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Old 7th October 2019, 04:07 AM   #121
The Great Zaganza
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You wouldn't go to trial... Yet.
But you could easily get a search warrant. Which is all Democrats are asking for and which Trump claims they don't get unless they already have all the evidence.
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Old 7th October 2019, 04:10 AM   #122
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Old 7th October 2019, 04:20 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
You wouldn't go to trial... Yet.
But you could easily get a search warrant. Which is all Democrats are asking for and which Trump claims they don't get unless they already have all the evidence.
That's all they are asking for? Some Democratic politicians and a lot of people who participate in this forum have stated that this there is already sufficient evidence of crimes that they should proceed to a trial.

I have no problem with further investigations, but this thread was started to discuss the legal issues and whether or not there is already sufficient evidence to conclude Donald Trump has committed a crime and/or an impeachable offense.
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Old 7th October 2019, 04:26 AM   #124
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Yes, the Impeachment Inquiry isn't the Trial - that's what happens in the Senate.
House Democrats demand access to information to determine whether Trump committed crimes, and Trump withholding access to such information is clearly a crime of obstruction, as seen in the Nixon case.
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Old 7th October 2019, 04:31 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Yes, the Impeachment Inquiry isn't the Trial - that's what happens in the Senate.
House Democrats demand access to information to determine whether Trump committed crimes, and Trump withholding access to such information is clearly a crime of obstruction, as seen in the Nixon case.
Ah, yes.

Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
“Something kind of like something that Richard Nixon did”,
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Old 7th October 2019, 04:41 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Of course, that last item on the list would be absolutely corrupt, but there’s no reason to believe that it was any actual motivation for Trump. The investigation didn’t uncover evidence of crimes by Trump, or any evidence that Trump had, as of yet, concealed anyone else’s crimes. In short, there is no reason to believe that his intent was corrupt.
You are absolutely cherry-picking the evidence. Trump absolutely trout the investigation would uncover evidence of his crime. He even said he was “****ed” because of it. Indeed, he told the Russians at the White House that firing Comey took a lot of pressure off of him.

Just because Mueller did not find enough evidence to indict a Trump on conspiracy does not mean that Trump was not real concerned that he would.

BTW, you aren’t laboring under the impression that Mueller report proves that Trump didn’t commit a crime, are you?
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Old 7th October 2019, 05:08 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Ah, yes.
I object. You claim to be running this on questions of legalities yet you're dismissing precedent?

As trials go, this one, thus far, sucks. There are unsettled questions that make the creation of actual trial conditions impossible.

First, due to the wishy-washy wording in the Constitution, as has been noted by more than one legal scholar (while not in the exact words), Impeachment amounts to the not-parliamentarian equivalent of a No-Confidence vote. There aren't even clear punishments proscribed.

The major problems of definition reside in the dubious wording.

First, is "high" an adjective modifying both "crimes" and "misdemeanors", i.e. "high crimes" and "(high) misdemeanors", and if it is, just what is a "high misdemeanor"? Further, a "misdemeanor" as defined in 1781? Or a misdemeanor as in common law today? Was the intent to say "High Crimes and High Misdemeanors"? If so, why didn't they say so? Alternately is it rigidly interpreted to mean "High Crimes" and "(Any Old) Misdemeanors"? Again, why didn't they say so?

Secondly, just what is an emolument? Again, were they being 1781 literal? Or is there more to be gained in understanding that the framers were a bunch of show-offs and rather than say "payment in any kind", they liked the fancy-dancy Frenchified word.

Without agreement on both of the above, your trial is standing on a sub-strata of quicksand.
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Old 7th October 2019, 05:12 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Ah, yes.
From this, I can only surmise that you think Nixon should never have been threatened with Impeachment.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:27 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
That's all they are asking for? Some Democratic politicians and a lot of people who participate in this forum have stated that this there is already sufficient evidence of crimes that they should proceed to a trial.

I have no problem with further investigations, but this thread was started to discuss the legal issues and whether or not there is already sufficient evidence to conclude Donald Trump has committed a crime and/or an impeachable offense.
Since impeachment is not a punishment, I don't know where you are getting your standard for impeachable offense.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:31 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
You are absolutely cherry-picking the evidence. Trump absolutely trout the investigation would uncover evidence of his crime. He even said he was “****ed” because of it. Indeed, he told the Russians at the White House that firing Comey took a lot of pressure off of him.

