Author Topic: House Closes Investigation  (Read 30355 times)

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #50 on: April 10, 2018, 08:59:17 AM »
Looks like the investigations aren't ending just yet, but going to a boss level.

PC to seize Cohen's files must be significant, in my opinion, to be able to get that search warrant. More than that, it has added pure oxygen to the witch hunt fire. I don't think that step gets made unless there is something Big in the works. That action has lit a fuse that won't have a long life. It's not going to be Russian collusion on elections, but could very well involve some kind of shady financial connections to Russian oligarchs (my speculation, not supported by available facts). I haven't found any major media sources, but a random article raises some interesting questions.

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The facts surrounding one of Cohen’s ventures in particular raised red flags for several experts interviewed by McClatchy.

In 2014, a mysterious buyer using a limited liability company that hid the purchaser’s identity paid $10 million in cash for a small apartment building on New York’s lower east side that Cohen had purchased just three years before for $2 million. The handsome appreciation came despite the fact that the assessed value of the property, at 172 Rivington St., hardly budged in these years, hovering around the price Cohen paid for it.

Three other properties Cohen bought and sold in roughly the same time frame followed a similar pattern. Each was purchased by a different LLC, but were tied together by the fact that a lawyer, Herbert Chaves, served as the LLCs’ manager.

“An all cash purchase by an LLC of an overvalued property in Manhattan is usually worth a closer look by federal investigators,” said Jaimie Nawaday, a former federal prosecutor and money laundering specialist who is now a partner with the New York law firm Kelley Drye & Warren. “There are perfectly good reasons to buy and sell through LLCs, but the combination of facts is one that tends to arouse interest.”

linky

I give this article low confidence, especially since cnn doesn't appear to have picked up the ball and run with it.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2018, 02:22:12 PM »
I find it very disturbing that the published accounts state they seized attorney client communications.  There shouldn't be any warrant that allows that to occur.  Honestly, plenty of people that have been convicted of crimes have been entitled to security in their privileged communications for our entire history.  I am very curious on what grounds this occurred.

It really bothers me that more people are not concerned about this issue.  Whether you are left or right, you should concerned about a search warrant being granted to seize privileged communications.

I'm hoping that this has been misreported.  If not, this materially prejudices any possible case - to the point where I think it would be thrown out.  If this is accurate, that  only leaves the possibility that these records were seized for political reasons or to use in an impeachment (which is not a legal process), but either of those would be a gross violation of rights.

scifibum

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2018, 02:33:54 PM »
There are some decent articles about it available. 

https://reason.com/archives/2018/04/09/what-we-know-about-the-search-trump-lawy/amp?__twitter_impression=true

DoJ has some rules in place to discourage this kind of search if less intrusive methods will (or ought to) work. What we can surmise from the fact that the search occurred is that the U.S. Attorney's office in question made an argument that less invasive methods were likely to:

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...compromise the criminal investigation or prosecution, or could result in the obstruction or destruction of evidence, or would otherwise be ineffective.

This was then approved by the head of that office (who Trump appointed recently) after consultation with the Criminal Division of DoJ. 

Then that was approved by a magistrate.

To this point, it's not impossible that it was the wrong course of action, but it's pretty unlikely to clear ALL of those hurdles unless there was a compelling reason to use a search warrant instead of a subpoena.

There are also standards in place to avoid violating the attorney-client privilege when such material is seized. It's not going to be completely opened up to investigators for wholesale review.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2018, 02:42:28 PM »
What troubles me is that the privilege is generally absolute.  They can not be doing this to obtain privileged materials, nor can they justify it by reference to what they find or even use what they find if it's privileged. 

They either have to be investigating something about Cohen (in which case, anything they do find is completely off the table), or have evidence that the privilege shouldn't apply. 

scifibum

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2018, 02:47:13 PM »
Just to elaborate on this:
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There shouldn't be any warrant that allows that to occur.

The warrant can allow this kind of thing to be seized but not necessarily reviewed by investigators.  There are screening procedures to separate privileged material from non-privileged material. 


Letting the target of an investigation do the screening isn't always feasible, for obvious reasons.  The goal is to preserve the attorney-client privilege, not violate it, but otherwise allow the search to succeed. There are rules and procedures and legal precedent already established for this kind of screening.

And as you know there's a crime-fraud exception to the privilege anyway.  Otherwise criminal conspiracies would be immune to prosecution by having the conspiracy involve an attorney.


We don't have all the details, but if you've gotten to the point that you can justify a search warrant of an attorney's office, you can't trust the attorney to help you identify which materials are subject to the privilege, can you?

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2018, 02:55:20 PM »
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There shouldn't be any warrant that allows that to occur. 

Though rare, this isn't unprecedented. Such warrants are predicated on the idea that there is probable cause to assume that the communications in question refer to the planning or commission of a crime.

It is most commonly used against organized criminals. I'm holding my breath. If nothing happens, it means either that the warrant didn't clear the high bar for this sort of thing, the evidence used to obtain the warrant was either fabricated or grossly in error. In prior cases, as I understand it, such evidence almost always leads to conviction of the lawyer in question.

Any leak of information from whomever is designated to sort through the information (The DA can't just mill around in there) would be catastrophic in a number of ways.

Here's an interesting acccount that is unfolding concurrently.

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The allegations against the prosecutors say email communications between Snyder, defense attorney Thomas Dogan, and Thomas Kirsch II, who was then the mayor's defense attorney before being appointed as U.S. attorney, were seized in 2015, according to court documents.

Kirsch has recused himself from Snyder's case, according to court documents, and U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois would oversee and manage local prosecutors handling the case.

During the discovery process for Snyder's trial, Bennett said it was found that documents reviewed by the prosecutors contained confidential attorney-client material, according to court documents. Bennett said federal investigators used a "taint team" to review the email communication seized, according to court documents, but that review failed to shield all privileged communications from the trial team.

"We think they made a mistake and they don't want to acknowledge they made a mistake," Bennett said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster said, in court filings, investigators screened the emails using a three-stage process, which first started by flagging emails using a system at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.; then another team of FBI employees filtered any emails flagged by the system; and finally an assistant U.S. attorney not involved in the case reviewed to ensure no privileged communication survived the quarantine process.

In February 2018, an attorney from the Northern District of Illinois reviewed the contested emails and concluded they did not meet the legal standard for attorney-client privilege, according to Koster.

