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General Category => General Comments => Topic started by: Crunch on September 23, 2019, 06:40:28 PM

Title: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 23, 2019, 06:40:28 PM
Ukraine, it’s the new hoax.

A leaker says Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Biden’s reported and self admitted threat to withhold foreign aid unless a prosecutor investigating a company his son Hunter was involved with  was fired. FYI, the prosecutor was fired, Hunter skated, the money flowed.

One problem is the leaker “didn't have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN.” Right. So it’s something off the rumor mill and, as Peter Suderman says, “So, a thing happened, and Trump was involved, and apparently so was a foreign leader, and someone in the natsec field became upset. But it's not clear what happened, or who the foreign leader was, or who is upset, or why?”

It’s second or third hand rumor. That’s it. It’s some anonymous leftwing, deep state apparatchik that’s throwing out wild rumor which the media reports as fact and democrats insist is impeachable. No need to look at the facts. Just like the Russian collusion hoax. Anonymous sources, rumor, innuendo. Nothing more so far.

The Democrats want the call transcript. The idea that Trump would talk to foreign leaders is apparently enough to warrant impeachment. But:

Quote
Article II of the Constitution gives the president sweeping power to conduct foreign affairs, negotiate with leaders of other nations, make demands or offer promises.  The Constitution does not grant the power of review, approval or disapproval to spies or other unelected officials in the executive branch.

So congress has no grounds to demand *censored*. The president really does have authority to talk to foreign leaders. He can talk to them about anything he wants.

If we investigate further, it’s JoeBiden that gets burned- of course, the media will do its best to cover up Biden ‘s crimes.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 23, 2019, 06:50:41 PM
I misspoke when I said they want Trump impeached. Over on MSNBC they just ran with this being something Trump should be executed for.  Seriously, that’s what they’re pushing over there. Nucking futters.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on September 23, 2019, 09:28:18 PM
Nuke em both from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 23, 2019, 10:57:25 PM
The weird thing about this rumor/story is that - wasn't Biden's son part of a huge scandal where Biden basically leveraged his political position into money and influence for his son in Ukraine? And if this is so, wouldn't Trump trying to get info on that...be equivalent to investigation into a high-level crime? As in, the kind of crime Trump was being investigated for? At the very least I would hope that reports on this would try to hang both Trump and Biden, the former for pushing weight around improperly (if the rumor is true) and the latter for, you know, being corrupt. The lack of the latter would seem to disqualify the validity of the former, regardless of any other information on the matter.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 23, 2019, 11:27:51 PM
Quote
wasn't Biden's son part of a huge scandal where Biden basically leveraged his political position into money and influence for his son in Ukraine

Wasn't he? No, he wasn't. What are you talking about? The frothy Fox News version is that Biden got a prosecutor fired to protect his son from an investigation - there's no evidence for this - but what you're describing is based on...?

Crunch is being ridiculous, as usual. The whistleblower complaint was vetted through the ICIG, who found it to be "urgent" and "credible". The ICIG is a Trump appointee. https://www.dni.gov/index.php/who-we-are/organizations/icig/icig-about-us/icig-leadership/icig-ig-bio (https://www.dni.gov/index.php/who-we-are/organizations/icig/icig-about-us/icig-leadership/icig-ig-bio)

This nonsense about a deep state liberal whatever reporting 3rd hand hearsay is completely baseless. The ICIG would have killed it if that was what was going on. The ICIG is not required to pass along frivolous complaints.

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how does the ICWPA define “urgent concern”? The statute defines it as

(A) A serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operations of an intelligence activity involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters[;]

(B) A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress, on an issue of material fact relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity[; or]

(C) An action, including a personnel action described in section 2302(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, constituting reprisal or threat of reprisal prohibited under section 7(c) in response to an employee’s reporting an urgent concern in accordance with this section.


And, of course, what Congressional democrats are insisting on is reviewing the facts - of the whistleblowing report, and of course any surrounding documentation and testimony. Crunch prefers to say "no need to look at the facts" to cover up for the fact that the administration is trying desperately to hide the g.d. facts.


"The lack of the latter would seem to disqualify the validity of the former, regardless of any other information on the matter."

Sure, that makes sense. Let's ONLY hold the president accountable for impeachable offenses if the GOP is satisfied that we've sufficiently punished Biden for something else that they merely claim is equivalent in some way, regardless of the facts. This is why we only send murderers to prison if they are ALL convicted in their separate trials.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 24, 2019, 12:13:24 AM
"So congress has no grounds to demand *censored*. The president really does have authority to talk to foreign leaders. He can talk to them about anything he wants."

Yeah, the law isn't the law. Trump can do what he wants. There's no law that says the DNI "shall" forward the complaint to Congress after the ICIG finds it credible and urgent, after all Trump can talk to foreign leaders, right? That changes the text of the law! That means the DNI doesn't have to do what the law says. Even better when there's reason to think the report contains damning information about the President - all the more reason the law doesn't apply, right?

The POTUS definitely has constitutional authority to defy election law and withhold duly appropriated funds in order to try to coerce a foreign country to pretend it has dirt on his election opponent. Congress can't do *** about that!

MAGA

*eyeroll*
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 24, 2019, 07:50:59 AM
Quote
wasn't Biden's son part of a huge scandal where Biden basically leveraged his political position into money and influence for his son in Ukraine

Wasn't he? No, he wasn't. What are you talking about? The frothy Fox News version is that Biden got a prosecutor fired to protect his son from an investigation - there's no evidence for this - but what you're describing is based on...?


There’s video of Biden bragging about getting the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden’s company fired or the Obama administration would withhold $1 billion in aid. Biden also confesses Obama was in on the deal to do this. The prosecutor got fired, the investigation halted. Hunter got richer.

There’s a metric *censored*load more evidence of criminal activity here than some leaker with third hand rumors.

Crunch is being ridiculous, as usual. The whistleblower complaint was vetted through the ICIG, who found it to be "urgent" and "credible". The ICIG is a Trump appointee. https://www.dni.gov/index.php/who-we-are/organizations/icig/icig-about-us/icig-leadership/icig-ig-bio (https://www.dni.gov/index.php/who-we-are/organizations/icig/icig-about-us/icig-leadership/icig-ig-bio)

This nonsense about a deep state liberal whatever reporting 3rd hand hearsay is completely baseless. The ICIG would have killed it if that was what was going on. The ICIG is not required to pass along frivolous complaints.

Quote
how does the ICWPA define “urgent concern”? The statute defines it as

(A) A serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operations of an intelligence activity involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters[;]

(B) A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress, on an issue of material fact relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity[; or]

(C) An action, including a personnel action described in section 2302(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, constituting reprisal or threat of reprisal prohibited under section 7(c) in response to an employee’s reporting an urgent concern in accordance with this section.


And, of course, what Congressional democrats are insisting on is reviewing the facts - of the whistleblowing report, and of course any surrounding documentation and testimony. Crunch prefers to say "no need to look at the facts" to cover up for the fact that the administration is trying desperately to hide the g.d. facts.


"The lack of the latter would seem to disqualify the validity of the former, regardless of any other information on the matter."

Sure, that makes sense. Let's ONLY hold the president accountable for impeachable offenses if the GOP is satisfied that we've sufficiently punished Biden for something else that they merely claim is equivalent in some way, regardless of the facts. This is why we only send murderers to prison if they are ALL convicted in their separate trials.
The ICWPA law defines the parameters of an “urgent concern” complaint as an abuse or violation of law “relating to the funding, administration, or operations of an intelligence activity involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters.”  A president’s conversation with a foreign leader does not fall under this definition.

The acting Director of National Intelligence agreed with that and directed general counsel to write a letter stating the complaint did not meet the ICWPA definition because it involved conduct “from someone outside the intel community and did not relate to intelligence activity.” This is why the DNI refused to forward the complaint to congress.

Anonymous accusations of third hand rumors about something within the president’s authority is meaningless.  It’s just another hoax.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 24, 2019, 08:16:08 AM
Let’s add this into the fact list.

The third hand rumor is that Trump said he would withhold $400 million in military aid unless Ukraine investigated Biden. The money was released to the Ukraine.  There was no investigation.

The real story is that, fearing corruption which Ukraine is well known for, Trump asked for a hold on the release to be sure the money was going where it was supposed to go. There was some discussion internally and ultimately the money was released. The call with third hand rumor reporting was nothing more than a standard congratulations on being elected - the Ukraine confirms this.

This is what happens when you have a friend who knows someone that heard from some guy that something happened. It’s the gossip game.

Contrast that with Biden openly bragging about doing this.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on September 24, 2019, 09:17:19 AM
Anonymous accusations of third hand rumors about something within the president’s authority is meaningless.  It’s just another hoax.

Whistleblower vetted by the IG and Trump refusing to release the report to congress in violation of the law is a hoax? T.D.S.

And if Biden violated the US law in his dealings with Ukraine shouldn't the Trump appointees at the justice department be filing charges against him?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 24, 2019, 11:53:38 AM
Wasn't he? No, he wasn't. What are you talking about? The frothy Fox News version is that Biden got a prosecutor fired to protect his son from an investigation - there's no evidence for this - but what you're describing is based on...?

I'm no expert on the topic but I was basing it on this:

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/21/trump-ukraine-biden-1507051

Quote
The controversy can be traced back to March 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in Eastern Ukraine, setting off an international crisis. As the administration’s point-man on Ukraine, Biden led the U.S. response.

That April, Biden’s son, Hunter, was appointed to the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, despite lacking substantive experience working in Ukraine or the energy sector. He received compensation that was reportedly as high as $50,000 a month.

At the time, Burisma was seeking to build inroads to U.S. Democrats as it faced investigative scrutiny. The same month Hunter Biden joined Burisma, the U.K. government froze bank accounts that allegedly belonged to its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, as part of a money laundering investigation.

Two years later, Joe Biden successfully pressured the Ukrainian government to remove its prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, who was unpopular with Western leaders, threatening to withhold loan guarantees if it did not. At the time, Shokin's office had open probes of Burisma and Zlochevsky. Shokin’s successor closed the investigations, but then reopened an investigation of Burisma last year.

I was referring less to Biden's push to remove the prosecutor, which claims seem to say was generally desired by the West, and more to how his son got this lucrative position in the first place in a very troubled region with tenuous ties to Western Europe and the U.S. The whole issue with Ukraine at the time was the tug of war between East and West for Ukraine's attention and business, with Russia suing them for oil deals while Western Europe (and more specifically, NATO) wanted Ukraine to be an additional buffer/strangle-zone against Russia. So yes, not only is it a question of nepotism in the common sense, but if you think bigger picture there's the issue of placing the Vice President's son on an important board position in a politically contested country. You may recall that many issues plaguing South America, for example, are cases where the local governments feel that their country's industry is being effectively hijacked by foreign business interests (which they indeed have been, repeatedly). Having American VIP's in positions to begin controlling Ukrainian industry could be seen as an example of that, and perhaps as a precursor to the industry being co-opted by American interests and investors.

I don't actually know enough about the Ukrainian economy to make positive statements about this so I can only speak in generalities. However I see plenty of evidence that there could have been plain corrupt nepotism, and potentially something worse, at work with Biden and his son, and it certainly didn't help that he then helped get rid of that prosecutor, even though I don't think that's the most alarming issue. But no, I'm not basing this on a frothy Fox News report.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 24, 2019, 01:33:11 PM
ElectorlaVote.com had a pretty good summary of the Ukraine/Biden controversy, IMHO: (https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2019/Pres/Maps/Sep24.html#item-1)

Quote
[T]he company at the center of all of this is Burisma Holdings, a natural gas concern in Ukraine. That company is owned by a client of Hunter Biden's law firm (former Ukrainian government official Mykola Zlochevsky) and shortly after Biden's colleague and business partner Devon Archer joined Burisma's board, Biden joined the board as well (this was in April 2014). Since Biden had no expertise in the area of natural gas, it was a curious choice, as was his generous compensation package (often as much as $50,000 a month). If all of this seems to have a slightly unsavory odor, well, that's a fair assessment. Not helping things is that Burisma had attracted the attention of government authorities prior to Biden joining the firm, and was under investigation by both the UK and Ukraine when he accepted his seat on the board.

As noted above, Joe Biden enters the story in 2016, while he was vice president. As the Obama administration and much of the international community had concluded that the Ukrainian prosecutor Shokin was rotten to the core, Biden—acting as an envoy for the administration—helped oust him, primarily by threatening to withhold aid from Ukraine as long as Shokin was in place.

At this point, Donald Trump's thought process becomes crystal clear. If Biden was acting with an eye toward helping his son, then he and Trump would have done literally the same thing: used U.S. foreign aid as leverage against Ukraine in exchange for personal concessions. The problem for Trump is that he's relying on a lie that Shokin told to Giuliani, and that is entirely unsupported by evidence. To start, although Shokin's office was technically investigating Burisma in 2014, there was little activity on that front by 2016, and indeed, the British had grown frustrated with what appeared to them to be obstruction, as if Shokin was actually trying to protect the company. On top of that, it wasn't just Joe Biden who thought that Shokin had to go. As Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council explained to the Wall Street Journal, "The whole G-7, the IMF, the EBRD, everybody was united that Shokin must go, and the spokesman for this was Joe Biden." And finally, for the Biden conspiracy to be true, Barack Obama would have to have been a willing participant. This is the same man who ran one of the most remarkably scandal- and corruption-free presidencies in memory.

In summary, one can look askance at Hunter Biden, who may have traded on his familial connections to claim a handsome salary from a shady Ukrainian company. However, there is no evidence that Joe Biden's actions vis-à-vis Shokin were undertaken to help his son, or had any other corrupt intent. In fact, there's an argument that getting rid of Shokin actually put Hunter Biden at greater legal risk, since an honest prosecutor was more likely to turn the screws on Burisma than a dishonest one. That means that if Trump is counting on a defense of "I did the same thing Biden did," then he's really stepped in it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 24, 2019, 01:50:49 PM
Ultimately, however, any criticism of Biden in this context is a classic "Whataboutism."

If what Biden did was illegal/immoral/high crime, then that probably means what Trump did is, too.

If what Biden did was "politics as usual," then there should be no criticism of Biden's behavior. :)

And, of course, regardless of what Biden did or did not do, that has no bearing on Trump's behavior and whether it was a high crime or not.

You know, "whataboutism" is the reason why Trump would get away with shooting someone on 5th Avenue.

Imagine Trump standing on 5th Avenue with a smoking gun in his hand and a body at his feet.  His supporters would immediately surround him and start arguing:

"The Clintons murdered many people, like Vincent Foster, Seth Rich and so many others, and they were never prosecuted for their crimes.  So why do we suddenly want Donald prosecuted for shooting this man?  Politicians get away with murder all the time.  It's a normal thing in American politics.  The only reason people want to prosecute Donald is because he is a Republican and is getting Republican programs instituted, like the Wall, and the Democrats can't stand it.  Why, if Obama had shot someone on 5th Avenue, the mainstream media and Congress would have said practically nothing about it!  You know it's true!  This is just a political witch hunt like all the other witch hunts that Trump has endured.  We should be investigating Congress and the mainstream media about their corrupt use of their powers, not Trump!"

And they'd say this even as the blood puddled around them and soaked into the soles of their shoes. :)

Let's find out if Trump really did threaten to withhold American funds, approved by Congress, in order to pressure the Ukrainian President to come up with dirt on Trump's political opponent.  Because at the end of the day, that is what is really important now, not what Biden did.

If Biden did wrong, prosecute him for it.  But that has nothing to do with whether Trump did wrong or not.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 24, 2019, 02:16:51 PM
Ultimately, however, any criticism of Biden in this context is a classic "Whataboutism."

If what Biden did was illegal/immoral/high crime, then that probably means what Trump did is, too.

If what Biden did was "politics as usual," then there should be no criticism of Biden's behavior. :)

Doesn't that ignore the possibility that Trump's action was literally a call to investigate Biden's action? They are not unrelated incidents that are 'alike' and so cancel each other out (as Whataboutism demands). I don't think you personally would have been against the Democratic party pushing their weight around to expose Trump's collusion with Russia, would you? That would have been a noble cause, to expose corruption in the government and stop collusion in a questionable territory. How is Trump's action different from that, assuming Biden did the same sort of thing Trump was accused of doing?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on September 24, 2019, 02:37:41 PM
Doesn't that ignore the possibility that Trump's action was literally a call to investigate Biden's action? They are not unrelated incidents that are 'alike' and so cancel each other out (as Whataboutism demands). I don't think you personally would have been against the Democratic party pushing their weight around to expose Trump's collusion with Russia, would you? That would have been a noble cause, to expose corruption in the government and stop collusion in a questionable territory. How is Trump's action different from that, assuming Biden did the same sort of thing Trump was accused of doing?

If Biden went rouge on getting that prosecutor fired then there should be lots of people in the state department and intelligence communities (in the US) that can provide evidence that Biden went out on his own to get rid of this prosecutor. In which case Trump shouldn't need Ukraine to investigate at all, he simply has to ask for a report as to why the aid package was tied to the firing of the prosecutor. If there was no legitimate reason then he has a case against Biden in the US. At this point if that were the case shouldn't we be seeing whistle blower complaints against that action as well. And when/if we do I want Biden to go down for it. But pressuring a foreign government to open an investigation that if true should be done in the US is completely outrageous.

But I know the Trump fan boys don't care because Biden is evil, the wall, and witchhunt, hoax, deep state, .... Make whatever excuse you want but Trump is literally defying the law by withholding the complaint from the congress. As long as your cool with that just keep making excuses for him, but please just understand that's what you're doing. If there is nothing wrong with what he did release the classified report to the congress and let them review it. Withholding it from congress in violation of the law makes him look guilty as hell.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 24, 2019, 02:47:47 PM
If Biden went rouge on getting that prosecutor fired then there should be lots of people in the state department and intelligence communities (in the US) that can provide evidence that Biden went out on his own to get rid of this prosecutor.

Well, I personally don't know if the prosecutor thing would be worth pursuing or whether Biden had any bad complicity there. Maybe Trump's reference to that is off-base. I had personally heard about the link to Biden's son and his fancy Ukrainian job quite a while ago and it had even sort of left my radar until it was brought up again recently. It's more the "why was the Vice President's son being positioned in Ukraine" question that I was referring to above, and I already specified I'm not as interested in the prosecutor issue.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 24, 2019, 03:13:42 PM
As yossarian said, if Trump was legitimately "investigating" possible corruption by Joe Biden and his son, he would (should?) have gone though legitimate channels.  Would his asking the Ukrainian President for information hold up in a court of law?  Especially if it is shown that he threatened to withhold funds to the country to get the information (thereby influencing the outcome of the "investigation?")

It is obvious that he did not intend the information for use in a legitimate prosecution.  Thus, it was for the court of public opinion, aka his re-election campaign.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 24, 2019, 03:17:11 PM
It is obvious that he did not intend the information for use in a legitimate prosecution.  Thus, it was for the court of public opinion, aka his re-election campaign.

Isn't this what the right wing says about the investigation into Trump's collusion, more or less? I'm not saying you're wrong, btw, about how Trump did this (or does anything). I'm just asking why the left seems to care a lot about Trump's ties to Russia and not about Biden's ties to the Ukraine. Wouldn't this be a good time to make a stink about this, earlier on in the primary race, rather than have to retroactively investigate President Biden? My question was less "could Trump's action be good" and more "shouldn't you be concerned about the thing he's theoretically investigating?"
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 24, 2019, 03:23:00 PM

If Biden went rouge on getting that prosecutor fired then there should be lots of people in the state department and intelligence communities (in the US) that can provide evidence that Biden went out on his own to get rid of this prosecutor.

But I know the Trump fan boys don't care because Biden is evil, the wall, and witchhunt, hoax, deep state, ....

If Biden goes rouge then I will personally take it as proof of his witchdom and purity of his evilness.  It basically works the same way as tying them up and throwing them in a lake. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on September 24, 2019, 03:27:26 PM
I do care about the thing he is potentially investigating. It smells bad but if it were true should be investigated in the US. Did Biden use his power/influence inappropriately? That is a question that can be answered by our state department and intelligence community, not by the new president of Ukraine who wasn't around when the act took place. Pawning this off on Ukraine, on the condition of withholding 250 million dollars stinks.

But at the same time the Biden story has been known for a while. Plenty of time to get the details behind it if you desired to. Instead we just see see Trump and his allies spreading rumors instead of doing actual investigating.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on September 24, 2019, 03:38:45 PM
Quote
But at the same time the Biden story has been known for a while. Plenty of time to get the details behind it if you desired to. Instead we just see see Trump and his allies spreading rumors instead of doing actual investigating.
Sadly, neither side cares until it is ALSO politically useful.   :'(

Therefor the timeline is useless as an indicator of whether or not there is any there there.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on September 24, 2019, 04:05:51 PM
This debate is falling into the pattern as all the other political debates.
Understandable If truth is personal narrative with no obligation to be truthful, I assume to oneself or others.

So, what’s the point?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 24, 2019, 04:18:04 PM
Trump has committed to releasing the call transcript in its entirety tomorrow. Everyone can see for themselves what the leaker heard about. If Trump’s releasing it, obviously there’s nothing to it but we’ll see.

Interestingly, the Democrats now say we cannot trust the transcript. They wanted it and now that they’re getting it they say it’s not reliable and they must impeach.

This hoax is blowing up in their faces.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on September 24, 2019, 04:26:26 PM
The point is to short circuit the race to the bottom and start holding everyone to SOME standard.  Even if it's one that no one is happy with.  We start enforcing laws even when, or especially when, it's not politically expedient to do so.  When we protect or defend the "chosen ones" of 'our team' everyone loses. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 24, 2019, 05:42:21 PM
This is a fascinating story, with everyone seeing what they want to see (and only what they want to see).  The anti-Trumpers see absolute corruption in Trump apparently asking the Ukraine to investigate actual corruption, and tying aid to that investigation (the fact that it doesn't appear the aid was actually tied to it means nothing).  There seems to be some idea that Hunter getting paid large amounts of money for several jobs and by clients in several countries (including the Chinese government) at the same time as his father was the VP and often directly linked in time to official visits by the elder Biden to said countries is something it isn't worth looking into (by the same people who want to find emoluments violations in people paying the market rates at hotels), by the same people who think the President's son deserves prison for talking to a Russian lawyer.  There's no attempt to even apply some kind of neutral standard.

You also don't hear anything about why if this is so concerning, the Obama admin, the FBI and Clinton partisans meeting with Ukrainians to get dirt on Manafort prior to the election isn't also concerning, why is that?

On the other side, if you've been watching the fake news, the Russian collusion hoax and Adam Shiff repeatedly lie about evidence that never materialized, your looking at what appears to be a politically motivated second hand account being weaponized and not considering whether it is true.  I mean, granted you have all the hallmarks of the classic deep state action, you plausibly tie it to a known delay in aid (of a week), you plausibly tie it to a real phone call, you can file the actual whistle blower claim - and will almost certainly find a way to show up for Congressional testimoney whether legal or not.  You have the grand conflicting legal accounts, the IG says it has to be released the GC says it doesn't (without knowing more it's hard to know for sure who is correct, but I doubt the law actually authorizes spying on the President, which is what this is, and releasing his conversations).  You have the secret media tie ins, where once again we have the anonymous leakers with a straight line into the front page. 

Is it true?  Who knows?  Could it be true?  Who knows?  All we do know is that we have "absolute certainty" without any real facts.

Ultimately, however, any criticism of Biden in this context is a classic "Whataboutism."

It's literally not.  Much like I always say, if you have evidence of a crime bring it.  The defense of Biden is literally the opposite of that.

Quote
If what Biden did was illegal/immoral/high crime, then that probably means what Trump did is, too.

Well, it depends on what Trump did.  You have Biden flat out saying he got the prosecutor investigating a company that his son was on the board of fired.   Whether you accept that he did if for good reasons alone, bad reasons only, or some kind of mix is probably just a function of what you want to believe.  The Mueller report, rejected repeatedly the actual reasons that were obvious, in many cases that Trump stated real time in both private and public in favor of what Comey wanted to believe he was doing for example.  Yet, I'm thinking you don't give the same credit.

So if Trump committed a crime, it's criminal, if not, it's not.  I doubt Biden was primarily motivated by his son's situation, but there's no way I could ever rule out that it didn't cross his mind.  There's also next to no way to describe Hunter's "success" as anything other than illegal or questionable and his father knew about it and clearly took no steps to create distance.  Pretty a wink, nod situation, but since he's a Dem he gets the pass.

Quote
If what Biden did was "politics as usual," then there should be no criticism of Biden's behavior. :)

I have no criticism of Biden getting the prosecutor replaced, at least not without real evidence.  There absolutely should be criticism of the benefits to his son.

Quote
And, of course, regardless of what Biden did or did not do, that has no bearing on Trump's behavior and whether it was a high crime or not.

That's true, of course you have no idea what that behavior was.  Hasn't stopped the outrage train.  Trump was doing his job if he asked the Ukraine to turn over what it has on illegal activities by Hunter or Joe, or even the Clinton campaign.  I think it's fascinating that the Ukrainian courts have apparently found that members of their government illegal conspired to aid the Clinton campaign, which is about a million times more evidence that was presented against the Trump campaign and there is no apparent outrage.

Quote
You know, "whataboutism" is the reason why Trump would get away with shooting someone on 5th Avenue.

Imagine Trump standing on 5th Avenue with a smoking gun in his hand and a body at his feet.  His supporters would immediately surround him and start arguing:

"The Clintons murdered many people, like Vincent Foster, Seth Rich and so many others, and they were never prosecuted for their crimes.  So why do we suddenly want Donald prosecuted for shooting this man?  Politicians get away with murder all the time.  It's a normal thing in American politics.  The only reason people want to prosecute Donald is because he is a Republican and is getting Republican programs instituted, like the Wall, and the Democrats can't stand it.  Why, if Obama had shot someone on 5th Avenue, the mainstream media and Congress would have said practically nothing about it!  You know it's true!  This is just a political witch hunt like all the other witch hunts that Trump has endured.  We should be investigating Congress and the mainstream media about their corrupt use of their powers, not Trump!"

That's a fascinating insight into your mind.  Rest assured if Trump killed someone in broad daylight on 5th Avenue he'd be impeached and jailed by the Republicans, no matter what he said.

The craziness is that you can cite to multiple instances of Democrats actually getting away with the indefensible and still try to pin it on a "Republican" problem.

I mean heck, if this is to be believed, it is entirely possible you are calling to to impeach Trump for investigating crimes committed by Biden and his son, and that's the ultimate in victim shifting.

Quote
Let's find out if Trump really did threaten to withhold American funds, approved by Congress, in order to pressure the Ukrainian President to come up with dirt on Trump's political opponent.  Because at the end of the day, that is what is really important now, not what Biden did.

Yes, look the other way, it's not Democratic crimes of corruption that are important, its whether there was too much vigor in the investigation of the other side.  I mean, the Democrats/Deep State would never collude with the Ukrainian government to bring down members of the Republican Campaign (except they literally did), or abuse the FISA process to illegally spy on and wire tap the Republican Campaign (except they did that too), or find a way to investigate the President unlawfully for a crime they knew he didn't commit in order to try and capture him in an obstruction charge (except they did that too, including seizing the files of one of his lawyers knowing full well the materials seized were privledged, but NOT CARING ONE BIT because they had already concluded they were not going to go to trial where such materials would be thrown out but rather to Congress where the due process rights of the otherside would be sacrified on the alter of polticial necessity).

Maybe Trump did it, maybe he didn't, but Democrats need to start going to jail.

Quote
If Biden did wrong, prosecute him for it.  But that has nothing to do with whether Trump did wrong or not.

Doesn't it though?  If Biden acted illegally, is it not the job of the Executive branch to investigate that?  Can you point to any basis for the President or the DOJ being excluded from asking for help from non-US persons.

You are aware that the Ukraine has already established illegal activity in support of Hillary's campaign, that included meeting with and providing information to the Obama administration, Hillary supporters and the FBI and DOJ?

Why is it that  Democratic favorable politically motivated investigations are "legit" in your world, but following up on actual crimes that harm the Democrats are abuses of power?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 24, 2019, 06:07:00 PM
“In its most extreme mode, post-truth politics can make use of conspiracism.”

Chris Hayes, MSNBC:
Quote
Given what we know about how Trump pressures and manipulates civil servants to tow his line, I'm not *quite* sure we can trust the transcript itself as being accurate/comprehensive.

We are, officially, on extreme mode.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on September 24, 2019, 06:19:05 PM
Well, the NWS was pressured not to criticize him over a non-event with no stakes, and that a staffer crudely modified a map at the last minute in response, so...

I'm the Trump Cheerleaders defense will be that the NWS never did that, or that there's no proof that the directive came from the White House, or the President, or some other excuse to show that Trump has never pressured anybody who ever worked for him.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 24, 2019, 06:21:26 PM
Extreme mode.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 24, 2019, 06:46:29 PM
Quote
The anonymous person who filed a formal, uncorroborated complaint against President Donald Trump for allegedly asking a foreign leader to investigate corruption related to Joe Biden now has a legal team that includes a Democratic operative who worked for Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Totally legit, right? Democrat operative represents the leaker making accusations based on second or third hand accounts. Completely trustworthy!

Quote
The anonymous whistleblower has also admitted to not having firsthand knowledge of the conversations between the president and Zelensky.

Regardless, House Democrats again demanded Trump’s impeachment Tuesday following the claims despite not reviewing the complaint or the transcripts of the conversation between the two world leaders.

They have no evidence of anything at this point. It’s literally a rumor from an anonymous source directly tied to democrat operatives for Schumer and Clinton.

Extreme mode.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 24, 2019, 07:04:52 PM
I see that Crunch is stuck on repeat. He's even got himself a new catch phrase to help quiet the cognitive dissonance.

All the noise doesn't change whether this impeachable offense happened: Trump apparently abused his office to try to get a foreign country to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. And he's trying to suppress the whistleblower's report.

(This of course is only one additional impeachable offense on top of the others still under investigation - investigations which Trump is trying to block of course.)

If it's nothing, then let it all come out. But that one call "transcript" (note: calls aren't "transcribed") isn't all of it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 24, 2019, 07:08:10 PM
"There absolutely should be criticism of the benefits to his son."

There would need to be some evidence of benefits for his son, I would think. What the evidence seems to show is that Shokin wasn't doing anything that remotely threatened Hunter Biden.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 24, 2019, 10:48:46 PM
All the noise doesn't change whether this impeachable offense happened: Trump apparently abused his office to try to get a foreign country to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. And he's trying to suppress the whistleblower's report.

By using the phrase "dig up dirt" you seem to have concluded definitively that it's merely a smear job in progress and that Biden/Hunter did nothing noteworthy wrong. How could you come to that conclusion?

"There absolutely should be criticism of the benefits to his son."

There would need to be some evidence of benefits for his son, I would think. What the evidence seems to show is that Shokin wasn't doing anything that remotely threatened Hunter Biden.

Why are you going back to the matter of Shokin? Zero people (on this site) are making arguments about how getting the prosecutor fired is the main issue. A few of us, most recently Seriati, have mentioned how the original unwarranted jobs and payments toward Hunter were very strange. Did you really miss that? Seriati was talking about the board positions, not the 'benefits' of having Shokin fired. He literally preceded the part you quoted with this:

Quote
I have no criticism of Biden getting the prosecutor replaced, at least not without real evidence.

Sorry to go in on you like this, but I am truly mystified that you answered this point by reference to how Shokin wasn't threatening Hunter.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on September 24, 2019, 11:34:42 PM
Quote
(note: calls aren't "transcribed")
Is there a more proper term for this process?

Or are you suggesting that recordings to/from the White House are not converted into text?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on September 25, 2019, 12:31:49 AM
Well I guess avoiding even the appearance of impropriety is out the window. Big Biden brags about over a billion dollars he can either let flow or stop in its tracks. Little Biden is making hundreds of thousands of dollars in Ukraine. What is the timeline on that? When is it known that big Biden is the decision maker on a billion dollars going to Ukraine or getting held up and how does that date compare to when little Biden is getting paid all this loot? Quid pro quo. Of course you can never prove a quid pro quo which is what makes it so beautiful but if Ukraine knows that big Biden can send all that money their way and then after that little Biden gets some money thrown at him and then after that the money flows, is that not something somebody can ask questions about? Would asking such questions be illegal and even unConstitutional and even an impeachable offense? Does the fact that an American citizen asking such questions is violating the law explain why the Democrats and our media refuse to ask them?


I agree the prosecutor angle is neither here nor there. I also like how there is this assumption that if Trump asked such questions he broke the law and needs to be impeached. I'm pretty sure that asking such questions (for instance was there something fishy going on between big Biden controlling these purse strings and his son at the same time in the same place pocketing a wad of loot?) would be protected by the First Amendment, not to mention common sense. The American people have a right to know if that was a pay to play situation. I mean it's patently obvious that it was. Probably can never be proven, a good chance it wasn't even illegal because the lawyers lawyered it up sufficiently and there is enough plausible deniability to make sure nothing can stick, but it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out there was some palm greasing going on. It would be nice to have an investigation at least.

If we've all learned anything, it is that you always follow the money.

The prosecutor angle is such a distraction. Harping on how there was no motive there means nothing. That was never the motive for anything. The motive is what it is 99.9% of the time. Money. What exactly did little Biden do to earn it?

About as much as Hillary did to earn her hundreds of thousands for a speech to big bankers and nobody has any idea what she said? Pay for play. Money to buy influence. In short, bribery, and often as I said completely legal. Still completely valid to talk about though until they change the Constitution.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on September 25, 2019, 01:11:39 AM
And if they are indeed for sale, why wouldn't one think that is probably still the case and worth offering or withholding cash to get what YOU want as well?  :P

I think Trump is still useful for draining the swamp.  Just like he told us he was.  Follow the man.  Pay attention to what he does.  Let him show you the way.  I think what he rakes up could be enlightening.  ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 07:11:20 AM
Compare and contrast

All the noise doesn't change whether this impeachable offense happened: Trump apparently abused his office to try to get a foreign country to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. And he's trying to suppress the whistleblower's report.

(This of course is only one additional impeachable offense on top of the others still under investigation - investigations which Trump is trying to block of course.)

If it's nothing, then let it all come out. But that one call "transcript" (note: calls aren't "transcribed") isn't all of it.

"There absolutely should be criticism of the benefits to his son."

There would need to be some evidence of benefits for his son, I would think. What the evidence seems to show is that Shokin wasn't doing anything that remotely threatened Hunter Biden.

For Trump, no evidence but guilty already. Don’t need the transcript, don’t need the complaint.  Don’t need anything but a third hand accusation from a political operative. For Biden, millions of dollars in payoffs documented and there’s admission of guilt. Free pass!

This is what Trump Derangement Syndrome looks like.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 10:55:07 AM
The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 25, 2019, 11:34:48 AM
Who is saying we should not investigate Biden?

If Trump wants to, let him open an inquiry with the Department of Justice.  Put someone in charge of the Department of Justice he trusts to do a good job.  That is how it's done.

So it's settled.  We don't need to discuss Biden anymore.  If someone wants to discuss Biden, let's start a new thread on it.

Let's stick to the subject at hand.  Did Trump unduly use the power of his office to try to get dirt on Biden for his re-election campaign?

Seriati, why did Trump withhold the funds to Ukraine?  You have at least four choices so far.  Choose your answer carefully (more carefully than the Trump Administration is). :)

The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

Huh-huh.  Sorry, I'm from Missouri.  If the conversation was completely legitimate and proper, then I want to know exactly why someone filed a whistle blower complaint about it and how it got an "urgent" and "credible" status and why it was not handed over to Congress as required by law.  Not to mention verifying that the conversation that Trump released is unredacted and the one in question.

I don't trust this President, and neither should you.  Let's look at all the facts before jumping to conclusions.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on September 25, 2019, 11:43:40 AM
The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

Seriously? The Ukrainian president brings up military support and Trump responds with a favor request.

Quote
...
We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it, if that's possible.

President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.

So military support is brought up (the support that had been put on hold), Trump asks for a favor about investigations and that's just business as usual?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 25, 2019, 12:02:32 PM
You mean we should get all the facts before jumping to conclusions, like say the speaker of the House announcing an impeachment investigation based on the clear violations of law, that once again appear not to exist?  That kind of jumping to conclusions?

What I saw in the transcript is Trump asking about whether the investigation was legitimately ended, and the Ukrainian President asserting that they are going to do a proper job.  There's nothing untoward about that.

And no Wayward, I'm not dropping discussion of the underlying crime, since you seem to be asserting that the President investigating a crime is somehow criminal just because it relates to his political opponents.  There's nothing there that reflects an improper focus.  It's not remotely like the abusive investigation that the Obama administration ran - also with Ukrainian officials - where they flew them into the United States and apparently pressured them and received what are likely fake documents implicating Manafort (not that he was innocent, just that the documents provided showed transactions in ways that it has been established they didn't occur - ie someone made them up to match certain details without knowing all the details).  No investigation there.  Or as noted by multiple sources, earlier this year 3 Democratic Senators pressured the Ukraine on an investigation for political reasons.

Again, I see no way a reasonable person looks at what the Dems are doing as a fair process, some parts of it have been criminal and unConstitutional.   The idea that we should "move on" to focus on what "really matters," which is defined largely as Trump successfully  frustrating those illegal and unConstitutional acts is nonsense.

You want to move on show the Dems hands are clean and that they are applying a consistent standard.

I posit there's no way to let Biden and his son go, against the backdrop you've created for Trump and his family.

There's no way to let Biden and his son go against the emoluments arguments that have been posited.

There's no way to let the Obama admin, the DOJ, the FBI and the Clinton Campaign go, for their collusion with the ousted Ukrainian government, against the backdrop of this conversation being "impeachable."

There's no way to let the authorization and conduct of the Mueller probe go, where it is clear as day they knew there was no collusion and kept the investigation open solely to try and trap the President through clear abuses of power, and claim that Trump should be indicted for his abuses of power (of which you've yet to actually show evidence).

There's no way to let the blatant prosecutorial abuse of authorizing spying on a US citizen without probable cause go, or conducting excessive and intentionally intimidating raids on old people, or seizing attorney records because you never had nay intention of bringing charges in court go and think Trump asking about whether a potential crime was actually investigated or corruptly dropped is somehow an abuse of authority.

Heck why were at it, you love complaining about process, where's the House vote for the impeachment?  Is it really your view that NOW AND FOR ALL TIME all it takes is the majority party of the House deciding to investigate.  You must be awful sure that either the Republicans are better people or that they'll never have control of the House again.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 12:11:37 PM
The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

Seriously? The Ukrainian president brings up military support and Trump responds with a favor request.

Quote
...
We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it, if that's possible.

President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.

So military support is brought up (the support that had been put on hold), Trump asks for a favor about investigations and that's just business as usual?

You’re making random connections.

The investigation he asked about was for the 2016 election and Ukraine’s involvement.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on September 25, 2019, 12:17:59 PM
You’re making random connections.

The investigation he asked about was for the 2016 election and Ukraine’s involvement.

You're making random assumptions. I didn't make any random connection. I said he asked for a favor about investigations (I didn't specify which ones) in response to the president asking to buy weapons. The fact that he ended up asking about two such investigations doesn't mean change the fact that Trump's response to a diplomatically worded request for military aid was followed up by "I would like you to do us a favor...".
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 12:24:55 PM
Several democrat senators (Leahy, Durbin, Menendez) sent a letter to Ukraine prosecutors last year asking them to investigate Trump. Are you going to demand their removal from office. Of course not!  It’s ok when Democrats do it.

The favor trump asked for was looking into the 2016 election meddling. Given that the left had just spent 2 years doing exactly that, it’s not a big deal to join that. Or is that another thing it only ok for Democrats to do?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 25, 2019, 12:32:31 PM
You're making random assumptions. I didn't make any random connection. I said he asked for a favor about investigations (I didn't specify which ones) in response to the president asking to buy weapons. The fact that he ended up asking about two such investigations doesn't mean change the fact that Trump's response to a diplomatically worded request for military aid was followed up by "I would like you to do us a favor...".

I...uh...I hate to say it, but I think Crunch is right that TDS is real. You are coming away with a reading that is completely artificial, that's in my opinion not even implied in the conversation. I'd like to point out that WS choosing to begin the quote where he did makes it sound like it corroborates his read on it, but here's the real context:

Quote
The President: I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she ·doesn't do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy: Yes you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I'm very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area if defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost. ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

The context is that Trump brought up that Europe should be doing more for Ukraine and that the U.S. has ended up being their biggest supporter even though it hasn't been entirely reciprocated (presumably by Zelenskyy's predecessor). Zelenskyy answers with enthusiastic agreement and makes it clear his administration will do better about that, and that they intend to continue to make defense purchases from the U.S. *Then* Trump moves on to asking for his favor, which is not anything to do with personal gain, but the very first item he lists is about the 100% proven scandal about Crowdstryke's "error" a few years back (which I personally think was no error but rather an arts and crafts project to create the desired result for their 'customer'). That is an actual issue about international security and possible propaganda and has zero connection to Trump's campain or to him personally. The very last item on his list of requests is about Biden and his son, and in context of that says he's going to get his attorney general involved. It's almost unimaginable that this transcript can be interpreted as evidence of malfeasance. I'm sorry but Crunch is right, and you (the general 'you') prove him more right than you realize in these attemps to scramble to accuse Trump of everything under the sun.

Shouldn't you be celebrating this conversation? It's Trump making ties to another country that's a contested territory with Russia, in a very amiable conversation where both sides pledge to improve relations. Zelenskyy literally says he'll continue moving in a pro-U.S. direction and you point a finger as if this is proof Trump is blackmailing him! My lord. It was the same back when Trump was trying to negotiate with NK, and everyone was accusing him of I don't know what...selling out to a dictator or kissing up to him or something. And when Trump says something to create distance with another country he's accused of ruining international relations. I absolutely do not want to join Crunch's "TDS is real" bandwagon...for heaven's sake don't make me!
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 12:37:26 PM
You will be assimilated. 2020 will get crazy
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 25, 2019, 12:37:29 PM
The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

I don't know what transcript you're looking at, but it sounds like they may be different transcripts. 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf

First, I have to agree that there is no clear conditions or quid pro quo in the transcript.  If House Democrats were looking for a smoking gun in the transcript, there is none.  There is plenty of smoke, but no gun.  Sounds like the Benghazi investigation again. 

But Trump is indeed the first person who brings up "doing us a favor", asking the guy to get with Barr and Giuliani. 

LOL.  Personally, I think it's very bad that the transcript was released, because it's going to damage both our relationships with Germany, who is crucial.  They really burn Merkel on the call, lol.  Possibly for good reason, but good luck getting any cooperation now.  The transcript should have been classified and released to the various committees.  But, that's the Trump method. 

I'll admit, I don't read many of these.  So I don't know what is typical.  But the amount of ass-kissing that typically surrounds Trump always astounds me.  The President of Ukraine can't help saying how much of his success he owes to Trump, how he stays at Trump Tower, how such good friends they are.  I dunno, maybe they kissed Obama's and Bush's asses like that too. 

LOL, I also think it's funny that RIGHT after Ukraine mentions buying more Javelin missiles, Trump mentions Ukraine doing the US a "favor".  The whole thing sounds like an FBI wiretap on the mafia.  That's what the entire thing sounds like to me. 

My summarization:

Trump:  Congratulations on your victory. You did a terrific job.  It's fantastic. 

Zelenskyy:  You're so right.  We won big.  We learned how to do it from YOU.  We used your skills and knowledge.  We should have more elections so you can congratulate us more.  (WTF? LOL)

Trump:  That's a great idea, LOL.  (asskissing approved)

Zelenskyy:  We are working hard to drain the swamp here.  We have many new people.  You are a great teacher for us. 

Trump:  So nice of you to say that.  (asskissing double approved).  We do so much for Ukraine.  We do much more than the EU.  Merkel is all talk.  A lot of other europeans countries are the same way.  But we've been very good to the Ukraine. 

Zelenskyy:  You are so right.  1000% right!  (LOL, wut?)  I talked with Merkel and Macron.  They're not enforcing sanctions on Russia.  Europe should be our best friend, but you're our best friend.  I'm very grateful to you.  Thank you for your military support.  We are ready to buy some more Javelins from you. 

Trump:  I'd like you to do us a favor.  I would like you to find out what happened in Ukraine since they tell me you have the server there.  A lot of things went down.  (WTF is all this disambiguation?)  I would like you to call and talk with Barr and Giuliani.  That whole nonsense ended with a poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance.  But they tell me it started in Ukraine.  Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if it's possible.  (the most powerful man in the world just asked for a favor and said it's important). 

Zelenskyy:  It's important to me as well.  It's important that we have future cooperation (whatever you want as long as you stick with us).  I have just gotten you a new ambassador.  I hope you like him.  It's important to me we have a good relationship.  One of my assistants have already spoken with Giuliani.  We hope he can travel and meet us over here.  I just want to assure you that we are your friends.  Nobody here but your friends.  We are great friends. I plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to the investigation you are asking about, I promise it will be open.  I assure you. 

Trump:  Good.  Because I heard you had a really great prosecutor and he was fired and that was really unfair.  A lot of people are talking about that, how some very bad people shut your prosecutor down (Biden and Obama, asps, very dangerous, you go first).  Giuliani is a highly respected man (LOL.  Depends who you talk to).  He was a great mayor.  I will ask him to call you, along with Barr.  If you could speak with him, that would be great.  The former ambassador to the Ukraine, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with were bad news. 

The other thing... there is a lot of talk about Biden's son.  That Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out what happened.  So whatever you can do with Bar would be great.  (Yeahhhhh, if you could come in on Sunday too that would be greaaaaaaaaattt.  Yeahhhhhh).  Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you could look into it...it sounds so horrible to me.  (LMAO.  What a tool!) 

Zelenskyy:  I want to tell you about that prosecutor.  I know about it.  The next prosecutor will be my guy and he will look into it.  We have to make sure to restore the honesty.  If you have any other information you can provide us, that would be helpful.  It was great that you told us that your ambassador was so bad.  She never liked me anyways.  She didn't accept me as President well enough. 

Trump:  Well, she's going to go through some things.  I will have Rudy give you a call and have Barr give you a call and we'll get to the bottom of this.  (Neither one of them gave Z a call.  Either Trump forgot to tell them or they're not stupid).  I'm sure you'll take care of things.  I heard your prosecutor was treated very badly and was very fair.  Your economy is going to get better and better.  You have a lot of assets.  You're a great country.  I have many Ukrainian friends.  You're incredible people. 

Zelenskyy:  I have lots of Ukrainian friends who live in the US.  Last time I was in New York, I stayed at Trump Tower (accept my gift o great one!).  I hope to see them again.  I assure you we will be very serious about the investigation.  We are buying American oil to assist with energy independence (from Russia).  I want to thank you for your support. 

Trump:  Thank you.  I will tell Rudy and Barr to call you.  Whenever you want to come to the White House, let me know.  Look forward to seeing you. 

Zelenskyy:  Thank you very much.  I would be happy to come and meet you.  Looking forward to it.  I invite you to Kiev.  I will be in Poland in September.  We can take my plane to Ukraine. 

Trump:  Ok, we can work something out.  See you in Washington and Poland. 

Zelenskyy:  Thank you.

Trump:  Congradulations on a fantastic job. 

Zelenskyy:  Thank you.  Bye-bye. 

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 25, 2019, 01:06:10 PM
But Trump is indeed the first person who brings up "doing us a favor", asking the guy to get with Barr and Giuliani.

Who else was going to bring up that Trump wanted Zelenskyy to do him a favor? And since literally every single word out of Zelenskyy's mouth as ass-kissing, thanking Trump, and promising good diplomatic and business relations, literally any time Trump brought up a favor it could technically be said to be following a promise by Ukraine. He thanked Trump for his help and then Trump brings up a favor? Aha! It means Trump helped him in exchange for his favor. He promised to work with Trump's team, and then Trump asks for a favor? Aha! It means that Trump's team will do something for Ukraine and Ukraine something for him. Do you see? Literally any placement of the favor request could (in an deconstructivist sense) be taken to be proof of some kind of quid pro quo. Basically nothing means anything and therefore means anything the reader wants. 

As a side note I find the idea funny that establishing diplomatic quid pro quo between nations is somehow a bad thing.

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I'll admit, I don't read many of these.  So I don't know what is typical.  But the amount of ass-kissing that typically surrounds Trump always astounds me.  The President of Ukraine can't help saying how much of his success he owes to Trump, how he stays at Trump Tower, how such good friends they are.  I dunno, maybe they kissed Obama's and Bush's asses like that too. 

I think we'd all be embarassed at how much most leaders have to kiss the U.S. President's ass as basic routine. It's kind of like you're Quentin Tarantino, and now every stranger you meet is fawning all over you, wants to show you their scripts, and would kill to have coffee with you. It comes with the territory and is not restricted to people who are personally narcissistic. It's probably very difficult for non-narcissists to deal with, although that's also probably not a problem for most U.S. Presidents.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 25, 2019, 01:34:16 PM
Who else was going to bring up that Trump wanted Zelenskyy to do him a favor?

OK Fenring.  I'm going to do everything but diagram this out.  The particular quote of mine that you are referencing, was a direct response to a quote that Crunch made, that I quoted in my post.  Specifically:

Crunch: Zelensky brings up investigations first

Grant:  But Trump is indeed the first person who brings up "doing us a favor"  (The "favor" in this case being investigations)

And here is where you come in Fenring--

Fenring: Who else was going to bring up that Trump wanted Zelenskyy to do him a favor?


So this is what the conversation has been like---

1:  Buzz Aldrin was the first man on the moon.

2:  Actually Neil Armstrong was the first.

3:  Actually, Buzz Aldrin was on the moon.

This is very frustrating to me.  I cannot stress how much. 


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literally any time Trump brought up a favor it could technically be said to be following a promise by Ukraine

But it wasn't following a promise by Ukraine.  It was following a request.  "We'd like some more porridge (Javelin missles) please". 

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As a side note I find the idea funny that establishing diplomatic quid pro quo between nations is somehow a bad thing.

Nobody is saying that quid pro quo between nations is bad.  People are saying that quid pro quo between national leaders is bad.  Because then you have conflict of interest.  Does Trump want these investigations because it's good for America, or is it good for him personally? 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 25, 2019, 01:56:08 PM
That's an interesting way to interpret the Javelin line Grant.  Most people would see that as a big offer by Ukraine to send a lot of money to the US, not a begging to be allowed to purchase them idea.  In fact, the way I read that (and a couple other places in the convo) is that Trump was probably going down a list of topics and checking them off as he covered each.  That literally looked like the end of that point and the start of new.  I don't see anything that would even remotely imply that Trump was turning down a lucrative arms deal "unless" the Ukraine did a second favor, is that what you think you see?

In any event I can't see anything wrong in asking for the actual evidence that "people say" Ukraine has, including apparent the "server" (is that Hillary's server?) and the background on what was shared that started the Mueller investigation (a question I have repeatedly asked and NEVER seen a legitimate answer to).

If you guys think you're being fair, I'd be curious in your response to this write up, https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/462658-lets-get-real-democrats-were-first-to-enlist-ukraine-in-us-elections (https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/462658-lets-get-real-democrats-were-first-to-enlist-ukraine-in-us-elections).  It walks through any number of express linkages by the DNC and their allies seeking Ukrainian help in interfering in our elections, including threats to their aid, all of which seems to be both worse and more express than what is included here that you seem to be outraged about.

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 25, 2019, 02:33:59 PM
OK Fenring.  I'm going to do everything but diagram this out.  The particular quote of mine that you are referencing, was a direct response to a quote that Crunch made, that I quoted in my post.  Specifically:

Crunch: Zelensky brings up investigations first

Grant:  But Trump is indeed the first person who brings up "doing us a favor"  (The "favor" in this case being investigations)

And here is where you come in Fenring--

Fenring: Who else was going to bring up that Trump wanted Zelenskyy to do him a favor?

Ok I'll wade into this because on subjects like this I have a bit of a pet peeve of arguments stemming from not reading the facts the same way. Crunch's point was that Trump did not (as others have claimed) suddenly bring up that he wanted an investigation done that would advantage him personally, right after Zelenskyy mentioned buying U.S. weapons. He mentioned it later, after Zelenskyy himself brings up the issue of investigations being done openly. Here is the quote:

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Zelenskyy: We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved.

The investigations in question were those Trump mentioned previously in the conversation, about Crowdstryke and about a possible Ukrainian involvement in what led up to Mueller's investigation. Once Zelenskyy mentioned the investigations would be open and candid *that* led to Trump mentioning a case where an investigation was perhaps not open and candid, that of the previous prosecutor. To be honest I'm not sure if he means that the prosecutor wasn't being open and honest, or whether the process of him being oustest wasn't open and honest, but either way the context is he's responding to a comment about openess and honesty in Ukrainian investigations, and yes, this includes into the company Hunter was working for. The question being asked by others on site was never whether Trump brought up investigating Crowdstryke after discussion U.S. weapons purchase. The claim being made is that Trump brought up investigating Hunter Biden in answer to discussion about weapons purchase, and that is patently not the case from the sequence and context of the conversation.

So while my comment may have looked to you like a non sequitor, my point is that your comment was a non sequitor to Crunch's point, which in turn was an aswer to the argument that investigating Hunter was being held over Zelenskyy after he mentioned wanting to buy weapons. Not true.

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literally any time Trump brought up a favor it could technically be said to be following a promise by Ukraine

But it wasn't following a promise by Ukraine.  It was following a request.  "We'd like some more porridge (Javelin missles) please".

I think this reading of Zelenskyy's comment bespeaks a misunderstanding of the situation in the Ukraine. Here is the full quote for clarity:

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I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost. ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

What was happening a few years back is Russia was suing with Ukraine for preferential oil deals so that Ukraine would be more connected to Russian than to Western European interests, and the economic connection would help (from Russia's perspective) prevent Ukraine from being another hostile missile-laden anti-Russian site looming over Russia like other countries have been in the past. Around this time there was a coup, which was either a regime change CIA operation, or else some local disturbance that went wild; we'll leave that point aside. Shortly after was Crimea. Meanwhile the new government was more pro-West, but apparently not enough because Zelenskyy is now saying that Ukraine will further connections with the West and America in particular. It is not Ukraine, but NATO, who really really wants Western missiles in the Ukraine, looking over Russia. It's true that the Ukraine no doubt likes the idea of being able to defend itself as well, and this interest is tied into the fact that NATO has been trying to spread its net closer and closer to Russia ever since the Berlin Wall came down, even though it had made an agreement to the contrary. A huge part of the foreign policy there has been to tighten the noose around Russia by trying to alienate every country from them (for better or worse).

In this context, reading Zelenskyy as begging for more missiles is really off-base, I think. The more reasonable interpretation is he's announcing he's ready to comply with U.S. foreign policy and do what they've wanted Ukraine to do for years and move more pro-West. He is saying that he's moving to Trump's camp, and this is - don't forget - in context of him thanking Trump profusely for his help and advice, and that they want to improve relations. He is in the process of kissing Trump's butt, not asking for favors. And it's the wet dream of U.S. foreign policy to have foreign leaders say they're ready to buy U.S. weapons. They fall over themselves to create conditions where this will happen, no less that close to Russia, so it's silly to then suppose that in mentioning he wants to continue purchasing Javelins he's somehow asking for a favor. On the contrary, he's kneeling down and declaring fealty.

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Nobody is saying that quid pro quo between nations is bad.  People are saying that quid pro quo between national leaders is bad.  Because then you have conflict of interest.  Does Trump want these investigations because it's good for America, or is it good for him personally?

I can see a potential conflict of interest here too, but is it avoidable? Suppose that a Trump opponent is actually conducting criminal activity. By investigating that person Trump benefits, of course, because how could you not benefit from an opponent being investigated, but it's also a legitimate investigation since it's actually going on. I'm not sure what could be done about this type of conflict, and how to legally separate it from abuse of power to damage an opponent. Maybe Seriati's repeated mention of probable cause is the answer to that one, but I don't know enough to offer a point of view on that. Maybe this issue is an artifact of the Executive being connected to law enforcement. Maybe those should be separated; I don't know.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 25, 2019, 02:36:00 PM
In any event I can't see anything wrong in asking for the actual evidence that "people say" Ukraine has, including apparent the "server" (is that Hillary's server?)

I think he was referring to Crowdstryke, and the data used to come to their conclusion about the origin of a missile attack a few years ago. My memory is foggy on the details but the thread derails in that direction I'll look it up again. I don't think it had to do with Hillary.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 25, 2019, 02:38:42 PM
That's an interesting way to interpret the Javelin line Grant.  Most people would see that as a big offer by Ukraine to send a lot of money to the US, not a begging to be allowed to purchase them idea.  In fact, the way I read that (and a couple other places in the convo) is that Trump was probably going down a list of topics and checking them off as he covered each.  That literally looked like the end of that point and the start of new.  I don't see anything that would even remotely imply that Trump was turning down a lucrative arms deal "unless" the Ukraine did a second favor, is that what you think you see?

I'll repeat that I don't see anything definitive that I would call evidence.  What I do see is ample reasons why people could call it all into question. 

The key here is the timeline.  The US had earmarked $250 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine.  It's not exactly giving them money, but we were giving them stuff and our people were there to train.  It was cut off.  Or if not specifically cut off, it was put on pause. 

But the timeline is tricky, since the cutoff of the $250 million was not reported until August 28th, and the phone call was on July the 25th, a month before the money was cut off.  This was news to me. 

Here is what happened.  The Z made an offer to buy Javelin missiles.  That is what it is on the face.  But in reality, it's also a request.  Because the United States doesn't NEED to sell missiles to Ukraine.  There is a whole lot of problems that go with selling missiles to anybody.  Look at Muja Stingers.  And there are all kinds of problems with Russia.  You'd probably have a hard time convincing me that Trump has any altruistic feelings towards Ukraine and sovereignty.  Lots of you don't either.  So to me, Z asking "we'd like to buy some Javelins" translates to "please sell us some Javelins".  It's much less of a business offer than it is asking a girl out on a date. "I'd like to take you to dinner" isn't an offer as much as a request.  It's just the wording.  Particularly since, yes, Ukraine is desperate for those missiles. 

But on the other hand, Trump had not cut off the money yet.  On the other hand, it's a possibility that Ukraine probably had foremost in their minds.

But if this was just a business deal, why the change of subject?  As soon as Z brings up buying more missiles, Trump changes the subject.  He doesn't even address the purchase of the missiles.  No feedback at all.  The subject is immediately changed to "can you do us a favor"?  In a normal business deal, I go up to the counter and offer to buy a pack of smokes for $7.  The guy behind the counter might try to counter-offer, but rarely does the discussion stray between the transfer of goods, services, and currency.  The clerk rarely responds to my offer with "hey, do me a favor". 

So yeah, I know I'm reading between the lines here, but I think that is what the situation calls for.  So either you're saying that most people can't read between the lines, or they read something else between the lines.     
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on September 25, 2019, 02:43:46 PM
In any event I can't see anything wrong in asking for the actual evidence that "people say" Ukraine has, including apparent the "server" (is that Hillary's server?)

I think he was referring to Crowdstryke, and the data used to come to their conclusion about the origin of a missile attack a few years ago. My memory is foggy on the details but the thread derails in that direction I'll look it up again. I don't think it had to do with Hillary.

Not Hillary in particular the DNC server hack (I had to google how crowdstrike was involved as well).
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 25, 2019, 02:50:45 PM
But if this was just a business deal, why the change of subject?  As soon as Z brings up buying more missiles, Trump changes the subject.  He doesn't even address the purchase of the missiles.  No feedback at all.  The subject is immediately changed to "can you do us a favor"?  In a normal business deal, I go up to the counter and offer to buy a pack of smokes for $7.  The guy behind the counter might try to counter-offer, but rarely does the discussion stray between the transfer of goods, services, and currency.  The clerk rarely responds to my offer with "hey, do me a favor".   

You've sort of answered your own question. It's because the call wasn't about making a business deal. The U.S.'s desire for Western weapons in Ukraine is old news and all Zelenskyy was doing was announcing a general increase in partnership with the U.S., of which Javelin missiles is one part. They didn't need to discuss that because (a) they both already knew the general foreign policy aims of the U.S., and (b) Zelenskyy agreeing to cooperate with Trump is general, on various fronts, seems to have been the point of his statements. It was a "we'll be buddies" call, not a "what deal can we make" call. It's talk, anyhow; the actions down the line are what count. I'm sure, historically, many calls like this are made that are total posturing on both sides. They are not deal-making, but rather establishing the tone of relations.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 25, 2019, 03:16:51 PM
Not Hillary in particular the DNC server hack (I had to google how crowdstrike was involved as well).

I looked it up again for reference, and it appears he's referring to the allegation that Russia hacked some Ukrainian app to destabilize their artillary capabilities, when in fact the creator of the app called their report "delusional". He said there was no hack reported by any users of the app or using the artillery. The international claim that Russia was hacking Ukraine's infrastructure was based *solely* on Crowdstrike's report, which preceded some sanctions that were no doubt coming anyhow. But yes, it is noteworthy that this same company produced a debunked and spurious report aiding foreign policy at the time, making it two times they were prominently cited as providing evidence "proving" something anti-Russian. The facts of the Ukraine case severely undermine the other case (with the DNC), as it begins to look like Crowdstrike is just a media hit agency designed to create facts. Whether or not this is in fact the case, I think the Ukrainian connection is the artillery situation, not the DNC hack, but maybe Trump thinks they may have insight into both? From the garbled way Trump recites his case it's hard to make out exactly what point he's making.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 25, 2019, 03:18:48 PM
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So while my comment may have looked to you like a non sequitor, my point is that your comment was a non sequitor to Crunch's point, which in turn was an aswer to the argument that investigating Hunter was being held over Zelenskyy after he mentioned wanting to buy weapons. Not true.

I think you can rightly accuse me of taking the quote from Crunch at face value, because that is what I did.  He said Z brought up the investigations first. I in turn noted that Trump first brought up the subject.  You can say that Crunch meant something different, but there was no sign of that.  Trump did, in fact, bring up an investigation that he wanted first, before Zelenskyy.  To me, that is an incontrovertible fact.  Now, you could parse this to say that Trump was first talking about the Crowdstryke investigation rather than first talking about the Biden investigation.  OK.  But Crunch didn't specify this.  You also didn't mention this until after my response. 

As to whether the Biden investigation was being held over Zelenskyy, I don't think the transcript proves anything, positive or negative.  As I've mentioned before, the aid was not withheld until a month AFTER the phone call. 

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It is not Ukraine, but NATO, who really really wants Western missiles in the Ukraine, looking over Russia.

We're going to have to disagree here.  First, I think NATO has been very shy about projecting into the former Soviet countries, because it pisses Russia off.  Secondly, I'm unsure if you know what Javelin missiles are.  You can't point Javelin missiles at Russia.  They are not ballistic missiles.  They're anti-tank missiles.  The only thing Russian that the missiles will be pointed at is Russian takes that Russia is giving to supposedly separatist forces that are highly funded and controlled by Russia and in some cases are Russian special forces or mercenaries paid by Russia in Ukrainian sovereign territory. 

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Around this time there was a coup, which was either a regime change CIA operation, or else some local disturbance that went wild; we'll leave that point aside.

Sure.  We'll leave it aside.  Because you have no proof that it's a CIA operation.  But that is your main point, isn't it?  That NATO was attempting to encircle Russia by expanding NATO and to do this they needed pro-western governments and Russia was only protecting itself. 

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the economic connection would help (from Russia's perspective) prevent Ukraine from being another hostile missile-laden anti-Russian site looming over Russia like other countries have been in the past

Yes.  I'm curious what missile-laden anti-Russian sites you are talking about.  Turkey?  China?  Those poor Russians.  NATO is such a bully.  The Soviets just wanted to protect themselves. 

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NATO has been trying to spread its net closer and closer to Russia ever since the Berlin Wall came down, even though it had made an agreement to the contrary. A huge part of the foreign policy there has been to tighten the noose around Russia by trying to alienate every country from them (for better or worse).

I'm curious.  Who do you think is behind this?  Why is NATO doing this?  What political or financial or international interests are behind this desire to spread a net closer and closer around Russia?

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I can see a potential conflict of interest here too, but is it avoidable? Suppose that a Trump opponent is actually conducting criminal activity.
 

