Author Topic: Abuses of Power  (Read 6328 times)

Seriati

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Abuses of Power
« on: December 07, 2018, 05:30:42 PM »
So to my colleagues who love to jump on tweets by Trump threatening to abuse his power, how do you respond to this tweet by Ocasio-Cortez, to Don Jr?

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Please, keep it coming Jr - it’s definitely a “very, very large brain” idea to troll a member of a body that will have subpoena power in a month.

Is it okay for an incoming Rep to threaten to subpeona someone for exercising their free speech rights?  Lol.


TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2018, 06:20:00 PM »
It's bad. She, of course, doesn't have the power to subpoena anyone on her own. It would be worse coming from Pelosi or another member of house leadership - any committee chair. So it is a hollow threat.

She has to learn not to get provoked by this sort of thing:

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In a Thursday Instagram post, Trump Jr. posted a meme that depicted the democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez asking President Donald Trump, "Why are you so afraid of a socialist economy?"

"Because Americans want to walk their dogs, not eat them," Trump responds in the meme, a reference to the extreme food shortages in Venezuela that have reduced residents to eating pets and zoo animals.

This is a young woman who is going to have to grow up very quickly. Trump has had 72 years to learn better, and yet he threatens to curtail the free press regularly in a variety of ways. Including the suggestion that he could take away a network broadcast license.

I admit to whatabouting a little bit, but you invited the comparison in the OP.

Seriati

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2018, 07:03:57 PM »
I don't mind what abouting at all.  The funnier the better!

TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2018, 07:08:33 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised if she gets an ethics rebuke, even if it is just because the establishment Democrats fear her mojo of the people.

D.W.

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2018, 09:32:41 AM »
The more terrifying prospect is not deciding whether or not she crossed a line and how if at all she should be rebuked; it's if this is going to be the new normal in politics. 

Has the standard of communication and politics been infected by social media quips and jabs?  Is this here to stay or is the current admin an aberration?  Is THIS all that We The People, respond to anymore?  Are they speaking our language?   :'(

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 06:37:47 PM »
The thing about Ocasio-Cortez is, she’s an idiot. She’s demonstrated repeatedly she has no idea what she’s talking about (three chambers of government, the presidency, the Senate, and the House - which she doubled down on) to how the age requirement for president doesn’t apply to women to “coming out” today as being Jewish. There’s so many more too.  She’s comedic relief at best and dumber than a bag of hammers.

scifibum

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 07:45:53 PM »
AOC is energetic, smart, and already pointing out aspects of the the "swamp" that need to be corrected, like a supposed orientation for members of Congress that was heavily attended by lobbyists and CEOs. She scares conservatives, which is why they are so desperate to come up with a narrative that she's dumb or wears fancy clothes or something.

Just look at Crunch here. Repeating the talking points like a good boy. The age thing was a joke, btw, which is entirely obvious even from a transcript:

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“No, not for a long time. Thank God,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Although we’ve been joking that because the Equal Rights Amendment hasn’t been passed yet, the Constitution technically says he cannot run unless he’s 35. … So what we’ll do is we’ll force the Republican Party to pass the Equal Rights Amendment by threatening to run for president.”

She says "we've been joking" and yet here Crunch is, pretending she was serious and grossly misinformed, because that's the party line.

Why do you post here Crunch? Nobody buys what you're selling.

Pete at Home

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2018, 04:34:14 AM »
So to my colleagues who love to jump on tweets by Trump threatening to abuse his power, how do you respond to this tweet by Ocasio-Cortez, to Don Jr?

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Please, keep it coming Jr - it’s definitely a “very, very large brain” idea to troll a member of a body that will have subpoena power in a month.

Is it okay for an incoming Rep to threaten to subpeona someone for exercising their free speech rights?  Lol.

Okay as in constitutional, hell yes.  OK as in loyal to your own party, NO!  For hell's sake, don't warn the guy.  Bait him to gloat.

