Author Topic: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president  (Read 6330 times)

Crunch

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The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« on: February 14, 2022, 02:32:06 PM »
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Late Friday, there was a bombshell filing from special counsel John Durham. Remember him? The filing reveals that "lawyers for the Clinton campaign paid a technology company to 'infiltrate' servers belonging to Trump Tower, and later the White House, in order to establish an 'inference' and 'narrative' to bring to government agencies linking Donald Trump to Russia, a filing from Special Counsel John Durham says.

Specifically:
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...the government will establish that among the Internet data Tech Executive-1 and his associates exploited was domain name system (DNS) internet traffic pertaining to "(i) a particular healthcare provider, (ii) Trump Tower, (iii) Donald Trump's Central Park West apartment building, and (iv) the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP)."

This was an attempt to frame Trump with "Russian collusion" during the election and then continued well after Trump was in the White House:

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Yet, one of the most shocking parts of the filing was the fact that the spying continued after Trump was inaugurated — which begs the question of why? At that point, what would be the purpose? I think I have a pretty good idea, and to be honest, it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.

She was trying to overturn the election.

Ask yourself why she’d even bother to keep looking into Trump if the goal wasn’t to prove he was an illegitimate president? And if that happened in say, February of 2017, she had every reason to believe the country would be plunged into a constitutional crisis that would favor her.

Alright, so Hillary and her minions literally spied on a president of the United States, up to and including the oval office. Let me guess, you guys are OK with this. amirite?

msquared

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2022, 02:35:19 PM »
No I am not. But I want to see a bunch more info and data then what has been provided so far.  Is there any evidence that Hillary ordered this?  Just curious since it just says her lawyers and we all know what type of crazy crap Trumps lawyers have gotten up to.

msquared

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2022, 02:53:21 PM »
Crunch

Are you OK with Trump shredding documents, using aides cell phones so that records of his calls would not be recorded and taking boxes of documents, including classified ones, from the White House and moving them to Mara Lago. I think it is obvious now why Trump fought the Jan 6 panel so much over the documents.

Fenring

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2022, 03:14:01 PM »
Are you OK with Trump shredding documents, using aides cell phones so that records of his calls would not be recorded and taking boxes of documents, including classified ones, from the White House and moving them to Mara Lago. I think it is obvious now why Trump fought the Jan 6 panel so much over the documents.

Unless I'm mistaken, isn't it the case that the entire classified system (including "top secret", "sensitive", etc) is ultimately the prerogative of the president? For instance, if the CIA had a document entitled "top secret" and the president simply declared "it is no longer top secret because I say so", is that not within his powers? He is, after all, in theory in charge of the organizations that have these systems in place. Not to say I understand what the implications are of Trump doing this, or whether it was smart, stupid, nefarious, or any other options. My only issue is whether he in fact had full authority to do whatever he felt like with classified documents. If so, it can be chalked up to 'be careful who is elected president'. If not I guess it's another story.

TheDrake

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2022, 03:17:44 PM »
Crunch

Are you OK with Trump shredding documents, using aides cell phones so that records of his calls would not be recorded and taking boxes of documents, including classified ones, from the White House and moving them to Mara Lago. I think it is obvious now why Trump fought the Jan 6 panel so much over the documents.

Whatabout whatabouting?

NobleHunter

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2022, 03:19:19 PM »
Unless I'm mistaken, isn't it the case that the entire classified system (including "top secret", "sensitive", etc) is ultimately the prerogative of the president? For instance, if the CIA had a document entitled "top secret" and the president simply declared "it is no longer top secret because I say so", is that not within his powers? He is, after all, in theory in charge of the organizations that have these systems in place. Not to say I understand what the implications are of Trump doing this, or whether it was smart, stupid, nefarious, or any other options. My only issue is whether he in fact had full authority to do whatever he felt like with classified documents. If so, it can be chalked up to 'be careful who is elected president'. If not I guess it's another story.

It's not a question of classification but of keeping presidential records. He didn't have the authority to destroy records whenever he wanted.

msquared

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2022, 03:23:20 PM »
Fenring, missing the trees for the forest.

The whole point is that presidential documents are required to be kept and sent to the National Archives, not destroyed or hidden or take to the former Presidents personal residence when he is no longer in office. The fact that Top Secret documents were just left in boxes in his rooms just speaks to Trump disdain for rules that apply to him that he does not like.

Like I said, if Hillary directed her people to do what this report says happened, I am fine with an investigation and possible prosecution.  I am no Hillary fan, so her going to jail or whatever for violating the rules is not a problem for me.  It just seems like the "Lock Her Up" crowd has been really quite when it is obvious Trump has done worse and even admitted it.

NobleHunter

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2022, 03:30:27 PM »
I'm pretty sure Clinton used her private server to give herself the ability to destroy or conceal records. It's the most reasonable explanation for why she set it up. I don't think it's been proven that she did undertake to deliberately destroy anything. Though what I remember of her data handling, records were probably lost in the process of handing them over to the archives.

Fenring

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2022, 03:44:33 PM »
Fenring, missing the trees for the forest.

The whole point is that presidential documents are required to be kept and sent to the National Archives, not destroyed or hidden or take to the former Presidents personal residence when he is no longer in office. The fact that Top Secret documents were just left in boxes in his rooms just speaks to Trump disdain for rules that apply to him that he does not like.

