Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 12105 times)

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #450 on: November 07, 2019, 11:21:21 AM »
Lloyd, you seem to think that somehow pertinent - you do realize that what you referred to preceded what Warsaw quoted in time, right?  Sondland "presumed" in early September, but this presumption was then superseded by additional knowledge (after "speaking individually with Mr. Yermak" and that "Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself.")

That was clear, right - that Sondland was describing how his understanding evolved?

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #451 on: November 07, 2019, 11:44:56 AM »
What is quite clear is that the statement:

"there is no question now whether quid pro quo occurred."

cannot really be supported by Sondland's "revised" testimony. It is easy to suspect that he as a witness was tampered with and the nature of that statement which is less than overwhelming.

Gordon Sondland’s revised testimony is still very difficult to believe

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #452 on: November 07, 2019, 12:04:09 PM »
What is quite clear is that the statement:

"there is no question now whether quid pro quo occurred."

cannot really be supported by Sondland's "revised" testimony. It is easy to suspect that he as a witness was tampered with and the nature of that statement which is less than overwhelming.

Gordon Sondland’s revised testimony is still very difficult to believe

Or the matter as discussed elsewhere, about how memory is more changeable than we'd like it to be. He's made it very clear he was opposed to what Trump's admin was doing from the start, without regard to what their reasons were. The more time he has "to reflect on it" and also hear inputs from other sources, the more chances he has for his own memory to play tricks on him even absent deliberate manipulation on his part or others.

The testimony is not good, but until others with direct knowledge come forward to testify(likely in the Senate, IMO), it's suspect testimony absent further corroboration.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #453 on: November 07, 2019, 12:12:31 PM »
Lloyd, you seem to think that somehow pertinent - you do realize that what you referred to preceded what Warsaw quoted in time, right?  Sondland "presumed" in early September, but this presumption was then superseded by additional knowledge (after "speaking individually with Mr. Yermak" and that "Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself.")

That was clear, right - that Sondland was describing how his understanding evolved?

Yes I understand the timeline.  What is quoted does not indicate that the link between the Aid and the public statement was anything but his own presumption.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #454 on: November 07, 2019, 12:17:19 PM »
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What is quoted does not indicate that the link between the Aid and the public statement was anything but his own presumption.
Right - but only at that time (if we are to believe Sondland).  But then Sondland claims that later discussions led him to believe differently, that it was no longer a presumption.  So adding this quote does nothing to clarify Sondland's final conclusions.  That's why I asked whether you understood how his claimed understanding evolved.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #455 on: November 07, 2019, 12:20:03 PM »
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I always believed that suspending aid to Ukraine was ill-advised, although I did not know (and still do not know) when, why or by whom the aid was suspended. 

It seems pretty clear to me that he does not today know that there was a link anywhere but in his own mind.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #456 on: November 07, 2019, 12:26:09 PM »
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What is quite clear is that the statement:

"there is no question now whether quid pro quo occurred."

cannot really be supported by Sondland's "revised" testimony.
"Supported"?  Why not?  Those revisions are certainly consistent with Trump's attempt to bribe or extort concessions out of the president of the Ukraine. If by "supported" you meant "proved" well, no - there would need to be many more corroborating pieces of evidence before there is any widespread agreement on this being accepted as a fact.  And there are such pieces of evidence, including "the transcript", Vindman's testimony,  Taylor's testimony, Mulvaney's statements...

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #457 on: November 07, 2019, 12:30:04 PM »
If "there is no question" this has to mean proved, does it not? The fact that there is other evidence is immaterial, by saying "there is no question now" you imply that this testimony on its own puts quid pro quo beyond doubt.

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #458 on: November 07, 2019, 12:34:03 PM »
If "there is no question" this has to mean proved, does it not? The fact that there is other evidence is immaterial, by saying "there is no question now" you imply that this testimony on its own puts quid pro quo beyond doubt.

"Now" is implying that this testimony in conjunction with previously known facts is enough to conclude quid pro quo.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #459 on: November 07, 2019, 01:13:30 PM »
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by saying "there is no question now" you imply that this testimony on its own puts quid pro quo beyond doubt.
No - see what Yossarian wrote.  Also, see where I wrote "And there are such pieces of evidence..."

