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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, 01:27 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
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.
In 2-8% of the cases, per your statistics. Not incredulity, it is in this case the standard position.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:28 PM   #122
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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.

Yes. First, transparency would have made the payments above board, but politically problematic.

Second, and the one a lot of people seem to be missing entirely, is that Trump in absolutely, positively no way had to make a payment at all.

No thing of value changing hands means no violation of this kind of law.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:31 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
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.
You need to learn reading comprehension better. The point of that link was not to show how often innocent people plead guilty. The point of that link was to show that judges will often accept rather than reject guilty pleas from innocent people.

For Cohen, it doesn't matter how many other innocent people plead guilty. The only thing that matters for him is whether he comes out ahead or behind by pleading guilty. I'm sure that Cohen is guilty of at least some of the charges against him, that the prosecution can prove this convincingly, and that Cohen knows that they can do so. In such circumstances, there is potentially much for him to gain by pleading guilty. He may even gain by pleading guilty to something he isn't actually guilty of. Even if he were the first person in the world to ever plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit, that would be enough. The statistics don't matter.

So once again, the only question is whether I'm right that the payment to Stormy wasn't a campaign contribution. And that isn't a statistical question.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:33 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Already discussed above. From what I have read and understand, he would not be guilty of campaign finance violations had he declared the expense.
I get that it's been said he wouldn't be guilty of a campaign finance violation if he had declared it a campaign expense. What I'm asking is that if he had declared it, couldn't it be argued that it's NOT a campaign expense, and that he had therefore illegally used campaign finances for personal expenditures?

I guess that's where I find it sticky. It seems like paying hush money to keep an affair out of the news could be argued to be a campaign expense, but could also be argued to be a personal expense, depending on one's objective.

What would prevent a prosecutor from charging that it was in actuality an illegal use of campaign finances for personal expenditures?


Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
The catch-22 is that he would then have to reveal the affair. But that is the fate of the wicked.
Well yeah, but I don't give a crap about that. No more so than I give a crap about any other person not married to me cheating on their spouse. I mean, I pass some personal moral judgment regardless, but not enough to bother getting into a discussion about.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:33 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
In 2-8% of the cases, per your statistics.
You obviously don't understand statistics, despite your claim to the contrary. 2-8% is NOT the percentage of false guilty pleas which judges accept.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:33 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
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.
Skepticism is a probability thing. What's interesting to me is when otherwise good skeptics flip a switch and turn off their internal scientist and turn on their internal lawyer, looking for some straws to grasp.

I can't take credit for that terminology. It's been part of skeptical discussion for ages, I've seen it attributed to Paul Tripps and Jonathan Haidt and others. The point is that there's a difference between debate to reveal the truth versus debate to just plain win.

Even given the 2-8% bayesian odds, the skeptical answer is that within the margins of scientific certainty, Cohen plead guilty to crimes he committed. Why wouldn't we go with that?

And that's assuming 'all things being equal' which they are not. The 2-08% are not comparable baseline circumstances. The odds under different conditions where the defendant actually has representation who can offer alternatives, and where the DA does not have protection of obscurity, I would suggest the odds under those circumstances are practically zero.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:35 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I get that it's been said he wouldn't be guilty of a campaign finance violation if he had declared it a campaign expense. What I'm asking is that if he had declared it, couldn't it be argued that it's NOT a campaign expense, and that he had therefore illegally used campaign finances for personal expenditures?
Yes, it could.

Quote:
What would prevent a prosecutor from charging that it was in actuality an illegal use of campaign finances for personal expenditures?
Absolutely nothing.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:36 PM   #128
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So let me see if I understand this correctly; Cohen plead guilty to crimes he didn't commit, and will go to jail for things he didn't do.

'K

Man, the pretzel-twisting from you Dolt supporters is becoming comical. Has it occurred that any of you that when a person takes a plea deal for information, that they are NOT the only source of this information?

The prosecution in this case made it very clear that they have EVIDENCE showing that Michael Cohen is not lying and is correct. They stated as much in court. All Cohen's testimony will do is give the documentary evidence context.

Also the very idea that Cohen would plead guilty to something he didn't do is just ludicrous. Read the plea deal transcript (if you have the attention span to read more than 140 characters without losing interest)

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/22/p...anscript-plea/

Its packed with juicy detail.... there is a lot more going on here than just Cohen pleading guilty and the judge saying "OK".
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:37 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You seem confused.
Why not just make that your sig line and save the effort of typing it so often?