What did I miss? My question is about whether Trump literally had the authority to do what he did, regardless of how stupid or unethical it was. If he had the authority to do it (even if it broke rules, but which he had the authority to break) then it's apples and oranges comparing it to someone else committing crimes. That was the point of my post.

TheDrake

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2022, 03:45:07 PM »
The Crunch source appears to be "American Greatness" Spies like us

They are referencing a Fox story infiltration

Washington post article about Sussman and Durham, but prior to the latest filing

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Sussmann has pleaded not guilty, and his legal team has called the allegations against him baseless — noting that Durham seems to be building a case around a single statement “allegedly made five years ago to a single witness that is unrecorded and unobserved by anyone else.”

Now, I don't give a lot of credibility to defense lawyer statements, but if that's true its a pretty hard sell. Of course the charge here is perjury, and we all know we're not supposed to support those charges, right? Because when they were levied against Flynn and company, it was all just pressure to try and get them to give testimony implicating others.

As for Hillary, she's well protected I assume. Even if the lawyer for her campaign personally broke into Trump's house and planted a microphone, nobody could establish he did so with her knowledge or approval, let alone direction.

Fenring

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2022, 03:46:37 PM »
I don't think it's been proven that she did undertake to deliberately destroy anything.

Well, she was never indicted for it, if that's what you mean. We know with no real room for doubt that she did order the server "scrubbed" (see her 'joke' about this) after she was officially ordered to submit it. There's the infamous incident of her third party technician (who by merely possessing them was a separate possible illegal scenario) asking on Reddit how to destroy the servers completely.

msquared

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2022, 03:50:43 PM »
Fenring

My main point was the destruction of documents and not handing them over. The Top Secret stuff is minor in my opinion since I think you are correct that the President can declassify things at will.

What he can not do, I think, is take classified documents and store them in an unsafe way. He did not de classify them, he took them in violation of the law that says he has to turn over his documents to the NA.

The top secret stuff is the icing and you are focusing on the icing. The cake is what I am talking about and that is the taking and hiding of the documents, all of them, and not turning them over.

TheDrake

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2022, 03:55:18 PM »
I don't think it's been proven that she did undertake to deliberately destroy anything.

Well, she was never indicted for it, if that's what you mean. We know with no real room for doubt that she did order the server "scrubbed" (see her 'joke' about this) after she was officially ordered to submit it. There's the infamous incident of her third party technician (who by merely possessing them was a separate possible illegal scenario) asking on Reddit how to destroy the servers completely.

And she was never linked to the decision directly. Read wikipedia or the many threads about this topic. It was proven that her lawyers asked the company about whether data retention policies had been followed, and they went scrambling to erase them which should have already been happening. They didn't "destroy the servers", they used bleachbit to erase files, which is a common corporate practice to really erase sensitive data from a drive and not leave bits and pieces behind for recovery. Unless you saw some evidence that she ordered anything that I've never seen.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2022, 04:15:49 PM »
You lefties will do anything to change the subject when you don't like the one brought up.

msquared

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2022, 04:19:23 PM »
I didn't change the subject. I answered Crunch's question.  If what the report says is true, she should be prosecuted. The truth is still out there though.

LetterRip

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2022, 04:32:32 PM »
Yes the comments are about an older filing.  I don't think the government has a winnable case based on what I've read.  The September filing seemed solely to extend Durham's time to investigate, rather than as a means to successful prosecution.  It appears that under normal DoJ practice (must have an expectation of successful prosecution), that the Sussmann charges would not have been brought.

Perhaps there is something stronger in the more recent filings.

LetterRip

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2022, 04:39:56 PM »
If Sussmann provably lied to the FBI, and it is provable that it meets the burden required for prosecuting such lies,  and it meets the DoJ standard for prosecution - I'm ok with prosecuting him.

Note for those interested here is the wikipedia article, if the following paragraph is accurate, I don't see how they could possibly bring charges unless the AG actually recorded the conversation and the recording directly contradicts what the AG testified to.

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In a December 2021 court filing, Sussmann's attorneys presented portions of two documents provided to them by Durham days earlier which they asserted undermined the indictment. One document was a summary of an interview Durham's investigators conducted with Baker in June 2020 in which he did not say that Sussmann told him he was not there on behalf of any client, but rather that Baker had assumed it and that the issue never came up. A second document was a June 2019 Justice Department inspector general interview with Baker in which he said the Sussmann meeting "related to strange interactions that some number of people that were his clients, who were, he described as I recall it, sort of cybersecurity experts, had found." The New York Times reported that the narrow charge against Sussmann was contained in a 27-page indictment that elaborated on activities of cybersecurity researchers who were not charged, including what their attorneys asserted were selected email excerpts that falsely portrayed them as not actually believing their claims. Trump and his supporters seized on that information to assert the Alfa-Bank matter was a hoax devised by Clinton supporters and so the Trump-Russia investigation had been unjustified. Sussmann's attorneys told the court that the new evidence "underscores the baseless and unprecedented nature of this indictment" and asked that his trial date be moved from July to May 2022.[11] A Durham prosecutor later asserted that subsequent to his 2019 and 2020 interviews, Baker "affirmed and then re-affirmed his now-clear recollection of the defendant’s false statement" after refreshing his memory with contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous notes.[12]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Sussmann
« Last Edit: February 14, 2022, 04:51:53 PM by LetterRip »

LetterRip

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2022, 09:56:01 PM »
Note that there is no new information compared to September,

the filing is about the government wanting it on record that Sussmann is waving conflict,

https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638.35.0_2.pdf

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2022, 03:11:17 AM »
Sure enough, the election was stolen by media collusion with the Democrat party to influence voters with the Russian collusion hoax disinformation campaign. I've said that all along and here comes the proof. This is nothing that pretty much everyone didn't already know though. The media knew this all along just like the Democrats in power knew it. They knew it because they were the ones behind it.

