, 19 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Burden of Proof: a practical primer. I'm getting hecka tired of Trumpsters looking to #exonerate #Trump because the #MuellerReport didn't indict him of #collusion, #conspiracy, or #campaignfinanceviolations. This isn't a binary choice, there are levels, and Trump IS NOT at 0.
Some Evidence: The lowest level, a single piece of evidence that collusion or conspiracy occurred, though it can be explained away by other means but points the way...an undisclosed meeting with Russian officials for example.
Reasonable Indications: Considering how the motivations and circumstances line up with the presented evidence though each could be explained away by other facts. Trump's long standing interest in a #TrumpTower in #Moscow and whispers of the existence of #Russian #Compromat.
Reasonable Suspicion: a specific suspicion that a crime has occurred because the evidence, motivations & circumstances all point invariably the same way: Trump consistently declining to enforce Russian #sanctions, undermining US intelligence, only meeting with #Putin in private.
Reasonable to Believe: The further discovery of corroborating evidence that a crime has been committed and a case should be perused such as the confluence of testimony like that of #MichaelCohen and #RogerStone.
Probable Cause: A fair probability (30%-50%) that a crime occurred and the most common standard for justifying arrests & searches. This is the point at which a Grand Jury can issue indictments (recommendation to prosecute), all of which have occurred under #Mueller.
Some Credible Evidence; The bare minimum of proof required to support an allegation, though much doubt may still exist, this is what is required for a judge to allow a case to proceed. As many Trump campaign staffers are already convicted and in prison, we are WAY past this.
Substantial Evidence: Enough proof that would lead a reasonable person to support a conclusion and generally provides that an accusation is not baseless, like the revelations of #TriciaNewbold on the #SecurityClearance overrides forced by Trump. (This is where I think we're at)
Preponderance of the Evidence: When all available evidence is fairly considered & weighted, it is more probable than not that Trump is guilty though serious doubts may exist or the evidence may be incomplete. At this level, we could see Trump face civil liability for his crimes.
Clear & Convincing Evidence: More likely to be guilty than not guilty though some doubts may remain outstanding. Trump could be held to account for violation of civil rights and human rights of others at this level, though this is insufficient for criminal conviction.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The evidence of Trump's guilt would be overwhelming enough that it leaves no reasonable scenario where Trump is innocent. He would be criminally convicted and sentenced to prison if this level of proof could be successfully presented in court.
I feel there is enough publicly-verified evidence for a reasonable person to feel they have "substantial evidence" to suspect Trump of coordinating and conspiring with the #Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 elections, violating many campaign finance laws along the way.
I acknowledge this information is not YET enough to hold Trump civilly or criminally liable, that day may come, but rarely do we wait for such a heavy burden of proof as "Clear & Convincing Evidence" or "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt," before answering some critical questions:
When do we demand #Trump be open and frank with us? To see his taxes? To limit his powers? At what level of proof do we demand the records of his interactions and meetings? When do we assume he's acting in bad faith? When does he lose our trust? When is Trump it not worth it?
There are many lower burdens of proof that should allow a reasonable person to make up their mind about Trump as a person to be trusted. We do this on a daily basis about everyone we interact with.
Do you need to be convinced "beyond a reasonable doubt" that your stock broker is cheating you before you decide to take your business elsewhere? Do you wait until there is a "preponderance of evidence" that a restaurant has a rat problem before you eat elsewhere?
Do you still drop your kid off at a sitter whom you have "reason to believe" is a pedophile because you haven't been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt? Do you stick your arm in a dark, hollow log because there is only "some evidence" there is a rattlesnake in there?
There is plenty of public, credible, verified info about #Trump, his organization, his campaign, his foreign entanglements, and his crimes that should allow a reasonable person to make judgments about supporting him without needing to meet the criteria of a criminal prosecution.
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