Though in that case, it was the client's email that was seized, not the lawyer's. The only thing this can mean is that Cohen is the immediate target, at least for justification, as you don't get that warrant to investigate a client (I believe).

You may enjoy a little google search "lawyer's office raided -cohen -trump"

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FBI and IRS agents raided the law offices of Texas Sen. Carlos Uresti on Thursday morning, confiscating documents and other items

Federal law enforcement officers searched lawyer Stanley H. Needleman's offices this morning, the Sun's Justin Fenton reports. Calls to Needleman's home and office were not returned immediately. Needleman is a prominent local defense attorney who specializes in drug cases.

FBI Raid Local Offices Of Indiana Lawyer. ... FBI agents Tuesday raided the Chase Tower offices of Timothy S. Durham, taking records of businesses run by the high-profile Indianapolis financier.

The FBI and IRS on Feb. 17 conducted “court-authorized activity in connection with an ongoing federal investigation” at the Canton law office of Sen. Bryan Joyce, said Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the Boston office of the FBI.

California Department of Justice officials raided a Calabasas law firm as part of an investigation into alleged legal fraud that may have touched thousands of victims, the state attorney general said today. Nineteen DOJ agents and other state authorities seized computers, client files and 16 bank accounts

DonaldD

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #56 on: April 10, 2018, 02:55:50 PM »
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What troubles me is that the privilege is generally absolute
This is incorrect.  The crime-fraud exception to the privilege has historical support dating back at least to 1743: http://scholarship.law.unc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3029&context=nclr
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They either have to be investigating something about Cohen (in which case, anything they do find is completely off the table)
Neither part of that statement is correct.  The privilege may be terminated even if the attorney is unaware of the alleged criminal activity that might have terminated the privilege.

As for being off the table - no.  If illegal activity (possible by Cohen, possibly by someone he represented where the privilege was forfeited) was uncovered while investigating Russian interference, then that falls under the purview of the special counsel.

scifibum

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #57 on: April 10, 2018, 02:58:32 PM »
Just as a reminder, Mueller already handed this off to the regional US Attorney's office.  The raid was not a part of the Mueller investigation.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #58 on: April 10, 2018, 02:58:47 PM »
Just to elaborate on this:
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There shouldn't be any warrant that allows that to occur.

The warrant can allow this kind of thing to be seized but not necessarily reviewed by investigators.  There are screening procedures to separate privileged material from non-privileged material.

Except in this case, I'm willing to bet that the privileged materials are leaked.   

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Letting the target of an investigation do the screening isn't always feasible, for obvious reasons.  The goal is to preserve the attorney-client privilege, not violate it, but otherwise allow the search to succeed. There are rules and procedures and legal precedent already established for this kind of screening.

The rules are designed to separate privileged materials out.  There is no rule that lets privileged materials be used.  The distinction is that certain rules eliminate the privilege.

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And as you know there's a crime-fraud exception to the privilege anyway.  Otherwise criminal conspiracies would be immune to prosecution by having the conspiracy involve an attorney.

That's a very limited exception.  It doesn't apply just because a crime occurred.  It only applies, as I understand it, if the lawyer themselves is committing a crime and the privilege is being used to mask the crime.  An e-mail to your lawyer directing them to hire a hitman, for example is not privileged.  An e-mail to your lawyer about the hitman that you hired would be.

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We don't have all the details, but if you've gotten to the point that you can justify a search warrant of an attorney's office, you can't trust the attorney to help you identify which materials are subject to the privilege, can you?

I agree.  But that was my point on the further response.  This either has to be about Cohen or they have to have specific evidence that the privilege doesn't apply.  Any other fact pattern and what ever they seized will taint any future charges.

scifibum

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #59 on: April 10, 2018, 02:59:52 PM »
It's about Cohen!  The warrant was predicated on suspected crimes that Cohen is being investigated for.

DonaldD

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2018, 03:24:43 PM »
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It doesn't apply just because a crime occurred.  It only applies, as I understand it, if the lawyer themselves is committing a crime and the privilege is being used to mask the crime.
This is incorrect.
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It also ends when the client takes advantage of legal counsel to plan a crime or fraud, perhaps by tailoring evidence or testimony to the requirements of law that the client has learned from his or her attorney. Thus the exception applies whether the client discloses an evil intention to the attorney (making the attorney and client partners), conceals such intention (making the attorney a dupe), or forms such intention only after obtaining legal counsel.3 Therefore, there may be no privilege even though the attorney is innocent of any
wrongdoing.
In the second and third cases, there is no requirement that the lawyer be complicit or even be aware of the client's disqualifying actions.

Mynnion

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2018, 04:03:11 PM »
Knowing the mass amount of political scrutiny that this search warrant has and will generate I am guessing there must have been pretty significant evidence presented to obtain it. 

Any bets on bombings occurring in Syria to divert attention from this?

In addition to the comments above I believe any item that is not deemed to be legal advice does not fall under Lawyer Client Privilege.


Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2018, 04:13:56 PM »
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What troubles me is that the privilege is generally absolute
This is incorrect.  The crime-fraud exception to the privilege has historical support dating back at least to 1743: http://scholarship.law.unc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3029&context=nclr

You should re-read what I wrote.  The privilege is absolute.  The crime-fraud "exception" applies because the original request was not legal advice, it was in furtherance of a crime.

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They either have to be investigating something about Cohen (in which case, anything they do find is completely off the table)
Neither part of that statement is correct.  The privilege may be terminated even if the attorney is unaware of the alleged criminal activity that might have terminated the privilege.

I think you're mis-interpretting both my passage and the law review passage.  If they are investigating Cohen - but not his client - then there is no crime fraud exemption that can apply.  They could be investigating Cohen, for a direct crime that he committed, including defrauding his own clients.  Nothing in the client files could be used against him or his clients in that circumstance.   Hence it's off the table.

The law review article refers to a circumstance where the lawyer is unaware that their client is seeking to commit a crime with the lawyers assistance.  It still requires the it be the client that is seeking to commit a crime, and only applies to specific situations where the lawyer's aid is sought in facilitating the crime.  There's no way to break the privilege if the client committed a crime and is seeking the lawyers advice on how to resolve it in a legal manner.

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As for being off the table - no.  If illegal activity (possible by Cohen, possibly by someone he represented where the privilege was forfeited) was uncovered while investigating Russian interference, then that falls under the purview of the special counsel.

First, this came out as a referral from the special prosecutor's office, which implies it is not in his purview.

