DOJ Refuses to Let Trump Disavow His Mob

In three different ways in their responses to Trump’s motions to dismiss submitted yesterday, Jack Smith’s prosecutors emphasized that Trump should be subject to the same standards — and legal precedents — as the mob he sicced on the Capitol.

One pertains to the appellate precedents already set in the application of 18 USC 1512(c)(2). DOJ cited both January 6 precedents — Fischer and Robertson — to lay out that interrupting the vote certification to secure the presidency for oneself would be evidence of corrupt intent.

The alternatives include “using independently unlawful, felonious means,” id. at *9, and acting with a “corrupt purpose,” id. at *11, which includes acting “with an intent to procure an unlawful benefit,” Fischer, 64 F.4th at 352 (Walker, J., concurring) (quotation marks omitted), such as “secur[ing] . . . the presidency,” and acting dishonestly, Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, 544 U.S. 696, 706- 07 (2005); see Robertson, 2023 WL 6932346, at *12 (noting that “dishonesty” or “seeking a benefit for oneself or another” is not necessary but “may be sufficient to prove corrupt intent”).

Then, in response to Trump’s claim of selective prosecution (based off two stories — the famous Carol Leonnig one and a much earlier NYT one, both by journalists who did little other coverage of the larger January 6 investigation) — DOJ pointed to all the other similarly situated Jan6ers who not only were prosecuted, but whose claims of selective prosecution or prosecution for speech failed.

The passage cited to:

  • Carl Nichols’ opinion that Garret Miller’s role in interrupting the peaceful transfer of power distinguished him from Portland rioters.
  • Trevor McFadden’s opinion that, because January 6 posed a greater threat than the Portland riots, David Judd could not argue he was being prosecuted more severely than they had been for setting off a firecracker in The Tunnel.
  • James Boasberg’s opinion that judge’s son Aaron Mostofsky, was not being prosecuted because he wore animal pelts to January 6, but because he obstructed the vote certification.
  • John Bates’ opinion that the threat to government officials and employees, as well as the objective of obstructing the vote certification, could warrant harsher charges against retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Larry Brock, who brought zip ties onto the floor of the Senate.
  • John Bates’ opinion that Zeeker Bozell, was not being prosecuted for his political views but for “the destructive acts he allegedly took to disrupt the January 6 Certification.”
  • Royce Lamberth’s findings of fact that it didn’t matter that, even if Alan. Hostetter sincerely believed–which it appears he did–that the election was fraudulent, that President Trump was the rightful winner, and that public officials committed treason, as a former police chief, he still must have known it was unlawful to vindicate that perceived injustice by engaging in mob violence to obstruct Congress.”
  • Amy Berman Jackson’s opinion dismissing Danny Rodriguez’ claim that he was being prosecuted for his “sincerely held political belief that the 2020 presidential election was not fairly decided,” noting that it was his criminal conduct, including tasing Michael Fanone.
  • Amit Mehta’s argument that Stewart Rhodes and his co-conspirators were charged of more in their seditious conspiracy indictment than simply calling on Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act.

This list includes four GOP appointed judges, including his two Trumpiest appointments (one a former Clarence Thomas clerk), it includes the scion of a prominent Republican family and several people who invaded the Senate, it includes two of the defendants whose actions prosecutors showed were the most directly tied to Trump’s speech. And it includes an Oath Keeper convicted of sedition.

That section describing January 6 defendants whose First Amendment claims have already failed included a cross-citation to DOJ’s response on the motion to strike. Over the course of that filing, DOJ provided still more precedents from Trump’s mob, about the collective action of the mob, that they argue should apply to him too:

“The sheer numbers of individuals making up the mob that marched on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021—without stopping at the fencing or the barricades or the police lines or the chemical spray and other crowd control tools deployed by law enforcement—had the effect of overwhelming law enforcement officers attempting to secure the Capitol, with the direct consequence of creating a catastrophic security risk requiring the evacuation of lawmakers, staff, and press representatives legitimately gathered inside the Capitol building that day to conduct, facilitate, and observe the certification of the Electoral College vote count and triggering a lengthy delay before this constitutionally-mandated proceeding could resume.”

  • James Boasberg’s opinion that Sara Carpenter could not exclude evidence of the effect on the vote certification because, “the weighty probative value of evidence that broadly depicts what happened on January 6 outweighs any potential prejudice or cumulativeness.”
  • James Boasberg’s opinion, again finding that such general evidence can come in to prove what Bradley Bennett obstructed.
  • Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s opinion that evidence about context could come in at Danean MacAndrew’s trial because “the size of the crowd, political leaders, and false allegations of voter fraud and election interference” … “bear on Defendant’s mental state at the time of the charged offenses.”
  • Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s opinion repeating her MacAndrew ruling that the government could present evidence of the collective action of the mob in Anthony Alfred Griffith’s trial.

The response to Trump’s motion to strike did more: It hung Trump’s mob on him. It called Trump out for disavowing his mob in an attempt to wipe away a critical part of the indictment.

[P]ublicly, the defendant has promoted and extolled the events of that day. While the violent attack was ongoing, the defendant told rioters that they were “very special” and that “we love you.” In the years since, he has championed rioters as “great patriots” and proclaimed January 6 “a beautiful day.” In this case, though, the defendant seeks to distance himself, moving to strike allegations in the indictment related to “the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.” ECF No. 115 at 1. The Court should recognize the defendant’s motion for what it is: a meritless effort to evade the indictment’s clear allegations that the defendant is responsible for the events at the Capitol on January 6.

