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Trump’s attempt to use the Supreme Court to keep his taxes hidden looks doomed: CNN analyst

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Addressing a court ruling that President Donald Trump cannot keep his tax returns from a Manhattan grand jury, CNN analyst Elie Honig said the president’s likely appeal to the Supreme Court may not even make it to their docket, meaning he will have no choice but to hand them over.

On Monday, a three-judge panel for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled: “Presidential immunity does not bar a state grand jury from issuing a subpoena in aid of its investigation of potential crimes committed by persons within its jurisdiction, even if that investigation may in some way implicate the president.”

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Speaking with CNN “New Day” hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, the former federal and state prosecutor said the lower court’s decision and detailed written opinion — which was unanimous — was so strong the Supreme Court may decline taking up the president’s appeal.

“Bottom line here is the Supreme Court may just not hear this at all,” Berman suggested. “They may say, ‘You know what? There’s no case here because the appeals court was so sweeping in its ruling. Which was to say, ‘You know what? You don’t really have the immunity, but we don’t even have to make that decision because your case is so bad.”

“The Supreme Court does not have to take any case it does not want to,” Honig explained. “The Supreme Court only takes a very small fraction of the cases that people try to get in front of it — usually under 5 percent.”

“Now when the Supreme Courts decides whether to take a case they’re looking typically at a few things,” he elaborated. “First of all, is this a close call? I think the Second Circuit opinion makes clear in their view it’s not a close call at all — it was a 3-0 decision. Same as the judge below, so now four judges have said this is not a close call.”

“They’re also looking for, is this the kind of thing that different courts around the country are disagreeing on and there’s no disagreement,” he continued. “This is the first time this specific issue has come up. I think there’s a chance the Supreme Court says no thanks. If that happens, then yesterday’s decision stands and the district attorney gets the tax returns.”

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Asked for a time frame, Honig replied, “The Supreme Court is on its own timeline. I think we will know within the next two, three weeks whether they are taking it or not.”

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Trump’s latest and most ludicrous con job

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Donald Trump is con artist in chief of the United States. His many apparent and impeachable crimes, such as the Ukraine scandal, collusion with Russia and violations of the Emoluments Clause, flow from that fact. Of course, Trump’s long con involves millions and perhaps even billions of dollars. But Trump’s big score, his ultimate goal, is permanent control of the presidency of the United States and the power for him and his family and allies to engage in legal theft indefinitely.

This article first appeared on Salon.

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I was an impeachment skeptic. Here’s why I’m now convinced Trump must be removed

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Despite all the uncertainty surrounding impeachment, we can capture the current moment succinctly: President Trump’s fate hinges on whether Republican senators are more fearful of losing in a primary or in the general election. Now that the live impeachment hearings are about to fuel nationwide prime-time programming, those senators’ fears are likely to intensify.

While that dynamic will determine whether Trump will be removed from office, it doesn’t tell us whether he should be.  I am generally an impeachment skeptic. My recent book—Impeaching the President: Past, Present, Future—argues that impeachment should be regarded as a last resort that, as a general proposition, is inappropriate in a president’s first term.  The American people are capable of rendering judgment and should be given the first crack.

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House Republicans have 3 key defenses of Trump’s Ukraine extortion campaign — and they’re all terrible

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To any halfway objective observer, the first day of public hearings in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which are ongoing as of this writing, have not gone well for Trump’s defenders.

Bill Taylor, the top US ambassador in Kyiv, and veteran State Department official George Kent came off as principled and non-partisan as they delivered damning testimony about the Trump regime’s multifaceted campaign to coerce the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation into fringe right-wing conspiracy theories designed to deflect blame for interfering in the 2016 election from Russia and onto Ukraine.

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