Depends on the crime and whose jurisdiction it falls under.  If the crime is a Ukrainian crime under Ukrainian jurisdiction, it's the Ukrainians duty to pursue justice.  They shouldn't need the President of the United States telling them how to do their job.  If they don't, that's the Ukrainians who have lost out on justice.  I'd say this applies to the Obama administration as well when they demand prosecutors fired in Ukraine, though I think there is a difference in degree if there is a widespread and general sense of corruption rather than a single case of a political opponent committing a crime.  It certainly looks better.  Basically, if a Trump opponent is committing crimes in other countries, it's those countries that should be investigating it without prompting from Trump, if for NO OTHER REASON, because it looks bad and brings us to this. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 25, 2019, 04:49:55 PM
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And no Wayward, I'm not dropping discussion of the underlying crime, since you seem to be asserting that the President investigating a crime is somehow criminal just because it relates to his political opponents.

No, Seriati, don't stop talking about Biden supposed crime.  Please, keep talking about it.  Start a thread on it.  I'll start it for you, if you'd like.

Just don't talk about INSTEAD of Trump's possible crime.

Because, as is obvious to any disinterested observer, Trump did not "investigate" this supposed "crime."  Because if he wanted to investigate it, he would have called in the professional investigators.  That's what they do.  They know how to do it, not some New York real estate magnate.  They are the ones who can do the job.  Even the "Genius Trump" is smart enough to realize that.

No, he just wanted dirt.  He didn't want to prosecute Biden.  He just wanted to smear him.

So discuss Biden's possible crime, Seriati.  Just not on this thread.  Because we're talking about Trump possible crime here.  And the one has little to nothing to do with the other.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 05:13:04 PM
Well, Biden’s crime happened in Ukraine. I suppose that would be up to them to investigate, maybe?  I’m not sure we staff our own “professional investigators” in Ukraine or if they have any real jurisdiction there. Can you fill on those blanks?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 25, 2019, 05:59:44 PM
I'll repeat that I don't see anything definitive that I would call evidence.  What I do see is ample reasons why people could call it all into question.

I would suspect that if you received a transcript of every call every President has ever had with a foreign leader, this isn't even in the top 25% of most "damning" based on what's in it and what's being demanded.  I'm willing to bet that President's of both parties have made express quid pro quo demands related to the interests of their own parties, and if you go back in time any length, I'm willing to bet they did the same for personal benefits.

So to me, the basic standard here is not "what could be called into question," it's specifically what conduct is not okay.

Asking for the evidence they have in their hands related to hacking of the DNC/Hillary and/or the predicates of the Meuller/DOJ investigations?  That's totally legit.  There's a reasonable basis to believe that crimes occurred in connection therewith and the executive branch is responsible for investigating them.  It's pretty clear Trump wasn't asking for falsification, as the President responded about getting to the truth and handling investigations properly, and Trump seemed happy with that.

Asking for evidence about Hunter Biden is similarly legit.  There's an open question about whether his circumstances were legit (they clearly weren't, though I doubt there's any direct evidence of Joe Biden actually trying to cause that result - and I doubt he did - it just seems to have been routine and barely examined that Hunter was receiving what amounts to bribes to stay favorably on his radar), and about whether there was a proper investigation of the pressure applied, which there may or may not have been.  Again though, no ask for an improper investigation, it's not even implied. 

I'll ask, if the Ukraine has a video of Biden threatening the Ukraine President at the time with withholding the aid unless he quits coming after his son, it'd be pretty clear that's worse than anything that's being alleged here, but would you think Trump asking for that video is improper in some way?  If so what way?

If it wouldn't be improper to ask for that video, why would it be improper to ask for unknown evidence where the circumstances generate a reasonable suspicion?  I note there isn't probable cause here - which is a failing the Dems routinely ignored in their compulsory demands for evidence - but the government is entitled to investigate when there is reasonable suspicion and that's clearly present. 

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The key here is the timeline.  The US had earmarked $250 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine.  It's not exactly giving them money, but we were giving them stuff and our people were there to train.  It was cut off.  Or if not specifically cut off, it was put on pause. 

But the timeline is tricky, since the cutoff of the $250 million was not reported until August 28th, and the phone call was on July the 25th, a month before the money was cut off.  This was news to me.
 

As I understand it the pause was prior to the phone call, which is way worse for Trump if you're inclined to believe the conspiracy.  If you look at Vox, for example, who are eating the conspiracy up, the aid had been delayed from February until September, and questions to Congress were repeatedly misdirected.  There was a refresh of Trump's instruction to delay the aid about a week before the call.

However, in another way that looks better for Trump.  Whatever Trump's actual issue was and he named two (concerns over corruption misapplying the aid, anger at the EU not contributing their fair share - which is enough of a theme with Trump it's almost impossible not to have been part of the reason), the idea that the aid was delayed from February and he didn't have his call about the "quid pro quo" until late July makes it seem like the laziest effort to cut a deal ever.

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Here is what happened.  The Z made an offer to buy Javelin missiles.  That is what it is on the face.  But in reality, it's also a request.  Because the United States doesn't NEED to sell missiles to Ukraine.

I'm just going to have to say I think you misunderstand this, you have the direction backwards.  And as I think that seems to be a major reason of why you think there's a quid pro quo I'm not going to get there with you on that reasoning.

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But if this was just a business deal, why the change of subject?

What makes you think this was a business deal?  This was a congratulatory call where Trump had a number of points he wanted to move forward.  Again, it doesn't appear to me that the Javelin line was anything other than the end of the prior topic discussion.

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As soon as Z brings up buying more missiles, Trump changes the subject.  He doesn't even address the purchase of the missiles.  No feedback at all.

Why would there be "feedback"?  Again you seem to be reading alot into the conversation and finding fault that things you seem to think should be there are not.  I agree he changed the subject, he had a response on the prior point and moved on to his next topic.

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In a normal business deal, I go up to the counter and offer to buy a pack of smokes for $7.  The guy behind the counter might try to counter-offer, but rarely does the discussion stray between the transfer of goods, services, and currency.  The clerk rarely responds to my offer with "hey, do me a favor".

Oddly enough, after I buy a product at the store, I very often "immediately change the subject" and make a comment to the clerk.  Sometimes it's have a nice day, sometimes its I love that shirt where did you get it.  Sometimes when I'm on a business call and I get an answer to a question rather than follow up on it unnecessarily I cross it off my list and move to the next item on list.  Oddly. 

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So yeah, I know I'm reading between the lines here, but I think that is what the situation calls for.

You're not "reading between the lines" you're watching the made for tv movie loosely based on real events (note, the producers disclaim any inference that any of these events actually happened).  The situation calls for reading the lines.

If you really want to "read between the lines" what's inbetween the lines of an anti-Trumper, that's purported to be a whistle blower about a call they weren't on, that they leaked to to prominent anti-Trump media, retained Democrat aligned counsel, and the leaks that the IG said it was urgent (hence required to be disclosed to Congress - and he told Congress that), but the GC said was not urgent and not about a member of the Intelligence community (which by the way is absolutely true, which may be a failing in the law, but is actually another violation of law that's being ignored).  What's in between the lines of this leak rapidly being coordinated by the media and the Democrats to up their game on the fake impeachment investigation?

I mean still no House vote, which means still no fair process, but I bet you it shows up in amended filings in their subpeona case.

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So either you're saying that most people can't read between the lines, or they read something else between the lines.

I'm saying that most people are not reading between the lines, they're being told things that are not true so that when they get the lines they just see the "confirmations" of the narratives they already believe.

It's hard to argue against that when opinions had completely hardened and Pelosi had announced a "formal" impeachment because of Trump's 'crimes,' 'betrayal of his oath of office' and 'violation of the Constitution' without having even seen the transcript.  I guess they have to investigate it to know what they are investigating.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 25, 2019, 06:00:07 PM
Well, Biden’s crime happened in Ukraine. I suppose that would be up to them to investigate, maybe?  I’m not sure we staff our own “professional investigators” in Ukraine or if they have any real jurisdiction there. Can you fill on those blanks?

Meh.  If Biden put pressure on Ukraine in order to facilitate the financial gain of a family member, what he did sounds like a violation of 5 CFR § 2635.702.   Use of public office for private gain.  Of course, the problem is that the regulations only apply to executive branch employees.  Biden, as Vice-President, is the ONLY member of the executive branch not considered an employee of the executive branch since he is a constitutionally appointed officer.  He is appointed by the electoral college, not the POTUS and confirmed by the Senate.  If he were not, you could open an investigation.  Then you can ask for foreign cooperation on the investigation.  You can even apply political pressure.  The problem arises when you're doing all this without an actual formally opened investigation.  When an investigation is officially opened, then it is the United States that wants the investigation done.  Even if there is no formal investigation, it certainly looks better if you're not asking for a foreign investigation on your political opponent. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 25, 2019, 06:02:56 PM
Well, Biden’s crime happened in Ukraine. I suppose that would be up to them to investigate, maybe?  I’m not sure we staff our own “professional investigators” in Ukraine or if they have any real jurisdiction there. Can you fill on those blanks?

As Grant suggested, it would be better for the professional investigators to coordinate with the Ukrainians for an investigation, rather than having a President pressuring the Ukrainians to come up with something.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Redskullvw on September 25, 2019, 06:04:49 PM
Wayward

Do you understand why Trump wanted to know wtf happened? The Steele Dossier had a large part of its origins in assumptions and outright falsehoods that were ironically brought to falsehood during Manafort"s trial. And the fact of the matter is that the DNC was looking in Ukraine especially for the DNC server info. The strangeness is that the origins of the Steele Dossier ultimately seems to be in the Ukraine.

After 2 and a half years of the Russia bull*censored*- where yes Trump was vindicated, he promised he wanted to know how this started and where its origins are. Most people paying attention know its the DNC, and Ukraine.

If the server gets released- Obama has some serious explainign to do.

we have literally gone through an attempted coup.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 25, 2019, 06:06:24 PM
BTW, it is better to wait for the entire complaint to be released before jumping to conclusions, since this AP article from September 20 (https://www.apnews.com/48f63d46490a409ca20aecc1c4fdf573) suggests that the complaint is “based on a series of events.”

If true, that means that one lousy transcript means nothing.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 25, 2019, 06:10:43 PM
Wayward

Do you understand why Trump wanted to know wtf happened? The Steele Dossier had a large part of its origins in assumptions and outright falsehoods that were ironically brought to falsehood during Manafort"s trial. And the fact of the matter is that the DNC was looking in Ukraine especially for the DNC server info. The strangeness is that the origins of the Steele Dossier ultimately seems to be in the Ukraine.

After 2 and a half years of the Russia bull*censored*- where yes Trump was vindicated, he promised he wanted to know how this started and where its origins are. Most people paying attention know its the DNC, and Ukraine.

If the server gets released- Obama has some serious explaining to do.

We have literally gone through an attempted coup.

Except he never really believed that.  He just wanted dirt that he could use for his campaign.

Because he never opened a formal investigation.  He never got the experts involved.  He never got our professionals involved, the ones he's in charge of, the ones who could have done a better job than he could.

Show me that the Justice Department was investigating Biden and had asked for his help.  Otherwise, you're just fantasizing.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 25, 2019, 06:11:02 PM
No, Seriati, don't stop talking about Biden supposed crime.  Please, keep talking about it.  Start a thread on it.  I'll start it for you, if you'd like.

I just find it funny how much Democratic crime is ignored so that we can focus on the important crimes of Trump, like say publically defending himself against a fake investigation (or as the Democrats call it, obstruction of justice), or like asking for evidence on crimes of a political opponent (which the Democrats literally did with the same country, but when it's Trump apparently they think it's treason).

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Just don't talk about INSTEAD of Trump's possible crime.

Well lay it out, what statute did Trump violate and how.

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Because, as is obvious to any disinterested observer, Trump did not "investigate" this supposed "crime."  Because if he wanted to investigate it, he would have called in the professional investigators.

I get he didn't call in Bob Barr, though he mentioned him like what 5 times?  I mean Nadler is so convinced that the "professional investigators" "were not called in" that he's demanding that Barr recuse himself, wait.. what...?

If he had called in the professionals, you'd be on here saying he should be impeached for politicizing the FBI and DOJ.  Lol.

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That's what they do.  They know how to do it, not some New York real estate magnate.  They are the ones who can do the job.  Even the "Genius Trump" is smart enough to realize that.

Now if only they did it fairly and applied the law to both sides.

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No, he just wanted dirt.  He didn't want to prosecute Biden.  He just wanted to smear him.

Not sure why he'd mention Barr if that's the case.  I would love to understand the mental process that leads you to believe he didn't want to prosecute Biden if he was guilty.

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So discuss Biden's possible crime, Seriati.  Just not on this thread.  Because we're talking about Trump possible crime here.  And the one has little to nothing to do with the other.

Well I agree with that, Trump's is a made up crime related -potentially- to actually doing his job to investigate what appears could have been an actual crime, so they do have little in common.

However, I feel no inclination to let you set fake narratives free from pointing out the blatant hypocrisy.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 06:12:26 PM
Well, Biden’s crime happened in Ukraine. I suppose that would be up to them to investigate, maybe?  I’m not sure we staff our own “professional investigators” in Ukraine or if they have any real jurisdiction there. Can you fill on those blanks?

As Grant suggested, it would be better for the professional investigators to coordinate with the Ukrainians for an investigation, rather than having a President pressuring the Ukrainians to come up with something.

I’m pretty sure Ukraine has investigators capable of conducting an investigation. Certainly good enough that Biden needed to get one fired before he nailed his son.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 06:15:34 PM
Wayward

Do you understand why Trump wanted to know wtf happened? The Steele Dossier had a large part of its origins in assumptions and outright falsehoods that were ironically brought to falsehood during Manafort"s trial. And the fact of the matter is that the DNC was looking in Ukraine especially for the DNC server info. The strangeness is that the origins of the Steele Dossier ultimately seems to be in the Ukraine.

After 2 and a half years of the Russia bull*censored*- where yes Trump was vindicated, he promised he wanted to know how this started and where its origins are. Most people paying attention know its the DNC, and Ukraine.

If the server gets released- Obama has some serious explaining to do.

We have literally gone through an attempted coup.

Except he never really believed that.  He just wanted dirt that he could use for his campaign.

Because he never opened a formal investigation.  He never got the experts involved.  He never got our professionals involved, the ones he's in charge of, the ones who could have done a better job than he could.

Show me that the Justice Department was investigating Biden and had asked for his help.  Otherwise, you're just fantasizing.

Read your post, that’s where the fantasies are. You know what he believed, crest this concept of a formal investigation that is pretty irrelevant. That’s all pretty much fantasy.

The reality is, the call transcript completely exonerated Trump. At some point, you guys are really gonna have to realize that Trump won the election and that winning an election is not an impeachable offense.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 06:16:36 PM
Wayward

Do you understand why Trump wanted to know wtf happened? The Steele Dossier had a large part of its origins in assumptions and outright falsehoods that were ironically brought to falsehood during Manafort"s trial. And the fact of the matter is that the DNC was looking in Ukraine especially for the DNC server info. The strangeness is that the origins of the Steele Dossier ultimately seems to be in the Ukraine.

After 2 and a half years of the Russia bull*censored*- where yes Trump was vindicated, he promised he wanted to know how this started and where its origins are. Most people paying attention know its the DNC, and Ukraine.

If the server gets released- Obama has some serious explainign to do.

we have literally gone through an attempted coup.

We still are.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 25, 2019, 06:31:32 PM
Because he never opened a formal investigation.  He never got the experts involved.  He never got our professionals involved, the ones he's in charge of, the ones who could have done a better job than he could.

Lol, this in a thread about the House "opening" a formal impeachment investigation to be heading by people like Shiff and Nadler.  We're not talking seriously about professional investigations.

In any event, Trump referenced Barr multiple times, certainly enough that the Ukrainian President would know he could send him materials or reach out with findings.  Even if Trump didn't follow up with calling Barr.

In any event, that's a completely bizarre tack for you to take given your neverending support for the Mueller investigation for which the predicate is far less.  Somehow you seem to believe that the President is required to ignore what appears, on the surface to be a Politician's son getting a job based on graft or improper connections, where the Politcian's father expressly conditioned US benefits on firing the prosecutor that was investigating the same company. 

What part of the Constitution do you believe supports your belief that the President is required to ignore what on the surface looks to be a blatant violation of law and abuse of power?

One of the most interesting theories I've seen out there is that the real reason Pelosi jumped on this, and specifically didn't wait for the transcript because the party saw it as a chance at a twofer.  They've decided they need Biden out, can't make him go, and know by making this part of the focus of the impeachment hearing that either he or Trump gets damaged and possibly both. 

Does it change your view of the propriety of this action if there were express discussions of acting now specifically to harm Biden?  Or would you ignore that too?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 06:34:34 PM
It’s incredibly ironic to see Biden calling for Trump’s impeachment for the very thing Biden bragged about doing as VP. All against the backdrop of a third hand rumor where the actual call transcript exonerates Trump. Add in the wrinkle that several democrats did exactly what they’re accusing Trump of doing - and that’s perfectly acceptable to democrats.

Just incredible.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 25, 2019, 06:34:53 PM
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Well lay it out, what statute did Trump violate and how.

That will be interesting to see what Trump violated.

Just remember, it doesn't have to be a statute.  As Wikipedia explains to us laymen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_crimes_and_misdemeanors):

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The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct by officials, such as dishonesty, negligence, perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of public funds or assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct, refusal to obey a lawful order, chronic intoxication, including such offenses as tax evasion. Offenses by officials also include ordinary crimes, but perhaps with different standards of proof and punishment than for nonofficials, on the grounds that more is expected of officials by their oaths of office. The word "High" refers to the office and not the offense. Indeed the offense may not even be a breach of criminal statute.See Harvard Law Review "The majority view is that a president can legally be impeached for “intentional, evil deeds” that “drastically subvert the Constitution and involve an unforgivable abuse of the presidency” — even if those deeds didn’t violate any criminal laws."

Abuse of authority (using the office of the Presidency and withholding funds allocated by Congress) might fit nicely. :)

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I would love to understand the mental process that leads you to believe he didn't want to prosecute Biden if he was guilty.

I'm sure he'd love to prosecute Biden if he was guilty.  But his advisers may have told him there wasn't enough evidence.

Fortunately, for a smear campaign, you don't need that much evidence. ;)

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Well I agree with that, Trump's is a made up crime related -potentially- to actually doing his job to investigate what appears could have been an actual crime, so they do have little in common.

However, I feel no inclination to let you set fake narratives free from pointing out the blatant hypocrisy.

Well, that's what an investigation determines, isn't it?  If there was a crime committed or not.  And we won't know until all the evidence is seen.

And while you may see "blatant hypocrisy," and while there may even be such, there is still the matter of the crimes themselves.  It still doesn't matter if Biden is guilty of a crime or not in regards to whether Trump committed a crime or not.  Unless you're one of those who would be standing in the aforementioned puddle of blood... ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 25, 2019, 06:35:17 PM
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I would suspect that if you received a transcript of every call every President has ever had with a foreign leader, this isn't even in the top 25% of most "damning" based on what's in it and what's being demanded.  I'm willing to bet that President's of both parties have made express quid pro quo demands related to the interests of their own parties, and if you go back in time any length, I'm willing to bet they did the same for personal benefits.

Look, Serati, I don't know where you're getting this from.  I know you havn't read the transcripts for every call every President has ever had with a foreign leader.  So you're making it up.  You "suspect" something.  Fine.  What are you basing this suspicion on? 

Secondly, regardless of how bad all the other Presidents on telephones were, it doesn't negate that this particular phone call can cause motives to be questioned.  It doesn't matter.  It's a red herring. 

Focusing on actual conduct rather than suspicious motives is fair.  I've already stated twice that there is no smoking gun.  There is no clear evidence of quid pro quo.  Only nuance and doubt. 

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Asking for evidence about Hunter Biden is similarly legit.  There's an open question about whether his circumstances were legit (they clearly weren't, though I doubt there's any direct evidence of Joe Biden actually trying to cause that result - and I doubt he did - it just seems to have been routine and barely examined that Hunter was receiving what amounts to bribes to stay favorably on his radar), and about whether there was a proper investigation of the pressure applied, which there may or may not have been.  Again though, no ask for an improper investigation, it's not even implied. 

The whole point is that there is NO INVESTIGATION on the part of the United States.  The POTUS is personally asking the leader of a foreign country to work with his personal lawyer on sharing information on a Ukrainian matter that involves a political opponent. 

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As I understand it the pause was prior to the phone call, which is way worse for Trump if you're inclined to believe the conspiracy.  If you look at Vox, for example, who are eating the conspiracy up, the aid had been delayed from February until September, and questions to Congress were repeatedly misdirected.  There was a refresh of Trump's instruction to delay the aid about a week before the call.

Jupiter's Rooster!  I don't read VOX.   I'm following the timeline on Lawfare Blog.  The announcement of the delay of Ukrainian military aid was not announced until a story by Politico broke it in August.  A month after the phone call.  That's my source.  I'm open to different ones.  https://www.lawfareblog.com/timeline-trump-ukraine-scandal

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I'm just going to have to say I think you misunderstand this, you have the direction backwards.  And as I think that seems to be a major reason of why you think there's a quid pro quo I'm not going to get there with you on that reasoning.

Arrrrrghhhhhh.   I barf.  Next I'm going to have explosive diarrhea. 

1.  I already said I don't think there is clear evidence of quid pro quo.  I've said it looks suspicious. 

2.  You say i'm misunderstanding this, but then say you're not going to provide any reasoning behind this.  That might be better than the Chewbacca defense. 

Ladies and gentlemen!  Grant is mistaken!  I'm not going to get into why!  That is all!

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What makes you think this was a business deal?  This was a congratulatory call where Trump had a number of points he wanted to move forward.  Again, it doesn't appear to me that the Javelin line was anything other than the end of the prior topic discussion.

Serati, you're the one who called it a big offer by Ukraine to send America a lot of money, and referred to it as a lucrative arms deal as a way of criticizing my characterization of that PORTION of the call as a request for arms.  The heart of the matter is weather Ukraine was requesting, or simply making an offer.  It's ridiculous. 

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Why would there be "feedback"?  Again you seem to be reading alot into the conversation and finding fault that things you seem to think should be there are not.  I agree he changed the subject, he had a response on the prior point and moved on to his next topic.

Oh cumon.  You call somebody up.  "I'd like to buy your car?".  They they change the subject?  Maybe you do it that way Serati.  Whatever.  Most people respond with, OK, or no.  And I'm not finding fault.  I'm pointing out why it looks weird.  Keep saying it's all normal, Serati.  Maybe for you it is. 

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Oddly enough, after I buy a product at the store, I very often "immediately change the subject" and make a comment to the clerk.  Sometimes it's have a nice day, sometimes its I love that shirt where did you get it.  Sometimes when I'm on a business call and I get an answer to a question rather than follow up on it unnecessarily I cross it off my list and move to the next item on list.  Oddly. 

 ::)




Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 25, 2019, 06:44:07 PM
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In any event, that's a completely bizarre tack for you to take given your neverending support for the Mueller investigation for which the predicate is far less.  Somehow you seem to believe that the President is required to ignore what appears, on the surface to be a Politician's son getting a job based on graft or improper connections, where the Politcian's father expressly conditioned US benefits on firing the prosecutor that was investigating the same company.

What part of the Constitution do you believe supports your belief that the President is required to ignore what on the surface looks to be a blatant violation of law and abuse of power?

You keep missing the point.

Trump wasn't serious about investigating Biden, because if he was, he would have had the serious investigators do it, not him.  He would have had an investigation opened to do it, before he purportedly pressured the Ukrainian President to investigate.  He had much better ways of doing an investigation than the way he did.  He wouldn't have mentioned Barr five times; he would have referred him to Barr to coordinate the investigation.

However, he didn't have any better way to get dirt on Biden under the table.  Which is why it seems to be the more likely explanation.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 06:56:51 PM
Serious investigators. WTF? What does that even mean?  LMAO

You keep making thing up. Seriously, you’re fabricating everything. Have you read the actual transcript? Not the one CNN and others are putting out - that’s been selectively edited- the actual transcript? It doesn’t lay out like you seem to think it does.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 25, 2019, 07:18:06 PM
Here’s the way CNN and MSNBC, among others, are literally lying to you.

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Here’s the transcript has reported by CNN: “I would like you to do us a favor… There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

See those three dots? It’s called an ellipsis, look it up, find out what it means. They used that to cut out 543 words. NPR cut even more words out. They selectively edited the transcript so that it connects the favor to Biden.

Katy Tur on MSNBC went even further:
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Will you do me a favor and investigate Vice President Biden’s son? Will you do me a favor and get involved in the 2020 election? Vice President Biden is my chief political opponent,” Tur said.

Here’s what they tried to hide, from the actual transcript:

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I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… the server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you and your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you said yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

The favor is about investigating the 2016 election and how the Russian collusion hoax  got started. The media is lying to you guys. Literally. They are intentionally misleading you.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on September 26, 2019, 09:47:02 AM
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The media is lying to you guys. Literally. They are intentionally misleading you.

That would take a lot of coordination. Its possible the media plays the useful fool, or like Fox affiliates its self to a political party but to get all media to coordinate on how information is reported. Sounds like MDS to me
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 26, 2019, 10:12:20 AM
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The media is lying to you guys. Literally. They are intentionally misleading you.

That would take a lot of coordination. Its possible the media plays the useful fool, or like Fox affiliates its self to a political party but to get all media to coordinate on how information is reported. Sounds like MDS to me

I'm just glad we're finally moving beyond "fake news" and back to accusations of "lying". 

I havn't seen the CNN and MSNBC clips Crunch is referencing, but I think there is a good point behind what he is talking about.  Crunch didn't reference his quotes, that's not new. I think they're from a Federalist article.  But If CNN and MSNBC are presenting quotes inaccurately and without explanation, I believe that's bad journalism.  I don't agree with Crunch's assertion that it fundamentally falsifies the assertion that Trump asked for Biden investigation as a "favor".  I agree with that assertion.  But doctoring a quote to help your point isn't really cool.  It's fraud.  It's false.  It can be misleading. 

I also don't think it requires a great deal of coordination when several different media outlets with notable liberal bias end up saying the same things.  Their similar conclusions can be a result of their similar pre-conceptions rather than any form of conspiracy.  Plus, they all read each other anyways.  Parroting isn't necessarily conspiracy or require coordination either. 

Media outlets have an obligation towards objective truth.  I know objective truth is not popular philosophically with some.  Call me old fashioned.  I think this means that the media needs to investigate their assertions and stick to provable facts whenever possible. 

In turn I believe that consumers of media need to understand that journalists are all too human.  Sometimes they can be biased.  Sometimes they can make mistakes.  A responsible consumer of media needs to try and fact check as best as possible.  This means checking everything.  Not just casting assertions aside because the source has a bad reputation or is biased.  If you're a seeker of truth and an investigator, you take your information from all sources and not just the Archangel Gabriel. 

This all takes a great deal of time and it's understandable that people want to stick with a trusted news source because they don't have the time to look everything up.  All these problems stem from the human condition, and nobody is immune.  I believe some sources are must trustworthy than others, but everyone makes mistakes.  Being wise consumers of news is more important than ever, and harder than ever to do.  But if we don't get a handle on it, things can get out of control. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 26, 2019, 10:13:50 AM
It wouldn't take much coordination rightleft, and in fact Media Matters is in exactly the business of coordinating journalists and Democratic politicians so even if you think it takes coordination it's more than there.

On the lies, at least a dozen articles with paraphrases of that "quote" that Trump's favor was to investigate Biden, not to give information on the 2016 election interference.  Think about how insidious that lie is, if Trump was actually trying to get to the bottom of the 2016 hacking and election interference it's a complete undercutting of the media theme that he was involved, so they pretend that didn't happen.  But it's even more, by that deliberate reconstruction is full on and intentional lie to convince people that the media knows will not read the actual transcript.

I just read the whistle blower complaint.  If you didn't believe in  a deep state before, that document should remove all doubt.   It was clearly compiled with the help of activist lawyers (bet you they didn't have security clearance), purports to be unclassified (notwithstanding that it reveals information that is presumptively classified), and was absolutely and clearly compiled using the resources of the US government, at a minimum by inappropriate access to State department files, but more likely intelligence files.  There's no way a single whistleblower put that together, which almost certainly means there is in fact a conspiracy operating internally to the government. Trump misusing official resources is "impeachable" deep state activists? 

It's massively agenda driven.  Read it for yourself, then go back and consider everything the DNC politicians have been saying "without evidence" it's pretty clear that they had a copy, or even helped draft it, to give themselves a pretext.  Fact is Trump releasing the transcript demonstrates conclusively that this was a contrived hit piece.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 26, 2019, 10:35:59 AM
In fact reading it again, this document seems designed to try and criminalize the investigation of what appears to have been a deep state plot to use the Ukranian government to influence the 2016 election.  Makes sense, the Mueller probe was able to hide all DNC malfeasance in the 2016 election for over 2 years by intimating that anyone doing such an investigation would be obstructing justice.  Why not try again here, by trying to force anyone with an actual interest in justice out of the investigation so that it can be run again by deep state cronies.

Think specifically of Nadler's demand that Barr recuse himself in that context.  There's nothing about Barr that calls for that, so what was it about?  Fear.  It's pretty clear there's either DNC or deep state bodies in the Ukranian files, or that senior people on that side believe their could be.  Yet it's Trump who is the bad guy for trying to get to the bottom of it.

Getting tired of living in a world where the "crime" is investigating Democratic lawlessness.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 26, 2019, 10:58:45 AM
Which, of course, is why Trump specifically told Zelenskyy to talk to his No. 1 crime investigator: Rudy Giuliani.  He's done outstanding service, working in the Department of...uh...hmm, who is it that Giuliani works for again?  ???  And why was he one of the people Zelenskyy was supposed to talk to? ;)

Yeah, Trump just wants a crime to be investigated.  Just like he never said The Wall would be made of concrete.  ::)

(BTW, just to be clear, the summary is not an actual transcript. 

As it says at the beginning: "CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty Officers and-NSC policy staff assigned to listen.and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place.  A number of factors can affect 'the accuracy of the record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation. The word "inaudible" is used to indicate portions of a conversation that the notetaker was unable to hear.")
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 26, 2019, 10:59:33 AM
In turn I believe that consumers of media need to understand that journalists are all too human.  Sometimes they can be biased.  Sometimes they can make mistakes.

No, they can't really. That's what editors are for. And when editors aren't up to the job, that's what the editor is chief is for. The integrity of the paper (now 'media outlet') can be up to any standard they choose, and theoretically the ceiling for integrity could be pretty high if they so chose. Printing literal cut-and-pastes of documents that spin material in a specific direction can't just slip past the editors, unless they're illiterate. They either signed off on it or else gave the instruction in the first place. And who do you think gave them the instruction? That's how things actually work in a big, high-profile business.

Quote
This all takes a great deal of time and it's understandable that people want to stick with a trusted news source because they don't have the time to look everything up.  All these problems stem from the human condition, and nobody is immune.  I believe some sources are must trustworthy than others, but everyone makes mistakes.  Being wise consumers of news is more important than ever, and harder than ever to do.  But if we don't get a handle on it, things can get out of control.

It has already been shown that clicking on preferential material and finding things people like on social media is like getting a drug hit, and the format maximized on them getting the hit as often as possible. Finding contrary material not only fails to get them the high but is worse, because it's almost like a condemnation of the high they got from the last hit. It's like telling a drug addict "you're bad!" when they want to hear "have another!" I don't have much faith just now in the idea of expecting people to be 'good consumers' when the reality is something more chemically like there's a new drug on the market that doesn't seem to be immediately damaging (i.e. no going to the ER from OD) and more and more people are hooked on it, and tie it in to their worldview and avoid all content that doesn't give them the high. It's not just an echo chamber, it's a drug den, and you expect them to wise up? In a context of an actual drug network feeding drugs to the youth of a community your first reaction would probably be "we need to get them behind bars", not "those kids need to wise up." Maybe the kids do need to wise up, but they're only kids after all. You may ask where the parents are, but now imagine that in the psychological realm they're really kids too. There are just more kids than we think there are.

It's not just about looking stuff up and doing legwork. There is a psychological effect in play of getting your positive feedback from media sources feeding you the drivel you want to hear, which is a vicious cycle of you craving it and them feeding it to you. But the feeding came first, I think, because prior to the 24 hour news cycle I don't think people were craving it. And now the feeding comes with political strings attached, on both sides.

The old debate is Huxley vs Orwell, and although of course both were right in different ways, Huxley in some ways is proving to be the more correct of the two (control through pleasure, rather than control through fear and pain).
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 26, 2019, 11:08:10 AM
Quote
The media is lying to you guys. Literally. They are intentionally misleading you.

That would take a lot of coordination. Its possible the media plays the useful fool, or like Fox affiliates its self to a political party but to get all media to coordinate on how information is reported. Sounds like MDS to me

I'm just glad we're finally moving beyond "fake news" and back to accusations of "lying". 

I havn't seen the CNN and MSNBC clips Crunch is referencing, but I think there is a good point behind what he is talking about.  Crunch didn't reference his quotes, that's not new. I think they're from a Federalist article.  But If CNN and MSNBC are presenting quotes inaccurately and without explanation, I believe that's bad journalism.  I don't agree with Crunch's assertion that it fundamentally falsifies the assertion that Trump asked for Biden investigation as a "favor".  I agree with that assertion.  But doctoring a quote to help your point isn't really cool.  It's fraud.  It's false.  It can be misleading. 

Then you're going to really like this.  Rep Adam Schiff on the call transcript during today's hearing and what was on the call:
Quote
I have a favor I want from you, though. I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good, I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand, lots of it, on this and on that, I’m going to put you in touch with people...

This is really what Schiff said was the content of the call. Look, we can all see the transcript and we can all see that Schiff is literally making this up. None of that was in the call. Just incredible.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 26, 2019, 11:14:15 AM
Which, of course, is why Trump specifically told Zelenskyy to talk to his No. 1 crime investigator: Rudy Giuliani.  He's done outstanding service, working in the Department of...uh...hmm, who is it that Giuliani works for again?  ???  And why was he one of the people Zelenskyy was supposed to talk to? ;)

This again is where people are not being completely honest about what's in the call.  Zelensky brought up Giuliani and the Biden investigation first. Not Trump, although Trump was certainly ok with it.

You can, weirdly, argue that Giuliani is not the best person to talk to about what went down in the 2016 election and the whole Russian Collusion thing but don't pretend that Trump drove that aspect of the call. I say weirdly because, if Ukraine is investigating how the collusion hoax got started, it would make sense that they'd want to talk to the people most familiar with it. Giuliani has a lot of information to share on that topic that is relevant so it's not even remotely surprising that Zelensky would ask about talking to him nor is it any big deal that Trump would be ok with that.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 26, 2019, 11:31:04 AM
Yeah, Trump just wants a crime to be investigated.

You don't think that after suffering through a special counsel investigation and having his entire Presidency derailed on a fake investigation he wants the crimes connected with creating that fake investigation investigated?  Seems nonsensical to me to believe that.

Quote
(BTW, just to be clear, the summary is not an actual transcript.

Last refuge of the scoundrel, when what you want isn't there call it into question.  It's the same transcript that the whistle blower referred to in their complain as the "word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced."  It's the same one that is produced as the transcript of other calls by the situation room, where you get the combined notes of nearly a dozen people in the room.

But yeah, make hay over the disclaimer, even if that's just silly.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 26, 2019, 11:38:37 AM
This again is where people are not being completely honest about what's in the call.  Zelensky brought up Giuliani and the Biden investigation first. Not Trump, although Trump was certainly ok with it.

Er, no. Zelenskyy brought up that he wants to "drain the swamp" as per Trump's platform, and that he wants to put a new crop of people into key positions in Ukraine, and that investigations going forward will be open and candid. But it was decidedly Trump who brought up (repeatedly) wanting to hook up Giuliani and Barr so that they could communicate directly with Zelenskyy and his people. And it was Trump who brought up the prosecutor's ouster.

Quote
You can, weirdly, argue that Giuliani is not the best person to talk to about what went down in the 2016 election and the whole Russian Collusion thing but don't pretend that Trump drove that aspect of the call.

The question is - what was this call? We found out earlier in the thread part of the disagreement may be on the literal substance of the call. Grant thinks it was a 'business call' and that the brief mentions of each of these items (Javelin missiles, favors, etc) were very swift negotiation points and that their sequence basically amounts to an almost adept-level negotiation process where terms are being laid down. Others, like I guess WS, seem to think that it wasn't so much a negotiation as Trump making a series of demands. If this was a business deal then I guess invoking Giuliani would be something like him ratifying the details? If it was Trump making demands, then, what, Giuliani would be acting as his de facto secretary?

If the call is what I think it is - i.e. a simple congratulations and vaguely embarassing love-in announcing improving relations - then all of these points would merely be reiterations of things they've probably discussed before, or plan to discuss going forward. Nothing more than a summary of the sort of business they'll have to deal with now that their partnership will move forward. Giuliani's involvement, along with Barr's, makes more sense in this context, specifically in that Trump will have legal counsel (his own, and the U.S.'s) make sure that the procedures undergone either in the investigations or whatever else are done properly. Trump could have offered to send intelligence agents too if it was to collude with them or to dig up dirt; sending Giuliani seems to me out of place if he was going in as an intelligence gatherer. It makes more sense that he's being sent in as a lawyer, which is why Trump repeatedly mentioned both him and Barr.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 26, 2019, 11:41:15 AM
Ah, well, what can you do if the facts, written on the "transcripts" itself, are the last refuge of the scoundrel. :)

And to speed up the conversation, here's a article on the White House talking points, which they conveniently e-mailed to the Democrats (including Pelosi). (https://theweek.com/speedreads/867641/white-house-accidentally-emailed-ukraine-talking-points-nancy-pelosi)  I notice that your reply to my Giuliani post is right there in Jacqueline Alemany's tweet.  Did you get a copy? :)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 26, 2019, 11:49:11 AM
Yes, wow, you read the disclaimer - which always appears when the call isn't recorded.  you got me.

Lol, I struck by my view that everything discussed on the call is in fact proper and reasonable.  So what's your complaint again, and how are you applying it evenly?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 26, 2019, 11:49:57 AM
And for those interested, here is the letter (without attachments) of the whistleblower's complaint. (https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20190812_-_whistleblower_complaint_unclass.pdf)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 26, 2019, 11:59:52 AM
Ok, let’s all read the transcript. CNN link (https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/25/politics/donald-trump-ukraine-transcript-call/index.html)

This is the very first mention of Giuliani, paragraph 8,
Quote
I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine

The following paragraph, Trump’s response includes:
Quote
Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.

Trump later mentions he’ll get Giuliani to call. And that's it. Zelensky brought it up first. You can all see that for yourselves.

Now, also paragraph 7, Zelensky:

Quote
We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.

Trump’s response:
Quote
Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair.

So it’s a fairly natural conversational development but it does lead to Trump saying:
Quote
The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.
This is in context of rampant corruption and an investigation in the Ukraine. What the Biden’s did really does look horrible and it’s worthy of investigation. That’s it, no quid pro quo, nothing.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 26, 2019, 12:02:32 PM
And for those interested, here is the letter (without attachments) of the whistleblower's complaint. (https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20190812_-_whistleblower_complaint_unclass.pdf)

Please note the part where the person states he has no firsthand knowledge of the events. It’s all second or third hand.

It’s literally all rumor and conjecture.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 12:10:22 PM
If CNN and MSNBC are presenting quotes inaccurately and without explanation, I believe that's bad journalism.

If?

The "fine people" hoax is a glaring example that they zero issues running with misleading/incomplete quotes to fill a narrative. In this case, they take a single statement, and then literally ellipse/hide the statement, unprompted and within a minute of the preceding one: "I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists -- because they should be condemned totally."

You can throw a dart at CNN, MSNBC, or Joe Biden on any given Sunday and still hear them braying "he said neo-Nazi's are fine people!".

I've seen the crazy cognitive dissonance people experience when they read the actual transcript or watch the entire video of that Charlottesville press conference. When they see the "not talking about neo-Nazis" part, their brain's do a kind of "brrrp" record-skip and they quickly shift to tracks like "well, how does he know there were people other than neo-nazis there?" or "he's still a racist deep in his heart".

They have to either admit and agree that Trump says literally the opposite of what the narrative being driven is, quickly change lanes to other logistics, or get an instant nose-bleed. Most people need to change lanes because that's how our brains work when faced with cognitive dissonance.

All that to say that if you replace the first word of your sentence with "When", I agree with you 100%.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on September 26, 2019, 12:25:09 PM
Useful link,

Quote
The House Intelligence Committee has released a declassified copy of the whistleblower complaint at the center of the recent controversy concerning President Trump's conduct regarding Ukraine. The document is available here and below, along with the intelligence community inspector general's letter to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/house-intelligence-committee-releases-whistleblower-complaint?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 12:27:47 PM
So just to be clear, the big bombshell from the whistleblower report is that Trump covered up a transcript that he just released to the public yesterday?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 12:30:33 PM
CNN peddling some altered news by acting like Trump's "favor" comment immediately preceded his talk about Biden:

https://twitter.com/ShelbyTalcott/status/1176993667325861888

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 26, 2019, 12:36:09 PM
Everyone on the left seems to believe that they have an absolute right to investigate the President for anything at anytime, and that anything that the President asks for that he can't prove is solely unrelated to his own benefit is a crime.

Out of curiosity, what's the appropriate remedy or oversight for members of the House of Representatives conducting fake or overblown investigations to serve their own political interests?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on September 26, 2019, 12:40:49 PM
So just to be clear, the big bombshell from the whistleblower report is that Trump covered up a transcript that he just released to the public yesterday?

No transcript has been released.  A memorandum has been released.

Also that isn't the 'bombshell' what is the bombshell is that he extorted a foreign nation to get dirt on an opponent (which is obvious even from the memorandum).  It is a clear criminal act. The hiding of the transcript is only further evidence that they knew it was a criminal act.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on September 26, 2019, 12:42:36 PM
Everyone on the left seems to believe that they have an absolute right to investigate the President for anything at anytime, and that anything that the President asks for that he can't prove is solely unrelated to his own benefit is a crime.

Out of curiosity, what's the appropriate remedy or oversight for members of the House of Representatives conducting fake or overblown investigations to serve their own political interests?

An election.

The President is supposed to do at least some due diligence to avoid using the office for his own benefit.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 12:43:12 PM
Schiff explaining that even though he completely made up what Trump said (it was "parody") it's still more or less what Trump meant. Incredible.

https://twitter.com/TeamTrump/status/1177232032625319938

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 12:44:03 PM
Everyone on the left seems to believe that they have an absolute right to investigate the President for anything at anytime, and that anything that the President asks for that he can't prove is solely unrelated to his own benefit is a crime.

Out of curiosity, what's the appropriate remedy or oversight for members of the House of Representatives conducting fake or overblown investigations to serve their own political interests?

Depends which party?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 12:45:41 PM
So just to be clear, the big bombshell from the whistleblower report is that Trump covered up a transcript that he just released to the public yesterday?

No transcript has been released.  A memorandum has been released.

Also that isn't the 'bombshell' what is the bombshell is that he extorted a foreign nation to get dirt on an opponent (which is obvious even from the memorandum).  It is a clear criminal act. The hiding of the transcript is only further evidence that they knew it was a criminal act.

Yes I heard the extortion plain and simple from Adam Schiff and saw it with my own eyes on CNN. Lock him up.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 12:52:22 PM
BTW, this kind of glaring witch hunt stuff (omitting txt, making stuff up, "parody", etc) does nothing but radically grow Trump's base and all but lock his win.

If dems had been content to let the american public watch Trump crap the bed with his own actual bad antics, they would have had a real chance. Now, not so much.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 01:01:13 PM
Here's Schiff's original "parody", strangely looking like he's reading from a transcript and/or quoting actual conversation. If there's one way to make Trump look like the lesser scumbag in the Battle of the Scumbags, he's nailing it.

https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1177211952344510465
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 26, 2019, 01:07:00 PM
Also that isn't the 'bombshell' what is the bombshell is that he extorted a foreign nation to get dirt on an opponent (which is obvious even from the memorandum).  It is a clear criminal act. The hiding of the transcript is only further evidence that they knew it was a criminal act.

You're a reasonable guy and I often agree with the tenor of things you post. So I'll ask you to explain to me in detail (if you don't mind) what exactly you think the extortion consists of, why it's a criminal act, and why this potential dirt on an opponent is an illegitimate thing to seek if it's about criminal activity. I'm not being flip, and I'm asking because I trust you not to prevaricate or gloss over details. I guess for bonus points, how do you know there's a transcript beyond the 'memorandum' that was released (which is written in a style consistent with Trump's verbal parlance)?

So the points:
-What is the actual extortion: what is being held over Ukraine's head, and what are the supposed conequences of failure to comply? What interest is there for Trump to extort in this way?
-If it is extortion, is it in fact illegal for the President to leverage pressure against another country in this way? Can the President in fact follow through on this kind of extortion, and if he can, is he allowed to?
-Is getting dirt on a political opponent illegal, even via asking a foreign power for help, if the opponent may have committed a crime? If it is illegal, would this mean some of the actions taken to get dirt on Trump previously were illegal, since they involved foreign sources and spies?
-Are there definitely transcripts of conversations like this, that are different in content from the conversation as it was relearsed to us here? i.e. is there obvious precedent to show that this 'transcript' is in fact not a real transcript but just a memorandum as you say?

Thanks for any time you take answering.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 26, 2019, 01:10:05 PM
If dems had been content to let the american public watch Trump crap the bed with his own actual bad antics, they would have had a real chance. Now, not so much.

Don't worry, they'll still waste more energy trying to suppress Bernie and prop up Biden than they will getting anyone to trust the process. By the time the general comes along, and Bernie grudgingly sighs "I guess you'd all better vote Democrat anyhow" it will be too late for them.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 01:27:03 PM
-What is the actual extortion: what is being held over Ukraine's head, and what are the supposed conequences of failure to comply?

I won't speak for anyone else, but in my opinion you'd have to back it up with something serious like threatening to hold back aid and/or calling for the firing of prominent people in the Ukraine. Plus, it would need to be more than parody or mind-reading, you'd need to be on record with it - like a video or something.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 26, 2019, 01:55:52 PM
Grant thinks it was a 'business call' and that the brief mentions of each of these items (Javelin missiles, favors, etc) were very swift negotiation points and that their sequence basically amounts to an almost adept-level negotiation process where terms are being laid down.

::Yawn::

This is untrue.  I questioned "if this is just a business call?", etc.

I characterized a portion of the transcript as Ukraine begging for arms.  (More porridge please?).  Serati challenged this characterization, saying most people would see it as a simple business offer, that of course did not require Trump to respond to, hence there was nothing wrong with his immediate cutting to the "I need a favor" portion of the call.  I assert that this is strange.  Serati asserts that it is not strange.  I said:

Quote
But if this was just a business deal, why the change of subject?

I simple reading will reveal that I'm challenging that the call was a simple business call.  The call not only contained a great deal of ass-kissing, but included a request for help from Ukraine and a request for investigations from Trump.   
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 26, 2019, 02:00:03 PM
Grant, I didn't mean to put words in your mouth if that wasn't what you meant. However the tenor of your argument was that Trump's switch of topic to favors may be seen as some as playing upon Ukraine's "begging" by asking for something in return, since on a business call you'd only switch topics if it wasn't actually a switch but was on-topic (i.e. the favors were on topic with the topic of missiles). I know you weren't implying this means Trump is guilty, but you did repeatedly frame the conversation as being a business call, without also throwing in the detail that you in fact did not think it was a business call. That little detail changes the framing of your statement significantly. Thanks for the clarification, I guess.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 26, 2019, 02:00:39 PM

All that to say that if you replace the first word of your sentence with "When", I agree with you 100%.

Consider it changed.  That probably better reflects what is going on. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 26, 2019, 02:10:33 PM
However the tenor of your argument was that Trump's switch of topic to favors may be seen as some as playing upon Ukraine's "begging" by asking for something in return,

That's accurate. 

Quote
on a business call you'd only switch topics if it wasn't actually a switch but was on-topic (i.e. the favors were on topic with the topic of missiles).

Look.  Even I'm getting confused.  What I'm saying is that it was not a change of topic.  The asking of a favor was directly related to the request for arms.  Others are saying the two topics are unrelated.  I can't PROVE that the two topics are related, because you cannot PROVE exactly what Trump was thinking or what he meant.  There was no explicit demand for quid pro quo.  I'm saying it's weird.  It's fishy.  It's strange.  Serati is saying it's perfectly normal.  This is what Serati said:

Quote
Most people would see that as a big offer by Ukraine to send a lot of money to the US, not a begging to be allowed to purchase them idea.  In fact, the way I read that (and a couple other places in the convo) is that Trump was probably going down a list of topics and checking them off as he covered each.  That literally looked like the end of that point and the start of new.  I don't see anything that would even remotely imply that Trump was turning down a lucrative arms deal "unless" the Ukraine did a second favor, is that what you think you see?

So Serati says it's normal.  I'm saying it's not normal to just change the subject.  Hence, Trump really wasn't changing the subject.  Trump was possibly tying the two together.  "You want missiles?  I want this investigation."

Again, I have no proof.  But I've laid out why I think what I think.  It's all right there.  You either agree with me that it's not normal to change the subject like that, hence the two items were linked, or you do think it was normal to change the subject, and that the two items were in no way linked. 

Quote
but you did repeatedly frame the conversation as being a business call, without also throwing in the detail that you in fact did not think it was a business call. That little detail changes the framing of your statement significantly. Thanks for the clarification, I guess.

Thank you.  Now I'm thoroughly confused. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 26, 2019, 02:14:00 PM
Quote
on a business call you'd only switch topics if it wasn't actually a switch but was on-topic (i.e. the favors were on topic with the topic of missiles).

Look.  Even I'm getting confused.  What I'm saying is that it was not a change of topic.  The asking of a favor was directly related to the request for arms.

Yes, that's what I'm saying you said. You're not confused  :)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 26, 2019, 02:26:14 PM
Here's Schiff's original "parody", strangely looking like he's reading from a transcript and/or quoting actual conversation. If there's one way to make Trump look like the lesser scumbag in the Battle of the Scumbags, he's nailing it.

https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1177211952344510465

There is growing suspicion that Schiff is actually the one that orchestrated the complaint. People familiar with this process are noticing some incongruities in the way it’s written and structured.  Also, Schiff was demanding to see the complaint all this time yet weeks ago was tweeting out details found in the complaint - in other words, he was already familiar with the contents of the complaint a few weeks ago. How would that happen? It could only happen if Schiff had access to the complaint. Something that should raise some issues.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 26, 2019, 02:36:43 PM
I just read the whistle blower complaint.  If you didn't believe in  a deep state before, that document should remove all doubt.   

 ::) 
Cumon, man.  Why's it always have to be a conspiracy?  It's either a media conspiracy, or a deep state conspiracy, or a NATO conspiracy, or a G20 conspiracy, or an Illuminati conspiracy, or a CIA conspiracy, or an Israeli conspiracy, or a Saudi conspiracy, or a Republican conspiracy.  I don't even know what "deep state" means, other than it's used like there is some deep conspiracy within the US government to hurt Trump.  Some nefarious group of a government within a government.  "The Swamp".  A boogie-man.  Majestic 12.  Men in Black.  Whatever. 

Quote
It was clearly compiled with the help of activist lawyers

If it was clearly complied by activist lawyers, what is the proof of that?  That it was well written?  I think you're reaching again, Serati.  I don't think that is clear at all.  I think I could have written a letter that good.  I think all I would have had to have been to write that is be an experienced mid-level intel wonk or a semi-decent lawyer working within the intel apparatus.  In fact, I would point out that fact that no where does the whistle-blower specify which part of the CFR or USC that the POTUS violated as proof that it was not complied by a group of activist lawyers, unless they were incompetent or didn't care about the content.  The only reference to the USC in the memo is a reference to the procedures governing whistle-blowing within the intel community.  Hence, they showed what THEY were doing was LEGAL, not what they were reporting was ILLEGAL.  That's a pretty big hole, in my opinion, that a group of lawyers would not have missed. 

Quote
purports to be unclassified (notwithstanding that it reveals information that is presumptively classified)

It clearly states that without the enclosures, the whistle-blower believes the memo itself is unclassified.  If it did contain classified information, the IG shouldn't have released it. 

Quote
and was absolutely and clearly compiled using the resources of the US government, at a minimum by inappropriate access to State department files, but more likely intelligence files.

The question of access depends on the level of clearance the whistle-blower had.  I don't know who they are.  Do you, Serati?

Quote
There's no way a single whistleblower put that together, which almost certainly means there is in fact a conspiracy operating internally to the government.

Based on what? They clearly state that they were told these things by other members of the intel community or White House staff.  And even if there were a conspiracy, does it change the content of the memo and concerns expressed within?  If the "Deep State" were responsible for the memo, would it change the validity of their claims? 

Quote
In fact reading it again, this document seems designed to try and criminalize the investigation of what appears to have been a deep state plot to use the Ukranian government to influence the 2016 election.

More conspiracies.  Who was behind this "deep state plot"?  Is this a Q Anon thing?  That's what it sounds like. 



Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on September 26, 2019, 02:51:55 PM
It is absolutely weird to:

A. Bring the matter up at his level.
B. Handle the material differently than similar calls.
C. Have this discussion immediately after an election.
D. Have this discussion before a Prosecutor General is chosen.

Does weird mean illegal or nefarious? No, it doesn't. It just means weird.

Let's look at the defintion: of strange or extraordinary character

It is a little hard to deny that Trump is of strange or extraordinary character in a number of ways. That it manifests in his dealings with foreign leaders is no surprise. The purpose of an investigation is to investigate if this was Trump being Trump, or if there was a deliberate effort to cover up Trump being Trump because it was embarrassing, unethical, or illegal. Thus, the whistleblower raised the issue using the proper channels and was allegedly ignored and buried away from the sunlight.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 26, 2019, 02:55:33 PM
Thank goodness this whistleblower had the courage to finally call Trump to task on this one. I'm tired of him continually getting a free ride from the media and everyone else.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 26, 2019, 02:57:47 PM
The purpose of an investigation is to investigate if this was Trump being Trump, or if there was a deliberate effort to cover up Trump being Trump because it was embarrassing, unethical, or illegal. Thus, the whistleblower raised the issue using the proper channels and was allegedly ignored and buried away from the sunlight.

The IG investigation may cover this, but Impeachment Proceedings and investigation must concentrate on whether any actions by POTUS was unethical or illegal. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 26, 2019, 03:18:05 PM
Quote
on a business call you'd only switch topics if it wasn't actually a switch but was on-topic (i.e. the favors were on topic with the topic of missiles).

Look.  Even I'm getting confused.  What I'm saying is that it was not a change of topic.  The asking of a favor was directly related to the request for arms.

Yes, that's what I'm saying you said. You're not confused  :)

I'm glad that's cleared up. 

Now: 
 
1. Can we clarify whether the mentioning of purchasing Javelin missiles by Zelenskyy was a REQUEST, or a PROMISE? 

2.  Why is NATO trying to encircle Russia?  Who is behind this? 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 26, 2019, 03:52:52 PM
1. Can we clarify whether the mentioning of purchasing Javelin missiles by Zelenskyy was a REQUEST, or a PROMISE?

I would be interested if someone has some backlog of talks on this subject with Ukraine, as I either haven't followed it sufficiently or else such things are not reported on in such a way as someone like me could see them without too much trouble. IMO however the main means of determining this is to look at (a) the U.S. semi-recent history in the Ukraine to determine what their objectives have been, and (b) to look at their general objectives with various countries re: selling arms.

For (a) my suggestion would be that the U.S. has been consistenly trying to wrest the Ukraine area away from Russian influence in various ways, and that a move towards selling to them and arming them would further these goals. A lot of foreign policy PR in the last 5 years (more during Obama's admin than now, though) has been about the Russian threat to Ukraine and how more of a buffer zone is needed to keep Russia at bay. The sabre rattling (which I used to talk about more but not as much lately) is often centered around the Eastern European arena. This battle is also about oil sales and cutting off Russia from customers. For (b) my observation has been that the U.S. will happily sell to anyone not currently threatening their interests, and it would be out of character for the military industrial complex to consider such sales to be doing others a favor. My best guess is that, by observation, armanent sales are what the U.S. tries to get others to do, not something they're lining up for and being refused.

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2.  Why is NATO trying to encircle Russia?  Who is behind this?

Whoaa big question! To discuss this you need to include all of the following topics:

-Global arms sales and how to ensure business is always drummed up.
-Gloabl oil sales and who is competing with whom in the Europe/Asian sphere.
   -Part of this assessment requires a specific look at the Iran/Saudi antagonsim and where the material (not religous)
    conflict lies.
-International banking interests and who is competing for market dominance.
    -This one item is so bad that it alone could derail the entire ability to approach the question.
    -Is it Western bloc (American banks, JP Morgan, Goldman-Sachs, London interests, etc) against the Eastern bloc?
    -Is it IMF vs BRICS?
    -Is it certain factions within each region against other factions within that same region? Or maybe USA vs Europe?
    -Is it a conflict over types of banking systems, e.g. private owned vs state controlled?
-Local necessities by government to create narratives for their own populations.
    -To what extent to exterior events serve as a means to create local narratives, and to what extent is their cooperation
     between nations on using public events for local purposes?
           -Just for example, it is possible in this way to view the Cold War as having been at least partially a cooperative
            event, where the exterior conflict could be used to establish policy with each faction's own people and to justify
            moves that would otherwise not be accepted.
           -Even now it's worth asking how much of sabre rattling is real, vs how much is theatre agreed upon by both sides.
    -To what extent are certain coalitions also a force for narrative creation?

This all would help us to ask a basic question - what is NATO, anyhow? What is it realistically for, and what does it accomplish? Ironically Trump asked these questions although I'm not sure he had a clear thought in his head about it. Maybe he was just repeating something he heard. It does have to be answered before answering why NATO might have certain goals, such as strangling Russia, and not others, such as peaceful relations and cooperation. Maybe the latter are not possible for some reason, but that requires defining its function and goals first.
 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 26, 2019, 04:29:41 PM
1. Can we clarify whether the mentioning of purchasing Javelin missiles by Zelenskyy was a REQUEST, or a PROMISE?

My best guess is that, by observation, armanent sales are what the U.S. tries to get others to do, not something they're lining up for and being refused.



OK.  So your position is that the United States is generally pushing arms on other countries.  That other countries generally do not request arms from the United States and are generally never refused? 

Two points:
1.  What is your evidence or observation that the United States generally tries to get other countries to buy it's weapons?  What is the evidence or observation that they are generally not lining up for and being refused arms? 

2.  If this is true, that the United States generally tries to push arms on other countries, then why did Donald Trump put a freeze on arms sales to Ukraine?  Why have House Democrats passed legislation freezing arms sales to Saudi Arabia?  Why did we refuse to sell arms to Nigeria in 2014? 

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Whoaa big question! To discuss this you need to include all of the following topics:

OK.  To summarize, the people behind NATO's encirclement of Russia are:

1.  Global arms manufacturers and dealers
2.  Global oil producers
3.  International banking interests
4.  Local governments lying to their people

(also the Cold War was partially a cooperative event, basically a conspiracy between the United States and USSR to better control their spheres of influence)

But you don't really state it as much as pose it as questions.  So you don't want to put an answer, just dance around one. 

So basically, the theory is that Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BAE, Chevron, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Goldman-Sachs, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and the governments of Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Georgia, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan are all conspiring together to effect NATO encirclement of Russia. Theoretically, they have been doing this for awhile. Where, theoretically, do they all meet annually to discuss their plans?  The Hotel de Bilderberg? 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 26, 2019, 04:40:26 PM
Grant, I could go point by point on all of that but as you might have guessed I don't have access to any of that. I can name who the probable big players are but only as an educated guess. And I certainly can't even guess what their private affiliations or alliances are. You go ahead and look up the major shareholders in Chase Manhattan and tell me 'which team they're on'. In fact, try to even name for me what the 'teams' might be. You might end up chasing your tail on that one for 20 years before realizing it's deliberately convoluted so that no one can clearly define who is doing what. Try even finding out "who" owns the major shares of Chase Manhattan, literally: I don't mean which other corporations (since in many cases they are shareholders of each other) but the actual people. You won't be able to.

As far as the conspiracy theory angle you're trying to peg on me (by invoking Bilderberg), I suppose your retort is that powerful people do not work together for common interests, and that if they do these are always disclosed to the public clearly and with their designs made known? Please.

But try not to too-narrowly define or summarize things that are complex and large. "The military industrial complex" =/= "the U.S. government", nor do their interests always match, but they often do. Nor does each company in the 'complex' work together just like buddies, but it's no doubt a sort of cooperative competition as it is in banking. Nor do the people who support their interests always have common interests with them; Republicans and Democrats of different stripes can support military lobbyists at the same time, for different reasons, and with different end goals.

Anyhow I won't go on about his any more, other than to say that asking what NATO's goals are is non-trivial, and any attempt to trivialize how international affairs work will only serve to create straw men to knock down.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 26, 2019, 04:58:30 PM
I can name who the probable big players are but only as an educated guess.

Go on.  Give me your educated guess. 

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And I certainly can't even guess what their private affiliations or alliances are. You go ahead and look up the major shareholders in Chase Manhattan and tell me 'which team they're on'. In fact, try to even name for me what the 'teams' might be. You might end up chasing your tail on that one for 20 years before realizing it's deliberately convoluted so that no one can clearly define who is doing what. Try even finding out "who" owns the major shares of Chase Manhattan, literally: I don't mean which other corporations (since in many cases they are shareholders of each other) but the actual people. You won't be able to.

So a shadowy mystery group?  OK. 

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I suppose your retort is that powerful people do not work together for common interests, and that if they do these are always disclosed to the public clearly and with their designs made known? Please.

I don't think two powerful people could work together for a weekend without some sort of written agreement with 100 lawyers around, much less CEOs and Boards of Directors from a dozen companies with the governments of a dozen countries. 

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Anyhow I won't go on about his any more, other than to say that asking what NATO's goals are is non-trivial, and any attempt to trivialize how international affairs work will only serve to create straw men to knock down.

I'm going to suggest that NATO was formed to protect Europe from Soviet aggression.  It morphed into a general mutual defense treaty for all signatories, including against threats outside Russia, which by the way is the general inheritor of the military power of the Soviet Union and has shown some rather interesting expansionist tendencies recently, which I'm sure you will suggest is merely self defense against NATO encirclement. 

I don't mean to trivialize international affairs, only to highlight our different views of them.  Wheras you seem to believe that international affairs are driven by some sort of hustle, or competing business interests, my historical experience is that international affairs are typically driven by people who want to blame other people for their problems, like the French, or the British, or the Americans, or the Saudis, or the Chinese, or globalist financial institutions, or the bourgeois, or the capitalist class, or the Catholics.  But that's probably not who is really behind all this money and business interest. Who's really behind it? 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on September 26, 2019, 05:34:03 PM
Very confused

What I learned that if I'm the president and want do something that crosses a line.
I can do it and get away with it if I can get some one in the news media to make a parody of it, confuse the facts and then use that to explain why it never happened.

I'm not saying that's what's happened here. However its clear to me that going forward holding any President accountable is never going to happen. Just way to easy to confuse things.

It was not unreasonable for the house to want to see the whistle blowers report and the recording of the call. they should have been able to do so behind close doors and before it hit the news.

I can't help but wonder if the administration orchestrated the chain of events to force the Dem's to be forceful in getting the information, making it look more suspicions then it may be and get them to play into the game. It would not surprise me at all.


Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 26, 2019, 07:19:11 PM
Very confused

What I learned that if I'm the president and want do something that crosses a line.
I can do it and get away with it if I can get some one in the news media to make a parody of it, confuse the facts and then use that to explain why it never happened.

I'm not saying that's what's happened here. However its clear to me that going forward holding any President accountable is never going to happen. Just way to easy to confuse things.
Talking about Fast & Furious?   ;D

It was not unreasonable for the house to want to see the whistle blowers report and the recording of the call. they should have been able to do so behind close doors and before it hit the news.

Then why didn’t they? Despite all evidence to the contrary, they’re not all so stupid. It looks very much like Schiff already knew what was in the report. If Schiff knew, then they all knew. Why did they make this unforced error? Maybe it was intentional.

I can't help but wonder if the administration orchestrated the chain of events to force the Dem's to be forceful in getting the information, making it look more suspicions then it may be and get them to play into the game. It would not surprise me at all.

I can’t help but wonder if the DNC and Pelosi orchestrated this. She gets the impeachment nuts off her back and starts getting back control and the DNC takes out Biden, who’s a sure loser with eye bleeds, teeth falling out, gaffe after gaffe and seemingly unable to recall basic details like people’s names.  And, with a willing media ready to say literally anything,maybe they get lucky and really do get enough traction to takedown Trump or at least damage him for the election.  All achieved with the very same story in a single stroke.

It’s machiavellian as hell to be sure but the story fits the facts and it’s a hell of a lot smarter than what they appear to be doing. Is Pelosi and her gang that smart?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 27, 2019, 07:58:05 AM
And, after all this, house goes into a 2 week recess. Supposed to start this afternoon.