Mynnion

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2022, 11:18:55 AM »
Isn't there a process for declassifying documents?  Unless that process was followed while Trump was president then he had no right to declassify them after the fact.

As far as the spying on the Trump campaign.  If there is proof then all the individuals that were involved including Clinton should be charged and held accountable.

msquared

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2022, 11:22:03 AM »
From what I can find it depends on what you call spying. If you call looking out your window and looking at your neighbors house spying, then maybe there was spying.

Mynnion

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2022, 11:33:50 AM »
Thanks.  To clarify if the Clinton campaign was guilty of violating any laws in their spying they should be held accountable.  I generally think of spying being observation that crosses the line into illegal activity but maybe that's to loose a definition.

NobleHunter

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2022, 11:36:48 AM »
I'm really not looking forward to any sort of criticism of a GOP President being called "trying to overturn the election."

TheDrake

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2022, 11:43:48 AM »
Spy is a very loose term overloaded with benign things like observation from a public street. "He's been spying on his ex-girlfriend" might mean he's stalking her at work. It always has a negative connotation, but it isn't always illegal. The implication is always an unwarranted invasion of privacy, but it may or may not be illegal. People love to throw it around. I'm sure organized crime bosses probably think of government investigation as spying also.

kidv

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2022, 11:50:32 AM »
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"One of the things [Durham] revealed in that, which I have heard from other people is this claim that Rodney Joffe was accessing data from the White House," Wheeler said. "All of that data precedes Trump's inauguration, so you have Trump out there calling for these people to be put to death when really what happened is Rodney Joffe was trying to keep [then-president] Barack Obama safe from hackers. That's all it is. That's why Trump wants these people killed, Durham knows that."

https://www.rawstory.com/marcy-wheeler-john-durham/

https://www.emptywheel.net/2022/02/15/donald-trump-suggested-michael-sussmann-should-be-killed-because-rodney-joffe-spied-on-barack-obama/

The gist being that Durham allowed the statute of limitations to expire on this February 9, 2017, meeting Sussman had with the CIA, and instead of filing charges Durham filed a misleading document that Sussman told the CIA that DNS traffic inside the white house was being monitored and presented to the CIA.  Durham did not include in his filing that the time frame of the DNS traffic in the white house that was submitted to the CIA on Feb 9, 2017, before Trump's inauguration, i.e. while Obama was still president. And now this thread and Fox News is blowing up with claims that Trump's DNS traffic was submitted to the CIA by Sussman, based on Durham's misleading filing.

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For example, although the Special Counsel implies that in Mr. Sussmann’s February 9, 2017 meeting, he provided Agency-2 with EOP data from after Mr. Trump took office, the Special Counsel is well aware that the data provided to Agency-2 pertained only to the period of time before Mr. Trump took office, when Barack Obama was President.

https://www.emptywheel.net/2022/02/15/donald-trump-suggested-michael-sussmann-should-be-killed-because-rodney-joffe-spied-on-barack-obama/




Fenring

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2022, 11:51:46 AM »
I'm really not looking forward to any sort of criticism of a GOP President being called "trying to overturn the election."

You don't think trying to make the case that Trump won because of "Russian collusion" is an attempt to overturn the election? Just imagine if bona fide collusion had been actually found, what do you think the result would have been?

jc44

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2022, 12:07:27 PM »
He would have been called some bad names by Democrats, been impeached by Congress but found innocent by the Senate?

NobleHunter

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2022, 12:40:23 PM »
You don't think trying to make the case that Trump won because of "Russian collusion" is an attempt to overturn the election? Just imagine if bona fide collusion had been actually found, what do you think the result would have been?

It certainly wouldn't have been President Clinton.

TheDrake

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2022, 01:13:36 PM »
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You don't think trying to make the case that Trump won because of "Russian collusion"

Still I have yet to find anyone who actually made that case. That Hillary would have won if it weren't for the Russians. I'm sure a handful of people who lack credibility might have, are any of them elected members of Congress?

LetterRip

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2022, 01:19:20 PM »
I'm really not looking forward to any sort of criticism of a GOP President being called "trying to overturn the election."

You don't think trying to make the case that Trump won because of "Russian collusion" is an attempt to overturn the election? Just imagine if bona fide collusion had been actually found, what do you think the result would have been?

It was actually found, it wasn't prosecuted

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Mueller found that Trump campaign members Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner met with Russian nationals in Trump Tower in New York June 2016 for the purpose of receiving disparaging information about Clinton as part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” according to an email message arranging the meeting. This meeting did not amount to a criminal offense, in part, because Mueller was unable to establish “willfulness,” that is, that the participants knew that their conduct was illegal. Mueller was also unable to conclude that the information was a “thing of value” that exceeded $25,000, the requirement for campaign finance to be a felony, as opposed to a civil violation of law.

Now how a seasoned campaign manager and lawyer could not be 'willfully' violating the law, and that it couldn't be establised that the value of in excess of 25,000$ seems pretty dubious to me.

