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Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:16 PM

TRUMP IS COMMITTING 'FELONY BRIBERY' BY GIVING FUNDRAISING CASH TO GOP SENATORS

AHEAD OF IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: EX-BUSH ETHICS LAWYER

Attorney Richard Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, warned on Thursday that President Donald Trump appeared to be committing "felony bribery" by giving Republican senators fundraising cash ahead of an increasingly likely impeachment trial in the Senate.

The lawyer shared an article published by Politico on Thursday morning. Titled "Trump lures GOP senators on impeachment with cold cash," the article outlined how the president is turning to his large network of donors to raise funds for a few senators facing difficult re-election campaigns in 2020. All of those senators have also signed a resolution condemning the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry.

"This is a bribe. Any other American who offered cash to the jury before a trial would go to prison for felony bribery. But he can get away with it?" Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, wrote on Twitter. "Criminal."

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-committing-felony-bribery-giving-fundraising-cash-gop-senators-ahead-impeachment-trial-1468946


I don't know if this is legal or not, but it certainly doesn't look good.

(Sorry for the all-caps. That's the way it was written on the website.)

36 replies, 3098 views

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Reply TRUMP IS COMMITTING 'FELONY BRIBERY' BY GIVING FUNDRAISING CASH TO GOP SENATORS (Original post)
Arkansas Granny Oct 31 OP
elias7 Oct 31 #1
empedocles Oct 31 #2
Scurrilous Oct 31 #3
mucifer Oct 31 #4
D_Master81 Oct 31 #5
dchill Oct 31 #6
CaptainTruth Oct 31 #9
dchill Oct 31 #15
lagomorph777 Oct 31 #7
TheRealNorth Oct 31 #13
lagomorph777 Nov 1 #30
tritsofme Oct 31 #8
CaptainTruth Oct 31 #10
tritsofme Oct 31 #17
DENVERPOPS Oct 31 #19
tritsofme Oct 31 #20
DENVERPOPS Oct 31 #28
tritsofme Oct 31 #29
lonely bird Oct 31 #23
patphil Oct 31 #12
tritsofme Oct 31 #18
TheRealNorth Oct 31 #11
NCLefty Oct 31 #14
Arkansas Granny Oct 31 #25
spanone Oct 31 #16
JohnnyRingo Oct 31 #21
jberryhill Oct 31 #26
onenote Oct 31 #22
jberryhill Oct 31 #27
warmfeet Oct 31 #24
live love laugh Nov 1 #31
struggle4progress Nov 1 #32
struggle4progress Nov 1 #33
struggle4progress Nov 1 #34
struggle4progress Nov 1 #35
onenote Nov 1 #36

Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:23 PM

1. He is the definition of corruption

He has no idea that what he is doing is wrong. Typical narcissistic sociopath....

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:24 PM

2. These criminal issues may have their day in court

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:33 PM

3. K&R

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:36 PM

4. You do realize both sides do it

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:38 PM

5. Considering this is all political

Is it really a felony? Just like I tell Republican friends that complain about “due process” I tell them that this is a political process not a court of law. Hence this is corrupt and as such should be treated that way, I’m not sure it’s a felony in the legal sense. Not sure though.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:38 PM

6. I would like to recommend this a large number of times.

Won't somebody help me?

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Response to dchill (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 04:25 PM

9. Ok.

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Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:01 PM

15. Thanks!

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:39 PM

7. Every one of these clowns should see this in 2020 campaign ads.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 04:56 PM

13. Yup, Dems need to make use of this

Let Republicans explain why it is okay for the jury to accept money from the defendant.

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Response to TheRealNorth (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 08:01 AM

30. I can picture the ad now: Courtroom scene, defendent is handing out cash to the jurors.

And thanks to CGI, the defendant is Trump and the Jurors are Moscow Mitch and all the relevant Russiapublican Senators.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 03:44 PM

8. I usually like Painter, but this is nonsense.

Impeachment is an entirely political, not criminal process.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 04:33 PM

10. I get your point, but I think this may be different.


Strictly speaking this has nothing to do with impeachment. The House has sole authority to impeach, & Senators play no role.

Senators do, however, participate in the Senate trial after a POTUS has been impeached, where they function as jurors, voting to convict or not convict.

So Trump is offering to give cash to jurors in his trial. If not illegal, it's damn sure unethical.

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Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:11 PM

17. The Senate trial is no less a political action.

Most of what Trump does is unethical, but Painter is way off the reservation here in calling it criminal.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #17)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:41 PM

19. I suppose

I suppose it depends upon what he/she is being impeached for.........

If impeached for giving military secrets to an enemy, I would think most people would call that beyond criminal......

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Response to DENVERPOPS (Reply #19)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:45 PM

20. Not at all, impeachment is never a criminal process.

The only punishment that can be imposed is removal from office and disqualification from holding federal office in the future.

It is entirely separate from whatever consequences that person may face in the criminal justice system.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #20)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 08:54 PM

28. I'll take your word

I'll take your word for it. Seems strange. If you commit Treason, you get the death sentence and yet you can't be impeached for it.
Maybe they figure out some other Federal Court will pursue that possibility???????/

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Response to DENVERPOPS (Reply #28)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 09:03 PM

29. That's not what I said. You could certainly be impeached for those things.

But there would have to be separate prosecution by law enforcement for there to be criminal consequences.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #17)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:20 PM

23. If he is doing it to try and buy their votes in an impeachment trial then it becomes

just another impeachable offense. Particularly egregious but just another one to pile on.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 04:56 PM

12. That may be true, but buying their vote is totally unethical.

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Response to patphil (Reply #12)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:11 PM

18. No doubt about that.

Also a different argument than Painter is making.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 04:50 PM

11. Based on past court rulings, you would have to prove a "quid pro quo"

That was what the Supreme Court said when they overturned the conviction of the Republican governor from Virginia (I forget the name).