Heh.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on September 27, 2019, 09:51:53 AM
The old where not hiding information, wink wink
ok we were but not really so here it is opp's want it back,
oh well its out now, see nothing burger,
your fault it looked suspicious,
witch hunt.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 10:24:28 AM
The question going forward seems to be what would be required to find Trump guilty of....whatever (I still don't know if he violated any specific statute, I havn't seen any specific reference, though you don't need a particular statute to impeach and find guilty), in the Senate, if the House votes for impeachment proceedings. 

I think that the House may indeed vote for impeachment.  It's not guaranteed, for several reasons. 
1.  No smoking gun.  (Plenty of smoke, depending on your point of view, of NATO encirclement and the arms industry apparently, but no gun).
2.  Why go through the whole process if the Republican Senate will vote not guilty, which they seem to be telegraphing. 
3.  The democratic candidate for President has a better opportunity to win against Trump than just about any other candidate.  In the world.  Maybe in history.  I imagine Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Nero, Judas Iscariot, and Satan hisself might make worse candidates, but I could be wrong.  Nero is pretty good on border control and protectionism. 

I give 75-80% chance House votes to impeach.

So will the Democrats impeach for political or practical reasons? 

Politically, they could just go through the entire process with the assumption that it will damage Trump's reelection chances.  That's probably their current calculus.  To me, that's basically underhanded, and it tends to backfire on the Democrats.  I think they assumed it would help them in 2018 with Kavanaugh, which they did end up winning, but it also ended up circling conservative wagons. 

What would it take for the Republican Senate to find Trump guilty?  That's a real good question.  Probably a more important question is: what would it take to erode Trump support among registered Republicans?  I currently give a 5-10% chance that, with the current evidence, enough Republican Senators defect to vote with Democrats for guilty. It would basically be a kamikaze move by whatever Republican did it. 

The key witnesses here are Barr and Rudy, who were apparently the point men on the dirt digging expedition.  Rudy has apparently lost it, if you believe The Atlantic.  But unless something is found that clearly stated that Zelenskyy needs to produce for Rudy in order for him to get his military aid, I don't think it will go anywhere.  I give only a 20% chance that the Senate finds further evidence that there was quid pro quo going on.

Even IF you found further evidence, would enough Republican Senators vote guilty?  I imagine it depends on the nature of the evidence, but I'm not sure.  A massive change in registered Republican sentiment would probably have to occur.  Honestly, though, if the Republicans wanted a better shot at holding the Presidency, they may consider this a good opportunity to get rid of Trump.  I don't think that will happen, though.  I give only a 15% chance that even with further evidence, the Republican Senate votes guilty.  That's not much better then where you are now with just nuance and suspicious behavior.

Finally, what effect is this going to have on Biden's run?  Biden currently has the best numbers against Trump.  Democrats can talk about circling their wagons, but it didn't much work last time.  Regardless of whether Biden was attempting to help his son, the job history of Hunter Biden is quite horrible.  The guy has no experience in just about anything, but winds up in plenty of high profile job positions making lots of cash.  Whether or not Joe Biden is trying to work for Hunter, foreign countries and corporations seem to be plenty willing to attempt to bribe Joe Biden through Hunter Biden.  Not quite sure if the Democrats will end up caring, though.  Most republicans don't seem to care about the amount of money foreign leaders and corporations shovel Trump's way through staying at his hotels. 

Anyways, thank the gawds that Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz didn't become President.  We'd be knee deep in scandal and fake news by now.  California would have probably seceded.  We'd be overrun by Mexicans and in a depression. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on September 27, 2019, 10:38:53 AM
-If it is extortion, is it in fact illegal for the President to leverage pressure against another country in this way? Can the President in fact follow through on this kind of extortion, and if he can, is he allowed to?

Extortion of another country by the US government is legal for legitimate government purposes.

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-Is getting dirt on a political opponent illegal, even via asking a foreign power for help, if the opponent may have committed a crime?

Getting dirt on a political opponent is legal if done via certain means - other means are illegal.  Asking a foreign power is illegal.  If the individual is alledged to have committed a crime than the proper agency can investigate it (though it may be illegal for a President to direct a government agency to investigate his opposition - I'm not clear on that).

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If it is illegal, would this mean some of the actions taken to get dirt on Trump previously were illegal, since they involved foreign sources and spies?

If Obama had asked the Prime Minister of England what dirt they had on Trump in exchange for some sort of consideration it would have been illegal. Clinton hiring a law firm, who then hired a research firm, who then hired a ex-spy isn't illegal.  Foreign nationals can be hired by campaigns both directly (such as Trumps campaign hiring a UK analytics agency - however foreign nationals can't direct actions during a campaign a law that was frequently broken) and indirectly (hiring a law firm who hires an investigation agency that hires a foreign national).  What you can't do is use US government resources for personal gain.  It is illegal to seek favors from foreign government officials for personal benefit - especially when there is an implied or explicit quid pro quo from the government.

It is the involvement of government representatives that make it illegal.

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-Are there definitely transcripts of conversations like this, that are different in content from the conversation as it was relearsed to us here? i.e. is there obvious precedent to show that this 'transcript' is in fact not a real transcript but just a memorandum as you say?

If you read the memorandum - it states explicitly that it is a memorandum and isn't a transcript.

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CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty officers and NSC policy staff assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place. A number of factors can affect the accuracy of the record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation, The word “inaudible” is used to indicate portions of a conversation that the notetaker was unable to hear.

I'm not certain that there is a transcript or if the memorandum is all that exists.

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So the points:
-What is the actual extortion: what is being held over Ukraine's head, and what are the supposed conequences of failure to comply? What interest is there for Trump to extort in this way?

The President halted aid that congress had allocated to the Ukraine days before the call.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-ordered-hold-on-military-aid-days-before-calling-ukrainian-president-officials-say/2019/09/23/df93a6ca-de38-11e9-8dc8-498eabc129a0_story.html

Also his response to the Ukraine President's question clearly implies a quid pro quo (we will buy stuff from you only if you provide dirt on Biden).  So there are two things that the Ukraine was being extorted over - military aid and future weapon sales.

How many countries wouldn't be willing to fabricate evidence for more than half a billion dollars?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on September 27, 2019, 10:40:33 AM
There was a mention of voice recognition software being used to generate the memo. It may mean there's a recording or that there was a recording.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 10:54:48 AM

Extortion of another country by the US government is legal for legitimate government purposes.
Emphasis is mine.
Please!  Coercive Diplomacy, or Hard Power.  We don't extort.

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The President halted aid that congress had allocated to the Ukraine days before the call.

Fake NOOOOOOOZZZZ!

NATO has gotten to LR.  Activate Patriot Shields, full power! 

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Also his response to the Ukraine President's question clearly implies a quid pro quo (we will buy stuff from you only if you provide dirt on Biden).  So there are two things that the Ukraine was being extorted over - military aid and future weapon sales.

Small quibble.  The assertion is properly phrased: "we sell stuff to you, only if you provide dirt on Biden". 

I take it then LR, that you believe Zelenskyy was REQUESTING arms, and not PROMISING payment?  What about the assertion that the Ukrainians really don't need those weapons? 

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 27, 2019, 11:15:53 AM
Does everyone know that at the time of this phone call that Ukraine was not aware that the payment was being held up for further vetting? Seems relevant if you're trying to make the case that this payment was being held up as the extortion attempt. Kind of hard to extort someone if they don't know anything about it.

Also, how did Schiff know details of the complaint at least 2 weeks before Congress was notified of it? How did he have that advance notice?

To summarize, there’s no evidence of a cover-up (both the transcript and the whistleblower complaint are public), no evidence of quid pro quo (multiple reports state that the Ukrainians didn’t even know military aid was being withheld). So what exactly is the theory of impeachment?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 11:26:18 AM
Does everyone know that at the time of this phone call that Ukraine was not aware that the payment was being held up for further vetting? Seems relevant if you're trying to make the case that this payment was being held up as the extortion attempt. Kind of hard to extort someone if they don't know anything about it.

I think this is an important question, and I mentioned it before as to the timeline involved.  I've seen some reporting that Zalenskyy was not aware that the aid was being withheld until the Politico story broke on the 28th, 3 days after the phone call.  I've also heard it speculated that Zalenskyy was aware that the aid was being withheld, possibly through Guiliani, who it was mentioned had been in contact with one of Zalenskyy's aids, who was apparently calling to get the info that Trump is referencing.  It's all possible, but again there seems to be no clear proof.  I havn't read a statement either way. 

The second part though is: does it really matter?  Would it still be bad if Trump asked for a favor and THEN cut off the aid if the results were not forthcoming?  Which is worse?  Cut off the aid first and then make the request, or make the request and then cut off the aid?  I don't know, but I know it equates to the same thing, but at different stages.  But there is no CLEAR proof that Trump cut off the aid because the Ukrainians were not giving him what he wanted.  There are some excuses like corruption and whatever else being given.  It's all assumption. 

A mafia don would probably be convicted by a jury with this information.  But Donald Trump isn't a mafia don, and the Senate is not a jury of normal people.  A mafia don is a criminal and everybody knows it.  Donald Trump is the POTUS and would he actually lie or attempt to cooerce anybody for political gain?  It's all in how you view the defendant. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 27, 2019, 11:30:55 AM

Also his response to the Ukraine President's question clearly implies a quid pro quo (we will buy stuff from you only if you provide dirt on Biden).  So there are two things that the Ukraine was being extorted over - military aid and future weapon sales.

Wait, the US was offering to purchase from Ukraine - is that a typo?

"clearly implies" is a subjective statement and one degree of separation from Schiff's fabricated transcript he read to the press in his brilliant verbatim-esque parody. Obviously I have my own biases but this whole thing feels like a loser to me - unless the dems are now playing 4d chess and this is just part of the long con to oust Biden.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 27, 2019, 11:33:39 AM
When the aid was cut off, and when Zalenskyy learned of it, is not that important.

Even if Zalenskyy learned 3 days after the phone call that Trump had cut off the aid, he may have interpreted it as Trump showing that he was serious about getting his "favor."
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 27, 2019, 11:43:02 AM
"may have interpreted" does not sound compelling, nor does "clearly implies". Am I the only one thinking this is as flimsy as it appears? It's entirely possible I don't understand the impeachment process and what needs to be proven vs simply suggested or implied.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 27, 2019, 11:43:56 AM
Has the Trump Administration explained why they added an extra layer of classification to the memorandum?

According to the complaint:

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According to multiple White House officials I spoke with, the transcript of the President's call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information , such as covert action. According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs. According to White House officials I spoke with, this was "not the first time" under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information .

Assuming we saw the memorandum in question, there did not seem to be much in the way of classified information in that phone call.

Per Wikipedia, codeword classification is a way to compartmentalize sensitive information, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classified_information_in_the_United_States#Code_Word_classifications) whether it be Secret or Top Secret.  (I'm not sure it applies to Confidential info.)  What part of that conversation, which we have been told is "perfectly fine and routine," warranted that extra security?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 11:45:48 AM
When the aid was cut off, and when Zalenskyy learned of it, is not that important.

Even if Zalenskyy learned 3 days after the phone call that Trump had cut off the aid, he may have interpreted it as Trump showing that he was serious about getting his "favor."

Meh.  I'm not positive because I havn't seen the US legal definitions for quid pro quo, but I believe it's important if you are trying to show the phone call as evidence of quid pro quo.  I believe for there to be an offer of quid pro quo, both parties must understand the terms of the trade.  If Trump had not cut off the money already, or if Zalenskyy had not found out about it yet, then the phone call could be interpreted reasonably as "hey, I just would like a favor", instead of "if you want this then do this".  Perhaps later it would have been better understood, but then the phone call isn't evidence. 

On the other hand, if Zalenskyy knew the aid was being cut off, then it puts the call in a different light.  Then, the interpretation that Zalenskyy was requesting that the aid be continued and requesting arms makes more sense.  Otherwise, Serati and Fenring have a point that Zalensky was simply mentioning that they were ready to purchase more weapons rather than asking for more weapons, since the weapons had already been sold previously and there was no clear sign that the aid would be cut off in the phone call. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on September 27, 2019, 01:14:05 PM
Well, Biden’s crime happened in Ukraine. I suppose that would be up to them to investigate, maybe?  I’m not sure we staff our own “professional investigators” in Ukraine or if they have any real jurisdiction there. Can you fill on those blanks?

Meh.  If Biden put pressure on Ukraine in order to facilitate the financial gain of a family member, what he did sounds like a violation of 5 CFR § 2635.702.   Use of public office for private gain.  Of course, the problem is that the regulations only apply to executive branch employees.  Biden, as Vice-President, is the ONLY member of the executive branch not considered an employee of the executive branch since he is a constitutionally appointed officer.  He is appointed by the electoral college, not the POTUS and confirmed by the Senate.  If he were not, you could open an investigation.  Then you can ask for foreign cooperation on the investigation.  You can even apply political pressure.  The problem arises when you're doing all this without an actual formally opened investigation.  When an investigation is officially opened, then it is the United States that wants the investigation done.  Even if there is no formal investigation, it certainly looks better if you're not asking for a foreign investigation on your political opponent.

So wait, Biden's defense is to pull a page from Trump with regards to "I don't think it's possible for the PotUS to have a 'conflict of interest'" after all?

As Grant suggested, it would be better for the professional investigators to coordinate with the Ukrainians for an investigation, rather than having a President pressuring the Ukrainians to come up with something.

"Problem" here comes in the form Trump's own issues regarding the FBI.

The FBI ostensibly (and/or the Inspector General's office) would be the ones with jurisdiction in investigating this as it relates to Federal Law and Biden's activities involving Ukraine.

The IG is largely toothless, which means the FBI, which is currently viewed by many Republicans as "being in the tank" for the Democrats, so the expectation is referring it the FBI would mean they chose to let the investigation wither and die.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on September 27, 2019, 01:29:51 PM
Which, of course, is why Trump specifically told Zelenskyy to talk to his No. 1 crime investigator: Rudy Giuliani.  He's done outstanding service, working in the Department of...uh...hmm, who is it that Giuliani works for again?  ???  And why was he one of the people Zelenskyy was supposed to talk to? ;)

Yeah, Trump just wants a crime to be investigated.  Just like he never said The Wall would be made of concrete.  ::)

The thing I'm finding funny as I think about this....

How quickly people seem to have forgotten what Giuliani did prior to becoming Mayor of NYC...

edit: here's a hint
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Attorney_for_the_Southern_District_of_New_York
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 01:32:07 PM
So wait, Biden's defense is to pull a page from Trump with regards to "I don't think it's possible for the PotUS to have a 'conflict of interest'" after all?

I don't think it's a matter of there not being an actual conflict of interest possible.  I think it's more a matter of pointing to actual illegal action.  Something cannot be illegal if there is no law against it.  The President and Vice President, as constitutional officers, are granted a huge amount of executive privilege.  As I stated, the rules in 5 CFR CH XVI do not apply to the President and Vice President.  However, impeachment does not require an actual rule violation.  It's a double edged sword. 

Quote
The IG is largely toothless, which means the FBI, which is currently viewed by many Republicans as "being in the tank" for the Democrats, so the expectation is referring it the FBI would mean they chose to let the investigation wither and die.

Well, first, if the IG is toothless or if the FBI is corrupt, it is the responsibility of the chief executive, the POTUS, to fix those problems.  Perhaps Trump can just drain the swamp by firing the entire agency and creating a new Federal Law Enforcement Bureau, the Keeping America Great Bureau.  The K.A.G.B.  He can staff it with clones of Joe Arpaio and David Clarke. 

Secondly, if the IG is toothless then Trump should have nothing to worry about whatever findings the IG comes up with.  On the other hand, the Democrats can say that they can't believe anything the IG says because it is toothless. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 01:36:22 PM
The thing I'm finding funny as I think about this....

How quickly people seem to have forgotten what Giuliani did prior to becoming Mayor of NYC...

It's not what he used to do.  It's what he's doing now.  He's Trump's PERSONAL lawyer.  Any job he is doing is for Trump PERSONALLY, and not as an agent of the United States.  Hence, any investigation he is involved in, his duty is to his client, Donald Trump, and not the United States.  Hence, involving Rudy in the investigation helps the argument that the requested investigations were for PERSONAL GAIN rather than for national gain. 

I don't know what's funny about that. 

Ignoring it or not being able to understand it might be humorous.  Like in a "your Imperial Majesty, your new clothes are magnificent!" kind of way. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on September 27, 2019, 01:47:35 PM

Meh.  I'm not positive because I havn't seen the US legal definitions for quid pro quo, but I believe it's important if you are trying to show the phone call as evidence of quid pro quo.  I believe for there to be an offer of quid pro quo, both parties must understand the terms of the trade.  If Trump had not cut off the money already, or if Zalenskyy had not found out about it yet, then the phone call could be interpreted reasonably as "hey, I just would like a favor", instead of "if you want this then do this".  Perhaps later it would have been better understood, but then the phone call isn't evidence.

I don't think so.  Consider the following scenario:

You're purchasing a yacht from a rich person.  The purchase is going well, and the rich person calls you to congratulate you on something.  During the call he asks you, as a favor to do something odd.  Then three days later you find out that he had previously stopped the purchase for some weird reason.  (How many different reasons has the Trump Administration given so far for stopping the aid?  3?  4?  More?)

Would it be unreasonable to believe that the rich person stopped the sale of the yacht until he had the chance to call you and ask his favor?  And that the continued purchase of the yacht would not proceed until you proved that you were doing that favor for him?

Isn't this somewhat similar to the way that Michael Cohen testified (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2019/02/27/michael-cohen-hearing-highlights/3001553002/) that Trump indicated that he should lie about negotiations for the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on September 27, 2019, 01:49:26 PM
It's not what he used to do.  It's what he's doing now.  He's Trump's PERSONAL lawyer.  Any job he is doing is for Trump PERSONALLY, and not as an agent of the United States.  Hence, any investigation he is involved in, his duty is to his client, Donald Trump, and not the United States.

This is a not unreasonable conclusion to reach, from a certain point of view. However let's take the recent mafia example and apply it here: think of Giuliani as Trump's consigliere, like in The Godfather. It's a right-hand man who you trust, who can provide strategic advice while knowing what all the legal implications will be, and who can be trusted with important assignments. Now it's true the consigliere is dedicated to serving the don, but on the other hand this is only good or bad dependant on what the don's goals are. I sort of think that's the role Giuliani is playing now in general. Trump sending him in makes sense if he trusts him, knows that he can act not only intelligently but with a strong view of the law in mind, and that he'll keep an eye on both the mission and how it implicates Trump. So far I'm not seeing a conflict of interest, unless you state a priori that Trump's interests are at odds with those of America. Insofar as we believe Trump acts for himself then we would likewise assume Giuliani's actions will benefit Trump and not America. Insofar as we may believe Trump acts for the good of America, Giuliani's actions will benefit America. It sort of brings us back to square one in terms of evaluating whether Giuliani will 'help America' or not by being the one to go. However assuming we value the office of the President at all, it should be seen as a good thing that the President has people he can actually trust to defend the interests of his office (i.e. him while he occupies it) rather than being a double or triple agent and serving multiple masters at once. If he legitimately can trust Giuliani then I don't blame him for using him as a second in important affairs.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on September 27, 2019, 02:00:07 PM
First of all, the analogy you picked should highlight why using Giulani like this is a problem.

Second, in terms of maintaining an ethical organization potential conflicts of interest need to be taken seriously. People need to be able to trust that the right decisions are made for the right reasons. Otherwise when interests actually do diverge, you've got no safeguards to ensure the interests of the organization (the US in the case) triumph over the interests of the individual.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on September 27, 2019, 02:25:29 PM
The purpose of an investigation is to investigate if this was Trump being Trump, or if there was a deliberate effort to cover up Trump being Trump because it was embarrassing, unethical, or illegal. Thus, the whistleblower raised the issue using the proper channels and was allegedly ignored and buried away from the sunlight.

The IG investigation may cover this, but Impeachment Proceedings and investigation must concentrate on whether any actions by POTUS was unethical or illegal.

Unethical behavior is grounds for impeachment?

Why isn't most of the House, and large parts of the Senate undergoing impeachment proceedings as well? That process applies to congress and the Judiciary as well, it isn't reserved solely for the Executive Branch.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on September 27, 2019, 02:34:02 PM
The thing I'm finding funny as I think about this....

How quickly people seem to have forgotten what Giuliani did prior to becoming Mayor of NYC...

It's not what he used to do.  It's what he's doing now.  He's Trump's PERSONAL lawyer.  Any job he is doing is for Trump PERSONALLY, and not as an agent of the United States.  Hence, any investigation he is involved in, his duty is to his client, Donald Trump, and not the United States.  Hence, involving Rudy in the investigation helps the argument that the requested investigations were for PERSONAL GAIN rather than for national gain.

The "unofficial offical envoy" thing is a very old practice, it is nothing new. The degree to which Trump uses it may be new, but the practice itself isn't. President's have acted through "trusted third parties" who are not subject to Congressional oversight/review, or part of the "normal career path" for such functions for ages.

Maybe Giuliani sold his soul to Trump, but I have serious doubts about Giuliani sticking his neck out on the line for something which would put him in the cross-hairs for illegal activities.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 02:35:44 PM
let's take the recent mafia example and apply it here: think of Giuliani as Trump's consigliere, like in The Godfather.

What
Are
You
Doing?

Quote
So far I'm not seeing a conflict of interest, unless you state a priori that Trump's interests are at odds with those of America. Insofar as we believe Trump acts for himself then we would likewise assume Giuliani's actions will benefit Trump and not America. Insofar as we may believe Trump acts for the good of America, Giuliani's actions will benefit America.

How about we extend this to say that the POTUS can have his own personal mercenary force, and deploy it instead of the US Army?  This is fine as long as the POTUS's interests are the same as America.  Same with the State Department and Justice Department apparently.  They can all be personal employees of the POTUS.  As long as POTUS's interests are the same as the US.  Great idea.  We can save plenty of money too.  Wish Obama had thought of this.  That would have been GREAAAAAAAAT. 

Government employees, whose responsibility includes taking official actions for the United States, are government employees rather than private employees of the POTUS, and hence their first obligation is to the public trust rather than a private employer, because conflicts of interests are to be assumed to probably exist and no individual should have that level of power in government.  This is a bedrock principle of conservative and classical liberal government. 

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on September 27, 2019, 02:40:01 PM
I just read the whistle blower complaint.  If you didn't believe in  a deep state before, that document should remove all doubt.   

 ::) 
Cumon, man.  Why's it always have to be a conspiracy?  It's either a media conspiracy, or a deep state conspiracy, or a NATO conspiracy, or a G20 conspiracy, or an Illuminati conspiracy, or a CIA conspiracy, or an Israeli conspiracy, or a Saudi conspiracy, or a Republican conspiracy.  I don't even know what "deep state" means, other than it's used like there is some deep conspiracy within the US government to hurt Trump.  Some nefarious group of a government within a government.  "The Swamp".  A boogie-man.  Majestic 12.  Men in Black.  Whatever.

"Deep State" is usually an interconnected web of people in the "political power elite class" like Bush 41(not so much his sons), intelligence and police agencies, and otherwise deeply entrenched persons in the permanent bureaucracy and its various "private contractors" linked into other arms of the government. Basically the career arm of those agencies rather than "those political interlopers" that come and go with differing Presidencies.

There also is the Corporate side of things as well where certain corporate interests happen to closely align with the career (unelected) government guy, and have developed "relationships" with people in government positions which can enable them to move levers within the Bureaucracy at certain times that suit their interests.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 02:40:36 PM
Unethical behavior is grounds for impeachment?

Why isn't most of the House, and large parts of the Senate undergoing impeachment proceedings as well? That process applies to congress and the Judiciary as well, it isn't reserved solely for the Executive Branch.

Probably because there are bodies, within Congress, whose sole purpose is to conduct ethical investigations and recommend disciplinary action for members of Congress.  The only body that can conduct disciplinary proceedings on the POTUS is.....Congress.  Though impeachment. 

Quote
President's have acted through "trusted third parties" who are not subject to Congressional oversight/review, or part of the "normal career path" for such functions for ages.

Such as? 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 02:44:32 PM

"Deep State" is usually an interconnected web of people in the "political power elite class" like Bush 41(not so much his sons), intelligence and police agencies, and otherwise deeply entrenched persons in the permanent bureaucracy and its various "private contractors" linked into other arms of the government. Basically the career arm of those agencies rather than "those political interlopers" that come and go with differing Presidencies.

Where do they have their meetings to decide how they are going to bring down Trump?  Career civil servants probably take up a pretty big portion of the Federal Government.  Maybe Disneyworld has a ballroom big enough?   
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on September 27, 2019, 02:46:47 PM
How about we extend this to say that the POTUS can have his own personal mercenary force, and deploy it instead of the US Army?  This is fine as long as the POTUS's interests are the same as America.  Same with the State Department and Justice Department apparently.  They can all be personal employees of the POTUS.  As long as POTUS's interests are the same as the US.  Great idea.  We can save plenty of money too.  Wish Obama had thought of this.  That would have been GREAAAAAAAAT.

Letters of Marque are a Congressional power, not an executive one. That said, Operation Iraqi Freedom saw a lot of known private contractors doing contract work for DOD and other governmental agencies, so such activities isn't outside the norm, it just had several layers of abstraction removed from the "and points in between" getting from PotUS, cycling down through the involved executive agency until you get to the specific contract for the contractor involved.

Instead you're dealing with someone operating under the purview of the PotUS directly, and presumably paid by PotUS, not the taxpayer, which is certainly a different twist. That said, I doubt Trump is sending his personal lawyer over to kick doors in and shoot a bunch of people personally. So he doesn't need the legal authority to wage war, he just needs the ability to communicate.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on September 27, 2019, 02:52:24 PM
President's have acted through "trusted third parties" who are not subject to Congressional oversight/review, or part of the "normal career path" for such functions for ages.

Such as?

I didn't keep examples "at hand" because I never honestly thought this would come up as even being an issue. I'm not even sure at the moment how I would even frame a google search to start looking for examples. As I alluded to, the difference with Trump is the degree and extent to which he is doing so. Usually the "unofficial official envoy" scenario is either alternately intended to be relatively low-key for obvious reasons(they don't want attention), or for enabling communications with countries that official relations aren't currently possible for various reasons, but an open visit isn't too much of an issue for that category of person. (Iran, Cuba, North Korea come to mind specifically).
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 03:20:11 PM

I didn't keep examples "at hand" because I never honestly thought this would come up as even being an issue. I'm not even sure at the moment how I would even frame a google search to start looking for examples. As I alluded to, the difference with Trump is the degree and extent to which he is doing so. Usually the "unofficial official envoy" scenario is either alternately intended to be relatively low-key for obvious reasons(they don't want attention), or for enabling communications with countries that official relations aren't currently possible for various reasons, but an open visit isn't too much of an issue for that category of person. (Iran, Cuba, North Korea come to mind specifically).

I'm going to help out here.  What you're referring to are "Special Envoys".  Yes there is a history of them.  They are typically emergency appointments for temporary jobs. 

However.  Special envoys, paid or unpaid, are actual government employees, and are subject to government ethics.  The POTUS can appoint Special Envoys, paid or unpaid, in much the same way Ambassadors are appointed, except there is no Congressional oversight.  But they are all officially appointed.  They all hold a US Government title.  They are all subject to 18 U.S.C. and 5 CFR.  Because they are officially appointed GOVERNMENT AGENTS.   They are appointed by the POTUS, but work for the United States.  They are therefore subject to government employee ethics rules. 

Rudy isn't a special envoy.  He hasn't been appointed to anything except he was once called Trumps special advisor on cyber security.  But there was no official appointment.  He is Trump's personal lawyer.  He is not subject to government ethics rules. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 27, 2019, 03:48:35 PM
I'm going to help out here.  What you're referring to are "Special Envoys".  Yes there is a history of them.  They are typically emergency appointments for temporary jobs.

I need to get back to you on prior request, I'm not always sure if you guys realize how when you ask for an explanation like how the whistle blower complaint demonstrates something it takes quite a while to actually show the work on the math problem.

But I did want to help you out here, the word you're looking for is "tsar" or "csar" and you might have forgotten it because Trump has largely ended the practice which was relatively routine under Obama of appointing people to wield significant executive authority but skip the Senate confirm policy.  That said, Rudy would barely be on the bottom rung of the tsar category.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 04:18:00 PM
But I did want to help you out here, the word you're looking for is "tsar" or "csar" and you might have forgotten it because Trump has largely ended the practice which was relatively routine under Obama of appointing people to wield significant executive authority but skip the Senate confirm policy.  That said, Rudy would barely be on the bottom rung of the tsar category.

The term "Czar", as it relates to the United States, was coined and used by the press.  It also seems to be ambiguous, sometimes applied to individuals who were confirmed by the Senate, and sometimes not.  As far as I understand, not all positions of authority within the executive branch require Senate confirmation.  "Czar" is just a neat word that the press came up with.  Sometimes they are initially a Special Envoy and then given a permanent title when an actual department is created for them. 

Nonetheless, all of these individuals, however you wish to call them, paid or unpaid, temporary or eventually permanent, are official government employees.  They are all employed by the government and beholden to the public trust.  If they are paid, they are paid by the government, not the POTUS.  They are all subject to government employee ethics rules. 

Rudy Giuliani is not a "Czar".  He holds no official appointment within the US Government.  Doing so would reduce his effectiveness as Donald Trump's personal lawyer, which is what he is.  He is employed by Donald Trump himself, not the US Government.  He is not subject to US Government employee ethics rules.  He is, Trump's personal agent.  He is not a government agent. 

The difference between these roles, what it means, and who should be doing what, should be easily apparent. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on September 27, 2019, 04:31:22 PM
I agree with your analysis on who is paying Rudy and how it should work, but I completely disagree with that as a statement of how it in fact does and did work.  The vast majority of Obama's tsars were overwhelming loyal to him personally, and in fact, much of the bureaucracy is effectively loyal to the Democratic party.  Why do you think leaks are so prevalent with Trump?  It's not because he's especially noxious (though he is), it's because most of those guys are not only not loyal to them but deliberately adverse.

I mean rep Swalwell (?) flat out said it's an admission of guilt that this transcript was moved to the more secure server, and it's been intimated that other such discussions were "inappropriately moved" as well.  Of course, I've seen it reported, though you have to look for it, that the practice of moving Presidential conversations to the more secure servers started after, and is a direct response to, 4 or 5 leaks of Presidential conversations with foreign leaders to the media, several of which had diplomatic impacts.  That's treachery, and I don't recall it ever happening under any prior President, and the leaks themselves where almost exclusively politically damaging without being criminal or even particularly questionable.

Sounds reasonable to me.  Presidential calls - absent a compelling whistleblower case - should never ever have been leaked, and then only to Congress not the media.  Ask yourself some real questions about the timeline here.

Does it not seem an interesting coincidence that the standup patriot whistleblower didn't send the report to the Intelligence committee, even though that was expressly authorized by the statute?  Instead leaked it to the media?  Imagine, just for a second, how frustrated Shiff would be if he already had the whistleblower report in hand but it hadn't been provided by the admin, and then the "deadline" came and went but he couldn't see an easy way to call the President out. What to do?  Create a leak to the media, now the whole thing is in public where he wanted it and he can act on the information without triggering an investigation of himself for the breach of security and potential criminality of the leak.  And he's cleansed of the bad optics of being the one who reveals the report.  I don't even think that's a "remote" possibility, I think it's what happened.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 27, 2019, 04:41:34 PM
Wow, you seem really confused on the basics of what has happened here, Seriati. I suggest you read the news reports again, more carefully. Also the statute. There was NOT a clear authorization for the WB to transmit the report to the committees when both
1) It had been found urgent and credible by ICIG.
2) DNI refused to transmit.

And there's zero evidence that Schiff had the complaint in hand before it was publicly released to him.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 05:21:05 PM
I agree with your analysis on who is paying Rudy and how it should work, but I completely disagree with that as a statement of how it in fact does and did work.  The vast majority of Obama's tsars were overwhelming loyal to him personally, and in fact, much of the bureaucracy is effectively loyal to the Democratic party.

The difference, as I've pointed out before, and as you allude to, is the expectations placed upon the individuals.  Government employees are indeed expected to act a certain way, and be beholden to the public trust, and their responsibilities are laid out by law and regulation, and can suffer penalties for breaking the public trust.  Private employees are not expected to act in a certain way.  They are not subject to any penalties.  In fact, being his personal lawyer, Rudy would be subject to penalties if he did NOT put his client first. 

Quote
Why do you think leaks are so prevalent with Trump?  It's not because he's especially noxious (though he is), it's because most of those guys are not only not loyal to them but deliberately adverse.

How could you tell the difference? I mean, if you admit that he is especially noxious (though this is undefined, what do you mean by especially noxious?), how could you tell the difference between people leaking on him because he is noxious or because they are disloyal to His Yugeness, Donald Trump? 

Government employees really are not supposed to be loyal to the President personally.  They are supposed to be loyal to the public trust and the government.  Now,  the POTUS is an important figure in the government, but he is not the government itself or the public trust. 

Quote
That's treachery, and I don't recall it ever happening under any prior President, and the leaks themselves where almost exclusively politically damaging without being criminal or even particularly questionable.

I'd certainly agree that leaking POTUS phone calls with foreign leaders to the press is not only illegal, but is damaging, and possibly treasonous, but in a very narrow corridor.  But I don't know if Trump is particularly a victim of these types of leaks, or if he is, whether these leaks are a result of partisan politics or because Trump is especially noxious (your words).  I'm uncertain how many phone calls from George W Bush leaked.  I'm honestly of the opinion that by his second term, he was far more hated by more Americans than Trump ever has been.  Is George W Bush not noxious?  Where does George W Bush fall on the noxious scale? 

I mean, if Trump wasn't especially noxious, would he be saying these things on the phone with the Presidents of Australia and Mexico that were leaked and were exclusively politically damaging without being criminal?  That would seem to show that the noxicity of Trump directly relates to how many of his phone calls get leaked. 

Quote
Presidential calls - absent a compelling whistleblower case - should never ever have been leaked, and then only to Congress not the media.

Sounds right to me.  Individuals caught leaking Presidential calls absent a compelling whistleblower case should be prosecuted. 

Quote
Does it not seem an interesting coincidence that the standup patriot whistleblower didn't send the report to the Intelligence committee, even though that was expressly authorized by the statute?

 I'm looking at the memo right now, and the memo is addressed in part to Adam Schiff, Chairman, Permanant Select Committee on Intelligence, US House of Representatives.  The memo was released by the Intelligence Committee, not the whistleblower.  The Intelligence Committee was informed of the whistleblower complaint by the IG, not by leak. 



Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 27, 2019, 05:21:30 PM
And there's zero evidence that Schiff had the complaint in hand before it was publicly released to him.

So when Schiff tweeted the text below two weeks before the WB he was just, what, guessing? He sure got lucky with that guess.
 
"Trump is withholding vital military aid to Ukraine, while his personal lawyer seeks help from the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent

It doesn’t take a stable genius to see the magnitude of this conflict.

Or how destructive it is to our national security."


Yep, zero evidence he knew about the complaint before it was publicly released to him.

editl: maybe this where you get pedantic and say "well, that doesn't mean he had a physical report in his hand..."
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 05:28:41 PM

So when Schiff tweeted the text below two weeks before the WB he was just, what, guessing? He sure got lucky with that guess.
 
"Trump is withholding vital military aid to Ukraine, while his personal lawyer seeks help from the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent

It doesn’t take a stable genius to see the magnitude of this conflict.

Or how destructive it is to our national security."


Yep, zero evidence he knew about the complaint before it was publicly released to him.

editl: maybe this where you get pedantic and say "well, that doesn't mean he had a physical report in his hand..."

You didn't need to know about the whistleblower report or about the phone call to know that Trump was withholding aid to Ukraine.  It was reported by the Media by July 28th.  Guilani admitted he was asking Ukrainian officials about Biden on national television.  Three house committees were investigating Trump and Guiliani before the IG sent a letter to Schiff and Nunes informing them of the complaint. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 27, 2019, 05:33:01 PM
https://www.lawfareblog.com/timeline-trump-ukraine-scandal

Going forward, if you have not looked at and read through and understand the timeline involved in this affair, and it is discovered through error, I don't feel like I should be engaging.  If you're uneducated on the current matter, and do not understand the timeline and the implications, I would advise you to not even talk to your friends and family or anyone online about the matter.  You could be inadvertently guilty of spreading Fake News. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 27, 2019, 06:13:46 PM
Let’s flesh out the timeline a little more:

Quote
In August 2019, the intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings.

Isn’t that quite the coincidence? They charge the rules just in time for this to move forward. Amazing! What are the odds?

Quote
The markings on the document state that it was revised in August 2019, but no specific date of revision is disclosed.
It was written the very same month the regulations were changed! Incredible! Such a weird coincidence.

Quote
Reached by phone on Friday afternoon, a Director of National Intelligence official refused to comment on any questions about the secret revision to the whistleblower form, including when it was revised to eliminate the requirement of first-hand knowledge and for what reason.

Ok, I’m calling bull*censored* on all of it. This is an intelligence operation to unseat the president.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 27, 2019, 11:36:44 PM
It's hilarious that you think this is exculpatory for Trump. Not whether the allegations are true, mind you, but whether the form upon which the allegations were recorded was changed recently.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 28, 2019, 12:28:32 AM
It's hilarious that you think this is exculpatory for Trump. Not whether the allegations are true, mind you, but whether the form upon which the allegations were recorded was changed recently.

Jeez, Scifi.  This is Deep State 101.  This is how the CIA operates.

But have no fear. TruRepublicans TM will never forget how the Deep State, the Democrats, and the vile forces within the CIA launched a coup against the rightful President by changing forms. They FINALLY CROSSED THE LINE!  CHANGING FORMS! Never before in history...

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 28, 2019, 09:25:05 AM
It's hilarious that you think this is exculpatory for Trump. Not whether the allegations are true, mind you, but whether the form upon which the allegations were recorded was changed recently.

The call transcript and statements from those with direct knowledge of the call are what is exculpatory. Nothing in the call or complaint are what we were told it was. The allegations are, at best, second hand rumors that do not match up with the facts, mind you.  A guy has a friend who knew someone that said something. That’s literally the basis of the complaint. It even lists Twitter as a source. Frigging Twitter!? And it’s all something that the Democrats have openly done and/or bragged about doing. But, you seem to think this is perfectly fine for Democrats to do. It’s only wrong if Trump is accused of doing it - he doesn’t have to do it, just be accused of it by someone who was not even there.

That’s just the facts, you can’t escape that unless you just want to make up more stuff. Given all that, I really don’t think you guys are too interested in the truth. It would just be a nice coincidence if the truth was aligned with this.

What has become clear is that Schiff and the gang had prior knowledge of the complaint, well before it was filed. He and other democrats colluded to create this complaint. The complaint was obviously written by lawyers, not a whistleblower, according to former intelligence agents with direct knowledge of how these complaints work. Then the regulations were mysteriously changed specifically to allow this one faux complaint to move forward.

It’s transparently bull*censored*.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on September 28, 2019, 09:53:47 AM
It's hilarious that you think this is exculpatory for Trump. Not whether the allegations are true, mind you, but whether the form upon which the allegations were recorded was changed recently.

Two things can be true at the same time; Trump could have done impeachable stuff *and* there could be the largest concerted, and often clandestine effort to remove a sitting president in modern history.

I’m open to the former, but haven’t seen anything concrete at all, just a bunch of could-be-interpreted-as and possibly-suggests — if something actually substantial is revealed, I’m for impeachment. I've also admitted I don’t know the level of proof needed for proving impeachable actions, I’ve always assumed it’s at least comparable to our legal system's burden of proof, but maybe I’m wrong on that. I *have on the other hand, seen clear and deliberate results of the latter (constant flow of leaks, overwhelming media bias, often fed from said leaks, changing key WB submission qualifications at an amazingly convenient time, etc.)

People are seriously surprised when a large contingent of the country call BS on the scandal de jour? If the push against Trump by the media and dems hadn’t been so transparent and emotionally over the top from day one, he'd have been 10x easier to get rid of and his re-election would have been a pipe dream. Now it’s a lock.



Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 28, 2019, 02:01:06 PM
Quote
Former national security adviser Susan Rice acknowledged last night that the Obama administration moved transcripts of conversations with foreign leaders onto the same top-secret server where the Trump administration stored his recent phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Quote
But reporting from ABC News shows that this practice of securing presidential phone transcripts has been in use in the White House since early 2017, after sensitive conversations with foreign leaders were leaked to the press.

From ABC News: “The two calls in early 2017, with leaders from Australia and from Mexico, leaked early in Trump’s administration, and sources said the procedure to store them quickly changed — many calls between the president and world leaders instead were stored in a secure server to avoid leaks. The sources who talked to ABC News did caution that it’s unclear if the calls being stored were done so for national security or for political concerns.”

One source cited by ABC News described the practice as “basically standard operating procedure.”

So now we know that the Obama administration started doing this and did so on multiple occasions. Trump was doing precisely what Obama did, no big deal then but now it’s a problem?

Trump, because of the incredible number of leaks about confidential meetings with other leaders, does this a lot apparently. It’s perfectly reasonable to continue the previous administration’s process in the face of these leaks.

Once again, the facts blow second hand rumors out of the water.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 28, 2019, 04:02:48 PM
Once again, the facts blow second hand rumors out of the water.

You can't fight the Deep State.  This is only part of the plan.  Deep State Agents, even now, are embedded throughout all agencies of the Federal Government.  What you have witnessed is only the beginning of the plot to overthrow the President.  Led by Nancy Pelosi and the Grand Master (can't tell you his name but you can research shareholders of Chase Manhattan), the intricate plan is unstoppable.  After Donald Trump is impeached, he will be eliminated by Deep State Agents in an apparent accident.  Then President Pelosi will declare martial law and begin seizing AR-15s and outlawing Fox News.  Don't let your facts get in the way of knowing that the Deep State is unstoppable.  Hail Hydra. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 29, 2019, 12:32:06 AM
Actually the WB report is totally consistent with the call summary. And it was already public knowledge that Giuliani was running around Ukraine trying to get people to investigate Biden and the 4th-rate conspiracy theory about Crowdstrike's server, because it would be "helpful to his client" (who is not the U.S.). And lots of other corroboration exists.

That's why the play is "deeeeeep staaaaate" - because the allegations are true, and the only hope is to try to make people believe that they are somehow negated if people in the government personally want Trump out.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 29, 2019, 08:31:29 AM
Once again, the facts blow second hand rumors out of the water.

You can't fight the Deep State.  This is only part of the plan.  Deep State Agents, even now, are embedded throughout all agencies of the Federal Government.  What you have witnessed is only the beginning of the plot to overthrow the President.  Led by Nancy Pelosi and the Grand Master (can't tell you his name but you can research shareholders of Chase Manhattan), the intricate plan is unstoppable.  After Donald Trump is impeached, he will be eliminated by Deep State Agents in an apparent accident.  Then President Pelosi will declare martial law and begin seizing AR-15s and outlawing Fox News.  Don't let your facts get in the way of knowing that the Deep State is unstoppable.  Hail Hydra.

I suppose this feels smart. All about muh feelz.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 29, 2019, 08:32:42 AM
Actually the WB report is totally consistent with the call summary. And it was already public knowledge that Giuliani was running around Ukraine trying to get people to investigate Biden and the 4th-rate conspiracy theory about Crowdstrike's server, because it would be "helpful to his client" (who is not the U.S.). And lots of other corroboration exists.

That's why the play is "deeeeeep staaaaate" - because the allegations are true, and the only hope is to try to make people believe that they are somehow negated if people in the government personally want Trump out.

And so was Schiff’s summary, right? How about mentioning Biden 8 times? What about the lack of quid pro quo? The call transcript is nothing like what we were told
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 29, 2019, 08:41:02 AM
After all this, what crime is Trump supposed to have committed on this call? Specifically, what section of the US code was violated?

Why does Trump not have his 6th amendment rights?

Why is it ok for Democrats to actually do, multiple times, what Trump is accused of?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on September 29, 2019, 02:03:30 PM
The Judiciary has ruled in the past when brought into Impeachment proceedings in the past:

Impeachment is a political act, not a judicial one.

As such, the bar that needs to be cleared for an impeachment to happen is entirely political rather than legal in nature.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 29, 2019, 04:27:06 PM
So what you’re saying is that no laws were broken?

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign has contacted the news networks demanding that Giuliani no longer be allowed on the air.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 29, 2019, 04:27:33 PM
I suppose this feels smart. All about muh feelz.

Do you or do you not acknowledge that if there is such a thing as the Deep State, full of ideological progressives, encompassing multiple departments of the Federal Government, in particular the FBI and CIA, and primarily composed of lifelong career federal employees, and organized through some means to coordinate with other parts of the Deep State and the Democrats in Congress, and that if the current scandal is a plot designed and undertaken by this selfsame secret organization full of career FBI and CIA agents, that this secret organization is either inept, since you claim that the facts have blown the second hand accusations out of the water, and by association the FBI and CIA is then inept, or that everything that has so far happened has been part of the plan of these Federal agents secretly ensconced inside the CIA and FBI and that the plot to overthrow the President is not over? 

You must choose, Crunch.  The Deep State is nefarious and dangerous, or the Deep State is utterly ridiculous and inept. 

Quote
And so was Schiff’s summary, right? How about mentioning Biden 8 times? What about the lack of quid pro quo? The call transcript is nothing like what we were told

I'm unclear what you are upset about.  You're upset that Schiff went for theater?  Or that the Wall Street Journal (also part of the Deep State, that) was incorrect on the number of times Biden was mentioned?  Who exactly are you upset at?  Who told you want the call transcript was going to be like that you find egregiously incorrect?  What does that have to do with what was in the Whistleblower complaint and what was in the transcript? 

Another summary:
Crunch:  Facts blow second hand rumors out of he water.
Scifi:  Actually, the WB report is consistent with the call summary.
Crunch:  What about Schiff and the WSJ? 

What I see above is someone who made an assertion, then was countered, and then completely ignored the counter and changed the subject.  This is what I see when I read that:

Poor Magician:  Watch me make this rabbit dissapear! Alakazam!
Audience Member: It's under the table. 
Poor Magician:  Watch me saw this chicken in half! 

By ignoring the counter, you give it strength.  I don't know if that was your goal, but that is what happened. 

Quote
After all this, what crime is Trump supposed to have committed on this call? Specifically, what section of the US code was violated?

That's a good question but at the same time it reveals a kind of ignorance.  As I've stated before, there has been no reference to any rule violated by POTUS in the USC or CFR.  That's probably because there is none!  As I mentioned earlier, most rules are aimed towards Federal Employees, of which by the definition in the USC, the President, Vice President, and members of Congress, are not.  They are elected Constitutional Officers. 

Nevertheless, there are bodies formed and rules promulgated to police ethics within this group of individuals.  Congress have their own ethics rules and investigative procedures and methods of enforcement.  This typically includes censure and impeachment or expulsion.  This goes for the POTUS as well.  Congress as a whole is responsible for impeachment of the POTUS. 

Do you need to violate an actual law or USC or CFR to be impeached or censured?  It certainly helps, but the answer that Congress and history gives is a resounding "no".  Firstly, as mentioned, there is no clear set of ethics rules for the POTUS.  But cause for impeachment generally falls under three categories; improperly exceeding or abusing powers of the office, behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office, and misusing the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain. 

Trump is obviously accused of the third category of offense.  Yet you can see that a criminal offense is not necessary for any of these offenses to have occurred.  Like scifi said, impeachment is a political action, not a legal action or criminal trial. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 29, 2019, 04:38:01 PM
The deep state comedy schtick is what I’m pointing out. Obviously.

Another summary:
Crunch: Facts blow second hand rumors out of the water
scifi: The WB report is consistent with the call summary
Crunch: it is not. It’s second hand rumor and twitter posts.

I know well that impeachment is a political and not a legal process. I wanted others to come to that conclusion on their own and make the point for me. Thus, a few leading questions. Now that you confirm the obvious of no crime being committed , that (let’s confirm the third option you make, a quid pro quo, did not happen on that call. Anyone can read the transcript and see that. Also, perhaps you can enlighten us on why the democrats actually doing it is not a problem but for Trump to be accused of it is impeachable.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 29, 2019, 05:23:39 PM
Another summary:
Crunch: Facts blow second hand rumors out of the water
scifi: The WB report is consistent with the call summary
Crunch: it is not. It’s second hand rumor and twitter posts.

See, this is much better.  But this isn't what you said last time. 

Second hand rumor, or hearsay, is not proof, but you do not need proof to open an investigation.  If you needed proof to open an investigation, you would not need investigations, and you could go directly to trial or impeachment.  This is pretty obvious. 

The WB report specifically said that on the call the President tried to advance his own personal interests.  He did that.  He requested an investigation on Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.  That's in his own personal interests.  The WB report also reports that officials said that Trump put pressure on Zelenskyy to make these investigations.  This is a little more unclear, because we have no clear definition of what constitutes "pressuring".  If my wife simply asks me to take the garbage out, is she pressuring me?  Meh.  I'd say so.  I know what's going to happen if I don't.  On the other hand, describing something as a "favor" means that it is generally requested without pressure.  It's pretty tricky. 

Trump did indeed praise Lutsenko, as the WB report stated.  Overall, as a second hand intelligence report, I give the Deep State spy against the Trump Admin a pretty good reliability rating. 

Finally, I don't see the problem with using Rudy's Twitter posts to say that he said something.  If the WB wants to show that Rudy is involved in getting dirt on Biden from Ukraine, it's perfectly fair to point to Rudy's own tweets and television appearances where he stated he was doing that exact thing.  The whole point was to show that there was ample evidence that Rudy was indeed conducting a dirt mission for Trump with the Ukrainians outside of the US Government.   Remember, Rudy is not a member of the Government.  But Trump is asking Z to give information to him.  As Trump's personal lawyer. 

Quote
I wanted others to come to that conclusion on their own and make the point for me. Thus, a few leading questions.

You're brilliant, Crunch.  We would have never known that if you had not made such intelligent leading questions. 

Quote
a quid pro quo, did not happen on that call. Anyone can read the transcript and see that.

The call does not prove or disprove quid pro quo.  In fact, it's more damaging then not, because it shows that quid pro quo COULD be happening, despite it not being spelled out explicitly in the call.  It would have been better if the call and removed that possibility.  It would have been better if Trump had never frozen Ukrainian aid while simultaneously seeking a "favor" from them.  It changes the arithmetic. 

Quote
perhaps you can enlighten us on why the democrats actually doing it is not a problem but for Trump to be accused of it is impeachable.

I suppose you're talking about Biden.  I don't know why.  This is another "watch me saw this chicken in half" moment.  Because regardless is has nothing to do with whether what Trump did was wrong, but rather whether Democrats were getting away with something they should not have been, or if Democrats are charging Trump with doing something that is not wrong.

A scene at the Rabun County Courthouse, Georgia.

BH:  Yer Honer, Jonny McCoy's been *censored*in muh pigs.
JM:  Weyl, yer Honer, Billy Hatfield's been *censored*in MUH pigs! 

Now.  There are three possibilities.  The first possibility is that neither of the witnesses in front of Judge Conyers are having sexual intercourse with swine.  In this case, both are lying to get the other in trouble.  Both men are rotten for being liars. 

The second possibility is that only one of the men is having relations with swine.  In this case, one of the men is both a liar and a pig*censored*er. 

The third possibility is that both men are in the habit of knowing swine in the biblical manner.  They're both going to be hung and then go to hell.   

Now let's apply this to Biden and Trump.  You want to know why Biden gets away with something that Trump gets impeached for?  You are drawing a clear equivalency between the two men's actions.  So, did both Biden and Trump do something wrong?  Or did both Biden and Trump do something that wasn't wrong?

If Biden and Trump both did nothing wrong, there should be no complaint that Biden was no impeached.  This was correct action.  If indeed what Biden and Trump did was equivalent. 

If on the other hand, both Biden and Trump did something wrong, you should be praising the Democratic Congress for doing the right thing and castigating the Republican Congress for failing to impeach VP Biden.  I don't understand how they could make such an error, unless they too were part of the Deep State.  This may very well be the case.  I've heard enough complaints about Speaker Ryan to believe he may indeed have been a Deep State agent.

The final option is that what Biden and Trump both did are not equivalent.  Something to think about.   
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on September 30, 2019, 08:09:41 AM
Quote
See, this is much better.  But this isn't what you said last time. 

I understand.  I will carefully spell these things out next time and try to use single syllable words as much as possible so even you can understand the obvious meaning.

Quote
You're brilliant, Crunch.  We would have never known that if you had not made such intelligent leading questions. 

This is a forum where, if I object to racial segregation, quite a few will blindly chime in and support racial segregation as a great thing. Sometimes I do need people to figure out the answers before I commit to a particular fact. It’s complicated, but you’re gonna be ok.

Quote
The call does not prove or disprove quid pro quo.
The how is it an impeachable offense?

Quote
I suppose you're talking about Biden.  I don't know why.  This is another "watch me saw this chicken in half" moment.

I will walk you through it, hold my hand. Biden, as Vice President, extorted the Ukraine to halt a prosecution of his son. Biden has openly bragged about this. Biden is now the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president - the office that Trump currently holds, you know. So why do you think it’s ok for Biden to have actually done what Trump is accused of by anonymous sources?

There’s more. Leahy, Menendez, and other Democrats sent a letter to the Ukraine threatening the loss of aid if Ukraine did not investigate Trump. Again, exactly what Trump is accused of doing. This is considered perfectly fine for them to do and impeachable for Trump. Can you explain why?

Quote
The final option is that what Biden and Trump both did are not equivalent.  Something to think about.   

They are not.  You should think about that. Let me know if I can help.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on September 30, 2019, 09:12:37 AM
The second one sounds like what Trump is being accused of.  The first though?  That sounds like it would tie our hands in pretty much all dealings with foreign powers...

Putting pressure on a foreign leader is not at issue.  Doing so for your personal gain rather than national interest, is.

I'm no Biden fan.  Maybe he did do just that, but all the timeline info I've seen so far makes that seem unlikely.  But... here we have his son, in the right place at the right time to make money.  Everything (well, one small thing) I think is wrong with our government.  I'd feel a lot better about the investigation into such nepotism / corruption if it wasn't by a man who gives all appearances of trying to trump those who went before him on that front.   ::)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 30, 2019, 11:30:19 AM
The how is it an impeachable offense?

That seems to be a matter of opinion.  Firstly, we're not into impeachment proceedings yet.  We're not even into calling for a vote for impeachment in the House.  What has happened is that three different investigations in three different House Committees have been turned into impeachment investigations.  There is a great deal of smoke.  Some people say they can see a gun.  Personally, I don't see one clearly, but I can see all the smoke.  Because the House is still in investigation mode, they are still looking for more corroborating evidence.  They're going to call people up.  They're going to dig.  That's all that is going on at this point.  There is plenty of momentum for impeachment.  I'm sure that is plenty motivated by partisanship and Trump's general unpopularity.  But there are some pretty smart lawyerly people, not necessarily hyper partisan and not Democrats, that say this would be enough in a criminal court with a jury.  ::shrug::

Quote
I will walk you through it, hold my hand. Biden, as Vice President, extorted the Ukraine to halt a prosecution of his son. Biden has openly bragged about this. Biden is now the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president - the office that Trump currently holds, you know. So why do you think it’s ok for Biden to have actually done what Trump is accused of by anonymous sources?

Thanks for holding my hand on this.  It's been so long.  Nobody has wanted to touch me since I was diagnosed with timethylaminuria.   :'( 

Your premise is that Biden did something wrong that they are accusing Trump of doing who is innocent.  OK. 

1.  You should probably talk to Republican Congressmen about this problem.  My impression was that this was no secret.  Wanting to get rid of the old prosecutor was a foreign policy aim.  Why didn't the Republican Congress impeach Biden when this occured.  My guess is that Ryan and McCain were part of the Deep State. 

2.  The Trump accusation has been that the Ukrainian General Prosecutor was fired BECAUSE he was investigating the oil company Hunter Biden was on the board of.  But there is just as much if not more evidence that the prosecutor was fired because he WASN'T investigating the oil company.  Currently, Ukraine is saying there was no wrongdoing.  Currently, Ukraine is saying that the old prosecutor was corrupt.  This is corroborated by several different European countries.  So where is the evidence that Joe Biden did this to help Hunter Biden? 

3.  The whistleblower is NOT anonymous.  Their name is on the report they turned in to the IG.  It's just that YOU and I don't know who the whistleblower is, because it's not necessary to know who they are to deal exclusively with the accusations.  The IG knows who they are.  But I guess the IG is part of the Deep State.  Along with the DNI. 

Quote
There’s more. Leahy, Menendez, and other Democrats sent a letter to the Ukraine threatening the loss of aid if Ukraine did not investigate Trump. Again, exactly what Trump is accused of doing. This is considered perfectly fine for them to do and impeachable for Trump. Can you explain why?

This is silly.  It's like a puppy chasing it's tail.  The Mueller Investigation was an official investigation by the United States.  Of course the Senate should threaten loss of aid if a foreign country is not cooperating with an investigation of a possible crime that occurred in the United States or by US Citizens.  The difference is that the Mueller Investigation was an official investigation by the US Government and the Biden Investigation seems to be a personal one undertaken by the President.  We've gone over this before. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 30, 2019, 12:30:42 PM
I want people to know that the law governing WB reports never required only "first hand" information, and also that disclosure forms prior to August 2019 had explicit checkboxes for both types of information.

The Federalist (consider your sources people) story that there was a secret conspiracy to remove the requirement for firsthand information is a silly red herring.

Informative thread:
https://twitter.com/kpoulsen/status/1177734528833445888 (https://twitter.com/kpoulsen/status/1177734528833445888)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 30, 2019, 12:50:56 PM
I want people to know that the law governing WB reports never required only "first hand" information, and also that disclosure forms prior to August 2019 had explicit checkboxes for both types of information.

The Federalist (consider your sources people) story that there was a secret conspiracy to remove the requirement for firsthand information is a silly red herring.

I figured as much, since everybody was jumping on this single source who came up with the old forms but did not publish it in full.  I was always curious if the old forms were fakes. 

That being said, I still have not seen this officially corroborated by anyone in the ICIG office.  The story broke wide open on Friday evening, so I suppose they were all off for the weekend, but I was and am still surprised that something official has not been put out.  As far as I know, everything has been faked except the new form.  There still is no statement going over when exactly the form was revised, when the decision making process began, what the reasoning was, when it was decided upon and who did it.  The new twitter source is using the same document, but puts more of it out there, including putting in the checkbox that is also on the new form.  But the new form does not have the same instructions as the old form concerning only taking first hand information seriously. 

This is one of those stories that feed the Deep State conspiracy theory.  There are still questions that need to be asked to see if the forms or policy was changed in direct response to the Trump whistleblower, and what the reasoning behind it was.  Republican Congressmen should investigate.  But jumping to conclusions was the wrong way to go.  Anything that looks too good should always be suspect. 

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 30, 2019, 06:02:47 PM
Here's the official response:

https://www.dni.gov/files/ICIG/Documents/News/ICIG%20News/2019/September%2030%20-%20Statement%20on%20Processing%20of%20Whistleblower%20Complaints/ICIG%20Statement%20on%20Processing%20of%20Whistleblower%20Complaints.pdf

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on September 30, 2019, 06:10:16 PM
Couple of points from the above:

1) Requiring a WB to have direct knowledge would not be consistent with the law.

Quote
In fact, by law the Complainant
– or any individual in the Intelligence Community who wants to report information with respect
to an urgent concern to the congressional intelligence committees – need not possess first-hand
information in order to file a complaint or information with respect to an urgent concern. The
ICIG cannot add conditions to the filing of an urgent concern that do not exist in law.

So, this language (which was indeed provided to the WB) was not consistent with the law:

Quote
If you
think wrongdoing took place, but can provide nothing more than secondhand or unsubstantiated assertions, IC IG will not be able to process the
complaint or information for submission as an ICWPA.

As the statement elaborates, the ICIG can and should investigate WB complaints which contain secondhand information - which might include talking to people who told the WB information.


2) It further explains that the WB checked both boxes - both first and secondhand information. They confirmed that the WB had primary access to some of the information in the complaint, and interviewed other people who had direct knowledge of events described in the complaint.

3) They realized that language indicating they couldn't accept or process complaints that didn't depend on direct knowledge wasn't consistent with the law, so they updated some forms to clear up the confusion.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Grant on September 30, 2019, 06:15:50 PM
Here's the official response:

This was definitely written by a Deepstate Agent who is part of the coup attempt on the President.  I find it suspiciously convenient that the new Hotline Program Manager for the ICIG was hired just two months before the whistle-blower submitted his letter.  Obviously another member of the Deepstate.  Then you have the ICIG himself, a definite member of the Deepstate.  And the acting DNI, despite holding the report back from Congress, was revealed as a Deepstate Agent when he reported that he believed ICIG and Whistleblower were acting in good faith in testimony to Congress. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 01, 2019, 11:04:59 AM
The how is it an impeachable offense?

That seems to be a matter of opinion.  Firstly, we're not into impeachment proceedings yet.  We're not even into calling for a vote for impeachment in the House.  What has happened is that three different investigations in three different House Committees have been turned into impeachment investigations.  There is a great deal of smoke.  Some people say they can see a gun.  Personally, I don't see one clearly, but I can see all the smoke.  Because the House is still in investigation mode, they are still looking for more corroborating evidence.  They're going to call people up.  They're going to dig.  That's all that is going on at this point.  There is plenty of momentum for impeachment.  I'm sure that is plenty motivated by partisanship and Trump's general unpopularity.  But there are some pretty smart lawyerly people, not necessarily hyper partisan and not Democrats, that say this would be enough in a criminal court with a jury.  ::shrug::

Plenty of smoke indeed, most of it seems to be coming from the smoke machine the DNC has made sure to provision for however. The funhouse mirrors are a nice touch as well.

Prediction: It's going to continue to be a "funhouse activity" for the Democrats in the House for a few more months, they're not in an actual hurry, the more time they can keep things focused on Trump rather than anything substantial(and positive) for Trump is an expected win for them. (I doubt it will play out that way for them, however).

The Grand Strategy at this point is they'll likely move to have a formal floor vote in the House sometime around December/January time frame, realistically, if they can drag it out until March/April they'd be giddy in other ways. They want the Republicans to go on record as voting for or against impeachment on Donald Trump. It just is a question of how they're trying to target Republican Congress members.

If they go for December/January, the goal is to upset Republican voters and see if the Congressman can end up being Primaried by a train-wreck option for the General Election -- Which makes it easier for Democrats to possibly snipe the seat.

If they go for March/April or even May/June, they're looking to use it as a political totem to go after the Republican incumbents in the General Election.

This isn't actually about Donald Trump.

It's about the calculus of how a sitting Republican voting for or against Trump's Impeachment is likely to impact the re-electability in the next general election.

Of course, the Dems also need to gather more data about how their "Purple districts" will hold up in the wake of such a vote in the House, not to mention the Senate. So in the mean time, it's funhouse time with the smoke machine until they have to either kill it before it ever reaches the House Floor, or go ahead and bring out the clowns.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 01, 2019, 11:17:57 AM
All this "Deep State" stuff keeps getting more and more bemusing as it goes on.  As if it requires some grand conspiracy that the entire apparatus of government is allergic to Trump's personality, statements/tweets, and actions.  It requires no coordination or planning.  Huge swaths of the world want this embarrassment to end.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 01, 2019, 02:55:44 PM
"This isn't actually about Donald Trump."

You're completely wrong. Donald Trump is a national embarrassment and is dangerous. Look at his response so far to the mere stirrings of the House against him: suggesting that Schiff be arrested for "Treason" - in total ignorance of Constitution. Saying he's trying to out the whistleblower, in violation of the law. Suggesting that "spies" in the administration should be dealt with the old fashioned way.

Imagine what he's willing to do if it looks like he's going to be removed from office?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 02, 2019, 12:24:10 PM
Imagine what he's willing to do if it looks like he's going to be removed from office?

Luckily, Trump isn't a very inspirational person, and not THAT loyalty inducing/charismatic. The moment he tries to move clearly outside constitutional boundaries, he's toast. Emphasis needs to be placed on bother "clearly" and "constitutional" in the above, statutory law and traditional practices are different matters, and people on Trump's may be more inclined to let those slide with a grimmace.

