Author Topic: Jeff Sessions Resigns  (Read 1864 times)

Wayward Son

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Jeff Sessions Resigns
« on: November 07, 2018, 03:43:01 PM »
So it begins...

Sessions has resigned.  Rosenstein has been told he no longer oversees the Mueller investigation.  Acting AG General Matthew Whitaker is taking over.  Any bets on how long it will be before the Mueller investigation is stopped and buried?

I guess Trump feels confident enough that the optics of this won't matter. 

Or desperate enough... ;)

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 03:54:34 PM »
Like I said in the other thread, the ability to replace executive officers is the part of a "Trumpier" Senate that the media failed to focus on (while they went over the top on judicial nominees).

Sessions choosing to recuse himself without cause, while allowing far more directly conflicted Rosenstein to appoint the very conflicted Mueller was always an error that should have been corrected.

TheDrake

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2018, 04:02:31 PM »
Imagine the heroics that must have taken place to stop Trump from making this move before the election. The timing is hardly a coincidence.

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“So I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment ... and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt," Whitaker said during a CNN interview, according to The Washington Post.

DJQuag

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2018, 04:34:00 PM »
Mueller is an intelligent and experienced person. I have no doubt that he saw this coming and has prepared accordingly.

I wouldn't be surprised if sealed indictments have already been filed.

rightleft22

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2018, 05:33:22 PM »
How does this not make it look as if Trump is hiding something?
I know his supports will argue there is nothing to find so no need to investigate 
I don't know about Russian issue but his refusal to release his tax returns smells

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 05:52:29 PM »
How does this not make it look as if Trump is hiding something?

How does it make him look like he is?  No matter what he did, or what the investigation actually "finds" it won't change the opinions of anyone that already thinks he's guilty.

Honestly, if Mueller came out tomorrow and said there was no collusion, would the matter be over for you?  Clearly wouldn't for Adam Shiff.

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I know his supports will argue there is nothing to find so no need to investigate

No.  What I will argue is that a legitimate basis for an investigation has never been released, and if there isn't one that was known at the time the Special Prosecutor was empowered, then certain members of the DOJ need to be indicted themselves.
 
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I don't know about Russian issue but his refusal to release his tax returns smells

Again, it doesn't smell, it's just good sense.  Career politicians can release their tax returns because they are simple, straight forward and largely designed to be empty of content.

For every page of Hillary Clinton's return, Trump has at least 100 pages, maybe even a thousand.  With that numbers of lines, it's inevitable that it will be a gift to the Democrats - without any regard to any legitimate issues on the returns.  I mean heck, they could make "headwind" by showing he donated millions 20 years ago to an open borders group and there's nothing illegal about that.  More likely they'd make all kinds of claims based on LEGAL deductions.

The idea that we should see tax returns is a rule written by politicians, for politicians to protect their special status as an entitled group.

Wayward Son

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2018, 06:24:16 PM »
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No matter what he did, or what the investigation actually "finds" it won't change the opinions of anyone that already thinks he's guilty.

And, apparently, to those who already think he's innocent. :(

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The idea that we should see tax returns is a rule written by politicians, for politicians to protect their special status as an entitled group.

History, Seriati, history.  Read about the Teapot Dome scandal, which is when Congress got the right to examine the President's and his cabinet's tax returns, because it can show illegal behavior.

TheDeamon

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2018, 07:13:52 PM »
The tax system in 1924 was a lot more simple and straightforward than what exists today.

Odds are nobody in Congress is able to begin to comprehend Trump's tax return, never mind place judgment on it. (Trump probably doesn't understand much of it either)

It probably will require a team of both tax lawyers and business law types to "unpack" his tax return, and the interpretations rendered therein will be as numerous as the people who review them. They also are highly likely to contradict one another.

It also may expose other "internal financial interests" for Trump holdings in general and not just his personal finances so the privacy of others is highly likely to be impinged because of that. That would be one thing as "a government investigation" such as Mueller is doing. But as part of a Congressional Investigation for the purpose of Political Theater? It will be a 6 ring circus act.

Edit: In some respects, I almost want the Democrats to go "all in" on putting on a show, maybe they'll find something, maybe they won't. But the unintended consequences of their inquisition are likely going to be legion, and unpleasant all the way around. But the Democrats are probably going to be the ones who suffer the most long-term consequences from it.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 07:17:35 PM by TheDeamon »

rightleft22

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2018, 11:10:11 AM »
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Honestly, if Mueller came out tomorrow and said there was no collusion, would the matter be over for you?

Yes it would.

That said with regards to being a crooked businessman. I always felt (no proof) pre-nomination that his business dealings were/are... shady and suspect history will prove as much.
I suspect part of the appeal of his followers is that he gets away with that kind of thing.

yossarian22c

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2018, 11:36:46 AM »
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Honestly, if Mueller came out tomorrow and said there was no collusion, would the matter be over for you?

Yes it would.

I agree as well. If Mueller comes and and says unequivocally that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives I will believe it.

