All Trump's Legal Cases Discussions Can Be Discussed Here

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  1. Sharlee01 profile image89
    Sharlee01posted 7 weeks ago

    https://hubstatic.com/17003971_f1024.jpg

    Feel free to discuss any Trump-related legal matters here without discrimination against any users. In my view, this HP Political forum is an open chat, and one is allowed to share views on political issues. Val has a similar thread in regard to Trump's Criminal trials. 

    I shared a comment regarding Trump's civil fraud case in New York, only to be reminded that I was off-topic. Surprisingly, the subject was introduced on page one by others, and numerous comments were made about it. However, my comment was singled out as off-topic, which struck me as unfair, peculiar, and unnecessary.

    Reuters
    UPDATE 1-Trump's $175 million bond goes before judge on New York AG's concerns
    Reuters
    Mon, Apr 22, 2024, 9:53 AM EDT2 min read

    "Knight has said it was authorized to issue the bond, which is fully backed by cash held in a Charles Schwab account pledged to the insurer, and that it could access nearly $2.2 billion of assets at its parent company if something went wrong."  (SO, it would appear that there should not have been a problem in regard to the bond)

    NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - The insurer that provided Donald Trump a $175 million bond in his New York civil fraud case will try to convince a state judge on Monday that it is qualified and financially strong enough to issue the guarantee.

    The bond issued by Knight Specialty Insurance Co is meant to secure Trump's compliance with a $454.2 million judgment won by state Attorney General Letitia James if he does not succeed in an appeal.

    Justice Arthur Engoron imposed the penalty after finding that Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, fraudulently inflated his net worth and real estate assets to deceive banks and insurers into providing better terms.

    James, a Democrat, challenged the bond this month, saying Knight lacked a "certificate of qualification." The state attorney general filed court papers on Friday questioning whether the bond is backed by secure assets.

    Knight is owned by billionaire Trump supporter Don Hankey.

    Engoron will consider James' objection at a civil court hearing in Manhattan, at the same time jurors down the street are expected to hear opening arguments in Trump's criminal hush money trial.

    Trump defended the bond outside the courtroom at the trial.

    "We put up cash and the number is 175," Trump said. "She shouldn't be complaining about the bonding company. The bonding company would be good for it because I put up the money. I have plenty of money to put up."

    Knight has said it was authorized to issue the bond, which is fully backed by cash held in a Charles Schwab account pledged to the insurer, and that it could access nearly $2.2 billion of assets at its parent company if something went wrong.

    James said in court papers that a Trump-owned trust still controls the account, and that Knight's own financial arrangements appear insufficient to cover the amount of the bond.

    Hankey previously said in an interview that he charged Trump a low fee as he did not anticipate problems.

    "We thought it would be an easy procedure that wouldn't involve other legal problems and it's not turning out that way," he said. "We probably didn't charge enough."

    Hankey made his fortune in subprime car loans, with some regulators criticizing his companies' debt collection tactics. He is worth $7.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

    Trump was originally required to obtain a guarantee for the entire verdict while he appeals, but a state appeals court let him post a smaller bond.
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-trumps … 36107.html
    https://www.reuters.com/world/us/trumps … il%2022%20(Reuters,enough%20to%20issue%20the%20guarantee.

    Well in my view, it looks like James might be a bit lost in the sea of misinformation or perhaps just enjoying stirring the pot without any real substance to back up those waves. Quite the performance, really — definitely not doing any favors for the AG, in my humble opinion.

  2. Valeant profile image86
    Valeantposted 7 weeks ago

    And here is the outcome:

    After a relatively brief hearing on Monday, lawyers for Mr Trump and Ms James’ office came to an agreement that would keep the $175m in collateral in cash, have KSCI maintain control of it and KSCI will designate an agent to accept legal services on their behalf in New York.

    Justice Arthur Engoron, who presided over the hearing and the civil fraud trial, ruled that the bond could stand on the new terms.

    So, there did need to be new terms, meaning that the original bond was not sufficient and James had grounds to file a challenge.

  3. Ken Burgess profile image76
    Ken Burgessposted 7 weeks ago

    The bottom line is that not one case against Trump is a serious prosecution.

    Lawfare... Clown Show... but not serious.

    This is about politics and not fighting crime, and it shows how incredibly petty the Democrat-Socialist Party is willing to get.

    This current case is based on the testimony of a witness whose virtue cannot even be questioned...a porn star!

    Stormy Daniels claimed that she and Trump had an affair in 2006. Trump denied the allegations. Who cares?  What does this have to do with Justice? 

    Illegal Migrants are attacking our Police, being arrested, and then released without bail in NY... but they have the time and money to waste on this?

    What is worse, like with the fraud case brought against Trump by the loons running things in NY, this isn't even a crime!

    “hush money” is perfectly legal. It’s a form of settlement... about 97-98% of civil cases are settled out of court. For a billionaire like Trump, $130,000 even if he paid it, doesn’t necessarily mean he did it. As a practical matter, it could have been the easiest way to make it go away.

    According to the prosecutor investigating Trump (who incidentally is funded by George Soros) the problem is how the Trump Organization recorded the reimbursement to Cohen. It was recorded as part of an existing retainer agreement between Cohen and Trump, the prosecutor says, who further claims such a retainer agreement never existed.

    Last Wednesday, a letter surfaced from Cohen’s attorney that calls into question whether Cohen lied about the payment to Daniels. Thus, Trump may actually be innocent.

    But even if he engaged in the conduct at issue, there are two other problems.

