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"When The President Does It , It Is Not Illegal"

  
By:  John Russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  26 comments


"When The President Does It , It Is Not Illegal"
Nixon's conversations with his official aides Haldeman and Erlichman , according to the 2024 Supreme Court , were official acts, and immune from prosecution.  

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"When The President Does It , It Is Not Illegal"

Richard Nixon

Nixon-campaign-poster-1972-2.jpg

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Richard Nixon was proven right yesterday. 

“It's going to be forgotten.” 

That was President Richard Nixon's first assessment of the Watergate break-in on June 20, 1972, three days after five men were apprehended for unlawfully entering Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Despite declaring "It's going to be forgotten" to aide Charles Colson, Nixon must have felt some trepidation. Because three days later, he discussed the FBI's investigation with his chief of staff, H. R. “Bob” Haldeman. The Bureau had already connected the burglars to E. Howard Hunt, who reported directly to Colson. 

Nixon agreed to let Haldeman and another aide, John Erlichman, instruct the CIA to thwart the FBI investigation. The plan was captured on a voice-activated taping system in a recording that came to be known as   “the smoking gun.”

Watergate: The Cover-Up | Miller Center

Nixon's conversations with his official aides Haldeman and Erlichman , according to the 2024 Supreme Court , were official acts, and immune from prosecution.  

Had Nixon been able to argue that at the time, even the threat of impeachment that hung over him might have dissipated, and he may have been able to continue on in office. 

But Nixons concern with the Watergate break in was not an official act, you might say.  Much like an attempt to subvert an election is not an official act. But thats not what the Supreme Court said yesterday. 

Trump instructed DOJ officials to "say" that there was fraud in the 2020 election,

Trump to DOJ last December: ‘Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me’


There is a striking similarity between Nixon's agreeing to use the CIA  to quash an investigation into Watergate and Trump asking the DOJ to help him subvert the 2020 election. 

So now,  we can return Nixon to his rightful place among the "Mt Rushmore" of American presidents. 


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  author  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

I think its fair to say that today only a minority of American voters know that Trump said 

'‘Just Say That The Election Was Corrupt And Leave The Rest To Me’'

  to his DOJ officials in an Oval Office meeting. Only a certain amount of people followed the J6 hearings, and the media has done a piss poor job of revealing things like this over the past 3 years. 

Now this information is BARRED from being used in a Trump trial. 

we live in a degraded country

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago
'‘Just Say That The Election Was Corrupt And Leave The Rest To Me’'

Is there any actual credible proof he said any such thing....like video or audio tapes? Or is this just more "he said" hearsay by "someone close to the matter"?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    2 weeks ago

Courts rely on eyewitness testimony hundreds, if not thousands of times every day.  If you knew anything about the J6 hearings you would know that this was testified to under oath by the DOJ officials who were there when Trump said it. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.2  author  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

I'm going to slightly amend this post.  The statement by Trump was not made in an oval office meeting but rather during a phone call to DOJ officials.

January 6 hearings live updates: What to expect on Day 5 with focus on Justice Department (nbcnews.com)

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2  Ronin2    2 weeks ago

Proving Democrats and leftists still don't understand the ruling.

But then they think that using the FBI to spy on a political opponent is just fine- so long as they are the ones doing the spying.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Ronin2 @2    2 weeks ago

Really? Explain the practical difference between Nixon giving the go ahead to using the CIA for his own political purposes and Trump trying to use the Department Of Justice for his own political (and personal) purposes. 

 
 
 
Igknorantzruls
Freshman Quiet
2.2  Igknorantzruls  replied to  Ronin2 @2    2 weeks ago
But then they think that using the FBI to spy on a political opponent is just fine- so long as they are the ones doing the spying.

That led to Trump being found to have been supported and connected to Putin's Russia, with Russia being provided lists of voters and where they were located, as well as many from Trumps camp indicted and found guilty of having ties to Russia, and Trumps hero, Putin,

Read the final bi-partisan report on Mueller's findings then attempt to explain Trumps' innocence, and how this investigation wasn't legit, cause between Cohen and Manafort and the umpteen others Trump pardoned, there's', nothing to see here right ?

 The amount of people Trump surrounded himself with who've been found guilty of something or other is ridiculous, just like your claims.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
2.2.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Igknorantzruls @2.2    2 weeks ago

Not one allegation in Mueller's investigation aka as the "mother-of-all-hoaxes" has ever been proven to be true.

