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Trump's attempt to shift the burden of proof to Biden further proves his legal battle is falling apart

November 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

President Donald Trump is now turning his attention toward a different post-election argument in an effort to justify his antics challenging the results of the election and he is being met with opposition from legal experts.

On Friday, Trump posted a tweet suggesting Biden needed to “prove” 80 million Americans legally voted for him before entering the White House although there is no law to enforce such an obligation, reports Law and Crime.

“Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous ’80,000,000 votes’ were not fraudulently or illegally obtained,” Trump said on Twitter. “When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!”

Almost immediately after Trump shared his post, legal experts and observers quickly fired back to correct the president about where the “burden of proof” lies. Trump’s attempt to shift the responsibility of providing evidence of election fraud was not missed by legal experts. In fact, many argued that it further proves Trump’s campaign legal team does not have substantial evidence to support their claims of widespread voter fraud.

Legal expert Joel Dolphin also reiterated that the “burden of proof” typically lies with the person accusing someone of committing a crime. Unfortunately for Trump, it is not the other way around. Alaska government investigator Joel Dolphin also chimed in saying, “Nah, the burden of proof lies with the accuser. President-elect Biden will enter the White House as President on January 20, 2021.”

Trump’s tweet came as his legal team continues to struggle to provide evidence of voter fraud to support his argument to overturn the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Critics say Trump can't be trusted with America's national secrets after leaving office — here's why

November 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

Can a scorned President Donald Trump be trusted with the United States’ national secrets after leaving office next year? It’s a question floating around as the embattled president wages war on not only the Democratic Party but also certain aspects of his own party.

Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer David Priess and other former intelligence officials are warning President-elect Joe Biden to forego the country’s longstanding tradition of briefing the former president on international developments due to the potential threat he may pose after exiting the White House.

According to NBC News, Jack Goldsmith, who served as a senior U.S. Department of Justice official under the George W. Bush administration, expressed concern about Trump compared to past presidents who have left the office.

“This is not something that one could have ever imagined with other presidents, but it’s easy to imagine with this one,” said Goldsmith.

He went on to explain why Trump poses a threat based on his past behavior. The president’s negotiation skills also raise questions about what he could do to potentially wreak havoc or promote his own agenda.

“He’s shown as president that he doesn’t take secret-keeping terribly seriously,” Goldsmith said in an interview. “He has a known tendency to disrespect rules related to national security. And he has a known tendency to like to sell things that are valuable to him.”

With the possible criminal charges Trump could face after leaving office in addition to the ailing hotel industry due to pandemic-related challenges, there is speculation Trump could be faced with financial challenges which could make him more “vulnerable to foreign influence.”

In his book titled, “The President’s Book of Secrets” which discusses former presidents and government intelligence, Priess noted that Trump most certainly poses a risk.

“Is that a risk?” Priess wrote. “If it were someone applying for a security clearance, damn right it would be a risk.”

While most presidents have made profits after leaving the White House, none have had international ties like Trump does which poses more of a risk.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Anti-vax advocacy groups online are helping to radicalize the QAnon movement

November 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

The alliance between anti-vaxxers and QAnon followers is rapidly increasing as they continue their plight to spread massive amounts of disturbing misinformation amid the pandemic. One glaring example centers around one incident that occurred last week.

Facebook opted to nix a massive anti-vaccination propaganda group with more than 200,000 members last week. However, the group was not shut down for the dangerous public health misinformation its members posted, but rather, the disturbing promotion of QAnon, reports Huffington Post.

On Monday, Larry Cook, the founder of the “Stop Mandatory Vaccination” movement took to Facebook in his final Facebook Live video before the group was removed to warn that vaccines were a plot “to literally enslave every human on the planet,” In the video, Cook also included the QAnon hashtag #WWG1WGA in the upper left corner and the QAnon logo in the upper right corner.

“The purpose of vaccination is to literally slaughter the population and dumb everyone down and render them helpless,” Cook said. “It is a global plan to literally enslave every human on the planet.”

As he spoke, comments poured in from viewers who expressed gratitude for the “truth” and “awakening” he shared in his video. Like Cook, other anti-vaxxers including David Wolfe along with Ty and Charlene Bollinger have all begun to expose their large followings to the QAnon rhetoric.

