The Trump Election Immunity Ruling, Annotated
February 6, 2024 11:48 AM   Subscribe

President Trump has become Citizen Trump [Gift New York Times link] A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals For the District of Columbia Circuit has unanimously rejected Trump's claim of absolute immunity.
For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution.

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Claim of Absolute Immunity [Gift New York Times link]
A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected former President Donald J. Trump’s claim that he was immune to charges of plotting to subvert the results of the 2020 election, ruling that he must go to trial on a criminal indictment accusing him of seeking to overturn his loss to President Biden.

The unanimous ruling, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, handed Mr. Trump a significant defeat. But it was unlikely to be the final word on his claims of executive immunity: Mr. Trump, who is on a path to locking up the Republican presidential nomination, is expected to continue his appeal to the Supreme Court.
posted by kirkaracha (120 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have extremely low expectations that this will lead to consequences for Mr. Trump, who for reasons both semi-sensible and (to me) utterly incomprehensible, seems to be largely excluded from responsibility by our entire legal system, by virtue of being a Very Special Person or Some Bullshit Like That.

Nevertheless, this is bad for him, it will make him angry, and it is a win that I will celebrate and enjoy, right up until it becomes totally irrelevant because one of his BFFs on the Supreme Court decides he's a special little boy to whom the rules just don't apply.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:50 AM on February 6 [49 favorites]




Can't get immunity if you're an anti-vaxxer.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:55 AM on February 6 [42 favorites]


Is this a thing that gets appealed to the Supreme Court, or is it dead in its tracks and he needs to come up with another delaying tactic?
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:04 PM on February 6


My beautiful dream of tfg facing the consequences of his actions is a step closer to reality. I'm still not gonna hold my breath though.
posted by evilDoug at 12:05 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


seems to be largely excluded from responsibility by our entire legal system

He also has that "illegal for a fine means legal for a price" thing going for him.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:06 PM on February 6 [23 favorites]


Can we tke a moment to acknowledge how truly fucking bizarre this whole episode is? Just a little reality check? No, you can't break the law. Full stop. This shouldn't even be a question!

That seal team six hypothetical - we had a real actual person argue (a lawyer!) that assassinating your rivals is a legal gray area. Absolutely bizarre.
posted by adept256 at 12:06 PM on February 6 [42 favorites]


Is this a thing that gets appealed to the Supreme Court, or is it dead in its tracks and he needs to come up with another delaying tactic?

He has already said that he intends to appeal to SCOTUS.

He also has that "illegal for a fine means legal for a price" thing going for him.

I hope I live long enough to see some kind of useful postmortem on what the broader social effects of having the president/ex-president loudly and consistently demonstrate the immunity to the law of his class for years on end are.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:08 PM on February 6 [13 favorites]


Is this a thing that gets appealed to the Supreme Court, or is it dead in its tracks and he needs to come up with another delaying tactic?

The various possibilities are discussed in the second link.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:10 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


So I did my snarky depressing bit at the top, but smarter people than me (or at least more lawyery than me) have said this decision is basically custom-crafted to limit the chances of success on SCOTUS appeal, barring a truly "because we said so" kind of SCOTUS ruling, which would historically be pretty unthinkable but these days is a high likelihood. Nevertheless, the idea of total immunity for any President may well be a step too far even for this court, especially since 1) there are plenty of other ways to prevent Trump from escaping consequences, and 2) there's no way to limit it to just Trump, which would be the ideal path.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:11 PM on February 6 [17 favorites]


“If immunity is not granted to a president, every future president who leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party,” Mr. Cheung said. “Without complete immunity, a president of the United States would not be able to properly function.”

The best minds.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:14 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


How Long Will Trump’s Immunity Appeal Take? Analyzing the Alternative Timelines
Our analysis suggests that a trial, which is anticipated to last between 8 and 12 weeks, may conclude in late August or early September if the Supreme Court denies Trump’s eventual cert petition or in mid to late October if the Supreme Court grants Trump’s cert petition. We caution however that court timelines are unpredictable, and that these dates simply represent probabilities—not certainties.
posted by away for regrooving at 12:15 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Is this a thing that gets appealed to the Supreme Court, or is it dead in its tracks and he needs to come up with another delaying tactic?

He has already said that he intends to appeal to SCOTUS.


The decision was by a three judge panel, so if memory serves me correctly, Trump could first appeal it to the full court, where it would (hopefully) lose again but succeed in drawing the case out longer.

It's maddening that Trump's obvious interest in delaying tactics doesn't create more of a sense of urgency in the courts, or at least unwillingness to put up with dilatory tactics.
posted by Gelatin at 12:17 PM on February 6 [11 favorites]


I think total immunity is a step too far for this court, especially with the example of assassinations used during arguments. I think Trump loses this 7-2 at the SC, with Thomas and Alito writing impassioned dissents - if they hear the case. And I don’t think they’re going to hear the case. This is with the caveat that hey, I could be wrong, it happens sometimes.
posted by azpenguin at 12:18 PM on February 6 [8 favorites]


“If immunity is not granted to a president, every future president who leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party,” Mr. Cheung said. “Without complete immunity, a president of the United States would not be able to properly function.”

Yet strangely enough, every president except Nixon was able to do just that.
posted by Gelatin at 12:18 PM on February 6 [24 favorites]


I have extremely low expectations that this will lead to consequences for Mr. Trump, who for reasons both semi-sensible and (to me) utterly incomprehensible, seems to be largely excluded from responsibility by our entire legal system, by virtue of being a Very Special Person or Some Bullshit Like That

Probably because every time he does suffer consequences, lots of people fall over themselves to loudly declare he could never suffer consequences.

It's basically the opposite of everyone's favorite pastime of declaring President Joe Biden could never run a successful political campaign.
posted by Back At It Again At Krispy Kreme at 12:19 PM on February 6 [9 favorites]


Qualified immunity mixed with the basic building blocks of white supremacy has really put a wrinkle in contemporary jurisprudence and politics in this country.
posted by MonsieurPEB at 12:22 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


there's no way to limit it to just Trump, which would be the ideal path.

