that targets its political opponents.”

It’s quite a shift from the GOP rhetoric about state and local police in the context of their policing of minority communities in particular.

Republicans have criticized Democratic lawmakers for encouraging the notion of “defunding” and even “abolishing” police forces.

Some Republicans have claimed Democrats’ approval of the idea has led to a recent uptick in crime across the country — despite the fact that Biden has pushed back at the defunding language.

“Crime is exploding in Democrat-run cities … this is 100% the result of their left-wing policies of defunding the police, backing BLM / ANTIFA, destroying families, and coddling of criminals!” Greene tweeted in June 2021.

In a 2020 Twitter thread, Duncan said that while he supports the right for people to “peacefully protest about policing concerns,” most law enforcement officers are “great public servants” who “care deeply about protecting individual rights.”

“It’s a sad and scary day in America when we have citizens calling to defund and dismantle the police,” Duncan’s thread said. “This dangerous call to action would NOT make our communities safer. It would only weaken law & order and cause far more chaos than we’ve already seen.”

Duncan’s office did not respond to request for comment.

Advocates for defunding the police have said the idea is to provide different, more humanitarian resources for overpoliced communities, and that Republicans have twisted the meaning behind the phrase.

Alicia Garza, principal of Black to the Future Action Fund and a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter organization, said the Republican lawmakers’ “hypocrisy” over the phrase is nothing more than “political theater.”

“They’re playing this role where they’re going to try and stir up as much false outrage as possible,” she said. “People use these kinds of moments not only to create wedges between communities but to distract people from what’s really at stake and, frankly, to distract people from the fact that they don’t have real solutions to some of the challenges that we’re facing.”

She added that the demands to defund police are “fundamentally trying to bring humanity back to communities who have been dehumanized” and these politicians “don’t deserve to stand on that same platform.”

“Hospitals are closing in our communities, and grocery stores and quality schools — all the things that make communities thrive,” said Garza. “Black people are saying, we need our communities refunded. Our communities have been stripped of all of the services and safety net protections that we have fought hard for … What I hear Black communities saying through our year-long Black Census Project is not necessarily that they want to defund police. What I hear is we want police to be held accountable when they commit crimes in our communities.”

But Garza said she’s not holding her breath for those conversations to take place.

“These are the real kinds of policy discussions that we should be having,” said Garza. “Unfortunately, because this is mostly theater, we’re not going to have those conversations.”

***********************

GOP's "Just Comply" Lie Shredded As Trump Allies Contradict Themselves Over Search
by Ari Melber
Aug 18, 2022

MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber reports on the justice system in America, as recent Trump probes reveal the GOP’s double standard on compliance and violence. Many GOP leaders contradicting their past demands the people “just comply” with police, joining with Trump in resisting lawful subpoenas and probes. Melber reports on how Trump and other powerful, well-connected white people are treated differently by law enforcement, and how the "just comply" rhetoric seemingly only applies to Black and brown people. This is part one of a special MSNBC report. Part two is also available online: bit.ly/thebeatwithari



Transcript

0:01
turning to our special report
0:03
right now on the rule of law and
0:05
following the law which donald trump
0:07
refuses to do
0:08
the fbi searched trump's florida home
0:11
because they said trump was illegally
0:12
holding top-secret property and had
0:14
violated lawful orders to return it
0:17
and a judge agreed
0:19
and then
0:20
as everyone now knows that search
0:22
unearthed some of that very property
0:24
which they said he was illegally holding
0:26
and illegally
0:28
refusing to provide back under subpoena
0:31
so that's bad for trump
0:32
his actions though
0:34
are separate legally from whether he
0:36
intentionally committed a new felony
0:38
there it may turn out that as far as the
0:40
justice department's concerned
0:42
they subpoenaed the material
0:44
they viewed trump's lawyers as violating
0:46
the order around that
0:48
and that they went back into his house
0:50
primarily to just get the material
0:53
and we know the attorney general
0:55
said they had already tried less
0:57
intrusive means
0:58
and then only went in because trump
1:01
was not
1:03
complying
1:05
the department does not take such a
1:07
decision lightly
1:09
where possible it is standard practice
1:11
to seek less intrusive means
1:15
that's true
1:16
and garland was basically telling trump
1:18
in public that trump brought the search
1:20
on himself
1:22
by all that time refusing to comply
1:24
he had well over a year to return the
1:26
material in general he had many weeks
1:28
after it was subpoenaed he didn't comply
1:30
at all
1:31
that is striking because remember
1:34
it is conservatives and many trump
1:36
allies who have been so quick to lecture
1:39
you
1:40
and americans everywhere whenever this
1:42
has come up in the past how if law
1:44
enforcement asks you to do just about
1:46
anything then you have to go ahead
1:49
and just comply
1:52
just comply please listen i don't know
1:54
why the gentleman didn't heal when he
1:56
was asked to yield
1:58
those are trump allies telling in those
2:00
cases victims of police brutality they
2:02
should comply and yield why didn't you
2:05
yield
2:06
and that's not any kind of just a couple
2:08
isolated examples
2:09
it is a standard piece of conservative
2:14
refrains
2:17
in these clashes over law enforcement
2:18
and policing including when people are
2:21
documented as innocent or did nothing
2:23
wrong or are facing very aggressive or
2:25
even illegal police treatment
2:27
the line we hear over and over is just
2:29
follow the officers commands and comply
2:32
no matter what
2:35
if in fact a police officer gives you a
2:37
command please exit the car you should
2:40
say yes officer no officer okay officer
2:43
i wish he would have complied a whole
2:44
lot earlier bad decisions by a cop but
2:47
if those decisions wouldn't have been
2:48
made if the perp didn't
2:51
run away just comply please listen
2:54
yeah just comply
2:56
this frequent conservative claim goes
2:58
well beyond complying with lawful police
3:00
requests i mean listen to what we just
3:02
heard the demand is comply first
3:05
fully no matter what yes officer
3:08
make any objections that may come up
3:09
presumably later
3:11
and this
3:12
logic this argument this talking point
3:14
has come from conservatives over and
3:16
over so i'm showing you some stuff
3:18
that's on air but this is in communities
3:20
around america minnesota has a police
3:23
union representative bryan peters who in
3:25
that dante wright case who was killed by
3:27
an officer mistakenly drawing a gun said
3:29
well still
3:31
they should have just complied
3:33
and he argued that it was the
3:34
non-compliance that set off the chain of
3:36
events that led to the death
3:37
houston police has a union and they had
3:39
a similar take when they said
3:42
quote comply don't die
3:45
live to have your day in court
3:47
those are real examples
3:50
and that includes times where police
3:53
were later found to make mistakes sort
3:55
of according to court used excessive
3:57
force sometimes even on tape but that
3:59
loud stubborn and often smug lecture
4:02
comes from national political elites on
4:04
the right and maga leaders and trump
4:07
allies all the way down to those police
4:08
unions i mentioned comply
4:10
that's even when innocent people were
4:11
injured or beaten or killed
4:14
that's a context here for the recent
4:15
legal problems for trump because
4:17
again this sometimes gets almost pushed
4:19
out there's so much going on and that's
4:21
why it's our special report right now
4:23
because i want
4:24
everyone to understand
4:26
donald trump was given months to comply
4:29
but he didn't and trump aides who've
4:31
been given special careful elite
4:33
treatment when asked to follow the law
4:35
and testify
4:36
have benefited
4:37
from that whole different approach
4:40
there are trump officials though who
4:42
partially resisted and there are others
4:44
especially for the january 6 committee
4:45
who fully resisted
4:47
no compliance
4:49
and i want to be clear we're talking
4:50
about
4:51
donald trump and other powerful
4:54
well-connected
4:55
white people
4:56
who have acted like they are above the
4:58
law and their own past demands some of
5:00
which i just showed you
5:02
are really
5:03
not about the rules they're just telling
5:05
others to comply
5:08
and many of those other cases involve
5:09
regular citizens who don't have
5:11
political connections and who are
5:12
disproportionately black and brown
5:14
people in america
5:16
so this is a documented double standard
5:18
lawless resistance for these trump
5:20
elites
5:21
regimented compliance or violence for
5:24
regular citizens and especially regular
5:26
citizens who are black and brown
5:29
and before i go any further
5:31
let's bring it together we try to be
5:33
clear here and we try to be as factual
5:35
and clear as possible
5:37
this is the same premise which animated
5:39
all those trump fans on january 6.
5:41
they genuinely expected to go in and
5:43
break the law
5:44
they genuinely seem to operate with
5:47
immunity to feel immune because of their
5:48
privilege and worldview and they
5:51
brutally attacked police because they
5:52
never cared about police or blue lives
5:55
to begin with
5:56
now there are some people that day and
5:57
the days after in america who were
5:59
actually surprised by the trump fans
6:01
that day
6:03
or some said gosh this is
6:05
hypocritical given the past talk of blue
6:07
lives
6:09
you know who wasn't shocked
6:11
all the maga people doing those crimes
6:15
because that's what they came to do
6:17
and you know who else wasn't shocked
6:20
their leader
6:21
who at the time was trying
6:24
to lead a failed coup that was thwarted
6:27
donald trump was not shocked he was
6:29
elated excited
6:30
juiced up
6:31
and he saluted them and called them
6:33
special in real time
6:35
because all those people together who
6:37
many of them hadn't met before they
6:38
already knew about this if
6:40
you were surprised or someone you know
6:42
was surprised then someone you know was
6:44
taking the blue livestock at face value
6:46
but it was crap and they all knew it was
6:48
crap because it was about power and
6:51
dominance and race
6:53
and those people
6:55
view the law as a way to enforce a
6:57
right-wing white supremacy
7:01
and if they can't get the police to do
7:02
that which apparently they couldn't on
7:04
the steps of the capitol then they have
7:05
little use for it and that's the deeper
7:07
more disturbing context for what we're
7:09
living through right now which i guess
7:11
is surprising to some people
7:13
so let it not be surprising anymore you
7:15
have to see facts before you can fix
7:17
facts
7:18
that's the disturbing context for this
7:20
seemingly habitual political hypocrisy
7:23
around the lawful search of donald
7:25
trump's home
7:27
the fbi rate of president trump is a
7:29
complete abuse and overreach of its
7:31
authority the way our federal government
7:33
has gone it's like what we thought about
7:34
the gestapo this is absurd think about
7:37
it this has been a wish hunt for six
7:39
years what they've been doing to
7:41
president trump is political persecution
7:43
it is joe biden's doj and they have
7:46
weaponized this fbi at every turn if
7:48
you're a republican conservative
7:51
and you hear the fbi is going after
7:53
trump again it sounds alarm bells
7:57
alarm bells
7:59
well alarms are for emergencies if there
8:00
are alarms here i can tell you
8:02
the response to people connected to
8:04
trump
8:05
who have not been complying has been at
8:07
a very slow
8:09
careful
8:10
sensitive pace
8:12
take two of trump's former white house
8:14
aides who refused to comply with lawful
8:16
subpoenas bannon and navarro well
8:19
they've had plenty of time bannon had
8:20
weeks between refusing to comply and
8:22
being held in contempt another month
8:25
until he was indicted in november
8:28
and even in a dispute over
8:29
non-compliance
8:31
i want you to understand legally the
8:33
justice department still arranged to
8:35
give mr bannon the opportunity to come
8:37
involuntarily which he did
8:40
now peter navarro spoke openly about his
8:43
efforts to overthrow the election
8:45
which brought legal scrutiny on him
8:48
he put out a book he did interviews
8:50
only after all that did congress
8:52
subpoena him in february
8:54
then when he did not comply he was held
8:56
in contempt in april and indicted
8:59
months later in june
9:01
now after all that
9:04
unlike bannon the doj did not try
9:07
perhaps because they are not naive they
9:10
did not try to get him to come
9:11
involuntarily
9:13
similar to the legal process for trump
9:15
where you have to go to a judge the doj
9:17
determined navarro was not legally
9:20
trustworthy that's not an opinion
9:22
there's actually a standard for that so
9:23
they asked the judge to approve what was
9:25
the less intrusive approach and that
9:27
left mr navarro outraged rattled
9:30
and seemingly experiencing something
9:32
that he did not think could happen
9:35
to him
9:37
former adviser peter navarro is at this
9:40
hour in federal custody he was issued a
9:43
subpoena in february to produce
9:44
documents and appear before the
9:46
committee in march but refused to do
9:48
either what did they do
9:50
they intercepted me getting on the plane
9:53
and then they put me in handcuffs they
9:55
bring me here they put me in leg irons
9:58
they stick me in a cell that's punitive
10:00
that what they did to me today
10:03
violated the constitution
10:07
they did put him in handcuffs
10:09
handcuffs are part of getting arrested
10:11
just like going into the cell before an
10:13
arraignment
10:15
now mr navarro then went on fox news
10:18
with those same complaints i just showed
10:20
you
10:21
which is the same place where viewers
10:23
had been lectured so many times on how
10:26
to avoid exactly those problems with
10:28
police
10:30
just say yes sir yes officer and comply
10:35
if in fact a police officer gives you a
10:38
command please exit the car you should
10:40
say yes officer no officer okay officer
10:45
that's not how navarro sounded when
10:47
dealing
10:48
with law enforcement or the officers of
10:50
the subpoena nor bannon nor trump who's
10:53
going well beyond the hannity standard
10:55
of yes officer and currently threatening
10:57
retaliation
11:00
but
11:01
you could say right
11:02
what's the context what's the history
11:04
those clips are from
11:07
those reactions to police incidents
11:10
with black americans
11:12
[Music]
11:32
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Thu Aug 18, 2022 2:26 am

Investigating Trump
by Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Published July 30, 2022
Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 438 Transcript
https://www.ralphnaderradiohour.com/inv ... ing-trump/

We welcome back our resident Constitutional scholar, Bruce Fein, who gives us his take on the January 6th hearings, how they compare to the Watergate, and Iran Contra, why the Democrats seem to be holding back, and what the Department of Justice needs to do to live up to its name with regard to the crimes of Donald Trump.

Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law. Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall.

So where’s this idea they let Pat Cipollone get away with not responding and not explaining, “Well what did Mr. Trump say?” …There is certainly no executive privilege with regard to attorney/client privilege… The client of a government attorney, especially a White House (attorney)…is the United States Constitution. It is not any individual. We do not “Dear Fuhrer” salute the occupant of the White House. That is not your client… Anything that subverts the Constitution is a danger, and you have a duty to disclose what that is.

Bruce Fein
If the smoking gun is in the White House, how can you give the White House the privilege to cover it up? That makes no sense whatsoever. Are you going to say that a criminal suspect can decide, “Well, I’m not going to surrender the murder weapon”? No, you can subpoena the murder weapon here.

Bruce Fein
The Democrats are soft because they have skeletons in the closet that they know they’ve done the same or similar things — maybe not on quite the same magnitude— and they worry, “Well, if we lose the elections to the Republicans in the fall, they’re going to turn these precedents, and they’re coming after us. And we’ve got a lot of skeletons that we want to conceal. So: we go soft on them, they’ll go soft on us.”

Bruce Fein
The press always said, “Hey, criminally prosecuting a former President? That’s never been done before…” What are they talking about? If nobody’s above the law, it’s even more important to go after the top dogs.

Transcript

Tom Morello: I’m Tom Morello and you’re listening to the Ralph Nader Radio Hour.

Steve Skrovan: Welcome to a live Zoom edition of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. My name is Steve Skrovan along with my co-host David Feldman. Hey David, how is the house?

David Feldman: It’s exciting. We’re meeting our listeners.

Steve Skrovan: I also want to welcome our Associate Producer, Hannah Feldman who is going to be moderating our live audience questions. Hello Hannah.

Hannah Feldman: Hello Steve.

Steve Skrovan: And of course the man of the hour, Ralph Nader. Hello Ralph.

Ralph Nader: Hello to the viewers, listeners. It’s all about the headlines of today, bringing Trump to justice.