At some point, the weight of evidence becomes sufficient to convince.  In this case, that weight has been achieved for many people; whereas for other people, it has not.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #460 on: November 07, 2019, 01:20:09 PM »
What other evidence are you talking about?  The only evidence we have are the transcript of the call and the transcripts of the testimony that have been released thus far.  If there is no question you should be able to produce at least some of the evidence you are talking about.

LetterRip

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #461 on: November 07, 2019, 01:29:41 PM »
What other evidence are you talking about?  The only evidence we have are the transcript of the call and the transcripts of the testimony that have been released thus far.  If there is no question you should be able to produce at least some of the evidence you are talking about.

No transcript of the call has been released.  It says right on the document that it is not a transcript, that should be an adequate clue to not call it a transcript.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #462 on: November 07, 2019, 01:39:33 PM »
What would you prefer we call it?

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #463 on: November 07, 2019, 01:40:16 PM »
What would you prefer we call it?

The term "memorandum" seems to have become the default.

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #464 on: November 07, 2019, 02:57:16 PM »
You left part of it out.  Emphasis is mine.

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I always believed that suspending aid to Ukraine was ill-advised, although I did not know (and still do not know) when, why or by whom the aid was suspended.  However, by the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement.

If "there is no question" this has to mean proved, does it not? The fact that there is other evidence is immaterial, by saying "there is no question now" you imply that this testimony on its own puts quid pro quo beyond doubt.


"Presumption" is irrelevant.

And, yes, the statement--

"I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks."

--does prove quid pro quo.

Because it states that U.S. aid would (likely) not be given unless the statement was made.  Aid directly tied to statement.  Quid pro quo.  No wiggle room on this.

Unless, of course, Sondland was lying about telling Yermak that.

But why would he lie about that?  He basically said that he possibly committed a crime.  (At least, that is what the House is trying to prove here.)  Why would anyone lie to Congress about committing a crime?  You're in trouble either way; if you told the truth, you committed a crime; if you lied, you committed perjury.  Doesn't make sense.

So I doubt that he lied.  Which means, as a representative of the United States government, he told the representative of the Ukrainian government that getting aid was directly tied to them issuing the statement.  Quid pro quo.

The question now becomes why did Sondland tell Yermak that there was a quid pro quo for the desperately needed military aid?  Was he mistaken in his belief?  Did someone like Guilliani tell him to say that?  Or did the direction come from higher up?

But unless Sondland was lying through his teeth, there is no longer any question about a quid pro quo for military aid to Ukraine.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #465 on: November 07, 2019, 03:09:14 PM »
A lot of people are hung up on the transcript vs memorandum terms. Conspiracy theorists use it as a way to beat on Trump and pretend the memorandum is redacted somehow to protect Trump. It’s important to note that hanging on to this theory is essentially an admission that what the transcript shows has nothing impeachable in it.

So no, it is not a verbatim account of the call as the word transcript would imply. There are, in fact, no such transcripts. Recordings or verbatim records of president’s phone calls have not been made since the Nixon era (for good and obvious reasons). It is completely misleading to pretend a verbatim record of the call exists as it would be very unusual for such a thing to actually exist.

What this memorandum represents is the combined account of multiple notes takers. They all take notes, then get together after the call to produce what is the most accurate account of the call possible. 
This memorandum is the only, and most accurate, account of the call as compiled by multiple people that were actually listening to the call. In addition, there were multiple people listening in on the call that reviewers the transcript for accuracy and completeness. While somethings, like classified information, may get removed from this account before distribution, none of the people involved indicate it happened in this specific case or, if it did, that it changed the call in any meaningful way.

While it may not be a verbatim transcript, it is the totality of the call and the official account. It is as complete and accurate as can be made. It’s extraordinarily unlikely any other account is available and this should be considered a complete, first hand account, of the call and agreed upon by everyone with access to it that it accurately represents the call.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #466 on: November 07, 2019, 03:22:53 PM »
"Presumption" is irrelevant.

And, yes, the statement--

"I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks."

--does prove quid pro quo.

