[Discussion] Impeachment, Legacy, and Discussion of Individual 45

Though noted as discussion, news, debate, and all things related to events that occurred during the Tr*mp administration can go here. The scope of this thread is specific to the former administration and it's hangers-on in the aftermath of the shift in power for the United States and impacted areas worldwide.

“line speed” — the rate at which pigs are slaughtered, which had been 1,106 hogs per hour, or 18 hogs per minute.

DAMN!

N.Y. grand jury said to return criminal indictments against Trump’s company and its CFO, the first from prosecutors probing the former president’s business dealings

Washington Post wrote:

A grand jury in Manhattan filed criminal indictments Wednesday against former president Donald Trump's company and its longtime chief financial officer, according to two people familiar with the indictments.

The indictments against the Trump Organization and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg, will remain sealed until Thursday afternoon, leaving the specific charges against them unclear. Earlier Wednesday, people familiar with the case said the charges were related to allegations of unpaid taxes on benefits for Trump Organization executives.

Weisselberg is expected to surrender Thursday morning at the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (D), two people familiar with the plan said. He is expected to be arraigned later in the day in front of a state court judge. The Trump Organization will also be arraigned, represented in court by one of its attorneys.

The criminal charges against the Trump Organization and Weisselberg are the first to result from the investigations by Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) and represent a dramatic turn in the long-running probes.

Attorneys for both the Trump Organization and Weisselberg declined to comment Wednesday.

The indictment's out.

The TL;DR is that Allen Weisselberg, the long-standing CFO of the Trump Organization, received $1.76 million in indirect employee compensation and that allowed him to duck paying about $900K in federal, state, and local taxes.

The kicker of all this is that there's an internal set of books that properly recorded that $1.76 million as Weisselberg's compensation, but the Trump Organization purposefully excluded or misrepresented that compensation in filings to government tax authorities.

The banks that own the $1 billion+ of Trump Organization loans are probably going to be very interested in the fact the company was keeping two sets of books.

There's also an Unindicted Coconspirator #1 named in the indictment. The current guess is that it's not Trump, but rather Weisselberg's son who also received free rent, school tuition, car leases, etc. that weren't recorded as compensation.

I’d heard an interview with someone who knows a lot of inside details about this lawsuit. Trump loves to circumvent paying his top employees with cash by giving them free rent in posh properties in order to avoid paying taxes. This also makes them an accomplice to the crime which reduces the likelihood that they’ll testify against Trump. But now these “accomplices” are being offered leniency if they throw Trump under the bus.

Classic RICO prosecution tactics I think. Hammer the lieutenants until one gives up the boss and the rest of the organization. It's musical chairs, but with only one round, since the first one to sit down gets the advantage in court and saves his family.

The Trump administration used an early, unreported program to separate migrant families along a remote stretch of the border

Washington Post wrote:

The Trump administration began separating migrant families along a remote stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border months earlier than has been previously reported — part of a little known program coming into view only now as the Biden administration examines government data.

In May 2017, Border Patrol agents in Yuma, Ariz., began implementing a program known as the Criminal Consequence Initiative, which allowed for the prosecution of first-time border crossers, including parents who entered the United States with their children and were separated from them.

From July 1 to Dec. 31, 2017, 234 families were separated in Yuma, according to newly released data from the Department of Homeland Security, almost exactly the same number as were separated in a now well known pilot program in El Paso that year. Because the Yuma program began in May, and the existing data on family separations begins only in July, the number of separations there was likely higher than 234, a prospect the Biden administration is now investigating.

Some of the parents separated under the Yuma program still remain apart from their children four years later. Others are missing — lawyers and advocates have been unable to locate them since they were deported alone. The children separated in Yuma in 2017 were as young as 10 months old, according to government data.

The new information shows the difficulty of accounting for aspects of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, an ever-changing series of measures aimed at stopping migrants from crossing the border. Even the impact of family separation — perhaps the most scrutinized U.S. immigration policy of the last half-century — is not fully understood.