Call me an idealist, but I'm going to go out on a limb and argue that the law should apply equally to everyone.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:23 PM on February 6 [24 favorites]


It's maddening that Trump's obvious interest in delaying tactics doesn't create more of a sense of urgency in the courts, or at least unwillingness to put up with dilatory tactics.

Today's decision was an unprecedented display of urgency in the courts. Like, lighting fast. Having everything including a potential SCOTUS cert worked out by the end of Spring would mean a process many months or even years shorter than usual.
posted by Back At It Again At Krispy Kreme at 12:23 PM on February 6 [16 favorites]


yeah, we're not butting up against the next election because the courts are slower than usual. it's 'cause garland took his sweeeeeet sweet time opening an investigation
posted by logicpunk at 12:28 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


Trump's magic trick is that even when he suffers a loss, he just pretends that loss never happens and presses forward as if he had won, or at least never engaged in any battle. He's been going this for decades in legal matters. Even just recently when questioned about the E Jean Carroll I verdict that awarded him over $80million, his response was to look blankly at the reporter, ask them to repeat their question, and then say blankly "oh, I did nothing wrong there".

Look, this is what you're going to see again and again from this guy. He will lose but pretend he didn't and get weirdly foggy and full of denial if confronted with it.

We had a post here recently about how he's been learning this tactic for decades, from Roy Cohn of all people. If you read that and follow the news, you can see it playing out in front of you in real time.
posted by hippybear at 12:30 PM on February 6 [18 favorites]


I very much appreciate what Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern (veteran Supreme Court analysts at Slate) have to say about how the Court might respond:
While it’s impossible to predict how the justices will handle what would otherwise be a straightforward case of Presidents Not Being Kings, there is reason to think a majority of the justices might kick the can down the road far enough to help Trump evade accountability before November. Such a move would be indefensible. The former president’s arguments are not just weak but trivial, and even this hard-right court should not debase itself by pretending to take them seriously. The question is not whether a majority will ultimately agree with Trump (it won’t) but whether a majority will abet Trump’s efforts to run out the clock (it might). The bench slap he received on Tuesday, however, makes that craven move harder to pull off with a straight face.
posted by overglow at 12:33 PM on February 6 [19 favorites]


Good!
posted by DJZouke at 12:34 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


it's 'cause garland took his sweeeeeet sweet time opening an investigation

Arguably, Garland was waiting for Congress to begin being public with their findings. And it was essential that it be a House investigation, because The People's House is different from The Lofty Senate...

Yes, Garland should have been doing his own investigation in tandem with the Congressional hearings, but he was trying to avoid the accusations of political bias and indictment as trial interference that Trump is now spouting every minute of every day about every trial whether it's Federal or not.

The true base of the fault here lays with the inability of Congress to truly execute either Trump impeachment. And with Bill Barr for his kneecapping of the Mueller Report, which I've actually read, and is much more criminally implicating than most in our country believe.

You can blame Garland, but others failed years and years before it came down to him making a move, and so let's blame those earlier failed actors before we point a finger at Garland for being afraid of being accused of having political motivations for his investigations.
posted by hippybear at 12:34 PM on February 6 [18 favorites]


The decision was by a three judge panel, so if memory serves me correctly, Trump could first appeal it to the full court,

True, but part of this decision (or maybe it was technically a second decision, reporting is unclear on that) is that if he decides to appeal to the full circuit court then the case is no longer "stayed", all parties can continue to work on preparing for trial as of Feb 12. It's only if he chooses to bypass the full circuit court appeal and go directly to the Supreme Court that the case remains paused until the SC comes to a decision.

The DC circuit court was clearly doing what they could to get this fucking show on the road and limit Trump's ability to stall indefinitely.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:37 PM on February 6 [11 favorites]


before we point a finger at Garland for being afraid of being accused of having political motivations for his investigations.

Can we point a finger at him for being a rational human being who knew that he would be accused of having political motivations regardless?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:39 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


Sure, but not a finger of blame. A finger of empathy, perhaps.
posted by hippybear at 12:41 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


You can blame Garland, but others failed years and years before it came down to him making a move, and so let's blame those earlier failed actors before we point a finger at Garland for being afraid of being accused of having political motivations for his investigations.

Speaking of pre-existing bad actors - Trump was not even the first former president to claim that "When the president does it [in office], it's not illegal."

That should have ended Nixon's reputation. It did not. Some friends had a public access TV show at the time of Nixon's death, and went out for some man-on-the-street interviews to the news - and some people were praising Nixon to the skies, even 20 years after this interview.

Some people may actually want a King instead of a president. ...I don't often quote The Bible, but I think there's an accurate scripture for this....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:42 PM on February 6 [11 favorites]


Citizen Trump sound very...french revolution
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 12:56 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Trump is essentially white male privilege's ultimate avatar, and as such a lot of people would rather burn down the country than see him suffer any significant consequences for his actions.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:06 PM on February 6 [21 favorites]


The true base of the fault here lays with the inability of Congress to truly execute either Trump impeachment.

The House impeached IMPOTUS for incitement of insurrection and a majority of the Senate convicted him (57-43). I'd say the failure was more on the Republicans in the Senate who didn't vote to convict.

During the impeachment trial Trump’s lawyer, David Schoen, said, “We have a judicial process in this country; we have an investigative process in this country to which no former officeholder is immune.” And yes, that is the opposite of what Trump is claiming now. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former Presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.”
posted by kirkaracha at 1:16 PM on February 6 [13 favorites]


So, reading the actual decision, it seems like one reason this unanimous decision took so long, which was really lightning speed, is that they did most of SCOTUS' work for them. This is so heavy with citations that they seem to be attempting to give SCOTUS the out by saying that this decision is sufficient.

