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A Deeply Fractured US

IKnowNothing

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I wouldn't be surprised if Trump, being financially troubled, sold classified information to foreign powers. Nothing about him leads me to believe that that would be beyond hihim.
His son in law and former senior advisor getting 2B from the Saudi's seems to be a thread that needs more aggressive follow up
 

Brad Sallows

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There is still a process to declassify some documents.

Maybe not much of one. Just exactly how easily a president can declassify something will be an interesting case to watch if it's tried - whether it can be done on a say-so, or deemed done if materials are released or exposed by the president to others not previously cleared to see them.
 

Remius

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Maybe not much of one. Just exactly how easily a president can declassify something will be an interesting case to watch if it's tried - whether it can be done on a say-so, or deemed done if materials are released or exposed by the president to others not previously cleared to see them.
This article lays it out mostly. Although I will admit to ignorance on the process myself. I suspect any challenge will be layed out on the basis of process or lack thereof.

 

Navy_Pete

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That's kind of crazy to me a president can just sign a memo ordering anything to be declassified, but I guess it sort of assumes they are responsible and acting in the best interest of the US.
 

brihard

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That may well get heavily litigated. As I outlined last night, I suspect that’s at least partly why the warrant lists three offences that’s don’t depend on classification.
 

TacticalTea

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That's kind of crazy to me a president can just sign a memo ordering anything to be declassified, but I guess it sort of assumes they are responsible and acting in the best interest of the US.
For sure. Makes one appreciate our system of government that much more, however far from perfect it may be.

It's honestly offensive to me that America would compromise us (and itself) in such a way.
 

Navy_Pete

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I doubt they bothered to do the paperwork anyway in this case, even if they did intend to de-classify things. He had sycophants in the inner circle, especially at the end.

Some similar things with the unwritten UK constitution; things like Parliamentary decorum and best practices assume a certain level of competence, respect for the office and duty of care for the country, and falls apart when the people in charge are venal idiots with flunkies.
 

TacticalTea

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Some similar things with the unwritten UK constitution; things like Parliamentary decorum and best practices assume a certain level of competence, respect for the office and duty of care for the country, and falls apart when the people in charge are venal idiots with flunkies.
I meant more in the sense that, ultimately, the PM is not the law, as there is a separate head of State. The GG/HM is the enforcer of the unwritten.

Whereas in the US, there is a notion that whatever POTUS does is legal because it is the will of the State.

Edit: of course neither of those statements strictly describe reality, but they are summaries of each underlying philosophy of government.
 

Kirkhill

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I’m no fan of Clinton.

But some major differences.


And even so, even if one believes this is somehow on par, if you agree she should be locked up, then there should be no argument that he’s in legal jeopardy. He campaigned on locking her up and had 4 years to do it.

Whataboutism and apologist rhetoric does not somehow null and void this and make this justified. Assuming he is the subject of this investigation and assuming criminal charges will be laid. We still don’t even know if that is the case yet.
Hilary was an employee of the President.

Trump was the President.

The President makes rules.
 

Kirkhill

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And, by the way, our PM, generically, is broadly considered to have more freedom of movement than the US President. Just ask the PMO.
 

Remius

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Hilary was an employee of the President.

Trump was the President.

The President makes rules.
The president clearly thought he made the rules.

Looks like it might bite him in the butt for making that erroneous assumption.
 

Kirkhill

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The president clearly thought he made the rules.

Looks like it might bite him in the butt for making that erroneous assumption.
No.

The President makes the rules. Biden, Obama, Clinton, Bush, Reagan .... will all agree to that.

The difference with the Canadian system is the ease with which the Senate, House, Governors and Courts can challenge those rules.
 

Kirkhill

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The president's defense is rooted in the legal principal that the president and vice president are the ultimate declassifying authority of the U.S. government and through executive orders most recently issued in 2003 by George W. Bush and Barack Obama in 2009 that specifically exempt the president and vice president from having to follow the stringent declassification procedures every other federal agency and official must follow.