Though the formal period in which the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy was implemented spanned only April to June 2018, it’s now clear that separations began roughly a year before that along some stretches of the border. More than 5,600 families were separated between mid-2017 and mid-2018, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The Biden administration is investigating whether more previously unregistered separations might have occurred earlier in Trump’s term.

...

The family separation policy ended with a court order in June 2018. The federal government produced three different internal reports on its impacts, and Congress held multiple hearings. But the Yuma separations were not disclosed publicly until the release last month of a slim Department of Homeland Security report on the Biden administration’s efforts to reunify families.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection “is known to have conducted family separations in connection to the Zero-Tolerance Policy in the El Paso Border Patrol Sector from April 1 to December 31, 2017,” the department reported. But “the data suggest that a similar number of separations occurred in the Yuma Sector during this period.”

The department did not explain what happened in Yuma, but in interviews with government officials and lawyers and court transcripts and government documents, The Washington Post has come to understand details of the program. In several cases, Justice Department attorneys mentioned the Criminal Consequence Initiative in court as they prosecuted parents. In apprehension reports, Border Patrol agents used the program to justify separating parents.

Reached for comment, Customs and Border Protection said it could not confirm that the program led to separations.

“Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector carried out a prosecution initiative beginning in May 2017,” the agency said in a statement. “However, Border Patrol is unable to definitively link the Yuma Sector prosecution initiative to the 234 cases of in-scope family separations listed in the DHS Family Reunification Progress Report.”

The Criminal Consequence Initiative was applied in four Border Patrol sectors in the spring of 2017. The prosecution of first-time border crossers was a goal championed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The program prioritized repeat offenders and felons. But in 2017, roughly half of those apprehended in Yuma were part of family units, according to DHS data. It was often parents who were referred for prosecution under the program — and were separated from their children in the process.

The Trump administration apparently separated and prosecuted parents in Yuma daily throughout much of 2017. The effort appears to have flow under the radar in part because the Yuma sector is among the most remote along the border. For months before the program’s inception, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot had been pushing for a program that would hold all undocumented border crossers in the sector accountable.

So the Trump administration had a friggin' year to realize they didn't have any adequate plans or procedures in place to track separated parents and children and their only response was to greatly expand family separations. Well that and attempt to hide their early efforts to separate families.

There are people that know where these kids are and aren't talking. There are people collecting paychecks that handed kids off to people they didn't know and didn't track. There are people proud of these actions. The more I think about it the angrier I get and that is a bottomless pit of rage.

Rezzy wrote:

There are people that know where these kids are and aren't talking. There are people collecting paychecks that handed kids off to people they didn't know and didn't track. There are people proud of these actions. The more I think about it the angrier I get and that is a bottomless pit of rage.

at the risk of more anger, handed off very likely means "Sold"

Rezzy wrote:

There are people that know where these kids are and aren't talking. There are people collecting paychecks that handed kids off to people they didn't know and didn't track. There are people proud of these actions. The more I think about it the angrier I get and that is a bottomless pit of rage.

Absolute same. Anybody involved in this at any point should be in the dock at the Hague. And I'm sure the revelations will keep coming.

Tangentially, I find it wild that we still have armed, radicalized vigilante groups ready to execute state and federal leaders for following the law and mitigating the effects of the pandemic, but not stringing these kidnappers up. The worst that's happened to them is fewer job offers and certain people not taking their calls.

It’s so ironic, because if you just pay attention to the outlandish and horrific things the Repubs accuse the Dems of doing, you get a pretty good idea of what those sick f*cks are up to in the shadows.

Is everyone excited? There’s only one more month until all the information on the deep state and the stolen election is revealed and everyone is so horrified and disgusted that all Americans unanimously demand that Trump be immediately reinstated as President!

I'm going to be exceptionally shook when SCOTUS triggers Trump's reinstatement by their pending 9-0 ruling for a lawsuit that hasn't been filed yet that throws out Biden's victory and reinstalls Trump (which is totally not a thing whatsoever) especially because SCOTUS is on their summer break and won't reconvene until October.

Alternatively, I'll be equally as shook when the Democratically-controlled House and Senate decide to impeach and convict both Biden and Harris, removing them from office, and then something, something, wavy hands Trump will be made Speaker of the House and then will become president again.