Pete at Home

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 04:36:56 AM »
The thing about Ocasio-Cortez is, she’s an idiot. She’s demonstrated repeatedly she has no idea what she’s talking about (three chambers of government, the presidency, the Senate, and the House - which she doubled down on) to how the age requirement for president doesn’t apply to women to “coming out” today as being Jewish. There’s so many more too.  She’s comedic relief at best and dumber than a bag of hammers.

That seems to be the winning combination these days, neh?  Give The People what they want.

Wayward Son

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2018, 05:26:46 PM »
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She’s comedic relief at best and dumber than a bag of hammers.

Laugh it up, Crunch.  Just remember, only a small district in New York voted for Alexandria.

But practically the entire Republican Party voted for Trump...   ;D

Pete at Home

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2018, 05:17:00 AM »
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She’s comedic relief at best and dumber than a bag of hammers.

Laugh it up, Crunch.  Just remember, only a small district in New York voted for Alexandria.

But practically the entire Republican Party voted for Trump...   ;D

With collaboration of other parties.

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2018, 08:06:46 AM »
AOC is energetic, smart, and already pointing out aspects of the the "swamp" that need to be corrected, like a supposed orientation for members of Congress that was heavily attended by lobbyists and CEOs. She scares conservatives, which is why they are so desperate to come up with a narrative that she's dumb or wears fancy clothes or something.

Just look at Crunch here. Repeating the talking points like a good boy. The age thing was a joke, btw, which is entirely obvious even from a transcript:

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“No, not for a long time. Thank God,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Although we’ve been joking that because the Equal Rights Amendment hasn’t been passed yet, the Constitution technically says he cannot run unless he’s 35. … So what we’ll do is we’ll force the Republican Party to pass the Equal Rights Amendment by threatening to run for president.”

She says "we've been joking" and yet here Crunch is, pretending she was serious and grossly misinformed, because that's the party line.

Why do you post here Crunch? Nobody buys what you're selling.

You know the lobbying thing was not a official orientation setup by Congress that’s been done for years, right? It’s basically a party, not an orientation.  But yeah, just joking guys! Swearsie! So your position is that everything she says is just a joke. On that, we agree.

What’s scary about her is someone so incredibly uninformed and ignorant is singing the siren song of socialism, right down to using the force of government to target her opponents, and people like you think it’s great. Want to see the future she represents? Check out Venezuela. Read up on Mao, Pol Pot.

I’m not selling anything, you can go on your merry way angling to be the last person targeted for crimes against the people.

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2018, 06:11:26 PM »
Speaking of abuses of power...

First, the context:
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Lavrentiy Beria, the most ruthless and longest-serving secret police chief in Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror in Russia and Eastern Europe, bragged that he could prove criminal conduct on anyone, even the innocent.

“Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” was Beria’s infamous boast. He served as deputy premier from 1941 until Stalin’s death in 1953, supervising the expansion of the gulags and other secret detention facilities for political prisoners. He became part of a post-Stalin, short-lived ruling troika until he was executed for treason after Nikita Khrushchev’s coup d’etat in 1953.

Beria targeted “the man” first, then proceeded to find or fabricate a crime. Beria’s modus operandi was to presume the man guilty, and fill in the blanks later.


Now to the modern democrat party:
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New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James is buttressing President Trump’s claims that there is a “witch hunt” pursuing him; she told NBC News that she intends to investigate not only the president, but also his family and "anyone" in his circle who may have violated the law.

James blustered, "We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” adding, "We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”

Sounds like James and Ocasio-Cortez will get along well.

There are AG’s on conservative states, I’m sure everyone will be happy to see those AG’s apply the same principles

DonaldD

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2018, 06:22:04 PM »
Is it your position that that those who have "in fact, violated the law" should NOT be investigated? Is that only for relatives of elected officials, or do you hold that position for everybody who has, in fact, violated a law?

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2018, 06:32:41 PM »
Is it your position that that those who have "in fact, violated the law" should NOT be investigated? Is that only for relatives of elected officials, or do you hold that position for everybody who has, in fact, violated a law?

It is my position that conservative AG’s should investigate Nancy Pelosi, her business transactions, and her family as well. In fact, they should investigate anyone in her orbit to determine who has violated laws.

