Presidential Immunity

Author: Double_R

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Double_R
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Listening to the oral arguments today and there were two things I really found jarring, wondering what your perspective is on these.

The first is the fact that the justices along with Trump’s lawyer continually emphasized the need to separate out private acts from official acts because they seemed to all endorse the idea that official acts must have some sort of immunity if not absolute. This notion seems to ignore the very idea of corruption as a concept.

Corruption is when an individual uses the power of their office for personal or private gain. If an act is private, corruption cannot definitionally occur. It is only when an official takes an official act that corruption is even a possibility, so how on earth does an act being considered official become a shield of sorts from being prosecuted? That position tautologically legalizes corruption.

The second thing I found maddening was the hypotheticals the conservative justices seemed to be concerned about. Adopting the Trump narrative that future administrations would just prosecute their predecessors for anything, they presented multiple hypotheticals of such. But here’s the thing, every one of these hypotheticals stands on the premise that the prosecuting administration is corruptly abusing the powers of their office. So in order for that hypothetical to even occur we’re already imagining a corrupt administration, and the remedy for this is to ensure these future corrupt administrations cannot be prosecuted?

This is absurd for two reasons. First is because there already exists protections for former presidents, most basic is the presumption of innocence. To get a conviction you need to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the former president’s corrupt intent, that’s a very high bar. Meanwhile the only check against a corrupt president is the threat of prosecution. So to focus on the side that is already protected while ignoring the other is absurd on its face.

But even worse is that since we are assuming corrupt administrations to begin with, by removing the threat of prosecution we’re only encouraging future administrations to do whatever they want, like, say, imprisoning their political opponents. So the proposed remedy on the table will only encourage the very behavior the conservative justices are imagining in their doomsday scenarios. That is completely self defeating.

Curious to know how you all saw it.
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@Double_R
Curious to know how you all saw it.
I saw it the same way you saw it, they aren't serious, its just another stall tactic that won't be taken seriously in any legal way.
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@Double_R
Corruption is when an individual uses the power of their office for personal or private gain.
Corruption is when an individual or group of individuals fail to honestly carry out the duties of office.

For instance Letitia James is corrupt because the mission of prosecutors is to prosecute crimes, not make them up because it makes you popular and won an election.


If an act is private, corruption cannot definitionally occur.
Of course it can, it's just normally called fraud. When you accept a responsibility and then you intentionally ignore that responsibility or abuse license given under that authority that is corruption.

An electrician who is let into your home is given license to execute a voluntarily offered and promised responsibility. If they spend 5 hours watching HBO, leave shit in the toilet, and then don't fix the electrical problem that is corrupt.


so how on earth does an act being considered official become a shield of sorts from being prosecuted?
If there is no shield, why can't West Virginia go after Obama for drone strikes? Why can't Brian Kemp be put on trial for breach of duty? The mayor of Seattle for sedition?


But here’s the thing, every one of these hypotheticals stands on the premise that the prosecuting administration is corruptly abusing the powers of their office. So in order for that hypothetical to even occur we’re already imagining a corrupt administration, and the remedy for this is to ensure these future corrupt administrations cannot be prosecuted?
The remedy the constitution offers is an election.


To get a conviction you need to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the former president’s corrupt intent
In fairyland...


Meanwhile the only check against a corrupt president is the threat of prosecution.
It's the threat of impeachment and conviction by the senate. That's the same threat individual congressmen, senators, and judges face.

The difference between the insane pretenders attempting to steal from and abduct Donald Trump and congress is the presumption that 2/3 of the senate represents an overwhelming national opinion. In other words 2/3 of the senate is the line in the sand which differentiates the politically controversial from the officially corrupt.


by removing the threat of prosecution we’re only encouraging future administrations to do whatever they want, like, say, imprisoning their political opponents
That is happening now, via fascist imitation of prosecution.
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@Sidewalker
its just another stall tactic that won't be taken seriously in any legal way.
Another golden quote for the week.

If the shoe was on the other foot Double R would be pointing out that judges decide law, not citizens, and therefore being taken seriously by the highest court in the nation is about as seriously as an argument can be taken.