Why people this dumb or insane (or both) are allowed to wander around in public--let alone vote--amazes me.

These cards were being handed out at CPAC:

https://twitter.com/AndrewSolender/s...

CPAC attendee sent me this pic of a card they were handed about a “7-pt. plan to restore Donald J. Trump in days, not years,” which involves installing Trump as speaker and ousting Biden & Harris.

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E54pY5wXsAI7qbv?format=jpg)

I feel like Step 1 is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

These cards were being handed out at CPAC:

https://twitter.com/AndrewSolender/s...

CPAC attendee sent me this pic of a card they were handed about a “7-pt. plan to restore Donald J. Trump in days, not years,” which involves installing Trump as speaker and ousting Biden & Harris.

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E54pY5wXsAI7qbv?format=jpg)

I feel like Step 1 is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

Assume that a cow is a perfect sphere...

I feel like Step 1-7 is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

FIXED

I also love that they elect someone else as speaker just so they can later elect Trump speaker. Like, why the extra step?

Isn't the next Congressional election in 2022? How would Trump be put in as Speaker when he isn't a Congress-person?

The key to Step 1 is that the Black Caucus would flip, giving control of the House to the GOP. That's where the first Speaker replacement comes from.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

I also love that they elect someone else as speaker just so they can later elect Trump speaker. Like, why the extra step?

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Qwp2nvF.png)

Wait, are Biden and Harris impostors? Are the real Biden and Harris being kept somewhere are were replaced by duplicates?

Grenn wrote:

Wait, are Biden and Harris impostors? Are the real Biden and Harris being kept somewhere are were replaced by duplicates?

According to the Q sh*t Biden is either a clone, a robot, or a look-a-like who replaced the real Biden months ago. That Biden was either executed for various crimes or he's being held by the military to be tried and executed once Trump takes power again.

Of course the Q f*cks also claim that Biden is actually Biden, but that he's so old and riddled with oldness that he can't walk or form coherent sentences, unlike their god emporer.

As for Harris the Q bs tends to focus on what they consider her unforgivable crimes: being a competent Black woman.

Nevin73 wrote:

Isn't the next Congressional election in 2022? How would Trump be put in as Speaker when he isn't a Congress-person?

The key to Step 1 is that the Black Caucus would flip, giving control of the House to the GOP. That's where the first Speaker replacement comes from.

My understanding is that there is no rule that the Speaker has to be an elected member of the House.

OG_slinger wrote:
Grenn wrote:

Wait, are Biden and Harris impostors? Are the real Biden and Harris being kept somewhere are were replaced by duplicates?

According to the Q sh*t Biden is either a clone, a robot, or a look-a-like who replaced the real Biden months ago. That Biden was either executed for various crimes or he's being held by the military to be tried and executed once Trump takes power again.

Of course the Q f*cks also claim that Biden is actually Biden, but that he's so old and riddled with oldness that he can't walk or form coherent sentences, unlike their god emporer.

As for Harris the Q bs tends to focus on what they consider her unforgivable crimes: being a competent Black woman.

A lot of Qanon is contradictory because there isn’t really any Q canon other than Trump=good, Democrats=bad. There are varying levels of pilled-ness and conspiratorial fantasy among the Anons, the more casual tend to view Biden as being merely evil and incompetent whereas the off-the-deep-end super-pilled Anons claim that Biden and half the rest of the government were executed for their crimes years ago and were replaced by perfect clones made using advanced alien technology. They tend to think that the reality of how corrupt and evil the conspirators are will cause us “normies” to go insane with horror if we aren’t slowly drip-fed the truth, hence the clones exist so we won’t suspect anything and society can survive until everyone is aware of the the truth.

ruhk wrote:

Is everyone excited? There’s only one more month until all the information on the deep state and the stolen election is revealed and everyone is so horrified and disgusted that all Americans unanimously demand that Trump be immediately reinstated as SUPREME LEADER! ;)

fify

ruhk wrote:

A lot of Qanon is contradictory because there isn’t really any Q canon other than Trump=good, Democrats=bad. There are varying levels of pilled-ness and conspiratorial fantasy among the Anons, the more casual tend to view Biden as being merely evil and incompetent whereas the off-the-deep-end super-pilled Anons claim that Biden and half the rest of the government were executed for their crimes years ago and were replaced by perfect clones made using advanced alien technology. They tend to think that the reality of how corrupt and evil the conspirators are will cause us “normies” to go insane with horror if we aren’t slowly drip-fed the truth, hence the clones exist so we won’t suspect anything and society can survive until everyone is aware of the the truth.