    First, this is a misdemeanor.
    Misdemeanors are things like shoplifting, vandalism, trespassing.
    Felonies include murder, rape, drug trafficking.

    Why would the district attorney from Manhattan devote so many resources to hunting down a low-level crime, that may not have occurred, from six years ago?

    The answer is simple (and petty): politics.

    There’s a second major problem, the statute of limitations.

    With the exception of high-level felonies like murder and rape, crimes have to be prosecuted within a certain amount of time.

    The idea is that you can’t hang criminal charges over someone’s head forever.

    From what I understand, the statute of limitations for this misdemeanor is one year.

    So how in the world is the Manhattan district attorney still able to seek an indictment in 2023?

    In many jurisdictions, prosecutors are subject to special ethical rules.

    If there wasn’t a lawful way around the statute of limitations, I think this prosecutor could be facing ethical charges and possible disbarment.  Of course, this is NY, where things are so corrupt violent criminals are released out on the streets without bail while former Presidents are persecuted as if America were Venezuela.

    This is a clown show that makes a mockery of our justice system. Political prosecutions should have no place in the United States.

    And no Patriotic American, regardless of political affiliation should support or try to defend such outrageous abuse of our Justice System.

  4. Sharlee01 profile image89
    Sharlee01posted 7 weeks ago

    UPDATE  NY fraud case April 22, 2024

    "Knight has said it was authorized to issue the bond, which is fully backed by cash held in a Charles Schwab account pledged to the insurer, and that it could access nearly $2.2 billion of assets at its parent company if something went wrong."   https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-trumps … 36107.html

    The money is backed by Charles Schwab which is worth 132.69 billion.   

    Updated on: April 22, 2024 / 12:43 PM EDT / CBS News

    The $175 million bond posted by an insurance company for former President Donald Trump in a civil fraud case can stand after an agreement Monday that included assurances from his lawyers to comply with conditions from the attorney general's office.

    According to Monday's agreement, the $175 million will stay as cash in a money market account, Knight Specialty will have exclusive control, but can only use the cash to pay for the bond if needed. The attorney general's office and the court will get monthly account statements.

    The agreement will be finalized by Thursday, April 25, and some of the details require Schwab, the managers of the money market account, to agree to the terms.

    The agreement between Trump and Knight Specialty Insurance Company cannot be amended without court approval, and Knight will submit to the jurisdiction of the court. The company waived its right of removal and its lawyers agreed to designate an agent to accept service of process in New York. "   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-tru … onditions/

    WOW looks like James has egg on her face at best... Nice bit for this case when it ends up in the Supreme Court.

  5. Valeant profile image86
    Valeantposted 7 weeks ago

    Ken is right, “hush money” is perfectly legal. It’s a form of settlement... about 97-98% of civil cases are settled out of court. For a billionaire like Trump, $130,000 even if he paid it, doesn’t necessarily mean he did it. As a practical matter, it could have been the easiest way to make it go away.

    But when you funnel those personal payments through a business and claim it as legal expenses, that's called fraud.  When you do it to violate campaign finance laws, that makes it a felony.

    And New York has exceptions to statute of limitations for when someone is not in the state and unavailable.  Might be good for the right to read up on all the rules pertaining to the statute of limitations in New York.

    And who here really thinks that Trump paying off Stormy five days before the election wasn't in service to his campaign?  Especially when Trump asked if he could wait until after the election to make the actual payment, likely seeking to stiff Stormy.

    1. Sharlee01 profile image89
      Sharlee01posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      "But when you funnel those personal payments through a business and claim it as legal expenses, that's called fraud.  When you do it to violate campaign finance laws, that makes it a felony."

      Did I miss something, has this been proven as of yet?  Did Trump order the payment? Did he know about the payment before or after it was made? Lots of questions. Who paid her, and out of whose account was the money taken?

      1. Valeant profile image86
        Valeantposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        Apparently, the audio tapes of Trump telling Cohen how to pay the hush money didn't make it to your media circles.  Or the statement he made about wanting to wait until after the election to pay her.  Or that Cohen and Pecker both testified to a grand jury in 2018 they participated in the payments to interfere in the election at the request of Trump - something Cohen was already convicted of and Trump was named an unindicted co-conspirator in that conviction.

        With the media bubble that prevents MAGA people from hearing anything negative about Trump, it's not really surprising that some things were missed.

        Here's MSNBC playing the tape (near the end) of Trump and Cohen going over one of those payments.  As Neal Katyal says, good luck trying to convince a jury that Trump wasn't involved when they've got him on tape being involved:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWru1YXRIzA

        1. Sharlee01 profile image89
          Sharlee01posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

          I do remember the tape. The Tape where Trump says "cash, cash". It did not seem to be very clear what they were talking about. It seemed to be about setting up some form of business. I did go back and listen.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBB9TcOGqTg

          It would be interesting to know what Pecker is offering. I would think he would be a key witness. Thus far I picked up this  -- "Pecker testified to attending a mid-August 2015 meeting where Trump and Cohen asked him what he could do to help the campaign. Pecker agreed to "run or publish positive stories about Mr. Trump and I would publish negative stories about his opponents. And I said, 'I will be your eyes and ears.' "

          "Pecker also testified he specifically promised to look out for potentially damaging stories from women. Recalling that process, Pecker discussed how he found out about key stories — such as the claim of an affair with Playboy model Karen McDougal — and that he'd had a private conversation with Trump about purchasing the story to avoid it being published."

