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Trump lawyer: “The defense is quite simple… President Trump believed in his heart of hearts that he had won that election”

Trump lawyer: “The defense is quite simple… President Trump believed in his heart of hearts that he had won that election”

The George Costanza Defense: It’s Not a Lie, if YOU Believe it.

One of the key aspects of the indictment of Donald Trump in DC federal court is that he allegely lied about claims of election fraud that would have affected the outcome, despite his closest confidants and others telling him there was no outcome-determinative fraud. Being told one thing and saying another is a key part of the fraud that underpins all of the Counts.

I’ve expressed skepticism that the indictment alleges a crime, as opposed to bad speech and behavior that is constitutionally protected. Politicians, including Donald Trump, have a constitutionally protected right to spew nonsense and baseless speculation in the face of contrary evidence, and to try to convince members of Congress to agree with them and change their opinions. There’s a huge difference between atrocious conduct and criminality:

You punish atrocious political behavior at the ballot box, not in a jail cell.

Trump’s relatively newly-hired attorney for the DC case, John Lauro (who I know), appeared on NBC News today.

Somehow I’m on NBC’s breaking news email list, because I got this blast email quoting Lauro soon after the appearance (highlighting in email):


On former President Trump’s defense strategy: “President Trump believed in his heart of hearts that he had won that election. And as any American citizen, he had a right to speak out under the First Amendment”

CHUCK TODD: Let me start with this: Is the defense to this indictment, “He didn’t do it” or, “He was allowed to do what he did?”

JOHN LAURO: The defense is quite simple. Donald Trump — President Trump believed in his heart of hearts that he had won that election. And as any American citizen, he had a right to speak out under the First Amendment. He had a right to petition governments around the government, state governments, based on his grievances that election irregularities had occurred. He had every right to speak about the important issues that were taking place after the election. Certainly Mr. Pence, his vice president, agreed with him that there were anomalies and discrepancies in the election process. And Mr. Trump had every right to petition government and enforce his First Amendment Rights. That’s why this indictment is an attack on the First Amendment. The government, the Biden administration, would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that President Trump did not believe that he had won the election. They will never be able to do that. And that’s why this prosecution is so ill-conceived.

Says: “One thing that Mr. Pence has never said is that he thought President Trump was acting criminally” and, “a technical violation of the Constitution is not a violation of criminal law. That’s just plain wrong”

CHUCK TODD: You keep saying some certain things that Vice President Pence apparently agreed with. Let me play what Vice President Pence says the former president asked him to do. Here’s what he said he was asked to do.

[START TAPE] FMR. VICE PRES. MIKE PENCE: Let’s be clear on this point. It wasn’t just that he asked for a pause. The president specifically asked me, and his gaggle of crackpot lawyers asked me, to literally reject votes, to – which would’ve resulted in the issue being turned over to the House or Representatives. And literally, chaos would’ve ensued. [END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD: So he’s just disputing the version of events you’re describing?

JOHN LAURO: No, not at all. He’s substantiating it. In this respect, there were some preliminary discussions along the lines that Vice President Pence described. But the ultimate ask, which was done on – at the ellipse, was to pause the voting for a period of time. Now, issues like this get discussed and thrashed about all the time. But the ultimate – the ultimate call made by President Trump was to ask for a pause. If you read Vice President Pence’s book, he agrees completely with President Trump that there were these anomalies, discrepancies, even fraud in the election. Vice President Pence wanted those debated in Congress. President Trump asked that they be debated at the state legislature. So, you had a disagreement there. But once again, these kinds of constitutional and statutory disagreements don’t lead to – to criminal charges. And one thing that Mr. Pence has never said is that he thought President Trump was acting criminally. Indeed, Vice President Pence is an attorney. If he at any point said or thought that – that Mr. Trump – President Trump was acting unlawfully or contrary to criminal law, he would’ve said that. No one ever suggested that. President Trump was exercising his right.

CHUCK TODD: He said the president asked him to violate the Constitution, which is another way of saying he asked him to break the law.

JOHN LAURO: No, that’s wrong. That’s wrong. A technical violation of the Constitution is not a violation of criminal law. That’s just plain wrong. And to say that is contrary to decades of legal statutes.

CHUCK TODD: Let’s get out of the constitutional.

JOHN LAURO: Let me say one last thing, if I could.

CHUCK TODD: Go ahead.

JOHN LAURO: Well, no, because this is a constitutional case. This is going to be the most important civil rights constitutional case in decades. And there’s one other issue that’s very important. Everything that President Trump did was while he was in office as a president. He is now immune from prosecution for acts that he takes in connection with those policy decisions. And the Biden administration has not addressed that.

On Trump threatening Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger with criminal charge: “That wasn’t a threat at all… That was an aspirational ask.”

CHUCK TODD: I want to get you to respond, though, to something that seems a bit more straightforward on intent. It’s the infamous phone call in Georgia. Let me play an excerpt.

[START TAPE] FMR. PRES. DONALD TRUMP: The ballots are corrupt, and you’re going to find that they are. Which is totally illegal. It’s more illegal for you than it is for them because you know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal offense. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state. [END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD: If he had proof he won the state, why did he threaten the secretary of state with a criminal charge?

JOHN LAURO: That wasn’t a threat at all. What he was asking for is – is for Raffensperger to get to the truth. He believes that there were an excess of 10,000 votes that were counted illegally. And what he was asking for is the secretary of state to act appropriately and find these votes that were counted illegally.


JOHN LAURO: Hold on one second. That was an aspirational ask. He is entitled to petition even state government. But that doesn’t – that doesn’t involve an obstruction of federal government. What the Biden administration has said is somehow President Trump obstructed a federal proceeding. That relates to what was going on in the states. And President Trump had every right to ask the secretary of state, “I believe that this election was conducted improperly. There are deficiencies here. I want to see if there are more than 10,000 votes, or whatever the number was, that were counted illegally.” Once again, that’s core political speech.

