Author Topic: The Manafort Question  (Read 5293 times)

TheDrake

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The Manafort Question
« on: August 14, 2018, 09:10:45 AM »
Manafort gets a loan from Calk, despite not qualifying. Manafort recommends Calk for high level position. Kushner responds. Calk was not actually nominated for anything, but it certainly seems like this first trial is far from a Witch Hunt in Manafort's case.

News on the case is notably silent on Breitbart, which is interesting, where I usually go for theories on liberal witch hunts. Their only recent coverage talks mostly about how Gates is a bad guy (although there is a significant amount of documented evidence, as well as witness testimony from bankers.

This doesn't seem like a case he's going to win. Dershowitz has said he'll likely be convicted, he's been a consistent voice against treatment of Manafort. Is there another pardon waiting in the wings? Or did he have no one to give up to mitigate his sentence?

The latest news is that his defense is going to attempt to get charges dismissed, arguing that the government failed to show that Manafort willfully broke the law.

Perhaps the harder charges left are a separate case of money laundering coming up next.

Can anyone reasonably have a doubt that this guy held his Ukraine money offshore and didn't declare it at this point? I haven't read the full transcripts, and if one wants to assume the liberal media can't be trusted, I probably should. But I'm not seeing any alternate theories or outrage in conservative outlets to help me out.

I make no claims that this is a referendum on Trump. There is no evidence that he was aware of Manafort's dealings, the request for appointments, or in any way connected.

D.W.

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 11:59:21 AM »
From what I heard, the move to dismiss is perfunctory.  Fairly typical in such cases at this point.

scifibum

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 05:40:19 PM »
With the amount of hard evidence presented at trial and the multiple witnesses alleging Manafort's awareness and participation, I think his only chance to avoid conviction on at least some of the counts is a rogue juror - someone willing to ignore jury instructions. I don't think he's going to get a jury nullification, but a hung jury is possible. Maybe someone who lied about their bias during selection, or someone who can't stomach Gates getting the better end of the deal.

D.W.

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 05:46:39 PM »
What I found particularly interesting was the defense of, 'well you can't count this one...  This banker was trying to buy favor, so it's silly to say he lied to get the loan approved.'  (paraphrasing obviously)

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 01:25:13 PM »
Rogue juror or a tampered juror.

yossarian22c

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 04:13:15 PM »
Rogue juror or a tampered juror.

There is one or that is the only way he is acquitted?

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2018, 04:41:31 PM »
Rogue juror or a tampered juror.

There is one or that is the only way he is acquitted?

The only way I can see that he isn't convicted. To get acquitted, he'd have to have 12.

DonaldD

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2018, 04:54:14 PM »
I'm usually very wary of convicting/exonerating based on media reports.  Without being in the room for all testimony, and being fed only filtered information... there's just too much unknowns to be truly confident about the way the case is truly going.

It's also why I try not to (personally, me) disagree with trial decisions that are reported on in the news.

scifibum

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2018, 11:26:59 PM »
You've got a good point, Donald. I have been following as closely as I can, but the information I have access to only accounts for a small fraction of what has transpired in the courtroom.

Wayward Son

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 01:52:56 AM »
Heck, it sounds like the jury only had access to a small fraction of what transpired in the courtroom. :)

D.W.

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 09:21:28 AM »
Or were instructed to ignore it.  :)

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2018, 09:29:53 AM »
I wish I had any confidence in juries. They are just as likely to convict Manafort for having expensive things as they are to act based on the evidence. From reports, the government really pushed on his most outrageous purchases, apparently irritating the judge in the process.

Likewise, the defense summation indicates they are hoping to use politics to get an acquittal, making lots of noise about Mueller, etc.

The whole "instructed to ignore" is laughable as a concept. Unfortunately, there's not a viable alternative.

D.W.

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2018, 10:27:37 AM »
Not that I was well on my way to becoming a criminal mastermind at the time, but one of the most sobering and terrifying experiences I had in my early 20s was being selected for a jury. 

I never want to find my future hanging in the balance of a "jury of my peers".   :-\

Resulted in a hung jury. 

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2018, 10:54:31 AM »
Especially in a case like this, involving international finance, tax law, wire transfers. Some jurors might not even have a bank account. Some file their taxes over the phone.

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2018, 04:49:02 PM »
8 counts guilty.
10 mistrial (no consensus).
0 innocent.

And now let the howling begin that the witch hunt has claimed another very fine victim, or the celebration begin that a shady operator took a fall.


DonaldD

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2018, 06:41:16 PM »
The bigger story today (one wouldn't have thought this possible on the day that the president's campaign manager was just convicted on 8 felony counts) is that President Trump's former lawyer just named the president as being a co-conspirator to a couple of felonies to which Cohen just pleaded guilty.

D.W.

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2018, 07:53:33 PM »
But he just said "the candidate", so they are warming up for a big Scooby Doo style reveal!  So they can finally cross off "lock her up" on the to-do list of campaign promises. 

DonaldD

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2018, 10:02:44 PM »
The double Scooby reveal might be Evan McMullin...

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2018, 10:29:31 PM »
From what I heard on the news, even from Trump supporters, it seems pretty clear that at the very least the guy was a massive tax cheat and the argument was that he should have gotten away with it because he was only caught because of Trump. There sure are a lot of problems with that and by that I mean it shouldn't take animus against Trump to catch people who are cheating on their taxes on the scale this guy was and it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence as far as how many must be getting away with it since they aren't on anyone's political radar. So color me glad this guy got busted even if it took hating Trump to start the ball rolling. At least that part of it seems relatively straight forward. Did he earn the income, for instance for his taxi medallion? Did he report it and pay taxes on it? Yes and no respectively so case closed there. It does make you wonder a bit about Trump's taxes. I just assumed that he hired good tax attorneys to take care of it but this guy, while not a tax attorney is still an attorney, and you would think he'd know better but apparently he thought he would get away with it, and he probably would have too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids. It's not really anything like that movie A Taxing Woman, but it is kind of nice to see one of the big tax cheats get busted instead of just the little fish for a change.

Greg Davidson

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2018, 02:07:03 AM »
So now that it is established that Trump's campaign chairman and personal lawyer are both convicted felons, does that provide any additional credibility to the theory that they also committed additional felonious acts in a conspiracy with Donald Trump?  Well, Cohen already testified today that Candidate Trump conspired in the commitment of a felony, but I am referring to additional felony crimes.

rightleft22

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2018, 10:29:06 AM »
Before Trump became president, I watched a documentary about his family, where he came from... There was a chapter about him teaming up with Cohen who had success deploying the - hit first, hit hard, justify it as a counter punch strategy (my words - the documentary talked about Cohen strategy of hard ball and of accusing opponents of doing what his client were doing) Trump very much liked this strategy and the two of them made pretty good team. This was before any campaigning and its clear they were very much a team.

I think this is going to get messy, now that Trump is facing ex-friends that are willing to deploy the same strategy but won’t change much.
My Brother in-law  supports Trump (abortion issue) acknowledges that Trump likely crossed legal lines, maybe colluded, probably hiding something in in tax returns and may even be a “bad” guy but doesn’t care. God sometimes uses “bad” people to do his will. (of course, biblically that doesn’t tend to end well for any involved.)

Wayward Son

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2018, 10:46:43 AM »
Quote
God sometimes uses “bad” people to do his will.

Funny how the Other Guy uses them, too.  :)

Fenring

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2018, 11:42:24 AM »
I would be interested to know if any of Trump's team will be convicted of crimes committed during Trump's Presidency, and even more specifically, in their capacity as members of the team. I say this primarily because the purpose of investigating political people should be, in my opinion, to determine whether or not they are politically corrupt. I am not altogether interested in chasing after politicians who (hypothetically) have been squeaky clean in their capacity in government but committed crimes before ever entering office. I mean, on a general basis it's good to find people who commit crimes, but rather I mean to say that the machinery of government shouldn't be exerting more way scrutiny on people in government for similar white color crimes that other people outside of government commit. Just as an example, do you think it would be proper for every person ever elected into office to be automatically audited by the IRS, investigated by the FBI, and have their house raided by the DEA, just because they're in office, and just in case you catch them on something?

So while this is surely a win for Trump haters (and Democrats), if it turns out to be nothing more than a bunch of standard white color criminals who got caught because of the Russia narrative, I won't be too impressed. If all if this really does lead to uncovering illegal activities to do with the actual election, and with conspiring to betray the U.S. trust, then I certainly will be impressed and will applaud the whole affair. I do share the concern others have voices of celebrating too much as a result of a fishing expedition (if that's what it was originally). I shudder to think of how many actually good people would end up serving time if they were subjected to the harshest legal scrutiny in every area of their lives. The drug offences alone would probably require re-designating the entire continental U.S. as a federal penitentiary.

D.W.

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2018, 11:48:45 AM »
Quote
Just as an example, do you think it would be proper for every person ever elected into office to be automatically audited by the IRS, investigated by the FBI, and have their house raided by the DEA, just because they're in office, and just in case you catch them on something?
Fantastic proposal!  Seconded

Maybe not the house raid, such as waking you up busting down the door and tearing up the place.  But the rest of it, and even a full search of your properties as a requirement to even run for the highest office in the country?  Hell yes!

Our presidents should be beyond reproach and squeaky clean.  (Yes I know most presidents of any party don't hold up to this standard)  If this were the case, BS (partisan) attacks could be dismissed soundly if they even happened at all by anyone with the slightest amount of credibility.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 11:51:13 AM by D.W. »

Fenring

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2018, 11:52:32 AM »
Quote
Just as an example, do you think it would be proper for every person ever elected into office to be automatically audited by the IRS, investigated by the FBI, and have their house raided by the DEA, just because they're in office, and just in case you catch them on something?
Fantastic proposal!  Seconded

Maybe not the house raid, such as waking you up busting down the door and tearing up the place.  But the rest of it, and even a full search of your properties as a requirement to even run for the highest office in the country?  Hell yes!

Our presidents should be beyond reproach and squeaky clean.  (Yes I know most presidents of any party don't hold up to this standard)  If this were the case, BS (partisan) attacks could be dismissed soundly if they even happened at all by anyone with the slightest amount of credibility.

Haha! Well if that's going to be the standard procedure then should it not be standardized *before* deciding on whom to begin this virtuous adventure? And I don't altogether disagree with you, btw.

Fenring

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2018, 11:53:59 AM »
if it turns out to be nothing more than a bunch of standard white color criminals

Did I say white color criminals? Oh well, I guess it applies in this case anyhow.

D.W.

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2018, 11:59:11 AM »
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Haha! Well if that's going to be the standard procedure then should it not be standardized *before* deciding on whom to begin this virtuous adventure?
Agreed

However when I look at what's going on with this investigation, I don't see a conflict.  Trump (and his crew) may not have known the standards, (political outsider FTL), but it IS following legal precedents and rules.    Or they did know the standards and just didn't expect this level of scrutiny.  Just as many have not anticipated the moves Trump would make during his campaign and after elected.

DonaldD

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2018, 01:16:40 PM »
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I would be interested to know if any of Trump's team will be convicted of crimes committed during Trump's Presidency, and even more specifically, in their capacity as members of the team.
Did you mean to exclude crimes committed during his campaign for the presidency, or was that an oversight?

Because I don't see a meaningful distinction between committing a crime in order to get someone elected to office, and committing a crime while that person is in office.

Clearly, Cohen's crimes (2 of them) were committed in the furtherance of getting Trump elected, as were those crimes that Cohen has now alleged that Trump committed.

DonaldD

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2018, 01:24:41 PM »
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I shudder to think of how many actually good people would end up serving time if they were subjected to the harshest legal scrutiny...
You aren't really giving oxygen to the president's gas-lighting attempt to characterize Manafort as a "good man" are you?

Fenring

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2018, 01:26:49 PM »
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I would be interested to know if any of Trump's team will be convicted of crimes committed during Trump's Presidency, and even more specifically, in their capacity as members of the team.

Did you mean to exclude crimes committed during his campaign for the presidency, or was that an oversight?

Because I don't see a meaningful distinction between committing a crime in order to get someone elected to office, and committing a crime while that person is in office.

It was an oversight and should be included in what I think matters. However if I made it sound like I don't think Cohen committed the type of crime I meant it's because I still think the matter of paying off two women to hush up a scandal is not what I'm talking about when I speak about political corruption. That was, for all intents and purposes, a personal matter that involved Trump's private life, and although paying them off was surely estimated to be useful for the campaign, I do not personally believe that literally every action taken by a candidate who's running should be equated with campaigning. He might well have paid them off had they made a stink about it a couple of years prior and there would have been nothing untoward about that. So for example if a candidate makes a charitable contribution while running for office, sure, you could say it may have been done "for the campaign" insofar as all sort of personal actions may reflect on the candidate, but such actions are not by definition to do with the office in question.

So in my opinion even though legal procedures may have been violated in how the women were paid off, that is most certainly not what I'm talking about when I say I would applaud real evidence of political corruption or treason. Paying for someone's silence is just regular capitalism and not a misuse of office or a fraudulent means of getting into office, so in my book it counts as a regular white collar offence that has little to do with how legit the current administration may or may not be.

Fenring

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2018, 01:37:25 PM »
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I shudder to think of how many actually good people would end up serving time if they were subjected to the harshest legal scrutiny...
You aren't really giving oxygen to the president's gas-lighting attempt to characterize Manafort as a "good man" are you?

I was speaking hypothetically, and as I wrote was actually thinking about Three Crimes a Day, which suggests that on average every American commits three federal crimes daily, often without even realizing it.

http://ulrichboser.com/how-many-felonies-did-you-commit-today-an-interview-with-harvey-silverglate/

I haven't read the book but have heard about it, and although I can't comment on the technical veracity of its claims I am quite sure the author (a civil liberties lawyer) is right that given how obscure the law is to the average person there is no way to know if you are following the law at all times or not.

Now this doesn't really impact the issue of completely knowing criminals who are dodging taxes (something I find incredibly odious), but that being said I would still shudder to think of random citizens being subjected to sudden intense scrutiny because I bet you that most people could be brought down on something or other, and it would have much bearing on whether they should be called good people or not. In Cohen's case I don't know much about him but, no, I was not implying that he is a 'good man'.

That said, I'm sure there are plenty of nice, pleasant people who are white collar felons, and 'good' can mean a lot of things to a lot of people; it can mean nice and pleasant, it can mean law abiding, or it can refer to intrinsic qualities that are unassailable by having done one or more bad actions. So I find it troubling to choose a personal version of 'good', by that version suggest that Cohen isn't 'good', and that therefore Trump's characterization of him is flawed. This is a side point of interest because I detect an increasing tendency in secular society to need to categorize individuals as good or bad (sometimes good or evil), and I don't like it. But the basic answer to your question is that I wasn't thinking of Cohen in regard to my above statement.

Wayward Son

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2018, 01:41:34 PM »
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That was, for all intents and purposes, a personal matter that involved Trump's private life, and although paying them off was surely estimated to be useful for the campaign, I do not personally believe that literally every action taken by a candidate who's running should be equated with campaigning. He might well have paid them off had they made a stink about it a couple of years prior and there would have been nothing untoward about that.

Just remember, Fenring, the crime was not paying off these women to be silent, but rather not reporting this payoff as a campaign contribution.  Illegally hiding a donation to the campaign.

You can also give money to a person before he is running for office.  But if you give him money for his campaign, it has to be reported.  Same difference here.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2018, 01:52:39 PM »
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That was, for all intents and purposes, a personal matter that involved Trump's private life, and although paying them off was surely estimated to be useful for the campaign, I do not personally believe that literally every action taken by a candidate who's running should be equated with campaigning. He might well have paid them off had they made a stink about it a couple of years prior and there would have been nothing untoward about that.

Just remember, Fenring, the crime was not paying off these women to be silent, but rather not reporting this payoff as a campaign contribution.  Illegally hiding a donation to the campaign.

You can also give money to a person before he is running for office.  But if you give him money for his campaign, it has to be reported.  Same difference here.


If I recall, John Edwards was accused of this same campaign finance violation in 2012.  The only difference being that the money was donated to him by some 3rd party.  In that case the FEC ruled that he committed no violation and he was charged anyway and subsequently found innocent.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/02/nation/la-na-edwards-analysis-20120602

Fenring

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2018, 02:28:06 PM »
Just remember, Fenring, the crime was not paying off these women to be silent, but rather not reporting this payoff as a campaign contribution.  Illegally hiding a donation to the campaign.

You can also give money to a person before he is running for office.  But if you give him money for his campaign, it has to be reported.  Same difference here.

I know. I'm just saying it's chump change quantities and it was the type of action belying small-time expediency but not really anything to do with running a corrupt campaign. If you had told me they were funneling in money from China, well ok, that would be something. But a payoff not being registered? It may well be a crime but this is not anything close to what I would consider political corruption. I can guarantee you that previous administrations have engaged in forms of corruption that make this look like walking on water in comparison.

Wayward Son

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2018, 02:37:47 PM »
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If I recall, John Edwards was accused of this same campaign finance violation in 2012.  The only difference being that the money was donated to him by some 3rd party.  In that case the FEC ruled that he committed no violation and he was charged anyway and subsequently found innocent.

I think the main difference is that the payoff money came from his PAC.  Which means the money was duly reported as a campaign expense by the PAC, even if the reason for the payment was somewhat "obscured." ;)

https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5555391&page=1

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2018, 03:22:45 PM »
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Just as an example, do you think it would be proper for every person ever elected into office to be automatically audited by the IRS, investigated by the FBI, and have their house raided by the DEA, just because they're in office, and just in case you catch them on something?

Politicians have historically been subject to far more scrutiny than the average person in every dimension. Drug use by a politician (past or present) is a major deal. There's a reason why every recent president except Trump have released their tax records. An extremely high number of average Americans have paid someone under the table or failed to submit sales tax on a purchase where the merchant didn't collect it.

Quote
In January 1993, Clinton's nomination of corporate lawyer Zoë Baird for the position came under attack after it became known that she and her husband had broken federal law by employing two illegal aliens from Peru as a nanny and chauffeur for their young child. They had also failed to pay Social Security taxes for the workers, the so-called "Nanny Tax", until shortly before the disclosures. While the Clinton administration thought the matter was relatively unimportant, the news elicited a firestorm of public opinion, most of it against Baird. Within eight days, her nomination lost political support in the U.S. Congress and was withdrawn.

So, yeah, it doesn't really matter if a large number of Americans do it, when you get into public life its going to be an issue.

Quote
I know. I'm just saying it's chump change quantities and it was the type of action belying small-time expediency but not really anything to do with running a corrupt campaign. If you had told me they were funneling in money from China, well ok, that would be something. But a payoff not being registered? It may well be a crime but this is not anything close to what I would consider political corruption. I can guarantee you that previous administrations have engaged in forms of corruption that make this look like walking on water in comparison.

I tend to agree, but, previous administrations are not ham-handed about these things. They use levels of intermediaries, keep their distance, and maintain deniability. Clinton theoretically might pay someone off, but he would have contacted a guy, who phoned a friend, who met someone at the club, who paid someone off.

I still remember my Mom defending Nixon, saying that "all politicians do stuff like that". Maybe, but they didn't record themselves doing it.

Fenring

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2018, 03:30:49 PM »
My point is that if this general investigation basically just reveals that Trump's team are a bunch of idiots incompetent at white collar crime, then that's not the sort of thing we were promised. "Eh, they're probably common crooks" was never much of a stretch. It's the collusion, criminal conspiracy, and treason argument that I want to see addressed directly. It won't come as much of a shock to anyone that these guys are guilty of something or other. But it will come as a shock to many people if they're guilty of the things the Russia narrative has been claiming, and that's what I'm waiting to see.

DonaldD

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2018, 03:32:21 PM »
So, just wondering - since politicians live with higher levels of scrutiny, does that mean we should accept higher levels of criminality in them?  Because that's what it sounds like you are proposing Fenring... seriously, how are felonies committed by the candidate for the purposes of getting themselves elected NOT considered as evidence of corruption?  What felonies exactly do not count as corruption?

DonaldD

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2018, 03:33:43 PM »
Cohen has already pleaded guilty to charges of a criminal conspiracy...

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2018, 03:57:39 PM »
I get that, Fenring. I kind of get the sense that the Trump team is too incompetent to have pulled off any sort of international collusion. At best they were probably unwitting pawns, like the NRA. Even if they did collude they were likely oblivious that there was even anything wrong with it.

