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Federal Prosecutors Love Snitches; Trump Thinks They Should Get Stitches

"Flipping" should probably be illegal, Trump says. It's one of federal prosecutors' most beloved tactics, and their go-to argument for mandatory minimums.

KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/NewscomKEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/NewscomPresident Trump, angered by the betrayal of his onetime attorney Michael Cohen, suggested this morning that it should be illegal for criminal defendants to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence.

"It's called 'flipping,' and it almost ought to be illegal," Trump said on Fox & Friends.

"I know all about flipping. For 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers," Trump continued. "But if you can say something bad about Donald Trump and you will go down to two years or three years, which is the deal he made, in all fairness to him, most people are going to do that. And I have seen it many times. I have had many friends involved in this stuff."

The Justice Department declined to comment on Trump's statements, but leaning on defendants to snitch in exchange for a reduced sentence is one of federal prosecutors' most beloved and time-honored tactics.

In fact, one of federal law enforcement's favorite arguments against reducing mandatory minimum sentences, or giving judges more leeway to depart from them, or even making some sentencing changes retroactive, is that doing so will reduce defendants' incentive to cooperate with prosecutors.

Every time Congress has considered federal sentencing reform over the past decade, law enforcement groups have lined up to warn that, without the hammer of lengthy mandatory minimum sentences, they won't be able to pressure low-level members of criminal organizations to flip.

For example, in 2014, legislators introduced a bill that would have made 2010 reductions to the 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine apply retroactively, shortening the sentences of thousands of federal inmates who were convicted and sentenced before the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010. The National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys (NAAUSA) howled that "slashing minimum mandatory penalties will threaten the prosecution of many of the most dangerous and high level criminals involved in drug trafficking by undermining the cooperation incentive that the current sentencing structure creates."

But data shows that there was no such drop in cooperation when Congress reduced mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine offenses.

"Rates of crack cocaine offenders cooperating with law enforcement have not changed despite changes in penalties," a 2015 report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found. "The rate of sentences that were below the guideline due to a government substantial assistance motion remained stable throughout the 2005-2013 period, indicating that the reductions in penalties during this period did not generally reduce the willingness of offenders to provide assistance to the government in the prosecution of others."

Like most of Trump's critical opinions of the criminal justice system, this one appears rooted in animus and confusion. The president is discovering in real time the immense power and leverage that prosecutors wield—far too much for Michael Cohen, a man with the loyalty and ethics of a hungry coyote, to resist.

Beyond disliking snitches, though, there are many real and substantive concerns about how the feds coerce plea deals and cooperation from defendants. Ninety-seven percent of all prosecutions at the federal level end in plea deals, often because defendants, facing the real possibility of decades in prison if they go to trial and lose—probably represented by an underfunded and overworked public defender—take a deal. Criminal justice reform advocates call it "the trial penalty."

There is also the phenomenon of jailhouse snitches and cooperating witnesses who lie, sometimes without disclosing to the court that they were promised leniency or other perks in exchange for testifying.

As former federal prosecutor, sometimes Reason contributor, and Popehat blogger Ken White wrote in a series of tweets this morning, there are several changes that could lead to more balance in the criminal justice system, such as increasing funding for public defenders, strengthening penalties for prosecutors who flout their obligations to disclose evidence to the defense, and recording law enforcement interviews.

Photo Credit: KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/Newscom

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Prosecutors should be hamstrung. The justice system should always be stacked towards the defendant. The prosecutors can kindly go suck dick.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Personally, I think you are being too nice to / going too easy on the prosecutors. :)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I agree with you Rocky Mountain State motherfucker :)

  • CatoTheChipper||

    This is especially true for crimes in which no victim complains, as is in the Cohen case. The government itself is the only complainant.

    I looked, but haven't found a report on what exactly Cohen did that constituted his crimes. Cohen and his wife were involved in the legal, but sleazy business of NYC taxi medallions. They borrowed money from a bank using the medallions as collateral, and represented that the medallions were worth more than the government said they were worth. That, and maybe the Cohens were getting cash off the books and failed to report all of it. Evidently, the bank was satisfied with the Cohens' valuation of the medallions, since they made the loan. The amount of the loans reportedly totaled $20 million, but we really don't know whether this is an aggregate of all loans ever made or the maximum loan balance.