Otherwise he's a bloviator in chief, and as long as he only bloviates, how others respond to that or try to frame it in a legal context is their own problem. Unless they have concrete actions to point to that violate the Constitution, it's not likely to go anywhere with Trump's support base.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on October 02, 2019, 01:33:54 PM
Luckily, Trump isn't a very inspirational person, and not THAT loyalty inducing/charismatic. The moment he tries to move clearly outside constitutional boundaries, he's toast. Emphasis needs to be placed on bother "clearly" and "constitutional" in the above, statutory law and traditional practices are different matters, and people on Trump's may be more inclined to let those slide with a grimmace.

Otherwise he's a bloviator in chief, and as long as he only bloviates, how others respond to that or try to frame it in a legal context is their own problem. Unless they have concrete actions to point to that violate the Constitution, it's not likely to go anywhere with Trump's support base.

He'll have no institutional support but I think people who support Trump will continue to do so far beyond simple violations of the Constitution. There are too many possible justifications already circulating for them to accept that kind of betrayal easily. Especially since the most likely move is to resist impeachment or losing the election.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 02, 2019, 01:56:27 PM
Quote
"This isn't actually about Donald Trump."

You're completely wrong. Donald Trump is a national embarrassment and is dangerous.

This may actually be about his followers. Personally I think they are undermining there own foundation. Sadly I suspect they may not notice until they hit the ground.
Even then maybe not as that won't fit the narrative, Foundations are for the week, no foundation no ground, and falling is flying   
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 02, 2019, 02:15:43 PM
I'd just like to mention something, since things have gotten a bit out of hand with the deep state jokes (not that I invoked that term myself). The idea of the deep state does not at all imply clandestine conspiracies and men in smoking jackets and leather armchairs like in the X-Files. I suppose it can include that too, but that's not the requisite definition of it. The idea of a deep state is simply the obvious: that there are elements in government and in power that are not elected positions and not subject to direct oversight. This should more or less be a "duh" concept for people. The scoffing comes when it sounds like tinfoil hat stuff. But that's just a strawman destabilization technique to avoid what really everyone knows, which is that many or even most of the real movers and shakers are people who don't appear in the news, and who remain in place regardless of which administration has been elected.

Earlier in the thread when I listed various organizations - banks, military industry, etc - which I listed in attempt to prevent trivializing the players in the game (which happened anyhow, even worse than before perhaps), the point I was making was that it's not just "what will Trump and his lackeys do" versus "what will the FBI do" versus "do the people support XYZ". That's a part of it, but a President only has so much power; and his options are guided by some gates that are pre-set for him. The will of the people can only apply itself so far; there is no mechanism for 'the people' to affect most things in government. And likewise the FBI isn't a person with a single will; it's made up of different people with different ideas, some of whom are likely double or triple agents. And lest you take that to mean some illuminati-type nonsense, it means they're working for a few people at the same time, which is more or less standard in certain types of employment. It happens all the time with 'freelance spies', information brokers, people who have one foot in law enforcement or the law, and the other in politics; it's quite common to have a diversified portfolio, if you want to call it that, in terms of the tasks one is conducting. The same is true of every member of Congress, in spades, where they have differing and often conflicting agendas going on to various ' business partners' (i.e. lobbyists and other fun people).

So when talking about NATO, the Ukraine, or anything else of a complex nature, it's just common sense that there will be many factors involved in how these steps are taken. Do you really think that people in high positions aren't in regular communication with Wall Street executives in order to get a sense of how foreign policy will affect the markets? Or that the potential contracts and payouts that will come from a military adventure somewhere aren't fully noted and taken into account? Or that the oil interests when occuping territory in the mid-East won't make their desires known, and have their powerful contacts make phone calls and meet with the President about what that could mean for the American economy? The list goes on. These things don't happen in a vaccuum. I won't even get into these media empires and what their interests might be. Actually to be fair that can be hard to tell.

As far as the impeachment goes this has been coordinated from the moment he was elected. It was always going to be "we are going to get him, the only question is how", and not "well if he does something wrong we'll be there to wipe his nose." And again, lest the word "coordinated" be trivialized, it does not have to mean secret meetings of 'the cabal' organizing and planning their actions carefully. It can mean that various interested parties all observed a similar situation that could advantage them and set about throwing fuel into the fire. Seeing a fire burning, and deciding to stoke the flames, does imply a coordinated effort towards a single goal, even though no actual meetings or advanced planned are required. It seems beyond question that de facto impeachment proceedings have been going on since inauguration, and IMO they are using a bit of a weak-sauce pretence for officially launching it right now. I suppose if enough of the big interests are behind it then it might go through, as lacking influence in the right circles probably means you're screwed as President anyhow.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 02, 2019, 03:50:28 PM
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As far as the impeachment goes this has been coordinated from the moment he was elected. It was always going to be "we are going to get him, the only question is how", and not "well if he does something wrong we'll be there to wipe his nose." And again, lest the word "coordinated" be trivialized, it does not have to mean secret meetings of 'the cabal' organizing and planning their actions carefully. It can mean that various interested parties all observed a similar situation that could advantage them and set about throwing fuel into the fire.

While I'm sure there are quite a few who look for how the situation could "advantage them," remember that most of the impeachment movement comes from Donald himself.

It was obvious (to many of us) that Donald would be a terrible President even before he was elected.  He is a narcissist, a know-it-all, a bully and a blowhard.  He lies openly and obviously, and attacks anyone who opposes him.  He has little to no respect for the law or norms.  Knowledge and competence are less important to him than loyalty and doing what he wants.  He was always out for himself above all others.  It was only a matter of time before he did something illegal and/or stupid.  The only question was when, where, and how bad.

In a situation like this, it's not "well if he does something wrong we'll be there to wipe his nose."  It's "WHEN he does something wrong..."  We have been expecting it; we have been on the lookout for it.  When you know there is a tiger in the tall grass, you prepare for it and keep you eyes open.  And you're not surprised when he comes out.

Yes, people may have jumped the gun before.  Other times, we have seen things we knew were wrong but didn't have enough proof and/or political clout to prove it.  Pelosi was cautious in what she went after.  And even this latest scandal may turn out to be jumping the gun.  But don't fool yourself--Trump is a terrible President, a rotten human being, and this Presidency will be remembered as one of the worst in American history.  And if those in the Deep State--those people who work for the government and try to keep it running--see how things are being messed up, it is not surprising that they would oppose the destruction of what they have spent years of their lives creating and maintaining--the U.S. government.  It doesn't need to be looking for an advantage for oneself.  It could just be that they don't want to see a good thing ruined by a bad President.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 02, 2019, 04:31:36 PM
I don't necessarily disagree, WS, that much of it is Trump's fault. However, and this is a big however, to the extent that it's Trump's fault it's due to things that are features rather than bugs, like it or not. The people voted, and this is what they wanted; they knew what they were getting. They knew what real estate people are like; they knew his spoken manner was full of BS. They knew he wheeled and dealed; in fact it was part of his platform. Now if he actually breaks the law I agree with you. I am all for holding them accountable, although not in a hypocritical or inconsistent fashion. But if it's about picking on something where a stumble on his part is technically illegal, but something everyone before him has done too and just covered better, I'm not in favor of utilizing such clumsiness as a pretext to do what those people wanted to do all along. It should not be a pretext, but rather something truly showing he crossed a line and is abusing his office. In such a case I'd want him gone as much as you. So far it feels like a pretext, much like Hillary's server may have been to many of her detractors. For those who already know what they want and are just looking for how to justify it, I'll push against that just on principle, which is why I'm sometimes on here 'defending' Trump. I actually don't want to defend him, but rather to defend against bad conscience politics (not accusing anyone here of that), regardless of whom their target is. Even against a bad guy, I'll push back against illict tactics. As it stands that leaves me in the position of sometimes taking 'the conservative side' even though I actually have zero stake in his Presidency, don't particularly like him or hope he looks great in the history books, and would have much preferred Bernie than anyone else in office. I just want to put all of these posts of mine in a kind of context.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 02, 2019, 06:02:23 PM
I just read the whistle blower complaint.  If you didn't believe in  a deep state before, that document should remove all doubt.   

 ::) 
Cumon, man.  Why's it always have to be a conspiracy?

Not sure why you think it's a "conspiracy," by which based on the rest of your comments you seem to mean something out of the X-Files.  I mean there are something like 2 million federal employees of which over 350,000 are based in DC.  There are hundreds of agency's and thousands and thousands of senior bureaucrats.  Do you really think they simply fold their loyalties over to the policies of each new administration?

We know they don't.  We know that the "resistance" has been all over the deep state.

We also know that one of the big media complaints about Trump early on, was that he was upending the cozy relationship they have with the government.

We can see the results in the constant leaks, in the one sided coverage, in the lack of any interest in fairness or review of crimes in both directions.  Honestly, this one is a total joke, Trump is being impeached for investigating crimes, specifically, DNC/Obama Admin election interference in 2016, Biden's potential selling access to the Admin, and Joe's potential abuse of office - all of which are better established than the "crime" of soliciting 2020 election interference by asking for any evidence of actual crimes.  By the logic of the left, investigating any Democrat, no matter how guilty, would be de facto an abuse of power and interference in the 2020 election.

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It's either a media conspiracy, or a deep state conspiracy, or a NATO conspiracy, or a G20 conspiracy, or an Illuminati conspiracy, or a CIA conspiracy, or an Israeli conspiracy, or a Saudi conspiracy, or a Republican conspiracy.  I don't even know what "deep state" means, other than it's used like there is some deep conspiracy within the US government to hurt Trump.  Some nefarious group of a government within a government.

Deep state means the bureacracy.  Specifically, it's a conspiracy that seems to center in the Intelligence services, which isn't surprising when you look back and remember how Obama changed the rules on sharing classified information on the way out the door to ensure that virtually everyone in that service could access anything they wanted without having to show a need.  The media are in fact colluding with the DNC, they have in fact been caught doing so multiple times, the fact is they are the common thread between the DNC and the deep state leakers as well.

The rest of your "groups" are just thrown in for nonsence.

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It was clearly compiled with the help of activist lawyers

If it was clearly complied by activist lawyers, what is the proof of that?  That it was well written?

Interestingly, I wrote that before the latest revelations, that Shiff new about the complaint before it was drafted, which should cause any person with doubts to understand the truth that this was drafted by a legal team to give Shiff and the DNC a purpose built plan to impeach.  Having Mueller fail, they went back to well, and this time faked up a much better template.

Why did Shiff spend 15 minutes hammering the acting DNI about "ensuring the whistleblower will be protected"?  Aren't we a country where the accused has a right to confront their attacker?  Not in this case, hundreds of years of legal form and precedent, the common law and the Constitution be damned.  Knowing who the whistleblower is would allow the normal people to make a judgement about whether they are just a partisan hack, or even a spy, keeping them anonymous is a tactic to make them seem more credible.

As to why I said it was drafted by activist lawyers, a thousand tells from reading an enormous amount of documents.  Not only that, it was drafted by a firm, with multiple lawyers having a hand, work produced without that level of collaboration doesn't come across anywhere near as polished.  It's also blatantly obvious that the information therein was compiled using government resources and most likely contributions from multiple members of the Intelligence Agencies.

Start with the first paragraph.  It puts the 2 most key things legally in that paragraph, and only those things for emphasis, they go directly to the right to release the information (which is done to try and prejudge that the individual submitting the claim is not themselves violating the law in doing so).  They are the specific legal conclusions "urgent concern" which entitle the whistleblower to go to the Intell Committees regardless of the IG's actions, and that "not classified" which purports a right to share everything without providing it to any review authority.  I note, it is now known, that the whistleblower had no intention of following the legal process as they have already spoken to members of the Intell committee (who probably where involved in connecting them with the lawfirms) and that they leaked it to the media.   

I've also seen a large number of similar documents drafted by non-lawyers, and they would almost never start with two non-substantive facts that are legally critical, and nothing about substance.  They'd start with what a non-lawyer thinks is critical the statement that they saw an illegal act.  Which if you think about it, would be the first thing on the mind of a whistleblower - the actual situation that justifies blowing the whistle.

Next paragraph, first sentence again is deliberately drafted to go directly to legal concerns.  "In the course of my official duties.." written to pre-empt the claim that the person was misusing intellingence or other resources by looking into confidential matters (which the President's communications are as a matter of fact and law).  This is almost certainly false, and again, something that is unlikely to be the way a non-lawyer leads off, particuarly with where the sentence goes next.  "...received information from multiple US Government Officials.." which is an interesting description of duties, and leads to the immediate question of why is this reference there.  It's there to generate pretend credibility.  It's not just me, it's multiple people, and while I don't have first hand knowledge (comes later), they do.  Why didn't they report it?  Not clear, especially in the context of deciding, apparently independently to share information - most likely in violation of their obligations to confidentiality - with this person.  And where does the sentence go?  Does it go to the most likely thing a person would think, blackmail?  abuse of office?  Nope - campaign violation of the 2020 race.  Why does it go there, that's not the place a layperson would think of naturally.  My guess is it goes there because someone on the Mueller team that really wanted to prosecute Don Jr. was involved in the drafting.  it's relying on the LEGALLY UNPROVEN idea that true information is a thing of value that it's illegal to recieve from a foreign national.  Go reread the Mueller report on that, they even pointed out that they weren't sure they could prove or prosecute it - and lest you think that this was part of Trump's presidential immunity, you'd be wrong, it was Don Jr. and Kushner, neither of whom was entitled to immunity.  So why was it in the Mueller report?  No good reason other than as a smear.

The next sentence doesn't just say the straight forward claim, it includes the preamble "among other things," which again is a classic lawyerism, where most non-lawyers would list out the multiple things they think prove their case, or just the one thing without the preamble.  Every law firm, on the other hand, would insert some  form of that at some stage of the drafting.

The next two lines are designed to build a basis to investigate Guilliani and to force Barr to recuse himself.  I note, Nadler made that second demand almost real time, and the subpeona's have issued on Guilliani.  Ask yourself, why a whistleblower would think those two are so critical that they need to be in the final 2 sentences of the preamble before there's even a reference to the phone call?  Or to the facts?  It's because this was purpose designed to play to a play book that Shiff is playing out.

The next bullet point - vaguely asserts that the information has come to the whistleblower by more than half a dozen officials, as a routine matter as part of the routine process.  Sounds good right?   Except it doesn't make any sense.  Is it really routine to share information about President's allegedly violating the law?  Nope.  So what is this referring to?  It's implying that it refers to evidence of illegality, but it in fact it doesn't.  It refers to evidence that we have had a foreign policy that involves the Ukraine, and that this person received ordinary course updates thereof.  This is a classic trick of activist lawyers writing for a non-legal audience.  Make them see more than is there without saying anything that isn't untrue.

Second bullet, I wasn't an eye witness.  Qualified by "most," and why?  Because it leads to an implication that they saw the damaging parts, without ever saying any such thing.  It's also a nod to the problem that was inherent in reporting hearsay - ie that it wasn't clear that the whistleblower would be protected, not withstanding the shady revisions to the form - and by the way the explanation posted about the background law is not remotely persuasive for why the form was revised, nor is it clear that it's an accurate interpretation.  Honestly, what's the difference between a whistleblower and a flat out spy?  There's no criminal conduct in Trump's transcript, which means this person is  actually a spy not a whistle blower.  Then the second bullet double's down on the corroboration, both of the other persons and the public press accounts.  Wait what?  Public press accounts, how are they corroborating anything?  Well once again cause this bullet is drafted to make you think it says more than it does.  It's kind of like one could say you have multiple sources of corroboration for the Trump dossier, cause you have six people that say he stayed in a Russian hotel, notwithstanding that none of them verified anything about a prosititute. 

In effect, all the two bullets actually say for purposes of considering whether the author perjured themselves is that multiple sources told him some stuff, much of which was also reported in the media.  It say's nothing about illegal activities, which is what they want you to believe was verified by multiple sources (lawyer trick).

The next paragraph is written it tight sentences that would appear in a legal filing.  State exactly the statute, the exact relevant phrase, then state it's not exact phrase of exemption.  Revert to duty to report (not clear why the first hand sources didn't report against this backdrop).  Several of the assertions are false.  Whistleblower asserts they are reporting through proper legal channels - notwithstanding they spoke to the committee before they drafted the complaint, and released information to the media when the IG didn't turn it over to the committee.  That's especially notworthy now that we know Shiff did have pre-knowledge.  Remember what I said about how releasing it to the media allowed it to go public and separated Shiff from appearing to have brought it forward.  That's 100% what happened based on what we now know.  Releasing it the committee would have done nothing since Dems on the committte already knew about it, it had to go public before they "officially got it" (else it would have been a delberate leak on their part).  It's also now expressly false that releasing it to the media was the only way the committee would learn about it.

Substantively it's also wrong because the conduct in question was - as a matter of fact - not a violation of law, and accordingly, does not appear to be a proper exercise of a whistleblower action.  The argument that impeachment doesn't have to be about an illegal act, doesn't help, as the whistle blower claim did.  It's also disputable that it involves a legitimate difference of policy, in that Trump's policy appears to be to ask for assistance in the investigation of an actual crime (2016 election interference), and two possible crimes (Hunter's selling access, Joe's abuse of office), and the Ukraine and the US have a treaty obligation each other to assist upon request.  Is the claim that it's illegal for the President to ask for that assistance as the head of the Executive branch (false on its face)?  It has never been established anywhere at law that obtaining evidence of a crime by a person is a campaign contribution to the other person - and even if it were, the Obama administration, the Hillary campaign, and multiple DNC Senators and Reps asked for exactly that evidence literally from the Ukraine.

The bullet following claims a risk to National Security - which is not remotely established or relevant - and doubles down on election interference.  Again these claims are here, rather than much more common ideas about Trump blackmailing the Ukrainian President because this was written by lawyers (they know the blackmail idea is dead in the water based on the record, and that the election interference has no legs in a real court but is a highly partisan and sellable issue for Congress) who are activists (election manipulation charges are 100% the goal of the activists to make the upcoming DOJ investigation into the 2016 election look like "revenge" and stale factors).  The whole point of this, so far, is to undercut Barr - by forcing recusal (ideal) or making him look partisan when they bring criminal charges for 2016 malfeasance, while writing an issue for the DNC House that is incapable of being disproven - as in there's no judicial resolution of receiving true information being an illegal campaign contribution, that the DNC wants to sell - because they are furious about how Hillary/DNC emails flipped a winnable election and because it effectively criminalizes Republican's looking for dirt on the DNC while the DNC knows the media will continue to cover for any Democratic research efforts, no matter how egregious (hiring a British spy to collect Russian propaganda, which you use to start a 2 year witch hunt, after using it to illegally spy on a major US political campaign.  The DNC made Nixon look like an amatuer and apparently is not only getting away with it, but is on track to criminalize the investigation of it).

And then the final paragraph of the introduction, is classic lawyer speach about the classification.  This report is "unclassified," notwithstanding that it includes a plethora of information that is subject to executive privilege and confidentiality the vast majority of which is not illegal or reportable conduct.  And then it writes  a true lawyer sentence that warns anyone classifying any part that their reasons are subject to review, effectively flipping the burden to the person applying the standard.    This is a loser it court.  This is a loser before a review tribunal.  This is exactly what the DNC/House needs to pretend they are applying a process and investigating something.

That's just the preamble Grant, effectively page one.  Everything about it screams lawfirm and careful planning and tactics that have zero to do with reporting a crime, and everything to do with establishing a pretext for an impeachment enquiry.  The DNC preknowledge (maybe even assitance in drafting, certainly in connecting the whistle blower with the lawyer) explains why Pelosi was willing to go "formal" without seeing it, she'd already seen it or been told it asserted a quid pro quo by Trump.  Once again Trump's instincts bizarrely flipped the script.  As there is nothing illegal, or really even wrong, in his phone call he ordered it and the whistle blower complaint made public.  He's not hiding anything, and thereafter we discover that Shiff and the House DNC have been hiding a bunch, that the whole thing has been orchestrated from the start, that most of the claims about what was in the whistle blower report (ie the whole quid pro quo) where not true, and they were being discussed in that window where the DNC already knew what was in the report, notwithstanding that they were pretending not to, and had not yet seen the transcript.  Seeing the transcript come out before the report (when they thought they'd have months to selectively leak the report's claims before the trasncript was forced out after the court's overruled executive privilige, or even months of "what is he hiding" forced them to have to walk back talking points that were already live.  The media was in fact so unprepared for the reversed release order that they couldn't flip the script, and they actually falsified reporting by doing things like editing out the 500 words between Trump asking for a favor and the conversation about Biden.  Even Shiff couldn't help himself, and had to do a "parody" of what Trump said, while pretending to read from a transcript that in no way matched what he said.

We really need an amendment that requires Reps and Senators to go under oath in some contexts.

I get it you want to pretend that a Deep State conspiracy is some kind of impossibility, but there's no question that you have a coordination here between at least the House Democrats, the media and a "whistle blower," and probably other members of the Intell Community.  It's even more troubling in that the whistle blower doesn't in my view appear to qualify as a whistle blower.  This wasn't a good faith report of a troubling event, this was a researched and compiled legal brief targeted at an impeachment, almost certainly compiled with the aid of a law firm (almost certainly without clearance and a breach of confidentiality), with the full support and knowledge of members of Congress.  If that's not enough evidence of a Deep State conspiracy for you, then I'm going to have to downgrade further my faith in humanity.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whistleblower-complaint-declassified-version-of-complaint-released-by-house-intelligence-committee-ahead-of-dni/ (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whistleblower-complaint-declassified-version-of-complaint-released-by-house-intelligence-committee-ahead-of-dni/)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 02, 2019, 07:00:37 PM
Wow.

So much effort to make this NOT about whether the President is abusing his office for personal gain. Yet, that is what it's about.

Sorry you went to all that effort?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 02, 2019, 07:03:30 PM
What makes you think that the whistleblower doesn't have legal experience? They could well have a law degree. Or they could have consulted a lawyer on their own before choosing to draw Trumpian wrath upon themselves. There's no "and therefore, Democrat conspiracy" that can be attached to those observations even if we accept them all as true.

I think it is interesting that most of the people demanding that there be evidence before accusing Trump seem perfectly fine using conjecture and inference to accuse Schiff.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 02, 2019, 07:07:42 PM
See also:

Urgent concerns about Biden's son's past business activities, ZERO concern about Trump's children's CURRENT business activities.

Treating wild-ass conspiracy theories about Crowdstrike that originated on 4chan as a legitimate national interest basis for twisting Zelensky's arm.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 02, 2019, 08:26:43 PM
Wow.

So much effort to make this NOT about whether the President is abusing his office for personal gain. Yet, that is what it's about.

Sorry you went to all that effort?

That was just to explain, why the complaint appears to me to the work of activist lawyers, and deep state efforts.  I would have liked to cover the other pages as well, but too much time, for what I expect to be (and seems based on this comment) zero return.

So, it's your assertion that if Biden or his son committed a crime, that's for the President's "personal gain"?  Or if Ukraine has information about the predicate of the Mueller investigation, like say whether there was an active conspiracy with the Obama administration, that's just for the President's personal gain?

Did I miss how people on this cite backed a two year investigation that compelled through subpoena the internview of hundreds of people and production of millions of documents for an investigation into Russian "collusion" that never occurred?  Was that just for the "personal benefit" of the DNC?

What makes you think that the whistleblower doesn't have legal experience? They could well have a law degree.

Nothing makes me think that.  There's no chance this was drafted by the whistleblower on their own, it wasn't drafted by a single lawyer, this is the work of a firm or group of lawyers.

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Or they could have consulted a lawyer on their own before choosing to draw Trumpian wrath upon themselves.

No, not with how this was written.  This was written as an impeachment template, it's what they wanted Mueller to provide but that he failed to do.  All it's deficiencies are wrapped up in vagueness and areas where there are legitimate executive  privilege.  In other words, it was designed such that the only defenses are to "hide" the truth or to turn over things that legitimately are not the business of Congress. 

And, there's no crime revealed - the whistle blower is not a whistle blower.

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There's no "and therefore, Democrat conspiracy" that can be attached to those observations even if we accept them all as true.

Pelosi's own statements demonstrates she had advanced knowledge of the complaint (ie before it's release), and the reporting today makes it clear that Shiff and other Democrats on the committee did as well.  Pre-knowledge and a complaint that's purpose drafted to support an impeachment enquiry, coupled with actual steps by Pelosi such as declaring a "formal" impeachment enquiry before she could know what was in the debate, are enough to establish a conspiracy under Rico sufficient to investigate.

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I think it is interesting that most of the people demanding that there be evidence before accusing Trump seem perfectly fine using conjecture and inference to accuse Schiff.

I didn't require evidence before accusing Trump.  I'm suggesting that when you have the evidence and it doesn't prove the case you should back off the claim.  There's nothing in the call that is illegal or inappropriate.  The whistle blower case makes multiple false statements designed to overhype the call.  It really does look like there was coordination.

It's not a secret I don't trust Shiff.  He flat out said, as the ranking member and later chair of the Intelligence Committee that there was evidence of Russian collusion that we had not seen.  That turned out to be a lie, we'd seen pretty much everything of significance that was in the Mueller report, and more we had ALREADY seen the supposed predicate and it was  a nothing burger.

See also:

Urgent concerns about Biden's son's past business activities, ZERO concern about Trump's children's CURRENT business activities.

Which ones do you have some kind of evidence about?  I mean honestly, Hunter gets a seat for $600k a year on the board of a Ukraine gas company at the exact time his father is running the energy policy for the country, despite no actual qualifications.  Maybe you can provide the information on the equivalent situation?

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Treating wild-ass conspiracy theories about Crowdstrike that originated on 4chan as a legitimate national interest basis for twisting Zelensky's arm.

Maybe provide the passage in the transcript where Trump 'twists Zelensky's arm' or are you too relying on Shiff's version?

Lol.  This is why I'm responding.  You guys are making up a story.  It's not entirely your fault, the media is selling it to you.  But it is your fault if you don't look at the call transcript and keep citing to things that didn't happen.

Or you can do some legwork and see if you can find actual evidence of the point.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 02, 2019, 08:30:59 PM
Some people say the prosecutor investigating Burisma deserved to be fired because he was corrupt and was actually slow walking the Burisma investigation and others say he was fired on orders from Joe Biden right before Hunter was about to be called to give a statement about the money he was getting at Burisma but what you don't see in the media is what actually happened with the Burisma investigation after he was replaced. Of course, he could be corrupt and still intent on investigating Burisma because he hadn't yet been paid enough not to.

But a good question is what ever happened with the investigation? Did the investigation continue and reach some sort of conclusion or did it just go away? I wish I knew. I haven't heard anything about Hunter getting interviewed by the new prosecutor and I haven't heard anything about a conclusion, either that Burisma was totally legit or that there was pay for access. But the media not saying anything about the results of the investigation, if there was one after the prosecutor conducting it was fired, would lead a reasonable person to conclude that it just kind of dropped off the radar. The same reasonable person might conclude that if the investigation was dropped after he was fired and after Biden said big money was getting held up unless he was fired, then two plus two equals Joe Biden used American taxpayer money as leverage to get the guy investigating the company his son was working for fired and after that the investigation went nowhere, ipso facto quid pro quo.

I suppose the point is that maybe what we need right now is a very thorough investigation into what exactly went on there. Trump is right to press for it. We need to dig deep and root out all the corruption of the previous administration. If Trump was smart he'd be declassifying a lot more of the Obama era information, like phone call transcripts, White House visitor logs, etc. There is no need to worry about the same thing happening to Trump because it already is anyway.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 02, 2019, 08:57:15 PM
So let's say you support an impeachment investigation.  Ask yourself why there hasn't been a vote in the House.  What would change?  First of all the legal uncertainty would be gone, courts are not obligated to treat the Pelosi announcement in the same manner as a real impeachment.

Second, process.  The House would be required to establish a legitimate process.  In the other impeachments that involved counsel from the President being present with the right to cross examine witnessed.  Remember what was missing from the Mueller report?  That's right, any ability to cross examine the witnesses or dispute the nonsensical and self serving conclusions.  Notice what's been missing in Nadler's and Shiff's hearings?  Any ability to object to the "questions" they ask?  Nope.  Even when the questions themselves are lies the witnesses are forced to respond under penalty of perjury.  Even when they threaten a witness with jail or violating legal privilege there's no consequence.

Ask yourself why, if this is legitimate, the House is resisting any steps to make it appear impartial. 

I mean Shiff, as the chair of the intelligence committee, opened up with reading a fictional account of what Trump supposedly said, that was fake and way worse than reality.   Does that sound like an impartial investigation?  Nadler opened up Lewandowski's hearing by stating "as fact" that Trump was guilty of multiple crimes.  Can you imagine a judge that did so?

The right to confront your accuser?  Shiff's biggest concern is keeping the whistle blower secret so that he can not be confronted, so that we can not evaluate the IG's conclusion that the whistle blower appears motivated by political bias.  Let's let Strzok write a complaint while we are at it.

What part of American justice does the Democrat's "process" match?  Questioners who can lie, assert false facts, threaten witnesses, introduce secret accusations?  Is this really the America you support?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 02, 2019, 09:02:38 PM
It is already known that Trump is guilty, and so is anyone who supports or helps him.

This is now officially a second Inquisition.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 02, 2019, 10:16:19 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/us/politics/adam-schiff-whistleblower.html#click=https://t.co/9PxtBDXQYp
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 02, 2019, 10:30:45 PM
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The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and meet with an inspector general, with whom he could file a whistle-blower complaint.

Lol, Shiff's staffer recommended he meet with a lawyer, probably recommended the DNC connected lawyers that drafted the complaint that was filed.  Lol.

Watch what Shiff says when you see him speak, he's got the trick of being specific in true to the point that he implies a lie. He'll say "we didn't do something" and mean the committee including the Republicans, knowing full well that the Dems on the committee in fact did it.  He'll say he "saw" no part of a report while he was in a room where it was being drafted but only participating orally.  You have to look at exactly the words he uses.  Saw it all the time when he was talking about Mueller.

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While House Intelligence Committee members are allowed to receive classified whistle-blower complaints, they are not allowed to make such complaints public, according to a former official. A complaint forwarded to the committee by the inspector general gives it more latitude over what it can publicize.

Called it.  Couldn't make it public or leak it unless it was sent by the IG.  When it wasn't sent, they triggered the leak to the WaPo.  Lol. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 03, 2019, 10:35:57 AM
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/hunter-bidens-legal-socially-acceptable-corruption/598804/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/hunter-bidens-legal-socially-acceptable-corruption/598804/)

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How did dealing in influence to burnish the fortunes of repugnant world leaders for large payoffs become a business model? How could America’s leading lights convince themselves—and us—that this is acceptable?

This article makes strikes a nice balance. What the Biden's did was wrong/unethical, if almost certainly legal, and what Trump did is pretty horrible too.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 03, 2019, 01:01:48 PM
If an IG report gets quashed, it kind of seems like civic duty to leak that fact to the press.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 03, 2019, 01:10:53 PM
And Trump just publicly asked China and Ukraine to investigate the Biden's. WTF is wrong with the justice department that they can't investigate the corruption themselves?

My interpretation of all of this is the following.
No laws were broken and Trump knows it, but it looks bad and Trump thinks may be able to coerce another nation to investigate and bring some bogus charges.

That said I agree with the Atlantic article that the behavior by the Biden's is corrosive as hell to democracy and we need a real way to address it.



Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 03, 2019, 03:52:29 PM

If not illegal isn’t the Administration setting a bad precedence?
I’m assuming there are channels available for the President to pursue an investigation that don’t involve directly seeing the help of a foreign leader in the manner Trump did?

Personally, I’ve been hoping Biden step down as I don’t believe he could beat Trump so please investigate. 

That said anyone who doesn’t feel troubled by Trump’s methods and what appears to be the Administration attempt to cover-up... are undermining the ground they say they are standing on. 

One reason I want Trump to lose is so I can watch everyone do a 180 on what they are offended by and willing to defend and attack. 

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 03, 2019, 06:18:13 PM
"One reason I want Trump to lose is so I can watch everyone do a 180 on what they are offended by and willing to defend and attack.  One reason I want Trump to lose is so I can watch everyone do a 180 on what they are offended by and willing to defend and attack." 

Examples of this might be interesting as a thread topic.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 03, 2019, 10:05:12 PM
Trump IS corruption. His own daughter, working in the White House, has gotten favors from the Chinese government. Anyone who thinks he's concerned about corruption is living in a fantasy world.

I can't believe so many people are willing to bend their standards to ANYTHING this president does.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 03, 2019, 10:25:53 PM
Republicans: We have SERIOUS CONCERNS about minutiae of the whistle blowing process. So serious, in fact, that we are prepared to refuse to consider the contents of the complaint.

Also Republicans: It's sensible, even laudable, to have Giuliani conducting foreign policy with Ukraine instead of using normal diplomatic and law enforcement mechanisms, as established under treaty.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 04, 2019, 09:57:19 AM
I can't believe so many people are willing to bend their standards to ANYTHING this president does.

That's why he's going to win again. The left simply can't fathom why so many would hold their nose in favor of the transparently crude over the covertly slimy, posing as virtuous.

boor > worm
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 10:01:17 AM
If an IG report gets quashed, it kind of seems like civic duty to leak that fact to the press.

Did it get quashed?  It was simultaneously being investigated by the CIA, the DOJ and the normal IG process, including notifying the committees that it had been filed.  The GC determined both that it was not an urgent concern and that it was not about a member of the Intelligence Community (either fact not being true eliminate it from being required to be reported to the Intelligence Committees).  If it's not required to be reported to the committees it could still involve criminal conduct, the DOJ reviewed it and found there was no crimes involved.  Pretty much not "quashed," just defective, and pretty much openly being dealt with including in the committee's knowledge (as the existence of the complaint was notified by the administration to the committees, even though it now turns out the Democrats on the committee knew before the administration or even the IG, but not before CIA management - interesting).

And does it justify leaking it to the press?  If you believe it was falsely quashed the statute authorizes the direct transmission to the committees.  Why not do that?  That would be your civic duty.  Oh yeah, it does not go public in that circumstance, the ability to make parts of it public only come after the IG sends it not the leaker.  Since the strategy REQUIRED it go public, it leaks instead of the going to the committee.  Interesting choice for the "honorable" leaker, who's pursuing their "civic duty," especially given that we know for a fact the leaker was in contact with the committee, which means there is no chance they did not know they could send it in that circumstance and that the leak to the press is likely prosecutable.

And what do you make of Shiff colluding with Democrats on and off the committee to prepare the way for the impeachment while not notifying the Republican members of the committee about the complaint?  The charge is to the committee not to it's Chairman and his party's political needs.  It's interesting that you think the complaint was "quashed" but are silent about that breach, or that it's a "crime" for Trump to investigate a crime (which is technically his Constitutional duty) as he could benefit from it politically, but not a crime where Biden did benefit personally from the exercise of official power (apparently because you believe that the "alternative" explanation for his actions should be respected in one case without regard to the benefit, and completely ignored in the other), or where the Chair of a House committee ignores his duty to the committee, breaches committee confidentiality to share confidential information with his caucus all for the political benefit of his party (with no reasonable, or even plausible, non-political explanation).

I've asked this many times.  What exactly is the objective rule that you are applying?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 10:09:12 AM
And Trump just publicly asked China and Ukraine to investigate the Biden's. WTF is wrong with the justice department that they can't investigate the corruption themselves?

Cause everyone knows this should be done secretly as the Obama admin did?  When they expressly asked the Ukrainian govenment for dirt on Trump's campaign manager, Manafort?  When they met with Ukranian officials during the election to get the dirt?  And that investigating anything about that is itself just a criminal act of Trump?

Lol.  There's a reasonable suspicion of a crime by one or both Bidens.  There's no probable cause.  However, reasonable suspicion is enough to investigate.  We've had investigation treaties in place with most countries in the world for decades (or longer).  With what's in the public knowledge, the DOJ doesn't have the power to subpeona (would need probably cause for that), nor the power to investigate in the countries where the crimes would have happened, ergo the treaties.

Is the thought hear that politicians and their children are immune to being called to account for crimes they did abroad?  I've seen alot of people upset about Presidential immunity, notwithstanding that the President was extensively investigated - in an investigation launched by his political opponents that included spying on his campaign, and yet you seem to be asserting some kind of absolute immunity for investigations into Presidential candidates (for Democrats only) that would prohibit not only prosecuting them but even investigating them (or their families) where there is a prima facie fact pattern that demonstrates potential crimes.  Walk me through it?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 10:39:27 AM
In fact, I would point out that fact that no where does the whistle-blower specify which part of the CFR or USC that the POTUS violated as proof that it was not complied by a group of activist lawyers, unless they were incompetent or didn't care about the content.  The only reference to the USC in the memo is a reference to the procedures governing whistle-blowing within the intel community.  Hence, they showed what THEY were doing was LEGAL, not what they were reporting was ILLEGAL.  That's a pretty big hole, in my opinion, that a group of lawyers would not have missed.

They didn't miss it, it just doesn't exist because the call wasn't illegal.  This was drafted by activist lawyers as an "impeachment" roadmap not as a prosecution document.  Just like I called - at the time - that Mueller's raid on Cohen and seizure of his files entitled to attorney client privilege meant one of two things (it either wasn't about Trump, or they never intended a trial and it was all about leaking privileged materials to a Congressional impeachment proceeding) this isn't drafted to demonstrate a crime.  It's drafted to generate political outrage, where the leaker and the activist lawyers thought Trump's only defense would be to cover it up and assert executive privilege.   If he'd done that, then the "leaked" complaint would be the only text out there and it includes material things that were never in the call.  And they would have declared him guilty of obstruction of justice.  Heck that was clearly the plan, they've gone forward with it on their demand letters to members of the administration, notwithstanding that it's no longer obvious from the way this played out (it's like watching a military commander who sticks to the plan even after contact with the enemy mooted part of it).

I'm incredibly struck that we - as Americans - have lived our whole lives believing that we have freedom from unreasonable searches (ie no warrants without probable cause), right to remain silent, right to counsel, right to due process (ie the process has to be fair), right to confront accusers, and that NONE OF THAT has been applied to any part of the Special Counsel's investigation or now to the "impeachment" investigation. 

Do you believe we have rights or not?

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purports to be unclassified (notwithstanding that it reveals information that is presumptively classified)

It clearly states that without the enclosures, the whistle-blower believes the memo itself is unclassified.  If it did contain classified information, the IG shouldn't have released it.

And?  Since when is a whistle-blower entitled to set classification?  Not to mention, the statute itself expressly sets how the complaint may be filed and shared.

Relying on the self-serving statement of the whistle-blower is as bad as believing Comey when he said his memos were unclassified (the IG flat out said he was wrong and that they were government property, yet the DOJ chose not to prosecute - and I note, notwithstanding Comey's testimony to Congress that the memo's were his personal recollection and that his discomfort with the talks with Trump are what inspired him to write him, we now know that not only was the memo pre-planned, it was pre-planned in consultation with other officials and shared with them - in other words, drafted as a government document and not reactionary).

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and was absolutely and clearly compiled using the resources of the US government, at a minimum by inappropriate access to State department files, but more likely intelligence files.

The question of access depends on the level of clearance the whistle-blower had.  I don't know who they are.  Do you, Serati?

Don't have to, they clearly tried to access the transcript of the President's call and from their own claims of multiple officials confirming "parts" of their allegations imply they had multiple conversations that violated the confidentiality restrictions that apply to sensitive material.  It also seems obvious to me, that they researched events using government (internal) systems and tried to access explanations and documents that were not within their mandate (like going looking for the transcript of the speech).  It's interesting that they knew the speech was moved to the secure server, and that "others" had moved as well, but declined to mention that this was now standard practice specifically because of intentional and politically malicious leaks of such transcripts from the original server.

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And even if there were a conspiracy, does it change the content of the memo and concerns expressed within?  If the "Deep State" were responsible for the memo, would it change the validity of their claims?

Yes it would change it materially.  There's no whistleblower protection afforded to individuals over disagreements of policy.  And it would be evidence of a coup or criminal coordination if senior staff assisting in the drafting of a whistleblower complaint that misused government resources, breached classification rules and violated legal confidentiality requirements to compile. 

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In fact reading it again, this document seems designed to try and criminalize the investigation of what appears to have been a deep state plot to use the Ukranian government to influence the 2016 election.

More conspiracies.  Who was behind this "deep state plot"?  Is this a Q Anon thing?  That's what it sounds like.

It's just a fact that the Obama admin sought and received information from the Ukraine connected to Manafort.  There's an allegation that the information they received was falsified - it apparently didn't match with the actual transaction records obtained through subpeonas of the banking system.  And it's an investigatable assertion that they pressured the Ukraine to produce it knowing it was false.

We now know for a fact that multiple members of the senior DOJ and FBI engaged in a coordinated anti-Trump effort, whether you believe it was justified is irrelevant, it's just a fact it occurred.  We know for a fact that senior intelligence staff, including the head of the CIA also participated in that effort.

We have evidence that suggests that the predicate for the investigation - which honestly appears to just be a conversation Papadopoulous had - involved multiple "friendly" spy agencies, and very likely could have been a set up.  We have a British agent directly involved in sparking that investigation by passing along Russian propaganda.  We have wiretaps and spying authorized on the opposition party's Presidential campaign during the election based on FISA warrants that seem to have been baseless, and the spying that was conducted excessively overbroad.  We have no defensive briefing whatsoever.  We have rampant and wide spread "unmasking" of US persons in those spying accounts (which themselves, notwithstanding that information on US persons through FISA rather than legal proceedings should be maximally protected) somehow ending up at very low classification levels and even leaked.

No where in any of this was Trump and his campaign treated like American citizens with rights.  But sure Trump is the problem for trying to get to the bottom of it, and there's no "deep state" involved in the constant leaking and abuse of process.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 04, 2019, 10:41:13 AM
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However, reasonable suspicion is enough to investigate.

180 number one? Definition of reasonable suspicion is in the eye of the beholder? :)

Trump said he has a right to ask other nations to investigate people. Does he? And if he does I suppose the what-about Obama question goes away. Though Obama investigation was against Russia in which Trump's name came up and not wanting to influence the election kept what he learned quite. But ok same thing.


If Trump has a right to ask other nations to investigate has he ever asked for investigation of non political rivals?

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 04, 2019, 10:41:22 AM
Lol.  There's a reasonable suspicion of a crime by one or both Bidens.  There's no probable cause.  However, reasonable suspicion is enough to investigate.  We've had investigation treaties in place with most countries in the world for decades (or longer).  With what's in the public knowledge, the DOJ doesn't have the power to subpeona (would need probably cause for that), nor the power to investigate in the countries where the crimes would have happened, ergo the treaties.

If Joe used his position as VP in a corrupt way that is a crime in the USA and should be investigated here. The investigators may request help from the Ukrainians but that is a far cry from the president bypassing the US system and pressuring foreign governments to do the investigations on their own.

Since we're so worried about the children of leaders getting cushy gigs on foreign soil can we investigate every deal the Trump kids have cut in the past 3 years? I'm sure we can find something that looks as bad, I would bet money on worse, as what the Biden's did.

Here's the thing, I doubt that either family actually committed a crime in this arena. I'm more confident that the Biden's didn't but that's just because I think they surround themselves with better lawyers who would make sure their actions were legal if immoral.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 10:56:00 AM
Sure, by most accounts Trump's businesses are in fact suffering, not profiting, as a result of his Presidency.  Should be a no brainer if you consider that he makes most of his money from his brand, from luxury properties in blue states and golf courses some of which are in blue states.  Here's a link to a Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2019/08/14/no-trump-is-not-losing-3-to-5-billion-from-presidency/#6180012a4a2d (https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2019/08/14/no-trump-is-not-losing-3-to-5-billion-from-presidency/#6180012a4a2d).  Where they are "debunking" that Trump  is losing $3-5 billion by pointing out he's "only" lost $1.4 billion and on $200 million of that is attributable to his Presidency.  Of course they are ignoring future value, which he very likely is not.

So losing $1.4 billion, versus signing sweetheart deals in China and Ukraine (by the way, apparently the only two countries that Joe Biden was directly spearheading).  Please do investigate, I welcome any impartial and fair investigation that treats everyone the same.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 11:16:52 AM
Very confused

What I learned that if I'm the president and want do something that crosses a line.
I can do it and get away with it if I can get some one in the news media to make a parody of it, confuse the facts and then use that to explain why it never happened.

I'm not saying that's what's happened here. However its clear to me that going forward holding any President accountable is never going to happen. Just way to easy to confuse things.

Or you know, you could actually establish a President doing something illegal and then investigate.  To write what you did above, you have to completely ignore going on three years of an impeachment searching for a cause because, "everyone knows Trump is guilty."  Honestly, the first article I saw calling for his impeachment was filed one minute after the inaugeration (there were some before that too that somehow wanted to impeach him as President-elect).

So what you've seen is if there is an impeachment in waiting searching for any basis that the party behind thinks they can get the voting public behind, then no matter what the President does - whether completely legal or not - it'll be characterized as "illegal" or not required to be illegal because impeachment only requires it be bad.  When it doesn't turn out to be that bad, then you spin spin and spin again, including like for example by producing a parody that falsifies what happened in a formal televised  Congressional hearing (and did you just catch Pelosi going on tv and stating that Shiff used Trump's own words, which is a flat out lie).

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It was not unreasonable for the house to want to see the whistle blowers report and the recording of the call. they should have been able to do so behind close doors and before it hit the news.

Actually that's an interesting question.  Why do you think they should "see it" where it doesn't comply with the law?  The DOJ is actually the governmental body that's charged with investigating violations of law not the House.  The house sees certain whistle blower concerns that meat a proscribed list of requirements enacted into law solely as an oversight function.  In this case, the intent is put more eyes on intelligence work (ie spying) because of it's history of manipulation and abuse.  What part of a President's call with a foreign leader is "intelligence work" or in any way connected thereto?

But moreover, even after you ignore the gross legal defect because the intent is to "get this to Congress" no matter how in correctly, you still have to ignore that the House had no intent to see this behind closed doors.  That was always an option, but it didn't serve their ONLY GOAL, which is to influence the public to support them in an impeachment without a basis.  Cause they are right about one thing, they can ignore their actual Constitutional duty and impeach without a basis, but it will only fly if the public gets behind the witch trial.

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I can't help but wonder if the administration orchestrated the chain of events to force the Dem's to be forceful in getting the information, making it look more suspicions then it may be and get them to play into the game. It would not surprise me at all.

There's clear evidence of orchestration but it isn't by the administration.  Especially given that they actually followed process and notified Congress of the complaint and that they were withholding the details BECAUSE they didn't meet the conditions for release (by the way, I don't see any way -under the actual law- to dispute that).
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on October 04, 2019, 11:21:37 AM
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you could actually establish a President doing something illegal and then investigate

And how, pray tell, could you establish such a thing without investigating?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 11:46:02 AM
Generally one starts with evidence of a crime.  How do you think the police do it today?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on October 04, 2019, 12:03:54 PM
Evidence of a crime doesn't establish that a specific person has done something illegal.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 04, 2019, 12:14:29 PM
So what you've seen is if there is an impeachment in waiting searching for any basis that the party behind thinks they can get the voting public behind, then no matter what the President does - whether completely legal or not - it'll be characterized as "illegal" or not required to be illegal because impeachment only requires it be bad.  When it doesn't turn out to be that bad, then you spin spin and spin again, including like for example by producing a parody that falsifies what happened in a formal televised  Congressional hearing (and did you just catch Pelosi going on tv and stating that Shiff used Trump's own words, which is a flat out lie).

This coming year is going to be interesting to see play out. The Democrats have fallen prey to both "the Liberal bubble" and the National Polling meta, which after 2016 they should realize is not a reliable metric to be gauging things by. They're potentially setting themselves up for a repeat of 2016 again, or an even worse outcome(from their PoV) if they continue down this road, "because the polling numbers look good."

Short form, they're pursuing things that play out very well in districts/states with substantial "Liberal bubble" populations, which is only a handful of states. For the rest of "flyover country" what they're doing is more likely to trigger "a pox on both houses" response from voters. And Trump seems to be a made to order form of political pox.

The political theater underway plays well to the Democratic Activist base, but as this grinds on, it's going to sour on the Democrats and unless they actually find something truly substantial(Which nothing to date qualifies), they're going to see 2016 play out all over again. Their candidate will poll well in the expected democratic stronghold states of California, New York, and Illinois plus a few others(which will make the National numbers look good), but their numbers are going to be anemic in comparison to the Conservative/Moderate response in the rest of the country.

They may not like Trump, but they're NOT going to stand by and "let the Democrats get undisputed control of the country" either. Not with the five ring circus show they've turned things into during their quest to get Trump.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 12:17:53 PM
Or you know, you could actually establish a President doing something illegal and then investigate.

That comment is illucid. You can't establish someone doing something illegal without investigating first.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 04, 2019, 12:19:13 PM
Or you know, you could actually establish a President doing something illegal and then investigate.

That comment is illucid. You can't establish someone doing something illegal without investigating first.

Amazing. It's a wonder the American Criminal Justice System managed to function between the 1780's and today.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 04, 2019, 12:31:21 PM

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Sure, by most accounts Trump's businesses are in fact suffering, not profiting, as a result of his Presidency.
Maybe if he released his tax returns we would have a better picture of this?
 

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Generally one starts with evidence of a crime.  How do you think the police do it today?
The remains how reasonable suspicion is being defined, how much smoke is required before we get to check it out?
Based on how I read most of your comments you set the Bar high for Trump and low for Biden?

Questions.
If Biden is guilty does that exonerate Trump?
Is President asking another government to investigate a political rival breaking the law.
Is the hint of smoke from the transcript of a quid pro quo wink wink enough for a investigation? Are you being honest with yourself. If Obama had made the same call would you demand a investigation?

Morally and ethically how do you feel about what Trump said he did?

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Or you know, you could actually establish a President doing something illegal and then investigate

My comment you referred to was about how we were undermining the foundations we say we are standing on.
Trumps go to preemptive/counter punch strategy is effective. It very much confuses things as everyone gets to choose what mud stinking on the wall to point to. Essentially its don't look at me look over their.

The problem "to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail". Trump attacks everything the same way and its should be understandable that some people see this as smoke to be investigate. Trump would be much more effective if he learned that not every *&^% thing is a (*&^ nail
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 12:36:46 PM
It is reasonable to be suspicious when a foreign leader talks about how much he loves staying at the hotel your leader owns, and there's so much more than that to investigate. It is reasonable to be suspicious when someone reports that Trump wanted to fire Sessions. Especially when that someone is Trump himself when he tweeted about how he never would have appointed him if he knew he wouldn't protect him from investigation.

The man excretes shadiness at all times, and you don't think there's any basis for investigating him?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 04, 2019, 12:41:02 PM
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Generally one starts with evidence of a crime.  How do you think the police do it today?

It really comes down to what is considered "evidence."

Is a whistleblower's report evidence?  Something that someone witnessed?  Something that someone heard someone else say?  Something that was reported?

How about suspicious activity?  Can police question someone (aka investigate) based on suspicious actions?  What constitutes "suspicious?"

It seems pretty obvious to me that the current investigation based on the whistleblower's complaint is based on "evidence."  So it all pretty moot to me.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 04, 2019, 12:47:19 PM
It is reasonable to be suspicious when a foreign leader talks about how much he loves staying at the hotel your leader owns, and there's so much more than that to investigate.

This is almost as weird to me as the notion that Trump asking for Zelenskyy's help with some stuff is equivalent to extortion. Are you saying that Trump is so hard-up for cash that the bill from a hotel stay is enough to constitute a bribe? Why would you not interpret this comment in the most natural and obvious way, which is that Zelenskyy was praising Trump and saying how wonderful his hotel is?

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The man excretes shadiness at all times, and you don't think there's any basis for investigating him?

I think Seriati's general point above is that it's unconstitutional to investigate people just because they give off shady vibes. Hey let's face it, anyone in real estate could probably have stuff turn up if they were investigated. Does that mean it should be legal to open up investigations into anyone in real estate just on principle? Or how about politicians? That has to be *way* more suspicious on the face of it than being in real estate, in terms of what muck you're probably wading in. So anyone in politics should be automatically open to investigation because "they're probably doing something wrong"? And actually I don't even know if I have a problem with that, so long as it's consistent and not just to be used on people you don't like.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 12:48:15 PM
stating that Shiff used Trump's own words, which is a flat out lie).

Schiff. The name is Schiff, not Shiff or whatever Trump has been tweeting lately. I normally don't bother with casual misspellings, but this has become chronic for you, Seriati.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 04, 2019, 12:53:20 PM
Is a whistleblower's report evidence?  Something that someone witnessed?  Something that someone heard someone else say?  Something that was reported?

Isn't hearsay literally not evidence? Doesn't the whistleblower report outright say that the author of it did not personally witness the events in question, but only heard others say they heard it?

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It seems pretty obvious to me that the current investigation based on the whistleblower's complaint is based on "evidence."  So it all pretty moot to me.

If by "evidence" you mean "something has spurred on our suspicion" then of course the answer is yes; the report itself spurs on suspicion. But the issue is whether it's based on evidence of a crime, and for that there needs to be an actual crime and evidence that links it to the person being investigated, doesn't it? So what's the crime?

Just for example, in the memorandum it shows Trump asking for some favors after a discussion about Javelin missiles. Some have interpreted that as Trump implying that the favors are the price of the missiles, some that he was just moving on to the next point since the missiles were a given anyhow (i.e. that it was Zelenskyy complying with the U.S.). Maybe both are plausible, but the notion that you *could* interpret it as a quid pro quo is not "evidence" of a crime. Otherwise you could take transcripts from anything, suggest 'possible implications' of things not actually said, and then make up crimes that could be inferred from those implications. It sounds like a huge kafkatrap to me. I'm not even saying it's impossible that Trump really did intend it as extortion, but if the only evidence is "he might have meant that when he talked of favors" that's not evidence, it's just conjecture.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 12:53:26 PM
I think Seriati's general point above is that it's unconstitutional to investigate people just because they give off shady vibes. Hey let's face it, anyone in real estate could probably have stuff turn up if they were investigates. Does that mean it should be legal to open up investigations into anyone in real estate just on principle? Or how about politicians? That has to be *way* more suspicious on the face of it than being in real estate, in terms of what muck you're probably wading in. So anyone in politics should be automatically open to investigation because "they're probably doing something wrong"? And actually I don't even know if I have a problem with that, so long as it's consistent and not just to be used on people you don't like.

This isn't pizzagate or Obama's birth certificate.

If you are President you simply should not own a business of any kind. Particularly one that your kids still have active control of. Then there isn't any reason to talk about how great your hotel is, because it isn't yours anymore. It's not about the amount. Just like shoplifting is stealing, even if it is just a candy bar. It is still illegal, even if you are a millionaire and could buy the candy anyway.

I understand that people will look at speaking fees and charitable contributions and say "hey, that looks pretty corrupt too". But that is the way things are done. Covert, so at least we can maintain a pretense that officials are not corrupt.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 04, 2019, 01:17:30 PM
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Isn't hearsay literally not evidence? Doesn't the whistleblower report outright say that the author of it did not personally witness the events in question, but only heard others say they heard it?

No to both questions.

Hearsay is evidence and is used to start investigations and obtain warrants and even indictments all the time. It can't be used in court, generally, as proof of the truth of the statement, but there are exceptions where it can even be used in a trial. "Hearsay" is a deliberate distraction, and is not a valid objection to investigating.

The WB complaint indicated BOTH secondhand and firsthand information, and the ICIG found both claims credible.

"So what's the crime?"

Come on. You have to know that "High crimes and misdemeanors" was never supposed to map to the criminal code. The "high crime and/or misdemeanor" is, at least:
1) Conducting foreign policy for personal benefit
2) Soliciting interference from a foreign country in our domestic politics
3) Obstructing and interfering with Congressional oversight

There may be conduct that DOES map to the criminal code, but there doesn't have to be.

By the way, Volker's document production included a lot of text messages that corroborate some of the whistleblower's allegations. If you haven't read those text messages you might be in danger of making misinformed claims about the nature of the conduct and the validity of the WB report. That's the FIRST GUY that cooperated with the investigation, and there's already corroboration. Not to mention Giuliani has helpfully been making public statements that also corroborate the allegations.


Yet we'll continue to see people arguing that there's no evidence, no real justification for an investigation. Because they wrote the story in their minds long ago and the evidence before their eyes doesn't matter.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 04, 2019, 01:23:38 PM
I can't believe so many people are willing to bend their standards to ANYTHING this president does.

That's why he's going to win again. The left simply can't fathom why so many would hold their nose in favor of the transparently crude over the covertly slimy, posing as virtuous.

boor > worm

You're summing this up as "crude"? It makes you look pretty misinformed.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: fizz on October 04, 2019, 01:25:46 PM
...
I think Seriati's general point above is that it's unconstitutional to investigate people just because they give off shady vibes. Hey let's face it, anyone in real estate could probably have stuff turn up if they were investigated. Does that mean it should be legal to open up investigations into anyone in real estate just on principle? Or how about politicians? That has to be *way* more suspicious on the face of it than being in real estate, in terms of what muck you're probably wading in. So anyone in politics should be automatically open to investigation because "they're probably doing something wrong"? And actually I don't even know if I have a problem with that, so long as it's consistent and not just to be used on people you don't like.

I think we should not apply the criminal standard to an impeachment process: how this (http://lawsandsausagescomic.com/comic/301 (http://lawsandsausagescomic.com/comic/301)) useful didactic webcomic point out, impeachment is by definition political, an exclusive power of congress, and being subject to it a straight consequence of having government role, by design by your own founding fathers.
The criminal part may or may not follow, but that's a side point.

And even if criminal standards were applicable, as a standard for investigation, a denounce is usually quite enough as probable cause for investigation. Even an anonymous denounce, I'm told, according to your own supreme court.
Of course the case was about a mexican truck driver, not a politician... if anything, powerful people are usually much more shielded from a random denounce having a follow up compared to the average citizen.


Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 01:42:37 PM
Some people think Trump shouldn't be investigated, and yet applaud him for pardoning Arpaio who investigated people on the basis of having brown skin and speaking Spanish. I wonder how they reconcile that.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 04, 2019, 01:44:55 PM
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I think Seriati's general point above is that it's unconstitutional to investigate people just because they give off shady vibes

On persons shady vibes is another persons smoking gun. Proved on this forum time and time again.

The same argument defending Trump that no investigation on anything should have ever been started can be applied to Biden.
The same argument to start a investigation into Trump can be applied to Biden.

We have nowhere to stand.

This case isn't about Biden. We must be careful that aren't permitting the breaking the law as a justification in the pursuit of 'justice'.

Question: Does a president have the right (law on his side) to ask foreign powers to investigate political rivals for political gain.
If no. We have a problem = investigate
If yes. let it go

Question. Does a president have the right to withhold funds for a quid pro quo?
If no. If their is smoke requires investigation.
If yes. Let it go.


Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 04, 2019, 01:46:20 PM
Is a whistleblower's report evidence?  Something that someone witnessed?  Something that someone heard someone else say?  Something that was reported?

Isn't hearsay literally not evidence?

The answer is no.  Hearsay is a type of evidence.  As FindLaw discusses: (https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/hearsay-evidence.html)

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Hearsay is defined as an out-of-court statement, made in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted. These out-of-court statements do not have to be spoken words, but they can also constitute documents or even body language. The rule against hearsay was designed to prevent gossip from being offered to convict someone...

Hearsay evidence is not admissible in court unless a statue or rule provides otherwise. Therefore, even if a statement is really hearsay, it may still be admissible if an exception applies. The Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) contains nearly thirty of these exceptions to providing hearsay evidence.
(Emphasis mine.)

Courts rightfully excluded hearsay evidence to prove that something is true or not.  However, this does not mean it is not "evidence," shown by the fact that there are multiple exceptions to the rule.  And for purposes of an investigation, in order to gather evidence that may prove or disprove someone's guilt, I believe it is certainly considered evidence for further investigation.  Otherwise, any report given to a police officer would be considered "hearsay" if the officer reports it to someone else. ;)

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Doesn't the whistleblower report outright say that the author of it did not personally witness the events in question, but only heard others say they heard it?

As I have heard from multiple sources, and as the report says, the answer is also no.  The whistleblower stated that he was "not a direct witness to most of the events described."  However, this means that he was a witness to some of them.

And, by statute, even not being a witness (hearsay) was sufficient for him to file the report.

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It seems pretty obvious to me that the current investigation based on the whistleblower's complaint is based on "evidence."  So it all pretty moot to me.

If by "evidence" you mean "something has spurred on our suspicion" then of course the answer is yes; the report itself spurs on suspicion. But the issue is whether it's based on evidence of a crime, and for that there needs to be an actual crime and evidence that links it to the person being investigated, doesn't it? So what's the crime?

Isn't it using the office of the President to solicit valuable aid from a foreign government for his political campaign?  As I recall, accepting money or anything of value from a foreigner person or government is considered a crime.

Also remember that impeachment does not require an actual "crime" in the normal sense, but includes "high crimes and misdemeanors" which is more expansive than what is covered by criminal statutes.

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Just for example, in the memorandum it shows Trump asking for some favors after a discussion about Javelin missiles. Some have interpreted that as Trump implying that the favors are the price of the missiles, some that he was just moving on to the next point since the missiles were a given anyhow (i.e. that it was Zelenskyy complying with the U.S.). Maybe both are plausible, but the notion that you *could* interpret it as a quid pro quo is not "evidence" of a crime. Otherwise you could take transcripts from anything, suggest 'possible implications' of things not actually said, and then make up crimes that could be inferred from those implications. It sounds like a huge kafkatrap to me. I'm not even saying it's impossible that Trump really did intend it as extortion, but if the only evidence is "he might have meant that when he talked of favors" that's not evidence, it's just conjecture.

Conjecture, like a guy sneaking around a neighborhood at night.  But enough for the police to investigate.

And then when they find out the guy is carrying valuable jewels in his pocket--or a diplomat sends a text message that says "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign"--then it is worth further investigation, right?  Just to make sure those are really the guy's jewels, or that the President really did not imply that assistance was dependent on finding (or making up) dirt on the President's likely rival in the next election.

The nice thing about investigations is that, if no further evidence is found, or if the evidence found is weak, then you can drop it.  But if the investigation brings up more, or even better, evidence, then it's kind of a weak argument that the better evidence should be ignored because the initial evidence was weak, or even inadmissible in court.  That's known as letting the criminal get away on a technicality, something that a lot of people have thought to be an injustice for quite a while. ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 01:57:27 PM
It's worth noting that Trump didn't appear to meet any standard of evidence when encouraging an investigation into Biden. There was no evidence of any wrongdoing by either Biden. It just looked shady.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 04, 2019, 03:08:15 PM
Trumps ticked because he blew his wad prematurely.

He didn't need a investigation to prove Biden did anything wrong just as he didn't need one to have the label crooked Hillary stick.

Trump just needed to bide his time and bring it up when/if Biden was his opponent and it probably would have worked. Maybe the problem was a lack of imagination and he didn't want to be accursed of recycling the label crooked Joe lock him up.

SAD


Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 04, 2019, 03:09:15 PM
If you are President you simply should not own a business of any kind. Particularly one that your kids still have active control of.

I think you've hit it here. I have to be honest, despite many of the reasons given time and again (such as annoying tweets, bad manners, 'political mistakes') I think a lot of the problem people have had with Trump is this, on one level or another. He was a rich guy with a stake in business, and specifically a business that thrives based on personal relationships, which Trump now has major access to. Earlier on in his campaign and Presidency this issue came up a lot more than it does now, due to more specific scandals that have arisen. We've asked before whether not being a career politician should disqualify you for the Presidency. From a certain point of view the original intention was probably more like the opposite, where people of various backgrounds could be President, and this has only over time morphed into there being a political class. However one fact never escapes us: conflicts of interest will always corrupt and corrode governance. Congresspeople will comply with their donors and lobbyists; party loyalty will trump working for the good of the country; and powerful associations and partnerships will be pursued in order to 'be able to to do more'.

But I'll ask whether you're taking your own argument seriously, because I definitely am. Think carefully about "should not own a business" and see where that leads: what is "owning"? Does it mean you can't personally own a business that's not traded? Does it mean you can't be a majority shareholder in a publicly traded company? Does it mean you can't own even one single share of any company at all? In order to avoid the conflict of interest entirely I think you'll find that only the last option is a tenable definition that can cover all possible cases of corruption and conflict of interest; otherwise your stake in the company, to whatever extent, can influence your behavior while in office. So let's state how this should be worded, loosely speaking: in order to be President you should be required to divest yourself of every possible connection, ownership, share, or connection to any company of any kind. If you have a portfolio in the stock market, mutual funds, money market, etc etc, it must be liquidated completely. Any positions on boards given up. Any status in 'associations' (like just for example the Atlantic Council or the CFR) given up and disavowed. And all of these must be permanent and for life because otherwise such things can just be held in escrow or saved for you until your term ends, and any gifts, promises, rewards, or incentives can be still offered and just cashed in on when you're done your term. So it must be for life.

