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Tags Andrew McCabe , donald trump , George Papadopoulos , Michael Cohen , Paul Manafort , Robert Mueller , Trump controversies , Trump-Russia connections

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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:28 PM   #81
Ziggurat
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
I'm not, and this is where you're full of ****. Is it so difficult to see that you assessed Edwards' legal jeopardy differently than Trump's? At least the bias maintains throughout, and always in the same direction (which is on display in the comments about character).
Your reading of the thread has been quite shallow. Note this post:

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Putting them on the campaign payroll is not in itself the problem. But they have to do the actual work for which they are hired, or you're just embezzling money. Which may have happened in the case of Riel Hunter.
Edwards was accused of multiple things. One of them is circumventing campaign donation limits by having donors give money to Hunter outside the campaign. That is the legal parallel to Trump and Stormy. But that isn't what I suggested Edwards might be guilty of. I suggested he might have paid Hunter directly with campaign cash without her having done actual work for the campaign. And that IS NOT a parallel to the Trump case.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:30 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Don't mention it, just like you won't mention how you concluded that it doesn't support the claim.


Well it is pretty hard to quote something that isn't in the plea agreement, usually by the way the one making the claim supports it, the plea agreement is quite short so I'm sure it won't take you long to provide the text that does support your claim....
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:31 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Of course, the plea agreement
Doesn't seem to lay out the quid pro quo you imply.

Looks like he plead guilty to lots of stuff, including his tax crimes, in order to avoid further prosecution on lots of stuff, including his tax crimes.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:31 PM   #84
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Drink the NEW Kool Aid! All natural "The payments were not a crime" flavor. It's very popular with a certain segment of the population.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:33 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Yes it is, it's clearly stated in the plea agreement.
Thanks for the reference to the plea agreement, I've read it and it is clear that it does not support your claim.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:35 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I have no opinion on that.
I would have been shocked if you did.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:38 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
And there you go speaking as if you have legal expertise again. Yet you do not. Or do you have citations about what a judge will and will not accept for a plea agreement in a court of law?
You don't need to understand legal theory to know this. You can just look at what actually happens. And what actually happens is that people plead guilty to crimes they don't commit, and judges accept those pleas, all the time.

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/201...lty/?insrc=whc
"How prevalent is the phenomenon of innocent people pleading guilty? The few criminologists who have thus far investigated the phenomenon estimate that the overall rate for convicted felons as a whole is between 2 percent and 8 percent."

Oh, and I think the author's credentials should satisfy.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:43 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
There is also no reasonable doubt that many of the crimes he committed were at Trump's direction.
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You don't need to understand legal theory to know this. You can just look at what actually happens. And what actually happens is that people plead guilty to crimes they don't commit, and judges accept those pleas, all the time.

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/201...lty/?insrc=whc
"How prevalent is the phenomenon of innocent people pleading guilty? The few criminologists who have thus far investigated the phenomenon estimate that the overall rate for convicted felons as a whole is between 2 percent and 8 percent."

Oh, and I think the author's credentials should satisfy.
But that is irrelevant to the discussion of this particular case.

There is a sufficient paper trail that is in the public domain, let alone whatever would have come out in a trial.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:47 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You don't need to understand legal theory to know this. You can just look at what actually happens. And what actually happens is that people plead guilty to crimes they don't commit, and judges accept those pleas, all the time.

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/201...lty/?insrc=whc
"How prevalent is the phenomenon of innocent people pleading guilty? The few criminologists who have thus far investigated the phenomenon estimate that the overall rate for convicted felons as a whole is between 2 percent and 8 percent."

Oh, and I think the author's credentials should satisfy.
I see, you are hanging your hat on 2 - 8 %.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:48 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You don't need to understand legal theory to know this. You can just look at what actually happens. And what actually happens is that people plead guilty to crimes they don't commit, and judges accept those pleas, all the time.

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/201...lty/?insrc=whc
"How prevalent is the phenomenon of innocent people pleading guilty? The few criminologists who have thus far investigated the phenomenon estimate that the overall rate for convicted felons as a whole is between 2 percent and 8 percent."

Oh, and I think the author's credentials should satisfy.
I wonder how many of those people have law degrees?

I mean it is not like he was charged with murder and plead down to felony assault. This isn't a common plea deal.