Says: “We don’t have to prove fraud… All we have to do is that President Trump was acting with his conviction that this election was conducted improperly”

JOHN LAURO: I’m just trying to let you know that the criminal rules are different than what you’re talking about. In a criminal case, the government has a burden of proof. We don’t have any requirement to prove anything. All we have to do is put the government to its test. And one of the things that will be shown at trial is that there were these institutional anomalies where state election officials unlawfully broke the law, and Mr. Trump was entitled to petition government and assert that he was right. That’s part of the First Amendment protection. We don’t have to prove fraud. People don’t understand that. All we have to do is that President Trump was acting with his conviction that this election was conducted improperly.

On President Trump calling special counsel Jack Smith “deranged”: “My role is not to address anything about prosecutors… The Biden Justice Department is going after a former president for acts that he carried out in fulfillment of his oath as President of the United States”

CHUCK TODD:  Do innocent people attack prosecutors?

JOHN LAURO:  This is a political campaign right now. This prosecution was instituted by President Biden. And in the middle of that campaign, people are going to speak out. My role is not to address anything about prosecutors. But I will say this: There has been a history in the Justice Department of rogue prosecutions. They went after Arthur Andersen, a major – a major accounting firm. Destroyed the company. And the DOJ lost nine-nothing. They went after the former governor of Virginia in a prosecution, a Republican governor, who was convicted unfairly. Reversed, nine-nothing. And now, the Justice Department — the Biden Justice Department is going after a former president for acts that he carried out in fulfillment of his oath as president of the United States.

This sentence jumped out at me:

The defense is quite simple. Donald Trump — President Trump believed in his heart of hearts that he had won that election.

It immediately brought to memory this Seinfeld clip.

I need to think through if believing something is a defense to these charges. It might be Trump’s best and most honest defense, but it might not be a legal defense. That’s something the courts will determine.


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Trump gained control of the news cycle 2015-2016. He dominated it 2016=2020. The democrats only regained it after cancelling Trump and the right wing.

Democrats know they must control the news cycle through 2024. Musk bought Twitter, which monkey wrenched their planned censorship pogrom through the 2024 campaign season.

Democrats shifted the news cycle and censorship burden to DoJ. And we see the results. Negative news about the Biden crime syndicated is immediately countered by fresh indictments.

    Tiki in reply to Tiki. | August 6, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    The DoJ indictment game is apparent to everyone.

    The difficult part to understand is the wide ranging censorship net being developed and currently pushed into service. The visible part of the censorship network being the various ChatBot applications; artfully sold to us as intelligent machines. That’s the easily relatable part. The basic outline of the Big Tech-NGO-Goverment cabal.

    I don’t dare try to describe the rest of the schematic. I don’t understand all of it. Mike Benz is a good place to start. He’s pretty active on XtwitterX and YT.

      Tiki in reply to Tiki. | August 7, 2023 at 11:49 am

      “Zoom terms of service now require you to allow AI to train on ALL your data—audio, facial recognition, private conversations—unconditionally and irrevocably, with no opt out.”

    Mauiobserver in reply to Tiki. | August 7, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    The Democrats also want to control what is defined as truth.

    The telling part of the interview was at the very end when Todd states that it was proved in court in many states that cheating in the election did not occur. When Trump’s attorney tried to respond to that he was cut off but was able to repeat no and that is not true several times.

    That line like Russia collusion will become the mantra of the Establishment uniparty and state media. Everyone must repeat in unison after the propaganda line is delivered and chant it was proven in court that no election cheating occurred.

There’s no such thing as an act of believing. Belief is a token in a retroactive account.

“575. When I sat down on this chair, of course I believed it would bear me. I had no thought of its possibly collapsing.” – Wittgenstein

Professor, I take “the George Costanza defense” as your ringing endorsement for that approach or do I need to re-take “Read the Room 101”? 😉

    thad_the_man in reply to MrE. | August 6, 2023 at 11:23 pm

    Are you trying to push a pathetic Democrat talking point?

    Smith, in his indictment, made a big point of arguing that Trump did all this knowing he lost the election. Trump has the right to rebut that claim.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the government has the burden of proof which means that if it’s important to the case then they must prove that President Trump DID NOT believe the things that he has said, repeatedly, with no change. It is my sincere belief, having observed President Trump, that he believes with the entirety of his being that were that election run honestly that he would have won easily.

    ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Ironclaw. | August 7, 2023 at 2:19 am

    There’s really no such thing as “proof” in show trials. All the government has to do is show up and mumble some words. Logic and reason and “proof” have nothing to do with any of the show trials they are running Trump through.

    This is why legal analysis of any of these cases is a waste. There is no law operating, here. There is no logic. It is better to not accept any of this BS than to try and argue the case, The show trials are crimes, themselves, and that is all this comes down to. Hopefully, the people involved in these persecutions will eventually be held liable for the capital crimes they are committing.

    Fatkins in reply to Ironclaw. | August 10, 2023 at 6:25 am

    You believe a notorious liar, seriously. It’s pretty obvious he is lying in public, his private comments are quite different. It’s well documented that witnesses have him stating clearly in private he lost the election.

How about nothing alleged by this hack clown is actually a crime?

    Mauiobserver in reply to Concise. | August 6, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    And true to form we had administrative hack Bill Barr opine today that what Hunter (and therefore the Biden crime family) did was shameful but not criminal.

    Just a few days ago Barr started contrary to Turley, Dershowitz, McCarthy and most legal scholars that Trumps attempts to challenge the corrupt election were crimes and not protected free speech.

