• Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    Today, 03:51 PM
    I really miss him. I would have loved to hear his take on the stuff happening on college campuses ("social justice", "cultural appropriation", "hate speech", etc.).
    2 replies | 57 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:29 PM
    A lawyer, other than an in-house counsel, meets the ABC test; for such a person an exemption isn't needed.
    6 replies | 172 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:55 PM
    Swordsmith is taking a cue from Trump: repeat lies often enough and some people may start to believe them. The only difference is that he's not nearly as narcissistic.
    219 replies | 2052 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-12-2019, 04:33 PM
    I have, and it has been explained to you ad nauseam that you haven't the faintest clue what a bill of attainder is. Hasn't it sunk in yet that in an impeachment proceeding the House doesn't find anyone guilty of anything or impose any punishment?
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-12-2019, 04:06 PM
    I knew you couldn't back up your claims. All you've posted is "due process" and "rigged proceeding" without any specifics and without any constitutional or other legal requirements. You're pathetic.
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-12-2019, 03:30 PM
    Be specific. What does due process require of grand jury proceedings? Does the person under investigation have the right to appear in person and/or by counsel? NO. Does the person under investigation have the right to have counsel appointed for him if he is indigent? NO. Does the person under investigation have the right to have evidence in his behalf submitted? NO. Do witnesses have the right to have their counsel present? NO. Does the exclusionary rule apply to prevent illegally-seized or otherwise inadmissible evidence from being submitted submitted to the grand jurors? NO. Must the grand jury proceedings be made public? NO. See https://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment5/annotation01.html
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-12-2019, 02:35 PM
    Hopelessly wrong. Just because removal from office is based upon the commission of high crimes and misdemeanors doesn't make the process a criminal prosecution. An attorney can be disbarred and his license to practice revoked for embezzling from his clients, but that doesn't make the disbarment procedure a criminal one. If impeachment were really a criminal proceeding, one who is is acquitted in a criminal trial couldn't be later impeached and removed because of double jeopardy. Yet that's exactly what happened to Alcee Hastings, a federal judge acquitted of bribery and perjury but later impeached and removed for the same acts. He argued, among other things, that his acquittal barred his later impeachment, but the court rejected his double jeopardy claim: Although the Hastings court found that the Senate's use of an impeachment trial committee violated the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to "try" an accused, its judgment was later vacated after the Supreme Court ruled in the Nixon case that Senate proceedings were unreviewable by the courts. Hastings v. U.S. 837 Fed. Supp. 3 (D. D.C. 1993).
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-12-2019, 12:52 PM
    I never claimed it was a bill of attainder, because it isn't. That's Swordsmyth's delusion.
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-12-2019, 08:19 AM
    What you continue to ignore is the fact that even if the presidency were Trump's property (an utterly absurd idea), the House proceedings cannot result in his being removed; that's the job of the Senate. It's been pointed out to you that grand jury proceedings aren't subject to due process requirements, so why in the world should they apply to the House proceedings, which are functionally equivalent to a grand jury investigation? Indeed, the House proceedings will be even more Trump-friendly than a grand jury proceeding: they will be public, and the Trump toadies and enablers will get a chance to do their political-posturing act to try to divert attention away from Trump's actions. You keep blathering about the "rules of impeachment" not being followed, yet you fail to specify what they are or where they are to be found in the Constitution.
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-11-2019, 10:46 AM
    Bad analogy. If you really want to compare a presidential term to a lease, the lease would have to contain a provision allowing the landlord to evict the tenant if the landlord determines he has violated the lease. That is analogous to the power of Congress to impeach and remove a president. The landlord's determination doesn't have to comport with due process, but a court can determine whether the tenant did, in fact, violate the lease. In an impeachment context, that determination is made by the Senate. But the initial recommendation to remove (i.e., the impeachment) isn't subject to due process, and you have failed miserably to cite any legal support for the claim that it does. Whether the Senate proceedings must comply with the same procedural rules as a civil trial is an open question, but it's premature to adress that issue because Trump hasn't been impeached yet.
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-11-2019, 08:15 AM
    It's ironic that the Trump apologists are wailing about the impeachment proceedings being a threat to democracy. They're oblivious to the fact that Trump is President only because of the Electoral College, a profoundly undemocratic institution.