It debunked Trump’s claim that he is not charged with being responsible for January 6.

The defendant’s motion is premised on the disingenuous claim that he is not charged with “responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.” ECF No. 115 at 1. But the indictment clearly alleges, and the Government will prove at trial, that the defendant bears such responsibility.

And, as I predicted would happen, DOJ committed to prove that Trump obstructed the vote certification — and nearly got Mike Pence killed — in significant part, with his mob.

Ultimately, the defendant’s three conspiracies culminated and converged when, on January 6, the defendant attempted to obstruct and prevent the congressional certification at the Capitol. One of the ways that the defendant did so, as alleged in the indictment, was to direct an angry crowd of his supporters to the Capitol and to continue to stoke their anger while they were rioting and obstructing the certification.

At trial, the Government will prove these allegations with evidence that the defendant’s supporters took obstructive actions at the Capitol at the defendant’s direction and on his behalf. This evidence will include video evidence demonstrating that on the morning of January 6, the defendant encouraged the crowd to go to the Capitol throughout his speech, giving the earliest such instruction roughly 15 minutes into his remarks; testimony, video, photographic, and geolocation evidence establishing that many of the defendant’s supporters responded to his direction and moved from his speech at the Ellipse to the Capitol; and testimony, video, and photographic evidence that specific individuals who were at the Ellipse when the defendant exhorted them to “fight” at the Capitol then violently attacked law enforcement and breached the Capitol.

The indictment also alleges, and the Government will prove at trial, that the defendant used the angry crowd at the Capitol as a tool in his pressure campaign on the Vice President and to obstruct the congressional certification. Through testimony and video evidence, the Government will establish that rioters were singularly focused on entering the Capitol building, and once inside sought out where lawmakers were conducting the certification proceeding and where the electoral votes were being counted. And in particular, the Government will establish through testimony and video evidence that after the defendant repeatedly and publicly pressured and attacked the Vice President, the rioting crowd at the Capitol turned their anger toward the Vice President when they learned he would not halt the certification, asking where the Vice President was and chanting that they would hang him. [my emphasis]

DOJ’s commitment to prove this echoes moves it has taken during past prosecutions — the evidence of Trump’s effect on defendants has already been introduced in plea hearings or at trial.

DOJ has been preparing to prove this for a very, very long time.

Meanwhile they’ve been collecting receipts of all the times that Trump has owned this mob since — including receipts from the Waco rally kicking off his current presidential run.

The Government will further establish the defendant’s criminal intent by showing that, in the years since January 6, despite his knowledge of the violent actions at the Capitol, the defendant has publicly praised and defended rioters and their conduct. There is a robust public record of how rioters’ actions at the Capitol on January 6 were extraordinarily violent and destructive, including attacks on law enforcement officers with flag poles, tasers, bear spray, and stolen riot shields and batons. One officer who was dragged into the crowd endured a brutal beating while members of the crowd reportedly yelled, “Kill him with his own gun!” Terrified lawmakers and staff hid in various places inside the building, and many were evacuated. Despite this, the defendant has never wavered in his support of January 6 offenders. For instance, the Government will introduce at trial the defendant’s own statements in the years since January 6 proclaiming it “a beautiful day” and calling rioters “patriots,” many of whom he “plan[s] to pardon.”2 The Government will also introduce evidence of the defendant’s public support for and association with the “January 6 Choir,” a group of particularly violent January 6 defendants detained at the District of Columbia jail. 3 The defendant’s decision to repeatedly stand behind January 6 rioters and their cause is relevant to the jury’s determination of whether he intended the actions at the Capitol that day.

3 The defendant began a campaign rally in Waco, Texas, on March 25, 2023, by playing a recording of the Star-Spangled Banner by the January 6 Choir. Of the January 6 Choir, the defendant told the crowd, “[O]ur people love those people, they love those people.” See C-SPAN at 2:44, The January 6 Choir includes defendants who assaulted law enforcement officers on January 6 and one who used chemical spray on a Capitol Police officer who died the next day. See Washington Post, Behind Trump’s Musical Tribute to Some of the Most Violent Jan. 6 Rioters (May 7, 2023),

In an attempt to avoid the fate hundreds of them have already faced, Trump attempted to disavow his mobsters.

DOJ intends to prove that Trump was very much a part of the mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6 and almost got his Vice President killed.

112 replies
  1. OnKilter says:

    Brilliant synopsis.
    Unfortunately, the MSM is so busy broadcasting Trump lies that it mostly ignores the truth of his crimes.

    But that’s always been the Trumpian strategy:

    Drown out whispered truth with shouted lies.

    And of course the media mostly falls for it.
    Trump brilliantly takes advantage of media greed to promote his lies and evade accountability.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      Not in this venue. Court is different than public opinion and IIRC the 3-judge panel selected for this appeal is not favorable for Defendant-1. DoJ is playing this very well indeed for which Jack Smith can claim some credit.

      A key piece is to let Defendant-1 keep talking, and therefore make it crystal clear that this is not really political 1A speech but rather a clear incitement to rioting and potentially criminal threats.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Although the MSM is faltering, at least Carol Leonnig at WaPo seems like she’s either reading EW or on the same wavelength. She was on Nicolle Wallace’s show making the argument that Trump’s past offenses deserve media attention, and citing many of the same ones EW did in yesterday’s post citing Jonathan Karl’s book.

