Fruit of the poisonous tree

"Fruit of the poisonous tree" is a legal term used in the United States.  According to the Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute, "This doctrine holds that evidence gathered with the assistance of illegally obtained information must be excluded from trial. Thus, if an illegal interrogation leads to the discovery of physical evidence, both the interrogation and the physical evidence may be excluded."

Something serious has been overlooked in the current brouhaha over Jeff Sessions and the Trump campaign's "links to Russia."  Interestingly enough, Al Franken exposes the "poisonous tree" that all the other "fruit" has subsequently produced.

Franken: "CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week that included information that quote, 'Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.' These documents also allegedly say quote, 'There was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.'

"Now, again, I'm telling you this as it's coming out, so you know. But if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russians."

CNN's (fake news) story was based on the since discredited Buzzfeed hit piece.  

Or, in legal jargon, "the poisonous tree."

So let's map this out.  Buzzfeed posts a fake news story that CNN runs, asserting that "there was continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian Government."

This story was determined to be false, and yet, now, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, and the whole of the Trump administration are presumed guilty and are having to "disprove" their associations with intermediaries for the Russian government.

We are faced with a crass adversary (no, not the Russians).  The Democratic Party, and their surrogates in the media, has glommed onto this tree and is intent to shake it for all it's worth.  They neutralized Michael Flynn (who had damning evidence about the Iran deal).  They've neutered Jeff Sessions (who likely had a handful of cases on the docket to bring against high-ranking Democrats, up to and including Barack Obama).  If we think they're done, we're sadly mistaken.

This fight has nothing to do with the Russians.  This fight is about our country's trajectory.  Will Donald Trump and Republicans be given the opportunity to implement their agenda, or will Democrats derail our agenda, or worse, take down "by its root" our current system of government?     

How often in our party's recent past has the Democratic Party (or their media acolytes) launched an attack, using half-truths or blatant misrepresentations, only to have our side buckle, or worse, attempt to defend the false premise?  By defending the falsehood, you give it credence.

I had hoped that Donald Trump's example of pushing back would have stiffened the spines of those in our caucus.  As we see events play out regarding this "fake news story," it appears that my hopes are, so far, ill placed.

While we are fighting using Marquess of Queensberry Rules, the left are heeding Barack Obama's advice: "If they bring a knife, you bring a gun."

"Fruit of the poisonous tree" is a legal term used in the United States.  According to the Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute, "This doctrine holds that evidence gathered with the assistance of illegally obtained information must be excluded from trial. Thus, if an illegal interrogation leads to the discovery of physical evidence, both the interrogation and the physical evidence may be excluded."

Something serious has been overlooked in the current brouhaha over Jeff Sessions and the Trump campaign's "links to Russia."  Interestingly enough, Al Franken exposes the "poisonous tree" that all the other "fruit" has subsequently produced.

Franken: "CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week that included information that quote, 'Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.' These documents also allegedly say quote, 'There was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.'

"Now, again, I'm telling you this as it's coming out, so you know. But if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russians."

CNN's (fake news) story was based on the since discredited Buzzfeed hit piece.  

Or, in legal jargon, "the poisonous tree."

So let's map this out.  Buzzfeed posts a fake news story that CNN runs, asserting that "there was continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian Government."

This story was determined to be false, and yet, now, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, and the whole of the Trump administration are presumed guilty and are having to "disprove" their associations with intermediaries for the Russian government.

We are faced with a crass adversary (no, not the Russians).  The Democratic Party, and their surrogates in the media, has glommed onto this tree and is intent to shake it for all it's worth.  They neutralized Michael Flynn (who had damning evidence about the Iran deal).  They've neutered Jeff Sessions (who likely had a handful of cases on the docket to bring against high-ranking Democrats, up to and including Barack Obama).  If we think they're done, we're sadly mistaken.

This fight has nothing to do with the Russians.  This fight is about our country's trajectory.  Will Donald Trump and Republicans be given the opportunity to implement their agenda, or will Democrats derail our agenda, or worse, take down "by its root" our current system of government?     

How often in our party's recent past has the Democratic Party (or their media acolytes) launched an attack, using half-truths or blatant misrepresentations, only to have our side buckle, or worse, attempt to defend the false premise?  By defending the falsehood, you give it credence.

I had hoped that Donald Trump's example of pushing back would have stiffened the spines of those in our caucus.  As we see events play out regarding this "fake news story," it appears that my hopes are, so far, ill placed.

While we are fighting using Marquess of Queensberry Rules, the left are heeding Barack Obama's advice: "If they bring a knife, you bring a gun."

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