Circumstantial Evidence is Often Very Reliable

Trump’s defenders – many of whom would otherwise support aggressive criminal prosecutions – sometimes argue that the case against Trump is merely circumstantial (no “direct evidence of collusion”).  These apologists ignore what in other cases they might acknowledge: that circumstantial evidence can strongly, reasonably support a conclusion.  Eric Swalwell and Chuck Rosenberg (as recounted by Natasha Bertrand) offer some examples:


What is circumstantial evidence? Suppose I’m trying to prove that my son Nelson ate some freshly baked brownies that we made together. When I turned away, all of the brownies were out. When I turned back, one was gone…

I didn’t see Nelson eat a brownie — that would be direct evidence. But when I returned, he had crumbs on his shirt, and chocolate on his lips and fingers. That would be considered circumstantial evidence that Nelson ate a brownie.

Rosenberg (via Bertrand):

Chuck Rosenberg gave me another example: you wake up with snow on your front lawn. Do you have direct evidence that it snowed? No. But the circumstantial evidence is strong, and far more likely than someone driving up to your house and throwing snow on your lawn.

So many of these law-and-order Trumpists set aside a principle of evidence underlying law and order when it comes to Trump.

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