Let's go further: How about future prospects? Surely with all that liquidated capital you'll have a stack of cash sitting in a bank account or maybe protected in a government facility or something. Once you're done your term surely you'll be allowed to spend it on whatever you like, right? Such as stocks and bonds? But then that circumvents the "for life" clause. So what happens to all that money? It goes to your family, who then buys all the stuff you're not allowed to, and the favors and promises end up going to them by proxy and it amounts to the same conflict of interest? In which case we realize it must apply to the immediate family as well. In short, there is little solution for it other than for the entire immediate family along with the President to declare a vow of poverty, for life, to divest themselves of all corporate and financial connections, and to submit to living on a state allowance for life with no permissions at all to accumulate a fortune or ever invest in business again.

This sounds pretty crazy, right? Except I think that's literally the only way to actually implement what you say without it just turning into a "law" that has a hundred ways to wiggle around it with all the same conflicts of interest. It would turn into a lawyer's accounting trick instead of truly removing the incentive for personal corruption. I'll add, though, that even something as extreme as this wouldn't be successful unless campaign finance reform happened as well, because there is plenty of room for corruption just in terms of trying to get re-elected even if it doesn't personally enrich your finances.

So assuming you mean what I hope you mean, I'm in agreement with you. I wrote a long document about this exact topic maybe 7 years ago and I still stand by it. But no one seems to take campaign finance reform seriously, other than Bernie, and I fear that topic is being eclipsed by hot topic scandals and other firey issues like stopping Trump. But getting the money out of politics surely has to be a priority if these other messes are to have any chance of being prevented, so I really do think the "no business ties for the President" concept is an immensely important one.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 04, 2019, 03:13:13 PM
Trump seems to be following the Russia investigation playbook with this one. As soon as it was obvious things were getting started he started putting out "weak" evidence against him. This starts his supporters spinning it in their minds that the whole thing is just a sham based off of what is by itself not a smoking gun. Once this is spun in their heads, continue to do it with each piece of evidence that comes out. In totality things will look pretty bad but each event in isolation is explainable or "justifiable," at least to his supporters.

The phone call was one piece of evidence. Later when we see how the administration held up the military aid we'll have another piece of evidence, and then the statements from the state department about the appearance of a quid pro quo. Maybe other evidence after that. I'm sure we'll all sit in our confirmation bias zones and say "aha, just as I thought" and be thinking the exact opposite things.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 04, 2019, 03:25:50 PM
The phone call was one piece of evidence. Later when we see how the administration held up the military aid we'll have another piece of evidence, and then the statements from the state department about the appearance of a quid pro quo. Maybe other evidence after that. I'm sure we'll all sit in our confirmation bias zones and say "aha, just as I thought" and be thinking the exact opposite things.

You might be right. Despite my 'defences' of Trump on this I will be happy to be proven wrong if it turns out he's totally corrupt, and will want to see him go down for it. But it's too bad that in reality 99% of this is a red vs blue capture the flag game and very little seems to be about justice or truth or anything like that. You can see the cracks in the "it's about integrity" side of it when I'm constantly being exposed to both social media posts and MSM news articles repeating the lie that "after a request for military aid Trump directly asked for an investigation into Biden." That is not how it went, but the spin on it renders the "fact" into a deliberate falsehood despite the fact that it's true that Trump did discuss investigating Biden. I wouldn't even call it a "fact" that they discussed military aid, as IMO that part of the conversation was Zelenskyy actually capitulating to U.S. aims, but you won't find discussion of that kind of detail in such articles and posts. It will be stated as reported fact that aid was requested, and that Trump immediately turned to extorting him about Biden.

How can it be possible to believe there's any noble motive in accusing Trump when this is how it's done? Nothing good can come from bad faith like this, but the one mitigating factor is that many ordinary people probably have no idea this goes on. My parents, for example, literally can't fathom the notion that the news might deceive people on purpose. If something appears on the news, or in a newspaper, it's a fact. How do they know it is? Because that's what the news prints: facts. This syllogism can't be penetrated, and believe me I've tried. There is no way to shake their notion that if it says the thing then the thing is correct and as stated. I suppose this is the equal and opposite of the 4chan types who can't believe almost anything they read, no matter the source, and basically live in a self-created imaginary bubble.

It's just not believable that selling lies can be connected to being on "the good side", and so I am very resistant to any arguments whose public support largely comes as a result of such tactics. And that's true even if I might otherwise agree with that side. For instance I tend to agree that it's a bad turn for America for Trump to be President. But it's an even worse turn to try to oust a President using underhanded media tactics. It's like America has regressed back to the 1880's when the papers were seen as a bunch of partisan rags.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 03:48:35 PM
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Generally one starts with evidence of a crime.  How do you think the police do it today?
The remains how reasonable suspicion is being defined, how much smoke is required before we get to check it out?

Well there has to be evidence a crime occurred.  But the bigger problem here is, what does it mean to "check it out"?  In this case the "best" form of the argument for a crime is that Trump illegally used his office to obtain something of value in connection with the 2020 campaign (at least according to the Dems and the Whistle Blower).  But there's massive problems with that.  First, the DOJ already looked at it and said there's no campaign finance violation, ipso facto there's no crime.  That's also completely evident from the transcript in question.

I've said it more than once, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PRECEDENT OR LAW that states that true information about crimes someone committed is "something of value" under the law.  You can look at Mueller's write up if you don't believe me, they admitted that even they didn't think they could get there.  It's simply false that obtaining that information is a violation of election laws.

So then what's the crime?  Is it corruption?  A "quid pro quo" of holding up Ukrainian aide for "something of value" to Trump personally?  Problem with that is that Trump never said it and the evidence points to his proxies making it express that there would be no quid pro quo internally.  It's also pretty evident that a big part of the reason Trump released his transcript and the WhistleBlower complaint is that he knows there was no quid pro quo (sounds familiar, kind of like when he knew there was no Russian collusion).

So if there's no election law violation, and no evidence of the quid pro quo, what exactly is the crime that needs investigating?

However, I'm not going to die on that hill, the DOJ could just as easily decide appropriately to conduct an investigation.  Whether or not Trump intended a quid pro quo doesn't control whether or not his proxies tried to arrange for one, and there certainly could be crimes there.  But the big problem is that they literally don't go to Trump without facts that aren't in evidence - ie there's no real smoke.

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Based on how I read most of your comments you set the Bar high for Trump and low for Biden?

Same bar, except in Biden's case we have him bragging about the act on tv that would have been the very and exact act that was corrupt.  He literally demanded as a condition of US aide - expressly, which is what's missing in Trump's record - that a certain prosecutor be fired.  In fact, he told them he was getting on a plane in 6 hours and the billion was effectively going with him.  While his son's company was under investigation by that prosecutor.  That very same prosecutor has gone under oath and made certain statements related to that event that flat out state a corrupt purpose.  Not an anonymous whistleblower, the actual person involved, and actual witnesses of an event that in Biden's own words occurred and that we have video of (not a transcript that DOES NOT SHOW THE EVENT).

Is it possible Biden is innocent, sure, I said as much in my early comments.  Is it possible Trump did something corrupt, that too is possible.  However, based on the records you'd have to not believe in justice to believe that Biden's conduct should not be reviewed, and I personally don't see much to investigate on Trump, but wouldn't stand in the way of a fair investigation (Congress on the other hand is not engaging in any kind of recognizable process, both Nadler's and Schiff's have opened up with statements of guilt of the person they are investigating).

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Questions.
If Biden is guilty does that exonerate Trump?

Nope, Biden's guilt is an independent question.  But the question itself is misleading until you can set out what Trump needs to be "exonerated" from.

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Is President asking another government to investigate a political rival breaking the law.

No.  Which law would it be breaking?  Again, you are aware that under the Constitution the President is in fact the chief law enforcement officer directly charged with this kind of investigation.  Would I be happier if Trump had asked more neutrally for evidence of law breaking?  Sure, if you go back and look he also talked about the Ambassador from the prior admin, which if you do a little digging was massively connecting in the entire manipulation of the Ukranian government.  But pretty much the most public piece was Biden.

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Is the hint of smoke from the transcript of a quid pro quo wink wink enough for a investigation?

What hint of a quid pro quo?  It's not in the transcript, and it appears to have been the express direction from Trump to his staff that there was to be no quid pro quo.

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Are you being honest with yourself. If Obama had made the same call would you demand a investigation?

Why do you think he didn't?  What did he mean about flexibility with Russia after the election?  Who exactly did arrange to obtain dirt from the Ukraine on Manafort during the election?

If you believe this is problematic, why are ignoring the letter the DNC Senators recently sent to the Ukraine threatening to pull the support of the left if they don't investigate Trump?

Again, walk me through the fairly applied process you're running.

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Morally and ethically how do you feel about what Trump said he did?

I actually feel morally and ethically fine about it.  Tactically I wish he'd have more sense than to say things that can be misconstrued.  But there's no crime in asking for evidence of a crime.  Period.  End of story.  Even if the evidence also benefits him.

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Or you know, you could actually establish a President doing something illegal and then investigate

My comment you referred to was about how we were undermining the foundations we say we are standing on.
Trumps go to preemptive/counter punch strategy is effective. It very much confuses things as everyone gets to choose what mud stinking on the wall to point to. Essentially its don't look at me look over their.

Except it's not what happened.  Trump reacted to  - not preempted - what appears to be a set up.  The fact that the establishment keeps miscalculated how he'll react does make me laugh.

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The problem "to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail". Trump attacks everything the same way and its should be understandable that some people see this as smoke to be investigate. Trump would be much more effective if he learned that not every *&^% thing is a (*&^ nail

And to the Democrats, everything looks like an impeachable offense.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 04, 2019, 03:51:15 PM
Hypothetically let's say it wasn't Joe Biden and his son whose corruption was the issue. Let's say it was someone like Marc Rich, an international commodities trader, hedge fund manager, financier and businessman who as far as I know was never a politician and never ran for public office. So if the same allegations against Trump were true but it wasn't a politician he was talking about, would it still be a crime? Trump tells Ukraine he wants an investigation into the finances of some Marc Rich type guy and if he doesn't get it then the arms deal will be put on hold. Is that an impeachable offense? Is it a crime? Is it even wrong?

Now if there is no problem with that scenario but there is with the Biden corruption and influence peddling then are we essentially saying that it should be harder to investigate corruption of politicians than it is the financial crimes of regular civilians?

Basically the crime then isn't what Trump did, it's the person he did it against. Democrats are Untouchables.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 04, 2019, 04:09:19 PM
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Let's say it was someone like Marc Rich, an international commodities trader, hedge fund manager, financier and businessman who as far as I know was never a politician and never ran for public office. So if the same allegations against Trump were true but it wasn't a politician he was talking about, would it still be a crime? Trump tells Ukraine he wants an investigation into the finances of some Marc Rich type guy and if he doesn't get it then the arms deal will be put on hold. Is that an impeachable offense? Is it a crime? Is it even wrong?

Yes, I think so.

You wouldn't have any problem with Trump using his position as President of the United States to investigate a private citizen for his own personal reasons?  That he will put on hold badly needed arms to a country that is defending itself against Russian aggression because he wants dirt of some guy?  Do you really think it is moral and "usual" for a President to possibly affect the security of an ally, and possibly our own nation, just to check out a private citizen?  :o

The fact that he was doing so against his most likely opponent in the next election just makes it worse.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 04:09:50 PM
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Generally one starts with evidence of a crime.  How do you think the police do it today?

It really comes down to what is considered "evidence."

Is a whistleblower's report evidence?  Something that someone witnessed?  Something that someone heard someone else say?  Something that was reported?

Sure is, in fact that's how many investigations start.  However, when you have a whistle blower report that didn't hear the statement, and the statement itself is available and contradicts the whistle blower it undermines the evidentiary value.  When you consider that the IG found that the whistle blower may have a partisan motive that too undermines the account.  Hearsay has to be verified, not undermined, to keep the investigation moving - at least when it's a real investigation, obviously the House DNC doesn't care about anything more than an appearance.

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How about suspicious activity?  Can police question someone (aka investigate) based on suspicious actions?  What constitutes "suspicious?"

Sure can.  Usually "suspicious" is conduct that is atypical and consistent with a crime.  Hanging around a building after dark.  In this case the conduct is "speaking with a foreign leader," which is actually part of the job, "asking for help investigating a crime," which is actually part of the job, "considering if a country is too corrupt to receive aide," which is also part of the job and for which a conversation with the brand new government and an explanation of their actions is perfectly consistent (see specifically, Trump's comment about the Ukrainian President surrounding him with the same people that are known to be corrupt).

you seem to be hanging your hat on Trump asking for any information about the ongoing investigation into the 2016 election interference - which again is legit and totally appropriate - and using the very public example of Biden in connection with ongoing corruption.  Was Trump right about it being an open example of corruption?  There's not enough evidence one way or the other, was it outside of the realm of reasonable beliefs to have?  Not at all.  But those comments even expressly say there's a "lot of talk" about and "Biden went around bragging" about it. 

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It seems pretty obvious to me that the current investigation based on the whistleblower's complaint is based on "evidence."  So it all pretty moot to me.

Nah, Congress isn't doing a real investigation, and certainly couldn't care less about evidence.  All Congress's investigation is based on is politics and a pretext.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 04, 2019, 04:38:17 PM
> Wayward Son

"Yes, I think so.

You wouldn't have any problem with Trump using his position as President of the United States to investigate a private citizen for his own personal reasons?"

----------------------------------------------------------

Okay I apologize for not making the hypothetical situation more clear. It's just some random guy being investigated, someone who is not politically connected, so there is no issue there where it looks like Trump is investigating for his own personal reasons.

Now is it a problem if Trump threatens to withhold military aid or money or holds up an arms deal unless this person is investigated?

In other words, the crime isn't what Trump did. It's the fact that he did it against Biden. Or any Democrat he might be running against.

--------------------------------------------------------------


"Do you really think it is moral and "usual" for a President to possibly affect the security of an ally, and possibly our own nation, just to check out a private citizen?"

Okay, nvm about not making the hypothetical situation clear enough. You get it. Yeah, I think it's moral and usual for a President to to that. If they're an ally they won't mind helping us out with investigations. If they refuse then how much of an ally are they?

If this was about money laundering in Columbia or something and an investigation into an American financial criminal was the issue and the President said we'd like you to look into this and the help we're giving you to fight the drug war down there is in play then how is that a problem? The President even says it's quid pro quo. Investigate this guy or you don't get the money. If the political angle isn't involved then I don't see how it's a crime for the President to negotiate like that. I mean if the country then comes back and says no we are giving the guy you are investigating asylum, we refuse to extradite him, and we're not only not going to help you but we're going to protect him then does the President still have to give them arms, money, and everything else? No, he could say all deals are off then.

However, when I put it that way, I can agree that it would be problematic doing the same thing when it's a political rival in the next election.  But that also makes my point. It's not what he did, it's the person he did it against.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 05:04:23 PM
The WB complaint indicated BOTH secondhand and firsthand information, and the ICIG found both claims credible.

Point to which parts were first hand.  Was it just that the whistleblower went to meetings?  Was it something more?  Can't assume it's material, where the whistle blower went out of their way not to attribute anything that is actually criminal or even suspicious to their own direct knowledge.  And again, the "interpretation" they put on thing from "more than 6 officials" turned out to not be supported by the facts.

That means either 6 plus officials didn't say it, or if they did they too didn't have direct knowledge or were misrepresenting the situation.  Kind of like how when an "anonymous source with direct knowledge of the situation" turns out to be completely wrong, it's pretty big undercut to claim that more than 6 people have direct knowledge of something that didn't happen.

Quote
"So what's the crime?"

Come on. You have to know that "High crimes and misdemeanors" was never supposed to map to the criminal code.

That's an unexamined truism.  What "high crimes and misdemeanors" did Congress miss over the last 250 years that are so obvious?  Lol.

Quote
The "high crime and/or misdemeanor" is, at least:
1) Conducting foreign policy for personal benefit

Zero evidence this occurred.  It's totally a shaky claim, but the media is hard selling it, I'll give you that.  It requires that the quid pro quo did in fact happen and that what Trump was doing was improper, neither of which are actually true.

Or I guess, given we're going with "it doesn't need to be an actual crime" this should be retranslated as investigating malfeasance of members of the DNC is a an impermissable act of a politician (except see DNC Senators that did the exact same thing).

Quote
2) Soliciting interference from a foreign country in our domestic politics

Show me where anyone asked the Ukraine to interfere in US politics.  Seriously, show me where.  This is one giant leap of logic that if the Ukraine provides evidence of criminal activity by the Bidens and the US prosecutes them it would be an interference - by law it would not.  Or are you positing that it's illegal for a President's lawyer like Giuliani (or say, Hillary's legal team) to seek out and obtain (or pay for) a foreign government (or UK spy) to provide evidence of a crime (or Russian propaganda that was untrue).  Or should be consider the express and literally equivalent actions of the Obama administration in pressuring and actaully recieving intel from the exact same country during the election, after pressuring them with respect to corruption in their government and after failing to support them as Russian invaded their country?

Oh sorry, forgot rule one, investigating DNC crimes is a high crime and misdemeanor.

Quote
3) Obstructing and interfering with Congressional oversight

Which didn't happen either.  There seems to be a delusion that protecting ones Constitutional rights is obstruction of justice.  See the list I cited above, Congress is subject to the Bill of Rights - it's literally part of the Constitution.  Not to mention, you seem to think that the Executive Branch has no rights under the Constitution, rather than being intended to be CO-EQUAL to and not subservient to Congress.

The House pretending they are conducting an impeachment does not entitle them to ignore the Constitution, a fact most everyone of them Nadler and Biden included has acknowledged (and even screamed and whined about) when the shoe was on the other foot.

Quote
There may be conduct that DOES map to the criminal code, but there doesn't have to be.

I will concede this is true, but it's a gross violation of the oath of office of each member of the House to pretend that political conduct that they dislike is a high crime simply because they dislike it. 

Quote
Yet we'll continue to see people arguing that there's no evidence, no real justification for an investigation. Because they wrote the story in their minds long ago and the evidence before their eyes doesn't matter.

Of course, and we've seen the how the House handles it where they open up their "investigations" literally with statements that the person they are investigating is guilty.  Go back and read Nadler's opening statement in the Lewandoski hearing.  By his statement there's no investigation required, guilt is already a factual matter.  Heck Schiff took it even further, he made up evidence in his opening statement.

But sure, it's the problem of the other side in prejudging the validity of the evidence.  Sigh.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 05:35:48 PM
If you are President you simply should not own a business of any kind. Particularly one that your kids still have active control of.

I think you've hit it here. I have to be honest, despite many of the reasons given time and again (such as annoying tweets, bad manners, 'political mistakes') I think a lot of the problem people have had with Trump is this, on one level or another. He was a rich guy with a stake in business, and specifically a business that thrives based on personal relationships, which Trump now has major access to. Earlier on in his campaign and Presidency this issue came up a lot more than it does now, due to more specific scandals that have arisen. We've asked before whether not being a career politician should disqualify you for the Presidency. From a certain point of view the original intention was probably more like the opposite, where people of various backgrounds could be President, and this has only over time morphed into there being a political class. However one fact never escapes us: conflicts of interest will always corrupt and corrode governance. Congresspeople will comply with their donors and lobbyists; party loyalty will trump working for the good of the country; and powerful associations and partnerships will be pursued in order to 'be able to to do more'.

But I'll ask whether you're taking your own argument seriously, because I definitely am. Think carefully about "should not own a business" and see where that leads: what is "owning"? Does it mean you can't personally own a business that's not traded? Does it mean you can't be a majority shareholder in a publicly traded company? Does it mean you can't own even one single share of any company at all? In order to avoid the conflict of interest entirely I think you'll find that only the last option is a tenable definition that can cover all possible cases of corruption and conflict of interest; otherwise your stake in the company, to whatever extent, can influence your behavior while in office. So let's state how this should be worded, loosely speaking: in order to be President you should be required to divest yourself of every possible connection, ownership, share, or connection to any company of any kind. If you have a portfolio in the stock market, mutual funds, money market, etc etc, it must be liquidated completely. Any positions on boards given up. Any status in 'associations' (like just for example the Atlantic Council or the CFR) given up and disavowed. And all of these must be permanent and for life because otherwise such things can just be held in escrow or saved for you until your term ends, and any gifts, promises, rewards, or incentives can be still offered and just cashed in on when you're done your term. So it must be for life.

Let's go further: How about future prospects? Surely with all that liquidated capital you'll have a stack of cash sitting in a bank account or maybe protected in a government facility or something. Once you're done your term surely you'll be allowed to spend it on whatever you like, right? Such as stocks and bonds? But then that circumvents the "for life" clause. So what happens to all that money? It goes to your family, who then buys all the stuff you're not allowed to, and the favors and promises end up going to them by proxy and it amounts to the same conflict of interest? In which case we realize it must apply to the immediate family as well. In short, there is little solution for it other than for the entire immediate family along with the President to declare a vow of poverty, for life, to divest themselves of all corporate and financial connections, and to submit to living on a state allowance for life with no permissions at all to accumulate a fortune or ever invest in business again.

This sounds pretty crazy, right? Except I think that's literally the only way to actually implement what you say without it just turning into a "law" that has a hundred ways to wiggle around it with all the same conflicts of interest. It would turn into a lawyer's accounting trick instead of truly removing the incentive for personal corruption. I'll add, though, that even something as extreme as this wouldn't be successful unless campaign finance reform happened as well, because there is plenty of room for corruption just in terms of trying to get re-elected even if it doesn't personally enrich your finances.

So assuming you mean what I hope you mean, I'm in agreement with you. I wrote a long document about this exact topic maybe 7 years ago and I still stand by it. But no one seems to take campaign finance reform seriously, other than Bernie, and I fear that topic is being eclipsed by hot topic scandals and other firey issues like stopping Trump. But getting the money out of politics surely has to be a priority if these other messes are to have any chance of being prevented, so I really do think the "no business ties for the President" concept is an immensely important one.

There are two main reasons for caring. The first is the possibility that you could create a regulation that favors your business in an unequal way. Like starting a trade war might for certain kinds of business. The other is that somebody buys your products in order to curry favor. Even worse would be insider trading, where you sell your OJ futures because you just saw a report from the Ag Dept.

So, if you are going to own a significant amount of stock in a particular company you are in a bad way. This is not a concern if you are invested in an index fund. It isn't much of a concern if you are in a blind trust. If you don't know what you own, and other people don't know what you own, then the two problematic scenarios don't exist.

Is Trump hammering the Fed to lower interest rates to help the American people, or to boost his profits? We can't know.

As far as the afterword is concerned, that's more of a traditional bribery type thing. You can't likely set up  regulations and capitalize on it months or years later. I'm not thrilled with the whole lobbyist transformation for former office holders - but in any event this is not the same thing.

rich members of congress (https://www.businessinsider.com/how-richest-members-congress-made-money-house-senate-2019-2) have potential conflicts of interest also, but there are 535 of them and they can't issue executive orders or make trade deals on their own.

The Obamas actually didn't use a blind trust, but their investments were bland - index funds, etc. Carter put his peanut farm in trust but still got investigated by Republicans over it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 05:43:22 PM
From Johnson's articles of impeachment:

Quote
10. Making three speeches with intent to "attempt to bring into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach, the Congress of the United States".
11. Bringing disgrace and ridicule to the presidency by his aforementioned words and actions.

So, yeah, an article of impeachment does not have to be a crime.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 05:55:20 PM
Is Trump hammering the Fed to lower interest rates to help the American people, or to boost his profits? We can't know.

Why can't we?  You are aware that not only has the EU lowered rates, they have actually put them negative.  Which means banks have to pay interest to the central bank to keep money there, they don't even have room to go lower.  In fact most of the world has been having a pretty hard time economically compared to the US.

The biggest benefit to Trump of lower rates isn't personal, it's the increased power of the economy, which helps him both politically and by benefiting all businesses (and potential customers).

I was reading the other day, that in Obama's 8 years the average income for a middle class family increased by $1000, and in Trump's 3 years, it's up by almost $4000.  I won't stand behind something I read once, but that would be a stunning reality against the fake economic news we are generally sold.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 04, 2019, 05:57:12 PM
Quote
Okay I apologize for not making the hypothetical situation more clear. It's just some random guy being investigated, someone who is not politically connected, so there is no issue there where it looks like Trump is investigating for his own personal reasons.

But in your hypothetical situation, cherry, why is the President investigating this random guy?

If it's not personal, then it must be for some governmental reason.  What reason is that?

Is there some formal investigation in the Justice Department?  If so, when was it announced?  What started the investigation?  For what reason is this random guy being investigated?

Is it some local investigation of possible corruption, that asked the Justice Department for help?  When was the request made?  Who made it?  Why was it needed?

After all, the President just doesn't start random investigations himself.  He may ask the Justice Department to start one, but then he hands it over to them.  Then the Justice Department may request help from the Executive Branch, and they usually give it, by having the local diplomats contact the foreign governments.  It is usually coordinated through them.

So why is the President getting involved with the investigation of this random guy?  What is so important that it is elevated up to his level?  And why, for goodness sake, is the President's personal lawyer involved??

Even for some random guy, wouldn't you want to know the answers to these questions?  Just to be assured that he wasn't being targeted for some obscure political reason?

Even for a random person, it still needs explanation.

And for his likely opponent, it needs plenty of explanation.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 05:59:13 PM
Can you read Trump's mind? Just because there are plausible reasons for a policy decision doesn't mean that it is impossible that it was motivated by personal gain.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 04, 2019, 06:03:15 PM
LOL, you have to be kidding.  See the defense of Biden.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 04, 2019, 06:10:28 PM
"Wayward Son

But in your hypothetical situation, cherry, why is the President investigating this random guy?"

I was just trying to apply objective criteria to a specific instance and see if this is a crime or not, objectively. Would this be illegal if the people involved weren't the people they are in this case.  Maybe that's impossible here.

I did see something else interesting in internet comments where people were asking if this isn't a big deal to ask governments to investigate American citizens then how many other governments has Trump asked to investigate how many other American citizens? I thought that was a pretty good question. Apparently the answer was, "I'll get back to you on that." So probably none.

As to your questions yes it's obvious all of this is completely political and Trump's motivations here are purely political. I'll grant that. If it was so low level politician or maybe a Republican that supported Trump and his son was getting paid while that politician exerted influence would Trump care? No, probably not. It wouldn't be on his radar. So yeah this is totally political but I doubt that makes it illegal. After all, as has been pointed out, the Democrats did the same things and worse and it was totally fine. Looking for real corruption and conflicts of interest and making those public isn't a crime and shouldn't be and just because it's your political rivals you are looking for dirt on doesn't change that. If that was illegal Hillary would already be in prison.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 04, 2019, 06:13:21 PM
Quote
LOL, you have to be kidding.  See the defense of Biden.

What do you mean by that, Seriati?  Are you saying that we shouldn't investigate Trump for the same reason we shouldn't investigate Biden?  Or are you saying that both Biden and Trump should be investigated for the same reason?

Or, because "there are plausible reasons for a policy decision doesn't mean that it is impossible that it was motivated by personal gain," we should investigate Biden but not Trump?

I'm confused.  ???
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 04, 2019, 06:15:40 PM
Quote
After all, as has been pointed out, the Democrats did the same things and worse and it was totally fine. Looking for real corruption and conflicts of interest and making those public isn't a crime and shouldn't be and just because it's your political rivals you are looking for dirt on doesn't change that. If that was illegal Hillary would already be in prison.

Could you please be specific about when the Democrats did the same things and worse and "it was totally fine?"

Because I don't ever recall when the Democrats did anything and the Republicans considered it "totally fine." 

Heck, they weren't "totally fine" with stuff the Democrats never did! :D
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 04, 2019, 06:44:47 PM
> Because I don't ever recall when the Democrats did anything and the Republicans considered it "totally fine." 

I should have been more specific. Apologies.  I meant that it was totally fine with the Democrats and the mainstream media.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 04, 2019, 07:05:49 PM
So we have the Hillary campaign which actually did what Trump is accused of doing, colluding with Russia to dig up dirt on a political rival to influence an American election, and not only that but the political dirt they did dig up and make public was a pack of golden shower lies. And there has been no call from the Democrats in Congress for an investigation, no subpoenas, no nothing. But that's only because she lost, right? If she had won the election and was the President right now the same Democrats in Congress that are calling for Trump to be impeached would be all over Hillary Clinton the exact same way.

We all know that wouldn't happen. None of it would matter. The important thing would be getting down to business for the benefit of the American people. People can take double standards for only so long before they don't take anything said seriously anymore, and the Democrats reached that point years ago. Their crude plans, their too clever by half ways, they are too transparent and there's just nothing left to see.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 07:24:10 PM
See, you say it is the same thing, but it isn't even close.

On the one hand, you have your President bring something up while talking with another world leader about having his official justice department investigate a rival.

On the other hand, you have a law firm hired by a committee, who hires a research firm, who then later employs a foreign national not involved with any government to get information about a rival.

They're the same in the same way that a reuben and a cheesesteak are both sandwiches, maybe.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 04, 2019, 07:26:49 PM
Having someone do your dirty work for you doesn't make you less guilty of the crime.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 04, 2019, 07:30:55 PM
Which crime would that be? Unless you somehow think all opposition research is illegal, I don't see how you get there. Unless you have some kind of evidence that Steele knowingly wrote a fake report and at the direction of the Democratic Party through three levels of indirection? You are certainly entitled to believe that if you want to, but it still remains "not the same".
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 05, 2019, 12:58:48 AM
It's the same crime Trump was accused of, cooperating with Russian nationals to influence an American election.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 05, 2019, 09:28:52 AM
So Steele was a Russian? No, he's English. Did Chelsea Clinton meet with a Russian in New York? Also no. Unless I'm missing something.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 05, 2019, 09:38:50 AM
Can you read Trump's mind? Just because there are plausible reasons for a policy decision doesn't mean that it is impossible that it was motivated by personal gain.

WTF?  :o

Just ...bizarre reasoning. Logic and reason have been completely rejected. Just incredible.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 05, 2019, 11:24:51 AM
You're summing this up as "crude"? It makes you look pretty misinformed.

No, I'm saying that "this" is just the culmination of a non-stop effort to remove someone who's existence and approach has been unacceptable from day one. Most if not all of the aggression against Trump is due to his personality and style. If you can't see that, it makes you look pretty misinformed.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 05, 2019, 04:19:33 PM
Can you read Trump's mind? Just because there are plausible reasons for a policy decision doesn't mean that it is impossible that it was motivated by personal gain.

WTF?  :o

Just ...bizarre reasoning. Logic and reason have been completely rejected. Just incredible.

This is the definition of logic. Person A makes decision X, with two possibilities for why they made it. What evidence do we have to rule out one justification in favor of the other?

If somebody was a caregiver for a sick parent, knowing they stood to inherit substantial amounts, they might be motivated by love or by avarice. If they knew they would not inherit, we could securely state they were motivated by love.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 06, 2019, 01:01:39 AM
Quote
"So what's the crime?"

Come on. You have to know that "High crimes and misdemeanors" was never supposed to map to the criminal code.

That's an unexamined truism.  What "high crimes and misdemeanors" did Congress miss over the last 250 years that are so obvious?  Lol.

Arguably Andrew Jackson should have been impeached when he pursued the Trail of Tears decision in direct defiance of the Supreme Court. That's the single biggest one in my mind. (SCotUS said one thing, PotUS wanted to do another, and Congress went with the President)

Honestly, compared to the antics and behaviors of past historical presidencies. Our historical counterparts would probably be rolling their eyes at people getting upset over Trump's ask of Ukraine. The relevant charges should any actually BE relevant(and truthful), have nothing to do with the Constitution, and everything to do with statutory law and traditions and expectations that have evolved over the past century specifically.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 06, 2019, 09:55:44 AM
Can you read Trump's mind? Just because there are plausible reasons for a policy decision doesn't mean that it is impossible that it was motivated by personal gain.

WTF?  :o

Just ...bizarre reasoning. Logic and reason have been completely rejected. Just incredible.

This is the definition of logic. Person A makes decision X, with two possibilities for why they made it. What evidence do we have to rule out one justification in favor of the other?

If somebody was a caregiver for a sick parent, knowing they stood to inherit substantial amounts, they might be motivated by love or by avarice. If they knew they would not inherit, we could securely state they were motivated by love.

It’s an emotional appeal that feels like logic, it presents what is known as a false dichotomy (example third option you ignore: motivated by sense of duty) coupled with proving a negative. Let’s demonstrate:

Just because there are plausible reasons for touching people doesn't mean that it is impossible that Biden was motivated by sexual gratification.

So now we know that Biden is a sexual predator, right? It’s not impossible therefore it’s true according to this deeply flawed logic you’ve championed.

It only feels right, it’s purely emotional.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 06, 2019, 10:03:00 AM
So latest developments in the leaker story...

We have confirmed that Schiff lied about his prior contact with the leaker. The problem for the leaker is that he also lied about his contact with Schiff - oops, felony perjury for the leaker. He’s now facing 5 years in jail. Did Schiff tell him to lie? Schiff would get 5 years for that too..

Now that the first leaker is imploding, by pure coincidence, amazingly timed, we have a second leaker coming forward. What a surprise! I hope it’s Stormy Daniels.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 06, 2019, 11:32:55 AM
https://www.lawfareblog.com/timeline-trump-ukraine-scandal

Going forward, if you have not looked at and read through and understand the timeline involved in this affair, and it is discovered through error, I don't feel like I should be engaging.  If you're uneducated on the current matter, and do not understand the timeline and the implications, I would advise you to not even talk to your friends and family or anyone online about the matter.  You could be inadvertently guilty of spreading Fake News.

I really appreciated the advice you proffered here. I want to make sure I don’t spread fake news, like insinuating that Schiff had advance knowledge of the whistleblower and the report.  And then lied about it.

I went back to your link above, but it doesn't mention anything about this. Do you have any other sources, you know, to keep me straight on the timeline and implications? That said, if you don't feel like you should be engaging, I understand.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 06, 2019, 03:16:50 PM
Can you read Trump's mind? Just because there are plausible reasons for a policy decision doesn't mean that it is impossible that it was motivated by personal gain.

WTF?  :o

Just ...bizarre reasoning. Logic and reason have been completely rejected. Just incredible.

This is the definition of logic. Person A makes decision X, with two possibilities for why they made it. What evidence do we have to rule out one justification in favor of the other?

If somebody was a caregiver for a sick parent, knowing they stood to inherit substantial amounts, they might be motivated by love or by avarice. If they knew they would not inherit, we could securely state they were motivated by love.

It’s an emotional appeal that feels like logic, it presents what is known as a false dichotomy (example third option you ignore: motivated by sense of duty) coupled with proving a negative. Let’s demonstrate:

Just because there are plausible reasons for touching people doesn't mean that it is impossible that Biden was motivated by sexual gratification.

So now we know that Biden is a sexual predator, right? It’s not impossible therefore it’s true according to this deeply flawed logic you’ve championed.

It only feels right, it’s purely emotional.

I would say this is another can't know situation. We don't know if Biden is ignorant of social norms or willfully violating them out of predatory intent. Which is why he should stop. And also why I won't vote for Biden, even against trump.

As to the dichotomy, I thought two options were sufficient to illustrate the point.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 07, 2019, 01:49:46 PM
Seriati, you're divorcing your argument from the facts. Let's start here:

Quote
However, when you have a whistle blower report that didn't hear the statement, and the statement itself is available and contradicts the whistle blower it undermines the evidentiary value.

The "statement" meaning the call summary IS consistent with the WB report.

You're also apparently ignoring the text messages that corroborate and bolster the quid pro quo angle. Although it's not required for there to be a quid pro quo regardless. Just asking a foreign country to open an investigation into your political opponent when there's no national interest involved in that request is an impeachable abuse of office. Your denials and obfuscations are right in line with the ones Hannity and others are using, so perhaps you are mistaking their advocacy for reality.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 07, 2019, 02:36:14 PM
I see some of you are still trying to go with the theory that the WB complaint doesn't count if Schiff or his aides talked to the WB before the report was filed through ICIG. Fascinating. Jim Jordan level reasoning there.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 07, 2019, 03:11:35 PM
I’m assuming the whole blame the WB thing is a attempt to move the conversation to the ‘Fruit of the poisonous tree’ legality?

The strategy is to put in question the WB statement so that any investigation into Trump is ended. 
Yet at the same time the argument is that the investigation into Biden is justified regardless of method it was initiated because he’s guilty and because he’s guilty Trump is, if not innocent, excused.

All these mental gymnastics and nothing on the issue itself on the issue. Whatever means to excuse Trump without addressing his words and actions.  TDS is real.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 07, 2019, 03:42:24 PM
I see some of you are still trying to go with the theory that the WB complaint doesn't count if Schiff or his aides talked to the WB before the report was filed through ICIG. Fascinating. Jim Jordan level reasoning there.

Clearly if Schiff talked to the whistle blower before hand he orchestrated the whole thing. It was actually Adam Schiff who held up the military aid to Ukraine then impersonated Trump on the phone call to give the appearance of a quid pro quo. Adam Schiff and Donald Trump - Now staring in Face Off 2.  ::)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 07, 2019, 04:00:13 PM
One thing to remember when weighing these matters isn't just a question of red vs blue, although that's the easy approach. And it's not even about do you like Trump or not. I think we need to keep in mind the following questions, all of which are pertinent:

(a) What would it mean if a President was using the power of his office to bully other countries for his own personal gain?
(b) What would it mean if a coordinated effort by Trump's opposition was twisting events to make it look like (a), in order to effect a soft coup?
(c) What sorts of rewards are in place for a President to potentially do (a)? Should the office have that power?
(d) What sorts of rewards are in place for the opposition party (to use a parliamentary term) to undermine the sitting President? Does their party benefit from creating trouble for the President and trying to make it look like he's a criminal? If so, should there really be scenarios where they benefit directly from undermining the executive?

The issue of conflicts of interest is that the more built-in they are the more you start to question everything and everyone: or else even worse, the more you question everyone else but not those on your team, which is even more delusional. This is much like a political Dunning-Krueger effect, where me/mine are probably smarter and more right, while others are dumber or more wrong. And on the face of it there's a direct problem even putting aside red vs blue among the population: when the one who stands to benefit directly from an accusation is the one making it, everyone should blink and think twice about it. Is the guy who's going to inherit the house the one trying to get his parents committed? Better look closely into that. Is the police officer who shot the unarmed guy and turned off his cam telling you he was resisting? Better look closely into that. Is the party that always wanted Trump out and who would gain enormously from a successful impeachment accusing Trump? Better blink about that too. In any case related to the administering of justice, accusing someone about malfeasance, or something like that, you'd better be sure there's no conflict of interest. And yes, it should be taken very seriously that the people (like Schiff) who always wanted Trump out are being accused of coordinating to get him out. When there is direct motive, and ability, the question should not be brushed aside easily, just as the question of abuse of power by a President shouldn't be brushed aside easily either.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 07, 2019, 04:02:12 PM
After Biden got that prosecutor fired was the Burisma probe carried out or was it effectively stopped?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 07, 2019, 04:02:52 PM
Seriati, you're divorcing your argument from the facts. Let's start here:

Quote
However, when you have a whistle blower report that didn't hear the statement, and the statement itself is available and contradicts the whistle blower it undermines the evidentiary value.

The "statement" meaning the call summary IS consistent with the WB report.

Cite to me the quid pro quo the whistle blower alleges in the call summary.  What you can't?  Thought you just said they were consistent?

Quote
You're also apparently ignoring the text messages that corroborate and bolster the quid pro quo angle.

You mean the text messages where the US ambassador to the EU expressly stated that Trump was crystal clear that their would be no quid pro quo?  Lol.

Quote
Although it's not required for there to be a quid pro quo regardless. Just asking a foreign country to open an investigation into your political opponent when there's no national interest involved in that request is an impeachable abuse of office.

Lol, what's your basis for the conclusion that asking for an investigation of a crime is an impeachable offense?

And how do you walk that back from the Democratic Senators that wrote a letter with an express quid pro quo to the Ukraine threatening them unless they investigate Trump?  Or heck, with the Obama admin seeking out and actually recieving political dirt from the Ukraine on Paul Manafort to support their illegal spying operation during the campaign, that morphed into an actual criminal prosecution of Manafort?

There is no law, or principal of law, that bars investigating crimes committed by your opponents.  Or should we say put NY prosecutor Vance in jail for his investigation of the Stormy Daniels payments, wherein he's demanding 8 years of Trump's tax returns (odd coincidence)?

Quote
Your denials and obfuscations are right in line with the ones Hannity and others are using, so perhaps you are mistaking their advocacy for reality.

So my "denials" consist of acknowledging the factual statement that the transcript doesn't show a quid pro quo and that the whistleblower misrepresented that (or just lied about it).

My "obfuscations" consist largely of pointing out that investigation of criminal acts by a former vice president are actually properly the duty of the DOJ and the administration to investigate - who else do you think would handle that investigation?  Or pointing out that you seem to have a problem with Presidential immunity, but to be asserting a "running against Trump" absolute immunity standard - which is expressly not the standard that the Obama administration used against Trump during the campaign.

Or by pointing out that no part of the Democratic effort here resembles in any way a fair process, or a process that protects Constitutional rights or basic fairness? 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 07, 2019, 04:10:51 PM
After Biden got that prosecutor fired was the Burisma probe carried out or was it effectively stopped?

Wasn't the Burisma probe dead before Biden got the prosecutor fired?

Every source I've seen has indicated pretty much all of Europe, the state department, and the intelligence community wanted this prosecutor gone. But I'm sure Biden has the kind of influence to get everyone on the same page just to protect the cushy job his son got in Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 07, 2019, 04:13:08 PM
Every source I've seen has indicated pretty much all of Europe, the state department, and the intelligence community wanted this prosecutor gone. But I'm sure Biden has the kind of influence to get everyone on the same page just to protect the cushy job his son got in Ukraine.

I haven't come across an article on exactly why everyone wanted the guy gone. It would seem strange to me that some prosecutor in Ukraine would inspire the annoyance of so many. What could he be doing that would rile them up? I would like to know that as well, in case someone happens to come across an article explaining it. I don't buy that he inspired international outrage because he was "corrupt"; that could be said of so many.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 07, 2019, 06:19:48 PM
I see some of you are still trying to go with the theory that the WB complaint doesn't count if Schiff or his aides talked to the WB before the report was filed through ICIG. Fascinating. Jim Jordan level reasoning there.

And some are trying to go with the theory that a leaker gat is a registered Democrat that worked on another Democrat’s staff coordinated with Democrats to file a report that contains a only hearsay as well as includes a felony perjury omission is suddenly honest. Fascinating. That’s not even reasoning there.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 07, 2019, 06:22:26 PM
Can you read Trump's mind? Just because there are plausible reasons for a policy decision doesn't mean that it is impossible that it was motivated by personal gain.

WTF?  :o

Just ...bizarre reasoning. Logic and reason have been completely rejected. Just incredible.

This is the definition of logic. Person A makes decision X, with two possibilities for why they made it. What evidence do we have to rule out one justification in favor of the other?

If somebody was a caregiver for a sick parent, knowing they stood to inherit substantial amounts, they might be motivated by love or by avarice. If they knew they would not inherit, we could securely state they were motivated by love.

It’s an emotional appeal that feels like logic, it presents what is known as a false dichotomy (example third option you ignore: motivated by sense of duty) coupled with proving a negative. Let’s demonstrate:

Just because there are plausible reasons for touching people doesn't mean that it is impossible that Biden was motivated by sexual gratification.

So now we know that Biden is a sexual predator, right? It’s not impossible therefore it’s true according to this deeply flawed logic you’ve championed.

It only feels right, it’s purely emotional.

I would say this is another can't know situation. We don't know if Biden is ignorant of social norms or willfully violating them out of predatory intent. Which is why he should stop. And also why I won't vote for Biden, even against trump.

As to the dichotomy, I thought two options were sufficient to illustrate the point.

A logical fallacy does not prove any point other than it’s a logically invalid argument.  ::)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 07, 2019, 10:34:40 PM
Quote
House Democrats are looking to prevent the whistleblower from being identified by holding the person's testimony at a remote location and potentially changing their appearance and voice.

Secret testimony from a secret accuser giving hearsay evidence, all from a secret location. I hope they really do go this route. This would be perfect.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 08, 2019, 09:59:13 AM
Every source I've seen has indicated pretty much all of Europe, the state department, and the intelligence community wanted this prosecutor gone. But I'm sure Biden has the kind of influence to get everyone on the same page just to protect the cushy job his son got in Ukraine.

I haven't come across an article on exactly why everyone wanted the guy gone. It would seem strange to me that some prosecutor in Ukraine would inspire the annoyance of so many. What could he be doing that would rile them up? I would like to know that as well, in case someone happens to come across an article explaining it. I don't buy that he inspired international outrage because he was "corrupt"; that could be said of so many.

I think its because he was the lead corruption prosecutor while Viktor Yanukovych was robbing the country.

Quote
In a feature with photos on Yanukovych's Mezhyhirya mansion, Sergii Leshchenko notes "For most of [Yanukovych's] career he was a public servant or parliament deputy, where his salary never exceeded 2000 US dollars per month." Under a photo showing the new home's ornate ceiling, Leschenko remarks, "In a country where 35% of the population live under poverty line, spending 100,000 dollars on each individual chandelier seems excessive, to say the least." Crowned with a pure copper roof, the mansion was the largest wooden structure ever created by Finnish log home builder Honka, whose representative suggested to Yanukovych that it be nominated for the Guinness Book of Records. The property contained a private zoo, underground shooting range, 18-hole golf course, tennis, and bowling. After describing the mansion's complicated ownership scheme, the article author noted, "The story of Viktor Yanukovych and his residence highlights a paradox. Having completely rejected such European values as human rights and democracy, the Ukrainian president uses Europe as a place to hide his dirty money with impunity."[170]

This seems like enough to want the lead "corruption" prosecutor out.

I suppose we could also ascribe to the theory that Joe Biden is powerful enough to get everyone in the government, media, and Europe to go along with him over a personal issue. Please don't believe this nonsense theory. Along this road lies the path of confirmation bias and disregarding any facts that don't fit into your Trump defined worldview.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 08, 2019, 10:22:54 AM
After Biden got that prosecutor fired was the Burisma probe carried out or was it effectively stopped?

Wasn't the Burisma probe dead before Biden got the prosecutor fired?

No, in fact in carried on for a short period with the next prosecutor, who decided there was no evidence against Joe or Hunter.  Normally, that would be the end of it, but we have on record accounts by the first prosecutor from several US-linked vectors (ambassadors, as well as, Joe) that the investigation of Burisma had to be handled with "white gloves" or "kid gloves" (which was taken to mean to drop it), and that he was expressly told that he had to drop it by the President because the US demanded it.  It's an interesting re-direct to point to the prosecutor's own corruption, which was endemic in the Ukraine, as somehow an excuse - when literally everyone knew that Burisma was itself owned by a massively corrupt Ukrainian businessman and literally was exploiting government resources on a corrupt basis.

I mean the logic is really wonky.  Unless you're asserting that Burisma is legit (which, as far as I can tell, no one on earth believes), why would you ask/demand any prosecutor, even a corrupt one, drop a investigation of it?  And then condition US aid on it (which appeared to be the initial request, as the President told the Prosecutor to drop that specific investigation, and then later fired him under pressure).  If Burisma was dirty dropping that investigation should have been no part of a request.  Asking for it to be conducted fairly - totally fine (and you'll note (or more literally you won't note cause we only see things in partisan ways) in the Trump transcript they literally talked about conducting fair investigations).

Quote
Every source I've seen has indicated pretty much all of Europe, the state department, and the intelligence community wanted this prosecutor gone. But I'm sure Biden has the kind of influence to get everyone on the same page just to protect the cushy job his son got in Ukraine.

It's actually tough to find good sources (ie those not corrupted by a current writer, writing either to support or attack the President).  Here's one I found that seems good http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/12/30/corruption-in-ukraine-is-so-bad-a-nigerian-prince-would-be-embarrassed-2/ (http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/12/30/corruption-in-ukraine-is-so-bad-a-nigerian-prince-would-be-embarrassed-2/).

You can see that item number 1 on the list is to replace Shokin, but the entire write up is about endemic corruption by the government that the US effectively installed.  Shokin looks more like a figure head in this than the core problem.  I think it's most fair to say the push was to end systematic corruption, and that they felt they needed a face at the top that made that a priority rather than was part of the system.

By the way, on that backdrop, it almost makes it a certainty that Shokin is telling the truth about how this was communicated to him.  That's the world they live in with oligarch's making demands or getting favors and Joe's personal involvement would have certainly been interpreted through that world view.

It's also interesting that in the 10 comments from back then, they already flagged out Joe and Hunter as being part of the corruption from Hunter's position at Burisma.

So, it is legit that Shokin's removal was desired, but it looks more like it was a means to an end, that they wanted a systematic ending of the Ukrainian corruption (or would one could look at it to mean that they wanted that corruption to protect rather than undermine EU/US interests if you're cynical - again, that's almost certainly how the Ukrainian oligarch's would have heard it based on their world view).
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 08, 2019, 11:43:00 AM
Would  Biden's quilt exonerate Trump?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 08, 2019, 01:29:17 PM
Only if it's hand-stitched.  ;)  ;D
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 08, 2019, 04:42:05 PM
Quote

Under questioning from Republicans during last Friday's impeachment inquiry interview with Atkinson, the inspector general revealed that the whistleblower's possible bias was not that he was simply a registered Democrat. It was that he had a significant tie to one of the Democratic presidential candidates currently vying to challenge President Trump in next year's election.

"The IG said [the whistleblower] worked or had some type of professional relationship with one of the Democratic candidates," said one person with knowledge of what was said.

"The IG said the whistleblower had a professional relationship with one of the 2020 candidates," said another person with knowledge of what was said.

"What [Atkinson] said was that the whistleblower self-disclosed that he was a registered Democrat and that he had a prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate," said a third person with knowledge of what was said.

The leaker is directly tied to a current Democratic presidential candidate. Well, that really sheds some light on the motivation. The whole thing is bull*censored*, a political show.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 08, 2019, 04:52:43 PM
Quote
Well, that really sheds some light on the motivation.

Does the motivation of the WB mean Trump did not make the call?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 08, 2019, 05:01:38 PM
Crunch, I know it's hard, but you're going to have to try to understand that "Democrat" does not equate to "Not Allowed To Do Anything". So far, it looks like the allegations in the complaint are holding up just fine. It does not matter if the whistleblower had a bias, what matters is what Trump did and why. There are other witnesses and documents that will help show the truth of the matter.

So far, we have Pompeo asking if he's allowed to punish people for cooperating with the inquiry. We have text messages that show diplomats had reason to believe Trump was asking a political favor and might have been holding back military aid until the favor was promised. We have witnesses to the call that the ICIG interviewed and found consistent with the WB complaint. We have the WH ordering people not to comply with the inquiry. We have Trump engaging in the least believable clowntown attempt to portray himself as concerned about "corruption" but unable to identify any potential corruption that isn't a political opponent. We have many accounts from people inside the administration that acknowledge internal alarm at Trump's communications with Ukraine's president.

And we have a flood of disingenuous defenses that amount to making up rules about the WB process and then pretending they were violated.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 08, 2019, 05:04:32 PM
BTW, Sondall's "LET ME BE CLEAR WE ARE NOT COMMITTING A CRIME HERE" texts are laughable as a defense.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 08, 2019, 06:19:56 PM
Quote
Well, that really sheds some light on the motivation.

Does the motivation of the WB mean Trump did not make the call?

That’s a elementary grade level thing to say in order to intentionally miss the rather obvious point. ::)

It means we have established the motive, methods, and opportunity for the leaker. We know the leaker lied on the WB complaint. We now know why the leaker, in direct coordination with Democrats acted on hearsay to leak what was hoped to be damaging information - specifically, so the leaker could impact the election in favor of his previous employer and preferred candidate. That’s all this is.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 08, 2019, 06:25:17 PM
Crunch, I know it's hard, but you're going to have to try to understand that "Democrat" does not equate to "Not Allowed To Do Anything". So far, it looks like the allegations in the complaint are holding up just fine. It does not matter if the whistleblower had a bias, what matters is what Trump did and why. There are other witnesses and documents that will help show the truth of the matter.

And you’re really gonna need understand that “Democrat” does not equate to “Allowed to do anything”.  The allegations hold up only if you don’t care about being honest. It does, in fact, matter what the motive is to lie on a WB form. It matters quite a bit when people collude to illegally affect an election. Remember when you thought that too? Like, a year ago?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 08, 2019, 06:37:58 PM
There's no reason to think that the WB was lying. You're equating a bias with evidence of lying. Keep it up, you might get yourself into elected office.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 08, 2019, 06:43:41 PM
So, trumps conflict of interest in wanting to weaken a political rival is fine, but a whistle blowers unproven conflict of interest wanting to weaken trump should make us so suspicious that we don't investigate. Have I got that right?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 08, 2019, 07:53:01 PM
Quote
We know the leaker lied on the WB complaint.
Granted, the story is moving fast, but what did they lie about?  I missed that part.   ???
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 09, 2019, 07:54:32 AM
There's no reason to think that the WB was lying. You're equating a bias with evidence of lying. Keep it up, you might get yourself into elected office.

Wrong. I’m equating the leaker’s extreme bias with motive. We have incontrovertible proof that the leaker lied on the WB form (committing felony perjury). Now we know why the lie was told. The leaker is essentially working for the presidential campaign of a currently running democrat.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 09, 2019, 07:56:00 AM
So, trumps conflict of interest in wanting to weaken a political rival is fine, but a whistle blowers unproven conflict of interest wanting to weaken trump should make us so suspicious that we don't investigate. Have I got that right?

No. Not even close.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 09, 2019, 08:02:35 AM
Quote
We know the leaker lied on the WB complaint.
Granted, the story is moving fast, but what did they lie about?  I missed that part.   ???

The WB form asks if the leaker had contacted anyone else about the complaint. It has a number of checkboxes under this question including one that specifically calls out contact with members of Congress which was left unchecked and also an area to detail that contact which was left blank. The leaker did not reveal that Schiff had already been in contact and was involved. This is a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The rest of the report is hearsay and Twitter reports and contains multiple inaccuracies. Not really a surprise when you base something solely on gossip. Given the rather blatant lie around collusion with Schiff and the confirmed facts that the leaker is actually a registered Democrat with a direct relationship to a current presidential candidate, shouldn’t there be some level of suspicion here? Why doso many simply accept it without a moments critical thought?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 09, 2019, 10:09:52 AM
Quote
Does the motivation of the WB mean Trump did not make the call?

That’s a elementary grade level thing to say in order to intentionally miss the rather obvious point. ::)

It means we have established the motive, methods, and opportunity for the leaker. We know the leaker lied on the WB complaint. We now know why the leaker, in direct coordination with Democrats acted on hearsay to leak what was hoped to be damaging information - specifically, so the leaker could impact the election in favor of his previous employer and preferred candidate. That’s all this is

I'm a elementary guy. And you didn't answer the question.
That the WB didn't check some check box does not mean Trump didn't do what the report said he did. Funny that few are arguing that Trump didn't do what the report claims he did. Instead is diversion, diversion diversion.

Deep down I think you know your on the wrong side of this one. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 09, 2019, 10:59:47 AM
Crunch, just to save time.
They ARE out to get Trump.
They DO coordinate to that end.

They (again) think they got him cornered.  Either your guy will worm his way out of it, or just delay through election time, or he won't. 

SC:  check
Tax break:  check
Deregulation:  check
Poison Globalism trends:  check
Poison environmentalist trends:  check?

In order to do so he intentionally acts as sleazy and corrupt as possible (hopefully) without ending up in jail or bounced out of office.  The constant outrage IS the plan.  And shockingly it seems to work.  You'll just have to wait for the rest of us to catch up to the die hard "Trump supporters".  We didn't realize how far gone the country already was.  You guys are ahead of the curve and willing to sacrifice the last of the facades for the "gains" above. 

We kinda knew everyone was hungry, we just didn't realize half of you had already decided cannibalism was the solution.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 09, 2019, 12:11:38 PM
So Grant, I read through the timeline you quoted earlier, it's pretty partisan and anti-President.  I found it fascinating how quickly the media can compile something when it's anti-Trump and seem to find a lot of "supporting" items (but can't seem to be bothered when it's not anti-Trump, or able to find confounding items). 

It was fascinating to see where they "start" their timeline and what they treat as background.  They treated Hunter's appointment in 2014 as background and focus on the corruption in the Ukraine at that time.  A problem on which the US and EU should be aligned, correct?  It's seems though that they "forgot" about what was actually going on at that time, and the real dispute BETWEEN the US and the EU related to the Ukraine.  Specifically, the EU was considering expanding it's energy relationship with Russia by purchasing oil and gas from Russia, and the US was hard selling the EU to isolate Russia and, by "coincidence" to buy oil and gas from the Ukraine.  Hunter got that position at the exact time the US government was pushing Ukranian energy for the purpose of isolating Russia.  Interesting timing that Biden is front man on the Ukraine at the exact time we are pushing Ukranian gas to Europe and his son ends up at a Ukranian gas company.

So what about the corruption angle?  Apparently, a big part of the EU reluctance to use Ukranian energy over Russia was tied into the corruption problem, with numerous payments and loans from the EU being redirected to oligarch accounts and being defaulted.  Makes it hard to get those  Ukranian deals going.  Not evidence - to me - that Biden pushed the prosecutor out to save his son, but seems open and shut that Hunter had inside knowledge and exploited his connection (almost certainly with his father's knowledge) to end up in a position to benefit from US policy.

Another tid-bit that gets ignored.  The call with the Ukranian President was literally the day after Mueller's public testimoney.  The issue of how the fake investigation got started was completely on Trump's mind, in his tweets and in his re-tweets.  It's not remotely shocking that he would have asked the Ukranian president about the origins of that probe and the information that was in the Ukraine.  Given the closing of the book on the witch hunt into collusion, Trump and Barr were launching multiple investigations of how DNC lies triggered both spying on a campaign and a two year investigation.

Quote
Well, that really sheds some light on the motivation.

Does the motivation of the WB mean Trump did not make the call?

No, it speaks to why the leaker misstated the contents of the call and drafted an impeachment roadmap that they pretended was a WB complaint.

Crunch, I know it's hard, but you're going to have to try to understand that "Democrat" does not equate to "Not Allowed To Do Anything". So far, it looks like the allegations in the complaint are holding up just fine.

Is there another complaint?  The only material "allegations" have for large part been shown false, and were shown false as soon as the call transcript released.  Yep the "allegation" there was a call turned out true, but the allegations of the contents did not.

Specifically, the "allegations" said that multiple officials with direct knowledge of the call said that "after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests."  Not true.

"Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid."  Not true, which is exactly why the "no quid pro quo" line is so powerful and why the media and Schiff have falsified statements to create a meme that wasn't there.

"According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia: initiate or continue an investigation into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;"  Not true, no pressure was present.  As far as "asking for a investigation" it was in the form of 'lots of people are talking about it' and whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.  In other words, what facts do you have on what looks like a violation of law, and could you send them to the AG (not Rudy).  It's also interesting given that we now know that the investigation had been reopened well before the call - which was apparently not something that the media/DNC wanted widely known, that the leaker hedged the bet.  Since that info was available open source, and he had no problem compiling things related to Ukraine and claimed expertise thereon, it seems like the leaker would have known the answer to that question.  It would have massively undercut the entire basis for this "report" if the investigation was already known to be occurring, but they clearly couldn't resist the hedge - which says to me that they in fact knew it was ongoing and are afraid that when they get revealed the fact that they did would become evident.

"assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine,..."  This is sort of true.  The request for such assistance was the "favor."  But the reference to "Russian interference" was not directly in there.  Rather the actual request was for information in the Ukraine related to the "whole mess" with the 2016 election.  Whether you believe the investigation of Trump's campaign was fake or real, information about either situation would be about a crime and an appropriate request of the President (I think it's obvious what the President believes or he wouldn't be asking for it to be sent to Barr).

"...with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike, which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016;"  It's fascinating that this allegation is there.  No where did the DNC get mentioned, nor the work about Russian hackers.  Crowdstrike and "servers" were mentioned, and that's likely a fair implication but claiming it was a "specific request" and then including the extra details make it misleading.  Especially given the lead in discussed in the prior paragraph.  This is in FACT part of the President's duty and he again specifically referenced the AG - who is in fact currently conducting an investigation into how the FBI's counterterrorism investigation started and morphed into the Meuller investigation. 

So, again, proper exercise of executive power, and that's before you even consider that CrowdStrike's reputation for faking things has come to be, and the only source of "Russian" hacking of the DNC servers comes from Crowdstrike.  Not denying the possibility of course, only that it's a heck of a lot to turn upon the word of an openly partisan company with a reputation for manipulating situations and whose claims are politically useful (or more useful say than a finding that four or five countries breached the servers, or that the Chinese downloaded them would be).

"meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem."  This is actually false.  Barr was never presented as a "personal envoy" only as the AG in connection with legitimate investigations.  The linking here was done on purpose and with malice.  Rudy wasn't mentioned until the Ukranian President brought him up, largely because they had met with him months before.  Trump didn't declare him a personal envoy either just someone knowledgeable on the situation (which is literally true, given he was spear heading the investigation in his capacity as one of Trump's lawyers).  In any event the "linkage" was largely just that Trump said he'd have both of them call the Ukranian, only once implying together and several times implying separately.  If you look at it, the repeated references most closely resemembles someone trying to get off a call by repeating the next steps.

That's just from page 2 of the compliant.  So again, it's not holding up on any material claims.  It's an old propaganda trick to mix in a bunch of true but innocuous statements that relate to the manipulative lie.  That's all you're seeing here.  The leaker's opinion about the call is irrelevant when we have the call.  The leaker's claims about the call are false and don't hold up.  If you want to give the benefit of the doubt, this shows why second or third hand information is not admissable in court, cause even a "well meaning" recipient of such information is getting information that's been passed through a game of telephone to say things it never did.

Quote
It does not matter if the whistleblower had a bias, what matters is what Trump did and why.

It does matter if the leaker had a bias.  I can't overlook the "coincidence" that the leaker produced an impeachment road map, that he discussed with House DNC committee members prior to August 12th, which is literally in the two week period immediately following Mueller's testimoney implosion that killed any real possibility of using his report as an impeachment road map.  This doc was purpose built to "save" an impeachment looking for a cause.

There's no good basis to accept hearsay that is contradicted by the record.  There's every reason to view this as an illegal leak and not a whistle blower complaint, and that goes 100% to the leaker's bias.

What Trump did - didn't violate any laws, and seems reasonable in light of the conduct being investigated, and I presume his reasons include having been subjected to a 2 year investigation of fake crimes by the deep state and wanting to get to the bottom of it.  How many times has he said some form of "this can never be allowed to happen to another President"?

Quote
There are other witnesses and documents that will help show the truth of the matter.

There really are not.  Unless there's another call with Trump this is a fake issue.

Quote
So far, we have Pompeo asking if he's allowed to punish people for cooperating with the inquiry.

Really?  We have the actual letters that the House DNC has sent threatening to punish people if they don't cooperate - notwithstanding that the threats are not remotely in compliance with existing law.

Quote
We have text messages that show diplomats had reason to believe Trump was asking a political favor and might have been holding back military aid until the favor was promised.

You have a leaked text message (interesting how that particular interrogation was conducted behind closed doors and the leaks are partisan - but nothing to see here), that shows someone asked about whether there was a quid pro quo and was expressly told the direction from the top is that under no circumstances will there be a quid pro quo.

Quote
We have witnesses to the call that the ICIG interviewed and found consistent with the WB complaint.

Do we?  Show me.  Are those witnesses expressly claiming the call record is false?  Cause otherwise what we "have" is evidence of more coordination to bring a false claim.

Quote
We have the WH ordering people not to comply with the inquiry.

You should read the WH's letter.  It's directly on point about the abuses going on here.

If you can't answer anything else, explain directly, why you believe the House process doesn't need to be fair and comply with Constitutional protections.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 09, 2019, 12:15:08 PM
I'm a elementary guy. And you didn't answer the question

The facts say Trump didn't do what the leaker says.  The motivation of the leaker has nothing to do with Trump making a call, and everything to do with the leaker lying about the contents of the call.
 
Quote
Funny that few are arguing that Trump didn't do what the report claims he did. Instead is diversion, diversion diversion.

Trump didn't do the material things the the report says he did.  This is the Trump dossier redux, mix a lie in with some truth and claim the "verification" and support of the true parts makes the lie true too.

Quote
Deep down I think you know your on the wrong side of this one.