Just because Mueller did not find enough evidence to indict a Trump on conspiracy does not mean that Trump was not real concerned that he would.

BTW, you aren’t laboring under the impression that Mueller report proves that Trump didn’t commit a crime, are you?
The Mueller Report contained no proof that a crime was committed, and no proof that a crime
was not committed.

You seem to be saying that since one possible explanation of his behavior is that he might be covering up evidence of a crime, he must have corrupt intent.

That's a rather novel legal theory, although it does seem to be common among commentators on this case.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:39 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The Mueller Report contained no proof that a crime was committed, and no proof that a crime
was not committed.

You seem to be saying that since one possible explanation of his behavior is that he might be covering up evidence of a crime, he must have corrupt intent.

That's a rather novel legal theory, although it does seem to be common among commentators on this case.
Wrong.
It contains no CONCLUSION that a crime was committed.
Big difference
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:44 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Does Trump know it's phony? It could. Insufficient data in the hypothetical to give a yes/no answer with certainty.
OK "it could" rise to the level of meriting impeachment. Here's a scenario for you to consider then:

(1) Candidate for POTUS encourages illegal activity by hostile foreign country to benefit said candidate, and enthusiastically embraces the fruits of the illegal activity. In a close election, it's conceivable that these actions tipped the result.

(2) Four years later, as POTUS, this same person (a) specifically extorts a foreign country to investigate political opponent using personal attorney as go-between based on implausible conspiracy theories and (b) publicly encourages another hostile country, with whom there is a simmering trade war, to investigate same opponent.

If that doesn't elevate things from "could" to "should" then the integrity of US elections is not a high priority for you.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:50 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I object. You claim to be running this on questions of legalities yet you're dismissing precedent?

As trials go, this one, thus far, sucks. There are unsettled questions that make the creation of actual trial conditions impossible.

First, due to the wishy-washy wording in the Constitution, as has been noted by more than one legal scholar (while not in the exact words), Impeachment amounts to the not-parliamentarian equivalent of a No-Confidence vote. There aren't even clear punishments proscribed.

The major problems of definition reside in the dubious wording.

First, is "high" an adjective modifying both "crimes" and "misdemeanors", i.e. "high crimes" and "(high) misdemeanors", and if it is, just what is a "high misdemeanor"? Further, a "misdemeanor" as defined in 1781? Or a misdemeanor as in common law today? Was the intent to say "High Crimes and High Misdemeanors"? If so, why didn't they say so? Alternately is it rigidly interpreted to mean "High Crimes" and "(Any Old) Misdemeanors"? Again, why didn't they say so?

Secondly, just what is an emolument? Again, were they being 1781 literal? Or is there more to be gained in understanding that the framers were a bunch of show-offs and rather than say "payment in any kind", they liked the fancy-dancy Frenchified word.

Without agreement on both of the above, your trial is standing on a sub-strata of quicksand.
Objection overruled!

The definition of " high crimes and misdemeanors" has been placed into evidence already via reference to the Wikipedia, an unimpeachable source.

And have you ever read the stuff written by guys like Madison and Jefferson and that crowd? Those guys were good. They didn't write "The Federalist Tweets". I'm pretty sure that they meant what they said when they said "emolument".


In all seriousness, I do recommend the Wikipedia article on high crimes and midemeanors. As for this "trial", that was my somewhat whimsical way of emphasizing that i.wanted to stick to legal issues, as opposed to political issues. I was also hoping that the mods would go along with the idea of discussing a trial that hadn't happened yet in the "trials and errors" section, but they didn't buy it.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:56 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The Mueller Report contained no proof that a crime was committed, and no proof that a crime
was not committed.

You seem to be saying that since one possible explanation of his behavior is that he might be covering up evidence of a crime, he must have corrupt intent.

