Bribery Explained Using Boolean Logic

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The Democratic report on impeachment accuses President Trump of, among other things, criminal bribery. What’s up with that? Wasn’t it really extortion? Allow me to Boolesplain:

Extortion: If you don’t announce an investigation of Joe Biden then I won’t approve your military aid package.

Bribery: If I do approve your military aid package then you will announce an investigation of Joe Biden. Capiche?

They’re the same thing. Legally, though, the nice thing about the bribery construction is that bribery is specifically mentioned in the Constitution as an impeachable offense.

UPDATE: After a Twitter exchange about this, I realize maybe I need to explain further. The first statement is of the form “If A then B.” The second statement is of the form “If not B then not A.” The second version is called the contrapositive of the first, and it is logically identical. For example:

  • If you are human then you are a mammal.
  • Contrapositive: If you are not a mammal then you are not human.

These are logically equivalent.

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FACT:

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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