Updated November 3, 2020. Election Day.
Trump Cannot Lie Away Covid-19
Trump began his campaign for president with a lie about Barack Obama not being an American citizen. As president he has lied constantly, incessantly. So much so that Daniel Dale and other falsehood trackers have had trouble keeping up with them all. He has been documented to have lied over 20,000 times about consequential matters. And he is ending his run as president with a flurry of even more blatant lies. He claims in his super-spreader rallies that doctors and hospitals are making money off of Covid deaths by claiming people died of Covid so they could get more money. That would be fraud if it were true. It is not true. It is something Donald Trump would do if he were in a position to do it- make money off of people dying of Covid.
He claims our country is rounding the corner on coronavirus. That’s a big fat lie. An internal memo written on November 2nd, by Dr. Birx, who is on the White House coronavirus task force, directly contradicts Trump’s claims and sounds the alarm calling for “much more aggressive action.” We are not “rounding the turn” as Trump is saying. “We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic… leading to increasing mortality,” Birx starkly warns in her report.
On the campaign trail, Biden has spoken out about his plan to beat the virus. But, he says, the first step to beating the virus is beating Donald Trump. There is no way to get our country back to anything close to normal with a president who cannot accept plain facts, truth, and reality. And Trump cannot do that. He always tries to bend reality to his will.
This time Trump has met his match. Covid is real and it is the enemy. A majority of Americans know this because our lives are radically different and worse because of Covid-19: kids are not in school, grandparents cannot see their grandchildren, people are working from home or have lost their jobs and their homes in some cases, we all know someone who has gotten it and has long term effects from it by now. Trump cannot credibly pretend Covid away by claiming doctors are lying and we are rounding the turn because the American people can see the truth for themselves in their lives in a very personal way.
Trump has never before encountered a foe that couldn’t be beaten back with dishonest tweets, PR and false messaging. But he has met his match now. And he will lose this election because of it. The American people are in the process of firing Donald Trump at their polling places. At this point, if there is no rabbit coming out of a hat somewhere, Trump will lose his bid for reelection. He has no clear path to 270 based on polling data that shows Biden with a steady lead in key states that Trump won in 2016 and must win again to have a second term.
What Will Happen On Election Day and Afterwards?
Trump has darkly threatened not to accept the results of the election if he loses. He says the only way he could lose would be if there was vote fraud. He has also said he will send in his lawyers to fight everywhere he didn’t win.
Bring it on. The Biden campaign is ready for these shenanigans. The Biden campaign has gathered a stellar team of lawyers to counter Trump’s last ditch efforts to stay in power when he loses. A team of thousands of lawyers are ready. They are led by Bill Bauer and Mark Elias, two of the most seasoned attorneys in the field of election law. So far Trump lawyers have brought many frivolous law suits including one in Texas alleging that over 120,000 valid ballots should be thrown out. They were cast in accordance with that state’s Secretary of State’s rule that ballots could be delivered using a drive thru system due to the pandemic. The Republicans lost that case on appeal in front of a Republican judge appointed by Bush. Challenges are being raised in battleground states by Republicans to try to invalidate ballots and suppress the vote. This is a pathetic confession of sorts that the GOP does not believe it has the votes to win, so they have to try to game the system. I have not heard of any of these challenges being won by Trump lawyers yet. They have been losing all of them as far as I know.
Trump has been obliquely encouraging his supporters to mobilize to scare people away from the polls. Trump supporting caravans have been swarming highways and roads- stopping or slowing traffic. These caravans and convoys seem to be the work of QAnon. They are using Facebook to set up rallies and convoys of their followers to intimidate voters. In Texas, a Biden bus was surrounded by these Trump supporters and the bus was almost run off the road. An accident occurred because of this swarm. The FBI is investigating this incident.
The FBI and local police are on high alert because of these antics. In Pennsylvania, the Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, has vowed that intimidation will not be tolerated and that everyone will get to vote without being harassed. Other election officials and law enforcement officials are on high alert for voter intimidation. It is a felony in most states. There are election protection teams out in every state and district of our country today to insure the everyone can cast their vote safely.
What Will Happen If and When Trump Loses the Election?
Trump has said that if he loses the election he just might leave the country. Social media immediately jumped on that news and speculated which country he might want to flee to. Russia seemed like a good bet. Saudi Arabia got some traction. Others commented that they hope he gets arrested for all the crimes he has committed before he can get outta Dodge. In his rallies Trump has encouraged the crowds to “lock him up” (referring to Joe Biden and Hunter), and “lock her up” referring to Gov Gretchen Whitmer. But the person who is most in danger of getting locked up for committing actual crimes and breaking the law is Trump.
