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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 24th August 2018, 10:42 AM   #321
W.D.Clinger
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
That explains why, on four separate occasions, you accused others of not understanding statistics.
Yes. Because they tried to apply statistics in invalid ways.

Quote:
I erased my post one minute before you submitted your response. I was planning to submit a corrected post, but I guess there's no reason to do so now that you've decided the estimated statistics you cited are irrelevant.
They are irrelevant to determining the odds that Cohen would plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit, yes. They are not irrelevant to showing that judges frequently accept guilty pleas from innocent people.
It sounds as though a corrected post will be relevant after all.

You cited an estimate that 2-8% of convicted felons were innocent but had pleaded guilty. From other sources, we know that more than 95% of federal convictions result from plea bargains in which the felon has pleaded guilty. Composing those two statistics and rounding to the one significant digit in the estimate you cited, the conditional probability that a felon who has pleaded guilty is actually innocent has been estimated at 2-8%.

Even without all of the additional information that incriminates the specific felon named Michael Cohen, we would be justified in concluding the probability he is innocent, and your argument correct, is on the order of 2-8%.

That is the statistical inference that was made by those you accused of not understanding statistics. You owe them an apology.
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:43 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
I think that you are quite correct, but their logic still fails me.

After all, if both 'Ziggurat' and 'The Big Dog' are correct in stating that somehow Cohen was forced to plead guilty to a crime that he was innocent of, then that would mean that:
Forced to? No, I never said he was forced to. I think he was offered an attractive plea deal, one with a lighter sentence than he could expect if he went to trial, and decided it was advantageous to take it. I think Cohen likely came out ahead as a result of pleading to this extra crime.

Quote:
First, Cohen, the Cohen legal team, and everyone on prosecution are terrible liars.
That... doesn't follow.

Quote:
And second, that the judge overseeing this case is total idiot for not seeing these liars himself.
We've been over this. The judge has no incentive to reject a plea deal in this case, even if he thinks the charges are not totally correct. There's just no upside.

Quote:
As for me, I know that the legal system is far from perfect, but I hardly believe that the legal system could possibly be this broken especially when one considers this case to involve a sitting president.
First, I'm not claiming that this is some massive injustice. I've said multiple times that Cohen is almost certainly guilty of some of the crimes he pled to. Adding a minor crime on top of that in exchange for a lower sentence does Cohen no disservice. It may be politically damaging to Trump, but it's legally irrelevant to him. And the fact that Trump is implicated may be a reason in principle to avoid overcharging Cohen on it, but in practice it's not. It's a feather in the cap of the DA.

And if you didn't know that the abuse of prosecutorial powers and discretion is common, then you are indeed out of touch with reality.
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:46 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Forced to? No, I never said he was forced to. I think he was offered an attractive plea deal, one with a lighter sentence than he could expect if he went to trial, and decided it was advantageous to take it. I think Cohen likely came out ahead as a result of pleading to this extra crime.
You seem to be laying the case for Session's replacement to make a perjury charge out of the plea deal.

Please, oh please, let someone on Fox say that out loud.
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:46 AM   #324
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Abuse of power, cheating to get elected, pathologic narcissism, family criminal enterprise soon to be further exposed...

Trump's world is crumbling around him, hold on to your hats.
It's coming faster and more furious now and from multiple fronts. New York State is focused in and If Trump thought Schneiderman was tough, Barbara Underwood is as serious as a heart attack. And Trump can't pardon his way out of the charges that are certainly headed his way from her office.

And Trump is so self obsessed and stupid that he's just loading up the cases with more evidence. Between his tweets and press interviews where he openly admits to crimes he's tightening that noose around not only his Presidency but people in the White House, employees of the Trump Organization, his own children.

I almost feel sorry for those people. Almost.
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:48 AM   #325
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2% to 8% of the posters in this thread understand why Zig cited this statistics and therefore 92% to 98% of the posters still referring to this are making specious (albeit hilarious) arguments
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:49 AM   #326
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I think that Ziggurat has me on ignore, and maybe that's a good thing. Perhaps someone could quote this.

Ziggurat, given that you are a light of truth and justice here, among a bunch of idiots who can't understand your brilliance, why - why?!? - are you arguing this theory in Cohen's defense? I asked before, with no answer. I begged you to make your position clear with no answer. Why are you even on this board, if you don't want to engage in honest discussion?


Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
God damn it, are you not paying any attention? .......

That isn't a complicated concept. How can you not grasp it?
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
My, but you need a lot of hand holding to figure out something pretty damn simple.

Cohen pled guilty to a crime. I am claiming that his actual actions in regards to paying Stormy were not a crime, and do not meet the necessary criteria of the crime he pled guilty to. Nothing stops him from doing this.
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Do keep up, we've been over this before,
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You can't honestly be this dense, can you?
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Are you honestly this clueless? How can you get something so obvious some completely wrong?
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:49 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
You seem to be laying the case for Session's replacement to make a perjury charge out of the plea deal.

Please, oh please, let someone on Fox say that out loud.
Your argument seems to be completely and deliberately misrepresent his explanations.
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:50 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
We've been over this. The judge has no incentive to reject a plea deal in this case, even if he thinks the charges are not totally correct. There's just no upside.
"We've been over this" only in the sense that you've repeated it several times, but you haven't yet demonstrated that it's anything more than your cynical belief.
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:52 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Why are you even on this board, if you don't want to engage in honest discussion?
hoo boy, the irony level just blew through the roof.
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:54 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
...
First, I'm not claiming that this is some massive injustice. I've said multiple times that Cohen is almost certainly guilty of some of the crimes he pled to. Adding a minor crime on top of that in exchange for a lower sentence does Cohen no disservice. It may be politically damaging to Trump, but it's legally irrelevant to him. And the fact that Trump is implicated may be a reason in principle to avoid overcharging Cohen on it, but in practice it's not. It's a feather in the cap of the DA.

...
Help me understand. If I remember correct, we are talking about charges 7 and 8.
Now if there are no crimes, then Trump can't be convicted of them, because there is no evidence behind Cohen's guilty pleas. If charges are brought against Trump and all there is, is Cohen's words and no other evidence, then what is going on???
Why have Cohen plead guilty for crimes, that are not there???
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:54 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
The depth of denial among a couple posters in this thread is mind boggling. It's like still claiming a sample is the victim's blood even though it tested negative for blood and contained no DNA of the victim. But, hell's bells, it's still blood for some people.
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:55 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Why are they invalid?

If one links to a study estimating that 2-8% of guilty pleas are innocent, then presumably one is arguing that the percentage is a factor.

Otherwise one could just point out the obvious fact that false confessions and guilty pleas are known.

If one accepts these statistics, then one can presumably in the absence of any other information about a person who has pleaded guilty, say that overall there'd be a 2-8% chance that they had pleaded guilty when innocent.

However in this case we do have additional information that makes this far less likely than that. If the US is anything like the UK. then some of these cases will involve obvious miscarriages of justice, with no evidence beyond the guilty verdict, and people with inadequate representation. If you then remove those from this population, you are left asking - how many guilty verdicts are there where there is a massive paper trail, and eyewitness testimony agreeing with the defendant that they are guilty?

Even in the public domain, there was enough to assess that Cohen was very likely guilty.

The case is rather high profile, and will be subjected to a lot of scrutiny - which means that the judge is under pressure to get the judgement right. That does not include accepting guilty pleas for something that isn't a crime.
I agree that Cohen is guilty - just not of this one specific charge. The 2-8% figure doesn't include people who are guilty of something but have been slightly overcharged.

If my argument about personal use exception is right, then it's right regardless of the statistics. If it's wrong, then it's wrong regardless of the statistics. Furthermore, the statistics are for all crimes, not for this specific crime. The statistics are not a useful way to evaluate this specific crime.

And no, the judge isn't under pressure to get it right. The judge is under pressure not to create a scandal. Those aren't quite the same thing. When the prosecution and the defense agree on a plea, there are very few reasons for a judge to reject that plea. This isn't a case of incompetent defense, or an innocent man being railroaded. Accepting a plea, even an imperfect one, is the safest route for the judge. The reasons I have for claiming that the Stormy payments were not a campaign contribution are the sort of thing that would be left for a jury to decide at trial, if it ever went to trial, so there's no reason for the judge to jump in and decide them for the defendant.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:07 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Help me understand. If I remember correct, we are talking about charges 7 and 8.
Now if there are no crimes, then Trump can't be convicted of them, because there is no evidence behind Cohen's guilty pleas. If charges are brought against Trump and all there is, is Cohen's words and no other evidence, then what is going on???
Why have Cohen plead guilty for crimes, that are not there???
Charges won't be brought against Trump regardless. The point is to damage Trump politically.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:11 AM   #334
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I 1000% agreed with Dan Rather last night about who is the only choice for someone to make a movie about the Trump Administration.
Some smart studio head should be talking with Martin Scorsese right now....
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:15 AM   #335
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I think that Ziggurat has me on ignore, and maybe that's a good thing. Perhaps someone could quote this.

