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Old 2020-08-21, 02:56   #1255
Dr Sardonicus
 
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I don't know how much of the 25 million dollars raised by "Build the Wall" has actually been spent. Assuming, purely for the sake of discussion, that it's all been spent, and the organizers only siphoned off a million, and the other 24 million went to fulfilling the organization's purpose, that would mean 96% of donations were spent for the organization's program, which would be quite impressive; it would far exceed the 87.2% of the Clinton Foundation's spending for its programs.

But it's not modestly dipping into the till that has Brian Kolfage, Stephen Bannon, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea in trouble with the law. Their problem is, they promised to spend 100% of the donated money on the project. And because they made that promise online, and then (the indictment alleges) broke it, in Count 1 they are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The indictment also alleges that they conspired to hide their fraudulent dipping into the till, resulting in Count 2, conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit wire fraud or money laundering is the same as for the crime itself.

The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a fine of a quarter of a million dollars.

The penalty for money laundering depends on the amount of money involved. If it's over a million dollars, the maximum prison sentence is twenty years (assuming it's not to fund terrorism or steal from federal disaster relief funds, in which case it's thirty years). The maximum fine is half a million dollars (or, in the case of actual money laundering, twice the value of the property involved if that is greater.)

I'm sure the current occupant of the White House is thinking something like, "So they made a promise and reneged on it. What's wrong with that? I've done that my whole life."

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2020-08-21 at 03:00 Reason: gixnif spoty
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Old 2020-08-21, 20:25   #1256
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Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
Could he possibly be worse than Bill Clinton? Alas, one shouldn't challenge Trump to be worse than a previous President. He usually is up for such a challenge.
I could certainly see DJT one-upping Clinton's last-day-of-office pardon of Marc Rich by pardoning himself. For those unfamiliar with the unique power of the presidential pardon enshrined in the US Constitution, such pardons need not be for any crime for which the person has been indicted or of which the person has been convicted - they may also be prospective in the sense of pre-empting future prosecution for any (alleged) crimes committed up to the time of the pardon. Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon was of such a sort.

The only thing not covered by a pardon, sensibly enough, is crimes committed *after* the pardon.

For those of us interested by the history & evolution of Constitutional law [cf. my recent post on the wacky history of the 27th Amendment, the most-recent one, in the Lounge 'U.S. Presidential 2020 Polls and Predictions' thread] it would be fascinating to follow the inevitable legal wrangling that would follow a presidential self-pardon. From what I've read the general consensus is that would be deemed legal, but its actual exercise, especially by a - to put it politely - polarizing figure like Trump, might well lead to an effort to amend the Constitution to prevent future self-pardons.
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Old 2020-08-21, 20:42   #1257
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Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon was of such a sort.
..
From what I've read the general consensus is that would be deemed legal, but its actual exercise, especially by a - to put it politely - polarizing figure like Trump, might well lead to an effort to amend the Constitution to prevent future self-pardons.
The pathway in the first example could also be taken by Our Dear Leader. Although pride might get in the way.
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Old 2020-08-21, 21:14   #1258
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Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
The pathway in the first example could also be taken by Our Dear Leader. Although pride might get in the way.
Big difference, though - Ford was Nixon's VP. Biden, OTOH, was veep of the administration which illegally spied on the Trump campaign via a FISA warrant based on the pack-of-lies Steele dossier, and a leader of the same party which subsequently brought impeachment charges based on highly dubious obstruction of justice charges [note: don't want to start another debate on those issues, just setting the if-I-was-Trump scene]. If I were Trump and I had lost the 2020 election, I would not assume for one second that a pardon was coming from my successor.
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Old 2020-08-21, 21:22   #1259
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My idea was for Pence to do the deed. After DJT abdicates around Jan 19.
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Old 2020-08-22, 05:23   #1260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
My idea was for Pence to do the deed. After DJT abdicates around Jan 19.
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Old 2020-08-22, 14:04   #1261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
My idea was for Pence to do the deed. After DJT abdicates around Jan 19.
Many would prefer a forced future abdication, of them both, in the wee hours of November 4th.
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Old 2020-08-22, 14:37   #1262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storm5510 View Post
Many would prefer a forced future abdication, of them both, in the wee hours of November 4th.
That is assumed in Uncwilly's suggestion (which IMO is worthy of The Unspeakable One himself).

The thing is, the president-elect does not assume office until January 20. Between the election and the inauguration, the incumbent president is a "lame duck," but still able to exercise all powers of the office.

Issuing pardons on the way out the door is traditional. Besides pardoning Nixon as previously noted, President Gerald Ford pardoned "Tokyo Rose" on January 19, 1977. She had been convicted of treason, but Ford considered her even having been tried to have been unjust. AFAIK, that is the most recent pardon of anyone convicted of treason.

(The first pardons for treason were issued by President George Washington on Christmas Day 1795 (so not on his way out the door), of leaders of the "Whiskey Rebellion.")

Aitch (George H. W. Bush) issued a flurry of notable pardons as a lame duck, but IIRC they were just before Christmas 1992.
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Old 2020-08-26, 05:26   #1263
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It seems the imperious leader wants to do away with payroll taxes which would effectively deplete Social Security for millions in 2023. One of many articles is here. He has to get congressional approval to do this, which it seems he may not get. Members of his own party have come out against it. It will not get past the "house" from what I gather. I do not know what he is thinking...
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Old 2020-08-26, 09:09   #1264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storm5510 View Post
I do not know what he is thinking...
John Oliver's last LWT (edit: the one from two days ago, called "Border Wall II", I had to specify, because I know in some countries, like Australia, they are delayed with 3 or 4 weeks, I can only guess what the reasons are, as they are also shown on TV, and probably, if you allow youtube access to them, nobody would watch your TV), is quite relevant to "what the funking is he [the leader] thinking" part...

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2020-08-26 at 09:11
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Old 2020-08-26, 11:30   #1265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storm5510 View Post
It seems the imperious leader wants to do away with payroll taxes which would effectively deplete Social Security for millions in 2023. One of many articles is here. He has to get congressional approval to do this, which it seems he may not get. Members of his own party have come out against it. It will not get past the "house" from what I gather. I do not know what he is thinking...
This topic previously mentioned in this post. The following post speculates on what he may be thinking.
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