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Mueller found other contacts with Russia, such as the sharing of polling data about Midwestern states where Trump later won upset victories, conversations with the Russian ambassador to influence Russia’s response to sanctions imposed by the U.S. government in response to election interference, and communications with Wikileaks after it had received emails stolen by Russia. While none of these acts amounted to the crime of conspiracy, all could be described as “collusion.”

https://time.com/5610317/mueller-report-myths-breakdown/

Also Trump was in direct contact with Roger Stone who was in direct contact with Guccifer to coordinate the release of the hacked Clinton emails, and the release of faked emails.  This included Stone purchasing a large number of Facebook accounts to coordinate the distribution and release of the information.

https://www.cbs58.com/news/mueller-investigators-said-roger-stone-orchestrated-hundreds-of-fake-facebook-accounts-in-political-influence-scheme

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Stone, who campaigned for Trump and previously admitted to having directly communicated with Guccifer, stated he believed it was incorrect to characterize Guccifer as a Russian agent and that it was merely "guessing."

https://www.newsweek.com/roger-stone-mueller-hacking-guccifer-1024080

yossarian22c

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2022, 01:31:20 PM »
I'm really not looking forward to any sort of criticism of a GOP President being called "trying to overturn the election."

You don't think trying to make the case that Trump won because of "Russian collusion" is an attempt to overturn the election? Just imagine if bona fide collusion had been actually found, what do you think the result would have been?

It was actually found, it wasn't prosecuted

Quote
Mueller found that Trump campaign members Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner met with Russian nationals in Trump Tower in New York June 2016 for the purpose of receiving disparaging information about Clinton as part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” according to an email message arranging the meeting. This meeting did not amount to a criminal offense, in part, because Mueller was unable to establish “willfulness,” that is, that the participants knew that their conduct was illegal. Mueller was also unable to conclude that the information was a “thing of value” that exceeded $25,000, the requirement for campaign finance to be a felony, as opposed to a civil violation of law.

Now how a seasoned campaign manager and lawyer could not be 'willfully' violating the law, and that it couldn't be establised that the value of in excess of 25,000$ seems pretty dubious to me.

Quote
Mueller found other contacts with Russia, such as the sharing of polling data about Midwestern states where Trump later won upset victories, conversations with the Russian ambassador to influence Russia’s response to sanctions imposed by the U.S. government in response to election interference, and communications with Wikileaks after it had received emails stolen by Russia. While none of these acts amounted to the crime of conspiracy, all could be described as “collusion.”

https://time.com/5610317/mueller-report-myths-breakdown/

Also Trump was in direct contact with Roger Stone who was in direct contact with Guccifer to coordinate the release of the hacked Clinton emails, and the release of faked emails.  This included Stone purchasing a large number of Facebook accounts to coordinate the distribution and release of the information.

https://www.cbs58.com/news/mueller-investigators-said-roger-stone-orchestrated-hundreds-of-fake-facebook-accounts-in-political-influence-scheme

Quote
Stone, who campaigned for Trump and previously admitted to having directly communicated with Guccifer, stated he believed it was incorrect to characterize Guccifer as a Russian agent and that it was merely "guessing."

https://www.newsweek.com/roger-stone-mueller-hacking-guccifer-1024080

We need a sticky of this post for every time the Russian connections get dismissed as a "hoax" and completely fabricated.

Fenring

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2022, 02:11:05 PM »
The "Russian nationals in Trump Tower" is not so much a hoax, as the infamous "misinformation." But the Guccifer thing I really have no idea. Some things you can't know...unless you know. And I ain't in that circle.

yossarian22c

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2022, 02:20:37 PM »
The "Russian nationals in Trump Tower" is not so much a hoax, as the infamous "misinformation." But the Guccifer thing I really have no idea. Some things you can't know...unless you know. And I ain't in that circle.

How is it misinformation that Don Jr and Trump's campaign manager took a meeting with Russian lawyers for the purpose of getting damaging information on Hillary? Or do you buy their claims that they believed the meeting was entirely about Russian adoptions? In which case its trying to conduct foreign policy during the campaign. I can't understand any context in which that meeting is above board.

Fenring

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2022, 02:35:13 PM »
How is it misinformation that Don Jr and Trump's campaign manager took a meeting with Russian lawyers for the purpose of getting damaging information on Hillary? Or do you buy their claims that they believed the meeting was entirely about Russian adoptions? In which case its trying to conduct foreign policy during the campaign. I can't understand any context in which that meeting is above board.

Your statement (and LR's, and everyone else's) requires a few hidden premises to be accepted in order to be valid:

1) Don Jr knew the people he was meeting were connected to Russian government.
2) Not only were they aware of this connection, but they went into the meeting because of that connection, i.e. to make contact with the Russian government indirectly.
3) That once in the meeting, they made every attempt to gain said information, knowing the above, and only failed due to factors outside their control. In other words, they tried to do business with the Russian government and were thwarted in some fashion.

I don't see how else you build even an argumentative case that they "colluded" with the Russian government. All of the above must be absolutely true, and if any are not true then the argument falls. If they either didn't know (due to ignorance or stupidity), or knew but thought they were doing a private deal with private people anyhow, or learned during the meeting and backed out, then the argument falls.

