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Thread: What Exact Crime Is Trump Guilty Of?

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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    He ask Zelensky to look into the Biden thing - there was no quid pro quo that we know of. The problem it seems is that he may have asked a foreign government to help with his election by looking into the Biden thing. First, Biden is not actually his Democrat opponent. Second, the double standard. Trump actually was Clinton's opponent when the Ukraine Government was helping her campaign dig up dirt on Trump: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...ackfire-233446
    If you can't manage, after numerous corrections, to understand that Clinton's campaign wasn't working with Ukraine to "dig up dirt" on Trump, what hope do you have of advancing on other topics?

    --Sam
    "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" — Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


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    tWebber firstfloor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    He ask Zelensky to look into the Biden thing - there was no quid pro quo that we know of. The problem it seems is that he may have asked a foreign government to help with his election by looking into the Biden thing. First, Biden is not actually his Democrat opponent. Second, the double standard. Trump actually was Clinton's opponent when the Ukraine Government was helping her campaign dig up dirt on Trump: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...ackfire-233446
    You’ve been listening to ratty Graham.

    The guy asks for weapons, Trump says, do me a favour. And then there is obstruction, witness intimidation, for starters. Same stuff as in the Mueller report.
    Last edited by firstfloor; 09-30-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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    tWebber Ana Dragule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Jonah Goldberg used the example that if Trump were to dance on top of the Oval Office desk nude while shouting profanities while on national television, it would be impeachable but not criminal.
    Technically, still illegal. https://statelaws.findlaw.com/dc-law...sure-laws.html
    Code Sections
    District of Columbia Official Code §22-1312: Lewd, Indecent, or Obscene Acts

    What's Prohibited?
    Under District of Columbia indecent exposure laws, it is considered unlawful for a person to make an obscene or indecent exposure of his or her genitalia or anus, to engage in masturbation, or to engage in a sexual act in public. The statute also makes it unlawful for a person to make an obscene or indecent sexual proposal to a minor.
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    tWebber Ana Dragule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    He ask Zelensky to look into the Biden thing - there was no quid pro quo that we know of. The problem it seems is that he may have asked a foreign government to help with his election by looking into the Biden thing. First, Biden is not actually his Democrat opponent. Second, the double standard. Trump actually was Clinton's opponent when the Ukraine Government was helping her campaign dig up dirt on Trump: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...ackfire-233446
    Most likely both Clinton and Trump should be prosecuted. It's the extremists on both sides that defend their party over their morality and legality.
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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    The Federalist Papers suggest that a specific crime is not required for impeachment per se. Jonah Goldberg used the example that if Trump were to dance on top of the Oval Office desk nude while shouting profanities while on national television, it would be impeachable but not criminal.
    It would also be hilarious, and would probably get him reelected if he ran again after being impeached.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Except the Constitution says "high crimes and misdemeanors" which imply proven violations of the law and not something vague and highly subjective like "conduct unbecoming of a president".
    A few days ago on Laura Ingraham's show, Dersh and some other legal expert mentioned that the Framers specifically discussed and rejected including "maladministration" as grounds for impeachment.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    If you can't manage, after numerous corrections, to understand that Clinton's campaign wasn't working with Ukraine to "dig up dirt" on Trump, what hope do you have of advancing on other topics?

    --Sam
    You Sam have not corrected anything. Tell me exactly where the Politico investigation is off:

    Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

    It is all in the link...
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    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    What Exact Crime Is Trump Guilty Of?
    Campaign finance law, and the bribery statutes are two of the most obvious laws he appears to have broken.

    Campaign finance:
    52 USC 30121(a)
    "It shall be unlawful for a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation [including any "thing of value"] [for an electoral campaign]... from a foreign national."


    Campaigns can purchase things with money from foreign nationals, including opposition research, which they commonly do. But campaigns cannot be donated things for free except under specific conditions (i.e. by American citizens, less than $2700 per person, and the campaign has to file forms declaring the donations) and they can't ask for things to be donated for free.

    Paid for = legal. Received for free = illegal.

    e.g. Hillary's 2016 campaign paid for some opposition research on Trump to be carried out by some foreign firms, which was legal because it was paid for at market value by campaign funds, whereas if it had been donated for free to the campaign by those foreign firms then it would have been totally illegal under the above law.

    He ask Zelensky to look into the Biden thing
    Right, which is illegal: "It shall be unlawful for a person to solicit [the free donation of a "thing of value" for an electoral campaign]... from a foreign national."

    This is an absolutely clear cut case of a campaign finance violation, which Trump appears to have admitted to, and which the memo about the call released by the White House shows he's guilty of. 100% obviously guilty.

    there was no quid pro quo
    Quid pro quo is not relevant to the campaign finance violations issue above.

    However, it's being alleged (and sure looks like) there was quid pro quo: He withheld military aid from them and made its restoration conditional on them helping him with Biden stuff.

    The whistleblower's allegations were that before the call the Trump administration blocked military aid from Ukraine, then prior to the call the White House agreed to have the call only on the condition Ukraine would help Trump investigate Biden, and that during the call Trump mentioned the subject 8 times.

    The summary of the call released by the White House has Trump saying that Ukraine is "not doing enough" for America in return for aid, and that Trump would like them to "do me a favor" of investigating Biden. This is taken by most people to be a strong confirmation of the quid pro quo.

    A quid pro quo would violate the Bribery statue:
    18 USC 201 B 2
    "a public official, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for being influenced in the performance of any official act"


    Trump would be personally receiving something of value for himself and his campaign in exchange for changing how he performs his official acts (i.e. choosing to give or not give US military aid to the Ukraine). That's a clear cut bribery violation if a quid pro quo can be shown.


    There are a few other follow-on crimes that Trump make also have committed. For example, Extortion, and Obstruction of Justice. e.g. If Trump realized he was probably guilty of the above crimes, and so tried to hide the evidence of his guilt by, let's say, moving the transcript of the call containing his wrongdoings out of the normal location and storing it somewhere else so investigators couldn't find it and so couldn't discover his guilt, that could be Obstruction of Justice.

    The problem it seems is that he may have asked a foreign government to help with his election by looking into the Biden thing.
    Not merely 'asked', which would be a Campaign Finance violation (for which people are often imprisoned in the US), but 'demanded in exchange for resuming military aid' which is both Bribery and Extortion. And then he hid the evidence which is Obstruction of Justice.

    First, Biden is not actually his Democrat opponent.
    Not relevant. It's common for campaigns to do opposition research against all the major possible candidates on both sides of the aisle. That's 100% legal if they pay for it from official campaign funds and report the expenditure. It's not legal to have it donated freely to them. It doesn't matter if the firms they buy the opposition research material from are foreign or domestic, what matters is that it's paid for out of campaign funds, and declared on the campaign expenditures filed with the FEC. Paid for by the campaign = legal. Freely given = illegal.

    Trump actually was Clinton's opponent when the Ukraine Government was helping her campaign dig up dirt on Trump: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...ackfire-233446
    Her campaign was allowed to pay for opposition research from Ukrainian sources from campaign funds. The requirement is that they be purchased at market value rather than gifted / donated freely to the campaign. Again: Paid for by campaign funds = legal. Received for free = illegal.

    Also, nothing stops a foreign government from deciding it likes one candidate over another and doing whatever it pleases to try and promote one candidate, so long as it doesn't collude with the official campaign while doing so or gift anything to that campaign. US law doesn't try and control the actions of those foreign governments, it tries to control the actions of the US's politician's official campaigns, who are prohibited from receiving free donations of cash or information from those foreign governments. Russia can legally publish 1000 articles about how they like Trump, and Ukraine can legally publish 1000 articles about how Paul Manafort was a Bad Guy in Ukraine and how Trump is bad for associating with him and how Hillary is the better choice. But the US campaigns aren't allowed to request that they do so for free (that would be soliciting a thing of value), though they are allowed to pay them to do so (Again: Paid for by campaign funds = legal. Received for free = illegal).

    So the Trump campaign would be legally allowed to pay for Rudy to fly to the Ukraine and pay people there to give him information about Biden / Biden's son. That would be legal. Paid for by campaign funds = legal. Trump asking for that information, for free, from the Ukrainian president, is illegal. (Also, Rudy's claim that he did the work for free, if true, would be illegal) Doing so after withholding US military aid and threatening to continue withholding it until his campaign is given this information, is triply illegal (Campaign finance violation + Bribery + Extortion).

