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To all those raging against MC's position (mostly politely), consider what I think is her most important point: the implication of a trial ending in an acquittal/hung jury, quite possibly in FL. I am all for seeing TFG in leg irons and an orange jumpsuit (would love to be on the jury, except that any claim to be impartial would be a bald-faced lie), but what if that doesn't happen? How much mileage would he get out of that?

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Its real simple, Charlie. The fact that some people can argue that it might be smart to let Trump off the federal hook demonstrates that might makes right. We dont want to piss off the 30% of Americans who will be aggrieved if Trump is arrested, tried and jailed because they have guns and can be real assholes. They might even RIOT.

But what about the long term effects of that ridiculous proposition on the other 70% of Americans who will be devastated and admit that yeah....the rich never pay and might makes right so giddy up down to the gun store...and teach it all to their kids and grandkids for generations? That's worth it?

Nothing has weakened my confidence in America more than listening to otherwise intelligent people justify not indicting a criminal, ANY CRIMINAL, because we don't want to upset a minority of bullies and traitors in this country.

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I might add this question is being asked in a somewhat biased group... I mean if we have paid to be part of the Bulwark we are likely already in the Trump is a danger and should never be allowed to have his hands or his allies hands on the levers of power again, group.

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I'm with Charlie on this one... I think if Trump has committed a crime and there is evidence to take him to trial you have to charge him. The whole basis of America is that no one is above the rule of law, else you are becoming a Venezuela or a country where one political power rules over the rule of law. And really what is the point of having all these laws if you don't hold anyone accountable for them.

It's not just Trump either, anyone who has committed a crime should be charged too, like Meadows and MTG etc NO One is above the law - that is what makes America Great. I don't think that, there is no risk to charging Trump, there is but it is completely unfair to charge anyone who was part of the Jan 6th Insurrection if you don't follow the evidence all the way to the top.

On the other hand Idealistically I hope for a Blue Wave this November where the population overwhelmingly rejects Trump and Trumpisum at the ballot box... That would be a really good step toward changing the drum beat in America. I'm hoping that the 'moderates and disengaged' are seeing that they can no longer sit on the side lines and watch and not care they have to get involved else the crazies on both sides will take over and everyone will loose.

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What one must keep in mind regarding Trump is that he is a relentless criminal psychopath - and good at it. Since he became President, I've had the feeling that he and our Constitutional Republic are in a situation similar to the Voldemort/Harry Potter prophecy, namely that, at least in a metaphorical sense, neither can survive while the other lives.

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Charlie & Mona,

Love the Secret Podcast! Great discussion...as sad as it is to say I think this debate is an existential moment. Totally agree with both of you which makes it so much harder. I'm a prosecutor so understand that the rule of law is so important, BUT giving oxygen to the bonfire that is MAGA may be more detrimental to the future of our great nation! Charlie, so right...if you do it you better do it right...but there will be a Trumper on the jury...

Scary times.

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Mona Charen's argument not to indict Trump is very silly (and I mean this as someone who respects Charen's intellect and writing prowess).

Really, try Trump at the ballot box? Like has she been in a hole for the last two years?

Trump and his enablers have been endorsing and funding candidates for offices like Secretary of State that manage elections in the various states, who are election deniers. And they've successfully managed to oust the few guardrail Republicans who stopped Trump from stealing the election in 2020.

So Trump has been SUCCESSFULLY working to rig the next election for the next two years.

Charen's advice? Don't prosecute Trump, allow the RIGGED election process to take place. What has she been smoking?

Another point she makes: what would it mean for the rule of law if the Republican Party choses to put an indicted Trump as their guy in the 2024 election?

Umm last I checked, the Republican party is NOT a law enforcement agency. What would it mean? It would mean that the Republican Party is so grossly and transparently corrupt that they would endorse an indicted candidate.

Then Charen adds the old adage, "when you strike at the king, you better make sure you don't miss."

Charen misses the irony of this statement. A King is by definition an autocrat. What this adage stands for is the proposition that if you strike at someone with UNFETTERED AUTOCRATIC power, you better win or you will be severely punished.

How on earth does that adage even apply in this circumstance where the whole point of the next election is to PREVENT an autocrat from taking power?

This is precisely the time to strike at the bastard Prince before he becomes a King.

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To Mona:

"I can only conclude that you have not been paying attention."

( a Babylon 5 reference)

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Bingo

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founding

Charlie, couldn't agree with you more about the need to indict and try TFG. Mona's concerns are valid but the danger of not at least trying to hold him accountable are worse.