          These are not actual quotes from Pecker, but accounts from NPR.
          https://www.npr.org/2024/04/23/12464354 … rump-trial

          1. Valeant profile image86
            Valeantposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

            The tape is Cohen and Trump specifically discussing how to pay Pecker.  So, it's evidence Trump knew.  Pecker testified that he, Trump and Cohen met and came to an arrangement to have him help the campaign.  That in-kind contribution of paying women for their stories, to suppress them, and then not reporting it, is a campaign finance violation.  That is what will elevate the misdemeanor business fraud to felonies.

            1. IslandBites profile image89
              IslandBitesposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

              David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, testified at Donald Trump's trial Tuesday that the tabloid completely manufactured a negative story in 2016 about the father of Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, who was then Trump's rival for the GOP presidential nomination.

              The paper had published a photo allegedly showing Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963, not long before Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

              Trump repeatedly referred to the story on the campaign trail and in interviews.

              “I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?” Trump said in an interview with Fox News in May 2016. “It’s horrible.”

              “We mashed the photos and the different picture with Lee Harvey Oswald. And mashed the two together. And that’s how that story was prepared — created I would say," Pecker said on the witness stand.

              He said that the negative stories about Trump's opponents were published as part of an arrangement that was struck in 2015 at a Trump Tower meeting that also included a directive to write positive stories about the real estate mogul.

              SMH

            2. Sharlee01 profile image89
              Sharlee01posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

              I'd consider the scenario where Pecker pays for a story and for the woman's silence, suggesting he has the right not to publish the story. However, the arrangement to serve as Trump's eyes and ears raises uncertainty. It's unclear if paying someone under contract to remain silent about an issue could constitute a campaign violation, especially if campaign funds weren't used, and Trump was a private citizen at the time. As for suppressing the payments, Trump's status as a private citizen further complicates matters.

              While the case may seem weak, particularly in New York, where he might not prevail, the Supreme Court could weigh his rights and the strict interpretation of laws in his favor. Given the expiration of the statute of limitations, charging him appears dubious. Additionally, leaks suggesting Pecker implicated Cohen rather than Trump in these deals could significantly alter the case's complexion if Trump's involvement is diminished. Quoting media reports becomes crucial in clarifying these complex narratives circulating in various outlets.

              1. Valeant profile image86
                Valeantposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                Pecker went into the arrangement with the intent to help the campaign, so it's absolutely a campaign contribution if he spends money on behalf of the campaign.

                And Cohen was already found to be guilty of campaign finance, so the funds are definitely campaign funds.  That has been established in a court finding so let the 'if campaign funds weren't used' thing go.  And if Trump is campaigning, he's no longer a private citizen, he's a candidate and subject to campaign finance laws.

                'While the case may seem weak...'  It only seems weak to the right, in the same way the country has been destroyed.  It's just the latest alternate reality they need to craft for themselves as a safe space.  There's little doubt he falsified the business records, and the prosecution is telling the narrative as to why - to violate campaign finance laws.  That they also did it in a way that include tax fraud is just another way to help the prosecution get to a second crime to make these felonies. 

                'Leaks suggesting Pecker implicated Cohen...'  Are you watching the reports of the actual testimony?  Pecker has implicated Trump and Cohen together.  Cohen will be corroborating Pecker's testimony on this matter.  Cohen was the point man, but Trump was in the room agreeing to the arrangement to catch and kill stories.  And then Cohen will add in supporting testimony to that claim.  Pecker has none of the baggage that Cohen does, so the state is not relying on Cohen here for anything but supporting corroboration. 

                In my opinion, all these 'what ifs' really are ignoring the actual testimony and facts being presented.

  6. IslandBites profile image89
    IslandBitesposted 7 weeks ago

    Trump Was Warned to Return Records to Archives, Unsealed Documents Say

    In late November 2021, as officials at the National Archives were trying to persuade former President Donald J. Trump to return a trove of records he had taken from the White House when he left office, one of Mr. Trump’s associates advised him in the sharpest terms possible to give the materials back, newly unsealed documents show.

    “Whatever you have, give everything back — let them come here and get everything,” the unnamed associate told Mr. Trump, according to an interview the person gave the F.B.I. “Don’t give them a noble reason to indict you, because they will.”

    A summary of the associate’s interview with federal agents was among nearly 400 pages of investigative records that were unsealed on Monday by the judge overseeing Mr. Trump’s classified documents case. The associate’s identity was redacted from the summary.

    The unnamed associate who warned Mr. Trump about the threat of an indictment — identified in the unsealed records as Person 16 — described approaching the former president in a card room or library at Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Florida, as Mr. Trump was dressed in golf attire.

    Person 16 told the F.B.I. that Mr. Trump reacted to his warning with a “weird ‘you’re the man’ type of response” and left the impression that he would in fact return the materials to the archives. Their conversation was interrupted when a Mar-a-Lago club member and a “much younger woman” walked up, Person 16 recalled, and asked to have a photo taken with Mr. Trump.

    Person 16 also suggested that some of Mr. Trump’s children had been enlisted in the task of persuading him to return the presidential records to the archives. The person recounted to the F.B.I. that one of the children was told: “There are issues with the boxes. They belong to the government. Talk to your dad about giving them back. It’s not worth the aggravation.”

    The person asked the agents not to record their conversation, concerned that any recording would be a “risk for him in the Trump world.”

    Still, Person 16 was exceptionally candid with the F.B.I., giving his interviewers gossipy details about members of Mr. Trump’s legal team.