Ziggurat, given that you are a light of truth and justice here, among a bunch of idiots who can't understand your brilliance, why - why?!? - are you arguing this theory in Cohen's defense?
Because I think it's correct. Do I need any more reason?

This isn't a new issue, it came up with John Edwards. And the FEC actually said directly that the payments to Edwards' mistress were not campaign contributions. The prosecution decided to ignore that. The prosecution also argued that the payments are a campaign contribution if they fulfill any purpose for the campaign, but the FEC has made pretty clear with their "irrespective test" that this is a misinterpretation of the statute, and the jury in Edwards' case agreed with the FEC.

Lastly, a note on the importance of all of this. The payment was made just before the election. Supposing that the expense had been declared as a campaign expense, that declaration would not need to happen until after the election. So even under the theory that this was a campaign expense that needed to be declared, the lack of a declaration did not affect the election in any way.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:18 AM   #336
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Charges won't be brought against Trump regardless. The point is to damage Trump politically.
Okay, so no charges, that is very likely but not impossible.
Indictment, it is then. It could become a part of an indictment, but that is political.
So we are back to your claim, that there actually is no crime and it is all political.

Well, this is the Internet, so why should I trust you?
You are properly not a member of Congress nor can I tell if you are a lawyer. You appear to be some random human on the Internet.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:21 AM   #337
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Okay, so no charges, that is very likely but not impossible.
Indictment, it is then. It could become a part of an indictment, but that is political.
So we are back to your claim, that there actually is no crime and it is all political.
Perhaps one should stop worrying about his credentials and instead focus on first understand what is being explained to you??
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:23 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
I agree that Cohen is guilty - just not of this one specific charge. The 2-8% figure doesn't include people who are guilty of something but have been slightly overcharged.

If my argument about personal use exception is right, then it's right regardless of the statistics. If it's wrong, then it's wrong regardless of the statistics. Furthermore, the statistics are for all crimes, not for this specific crime. The statistics are not a useful way to evaluate this specific crime.

And no, the judge isn't under pressure to get it right. The judge is under pressure not to create a scandal. Those aren't quite the same thing. When the prosecution and the defense agree on a plea, there are very few reasons for a judge to reject that plea. This isn't a case of incompetent defense, or an innocent man being railroaded. Accepting a plea, even an imperfect one, is the safest route for the judge. The reasons I have for claiming that the Stormy payments were not a campaign contribution are the sort of thing that would be left for a jury to decide at trial, if it ever went to trial, so there's no reason for the judge to jump in and decide them for the defendant.
I think it's pretty obvious that Cohen did wilfully and knowingly hide these contributions.

I think it's pretty obvious from what we already know that these were intended to benefit Trump's election chances. There is additional evidence that we know exists but which we don't know, but which the prosecution described in general terms in the court documents.

There really is no reason to suppose that Cohen risked a charge of perjury in testifying against Trump in order to get a reduced sentence, when he has now been convicted of crimes with a worst-case total sentence of 65 years.

It also takes a lot of effort to believe that Trump did not commit multiple serious crimes before becoming president, and given what we know of him - amoral and with an overinflated belief in his ability. This is obviously not legally admissible evidence, but it can help assess whether the Cohen was lying when he said that Trump has instructed him to commit crimes. There is no reason to doubt this.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:23 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Well, this is the Internet, so why should I trust you?
You shouldn't. You should evaluate my claim on its merits. Nothing I have said requires any personal trust in me.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:23 AM   #340
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Perhaps one should stop worrying about his credentials and instead focus on first understand what is being explained to you??
Not when it comes from you. I will let Ziggurat answer.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:27 AM   #341
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What's with the Dan Rather revival? Did he just die in a Paris hotel room of an overdose of bichloride of mercury?
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:28 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Because I think it's correct. Do I need any more reason?
I guess not. "Someone is wrong on the internet" after all. You and others here might consider that speed of response isn't increasing the quality of discussion. You guys are shouting past each other, not even pausing to clarify when the other side asks multiple times for clarification. It makes for rather tough reading.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:28 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I think it's pretty obvious that Cohen did wilfully and knowingly hide these contributions.
Of course he hid the payments. But if the payments are not a campaign contribution, then doing so is not a crime.

Quote:
I think it's pretty obvious from what we already know that these were intended to benefit Trump's election chances.
That doesn't suffice to pass the irrespective test.