Second, privilege can't be breached just because illegal conduct was discovered (or else there would be no such thing).  It has to directly involve Cohen for that exemption to apply.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2018, 04:19:57 PM »
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It doesn't apply just because a crime occurred.  It only applies, as I understand it, if the lawyer themselves is committing a crime and the privilege is being used to mask the crime.
This is incorrect.

The first sentence was correct.  The second is not correct, that is only one circumstance in which it applies.  In all circumstances, the client has to be seeking to use the lawyer in furtherance of a criminal or fraudulent activity.

DonaldD

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2018, 04:39:28 PM »
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First, this came out as a referral from the special prosecutor's office, which implies it is not in his purview.
It's not clear what you mean here.  I'll clarify what I meant: if during the special counsel investigation, possible crimes were uncovered that allegedly implicate either Cohen or Trump (or, heck, even me) and having nothing to do with Russia, then it is in the special counsel's purview to investigate those alleged crimes.

Whether attorney/client privilege has actually been put into jeopardy is another question, which may or may be the case here... which goes back to what scifibum was alluding to earlier.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #65 on: April 11, 2018, 10:12:05 AM »
I think this situation is really difficult to understand.  I note for instance that CNN has an article implying that the goal of acting against Cohen is to get him to "flip" because he "knows where the bodies are buried."  While that may actually be the case, if he knows where the bodies are buried in his role as a lawyer, then its going to be privileged material. Cohen can not legally waive his client's privilege, only they can, which means if he shares privileged material it will taint the entire investigation.  If any of that material, even inadvertently ends up with the investigatory teams the whole thing will become tainted.  It's a big risk if anyone but Cohen is a target.

That's probably why you see charges in such a situation against the lawyer so frequently, there's virtually no one they can "flip" on to cut a deal and no reason to try and pressure them to get privileged materials.

Again though, my concern in this case, is that entire point is to get privileged records with no intention of ever using them in a courtroom.

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #66 on: April 11, 2018, 10:57:06 AM »
CNN is a dumpster fire. Their 'analysis' is worth exactly 0 points.

Goal would primarily be charging Cohen with something. Cynically, it might be to separate Trump from a close ally or to anger Trump into something rash. It could be to air out evidence against Cohen that could taint Trump or other people in Trump's organization. Obviously it could be about scooping up all kinds of stuff and leaking it, using it for blackmail, or other darker plots. I don't think I buy the warrant being issued unless they could plausibly present evidence of Cohen's wrongdoing, since otherwise all of it gets tossed on appeal. Which, maybe they don't care about if your point is to expose something rather than convict on it.

Also the target could be non-privileged documents that can be used. He might have a communication that talks about threatening Daniels. He might have had discussions with third parties that were not clients. As well, if there were any communication that cc'ed a third party not necessary to the legal matter - like Trump Jr, then that also waives privilege. In the case of the covfefe president, a Reply-All/CC doesn't seem farfetched.

Plus, I don't think anything in the Daniels case could be covered by privilege since Cohen denies acting on behalf of Trump, and Trump denies knowing anything about it? Now, I'm far from thinking that there was anything illegal that happened in that transaction, but then I don't know that much yet.

DonaldD

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #67 on: April 11, 2018, 11:02:45 AM »
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While that may actually be the case, if he knows where the bodies are buried in his role as a lawyer, then its going to be privileged material.
Except Cohen did not interact with Trump exclusively in his role of lawyer, and much of their interactions did not relate to Trump obtaining, or to Cohen providing, legal counsel.

As one example, take Cohen's interactions with Stormy Daniels; since Trump was unaware of the agreement, Cohen was not acting in his role as Trump's attorney.  Yes, this particular instance does not unearth any Trump bodies, but it shows that Cohen at least once took actions related to Trump not related to his role as Trump's counsel. 

Cohen has also been described as the closest person to Trump's family not genetically related to the president, so I expect he and the president had many non-lawyer related interactions over the years.

Fenring

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #68 on: April 11, 2018, 11:08:37 AM »
As one example, take Cohen's interactions with Stormy Daniels; since Trump was unaware of the agreement, Cohen was not acting in his role as Trump's attorney.  Yes, this particular instance does not unearth any Trump bodies, but it shows that Cohen at least once took actions related to Trump not related to his role as Trump's counsel. 

How do you conclude that? Not knowing what a subordinate does has literally nothing to do with whether they were acting under your instructions or authority. Standing orders will usually involve actions not literally discussed between both parties. In fact, part of the standing orders could easily be "Deal with X situation in this way, and I don't want to know about it."

DonaldD

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #69 on: April 11, 2018, 11:38:05 AM »
Putting aside the basic misunderstanding, if that were the case, then Cohen would have paid, out of his own pocket, any number of other women who had not had, um, relations with Trump, but who were claiming that they had.  But we know that is not the case - or if it was, then he did a really poor job of it.  Not to mention that the existence of standing orders of this type ("whenever someone makes a false claim about me, pay them out of your own pocket to make them go away") are patently ridiculous.

However, Cohen himself stated that he did this of his own initiative, without any direction from Trump.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 11:40:20 AM by DonaldD »

Fenring

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #70 on: April 11, 2018, 11:50:37 AM »
Donald, I'm not saying that Cohen *actually was* acting under instructions. I'm just saying that ignorance of an action doesn't mean you didn't engineer it.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #71 on: April 11, 2018, 12:13:29 PM »
Also the target could be non-privileged documents that can be used. He might have a communication that talks about threatening Daniels. He might have had discussions with third parties that were not clients. As well, if there were any communication that cc'ed a third party not necessary to the legal matter - like Trump Jr, then that also waives privilege. In the case of the covfefe president, a Reply-All/CC doesn't seem farfetched.

All that is possible, though it's unlikely this is the most unobtrusive way in which such materials could be recovered.  In fact, there's zero legitimacy to using it recover a "reply all" situation as those records could have been recovered from any other person.  His discussions with non-clients may be privileged as well if they are in furtherance of his legal advice, that's one of the reasons Hillary's campaign always hired service providers through their lawyers.

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Plus, I don't think anything in the Daniels case could be covered by privilege since Cohen denies acting on behalf of Trump, and Trump denies knowing anything about it? Now, I'm far from thinking that there was anything illegal that happened in that transaction, but then I don't know that much yet.

I think this is what prompted it, when Trump denied knowledge of the payment, the Fed's decided that meant they could seize the records as not attorney client communication.  Of course, that analysis is suspect, as Trump wasn't under any obligation to tell the truth when he made the statement.

