Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 24
Posted on CF as well

Trump has apparently slipped yet another cog.

“Discussing a written demand from Donald Trump to the state of Georgia to decertify the 2020 presidential election results delivered late Friday, a CNN panel on Monday morning said they were baffled that the former president would pull such a stunt while under investigation for election tampering in the state.”

"First of all, he is under investigation for election interference. He is continuing to ask for the election to be decertified, trying to interfere with the election. Is this a setup for insanity defense? He is no longer president of the United States, he is not shielded -- not that he ever thinks about whether he is making his lawyer's case more difficult, but he is making it doubly difficult."

"There is a real threat," he added. "I think it increases why there needs to be legal accountability. It's clear he doesn't care. He does not believe he will ever be held accountable and, until someone shows him he's wrong, he will continue."

https://www.rawstory.com/trump-georgia-election-tampering/
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Trump is counting on a natural death edging out Justice - ever.

Ken
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"First of all, he is under investigation for election interference. He is continuing to ask for the election to be decertified, trying to interfere with the election. Is this a setup for insanity defense? He is no longer president of the United States, he is not shielded -- not that he ever thinks about whether he is making his lawyer's case more difficult, but he is making it doubly difficult."

Oh, I don't think so. There's a bunch of different Georgia laws that critics of the President point to when talking about his potential criminal liability for 'election interference,' but nearly all of them require some form of specific intent. IOW, if he genuinely believes that the election results in Georgia were fraudulent and is only asking for the officials to respond in the manner in which they would respond to a fraudulent election, he's not committing any crimes.

Doubling down only helps his criminal case. He's continuing to act as if he genuinely believes the election was fraudulent and is continuing to act as though his requests are lawful, legitimate, and appropriate. I think that only helps his defense. It undermines the argument that any prosecutors would need to make, that his claims that he was pressuring elections officials to respond to fraud (rather than just to give him an election he knew he lost) were pretextual.

Of course, I also doubt that he's under much serious threat of prosecution for election interference in the first place. It's been almost a year now. Seems unlikely that they've uncovered anything that matches up with the elements of an elections interference crime sufficient to bring a case.

Albaby
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
But if only the good die young, the Trump could be prosecuted by whomever is President in 2243.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Doubling down only helps his criminal case.

Unless such laws can be tightened somehow, we're going to see a lot more of this from other Repuglicans. It might even spread to Democrats.

Ugh--to live to see such days...
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
IOW, if he genuinely believes that the election results in Georgia were fraudulent...

It's sad that courts cannot use a "reasonable person" standard when assessing such things.

Pete
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
It's sad that courts cannot use a "reasonable person" standard when assessing such things.

I'm not schooled in the minutia of the many Georgia laws that have been mentioned as possibly relevant to an election interference claims. It's entirely possible that those laws use "reasonable person" standards in evaluating whether specific intent is met, though I kind of doubt they would apply in these types of situations.

Stepping back for a moment, as a very general matter we don't want to make it criminal for someone who genuinely believes that fraud has occurred to report it to the authorities and request that it be investigated and, if found, for the appropriate legal remedy to be applied. True, that raises the possibility that will be crackpots and cranks who might incorrectly report voter fraud. But as long as they're not intentionally reporting things they know (subjectively) to be false, there's not much harm in the communication to the government of genuinely-held belief that voter fraud is taking place, even if they're completely bonkers in thinking so.

Albaby
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Stepping back for a moment, as a very general matter we don't want to make it criminal for someone who genuinely believes that fraud has occurred to report it to the authorities and request that it be investigated and, if found, for the appropriate legal remedy to be applied.

But what Pinocchio did was more than "report" election irregularities -- he asked that a specific number of votes be found. Wouldn't that signify criminal intent?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
"But as long as they're not intentionally reporting things they know (subjectively) to be false, there's not much harm in the communication to the government of genuinely-held belief that voter fraud is taking place, even if they're completely bonkers in thinking so."

And the proof of that "genuineness" would be what when evaluating the motivation of a political "leader" such as Twitler?