Quote:
There really is no reason to suppose that Cohen risked a charge of perjury in testifying against Trump in order to get a reduced sentence
Cohen hasn't testified against Trump. If he ever does, we don't know what he will say. And you can't get him for perjury if he says that the payments are a campaign contribution even if they aren't, because he can always claim he thought they were and you can't disprove that. So no, Cohen has not risked perjury.

Quote:
It also takes a lot of effort to believe that Trump did not commit multiple serious crimes before becoming president
My argument here isn't about anything other than the payments to Stormy and Karen. I make no claims about Trump being otherwise law abiding.

Quote:
This is obviously not legally admissible evidence, but it can help assess whether the Cohen was lying when he said that Trump has instructed him to commit crimes. There is no reason to doubt this.
There is considerable reason to doubt that, namely that the actions in question (payments to Stormy and Karen) were not crimes because they were not campaign contributions. Edwards should have settled that.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:32 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Not when it comes from you. I will let Ziggurat answer.
Uh huh. Well let me give you a tip? The lines "Okay, so no charges, that is very likely but not impossible. Indictment, it is then. It could become a part of an indictment, but that is political."

Are completely nonsensical, you dig?
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:38 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You shouldn't. You should evaluate my claim on its merits. Nothing I have said requires any personal trust in me.
No, but at a minimum it requires that we believe Cohen and Trump would have paid the hush money even if he weren't running for president, and that a jury would also believe that. If the standard is "reasonable doubt," why should we believe that? You say it's because he paid hush money to women before. When, to whom, for what, and how much? At the least, that part of the trial would have been fun.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:44 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I think that Ziggurat has me on ignore, and maybe that's a good thing. Perhaps someone could quote this.

Ziggurat, given that you are a light of truth and justice here, among a bunch of idiots who can't understand your brilliance, why - why?!? - are you arguing this theory in Cohen's defense? I asked before, with no answer. I begged you to make your position clear with no answer. Why are you even on this board, if you don't want to engage in honest discussion?
Yes. Your quotes will go missing in this reply, but I'm astonished that Ziggurat's incessant bombardment of ad homs haven't attracted a bunch of yellow cards.

"You can't honestly be this dense, can you?"

"Are you honestly this clueless?"

Maybe they're phrased carefully enough to escape a ding. Dunno.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:46 AM   #347
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Sorry, but that really does not make any sense.

Cohen himself flat-out said that he plead guilty to the charges against him because he is in fact guilty of those charges.
But he's obviously innocent. Only liberals/democrats are guilty.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:47 AM   #348
The Big Dog
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
No, but at a minimum it requires that we believe Cohen and Trump would have paid the hush money even if he weren't running for president, and that a jury would also believe that. If the standard is "reasonable doubt," why should we believe that? You say it's because he paid hush money to women before. When, to whom, for what, and how much? At the least, that part of the trial would have been fun.
here you go, just a handful of examples:

https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/re...-sq-1828558014

seems like it is a pretty regular thing, huh?
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:47 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Because I think it's correct. Do I need any more reason?

This isn't a new issue, it came up with John Edwards. And the FEC actually said directly that the payments to Edwards' mistress were not campaign contributions. The prosecution decided to ignore that. The prosecution also argued that the payments are a campaign contribution if they fulfill any purpose for the campaign, but the FEC has made pretty clear with their "irrespective test" that this is a misinterpretation of the statute, and the jury in Edwards' case agreed with the FEC.

Lastly, a note on the importance of all of this. The payment was made just before the election. Supposing that the expense had been declared as a campaign expense, that declaration would not need to happen until after the election. So even under the theory that this was a campaign expense that needed to be declared, the lack of a declaration did not affect the election in any way.
Didn't Loss Leader correct you on the differences between the Edwards case and this case? Was that not in this thread?
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:55 AM   #350
WilliamSeger
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
here you go, just a handful of examples:

https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/re...-sq-1828558014

seems like it is a pretty regular thing, huh?
In other words, you don't have any actual evidence.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:56 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
No, but at a minimum it requires that we believe Cohen and Trump would have paid the hush money even if he weren't running for president, and that a jury would also believe that. If the standard is "reasonable doubt," why should we believe that? You say it's because he paid hush money to women before. When, to whom, for what, and how much? At the least, that part of the trial would have been fun.
That would be hilarious.

I'd be shocked if before Trump became political that he paid ANY women to say they 'no, they didn't sleep with him'. Trump has never been afraid of negative press and I bet he would hardly consider sleeping with other women to be negative.
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:57 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
EVERYTHING you just said was wrong.