Fenring

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2018, 04:17:39 PM »
So, just wondering - since politicians live with higher levels of scrutiny, does that mean we should accept higher levels of criminality in them?  Because that's what it sounds like you are proposing Fenring... seriously, how are felonies committed by the candidate for the purposes of getting themselves elected NOT considered as evidence of corruption?  What felonies exactly do not count as corruption?

It's not about accepting anything. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a massive media narrative about criminal conspiracies with Russia and the undermining of the election that began right after Trump was elected. I'm talking about the continued sabre rattling with Russia and using Trump's win as a way of harming international relations while also de-legitimizing the Presidency. Or at least, that's what it might have been; as we shall see, it also might have been a bona fide real alarum pointing at gross misdeeds. And that is what I want to see. If every single person on Trump's team - and Trump himself to boot - goes to jail for tax evasion and paying off Stormy Daniels, and nothing more, I will categorically conclude that the media narrative was a massive propaganda effort and that the media is, indeed, the enemy of the people. If, rather, they go down for something at least vaguely in the realm of what that narrative suggested, then I will be very satisfied that people who betrayed America will be removed from their posts. There is a world of difference between these scenarios, and neither one hedges on whether or not they committed any crimes. It's about whether the Russia-gate escapade was the real deal or was fake city. And I don't have much of a vested interest in either being the case, although admittedly I will be very sad if it's the latter because it likely would mean that relations with Russia will worsen, and I don't want to see that.

ETA - so my issue isn't strictly with whether people in public office are corrupt, but in this case with whether they are guilty of the actual thing they were all accused of for a long time. I harbor no good will for any kind of political corruption, mind you, and would not be sad to see criminals ejected.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 04:20:03 PM by Fenring »

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2018, 04:28:47 PM »
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harming international relations

So you're of the opinion that we shouldn't have a bad relationship with a country that invades other countries, imprisons journalists, poisons people, and hacks our systems (not in dispute, except maybe by Trump)?

Relations with Russia should be horrible based on their actions. Our President should sound more like Ronald Reagan in dealing with them. They are the return of the evil empire.

I know that's not your main point, but cmon.

We should be travel banning Russia, not Syria. We should be improving relations with Turkey, not Russia. We should increase sanctions on Russia, not Iran.

Fenring

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2018, 04:37:06 PM »
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harming international relations

So you're of the opinion that we shouldn't have a bad relationship with a country that invades other countries, imprisons journalists, poisons people, and hacks our systems (not in dispute, except maybe by Trump)?

Relations with Russia should be horrible based on their actions. Our President should sound more like Ronald Reagan in dealing with them. They are the return of the evil empire.

This is a separate topic, but I believe that good relations are always desirable, unless literal war is going to break out and peace would only create strategic disadvantage. I do not think 'bad guys' reform when treated like bad guys, but rather when there is incentive to use alternative strategies to seek prosperity than being a hoodlum. China hasn't been developing into a solid trading partner because America bloodied them, but because stronger relations led to mutual advantage, and that's what a peace is based upon. Treating Russia like villain (putting aside whether or not they are one) holes them in and furthers their propaganda that they're a victim. It improves nothing. Sabre rattling with a nuclear power, however, is a non-starter for me, unless one has the teeth to go to war. I personally think you would find Russia much happier and less feeling like it needs to fight with the West and its own people if they were treated with a real detente such as was supposed to happen after the Iron Curtain fell but never really happened.

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2018, 04:49:25 PM »
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China hasn't been developing into a solid trading partner because America bloodied them, but because stronger relations led to mutual advantage, and that's what a peace is based upon.

I don't disagree, but part of the story of Russian collusion is how nice Trump always is dealing with Russia and Putin. He's picked fights with just about every other world leader I can think of, including leaders of Australia, Canada, UK, China, Mexico, and Germany. Not Russia though. Trump is eerily positive whenever dealing with Russia compared to his volatile and temperamental relations with just about every other country. He's been slow to implement sanctions when authorized by the rest of the US government, and quick to concede points. He accepts Putin's denials on their face and then pretends he got confused between "would" and "wouldn't". We're battling tooth and nail against a breast feeding resolution until... until Russia backed it.

