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General Category => General Comments => Topic started by: Crunch on May 25, 2018, 09:08:51 AM

Title: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on May 25, 2018, 09:08:51 AM
Or, Spygate, aka Crossfire Hurricane.

Via Andrew McCarthy

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Under federal law, to establish that an American is acting as an agent of a foreign power, the government must show that the American is purposefully engaging in clandestine activities on behalf of a foreign power, and that it is probable that these activities violate federal criminal law.

That federal law is FISA, Title 50, U.S. Code, Section 1801(b)(2).

Of course, that evidence did not exist and, after nearly 2 years of investigative efforts, can’t even be manufactured.

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The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a counterintelligence investigation. With the blessing of the Obama White House, they took the powers that enable our government to spy on foreign adversaries and used them to spy on Americans — Americans who just happened to be their political adversaries.

We know that the FBI has lied several times about whrn the operation to penetrate the Trump campaign began. It’s now in the vague “spring 2016” timeframe. At that point, the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts.

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...the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation in the absence of any (a) incriminating evidence, or (b) evidence implicating the Trump campaign in Russian espionage. At the height of the 2016 presidential race, the FBI collaborated with the CIA to probe an American political campaign. They used foreign-intelligence surveillance and informants.

This operation is directly tied to the Obama administration, a few undisputed facts:
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”Both before and after the FBI's official probe began in late July 2016," wrote Neumayr, "Brennan was bringing together into the same room at CIA headquarters a cast of Trump haters across the Obama administration whose activities he could direct — from Peter Strzok, the FBI liaison to Brennan, to the doltish (Director of National Intelligence) Jim Clapper, Brennan's errand boy, to an assortment of Brennan's buddies at the Treasury Department, Justice Department, and White House."

It eventually led, on July 31, 2016, to the creation FBI's "Crossfire Hurricane" program to spy against the Trump campaign.

What we're discovering is that the investigations and spying on the Trump campaign for evidence of possible collusion with Russia appear to have begun well before the CIA and FBI said they did.

And it all arose from progressive, pro-Hillary embeds deep within the Deep State and at the top of key Obama agencies, people who could use their positions of supposed Olympian objectivity to mask their political bias — and to ignore years of evidence that Hillary Clinton had colluded with the Russians for her own financial benefit.

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The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.
Once this is fully unraveled, quite a few Clinton and Obama cronies could end up at a Club Fed.

Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on May 25, 2018, 11:56:40 AM
Here's the FBI rebuttal to the spying BBC so spelling is obviously wrong.   ;D

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The FBI, on its website, says that US courts have recognised that the use of informants is "lawful and often essential to the effectiveness of properly authorised law enforcement investigations".

As noted in my first post, this was not a law enforcement investigation. At the time the spy was tasked with getting information from the Obama campaign, and as of right now even, there is no evidence that a crime occurred. There was, and remains, no justification for opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign. That's why it was done under the aegis of a counter-intelligence effort and the Clinton/DNC opposition research improperly and illegally presented to the FISA court as justification to spy on the Trump campaign.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: DonaldD on May 25, 2018, 12:21:17 PM
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There was, and remains, no justification for opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign.
That's an odd claim to make given that there have already been charges laid against members of the campaign and several guilty pleas. It's also unclear whether you are characterizing the special counsel investigation as a criminal investigation into the campaign, whether you are characterizing the criminal investigations into members of the Trump campaign as a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, or whether whether you are decrying a not-yet-initiated-but-possibly-on-the-horizon investigation.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on May 25, 2018, 12:26:14 PM
I think the partisan response to that is, "All THOSE crimes are beside the point.  And you never would even know about them if not for an ILLEGAL investigation."  Probably sprinkled liberally with, "and they aren't real crimes" or "everyone does that..."
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Wayward Son on May 25, 2018, 12:45:43 PM
What exactly do you mean by "spying," Crunch?

If someone with ties to Al-Qaeda contacted a member of the Clinton campaign, do you think the FBI counterintelligence department should find out what was discussed, aka "spy" on that campaign member?  Or should they back off and not look because it involved the Clinton campaign?

Because that is what I've heard this "spying" was about.  Suspected foreign operatives contacted members of the Trump campaign.  At least one member of the campaign arranged a meeting on an island with one of them.  When suspected foreign operatives make contact with Americans, especially high-ranking Americans, it is the right and duty of the FBI to investigate, regardless of whether the persons are associated with a campaign or not.

Now maybe I haven't heard the whole story.  I'm sure McCarthy hasn't.  So let's not jump to conclusions.

And don't be used.  Remember, President Trump thinks his supporters are stupid.  (Why do you think he talks to you like you are a fourth-grader? :) )  He thinks that his followers won't dig into exactly what happened, and will just emotionally react to words like "spying" and "infiltration."  Find out exactly what happened, and make sure that whatever happened, you would still be outraged if it happened to Clinton instead.

Right now I don't think we know exactly what happened.  But from the preliminary reports I've heard, it sounds like stuff that the FBI should have been doing, and certain Republicans (*cough*Trump*cough*) are trying to blow it out of proportion, perhaps just to protect themselves.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Greg Davidson on May 26, 2018, 10:18:19 PM
And none of the credulous Trump supporters (and yes, I am referring to you, Crunch) can explain how in this diabolical plan that the FBI chose not to mention before the election any of the open-and-close criminal actions that key members of the Trump Administration have already pleaded guilty to.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on May 27, 2018, 08:34:59 AM
I think the partisan response to that is, "All THOSE crimes are beside the point.  And you never would even know about them if not for an ILLEGAL investigation."  Probably sprinkled liberally with, "and they aren't real crimes" or "everyone does that..."

The “crimes” referred to are what is commonly referred to as process crimes, e.g lying to the FBI. note that when those driving the spy operations lied to the FBI they were given immunity in exchange for nothing. It’s only Trump campaign officials that get hung up on these.

Ever wonder why?

As for lying, whats your theory on why the FBI and guys like Clapper keep getting caught lyft ng about this?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on May 27, 2018, 08:36:10 AM
The FBI has reasons to think someone is doing something wrong.
They send someone to talk to them.  Not identify themselves as working for the FBI,  but just talk.

This is what happened.

Some people call that "spying".

I call it "investigating crimes".

Either way, it is exactly what the FBI is supposed to be doing, regardless of whether you are involved with a political campaign.


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The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.

Do you have any evidence to back that up?  Timelines?  Anything? 
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on May 27, 2018, 08:43:33 AM
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At that point, the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts.

False.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2018/may/24/blog-posting/fake-news-says-obama-paid-informant-trump-russia-p/

The money came from the DOD, not the FBI, and much of it was before Trump even announced his candidacy.

Please acknowledge that your statement was false.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on May 27, 2018, 08:49:19 AM
The FBI has reasons to think someone is doing something wrong.
They send someone to talk to them.  Not identify themselves as working for the FBI,  but just talk.

This is what happened.

Some people call that "spying".

I call it "investigating crimes".

Either way, it is exactly what the FBI is supposed to be doing, regardless of whether you are involved with a political campaign.


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The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.

Do you have any evidence to back that up?  Timelines?  Anything?
You do understand they were not investigating a crime? Right? They illegally  used Clinton’s opposition research to islead the FISA court so they could run this under a counterintelligence operation.

How is it you think they investigate a crime that they have no evidence it happened?

Flip it around, if in April of 2020 the FBI and CIA collude to use Trump campaign opposition research, no matter how absurd and unfounded the claim, lying to the FISA courts, to launch spying efforts on their opponent, it’s gonna be ok? You’re really going to defend that?

As for timeline, please, read some articles on this topic.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on May 27, 2018, 08:53:27 AM
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At that point, the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts.

False.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2018/may/24/blog-posting/fake-news-says-obama-paid-informant-trump-russia-p/

The money came from the DOD, not the FBI, and much of it was before Trump even announced his candidacy.

Please acknowledge that your statement was false.

My statement was 100% accurate according to current news reports. A politifact post is not enough to contradict those news reports.

I’ll continue to wait for a reputable source to develop the story, not activist outlets and your confirmation bias.  8)
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on May 27, 2018, 10:19:00 AM
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A politifact post is not enough to contradict those news reports.

The website is not the issue.  Did you read the post?  Did you see the sources they linked to?  Just to save you the time, here it is.

https://www.usaspending.gov/#/search/98524dd055d3ad9f11813f0e5789ca6b

This is the federal government, explaining that the DoD paid the money, not the FBI, and much of it came before Trump even announced his candidacy.

Please acknowledge that, while you thought your statement was true based on un-named sources ("current news reports"), completely reliable sources prove that your statement is false.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on May 27, 2018, 10:33:13 AM
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You do understand they were not investigating a crime? Right?

They were investigating the possibility of a crime. You don't need investigating if you already have proof that someone committed a crime.

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On July 7 of that year [2016], Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page traveled to Moscow to give a lecture. Page had long been on the FBI’s radar due to his contacts with Russia; in 2013, Russian intelligence reached out to him directly in a short-lived effort to recruit him as an intelligence asset. Less than a week later, Halper met Page at a conference on US foreign policy and the 2016 election held in Cambridge. The two men struck up an email correspondence.

(I found this on Vox (https://www.vox.com/2018/5/25/17380212/spygate-trump-russia-spy-stefan-halper-fbi-explained), because it came up first.  If you don't like the source, prove it wrong with facts.  If you don't like the facts, prove them wrong with better facts.  But the same information is on several other sites.)

So is working with Russian intelligence a crime?  I think it is.  Were they investigating whether a member of the Trump campaign had committed that crime?  Yes.

So, in fact, they were investigating a crime.

Please let me know which part of my facts and reasoning is incorrect.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 04, 2018, 04:31:09 PM
What exactly do you mean by "spying," Crunch?

If someone with ties to Al-Qaeda contacted a member of the Clinton campaign, do you think the FBI counterintelligence department should find out what was discussed, aka "spy" on that campaign member?  Or should they back off and not look because it involved the Clinton campaign?

I think they would have contacted the Clinton campaign and tried to work with them to expose the Al-Qaeda member.

It was completely a valid option here, and in fact the road that should have been taken, to work with the campaign to identify and target foreign agents that were seeking to gain influence.  How could it not be?

It's still ironic (and no one seems to notice) that the foundation for sicking a spy on Trump's campaign to see if they were biting on a foreign influence campaign was a report by a British spy paid for by the DNC.  Just think that through.  If Trump had hired a Russian spy (through a law firm) to generate a report on corruption in the Clinton campaign that they used to get the FBI to spy on Clinton and send in an agent, the screaming would never have stopped, not to mention it'd be "proof" of Russian collusion.

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Because that is what I've heard this "spying" was about.  Suspected foreign operatives contacted members of the Trump campaign.  At least one member of the campaign arranged a meeting on an island with one of them.  When suspected foreign operatives make contact with Americans, especially high-ranking Americans, it is the right and duty of the FBI to investigate, regardless of whether the persons are associated with a campaign or not.

Yes, it's also their duty to act to protect the victims of the crime.  In this case the Trump campaign.

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And don't be used.  Remember, President Trump thinks his supporters are stupid.  (Why do you think he talks to you like you are a fourth-grader? :) )

In what way is that unique?  Obama, Clinton, heck Pelosi, all think the same thing.  Heck that expressly came out with that idiot who helped create Obama care.  And you know what, they're right.  Voters are stupid.  They routinely act against their own interests by voting on their emotional reaction and falling for dog whistles and misleading propaganda.

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He thinks that his followers won't dig into exactly what happened, and will just emotionally react to words like "spying" and "infiltration."  Find out exactly what happened, and make sure that whatever happened, you would still be outraged if it happened to Clinton instead.

I don't there's much legitimate that happened here.  It'd be like if the Nixon administration had deputized their operatives as fire marshals and thereby claimed they had every right to inspect the Democratic campaign headquarters at surprise.  Flipping around right and wrong based on flimsy claims of legitimacy is literally a blatant tactic at confusion.  Politicians have us thinking so tribaly that all they have to do is put forward a shell of an excuse and it gets jumped on.

I can honestly say that if the idea of spying on a campaign like this had been presented prior to the election everyone on here would have been appalled.  But now that it's tied to a tribe you want to explain it as legitimate?

Still remember when you claimed that there was no wiretap?  Now we know for a fact that there were don't we.  Bet you have a new rationale.

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Right now I don't think we know exactly what happened.  But from the preliminary reports I've heard, it sounds like stuff that the FBI should have been doing, and certain Republicans (*cough*Trump*cough*) are trying to blow it out of proportion, perhaps just to protect themselves.

I agree we still don't know what happened, but it's not because no one knows.  It's because those who did it have refused any oversight by ANY ELECTED OFFICIAL.  It can not be that if Trump is "disqualified" that Congress not get insight.  On what basis are the FBI and the DOJ involved in potentially illegal activity without any oversight other than there own recognizance?  They may have acted with some propriety, they may not have, but oversight is the only way to be sure.