Of course citations and stare decisis are a fool's security blanket with this court so...
posted by hippybear at 1:20 PM on February 6 [15 favorites]


We've spent the better part of a decade seeing the Angry Orange Man in the headlines Every. Single. Day. Is there nothing that can be done to make him go away?
posted by tommasz at 1:20 PM on February 6 [29 favorites]


there's no way to limit it to just Trump

They could do the “our consideration is limited to the present circumstances” bullshit they did in Bush v. Gore.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:20 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Is there nothing that can be done to make him go away?

Can no one rid you of this meddlesome priest?
posted by hippybear at 1:22 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


I mean, I'm not volunteering, but maybe...
posted by hippybear at 1:22 PM on February 6


We've spent the better part of a decade seeing the Angry Orange Man in the headlines Every. Single. Day.

New Yorkers have been seeing him in newspapers since the 1980s.

....Hey, maybe that explains the stereotype about New Yorkers having a bad attitude!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:30 PM on February 6 [11 favorites]


Nope. I'd say that one day he'll die, like all humans, but he's immortal.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:47 PM on February 6


And former Presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.

Oh boy won't Mitch have egg on HIS face.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 1:52 PM on February 6


Mod note: Comment removed. Folks, we have a Content Policy. Please discuss specific violences on some other website. Thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:18 PM on February 6 [9 favorites]


That's a real solid ruling. People should read it.
posted by mazola at 2:42 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


It's not very satisfying when he doesn't - well. Gravity is real and lemmings go splat. He's walking around pretending he didn't go splat. 83 million and he's at the bottom of the cliff, musing about his likeness to Elvis and other inanities. No that's not right. He's all splatted at the bottom of the cliff complaining that gravity is corrupt and rigged against him.

He's carrying on like normal and it's not satisfying at all. I guess my satisfying lemmings-go-splat scenario is Trump in chains being roughly thrown into a cell. You can't pretend that's not happening.

I also want gravity to be real again.
posted by adept256 at 2:53 PM on February 6 [8 favorites]


The bench slap he received on Tuesday, however, makes that craven move harder to pull off with a straight face.

A less obviously partisan SCOTUS gave us Bush v Gore and so many the resulting troubles of this century so far, but Roberts has to know that the Court's reputation won't survive like it did then.
posted by Gelatin at 3:00 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


we had a real actual person argue (a lawyer!) that assassinating your rivals is a legal gray area.

Donald Trump isn’t literally all-caps screaming on social media right now that Biden should be able to assassinate him with impunity, but that would be a logical consequence.

Brings a certain Rick and Morty scene to mind.
posted by Ryvar at 3:00 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I also want gravity to be real again.

Are you experiencing a significant gravity shortfall?
posted by GCU Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall at 3:04 PM on February 6 [24 favorites]


I had an extra drink tonight to celebrate this ruling.

And maybe I had that same extra drink tonight, because the Supremes is next and I don’t expect this to end well…

Ugh.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:10 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


the idea of total immunity for any President may well be a step too far even for this court, especially since... there's no way to limit it to just Trump

Of course there's a way for them to limit it to just Trump. They can say that presidential immunity is real, and then if Biden tries to claim presidential immunity for something they can just say "well not for THAT." And then if the next Republican tries to claim it for that same thing they can say "well in THIS case you can use it for that." And on and on.

I'm not saying they'll go out on that limb here, I think you're right that there are other avenues for them to protect Trump that are less flagrant. But they're not afraid of appearing ideologically inconsistent anymore.
posted by Riki tiki at 3:16 PM on February 6 [16 favorites]


I really truly hope that published decision is enough to ward SCOTUS away from hearing this. Maybe they can issue some kind of brief that is "yeah, they did all the research, look in there" kind of denial or even preemptory concurrence?

I guess it all depends on how hungry SCOTUS members are to try to invent some kind of path toward whatever ruling they want to reach, which is their won't these days.

The problem is, if SCOTUS declares POTUS all powerful, then what power is left of SCOTUS? If this is Trump, the answer is none.

And unless they put off their decision until after the election, if they want to rule that anyone who has ever served as President is immune from all things at all time... then they are opening themselves up to Dark Brandon taking action against them here in 2024.

Even if they make a narrow ruling that it only applies to Trump, why would Biden NOT take action and then challenge them? And the first action Biden should take would be to remove 6 people from the US Supreme Court under the declaration that they are plotting against the Republic. Make it a 14th Amendment issue. That the court can easily decide with its three member majority for everything.
posted by hippybear at 3:35 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


The problem is, if SCOTUS declares POTUS all powerful, then what power is left of SCOTUS? If this is Trump, the answer is none.

This is the piece that I think would sort of sway may thinking if we were gambling. Like we know that something SCOTUS is really interested in is the primacy of the judiciary -- we know that they are going out of their way this year to overturn Chevron deference and position the Federal judiciary kind of at the heart of the legislative process. Why would they make a decision about the Executive that says, "Meh, the other branches can't check the Executive?"

I hold plenty of contempt for the political motivations of the SCOTUS majority, but I think the political motivations are more multifaceted than pure Trumpism is.
posted by kensington314 at 3:43 PM on February 6 [8 favorites]


Chris Geidner, D.C. Circuit panel unanimously rejects Trump's criminal immunity claim (Lawdork)

"First of all, there are three options for how Trump can respond to the ruling: He can accept the ruling, he can seek en banc review from the full D.C. Circuit of the panel’s opinion, or he can ask the Supreme Court to hear the case.

If Trump does not accept the ruling — which of course he won’t — then the panel has, essentially, forced Trump’s hand toward going immediately to the Supreme Court. That is so because the court is only going to withhold the issuance of the mandate until Monday — unless Trump goes to the Supreme Court and asks them to issue their own order preventing the D.C. Circuit from issuing the mandate while it considers whether to hear Trump’s appeal of the D.C. Circuit opinion. If Trump were to seek en banc review, on the other hand, the judgment will not stop the issuance of the mandate on Monday."
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:45 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


There's really only two possibilities here. The Supreme Court drags things out long enough that the court case can't be resolved until after the election. Or they don't.

Everything else is basically political fan fiction. Including a scenario where they declare that gosh golly a president DOES have the right to assassinate his political opponents, if that president's name is Trump. Even with this court of 66% maniacs.