Do you know that all three are true? I've never heard the case made before, but I'd be happy to hear it.

yossarian22c

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2022, 02:47:27 PM »
How is it misinformation that Don Jr and Trump's campaign manager took a meeting with Russian lawyers for the purpose of getting damaging information on Hillary? Or do you buy their claims that they believed the meeting was entirely about Russian adoptions? In which case its trying to conduct foreign policy during the campaign. I can't understand any context in which that meeting is above board.

Your statement (and LR's, and everyone else's) requires a few hidden premises to be accepted in order to be valid:

1) Don Jr knew the people he was meeting were connected to Russian government.

Only an idiot would take a meeting during a presidential campaign with Russian nationals and not suspect that had some connection with the Russian government. And what would be the point of meeting with private Russian citizens who had no government connection?

Quote

2) Not only were they aware of this connection, but they went into the meeting because of that connection, i.e. to make contact with the Russian government indirectly.


What would be the point of meeting with Russian nationals that aren't connected to the government?

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3) That once in the meeting, they made every attempt to gain said information, knowing the above, and only failed due to factors outside their control. In other words, they tried to do business with the Russian government and were thwarted in some fashion.

Failure doesn't make the meeting less damning. They were open to the idea.

Quote

I don't see how else you build even an argumentative case that they "colluded" with the Russian government. All of the above must be absolutely true, and if any are not true then the argument falls. If they either didn't know (due to ignorance or stupidity), or knew but thought they were doing a private deal with private people anyhow, or learned during the meeting and backed out, then the argument falls.

Do you know that all three are true? I've never heard the case made before, but I'd be happy to hear it.

Gross stupidity and negligence seems to be the only defense I can imagine.

In terms of actual collusion LR put together the case around polling data and timing of the release of leaked emails. This very high level meeting, is just evidence that the Trump campaign was open to the idea. The meeting in complete isolation of all other data isn't the worst thing ever. Viewed in a broader context its part of a pattern of behavior that is very concerning, even if they did fall short of actively working with the KGB during the campaign.

Fenring

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2022, 03:35:19 PM »
Only an idiot would take a meeting during a presidential campaign with Russian nationals and not suspect that had some connection with the Russian government. And what would be the point of meeting with private Russian citizens who had no government connection?

On the one hand I sort of see your point. You can just assume that anyone with any clout who is a Russian must have ties to the Russian government, because that's how they run things over there. The government controls everything and gets claws into private industry, information, and anything that can be used. I see the case. So if you meet with a Russian who can be of help, probably the government has a piece of him. However there are two downsides to this position: First, it requires you to name all Russian-born citizens as anathema, even if they live and do business in the U.S., because they may be connected to the Kremlin. But if this is true then probably those people should be investigated on principle, right? And second, it implicates China in probably an even worse way. And in fact this was a big ticket issue in the U.S. a ways back:

https://sites.google.com/site/yellowfacedramaturgy/home/campaign-finance-scandal

This was when Chinese-Americans were being investigated on suspicion of collusion with Chinese intelligence operations, based (as far as I've heard) on the premise that the Chinese government probably had lots of people in America with ties to it. This investigation had really bad optics, and perhaps had shades of the Japanese citizens during WWII in terms of suspecting anyone who might be associated with a hostile power.

I'm not saying there is zero concern about foreign intelligence operations, but I raised this point to illustrate that the "if Russian then possible spy" premise has some nasty stuff baked into it.

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What would be the point of meeting with Russian nationals that aren't connected to the government?

There are lots of operators who have goods to peddle. Some of them may have connections to various organizations, governments, etc. Some just have access, or maybe know hackers. Who knows. I think there are lots of shady people around making money off of what they know. Also I think if we learned the full picture you'd be surprised how many double/triple agents there are around, who do things mercenary-style for whoever, operating their own little information clearinghouse. Hillary Clinton, for instance, seemed to have a serious amount of contact with such a person, who was advising her on intelligence both theoretical and on the ground in all manner of instances, just for example in the Libya situation. If you read through her leaked emails you'll see she's getting information from 'her guy' about all sorts of stuff privately (i.e. not through U.S. agency channels). I have to assume that intelligence sources abound, many of which are perhaps hucksters or at minimum come with a bad price.

To answer your question of why you'd want to meet a private operator? To buy information for money or favors, of course. Does that really sound strange to you? It's far more strange to consider that Don Jr would have wanted to establish some kind of active partnership with Putin himself, doing so in a meeting in Trump Tower. You'd think they could pick an abandoned warehouse or the old mill or something for that type of meeting.

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Failure doesn't make the meeting less damning. They were open to the idea.

No, you have to show they tried and failed for this clause to apply. If they declined voluntarily then ibso facto they did not try to make a connection with the Russian government.

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This very high level meeting, is just evidence that the Trump campaign was open to the idea.

It seems to me to be evidence that they were maybe looking for dirt on Hillary? Would that really alarm you?

LetterRip

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2022, 04:17:33 PM »
How is it misinformation that Don Jr and Trump's campaign manager took a meeting with Russian lawyers for the purpose of getting damaging information on Hillary? Or do you buy their claims that they believed the meeting was entirely about Russian adoptions? In which case its trying to conduct foreign policy during the campaign. I can't understand any context in which that meeting is above board.

