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Dershowitz on the Donald Jr. meeting

Discussion in 'Political Discussions (' started by Greatest hunter in world?, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Greatest hunter in world?

    Greatest hunter in world? Banned

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    Germany/Bay City, MI
    One of our sharpest legal minds weighs in on the Trump Jr. brouhaha.

    Dersh points out that a campaign has the right to obtain information from any source. He also explains that regulating the transfer and dissemination of information with campaign finance laws would violate the First Amendment. Interesting argument, but I don't think he even needs to go that far. The relevant statute pretty clearly was not written to regulate Don Jr.'s conduct. My analysis from the other thread (which got buried):

    The allegation that DJT Jr. violated campaign finance laws is a stretch, to say the least. There's nothing in the statutes that he's allegedly violated that indicate information is covered by "anything of value". Especially free information offered gratis by a person the campaign had no reason to know was a foreign citizen (what, her name? So now I have to investigate every person with a non-vanilla white guy name? You racists!). The Subchapter of the statute these pie-in-the-sky, never-practiced-law, so-called "ethics watchdogs" rely on is entitled "Disclosure of Campaign Funds". "Contributions", which is what they allege DJT Jr. solicited, are defined as:

    (A)The term “contribution” includes—
    any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office; or
    the payment by any person of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a political committee without charge for any purpose.

    There are two canons of statutory construction applicable here: Noscitur a Sociis (“it is known from its associates”), and Ejusdem Generis (“of the same kind, class, or nature”). From the former, we can surmise that "contributions", when considered with the other words of this statute, refer to things of monetary value received to fund a campaign. The latter is even more damning, because the list "a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value", when incorporating the definition of "contribution, makes clear that the statute is referring to things of MONETARY value. Pay attention to the words I bolded in the definition of "contribution". "Anything of value" follows from "gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money." Things of monetary value that can be used to fund a campaign. That is, afterall, the purpose of the statute, to regulate how campaigns are FINANCED. Information may have some "value", but you can't run your campaign on it. I'm not $1000000 in the green because I learn my political rival is a rat fink. I suppose if the information is printed on paper, the value of the paper might be considered a thing "of value", but its value is de minimis, especially if it's already printed on. It has very little marketability.

    All you fellows getting your hopes up about this are in for a big let-down. Thankfully this is a nation of laws, with precedent and rules of statutory interpretation. These statutes can't be bent beyond meaning just because you don't like someone.
  2. kingfisher 11

    kingfisher 11

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    Saginaw County
    You can bet if the media and the Obama administration put this much effort into investigating the Clinton's or other Republicans who were running for president. They could of found some real bad stuff.