If I am wrong, I will say, boy howdy, I sure was wrong. But I really don't expect that.

Of course, if they do end up dragging it out, that would be plenty bad enough.
posted by kyrademon at 3:48 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


Not So Immune: The D.C. Circuit’s Forceful Rejection of Trump’s Claim of Absolute Presidential Immunity (Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, Anna Bower, Natalie K. Orpett, Benjamin Wittes, for Lawfare)

"[L]ook for two relatively quick signals regarding whether this case is now on the fast track or on the slow train. The first is whether the justices grant a further stay and, thus, when precisely the mandate ends up back in Judge Chutkan’s hands. The second is whether they grant the cert petition itself. The difference won’t affect the substantive outcome; no court is going to find Trump immune from these charges. It will affect, however, how quickly the case can go to trial—and whether there’s any hope of resolution before election day."
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:49 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


Is it too late for a…

SURELY THIS

?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:31 PM on February 6 [13 favorites]


Why do people think the current SCOTUS cares about reputation, consistency, or legitimacy?

Hope?
posted by NotAYakk at 4:53 PM on February 6 [7 favorites]


He's walking around pretending he didn't go splat. 83 million and he's at the bottom of the cliff, musing about his likeness to Elvis and other inanities.

Trump financials are murky but it's clear that he believes he has about $4 billion in assets.

So in his mind he got hit for 2% of his net worth. That's not a cliff. It's not even a slap in the face. It's probably less than the fluctuation of his actual financial worth on any given day.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:56 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


I think more people believe that SCOTUS believes in consolidating power toward itself? Which giving Trump ultimate power is ceding that entirely?

SCOTUS right now is in the mood to dismantle the regulatory system currently in place in the US, drawing power toward the Court for any matter that Congress isn't willing to decide. If they decide that POTUS has all the power, they're just saying they don't have any power at all because POTUS can just say "this is how it is" for any matter. And I don't see SCOTUS being able to wield control over POTUS to get the courts' will done.
posted by hippybear at 5:00 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Why do people think the current SCOTUS cares about reputation, consistency, or legitimacy?

I mean I guess they could say, "In this one case for this one man our decision is that he has complete and total Presidential immunity."

Or they could say, "Oh heck, we want this guy to be the last President."

But short of those two things, rather than reputation or consistency or legitimacy I just sorta think they seem not that interested in giving total power to the Executive, but rather some of the opposite.

But also what do I know? I'm a non-expert on a comment board website.
posted by kensington314 at 5:01 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


I'm cautiously optimistic. I believe that senior establishment Republicans, including members of the Federalist Society, recognize that Trump's a disaster for the GOP, understand that his policy ideas are unpopular with the majority, and doubt his ability to prevail in November. Playing the long game means they want to move beyond Trump's dominance of their party, stop dealing with the chaos he sows, and end being held hostage by the MAGA rubes they privately loathe. SCOTUS taking action to thwart TFG is a nice way for them to have the Trump problem solved while retaining plausible deniability and focusing the rage and danger of MAGA terrorists elsewhere. Meanwhile, Roberts will correctly see the Trump matters as defining moments that will determine how his tenure goes down in history; I can't imagine he really wants to be known as the guy who enabled Trump to continue trampling the Constitution. In short, I hope that the invisible forces representing old-school GOP-controlled wealth and power are aligning and will quietly pressure SCOTUS to do the country a solid and get America out of this jam.
posted by carmicha at 5:16 PM on February 6 [9 favorites]


Why do people think the current SCOTUS cares about reputation, consistency, or legitimacy?

Because most of them are judicial wonks who care a lot more about their legacy than they do about ideology.

They are playing an entirely different game than others in Washington. Presidents come and go, but the rulings of SCOTUS last for centuries. What is it to them if Trump gets a paltry four more years?

What's in this for SCOTUS is a chance to make some case law that will be quoted by law students in 2223, and not in a Dred Scott sort of way. The court's immediate reputation isn't all that important, but the consistency and legitimacy of their rulings is their legacy.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:22 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I think SCOTUS's best (and easiest) path is to simply refuse to hear the case, leaving the appellate court's ruling in place. SCOTUS has not been friendly to Trump of late, I see no reason for them to be on his side now.
posted by lhauser at 5:37 PM on February 6 [11 favorites]


In short, I hope that the invisible forces representing old-school GOP-controlled wealth and power are aligning and will quietly pressure SCOTUS to do the country a solid and get America out of this jam.

I hate to be a downer, but...

I would bet that most US plutocrats like the changes that Trump has brought, and will bring. The crazy person won't be there forever, but the power he has put into their hands will remain.
posted by Artful Codger at 5:55 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


members of the Federalist Society, recognize that Trump's a disaster for the GOP

Trump has been a big win for the Federalist Society itself. He's basically appointed every judge they've ever wanted.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:21 PM on February 6 [7 favorites]


What's in this for SCOTUS is a chance to make some case law that will be quoted by law students in 2223, and not in a Dred Scott sort of way. The court's immediate reputation isn't all that important, but the consistency and legitimacy of their rulings is their legacy.

Well, that and luxury RVs.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:35 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


I would bet that most US plutocrats like the changes that Trump has brought, and will bring.

So they might THINK they will like changes to the US system that Trump's second term might bring. But have they really internalized how different Trump in 2024 is from Trump in 2016? I'm not entirely sure they are able to envision what the US would be like under an authoritarian power. They might think they can control Trump? But if there is one thing that Trump has shown again and again is that he will not be controlled.

The crazy person won't be there forever, but the power he has put into their hands will remain.