Trump faces a reckoning after this election when he loses to Joe Biden. If Biden wins this election Biden has been clear that it will be up to the Department of Justice and the new AG to decide what to pursue when it comes to federal crimes committed by Trump. Cyrus Vance, the NY State’s Attorney will be pursuing Trump for criminal offenses committed before he became president. Letitia James, the NY Attorney General will be after him and his organizations for civil violations of the law.
Trump’s legal reckoning will come once he is no longer protected by the DOJ opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted while in office. That DOJ opinion was the one that kept him from facing the consequences of crimes he committed that are spelled out in the Mueller investigation. For anyone who knows criminal law and has read the Mueller Report, it is very clear that Trump violated the law by obstructing justice multiple times and that Mueller spelled out those crimes of obstruction of justice in his report.
If Trump had not been president he would have been indicted for the acts of obstruction of justice that were documented in the Mueller investigation. You got to hand it to Trump, however. His mob boss obstruction of justice extended far beyond stonewalling Mueller and his massive cover up was enormously successful for him while in office.
But that is not the end of this story.
Once he is no longer president, Trump will likely be hit with a number of federal and state criminal indictments spelled out by former Assistant US Attorneys Joyce Vance and Barbara McQuade.
- Obstruction of Justice.
This means “impeding an investigation for a corrupt purpose.” The Mueller Report lays out the evidence of 10 instances of obstruction and goes into detail in four instances.
In at least four of those instances, Mueller laid out evidence sufficient to prove each element of the offense: Trump’s efforts to limit Mueller’s investigation to future elections; to dissuade his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, from cooperating with prosecutors; to fire Mueller; and to cover up the attempt to fire Mueller. It is not necessary to show that any underlying crime was committed to establish obstruction of justice. Intentional interference in an investigator’s work is crime enough.
Mueller “preserved the evidence” in his report with the idea that the Justice Department of a future administration could decide whether or not to pursue these crimes committed by Trump.
Asking for a thing of value in exchange for the performance of an official act violates the federal bribery statute. When Trump threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine in 2019, he was arguably doing just that.
Trump also uses his properties to generate revenue from parties doing business with the government, which could justify a bribery investigation. Recent reporting indicates that lobbyists and foreign government officials pay to get into the Trump International Hotel in Washington and the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to obtain access to Trump. If the president rewarded those spending money at his hotels and resorts with favorable official decisions in office, he could be criminally liable.
3. Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.
When individuals agree to obstruct the work of a federal agency.
Trump administration sabotaged the U.S. Postal Service to influence the outcome of the 2020 election, this charge could be considered for anyone who conspired to achieve the illegal objective, even those who took no personal action. This way, the law can reach people who give illegal orders as well as those who carry them out.
4. Campaign Finance Violations.
This is the Stormy Daniels matter that Michael Cohen is doing time for and Trump is “Individual 1”, an (as yet) unindicted coconspirator, who directed the crime.
In August 2018, Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to Trump’s presidential campaign to buy the silence of adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had had an affair with Trump. According to the government’s sentencing memo, Cohen set up a shell corporation to make a $130,000 payment to prevent Daniels from making public statements that would harm Trump’s candidacy. As stated in court documents in Cohen’s case, the payments assisted the campaign by preventing the publication of negative stories about candidate Trump.
5. Crimes before Trump became president.
Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan District Attorney, has been pursuing Trump’s tax returns. Trump has been fighting that reveal all the way to the Supreme Court. Potential crimes include bank, insurance and tax fraud; money laundering; and preparing false business records.
Cohen testified before Congress that Trump would alter statements of his wealth and assets to suit his purposes. When seeking a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills, for example, Trump overstated his net worth to boost the appearance of his creditworthiness, Cohen said. On his tax returns, according to Cohen, Trump would understate the value of his assets to lower his tax bill.
6. Hatch Act violations.
[T]he president is not bound by the Hatch Act, [but] it is a crime for him to command or coerce others to violate the law. Criminal violations of the Hatch Act are punishable by up to three years in prison.
When Trump schedules campaign events at the White House, as he has recently, he is commanding federal employees to violate the Hatch Act by setting up the room, admitting the guests or otherwise performing tasks to support the event. When the president spoke from the White House at the Republican National Convention and recognized uniformed Border Patrol agents who were in attendance, he arguably was soliciting or conspiring with them to violate the Hatch Act.
Trump has lied profusely and broken the laws and norms of this country with impunity. Trump needs to be held accountable for his violations of law for our country to get back on track, reinstate norms and reinstate public faith in our government and justice system. Failure to do so will reinforce cynicism about fairness in the justice system and in government. Trump, the rich guy who can pull strings to get what he wants, should not be able to dodge the coming reckoning.
Want to help in the effort to get every ballot counted so Trump will have his reckoning? Here is the link to help get out the vote https://joebiden.com/call/