I'm struck again about the ridiculous secrecy here.  This is not a circumstance where anyone should be respecting privacy of the FBI/DOJ.  If this goes to the President it needs to be public so it can be dealt with, if it doesn't then I can't see any potential investigation being worth this process.  I get the Dems are going to ride it for purely political reasons, but there's no reason Republicans or Independents should accept that.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: DonaldD on June 04, 2018, 04:45:10 PM
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Just think that through.  If Trump had hired a Russian spy (through a law firm) to generate a report on corruption in the Clinton campaign that they used to get the FBI to spy on Clinton and send in an agent, the screaming would never have stopped, not to mention it'd be "proof" of Russian collusion.
Just curious: do you think that the Trump campaign did NOT spend money on opposition research?  If not, if you think they did invest in opposition research, do you have any idea who ended up being hired by the company or companies tasked with those efforts?

There are a couple of possible reasons why we don't know much about who did that research, but one of the primary reasons is that that research wasn't forwarded to the FBI or other US security services.  I wonder why not..?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 04, 2018, 07:53:55 PM

If someone with ties to Al-Qaeda contacted a member of the Clinton campaign, do you think the FBI counterintelligence department should find out what was discussed, aka "spy" on that campaign member?  Or should they back off and not look because it involved the Clinton campaign?

I think they would have contacted the Clinton campaign and tried to work with them to expose the Al-Qaeda member.

You left out a critical component.  If someone with ties to Al-Qaeda contacted a member of the Clinton campaign with offers to provide them with stolen emails, do you think the FBI counterintelligence department should find out what was discussed, aka "spy" on that campaign member?

Because that is what Papadopolous did.

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Yes, it's also their duty to act to protect the victims of the crime.  In this case the Trump campaign.

Umm, when someone calls and illegally offers stolen information about your opponent, and your response is "I love it", I don't think you can claim victimhood.

And for the record Carter Page was not merely "contacted" 
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The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.


So when you think someone is acting as an agent, you really think the correct course of action is to warn them that they ought to stop, or they will get in trouble??

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It's still ironic (and no one seems to notice) that the foundation for sicking a spy on Trump's campaign to see if they were biting on a foreign influence campaign was a report by a British spy paid for by the DNC.

Nobody noticed huh?   ::)

The truth is, that dossier had a very small role in getting the FISA warrant.   I am happy to provide voluminous unbiased sources that prove that.  You may want to look into that so you don't continue to spread misinformation.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 05, 2018, 09:00:44 AM
The FISA courts are a joke anyway, regardless of the dossier. I don't think it is relevant to give this rubber stamp much due.

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Warrantless Surveillance, Designed to Monitor Americans and Others

While Section 702 states that the NSA’s surveillance under the law must “target” foreigners abroad, in reality the law allows the agency to capture potentially vast numbers of Americans’ communications with people overseas (as well as Americans’ domestic Internet communications that just happen to be routed through another country en route to the recipient). 

This surveillance is warrantless, and no judge ever reviews or approves the government’s individual targeting decisions. The law does not require the government to show it has any suspicion that anyone who may be caught up in this dragnet has engaged in wrongdoing.

PRISM and Upstream

The executive branch uses Section 702 to seize private communications through two extremely large programs. The PRISM program enables the NSA (via the FBI) to gather and store enormous amounts of users’ communications that are held by Internet companies. Meanwhile, Upstream surveillance appears to involve automatic government searches of virtually all of the communications that flow over crucial pieces of Internet infrastructure that connect the US to the rest of the world.

Backdoor Searches: An End Run Around the Fourth Amendment

The FBI currently has the power to search (or “query”) Section 702 data without a warrant. The Bureau describes these warrantless backdoor searches as “routine and encouraged.” Such queries effectively evade other provisions of US law that require an individualized warrant or court order for access to such data.

human rights watch (https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/01/fact-sheet-impact-warrantless-section-702-surveillance-people-united-states)

I'd love true reform in this area.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 06, 2018, 12:33:43 PM
Drake,

If I understand your quote, it all refers to warrantless collection.
The FBI obtained warrants for their surveillance of someone they had probable cause to believe was acting as an agent of a foreign power.

Completely different processes.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 06, 2018, 01:52:40 PM
I don't think that's true. There's always a warrant, but then a "look who else we got on tape". Not to mention that warrants are almost never rejected.

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By comparison, since 1979 to date, the court has approved 40,117 warrants but only rejected 21 requests. That's a rejection rate of 0.052 percent.

Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: yossarian22c on June 06, 2018, 02:55:32 PM
Whatever your opinion of the general FISA court process, in this case you have Trey Gowdy and Mitch Micconnell both stating publicly that not only did the FBI do nothing wrong but that the FBI acted appropriately with the information they had.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: yossarian22c on June 06, 2018, 03:17:08 PM
And now Paul Ryan joins the list of Republicans who say "spygate" is a fraud.

 https://www.npr.org/2018/06/06/617578387/ryan-says-theres-no-evidence-the-fbi-informant-spied-on-trump-s-campaign (https://www.npr.org/2018/06/06/617578387/ryan-says-theres-no-evidence-the-fbi-informant-spied-on-trump-s-campaign)
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Greg Davidson on June 07, 2018, 10:16:29 AM
Crunch,

Are you capable of acknowledging the inaccuracies of your original position?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 08, 2018, 04:56:14 PM
Russia getting their money's worth, or does Trump just miss his playmate Putin? Spy to find out!

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"You know, whether you like it or - and it may not be politically correct - but we have a world to run and in the G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in," he said.

Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 08, 2018, 05:53:49 PM
Crunch,

Are you capable of acknowledging the inaccuracies of your original position?

I'm curious, what do you see as 'inaccuracies of his position'?  Or do you just mean some of the early reports have been contradicted by other reports?  I'd take his position to be the logic, not the press accounts.

It doesn't seem like we have much more in the way of detail than we started with.  Labeling someone a "spy" or an "informant" or something, is in large part a semantic difference.

It's still not remotely clear (because if there are clarifying facts they haven't been released), why the decision would be to treat the campaign as the criminal if the FBI had identified Russian attempts to obtain influence, rather than treat the campaign as the victim and help them shut down those attempts.  I'm left with the, admittedly partisan belief, that if the target had been the Clinton campaign the decision would have been to help them close down the contacts (or honestly, even to bury them after the fact).

Pretty much, we're still left with a great big missing fact - what exactly, is justifying the belief that the campaign and it's leadership possibly including Trump was engaged in illegal activity.  There are bad people in every organization of any size, that doesn't automatically translate into a taint of the whole organization.  When are we going to see this piece of evidence (and how is it that so many people are "convinced" without having seen it)?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 09, 2018, 12:50:48 PM
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I’m curious, what do you see as 'inaccuracies of his position’?

Here are three items that are either established as completely wrong, or assertions on the part of Crunch that he refuses to provide sources for.  They were all covered in detail above, so I am not sure what you are curious about.

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the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts. 

You do understand they were not investigating a crime? Right? They illegally  used Clinton’s opposition research to mislead the FISA court so they could run this under a counterintelligence operation. 

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration

Also, Trey Gowdy, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan all think that Crunch’s position is inaccurate.

As I said, this is all very clear in the thread above.  If you have specific facts or reasoning that you disagree with, sing out.  Or if there are other aspects of his position that have not been proven inaccurate, make that clear as well.

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It's still not remotely clear (because if there are clarifying facts they haven't been released), why the decision would be to treat the campaign as the criminal if the FBI had identified Russian attempts to obtain influence, rather than treat the campaign as the victim and help them shut down those attempts.  

Not remotely clear, but in-your-face-obvious clear, and explained above.  When foreign governments attempt to recruit agents,(sorry, "obtain influence" is a gross distortion of the truth, nice try though) we don’t just warn the potential agents that we see them about to break the law, we watch them to see what they do. That way we can learn about how they operate, we can learn if there are other people involved, and we can build a case against them.  Any undercover law enforcement, anywhere, operates on this principle. Any anti-corruption law enforcement does this.  Any counterintelligence operation does this. 

I’m really at a loss to understand what is confusing about this.  Could you please try to explain it?

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Pretty much, we're still left with a great big missing fact - what exactly, is justifying the belief that the campaign and it's leadership possibly including Trump was engaged in illegal activity.  There are bad people in every organization of any size, that doesn't automatically translate into a taint of the whole organization.  

Trying not to be sarcastic, but there are indictments and guilty pleas for several members of his campaign, not to mention investigations ranging from the emoluments clause to illegal campaign spending to defamation.  The FBI is investigating obstruction of justice.  Trump Jr. agreed to meet to accept illegal campaign contributions.  Trump put out a false release about this, then lied about who wrote it, possibly obstructing justice.  Were you not aware of these?  Maybe not open and shut, but any reasonable person would agree that it seems elements of his campaign engaged in illegal activity.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 11, 2018, 03:43:59 PM
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I’m curious, what do you see as 'inaccuracies of his position’?

Here are three items that are either established as completely wrong, or assertions on the part of Crunch that he refuses to provide sources for.  They were all covered in detail above, so I am not sure what you are curious about.

I stated what I was curious about, specifically, whether Greg was asking him if his opinion had changed in light of the "updated facts" (though I expressly noted, that the "updates" are in large part second hand statements and not direct information), or whether Greg was equating factual inadequacies in part of the record with a refutation of a position (which its not).

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the Obama DOJ inserted a spy into the campaign, paying him over $1 million for his efforts.

That's very specific.  A lot of parts of that are true, or subject to multiple interpretations but when it's all together its false.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have to be all together to have meaning.

The "spy" was paid over $1 million over a few years by the government, while that government was under control of the Obama Administration.

DOJ vs. DOD, maybe material, maybe not so much.  It would be very material for a criminal investigation (which the DOD is not permitted to be involved in), which is troubling given how freely descriptions shift between terrorism investigations and legal ones as if they have the same basis and standards.

Whether he's a "spy" or an "informant" or a "trojan horse" for that matter is a matter of interpretation.  It can certainly be entrapment for law enforcement to send someone into a situation to solicit a crime, and it in fact is so, if the crime would not otherwise have occurred.

Of course, we really don't know anything about what actually happened, cause it's only on a second hand basis that we know anything at all.

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You do understand they were not investigating a crime? Right? They illegally  used Clinton’s opposition research to mislead the FISA court so they could run this under a counterintelligence operation.

You are objecting to the claim that they were not investigating a crime?  The rest of that passage is a reasonable though not indisputable interpretation of what occurred.

As to the crime part, the typical investigation requires that there be evidence of a crime to start an investigation.  Evidence of Russian operatives reaching out is not a crime of anyone they are reaching out to, at best its evidence of a potential crime on the part of the Russian agents, and honestly, even that it is highly questionable.  It was not then, nor is it now, illegal to speak to Russian people, even Russian agents.  That's literally not a crime. 

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The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration

Not sure what that even means, or how its falsified by anything that's described above.

We have not seen data or evidence that would allow anyone to reasonably determine if the "Trump-Russia" investigation originated in bad acts of the Trump campaign, Russian spies, Hillary's campaign, Obama's administration, Comey and Pal's thinking they were above the law, or even MI6.  You can make a reasonable speculation based case for any or all or even none of the above, but that's all it is, speculation.

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Also, Trey Gowdy, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan all think that Crunch’s position is inaccurate.

Maybe.  They all said they think the FBI's actions were justified.  That's kind of all we know.  Hopefully, that means that this wasn't a spying situation and that any impact it had in that direction was inadvertant.  Of course they are part of Congress that keeps the illegal FISA courts online.  Can't wait till this is all in the public record. 

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It's still not remotely clear (because if there are clarifying facts they haven't been released), why the decision would be to treat the campaign as the criminal if the FBI had identified Russian attempts to obtain influence, rather than treat the campaign as the victim and help them shut down those attempts. 

Not remotely clear, but in-your-face-obvious clear, and explained above.  When foreign governments attempt to recruit agents,(sorry, "obtain influence" is a gross distortion of the truth, nice try though) we don’t just warn the potential agents that we see them about to break the law, we watch them to see what they do.

Influence campaigns is literally what they are called, sorry if that's confusing to you.  It's also far more likely to be what they are seeking than trying to recruit Americans to be literal foreign agents or spies.  In fact, most national politicians are friendly with more than one agent of a foreign government.  Being favorably inclined doesn't make them spies.

And again, you're literally wrong.  We warn people all the time about foreign agents, they literally tell politicians to be careful because they suspect person x is actually a spy or agent and not the attache they present themselves to be.

Not to mention, they were completely capable of solving for multiple goals at once by involving the Trump campaign at the highest levels, which would have ensured several things, like isolating any potential spread of an agent network, making the campaign aware that it was being targeted (which contrary to your implication is a net good thing) and at worst making it clear that this was being watched. 

I can tell you part of why they didn't, they knew what they were doing was highly contestable, even if justified, and Trump was perfectly capable of making it a favorable campaign issue.  What I can't tell you, is whether they also had a political motivation in how they did it.

Quote
That way we can learn about how they operate, we can learn if there are other people involved, and we can build a case against them.  Any undercover law enforcement, anywhere, operates on this principle. Any anti-corruption law enforcement does this.  Any counterintelligence operation does this.