    Person 16 also suggested to the F.B.I. that Mr. Trump may have told his personal aide, Walt Nauta, who was ultimately charged as a co-defendant in the case, that he would receive a pardon if Mr. Trump was elected again.

    “Nauta was also told that even if he gets charged with lying to the F.B.I., FPOTUS” — an abbreviation for former president of the United States — “will pardon him in 2024.”

    1. Ken Burgess profile image76
      Ken Burgessposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      Yup.

      Exactly.

  7. GA Anderson profile image87
    GA Andersonposted 7 weeks ago

    Just for kicks . . .

    If Pres. Trump beats his NY case (or any of his cases), will it be because he used the system to beat the system, or, because he used the system to force the exposure of the politicization of the charges against him?

    GA

    1. Ken Burgess profile image76
      Ken Burgessposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      Trump will lose his cases, as he has up to this point in time...

      They will be appealed to a level where sanity and law and precedence still hold some power... and he will be acquitted or whatever the equivalent to being found 'not-guilty' would be.

      Each of these cases violated his rights in some fashion, or violated Statute of Limitations, or the judge can be shown to have a personal bias or prejudice. Etc.

      They will all be overturned, unless of course the system is truly and completely broken... then we become no different than any other nation state where the people have no real protection or power... in which case the changes to our freedoms and liberties will come fast and furious post November 2024,

      1. Sharlee01 profile image89
        Sharlee01posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        Agree

      2. GA Anderson profile image87
        GA Andersonposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        So he will have used the system to expose itself . . .


        GA

      3. Sharlee01 profile image89
        Sharlee01posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        In my opinion, Trump's utilize the legal system as a means to achieve triumph is a distinct possibility. It's a gimme that he will seek recourse in the highest court, which advocates for strict adherence to the letter of the law, devoid of any bias or bending of legal principles. In doing so, Trump can ensure that his legal battles are decided based on objective interpretations of statutes and constitutional provisions, rather than subjective influences or politics.

    2. Valeant profile image86
      Valeantposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      I'll take a few different options than the ones listed. 

      Considering Trump just publicly called for security to be diverted so his base could 'protest' closer to the courthouse, in what seems like a not-so-veiled desire to recreate January 6th, but this time in New York, there's a violent overrun of the courthouse option that Trump seems to be going for. 

      Next option - with Trump publicly directing attention to witnesses on multiple occasions in his post-hearing comments, and with the history of his supporters going after his political enemies (Sayoc sending bombs, Pelosi attack), a violent attack of a key witness is an option if they read how damning the testimony will be in the case.

      Aside from those two options, not sure how he beats the case when he's already been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Cohen conviction for the campaign finance crime.  A court already determined that Cohen's crimes were in support of the Trump Campaign.

      1. GA Anderson profile image87
        GA Andersonposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        Then, the system will prevail regardless of Pres. Trump's efforts . . .

        GA

        1. Valeant profile image86
          Valeantposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

          If the 'system' is domestic terror, sure.

    3. Sharlee01 profile image89
      Sharlee01posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      In my view, his chances of winning seem slim until he takes the matter to the Supreme Court. Once there, they'll thoroughly consider the law only,  and likely uncover that Trump didn't break any laws, as alleged. They most likely will show he was unjustly charged.

      1. GA Anderson profile image87
        GA Andersonposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        So he will have used the system to expose itself . . .

        2 to 1 at this point.

        GA

  8. Sharlee01 profile image89
    Sharlee01posted 7 weeks ago

    April 25, 2024 Thursday Supreme Court will hold a special session

    What to know in the Supreme Court case about immunity for former President Trump

    "WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has scheduled a special session to hear arguments over whether former President Donald Trump can be prosecuted over his efforts to undo his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.

    The case, to be argued Thursday, stems from Trump's attempts to have charges against him dismissed. Lower courts have found he cannot claim immunity for actions that, prosecutors say, illegally sought to interfere with the election results.

    The Republican ex-president has been charged in federal court in Washington with conspiring to overturn the 2020 election, one of four criminal cases he is facing. A trial has begun in New York over hush money payments to a porn star to cover up an alleged sexual encounter.

    The Supreme Court is moving faster than usual in taking up the case, though not as quickly as special counsel Jack Smith wanted, raising questions about whether there will be time to hold a trial before the November election, if the justices agree with lower courts that Trump can be prosecuted.

    The justices ruled earlier this term in another case that arose from Trump's actions following the election, culminating in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The court unanimously held that states could not invoke a provision of the 14th Amendment known as the insurrection clause to prevent Trump from appearing on presidential ballots.

    Here are some things to know:

    WHAT'S THE ISSUE?

    When the justices agreed on Feb. 28 to hear the case, they put the issue this way: “Whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.”

    That's a question the Supreme Court has never had to answer. Never before has a former president faced criminal charges so the court hasn't had occasion to take up the question of whether the president's unique role means he should be shielded from prosecution, even after he has left office.

    Both sides point to the absence of previous prosecutions to undergird their arguments. Trump's lawyers told the court that presidents would lose their independence and be unable to function in office if they knew their actions in office could lead to criminal charges once their terms were over. Smith's team wrote that the lack of previous criminal charges “underscores the unprecedented nature” of what Trump is accused of."