What scares me more, is that deep down you don't know you're on the wrong side of this one.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 09, 2019, 12:39:57 PM
Quote
The facts say Trump didn't do what the leaker says

Because of the stone walling its really difficult to know what the facts are.

Based on the transcript of the call and the confusion it caused those in the state department and what I know of the WB report something smells. Enough of a stink to require a investigation. If Trump didn't do anything wrong it will come out and like the Muller report dismissed. That is the process.

For the defenders to blindly fall into all the Trumps go to distraction, hyperbole and lies is troubling as they undermining the very ground they say they stand on.

I get it lets go back to investigating emails and Benghazi. This time for sure...

You know, we all know, that if these allegations were directed against a Obama or Biden you would be all over it. Demanding a investigation.
We see the hypocrisy.


Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 09, 2019, 01:09:01 PM
Seriati, your position boils down to "I believe Trump". You have a lot more time to cite the right wing talking points than I have to respond to them.

"If you can't answer anything else, explain directly, why you believe the House process doesn't need to be fair and comply with Constitutional protections."

The GOP has now invented a constitutional standard for impeachment inquiries that is not defined in law or the Constitution. The trial in the Senate would be where such things as cross examination and calling witnesses for the defense would happen. The letter from WH counsel is a political document.


There is a ton of direct hypocrisy from GOP members of congress on this one. Lindsay Graham has a lot of choice quotes from the Clinton impeachment, including that refusing to comply with an impeachment inquiry is itself an impeachable offense.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 09, 2019, 01:43:58 PM
Oh bull*censored* scifibum.  The House has never conducted a Presidential impeachment in this manner.  The precedents are rare, as they should be, but they are crystal clear.  And the House is the one that is issuing subpeonas - the Constitution directly speaks to that. 

There's no legitimate basis to argue that the entire basis of our legal system - the adversarial process - has no bearing on the House's investigation.  Only someone who does not want the truth to come out, and who believes that partisan bias is enough would call for that.  Seriously, your argument boils down to a technicality, and supports ignoring the constitutional rights to assistance of counsel, freedom from compelled testimony, requirement of probable cause and right to confront your acusser.

Your argument is literally that the House is entitled to run a banana court.  If you believe that then you have no basis for believing that Trump is guilty of anything.

And RL, I don't have to believe Trump, the transcript was released.  IT DOES NOT SUPPORT THE LEAKER'S CLAIMS ON THE IMPORTANT POINTS.  Calling me a partisan doesn't fix the flaw that the leaker either lied or was grossly mistaken on the relevant points.

Ignoring the fact that this seems to literally be connected to Mueller's failure to deliver an impeachment, and the collusion with the House DNC and seeing this as anything but partisan is ALSO highly questionable.  I curious, did you anywhere respond to any of my questions on the fact patterns that relate to the DNC?  Again, you didn't because this is partisan and there is no legitimate basis to ignore the situations that have more factual predicates but involve Democrats.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on October 09, 2019, 01:53:41 PM
Impeachment hearings are basically a Grand Jury equivalent.  It is nothing like a trial.  They are purely to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to impeach.  Claims that it is or should be an adeversarial process are bizarre and have no basis in history or Constitutional intent. The trial by the Senate acts like a court, not congress.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 09, 2019, 02:50:49 PM
No basis in history?  Except the rights missing were in the other Presidential impeachments.

Why exactly are you afraid of a process that lets the President's lawyers cross examine the witnesses?  How exactly does it improve the decision of the House and the American people not to get all the facts out up front?

The fact is, your position is unAmerican, and I think you know it.  But this show trial only works if only the Democratic message - without regard to the truth - gets put on the table.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 09, 2019, 03:01:05 PM
Why exactly are you afraid of a process that lets the President's lawyers cross examine the witnesses?  How exactly does it improve the decision of the House and the American people not to get all the facts out up front?

Given that most of them are employees of the government, retaliation would be the primary fear of forcing them to testify openly and be cross examined by the presidents people.

Remember this is the president who moved a whole department from DC to Kansas City because he didn't like the fact that they put out research that showed food stamps had a positive economic impact and that climate change would impact agriculture. But hey, these people should have nothing to fear from testifying before congress with the presidents people in the room.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 09, 2019, 03:09:19 PM
Probably a silly question:  but what do you think the point of whistle blower laws are?

What possible positive outcome, in terms of the public good, would be served by outing a whistle blower?  In ANY situation, let alone this one...

We are well aware of the negative outcome.  I mean, when the president is already calling you a traitor, it's pretty clear they want to plug leaks and make an example of the whistle blower. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 09, 2019, 03:16:50 PM
Wow, he moved a department about agriculture to the part of the country that engages in agriculture.  Couldn't possibly be because it'd grown complete unresponsive to the industries it's regulating?

I have no problem with whistleblowers.  I have a problem with labeling this as a whistleblower situation.

Seriously though, keep doubling down.  As of now, you all seem to be on record as opposing a fair process and believing that the intent of the framers was to authorize a Kangaroo court in the House, notwithstanding everything they ever wrote or did with respect to fairness and process.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on October 09, 2019, 03:24:59 PM
Actually, if you read the constitution, the intent of the framers was to hold a court in the Senate.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 09, 2019, 03:32:33 PM
Probably a silly question:  but what do you think the point of whistle blower laws are?

I think they are there to allow people to act on their conscience to report what they view as a wrongdoing without fear of being fired from their job.

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What possible positive outcome, in terms of the public good, would be served by outing a whistle blower?  In ANY situation, let alone this one...

If the WB appears to be part of an orchestrated team effort, obscuring or falsifying who they have/haven't been working with and then leaks their complaint to the opposing party ahead of releasing it, it raises tremendous suspicion as to it’s validity. If it turned out that the WB complaint was crafted and messaged with direct help from the opposing party, I’d want them outed for sure. I’d want the same regardless of party. Or, if the WB was forwarding information that they knew was false, I would also want them outed.

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We are well aware of the negative outcome.  I mean, when the president is already calling you a traitor, it's pretty clear they want to plug leaks and make an example of the whistle blower.

I believe this is because the evidence for suggesting the WB was working in a highly coordinated effort with democrats is literally stronger than the complaint itself.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 09, 2019, 03:45:34 PM
Quote
I believe this is because the evidence for suggesting the WB was working in a highly coordinated effort with democrats is literally stronger than the complaint itself.

As of now a memo written by the WB on July 26 is public. It has all the same stuff as the WB complaint. Does the conspiracy theory now require that Schiff was involved the day after the call?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 09, 2019, 03:49:42 PM
Quote
Except the rights missing were in the other Presidential impeachments.

Yeah...right. Clinton's impeachment came about as a result of the Starr report.  I really think you're confusing the impeachment with the trial.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 09, 2019, 03:57:14 PM
Those of you who think the impeachment inquiry needs to have a lot of process including an adaptation of the adversarial trial system should read this:
https://www.lawfareblog.com/must-house-vote-authorize-impeachment-inquiry

Of note:
Articles of impeachment can be introduced without any process at all. The House can vote to impeach without any inquiry. There's nothing unconstitutional or illegal about that.

All the House has to do is follow its own rules.

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If the House could by itself and by majority vote oust a president, then there would be good reason to demand a robust process before reaching that decision. If the Democrats held it within their power to remove a sitting president, then there would be good reason to object to a partisan process that did not give a fair hearing to the other side. But as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been sure to point out, the Democrats do not have it within their power to remove the people’s choice of a president without Republican cooperation.

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 09, 2019, 05:15:39 PM
As of now a memo written by the WB on July 26 is public. It has all the same stuff as the WB complaint. Does the conspiracy theory now require that Schiff was involved the day after the call?

Just read the memo, most of it's claims are more incorrect than they appear in the WB account.  In fact they're down right false when compared to the released call - even if you were to argue that the call has edits (which there's literally no evidence to support) many of the bullets would not be true unless it was also materially falsified (again no evidence of this, and next to zero chance it happened).  The fact that the WB does not fully align with the memo, including for the reasons I listed above, is a lot of evidence that it was in fact crafted by a team of lawyers.  The "memo" reads like what you'd expect a whistle blower to relate.  Of course if this memo had been the complaint, it would have been compared to the call record and properly dismissed as false.  Lucky for us it got redrafted.

And again, I note the "parallel" to the behavior of Comey, in drafting memo's to support a treatment that the recollection is more "proven."  Given this is on the 26th, and it's already materially erroneous, it sounds as if there's a real possibility that this person was fed a line to sell.

You may also note that the memo notes that the call transcript should be treated as "eyes only" and yet, the cabal backing the whistleblower seems to have have freely discussed it (or at least '6 or more' of them), and not to have seen it to be a duty to accurately relate the information.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 10, 2019, 07:40:52 AM
Quote
Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 for lobbying activities from Burisma Group, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada member Andriy Derkach said citing investigation materials.

Derkach publicized documents which, as he said, "describe the mechanism of getting money by Biden Sr." at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine's press center in Kyiv on Wednesday.

"This was the transfer of Burisma Group's funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services," Derkach said.

If this is correct, Sciff and the gang destroyed Biden with this operation and may have even set him up for criminal prosecution. Collateral damage can be a bitch.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 10, 2019, 09:01:24 AM
Seriously though, keep doubling down.  As of now, you all seem to be on record as opposing a fair process and believing that the intent of the framers was to authorize a Kangaroo court in the House, notwithstanding everything they ever wrote or did with respect to fairness and process.

The house doesn't have to do any investigation. They could simply vote to impeach with a list of charges and send it to the Senate. Here's the thing, I think its likely Trump abused his power in office. I honestly don't think its worth the house impeaching him over because the Senate seems certain to acquit him. A censure vote is probably the right balance here unless something more damning comes out that the senate Republicans simply can't ignore or explain away.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 10, 2019, 09:03:04 AM
If this is correct, Sciff and the gang destroyed Biden with this operation and may have even set him up for criminal prosecution. Collateral damage can be a bitch.

If Biden is guilty then I won't shed any tears for him. But his guilt or lack there of has little bearing on Trump's abuse of power.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 10, 2019, 11:14:46 AM
Seriously though, keep doubling down.  As of now, you all seem to be on record as opposing a fair process and believing that the intent of the framers was to authorize a Kangaroo court in the House, notwithstanding everything they ever wrote or did with respect to fairness and process.

The house doesn't have to do any investigation. They could simply vote to impeach with a list of charges and send it to the Senate.

I agree.  The problem is not that the House can impeach, the problem is that the House DNC want to conduct a show trial on impeachment.  The "sole" power to try impeachments sits in the Senate, who are required to do it under oath, something that is missing in the House.

My second problem is the House using it's impeachment authority for the purpose of trying to generate political dirt to influence the 2020 campaign.  That's not why they have the power either.

If they want to vote out articles of impeachment today, go right ahead.  But trying to run a partisan trial process to "convict in the court of public opinion" is not in their authority.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that they will expressly try to claim that the Senate trial is fake.  They also have the option to vote to investigate if they don't feel they've got impeachable offenses yet (though, every committee head has flat out said they do).  And then we can see if their investigation authorization looks like they intend a fair process or witch hunt.

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Here's the thing, I think its likely Trump abused his power in office. I honestly don't think its worth the house impeaching him over because the Senate seems certain to acquit him. A censure vote is probably the right balance here unless something more damning comes out that the senate Republicans simply can't ignore or explain away.

I think the Senate is likely to demonstrate that Trump did not abuse his power, not just to refuse to remove him.  That's a big part why they didn't move on the Mueller obstruction charges, the legal basis was false (which would have come out in any kind of process, but the media ignores) and the "facts" largely consisted of opinion differences.  How well does Comey saying, "Trump did it for this reason" hold up versus two dozen witnesses and public Trump statements saying it was for this other legitimate reason?   Answer it doesn't, but Mueller didn't have to include all those statements in his report.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 10, 2019, 11:30:48 AM
If this is correct, Sciff and the gang destroyed Biden with this operation and may have even set him up for criminal prosecution. Collateral damage can be a bitch.

If Biden is guilty then I won't shed any tears for him. But his guilt or lack there of has little bearing on Trump's abuse of power.

I'll just mention that the entire premise of both the whistle-blowing as well as those taking this position here is that Trump's intent in going to Zelenskyy for help was to abuse power to further his election chances. Legally I'm not exactly sure how the following distinction works, but if his actual intent was "this was a bad guy, I want to make sure he doesn't end up President of the U.S." then is it an abuse of power to request assistance from an ally to do that? In other words, if you remove the "to help his election chances" from the table, i.e. remove the motive you ascribe to it, is it still an abuse of power?

Now I'll admit it's tempting to just look at what he did and go "duh, he's after his main opponent, obviously that's a clear motive", and the fact that Trump is assumed to be bad in all things and therefore cannot have a good motive doesn't make it easy to even pretend he has noble reasons for anything he does. But I think what others have asked is, forget for the moment it's Trump that did this and replace him with, I dunno, JFK, is his action still abusive in and of itself? I mean, let's say it's proven eventually Biden was horribly corrupt; will there be any chance of you remarking something to the effect that "wow, good on Trump for exposing that"? And I ask that with the converse being on the table too, which is "as we suspected, Trump is a corrupt ass."
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 10, 2019, 11:40:49 AM
Now I'll admit it's tempting to just look at what he did and go "duh, he's after his main opponent, obviously that's a clear motive", and the fact that Trump is assumed to be bad in all things and therefore cannot have a good motive doesn't make it easy to even pretend he has noble reasons for anything he does. But I think what others have asked is, forget for the moment it's Trump that did this and replace him with, I dunno, JFK, is his action still abusive in and of itself? I mean, let's say it's proven eventually Biden was horribly corrupt; will there be any chance of you remarking something to the effect that "wow, good on Trump for exposing that"? And I ask that with the converse being on the table too, which is "as we suspected, Trump is a corrupt ass."

Here's the thing, I've said it multiple times here. If Biden is corrupt the place for that investigation is within the US justice department. Not in Ukraine, while military aid is being withheld while Trump is asking for this investigation.

Its perfectly possible Trump could abuse his power and uncover corruption. I mean he's dealing with politicians in DC. The guilt or innocence of his target doesn't negate his own corruption. Unless we're cool with going back to the FBI days under Hoover where the FBI keeps blackmail material on powerful people. Except instead of the FBI its a foreign government who is under considerable pressure from the president to get results in their investigation.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 10, 2019, 11:44:18 AM
Here's the thing, I've said it multiple times here. If Biden is corrupt the place for that investigation is within the US justice department. Not in Ukraine, while military aid is being withheld while Trump is asking for this investigation.

The request was to contact Barr - ie to refer the information to the US justice department.  We have treaties in place specifically with foreign countries for assistance in connection with investigations where the facts in question reside on foreign soil.  The Ukranian President asserted multiple times that their process would be fair and didn't promise to deliver helpful information, to which Trump repeatedly said that was good.

So pretty much, this is exactly what you say should happen.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 10, 2019, 12:07:00 PM
Here's the thing, I've said it multiple times here. If Biden is corrupt the place for that investigation is within the US justice department. Not in Ukraine, while military aid is being withheld while Trump is asking for this investigation.

The request was to contact Barr - ie to refer the information to the US justice department.  We have treaties in place specifically with foreign countries for assistance in connection with investigations where the facts in question reside on foreign soil.  The Ukranian President asserted multiple times that their process would be fair and didn't promise to deliver helpful information, to which Trump repeatedly said that was good.

So pretty much, this is exactly what you say should happen.

Except all the contacts were through Gulliani, not Barr. What I'm saying is that without an active investigation in the US the president shouldn't be pressuring foreign heads of state to start one. Some evidence of corruption has to also exist within the US, without that evidence and process Trump shouldn't be bringing this up in a call with foreign heads of state. If there were investigators within the US who were being stone walled by Ukrainian officials and they requested help getting the relevant information then the request is appropriate. Starting the investigation at the WH, running it through the presidents personal attorney, and passing it off to a foreign head of state is not an appropriate process.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 10, 2019, 12:18:44 PM
Here's the thing, I've said it multiple times here. If Biden is corrupt the place for that investigation is within the US justice department. Not in Ukraine, while military aid is being withheld while Trump is asking for this investigation.

No, but that's sort of a dodge. I'm asking whether you'll have any chance of being congratulatory towards Trump in exposing some very un-Presidential corruption if it turns out to be true. Putting aside you don't like how he spoke to Zelenskyy, would you be pleased with the outcome? But I would like to additionally point out that your argument here is entirely circular, as your premise for knowing Trump's action was not possibly good was the "fact" of it being extortion through denying military aid. But that is in fact the issue that needs to be resolved, whereas you are supposing it as a premise to back up your general position. Trump's action is corrupt because we know it's corrupt; a tautology to be sure but not demonstrated. Btw I'll be first to draw lines where no clear evidence is present since most of what goes on is out of our view, but in this case the alleged call really is in our view.

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Its perfectly possible Trump could abuse his power and uncover corruption. I mean he's dealing with politicians in DC. The guilt or innocence of his target doesn't negate his own corruption.

Do you mean his other corruption, or this particular act? I *hate* political corruption. I would have the office of the Presidency turned into a monkish monetary if I had my way. And I tell you I didn't see what you saw in that phone call document.

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Unless we're cool with going back to the FBI days under Hoover where the FBI keeps blackmail material on powerful people. Except instead of the FBI its a foreign government who is under considerable pressure from the president to get results in their investigation.

You mean you think this isn't how things work anyhow? What do you think Epstein's operation was? You really don't think every foreign government is trying to maximize on its dirt that it can leverage over people, and trade it for favors?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 10, 2019, 12:31:11 PM
A:  Hey, C has got their finger on the scale!
B:  Now now, if you point that out, people will unfairly assume we ASKED them for help.  That will damage the electoral process.
A:  I suppose that makes some sense...
C:  <laughs quietly>
B:  Hey, look we won!

D:  C, if yer out there, we're gonna need your help again!
A:   Are you kidding me?  You gotta stop him!  He cannot DO that!
B:  What?  if E is corrupt, it's up to D to sort that out!

This may make for an amusing comedy bit, but it makes a real *censored* show out of our nation.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 10, 2019, 12:38:21 PM
D.W. it should come as no mystery that in politics you try to destroy your opponents and find dirt on them. The issue here isn't "look at what he did! But don't look at me!" The issue is purely about whether a President can talk to a foreign leader about things like this; and more specifically, whether this call in particular was extortive. That's it; it's not about how the U.S. is degenerating into a power struggle, because it was already that. All I asked was whether yossarian could imagine a case where if this call wasn't extortive that we could envision a scenario where a very bad Presidential candidate is removed from the race. Incidentally I do think he's a very bad candidate and that it would be good if he's removed from the race (like Jeb Bush), so I can at least imagine the scenario.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on October 10, 2019, 12:45:16 PM
The extortion question hinges on if there was any sign that Ukraine was unwilling to conduct legitimate investigations. This kind of pressure might be warranted if Ukraine was stonewalling actual investigations but not if it was just trying to avoid getting enmeshed in US domestic politics.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 10, 2019, 12:48:53 PM
Except all the contacts were through Gulliani, not Barr.

Guilliani was investigating the matter as Trump's lawyer.  The accounts I saw said he'd largely ceased working on it months previously.  Do you have different information.  Trump's reference to G in the call, was because he was knowledgeable on the subject (you know, cause he did the research on it), but he asked that they coordinate with Barr.

I think you may be misremembering (or may have been deceived by the media).

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What I'm saying is that without an active investigation in the US the president shouldn't be pressuring foreign heads of state to start one.

There is an active investigation of the sources of the 2016 election interference.  And the "investigation" into Biden's son, as well as to the 2016 election interference both directly reference speaking to the AG not Giuliani.  So again, it seems your standard has been met.

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Some evidence of corruption has to also exist within the US, without that evidence and process Trump shouldn't be bringing this up in a call with foreign heads of state.

That's a false standard.  Do you think the DOJ is prohibited from investigating violations of US law that occur completely on foreign soil?  The foreign corrupt practices act would disagree.  Not to mention, such acts would also be subject to impeachment investigations.  In any event, if you want an "act" you have Biden bragging on tv in the US about forcing the prosecutor out, which is enough to tie it together (or would be to any experienced RICO prosecutor). 

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If there were investigators within the US who were being stone walled by Ukrainian officials and they requested help getting the relevant information then the request is appropriate. Starting the investigation at the WH, running it through the presidents personal attorney, and passing it off to a foreign head of state is not an appropriate process.

There's no expectation that "stone walling" is required to lead to a contact. And I think that you are completely discounting what it's very likely that Trump believes, and that I would suspect that Barr believes as well, that foreign intelligence agencies and/or state department staffers were involved in the frame up that the 2016 election interference that triggered Mueller's probe.  I've not remotely seen an adequate explanation for the amount of spies and foreign government involvement around Papadopoulus (where one spy told him about Russian emails, another spy relayed that to the Australian government, and apparently the US government dedicated undercover resources to investigate him personally).  You have an English spy behind the dossier, with heavy reliance on false statements that originated in Russian/Ukraine.  Against that backdrop the President asking the Head of State actually makes far more sense that going through the diplomatic/intelligence channels that seem to have been misused/involved in the conduct.

Not to mention, I think your timeline of passing this through G to the DOJ is probably false.  It's also an interesting claim to make that Trump's lawyer investigating illegal activities of his opponent and passing that to the DOJ is somehow wrong after spending years defending Hillary's use of Perkins Coie to solicit foreign interference in the 2016 campaign.  Is it wrong or not?  Does it make a difference that Hillary turned up Russian propaganda, and that G appears to have turned up actual conduct?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 10, 2019, 12:51:52 PM
Quote
replace him with, I dunno, JFK, is his action still abusive in and of itself? I mean, let's say it's proven eventually Biden was horribly corrupt; will there be any chance of you remarking something to the effect that "wow, good on Trump for exposing that"

Maybe I'm getting this wrong however in the scenario JFK would be guilty. Assuming that asking a foreign power to investigate a political opponent - hints at a quid pro quo, is against the law, constitution and his outh.

You seem to be arguing that a President can break the law in the pursuit of "justice"?

Perhaps if Trump has made such requests for none political opponents you could say this is just what a president does. But I thinking in a court of law that if such a thing was discovered, the defendant would get off. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 10, 2019, 12:56:37 PM
The extortion question hinges on if there was any sign that Ukraine was unwilling to conduct legitimate investigations. This kind of pressure might be warranted if Ukraine was stonewalling actual investigations but not if it was just trying to avoid getting enmeshed in US domestic politics.

Did you know that Ukraine had reopened the investigation several months before this phone call took place? It’s a recent revelation and, for obvious reasons, not getting much media coverage.

So what we have is a second hand accusation of extortion to get Ukraine to do something they were already doing by threatening them with something they didn’t even know about. How’s that supposed to have worked?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 10, 2019, 01:00:59 PM
Maybe I'm getting this wrong however in the scenario JFK would be guilty. Assuming that asking a foreign power to investigate a political opponent - hints at a quid pro quo, is against the law, constitution and his outh.

You seem to be arguing that a President can break the law in the pursuit of "justice"?

No, RL, you missed my point. The entire case that some here are presenting is that Trump is guilty of corruption (and should be impeached) based on extorting Zelenskyy, which in turn is supported by the contents of the call, which you say "hints at" a quid pro quo. The hint itself rides entirely on Trump's reputation and my question was specifically whether a President with a different, even unimpeachable, reputation, would cause the "hint" to be assessed differently? My question was, to be fair, a little coy, because I'm fairly sure the answer is yes. If it was JFK no one would assume his call was evidence of extorting the Ukraine. I'm also not saying we should ignore reputation, so take Trump's background into account if you like. But my question was *strictly* about whether it's Trump doing it that looks bad, or whether anyone doing it would look bad. How you interpret "do me a favor" really changes if it's Mother Theresa asking versus a mafia don, wouldn't you say?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on October 10, 2019, 01:19:24 PM
Did you know that Ukraine had reopened the investigation several months before this phone call took place? It’s a recent revelation and, for obvious reasons, not getting much media coverage.

So what we have is a second hand accusation of extortion to get Ukraine to do something they were already doing by threatening them with something they didn’t even know about. How’s that supposed to have worked?

So why would Trump need to make such a point of bringing up the investigation if it was already underway? Maybe he wanted to make sure of the results?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 10, 2019, 01:26:39 PM
So why would Trump need to make such a point of bringing up the investigation if it was already underway? Maybe he wanted to make sure of the results?

You didn't ask this to me, but on the face of it the answer seems clear to me: the entire call was about congratulating Zelenskyy and having a love-in, and Trump named a few things in the call that are important to him. It read a lot to me like "you're great, I'm great, we'll do great things! we'll do the weapons aid thing, we'll do the cracking down on corruption thing, we'll look into those suspicious events, we'll make Ukraine great again! don't forget the important things we'll do!"

Yeah, of course they are things important to Trump. But the call doesn't have to be seen as 'making sure' of anything, just a quick chat about the upcoming agenda between the two of them and how great it will be.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on October 10, 2019, 01:33:36 PM
No, RL, you missed my point. The entire case that some here are presenting is that Trump is guilty of corruption (and should be impeached) based on extorting Zelenskyy, which in turn is supported by the contents of the call, which you say "hints at" a quid pro quo. The hint itself rides entirely on Trump's reputation and my question was specifically whether a President with a different, even unimpeachable, reputation, would cause the "hint" to be assessed differently?

You seem to have overlooked much of the additional evidence.  See this discussion that quotes from transcripts of US officials phone calls, that make it quite explicit what was being done.

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-key-takeaways-from-the-text-messages-from-Kurt-Volker-with-other-U-S-officials-concerning-the-provision-of-aide-to-Ukraine/answer/Habib-Fanny


Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 10, 2019, 02:02:40 PM
You seem to have overlooked much of the additional evidence.  See this discussion that quotes from transcripts of US officials phone calls, that make it quite explicit what was being done.

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-key-takeaways-from-the-text-messages-from-Kurt-Volker-with-other-U-S-officials-concerning-the-provision-of-aide-to-Ukraine/answer/Habib-Fanny

LR, I don't have time right now for a very in-depth analysis of the entire article, but I will mention that it does what we'd expect, which is not just to list text messages, but to curate them and provide "explanations" before and after them to make sure we 'know what they mean'. But the explanations *all* beg the question and clearly assume quid pro quo and extortion before the fact. The first half of the article shows nothing of relevance in my opinion, as it's mostly about how Zelenskyy was prepped heavily for the conversation, knowing in advance what Trump was going to ask of him and what he was expected to say (not a surprise) and also that they'd want to know, even in writing, that Zelenskyy was going to agree. In other words, they were not going to put Trump in the position of having a conversation where he didn't know how it would go. No problems so far, but then there's the issue of the text messages describing Ukraine not wanting to look like a re-election tool for Trump. That's also concerning, but it doesn't actually mean they are being used for that: it means they don't want to look like they are being used for that, which is an issue not of policy but of optics. That is, if they give Trump what he wants it will look like they're his political tool, even if they would otherwise have been happy to give him what he wants. It's public perception that is important to them on this, which is a big thing in Eastern Europe, just as it would be in China or Korea. That doesn't speak directly to whether the deal is extortive or not.

Then we get to this text exchange, which gets into the meat of things:

Quote
September 1, 2019

[9/1/19, 12:08:57 PM] Bill Taylor: Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?

[9/1/19, 12:42:29 PM] Gordon Sondland: Call me

This is taken by the article to be an enormous smoking gun. However it's actually a question, not a statement of fact. Let's look at the next iteration of this for more, by Bill Taylor again:

Quote
September 8, 2019

[9/8/19, 11:20:32 AM] Gordon Sondland: Guys multiple convos with Ze, Potus. Lets talk

[9/8/19, 11:21:41 AM] Bill Taylor: Now is fine with me

[9/8/19, 11:26:13 AM] Kurt Volker: Try again—could not hear

[9/8/19, 11:40:11 AM] Bill Taylor: Gordon and I just spoke. I can brief you if you and Gordon don’t connect

[9/8/19, 12:37:28 PM] Bill Taylor: The nightmare is they give the interview and don’t get the security assistance. The Russians love it. (And I quit.)

Why is this scenario a nightmare? Because if the aid is refused *then* it looks like a quid pro quo where Ukraine doesn't pony up and the aid is refused. I agree with him that this is a 'nightmare scenario'. What is not stated here is whether in fact this *is* the scenario. Clearly he's not even sure, otherwise he would have quit already. But what he's saying is that for all he knows this could be the scenario, and it's a fine concern to have. But then there's this that follows:

Quote
September 9, 2019

[9/9/19, 12:31:06 AM] Bill Taylor: The message to the Ukrainians (and Russians) we send with the decision on security assistance is key. With the hold, we have already shaken their faith in us. Thus my nightmare scenario.

[9/9/19, 12:34:44 AM] Bill Taylor: Counting on you to be right about this interview, Gordon.

[9/9/19, 12:37:16 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I never said I was “right”. I said we are where we are and believe we have identified the best pathway forward. Lets hope it works.

[9/9/19, 12:47:11 AM] Bill Taylor: As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.

[9/9/19, 5:19:35 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.

The article you cited naturally takes this final exchange to be the final nail in the coffin proving that it was a quid pro quo. Except there's one problem: it's all based on Bill Taylor's opinion, who is himself unsure whether this is really the case. He seems to be basing on the holding back of aid, and assumes it's connected with the "deliverable" (i.e. agreements) being followed through by Zelenskyy, which may or may not actually have been the case. Sondland says it definitely isn't, and since I don't know which of them to trust more I can't say whose comments are more creditable. I could certainly imagine a President abusing power (I've seen enough TV) and could also imagine a guy like Taylor who's seeing potential problems when in fact things are ok. Actually I've been known to occasionally be a doomsayer in the sense of "you all need to be aware of what issues this could cause before doing it" even though in some cases there ended up being no problems after all. Being sensitive to conflicts of interest is good, but it doesn't mean that every serious concern is actually a conflict. Here it seems uncertain, if we're going only based on the text messages.

Once again, even between Taylor and Sondland, the issue seems to boil down to whether or not to trust Trump's motives. Assuming they both know the relevant laws (i.e. whether Trump's requirements are outright illegal regardless of his intentions) then whether it's extortion or just a finalizing of what issues will be pursued in tandem comes down to trust in Trump's intentions. I'll admit that's not the best of cases to base a position on (i.e. Trump having good intentions) but I do think it shouldn't be presumed out of the gate, as seems to be the case, that it's pretty obviously bad intentions because everyone knows he's a bad guy.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 10, 2019, 02:13:26 PM
I'm not trusting - at all - leaked transcripts that were specifically leaked to be as damning as possible.  For goodness sakes, there are people on your side claim that Trump's call transcript is not good enough and yet, you want to hang your hat on snippets leaked from 36 pages of text messages and 9 hours of testimony?  The word is that the testimoney killed the whole quid pro quo argument, so why is it that all we get to see are the worst parts without context?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 10, 2019, 02:31:24 PM
Just wana throw this out there.  The search for more "context".  That's called investigating.   ;D
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 10, 2019, 02:37:22 PM
Just wana throw this out there.  The search for more "context".  That's called investigating.   ;D

Spaceballs 3, the Seach for More Context (the kids love that).
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 10, 2019, 02:42:08 PM
Just wana throw this out there.  The search for more "context".  That's called investigating.   ;D

I bet that’s exactly what they said in the original Salem witch trials.   8)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 10, 2019, 02:42:55 PM
You don't have to bet.  Read a book.   8)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 10, 2019, 03:23:03 PM
Just wana throw this out there.  The search for more "context".  That's called investigating.   ;D

And what's it called when you have 9 hours of testimony and a big bunch of documents that apparently undermine your case, and all that gets released is less than a page that apparently contradicts (when viewed out of context) the results of the "investigation"?

Oh yeah, that's called the House Democrats business as usual.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 10, 2019, 03:29:22 PM
So why would Trump need to make such a point of bringing up the investigation if it was already underway? Maybe he wanted to make sure of the results?

You didn't ask this to me, but on the face of it the answer seems clear to me: the entire call was about congratulating Zelenskyy and having a love-in, and Trump named a few things in the call that are important to him. It read a lot to me like "you're great, I'm great, we'll do great things! we'll do the weapons aid thing, we'll do the cracking down on corruption thing, we'll look into those suspicious events, we'll make Ukraine great again! don't forget the important things we'll do!"

Yeah, of course they are things important to Trump. But the call doesn't have to be seen as 'making sure' of anything, just a quick chat about the upcoming agenda between the two of them and how great it will be.

I wanted to add an addendum to what I suggested here, which includes the content of the text messages I refered to just above. Based on what the texts say it sounds like all the arrangements and deals were made in advance of the call, so that Trump would already know the answer by the time the call took place. Even by the worst interpretation possible of the text messages that would mean the call was not the actual negotiation but rather would only take place after the conclusion of a successful negotiation to ensure that Trump would come out looking good from the call and not be embarassed. The call itself, regardless of how its structure may appear, would absolutely not have been the actual threat since those kinds of negotiations - even if they really were extortion - would have happened already. The call was only a very congratulatory recap of their mutual successes and the finalization of what they had already agreed to behind closed doors through intermediaries. And that fits, since that's how things are actually done. No way a President tosses in random threats of extortion in the middle of a short and otherwise friendly call, and makes it super-vague to boot. If Trump is anything it isn't vague.

My addendum here doesn't actually reflect on the odds of it being or not being extortion in general, but if the texts are going to be taken seriously what they show is that the phone call itself wouldn't have been where the extortion took place, and therefore the "he asked for a favor after the talk of aid" argument would be moot. It would have already been something stamped and sealed, otherwise the President was never going to make the call in the first place. That is, if you take the texts seriously.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 10, 2019, 04:03:38 PM
Quote
I'm also not saying we should ignore reputation, so take Trump's background into account if you like. But my question was *strictly* about whether it's Trump doing it that looks bad, or whether anyone doing it would look bad. How you interpret "do me a favor" really changes if it's Mother Theresa asking versus a mafia don, wouldn't you say?

In the scenario replacing JFK with Trump and taking reputation into account or not. JFK should be investigated.

That is the question. Is it against the law to ask a foreign power to investigate a political rival directly in the way Trump has done? If so both Trump/JFK are guilty.

You still seem to be saying that a president with a good/bad reputation can break the law in the pursuit of the "justice"?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 10, 2019, 04:17:55 PM
That is the question. Is it against the law to ask a foreign power to investigate a political rival directly in the way Trump has done? If so both Trump/JFK are guilty.

It's not illegal to ask a foreign power to investigate a political rival.

In fact, in the US it's the executive branch's responsibility to investigate potential crimes whether committed by their allies or their enemies, whether it makes them sad or makes them glad.  Think about the "opposite" position, that people not in control of the government are exempt from investigation?  Or that no one can investigate someone from another party (might want to let the AGs of a few states including NY know that they are violating the law in their investigations of Trump).

The only way this is a crime is if Trump is asking them to make something up.  There's no evidence that did occur (which is more than one can say for the "help" requested and received by the Obama admin to investigate Manaford (only after he became associated with  the Trump campaign)).  If Trump isn't asking for a fake investigation, then this is a political difference (which kills the WB protection by law) in that Trump is pursuing a legitimate policy goal related to the enforcement of Justice - in which case EVEN IF there's a "quid pro quo" it's okay, that's exactly what the "best case" version of what Joe Biden did is - quid pro quo for a legit policy demand.

Quote
You still seem to be saying that a president with a good/bad reputation can break the law in the pursuit of the "justice"?

There's zero question that Obama got away with things that would easily trigger an impeachment of Trump.  Can you even imagine if Trump told his base he couldn't do something unilaterally that only Congress could do it, then decided to declare an entire program with the stroke of a pen?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 10, 2019, 04:20:26 PM
You still seem to be saying that a president with a good/bad reputation can break the law in the pursuit of the "justice"?

Why do you keep saying "break the law" as if that's been demonstrated? It seems like if you say something often enough it just becomes true? Actually this is how psychology works, and I'd like to point out you may have succumbed to that. I don't mean to be insulting but am actually warning you about that effect. Not only has it not been demonstrated that Trump is abusing his power - although a reasonable case could be made that he is - but additionally you'd have to show that it's also against the law in order to say what you're saying, which I think no else here even is. The current argument seems to be that a technical breach of the law isn't required for impeachment, an argument that would surely not be made if it clearly was a breach of the law. So I really don't see how you got to "break the law" with such certainty that you are even going further and suggesting that my position is that breaking the law is ok in the pursuit of justice. You are at this point several steps beyond being on firm footing IMO.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 10, 2019, 04:22:24 PM
Your explanations of the Sondland/Taylor conversations sounds plausible, Fenring.  The best and easiest thing to do is have them testify under oath to Congress about the exact circumstances of the conversation and what they meant, so they can clear up and put to rest any nefarious readings of the words.

When are they scheduled to testify again? ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 10, 2019, 04:41:20 PM
Quote
Why do you keep saying "break the law" as if that's been demonstrated?

I didn't think I was. The question was:
Is it against the law to ask a foreign power to investigate a political rival directly in the way Trump has done?
If it is against the law then a investigation is required and if found to have happened they would be guilty regardless of reputation.

If its not against the law, as Seriati suggests, then no investigation required. End of story.

The arguments pointing to Biden guilt or innocence is in my opinion not relevant to the question, nor is reputation. 
It may not be the intent but those that see Biden as relevant to the question seem to, IMO, to be arguing that it would be ok for a President to break the law in the pursuit of the law. 

It not complicated. All the WB and Biden crap is a distraction to the question. Can a President ask a foreign power to investigate a political rival directly?
Answer that and the way forward is determined. Until then the rest is a waist of time and getting in the way.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 10, 2019, 06:30:57 PM
So, some of the guys helping Giuliani dig up dirt on Biden were also funneling illegal foreign political donations, according to an indictment. Arrested last night.

They were on their way to Vienna, and Giuliani let slip yesterday - before the arrests - that he was also planning to head to Vienna today.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/10/rudy-giuliani-vienna/599833/

Quote
The only way this is a crime is if Trump is asking them to make something up. 

Gee, there's no chance of that, right? Trump cares deeply about accuracy.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 11, 2019, 07:34:22 AM
You don't have to bet.  Read a book.   8)

I have. You all sound amazingly like Matthew Hopkins.  ::)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 11, 2019, 07:39:52 AM
The Washington Examiner can now can confirm that, among the many indicators of extreme bias, the leaker worked for Joe Biden.

So what we have is Democrat loyalists within the intelligence community, having failed in the Russian collusion operations, now running the exact same operation again but with Ukraine this time. All in an effort to overturn the 2016 election.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 11, 2019, 10:16:39 AM
If its not against the law, as Seriati suggests, then no investigation required. End of story.

So if Biden is the Vice President at the time of his conduct, the options for investigating the conduct really boils down to Barack Obama or Donald Trump.  A rule that an "opponent" can't do the investigation is effectively a rule for something even broader than Presidential immunity.  An absolute immunity for acts of a Vice President, if those acts are not caught by the President of his own party before he leaves office. 

Of course, there's a direct conflict of interest there, and there's zero chance it would be looked upon as legitimate if say Trump declared that what appeared to be a crime by Pence as having been properly investigated and not a crime.  We don't even have to ask, the Trump DOJ already looked at the call and said there was no crime.  Which literally answers the question you are asking, yet you're still asking it and the left/media is still literally writing that it's a crime.

Again, one would think that Trump releasing the actual call AND the whistle blower complaint would be viewed more positively than Schiff making up what's in the call (because the call didn't say what he wanted it to say), conducting secret hearings and "leaking" tidbits that help his case.  If you asked an alien to look at which person was acting like the liar in that circumstance it's hard to imagine they wouldn't say Schiff.

Quote
The arguments pointing to Biden guilt or innocence is in my opinion not relevant to the question, nor is reputation.

As a technical matter you're correct, for the purpose of a crime.  For an impeachment not so much, as the issue there is not whether what Trump did was illegal, but rather whether it was a misuse of public office.  And while it shouldn't matter whether Biden's guilty if the investigation itself is legitimate (and there's no reason to believe it's not legitimate to investigate when Hunter's benefits are really indefensible), it just does cause that's the way we're wired.  If Joe's guilty then we'd have little choice but to see the investigation as legitimate (how could it not be if there's a real crime), and if he's not guilty we're going to flip the scrip and claim that in hindsight no reasonable person could have thought he was (and therefore the real motive was an abuse of power).

And this is even worse because it's Trump.  Whether it's legitimate or an artifact of a massive manipulation campaign by the media (which did happen) not even his supporters are SURE he's acting for proper motives and his opponents can't even accept that he COULD BE no matter how plausible the circumstances.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 11, 2019, 06:04:54 PM
Quote
The Washington Examiner can now can confirm that, among the many indicators of extreme bias, the leaker worked for Joe Biden.

Work for Biden or worked with Biden?  There is a difference.

If the whistleblower was with the CIA and worked in the White House, and had been doing so for more than three years, he naturally would have worked with Biden.  He was probably checking up on what Biden did just like he was checking Trump.  And since Biden was VP, technically he would have been working for Biden then, too.

Exactly how did he work for Biden?  As an aid, as a subordinate, as a supporter, or as oversight?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 11, 2019, 06:10:53 PM
The Washington Examiner can now can confirm that, among the many indicators of extreme bias, the leaker worked for Joe Biden.

So what we have is Democrat loyalists within the intelligence community, having failed in the Russian collusion operations, now running the exact same operation again but with Ukraine this time. All in an effort to overturn the 2016 election.

He did not work "for" Joe Biden even according to the Washington Examiner.  They are quoting sources who say they are pretty sure he would have worked with Joe Biden at the WH. Note this WB was ALSO DETAILED TO THE TRUMP WH SO IT IS JUST AS ACCURATE TO SAY HE WORKED "FOR" PENCE. That a career CIA analyst would have occasion to work with a VP is not news.

But nothing will stop Crunch from pretending that a bias on the part of the WB somehow alters the facts of what the President did or why he did it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 11, 2019, 06:45:08 PM
Quote
So if Biden is the Vice President at the time of his conduct, the options for investigating the conduct really boils down to Barack Obama or Donald Trump.  A rule that an "opponent" can't do the investigation is effectively a rule for something even broader than Presidential immunity.  An absolute immunity for acts of a Vice President, if those acts are not caught by the President of his own party before he leaves office.

I appreciate you responding to the question. 

My understanding of the process is that an investigation into a President or Vice President does not boil down to President having to initiate the investigation by bypassing process. (If that’s what he did) I would like to think that a process existed for proper checks and balances. I assumed that there was but maybe that’s not the case.   

I’m not convinced that Biden innocents or guilt is relevant to the question of the method Trump choose to take to pursue an investigation, however I suspect I don’t understand the rules of the game. 

Actually, I’m no longer sure there are rules, or maybe the rules are fluid, changing to the narrative that’s a “truth” in the moment.  The narrative that we want to believe the one that is true, with the rules adjusted accordingly. Either way its not a game I’m equipped to play.

Its a dangerous game, the end is always in the beginning, truth, ethics, morals and character matter, even when not convenient to narrative.

“What kind of world do you want?
Think Anything
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece
Be careful what you wish for
History starts now” - FFF
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 12, 2019, 10:38:08 AM
The Washington Examiner can now can confirm that, among the many indicators of extreme bias, the leaker worked for Joe Biden.

So what we have is Democrat loyalists within the intelligence community, having failed in the Russian collusion operations, now running the exact same operation again but with Ukraine this time. All in an effort to overturn the 2016 election.

He did not work "for" Joe Biden even according to the Washington Examiner.  They are quoting sources who say they are pretty sure he would have worked with Joe Biden at the WH. Note this WB was ALSO DETAILED TO THE TRUMP WH SO IT IS JUST AS ACCURATE TO SAY HE WORKED "FOR" PENCE. That a career CIA analyst would have occasion to work with a VP is not news.

But nothing will stop Crunch from pretending that a bias on the part of the WB somehow alters the facts of what the President did or why he did it.

Are you now claiming hearsay from anonymous sources can be problematic? Whhhaaaat? No way!
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 14, 2019, 08:34:45 AM
Quote
House Democrats are looking to prevent the whistleblower from being identified by holding the person's testimony at a remote location and potentially changing their appearance and voice.

Secret testimony from a secret accuser giving hearsay evidence, all from a secret location. I hope they really do go this route. This would be perfect.

This weekend Schiff made the point that the leaker will probably not testify, presumably Schiff got all he needed from the secret meetings with the leaker to plan this hoax. 


In a nutshell, they plan to impeach Trump by accusing him of doing something many Democrats have openly done. In fact, as Schiff explained, Trump doesn’t even have to have done it:

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Appearing on CBS's Face The Nation Sunday morning, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff essentially conceded that there was no quid pro quo between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by saying "there doesn't need to be a quid pro quo."

No quid pro quo. They’re just impeaching because they want to overturn the election.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 14, 2019, 09:59:45 AM
https://www.npr.org/2019/10/12/768935251/trump-ukraine-and-the-path-to-the-impeachment-inquiry-a-timeline (https://www.npr.org/2019/10/12/768935251/trump-ukraine-and-the-path-to-the-impeachment-inquiry-a-timeline)

This has some key dates about the timing of the call and the military aid money.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 14, 2019, 12:35:17 PM
Why does the timing matter? Schiff and the Democrats have essentially decided that the timing does not matter, why do you disagree with that?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 14, 2019, 01:00:02 PM
Why does the timing matter? Schiff and the Democrats have essentially decided that the timing does not matter, why do you disagree with that?

Do I disappoint you by not being a lefty brainwashed strawman?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 14, 2019, 02:01:19 PM
I was actually seriously asking. We’re basically dumping the quid pro quo meme in this. The whole thing was about the quid pro quo but suddenly it’s not. That piece of the fabrication is now irrelevant for some reason. That would also render any timing around it irrelevant as well.

Or do you think the timing is relevant? What is a reason the timing should be examined now?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 14, 2019, 02:16:35 PM
"The whole thing was about the quid pro quo but suddenly it’s not."

For non-Trumpists, the whole thing is about an ongoing investigation. We'll see what comes out about an explicit quid pro quo. There's clearly an implied one just in the phone call, but there could always be more to learn. 

For Trumpists, it's been about throwing up distracting smokescreens, making up things about the process so they could pretend the process invalidates the inquiry. Even the "no quid pro quo" is a smokescreen. Trump doesn't get to ask other countries to attack his political rivals; the act isn't whitewashed by the lack of an explicit quid pro quo. The quid pro quo would only be additional wrongdoing.

(I'm not bothering to engage with the fantasy that Trump had legitimate reasons to ask for the investigations. Crowdstrike/Ukraine/server is a 4chan invention, and Joe Biden didn't kill an investigation into his own son. If Trump believed those things it's just more evidence he's unfit for office.)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 14, 2019, 04:51:37 PM
Well, Biden specifically bragged about getting the prosecutor fired. And it was the prosecutor investigating his son and the company. That’s a fact. It’s as hard a fact as they get. You may try to argue those two things are miraculously unrelated but you can dismiss it as nothing but a fantasy
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 15, 2019, 03:10:22 PM
"It’s as hard a fact as they get."

No, Shokin wasn't investigating, the investigation was dormant. The Brits were complaining about how much that particular investigation was not being done. The investigation that wasn't being done was about events that predated Hunter Biden's appointment to the board. Joe Biden was pushing for the appointment of a prosecutor who would more actively pursue corruption and there was no requirement that the new prosecutor leave his son or that company alone (as Shokin was leaving them alone at the time).

One can make the argument that Hunter had a position he didn't earn and that he got it because his dad was the VP. But that doesn't require any corrupt action from either Biden. It actually pales in comparison to Trump's conflicts of interest that involve most of his adult children and his businesses.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on October 15, 2019, 11:58:58 PM
https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-jr-mocks-hunter-biden-190040845.html

“‘It is impossible for me to be on any of the boards I just mentioned without saying that I’m the son of the vice president of the US. I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happen in my life that if my name wasn’t Biden’ Hunter Biden.”

How are these companies getting value for all the money they are paying him to be on these boards?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 16, 2019, 07:08:22 AM
"It’s as hard a fact as they get."

No, Shokin wasn't investigating, the investigation was dormant. The Brits were complaining about how much that particular investigation was not being done. The investigation that wasn't being done was about events that predated Hunter Biden's appointment to the board. Joe Biden was pushing for the appointment of a prosecutor who would more actively pursue corruption and there was no requirement that the new prosecutor leave his son or that company alone (as Shokin was leaving them alone at the time).

One can make the argument that Hunter had a position he didn't earn and that he got it because his dad was the VP. But that doesn't require any corrupt action from either Biden. It actually pales in comparison to Trump's conflicts of interest that involve most of his adult children and his businesses.

That is not what the prosecutor is saying. He has a very different story than MSNBC
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 16, 2019, 07:12:27 AM
Quote
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday she will not stage a vote on the House floor to officially launch an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

This vote was how the impeachment proceedings against Nixon and Clinton were initiated. So Pelosi is essentially signaling that there will be no impeachment process started. Or, if it is, the process will remain secret accusers and secret evidence presented during secret hearings.

Either way, Trump wins.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 16, 2019, 10:15:17 AM
I suspect Pelosi was always ok with the notion that a vote may not happen. Most of this was Kabuki theater driven by the absence of a candidate strong enough to legitimately unseat Trump next year.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on October 16, 2019, 10:23:56 AM
How are these companies getting value for all the money they are paying him to be on these boards?

It is the same reason people hire kids from Harvard and Yale - most of the value is in their connections. Not in a corrupt way, but simply they can use name dropping to get people on the phone that otherwise might not take a call.  Most of the effort in establishing business relationships is getting the introduction and a famous name gets the introduction.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 16, 2019, 11:38:13 AM
If I'm being fair re:Biden on the board, it's not uncommon at all for board members to *not* be experts in the field of the company whose board they sit. The "what experience does Biden have in the oil industry" argument doesn't really pass muster, assuming he has strong business acumen in other areas (a big assumption).
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 16, 2019, 12:19:26 PM
If I'm being fair re:Biden on the board, it's not uncommon at all for board members to *not* be experts in the field of the company whose board they sit. The "what experience does Biden have in the oil industry" argument doesn't really pass muster, assuming he has strong business acumen in other areas (a big assumption).

I think the main reason to have someone on a board is "what can we gain by having them here", which to be fair can be many things including (but not limited to) expertise. So maybe he's a lawyer, or a financial consultant, or an expert in the oil field, or maybe it's personal connections. I mean it seems hard to believe it *isn't* personal connections in this case. But then that begs the question of whether it's legit. Under normal circumstances offering personal connections for a company isn't suspect, rather it's exactly normal good business. But if the connection is a political person that creates a conflict of interest within government, assuming the politician is actually going to use that influence to help. So is it in fact outright illegal to be offering, in so many words, the connection of a politician as your contribution to a board? I mean obviously it's not illegal to be related to a politician and sit on a board, but if the tacit understanding is that your value is in that connection, that does not automatically compromise the politician? Let's pretend for the moment that Joe Biden actually had no interest at all in helping Biden and that company, and Hunter went ahead and joined anyhow hoping to get hid dad to change his mind. Just that pressure existing in the first place should probably be illegal; i.e. if a potential conflict exists it's already crossing a line, even if the politician doesn't happen to succumb to it. It's the same as bribes: offering or soliciting them is illegal regardless of whether they're accepted.

Of course all of this assumes that the system actually has a motivation to eliminate conflicts of interest, while in reality it's exactly the opposite. The system is rigged to maximize the payoffs from [currently legal] conflicts of interest.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 16, 2019, 01:30:59 PM
Quote
I mean obviously it's not illegal to be related to a politician and sit on a board, but if the tacit understanding is that your value is in that connection, that does not automatically compromise the politician?

The question is what is the value of the connection? Is it because they hope to influence political decisions that directly impact their bottom line? Or is it because shareholders will hold your company in higher esteem? Because they can get introduced to new customers? Because they want to meet the person in question?

Is it different if it were an American company? That takes the foreign policy bit out of the equation.

Any way you slice it, it was an error in judgement to take the job. As I've said before, I am very much in favor of eliminating even the appearance of impropriety. On the other hand, what job could Hunter take where there isn't the possibility for a conflict of interest?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 16, 2019, 01:46:30 PM
The question is what is the value of the connection? Is it because they hope to influence political decisions that directly impact their bottom line? Or is it because shareholders will hold your company in higher esteem? Because they can get introduced to new customers? Because they want to meet the person in question?

That's my question, though: does it actually matter what the hoped-for value is? Or does even the possibility that it's a "bribe" (i.e. political influence) automatically count as if it was that, regardless of their actual intentions?

Quote
Is it different if it were an American company? That takes the foreign policy bit out of the equation.

I don't think there's a difference there in terms of it being a political conflict of interest. I do think there's a difference, though, which is that in foreign country sitting in the middle of a power struggle, having American politically affiliated people on boards amounts to a potential corporate takeover of that nation, which is not only possible but a very common occurance. Insofar as the political conflict of interest enters into it, it turns "regular corruption" into "corruption that is also invasive to another country". So it's a worse version of what it would be if it was just local.

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On the other hand, what job could Hunter take where there isn't the possibility for a conflict of interest?

Yeah, heaven forbid there should be an actual consquence, like, you know, a loss, associated with being the son of a politician. Contrary to popular wisdom I'm not fond of the "my dad is powerful and therefore so am I" dynasty thing. If his life is made harder by dad being in the Congress I say so be it, that's the breaks of ensuring that dad isn't compromised.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 16, 2019, 01:49:14 PM
Quote
Yeah, heaven forbid there should be an actual consquence, like, you know, a loss, associated with being the son of a politician. Contrary to popular wisdom I'm not fond of the "my dad is powerful and therefore so am I" dynasty thing. If his life is made harder by dad being in the Congress I say so be it, that's the breaks of ensuring that dad isn't compromised.

I'm all for it if it leaves the Trump kids unemployed.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 16, 2019, 02:51:49 PM
I'm all for it if it leaves the Trump kids unemployed.

That might be tongue and cheek, but so long as the people benefiting from these things are also the ones making the laws it will take them saying something less like "I hope my opponent's kids are unemployed" and more like "I am willing for my own kids to be unemployed if that's what the integrity of my office requires." I would be just about as surprised for lawmakers to endorse this attitude as I would for police departments to really investigate their own officers and administration for misconduct.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 16, 2019, 03:01:22 PM
So, at least on this Forum. Trump wins
All discussion about what Trump may or may not have done shifted to the guilt of Biden. 

Well maybe something good comes out of this and Biden steps down. His time, and the politics he represents has past.
It was unlikely he would have beat Trump 

Trump blew his wad to soon. He didn't need a investigation into Biden to have the label of crooked to stick. He just needed to wait for the campaign to start and then hit him with it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on October 16, 2019, 03:26:33 PM
So, at least on this Forum. Trump wins
All discussion about what Trump may or may not have done shifted to the guilt of Biden. 

Unless something more damaging comes out of the state department Trump wins in the senate anyway. Trump winning in the Senate is a win, because it works up his base more than not being impeached does.

So personally I think Trump engaged in the behavior he was accused of, I believe it is an appalling abuse of presidential power, and I believe his supporters will convince themselves that every bit of evidence that comes out doesn't actually show any wrongdoing, or if there was wrongdoing it simply because of how corrupt Biden is and so its all okay. So why waste my energy trying to convince them this or that new piece of evidence is damning, they're convinced its a political/deep state/democratic/ witch hunt and nothing is going to shake that view. So unless something amazingly blatant comes out the status quo of the republicans in the senate defending Trump isn't going to change. Sadly the end of this story is written before the beginning and I feel like in the end it helps Trump politically. Maybe I'm wrong about how its going to impact moderates and independents in Penn/Wi/Mi. A net 50,000ish voters in those states decided the outcome of the election last time so its probably insane to say with any certainty how any particular story is going to play out on the electoral map. But the impeachment only increases his support among those who already support him.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 16, 2019, 03:43:08 PM
When it's all about whether or not it would result in his removal from office (or hurt "competitive seats"), rather than impeachment because it's your JOB the check an out of control president... it was all theater anyway.   :-\
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on October 16, 2019, 04:04:23 PM
But remember, yossarian, Trump won by a very thin margin.  A hundred-thousand votes out of 65 millions going the other way would have caused a tied election; two-hundred thousands would have completely tipped it.  So it won't take that many votes to change and/or not be cast to change the outcome of the next election.

Really it comes down to what is revealed in the investigation.  We already know that some diplomats believed that Trump as trying to extort the Ukrainians into investigating Biden.  If the people working for him perceived him as asking for quid pro quo, is there any doubt that it could have been perceived that way by others?

And the testimony and the investigation probably will uncover other problems with this Administration.  We already have Guilliani tied to a couple of jokers who donated foreign money to the election, something that Republicans wanted to hang Hillary for a few years back on much less evidence.  Who knows what else will be revealed?

And remember that this is also tied to Trump's popularity.  As long as people like the President and are satisfied with his job, they won't be swayed.  But if he does something stupid, like throw the Kurds under the Turkish bus, he may lose his personal support.  And then suddenly they won't be so forgiving of his many peccadilloes.

Trump's hard-core supporters won't be moved, but they number maybe 30 to 40 percent of the voters, if that.  The others can be swayed, even many of the hard-core ones if he does something to upset them.  So while currently the end of this story seems foreordained, you can expect a few more twists before the last page.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 16, 2019, 04:04:30 PM

Unless something more damaging comes out of the state department Trump wins in the senate anyway. Trump winning in the Senate is a win, because it works up his base more than not being impeached does.

So personally I think Trump engaged in the behavior he was accused of, I believe it is an appalling abuse of presidential power, and I believe his supporters will convince themselves that every bit of evidence that comes out doesn't actually show any wrongdoing, or if there was wrongdoing it simply because of how corrupt Biden is and so its all okay. So why waste my energy trying to convince them this or that new piece of evidence is damning, they're convinced its a political/deep state/democratic/ witch hunt and nothing is going to shake that view. So unless something amazingly blatant comes out the status quo of the republicans in the senate defending Trump isn't going to change. Sadly the end of this story is written before the beginning and I feel like in the end it helps Trump politically. Maybe I'm wrong about how its going to impact moderates and independents in Penn/Wi/Mi. A net 50,000ish voters in those states decided the outcome of the election last time so its probably insane to say with any certainty how any particular story is going to play out on the electoral map. But the impeachment only increases his support among those who already support him.

I think you're mostly right here. Although I think you'd be surprised that a lot of Trump supporters are pretty open to the idea that he did something sketchy, maybe even impeachable - just not with the evidence presented. Trump supporters have seen an unprecedented barrage of media bias for years and as a result have their spidey-sense on high alert on anything that's said about him.

Case in point, just this morning NBC had to issue a correction on a Trump quote. NBC originally quoted Trump saying the Turkish invasion of Syria is "not our problem". When in fact he said "They have a problem at a border — it's not our border,” “...it’s not between Turkey and the US..."

Those are incredibly different quotes and shows the reflexive bad faith of mainstream media, not that it's ever been hidden. You see that kind of "reporting" over years, and yeah, you get super skeptical about what's actually true and what's not.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 16, 2019, 04:08:50 PM
Trump, overheard when asked about what he'd like for dinner. "I'd kill for some good Mexican!"

Dateline: TRUMP DECLARES DEATH ON GOOD MEXICANS.

"I'd kill!" Trump was heard to say, when asked about Mexico. The white house was not available for comment.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 16, 2019, 04:09:25 PM
Those are incredibly different quotes and shows the reflexive bad faith of mainstream media, not that it's ever been hidden. You see that kind of "reporting" over years, and yeah, you get super skeptical about what's actually true and what's not.

To say nothing of the fake footage ABC just showed of "fighting in Syria", using footage from a gun range. That was one of the rare occurances of it publicly blowing up in their face, but I've seen *so many* occasions of that kind of fakery. Gee, I wonder why many people don't trust that kind of partisan reporting any more...
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 16, 2019, 04:27:29 PM
Whats interesting to me is how quickly the guilt of Biden and his sun was taken at face value while I'm guess if the same type evidence if pointed to Trump would have been argued as not relevant. 

That so many of Trumps followers don't see that or the implications of the arguments they are presenting should be concerning.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 16, 2019, 05:14:15 PM
Whats interesting to me is how quickly the guilt of Biden and his sun was taken at face value while I'm guess if the same type evidence if pointed to Trump would have been argued as not relevant. 

That so many of Trumps followers don't see that or the implications of the arguments they are presenting should be concerning.

Perhaps. But it may also be the case that people hate hypocrites more than criminals.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 16, 2019, 05:22:03 PM
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Perhaps. But it may also be the case that people hate hypocrites more than criminals.

Probably true. :(
More about feeling then reason perhaps related to the politics of taking, giving and fearing 'offense'.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 16, 2019, 05:24:38 PM
Quote
Case in point, just this morning NBC had to issue a correction on a Trump quote. NBC originally quoted Trump saying the Turkish invasion of Syria is "not our problem". When in fact he said "They have a problem at a border — it's not our border,” “...it’s not between Turkey and the US..."

Those are incredibly different quotes and shows the reflexive bad faith of mainstream media, not that it's ever been hidden. You see that kind of "reporting" over years, and yeah, you get super skeptical about what's actually true and what's not.

First, this was a random tweet - not a news report. Trump's followers have a lot of gall crabbing about a reporter's tweet while swallowing every nugget of misinformation that Trump pumps out of his twitter. Th e way you tell it is like it got published in an article.

Second, it isn't really a horrible misrepresentation. If he hadn't put in quotes, it really isn't too far off. It does portray him as a little more flippant, but it sums up his attitude and is logically equivalent.

If there is a problem at a border and the border is not ours, coupled with "America First" policy and the removal of American influence in the area, can't you conclude that he doesn't think it is our problem and that we shouldn't be involved?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 16, 2019, 06:50:26 PM
Whats interesting to me is how quickly the guilt of Biden and his sun was taken at face value while I'm guess if the same type evidence if pointed to Trump would have been argued as not relevant. 

That so many of Trumps followers don't see that or the implications of the arguments they are presenting should be concerning.

Perhaps. But it may also be the case that people hate hypocrites more than criminals.

Or it could be Biden openly bragging about it and actually getting the guy fired. Maybe?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 16, 2019, 06:54:04 PM
Quote
Yeah, heaven forbid there should be an actual consquence, like, you know, a loss, associated with being the son of a politician. Contrary to popular wisdom I'm not fond of the "my dad is powerful and therefore so am I" dynasty thing. If his life is made harder by dad being in the Congress I say so be it, that's the breaks of ensuring that dad isn't compromised.

I'm all for it if it leaves the Trump kids unemployed.

For it only as long as it hurts the opposition. I’d say that’s about right.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 17, 2019, 10:08:58 AM
Quote
Or it could be Biden openly bragging about it and actually getting the guy fired. Maybe?

People that brag about doing things that if not crossing a line walk on it suck and doing so = guilt.
Good Thing Biden is the only guy doing that. 

Its hypocrisy that we only care about now right?
Truth, ethics, morality as it concerns character and virtue don't matter, crime doesn't matter but Hypocrisy that we cannot abide... humm that statement kind of feeds on it self as being hypocritical.
You can't be offended by hypocrisy when crime, truth and ethics don't matter to you or your being a hypocrite and offending yourself.

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 17, 2019, 10:58:08 AM
Quote
Or it could be Biden openly bragging about it and actually getting the guy fired. Maybe?

People that brag about doing things that if not crossing a line walk on it suck and doing so = guilt.
Good Thing Biden is the only guy doing that. 

Its hypocrisy that we only care about now right?
Truth, ethics, morality as it concerns character and virtue don't matter, crime doesn't matter but Hypocrisy that we cannot abide... humm that statement kind of feeds on it self as being hypocritical.
You can't be offended by hypocrisy when crime, truth and ethics don't matter to you or your being a hypocrite and offending yourself.

You're over-analyzing the point. If you boast publicly about doing something, there's a higher chance you actually did it. Not much deeper than that.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 17, 2019, 11:12:03 AM
Quote
You're over-analyzing the point. If you boast publicly about doing something, there's a higher chance you actually did it. Not much deeper than that.

And of course we would apply that reasoning to all people that are none to boast?
The guy I'm thinking about who loves to boast, tends to boast about things he hasn't done... but ok boasting = they did it = quilt.

As long as we remain on the surface and never look deeper where fine... unless it dons't fit the narrative then we must dig?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 17, 2019, 12:16:45 PM
For the purposes of investigation, if you boast about things you potentially didn't do that are not unethical, immoral or illegal, it's less relevant whether you actually did them or not.

If your boasts are about things that are potentially unethical, immoral or illegal, it's more relevant and worth looking into.

Do you object to either of the above? I'm trying to separate specific personalities from this but I'm not sure you're able to.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 17, 2019, 12:58:40 PM
Whats interesting to me is how quickly the guilt of Biden and his sun was taken at face value while I'm guess if the same type evidence if pointed to Trump would have been argued as not relevant. 