It gets a lot murkier if Mueller's work gets cut short and/or anything he finds gets classified by the new AG.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2018, 11:40:42 AM »
Holder and Lynch never would have recused themselves in an investigation involving Obama. They squashed them all. Fast and Furious. IRS. Executing an American without a trial. Paying ransom money to terror state Iran for hostages. protected an international drug-trafficking ring run by the terror group Hezbollah operating in the United States, spying on reporters, appointed head of NLRB even though Congress was in session and he didn't have the Constitutional authority to do so as ruled upon by the Supreme Court, Benghazi attack caused by a video, and on and on and on. All Trump wants is the same kind of yes men Obama had in his back pocket all through his time in office. A pit bull to attack the political opposition and sweep all his crimes under the rug. Is that too much to ask?

yossarian22c

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2018, 11:47:28 AM »
Holder and Lynch never would have recused themselves in an investigation involving Obama.

The difference being Sessions was part of the Trump campaign (which is the organization under investigation), so he properly recused himself.

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A pit bull to attack the political opposition and sweep all his crimes under the rug. Is that too much to ask?

That isn't the kind of AG I want for Obama or Trump or any president, is that what you want?

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2018, 12:09:55 PM »
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No matter what he did, or what the investigation actually "finds" it won't change the opinions of anyone that already thinks he's guilty.

And, apparently, to those who already think he's innocent. :(

That doesn't follow from what I said, nor does it follow from any statement I've ever made on the topic.

The fact that a reasonable basis for starting the investigation has never disclosed is troubling.  If they don't show a contemporaneous one in connection with the report then this was in fact a witch hunt and an abuse of power.

If they find a witch that doesn't change the prior point.  It's obvious that under our laws one can be impeached notwithstanding a gross abuse of power, whereas a conviction would be prohibited by the abuse of our civil rights.

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The idea that we should see tax returns is a rule written by politicians, for politicians to protect their special status as an entitled group.

History, Seriati, history.  Read about the Teapot Dome scandal, which is when Congress got the right to examine the President's and his cabinet's tax returns, because it can show illegal behavior.
[/quote]

Here's a good write up on the rule that they seek to use.  https://taxprof.typepad.com/files/154tn1013-yin.pdf  I recommend taking  a look at the relevant rules themselves.  IRC 6103, the general rule is in (a), and the rules that seem to be relevant are in (f)(1) and (4)(A).  I would note, that their approach is not free from risk.

What's interesting to me, is that much like how Democratic lawyers have been getting pre-emptive injunctions against Trump's EOs (and tying them up for years) based on what they claim are the "real reasons" for his actions based on his prior comments, he also probably has enough of a record to find a friendly court to enjoin the release.  I don't think he'd ultimately be successful, but tying the issue up for 2 years would be enough.

Not to mention, there's a possibility of bringing claims or even prosecuting members of Congress if they are shown to have released an individual's records, even Trumps, for a non-legitimate reason.  I'd rate the odds of that being successful as very low at this point, but who knows.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2018, 09:16:46 PM »
So the latest is a bunch of Blue State Democratic AGs sending a letter asking that the new acting AG recuse himself from the Mueller probe because his prior comments will taint it.  It's the height of hypocrisy to think the new guy is tainted but that Rosenstein who is a material witness to any obstruction of justice charge related to Comey is not, or for that matter that Mueller himself is not irrevocably tainted by his own relationship with Comey (or the fact that he interviewed for the head of the FBI job).

The blatant and unexamined hypocrisy of the Democratic party never ceases to shock as it drops to new lows.

Wayward Son

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2018, 06:31:41 PM »
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Here's a good write up on the rule that they seek to use.  https://taxprof.typepad.com/files/154tn1013-yin.pdf  I recommend taking  a look at the relevant rules themselves.  IRC 6103, the general rule is in (a), and the rules that seem to be relevant are in (f)(1) and (4)(A).  I would note, that their approach is not free from risk.

I'll have to review the relevant rules themselves some other time, but I did note this paragraph is the write-up you recommended:

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In the present situation, concerns over President Trump’s possible conflicts of interest — including conflicts with tax legislation the committees may soon be asked to approve — would certainly seem to justify a tax committee effort to obtain and inspect his confidential tax information. A review could also assure the American public that the IRS is treating him like any other taxpayer and not giving him preferential treatment. This would not be an idle concern; an initial IRS audit of Nixon’s returns did not result in any proposed adjustment even though the JCT staff later found (and the IRS concurred on second audit) that Nixon actually owed almost $500,000 in additional taxes. And as
previously described, Congress had the same worries about the tax agency’s favorable treatment of Mellon. The parallels between the present-day concerns and those that contributed to the creation of the tax committee authority in 1924 are very close.

TheDrake

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2018, 07:09:18 PM »
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Holder and Lynch never would have recused themselves in an investigation involving Obama.

Really?

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At the May 15 hearing, Holder testified under oath that he had recused himself from the AP case because he had previously been questioned regarding who knew what about the classified leak. Therefore, he said, he had no role in last year's decision by Deputy Attorney General James Cole to seek the secret subpoena of AP phone records.



Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2018, 07:51:51 PM »
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Holder and Lynch never would have recused themselves in an investigation involving Obama.

Really?

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At the May 15 hearing, Holder testified under oath that he had recused himself from the AP case because he had previously been questioned regarding who knew what about the classified leak. Therefore, he said, he had no role in last year's decision by Deputy Attorney General James Cole to seek the secret subpoena of AP phone records.

