Category Archives: crime news

Baffled beyond belief

Let me be abundantly clear about the state of play in the upcoming 2024 presidential election campaign.

I cannot understand and never will accept how it is that a former POTUS, twice impeached while he was in office who now stands indicted on allegations that he committed 91 felony crimes remains the favorite among those who subscribe to a major political party.

And that they are poised to nominate him to run for the office he lost in the previous election even if he is convicted of any of the felonies. 

I need someone to explain to me how a voting public can be so ignorant and blind to the reality posed by the consequences of a potential conviction. The man could face a sentence of effectively serving the rest of his life in prison.

Still, he might be nominated by the Republican Party to run for the presidency … yet again!

What the hell is wrong with this picture?

Donald Trump remains the top candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. He won’t show up for presidential debates to face his gaggle of GOP primary foes. His legal team is seeking to stall the start of four criminal trials in which Trump is a criminal defendant.

He said if he’s elected to the presidency, that he will be “the retribution” of those who believe he has been done wrong. He would pardon himself and the 1/6 traitors who sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election by launching the assault on our Capitol Building.

Some of Trump’s primary foes say his conduct was abhorrent and wrong … but they’d still support him if he’s the nominee.

Good grief!

I stand behind my belief he won’t be nominated. He might not even be eligible to run for office, given the Constitution’s stipulation that anyone who commits an insurrection or gives “aid and comfort’ to those who do is disqualified.

How in the world, though, have we come to the point where this is even a discussion topic?

Paxton trial about to begin … bring it!

A source I have developed at a major Texas university told me this week — off the record — about what he thinks might happen when Ken Paxton stands trial in the Texas Senate for high crimes and misdemeanors he allegedly committed while serving as Texas attorney general.

My source said it’s a tough call, “but right now I’d say he gets acquitted.” He said the Senate’s partisan makeup, with 18 Republicans and 12 Democrats, likely could save Paxton from being kicked out of office if he is convicted of any of the crimes alleged against him.

“But that could change” once the trial begins,” my friend said.

The Texas House impeached Paxton in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote; many House Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in impeaching Paxton based on the unanimous recommendation of the House committee tasked with examining the myriad complaints against Paxton.

The panel ruled that Paxton took a bribe from a key campaign ally and abused the power of his office to conceal an extramarital affair.

The Senate trial begins Tuesday. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate and the trial, imposed a sweeping gag order on senators, a decision I happen to endorse. The bar is set high for conviction, as the Senate needs a two-thirds vote to toss Paxton out of office.

The impeachment managers have brought in some heavy hitters to serve as legal counsel for the prosecution. Paxton’s legal team has asked that all but one of the 30-plus counts in the impeachment articles be dismissed.

I am one Texan who wants the AG tossed out, if only to rid the state of the constant embarrassment this clown brings to the law enforcement office he oversees.

Are there enough Republicans in the Senate who will join their Democratic colleagues in making the same decision, that they are fed up with the conduct of an attorney general who brings shame to the high office he occupies?

Let us hope so.

GOP governor puts brakes on anti-DA bandwagon

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a dedicated Republican to be sure, has intervened in fine fashion against an effort by fellow Georgia Republicans to clip the wings of a district attorney who has engineered an indictment against Donald J. Trump.

Fulton County DA Fani Willis has become public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of Georgia Republicans who want her booted out of office. They are acting on a law that gives the state legislature the power to strike back against a prosecutor who is doing her job.

Not so fast, said Gov. Kemp, who today put the kibosh in any notion that the state constitution allows such punitive action against an elected district attorney.

Georgia’s General Assembly GOP caucus said it believes Willis has politicized the judicial process by indicting Trump on charges that he sought to defraud the federal government in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

What utter horsesh**!

Kemp said he will not allow the legislature to act on this specious notion. He said Willis has followed the law and the state constitution. Therefore, her decision to ask the grand jury to indict Trump will stand.

And the trial will proceed.

Trump won’t testify … ever!

All this chatter I keep hearing from TV news talking heads about the possibility of Donald Trump testifying in any of the criminal trials awaiting him makes me want to laugh out loud.