That's a rather novel legal theory, although it does seem to be common among commentators on this case.
Hold up, we're talking about intent. There was plenty of evidence in the report that Trump was afraid of the investigation. From the report:
Quote:
According to notes written by Hunt, when Sessions told the President that a Special Counsel had been appointed, the President slumped back in his chair and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m ******.” The President became angry and lambasted the Attorney General for his decision to recuse from the investigation, stating, “How could you let this happen, Jeff?” The President said the position of Attorney General was his most important appointment and that Sessions had “let [him] down,” contrasting him to Eric Holder and Robert Kennedy. Sessions recalled that the President said to him, “you were supposed to protect me,” or words to that effect. The President returned to the consequences of the appointment and said, “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
That provides exactly the motivation needed for your third "absolutely corrupt" point from above.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:02 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
i.wanted to stick to legal issues, as opposed to political issues.
The Trump administration is outright refusing to honor subpoenas, is intimidating witnesses, and not recusing themselves despite clear conflicts of interest. Trump himself has openly confessed to crimes on national TV. There is no question that he is a criminal. Legally speaking, the only issue worth discussing is to throw the books at them one at a time or all at once. Everything else you may hear is just an attempt at making it a political issue.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:25 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Corrupt intent is important in an Obstruction of Justice charge because 18 USC Chapter 73 Section 1503 includes the word "corruptly", as do several other sections in Chapter 73.
But why is it in that statute? We're talking about obstructing an investigation -- the only way we have of determining if any crimes were committed unless people voluntarily offer confessions -- and that's a serious crime itself. It doesn't really matter if it was to avoid uncovering crimes or just to avoid embarrassment or political damage -- those are personal advantages that go against the public's right to investigate potential crimes. You could have saved a lot of typing in your longer post if you just said you don't think that's really "corrupt," because I don't see anything else in there.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:26 AM   #137
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I have to say I'm surprised that you'd want to go by the Wiki version of "high crimes". It's very liberal (e.g. "broad") in its interpretation.

You happy to go with the Wiki description? What about the rest of the participants?
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:35 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I have to say I'm surprised that you'd want to go by the Wiki version of "high crimes". It's very liberal (e.g. "broad") in its interpretation.



You happy to go with the Wiki description? What about the rest of the participants?
I think the impeachment question is off topic, actually. Impeachment is a political question. If I understand Meadmaker correctly, this thread is intended to be a purely legal inquiry.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:41 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think the impeachment question is off topic, actually. Impeachment is a political question. If I understand Meadmaker correctly, this thread is intended to be a purely legal inquiry.
Impeachment is the investigative step. The "trial" would be in the Senate, as you're well aware. If we're not trying the actual person who's been accused of actual "things" (won't call 'em crimes yet), under at least similar parameters, then I am guilty of not understanding what the exercise is.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:08 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Impeachment is the investigative step. The "trial" would be in the Senate, as you're well aware. If we're not trying the actual person who's been accused of actual "things" (won't call 'em crimes yet), under at least similar parameters, then I am guilty of not understanding what the exercise is.
Ah, gotcha.

So. I don't think the wiki definition is too broad. Impeachment is a political process, and the definition of "high crimes" is appropriately broad to admit a political decision to remove.

However, my understanding of the purpose of this thread is to look at specific crimes that are on the books, and examine whether we have evidence to conclude that those specific crimes were committed.

Thus, in the context of this thread, I don't care about "high crimes". I don't see how it's relevant. I'm interested in what I understand to be the topic of the thread: An examination of the legal arguments about specific crimes.

The definition of "high crimes"? Totally irrelevant here. The definition of "emoluments" and "corrupt intent"? Supremely relevant here.

We already have at least two threads for discussing impeachment. It would be nice if we used this thread for focused discussion of specific criminal allegations.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:15 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I have to say I'm surprised that you'd want to go by the Wiki version of "high crimes". It's very liberal (e.g. "broad") in its interpretation.

You happy to go with the Wiki description? What about the rest of the participants?
Yeah, I'm fine with it.

I'm on a phone. I'll elaborate later, but in the OP I talked about "ordinary crimes", which are regular old crimes, with juries and all that, and also "high crimes and misdemeanors", which is a lot broader. Is it wise to mix the two in one discussion? Well, you get what you pay for, and isf is free. I intended the thread to address both.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:20 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Ah, gotcha.