Because it states that U.S. aid would (likely) not be given unless the statement was made.  Aid directly tied to statement.  Quid pro quo.  No wiggle room on this.

I have pointed out before - and this seems to have been conveniently ignored - that people are confusing what is actually on the table for discussion. It amounts to a constant goalpost shift about what constitutes "problem", and also "proof of problem". It has come to the point where QPQ is synonymous with "corruption" in this argument, which is completely nonsensical. No one seems to feel the need to clearly state terms, and instead buzzwords are being used to try to 'win' arguments. As I pointed out, there are several scenarios that are possible. One scenario is there was no 'deal' of any kind. For those of you who think that Sondland's most recent comments would seem to disqualify this scenario from being likely then so be it. However under the umbrella of 'there was a deal' I'm seeing little in the way of distinctions between what kind of deal, to whose benefit, and for what reason. You can't just point fingers without filling these blanks.

It is absolutely not corrupt or outside the purview of the office of the President to require concessions from another country in order to offer aid or any other service. Unless I'm mistaken, Sondland's comments seem to suggest that there was reasonable presumption that the aid was being withheld until a statement was made about investigations into corruption. This is still not problematic in itself because actually it's entirely reasonable to demand that before giving someone money that the money isn't being siphoned into a corrupt bureaucracy. Although that surely does constitute a deal it does not necessarily constitute a bribe. Because isn't that what we're talking about? The argument would have to be something like Trump is demanding an effective bribe in exchange for aid, the bribe coming in the form of personal services that are for him alone and not for America. Because if what Trump is demanding is for America and not for him alone then it's not a bribe, it's a deal, and he is supposed to make deals. The phrase "quid pro quo" has become mired in wishy-washy implications, and sounds ominous even though it's not saying anything. All it means is the aid is coming with conditions, but that is only problematic if the conditions are problematic. Which brings us squarely back to the memorandum itself, because as far as I've seen that is the singular source that states what the conditions might be, assuming we choose to interpret the phone call as listing those things as outright conditions. It is IMO equally possible that Trump was listing those items as things he thinks should be priorities but that "clean up corruption" is the main conditions, whatever particulars it might contain. I think my original take on the memorandum is still plausible too, which is that the aid wasn't going to be withheld just out of spite since the U.S. wants to give it in the first place, and that the items Trump listed in the call were not dealbreakers.

However I'll state again: even if they were dealbreakers, that's only a problem if the content of those demands were of personal value to Trump alone and not to America.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #467 on: November 07, 2019, 03:36:28 PM »
I haven't read Sondland's testimony yet, I did read Taylor's in it's entirety.  Pretty much, like I said before, Taylor has no evidence and the only support he can give for the quid pro quo is his conclusion that it "must have" been the reason for the delay in aid.  He made a lot of "assumptions" about what was going on, most without any factual basis, and even where they did have a basis it was generally third hand or even further.  Even damaging things he attributes to Sondland were often things that he was told Sondland said, as related by others, who themselves may not have been on the call.  Literally, he's not an actual fact witness and nothing he said would be admisable in a trial.

The media didn't cover in any great detail that his testimony fell apart (and honestly stretched into questions of credibility, in my view) when they asked him directly about the Trump admin's concerns about Ukraine's interference in the last election.  He was unaware that multiple Ukrainian official - some of whom are in the new government - directly intervened in the election, not least of which was the Ukranian ambassador to the US who penned a published op ed denigrating Trump.  He flat out admitted that those activities were inappropriate, and seemed at a loss to explain why that wouldn't have been a legitimate concern of the administration. 

The media doesn't point that out, because they've been pushing the idea that the request was about the NEXT election, notwithstanding that it expressly referenced the LAST election.  So literally, they want you to believe that investigating interference in the last election (that factually occurred) is about influencing (illegally, though its not illegal) the next election.  The vector on that is impossible to understand, so they just handwaive at "Biden" to pretend its all the same thing.