Let’s settle the issue once and for all: Donald Trump will not testify in any of these trials. Why not? Because he cannot tell the truth. Thus, he becomes a candidate for perjury.

Trump cannot tell the truth about his involvement with the Jan. 6 assault on our government. He cannot speak truthfully about how he squirreled away those classified documents from the White House. He cannot speak truthfully about the co-defendants who also have been indicted.

Imagine him putting his hand on a holy book and swearing to tell the “truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

It won’t happen. No judge worth a damn is going to summon Trump to court and demand that he tell the truth.

Donald Trump cannot comply with a judge’s order.

A trial for the ages?

Let’s not pussyfoot around the obvious, which is that any of the four trials awaiting Donald J. Trump can be categorized as the “most significant legal proceeding in U.S. history.”

Every one of them will make history. They will become trials for the ages. They likely will be included in the first line of the obituary written for the individual who will stand trial.

Donald J. Trump is the first former president of the United States to be indicted for allegedly committing felony crimes against the government he swore an oath to defend and protect.

He is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. My sense, though, is that state and federal prosecutors have done their jobs well enough to secure convictions perhaps on all the charges leveled against Trump. How many of them are there? Ninety-one!

Did any of us ever imagine seeing a former POTUS stand trial for seeking to overturn an election and obstructing the peaceful transfer of power after he lost that election? I damn sure never imagined it.

The trials that have been set constitute the most meaningful court proceedings this country ever has witnessed. We cannot possibly overstate what they will mean to the future of our democratic republic.

Date set, let justice rule

Mark down the date of March 4, 2024, which is what I intend to do.

That is the date set by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan for the start of a trial to determine whether Donald J. Trump is guilty of trying to overturn the results of a free, fair and legal presidential election.

Judge Chutkan has declared her intention to proceed with a “speedy trial” for the former president of the United States. Interestingly, for a man who says he did “nothing wrong,” Trump has been trying to delay this proceeding until sometime in 2026.

That prompts me to wonder: If Donald Trump is as innocent of the serious felonies for which he has been indicted as he insists he is, why delay the trial?

OK, we’re a long way from the start of the trial. There will be lots of “discovery” to be made. Lots of motions to consider. Chutkan, though, appears set to proceed with a trial that will begin one day prior to the Super Tuesday Republican Party presidential primary election in which several states will decide whom to nominate for POTUS.

Even more remarkable has been the statements from Fulton County (Ga.) District Attorney Fani Willis, who says she is ready to go to trial as early as October … in 2023, just a couple of months from today.

A Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump for violating state law in seeking to overturn those election results. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, one of the 19 defendants indicted by the panel, is seeking to move the state trial to federal court, claiming he was acting as an agent of the federal government when he was doing the then-president’s bidding. Good luck with that, chief.

To be honest, all this maneuvering in all four courts has me a bit befuddled. I just hope all the judges who are hearing these cases — in New York, Atlanta, in Florida and in DC — can keep everything straight.

However this all plays out, it is looking for all the world to me that Donald John Trump is a world of some serious hurt.

Trump mug … for the ages

The critiques of Donald Trump’s mug shot taken at the Fulton County, Ga., sheriff’s office make me laugh.

Some folks suggest he rehearsed the pose he would strike. Others say it reflects a frightened criminal defendant. Still more believe Trump’s puss will energize his base and that his support will grow among the American voting public.

I happen to believe that Donald Trump’s support level has topped out. His base remains loyal, but only because it comprises the moronic MAGA dumbasses who have bought into the cult of personality he has cultivated.

I don’t know about how he came up with the pose we all have seen. Nor do I really care. I do know that the mug shot played on virtually every newspaper’s front page (what’s left of them) around the world today. That’s likely to Trump’s desire, given his penchant for publicity. Trump seems to ascribe to the notion that “there is no such thing as bad publicity.”

Whatever …

The mug shot will stand for the ages as the defining moment in Donald Trump’s political career. It likely will remind him every single day of his miserable life about the horrendous day he endured, having to fly to Georgia, then wait in a dank jail building, get the picture taken, have his fingerprints recorded and then he returned to his New Jersey resort.