      They’re not all Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey. Or Maggie Haberman.

      • RitaRita says:

        Maybe The NY Times should just give Maggie Haberman her own column entitled: “The View From The Trump Family”.

        At least with Maggie, we know that her sources are from Trump insiders and allies and, therefore, must be taken with a grain of salt or two.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump’s Waco rally seems a clear cut example of inciting his followers to prepare for violent opposition, should Trump lose his bid for re-election, or, frankly, any of his major court cases.

    Then there’s the Trump Davidians, Steve Bannon’s analogy, which favorably compares Trump to a murderous charismatic, who would rather see his personal mob commit mass suicide than desert him. I suspect Trump has already scheduled a mass rally in Philadelphia, MS, in imitation of Ronald Reagan. He will not be promoting peaceful coexistence among people of different views or races.

    • Peterr says:

      Philadelphia MS has been done, and Trump stands in no one’s shadow.

      I await Trump’s rally at Fort Sumter SC, followed up with another at Wounded Knee SD.

        • P’villain says:

          I have always loved your humor, but my Congressman, Leo Ryan, was murdered at Jonestown. And Jackie Speier, then his aide, nearly lost her life. Not to mention more than 900 other souls, men, women,…and children.

          “Jonestown” will never be a punchline for me. Peace out.

          • punaise says:

            I’m sorry for the clumsy offense, but it wasn’t really an attempt at humor. More like cynicism springing from the Branch Davidian reference above.

          • ChrisM_08NOV2023_1038h says:

            I didn’t see that as an attempt at humor at all, but rather a frightening example of how much sway a megalomaniac like Trump can over their followers—they will risk jail and even death for him.

            [Welcome to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Because your username is far too common it will be temporarily changed to match the date/time of your first known comment until you have a new compliant username. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      The Waco pilgrimage is bone chilling and claxons should be going off about it.

      Jones’ followers weren’t suicides, actually and for the most part; more accurately, they were under his spell and merely sacrificed at his behest.

      Oh, and their fantasies about their cult and its relationship with the world were as paranoically brain-scrambling as the Trump/Q cult’s are. Plus, Jesus was tossed into both cults for good measure, and that aspect is well-scrambled in both socio-psycopathies as well.

      Two sides of the same flaming pile of horseshit.

      Apt analogy.

  3. Peterr says:

    After reading all those bullet points with all the judicial opinions cited, I can imagine Trump’s giving directions to his legal team: “Oh, sure. Lots of people have *opinions.* Go ahead and list all those *opinions*, but we have the facts. Tear them apart!”

    Trump’s lawyers: group facepalm

    DOJ lawyers: group smiles all around, and not the cute-kid-with-a-kitten kind of smiles

    • gruntfuttock says:

      ‘not the cute-kid-with-a-kitten kind of smiles’

      More the Pinhead finally caught up with Uncle Frank sort of smiles?

      Tear them apart, indeed.

  4. RipNoLonger says:

    Just to ask a naive question here; seems an appropriate place for it.

    There seems to be little public disclosures of TFG (Trump for bmaz) communicating directly to the J6 organizers or even the War Room participants. Of course these communications would be key in many prosecutions. Is there any chance that there are still some very potent facts that may be presented in court by the prosecution at a later date, as needed? And are there any limitations on how late these can be provided to the defense?

    • boatgeek says:

      There’s ample evidence of Trump talking directly to the J6 participants via Twitter, speeches, etc. Some of that is one way, but some is also 2-way, with Trump getting responses from the crowd via comments on Twitter, responses of the crowd at the White House speech, etc. Sure, there may have been additional discussions in private, but the public record may well be enough to convict Trump [insert presumption of innocence here]. Twitter DMs may also have been subpoenaed, so some nominally private information may be known.

      Unless someone turns state’s evidence, I’m not sure how you’d get evidence showing the content of a meeting or phone call. You could show that a meeting or phone call took place, but not what was said. And I assume that all of the evidence that the government intends to use at trial would have to be disclosed on the normal discovery timetable.

    • emptywheel says:

      So one place there is evidence is in Stone’s Friends of Stone list, which included Ali ALexander, Alex Jones, Stewart Rhodes, and Enrique Tarrio, among others. Tarrio seems to have had a side channel with someone.

      Another place is a tie between a militia member whose co-conspirators have all been busted; he has not, and the Kremers.

      But remember that, as far as we know, Smith is just working on this prosecution. None of the other ones will stick if Trump is elected, bc he’ll just pardon them. But if Smith can fill in the in-between, who knows.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        If elected, he’ll work hard to punish various New Yorkers for the damage its state courts might well do to his wealth and businesses. At that, he is likely to be very creative.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        What’s up with Roger Stone these days? Is he hiding, cooperating or in exile? For someone who knows an awful lot of things and was (allegedly) coordinating things at the Willard as well as being a good buddy of Defendant-1, we haven’t see much about him in the news.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          And Kellye SoRelle. Looks like she was supposed to report to BOP this month.

          #37 in United States v. SORELLE (D.D.C., 1:22-cr-00290)
          “The parties hereby submit this joint status report regarding the status of the defendant’s competency restoration. The defendant is scheduled to self-surrender to a BOP facility to begin competency restoration in November 2023.”

          “In the meantime, the defendant has completed an intake process with a mental health provider near her home, so that she can receive outpatient care until she begins restoration. The parties ask leave to file another status report in sixty days and agree that the time between now and the next status report date should be excluded from calculation under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(4).”