 
 
 
Igknorantzruls
Freshman Quiet
2.2.2  Igknorantzruls  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2.1    one week ago

BULLSHIT GREG!

Have you ever actually read the report ?

Do you contest that multiple members of Trumps' team were implicated by Mueller's investigation ?

Do you realize that if Trump were not a sitting US president, He would have been charged just as Cohen was ? As Trump was listed as a coconspirator to Michael Cohen, and Cohen served time in prison, just like Trump should, but blinded cult followers refuse to consider this, because as stated, they are blinded cult followers. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
2.2.3  Greg Jones  replied to  Igknorantzruls @2.2.2    5 days ago

Why should Trump be in prison? He has yet to be convicted of a serious, real, crime.

No need to get personal. 

 
 
 
Igknorantzruls
Freshman Quiet
2.2.4  Igknorantzruls  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2.3    5 days ago
Why should Trump be in prison?

You do realize Trump was a co-conspirator in the same crime that his former fixer and one who testified against him in his 34 indictment case, Michael Cohen. Mikey went away for the same crime they chose not to charge Trump with, for the ongoing unwritten rule of not charging a sitting president. The stolen Top Secrets Documents' case, if adjudicated by a non biased jurist, is a plain and simple slam dunk case,as Trump has many times over, declared that he had NO documents, then he stated he returned ALL of the documents, then he stated he declassified the documents, then when brought to his attention that he hadn't any documentation, stated he had declassified the documents by just thinking about it, (too funny), then he stated they were all his, cause he said so !     Trump admitted to possessing top secret documents that he could never legally posses, after he was no longer potus. Not even gonna get into the January 6th mess. He is a CRIMINAL !

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3  Vic Eldred    2 weeks ago

Was Nixon spying on democrats different from Obama spying on the Trump campaign?

What was the difference?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    2 weeks ago

Turns out Trump is just like Nixon. That has to be a blow. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    2 weeks ago

You can thank the Supreme Court for illuminating these similarities. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    one week ago
Turns out Trump is just like Nixon.

Only to you.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
3.1.3  Gsquared  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    one week ago
Turns out Trump is just like Nixon.

Nixon was unspeakably awful.  Trump is horrible almost beyond compare.  Yep, you're right.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4  CB    2 weeks ago

Read: Supreme Court's Trump presidential immunity opinion

>>>>> You're welcome.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5  CB    2 weeks ago
Trump moved to dismiss the indictment based on Presidential immunity. In his view, the conduct alleged in the indictment, properly characterized, was that while he was 
President he

(1) “made public statements about the administration of the federal election”;

(2) communicated with senior Justice Department officials “about investigating election fraud and about choosing the leadership” of the Department;

(3) “communicated with state officials about the administration of the federal election and their exercise of official duties with respect to it”;

(4) “communicated with the Vice President” and with “Members of Congress about the exercise of their official duties regarding the election 
certification”; and

(5) “authorized or directed others to organize contingent slates of electors in furtherance of his attempts to convince the Vice President to exercise his official 
authority in a manner advocated for by President Trump.” 

Motion To Dismiss Indictment Based on Presidential Immunity in No. 1:23–cr–00257 (DC), ECF Doc. 74, p. 9. 

Trump argued that all of the indictment’s allegations fell within the core of his official duties. Id., at 27. And he contended that a President has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions performed within the outer perimeter of his official responsibilities, to ensure that he can undertake the especially sensitive duties of his office with bold and unhesitating action. Id., at 14, 24.

The District Court denied the motion to dismiss, holding that “former Presidents do not possess absolute federal criminal immunity for any acts committed while in office.” 2023 WL 8359833, *15 (DC, Dec. 1, 2023). The District Court recognized that the President is immune from damages liability in civil cases, to protect against the chilling effect such exposure might have on the carrying out of his responsibilities. See Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U. S. 731, 749–756 (1982). But it reasoned that “the possibility of vexatious post-Presidency litigation is much reduced in the criminal context” in light of “[t]he robust procedural safeguards attendant to federal criminal prosecutions.” 2023 WL 8359833, *9–*10. The District Court declined to decide whether the indicted conduct involved official acts. See id., at *15.