I'll eventually read Sondland's testimony as well, but unless he says Trump directed him to tell the Ukrainian's there was a quid pro quo, or can make a convincing factual presentation that this was a directive from Trump - even if unstated - he's actually useless to prove that Trump ordered a quid pro quo.  As of now, my understanding is that Sondland now claims he told the Ukranians that there was a quid pro quo, despite the directions from on high that there was not one, because he "deduced" there must be one.  Again, a lot of "deducing" and not much asking for clarification.  But we'll see if it's clearer after I read the transcript.

If you have something better let me know, what's cited above as Lloyd Perna points out isn't proof that US policy was a quid pro quo or that Donald Trump ordered one, only that Sondland apparently now remembers that he thought there was one.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #468 on: November 07, 2019, 03:44:42 PM »
Quote
No one seems to feel the need to clearly state terms, and instead buzzwords are being used to try to 'win' arguments.
...
Unless I'm mistaken, Sondland's comments seem to suggest that there was reasonable presumption that the aid was being withheld until a statement was made about investigations into corruption.
This is somewhat ironic - that you wrote both of these sentences in a single post.

Trump was not requiring that a statement be made about (buzzword/waffle alert) "investigations into corruption".  He was requiring that the Ukraine president announce investigations into Joe Biden and his son.

There is no reasonable benefit to the USA of having the president of the Ukraine announce investigations into two named US citizens (one of whom, coincidentally, is a political opponent.)  You could make the argument that forcing the Ukraine to open an investigation might be beneficial to the USA, but making aid contingent on a foreign politician naming political opponents?  No.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 03:46:48 PM by DonaldD »

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #469 on: November 07, 2019, 03:55:42 PM »
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"I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks."

That's what HE said. It doesn't mean that anyone directed him to say it. It's not him saying he heard Trump say it. He could have just had it all wrong, as you pointed out. Which apparently he did on some level, because that statement turned out to be false, resumption of US aid did occur despite not having any such statement.

There is indeed a lot of evidence of the overall premise. I just don't think that Sondland Testimony 2.0 adds much to the discussion. He took a mulligan and then fixed things to be more consistent with the other witnesses.

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However I'll state again: even if they were dealbreakers, that's only a problem if the content of those demands were of personal value to Trump alone and not to America.

That's actually not the case. You could get a personal gift for doing something that also benefits your country, and it would still be a bribe.

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #470 on: November 07, 2019, 04:30:55 PM »
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If you have something better let me know, what's cited above as Lloyd Perna points out isn't proof that US policy was a quid pro quo or that Donald Trump ordered one, only that Sondland apparently now remembers that he thought there was one.

You're missing the point.  It doesn't matter if he remembers, if he was the only one who thought it, or whatever.  He told the Ukrainians that it was quid pro quo.  He told them that the aid was dependent on them making the statement about a corruption investigation.

Once he told them that, it was quid pro quo.  Period.

Once you tell someone, "Your money or your life," it's a robbery, whether you misinterpreted what someone else said to you or not. :)

Once you tell someone, "You (probably) won't get his aid unless you do this," it's quid pro quo, whether you misunderstood someone else or not.

Admittedly, his statement does not make clear that the statement he was referring to was an investigation into Biden's son.  However, in context, wouldn't you expect that he would have clarified that in his statement if it wasn't?  Since the heart of this investigation is the accusation that Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Biden and Crowdstrike, don't you think he would have mentioned if the statement he was requesting had nothing to do with the investigation?  ::)  It's kinda germane.

Hopefully someone will ask him to clarify that statement when he appears in the televised hearings.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #471 on: November 07, 2019, 06:10:59 PM »
There is literally no evidence of a quid pro quo. None.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #472 on: November 07, 2019, 06:11:23 PM »
Quote
If you have something better let me know, what's cited above as Lloyd Perna points out isn't proof that US policy was a quid pro quo or that Donald Trump ordered one, only that Sondland apparently now remembers that he thought there was one.

You're missing the point.  It doesn't matter if he remembers, if he was the only one who thought it, or whatever.  He told the Ukrainians that it was quid pro quo.  He told them that the aid was dependent on them making the statement about a corruption investigation.

Once he told them that, it was quid pro quo.  Period.