  5. punaise says:

    OT, I just completed serving on a criminal jury in Alameda County. Unfortunately we could not reach a verdict after two days of deliberations, so the judge declared a mistrial. I can say that despite a distinct lack of enthusiasm for being there, all of the jurors took it very seriously and did their best to be fair an d impartial. The process is equal parts fascinating and boring.

    • Peterr says:

      Which courthouse?

      I spent the better part of 6 weeks at the Oakland courthouse, on a criminal case with five defendants. There were breaks for holidays, and occasional days off when someone was unavailable (judge/lawyer/juror with a previously scheduled medical procedure) or when the judge and lawyers were dealing with motions and scheduling rather than testimony requiring the jury, but still . . . it was a long trial.

      • punaise says:

        The Oakland courthouse would have been a lot more convenient for me, but I got shunted off to Dublin, a good 40 minute drive (BART goes to Dublin, but then it would be a long bus ride to the courthouse). It’s a nice new facility, so that part was an improvement over Oakland.

        Looked like I was going to skate, but the cruel part was getting called in on the very last day of eligibility, following four days of “standby, check in tomorrow after 5 pm”. I called in as a formalilty just to confirm that I was off the hook, but noooooo. Had to reschedule four meetings that day, still playing catch up.

        Compared to your trial I got off “easy”: it was a domestic violence case that added up to about eight days of actual attendance (including jury selection) spanning over two weeks. Judge works elsewhere on Fridays, and some days were cut short for common sense procedural reasons (example: don’t start closing arguments towards the end of the day when you can start fresh in the morning).

        I couldn’t quite claim hardship, so I slogged ahead with my civic duty, raking in the $15 per diem that barely paid for lunches. OTOH the jury room was well-stocked with Halloween candy, so I am done with chocolate for a while.

    • P’villain says:

      I have given up hope of ever serving on a jury. The last time I was subpoenaed, I was actually sitting in the alternate’s seat when the defense attorney, an acquaintance, excused me. Now, either he had peremptory challenges to burn, or he wanted to be damned sure I didn’t get on that jury. I suspect the latter.

      • punaise says:

        Or both! Even without knowing one of the counsels, if you are an attorney you’re likely to get peremptoried, no?

        • emptywheel says:

          I made it all the way thru jury selection in GR, until, with one preemptory left, there was a break. Pretty sure prosecutor googled me and was like, “why did I boot those 5 black people w/felons in their family before her?!?!”

          • punaise says:


            During voir dire I couldn’t bring myself to resort to the known “outs”: express a bias for or against police testimony, unable to be impartial because of personal experience, etc. (Several eventually excused potential jurors asked to speak to the judge in chambers so as not to have to recount their experiences with domestic violence or abuse in open court – understandable).

            I did say I that in the U.S. has a huge problem with systemic institutional racism, and that in my opinion that problem is worse in law enforcement. Race did not appear to be a factor in this case, so that didn’t resonate, and having said my piece I had to get off my little soap box. (“There goes that bleeding heart Berkeley liberal”…)

            • emptywheel says:

              In the case I would have sat on race was central: A Black guy accused of setting a fire at the dry cleaners owned by a very prominent Republican family. IIRC all, or maybe all but one, Black juror was DQed before they booted me.

          • William Allen Simpson (DayDreamer) says:

            I’ve only been summoned once. A lawyer noted my ample court experience, both as a party and as a pro se litigant. I was promptly booted, along with Spencer Abraham (a lawyer who at the time was Chair of the state Republican Party, before he was a US Senator).

            I’ve never been called again.

            • Harry Eagar says:

              I was a newspaper reporter and was very surprised not to be 86’d in a heroin case.

              I thought the defense counsel appreciated a chance to duel with me a little on voir dire about evaluating evidence; but I was wrong.

              In a 97% white city, the defendant was one of the highest profile blacks in town, a fire captain. The evidence was bullet-proof, and the defense presented no case and did not even bother with a closing statement.

              I concluded that they went to trial only in hopes of getting a black juror who would be unable to vote to convict such a pillar of the community, giving an opening for a bargain. When an all-white jury was chosen, the 2 defense lawyers lost all interest, as did the defendant.

              Nevertheless, I learned some things.

              1. No one on the jury had a clue how to organize a meeting. I had expected that most would have learned that from Scouts, PTA, church etc.

              2. Gun nuts are even stupider than I had always thought, and I had always thought they were morons.

              Part of the evidence was the captain’s arsenal: He had a long gun, loaded. behind every door in his house (12 in all) plus a handgun.

              In our evaluation, as foreman I polled the jurors about whether they had loaded guns in their homes. None of the women did; all the other men did.

              • punaise says:

                No closing argument, not even pro forma? That sounds like malpractice. I guess there was no offer of a plea deal.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Very common. Some states excuse lawyers from jury duty altogether. There’s concern other jurors might give their views undue weight. Lawyers might be concerned they would find reasonable doubt where there shouldn’t be any. Or be concerned they might prejudge points of procedure, or look more penetratingly at the evidence or their arguments than the average juror.

          I was in jury selection once when the judge asked us whether we could view the lawyers’ legal arguments dispassionately, after both counsel in a civil suit had summarized their positions. I said in a sidebar that I didn’t think the defense had presented any yet. Ding.