So. I don't think the wiki definition is too broad. Impeachment is a political process, and the definition of "high crimes" is appropriately broad to admit a political decision to remove.

However, my understanding of the purpose of this thread is to look at specific crimes that are on the books, and examine whether we have evidence to conclude that those specific crimes were committed.

Thus, in the context of this thread, I don't care about "high crimes". I don't see how it's relevant. I'm interested in what I understand to be the topic of the thread: An examination of the legal arguments about specific crimes.

The definition of "high crimes"? Totally irrelevant here. The definition of "emoluments" and "corrupt intent"? Supremely relevant here.

We already have at least two threads for discussing impeachment. It would be nice if we used this thread for focused discussion of specific criminal allegations.
Even though it is ultimately a political process, impeachment exists in a legal framework, so I intended to include legal issues related to impeachment, even if those do not involve prosecutable offenses.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:48 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Yeah, I'm fine with it.

I'm on a phone. I'll elaborate later, but in the OP I talked about "ordinary crimes", which are regular old crimes, with juries and all that, and also "high crimes and misdemeanors", which is a lot broader. Is it wise to mix the two in one discussion? Well, you get what you pay for, and isf is free. I intended the thread to address both.
That interpretation doesn't make any sense; statutes don't distinguish between "high" crimes and "ordinary" crimes. The interpretation (based on the conventional meaning at the time the Constitution was written) that it means crimes committed by people in "high" office does make sense because in that case, "ordinary" crimes have a greater negative impact on society.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:08 AM   #144
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Quoting

"China should start an investigation into the Bidens"

This is "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest" territory.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:16 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
That interpretation doesn't make any sense; statutes don't distinguish between "high" crimes and "ordinary" crimes. The interpretation (based on the conventional meaning at the time the Constitution was written) that it means crimes committed by people in "high" office does make sense because in that case, "ordinary" crimes have a greater negative impact on society.
That interpretation seems redundant. Impeachment already applies to people in high office by definition.
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:22 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That interpretation seems redundant. Impeachment already applies to people in high office by definition.

Perhaps it is redundant.

So what?
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:28 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Perhaps it is redundant.

So what?
So I'm not inclined to accept it as the reasonable default interpretation a priori.

That said, it seems like a pretty empty phrase, roughly equivalent to "crimes" in modern speech. The question is, did they mean something specific and technical, beyond the usual connotation of "crimes"? Or was it just a conventionally florid way of saying "crimes" on an official document?
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:41 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That interpretation seems redundant. Impeachment already applies to people in high office by definition.
As quadraginta asked, so what? That was the meaning of the phrase at the time the Constitution was written, and apparently still is in legalese. Wikipedia explicitly states that it only applies to officials and includes "ordinary" crimes and even things that aren't specifically crimes (e.g. failing to exercise proper supervision), but if you don't trust Wikipedia, that is not by any means the only source.

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Old 7th October 2019, 10:58 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
As quadraginta asked, so what? That was the meaning of the phrase at the time the Constitution was written, and apparently still is in legalese. Wikipedia explicitly states that it only applies to officials and includes "ordinary" crimes and even things that aren't specifically crimes (e.g. failing to exercise proper supervision), but if you don't trust Wikipedia, that is not by any means the only source.
I'm glad we are agreed.
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Old 7th October 2019, 11:10 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I'm glad we are agreed.
Then, what point were you trying to make? If you obstruct justice, that's an "ordinary" crime; if Trump does the exact same thing, that's a "high" crime.
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Old 7th October 2019, 11:19 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
Before you get any further, I vote guilty.

This sums up my complaint that this is about getting a political enemy (as was done to Bill Clinton) rather than the crocodile tears for violations of newly-valued constitutional principles.
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Old 7th October 2019, 11:21 AM   #152
BobTheCoward
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Trump should be impeached for saying he possesses,"great and unmatched wisdom."

I'm not joking. He isn't entitled to the job.
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Old 7th October 2019, 11:21 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
As quadraginta asked, so what?
Already addressed.