Is there a reason to believe that once Trump is in power, he won't be there forever? He's already shown that he's willing to enact a years-long campaign against the truth of his losing the 2020 election, a stance he maintains to this day in public forums even when not asked. Why would these "US plutocrats" have any reason to believe that once Trump is in power he will yield it? Or are you talking about the fact that he will die someday? Which is the anti-democratic, but probably the true answer about how he finally gives up power.
posted by hippybear at 6:41 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


there's no way to limit it to just Trump
Could always just pull a Bush v. Gore and say "This wonderful decision is so very wonderful that it does *NOT*, repeat *NOT*, set precedent in any way for any future case"
posted by Flunkie at 6:44 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


Also, not to abuse the edit window, there is no reason to believe that the business plutocrats will win once Trump is installed as US leader, unless they're going to battle the Religions Nationalists who are backing Trump as their way to install a theocracy.

That might be an interesting thing to watch happen.

Although I'd rather Trump be not elected and not watch any of that.
posted by hippybear at 6:44 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


One other tea leaf to consider: the three liberal judges agreed to let the case go through the normal process, and didn’t dissent. Assuming they share our views that the immunity argument is a ridiculous waste of time and that there’s. Public interest to having this trial wrap up before the election, maybe they felt some assurance that the process would move fast enough to not end in chaos or self pardons.

Maybe that’s too optimistic a read and I’m grasping at straws, I dunno.
posted by condour75 at 7:14 PM on February 6


Is there a reason to believe that once Trump is in power, he won't be there forever? ..Why would these "US plutocrats" have any reason to believe that once Trump is in power he will yield it?

So you think that if a series of unlikely events happen and he ends up finishing his 8 year term in 2033 at age 88 or whatever, that he's going to refuse to leave office and then the military, at least half the govt, and most of the nation are going to just back down and let him? Or what.. he's going to change the constitution? I don't think so.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:28 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Or what.. he's going to change the constitution? I don't think so.

Between Project 2025 and Trumps repeated statements across the past year and a half that he will suspend the Constitution, use the Justice department to prosecute his enemies, declaring himself an authoritarian dictator, and otherwise dismantle the US Republic as we know it...

What reason do you have to not take him at his word? I'm curious? Nobody took him seriously in 2015 when he came down that escalator, but he was everything he said he was going to be. Why any doubts now, when he's processed out all the people who might stand against his impulses and is ready to move into office with an entire cabinet full of yes men?

I'm fucking terrified. I wish I knew why you aren't.
posted by hippybear at 7:39 PM on February 6 [30 favorites]


Trump has been a big win for the Federalist Society itself. He's basically appointed every judge they've ever wanted.

Wasn't it a couple of Federalist Society guys that first made the argument for 14th amendment disqualification?
posted by rifflesby at 7:53 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


I'm fucking terrified. I wish I knew why you aren't.

Mainly because Trump has continued to make zero friends in the military command structure and has even managed to alienate the police as well.

Trump may have loyalty among the proles, but people with power are well aware that loyalty means nothing to him. There is a lot of opportunism going on, but no one is putting in hard hours for Trump believing they'll be rewarded in the long term. And can you image just one congressperson or senator that would be willing to risk their life for Trump?

So he lacks any sort of armed force and/or the loyalty of the people who could really deliver a dictatorship to him. He's a smart guy and he certainly understands the American people a lot better than anyone here does, but he's not magic.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:39 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Dictatorships don’t revert to healthy democracies just because the dictator gets old or dies. What happens is a power struggle for who will be the next dictator.
posted by ryanrs at 8:54 PM on February 6 [15 favorites]


Yeah, with Project 2025 etc the real question will be how much of the constitutional order would even be left by 2028. Maybe Trump wouldn't be able to literally cling to power but it's not clear that we'd be capable at that point of having a free or fair election to replace him, either.

When Trump Jr wins by acclamation in the House, the military will probably go along with it. The constitutional trappings will be there, just hollow to the point of meaninglessness.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:57 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


And can you image just one congressperson or senator that would be willing to risk their life for Trump?

JD Vance springs immediately to mind, but honestly that is not the real question.

The real question is what amount of violence are Trump supporters wiling to inflict on faggots like me if he wins? Or even if he loses, in a display of power?

How many of Trump's parasocial followers are willing to risk their lives for Trump?

I apologize, not really, for my use of language, but I live in a part of the country that is nominally okay for me to live in but if people on the wrong side decide they are empowered to enact a Kristallnacht? Our dwelling is pretty prominent, after 20 years of us living here and being out and about in a town that doesn't have backyard fences so everyone is in everyone's business.

The big issue of this American Fascist movement has been against the queers. They've been targeting the trans community as the supposedly "most visible" sector of this, but this is not going to stop with them if they succeed in making them a scapegoat community. They will expand their targets across the entire alphabet salad. If Trump is elected into power there's probably a solid 20% of the US population that identifies on some level as queer (although that percentage is likely to go down now as society becomes more hostile) who will feel their ability to live is at risk, and a solid 30-ish percent that are solid Trumpers who will be willing to carry out his orders.

I'm sorry if I sound paranoid. I don't think I am paranoid. I wish I didn't feel this way.
posted by hippybear at 9:07 PM on February 6 [35 favorites]


I know where you live hippybear... Don't be paranoid. I wish you didn't either.

As the San Francisco thread commented, "situational awareness" But yours is not on the street at night, but in... everyone around you. And I've been over there where you are. It's not great, which is fucking insane, as you live in one of the bluest of blue states.

If you ever need to flee, come to Seattle, I'll put you and your people up for a while. But, that won't be how it will go, will it? Some random interaction between some magawad who hates those fucking faggots, (also apologize), and just goes off on you.

Yeah, if TFG wins, I fear for the LGBTQ+ community. My eldest child is still in Ohio, as an out, bi, polygamous socialist tankie. Worry for her. Hope she can get her degree and get the hell out of there. Soon.
posted by Windopaene at 9:24 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


The real question is what amount of violence are Trump supporters wiling to inflict on faggots like me if he wins? Or even if he loses, in a display of power?

How many of Trump's parasocial followers are willing to risk their lives for Trump?


Ah, that's a very different worry than the government shenanigans I thought you were talking about. Unfortunately I can't offer much optimism there.

