• Deep State Tries Again as “Friend of the Court”

    April 23, 2024

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    Posted in: Democracy

    With the Supreme Court set to begin arguments on Donald Trump’s immunity claims April 25, the landmark decision likely to be handed down by the end of June or sooner, the Deep State weighed in. That itself is a scary thing, but even more frightening is this: what if they are right this time?

    Fourteen retired four-star generals, admirals, and other military leaders (including former NSA head Michael Hayden, who certainly knows a thing or two about illegal orders) filed an amici brief with the Supreme Court, arguing against former President Trump’s claims of immunity in his criminal cases, particularly those dealing with J6.

    Trump argues the charges against him related to J6 should be thrown out because he was acting as president at the time. Prosecutors denounced the idea, with the generals taking a side with their brief. Amicus/Amici curiae is a Latin term translating to “friend of the court.” It refers to a person or organization that is not a party to a case but offers information or expertise to assist the court in making a decision, although they do not have the same legal standing as briefs submitted by the parties directly involved in the case. They can be, as in this case, an argument by a third party to decide the case one way or another. The generals are decidedly against Trump having immunity, as any good Deep Stater would be.

    The generals argue Trump should not be granted immunity by the Court for three reasons: the claimed immunity would undermine the national commitment to civilian control of the military, Trump’s immunity would undermine the military’s adherence to the rule of law and thus its orderly functioning and public trust, and Trump’s claimed immunity, by implicating the peaceful transition of power in particular, threatens national security.

    The arguments for the first point are largely what you’d expect them to be, spraying out everything from George Washington’s address to Youngstown Sheet and Tube, centering on the idea that a president, immune from prosecution for anything he does while in office whether related to his official duties or not (as Trump is asking) could indeed order the military to do anything. One argument you can expect to hear more of is the president could order the armed forces to murder a political opponent live on TV. The president would be untouchable and the soldiers who faced such an order would be flummoxed as the Constitution subjects the armed forces of the United States to both civilian control and the rule of law, with murder being illegal. “Such a President would be able to break faith with the members of the armed forces by placing himself above the very law they are both sworn to uphold,” the brief says. It would allow “the Commander-in-Chief to weaponize the powers of the U.S. military to criminal ends.”

    It is important to step back and understand the president is already considered immune from criminal prosecution while in office, and that he serves under the ultimate check and balance of impeachment. He currently can be prosecuted for acts done while president after he leaves office, the current situation with the two ongoing J6 prosecutions, the Jack Smith one in Washington yet to commence and the Fani Willis one in Georgia sort of lurching underway soon. Trump argues, though the generals disagree, he is immune from prosecution for the things he said on the morning on J6, words that could add up to inciting the mob to attack the Capitol (though note Trump is not charged with incitement, a specific legal term. It can get confusing.)

    Nonetheless, there is little confusion in the generals’ brief. They argue if the “President is absolutely immune from criminal prosecution [this] has the potential to severely undermine the Commander-in-Chief’s legal and moral authority to lead the military forces, as it would signal that they but not he must obey the rule of law. Under this theory, the President could… direct members of the military to execute plainly unlawful orders, placing those in the chain of command in an untenable position and irreparably harming the trust fundamental to civil-military relations.”

    The generals’ second argument is compelling. Service members have a long-standing duty to disobey unlawful orders. This requires service members, who are required to obey all lawful orders, to disregard patently unlawful orders from their superiors and prohibits service members from using such orders as a defense to criminal prosecution. Immunizing the Commander-in-Chief from criminal prosecution would put service members in the impossible position of having to choose between following their Commander-in-Chief or obeying the laws enacted by Congress. Again, see the example of the president ordering the murder of a political opponent, the argumentum ad absurdum of this case.