          • P’villain says:

            I had a colleague in my office who served on a murder jury despite knowing both lawyers and the judge, and having once been the victim of a violent felony herself. I still don’t know how that happened – maybe a failed game of “peremptory chicken.” The jury made her foreperson, and convicted.

              • punaise says:

                In the jury assembly room they played a 20 minute orientation video before assigning us to various courtrooms (&0+ per case, to get down to 12 jurors and 2 alternates). The video is narrated by the Chief Justice of California, who claims she served on juries as an attorney, trial court judge, and as an appellate justice.

                BTW our case ended as a mistrial, hung jury (6-6 split with no hope of reaching the required unanimity). I believe justice was served even if it feel like a large use of time and resources to end up back at square one. My guess is that the DA will not retry. Interestingly, the judge asked if any jurors would be willing to hang out after dismissal to speak with counsel (prosecution and public defender). Both were young and eager to get our feedback on the experience, the witnesses, the case…

                • aina kanawai says:

                  I had the same experience — the judge asked jurors to stick around if they wanted. The prosecution had been handled by two young Perkins Coie lawyers who were trying routine criminal cases as part of a program with the county prosecutor’s office. My advice to them — when trying a routine drug case, you probably shouldn’t be quoting Abraham Lincoln in the closing argument — it’s just a bit over the top.

                  • punaise says:

                    Neither of these were white shoe firm / partner track types – very earnest and receptive to our feedback. One juror mentioned that she found them both to have been very kind and respectful to all parties involved – including the 12 y.o. girl who had to testify against her mother.

                    Procedural question to those who might know: if there was a retrial, would both counsels carry over, or would there be any need / requirement to start fresh? I would think the public defender at least would stay on, whereas the DA might assign to someone with more experience?

                  • punaise says:

                    “Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye was the 28th Chief Justice of the State of California. She was sworn into office on January 3, 2011, and was the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice.”

          • RitaRita says:

            The one time I actually made it into the courtroom for jury selection, I got booted because I truthfully said that I would probably be judging the performance of the attorneys rather than the merits of the case. It’s not impossible to avoid that distraction, but it is, I imagine, really hard.

      • P J Evans says:

        I served as an alternate on a grand jury for six months, and never had to go in. I was temporarily on a panel, once, until released (to my relief: I had bronchitis and was on cough syrup with codeine). And once I was in a large pool for a trial, and had to call in every evening to see if they needed me the next day. They filled the box at #108; I was #110 in the pool.

        • punaise says:

          Close call!

          I thought that serving on a grand jury was a whole different selection process (i.e. volunteer or be nominated?). A close family member was foreperson of our county grand jury back in the 70s.

          (Hey, “click to edit” is back!)

          • P J Evans says:

            It was in Texas, so who knows? Got summoned, showed up, and after the judge dealt with the excuses, the first one on the remaining list was named the foreman, and the next lot in line became the jurors. I was the second alternate.

          • BRUCE F COLE says:

            Yay to the edit feature returning! (Not that my fuckups will become suddenly less frequent or embarrassing.)

            I’ve been summonsed twice, both times when I was in HI for an 8 year work stint and was legally residing there. Had to give them my residency documentation twice, and don’t know whether either or both states have me as a resident now. I have stopped getting email from the HI Dems so there’s that.

            It’s a (compartmentalized) disappointment that I was unable to serve, though like many in this thread, my firm opinions on any number of matters could well have gotten me booted anyway.

            • P J Evans says:

              My father and I have similar names, and while I was still living at home, we’d get summoned about two weeks apart – not necessarily in the same order each time.
              Once the defendant came in, saw the pool of potential jurors, and decided to change his plea. Another time everyone was there by the defendant’s lawyer – I don’t remember why, and they sent us back to the large pool.

      • pcpablo321 says:

        I worked many years as a letter carrier, and I was befriended by one of my customers over a shared interest of home brewed beer and wine. Turned out he was the County Clerk of Manhattan, NYC, and mentioned that if I ever wanted to get out of jury duty, just let him know. Au contraire I said, I loved jury duty, what with full pay, and a break from the streets, so I would like as much as possible! Like clockwork, every year I was called. In 10 years I served on 7 juries, had fantastic lunches in Chinatown, and laughed at managements despair at me proforming my yearly civic duty.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          That’s interesting — though I can’t buy into the concept of there being a “bench” for jury duty, even an informal one. If you and the town clerk shared philosophical or political opinions, for instance, that could be seen as a form of front-loading the pool.

          Also it’s nice that you’re a jury enthusiast, but again, the system is designed around the peer concept, which demands a measure of selection-randomness.

          Not that it wasn’t a great set of experiences for you…

      • Allagashed says:

        I’m 60 years old and I’ve never been called for jury duty. I’ve always wanted to, but the summons has never come. I’ve never been polled either. Not by a national poll, state poll, or even a door to door push poll. Maybe it’s where I live, ten miles into the back of beyond; the moose stand a better chance of being called than I do.

        • bmaz says:

          I’d kill to be on a jury. I get the summons all the time and go in, but there is always one side or the other that strikes me. And that sucks.

          • Tallakchana says:

            Been there. Done that.
            Served many weeks on Cleveland “Jomo” Davis second NYC
            triple-murder trial in the 70’s.
            Sequestered for a week while deliberating –
            to the point my wife couldn’t breach jury isolation
            to tell me she was pregnant!
                 That real life trials are nothing like Perry Mason(!)
                 That lawyers lie (and like to play-act with murder weapons).
                 That witnesses lie.
                 That some jury members (at that time) wouldn’t convict
            a Black man for shooting a cop, no matter what.
                 That the evidence allowed in trial came nowhere near
            to providing explicit color to make an informed
            guilty / not guilty decision.
                 And, most important, that you have to be able to look
            yourself in the mirror many years in the future
            and be able to say you made the right decision –
            which, I think, I did at the time.