The D. C. Circuit affirmed. 91 F. 4th 1173 (2024) (per curiam). Citing Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137 (1803), the court distinguished between two kinds of official acts: discretionary and ministerial. 91 F. 4th, at 1189–1190. It observed that “although discretionary acts are ‘only politically examinable,’ the judiciary has the power to hear cases” involving ministerial acts that an officer is directed to perform by the legislature. Ibid. (quoting Marbury, 1 Cranch, at 166). From this distinction, the D. C. Circuit concluded that the “separation of powers doctrine, as expounded in Marbury and its progeny, necessarily permits the Judiciary to oversee the federal criminal prosecution of a former President for his official acts because the fact of the prosecution means that the former President has allegedly acted in defiance of the Congress’s laws.” 91 F. 4th, at 1191. In the court’s view, the fact that Trump’s actions “allegedly violated generally applicable criminal laws” meant that those actions “were not properly within the scope of his lawful discretion.” Id., at 1192.

The D. C. Circuit thus concluded that Trump had “no structural immunity from the charges in the Indictment.” Ibid. Like the District Court, the D. C.Circuit declined to analyze the actions described in the indictment to determine whether they involved official acts. See id., at 1205, n. 14. 

We granted certiorari to consider the following question: “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.” 601 U. S. ___ (2024).

Source: Cloud document provided @4 above.  (Pages 3, 4, and 5)             (Emphasis - CB.)


My take (see below). What's yours?

Two points from this opening pulled from the document:

1. Trump argued, and has won at SCOTUS, a president has official immunity from criminal prosecution to ask questions of federal and state officials on a question/s he believes to be of concern to directing and guiding of the country as part of his official duties.

Though, the 'trouble' I see is not the ask per se, it is the leading of state officials to take actions that go beyond the 'ask' itself into potentially illegal grounds of acting.

2. I can now understand why SCOTUS took this case. It is 'needful,' since a president or former president has FINALLY landed in a criminal court proceeding, for the high court to separate what are official and unofficial duties of a president from being intermingled and 'twisted' haphazardly together as a means to prosecute a former president. 

My 'work' (a labor of 'love') of removing computer characters [ ] has been completed. ;)

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6  author  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

800

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @6    one week ago

A real traitor would try to tarnish the reputation of the court just because they don't like the decision.

Are Trump haters traitors?

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
6.1.1  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @6.1    one week ago

The despicable traitor Trump tries to tarnish the reputation of every court he appears in whether there has been a decision or not, except Judge Ass Kisser Cannon's court, of course.

Are Trump haters traitors?

No, everyone knows they're not.  Trump cultists on the other hand give treason a whole new meaning.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
7  author  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago
270
Talking Points Memo by  Kate Riga 18h

The Court on Monday   imbued   former presidents with so much immunity from prosecution — some absolute, some presumptive, but with very little guidance about how to sort official acts into those buckets — that it’ll make it nearly impossible for prosecutors to make criminal cases against them going forward. This is, of course, most immediately relevant in special prosecutor Jack Smith’s long-stalled Jan. 6 case against Donald Trump. 

Luckily for Trump, per the Court’s ruling, he seems to have led the Jan. 6 insurrection in a way that secures him near-blanket immunity. Even some actions Trump took that look a lot like unofficial acts — tweets that egged on the crowds, his speech at the Stop the Steal rally on the Ellipse — might just merit some immunity after all, Chief Justice John Roberts mused in his majority opinion. 

“Some Presidential conduct — for example, speaking to and on behalf of the American people, — certainly can qualify as official even when not obviously connected to a particular constitutional or statutory provision,” Roberts wrote, suggesting he saw himself to be casting a very wide net. 

Under the Court’s new framework, acts related to “core constitutional powers” get absolute immunity. The rest of the official acts get “presumptive immunity.” And unofficial acts get none (assuming prosecutors manage to find some).

Roberts ticked through the charges of Smith’s indictment, giving preemptive “guidance” to the lower courts about how to sort through the acts.

In a total get-out-of-jail-free card, Roberts asserted that Trump’s attempts to bully and leverage his Justice Department into leaning on states to replace their slates of electors with Trump-friendly fake ones warrants absolute immunity. 

“The President may discuss potential investigations and prosecutions with his Attorney General and other Justice Department officials to carry out his constitutional duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,’” Roberts shrugged, seemingly unconcerned with the torpedo he’d just taken to the Justice Department’s independence. 

Trump’s threats to fire the DOJ’s noncompliant officials and replace them with low-level stooges? That also gets absolute immunity. 

The Court then came to a charge more difficult to explain away: Trump’s pressure campaign to get then-Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the real Electoral College votes. Pence was acting in his role as President of the Senate, not in an executive branch capacity, Roberts grudgingly noted. But!

“Applying a criminal prohibition to the President’s conversations discussing such matters with the Vice President — even though they concern his role as President of the Senate — may well hinder the President’s ability to perform his constitutional functions,” he wrote. 

