I haven't really wanted to weigh into this, but the idea that people commit crimes because they think (or know) they won't be held accountable does not hold up to the research on deterrence and punishment.

I can dig up the research on whether punishment actually works as a deterrent. I don't have it at my fingertips, but I've written about it.

About this administration not holding "anyone" accountable, who is bringing all those charges against the insurrectionists?

One of the pillars of democracy is prosecutorial discretion.

You can read about it here: findlaw.com/criminal/crimi…

I have spent much of my professional life frustrated at the charges prosecutors choose to bring. As a defense lawyer, I've rarely agreed.

Not every crime can be charged unless you want to live in a police state.

Prosecutors made decisions based on a host of factors. Those include how strong the evidence is. Federal prosecutors have something like a 96% conviction rate

This is because they don't bring charges unless they are sure they will get a conviction.

Other facts come into play including how they want to allocate resources and their priorities.

Unless a prosecutor explains their decisions, we don't know.

At times in my professional life, I've literally cried over the decisions prosecutors have made. I've also been furious. I've also been frustrated.

So it's okay to be furious if you don't like the decision not to prosecute.

One consideration would be how often perjury is overlooked and not prosecuted. People do lie under oath. Think of all those trials and witnesses with reasons to lie.

I think it's often used in plea bargains as a lesser crime.
h/t @ACoupleOkooks:

This is another issue. I think about 3% of crimes prosecuted are white collar.

Think how much easier it is to prove that the rioters who stormed the capital are guilty than Rudy or Trump, who have deniability. It's just harder to prove their guilt.

I actually suspect the kingpins WILL be prosecuted, but it's a lot harder to get the evidence to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

I know that prosecutors have a deep fear of bringing a high-profile case and having a jury return an acquittal.


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More from @Teri_Kanefield

20 Jul
What a coincidence! Thomas Barrack, another Trump “advisor” and chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee has been arrested and charged with acting as a foreign agent.


This isn't actually a FARA violation. It's worse.

22 USC 611 (FARA) is a documentary requirement and (if you lie) can carry a 5-year sentence.

Barrack was charged with the "espionage lite" statute for people working on behalf of a foreign power: law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18…
This one carries up to a 10-year penalty.

2/ Image
One reason I said, "what a coincidence" is that this week I'm writing about Republican lawbreaking.

But who the heck can keep up?

Read 9 tweets
18 Jul
Here I expanded on some ideas I tweeted about this week:
🔹Are we too far gone?
🔹Will the GOP succeed in unraveling 100 years of progress?

I did something different in this video. I’m not on the screen; instead, you can read the text.
You don’t get to see my pretty green office, but this was a lot easier for me to put together.

I put the transcription on my blog, here: terikanefield.com/are-we-too-far…
I expanded on this thread, adding more reasons people (well, Democrats and people left-of-center) who are following politics closely often feel panic and despair.

Read 4 tweets
13 Jul
Yes, because Republican policies are unpopular. If the discussion is fact or policy based Republicans
will lose, so they need to keep everyone riled up.
The right-wing is only part of the reason you're exhausted.

Stick with me here.

The right-wing has to create an endless cycle of crises because they have no other way to 'govern.' They have to keep their supporters scared and you outraged . . .

. . . which creates a feedback loop of sorts. When the left is outraged, the right gets stoked.

The other problem is social media algorithsm.

If I tweet: "Democracy is hanging by a thread! We don't have much time! This is a crisis!" I will get lots of clicks.
Read 21 tweets
11 Jul
Yes, and the 'kompromat' theory gives them way too much credit. It assumes that if not for kompromat, they'd do the right thing.

And it's not like they hide their cheating.

The kompromat theory is reverse projection. Good people can't believe they do this stuff willingly.

It isn't kompromat. It's what @ruthbenghiat describes in her book.

Once a politician does anything to help or shield a Trump-type leader, they have a hard time pulling back. They get roped in. I'll put the screenshot in the next tweet.
From her book, Strongmen: From Mussolini to the present\

Once they help him in any way, they can feel stuck. It's hard to back out because they've now alienated everyone except the hardcore extremists.

I felt that way when Hawley punched his fist toward the crowd that day . . .
Read 4 tweets
11 Jul
Since the indictment was filed against the Trump Org. and Allen Weisselberg, there’s been lots of media spin and lying (and some misunderstanding) about the indictment.

Here I dissect the lies (and misunderstandings) and why they matter.

Here’s an edited transcription if you prefer to read:

I'll come back after a bit more ☕️ and write a Twitter Summary hitting the main points.

Last week I talked about the bogus legal defenses being offered on behalf of the Trump Org and Weisselberg.

It’s easy to mock the stupid legal arguments offered by Team Trump. He usually loses in court. He lost all those elections cases.

Read 24 tweets
5 Jul
An observation about the Trump Org indictment: The criminal scheme was described as ongoing as of June 30, 2021.

Even when they knew they were being investigated, they kept cheating.
The arrogance is stunning. I did a brief stint years ago in a firm that represented white-collar clients, and I did see that attitude. They thought they were "pushing the envelope" and it was no big deal.

A task of the lawyers was to persuade them that they were in big trouble.
I think this is exactly right. It's the only way he has ever earned money. The Trumps don't add value. They take advantage of situations. He floats on debt; he borrows against assets he inflates. His "product" is his "brand."

He thinks he's clever.

Read 4 tweets

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