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Well, now to America. In a speech to end the Democratic National Convention in Delaware, Joe Biden has vowed to end America's season of darkness under Donald Trump as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination. The current president is closed American darkness for much too long. Too much anger, too much fear, too much division here and now I give you my word, if you can trust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst.
I'll be an ally of the light, not the darkness. It's time for us, for we, the people to come together. And make no mistake, United, we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness, overprivileged. I'm a proud Democrat. And I'll be proud to carry the banner of our party into the general election. So it's a great honor and humility, I accept this nomination for president of the United States of America.
And that said, Joe Biden and it appears he did make the speech of his life, people waiting for gaffes that did not occur and on Donald Trump will more darkness for him yesterday as former campaign manager Steve Bannon was arrested for defrauding donors to the We Build a Wall campaign. And then a second blow. A federal judge has rejected President Trump's efforts to block the Manhattan district attorney from obtaining his tax returns. On the line is law lecturer NYG Larry Dunolly.
Larry, good morning. Good morning, Pat.
Now, first of all, I'll ask you about Joe Biden. I mean, you talked to me before about when you would go back to Boston, you'd find many very typical blue collar and some white collar Democrats who had voted for Trump and whether or not Biden was the stuff that could beat a Trump machine.
What's your reaction now after watching the unfolding Democratic National Convention?
Well, I would agree with you on that front, Pat. I mean, the reality is I think Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination because he was deemed to be the most electable, the person who could win those votes despite his manifest weaknesses as a candidate. I think last night, in keeping with your intro, I think last night in his speech, which I watched, I thought it was a terrific speech. I thought he hit all of the right notes.
Critics will say it doesn't take much to read off a teleprompter, but he was strong and delivered it with manifest conviction and emotion. And I think that will go some ways to assuaging the doubts that some Americans have about his capacity and his stamina. There's clearly a long way to go, but I think Joe Biden did himself an awful lot of good last night.
Now, he doesn't have a perfect diction. He's a far wider vocabulary than Donald Trump, but he tends to stumble sometimes over his words. And there was a very interesting piece I saw on American television last night where a little kid showed how Joe Biden being aware of his own difficulties with script reading and where the pitfalls might be. And this kid has a stammer as well.
And Joe Biden had showed him how to mock a script to be able to deliver it without stumbling.
And it was something it was was an incredible honesty about that, which I loved.
Absolutely. I think that's going to be one of the things that the Democrats are going to do with Joe Biden, I think it'll come through is to portray him as a thoroughly decent, honest guy. Implicit in all of that will be, yes, he's not perfect, but he's just like everybody else. And I thought that little boy did an absolutely terrific job. And what a credit he is to to his family and to his friends and all who've worked with them to be able to do that.
I think that's going to be at the heart of this Biden campaign. I think this sense of kindness and decency, which were themes he stressed last night during the speech by way of contrasting himself with the president. I also thought some of the videos that were put out there by people in Amtrak, Joe Biden notably took the train to work every day. And the people who talked about how he treated them are ordinary guys who are collecting tickets and that sort of thing, how he was so relatable in every respect.
I think those are going to be key themes on the campaign trail, and I think they're ones that are going to resonate. Now, it's going to be a dirty campaign, and there's no doubt about that. Hillary Clinton has warned Joe Biden that Trump is someone who lies with impunity.
And you see it really at every turn. I mean, talking about Steve Bannon, no, really nothing to do with me. Used to have a lot to do with them. Don't have anymore. Can't remember when I last saw him, all of that kind of thing. So talk to us about the trouble that Steve Bannon has found himself in.
Well, Steve, Steve Bannon, along with several other conservative celebrities, I suppose you would call them, set up a go fund me page to raise private funds in order to help President Trump build his wall. And they raised a considerable amount of money, but they did so under the premise that none of the money was going to them. None of it was going to pay salaries or pay expenses, that it was 100 percent going to the wall. Now, it turns out that some of that money was misappropriated well over a million dollars in terms of salary and expenses, both for Steve Bannon and at least one other individual involved in the leadership of the group.
And as a result, they've been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy. On that, they would face up to 40 years in prison, although most people say that's at the very, very upper end of the scale, they're highly unlikely to get that far. But the issue here for the president is how many degrees of separation can he establish between himself in this effort by Bannon and others? And it appears that he was quite dismissive of this effort at one stage.
So I'm not so sure how much political damage or legal damage this is going to cause. Other than that, really, I think a lot of Americans are going to start to say just about every guy. And indeed, they were almost all guys who was involved in the 2016 campaign has found himself in pretty serious legal trouble. And what does that say about the president?
Yeah, the guy who seemed to have benefited most is a fellow called Brian Fudge. And there is a, you know, stuff about him in Maryland and meeting with Eric Trump now that, you know, degrees of separation, but saying that he'd been told that the president was fully behind his efforts.
And that's on video that's available for people to watch.
Now, whether he's spoofing about the president being behind it, whether Eric actually said that and whether that's on tape, I do not know.
But it's just that the stink of corruption that seems to surround so much of what Donald Trump does, this cloak of darkness that Joe Biden referred to, but as he famously said himself, he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in front of all the people on the pavement, and he could do it with impunity.
So his base, which may be narrowing slightly, they will forgive him anything.