Cohen has some explaining to do, that's been evident ever since he claimed he paid Daniels out of his own money.  Why would he do that?  Best case - for him - is that he was acting on some kind of misplaced loyalty.  Worse case, he was paying her off because he committed some kind of crime and he was trying to make sure it never come up.  In the latter case, he may have been trying to hide it from Trump as well (good for Trump) or doing so with Trump's guidance (bad for Trump).

You all should check out Dershowitz's latest opinion piece on Fox, may be available in other places too.  http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/04/11/alan-dershowitz-why-fbi-raid-on-trumps-lawyer-hurts-all-us.html  It's not legalese and he makes some fair points about how this is a bad idea.

I am struck by the precedent here, and how useful it will be if a prosecutor decides to seize law firm records of say, Hillary Clinton's lawyers, who may have been involved in a cover up or illegal destruction of government records.  I'm sure, it'll be totally fair to seize them first and let "un-involved" parts of the department sort out the privileged ones.

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #72 on: April 11, 2018, 12:29:28 PM »
It all hinges on the judge that signed the warrant, or if the materials are mishandled despite the warrant being good. It's only a bad idea if it stretches how this gets done in a new way. I'm familiar with Dershowitz and his opinion, which I will summarizes as "this is scary and based on what I know it is a new precedent". I'm not sure I agree with that, because I don't know the evidence that supported the search warrant. If Clinton's lawyers had been searched, I'm pretty sure that I'd have the same feeling- they had better not be bluffing, fishing, or cheating, but I'll wait and see.

I already coughed up a half dozen examples of legal offices being seized, some involving government officials. I didn't hear Dershowitz opining on any of those instances, and searching is difficult.

LetterRip

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #73 on: April 11, 2018, 02:01:57 PM »
People seem to misunderstand how this works.  The confiscated materials don't go directly to the FBI investigators.  There is a team that reviews each piece of confiscated evidence, and only if it would not be privileged will it be passed onto investigators.  So privilege will not be broken.

Also while raids on attorney offices aren't common (most attorney's will never be raided) - they aren't particularly novel - they are common with organized crime and other conspiracy type cases; the only thing new about it is that the client of the attorney is so high profile.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 02:06:33 PM by LetterRip »

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #74 on: April 11, 2018, 02:25:06 PM »
People seem to misunderstand how this works.  The confiscated materials don't go directly to the FBI investigators.

They go to a different "team" of FBI/DOJ investigators.  Who do you think would do the review?

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There is a team that reviews each piece of confiscated evidence, and only if it would not be privileged will it be passed onto investigators.  So privilege will not be broken.

They will attempt not to break privilege, however, they can and do get it wrong, which is devastating on an actual case.

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Also while raids on attorney offices aren't common (most attorney's will never be raided) - they aren't particularly novel - they are common with organized crime and other conspiracy type cases; the only thing new about it is that the client of the attorney is so high profile.

I think you are overstating how "common" this is.  Even in organized crime and conspiracy cases this in not common.

scifibum

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #75 on: April 11, 2018, 02:36:36 PM »
Apparently sometimes the review is contracted out to an independent law firm instead of a "dirty team". *shrug*

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #76 on: April 11, 2018, 06:04:08 PM »
They should have just grabbed everything with a National Security Letter. That would be far more common, and also Cohen would be barred from even telling anyone they showed up.  ;D

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #77 on: April 12, 2018, 10:31:07 AM »
one of the ideas for why this search warrant was legit is that Trump's appointee in the Southern District had to have approved it.  Now, though it appears that the appointee, Berman, was recused prior  to the search warrant being issued.  CNN says it was his choice and approved by Rosenstein's office, others say that there was  no voluntary recusal and that he was forced to recuse.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/10/politics/berman-cohen-fbi-search-warrant/index.html

Interesting wrinkle, unfortunately still fits both narratives (i.e., Rogue Rosenstein, and Criminal Trump).

scifibum

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #78 on: April 12, 2018, 12:44:43 PM »
The FBI and the US Attorney's office aren't saying this is Criminal Trump.  They are saying this is Criminal Cohen. 

But yeah, I had thought it was signed off by the Trump appointee at first, and I don't know anything about the politics or interests of those in his office who are acting in his place here.  Still, the process of getting the warrant tends to reassure me.

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #79 on: April 13, 2018, 12:14:14 PM »
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Lawyers representing Trump said at a U.S. District Court hearing Friday morning that they have "concern" about the use of an independent team of federal lawyers – known as a "taint team" – to determine what information from the raid is permissible for disclosure.

Failing to secure a first crack at the seized documents, Cohen's defense filing suggested the appointment of a "special master" to review the documents instead of the taint team.

Prosecutors pushed back on the notion, arguing that Trump's interest in attorney-client privilege is "no different" from anyone else.

Judge Kimba Wood adjourned the hearing until Monday afternoon to allow time for the parties involved to prepare for arguments. Prosecutors agreed not to use the seized materials until then. Cohen had filed a temporary restraining order in response to the warrant that authorized the searches.


velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #80 on: April 15, 2018, 12:48:59 PM »
Seriati said
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Pointed it out, what do you think?

You pointed out how you initially said "I suspect that this will allow Mueller's case to go forward", but that it "should literally end" it. "Should" is an ambiguous word that I interpreted differently than the way you intended it. That is a valid explanation, which is what my pleasant and fair request was for.  I accept the explanation.

I do not accept the arguments presented to support your opinion, but that is another story.

And I did not agree with you, as you claim.  You said that the investigation should end because the pretext used to continue was faulty, but would not end.  I said the investigation should continue because the justification was perfectly valid.  You pretended that those were both the same thing, distorting my words.

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You could also ask for clarity, but seems not to be your preferred style.
  That is precisely what I did ask for.  You quoted that request.  But you seem to have neglected that fact in favor of a snarky comment about my "preferred style".

Seriati then went on to say
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If these have been your pleasant and fair responses, I shudder to see where you're going next.

I think the unbiased reader will clearly see who has been fair, and who has been snarky, snide, and contemptuous.

Wayward Son

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #81 on: April 28, 2018, 02:49:54 PM »
The House report is in, and--surprise!--“no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government.” :)

Except that Representative Schiff mentioned there was one more little thing the House didn't bother to investigate...

