290 Comments

Linker's argument is SURRENDER TO REPUBLICAN TERRORISTS. The threats of violence as just so scary that we must ignore the law and refuse to punish law breaking.

If we must avoid prosecuting Trump, let Biden negotiate a deal with Trump for a pardon and make the terms of that deal PUBLIC. IOW, don't just abjectly surrender, try to get something in return for no prosecution.

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“in seasons of insurrection or rebellion, there are often critical moments, when a well timed offer of pardon to the insurgents or rebels may restore the tranquility of the commonwealth.”

Alexander Hamilton

If Garland has a case that meets normal standards (serious offense, reasonable likelihood of conviction) he must proceed. Doing otherwise is outside his authority.

A political decision to let Trump off the hook for the good of the nation belongs to Biden and Biden alone.

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How many times have people who had a choice opted to let Trump off the hook? How well has that worked out for us? No more appeasement!

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Mona's on MSNBC now with Tim.

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Hey! Tim's on MSNBC right now!

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Hey Charlie, just caught you on MSNBC. Liz is heroic, and the last best chance to save whatever remains of the republican party and this country.

No one should deny Cheney's courage or her patriotism, which should rightfully be celebrated by every American! Not even Tiffany Cross.

That said, people who look like Tiffany Cross were actually harmed by all the R rhetoric supporting the first big lie: Birtherism... and many poor and non-white people were clearly harmed by supporting trump's ghastly agenda. So... I'm gonna cut TC some slack here. But I do hope she comes around soon.

It looked as if, had you known her better, or been co-hosts rather than host and guest, you might have consoled her, and pointed out that the enemy of my enemy, etc.

Anyway, you were great. Always nice to see you on camera.

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Aug 17, 2022·edited Aug 17, 2022

"Does Preserving Democracy Require Letting Trump Off?" is like asking "Does Preserving the Peace of Europe Require Letting Hitler Have Czechoslovakia?" It's a flawed question, because it assumes the price to be paid will settle the matter once and for all. Letting Trump off this time will not stop him from trying to undermine democracy again in the future, any more than giving Hitler Czechoslovakia stopped him from wanting the rest of Europe.

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"And so, though it means surrendering to intimidation, the wiser course is to refrain."

Neville Chamberlain approved this message.

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If there is sufficient evidence and we don't prosecute Trump, then the MAGA crowd won't begin to believe in the rule of law, all the rest of us will cease believing in the rule of law.

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This is an absolute litmus test, a fork in the road. People's reactions to Liz Cheney and her courageous quest will define them for me going forward.

The Bulwark and Dispatch folks have PASSED.

Ben Shapiro has FAILED.

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Aug 17, 2022·edited Aug 17, 2022

Should Trump be legally held to account? Both Linker and Charen say no, but they slide right by the question of who should make the call. Prosecutors, declining to indict? Or the president via the pardon power?

Without addressing the issue head-on clear they think the call is the prosecutor's to make. Linker says Trump shouldn't be indicted, Charen refers to pursuing Trump criminally.

This is a mistake. In our constitutional order is the job of politicians, accountable to the voters, to make a decision that for political reasons someone is above the law. The job of the prosecutor or AG is to make a lawyerly determination whether the offense merits prosecution and whether a prosecution will likely succeed. Going beyond that is usurpation, a non-politician taking on the duties of a politician.

This is not an off-the-wall position. It is how we handled Nixon. Call it the Ford option. See https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2022/07/22/the-attorney-generals-choice/ for an excellent discussion.

I find it strange that both Linker completely confine themselves to speculation of how the politics will pay out and completely neglect who should make the call. The two are not un-related. If Merrick Garland makes his decision for political reasons it will widely be seen as illegitimate.

If Biden chooses to pardon Trump, or not, it will be a legitimate decision made by the proper authority.

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People complain about or worry about the damage to the rule of law and order posed by a prosecution of Trump seen as illegitimate by a faction of Americans--but they do not seem to worry about the erosion of the rule of law and order that is actively demonstrated BY NOT PROSECUTING SOMEONE who, to all appearances, has violated a number of laws and committed a number of crimes..

I would argue that the people of the first faction have already lost any respect for or allegiance to a system of law and order (and have demonstrated it repeatedly) while there is a significant number of people who still have that allegiance that will, in fact, be destroyed by a failure to prosecute.

If you are too popular or too rich or too likely to engage or have to followers engage in violence if you have to face the law, then what use is the law? Is it only to keep the peons in their place? Ifr so, why should THEY obey other than through naked coercion and fear?

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People complain about or worry about the damage to the rule of law and order posed by a prosecution of Trump seen as illegitimate by a faction of Americans--but they do not seem to worry about the erosion of the rule of law and order that is actively demonstrated BY NOT PROSECUTING SOMEONE who, to all appearances, has violated a number of laws and committed a number of crimes..

I would argue that the people of the first faction have already lost any respect for or allegiance to a system of law and order (and have demonstrated it repeatedly) while there is a significant number of people who still have that allegiance that will, in fact, be destroyed by a failure to prosecute.

If you are too popular or too rich or too likely to engage or have to followers engage in violence if you have to face the law, then what use is the law? Is it only to keep the peons in their place? Ifr so, why should THEY obey other than through naked coercion and fear?

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founding

Note well these leaders on the front lines of holding donald trump to account: Liz Cheney, Fani Willis, Letitia James. Women. Women and Black Americans, who were admitted late to the table of US democracy and know the sting of the denial of equality under the law--a sting felt anew in the aftermath of Dobbs. Those with the most to lose fight hardest. Trumpers beware at election time. Thank you, Charlie for your moving words about Liz Cheney. Agree 100%.

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My prediction is that Liz Cheney will run as a third party candidate with the intent to act as a spoiler to Trump

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I'd like to hear a discussion about whether Cheney could pull off a write-in and still keep her Wyoming seat. In AK, Murkowski lost her primary to an extremist last time, and mounted a successful write-in and won. In red states where Ds know they can't take the seat, they will support the moderate R in the general, so will many Independents and the same Rs for Cheney in primary. Can it work?

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I believe Wyoming has a sore loser law on the books which prevents candidates who lose a primary to run as an independent in the general. At least that's what I thought I heard Dan Abrams say on his radio show yesterday

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Interesting! I did a very cursory search and it showed that almost all states have such laws, including Alaska, so my guess is that they do not apply to a 'write in' campaigns.

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