Yeah, that's the extraordinary thing about Donald Trump, is he has a base that is unwaveringly loyal to a loyal to him and his biggest political victory, his biggest political strength that we've spoken about this before, Pat, is that he plays the the game by a very, very different rules than everybody else. For another major party nominee, this would be a very, very serious development. But because Trump in so many ways has lowered expectations around what he what can be expected of him in terms of his personal behavior, then people just kind of don't bat an eyelid anymore.
And the people who would be most appalled by this is the reality is that Trump can do rough calculations. They wouldn't vote for Donald Trump anyway. So it really is going to boil down to that. That's a smallish contingent of people who don't have usually strong views of Donald Trump one way or the other, who could vote one way or the other in November. It comes down to them and what they're going to make of it. And that's why I would suggest this ongoing shroud of, you know, double dealings and secret dealings.
It may cause some doubts in them. And I think the Biden campaign would be wise to hop on it. Yeah.
And of course, the whole attempt to dismantle elements of the Postal Service that would allow people to cast their ballots by by mail and the dependence of many people in rural America on a robust mail service. You know, sometimes there are national icons that people are incredibly fond of, irrespective of their party. And the Postal Service would be one of them.
I suspect you're absolutely right on that front, Pat, and that's why we haven't heard an awful lot from Republicans in Congress or elsewhere by way of support for Donald Trump with respect to the Postal Service and the idea of mail in ballots and indeed in rural America, where they are heavily dependent on it. We've actually had some pushback in in particular in the state of Florida, where mail in voting is widely used, especially by the elderly people who put Donald Trump over the top last.
Republicans behind closed doors and behind not so closed doors are saying, hold on a second here, pal. This is going to hurt us and I don't know what you're going on about here, but this is a political difficulty for us. And that's why Trump rolled back so quickly on his criticism of mail in ballot in Florida and said, no, it's not a problem in Florida, it's a problem everywhere else. But this all seems to be part of a plan to kind of sew confusion and distrust with respect to the election results and to to lay some claim and to obfuscate as much as you possibly can in the event that the election doesn't go his way.
Yeah, it doesn't necessarily mean that he'll have to be dragged out of the White House, but it would mean that he'll sound off forever about how he was robbed, that he is not really a loser. Should he lose the election, that he's really a winner who was robbed.
That would be the narrative, the tax business and the federal judge giving the nod to the New York district attorney to get the documents. It doesn't mean they'll be handed over tomorrow. Donald Trump is appealing, could go all the way to a Supreme Court which is laden with his nominees. You know, is this inevitable? It's going to come out. This is a delaying tactic. Let's get past November.
Yeah, I think that this probably won't be so much of an issue. And again, the important thing to say at the outset, not that this totally closed it, but is a fact. The cultural differences between the United States and Europe when it comes to paying taxes in the United States, at least among people who would be tempted to vote for Donald Trump. The IRS is seen certainly not as an ally and in many cases as the enemy. So a lot of those people will say if Trump did whatever he could to get out of paying taxes, we don't mind.
That doesn't bother us one whit. But the other thing about this, as you say, is the timing, that the reality is this is going to be appealed again. It's going up to a mid-level federal court. The likelihood of the tax returns being released before November is very, very slim. So this protracted battle will go on in the background. And again, it brings up the fascinating theme of what Donald Trump might face into after he is president, whether that's in January of this year or January 20, 25.
So you could have another impeachment effort, though, if the if Russia comes to the fore, if investments that he denied he had came to the fore, there could be an effort to impeach.
And, of course, then the Republicans wouldn't have a Donald Trump eight years down the road or four years from now. So they will be looking for another candidate and opportunity knocks, get rid of the embarrassing Donald and install someone else who might give them a shot four years from now.
Biden full of energy, campaigning at home. How will he survive outside his glass box? That's a text. Don't forget, Trump sacked Bannon years ago. Also, the Department of Justice is under the president's control. So you'd think he had knowledge of the investigation on arrest. Just a thought. That's James from Locklin.
That's not necessarily so, because these district attorneys have incredible power, ultimately subservient to the Department of Justice, but only, if you like, after the fact. They don't have to ask permission to go on a luxury yacht and bust Steve Bannon.
No, no, that's that's not the absolute I mean, U.S. United States attorney certainly within their districts have a considerable degree of power in the context of a reelection campaign. It's highly unlikely that their every move would be watched. The other texta has an interesting point there about Biden and coming out of the glass house, so to speak. And it is a fair point in the sense that this campaign is going to be more dependent on surrogates than any presidential campaign in living memory.
And to some extent, Biden is helped by the fact is that the conditions of the pandemic. So a lot of what's usually expected won't be there. But nonetheless, Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, lots of others are going to be need to be there for Joe Biden to push his message. And indeed, when he does make mistakes and he's going to make mistakes to be there and to back up what he's saying and to clarify misstatements and missteps along the way.
So that's going to be huge and different part of this campaign ahead.
Larry Donnally, thank you very much for joining us. Come home to ultrafast broadband and Skye's best ever Wi-Fi for our lowest ever price from just 30 your home, so you can now play games, stream music and download movies at Ultrafast Beats for less than ever before. To switch from just 30 a month for 12 months, search guy 30 availability subject to location, set up these terms and conditions apply for more info. This guy dying for its speeds.