Presumptive immunity it is, then, with the burden on the government to prove that the pressure campaign was an unofficial act. 

On the fake elector scheme writ large, even Trump conceded that it had involved “private acts” before quickly backtracking. The majority, slipping from summarizing Trump’s argument to commenting directly, seemed to suggest that the plot should actually get absolute immunity — the highest degree under its new standard, which attaches to “core constitutional powers.”

“Of course, the President’s duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed’ plainly encompasses enforcement of federal election laws passed by Congress,” Roberts wrote. “And the President’s broad power to speak on matters of public concern does not exclude his public communications regarding the fairness and integrity of federal elections simply because he is running for re-election.”

And on the aforementioned tweets and speeches whipping up the crowd that stormed the Capitol, the majority is nominally leaving it up to the lower courts — but offered up a hearty helping of its own inclinations (“most of a President’s public communications are likely to fall comfortably within the outer perimeter of his official responsibilities,” e.g. presumptive immunity). 

In every example, the majority put a thumb on the scale for granting Trump some degree of immunity (it also tossed in some occasional hedging so as to not completely preclude the government’s arguments). Roberts gave no examples of Trump conduct the Court found to be unarguably unofficial. Smith will now surely do some reformulating, trying to find a path through the Scylla and Charybdis of absolute and presumptive immunity. 

It’s rich, though, that a Court so   dismissive   of the Trump disqualification case — which took its thesis directly from the text of the Constitution — is so readily willing to cobble together a brand new theory of presidential immunity that just so happens to align beat-for-beat with Trump’s actions around Jan. 6. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7.1  CB  replied to  JohnRussell @7    2 weeks ago

The way I see this from the courts perspective is it is taking an absolute justice is blind approach-even while using Donald's name throughout its opining (re: all future presidents combined). That is, as a lawyer on "Morning Joe" put it, 'This immunity decision takes into account all present and future presidents who may be prosecuted at some point after s/he leaves office the same: : the 'righteous' and the 'vile.' (Note. The lawyer actually called Donald - "Vile" (as president). In his opinion.

It seems the Court takes the approach going forward this way: This fall and beyond the citizens of this country are so OBLIGATED to carefully, cautiously, and with great ponderance pick this nation's president . . . leaving less to chance of promoting and electing the wrong 'guy' or 'gal' to the highest office.

Because once in office such an individual will not be subject to prosecution on official head of state matters upon being expelled (through impeachment), "Article 25," or term ending/limitation.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
7.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @7    one week ago

Don't be upset. The democrats brought it all on themselves.

You did know that the malicious prosecutions would eventually have to stop, right?

 
 
 
Igknorantzruls
Freshman Quiet
7.2.1  Igknorantzruls  replied to  Vic Eldred @7.2    one week ago
The democrats brought it all on themselves.You did know that the malicious prosecutions would eventually have to stop, right?

Where is the PROOF these 'malicious prosecutions' are based upon anything but the facts of the case, or are you delusional enough to feel Biden is using the DOJ to go after Trump, for i will go with the latter you can't climb, the former you shall not provide, for it rings of calls to grease the rungs till traction of such bullshit alleged claims cannot gain, and the proof, again slips away, just like the fraudulent election claims and there is only the GOP and pos Trump so lame to blame.

  You do realize, the Supreme Court basically is now saying a President can now weaponize the AG to do his bidding against whomever he likes, for some Dems, yikes. Just ridiculouse, this one called Trump has been to our country, our rule of law, and our division, as Trump continues to be the incision that cuts our citizens from the realities of the facts, and tethers they to an umbilical chord constant feed of, and here in, LIES a problem not easily solved, especially with these new rulings 'resolved', for they only help further the boundaries for the next unethical scoundrel to abuse to their advantage to breach that hump, that hump know as Donald Dick Trump.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8  CB    2 weeks ago
If the President claims authority to act but in fact exercises mere “individual will” and “authority without law,” the courts may say so. Youngstown, 343 U. S., at 655 (Jackson, J., concurring). In Youngstown, for instance, we held that President Truman exceeded his constitutional authority when he seized most of the Nation’s steel mills. See id., at 582–589 (majority opinion).

But once it is determined that the President acted within the scope of his exclusive authority, his discretion in exercising such authority cannot be subject to further judicial examination.

Source: Cloud document provided @4 above. (Page 15 document pdf.  Page 7 Court opinion.)      [Emphasis - CB.]
 
 

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