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Tags donald trump , impeachment , Michael Cohen , political speculation , Trump controversies

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Old 20th May 2019, 02:16 PM   #121
dasmiller
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Interestingly titled No President Is Above The Law Act would overturn the statute of limitations for federal offenses committed by the president.

Even if technically Trump could be indicted right now anyway, perhaps this could be used against past presidents?
From what the article says, I wouldn't think that it would apply to past presidents. Like most laws, it would apply only going forward, not retroactively. A law passed in 2019 would not affect a case for which the statute of limitations expired in 2016.
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Old 20th May 2019, 02:25 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Interesting question. It's generally better if new laws are not applied retroactively, making criminals out of people who acted within the law at the time. The US actually has constitutional restrictions against making laws retroactive. I'm not sure if changing the statute of limitations would survive a constitutional challenge, but for sure the first former president you tried to indict this way would mount such a challenge.

In any case, I think applying laws retroactively is a bad idea. I have some concern about what problem you're trying to solve, and why you think this is a good way to solve it.
Changing the statute of limitations does not constitute an ex post facto law. The office of the president is not a hideout to avoid prosecution.
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Old 20th May 2019, 02:41 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Interesting question. It's generally better if new laws are not applied retroactively, making criminals out of people who acted within the law at the time.
No worries there. Obstruction of justice was a crime when Trump committed it. See the Mueller report for details.
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Old 20th May 2019, 02:51 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Interesting question. It's generally better if new laws are not applied retroactively, making criminals out of people who acted within the law at the time. The US actually has constitutional restrictions against making laws retroactive. I'm not sure if changing the statute of limitations would survive a constitutional challenge, but for sure the first former president you tried to indict this way would mount such a challenge.

In any case, I think applying laws retroactively is a bad idea. I have some concern about what problem you're trying to solve, and why you think this is a good way to solve it.
Exactly as you state I fully agree that creating and applying new laws retroactively is very unfair and can become a dangerous abuse of political power (the reason this is largely prohibited by the USA Constitution). One should not be made a criminal for doing what was within the law at the time.

However I don't see this applying to changing the statue of limitations. The individual clearly committed an act that was a crime when they did it; the statue of limitations is not directly related to this key component of guilt vs innocence. Certainly there are many examples of where the statue of limitations has been altered and I believe the court challenges have generally supported the constitutionality of these changes.

Actually I do not accept that all crimes committed by a POTUS should be considered non-persuable by the normal criminal justice system during the time of their presidency. I agree that potential crimes that arise from the official duties of a POTUS should be subject to the Constitutional impeachment/conviction process rather than common law, given the very direct political motivations and implications involved. However if a sitting President may have robbed a bank either prior or after their election they should be subject to the normal criminal justice system for it just as any other accused bank robber. Our Presidents are just citiznes elected to help run one branch of our shared government; they were not meant to be kings or gods.

Even if the courts end up fully accepting that any crime committed by a sitting President is not subject to the normal criminal justice system during their Presidency, at minimum this privilege should be considered as a temporary pause in the statue of limitations clock rather than as a way to allow a President to run it down to zero and escape punishment entirely. It does not make any sense to me otherwise.

Last edited by Giordano; 20th May 2019 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 20th May 2019, 02:57 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
No worries there. Obstruction of justice was a crime when Trump committed it. See the Mueller report for details.
No worries here, either.

What makes the question interesting is that it's not a simple ex post facto law question. It's a question about ex post facto changes to the statute of limitations for a law. You seem to be taking up an argument nobody else is having here.

---

The way I see it, a change that increases the statute of limitations should apply to someone who is still within the previous limit. What changes for them is they are now subject to the new limit, extending their window of risk.

It should not apply to anyone who is already outside the old limit, for the same reason that ex post facto laws are a bad idea generally.
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Old 20th May 2019, 03:00 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Changing the statute of limitations does not constitute an ex post facto law.
I'm not sure that's true. I think if you tried that on a former president, they'd appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. I'd hope that if you tried that on anybody, they'd appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. My take is that it is absolutely ex post facto, so we'll definitely need to appeal to some proper authority to resolve our difference.