    The generals cite something almost as clear, the My Lai massacre in Vietnam where the officer in charge on the ground was not successful in using “but I was only following orders” as a defense. Interestingly, Trump’s Supreme Court filing also cites My Lai, drawing a different lesson: the My Lai Massacre serves as evidence the military would resist (someone blew the whistle, albeit after the killings) carrying out the President’s hypothetical order to murder a political rival. That is wrong, say the generals’ in their amici brief: “the very fact that officer in charge on the ground felt emboldened to kill civilians on the basis of ‘superior orders’—in that case, from a captain—demonstrates that our system remains vulnerable to the risk that servicemen or women may commit crimes when ordered to do so. That risk is all the graver if the person giving the orders is the president, particularly one protected by absolute immunity.”

    The generals’ make their argument conclusively, stating “Receiving an unlawful order thus places service members—already pushed to extremes by virtue of their vocation—in a nearly impossible position. On the one hand, disobeying a lawful order is punishable by court-martial and contrary to everything service members have been trained to do. On the other hand, the duty to disobey imposes on them the obligation not to rationalize obedience of an unlawful order simply out of deference to one’s superiors—including the Commander-in-Chief.”

    The third argument in the brief is not as compelling, basically a variation of “Orange Man Bad, Dictator” in that the cases at hand, dealing with J6, concern specifically the peaceful transition of power at the White House. The generals’ argue it is a bad case to set any kind of precedent, and our adversaries will be taking note of what they consider a breakdown of democracy. Constitutional crisis’ are bad for the defense business when the bad guys are watching.

    The case puts a lot on the line. In Washington alone Trump is facing four J6 felony counts accusing him of defrauding the United States. Prosecutors allege he stood at the center of a campaign/conspiracy to block the certification of votes for Joe Biden that day. Granting Trump sweeping immunity would not only end this prosecution and the one in Georgia, it would set a precedent for all future presidents. Besides, Trump already has a decent defense in saying his remarks on the morning of J6 were covered by the First Amendment, with or without immunity. In the end, none of this may matter and the real purpose of the request for immunity may be simply to delay Trump’s trial until after the November election, in which case he wins no matter what the Court says.

     

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      We don’t need no stinkin immunity. If a Presidense wants to do illegal stuff like wiping out Clarence and other Men in Black, he could do it, resign at any time and his VP (hint: Kamala) would pardon him.

      In the end, none of this may matter and the real purpose of the request for immunity is the MIC Deep State Plan to keep The Great Exaggerator Trump in the race so the Repugs can’t field a stronger runner like Haley’s Comet. If Trump was a real threat to the MIC Deep State, he would have been removed from the race with extreme prejudice (see JFK). They shoot presidenses, don’t they?

      04/24/24 4:57 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      Peter, FFS, Why limit the discussion about granting immunity for crimes committed by the Presidense or any government official? Mai Lai didn’t occur in a vacuum. The whole damn Viet war was based on Domino lies. The war lies were supported by the majority of god-fearing Amerikans. Why then should we give any of US a free immunity pass?

      The legitimate policy reason, as articulated by the Supreme Court in the Nixon case (and many times since), is that public officials make difficult decisions every day that impact people’s health, finances, and lives. We don’t want those policymakers hamstrung or influenced by worries that they might be sued (or, perhaps, indicted) for those decisions. Of course, the decisions to invade Vietnam, and Afghanistans and Iraq were all based on lies.

      Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether Diapers took a few liberties with some females- he did. But you can’t hold a whole country responsible for the behavior of a sick twisted individual. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole Republican Party? .And if the whole rotten Republican Party is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our whole political system in general?

      I put it to you, Peter – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

      04/24/24 10:57 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      3

      Trump is stating that the POTUS needs total immunity otherwise the office is just ceremonial. That type of reasoning is to me…..insane.

      04/25/24 9:10 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      “As anyone who is caring for an aging parent with cognitive decline can see all the signs and knows what is coming next. Joe can’t remember words or names, or dates, and walks stiffly with his arms locked.”