And a reckless disregard for the truth should count for something too at that level of governing.

Ken
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 18
Stepping back for a moment, as a very general matter we don't want to make it criminal for someone who genuinely believes that fraud has occurred to report it to the authorities and request that it be investigated

Of course.

But reporting suspected fraud is miles away from committing fraud.

My understanding is that the former President is not being investigated for his reporting of fraud. He is being investigated for attempts to commit fraud in asking officials to change vote counts after all reasonable checks of the votes showed that there was no material fraud in the voting and counting of ballots.

Let’s get back to the specific facts. I’ve listened to the whole call with Raffensperger a couple of times. TFG never actually presented any evidence of fraud. He never suggested where to look. He simply insisted over and over that there MUST be fraud. Then he asked Raffensperger to find the votes necessary to change the result. He didn’t ask him to find fraud. He asked him to change votes.

He wasn’t actually reporting fraud. He was trying to get someone to commit fraud under the guise of reversing some unsubstantiated claim of fraud.

—Peter
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
But what Pinocchio did was more than "report" election irregularities -- he asked that a specific number of votes be found. Wouldn't that signify criminal intent?

Not in Georgia. The officials there took a big enough risk by certifying that Biden won. They aren't about to charge him with a crime. They saw what happened on Jan. 6, and they will not stand up to the cultist mob.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
But what Pinocchio did was more than "report" election irregularities -- he asked that a specific number of votes be found. Wouldn't that signify criminal intent?

That's certainly one reading of it. If it were the only possible reading, though, there's little doubt that the Fulton County prosecutor would have filed charges already. After all, there's no dispute that he said that - so if that were enough without more to establish an actual attempt to interfere with the election, charges would easily be brought and successfully prosecuted to trial.

But defense gets to explain the statement with alternate readings. Most likely is that they assert that this was Trump's way of noting both the relatively small margin and his belief that either votes in his favor were unlawfully removed or that votes against him were unlawfully included, and that the election officials only needed to 'find' that number of fraudulent votes in order for the most immediate harm from the election fraud to be mitigated.

I don't buy it, personally - but intent is hard to prove, and even DJT's most ardent opponents have to concede that everything he's doing is consistent with someone who has genuinely deluded himself into thinking that the election was stolen from him. I have to admit, I go back and forth - usually I think this is an act, but there are times when I genuinely entertain the possibility that Trump actually believes all this carp.

Albaby
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
we don't want to make it criminal for someone who genuinely believes that fraud has occurred to report it to the authorities and request that it be investigated...

People "believe" all sorts of crap. Does that allow them to set the wheels of "justice" in motion? I believe trump is a homicidal maniac--incarcerate him immediately! My MUS is just as good as his!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
People "believe" all sorts of crap. Does that allow them to set the wheels of "justice" in motion?

Usually, yes. Because reporting something to the authorities and requesting it be investigated doesn't necessarily set the 'wheels of justice' in a whole lot of motion. If deluded soul calls up the voter fraud hotline (or whatever) and alerts whoever takes the call of the perfidy they genuinely (but wrongly) believe is afoot, it's not likely to result in anything beyond the most cursory first steps of an inquiry. So you genuinely believe that Trump is a homicidal maniac, and you call the non-emergency police hotline in Palm Beach to tell them that, it's not going to result in Trump being locked up. It won't result in anything at all. And since Florida's false reporting statute requires that for criminal liability, you have to have knowingly made the false statement, you're probably okay if you can prove that your belief that Trump was a homicidal maniac was genuine:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Displ...

Now, I know that the POTUS calling up the GASecState is a whole different kettle of fish. But the general principal is the same - we don't usually criminalize a genuinely held report of wrongdoing. And the more that Trump acts consistently in claiming that the election was stolen, the more plausible his claim that he genuinely believed that to be the case when he called Raffensberger.

Albaby
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"I don't buy it, personally - but intent is hard to prove, and even DJT's most ardent opponents have to concede that everything he's doing is consistent with someone who has genuinely deluded himself into thinking that the election was stolen from him."