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According to the Democratic response, right after Trump Jr. set up the specifics of the meeting, he had two calls with a number in Russia belonging to Emin Agalarov. Between those two calls, the Democratic response recounts, Trump Jr. received a third call from a blocked number. Who might it have been?

Democrats wanted to find out, but Republicans blocked it from happening, according to the Democrats’ response.

“We sought to determine whether that number belonged to the president, because we also ascertained that then-candidate Trump used a blocked number,” Schiff said during our interview. “That would tell us whether Don Jr. sought his father’s permission to take the meeting, and [whether] that was the purpose of that call.”

Of course, Donald said he knew nothing--NOTHING!--about the meeting with the Russians to discuss--ahem--"orphans" (with a lawyer who had absolutely no ties with the Russian government, except for the Russian Prosecutor General who is very close to Putin).  So obviously the call couldn't have possibly been to him.  The House committee certainly had no doubt.

So we'll never know, unless, of course, Mueller finds out.  But what are the chances of that? ;)

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #82 on: February 13, 2019, 10:05:15 AM »
So, now we also have the Senate Intelligence Committee report coming to an end, and if you believe the reporting even the Democrats on the committee are admitting privately there's no there, there.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/senate-intelligence-committee-found-no-evidence-of-collusion-between-trump-campaign-and-russia-reports-say_2799309.html

We still have little idea what Mueller's going to come up with, but the indications seem to be that he's concluding his project as well.  Hopefuls on both sides seem to believe that he's going to give them the vindication they feel entitled to receive.

I'm still struck though that Congress found nothing, and there's little indication that Mueller did either.  What's it going to do to the mental health of the left if the final verdict is that there was  no Russian collusion?  That all the innuendo and even the bald statements of people like Shiff were little more than political lies?  That the real criminal activity seems to have been concentrated in the senior staff at the DOJ and FBI?

Wayward Son

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #83 on: February 20, 2019, 06:16:32 PM »
I'm struck that Congress found nothing, too.  Didn't they look?  ???

Specifically, didn't they investigate the report from January that Manafort shared polling data with a person tied to Russian intelligence?  Assuming it is true, can that be considered anything other than collusion?  Maybe it's not collusion if a second party releases information that benefits you, even if they tell you they will do so beforehand.  But if you provide the second party with information and then they do something to help you, isn't that the definition of colluding with that party?  There is no way to deny that you were working with them in that case.

If the final verdict from Mueller is that there is no reason to believe there was any collusion with the Russians, I personally will be relieved.  That is, after his reasoning is checked by all concerned (including the Press).  Because right now, there are so many suspicious incidents, I would be astounded that Trump and everyone in his campaign is completely cleared.  We would have to see the details to be sure there was no whitewash of this investigation or its conclusions.

TheDeamon

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #84 on: February 20, 2019, 10:06:41 PM »
But if you provide the second party with information and then they do something to help you, isn't that the definition of colluding with that party?  There is no way to deny that you were working with them in that case.

I think the definition has a higher bar than that to clear. It depends on the nature of the information shared(and its value) relative to what you receive "in exchange."

The nature of the information shared(polling data) makes it not particularly valuable or sensitive. Polling data is broadcast on the National News on a regular basis after all. That and I'm pretty sure there are no laws preventing Russia from conducting Opinion polls of their own within the United States.

About the only "special value" those polls had was that they were private, internal polls from within the Trump Campaign. So it potentially provided insight on what "the Trump Campaign was thinking" at the time. Of course, this also ignores the matter of "level of detail" provided too.

If Manafort gave the Russians complete copies that's a completely different thing than him telling the Russians that "according to our own polling, we're doing well in these 3 states, and think these other states are going to close races." And I seem to recall the initial reports were that he had "discussed" (some of) the internal polling data with a Russian, not that he handed it over to them.

Of course, you can play diplomatic/spycraft doublespeak games at that point and say "Aha! When he said their polling data was showing the race to be closer than many believe in X, Y, and Z states, he was asking the Russians to help them in those states." Or he was simply giving an honest assessment of things as he saw them, gave the grounds to why(internal polling), and wasn't expecting anything of it.

And that's going to be part of Mueller's problem, he'd have to both "prove intent" as to which one happened on Manafort's side, and then try to find a way to link Trump to it.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #85 on: February 21, 2019, 10:01:31 AM »
There's a lot of facts missing to reach a conclusion there Wayward.  I'd love to hear what specific rule you are applying that leads you to think that conduct is criminal that can distinguish it from the Clinton Campaign and the DNC hiring a foreign national (literally a British spy) through their dirty tricks consultants (who I guaranty shared more than polling data) to obtain information from Russian nationals.

But on to the point.  I'm not aware of any law that says sharing polling data is illegal.  Nothing has been disclosed to indicate whether sharing polling data is a common, uncommon or impossibly rare occurrence.  It's far more suspicious if this is the only person he shared it with than if it's one of a thousand people. 

But even if you jump those hurdles and can show this was significant, it still doesn't tie into the campaign.  How would you distinguish between Manafort being dirty and the campaign directing him to do it?  You'd need more evidence, something that shows he was directed to act (I suspect this is what the special counsel doesn't have and Manafort couldn't give them, but we'll see).

How do you distinguish between say, Feinstein having a Chinese spy on her payroll for years, where she is the victim and one where she is complicit?  Is it the same standard you're applying here?  We already know that the DOJ (in my view corruptly) elected to be adversarial to the campaign rather than to treat them as a potential victim, which is literally the opposite tact they take with others.  What we don't know is if they had a legitimate reason (we have not seen any such evidence), or if they did it purely out of animus (we have seen actual evidence of this).

If you don't have justice in your heart for your opponents you don't really have justice at all.

Wayward Son

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #86 on: February 21, 2019, 02:48:41 PM »
Let's get some definitions straight, so we are all on the same page.

The article says:

Quote
“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” Burr told CBS.

Burr specifically states there was "no collusion."

So what is "collusion?"

By definition, "to collude" is to "cooperate in a secret or unlawful way in order to deceive or gain an advantage over others." (Emphasis mine.)

So to collude, you need to (at a minimum):
1. cooperate
2. in secret
3. to gain an advantage

You can also do it
a. in an unlawful way
b. to deceive

Points 2 and a and 3 and b are separated by an "or," which means one or the other needs to be true in order for the word to apply.  But one point must be true for collusion: cooperation.  Without it, there is no collusion.

So, for collusion you need cooperation that is either in secret or unlawful, to either deceive or gain an advantage.  Agreed?