Steve Skrovan: That’s right. Today we were scheduled to hear lawyer Josh Koskoff. That’s what we were promoting all week. He’s the attorney who won a 73 million dollar judgment against Remington and other Arms manufacturers on behalf of the families of nine victims of the mass shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Unfortunately for us, he was called away at the last minute to attend a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. on the topic. Unfortunate in the short term for us, but potentially fortunate in the long term for the cost of sensible gun control. So we will reschedule Mr. Koskoff in the coming weeks and get an insider’s view of how that hearing went and how Mr. Koskoff successfully argued his case in court. So stay tuned for that. But we are nothing if not nimble here at the Ralph Nader Radio Hour, so we’ve quickly switched gears. As Ralph mentioned, today we’re gonna talk about the recent news that the Department of Justice is investing Donald Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection. According to the Washington Post they are interviewing close associates of then VP Mike Pence and I assume many others as the days and weeks go by. Many had been clamouring for the DOJ to take action in light of what we’ve been learning through the January 6th hearings; now it looks like it’s happening. To help us sort all that out we have invited our resident constitutional scholar Bruce Fein to join us today. Ralph and Bruce will talk upfront about the implication of the DOJ investigation. Then those of you in the Zoom room will have a chance to ask Ralph and Mr. Fein questions. As always, somewhere along the line we’ll check in with our corporate crime reporter Russell Mokhiber. But first, David, introduce our guest to the people. David Feldman: Bruce Fein is a constitutional scholar who was Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan. He has been a visiting fellow for constitutional studies at the Heritage Foundation and an adjunct scholar at American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for our Constitution and Democracy, and his other book is American Empire Before the Fall. Welcome back to the Ralph Nader Radio Hour Bruce Fein.

Bruce Fein: Thanks for inviting me.

Ralph Nader: Welcome back, Bruce. We’re gonna cover a lot of ground and it entails all the questions that a lot of people are asking that they’re not getting answers to from the January 6th Committee and from the Justice Department. All over the front pages today the Washington Post and the New York Times, have reported that for some weeks now there’s been a grand jury empanelled by the Justice Department to investigate s the insurrection and the predicates leading to the mob against the Congress on January 6th to obstruct the certification of the election in favor of Joe Biden. Let’s start with this section, Bruce. The committee has a lot staff. They’ve gotten a number of hearings with pretty good ratings. They seem to have been doing a good job but they’re not using the priority powers that they have with Trump, Pence and other arenas that can open up and strengthen their case.

Bruce Fein: Thank you Ralph. Well the first thing is we need to remember that one of the refrains of the Committee has been the dereliction of duty of President Trump during these 187 minutes of insurrection where he sat and fiddled while the Constitution was torched. But there’s been a dereliction on the committee side, too, and let me explain. They have unchecked inherent power to subpoena and to demand the testimony of Mr. Trump and Mike Pence among others and to sanction any disobedience to those subpoenas by imprisonment or otherwise without going to court. Yet it’s Mr. Pence especially who has the smoking gun. We know there are at least half a dozen or more incidents where it’s been said that the two men were speaking together without anyone else in the room about not counting the state certified electoral votes on January 6th. Why would you not call the man with the smoking gun? That would be like the Watergate Committee not subpoenaing the Nixon tapes after Alex Butterfield revealed them. The Nixon tapes brought him down. Remember the tape that showed that he was urging HR Haldeman to obstruct justice and that led to Mr. Nixon’s resignation,. So, one problem is why have you not subpoenaed Mr. Pence? There isn’t any privilege there. No vice president in history has ever successfully claimed a privilege not to testify. He’s not even a sitting vice president. The same thing can be said about President Trump. I worked on the Watergate impeachment of Nixon. There were four congressional subpoenas against Nixon for his tapes. He flouted them and that was an article of impeachment. So when the House is investigating high crimes and misdemeanors, there isn’t any presidential privilege, former presidential privilege or otherwise. This is a dereliction. The American people are entitled to know exactly what Trump said when he was informed there is violence unfolding on Capitol Hill; they’re yelling and screaming, “Hang Mike Pence!” among other things. We don’t want claims of executive privilege or I don’t know or we can’t reveal that. That’s another deficiency. Not only are they not calling the prime witnesses about January 6th, Trump and Pence, but they let Cipollone, the White House lawyer claim privilege to not disclose exactly what Trump said when he alerted Trump that his followers were committing violence on Capitol Hill. We know previously when he was informed that his followers were bringing arms into the Ellipse, Trump said, “Don’t check them, because they’re not coming after me.” So these particular words are very important. There may be some listeners and you may remember Ralph, that John Dean was White House Counsel who testified on five or six complete days before the Watergate Committee on blow-by-blow conversations he had with President Richard Nixon. You remember the words of Nixon that rained like a thunder on an anvil for weeks. Where when he said in response to raising money to pay off the Watergate burglars, “Oh we could do it but it would be wrong.” Those words, well it would be wrong, looked like a cover up after he was acknowledging that, that’s exactly what they were thinking about, paying the $25,000 as bribes. So where is this idea that they let Pat Cipollone get away with not responding and explaining, well what in fact did Mr. Trump say? That’s very important.

Ralph Nader: There’s no executive privilege that can be invoked against a congressional subpoena. You want to elaborate that?

Bruce Fein: Well no, there isn’t. When they tried to claim that in Nixon’s case, they impeached him because he flouted the subpoenas and there was no defense. The impeachment power is plenary. You can imagine why there’s no privilege. After all, if the smoking gun is in the White House, how can you give the White House the privilege to cover it up? That makes no sense whatsoever. You’re gonna say that a criminal suspect can decide, well, I’m not gonna surrender the murder weapon. No, you can subpoena the murder weapon here. Now of course there is the privilege Ralph, of self-incrimination. It’s not executive privilege. There’s a 5th Amendment privilege against self- incrimination, no matter what the context, whether it’s in a civil or other proceeding. But Trump has never claimed the 5th Amendment privilege. You can draw a negative inference about that invocation in a civil context, and an impeachment proceeding is civil. It’s not criminal, which is why after you’re impeached you could still be subject to criminal prosecution. But Trump has insinuated he would invoke the 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. But there’s certainly no executive privilege with regard to attorney client privilege. It was established in the Bruce Lindsey case and Clinton, that the client of a government attorney, especially in the White House, and it was my client when I was in the Justice Department, was the United States Constitution; it is not any individual. You don’t do dare, fear, salute the occupant of the White House, no; that is not your client. When I took an oath to be a government attorney, my oath was to the Constitution itself, period. Anything that subverts the Constitution is a danger and you have a duty to disclose what that is.

Ralph Nader: Now just to summarize, you’re criticizing the a January 6th Committee for not subpoenaing Trump and Pence, which is really inexplicable to people who know anything about congressional investigations. [chuckle] Eventually you got to get to the top of the heap. The second is that Congress is not, and the Committee is not informing the public that they don’t have to go to court and endless appeals and delays to enforce their contempt power if Trump and Pence defied the subpoena. They have inherent, listen to this please, they have inherent congressional contempt power under the Constitution to enforce their own subpoenas without going to court. In fact in the 1930’s they did that against an individual and arrested him, and put him in a little jail in the Congress. Third, you’re saying all these attempts by witnesses requested for certain testimony cannot invoke any kind of executive privilege; that’s not gonna be upheld and the judicial precedents are in favor that position. Now we come to the most astonishing of all, that the January 6th Committee may complete its hearings and report s without urging the invocation of Section 3 of the 14 Amendment, which would disqualify Trump from ever running again for public office. Can you explain that?

Bruce Fein: Yes, the Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which by the way the US Supreme Court held as a self-executing amendment like the 15th Amendment, or the 13th Amendment. That is you don’t need implementing legislation. It’s self-executing. It provides that any person who has taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, who after having taken that oath engages in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, is forever disqualified from holding public office--not only the presidency or in Congress, but from holding any public office again. This is something that can be removed by a two-thirds vote in Congress to remove that disqualification. So you would think, especially in light of Liz Cheney, the Vice Chair’s closing statement to the last hearing where she said, the American people need to think, can we ever trust former president Trump with holding public office again, given the gross derelictions on January 6th. But she didn’t follow up and say, well, and under Section 3 we’re going to find that he is disqualified because he did engage in insurrection against…

Ralph Nader: Just to clarify, implementing Section 3 by the Congress does not require a two-thirds vote. It only requires a majority vote.

Bruce Fein: Simple majority, and the Democrats have simple majorities in the House and the Senate.

Ralph Nader: Well, that’s interesting that neither the January 6th Committee nor any other committee as House or Senate Judiciary has raised this. But it does reflect something long standing, Bruce, which is that the Democrats are very soft and weak. It’s like they have 12 arrows to their quiver and they’re using two. When they moved against Trump on the first impeachment, you laid out, and all this was put in the Congressional Record in December 19, 2019--12 impeachable offenses, some of them actual federal crimes committed openly, brazenly, daily by Donald Trump. And Nancy Pelosi only picked the Ukraine matter, which wasn’t exactly a kitchen table issue for the American people. So the background of softness on Trump is extraordinary, especially since, what did he say once in the middle of his tenure?

Bruce Fein: I’ve quoted this one as I’ve memorized Ralph, July 23rd 2019, a day that should live in constitutional infamy, President Trump, I quote, “Then I have Article 2 where I have the right to do anything I want as president.” That’s the equivalent of saying the king d can do no wrong; the equivalent of saying we’re back to pre-1776 where the king was the law, and the law was the servant of the king. I mean it’s truly an astounding statement. That by itself in my judgment is an impeachable offense. It’s an attempt to subvert the Constitution. He’s explaining exactly what his purpose and goal is. Not only the Democrats don’t use that quote, Joe Biden never even used it in the 2020 election campaign. You will not find the January 6th Committee ever quoting those words in the hearings, which is unbelievable to me. We all remember that very famous or infamous exchange between Frost and Nixon when Nixon said, “when the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.” Everybody was alarmed and shocked. What do you mean if the president does it, it automatically means it’s not illegal? A president is under the law, not above it. But here we are years later and Trump says the same thing as Nixon. People shrug their shoulders and move on, truly stunning.

Ralph Nader: Even more extraordinary, is this isn’t just history. It continues. Trump and the Republicans are continuing in many states to run roughshod over election laws, and standards, and purging voters, and obstructing voting, and criminalizing volunteer precinct workers’ behavior and intimidation. It all continues. But I’m sure some of our audience are asking, what are some of these crimes that Trump openly and brazenly, and daily committed when he was president. Including something that often many people don’t think is a crime but is a very serious crime--massive obstruction of justice by Donald Trump in the White House. Why don’t you start with that?

Bruce Fein: Okay, well John Bolton, by the way, who I know because I worked with him in the Justice Department at one time, is very conservative. I disagree with him on a whole lot of issues. But he wrote after his tenure as national security adviser, that “obstruction was a way of life at the White House.” Trump all the time was interfering with Mueller investigation. He was interfering with the investigation on Halkbank, a Turkish bank that evaded sanctions against Iran to do a favor for Turkish current president Erdoğan. His whole role was thinking about how can we fire Robert Mueller to do another Saturday night massacre? How can we get the attorney general to not recuse himself? How can we offer pardons and phone calls to people to say we’re still on the team? We saw relics of this Ralph, in the testimony before the January 6th Committee where we have testimony that yeah, there were calls received from Trump or his alter ego saying, hey you know we really believe in you, and if you stay on the team, good things will happen to you in an effort to distort and influence the testimony. Obviously it seems quite clear that a whole new slew of Trump pardons to Roger Stone, and for Mike Flynn and others were there to help his friends. In fact in the discussion of impeachable offenses, at the time of the framing, framers explicitly stated that a president who wields the pardon power to help and favor his friends could be guilty of an impeachable offense. Trump has filled that standard in spades.

Ralph Nader: Obstruction of justice isn’t just politics as usual. Some people say, “Well, you know, politicians always do that.” But this is a serious crime, a serious violation of federal statutes that can be prosecuted and result in imprisonment.

Bruce Fein: Yes, the entire Watergate cover-up trial concerning Haldeman, Ehrlichman, John Mitchell, et cetera, were obstruction of justice prosecutions and they all succeeded. President Nixon, the Articles of Impeachment voted against him by the House Judiciary Committee before he resigned, alleged obstruction of justice. That was the payoff of the Watergate burglars who tried to influence testimony before the grand jury illegally. In fact it was obstruction of justice that was the final straw that broke the camel’s back when the tapes showed that Nixon was urging HR Haldeman to lie and say he couldn’t remember things to the grand jury when he could. That was viewed as sufficient to oust the president from power. This is not a garden variety crime. With regard to President Clinton himself when he was under investigation, yeah it was obstruction when it was alleged that he was lying to Whitewater a grand jury, to Ken Starr, to the judge in the Paula Jones case. And he ended up losing his license. He was charged with contempt of court for lying about not having sex with that woman, fined $90,000. So it’s a very, very serious prohibition. I mean after all if obstruction of justice could be committed with impunity, our judicial system would collapse. Anybody could get on the witness stand, lie, cheat, steal.

Ralph Nader: Yeah, just a footnote. In the Mueller Report, which was heavily censored by the attorney general for Trump, there were all kinds of evidence deduced of obstruction of justice. To this day even though the Democrats howled at Trump and demanded the attorney general release the full Mueller Report uncensored, un-redacted, they still have not released the Mueller Report, and they’re in charge. The Democrats are now in charge. So again, they’re very soft; they’re very weak. Trump knows that. Now there is a federal law that says presidents, vice presidents must never use the power of the federal government against their political opponents in an upcoming election, especially. It’s called the Hatch Act. What did Trump do on the Hatch Act?

Bruce Fein: Well the Hatch Act criminalizes a candidate for office from commandeering federal resources or federal personnel to influence the outcome of the campaign. Basically, Mr. Trump turned the White House into a crime scene at the time of the convention and before when he was making candidate speeches from the White House. His wife was making speeches in his support from the White House. Mike Pompeo was utilizing the US Embassy in Jerusalem to support Trump in his candidacy on US property. It goes on and on. That’s clearly illegal. The other thing that Trump was doing, and people who have got some of their so-called CARES checks; you may recall sometimes there were direct deposits. Some say they were checks. Mr. Trump put his name gratuitously on checks to try to make it seem as though people were receiving money, not because of the Congress, but because Trump is responsible for this CARES check, and that’s what you should consider voting for him because he has given you some money in part of his program. He had to utilize Treasury Department personnel to get his name on all of those checks. Then he used White House stationary to communicate with direct deposit recipients of CARES money to say hey we’re alerting you that we’ve deposited X amount of money in your account; this is one of the great things that the president does. It’s all on White House stationary, and it was obviously time to influence the outcome of the 2020 election. These are examples of the White House, and indeed his chief of staff at the time, Mark Meadows said, “Only inside the Beltway, people care about the Hatch Act; nobody else does” as though okay, a criminal statue doesn’t apply if it’s inside the Beltway and people don’t care. Well listen, it does apply no matter what. Hatch Acts are serious violations. You may recall there are a huge problems with the Hatch Act that were raised against then Vice President Al Gore in 2000 saying that he was utilizing his Vice-Presidential offices in the EEOB [Eisenhower Executive Office Building] to raise money. That’s obviously a partisan issue. There are questions of whether President Clinton was using the Lincoln Bedroom to host guests who would contribute to his campaign. So it’s a serious issue. But I think Ralph, in part, you’re asking why are the Democrats so soft? I think at least one of the motivations is that they do basically the same thing, and they don’t want to have the criminal justice system turned against them when they’re no longer in power.

Ralph Nader: Of course there’s an order of magnitude. Nobody has done it so frequently, openly, brazenly, regularly the way Trump has. For example, Presidents shift money around here and there in complex budgets that aren’t particularly stipulated by Congress when Congress approves the federal budget. But nobody has done it at the scale that Trump did it in open defiance of a prohibition by the Congress not to spend billions of dollars building the wall on the Southern Border. Can you talk about that and how he shuffled it from the Pentagon? Bruce Fein: Yes, it’s an important statute Ralph, and listeners or viewers. It’s called the Anti-deficiency Act. The reason why it was enacted was to protect the congressional power of the purse, to make certain that Congress could oversee the executive and control abuses by the power of the purse. It says in layman’s language, no, it’s a crime for the president to spend money on projects that Congress has not appropriated the money for. So, this is litigation that showed Trump diverted scores of billions of dollars of military construction funds to build a wall with Mexico to address immigration, which is not a military issue. It’s an immigration issue. He diverted 80 billion dollars in FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funds to pay unemployment compensation which he thought would help him with his constituents--80 billion dollars. So if the president can go ahead and spend money as he wishes, irrespective of what Congress has appropriated the money for, the power of the purse becomes crippled.

Ralph Nader: As he said, with Article 2 he can do whatever he wants as president. There’s one more outrageous pattern of criminality. He set the all-time record for defying congressional subpoenas. Could you talk about that?

