Watch: Yesterday's Kamala Harris speech narrates this new "Prosecute Trump" ad

Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which guarantees that cigarettes and other combustible tobacco products will continue to remain legal in the United States–despite Congress’s explicit finding that tobacco products are inherently dangerous and that they are the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Was that criminal, given that it will result in hundreds of thousands of needless deaths, or was it a policy decision?

I agree!

This is an official act undertaken while he is President, one that does not violate clearly established law, and therefore one for which he enjoys absolute immunity even after he leaves office. The date of the case (1982) and the name of the petitioner (Nixon, as in Richard M.) should tell you that this is an immunity that continues after the president leaves office.

EDIT Absolute immunity applies to civil liability, not criminal.

I agree! But under the law as it stands now, Trump will not be held criminally responsible for this decision.


It’s still criminal negligence. People died due to a political decision this president made. Is that true of other presidents? Duh. Are they president right now? NO.

No. Nixon wasn’t prosecuted because Ford gave him immunity. We don’t know if he would have been brought up on criminal charges, because of that. The elite class protects each other.

Not if we don’t demand it, no, he won’t.

This is NOT politics as usual. We have to stop letting presidents make decisions that lead to the deaths of thousands of human beings and act as if there is nothing we can do. We did that in the 80s with the AIDS crisis, and look how that turned out, how many people who needlessly died, because of a refusal to act on behalf of the public. We must use this moment to look at the past and to create a future where our rights are all protected from this sort of violence masquerading as “politics.”


:Insert scanners gif:

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I agree with all of that! My point continues to be only that the law isn’t there now, and because it isn’t there now, and because we don’t retroactively punish people for things that were legal when they did them, Trump isn’t going to be prosecuted for his numerous disastrous policy decisions.

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Then they’ve won and we’re fucked.


You seem to be assuming that he isn’t (or won’t) do everything he can think of anyways.
I feel sad for the person who is going to have to clean up all the half eaten
cheese burgers from behind the bed.

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won’t protect him from state prosecutions

The president can only pardon federal crimes.

tRunp has committed enough state and local crimes to be totally fucked no matter how much pence pardons him.


No. It means that we are at least nominally still living in a nation under the rule of law, and that it’s one in which even presidents governing in good faith have to make decisions that will lead to deaths–or that may lead to deaths and whether they do or not is unknowable until sometime in the future. It also means that we are still living in a country where something you do today can’t be retroactively outlawed tomorrow.

Protections like that unfortunately work for human garbage like Trump just as they do for the rest of us, and by virtue of the fact that he got a bunch of people to vote for him for the office, he has even more protections than you or I do, despite the fact that he governs in obvious bad faith. Our defense against that is, unfortunately, really fucking difficult: educating the country, limiting the reach of bad ideas and lies masquerading as facts, trying to eliminate the electoral college, and maybe even more searching constitutional reforms. But the fact that the criminal law does not currently outlaw the things Trump has done isn’t the end of the game.

Trump should (and I trust will) be prosecuted for the criminal acts he took before he was in office, and possibly for criminal acts that he undertook while in office that were not further to his exercise of the presidency–like obstructing justice. (But it may be that the courts decide that impeachment is the sole remedy for those.) There is still plenty of room for hope that he–and maybe even his garbage adult children–will end their nasty, self-serving lives as felons sitting in a New York prison.


I don’t know how to feel, that you think there’s enough of our government left to be worth preserving.

It’s a very optimistic thought.

Then I look at the federal and supreme courts.


I don’t think our situation would be improved by discarding what few buffers remain between partisan political considerations and rule of law.

I want Trump in prison, sure. I just don’t want Biden or Harris to be the ones making the calls that put him there.


But we are not, unless by rule of law you mean it’s protects the elites and not the rest of us.

We shouldn’t be happy about mass murder being okay if a president does it.

They do not work Black families that can’t get justice for their murdered family members. Or for the people going up for life for petty crimes.

white collar crimes, so, you know, slap on the wrist.

Where do you get that?

I agree, except that it’s a system rigged to protect the whitest and wealthiest among us, not most of us. We need fundamental reform that holds the people with the most wealth and power accountable, and a nice place to start would be with this administration.


And if it was done at least partly in order to aid Russia? Would that be criminal enough for you?


I’m not convinced that Trump is an elite anything.

Who said we had to be happy about it?

My point is just that the president’s job is to make hard decisions, and sometimes they are hard decisions that involve people dying. Sometimes they may even be hard decisions that require many people to die, because the alternative is, in the president’s presumably well-informed view, worse.

Again, the fact that we currently have a president who abuses his power and governs in bad faith does not mean that we will not be in a situation in the future in which a president who is governing in good faith has to make a similar decision.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s criminal enough for me, or for you. What matters for understanding whether he will be prosecuted for it is whether he violated a preexisting state or federal criminal law. If he did, point me to it! I’m all for prosecuting him. I’m just not aware of one that he violated.


He is. He’s wealthy, powerful, and the president of the US… He went to elite schools, hob knobbed with the rich and famous, and was able to break and bend to law in spectacular ways with impunity. That is the definition of being elite, that you can do whatever you want with no consequences like the rest of us.

No. They made a decision that actively KILLED Americans. It was a decision they knew would kill people, and they did not even have the fig leaf of it being in a war zone.

Which IS against the law, in fact. The fact that he got off impeachment doesn’t change that.

Criminally negligent.

Really? How is I’m going to kill off people who’ll vote against me to win an election EVER in good faith. That can’t be spun positively in anyway.

I meant where do you get the idea that the rich are ever held accountable for their actions?

If the law is nothing but a fiction created to protect property and wealth, then we’ve already lost.


What I’m saying is that, if he entered office in bad faith, compromised by a foreign rival, he doesn’t legally have any of the protections of any prior or subsequent president. His term in office was never valid. So harms caused by his ineptitude are fully his responsibility, not shielded by any kind of immunity.


I’ve said my piece. :man_shrugging:

It would be nice if that were how it worked, but that’s not how it works. The Constitution’s solution for the problem you’re describing–treason–is impeachment, conviction, and removal from office. Trump wasn’t convicted.

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And yet…


From what I’ve just been reading, the law preventing prosecution of former presidents doesn’t say they have to be convicted while in office, it just says that a legal action has to be taken against them during their term in office for the offense.

Since legal action was taken against him for the Ukraine scandal, anything related to that is fair game once he’s out of office.

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