Your statement (and LR's, and everyone else's) requires a few hidden premises to be accepted in order to be valid

If you would have read the Mueller report, all aspects of the crime were established except for the difficulty of proving they had knowledge that it was a crime (again that Paul Manafort a lawyer and experienced campaign manager wouldn't know is absurd); and establishing that the value of the information exceeded the 25,000$ for it to be a felony (again trivial to establish).

Mynnion

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2022, 04:35:36 PM »
I find it difficult to believe Junior would take a questionable meeting if he did not see a benefit far exceeding 25K.

TheDrake

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2022, 04:58:37 PM »
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Your statement (and LR's, and everyone else's) requires a few hidden premises to be accepted in order to be valid:

1) Don Jr knew the people he was meeting were connected to Russian government.

>>

Only an idiot would take a meeting during a presidential campaign with Russian nationals and not suspect that had some connection with the Russian government. And what would be the point of meeting with private Russian citizens who had no government connection?

So, Yoss, are you arguing that Don Jr. is NOT an idiot?

TheDrake

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2022, 05:00:37 PM »
How is it misinformation that Don Jr and Trump's campaign manager took a meeting with Russian lawyers for the purpose of getting damaging information on Hillary? Or do you buy their claims that they believed the meeting was entirely about Russian adoptions? In which case its trying to conduct foreign policy during the campaign. I can't understand any context in which that meeting is above board.

Your statement (and LR's, and everyone else's) requires a few hidden premises to be accepted in order to be valid

If you would have read the Mueller report, all aspects of the crime were established except for the difficulty of proving they had knowledge that it was a crime (again that Paul Manafort a lawyer and experienced campaign manager wouldn't know is absurd); and establishing that the value of the information exceeded the 25,000$ for it to be a felony (again trivial to establish).

Did I miss something here? What information actually got provided? I thought the meeting ended and Don described it as a huge waste of time with nothing changing hands.

LetterRip

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2022, 05:15:44 PM »
So, from Don Jr. email,

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In his June 3 email to Trump Jr., Goldstone wrote:

Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia[a] met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.[19]

Trump Jr. responded:

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?[19]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_Tower_meeting

So to me "part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump" might be a slight tip off that it was official and the Russian government.  Indeed, it appears to meet all three of the criteria you gave.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2022, 05:21:18 PM by LetterRip »

TheDeamon

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2022, 11:30:58 PM »
Yes the comments are about an older filing.  I don't think the government has a winnable case based on what I've read.  The September filing seemed solely to extend Durham's time to investigate, rather than as a means to successful prosecution.  It appears that under normal DoJ practice (must have an expectation of successful prosecution), that the Sussmann charges would not have been brought.

Perhaps there is something stronger in the more recent filings.

My understanding on a few of these is the moves had more to do with the statute of limitations on charges. Need to get them in the court system before the use by date if you're going to have any hope of prosecuting anything.

Fenring

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2022, 12:26:01 AM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_Tower_meeting

So to me "part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump" might be a slight tip off that it was official and the Russian government.  Indeed, it appears to meet all three of the criteria you gave.

I just did a read-through of the Wiki page, at any rate, don't have time to do more thorough research. So yes on its face that one email to Don Jr looks like it says exactly what you're claiming: the Russian government is supporting Trump's campaign. It's hard to argue with the interpretation of that line. What's missing is the broader context: why is a music publicist writing such a thing, and in a semi-casual tone as if to imply passing messages along from the Kremlin to a presidential candidate is just another Wednesday for him? Who is this guy, anyhow? His *music client* has well-positioned family in Russia (is a crown prosecutor "part of the Russian government" in the sense that he takes orders from Putin and the KGB?)...so what does that make him in all this? Is he some kind of information broker and his 'music business' is a front for information clearing? Who the heck knows, but it kind of matters. Because if he really is just a music publicist then I wouldn't put stock in how he frames things. Especially since it would appear that the message wasn't legit, from what Don Jr finally had to admit. It looks like the real reason the meeting was arranged was to get Trump on board with reversing the Magnitsky Act, or something to that effect. They apparently came in only having that as their agenda. And the "they" in question are a couple of political hit-men who by the looks of it sell their services to the highest bidder, based on their employment track record. Here is a bit on the "Russian lawyer" supposedly working for the Russian government according to this argument:

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Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer best known in the United States for lobbying against the Magnitsky Act. According to The New York Times, in Moscow she is regarded as a "trusted insider" who has argued cases for government agencies and high-profile clients including Pyotr Katsyv, an official in the state-owned Russian Railways, and his son Denis, whom she defended against a money laundering charge in New York.[28][29] She has also been an informant in active communication with Yury Chaika, the Russian prosecutor general, since 2013.[21] Starting in 2014, she had worked with Fusion GPS, the firm that was later hired to do opposition research on Trump, to investigate an unrelated money-laundering case involving Prevezon Holding, and the "dirt" she brought with her to the meeting stemmed from that work.

[bold is mine]

So she was working with groups like Fusion GPS prior to this. Just a reminder for those who don't know:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_GPS

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Fusion GPS was hired in 2012 to do opposition research on U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
[...]
In August 2015, Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to defensively investigate the veracity of a series of undercover videos released by anti-abortion activists David Daleiden[...]
[...]
In September 2015, Fusion GPS was hired by The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative political website, to do opposition research on Trump and other Republican presidential candidates[...]