Not sure why you quoted that.  Holder recused himself from a case where the DOJ acted as a sword on behalf of the Obama admin is hardly the same thing as recusing himself from a defense.  He most certainly quashed multiple cases that a neutral prosecutor would have pursued.

And Wayward, I read the link, I know the author said the power is there and available.  I think the outer bounds of the authority aren't clear (and he covered that a bit as well), and ultimately where it comes out is probably going to be some version of "good cases make bad law."  The absolute ideal facts for challenging the use, are say a politically motivated subpeona that leads to a public release of a specific individuals tax returns without any compelling justification.  The rules themselves required executive session to look at individual tax information, though as the author pointed out they can be circumvented by sending the info to the full House.  Read the rules, I think you'll find it's less clear than you believe (by the way the relevant rules are shorter than the article - though there's a lot of text in other sections around them).

TheDrake

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2018, 12:49:39 PM »
Entirely equivalent. Sessions recused himself for the same reason, because he could be a subject of the investigation. I don't know you think otherwise.

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They said that since I had involvement with the campaign, I should not be involved in any campaign investigation,” Sessions said. He added that he concurred with their assessment and would thus recuse himself from any existing or future investigation involving President Trump’s 2016 campaign.


Was holder going to be a witness about Benghazi? Not that I can see. He wasn't involved in the staffing decisions, or any excuses for why it happened.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2018, 10:02:27 AM »
Entirely equivalent. Sessions recused himself for the same reason, because he could be a subject of the investigation. I don't know you think otherwise.

First of all, Sessions more than likely recused himself without need.  I'm still waiting for any explanation of how Sessions was required to be recused from Paul Manafort's financial problems from way before he worked with Trump (in other words, walk me through how those got in the special counsel mandate when there was no conflict of interest at the DOJ).  Or how Rosenstein and Mueller are not more conflicted in any investigation involving James Comey.

Second, there was never any question that Sessions was not the subject of an investigation.  That's a gross misunderstanding of what occurred.  He didn't recuse because he was the subject of an investigation, nor did he recuse because he was a potential witness, he literally recused because he was a partisan.  A standard that is not ever applied by AG's on the left.

Third, you completely ignored that Holder recused himself from a leak investigation where the DOJ was used as a sword to go after journalists.  That recusal specifically allowed partisans to go further than they could have if Holder had been responsible, and predictably when they were called out for subpeoning the phone records of a reported, Holder used that plausible deniability in front of Congress.

You literally have to be joking to make the equivalence. 

yossarian22c

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2018, 10:52:44 AM »
Entirely equivalent. Sessions recused himself for the same reason, because he could be a subject of the investigation. I don't know you think otherwise.
Second, there was never any question that Sessions was not the subject of an investigation.  That's a gross misunderstanding of what occurred.  He didn't recuse because he was the subject of an investigation, nor did he recuse because he was a potential witness, he literally recused because he was a partisan.  A standard that is not ever applied by AG's on the left.

Sessions recused because he was a member of the campaign and the campaign was under investigation. There is nothing strange or controversial there, it wasn't because he was a partisan but because he worked on the campaign and therefore shouldn't be leading the investigation into the campaign.

Don't forget Rosenstein is also a Trump appointee, it isn't like by Sessions recusing himself that Pelosi got to be in charge of the investigation. At the end of the day it is still an investigation of the Trump campaign overseen by people Trump appointed and the Senate approved to high level positions in the justice department.

TheDrake

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2018, 11:04:06 AM »
Nope, not joking. But even if you don't think that you should recuse yourself from an investigation on a campaign that you were a part of, there's the section that Sessions cited.

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He said he announced his recusal due to a standing Department of Justice regulation, citing Title 28, Chapter I, Section 45.2 of the Code of Federal Regulation, titled "Disqualification arising from personal or political relationship."

"That regulation states, in effect, that department employees should not participate in investigations of a campaign if they have served as a campaign advisor," Sessions said.

So it is not, as you sloppily suggest, "because he was a partisan".

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Political relationship means a close identification with an elected official, a candidate (whether or not successful) for elective, public office, a political party, or a campaign organization, arising from service as a principal adviser thereto or a principal official thereof; and

So you can extend that to mean that an AG like Holder should have recused himself. There were certainly people who thought it might. Their social relationship and friendship called into question whether Holder could be objective. None of that is an argument that Sessions should not have recused himself, it is an argument that Holder should have.

People looking to Holder to have recused himself should have applauded Session's recusal and held it up as an example of how they were morally superior to the scheming democrats, but instead they use it to berate Sessions for not matching the shadiness that they abhor.

Of course the recusal prevented the action that most people wanted Sessions to take- to scuttle an investigation for political reasons.

velcro

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2018, 12:42:57 PM »
How does this not make it look as if Trump is hiding something?

Honestly, if Mueller came out tomorrow and said there was no collusion, would the matter be over for you?  Clearly wouldn't for Adam Shiff.


Yes, on the collusion front.  Or more accurately, on the conspiring with a foreign government to influence the elections front. To reiterate, if Mueller said that Trump was not guilty, it would be over for me.

But if Mueller simply declines to indict, that proves nothing, since the DOJ says that a sitting President can't be indicted, and Whitaker can keep the details secret.