So, does the information we have indicate that the Trump campaign cooperated with the Russians in secret to gain an advantage?

If Manifort provided polling information to the Russians, then he (and therefore the campaign through him) was cooperating with the Russians.  If not for a mutual purpose, why else would he provide such information, or even offer such information?  Even if it was as payment, that still is cooperating (since we can assume what he paid for was something he wanted).

Was it well known that they were cooperating with the Russians?  No.  Trump Jr. (and purportedly Trump himself) lied about the nature of the meeting in Trump Tower to keep the true reason a secret.  Manifort lied to the FBI about his interactions with the Russians.  So it was done in secret.

Did they hope it would gain them an advantage in the election?  We can assume that they were not doing this just for fun. :)

So, assuming the information above (among others) are correct, there was collusion.

Now, I have repeatedly heard that collusion, in and of itself, is not illegal per our laws.  IIRC, secret cooperation for illegal purposes has a different name: conspiracy.  So whether the collusion was illegal or not is irrelevant.  It is only relevant if someone is charged with conspiracy.

Now, to give Senator Burr the benefit of the doubt, he may not have been using the word "collusion" in the accepted way.  He may have meant "conspiracy."

But I think we can say to a fair degree of certainly that the Senate Intelligence Committee did not thoroughly investigate the Trump campaign to the extent that they can definitively state there was no collusion.  The Trump campaign contacted far too many people associated with Russian intelligence and exchanged information with them too often for there to be no doubt that there was no collusion.  I would further speculate that the Mueller investigation will reveal other specific instances where the Trump campaign cooperated with the Russians in the hopes of influencing the election.

It is a fine line between mere collusion and conspiracy, one that the Senate Committee may not have investigated enough to be able to distinguish.  It will be interesting to see if Mueller's report shows any crossing of this line.

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #87 on: February 21, 2019, 02:54:14 PM »
Think of it this way. A campaign couldn't share their polling data, not public but paid for by the campaign, with a SuperPAC who then aired ads based on the polling data. We would call that coordinating, which is basically colluding. That would be illegal.

Doing the same thing with agents of a foreign government would also run afoul of election law, I would think. But even if it were legal, we can still call it collusion as Wayward points out.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #88 on: February 21, 2019, 04:34:38 PM »
Let's get some definitions straight, so we are all on the same page.

The article says:

Quote
“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” Burr told CBS.

Burr specifically states there was "no collusion."

So before we proceed with your side track, there are two points.  One, if you want to make "collusion" so broad that you think you can prove it, then the literal statement he's making if taken at face value says that even by that standard it fails.

Second, he's far more likely to be suggesting that there is no evidence that supports any finding of illegal conduct in the broad area of what "collusion" could actually mean (since that's not an express crime).  In that case, your breakdown of the definition of collusion really does not add anything.

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So what is "collusion?"

Better question would be why do we care?

But the actual question is what did Burr mean by collusion.

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"to collude" is to "cooperate in a secret or unlawful way in order to deceive or gain an advantage over others." (Emphasis mine.)

So to collude, you need to (at a minimum):
1. cooperate
2. in secret
3. to gain an advantage

You can also do it
a. in an unlawful way
b. to deceive

You may want to look at the definition of "obfuscate" while you are at it.  As your goal seems to be to cast shade and confuse. 

No one - and I mean no one - should care about any version of "collusion" that does not represent illegal conduct.

Otherwise, one could easily redefine most human business interactions as "collusion."   They are often about cooperation, frequently secret until they have to be disclosed and almost always to gain advantage.  Why then do we not call them collusion?  Because when we use the word we almost always mean to draw the negative inference.  You've separated those out to a separate section (why? classic set up for a motte and bailey).

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Points 2 and a and 3 and b are separated by an "or," which means one or the other needs to be true in order for the word to apply.  But one point must be true for collusion: cooperation.  Without it, there is no collusion.

So, for collusion you need cooperation that is either in secret or unlawful, to either deceive or gain an advantage.  Agreed?

No I don't agree that construction has merit.  What I'd say, is you are playing a literalistic game to strip the meaning from a word that only has meaning in context.  The "secret" concept has no real relevance with respect to Trump. 

Did you ever agree for example that Clinton colluded with CNN for the debate questions?  Clear cooperation in secret to gain an advantage, ergo Clinton colluded by that meaning.  Can I count on you to prominently state that Clinton is guilty of collusion in the future?

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So, does the information we have indicate that the Trump campaign cooperated with the Russians in secret to gain an advantage?

No. 

Quote
If Manifort provided polling information to the Russians, then he (and therefore the campaign through him) was cooperating with the Russians.

Interesting, and this is why I said no above.  You've made several assumptions that are not warranted.  First, to my knowledge the redacted information that leaked that Manafort shared polling data doesn't actually say when he did it.  Manafort was connected to the polling firms (he retained most of them), and its entirely possible that he had access to their data even after he was terminated by the campaign (for his undisclosed contacts with Ukrainians/Russians I believe - odd thing to fire your "spy coordinator" for).

Second though, you are assuming the tie into the "campaign."   How did you show that?  Is it not possible that Manafort was a bad actor (seems we have objective evidence that his conduct was illegal and deceitful in other contexts - cough - special counsel's charges)?  How then did you make the jump?

Third, he provided the data to a business associate of his, for whom it has been alleged he has connections to Russian intelligence.  Are you also assuming that Manafort was aware of those connections and intentionally sent them the data (of course you are!).  Sounds like you are asserting Manafort was a spy (which if Mueller believed he'd have charged). 

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If not for a mutual purpose, why else would he provide such information, or even offer such information?

Well again, you've not expressed any analysis of how often such information is shared.  Just from my own research it appears that internal polling data is routinely "leaked" by campaigns to people in the media and out for a host of reasons. 

I can see a large amount of reasons a person would send the data to a friend or associate that asked for it.  If you're honest I'm sure you can too.

Heck, even I've heard people talk about what their internal polling was showing before.

I also note, there is some dispute - based on what we know - whether what he shared was public polling data or whether it was mixed (I haven't seen anything that clearly says it was all internal data).

Quote
Even if it was as payment, that still is cooperating (since we can assume what he paid for was something he wanted).

"Even if"  lol

So your "proof" that this is "collusion" is that Manafort sent it, period.  No matter why, it's "cooperation," would Manafort had to have been tortured for it not to be?  Would it have to have been an error?

Is every leak of poling data (which happens virtually every day in campaigns) now collusion?