Folks it was an agreement, where the prosecutors wanted a conviction that would lay a foundation for bigger fish, and Cohen wanted to do as little time as possible and get his wife off the hook.

No lawyer is going to be sued because Cohen copped to plea on charges he could have beaten where he was also being charged with a bunch of counts he had zero chance of winning.
You do know you are not addressing what I said to Ziggurat?
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:58 AM   #353
The Big Dog
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Didn't Loss Leader correct you on the differences between the Edwards case and this case? Was that not in this thread?
Now I know that a legal beagle such as yourself is not trying to undermine a legal principle ("the FEC has made pretty clear with their "irrespective test" that this is a misinterpretation of the statute") based on differences in facts.

The legal principle stays the same, here it is the "irrespective test."
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Old 24th August 2018, 11:59 AM   #354
The Big Dog
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
You do know you are not addressing what I said to Ziggurat?
I do know that everything you said to Ziggurat was totally and completely wrong, which therefore addresses everything you said to Ziggurat.
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Old 24th August 2018, 12:02 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Didn't Loss Leader correct you on the differences between the Edwards case and this case? Was that not in this thread?
I think that was on the Stormy thread. Good post too.

Quoted:

Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Just for fun, please explain what Cohen could have done differently (eleven days before the election) to avoid the question of a campaign finance violation.





Edwards' lawyers proved no such thing. The gifts made to Edwards were over a two year period. In comparison, Cohen's gift to Trump came just eleven days before an election. Gifts to Edwards were used for the support of his child over the course of years. In comparison, Cohen's gift did not help satisfy a legal obligation for Trump to support his child. The gifts never had anything to do with a federal election because Edwards never got that far. He withdrew during the Democratic primaries. In comparison, Cohen's gift was made after Trump had secured the nomination and just a week and a half before the general election.

In any case, Edwards' lawyers did not prove much of anything. The jury did find Edwards not guilty of one count but the jury was hung on five other counts. The prosecution declined to retry him on those counts. But declining to retry a person is in no way the same as him being found not guilty.

The only thing even vaguely instructive about the Edwards case for this situation is that federal prosecutors were not bound by the opinion of the FEC. Even though the FEC chose to see no campaign finance violation, the justice department was free to ignore that and ask a jury to make that decision.
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Old 24th August 2018, 12:02 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
In other words, you don't have any actual evidence.
Golly, i just took a gander at that article again, and it is chock full of evidence!

Did y'all get a chance to read it, or just gonna post howlers like "In other words, you don't have any actual evidence"?
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Old 24th August 2018, 12:05 PM   #357
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I think we have a couple of those "I could shoot somebody in broad daylight in Times Sqaure and they would still support me" Trump supporters here.
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Old 24th August 2018, 12:08 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Didn't Loss Leader correct you on the differences between the Edwards case and this case? Was that not in this thread?
Both you and Loss Leader are confused. I suggested that paying Hunter from campaign funds might have been illegal if she didn't actually do work for the campaign. There is no equivalent here. I don't recall ever arguing that the payments to Hunter through non-campaign funds was illegal, which is the parallel here, and I certainly didn't do so in the thread he recently linked. Nor does whether or not I had made such an argument indicate anything about the validity of the argument here. This is really just an attempt to label me as a hypocrite, and to do so dishonestly rather than engage with the merits of my argument.
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Old 24th August 2018, 12:10 PM   #359
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Golly, i just took a gander at that article again, and it is chock full of evidence!

Did y'all get a chance to read it, or just gonna post howlers like "In other words, you don't have any actual evidence"?
In other words, as usual, you have no intention of arguing honestly. Here's what the article says about Trump:

Quote:
When those stories did come up, they would be “purchased and their publication avoided,” prosecutors said, adding that during the campaign, Cohen arranged “for the purchase of two stories so as to suppress them and prevent them from influencing the election.”
The rest of the article amounts to, "This stuff happens all the time."
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Old 24th August 2018, 12:11 PM   #360
Dr. Keith
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Now I know that a legal beagle such as yourself is not trying to undermine a legal principle ("the FEC has made pretty clear with their "irrespective test" that this is a misinterpretation of the statute") based on differences in facts.

The legal principle stays the same, here it is the "irrespective test."
No, I was trying to refer readers to the very good post by LL that reminds us that the FEC is not arbiter of what is illegal and what is not.

Also, that the facts are quite different.
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