That so many of Trumps followers don't see that or the implications of the arguments they are presenting should be concerning.

Perhaps. But it may also be the case that people hate hypocrites more than criminals.

Or it could be Biden openly bragging about it and actually getting the guy fired. Maybe?

Nobody disputes that Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the guy. He did. He did it at the behest of Obama. It was an international priority. Nobody was against it at the time. This was not because Republicans were reluctant to criticize the Obama administration.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 17, 2019, 12:59:32 PM
Quote
Or it could be Biden openly bragging about it and actually getting the guy fired. Maybe?

People that brag about doing things that if not crossing a line walk on it suck and doing so = guilt.
Good Thing Biden is the only guy doing that. 

Its hypocrisy that we only care about now right?
Truth, ethics, morality as it concerns character and virtue don't matter, crime doesn't matter but Hypocrisy that we cannot abide... humm that statement kind of feeds on it self as being hypocritical.
You can't be offended by hypocrisy when crime, truth and ethics don't matter to you or your being a hypocrite and offending yourself.

You're over-analyzing the point. If you boast publicly about doing something, there's a higher chance you actually did it. Not much deeper than that.

Not sure why rl22 is engaging in this fashion, because Biden did get the guy fired, that's undisputed.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 17, 2019, 02:53:10 PM
Whats interesting to me is how quickly the guilt of Biden and his sun was taken at face value while I'm guess if the same type evidence if pointed to Trump would have been argued as not relevant. 

That so many of Trumps followers don't see that or the implications of the arguments they are presenting should be concerning.

Perhaps. But it may also be the case that people hate hypocrites more than criminals.

Or it could be Biden openly bragging about it and actually getting the guy fired. Maybe?

Nobody disputes that Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the guy. He did. He did it at the behest of Obama. It was an international priority. Nobody was against it at the time. This was not because Republicans were reluctant to criticize the Obama administration.

Nobody was against it. But nobody in the international community cared. We have testimony from yesterday that the Obama administration drove the firing of the prosecutor and the international community was simply ok with it. It was very far from an international priority.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 17, 2019, 03:03:06 PM
Quote
Not sure why rl22 is engaging in this fashion, because Biden did get the guy fired, that's undisputed.

True Biden and other western leaders put pressure on to get the guy fired. 
Biden is guilty no need to investigate further or go deeper. The smoking gun is enough.

Oh but we don't apply that type of logic to the investigation of anyone else, why because Biden's real crime was hypocrisy.

My problem continues to be that Biden's guilt or innocents has nothing to do with the question of Trumps guilt or innocents as it relates to the method he chose to peruse the investigations.

I would add that if we use the same reasoning that finds Biden guilty that should be applied to Trump in the same manner. No need for investigation, bragging = did it = guilt.

My biggest concern that by making Biden's guilt or innocents relevant to the Question of Trump is that we are in danger of making the case that Its OK to break the law in the pursuit of the law. That is if Trump broke the law. Finding Biden guilty has no bearing on that question.

Did Trump break the law as to the method he chose to pursue the investigation? Seirti is the only one that argues he did not without relying on Biden quilt or innocents. I don't fully agree with the arguments but at least the arguments were relevant to the question.

It also absurd that hypocrisy matters more then crime. Many times on this forum it has been stated that truth and character does not matter. Basically the ends justify the means (you can break the law or be a jerk if it 'justifies the ends)  Fine, but then to say hypocrisy matters is perhaps the greatest Hypocrisy. We have made ourselves blind.


 

 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: scifibum on October 17, 2019, 04:00:14 PM
"It was very far from an international priority."

Sure, you can make lying assertions all day long and we can attempt to demonstrate that is what you are doing. Trump playbook; you really look up to him don't you.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 17, 2019, 06:55:15 PM
My understanding of the process is that an investigation into a President or Vice President does not boil down to President having to initiate the investigation by bypassing process. (If that’s what he did) I would like to think that a process existed for proper checks and balances. I assumed that there was but maybe that’s not the case.

You said this a while back, but I'm behind.  I would like to point out that context matters.   The only reason this seems odd or improper is the context of it being the Bidens (who in fairness, are literally the most famous current case of an American acting in a manner that could be corrupt in the Ukraine, but they are also Trump's political opponents). 

But that's only the US context.  Think about the Ukranian context.  It's a country where rule by oligarchs is literally the way things are done.  It's as normal to them, as our system is to us.  Now think about how it looked from their perspective that Hunter got a seat on the board of gas company, controlled by a Ukranian oligarch, at the same time his father was vice president, and miraculously thereafter, the US and EU pressure the government to end an investigation into that company, US and European policy expressly becomes to favor Ukranian gas and the legal obstacles that company was facing in the EU are "resolved" after Hunter advises them on which legal counsel to retain.

If you're an oligarch or used to oligarchs, what do you see there?

Now imagine a few years later, where there's a competing Oligarch controlling the US, yet the original one is still a prominent member of the opposition and in fact may be the very next President.  What do you see now?  Do you see a situation that calls for cooperating with the DOJ or "proper channels" that in your own country have always been 100% corrupt?  Or do you see a situation where you potentially are getting caught between two power oligarchs?

Against that background, if the request doesn't come from Trump, I'd think you'd have to believe it wasn't serious, and that an honest investigation of US oligarch Biden's potential corruption shouldn't happen.  The problem of course, is that where the request does come from Trump, then you probably see a request from the current in power oligarch to help against another oligarch.

There's no good clear path, but there's also no chance that regular channels were going to get it done.

Quote
I’m not convinced that Biden innocents or guilt is relevant to the question of the method Trump choose to take to pursue an investigation, however I suspect I don’t understand the rules of the game.

Sorry if I implied that before or above.  I just meant its relevant to the public perception (which is pretty much all impeachment is about as it's being run).
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 17, 2019, 07:17:07 PM
"The whole thing was about the quid pro quo but suddenly it’s not."

For non-Trumpists, the whole thing is about an ongoing investigation.

How can the "whole thing" be "about an ongoing investigation"?  Isn't an investigation supposed to be about conduct?

The whole thing is really just a simple question, was there a misuse of public authority for personal gain.  That's really it.  If there was, then it becomes a question of whether it can be proven and whether its severe enough to warrant removal.

However, if you can't parse between a legitimate exercise of power from which there's a personal gain, like firing a prosecutor that's knee deep in corruption, or demanding a fair process around investigations of corruption including those that involve your own countries leaders and their families, and a personal gain of protecting your son or harming your political opponent, you're going to have a hard time here.  If you don't have a consistent principal you're not going to engage in justice, and if you let hate blind you, you're just going to get all worked up about the "obvious" guilt of one guy and innoncence of the other.

But you have to realize, this whole exercise is about motive speculation.  There's a reason motive speculation is often bared on boards.  It's rare that the reason someone believes they say or do something and the reason you believe they say or do it are the same.  As I said before, those who are opposed to Trump can not accept he may be acting for good reasons regardless of the proof.  That's not going to get us a fair process.

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We'll see what comes out about an explicit quid pro quo. There's clearly an implied one just in the phone call, but there could always be more to learn.

There could be more, but there wasn't one implied on the call, and the current facts on the ground pretty decisively establish that the public message passed down by Trump to those working for him is that there would not be one.  Ignoring that because you "believe" there is one or should be one isn't a reflection of the truth. 

Quote
For Trumpists, it's been about throwing up distracting smokescreens, making up things about the process so they could pretend the process invalidates the inquiry.

I see.  So you are now of the view that foreign banana courts run by dictatorships are issuing valid judgments and engaging in good inquiries?  That hanging juries get us to the truth?

I can't think of a single reason that any American should be advocating for an unfair process.  How does it make our process better by refusing cross examination of witnesses?  It's pretty much a fundamental fact that the ability to cross examine is designed to force witnesses to make admissions under oath that don't help the "prosecution" or risk committing and being charged with perjury.

How does a process of "necessary secrecy" but leaks of one sided facts actually create a fair process?  I mean honestly, you seem to believe that it's perfectly fine to stack the deck, ignore unfavorable evidence, make up evidence and lie is okay - so long as its the Congressional Democrats - but if it were Trump it'd be impeachable, illegal, and immoral.

Quote
Even the "no quid pro quo" is a smokescreen. Trump doesn't get to ask other countries to attack his political rivals; the act isn't whitewashed by the lack of an explicit quid pro quo. The quid pro quo would only be additional wrongdoing.

Without the "quid pro quo" all you have is the President exercising his constitutional duties, and asking for a fair and non-corrupt investigation of a potential crime.  All you have that makes it "wrongdoing" is the as of yet unexplainable theory that members of the opposite party and their families have an absolute immunity from investigations into criminal acts.  And you have a big ole unexplainable problem explaining why then Trump and his own son were not absolutely immune from the Obama administration doing much more and much worse to them.

You are correct it's a smokescreen, but it's being blown by the media to cover over the abuses of power that have been done against Trump.

Quote
(I'm not bothering to engage with the fantasy that Trump had legitimate reasons to ask for the investigations. Crowdstrike/Ukraine/server is a 4chan invention, and Joe Biden didn't kill an investigation into his own son. If Trump believed those things it's just more evidence he's unfit for office.)

This baffles me.  You dismiss actual facts that do warrant an investigation.  On the "impeachment" standard you want to use for Trump, Hunter Biden's conduct would merit impeachment, whether or not criminal.  It's openly unethical, and the only thing stopping it being a misues of public office is that it was his father's office that was being misused.

Of course, up above you STRONGLY asserted that we need an investigation into Trump's conduct to find out what happened, with less of a predicate, so it seems odd that you are so dismissive of a need to investigate Biden.  If you're so convinced that he's innocent, what are you afraid of?  Surely it will clear him if he cooperates fully and releases all records relevant to the investigation to the DOJ.  Isn't that exactly what you said with respect to Trump's investigation by Meuller?   And didn't he in fact release those records to the special counsel's investigation and provide hundreds of members of his staff to them for interviews?

So what gives, other than you personally think Trump is not entitled to the presumption of innocence and that some how Biden is immune from investigation.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 17, 2019, 08:27:19 PM
Quote
ow think about how it looked from their perspective that Hunter got a seat on the board of gas company, controlled by a Ukranian oligarch, at the same time his father was vice president, and miraculously thereafter, the US and EU pressure the government to end an investigation into that company, US and European policy expressly becomes to favor Ukranian gas and the legal obstacles that company was facing in the EU are "resolved" after Hunter advises them on which legal counsel to retain.
Seriati, I expect you've looked into this a lot more than me.  Are you confident in the timeline as you've outlined above?


Also, I  don't think anyone has suggested Biden is or should be immune from investigation.  Just that some of the things he's accused of are to greater or lesser extent... counter-factual
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on October 18, 2019, 07:31:25 AM
"It was very far from an international priority."

Sure, you can make lying assertions all day long and we can attempt to demonstrate that is what you are doing. Trump playbook; you really look up to him don't you.

That was testimony before Congress. I didn’t make it up. You’re getting a little unhinged, you know that, right?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 18, 2019, 11:17:05 AM
Seriati, I expect you've looked into this a lot more than me.  Are you confident in the timeline as you've outlined above?

I'm 100% certain the timeline doesn't matter to how it would appear in the Ukraine to people who have lived with Oligarch's ALWAYS being the motivators and benefactors.  But on the timeline itself, it seems consistent with what we know now (and what we discussed in the past).

Quote
Also, I  don't think anyone has suggested Biden is or should be immune from investigation.  Just that some of the things he's accused of are to greater or lesser extent... counter-factual

What do you think is "counter-factual." Pretty certain its all just "factual," and that the only piece we don't really know is Joe Biden's reasoning (which is exactly, what people are trying to obtain by "investigating" Trump and trying to avoid by declaring Biden innocent.

In other fun news, it's being reported that testimony from one of the diplomats involved that the issues with Biden were raised real time and that the VP's office dismissed them, that the EU was indifferent to replacing Shokin and that they went along with the US demand to do so, and ummm... that the replacement prosecutor was also corrupt and connected to the same people.

None of which is proof, but all of which clouds the picture.  Are you sure that an investigation into the records won't reveal something bad?  And if not, why do you think an investigation is unwarranted?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 18, 2019, 01:10:04 PM
Quote
What do you think is "counter-factual."
I don't know enough to point to things.  But scifibum brought up 4chan inventions.  That would be an example of what I meant, not that *I* had further info to toss into the ring.

The reason I asked about the timeline (which you seemed to hedge a bit on there) was that it does matter if the efforts to get him replaced took place during or after an investigation into Biden's son. 

I'm all for shutting down VIP kids from cashing in off their daddy's positions.  I'm sure not going to defend him.  I'm perfectly happy to compartmentalize this one and investigate both Biden and Trump.  :P  I'm pro transparency and anti-nepotism / dynasties. 

At this point I don't much care how it "seems" to those living under Oligarchs.  I'm only interested in holding OUR elected officials to the law, and doing what we can to stop Oligarchs here at home from consolidating power.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 18, 2019, 02:15:22 PM
In a best case meritocracy, there wouldn't be family surnames or an ability to trade on the accomplishments of your forebears. That goes for Eli Manning and Steve Forbes, as well as the various Trumps.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 18, 2019, 02:44:33 PM
Quote
What do you think is "counter-factual."
I don't know enough to point to things.  But scifibum brought up 4chan inventions.  That would be an example of what I meant, not that *I* had further info to toss into the ring.

Scifibum seemed convinced the issue is made up, notwithstanding that the facts actually establish that its real.  Again the only piece we don't have is the motive, which is what they are digging for in the Trump situation - by trying to interview everyone who ever had a conversation about Ukraine in the hopes that one of them will say they believed there was an order to get a qui pro quo.  However, what we have in the record, so far, is actually the opposite, with the top down orders being in the record specifically directing the opposite.  If that's the truth, then all the Dems are trying to do is convince enough voters that they should ignore the order in favor of believing that Trump could never act other than out of his own interests, in which case that must have happened here.

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The reason I asked about the timeline (which you seemed to hedge a bit on there) was that it does matter if the efforts to get him replaced took place during or after an investigation into Biden's son.

I don't think anyone has ever claimed there was an investigation into Biden's son, just that his relationship may have been part of a target or something that would get targetted as part of the existing investigation of the company.  The investigation was ongoing. 

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At this point I don't much care how it "seems" to those living under Oligarchs.  I'm only interested in holding OUR elected officials to the law, and doing what we can to stop Oligarchs here at home from consolidating power.

Okay.  Are you opposed to the head of the executive branch doing what the executive branch is charged to do?  The reason to consider how it seems to those living under Oligarchs is simply that no one but the President himself may have been in a position to convince them that a fair investigation of a Vice President's son would be okay.  Without the President's personal involvement, it's very possible they would deem the request as something that should be ignored as potentially triggering another attack by an Oligarch (e.g., like when Joe Biden threatened them with pulling $1B in aide).
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 18, 2019, 02:58:25 PM
An actual politician wanting to investigate a political rival would have used a chain of go-betweens. I don't doubt such a thing has happened on one level or another, but they wouldn't be on record with personal involvement. Appearances matter.

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One special agent, who spoke with Insider on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press, said officials were "rattled" not just by the nature of Trump's actions but also by his brazenness.
- BI

Parse that carefully. The agent wasn't so much surprised that a President would mess with a political rival as much as he was shocked that he would roll around in mud and leave his fingerprints everywhere.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 18, 2019, 03:13:03 PM
An actual politician wanting to investigate a political rival would have used a chain of go-betweens. I don't doubt such a thing has happened on one level or another, but they wouldn't be on record with personal involvement. Appearances matter.

Again, see my point about dealing with Oligarchs.  It's actually likely that only a specific request by the President would be convincing that its okay to investigate a former VP's son.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 18, 2019, 03:20:21 PM
Then they probably shouldn't investigate. Full stop. If every allegation is true, Biden gets away with it, we don't have a crisis, life goes on.

Meanwhile, if you think that is a good idea, I look forward to all the Trump kids getting investigated ad-nauseum years after Trump leaves office.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 18, 2019, 03:33:07 PM
Quote
Okay.  Are you opposed to the head of the executive branch doing what the executive branch is charged to do?  The reason to consider how it seems to those living under Oligarchs is simply that no one but the President himself may have been in a position to convince them that a fair investigation of a Vice President's son would be okay.  Without the President's personal involvement, it's very possible they would deem the request as something that should be ignored as potentially triggering another attack by an Oligarch (e.g., like when Joe Biden threatened them with pulling $1B in aide).
This seems reasonable but I fear there's a trap in there.  We need to abide by OUR laws and processes and ethics.  Not simply "speak their language" when it comes to dealing with other countries. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 18, 2019, 06:05:39 PM
Meanwhile, if you think that is a good idea, I look forward to all the Trump kids getting investigated ad-nauseum years after Trump leaves office.

I think the difference is that what you are proposing is investigating people, Trump's kids, looking for a crime.  Rather than investigating a situation that is suspicious on its face.  I refreshed myself yesterday on Hunter, you might want to refresh yourself on his colorful history, and seeming success directly tied to his father's career.  It was clearly widely known, one of the things I read said that Obama's team was investigating him before they choose Biden as a running mate for example. 

Another that his firm specialized in lobbying - no surprise - and that the Administration made it clear to him that he couldn't keep doing that with his father being VP.  That means they knew real time how much he traded on his father's influence, they knew that when he flew in to China on Air Force 2 and signed large deals in the next 2 weeks.  They knew what he was doing when he took a position in the Ukraine that's largely unjustifiable.  His father was fully aware of Hunter's history of drug use and other bad decisions.  Do you really think he had no doubts about what value was providing to the gas company or what else he might be getting involved in that could come to light during an investigation?  Was it a "twofer" in Joe's view to kill the investigation?

Again though, investigating what looks to be criminal is hugely different than just investigating a person to try and find a criminal action.  I mean heck, it's not like anyone's digging through everything Hunter's ever done (and plenty of that was illegal), or looking at all of his lobbying activities.  Would it surprise anyone to find violations in his past lobbying practices?  Not at all, but there's no apparent crime there hence no investigation that anyone's aware of.   Now if someone goes public with a credible criminal act there, will that change?  Sure would, cause then there would be an apparent crime to investigate.

What's the "crimes" you see that you think the Trump kids are involved in.  Go ahead and list them out.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 22, 2019, 10:29:24 PM
Here is some interesting breaking news:

https://www.memorandumdaily.com/2019/10/us-ambassador-testifies-trump-directly.html?m=1

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Ambassador Bill Taylor testified today that President Trump directly linked funding for Ukraine to an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

According to several people in the room, Mr. Taylor acknowledged that the President wanted an investigation into Mr. Biden, as well as a public statement from Ukraine that they were also investigating the company that Mr. Biden’s son worked for.

Members of Congress who heard the testimony described it as “devastating for the President.”

If anyone wants to read Ambassador Taylor's opening statement itself, here it is:

https://games-cdn.washingtonpost.com/notes/prod/default/documents/542ee36f-eafc-4f2b-a075-b3b492d981a5/note/75965f57-6561-42f8-af40-a9e984a85660.pdf

Taylor's statements are seemingly exclusively about things Gordon Sondland (ambassador to the EU) told him, and that Sondland confirmed to him on the phone explicitly that Trump was doing a quid pro quo for investigating Hunter. Now the one thing I'll mention briefly is that some have argued that it doesn't even matter if there was a quid pro quo, and that impeachment could go forward with or without that being the case. But nevertheless this "new" statement about quid pro quo seems to be taken as a huge smoking gun. I'll withhold judgement about whether it is or not, but I would like to remind everyone that this is the same Taylor and Sondland that featured in the famous text messages "proving" quid pro quo, even though in my view they proved no such thing. They only showed the Taylor was seriously concerned that it might be the case, and that Sondland was convinced it was not and that Trump had been crystal clear about that. Now Taylor's new testimony is that Sondland told him outright on the phone that it was. So either Sondland is a liar (possible) or Taylor is a liar (possible). I don't see how they can both be truth-tellers, since the content of the text messages appears to contradict the testimony he's giving now.

One other interesting thing is that Taylor's testimony seems to be taken as being "more proof" that Trump is guilty, whereas to me it seems like a repetition of the last "proof", not a new thing. Or am I missing something? I seriously doubt that the average consumer is going to notice that all of the big proof of it so far is all coming from one single guy's statements on the matter. Not that we should assume he's wrong, but I hope this doesn't turn into another case of "multiple sources show X" where it's actually one source made to look like many due to how the news presents it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 22, 2019, 11:23:05 PM
I read it, and if it turns out to be supportable or true, it's pretty bad for Trump.

But there's a lot in there that makes me doubt it is true.  I mean start with talking with the removed ambassador before you take the job, clearly disclosed to get ahead of an issue that would appear like playing to a set up.

The whole talk about "two channels" seems purpose written to give the dems what they want to hear.  Is there any basis to believe it - he doesn't even claim that he knows it exists - it's all an inference to explain what he sees and doesn't like.

Then there's the statements he seems to make that indicates he was working against what he understood US policy to be (whether or not he was wrong about US policy, it definitely seems he was pursuing his own personal agenda rather than the administration agenda).

I also found the number of "conversations" that disclosed information that seems like people admitting to what he thinks would be crimes to him a bit suspicious.  Particularly, where they contradict other account.

Who really knows.  All I really know is that people will harden their positions before we get to the Senate where there will be a cross examination, where witnesses will be confronted by the factual record and where everyone (including the Senators, and I assume the House prosecutors) will be under oath.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Kasandra on October 23, 2019, 01:33:35 AM
"I read it, and if it turns out to be supportable or true, it's pretty bad for Trump.

But there's a lot in there that makes me doubt it is true."

I think Seriati's comment is a perfect illustration why Trump supporters (and all hard and fast anti-liberals) will never be willing to support the impeachment process.  He looks for and finds a snake under every rock in Taylor's tale. 

I would wager that if anti-liberals had known of all of Bill Taylor's accomplishments up to the day before he accepted Pompeo's offer they would have unanimously agreed that he was a man of enormous experience, integrity and sense of duty to further the best interests of the United States.  After all, George Bush liked him.

But then he went and spoke up about the odd and alarming actions Trump and Giuliani undertook in Ukraine.  Now they realize that he's just another deep-state partisan bureaucrat who is lying for unspecified nefarious purposes with the sole goal of damaging Trump.  As Lindsey Graham said, this is a lynching in every sense of the word.  There's no other possible explanation for it.

Ah, Bill, we thought we knew ye well...
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Mynnion on October 23, 2019, 07:36:56 AM
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The whole talk about "two channels" seems purpose written to give the dems what they want to hear.  Is there any basis to believe it - he doesn't even claim that he knows it exists - it's all an inference to explain what he sees and doesn't like.

I thought this had already been confirmed by Trump.  It seemed strange that Trump would involve his personal lawyer in Ukraine especially when it appears Giuliani may have his own corruption problems there.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Kasandra on October 23, 2019, 10:04:51 AM
"One other interesting thing is that Taylor's testimony seems to be taken as being "more proof" that Trump is guilty, whereas to me it seems like a repetition of the last "proof", not a new thing. Or am I missing something? I seriously doubt that the average consumer is going to notice that all of the big proof of it so far is all coming from one single guy's statements on the matter. Not that we should assume he's wrong, but I hope this doesn't turn into another case of "multiple sources show X" where it's actually one source made to look like many due to how the news presents it."

Hard to understand how you think Taylor is merely aping others or is the only "source" given all the testimony from others, the whistleblower's complaint and even the partial transcript of the phone call itself.  Does Trump have to be captured on tape stipulating to every element of the crime before you're convinced?  If he does appear on tape, would you wonder if it wasn't a deep fake commissioned by Hillary or Little Schitt?

It's interesting to me that the benefit of the doubt from many here seems to always lean towards Trump despite the weight of suspicion and evidence leaning the other way.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 23, 2019, 10:16:01 AM
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If he does appear on tape, would you wonder if it wasn't a deep fake
In all honesty?  Yes, we should wonder that.  It's coming any day now.  If not him, some other prominent politician. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 23, 2019, 10:18:12 AM
Hard to understand how you think Taylor is merely aping others or is the only "source" given all the testimony from others, the whistleblower's complaint and even the partial transcript of the phone call itself.

What other sources are you referring to? There's the whistleblower, yes. But the thought just occurred to me (wild idea): what if Bill Taylor *is* the whistleblower?

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Does Trump have to be captured on tape stipulating to every element of the crime before you're convinced?  If he does appear on tape, would you wonder if it wasn't a deep fake commissioned by Hillary or Little Schitt?

I can see why some people think the memorandum shows quid pro quo. What's interesting to me is you seem unable to see how it might not be.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on October 23, 2019, 10:28:10 AM
Does Trump have to be captured on tape stipulating to every element of the crime before you're convinced?

Not every element, but getting at least one would be super helpful.

New "evidence" de jour will and should be met with some skepticism when the scale of effort to "get" Trump is so blatant. Why just yesterday he used the word "lynching" in a way that he knew was a secret racist dog whistle. He's an affront to decency and we shouldn't let the validity of evidence stand in the way of what we all know is the greater good.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Lloyd Perna on October 23, 2019, 12:09:28 PM
Why just yesterday he used the word "lynching" in a way that he knew was a secret racist dog whistle. He's an affront to decency and we shouldn't let the validity of evidence stand in the way of what we all know is the greater good.

I think this one is funny.  I guess dog whistles are only for Republicans.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/22/politics/biden-1998-impeach-kfile/index.html

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In an appearance on CNN in October 1998, however, Biden said the impending impeachment proceedings against then-President Bill Clinton could be viewed as a "partisan lynching."
"Even if the President should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard, the very high bar, that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense," Biden said.
The Biden campaign declined to comment.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on October 23, 2019, 12:16:53 PM
What's the "crimes" you see that you think the Trump kids are involved in.  Go ahead and list them out.

They are involved in each of the below, just for starters.

In the spring of 2012, Donald Trump’s two eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., found themselves in a precarious legal position. For two years, prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had been building a criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development that was failing to sell. Despite the best efforts of the siblings’ defense team, the case had not gone away. An indictment seemed like a real possibility. The evidence included emails from the Trumps making clear that they were aware they were using inflated figures about how well the condos were selling to lure buyers.

Trump raised a record $107 million for his inauguration, but investigators have little idea where the money went. Prosecutors are investigating an array of troubling maneuvers that include allegedly booking rooms at the Trump Hotel at inflated prices and mail and wire fraud and money laundering. WIS Media Partners, a firm run by a friend of first lady Melania Trump, was the highest paid contractor for the inauguration, earning $26 million.

The lawsuit skewers the Trump Foundation for alleged “extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign” as well as “repeated and willful self-dealing transactions” and “violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations.” The alleged misconduct of the Trump Foundation includes using funds to buy a portrait of the president at a fundraiser in an effort to burnish his image, as well as allegedly using its money to funnel resources into organizing a campaign fundraiser in Iowa that raised millions of dollars.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Kasandra on October 23, 2019, 12:21:45 PM
Quote
If he does appear on tape, would you wonder if it wasn't a deep fake
In all honesty?  Yes, we should wonder that.  It's coming any day now.  If not him, some other prominent politician.
In that case, we've gone beyond cherry picking facts and using "alternative facts" to having no facts at all.  Everything is an opinion, even when you see and hear it with your own eyes and ears.  If Trump shot somebody on 5th Avenue, we would have to see a live autopsy of the body and hear interviews with 1000 eyewitnesses to verify that it happened and he did it.  Except, of course, the body could be a fake and all of the eyewitnesses were paid by Hillary.  We may already be there, since President Trump says the Constitution is fake, so why should he even care what it says?  That's a rhetorical question, since in many respects we can see him ignore it with our own eyes and hear him dismiss it with our own ears.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 23, 2019, 12:26:57 PM
"I read it, and if it turns out to be supportable or true, it's pretty bad for Trump.

But there's a lot in there that makes me doubt it is true."

I read it again, and I still have doubts.  I find it interesting that you seem to think that it's odd to have doubts about it.

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I think Seriati's comment is a perfect illustration why Trump supporters (and all hard and fast anti-liberals) will never be willing to support the impeachment process.  He looks for and finds a snake under every rock in Taylor's tale.

There's a reason we have an adversarial trial process, and why the power to TRY impeachments is in the Senate.  One sided testimoney, taken in secret, often includes opinions and conclusions of the observer that may not be based in facts.  In this case, Taylor, by his own words is effectively a war hawk on the Ukranian issues, with his highest goal being to repel the Russians.  Fine.  But that made him questionable when he felt that goal was threatened.  Not sure how anyone can say that didn't color his view of the temporary withholding of aide, for which he did not have direct knowledge of the reasons but still provided a lot of "damning" speculation.

So why didn't I trust him?  Look at this passage:

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But it was not an easy decision. The former Ambassador, Masha Yovanovitch, had been treated poorly, caught in a web of political machinations both in Kyiv and in Washington. I feared that those problems were still present. When I talked to her about accepting the offer, however, she urged me to go, both for policy reasons and for the morale of the embassy.

By my readings, prior to this point, Yovanovitch was an anti-Trumper that had been undermining policy in the Ukraine (a position that those in the Ukraine have also expressed).  Reading, what appears to me, to be a sympathetic passage about how she was "treated poorly" was a dog whistle for me, and particularly that he took her charge to go for "policy reasons," which I take in no way to be the administration's current policies, but rather the preservation of the bureaucracies resistance positions, and for morale reasons, makes it clear he was there to pursue his own agenda.  You could certainly read that differently, but I think you'd be lying to yourself if you believe that doesn't signal a massive "resist" agenda, and most likely you'd be endorsing "resist" as legitimate when it's not.

His passages on the "irregular channel" are drafted to try and make suspicious the fact that high level members of the US government had discussions with the Ukraine.  Such discussions occur every day with foreign countries and are not labeled as "irregular channels" in this manner.  I mean he flagged, it as unusual that Ambassador Volker - the former ambassador to NATO and at that time had been the special envoy to the Ukraine for almost 2 years and Sondland - the ambassador to the EU were involved.  Why?  Taylor is NOT AN ambassador, and Volker should have been there and with the EU's heavy involvement (and Trump's express policy of wanting Europe to do more - by the way same policy in Syria where they were not involved either) so should Sondland.  If anything, that would be expected.  He flagged as unusual  that Secretary Perry was involved, Perry was the Energy Secretary and the main strategic interest of the EU in the Ukraine is in energy.  Again, something that is completely normal and expected.   And the fourth member?  Oh yeah Senator Ron Johnson, the Chairman of the Subcomittee on European and Regional Security Cooperation.

How did he describe what looks like the exact team that should be involved?  Like this:

Quote
At the same time, however, there was an irregular, informal channel of U . S . policy -making with respect to Ukraine, one which included then - Special Envoy Volker, Ambassador Sondland , Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and as I subsequently learned,Mr. Giuliani.

And like this:

Quote
Although this irregular channel was well connected in Washington, it operated mostly outside of official State Department channels. This irregular channel began when Ambassador Volker, Ambassador Sondland, Secretary Perry, and Senator Ron Johnson briefed President Trump on May 23 upon their return from President Zelenskyy s inauguration.

Pretty much there's nothing unusual about that group, they are the exact team you'd expect to be involved, and Taylor even admits that he "knows about" it because he was involved in it by Volker and Sondland.  So how is it not "official" when it's exactly as you'd expect it to be, through ambassadors, the special envoy, the Senate chair of the most relevant committee, the Energy secretary, and oh yeah, Taylor himself as the temporary head of mission?  You don't get much more official, notwithstanding Taylor's nonsensical assertion. 

And then it "wasn't clear" to Taylor why Trump wanted to hear from Zelenskyy before meeting in the oval office.  Why wasn't that clear?  It's not at all uncommon that the first meeting with a foreign leader isn't in the oval office, but rather by way of a phone call.  Seriously, why is Taylor throwing shade at an entirely typical circumstance?  In this case it's even more breathtaking, because the commitment by Zelenskyy to end corruption (which Taylor himself lauds) was brand new and part of a major long term US goal.  Why wouldn't he think the President would want to get a direct sense of whether it was serious?  And then the follow ups?  That the President wanted to make sure he wasn't standing in the way of "investigations"?  Makes perfect sense in context though, to be fair it makes just as much  sense in a nefarious context, which is exactly why he drafted the normal things that had already happened to be "nefarious."  It's a backwards looking writing to try and explain why he jumped on a fringe theory, where corruption in the Ukraine was literally part of out policy goals for a really long time (if you believe in Biden's innocence you can't deny this, cause then that was exactly why he threatened withholding a Billion in aide).

Then he "senses something odd," like wow, that Sondland didn't want a bunch of people on a call - even though Taylor was on the call himself.   What was said about the call?  "Ambassador Volker noted that he would relay that President Trump wanted to see rule of law , transparency, but also, specifically, cooperation on investigations to 'get to the bottom of things.'  Once President Zelenskyy joined the call, the conversation was focused on energy policy and the Stanytsia-Luhanska bridge." 

So Trump wants the Rule of Law and Transparency and to get to the bottom of things?  That's a completely legitimate list of requests.  And then the conversation itself turns about to be exactly the things you'd expect.  Yet Taylor was so troubled he reported it to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, and wrote a memo.  What?  There's no evidence of anything improper, yet he wrote a memo and reported, and his very next paragraph moves onto his theory that there's a quid pro quo.  We already know Trump asked for the assistance of the Ukraine on Burisma and the 2016 interference, yet this seems to be the only "evidence" that there is a quid pro quo.  He's got nothing that ties it together other than his belief (which we already knew about, and knew that he was specifically told he was wrong).

And then, he discovers that aide has been held and jumps the shark by attributing it (without any actual evidence) to the "irregular channels".  How would that "channel" have been relevant if the Ukranians didn't know about the withholding?  Seriously, he seems to believe that US policy on the Ukraine was something that he had a right to decide and if it didn't match exactly what he wanted it was illegal.  It wouldn't have been illegal to cancel the aide.  It wasn't illegal to premise it on certainty that the corruption measures were real (or if you think so, you need to explain why you don't believe it was illegal when, in the best case, Biden did exactly that).  As if to bolster his argument, he lists out that staff meetings routinely agreed aide should go forward - whoop dee do.  The decision on that was always above the staff level, it's their job was to make recommendations or implement policy decisions.

Again, this reflects to me, an overwhelming arrogance by the bureaucracy that they control our policies not our elected government.

His references to Bolton are interesting.  Would be interested if Bolton will support or debunk him.  Bolton may actually have been in a position to know something, Taylor on the other hand seems to be doing nothing but speculating cause his preferred policy wasn't moving at the speed he wanted it.
 
He then took offense at the concept of the Ukranians leaving "no stone unturned" in the investigation.  Sounds, again, like a request to actually follow the law and go where the information leads.  That's at odds with an improper motive argument.

Much of what follows is just an accounting of how he was talking to people on the ground, where he suspected that policies had changed but didn't know, and then we get to this:

Quote
I asked him if there had been a change in policy of strong support for Ukraine, to which he responded, “ it remains to be seen . He also told me during this call that the President doesn't want to provide any assistance at all.” That was extremely troubling to me. As I had told Secretary Pompeo in May, if the policy of strong support for Ukraine were to change, I would have to resign. Based on my call with Mr.Morrison, I was preparing to do so.

This is honestly what the whole thing seems to have been about.  He didn't like what he thought the policy was going to be.  He discussed it with Bolton, in person, a few days later in Ukraine, and was told to send a message to Pompeo.  Here's what he says he said:

Quote
I wrote and transmitted such a cable on August 29 describing the “folly in withholding military aid to Ukraine at a time when hostilities were still active in the east and when Russia was watching closely to gauge the level of American support for the Ukrainian government. I told the Secretary that I could not and would not defend such a policy.

Again, shows you his state of mind.  His next paragraph once again segues into asserting there is a quid pro quo (again without proof, just his speculation).  And how did Taylor serve US interests?  He decided, without being directed to do the following:

Quote
Just hours before the Pence-Zelenskyy meeting, I contacted Mr. Danyliuk to let him know that the delay of U.S. security assistance was an " all or nothing” proposition, in the sense that if the White House did not lift the hold prior to the end of the fiscal year (September 30), the funds would expire and Ukraine would receive nothing.

First of all, it's not clear that is true, particularly not in anything but a technical sense.  Nor is there any good reason to think it was going to occur.  But moreover, that's a deliberate undermining of US interests.  Is it a huge deal?  No, but it's highly inappropriate.  And what happened in the Vice President's meeting?  He said he'd talk to Trump, and "The Vice President did say that President Trump wanted the Europeans to do more to support Ukraine and that he wanted the Ukrainians to do more to fight corruption."  Again, legitimate policy positions, and exactly the same message as Trump sent.

So much of what he said is totally normal, and when he gets to the "damning" stuff it reads like this:

Quote
During this same phone call had with Mr. Morrison, he went on to describe a conversation Ambassador Sondland had with Mr. Yermak at Warsaw. Ambassador Sondland told Mr. Yermak that security assistance money would not come until President Zelenskyy committed to pursue the Burisma investigation.

Note, that's a third hand account, and maybe more.  I doubt Sondland is going to agree that this is what he said on the call.  On the other, other hand, Taylor's write up makes me wonder if  Morrison, or someone he's working with,  isn't the whistle blower.  This happened on Sept 1st, and is the "first time" he heard the security assistance was premised on the "investigations."  If it happened, and if the underlying claims are true, and if even then Sondland said what is claimed, and if Sondland was correct about (which means it had to come from Trump, which means it had to be communicated to Sondland directly or through someone), then this would be a lead on some actual evidence.  Lucky for the left, there are no evidentiary rules or even a baseline of reasonableness required for evidence here.

He then claims he had a conversation with Sondland where Sondland told him that a public announcement of the investigations was required to get the aide or the white visit and that he passed that on to Morrison (note the resemblance to the WB's tale about being told things?).  And lest we forget he talks about the undercutting of the official channel by the unofficial channel, notwithstanding that everything he said above was communicated through an actual ambassodor (if he's correct). 

He then participated in a meeting with Senators Johnson and Murphy to let the Ukraine now that "bipartisan" support was contingent to not "getting drawn into U.S. domestic policies."  Interesting, cause that's an admission of exactly the kind of quid pro quo that he's accusing Trump's "irregular channel" of participating in.  He clearly did it, and he did it with the Senators' assistance.  Then he doubles down and says that he'd been "making (and continue to make)" this point to all his official Ukranian contacts.  Keep in mind, this is four days after he "first" became aware of a possible improper motive.  Up to that point, the requests were completely proper and he was in fact undermining the express policy of the executive to apply the Rule of Law, Transparency, and to get to the bottom of the interference in the 2016 election.  This section, he thinks is noble, is a literal admission of his own guilt.

Following his confusion here, he recounts that Trump repeatedly makes clear there is no quid pro quo.  He even recounts that what he previously relayed as from Sondland, Sondland now says was a mistake on his part.  Again, be curious what Sondland actually said, and what he'll say if he's recalled.  And then a whole bunch of trying to relay what sounds like long conversations with Sondland where it looks as if Sondland is trying to correct Taylor's erroneous conclusions by speaking about multiple scenarios and Taylor is doing his best to take it out of context to be damning.  None of it - by the way - is attributable to anything Trump actually relayed, which was the clear message, there will be no quid pro quo.

Then he finds out the hold on security assistance is lifted, and what does he do?  He not only conveys that message, he once again goes off script to remind them of the importance of not interfering in the US election.  Trump asks for an open investigation that follows the Rule of Law and Taylor's primary concern is to tell them not to get involved?  Again, Taylor is pursuing a policy that does not accord with the official policy.  Talk about an "irregular channel," that's exactly what it is when a senior diplomat chooses to undermine the official policies of the President.  It looks expressly like a warning from the establishment that they will punish the Ukraniane if they do an honest investigation of the election interference of 2016.

He even tried to stop the Ukranian President from confirming that they would do the investigations publically.  I can't even imagine the world in which that can be explained away.  Remember he claimed that the anti-corruption efforts were great - then he undermined them repeatedly.  He claimed that Trump's team was inappropriate then he turned around and tried to dictate policy to the same person, policy that was not US policy, but either his personal - or more likely the anti-Trumper's policy.  One could consider that bordering on treason.

I really enjoyed that his conclusion brings up Giuliani again.  Why?  There's nothing in his statement that ascribes anything to Guilliani, yet he references him multiple times.  Why?  Well we know, its a key part of the WB story and it's probably the only non-official contact involved.  Otherwise the "irregular" channel is literally the exact people that should be involved, some of whom are more relevant to the official channels than Taylor himself.

So his evidence of the "quid pro quo" is effectively that he feels there was one, and that he claims Sondland told him (not in so many words) that there was one, but that when confronted Sondland said he was wrong, and that everything directly from Trump said no quid pro quo.  That he didn't understand Trump's concerns over corruption in the Ukraine (notwithstanding that corruption has literally been part of the US government policy and in his direct knowledge for as long as any of us can remember), therefore it must of had a secret motive.  That he viewed Trump's demands for the Rule of Law and transparency in investigations as something other than what they plainly were.  And that he didn't agree that assistence in investigating the 2016 interference was legitimate.

So get outraged if you want but like I said I see a lot to doubt in what Taylor said (which was almost completely third hand or further removed) and about his motivations, and specifically about his personal actions which undermined -deliberately- US policy.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 23, 2019, 12:27:42 PM
would wager that if anti-liberals had known of all of Bill Taylor's accomplishments up to the day before he accepted Pompeo's offer they would have unanimously agreed that he was a man of enormous experience, integrity and sense of duty to further the best interests of the United States.  After all, George Bush liked him.

Probably true.  Hard to know which long standing bureaucrats can put their personal opinions aside and carry out the official policies until you test them.   It's pretty clear, from Taylor's own words, that he could not and did not do so.

Quote
But then he went and spoke up about the odd and alarming actions Trump and Giuliani undertook in Ukraine.

He mentioned Giulliani a few times, didn't see him talk about much in the way of actions.

He also characterized routine things handled appropriately, in which he was expressly included, as odd for no reason other than to fit a narrative.

As to Trump, pretty much all he says that he attributes to Trump is that Trump was clear there was no quid pro quo.

Quote
Now they realize that he's just another deep-state partisan bureaucrat who is lying for unspecified nefarious purposes with the sole goal of damaging Trump.

He's telling his story because he doesn't agree with the President's foreign policies.  He stated that pretty openly in his account.  I suspect that he feels he is doing a service by trying to remove Trump, not because he did anything wrong, but because he's "wrong" in Talyor's view on how he's handling foreign relations.

Quote
As Lindsey Graham said, this is a lynching in every sense of the word.  There's no other possible explanation for it.

It is.  Lynching mobs didn't care about evidence, due process, testing accusations in an adversarial process and agianst the facts.  They literally cared about the person who was accused/guilty.  Existence was proof of guilt.

That's exactly the standard being used with Trump.  You've defended that he's guilty because of who he is, others have defended a secret process without any semblance of fairness.  Could just as easily said it was a witch trial and been accurate.

Of course, fairness and process would get in the way of a good ole lynching, and we couldn't have that when he was clearly guilty from the election onwards.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Kasandra on October 23, 2019, 01:40:26 PM
Too many words, Seriati.  I don't have time to read such a detailed disquisition, and although words matter, sometimes too many words make less matter.  I'll just comment on one simple statement and leave it at that:

Me: "As Lindsey Graham said, this is a lynching in every sense of the word.  There's no other possible explanation for it."

Seriati: "It is.  Lynching mobs didn't care about evidence, due process, testing accusations in an adversarial process and agianst the facts.  They literally cared about the person who was accused/guilty.  Existence was proof of guilt."

Except, of course, THIS IS NOT A LYNCHING.  This is an evidentiary inquiry substituting for Grand Jury and Special Prosecutor investigations that William Barr explicitly ruled out because he thought there was nothing at all worth investigating here.  Due process is absolutely being followed with great care, in other words.  The actual impeachment hearings (remember, this is just the inquiry to establish whether a basis exists for such hearings) will start soon enough and will be carried out in public.  The transcripts from these closed door sessions (which Republicans are represented in at equal strength and participate in equal measure -- When did you ever hear of a lynching where blacks were in attendance to watch and offer their opinions and interrogate the lynchee? -- ) will be released with classified material redacted.

So, in short form:

* It's nonsense to claim this is a one-sided banana-republic behind-closed-doors lynching by a blood-thirsty mob of haters. It is a Constitutionally mandated process being conducted according to the rules.

* Lindsey Graham has insisted that he will change his view if he sees evidence of a quid pro quo, but don't hold your breath.

* Anybody who dismisses the information being offered by professional diplomats whose long careers have demonstrated integrity, ability and dedication is clearly leading with their hardened opinion and is not (so far, at least) open to the facts that are presented.

I'm not actually trying to convince you, for the obvious reasons.  Like many others here, I just like to hear myself talk.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 23, 2019, 01:47:32 PM
Quote
Of course, fairness and process would get in the way of a good ole lynching, and we couldn't have that when he was clearly guilty from the election onwards

I hear what your saying and how from that perspective - all those that disagree with Trump handling of some issue comes from a place where they have determined he is guilty from the election on.  Any debate or investigation on any specific issue or policy has been hamstrung.

Isn't the danger of viewing all issues as it concerns Trump from this perspective, even if true for many, undermining the rule of law? How do you get past it? Is the only alternative to lynch everyone?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 23, 2019, 01:50:47 PM
Yep, you (Kasandra) call me out for having doubts, but don't have the patience to see why I have them.  Totally convincing me that you're serious.  We both know that you believe Taylor because he's saying what you want to hear, and not because you have an independent reason to dispute anything I said.

Truth is he could be right, but he didn't relate anything that approaches a first hand account.  Again, at best it's a lead, and yet, it sure is being sold as a fact.

And no, there's nothing normal about this, nor is there anything reasonable about.  We all know  this process is running this way because Nadler is a terrible public face and he'll single handedly botch the impeachment.  Ergo, we need a secret process where leaks can be made to make sure the "correct" answer is reached in the public mind before the Democrats are brave enough to move forward.

It's all a lie though, the Democrats are going to impeach, even if they turn up nothing more than what they have.  Why not do it?  Simple, they haven't swayed the public enough to pre-decide the issue.  That's all they are waiting for, not more evidence, just better polling.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: D.W. on October 23, 2019, 02:10:00 PM
Quote
I hear what your saying and how from that perspective - all those that disagree with Trump handling of some issue comes from a place where they have determined he is guilty from the election on.
Don't be silly.  We thought this long before he ever ran for office.  We just didn't care about him enough to make issue of it.   ;D
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 23, 2019, 02:19:48 PM
 :(
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 23, 2019, 02:26:26 PM
It's interesting to me that the benefit of the doubt from many here seems to always lean towards Trump despite the weight of suspicion and evidence leaning the other way.

Innocent until proven guilty, against the standard of against "a reasonable doubt" so not exceptional at all.

Investigstion may be justified and turn up more, and this testimony helps bolster the basis for digging deeper, but it doesn't prove anything "beyond a reasonable doubt" on its own.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 23, 2019, 02:32:42 PM
We may already be there, since President Trump says the Constitution is fake, so why should he even care what it says?  That's a rhetorical question, since in many respects we can see him ignore it with our own eyes and hear him dismiss it with our own ears.

Pelosi was there back in 2009/2010 what with the whole (from memory) "most of what we do (in the House of Representatives) has nothing to do with the Constitution"
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 23, 2019, 02:43:30 PM
When did you ever hear of a lynching where blacks were in attendance to watch and offer their opinions and interrogate the lynchee? -- )

Some people seem to be under the mistaken and very anti-historical view that only black people were ever lynched in the history of the term/practice. From my recollection of history, that is not so, and it was far from being something that was exclusively done to blacks. Far from it, blacks weren't even the first ones it was done to. What they are, is some of the last ones to experience it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Kasandra on October 23, 2019, 02:45:28 PM
We may already be there, since President Trump says the Constitution is fake, so why should he even care what it says?  That's a rhetorical question, since in many respects we can see him ignore it with our own eyes and hear him dismiss it with our own ears.

Pelosi was there back in 2009/2010 what with the whole (from memory) "most of what we do (in the House of Representatives) has nothing to do with the Constitution"
Of course, your recollection could be tainted with "preferential inference".  I can't find any quote from her that resembles that, so it would be interesting if you can find the exact quote so we can see how closely it matches what she actually said.

I'll take a shot a your recollection, anyway. Since it obviously lacks context, she could be saying that mostly they sit around waiting for someone to say or do something, perhaps snacking or sharing pictures of their grandchildren, like in any organization.  Where in the Constitution does it say to sit around or eat?  There were no photographs in 1789, so clearly sharing them now is extra-Constitutional and could be construed as a misuse of their Constitutional authority.

More likely the context is something like, "we're here to pass legislation.  We don't have to keep looking in the Constitution to see if everything we do is spelled out there.

It's interesting to me that the benefit of the doubt from many here seems to always lean towards Trump despite the weight of suspicion and evidence leaning the other way.

Innocent until proven guilty, against the standard of against "a reasonable doubt" so not exceptional at all.

Investigstion may be justified and turn up more, and this testimony helps bolster the basis for digging deeper, but it doesn't prove anything "beyond a reasonable doubt" on its own.
That's what a Grand Jury or Special Prosecutor would have done for them.  Given the amount of inferential and documented evidence found so far, someone should ask Barr why he concluded that there wasn't even anything there worth investigating.  But, we already know, of course.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 23, 2019, 02:46:40 PM
First, Seriati thank you very much for that write-up, as I haven't had time to pour over it like you did. I'll read it soon if I can for but now I'll trust you're write-up. I personally still think Taylor himself could have been the whistleblower, but maybe it was someone else directly involved, yeah. Your comments on how Taylor's main animosity seems to be towards the foreign policy itself rang some truth bells for me, as this is entirely consistent with how I think Trump's Presidency has fit in with the usual party politics. When a stooge is in the oval office (read: all Presidents lately) certain establishment cliques can know that their agendas will go forward more or less how they want. It doesn't matter what party it is, really, in this sense - or at least it doesn't any more. Right from the word go we knew the GOP absolutely didn't want Trump in power, but like the DNC they flubbed the attempt to keep him out. Worse control systems, I guess. But even though they had to officially endorse him in the end if the GOP was going to have someone in power at all, I never thought they actually wanted him there, messing up all of their plans. One of those plans always has been establishing military and political entrenchment in Ukraine to push Russia back in terms of reach.

Having read your write-up, it strikes me that - of course! - there are going to be plenty of people in the establishment that are not only anti-Trump in the general sense but more specifically who are pursuing policy goals that predate him and are at odds with his own policy wishes. That was never going to stop just because he's President, any more than it does when anyone is elected President; those forces keep moving in their preferred direction and they try to co-opt the new President as much as possible. That leads me to a point Kasandra made earlier which I have re-evaluated in new light:

I would wager that if anti-liberals had known of all of Bill Taylor's accomplishments up to the day before he accepted Pompeo's offer they would have unanimously agreed that he was a man of enormous experience, integrity and sense of duty to further the best interests of the United States.  After all, George Bush liked him.

At first glance Kasandra's point would seem to add credibility to Taylor: he's a man the GOP has been behind in the past, so we have no reason to think he'd be disloyal or be working against the current administration. After all, in the red vs blue turf war, he's no blue, therefore no realistic objection could be made against him, right?

Except hold on: the very fact that George Bush liked him is exactly the most likely reason to think Taylor would *not* be on the same side as Trump now. Getting stuck too much in the red vs blue mindset (which I mentioned to rightleft just a bit ago) is precisely what will make us get lost and mis-evaluate details. The fact that GWB's Presidency favored Taylor should be a clear indication that he's in with the crowd that flourished under that Presidency: the warhawk crowd, the sabre rattling crowd, and the moving military armaments crowd. Maybe other cliques should be included but let's limit it to that for now since those have been very evidently interested in what goes on in Eastern Europe for the past 5-10 years (that I've seen). So *of course* someone like Taylor, being part of that crowd, is going to be antagonistic to Trump and his policies: we shouldn't gather that Trump has upset someone nominally on his side who is now turning coats, but rather than Taylor was already on the opposite side. But this can only make sense when you stop thinking of the sides as being Republican and Democrat. They are actually establishment and upstart.

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Kasandra on October 23, 2019, 02:48:17 PM
When did you ever hear of a lynching where blacks were in attendance to watch and offer their opinions and interrogate the lynchee? -- )

Some people seem to be under the mistaken and very anti-historical view that only black people were ever lynched in the history of the term/practice. From my recollection of history, that is not so, and it was far from being something that was exclusively done to blacks. Far from it, blacks weren't even the first ones it was done to. What they are, is some of the last ones to experience it.
Nitpick much?  Substitute any [class, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, etc] for "blacks" and see if it means something other than what I was saying.

"Except hold on: the very fact that George Bush liked him is exactly the most likely reason to think Taylor would *not* be on the same side as Trump now."

Very good!  Taylor is now impeached as a witness, so strike his testimony.  Carry on.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on October 23, 2019, 02:54:31 PM
I didn't strike his testimoney.  I said have doubts about it, but also that if its true and can be backed up by the people that did have first hand testimony its very damaging.  I just don't see anything substantial in there that supports the quid pro quo.  Taylor wasn't aware of, or ignored Trump's general concern with corruption, and he filled in the blanks with the worst possible version of what happened.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on October 23, 2019, 02:55:19 PM
Quote
Of course, fairness and process would get in the way of a good ole lynching, and we couldn't have that when he was clearly guilty from the election onwards

I hear what your saying and how from that perspective - all those that disagree with Trump handling of some issue comes from a place where they have determined he is guilty from the election on.  Any debate or investigation on any specific issue or policy has been hamstrung.

Isn't the danger of viewing all issues as it concerns Trump from this perspective, even if true for many, undermining the rule of law? How do you get past it? Is the only alternative to lynch everyone?

Not that anyone cares however isn't such a perspective painting all people who disagree with any Trump issue as having convicted him as guilty from the election. Making the same error of those that have made that error declaring Trump guilty at election? Everyone who defends Trump is guilty, everyone who dislikes Trump is guilty.

How does such blanket statements not end up as a excuse to undermine the rule of law?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on October 23, 2019, 03:06:11 PM
Quote
"Except hold on: the very fact that George Bush liked him is exactly the most likely reason to think Taylor would *not* be on the same side as Trump now."

Very good!  Taylor is now impeached as a witness, so strike his testimony.  Carry on.

This sounds like a burden shift to me. You were making the point that we (or Democrats, at any rate) should find Taylor credible because 'even GWB liked him'. I was contesting that exact point and suggesting that it does not show that. But you're taking me contradicting your point and now using it to show that I'm trying to disqualify Taylor's testimony, which is a point I never made. Do you see how burden shifted there, transferring me questioning your evidence into me making a forward point of my own that I now need to defend, even though I never made the point you say I did?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 23, 2019, 03:08:17 PM
When did you ever hear of a lynching where blacks were in attendance to watch and offer their opinions and interrogate the lynchee? -- )

Some people seem to be under the mistaken and very anti-historical view that only black people were ever lynched in the history of the term/practice. From my recollection of history, that is not so, and it was far from being something that was exclusively done to blacks. Far from it, blacks weren't even the first ones it was done to. What they are, is some of the last ones to experience it.
Nitpick much?  Substitute any [class, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, etc] for "blacks" and see if it means something other than what I was saying.

"Except hold on: the very fact that George Bush liked him is exactly the most likely reason to think Taylor would *not* be on the same side as Trump now."

Very good!  Taylor is now impeached as a witness, so strike his testimony.  Carry on.

Fenring's theory isn't too far off the mark IMO. I think the Republicans would love nothing more than an excuse to get Trump out of office, so a GOP affiliated person being involved in something which could be used as a "potential smoking gun" to get Trump out is within reason. Call it "deep state" or whatever you want to, but there is motive for people on both sides of the Republican/Democrat political divide to join forces to go against Trump. It was going on in 2016 after all, to believe it magically stopped after November 2016 is more than a bit silly in my view.

What did change after that election is the GOP had to change tactics, as they have to find a lever they can use without putting themselves on the receiving end of wrathful vengeance of Trump's supporters.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on October 23, 2019, 03:15:27 PM
We may already be there, since President Trump says the Constitution is fake, so why should he even care what it says?  That's a rhetorical question, since in many respects we can see him ignore it with our own eyes and hear him dismiss it with our own ears.

Pelosi was there back in 2009/2010 what with the whole (from memory) "most of what we do (in the House of Representatives) has nothing to do with the Constitution"
Of course, your recollection could be tainted with "preferential inference".  I can't find any quote from her that resembles that, so it would be interesting if you can find the exact quote so we can see how closely it matches what she actually said.

I'll take a shot a your recollection, anyway. Since it obviously lacks context, she could be saying that mostly they sit around waiting for someone to say or do something, perhaps snacking or sharing pictures of their grandchildren, like in any organization.  Where in the Constitution does it say to sit around or eat?  There were no photographs in 1789, so clearly sharing them now is extra-Constitutional and could be construed as a misuse of their Constitutional authority.

More likely the context is something like, "we're here to pass legislation.  We don't have to keep looking in the Constitution to see if everything we do is spelled out there.

Source was a sound byte from Glenn Beck while he was doing his crying Conspiracy Theorist stint at Fox News, I want to say it was in the lead up to Obama Care being passed into law. My google searching for it is also coming up empty at this time. Ah well.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on October 24, 2019, 09:44:08 AM
This is not a robbery, but if you don't give me your money and valuables of your own free will I will shoot you.  Totally legit, not a robbery.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on October 24, 2019, 11:07:41 AM
WSJ has refloated my favorite defense of Trump: he's too incompetent to actually break the law. Like, sure, he was trying to blackmail Ukraine into attacking his political rival but he was too inept to actually carry it off. And you can't impeach him for simply wanting to use America's foreign policy for political shenanigans. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 06, 2019, 04:06:21 PM
So... the $400M package of US military and security aid for Ukraine... it absolutely had/has a concrete value to the Ukraine (oh, I'd say about $400M worth...)

But did that $400M have any value to the USA?  Could it have been used for anything else, or, knowing that it was valued by the Ukraine, could it have been used in some kind of trade with that country for something of value to the USA?

Obviously, the question that's coming is pretty obvious: what is the lost opportunity cost to the USA if those $400M were used instead to benefit the president's re-election campaign?  And what might the financial value be to the president's campaign of using at least part of that $400M as leverage?

I've heard a number of apologists make the claim (now that there is nothing wrong with the quid pro quo, there never was a problem with quid pro quo) that all presidents do this.  But they never really consider the cost to the country, all those millions and millions of taxpayer dollars, that were theoretically diverted to the president's election campaign...
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 06, 2019, 05:43:53 PM
Except they weren't diverted, Ukraine got their money, and as I recall, Trump didn't get the public announcement he was seeking.

This only became public knowledge when the Democrats leaked it for political gain. Hrm.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on November 06, 2019, 06:02:24 PM
When did you ever hear of a lynching where blacks were in attendance to watch and offer their opinions and interrogate the lynchee? -- )

Some people seem to be under the mistaken and very anti-historical view that only black people were ever lynched in the history of the term/practice. From my recollection of history, that is not so, and it was far from being something that was exclusively done to blacks. Far from it, blacks weren't even the first ones it was done to. What they are, is some of the last ones to experience it.

Perhaps the last ones, but certainly the main ones.  :(

Per the NAACP (https://www.naacp.org/history-of-lynchings/), about 73 percent of those lynched were black.

Quote
From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States.  Of these people that were lynched 3,446 were black.  The blacks lynched accounted for 72.7% of the people lynched.  These numbers seem large, but it is known that not all of the lynchings were ever recorded.  Out of the 4,743 people lynched only 1,297 white people were lynched.  That is only 27.3%.  Many of the whites lynched were lynched for helping the black or being anti lynching and even for domestic crimes.

So, yeah, it was something done primarily to blacks.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 06, 2019, 08:24:01 PM
Quote
Trump didn't get the public announcement he was seeking.
So you also accept that Trump attempted to leverage the value of the QPQ, he was just unsuccessful in his attempt... That's refreshingly honest...
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 06, 2019, 11:39:00 PM
When did you ever hear of a lynching where blacks were in attendance to watch and offer their opinions and interrogate the lynchee? -- )

Some people seem to be under the mistaken and very anti-historical view that only black people were ever lynched in the history of the term/practice. From my recollection of history, that is not so, and it was far from being something that was exclusively done to blacks. Far from it, blacks weren't even the first ones it was done to. What they are, is some of the last ones to experience it.

Perhaps the last ones, but certainly the main ones.  :(

Per the NAACP (https://www.naacp.org/history-of-lynchings/), about 73 percent of those lynched were black.

Quote
From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States.  Of these people that were lynched 3,446 were black.  The blacks lynched accounted for 72.7% of the people lynched.  These numbers seem large, but it is known that not all of the lynchings were ever recorded.  Out of the 4,743 people lynched only 1,297 white people were lynched.  That is only 27.3%.  Many of the whites lynched were lynched for helping the black or being anti lynching and even for domestic crimes.

So, yeah, it was something done primarily to blacks.

And conveniently, the statistics start in 1882.

I know a group of law abiding people that were dealing with being tarred and feathered, burned out of homes, attacked (and often killed) by violent mobs, and just generally treated very poorly sometimes even at the direction of the state as early as the 1820's, and they weren't black. They weren't even in "the south" for much of it, unless you want to consider New York, Ohio, and Illinois as part of the south.

More than a few lynchings to be found during the Revolutionary War era as well.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on November 07, 2019, 10:47:13 AM
Ah, I see, that is what you meant by "some of the last ones to experience it."  That since 1882 or so, it was primarily blacks who were lynched, but before that, it was (possibly?) mainly whites.

While this may be historically accurate, it does not take away the apparent fact that, since 1882 or so, it was primarily used to terrorize blacks, and that is the most recent use of the practice.  And the most recent use is the one that people think of when they think of historical usage.  For example, consider the swastika, a traditional sign of peace in Indian cultures (IIRC).  Do you think for one second that people would consider the display of the swastika a sign of peace today? ;)

So while it is true that lynchings have been color-blind through most of its history, it was decidedly color-depended for its most recent use.  And so there is more than adequate reason to see the practice as color-dependent, unless you are referring to a specific period of history when it wasn't.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on November 07, 2019, 10:55:02 AM
Meanwhile, Gordon Sondland admits that the military aid offered to Ukraine was dependent on Ukraine investigating Biden's son. (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/05/read-gordon-sondlands-revised-testimony-about-trump-pressuring-ukraine.html)

Quote
After that large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks. I also recall some question as to whether the public statement could come from the newly appointed Ukrainian Prosecutor General, rather than from President Zelensky directly.

6. Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself. I do not specifically recall how I learned this, but I believe that the information may have come either from Mr. Giuliani or from Ambassador Volker, who may have discussed this with Mr. Giuliani.
(Emphasis mine.)

So there is no question now whether quid pro quo occurred.  The only question now is who directed it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 07, 2019, 11:08:38 AM
Quote
And conveniently, the statistics start in 1882
What exactly would have been the point of lynching one's own property, or worse, of lynching somebody else's property?  Are you really unaware of why statistics prior to 1865, or even in the immediate post-war years, would not have been comparable to the reported timeline, anyway?

Of course, prior to 1865, lynching of blacks would more likely have come under the description of "death while escaping" "death while being punished" or "death from natural causes (over-work, insufficient nutrition, poor health care, etc)"
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Lloyd Perna on November 07, 2019, 11:08:49 AM
You left part of it out.  Emphasis is mine.

Quote
I always believed that suspending aid to Ukraine was ill-advised, although I did not know (and still do not know) when, why or by whom the aid was suspended.  However, by the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 07, 2019, 11:21:21 AM
Lloyd, you seem to think that somehow pertinent - you do realize that what you referred to preceded what Warsaw quoted in time, right?  Sondland "presumed" in early September, but this presumption was then superseded by additional knowledge (after "speaking individually with Mr. Yermak" and that "Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself.")

That was clear, right - that Sondland was describing how his understanding evolved?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 07, 2019, 11:44:56 AM
What is quite clear is that the statement:

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

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

Gordon Sondland’s revised testimony is still very difficult to believe (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/6/20950468/gordon-sondland-testimony-changed-impeachment)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 07, 2019, 12:04:09 PM
What is quite clear is that the statement:

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

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

Gordon Sondland’s revised testimony is still very difficult to believe (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/6/20950468/gordon-sondland-testimony-changed-impeachment)

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

The testimony is not good, but until others with direct knowledge come forward to testify(likely in the Senate, IMO), it's suspect testimony absent further corroboration.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Lloyd Perna on November 07, 2019, 12:12:31 PM
Lloyd, you seem to think that somehow pertinent - you do realize that what you referred to preceded what Warsaw quoted in time, right?  Sondland "presumed" in early September, but this presumption was then superseded by additional knowledge (after "speaking individually with Mr. Yermak" and that "Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself.")