    Of course, these actions constitute bank fraud and tax fraud. These are real crimes and they carry very significant penalties. And they don't just affect Cohen: you can bet the prosecutors threatened to direct more of the same at Cohen's wife and father-in-law. Unless he thought Trump really is a vicious Hitlerian tyrant, Cohen's copping an addition plea to a punk campaign finance violation to get favorable treatment at sentencing was an easy decision.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Lanny Davis said he would refuse a pardon because it would be illegitimate coming from Trump.

  • Nardz||

    Lanny Davis says a lot of things.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Ole' Lanny really is a piece of shit isn't he?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    lol - he cannot possibly refuse a pardon anymore than any prisoner can stay in prison after their sentence is complete.

    If he's a real. Lawyer, he seems to suck at it if he's unaware he cannot refuse a pardon anymore than he can refuse the sentence the judge may impose.

    What a pompous POS (Lanny Davis or Cohen whoever thinks this is an idea at all - as they likely know better but are lying so people as stupid as you are have talking points).

  • DiegoF||

    A pardon is not really a simple reduction, or even elimination, of sentence (or even such a thing alongside a wiping of record and/or restoration of rights. It is "a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance" (U.S. v. Wilson, 1833). This has apparently been upheld and reiterated by SCOTUS many times since--including with a Wilson who was a far bigger thug and lowlife than the original death-sentenced one! In 1915 Woodrow Wilson tried to pardon a newspaper editor he was trying to compel to testify against a source, by destroying the Fifth Amendment rights he was attempting to invoke.

  • DiegoF||

    Don't know how this fits with posthumous pardons, however. Just another reason I don't like 'em!

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Just don't talk about lumber cleanup machines.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I'm sure that this is posted down thread, but ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rntm3yDAQuM

  • Just Say'n||

    For a guy who definitely didn't violate campaign finance laws, Trump certainly acts a lot like a guy who totally violated campaign finance laws

  • Just Say'n||

    Which is not to say that campaign finance laws are legitimate. Just that we all know that he was paying off his mistresses.

  • DesigNate||

    What I don't get is why? Does anyone really think it would have negatively affected his campaign if these came out

  • Just Say'n||

    Does anyone really understand why he does the things that he does?

    He's been paying off mistresses since the 90's apparently. It's beyond sleazy to cheat on your wife shortly after she's given birth to your child, though. Which is what happened with Daniels.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Hey, Republicans have been swearing up, down, left and right for decades that they're the party of "family values". I can't blame President Trump for believing them for a hot second.

    But fool me once and all that jazz, if he pays another blackmailer for personal indiscretions that Republicans obviously don't care about that will be beyond belief.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Trump never ran as a family values candidate. He has also been in the public eye for 40 years and is well k own as a womanizer. I agree this would be a big problem if he ran as a family values candidate, but he didn't.

    Which is the same reason, as a much as I hate democrats, that I don't really fault them for being scumbags. It's expected of them.

  • Just Say'n||

    ^ Yup

    Trump, if anything, was a rejection of the gentile Republican that Romney represented.

  • JWatts||

    Absolutely. After someone as milquetoast as Romney was called a racist, bigot & misogynist, the median Republican voter no longer cared.

  • DiegoF||

    Trump, if anything, was a rejection of the gentile Republican that Romney represented.

    Wouldn't Eric Cantor have been a far more decisive rejection?

  • EscherEnigma||

    But in 2016, when the payments were made, and before the first primary vote? Nah, back then folks thought Trump's sordid history was going to be a problem.

    We know now that those concerns were overblown. But in 2016? They seemed reasonable.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Trump never ran as a family values candidate.

    You apparently forget his Bible-thumping period.

    Like every successful peddler of shoddy goods to the gullible, Trump knew his audience with exquisite precision. Plenty of yokels fell for it.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    As someone even dumber than Tony, a stupid fuck like you should be the last one opening their mouth.

    Just learn obey Arty.

  • DesigNate||

    As LotS pointed out, he didn't run as a "family values candidate".