He was charged with a bunch of financial crimes and plead guilty to those crimes and his plea deal only prevents further prosecution on the crimes he plead guilty to. If he is found to have committed other crimes he can be charged with those as well.

ETA: I just noted that Zigg is now parroting an argument by BTC. I never thought I would see the day . . .
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:48 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
But that is irrelevant to the discussion of this particular case.

There is a sufficient paper trail that is in the public domain, let alone whatever would have come out in a trial.
It's relevant to the argument put forth that Cohen's plea proves paying Stormy was an illegal campaign expenditure.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:49 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
I see, you are hanging your hat on 2 - 8 %.
Which is also an unfair test. A significant proportion of those would be confessions with no other evidence, as opposed to thousands of documents and emails, and (and this is only a prediction) information that furthers Muller's investigation.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:56 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Which is also an unfair test. A significant proportion of those would be confessions with no other evidence, as opposed to thousands of documents and emails, and (and this is only a prediction) information that furthers Muller's investigation.
Where does it state it is confessions with no other evidence? I don't have time right now to go through the piece.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 12:57 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I wonder how many of those people have law degrees?
Pretty much all of them. Remember, that was about judges accepting guilty pleas from people who were not actually guilty.

Quote:
I mean it is not like he was charged with murder and plead down to felony assault. This isn't a common plea deal.
You seem confused. Plea bargains aren't only about what crimes are charged. They are often about recommended sentencing, even if the charge remains the same.

The Stormy payment as campaign expenditure charge is minor. The penalty he gets from adding that charge can be more than offset by a reduction in penalties for other charges. For Cohen, the legal accuracy of any particular charge is irrelevant. What matters is minimizing the total punishment he gets. If pleading to something that wasn't a crime reduces his punishment, then of course he's going to do it, and his law degree doesn't pose any sort of impediment to that.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:01 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Pretty much all of them. Remember, that was about judges accepting guilty pleas from people who were not actually guilty.



You seem confused. Plea bargains aren't only about what crimes are charged. They are often about recommended sentencing, even if the charge remains the same.

The Stormy payment as campaign expenditure charge is minor. The penalty he gets from adding that charge can be more than offset by a reduction in penalties for other charges. For Cohen, the legal accuracy of any particular charge is irrelevant. What matters is minimizing the total punishment he gets. If pleading to something that wasn't a crime reduces his punishment, then of course he's going to do it, and his law degree doesn't pose any sort of impediment to that.
2-8% chance you are right. And only if there isn't existing evidence proving the government's case.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:03 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Where does it state it is confessions with no other evidence? I don't have time right now to go through the piece.
I was basing it on what happened with a lot of the miscarriages of justice in the UK.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/....4.4.332.10880 for an abstract.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:03 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
I see, you are hanging your hat on 2 - 8 %.
You say that like the number is low. It isn't. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, the percentage of cases where an innocent person plead guilty have that plea accepted by the judge is quite high. In only a minority of such cases will a judge reject the plea. And in this specific case, the judge would have little reason to reject the plea, since accepting it doesn't do any injustice to Cohen.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:04 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
2-8% chance you are right.
Wow. You clearly don't understand statistics. That isn't how it works.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:05 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
2-8% chance you are right. And only if there isn't existing evidence proving the government's case.
Actually, there is a 100% chance he is right, if there was a 100% chance that Cohen (and maybe his wife) were going down on the tax charges, and the deal was on the table only if he pleaded to the tax charges AND the other charges
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:08 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I was basing it on what happened with a lot of the miscarriages of justice in the UK.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/....4.4.332.10880 for an abstract.
I think that's a different issue (though it still speaks generally to the fallibility of criminal justice). It sounds from the abstract to be specifically talking about confessions during interrogation, rather than pleas.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:09 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
2-8% chance you are right. And only if there isn't existing evidence proving the government's case.
There already is evidence.
NBC News: Several political pundits seem to suggest that the Cohen plea is his word against the President's.

Not true.