Bruce Fein: Yeah, over a hundred. Of course the oversight power is very, very critical. Woodrow Wilson once wrote in congressional government that the informing function of Congress is even more important than its statutory function or legislative function. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” as Louee Brandeis said. So overseeing the executive branch is absolutely critical. Let me just give you one example; I hope it’s not a diversion. There was no oversight of the Afghan War that continued for over two decades, and as a result Ralph, the United States spent every day for 20 successive years more than 300 million dollars in the Afghan War to result in a return of the second edition of the Taliban more barbaric and prudish than the first edition, right?

Ralph Nader: Over 300 million dollars a day.

Bruce Fein: A day, a day for 20 successive years, every single day. No oversight, and no one is accountable. What do you think is the signal that gives to the executive branch? Go to war, do whatever you want; no oversight; we can cover it up; you will never pay a penalty; we’ll just move on.

Ralph Nader: The U S Inspector General for Afghanistan expenditures documented again and again unbelievable looting, corruption, collusion, payoffs, waste. At the end he was asked, well what was the result of all your investigations? He said, they never led to any law enforcement. It’s all on the record. One thing I wanted you to elaborate a bit about is the defiance of subpoenas to find out what? Because defiance of subpoenas is a little vague,. Nixon defied four subpoenas and that was enough to set Congress on the course to impeach and convict him and throw him out of office. Trump has defied well over 120 subpoenas from various congressional committees. What were the subpoenas for, for example?

Bruce Fein: Well, there are a variety of inquiries here. But one example would be to go back to the wall to Mexico. After all they asked, what is the documentation that this is military construction related? Remember the first time around Trump said when Congress wouldn’t appropriate the money, he shut Congress down. He wouldn’t sign the necessary spending bills to keep the government in operation. Then he turns around and immediately says, okay, now I’m gonna spend it on my own. So we need the communications. Where did he get that advice? Where was his authority? Where is the documentation that shows you could spend this money? Another area where he was defying is they’re asking for information about his refusal to send arms that Congress had appropriated money for to Ukraine in order to get then President Zelenskyy who is still president, to go investigate Hunter Biden and Biden and whatever. We want the documentation. What was the need under the Impoundment Act, that justified that kind of delay? Who did you talk to? Who did you talk to in deciding you want to talk to Zelenskyy directly and that you were not gonna give him the arms? Especially with communications with Rudy Giuliani.

Ralph Nader: A lot of other subpoenas dealt was really bread and butter issues like subpoenaing information about how the Trumpsters shut down the economic protection regulation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Food and Drug Administration, looking the other way, or the Department of Interior, or the Department of Agriculture favoring agribusiness, or the big land owners, exploiters of the public land. Yeah, I mean it dealt with a whole shut down of the federal government and turning it over to Wall Street and Houston by the Trumpsters’ corruption. So many of his appointees in high government offices had to flee their office, had to resign under a shadow of wrongdoing, like the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Bruce Fein: Yes, Scott Pruitt, yeah.

Ralph Nader: Yeah, and the Secretary of Interior. Now we come to the most interesting question to Bruce Fein, why are the Democrats behaving this way? What are the various motivations when they keep tiptoeing and investigating but they’re not using the evidence in full power to make sure that Trump goes back to his casino business, or is prosecuted and convicted of these crimes? What’s going on here?

Bruce Fein: Well, it takes some speculation here Ralph. But both you and I probably collectively have spent like a hundred years or more around these people. I’ve come to the reluctant conclusion; the Democrats are soft because they have skeletons in the closet. They know they’ve done the same or similar things, maybe not on quite the same magnitude, and they worry that if they lose the elections to the Republicans in the fall, they’re gonna turn these precedents and they’re coming after us. We’ve got a lot of skeletons that we want to conceal. So we go soft on them; they’ll go soft on us.

Ralph Nader: Why isn’t this corruption a winning agenda for the election? It comes in number one always. People, no matter the party--Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Progressive, whatever. Whenever you ask people about ranking things they want done away with, the corruptions issue is right at the top; It’s true around the world, too. Why aren’t they making this into a winning political issue--law and order, clean government, responsive government, preserve tax payer money, get Wall Street off Washington’s back, bring it close to the people, make politicians accountable? Those are winning election arguments. What’s going on here?

Bruce Fein: Yeah, and to reinforce your observation Ralph, I remember that after the Nixon investigations, the Republicans were clobbered at the next election; they were like wiped out in November of 1974 after Nixon resigned. So it was clearly a vote of no confidence for anybody who had defended President Nixon that were implicated in this corruption. The only thing I think of is that they think well that may be true. Maybe it’s good for the public. But for us, no, because we got skeletons in the closet. You remember, I don’t want to push it too far, the way in which the Republicans kind of came unglued when they did the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Then okay, Newt Gingrich, the youthful indiscretions. Then you had two or three speakers that had to all resign because they had done the same thing as Clinton. So, the Democrats likely think we may be popular with the public, but when they see our skeletons, when the Republicans get back in power it will be a loss for us. So it’s just the club instinct out there; everybody protects everybody else, which is why--we haven’t gotten into this Ralph--the January 6 Committee has not sought to compel a single member of Congress who has information relating to what Trump said to them on January 6th, to just come testify. I guarantee you there is no privilege for a member of Congress to refuse to testify. The speech or debate clause protection only applies when the executive or judiciary is at work, not the legislative body.

Ralph Nader: That included Senator Lindsey Graham. They haven’t subpoenaed him. He was part of that, and wannabe speaker Kevin McCarthy, right?

Bruce Fein: Absolutely, yeah, Kevin McCarthy said things that were quite critical of Trump. Then he kind of became mini-mouthed in trying to retract them later on, trying to fall into Trump’s good graces. So yeah, Kevin McCarthy would be a prime witness. Certainly the same can be said with regards to Mitch McConnell, who also was on record saying this is a moral condemnation, a legal condemnation; this is all Trump’s handiwork, January 6th. Okay, what made you conclude that then majority leader McConnell? We know that Trump in fact called repeatedly House and Senate members. House members went up to the White House shortly before January 6th and were talking about ways in which you could try to obstruct/prevent Pence from counting the votes on January 6th. Well those members need to be called. Scott Perry, among others, Matt Gaetz among others, Jim Jordan among others. What did you tell the president? There’s no privilege here. We need to know what do you advised him? What did the president say in return to establish a corrupt motive? What’s going on here? Is there a conspiracy?

Ralph Nader: I think there’s a fear aspect, too. The press always said criminally prosecuting a former president has never been done before. The Washington Post says for example, the revelations of a federal grand jury investigating Trump on January 6, “Raise the stakes of an already politically fraught probe involving a former president.” What are they talking about? If nobody is above the law, it’s even more important to go after the top dogs. They keep saying, this will divide the country, and this and that. But the more people who supported Trump learn of what he’s done to our republic, to our Constitution, to our rule of law, to engender more anxiety, dread, and fear about the coming elections, to intimidate voters on, and on, and to enrich himself, he is gonna start losing some of his own supporters. Maybe not the hard core, but he can start losing five, ten, fifteen percent of his supporters. But the Democrats don’t seem to get that. There’s one more thing before we go to Steve and David for their quick comment or question. You are quite focused on this attempt by the Republican state legislatures in about a dozen states that are trying to set up the overturn of Democratic wins in the coming elections in their states by empowering their legislatures to override the electors who won and establish their own electors. Can you elaborate that in clearer language than I just did?

Bruce Fein: Yeah, the Constitution provides that presidential electors will be selected as the states provide; it says “state legislatures,” but there’s nothing in the language that suggests that when the Constitution references the states or the Congress, it means Congress alone, or the states; it’s really talking about the government itself. I don’t want to divert, but I think it’s important. For example Ralph, the First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech.” But everybody understands Congress is a shorthand for Congress the executive branch. Any arm of the federal government can’t abridge freedom of speech. That’s why you read the Constitution in broad language. So, in the language of the Constitution that prescribes the selection of presidential elections, basically the states decide. Some states have constitutions that place limits on what the state legislatures can do under state constitutions. Sometimes the state legislatures delegate certain electoral functions in presidential campaigns to administrative electoral boards and things like that. It’s part of a state’s choice to have separation of powers, if you will. State legislatures now, at the exhortation of Trumpists if you will - John Eastman-like - to say no, it has to be the state legislature alone and that if the state legislature is limited by the state constitution, even when the state legislature chooses to amend the constitution, it can’t be done. It has to be the state legislature alone that selects the electors. They can’t even delegate it, in some of arguments, even to the people, which is a ridiculous counter-constitutional argument for well over a hundred and fifty years. The last state that had the state legislature select electors as opposed to having a popular vote was South Carolina in 1850’s, which is like 107 years ago. So, it’s an effort to try to deprive the American people through popular vote, deciding who the president is and then trust to inbred state legislatures with all sorts of ulterior motives to defy popular will in favor of self-enrichment.

Ralph Nader: Right, imagine overthrowing the election, the will of the people by state legislative action right after the election. So people don’t think this is all theoretical, the Supreme Court has announced that it is going to take up a case just on that point next year, in the next session. Is that correct?

Bruce Fein: Yeah, out of North Carolina, correct Ralph.

Ralph Nader: We’ve been talking with Bruce Fein, constitutional law specialist, author, advocate, calls it as he sees them, and has testified over 200 times before Congress over the years. Now it’s time for Steve and David to have some input and then we’ll go to the audience.

Steve Skrovan: Yes I have a quick comment and a question, because we do want to get to these audience questions. We’ve got a lot of good ones. My first comment is that Bolivia just put their ex-president away for ten years, after not an attempted coupe, it was actually a successful coupe. So, Bolivia is kind of showing us the way that it can be done.

Now to play a little bit of devil’s advocate as far as the January 6th hearings go, it seems to me that the January 6th hearings are for the public, to lay out the story, so that the public understands the sequence of events and is fronted by Republicans, and it’s Trumpers who are all testifying, and it is trying very hard to seem as non-political as possible. Then it really is up to the DOJ to take up the legal cudgel which it appears this week we’re finding out they’re actually doing. So I’m just saying that to maybe cut the January 6th people a little break. What do you think? Bruce Fein: Well it’s a wonderful comment and I don’t like to be fault finding, Steve. But hey, I lived every single day in Watergate. That same Watergate Committee, same task that January 6th Committee had, no. They had, and I saw them, and you should have seen them too. HR Haldeman, John Dean, John Mitchell, John Ehrlichman, all the chief people were there and testified. I also was counsel on the Iran-Contra Committee. You know who was there? George Schultz, Cap Weinberger, Rob McFarlane, John Poindexter. These are the chief people. The precedents are there. This is not novel asking the January 6th Committee to do things that the predecessors have not done. It’s stepping up to the plate.

Ralph Nader: Bruce, the Watergate Committee never subpoenaed Nixon did they?

Bruce Fein: No, they had the tapes. But remember this about Nixon. After he resigned, they were going after him for criminality, which is why pardon came forth with president Ford. This idea that he was scot-free, no. The whole reason why Ford pardoned Nixon was because the Watergate Grand Jury was investigating the indictment. You remember Nixon himself was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Watergate cover-up trial.

Ralph Nader: You’re right, there’s no doubt the Justice Department prosecutors were ready to prosecute Nixon after he left office and went to California. Because he had an ailment, Gerald Ford pardoned him. So they were going after the full force of the law. David, quickly. David Feldman: Yeah, let me follow up on Steve’s question. During Contragate, Bruce, independent counsel Lawrence Walsh secured three convictions against Colonel Oliver North but the ACLU, I think, of all people, helped Oliver North get those convictions vacated because some witnesses had been given some kind of immunity when they testified before the IranContra counter Committee. So when we called the January 6th Committee toothless, is that because the January 6th Committee is worried about repeating what happened with Oliver North and contaminating the Justice Department’s case? Are they worried about inadvertently contaminating Fulton County, Georgia, Fani Willis’s investigation? Is that why they’re…

Bruce Fein: No, if you go back, listen, I was involved in that. The reason why Oliver North’s conviction was reversed is because some of Lawrence Walsh’s people, despite instructions of the contrary, we’re listening to immunized testimony of Oliver North. So when you’re given immunity that means the government can’t use your testimony against you. Unfortunately, because these were highly televised hearings, some of the lawyers were privy to this immunized testimony, and they used it in framing questions for witnesses. So the court said, no, you’ve abused the immunity privilege; you went too far. And that is the reason. The January 6th Committee hasn’t granted immunity to anybody, so there isn’t any conceivable danger of a reprise of the Oli North situation.

David Feldman: Great.

Steve Skrovan: We’ve been speaking with Bruce Fein. We will link to his work at ralphnaderradiohour.com Up next, Bruce and Ralph will answer some questions from our virtual audience. But first, let’s check in with our corporate crime reporter, Russell Mokhiber.

Russell Mokhiber: From the National Press Building in Washington, D.C., this is your Corporate Crime Reporter “Morning Minute” for Friday, July 29, 2022, I’m Russell Mokhiber. Biogen said last week it will pay 900 million dollars to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit accusing the biotech company of paying doctors kickbacks to prescribe multiple sclerosis drugs. That happened just days before a trial was scheduled to kick off. That’s according to report from Reuters. The agreement in principle, which Biogen disclosed in a quarterly earnings report, came ahead of a trial set to begin on Tuesday of last week in federal court in Boston in a lawsuit brought by a former employee. The settlement is subject to approval by the Justice Department which did not intervene in the case as it could have under the False Claims Act, but instead left it to the ex-employee, Michael Bawduniak to litigate on his own. For the Corporate Crime Reporter, I’m Russell Mokhiber.

Steve Skrovan: Thank you Russell. Welcome back to the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. I’m Steve Skrovan along with David Feldman and Ralph, and Hannah Feldman. Hannah, start taking us through some of these audience questions.

Hannah Feldman: Thank you Steve. So our first question comes to us from Rachel Branch. Rachel Branch: I would like to know what it would take to charge Trump with treason and why that isn’t brought up?

Bruce Fein: The answer comes out of the Constitution itself. Treason is the only crime that is in fact defined specifically in the Constitution because the British had so misused the concept to persecute political enemies. The crime of treason is defined as levying war against the United States. Despite my criticism and belief that appalling things Mr. Trump did, I don’t think it constitutes levying war, and that’s why treason is not appropriate here.

Steve Skrovan: Thank you for that question.

Hannah Feldman: Our next question comes to us from Dawn Tuveson.

Dawn Tuveson: The January 6th Committee has not mentioned anything about who has funded all of this, or if you know that maybe they are investigating that. When you look all the wood that built the guillotines, and the funding of the transportation on the bussing of these people, it just seems that there’s some money involved here. We’re not hearing anything about that. Thank you.

Bruce Fein: Well I think the question is a wonderful question. It may be a little bit overstated. We do have statements from Liz Cheney, and I think in the public domain that Mr. Trump himself was raising money from his supporters, misleadingly saying, oh yeah, we’re gonna win all these court cases and he raised literally millions of dollars. I don’t know what the amount is, from the MAGA [Make America Great Again] people. There’s some very wealthy like Mike Pillow who obviously is supporting the campaign as well. Now it hasn’t got probably to the granular level that we would like--to have an itemized statement of how much money people gave to so much. But it does seem clear that the money is coming from the Trump supporters. I mean, at least it’s not coming from taxpayer money, if that’s any solace.

Hannah Feldman: Thank you Bruce. Our next question comes to us from Mansur Johnson.

Mansur Johnson: Hi Bruce and Ralph. Bruce, you’re an attorney with Free Speech For People. I’ve been following the actions and I’m wondering, I heard you say earlier that Congress could invoke that Section 3 of Amendment 14. Where is you group now regarding that and is it possible, or is it up to the Congress to try to include all the insurrectionists in this denial of ability to run?

Bruce Fein: Remember that as a predicate for the disqualification you have to have taken an oath as a public official to defend and support the Constitution. I think the vast majority of the rioters have never taken that oath as public officials; a handful may have. But listen, just because you may have many criminals, doesn’t mean you have to …ordinarily there is prosecutorial discretion involved here… in the most important to save us from the destruction of a republic and the Constitution is Mr. Trump. Because he is the one who said before, to requote, “then I have Article 2 where I have the right to do anything I want as president.” That’s the statement of a tyrant. That’s a statement of a king. That’s the statement of emperor. That’s why he’s the one who needs to be chastened and be disqualified more than anyone else because he’s the greatest danger.