Trump has maintained for weeks that any documents still containing classified markings in his possession after he left office were previously declassified. On Friday night, the statement issued to Just the News explained exactly how that declassification occurred in his mind.

The very fact that these documents were present at Mar-a-Lago means they couldn’t have been classified," the former president's office stated. "As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different. President Trump, in order to prepare for work the next day, often took documents including classified documents from the Oval Office to the residence.
 

brihard

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Lol, ok. Still shouldn’t matter; “defense information” isn’t predicated on classification, and declassification doesn’t render them not government documents and property. Nor does that likely negate the obstruction offence.
 

Kirkhill

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I guess we’ll see. I posted above the normal way a president is supposed to declassify things. We’ll see if he followed it or not.

I suggest you go back and re-read the article I just posted. "Normal" has meant an instantaneous verbal declaration invitation to let others view material previously deemed as classified. If POTUS unclassifies something it is unclassified. And that includes defenc(s)e stuff.
 

Kirkhill

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<checks Poli 101 notes> Presidents don't introduce legislation, Congress does. Separation of powers and all that.

Presidents execute rules enacted by Congress.

Executive Orders are effective on utterance. They can be challenged and overturned but until that happens the Executive Order prevails.

The President has the authority to react instantaneously to the unforeseen.
 

brihard

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I suggest you go back and re-read the article I just posted. "Normal" has meant an instantaneous verbal declaration invitation to let others view material previously deemed as classified. If POTUS unclassifies something it is unclassified. And that includes defenc(s)e stuff.
Yes, let’s accept that as true- but review my post last night where I dissected the three offences. The offence related to various sorts of mishandling ‘defense information’ doesn’t depend on said defense information being classified. Neither do the other two. Offences pertaining to classified information are distinct and addition to what’s named in the warrant.

At its core this seems to be about removing, concealing, and retaining government records and/or failing to hand them back when demanded, and obstructing investigation into same. If anything comes of the fact that some are/were classified, that’s additional and not an offence currently listed on any document we’re seen.

Nobody has been indicted for anything. We’ve seen reference to a grand jury, and prosecutors are involved, but that doesn’t tell us where this will go. They will be running down the provenance of the records retrieved from Mar-a-Lago. They’ll be determining who lawfully had possession of them. They’ll be determining if they were lawful transferred to and/or retained at MAL. They’ll be determining if they were still classified. They’ll be determining who had knowledge and intent. They’ll likely be looking to interview more witnesses if possible. As they work through all that, prosecutors will determine if in fact evidence supports potential charges (either offences we know are being looked at, or ones we’ve not read of yet) that would then be presented to the grand jury for consideration. Only then will we see if charges result.
 

Kirkhill

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Yes, let’s accept that as true- but review my post last night where I dissected the three offences. The offence related to various sorts of mishandling ‘defense information’ doesn’t depend on said defense information being classified. Neither do the other two. Offences pertaining to classified information are distinct and addition to what’s named in the warrant.

At its core this seems to be about removing, concealing, and retaining government records and/or failing to hand them back when demanded, and obstructing investigation into same. If anything comes of the fact that some are/were classified, that’s additional and not an offence currently listed on any document we’re seen.

Nobody has been indicted for anything. We’ve seen reference to a grand jury, and prosecutors are involved, but that doesn’t tell us where this will go. They will be running down the provenance of the records retrieved from Mar-a-Lago. They’ll be determining who lawfully had possession of them. They’ll be determining if they were lawful transferred to and/or retained at MAL. They’ll be determining if they were still classified. They’ll be determining who had knowledge and intent. They’ll likely be looking to interview more witnesses if possible. As they work through all that, prosecutors will determine if in fact evidence supports potential charges (either offences we know are being looked at, or ones we’ve not read of yet) that would then be presented to the grand jury for consideration. Only then will we see if charges result.

I'll stipulate that all that research activity will proceed.

My only comment is: Are the investigators, prosecutors and judges Democrats or Republicans?

This discussion is about the divide. Every comment I read on this, and other political threads, demonstrates that divide - those that are inclined to give the benefit of doubt to their patron and those that aren't.
 
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