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Was it well known that they were cooperating with the Russians?  No.

Was it misleading to frame a question as if the assumption you are making is true?  Yes.  So to be clear.  There is no evidence "they" were cooperating with the Russians.  There is evidence that Paul Manafort sent polling data, that may have been public, at time when he may or may not have been part of the campaign to an individual Russian that it has been asserted is connected to Russian intell (but not proven) that Manafort had known an interacted with for years.  No assertion of why (other than leaving the implication unstated).

Is there any evidence anyone else in the campaign knew about it?  Not that we've seen.

Is there any evidence that the campaign authorized it or directed it?  Not that we've seen.

So pretty safe to assume that "no one knew the campaign was cooperating with the Russians" because the campaign was not cooperating with the Russians ergo there was nothing to "know."

Quote
Trump Jr. (and purportedly Trump himself) lied about the nature of the meeting in Trump Tower to keep the true reason a secret.

I've actually expressly debunked this claim for you personally more than once.  Trump Jr. flat out said he thought the meeting was to get dirt, and it turned out to be about adoptions.  That's literally the opposite of what you are implying. 

There is literally no evidence that the meeting had a "true reason" other than the Magnitsky Act. 

Recently it seems to have been conclusively proven from Jr.'s phone records that he did not in fact call his father about the meeting.

Why do you keep reasserting a debunked conspiracy theory?

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Manifort lied to the FBI about his interactions with the Russians.  So it was done in secret.

Whether or not Manafort lied is just a question of fact.  His attorneys certainly presented a reasonable argument that he had not intentionally lied.  You might question why he would "lie" about specific details when the government had the actual electronic records and he knew they did.  The lies on this topic are post cooperation agreement, not before.

I mean I'm assuming that's what you mean by "lied to the FBI" since all of this came out of the unredacted reply to the Special Counsels attack on his plea deal.  I'm not aware, nor have I seen, an allegation that he was speaking to the FBI on this. 

And secret from whom?  Seriously, who is it secret from?  You seem to believe that privacy is equal to secrecy.  What's the basis for that?  Both campaigns maintained appropriate secrecy and were trying to win the election, that doesn't mean we'd call them guilty of collusion.

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Did they hope it would gain them an advantage in the election?

Did Manafort hope it would gain him a personal advantage?  Actually seems more likely.

To turn this into what you want it to be requires a bunch more elements, which is exactly why I said you were making a lot of assumptions and its exactly why the statements coming out of the Senate are so damaging to your desires.

They had access to those other people, the ones that you'd need to make your case.  If they can't draw a line, and worse if the Dems are admitting off the record they can't, it absolutely kills the argument you are making.

Quote
So, assuming the information above (among others) are correct, there was collusion.

I think for the reasons I laid out, if we agreed with you here, we'd have to relabel most of interhuman communication and cooperation as "collusion."

Quote
Now, I have repeatedly heard that collusion, in and of itself, is not illegal per our laws.  IIRC, secret cooperation for illegal purposes has a different name: conspiracy.  So whether the collusion was illegal or not is irrelevant.  It is only relevant if someone is charged with conspiracy.

Since the only reason you want to use the word collusion is for a negative inference it's not irrelevant.

And since you can only get to collusion by effectively re-defining the term so broadly any time two people agree to cooperate they are "colluding" its not useful. 

Quote
Now, to give Senator Burr the benefit of the doubt, he may not have been using the word "collusion" in the accepted way.  He may have meant "conspiracy."

Or he may have meant that collusion as most people understand it, the version upon which the full negative inference is appropriate, and the illegality is in play isn't there.  Bigger than conspiracy, smaller than every conversation held in private in human history.

Quote
But I think we can say to a fair degree of certainly that the Senate Intelligence Committee did not thoroughly investigate the Trump campaign to the extent that they can definitively state there was no collusion.

Lol.  Again on what wold would this be the correct standard?  Are you suggesting that the appropriate standard is guilty unless one can prove to 100% certainty innocent?

I think, the logical read, based on speaking to 200 witnesses that they eliminated all reasonable and probably lines of concern.  And if they found no collusion, it for all practical purposes doesn't exist.

Quote
The Trump campaign contacted far too many people associated with Russian intelligence and exchanged information with them too often for there to be no doubt that there was no collusion.

You have cited 2 such potential instances.  A one off contact with a Russian lawyer that has been asserted as a suspicious amount of Russian state clients (and who met with Fusion GPS before and after the meeting - remember the DNC connection right).  And a long standing relationship of Manafort.

Are you somehow of the view that no one who knows a Russian is allowed to work on a campaign?  Or that no one who's contacted a Russian is?  You are aware that more than likely, every federal politician in America has been approached by Russian agents?

Quote
I would further speculate that the Mueller investigation will reveal other specific instances where the Trump campaign cooperated with the Russians in the hopes of influencing the election.

Of course you would "speculate" that.  I think the definition that's relevant (from Merriam Webster) is "to take to be true on the basis of insufficient evidence."

Quote
It is a fine line between mere collusion and conspiracy, one that the Senate Committee may not have investigated enough to be able to distinguish.  It will be interesting to see if Mueller's report shows any crossing of this line.

It's not a fine line.  There are clear elements of the legal crime. 

Collusion as you are trying to use it is meaningless, and quite clearly every politician on both sides of the aisle is guilty of the Wayward collusion standard with countless people many of whom are probably not American citizens.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 04:36:59 PM by Seriati »

DonaldD

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #89 on: February 21, 2019, 05:31:22 PM »
Quote
No one - and I mean no one - should care about any version of "collusion" that does not represent illegal conduct.
Since when did the standards of acceptable behaviour by elected officials (or those running for office) drop to the level of "anything at all, so long as it is not a crime"?  Speaking of obfuscating...

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #90 on: February 21, 2019, 06:10:41 PM »
Two of my coworkers could collude with each other to keep me from getting promoted. It's not illegal, but it is collusion. Hillary colluded with the DNC to screw over Bernie, and yes I very much did call that out at the time. It's one of the things that elimated any chance that I would vote for her.

It's a case of going against what you say publicly. Cooperation isn't sneaky. It almost certainly is not denied constantly and then proven to have happened.

One of my favorite shows, The League, constantly explored the idea of colluding to win fantasy football by throwing games and other shenanigans. This isn't some esoteric, made-up version of the word. It's how it is used on a regular basis.