    They don’t care what they get him convicted and imprisoned as long as it succeeds. Anyone who challenges the liberal world order needs to be prosecuted and punished. Trump is the primary target but so are pro life demonstrators, parents who oppose trans and crt indoctrination in schools, and of course white supremacy advocates who argue that entrance to universities, professions etc should be based on merit rather than intersectional scores.

    MarkS in reply to Concise. | August 7, 2023 at 8:06 am

    Yes! Nothing Trump has been charged with from any prosecutor is a crime


He won,
We all know it
Everyone k owns it

    Who is in the White House? Who is being Weekend at Bernie’d? Not Trump. Get a freaking clue and live in actual reality for a change. JFK, Jr. is not going to show up in Dallas to usher your orange godlet onto the throne. Try, please, to reconnect with reality. You’ll be much happier when you understand how things actually work.

      thad_the_man in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 6, 2023 at 10:34 pm

      What happened? Trump won. Biden stole it fair and square. I’m saying this as a Chicagoan, living in the place where the dead voting early and often was born.

      She’s locked in a grieving/grievance loop.

      Ironclaw in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 7, 2023 at 12:59 am

      We can’t change that they cheated the pedophile into that office, but we do not have to treat him as if hes legitimate, because he’s not.

      diver64 in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 7, 2023 at 6:37 am

      Your anti trumpism is getting the best part of you, fuzzy. No need to be so hostile

        Wait, what? Where are you chiding Trumpbots for being hostile, for calling me a RINO, commie, “bought,” pedo-supporter, Democrat, Marxist, globalist, and all the other things that it seems you think I should just take? When you chide them for their vile hostility, I might take your comment under consideration.

      scooterjay in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 7, 2023 at 6:56 am

      I’m sorry you got hired to be the Trump punching bag and that the boxing gloves fit the commenters.
      Just saying…

      Concise in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 7, 2023 at 8:11 am

      He doesn’t mean the confused fraud occupying the white house didn’t nominally “win,” he means that, absent the fraud and manipulation, President Trump would have been the victor.

        txvet2 in reply to Concise. | August 7, 2023 at 10:49 am

        Then he (sic) should say that. But she didn’t, and doesn’t. Neither do any of the other Trumpbots. In their fevered imagination, Trump is actually the leader of a shadow government running the country from underground bunkers. Of course, I’m excepting the core Perotistas here. Their avowed intent is, as it has been for 30 years, to pull down the Republican Party, and with it, constitutional government. They’re pleased as punch at the way things are going, even as they wail and moan about “poor Trump”.

          Concise in reply to txvet2. | August 7, 2023 at 5:51 pm

          No, because it’s obvious that no one claims that the total number of “votes” awarded to the fraud Biden exceeds President Trump’s total. Those challenging the results claim that the extra votes are not legitimate/legal. Or I should say obvious to everyone but deranged Never-Trumpers.

          txvet2 in reply to txvet2. | August 7, 2023 at 10:07 pm

          Once Biden was administered the oath of office, he was legally president, and any acts done in his name thereafter are also legal, whether you consider him “legitimate” or not – a fact that should be obvious to everyone but deranged onlyTrumpers.

          Concise in reply to txvet2. | August 8, 2023 at 7:39 am

          Feel better getting that off your Never-Trump chest? Problem is that your (not too clever) sarcasm has nothing to do with the matter in the comments. The other Never-Tramper didn’t understand, or pretended not to understand, objections challenging the election results. That we’re living with the reality of the 2020 election manipulations is on embarrassing display to the world everyday.

        Fatkins in reply to Concise. | August 10, 2023 at 6:32 am

        Concise, why are you rehashing points that have been long debunked. The election fraud argument was so bad that lawyers like Sidney ‘Kraken’ Powell have been disbarred in places. Where is that Kraken BTW

      Dolce Far Niente in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 7, 2023 at 11:53 am

      Your petty insults demean YOU, Fuzzy, not the people you are aiming them at.

        Well, I guess I will take that compliment since you clearly think I am “better” in some way than these commenters who regularly call everyone not on the Trump train names. It’s weird that you would hold me above them, and I find it kind of off-putting and snobbish. Why don’t their petty insults demean them? Oh, right, they don’t matter in your weird snob world, but you think I’m special and better in a way that makes my insults worse. You know, somehow. Do you hear you?

      Azathoth in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 7, 2023 at 4:13 pm

      “Who is in the White House? ”

      A usurper. A cheat. A fraud.

      That is who is in the White Housie and all your simping for the left and the Democrats won’t change that.

      ” You’ll be much happier when you understand how things actually work.”

      We thought we KNEW how things worked. We thought there was a course of action that could be taken in the case of a cabal of traitors installing a fake president.

      We didn’t think that what we’d hear is people acting as if the oath of office was some sort of magical spell that MADE the usurper into a legitimate president despite not winning the election.

retiredcantbefired | August 6, 2023 at 10:24 pm

The indictment makes it appear that Trump’s real offense was not obeying authority figures.

The director of CISA declared that the 2020 election was the cleanest and fairest ever. Therefore it was.

The AG of Michigan (as ferocious a partisan as, I dunno, Merrick Garland) declared that there had been no early AM ballot dump in Detroit. So there mustn’t have been.

This might be my favorite: A Philadelphia City Commissioner insisted no election irregularities had taken place in Philadelphia. Really. Everyone is required to believe this, on the word of a Philadelphia official.

51 former spooks got permission from the CIA to insinuate that Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop was a Russian plant. Trump failed to go buy into their insinuation. Oops, Jack Smith forgot to include that one; he’ll have to file a superseding indictment.

My recollection is that WAJ first responded to this indictment by asking whether it identified any actual crime.

Which still seems like an apposite question.

With Tanya Chutkan as the judge, no charges will be dismissed. Any merit in a motion to dismiss will be irrelevant.