What do you think? Is it acceptable to investigate people or would you rather investigate crimes? If these are the rules you want to live with, you won’t enjoy the ride as much as you think you will when it cuts both ways.

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2018, 06:49:21 PM »
For that matter, AG’s should investigate Ocasio-Cortez, her business transactions, and her entire family as well. In fact, they should investigate all her friends and staff members to determine who has violated laws.

We gotta get this criminal activity rooted out!

TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2018, 07:06:41 PM »
Nothing to see here. Nothing worth investigating.

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Of course, Obama in 2009 (though not in 2013) barred corporate, labor, PAC and lobbyist contributions and individual gifts of more than $50,000; Trump set no dollar limit and prohibited contributions only from lobbyists. Another difference? The menu of choices offered to donors, where specific dollar values were attached to different levels of access. Admission to a "leadership luncheon" with members of Trump's cabinet and GOP congressional leaders was on offer for a cool $1 million, for example.

You fail to understand that there are valid reasons to want to investigate the man and the people around him.

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2018, 07:17:22 PM »
If you think theres a crime, sure investigate that. But you’re saying investigating everyone he knows to find out what crimes they committed is cool too.

You’re saying what Beria did is ok. Maybe you should be investigated. Your entire family and all your friends. Find out what crimes they’ve committed

DonaldD

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2018, 08:36:19 PM »
Why do you need to dishonestly mischaracterize what people say?
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"We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”

Fenring

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2018, 10:27:18 PM »
Crunch, you represent a minority view here that is nevertheless representative of a significant number of Americans. Your opinions have value as a source of alternative perspective on many issues, and I like to read them for that reason. But as such I would argue you have a duty to do justice to those views and not to undermine them by casting them in a trollish light. It's too easy a vice to succumb to - do honor to your position!

Seriati

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2018, 10:37:22 AM »
Well, Crunch is right here, and I think reflects a traditional understanding of American justice that was an overwhelmingly majority view as recently as a decade or two ago.  There has never been a just concept of investigating a person to find a crime, it is literally a police state secret police tactic.  American justice has always required evidence of a crime to investigate a person - that's literally what the Fourth Amendment says, no warrant without probable cause.  That means you find a crime, investigate it and then you get a warrant to invade a person's privacy.  Not select a person, invade their privacy, then find evidence of a crime and then seek a warrant.

This idea of investigating everyone in some one else's circle is pure intimidation and a blatant violation of our civil rights.  American law is so detailed and easy to violate that you can find a "crime" on anyone if you look hard enough.

TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2018, 10:50:14 AM »
It wasn't "EVERYONE" in Trump's circle. It started with his shady associates who gave clear indication that they were into illegal shyte. Manafort was just randomly investigated in a fishing expedition? Please. Then there's the people like Flynn who clearly lied under oath. Cohen was just randomly persecuted? Please. This isn't "hey let's go dig up some dirt on the general manager at mar-a-lago". At best, these people did receive more attention than others in the world who presented the same indications. Would Manafort have had the hammer drop if he didn't know Trump? Possibly not. There were probably more resources available to investigate.

Seriati

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2018, 11:06:05 AM »
It wasn't "EVERYONE" in Trump's circle. It started with his shady associates who gave clear indication that they were into illegal shyte. Manafort was just randomly investigated in a fishing expedition? Please.

Look at Manafort's history, like I said before, he seems to be have been involved in most every Republican campaign for 2 decades, and his crimes were known for years and ignored (no explanation why others that have committed similar crimes are still being ignored?).

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Then there's the people like Flynn who clearly lied under oath.

Flynn was spied upon without any evidence of a crime.  Flynn lied to investigators not under oath, take a look at the disclosures from this week.  It's possible the judge is going to determine the FBI and the DOJ acted outside the scope of their authority (something those in Mueller's orbit have had convictions overturned for in the past).

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Cohen was just randomly persecuted? Please.

If Cohen was not associated with Trump would he have been persecuted?  To the extent he's violated attorney-client privilege - which still applies on things that were not criminal - the treatment of a former attorney of the President is a gross abuse. 