Quote:
The office of the president is not a hideout to avoid prosecution.
I think it's probably a bad idea to decide on the political outcome you want first, and then start interpreting law to get that outcome.
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Old 20th May 2019, 03:30 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm not sure that's true. I think if you tried that on a former president, they'd appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. I'd hope that if you tried that on anybody, they'd appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. My take is that it is absolutely ex post facto, so we'll definitely need to appeal to some proper authority to resolve our difference.
Wth your interpretation the President can commit crimes and ride out the clock and be beyond possible prosecution. You're making POTUS a king. Above the law. Sorry, we didn't say goodbye to King George so we could have his royal ORANGE POS.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think it's probably a bad idea to decide on the political outcome you want first, and then start interpreting law to get that outcome.
I do too. But I don't see anyone doing that. What I see is a President who is deliberately overstepping his authority and is obstructing justice on a daily basis.
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Old 20th May 2019, 03:37 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
No worries here, either.
My point is that you need not worry about making Trump a criminal retroactively. He committed crimes that were crimes when he committed them. You can acknowledge that much, at least?
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Old 20th May 2019, 03:47 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
My point is that you need not worry about making Trump a criminal retroactively. He committed crimes that were crimes when he committed them. You can acknowledge that much, at least?
I never thought that was in question. Venom was clearly asking about the statute of limitations for acts that were already crimes when committed.

I mentioned the general case of ex post facto laws only to give some background about how I approached the question of ex post facto changes to the statute of limitations.
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Old 20th May 2019, 03:55 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I never thought that was in question.
Then you should choose your words more carefully. You have gone out of your way to avoid the topic of Trump's guilt.
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Old 20th May 2019, 04:05 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Then you should choose your words more carefully. You have gone out of your way to avoid the topic of Trump's guilt.
Trump's guilt wasn't the topic. You're fighting to drag me out of my way, just to try to preemptively win an argument we're not even having. Obviously I'm not going to help you with that.
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Old 20th May 2019, 04:09 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Trump's guilt wasn't the topic. You're fighting to drag me out of my way, just to try to preemptively win an argument we're not even having. Obviously I'm not going to help you with that.
Right. I forgot. Crime doesn't matter if it works for your agenda. Principle is a tool to use against the other guy.

You sure showed us.
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Old 20th May 2019, 04:18 PM   #133
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The question is that we face a situation where a sitting president has committed Federal crimes and his office is protecting him from prosecution.

Your argument is that it's not fair to change the rules around the statute of limitations. But it is also not fair to use the office of president as a shield from prosecution.
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Old 20th May 2019, 04:58 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Right. I forgot. Crime doesn't matter if it works for your agenda. Principle is a tool to use against the other guy.



You sure showed us.
Ah. When you put it that way, I see your point. I would like a chance to save my reputation here.

Would you have a problem if I took a little time to compose my thoughts and prepare the best reply I can?
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Old 20th May 2019, 05:43 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm not sure that's true. I think if you tried that on a former president, they'd appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. I'd hope that if you tried that on anybody, they'd appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. My take is that it is absolutely ex post facto, so we'll definitely need to appeal to some proper authority to resolve our difference.



I think it's probably a bad idea to decide on the political outcome you want first, and then start interpreting law to get that outcome.
Not with respect to Trump; we're still well within the statute of limitations for the crimes he's committed while in office.

Of course, that means nothing to someone evershifting his opinions to defend Trump.
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Old 20th May 2019, 06:13 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Changing the statute of limitations does not constitute an ex post facto law. The office of the president is not a hideout to avoid prosecution.
Stogner v. California