This is true, we do run undercover operations, but again that's when we've already seen a crime by a US person and allowing the influence campaign doesn't continue or increase the risk.  The FBI literally kept this underwraps during the election.  The idea that they should knowingly  allow Russian agents to spread inside the campaign of one of two people that may become President as part of an undercover operation is almost literally insane.  The public policy goals that favor allowing an undercover operation are completely overwhelming by the national security risk in that situation.

In fact, you're building on a history of investigations from a different context to try pretend that this would have been a normal course of action in a unique and much higher risk context.  It's not normal.  And it's incredibly high risk to secretly investigate the Presidential campaign of the opposition party.

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I’m really at a loss to understand what is confusing about this.  Could you please try to explain it?

How people are so conclusive without having access to the actual facts.

Why they don't see that investigations of the other political party are especially suspect.  Particularly in light of all the oddities that have arisen, not to mention the denials that turn out to be false.

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Trying not to be sarcastic, but there are indictments and guilty pleas for several members of his campaign, not to mention investigations ranging from the emoluments clause to illegal campaign spending to defamation.

First of all, from the public record, the guilty pleas from campaign members relate to process crimes where the underlying conduct was most likely not illegal.  Even Papadaous's actions, other than lying about them, were most likely not illegal - at best borderline.  Manafort seems to have nothing alleged that relates at all to the campaign, and it appears that his prosecution (persecution?) is just to try and force him to provide testimony on others.  It's amusing to me that Mueller can file new charges because Manafort talked to someone else on trying to suborn perjury, but prosecutors can give people massive incentives, including literal bribes and its not considered suborning perjury.

Emoluments is a farce and not subject of the investigation.

Defamation, not aware of relevant charges on defamation.

Illegal campaign contributions, pretty specious, and decidely anti-democratic to try and bring charges against someone who largely funded their own campaign, while the other candidate (and virtually every other politician) is completely in the tank for whomever writes them enough checks.  It's almost Twilight Zone levels of farce.

Quote
The FBI is investigating obstruction of justice.

Are they?  Last I checked there's no confirmation of that, though it does seem possible or even likely they are investigating it.  In any event, its pretty much a specious claim if you are referring to Comey's firing.

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Trump Jr. agreed to meet to accept illegal campaign contributions.

No he didn't, that's a big stretch.  I agree he never should have met with a foreigner who claimed they could provide information.  He's responsible for being a political neophyte and not having a better grasp on the potential illegality (note I said potential). 

There's a lot of questions about the Clinton campaign's indirect involvement in arranging that meeting, which is literally a violation but whose counting (honestly counting anyway).

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ere you not aware of these?  Maybe not open and shut, but any reasonable person would agree that it seems elements of his campaign engaged in illegal activity.

I can honestly say there's never been a campaign where "elements" didn't engage in illegal activity.  Every local election someone is tearing down signs or putting them in illegal places.  There's always someone that crosses lines.  Normally, unless there's a top down directive or some evidence of wilful blindness we recognize that bad people sometimes support good ones. 

I mean honestly, you seem to have been alluding to Manafort earlier.  His known "illegal activity" was years before his involvement with the campaign.  He's worked on 4 out 5 of the last Republican Presidential campaigns, and he was on the Trump campaign for only a short while, yet he's part of this attribution you are making right?

We readily guess why there's so much pressure on Manafort.  They want him to say that Trump knew about something specific, cause they don't have evidence that he did.  Without that connection, they don't have a case.  So if Trump didn't know about something  are you okay with the DOJ bribing Manafort to get him to perjure himself saying he did?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 11, 2018, 04:14:43 PM
I'm still trying to get over the fact you are OK with them being 'victims' of entrapment...
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 11, 2018, 09:25:57 PM
If anyone besides Seriati thinks there was anything in his entire post worth responding to, I will be happy to oblige.  Otherwise, Proverbs 26:4.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on June 12, 2018, 09:27:43 AM
Trying not to be sarcastic, but there are indictments and guilty pleas for several members of his campaign, not to mention investigations ranging from the emoluments clause to illegal campaign spending to defamation.  The FBI is investigating obstruction of justice.  Trump Jr. agreed to meet to accept illegal campaign contributions.  Trump put out a false release about this, then lied about who wrote it, possibly obstructing justice.  Were you not aware of these?  Maybe not open and shut, but any reasonable person would agree that it seems elements of his campaign engaged in illegal activity.

That the FBI is investigating illegal campaign spending for Trump and not Clinton (along with her mail server) should tell you how this is being run. From secret meeting on airport runways to disappearing Arwan's, Clinton and the DNC are clearly doing more than Trump ever though, yet not a hint of investigation from the FBI.

Indictments. You mean the indictments of 13 foreigner and/or foreign companies? Those are show indictments. Mueller never expected to pursue prosecution of those as they were in other countries where prosecution would be impossible. That one of them has come back throws a serious wrench in the works and Mueller is fighting having to prosecute it.

Guilty pleas. Like Flynn's? Pleading guilty to lying to the FBI (something Clinton and her team has done repeatedly without repercussion). Flynn has insisted he was innocent and we now know that nobody thought Flynn was lying. Get that? Charges were filed and pursued against someone where there was no suspicion of a crime being committed. Flynn fought this to the point he had to sell his house to pay the mounting legal bills. Flynn finally pleaded guilty because they were bankrupting him although I suspect the final straw was when Mueller threatened to go after Flynn's son. This is legal extortion, the prosecutorial equivalent of torturing a confession out of someone, and should result in criminal charges for Mueller and his team.

Why would Mueller do these things? So people like you can say there are indictments and guilty pleas without having a hint of how they were obtained or that they were baseless or that Mueller never intended to prosecute them, it was just a show. Pointing these pleas and indictments out as proof of anything other than an out of control prosecution is exposing that you don't know what's going on.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: NobleHunter on June 12, 2018, 09:56:13 AM
Yes, why didn't the FBI investigate Clinton's e-mail server and cost her the election?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 12, 2018, 10:03:51 AM
Yes, why didn't the FBI investigate Clinton's e-mail server and cost her the election?

No, he's saying she wasn't indicted for lying, aside from the issue of her servers. And we do know she lied.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 12, 2018, 10:19:05 AM
Way to take the high road Velcro, lol.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Greg Davidson on June 12, 2018, 10:23:09 AM
Quote
we now know that nobody thought Flynn was lying. Get that?

Who is this "we" you speak about?   Because this is pretty clear: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/01/us/document-Flynn-FBI-Russia.html (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/01/us/document-Flynn-FBI-Russia.html)
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 12, 2018, 11:22:37 AM
Greg, I think he's referring to the reports that the FBI agents who conducted the interview did not believe that he was intentionally lying.  Of course, we haven't heard from them directly, because notwithstanding that Congress had demanding they testify the DOJ has refused to make them available. 
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 12, 2018, 06:38:08 PM
Yes, why didn't the FBI investigate Clinton's e-mail server and cost her the election?

No, he's saying she wasn't indicted for lying, aside from the issue of her servers. And we do know she lied.

No, that's what you are saying he is saying.

What he's saying is
Quote
That the FBI is investigating illegal campaign spending for Trump and not Clinton (along with her mail server)

Just to be clear, he said the FBI is not investigating Clinton for illegal campaign spending. It is not clear whether he is saying that they should add the illegal campaign spending in addition to the completed investigation of her email server, or if they should start investigating her email server.

Seriati, please provide sources that back up the claim that "the FBI agents who conducted the interview did not believe that he was intentionally lying. "  Not that I don't believe you, but I would like to see the sources.

Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on June 12, 2018, 07:23:23 PM
Link (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/05/18/comeys-claim-he-didnt-tell-congress-that-fbi-agents-thought-flynn-was-not-intentionally-lying/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.12238127321c)
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The majority report of the House Intelligence Committee includes a finding that FBI agents “did not detect any deception during Flynn’s interview.” As evidence, the report quotes Comey from a private briefing on March 2, 2017: “the agents … discerned no physical indications of deception. They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them.”
So nobody thought Flynn lied. They finally got him to admit he did by destroying his finances, including costing him his home, and then threatening his son.

As for those indictments:
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Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is worried that Russian intelligence services will use a criminal case in Washington to gather information about its investigation and U.S. intelligence-gathering methods.

In court papers filed Tuesday, prosecutors are asking a federal judge to impose limits on the information that can be shared by attorneys in the first criminal case directly related to Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

So far, only one defendant, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, has appeared in the case, and prosecutors say they're worried information they provide to the company's attorneys could end up in the hands of other defendants or Russian spy agencies.
And
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Prosecutors also want to bar other defendants from accessing the materials turned over in the case until they appear in a U.S. court.
Tryng to keep the “evidence” secret.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: yossarian22c on June 12, 2018, 10:09:50 PM
So the agents didn’t realize he was lying during the interview. It doesn’t mean that they didn’t discover information later that showed he had lied.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on June 13, 2018, 07:54:37 AM
Wow, that’s the very best example of grasping at straws I’ve ever seen.

But no, when Flynn was charged , nobody thought he’d lied to the FBI. Flynn was prosecuted for a crime nobody thought he committed. Flynn maintained his innocence right up until they coerced him into the plea.

 It’s exactly what it looks like.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 13, 2018, 09:41:53 AM
Yes, why didn't the FBI investigate Clinton's e-mail server and cost her the election?

No, he's saying she wasn't indicted for lying, aside from the issue of her servers. And we do know she lied.

No, that's what you are saying he is saying.

I was referring to this:

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Guilty pleas. Like Flynn's? Pleading guilty to lying to the FBI (something Clinton and her team has done repeatedly without repercussion).
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: scifibum on June 13, 2018, 12:35:41 PM
Wow, that’s the very best example of grasping at straws I’ve ever seen.

But no, when Flynn was charged , nobody thought he’d lied to the FBI. Flynn was prosecuted for a crime nobody thought he committed. Flynn maintained his innocence right up until they coerced him into the plea.

 It’s exactly what it looks like.


This is the dumbest talking point. This kind of charge is not supposed to be predicated on impressions of interviewing agents. Flynn did lie. The charging document covers the evidence that he lied. Your assertion that nobody thought he lied when he was charged is completely false, based on the ridiculous concept that interviewing agent impression of body language preempts the actual evidence.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 13, 2018, 12:56:32 PM
Seriati, please provide sources that back up the claim that "the FBI agents who conducted the interview did not believe that he was intentionally lying. "  Not that I don't believe you, but I would like to see the sources.

That's not a claim that I made.  Lucky for you Crunch seems to have taken pity on you.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 13, 2018, 01:27:43 PM
stupid double jeopardy: You cannot be convicted of a crime if at any point an investigator thought you were innocent.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 13, 2018, 03:35:41 PM
You guys are really straining to 'splain a rather simple point.  There's very little evidence, if any, that Flynn intentionally lied to the FBI.  Really it's just the guilty plea, which given the power of the state is half-way coerced (at least).

Contrast that, in a whataboutism way, with Comey clearing Clinton essentially cause she didn't have a bad intent (even though intent wasn't part of that crime), or with how, Mueller is ruthless on demanding guilty pleas with how all those Clinton aides got immunity for testimony (where there weren't even charges filed).  None of that really goes to substance but it certainly weighs in on appearances.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 13, 2018, 03:49:16 PM
I don't know anything more than the rest of you, and probably less than several, but Crunch and Seriati, you are starting to sound rather paranoid.

Now, you may be correct about some aspects of this, but "straining to 'splain a rather simple point"? 

I'm not about to defend Clinton, and find "whataboutisim" the most ridiculous thing going; but the simplest explanation is Trump's team (and the man himself) are shady as hell, and use to crossing the line into strait up illegality, and getting away with it.  (or suffering minor consequences if they don't)

That several of them are getting a wake-up call and realizing that when it relates to the highest office of the country, the stakes (and the scrutiny) are a bit higher; that doesn't shock me in the least.

Mistaken, miss-remembered, unintentional lie, entrapped, bribed, coerced...  then just unfairly treated by the law.  /sigh  If that's not a strain, I don't know what is.

News flash, Hillary didn't win.  Trump did.  Convict her of something or don't.  I don't much care.  Actually, I kinda do hope things stretch out and she remains toxic so the party doesn't risk running her again, but I think that's highly unlikely already.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Wayward Son on June 13, 2018, 03:50:00 PM
What you're neglecting is plea bargaining.  Pleading guilty to a lesser crime to avoid prosecution for a more serious crime.  Prosecutors often allow this if the defendant cooperates with the investigation and provides evidence of greater crimes of those higher-up than him.

Of course, we don't know if Flynn plea-bargained and cooperated or not, and won't know until all the evidence of the investigation is revealed.  But you shouldn't assume that there was no plea bargaining involved yet, especially if you're calling for an end to the investigation.  Because if there was, it was probably significant information.

And because calling for an end to the investigation is precisely what guilty people would want you to do. ;)
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 13, 2018, 04:02:23 PM
He's going to go in to talk about his contacts with Russian officials, and he's not going to review his notes about the calls? He just sort of forgot about a bunch of work he did for the Turkish government?

