2020 election, Dona;ld Trump, Law

Election Law vs Criminal Law, A Distinction Without a Difference?

I’m an old defense trial lawyer. I never lost a case I took to the jury, but I also never won a motion that I put to a judge. You see, juries are triers of fact, while judges are the absolute determiners of law in the courtroom. Only a higher court can overrule them.

So every motion I failed with a judge, I simply turned around to the jury and them asked them to deny that evidence based on common sense (within certain boundaries of legal propriety.)

About these looming case of widespread election fraud, just the same as there is a medical definition of “alcoholic” and a social definition of “alcoholic”, which are miles apart, there are strict, narrow of “fraud”, actually several, always according to written criminal code, which are miles apart from the social understanding of election cheating, and even theft, which, by the way are not the same thing under the law. Every state has its own body of election laws and a lot of regulations detailing how elections are to be conducted, the equipment used, and how votes are tallied.

Clearly, that system is broken, in part because Congress allowed the states full control over federal elections in those states, including commingling of races on the ballots, even the printing of ballots, and it will require a compete revision, should the people ever get back in charge of the Congress at a later date. I think 2021 is still an outside possibility simply by playing on the embarrassment of several Democrat House Members.

Consider what I’ve dubbed the “Menendez Rule.” Senator Robert Menendez, (D-NJ) and his “briber-partner” were tried in New Jersey in 2017 for various acts of corruption, and a jury could not reach a unanimous decision. While the Department of Justice (Trump’s DOJ?) prepared for a retrial, the federal judge in that case, a Clinton appointee, went ahead and acquitted both of most charges, leaving DOJ an empty hand to move forward.

Without even looking at the issue of whether these days judges can be considered corrupt based on political philosophy or persuasion alone, which seems to accompany virtually every decision these days, anger from either from the Right or the Left, the fact remains that “Sky Often Determines” whether certain types of crimes are tolerated more in part of the country versus other parts of the country.

The interesting truth about the Menendez case is that in 70% of the legal jurisdictions in America he would have been easily convicted. New Jersey just isn’t one of them. Most New Jersey citizens consider bribery and corruption to go hand-in-glove with being an elected politician, although maybe a more cynical NJ citizen might vote to convict just because the politician was so stupid as to get caught.

Worse, since we’re comparing parts of the country, Menendez would have been acquitted in 95% of every blue city in America, in either state or federal court. Democrats have owned those jurisdictions for over two generations, so where “thefts” are politically easy to prove, “Fraud”, like “Corruption” and “Bribery” fall into categories where territorial Sky determines, not only in the society and its jury pool, but in the legal establishment downtown. It is very political, and every prosecutor knows it.

This is what distinguishes between a criminal charge of “Fraud” (or “Corruption”) and a charge of “Theft”. The law, as written and understood by legal professionals, is not the same as how fraud and corruption are perceived among the (mostly urban-suburban) jury pool. Everybody understands stealing. (Except Russians and remorseless rich-kids.)

Theft is much easier, so in the jury sense, stealing votes is easier on their eyes and ears than “fraud” or “corruption” simply because of the meeting of the minds proof a prosecutor must show to gain conviction. As the old department and grocery store axiom has always applied, and as Donald Trump has also reminded us, “It isn’t a theft until it leaves the store.”

Right now we are in the process of allowing several states; PA, MI, WI, GA, AZ, NV (I’d like to see VA added to the list)…all thieves, to give their “intended theft” a second thought and second chance to put the merchandise back on the shelf and undo what they had done. They now know cameras have been on them all along, their snatch-and-run plan anticipated, even the size of the haul, all truly grand in scale. Some individuals at the front lines have even come forward, fearful they might have to do 18 months or more for their part in the heist. County and state officers are also sweating. Old school Democrats, not true zealots, just ordinarily corrupt, probably never anticipated that the “Lois Lerners” appointed from on high, and who stormed into their offices months to lead these operations, might fly the coop, leaving them to hold the bag, facing 5-to-10, not 18 months. They are beginning to quake.

True, some of the True Believers will hang on. By temperament alone I think Gov Whitmer of Michigan may want to fight on, thinking that having no direct fingerprints on the heist (likely), but only she learns those who are looking at hard time have other plans. None of these options are unknown in gang crimes as they begin to come undone.

Finally, every state who wants to risk the courts, most likely SCOTUS, does so knowing that indictments aplenty will follow any successful ruling for the President.

Then they will all have pleasure of getting to learn the differences between “corruption” and “theft” and between Criminal Law and Election Law, and the power of legislative acts over contrary executive acts.

 

 

 

 

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