Then we can move on to see if Mueller says anything about money-laundering, tax fraud, emoluments, campaign finance violations, or perjury.  If Mueller says that Trump is not guilty of any of those, the matter will be over for me.

I'm curious - has Schiff said that explicitly, or are you just stating your opinion?

Pete at Home

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2018, 10:51:31 PM »
So it begins...

Sessions has resigned.  Rosenstein has been told he no longer oversees the Mueller investigation.  Acting AG General Matthew Whitaker is taking over.  Any bets on how long it will be before the Mueller investigation is stopped and buried?

I guess Trump feels confident enough that the optics of this won't matter. 

Or desperate enough... ;)

Even Trump has to know that he's following in the footsteps of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, with less popularity going in than either of them had.  This isn't desperation.  It's intentional self-harm.

TheDeamon

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2018, 11:24:55 PM »
Or he's trying ot provoke a Democrat House to use that as grounds for impeachment.

Should work out about as well for the Dems as it did for the Republicans with Johnson, and again with Clinton.

Pete at Home

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2018, 11:39:10 PM »
Or he's trying ot provoke a Democrat House to use that as grounds for impeachment.

Should work out about as well for the Dems as it did for the Republicans with Johnson, and again with Clinton.

Don't confuse success with how well it worked ;)

The Republicans got their message out through the process. No way could George W Bush have beaten Gore and then Kerry if it weren't for the humiliations of the Starr report and impeachment.

Think about it -- In the last 26 years, Democrats have had two pop icons as president, one of them a charismatic off the cuff speaker, and the other one possibly the best orator that we've had since Lincon. Meanwhile, Trump and George W Bush can barely string three words together without a doh moment.  How is the GOP even standing?  Not on purpose.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2018, 10:09:22 AM »
The Republicans got their message out through the process. No way could George W Bush have beaten Gore and then Kerry if it weren't for the humiliations of the Starr report and impeachment.

Don't kid yourself, Kerry was a terrible candidate.  The only Republican nominees he could have beaten in the last 40 years are George Bush 1 and Bob Dole.  That election was completely blown by the DNC insiders who literally believed they could nominate anyone they wanted and win.

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Think about it -- In the last 26 years, Democrats have had two pop icons as president, one of them a charismatic off the cuff speaker, and the other one possibly the best orator that we've had since Lincon. Meanwhile, Trump and George W Bush can barely string three words together without a doh moment.  How is the GOP even standing?  Not on purpose.

Well you're only half there, the last election won by an unlikable candidate over a likable one, was to my memory George Bush I who carried the Reagan aura into a first term victory.  Every other election between the parties post Reagan has boiled down to who's more likable.  The policies are clearly second fiddle for the vast majority of voters.

Don't believe me?

George Bush lost to the most likable President we've had in almost forever, Bill Clinton.

Clinton beat Dole despite being hated at the time by the Republicans, because Dole was a curmudgeon during the election (oddly, if you recall he humanized after the election with SNL appearance any other things poking fun at himself.  If he had done that during the election?  Who knows.

Gore the ultimate guy you wouldn't invite to a party, loses to the down earth partier George W. Bush.  Pre-9/11 no one expected Bush to have to amount to anything, they literally just didn't like Gore.

Bush then beats Kerry, who's so beyond unlikable it's not even funny.  A boy toy owned by an heiress, and neither of them attractive at that.

Barack Obama, easily the most charismatic President I've ever seen, beat a very likable McCain (McCain conversely would have won election against anyone buy Obama, and maybe Clinton).

Obama beats Romney, again mostly a sacrificial lamb, who while himself is charismatic is not someone that is relatable to the average voter.

Which brings us to Trump over Clinton. This race was the inverse of Obama's races, where Obama was so strong it'd be tough for anyone to beat him, in that Hillary is so unlikable its hard to imagine anyone losing to her.  I mean honestly, Trump is the most unlikable President I've seen and he was able to beat Hillary by taking away "Blue State" wall votes.  Trump oddly, is relatable to common people in a similar way to Bill Clinton or Joe Biden, a way that Hillary can't emulate.  Hillary lost her chance when Ted Cruz left the race, he has all the unlikability of Trump and none of the charm or energy.

So where does that leave the Dems?  I know nothing about Beto but he seems to be drawing high on likability, I think Biden has it (and no one will care about the gaffes), Bernie - maybe, if he can keep his "cool" thing going, Booker very possibly.

On the other Warren?  Super qualified but neither relatable nor likable.  Harris - on the fence - she hasn't impressed me yet, but she hasn't seemed terribly likable either.  Some of the others, like Avenatti, haven't started on a good foot but haven't had a chance to sell charm as opposed to hate yet.

Once again, much like with GWB's second term this is an election that Dems can win, but that they will lose if they don't put a candidate that is likable forward.

D.W.

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2018, 10:20:03 AM »
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That election was completely blown by the DNC insiders who literally believed they could nominate anyone they wanted and win.
I am wondering if they are going to repeat this mistake in 2020 by floating someone unimpressive.  Or worse, Hillary... again.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2018, 10:25:54 AM »
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....he literally recused because he was a partisan.  A standard that is not ever applied by AG's on the left.