    Please read on ---   https://www.aol.com/news/know-supreme-c … 16960.html

  9. Sharlee01 profile image89
    Sharlee01posted 6 weeks ago

    https://hubstatic.com/17010886_f1024.jpg

    Justice Thomas raised crucial question about legitimacy of special counsel's prosecution of Trump

    Jack Smith was a private citizen when AG Garland appointed him as special counsel to investigate Trump in 2022

    Fox Article --  "Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas raised a question Thursday that goes to the heart of Special Counsel Jack Smith's charges against former President Donald Trump.

    The high court was considering Trump's argument that he is immune from prosecution for actions he took while president, but another issue is whether Smith and the Office of Special Counsel have the authority to bring charges at all.

    "Did you, in this litigation, challenge the appointment of special counsel?" Thomas asked Trump attorney John Sauer on Thursday during a nearly three-hour session at the Supreme Court.

    Sauer replied that Trump's attorneys had not raised that concern "directly" in the current Supreme Court case — in which justices are considering Trump's arguments that presidential immunity precludes the prosecution of charges that the former president illegally sought to overturn the 2020 election.

    Sauer told Thomas that, "we totally agree with the analysis provided by Attorney General Meese [III] and Attorney General Mukasey."

    "It points to a very important issue here because one of [the special counsel's] arguments is, of course, that we should have this presumption of regularity. That runs into the reality that we have here an extraordinary prosecutorial power being exercised by someone who was never nominated by the president or confirmed by the Senate at any time. So we agree with that position. We hadn't raised it yet in this case when this case went up on appeal," Sauer said.

    In a 42-page amicus brief presented to the high court in March, Meese and Mukasey questioned whether "Jack Smith has lawful authority to undertake the 'criminal prosecution'" of Trump. Mukasey and Meese — both former U.S. attorneys general — said Smith and the Office of Special Counsel itself have no authority to prosecute, in part because he was never confirmed by the Senate to any position.

    Federal prosecutions, "can be taken only by persons properly appointed as federal officers to properly created federal offices," Meese and Mukasey argued. "But neither Smith nor the position of special counsel under which he purportedly acts meets those criteria. He wields tremendous power, effectively answerable to no one, by design. And that is a serious problem for the rule of law — whatever one may think of former President Trump or the conduct on January 6, 2021, that Smith challenges in the underlying case."

    The crux of the problem, according to Meese, is that Smith was never confirmed by the Senate as a U.S. attorney, and no other statute allows the U.S. attorney general to name merely anyone as special counsel. Smith was acting U.S. attorney for a federal district in Tennessee in 2017, but he was never nominated to the position. He resigned from the private sector after then-President Trump nominated a different prosecutor as U.S. attorney for the middle district of Tennessee.

    Meese and Mukasey argued that because the special counsel exercises broad authority to convene grand juries and make prosecutorial decisions, independent of the White House or the attorney general, he is far more powerful than any government officer who has not been confirmed by the Senate.

    Sauer and Trump's other attorneys objected to the legitimacy of Smith's appointment in the charges against Trump in the classified documents case, also brought by Smith, before a Florida federal court.

    In a March court filing in Florida, Trump's attorneys claimed that the special counsel's office argues in federal court that Smith is wholly independent of the White House and Garland — contradicting Trump's arguments that the federal charges against him are politically motivated. But at the same time, the special counsel's attorneys insist that Smith is subordinate to the attorney general, and therefore not subject to Senate confirmation under the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

    "There is significant tension between the Office’s assurances to that court that Smith is independent, and not prosecuting the Republican nominee for President at the direction of the Biden Administration, and the Office’s assurance here that Smith is not independent and is instead so thoroughly supervised and accountable to President Biden and Attorney General Garland that this Court should not be concerned about such tremendous power being exercised to alter the trajectory of the ongoing presidential election," Trump's attorneys wrote in the filing.

    The special counsel's office, responding to Trump's claims in the Florida case, argued that the attorney general "has the statutory authority to appoint a Special Prosecutor" and that the Supreme Court even upheld that authority "in closely analogous circumstances nearly 50 years ago" — in a 1974 case that challenged the prosecutor investigating the late President Richard Nixon.

    Meese and Mukasey wrote in their brief that the Nixon case was irrelevant because it "concerned the relationship between the President and DOJ as an institution, not between the President and any specific actor purportedly appointed by DOJ."

    The pair also said special counsel investigations are necessary and often lawful, but stated that "the Attorney General cannot appoint someone never confirmed by the Senate, as a substitute United States Attorney under the title ‘Special Counsel.’ Smith’s appointment was thus unlawful, as are all actions flowing from it, including his prosecution of former President Trump."

    Smith was a private citizen when Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed him as special counsel to investigate Trump in 2022.

    Other recent special counsels — including John Durham's Trump-Russia probe; David Weiss of the Hunter Biden investigation; and Robert Hur, who investigated Biden's mishandling of classified documents — were all confirmed by the Senate to various positions before being named as special counsels.

    The Florida court has yet to rule on Trump's motion to dismiss the classified documents case due to claims that Smith was improperly appointed.

    The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Trump's immunity arguments before its term ends in June."
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/justic … tion-trump

  10. Valeant profile image86
    Valeantposted 6 weeks ago

    Yes, Thomas showed his partisan colors by raising an issue not even being litigated in this hearing, one he thinks can assist his buddy Trump.  Clearly, he wants to see that issue brought before the court so he can be more helpful.

  11. Sharlee01 profile image89
    Sharlee01posted 6 weeks ago

    Additional sources  On Justice Thomas's concerns in regards to Smiths legality to be a special counsel.

    Dec 2023  --- Fox Article in full  " Former Attorney General Ed Meese has presented arguments to the Supreme Court that they should reject Special Counsel Jack Smith’s requests because he was unconstitutionally appointed in the first place.