    If he had, wouldn't be even more of a 'No Shit Sherlock' that he paid off two adult entertainers. I mean it's pretty much a given that those fuckers are either in the closet (nothing wrong with that, just don't run on curing the gays), or fucking any woman that will let them (also nothing wrong with that, just don't pretend you're some paragon of virtue).

  • Michael S. Langston||

    What I don't get is why?

    Maybe he was concerned with embarrassing his family?

    Though truth is no US citizen should ever be required to explain why they did something if what they did was legal.

    So in the end - if Trump said, 'I did it because it was a Tuesday and I always do things like this on Tuesdays" that should be acceptable.

    In fact, if he said' none of your business' that would be ok too.

    I mean if you're driving somewhere and a cop says 'where you going', unless you're breaking the law or they have peding charges/probable cause to question you, 'go to hell' should be the default answer (and it's completely legal to do so).

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Or stated another way - how many actions are taken by Trump daily which are completely legal?

    Do we ask him to explain every one of them?

  • Exsqueezeyou||

    "Just that we all know that he was paying off his mistresses."

    Maybe. Still not a violation of campaign finance laws.

    Quite the statist performance with your logic and insight as to why Trump must be guilty because he protesteth too much.

    "...on August 22, counting every use of the word "impeach," "impeachment," or some permutation thereof. Analysts found 114 instances of the term on MSNBC and 108 on CNN, for a total of 222 total uses of the word."

    I'd say Trump does not protest enough based on the numbers.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Is ken white still a blogger? Or is just a tweeter?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If it's good enough for Iowahawk then it's definitely good enough for Ken White.

  • Rod Flash||

    "And I have seen it many times. I have had many friends involved in this stuff."

    For once an undeniably true statement. When you hang around with lowlifes...

  • Exsqueezeyou||

    "...When you hang around with lowlifes..."

    So, is that what you think of everyone who has non-consensual contact with law enforcement. Fuck off.

    Them won't come for you because kneeling losers have little for Them to plunder.

  • Anomalous||

    Trump hates flipping. He's like Larry Sanders.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Nothing says blind justice like one person getting a greater punishment than the next simply due to his lack of utility.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    All defendants should have a speedy trial instead of plea bargains.

    It would reduced over charging as prosecutors would actually have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt all charges and do it in a 60-90 day window.

    Cooperation with the state should not be illegal but attorneys should not be able to sell out their clients for a lighter sentence unless the attorney and the client engage in illegal activity together.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I just wamt to know when Bill amd Hillary Clinton will be indicted for paying off Paula Jones for $850,000 ahead of Hillary's first Sneate campaign.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    ERMYGAWD! I KNOW THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO NOW IS FIND OUT EXACTLY HOW FAR CLINTON STUCK HIS CIGAR UP MONICA LEWINSKY'S TWAT. SC JUSTICE KAVANAUGH WANTS TO KNOW, THAT's FOR SURE

  • Happy Chandler||

    Which corporation did they get the funds from?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I love you guys. I forgot about that.

    I cannot possibly remember all this political corruption and when we put our heads together....

  • Azathoth!!||

    So now Reason supports prosecutorial shenanigans?

    Surely it can't be long before we get articles waxing rhapsodic over police militarization and brutality?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    As long as they're brutalizing Trump supporters, I wouldn't rule it out.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    "I know all about flipping. For 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers,"

    But cheating your subcontractors out of the money they're owed is totally cool.

    And trump would betray anyone and everyone if he was being prosecuted.

  • Exsqueezeyou||

    "And trump would betray anyone and everyone if he was being prosecuted."

    And yet over those 30-40 year Trump has apparently not found himself in that position. But, hey, keep speculating off topic to confirm your TDS.

    "But cheating your subcontractors out of the money they're owed is totally cool."
    With such obvious disgust, you must not shop at Walmart because they underpay vendors. Cause your intellectually consistent, right?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Go back to the Federalist.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I guess you're answer is that you do take direct advantage of the same system you despise.

    Maybe you cohort work so your actions are logically consistent with your beliefs.

    Or stop being upset by being called a hypocrite., as it's quite obvious you are.