Is it really credible that he forgot that he was trying to influence a UNSC vote in favor of Israel?

full complaint (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/1/16724742/michael-flynn-plead-guilty-lied-fbi)


Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 13, 2018, 04:29:55 PM
I'm not about to defend Clinton, and find "whataboutisim" the most ridiculous thing going; but the simplest explanation is Trump's team (and the man himself) are shady as hell, and use to crossing the line into strait up illegality, and getting away with it.  (or suffering minor consequences if they don't)

Trump's team?  We're talking about Flynn, the guy who was a retired general, who was appointed by  Obama to head the defense intelligence agency, and who was Trump's NSA head for what 23 days?  Not even a month.

The simplest explanation for the claim that this is "shady as hell" is that you believe it without regard to facts.  Accordingly, because of confirmation bias anything you now hear just proves it more.  And in fairness, I suspect you believe the same about me.

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Mistaken, miss-remembered, unintentional lie, entrapped, bribed, coerced...  then just unfairly treated by the law.  /sigh  If that's not a strain, I don't know what is.

There's an actual term, perjury trap for a reason.  Many people have public statements going back years that are arguably contradictory.  I can think of even Obama being on record with contradictory statements to a Muslim audience and a Jewish one.  If a prosecutor wants to catch you they ask a question that of necessity must confirm one of those statements and deny the other (without reminding you of the statements), then they use the recording of the contradicting statement to argue that you lied to them and assert that as a crime.   Very difficult to disprove or defend.  This is why Hillary always answers some form of I don't recall (which, oddly enough, even when it's a lie, is almost impossible to use as a basis).

Republicans seem to operate under the mistaken belief that if they tell the truth everything will work out fine, while Dems have a far more healthy (for them) belief that prosecutors are only talking to you because they're out to get you.

Quote
News flash, Hillary didn't win.  Trump did.  Convict her of something or don't.  I don't much care.  Actually, I kinda do hope things stretch out and she remains toxic so the party doesn't risk running her again, but I think that's highly unlikely already.

I think it's a bigger issue.  The comparisons have to be made because it really does feel like we're no longer living under the idea of equal protection.  Charges for Republicans for "lying" where there are none for Democrats is fundamentally unfair.  Immunity deals for staffers that provide NO TESTIMONY but that prevent a prosecutor from doing exactly what Mueller is doing, using pressure to flip little guys to catch big fish, really look like they have no plausible reason other than innoculating a politically favored person.

Whether you like it or not, I'm concerned about abuses of the Rule of Law regardless of which party is in power.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 13, 2018, 04:38:08 PM
What you're neglecting is plea bargaining.

Not neglecting it, recognizing it for the highly abusive practice it is.  Threaten someone with 20 to Life for a crime they didn't do but that it'd cost them millions to defend and offer them a one year suspended sentence to lie and say they did it.  What happens? 

I mean heck, talk to BLM if you really think plea bargains lead to justice.

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And because calling for an end to the investigation is precisely what guilty people would want you to do. ;)

Any accused person, guilty or innocent would want an investigation to end.

The reason to call for this one to end is that it's damaging the country and may have been illegitimate in the first place.  Whether you think Mueller has the goods on Trump or not, the continuing secrecy is damaging.  If the goods are there it's leaving Trump in power when he could have been impeached and removed (he really can't be convicted and trying to do so will cause a constitutional crisis).  If the goods aren't there the entire failure to clear him is absolutely illegitimate and not being done for any proper purpose by law enforcement.

Of course, my suspicion is that there is no convincing evidence, and barely anything circumstantial and that the purpose of continuing the investigation is to help the Dems in the midterms, nothing more or less.   To that end, we will get either leaks or allegations from the team but only once the campaign season is going full swing.   
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 13, 2018, 04:47:42 PM
Quote
Trump's team?  We're talking about Flynn,
Apologies for speaking in generalities about the investigation at large.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 13, 2018, 04:49:43 PM
My bias makes me think they are shady as hell.  The convictions and deals of cooperation are what's making it confirmation bias. 

I am content to see the investigation play out.  The amorphous defense on the fly in attempts to derail the investigation does get tiresome though.

While I enjoy a good conspiracy theory for entertainment value, I'm very much an Occam's razor type person.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: NobleHunter on June 13, 2018, 04:56:23 PM
The reason to call for this one to end is that it's damaging the country and may have been illegitimate in the first place.  Whether you think Mueller has the goods on Trump or not, the continuing secrecy is damaging.  If the goods are there it's leaving Trump in power when he could have been impeached and removed (he really can't be convicted and trying to do so will cause a constitutional crisis).  If the goods aren't there the entire failure to clear him is absolutely illegitimate and not being done for any proper purpose by law enforcement.

Or there's some proof but not yet enough to spur impeachment. Premature release of that proof could make it impossible to obtain the rest or make it harder to impeach Trump. A half-finished argument is usually less convincing that a complete one, even if the argument is eventually completed.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 13, 2018, 04:57:47 PM
Quote
Whether you like it or not, I'm concerned about abuses of the Rule of Law regardless of which party is in power.
I do like that.  I just hate that more often than not as of late, it strikes me as an implied defense of alleged law breaking. 

I'm all for taking any politician to task for breaking the law or failing to uphold the constitution.  But for *censored*'s sake, there is a matter of priorities here.  One is a figure-head at best party mascot and fund raiser now.  The other is our God damned president!  We can put Hillary on pause for a few months. 

Like it or not, she is good at this game.  Trump-and-friends?  They suck at it.  (Innocent or guilty, we'll find out)  If people just got out of the investigation's way for a bit, we'd get our Rule of Law, then you can keep dragging your favorite chew toy through the mud. 

That's the only part I don't like...
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 13, 2018, 05:03:50 PM
Doubtful, Occam's Razor would say that there were a few bad apples and move on, rather than a conspiracy in the campaign that goes to the top.  It's hard to say how it would parse the motives of those at the top of the DOJ and FBI, is it truly simpler that they are trying to do their jobs and come up with extraneous explanations in the face of the irregularities, or that they had a much more self interested goal, in which case the irregularities are perfectly consistent?

In any event, rules of assumption have no place in a legal system.  There should be no assumptions here, other than innocence until proven otherwise.  The real truth is, we've never seen the actual justification for the investigation.  It's either good and convincing or its not.  If the point of Mueller's probe is to prove itself valid after the fact then there should be actual jail time for those that started it.  Again, the really travesty is that anyone is convinced in either direction at this point.

I disagree NobleHunter.  Much like with #metoo there's little chance that exposure hear would do anything but multiply the people coming forward.  Trump's really not in enough control of the executive branch to bury anything if there's a will by the populace to uncover it.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 13, 2018, 05:07:14 PM
Quote
Whether you like it or not, I'm concerned about abuses of the Rule of Law regardless of which party is in power.
I do like that.  I just hate that more often than not as of late, it strikes me as an implied defense of alleged law breaking.

The Rule of Law requires proof of law breaking, not proving a defense against an allegation.

We haven't seen such proof or even good facts indicating a case, only the effects of someone claiming they exist (ie we've only seen people acting like they saw smoke or a fire).

Quote
I'm all for taking any politician to task for breaking the law or failing to uphold the constitution.  But for *censored*'s sake, there is a matter of priorities here.  One is a figure-head at best party mascot and fund raiser now.  The other is our God damned president!  We can put Hillary on pause for a few months.

Of course the difference to me is that the FACTS in evidence dictated that Hillary be charged and probably convicted, which she was not, and that there are no FACTS in evidence on this point that show the same goes to Trump. 
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: NobleHunter on June 13, 2018, 05:13:55 PM
I disagree NobleHunter.  Much like with #metoo there's little chance that exposure hear would do anything but multiply the people coming forward.  Trump's really not in enough control of the executive branch to bury anything if there's a will by the populace to uncover it.

If the current level of proof is on the balance of the probabilities, then Congress will waffle and do nothing and Trump's partisan will declare the matter closed and decided. It would give them a much better rhetorical position to argue against the relevance of further evidence, even if that evidence would raise the level of proof to something, if Congress had seen it all at once, would have spurred them to act. There's also the fact that it'd provide Trump a pretty handy excuse to throw pardons around for people charged and convicted during the "baseless witch hunt." That'd pretty much kill any chance of a follow-up investigation.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 13, 2018, 05:35:09 PM
As one mostly interested in the investigation “doing its job” rather than wasting time speculating about what Trump, his team and those attempting to influence that team may or may not have done, I’ll probably make a mess of this, but here we go.

It goes almost without question that Russia wanted to screw with our election.  Most seem to agree that if they wanted to pick a winner, that winner would be Trump.  Trump’s business background raises a lot of red flags for some people.  For many this issue is a political tool, but some are genuinely concerned.  He is seen as (by some) far more vulnerable than most politicians from foreign influence.  It MAY be bull *censored*, but it is a concern that the country deserves (IMO) to have assuaged.  As “outsiders” there is a higher probability that his team would both be targeted, and find themselves in situations more seasoned politicians know to avoid.  As a shady business man known for shady quasi-legal or at least unethical (again, IMO) dealings, I think Trump (and team) has a distorted risk assessment line of reasoning.  Again, this MAY be a false perception, but it is significant enough that the country deserves to have it assuaged.

Then you need to look at what he tries to accomplish.  Priority number one seems to be tearing down the legacy of his predecessor.  This can mostly be chalked up to partisan differences.  BUT…  With the specter that he’s working against our nation’s interests on behalf of foreign powers looming, it can be seen as more dangerous. 

Now maybe your (general “your”) politics lead you to believe that ACA was awful.  Maybe you believe our trade deals are terrible.  Maybe you believe we have made an unmitigated disaster of our boarder security situation.  Maybe you believe in trickle-down economics.  Maybe you believe we shouldn’t have to bankroll as much of the world’s defense spending as we do.  All of those are legitimate positions.  Trump’s behavior can be seen to be serving some of these, or at least paying lip service to them.  But most can ALSO be viewed as being done in intentionally disruptive ways.  Ways which weaken us as a nation.  Ways that are advantageous to several foreign powers.

Is Trump in the pocket of Russia?  This SHOULD BE, a ridiculous B-movie plot of a question.  But it’s not.  It is in fact, the most serious, most important question we’ve had to answer as a country in a long time.

If I had to lay out a point by point plan on how to sabotage our country (not just Republican instead of my preferred Democratic version of our country), without forcing a Congress controlled by “my party” to step in and stop me?  It would look a hell of a lot like this.

If he gets a clean bill of health and even, “nothing glaringly illegal” and “not a threat to our whole *censored*ing country”, then so be it.  The more I see attempts to discredit the investigation, the more I see potential or “soft obstruction”, the less crazy it sounds that Trump is, not an agent of Russia, but an opportunists who doesn’t care who’s pockets his hands are in when he tries to personally profit off any situation.  We needed a shakeup of the system.  I just don’t want an earth quake that reduces the empire to rubble and dust.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Wayward Son on June 13, 2018, 06:36:01 PM
What you're neglecting is plea bargaining.

Not neglecting it, recognizing it for the highly abusive practice it is.  Threaten someone with 20 to Life for a crime they didn't do but that it'd cost them millions to defend and offer them a one year suspended sentence to lie and say they did it.  What happens? 

I mean heck, talk to BLM if you really think plea bargains lead to justice.

But there are other types of plea bargaining.  Like the one where the guy is guilty as sin, but to save everyone the time and trouble of a trial, he pleas to a lesser charge.  And the one where the guy has info on worse people, and the prosecutor gives him a lesser sentence for cooperating.

Right now, we don't know which one it is.  You keep assuming it is your first one.  I'm fairly sure, since the investigation is being run by a Republican who was the head of the FBI for over a decade and is respected by just about everyone who knows him, that you're completely wrong.  But until the details come out, we won't really know.

But you shouldn't assume you're right.

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And because calling for an end to the investigation is precisely what guilty people would want you to do. ;)

Any accused person, guilty or innocent would want an investigation to end.

The reason to call for this one to end is that it's damaging the country and may have been illegitimate in the first place.  Whether you think Mueller has the goods on Trump or not, the continuing secrecy is damaging.  If the goods are there it's leaving Trump in power when he could have been impeached and removed (he really can't be convicted and trying to do so will cause a constitutional crisis).  If the goods aren't there the entire failure to clear him is absolutely illegitimate and not being done for any proper purpose by law enforcement.

Of course, my suspicion is that there is no convincing evidence, and barely anything circumstantial and that the purpose of continuing the investigation is to help the Dems in the midterms, nothing more or less.   To that end, we will get either leaks or allegations from the team but only once the campaign season is going full swing.

The problem is, as the House Committee investigation has shown, is that politics can distort the results of congressional investigations.  So in order to establish the facts, we need an independent investigation to see if any "high crimes or misdemeanors" occurred.  And the investigation is not over yet, so no conclusion can be made about whether "the goods" are there or not (regardless of what Nunes might say :) ).