With a DC jury, conviction on all counts is nearly assured.

With Judge Chutkan, sentences will exceed what Jack Smith dares to ask for.

Isn’t it clear by now that the goal, for the Biden/Garland DOJ, is not to get Republican voters to rally around Trump so he’ll be the nominee?

The goal is to obtain convictions on as many counts as possible and send Trump to Federal prison. So he can’t be the nominee, or the Republican Party will have to replace him on the ballot (depending on the timing).

They may not get what they want in Florida, but nothing at all is standing in their way in DC.

I don’t want Trump to be the nominee and I won’t vote for him in my state’s primary.

But Trump deserves the opportunity to win or lose the nomination. Not to be eliminated by being sent to prison after he is tried on a garbage indictment.

Is anyone who contributes to this site so bent on preventing Donald Trump from being the Republican nominee for President that he or she is hoping for a timely conviction and a prison sentence?

I think it’s fair to ask.

    thalesofmiletus in reply to retiredcantbefired. | August 6, 2023 at 10:38 pm

    [[[The goal is to obtain convictions on as many counts as possible and send Trump to Federal prison. So he can’t be the nominee]]]

    That would not be legal. Ballots are the alternative to bullets. If the various secretaries of state try to keep Trump off the ballot, expect a lot of angry mobs at state capitols. I wouldn’t put it past them to try running Biden unopposed in swing states, and that could get bloody.

      Ironclaw in reply to thalesofmiletus. | August 7, 2023 at 1:02 am

      I wouldn’t put it past them to take any excuse to cancel the elections outright.

        GravityOpera in reply to Ironclaw. | August 7, 2023 at 2:01 am

        Dictators love elections. Putin “won” Russia’s presidential election with 77.53% of the vote and the referendum for Luhansk Oblast to join Russia “won” with 94-98% of the vote.

    I could name you a few

    scooterjay in reply to retiredcantbefired. | August 7, 2023 at 7:01 am

    We have seen that the resident anti-Trump contributor gets pretty worked up over him.
    How would you like to get treated as such?

“[[[The goal is to obtain convictions on as many counts as possible and send Trump to Federal prison. So he can’t be the nominee]]]”
The precedent has been established….Eugene Debs, the Socialist Party Candidate, ran in the 1920 election while incarcerated at the Atlanta Federal Pen. He was serving a 10 year sentence after being convicted on ten counts of Sedition. (He spoke against the World War and the Military Draft)

    Mauiobserver in reply to SHV. | August 6, 2023 at 11:16 pm

    Which is exactly what the Espionage Act was passed for. Its purpose was to criminalize any objections to American entrance into WWI and drafting soldiers to serve.

    That is why Jack Smith is using that law against Trump rather than a classified documents case. The Espionage act criminalizes political dissent.

“One of the key aspects of the indictment of Donald Trump in DC federal court is that he allegedly lied about claims of election fraud that would have affected the outcome”

Funny how that has suddenly become illegal as the last time the Democrats admitted that a Republican had legitimately been elected president was in 1988.

12 Minutes of Democrats Denying Election Results

I need to think through if believing something is a defense to these charges.

Of course it is. It has to be. If you believe something is true, or even merely believe there is a good chance that it’s true, you can’t be committing a fraud when you maintain it to be true. The fact that some people have told you it isn’t true is irrelevant; people are always telling you all sorts of things, but you are not required to believe them. After all, people (such as Sidney Powell) were telling Biden and Jack Smith (along with everyone else in the world) that Trump had won; does that mean Biden and Smith were required to believe them?!!!! According to Smith’s theory it would seem so!

In any case, the Supreme Court has repeatedly insisted that “fraud” can consist only of depriving someone of property. Lying that does not deprive anyone of property is by definition not fraud, and the government cannot charge someone with fraud for it. Decades ago the Court threw the entire concept of “honest services fraud” into the garbage; Congress responded by enacting a statute specifically banning it anyway, but the definition is so vague that every time the Court has considered a case it has always said “this doesn’t count”. Just a few months ago Gorsuch and Thomas proposed that the Court simply throw the whole law out, because after decades of trying the government still can’t come up with a comprehensible definition for it, one that puts people on notice of what they can and can’t do.

So even if (contrary to all evidence) Trump had truly believed that he had lost, what he did can’t be charged as fraud.

let me put my comment in context. It seems like every election since Bush either California or Texas has argued succession.

To that point, I’ve studied the roots of the civil war. the single biggest event causing the Civil War was the Dredd Scott decision. Dredd Scot brought an urgency to moderate abolitionists that pushed things to the boiling point.

I can see this court case as being the event that starts off a second civil war.

Lauro seems to be on his game, but i think there is a lot to do even before he argues Trumps beliefs. Change of venue, change of Judge, double jeopardy. This is not just simple court case, like say Rittenhouse. I really hope that he goes balls to the wall.

    retiredcantbefired in reply to thad_the_man. | August 7, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    Trump is now calling for Judge Chutkan to recuse herself, and for the venue to be changed from DC (apparently, to West Virginia).

    His lawyers are unlikely to succeed with motions on either, but, dammit, they have to try.

Welcome back Milhouse!

I have come to believe that two supposedly opposing things can be true at the same time. I think that the election was stolen from Trump by any normal rules of a fair election. However, normal rules did not apply and he lost the election under the rules that did apply. Trump and the RNC ran the wrong election campaign – no massive mail-in ballot initiative, etc.

The Republicans also badly underperformed in the 2022 elections under the rules that still applied; and will underperform in 2024 if they ignore the existing rules.

Two examples: In PA, Fetterman was, I recall, about 700,000 mail-in ballots ahead of Dr. Oz on election day. That is nuts. My Congressional district was a nationally publicized swing district to replace the Democrat incumbent. While the Republican did win, not one cent was spent on any special contact with Republican voters other than the usual mailers.