Ralph Nader: The point the questioner made can be expanded. I think he’s right in the sense that there were sitting legislators at the state level and at the federal level who did take that oath. Some were also candidates who might have taken that oath. So it could be broadened out to a few dozen other officials, couldn’t it?

Bruce Fein: Definitely it could. It’s a matter of okay, gathering the evidence and deciding we need to do due process, give people an opportunity to respond/defend themselves. I’m not suggesting we ought to de facto pardon them. We’re dealing with priorities here, i.e., which should take more priority over something else. Now we’re also dealing in the area of law that might be called virgin territory. There’s not a whole lot of history under Section 3 that was invoked shortly after the Civil War in 1871, but in 1872 Congress by a two-thirds vote decided, we’ve got to take everybody who was then disqualified and lift the prohibition on holding office again. They did that by a two-thirds vote as the Constitution requires. So we do know from the US Supreme Court that Section 3 is self-executing. It matters which body is entrusted with deciding, whether the individual office holder engaged in insurrection against the United States. My view is as long as due process is satisfied, that is you give the accused an opportunity to answer--that institution can be the Congress of the United States; it can be an electoral board, where a candidate is trying to get on the ballot to run for president. As long as due process is satisfied, all you got to show is 1) did you take an oath? 2) did you engage in insurrection? The January 6 facts speak for themselves with regard to Mr. Trump’s involvement.

Hannah Feldman: Our next question comes to us from Lynn Harvey.

Lynn Harvey: Should we be concerned about the possibility of criminal charges being brought by Merrick Garland against Donald Trump and his accomplices, and then having jury trials that fail to convict? Would that be worse than not bringing charges at all? Parish the thought.

Bruce Fein: I served in high-level government as well. Your oath is to uphold and defend the Constitution, not to calculate what the politics are. The politics of justice are always right in my view; assess the precedent. So if we have the standards, there’s a belief we can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The fact that you can have jury nullification, which is always possible, is not a reason to refrain from moving forward with an indictment. Remember the OJ Simpson case. It’s true that once a jury acquits that’s the end. The government can’t seek double jeopardy, have a new trial or go on appeal. My own view is that the likelihood of acquittal is very tiny. We can extrapolate from the over 200 guilty pleas and convictions that we have for those who have been prosecuted for implication in the January 6th assault. We got 600 more cases to go. There have not been juries or judges who have been sympathetic towards those who have been involved. Also because to be candid, even if we’re being practical, the venue for the prosecution would be in Washington, DC. That means the jury venire is gonna be the Washington, DC area. That is not gonna be a jury venire that’s gonna be predisposed towards favouring Mr. Trump.

Hannah Feldman: Our next question is from Eoin Farrell.

Eoin Farrell: Hi Bruce, and the question I have is the fact that subpoenas are not being issued. Does that not suggest that the whole process is just performative and maybe not very serious? Thanks.

Bruce Fein: Well I think that may be a little overstatement. Some people who are critical witnesses testify anyway. Going back to my historical involvement, John Dean testified without subpoenas. That didn’t make him an unimportant witness. But the fact that there are an absence of subpoenas does give a signal of weakness because it suggests if people are on the borderline about whether they should cooperate or not, if they know there is no subpoena forthcoming, then they might not say anything, which they believe is why not a single member of Congress who was at the White House talking about trying to obstruct the county of elector votes by the vice president on January 6th, has been called and insisted to answer questions by the Committee. I don’t know whether I’d call it unserious. I think it makes them irresolute because I go back to my suspicion, they’re worried about setting a precedent that can come back and nip them because they’ve got skeletons in the closet.

Ralph Nader: In fact the Republicans are threatening that if they take control of the Congress, they’re gonna do the same thing, which is what you’re saying might be deterring the Democrats on the January 6th Committee of actually subpoenaing Kevin McCarthy and Lindsey Graham.

Bruce Fein: Yes. Notice also that Lindsey Graham has been subpoenaed by a Georgia State Grand Jury. Figure that, wait a minute, if a Georgia State Grand Jury is not reluctant to subpoena Lindsey Graham, and that’s certainly lower on the hierarchy of power than the January 6th Committee, why isn’t the January 6th Committee trying to subpoena Lindsey Graham? After all, the investigation in the Georgia Grand Jury is about criminal activity of Lindsey Graham, relating to counting the electoral votes and trying to manipulate the results to make Trump the president even though he lost the election.

Ralph Nader: Let it be said that I don’t think Trump or Pence would comply with subpoenas; they would defy them. But at least the Democrats could say to the country they gave Trump and Pence an opportunity to make their case, or defend themselves. So I think politically it’s not a wise move where they are right now.

Bruce Fein: There are legal consequences, I apologize Ralph for speaking over you, but there are legal consequences as well. In a civil proceeding it is permissible to draw an adverse inference from somebody that they are guilty of some kind of wrongdoing, if they refuse to respond to a subpoena, or even invoke the 5th Amendment. So the fact that they would flout a subpoena, and remember if they do that the Congress can hold them in contempt. If they wanted to, they can have marshal go put them in detention until they comply. They may refrain from imposing a sanction. But even if they did not impose the sanction of detention, they could still say we’re gonna draw an inference against you because you refuse to testify, and you obviously are in possession of very critical evidence. And if it was exculpatory, we assume you’d come forward so we can assume it’s incriminatory, which is why you’re not talking.

Hannah Feldman: Our next question comes to us from Steven Wisensale.

Steven Wisensales: Yes, my question goes back to something Ralph said, and I think you’ve hit up since. You said that Congress really doesn’t have to, this January 6th Committee doesn’t have to go through the court system. They can basically throw people in jail if they want to, if they’re not testifying. Could you clarify that, and then talk about Bannon. I mean why was Bannon in court?

Bruce Fein: Yeah, okay. It’s a wonderful question. In the famous case that stemmed from Teapot Dome, called McGrain v. Daugherty, for those people who want to trace down US Supreme Court decisions. In that case the Congress decided that a recalcitrant witness would be immediately detained and imprisoned, because defying a subpoena, didn’t want to reveal the scandal at Teapot Dome. The Supreme Court said, yeah. This was a unanimous decision. It wasn’t a five to four decision, it was unanimous. What happened in McGrain v. Dougherty is, there wasn’t any court proceeding whatsoever. The Congress itself voted immediate contempt for defying the subpoena. Now, once you’re in detention, then you can seek a writ of habeas corpus claiming you’re being illegally detained, which was done in McGrain v. Dougherty. And the US Supreme Court said, no, you’re not being illegally detained. Congress has this authority. Now Steven Bannon, wonderful question. You’re exactly right, why didn’t the Congress, why didn’t the Committee just vote to hold him in contempt? Remember, the contempt is civil contempt, not criminal, because he can get out of the contempt by simply complying with the subpoena. It’s not a permanent punishment if you will. So you can be held in civil contempt as well as being criminally prosecuted. In my view the important thing with Bannon is getting his testimony. They decided that they would make a referral to the Department of Justice, again, because they didn’t want to invoke the civil contempt power, and let the department then take whatever heat would come from a criminal prosecution of Steve Bannon. But even today, even with a criminal conviction, they can still impose a civil sanction on him. They could do things like grant him immunity because he has already been convicted, so you can’t even claim the 5th Amendment privilege. Then if he defied that, they could stick him in jail beyond whatever prison term he might get from the judge until he agrees to comply. Why they are not doing this is truly a mystery to me.

Ralph Nader: Bruce, these are such good questions. We’ve run out of time. If someone wants to send you a question, do you have an email that you can give them?

Bruce Fein: Yes. If you want to ask a question of me, my email address is Bruce, spelled like my first name, @feinpoints.com. And I’m eager to respond to your questions. That’s my public duty as a lawyer and a citizen of the United States, who every day I wake up in my complex right behind the James Madison Building and say, wow I’m sure glad we had people who risked their lives fortune and sacred honor so we can have the freedom we got. The least we can do to express gratitude is to make sure our posterity inherits the same freedoms that we inherited.

Ralph Nader: So well said. Thank you Bruce Fein, graduate of Harvard Law School class of 1972. He didn’t let the education at Harvard Law School impede his quest for justice for all. Thank you very much Bruce.

Bruce Fein: Thank you, thank you Ralph, delighted to be on the program.

Steve Skrovan: I want to thank our guest again, Bruce Fein and all of you joining us on Zoom room. For those of you listening on the radio that’s our show. For you podcast listeners, stay tuned for some bonus material we call “The Wrap Up.” A transcript of this program will appear on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour website soon after the episode is posted.

David Feldman: The producers of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour are Jimmy Lee Wirt and Matthew Marran. Our executive producer is Alan Minsky.

Steve Skrovan: Our theme music “Stand Up, Rise UP” was written and performed by Kemp Harris. Our proofreader is Elisabeth Solomon. Our Associate Producer is Hannah Feldman. Our Social Media Manager is Steven Wendt.

David Feldman: Join us next week on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour when our guest will be Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham and their book, American Cartel: Inside the Battle to Bring Down the Opioid Industry. Thank you Ralph.

Ralph Nader: Thank you everybody. Look at tortmuseum.org; take a tour with your families and friends. You’ll come out knowing about the law of wrongful injury, which is designed to make you and the environment safer.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Thu Aug 18, 2022 2:27 am

Watch what Liz Cheney told supporters after losing Wyoming GOP primary
Aug 16, 2022
CNN

Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who has emerged as on of former President Donald Trump’s most forceful critics, told her supporters that the real work to keep Trump from returning to the White House is just beginning, moments after conceding her primary race to challenger Harriet Hageman. #lizcheney #CNN #News



Transcript:

We really are in God's country. And it's wonderful to welcome so many here. I want to say first of all, a special thanks to every member of Team Cheney, who is here in the audience, and to tell you our work is far from over.

Among the many, many blessings that we have as Americans, and as individuals and as human beings, the blessing of your family is surely the most important. And so I want to thank all my family and pay a special tribute to those who are here with us tonight. My mom and dad, Dick and Lynne Cheney, and my husband Phil, and four of our five kids are here—Katie and Gracie and Philip and Richard are all here tonight. Elizabeth is starting law school today, so we'll have another generation carrying on dedication to the Constitution and to our freedom.

A little over a year ago, I received a note from a Gold Star father.

The term Gold Star family is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag. These flags/banners were first flown by families during World War I. The flag included a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the armed forces of the United States, during any period of war or hostilities in which the armed forces of the United States were engaged. If that loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star. This allowed members of the community to know the price that the family had paid in the cause of freedom.

The United States began observing Gold Star Mother's Day on the last Sunday of September, in 1936. The Gold Star Wives was formed before the end of World War II. The Gold Star Lapel Button was established in August 1947.

Today, the nation recognizes the sacrifice that all Gold Star Family members make when a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, or other loved one dies in service to the nation. Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day is the last Sunday of September and Gold Star Spouses Day is April 5. The strength of our nation is our Army. The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our families. The Army recognizes that no one has given more for the nation than the families of the fallen.

-- Gold Star Survivors, by army.mil


He said to me, 'Standing up for truth honors all who gave all,' and I have thought of his words every single day since then. I've thought of them because they are a reminder of how we must all conduct ourselves. We must conduct ourselves in a way that is worthy of the men and women who wear the uniform of this nation. And in particular, of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

This is not a game. Every one of us must be committed to the eternal defense of this miraculous experiment called America and at the heart of our democratic process—our elections. They are the foundational principle of our Constitution.

A few years ago, I won this primary with 73 percent of the vote. I could easily have done the same again. The path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump's lie about the 2020 election. It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic. That was a path I could not and would not take.

No House seat, no office in this land is more important than the principles that we are all sworn to protect, and I well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty. Our republic relies upon the goodwill of all candidates for office to accept honorably the outcome of elections.
And tonight, Harriet Hageman has received the most votes in this primary. She won. I called her to concede the race. This primary election is over but now the real work begins.

The great and original champion of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all. Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our Union and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history. Speaking at Gettysburg of the great task remaining before us, Lincoln said, 'That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and a government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this earth.'

As we meet here tonight that remains our greatest and most important task. Most of world history is a story of violent conflict of servitude and suffering. Most people in most places have not lived in freedom. Our American freedom is a providential departure from history. We are the exception. We have been given the gift of freedom by God and our founding fathers. It is said that the long arc of history bends toward justice and freedom. That's true, but only if we make it bend.

Today, our highest duty is to bend the arc of history to preserve our nation and its blessings to ensure that freedom will not perish, to protect the very foundations of this constitutional republic. Never in our nation's 246 years have we seen what we saw on January 6. Like so many Americans, I assumed that the violence and the chaos of that day would have prompted a united response, a recognition that this was a line that must never be crossed. A tragic chapter in our nation's history, to be studied by historians to ensure that it can never happen again.

But instead, major elements of my party still vehemently defend those who caused it. At the heart of the attack on January 6 is a willingness to embrace dangerous conspiracies that attack the very core premise of our nation. That lawful elections reviewed by the courts when necessary, and certified by the states and Electoral College, determined who serves as president.

If we do not condemn the conspiracies and the lies, if we do not hold those responsible to account, we will be excusing this conduct, and it will become a feature of all elections. America will never be the same.

Today, as we meet here, there are Republican candidates for governor who deny the outcome of the 2020 election, and who may refuse to certify future elections if they oppose the results. We have candidates for secretary of state who may refuse to report the actual results of the popular vote in future elections. And we have candidates for Congress, including here in Wyoming, who refuse to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and suggest that states decertify their results.

Our nation is barreling, once again, towards crisis, lawlessness and violence. No American should support election deniers for any position of genuine responsibility, where their refusal to follow the rule of law will corrupt our future.


Our nation is young in the history of mankind and yet we're the oldest democracy in the world. Our survival is not guaranteed. History has shown us over and over again how poisonous lies destroyed three nations. Over the last several months, in the January 6 hearings, the American people have watched dozens of Republicans, including the most senior officials working for President Trump in the White House, the Justice Department and on his campaign—people who served President Trump loyally—testify that they all told him the election was not stolen or rigged and there was no massive fraud. That's why President Trump and others invent excuses, pretexts for people not to watch the hearings at all. But no citizen of this republic is a bystander. All of us have an obligation to understand what actually happened. We cannot abandon the truth and remain a free nation.

To believe Donald Trump's election lies, you must believe that dozens of federal and state courts who ruled against him, including many judges he appointed, were all corrupted and biased, that all manner of crazy conspiracy theories stole our election from us and that Donald Trump actually remains president today. As of last week, you must also believe that 30 career FBI agents, who have spent their lives working to serve our country, abandoned their honor and their oath and went to Mar-a-Lago, not to perform a lawful search or address a national security threat, but instead with a secret plan to plant fake incriminating documents in the boxes they seized. This is yet another insidious lie.

Donald Trump knows that voicing these conspiracies will provoke violence and threats of violence. This happened on January 6, and it's now happening again. It is entirely foreseeable that the violence will escalate further, yet he and others continue purposely to feed the danger. Today, our federal law enforcement is being threatened, a federal judge is being threatened. Fresh threats of violence arise everywhere. And despite knowing all of this, Donald Trump recently released the names of the FBI agents involved in the search. That was purposeful and malicious. No patriotic American should use these threats or be intimidated by them. Our great nation must not be ruled by a mob provoked over social media.

Our duty as citizens of this republic is not only to defend the freedom that's been handed down to us.
We also have an obligation to learn from the actions of those who came before, to the stories of grit and perseverance of the brave men and women who built and saved this union. In the lives of these great Americans, we find inspiration and purpose.

In May of 1864, after years of war and a string of reluctant Union generals, Ulysses S. Grant met General Lee's forces at the Battle of the Wilderness. In two days of heavy fighting, the Union suffered over 17,000 casualties. At the end of that battle, General Grant faced a choice. Most assumed he would do what previous Union generals had done and retreat. On the evening of May 7, Grant began to move. As the fires of the battle still smoldered, Grant rode to the head of the column. He rode to the intersection of Brock Road and Orange Plank Road. And there, as the men of his army watched and waited, instead of turning north back towards Washington and safety, Grant turns his horse south toward Richmond and the heart of Lee's army. Refusing to retreat, he pressed on to victory. Lincoln and Grant and all who fought in our nation's tragic Civil War, including my own great-great-grandfathers, saved our Union. Their courage saved freedom. And if we listen closely, they are speaking to us down the generations. We must not idly squander what so many have fought and died for.