Sessions recused because he was a member of the campaign and the campaign was under investigation. There is nothing strange or controversial there, it wasn't because he was a partisan but because he worked on the campaign and therefore shouldn't be leading the investigation into the campaign.

And Eric Holder was an adviser to Obama's campaign and served on his vice presidential selection committee, pretty much exactly like Sessions.  I doubt either one of us is really in a position to say who was closer to whom or more involved.  I do note there are articles about Obama and Holder's relationship being personal as well as professional, with them having conversations about work in non-work contests including on major DOJ policy changes.  That's the kind of behavior that has people screaming that Trump is "interfering" with the DOJ but thought Obama was doing a good job.

It's all in perception.

In any event, I only have a light criticism of Sessions recusal decision.  It wasn't necessary.  It was made out of an abundance of caution to avoid the appearance of impropriety.  A standard that has been utterly failed with Rosenstein and Mueller, and almost never applied by AG Holder.

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Don't forget Rosenstein is also a Trump appointee, it isn't like by Sessions recusing himself that Pelosi got to be in charge of the investigation. At the end of the day it is still an investigation of the Trump campaign overseen by people Trump appointed and the Senate approved to high level positions in the justice department.

Rosenstein is an interesting case.  Trump appointed him and seems to have some confidence in him, notwithstanding the appointment of the Special Prosecutor.  It doesn't change the fact that both he and Mueller are grossly conflicted on any issue touching Comey.  The mystery on the Special Prosecutor's actual activities has given some wiggle room (e.g., it's "reported" that they are investigating obstruction of justice, but it's never been confirmed). 

In any event, the law was changed, a special prosecutor is NOT an independent counsel.  They had to have evidence of a crime to be appointed, evidence that we've never seen and that hasn't turned up in any of the Congressional hearings.  I'm still waiting to see the basis for the appointment.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2018, 10:27:41 AM »
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That election was completely blown by the DNC insiders who literally believed they could nominate anyone they wanted and win.
I am wondering if they are going to repeat this mistake in 2020 by floating someone unimpressive.  Or worse, Hillary... again.

Oddly, I'm not sure Hillary would lose.  This may be her best shot.  She's still terribly unlikable, but Trump has managed to make himself even more unlikable than he was during the election.  Probably entirely tied to how his favorability rating goes in the next 2 years (be very interesting to see how it does after this tax season when people realize they were deceived by the media about the tax cuts).

Pete at Home

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2018, 10:38:01 AM »
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That election was completely blown by the DNC insiders who literally believed they could nominate anyone they wanted and win.
I am wondering if they are going to repeat this mistake in 2020 by floating someone unimpressive.  Or worse, Hillary... again.

While I would love to see Oprah run against Trump, I don't think that Vladimir Putin or the People's Republican Army will allow the Democratic Party to nominate anyone other than Hillary Clinton. :(

TheDrake

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2018, 10:38:24 AM »
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Oddly, I'm not sure Hillary would lose.

Nothing would galvanize reluctant Trump supporters more than her. I'm not entirely sure we won't see a challenger from the Republican side. Trump critics like Ryan or Flake might try to mount a run for 2020.

yossarian22c

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2018, 10:47:57 AM »
Quote
That election was completely blown by the DNC insiders who literally believed they could nominate anyone they wanted and win.
I am wondering if they are going to repeat this mistake in 2020 by floating someone unimpressive.  Or worse, Hillary... again.

Oddly, I'm not sure Hillary would lose.  This may be her best shot.  She's still terribly unlikable, but Trump has managed to make himself even more unlikable than he was during the election.  Probably entirely tied to how his favorability rating goes in the next 2 years (be very interesting to see how it does after this tax season when people realize they were deceived by the media about the tax cuts).

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/01/634474267/more-taxpayers-will-owe-the-irs-in-april-due-to-under-withholding-report-says

The IRS rushing the tax charts and potentially under withholding on a larger percentage of tax payers isn't going to help. Even if someones taxes went down $500 for the year if they went from getting a refund to having to pay at the end of the year its going to feel like less of a tax cut.

I'm really hoping for not Clinton and Warren's engagement on the Native American ancestry claim is not hopeful. She should have just stuck with the likely truth that it was a family story but she reclassified herself after learning more about how native american citizenship/identity works. The fact that she has let herself get bogged down in which box was checked on a relatively meaningless survey 30 years ago and then unchecked 23 years ago doesn't bode well for her controlling a narrative against Trump.

Maybe Beto or a governor. No one in congress right now seems to have the right mix of policies, personality, and age (another 4 years older doesn't help Clinton or Sanders).

yossarian22c

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2018, 08:27:09 PM »
Do any of the legal minds here have an opinion as to the legality of appointing Whitaker over someone with a senate confirmed position? I know Maryland has sued to say he isn't legally AG and have heard that a number of legal scholars have questioned it legitimacy. On the other hand the DoJ memo Whitaker had written says his appointment is legitimate. Is anyone going to have standing to force this up to the supreme court?

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2018, 11:27:56 AM »
Do any of the legal minds here have an opinion as to the legality of appointing Whitaker over someone with a senate confirmed position?

Honestly not sure.  Would have thought the specific rules of succession in the DOJ prevent the general rules under the Vacancies Act, but I think in the CFPB case they implied the Vacancies Act created an alternative method, not just a back-stop.

