Thursday, August 10, 2023

Untouchable How They Get away with it

Why do some people avoid repercussions for their criminal behavior?  How do they do it?  The rest of us live by rules which we may occasionally break, but usually pay a price for.  

This book is really about Donald Trump, but Honig uses many examples of people who have gotten away with something.  It was written before the most recent indictments, but anticipated them.  His prosecutor experience is well used, not for just for legalisms, but also the psychology.

Jeffrey Epstein was very wealthy and very connected with Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew.  With lawyers Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr he was able to have charges dramatically reduced.

One way mobsters controlled their subordinates was to hire their lawyers.  Intimidation would be a tool.  Cassidy Hutchinson had to break from her Trump lawyer (after testifying three times in his presence), in order to testify against him.

Trump threatens opposition and often follows through.  After the Ukrainian attempt at bribery, Trump was able to demote Alexander Vindman, his uninvolved twin brother and the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.  Another notable victim was Liz Cheney.  Threats reversed testimony in the prominent cases of Kevin McCarthy and Michael Flynn.

 Mobsters use intimidation to control witnesses.  Some of it is blatant and behind the scenes.  Some of it is more public such as when they pack the courtroom with gangsters. 

Trump has used pardons (and the promises of pardons) to stop t or prevent criminal testimony.  Some examples include Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort and Steve Bannon.  As he is no longer president the promise of future pardons when re-elected carry some weight.   Honig pointed out that President George H.W. Bush pardoned five insiders who had been indicted with regard to the Iran Contra case, thus preventing a potentially politically damaging trial from happening.

Executive privilege had been used as far back as George Washington who felt the need to block the public from sensitive information.   At the time of the Nixon scandal his team claimed executive privilege regarding some sensitive tapes.  For the first time the Supreme Court acknowledged executive privilege as legitimate, but also declared they could not block the tapes which scared Nixon so much he resigned before a trial could be held.  Trump took advantage of interpretations and was able to block communication between staff and Congress.  We can only guess what incriminating information was buried. 

The Mueller report actually depicted a case against Trump being helped by the Russians, but Honig feels Robert Mueller was handicapped and was too easy in letting William Barr distort the findings.  Still many of Trump defenders mock the whole procedure.

Honig feels that Merrick Garland has been too soft and that delays will likely end up tied up with the election schedule.  Also for many people the delay seems political.  My view is justice delayed is justice denied.  Check:

Dealing with reality Honig last line hits home; "Imperfect justice is preferable to no justice at all."  It will always be infuriating that such as Trump might well get away with it.  He speaks with credibility, but like the rest of us admits Trump might still get away with it.

Trump's hard core supporters believe any illegalities Trump may have done are justified by all the good he did.  One cannot be indicted for mismanagement, but his supporters should bear his other many faults in mind:

No comments:

Post a Comment