America has meant so much to so many because we are the best hope of freedom on earth. Last week in Laramie, a gentleman came up to me with tears in his eyes. 'I'm not an American,' he said, 'But my children are. I grew up in Brazil. I know how fragile freedom is, and we must not lose it here.' A few days ago, here in Jackson, a woman told me that her grandparents had survived Auschwitz. They found refuge in America. She said she was afraid that she had nowhere to go if freedom died here.

Ladies and gentlemen, freedom must not and will not die here.

We must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face and about what is required to defeat it. I have said since January 6, that I will do whatever it takes to make sure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office.

This is a fight for all of us together. I'm a conservative Republican. I believe deeply in the principles and the ideals on which my party was founded. I love its history. And I love what our party has stood for. But I love my country more.

So, I ask you tonight to join me. As we leave here, let us resolve that we will stand together—Republicans, Democrats and independents—against those who would destroy our republic.
They are angry and they are determined, but they have not seen anything like the power of Americans united in defense of our Constitution and committed to the cause of freedom. There is no greater power on this earth. And with God's help, we will prevail. Thank you all. God bless you. God bless Wyoming. God bless the United States of America.

*************************

Image
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump 6h
I assume that with the very big Liz Cheney loss, far bigger than had ever been anticipated, the January 6th Committee of political Hacks and Thugs will quickly begin the beautiful process of DISSOLUTION? This was a referendum on the never ending Witch Hunt. The people have spoken!

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump 6h
Liz Cheney's uninspiring concession speech, in front of a "tiny" crowd in the Great State of Wyoming, focused on her belief that the 2020 Presidential Election was not, despite massive and conclusive evidence to the contrary, Rigged & Stolen. It was, and that's not even counting the fact that many election changes, in numerous States, were not approved by State Legislatures, an absolute must. Liz Cheney is a fool who played right into the hands of those who want to destroy our Country!

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump 8h
Congratulations to Harriet Hageman on her great and very decisive WIN in Wyoming. This is a wonderful result for America, and a complete rebuke of the Unselect Committee of political Hacks and Thugs. Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others. Now she can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now. Thank you WYOMING!
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Aug 20, 2022 3:46 am

John Bolton says Trump's claim he declassified documents before taking them to Mar-a-Lago is 'almost certainly a lie'
by Katie Anthony

[x]
Donald Trump and John Bolton. Evan Vucci/Associated Press
Trump claimed he had declassified classified documents that the FBI found at Mar-a-Lago.

Former President Donald Trump's claim that he declassified documents before taking them to Mar-a-Lago is "almost certainly a lie," his former national security adviser told The New York Times.

"I was never briefed on any such order, procedure, policy when I came in," John Bolton told the Times. "If he were to say something like that, you would have to memorialize that, so that people would know it existed."

Bolton said he had never heard of such an order the entire time he was working for Trump or after he was fired from the administration.

"When somebody begins to concoct lies like this, it shows a real level of desperation," Bolton told the Times.


The FBI found 11 sets of classified documents, including some that were marked top-secret, in the August 8 raid on Mar-a-Lago.

In the days after the raid, Trump tried to defend the documents by claiming he had a "standing order" to declassify documents "the moment" they left the Oval Office. But experts have said there's a formal procedure for declassifying documents, and it's unclear if Trump ever followed it.

"He can't just wave a wand and say it's declassified," Richard Immerman, a historian and an assistant deputy director of national intelligence in the Obama administration, told NBC News. "There has to be a formal process. That's the only way the system can work."

The possible crimes the Department of Justice is investigating don't have to do with the classification of the documents. Investigators are looking at whether Trump broke three laws — one relates to removing information about the US's national defense, and the other two relate to the concealment or destruction of government records.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Aug 20, 2022 3:47 am

'Pretty much BS': Ex-CIA director rebuts Trump's claim about documents
Aug 16, 2022
CNN

Leon Panetta, who served as Secretary of Defense and CIA director in the Obama administration, rebuts a claim by former President Donald Trump's allies that a president can declassify whatever documents they choose. #CNN #News



LEON PANETTA JOINS US.
HE SERVED AS SECRETARY OF
DEFENSE AND CIA DIRECTOR FOR
PRESIDENT OBAMA AND WHITE HOUSE
CHIEF OF STAFF UNDER PRESIDENT
CLINTON. MR. SECRETARY, GOOD TO SEE YOU.
SO, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR ANDREW
McCABE SAID ON CNN EARLIER TODAY
THAT HE'S NEVER SEEN THIS LEVEL OF
THREATS AGAINST THE BUREAU IN
MORE THAN TWO DECADES HE SERVED
THERE.
WE LITERALLY SAW A TRUMP
SUPPORTER POSTING ON TRUMP'S OWN
SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANY THAT HE WAS
HEADED TO THE FBI OFFICE IN
CINCINNATI, ARMED, AND AFTER A
STANDOFF, HE ENDED UP DEAD.
YOU HEARD THE NEW REPORT FROM
KRISTEN JUST NOW.
AMD YET, WE HAVEN'T HEARD FROM TRUMP
OR PEOPLE AROUND HIM ANY ATTEMPT
TO CALM MATTERS.
ALL WE HEAR IS MORE POTENTIAL
INCITEMENT AND ALLEGATIONS FROM
HIS LAWYERS THAT MAYBE THE FBI
PLANTED INFORMATION.
WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO ALL
THIS?
>> WELL, JAKE, IT'S A VERY
SERIOUS AND DANGEROUS MOMENT.
BECAUSE WHAT'S HAPPENED IS THAT
SOCIAL MEDIA AND THOSE WHO
BASICALLY WANT TO INCITE OTHERS
NOW HAVE A FREE REIGN TO
BASICALLY GO AFTER THE FBI AND
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS
INVOLVED WITH THE SITUATION.
AND THAT IS A THREAT ON THEIR
LIVES.
AND THAT'S DANGEROUS.
THAT'S DANGEROUS TO OUR LAW
ENFORCEMENT.
IT'S DANGEROUS TO OUR RULE OF
LAW.
AND IT REALLY IS INCUMBENT ON
THE FORMER PRESIDENT AND THOSE
AROUND HIM TO BASICALLY SAY,
PLEASE STAND BACK AND ALLOW THIS
INVESTIGATION TO PROCEED AS IT
SHOULD.
HE TOOK A LONG TIME IN
EVENTUALLY SAYING SOMETHING
ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED ON JANUARY
6th.
HE SHOULD NOT DELAY WITH REGARDS
TO SAYING SOMETHING THAT WILL
CALM PEOPLE TODAY.
>> I KNOW YOU WORKED FOR THEN
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON WHO DID
NOT LIKE ANY OF THE
INVESTIGATIONS GOING ON TO HIM,
WHETHER LED BY KENNETH STARR OR
CONGRESS, AND YET I DON'T RECALL
HIM EVER INCITING HIS SUPPORTERS
THE WAY THAT WE'RE SEEING DONALD
TRUMP DO, SO ALTHOUGH I'M SURE HE
MAY HAVE BEEN TEMPTED SOME DAYS.
>> YOU KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE
SEEN FORMER PRESIDENTS WHO HAVE
BEEN UNDER INVESTIGATION WHO
HAVE BASICALLY SAT BACK AND
ALLOWED THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
OR THOSE INVESTIGATIONS TO
PROCEED WITHOUT INCITING PEOPLE.
I THINK FORMER PRESIDENTS HAD A
DEEP RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF
LAW.
UNFORTUNATELY, THAT'S NOT THE
CASE WITH DONALD TRUMP.

>> THE VIOLENT THREATS ONLINE
INCLUDE, QUOTE, A THREAT TO
PLACE A SO-CALLED DIRTY BOMB IN
FRONT OF FBI HEADQUARTERS.
QUOTE, A POSTER WRITING ATTORNEY
GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND NEEDS TO
BE ASSASSINATED, AND QUOTE, KILL
ALL FEDS.
HOW DOES ONE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT
OR YOU WERE HEAD OF THE CIA, HOW
DO YOU GO ABOUT DECIDING WHICH
THREATS COULD BE ACTED UPON AND
WHICH ONES MIGHT JUST BE
KEYBOARD WARRIORS LETTING OFF
STEAM?
>> WELL, IT'S A TOUGH CHALLENGE,
OBVIOUSLY.
LOOK, THE BOTTOM LINE HERE IS
THAT THIS IS A SERIOUS MATTER.
I KNOW THAT POLITICS HAS BEEN
INVOLVED IN TRYING TO SOMEHOW
LABEL THIS ON ONE SIDE OR THE
OTHER.
BUT LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING.
AS SOMEBODY INVOLVED WITH
INTELLIGENCE MATTERS, THIS IS A
SERIOUS ISSUE THAT INVOLVES
CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.
THE REASON WE CLASSIFY
INFORMATION IS TO PROTECT OUR
NATIONAL SECURITY.
AND MAKE SURE THAT THAT
INFORMATION DOESN'T FALL INTO
THE WRONG HANDS.
AND SO IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT
THAT THIS INVESTIGATION PROCEED
TO DETERMINE JUST EXACTLY WHAT
LEVEL OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
WAS INVOLVED HERE AND WHETHER
ANYBODY ELSE HAD ACCESS TO IT.
WITH REGARDS TO THE THREATS THAT
ARE OUT THERE, I THINK IT IS
VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE LAW
ENFORCEMENT DETERMINE WHICH ONES
ARE CREDIBLE AND WHICH ONES ARE
JUST INCITING FOR THE SAKE OF
INCITING.
THAT'S NOT EASY, BUT IT'S WHAT
NEEDS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW IN A
SITUATION WHERE THESE THREATS
ARE COMING AT YOU A MILE A
MINUTE.
>> SO YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY VERY WELL
VERSED IN DEALING WITH
CLASSIFIED MATERIAL.
FORMER TRUMP AIDES ARE NOW TRYING TO
CLAIM THAT THERE WAS A STANDING ORDER
BY THE PRESIDENT, DONALD TRUMP,
TO DECLASSIFY ANY DOCUMENT THAT
LEFT THE WEST WING FOR TRUMP'S
RESIDENCE.
IS THAT HOW DECLASSIFICATION
WORKS?
EVEN WITH SOME OF THE NATION'S
MOST GUARDED SECRETS?
>> [LAUGHS] YOU KNOW, THAT'S NONSENSE,
AND HE KNOWS IT.
THE REALITY IS THAT THERE IS A
PROCESS FOR DECLASSIFYING
INFORMATION.
AND IF PRESIDENTS WANT TO
DECLASSIFY, THEY HAVE TO FOLLOW
THAT PROCESS, WHICH BASICALLY
REQUIRES THAT IT BE REFERRED TO
THE AGENCIES THAT ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR CLASSIFYING THAT
MATERIAL.
THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY AS TO
WHETHER OR NOT THAT MATERIAL
SHOULD BE DECLASSIFIED.
SO THERE IS NOTHING THAT I'M
AWARE OF THAT INDICATES THAT A
FORMAL STEP WAS TAKEN BY THIS
PRESIDENT TO IN FACT DECLASSIFY
ANYTHING.
RIGHT NOW, THIS IS PRETTY MUCH
BS.

>> LEON PANETTA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
YOUR TIME TODAY.
APPRECIATE IT.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Aug 20, 2022 3:47 am

Trump considering releasing Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage
Aug 17, 2022
CNN
14.1M subscribers

Some allies of former President Donald Trump are urging him to publicly release surveillance footage of FBI agents executing a search warrant on his Mar-a-Lago residence. The proposal has drawn mixed reaction inside his orbit, CNN has learned.
The CCTV footage has been so closely held that aides to the former President aren’t sure if he has seen it in full himself, said a person close to Trump.
#AC360 #andersoncooper #CNN

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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Aug 20, 2022 3:48 am

'Ludicrous.' 'Ridiculous.' 'A complete fiction.': Former Trump officials say his claim of 'standing order' to declassify is nonsense
by Jamie Gangel, Elizabeth Stuart and Jeremy Herb
CNN
Updated 10:27 PM ET, Thu August 18, 2022

Washington (CNN) In the days since the FBI seized classified and top secret documents from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, the former President and his allies have claimed that Trump had a "standing order" to declassify documents he took from the Oval Office to the White House residence.

But 18 former top Trump administration officials tell CNN they never heard any such order issued during their time working for Trump, and that they believe the claim to be patently false.

Several officials laughed at the notion. One senior administration official called it "bullsh*t."
Two of Trump's former chiefs of staff went on the record to knock down the claim.

"Nothing approaching an order that foolish was ever given," said John Kelly, who served as Trump's chief of staff for 17 months from 2017 to 2019. "And I can't imagine anyone that worked at the White House after me that would have simply shrugged their shoulders and allowed that order to go forward without dying in the ditch trying to stop it."

Mick Mulvaney, who succeeded Kelly as acting White House chief of staff, also dismissed the idea and told CNN he was "not aware of a general standing order" during his tenure
.

In addition, CNN spoke with former national security and intelligence officials as well as White House lawyers and Justice Department officials. Taken together, their tenure covers all four years of the Trump administration, and many served in positions where they would either be included in the declassification process, or at the very least, be aware of such orders.

Official after official scoffed at the claim Trump had a standing order to declassify documents that left the Oval Office and were taken to the residence.

"Total nonsense," one senior White House official said. "If that's true, where is the order with his signature on it? If that were the case, there would have been tremendous pushback from the Intel Community and DoD, which would almost certainly have become known to Intel and Armed Services Committees on the Hill."

Many of the officials spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity in order to candidly discuss internal Trump administration dynamics as well as to avoid any potential blowback from the former President.


Blanket claims of declassification

Trump and his allies have made a wide range of claims about declassification in the days after the FBI's August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, which resulted in federal agents seizing 11 sets of classified documents -- including some marked with the highest levels of classification.

On his social media platform Truth Social last week, Trump made the sweeping claim that the documents in the boxes seized by the FBI at his home were "all declassified."

John Solomon, editor-in-chief of conservative website "Just the News," was more specific in an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity last week. Solomon, who Trump named as one of his designees to the National Archives, read a statement from Trump's team claiming that the former President "had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken to the residence were deemed to be declassified the moment he removed them."

Kash Patel, a Trump ally and former national security official in the Trump administration -- and also one of the former president's designees to the Archives -- also said on Fox last week that Trump "issued sweeping declassification orders on multiple occasions."
Patel said he did not know whether the boxes at Mar-a-Lago contained documents that were part of those orders.

Representatives for the former President did not respond to requests for comment. Solomon and Patel also did not respond.

The FBI's unprecedented search warrant of the former President's residence in Florida was the result of a federal investigation into the removal of classified material from the White House as Trump was leaving office. The investigation goes well beyond the question of whether the material was classified: The search warrant made public last week identifies possible violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and criminal handling of government records as reasons for the search.

On Thursday, a judge heard arguments to unseal additional materials in the investigation, including the affidavit federal investigators would have had to file laying out why they believed there was probable cause that a crime had been committed. The Justice Department opposes releasing the affidavit, saying it would harm the ongoing criminal investigation.

'It can't just be an idea in his head'

Even if Trump had sought to broadly declassify documents, there is a specific process that the president is supposed to follow, the officials said. Declassification must be memorialized and includes careful reviews and notifying agencies such as the CIA, NSA, Department of Energy, State Department and Defense Department.

"It can't just be an idea in his head," said David Laufman, the former chief of the Justice Department's counterintelligence division who investigated Hillary Clinton's handling of classified documents. "Programs and officials would have been notified. There is no evidence they were."


Laufman's successor, Jay Bratt, was one of the four federal investigators who met with Trump's attorneys about the documents at Mar-a-Lago in June, CNN has previously reported.

One source familiar with declassification inside the Trump White House said although it is true that the President has broad declassification powers, Trump would have needed to create a record of it -- and the source said he did not do that.

"As a practical matter, you have to prove it," the source said. "If he says, 'I declassified something,' the obvious question is, 'Did you tell anybody about it?' The obvious concern is that this is all after the fact."

Another source with knowledge of how the former president operated said it was Trump's view that he could declassify information anytime and any way he wanted.

"He was counseled that's not the way it works," the source said.


'A complete fiction'

Former Trump national security adviser John Bolton called the notion of a standing declassification order "a complete fiction."

"I was not briefed on anything like that when I started as national security adviser," Bolton said on CNN's "New Day" earlier this week. "I never heard of it, never saw it in operation, never knew anything about it."