Once you tell someone, "Your money or your life," it's a robbery, whether you misinterpreted what someone else said to you or not. :)

Once you tell someone, "You (probably) won't get his aid unless you do this," it's quid pro quo, whether you misunderstood someone else or not.

Admittedly, his statement does not make clear that the statement he was referring to was an investigation into Biden's son.  However, in context, wouldn't you expect that he would have clarified that in his statement if it wasn't?  Since the heart of this investigation is the accusation that Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Biden and Crowdstrike, don't you think he would have mentioned if the statement he was requesting had nothing to do with the investigation?  ::)  It's kinda germane.

Hopefully someone will ask him to clarify that statement when he appears in the televised hearings.

Okay, I get what you are saying. It's a little waffly, just because it was more "your money or I'm probably going to do something violent". You have to take testimony 2.0 at face value as well, but if you leave those nitpicks aside, then yeah. What it would not necessarily be is a corrupt quid pro quo.

I'm really looking forward to hearing testimony 3.0, I'm sure it will help clarify a lot.

Mynnion

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #473 on: November 07, 2019, 09:23:46 PM »
I'm sure that there are no other Americans that could be guilty of corrupt action in the Ukraine.  Seems to me that if Trump was interested in Ukrainian corruption Giuliani is an equally valid target to investigate.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #474 on: November 08, 2019, 07:51:02 AM »
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I'm really looking forward to hearing testimony 3.0, I'm sure it will help clarify a lot.

Doubtful. Schiff has just made it known he will only allow his personally approved witnesses to testify.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #475 on: November 08, 2019, 08:12:47 AM »
Here’s the witnesses we will get, House Democrats released the deposition transcript of one of their star witnesses in the probe: Top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

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Taylor admitted that he’d had no direct contact with Trump or Giuliani during the time period relevant to the investigation. He wasn’t on the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky and said that the first time he “had seen the details” of the call was when the transcript was publicly released in September. He even admitted at one point that his main source for his understanding of why the president wanted the investigations was the New York Times. When asked whether or not he did any due diligence to find out what the concerns about Burisma or the 2016 election were before he took his post earlier this year, he responded “no.”

He knows only what the New York Times tells him. He’s one of the “big guns” democrats will use.

This is a complete sham.

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #476 on: November 08, 2019, 08:41:18 AM »
Here’s the witnesses we will get, House Democrats released the deposition transcript of one of their star witnesses in the probe: Top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

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Taylor admitted that he’d had no direct contact with Trump or Giuliani during the time period relevant to the investigation. He wasn’t on the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky and said that the first time he “had seen the details” of the call was when the transcript was publicly released in September. He even admitted at one point that his main source for his understanding of why the president wanted the investigations was the New York Times. When asked whether or not he did any due diligence to find out what the concerns about Burisma or the 2016 election were before he took his post earlier this year, he responded “no.”

He knows only what the New York Times tells him. He’s one of the “big guns” democrats will use.

This is a complete sham.

I suppose the white house could quit objecting to Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, and all other white house staff from testifying. Then we could get more first hand knowledge. If you are so sure nothing wrong occurred than there is no reason for them to not take a day head over to congress and testify about it.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #477 on: November 08, 2019, 09:48:45 AM »
You're missing the point.  It doesn't matter if he remembers, if he was the only one who thought it, or whatever.  He told the Ukrainians that it was quid pro quo.  He told them that the aid was dependent on them making the statement about a corruption investigation.

Once he told them that, it was quid pro quo.  Period.

I don't know why you guys give likes to illogical statements.  So if Sondland was crazy and made it up there's a quid pro quo?  If Sondland's in error there's a quid pro quo?

By whom?

Not by the administration or the government or the President.  If you want to make a case for removing
Sondland from office for falsely representing the actual US policy, go right ahead, but it's not a legitimate argument to claim that because he said something that was contrary to the actual policy it becomes in fact the policy.

To put it in perspective, you went to great lengths to dissociate Obama from Louis Lerner and the IRS targeting, where the actual policy of the IRS was to target conservative organizations inappropriately.  If your Sondland theory is sound, you never should have made that argument.  Because de facto, the existence of the IRS policy was the Obama policy, whether he ordered it or not, whether they understood he wished or not, whether they were rogue agents or not.