It isn't though, and suddenly all that respect for authority has dried up for the moment. It will be back, when convenient.
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In fairyland...
Exactly.. there only needs to be 2/3 agreement of Congress, not a "preponderance" of evidence. It's literally in the Constitution.
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@ADreamOfLiberty
If there is no shield, why can't West Virginia go after Obama for drone strikes? Why can't Brian Kemp be put on trial for breach of duty? The mayor of Seattle for sedition?
This is why the court case is all for show, just not in the way most left tribers view it. The SCOTUS will pretend publicly that they have the authority to supersede the powers of Congressional impeachment as defined in the constitution, but at the end of the day, they will collectively refuse to be held responsible for the destruction of the checks and balances of the Constitutional Republic of America. 

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Many, including Tim Pool and myself, have criticized Trump for even showing up in NY or DC for these farcical stage productions. He choose to pretend there is such a thing as rule of law in these places and thus conveys a certain level of legitimacy by appearing and obeying.

If this isn't beaten down hard, and it isn't right now; lawyers are facing jail time for being lawyers, then we'll soon have a situation where one political tribe's political actors need to stay within the territory of their own tribe lest they be thrown in irons.

That will accelerate the self-sorting that has been going on by an order of magnitude.

Where will the fear of prosecution be then?
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So in order for that hypothetical to even occur we’re already imagining a corrupt administration, and the remedy for this is to ensure these future corrupt administrations cannot be prosecuted?
phenomenal analysis
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@ADreamOfLiberty
If there is no shield, why can't West Virginia go after Obama for drone strikes? Why can't Brian Kemp be put on trial for breach of duty? The mayor of Seattle for sedition?

Decades ago the Supreme Court created the doctrine of qualified immunity to protect government officials when they faced lawsuits for violations of constitutional rights. At the time, the Court wrote that the doctrine was not meant to be a “license to lawless conduct.” But over the years qualified immunity has expanded and, in some states, officials who act outside their authority have even been allowed to escape lawsuits.

In New Mexico, an officer received qualified immunity even though he was off-duty and he was criminally convicted for how he treated an innocent man. In Minnesota, a traffic engineer received qualified immunity after he detained truck drivers for hours even though he had no authority to make arrests. Both decisions are being appealed to higher federal courts. The details of both cases demonstrate clear abuse of power, abuse that should not be ignored.

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So should West Virginia be allowed to convict Obama or not?
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@ADreamOfLiberty
So should West Virginia be allowed to convict Obama or not?
west virginia would have no legal standing unless they were the victims of the drone strikes
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So should West Virginia be allowed to convict Obama or not?
west virginia would have no legal standing unless they were the victims of the drone strikes
So you believe in "legal standing" but not "qualified immunity" when both are arbitrary inventions of courts.

Should West Virginia be allowed to convict Joe Biden for lying about sharing classified documents?
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@ADreamOfLiberty
If there is no shield, why can't West Virginia go after Obama for drone strikes?
Well for starters, because West Virginia has no jurisdiction. States can prosecute individuals for crimes that occur within their state, the drone strikes were not ordered in WV and even if they were they didn’t take place there so that pushes the jurisdiction to the federal government.

Second, because there is no evidence nor even reason to suspect his actions were for personal or private gain. They were clearly the actions of a commander in chief doing what he felt was necessary to protect the people he was serving.

Beyond all of that, if WV or anyone else in a position to bring such charges wanted to go after Obama they absolutely could. There is nothing that can prevent a person in power from abusing that power, only deterrences, so all of these hypotheticals are kind of ridiculous. If those in power do not feel obligated to use their power in good faith then that right there is the problem, we’re not going to solve that by telling them “you can’t go after a former president”.

The remedy the constitution offers is an election.
Voting out a corrupt president is not a remedy for a president who wishes to abuse the power of his office for personal gain. All that does is encourage the next president to do the same.

And it is especially not a remedy when the corrupt president decides to use the power of his office to maintain power.

Meanwhile the only check against a corrupt president is the threat of prosecution.
It's the threat of impeachment and conviction by the senate. That's the same threat individual congressmen, senators, and judges face.
All of those individuals face the threat of prosecution, so why shouldn’t POTUS? Why is it that every public official in America can make decisions on behalf of the people they serve just fine despite the threat of prosecution but if we introduce that same threat to the president suddenly we’ve hamstrung the position? They’ve been doing the job just fine for the past 250 years.

