Author Topic: The Russian Connection  (Read 1898 times)

Wayward Son

  • Members
    • View Profile
The Russian Connection
« on: February 15, 2017, 02:19:52 PM »
Looks like Trump campaign officials had "frequent contact" with senior Russian intelligence officials in the months before the election.

Fortunately, since we apparently do keep close tabs on domestic communications with known Russian intelligence people, we probably have transcripts of the conversations, so we will eventually know what was discussed. :)

My question is, if it is shown that members of the Trump campaign cooperated or colluded with Russian intelligence to swing the election in any way, shape or form, would anyone have any objection to calling for Trump and Pence to immediately resign and a new election to be held?

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 02:27:59 PM »
Do you lot even have a framework for that kind of special election? A Westminster-style parliament wouldn't have a problem but AFAIK the only response your system has to a President resigning is to go down the line of succession.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 02:29:47 PM »
Unless Pence was directly implicated, wouldn't the logical result of that scenario to be for whomever was responsible to be charged? If Trump was involved then, indeed, he should resign, but on what grounds should the election result be overturned? Wouldn't Pence then just become President? I guess if both he and Trump are directly implicated in crimes of that sort then I'm not sure what the law would say about the order of succession or whether having a new election would be permissible. Is there some way to shoehorn in Bernie being up for consideration again? Then you'd have my vote ;)

D.W.

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 02:29:58 PM »
For that to even be a consideration the evidence would have to be so mindbogglingly indisputable!  Booted from office?  OK... I can kinda see that happening... sorta.  A "do over" election though?  I just don't see it.

TheDeamon

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 02:31:46 PM »
My question is, if it is shown that members of the Trump campaign cooperated or colluded with Russian intelligence to swing the election in any way, shape or form, would anyone have any objection to calling for Trump and Pence to immediately resign and a new election to be held?

The depends on if Trump and/or Pence were aware of those contacts being made.

Which puts us in the Nixon-like(and Reagon) "What did he know, and when did he know it?"

In that vein, it's possible that they might be able to get Trump with this, but I think grabbing Pence along the way is going to be a hard sell.

As to a new election being held... No constitutional provision for such a course to be taken, particularly given we have Constitutional Amendements that are quite clear in regards to Presidential succession in the even of presidential incapacitation for whatever the reason.

That it already has a precedent also works against any such effort.

So IF they do manage to knock Pence out as well as Trump, be ready to say hello to President Paul Ryan.  8)

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2017, 02:38:17 PM »
I’ve never understood how Trump was allowed to remain as the Republican candidate after asking Russia to hack Hilary so my answer is yes, if collusion with Russia is proven both should resign.

I don't understand Trump. He could have spent his last years enjoying his wealth and C list fame.
I know (based on the art of the deal) that he likes to create environments that puts his opponents off balance  but as President I don't' see how that is not always going to come around and bit him.
I think there is a real chance that his Presidency ends in a mental break down/psychotic break before anything tying him to collusion with Russia.  Or perhaps they will happen at the same time

D.W.

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2017, 02:38:41 PM »
Not to mention that short circuiting the line of succession in place of a new election will be seen as the democrats "cheating" by those who will NEVER believe it's anything but a ploy to deny them their vote.  (And pretty damn sketchy by those who voted against Trump the first time.)

Oh and also we'd just get Hillary as a candidate again and I'm not sure she'd beat whoever rubber-stamp with a little self-control they floated as the Republican candidate, given the outrage at this turn of events.  We (Democrats) need the time to sort out our house.  Just handing it to her (best case scenario?) would be... well a mess that would make opposition and stonewalling of Obama look like an episode of Sesame St.

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 02:41:01 PM »
Quote
Oh and also we'd just get Hillary as a candidate again
the DNC can be stupid but would they be that stupid?

Wayward Son

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2017, 02:41:35 PM »
The problem is that, even if we don't have evidence that Trump and/or Pence knew about any collusion (if there was any), we can't be sure the Russians don't have such evidence. :(

Evidence they could use to blackmail the President or Vice-President, just like it could have been used to blackmail Gen. Flynn.

So just how confident would you be in the President even if no evidence of his knowledge emerged? ;)

Seriati

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2017, 02:48:25 PM »
My question is, if it is shown that members of the Trump campaign cooperated or colluded with Russian intelligence to swing the election in any way, shape or form, would anyone have any objection to calling for Trump and Pence to immediately resign and a new election to be held?