Or to put it more simply, if Sondland is in error about the policy, it's not properly part of an impeachment targetted at the President.

Quote
Since the heart of this investigation is the accusation that Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Biden and Crowdstrike, don't you think he would have mentioned if the statement he was requesting had nothing to do with the investigation?  ::)  It's kinda germane.

The "heart" of the investigation is to remove a President on pretextual grounds.  Nothing more or less.  Sondland's direct testimony of his direct conversations with Trump was (1) that Trump was skeptical in the extreme of whether the Ukranian reforms were legitimate, and the interference was that this was tied to the continued participation in the new Ukranian government of people who openly interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of the Democrats (why no outrage about that?); and (2) that Trump told him explicitly that there was no quid pro quo.

Literally, Trump asked that they investigate the 2016 interference.  Which IF YOUR THEORY OF IMPEACHMENT IS SOUND is evidence of potential "high crimes or misdemeanors" of people associated with the DNC at the minimum, and legitimately a concern of the executive branch.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #478 on: November 08, 2019, 11:52:46 AM »
Once he told them that, it was quid pro quo.  Period.

Once you tell someone, "Your money or your life," it's a robbery, whether you misinterpreted what someone else said to you or not. :)

It is robbery, but it also is quid pro quo, as you get something (your life) in exchange for something (your money).

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Once you tell someone, "You (probably) won't get his aid unless you do this," it's quid pro quo, whether you misunderstood someone else or not.

But if he said that when the Administration didn't tell him it was, that's on him, not the President.

Unless you want to revisit some activities that happened under Obama if we're going to hold the President accountable for the actions of his underlings several rungs below him.

Quote
Admittedly, his statement does not make clear that the statement he was referring to was an investigation into Biden's son.  However, in context, wouldn't you expect that he would have clarified that in his statement if it wasn't?  Since the heart of this investigation is the accusation that Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Biden and Crowdstrike, don't you think he would have mentioned if the statement he was requesting had nothing to do with the investigation?  ::)  It's kinda germane.

Who is seriously upset about Trump wanting to investigate Crowdstrike? The MSM never seems to mention that part, they fixate on Biden instead.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #479 on: November 08, 2019, 03:17:08 PM »
I was chatting with my imaginary friend, Chester, and I raped a woman... the cops never mention Chester, they always fixate on the rape, instead...

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #480 on: November 08, 2019, 03:32:26 PM »
To put it in perspective, you went to great lengths to dissociate Obama from Louis Lerner and the IRS targeting, where the actual policy of the IRS was to target conservative organizations inappropriately.  If your Sondland theory is sound, you never should have made that argument.  Because de facto, the existence of the IRS policy was the Obama policy, whether he ordered it or not, whether they understood he wished or not, whether they were rogue agents or not.

Seriously? Your equating the ambassador to the EU to a mid to senior level non political appointee in the IRS. Sondland was working directly with cabinet secretaries. 

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #481 on: November 08, 2019, 03:45:24 PM »
From Ambassador Taylor's testimony (https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=6541260-William-Taylor-Testimony):
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I was alarmed by what Mr. Morrison told me about the Sondland-Yermak conversation.  This was the first time I had heard that security assistance, not just the White House meeting, was conditioned on the investigations.

Very concerned, on that same day, I sent Ambassador Sondland a text message asking if we are now saying that security assistance and a White House meeting are conditioned on investigations. Ambassador Sondland responded asking me to call him, which I did.

During that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U. S . election.

Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelensky was dependent on a public announcement of investigations. In fact, Ambassador Sondland said everything was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance.  He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky in a box by making public statement about ordering such investigations.
(my bold)

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #482 on: November 08, 2019, 04:09:35 PM »
Quote
During that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U. S . election.

That would be a lot more compelling if Sondland actually remembered having that conversation. That is, remembered having that conversation during Testimony 1.0, you know before he had the chance to fix his story.

And don't you dare give him cover for this if you weren't buying it when forgetful members of the administration suddenly revised their testimony and remembered having conversations with various Russians and Ukrainians.


DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #483 on: November 08, 2019, 04:25:15 PM »
 ??? "Compelling"

In what way is it not compelling?  Are you suggesting that Taylor made up what he was relating of the Sondland call out of whole cloth?  Or that Taylor mis-remembered and accidentally invented a false memory?

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #484 on: November 08, 2019, 05:28:51 PM »
Here’s the witnesses we will get, House Democrats released the deposition transcript of one of their star witnesses in the probe: Top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

Quote
Taylor admitted that he’d had no direct contact with Trump or Giuliani during the time period relevant to the investigation. He wasn’t on the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky and said that the first time he “had seen the details” of the call was when the transcript was publicly released in September. He even admitted at one point that his main source for his understanding of why the president wanted the investigations was the New York Times. When asked whether or not he did any due diligence to find out what the concerns about Burisma or the 2016 election were before he took his post earlier this year, he responded “no.”

He knows only what the New York Times tells him. He’s one of the “big guns” democrats will use.

This is a complete sham.

I suppose the white house could quit objecting to Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, and all other white house staff from testifying. Then we could get more first hand knowledge. If you are so sure nothing wrong occurred than there is no reason for them to not take a day head over to congress and testify about it.

If you’re innocent, you have nothing to fear, right? Right.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #485 on: November 08, 2019, 05:32:14 PM »
??? "Compelling"

In what way is it not compelling?  Are you suggesting that Taylor made up what he was relating of the Sondland call out of whole cloth?  Or that Taylor mis-remembered and accidentally invented a false memory?

In what way is it not compelling? AYFKM?

Taylor says Sondland said that Trump said...

  Ladies and gentlemen, iron clad proof!

smh

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #486 on: November 08, 2019, 05:33:03 PM »
I'm saying that memory is tricky, as I've said many times. We've seen major media figures taken down. I think Taylor could have easily substituted a conversation for a different conversation between different people. Do I think that he had conversations with people about the Ukraine situation? Sure I do. I just note that there is no corroboration for this particular call.

1. Was he actually talking to Sondland or someone else?
2. Sondland or otherwise, did they actually say that Trump told him that?
3. Since it might not have been Sondland, might that person have also been mistaken about whether it was Trump or someone else that told them that?

I'll find it compelling when someone says, "Trump told me this." and then has at least a rough idea of the date and the circumstances. I don't think we have that yet, not even a little bit.

Not "Julie said that Robert's girlfriend said that Kylie got in trouble in homeroom!"

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #487 on: November 09, 2019, 04:17:29 PM »
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I'm saying that memory is tricky, as I've said many times. We've seen major media figures taken down. I think Taylor could have easily substituted a conversation for a different conversation between different people.
TheDrake, can I ask whether you read Taylor's testimony?  Because he is very detailed and very specific about timeline, people and content.  It is highly unlikely that Taylor confused Sondland with anybody else... Seriously, there were only a few people involved, even fewer of whom Taylor would have expected to be providing direction from the president.  Also, Taylor was being very careful in his testimony - it is unlikely he would have presented something uncertain as a fact. And it's not like he was under fire at the time, or that it was years ago and his brain is filling in gaps, or that the topic was not of immediate interest to him; he was very concerned at the time of the conversation - so concerned that he followed up with Sondland first by text, then on a phone call. The idea that he then misremembered such an important interaction, one that eventually led to his resignation, is not likely, not even remotely.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #488 on: November 10, 2019, 12:00:10 PM »
So basically it is very detailed testimony about something that can't be verified independently? And Sondland is a liar or an amnesiac?

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #489 on: November 10, 2019, 03:40:49 PM »
It's possible that Taylor is a liar, sure.  But the likelihood of him being amnesiac... why do you find that more likely than Sondland having a poor memory?  Especially since Sondland has already once amended his testimony to more closely match the testimony of other witnesses?  And that's not even getting into Sondlands motivations for lying  as compared to Taylor's (hint - Sondland paid Trump a million dollars for his ambassadorship - Taylor was asked to come out of retirement to take on his job, one which he was more than a little reticent to accept...)