Here's Andrea Griswold, federal prosecutor, detailing the evidence they had and would have used to prove the counts involving the President at trial:
Here's a link to the full transcript of the Cohen plea hearing. The part detailing the types evidence they are planning to present appears page 26.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:11 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Your reading of the thread has been quite shallow. Note this post:

Edwards was accused of multiple things. One of them is circumventing campaign donation limits by having donors give money to Hunter outside the campaign. That is the legal parallel to Trump and Stormy. But that isn't what I suggested Edwards might be guilty of. I suggested he might have paid Hunter directly with campaign cash without her having done actual work for the campaign. And that IS NOT a parallel to the Trump case.
Ah, so that's how you want to play it. What you had been referring to all along was this payment for no actual work (rather than the multiple other alleged wrongdoings). Man, it's good thing ponderingturtle specifically asked why it's wrong to put one's girlfriend on the payroll otherwise I might've gotten the totally unfair impression that you're a raging hypocrite and semantic wanker. Thanks for clarifying my shallow reading.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:13 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Actually, there is a 100% chance he is right, if there was a 100% chance that Cohen (and maybe his wife) were going down on the tax charges, and the deal was on the table only if he pleaded to the tax charges AND the other charges
"If"
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:14 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
I see, you are hanging your hat on 2 - 8 %.
And the circumstances described are very different. The plea bargains in these cases aren't millionaires and their expensive lawyers.

It's destitute single moms who can't leave their kids at home alone while they rot in jail for six months pending their turn with an underpaid public defender.

SPLC has been on this for decades.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:14 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Actually, there is a 100% chance he is right, if there was a 100% chance that Cohen (and maybe his wife) were going down on the tax charges, and the deal was on the table only if he pleaded to the tax charges AND the other charges
What it really hinges on is whether I'm right about paying Stormy not being a campaign expenditure. I think my argument on that point is pretty strong. If I'm right that it's not an expenditure, then it doesn't really matter why Cohen pled guilty to it, but I've given a very plausible explanation for why he might.

But suppose I'm wrong, and he's truly guilty on that count. The incentive for him to plead guilty is still the same. In neither case is his plea itself evidence that the action was or was not a crime. In both cases, his incentive to plead guilty has nothing to do with the truth, and everything to do with reducing his sentence.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:15 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You say that like the number is low. It isn't. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, the percentage of cases where an innocent person plead guilty have that plea accepted by the judge is quite high. In only a minority of such cases will a judge reject the plea. And in this specific case, the judge would have little reason to reject the plea, since accepting it doesn't do any injustice to Cohen.
It is low, when estimating the chances of a single case, vs. whether there are large scale injustices, as the intent if the article was aiming for.

And yes, I really understand statistics.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:17 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
And the circumstances described are very different. The plea bargains in these cases aren't millionaires and their expensive lawyers.

It's destitute single moms who can't leave their kids at home alone while they rot in jail for six months pending their turn with an underpaid public defender.
Which is why it should be more important for judges in those cases to reject such false pleas. But they don't.

So why would you expect the judge to reject this plea? Do you think the judge will feel that Cohen, with his own extensive legal experience plus the advice of a highly paid lawyer representing him, needs additional protected from the prosecution?
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:18 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
What it really hinges on is whether I'm right about paying Stormy not being a campaign expenditure. I think my argument on that point is pretty strong. If I'm right that it's not an expenditure, then it doesn't really matter why Cohen pled guilty to it, but I've given a very plausible explanation for why he might.

But suppose I'm wrong, and he's truly guilty on that count. The incentive for him to plead guilty is still the same. In neither case is his plea itself evidence that the action was or was not a crime. In both cases, his incentive to plead guilty has nothing to do with the truth, and everything to do with reducing his sentence.
"If"

Good luck. The only statistics you cite show 2 - 8%. And as ably pointed out by blutoski, that very well could be optimistic.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:18 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
What it really hinges on is whether I'm right about paying Stormy not being a campaign expenditure. I think my argument on that point is pretty strong. If I'm right that it's not an expenditure, then it doesn't really matter why Cohen pled guilty to it, but I've given a very plausible explanation for why he might.

But suppose I'm wrong, and he's truly guilty on that count. The incentive for him to plead guilty is still the same. In neither case is his plea itself evidence that the action was or was not a crime. In both cases, his incentive to plead guilty has nothing to do with the truth, and everything to do with reducing his sentence.
You are indeed quite correct
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:19 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
It is low, when estimating the chances of a single case, vs. whether there are large scale injustices, as the intent if the article was aiming for.

And yes, I really understand statistics.
If you really understand statistics, then why are you applying them incorrectly here? This isn't a randomly selected case.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:19 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Which is why it should be more important for judges in those cases to reject such false pleas. But they don't.

