Author Topic: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller  (Read 1873 times)

Wayward Son

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Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« on: January 27, 2018, 01:44:24 PM »
President Trump has called himself a “stable genius.”

He has pretty much proven that he has no idea what that means.

Apparently he actually has tried, at least once, to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller.

It doesn’t take a super-genius to realize that planning to shoot the sheriff while he is investigating you doesn’t make you look innocent. :)  But apparently such deep thinking is too much for Trump.

Election.com has a nice list of some of the blowback he can expect:
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•   The botched firing helps Mueller: Robert Mueller is certainly examining a possible obstruction of justice charge against Donald Trump but that requires proving a "corrupt intent." There is no smoking gun, as far as we know, but as the pieces fall into place, the case gets stronger. Trump told former FBI Director James Comey to lay off Flynn, then he fired Comey, then he tried to fire Mueller. It all adds up. The fact that McGahn threatened to resign probably means McGahn thought Trump wanted to obstruct justice and he didn't want to play a role in it.
 
•   No reporter will believe anything from the White House any more: Last August, when asked if he was considering firing Mueller, Trump said he hadn't thought about it. That was a flat-out lie. Also in August, Kellyanne Conway told ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "The president is not discussing firing Bob Mueller." Another lie. Trump's lawyer John Dowd answered a question in August about Trump firing Mueller and said: "This has never been on the table." False. In December, another Trump lawyer, Ty Cobb, said: "As the White House has consistently said for months, there is no consideration of firing the special counsel." Clearly not true. The credibility of everyone close to Trump is now basically zero.

•   Congress might think about protecting Mueller: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and multiple Democrats sponsored a bill last year to protect Mueller, basically by stripping the Justice Dept. of the authority to fire Mueller and giving it to the courts, and then only for just cause. The bill went nowhere, but the sponsors might revive it now that it is clearly needed. However, the first reaction of the Republican leadership in Congress was to shrug the whole thing off…

•   Six Words That Could Sink Trump … When Donald Trump faces Robert Mueller in a few weeks, Mueller could really put Trump in the hot seat by having an FBI agent present ask Trump a simple six-word question: "Did you try to fire Mueller?" If Trump says "yes," he is on the hook for obstruction of justice. If he says "no," the charge could be lying to an FBI agent. If he says he doesn't remember, the talk about the 25th Amendment will be the news of the day. There is no easy way out for Trump if he gets asked this.

There is one other thing that isn’t on the list: Republicans will have to explain why they nominated such a “stable genius.”  Out of the 17 contenders for the nomination, he was the best they could come up with.  A man with less sense than the people who voted for him. ::)

President Trump really could tarnish the reputation of the Republican Party for years to come.

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2018, 02:08:06 PM »
There is one other thing that isn’t on the list: Republicans will have to explain why they nominated such a “stable genius.”  Out of the 17 contenders for the nomination, he was the best they could come up with.  A man with less sense than the people who voted for him. ::)

President Trump really could tarnish the reputation of the Republican Party for years to come.

This is a weird artifact of our f***ed up presidential primary system. Trump never had more than about 30-40% support in the primaries but that was enough to win against 16 other people splitting the more rational vote another way. But as the primaries go on "winning" attracts more votes in future primaries b/c of human psychology. If the whole thing had been conducted nationwide as an IRV or approval voting or simply a nationwide primary followed by a run off between the top 2 if the winner got less than 50% of the vote Trump almost certainly wouldn't have been the nominee.

That said their support of him in congress and willingness to not investigate his misdeeds or violating the emoluments clause of the constitution may hurt specific republican politicians. However, I doubt the damage "Trump" does to the republican brand lasts more than 1 election cycle past himself.

Seriati

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 02:21:17 PM »
This is kind of a stupid news item.  Not a fake news item, necessarily, though there doesn't seem to be any real corroboration.  Just a non-news item breathlessly reported to try and make it into a news item.

It is not true that "Trump tried to fire Mueller," not if he was talked out of it by his staff.  It was never any mystery that he wanted to fire Mueller, that he didn't think he should ever have been empowered, and that there's no crime to investigate.

Pushing this as a narrative?  Seems like an attempt at propaganda, or even a bot attack style story to protect, what most likely, is an investigation that has no basis.

If the whole thing had been conducted nationwide as an IRV or approval voting or simply a nationwide primary followed by a run off between the top 2 if the winner got less than 50% of the vote Trump almost certainly wouldn't have been the nominee.

That's true, of course under that system, we would have add Clinton vs. Guiliani (rather than Obama vs. McCain). 

The ability to stay in this primary is why he won.  With his final competition being Cruz, more slimy than Trump, and Kasich, the biggest wimp in the whole race, it was a foregone conclusion. 

You could blame the media, they were having a blast tearing down any Republican they thought had a chance against Clinton.  It worked out perfectly when they picked McCain to run against Obama, so of course they thought it would work again to pick out the easiest to beat candidate.  Honestly, how anyone could thing the media's manipulations are for the best at this point is beyond me.

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That said their support of him in congress and willingness to not investigate his misdeeds or violating the emoluments clause of the constitution may hurt specific republican politicians.

