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LetMyPeopleVote

LetMyPeopleVote's Journal
LetMyPeopleVote's Journal
February 18, 2023

Mike Pence's Immunity Claim Sure Seems Frivolous

According to this conservative scholar/federalist society lawyer, Pence's arguments are frivolous and should not hold up in court.
https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1626189928265617410
https://twitter.com/judgeluttig/status/1625841571647131662
https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/02/mike-pences-immunity-claim-sure-seems-frivolous/

By its plain text, the speech-or-debate clause (U.S. Const., art. I, § 6, cl. 1) applies only to “The Senators and Representatives” of the legislative branch created by Article I. The vice president is an executive officer under Article II. True, the vice president is made the “President of the Senate” (in art. I, § 3, cl. 4). But that does not make the vice president a senator, which (besides representatives) is what the speech-or-debate clause applies to.

The limited protection prescribed by the speech-or-debate clause also shows that it does not apply to vice presidents. The clause says that “the Senators and Representatives” “shall not be questioned in any other Place” [i.e., other than in Congress] “for any Speech or Debate in either House.” The vice president does not speak or debate, much less propose bills or otherwise legislate. Indeed, even in the role of president of the Senate, the vice president merely breaks the rare tie when the chamber is deadlocked — a power of marginal legislative value, at best, since as a practical matter the vice president exercises it in accordance with the wishes of the president, the chief executive.

Even for the senators and representatives textually covered by the speech-or-debate clause, its immunity is limited. I elaborated on this last fall, when Senator Lindsey Graham tried to assert speech-or-debate immunity to avoid testifying in the Fulton County state grand jury that is investigating Trump’s efforts to reverse Georgia’s 2020 presidential election. In rejecting Graham’s claim, the Eleventh Circuit federal appeals court observed that the protection applies to “Members of Congress” and that the Supreme Court had “warned” that it should not be “extend[ed] . . . beyond its intended scope, its literal language, and its history[.]” The court added that the immunity the clause confers does not “extend[] beyond the legislative sphere” — an ambit limited to activities that take place “in a session of Congress by one of its members in relation to business before it.”

Obviously, the special counsel wants to question Pence about meetings he had with President Trump, Trump advisers, and executive officials regarding the pressure Trump was applying to Pence to derail the counting of state-certified electoral votes at the January 6 joint session of Congress. Again, Pence was not a member of Congress but an executive official, and the pertinent conversations were among executive officials, some of whom were trying to thwart congressional business. Given the Supreme Court’s admonition against expanding speech-and-debate immunity to novel circumstances, we can be confident that the judiciary is not going to extend it to the vice president or to executive actions in anticipation of a congressional session, rather than to legislative actions....

Pence appears to be laying the groundwork to explain to Republican voters that he took extraordinary measures to try to avoid testifying. I suspect this will backfire: Pence’s credibility will take a hit for taking an untenable legal position, he will lose support from people who admire his refusal to buckle under Trump’s pressure on January 6, and he will get no love from Trump’s base — which will remember only that he testified, not that he tried not to.
February 18, 2023

Russian general is found shot dead in 'suicide' at his country house weeks after 'Putin fired him

There were no windows available for this person to jump out of
https://twitter.com/MavkaSlavka/status/1626137885329211392
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11745773/Vladimir-Putin-Former-Russian-general-fired-Russian-leader-dead-suspected-suicide.html

A Russian general who was recently fired by Vladimir Putin has been found dead in a suspected suicide, according to reports.

Major General Vladimir Makarov, 67, was in charge of 'combating extremism' in Russia and was found shot dead on Monday morning.

He reportedly led the hunting down and suppression of opponents of the Russian president, as well as journalists deemed hostile to the Kremlin.

Makarov also took action against young people who protested against Putin.

Putin issued a decree to fire him last month, it is reported. However, his reasons for doing so remain unclear.
February 18, 2023

Conservative judge who advised Pence on Jan. 6 calls out attempt to avoid testifying

Pence has lost Judge Luttig on this speech and debate clause defense
https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1626695516288438285
https://www.msnbc.com/deadline-white-house/deadline-legal-blog/luttig-pence-subpoena-jack-smith-rcna71197

Luttig merely deemed McCarthy’s article “interesting” on Wednesday, but even that signaled to me that he thought there was something to it. So I wanted to flag that Luttig has since followed up with some expanded thoughts on "speech or debate" in a Twitter thread of his own:

https://twitter.com/judgeluttig/status/1626375756946321408

Laying out the matter in classic judicial fashion, Luttig observes at the outset that the scope of “speech or debate” protections for vice presidents in Pence's situation is unsettled. Crucially, however, Luttig opines that, even if a vice president has those protections, they still have to "yield to the demands of criminal process."
https://twitter.com/judgeluttig/status/1626375767142563841
The bottom line being: even if Pence is able to claim those protections, that doesn’t necessarily mean he wouldn’t have to testify. And while Luttig is no longer on the bench, given the historical role he has played in the matter at hand, his view is worth considering as we potentially head toward litigation to decide this open constitutional question. It doesn't appear that Pence is heeding the judge's advice, but the rest of us are free to appreciate it.
February 18, 2023

'Very real threat': Kari Lake's lawyers could lose law licenses over bogus election fraud crusade

Attorneys who take these cases need to be disbarred
https://twitter.com/RawStory/status/1626722802467307521
https://www.rawstory.com/kari-lake-lawyers-2659433824/

Attorneys representing failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake are at serious risk of losing their law licenses by moving forward with frivolous litigation trying to overturn elections, said legal analyst Danny Cevallos on MSNBC Friday.....