TheDeamon

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #91 on: February 21, 2019, 10:03:11 PM »
Except we're talking about the legal usage here more than anything else. Or at least, I explicitly was using the Legal usage.

https://definitions.uslegal.com/c/collusion/

Might be helpful here, as you get some of what you want too.

Quote
Collusion occurs when two persons or representatives of an entity or organization make an agreement to deceive or mislead another. Such agreements are usually secretive, and involve fraud or gaining an unfair advantage over a third party, competitors, consumers or others with whom they are negotiating. The collusion, therefore, makes the bargaining process inherently unfair. Collusion can involve price or wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship betweeen the colluding parties.

So in this case, it looks like Mueller would have to establish that "an agreement to deceive of mislead another" existed. But if you're paying attention, there's a bit more to it than just that, it has to also create "an unfair advantage." So now Mueller also has to determine what advantage was gained from the collusion that occurred,  and in order to do that, he has to establish there was an intent behind what happened. Because that intent is going to define what qualifies as "an advantage."

DonaldD

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #92 on: February 21, 2019, 10:35:11 PM »
No, limiting the word to one of legality is moving the goalposts, but regardless, a) this definition does not differ substantively from that provided by Wayward Son (it's almost word for word the same - it even has the word "or" in basically the same spot "fraud OR gaining an unfair advantage") and b) with whom exactly was the Trump campaign negotiating or bargaining?

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #93 on: February 22, 2019, 11:37:39 AM »
TheDeamon has it right.  Pretending that we're talking about collusion in a non-illegal context and then immediately flipping to concepts of "guilt" and the special counsel's investigation is disingenuous.  If nothing illegal happened, then as a matter of law we don't care about such a "collusion."

Quote
No one - and I mean no one - should care about any version of "collusion" that does not represent illegal conduct.
Since when did the standards of acceptable behaviour by elected officials (or those running for office) drop to the level of "anything at all, so long as it is not a crime"?  Speaking of obfuscating...

I agree you are obfuscating.  The correct remedy for moral failings is to vote someone out of office.  They are still vitally important, but you have still failed to show they are present on this issue (pretty much all you have is a giant string of inferences you wish were true, with a couple vaguely relevant facts to hold them together, for example here, you have Manafort sent polling data.  From that you've inferred a grand conspiracy, many layers of direct knowledge and intent, and an entire web of conspiracy for which there is no evidence that we've seen).

Pretending that disputable moral failings justify a special counsel and multiple Congressional investigations is moving the goal posts.  Without a legal justification appointing a special prosecutor was a clear violation of statute.  Without a legitimate basis even Congressional powers are being misused.  For example, Congress has the power to subpeona to enable it to get information relevant to its legislative and oversight roles, not to persecute its enemies.  The initial investigation was justifiable (and I still think it should have been done by a bipartisan commission), but if they really haven't found anything then it becomes an abuse to continue it.

Instead, in the face of a lack of evidence of a crime you guys seem to want to create a new crime based on some vague notion of these being bad people (which pretty much rests on you disliking them politically).  The idea of persecuting conduct that was not illegal when it was done is specifically prohibited by the Constitution (see Article I, section 9, clause 3).  Both ex post facto laws and bills of attainder are  prohibited.  If you ignore the legality of an action to try and shoehorn a new guilt after the fact, you're literally ignoring the Constitution.

DonaldD

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #94 on: February 22, 2019, 12:01:05 PM »
Quote
The correct remedy for moral failings is to vote someone out of office
Absolutely - or at least, that is certainly one remedy.

But that is completely different from implying, as you did before, that anything short of criminal activity by your preferred elected officials is acceptable to you and more, that it should be acceptable to everybody. ("No one - and I mean no one - should care about any version of "collusion" that does not represent illegal conduct.")

DonaldD

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #95 on: February 22, 2019, 12:13:50 PM »
And as for "you guys", I have been on the record since even before the election calling for an investigation focussed on Russia, not on who may have benefitted, exactly because I knew such an investigation would get bogged down in exactly this type of partisan hackery, where people ignore the dangers to the electoral system and the country because NOT doing so would tend to delegitimize their own team, leading to people who used to be against things like executive overreach now finding as acceptable anything short of criminal activity proven in a court of law.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #96 on: February 22, 2019, 12:29:17 PM »
I stand by that statement and find it interesting that you chose to ignore the paragraphs where I walked through why that's the statement. 

Are you of the view that non-illegal collusion is something we should be concerned about?  Why do you think that?  If it's so concerning why is currently part of the "non-illegal" category of collusion.

Better yet, I'd like you go on record as to which "collusion" you see that is perfectly legal in your view and is a matter of concern, and what should be done about it.

rightleft22

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #97 on: February 22, 2019, 12:51:17 PM »
Sometimes I wish Trump was a democrat (with the same baggage)
I would love to know what the GOP would go after him for.
 

D.W.

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #98 on: February 22, 2019, 01:05:26 PM »
His marriages, his obvious corruption, his "locker room talk" that flies in the face of liberal purported principals.  His sheltering of illegals in his places of business.  His open admiration of "our enemies". 

I'm sure others can continue in that mode for as long as you would be willing to listen.  :P  I don't think the democrats loath him because he's an exemplar of the GOP platform.  He's every bit a *censored*ty Republican as he is a *censored*ty person IMO.   :P

Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #99 on: February 22, 2019, 09:18:20 PM »
I'm curious how the "no evidence of collusion" crowd explains Mattis' resignation.

 I'm not just talking about Mattis, of course--I'm talking about the whole history of Trump's relationship with Russia.

Do y'all not care about the way Trump keeps trying to shape American foreign policy to benefit Russia against the counsel of his own NSC because you don't care at all about America's interests, or are you too busy playing partisan word games to see what is going on right in front of everyone's eyes?

Some of y'all are acting like the fact that classified evidence isn't available to the masses is somehow evidence that no crime has been committed.

Maybe our silly system of Justice will come up with evidence of criminal collusion; maybe it won't.

But an American politician publicly asked Russia to commit espionage against his opponent, and our national security apparatus has told us that Russia did it, and the selfsame politician has been sucking up to Russia like his job depends on it ever since, and some of y'all are pretending like the idea that there might be a case here is something that can only be explained by lunacy or outright FBI corruption.

rightleft's wish of Trump magically switching teams is an impossibility, so why does it seem more plausible than a scenario in which people simply examine the man's history without rank bias against anything that harms their political team?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 09:21:45 PM by seekingprometheus »