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A Deeply Fractured US

brihard

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Some significant news dropping. US attorney general Merrick Garland has appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the U.S. Department of Justice probes into Trump regarding his handling of classified documents and, separately, attempts to interfere with the transition of power following the 2020 election. No info yet on who. My understanding is that this special prosecutor will be responsible for considering charges arising out of both investigations, which obviously at this point potentially includes Trump himself. I speculate that this is Garland attempting to add a layer of independence to an unavoidably politically explosive prosecutorial decision.

I infer that this means there is enough evidence that Garland believes serious deliberation needs to happen about whether to issue a criminal indictment on one or both matters. I don’t envy anyone having to work on this, they’ll all have targets on their backs at this point.

 

dimsum

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Some significant news dropping. US attorney general Merrick Garland has appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the U.S. Department of Justice probes into Trump regarding his handling of classified documents and, separately, attempts to interfere with the transition of power following the 2020 election. No info yet on who. My understanding is that this special prosecutor will be responsible for considering charges arising out of both investigations, which obviously at this point potentially includes Trump himself. I speculate that this is Garland attempting to add a layer of independence to an unavoidably politically explosive prosecutorial decision.

I infer that this means there is enough evidence that Garland believes serious deliberation needs to happen about whether to issue a criminal indictment on one or both matters. I don’t envy anyone having to work on this, they’ll all have targets on their backs at this point.

Set timer for popcorn
 

brihard

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Set timer for popcorn

Wouldn’t want to be @KevinB trying to keep his inbox clear for the next couple months.



EDIT TO ADD: Here’s the actual order appointing the special counsel, and authorizing him to prosecute federal crimes. This appointment does NOT include offences physically committed in the Capitol on Jan 6th- so this is about potential offences related to the transition of power outside of the Capitol riot. https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1552896/download
 
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Blackadder1916

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. . . No info yet on who. . . .

Info . . .

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced today the appointment of former career Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, Jack Smith, to serve as Special Counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations. The first is the investigation, as described in court filings in the District of Columbia, into whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021. The second is the ongoing investigation involving classified documents and other presidential records, as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation, referenced and described in court filings submitted in a pending matter in the Southern District of Florida.
. . .

And a stale (2015) DOJ bio on Mr. Smith.
 

KevinB

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Wouldn’t want to be @KevinB trying to keep his inbox clear for the next couple months.




EDIT TO ADD: Here’s the actual order appointing the special counsel, and authorizing him to prosecute federal crimes. This appointment does NOT include offences physically committed in the Capitol on Jan 6th- so this is about potential offences related to the transition of power outside of the Capitol riot. https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1552896/download
I for one, cannot wait for the Defend Trump emails looking for money for his legal defense fund…
The quicker he’s indicted the better.
 

Brad Sallows

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Not so much the attempt to create the appearance of a degree of separation, as a practical response to soon losing control of the House and not knowing exactly what the new committees will investigate and uncover. A SP will be able to continue regardless.
 

brihard

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Not so much the attempt to create the appearance of a degree of separation, as a practical response to soon losing control of the House and not knowing exactly what the new committees will investigate and uncover. A SP will be able to continue regardless.
This has nothing to do with house committees. This is entirely a criminal investigation and prosecutorial matter. The alternative would have been to keep it fully in house at DOJ and have the prosecutorial discretion exercised by a senior DOJ employee. The House, Senate, and presidency could have all flipped and such an investigation and prosecution could have continued, albeit with an obvious risk of major political pressure and interference.

By appointing special counsel, Garland has empowered someone who is not subject to the political whims of the White House or DOJ to look at the evidence, and make a decision about prosecution or not. That will also include publicly explaining why or why not when the time comes. This is a good decision in the interest of transparency on what has the potential to be the greatest political hot potato in the history of federal prosecutions in the US.

@Blackadder1916 Thank you. I found another good bio on him from the Kosovo tribunal. He’s got a really impressive background.

 

OceanBonfire

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A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked key provisions of a Florida state law that curbs professors from endorsing particular viewpoints in public university classrooms, calling the measure "positively dystopian" in the latest blow to the Republican-enacted measure.

 

Brad Sallows

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This has nothing to do with house committees. This is entirely a criminal investigation and prosecutorial matter. The alternative would have been to keep it fully in house at DOJ and have the prosecutorial discretion exercised by a senior DOJ employee. The House, Senate, and presidency could have all flipped and such an investigation and prosecution could have continued, albeit with an obvious risk of major political pressure and interference.