    Meese, along with law professors Steven G. Calabresi and Gary S. Lawson, filed a friend-of-the-court brief Wednesday to present the case that Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of Smith — a private citizen — is in violation of the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.

    "Not clothed in the authority of the federal government, Smith is a modern example of the naked emperor," the brief states. "

    "Improperly appointed, he has no more authority to represent the United States in this Court than Bryce Harper, Taylor Swift, or Jeff Bezos," they argued. 

    The brief was filed in response to Smith’s request to the court to expedite former President Donald Trump’s case arguing presidential immunity for his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, which are connected to criminal charges brought by Smith.

    Meese argues that the "illegality" of Smith’s appointment is "sufficient to sink Smith’s petition, and the Court should deny review."

    Meese and company noted in the brief that Smith was appointed "to conduct the ongoing investigation into whether any person or entity [including former President Donald Trump] violated the law in connection with efforts to interfere with the lawful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021."

    While Garland cited as statutory authority for this appointment, Meese argues that "none of those statutes, nor any other statutory or constitutional provisions, remotely authorized the appointment by the Attorney General of a private citizen to receive extraordinary criminal law enforcement power under the title of Special Counsel."

    "Second, even if one overlooks the absence of statutory authority for the position, there is no statute specifically authorizing the Attorney General, rather than the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint such a Special Counsel," the former AG wrote.

    "Under the Appointments Clause, inferior officers can be appointed by department heads only if Congress so directs by statute… and so directs specifically enough to overcome a clear-statement presumption in favor of presidential appointment and senatorial confirmation. No such statute exists for the Special Counsel," he added.

    Meese, who served as attorney general under former President Reagan, said "the Special Counsel, if a valid officer, is a superior (or principal) rather than inferior officer, and thus cannot be appointed by any means other than presidential appointment and senatorial confirmation regardless of what any statutes purport to say."

    Earlier this month, Smith petitioned the high court to decide Trump’s immunity claims in his case facing charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

    Smith asked for expedited consideration of the case to essentially have the high court take over jurisdiction before the lower federal courts have fully decided the matter.

    Smith wants the court to expedite the claims in hopes to keep Trump’s Washington, D.C., trial — scheduled to begin March 4 — on track."
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/specia … an-ag-says

    https://reason.com/volokh/2024/04/21/sp … eme-court/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmM6FVL56JI

  12. Valeant profile image86
    Valeantposted 6 weeks ago
  13. Willowarbor profile image61
    Willowarborposted 6 weeks ago

    When Garland announced the appointment of Smith as special counsel, he cited his "authority" as attorney general to do so. He said there was a law that granted him permission in the role to appoint officials to investigate matters.

    Bill Barr, cited the same law when he appointed Special Counsel John Durham to investigate the origins of an FBI inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    The law?

    28 U.S.C. §§ 509,
    510, 515, and 533

    Garland refers to the laws under which he made  Smith's appointment.

    Refer to order 5559-2022

    It's disappointing that it is very difficult to find media that tells the entire story, each side or aspect if you will.

    https://www.justice.gov/sco-smith

    https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-j … ts-1872706

    Considering Clarence Thomas's wife Ginni's role on Jan 6, he should have recused himself.

    1. Sharlee01 profile image89
      Sharlee01posted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

      Jack Smith is not a DOJ attorney, he is a private attorney. Nor has he ever been confirmed by Congress.

      Your article did not provide the fact that   John Durham was nominated and confirmed by the Senate.   https://www.congress.gov/nomination/115th-congress/1207

      Mueller was also confirmed by Congress.
      https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/appointm … al-counsel

      Hur also confirmed
      https://www.congress.gov/nomination/115th-congress/1209

      There's a debate in the Supreme Court regarding Jack Smith's appointment as special counsel. Some argue he shouldn't have been appointed because he was never nominated or confirmed by Congress. Do you think Justice Thomas might not be fully aware of the laws governing special counsel appointments?

      I think this is above my head, and I will leave this to the Supreme Court.
      And I certainly will not smear Justice Thomas over something his wife may have involved herself with.

      I won't speculate on Garland's actions or knowledge. The matter is now in the hands of the Supreme Court. I shared the article because it's relevant and thought others might find it interesting to follow, particularly the questions brought by Former Attorney General Ed Meese and Attorney General Mukasey, which aren't widely reported on. It appears they should be highly knowledgeable about government law.

      To quote your article -- "When Garland announced the appointment of Smith as special counsel, he cited his "authority" as attorney general to do so. He said there was a law that granted him permission in the role to appoint officials to investigate matters."
      They did not cite or provide a source.  I am very sure this week if there is such a law Garland will offer it.

      I appreciate the insight into various laws concerning the authority of an Attorney General. I find reading laws quite challenging myself. I anticipate that this week, many attorneys will be discussing the concerns raised by Justice Thomas. I'll be paying close attention. I trust that he, above all, is knowledgeable on this subject.

      1. Willowarbor profile image61
        Willowarborposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

        What sections of the law, as cited by Garland do you take issue with? 

        "Since the expiration of the independent counsel provisions in the Ethics in Government Act in 1999, neither Congress nor the courts have any official role in the appointment of a special counsel.

        The Constitution gives no direct role to Congress in conducting federal law enforcement.

