The heroic prosecutors of Trump

From New Yorker:

THE PROSECUTION OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: How the House Democrats, in the face of certain defeat, presented the case for impeachment.

The magazine hasn’t been that interesting since 2016 when it switched to an all-Trump-hatred-all-the-time format, but this article is. Prosecutors who knew that they had no chance of convicting someone nonetheless pressed on!

This feeling of inevitability was shared among those who were most intimately involved with the House’s impeachment efforts. As recently as July … Adam Schiff, the ex-prosecutor who became the de-facto leader of the House’s impeachment inquiry last fall, said that he would “be delighted” if there was a real prospect of removing the President through impeachment. Unfortunately, he said at the time, “the only way he’s leaving office, at least at this point, is by being voted out⁠.”

Ordinarily, we don’t celebrate prosecutors who go after people whom they know they can’t convict, but when Trump is involved, apparently the standards are different!

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21 thoughts on “The heroic prosecutors of Trump

  1. The New Yorker hasn’t been worth buying for about three decades, which is about when they began the switch from a literary magazine to a collection of opinionated nonsense written by the overly educated for the overly affluent who would like others to think they are overly educated. The random interesting article, something along the lines of The Silk Worm Breeders of Inner Mongolia, is always available for free on line. Why support this sort of publication?

  2. Of course the standards are different. Trump is the most evil force in the world to these people. Look, of course they’re heroic. The impeachment war was a foregone conclusion months before Trump was elected and these people were going to be the soldiers. Before John Podesta even had to take the podium in lieu of Hillary to give the concession speech. Remember, she never really gave a concession speech. She does not believe she lost. Jim Carville was talking about how the Kremlin stole the election the next day.

    Ditch the New Yorker and read Vox. It’s much closer to the pulse of the Party. To Vox, the New York Times (and probably the New Yorker as well) are right-wing media, and after this week, Carville’s pile has gone critical:

    “HE PURPOSE OF A POLITICAL PARTY IS TO ACQUIRE POWER. ALL RIGHT? WITHOUT POWER, NOTHING MATTERS.” – James Carville

    “Right now the most important thing is getting this career criminal who’s stealing everything that isn’t nailed down out of the White House. We can’t do anything for anyone if we don’t start there and then acquire more power.”

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/2/7/21123518/trump-2020-election-democratic-party-james-carville

    It gets better!

    “We have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration. They’re talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. You’ve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells…”

    “Look, Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He’s never been a Democrat. He’s an ideologue. And I’ve been clear about this: If Bernie is the nominee, I’ll vote for him. No question. I’ll take an ideological fanatic over a career criminal any day. But he’s not a Democrat.”

    “But look, if no one’s persuadable, then let’s just have the revolution.”

    The election is nine months from now. If Trump wins, there is going to be violence. In fact, there’s probably going to be violence anyway, especially of the false-flag variety. The left is already planning it and many of them are happily resigned to it. Impeachment failed, the Iowa caucuses were a disaster, Trump’s numbers are up, and people like Carville are one degree of separation from openly calling for revolution. What else do they have left if they can’t beat him at the ballot box?

    I mean, if you listen to what Carville is really saying in that article, he’s THIS FAR from believing that the election isn’t going to matter unless the Democrats make a radical adjustment. It doesn’t take much more to start the fire. And if he’ll vote for an ideological fanatic, he might be ready to support ideological bomb throwers if the ideological fanatic can’t win and none of the other Donks can either.

    • Alex: A confident prediction of violence? Thanks for the motivation to flee to Canada on November 2, 2020 (will Barbra Streisand house refugees? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/22/move-to-canada-celebrities-donald-trump ). But weren’t we told back in 2016 that the U.S. would enter a new era of unthinkable violence if Trump defeated the legitimate candidate? And https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2019/aug/28/in-the-name-of-trump-supporters-attacks-database found a total of about 12 violent actions per year that could be attributed to Trump enthusiasm. The journalists had to stretch to get to this number, e.g., people who made telephone or email threats were included, though they did not perpetrate any violent acts.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_crime#United_States shows that Americans commit more than 2 million violent crimes in a typical year (crimes with actual violence, such as murder). So, if we believe that a phone call or email is a “violent crime”, the election of the Trumpenfuhrer has increased the violent crime rate by 0.0006 percent.