That is happening now, via fascist imitation of prosecution.
You live in pure fantasy. Trump is on trial because of his actions, you would have no problem understanding that if it were a democrat accused of the same exact thing with the same exact evidentiary record.

You know what I find really telling is that all of you MAGA trumpers have no problem endorsing this ridiculous notion that a president can do whatever they want don’t seem to be the least bit concerned that if this is true then Biden can do whatever the hell he wants. If you actually believe your own nonsense why aren’t you concerned about the powers you are ready to hand over to him?
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@ADreamOfLiberty
So you believe in "legal standing" but not "qualified immunity" when both are arbitrary inventions of courts.
legal standing is perfectly logical and easily determined

"qualified immunity" is amorphous and idiotic


also, why would west virginia care at all about drone strikes ??
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 if this is true then Biden can do whatever the hell he wants.
bingo
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@Double_R
If there is no shield, why can't West Virginia go after Obama for drone strikes?
Well for starters, because West Virginia has no jurisdiction.
I'm sure they can make something up. Creativity is the name of the game in lawfare.


Second, because there is no evidence nor even reason to suspect his actions were for personal or private gain.
I doubt there are exceptions to the West Virginia statutes against murder for murders without obvious personal gain.


They were clearly the actions of a commander in chief doing what he felt was necessary to protect the people he was serving.
If 12 people get to decide that, then who gets to decide who the 12 people are?


Beyond all of that, if WV or anyone else in a position to bring such charges wanted to go after Obama they absolutely could.
We'll see, the supreme court may wish to stop the escalation. If they don't, then of course the right-tribe must respond in kind or lose the fight.


The remedy the constitution offers is an election.
Voting out a corrupt president is not a remedy for a president who wishes to abuse the power of his office for personal gain. All that does is encourage the next president to do the same.
So much for democracy and the constitution.


And it is especially not a remedy when the corrupt president decides to use the power of his office to maintain power.
So seeking political power is a corrupt agenda? Good to know.


Meanwhile the only check against a corrupt president is the threat of prosecution.
It's the threat of impeachment and conviction by the senate. That's the same threat individual congressmen, senators, and judges face.
All of those individuals face the threat of prosecution
History disagrees, but nothing lasts forever.


Why is it that every public official in America can make decisions on behalf of the people they serve just fine despite the threat of prosecution but if we introduce that same threat to the president suddenly we’ve hamstrung the position?
There used to be law an order, which meant people didn't use to use criminal charges to subvert elections and punish dissent (much). Where that has happened, it has been a problem.


They’ve been doing the job just fine for the past 250 years.
If you discount the contested elections, the civil war, the KKK practically running state governments for 30 years... that sort of thing.

Even they didn't have the gumption to charge and convict Lincoln of crimes before he could be elected.


Trump is on trial because of his actions, you would have no problem understanding that if it were a democrat accused of the same exact thing with the same exact evidentiary record.
Yea, except they have done the exact same things and far worse; in every single case. In some cases hundreds of thousands of Americans have done the same thing without being charged as well.

It speaks to their incompetence or general level of corruption that they can't imagine a single made up crime they aren't more guilty of.


You know what I find really telling is that all of you MAGA trumpers have no problem endorsing this ridiculous notion that a president can do whatever they want don’t seem to be the least bit concerned that if this is true then Biden can do whatever the hell he wants.
He is doing whatever he wants, and so did Obama, and so did Bush, and so did Clinton. Lincoln REALLY did whatever he wanted.

2/3 of the senate is a high bar, no president has ever been so obviously corrupt as to create such a consensus; explaining why they could do whatever they want and why Biden is doing whatever he wants. This is as the framers intended, if you could veto a president easily then there wouldn't be much point in electing one.

That would be true of a truly national jury, when it's a jury of a tiny diamond of land occupied by zealots who all live off the government teat... well then it's extra obvious.


If you actually believe your own nonsense why aren’t you concerned about the powers you are ready to hand over to him?
I'm not handing him anything he doesn't have and utilize already. The coordination of this lawfare is itself a profoundly corrupt act which deserves impeachment and conviction, and if you are telling me 12 people in West Virginia can do the job just as well as 2/3 of the senate I'll take it.
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@3RU7AL
So you believe in "legal standing" but not "qualified immunity" when both are arbitrary inventions of courts.
legal standing is perfectly logical and easily determined
You think so huh?

Then why is this a question:
also, why would west virginia care at all about drone strikes ??


