Trump demonstrates utter contempt for justice in commuting Roger Stone’s sentence

In case there was still someone in America who hadn’t noticed that Donald Trump has nothing but contempt for the idea that everyone is equal under the law, Trump underlined that scorn, then run over it with a big yellow highlighter, by commuting the sentence of Roger Stone. Stone was convicted on seven felony counts, and faced a sentence of 40 months in federal prison. What’s more, Stone’s conviction was directly due to actions he took as a campaign adviser to Trump.

Trump has never hesitated to demonstrate that he’s willing to pardon people that he knows personally. That includes racist sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was handed a pass on contempt of court; Republican fairy tale author Dinesh D’Souza, who was relieved of doing community service (horrors) after making illegal campaign contributions; conservative talk show host Conrad Black, whose convictions on mail fraud and obstruction of justice had been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court (he lost); junk bond king Michael Milken, convicted on a near infinite list of tax fraud, mail fraud, obstruction, and conspiracy; and Rudy Giuliani’s old pal Bernard Kerik, for the familiar mix of tax fraud, bank fraud, and obstruction. Trump has never made any effort to pretend that justice applies to people he knows. 

That Trump pardons people who commit fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction is only fitting — since Donald Trump has already paid a $2 million fine for fraudulent use of his charity, and a $25 million settlement over his fraudulent university. Trump has been sued at least five times for breach of contract, and hundreds of times for nonpayment. Fraud … is just what he does for a living.

So naturally Trump has waved his magic wand over pals of his who merely tried to steal from the nation, lied to investigators, and slip illegal cash to political friends. All of that fits within Trump’s definition of normal business.

But the Stone case … is special. Trump didn’t just give Stone a get out of jail free card, he put out a lengthy statement that was filled with Trump’s Twitter greatest hits—from “Russia hoax” to “Witch hunt!” to “no collusion.” Even for the most casual observer, the statement makes clear that Stone isn’t being given a pass because he didn’t commit what Trump calls “process-based crimes,” or even because Stone and Trump have known each other for decades. 

Roger Stone’s sentence was commuted directly and openly as a finger in the eye to those who even attempted to investigate Trump, which the statement calls “out-of-control Mueller prosecutors.” The statement makes it astoundingly clear that Trump regards lying to investigators and obstructing justice as just part of the game. After all, if Mueller hadn’t been trying to find something on Stone, Stone wouldn’t have needed to lie. And yes, it says that. 

Trump doesn’t stop with sneering at the “over zealous prosecutors.” He also takes a smack at the officers who arrested Stone, repeating an inflated version of that event that turns an ordinary arrest into a massive assault involving “dozens of FBI agents with automatic weapons and tactical equipment, armored vehicles, and an amphibious unit.” And Trump even makes a dig at the jury members—ignoring the fact that the jurors were not challenged by Stone’s own counsel. 

Throughout the statement, Trump repeats statements that did not hold up in court, or were simply rejected by the court, or are just outright lies.  Stone’s charges did not include contempt, but the statement from Trump is utterly dripping with contempt for the whole judicial process. Does someone not know that Trump and all his allies are above all that legal crap? They should certainly get it now.

Saturday, Jul 11, 2020 · 1:22:42 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Once again, the Senate seems to contain a single Republican, along with 52 cowed Trumpinistas.

Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.

— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 11, 2020

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The Real Reason Why The Far-Left Doesn’t Trust Biden

Senator Sanders has finally accepted former Vice President Biden’s inevitability, but have all of Sanders’ supporters? It seems some of the Vermont senator’s supporters are considering flocking to Trump, in an attempt to “win by losing” and clear the path for a more progressive candidate in 2024. Politico reports that  The 77-year-old Biden still has a ways to go with all younger voters.”  This article goes on to report that despite how many of Sander’s younger voters are accepting Biden, they are only doing so with great reluctance and out of fear of a second term of President Trump.

This isn’t the first time disgruntled progressive voters have resorted to this. In 2016, there were in fact a number of Sanders supporters who voted for Trump. Disenfranchised Sanders supporters are not the only obstacle Biden faces when trying to court the far-left. ABC correctly points out that while the former Vice President is currently holding his own in the polls, he lacks enthusiastic voters. 

This is not much of a surprise. As the Politico article points out, Biden has never been (and still is not) a favorite with the far left. In general, Biden experiences difficulty while appealing to younger voters. Why did it take so long for the younger Sanders supporters to finally come to terms with  Biden? And why were they so adamant against Biden in the first place?  Is it because of his age? Sanders is close in age. Mayor Buttigieg, a much younger candidate, experienced an identical challenge while trying to appeal to younger progressive voters. Buttigieg endured heckling at many of his rallies, not from homophobic protesters but from LGBT members who did not approve of the way Buttigieg represented them. The Guardian covered one such incident.  “You’re homophobes, that’s what you all are, you’re homophobes!” a Buttigieg supporter yelled at the protesters after the event.

“We’re all gay!” a protester responded.

Politico analyzed why Mayor Buttigieg struggled to appeal to younger voters as well as the far left. Politico refers to a writer from Out magazine that attacks Buttigieg declaring “if he (Buttigieg) had balls he’d run as the Republican he is against Trump in the primary.”

Younger progressive voters distrust Biden for the same reason. It is not because of his age. It is not because of his gender or race. It is not because Biden is a capitalist. It is not because he is tough on crime. He is something young progressive voters despise more than all those things. Politico magazine has identified the source of Buttigieg’s (and Biden’s) difficulty in appealing to younger progressive voters…

In the eyes of radicalized young leftists, Buttigieg isn’t just an ideological foe, he’s worse than that: He’s a square.Like Mayor Pete, Biden is a square. 

America has rejected socialism for now, but will young voters ever accept squarism? Senator Amy Klobuchar has withdrawn from the list of Vice President contenders.  Biden has already committed to choosing a woman, and is under enormous pressure by progressives to select a woman of color. 

However, with the current situation, the anti-square may not be a relevant voter in this election. And to defeat Trump, it is essential to win states like Pennsylvania, where far-left younger voters do not necessarily compensate for a lot of the population. With support of educated and independent voters, Biden may well be able win without the support of non-squares. According to CNBC, Biden is enjoying a wave of support from health care professionals. At last report, the public is growing increasingly frustrated with Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. Some polls even show Biden leading Trump in conservative Arizona.

During this unprecedented time, Biden may be able to secure the presidency without the far-left. Even more amazing, Biden may be able to win without the help of the anti-square voters. Will the far left voter (or the anti-square) even matter in this election? 

Caricature by DonkeyHotey/Flickr

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