    Milhouse in reply to jb4. | August 7, 2023 at 3:50 am

    The shenanigans that collectively determined the result of the 2020 election can be divided into three major categories:

    1. Completely legal and non-official shenanigans

    This is the major category, and includes the news industry’s open conspiracy to slant its news reporting, and the social media industry’s conspiracy to influence what the public saw, all in order to defeat Trump. There’s no question that this happened, and that its impact alone was enough, if not to swing the election altogether then to bring it into swingable territory.

    2. Changes to the rules in order to make fraud easier

    This was sometimes completely legal, sometimes of borderline legality, but either way it did not in itself affect the election, but rather made the third category inevitable.

    3. Illegal shenanigans, AKA outright cheating.

    This goes on in every election, and the vast majority of it is by Democrats, but this time it was much higher than ever before. There is almost no direct evidence of this, but the indirect evidence, in the form of the rule changes that I put in category 2, is indisputable. Democrats did not go to all that trouble to make cheating easy if there was no cheating. And it’s impossible to believe that with cheating made as easy as it was nobody took advantage.

    Was category 3 enough to swing the election? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. The overwhelming majority of the cheating under this category is undetectable, so there is no way to measure it, but if it weren’t substantial they wouldn’t have bothered. Trump believes that enough of it was detected and established with clear evidence, that the courts should have awarded him the election. He’s wrong about that. The supposed “evidence” of the fraud was made up by stupid liars whom he was foolish to trust. But the lack of this evidence should never be taken to mean that it didn’t happen. As I’ve said many times before, if the water is full of five-inch fish and you are required to use a six-inch net, you will not catch very much, but that doesn’t mean the fish don’t exist!

      Ironclaw in reply to Milhouse. | August 7, 2023 at 4:41 am

      Multiple States shut down in the middle of counting which is unprecedented. Even more telling is that when those States reopened their counting, all of sudden Trump wasn’t winning anymore. Now how do you supposed that the lead changed when they “weren’t counting”? I have no doubts that the cheating was more than enough to steal the elections in multiple States.

        Milhouse in reply to Ironclaw. | August 7, 2023 at 5:54 am

        That is just not true. And it’s lies like that that discredit the case that the cheating was enough to change the result.

          caseoftheblues in reply to Milhouse. | August 7, 2023 at 8:38 am

          Good lord man schedule an appointment with a neurologist for a full cognitive screening!

          gonzotx in reply to Milhouse. | August 7, 2023 at 2:00 pm

          Someone welcome him back,?

          Yes, gonzo, most of us missed him a lot and were concerned about our fellow LI poster. Not you, of course, never you.

          Ironclaw in reply to Milhouse. | August 7, 2023 at 2:30 pm

          What lies? That is what happened, I remember seeing it happen.

          Azathoth in reply to Milhouse. | August 7, 2023 at 4:23 pm

          “That is just not true. And it’s lies like that that discredit the case that the cheating was enough to change the result.”


          So what we saw –and we saw quite a lot as the American people didn’t simply accept be told to go away and let the leftists count the ballots– was not real?

          And you know this how?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 8, 2023 at 8:56 am

          No, those things simply did not happen. You weren’t there, so you certainly didn’t see them happen. You were told something happened and you believed it, and now claim to have witnessed it, but it didn’t.

          It was always expected, and everyone was predicting well in advance, that the numbers on the day would favor Trump and that when the numbers from postal votes were added in the next day there would be a major swing to Biden. This was obvious to everyone, since Trump supporters were being encouraged to vote on the day, while Biden supporters were being encouraged to vote early, which means their votes would not be reflected in the on-the-day numbers. And that is all that happened.

          Which is not to say there was no fraud. Of course there was fraud, and plenty of it. But it wasn’t nearly as in-your-face and as easy to detect as the rabblerousers claimed. Just as the claims of outright fraud in Atlanta, that we supposedly “all saw”, turned out to be BS, the same applies to this claim. Again, there was plenty of fraud but this wasn’t it.

      CommoChief in reply to Milhouse. | August 7, 2023 at 8:02 am

      Indeed, very good analysis. We ‘know’ how it likely occurred but we can’t ID a particular ballot to say it was not valid once it was accepted, put in the bin with other ballots and counted. Without being able to demonstrate to a CT that this particular ballot is invalid there isn’t a way to disqualify that ballot.

      IMO once the ‘bad’ ballots are accepted and counted it is too late. The better way to mitigate shenanigans is to work to clean up the voter registration rolls. That eliminates the bad voter registrations which are overwhelmingly used for shenanigans. No bad voter registration = no large universe of bad ballots that stem from them available for potential shenanigans.

        txvet2 in reply to CommoChief. | August 7, 2023 at 11:03 am

        “”clean up the voter registration rolls.””

        Absolutely. But, in addition, state imposed “rules” that made the cheating easier, were implemented without legislative action and using COVID as an excuse, need to be eliminated

          CommoChief in reply to txvet2. | August 7, 2023 at 12:56 pm

          Absolutely correct!. The time to confront these changes to the elections laws/procedures specified by the State Legislature is BEFORE the start of ‘election season’.

          Once these largely illegal changes are input and folks begin using them it becomes much harder, nearly impossible, to halt them. The leftists will argue about a reliance interest or ‘election chaos’ and they will likely be successful. Once these things are begun a CT will be very reluctant to halt the process midstream. Instead they will basically rule it is too late to upset the apple cart, which is how they ruled in the litigation brought very late by Trump and GoP in ’20.

      retiredcantbefired in reply to Milhouse. | August 7, 2023 at 2:18 pm

      Doesn’t Category 1 include active leaning on social media platforms by the FBI, CISA, GEC, “OGA,” NIAID, et al.? Was any of that legal?