In addition, Olivia Troye, a former homeland security adviser to then Vice President Mike Pence, called the notion of a blanket declassification "ludicrous." Another former senior intelligence official laughed and said it was "ridiculous."

And a source familiar with White House records and declassification said Trump's claim was "laughable" and that if any such order existed, it was "Trump's best kept secret."

Multiple sources said they believed that Trump's claim the documents were declassified was nothing more than a transparent attempt to try to defend himself for taking the documents to Mar-a-Lago.

"There is a process to declassify, the president can't just wave a magic wand,"
a former senior Trump White House official said.

All 18 former Trump administration officials who spoke to CNN agreed. "It doesn't even work that way, there is an actual process," said one former White House national security official.

"If this existed, there had to be some way to memorialize it," Bolton said on "New Day." "The White House counsel had to write it down. Otherwise, how would people throughout the government know what to declassify?"

'They would have resigned'

A former senior intelligence official said intelligence community leaders, such as then-CIA Director Gina Haspel, would have been informed of any declassification orders.

"And they would not have allowed it," the official said. "They would have resigned."

Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy and an expert on classification, noted that presidents have nearly unlimited discretion to classify and declassify information. But Aftergood said the notion that a document was declassified based on its location -- such as taking it out of the White House -- simply "strains credulity."

"A document that is classified in Washington, DC, is unclassified in Florida -- one could say such a thing, but it is nonsensical," he said. "And it calls into question the good faith of anyone who would make such a claim."


Troye, the former homeland security adviser to Pence, said, "there would be a paper trail of this blanket authority being the case, and in two and a half years of working in national security in the White House, not once did I ever hear this discussed."

Troye resigned from the Trump administration in August 2020 and now leads an anti-Trump Republican group.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, a CNN political commentator who resigned as White House communications director shortly after the 2020 presidential election, called a blanket declassification "deeply reckless."

"The idea that a president or former could essentially do whatever they want with our nation's secrets poses an incalculable risk to US national security," Griffin said.

"We would know," another former intelligence official said, adding that trying to say the documents were automatically declassified is like "trying to close the barn door after the horse."


CNN's Gloria Borger, Evan Perez, Sara Murray and Gabby Orr contributed to this report.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Aug 20, 2022 3:48 am

FBI Raid Mar-a-Lago, Trump Official Response
by John Di Domenico
8/19/22



Transcript

who keeps moving this?
why is it in the --
hello.
[Music]
i'm not talking to you, but thank you for
coming,
i will not be answering questions today,
the same thing i did to la tifa james --
nasty woman -- 440 counts of taking the
fifth. no one takes the fifth like me.
great fifth taker. so i won't be dealing
with any of the fake news: your fake news,
your fake news, your fake news,
fox news -- some days some days okay -- but
what i will be dealing with is the real
raid
the real raid at my beautiful home
mar-a-lago,
mar-a-lago, the greatest private club in
the world. you've seen the aerial views,
courtesy of the fake news. thank you for
that. gorgeous waterfront property. the
food, oh, the food is fantastic. come for
brunch. and i always rave about the
chocolate cake. tremendous chocolate cake.
big pieces, too, right? i'm not just saying
that. now currently, with a new and
improved initiation fee of only 250 thousand dollars,
mention "fake fbi raid" and get a free bag
of golf tees when you sign up.
now,
here is the phony baloney warrant from
judge reinhold. signed by judge reinhold,
who's not even a real judge. he's the guy
whacking off to phoebe cates in fast
times at richmond high. so this warrant,
this warrant, is fake. it's fake like
obama's birth certificate. and that is
why, that is why, the fbi planted, planted
evidence of
declassified material that was never
there at my home in the first place.
fbi agents scared the hell out of don
junior and eric, with guns drawn and full
armor, and gear, and they threw tear gas
grenades, and shouted obscenities, like
grabbing something. and don happened to
be in the bathroom -- again! why was he in
the bathroom again ?what is wrong with
him? does he have a urinary tract
infection? geez.
uh, eric hid behind a plant. and melania,
who i haven't seen in months, actually
gave them the combination to my safe. and
the fbi stole -- stole -- my prized collection
of mcdonald land figurines: mayor
mccheese -- great guy. tremendous mayor. the
hamburglar -- he's not a criminal, okay. he's
just misunderstood. the grimace, who i did
a commercial with back in 2002 --
he's fat and ugly, but we love the
grimace, right folks? we love the grimace.
now the fbi planted evidence, okay?
there's no other explanation for the 50
bottles of adderall. i don't even know
what adderall is.
i've never heard of adderall.
i can't even smell adderall, and i'm a
tremendous speller, okay? i don't know
what this adderall is. all right? they
also took my award-winning intelligence
test, okay, where i wrote: "person, woman, man
camera, tv." stable genius! it was
beautifully framed, and they stole it!
they stole it! that shows how smart i am.
now, the bottom line is, they're not
coming for me, folks. they're not coming
for me, they're coming for you -- for you!
this illegal fbi raid could happen to
any american, any patriotic american who
happened to accidentally
remove 12 to 27 boxes of nuclear secrets
from the white house, and put them in
their unlocked, unsealed, unprotected,
basement storage unit. who here hasn't
taken classified documents from their
workplace, along with strategic
information about foreign leaders, after
they were forced out of their job, at the
white house, a year and a half ago?
everybody does it. everybody does it! why
should i be singled out?
and why wouldn't the fbi
allow inspections of the areas, with my
attorney, and other people. the fbi did
not let anyone watch them go through
mar-a-lago. and i know that for a fact,
because i watched the entire raid on
incredibly crisp and clear 4k security
cameras at mar-a-lago with my team. i saw
everything. and no one was allowed to see
it. but i saw it. so,
they know i saw it. you know it said that
drug dealers with nuclear secrets get
better treatment than the united states
president who made america
great again. but now it's crappy again,
because i'm not there. okay? sleepy joe's
there. [SNORE]
oh man, is that guy a mess now.
now -- they took all of my letters from kim
jong-un. even the ones that smelled like
perfume, had little photos, and uh, had
hearts on the
envelope. none of these documents were
classified,
or top secret, or top top secret, or
sensitive! the word sensitive. or
ncis, which is honestly, that's a good
show. that's a really good show. they were
all
de-classified -- and planted! now, because i
have the ability, as a stable genius, to
make classified documents instantly
declassified the moment i think about
them -- just now just now i declassified a
bunch of documents back in washington
d.c just thinking about it.
and the fbi will never know which ones.
and i can do that. because i still am the
president of the united states. and the
election was stolen from me. i still have
the de-classification
ability. it's one of my many,
many many, super
powers.
when i was forced out of the white house
by the stolen election,
i wasn't given any time to pack up. so, i
threw everything in boxes -- you know what
i mean? -- mentally declassified them as i
did, and then shipped them fedex ground -- much
cheaper --
down to mar-a-lago.
then,
out of nowhere, with no warning, the fbi
raids my house with a
fake warrant from a chronic masturbator?
and by the way, by the way, i didn't pack
these boxes. okay? i'm a tremendous packer --
believe me, no one packs it like i do,
okay? -- but i was the president at the time,
and i was not packing the boxes. so i
didn't pack the boxes. i don't even, i
don't even know what was in the boxes. do
you know what i'm saying? i didn't pack
them, so i don't know what was in them. so
you can't blame me for that, okay? but,
even if there was stuff in there that
shouldn't have been in there, i totally
declassified them, because i thought of
declassification. i just held my hands
over all those boxes,
with my stable geniusness, before they
left the white house. this raid was
horrible.
it was nasty. carried out by bad hombres,
okay? and i would hate to see anything
happen to this wonderful country.
but,
i'm certain
at this point it's out of my hands. and
maybe merrick garland, who looks like a
keebler elf, should back off,
all right?
you understand what i'm saying? i think
i'm being crystal clear.
trump bless you, and trump bless america.
and hopefully nothing will happen.
hopefully.
thank you everybody. thanks for coming.
listen, the buffet's open. i mean, you have
to pay for -- i'm not giving you free
food, because you're the fake news. but
i'd be more than happy to talk to some
of you, especially you. you're very
attractive. very attractive.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Aug 20, 2022 3:49 am

A former FBI agent discusses threats against the agency since the search of Trump’s home
Brooks and Marcus on threats against the FBI, Liz Cheney's future, Trump's grip on the GOP
PBS News Hour
Aug 19, 2022 6:45 PM EDT

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and its agents have become targets of threats after the agency conducted a court-approved search of former President Trump's estate. Much of the heated rhetoric has come from Trump and his allies. One man has already been killed by law enforcement for trying to storm an Ohio field office. Retired Special Agent Frank Montoya joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.

Read the Full Transcript

Judy Woodruff:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and its agents have become targets of threats in the days since the agency carried out a court-approved search of former President Donald Trump's estate.

Much of the heated rhetoric has come from Trump himself and his allies. And, already, one man was killed by law enforcement after attempting to storm a field office in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Here with me now to discuss all of this is retired Special Agent Frank Montoya, who served 26 years in the FBI.

Frank Montoya, welcome back to the "NewsHour."

We have been planning to talk to you for a couple of days based on threats that we saw out there. But I just have to share that, just in the last hour or so, on this Friday afternoon, former President Trump has posted on social media strong comments

And I'm just going to quote from some of them. He refers to what he calls atrocities being perpetrated by the FBI and the DOJ. He says: "The law enforcement of our country has become that of a Third World nation and I do not believe that people will stand for it. Never in our country's history has there been a time where law enforcement has been so viciously and violently involved in the life and times of politics in our nation. They have no shame. They are destroying our country."

Has there been anything like this before in the history of the FBI?

Frank Motoya Jr., Former FBI Official:

Never.

I cannot think of any instance in my lifetime or even before then in the history of the FBI where something like was so egregiously foisted upon them.

Judy Woodruff:

How do you account for what's happened here? Because there was the search of former President Trump's estate in Florida, Mar-a-Lago. There was a court-approved warrant for that search.

And yet the president and his allies, his supporters have ever since then come down with a steady stream of attacks and threats on the FBI.

Frank Motoya Jr.:

Well, I think what it reveals is that there's a lot of concern amongst his inner circle and amongst — with him, in particular, about how close this investigation is getting to the truth.

The things that he's been saying all along, whether there was planted evidence, or that he had this unequivocal, unadulterated ability to declassify, or to just outright attack the men and women of the FBI, who are doing their jobs, who are responding to allegations from outside, reacting to it with a search warrant, and then, again, doing their jobs, collecting the evidence and removing that documentation.

And it really suggests that he's worried about what they're what they're finding, not what they will find, what they are finding, and what will happen next as far as potential prosecution.

So, yes, he's running scared. That's what it sounds like.

Judy Woodruff:

Well, the language has become, I mean, just — I mean, to say over the top is an understatement.

There are — we have seen quotes where they have written about killing the enemy. Steve Bannon, who's a longtime adviser to the former president, has talked about the FBI is like the Gestapo and talking about, we're at war.

How do — I mean, you have been in contact, I know, with — you have many friends in the bureau. How are they seeing all this? How are they — how do they — how are they taking it in?

Frank Motoya Jr.:

Well, it ticks them off.

I mean, they're trying to deal with it, take it in stride. Addressing threats, dealing with threats on a daily basis is what they do. But what really concerns them is the input, the possible or potential impact that this can have on family members, especially with their kids getting ready to go back to school, and with their colleagues, the intelligence analysts and the support personnel, who don't carry weapons for a living.

It really is making for a difficult work environment. Now, they're going to continue to do what they do. They're going to press forward. They're going to uphold their oath to support and defend the Constitution, to uphold the rule of law.

But, at the same time, we are in — I don't like to use this word. I don't think many people do. But we are in unprecedented times, because they truly are. We're looking at words coming out, not just out of his mouth, but other so-called responsible leaders in this country, who are constantly bashing individuals, professionals who are doing their jobs on a daily basis to the best of their abilities, following the rule of law.

And in addition to the threats that those words pose to them, it also undermines the very efforts that they're supposed to that — that they're attempting to uphold. It really — it's an attack on the Constitution, as much as it is on these agents that are really working hard to uphold it.

Judy Woodruff:

And that's a question I wanted to get to, because how is it possible for the agency to do its job when you have more and more of the American people who the FBI and DOJ, Department of Justice are serving not having confidence in the — not just not having confidence in them, but thinking they are the enemies of the people?

Frank Motoya Jr.:

Yes.

So, that's a really terrible side effect of all of this nonsensical rhetoric, that people are questioning the very reasons that the FBI exists. It's not just about questioning their honesty and integrity, but their reason for existing.

And there was a time when most Americans, many Americans, they looked at the rule of law and they looked at the Constitution as something worth upholding, as something that could be upheld. And, right now, with all of this negative language that's out there, all this negative rhetoric is really causing even normal, regular people, my neighbors, to question whether or not the FBI is doing what it's supposed to do, as opposed to acting like a rogue agency.

And the fact of the matter is, nothing could be farther from the truth about that rogue nature, about the adjectives, the words and descriptions that the former president is using to describe really good people, who are just like your neighbors, your — the folks that live in your community, whose children go to your schools, where they're just doing their jobs, reacting to the circumstances of our current environment, and doing it in the best way possible, at the same time, taking care of themselves and, more importantly, their friends and families.

Judy Woodruff:

All right, well, we are going to leave it there. We certainly are continuing to watch this as it develops, and, again, with these new comments today from the former president.

Frank Montoya, who served in the FBI for 26 years, thank you very much.

Frank Montoya Jr.:

Thank you.

************************

Trump's 'Openly Inciting' Rhetoric Against DOJ Is Dangerously Familiar
by Chris Hayes
Aug 19, 2022

Image
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump = 56 m
When will people realize that the atrocities being perpetrated by the FBI and DOJ having to do with the Raid and Break In of my home, Mar-a-Lago, or after years of other atrocities and unthinkable violations of freedom and the law, this has been going on for years, from the moment I came down the golden escalators in Trump Tower, right up until the present. At some point you have to look at what took place in the past to determine what is going on in the present...
... and nothing has ever happened like that which is going on in our Country right now. The law enforcement of our Country has become that of a Third World Nation, and I do not believe the people will stand for it -- between Fraudulent Elections, Open Borders, Inflation, giving our Military to the Enemy, and so much more -- how much are we all expected to take?
Never in our Country's history has there been a time where law enforcement has been so viciously and violently involved in the life and times of politics in our Nation. Even in light of the fact that they violated the Russia, Russia, Russia Scam, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, the Mueller Witch Hunt, lied many times before Congress, and on many occasions put out fraudulent information before the FISA Court, they continue. They have no shame. They are destroying our Country!

Aug 19, 2022, 16:31-16:32


“They are threatening law enforcement and the DOJ, claiming that the country will erupt into violence if they don't do what Trump wants,” says Chris Hayes on the response to the Mar-a-Lago probe. “The last time Trump's rhetoric was this openly inciting...a mob stormed the Capitol and people ended up dead.”



