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May 2024

Meanwhile, in Democrat California as reader Bill Thompson observes

Thanks to stalwart contributor Bill Thompson who writes thus of the US 'justice' system, where judges and prosecuting authorities are politically elected officials:

What are Americans to make of a US “justice system” which results in prosecutors in California now being unable to charge Sean Combs over his vicious, sustained 2016 assault on Cassandra Ventura, despite compelling video evidence emerging, because it was too long ago BUT prosecutors in NYC were able to cobble together a case against Trump, for victimless business book-keeping processes relating, not to an assault on a woman, but instead, an alleged payment of $130,000 to a woman, relating to an alleged consensual sexual encounter, around the same time as the alleged Combs assault occurred?

It seems to depend partly on politics? … Show me the man & I’ll show you the crime...


Bill T


20240517 LA DA Sean Combs

Great editorial from The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board on The Trump Convictions

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A Guilty Verdict for Trump and Its Consequences for the Country

District Attorney Alvin Bragg inaugurates a new and destabilizing era of American politics.


Twelve New York jurors have found Donald Trump guilty of falsifying business records, a total of 34 felony counts, in history’s first criminal conviction of a former President. What a volatile moment for the country. Will the judge jail Mr. Trump? Will voters re-elect him in November anyway, in disgust of this concocted case? What if it’s thrown out on appeal? Will Republicans retaliate? The nation might soon regret this rough turn.

Thursday’s guilty verdict wasn’t entirely surprising, given the jury pool in Manhattan. If Mr. Trump had lucked out, he might have drawn one or two stubborn skeptics, like the Henry Fonda character in “12 Angry Men,” resulting in at least a hung jury. Instead the fortunate one was Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who filed the weakest of the four indictments of Mr. Trump, but who managed to drag his case first over the finish line.

Normally a felony conviction would be politically fatal for a candidate appearing on the ballot in five months. But normally a prosecutor wouldn’t have brought this case. Mr. Bragg, an elected Democrat, ran for office as the man ready to take on Mr. Trump. When the new DA didn’t indict shortly after winning office, his top Trump prosecutors loudly quit, increasing the pressure on Mr. Bragg to do, well, something. Even after a guilty verdict, the case he ended up filing looks like a legal stretch.


The evidence from the six-week trial fleshed out some of the facts. Stormy Daniels testified that she and Mr. Trump had a sexual rendezvous in 2006, which he keeps denying, if implausibly. In the runup to the 2016 election, Mr. Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet. Mr. Trump reimbursed him, and then some, in 2017. According to the DA, the crime was disguising this repayment as legal fees to Mr. Cohen for work under a retainer that didn’t exist.

On the law, though, the case was a bizarre turducken, with alleged crimes stuffed inside other crimes. By the time Mr. Bragg showed up on the scene, the Stormy business was old enough that Mr. Trump couldn’t be hit with misdemeanor falsification of records, because the statute of limitations had expired. To elevate these counts into felonies, the DA said Mr. Trump cooked the books with an intent to commit or cover up a second offense.

What crime was that? At first Mr. Bragg was cagey. He eventually settled on a New York election law, rarely enforced, that prohibits conspiracies to promote political candidates “by unlawful means.” This explains why prosecutors spent so much trial time on David Pecker, the National Enquirer boss. His outfit paid $150,000 in 2016 to silence another woman, Karen McDougal, who also says she had an extracurricular affair with Mr. Trump. Mr. Bragg’s argument is that they were all in cahoots, more or less, to steal the election.

Yet what “unlawful means” did this alleged conspiracy use? The DA’s argument was that there were three: First, the hush money was effectively an illegally large donation to Mr. Trump’s campaign. Second, more business filings were falsified, including bank records for Mr. Cohen’s wire transfer to Ms. Daniels. Third, false statements were made to tax authorities, since Mr. Trump’s repayment of Mr. Cohen was structured as income and “grossed up” to cover the taxes he would need to pay on it.

In some ways this Russian nesting doll structure, to use another analogy, defies logic. Did Mr. Trump falsify business records in 2017 to cover up an illegal conspiracy to elect him in 2016, whose unlawful means included false information in Mr. Cohen’s tax return for 2017? There was hardly any direct evidence about Mr. Trump’s state of mind. Federal prosecutors squeezed a guilty plea out of Mr. Cohen but notably didn’t pursue Mr. Trump. One news report said the feds worried that his “lack of basic knowledge of campaign finance laws would make it hard to prove intent.”

A help to Mr. Bragg’s prosecution is that the jurors were instructed that as long as they were unanimous that Mr. Trump was guilty of falsifying business records to aid or cover up an illegal conspiracy to get him elected, they didn’t all have to agree about which theory of the “unlawful means” they found persuasive. Perhaps this will be taken up by Mr. Trump on appeal. He will almost certainly argue, too, that the Stormy payoff wasn’t a campaign expense, as Brad Smith, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, has been arguing all along.