The one thing I will say is that while Trump's followers have been encouraged to make martyrs of the Jan 6 arrestees, they do not seem to be in a hurry to become martyrs themselves. If Trump wins then it's pardons for everyone (even if it's not) and the sky's the limit. If he loses or is disqualified then their sense of righteous invulnerability will take a hit.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:32 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Polyamorous... I need to learn to speel
posted by Windopaene at 9:33 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Um, what is a tankie?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:49 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


A Stalinist. Big fans of the tanks rolling in and such.
posted by stet at 9:53 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Capitalism is so bad that anything else is better. I don't associate it with Stalin, I may be uninformed, but, forgiving communism for all their abuses, because it should work. It's the way it should be. Supporting hard communist opinions regardless of the terrible shit those regimes have done, etc.
posted by Windopaene at 10:48 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Trump financials are murky but it's clear that he believes he has about $4 billion in assets.

So in his mind he got hit for 2% of his net worth. That's not a cliff. It's not even a slap in the face. It's probably less than the fluctuation of his actual financial worth on any given day.


I hear that the Judge in the Trump Civil Fraud trial in NY is taking longer than expected to announce the penalties, because Trump's convicted CFO is trying to cut a deal on the charges of perjury that occurred in his courtroom, and that's changing the formula. Now assuming he does have $4 billion in assets, a $500 Million penalty + Judicial Dissolution of the Trump Org + Lifetime bans on the real-estate business in NY is actually going to HURT.

And everyone knows that Trump doesn't have $4 Billion in assets.
posted by mikelieman at 12:50 AM on February 7 [13 favorites]


I'm sorry if I sound paranoid. I don't think I am paranoid. I wish I didn't feel this way.

You're not paranoid. I wish I didn't feel this way either.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:14 AM on February 7 [8 favorites]


Um, what is a tankie?

"Tankie" was a disparaging term western socialists used for other western socialists who continued to support Stalin, even after he sent tanks in to crush the Prague spring.

In the past few years it has come to be used online for anyone on the left you don't like.

You're not paranoid. I wish I didn't feel this way either.


Even if Trump loses, the fascist movement the Republicans have built around him will be with us for a long, long time. And it scares the hell out of me. My county went for Trump four to one in 2020. I don't think this is going to be a safe place for a long time.
posted by The Manwich Horror at 4:01 AM on February 7 [9 favorites]


And can you image just one congressperson or senator that would be willing to risk their life for Trump?

This actually introduces a cheering sign of how the House is working these days:

Yesterday, the House held a vote on whether it would go ahead with impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The vote was tight - three GOP members voted against it, along with the Democrats present - and they were about to close the proceedings, with "yes" being just one vote up. Then Texas Representative Al Green - who had just been having abdominal surgery that day - arrived in the House, still in his hospital gown and in a wheelchair, to cast his "no" vote. With the outcome a tie, the impeachment bid died.

Marjorie Taylor Greene had a little hissy fit the way she always does. But "having hissy fits" seems to be all that Trump can inspire his followers to do on his behalf, while "walk out of your hospital room" is what people are inspired to do against him, in Congress at least.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:11 AM on February 7 [34 favorites]


Mainly because Trump has continued to make zero friends in the military command structure and has even managed to alienate the police as well.

Then what about stories like this, revealing some military members' alignments?
posted by JoeXIII007 at 5:15 AM on February 7


probably walked out of the recovery room since hospitals (at least in my experience) are loathe to keep anyone overnight let alone long enough to get a room unless they had a kidney transplant or a triple bypass or something on that level.
posted by some loser at 5:16 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Members of Congress have quality health care paid for by the taxpayers -- the same thing Republicans decry as "socialized medicine" when they deny it to their fellow citizens.
posted by Gelatin at 5:32 AM on February 7 [14 favorites]


So you think that if a series of unlikely events happen and he ends up finishing his 8 year term in 2033 at age 88 or whatever, that he's going to refuse to leave office and then the military, at least half the govt, and most of the nation are going to just back down and let him? Or what.. he's going to change the constitution? I don't think so.

This is a bit orthogonal to the main discussion but I do really find it fascinating that the entire GOP has reoriented around a cult of personality of somebody who is really not that young. Like, given what we know and can (conservatively) guess about his health, he really could die pretty soon; even generously, he'll probably be dead within a few years. As we've seen over the last few years, Trumpism really does seem to be strongly tied to the man in key ways - not that the rest of the GOP isn't learning important lessons from him about how much they can get away with, and how much the base loves violence and hate. But he has no true disciples or heirs; all his allies and lieutenants get thrown away or humiliated into nothingness. Certainly when he's gone we won't abruptly see a broad return to Rockefeller Republicanism. It's going to be ugly and awful. But there will be a civil war within the Republican party, because he's never had an ideology - it's pure id, pure Trump, the Only One who can Save Us.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:02 AM on February 7 [12 favorites]


Mainly because Trump has continued to make zero friends in the military command structure and has even managed to alienate the police as well.

He has zero military support because of decades of military professionalism. He definitely has the support of the fascist arms of the police that have been allowed to fester and run rampant through hero worship and a general culture of impunity.

I always maintained Trump's biggest mistake on 1/6 was not contacting all of the police union leaders he had at his fingertips. If he had all the blue city police union leaders that he has in his rolodex doing the suppressing instead of trying to get the SecDef to force the military into his plan his chances of pulling it off would have greatly increased.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:09 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


In the past few years it [“tankies”] has come to be used online for anyone on the left you don't like.

This is pretty far into assumed bad faith territory. In my own little quiet gaming circle I watched both women co-founders of the Communism Interstellar sci fi mega-guild get run out on a rail by (overwhelmingly male) hardcore Stalin fetishists over claims of insufficient ideological purity. They demanded nothing less than total full-throated support for Stalin’s purges that saw hundreds of thousands of academics and intellectuals murdered, and wanted anyone who openly disagreed banned. When I think “tankies,” I think of them and I’m pretty goddamn sure it’s deserved.