      This time it will be different?

    • @Philg: I certainly hope I’m wrong. In 2016 we were told that, and then in 2017 we witnessed the Congressional Baseball Game shooting, which was perpetrated by a volunteer to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Congressional_baseball_shooting

      “On May 22, 2017, Hodgkinson wrote “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” above his repost of a Change.org petition demanding “the legal removal” of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for “treason”. He belonged to numerous political Facebook groups, including those named “Terminate the Republican Party”, “The Road To Hell Is Paved With Republicans”, and “Donald Trump is not my President.”[58]”

      That was 2017, and now we’re in 2020. We have Jim Carville paraphrasing Lenin and if anything, the Bernie Sanders people sound angrier than ever.

      https://www.projectveritasaction.com/2020/01/14/expose2020-part-1-bernie-2020-field-organizer-states-fing-cities-will-burn-if-trump-wins-re-election-calls-for-violence-mass-murder-of-opposition-and-reign-of-terr/

      “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination or it goes to a second round at the DNC Convention, f*cking Milwaukee will burn. It’ll start in Milwaukee and when police push back on that, then other cities will just f*cking (hand explosion).””

    • Alex: Certainly it is unfortunate that there was a shooting at a baseball game in Virginia back in 2017 (though fortunately only the criminal/#resister was killed). To put this into perspective, however, https://www.vsp.virginia.gov/downloads/Crime_in_Virginia/Crime_in_Virginia_2017.pdf says that Virginia overall experienced 18,645 reported violent crimes in 2017. Out of that total, 455 were murders. Baltimore, Maryland had 343 murders.

      You raise a good point, though. If we did have a wave of political violence in the U.S., how would we notice among all of the other crime that we have?

    • @Philg:
      >> how would we notice among all of the other crime that we have?
      That reminds me: How do you know if someone is a vim user? They will tell you.

      @Alex:
      But of course Bernie is a socialist, and he’s always made a point of that. (As per to Zanny Minton Beddoes of the Economist fame, he’s to the left of the UKs Jeremy Corbyns.) But I would resist calling him “a Commie” given the context: to the best of my knowledge he’s never advocated for violence. There may be all kind of critters supporting them, but hey: neo-Nazis endorsed Trump for President too.

    • @Jim: Thanks for the link. I hadn’t seen it. Let me ask you this: do you think the Russians used Jill Stein to mobilize African-Americans for Trump in the last election, as James Carville does? Is she still a Russian asset along with Tulsi Gabbard? What kind of cool-aide is she drinking? Or is she right?

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/18/politics/hillary-clinton-tulsi-gabbard/index.html

      @Philg: I think a political violence wave would stand out pretty clearly from the noise. I’m not a criminologist, but it seems to me that people who commit acts of political violence tend to telegraph their motives and their identities blatantly (unless they’re Russian assets!) Otherwise, what’s the point? If someone wants to make a political statement, they don’t want to be confused with someone who snapped because his life was ruined in a divorce settlement. The Weather Underground made sure to claim responsibility – explicitly and repeatedly, after their bombings, although Ayers claimed they tried to avoid harming people and were only interested in destroying property. Ayers turned himself in and all the charges against him were dropped!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Underground

      Of course, WU didn’t have the Internet at their disposal in the late ’60s and early ’70s, so the environment for radical political activism has changed profoundly. And hey, Chesa Boudin is the son of Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert and now he’s the District Attorney in San Francisco, so there’s certainly no lingering stain on his reputation from having domestic terrorists as parents. I suppose one could also plausibly argue that Bernie Sanders’ success in this election cycle obviates the need for political violence – after all, he’s running in a virtual dead heat for first place! So his more agitated, violence-espousing supporters should stand down, at least for now. But what if he loses?

      @M: It’s a pet name. I know he hasn’t personally called for violence, at least not yet.

      Aside: If we want to talk about big, elaborately planned acts of violence with motives that have never been definitively established, the all-time showstopper to this point is Steven Paddock at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. His motives remain officially unknown, although there are no shortage of theories about why he did it.