      So Peter must agree Donnie Diapers is in cognitive decline. Diapers may plead the Fifth, but if reelected the case for the 25th is obvious:

      1. Diapers is a hoarder. Took boxes of classified documents to his dump in Florida. While the Deep State sees criminal reasons Diapers stole the documents, a simple case can be made Diapers is in advanced cognitive decline. His cerebral cortex is disintegrating. His fearful lizard brain needs to keep familiar objects of a happier time.

      2. Delusions. While the Justice system seeks penalties for Diaper’s actions to subvert the peaceful transition of government, the case can be made Diapers isn’t full of shit, but really thinks he is still Presidense.

      Watching Diapers lose his shit on the courthouse steps, it is apparent he is mentally incapable of assisting in his defense. To continue charging an elderly person is elder abuse. Let him retire to his Florida dump and die in peace.

      04/25/24 10:24 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      5

      OJ’s family should have allowed an autopsy for CTE but they had him super quickly cremated. Maybe the NFL insisted on a quick cremation to avoid bad publicity. Most who follow the NFL were certain his brain would show the disease since there is plenty of footage of him taking monstrous hits to the head during his college and pro career. I think Trump’s brain should be sliced and studied for the impact of CSD (chronic self delusion) and how it can destroy parts of the brain which processes logic, compassion
      and basic human magnanimity.

      04/26/24 2:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      JP,

      Trump’s brain will exhibit the damage done having consumed McDonalds fast food and Diet Coke poison every day for the past 50 years.

      04/26/24 4:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      If his diet won’t kill him, Donnie Diapers will die either living out his last moments on earth either in the Big House or in some rundown poorhouse ALONE. Maralongo will be sold at auction to pay for the lawsuits Diapers will lose. Melaniaho will have to go back to her escort career. In a final act of humiliation, MAGA under DeathSantis will erase Diapers from the history books. No child will be allowed to read about Diapers. It never happened.

      04/27/24 11:51 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      “In the end, none of this may matter and the real purpose of the request for immunity may be simply to delay Trump’s trial until after the November election, in which case he wins no matter what the Court says.”

      If Mikey Pence had been hanged on Jan 6, would Demented Donnie Diapers have immunity if he had been criminally charged for conspiracy to murder him? After all, Diapers sat on his fat ass hours glued to the tv watching it all go bad on Faux News. How would the Trumpist Supremes have even accepted the case? Clarence the clown for one wouldn’t touch a lynching case.

      The fact is Demented Donnie’s psychopathy was there for the whole world to see. If this dumbass country allows this psychopath back in the White House, the bright light Peter watches from his safe place in the Pacific may not be the sun.

      “None of this may matter.” Peter is a Prophet.

      Speaking of psychopaths, South Dakotan Governor shot her dog in the face..cause she didn’t like it.

      Noem’s father was reportedly killed in a farm machinery accident in 1994.

      You don’t want to make Noem angry.

      04/28/24 9:24 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      The Repuglican Party Has Gone to the Dogs…killer

      We all know Donnie Diapers hates dogs, but the psychopath South Dakota Governor has gone too far for even him. Shooting her dog in the face apparently is too much for a REPUGLICAN. SEXUALLY ASSAULTING WOMEN ISNT.

      But what if Diapers sexually assaulted a dog, hmmm? That would sell a lot of issues of the National Enquirer.

      04/29/24 8:32 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      10

      Bauer- I’m doing a 180. A possible Trump victory means I can’t indulge my lofty and perhaps haughty abstainer status for 2024. I wish Biden was indeed the “lesser of two evils” choice but that appraisal is delusional. Will my grandchildren curse me long after I’ve been tossed into the pig pen? Most likely and I can’t blame them.

      04/29/24 9:17 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      JP,

      Donnie Diapers should ignore the public indignation about his psychopath VP candidate shooting a puppy in the face because she didn’t like it anymore. Diapers should run as the Greater of Two Evils. In his convention nomination speech Diapers should declare he too will shoot anyone in the face he doesn’t like anymore. It worked for Hitler.

      Make Amerika Germany Again.

      04/29/24 10:00 PM | Comment Link

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