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stogner_v._California
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Old 20th May 2019, 06:43 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The office of the president is not a hideout to avoid prosecution.
It wasn't until recently.
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Old 20th May 2019, 06:50 PM   #138
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The desperation is palpable
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Old 20th May 2019, 06:52 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
The desperation is palpable
I know. You can tell by the way he's tweeting trying to distract.
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Old 20th May 2019, 07:52 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by eerok View Post
It wasn't until recently.
My belief is that being POTUS is not a waiver for criminal wrongdoing. That if the clock stops during the presidency, then the clock stops. Those years should not count in calculating the statute of limitations as being POTUS prevented prosecution. You can't have it both ways. We cannot and shoud not make our leaders immune.
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Old 20th May 2019, 08:08 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
My understanding was that the unconstitutional ruling related to how the change in the statue of limitations was embedded in a new law that also changed other aspects of the law. So the Supreme Court by 5 to 4 saw this as an unconstitutional ex post facto application of a new law to those who passed beyond the statue of limitations of the old one. Did I get this wrong? Have other extensions of statues of limitations gotten around this? They appear very common changes in applications of child sex abuse laws.
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Old 20th May 2019, 09:08 PM   #142
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The only issue is that the DOJ won't make a statement on how it sees how the term of a President affects the statutes of limitation. And that is because they want to have the option of arguing both ways.
But if you can't indict in office, the only logical conclusions is that the Statutes pause: otherwise, the President is indeed above the law.
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Old 20th May 2019, 09:16 PM   #143
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The President is above the law, but only if it is a Republican President.
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Old 20th May 2019, 09:21 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
The President is above the law, but only if it is a Republican President.
well, if they could just make this the official position, that would save everyone a lot of time.
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Old 20th May 2019, 10:59 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
well, if they could just make this the official position, that would save everyone a lot of time.
They've done everything to indicate that it is their position except to verbalize it.
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Old 21st May 2019, 04:31 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
My understanding was that the unconstitutional ruling related to how the change in the statue of limitations was embedded in a new law that also changed other aspects of the law. So the Supreme Court by 5 to 4 saw this as an unconstitutional ex post facto application of a new law to those who passed beyond the statue of limitations of the old one. Did I get this wrong? Have other extensions of statues of limitations gotten around this? They appear very common changes in applications of child sex abuse laws.

Depends on what the next court ruling is. Four justices thought the other five got it wrong in this case.

I don't think that the key element in the ruling was the "new law" portion, though. I do think it was the fact that he had been ineligible for prosecution and then suddenly became eligible for prosecution. In other words, suppose I commit a crime in year X, and the statute of limitation was five years. Then, in year X+3, they change the statute of limitations to 10 years. I think the court would say that I could be prosecuted in the year X+9. On the other hand, if they changed the statute of limitations during the year X+7, then I could not be prosecuted in X+9, because I would have been ineligible for prosecution as soon as the original X+5 deadline had passed.

But in this case, the Wikipedia article is everything I know about it, so I'm not exactly an authority.


In the case of the president, though, there's an extra wrinkle which has never been before a court. If the statute of limitations expires while he is in office, then the only reason he wasn't prosecuted was because he was shielded by being in office. That's different from the usual circumstances where it's just that the clock ran out before they found the evidence. Frankly, I think that the ruling would turn on how much they disliked that particular president.

(Note: Nothing in the above should be taken as a statement of opinion that Donald Trump has actually committed any crime. His tax statements sure seem awfully dodgy to me, but I haven't looked closely at any of the various allegations of criminal activity. I know that some of those allegations are wishful thinking.)
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Old 21st May 2019, 05:43 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
My belief is that being POTUS is not a waiver for criminal wrongdoing. That if the clock stops during the presidency, then the clock stops. Those years should not count in calculating the statute of limitations as being POTUS prevented prosecution. You can't have it both ways. We cannot and shoud not make our leaders immune.
I agree. The problem is that no one anticipated that a ridiculous scofflaw like Trump could become president of the United States. It's hard to imagine it even this long after it happened. So a little repair to presidential limits is certainly in order.
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Old 21st May 2019, 07:35 AM   #148
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Statues of limitations are not new offenses they are wavers for existing offences. By definition they only apply to people who were actually criminals at the time the act was committed so there is no risk of ďmaking criminals out of people who acted within the law at the time.Ē

Provided they are not changed so that people can be charged with things for which the statute of limitations has already expired I donít see what the issue is.
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Old 21st May 2019, 07:51 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
My understanding was that the unconstitutional ruling related to how the change in the statue of limitations was embedded in a new law that also changed other aspects of the law. So the Supreme Court by 5 to 4 saw this as an unconstitutional ex post facto application of a new law to those who passed beyond the statue of limitations of the old one. Did I get this wrong? Have other extensions of statues of limitations gotten around this? They appear very common changes in applications of child sex abuse laws.
a law enacted after expiration of a previously applicable limitations period violates the Ex Post Facto Clause when it is applied to revive a previously time-barred prosecution

My interpretation is that they are saying the original statue of limitations had expired and therefor a new statue of limitations could not be applied retroactively to "un-expire" them. The fact that the ruling specifies “expiration of a previously applicable limitations period” would seem to imply that the statute of limitations CAN be changed so long as the previous one is still in effect, which I think would be the case for most of the offences Trump could be charged with.
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Old 21st May 2019, 08:05 AM   #150
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In any other situation, the limitation would not matter because one would simply begin prosecuting the crime. What makes this situation unique is that the crime is known and understood prior to the statute of limitations expiring, but can't be prosecuted due to the criminal's political office.

That's not what the statute of limitations is for or about.
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Old 21st May 2019, 08:33 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
In any other situation, the limitation would not matter because one would simply begin prosecuting the crime. What makes this situation unique is that the crime is known and understood prior to the statute of limitations expiring, but can't be prosecuted due to the criminal's political office.

That's not what the statute of limitations is for or about.
My understanding of them is that they exist to ensure a speedy trial and by extension a fair trial as evidence may be more difficult to obtain.

Presumably there is nothing to prevent Trump from waving his protection and receiving an immediate arraignment so I donít think the speedy trial/fair provision is being violated as he still has this right. It would be similar to someone who could not be arraigned or tried because they had fled the country. To me, that would be the closest parallel.
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Old 21st May 2019, 08:48 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
It would be similar to someone who could not be arraigned or tried because they had fled the country. To me, that would be the closest parallel.
Serious question: If someone does a hit-and-run and then flees the country. The police get enough evidence to charge that person for the crime, but can not because they don't have physical custody of the person. If that person comes back a year after the statute of limitations runs out, can they still be charged or did they get away with it?

This being opposed to a situation where someone commits a hit-and-run, but the police do not get enough evidence to charge that person until a year after the statute of limitations run out.
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Old 21st May 2019, 08:53 AM   #153
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Wasn't Kavanaugh or maybe Gorsuch that wrote some op ed in favor of a law that would effectively pause the statute of limitation while a president was in office? The reasoning being that there seem to be a lot of legal experts of the opinion that you can't or shouldn't indict a sitting president while he is in office but since that invites abuse we should have a longer statute of limitations for Presidents at least.

Any rate, seems like reasonable accommodation. It also seems like a bit of a stretch to say that such a law would amount to an ex post facto law if the alleged violation was actually illegal at the time it was committed.

There is still debate as to whether the president actually committed the crime of obstruction of justice. To be convicted, its seems prosecutors would need to show "corrupt intent" as Trump's actions could be explained by either "corrupt intent" to protect himself and his associates from prosecution or by Trump being a petty man-child lashing out at something he didn't like, that would be fairly difficult to prove.

Personally, I think the Dems ought to wait for the next election, if they get the majority of the Senate, they can impeach. I think they should though they would likely pay a price in the following midterm. Impeachment without conviction would be terrible for everyone. Unless we just start making a habit of impeaching presidents, I could be convinced that that is a good idea.

Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Serious question: If someone does a hit-and-run and then flees the country. The police get enough evidence to charge that person for the crime, but can not because they don't have physical custody of the person. If that person comes back a year after the statute of limitations runs out, can they still be charged or did they get away with it?

This being opposed to a situation where someone commits a hit-and-run, but the police do not get enough evidence to charge that person until a year after the statute of limitations run out.
I was unaware that a suspect need to be in custody to charge with a crime. I'm also pretty sure they can be tried in abscentia.

Last edited by ahhell; 21st May 2019 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 21st May 2019, 09:01 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Wasn't Kavanaugh or maybe Gorsuch that wrote some op ed in favor of a law that would effectively pause the statute of limitation while a president was in office? The reasoning being that there seem to be a lot of legal experts of the opinion that you can't or shouldn't indict a sitting president while he is in office but since that invites abuse we should have a longer statute of limitations for Presidents at least.

Any rate, seems like reasonable accommodation. It also seems like a bit of a stretch to say that such a law would amount to an ex post facto law if the alleged violation was actually illegal at the time it was committed.

There is still debate as to whether the president actually committed the crime of obstruction of justice. To be convicted, its seems prosecutors would need to show "corrupt intent" as Trump's actions could be explained by either "corrupt intent" to protect himself and his associates from prosecution or by Trump being a petty man-child lashing out at something he didn't like, that would be fairly difficult to prove.

Personally, I think the Dems ought to wait for the next election, if they get the majority of the Senate, they can impeach. I think they should though they would likely pay a price in the following midterm. Impeachment without conviction would be terrible for everyone. Unless we just start making a habit of impeaching presidents, I could be convinced that that is a good idea.
That's nonsense. If one is unable to see that aTrump has used every possible method to prevent a legal investigation, they have their head in the sand. We have lies told by him and false testimony presented by his attorneys, his children and his staff and now he is ordering staff not to cooperate with House subpoenas. That is corrupt intent.
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Old 21st May 2019, 09:04 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
I was unaware that a suspect need to be in custody to charge with a crime. I'm also pretty sure they can be tried in abscentia.
I honestly don't know. Is there any other situation where prosecutors would know a person committed a crime well enough to press charges but can't do so until after the statute of limitations have run out?

Is there any other scenario we draw upon to inform us what should be done here?
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Old 21st May 2019, 09:26 AM   #156
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meh, nevermind.
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Old 21st May 2019, 10:19 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
In any other situation, the limitation would not matter because one would simply begin prosecuting the crime. What makes this situation unique is that the crime is known and understood prior to the statute of limitations expiring, but can't be prosecuted due to the criminal's political office.

That's not what the statute of limitations is for or about.
He could be impeached and then prosecuted.

A similar situation might have arisen, with Republicans baying for the prosecution of President Clinton over her "obvious" crimes regarding her State Department emails. But the Clinton DOJ won't indict their own president, and a Democratic Congress refuses to impeach. As aggravating as such a situation would be to me, I'd find it equally as tolerable - and correct! - as the current situation.

I'd love to see Hillary locked up, but I have zero enthusiasm for applying english to due process until I get the desired result.
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Old 21st May 2019, 10:51 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
He could be impeached and then prosecuted.

A similar situation might have arisen, with Republicans baying for the prosecution of President Clinton over her "obvious" crimes regarding her State Department emails. But the Clinton DOJ won't indict their own president, and a Democratic Congress refuses to impeach. As aggravating as such a situation would be to me, I'd find it equally as tolerable - and correct! - as the current situation.

I'd love to see Hillary locked up, but I have zero enthusiasm for applying english to due process until I get the desired result.
The joke is comparing the two. Saying deleting emails to be an "obvious crime"? Do you hear yourself? It's hard to believe you can say that with a straight face given the countless acts committed by Trump and his associates since taking office. You'd like to see Hillary "locked up"? And yet Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause this very day. Trump has overstepped his Constitutional authority and not a peep out of you. But Hillary deletes some emails and you think she should be incarcerated?

The hypocrisy knows no boundaries.
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Old 21st May 2019, 10:54 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
He could be impeached and then prosecuted.
My understanding is that heíd have to be removed from office, not just impeached, and thatís not happening because the GOP lacks principles.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A similar situation might have arisen, with Republicans baying for the prosecution of President Clinton over her "obvious" crimes regarding her State Department emails. But the Clinton DOJ won't indict their own president, and a Democratic Congress refuses to impeach. As aggravating as such a situation would be to me, I'd find it equally as tolerable - and correct! - as the current situation.
The difference is that none of the many investigations into that found any crimes took place. Not even the Republican lead investigations. Whereas the very first investigation into Trumpís actions found a number of them.

I agree however that itís a bad idea to prosecute someone who has not been found to have committed any crimes. Fortunately, that isnít what weíre talking about.
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Old 21st May 2019, 11:01 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The joke is comparing the two. Saying deleting emails to be an "obvious crime"? Do you hear yourself? It's hard to believe you can say that with a straight face given the countless acts committed by Trump and his associates since taking office. You'd like to see Hillary "locked up"? And yet Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause this very day. Trump has overstepped his Constitutional authority and not a peep out of you. But Hillary deletes some emails and you think she should be incarcerated?
How about if we accept that both sides start from the premise that the crimes of the other side are heinous and the supposed "crimes" of our side are trivial technicalities.
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