    And remember, every congressperson is well aware of what is legal vs illegal under campaign finance laws because every single one of them has had to run and win their own campaigns for office, most of them multiple times. So they're all well-briefed as to the details of the rules and have personal experience navigating them. So even if the basic rules (Paid for by campaign funds = legal. Received for free = illegal) are unfamiliar to you, they're very very familiar to all the congressmen and senators who are looking at this. That's why after the White House released the memo about the Ukraine call, all the politicians could read that and spot the illegal behavior instantly. Whereas the average person who doesn't understand the law can be confused by things like Hillary's campaign paying for some opposition research from Ukrainian companies and get confused as to why that is legal when this is not.
    Last edited by Starlight; 10-01-2019 at 01:20 AM.

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    tWebber firstfloor's Avatar
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    Hello Starlight. A most welcome, hopefully not brief, return, again!
    “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
    “You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” ― Anne Lamott
    “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell

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    tWebber Ana Dragule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Only two Presidents have been impeached - neither removed from office. They both included actual crimes. You would think that an actual crime would be necessary to remove a duly elected President. If not, I do fear where this will end up...
    Because one person got away with something does not mean that anyone else who does it is automatically off the hook. It could also be a failure of the legal system. It is wrong to lower yourself to what another has sunk to and still proclaim yourself on the moral high ground.

    Some crimes the president just cannot be prosecuted with while in office. He actually has already committed an obvious crime, but it wasn't as politically significant. Look at the weather chart incident. https://www.iflscience.com/environme...federal-crime/
    It is the suspicious circumstance in which Zelensky’s aid was solicited in light of the accusations made by the whistleblower that have brought about an impeachment inquiry into whether or not there is enough evidence to proceed with an impeachment trial. From what I have read, the president is not on trial at the moment-the president has not been formally charged with a crime for which there would be an impeachment trial. I think that to ask for the certainty or judgement of impeachment proceedings may be premature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Except the Constitution says "high crimes and misdemeanors" which imply proven violations of the law and not something vague and highly subjective like "conduct unbecoming of a president".
    From what I can tell, impeachment is separate from the criminal acts of high crimes and misdemeanor.
    All sections of the constitution and the vocabulary below for Impeachment come from: https://constitutionus.com/
    Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
    Article I, Section 3, Clause 7: Judgment in Cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
    Article 2, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
    Article 3, Section 2, Clause 3: The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
    Vocabulary:
    Impeachment - formal accusation of wrongdoing
    Impeachments - formal accusations of wrongdoing

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    He ask Zelensky to look into the Biden thing - there was no quid pro quo that we know of. The problem it seems is that he may have asked a foreign government to help with his election by looking into the Biden thing. First, Biden is not actually his Democrat opponent. Second, the double standard. Trump actually was Clinton's opponent when the Ukraine Government was helping her campaign dig up dirt on Trump: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...ackfire-233446
    If information on Biden is helpful in the campaign, it does not need to be his opponent to help him personally benefit.

    If there is any benefit from Ukraine aiding in the election, such as if info on Biden would be useful, then this might not sit well with the FEC’s instructions on foreign volunteers for a committee.

    https://www.fec.gov/updates/foreign-nationals/
    Generally, an individual (including a foreign national) may volunteer personal services to a federal candidate or federal political committee without making a contribution. The Act provides this volunteer "exemption" as long as the individual performing the service is not compensated by anyone.
    The exceptions cited in this link are: 1. Where payment is for intellectual property (info with property rights) and where there is no compensation (back to if there was any benefit for Ukraine. This sections had the only real way the foreign nationals are allowed to participate in elections. If he in fact solicited aid from foreign nationals and the Biden research was applicable to Trumps 2020 campaign, then this was one legal violation.
    If the aid that was withheld and then offered back to Ukraine was in fact related to the research, then it could be argued that Trump bribed Zelensky.

    This does offer an interesting list of potential crimes, but there is also a matter of corruption and whether or not the president has kept of presidential oath to protect the constitution of the United States. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/v...kraine-scandal
    According to Adam Schiff, no quid pro quo is necessary to violate the presidential oath. I think this paragraph makes an interesting observation of a lot of things we have seen with Trumps presidency.
    https://time.com/5686104/trump-ukrai...hment-offense/ Legal experts say Trump’s call with Zelensky, in which he asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden’s son Hunter and may have implicitly tied foreign aid money to the request, may not have violated the letter of the law. “That would be politicizing law enforcement investigations and particularly politicizing a foreign law enforcement investigation for personal political gain,” says national security lawyer Bradley Moss. “I don’t know if the law has quite caught up to that idea, because we haven’t really contemplated the notion.”
    Presidential oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
    Last edited by Ana Dragule; 10-01-2019 at 01:37 AM.
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