Robert J. DeNault Profile picture
Duke Law student |🇺🇸🏳️‍🌈| Founder, Trump Administration Accountability Project @TAAP2020. A mixture of law and common sense.
BlackeyedSusan28 ~#DonateWarnockOssoff💙~BLM🇺🇸 Profile picture Jodi Smart Profile picture vickietolbert Profile picture Darryl Mackender Profile picture #MaskUpAmerica 🌊 #BLM #BidenHarris Profile picture 9 added to My Authors
29 Nov
Any Republican claiming Biden’s cabinet picks must disclose every professional contact they ever had is a charlatan and can be dismissed.

Never asked for 1 document—or even an explanation—about reports President Trump got $15 million from a secret Chinese bank account in 2017.
Never asked for a single witness to explain impeachment charges for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Never asked for Trump’s personal financial ties to foreigners, nor did they ask for Treasury’s documents about potential foreign financial violations Trump committed.
Never asked for Mueller to testify, nor did they demand (or even encourage) Trump to speak with the office investigating whether he conspired with Russia to win the election.

Never again can they demand transparency from anything or anyone.
Read 4 tweets
28 Nov
Here, a PA State Senator claims the Constitution—which gives State Legislatures power to set rules and manner of elections—instead gives them power to overrule the laws and unilaterally pick the President. It is an effort to install Trumpism no matter the will of voters.
He is not correct on the law, nor is he correct on the premise of fraud he cites to justify his attempt to unravel democratic voting.

So I’d note that:

1. State Legislatures have power to set election rules.

2. Once they set them, that is the end of their power.
The Republican Party is causing as many constitutional crises as possible. The complete stonewall of Congress, a no-witness impeachment trial, SCOTUS partisan appointing/blocking, legally misleading efforts to undo an election—they seem intent on breaking the Constitution.
Read 5 tweets
27 Nov
The case law by the Scalia-led wing of SCOTUS (from a peyote use case in 1990s to the Hobby Lobby contraceptive case recently) has resulted in a complex web of contradictory, bizarre elevations of faith in completely new—and NOT originalist—ways.
Scalia in the 1990’s wrote an opinion in Employment Division v. Smith saying that two Native American employees could not get a religious exemption to neutrally applicable law (I.e. it applies to everybody).
That case spurred Congress to draft a federal law called RFRA, that essentially overruled Smith—but insisted it didn’t because that wouldn’t be constitutional. What it did was create the very a system of exemptions and tough scrutiny for laws that Smith said didn’t exist.
Read 7 tweets
25 Nov
The coming days will be a test of the legality and scope of the Pardon Power. President-elect Biden may be wary of investigations, but it will be critical to litigate some of these pardons in court, especially if President Trump pardons himself. That cannot stand untested.
There are three areas where Trump’s pardons may not carry the broad weight they otherwise would have:

1. Pardons for himself

2. Pardons for crimes relating to his own impeachment

3. Pardons that are broad, vague, preemptive, and non-specific
1. The Self-Pardon: As this great piece noted days ago, originalist analysis suggests the power to “grant” a pardon implies conveyance to someone else. The Supreme Court’s originalist wing (Thomas, Alito, Barrett, Gorsuch) may have a tough time with this. theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
Read 10 tweets
25 Nov
BREAKING: President Trump will pardon Michael Flynn, strengthening potential obstruction charges against himself for witness tampering in dangling pardons to witnesses who didn’t cooperate fully with Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia.
Per Axios: “President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn” as part of a series of pardons coming soon.
axios.com/trump-pardon-m…
NYT: “The person said that while nothing is final ... he has made it clear that it is one of a string of pardons he plans to issue before leaving office.”