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

Yes I understand the timeline.  What is quoted does not indicate that the link between the Aid and the public statement was anything but his own presumption.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 07, 2019, 12:17:19 PM
Quote
What is quoted does not indicate that the link between the Aid and the public statement was anything but his own presumption.
Right - but only at that time (if we are to believe Sondland).  But then Sondland claims that later discussions led him to believe differently, that it was no longer a presumption.  So adding this quote does nothing to clarify Sondland's final conclusions.  That's why I asked whether you understood how his claimed understanding evolved.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Lloyd Perna on November 07, 2019, 12:20:03 PM
Quote
I always believed that suspending aid to Ukraine was ill-advised, although I did not know (and still do not know) when, why or by whom the aid was suspended. 

It seems pretty clear to me that he does not today know that there was a link anywhere but in his own mind.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 07, 2019, 12:26:09 PM
Quote
What is quite clear is that the statement:

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

cannot really be supported by Sondland's "revised" testimony.
"Supported"?  Why not?  Those revisions are certainly consistent with Trump's attempt to bribe or extort concessions out of the president of the Ukraine. If by "supported" you meant "proved" well, no - there would need to be many more corroborating pieces of evidence before there is any widespread agreement on this being accepted as a fact.  And there are such pieces of evidence, including "the transcript", Vindman's testimony,  Taylor's testimony, Mulvaney's statements...
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 07, 2019, 12:30:04 PM
If "there is no question" this has to mean proved, does it not? The fact that there is other evidence is immaterial, by saying "there is no question now" you imply that this testimony on its own puts quid pro quo beyond doubt.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on November 07, 2019, 12:34:03 PM
If "there is no question" this has to mean proved, does it not? The fact that there is other evidence is immaterial, by saying "there is no question now" you imply that this testimony on its own puts quid pro quo beyond doubt.

"Now" is implying that this testimony in conjunction with previously known facts is enough to conclude quid pro quo.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 07, 2019, 01:13:30 PM
Quote
by saying "there is no question now" you imply that this testimony on its own puts quid pro quo beyond doubt.
No - see what Yossarian wrote.  Also, see where I wrote "And there are such pieces of evidence..."

At some point, the weight of evidence becomes sufficient to convince.  In this case, that weight has been achieved for many people; whereas for other people, it has not.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Lloyd Perna on November 07, 2019, 01:20:09 PM
What other evidence are you talking about?  The only evidence we have are the transcript of the call and the transcripts of the testimony that have been released thus far.  If there is no question you should be able to produce at least some of the evidence you are talking about.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on November 07, 2019, 01:29:41 PM
What other evidence are you talking about?  The only evidence we have are the transcript of the call and the transcripts of the testimony that have been released thus far.  If there is no question you should be able to produce at least some of the evidence you are talking about.

No transcript of the call has been released.  It says right on the document that it is not a transcript, that should be an adequate clue to not call it a transcript.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Lloyd Perna on November 07, 2019, 01:39:33 PM
What would you prefer we call it?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 07, 2019, 01:40:16 PM
What would you prefer we call it?

The term "memorandum" seems to have become the default.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on November 07, 2019, 02:57:16 PM
You left part of it out.  Emphasis is mine.

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

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


"Presumption" is irrelevant.

And, yes, the statement--

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

--does prove quid pro quo.

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

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

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

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

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

But unless Sondland was lying through his teeth, there is no longer any question about a quid pro quo for military aid to Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 07, 2019, 03:09:14 PM
A lot of people are hung up on the transcript vs memorandum terms. Conspiracy theorists use it as a way to beat on Trump and pretend the memorandum is redacted somehow to protect Trump. It’s important to note that hanging on to this theory is essentially an admission that what the transcript shows has nothing impeachable in it.

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

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

While it may not be a verbatim transcript, it is the totality of the call and the official account. It is as complete and accurate as can be made. It’s extraordinarily unlikely any other account is available and this should be considered a complete, first hand account, of the call and agreed upon by everyone with access to it that it accurately represents the call.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 07, 2019, 03:22:53 PM
"Presumption" is irrelevant.

And, yes, the statement--

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

--does prove quid pro quo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have something better let me know, what's cited above as Lloyd Perna points out isn't proof that US policy was a quid pro quo or that Donald Trump ordered one, only that Sondland apparently now remembers that he thought there was one.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 07, 2019, 03:44:42 PM
Quote
No one seems to feel the need to clearly state terms, and instead buzzwords are being used to try to 'win' arguments.
...
Unless I'm mistaken, Sondland's comments seem to suggest that there was reasonable presumption that the aid was being withheld until a statement was made about investigations into corruption.
This is somewhat ironic - that you wrote both of these sentences in a single post.

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

There is no reasonable benefit to the USA of having the president of the Ukraine announce investigations into two named US citizens (one of whom, coincidentally, is a political opponent.)  You could make the argument that forcing the Ukraine to open an investigation might be beneficial to the USA, but making aid contingent on a foreign politician naming political opponents?  No.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 07, 2019, 03:55:42 PM
Quote
"I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks."

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

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

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

That's actually not the case. You could get a personal gift for doing something that also benefits your country, and it would still be a bribe.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on November 07, 2019, 04:30:55 PM
Quote
If you have something better let me know, what's cited above as Lloyd Perna points out isn't proof that US policy was a quid pro quo or that Donald Trump ordered one, only that Sondland apparently now remembers that he thought there was one.

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

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

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

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

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

Hopefully someone will ask him to clarify that statement when he appears in the televised hearings.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 07, 2019, 06:10:59 PM
There is literally no evidence of a quid pro quo. None.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 07, 2019, 06:11:23 PM
Quote
If you have something better let me know, what's cited above as Lloyd Perna points out isn't proof that US policy was a quid pro quo or that Donald Trump ordered one, only that Sondland apparently now remembers that he thought there was one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm really looking forward to hearing testimony 3.0, I'm sure it will help clarify a lot.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Mynnion on November 07, 2019, 09:23:46 PM
I'm sure that there are no other Americans that could be guilty of corrupt action in the Ukraine.  Seems to me that if Trump was interested in Ukrainian corruption Giuliani is an equally valid target to investigate.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 08, 2019, 07:51:02 AM
Quote
I'm really looking forward to hearing testimony 3.0, I'm sure it will help clarify a lot.

Doubtful. Schiff has just made it known he will only allow his personally approved witnesses to testify.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 08, 2019, 08:12:47 AM
Here’s the witnesses we will get, House Democrats released the deposition transcript of one of their star witnesses in the probe: Top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

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

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

This is a complete sham.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on November 08, 2019, 08:41:18 AM
Here’s the witnesses we will get, House Democrats released the deposition transcript of one of their star witnesses in the probe: Top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

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

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

This is a complete sham.

I suppose the white house could quit objecting to Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, and all other white house staff from testifying. Then we could get more first hand knowledge. If you are so sure nothing wrong occurred than there is no reason for them to not take a day head over to congress and testify about it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 08, 2019, 09:48:45 AM
You're missing the point.  It doesn't matter if he remembers, if he was the only one who thought it, or whatever.  He told the Ukrainians that it was quid pro quo.  He told them that the aid was dependent on them making the statement about a corruption investigation.

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

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

By whom?

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

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

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

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

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

Literally, Trump asked that they investigate the 2016 interference.  Which IF YOUR THEORY OF IMPEACHMENT IS SOUND is evidence of potential "high crimes or misdemeanors" of people associated with the DNC at the minimum, and legitimately a concern of the executive branch.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 08, 2019, 11:52:46 AM
Once he told them that, it was quid pro quo.  Period.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who is seriously upset about Trump wanting to investigate Crowdstrike? The MSM never seems to mention that part, they fixate on Biden instead.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 08, 2019, 03:17:08 PM
I was chatting with my imaginary friend, Chester, and I raped a woman... the cops never mention Chester, they always fixate on the rape, instead...
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on November 08, 2019, 03:32:26 PM
To put it in perspective, you went to great lengths to dissociate Obama from Louis Lerner and the IRS targeting, where the actual policy of the IRS was to target conservative organizations inappropriately.  If your Sondland theory is sound, you never should have made that argument.  Because de facto, the existence of the IRS policy was the Obama policy, whether he ordered it or not, whether they understood he wished or not, whether they were rogue agents or not.

Seriously? Your equating the ambassador to the EU to a mid to senior level non political appointee in the IRS. Sondland was working directly with cabinet secretaries. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 08, 2019, 03:45:24 PM
From Ambassador Taylor's testimony (https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=6541260-William-Taylor-Testimony (https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=6541260-William-Taylor-Testimony)):
Quote
I was alarmed by what Mr. Morrison told me about the Sondland-Yermak conversation.  This was the first time I had heard that security assistance, not just the White House meeting, was conditioned on the investigations.

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

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

Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelensky was dependent on a public announcement of investigations. In fact, Ambassador Sondland said everything was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance.  He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky in a box by making public statement about ordering such investigations.
(my bold)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 08, 2019, 04:09:35 PM
Quote
During that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U. S . election.

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

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

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 08, 2019, 04:25:15 PM
 ??? "Compelling"

In what way is it not compelling?  Are you suggesting that Taylor made up what he was relating of the Sondland call out of whole cloth?  Or that Taylor mis-remembered and accidentally invented a false memory?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 08, 2019, 05:28:51 PM
Here’s the witnesses we will get, House Democrats released the deposition transcript of one of their star witnesses in the probe: Top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

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

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

This is a complete sham.

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

If you’re innocent, you have nothing to fear, right? Right.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 08, 2019, 05:32:14 PM
??? "Compelling"

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

In what way is it not compelling? AYFKM?

Taylor says Sondland said that Trump said...

  Ladies and gentlemen, iron clad proof!

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

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

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

Not "Julie said that Robert's girlfriend said that Kylie got in trouble in homeroom!"
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 09, 2019, 04:17:29 PM
Quote
I'm saying that memory is tricky, as I've said many times. We've seen major media figures taken down. I think Taylor could have easily substituted a conversation for a different conversation between different people.
TheDrake, can I ask whether you read Taylor's testimony?  Because he is very detailed and very specific about timeline, people and content.  It is highly unlikely that Taylor confused Sondland with anybody else... Seriously, there were only a few people involved, even fewer of whom Taylor would have expected to be providing direction from the president.  Also, Taylor was being very careful in his testimony - it is unlikely he would have presented something uncertain as a fact. And it's not like he was under fire at the time, or that it was years ago and his brain is filling in gaps, or that the topic was not of immediate interest to him; he was very concerned at the time of the conversation - so concerned that he followed up with Sondland first by text, then on a phone call. The idea that he then misremembered such an important interaction, one that eventually led to his resignation, is not likely, not even remotely.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 10, 2019, 12:00:10 PM
So basically it is very detailed testimony about something that can't be verified independently? And Sondland is a liar or an amnesiac?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 10, 2019, 03:40:49 PM
It's possible that Taylor is a liar, sure.  But the likelihood of him being amnesiac... why do you find that more likely than Sondland having a poor memory?  Especially since Sondland has already once amended his testimony to more closely match the testimony of other witnesses?  And that's not even getting into Sondlands motivations for lying  as compared to Taylor's (hint - Sondland paid Trump a million dollars for his ambassadorship - Taylor was asked to come out of retirement to take on his job, one which he was more than a little reticent to accept...)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 10, 2019, 04:21:31 PM
Yeah, well, I know a guy that knows a guy and he said he heard someone say there’s a reason hearsay is nothing more than unfounded rumors that should not be trusted. Check and mate.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 10, 2019, 05:06:20 PM
I never said who I thought was more credible. I'm saying it's not definitive, and not terribly compelling. At least to me. You can read Sondland amended testimony several ways.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 10, 2019, 05:46:29 PM
Of course it's not definitive.  But your rationale was that Taylor's memory might be suspect.  I just pointed out that you might rationally choose to believe that Taylor is being dishonest, but that it is highly unlikely that he is misremembering.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 11, 2019, 08:45:52 AM
BTW, most of what Taylor said was about what Sondland said. So if Sondland's memory is unreliable, it rather taints anything that came from him. Taylor can be rock solid about what Sondland said that Trump said, but it isn't like Taylor spoke to Trump himself.

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

So even at the time Sondland was already waffling around what Trump did or did not want. While it is easy to read this as Sondland protecting Trump, it is just as easy to read it as a political donor with no diplomatic experience demonstrating his ineptitude as he desperately seeks Trump's approval.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 11, 2019, 09:31:56 AM
Sure, but your initial concern about Taylor's deposition was with his memory, not about his reliability or with that of Sondland.

I am NOT suggesting that, on its own, Taylor's statements are enough to sway anybody's mind; I was simply making the point that his memory is NOT a particular concern. Now, his testimony, in conjunction with Vindman's, in conjunction with Giuliani's tweets, in conjunction with Trump's statements as  quoted in the memo, in conjunction with Yanukovich's statements, taken together with other evidence, do start to paint a picture.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 11, 2019, 09:41:44 AM
I'm still not thrilled with taking his memory at face value, but further exploration of that aspect was pointless since you're convinced he couldn't be mistaken. I don't trust anyone's memory on who said what about whom without someone else to verify. The only thing that will truly convince me is when someone says "Trump told me personally that he wanted aid held up until Ukraine makes a statement."
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 11, 2019, 10:30:02 AM
Quote
The only thing that will truly convince me is when someone says "Trump told me personally that he wanted aid held up until Ukraine makes a statement."
But why?  It is no more likely that Taylor would mis-remember what Sondland told him, than for Sondland to mis-remember what Trump told him.  They are both recalling a conversation they personally had with a single person.

Your standard for Taylor's memory basically puts into question everybody's recollection of their own, personal conversations.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 11, 2019, 10:40:29 AM
Yes, it does, at least when it comes to specifics. How many times a week do I wonder aloud, "now who was it I was talking to?" Or can't remember exactly which of my friends went with me on a trip involving only four people. Or can't remember if it was my boss who gave me a directive, or his boss. Sometimes only weeks after they happen. Let alone the exact words of "Trump told me" versus "I think what Trump wants". For something this serious, that's an important detail that can easily be remembered incorrectly.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 11, 2019, 11:54:10 AM
in which case, it really doesn't matter if somebody says "Trump told me 'X'"... or even if Trump said "I told John 'Y'."

They are both equally not believable.

I think you really are missing the boat on Taylor's testimony, though - he made a point of calling Sondland because he was so concerned with this topic - remember, this was generally a topic that was central to his accepting the job, and which then led to his resignation.  Given that it was so concerning that he first texted then telephoned Sondland to clarify Sondland's position, the likelihood of Taylor mis-remembering that interaction is basically nil - that is, if you believe he is not lying.  in which case, the concern is not one of memory, but rather one of dishonesty.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 11, 2019, 01:13:32 PM
He was so concerned about it that he didn't pin anything down in writing, didn't report it to anyone, didn't even call someone after the Sondland call to freak out about it. Everything about his testimony seems to support that he was a willing participant in the "irregular channel". I note Sondland recommended that Taylor call some people at the state department with his concerns, but I don't see any record of Taylor making those calls, at least not from his statement.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Wayward Son on November 11, 2019, 03:38:18 PM
Quote
He was so concerned about it that he didn't pin anything down in writing...

Why?  Would something that Taylor put down in writing matter to you?  Would something that Taylor wrote at that time change you mind in any way?

Because from what I've heard, Taylor took "meticulous" notes at the time (https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qvgmk7/team-trump-is-withholding-bill-taylors-detailed-ukraine-notes-from-congress).  It's just that the White House has those notes, and refuses to provide them.

If those notes are one day released, and they corroborate Taylor's statements from memory, would that have any effect?  Is there anyone who is more "reliable" than that bold-faced liar, President Trump?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 11, 2019, 04:08:29 PM
The Drake - you seem to be ignoring the part where, on September 1, Taylor immediately told Sondland to push back on the president's position.  And then, when Sondland returned a week later responding that Trump was "adamant" that Zelensky publicly announce the investigations, Taylor responded with a text to Sondland, "expressing [his] strong reservations" ("My nightmare is that the Ukrainians give the interview and don't get the security assistance.  The Russians love it.  And I quit.") The following day, he followed up with both Sondland and Volker, stating, among other things: "We have already shaken [the Ukrainians'] faith in us... I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."

You also seemed to have missed that, at the time of Sondland's September 1 statements, Taylor had already sent a cable to his boss, Secretary Pompeo, "describing the folly of withholding military aid at this time, and that he could not and would not support such a policy."

The referenced texts and cables are, presumably, already in evidence.  If Taylor made those up, I can guarantee you that would have completely overshadowed the rest of his testimony.  Again, you may believe that Taylor is being dishonest, but to believe his memory invented multiple discussions with Sondland, and their specific contents, when there are numerous supporting documents referencing the very same concerns and topics, and where those documents illustrate how very focused and concerned Taylor was with those topics...  It is simply unreasonable to continue to hold that Taylor might have mis-remembered.

Again, I am NOT saying that Taylor did not lie about what he and Sondland discussed offline.  Maybe he is lying in ways that are consistent with the  documentary evidence.  But to believe, in the face of all that documentary evidence and his documented concern, and in the face of this being the most important issue of his then job, and in the face of him threatening to retire as a result... no, Taylor's testimony is irrefutably not a fabrication of a lapse in memory.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 11, 2019, 04:10:16 PM
Yes, if his notes were available that would matter to me. The fact they are being withheld matters to me, and if they should be destroyed that would really matter to me.

We have these lovely text messages, which could have had more information, but Sondland invited him off the record in the cone of silence. Taylor obliged. He doesn't appear to have raised an objection with anybody at the time, detailing "Sondland just told me this horse****, is that really our policy?" If so, the recipient could corroborate, even though it is a second hand account. If he was so horrified, he could have been the whistleblower. He strikes me as much a co-conspirator, albeit somewhat unwilling, than he was this principled champion of truth. A co-conspirator would have much to gain by portraying things in their favor.

Trump's truthfulness has no bearing on whether Taylor was accurate or truthful.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 11, 2019, 05:13:20 PM
You also seemed to have missed that, at the time of Sondland's September 1 statements, Taylor had already sent a cable to his boss, Secretary Pompeo, "describing the folly of withholding military aid at this time, and that he could not and would not support such a policy."

Just going to throw a sidewinder in here, but this supports my initial assumption that the state of affairs in general here was that the U.S. had always wanted Ukraine to arm up against Russia and that by doing so Ukraine would be complying with U.S. agenda, rather than requesting aid.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on November 11, 2019, 05:15:09 PM
We have these lovely text messages, which could have had more information, but Sondland invited him off the record in the cone of silence. Taylor obliged. He doesn't appear to have raised an objection with anybody at the time, detailing "Sondland just told me this horse****, is that really our policy?" If so, the recipient could corroborate, even though it is a second hand account.

Except the white house is directing everyone involved not to cooperate. At some point Perry, Pompeo, and others are going to have to testify under oath. I guess they're waiting for the Senate trial? Or is the Republican party okay with the white house just saying nothing and refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations into abuse of power?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 11, 2019, 06:21:34 PM
Quote
Sondland invited him off the record in the cone of silence. Taylor obliged. He doesn't appear to have raised an objection with anybody at the time, detailing "Sondland just told me this horse****, is that really our policy?"
Ummm, what are you talking about?  Taylor had already raised the issue with Pompeo, then he pushed back on Sondland, and then got confirmation that Trump wasn't changing his mind, which triggered him to raise more objections... and then within 2 days, the policy was reversed, and the withheld money had been released.

Which again says nothing about Taylor's testimony being non-compelling due to his possible memory issues.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 12, 2019, 07:56:06 AM
Further to Taylor not raising objections, this is from the deposition of Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper:
Quote
I knew from my Kurt Volker conversation and also from sort of the alarm bells that were coming from Ambassador Taylor and his team that there were Ukrainians who knew about [the hold placed the security/military funding in August]
There is already so much corroborating testimony about the monies being withheld, and the number of people raising concerns, that it's hard to understand why people who should know better aren't aware of the statements and timelines, especially since this is the biggest news story of the past several weeks.

Again, I can understand being aware and disbelieving, but not even being aware..?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 12, 2019, 09:26:46 AM
We have these lovely text messages, which could have had more information, but Sondland invited him off the record in the cone of silence. Taylor obliged. He doesn't appear to have raised an objection with anybody at the time, detailing "Sondland just told me this horse****, is that really our policy?" If so, the recipient could corroborate, even though it is a second hand account.

Except the white house is directing everyone involved not to cooperate. At some point Perry, Pompeo, and others are going to have to testify under oath. I guess they're waiting for the Senate trial? Or is the Republican party okay with the white house just saying nothing and refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations into abuse of power?

This gets into Executive Privilege and the matter of 3 co-equal branches of government.

If the Trump Admin wants to preserve EP, they basically have to fight the House on this even if they are sitting on evidence which could exonerate Trump(because of the precedents it sets for what the House can get to). It basically is something that will be left until the Senate hears the case the House has built, and the White House has its chance to defend itself.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on November 12, 2019, 09:47:01 AM
This gets into Executive Privilege and the matter of 3 co-equal branches of government.

If the Trump Admin wants to preserve EP, they basically have to fight the House on this even if they are sitting on evidence which could exonerate Trump(because of the precedents it sets for what the House can get to). It basically is something that will be left until the Senate hears the case the House has built, and the White House has its chance to defend itself.

So executive privilege allows anyone working for the executive branch to ignore a congressional subpoena? If only Obama had know this the Benghazi investigation could have ended after a week. Every member of the executive branch could have refused to appear before congress, Clinton could have ignored the subpoenas for her emails and we would have never learned about her bathroom server.

It bothers me how broadly people are interpreting executive powers right now. Trump cannot be investigated by any civil authorities because if he really committed a crime he would be impeached. Also the president and everyone who works for him is exempt from congressional subpoenas and investigations because of executive privilege. Putting these two things together the argument is that the president is beyond the law, beyond even investigation into wrong doing since no one has the authority to investigate, so unless the president commits a crime openly and confesses in public he can't be charged or impeached. Am I missing something here?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 12, 2019, 10:32:24 AM
The power to investigate (Cornell Law School): https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution-conan/article-1/section-1/source-of-the-power-to-investigate (https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution-conan/article-1/section-1/source-of-the-power-to-investigate)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: rightleft22 on November 12, 2019, 12:28:38 PM
Quote
It bothers me how broadly people are interpreting executive powers right now

The impeachment investigation is working well for Trump. His war chest gets bigger every day impeachment says in the news and at the same time undermines the house, senate and media.  If you’re wanting smaller government, it’s looking good. Of course, if the next guy that comes along decideds he dons't like you anymore it might not seem so great. But whatever, its all about today who cares about tomorrow.

As a aside I was accused of repeating the same thing over and over as if that would eventually make it true a while back. Questioning my mental capability 
Isn’t this exactly the GOP strategy?


Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 12, 2019, 12:46:50 PM
I was being very specific about his conversation with Sondland, which had been our topic all along.

He did at various other times raise concerns about the general issue.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 12, 2019, 04:48:58 PM
And maybe that's why you think it's in any way possible for Taylor to have misremembered that discussion, TheDrake - because that discussion did not take place in a vacuum. It took place in the context of a months' long process where numerous people in the foreign service were concerned about the administration tying different types of aid to Ukraine to domestic policy issues, which was all coming to a head in early September - exactly when the Sondland discussion occurred.

This was Ambassador Taylor's job, and the highest priority file that he was dealing with.  It was a topic about which he had raised concerns internally, with his boss, with other ambassadors, and in certain ways with Ukraine government representatives. This concern of his has been corroborated by several other people's testimony already, and is supported by documentary evidence that could be made available to disprove his statements. Given this context, it is vanishingly unlikely that his memory of this conversation would be in any way significantly incorrect - certainly, not to the level of mistaking Sondland for somebody else, or mistaking the substance of what Sondland conveyed to Taylor about Trump's position.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 13, 2019, 05:35:27 AM
What I think I'm hearing is that the "now there is no question" argument isn't really a thing, since all the previous evidence is so pervasive that you could draw a conclusion without it?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 13, 2019, 06:19:33 AM
No - it's really simple: I'm saying that the argument that one can doubt Taylor's testimony, and specifically his interactions with Sondland, due to the possibility of his memory being inaccurate is a non-starter. And it's a non-starter for all the reasons I listed. 

Doubt him because you think he is lying, sure.  Posit that there is a conspiracy to bring down the president.  But it's simply not rational to believe that Taylor's testimony about Sondland is wrong in the way you were suggesting due to memory failure.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 13, 2019, 10:42:58 AM
I'm not sure I get the point of your argument though.  Everything Taylor knows about Trump's reasoning is either made up or hearsay.  Pointing to Sondland isn't helpful, because everything he knows about Trump's reasoning came from two direct interactions with Trump, the first where Trump expressed deep skepticism about the Ukraine's commitment to end corruption, and the second where expressly told him that he didn't want anything and that there was no quid pro quo.  The fact that Sondland "assumed" there was a quid pro quo doesn't make it true, and makes Taylor's knowledge useless.

A better question is to ask yourself why Taylor - in charge of the Ukraine mission - didn't take it upon himself to get clarity on the US policy.  What's grossly missing in all the testimony is what should have been there from the start, what was the official policy you were charged with enforcing.  Answer?  No quid pro quo. Not helpful to the Democrats.

Who is a position of political authority to change the policy on Ukraine directed you to do so?  Answer, no one.  Not helpful to the Democrats.

Where do you get the idea that a quid pro quo was required?  Answer, at the root, I made it up because I didn't understand the delay.  What political clarification did you get?  Answer, generally, none or didn't ask or why would I ask or the New York Times said.

Who sets our policy?  Answer the President.  Answer in the depositions?  The bureacrats themselves believe they do and that the President and the political officers changing it should be illegal.  By the way that came across clearly in Vindman, Taylor and the prior ambassadors testimony, and is openly false.

Why was the aid delayed?  Answer, Mick Mulvaney expressly stated that there were 3 reasons, none of which were the quid pro quo of helping in the 2020 election.  Not good for the Democrats.

Is it illegal or improper to investigate the illegalities of the 2020 election?  Nope.  In fact it's proper.

Is it illegal to ask the Ukraine for help?  Nope, in fact its proper.

Did the Ukraine interfere in the 2016 election?  Yep, and it's documented.

Did they do so at the request of the DNC/Hilary Campaign/Obama Administration?  Less clear whether they coordinated, but certainly more evidence of it that the Trump/Russia hoax.  We have the Obama DOJ and DNC staffers actively seeking and receiving information about Manafort, which was expressly used to aid the Dems in the 2016 election and set up the entire 2016 Trump/Russia hoax.  Hard to see how even if you believe this is about 2020 that would not mean the 2016 violation should be investigated.

Against that backdrop, at this point, I do declare that there is no there there.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 13, 2019, 11:11:22 AM
And if you do believe that this is a legitimate impeachment query, I'm curious how you explain Shiff's rules?

Analogies to grand juries break apart completely when they are public.  Grand Jury secrecy is required expressly because there's no defense and no ability to challenge the prosecutor's case, putting that public is about miscarrying justice not providing it.  Do you think this is the right way to proceed?

What - legitimate - purpose is served by refusing witnesses that the minority calls that would provide evidence that the purported requests by Trump are legitimate?  Isn't the entire premise here that only the purported re-election benefit could be behind this?  Never mind the requests were for an investigation of conduct from 2016 that is part of an active investigate, and - if you stretch the transcript past its normal reading - of indefensible conduct by Hunter Biden and potentially of Joe Biden?

How does disallowing the President's counsel to ask questions advance the goal of getting to the truth? 

Of course that's not the real goal.  The real goal is political damage.  Can someone point out the part of the Constitution that authorizes the House to abuse it's power to cause political damage?  It's especially galling in an "impeachment" claiming that the investigated person breached his power to further his political interests, to see an entire process run nakedly for the political interests of a political party.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 13, 2019, 12:02:59 PM
Meanwhile, Gordon Sondland admits that the military aid offered to Ukraine was dependent on Ukraine investigating Biden's son. (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/05/read-gordon-sondlands-revised-testimony-about-trump-pressuring-ukraine.html)

Quote
After that large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks. I also recall some question as to whether the public statement could come from the newly appointed Ukrainian Prosecutor General, rather than from President Zelensky directly.

6. Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself. I do not specifically recall how I learned this, but I believe that the information may have come either from Mr. Giuliani or from Ambassador Volker, who may have discussed this with Mr. Giuliani.
(Emphasis mine.)

So there is no question now whether quid pro quo occurred.  The only question now is who directed it.

Climbing into the wayback machine to refocus. My entire point has been, all along, that this particular Sondland 2.0 testimony added little to the discussion, and was not particularly helpful. I still have concerns about Taylor's account, because it conflicted with Sondland 1.0 and to a lesser extent with 2.0.

That is all.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 13, 2019, 12:15:47 PM
This entire debate is still contingent on yes/no to quid pro quo. But again, I don't even see the damage unless the quid pro quo was between Trump and Zelenskyy on behalf of himself only, aka a bribe. If it was a legitimate corruption investigation then it's irrelevant (as far as I can tell) that it would happen to benefit Trump personally as well, and quid pro quo - that is, asking a potential ally to work with you - is therefore no problem. The danger zone is when the deal benefits Trump alone rather than America, and despite what one of the posters mentioned above, no, I don't believe it also helping Trump suddenly makes it qualify as a bribe, because anything good for America will by definition be good for the individual people in America. The big wrinkle is that a current political opponent was involved in the investigation request, and that brings me back to my original question, which is whether Biden should have been immune to investigation through a joint U.S./Ukrainian effort. It really all hinges on that IMO, and I don't see what the rest of the issue is regarding 'quid pro quo'. That's just a buzzword now.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on November 13, 2019, 12:29:21 PM
This entire debate is still contingent on yes/no to quid pro quo.

Which is why it’s always been a loser if/when it’s countered with “of course! All worthwhile discussions at a leadership level are qpq”

Quote
But again, I don't even see the damage unless the quid pro quo was between Trump and Zelenskyy on behalf of himself only, aka a bribe.

Correct, which gets to the theater of proving motive, aka reading Trump's mind. But to Seriati's earlier point, the win here isn’t actually about proving an impeachable action, but peeing in the well for the rest of Trump's term in hope that the public believes that removing Trump - full stop -  vs looking at competing policies and outcomes for dems vs Republicans is the only way dems get out of 2020 intact.

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 13, 2019, 12:57:20 PM
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels? Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended? Why hide the conversation in an irregular server? Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 13, 2019, 01:03:42 PM
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels? Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended? Why hide the conversation in an irregular server? Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?

Going through ambassadors is irregular? I'll admit I don't know the day-to-day workings of the state department so I can't personally field this one. But I could see a case where Trump might have wanted to bypass the red tape and get on it personally, 'man to man', as it were? Especially if there was concern about leaking or people interfering in the process. As for hiding the conversation, do you mean the security precautions? Not sure what you mean on that one. I also don't have any problem considering the possible scenarios where it really is a bribe, I just don't see how we get from "this is irregular" to "we are now beyond any doubt this was a personal bribe."
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on November 13, 2019, 01:06:00 PM
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels? Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended? Why hide the conversation in an irregular server? Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?

Then why would he ask for a public announcement from Ukraine, which would surely shine a spotlight on the whole conversation? Seems a bit counter to the idea he was looking to keep the entire thing on the down-low.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on November 13, 2019, 01:10:19 PM
IRRC, the Ukraine announcement was supposed to sound like they'd found the corruption themselves. Trump's people wanted Ukraine to conceal their role in spurring the announced investigation.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 13, 2019, 01:16:03 PM
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels?

There was nothing really "irregular" about the channels used, that's Taylor adding a gloss for the Democrats.  History makes it clear that President's have used actual irregular channels in the past (legitimately).  In this case, you're talking about Diplomats and Cabinet level officials as "irregular" and oh yeah Taylor (i.e., the official channel - at least in his mind) and Volker (also part of the official channel for Ukraine).

Quote
Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended?

Volker, Sondland and Taylor are all state department connected, though I'm less sure on how connected Volker is as a Special Envoy.  Perry is literally the Secretary of Energy, which is the primary interest in the Ukraine.  Mulvaney was the White House Chief of Staff.  That's pretty darn official and a really normal group to be pursuing the President's and the countries policies.

Quote
Why hide the conversation in an irregular server?

Same reason that other Presidential conversations are kept there as well, the "official" server has been leaked repeatedly and against the interests of the United States.  Really, this one is a no brainer.

Quote
Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?

Because to do otherwise implies that Congress has the right to conduct foreign policy, not the Administration.  See the Constitution for why that's not true.

If this boils down to a policy difference (ie, the State Department staff wanted more Ukraine engagement than they felt the President was giving) then it's completely illegitimate as as an inquiry.  The "whistle blower" is already not a whistleblower under the statute, but if this is about policy differences then they wouldn't even be exempt if they were reporting legitimately on an intelligence official.

Congress doesn't have a legitimate right to demand access to Presidential records on these matters.  Now that can change, but the basic rule is no.  No more than the President or even the DOJ can demand that Congressmen turn over their own records or even those of their staff.  If you think this is troubling you should take a closer look at Congresses absolute privileges on these matters.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 13, 2019, 01:18:47 PM
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels? Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended? Why hide the conversation in an irregular server? Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?

Then why would he ask for a public announcement from Ukraine, which would surely shine a spotlight on the whole conversation? Seems a bit counter to the idea he was looking to keep the entire thing on the down-low.

Isn't that obvious? He wanted the public announcement to harm Biden. He didn't want people to necessarily know that it had anything to do with him.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 13, 2019, 01:21:49 PM
So the EU ambassador should have a central role in Ukraine? As opposed to the Ukrainian ambassador? And calling Sondland a diplomat is just laughable. Where was Guliani in all this? As opposed to the AG?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 13, 2019, 01:27:07 PM
Isn't that obvious? He wanted the public announcement to harm Biden. He didn't want people to necessarily know that it had anything to do with him.

I find this scenario highly unlikely. Trump isn't a sneaking around quietly kind of guy. Much more likely is that he wanted it to be a done deal prior to making any announcement, because a failure never happened if no one heard about it. Once the announcement was made he'd have no doubt taken full credit for it to the thunderous applause of his supporters.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 13, 2019, 01:28:12 PM
So the EU ambassador should have a central role in Ukraine? As opposed to the Ukrainian ambassador? And calling Sondland a diplomat is just laughable. Where was Guliani in all this? As opposed to the AG?

Taylor wasn't strictly speaking the Ukrainian ambassador, he was an acting ambassador. Not sure how much this affects your point, but yeah, Europe has been part of the Ukraine tug-o-war with Russia for a while, so it should come as no surprise that the European delegation would be part of this.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on November 13, 2019, 01:32:01 PM
I find this scenario highly unlikely. Trump isn't a sneaking around quietly kind of guy. Much more likely is that he wanted it to be a done deal prior to making any announcement, because a failure never happened if no one heard about it. Once the announcement was made he'd have no doubt taken full credit for it to the thunderous applause of his supporters.

Then why not announce it himself or tweet about it?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on November 13, 2019, 01:32:58 PM
Isn't that obvious? He wanted the public announcement to harm Biden. He didn't want people to necessarily know that it had anything to do with him.

I agree with the first part. But he's not stupid, there's virtually no possibility his call and subsequent memo wouldn't get exposed once a public statement was made. Which means the more realistic explanation is that he was fine with his "perfect" call being out in the open.

"Please make a public statement about this investigation" and "let's keep the origin covert" are simply not compatible.

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on November 13, 2019, 01:34:00 PM
Quote from: NobleHunter link=topic=795.msg33331#msg33331
Then why not announce it himself or tweet about it?

Because it would be seen as more damning and less partisan coming from another country vs someone who tweets diarrhea on the regular.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 13, 2019, 01:35:04 PM
This isn't him being involved, its him being the conduit of information from the president. It would be like having the Japanese ambassador relaying the President's orders to the Australian ambassador. Possibly more likely for a career diplomat, but instead you have a political appointee (not uncommon for ambassadorships) being the goto guy, instead of career diplomats with broad experience. As opposed to a hotelier. What Trump could count on is Sondland's loyalty as a sycophant.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 13, 2019, 01:39:33 PM
Quote from: NobleHunter link=topic=795.msg33331#msg33331
Then why not announce it himself or tweet about it?

Because it would be seen as more damning and less partisan coming from another country vs someone who tweets diarrhea on the regular.

That, and from what I can see I'm not 100% the "done deal" happened quite in the way Trump wanted. Trump would no doubt tweet about it after Zelenskyy made the public declaration as Trump wanted him to, to claim credit for it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on November 13, 2019, 01:52:33 PM
Exactly. In his mind, this was a "perfect" call. The last thing he was trying to do was hide the fact he was ultimately making it happen, for the overall good of 'merca.

The idea that this also constitutes "digging up dirt" on a political opponent (QPQ or not) is not only 100% true, but irrelevant. Under these circumstances, these two things could literally never be mutually exclusive.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 13, 2019, 01:55:15 PM
So the EU ambassador should have a central role in Ukraine?

Yes.  Are you confused about this?  Our official policy under Obama AND Trump was to encourage more EU-Ukraine connections and specifically to get the EU to purchase energy from the Ukraine rather than Russia.

If you read Sondland's testimony that is EXACTLY how is roll functioned. 

Quote
As opposed to the Ukrainian ambassador?

In what way was he opposed?  Sondland worked with Taylor extensively, and with Volker and with Perry.  He wasn't the primary contact with anyone. 

Quote
And calling Sondland a diplomat is just laughable.

Sure.  Calling political ambassadors "diplomats" is laughable, I mean they literally are the head diplomat, but sure its "laughable." 

I'm not of the view that "professional diplomats" who clearly follow their own agendas and feel entitled to do so, rather than following the official democratic policies of the Administration are a better choice.  I used to think there was a case there, but revealing the cooking process here made me question whether we should bar them from senior roles.

Quote
Where was Guliani in all this?

Who cares?  Or rather, why do you care about Guilianni but not say, Alexandra Chalupa?  Walk me through the legitimate distinction there.

In any event, are you under the mistaken impression that Guillianni was not allowed to pursue the President's interests?

I've yet to see any testimony that says someone heard Guilianni convey a directive from the President.  And Volker, who Sondland says wast the one talking to Guilianni, actually directly said there was no order about a quid pro quo.

Quote
As opposed to the AG?

In what way is he opposed to the AG if he's investigating actual crimes?  Answer he's not.  Is it illegal for a private citizen to investigate actual crimes?  Nope.  Is it illegal for the President's lawyer?  Nope, in fact, it's probably his duty to do so given that such information would be relevant to a defense of the President.

In what way is he opposed to the AG if he's out there looking for political dirt?  Answer he's not.  Is it illegal to look for dirt?  Not a chance.  Is it illegal to look for it in foreign countries?  Nope.

I get the need to have a "bogey man" but walk me through the exact conduct you think is problematic and the FACTS that support it.  As of right now there is zero evidence that Trump,  or even the administration, directed a quid pro quo. 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 13, 2019, 02:10:45 PM
You're confusing illegal with irregular.

If Sondland wasn't the primary contact, why is it that Taylor had to figure out from Sondland what the White House wanted? Why wasn't it in an official state department communication with talking points spelled out?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 13, 2019, 03:04:19 PM
You're confusing illegal with irregular.

Am I?  That's certainly the intent of Shiff and the Dems, to describe "irregular" as something sinister.  In any event, there's next to nothing irregular about the group that Taylor describes - for his own purposes - as an "irregular channel".  In fact, when it comes down to it, the "irregular channel" includes people that are actually entitled to set and communicate US policy, whereas his own "channel," which given his complete lack of testimony about recieving any official direction, largely consists of himself and his staff, does NOT INCLUDE ANYONE ENTITLED TO MAKE POLICY.

Honestly, if Taylor believed the "irregular" channel was pursuing a different policy, his duties were as follows:  (1) clarify if that was an official policy - he failed at this, and his efforts were underwhelming at best.  I would suggest that this failure is largely intentional, he had a clear policy preference and decided that "ignorance" of a change meant he could continue his own policy; (2) if policy had changed to implement the new policy, see the willful ignorance in (1), which meant he did not conform to the "new" policy that he believed was in force.  And lucky for him, since there was no new policy; and (3) if policy had not changed, raise massive red flags through the "official" channel about the difference.  Which again, his efforts on this front were tiny.

Taylor should in fact be removed and maybe prosecuted if he knew of a policy change and deliberately undermined it.

Quote
If Sondland wasn't the primary contact, why is it that Taylor had to figure out from Sondland what the White House wanted? Why wasn't it in an official state department communication with talking points spelled out?

That's a great question.  The answers are obvious, there was no policy change, ergo no communication about one.

You should really read Mulvaney's press conference, Shiff's lied to you about what was in it (ie. the claim Mulvaney admitted a quid pro quo related to Trump or investigations is a deliberate lie), but what is in it is the factual reasons that aid was delayed, and a specific acknowledgement that the law required it be released no later than Sept 30th.

The fact that Taylor didn't know the actual reasons does not mean that he was correct to make up his worst nightmare reasons and decide they must be true.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 13, 2019, 04:27:41 PM
Because to do otherwise implies that Congress has the right to conduct foreign policy, not the Administration.  See the Constitution for why that's not true.

It actually reaches a step further: It presumes The House of Representatives has an important role to perform in foreign policy, which is also false. That role falls to the Senate. If the Senate decided to launch an inquiry of their own...

Quote
Congress doesn't have a legitimate right to demand access to Presidential records on these matters.  Now that can change, but the basic rule is no.  No more than the President or even the DOJ can demand that Congressmen turn over their own records or even those of their staff.  If you think this is troubling you should take a closer look at Congresses absolute privileges on these matters.

Going to disagree with this up to a point. The House has little claim to foreign policy oversight beyond budgetary concerns. The Senate, which is part of Congress, has a very significant claim to oversight of foreign affairs, but they're not the ones pushing this, the House is.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 13, 2019, 04:30:14 PM
I find this scenario highly unlikely. Trump isn't a sneaking around quietly kind of guy. Much more likely is that he wanted it to be a done deal prior to making any announcement, because a failure never happened if no one heard about it. Once the announcement was made he'd have no doubt taken full credit for it to the thunderous applause of his supporters.

Then why not announce it himself or tweet about it?

Because have the Ukrainians promptly disavowing the existence of such an investigation wouldn't be good for his ego. If they announce it beforehand, he doesn't have the problem.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 13, 2019, 04:36:39 PM
If Sondland wasn't the primary contact, why is it that Taylor had to figure out from Sondland what the White House wanted? Why wasn't it in an official state department communication with talking points spelled out?

We require more micro-management, delegation is so over-rated.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: NobleHunter on November 13, 2019, 04:38:51 PM
Because have the Ukrainians promptly disavowing the existence of such an investigation wouldn't be good for his ego. If they announce it beforehand, he doesn't have the problem.

Which would have been unwise if they hadn't gotten the money yet.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 13, 2019, 04:55:01 PM
Going to disagree with this up to a point. The House has little claim to foreign policy oversight beyond budgetary concerns. The Senate, which is part of Congress, has a very significant claim to oversight of foreign affairs, but they're not the ones pushing this, the House is. 

The Senate's role is in managing the results, not in micromanaging the process.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 14, 2019, 07:32:20 AM
Quote
Some Republican senators and their advisers are privately discussing whether to pressure GOP leaders to stage a lengthy impeachment trial beginning in January to scramble the Democratic presidential race — potentially keeping six contenders in Washington until the eve of the Iowa caucuses or longer.

....

The discussions raise a potential hazard for the six Democratic senators running for president, who had previously planned on a final sprint out of Washington before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses and the Feb. 11 New Hampshire primary.

LMAO. That would be awesome. Just wreck the Democrat primaries and derail a few campaigns. Biden and Buttgieg would be really happy.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 18, 2019, 09:29:51 PM
Quote
I'm not sure I get the point of your argument though.  Everything Taylor knows about Trump's reasoning is either made up or hearsay.  Pointing to Sondland isn't helpful, because everything he knows about Trump's reasoning came from two direct interactions with Trump
Taylor's value as a witness was not as a direct witness to events but rather as a person who was aware of the different threads of the story.  Other people are direct witnesses, e.g, David Holmes:
Quote
Holmes heard Trump ask Sondland on the call if the Ukrainians were going to "do the investigation," and Sondland responded, "He's gonna do it." 

<Snip>

 In his deposition, Holmes said Sondland later told at the restaurant that Trump "doesn't give a s--t about Ukraine," and that his primary focus was on "big stuff that matters to him, like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing."       
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 19, 2019, 12:29:42 AM
Quote
I'm not sure I get the point of your argument though.  Everything Taylor knows about Trump's reasoning is either made up or hearsay.  Pointing to Sondland isn't helpful, because everything he knows about Trump's reasoning came from two direct interactions with Trump
Taylor's value as a witness was not as a direct witness to events but rather as a person who was aware of the different threads of the story.  Other people are direct witnesses, e.g, David Holmes:
Quote
Holmes heard Trump ask Sondland on the call if the Ukrainians were going to "do the investigation," and Sondland responded, "He's gonna do it." 

<Snip>

 In his deposition, Holmes said Sondland later told at the restaurant that Trump "doesn't give a s--t about Ukraine," and that his primary focus was on "big stuff that matters to him, like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing."       

The interesting thing for me is the testimony doesn't really seem to be pointing towards being impeachable. However, Giuliani might be up for some criminal prosecution.

The Impeachment narrative only works if Giuliani is working under Trump's orders. If Giuliani is off doing his own thing, and simply getting the President to sign off things, things move into really weird territory.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 19, 2019, 03:17:57 PM
Today’s developments...

Vindman confirms that the call transcript was locked away in the secure system not because of a cover up but to just prevent leaks.

Vindman also confirmed that the call transcript was accurate.

We also now know that there were significant concerns about his lack of judgement and that NSC officials tried to have Vindman removed but it was blocked by an Obama holdover. Vindman was also offered the position of defense minister in the Ukrainian government 3 separate times.

So far, these witnesses are tanking the Democrats efforts.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 19, 2019, 03:35:19 PM
Also, when asked why he went to a lawyer instead of his boss, Vindman says it was just a really busy week. Seriously. That’s his story.

Schiff is really stepping on a rake with the witnesses so far.

Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 19, 2019, 05:58:30 PM
Vindman just keeps giving

Quote
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman admitted he made up elements of President Donald Trump’s call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an official summary.

Prior to the call, Vindman included a discussion about corruption in the talking points provided to the president but Trump did not use them in the call.

The summary Vindman wrote after the call read:
Quote
President Trump underscored the unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – within its internationally recognized borders – and expressed his commitment to work together with President-elect Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people to implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption.

But Vindman clarified during his testimony that the president did not bring up the topic rooting out corruption during the phone call, but he included it in his summary of the call anyway.

With this one, we can definitively say that Vindman has established a pattern of lying about the call and its content.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 19, 2019, 05:59:19 PM
Quote
The Impeachment narrative only works if Giuliani is working under Trump's orders.
You do realize that Sondland and Giuliani are not the same person, right?  And that the quote to which you are responding had nothing to do with Giuliani..?

Also the quote to which you were responding... It was in reaction to the claim that all evidence against Trump is hearsay, because Taylor only provided 3rd hand knowledge..
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 19, 2019, 07:21:45 PM
Quote
The Impeachment narrative only works if Giuliani is working under Trump's orders.
You do realize that Sondland and Giuliani are not the same person, right?  And that the quote to which you are responding had nothing to do with Giuliani..?

??? Part of that quote block directly mentions Giuliani, and suggests the former mayor was pushing it, not Trump.

Quote
Also the quote to which you were responding... It was in reaction to the claim that all evidence against Trump is hearsay, because Taylor only provided 3rd hand knowledge..

And I'd agree with that, Taylor relayed what he was told by Sondland.

Taylor's testimony is useless to a prosecutor, but potentially useful to a defense lawyer, as Taylor has managed to call in question Sondland's credibility. Which isn't what the Democrats were trying to achieve.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on November 19, 2019, 08:28:01 PM
TheDeamon,

of the people that are being proposed - Trump, Guiliani, Sondman as the guilty party.  I'm curious what you think the odds are of they being the actually guilty individual?

Do you think maybe 33% Trump, 33% Guilliani, 33% Sondman?

Also if you think it isn't Trump - what is the reasoning and how did they arrange it all?  Just a 'go getter' attitude and true love and loyalty for Trump?  How did they manage to hold up the Ukraine money?  How did they trick Trump into the phone call where he tells the Ukrainian President to coordinate with Guilianni?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: DonaldD on November 19, 2019, 10:42:30 PM
TheDaemon, I can kinda see where you got confused: when Holmes said
Quote
that Trump "doesn't give a s--t about Ukraine," and that his primary focus was on "big stuff that matters to him, like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing."
you have to understand that he was quoting Sondland, not Trump.  Meaning, the reference to Giuliani is Sondland's reference, not Trump's (why the quote is to "big stuff that matters to him" not "big stuff that matters to me")

It's quite clear that the investigation is Trump's preoccupation, that it is "important" to him, that Trump is well aware of it, and that Sondland is also aware that Giuliani is tasked with pushing Ukraine on the topic of the investigations.

Or is it your point that Trump is somehow aware of what Giuliani is doing, that Giuliani's goal is important to the President, but that Giuliani had gone rogue and Trump simply could not stop Giuliani from doing the thing that was so important to Trump and that the president wanted done (and which Trump himself was pushing independently?) 
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 20, 2019, 01:33:05 AM
TheDeamon,

of the people that are being proposed - Trump, Guiliani, Sondman as the guilty party.

Guilty of what?

Quote
How did they manage to hold up the Ukraine money?

Read the Mulvaney transcript, don't trust Shiff's misrepresentation about what is in it.  This isn't a mystery at all.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 20, 2019, 07:33:48 AM
The next star witness for Democrats, former ambassador Kurt Volker:

Quote
... it was the turn of former diplomat Kurt Volker to look like a jackass courtesy of Rep. Mike Turner:

..."So I get to ask you. You had a meeting with the President of the United States, and you believe that the policy issues he raised concerning Ukraine were valid, correct?"
"Yes," Volker said.

"Did the President of the United States ever say to you that he was not going to allow aid from the United States to go to the Ukraine unless there were investigations into Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 elections?" Turner asked.

"No, he did not," Volker said.

Turner then asked, "Did the Ukrainians ever tell you that they understood that they would not get a meeting with the President of the United States, a phone call with the President of the United States, military aid, or foreign aid from the United States unless they undertook investigations of Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 elections?"

"No, they did not," Volker said.

Turner noted that Volker's answers essentially dismantled the Democrats' entire case for impeaching Trump.

"Pretty much, Ambassador Volker, you just, like, took apart their entire case," Turner said.

These are the handpicked, star witnesses, that Schiff and the Democrats said would prove the accusations against Trump. So far, literally every single one has blown up the case as they admit the same things Volker just admitted.

It’s incredible that this sham continues
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 20, 2019, 07:56:15 AM
What’s really weird is that on social media people claim this is devastating to trump. By saying this, Volker proved the accusations against Trump. It’s just bizarre. How does anyone read that testimony and say, yeah, Volker proved the quid pro quo and bribery when Volker explicitly says Trump didn’t do it?

The clown show is made up of people that have literally gone crazy.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 20, 2019, 08:48:34 AM
Can't wait to see what Sondland 3.0 has to say now.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on November 20, 2019, 09:17:05 AM
These are the handpicked, star witnesses, that Schiff and the Democrats said would prove the accusations against Trump. So far, literally every single one has blown up the case as they admit the same things Volker just admitted.

It’s incredible that this sham continues

Volker was the witness requested by the Republicans, but whoever called him he is someone who should have been testifying. The question remains as to why he was working/talking with Rudy about US foreign policy.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 20, 2019, 10:31:19 AM
Suddenly now Sondland says there was quid pro quo. He's either more amnesiac than a daytime TV character, or he lacks any credibility.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: yossarian22c on November 20, 2019, 10:38:22 AM
Wonder how long until Sondland is out as ambassador to the EU? Will he make it through the end of the day? I can't believe he hasn't resigned yet. No way he has the confidence of the president after this.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on November 20, 2019, 10:58:44 AM
Suddenly now Sondland says there was quid pro quo. He's either more amnesiac than a daytime TV character, or he lacks any credibility.

You crack me up.  When he has 'memory lapses' that favor the President - he is 100% reliable.  When his memory is 'refreshed' by the testimony of others so that he no longer has memory lapses in the Presidents favor, and now those recollections clearly implicate the President 'he lacks any credibility'.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 20, 2019, 11:04:46 AM
Suddenly now Sondland says there was quid pro quo. He's either more amnesiac than a daytime TV character, or he lacks any credibility.

You crack me up.  When he has 'memory lapses' that favor the President - he is 100% reliable.  When his memory is 'refreshed' by the testimony of others so that he no longer has memory lapses in the Presidents favor, and now those recollections clearly implicate the President 'he lacks any credibility'.

Actually I think any statement he's ever made, favorable to the President or not, is not credible. Not sure how you think otherwise. Now, you can pick and choose to believe the latest iteration if you want to, assuming that he was pretending to forget in earlier testimony and now is owning up to his obfuscation. I'm saying when somebody comes out with three different versions of a story, I'm going to ignore them.

It would be like a witness changing their story on the stand after declaring the opposite in a deposition before. It's up to the jury to believe them before, believe them now, or believe nothing. I'm in the latter camp.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on November 20, 2019, 11:21:41 AM
Just watched some of this live this morning for the first time. What's fascinating to me is that you have this formal process being chaired and managed by Schiff, who then determines it's time to "take a 5-10 minute break".

During that break, he assembles the press and proceeds to describe in his opinion, what just said, why it proves the case, etc. I know this is technically not a legal proceeding but it seems bizarre that the chairman of the proceeding, while on a "break", continues with his own testimony and explains how the previous testimony should be interpreted to the press in order to reach the conclusion he's seeking.

So weird.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on November 20, 2019, 11:33:43 AM

Actually I think any statement he's ever made, favorable to the President or not, is not credible. Not sure how you think otherwise. Now, you can pick and choose to believe the latest iteration if you want to, assuming that he was pretending to forget in earlier testimony and now is owning up to his obfuscation. I'm saying when somebody comes out with three different versions of a story, I'm going to ignore them.

It would be like a witness changing their story on the stand after declaring the opposite in a deposition before. It's up to the jury to believe them before, believe them now, or believe nothing. I'm in the latter camp.

Well the problem with your reasoning, is that now he has managed to find the emails that backup his current statement.  Testimony backed up by a paper trail is pretty credible.  So do you reckon he forged the emails and is an expert hacker and will have broke into secured servers of the State Department to falsify the time stamps of those emails?

Or does occam razor point towards that his 'memory lapses' were dubious and he has decided to come clean rather than go to jail to protect a corrupt President?  (Even if he is still charged with perjury for his original statements, it is still way better that obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit bribery, etc.)
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 20, 2019, 11:40:57 AM
Suddenly now Sondland says there was quid pro quo. He's either more amnesiac than a daytime TV character, or he lacks any credibility.

You crack me up.  When he has 'memory lapses' that favor the President - he is 100% reliable.  When his memory is 'refreshed' by the testimony of others so that he no longer has memory lapses in the Presidents favor, and now those recollections clearly implicate the President 'he lacks any credibility'.

That's a bizarre thing to say to TheDrake.  It might make more sense if it were directed at someone like me.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Seriati on November 20, 2019, 11:52:56 AM
For what it's worth, Sondland directly testified this morning that he was never told that the aide was linked to any concession by the Ukranians and that he made that conclusion himself.  If that's true, it pretty much dead ends the legitimate impeachment of the President based on any communications Sondland made or that were made based on information he conveyed.  Effectively, he's admitting to being the "source" of that as a matter of what may have been communicated.

He did indicate that he understood from the Guiliani position (unclear how this was conveyed based on the snippet I heard) that the white house visit was contingent on the connections to the investigations.  His additional testimony on what was being asked muddles this though - as it's not clear whether that really meant the investigation of the Bidens or just a commitment on corruption generally, it literally sounds like he was told "investigations" which could mean either and is filling in with the worse context after the fact.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 20, 2019, 12:04:48 PM
During that break, he assembles the press and proceeds to describe in his opinion, what just said, why it proves the case, etc. I know this is technically not a legal proceeding but it seems bizarre that the chairman of the proceeding, while on a "break", continues with his own testimony and explains how the previous testimony should be interpreted to the press in order to reach the conclusion he's seeking.

Wouldn't that legally count as state propaganda and be illegal? How can it be legitimate to guide the press about how to cover an event whose findings haven't even been concluded yet?
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDrake on November 20, 2019, 12:28:51 PM

Actually I think any statement he's ever made, favorable to the President or not, is not credible. Not sure how you think otherwise. Now, you can pick and choose to believe the latest iteration if you want to, assuming that he was pretending to forget in earlier testimony and now is owning up to his obfuscation. I'm saying when somebody comes out with three different versions of a story, I'm going to ignore them.

It would be like a witness changing their story on the stand after declaring the opposite in a deposition before. It's up to the jury to believe them before, believe them now, or believe nothing. I'm in the latter camp.

Well the problem with your reasoning, is that now he has managed to find the emails that backup his current statement.  Testimony backed up by a paper trail is pretty credible.  So do you reckon he forged the emails and is an expert hacker and will have broke into secured servers of the State Department to falsify the time stamps of those emails?

Or does occam razor point towards that his 'memory lapses' were dubious and he has decided to come clean rather than go to jail to protect a corrupt President?  (Even if he is still charged with perjury for his original statements, it is still way better that obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit bribery, etc.)

If there are emails, they can be introduced into evidence. That's fine. Any testimony apart from the emails is still suspect.

Quote
"Everyone was informed via email on July 19, days before the Presidential call," Sondland said. "As I communicated to the team, I told President Zelensky in advance that assurances to 'run a fully transparent investigation' and 'turn over every stone' were necessary in his call with President Trump."

So he told the team what he was going to say. I'll wait for the transcript to find out the full context, since this news blurb doesn't even mention the military aid or the visit.

I know you think I'm being either pedantic or stupid, but I have a particularly sensitive spot for people who monkey with their stories and veracity.

The shoe walks in the other direction too. Seriati wants his testimony that he was never told that the aid was linked to concessions to refute everything. I say not so fast.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: TheDeamon on November 20, 2019, 01:39:38 PM
During that break, he assembles the press and proceeds to describe in his opinion, what just said, why it proves the case, etc. I know this is technically not a legal proceeding but it seems bizarre that the chairman of the proceeding, while on a "break", continues with his own testimony and explains how the previous testimony should be interpreted to the press in order to reach the conclusion he's seeking.

Wouldn't that legally count as state propaganda and be illegal? How can it be legitimate to guide the press about how to cover an event whose findings haven't even been concluded yet?

If the Republicans get the house in the next cycle, he'll probably be sitting in front of a Republican led House Ethics committee to explain himself. No point in bringing it up right now, the Dems will likely whitewash it.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on November 20, 2019, 05:21:05 PM
Suddenly now Sondland says there was quid pro quo. He's either more amnesiac than a daytime TV character, or he lacks any credibility.

You crack me up.  When he has 'memory lapses' that favor the President - he is 100% reliable.  When his memory is 'refreshed' by the testimony of others so that he no longer has memory lapses in the Presidents favor, and now those recollections clearly implicate the President 'he lacks any credibility'.

That's a bizarre thing to say to TheDrake.  It might make more sense if it were directed at someone like me.

You have a point.  TheDrake my apologies.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: LetterRip on November 20, 2019, 05:27:49 PM
During that break, he assembles the press and proceeds to describe in his opinion, what just said, why it proves the case, etc. I know this is technically not a legal proceeding but it seems bizarre that the chairman of the proceeding, while on a "break", continues with his own testimony and explains how the previous testimony should be interpreted to the press in order to reach the conclusion he's seeking.

Wouldn't that legally count as state propaganda and be illegal? How can it be legitimate to guide the press about how to cover an event whose findings haven't even been concluded yet?

Could you clarify what you think is illegal?  He is giving press briefings on his interpretation of the testimony. Seems perfectly consistent with free speech and free press. It is common for politicians, lawyers, etc. to give their interpretations, as well as a variety of press and talk show hosts.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Crunch on November 20, 2019, 09:38:35 PM
More on Vindman...

In his prepared statement provided to Congress, Vindman claimed to be the top adviser to the President of the United States on Ukraine policy. He was later forced to admit he's never met Trump, never spoke to Trump, and has never advised him on anything.

Ok, look, Vindman is what the guys in my division typically referred to as an *censored*. He’s a lying little *censored*. No wonder the NSC wanted him out and all his peers hated him.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on November 20, 2019, 10:27:00 PM
"I'm concerned that if we don't impeach this president, he will get reelected." Al Green

According to Al's interpretation of the Constitution, a sitting President can be impeached for high crimes, misdemeanors, or if it looks like if he is not impeached he will win re-election.

https://www.politifact.com/texas/article/2019/oct/25/putting-al-greens-comments-impeachment-context/

“The weak response to these hearings has been, ‘Let the election decide.’ That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections.” Nancy Pelosi

https://news.yahoo.com/nancy-pelosi-already-attacking-legitimacy-113013917.html

So letting the voters decide is dangerous.


The accusation against Trump and the reason why he needs to be removed from office is because he abused the power of his office to initiate an investigation into his political opponent.

Exactly what the Democrats are doing right now.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Fenring on November 20, 2019, 11:01:26 PM
Quote
Wouldn't that legally count as state propaganda and be illegal? How can it be legitimate to guide the press about how to cover an event whose findings haven't even been concluded yet?

Could you clarify what you think is illegal?  He is giving press briefings on his interpretation of the testimony. Seems perfectly consistent with free speech and free press. It is common for politicians, lawyers, etc. to give their interpretations, as well as a variety of press and talk show hosts.

Well I was asking partially because I don't know what exact legal role Schiff has in his investigation. For instance in a court setting I imagine there would be legal consequences to a prosecutor or a judge announcing to the press mid-trial how what's been presented so far "demonstrates the obvious guilt of the accused". Wouldn't that be a breach of the ethics of the process, and in effect be disseminating an opinion as fact to the public, thereby making them think it's a fact? And wouldn't the position of that person be compromised if they were declaring ahead of the final verdict what the verdict would be? Now I guess I don't know enough about this process to understand exactly what Schiff's ethical responsibilities are, but if they are to conduct an impartial investigation then wouldn't it basically be mere propaganda to instead of insisting on the veracity of one particular outcome before the investigation is even done? I'd call that propaganda, personally, if that's what's happening. Doesn't even mean he's wrong; that's not really my issue.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: cherrypoptart on November 20, 2019, 11:27:42 PM
Trump was right again.

    "The Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General has drawn up an indictment against the owner of the Burisma Holdings energy company, ex-Ecology Minister Nikolai Zlochevsky, that contains information that the son of former US Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter, as a Burisma board member along with his partners received $16.5 million for their services, Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada MP from the ruling Servant of the People party Alexander Dubinsky told a press conference on Wednesday, citing the investigation’s materials. According to him, the money came from duplicitous criminal activity.

    According to the politician, “the son of Vice-President Joe Biden was receiving payment for his services, with money raised through criminal means and money laundering.” He also clarified that “Biden received money that did not come from the company’s successful operation but rather from money stolen from citizens.”

    Dubinsky stressed that the information on Hunter Biden’s income under his contract with Burisma is a “link that reveals how money is siphoned [from Ukraine].“

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/11/indictment-against-head-of-burisma-reveals-hunter-biden-was-receiving-payments-from-money-raised-through-criminal-means-siphoned-laundered-from-ukraine/
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: ScottF on November 20, 2019, 11:30:45 PM
I think even the dems wouldn't have the temerity to call this an impartial investigation. From what I can tell, there seems to be a rough format (each party takes turns asking questions, or filibustering under the guise of asking questions) but no real repercussions re: veracity. There doesn't appear to be any notion of a real-time objection, so each side can literally say anything they want while they have the conch.

So if it's not a legal proceeding with no real rules then I guess all bets are off. And it's fair play for the head of the proceeding tell the republicans, mid session, that their turn for rebuttal/cross-examination needs to wait until after he holds a conference out in the hall to make sure the press understands why what they've just heard is so damning and proves his case.
Title: Re: Ukraine
Post by: Lloyd Perna on November 21, 2019, 06:08:29 AM
https://twitter.com/RepAndyBiggsAZ/status/1197232692171083777 (https://twitter.com/RepAndyBiggsAZ/status/1197232692171083777)

Video of Rep. Turner questioning Sondland yesterday.

As