By the way, that's why he was required to plead guilty to a campaign financial crime that wasn't a crime, the prosecutors can thereafter claim they have a right to the privileged communication on the topic.  That's a gross violation by the prosecutors that should never have been allowed to stand.

That said, Cohen is responsible for his own decisions to engage in illegal conduct.

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This isn't "hey let's go dig up some dirt on the general manager at mar-a-lago".

Maybe read some of the actual statements by the NY and MD AGs then.  They've made it absolutely clear they are investigating in search of a crime, not because they have evidence of a crime.

Heh I get it, you are being results orientated and like where you see the results going.  I just think the consequences of destroying our civil rights is far more damaging than the benefit of removing Trump (who you could vote out in two years).  Just like I said you should be concerned by Obama's expansions of executive authority because you don't know who the next guy is going to be, you should be concerned about these abuses of process because they won't stay limited to "getting" the "bad guy."  They will be expanded to punish anyone who opposes the political interests of a party or even an AG on a personal level.

TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2018, 03:15:47 PM »
I stand corrected on Flynn, he lied under investigation not under oath. I know he's the latest reinvention of the witch hunter crowd. There's no reason not to monitor a foreign ambassador, and he ought to have known that.

I do wish prosecution of white collar crime got more attention, and wasn't as selective. I'd love for us to redirect the billions of dollars spent on the drug war and root out Manafort's kind of fraud.

Cohen was swirled by his public statements, and those of Trump, regarding the payoffs. That's more than enough reason to look into the matter. First he didn't pay anyone, then he did but it wasn't Trump's money, then it was Trump's money but he didn't know about it, now he did know. There's not enough smoke in there to look for a fire?

I would expect that lots of people who are involved in politics are going to get extra attention from law enforcement or investigative journalists. Witness the Clinton appointee Zoe Baird, who was one of thousands of people who employed illegal household help and didn't pay the proper taxes. I think it is expected that if you're going to be on a campaign or appointed to office, you're going to get scrubbed more than the average bear.

A lot of the other points are debatable, IMO, including campaign finance. You can trot out dozens of lawyers to take either position.

Seriati

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2018, 03:53:58 PM »
Well if you're going to allege that Trump paying for silence from ex lovers from his own money was a campaign finance violation (even though he has a history on the point that puts to lie the idea that it was solely for the campaign - and ignore that his contribution of money is the least regulated thing in campaign finance), you'd have to explain how it's not a violation when Congress uses federal funds to secretly settle sex harassment claims that would also have an impact on their campaigns. 

One of the things I have pointed out before is that a consistent application of rules that have people up in arms about with Trump would clear out a big chunk of Congress and State governments.  Not to mention, say John Edwards would have lost his case (which he won) when friends of the campaign repeatedly paid to keep his mistress out of the public eye and even went so far as to claim his baby was actually theirs.  But he won that case.

TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2018, 04:12:08 PM »
Well, I don't deny that other politicians might also run afoul of such rules, but if they do they are a lot better at hiding it. Maybe because they don't tweet about it, or maybe because their tales are not so lurid and the people they pay off stay bought. I would think that opposition research in our partisan area could unearth the same types of things. I would say relatively few use the National Enquirer as their go-between.

Edwards handled things differently. He admitted to being a horrible person begging forgiveness. This makes him more believable when he said he didn't know about the payoffs. Trump has no leg to stand on, he's continually misrepresented his involvement and still denies actually having any affairs. While there is no concrete proof, I think most of us generally believe that something was going on there from the guy who famously loves models and lurks around in women's dressing rooms.

I'm not saying I'm convinced Edwards was innocent, just that he left himself enough room to wriggle out of it.

rightleft22

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2018, 04:15:59 PM »
My understanding is that the paying off woman to keep quite isn't illegal however is was where the money came and classified that is the legal issue?

"neither payment could be considered an expenditure independent of the campaign but were, instead, campaign contributions in excess of federal limits. That one payment came from AMI meant that Cohen had solicited an illegal corporate contribution as well. Cohen pleaded guilty to two campaign-finance-related charges in August, saying in court that he’d undertaken the actions at Trump’s behest."