            [Moderator’s note: null blank spaces in ASCII added to indent text to improve readability; many browsers and apps do not insert them where commenters intend. /~Rayne]

            • punaise says:

              And, most important, that you have to be able to look
              yourself in the mirror many years in the future
              and be able to say you made the right decision

              Judge and counsel in our much less consequential trial really stressed the definition of reasonable doubt (sample definition from the internet: It is such a doubt as would exist in the mind of a reasonable person after fully, fairly, and carefully considering all of the evidence or lack of evidence. [If, from such consideration, you have an abiding belief in the truth of the charge, you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt.]

              The same logic applies, I believe, to a finding of not guilty based on reasonable doubt: “abiding” means that as time goes by you remain convinced that you came to the right determination based on the evidence presented.

        • Harry Eagar says:

          In Hawaii, the US district court notifies potential jurors through some sort of statewide system, but if you do not live on Oahu (where the court sits), you are automatically stricken when your number comes up.

          I consider that prejudicial in civil cases, where the overall interests of Oahu vs. the rest of the state (called the Neighbor Islands) are constant topics of political and social discussion.

          But I never made an issue of it. I should have.

    • Fraud Guy says:

      Called thrice, served once; they did not mind my background in fraud prevention on a possession trial. We acquitted; me, in part, because the police officer felt that turning into a gas station was probable cause.

    • Chirrut Imwe says:

      It seems everyone I happen to talk about jury duty with are always so negative about it (including Mrs. Imwe). And so relieved if they get to miss out. I get it, but also don’t get it. My stock ‘you would want a fair and impartial jury if you were on trial’ response never goes anywhere.

      Like (maybe just a few) others here, I enjoy it and wish I would actually get on a jury more often (I’ve been on one, and was jury foreman – it was definitely herding cats, but fascinating). It is nice to find some kindred spirits jury-wise…

    • aina kanawai says:

      I have served on a jury once, and it turned out to be a profound learning experience. I was a young associate attorney in a large Seattle firm, so I doubted that I would be selected, but I was.

      The case was a “buy-bust” drug sting – undercover officers bought a rock of crack cocaine from a dealer on a downtown street corner while other officers observed from nearby. There apparently was a school facility on the third floor of nearby office building, so the sale was technically within a “school zone.” The presentation was uneventful – the defense attorneys tried to offer alternative explanations for the facts, but I didn’t find them persuasive.

      I was selected as foreperson – which I understand often happens when at attorney actually gets seated. The initial discussions were routine. I was somewhat surprised that there was any doubt at all regarding the charges given all the witnesses – but after a while most of the jurors started leaning towards conviction. But not all.

      There were two African American men on the jury, one young and one older. I am white male – then in my late twenties. The older man, kind of a blue-collar union type guy, was generally quiet, but was leaning towards conviction. The younger man – mid-twenties – voted to acquit every time, and he wouldn’t give a reason or engage. I grew frustrated because he wouldn’t say why or engage with the evidence – voices even got raised at one point.

      During a break, the older man brought me aside and said (nearly a quote, I remember it):

      “You have to stop getting frustrated and calm down. He’s not going to vote to convict and there is nothing you can do about. What the judge isn’t telling you, but he (the young man) and I know that if he’s convicted, that guy will go to jail for ten years – for one rock of cocaine. I’m from this community, and I’ve seen it too often. The truth is, I’m really close to voting to acquit myself. So he’s not going to change.”

      We ended with a hung jury. Was it improper jury nullification? Probably. Did I gain a more nuanced view of the world? Definitely.

      Note: New user name to meet the requirements — I’ll stick with this one.

      [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. Country of law – I love it. /~Rayne]

        • aina kanawai says:

          It ticks the boxes, but I’ve always thought of it as in the grey area (maybe the far side of the grey area). Even as a young lawyer I wasn’t too fired up about it for two reasons. First, it was the tail end of the “War on Drugs” and the disparate sentences for rock v powder cocaine was pretty well known by then.

          Second, the ridiculous school zone enhancement actually pissed me off. I worked relatively near the area where the arrest took place, and it was the furthest thing from a school zone. I spoke with an acquaintance in the prosecutor’s office about it later, and he actually chuckled about how the office routinely used that unknown school facility in an office building (not even on the ground floor) to turn a large section of downtown into a school zone.

    • TimothyB says:

      I served on a Monterey county jury. I was not surprised that pretty much everyone took it very seriously. On fairness: I was suprised at how good voir dire questions (from both attorneys and from the judge) were at revealing who might have trouble being fair. Some came right out and said some version of “no, after my that robbery I think I would have trouble with that” and others just became extremely visibly stressed or weasely. I am guessing attorneys saw this much more clearly than inexperienced I. Bottom line, this system works.

    • justlp34 says:

      I served on a jury for a civil case a few months ago in Alameda County. It was done completely on Zoom, and I was impressed with how well they had organized and ran it. We got the opportunity to submit questions to the judge as each witness finished testifying. It was about Kaiser not paying the exorbitant amount above the ‘standard rate’ that another insurance company wanted to charge them for treating Kaiser patients in one of three different hospitals that they owned. Interesting experience and I believe that we all were invested in understanding the billing policy and the different levels of charging for other ‘medical insurance’ entities. It shone a big spotlight for most of us on how bloated and broken our health system is. After a little over a week, I think the attorneys could see the way we were leaning by our questions, and they settled.