Transcript

>> [CHRI HAYES] GOOD EVENING FROM NEW YORK,
I'M CHRIS HAYES.
NEARLY TWO WEEKS OUT FROM THE
FBI SEARCH OF THE EX-PRESIDENT'S
FLORIDA HOME,
DONALD TRUMP'S EXCUSES KEEP
GETTING WORSE --
THEY KEEP CHANGING, AND THEY
KEEP GETTING WORSE.
HE IS NOW THREATENING TO TAKE
STEPS THAT COULD FURTHER
INFLAME TENSIONS, AND OUTRIGHT
ENDANGER FBI AGENTS.
NOW AT FIRST, TRUMP TRIED TO
PUSH NONSENSE CONSPIRACY
THEORIES ABOUT THE FBI PLANTING
THE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS AT
MAR-A-LAGO, WHICH WAS FRANKLY
ABSURD. AND WHEN IT DIDN'T WORK,
HE LANDED ON A CONSISTENT EXCUSE:
"YES, THE DOCUMENTS WERE MINE,
YES, I HAD THEM WITH
ME, BUT IT'S FINE, BECAUSE I
DECLASSIFIED THEM."
>> [JOHN SOLOMON, FOX NEWS] THIS IS FROM PRESIDENT
TRUMP'S OFFICE.
IT JUST CAME IN A FEW MINUTES AGO.
"AS WE CAN ALL RELATE TO,
EVERYONE --
AS WE CAN ALL RELATE TO,
EVERYONE ENDS UP HAVING TO
BRING HOME THEIR WORK FROM TIME
TO TIME.
AMERICAN PRESIDENTS ARE NO
DIFFERENT.
PRESIDENT TRUMP, IN ORDER TO
PREPARE THE WORK THE NEXT DAY,
OFTEN TOOK DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING
CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS, TO THE
RESIDENCE.
HE HAD A STANDING ORDER -- THERE'S
THE WORD I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR --
THAT DOCUMENTS REMOVED FROM THE
OVAL OFFICE AND TAKEN TO THE
RESIDENCE WERE DEEMED TO BE
DECLASSIFIED THE MOMENT HE
REMOVED THEM."
>> [CHRIS HAYES] [LAUGHING] NOW, THAT'S AN ALMOST
COMICAL MONOLOGUE THERE FROM
JOHN SOLOMON, WHOSE IS ESSENTIALLY
A MOUTHPIECE FOR
TRUMP.
THAT EXCUSE WAS PRETTY OBVIOUSLY A
LIE.
BUT WE HAVE GOT NEW REPORTING TO
ACTUALLY CONFIRM IT, NAIL IT DOWN.
"18 FORMER WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS,
INCLUDING TWO OF TRUMP'S WHITE
HOUSE CHIEFS OF STAFF, JOHN
KELLY, NICK MULVANEY, SAY
THERE WAS NO STANDING ORDER TO
DECLASSIFY DOCUMENTS."
IT WOULD CERTAINLY APPEAR THAT
TRUMP IS JUST LYING TO TRY AND
SAVE HIS HIDE.
SO RUDY GIULIANI, WHO APPEARS TO BE IN
A QUITE A BIT OF LEGAL TROUBLE, IS THE TARGET, AGAIN, OF THAT CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION IN GEORGIA,
WENT ON
THE FAR RIGHT OUTLET, NEWSMAX, TO TRY AND
CLEAR THINGS UP.
>> [RUDY GIULIANI] NOW, THEY WANT TO MAKE HIM
RESPONSIBLE FOR HAVING TAKEN
CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS AND
PRESERVED THEM.
REALLY, IF YOU LOOK AT THE
ESPIONAGE ACT, IT'S NOT REALLY
ABOUT TAKING THE DOCUMENTS,
IT'S ABOUT DESTROYING THEM,
OR HIDING THEM,
OR GIVING THEM TO THE ENEMY.
>> [FOX NEWS HOST] RIGHT.
>> [RUDY GIULIANI] IT'S NOT ABOUT TAKING THEM
AND PUTTING THEM IN A PLACE
THAT IS ROUGHLY AS SAFE AS THEY
WERE IN IN THE FIRST PLACE.
>> [CHRIS HAYES] NOW THE ESPIONAGE ACT IS A
WEIRD AND IN SOME WAYS BAD
PIECE OF LEGISLATION, BUT
THAT'S NOT TRUE, WHAT GIULIANI
IS SAYING.
ACCORDING TO TRUMP'S OWN FORMER
HEAD OF COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE
AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
QUOTE, "THE ESPIONAGE ACT
EXPLICITLY APPLIES TO THE
WILLFUL RETENTION OF CLASSIFIED
AND NONCLASSIFIED DEFENSE
RELATED DOCUMENTS IN AN
UNAUTHORIZED PLACE."
David Laufman
@DavidLaufmanLaw
Former @TheJusticeDept official completely misrepresents the scope of a law he was once responsible for enforcing. Espionage Act explicitly applies to willful retention of classified (and non-classified defense-related) in an unauthorized place. #ClassifiedDocuments

12:53 PM - Aug 19, 2022

THAT IS OBVIOUSLY WHAT WE ARE
TALKING ABOUT.
IN FACT, IT'S ALL BUT BEEN ADMITTED
TO BY THE TRUMP PEOPLE.
SETTING THAT ASIDE, IT SURE
SOUNDS LIKE GIULIANI IS OPENLY
ADMITTING TRUMP TOOK THE
DOCUMENTS THAT HE APPARENTLY
KNEW WERE CLASSIFIED IN ORDER TO
PRESERVE THEM.
OF COURSE WE KNOW THAT TRUMP
WAS STORING AT LEAST SOME OF THE
DOCUMENTS IN THE BASEMENT OF
HIS GOLF RESORT, WHICH, NO
MATTER HOW YOU SLICE IT, I
DON'T THINK IS SAFER THAN WITH
THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES.
EVEN THOUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE INVESTIGATORS, AGAIN,
IN THIS LONG BACK AND FORTH, RIGHT,
WHERE THEY ARE TRYING TO GET THE
PAPERS BACK AND SECURE, TOLD
TRUMP HE NEEDED TO PUT A LOCK ON THE DOOR
WHERE THE DOCUMENTS WERE KEPT, MEANING HIS ATTEMPTS
AT
AT PRESERVATION CERTAINLY LEFT SOMETHING TO BE
DESIRED.
NOW JUST WATCH TRUMP'S CURRENT LAWYER FLOUNDER
WHEN FOX NEWS LOBBED HER A SOFTBALL QUESTION ABOUT
HOW SECURE THE
DOCUMENT WERE.
>> [CHRISTINA BOBB] THEY ASKED FOR ONE MORE LOCK, ADD ANOTHER LOCK, WHICH
WE DID.
UH, AND THEN, FOR WHATEVER REASON,
THEY DECIDED THAT THEY STILL
NEEDED TO RAID THE PLACE.
>> [LAURA INGRAHAM] AND ONLY ONE OR TWO
PEOPLE HAD ACCESS TO THAT ROOM,
TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE?
>>[CHRISTINA BOBB] THAT'S MY UNDERSTANDING.
I MEAN, I WOULD HAVE TO CHECK WITH, YOU KNOW,
THE MAINTENANCE OF THAT AREA.
BUT MY UNDERSTANDING IS A VERY
SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT COULD
GET IN THERE.
>> [CHRIS HAYES] LAURA IS LIKE, "PLEASE WORK
WITH ME HERE. I'M TRYING TO
HELP YOU OUT."
NOT A VERY REASSURING ANSWER
WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT TOP
SECRET DOCUMENTS. AND IN CASE YOU HAVE
FORGOTTEN, OF COURSE, TRUMP
DOESN'T REALLY DESERVE THE
BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT WHEN IT
COMES TO PRESERVING ANY KIND OF NATIONAL
SECURITY SECRETS. I MEAN, JUST
ONE EXAMPLE, AND THERE ARE TRULY
COUNTLESS, LISTEN TO THE MUSICIAN KID ROCK DESCRIBE
HOW TRUMP WAS APPARENTLY
DISCUSSING SENSITIVE ISSUES OF FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY WITH
A NUCLEAR POWER WITH
HIM WHEN HE VISITED THE WHITE
HOUSE.
>> [KID ROCK] WE'RE LOOKING AT MAPS [DELETE], AND
I'M LIKE, AM I SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE [DELETE]
[TUCKER CARLSON] [LAUGHING]
[KID ROCK] I MAKE DIRTY RECORDS SOMETIMES.
BUT --
[TUCKER CARLSON] [LAUGHING]
>> [KID ROCK] ... DO IT HERE.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD DO
ABOUT NORTH KOREA?
[LAUGHING] I SAID "WHAT"?
I DON'T THINK I'M QUALIFIED TO ANSWER
THIS.
>> [CHRIS HAYES] THAT'S THE MOST RELATABLE I'VE
EVER FOUND KID ROCK,
AND HE'S RIGHT, HE'S NOT REALLY
QUALIFIED TO ANSWER.
BUT ALL THIS STUFF ASIDE, WHAT
IS LESS FUNNY THAN THE KIND OF
HAPHAZARD AND SOMEWHAT
RIDICULOUS ATTEMPTS BY TRUMP TO
WRIGGLE OUT OF THIS, WHAT HE'S
DOING NOW WITH HIS ATTACKS ON
THE FBI IS, I THINK, LEGITIMATELY
DANGEROUS.
SO IT'S BEEN REPORTED THAT
TRUMP MADE THIS OVERTURE TO THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE NEW
YORK TIMES REPORTED THIS,
THROUGH AN EMISSARY.
AND HE SENT THIS MESSAGE TO
MERRICK GARLAND.
The New York Times
Trump Lawyer Told Justice Dept. That Classified Material Had Been Returned
by Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush
Aug. 13, 2022

"The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?"

HE WANTED TO GET IT TO MERRICK
GARLAND.
AND THE QUESTION WAS, "THE
COUNTRY IS ON FIRE.
WHAT CAN I DO TO REDUCE THE
HEAT?"
AND BY "COUNTRY ON FIRE," WHAT HE
MEANT WAS HE TALKED TO ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO WERE
ENRAGED BY THE SEARCH ON
MAR-A-LAGO.
AND THERE'S A WAY TO READ THAT,
WHICH I THINK IS THE PLAIN READING OF IT, WHICH
IS OMINOUS, RIGHT? A THREAT.
TRUMP TELLING THE DOJ, "BE
CAREFUL, THAT HIS SUPPORTERS
ARE AGITATING FOR
VIOLENCE.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DO."
BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY, IT'S VERY
OBVIOUS THAT TRUMP IS NOT
INTERESTED IN COOLING TENSIONS
AT ALL.
NOW WE DON'T KNOW FOR SURE WHO
INITIALLY LEAKED THE ACTUAL
MAR-A-LAGO SEARCH WARRANT TO
PRO TRUMP NEWS OUTLETS, INCLUDING BREITBART, ALTHOUGH I'LL LEAVE IT TO YOU TO GUESS, BUT THE COPY OF THE DOCUMENT
THAT CIRCULATED IN SOME
FAR-RIGHT CIRCLES, DID NOT
REDACT THE NAMES OF THE FBI
OFFICERS INVOLVED, PUTTING
THEIR LIVES IN DANGER.
AND AGAIN, I'M NOT BEING
HYPERBOLIC HERE. THIS IS NOT
JUST EMPTY THREATS.
JUST LAST WEEK, RIGHT AFTER THE
SEARCH, A MAN TOOK A GUN TO AN
FBI BUILDING IN OHIO, AND LATER
FIRED DIRECTLY AT OFFICERS IN A
STANDOFF AFTER POSTING ONLINE
ABOUT HE WANTED TO KILL THE FBI
AGENTS.
EARLIER THIS WEEK, A
PENNSYLVANIA MAN WAS ARRESTED
FOR ALLEGEDLY USING THE
FAR-RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
GAB TO SHARE EXLICIT THREATS
AGAINST THE FBI.
STATEMENTS LIKE, QUOTE," EVERY
SINGLE PIECE OF [BLANK] WHO
WORKS FOR THE FBI IN ANY
CAPACITY, FROM THE DIRECTOR
DOWN TO THE JANITOR WHO CLEANS
THEIR F-ING TOILETS, DESERVES TO DIE. YOU'VE
DECLARED WAR ON US AND
NOW IT'S OPEN SEASON ON YOU."
THE FLORIDA JUDGE WHO APPROVED
THE SEARCH WARRANT ON
MAR-A-LAGO IS NOW RECEIVING DEATH
THREATS, WHICH ARE APPARENTLY
SO SERIOUS, HIS SYNAGOGUE
CANCELED TONIGHT'S
SCHEDULED SERVICE. OKAY?
THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS WHEN TRUMP
SENDS A MESSAGE TO MERRICK
GARLAND, "THE COUNTRY IS ON
FIRE."
AND NOW THE EX PRESIDENT IS
REPORTEDLY MULLING THE
POSSIBILITY OF RELEASING THE
SURVEILLANCE CAMERA VIDEO OF
THE MAR-A-LAGO SEARCH,
WHICH WOULD, IT SEEMS, FURTHER
ENDANGER THOSE AGENTS BY MAKING
THEIR FACES PUBLIC TO TRUMP'S
ENRAGED SUPPORTERS.
AND IN A NEW STATEMENT THIS
EVENING, THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE TOLD NBC NEWS QUOTE, "WE
WOULD HOPE THE VIDEO WOULD
ONLY PROVIDE IT IN A FORMAT THAT
OBSCURES THE FACES AND
IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF LAW
ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL."
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE STATEMENT
ON MAR-A-LAGO SURVEILLANCE VIDEO
"WE WOULD HOPE THAT IT WOULD ONLY BE PROVIDED IN A FORMAT THAT OBSCURES THE FACES AND IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF LAW ENFOREMENT PERSONNEL."

BUT THAT DOESN'T SEEM TO BE A
CONCERN.
JUST LISTEN TO HOW ANOTHER ONE OF
TRUMP'S LAWYERS PUT IT.
>> [ROB SCHMITT, TONIGHT] SO YOU CAN'T SEE THE AFFIDAVIT,
AND OF COURSE YOU CAN'T SEE
WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN THE
RAID.
NOT A LOT OF TRANSPARENCY IN THIS
GOVERNMENT.
>> [TRUMP LAWYER] WE DON'T WANT YOU TO SEE
THEIR IDENTITIES EITHER,
BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT YOU TO
KNOW WHO DID THAT.
WELL, IF YOU ARE DOING IT
AS AN AGENT, I AM NOT SURE THAT
YOU SHOULD HAVE THAT RIGHT.
LISTEN, FBI AGENTS, UNDERCOVER
AGENTS, THAT'S ONE THING.
BUT WHEN YOU GO INTO A PRESIDENT'S
HOME, AN EX PRESIDENT'S HOME,
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT IS GOING TO
HAPPEN?
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?
>> [CHRIS HAYES] THINK ABOUT THAT.
"WHAT DO YOU EXPECT IS GOING TO
HAPPEN?"
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
TRUMP CAN CARE LESS, RIGHT, ABOUT
PROTECTING LAW ENFORCEMENT.
IN FACT, JUST TODAY, HE USED
HIS WEIRD OFF-BRAND PLATFORM TO
FURTHER INFLAME THE COUNTRY,
TO REALLY INCITE --
HE REFERRED TO THE EXECUTION
OF THE SEARCH WARRANT AS QUOTE
"ATROCITIES BEING PERPETRATED BY
THE FBI AND DOJ, THAT THE LAW
ENFORCEMENT OF OUR COUNTRY HAS
BECOME THAT OF A THIRD WORLD
NATION, AND I DON'T BELIEVE THE
PEOPLE WILL STAND FOR IT.
HOW MUCH ARE WE ALL EXPECTED TO
TAKE?
QUOTE, NEVER IN OUR COUNTRY'S
HISTORY HAS THERE BEEN A TIME
WHERE LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS BEEN
SO VICIOUSLY AND VIOLENTLY
INVOLVED IN THE LIFE AND TIMES
OF POLITICS IN OUR NATION.
THEY HAVE NO SHAME. THEY ARE
DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY!"
AGAIN, SOMEONE SHOT UP AN FBI
HEADQUARTERS.
AFTER THE RAID.
HE KNOWS THAT!
THIS MORNING TRUMP'S LAWYER
AGAIN TOOK TO RIGHT-WING MEDIA
TO ISSUE, WHAT AGAIN, SURE SEEMED
LIKE A THREAT TO THE DEPARTMENT
OF JUSTICE.
>> [CHRISTINA BOBB] I DON'T SEE IT AS,
COMING DOWN, I ALSO THINK THE
NATION'S REACTION TO THIS RAID,
I THINK THE DEPARTMENT WAS
SURPRISED AT HOW ANGRY AMERICA
GOT, AND HOW FRUSTRATED WE ALL
ARE, THAT WE FEEL LIKE WE ARE LOSING
OUR RIGHTS, AND THIS IS SO
OVERLY POLITICAL.
SO, I THINK IT'S CAUSING THEM
TO GO, "OH, MAYBE WE DON'T HAVE WHAT
WE THINK WE HAVE."
SO I HOPE THAT THEY TAKE A SECOND
LOOK AND ARE CAUTIOUS ABOUT
DOING SOMETHING AS STUPID AS
TRYING TO GO AFTER PRESIDENT
TRUMP, BECAUSE THEY'VE TRIED THIS BEFORE.
>> [CHRIS HAYES] AGAIN, LISTEN TO WHAT THEY
SAID THERE.
THEY BASICALLY ADMITTED TO THE
CRIME. RIGHT?
THEY HAVE THE DOCUMENTS, THEY
WILLFULLY RETAIN THEM.
RIGHT?
NOW THEY ARE NOT MAKING LEGAL
ARGUMENTS, THEY ARE JUST SAYING, "YOU
WILL DESTROY CIVIL PEACE IN THIS
COUNTRY, BECAUSE OUR FOLLOWERS
WILL ...", WHAT?
IF YOU DO THIS?
THEY ARE THREATENING LAW
ENFORCEMENT AND THE DOJ AND
CLAIMING THAT THE COUNTRY WILL
ERUPT INTO VIOLENCE IF THEY
DON'T DO WHAT TRUMP WANTS.
I GOTTA SAY, THE LAST TIME
THAT TRUMP'S RHETORIC WAS THIS
OPENLY INCITING -- HIS PLATFORM WAS MUCH HIGHER -- IT'S NOT THE SAME -- BUT THE LAST TIME IT WAS THIS INCITING, A MOB STORMED THE CAPITOL AND PEOPLE ENDED UP DEAD.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Aug 22, 2022 1:39 am

DA Alvin Bragg delivers Donald Trump a gift by going easy on Trump's criminal CFO, Allen Weisselberg
by Glenn Kirschner
Aug 19, 2022



First, the career prosecutors - Pomerantz and Dunne - who concluded there was enough evidence to charge and convict Donald Trump of multiple felon offenses resigned because New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg killed the criminal investigation into Donald Trump. Now, DA Bragg gives Trump's long-time Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg a sweetheart plea deal for the ages. Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 felonies but was gifted a sentence that likely will result in only 100 days in jail (assuming he earns good-time credit). Moreover, although Weisselberg said he would testify against the Trump organization, he told Bragg that he would not cooperate with the investigation into Donald Trump's crimes, nor would he testify against Trump. The plea deal Bragg gave Weisselberg is a travesty and a miscarriage of justice.