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I know Maryland has sued to say he isn't legally AG and have heard that a number of legal scholars have questioned it legitimacy. On the other hand the DoJ memo Whitaker had written says his appointment is legitimate. Is anyone going to have standing to force this up to the supreme court?

Even if they did, Trump will be able to send and get appointed a new AG in January.  I seriously doubt it would be adversely decided quick enough to stop that.

More significantly though, this is - so far - little more than a media created paranoia.  There's no evidence - at all - that this appointment has had any negative impact on the DOJ generally, or even Mueller specifically.

TheDrake

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2018, 11:50:47 AM »
More significantly though, this is - so far - little more than a media created paranoia.  There's no evidence - at all - that this appointment has had any negative impact on the DOJ generally, or even Mueller specifically.

It is a little more than paranoia when he went on record saying exactly how someone could go about dismantling or subverting Mueller. He's also repeatedly said that Mueller has gone too far and the investigation should end.

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“So I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment,” Whitaker said, “and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.”

If somebody says that you ought to be killed, then goes on to describe how they will do it, you wouldn't be paranoid to be concerned that they might try to murder you. The fact that they haven't murdered you yet doesn't mean you shouldn't lock the door at night.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2018, 12:09:43 PM »
More significantly though, this is - so far - little more than a media created paranoia.  There's no evidence - at all - that this appointment has had any negative impact on the DOJ generally, or even Mueller specifically.

It is a little more than paranoia when he went on record saying exactly how someone could go about dismantling or subverting Mueller. He's also repeatedly said that Mueller has gone too far and the investigation should end.

So what?  As far as I can tell that's true.

More significantly though that's not remotely the standard for recusal.  I'm still waiting for someone to explain, or really even make the attempt to explain, how you guys think recusal really works, where Rosenstein and Mueller can investigate Comey being fired with direct confilcts, yet Sessions was "recused" from an investigation of Manafort from well prior to his involvement in the campaign.

In this case, having a prior comment on the investigation is not the standard.  If that were the case, you should unwind every Anti-Trump law suit the NY AG, and the MD AG and pretty much all the leftist activism in the courts by AG's, including the targetted investigations of Trump's charities and businesses. 

Or is recusal just a concept when someone made a comment on CNN?

Much like perjury is not an issue when it was Brennan lieing under oath before Congress, and I mean openly and literally, yet any misstatement by a Republican is a federal case.

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“So I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment,” Whitaker said, “and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.”

If somebody says that you ought to be killed, then goes on to describe how they will do it, you wouldn't be paranoid to be concerned that they might try to murder you. The fact that they haven't murdered you yet doesn't mean you shouldn't lock the door at night.

And? At this point that wouldn't stop Mueller from issuing his report, which would almost certainly include the claim that "promising" avenues couldn't be investigated.

Meanwhile, I'm still of the view that if the report doesn't disclose an exact basis for the appointment of the special prosecutor that was known at the time of the appointment we should see jail time for the DOJ officials that were involved.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 12:12:25 PM by Seriati »

rightleft22

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2018, 12:36:00 PM »
I’m missing the good old days of the endless investigations on Emails, Benghazi, Birth Certificates... At least the GOP knows when its time to stop
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 12:38:06 PM by rightleft22 »

TheDrake

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2018, 02:04:31 PM »
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I’m missing the good old days of the endless investigations on Emails, Benghazi, Birth Certificates... At least the GOP knows when its time to stop

Well, whitewater started in 93 and didn't stop until 98. Benghazi ran for two and a half years. I assume you're being facetious here without a smiley.

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More significantly though that's not remotely the standard for recusal.  I'm still waiting for someone to explain, or really even make the attempt to explain, how you guys think recusal really works, where Rosenstein and Mueller can investigate Comey being fired with direct confilcts, yet Sessions was "recused" from an investigation of Manafort from well prior to his involvement in the campaign.

I'm not making the case that he should recuse himself, just that it's not paranoid to expect that he might do exactly what he has indicated he would do. If you believe he ought to do all of those things he said he would do still doesn't make someone who is concerned about it paranoid.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2018, 02:42:13 PM »
I don't read someone speculating about a possibility as an indication that they would do it.  Once you put on the hat and take the responsibility you have to deal with the consequences of a course of action.  I don't think anyone, other than for political purposes, really thinks commentary on tv news is going to control his decisions.  I don't think there's any chance he starves out the investigation, for one thing, that would ensure it never ends.

I do think, as soon as he decides whether he should recuse himself, if he decides not to, he should call in Rosenstein and Mueller for a brief on the sealed instruction and the evidence that prompted the investigation.  I can only see two courses after that, either, he continues the investigation, as Rosenstein has - or even through Rosenstein - or he publically reveals that the investigation wasn't proper.

TheDrake

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2018, 04:02:03 PM »
I guess that's a lot like an FBI agent speculating about "stopping" the president too? No real need to lose your job over that, you didn't do anything. But I seem to have seen the conservative news cycle engage in paranoia that this means the deep state is out to get Trump and resulted in the agent's dismissal. And his speculation didn't even include an actual method.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2018, 05:18:15 PM »
I guess that's a lot like an FBI agent speculating about "stopping" the president too?