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Aug 25, 2022·edited Aug 25, 2022

Mona makes excellent points in the article and podcast but I don't agree with the conclusion she draws. We're in a terrible situation with no perfect (or even good) options, and all Mona's fears (one MAGA juror, "exoneration," etc.) may come to pass, but I strongly agree with Charlie that to back down and not hold Trump accountable under the law, assuming the case or cases are legally bulletproof, would be the worst choice we could make.

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If DoJ and/or any of the other government law agencies investigating Trump can come up with a solid, prosecutable case against Trump, then it's incumbent they do so.

The country is already divided so putting Trump on trial won't matter a damned bit.

And refusing to put Trump on trial will be another nail in the coffin of the great American experiment.

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Good to see Charlie taking a tack from JVL and going very dark. He also happens to be correct. Is a country that is saved through doling out major portions of its moral authority & legitimacy really then a country that has become so unrecognizable that it is not worth saving in the end.

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I wonder whether it might be best for Garland to get an indictment against Trump, then for Biden to pardon Trump in the most condescending manner possible. Along the lines of it being unfair to expect much responsibility from someone as incapable of responsibility as Trump.

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Yes, this would just work great for the rule of law. That is meant as satire. Because how many of us have escaped the rule of law as often? Bullies never quit until they are stopped. If, seriously, any of us were charged with a crime, what odds do we have for a pardon from any of our state governments? Traffic ticket? Tax issue? (Not our small company for what amounted to putting the wrong number on the wrong line) How many of us just get a slap on the wrist with no consequences and yet again I hear broadcast that he is too big to fail? What? The law and order party, the personal responsibility party, the you are what you do and suffer or reap the results party has now become the party of tantrums. Stomp my feet loud enough, scream long enough, badger the gate keepers long enough and I am responsible for nothing. But now the headlines are about letting all those college scofflaws off the hook for debt. All while we debate letting the multiple bankrupt, multiple criminal just get away with it? Like my other post, just who does the actual law apply to? Either it applies to all of us or to none of us!

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And what do we tell our children? Seriously? What do we tell our children? How can we raise responsible children to become responsible adults when they see this? How do you tell a child or teach a child to be responsible for their decisions, their actions when over and over again it is blatantly apparent that only "some" of the people actually ever face any consequences for their actions?

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Ay, this all goes back to Reagan, damn it, and his validation of the so-called Christian right. These people are utterly convinced that they are beyond reproach and will support *any* candidate, no matter how unhinged, who validates their belief in that right to dominion.

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There is a chance one or more of a jury might be MAGA clones and vote not guilty, regardless of evidence. But, we've been through this twice with the U.S. Senate. Besides, I'd like to believe something comes over most jurors and they want to do the right thing when serving in that role.

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Trump is only the hair on the wart on the nose of the monster. We have to make a stand. America cannot be held hostage by the insanity of one man egging on a seditious minority. Trump should go to jail if he is guilty and the police must protect us from the various "boogaloo" fanatics and other "accelerationists" he is whipping up. The government put down the Whiskey Rebellion as they had to in order to save America. We must have the backbone as a nation again to follow the laws upon which our nation depends, and defend ourselves against the sedition from Proud Boys to Three Percenters to Trumpists. No time to go wobbly. The middle is strong enough to hold. If not now, damage will only increase. Stop the Putsch.

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Great discussions today between Charlie and Mona.

As I was listening, I thought of the finale of Better Call Saul. Saul's been caught, fished out of a dumpster in Omaha. They haul him back to Albuquerque and plunk him down in a conference room with the District Attorney. They've got him dead to rights, a mountain of evidence. He's going down for a very long time, life plus 190 years.

And then Saul starts talking. He lays out his defense.

The District Attorney: "And you think jurors are gonna buy that?"

Saul: "One. All I need is one."

And that's where Trump is. DOJ can indict him, haul him into court, he can have Sidney Powell as his defense attorney, and she can spout utter nonsense ... and he'll walk because he only needs one MAGA nitwit on that jury.

But I think he's still got to be prosecuted. The government's still got to try. Yeah, he'll walk. No, he will never be held accountable. But that doesn't matter. It can't be up to him to decide whether he's held accountable or not. We, the American people, need to do that.

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He may not walk. They can retry him - one idiot MAGA is a mistrial, not an acquittal. That's what happened in the Michigan case. First trial, one MAGA idiot, mistrial. Second trial - convictions.

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I was so happy to see that result in Michigan. In most cases, I think juries get it right.

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