Saturday, February 24, 2018

Trump's Hair. Never apologize.

"I try like hell to hide that bald spot, folks."


Getting onto Marine One
Trump is open and honest about being a con man.  People consider that a mark of honesty. Democrats--appalled and disgusted by Trump--have a hard time seeing the appeal of this.

Late night comedy shows point at Trump's hair and bald spots and treat it as a matter of humor and expose.  See!  Look at that phony.  Fake hair!

The exposure doesn't hurt Trump.   Why?  

He openly admits it and acts like it doesn't matter, and therefore it doesn't matter. At the CPAC convention he noticed his own hair shown from the back in a TV monitor, and bragged humorously about it: "What a nice picture that is.  Look at that.  Oh, I try like hell to hide that bald spot, folks. I work hard at it.  It doesn't look bad."

Trump's attitude defines this as not-important.  If he isn't ashamed, then it isn't shameful.

Obstruction of justice is a federal crime and an impeachable offense.  Nixon resigned in the face of it.  Bill Clinton was impeached for it.  

Click. Watch.
Donald Trump openly and proudly said on national TV something as clear as what Nixon did, the "smoking gun" discovered via tape recordings played after protracted legal process. In an interview with Lester Holt of NBC news he openly admitted he thought the Comey investigation was wrong and unwelcome so he fired him to obstruct it.   We all heard it.  Trump acted like it was the most natural thing in the world.  

No secret, no embarrassment, and therefore no real political damage.

The video here is a text worth close study.  The political key is not what Trump said, the denoted words that admit he intended to stop a FBI investigation into his administration.  The key is Trump's demeanor.  He acts like it is the most natural think in the world to try to stop something annoying.

Trump communicates that he is simply doing what anyone would do--and therefore nothing to feel guilty about.

Tone and attitude do not merely trump denoted content.  In politics, it is the primary content. If a progressive candidate feels locked into a brand, or feels buried in a pack of others, it won’t be accomplished by the words you say.  It would be done by the attitude he or she expresses—something big and bold and defiant.  


Breaking addition, in response to an excellent comment, shown below:

By Robert Guyer, a Florida attorney:
"An individual commits a crime if he or she acts in a way that fulfills every element of an offense. The statute establishing the offense also establishes the elements of the offense. In general, every crime involves three elements: first, the act or conduct (“actus reus”); second, the individual’s mental state at the time of the act (“mens rea”); and third, the causal link between the act and the offense." (https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/criminal_law) Since you accuse President Trump of a specific crime, obstruction of justice, could you please explain how he, especially given his role as Chief Executive and his lawful authority over Director Comey, "fulfills every element" of the crime of which you accuse him?


Peter Sage responds:  Yes.  I said Trump was guilty of a crime, obstruction of justice.

Let's posit that some crime has likely been committed, e.g. generated by a suspicious piece of evidence but which, itself, is not necessarily a crime, a dead body on the front lawn of the White House with a bullet wounds in the body and head.  It might be suicide.  It might be an accident.  It might be murder.   An investigation by the FBI is undertaken.

An FBI finds some evidence that in fact the person was in fact shot by the candidate for president, either directly or through paid associates, and an investigation accelerates.  Still, the president's exact guilt is unclear, and no indictments have been produced, but it proceeds, questioning the president's associates.  They find significant--but not yet firmly conclusive--evidence that the now-president and his family was involved in some way in the murder.  Some of them were pleading guilty to crimes relating to the offense.

The president was worried sick that the truth about his exact involvement would come out.

In this case, if the president took an act to stop this lawful investigation, either by attempting to frame other people or by firing the people carrying out the investigation for the specific admitted purpose of impeding the investigation, he would 1. have done an act to obstruct the justice involved in finding the murderer, and admitted that his specific purpose was to obstruct the investigation of the crime as it centered on the president.  2. the fact that he openly admitted on national TV that he had thought about it and decided decisively to act for that purpose establishes that it was a guilty mental state to protect himself.  3. The causal act was firing the investigator to stop the investigation, because if the FBI Director, then his successors, could be fired or replaced, the investigation of the murder would end, and it was the very purpose admitted to by the president on tv.

The fact that the President had the legal right to fire the FBI director did not mean he was free to do it if his purpose was to impede a murder investigation.  That would be obstruction of justice.  Trump can probably legally fire a great many people in his administration, but he cannot openly state he is firing them solely because they are Jewish or Black and he hates Jews and Blacks.  That might run afoul of anti-discrimination laws. He could not fire Comey because he wanted to have sex with Comey and was angry that Comey would not comply.That might run afoul of harassment laws.  He could have fired Comey because he didn't like that he was very tall, not a protected status.

But he could not fire Comey because his investigation was getting too close to proving his guilt and that his very intention was to impede an investigation of an apparent crime.  That would be obstruction of justice, all three elements, admitted to on TV.

If he had just fired him for no apparent reason he would be morally suspect but would not have admitted to a obstruction.  



4 comments:

  1. "An individual commits a crime if he or she acts in a way that fulfills every element of an offense. The statute establishing the offense also establishes the elements of the offense. In general, every crime involves three elements: first, the act or conduct (“actus reus”); second, the individual’s mental state at the time of the act (“mens rea”); and third, the causal link between the act and the offense." (https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/criminal_law) Since you accuse President Trump of a specific crime, obstruction of justice, could you please explain how he, especially given his role as Chief Executive and his lawful authority over Director Comey, "fulfills every element" of the crime of which you accuse him?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great and please cite the specific US Code you allege he has broken and demonstrate how his behavior fits within that statute’s framework so as to constitute violation thereof. Accusing someone of a felony is serious so I’m tying to understand how you draw your legal conclusion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another major crime echoing in the public discourse around the Russia Connection is obstruction of justice. Under 18 U.S.C. § 1505, a felony offense is committed by anyone who “corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation in being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress.”

    An accompanying code section, 18 U.S.C. § 1515(b), defines “corruptly” as “acting with an improper purpose, personally or by influencing another, including making a false or misleading statement, or withholding, concealing, altering, or destroying a document or other information” (emphasis added). This is where obstruction of justice intersects with the false statements .

    From Lawfare https://www.lawfareblog.com/was-firing-james-comey-obstruction-justice

    The key is proving his intent. Happily he said it aloud on TV it is normally hard to prove, but Trump was unusually frank.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great discussion. So we agree the law has been broken, and are now attempting to determine if it was on purpose?

    C'mon!

    ReplyDelete

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