Trump has a history of misappropriating money and using it for his own gain. His "University" and "Charity" foundation come to mind so I can see him trying to use campaign money to pay off the women
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 04:18:12 PM by rightleft22 »

TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2018, 04:24:23 PM »
I would also say that this is quite a quibble, overall. While I think it might run foul of campaign finance rules, I hardly think it is a serious matter where a couple of hundred thousand dollars came from in a Presidential campaign with hundreds of millions spent. I think censure would be an appropriate response, assuming Trump's involvement is proven to the satisfaction of Congress.

rightleft22

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2018, 04:32:19 PM »
I would agree. If something is going to take him down it won't be these payments

for the record I don't want Trump impeached. My wish is that some other republican runs against him in 2020 and wins the nomination.   

Seriati

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2018, 04:34:56 PM »
If Trump had paid this with campaign funds, the claim would be that it was an illegal misappropriation of campaign funds.  That claim would actually have legs.

However, he paid if from his own funds.  It's neither illegal for him to have made these payments, nor to make unlimited campaign donations from his own funds.

The "argument" that had Cohen pleading guilty is that his fronting of the money until repaid by Trump should be construed as a campaign contribution in violation of the limit on personal campaign contributions.  You only get there if this was a legitimate campaign expense - and under our laws - virtually any private purpose, let alone a private purpose with an actual history is enough to flip the switch.

Take a look at the real campaign violation cases, they almost all relate to misappropriation of campaign funds.  Can you find any instance of trying to construe a candidates personal expenditures as campaign expenses just to create a crime of failure to disclose?  Did Trump have to disclose when he paid for haircuts out of pocket?  What about other politicians?  Do they have to disclose buying clothes with their own money?  This idea really flips the actual purpose of these laws on their head.

TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2018, 05:52:33 PM »
That's why it is a crucial difference if he said something like "to keep this from coming out during the campaign" under the arcane rules of donations.

Of course he can use unlimited funds for his campaign, but they have to be declared as campaign funds. Then they have to be accounted for as legitimate campaign expenses.

To make the argument that it was a payment he was making for personal reasons is certainly one he can try. But the Daniels affair stemmed back to 2006, and the payment wasn't made until one month before the election, yeah? Certainly seems like it related to the election under the rules, although I'm no expert and wouldn't ever want to be.

It all seems so silly, I would think they could have easily washed this through a SuperPAC or other more esoteric pathway. I think it shows that Cohen and maybe Trump were probably unclear on the prickly ins and outs of campaign finance law, which are often illogical.

Then you've got to go back to - if they did nothing wrong, why on earth did Trump deny making the reimbursement? Remember back to when Cohen claimed he paid out of his own pocket when asked by the FEC. Trump said he didn't know about the payment and didn't give the money to Cohen. Then Giuliani spills the beans and reveals that Trump did reimburse Cohen out of his own money. Then Trump confirms it -- sort of, but claiming it was a retainer. Giuliani back tracks, blah blah blah. Does that really strike you as a bunch of people who thought Trump's payment was a legitimate personal expense?

In my opinion, the Democrats would be ill advised to bring impeachment proceedings on this, which constitute a futile gesture that will ultimately leave their base disappointed and further infuriate Trump's base.

Fenring

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2018, 06:00:58 PM »
To make the argument that it was a payment he was making for personal reasons is certainly one he can try. But the Daniels affair stemmed back to 2006, and the payment wasn't made until one month before the election, yeah? Certainly seems like it related to the election under the rules, although I'm no expert and wouldn't ever want to be.

I don't know anything about the law on this, but as a point of logic it seems to be potentially irrelevant whether or not a payoff of this sort would happen near to the election. Imagine a standing rule in place, such as "if she ever goes public, she gets paid off". Such a rule would obviously remain in place before a major event like an election. If *she* decided to time her action then, it shouldn't really reflect on the fact that Trump would have probably paid her off regardless of when she came out with it. The 'convenient timing' is hers, not his, if this is the case. That he should end up looking guilty because she timed a press release to hurt his election doesn't sound legitimate to me, but again I don't know the law and am only commenting on what makes sense. If it can be showed that he made similar payoffs at other times then it strikes me as quite a bit of reaching to imply that this time it was a special campaign expense.