And my suspicion is that your suspicion is based on the fact that he is guilty of plenty of stuff, and desperately wants the investigation to end before Mueller uncovers it.  So how do you suggest we find out whose suspicions are correct? ;)

And I wouldn't worry about leaks and allegations coming from Mueller's investigation.  Review all the leaks and allegations that have come out so far.  How many have come from Mueller and his team, vs. Congress and the White House?  It's not Mueller you have to worry about (or doubt)...
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 13, 2018, 07:47:54 PM
Right now, we don't know which one it is.  You keep assuming it is your first one.

I always find claims like this interesting.  How did you reach that conclusion from my statements about not having seen the facts, or about how the oddest thing is that people have reached conclusions without seeing the facts?

I think Trump is doing a good job on a lot of issues.  I haven't seen actual evidence that justifies this investigation.  I haven't seen actual evidence that Trump has committed a crime.  That kind of leaves me in a position where I'm left with supporting him.  If he's innocent (and he's entitled to that presumption) then this is a good thing.  If he's not, then it's a risky thing (him being a bad guy doesn't undermine objective good things he does, but it does open the risk that he's done other less visible things).  I don't see enough value in Mueller keeping us in the dark, to overwhelm the enormous harm his "secret" investigation is doing, as I laid out before the investigation seems an objectively bad thing whichever way it turns out.

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I'm fairly sure, since the investigation is being run by a Republican who was the head of the FBI for over a decade and is respected by just about everyone who knows him, that you're completely wrong.  But until the details come out, we won't really know.

It also seems like it's being run by two guys, Rosenstein and Mueller that have blatant and obvious conflicts, particularly if Comey's firing is part of it (they are more conflicted than Sessions, by way of example).  Not to mention if Trump is not the target, then he's not conflicted either and his Presidential authority should be respected.

I'm also very wary of anyone with a history at the DOJ/FBI in a circumstance where their own conduct is questionable (and it definitely is here).  If they're rejecting Presidential oversight, Attorney General Oversight, and Congressional Oversight it becomes impossible for anyone to determine from the outside if they are acting on a legitimate basis or to protect themselves or the DOJ.  Does it not disturb you to realize how many politically connected investigations - in an FBI of 10's of thousands of employees - seem to track through the same short list of names? 

Even good people have incentives to hide potentially bad facts when they are solely in their own control.  I mean honestly, the FISA warrant process totally highlights this risk.

This is not an area where a secret investigation is doing it "the right way".

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But you shouldn't assume you're right.

I'm not assuming it, I'm making an educated guess.  Even still I can't parse whether the goods are there, or not, other than if they are there they aren't decisive.  If they were decisive they'd have acted already.  I can't parse if Mueller hired all Dems, including some with actual ties to the Clinton Foundation because only such a team could credibly exonerate the President, or because he wanted to eliminate any risk that a whistleblower would reveal that they have no interest in playing fair.

I don't find Mueller's oft cited "Republican credentials" to have much meaning.  Trump's a political outsider that most of the Republican establishment can't stand.  He's literally a populist that draws his power directly from the polity.  Never Trumpers are everywhere in the political class, and Washington's bureacrats are heavily connected to the politicians.

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The problem is, as the House Committee investigation has shown, is that politics can distort the results of congressional investigations.  So in order to establish the facts, we need an independent investigation to see if any "high crimes or misdemeanors" occurred.  And the investigation is not over yet, so no conclusion can be made about whether "the goods" are there or not (regardless of what Nunes might say :) ).

You mostly right here.  We did need an independent investigation.  What you're wrong about is the format.  We never needed a prosecutor to investigate Russian interference.  Mueller's probe is absolutely the wrong format for that.  We needed a bipartisan commission (these are not Congressional committees, and have pretty good history and track record).  Charges could have come out of that and been delivered to the DOJ for pursuit.

The only caveat, is that if there was probable cause to believe Trump committed a crime, then Mueller's probe would be justifiable (just not as the exclusive investigation of "Russian interference") as an investigation of Trump.  That literally can not be justified with anything, no matter how "Russian" other than direct evidence that ties it to Trump.  It can't be justified after the fact, it literally has to be something that they knew that started the prosecution.

I said it before, but no one seemed to notice.  We don't have an independent counsel law anymore.  Investigations like Ken Starr's are NO LONGER LEGAL.  Mueller is a special prosecutor and the scope of what he can do is intentionally far less.

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And my suspicion is that your suspicion is based on the fact that he is guilty of plenty of stuff, and desperately wants the investigation to end before Mueller uncovers it.  So how do you suggest we find out whose suspicions are correct? ;)

Honestly, it's an abuse of power to create an investigation to find out if he's "guilty of a bunch of stuff."  It's an abuse of the power of the state.  The investigation has to be justifiable from what they knew at the start.  If that justification is missing, and they attempt to justify it solely with information that arose during the course of the investigation, then they too should be going to jail.  They may even be guilty of treason.

"Knowing" that someone is guilty, without evidence or reason other than that you dislike them is not what is justice is about.

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And I wouldn't worry about leaks and allegations coming from Mueller's investigation.  Review all the leaks and allegations that have come out so far.  How many have come from Mueller and his team, vs. Congress and the White House?  It's not Mueller you have to worry about (or doubt)...

Unless you are working at the NYT's or CNN kind of impossible to know who is responsible for what leak.  That you think you do know, is again something that reflects a deeply troubling misinterpretation of the factual record.

I do worry, cause I think there's a real possibility that the sole goal of the investigation is to effect a political shift from the Republicans to the Democrats.  I expect that any charges or leaks are going to be done with an eye to influence the midterms.  How hard is it to comprehend that an investigation that is unjustifiable, could find political cover in a Congress that doesn't care so long as it hurts the President?  Shouldn't be hard to imagine, since it's literally the inverse of what you believe about certain Republicans.

In any event, we're left where we were.  There's no public evidence that justifies the way this probe has been set up.  Yet, a bunch of people are "convinced" about the facts.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 13, 2018, 08:06:49 PM
Is Trump in the pocket of Russia?  This SHOULD BE, a ridiculous B-movie plot of a question.  But it’s not.  It is in fact, the most serious, most important question we’ve had to answer as a country in a long time.

Could you briefly explain to me what "in the pocket of" means? I know what it's 'basically' saying, but what exactly do you think might be going on? As you put it, it sounds like you're outlining a B-movie plot that didn't have expert script editing and assumes it will be enough to mention who is "in the pocket of" whom. In the case of Trump, what specific mechanism do you think may be in place such that he's 'in the pocket of' Russia?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 13, 2018, 10:56:59 PM
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Could you briefly explain to me what "in the pocket of" means? 
I could try, but as I pointed out, there's an investigation looking into that.  I don't have to speculate...

Sorry if you don't like the cop out.  I have zero interest in dueling speculation and why it's bad to speculate at all. 

My choices seem to be a willingness to believe that the Obama administration, several judges and investigative branches are all aligned against Trump for purely partisan reasons... Or that a business man with questionable tactics and background was played by, and played with foreign powers to a degree that is criminal. 

Or, at a minimum the swamp he chose to plop himself down in the middle of is getting drained around him, with or without his consent or help. 

This whole investigation goes way beyond partisan politics, or attempts to politically neuter a lost election by one party.  This is something that should be a bipartisan desire to reassure the entire nation (not just half of it) that either the accusations are baseless or our government is built well enough to handle such a dangerous, if crazy sounding, situation.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 13, 2018, 11:50:48 PM
My choices seem to be a willingness to believe that the Obama administration, several judges and investigative branches are all aligned against Trump for purely partisan reasons... Or that a business man with questionable tactics and background was played by, and played with foreign powers to a degree that is criminal. 

I'm not trying to debate you about this. It was an honest question. I legitimately don't know what you (or anyone) may mean when you suggest he was "played" or was "playing with". My question is what may be behind those euphemisms. My imagination - having read a few books and seen a few movies - can conjure up what I imagine wily, crafty characters can accomplish, but I don't materially know what it is people think Trump has literally done. It is just the 'he must have done something' that Seriati suspects is behind the investigation? I'll submit parenthetically that I'm not for or against the investigation as such, principally because I honestly know nothing of relevance regarding it.

I remember back when the 'Trump and Putin bromance' meme came about being annoyed at it, but one thing I noted was that it created the impression of collusion while not specifically saying anything at all. It's the sort of soft attribution ripe for the motte and bailey game, where on the surface it looks like an accusation but when pressed the answer would be that it's just a joke meme. But even then I wasn't sure when even the soft collusion implication was on about. What, exactly, were they supposedly conspiring about? Since then I've heard much talk of Trump helping Russia and that sort of thing. I heard a funny joke on Reddit which went something like "Trump is doing what's in the best interests of the nation. And that nation is Russia." That's all well and good, but I've been having a tough time nailing down what Trump is supposed to have been doing that helps Russia. Whether the claim (which shifts around) is collusion, or 'being a patsy' (in what way?), or being 'generally shady' (as you sort of put it), what is this shady/patsy/collusive behavior? I know you don't know and answered rightly in declining to say specifically, but if you don't even have a specific hunch then why do you think there's anything at all there? Just a gut feeling?

I'll throw in one more thing, which is that I love conspiracy theories and would be totally game to learn that foul play has been afoot. Even better if it can be proven (which almost never happens). So as I ask these questions it's within the context of being someone who actually likes thinking along these lines and even then can't pinpoint some smoking gun. The fact of Putin enjoying when America sweats is not news, but generally that obvious fact seems to have been enough to conclude that Putin messed up the election, the President is compromised, and...what? 
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 14, 2018, 12:38:00 AM
The honest answer, is I don't know. 

For "shady" comment, see Trump's legal history and bankruptcy history.  He's not in jail, so I didn't use the word "criminal".

As for being in the pocket, I expect 'atypical' real estate deals or other business dealings with people who have ties to Russia.  Again, probably (hopefully?) not illegal, but highly inappropriate when you are talking about a sitting president.

I kinda understand that trying act tough on Russia is, in his mind, admitting they get some of the credit for his win.  I get that is a very non-Trump thing to admit to.  But his seeming meekness or outreach towards Russia and appearances of admiration towards Putin sends a terrible message. 

Maybe Trump is a mastermind.  Maybe he's trying to get all his opponents to overplay their hand by feeding their suspicions on the whole 'Russia witch hunt', and he's having a laugh at them and believes he will eventually be vindicated and his opponents will all look like fools. 

It's not what others speculate and imply about Trump that scares me.  It's what Trump says and does that has me worried.  When a large part of the country needs reassured, he instead chose to take actions that look even more suspicious and tease the public that he could totally obstruct the process meant to settle the issue... if he wanted; and it would be totally within his power to do so.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 14, 2018, 12:53:18 AM
I kinda understand that trying act tough on Russia is, in his mind, admitting they get some of the credit for his win.  I get that is a very non-Trump thing to admit to.  But his seeming meekness or outreach towards Russia and appearances of admiration towards Putin sends a terrible message. 

I know people view this as suspicious. The amazing thing is he campaigned on this right from the start, surely way before there was any sign he might come out a victor. There is ultimately something bizarre about keeping a campaign promise made before any collusion was plausible, following through on it, and then accusing him of doing because of corruption. That's basically all but saying that doing what you say you'll do is corrupt. Maybe that's why no one does it! You didn't specifically make that claim and may only be reflecting what you perceive others think, but I still find it startling that peaceful gestures towards a country in almost any context can be viewed with suspicion. The same thing is baffling me on the NK thread, where the very fact of offering an olive branch to a sometime enemy is taken as a sign of weakness or foolishness.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 14, 2018, 08:35:59 AM
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The same thing is baffling me on the NK thread, where the very fact of offering an olive branch to a sometime enemy is taken as a sign of weakness or foolishness.

That is certainly a factor. Nixon faced this heavily when he accepted communist China wasn't going anywhere. Carter accepting Arafat as an equal partner was massively controversial.

The appearance of giving in is something that makes it easy to go after the person seeking to put differences aside and make meaningful steps forward.

Of course, Trump himself criticized Obama for rapproachment, his words:

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For nearly six decades, the Cuban people have suffered under communist domination.  To this day, Cuba is ruled by the same people who killed tens of thousands of their own citizens, who sought to spread their repressive and failed ideology throughout our hemisphere, and who once tried to host enemy nuclear weapons 90 miles from our shores.

Swap out Cuba for North Korea and except for the hemisphere, these are similar arguments as those being used against Trump.

As he warns:

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The previous administration’s easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the Cuban people — they only enrich the Cuban regime.  (Applause.)  The profits from investment and tourism flow directly to the military.  The regime takes the money and owns the industry.  The outcome of the last administration’s executive action has been only more repression and a move to crush the peaceful, democratic movement.