    • @Alex: The last election, or anything James Carville says, or said, diminishes the daily lies and contempt that spew from Trump’s mouth a daily basis at his rallies. Carville, Hillary and any other subject used to deflect Trump’s behavior is just noise.

  3. “HE PURPOSE OF A POLITICAL PARTY IS TO ACQUIRE POWER. ALL RIGHT? WITHOUT POWER, NOTHING MATTERS.” – James Carville
    This is paraphrasing Vladimir Lenin very closely. I hope everybody realizes what that means: if not said in jest, this is dangerous.

    • @M: He means it. That was a direct quote and he meant every word of it literally, exactly as he said it. The ideologically pure Democrat base has gone doppler-shift, apeshit left and they’re getting ready for war. They’re very close to calling for it openly.

    • Let’s hope it is just posturing: everyone is a Black Ninja on the Internetz since there is no real physical danger.
      As long as he is not calling for violence explicitly he is covered by the First Amendment (after all, one can legally buy works by Lenin, Mao, or Hitler in this country).

    • @M: I also loved Carville making it crystal clear that Bernie Sanders is not – and never has been – a Democrat, from before the time he honeymooned in the Soviet Union to today. I loved it because if you, or I, or anyone Republican or Conservative said it, the people at Vox and MSNBC would call them liars or scumbags or fascists or worse. Of course, it’s absolutely true, it’s always been obvious to me and everyone else, including AOC, or anyone who followed Bernie over the years. We all know he’s a commie, everyone who has ever supported or voted for him knows he’s a commie, and he wants to be the President. He wants America to be a Socialist country, period. Right on schedule. And that’s what he’s going to do if he wins. America did *not* win the Cold War.

      And he came in 2nd in Iowa (or maybe 1st, who knows?) So I thank James Carville for finally blurting it out and just making it clear, so now everyone can reference him attesting to it.

  4. Aside: My quick impressions from last night’s debate. Let’s see if I’m wrong:

    Biden is done, he just hasn’t conceded yet. His campaign might have worked 20 years ago but the world has changed. They’re making him defend himself against decisions he took two decades ago. They’re treating him like the Obama Administration happened a century ago. He looked and sounded old, confused and defensive. He can’t figure out why he’s not getting more respect. He doesn’t grok that his time as Obama’s VP has no political capital with the radicalized Democrat base. The only question now is whether he can hold on to his lead among African-American voters. They will splinter if he keeps sinking.

    Klobuchar and Biden bent over backward to make nice with Bernie the Commie. Trump doesn’t have to call him a radical – James Carville just did. Hugs for everyone, all those warm feelings. Maybe they’re afraid of his loose cannon, violence-espousing supporters who want to send the Liberals up against the wall first?

    Warren is running on vapors. I don’t think she has a plan in her teepee for this.

    Buttigieg sounded the most Presidential and electable. He’s maturing fast. He’s sharp, thoughtful and earnest. He’s doing very well indeed. I remember back in the beginning when David Axelrod said he was the longest of longshots, at which moment I realized: “That means he’s gonna do great.” A little bit like when David Brooks of the New York Times said that Trump was a clown on NPR, prior to Trump winning the nomination.

    Bloomberg is going to be the kingmaker. He is the wild card and his real impact hasn’t been felt yet, but another few hundred million dollars and Mike Bloomberg is going to be the hinge upon which the nomination swings, which has always been his reason for entering the race. Even if he doesn’t win, he wins.

    Poor Andrew Yang! He’s going to have to tell the Yang Gang to vote for someone else.

    Steyer who?

    • The strongest Democratic ticket would be Bloomberg-Buttigieg (aka Batman and Robin) to save the US from Trump (aka The Penguin).

      There will be some great money making opportunities in 2020.

      What will be the cost of the TV rights to cover the start of the major armed conflict part of the civil war in the US on November 3, 2020?

      Will the official sponsor be Smith and Wesson?

      In Canada, we will have to ask PM Trudeau to build a border wall and make Trump pay for it, to hold back the armed conflict.

