The Supreme Court puts a pin in Trump’s pardon balloon

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Never give a sucker an even break   WC Fields

Trumpenstein has always had an ace in the hole when it came to being held responsible for the pathetic excuse for a criminal enterprise he’s been running. Mainly, choose cohorts that are less than intellectual savants to do your dirty work, and then promise them pardons to stay out of prison if they’re caught and charged, just so long as they keep their big, fat mouths shut about him.

But in a ruling today, the Supreme Court rammed a spike through that balloon, and made it more probable that a co-conspirator will eventually testify against him, not less likely. And it wasn’t even close.

In a 7-2 ruling, the court declined to overturn what is commonly referred to as the “dual sovereignty” principle. In the case, an Alabama man who had been charged locally with gun violations, and pleaded guilty, was charged again under federal gun statutes. The man’s attorney challenged the new charges, claiming that theyy violated the law of “double jeopardy,” providing that a defendant cannot be charged twice with the same crime. Duble jeopardy is why OJ Simpson could have confessed live on national television of murdering his ex wife, and couldn’t be retried after his acquital.

because federal crimes normally take precedence over local or state cases, the government argued that overturning the dual sovereignty doctrine would deny states the right to their own sovereign right to justice if a defendant was convicted of federal charges before the state got a whack at him. New York state is already using state prosecution of Paul Manafort to ensure that even if Trump pardons him for his federal sins, he won’t walk out of prison whistling a happy tune. And this is where the trouble starts for Trump.

For an example, let’s use the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, where Trump is an un-indicted co-conspirator. Not only Michael Cohen, but also Alan Weisselberg can testify that Trump was aware that the payments were illegal, but authorized them anyway, as well as any bookkeeping measures required to cover the payments up. If Trump pardons Weisselberg, he removes any necessity for Weisselberg to testify against him in order to protect himself from criminal jeopardy.

So far, so good. But the location where the payments originated was New York City. So was the location of the bank that was used to cut the checks. And New York state has their own laws regarding the probity of bookkeeping, especially for tax purposes. By reaffirming the sanctity of dual sovereignty, the Supreme Court has just made it possible for states to continue to have the ability to apply pressure to fact witnesses, when and if they decide to charge His Lowness for his tawdry sins, by making those witnesses subject to state charges even if they were charged with the same thing federally and absolved by a Trump pardon.

And the import of this ruling goes far beyond Trump himself. Donald Trump Jr co-signed at least one of the hush money payments to Michael Cohen to forward to Stormy Daniels. The court ruling keeps witnesses like Weisselberg on tap for the state to charge Don Jr, Jared, or even Ivanka for state charges, by having a hammer to hold over fact witnesses heads. This also places additional jeopardy over the heads of miscreants like Michael Flynn, since a federal pardon won’t save him from state charges, tax evasion for not reporting the Turkish payments for instance. This makes it more likely that Flynn wold be willing to testify against Trump in a state court, to save himself from state prosecution.

Since the day that he defiled the Lincoln bible, Trump has looked at his pardon power as the ultimate sword. Not only to pardon himself to make himself immune from federal prosecution, but also to buy the silence of his underlings with pardons as well. But because so many of Trump’s alleged crimes took place outside of Washington DC, and because his minions are so awful and inept, the Supreme Courts ruling today has assured not only that Trump himself will be responsible to stand trial for any state charges that they rack him up on, but also that a steady stream of witnesses will be available to testify against him to save their own skins from state charges. Sic transit Trump

 

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8 Comments on "The Supreme Court puts a pin in Trump’s pardon balloon"

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P J Evans
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I think a lot of people were expecting this decision to go the other way. Sometimes they do the right thing.

Bareshark
Guest

You gotta figure, P J…these judges are going to be here long after Mr. Tangerine Man is gone. The last thing they want to be known as is Trump’s stooges, especially Roberts. So decisions like this make sense in that context.

Bareshark
Guest

A couple of other phrases to express my sentiments:

Vae Victus (Suffering to the conquered).

Vittorio Agli Democrati (Victory to the Democrats).