      The indictment alleges that Trump was a spreader of “misinformation,” apparently on the assumption that the Federal government ought to be actively suppressing it,

        1. It’s murky. It depends how much leaning there was, and whether they would have done it anyway without any leaning. But even if the leaning was illegal, the manipulation itself was probably legal, i.e. the platforms themselves didn’t break the law, even if the government did.

        2. Exactly. You are 100% correct.

I believe the election was stolen. By more than 10 million fraudulent Democratic Party votes via paper ballots and innumerable machine miscounting via programming. And I was a State appointed elections commissioner for years, overseeing and adjudicating ballot issues.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | August 7, 2023 at 2:09 am

claims of election fraud that would have affected the outcome

Funny how they are all attaching this piece, now. Before, the idea that there was any fraud was met with surprised looks and gasps. But now they are all attaching this “outcome determinative” modifier to it … Okey doke.

There’s a huge difference between atrocious conduct and criminality:

There was no “atrocious behavior”.

Sheesh …

What was atrocious was the insane mail-in ballots from Timbuktu and anonymous drop-off boxes and governors and courts determining election procedures under the BS ruse of the wuhan virus that was killing everyone on the planet, making the black death look like chicken pox.

I mean, really. Let’s get some perspective, here. The fraud was rampant and was pushed and supported by all levels of government and by big money taking advantage of the “emergency”. It was a crime of the worst sort. And the nasty vegetable hiding in the basement got more votes than anyone in history … sure …

I don’t even know what to say any more …

    I agree

    They all expected President Trump to act like Nixon in 1960?

    The man made billions fighting

    You want him to walk away, play nice, don’t say anything “atrocious “

    Get a F-king life

“I-need to think through if believing something is a defense to these charges. It might be Trump’s best and most honest defense, but it might not be a legal defense. That’s something the courts will determine”

Well there you go, the professor think’s President Trump is lying, or deliberately delusional

Unbelievable but makes sense considering the lack of outrage these last 7 years….

And the devotion to little d

Hint: he’s a fraud….major…

    amwick in reply to gonzotx. | August 7, 2023 at 6:51 am

    Imagine the next 4 years of Biden’s DOJ… I cannot,, because it will be worse than a nightmare. It is so hard to understand why people who are trained in the law aren’t terrified. Prosecutors are supposed to be seeking justice.. That is what I read somewhere… SMH

    If they are compromised, the system falls apart.

    Danny in reply to gonzotx. | August 7, 2023 at 8:23 am

    Really? Really? You want a LAW PROFESSOR to just be your paid liar telling you whatever you want to hear instead of attending to the case, studying what the law ACTUALLY is and facts of the case and getting to you based on legal expertise and knowledge?

    Be grateful that the professor is a legal expert with integrity instead of just a political hack it means when he gives you an opinion you like you could count on that opinion being very heavily backed up by facts.

      retiredcantbefired in reply to Danny. | August 7, 2023 at 2:21 pm

      Well, we knew at least one commenter wants Trump convicted and imprisoned…

        If you know the law better than professor Jacobson why are you even bothering read his posts about legal issues? Furthermore why don’t you start teaching law the way he does?

        The professor said he DID NOT KNOW and would be looking further into it to give us an informed more accurate opinion.

        If that is offensive to you and to Gonzo what the two of you want is a paid liar to tell you whatever you already want to hear not a professional who will tell you what the actual truth of the law is.

          retiredcantbefired in reply to Danny. | August 7, 2023 at 7:45 pm

          Are you in favor of Donald Trump being convicted and imprisoned?

          In either the Mar a Lago case or the DC case?

          It seems you prefer not to answer. Nothing new there.

          Whether WAJ, or another contributor to this site, wants to see convictions and prison time for Donald Trump, I don’t know.

          I certainly hope not.

          But many here would have an easier time making sense of their current positions, were they to affirm or deny such an intent.

          Surely I can ask these rather simple questions without pretending to be a lawyer, a law professor, or any kind of expert on the law.

          I don’t pretend to be any of those things.

          I can also ask them without being an ally of gonzotx, with whom a more careful reader would note I rather frequently disagree.

      Danny in reply to Danny. | August 7, 2023 at 8:00 pm

      This is the ABSOLUTE last time I am answering that question from you or the other resident cultists next time my response is just going to be fuck you because I have stated my opinion on this hundreds of times here so the fact that YOU ARE ASKING when you RESPONDED to posts where I gave you the dam answer (apparently you are illiterate or just don’t read the posts you reply to if you figure out they aren’t Trump worship)…..

      I do not favor Trump being charged in Mar a Lago because Hillary wasn’t. However the case is perfectly solid, Trump is guilty, and the case is perfectly just if you compare Trump to ordinary people who are routinely charged and convicted of the same thing. It is Trump’s fault he is charged because he deliberately broke the law and refused to stop when told to. If he had returned the classified documents he wouldn’t be charged and Jack Smith would still be a man you never heard of.

      On this one the D.C. one…. my initial reaction is no but I have no idea and am waiting for further evidence. With Mar A Lago I lapped up Trump’s narrative then learned his narrative was entirely a lie. He even lied to his own lawyer so in this case I am waiting for the facts of the case and am relying on more informed people like Prof. Jacobson to inform me. By for example refusing to state an opinion on the George defense before doing the hard work to determine if it will do he bolsters his credibility.

      You and Gonzo taking deep offense to the professor doing so removes yours entirely.