Laura Muhl, one of Instagram’s most popular anti-vax influencers has also shared relatively dangerous claim insisting the government “engineered” many of the problems currently plaguing the United States. In a meme, she criticized the media with a comparison of covering up the so-called “rigged election” to an attempt to cover up “the truth about vaccines.”

“The virus is engineered. The pandemic is engineered. The second wave is engineered. The need for a vaccine is engineered,” said the mother of five.

Now, the anti-vaccination pushback and in misinformation rapidly circulating on social media has accelerated with groups joining forces with QAnon. The result is accelerating the effort to discredit science and the integrity of public health.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here's how anti-KKK laws could be an effective way to go after Trump

November 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

President Donald Trump’s campaign continues to come up short in its post-election legal battle, observers are mulling over ways to go after the president, his campaign, and Republican Party’s efforts to suppress votes.

In an editorial published by The Bulwark, Section 1985(3) of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 is being highlighted as a possible form of legal consequence for Trump’s actions.

The law, passed by Congress, aimed to enforce consequences for voter suppression and intimidation giving voters the right to sue those “who, motivated by race, conspire…for the purpose of preventing or hindering the constituted authorities of any State…from giving… to all persons within such State… the equal protection of the laws; or… to prevent by force, intimidation, or threat, any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote, from giving his support or advocacy… in favor of the election of any lawfully qualified person as an elector for President.”

While the publication specifies that Trump’s post-election legal challenges, alone, would not be enough to support Section 1985(3) claims, actions taken by the Trump campaign “‘[hinder] the constituted authorities’ of the states in order to disqualify presidential votes in disproportionately Black jurisdictions such as Philadelphia (42.3 percent Black), Detroit (78.6 percent), Atlanta (51.8 percent), and Milwaukee (38.8 percent). Black voters in these jurisdictions can bring lawsuit.”

The publication outlined the process of voter certification. After all votes are counted and resolutions have been reached for court challenges, state and local officials are required to certify votes. Any form of interference, at this point, can likely be classified as a form of interference.

The state of Michigan was used an example of interference as it was noted that the Trump campaign has gone “beyond ‘hindering’ to ‘intimidation’ and ‘threat.’”

A Republican member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers initially advocated denying certification for Detroit ballots, but not those from whiter cities. Both Republican members then voted against certification (deadlocking the board), before later reversing themselves. Then, after a call from President Trump, they sought to rescind their votes to certify. Next, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Michigan GOP Chair Laura Cox asked to delay state certification for 14 days, which would bump up against the December 7 statutory certification deadline. There have also been requests to disqualify huge numbers of Wisconsin ballots and do a second Georgia recount.

Defendants accused …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Could Trump pardon himself? The latest bizarre turn is being debated

November 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

As President Donald Trump leaves office in January 2021, he could be faced with a barrage of criminal investigations into his personal and business finances. But could Trump avoid the possibility of jail time by using his presidential powers before leaving office? There are debates about how that could play out. Although it would be a relatively bizarre occurrence, it is no secret that strange things have happened in the world of Trumpism.

According to Newsweek, there is growing speculation about Trump possibly pardoning himself before leaving office. However, the seemingly rare occurrence has inspired many debates because many are wondering if the president has the power to self-pardon. Since no precedent exists, the possibility has become a fascinating legal discussion. There are also questions about whether or not a self-pardon could be overturned. Does it signal an admission of guilt?

CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp discussed the matter during a segment that aired on Thursday. She suggested that maybe it is time to consider possible changes to the laws surrounding presidential pardoning powers. She also mulled over how it would look if Trump were to pardon himself.

“If the president has designs on running again for president, this would certainly imperil that, and I would think encourage other justice departments to really look at what he had done while in office if he is tacitly admitting he needed to be pardoned for stuff,” Cupp said.

“I’m not sure this is constitutional or legal, but it seems pretty clear it would be inadvisable for him to do that.”

Asha Rangappa, a lawyer and senior lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs who also serves as a CNN commentator, also weighed in with a similar stance. She noted how “risky” a self-pardon could be for Trump as she noted that the future Department of Justice should consider challenging that particular action if the outgoing president chooses to do so.

She said, “I think that it would be incumbent on a future Department of Justice to try to challenge that, because you don’t want that to be the precedent, or at least you want the Supreme Court to clarify the bounds of this.”

Although Trump has not alluded to making this decision yet, there was speculation he would pardon former national security advisor Michael Flynn—and, he did.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET