Author Topic: House Closes Investigation  (Read 14336 times)

Seriati

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House Closes Investigation
« on: March 13, 2018, 10:04:24 AM »
So the House investigation is coming to a close, and surprise surprise it didn't find any evidence of collusion.  Will this heal the country?  Are we will to accept that there was no collusion?  Of course not.  The Dems on the committee are continuing to insist it should stay open, not because they have any evidence, or you know probable cause, but because it's a politically powerful tool and they thought they were going to get access to bank records (which if they had probable cause they would have).

The Dems in the House are already saying they'll reopen it if they retake the House - on what basis?

All we really know from Mueller - at this point - is that the Russian's primary goal was disruption and that they "backed" the most disruptive candidates, Bernie and Trump.  No real indication that they were after anything but disruption.  I'm still of the view that if Trump is "cleared" by Mueller, the Russian's will release something to try and reimplicate him,cause that would be the most disruptive. 

So at this point, I have some serious criticism for Mueller.  Either he has the goods and its unconscionable that he's letting the farce continue, or he doesn't have the goods and his continuing is the farce.  Either way, his continuing silence is harming the country. If he doesn't have the President it's time to share what he does have with Congress.

rightleft22

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 11:08:15 AM »
LOL not that I have anything to say on this topic
I just love how your arguments 'adjust' when the issue involves a democrat or a republican.  Your not fooling anyone but yourself

Wayward Son

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 11:17:59 AM »
So, Seriati, you believe that the Republican members of the House on the committee had all their questions answered, all their doubts and suspicions allayed, and are completely satisfied that there was nothing improper done by the White House or anyone else in the U.S. that needs addressing?  That there was no collusion, coordination or conspiracy between anyone in the Trump campaign and the Russians?  That Putin was not trying to help Trump get elected?  And that any complaints by the Democrats are colored by partisan bias, and if they'd only look at the facts, they'd agree with the Republicans 100 percent?

I don't believe you are that naïve.

Tell me, how many questions, if only from Republicans, did Hope Hicks, Steve Bannon, Corey Lewandoski, Donald Trump Jr. and Attorney General Jeff Sessions refuse to answer?  And yet you believe they had all their questions answered.

How many members of the Trump campaign tried to create back-door channels with the Russians?  We know that Donald Jr. lied about the reason he met with the Russians at that infamous meeting.  You're not curious why he felt he needed to say it was about adopting children and not about getting dirt on Hillary?  You don't feel there is anything odd or untoward about Trump refusing to impose Congressional-approved sanctions against Russians, in a bill he himself signed?  You don't wonder at all if the money Trump got from Russia had any strings attached?  Really?

And remember, this is the Congress that had--what?--seven hearings over--how many?--months about Benghazi.  That examined every question and minutiae about what was basically an open and transparent incident.  That spent millions of dollars to make sure no stone was unturned, no question not addressed, no statement that went unchallenged.  But now, after being stonewalled repeatedly, they say, "oh well, we couldn't find anything, so there couldn't possibly be anything." ::)

The Republicans on this committee have indicated, in no uncertain terms, that they are far more concerned with the integrity of their party than the integrity of our country.  That they are more than happy to ignore the appearance of corruption if it is by their party.  And that they care more about winning elections than knowing the truth.

And it certainly does not prove anything about collusion or impropriety.

D.W.

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 11:18:32 AM »
This country will begin to heal when he's out of office.  What in your observation makes you believe Trump has any interest, let alone ability, at "healing"?

I re-wrote and deleted like 6 paragraphs here.  I'll save some space by saying, I hope your OP was bait, and doesn't reflect your beliefs Seriati.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 11:46:41 AM »
So, Seriati, you believe that the Republican members of the House on the committee had all their questions answered, all their doubts and suspicions allayed, and are completely satisfied that there was nothing improper done by the White House or anyone else in the U.S. that needs addressing?

No.  My view is that the investigation into collusion was not justified in the first place.  That the evidence that has been found is circumstantial, at best, with respect to the Trump campaign and stronger with respect to the Clinton campaign.  There is and never was probable cause or even reasonable suspicion.

My view is that the "questions" the Dems have have little to do with any plausible collusion and more to do with believing Trump is a bad guy and that they have a right to investigate him until they find proof.  That's not an accurate legal statement.

My view is that Russian interference was real, was focused on disruption (and only tangentially on one candidate over another to maximize disruption), and that the partisan focus on the Trump administration has interfered both with our ability to get to the truth and our ability to respond to it.

It's my view that the Democratic response has done more to further the Russian goal of disruption than the Russian interference did in the first place.

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That there was no collusion, coordination or conspiracy between anyone in the Trump campaign and the Russians?

Literally yes that appears to be true.  There's no evidence otherwise. 

The test is not whether anyone ever met with any Russian - which seems to be what you want it to be - cause both parties and campaigns and really every politician in America knows some Russians.  It wouldn't take six degrees of Kevin Bacon to get from anyone in Washington to Putin.

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That Putin was not trying to help Trump get elected?

Yes, literally, the Russian's goal was disruption.  Supporting Trump was a means to the end of disrupting Hillary.  That's all.

Of course, I also think their "interference" was next to meaningless.  The idea that the tiny fraction of the total political spend that was "Russian" propaganda was more significant than everything that wasn't is so ridiculous as to only make sense in day dream.

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And that any complaints by the Democrats are colored by partisan bias, and if they'd only look at the facts, they'd agree with the Republicans 100 percent?

There is zero percent chance that the Democrats are not colored by partisan bias.  There is zero percent chance they'd agree with the Republicans 100%.

Can we get agreement that there should have been probable cause?  Can we get agreement that there should be evidence of a meaningful collusion?  Or really of any collusion that actually touches Trump?

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I don't believe you are that naïve.

I'm not naive at all.

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Tell me, how many questions, if only from Republicans, did Hope Hicks, Steve Bannon, Corey Lewandoski, Donald Trump Jr. and Attorney General Jeff Sessions refuse to answer?  And yet you believe they had all their questions answered.

Tell me what was relevant about Hope Hicks?

Sessions was before Congress multiple times, answered their questions (really only partisans found fault with his answers by pulling them out of context) and recused himself unnecessarily, something that neither of Obama's AGs did when investigating political wrongdoing of the prior administration - to complete silence from YOU and others.

Lewandoski answered questions from his time as campaign manager, and told the committee to take a hike on fishing expedition questions unrelated to that function.

Trump Jr?  What do you think he knows that's relevant?  We already know he was too politically naive to avoid a meeting with the Russian lawyer.

Steve Bannon - I hope you are joking.  The only reason he was called was to try and get him to violate executive privilege.

You are the same person that thinks Louis Lerner pled the fifth because she was innocent.  How about you apply a neutral and non-partisan analysis here.  Lay out the specific claims you think justify the investigation and the specific information you want from each of those names that relate to them.

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How many members of the Trump campaign tried to create back-door channels with the Russians?

Illegally?  As far as we know?  None.  We have two, that I'm aware of, that have lying to the FBI charges related to  being contacted by the Russians and lying about it.

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We know that Donald Jr. lied about the reason he met with the Russians at that infamous meeting.  You're not curious why he felt he needed to say it was about adopting children and not about getting dirt on Hillary?

Think you have your facts backwards.  He said he thought the meeting was to get dirt, but all they wanted to talk about what the adoption of children.

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You don't feel there is anything odd or untoward about Trump refusing to impose Congressional-approved sanctions against Russians, in a bill he himself signed?

Not really.  The discretion was there for a reason (not least of which is that despite their tough talk your own Democratic representatives aren't interested in a trade war or an actual war with Russia).

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You don't wonder at all if the money Trump got from Russia had any strings attached?  Really?

Which money?  Lol.  Like I said, you think Trump is bad (without evidence) and are looking for an illegal investigation to justify itself.

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And remember, this is the Congress that had--what?--seven hearings over--how many?--months about Benghazi.  That examined every question and minutiae about what was basically an open and transparent incident.

Lol.  I remember how you refused to acknowledge that you were wrong as we debated it over time and it was proven that the lies told about what happened were done for purely political reasons.  Yes I remember that, and how it's completely hypocritical to take the position you're taking now.

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That spent millions of dollars to make sure no stone was unturned, no question not addressed, no statement that went unchallenged.  But now, after being stonewalled repeatedly, they say, "oh well, we couldn't find anything, so there couldn't possibly be anything." ::)

Or maybe, you could start with some evidence.

Where is the evidence of collusion?

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The Republicans on this committee have indicated, in no uncertain terms, that they are far more concerned with the integrity of their party than the integrity of our country.  That they are more than happy to ignore the appearance of corruption if it is by their party.  And that they care more about winning elections than knowing the truth.

Where is the evidence of collusion?

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And it certainly does not prove anything about collusion or impropriety.

It proves that you don't care if there is evidence so long as the unjustified investigation continues (until it can find evidence of something to retroactively justify itself).

D.W.

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 12:07:00 PM »
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My view is that Russian interference was real, was focused on disruption (and only tangentially on one candidate over another to maximize disruption), and that the partisan focus on the Trump administration has interfered both with our ability to get to the truth and our ability to respond to it.

It's my view that the Democratic response has done more to further the Russian goal of disruption than the Russian interference did in the first place.
Can't dissagree with the last part.  But I don't see how to avoid it either.  As to the first, I've always thought this was the most likely scenario.  That belief has been shaken over time, but it could easily be confirmation bias at work.

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Yes, literally, the Russian's goal was disruption.  Supporting Trump was a means to the end of disrupting Hillary.  That's all.
I agree from Putin's perspective, that's all.  But there are other parties involved...

rightleft22

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 12:16:01 PM »
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It's my view that the Democratic response has done more to further the Russian goal of disruption than the Russian interference did in the first place

That may be... and I might take you seriously if I thought for a minute that you would ever have let such a investigation go if it could possibly hurt a Democrat President. 

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 12:42:14 PM »
That may be... and I might take you seriously if I thought for a minute that you would ever have let such a investigation go if it could possibly hurt a Democrat President.

I'd invite you to look back at the Benghazi thread that was cited above.  I repeatedly stressed that the decision to send force or not send force was a proper exercise of Executive judgement and that Obama shouldn't be faulted for that.  My only focus there was on the government selling a lie to help his political aspirations.

I mean I'm definitely partisan, but I don't think as unreasonably partisan as some.  I legitimately don't see a case here for collusion.  Is there any evidence connecting it to Trump?  Or to his direction?  Is there any evidence of a back and forth discussion?  Or a quid pro quo?  Again, I don't see it.  What's been revealed so far, is evidence that the Russians were reaching out to create influence, something they are doing now with people all through out our political and administrative state.  No evidence of any purpose has been presented,.

Fenring

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 01:04:17 PM »
Personally I thought the idea of 'Russian collusion' was one of the more ridiculous things I've heard lately. I didn't put any stock in the accusation and assumed it was political dust-throwing. There were far more demonstrable ties between Hllary's campaign and Russia than Trump's. At worst I think it might be fair to argue that the Russians have done business with various people from both parties and that they are constantly trying to improve their international position and ideally to also humiliate America. This latter goal was almost certainly the purpose behind whatever they did during this past election.

I wouldn't make the claim that zero people attached to the Trump campaign did anything wrong, since I don't know that. In fact I'm usually fairly confident that most people in politics have broken the law in some way or another. But this investigation was different than Benghazi for one important reason: Russia is still a major player on the scene whereas Libya was eliminated. Investigating the Libyan affair had no direct impact on current foreign policy, whereas continuing the demonization of Putin by accusing him (and Trump) of colluding with each other continues to harm foreign policy in more ways than just PR.

Take this scenario for instance: let's say certain interested parties (including the Clinton camp) wanted to maintain the establish doctrine of sabre rattling with Russia and threatening aggression by mounting weaponry near the Russian border. This has been a trend on the increase even before the Crimea situation. And let's say they want to guarantee that relations can't improve, for various reasons including justifying the existence of NATO and the armament of Eastern-Eurpoean countries. Once you have an accusation of this sort about collusion an annoying situation is created, where if subsequent to the investigation being dropped Trump and Putin make an attempt to improve relations through an accord of some kind (which every proponent of peace should endorse) now everyone can turn around and say it's proof that they were colluding all along. In fact any move the two leaders try to make together can be spun as them revealing their secret relationship. So even beyond demonizing Russian in general, this investigation and its accompanying narrative harm the possibility of rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia, which I consider to be a national security issue.

If it is ever proven that Trump really did collude during the election then I do think action should be taken. But on the flipside, if it's ever proven that this accusation was made up and the party responsible is identified, likewise they should go up on treason charges for endangering America.

Crunch

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Wayward Son

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 01:36:33 PM »
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My view is that the investigation into collusion was not justified in the first place.  That the evidence that has been found is circumstantial, at best, with respect to the Trump campaign and stronger with respect to the Clinton campaign.  There is and never was probable cause or even reasonable suspicion.

My view is that the "questions" the Dems have have little to do with any plausible collusion and more to do with believing Trump is a bad guy and that they have a right to investigate him until they find proof.  That's not an accurate legal statement.

That's your opinion, Seriati.  You may even be right.  But it is not universally held by responsible people.  And when you're talking about the President of the United States, shouldn't we all be satisfied that he is above suspicion?

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My view is that Russian interference was real, was focused on disruption (and only tangentially on one candidate over another to maximize disruption), and that the partisan focus on the Trump administration has interfered both with our ability to get to the truth and our ability to respond to it.

Again, your opinion.  But we also know that Putin was pretty upset with Obama and Hillary because of their interference with Russia's campaign in the Ukraine.  And we also know our intelligence agencies believe that more support was given to Trump than to Hillary.  Perhaps the Hillary support was only done to give the appearance of being non-partisan? ;)

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Can we get agreement that there should be evidence of a meaningful collusion?  Or really of any collusion that actually touches Trump?

I assume you mean "probable cause" here, since this is the investigatory phase where evidence is gathered.  Lack of having the evidence when you are trying to find the evidence is a rather high bar to meet, don't you think? ;)

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Tell me what was relevant about Hope Hicks?

For a certain period of time, she knew things that Trump knew and knew who met with him when.

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Sessions was before Congress multiple times, answered their questions (really only partisans found fault with his answers by pulling them out of context) and recused himself unnecessarily, something that neither of Obama's AGs did when investigating political wrongdoing of the prior administration - to complete silence from YOU and others.

AFAIK, Obama's AGs were not part of the investigation there were in charge of.  The fact that Sessions omitted certain meetings with Russians required him to testify about his role in the investigation itself, not to mention his role during Trump's campaign.  While some claim he "recused himself unnecessarily," I find it unconvincing considering these facts.

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Trump Jr?  What do you think he knows that's relevant?  We already know he was too politically naive to avoid a meeting with the Russian lawyer.

Who says he's the only one "politically naïve?" ;)

And he certainly knows quite a bit about Trump's financial holdings, which definitely could be relevant to any investigation of Russian influence.

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Steve Bannon - I hope you are joking.  The only reason he was called was to try and get him to violate executive privilege.

He was part of the campaign before Trump had any "executive privilege," and he reportedly called some of Trump's alleged behavior "treasonous."  I can see a few questions that Representatives might want to ask. ;)

And don't forget, the committee signed a subpoena while they were asking him questions because he was stonewalling.  A subpoena written and signed by the ruling Republican committee members, I might add.  Why is it you believe the Republicans on the committee so strongly wanted him to violate executive privilege?

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We know that Donald Jr. lied about the reason he met with the Russians at that infamous meeting.  You're not curious why he felt he needed to say it was about adopting children and not about getting dirt on Hillary?

Think you have your facts backwards.  He said he thought the meeting was to get dirt, but all they wanted to talk about what the adoption of children.

So you're saying because Trump Jr. thought he was going to get dirt from the Russians on Clinton, and even though all the other members in that meeting had ties to Russian intelligence, and even though a day or two later the Donald himself mentioned that something big would be revealed about Hillary, since they only talked about adoptions (even those who had nothing to do with adoptions), there is nothing to be suspicious about.  ???

Exactly who told us what was said at that meeting? ;)

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You don't feel there is anything odd or untoward about Trump refusing to impose Congressional-approved sanctions against Russians, in a bill he himself signed?

Not really.  The discretion was there for a reason (not least of which is that despite their tough talk your own Democratic representatives aren't interested in a trade war or an actual war with Russia).

Uh-huh.  Because we all know how skittish Trump is about starting a possible trade war. :D

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You don't wonder at all if the money Trump got from Russia had any strings attached?  Really?

Which money?  Lol.  Like I said, you think Trump is bad (without evidence) and are looking for an illegal investigation to justify itself.

Don't you remember, Seriati?  Trump Jr. talked about how "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia," back in 2008.

Admittedly, this was ten years ago.  Trump could have completely divested himself from all those assets from then, just like he has completely divested himself from his businesses since he's become President. ;)  But, of course, we have no idea if he did or didn't, since he won't release his finances or tax returns.

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And remember, this is the Congress that had--what?--seven hearings over--how many?--months about Benghazi.  That examined every question and minutiae about what was basically an open and transparent incident.

Lol.  I remember how you refused to acknowledge that you were wrong as we debated it over time and it was proven that the lies told about what happened were done for purely political reasons.  Yes I remember that, and how it's completely hypocritical to take the position you're taking now.

Well, I'm glad you agree that the only "revelation" that occurred from all those hearings was that the Obama Administration may have lied about the reason for the attack for about a week.  ::)  And that the rest of the hearings (since that particular point was discussed in the first hearing) was a waste of time and money.

But I think these issues are far harder to determine and far more important.  Possibly letting an ambassador die is a terrible thing; cooperating or being beholden to an unfriendly foreign power could be devastating to our nation.  You would expect the Republicans in the House to pursue such a question with at least the same zeal and vigor as they pursued the Benghazi investigation.

As an added bonus, here's a chart that summarizes all the possible connections to Putin known so far.  As the article admits, "There’s nothing inherently damning about most of the ties illustrated below." And it doesn't even address any possible financial ties. But it does show why some are suspicious that there may be some connection between Trump and Putin.

LetterRip

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 01:58:49 PM »
Seriati,

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The Dems in the House are already saying they'll reopen it if they retake the House - on what basis?

One reasonable basis is that there were a number of individuals who refused to answer questions that they were legally obligated to answer.  These individuals should be recalled, and if they refuse to answer, be held in contempt.  The committee's failure to have these people held in contempt compromised the investigation.

Also some individuals appeared to have lied to the committee, which should be further investigated.

Fenring

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 02:01:53 PM »
So you're saying because Trump Jr. thought he was going to get dirt from the Russians on Clinton, and even though all the other members in that meeting had ties to Russian intelligence, and even though a day or two later the Donald himself mentioned that something big would be revealed about Hillary, since they only talked about adoptions (even those who had nothing to do with adoptions), there is nothing to be suspicious about.  ???

I'd just like to point out how far the goalposts have shifted beyond what I see as a reasonable object of inquiry. The original contention was that the Russians were colluding with the Trump administration during the election, and the specific tone in which this was pushed in the media was that Trump was in Putin's pocket. But now the case seems to rest on objects like this meeting, where someone thought they'd get dirt on Hillary from some unspecified Russians.

The fact that literally any Russian is automatically traced back to Putin is already a strange thing. Can you imagine if, after meeting with an English industrialist or lawyer, people began to conclude that this was secretly tied to the Prime Minister? I know Russia isn't England, but all the same I don't think these automatic assumptions should be given credence on strictly their own merit.

But as I mentioned the goalpost seems now to be whether any member of the Trump team received any information or anything at all from any Russian that aided them in the election. How, again, is this something that demonstrates illegal collusion with a foreign government? Can you imagine the amount of relationships politicians have with foreign leaders, dignitaries, businessmen, and so forth? People receive intelligence and information of all kinds from official meetings, unofficial meetings, rumors, and yes - they are always looking for dirt on their competition in whatever sphere. I don't know why this should be categorized as anything other than "duh". If you're going to accuse someone of illegal collusion whenever he seeks information from foreign persons you'll probably have to arrest every public servant in Washington.

The correct goal post should be whether remuneration was exchanged or promises were made in exchange for help from Russia, which would mean a conflict of interest between serving a foreign power and serving the American people. Receiving information from foreign people cannot possibly be a breach of conduct in and of itself, or else all international relations would grind to a halt. Collusion in the sense it's being used here ought to mean something far more rigorous, such as direct pay-to-play using official office, or else selling out American secrets, undermining American democracy or interests, or any other combination of actions that are essentially treasonous. Being on friendly terms with foreign officials is not actually a bad thing! Even though remarkably it's being used now as 'evidence' of collusion. I guess it's more 'honest' to continue sabre rattling indefinitely.

Wayward Son

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 04:21:49 PM »
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The correct goal post should be whether remuneration was exchanged or promises were made in exchange for help from Russia, which would mean a conflict of interest between serving a foreign power and serving the American people.

Agreed.  But if the person who got the information (or was just informed that it would soon be released) won't even tell you that he had the discussion, how will you know if there were any remuneration or promises, except through a thorough investigation?

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 07:03:29 PM »
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My view is that the investigation into collusion was not justified in the first place.  That the evidence that has been found is circumstantial, at best, with respect to the Trump campaign and stronger with respect to the Clinton campaign.  There is and never was probable cause or even reasonable suspicion.

My view is that the "questions" the Dems have have little to do with any plausible collusion and more to do with believing Trump is a bad guy and that they have a right to investigate him until they find proof.  That's not an accurate legal statement.

That's your opinion, Seriati.  You may even be right.  But it is not universally held by responsible people.  And when you're talking about the President of the United States, shouldn't we all be satisfied that he is above suspicion?

Lol, you deduced it was my opinion, did my statement "In my view..." tip you off or something?  It's most definitely my opinion, however, it's based on the actual facts.

You seem to be implying that we are entitled to investigate the President, any time, with or without cause, with or without any rational reason, Because its too important that we be sure he's above reproach to risk being weighted down with things like evidence before we start.  If that's the case, mind telling me what all your complaints about investigations of Obama were about?

I've been saying for close to year, if there's evidence put it on the table.  Mueller either has probable cause or he doesn't.  There's almost no circumstance imaginable where he has probable cause and putting it on the table wouldn't open up the investigation to more avenues to get at the truth.  The only cause served by keeping this secret is that of suspicion and innuendo.

Nothing you said, by the way, even remotely challenges what I claimed. You didn't put out any evidence, or any basis upon which your "responsible people" could have a different conclusion.

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My view is that Russian interference was real, was focused on disruption (and only tangentially on one candidate over another to maximize disruption), and that the partisan focus on the Trump administration has interfered both with our ability to get to the truth and our ability to respond to it.

Again, your opinion.  But we also know that Putin was pretty upset with Obama and Hillary because of their interference with Russia's campaign in the Ukraine.  And we also know our intelligence agencies believe that more support was given to Trump than to Hillary.  Perhaps the Hillary support was only done to give the appearance of being non-partisan? ;)

This again may be my opinion, but it is clearly supported by and informed by Mueller's indictment of the Russian nationals.  What's your support for not believing it? 

Are you of the view that the Democratic response is not furthering the goal of the Russian campaign?  That it's not causing disruption?  If Trump was legitimately elected, that it hasn't cast enormous doubt and tarnished the entire election process and a legitimate president?

How is your view of Trump as a self important narcissist autocrat consistent with the idea that he'd be beholden to anyone?

I have no doubt, and it was clearly stated, that the Russians were more anti-Hillary.  I just think that's for the obvious reason that their goal was to undermine the election of the US President and they - like everyone else - thought it would be her. 

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Can we get agreement that there should be evidence of a meaningful collusion?  Or really of any collusion that actually touches Trump?

I assume you mean "probable cause" here, since this is the investigatory phase where evidence is gathered.  Lack of having the evidence when you are trying to find the evidence is a rather high bar to meet, don't you think? ;)

No I didn't mean probable cause.  I meant what I said, there should be evidence of a meaningful collusion or one touching Trump for this investigation to have started and continued this long.  Where is it?

We know they don't have probable cause.  You want to know how?  Cause if they did they'd have subpeoned his bank records, and other things from third parties directly related to Trump.  Instead they've limited their subpeonas to government officials and people connected to process crimes.

I find it depressing how far the left has sunk on its believe in civil liberties.  You're literally advocating that the government investigating people without evidence of a crime is okay.

I mean heck, empanelling Mueller required an articulation of a criminal activity.  Put that one on the table.

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Tell me what was relevant about Hope Hicks?

For a certain period of time, she knew things that Trump knew and knew who met with him when.

I believe she was his press secretary during the campaign, so there is some possibility that she might know about certain meetings, of course she may not have been his exclusive secretary (or his secretary at all).  Is there some evidence - I'm unaware of - about his meetings that indicates he met with someone in furtherence of an illegal activity?  Or again, are you advocating for a fishing expedition.  You do understand there has to be probable cause to issue a subpeona in an investigation, what's the probable cause here?

Isn't that exactly what I asked for?  That you put up the information that's prompting you to ask to see his calendar?  Or do you think everyone's calendar is open to any prosecutor, that they can compel anyone else to talk about it and to subject them to "lieing to the FBI" charges about mistakes?

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AFAIK, Obama's AGs were not part of the investigation there were in charge of.

Neither was Sessions.  He recused himself because he was associated with the campaign (barely), not because of any Russian connection.  That's far less of a conflict than either of Obama's AGs had, though I guess you're not going to admit it.

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The fact that Sessions omitted certain meetings with Russians required him to testify about his role in the investigation itself, not to mention his role during Trump's campaign.  While some claim he "recused himself unnecessarily," I find it unconvincing considering these facts.

It's just a fact he recused himself unnecessarily.  There's literally no one that could have called him to account if he had not done so.  He has no actual connection to anything related to the Russia investigation that's been demonstrated, which means even the Russia taint angle is weak.

I can't imagine that you'll find anything "convincing".  I'd challenge you to spell it, what it is that you'd find convincing, but when I did that in the Benghazi situation and it actually showed up in the emails that were disclosed over time you just ignored it and kept going.

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Trump Jr?  What do you think he knows that's relevant?  We already know he was too politically naive to avoid a meeting with the Russian lawyer.

Who says he's the only one "politically naïve?" ;)

Who did say he's the only one?

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And he certainly knows quite a bit about Trump's financial holdings, which definitely could be relevant to any investigation of Russian influence.

Lol - could be.  Doesn't make anyone entitled to see them.  You could only force  Trump Jr. to answer questions about his or his father's private  financial holdings with a subpeona.  Nothing about those is a government record or within the oversight authority of Congress.

You are literally calling for an illegal fishing expedition.  Pretty much exactly what I said about the left, you think you have a bad guy, therefore anything you do is "authorized".

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Steve Bannon - I hope you are joking.  The only reason he was called was to try and get him to violate executive privilege.

He was part of the campaign before Trump had any "executive privilege," and he reportedly called some of Trump's alleged behavior "treasonous."  I can see a few questions that Representatives might want to ask. ;)

You can call him about his government functions, though those are subject to executive privilege.  To call him about the rest, you need some kind of evidence that he has knowledge of something that's illegal.  What specifically is that?  What, other than innuendo, have you seem him referenced in regards?

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And don't forget, the committee signed a subpoena while they were asking him questions because he was stonewalling.  A subpoena written and signed by the ruling Republican committee members, I might add.  Why is it you believe the Republicans on the committee so strongly wanted him to violate executive privilege?

At a guess, they hate Bannon and want to make him uncomfortable.  Did they enforce that subpeona?

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So you're saying because Trump Jr. thought he was going to get dirt from the Russians on Clinton,...

That's literally what it said in the email trail.  Did you have some other knowledge?

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...and even though all the other members in that meeting had ties to Russian intelligence,...

Lol, and Trump Jr. would have known that how?  Did the Obama admin send him a text?  Lol.

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.... and even though a day or two later the Donald himself mentioned that something big would be revealed about Hillary, since they only talked about adoptions (even those who had nothing to do with adoptions), there is nothing to be suspicious about.  ???

Exactly who told us what was said at that meeting? ;)

Literally everyone at the meeting, including the Russian lawyer told us about the meeting.  Trump Jr. thought he was getting dirt, got Russian orphans and killed the meeting early.  Do you have a source that said something different that you'd like to cite?  Cause, it seems that CNN and NBC might be interested given they seemed to have missed it.

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You don't feel there is anything odd or untoward about Trump refusing to impose Congressional-approved sanctions against Russians, in a bill he himself signed?

Not really.  The discretion was there for a reason (not least of which is that despite their tough talk your own Democratic representatives aren't interested in a trade war or an actual war with Russia).

Uh-huh.  Because we all know how skittish Trump is about starting a possible trade war. :D[/quote]

Did you understood what I wrote, because that's not responsive to me.

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Don't you remember, Seriati?  Trump Jr. talked about how "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia," back in 2008.

And?  Are you asserting that this unusual in an international business context, or that no legitimate businesses have Russian investors?  Do you have some evidence of manipulation or something else?  What about his Japanese and Chinese investors, they a problem too?  What about his investors from other industries, or the European banks?  All issues too?

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But I think these issues are far harder to determine and far more important.  Possibly letting an ambassador die is a terrible thing; cooperating or being beholden to an unfriendly foreign power could be devastating to our nation.

I agree, don't remember you expressing much concern about Hillary's connections to the Saudi's, the Chinese or the Russians, even though we have the paper trail through her Foundation.  I mean, she only went from broke to having a $100 million dollars in next to no time.  That's far less suspicious that  Trump amassing a fortune through legitimate businesses, oh wait...

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You would expect the Republicans in the House to pursue such a question with at least the same zeal and vigor as they pursued the Benghazi investigation.

If they had evidence sure.  They'd be far happier with Pence as President.  Pesky problem though, there are NO FACTS!

Hey, by the way, you should add to your chart, 600,000 Russians live in NYC and Trump is from NYC.  IT'S A CONSPIRACY!

Wayward Son

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2018, 03:45:29 PM »

You seem to be implying that we are entitled to investigate the President, any time, with or without cause, with or without any rational reason, Because its too important that we be sure he's above reproach to risk being weighted down with things like evidence before we start.  If that's the case, mind telling me what all your complaints about investigations of Obama were about?

I've been saying for close to year, if there's evidence put it on the table.  Mueller either has probable cause or he doesn't.  There's almost no circumstance imaginable where he has probable cause and putting it on the table wouldn't open up the investigation to more avenues to get at the truth.  The only cause served by keeping this secret is that of suspicion and innuendo.

Nothing you said, by the way, even remotely challenges what I claimed. You didn't put out any evidence, or any basis upon which your "responsible people" could have a different conclusion.

We have discussed the merits of the Benghazi investigation before, and my complaint was that the investigation went on far longer than necessary given what was found out about it.  It was obviously a political show, not a real investigation.

And, of course, my criticism here is that the House isn't showing anywhere near the zeal into the Russia investigation, apparently for the same reason. :)

You ask for the "evidence" and "probable cause" for Mueller's investigation, let's recall the original Special Council order.  It was for Mueller to continue James Comey's investigation into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, and any matters that may come up during the investigation.  The probable cause were the actions of Paul Maniford and Michael Flynn.  Considering the indictments of Maniford and Flynn, there seemed to be some basis for that.

There was no probably cause to investigate Trump per se.  But during the investigation of Maniford and Flynn and any other possible links or coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, there seems to have been some new evidence uncovered that leads Mueller to increase the scope of his investigation.  He has not revealed this what this information is, and, since this is an on-going, active investigation, he probably should not reveal it, either.

The fact that Mueller has not revealed his "rational reason" for investigating the President (or, more accurately at this point, asking the President questions and reviewing his finances) does not mean they do not exist, nor does it mean you have the right to see them at this time.

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My view is that Russian interference was real, was focused on disruption (and only tangentially on one candidate over another to maximize disruption), and that the partisan focus on the Trump administration has interfered both with our ability to get to the truth and our ability to respond to it.

Again, your opinion.  But we also know that Putin was pretty upset with Obama and Hillary because of their interference with Russia's campaign in the Ukraine.  And we also know our intelligence agencies believe that more support was given to Trump than to Hillary.  Perhaps the Hillary support was only done to give the appearance of being non-partisan? ;)

This again may be my opinion, but it is clearly supported by and informed by Mueller's indictment of the Russian nationals.  What's your support for not believing it?[/quote] 

Mueller's indictment of Maniford and the cooperation of Michael Flynn with the investigation, both of which indicates that there is more to it than just disruption.

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Are you of the view that the Democratic response is not furthering the goal of the Russian campaign?  That it's not causing disruption?  If Trump was legitimately elected, that it hasn't cast enormous doubt and tarnished the entire election process and a legitimate president?

Fortunately, we are quite used to having doubt on the legitimacy of the President by now, after the whole Birther B.S. :)

And the real tarnishing of the President comes from the President himself, in his constant tweets trying to de-legitimize the investigation, which is precisely what you'd expect him to do if he was guilty of some crime.

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How is your view of Trump as a self important narcissist autocrat consistent with the idea that he'd be beholden to anyone?

Because he's a stupid self-important narcissist autocrat.  And he didn't last this long if he didn't have some survival instincts. ;)

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I have no doubt, and it was clearly stated, that the Russians were more anti-Hillary.  I just think that's for the obvious reason that their goal was to undermine the election of the US President and they - like everyone else - thought it would be her. 

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Can we get agreement that there should be evidence of a meaningful collusion?  Or really of any collusion that actually touches Trump?

I assume you mean "probable cause" here, since this is the investigatory phase where evidence is gathered.  Lack of having the evidence when you are trying to find the evidence is a rather high bar to meet, don't you think? ;)

No I didn't mean probable cause.  I meant what I said, there should be evidence of a meaningful collusion or one touching Trump for this investigation to have started and continued this long.  Where is it?

We know they don't have probable cause.  You want to know how?  Cause if they did they'd have subpeoned his bank records, and other things from third parties directly related to Trump.  Instead they've limited their subpeonas to government officials and people connected to process crimes.

I find it depressing how far the left has sunk on its believe in civil liberties.  You're literally advocating that the government investigating people without evidence of a crime is okay.

I mean heck, empanelling Mueller required an articulation of a criminal activity.  Put that one on the table.


As I mentioned before, we don't need probably cause to investigate the President because the investigation had nothing to do with the President when it started.  He was not even mentioned in the original order.  But Mueller has the authority to go where the investigation leads, and since he now has requested Trump's finances, we can be fairly assured that he was good, probable cause reasons for it.  Which you have no right to know at this time.

When it is revealed, then we can discuss if there was sufficient probable cause for investigating the President.  Until then, neither of us know and will know, so we can only trust that Mueller is doing a professional job and following the law.

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Tell me what was relevant about Hope Hicks?

For a certain period of time, she knew things that Trump knew and knew who met with him when.

I believe she was his press secretary during the campaign, so there is some possibility that she might know about certain meetings, of course she may not have been his exclusive secretary (or his secretary at all).  Is there some evidence - I'm unaware of - about his meetings that indicates he met with someone in furtherence of an illegal activity?  Or again, are you advocating for a fishing expedition.  You do understand there has to be probable cause to issue a subpeona in an investigation, what's the probable cause here?

Isn't that exactly what I asked for?  That you put up the information that's prompting you to ask to see his calendar?  Or do you think everyone's calendar is open to any prosecutor, that they can compel anyone else to talk about it and to subject them to "lieing to the FBI" charges about mistakes?

I didn't ask for Hope to be subpoenaed, so I don't have in front of me the reason she was.  Why do you think I should have it?  Why do you think you should have it?  Why do you think every step of this investigation should be made public the second it is found?  Aren't there laws against just that, making on-going investigations public?

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AFAIK, Obama's AGs were not part of the investigation there were in charge of.

Neither was Sessions.  He recused himself because he was associated with the campaign (barely), not because of any Russian connection.  That's far less of a conflict than either of Obama's AGs had, though I guess you're not going to admit it.

He recused himself because he was involved in the Trump campaign, and was one of the witnesses.  How many times were Obama's AGs interviewed as witnesses in their investigations?

You seriously see no conflict of interest when the person in charge of an investigation is one of the witnesses in the investigation?  :o

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The fact that Sessions omitted certain meetings with Russians required him to testify about his role in the investigation itself, not to mention his role during Trump's campaign.  While some claim he "recused himself unnecessarily," I find it unconvincing considering these facts.

It's just a fact he recused himself unnecessarily.  There's literally no one that could have called him to account if he had not done so.  He has no actual connection to anything related to the Russia investigation that's been demonstrated, which means even the Russia taint angle is weak.

I can't imagine that you'll find anything "convincing".  I'd challenge you to spell it, what it is that you'd find convincing, but when I did that in the Benghazi situation and it actually showed up in the emails that were disclosed over time you just ignored it and kept going.

I can see that nothing will change your opinion (not a "fact") that Sessions recused himself unnecessarily, too.

BTW, I don't recall exactly what you are referring to in the Benghazi investigation that I ignored.  I recall ignoring the fact that they misattributed the attack on the video, because a) they admitted it within a week, b) they had justification from the CIA memo, and c) it's a tempest in a teapot.  So what if the lied for a week?  They corrected themselves in a short period of time, and the reason for the attack had no bearing on the response.  What's the big deal?

Or was it something else you are referring to?

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Trump Jr?  What do you think he knows that's relevant?  We already know he was too politically naive to avoid a meeting with the Russian lawyer.

Who says he's the only one "politically naïve?" ;)

Who did say he's the only one?

No one.  But he may have reported back to the Donald, who then, in his political naïvete, may have done something that was illegal.  Don Jr. would have seen that.

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And he certainly knows quite a bit about Trump's financial holdings, which definitely could be relevant to any investigation of Russian influence.

Lol - could be.  Doesn't make anyone entitled to see them.  You could only force  Trump Jr. to answer questions about his or his father's private  financial holdings with a subpeona.  Nothing about those is a government record or within the oversight authority of Congress.

You are literally calling for an illegal fishing expedition.  Pretty much exactly what I said about the left, you think you have a bad guy, therefore anything you do is "authorized".

You're right, Congress should not investigate anything about Trump finances without strong evidence of wrongdoing, although it would be in Mueller' purview if he found some evidence.  Was Trump Jr. asked about that by Congress?

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Steve Bannon - I hope you are joking.  The only reason he was called was to try and get him to violate executive privilege.

He was part of the campaign before Trump had any "executive privilege," and he reportedly called some of Trump's alleged behavior "treasonous."  I can see a few questions that Representatives might want to ask. ;)

You can call him about his government functions, though those are subject to executive privilege.  To call him about the rest, you need some kind of evidence that he has knowledge of something that's illegal.  What specifically is that?  What, other than innuendo, have you seem him referenced in regards?

AFIAK, a reported statement of "that would be treason" is more than innuendo. 

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And don't forget, the committee signed a subpoena while they were asking him questions because he was stonewalling.  A subpoena written and signed by the ruling Republican committee members, I might add.  Why is it you believe the Republicans on the committee so strongly wanted him to violate executive privilege?

At a guess, they hate Bannon and want to make him uncomfortable.  Did they enforce that subpeona?

AFAIK, no, since the Republicans in the committee decided that they didn't want to ask more questions.

But why would Republicans want to make Bannon uncomfortable?  And why, specifically, by trying to get him to violate executive privilege?  If Bannon did violate it, that would have made Donald mad.  Why would House Republicans want to do that?  There seems to be little or no motivation for House Republicans to go on a fishing expedition, which you seem to be insisting that they did.

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So you're saying because Trump Jr. thought he was going to get dirt from the Russians on Clinton,...

That's literally what it said in the email trail.  Did you have some other knowledge?

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...and even though all the other members in that meeting had ties to Russian intelligence,...

Lol, and Trump Jr. would have known that how?  Did the Obama admin send him a text?  Lol.

It doesn't matter if Trump Jr. knew or not.  The meeting was filled with people who had expertise in intelligence and information, not adoptions. :)

If someone went to a meeting to discuss secret info that was attended by the head of the CIA, the FBI and the NSA, would you believe him if he told you the only thing they discussed was the adoption crisis in the U.S.  ;)

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.... and even though a day or two later the Donald himself mentioned that something big would be revealed about Hillary, since they only talked about adoptions (even those who had nothing to do with adoptions), there is nothing to be suspicious about.  ???

Exactly who told us what was said at that meeting? ;)

Literally everyone at the meeting, including the Russian lawyer told us about the meeting.  Trump Jr. thought he was getting dirt, got Russian orphans and killed the meeting early.  Do you have a source that said something different that you'd like to cite?  Cause, it seems that CNN and NBC might be interested given they seemed to have missed it.

Thank God no one at that meeting had any reason to lie about what was discussed!  Otherwise, you might not be so quick to believe them at face value. ;)

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You don't feel there is anything odd or untoward about Trump refusing to impose Congressional-approved sanctions against Russians, in a bill he himself signed?

Not really.  The discretion was there for a reason (not least of which is that despite their tough talk your own Democratic representatives aren't interested in a trade war or an actual war with Russia).

Uh-huh.  Because we all know how skittish Trump is about starting a possible trade war. :D

Did you understood what I wrote, because that's not responsive to me.

I'm saying that those are pretty lame reasons for not imposing the sanctions.  The sanctions were to punish Russia for their past interference with our elections.  Trump is obviously not scared of upsetting other nations--or, at least, friendly nations. ;)  So the reasons for his "discretion" seem pretty thin to me, and should for you, too. 

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Don't you remember, Seriati?  Trump Jr. talked about how "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia," back in 2008.

And?  Are you asserting that this unusual in an international business context, or that no legitimate businesses have Russian investors?  Do you have some evidence of manipulation or something else?  What about his Japanese and Chinese investors, they a problem too?  What about his investors from other industries, or the European banks?  All issues too?

Taken alone, it would not be suspicious.  But taken in context of all the other problems we are having with Russia, and all the suspicious behavior he and those around him are doing, it is a possible door for undo influence on the highest office in our land.  He may literally owe the Russians.

And, frankly, I would like to know if he owes the Japanese and Chinese, too.  Wouldn't you have liked to know if Obama or Hillary had large debts with some foreign countries? ;)

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But I think these issues are far harder to determine and far more important.  Possibly letting an ambassador die is a terrible thing; cooperating or being beholden to an unfriendly foreign power could be devastating to our nation.

I agree, don't remember you expressing much concern about Hillary's connections to the Saudi's, the Chinese or the Russians, even though we have the paper trail through her Foundation.  I mean, she only went from broke to having a $100 million dollars in next to no time.  That's far less suspicious that  Trump amassing a fortune through legitimate businesses, oh wait...

The big difference between Trump's holdings and Hillary's Foundation is that the finances of Hillary's Foundation are public.  We know how much she got, from whom, when she got it, and how she spent it.  And we know for a fact that it was not spent on her or her husband, because that would be illegal, and it is beyond the pale of possibility that something that obvious was missed.

Trump, on the other hand...

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You would expect the Republicans in the House to pursue such a question with at least the same zeal and vigor as they pursued the Benghazi investigation.

If they had evidence sure.  They'd be far happier with Pence as President.  Pesky problem though, there are NO FACTS!

Hey, by the way, you should add to your chart, 600,000 Russians live in NYC and Trump is from NYC.  IT'S A CONSPIRACY!

There were no facts in the Benghazi investigation either.  :P  Otherwise, those facts would have been revealed by the end, and you'd have more to be mad about than just them lying for a week about what instigated the attack.

And the problem with President Pence is that Trump's supporters would be royally p***d if Republicans impeached him.  The Conservative Media would be screaming that it was unjustified, and those supporters would have it out for anyone who voted to remove Trump from office.  If they were absolutely sure Trump committed crimes, and had the evidence, they might risk it.  But that's what you get at the end of an investigation, not during it.  ::)  You keep seeming to want all the evidence to be there before investigating.

And the House Republicans have decided they want to end the investigation before all their questions are answered.

velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2018, 07:45:18 PM »
Seriati wrote
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I've been saying for close to year, if there's evidence put it on the table.  Mueller either has probable cause or he doesn't.  There's almost no circumstance imaginable where he has probable cause and putting it on the table wouldn't open up the investigation to more avenues to get at the truth.  The only cause served by keeping this secret is that of suspicion and innuendo.

I am pretty sure you are aware of the very regular circumstances where prosecutors have plenty of evidence but they don't reveal it.  I will list some of the obvious ones.

There are cooperating witnesses who will be exposed by the evidence.
There is evidence that is strong, but does not clearly meet the applicable standard.  Prosecutors can use that as a lever to make witnesses cooperate to get stronger evidence. ("With this evidence, you have a 50% chance of going to jail for 20 years.  Do you want to take that chance, or do you want to cooperate?")  Delaying release of specific evidence, or watering it down, may be part of the negotiation.
There is evidence that is strong, but it has leads to stronger evidence that may become harder to access if the initial evidence is released.
Releasing weak evidence over time is less effective at getting action than releasing strong evidence at a later time. If a prosecutor finds wrongdoing, he would want the evidence to have maximum impact to make the strongest case.


velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2018, 08:00:28 PM »
Seriati wrote
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We know they don't have probable cause.  You want to know how?  Cause if they did they'd have subpeoned his bank records, and other things from third parties directly related to Trump.  Instead they've limited their subpeonas to government officials and people connected to process crimes.

I am also pretty sure you are aware that the Democrats can not subpoena anything.  They need Republican support for that.  There have been multiple occasions where Democrats have asked for information, witnesses have refused, and then Republicans have refused to issue a subpoena.

And about probable cause - here's the 16 page Survey of House and Senate
Committee Rules on Subpoenas
  Based on a text search, the phrase "probable cause" is never mentioned.

Could you provide sources explaining your argument about probable cause in Congressional subpoenas?


velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2018, 08:31:07 PM »
Seriati wrote
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So the House investigation is coming to a close, and surprise surprise it didn't find any evidence of collusion.

I would suggest waiting for the Democrat's report before drawing that conclusion.

Also, please consider:
One of Candidate Trump's 5 foreign policy advisers bragged about getting Clinton's emails from Russia.
Another one of his advisors was under investigation under a FISA warrant in 2014 for potentially being compromised by Russia.
Trump Jr. took a meeting with Russians assuming that they had illegal emails stolen from Clinton
Trump's campaign manager worked for many years with Ukrainians and Russians.  That seemed to be his main qualification.
Jeff Sessions lied under oath, oh excuse me, "forgot" about meeting with Russians.
Jared Kushner filed false documents, omitting meetings with Russians.
Donald Trump released classified information to Russians, revealing sources for intel given to us by allies.
Donald Trump has refused to enact sanctions against Russia.
Trump has decades of history with Russian underworld figures.

None of this is proof of collusion.  All of it (and plenty more) is reason to keep looking.

And by the way, the standard is not collusion.  The standard is conspiracy to commit a crime.  So, for example, talking about getting Clinton's emails from Russia is conspiring with Russia to violate US laws.  Trump Jr., when asked if he wanted "dirt' on Clinton from Russians, said yes, and went to the meeting.  Is that worth a constitutional crisis?  Probably not.  Is it evidence of conspiracy on the part of the Trump campaign?  I think the evidence speaks for itself.

NobleHunter

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2018, 08:59:31 PM »
It's worth pointing out that despite partisan muckraking by the Democrats, at least half the point of Mueller's investigation is to prove that there wasn't collusion. At least, not by Trump himself and not deliberately treasonous collusion.

cherrypoptart

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2018, 06:19:07 AM »
Now that the Russian collusion thing has turned out to be a big nothing burger it looks like the next scapegoat is Facebook. The outrage is only because Hillary lost. If she had won using the same tactics (Ada anyone?) she'd be hailed as a techno savvy oracle, just like Obama was when he used social media to help him win. Fake outrage, fake news, agenda driven to delegitimize the democratic foundation of our country, exactly like what the liberals accused Trump of doing when he said he might not accept the results of the election. All of this with blaming Russia and Facebook and suddenly after 8 years of it being fine under Obama tearing down Confederate statues and flags is what not accepting the results of an election looks like. It's more like what it looks like at the zoo with monkeys flinging their own feces at everyone and anyone, everything and anything, just because they are in a rage and can't find any better, more productive ways to express themselves.

Crunch

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2018, 08:56:20 AM »
It's worth pointing out that despite partisan muckraking by the Democrats, at least half the point of Mueller's investigation is to prove that there wasn't collusion.

 :o The point is to get Trump. That’s it. Nothing else.

TheDeamon

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2018, 09:59:54 AM »
And by the way, the standard is not collusion.  The standard is conspiracy to commit a crime.  So, for example, talking about getting Clinton's emails from Russia is conspiring with Russia to violate US laws.  Trump Jr., when asked if he wanted "dirt' on Clinton from Russians, said yes, and went to the meeting.  Is that worth a constitutional crisis?  Probably not.  Is it evidence of conspiracy on the part of the Trump campaign?  I think the evidence speaks for itself.

In this vein, it is entirely possible the Junior thing is an extension of/exploitation of the "Russia if you're listening" comment Trump made on the campaign trail about Hillary's missing/deleted e-mails.

As such, not sure how applicable a conspiracy charge would be if Trump Junior went into a meeting thinking the Russians were about to hand over those e-mails which may have been criminally expunged on the part of the Clinton staff. Particularly given those e-mails had been deleted something on the order of years previously IIRC.

Yeah, what a conspiracy, he potentially attempted to conspire with the Russians to get access to data they potentially obtained years before.  :-\

Now if it was a more recent hack that's a different ballgame, but as it stands, the actual meeting was a bait-and-switch where it isn't entirely clear if those he met with were overtly acting for "the Russians," or somebody else setting up a scandal. Even with their connections to Russia. "Has 'Russians' for a client, or major client" is a wildly different thing than "We only have Russians for clients."

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2018, 11:36:38 AM »
Fascinating tidbit I just learned, somehow never mentioned in the endless coverage of how McCabe was being fired two days before he qualified for his pension, he doesn't actually lose his pension, he still gets it.  The difference is he can't start collecting it at 50, he has to wait until he's 57.  Not sure why our debtor nation is paying public servants pensions before 65 in any event, but this hardly the mean spirited travesty we've been sold (assuming of course that this is true).

Seriati wrote
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I've been saying for close to year, if there's evidence put it on the table.  Mueller either has probable cause or he doesn't.  There's almost no circumstance imaginable where he has probable cause and putting it on the table wouldn't open up the investigation to more avenues to get at the truth.  The only cause served by keeping this secret is that of suspicion and innuendo.

I am pretty sure you are aware of the very regular circumstances where prosecutors have plenty of evidence but they don't reveal it.  I will list some of the obvious ones.

I think you missed the point.  This isn't a regular prosecution.  This is potentially an indictment of a President.  If he's guilty it should have come out as soon as possible.  The remedy here is impeachment, not trial, and if's most likely guilty then he should be taken out of office as soon as possible.

On the other hand, if there is no real evidence on the principal claim - collusion with the Russians, he should have been cleared as soon as possible.  Sure Mueller might find other crimes later in the process of his investigation, but the pursuit of financial crimes should not be holding up the resolution of the preeminent political claim.

This is a flawed process.  I don't think there's a there there, which means the purpose of the process is highly suspect to me.  If you do think there's a there there, why would you think delaying bringing it and the impeachment it'll lead to is the right answer?

Meuller's investigation seems targeted at the election rather than at a crime, and that is NOT LEGITIMATE.

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There are cooperating witnesses who will be exposed by the evidence.

If this was mafia case that'd be a concern.  As that's part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.  What ongoing "collusion" is there to pursue?

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There is evidence that is strong, but does not clearly meet the applicable standard.  Prosecutors can use that as a lever to make witnesses cooperate to get stronger evidence.

There is no real standard for an impeachment.

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("With this evidence, you have a 50% chance of going to jail for 20 years.  Do you want to take that chance, or do you want to cooperate?")  Delaying release of specific evidence, or watering it down, may be part of the negotiation.
There is evidence that is strong, but it has leads to stronger evidence that may become harder to access if the initial evidence is released.

If Trump is the target there's little merit to these ideas, if he's not there's little merit to not clearing him and getting his cooperation.  Do you think Trump once cleared is going to go out of his way to protect downstream staffers who engaged in wrong doing?  What's his catchphrase again?  Your fired.

If the remedy here was truly just bringing a case and trying to put someone in jail, you'd have a bit of an argument.  But when the true remedy is political, letting the investigation itself become so political is a problem (and I'm not even asserting political bias, only that the delay in acting has had political consequences in both directions, either Mueller has by inaction let a crook continue in office, or by inaction damaged the administration of a legitimate president). 

This is not a call for whitewash or bad job, this is a statement that he either has red meat or he doesn't.  It's time to bring it to the table.

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Releasing weak evidence over time is less effective at getting action than releasing strong evidence at a later time. If a prosecutor finds wrongdoing, he would want the evidence to have maximum impact to make the strongest case.

Sure he does, in this case the political question outweighs the needs of minor criminal cases. 

I mean seriously, if all Meuller has are soft lying to the FBI charges about activities that weren't even illegal, then this a complete farce and a withhunt.  If he has actual evidence of treachery, then delaying it is causing an ongoing harm to the country.

LetterRip

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2018, 12:17:16 PM »
The Republican and conservative response to this is amusing.  It is like they have zero knowledge of how criminal investigations work.  It isn't like Trump operatives are going to readily admit to criminal activities and instantly flip on Trump.

In most criminal conspiracies what happens is that you get the lower people on other crimes, get them to flip and get the evidence of the more severe crimes committed by the leadership.

This investigation is complicated due to the pardon power of the President.  Thus only charges and pleas for things that are crimes under Federal law but not State law are being charged rather than all relevant charges.

Criminal investigations are usually 2-6 years, this is only barely started its second year.

This investigation is moving at lightening speed compared to typical such investigations.

velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2018, 12:49:16 PM »
Seriati wrote
Quote
"I think you missed the point.  This isn't a regular prosecution.  This is potentially an indictment of a President.  If he's guilty it should have come out as soon as possible.  The remedy here is impeachment, not trial, and if's most likely guilty then he should be taken out of office as soon as possible."

Please make up your mind.  Is the outcome of the investigation a decision to indict?  If so, it is a regular prosecution.  If it to collect information for impeachment, then it is a different story.  In fact, it is the former.  The latter is a function reserved for Congress.

Your personal preference that all facts be released instantly is irrelevant.  Prosecutors go slowly and cautiously, even strategically.  If that does not fit your political preference, it does not really justify your conclusion that if Mueller does not release all information now, he either has none or is harming the country by waiting.

If waiting is harming the country, then Trump should immediately testify under oath, and release all his taxes and financial information.  That, without any question, would be best for the country.

And I am waiting for your response regarding your "probable cause" comment.  On the surface, it appears that it has no basis in fact.  Please correct me by providing sources.

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2018, 12:57:40 PM »
This is going quickly when you compare to the only precedent, Watergate and the Starr investigation.

The first guilty pleas for Watergate were January 73. Televised hearings in May. More indictments and convictions followed, through April 74 - mostly perjury. Resignation didn't come until August.

Whitewater had its first guilty pleas May 96. Impeached Dec 98.

There is no 24 second clock or out of bounds when it comes to investigating the integrity of the person in the Oval Office.

We are currently at the stage where the President will be pressured to testify and hand over documents. Given the fact that the President seems to have surrounded himself with a bunch of money laundering liars, I'd say this is perfectly appropriate.

Maybe there is no election collusion. But if Trump was helping Russian oligarchs funnel dirty cash through his businesses, the American people deserve to know that too.

Fenring

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2018, 01:06:52 PM »
Maybe there is no election collusion. But if Trump was helping Russian oligarchs funnel dirty cash through his businesses, the American people deserve to know that too.

Huh. You know, I'm not sure I even agree with this. Crimes related to the office and the election are directly pertinent to whether the election was legitimate, and whether the President should be impeached for violating the oaths of office. But let's say it were to happen (as sometimes does) that the public knowingly elected someone who they were aware was a criminal. I'm recollecting that weird case of a guy in Virginia winning an election while in jail. Is being elected to public office, even the Presidency, a carte blanche open invitation to investigate that person's history, financial dealings, and all other potential past crimes in the form of a fishing expedition? It doesn't strike me as being altogether just to suppose that being a VIP suddenly means you're going to have criminal investigations targeted at you 24/7 just to see if you ever broke the law. Heck, even if it's almost certain you did I still wonder whether that's legitimate, if the laws in question have nothing to do with the office itself. If there was a move to contest eligibility for President that should have occurred during the primaries, not after election to the Presidency. I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with investigating the President just because he's the President. The argument of "but shouldn't we know if the President's a criminal??" doesn't hold that much water with me, if it means treating him differently than he was treated as a private citizen as regards his business activities. You're not suddenly 'more guilty' if you're elected to office.

The thing that should be investigated is possible election fraud, treason, conspiracy to undermine an election, and now corruption of office. If any of these are true the public deserves to know. I do not think it's the public's business how Trump filed his taxes 10 years ago, although it certainly is the IRS's business.

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2018, 01:24:36 PM »
I understand that argument Fenring. Where do you get 10 years ago from? What if it was how Trump was laundering money in 2016 while he was campaigning? Or what if it were 10 years ago, but it gives a criminal organization leverage over the President while in office?



NobleHunter

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2018, 01:30:47 PM »
I think it's worth knowing if the President would be able to pass a background check. While a President is legally exempt from rules about security classification, the principle behind them still apply. He's still being entrusted with the nation's biggest secrets. If his son-in-law can't get clearance (that's what happened, right?), there's reason to believe Trump couldn't if he didn't have clearance by definition.

Fenring

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2018, 04:04:45 PM »
What if it was how Trump was laundering money in 2016 while he was campaigning? Or what if it were 10 years ago, but it gives a criminal organization leverage over the President while in office?

Like I said, if there are matters that directly violate election law or the oath of office (which includes the ability and willingness to serve the American people first) then that would be pertinent. I chose 10 years arbitrarily because I know that a lot of people are pushing to rifle through Trump's whole financial past to 'catch him' and get rid of him, and I don't think that's legitimate. As Seriati has pointed out, it should take a court order with probable cause to investigate Trump's private financial dealings. "He's probably cozy with Russia" is not a reason to go fishing for random miscellany Trump may be guilty of, unless there is specific evidence on the table that those private illegal dealings are specifically relevant to the election. For instance, if it was shown positively that money laundered through a Trump hotel was used to finance his campaign, I think that would be relevant. But unless the evidence for that already exists I don't think merely suspecting that he probably would have done that is grounds to investigate.

Now there is also probably a grey zone within the timeframe of the election where I'd agree with you that his business dealings should be held to tighter scrutiny. Unusual transfers from Russian organizations or banks during the election period would be suspected, or mysterious investment in his businesses by people who are now magically receiving political favors - all that kind of stuff should be open season to inspect and target for investigation, if there's good evidence it happened. But stuff years before the election, I don't think so. I'm not quite sure I'm firm on this position, but as I said it doesn't feel right to just go after the President because he's unpopular.

velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2018, 09:46:00 PM »
I don't think you can say that people knew about his criminal activity and elected him anyway.
He refused to release his tax returns, so we had no way of knowing.

Also, Mueller had a specific task to investigate, but the Republican Congress said he should investigate any other crimes he found in the course of his specific investigation.  Obviously it should not be a fishing expedition.  But it is entirely proper for Mueller to investigate claims that Trump owed millions of dollars to Russian mafia with connections to Putin. (There is reasonable evidence to suggest this).  It is proper, because it might be motive for Trump to collaborate with Putin, or lead to other connections.  If in the process of seeing who Trump owed what, they found out about money laundering, it is their duty to pursue that.  It is not a fishing expedition.

So yes, it is reasonable for Mueller to look for evidence of Trump laundering money 10 years ago.  It is explicitly in his duties to pursue that if he finds facts pointing to it.

As a reminder, the perjury charge against Clinton was from an investigation into a real estate deal years before Clinton was president, which morphed into investigations into Clinton's sexual history, about which Kenneth Starr decided Cinton perjured himself.  I don't think getting Trump for laundering Russian money is too much of a stretch when the goal was to see if he was collaborating with Russians.

Fenring

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2018, 11:42:26 PM »
I don't think you can say that people knew about his criminal activity and elected him anyway.
He refused to release his tax returns, so we had no way of knowing.

It was phrased in the hypothetical, not as a statement of fact.

Quote
I don't think getting Trump for laundering Russian money is too much of a stretch when the goal was to see if he was collaborating with Russians.

Like I said, if it's directly pertinent to his Presidency then I don't see any problem with it. Since I'm not in on the investigation I can't state factually what they are actually looking for, and how.

velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2018, 08:23:29 AM »
The Attorney General's authorization for Mueller's investigation explicitly says
Quote
The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:
(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

From the Washington Post
Quote
The referenced part of the Code of Federal Regulations, 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a), allows the special counsel to “investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses.”

So while you may prefer the investigation only cover Presidential topics, the actual policy and law is much broader.

(I may have said congressional authorization in an earlier post, but the authority comes from the Attorney General's office)

Please note, this covers *any* matters that arise.  So as I said, if he is investigating contacts with Russians, and sees money laundering, he is authorized to investigate.

Also note, the authorization is not to investigate collusion, or even conspiracy.  The authorization is to investigate "links and/or coordination"  And wherever that leads, Mueller  is authorized to go.  If he prosecutes Trump for lying about Stormy Daniels under oath, we can call it even, but up until then, I don't think Republicans have the right to complain.

velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2018, 07:45:18 AM »
Thinking about this some more...

Seriati said
Quote
So at this point, I have some serious criticism for Mueller.  Either he has the goods and its unconscionable that he's letting the farce continue, or he doesn't have the goods and his continuing is the farce.  Either way, his continuing silence is harming the country. If he doesn't have the President it's time to share what he does have with Congress.

It seems like what you are saying is that at an arbitrary fixed point in time, Mueller's investigation is in a binary state.  He either "has the goods" or not.  You leave no room for reality, which is he is doing an extremely complex investigation.

Would you have him stop now, and share what he has?  It may be dozens of witnesses testifying to money laundering on Trump's part.  But Mueller has not had time to painstakingly investigate each case, so there is no "proof".  I am fairly certain that Trump apologists would then pounce on the fact that there is no proof (ignoring the "yet").  If proof is obtained, they would then say that the proof is in doubt, because "remember this accusation came from those witnesses we showed were unreliable".  If you doubt this, the Steele Dossier is an example.  It has unproven aspects, as well as evidence that has been corroborated.  But Trump apologists dismiss the entire thing because elements are not proven.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2018, 01:03:11 PM »
So an interesting development over night, that Mueller has had to disclosure more of his instruction in order to rebut Manafort's claims that Mueller had no authority to investigate him for the Ukrainian activities.  Based on the original instructions released, Manafort had a point, based on the redacted secret instructions released the Ukrainian issues were expressly included in Mueller's instructions by Rosenstein.  I suspect that this will allow Mueller's case to go forward.

What I find most interesting though is that this admission should literally end Mueller's investigation with respect to Manafort.  It's all over the response that Mueller filed that the prosecution authority is exclusively the Attorney General's (ie Jeff Sessions), except that it can be wielded by someone else (ie Rosenstein) where the Attorney General assigns it to him, or he is recused.  The problem here is that Sessions is recused from the Russian investigation to the extent it involves the campaign, which he was nominally involved in.  What does that have to do with Manafort's efforts with Ukraine from years prior?  It's not part of Session's recusal, which means Rosenstein didn't have the authority to place it with Mueller, that required Session's approval.   On it's face Mueller demonstrated that he doesn't have proper authority for those charges.

DJQuag

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2018, 01:26:46 PM »
"Wow this guy is finding out a lot of *censored* about a lot of people...maybe, if you look at it the right way, someone may have made a slight mistake. Probably not, though. Just to be safe, let's scrap the whole thing. I wouldn't want Republicans to look bad."

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2018, 01:38:53 PM »
Not a paraphrase of my position.  I'm cognizant that Flynn, for example, has had to sell his house to defend himself.  That defending an investigation will cost you millions of dollars - do you have that?  We can't all be Andrew McCabe and have a gofund me page filled to overflowing in 24 hours.  I am cognizant that forcing someone to cut a deal, even to lie or mislead, to keep themselves out of prison for an unrelated matter (even a made up matter) is standard operating procedure for a prosecutor with a mission.

There's only one reason to include the Ukraine in the mandate, to allow Mueller to use it to force a deal.  That's it.  That's part of the bag of tricks for a prosecutor, to bring a charge that they never would have in another circumstance, to force you into millions of dollars of defensive costs or years in prison to get you to say what they want in court. 

Do you believe that if I could force you to spend millions or go to jail that I couldn't get you to say what I want? You may think you'd rebel at the last second, but then you'd go to jail for perjury and for the original charges. 

I mean honestly, why do you think in the Clinton email investigation the DOJ handed out immunity deals to all her staffers without actually getting anything in return?  No charges, yet everyone material is now immune.  Designed to frustrate any ability of any prosecutor to do what Mueller is doing, to flip the irrelevant with the excessively punitive nature of the system into a self interested trade .

I've railed about it before, but it's ridiculous that our current system ends up with 90%+ plea deals where you have no choice but to accept a bad deal cause the consequences of not doing so are worse.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 01:41:04 PM by Seriati »

DJQuag

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2018, 01:53:41 PM »
Funnily enough, there is something we agree on here.

Plea deals push a whole lot of innocent people into pleading guilty to things that they didn't do, and they spend time in prison for it. If it were up to me, plea deals would be made illegal. If your court has too little time to deal with the criminal cases before it, then perhaps it is time to look at the law.

Anyway, you're a big fan of whataboutism, and in the current environment, I'll use it as well. The Republicans used every last dirty trick available to hamstring Obama, and most of them *worked.*

The situation is what it is, and I don't like it, but I'm all in for someone legally investigating the potential wrongdoings of an R president. Ya'll can reap what you planted from when I had to deal with the Kenya and Benghazi bull*censored* over my president.

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2018, 01:58:55 PM »
Quote
Michael Flynn Net Worth is $7 million USD and earns an annual income of $900,000 dollars. The Net Worth of Michael Flynn has seen a hike of 25% over the past few years.

Yup, he just couldn't afford those legal bills. There is a problem with the excessive use of threats and plea deals - when it applies to single Moms for getting caught with a controlled substance and denied or unable to raise bail. Not retired generals who lie about their contacts with Russian officials.


velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2018, 09:24:02 PM »
Quote
What I find most interesting though is that this admission should literally end Mueller's investigation with respect to Manafort.  It's all over the response that Mueller filed that the prosecution authority is exclusively the Attorney General's (ie Jeff Sessions), except that it can be wielded by someone else (ie Rosenstein) where the Attorney General assigns it to him, or he is recused.  The problem here is that Sessions is recused from the Russian investigation to the extent it involves the campaign, which he was nominally involved in.  What does that have to do with Manafort's efforts with Ukraine from years prior?  It's not part of Session's recusal, which means Rosenstein didn't have the authority to place it with Mueller, that required Session's approval.   On it's face Mueller demonstrated that he doesn't have proper authority for those charges.

What I find most interesting is that if you actually read the latest letter, you find out that the complete opposite is true.  But first, let me remind you of the scope of the investigation from the original letter.

Quote
The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:
(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

Your opinion is that this authorization only covers items "to the extent it involves the campaign".  Except if that was the intent, you would think they might put that in there somewhere. They didn't mention it.  Nobody mentioned it, even though Manafort has already been indicted for lots of things unrelated to the campaign, and nobody bought that argument. 

If Sessions thought that his recusal was limited to the campaign, and he would be active in any non-campaign investigations stemming from investigations into the campaign, you would think that he would have spoken up by now.  But he hasn't.

The way this works, in countries where even the appearance of corruption is to be avoided, is that if you recuse yourself, you let it run.  You trust your Acting Attorney General, and don't risk sullying the reputation of your Office by jumping back in when things don't go the way you want.

Now to the most recent letter.  It says that
Quote
"The May 17, 2017 [appointment] order was worded categorically in order to permit its release without confirming specific investigations involving specific individuals," Rosenstein wrote in the Aug. 2, 2017 memo. "The following allegations were within the scope of the Investigation at the time of your appointment and are within the scope of the Order: ... Allegations that Paul Manafort: Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law. Committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych."