So unless you have actual proof that the money is payment for their vote, you probably won't get a conviction.

Best to fight this fight in the court of public perception/opinion because you don't win in the courts.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 04:57 PM

14. Holy all-caps clickbait title. You then say you have no idea if it's illegal? Err..

It's either a FELONY or it's not.

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Response to NCLefty (Reply #14)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:41 PM

25. Sorry about the all caps. I didn't take the time to retype the original headline.

I have no familiarity with criminal or Constitutional law so I don't know if this is a felony or not, as I explained.

I did feel that it was a topic worth discussion.

YMMV

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:03 PM

16. Buying congressional votes. How trumpian.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:46 PM

21. I wouldn't think donors would approve.

I know if I sent a check to the democratic candidate and he/she sent it along to someone down ticket, I wouldn't be happy. I don't consider it used as a petty cash drawer.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #21)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 07:42 PM

26. Campaigns can do that

Once you have donated, the campaign can do that.

Whether those laws need reform is a different conversation.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:51 PM

22. Attention grabbing headline, but ridiculous and false claim.

Last edited Thu Oct 31, 2019, 07:51 PM - Edit history (2)

Painter knows (or should now) that what he describes doesn't come even remotely close to an actionable claim of bribery. And his claim that members of Congress who accept contributions from Trump (directly or indirectly) could be prosecuted for it also isn't actionable.

It's pretty telling that he doesn't cite or describe any of the case law on the application of bribery laws to campaign contributions. (Hint: its damn near impossible to make out a bribery case based on a campaign contribution unless you can prove that the recipient wouldn't have acted a certain way but for the contribution).

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Response to onenote (Reply #22)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 07:42 PM

27. Yup

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:20 PM

24. I have heard of stress tests.

I hope we can survive this one. This stress test is on our way of life. This stress test is on our very lives.

Good luck, to everyone.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 09:46 AM

31. Investigate his campaign finance handling. nt

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 09:51 AM

32. (Governor Don) Siegelman was accused of trading government favors for campaign donations ...

Siegelman was sentenced by Judge Mark Everett Fuller, a George W. Bush appointee, to more than seven years in federal prison and a $50,000 fine ...

https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/2017/02/timeline_of_don_siegelman_case.html

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 09:54 AM

33. McConnell raises money vowing to stop impeachment

By Alex Rogers, CNN
Updated 9:45 AM ET, Fri October 4, 2019

(CNN)In a new campaign video on Facebook, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell pitches himself as the man who can end the House's impeachment inquiry, a sign of how the chief Republican in the chamber might handle an impeachment trial should the House pass articles charging President Donald Trump with crimes.

"Nancy Pelosi is in the clutches of a left-wing mob," McConnell says directly to a camera. "They've finally convinced her to impeach the President. All of you know your Constitution. The way that impeachment stops is a Senate majority, with me as majority leader."

"But I need your help," he adds. "Please contribute before the deadline" ...

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/03/politics/mitch-mcconnell-impeachment/index.html

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 09:57 AM

34. Lures GOP senators on impeachment with cold cash

By ALEX ISENSTADT
10/31/2019 05:00 AM EDT

President Donald Trump is rewarding senators who have his back on impeachment — and sending a message to those who don't to get on board.

Trump is tapping his vast fundraising network for a handful of loyal senators facing tough reelection bids in 2020. Each of them has signed onto a Republican-backed resolution condemning the inquiry as “unprecedented and undemocratic.”

Conspicuously absent from the group is Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a politically vulnerable Republican who’s refused to support the resolution and avoided taking a stance on impeachment. With his new push, Trump is exerting leverage over a group he badly needs in his corner with an impeachment trial likely coming soon to the Senate — but that also needs him.
Story Continued Below

Republican senators on the ballot next year are lagging in fundraising, stoking uncertainty about the GOP’s hold on the chamber, and could use the fundraising might of the president. Trump’s political operation has raked in over $300 million this year ...

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/31/trump-impeachment-senators-donor-062084

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 09:59 AM

35. Former White House ethics chief says Trump is bribing Republican senators

IGOR DERYSH
NOVEMBER 1, 2019 12:00AM (UTC)

... On Wednesday, Trump’s campaign issued a fundraising appeal to supporters to donate funds that would be equally distributed among Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., all of whom are supporting the resolution and face tough re-election battles in 2020.

“If we don’t post strong fundraising numbers,” the campaign warned, “we won't be able to defend the President from this baseless Impeachment WITCH HUNT” ...

Richard Painter, who served as White House ethics chief under President George W. Bush, called Trump’s scheme “criminal.”

“This is a bribe,” he tweeted. “Any other American who offered cash to the jury before a trial would go to prison for felony bribery. But he can get away with it?” ...

https://www.salon.com/2019/10/31/trump-accused-of-bribery-for-showering-cash-on-senate-republicans-ahead-of-impeachment-vote/

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #35)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 10:07 AM

36. And yet he doesn't cite the actual statute or case law, both of which undercut his claim

Sorry, but Painter knows better, or should know better. There isn't a chance in the universe that Trump directly or indirectly soliciting campaign contributions for Republican senators would be found to be "bribery" under the law.

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