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Then you've got to go back to - if they did nothing wrong, why on earth did Trump deny making the reimbursement?

I imagine it was a combination of wanting to still try to mitigate how legitimate her claims seemed to the public, along with a probably dumb idea on his part that it didn't matter anyhow and it was easier to deny. Lying stupidly, however, doesn't imply criminal intent, just that he'll say whatever's expedient to get out of a jam.

TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2018, 07:10:58 PM »
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I imagine it was a combination of wanting to still try to mitigate how legitimate her claims seemed to the public, along with a probably dumb idea on his part that it didn't matter anyhow and it was easier to deny. Lying stupidly, however, doesn't imply criminal intent, just that he'll say whatever's expedient to get out of a jam.

Which is why, as a pure matter of opinion, I'm going to disregard any of his current claims on the matter under the teachings of the Boy Who Cried Wolf parable. I'm going to choose to believe that he stormed around his office then called Cohen and told him that he needed to pay her off right then and there or he will lose the election.

Edwards got off, not because it wasn't considered campaign related, but because he was able to credibly deny that he knew about it - at least enough to hang a jury.

Seriati

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2018, 08:25:06 PM »
That's why it is a crucial difference if he said something like "to keep this from coming out during the campaign" under the arcane rules of donations

It's not that arcane, and you can read multiple former FEC commissioners saying it isn't a violation.  For it to be a violation, you'd have to show that the other reasons for it were not the real reason for the payoff.  Against a backdrop of other payoffs that's going to be impossible.

As for "doing something wrong"?  Cheating on your wife is something wrong, and the law doesn't seem to have a problem with entering into these agreements to keep that quite (now whether it should is a different question).  Not to mention protecting the Trump brand from damage was a legitimate business explanation.

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Of course he can use unlimited funds for his campaign, but they have to be declared as campaign funds. Then they have to be accounted for as legitimate campaign expenses.

Again, it would have to be a campaign expense.  It would have been flatly considered a violation of campaign finance laws if he had directed his campaign to pay off a mistress from a decade before the election.  That's the kind of misappropriation of campaign resources for personal use that in fact gets investigated on a routine basis.

Declaring it would be no cure of the misappropriation.  Ergo, you seem to be of the view that legal conduct could not be legally done during a campaign.

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To make the argument that it was a payment he was making for personal reasons is certainly one he can try. But the Daniels affair stemmed back to 2006, and the payment wasn't made until one month before the election, yeah?

Since when does a defendant have to prove the case?  The prosecution would have to demonstrate the payment wasn't made for a non-election reason - impossible against the backdrop of payments prior to any election even being on the horizon.

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Certainly seems like it related to the election under the rules, although I'm no expert and wouldn't ever want to be.

Maybe you could point me at the rule, they seem to say the opposite to me (and based on former FEC commissioner statements, the Edwards case, and some of the actual campaign violations related to converting campaign funds for personal use).

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It all seems so silly, I would think they could have easily washed this through a SuperPAC or other more esoteric pathway. I think it shows that Cohen and maybe Trump were probably unclear on the prickly ins and outs of campaign finance law, which are often illogical.

Again, if they had done this it would have been far more likely a criminal misappropriation of campaign resources for a personal benefit to candidate Trump.

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Then you've got to go back to - if they did nothing wrong, why on earth did Trump deny making the reimbursement?

Married man?  History of making these payments?  Seems pretty obvious.

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Does that really strike you as a bunch of people who thought Trump's payment was a legitimate personal expense?

I suspect they believe that the point of an NDA is to keep a matter private.  Something being legal is not the same thing as it being savory.

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In my opinion, the Democrats would be ill advised to bring impeachment proceedings on this, which constitute a futile gesture that will ultimately leave their base disappointed and further infuriate Trump's base.

Please bring it on this.  It'll utterly fail and the ability to make the same charges on dozens of federal reps and senators will make it a field day.