By appointing special counsel, Garland has empowered someone who is not subject to the political whims of the White House or DOJ to look at the evidence, and make a decision about prosecution or not. That will also include publicly explaining why or why not when the time comes. This is a good decision in the interest of transparency on what has the potential to be the greatest political hot potato in the history of federal prosecutions in the US.
This has everything to do with politics. People project. The Democrats have been pushing every possible investigation they can beyond the boundaries of customary practices, so they assume the Republicans will do the same. Enough dirt, and the DoJ loses credibility. That's why they lost their nut over Barr - because to them, the AG is the president's "wingman" (as AG Holder put it). I'd have to be devoid of common sense to not believe that major political pressure and influence are already being exercised. But I have all the examples of deviations from customary practices at the DoJ over the past few years to support common sense. Democrats don't respect the independence, integrity, or transparency of a SP when it suits them (Starr, Durham).

The SP has to produce a report, but the AG doesn't have to release it; if the AG releases it, it's his choice to decide whether it's only minimally redacted. There is no guarantee whatsoever of any kind of transparency, unless the AG commits to it in advance and his decision is upheld.

"Impressive" : Mueller was impressive to Democrats until he failed to deliver what they wanted; then he was sh!t.
 

brihard

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This has everything to do with politics. People project. The Democrats have been pushing every possible investigation they can beyond the boundaries of customary practices, so they assume the Republicans will do the same. Enough dirt, and the DoJ loses credibility. That's why they lost their nut over Barr - because to them, the AG is the president's "wingman" (as AG Holder put it). I'd have to be devoid of common sense to not believe that major political pressure and influence are already being exercised. But I have all the examples of deviations from customary practices at the DoJ over the past few years to support common sense. Democrats don't respect the independence, integrity, or transparency of a SP when it suits them (Starr, Durham).

The SP has to produce a report, but the AG doesn't have to release it; if the AG releases it, it's his choice to decide whether it's only minimally redacted. There is no guarantee whatsoever of any kind of transparency, unless the AG commits to it in advance and his decision is upheld.

"Impressive" : Mueller was impressive to Democrats until he failed to deliver what they wanted; then he was sh!t.
That’s all fine but it doesn’t contradict any of what I said.

We shall see in due course what recommendation(s) the special counsel makes regarding prosecution in these matters, and, if he recommends indictment, who specifically ends up in the dock.

One thing this signifies is that Garland is willing to indict if that’s what the facts and law say should happen.
 

Brad Sallows

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Sure, but it'll be pointless for some people to cling to the solemnity of the idealized process and try to hold it up after running it down before. (Everyone who has ever posted remarks talking sh!t about Mueller and Barr after the damp squib popped.) They'll know who they are, and thanks to search engines, so will everyone else. Looking forward to see how many people risk SP whiplash.
 

brihard

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Yup, the late-count votes tipped her over. Pity. It’s in recount territory, and some absentee or mail ballots are being ‘cured’ by both sides (I.e., voters can confirm their votes were counted, and remedy things like signature issues), but such things rarely reverse an outcome. Ah well.
Sure, but it'll be pointless for some people to cling to the solemnity of the idealized process and try to hold it up after running it down before. (Everyone who has ever posted remarks talking sh!t about Mueller and Barr after the damp squib popped.) They'll know who they are, and thanks to search engines, so will everyone else. Looking forward to see how many people risk SP whiplash.

This would be more convincing if it hadn’t later emerged that Barr misled the public about the Mueller report, and what it did and didn’t say. It’s not ideal when a federal judges finds that that AG ‘lacks candor’ in such a case.

Anyway- that’s some time behind us now and has been rehashed ad nauseum on this site, so I won’t drive us any further down that rabbit hole. We shall see what, if anything, comes out of the appointment Garland has made in relation to the two investigations that are very much still live.
 

brihard

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Barr didn't mislead the public. Please explain in detail if you believe otherwise.

As I said, I don't intend to push us down a stale rabbit hole, but feel free to peruse the court ruling linked at your leisure. Pages 15-22 best outline the issues the judge found with candor, accuracy, etc. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be properly OCRed so I can't copy and paste it cleanly, but the bottom half of p.18 and the top of p.19 in particular contain the most damning language. The context of this court decision is a federal judge who ordered the full Mueller report to be disclosed to him so he could examine redactions in response to a freedom of information request.

 

Halifax Tar

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I feel like there is electronic or digital means to quickly, instantaneously, and securely conduct a vote.

Perhaps it's time to move beyond 1965.
 
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