Do you think Trump would agree to let his atty appear before the court and - in front of the entire world - declare that Trump was/is delusional and be prepared to prove it? Imagine the press!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Do you think Trump would agree to let his atty appear before the court and - in front of the entire world - declare that Trump was/is delusional and be prepared to prove it? Imagine the press!

I think he'd let his attorney appear before the court and claim that his client believes that the election was stolen from him. That Trump believes that he received more lawful votes in Georgia, and did so by a large enough margin that Trump should have been declared the winner.

Why wouldn't he let his attorney claim that? It's not as though Trump has been shy about making those claims for the last many months.

Albaby
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"Why wouldn't he let his attorney claim that?

The attorney might be subject to disciplinary proceedings if his own view was Trump was lying in that in Court stated "belief."

Ken
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
The attorney might be subject to disciplinary proceedings if his own view was Trump was lying in that in Court stated "belief."

Why? It's not the attorney's job to weigh the credibility of his client's testimony. His obligation is to refrain from presenting arguments to the court that he knows are false. But he doesn't have to, or even get to, substitute his own assessment of a client's credibility for that of the court (or jury).

Albaby
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
""The attorney might be subject to disciplinary proceedings if his own view was Trump was lying in that in Court stated "belief."

Why? It's not the attorney's job to weigh the credibility of his client's testimony. His obligation is to refrain from presenting arguments to the court that he knows are false. But he doesn't have to, or even get to, substitute his own assessment of a client's credibility for that of the court (or jury)."

I guess we have different views on an attorney's obligations when the client lies to the Court or in the course of judicial proceedings whether it's the attorney knows the client is lying or has a reasonable belief the client is lying to the Court, or lying under oath, and if the attorney is being called upon to repeat or even obliquely vouch for the lie. Let the disciplinary committee sort it out then.

Ken
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
And the more that Trump acts consistently in claiming that the election was stolen, the more plausible his claim that he genuinely believed that to be the case when he called Raffensberger.

The best criminals are able to stick to their stories.

Pete
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 8
This is 109 pages. I think any speculation even by lawyers on this board is just that, speculation.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21068546-final-repor...
Fulton County, Georgia’s Trump Investigation An Analysis of the Reported Facts and Applicable Law By Norman Eisen, Joshua Matz, Donald Ayer, Gwen Keyes Fleming, Colby Galliher, Jason Harrow, and Raymond P. Tolentino
Executive Summary
On Saturday, January 2, 2021, at around 3:00 p.m., former president Donald J. Trump placed a call to Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Throughout the roughly hour-long call, the former president repeatedly insisted that he had won the state of Georgia “by hundreds of thousands of votes.”1 As purported evidence, Trump cited “rally size” and “political people” who he said assured him that “there’s no way they [the Biden campaign] beat me.”2 He cycled through a list of conspiracy theories to explain his loss, covering “3,000 pounds” of shredded ballots; drop boxes “being delivered and delivered late”; a particular “professional vote scammer and hustler” who Trump claimed destroyed no fewer than 18,000 of his votes; and “the other thing, dead people.”3 At one point, when Raffensperger responded to one of Trump’s false claims by cautioning him that “the problem you have with social media [is that]…people can say anything,” Trump answered: “Oh, this isn’t social media. This is Trump media.”4

But Trump did more than merely complain about the election and catalog disinformation. He urged, and ultimately threatened, Raffensperger to reverse the election outcome— culminating in a demand that Raffensperger “find 11,780 votes” that could be deemed fraudulent and tossed out.5 That number mattered to Trump for a single reason: it was exactly one more vote than the margin of Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in the state.6 As Trump apparently saw it, if Raffensperger’s office complied with his request and identified 11,780 votes for5 disqualification, Trump would be named the winner of the state’s presidential election (and presumably could use that development to seek a broader unraveling of the certified election results in other states confirming his defeat).
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
If you want to read a WaPo article about this --
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/09/24/trump-geor...

that's where I found the Brookings Institution report (link) on my previous post.
Print the post Back To Top