He made history when he had the picture taken, being the first U.S. president or former POTUS to have been arrested and arraigned on a criminal indictment.

Nice goin’ … Donald.

Mug shot makes history

The photo on the left has made history of a nature the subject of the picture likely never imagined it would make.

It is a mug shot taken of Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, who today was arrested and then released from the custody of the Fulton County, Ga., sheriff’s office.

He is charged with crimes against the federal government.

I encourage you to look long and carefully at this picture. It made history the moment it was snapped. Trump is the first president of the U.S.A. ever charged with a felony.

It now likely becomes the foremost image of the 45th POTUS.

So … very … sad.

Mug shot, fingerprints …

As I write these words, Donald J. Trump is being booked at the Fulton County, Ga., jail on charges that he sought to overturn a duly constituted federal election in 2020.

He will deliver his fingerprints, will get his picture taken, will post bail and then will go to wherever he intends to go.

It sounds all so very routine. Except that it isn’t. The defendant in this matter is a former president of the United States of America who allegedly sought to steal an election from the guy who defeated him, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Trump will be treated just like every other criminal defendant who’s been processed in this fashion. Which brings me to the beauty of our criminal justice process.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has declared many times that “no one is above the law.” He also has implied that no one should be treated more harshly than others. Donald Trump is getting precisely the treatment he deserves from Georgia officials who are running the show with this latest set of indictments against the ex-president.

I happen to be OK with the way this is being played out.

Let’s remember, too, that Donald Trump always has sought to portray himself of being charge of all he sees, does and touches.

Not … this … time!

What is remarkable — to my way of looking at it — is that the individual in charge of the proceedings happens to be a Black woman. Given the ex-POTUS’s open disdain for Black people and for women, it is remarkable that District Attorney Fani Willis would be the one to dictate the terms of what the former president is having to endure.

The irony is remarkable. Don’t you think?

So it will go as Donald Trump surrenders to the authorities on a charge of racketeering. His face is likely to be plastered on every newspaper on Earth the next morning, not because what he went through is so extraordinary, but because of who he is and what he has been charged with doing to the very government he once took an oath to “defend and protect.”

Let the due process continue.

Is Trump disqualified?

Can it possibly be true that Donald J. Trump’s conduct on 1/6 — his provoking the assault on our government and his giving “aid and comfort” to those who mounted the attack — has disqualified him from seeking the presidency?

That is the view of two highly esteemed legal experts. One of them is a conservative, the other is a liberal. They are, respectively, former U.S. District Judge Michael Luttig and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe.

The have written an op-ed in which they declare that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution means that Trump is hereby disqualified from seeking the presidency. Period … full stop!

Luttig said that when the amendment was ratified in 1868 — shortly after the Civil War — it made no qualifier to declaring someone ineligible if they knowingly engaged in an insurrection or rebellion. The amendment’s intent was to prevent another war within the United States.

Indeed, at least two congressional leaders — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell — are on record declaring that Trump was responsible for the attack on the government that sought to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. Oh, did I mention that Trump lost that election to Joe Biden?

They have been joined, interestingly, by a host of conservative legal scholars who contend that Trump, indeed, should be barred from the presidential ballot because of what he said that day on the Ellipse. He challenged the crowd to take control of the electoral process and stop the certification of what he contends to this day as a “stolen” election.

Two conservative law professors, William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, wrote in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, according to CBS News:

In writing about Trump’s speech from the Ellipse on January 6, 2021, to his supporters who then overran the Capitol, Baude and Paulsen said Trump delivered a “general and specific message” that the election was stolen, calling on the crowd to take immediate action to block the transfer of power before falling silent for hours as the insurrection progressed.

“Trump’s deliberate inaction renders his January 6 speech much more incriminating in hindsight, because it makes it even less plausible (if it was ever plausible) that the crowd’s reaction was all a big mistake or misunderstanding,” they write.

Oh … my … goodness!

When those upon whom you depend for legal support turn on you in this fashion, it seems to me that it’s time to call it quits.