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U.S. opposition to the resolution ended, however, when Russia introduced the measure. Officials from the U.S. did not challenge Russia despite threatening Ecuador for introducing the same measure. "We feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries," a Russian delegate told the Times of Russia's decision to introduce the resolution.



NobleHunter

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2018, 05:11:43 PM »
I recall there was some chatter about Trump and Russia before the election. It was a bit of a joke but so was Trump before he won the election.

DonaldD

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #45 on: August 22, 2018, 05:15:25 PM »
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It's not about accepting anything. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a massive media narrative about criminal conspiracies with Russia and the undermining of the election that began right after Trump was elected.
I'm pretty sure that Russia was undermining the election prior to Trump being elected, but that's not likely what you meant.

The majority of coverage concerning "collusion" has been the coverage of Trump denying it.  Sure, every now and then, an article comes out about Trump or Don Jr. getting caught in a lie about meetings with Russians, or emails to Russians, or with administration and campaign officials getting caught misrepresenting their interactions with Russians... but on a nearly daily basis, it is Trump bringing up the "no collusion" meme on twitter, in interviews and at rallies.  Almost nothing is being reported on concerning the actual investigation.  now, if you want to say there is a massive media narrative that Trump and his people have a bizarre relationship with all things Russia, then you would have a stronger point.

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2018, 05:38:43 PM »
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I'm pretty sure that Russia was undermining the election prior to Trump being elected, but that's not likely what you meant.

Also not what he wrote.

"I'm talking about a massive media narrative about criminal conspiracies with Russia and the undermining of the election that began right after Trump was elected"

The narrative began after the election.

DonaldD

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2018, 05:44:41 PM »
Yes, but there was ambiguity in his sentence structure, so there was wiggle room in whether "narrative" referred to both clauses, or only the first.

Would you have preferred a smiley after that sentence?

Here, if it helps: :)

Wayward Son

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2018, 05:54:53 PM »
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If every single person on Trump's team - and Trump himself to boot - goes to jail for tax evasion and paying off Stormy Daniels, and nothing more, I will categorically conclude that the media narrative was a massive propaganda effort and that the media is, indeed, the enemy of the people. If, rather, they go down for something at least vaguely in the realm of what that narrative suggested, then I will be very satisfied that people who betrayed America will be removed from their posts. There is a world of difference between these scenarios, and neither one hedges on whether or not they committed any crimes. It's about whether the Russia-gate escapade was the real deal or was fake city.

The problem I have with this is that, in order to prevent it, we need two things.

First is that we would be unable to investigate suspicious behavior of the President and his team until we know for certain that they are guilty, which kinda makes an investigation superfluous. :)

The second is that crimes other than the one(s) being investigated would have to be ignored.  This would be like getting a search warrant for a house to look for drugs, and having to ignore the dead body in the living room. :)

There are plenty of reasons to suspect something is going on between Russia and the Trump Administration.  Contacts made in small island nations.  Repeated lies about the meeting at Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer.  Those known facts do not prove something is going on, and there may not be.  It is well within the realm of possibility that nothing illegal or untoward has happened, and Trump is simply so inept that it merely looks like a crime. :)  But I would hate to think that we couldn't investigate suspicious behavior in the future just because we misinterpreted Trump's behavior today. :(

Certainly there should be a level of seriousness in the ancillary crimes discovered while looking for the main crimes.  As I stated before, if the sum total of indictments were just lying to the FBI, I would find that disturbing, too, and consider it more of a "witch hunt" than anything else.  But now we have tax evasion and breaking of election laws.  I think those crimes rise to the level of being serious enough to pursue even if nothing is found regarding Russian collusion.

Yes, "any crimes" is too low a bar.  But serious crimes should be prosecuted if found during the course of the investigation, even if the investigation turns up nothing.

TheDrake

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Re: The Manafort Question
« Reply #49 on: August 22, 2018, 06:59:33 PM »
Ken Starr began his investigation into a land development deal, and morphed into something entirely different. Regarding the President, the only thing he proved was that he lied under oath about an affair. Cox actually began his investigation on target, but expanded the scope beyond just the Watergate breakin. This ultimately led only to obstruction of justice charges. Would it be different if Trump were ultimately held accountable for his interactions with the investigation even if he had no involvement whatsoever with any Russian government meetings prior to being elected?