"There are two questions there really," said Cevallos. "First, can every politician go and challenge their loss in court? In theory, yes. And we should encourage that because the courts are certainly a better place to do it than say, storming a Capitol building. So using legal recourse is the best outcome."

"But when does a case go from 'I think I should have won' to frivolous?" Cevallos continued. "Well, there is a standard for that in federal court. It's called Rule 11. But the bottom line is, what did they know when they filed? Did they know that this was hopeless or more? Did they know that it was not grounded in any way in either existing law or an argument for the creation of new law? If that's the case, then that's the frivolous standard. So I think in the future, we continue to encourage politicians to take their claims to court not to the streets, but warn them don't do so if you know you're wrong."

"But if it's frivolous, what's the penalty?" asked Jansing.

"The penalty can be sanctions," said Cevallos. "With the court, there are so many different sanctions that a court can impose. They can get very creative when it comes to sanctions. And by the way, as we've seen, the lawyers who are involved do so at their own risk as well. They could lose their license or be suspended or be sanctioned. And there's nothing that strikes fear into the heart of lawyers, I can tell you, more than the idea that someone might pull our ticket. So that is a very real threat for the lawyers who would go and help politicians if their claims are frivolous."


February 18, 2023

Depression risk rises after a stroke. What that means for John Fetterman.

Depression is common after a stroke
https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/1626729637035315202
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2023/02/17/john-fetterman-stroke-depression/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=wp_main

Sen. John Fetterman’s hospitalization for depression is most likely to be short and successful, more a reset during a difficult period than a life-altering, career-threatening event, according to mental health authorities, other stroke survivors, academic research and people on Capitol Hill.

Despite lingering misconceptions about the gravity of hospitalization for acute depression, it is mainly a safe, speedy way to address a crisis. The vast majority of people resume the lives they led previously, though they may need ongoing outpatient care.

“The hospitalization doesn’t necessarily say anything about his future status,” said Will Cronenwett, chief of general psychiatry at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “Hospitalization is often the thing to do to recover quickly. A hospitalization, rather than ending anyone’s career, enables them to regain lost function.”

Data show Fetterman’s chances of full recovery at 70 to 90 percent, said Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. That doesn’t mean he won’t need to stay on medication or continue therapy afterward, but in all likelihood, he will find relief from his symptoms of depression and return to normal functioning.

“Many people are able to stop medications and maintain wellness,” he said.
February 17, 2023

Opinion-Fox News is deceiving its viewers. These text messages prove it.

MAGA nutcases and Fox News viewers are poorly informed because they are lied to
https://twitter.com/MattGertz/status/1626720456761044992
https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/fox-news-deceiving-viewers-text-messages-prove-rcna71214

A brief filed by election technology company Dominion Voting Systems as part of its $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News and released on Thursday provides the clearest picture ever of the right-wing network’s operations — and the portrait that emerges is not flattering.

Wielding internal emails and text messages obtained through discovery, as well as numerous depositions with Fox’s on-air talent and brass, Dominion’s lawyers reveal that the network was feeding viewers information about fraud in the 2020 election that its executives, hosts and producers knew to be false. Out of fear that Fox News’s audience was leaving for its competitors, the brief alleges, the network chose to buttress President Donald Trump’s lie that the election had been stolen from him, helping to set the stage for the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Perhaps the brief’s most revealing piece of evidence comes in a text message between prime-time hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. In the Nov. 18, 2020, conversation, the Fox stars shared their contempt for Trump’s conspiracy-minded lawyers, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani. Carlson told Ingraham that he personally found their lies “unbelievably offensive,” but added: “Our viewers are good people and they believe it.” (The network, in a statement to NBC News, suggested that the filing was “a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners” that distracts from the First Amendment issues at play.)

When I tell people that I’ve spent 15 years studying Fox News and the right-wing outlets in its orbit, the question I get most frequently is, “Do they really believe what they are saying?” In other words, are Fox’s biggest stars actually bigoted conspiracy theorists, or are they playing a role for the cameras that fulfills their viewers’ expectations? My typical answer is that it is impossible to say for sure and that different hosts may fall more into one category than the other, but that ultimately what matters is what they say, not what they truly think. .....

