Friday, September 8, 2023

Last Call For Whom Fani Flagged In Georgia

Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis released the full, unredacted special grand jury report on Donald Trump's state election interference and RICO case, and if anything, Willis showed remarkable if not adamantine restraint in the charges she actually brought.

The full special grand jury report that led to the criminal indictment of former President Donald Trump and 18 others for trying to overturn his 2020 Georgia election loss recommended also charging two former U.S. senators from the state, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, and current U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Neither of those three current and former Republican lawmakers were indicted last month by the regular Fulton County Superior Court grand jury that charged Trump and the other defendants.

The full 25-page report of the special grand jury, which finished its investigative work last winter, was released Friday morning.

The special panel had the power to subpoena evidence and testimony from witnesses but did not have the authority to issue indictments.

However, in addition to the three senators, the special grand jury also had recommended indictments be issued against 18 other people who were ultimately not charged by the regular grand jury last month, in addition to the people who did end up being indicted.

Those recommended for indictment, but not charged, included former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn, Trump advisor and lawyer Boris Epshteyn, and campaign lawyer Cleta Mitchell, according to the report.

The special grand jury recommended that Graham, Perdue and Loeffler, along with others, should be indicted for crimes related to “the national effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, focused on efforts in Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.”

Both Perdue and Loeffler, who were sitting senators at the time of the 2020 election, were defeated in early 2021 runoff elections by Democrats, Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

Trump’s continued false claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential contest were seen as factors that led to the defeat of both Perdue and Loeffler, and Democrats taking majority control of the Senate in 2021.

Now, Willis clearly sought indictments for what she thought she could get convictions with and there's reasons as to why she didn't seek indictments against everyone in the recommendation. But the special grand jury sure as hell thought that both of Georgia's Republican senators as well as Huckleberry Graham ought to have been charged.

If only Graham could be voted out of office the way Perdue and Loeffler were.

On the other hand, the report is also sobering as it remains a reminder that while criminal juries need a unanimous verdict or a hung jury is reached, grand juries only need a simple majority to find probable cause, and none of the grand jury recommendations were unanimous on any of the people to consider charging, including charging Trump, and none of the RICO charges were either.

It'll only take one juror to spare Trump from any and all criminal consequences in any of the criminal trials he's facing, and that's a hard truth of our justice system.

The Road To Gilead Gets A Rebrand

Republicans are losing elections when calling their side "pro-life" while criminalizing women's reproductive systems, tracking their movements into other states, offering bounties to family to turn women in, and basically ruling women by fear and punishment, in some cases sentencing them to death for the crime of not being able to carry a dangerous pregnancy to term.

The Republican response to this is of course to rebrand "pro-life" as something that turns off voters a bit less so more people will vote to keep these monsters in power.

Republican strategists are exploring a shift away from “pro-life” messaging on abortion after consistent Election Day losses for the GOP when reproductive rights were on the ballot.

At a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans this week, the head of a super PAC closely aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., presented poll results that suggested voters are reacting differently to commonly used terms like “pro-life” and “pro-choice” in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, said several senators who were in the room.

The polling, which NBC News has not independently reviewed, was made available to senators Wednesday by former McConnell aide Steven Law and showed that “pro-life” no longer resonated with voters.

“What intrigued me the most about the results was that ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life’ means something different now, that people see being pro-life as being against all abortions ... at all levels,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said in an interview Thursday.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said the polling made it clear to him that more specificity is needed in talking about abortion.

“Many voters think [‘pro-life’] means you’re for no exceptions in favor of abortion ever, ever, and ‘pro-choice’ now can mean any number of things. So the conversation was mostly oriented around how voters think of those labels, that they’ve shifted. So if you’re going to talk about the issue, you need to be specific,” Hawley said Thursday.

“You can’t assume that everybody knows what it means,” he added. “They probably don’t.”

Abortion is now banned in 14 states, and several others have pursued restrictions. Eleven states, including Missouri, have enacted abortion bans with no exceptions for rape and incest.
Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., summarized Wednesday’s meeting as being focused on “pro-baby policies.”

Asked whether senators were encouraged to use a term other than “pro-life,” Young said his “pro-baby” descriptor “was just a term of my creation to demonstrate my concern for babies.”

Senators who attended Law’s presentation said he encouraged Republicans to be as specific as possible when they describe their positions on abortion, highlighting findings that he said could have a negative impact on elections. Many senators in attendance represent states where Republican-led legislatures are pursuing abortion restrictions.

“People require more in-depth discussions; you can’t get away with a label anymore,” said Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo. “What we’ve learned is you have to dive in and talk to people about very specifically where you are on that subject if you’re running for public office.”
We're pro-baby now! Everyone loves babies! We love babies so much that we don't see women as anything other than baby factories and will increasingly use the coercive power of the state against them if they try anything else, but hey, babies!

Yes, Republicans. Keep up the rebranding of your open villainy heading into 2024. It'll work great.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Former Trump aide Peter Navarro is willing to go to jail in order to protect Donald Trump, and today he was convicted on contempt of Congress charges after less than four hours of jury deliberation.
Former Donald Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro has been convicted of contempt of Congress for not complying to a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Navarro is the second ex-aide to the former president to be prosecuted for his lack of cooperation with the committee. Steve Bannon was convicted last year on two contempt counts. Bannon’s case is currently on appeal.

Navarro pledged to appeal based on executive privilege issues.

“We knew going in what the verdict was going to be. That is why this is going to the appeals court,” he told reporters outside the courthouse. “And we feel – look, I said from the beginning this is going to the Supreme Court. I said from the beginning I’m willing to go to prison to settle this issue, I’m willing to do that.”

Asked by CNN if he’s spoken with the former president or reached out for help on legal bills, Navarro called Trump “a rock,” but did not elaborate on any communications.

“President Trump has been a rock in terms of assistance. We talk when we need to talk,” Navarro said. “He will win the presidential race in 2024, in November. You know why? Because the people are tired of Joe Biden weaponizing courts like this and the Department of Justice.”

After the verdict was read, Navarro’s lawyers sought a mistrial, raising concerns about any influence alleged protestors may have had when jurors took a break outdoors Thursday afternoon. US District Judge Amit Mehta did not immediately rule on the motion.

he judge scheduled Navarro’s sentencing for January 12, 2024.

Tim Mulvey, former spokesperson for House January 6 committee, celebrated the verdict.

“His defiance of the committee was brazen. Like the other witnesses who attempted to stonewall the committee, he thought he was above the law. He isn’t. That’s a good thing for the rule of law. I imagine that those under indictment right now are getting a good reminder of that right now,” Mulvey told CNN in a statement.
Navarro has always rolled the dice on tying this up in court until SCOTUS can either dismiss the charges or Trump in a second term can pardon him.
Neither one is a particularly long shot, and he won't spend a day in prison or pay a dollar in fines as a result, most likely. SCOTUS will find that executive branch advisers like Navarro are protected by executive privilege, and that will be that.

Of course, then he can be tried on other criminal charges stemming from January 6th, so.
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