Isn't that the same concern that people have about the North Korean regime?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 14, 2018, 09:34:39 AM
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The amazing thing is he campaigned on this right from the start, surely way before there was any sign he might come out a victor. There is ultimately something bizarre about keeping a campaign promise made before any collusion was plausible, following through on it, and then accusing him of doing because of corruption.
I don’t really believe Russian agents ‘cold-called’ him and BOOM, collusion!  I expect he had extensive business ties already to their government before he put his hat in the ring.  He was predisposed to, at a minimum, open a path for more lucrative personal business opportunities.  More likely for “shady” business opportunities which at heart are attempts to buy his favor.  I expect MOST of what Trump did, other than perhaps going to lengths to hide and deny it, are “legal” but politically toxic.  Things that make him a terrible person to do business with and IMO no friend of our country, but as a private citizen and global business man, nothing too shocking.  The problem for me, is when that person is sitting in the Oval Office.  I want to be SURE that person prioritizes the best interest of the country.  I don’t need them to go about it how I would wish.  But I like to be convinced THEY believe in their own plan.  Or that they have a plan.

As far as NK goes, other than him making more of a first step meeting than there was, I don’t have a big problem with him.  The only risk in giving away too much was in terms of prestige and propaganda.  I think Trump is so far outside the lines on those that it was hardly a risk at all.  I expect this to go nowhere, but a failed attempt is no worse than continued inaction, and better than increasing rhetoric and bluster until shots are fired.  I was serious when I said not being at war exceeds my expectations.  Contrasting it to the Iran thing makes things a bit more wacky, but he went there, came back and didn’t *censored* it up.  Congrats Trump.  Set the bar low enough and you can claim a win.

This (NK) is mostly an issue of timing than an issue of Trump.  They made it to the nuke finish line.  What they are doing now was the predictable next step.  We didn’t go full military intervention before, I don’t see us doing it now.  These are just the next steps in the dance.  Trump may be following Kim’s lead, but the music was playing regardless.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 14, 2018, 12:55:04 PM
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[Flynn]who was appointed by  Obama to head the defense intelligence agency, and who was Trump's NSA head for what 23 days?  Not even a month.

An honest description would include the fact that Obama fired Flynn, before Trump hired him.

There was definitely a plea bargain (https://www.justice.gov/file/1015126/download).  There were definitely other charges against Flynn and his son for a variety of criminal offenses.  Those charges were dropped, at least against Flynn, in exchange for a guilty plea.

So if you think that everything Flynn ever did was perfectly legal, and all the other charges were made up, and you also think that it is not a crime to lie as long as it doesn't look like you are lying, then yup, Flynn was just framed.


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Occam's Razor would say that there were a few bad apples and move on, rather than a conspiracy in the campaign that goes to the top.

Occam's Razor has nothing to do with it.  Russia interfered with our election, and favored Trump.  The intelligence community is highly confident about this.  The investigation is looking from top to bottom.  If they find nothing at the top, so be it.   But I can't imagine any rational investigator thinking it is best to stop before looking everywhere because that is the simplest answer.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on June 15, 2018, 07:57:03 AM
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Russia interfered with our election, and favored Trump.  The intelligence community is highly confident about this

And yet no proof of this. Coming up at on 2 years of investigation, calculated leaks, and hyper-biased persecution and “he only evidence came from an intelligence operation (Crossfire Hurricane) designed to create the impression of Russian interference. So far the proof is indictments of some foreign companies - one that Mueller is fighting tooth and nail to avoid actually prosecuting.

Keep in mind, Crossfire Hurricane is what Strzok was referring to as how they’d stop Trump.  He called it an insurance policy.

There is vastly more evidence that the FBI planned and carried out an attempted coup of an elected President.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 15, 2018, 01:00:17 PM
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Russia interfered with our election, and favored Trump.  The intelligence community is highly confident about this

And yet no proof of this. Coming up at on 2 years of investigation, calculated leaks, and hyper-biased persecution and “he only evidence came from an intelligence operation (Crossfire Hurricane) designed to create the impression of Russian interference. So far the proof is indictments of some foreign companies - one that Mueller is fighting tooth and nail to avoid actually prosecuting.

Keep in mind, Crossfire Hurricane is what Strzok was referring to as how they’d stop Trump.  He called it an insurance policy.

There is vastly more evidence that the FBI planned and carried out an attempted coup of an elected President.


Huh.  You may want to let Trump's National Security Adviser know that there is no proof.
President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday there was ‘‘incontrovertible’’ evidence of a Russian plot to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election, (https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2018/02/17/mcmaster-says-evidence-russian-election-meddling-incontrovertible/KQoBV7XFITSIO7x74iA6fK/story.html)

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‘‘As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain,’’ McMaster told a Russian delegate to the conference....Just minutes before, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had dismissed the indictment as ‘‘just blabber.’’

Do you really want to be rooting for that team?

From the indictment (https://www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download):
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Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political
system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information
about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operations included
supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign”) and
disparaging Hillary Clinton.

And lots more like that in the link.

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There is vastly more evidence that the FBI planned and carried out an attempted coup of an elected President.

Please provide the evidence.  With sources, of course.  And while you're at it please provide your definition of "coup"  Hint: I do not think it means what you think it means.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 15, 2018, 01:18:18 PM
And while you're at it please provide your definition of "coup"  Hint: I do not think it means what you think it means.

To be fair, I think it can be interpreted as meaning a change in government coming from a source other than: (a) a proper election, (b) the voting public in rebellion, or (c) the elected representatives removing the President. In theory if the FBI was trying to undermine the President for private purposes that would qualify as a coup.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 16, 2018, 03:03:41 PM
And while you're at it please provide your definition of "coup"  Hint: I do not think it means what you think it means.

To be fair, I think it can be interpreted as meaning a change in government coming from a source other than: (a) a proper election, (b) the voting public in rebellion, or (c) the elected representatives removing the President. In theory if the FBI was trying to undermine the President for private purposes that would qualify as a coup.

Let's go with your supposition that the FBI was trying to undermine the President, despite copious evidence to the contrary.  And lets also go with your weakened definition of coup.

Please explain how the FBI "trying to undermine" the President creates a change in government.  At worst, it inspires Congress to impeach him.  By your definition, any speech or action opposing the President outside of elections or impeachment is an attempted coup.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 16, 2018, 05:48:28 PM
Please explain how the FBI "trying to undermine" the President creates a change in government.  At worst, it inspires Congress to impeach him.  By your definition, any speech or action opposing the President outside of elections or impeachment is an attempted coup.

It depends on the kind of "speech or action", doesn't it? Certain kinds of speech and actions are considered to be inciting to riot, for instance, and are not protected. Similarly, similar kinds of undermining could be viewed as inciting the public to lose confidence in a leader.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 16, 2018, 08:10:09 PM
You didn't explain how "trying to undermine" rises to the level of coup.

And while you are right about certain kinds of speech not being protected, that has nothing to do with what I asked.

By your definition, anything I might do to "try to undermine" the President, outside of elections or impeachment, is considered an attempted coup.
If I put a "Trump Lied" sign on my lawn, it is certainly protected speech.  But I am trying to undermine the President.  Just like the mythical FBI agents who were attempting a coup.  Therefore, I am attempting a coup.

Tell me, given your logic so far, where I am in error.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 17, 2018, 12:51:27 AM
By your definition, anything I might do to "try to undermine" the President, outside of elections or impeachment, is considered an attempted coup.
If I put a "Trump Lied" sign on my lawn, it is certainly protected speech.  But I am trying to undermine the President.  Just like the mythical FBI agents who were attempting a coup.  Therefore, I am attempting a coup.

As I said, it depends on the kind of speech and action. If I go on the street and try to get a bunch of people violent I would be "inciting to riot". If a drill sergeant does so on a battlefield that's called "giving orders." So it also matters who's doing it and in what context. If I make up lies and say I won't support the President that's an "editorial". If the Secretary of the Navy does it that's "treason." My point is that is the institution responsible for law enforcement within the U.S. has a different standing than a private citizen does. If the institution directly responsible for security in the U.S. is (hypothetically) against the President and is trying to have him removed one way or another, you don't see how that's effectively a regime change plan? Not saying that's what's happening, but the reality of what actually is happening hinges on whether they have real evidence of wrongdoing. I'm still with the camp that believes that if there's wrongdoing it would be good to find out, mind you.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on June 17, 2018, 08:50:37 AM
You didn't explain how "trying to undermine" rises to the level of coup.

And while you are right about certain kinds of speech not being protected, that has nothing to do with what I asked.

By your definition, anything I might do to "try to undermine" the President, outside of elections or impeachment, is considered an attempted coup.
If I put a "Trump Lied" sign on my lawn, it is certainly protected speech.  But I am trying to undermine the President.  Just like the mythical FBI agents who were attempting a coup.  Therefore, I am attempting a coup.
Do you have the power to indict and prosecute? Are you in charge of multi-million dollar budgets with an army of law enforcement and intelligence agents capable of running operations against elected officials? Do you know the difference between the FBI and your lawn? :o

Tell me, given your logic so far, where I am in error.
It’s pretty obvious that you’re going to simply repeat this (or some variation of it) over and over.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 18, 2018, 01:03:48 PM
My choices seem to be a willingness to believe that the Obama administration, several judges and investigative branches are all aligned against Trump for purely partisan reasons... Or that a business man with questionable tactics and background was played by, and played with foreign powers to a degree that is criminal.

There are actually alot more choices than this.  I mean, you've actually skipped over something important.  There is no crime involved in a politician having a favorable view of a foreign country.  We've had plenty of politicians that favored some foreign countries over others.   There's also no crime in a foreign country preferring one politician over another.  Most of the EU leaders have weighed in on our candidates before, China has certainly done so and been caught more than once with direct campaign contributions. 

The problem here is one of discretion, when does a legal conversation become an illegal over of something of value?  Do you think there is an objective standard that controls that?  Can you explain rationally, why hiring an English spy, indirectly, to provide opposition research to your campaign should not be considered a violation, but meeting with a Russian agent who talks about the Magnitsky act should be?

This whole thing is largely in the eye of the beholder.  They haven't provided the smoking gun.  The IG's report demonstrates that there was a massive bias problem, even if it didn't find that anyone expressly documented bias as a basis for action (which would have been shocking if they had).  The best analogy I've seen so far, is the IG's report is like a jury report finding that there was no documented finding of bias in the verdict of the all KKK jury that found the black defendant guilty.  It's literally possible that such a jury would not actually say or document any thing racist, yet no one rational would believe that their verdict should be considered free from such a taint.

I really can't see a non-partisan reason to believe this isn't a politically biased investigation.  Of course, that's subject to change when they release the actual facts that "justified" the Mueller probe - assuming they ever do.

Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 18, 2018, 01:28:35 PM
I was going to try and go point by point but I think I can some it all up pretty quickly.
You see a lot of gray area and no “smoking gun” and are willing to believe the explanations given by the Trump campaign.  Because of this, you see no reason to investigate.
I see a lot of gray area (but no smoking gun) and am not willing to just take the Trump campaign at their word.  Because of this, I see reason to investigate.

I’m not a lawyer or constitutional scholar.  My belief that the campaign and Trump SHOULD be investigated has zero to do with an understanding of law.  I BELIEVE the American people DESERVE to either have Trump cleared of wrong doing, or see to it that he’s not going to intentionally or unintentionally do lasting harm to this country, on behalf of, or as a pawn of foreign powers.

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The IG's report demonstrates that there was a massive bias problem,…
I’ve not read it all, but from what I’ve seen reported there were a few instances of people who crossed lines that should never be crossed by the FBI.  Calling that “massive” seems to imply wide-spread as opposed to a descriptor of the level the limited culprits spoke of.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 18, 2018, 01:47:03 PM
I was going to try and go point by point but I think I can some it all up pretty quickly.
You see a lot of gray area and no “smoking gun” and are willing to believe the explanations given by the Trump campaign.  Because of this, you see no reason to investigate.

This is too vague.  There was plenty to investigate, particularly around foreign influence, I just don't see the tie in to the Trump campaign.  They specifically haven't released what they believe supports that connection.

I'm not aware that there are "explanations" by the Trump campaign to believe.  We literally don't know the conduct that triggered this probe.  That makes it impossible to evaluate whether the scope is appropriate or not.

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I see a lot of gray area (but no smoking gun) and am not willing to just take the Trump campaign at their word.  Because of this, I see reason to investigate.

And do you see a distinction between using a special prosecutor to do so, and doing so in another manner?  Using Mueller required a finding of probable cause.  Grey area doesn't justify this type of investigation.

Honestly, focusing the anti-interference investigation on Trump has undermined any ability of the US to react as a country to Russian (or any other countries) investigation.  It has done specific harm by making a national security issue into a partisan fight.

Quote
Quote
The IG's report demonstrates that there was a massive bias problem,…
I’ve not read it all, but from what I’ve seen reported there were a few instances of people who crossed lines that should never be crossed by the FBI.  Calling that “massive” seems to imply wide-spread as opposed to a descriptor of the level the limited culprits spoke of.