        While Congress enjoys the legislative power under Article I of the Constitution, which
        includes substantial authority to investigate the executive branch pursuant to its oversight
        function,
        criminal investigations and prosecutions are generally considered core executive
        functions entrusted with the executive branch under Article II. Because of the potential conflicts
        of interest that may arise when the executive branch investigates itself, however, there have often
        been calls for prosecutors with independence from the executive branch.

        In response, Congress
        and the U.S. Department of Justice have used both statutory
        and regulatory mechanisms
        to establish a process for such inquiries. These responses have attempted, in different ways, to
        balance the competing goals of independence and accountability with respect to inquiries of
        executive branch officials.

        Under the DOJ regulations that supplanted the independent counsel provisions, the authority to
        appoint and select a special counsel resides solely with the Attorney General (or his surrogate, if
        the Attorney General has recused himself from the matter), rather than with the judicial branch.

        The regulations generally state that the Attorney General “will appoint a Special Counsel” to
        conduct certain investigations or prosecutions. To make such an appointment, the Attorney
        General must determine that (1) a criminal investigation is warranted; (2) the normal processes of
        investigation or prosecution would present a conflict of interest for DOJ, or other extraordinary
        circumstances exist; and (3) public interest requires a special counsel to assume those.

        The process does not involve Senate confirmation hearings. The Special Counsel is appointed by the Attorney General and is not subject to the same oversight as other federal prosecutors. This is intended to give the Special Counsel the independence to conduct their investigation without fear of interference from the Department of Justice or the White House.


        Folks should refer to 28 CFR 600.1 "Grounds for appointing a Special Counsel."

        But let's look at precedence..

        Robert Mueller was appointed by Rod Rosenstein as Sessions recused himself. 

        His appointment was challenged because he was not confirmed by the Senate.

        The challenge was brought by Andrew Miller, an associate of former Trump adviser Roger Stone.

        The three judge panel rejected Miller's argument that Mueller was named to the post unlawfully. The court said the appointment is valid in part because Mueller is supervised by the attorney general and “effectively serves at the pleasure of an Executive Branch officer” confirmed by the Senate.

        The panel agreed with the government that Mueller's appointment by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein complied with the Constitution's appointment clause, which allows a department head to appoint an inferior officer, who is then supervised and directed by a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed officer.

        I don't see any difference between the appointment of Mueller and the appointment of Jack Smith.  The judicial reasoning used in the Mueller case can be applied to Jack smith, very clearly.  Who knows though, will our rogue Supreme Court throw out precedence once again?

        https://www.courthousenews.com/dc-circu … as-lawful/

        https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R44857

        1. Sharlee01 profile image89
          Sharlee01posted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

          Mueller was nominated and confirmed by Congess.  The problem that is being considered in the SC brought up by two prior AGs is that Smith should not have been appointed as a special council due to not being confirmed by Congress.  U.S. attorneys must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Smith never was part of the DOJ.

          Willow, I've expressed my thoughts clearly. This is a complex legal matter. I won't speculate by Googling or assume I can challenge two former Attorneys General and a Supreme Court justice. Let's face it, this will be thoroughly addressed by the Supreme Court and numerous legal experts on TV.

          1. Willowarbor profile image61
            Willowarborposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

            At the most basic level, the Mueller appointment was challenged for the same reasons and was defeated in court. The reasoning was very simple. The reasoning is directly applicable to Smith.    It's difficult to understand how those who filed the amicus brief  believe it is any different from the case already lost?

            1. Sharlee01 profile image89
              Sharlee01posted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

              Yes, it was defeated due to  --   "Two district court judges in Washington — one nominated by a Democrat, the other by Trump — had already upheld the legitimacy of Mueller’s appointment in recent rulings. The opinion issued Tuesday was the first time an appeals court panel had reviewed the special counsel’s authority.

              The judges — Karen LeCraft Henderson, Judith W. Rogers and Sri Srinivasan — rejected Miller’s argument that Mueller was named to the post unlawfully. The court said the appointment is valid in part because Mueller is supervised by the attorney general and “effectively serves at the pleasure of an Executive Branch officer” confirmed by the Senate."
              https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/le … story.html

              Robert S. Mueller, III
              On July 5, 2001 the President nominated Robert S. Mueller to be the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
              Recently, he served as the Acting Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice from January through May 2001. On October 7, 1999, Robert Mueller was confirmed by the Senate as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. Prior to joining the Northern District of California in 1998, Mr. Mueller was Chief of the Homicide Section of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colombia where he had served since 1995 as Senior Litigation Counsel in the Homicide Section until assuming the position as Chief in 1997.
              https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives … 10705.html
              https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives … 10705.html

              Jack Smith was never nominated by the president nor confirmed by the Senate. He did not and does not hold that privilege.  This is the difference that stands out. Justice Thomas raised the crucial question with Trump's attorney on Friday -- "Did you, in this litigation, challenge the appointment of special counsel?" Justice Thomas

              1. Willowarbor profile image61
                Willowarborposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                "Jack Smith was never nominated by the president nor confirmed by the Senate."

                Neither was Muller.  The Post article that you cited gives all the information.  Mueller was appointed by Rod Rosenstein. Maybe this will offer clarity as Trump stated it...in 2018

                "President Donald Trump incorrectly claimed special counsel Robert Mueller's appointment was unconstitutional because he was not confirmed by the Senate.
                Trump was addressing criticisms from legal scholars that the appointment of acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was unconstitutional because the Senate had not confirmed him to his present role.
                But legal experts tell INSIDER that because Mueller is an "inferior officer" who reports to someone higher up in the Department of Justice and not the President, he does not require Senate confirmation.