It's generally wise to avoid becoming a parody of oneself.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:38 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
Skepticism is a probability thing. What's interesting to me is when otherwise good skeptics flip a switch and turn off their internal scientist and turn on their internal lawyer, looking for some straws to grasp.

I can't take credit for that terminology. It's been part of skeptical discussion for ages, I've seen it attributed to Paul Tripps and Jonathan Haidt and others. The point is that there's a difference between debate to reveal the truth versus debate to just plain win.

Even given the 2-8% bayesian odds, the skeptical answer is that within the margins of scientific certainty, Cohen plead guilty to crimes he committed. Why wouldn't we go with that?

And that's assuming 'all things being equal' which they are not. The 2-08% are not comparable baseline circumstances. The odds under different conditions where the defendant actually has representation who can offer alternatives, and where the DA does not have protection of obscurity, I would suggest the odds under those circumstances are practically zero.
What are the odds if the prosecutor has him (and his wife) 100% dead to rights on 5 charges, but will ONLY make a deal for him (and his wife) if he pleads to additional charges?

Practically a 100% doncha think? Of course.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:39 PM   #131
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Several totally legal options existed:

Pay, but transparently (kinda defeats the point of paying to keep the story quiet, though...)

Don't pay, have the story get published

Withdraw as a candidate and pay or not pay.

Yes, a lot of crimes happen because grown ass adults want to have their cake and eat it, too.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:39 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You obviously don't understand statistics, despite your claim to the contrary. 2-8% is NOT the percentage of false guilty pleas which judges accept.
Are you saying no judge was involved when the 2-8% pled guilty?
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:41 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Apparently Trump thinks that "flipping" or turning states witness in return for significantly more lenient sentences is something terrible and shouldn't be allowed (at least when it negatively effects him because he's been so harmed by those damn flippers).
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I AGREE

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.
…...
Plead guilty to what now?

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
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.
A false plea to what again?

Quote:
Even if he were the first person in the world to ever plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit, that would be enough.
Ah, yes.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:42 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
What are the odds if the prosecutor has him (and his wife) 100% dead to rights on 5 charges, but will ONLY make a deal for him (and his wife) if he pleads to additional charges?

Practically a 100% doncha think? Of course.
No, I don't think it's 100%. That's the point.

In a high profile case like this, I expect the judge is expecting to have to explain this type of criticism. Looks like there's a good explanation at hand: the prosecution offered the judge their evidence to convict, and a trial looks like it would waste the peoples' resources.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:42 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
So let me see if I understand this correctly; Cohen plead guilty to crimes he didn't commit, and will go to jail for things he didn't do.
Mmmmm! That is some fine rule of So there!

Cohen was offered the chance to plead to 5 crimes he did do, if he plead to other crimes, and in return him (but not his wife) will go to jail for a far shorter time than if he (and his wife) was convicted after trial on the 5 crimes he did do.

It is called a "plea bargain' for a reason, you dig?
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:43 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
So let me see if I understand this correctly; Cohen plead guilty to crimes he didn't commit, and will go to jail for things he didn't do.
I don't think that was what was being said... but I could be wrong. My impression was that Cohen was charged with many things, and that of those things, this one thing (campaign finance violation) is kind of borderline. And that Cohen may have good reason to plead guilty to the campaign finance violation (even if it wasn't actually a violation) if it reduced the penalty for the other crimes he was being charged with - so a game theory solution rather than an evaluation of guilt.

IF that's the case... then Cohen pleading guilty to a campaign finance violation wouldn't necessarily indicate that Trump is guilty of a campaign finance violation. It could certainly be the case, but it's not necessarily so. It could be that when considered separately from Cohen's pile of charges, a case could be made that the payment was NOT a campaign related expense, but was a personal expense, and hence there is no campaign violation.

I don't give that good odds... but that's what I've understood the discussion to be focused on. I don't think anybody has suggested that Cohen is completely innocent.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:44 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
What are the odds if the prosecutor has him (and his wife) 100% dead to rights on 5 charges, but will ONLY make a deal for him (and his wife) if he pleads to additional charges?

Practically a 100% doncha think? Of course.
Are you inventing scenarios now? 100% covers a lot of scenarios. Including the vanishingly small number per cited statistics where you may be right.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:47 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Mmmmm! That is some fine rule of So there!

Cohen was offered the chance to plead to 5 crimes he did do, if he plead to other crimes, and in return him (but not his wife) will go to jail for a far shorter time than if he (and his wife) was convicted after trial on the 5 crimes he did do.

It is called a "plea bargain' for a reason, you dig?
That's circular reasoning, though. We don't know if it was a plea bargain. That's they yarn you're spinning without evidence. So yes, that's a label for the myth you're latched onto, but this isn't Rumpelstiltskin, it's not in and of itself support for the claim.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:51 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
Even given the 2-8% bayesian odds, the skeptical answer is that within the margins of scientific certainty, Cohen plead guilty to crimes he committed. Why wouldn't we go with that?
Because he's not a random sample, and we have additional information.

Quote:
The odds under different conditions where the defendant actually has representation who can offer alternatives, and where the DA does not have protection of obscurity, I would suggest the odds under those circumstances are practically zero.
No. The DA doesn't need obscurity, his target is unpopular and the charge is at least superficially plausible. And the DA risks nothing in making a plea bargain offer which isn't public unless it gets accepted.

And the quality of Cohen's defense isn't at issue here. If they offer Cohen a plea bargain that's significantly better than he can expect from a trial, then the plea bargain is worth taking. The total punishment is what really matters to Cohen, the exact tally of charges is basically irrelevant. Adding a minor charge that he could win in court isn't worth the loss and higher sentencing on other more serious charges.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:55 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Several totally legal options existed:

Pay, but transparently (kinda defeats the point of paying to keep the story quiet, though...)

Don't pay, have the story get published

Withdraw as a candidate and pay or not pay.

Yes, a lot of crimes happen because grown ass adults want to have their cake and eat it, too.
Agreed, this wasn't a case of being trapped between a rock and a hard place by the vagaries of fortune. Trump painted himself into a corner by his own actions, he isn't a victim of circumstance.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:56 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
That's circular reasoning, though. We don't know if it was a plea bargain. That's they yarn you're spinning without evidence. So yes, that's a label for the myth you're latched onto, but this isn't Rumpelstiltskin, it's not in and of itself support for the claim.
What an odd comment. You do know that the plea agreement we have been discussing is also known as a plea bargain, correct? Indeed, Black's Law dictionary says "Plea agreement: see "plea bargaining'"
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:57 PM   #142
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Quote:
The proof on these counts at trial would establish
that these payments were made in order to ensure that each
recipient of the payments did not publicize their stories of
alleged affairs with the candidate.
include:
Records obtained from an April 9, 2018 series of
search warrants on Mr. Cohen's premises, including hard copy
documents, seized electronic devices, and audio recordings made
by Mr. Cohen.

We would also offer text messages, messages sent over
encrypted applications, phone records, and emails.
We would also submit various records produced to us
via subpoena, including records from the corporation referenced
in the information as Corporation One and records from the
media company also referenced in the information.

Finally, we would offer testimony of witnesses,
including witnesses involved in the transactions in question
who communicated with the defendant.
https://www.documentcloud.org/docume...ml#document/p1
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:57 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Are you saying no judge was involved when the 2-8% pled guilty?
Proving once again that you don't understand statistics. I'm saying nothing of the sort.

Judges were involved in 100% of the cases where an innocent person pled guilty to a crime. Oh my gosh, there's another percentage! So if judges were involved in 100% of those cases, then does that mean that 100% of people who pled guilty weren't actually guilty? No. That would be a stupid conclusion. But it's essentially the level of statistical analysis you're at.

Let me see if this hint can clue you in. If a judge is presented with a guilty plea from an innocent person, what percentage of the time does the judge accept that guilty plea? Hint: it isn't 2-8% of the time.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 01:59 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
And the quality of Cohen's defense isn't at issue here. If they offer Cohen a plea bargain that's significantly better than he can expect from a trial, then the plea bargain is worth taking. The total punishment is what really matters to Cohen, the exact tally of charges is basically irrelevant. Adding a minor charge that he could win in court isn't worth the loss and higher sentencing on other more serious charges.
Objection - speculation.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:03 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Objection - speculation.
overruled
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:06 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Because he's not a random sample, and we have additional information.
Agreed, his specific details make it even less likely, which I itemized in a later post. But this is the baseline based on your post that only quoted the odds in isolation, so wondering why you pitched for the disproven null.



Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. The DA doesn't need obscurity, his target is unpopular and the charge is at least superficially plausible. And the DA risks nothing in making a plea bargain offer which isn't public unless it gets accepted.

And the quality of Cohen's defense isn't at issue here. If they offer Cohen a plea bargain that's significantly better than he can expect from a trial, then the plea bargain is worth taking. The total punishment is what really matters to Cohen, the exact tally of charges is basically irrelevant. Adding a minor charge that he could win in court isn't worth the loss and higher sentencing on other more serious charges.