In what way?  Seriously that sounds like a specious similarity to me.  As far as I'm aware taking over an investigation that you think is improper actually serves a justice system where there is a presumption of innocence.  So long as he is honest, holding that investigation to a high burden is exactly what should happen.

In what way is that a "lot like" instigating or being heavily involved in a potentially politically motivated investigation that potentially misuses the apparatus of the state's criminal justice systems?

TheDrake

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2018, 05:40:11 PM »
Impartiality and the benefit of the doubt. We should make the assumption that one has nefarious plans, and the other has innocent motives?

There's no in which it's any better to let somebody impartial dismantle an investigation and potentially protect criminals from prosecution than to let somebody serve on an investigation and potentially find criminals.

I suspect you can't see the parallels because you accept the premise that Mueller's investigation is all a politically motivated witch hunt, a waste of money, and should have been stopped long ago.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2018, 07:12:03 PM »
No, I don't see the parallels because its only superficially parallel.  There is a honest parallel to the Obama AGs and the Trump AGs and how well they protect, or don't protect, the President.  It's something else entirely to corruptly use the power of the office to initiate investigations.  I mean, look at NY, where Cuomo has threatened the banking industry and the insurance industry over their connections to the NRA.  It's a huge abuse of power to use the power of the state to engage in view point discrimination in violation of the Constitution, with real consequences.  It's a gross abuse that misuses the unlimited power of the state to force a private person to defend themselves endlessly.

That's in no way equivalent or as a damaging as not conducting an investigation, or letting someone who deserves to go to jail off, where it's within the bounds of discretion.  Prosecutors let guilty people off all the time for legitimate reasons, and even not legitimate reasons and the system survives, using it to punish legitimate actions of your enemies is the kind of corruption that kills the country.

I'm still not sure about Mueller's investigation.  Like I've said before, there had to be probable cause - as a legal matter - to appoint him.  If it's there, depending on what it entails, the investigation could be legitimate.  If, as I suspect, much like with looking for WMD's in Iraq they just assumed they could "find it" then their needs to be jail time for some people in the DOJ.  None of which really relates to what I actually said.  He'll have two choices, finish the investigation, or explain why it was never legitimate.  If he can do the latter, it literally means that the investigation WAS NEVER justifiable.  That has nothing to do with politics or hostility to it.

yossarian22c

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2018, 09:46:13 AM »
I'm still not sure about Mueller's investigation.  Like I've said before, there had to be probable cause - as a legal matter - to appoint him.  If it's there, depending on what it entails, the investigation could be legitimate.  If, as I suspect, much like with looking for WMD's in Iraq they just assumed they could "find it" then their needs to be jail time for some people in the DOJ.  None of which really relates to what I actually said.  He'll have two choices, finish the investigation, or explain why it was never legitimate.  If he can do the latter, it literally means that the investigation WAS NEVER justifiable.  That has nothing to do with politics or hostility to it.

I'm getting worried about this line of reasoning on the right. It seems like a small step from this line of thinking to "the investigation shouldn't have been started so we are going to ignore any crimes found by the probe committed by Trump." I'm not sure if people on the right would put it that bluntly but I think that is were Trump and some members of the conservative media are trying to lead people. It really leave us in a bad place as a country if when presented with evidence that the President committed crimes that a significant number of his supporters choose to ignore the evidence because they claim the investigation was unwarranted.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #44 on: November 28, 2018, 10:07:51 AM »
Yossarian22c, I'm actually more concerned at this point that Mueller's investigation is attempting to force people to perjure themselves to create a crime than that they've found evidence of a crime.  I mean, the press is covering Manafort's loss of a plea deal as if it's clear he lied, when it could be just as possible that Mueller's team is angry because he won't lie, or rather because the facts don't actually align with what they want to be true.

That's before you even consider the deal with Corsi, who claims the basis upon which the prosecutors are charging him is that he forgot he forwarded an email years ago.  https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-for-the-crime-of-forgetting-jerome-corsi-is-facing-bankruptcy-and-imprisonment

I can honestly say that I've forgotten thousands of emails that I've read, seen or forwarded over the years.  While Tucker's a complete partisan and Corsi is a moron, this seems to me to have the ring of some form of truth.   I'm not convinced that Mueller's team is acting in good faith, and I next to no confidence they are investigating with open minds.

You do raise an interesting point, but that just underlies to me the actual danger of allowing the government to persecute people until they find something (or often create it in the these lieing to federal agents charges) with which to attack.  I don't think it's legitimate to run a prosecutors office in this manner, and I flat out and with 100% conviction don't believe anyone who thinks it is in this case would agree it is if the tables were turned.  I can't even imagine how the left would react if say President Beto is investigated by a special prosecutor with the support of Trump admin holdovers.  I mean heck, people flipped out because Congress investigated what happened in Benghazi, where there were actual deaths and a lot of open questions, with an enormous factual record.  A record that we, the public don't have.

Your position seems to be that the ends justify the means.  Even if Mueller was appointed illegitimately, even if the DOJ and/or the FBI has broken the law or violated the civil rights of those they are investigating, even if they are using process crimes and the threat of destroying people to get them to lie to a court, that all of that is "worth it" somehow if it shows a crime that you wanted to find?  That's not justice, that's not American and it makes a joke of any idea that Trump is the real threat to our democracy.