Bias and crossing the lines are specifically not the same thing.  The evidence of bias in the report is damning.  Other than with respect to media interaction, I'm not seeing the proof of lines crossed as so clear.  How does one evaluate a course of action that is within the realm of broad discretion for bias?  We have a giant history with racial discrimination litigation that shows how hard it is to do that.  All the IG said, effectively, was an unbiased prosecutor could have done x or y, what happened was between x and y, therefore I can't conclude the fact that it was y instead of x was because of bias.  This is very different than how Mueller is operating (e.g. on Comey's firing), which could be interpreted, as I think y was the choice because of bias even though y was justifiable on other grounds that were actually referenced at the time.  Do you see how that could seem unfair, when the benefit of the doubt or lack thereof, is being systematically applied in the same direction?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 18, 2018, 02:12:38 PM
Quote
This is too vague. 
As in, “I don’t understand how you can believe that.” Or as in, “that does not meet the legal criteria to initiate an investigation”?  As I said, I’m not particularly well informed on the latter.

Sorry if “explanations” was a charged word?  Should I have taken the time to include something like a “LOL, like they actually intended for a moment to discuss the Magnitsky act?”  To be more clear, I see red flags all over the place (you apparently don’t and that could be my bias showing, but I’m far from alone.) there are often “explanations” for those flagging items which are legal.  Just as there were “explanations” for things Hillary did that raised red flags for me. 
Quote
Using Mueller required a finding of probable cause.  Grey area doesn't justify this type of investigation.
And, they apparently found it.  Or they conspired to thwart a system with several checks across party lines, and convinced several people to give them the thumbs up after the fact, many others who are GOP aligned to state they have faith in the system as well. 
It’s not impossible that you are correct, but it seems a far more significant stretch to me than the alternative.  That there was cause, they are finding evidence of wrong doing and they are being painstakingly careful in building their case because it’s about the top office of this country.  It doesn’t get any more serious, or leave any less room for error.
Quote
Do you see how that could seem unfair, when the benefit of the doubt or lack thereof, is being systematically applied in the same direction?
About as unfair as how sometimes we are just suppose to trust Trump and other times ignore the words that come out of his mouth as meaningless and harmless nonsense?
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: DonaldD on June 18, 2018, 02:44:19 PM
Mueller's mandate is to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.  I hope that we can all agree, at this point, that doing so is not particularly controversial.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 18, 2018, 03:04:01 PM
Quote
This is too vague. 
As in, “I don’t understand how you can believe that.” Or as in, “that does not meet the legal criteria to initiate an investigation”?  As I said, I’m not particularly well informed on the latter.

As in "no reason to investigate" covers a ton of potential ground and a plethora of specific types of investigations. 

Quote
To be more clear, I see red flags all over the place (you apparently don’t and that could be my bias showing, but I’m far from alone.) there are often “explanations” for those flagging items which are legal.  Just as there were “explanations” for things Hillary did that raised red flags for me.

I think my point is that some red flags are specific to a person and disconnected from a "plan."  Manafort was involved with the campaign for a fairly short time (given campaigns are themselves shortlived), is it really reasonable to impute problems he had from years earlier to an investigation of whether the campaign itself was coordinating with Russia?  Where's the line between what Manafort is responsible for and what the campaign is?  Where's the line between Papadoplous and Trump?  Is there one?

Why was there such a "line" between Obama and Louis Lerner?  Seems to me that if we were applying a consistent treatment Lerner's acts would be far more easily impute to Obama, and far better documented, would they not?

This isn't whataboutism, just a question about whether the connectedness of these acts is being based in a partisan manner.  "Obama is a good guy" therefore these are the isolated acts of bad people, vs "Trump is a bad guy" there for these are evidence of a grand plan from the top. 

Hillary's a good example too in how her aides were treated during the investigation.  Plenty of immunity deals for zero testimony.  Those deals literally frustrate the kind of charge, guilty plea and flip strategy Mueller is using against Trump's associates.  Why the difference?  I've never heard of granting immunity without getting testimony, what was it for?
 
Quote
Quote
Using Mueller required a finding of probable cause.  Grey area doesn't justify this type of investigation.
And, they apparently found it.  Or they conspired to thwart a system with several checks across party lines, and convinced several people to give them the thumbs up after the fact, many others who are GOP aligned to state they have faith in the system as well.

Well again, they had to have it at the start.  My concern is that they did base this investigation on something illegitimate, but rather than end it when they realized that they are now out to investigate until they can prove something (even if its a stretch).  Again too, I expect that they believe that if they get a more favorable Congress the problems won't have to be dealt with at all.  This literally seems to be what happened in the last election, with the DOJ/FBI insiders figuring President Hillary would have no interest in investigating these kind of improprieties.

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It’s not impossible that you are correct, but it seems a far more significant stretch to me than the alternative.  That there was cause, they are finding evidence of wrong doing and they are being painstakingly careful in building their case because it’s about the top office of this country.  It doesn’t get any more serious, or leave any less room for error.

I will say it one more time.  There is no case against Trump other than impeachment.  The only benefit of "delay" is to get a new Congress that might be willing to convict without proof.  That's not a just result, and it's only one a partisan could love.

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Do you see how that could seem unfair, when the benefit of the doubt or lack thereof, is being systematically applied in the same direction?
About as unfair as how sometimes we are just suppose to trust Trump and other times ignore the words that come out of his mouth as meaningless and harmless nonsense?

So to answer whether justice should be neutrally applied you cite to a belief that Trump lies?  Honestly, is that really an answer?  Am I to take it that justice should be "neutrally applied" except against "bad people(political enemies)?   How about thinking through those unrelated points separately.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 18, 2018, 03:57:50 PM
Quote
So to answer whether justice should be neutrally applied you cite to a belief that Trump lies?  Honestly, is that really an answer?  Am I to take it that justice should be "neutrally applied" except against "bad people(political enemies)?   How about thinking through those unrelated points separately.
A:  This was to mock you for bringing up "fairness".
B:  it's not a belief, it's a (well) documented "fact" that he lies.  Also, I would say it is well established that this lying is habitually excused or ignored by the GOP.  I would say, his allies, but I don't think that's honest.  More like, his hostages at this point terrified that to call him out on those lies will cost them votes, if not their seats.
C:  See (A) it wasn't really an answer.
D:  I'm all for neutrally applied.  But, yes, I held my nose and voted for Hillary because I felt she would be (somewhat) less of a disaster than Trump.  I believe in voting of the lesser of two evils, and rest assured, I saw two evils.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 18, 2018, 04:43:34 PM
It is so clear that deep staters in the FBI pursued prosecution for political reasons... against Richard Nixon. His administration and supporters made most of these same arguments. Witch hunt, they have nothing, etc.

June 72 - breakin arrest
May 73 - Independent prosecutor appointed
Oct 73 - Succeeds in firing prosecutor
Jan/Feb 74 - aides and personal counsel plead guilty to perjury and illegal campaign activity
Mar 74 - Nixon named an unindicted co-conspirator as his aides get indicted
July 74 - Moves to impeach
Aug 74 - Resignation

This stuff doesn't happen quickly. Mueller started in May 17. We're close to on schedule with the aides and personal counsel starting to fall.

As late as May 74, the administration was still claiming that Nixon had done nothing wrong, even releasing transcripts of his tapes.

NY times, 1974 (https://www.nytimes.com/1974/05/01/archives/nixon-innocence-affirmed-in-brief-special-to-the-new-york-times.html)

Or alternatively, the prosecution was dragged out in order to get all the way to August and maximize the backlash against Republicans at the polls as Democrats won in droves after the disgraced president and political party.

25% of the public continued to approve of his performance as President on the day of his resignation. Another 15% had no opinion.

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As the rest of the nation followed the unfolding story of corruption and cover-ups, the Watergate-as-liberal-conspiracy narrative quickly took hold in conservative media. After listening to the Lyons interview, Paul Harvey, the radio personality, repeated the attack in his nationally syndicated broadcast. How, he wondered, could the American people accept an all-powerful media capable of turning “a prosecution into a persecution”? And when Sen. Jesse Helms appeared on Manion’s show, he railed against “the incredible New York Times-Washington Post syndicate, which controls to a large degree what the American people will read and learn.”

Quote
“Indeed,” the editors at National Review wrote, in July 1973 “the target is really not Nixon himself or this or that aide, but, rather, the ‘new majority’ threatening to break the liberal hold on political power. Sen. Helms echoed the charge. “Watergate,” he told Manion in the fall of 1974, “by a process of selective indignation, became the lever by which embittered liberal pundits have sought to reverse the 1972 conservative judgment of the people.”

Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 18, 2018, 08:54:01 PM
You didn't explain how "trying to undermine" rises to the level of coup.

And while you are right about certain kinds of speech not being protected, that has nothing to do with what I asked.

By your definition, anything I might do to "try to undermine" the President, outside of elections or impeachment, is considered an attempted coup.
If I put a "Trump Lied" sign on my lawn, it is certainly protected speech.  But I am trying to undermine the President.  Just like the mythical FBI agents who were attempting a coup.  Therefore, I am attempting a coup.
Do you have the power to indict and prosecute? Are you in charge of multi-million dollar budgets with an army of law enforcement and intelligence agents capable of running operations against elected officials? Do you know the difference between the FBI and your lawn? :o

Tell me, given your logic so far, where I am in error.
It’s pretty obvious that you’re going to simply repeat this (or some variation of it) over and over.

The FBI did not indict or prosecute.  The multi-million dollar budgets with an army of law enforcement and intelligence did not run any operations against elected officials.

I will not ask you for evidence to the contrary, or for you to tell me where I am in error.   You state your opinion, and provide nothing to back it up, so your lack of anything whatsoever to support your opinion says everything I need to know.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 18, 2018, 09:19:43 PM
Quote
If the institution directly responsible for security in the U.S. is (hypothetically) against the President and is trying to have him removed one way or another, you don't see how that's effectively a regime change plan?

If the "trying to have him removed" consists of private texts criticizing him, then it is not effectively a regime change plan.

If there is an investigation into interference with elections, which the NSA for the President agrees happened, that may or may not lead to the President, that is not effectively a regime change plan.

Here's a scenario:
Quote
While Trump is being very publicly investigated by the FBI, the FBi leaks incriminating information about Trump to Democratic congressmen, who do not share it with Republicans.  That spurs FBI leadership to talk about the investigation against Trump, right before the election, to get ahead of the leak, so they don't appear to be withholding any evidence. Even though policy is against such a statement. Also the information is leaked to a Clinton campaign surrogate, who mentions that it is coming.

Meanwhile, a far more damaging investigation against Clinton is being kept quiet.

And also, the New York FBI have "a deep and visceral hatred" (https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/06/the-fbis-new-york-office-really-hated-hillary-clinton/#disqus-container) of Trump, known to many people.
That might rise to the level of almost sort of coup-like.  Except this all happened the other way around.  Everything Comey did, everything the FBI did, helped Trump, and hurt Clinton. The facts are not in dispute.  The NY FBI threat of leaks caused Comey to talk about reopening the investigation, which almost certainly tilted the election.  On the other hand, the IG report said that whatever anti-Trump bias there was in one or two FBI agents, it had no effect.

If the FBI incited anyone to anything, I will admit your point.  Show me the evidence.  If all they did was dislike the President, and investigate crimes that the President may or may not be involved in, sorry, not even close.

Am I being unreasonable?  I just want to see evidence of an attempted coup, not theoretical possibilities that the FBI could conceivably foment a coup if they wanted to.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 18, 2018, 10:29:04 PM
If the FBI incited anyone to anything, I will admit your point.  Show me the evidence.  If all they did was dislike the President, and investigate crimes that the President may or may not be involved in, sorry, not even close.

Am I being unreasonable?  I just want to see evidence of an attempted coup, not theoretical possibilities that the FBI could conceivably foment a coup if they wanted to.

I didn't personally suggest that a coup was taking place. I was defending the use of the word as being potentially applicable in this case, which it seems you agree with. Both of us also probably agree that for this criterion to be met some specific things need to have happened that it's unclear if they have. We may or may not agree on what those things are. And I'm not saying they actually happened, just that suggesting that if they happened it would be a coup.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Crunch on June 19, 2018, 08:13:46 AM
The FBI did not indict or prosecute.  The multi-million dollar budgets with an army of law enforcement and intelligence did not run any operations against elected officials.

I will not ask you for evidence to the contrary, or for you to tell me where I am in error.   You state your opinion, and provide nothing to back it up, so your lack of anything whatsoever to support your opinion says everything I need to know.

Do you think indictments or prosecutions are completely unrelated to FBI actions? 

Google “Crossfire Hurricane timeline” and you’ll see that there were significant efforts made before any investigation. How are you so engaged and simultaneously uninformed?

I will not link up any evidence in the face of your overwhelming lack of curiosity about this and clear refusal to see it. You state talking points and provide only more talking points as proof.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 19, 2018, 10:52:05 AM
I don't think coup d'etat means what you think it means. The actual definition:

Quote
a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government

Nothing happening here was sudden, or violent. It might eventually be shown that there were illegal shenanigans.

A quick list of coup attempts (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_coups_d%27%C3%A9tat_and_coup_attempts_since_2010)

Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 19, 2018, 01:00:06 PM
The FBI did not indict or prosecute.  The multi-million dollar budgets with an army of law enforcement and intelligence did not run any operations against elected officials.