It's unclear exactly whether Fusion GPS is strictly an anti-Republican hit group, since potentially they're just for-hire mercenaries who will do opposition research on whoever. And it's very likely anyone working with them is likewise a 'for the highest bidder' free agent. So this is who came to Trump with information, but in reality was trying to do the dirty work of a bunch of rich Russians who got screwed over. Now does this mean she "works for the Russian government"? But that's not how these things work. She's a contractor, doing a job and trying to get something done. Most likely Russians of various stripes, including government, including industrialists, employ people like her, just as American political groups and private parties make use of her skills as well. In old fashioned terms you could call her a double or triple agent, but in reality she's just a business person getting paid by whoever is offering.

The other person present has a case I could present like this one, but I think you get the idea.

Now you could ask who put them up to this: was it Putin himself? The rich Russians? Can a neat line separate these anyhow? Things are not so simple as that. LR, considering the email you quoted was, in fact, almost entirely a ruse, I'm not sure how any claims made in it could be evidence of anything. Now I'll give you this: it may be evidence that Jon Jr did in fact think he was getting information courtesy of the Russian government. But he was neither actually doing that, nor was there information to be had.

Morally I'd put this up there with any type of opposition research (which truthfully it was): they want dirt to smear on their opponent, and aren't too concerned where it comes from. If the email said it was coming from Finland I doubt he'd have been any less interested. So I'm not thrilled that anyone engages in this type of smearing in the first place, or pays for it, etc. But legally it looks like trying to bust someone for buying cocaine when in fact it was sugar in bags, which as far as I understand it is not prosecutable or criminal. In other words, thinking you're committing a crime is not in fact a crime if you're not actually doing anything wrong (even though it has full moral implications). So wouldn't you agree that Don Jr being suckered into thinking he was getting Russian goodies is not in fact illegal if he was not getting any such goodies and if they did not in fact exist (or at least weren't at that meeting)? Now you could call him a shady character and I'd back you up on that. Then again we're talking about people in big real estate who do business in casinos and in Russia, so it's hard to imagine those kinds of people as being nice and upstanding. But more to the point, accepting some dirt on a political opponent from a third party (who may or may not have gotten it from a source connected with Russian government) seems sort of like what politicians do all the time. In fact it seems to have likewise been what they did to try to snag Trump after he was elected. It's all the same game, no? Get the goods on your enemy and bring them down? It's standard procedure. I don't like it, and would like to see this whole dirty game come to a halt. But nothing I read here seems to indicate some kind of special "Russian collusion" and partnership to help Trump win. Quite the contrary, this meeting was most decidedly *not* a collusion since the parties involved were ultimately at cross purposes.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2022, 12:28:04 AM by Fenring »

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2022, 01:47:19 AM »
If anyone has true dirt on an American politician should it matter where it comes from? If there was hard evidence the Russians had that Hillary was complicit in a number of murders and "suicides" that happened to the benefit of Bill and herself over the years, evidence that Russia could get through spying and kompromat that American law enforcement either didn't have access to or covered up, evidence that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt very serious crimes, should that be ignored just because it comes from Russia? They might be the only ones able to get it and with the motive, opportunity, and fearlessness to reveal it since Americans who have it may side politically with the Clintons, don't have the means to get the intel that if the Russians have was obtained illegally for instance through wiretaps for which they obviously can't get a warrant or other spy craft means, or the Americans may be afraid that they'll be suicided next if they try anything, if it even looks like they are thinking about it.

It's not only not illegal to meet with Russians to see if they have dirt on Hillary, it's patriotic. As long as the dirt is true.

Now doing what Hillary is accused of and paying intermediaries to have the Russians fabricate dirt on Trump and then frame him, that's not patriotic at all. That's illegal, especially if she spied on the Trump campaign in the process.

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2022, 01:54:17 AM »
If anyone has true dirt on an American politician should it matter where it comes from? If there was hard evidence the Russians had that Hillary was complicit in a number of murders and "suicides" that happened to the benefit of Bill and herself over the years, evidence that Russia could get through spying and kompromat that American law enforcement either didn't have access to or covered up, evidence that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt very serious crimes, should that be ignored just because it comes from Russia? They might be the only ones able to get it and with the motive, opportunity, and fearlessness to reveal it since Americans who have it may side politically with the Clintons, don't have the means to get the intel that if the Russians have was obtained illegally for instance through wiretaps for which they obviously can't get a warrant or other spy craft means, or the Americans may be afraid that they'll be suicided next if they try anything, if it even looks like they are thinking about it.

It's not only not illegal to meet with Russians to see if they have dirt on Hillary, it's patriotic. As long as the dirt is true. Contrary to the opinion expressed by Michael Moore that it's cool if Hillary murdered people like Vince Foster, most Americans would probably hesitate to support such a person for President and all Americans have a right to know the character of the person getting their vote.

Now doing what Hillary is accused of and paying intermediaries to have the Russians fabricate dirt on Trump and then frame him, that's not patriotic at all. That's illegal, especially if she spied on the Trump campaign in the process.

yossarian22c

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2022, 11:29:11 AM »
If anyone has true dirt on an American politician should it matter where it comes from? If there was hard evidence the Russians had that Hillary was complicit in a number of murders and "suicides" that happened to the benefit of Bill and herself over the years, evidence that Russia could get through spying and kompromat that American law enforcement either didn't have access to or covered up, evidence that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt very serious crimes, should that be ignored just because it comes from Russia? They might be the only ones able to get it and with the motive, opportunity, and fearlessness to reveal it since Americans who have it may side politically with the Clintons, don't have the means to get the intel that if the Russians have was obtained illegally for instance through wiretaps for which they obviously can't get a warrant or other spy craft means, or the Americans may be afraid that they'll be suicided next if they try anything, if it even looks like they are thinking about it.