It's especially contradictory now since "Q" hasn't posted anything since December 2020. Everyone trying to position themselves as the new "Q" is making up their own Trump fanfic and none of it matches.

lol. Someone accused me of having "Trump derangement syndrome". I replied by saying "Maybe if Germans had just a little more 'Hitler derangement syndrome' in 1924 after the Beer Hall Putch, we wouldn't have had the holocaust".

He stfu.

Anyone who uses "TDS" unironically is not a person worth knowing IMO.

Trump said whoever ‘leaked’ info on his White House bunker stay should be ‘executed,’ new book claims

CNN wrote:

Then-President Donald Trump told a number of his advisers in 2020 that whoever leaked information about his stay in the White House bunker in May of that year had committed treason and should be executed for sharing details about the episode with members of the press, according to excerpts of a new book, obtained by CNN, from Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.

Trump, along with then-first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, were all taken to the underground bunker for a period of time during the protests spurred by the police killing of George Floyd as protesters gathered outside the building. Bender writes in the book, titled “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, that Trump, in the days following his time in the bunker, held a tense meeting with top military, law enforcement and West Wing advisers, in which he aired grievances over the leak.

“Trump boiled over about the bunker story as soon as they arrived and shouted at them to smoke out whoever had leaked it. It was the most upset some aides had ever seen the president,” Bender writes.

‘Whoever did that, they should be charged with treason!’ Trump yelled. ‘They should be executed!’” the book reads.

Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows “repeatedly tried to calm the president as startled aides avoided eye contact,” Bender writes, adding that Trump’s top aide told his boss: “I’m on it. We’re going to find out who did it.”

Trump, angry over the leak for days, “repeatedly asked Meadows if he’d found the leaker,” with his top aide becoming “obsessed” with finding the source, according to the book, which noted that “those who said they’d heard the president issue that warning had interpreted the outburst as a sign of a president in panic.”

At this point, if you can imagine Trump doing/saying something horrible, it’s almost likely true and shouldn’t be surprising. The man is horrible person to his core.

The Lies Were Always the Point

The temptation has always been to try to sort the Trump lies into the hilarious ones and the pernicious ones, but that, too, misses the point. If the lying itself is the objective, the difference between the clueless whopper and the sly distortion is immaterial; in fact, the clueless whopper can be more potent because it offers up greater spectacle and affords more opportunity for performing loyalty. As recently as the second impeachment, the clueless whopper—about peaceful protesters and false flag antifa activists at the capitol—lived largely in the fever swamps. A few months later, it is being parroted by Trump and members of the Senate. The Big Lie, however absurd it might be, can overtake reality so fast the only trick anyone need master is the patience to ride it out. That means the only strategy needed for liars is to repeat the lie. Trump, who had little mastery of most skills, was always a wizard at this move.

For years, Trump used the phrase “many people are saying” to essentially mean “someday people will be saying.” He did so understanding that if you say such things enough times, someone somewhere will parrot it as a fundamental truth, and then your initial statement will be true(ish—many people will be saying the untrue thing). “Many people are saying [this lie]” was always code for “if we get people to say [this lie], it will seem true.” Trump’s admission of that principle at CPAC on Sunday gave away the game. He confessed, about polling numbers, that “if it’s bad, I say it’s fake. If it’s good, I say, that’s the most accurate poll perhaps ever.” The lie thus goes from a fiction in the lizard brain of a dangerously delusional man to headline news to gospel for people who have been trained to invert whatever they see from the news. In which case why wouldn’t Rudy Giuliani advise Trump on election night 2020 that he should simply lie and claim victory? That had been the game all along.

