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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Trump finally suffers KNOCKOUT BLOW in federal trial

In a remarkable revelation, one of Trump’s co-defendants in the Georgie RICO case, Jenna Ellis, told prosecutors that Trump’s close aid, Dan Scavino, said that Trump had decided he would not leave the presidency even though he lost the election.

This video discusses the evidentiary implications of that statement and what it means for both Scavino and Trump.

Trump is toast

Brian Taylor and Glen Kirschner discusses the leaked proffer session testimony from Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell against Trump.

Ellis guilty plea. For the fourth time Donald Trump was charged with serious crimes.

As part of the RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) charge in Georgia the court has accepted Ellis guilty plea. Currently the Georgia state has Plea Deals from three of the Trump Lawyers indicted with Trump, Sidney K Powell, Kenneth Cheesebro and Jenna Ellis who agree to cooperate by providing testimony against the former president Trump

Jenna Ellis pleads guilty to lies and corrupt behaviour in and about the false claims of The Election Steal

The attorney general of Nevada is quietly investigating Republican activists and operatives who falsely pledged the state’s six electoral votes to Donald Trump in 2020, despite Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
In recent weeks, investigators have questioned witnesses about the attempts of the so-called alternate electors to present themselves as viable representatives of the states’ voters, according to three people familiar with the probe. Investigators have also asked about documents those people prepared as part of the effort.
The probe, which until now has not been publicly reported, is the latest sign of potential legal jeopardy for the Republicans who, amid Trump’s bid to cling to power, posed as electors in states that Biden won. False electors in Georgia and Michigan are already facing criminal charges, and an investigation is underway in Arizona.
In Nevada, six Republicans, including state GOP chair Michael McDonald, signed fake certificates on Dec. 14, 2020, falsely declaring themselves to be the state’s duly appointed Electoral College representatives. Trump and his allies then invoked that slate of false electors, as well as similar slates in six other states, as they tried to block Congress’ certification of the election results on Jan. 6, 2021. Joe Gloria, who was Clark County registrar of voters when Trump’s allies in Nevada tried to reverse the election, told POLITICO that a state investigator asked him questions earlier this month about the fake elector scheme. Another person who was questioned and who was granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive probe also said investigators asked for details about the fake electors and documents they prepared. And a third person briefed on the probe — also granted anonymity because of its sensitivity — confirmed it is active.
Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat, declined to comment through a spokesperson. Of the six Nevada false electors, four did not respond to requests for comment, one declined to comment and one could not be reached.
Ford has previously sent mixed messages about the potential for a state investigation into the false electors’ actions. In May, he suggested no criminal charges were likely.
“As you all know, I have been silent on Nevada’s fake electors, except to say that the matter was on our radar,” he said in testimony to the state’s legislature. “With it on our radar, we ascertained that current state statutes did not directly address the conduct in question — to the dismay of some, and I’m sure, to the delight of others.”
In that hearing, he testified in favor of a proposal to ban people from acting as fake electors, the Nevada Independent reported. The bill passed through the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature and was vetoed in June by its Republican governor, Joe Lombardo.
Then, in September, Ford appeared to change his tune. “I’ve never said that we’re not going to prosecute,” he told 8 News Now. “It is not that I’ve said that I can do nothing. What I have said, and I’ve been precise with my wording on purpose, is we don’t have statutes in this state that directly address the issue.”
The status of Ford’s probe — including whether he will seek indictments — is unclear. It’s also not clear whether Ford is investigating anyone outside Nevada.
One of the state’s false electors, Jim DeGraffenreid, was in touch with Kenneth Chesebro — a lawyer working with the Trump campaign and a chief architect of the fake elector scheme — in the days before the activists signed the fake certificates, according to the House Jan. 6 select committee report.

Trump's knockout blow

Special counsel Jack Smith argued Monday that Donald Trump’s bid to subvert the 2020 election was far from a case of misplaced “advocacy” or constitutionally protected speech, and he urged the federal judge presiding over Trump’s Washington, D.C., trial to sweep aside Trump’s bid to “sanitize” his conduct.