      Trump’s case by the way is severely undermined with me and other people who aren’t already in Trump worship by people like you taking offense to a law professor simply stating he needs to do more thinking/research to determine if his defense is a valid one. If you or Gonzo think insulting the professor (or defending an insult to him) simply for deciding to wait and decide based on his legal expertise instead of feelings is persuasive……

        retiredcantbefired in reply to Danny. | August 8, 2023 at 4:18 pm

        Since you claim you believe Trump is guilty in the Mar a Lago case, it does appear you are *expecting* conviction and prison time there. (Otherwise judge and jury would be letting a guilty man go free—*surely* you would *never* want that outcome.) Why not hope for them? A conviction and prison time will come in mighty handy for whomever you really want to win the next presidential election. (It ain’t Ron DeSantis.)

        The likelihood that you ever “lapped up Trump’s narrative” on Mar a Lago? An informed estimate would be zero.

        I’ve never particularly cared what Trump’s narrative was/is/will be regarding documents in boxes at Mar a Lago. I’ve read the indictment myself and (yes, my opinion is as non-expert as yours) I think the Mar a Lago indictment is sick garbage and only a terminally corrupted DOJ would have considered bringing it. As I stated previously, Trump could have avoided that indictment exactly one way: by removing no documents whatsoever from the White House at the end of his term in office.

        Do you really believe that if Trump had handled certain documents “correctly” or dutifully turned them over (to whom? when?), Jack Smith wouldn’t still have secured an indictment against him—and for handling them incorrectly and not turning them over? Or that Smith would have quit working on the January 6 indictment, which has probably been in the works even longer than the Mar a Lago indictment?

        Besides, what further information do you need about the January 6 case? You have written, endlessly, about Hombre Naranja Malo as though he is already obviously guilty of nearly anything that can be imagined. Why, then, would it matter what Jack Smith is now appearing to charge him with? Judge and jury are perfectly aligned to secure convictions and prison time, whether the charges make any sense or not.

        My concern regarding the attitudes of Prof. Jacobson and other contributors to this site has little to do with whether Donald Trump sincerely believes/believed he really won the 2020 election, or on whether sincere belief constitutes an adequate defense against a charge of (lying? fraud? incitement? spreading misinformation? being mean to Mike Pence and even meaner to the director of CISA? whatever the ____ Smith thinks he is charging).

        My concern is that there appears to be no appreciation here of the Democrats’, Biden’s, or the Garland DOJ’s actual aims.

        Their aim is not to manipulate Republican primaries so Trump gets nominated. (Those in charge on their side seem confident that victory for the D candidate, whoever that is, will be, let’s just say, *secured* regardless of who is running on the R ticket.)

        Their aim is to eliminate Trump permanently from contention by putting him in prison, however they have to do it. What they might get away with after Trump has been eliminated is secondary.

          Your a liar. You did not read the document I promise that. You did not read a single thing except your god’s (Trump’s) narrative.

          You did not read the indictment.

          Your opinion is the opinion of a cultist liar. Everything in the indictment is long established law that is routinely enforced.

          Trump CHOSE to break it.

          You are a liar and a scumbag sir. The Mar a Lago indictment is damning towards Trump.

The George Costanza Defense: It’s Not a Lie, if YOU Believe it.

It is pretty obvious where people here stand. Most of the time.
That being said,, I thought that was snarky. There is so much at stake here, it isn’t a joke.

The focus of this dumpster fire should be the questionable charges, and that prosecutor. It seems to me that the article starts out mocking 45. Sorry, not sorry. The bright spot was Millhouse showing up..

Is there a single person that visits here that really wants to live in a future where this persecution is successful? Forget Trump,,, think about that.

The bottom line is that the Government is NOT the arbiter of truth. That very notion is what is on trial.

    mailman in reply to amwick. | August 7, 2023 at 7:22 am

    Half the problem with how LI covers these stories is treating the charges as rational. There is absolutely nothing rational about attacking your political enemies and using every arm of the Government to take them out of the running.

    The writers here continue to treat these charges as rational while they should be screaming from the roof tops about the dangerous presidents being set by Democrats to take out their political enemies (I wont call them rivals because Democrats do see anyone who challenges their power as an enemy worthy of utter destruction).

      amwick in reply to mailman. | August 7, 2023 at 7:37 am

      Some legal experts have called 45 a crime victim.. What is going on here is a classic example of blaming the victim. The precedents are what is so terrifying. That is a non issue, apparently.

    gonzotx in reply to amwick. | August 7, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    It’s as if they want us to leave…

    Hmm, says curious cat

I have heard several very good lawyers opine that the charges Smith levels against Trump including fraud which is being used at odds over several recent SCOTUS opinions, hinge on Trump knowing he lost the election and proving that. I have seen nothing from Trump indicating anything other than he truly believes he won.
Are we now in the business of using Federal Courts to try and prosecute thought crimes? Apparently so.
As for it being a crime to run around disputing who won an election space does not allow me to list Democrats who have done just that since Bush v Gore.

    George S in reply to diver64. | August 7, 2023 at 10:36 am

    Who are those lawyers? (Just so I can scratch them off my list if I need one in a criminal trial).

    Trump knew he lost the election but had no way of knowing if Biden truly had more votes cast by eligible voters.

caseoftheblues | August 7, 2023 at 6:46 am

…. So according to Chuck Todd… knowingly violating the Constitution is a criminal offense… didn’t watch the interview but did he call for the immediate arrest of Obama… Biden and the vast majority of the Biden administration….?

And so what if he knew he had lost the election?

Democrats have demonstrated every time they lose an election the right to say they when when they know they had lost.

Hillary Clinton has demonstrated every day since she lost to Trump that its not a crime to claim an election was stolen even though she knows she lost the election.

But now suddenly Trump doesnt have the right to free speech to make the same claim Democrats do every day ending in a Y when they lose an election?

This is some top shelf Banana Republic shit right here.

Everyone is missing the boat on this. Trump is not being tried by the “Justice System”. He is being persecuted to prevent him from being elected president, not to uphold the equal (and fair) application of the law.

If you can’t explain to a 4-year old why a person is facing jail, then Justice has not been served.