This video discusses how competent prosecutors deal with career criminals like Weisselberg when they are trying to develop them as a cooperating witnesses.

Transcript

0:00
injustice in a manhattan courtroom.
0:04
let's talk about the obscene sweetheart
0:06
deal new york district attorney alvin
0:09
bragg gave trump's corrupt chief
0:13
financial officer, alan weisselberg.
0:16
this one's offensive.
0:19
because
0:20
justice
0:22
matters.
0:30
[Music]
0:38
hey all, glenn kirschner here.
0:40
so friends, this is not going to be an
0:43
upbeat video,
0:45
because
0:46
yesterday was not a good day for justice
0:49
in a courtroom in manhattan.
0:52
district attorney alvin bragg delivered
0:55
an absolute gift to donald trump.
1:00
here is the reporting from the new york
1:02
times.
1:04
headline: "alan weisselberg, a top trump
1:07
executive, pleads guilty in tax scheme.
1:11
one of donald j trump's most trusted
1:13
executives pleaded guilty on thursday to
1:16
conspiring with mr trump's company to
1:19
carry out a long-running tax scheme,
1:22
an admission that painted a damning
1:25
picture of the former president's family
1:27
business, but
1:29
did not advance
1:31
a broader investigation into the former
1:34
president himself.
1:37
and alan weisselberg pleaded guilty to
1:40
15 felony crimes, so you would expect
1:44
he's going to prison for a very long
1:46
time.
1:48
get this:
1:50
under the terms of the plea deal, if mr
1:52
weisselberg testifies truthfully at the
1:55
upcoming trial -- that's against the trump
1:57
organization not, against donald trump --
2:01
he will receive a five-month sentence,
2:04
and likely serve as little as 100 days,
2:08
with time credited for good behavior.
2:11
mr weisselberg, who was facing up to 15
2:13
years in prison,
2:15
must also pay nearly 2 million dollars
2:17
in taxes, penalties, and interest.
2:21
this plea does not require mr
2:24
weisselberg to cooperate with the
2:26
district attorney's broader criminal
2:28
investigation of mr trump, and his
2:31
admissions will not implicate the former
2:35
president.
2:36
in refusing to cooperate against mr
2:38
trump, mr weisselberg fended off intense
2:42
pressure from the prosecutors."
2:45
boy, you know, it's a good thing alan
2:48
weiselberg didn't snatch a purse,
2:52
sell a 20 rock of crack cocaine, or
2:56
sell some loose cigarettes, because then
2:58
maybe he would have really been in tr ...
3:00
well, no, probably not. because alan
3:03
weiselberg is a rich, influential,
3:06
connected white male.
3:10
so he gets to set his own terms of the
3:12
deal with prosecutors,
3:15
even though he was involved in a 15-year
3:18
long criminal scheme to defraud
3:21
the taxpayers of the city of new york, of
3:23
the state of new york, and federal
3:24
taxpayers, though he hasn't been charged,
3:27
for some reason, with his federal tax
3:30
crimes.
3:34
let me talk for a few minutes, friends,
3:36
about
3:37
how we take defendants,
3:39
like alan weiselberg,
3:41
people who can
3:43
absolutely give us bigger criminal fish,
3:46
and try to convert them into cooperating
3:49
witnesses.
3:51
now,
3:52
in my many years in the homicide
3:54
practice at the u.s attorney's office in
3:56
d.c.,
3:58
I worked with and developed lots and lots
4:00
of cooperating witnesses. one of my
4:03
colleagues, one of my former assistant
4:05
u.s attorneys in the homicide section,
4:07
used to call me "the king of the
4:08
cooperators", and that was not a
4:11
compliment.
4:12
you know, defendants who have chosen a
4:15
life of crime, career criminals, can be
4:17
very, very challenging to work with, when
4:21
you're trying to convert them from
4:22
defendant
4:24
to cooperating witness.
4:26
why? because you have to take somebody
4:28
who has lived a life of crime,
4:30
convince them
4:32
to tell the complete truth about all of
4:35
their crimes,
4:37
and all of their friends crimes, and all
4:39
of their family members crimes, if their
4:42
family members were involved in their
4:44
criminal activities,
4:46
and then you could start to talk to them
4:48
about the crimes of the bigger criminal
4:51
fish, and work your way up that criminal
4:54
food chain.
4:56
and people who have chosen a life of
4:57
crime -- and make no mistake about it,
4:59
alan weisselberg chose a life of
5:01
crime -- white collar crime, though it may
5:03
have been -- it's very challenging to get
5:06
them to
5:08
become effective cooperators, to tell the
5:10
complete truth about their own crimes,
5:13
and then the crimes of others. but it can
5:16
be done,
5:17
and prosecutors do it every day. but
5:19
there's a formula.
5:21
there's a tried and true approach to how
5:23
you deal with a defendant that you're
5:25
trying to flip,
5:27
and convert to become a really quality
5:30
cooperating witness. here's what you do.
5:33
you take a guy like alan weisselberg and
5:35
you say, "look,
5:37
you are caught dead to rights in a
5:39
15-year criminal scheme to defraud in
5:41
the first degree. 15 felony counts you're
5:44
indicted on.
5:46
so you really only have two options, mr
5:48
weisselberg: one,
5:50
tell me the truth about everything you
5:51
did, everything your family did, and
5:53
everything donald trump did,
5:56
or
5:57
spend the rest of your life in prison
6:00
as a result of,
6:02
you know going to trial and being
6:03
convicted on all 15 counts. those are
6:05
your only two choices.
6:08
that's the way it works."
6:10
and if an allen weisselberg says, "i'm not
6:12
going to testify. i'm not going to
6:14
cooperate against donald trump. i'm not going
6:16
to tell you everything. but i will demand
6:20
a plea deal that would land me in jail
6:22
for only a hundred days, even though i'm
6:24
facing life, given my age."
6:28
prosecutors are supposed to say,
6:31
"no, i'll see you at trial."
6:35
but alvin bragg
6:38
blinked,
6:40
and decided he would let alan weiselberg
6:43
set the terms, and those terms included
6:47
only a hundred days
6:49
in jail, if he gets good time credit,
6:52
and he doesn't have to cooperate,
6:54
and
6:55
you know assist the prosecutors in
6:58
holding donald trump accountable for his
6:59
crimes?
7:01
that is
7:03
a deal that i have never seen the likes
7:05
of
7:06
in my 30 years as a prosecutor.
7:10
what motivated bragg to do that i have
7:12
no idea, but what i can tell you friends,
7:16
is it's an absolute
7:18
gift
7:19
to donald trump.
7:21
now i have heard some say,
7:23
"oh well, wait a minute, wait a minute,
7:25
alvin bragg has this very stealth-like,
7:29
double secret probation plan that will
7:33
end up, you know, using weisselberg -- even
7:36
though this deal looks really bad --
7:38
using weisselberg somehow against trump,"
7:42
to which i say that rings hollow. you
7:45
know why?
7:47
if alvin bragg had a stealth double
7:50
secret probation approach in what seems
7:53
to be a horrific plea deal,
7:57
then
7:58
would the top prosecutors, pomerantz and
8:01
dunn,
8:03
have resigned in protest,
8:05
with pomerantz in his resignation letter
8:08
essentially saying,
8:10
"we had enough evidence to indict and
8:12
convict donald trump on multiple
8:15
felonies,
8:17
but alvin bragg killed the case against
8:20
trump.
8:20
we resign."
8:23
no, it doesn't make sense that all of
8:26
this is part part of some
8:28
grander plan that nobody can really see,
8:32
where, you know, alvin bragg is the
8:34
prosecutorial mastermind. nonsense.
8:38
this was a sweetheart deal to alan
8:41
weiselberg
8:42
that is a gift to trump, for reasons that
8:45
i can't explain,
8:47
but i sure hope somebody investigates
8:51,
goes behind it, and finds out what the
8:54
heck is going on in the manhattan
8:57
district attorney's office.
9:00
now there are other topics we could talk
9:02
about, why this is such a horrific plea
9:04
deal,
9:05
and let me just touch on them for a
9:07
minute or two.
9:10
allen weisselberg said, "okay, i'll testify
9:12
against the trump organization, but i
9:14
won't testify or cooperate against
9:16
donald trump himself, to hold him
9:18
accountable for his crimes. well,
9:19
weisselberg is the trump organization, as
9:22
is donald trump, and his family members,
9:24
and weisselberg, the chief financial
9:26
officer, has already pleaded guilty to 15
9:29
felonies, corruptly
9:31
running the financial end of the trump
9:33
organization. so his offer to plead
9:36
against the trump organization, which is
9:38
pending trial,
9:40
it is indicted, the organization, and has
9:43
a trial date coming up in the fall, -- let
9:45
me predict, there won't be a trial.
9:47
they'll somehow settle their way out of
9:49
it --
9:51
but his agreement to
9:53
to testify against the trump
9:54
organization is not all that
9:56
earth-shattering.
9:58
but if he does have to testify as a
10:01
cooperating witness ,his testimony is
10:03
going to be,
10:06
is going to be
10:07
damaged
10:09
by this plea deal.
10:10
because
10:12
the defense attorneys for the trump
10:15
organization will be able to
10:16
cross-examine him on, "well, mr weisselberg,
10:18
wait a minute, wait a minute, you pleaded
10:19
guilty to 15 felonies. you should, by all
10:22
rights, have a sentence that results in
10:25
you being imprisoned for the rest of
10:26
your life, but the prosecutors gave you a
10:29
sentence that could result in just 100
10:30
days,
10:31
with good time, and the prosecutor said
10:34
you don't even have to testify against
10:36
the big fish, 'you don't have to cooperate
10:38
with us,
10:39
you, mr weisselberg, can just set your own
10:41
terms. whatever you want.'
10:43
mr weiselberg ,you're going to say
10:45
anything those prosecutors want you to
10:47
say when you're up on that witness stand,
10:49
because the last thing you want to do is
10:50
jeopardize
10:52
that hundred-day deal,
10:54
that also says you don't have to
10:56
cooperate against donald trump."
10:58
and the prosecutors will come back with,
11:00
"no, no, we told you you have to tell the
11:02
truth." and i've done this a thousand
11:04
times myself. and we mean it. but that
11:07
doesn't mean the jury has to buy it.
11:10
i mean, weisselberg got such a sweetheart
11:11
deal, that any defense attorney worth his
11:14
or her salt, will cross-examine him on
11:17
how "the fact that you got that
11:19
sweetheart deal means you're going to
11:20
say anything the prosecutors want you to
11:23
say, because you don't want to lose that
11:24
deal, because let's face it, if you told
11:26
the prosecutors that your truthful
11:28
testimony would clear the trump
11:30
organization, they probably wouldn't give
11:32
you that sweetheart deal.
11:35
you knew what they wanted you to say." i'm
11:37
just spinning out the typical defense
11:39
cross examination.
11:41
the point is,
11:42
his promise to testify
11:45
against the trump organization --
11:47
just who weisselberg wants to
11:49
testify against, and nobody else --
11:52
really damages his credibility as a
11:54
trial witness. the other thing people say
11:56
is, "well, he's pleaded guilty to all these
11:59
crimes, so that means he can no longer
12:00
plead the fifth."
12:02
right? because when you plead guilty, that
12:04
extinguishes
12:06
your fifth amendment right against
12:07
self-incrimination, because your
12:09
statements can't be held against you.
12:11
you've already been convicted .you've
12:13
pleaded guilty, and you don't still
12:15
have a privilege against
12:17
self-incrimination, because your
12:18
testimony can't incriminate you, because
12:20
those charges are done.
12:22
here's the thing: as an academic exercise,
12:25
that's true. that's accurate.
12:27
but the reality is,
12:31
once he pleads guilty, and his fifth
12:33
amendment rights regarding those crimes
12:35
are over, done with, extinguished,
12:39
you can compel him to testify. you can
12:42
force him to go into a grand jury, or
12:44
take the stand at trial, and testify, and
12:46
he can't plead the fifth, but you can't
12:49
compel him to tell the truth.
12:52
he could still go into a grand jury, or
12:54
take the stand at trial, and lie to
12:56
protect donald trump. he's been doing a
12:58
pretty darn good job of protecting
13:01
donald trump. and alvin bragg has let him
13:04
get away with it.
13:06
so, as an academic discussion it's great
13:10
that he can't plead the fifth, but you
13:12
can't compel him to tell the truth
13:14
about the crimes of donald trump. and
13:16
look, he's already gotten away with 15
13:18
felonies: 100 days for 15 felonies -- that's
13:22
laughable. do you really think he would
13:24
care about a perjury charge
13:26
if he lied about donald trump, even
13:28
though he was compelled to testify, and
13:31
couldn't plead the fifth? i don't think
13:32
he would bat an eye at a perjury charge,
13:35
after he just got away,
13:37
in a very real sense, with going
13:39
unpunished, largely unpunished, for 15
13:42
felonies.
13:43
a 15-year criminal scheme to defraud the
13:47
taxpayers of new york city, new york
13:49
state, and though, he hasn't been charged
13:51
federally,
13:52
the u.s taxpayers.
13:56
now, please don't misunderstand me, 100
13:58
days in jail, in prison and detention of
14:01
any kind, is horrific.
14:03
i don't care if you're 75 years old, i
14:05
don't care if you're 18 years old, it's
14:06
horrific.
14:08
but,
14:09
it is still a sweetheart deal
14:12
by which
14:13
alan weisselberg was allowed to set the
14:16
terms.
14:17
and
14:18
alvin bragg
14:21
caved,
14:22
willingly gave him that sweetheart deal?
14:24
i don't know what's behind
14:26
it, but i sure as as heck hope we
14:28
find out.
14:31
and let me finish with a public service
14:32
announcement, friends, and that public
14:34
service announcement is
14:37
that
14:38
donald trump
14:40
launched an armed attack on the u.s
14:42
capitol to stop
14:44
the peaceful transfer of presidential
14:47
power,
14:48
just in case we have
14:51
forgotten about that,
14:53
lost sight of that, when we're dealing
14:56
with injustice in a manhattan courtroom,
14:59
and we're dealing with
15:00
another investigation into donald trump
15:02
stealing classified information from the
15:05
federal government, and concealing it at
15:07
his florida home, because there's a lot
15:09
going on right now, but
15:11
i bring you that public service
15:12
announcement just to stay
15:15
focused,
15:16
um, on the fact that donald trump tried
15:19
to
15:20
steal the presidency,
15:22
and try to overthrow our democracy.
15:25
yeah, that's still in play.
15:27
and he still needs to be held
15:28
accountable for that.
15:32
because justice
15:34
matters.
15:37
hopefully tomorrow will be a better day
15:39
friends on the justice front. please stay
15:41
safe, please stay tuned,
15:43
and i look forward to talking with you
15:44
all again
15:45
tomorrow.
15:48
[Music]

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