This list provides insight as to who truly faces criminal exposure in this Administration.
nytimes.com/2020/11/24/us/…
Read 5 tweets
22 Nov
Why was Trump using the same division of Deutsche Bank where Jeffrey Epstein laundered money? Why did Trump say “I wish her well” about Ghislaine Maxwell? Why did Trump appoint Alex Acosta to his Cabinet after Acosta’s sweetheart deal giving immunity to Epstein co-conspirators?
Why has Trump never been asked about Epstein victims who were recruited while working at Mar-a-Lago? Why did DOJ allow Epstein to die in prison? Why did Bill Barr’s dad hire Epstein to teach at a prestigious NYC school despite the fact Epstein didn’t graduate college?
What happened to Epstein’s secretly recorded video tapes? Where did Epstein get the money to buy his properties and investments? Why did Trump’s rise coincide with Russian/foreign spam about child sex trafficking by Trump’s opponents?
Read 5 tweets
21 Nov
PA Republicans waited until 2 days before certification to file this lawsuit asking court to rule all mail-in votes invalid, claiming law passed by GOP legislature is unconstitutional. Looks like pure delay effort to throw electoral college result into chaos.
On the law it’s pretty bad. First, no court would decide the remedy here is invalidating the entire election. Second, they should have challenged this pre-election. Third, their own party wrote and approved the legislation they now claim is unconstitutional.
If courts let Republican legislators draft a voting law so that it was purposefully unconstitutional, wait until votes were cast according to the new law, then sue to invalidate all votes cast under the law they made defective, it would be a complete subversion of voting.
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov
I deleted an earlier tweet about CBS report regarding subpoenas to Trump Org for payments made to Ivanka Trump, as it incorrectly phrased them as targeted to Ivanka. It remains significant, but precision is important. Appreciate RT’s to correct confusion.
cbsnews.com/news/new-york-…
Flashback, per New Yorker: “Trump helped build a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Ivanka Trump was the most senior Trump Organization official on the Baku project.”
newyorker.com/magazine/2017/…
CBS, NYT report both Manhattan DA and NY AG are subpoenaing the Trump Org for details about Ivanka’s payments as a consultant.

This development suggests a wide-ranging Trump Org investigation and was worrying enough that Ivanka tweeted yesterday it was “harassment.”
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
The 2016 election was dominated by hacking of one candidate/party, systematic dump of hacked materials, and hacking of elections systems. Republicans blocked election security bills for 4 years, insisting it had no effect. Now they cry interference when they lose. Do better.
Our country needs more bipartisan agreement when attacks happen. Republicans signed off on multiple reports -- including one they led in the Senate Intelligence Committee -- that outlined the vulnerabilities, hacked systems, foreign interference from hacking, etc.
But publicly, they followed the Trump line, which was to downplay any interference so as not to question his legitimacy as President. Look what that got them. Full of knowledge about vulnerabilities and very upset *they* didn't address them for four years!
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
GA Governor opens press conference by saying he is concerned about the election results due to signature comparisons.
“Earlier today, Secretary Raffensperger presented verified results.”

Georgia law requires Governor to certify those results. “We must all follow the law, and that is what I will do.”

Says Trump can ask for recounts, and he hopes for more transparency in the runoff election.
Georgia’s 16 electoral votes officially go to Biden.
Read 4 tweets
20 Nov
NPR: Biden considering Merrick Garland, Sally Yates, Deval Patrick, Doug Jones for Attorney General.
All are incredibly qualified. Garland comes with the bonus of stepping away from a lifetime appointment to do the job, signaling real commitment to restoring DOJ. But he creates a vacancy on the DC Circuit too, and if Dems lose Georgia seats that would be a headache.
Yates is a great nominee: sharp as a tack, familiar with intricacies of Russia investigations, native Georgian and UGA grad. But Republicans may give her a hard time on Flynn and other Russia issues, and Biden may want to avoid hearings dominated by those questions.
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
We cannot let repetition become fact. The Russia investigation was no Hoax. Ask Paul Manafort, convicted of numerous Russia-related financial crimes and later convicted of lying to Mueller despite agreeing to cooperate.

Perhaps ask why he gave sensitive polling data to the GRU.
Or perhaps ask Michael Cohen, who stood up and pleaded guilty to numerous campaign and financial crimes and later pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Donald Trump’s financial dealings with Russia.
Or perhaps ask Michael Flynn, who most of all has tried to rewrite history on his own plea deal. He failed to declare the $500,000 lobbying job he got from Turkey while working on the Trump campaign. He lied about promising sanctions relief to Russia. He pleaded guilty.
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
Was going to study for law school finals but instead have put on a Christmas movie about a broke puppeteer who returns to her hometown for Christmas.
And then my sister asked me what the protagonist looked like and I snapped a quick picture and didn’t realize she HAS A FINGER PUPPET ON.
Update: she dreams in puppets.
Read 4 tweets
20 Nov
NEW: Two separate New York fraud investigations into President Trump and his businesses, one criminal and one civil, have expanded to include tax write-offs on millions of dollars in consulting fees, some of which appear to have gone to Ivanka Trump.
nytimes.com/2020/11/19/nyr…
The investigation has been stalled since last fall, after the president filed a lawsuit to block a subpoena for his tax returns and other financial records. The legal fight is before the United States Supreme Court for a second time, with a ruling expected soon.
Prosecutors have suggested in court filings that their investigation has expanded far beyond the hush money and is focused on a number of potential financial crimes, including insurance and bank-related fraud, tax evasion and grand larceny.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
The more pressure comes from politicians and political commentators to indict Trump and associates, less likely it happens for fear it looks like a result of political pressure.