    Ironclaw in reply to George S. | August 7, 2023 at 11:01 am

    Oh, we could explain it to a 4 year old and they would even understand that. But, “They really, really don’t like the guy.” just isn’t sufficient as a legal reason to deny a person their freedom.

Antifundamentalist | August 7, 2023 at 12:11 pm

Well, we do have the Hillary Clinton precendent that if no harm was intended, then no prosecution is warranted, set by the DOJ. May as well see if this flies.

Sharyl Attkisson 🕵️‍♂️💼🥋
If someone genuinely believes an election was unfair (as they have the right to believe in the US) and believes electoral votes can be downvoted (as they have a right to believe in the US), why are they prohibited from asking? And when you declined, did he have you arrested or prosecuted, as others are doing to him?

Mike Pence
Aug 2
President Trump and his gaggle of crackpot lawyers asked me to reject electoral votes and chaos would have ensued. To keep faith with the oath that I made to the American people and to Almighty God, I did my duty that day.

2smartforlibs | August 7, 2023 at 2:01 pm

Thomas Jefferson said to question everything. Until now that was possible now we have the Kool-Aid crowd telling you not to believe anything about the questionable system.

I am absolutely positive the election was stolen

Does anyone know if Obama truly believed that if I like my doctor, I would be able to keep my doctor??

Jack Smith’s premise, that Trump lied, knew he lied, and therefore his claims (to have won the election) were false, is based on a logical fallacy – that the “proven” absence of fraud in an election unquestionably establishes that the declared results were legally sound, fair, and just, and falsifies a conclusion that the official outcome of the election was in error. There are more modes of failure than fraud that could result in an election being stolen from its rightful winner. Smith is barking up a lone tree, and would have us (and the court) believe it’s the only tree in the forest. Trump’s “lies” don’t necessarily preclude the possibility that his conclusions are correct.

    mailman in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 8, 2023 at 5:49 am

    How can free speech become fraud? If fraud were to be proven because he used his free speech rights to claim the election was stolen then that has some serious ramifications for free speech. Because now, you cannot use your free speech rights to talk about what ever as someone will just file a case of fraud against you to shut you up.

I think that LI thinks maybe they will come for them last

Not so…

Milhouse: If you believe something is true, or even merely believe there is a good chance that it’s true, you can’t be committing a fraud when you maintain it to be true.

Taken naïvely, no one could ever be convicted of fraud if the accused insists he believed he wasn’t committing fraud. But just saying you believe something doesn’t mean you really do believe it. Juries have long been asked to make this determination. To overcome this defense with regards to the alleged fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 371, the government will have to show that Trump knew he lost the election. There is some evidence of this, though whether it will convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt won’t be known until more evidence is brought forward.

However, not all counts in the indictment depend on Trump’s belief. Just because you believe the bank has stolen your money doesn’t mean you can legally rob them to get your money back. The indictments for U.S.C. § 1512(k), § 1512(c)(2), and 8 U.S.C. § 241 do not depend on Trump’s belief that he won the election.

    Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | August 9, 2023 at 9:52 am

    To convict someone of fraud you do indeed have to prove that they knew what they were saying was not true. And it’s impossible to prove that in this instance even if it was the case, which it almost certainly was not.

    Plus, even if you could prove it, lying is not fraud. Fraud requires depriving someone of property, and that’s missing here. *

    As for the other charges, they’re even worse. Nobody before Jan 2021 ever understood “obstructing an official proceeding” to mean anything but destroying evidence. The interpretation that was put on it in order to prosecute anyone who was in the Capitol, and now Trump, is dishonest, disingenuous, and itself fraudulent.

    So long as Trump believed it was possible that the voters in the states in question did in fact elect Republican electors, he was entitled to take steps to get those electors’ votes recognized and counted. The same goes for the electors themselves; so long as they believed themselves to have been properly chosen under the rules set by their state legislature they were entitled to certify themselves as such.

    There is no such crime as “trying to change an election result”.

    * Yes, there’s so-called “honest services fraud”, which Congress legislated as an exception to that rule, but that law is void for vagueness. The supreme court isn’t yet ready to declare so categorically, but every time a conviction under it comes before the supreme court it gets struck down; eventually it will decide enough is enough and strike down the entire law.

      Milhouse: And it’s impossible to prove that in this instance even if it was the case, which it almost certainly was not.

      No one can read someone else’s mind, but ‘knowingly’ in the law includes “Reckless disregard of whether a statement is true, or a conscious effort to avoid learning the truth.”

      Milhouse: Fraud requires depriving someone of property, and that’s missing here. *

      Not necessarily. Still, the application of 18 U.S.C. § 371 is something that will be contested. However, 18 U.S. Code § 241 is specific to Trump’s actions.

      Milhouse: As for the other charges, they’re even worse. Nobody before Jan 2021 ever understood “obstructing an official proceeding” to mean anything but destroying evidence.

      That would be § 1512(c)(1). The indictment is for § 1512(c)(2).

      Milhouse: The interpretation that was put on it in order to prosecute anyone who was in the Capitol, and now Trump, is dishonest, disingenuous, and itself fraudulent.

      The courts have upheld the charges related to obstruction of Congress.

      Milhouse: So long as Trump believed it was possible that the voters in the states in question did in fact elect Republican electors, he was entitled to take steps to get those electors’ votes recognized and counted.

      Once the court cases have been exhausted and the states have certified their results, the alternate electors would be fraudulent under the law.

Trump politically swindled out of the “win.”

Retired in Chicago | August 9, 2023 at 10:54 am

Of course, it is that simple! And I would be more than happy to ( along with millions of others) to show up in court and testify that I also believed that Trump really won the election. That should convince the jury. And of course, it’s covered by free speech. Everything is covered by free speech.