It's at issue if we're talking about odds, which is what you produced in a previous post, and to which I was responding.

If you're saying, fine, fine, all the post was trying to prove was that at least one person has done this ever, so it's not impossible for Cohen to have plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit, then sure. Defendants have also been reported to spontaneously combust. The details of this specific case suggest neither has happened.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:10 PM   #147
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A funny article from The Guardian explores what would happen if Trump gunned down Michael Cohen on Fifth Avenue:

https://amp.theguardian.com/commenti...mpression=true
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:11 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Objection - speculation.
Speculation suffices for that part of the argument. Remember, all I'm trying to do there is demonstrate that Cohen's guilty plea does not by itself demonstrate that he's actually guilty. A reasonable motive for him to do so suffices. I do not need to prove that this was his motive, only show that it could have been.

The claim that he didn't commit that specific crime still rests upon the argument that paying Stormy wasn't a campaign expenditure. I've said that before.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:14 PM   #149
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This is getting silly, now.
I have not seen grasping at straws like this in a long time.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:15 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
Agreed, his specific details make it even less likely, which I itemized in a later post.
No, they do not make it less likely. They make those odds completely irrelevant.

Quote:
If you're saying, fine, fine, all the post was trying to prove was that at least one person has done this ever, so it's not impossible for Cohen to have plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit, then sure. Defendants have also been reported to spontaneously combust. The details of this specific case suggest neither has happened.
The details of the case suggest nothing of the sort. And the purpose of the link from which that statistic was drawn had nothing whatsoever to do with showing that Cohen might plead guilty to something he didn't do. Go back and read the exchange again, you'll see that the point of the link was something quite different.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:22 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Have we moved on from "He pleaded guilty to something that was not a crime" then?

Or was I being too generous to the argument?
Both Ziggurat and The Big Dog seem to be arguing that he's pleaded guilty to something that's not a crime and which he didn't do anyway, because prosecutors have asked him to.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:23 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Speculation suffices for that part of the argument. Remember, all I'm trying to do there is demonstrate that Cohen's guilty plea does not by itself demonstrate that he's actually guilty. A reasonable motive for him to do so suffices. I do not need to prove that this was his motive, only show that it could have been.

The claim that he didn't commit that specific crime still rests upon the argument that paying Stormy wasn't a campaign expenditure. I've said that before.
In that case - a serious question. Why? Why are you playing Cohen's lawyer on this board, when he and his lawyer already pleaded guilty to 2 counts of election crimes? What's your interest here?
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:25 PM   #153
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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.
My apologies, I meant how many of the defendants. I thought that was clear from the context, but apparently it was not.


Quote:
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.
The campaign charge has the same range of penalty as most of the other charges. Only one of the eight charges has a greater penalty range. The determination of the suggested penalty range is set by formula, as laid out in the plea agreement. I don't see any evidence that they are letting him off easy for adding another charge to his sheet. Could you please point me to that?
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:27 PM   #154
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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.
How can you plead guilty to something that isn't a crime?
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:28 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
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....
I may be able to believe this if you add a few more qualifying "mights". Or you could provide evidence. Either would work.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:29 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
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....
The Deep State keeps getting bigger, and deeper, doesn't it? It's probably easier to list how many people aren't part of this conspiracy.
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:32 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
What are the odds if the prosecutor has him (and his wife) 100% dead to rights on 5 charges, but will ONLY make a deal for him (and his wife) if he pleads to additional charges?

Practically a 100% doncha think? Of course.
Do you have evidence for this persuaded perjury theory of yours?
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:33 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
What are the odds if the prosecutor has him (and his wife) 100% dead to rights on 5 charges, but will ONLY make a deal for him (and his wife) if he pleads to additional charges?

Practically a 100% doncha think? Of course.
The Deepest of States. Muahahahaha!
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:36 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I may be able to believe this if you add a few more qualifying "mights". Or you could provide evidence. Either would work.
See, we needed the mights!

We Just Gonna Sit Here and Act Like Lanny Davis Isn't a Lifesized Bag of ******
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Old 23rd August 2018, 02:37 PM   #160
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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.
But the thing is, they can only plead guilty after being charged with a crime. They aren't pleading guilty to things that aren't illegal. They are pleading guilty to things that have made a judge and grand jury say "yup, those are crimes and there's enough evidence to go forward with a trial."
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