In other words, this was part of the original authorization, but was not part of the public order.  Notice, again, that there is no limitation to the Trump campaign. In fact, it is explicitly outside the Trump campaign, since the previous sentence included the Trump campaign.

I'll say it again.  The investigation, and everything stemming from it, is under the control of the Acting Attorney General.  Both letters explicitly say that.  The Attorney General has had ample opportunity to involve himself, if that were proper and necessary, but he has not.

So I don't think this will end Mueller's investigation into Manafort.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2018, 02:44:57 PM »
Quote
What I find most interesting though is that this admission should literally end Mueller's investigation with respect to Manafort.  It's all over the response that Mueller filed that the prosecution authority is exclusively the Attorney General's (ie Jeff Sessions), except that it can be wielded by someone else (ie Rosenstein) where the Attorney General assigns it to him, or he is recused.  The problem here is that Sessions is recused from the Russian investigation to the extent it involves the campaign, which he was nominally involved in.  What does that have to do with Manafort's efforts with Ukraine from years prior?  It's not part of Session's recusal, which means Rosenstein didn't have the authority to place it with Mueller, that required Session's approval.   On it's face Mueller demonstrated that he doesn't have proper authority for those charges.

What I find most interesting is that if you actually read the latest letter, you find out that the complete opposite is true.  But first, let me remind you of the scope of the investigation from the original letter.

Not sure you understood what I wrote if you think that is the case.  In fact, citing to the text of the letter literally proves you didn't.

Just to be clear, as I literally noted in the text of my post that you chose not to quote: "Based on the original instructions released, Manafort had a point, based on the redacted secret instructions released the Ukrainian issues were expressly included in Mueller's instructions by Rosenstein.  I suspect that this will allow Mueller's case to go forward."

Quote
Your opinion is that this authorization only covers items "to the extent it involves the campaign".

No.  Literally not what I said.  I said:  "The problem here is that Sessions is recused from the Russian investigation to the extent it involves the campaign, which he was nominally involved in."

Which makes your quote either misleading or deliberately false.  In any event, the literal point is that Sessions is not recused - on any known basis - from the Ukranian based charges against Manafort.  That literally means he would have had to delegate authority of them to Rosenstein for them to properly part of Rosenstein's authority.  Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but we haven't seen direct evidence on that point.

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2018, 02:59:59 PM »
Sorry for the two posts, have a bizarre technical limitation that hits periodically.

If Sessions thought that his recusal was limited to the campaign, and he would be active in any non-campaign investigations stemming from investigations into the campaign, you would think that he would have spoken up by now.  But he hasn't.

I agree with you.  You would think Sessions would speak up.  On the other hand, I think he wants nothing to do with this - whether or not he's recused - it's not consistent with his ambition to get involved.  However, that doesn't mean Manafort can't make the claim himself (well, there's an actual dispute on that point too, but that's neither here nor there).

Quote
The way this works, in countries where even the appearance of corruption is to be avoided, is that if you recuse yourself, you let it run.  You trust your Acting Attorney General, and don't risk sullying the reputation of your Office by jumping back in when things don't go the way you want.

That's true, of course if we were applying that standard it's not clear how Mueller could even be running the investigation.  I mean he was interviewed for a job in the administration immediately before taking this one, and seems to have expanded the investigation to investigate the firing of a personal friend.  To me, the only way he's not conflicted here is if his investigation is going to be massively disappointing to the left, because he's not investigating anything related to his personal conflicts.

Quote
In other words, this was part of the original authorization, but was not part of the public order.  Notice, again, that there is no limitation to the Trump campaign. In fact, it is explicitly outside the Trump campaign, since the previous sentence included the Trump campaign.

Which was exactly my point.  Rosenstein doesn't have the general authority to appoint a special prosecutor, only Sessions does.  Rosenstein's authority to appoint is specifically limited to the recusal topic and anything Sessions specifically delegated to him.  Proving that the grant of the authority covers items that were outside the recusal literally proves that it was an appointment that isn't legally authorized.

If Sessions supports him this is a technicality that could be corrected, though I'm not sure Sessions really has the guts to do that.

Quote
I'll say it again.  The investigation, and everything stemming from it, is under the control of the Acting Attorney General.  Both letters explicitly say that.

Why don't you say 3 or 4 more times, while you are at it?  Whether it's under his control, which no one disputed, isn't really material to whether it was authorized legally.

Quote
The Attorney General has had ample opportunity to involve himself, if that were proper and necessary, but he has not.

Agreed.

Quote
So I don't think this will end Mueller's investigation into Manafort.

Glad you agree with what I already said.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 03:04:01 PM by Seriati »

velcro

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2018, 07:40:20 PM »
I just want to lay this out as clearly as possible.

On April 3, Seriati said
Quote
this admission should literally end Mueller's investigation with respect to Manafort.

I disagreed, provided evidence, and concluded
Quote
So I don't think this will end Mueller's investigation into Manafort.

Seriati's reply to that precise conclusion, yesterday, was
Quote
Glad you agree with what I already said.

On it's face, it appears Seriati made a statement, and then claimed that he said the precise opposite.

Maybe he changed his mind, admitted his error, and actually said that this will not end the investigation.  If I missed that, please point it out to me.

Or maybe the original statement was a typo on Seriati's part.  If so, please let me know.

Or maybe there is some other explanation of which I am unaware.

If none of these is the case, then the conclusion is obvious regarding Seriati's respect for honest discussion.  I will be adjusting my responses to him (or lack thereof) accordingly.

Fenring

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2018, 11:46:22 PM »
I'm not going to butt in on the particulars, velcro, but one thing I'll note is that Seriati tends to word his comments carefully, so it's entirely possible on occasion to read into them something that isn't quite there, and that if you go back and read it again you might realize he didn't mean the thing you expected him to. The key word to focus on in the firs of the quotes you provided is "should."

D.W.

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2018, 09:05:24 AM »
That, and you should literally, never read "literally" literally on the interweb.  :)

TheDrake

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2018, 09:11:20 AM »
That, and you should literally, never read "literally" literally on the interweb.  :)

Or in classic literature.

Quote
F. Scott Fitzgerald did it (“He literally glowed”). So did James Joyce (“Lily, the caretaker’s daughter, was literally run off her feet”), W. M. Thackeray (“I literally blazed with wit”), Charlotte Brontë (“she took me to herself, and proceeded literally to suffocate me with her unrestrained spirits”) and others of their ilk.

I am literally dying right now


Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2018, 10:11:14 AM »
I just want to lay this out as clearly as possible.

On April 3, Seriati said
Quote
this admission should literally end Mueller's investigation with respect to Manafort.

I disagreed, provided evidence, and concluded
Quote
So I don't think this will end Mueller's investigation into Manafort.

Yes, you quoted the "should" statement, which is my opinion.  That literally should end the investigation.  Though I was sloppy here, cause I was only referring to the Ukrainian part.  However, my point was, in electing to quote that statement, you literally ignored the prior paragraph and its conclusion:

Quote
Based on the original instructions released, Manafort had a point, based on the redacted secret instructions released the Ukrainian issues were expressly included in Mueller's instructions by Rosenstein. I suspect that this will allow Mueller's case to go forward.

Which conclusion clearly followed from  my direct statements that the plain language of the authorizations covered that topic (which is why my argument was about whether the plain language exceeded Rosenstein's actual authority, and why you quoting back the plain language was completely non-responsive to the point).

So I directly said that I didn't think this would end the investigation, which is different in what way from your "conclusion" that this wouldn't end the investigation into Manafort?

Quote
Seriati's reply to that precise conclusion, yesterday, was
Quote
Glad you agree with what I already said.

On it's face, it appears Seriati made a statement, and then claimed that he said the precise opposite.

Or as I have mentioned to you several times lately, you tend to selectively quote me when you are responding in a way that appears misleading.

I do apologize if somehow the original draftsmanship of my claim is not something that was reasonably understandable.  I still think it's clear, but I'm not always the best judge, especially when I writing for fun.  You could also ask for clarity, but seems not to be your preferred style.

Quote
Maybe he changed his mind, admitted his error, and actually said that this will not end the investigation.  If I missed that, please point it out to me.

Pointed it out, what do you think?

Quote
If none of these is the case, then the conclusion is obvious regarding Seriati's respect for honest discussion.  I will be adjusting my responses to him (or lack thereof) accordingly.

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

Seriati

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2018, 10:14:47 AM »
I'm not going to butt in on the particulars, velcro, but one thing I'll note is that Seriati tends to word his comments carefully, so it's entirely possible on occasion to read into them something that isn't quite there, and that if you go back and read it again you might realize he didn't mean the thing you expected him to. The key word to focus on in the firs of the quotes you provided is "should."

I appreciate the comment Fen, but I should also point out that while i try to think things through carefully, I am not always so careful in my wording.  I frequently accidentally leave out words like "not" that can reverse a meaning or clarify a sentence or use an incorrect (but correctly spelled word) without noticing it until far after the edit window closes.

Fenring

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Re: House Closes Investigation
« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2018, 11:48:34 AM »
I appreciate the comment Fen, but I should also point out that while i try to think things through carefully, I am not always so careful in my wording.  I frequently accidentally leave out words like "not" that can reverse a meaning or clarify a sentence or use an incorrect (but correctly spelled word) without noticing it until far after the edit window closes.

Well, I didn't so much mean that your editing and formatting are seamless. I think many of us understand what it is to type hurriedly while flipping tabs at work in between tasks. I make so many typos it's scary since I type really quickly. What I meant more was that you don't tend to issue thoughts haphazardly, and that you usually preface comments with modifiers (like the "should" above) that could easily be missed. "That should end the investigation" could easily be misconstrued as meaning "that will very likely end the investigation" if one doesn't read it carefully. Since many of us are probably typing in a hurry it's probably good to ask if something appears unclear.