    34 replies | 614 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-11-2019, 08:06 AM
    But you said it was similar to one: "Impeachment in the House is a judicial proceeding like a Grand Jury indictment" The only requirements specified by the Constitution are that the House has the sole power of impeachment, the Senate has the sole power to remove a person from office following an impeachment, and the Chief Justice presides during the Senate proceedings.
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-10-2019, 12:18 PM
    Grand jury proceedings aren't subject to the due process requirements that apply to trials. They are held in secret without the presence of the accused or his attorney, and the only evidence presented is from the prosecution, which isn't required to present evidence favorable to the accused. The evidence presented may even consist of hearsay that would be inadmissible at trial. So what is the House doing that's any different from what a prosecutor and a grand jury do? I know... they're having public hearings.
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-08-2019, 03:56 PM
    Do you honestly think the Democrats thought Trump had a chance to be elected?
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-08-2019, 09:26 AM
    I've dealt with the IRS on behalf of clients for over 45 years. I know how tax disputes are handled in real life. You don't.
    219 replies | 2052 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-08-2019, 08:16 AM
    You'd better read your linked material again. Even assuming an impeachment is the type of legal proceeding to which a claim of malicious prosecution can apply (an extremely dubious proposition), not all of the elements of an MP cause of action exist: No. 3 clearly doesn't exist, and even if it did it's doubtful that no. 4 does. No. 5 is iffy: yes, there are some in the House who hate Trump, but they would argue that their primary purpose in the proceeding was to remove him from office. Given the improbability of conviction in the Senate (absent the discovery of a smoking gun that even the GOP Senators couldn't stomach), a jury might not believe such a claim and conclude that the primary purpose was harassment.
    151 replies | 1291 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-07-2019, 02:43 PM
    For a more objective discussion of the first gag order (which neither Stone nor his attorneys objected to) and its modification after Stone had violated it, see the opinion of the Court of Appeals that rejected (on procedural grounds) Stone’s efforts to have it revoked. https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6508717/10-22-19-DC-Circuit-Roger-Stone-Opinion.pdf
    7 replies | 171 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-07-2019, 01:12 PM
    You appear to know very little about the Tax Court. First of all, if you dispute the IRS's determination of a tax deficiency you can file suit in the Tax Court; if you do, all collection efforts stop. Got that? You don't have to pay the deficiency before the court determines the issue. That's why most people who contest deficiencies go to the Tax Court. Second, the Supreme Court has held that due process is satisfied so long as someone against whom the IRS has determined a tax deficiency can go to court to contest it, even if the tax is collected first and the taxpayer has to file for a refund. See Bull v. United States, 295 U.S. 247 (1935). Third, if the Tax Court really were as bad as you claim the government would never lose a case; but it does. Here's just one example, in which the IRS sought over $500,000 in back taxes and over $100,000 in penalties. But the petitioner won. Guess the judge didn't get the memo that the government was supposed to win. https://www.ustaxcourt.gov/UstcInOp/OpinionViewer.aspx?ID=12035
    219 replies | 2052 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-07-2019, 07:57 AM
    It's obvious you either don't know the meaning of impeachment or that you're like Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass -- you're imposing your own meaning on the word and turning it into something that it isn't in order to claim that it's forbidden by the Constitution. Nice try, but no cigar.
    219 replies | 2052 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-06-2019, 03:27 PM
    Er, no. The normal underpayment rate is the short term rate plus 3%; for a C corporation that underpays its tax by more than $100,000, it's the short term rate plus 5%. The current short term rate is 1.68%, which per the statute is rounded up to 2% for purposes of calculating the normal underpayment rate. The federal short term rate would have to be enormous (anyone else remember the late 1970's?) for the underpayment rate to be usurious.
    219 replies | 2052 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-06-2019, 02:15 PM
    The current rate on past-due taxes is 5%, well below any usury limit. Interest isn't a fine; it's simply interest on a past-due debt. If you overpay your taxes you get interest on the overpayment if you don't receive your refund timely. Does that mean you're imposing a fine on the government? If someone files a false return it may impose a fraud penalty but it doesn't get to bring perjury charges; only the DOJ gets to do that.
    219 replies | 2052 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-06-2019, 12:51 PM
    A bill of attainder is a finding of criminal guilt without trial that inflicts punishment. An IRS determination that someone has a tax deficiency is a civil matter that can be reviewed by a court.
    219 replies | 2052 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-06-2019, 10:22 AM
    No it isn't. For example, the 6th Amendment applies only to criminal proceedings; impeachment is a civil proceeding with one purpose: to determine whether there should be a trial in the Senate to decide whether a federal official should be removed from office. Your citing the 6th Amendment simply demonstrates you haven't a clue. Moreover, all this blather about lack of due process and the House's process being a bill of attainder (an astonishingly absurd claim) has no legal significance whatsoever. Impeachment proceedings are nonjusticiable. See Nixon v. United States, 506 U.S. 224 (1993). No, not tricky Dick; a federal judge named Walter F. Nixon, Jr. challenged his conviction by the Senate. The Court held that because the Constitution states that the Senate has the sole power to try an impeachment the courts cannot second-guess its procedures. The word "sole" appears only one other time in the Constitution -- the House has the "sole" power of impeachment -- so the Nixon case would presumably apply to the House proceedings as well.
    219 replies | 2052 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-05-2019, 05:22 PM
    What an asinine analogy. A lynching is a punishment. What the House is doing is investigating to see if a trial should be had in the Senate. In no way is it a punishment, except to Trump's narcissistic ego.
    219 replies | 2052 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    11-01-2019, 09:58 AM
    The fact that those who wrote the Constitution did not specify a two-thirds House vote for impeachment speaks volumes, but some choose not to listen. They want to insert a requirement into the Constitution that simply isn't there. An impeachment is analogous to an indictment, which simply means that there will be a trial in the Senate, where a 2/3 vote is required to remove. And neither an impeachment nor a conviction and removal from office nullifies an election. If an election were truly nullified, it would be void ab initio, which would mean that any action taken by the President after his inauguration would have no legal effect. But that isn't the way things work. All this blather about nullifying the election is mere bombast designed to divert attention from Trump's actions; if it had any validity it would mean that no President could ever be impeached and removed from office, a concept that is flatly contradicted by the Constitution.
    5 replies | 197 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-30-2019, 02:24 PM
    As the litigators would say, you are assuming facts not in evidence. First, I haven't seen anything to suggest he has only part ownership of all of the entities that do businesses with foreign governments or that any part ownership he may have is a minority interest. Second, he has de facto control over the assets in his revocable trust because he can revoke or amend it at any time. Third, the assumption that the amounts contributed to the treasury are accurate is unsubstantiated, and given the fact that the Trump Organization may not be above manipulating numbers (see https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-inc-podcast-never-before-seen-trump-tax-documents-show-major-inconsistencies), there's no reason to believe the donations are accurate without further information.
    76 replies | 1417 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-30-2019, 09:00 AM
    It certainly wouldn't be as low as the asinine one-share-of-McDonald's-stock example you came up with or jmdrake's idiotic Happy Meal. They are for certain purposes. But if a business funnels money earned from dealings with foreign governments to a federal official who owns a large enough piece, I don't see why the Foreign Emoluments Clause wouldn't apply. The potential for corruption would still exist, and that's what the Founding Fathers were concerned about.
    76 replies | 1417 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-30-2019, 07:07 AM
    Yes, quite a lot. You assumed that the entity that owns the hotel doesn't make any distributions to its owner(s) out of its profits (assuming it has any). I wonder whether Congress has asked for the tax returns of these entities to investigate whether they paid dividends to Trump, thereby implicating the Foreign Emoluments Clause. But even if all of the profits were plowed back into the business, that would only increase the value of the equity in the entity, which is still an economic benefit to the owner(s). Trump placed his holdings in a revocable trust, which means he can assume control at any time. In addition the trust was amended in 2017 to allow Trump to demand distributions from the trust any time he wants. Moreover, the Trustees are his son Donald Jr. and an executive of the Trump Organization, and one would have to be incredibly naive to think they don't listen to the beneficiary and do what he wants, especially since they can be removed by Trump for any reason or no reason.
    76 replies | 1417 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-29-2019, 06:58 AM
    That's a lie. In post #12 I said, "Now if Trump's ownership of the entity or entities that are the legal owners of his hotels were small enough, there might not be a problem." Is that the best you can do -- misrepresenting my position in a pathetic attempt to support yours?
    76 replies | 1417 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-29-2019, 06:53 AM
    Strawman. The Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits receiving benefits from foreign governments, not foreign citizens. Interesting story about a report that groups including a foreign government have booked blocks of rooms at Trump-owned hotels without using them. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/02/trump-hotel-empty-rooms-016763
    76 replies | 1417 view(s)
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We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
Erwin N. Griswold

Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
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