It's not only not illegal to meet with Russians to see if they have dirt on Hillary, it's patriotic. As long as the dirt is true.

Now doing what Hillary is accused of and paying intermediaries to have the Russians fabricate dirt on Trump and then frame him, that's not patriotic at all. That's illegal, especially if she spied on the Trump campaign in the process.

So when Don Jr takes a meeting for Russians to get dirt on Hillary it is a trusted source and patriotic act. When the Clinton campaign contracts with a opposition research firm who hires a former British spy "its paying Russians to fabricate dirt on Trump?" Does your brain ever hurt from holding such contradictory ideas simultaneously?

yossarian22c

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2022, 11:31:40 AM »
Quote
Your statement (and LR's, and everyone else's) requires a few hidden premises to be accepted in order to be valid:

1) Don Jr knew the people he was meeting were connected to Russian government.

>>

Only an idiot would take a meeting during a presidential campaign with Russian nationals and not suspect that had some connection with the Russian government. And what would be the point of meeting with private Russian citizens who had no government connection?

So, Yoss, are you arguing that Don Jr. is NOT an idiot?

The we're complete idiots who shouldn't be trusted to cook with a gas stove is the most believable defense.

LetterRip

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2022, 02:18:50 PM »
Fenring,

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His *music client* has well-positioned family in Russia (is a crown prosecutor "part of the Russian government" in the sense that he takes orders from Putin and the KGB?)

'Crown Prosecutor' is a mistranslation.  He was referring to the Russian prosecutor-general - equivalent to the US Attorney General in terms of role in the legal system and power.  The individual is completely beholden to Putin.

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Is he some kind of information broker and his 'music business' is a front for information clearing? Who the heck knows, but it kind of matters.

Goldstone is being used as a back channel.  Goldstone's emails and calls aren't going to be closely monitored by the US nor British intelligence agencies; whereas a direct contact by any of the Russians mentioned would have been.  Goldstone is a prior acquaintance of Don Jr. so again this avoids any red flags.  (So even if keywords that trigger monitoring occurred, an analyst would likely not be tasked/allowed to read the email).

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Especially since it would appear that the message wasn't legit, from what Don Jr finally had to admit.

We don't know what was said in the meeting.  Lies were told repeatedly about various aspect of the meeting and only after irrefutable evidence was provided did the story change, and only enough to craft a new narrative that took into account the proof they could no longer lie about.

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2022, 04:21:57 PM »
Looking for dirt is one thing. Having it fabricated and then running with it anyway with a colluding media is the problem. Finding the truth is noble. Creating a pack of lies and then selling it to the public to steal elections is fake news and beyond, and doing it while accusing Trump of the collusion that Hillary actually engaged in should make people angry but if they're Democrats like Moore than it wouldn't matter if Hillary literally shot someone as these kinds of things just make her more "badass."

kidv

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Re: The Real Disinformation - spying on the president
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2022, 05:06:16 PM »
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Citing this filing, Fox News inaccurately declared that Mr. Durham had said he had evidence that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had paid a technology company to “infiltrate” a White House server. The Washington Examiner claimed that this all meant there had been spying on Mr. Trump’s White House office. And when mainstream publications held back, Mr. Trump and his allies began shaming the news media.

“The press refuses to even mention the major crime that took place,” Mr. Trump said in a statement on Monday. “This in itself is a scandal, the fact that a story so big, so powerful and so important for the future of our nation is getting zero coverage from LameStream, is being talked about all over the world.”

There were many problems with all this. For one, much of this was not new: The New York Times had reported in October what Mr. Sussmann had told the C.I.A. about data suggesting that Russian-made smartphones, called YotaPhones, had been connecting to networks at Trump Tower and the White House, among other places.

The conservative media also skewed what the filing said. For example, Mr. Durham’s filing never used the word “infiltrate.” And it never claimed that Mr. Joffe’s company was being paid by the Clinton campaign.

Most important, contrary to the reporting, the filing never said the White House data that came under scrutiny was from the Trump era. According to lawyers for David Dagon, a Georgia Institute of Technology data scientist who helped develop the Yota analysis, the data — so-called DNS logs, which are records of when computers or smartphones have prepared to communicate with servers over the internet — came from Barack Obama’s presidency.

“What Trump and some news outlets are saying is wrong,” said Jody Westby and Mark Rasch, both lawyers for Mr. Dagon. “The cybersecurity researchers were investigating malware in the White House, not spying on the Trump campaign, and to our knowledge all of the data they used was nonprivate DNS data from before Trump took office.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Mr. Joffe said that “contrary to the allegations in this recent filing,” he was apolitical, did not work for any political party, and had lawful access under a contract to work with others to analyze DNS data — including from the White House — for the purpose of hunting for security breaches or threats.

After Russians hacked networks for the White House and Democrats in 2015 and 2016, it went on, the cybersecurity researchers were “deeply concerned” to find data suggesting Russian-made YotaPhones were in proximity to the Trump campaign and the White House, so “prepared a report of their findings, which was subsequently shared with the C.I.A.”
[emphasis added]

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/14/us/politics/durham-sussmann-trump-russia.html

The real disinformation