“The defendant attempts to rewrite the indictment, claiming that it charges him with wholly innocuous, perhaps even admirable conduct — sharing his opinions about election fraud and seeking election integrity,” wrote assistant special counsel James Pearce, “when in fact it clearly describes the defendant’s fraudulent use of knowingly false statements as weapons in furtherance of his criminal plans.”

In a 79-page filing, Smith’s team articulated its clearest case yet for Trump’s prosecution, repeatedly characterizing Trump’s false claims of election fraud as knowing lies aimed at defrauding election officials — from secretaries of state and governors to his own vice president, Mike Pence. Smith also indicated he intends to introduce evidence in Trump’s March trial that Trump stoked the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol and then used it to further his effort to derail Congress’ proceedings that day. Prosecutors say they will rely on Trump’s promise to pardon many of the rioters, his description of Jan. 6 as a “beautiful day” and his decision to record a song with some of the violent offenders imprisoned in the Washington, D.C., jail.

The filings were a rebuttal to Trump’s own efforts to dismiss the indictment, which charges him with mounting a sweeping campaign to pressure state and local election officials to throw out Joe Biden’s victory in closely fought swing states. That campaign of “deceit,” they say, continued with Trump’s effort to assemble false slates of presidential electors, which Pearce contended were meant merely to provoke the pretext of a controversy when Congress met to count the votes on Jan. 6.

“[T]he defendant stands alone in American history for his alleged crimes,” Pearce wrote. “No other president has engaged in conspiracy and obstruction to overturn valid election results and illegitimately retain power.”

“The First Amendment does not protect fraudulent speech or speech otherwise integral to criminal conduct, particularly crimes that attack the integrity and proper function of government processes,” Pearce wrote. “The defendant’s comments about the virtues of the First Amendment, over which there is no dispute, do nothing to unsettle this line of unbroken precedent.”

In addition to the First Amendment defense, Trump is also seeking to have the case dismissed by asserting that he is “absolutely immune” from the charges. Prosecutors rebutted that argument last month.

On Monday, Pearce recounted a long list of elections — cited by Trump in his motions to dismiss the case — in which there were disputes or controversies related to which presidential electors to count. They include the elections of 1800, when Thomas Jefferson counted a slate of electors from Georgia that had been the subject of controversy; the election of 1960, when Richard Nixon counted a late-arriving slate of electors from Hawaii for his rival John F. Kennedy; and more recent elections when congressional Democrats mounted challenges to the results.

“Notably absent from any of these historical episodes, however, is any attempt by any person to use fraud and deceit to obstruct or defeat the governmental function that would result in the certification of the lawful winner of a presidential election,” Pearce concluded. “The existence throughout history of legitimate electoral disputes does not validate the defendant’s corrupt and dishonest actions any more than the existence of legitimate investment offers validates the creation of a criminal Ponzi scheme.”

In another filing, prosecutors also pushed back on Trump’s claim that he has been “selectively” or “vindictively” prosecuted by Smith as part of a political vendetta by the Biden administration.

“The incumbent president has no role in this case, and the career prosecutors handling this matter would not participate in this prosecution if it were otherwise,” contended senior assistant special counsel Thomas Windom in the 14-page filing.

Trump argued that he is the only person prosecuted for similar crimes in American history — a distinction Smith’s team noted was not a mistake.

“If the defendant is correct in his claim that the indictment is unprecedented, it is only because the defendant’s conduct is unprecedented,” Windom wrote.

However, Windom also argued that Trump’s charges can be readily compared to those facing the thousands who stormed the Capitol in his name. Citing the prosecutions of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, Trump fan Daniel Rodriguez — who tased a police officer in the neck — and others, prosecutors noted that judges in each of those cases emphasized that they were not prosecuted for their political beliefs.

Co-conspiritors continue to flip and plead guilty

With alleged accomplices flipping left and right, it’s been a rough week for Donald Trump. On Tuesday, though, Trump’s attorneys looked to turn that momentum around, filing three additional motions to dismiss the Jack Smith–led federal prosecution of his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The legal filings offer a fascinating preview of Trump’s potential defenses in the Washington prosecution brought by the special counsel. Will it work? Almost certainly not. Legal experts say the arguments are almost certain to fail to result in dismissal of the case, and in many ways, Trump’s defenses are outright absurd.

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