We don’t doubt the sincerity of the Manhattan jurors, but many voters will digest all of this and conclude that, while Mr. Trump may be a cad, this conviction isn’t disqualifying for a second term in the White House. Judge Juan Merchan tolerated Mr. Bragg’s legal creativity in ways that an appeals court might not. What if Mr. Trump loses the election and then is vindicated on appeal? If Democrats think that too many Republicans today complain about stolen elections, imagine how many more might next year.

The conviction sets a precedent of using legal cases, no matter how sketchy, to try to knock out political opponents, including former Presidents. Mr. Trump has already vowed to return the favor. If Democrats felt like cheering Thursday when the guilty verdict was read, they should think again. Mr. Bragg might have opened a new destabilizing era of American politics, and no one can say how it will end.

New York's Wall Street Journal explains Trump's conviction and consequences

You won't be laughing for long Joe.


Can Donald Trump still run for President? The hush-money verdict explained


  • 10:45AM MAY 31, 2024

The hush-money case against Donald Trump is heading into more uncharted territory after a 12-person jury found him guilty of 34 charges of falsifying business records. The first former president to face a criminal trial is now the first to be convicted of a felony. The big questions now are Trump’s potential sentence and whether he can overturn the verdict on appeal. Here’s a look at the potential path ahead.

Could Trump go to jail? What other punishments are possible?

It is possible, though perhaps not likely, that Trump could be sentenced to time behind bars. The felony counts carry a sentence of up to four years in prison, and Justice Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over the trial, has broad discretion to impose a harsher punishment.

But there are factors favoring no jail time. Trump is a 77-year-old first-time offender convicted of a low-level, nonviolent crime. The practicalities and precedent of locking up a former president also might give the judge pause. Merchan can make Trump pay a fine or condition his freedom on Trump staying out of criminal trouble. Even if he’s sentenced to incarceration, Trump can ask the judge or an appellate court for bail pending appeal to keep him out of custody while he challenges his conviction. If Trump is elected president, he almost certainly would stay out of custody while in office, to prevent interference with his official duties.

When will he be sentenced?

The judge set a sentencing hearing for July 11, just days ahead of the Republican National Convention. In the meantime, probation officers must complete an advisory presentencing report and submit it to the judge before the hearing. Trump will also get the chance to gather character letters from friends, family members and colleagues to guide the judge’s determination.

Can Trump still run for president with a felony conviction?

Yes. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution bars a felon from running or becoming president. There could be political consequences for Trump, but the conviction isn’t disqualifying.

Can Trump appeal? How would that process work?

Trump is almost certain to appeal the verdict to a state appeals court in Manhattan. Criminal defense lawyers say Trump has several potential arguments for overturning his conviction, though none are guaranteed to succeed.

He could argue that he was improperly prosecuted in state court and that Merchan lacked jurisdiction over the case. Trump could also claim that the prosecution’s case was so vague on the specific allegations against him that he couldn’t adequately prepare a defense.

Trump’s legal team might also point to porn actress Stormy Daniels’s testimony as grounds to throw out the verdict, based on the argument that some of the details she offered about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 were unnecessary and colored jurors’ view of Trump unfairly.

How long could the appeals process take?

The appeal could take more than a year to resolve and potentially draw in a higher state court or even the U.S. Supreme Court. If Trump manages to persuade an appeals court to throw out the verdict, that will likely happen after the presidential election is decided.

What other trials could Trump face?

Trump is also contending with three other criminal cases—two federal ones and a prosecution in Georgia—dealing with claims of election subversion and his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House. A pending Supreme Court case over presidential immunity and an ethics controversy surrounding the local prosecutor in Georgia have slowed down some of the proceedings, none of which may go to trial before the November vote.

Could Trump pardon himself?

A president can pardon federal offenses—arguably even ones he committed. But that pardon power doesn’t apply to state convictions. So even if he reclaims the White House, Trump couldn’t just erase his New York conviction with a stroke of a pen. The governor of New York could grant Trump a pardon, but that is an unlikely scenario in the Democratic-led blue state.


The Wall Street Journal

Pirate Pete's kiss of death for the US Democrats on their 3rd world Trump convictions.

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NSW Labor Minns Government fixes 300 houses in 9 months and brags about it

That's 277 in 9 months, with another AMAZING 13 to get painted over the next month.

That'll fix the immigration disaster!!!!!!!!

Chris Minns
That's 277 previously uninhabitable properties back in circulation and a roof over the heads of more than 700 people.
And we're on track to fix a further 13 by the end of June.

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