So why would you expect the judge to reject this plea? Do you think the judge will feel that Cohen, with his own extensive legal experience plus the advice of a highly paid lawyer representing him, needs additional protected from the prosecution?
Now you are arguing from incredulity.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:20 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Acbytesla
My GOD!! I can't believe this. I agree with The Big Dog...and hell hasn't froze over!

For the average person, it's ******* easy. For Donald Trump telling the truth is a rainbows-and-unicorns fantasy.
Boom!!!
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:21 PM   #113
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Now what we have not been discussing in connection with this is Cohen's "expensive lawyers," and in this case, Lanny Davis. It might but should not surprise you to know that he might not be on the up and up and might not have had Cohen's best interests in mind....
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:21 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
If you really understand statistics, then why are you applying them incorrectly here? This isn't a randomly selected case.
Exactly, it is the sort of case where 2% is far too high an estimate.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:22 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
If you really understand statistics, then why are you applying them incorrectly here? This isn't a randomly selected case.
Those are the only statistics you cited to support your claim that innocent will plead guilty to a charge. Supply me more statistics to support your claim that no crime exists when one was admitted to.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:22 PM   #116
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This kind of seems like a catch-22, which bothers me some. As I understand it, it boils down to Trump paying money for something that is considered a campaign expense... which makes it a campaign violation because he used undeclared contributions for it, and they're considered undeclared contributions because it was a campaign expense, so any money spent on it is by definition campaign money?

If that's the case (and I haven't completely slaughtered this, which is completely likely), then couldn't this have just as easily gone the other way too? Given the nature of the payment being made, if he had paid out of official campaign finances, wouldn't it be just as easy to claim that he had used campaign money for personal expenditures?

I mean, the whole hush-money thing is both campaign related (to avoid negative PR) and personal (it was a personal interaction from prior to his candidacy). Which makes this seem like there's no possible way for this to be done that doesn't leave Trump open to a claim of breaking a campaign law... even though if he weren't a candidate, none of it is at all illegal in any way.

Or have I missed something material in there? I confess I find the situation confusing.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:24 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Now you are arguing from incredulity.
You have that backwards. The argument from incredulity here is the claim that a judge wouldn't accept a false plea. But of course, they would and they do.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:24 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Which is why it should be more important for judges in those cases to reject such false pleas. But they don't.

So why would you expect the judge to reject this plea? Do you think the judge will feel that Cohen, with his own extensive legal experience plus the advice of a highly paid lawyer representing him, needs additional protected from the prosecution?
Couple of differences. Usually there's no judge involved in these plea bargains. It's a backwater DA and an unrepresented accused who waives her rights entirely and has no idea there's another option. The DA is long gone to his next ladder in a political career by the time SPLC pulls the data.

The attraction for the DA is that nobody will ever know. It doesn't happen in high profile cases like this, because the judge knows he'll have to explain it.

In any case, as mentioned, the evidence docket looks like it would be no contest. Sure, he could have plead guilty to something he didn't do. Could have been aliens, too. Let's go with probabilities here.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:25 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Stacko View Post

Yup, pointed this out twice in the part 2 days (last night). It needs repeated every time some hack makes it out like all we have is the word of Cohen.

They are not going where the evidence leads us. The prosecutors have extensive evidence. The only way to contend that it's only actually Cohen's coerced words is to assert that the prosecutors were lying in open court to the judge.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:25 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
This kind of seems like a catch-22, which bothers me some. As I understand it, it boils down to Trump paying money for something that is considered a campaign expense... which makes it a campaign violation because he used undeclared contributions for it, and they're considered undeclared contributions because it was a campaign expense, so any money spent on it is by definition campaign money?

If that's the case (and I haven't completely slaughtered this, which is completely likely), then couldn't this have just as easily gone the other way too? Given the nature of the payment being made, if he had paid out of official campaign finances, wouldn't it be just as easy to claim that he had used campaign money for personal expenditures?

I mean, the whole hush-money thing is both campaign related (to avoid negative PR) and personal (it was a personal interaction from prior to his candidacy). Which makes this seem like there's no possible way for this to be done that doesn't leave Trump open to a claim of breaking a campaign law... even though if he weren't a candidate, none of it is at all illegal in any way.

Or have I missed something material in there? I confess I find the situation confusing.
Already discussed above. From what I have read and understand, he would not be guilty of campaign finance violations had he declared the expense.

The catch-22 is that he would then have to reveal the affair. But that is the fate of the wicked.
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