Quote:
That was the meaning of the phrase at the time the Constitution was written, and apparently still is in legalese. Wikipedia explicitly states that it only applies to officials and includes "ordinary" crimes and even things that aren't specifically crimes (e.g. failing to exercise proper supervision), but if you don't trust Wikipedia, that is not by any means the only source.
Not that I don't trust Wikipedia... but I don't trust Wikipedia. It's good for familiarizing myself with a topic when there's no serious matter hanging on the accuracy of the text. If you're going to cite Wikipedia as a serious source, you should probably cite whatever source is cited in the Wikipedia article. And if the Wikipedia article doesn't cite a source, then you probably shouldn't cite Wikipedia itself as a source.
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Old 7th October 2019, 11:30 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
So I'm not inclined to accept it as the reasonable default interpretation a priori.

That said, it seems like a pretty empty phrase, roughly equivalent to "crimes" in modern speech. The question is, did they mean something specific and technical, beyond the usual connotation of "crimes"? Or was it just a conventionally florid way of saying "crimes" on an official document?

No, it's a "florid" way of describing behavior that only applies to officials.
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Old 7th October 2019, 11:33 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Already addressed.



Not that I don't trust Wikipedia... but I don't trust Wikipedia. It's good for familiarizing myself with a topic when there's no serious matter hanging on the accuracy of the text. If you're going to cite Wikipedia as a serious source, you should probably cite whatever source is cited in the Wikipedia article. And if the Wikipedia article doesn't cite a source, then you probably shouldn't cite Wikipedia itself as a source.

This forum needs a Dodge Ball smiley.
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:00 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Trump should be impeached for saying he possesses,"great and unmatched wisdom."

I'm not joking. He isn't entitled to the job.
Na, he should be impeached for irresponsible use of hair spray.
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:01 PM   #157
theprestige
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
No, it's a "florid" way of describing behavior that only applies to officials.
I don't believe you've supported this interpretation, but so what? And why would it even be necessary?

Officials committing the same crimes as other people doesn't really require a separate term. A "high" crime is just a crime... committed by an official. Does that make it different, somehow? No. Does it call for a different punishment? No.

Nothing in our modern jurisprudence suggests any difference in criminal justice, solely because the crime in question was committed by an official. Bribery is still just bribery, even when it's "high" bribery. Murder is still just murder, even when it's "high" murder. Obstruction of justice is still just obstruction, even when it's "high" obstruction.
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:04 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
This forum needs a Dodge Ball smiley.
What do you think I'm dodging?

And why is this a competitive, winning and losing situation in your mind? My opinion differs from yours, and I'm explaining some of why and how. You don't have to agree with me. You don't have to try to prove me wrong, or win some point of debate. You don't have to lay rhetorical traps and then get disappointed when I "dodge" them. Just say what you think, and why, and let us make up our own minds about which opinion we prefer.
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:24 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't believe you've supported this interpretation, but so what? And why would it even be necessary?

Officials committing the same crimes as other people doesn't really require a separate term. A "high" crime is just a crime... committed by an official. Does that make it different, somehow? No. Does it call for a different punishment? No.

Nothing in our modern jurisprudence suggests any difference in criminal justice, solely because the crime in question was committed by an official. Bribery is still just bribery, even when it's "high" bribery. Murder is still just murder, even when it's "high" murder. Obstruction of justice is still just obstruction, even when it's "high" obstruction.
No, because as already discussed, "high crimes and misdemeanors" includes things that aren't statutory crimes, per se, but rather any betrayal of public trust. If it just said "crimes and misdemeanors" then it would be interpreted to mean only that.
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:38 PM   #160
WilliamSeger
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What do you think I'm dodging?

And why is this a competitive, winning and losing situation in your mind? My opinion differs from yours, and I'm explaining some of why and how. You don't have to agree with me. You don't have to try to prove me wrong, or win some point of debate. You don't have to lay rhetorical traps and then get disappointed when I "dodge" them. Just say what you think, and why, and let us make up our own minds about which opinion we prefer.

This forum needs a whiney smiley. This isn't my opinion versus your opinion. It's your opinion versus everything I've ever read on the subject, and your response is that you don't trust Wikipedia.
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