“Yes but where do you draw the li-”
A few years back I got kicked out of the Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism Facebook group for having the temerity to publicly disagree with the admin’s position that it was a good thing, historically for the advancement of global workers’ rights, that the Black Panthers sent representatives to the nominatively communist North Korea government to forge political ties while the latter was already three years into publicly spinning up massive concentration camps. I still think that’s a shit take that is absolutely wrong and concentration camps are never okay under any circumstances, but I don’t think of the admins as tankies. Naive idiots, maybe, but not tankies.

Point is: the Very Online Left has a legit problem with predominately-young-male Soviet fetishists who fully and sincerely support historical mass murder for ideological purity, and while you might be seeing “tankies” abused in your circles, I only ever see it being deployed with accuracy in mine. It’s about as YMMV as it gets, and there may be a Euro-Left / North American-Left disconnect here (my gaming friends are mostly European because I leave Discord servers with open Trump supporters). Apologies for the tangent, but I didn’t want blanket dismissal of a term I find useful to pass without comment.

Back on topic: a European friend of mine (formerly of Communism Interstellar) has been worried sick lately that Trump is going to win in 2024. Her physical safety is potentially at risk if he does (Russia) and I’ve been trying to reassure her that while it’s still entirely possible and we need to fight the GOP like it will happen if we don’t, the reality is that Trump sitting in the Oval Office next year is the overall less probable outcome. I truly believe that, but this decision makes me feel a bit better about that reassurance.
posted by Ryvar at 6:53 AM on February 7 [18 favorites]


[Al Green] probably walked out of the recovery room since hospitals (at least in my experience) are loathe to keep anyone overnight let alone long enough to get a room unless they had a kidney transplant or a triple bypass or something on that level.

Even so, most people would take the time to get dressed and put on shoes. He didn't even do that - it looks like he came to and immediately was all "great, now get me to the Capital IMMEDIATELY".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:58 AM on February 7 [7 favorites]


>Mainly because Trump has continued to make zero friends in the military command structure and has even managed to alienate the police as well.

Then what about stories like this, revealing some military members' alignments?


There is a big difference between the rank and file and the military command structure. You’re going to need generals for a coup.

He has zero military support because of decades of military professionalism.

I think that’s true but I think there’s more as well. I could see a group of disgruntled military brass wanting to use him as a puppet for a junta but he’s too unreliable for that. Under the right conditions, I could even see the US military pushing one of their own into dictatorial power. But the culture and trust gap between high brass and Trump is pretty big.

He definitely has the support of the fascist arms of the police that have been allowed to fester and run rampant through hero worship and a general culture of impunity.

Yeah. His downplaying of the deaths of the Capitol police doesn’t seemed to have dampened that a bit.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:05 AM on February 7 [7 favorites]


Now assuming he does have $4 billion in assets, a $500 Million penalty + Judicial Dissolution of the Trump Org + Lifetime bans on the real-estate business in NY is actually going to HURT.

It’s a nice dream, but looking at his long history of legal maneuvering I suspect that he’ll find a way to dodge it.

The guy has been exploiting the legal system for 50+ years, and while his success record is nowhere near what he would have you believe he has gotten away with quite a bit.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:18 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Ryvar, nobody's saying that there's no such thing as actual tankies, it's just that a bunch of liberals saw communists and anarchists using the term and started using it as a derogatory term for anybody just a little too left for their liking.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:47 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Again: I believe you are seeing this in your online circles and I believe I have never seen it in mine. Both of these can be true.
posted by Ryvar at 7:53 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Ah. When you used the term "bad faith" above it felt like you were suggesting people were out of line.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:57 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah I probably should have worded that one with more clarity: what I object to is the sweeping assertion that it is an always centrist, always inaccurate pejorative. There is a legit problem with a fairly small scope and I find the term useful for that. Where I talk politics outside Metafilter, it gets used for that. I’ve seen references to its abuse/overuse on /r/politics so I also believe people when they say that’s a thing.
posted by Ryvar at 8:02 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


i really hope mr. trump doesn’t die anytime soon, because the various attempted successors would all be heavily incentivized to treat his death as enemy action rather than, like, an old guy in bad shape just up and dying in the way that old guys in bad shape are wont to do.

i am not a fan of this year being the year where the gang of prominent maga-sniffers all try to manufacture and then wave the bloody shirt. not a fan at all.
posted by bombastic lowercase pronouncements at 8:19 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


a disparaging term western socialists used for other western socialists who continued to support Stalin, even after he sent tanks in to crush the Prague spring

By 1968 Stalin was long gone; the term actually came out of Hungary 1956.
posted by Rash at 8:49 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


There is a big difference between the rank and file and the military command structure. You’re going to need generals for a coup.

I believe the 2025 plan has that covered by replacing everyone in the command chain with trump loyalists.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:12 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


You’re going to need generals for a coup.

Generals like this traitor, for instance. And this one.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:27 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


> i really hope mr. trump doesn’t die anytime soon, because the various attempted successors would all be heavily incentivized to treat his death as enemy action rather than, like, an old guy in bad shape just up and dying in the way that old guys in bad shape are wont to do.

The usual suspects briefly tried that in the wake of the death of Antonin Scalia, because there's just no way that hale and hearty man just "passed away in his sleep" at the age of 79.

/s
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:28 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


The guy has been exploiting the legal system for 50+ years, and while his success record is nowhere near what he would have you believe he has gotten away with quite a bit.

In fairness, for over 40 of those years, he was just a shitty vulgar New York real-estate magnate getting away with the crappy little two-bit cons endemic to his social class. It's a lot easier to get away with low-level bullshit when nobody cares what you do. A lot more people are paying attention now.
posted by jackbishop at 9:36 AM on February 7 [10 favorites]


recent history tells us that once the lie gets too big then it all falls apart

oh wait, is that not what history tells us?
posted by elkevelvet at 9:39 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


> In fairness, for over 40 of those years, he was just a shitty vulgar New York real-estate magnate getting away with the crappy little two-bit cons endemic to his social class.