    • @Pavel: I doubt Smith and Wesson will be sponsoring anything in a Bloomberg Administration, but if you must ask, I think S&W is getting a little dated, at least in terms of buzz. If you want something new and trendy, go with Springfield Armory and their new SAINT Edge PDW. It’s little pricey, but no more than a couple of medium-high quality handguns. I’d wait until I see the chronography and accuracy reports out of that barrel, though. Some people would never pay Springfield that much money, but it sure looks cool:

      https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/springfield-armory-saint-edge-pdw-shot-show-2020

      “We were really impressed by the compactness of the Edge PDW after handling it in person. It would slide under nearly any vehicle’s front seat, inside a nightstand, or even in a bathroom drawer. And all you have to do in order to start dispensing freedom is rip open the brace, flick the safety off and start squeezing the trigger.”

      5.56x45mm NATO
      5.5″ CMV Melonite barrel
      1:8 twist
      1/2×28 TPI muzzle threads
      Maxim Defense HateBrake
      Enhanced nickel boron coated single-stage flat trigger
      Enhanced M16 Melonite BCG
      7075 T6 aluminum (forged) upper and (billet) lower
      Accu-Tite upper receiver tensioning system
      M-LOK handguard
      Edge forward hand stop
      Maxim Defense SCW brace
      Reptilla CQG pistol grip
      5 lbs. 10.7 oz.
      18.75″ – 23.5″ long
      $1,699 MSRP

      OK, so Springfield Armory turns you off? A better choice may be the Daniel Defense Mk18, but you have to live in a free state and mind the disclaimer: “Please check with your local, state and federal agencies regarding the legality of use of this product in your area.” Both of these are classified as pistols, not short-barreled rifles, as far as I know, so no NFA paperwork and no tax stamp.

      https://danieldefense.com/mk18-pistol-02-088-01202.html

    • Pavel: It would be truly awesome to see Bloomberg-Buttigieg dressed as Batman and Robin on the campaign trail!

      A Canadian border wall would be bad news for Nigerians: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/nigerian-migrants-plattsburgh-1.4307257 (also for the U.S.-based taxi drivers who are making $1,500 per trip to the border with Quebec). See also https://globalnews.ca/news/6092738/roxham-road-border-crossing-sex-offender/

      The toughest thing to understand is how the U.S. can be considered a safe country: https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-11-04/canadian-court-weighs-whether-us-safe-asylum-seekers

      Statistically, there are plenty of U.S. urban neighborhoods that are more dangerous than the Central American countries that people are supposedly fleeing due to violence. Why doesn’t Canada recognize that refugees shouldn’t have to suffer from U.S. violence, a Trump-run government, etc.?

      ——– example of Canadian legal wisdom

      “We [were] living under the fear of deportation by the present immigration policy of US against undocumented immigrants,” he said at the time.

      Believing they had a better chance of getting asylum in Canada, Precious and his family walked across the border between official ports of entry. In what’s often called a legal loophole, the safe-third country agreement only applies to people appearing at official border crossings, but does not bar people who reach Canadian soil between them from claiming asylum.

    • @philg

      Bloomberg is already the Batman, he has the Bat helicopter (A109S), Bat plane (Dassault Falcon) and Bat car (V10 Audi R8). Buttigieg needs to have an affair with a Playboy model (they would probably line up to try to convert him), this would add significantly to his popularity.

      Here is another article on sending refugees back to the US, this has been in the Canadian courts for a long time, since 2007. These cases will probably continue for a long time, since it provides much needed employment for lawyers.
      https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/05/is-canada-violating-its-constitution-by-sending-refugees-back-to-the-united-states/

      If the refugees are skilled they can also apply under Express Entry to avoid getting sent back to the US
      https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/works.html

  5. “Ordinarily, we don’t celebrate prosecutors who go after people whom they know they can’t convict”

    There’s a reason the majority of cases are plea deals, prosecutors know they’re unlikely to get a jury conviction but they’re allowed to threaten massive penalties to circumvent justice.

    Also ordinary prosecutors are allowed to subpeona witnesses and gather evidence, so they have more tools at their disposal.

    ie stop pretending this is a normal criminal justice prosecution.

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