EDIT TO ADD:  I'm not at all interested in excusing the President or his supporters of any crimes they committed.  But the pursuit of those crimes, if any, can not be allowed to undermine our entire system of justice and rights.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 10:10:40 AM by Seriati »

rightleft22

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2018, 10:55:40 AM »
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I'm actually more concerned at this point that Mueller's investigation is attempting to force people to perjure themselves to create a crime than that they've found evidence of a crime.  I mean, the press is covering Manafort's loss of a plea deal as if it's clear he lied, when it could be just as possible that Mueller's team is angry because he won't lie, or rather because the facts don't actually align with what they want to be true.

With this level of distrust of the system I assume the only "valid" result must be a report that concludes no one did anything wrong? Are you already working on the spin to discount any findings

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2018, 11:05:55 AM »
rightleft22, I think I've said multiple times what I want to see.  I want to see, first of all, the clear set of facts that justified the appointment in the first place - not what they discovered, what prompted the investigation.

From there we need to see the facts that are actually put forward.  It's been my suspicion for a long time that if Mueller had something solid it would have come out a long time ago.  I expect what we're going to see is a pretty circumstantial case, but the media is going to get behind it and sell, sell, sell, pretty much the opposite of how they handle the criminal FISA abuse.  Am I'm going to be happy if all we have is some evidence that some people might have talked to people at Wikileaks?  Not at all.  Not when we've already ignored the Clinton campaign paying a foreign spy to provide a report to the DOJ/FBI to initiate an investigation of a political opponent during an election.

rightleft22

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2018, 01:23:22 PM »
But if you already suspect that Mueller is willing to break the law in the pursuit of crimes does it matter what he finds? Wont it all be tainted either way? How does he prove to you that he is pursuing the investigation in good faith?

I suspect your right that regardless of what he reports the right will spin it one way and the left will spin it another. It will likely be left for history to figure out.

Seriati

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2018, 01:46:40 PM »
But if you already suspect that Mueller is willing to break the law in the pursuit of crimes does it matter what he finds?

I'm not sure if Mueller is breaking the law.  I think the legal system we have encourages reprehensible behavior in prosecutors and leaves it - largely - to their honor to not be abusive. 

I've already pointed out that the use of process crimes to "flip" defendants has a huge built in incentive to defendants to say whatever the prosecutor asks, whether or not its true.  Hearing from Corsi that he wouldn't take a deal because the team asked him to lie, and seeing the Manafort deal fall apart, has me questioning whether they are crossing even that forgiving line.

What level of abuse is too far for you? 

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Wont it all be tainted either way?

In a court yes.  But I don't think he's playing this for court.  I noted the same when they seized Cohen's files and tried to flip him, privledge isn't the attorney's to waive, and yet the media gleefully seemed to think  we was spilling in violation of his attorney client obligations.  If true, that alone would wipe out the court case.

But the fact is, the President isn't getting convicted.  This is being played for impeachment and for political damage and neither of those "courts" give a damn about the legality of the evidence collected.  I mean you already saw that the media published one page of Trump's tax returns that was almost certainly illegally obtained.  You've already seen flat out statements by incoming Dem Congress members that they intend to abuse their authority to obtain Trump's tax records and release them.

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How does he prove to you that he is pursuing the investigation in good faith?

It will depend on what he's investigating, what his basis was and what he found.

Like I said repeatedly, if Comey's firing is part of it, there is no way to prove good faith.  Both Rosenstein and Mueller have massive conflicts on that issue.  The legal standard is the appearance of impropriety and that was satisfied on day one.

If he ran a broad ranging investigation, I'd want to know why he did or did not pursue the obvious contacts of both sides with foreign agents.  If he ran a narrow one that may be self explanatory.

But mostly, I'll believe good faith if his report is more focused on facts than narrative.  Look at the IG's report.  He refused even obvious conclusions that he couldn't document, I doubt Mueller's going to do the same.

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I suspect your right that regardless of what he reports the right will spin it one way and the left will spin it another. It will likely be left for history to figure out.

Well not quite.  The report will either lay out facts or it won't.  The basis for the investigation will either be released or it won't.  The media will sell a narrative rather than report the facts, but everyone is capable of reading the actual releases directly and not relying on the media filter.

yossarian22c

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Re: Jeff Sessions Resigns
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2018, 01:48:40 PM »
rightleft22, I think I've said multiple times what I want to see.  I want to see, first of all, the clear set of facts that justified the appointment in the first place - not what they discovered, what prompted the investigation.

We already know of two reasons, Papadopolous and the Steel report. I know you have already decided both of those are invalid, but if you have a former British MI6 officer reporting confidentially to the FBI that he suspects Trump is compromised and/or working with the Russians then that should be investigated. What if the Trump campaign through opposition research learned that Clinton was receiving aid from Chinese intelligence, should the FBI refuse to investigate? Or should they look into it while keeping the investigation secret to avoid the investigation being used for the political campaign while trying to protect the country.

Please remember almost everyone who has been fired at the FBI was fired for leaking damaging things about Clinton (this was the official justification for firing both Comey and McCabe), the Trump investigation (and the dossier) stayed secret until after the election.