For years, Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son and would-be heir, Lachlan, have steadfastly supported Fox’s right-wing talent and handsomely profited from their dives into the fever swamps. Indeed, the brief reveals that the elder Murdoch was fully aware that the claims of a rigged election his network was airing were “crazy stuff” — and that document was filed before his own deposition in the case.
February 17, 2023

Fox News is deceiving its viewers. These text messages prove it.

MAGA nutcases and Fox News viewers are poorly informed because they are lied to
https://twitter.com/MattGertz/status/1626720456761044992
https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/fox-news-deceiving-viewers-text-messages-prove-rcna71214

A brief filed by election technology company Dominion Voting Systems as part of its $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News and released on Thursday provides the clearest picture ever of the right-wing network’s operations — and the portrait that emerges is not flattering.

Wielding internal emails and text messages obtained through discovery, as well as numerous depositions with Fox’s on-air talent and brass, Dominion’s lawyers reveal that the network was feeding viewers information about fraud in the 2020 election that its executives, hosts and producers knew to be false. Out of fear that Fox News’s audience was leaving for its competitors, the brief alleges, the network chose to buttress President Donald Trump’s lie that the election had been stolen from him, helping to set the stage for the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Perhaps the brief’s most revealing piece of evidence comes in a text message between prime-time hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. In the Nov. 18, 2020, conversation, the Fox stars shared their contempt for Trump’s conspiracy-minded lawyers, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani. Carlson told Ingraham that he personally found their lies “unbelievably offensive,” but added: “Our viewers are good people and they believe it.” (The network, in a statement to NBC News, suggested that the filing was “a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners” that distracts from the First Amendment issues at play.)

When I tell people that I’ve spent 15 years studying Fox News and the right-wing outlets in its orbit, the question I get most frequently is, “Do they really believe what they are saying?” In other words, are Fox’s biggest stars actually bigoted conspiracy theorists, or are they playing a role for the cameras that fulfills their viewers’ expectations? My typical answer is that it is impossible to say for sure and that different hosts may fall more into one category than the other, but that ultimately what matters is what they say, not what they truly think. .....

For years, Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son and would-be heir, Lachlan, have steadfastly supported Fox’s right-wing talent and handsomely profited from their dives into the fever swamps. Indeed, the brief reveals that the elder Murdoch was fully aware that the claims of a rigged election his network was airing were “crazy stuff” — and that document was filed before his own deposition in the case.
February 16, 2023

Alex Jones is 'holding firearms' for Jan. 6 rioters, bankruptcy docs show

I have known Susan Bankston aka Juanita Jean for a very long time and I have known her son Mark back before Mark went to law school. I saw an article in the Washington Post that alarmed me and I sent it to Susan. Susan's son, Mark Bankston, is the lead attorney in the Texas Alex Jones/Sandy Hook litigation.

Here is the article that will be either deleted or amended.
https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/1626256613802668033
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/02/16/alex-jones-holding-firearms-jan-6-rioters/?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

As Infowars founder Alex Jones is facing bankruptcy for damages he owes to the families of victims of the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a new filing shows the right-wing conspiracy theorist has been “holding firearms” for those who participated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Jones, who owes nearly $1.5 billion to the families after years of saying the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adults were killed, was a hoax, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of Texas last December. Jones’s personal financial disclosures were shared in a bankruptcy filing on Tuesday that was obtained by The Washington Post.

In the section of the bankruptcy statement that asks Jones to identify property he owns or controls for somebody else, the right-wing conspiracy theorist described the items he has in limited detail.

“Holding firearms for certain January 6th participants to be provided,” the entry says.

The filing does not state why Jones, who participated in the Stop the Steal rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol, is holding the weapons for the rioters or where they are located.

Susan called me to tell me that this insert was intended as a joke by the trial attorneys (the same idiots who have been sanctioned) and it made into the filing.

Here is Susan's article https://juanitajean.com/whoa-pull-in-on-them-reins/

Whoa, Pull In On Them Reins.
February 16, 2023 By: Juanita Jean Herownself Category: Uncategorized

Okay, you’re reading a story in the Washington Post right now that says Alex Jones’ filings in the bankruptcy court says that he is “Holding firearms for certain January 6th participants.”

It’s a joke. A very bad joke that the Washington Post fell for hook, line, and sinker.....

Okay, the questionnaire for the bankruptcy court asks Jones to “identify property he owns or controls for somebody else.” And Jones, who continues to disrupt and poke fun at the judicial system responds thusly,

Crap like this has been Jones’ way of demeaning the courts and the media throughout this ordeal.

Think of it this way, just when you think Jones has hired every lawyer on the bottom of the writ twit stoopid barrel, he digs deeper and finds lawyers who let this slip past them in filings. It will probably get them some hefty sanctions because judges are rarely thrilled with people signing documents and swearing to them when they contain made-up “jokes.”


Federal judges including bankruptcy judges are NOT known for their senses of humor. Mark has been on the phone with the press about this issue but called his mom who warned me about

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