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #490 on: November 10, 2019, 04:21:31 PM »
Yeah, well, I know a guy that knows a guy and he said he heard someone say there’s a reason hearsay is nothing more than unfounded rumors that should not be trusted. Check and mate.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #491 on: November 10, 2019, 05:06:20 PM »
I never said who I thought was more credible. I'm saying it's not definitive, and not terribly compelling. At least to me. You can read Sondland amended testimony several ways.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #492 on: November 10, 2019, 05:46:29 PM »
Of course it's not definitive.  But your rationale was that Taylor's memory might be suspect.  I just pointed out that you might rationally choose to believe that Taylor is being dishonest, but that it is highly unlikely that he is misremembering.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #493 on: November 11, 2019, 08:45:52 AM »
BTW, most of what Taylor said was about what Sondland said. So if Sondland's memory is unreliable, it rather taints anything that came from him. Taylor can be rock solid about what Sondland said that Trump said, but it isn't like Taylor spoke to Trump himself.

Quote
Taylor said he texted Sondland and Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, on Sept. 9 in part saying he thought “it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” He recounted Sondland responding five hours later that he was “incorrect” about Trump’s intentions.

So even at the time Sondland was already waffling around what Trump did or did not want. While it is easy to read this as Sondland protecting Trump, it is just as easy to read it as a political donor with no diplomatic experience demonstrating his ineptitude as he desperately seeks Trump's approval.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #494 on: November 11, 2019, 09:31:56 AM »
Sure, but your initial concern about Taylor's deposition was with his memory, not about his reliability or with that of Sondland.

I am NOT suggesting that, on its own, Taylor's statements are enough to sway anybody's mind; I was simply making the point that his memory is NOT a particular concern. Now, his testimony, in conjunction with Vindman's, in conjunction with Giuliani's tweets, in conjunction with Trump's statements as  quoted in the memo, in conjunction with Yanukovich's statements, taken together with other evidence, do start to paint a picture.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #495 on: November 11, 2019, 09:41:44 AM »
I'm still not thrilled with taking his memory at face value, but further exploration of that aspect was pointless since you're convinced he couldn't be mistaken. I don't trust anyone's memory on who said what about whom without someone else to verify. The only thing that will truly convince me is when someone says "Trump told me personally that he wanted aid held up until Ukraine makes a statement."

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #496 on: November 11, 2019, 10:30:02 AM »
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The only thing that will truly convince me is when someone says "Trump told me personally that he wanted aid held up until Ukraine makes a statement."
But why?  It is no more likely that Taylor would mis-remember what Sondland told him, than for Sondland to mis-remember what Trump told him.  They are both recalling a conversation they personally had with a single person.

Your standard for Taylor's memory basically puts into question everybody's recollection of their own, personal conversations.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #497 on: November 11, 2019, 10:40:29 AM »
Yes, it does, at least when it comes to specifics. How many times a week do I wonder aloud, "now who was it I was talking to?" Or can't remember exactly which of my friends went with me on a trip involving only four people. Or can't remember if it was my boss who gave me a directive, or his boss. Sometimes only weeks after they happen. Let alone the exact words of "Trump told me" versus "I think what Trump wants". For something this serious, that's an important detail that can easily be remembered incorrectly.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #498 on: November 11, 2019, 11:54:10 AM »
in which case, it really doesn't matter if somebody says "Trump told me 'X'"... or even if Trump said "I told John 'Y'."

They are both equally not believable.

I think you really are missing the boat on Taylor's testimony, though - he made a point of calling Sondland because he was so concerned with this topic - remember, this was generally a topic that was central to his accepting the job, and which then led to his resignation.  Given that it was so concerning that he first texted then telephoned Sondland to clarify Sondland's position, the likelihood of Taylor mis-remembering that interaction is basically nil - that is, if you believe he is not lying.  in which case, the concern is not one of memory, but rather one of dishonesty.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #499 on: November 11, 2019, 01:13:32 PM »
He was so concerned about it that he didn't pin anything down in writing, didn't report it to anyone, didn't even call someone after the Sondland call to freak out about it. Everything about his testimony seems to support that he was a willing participant in the "irregular channel". I note Sondland recommended that Taylor call some people at the state department with his concerns, but I don't see any record of Taylor making those calls, at least not from his statement.