        • justlp34 says:

          I’m curious, bmaz, why you think so. I was impressed at how engaged we all were and the way they used the technology. Everyone was on camera. That was required.

      • Sue 'em Queequeg says:

        Never been empaneled, to my disappointment. All the cases settled while we waited. Still got to have two memorable jury pool experiences: 1) pool dismissed because after an hour of searching they couldn’t find the judge, 2) tried to find wifi so I could work while waiting, court had none, but somewhere nearby my laptop found a network called “Hold me tight, Tony Danza”.

  6. Obansgirl says:

    Totally off topic but very interesting story wapo right now Rampell reporting on mike johnson income. I don’t dare embed a link.

  7. Obansgirl says:

    Thank you. I’m technically challenged but here’s the wapo headline: Opinion What’s up with Speaker Johnson not reporting a bank account?

    • P J Evans says:

      He claims he lives paycheck to paycheck, but he’s better paid than most people, his wife has an income, and he owns a house, so there’s a mortgage somewhere.

      • Fraud Guy says:

        And a bank account, unless he goes to the currency exchange with his Congressional pay, and pays all his utilities with cash at the local hardware store.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ivanka Trump’s testimony today in Donald’s NY civil fraud trial is predictably like Michael Corleone’s to Senate investigators: “I have no recollection of that Senator.” Or, “I’m not an accountant,” meaning, what would I know about financial statements? But it has been extremely useful in admitting documentary evidence to refresh her recollection and/or impeach her purported lack of memory. Much of it is embarrassing, and puts her and her daddy at the forefront of loan negotiations, including what real assets the banks relied upon.

    Loan talks with Deutsche Bank, for example, boiled down to two things: getting Donald Trump to personally guarantee corporate debt – something most business owners avoid like the plague – and maintaining a “net worth” of $2-3 billion, WITHOUT regard to Trump’s brand value. Pretty solid evidence that DB knew what games Trump played with brand value, and that it was based on opportunism and the needs of his ego, not its market value to unrelated third parties.

    And sure, none of the Trump’s are accountants: few top executives are. But like many of them, Donald, Don Jr. and Ivanka have degrees in economics, all from Wharton, and Eric has a degree in finance and management from Georgetown. They understand and consume accounting data every day, and know damn well what GAAP is. As senior executives in daddy’s billion dollar business, they worked with and were responsible for hiring senior accounting staff, and maintaining accounting and financial systems.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    According to Lisa Rubin on MSNBC, in addition to personally guaranteeing a loan to Deutsche Bank, an arrangement business owners work to avoid, and committing to maintain a Trump Org net worth in excess of $2 billion (exclusive of any “Trump” brand value), Trump worked a side-deal with Don Jr, Ivanka, and Eric, whereby they would each pledge their own assets to backstop daddy’s personal guarantee to DB.

    That’s not just about making his kids and presumed heirs have skin in the game, or making them work for an inheritance he could deprive them of at the drop of a hat. It’s an indicator that neither Donald nor his companies had the net worth or free cash needed to make that personal guarantee worth its face value. It’s also a potential fraud on DB, which presumably didn’t know about it. And it reinforces how much of a prick he is, with his kids as much as anyone.

    • Rayne says:

      I am still curious as hell about the exposure Trump org had leading up to the 2008 financial crash given financial instruments entwined with Trump org developments in the Bear Stearns collapse. Was this why the kids’ assets were pledged, because there had already been a crash of valuations in 2008?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I don’t know, but making his kids share the potential liability suggests the DB relationship wasn’t as cozy as Trump wanted – excluding his brand value from the Trump Org’s net worth must have been a painful affront – and that he might have to make good on the guarantee.

        • Rwood0808 says:

          Pathological narcissists like trump view their kids as extensions of themselves. Ivanka is just the smartest/prettiest of these extensions and therefore his favorite. (Not enough of a favorite to show up in court and support though!) If one of them should ever turn on daddy he’d jettison them without a second thought.

          If trump did indeed make the kids put up their shares of the family business to secure the loans from DB in 2008 I find it curious that Ivanka got married soon after. Was she looking for a parachute in the form of Jarad? How much influence did she exert to get him that $2B from the Saudis? Does she now have more power within the family as she is undoubtedly the richest of them, or is it more like FU money?

          Either way she took steps to ensure she would never be in that position again. Daddy has no power over her anymore.

          • FL Resister says:

            It sounds like Ivanka was poised and measured on the stand today. She certainly dressed down for the occasion in a wide-lapeled, off-black suit, plain round collar, no obvious jewelry. Maintaining a low profile and hoping to skate through this part of her past, most heavily coached on how to say she either doesn’t know or remember key facts she actually does.

        • Rayne says:

          DB may have been burned in the very same crash — and I don’t mean 2008 crash at large but exposure to the same vehicles in which Trump was exposed via Bear Stearns. They’d know then that more was needed as surety.

    • RitaRita says:

      The net worth covenant is a big reason why Trump inflated the values. I think also Trump’s ego was involved.

      I wish the responsible news media had reporters covering the trial who understood the legal and factual issues better. They are waiting for the smoking gun and don’t realize that there have already been a number of smoking guns.

