Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Wrong And Wrong

Condemning the two-time impeachment and trial of Donald J. Trump, Lindsay Graham has charged

And we've opened Pandora's Box to future Presidents and if you use this model, I don't know how Kamala Harris doesn't get impeached if the Republicans take over the House because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody's head open.

Republicans will try to impeach a Democratic president for anything. They've already done so for the commission of consensual sex, of which Graham should be aware because he was a vocal advocate of convicting the impeached Bill Clinton in the Senate in 1999. Moreover, this will not open a Pandora's Box for Democratic legislators because they now fully realize that no more than a handful of Republicans ever will vote to impeach a Republican President. Or at least they won't unless witnesses are called, which Democrats won't because they live to be intimidated.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund puts up the bail for many individuals, and it raised copious amounts of money after the protests which followed the murder of George Floyd. One of the defendants benefiting was Jaleel Stallings, arrested on May 30, 2020 in Minneapolis. According to the Hennepin District Court, there is a jury trial scheduled for March 27, 2021 for two counts of Attempted Second Degree Murder, one count of Assault, and other charges, which appear to be three felonies carrying a lesser maximum sentence. 

However, more likely Graham was referring to

A 32-year-old Minneapolis man, who was bailed out of jail by the Minnesota Freedom Fund in July after an alleged assault, is accused in another assault that left the victim with a traumatic brain injury.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Lionel Timms faces one felony count of third-degree assault — causing substantial bodily harm — in connection to the Aug. 14 incident.

Yet, in neither case was Timms arrested for an incident arising from the racial  justice protests. Further

all but three of the 170 people arrested during the protests between May 26 and June 2 were released from jail within a week. Of the 167 released, only 10 had to put up a monetary bond to be released; in most cases, the amounts were nominal, such as $78 or $100. In fact, 92 percent of those arrested had to pay no bail — and 29 percent of those arrested did not face charges. (The American Bail Coalition is a trade group of insurance companies who profit from underwriting bail bonds.

Without an investigation, it cannot be determined what donations from whom went to which offenders. However, the vast majority of the money collected by the MFF, including a sum contributed by then-vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, was not used to bail out Lindsay Graham's "rioters" but to gain the release of other alleged offenders.

Lindsay Graham, ideologically-charged political opportunist: meet Kamala Harris, judgment-impaired Vice President.

The South Carolina senator has chosen to distort wildly a controversial issue as his rationale for defending a President who instigated a riot for the purpose of overturning a free and fair election. Senator Harris gave to a fund which was used overwhelmingly not to free (before trial) protestors or rioters but individuals with motives completely unconnected to any ideas of racial justice or police reform.

On June 1, 2020, Harris (apparently successfully) encouraged a torrent of contributions to the Minnesota Freedom Fund by tweeting "If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.”

She was hired twice as a prosecutor, later was elected as District Attorney of San Francisco, and thereafter as Attorney General of the State of California. Yet as far as we know, she assumed the contributions to this organization would bail out peaceful protestors.

It turns out that most of that money was not applied to peaceful protestors, as Harris implied, nor to rioters, as implied by Lindsey Graham and many other Republicans.

If conservatives had a problem with the Black Lives Matter protests, they had a duty to specify their disagreement with the policies or perspective of the movement. Instead, intimidated by the slogan "black lives matter," most of them hid behind baseless accusations. On the other side of the partisan aisle, if an ex-prosecutor (let alone ex-state Attorney General) wants to support an organization helping peaceful protestors, she should know to find out a little about the organization first.


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