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Sun Jul 10, 2022, 12:48 PM

Prosecute Trump? Merrick Garland is investigating aggressively but prosecuting cautiously

“It’s definitely not a slam-dunk,” Paul Rosenzweig, a former federal prosecutor (and anti-Trump Republican), told me last week. “It will require tough decisions.”

The problem isn’t lack of evidence. The former Trump aides who have testified before the House committee and been interviewed by the FBI have taken care of that.

The problem, Rosenzweig and other former prosecutors said, is that convincing a jury that Trump is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt will still be difficult — especially when the former president, armed with good lawyers, can challenge that evidence.

“We know from the polls that about 30% of the American people think Trump did nothing wrong on Jan. 6,” Rosenzweig said. “Thirty percent of a jury is three or four people. I think getting a unanimous conviction will be nearly impossible, even in the liberal District of Columbia.”

And a trial that ends in Trump’s acquittal, he warned, would backfire.

“It would not only have the effect of giving Trump impunity,” he said, "it would give him impunity and an aura of invincibility.

Others disagree. Donald B. Ayer, another Republican former prosecutor, thinks a conviction would be possible. “Trump was ready to have Mike Pence be killed,” Ayer said. “You tell that story to a jury, and I think you win.”

But Ayer notes that Justice Department regulations require that prosecutors believe they have a high probability of winning a conviction before they can indict. By that standard, what Garland is doing is both correct and by the book. He’s investigating aggressively — but prosecuting cautiously.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/prosecute-trump-merrick-garland-investigating-110009413.html

So you can have evidence up the wazoo and may still have no reason to believe you can win a conviction. You can have a reason to believe you can win a conviction, but you may still not get a unanimous verdict from a jury. You can prosecute all you want, but mistrial or Trump's acquittal are two possible outcomes that are far worse than not indicting him in the first place.

Garland will have to face the consequences of his decisions and actions. None of his critics will ever have to do that.



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Response to Beastly Boy (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 12:53 PM

1. Also pre-emptive pardons

may exist to cover Trump's butt? Another potential complication.

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Response to Pantagruel (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 02:21 PM

9. Those can be dispensed with by the DOJ under laws that define legitimate pardons.

Especially now that evidence is in for the motives behind his pardons.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 12:57 PM

2. I don't know about that. In fact, I feel we will all

have to face the consequences of his actions. This is no less personal to me and my overall sense of stability, security, health and well-being. If it’s damned if we do and damned if we don’t, it might as damn well be do in my view.

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Response to KPN (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 01:26 PM

5. All the more reason not to second guess his actions.

Legally, there is no contest between being informed by feelings and being informed by established protocols on the highest levels of jurisprudence. And getting Trump convicted is a legal process. Nothing personal about it.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 04:32 PM

11. I guess I don't agree with the idea of not prosecuting because

one or more jurors may be biased in favor of TFG despite the factual evidence. If the evidence is there, then prosecute. I think the evidence is there beyond reasonable doubt. Thinking one is/was entitled to act according to their personal belief, feeling, desire or logic despite the facts, not to mention the law, is not a valid defense. That’s all he’s got — that he was convinced that he had actually won the election and was acting only in the interests of the country. Prosecute him or surrender the nation.

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Response to KPN (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 07:41 PM

13. As the article illustrates, evidence alone is not enough to prosecute.

There are other ingredients at play, a bunch of them listed in the article. If anyone at DOJ proceeds with evidence alone, there is a chance that the effort will not get past DOJ's own rules for prosecution. Evidence must meet certain standards. Thinking the evidence is there beyond reasonable doubt is not enough: you must demonstrate you can prosecute with a degree of certainty defined by DOJ's own written rules, that you will reach a conviction. That is in the article too.

And, of course, none of us know whether or not Garland has enough to meet the standards set by DOJ, the standards Garland swore to uphold when he took the job. So piling on Garland without this knowledge is premature at best. That's the gist of the article.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 01:07 PM

3. Not prosecuting for fear of jury nullification is worse

You have to count on voir dire to eliminate anyone who refused to convict TFG.

Then you present what is really an airtight case. If the jury is hung, then you live with it. But you better be doing a deep dive into every juror and challenge the Magats.

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Response to JT45242 (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 01:33 PM

6. This is not about fear of jury nullification.

It is about avoiding missteps on multiple levels, fear of jury nullification being the least of possible concerns.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 01:14 PM

4. This is just amazing to me

if such evidence were present in a case against any of the rest of us, we'd be convicted and in jail long ago.

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Response to lees1975 (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 01:35 PM

7. I am not a lawyer, so I have no idea if your statement is factual.

My guess is, it's far more complicated than this.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 02:24 PM

10. Re "it's far more complicated than this"

Constituting a "jury of his peers" might be one of those complications.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 07:51 PM

15. It probably is.

But then, if you've watched these January 6th committee hearings, and heard the evidence, it is not difficult to figure out that Trump had a plan for overturning the election that he ran past lawyers to figure out at just what point the process would be most vulnerable. The evidence that what was turned loose on the Capitol was part of that plan is clear. Most of us would not have the resources to go through these finer points and nuances of law to avoid being arrested and convicted in a slam dunk.

There was a time when the court of public opinion would be the decisive factor. I keep seeing that 70% of Americans don't believe the election was stolen and believe Trump tried to overturn a legitimate election. But how much do they really care?

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Response to lees1975 (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 09:34 PM

16. "Probably" doesn't get convictions. "Beyond reasonable doubt" does.

This is what Garland is up against. And even though you are probably right, it doesn't live up to the burden of proof Garland is facing.

Does this mean that the court of public opinion doesn't matter? Absolutely not. It plays out every time we have elections. Securing convictions, on the other hand, plays out in a court of law, where public opinion plays no role.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 09:42 PM

17. I think it does live up to the burden of proof.

Finding a jury that would be impartial from Trump's perspective might be a more difficult job. Proof beyond reasonable doubt is established. Interjecting doubt is a media manipulation.

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Response to lees1975 (Reply #17)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 09:49 PM

18. Once again, what you or I think is irrelevant to due process of law.

And if, for instance, you were one of the potential jurors in a Trump trial, and you were to say what you just posted in the process of jury selection, you would be dismissed in a hurry.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 02:05 PM

8. A key point they need to make

If a Democrat did the same thing would you convict?

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 07:47 PM

14. Unfortunately (or forunately), we have no precedent of a Democratic Presiden plotting a coup

to take power after he lost the election.

That makes the question a bit problematic.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 06:35 PM

12. He's not poor or black. That makes it difficult.

5 poor black men convicted on their third trial for conspiracy and terrorism.

Merrick Garland and the DoJ is a joke. There is no justice. No law. Our country is screwed.

https://newsone.com/177171/5-black-men-convicted-for-terrorism-in-miami/

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