      One Deutsche Bank loan officer, Nicholas Haigh, has already testified that DB didn’t appraise property that it didn’t take as collateral but insisted on the net worth covenant and personal guaranty. It will be interesting to see the how Trump team uses other DB officers. I am sure that DB is not happy about being central to this case.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The net worth requirement is a way to get round the time and expense of appraising individual properties. But it doesn’t mean an accurate statement of net worth is optional or unimportant. It means the opposite. The personal guarantee is also a red flag. It says a lender feels insecure, and is a way for it to say, “I don’t care what your individual valuations are. I want your personal fortune on the hook to repay me.” That Trump wanted his kids to backstop his own liability for giving that says a lot about what his businesses are not worth and his awareness that he’s vulnerable.

    • velcroman says:

      I have read (can’t find the source) that loans with personal guarantees are sometimes written such that they come due if the borrower is convicted of a felony. Is that a thing?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        It would be an example of a circumstance that would make a lender feel reasonably insecure about a debtor’s ability to make good on a material legal commitment. It would be a form of anticipatory breach of contract, in that it could seriously lower the value of a personal guarantee, and, hence, endanger the whole deal.

        It’s one of many conditions that could enable a lender to call the loan. But I don’t see how the lender could demand repayment under the guarantee without also calling in the underlying loan and not getting paid in full. You can’t get paid twice for the same debt.

        If one lender called a loan for default, cross default provisions in a host of loans Trump entered into might also be triggered. That often leads to bankruptcy, in which nobody gets paid out fully. Lenders often renegotiate terms, instead, hoping to get paid in full, with more interest and higher fees.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Ivanka’s testimony was big on Woodward and Bernstein’s non-denial denials. She claimed, for example, not to recall a signed document, a copy of which she was given, in which she, Eric and Don Jr committed to make “prompt and unconditional” payment of their “proportionate share” of daddy’s guarantee of the DB loan for the Old Post Office. Her claiming not to remember that contractual commitment – which is not credible, it could have cost her a lot of money – has no bearing on its existence and the legal obligations incorporated into it.

      • RitaRita says:

        Lisa Rubin is the best of the in the courtroom reporters that I’ve seen. She does understand the import of the testimony. Both The NY Times and Washington Post seem more interested in this case as a celebrity trial.

        The requirement that the net worth be determined excluding the brand value explains some of Trump’s rants about his net worth being much higher because his brand makes the real estate worth more than values you would get under standard appraisal methods.

        Until recently Deutsche Bank had not exactly been a shining star in the regulatory heaven. The defense will call the Trump’s private banking officer to explain how wonderful it was to have Trump as a client. Of course, the customer relations side of the bank would say that. The risk management side might differ.

        • dannyboy says:

          Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Trump was inherited through it’s acquisition of The Bankers Trust Company (which I left at that time).Deutsche Bank could look the other way in their dealings with Trump because they were using laundered funds. Trump then laundered more Russian oligarchs’ money by selling them apartments. Laundered money from the bank to use to launder money in construction, to sell apartments to launder money. It is hilarious that anyone is looking for the profit and the opportunity loss of profit. Profit had nothing to do with it. Follow the laundering, not the margin.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Thanks. Sixty-seven pages, all in, with three new lawyers from St. Louis, the James Otis Law Group LLC, arguing the appeal on the gag order to the DC Circuit. That’s five lawyers from three firms (from Tampa, NYC, and St. Louis). Guess nobody in DC who knew what they were doing was interested in signing on as one more Trump lawyer in the barrel.

      Typical Trumpian start. The brief says no court has “ever imposed a gag order on the political speech [sic] of a candidate for public office, let alone the leading candidate for President of the United States.” And they’re off.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      Cliff notes version:
      “Running for POTUS is a Get Out of Legal Jeopardy Free card.”

      Hard to believe *all* the crooks aren’t running!

    • harpie says:

      Marcy has just done a Xitter THREAD on this appeal:
      Nov 9, 2023 · 5:36 PM UTC

      In Trump’s appeal, he states as one of the issues whether the gag to protect witnesses harms the rights of millions of Americans. […]

      [By page 7 she’s writing:]
      It really infuriates me that this appeal is so fucking dishonest and shoddy. [THREAD]

      I tried to read that this morning
      […or last night, I can’t remember…]
      and the whole time it took me to finally get to the end,
      my anger just kept growing.
      It actually took so long because I had to keep getting up to let off some steam.

      • harpie says:

        And at page 41, Marcy reiterates her ALITO/THOMAS comment from the last time [see above]:

        DOJ will also argue, I bet, that Trump waived this viewpoint discrimination teed up for the benefit of Alito and Thomas. Interesting that he turns it into a a soliloquy about whether Milley really was treasonous.

        • harpie says:

          Re: TRUMP’s words about MILLEY

          [p42] After this report, General Milley’s actions were widely criticized by many commentators – including U.S. Senators – as possibly treasonous.9 President [p43] Trump’s statement that General Milley engaged in a “treasonous act” that would have been punishable by death in “times gone by” [] thus refers to General Milley’s secret, unauthorized communications with China in 2020 and 2021 – an issue of urgent public importance separate from this case.

          [fn]9 NYP quoting Rubio “This is treacherous, it was dangerous, it’s unconstitutional, and General Milley needs to answer questions about it, because if it’s true, he should be fired.”
          Washington Times […]
          Fox News […]

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