Everybody cool off. IMO an independent DOJ, maybe even a special counsel, will indict if appropriate.
I say this as the founder of a group—@TAAP2020—that spent weeks documenting Trump Administration misconduct ripe for possible indictment.

Yelling on Twitter because articles say Biden is “wary of investigating Trump” plays right into the hands of making these things political.
Frankly, Biden and his Administration need to get into office first.

Only then will the Biden DOJ understand certain facts we don’t currently know that could make unethical conduct rise to the level of criminal conduct—especially with respect to obstruction charges.
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
Frankly I think a lot of people are underestimating the clusterf*ck that Michigan could become. At the end of the day it is unlikely to matter because Biden will win NV, PA, WI, GA and AZ that will be enough to put him over the top. But here’s why MI is a big problem.
People saying “calm down” claim the Secretary of State can just certify instead of this panel—but that’s not true. In her statement tonight, she *asked* the State Canvass Board (which looks just like the Wayne County Board) to *ask* her to do the certification for them.
They can decline to ask her. There are two R’s and two D’s, just like this Wayne County panel. And one of them has said already that he would vote to deadlock if he felt there was evidence of fraud.
Read 7 tweets
18 Nov
Respect @jonfavs but don’t share his optimism that “Michigan courts” will simply stop the coup going on in Wayne County.

1. MI Supreme Court is majority Republican

2. This is about DELAY. If lawsuits cause MI to miss deadlines, it helps Trump’s plan to send this to Congress.
I’m not saying they will go along with this either. Hopefully they maintain the integrity of our democracy and affirm a Biden victory 6 times larger than Trump’s. But it isn’t a foregone conclusion and people should stop acting like it. These folks are ready to throw it all away.
I don’t like alarmists. Michigan Secretary of State has put out statement asking State Board of canvassers to request her office complete the count for Wayne County. But that Board is also 2-2 partisan split. We cannot ignore this.

And Jon isn’t, but it is quite serious.
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
Alarmed that Michigan county canvassers—who usually certify vote totals in bipartisan, unified fashion—are deadlocking on certification because of false fraud claims. This is not normal and has never happened in history.
Michigan has a system where panels of citizens (2 D’s, 2 R’s) have to certify vote totals. Usually 4-0 approved. This year, R’s statewide discussed not approving them and splitting to a deadlock. This appears to be part of that effort in Wayne County.
This county covers Detroit. The panel R’s said they would approve everywhere *but* Detroit, building strong case for an inherent racial discrimination claim in a future voting lawsuit. But this is extremely concerning.
Read 6 tweets
17 Nov
After three more lawyers withdrew from Trump’s PA lawsuit to block the election, Rudy Giuliani has entered an appearance and will represent the Trump Campaign in court today. He hasn’t appeared in court as an attorney since 1992.
Lots of questions here. Will Giuliani be ready to present evidence to the judge?

If Giuliani makes wild claims, it could lead to some intriguing questions. A judge could ask Giuliani about his other conduct as Trump’s lawyer, like going to Ukraine and working with GRU agents.
Probably wouldn’t go there, but in a courtroom the judge can ask anything of a lawyer. Giuliani isn’t a witness or a client. He is appearing as a guest under the PA bar. Judge can drill him if he or she wants.
Read 4 tweets
16 Nov
If you get angry about someone else’s student loan debt getting cancelled but you don’t spend every day irate that this exact same move propped up banks and auto companies in 2008 you need to reevaluate yourself.
And maybe you are. But most bailouts from 08 have been paid back with interest, which means they were efficient. You might have other reasons for disliking them. But those reasons don’t really apply to student debt. Students pay back by buying homes and cars, paying more taxes.
In the midst of an economic crisis, uncertainty about the return of employment for many, a hesitation to invest in homes—the backbone of the American financial system—is on the horizon.

Student loan debt is now the largest form of consumer debt. The interest rates are absurd.
Read 4 tweets
10 Nov
The basis of this entire crisis is that Republicans are still so upset they got caught in massive amounts of criminal misconduct between 2016-2020 they will do and say anything to smear everyone else with the same accusations that led to their own tarnished reputations.
Michael Cohen, former RNC Fundraising Chair: convicted felon.
Elliot Broidy, former RNC Fundraising Chair: convicted felon.
Read 12 tweets