Responding to the lies has been an epistemological sinkhole for institutions charged with truth maintenance and fact management for years now. The media is in an intramural meltdown about how to handle people who lie on cable news. Huge social media companies are still doing less-than-spectacularly at policing dangerous fictions. The courts are attempting to separate the liars from their lies, by sanctioning the liars. But when simply spreading the lie is the point, that proves trickier than you might imagine. At a hearing before a federal court in Detroit on Monday, in which a judge probed how it could be the case that Trump’s election lawyers filed hundreds of pages of unverified speculation and gobsmacking errors in a case seeking to decertify Joe Biden’s victory in Michigan, the problem was laid bare: A Zoom screen full of attorneys bound by sworn obligations of candor, civility, and truth joyfully contended that people were saying false things. Lawyers representing Trump’s campaign, including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood were called out by U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker for bolstering their pleadings with false, unsupported, and speculative claims by random conspiracy theorists who believed lies about flipped votes, the U.S. Postal Service, and illegal ballots that they saw on the news. Wood and another attorney, Emily Newman, had the good sense to blame all the other attorneys. But in the main, the lawyers’ defense was that if many people believed these lies, counsel had no independent obligation to ascertain whether the lies were true. Some of these attorneys went so far as to insist that the only way to test the lies would have been at a full and costly trial. Others insisted that opposing counsel and the judge herself had a duty to examine each of the lies before calling them lies, despite the fact that they never had any basis in truth.

Parker was visibly horrified by the failure of any lawyers to do anything to verify demonstrably false and—as she called them—“fantastical” claims and layers upon layers of hearsay. But one of the lawyers insisted that attorneys have First Amendment rights to repeat lies; while others advanced the test-every-falsehood claim. The fact that a different judge in another Michigan case had already dismissed the lies as lies was not material, either, they insisted. Every judge must start anew from the proposition that the sky is green and prove otherwise. Oddly, when Parker actually attempted to test each individual lie at the hearing, counsel then claimed that going through each lie individually was irrelevant, since it was the aggregated hundreds of pages of lies that gave the lawsuit its original heft. “Volume,” chided Parker at one point, “certainly doesn’t equate with legitimacy.”

But no, because zero times 900 is not zero, Team Kraken contended—instead it equals 900 krakens, which is truth. That of course is the tell—what counsel was arguing was that so long as lots and lots of people believe lies, and are willing to swear to them, there must be merit to them, and the courts, the media, and the government must honor them. That was Josh Hawley’s defense for voting to set aside the 2020 election certification. It is the lawyerly version of “many people are saying [lie],” and the repetition of the lies by counsel serves only to amplify the falsehood yet further. Powell, in a closing statement, defended all the lies, then compared her heroic representation of these lies to the action of lawyers in Brown v. Board of Education. “It is the duty of lawyers of the highest tradition of the practice of law to raise difficult and even unpopular issues,” she intoned. “The fact that there may have been adverse precedent against us does not change that fact. Were that true, there would not have been a decision called Brown v. Board of Education. We have practiced law with the highest standards. We would file the same complaints again.” Wood, under judicial obligation not to post video or screenshots of the proceedings, then posted Powell’s closing on Telegram. On advice of his lawyers, he took it down, but this reveals the game—what they are presenting is not legal argument; it is showmanship.

The 2020 election was not stolen; that is a lie. Michigan was not stolen for Biden; that is also a lie. Voting machines didn’t flip thousands of votes, lie. Critical race theory isn’t being taught to kindergarten children; that is a lie too. The critical race theory not being taught to kindergartners also doesn’t hold that white people are evil; that is a lie. Tucker Carlson isn’t being surveilled by the NSA, lie. Telling lies so that other people will lie in order to justify your lying is a tactic. It’s not a mistake, and it is not mere “trolling” either. Telling lies so that other people will spread the lie is propaganda, an act of violence, and a way to establish that all institutions that rely on truth cannot be trusted.

“They say a lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”
~Terry Pratchett