"qualified immunity" is amorphous and idiotic
They are both amorphous and idiotic and they are both band-aids to an underlying imperfection in the legal tradition.

The underlying imperfections could be mostly alleviated by staked interests, but that does not exist right now and the question is how these amorphous and idiotic things are applied with prejudice.

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@Double_R
Excellent points.

It’s also clear from recent events that impeachment is no longer the protection against an unlawful president that the Founders envisioned.

Republicans in Congress are so firmly in their camps that the President can only be held accountable by that action if the people that elected them have made it clear
they want the President removed. Since the MAGA MORONS control the Republican Party, there is no check on their unlawful president because the Congress lacks the integrity to follow the law and their conscience. They only care about surviving a primary election or having lucrative job offers when they leave Congress.

No brains by the people + politicians without integrity =  a country destined to collapse 

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I'm sure they can make something up. Creativity is the name of the game in lawfare.
That doesn’t work in court very often. As we have seen, Republican nonsense doesn’t fly in most courts.

For instance Letitia James is corrupt because the mission of prosecutors is to prosecute crimes, not make them up because it makes you popular and won an election.
What crime did she charge Trump with that is “made up”? 

An electrician who is let into your home is given license to execute a voluntarily offered and promised responsibility. If they spend 5 hours watching HBO, leave shit in the toilet, and then don't fix the electrical problem that is corrupt.
That’s not corruption or fraud genius. That’s failure to provide services, a.k.a. breech of contract. 

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That doesn’t work in court very often. As we have seen, Republican nonsense doesn’t fly in most courts.

It only has to work in one to bring a sitting or ex-president and a country down.
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It only has to work in one to bring a sitting or ex-president and a country down.
So the way to avoid an ill reasoned court decision is to make all crimes legal? That’s brilliant!

So Biden can take all the money he likes from China and it can’t land him in jail. Then he shares that money with Congress so they won’t impeach him. Then he sends welfare checks to al the blue states so the voters will be happy and he cuts off funding to red states too. Great.

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So Biden can take all the money he likes from China and it can’t land him in jail. Then he shares that money with Congress so they won’t impeach him. Then he sends welfare checks to al the blue states so the voters will be happy and he cuts off funding to red states too. Great.
This already happened recently. over 100 Republicans and all the Democrats were bribed with a portion of the 90 Billion dollar foreign aid package. Despite overwhelming public opposition for defunding Americans. It's all legal, nobody is going to jail.
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@Double_R
Listening to the oral arguments today and there were two things I really found jarring, wondering what your perspective is on these.
You already know what their perspective is going to be.  If it helps Trump or hurts Biden, then the Dream of Liberties and the GPs of this site will agree with it and the Roosevelts and the Side walkers of this site will not agree with it.  Vice versa applies if it harms Trump or helps Biden.
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@ADreamOfLiberty
I'm sure they can make something up. Creativity is the name of the game in lawfare.
They can make shit up all they want, they still don’t have jurisdiction.

If 12 people get to decide that, then who gets to decide who the 12 people are?
The same system we’ve been using for 250 years.

Voting out a corrupt president is not a remedy for a president who wishes to abuse the power of his office for personal gain. All that does is encourage the next president to do the same.
So much for democracy and the constitution.
That has nothing to do with anything I just said.


And it is especially not a remedy when the corrupt president decides to use the power of his office to maintain power.
So seeking political power is a corrupt agenda? Good to know.
Read my post again. Note the bold.

All of those individuals face the threat of prosecution
History disagrees, but nothing lasts forever.
No congressmen, Senator, or judge has ever faced prosecution? Wow that’s news to me.

Why is it that every public official in America can make decisions on behalf of the people they serve just fine despite the threat of prosecution but if we introduce that same threat to the president suddenly we’ve hamstrung the position?
There used to be law an order, which meant people didn't use to use criminal charges to subvert elections and punish dissent (much).
Right. It used to be law and order until Trump was held accountable, and since the cult leader can do no wrong any action against him is by definition illegal. Got it.

Even they didn't have the gumption to charge and convict Lincoln of crimes before he could be elected.
Lincoln didn’t have the gumption to commit serious crimes like trying to steal an election.