This highlights an issue I raised a while back, we have no effective way to reign in cheating by politicians.  There are no consequences that result in putting aside an election, and in many cases the benefit of cheating outweighs any consequence on the books.  If Trump is found to have colluded with the Russians in a criminal or treasonous manner, which by the way I doubt, he'll either resign or be removed.

I think its interesting though the way this debate is being deliberately guided.  Instead of releasing the actual discussions, which the leaker almost certainly would have knowledge of, they leak just the fact of the conversation.  Why is that?  It's to allow for the insinuation that a crime occurred, and time to build up that mind set in the polity, which will help them characterize whatever does eventually come out in the worst way possible.  The level of manipulation that's going on real time is scary.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2017, 02:52:52 PM »
The problem is that, even if we don't have evidence that Trump and/or Pence knew about any collusion (if there was any), we can't be sure the Russians don't have such evidence. :(

Evidence they could use to blackmail the President or Vice-President, just like it could have been used to blackmail Gen. Flynn.

If it makes you feel 'better', I suspect there is blackmail material on-hand for most high-level politicians anyhow. As if that sort of thing stopped when J. Edgar Hoover died...

TheDeamon

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2017, 02:53:18 PM »
Do you lot even have a framework for that kind of special election? A Westminster-style parliament wouldn't have a problem but AFAIK the only response your system has to a President resigning is to go down the line of succession.

Correct, it would go in line of succession, and incidentally, it already has a precedent (of sorts) in regards to who becomes President, and also directly in relation to "An Election Scandal" no less.

When President Ford became the first, and so far only, person to attain the Office of President without being elected to the office of either President, or Vice President. Although it deviated slightly in that the VP resigned first, and the ranking member of the House of the same party as the President (Which was Ford, as the Minority Leader, rather than the Speaker) became the VP prior to Nixon resigning.

The Republicans could stage manage this in much the same way if they're clever enough. Boot Trump out, Pence becomes president (even if briefly), appoint a new VP(likely to be Ryan), then boot Pence out, and issue resolved.

As it is, they'd have a hard time booting both Trump and Pence out at the same time, so there is a window for them to slip someone into the VP seat that isn't Ryan for that matter before that happens(Again with precedent, Ford's VP was the Governor of New York prior to becoming VP).

Looking a bit further, Constitutionally, the 25th Amendment only covers the President and VP. After that it is "as congress may direct." (And the 25th Amendment dictates the VP becomes President, and then nominates a VP pick which must then be confirmed by Congress)

So if you somehow created a scenario of their preventing Pence from nominating anyone, we go to existing law("congressional direction") on the matter:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_line_of_succession

Paul Ryan and Orin Hatch are numbers 3 and 4 in the succession chain at this time.

TheDeamon

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2017, 03:00:19 PM »
Of course, it should be noted that is as things stand right now, 2019 may have a different Congressional composition, so I'm fairly certain that if the evidence is damning enough, the Republicans in congress are going to push for "sooner" rather than "later" on resolving it, even over the objections of the Trump Admin.

Particularly since it is their ass hanging in the breeze in 2018, not Trump.

The Republicans aren't going to leave this open for the Dems to exploit at will.

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2017, 03:08:43 PM »
Quote
The Republicans aren't going to leave this open for the Dems to exploit at will.
I would not take that bet.

Trumps base is not going to abandon Trump regardless of evidence or what have you, any attempt will be to messy for most Republicans to contemplate.

Wayward Son

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2017, 03:21:37 PM »
The problem is that, even if we don't have evidence that Trump and/or Pence knew about any collusion (if there was any), we can't be sure the Russians don't have such evidence. :(

Evidence they could use to blackmail the President or Vice-President, just like it could have been used to blackmail Gen. Flynn.

If it makes you feel 'better', I suspect there is blackmail material on-hand for most high-level politicians anyhow. As if that sort of thing stopped when J. Edgar Hoover died...

Er, no.  :( ;)

TheDeamon

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Connection
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2017, 03:23:29 PM »
Quote
The Republicans aren't going to leave this open for the Dems to exploit at will.
I would not take that bet.

Trumps base is not going to abandon Trump regardless of evidence or what have you, any attempt will be to messy for most Republicans to contemplate.

Oh messy it will be, but Republicans remember Nixon, and they remember Watergate costing them congress for another 20 years. I also have full faith in the ability of Congressional Representatives to cover their own ass, doubly so if they're Republican. It's very rare for them to circle the wagons, that's a Democrat thing.

They may not like the idea of going up against "Trump's base" but they also don't like the idea of the potential consequences of not trying to determine what happened if the evidence is compelling enough. They'll investigate, if only to protect their own interests.