    Own it or change it. But don't get mad at others for pointing out the obvious.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I wonder why contractors continue to do business with Trump if he was actually cheating them.

    Lefties never answer that one.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    One wonders why you still have Trump's cock shoved so far up your ass, LuvCon.

  • wearingit||

    Because it'd be harder to spout bullshit if he had it in his mouth.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And again you're obsessed with Trump's cock. NYP, I think you're a big faggot for Trump. I'll bet you're just jealous of LC based on your homo delusion. Or at least you would want to watch.

  • Ron||

    Trump did not say they should get stitches. its headline lies like this that spread across the internet to people who think the headline is the whole story.

  • Oli||

    To be fair, that's the problem of the people who only read the headline. Not reason's.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    THIS COUNTRY IS RUN BY THE RULE OF LAW NOT THE RULE OF MEN

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Just the way Lefties like it.

  • Echospinner||

    ". I have had many friends involved in this stuff."

    Yes we can see that.

  • Bob Meyer||

    "there are several changes that could lead to more balance in the criminal justice system, such as...strengthening penalties for prosecutors who flout their obligations to disclose evidence to the defense"

    Popehat better be careful. To prosecutors "them's is fightin' words". Ken might end up having his taxes audited.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Agreed, but that's part of the problem. Any 'citizen' disagreeing with police and/or prosecutors gets harassed.

    America, home of the free and the brave indeed. Where LE industry punishes even slight disagreements with the full force of the state. Cowards all of them (those who behave like this anyway).

  • Dillinger||

    >>>strengthening penalties for prosecutors

    prosecutor, punish thyself

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So help me out here. Is this one of those cases where we should ignore what Trump says, because we should only pay attention to actions and not words, or we should listen carefully to what Trump says, because it's an example of his masterful execution of 99 Dimensional Chess?

  • JWatts||

    You should never pay attention to what Trump says. You should watch what his opponents do. If they react so poorly to Trump's words or actions that they actually manage to undermine their own stance, then you can assume that Trump has Jar Jar Binks'd his way to victory again.

  • DesigNate||

    That is a really apt analogy.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    IIRC Jar Jar installed Palpatine as the Emperor.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Jar Jar lost because he didn't know where Aleppo was.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    No, he merely introduced an energency powers resolution.

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    This is wonderful. When someone puts into words something that materializes what is in the back of your mind with a great analogy, it has to make you smile. He fucking Jar Jar Binks'd it again!

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Has someone said he masterfully executes 99 dimensional chess?

    I'm voting for "ignore chemjeff's disingenuous strawmanning".

  • Happy Chandler||

    I think this was one of the cases where he's actually right about the problem, but only wants it fixed in the cases that involve him.

    Sort of, if he was actually going to do something about it, that would be great, but the people he chose do the exact opposite. Like how he complained about FISA and signed off on the extension without any reforms.

  • SimonP||

    But even if you accept that he's waving his hands around a "problem," the "problem" isn't flipping. It's overcharging and overpunishing. There is no need to call for making "flipping" illegal if you remove the excessive leverage that prosecutors have, which you do by enacting genuine criminal justice reform. Which, after some kind words in favor, has flown the coop of this presidency/Congress.

  • Happy Chandler||

    I think this was one of the cases where he's actually right about the problem, but only wants it fixed in the cases that involve him.

    Sort of, if he was actually going to do something about it, that would be great, but the people he chose do the exact opposite. Like how he complained about FISA and signed off on the extension without any reforms.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Maybe watch actions and end results versus what someone says.

    For instance - you meet someone new and invite them over, but every time they leave you find valuables missing.

    I wouldn't listen to their words, but evaluate the likelihood of them being responsible based upon heir actions and the end results.

    Note too that in many cases, even if you ask people directly why they did something, they likely don't fully know and rationalize, especially negative actions, to prove to others and themselves that their actions were required.

    Just listen to the leftist-terrorists beating up innocent people - its not their fault, they were provoked.

    Yet it happens all the time and they continue showing up in places where it happens again.

    Do most normal people need to punch others when they disagree?

    Or are these people lying about their actions and motives?

  • Exsqueezeyou||

    ""It's called 'flipping,' and it almost ought to be illegal," Trump said."

    FFS what an authoritarian, amirite? sarc off

    Trump was probably strategically moderating with his insertion of "almost" to keep the law and order nuts in their seats.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Actually this is a libertarian principle in that they can force people to testify against others by giving them a no-win situation.

    'So your friend called after the murder? Tell us everything an no charges or be prepared to defend against conspiracy to commit first-degree murder with possible life sentence'.

    The only people who cannot be forced like this are spouses and its absolute BS its limited to that group of people alone.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    In this case the "flipping" is a severe abuse of justice, even more than usual. What Cohen is confessing to is probably not even a crime. The prosecution isn't making a deal in exchange for testimony in a court trial, it is using the confession itself as a way to beat up somebody they don't like in the court of public opinion.

  • SimonP||

    What Cohen is confessing to is probably not even a crime.

    Yeah, sure, buddy. That would make Cohen's attorney the most wildly incompetent attorney in the U.S. Which he may well be, but.

    Anyway, you clearly don't even know what he pleaded guilty to.

  • Nardz||

    Cohen's attorney is a prominent political hack for the Clintons.
    The fix was in the moment Davis was hired.

  • SimonP||

    The "fix" here being... what, exactly? Cohen hired a lawyer to help him plead guilty to non-crimes in order to put Trump in a tough spot? Are you, uh, actually insane, or just trolling?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That would be an even nicer twist to this story.

    Trump called that Obama and his cronies in the DOJ, FBI, and NSA were spying on him.

    Trump called that this was a witch hunt with no merit. Mueller cannot even get Manafort convicted on more than 8 out of 18 charges. Ample of evidence of biased jurors in that case. Trump fired Manafort once her found out he was an operative.

    Cohen volunteered to pay off the whore Stormy and does other illegal shit. Then blames Trump. Cohen is fired once Trump finds out that Cohen was an operative.

    Cohen hires ex-Clinton lawyer to get a plea to avoid worse things and expose attorney-client material between Cohen and Trump. How else could they get Attorney-client privileged material without the attorney being a plant.

    Its genius for its corruption.

  • JesseAz||

    You can find right wing lawyers at politico and washigtom post both admitting that this is probably not a campaign violation dipshit. See John Edwards. See personal expenditures are not campaign donations. Trump can say he did it yo rpitect hid business image or family like others have or like he did with previous payoffs.

  • SimonP||

    I've read the pieces you're thinking of. The Politico piece was an incredibly irresponsible misrepresentation of what the law is. And the WaPo piece was less, "This isn't illegal" than "This is awfully hard to prove." Which the Edwards situation amply demonstrated.

    And, yes, I'll freely admit it would be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump specifically conspired with Cohen to buy the silence of his mistresses because he wanted to help his own campaign (illegal) rather than simply protect his reputation more generally, consistent with past practice (not illegal). But us non-jurors need not be quite so credulous. If you think Trump's election chances weren't at the forefront of his mind when he made these arrangements with Cohen, you're dumber than... well, I guess I couldn't say, because you've always been a developmentally-challenged moron.

  • Happy Chandler||

    They had corroborating evidence.
    Also, payments weren't being made. Then, said after the Access Hollywood tape came out, Essential Consulting was formed. It would be hard to argue that it was a coincidence.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    You seem to be unaware of defendants pleading guilty to crimes they didn't commit in order to avoid much longer sentences. It happens all the time when the evidence points, but is not conclusive. For serious charges it can ve the difference in getting home I 2 years versus never.

    If that's not incentive to lie, then there's never been a single false confession via torture/beating. Why lie under torture but not lie to kepp your freedom?

  • Modus Pwnens||

    It's like if that dude who ran the girl over at Charlottesvile, got a DNC lawyer, who made a deal with the prosecution that they would drop the charges for murder if he confessed to reckless driving and said he did it because Trump said so.

    It's not a matter of getting cooperation and testimony in court. It's a matter of getting someone to publicly attack, and tar as a criminal, someone they don't like.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This seems to be the M.O. of the desperate Lefties. They cannot stop Trump legally, so they broke the 'old reliable tactics of ruthless corruption.

    If every non-Lefty does not understand how corrupt Democrats are, they should open their eyes.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Why did Trump appoint a desperate lefty to be the US Attorney for SDNY?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Agreed, but lol'd at 'ruthless corruption'. Not sure having only Trump, the lawyer, and the whore prostitue involved this would constitue being ruthless :)

    But agreed either way - this is all about throwing rocks from glass houses and they're hoping no one will notice.

    And do to tribal affiliations and group think, many won't see it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    its pretty ruthless to threaten peoeple with life in prison for victimless crimes to get them to lie in a coup conspiracy to get rid of Trump.

  • Brian||

    It is somewhat hilarious that this all comes down to campaign finance laws.

    Will Trump be impeached for colluding with the Russians?

    Will Trump lose the next election as voters are disgusted with his sexual antics?

    No.

    Paying hookers hush money was apparently a violation of campaign finance regulations.

    There's no more proof you need to know the whole mess is absurd.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Al Capone went to jail for tax fraud.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    So is your point that Trump has murdered and ordered murders while running a criminal empire?

    Or is your point to show you have no idea what an accurate anogy is?

  • SimonP||

    There's absolutely no reason to think this is where it stops or even begins. It seems perfectly appropriate to me that, given the ongoing nature of Mueller's investigation, the crimes amounting to conspiring with the Russians to violate various laws have yet to come fully to light.

    And do recall that one of the "collusion" angles here is whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to accept illegal foreign contributions in kind to the campaign. I mean, you Trumpistas are all total morons, but do try to recall that you guys were accusing Hillary of doing something similar (with a different group of countries) a couple of years ago.

  • JesseAz||

    So you support a three year investigation against a specific person, not crime, kick-started by a paid for political opponents research campaign? You're an authoritarian piece of shit. You would do great in Venezuelan government.

    Of you believed in justice you'd wish it would be blind and specific to crimes instead of specific people.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Quit whimpering, rube.

  • SimonP||

    I support an investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign (or anyone else) actively worked with the Russians in order to throw the election in Trump's favor. Which is, y'know, what's actually happening in reality.

    I am not really sure why there is so much denial over this. The pattern of releases during the campaign was clear. Trump pundits cackled with glee ahead of DNC e-mail dumps. The dumps themselves were perfectly timed for every new Trump scandal. We may not yet know whether there was a lot of Trump-directed conspiring with the Russians - it's entirely possible he was just the gullible idiot at the middle of all this cloak and dagger shit - but to think it's a big ol' nothingburger requires a kind of willingness to be fooled that's really quite astonishing. You don't have to believe that Trump did anything wrong. But you do have to believe that we need to understand better what actually happened. Because something actually did.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its a coup attempt.

    Lefties lost the election fair and square and now are desperately trying to initiate a coup of Trump who is rolling back the socialist state.

  • SimonP||

    The "coup" happened when a foreign power manipulated an election in order to install a leader who would soften U.S. policy towards that foreign power and weaken the U.S.'s global standing.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    If that is a coup, then NBC's leaking of that Access Hollywood tape is also a coup.

  • Brian||

    "do try to recall that you guys were accusing Hillary of doing something similar (with a different group of countries) a couple of years ago."

    And I assume, in all fairness and equality with how you handled Trump, that, in the case of Hillary, you saw no reason to think that's where it stopped or even began, and a crime amounting to conspiring with foreigners to violate various laws was yet to come fully to light.

    Oh wait.

  • SimonP||

    The accusations against Hillary had no merit whatsoever and were plausible only when you significantly misrepresented the facts upon which they were premised.

    Here, we have an actual audio tape of the conspiracy between Trump and Cohen to violate campaign finance laws. So.

  • Brian||

    I'm sure you were about to call for a special prosecutor.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hillary's next after Mueller is fired.

    It will be fun to watch you Lefties scream with anger that your tactics are being used against you....again.

  • SimonP||

    Yeah, you'll laugh all the way to the banana republic.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Mueller is the evidence that Lefties have made this a banana republic.