Trump is on trial because of his actions, you would have no problem understanding that if it were a democrat accused of the same exact thing with the same exact evidentiary record.
Yea, except they have done the exact same things and far worse; in every single case.
Complete and total bullshit. You and your MAGA cohorts love false equivalences because without them you’d have nothing.

I would focus the conversation on this because it is the heart of what makes your position on these trials so ridiculous, but we all know how that’s going to go since I’m talking to someone who thinks turning in classified documents as soon as they are discovered without anyone asking for them is the same thing as lying and saying he didn’t have them, hiding them, having them moved from one location to another to evade detection, and then attempting to destroy the evidence of their whereabouts.

If you can’t tell those two things apart from each other it’s no wonder you believe the things you do.

He is doing whatever he wants, and so did Obama, and so did Bush, and so did Clinton.
I actually agree with you here. They did do whatever they wanted, which was fine because trying to steal an election wasn’t one of them. None of them were a threat to the rule of law, that’s what happens when you elect fundamentally decent people into office.

when it's a jury of a tiny diamond of land occupied by zealots who all live off the government teat...
Right… a bunch of moochers living off of the government… that is definitely what the island of Manhattan is known for.


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@ADreamOfLiberty
legal standing is perfectly logical and easily determined
You think so huh?

Then why is this a question:
also, why would west virginia care at all about drone strikes ??
the question illustrates my point

what part of "legal standing" do you think is problematic ?
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@Double_R
I'm sure they can make something up. Creativity is the name of the game in lawfare.
They can make shit up all they want, they still don’t have jurisdiction.
Trump doesn't have 91 counts against him. It doesn't matter what is legal, it matters what you can convince people is legal.


If 12 people get to decide that, then who gets to decide who the 12 people are?
The same system we’ve been using for 250 years.
If it was Lincoln would have been taken out by a bunch of slavers who conveniently moved to DC and sat on a jury finding him guilty of conspiring with the moon to destroy the sun.


All of those individuals face the threat of prosecution
History disagrees, but nothing lasts forever.
No congressmen, Senator, or judge has ever faced prosecution? Wow that’s news to me.
Not for official acts without impeachment.


Even they didn't have the gumption to charge and convict Lincoln of crimes before he could be elected.
Lincoln didn’t have the gumption to commit serious crimes like trying to steal an election.
Ask a slaver. This isn't about reality but who decides. Reality is Trump didn't violate any laws that everybody else didn't violate 10 times worse.


Yea, except they have done the exact same things and far worse; in every single case.
Complete and total bullshit.
bla bla bla


He is doing whatever he wants, and so did Obama, and so did Bush, and so did Clinton.
I actually agree with you here. They did do whatever they wanted, which was fine because trying to steal an election wasn’t one of them.
So the only crime you think doesn't have immunity is election related?
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@3RU7AL
legal standing is perfectly logical and easily determined
You think so huh?

Then why is this a question:
also, why would west virginia care at all about drone strikes ??
the question illustrates my point

what part of "legal standing" do you think is problematic ?
The fact that it is not defined in such a way as to be susceptible to objective determination. Same problem with qualified immunity.

They are both adjacent to valid concepts, but not used or defined as such. "immunity" implies there are crimes that government commits that are considered non-crimes, and the is exactly how it is used. Taxes are theft for example. Arbitrary detention by cops is abduction and threats of violence.

"legal standing" is adjacent to "injury in fact" but doesn't follow any rules.

For instance there is a presumption that anyone who violates any criminal statute has injured the public. That's why the court case is THE STATE vs THE ACCUSED. Yet for some reason you thought there would be no legal standing for West Virginia to prosecute Obama for murder.
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@ADreamOfLiberty
For instance there is a presumption that anyone who violates any criminal statute has injured the public. That's why the court case is THE STATE vs THE ACCUSED. Yet for some reason you thought there would be no legal standing for West Virginia to prosecute Obama for murder.
zero quantifiable material harm to the state of west virginia
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@3RU7AL
For instance there is a presumption that anyone who violates any criminal statute has injured the public. That's why the court case is THE STATE vs THE ACCUSED. Yet for some reason you thought there would be no legal standing for West Virginia to prosecute Obama for murder.
zero quantifiable material harm to the state of west virginia
Kinda like how Trump fully repaying a European bank was zero quantifiable material harm to New York?
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@ADreamOfLiberty

Colorado would have standing as it has a duty to protect its citizens.