I will not ask you for evidence to the contrary, or for you to tell me where I am in error.   You state your opinion, and provide nothing to back it up, so your lack of anything whatsoever to support your opinion says everything I need to know.

Do you think indictments or prosecutions are completely unrelated to FBI actions? 

Google “Crossfire Hurricane timeline” and you’ll see that there were significant efforts made before any investigation. How are you so engaged and simultaneously uninformed?

I will not link up any evidence in the face of your overwhelming lack of curiosity about this and clear refusal to see it. You state talking points and provide only more talking points as proof.

I can Google “Crossfire Hurricane timeline” and read for years and not know what you specifically mean.  Just provide one link that makes your point.

On another note, you have absolutely no idea about my level of curiosity, so please refrain from commenting on it.
If you would like to maintain credibility,  please provide some sort of evidence about my "clear refusal to see" anything.  I refuse to agree with unfounded speculation, but that's about it.  And finally, my proof is not talking points, it is sourced information from the IG report. And quotes from Trump's NSA advisor, which you never responded to.  And excerpts from an indictment, and a plea bargain.  So please stop claiming that.


Fenring,

The use of the word coup is not remotely applicable.  i bent over backwards giving every benefit of the doubt, and stipulated things without proof, and still could not get the behavior you describe to rise to the level of coup. It's not "unclear" if the things happened.  It is clear there is not  a shred of evidence that they happened.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 19, 2018, 03:03:39 PM
It's not "unclear" if the things happened.  It is clear there is not  a shred of evidence that they happened.

It wouldn't be evident to you even if there was such evidence in existence, because that doesn't get out to the press. I think it's entirely plausible that a hit job got started on Trump from the moment he took office and from then on it was about fabricating reasons to undermine his Presidency, one way or another. I also think it's plausible that Trump was indeed engaged in illicit activities (as usual) and didn't realize how serious it would be to continue those while President. A third option could be that both are happening at once! I'm confident that there isn't sufficient information in the public sphere to make definitive statements either way although many people seem to be confident enough to somehow make strong declarative statements about it anyhow. I try to withhold judgement until I hear something definitive. There are occasions (such as Benghazi) where even after significant investigations there seemed to be nothing definitive in either direction and in such cases the option is either to suspend judgement indefinitely (which can rankle) or to throw in your lot with what is most plausible in the abstract. Well, there are other options of course, such as believing whatever you want, but let's leave that aside.

In any case I would take it *very* seriously if the FBI was somehow proven to be trying to remove the President using any means necessary, knowing full well that he didn't do anything criminal while President. I'm not saying it's happening, but it's totally believable that such things could happen. Much worse has happened in the past in various government departments. If you don't want to call that a 'coup' then it's not that big a deal, but don't let's quibble over words when the point under contention is how serious a matter it would be.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 20, 2018, 01:16:18 PM
There is no evidence that aliens have taken over and replaced half of humanity with duplicates. It wouldn't be evident to you even if there was such evidence in existence, because that doesn't get out to the press.

By your logic, it is "unclear' whether that has happened.

There is a difference between remotely possible and likely.

If the FBI were trying to undermine Trump, why did they
-not mention his campaign was under investigation during the election?
-mention that Clinton was under investigation - all the time?
-have many people who literally hated Clinton in the NY FBI office, leaking information that was harmful to Clinton?

These are all reasons why it is not likely that the FBI is out to get Trump.  The only reason you have, AFAIK, is texts from two agents that the IG said did nothing to harm Trump.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 20, 2018, 01:31:14 PM
There is no evidence that aliens have taken over and replaced half of humanity with duplicates. It wouldn't be evident to you even if there was such evidence in existence, because that doesn't get out to the press.

I guess you're really trusting of powerful government agencies. Good thing they always have the best interests of the people in their hearts.

Quote
If the FBI were trying to undermine Trump, why did they
-not mention his campaign was under investigation during the election?
-mention that Clinton was under investigation - all the time?
-have many people who literally hated Clinton in the NY FBI office, leaking information that was harmful to Clinton?

Fair points. Recent history has certainly been confusing. Has it occurred to you that more than one faction can exist within the same organization? Or that certain people within an organization will do whatever's expedient at the time, regardless of what the broader implications are? I don't think it's always correct to suggest that a person is "on the side" of one party (like the DNC) when they appear to do something benefiting the DNC, and then wonder whether it's plausible that they've "switched sides" if they then do something favorable for the RNC. It doesn't always work like that.

Dunno if you've ever read the Illuminatus! Trilogy but there's a funny character in it who's the world's only "quintuple agent" which basically means he does all sorts of things that happen to be in service to various organizations, and he doesn't understand what any of it's about other than he does the tasks. It's an amusing spoof on the idea that "changing sides" isn't an easy binary where you either serve one party or the other.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 20, 2018, 01:31:59 PM
Quote
There is no evidence that aliens have taken over and replaced half of humanity with duplicates. It wouldn't be evident to you even if there was such evidence in existence, because that doesn't get out to the press.
Actually... this would explain A LOT!

Timing these camps with the announcement of the Space Force?  Straining relationships with some of our former allies?   :o

The invasion is already begun!  Not just "illegal aliens" but extra terrestrials are already inside our borders!
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 20, 2018, 01:33:16 PM
The invasion is already begun!  Not just "illegal aliens" but extra terrestrials are already inside our borders!

We're going to build a wall around the planet and have Freeman Dyson pay for it.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 20, 2018, 01:57:17 PM
How many "extra" terrestrials are there?  :P

Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 20, 2018, 02:03:22 PM
Haha, 2

2 many.  :)
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Seriati on June 20, 2018, 02:36:43 PM
If the FBI were trying to undermine Trump, why did they
-not mention his campaign was under investigation during the election?

Because they, like everyone living in the bubble, thought it was impossible Hillary would lose.  Giving Trump ammunition to "ignore the election results" or to imply the election was unfair based on their actions would undercut their philosophy. 

If they had known he would win, they would have leaked the damaging information.

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-mention that Clinton was under investigation - all the time?

Cause they had no choice.  Deny the obvious, and it's proof of corruption.

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-have many people who literally hated Clinton in the NY FBI office, leaking information that was harmful to Clinton?

These are all reasons why it is not likely that the FBI is out to get Trump. 

So having people that "hated Clinton" is relevant, but having people that "hate Trump" isn't?

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The only reason you have, AFAIK, is texts from two agents that the IG said did nothing to harm Trump.

What we have is an IG report that can be deliberately or accidentally misread.  He didn't conclude that they did no harm, he concluded they didn't write down that they were misbehaving because they hated Trump.  They hated Trump.  They made decisions in one direction, and Trump hatred appears to have delayed the investigation into the Weiner emails.  It's fairly damning as a circumstantial case, it's just not express.

This brings us back to a problem from the Benghazi thread.  Nothing but a signed confession is proof that someone on the left is guilty, yet, someone on the right is guilty from the first accusation.  That's the essence of unequal treatment.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Wayward Son on June 20, 2018, 06:06:44 PM
If the FBI were trying to undermine Trump, why did they
-not mention his campaign was under investigation during the election?

Because they, like everyone living in the bubble, thought it was impossible Hillary would lose.  Giving Trump ammunition to "ignore the election results" or to imply the election was unfair based on their actions would undercut their philosophy. 

If they had known he would win, they would have leaked the damaging information.

Then why bother with the investigation at all?  If he wasn't going to win, you don't need any dirt on him.

And if they thought there was a possibility that he would win, then why not "leak" a bit to make sure?

Of course, we know they thought it was possible that Trump would win.  They (actually, one FBI agent) said they would stop him from becoming President (https://www.nationalreview.com/news/peter-strzok-text-well-stop-trump-becoming-president/).  And you don't try to stop someone who you know can't win.  So your premise in incorrect.

And why do you think that I, and every other reader of FiveThirtyEight, was smarter than the FBI, since we knew there was a 25% chance that he could win?  ???  You don't think the FBI reads the internet? ;)
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: TheDrake on June 20, 2018, 06:21:10 PM
Quote
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page wrote to Strzok in a text message set to be released Thursday as part of a Department of Justice inspector general’s report.

“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok, who was dating Page at the time, responded.

Stop him how? Going door to door getting out the vote? Those two people, or the American public at large? Illegally wiretapping him? There's no more of a smoking gun here than the "I love it" email from Trump indicates collusion.

I haven't seen any hard evidence that suggests that this thought got translated into illegal action, or in fact any action.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 21, 2018, 07:54:03 AM
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If they had known he would win, they would have leaked the damaging information.

Please explain how you know this very internal decision.  Any actual evidence, other than pure speculation, will be considered.  Otherwise, this is just a story that fits your worldview.

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He [IG]concluded they didn't write down that they were misbehaving because they hated Trump.  They hated Trump. 

Did he conclude that specifically, or did his conclusion have absolutely nothing to do with what they didn't write down?  I think it is the latter.  Please clarify.  If your statement is remotely true, you will be able to provide quotes from the report to support them.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 21, 2018, 12:37:03 PM
Quote
-mention that Clinton was under investigation - all the time?

Quote
Cause they had no choice.  Deny the obvious, and it's proof of corruption.

The truth is, FBI policy was to not mention investigations that might influence elections.  But Comey broke policy, helping Trump and hurting Clinton. That was the choice of the head of the FBI. Do not deny that it was a choice.

This policy of not mentioning investigations that might influence elections,  in fact is not proof of corruption.  That is pretty damn obvious to those who care about the truth.

Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 21, 2018, 01:33:02 PM
The truth is, FBI policy was to not mention investigations that might influence elections.  But Comey broke policy, helping Trump and hurting Clinton. That was the choice of the head of the FBI. Do not deny that it was a choice.

I'm not quite sure this is an accurate assessment. Probably half the country was convinced she was a criminal walking free and running for President, which according to people expecting Trump to be caught in something is a very serious situation for the country. Offhand it seems to me that failing to mention that the matter was being taken seriously by the FBI would have made it seem an awful lot like Hillary was getting a free pass and was above the law. Some still believe that anyhow but I think it's more harmful to arouse suspicious of criminal conspiracy than it is to 'influence elections'.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 21, 2018, 02:01:06 PM
Quote
Probably half the country was convinced she was a criminal walking free and running for President
I'd believe half wanted her to be a criminal, because we believe she does not respect the law, but I think a much lower percentage believe she BROKE the law.



Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: Fenring on June 21, 2018, 02:24:02 PM
Quote
Probably half the country was convinced she was a criminal walking free and running for President
I'd believe half wanted her to be a criminal, because we believe she does not respect the law, but I think a much lower percentage believe she BROKE the law.

Don't know how to find metrics on that but I'd be surprised if they didn't really believe it. I guess you could argue that "they only made themselves believe it because that's the answer they wanted in the first place." It's hard to assess which belief led to which belief, right? Do they want her to be guilty because they think she's a criminal, or vice versa, or both? I guess I prefer to avoid the motive speculation and just take it for granted they really thought she had broken the law. It's always tough when there's a vested interest in one result, though. "Our side wins if she's guilty", and likewise for Trump. That's one of the issues with partisan politics.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: D.W. on June 21, 2018, 03:03:15 PM
I wasn't suggesting self deception.  More that "it would be easier if things were black and white".  I believe she flouts the law, but is not reckless enough to have broken it.  Exploited it?  Abused it?  Bent it?  Sure, ya.  I'll buy that.  But as much as I don't like her, I respect her ability to color within the lines...

Trump on the other hand?  I don't think we'll be putting any of those drawings up on the White House fridge.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on June 22, 2018, 08:04:11 AM
Quote
Offhand it seems to me that failing to mention that the matter was being taken seriously by the FBI would have made it seem an awful lot like Hillary was getting a free pass and was above the law.

Yes, offhand that might be what it seems.

But there is longstanding, established FBI policy that if you are close to elections, you limit what you say.  It is pretty universally agreed that when Comey announced they were reopening the investigation because of the laptop, he violated that policy.

If you choose to ignore that, you have to admit that that failing to mention that Trump's campaign was even under investigation by the FBI would have made it seem an awful lot like Trump was getting a free pass and was above the law.

So Hilary was called out before they even knew if the laptop had any evidence.  Trump was protected even though there was a lot of evidence of wrongdoing.

There is no way you can call that anti-Trump.
Title: Re: Obama administration conducted spying operations on Trump campaign
Post by: velcro on July 03, 2018, 04:59:36 PM
Senate panel backs up intelligence agencies, says Russia aimed to help Trump in election (http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-senate-russia-intel-20180703-story.html)

Quote
The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday backed up conclusions from U.S. intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election with the aim of helping President Trump win, releasing an unclassified report which called the intelligence assessment solid.

“The Committee has spent the last 16 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft and analytic work underpinning the Intelligence Community Assessment and sees no reason to dispute the conclusions,” said a statement from Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the panel’s chairman.

Quote
In addition, the report said there were no signs that President Obama’s administration improperly tried to interfere with intelligence agencies’ analysis.

“The Committee heard consistently that analysts were under no politically motivated pressure to reach any conclusions,” the report said.

Was the FBI part of that report?  If so, they did not put an anti-Trump spin on it.