You could rob liquor stores with a fake gun in your coat pocket every hour of every day for the rest of your life and not steal anywhere near as much money as Trump probably did over the course of whatever his first con was, but also you couldn't because before long you'd either get caught and go to jail or get killed, neither of which are consequences Trump ever had to worry about.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:53 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


And this one.

Let's see how that worked out for him.
In September 2023, former-President Donald Trump suggested Milley should be executed.[157] In a post on Truth Social, Trump stated Milley's authorized call to reassure Chinese authorities of the nation's stability following the January 6 United States Capitol attack was "an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH."[158] In response to the threat, Milley stated, "I'll take appropriate measures to ensure my safety and the safety of my family."[159][160]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:02 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


I guess my satisfying lemmings-go-splat scenario is Trump in chains being roughly thrown into a cell.

Gravity Go Splat.

I'm on board with gravity. But, please--Lemmings don't go splat en mass. The Lemmings over the Cliff story was an invention of a "wildlife photographer" who made it up in the 1950s and sold it to Disney. Lemmings don't do that. The bastard tossed a few of them to create the image. Now, a dozen generations of allusions have grown up around a complete and utter falsehood.

Go Lemmings!

Now, about the Trumpster. If he is convicted of conspiring, aiding, and abetting sedition, I hope he gets jail time in one of the dog kennels in Gitmo. Preferably one that's barely below the high tide line. I hereby volunteer to visit him every month to feed him dead rodents with a slingshot. I am just trying to figure out where to apply for the job, or if I have to stand in a long line for the interview.
posted by mule98J at 11:06 AM on February 7 [7 favorites]


Website JustSecurity analyzes possible trial timelines. Includes a really nice graphic at the end.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:41 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


> Of course, it is within the Supreme Court’s power not to enforce an expedited appellate schedule. If so, they could conceivably wait until the end of this year’s term in late June to issue its decision. Under that approach, the trial would not begin until approximately Oct. 1 and would not conclude until around Jan 1, 2025. That delayed schedule would create enormous uncertainty surrounding the election, which would take place in the middle of Trump’s trial. Accordingly, we think it is both unwise and unlikely for the Supreme Court to do so.

I would be willing to wager one mint condition Canadian loonie that this Supreme Court digs deep and somehow finds a way to postpone the conclusion of this trial until after the election.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:53 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


The "zero friends in the military" and "lost the support of the police" things seem... flawed.
posted by Flunkie at 1:13 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


The one bit of credit i will give the military in the US is that they respect the command structure, and they would be well aware that Trump would style himself as Commander in Chief to the full extent of the title if he were given any hint that the military is an option. At this point there would be laughter to ring through the walls of the pentagon from the joint chiefs on down.
Sure there might be a cohort of Trumpists in pockets throughout the ranks, but they would never get close to the command and control necessary to gain momentum over the rest of the system.
I don't lose sleep over a military coup in the US in my lifetime.

Cops are tough guys when they outnumber a POC on the street, but have been revealed at Uvalde to be gutless when facing weaponry and a situation that overshoots their training. Even in their masses they wouldn't last an hour against the national guard.

As crazy crazee as the 1/6 riot/insurrection was, it actually got nowhere close to pulling anything off. There was no answer to "what's next" even if they had taken over the entire building and taken Nancy Pelosi hostage.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:43 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


i really hope mr. trump doesn’t die anytime soon, because the various attempted successors would all be heavily incentivized to treat his death as enemy action rather than, like, an old guy in bad shape just up and dying in the way that old guys in bad shape are wont to do.

I think I would be willing to take my chances.
posted by The Manwich Horror at 3:03 PM on February 7 [9 favorites]


As crazy crazee as the 1/6 riot/insurrection was, it actually got nowhere close to pulling anything off. There was no answer to "what's next" even if they had taken over the entire building and taken Nancy Pelosi hostage.

I think declaring a National Emergency was next up and it was uncomfortably close to that crapshoot IMO.
posted by mazola at 3:07 PM on February 7 [11 favorites]


I love his circular logic of “It’s not illegal to assassinate my political opponents unless I’m impeached and convicted. Therefore I can just assassinate anyone who is considering impeaching and convicting me before they do so, and that’s a ok under the law.”
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:18 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


I don't lose sleep over a military coup in the US in my lifetime.

It won't look like a coup. It would look more like failing democracies like Hungary. You don't need a coup if you make it impossible to have free and fair elections by other means.

There was no answer to "what's next" even if they had taken over the entire building and taken Nancy Pelosi hostage.

If the electoral votes aren't counted by January 20th, the office is vacant and at least by law probably is filled by he Speaker of the House. The Speaker of the House doesn't have to be a member of the House. Gaveling in the House and putting Trump into the Speakership would, technically, be sufficient to make him acting President. Far-fetched but not totally impossible.
posted by BungaDunga at 10:25 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


Elseweb, I saw somebody remark that Trump's efforts to gain immunity could hurt his ability to appeal his current civil cases.

E. Jean Carroll has been awarded over $80 million, and the Trump Organization fraud case is expected to have penalties of $300 million up.
Both cases are in New York State, which requires defendants to put 110% of the judgement into escrow in order to appeal.

What bank is going to loan Trump that amount of money while he's pursuing a blanket immunity from prosecution, when that could limit their ability to collect from him?
posted by cheshyre at 2:03 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


Outside of some benighted counties, criminal charges aren't a very common way of collecting on a debt.
posted by Not A Thing at 4:23 PM on February 8


I would be willing to wager one mint condition Canadian loonie that this Supreme Court digs deep and somehow finds a way to postpone the conclusion of this trial until after the election.

But if they do so, they will be signaling that they know darn well he's likely to be convicted and so are giving him political cover. They might do it anyway, but unlike Bus v Gore, every Democrat from Biden on down would need to shout that it's an obviously partisan political decision until the so-called "liberal media" is forced to discuss it.
posted by Gelatin at 4:54 AM on February 12


What bank is going to loan Trump that amount of money while he's pursuing a blanket immunity from prosecution

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation, or its front banks like Deutsche Bank.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:08 PM on February 14




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