  • SimonP||

    Republicans are the ones who are working to structurally install themselves in power for the foreseeable future, tilt the judiciary in their favor for the next generation, and to bury the Mueller investigation just as soon as they don't have to face electoral consequences for doing so.

    Against that backdrop, the fact that the Mueller investigation is still going is only small comfort. He won't attempt to indict the president, and he probably won't even try to subpoena him. All he'll do is produce a report, and it'll be up to Congress to act. If it's still controlled by Republicans, it's all but certain they will work to suppress his report and sit on its recommendations, no matter how damning it is. That is how a banana republic works.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    The accusations against Hillary had no merit..

    You are deluded. She opey admitted to using private mail servers for US foreign policy work then deleted all emails instead of providing them to the government as required by law.

    Those facts are not in dispute.

    The only thing in dispute is idiots like you think her not being charged shows the legal system working versus the reality where all this simply proves what everyone knows: there are different rules for those with money and power.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    There's absolutely no reason to think this is where it stops or even begins.

    It's certain your right to believe this and state so, but without any proof it's just pure speculation.

    For example it's as valid as if I speculated that Trump never paid nor intended to pay her and it was lies and a setup.

    Given what we know, I agree he was involved, but NY point is my speculation is exacy as valuable/accurate as yours is.

    Might as well ask if he affairs included extraterrestrial beings.

    After all, since it's just speculation with zero proof required...

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Simon, there is nothing there. The only thing that needs to be investigated are the democrats, especially Hillary. Everything turned up in Mueller's investigation leads to serious wrongdoing from them. Not limited to her campaign paying for that fake dossier.

    When 90% of the DNC leadership, the Clintons, and at least half of congressional democrats are in prison or executed, then we can start talking about whether Trump actually ever did anything wrong.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    You'd think Reason would want Trump to remain in office for as long as possible. Once he's gone, their usefulness for the current crop of anti-Trump donors will come to a sudden end. And if they think they're getting a dime from actual libertarians after their behavior the past couple of years...

  • James Pollock||

    "'I have had many friends involved in this stuff.'"

    Still unexplained is why so many of those friends who were involved in criminal activities were then appointed to administration positions.

  • Echospinner||

    Looks like another long time good friend of Trump just flipped on him. David Pecker from the National Enquirer who buried stories for him.

    Trump has a big deal about loyalty but it is always a one way street. That is fealty not loyalty. Except for his family Trump has no loyalty to anyone, oh wait not even that, poor Melania.

    Then Sessions hit back at him today.

    This is not going away soon.

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    Drip drip drip. Nothing too crazy or damning has come from it yet. But it doesn't look great.

    I feel that the worst thing for him thus far is through any of the individual threads (Stormy, Comey meeting, trump tower meeting), how much stories change and the sheer amount of bold faced lies that have come out of the trumps. I don't know if there was truly anything damning that happened in any of the "scandals".

    However, I am uncomfortable with all the "non-collusion" and lies about said non-collusion that happened surrounding the week where he / his son had communications with wikileaks, met with some russian tools in his building, promised a huge release of info about the hag, didn't get the info they wanted in that meeting (and then didn't have the release of the magic information), and then Donny Jr / Sarah Sanders / Trump all lie their asses off changing the story around it until we eventually find out they have all lied about it multiple times. They just have no credibility at this point.

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    The Clintons are sleazy politician scum, but if you can watch a politician and their family lie as much as we have seen Trump and the people around him, that has to set of some kind of alarm that they are also a sleazy piece of political scum. I mean if I see the Hamburgler running away from McD's with a tray full of burgers and one in his mouth, and people tell me he just robbed McDs, but no one has video evidence, and his story about that time frame changes multiple times, I am gonna be real suspicious of that fucker.

    Honestly ready for Pence to take over. He would be deregulating just as much, and cutting my taxes (hopefully permanently next time, not this temporary horseshit), I don't need the everyday shenanigans.

  • Echospinner||

    This was the sticker I had in my car window last election

    https://goo.gl/images/zBWv8N

  • Oli||

    With Pence there will be a whole lot of other problems. He's basically an ideological nutcase. But he might be presidential enough to turn it down a little and maybe not put gays into reprogramming camps.