Lol.  What misdeeds?  Nothing in office.  There's full on Russian investigation (that largely appears to be based on nothing).

There are no emoluments clause violations.  Business transactions have never been deemed to be such. 
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 02:24:56 PM by Seriati »

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 02:45:17 PM »
There are no emoluments clause violations.  Business transactions have never been deemed to be such.

It's never been adjudicated one way or the other because no president has kept their business the way Trump has. Think about how easy it is for foreign governments and lobbyists to schedule events that Trump personally profits from.

rightleft22

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 03:14:55 PM »
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President Trump really could tarnish the reputation of the Republican Party for years to come
Won't happen. The republican party will become even more entrenched while the reputation of the Presidency is tarnished but that's ok

Seriati

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 03:15:14 PM »
Are you under the very mistaken impression that the emoluments clause only applies to the President?  Or do you believe that every member of the government has divested themselves of all business interests and that this has been occurring for our entire history?

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2018, 03:52:23 PM »
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Are you under the very mistaken impression that the emoluments clause only applies to the President?  Or do you believe that every member of the government has divested themselves of all business interests and that this has been occurring for our entire history?

Divest, no. Distance, yes. Aside from past Presidents (like Carter giving up his peanut farm, Clinton and Obama creating blind trusts), there are a number of members of Congress who activate blind trusts - or accomplish similar distancing through re-investment into passive index funds where individual companies are not chosen by anyone close to them.

I won't speak to the specificity of the clause, but as far as the ethics are concerned, Trump clearly is the outlier based on precedent.

It is certainly far beyond the "somebody gave something to my charitable foundation that never went into my own personal pocket" that people slam Hillary over as being crooked.

Seriati

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2018, 05:31:02 PM »
It is certainly far beyond the "somebody gave something to my charitable foundation that never went into my own personal pocket" that people slam Hillary over as being crooked.

Two things, if by "someone" you mean foreign governments, related parties and officials that were being impacted by decisions while she was secretary of state, that's an interesting handwaive.  Notice how the donations dried up after she lost?  Why do you think that is?

Second, I find it interesting that we are ignoring that her spouse has received massive income boosts from foreign nationals in the way of speaking fees - income that if Trump's spouse was receiving would have lots of "flags" raising in people's heads.

You should also take a look at this write-up on the emoluments clause https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=541021002118115116093096086024088089109025032011016032119084096076097099025065090106001060102005041111018117100075092084127113042034007076000100073091081116002003064064019111100119114097105122007087071084090118029003021091095005100004003080003091119&EXT=pdf

The history on it doesn't really fit with how you want to interpret it.  It's hard to find "pre-Trump" write ups at this point, but this article cites to a number of historical cases and interpretations that demonstrate how incorrect the interpretation you are basing your case on would be.  Not to mention, such an expansive interpretation would have been and currently be violated by most of the past Presidents (as well as numerous other officers).  One of the examples they used, for instance, was President Obama receiving royalty payments from his book written before he was President - any time a foreign government or official bought a copy it would have generated a "violating" payment of an emolument. 

I get that Trump is a different animal with the scale of his operation, but the better analysis here would be under bribery and corruption - if it occurs - and not of trying to change emoluments to cover transactions at market price that are unrelated to the President's office.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 06:48:08 PM »
Hands up anyone here who actually believes that Trump is a "Stable genius."

Nixon fired those that investigated him. That's why Ken Starr had a statute that made him unfirable by the president. And that statute was repealed during the Clinton admin.

Don't get me wrong--Trump has actually done evil without precedent to our system. But it's interesting that the Left pays little attention to those evils.


TheDrake

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 06:53:14 PM »
Shrug. Maybe nobody else was better about it. It's not about scale, it is about how brazen it is. And I don't care a fig about history or the splitting of emolument hairs.

I'm talking about appearances, attitudes, and at least some shred of embarrassment.

At least have the decency to use a few shell companies. At least have the intelligence to set up a "blind trust" and then make sure information gets back to the portfolio manager. Certainly the business interests of Presidents, family and friends are affected by decisions in the oval office.

Carter had to weather months of inquiries into goings on at his peanut farm. Trump, nary a peep.

Everyone has an understanding that Trump was never legally obligated to place his assets in a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest. But tradition dictated it was a pretty good idea. Everyone agrees that legally, Trump doesn't have to reveal his tax forms. Traditional also suggested this was a pretty good idea too.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 09:12:50 PM »
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Nixon fired those that investigated him. That's why Ken Starr had a statute that made him unfirable by the president. And that statute was repealed during the Clinton admin.

Never forget that Robert Fiske was appointed to investigate Clinton. When Fiske (a Republican) came out with an investigation that debunked a whole bunch of Republican fake conspiracy theories (such as making the Vince Foster suicide into a murder), a three judge panel surprisingly chose to replace him with Kenneth Starr (another Republican,who was widely viewed as a more partisan choice because of his service under Clinton's 1992 political opponent and because gave legal advice to the lawyers for Paula Corbin Jones, the woman suing Clinton for alleged sexual harassment). The rationale of the three judge panel was that Fiske was not independent enough because he had been appointed by Clinton. 