                This is the exact same case as Jack Smith.  Mueller was appointed by the acting attorney general and the courts upheld the appointment.


                https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-f … er-2018-11

                1. Sharlee01 profile image89
                  Sharlee01posted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Robert S. Mueller, III
                  On July 5, 2001 the President nominated Robert S. Mueller to be the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
                  Recently, he served as the Acting Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice from January through May 2001. On October 7, 1999, Robert Mueller was confirmed by the Senate as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. Prior to joining the Northern District of California in 1998, Mr. Mueller was Chief of the Homicide Section of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colombia where he had served since 1995 as Senior Litigation Counsel in the Homicide Section until assuming the position as Chief in 1997.
                  https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives … 10705.html

                  Yes I am aware Trump lost his case as I posted in my previous comment with judge ruling that made claim Meuller had been confirmed by the Senate.

                     "Two district court judges in Washington — one nominated by a Democrat, the other by Trump — had already upheld the legitimacy of Mueller’s appointment in recent rulings. The opinion issued Tuesday was the first time an appeals court panel had reviewed the special counsel’s authority.

                  The judges — Karen LeCraft Henderson, Judith W. Rogers and Sri Srinivasan — rejected Miller’s argument that Mueller was named to the post unlawfully. The court said the appointment is valid in part because Mueller is supervised by the attorney general and “effectively serves at the pleasure of an Executive Branch officer” confirmed by the Senate. Source posted in the last comment.

                  1. Valeant profile image86
                    Valeantposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

                    You keep posting the same things, and none of it relates to Mueller's appointment by Rod Rosenstein (not a president, and no confirmation by the Senate in this case) as special counsel in 2017.  All of the information you are posting relates to Mueller's previous appointments and confirmations to other positions decades earlier.  It has nothing to do with his position as special counsel.

                    It's gotten to the point where it seems there can be no admission of fault, even when the fault is so clear to people like Willow and I.  Mueller and Smith were both appointed in the same manner as special counsels.  Mueller's 2017 appointment as special counsel was upheld by the DC Appellate Court, so it stands to reason that Smith's would be as well since they are the same.

          2. Valeant profile image86
            Valeantposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

            Mueller was not nominated and confirmed by the Senate as special counsel.  He was nominated and confirmed in 2001 as Director of the FBI.  Please double check that claim.  I am under the belief that neither Mueller or Jack Smith were confirmed by Congress and the DC Appellate court upheld Mueller's appointment by the acting AG.

            1. Sharlee01 profile image89
              Sharlee01posted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

              Robert S. Mueller, III
              Archives --  On July 5, 2001 the President nominated Robert S. Mueller to be the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

              Recently, he served as the Acting Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice from January through May 2001. On October 7, 1999, Robert Mueller was confirmed by the Senate as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. Prior to joining the Northern District of California in 1998, Mr. Mueller was Chief of the Homicide Section of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colombia where he had served since 1995 as Senior Litigation Counsel in the Homicide Section until assuming the position as Chief in 1997.
              https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives … 10705.html
              https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives … 10705.html

          3. Willowarbor profile image61
            Willowarborposted 6 weeks agoin reply to this

            "Googling" or as some may call it'researching, can help with "speculation".

            "Special counsel Robert Mueller scored one of the biggest legal wins of his tenure on Tuesday, as a federal appeals court rejected claims that his appointment was unconstitutional."

            "In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals turned aside arguments that Mueller wields so much power as a special prosecutor that he should have been nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate" (which he was definitely not)

            "The appeals court judges also found no flaw in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller in the wake of the recusal of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions."

            If anyone is interested in  the courts reasoning, it provides insight into the current amicus brief filed to the Supreme Court concerning Jack Smith's appointment and why it is not unconstitutional.

            https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/ … al-1186701

  14. Valeant profile image86
    Valeantposted 6 weeks ago

    Mueller was not and a District court upheld it.  So, Meese's question has been asked and answered by the courts, just not the Supreme Court.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/ … al-1186701

  15. Valeant profile image86
    Valeantposted 6 weeks ago

    Next, contempt of court is a criminal act.  If Trump is found to have committed it, would any jurisdiction revoke his bail and jail him after the New York trial and pending trials?  He agreed not to commit any crimes as an agreement to go free on bail in every jurisdiction.  To my count, he's committed at least eleven crimes of contempt in his New York trial.

  16. Sharlee01 profile image89
    Sharlee01posted 6 weeks ago

    In the Supreme Court of the United States
    UNITED STATES, Petitioner,
    v.
    DONALD J. TRUMP
    On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari Before Judgment
    to the United States Court of Appeals
    for the District of Columbia Circuit
    BRIEF OF FORMER ATTORNEY
    GENERAL EDWIN MEESE III AND LAW
    PROFESSORS STEVEN G. CALABRESI AND
    GARY S. LAWSON AS AMICI CURIAE
    SUPPORTING NEITHER PARTY

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/ … 0final.pdf

  17. Valeant profile image86
    Valeantposted 6 weeks ago

    'Mueller's name entered the discussion because I highlighted the fact that he underwent Senate nomination and confirmation, whereas Smith did not.'

    And this is what we keep trying to point out that you are confused on.  Mueller was not 'senate nominated or confirmed' as special counsel.  Please go fact check your claim so you can grasp that Mueller and Smith went through the same process and the DC Appellate court upheld Mueller's appointment using this process - making Smith's also legal under current precedent.

 
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