  • Oli||

    With Pence there will be a whole lot of other problems. He's basically an ideological nutcase. But he might be presidential enough to turn it down a little and maybe not put gays into reprogramming camps.

  • Oli||

    With Pence there will be a whole lot of other problems. He's basically an ideological nutcase. But he might be presidential enough to turn it down a little and maybe not put gays into reprogramming camps.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    With Pence hopefully McCarthyism will be revived and we can finally criminalize the activities of progressives like you.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    This is not going away soon.

    Not sure Trump cares - did Kenneth Satr help or hurt Clinton?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    MAGA: My Advisors Going Away

    MAGA: My Attorney Got Arrested

    As Trump unravels, and the vise tightens, the entertainment value of the Goober King Era becomes arresting.

    My favorite day will be that of the Don Jr. indictment. Trump's hair may go straight to Don King mode.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Arty, traitors like you should be put to death.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA: Make A Goober Angry!

    Lefties are angry. Massive losses in election 2018. Trump will be reelected in 2020.

  • Rob Misek||

    Yes, plea bargaining should be illegal.

    As should any form of settlement or hush money because it's blackmail.

    Breaking the law should always result in conviction.

    Only a corrupt justice system favours the rich.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Not sure it should always be illegal - as if so, for very sophisticated criminal organizations, the top people will never face charges.

    But it's abused often and Juries don't seem to understand the very strong incentives of many state witnesses, so their credibility looks stronger than it actually is.

    IE - current system sucks, but bargaining would likely be required in the perfect system (if such a thing could ever exist).

  • Rob Misek||

    If we actually used the technology available to us the system could function as it should.

    We have the ability to effortlessly record everything we witness and store that evidence in the cloud.

    We should have the human right to voluntarily record everywhere we go.

    We should criminalize all lying as is already done out of necessity in court.

    Put together, these opportunities represent the virtual end of lying and corruption, vastly improving our justice system.

    The first wheel also "sucked" to the caveman who dragged it sideways.

  • Cyto||

    It isn't just defendants with public defenders that have to worry about this.

    Mark Geragos, attorney to the stars, has been complaining about this for years. He says all criminal defense attorneys think it is unfair and unjust.

    His basic premise is this: If a defense attorney offers a witness some sort of benefit for their testimony - like a cash payment - they are guilty of a crime and will be prosecuted for obstruction, witness tampering, etc.

    But prosecutors can offer "get out of jail" and everyone is OK with that. Here's his point: Which one is more valuable to you if you are facing 10 years in prison? $100,000 or "we'll let you out of jail and you can see your family and friends and get back to your life instead of spending the next 10 years in prison"?

    If you were faced with federal prosecutors determined to spin every possible technical violation into a separate crime with years in jail, would you testify in the way they asked you to?

    What if you were offered fifty grand to lie on the stand for your boss about his tax fraud? Would you take it, knowing that perjury carries a 20 year felony rap?

    I don't know what the answer is, but it sure seems like the defense attorneys have a point.

  • Richard Manfredi||

    I WOULD NOT BELIEVE ONE WORD OF A PLEA BARGAINED PERSON WHO WAS GIVING EVIDENCE AGAINST SOME ONE ELSE TO LESSEN THEIR OWN PUNISHMENT .
    IN MY OPINION , THERE SHOULD BE NO LAWS REGARDING CAMPAIGN FINANCING . BETTER IDEAS , AND DELIVERING ON PROMISES WIN ELECTIONS , NOT MONEY .
    APPARENTLY THE CASE AGAINST MANAFORT WENT NOWHERE FOR TWELVE YEARS . IT IS A DISGRACE TO RESURRECT IT NOW .
    COHEN AND CHEATING THE BANKS , ROFLMAO . THE BANKS ARE THE HOUSE , AND NO ONE BEATS THE HOUSE , MORE ROFLMAO .

  • Lester224||

    Good luck getting right wingers to reduce mandatory minimums or act against overcharging defendants to get them to plead.

    Live by these tactics then go down by them. The rules are bad but they apply to all, even the lawyers of presidents.

  • Wearenotperfect||

    "For 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers," Trump continued.

    What does he mean "flippers"? Does he mean "flippers" like at Sea World?

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