So, can we find a single Republican in the world who would say that the Democrats should be the ones who select the Independent Council to investigate Trump because anyone Trump appoints will not be independent? Of course not.

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 10:01:16 PM »
Don't get me wrong--Trump has actually done evil without precedent to our system. But it's interesting that the Left pays little attention to those evils.

True we probably haven't given enough time to the gutting of the State Dept, EPA, and CFPB. Trump is good at being a perpetual distraction machine, which plays well with the cable news cycle. Systematically gutting key functions of government just aren't as flashy as stupid tweets and paying hush money to porn stars. :(

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 10:09:47 PM »
The history on it doesn't really fit with how you want to interpret it.  It's hard to find "pre-Trump" write ups at this point, but this article cites to a number of historical cases and interpretations that demonstrate how incorrect the interpretation you are basing your case on would be.  Not to mention, such an expansive interpretation would have been and currently be violated by most of the past Presidents (as well as numerous other officers).  One of the examples they used, for instance, was President Obama receiving royalty payments from his book written before he was President - any time a foreign government or official bought a copy it would have generated a "violating" payment of an emolument. 

I get that Trump is a different animal with the scale of his operation, but the better analysis here would be under bribery and corruption - if it occurs - and not of trying to change emoluments to cover transactions at market price that are unrelated to the President's office.

How about it China had ordered 20 million copies of Obama's book? Would that be a violation? Real estate is much more "negotiable" on the price.  No one could buy a 20 million dollar copy of Obama's book, but you can buy a 60 million dollar estate from Trump for double the price he bought it at and then tear it down without setting foot in the place. The ability for these transactions (even if legitimate) to look like influence buying is off the charts.

The issue here is when the market price at a Trump property suddenly becomes higher than the surrounding properties/hotels but people still use it. Why are they doing that? Do you think they are trying to influence the president by hosting big expensive events at his hotel or is it just that much better than every other convention center in DC?

Seriati

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2018, 12:09:33 AM »
How about it China had ordered 20 million copies of Obama's book? Would that be a violation?

An emolument?  No.  That would be a bribe, and a violation of the FCPA.  In other words a high crime or misdemeanor.  We have laws that cover corruption.  Now what does that have to do with your nonsensical idea?

You guys seem to think that if a President sells stock on a public exchange that a foreign national is the counterparty for it would be an emolument.  Really?  If Trump sells $60million in stock on the NYSE and it happens it's purchased by a Russian that's an issue?

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The issue here is when the market price at a Trump property suddenly becomes higher than the surrounding properties/hotels but people still use it. Why are they doing that? Do you think they are trying to influence the president by hosting big expensive events at his hotel or is it just that much better than every other convention center in DC?

What you're trying to get at is a bribery case.  The whole point of the emoluments argument is claiming that even if the Trump hotels are cheaper its still a violation.  Even if the price represents the exact value, it's still a violation.  It's literally an attempt to find fault in commercial transactions that have no relationship to the office of the President.  Which is why I love pointing out that you ignore the fact that the Clinton Foundation's donations were directly tied to Clinton's political power.  You are literally ignoring transactions that have no legitimate basis to have angst over those that seem to have a legitimate purpose are represent arms length commercial transactions.

By the way, what was up with the Drooling Joe response?

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 12:24:50 PM »
Nothing to do with Trump, but a fine example.

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US President Donald Trump's top public health official has quit after a report she bought shares in tobacco, drug and food companies after taking the job.

Dr Brenda Fitzgerald stepped down as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday morning.

The department of health cited Dr Fitzgerald's "complex financial arrangements" in a statement.

One of the CDC's key responsibilities is reducing smoking.

Politico, which broke the story, reported that, after taking over the CDC last July, Dr Fitzgerald bought holdings in Japan Tobacco, pharmaceutical giants Merck and Bayer and health insurance company, Humana.

So, yeah.... Maybe when you're the head of the CDC you don't buy stock in tobacco and health companies...

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2018, 01:30:18 PM »
And maybe when you have lots of real estate interests, things like this quote from the SOTU seem a little self-serving:

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Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process, getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one. Together, we can reclaim our great building heritage.


Seriati

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2018, 01:46:59 PM »
Or, an alternative way of looking at that, would be a President using his substantial life experience to explain - why - infrastructure improvements we all seem to agree need to be done and that we want, seemingly never get done.  Did you like it better when Obama promised "shovel ready" projects that are in some cases still waiting on approvals, because he had no real world experience?

There's no question Trump presents special risks in this area.  I'm objecting to attempts to redefine "emoluments" to mean that he's in violation without any evidence of corruption.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Attempted to Fire Mueller
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2018, 03:38:36 PM »
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Or, an alternative way of looking at that, would be a President using his substantial life experience to explain - why - infrastructure improvements we all seem to agree need to be done and that we want, seemingly never get done.

First, the approvals take a long time because we now give to craps about environmental impact and community feedback. I know Trump and other developers would like to just run them all over with a bucket loader and build their glorious fantastic building, but we've decided not to do that as a society.

Real world experience - sounds great! Just dump off all your personal benefit from your great policies and then go to town. Change the world. Streamline progress.