No, this is far better as a claim that never sees court.  That way they can endlessly claim its proof of him being a bad guy and a criminal and never get called out by the public seeing him win in court (which is what would happen).

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2018, 09:55:42 AM »
...I'm going to disregard any of his current claims on the matter under the teachings of the Boy Who Cried Wolf parable. I'm going to choose to believe that he stormed around his office then called Cohen and told him that he needed to pay her off right then and there or he will lose the election.

I just love this. It really captures the essence of the modern liberal.

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2018, 09:28:09 AM »
Via the AP, here’s a few deep cuts to tell the story:

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Investigations now entangle Donald Trump’s White House, campaign, transition, inauguration, charity and business. For Trump, the political, the personal and the deeply personal are all under examination.

Less than two years into Trump’s presidency, his business associates, political advisers and family members are being probed, along with the practices of his late father.

Are the gonna try to indict a desd guy? Probably.

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The intensity is certain to increase next year when Democrats assume control of the House and the subpoena power that comes with it.

Not sure ow it gets more intense than investigation of the deceased.

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The deep diving will only grow in the new year when Democrats take over the House. They are expected to launch their own investigations and could pursue impeachment, though party leaders caution they could face a political backlash by taking that step.

With all that’s been done so far, if there was something impeachable we’d have found it by now. Even the fabricated Steele dossier created by Clinton and used by Mueller has not held together enough.

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Stanley Renshon, political scientist at the City University of New York and a psychoanalyst, says all of that adds up to a lot of people, not just the left, “trying to make his presidency untenable.”

It is, perhaps, vaster than the right-wing “conspiracy” the Clintons endured, Renshon says. “I call it the everybody conspiracy.”

Everybody? Try “deep state”. This is what a true abuse of power looks like.

rightleft22

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2018, 04:59:52 PM »
right or left, wrong or right we sow what we reap  - the end is in the beginning

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2018, 06:06:52 PM »
Shower thoughts

TheDeamon

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2018, 11:14:41 PM »
Why do you need to dishonestly mischaracterize what people say?
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"We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”

And how, pray tell, are they going to know they
1) Violated the Law
2) Were in his orbit?

Or are going to go into deep "opposition research mode" and dig up everything they can on the person to see if they violated any laws? Even if the violation is a technical one that normally gets ignored?

Oh right, they're waiting for helpful "tips" from "anonymous sources" to give them reason to investigate those people. Good thing there is no shortage of people willing to smear Trump and his associates, both for real and imagined reasons, but mostly because its a means to score some political points.

DonaldD

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2018, 07:20:00 AM »
Manafort, Cohen, Flynn, Trump's own public statements, public documents - is that what you mean by "anonymous sources"?

Unfortunately for Trump and those "in his orbit" (do you really not understand what was meant by that - seriously?) there is now a critical mass of evidence suggesting numerous violations of law.  Is that "proof?" Of course not - that is for a court proceeding to decide. Would you really have reacted differently if James had worded her statement differently, such as "anyone in his orbit who is strongly suspected of violating the law" or "where there is evidence suggesting they violated the law"?

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2018, 04:06:34 PM »
You’re really embracing the totalitarian mindset,  very Stalinesque.

DonaldD

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2018, 04:57:23 PM »
Totalitarian is not investigating suspected crime.  One might argue that totalitarian is preemptively declaring refugees as terrorists, gassing them in a foreign country, and ripping children away from their parents with just the smallest of fig leaves of cover, all while lying about what is being done...

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2018, 05:16:45 PM »
What crimes did everyone that knows Trump commit?

What does Obama have to do with it?!?

DonaldD

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2018, 05:49:19 PM »
Where did you get your information, Crunch?  You seem to have knowledge that "everybody that knows Trump" has committed at least one crime. If you do have such evidence, you should probably provide it to the authorities - I'm sure you think of yourself as a law-and-order kinda guy, so that should be something you would be keen on doing.

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #44 on: December 18, 2018, 11:13:01 PM »
Where did you get your information, Crunch?  You seem to have knowledge that "everybody that knows Trump" has committed at least one crime. If you do have such evidence, you should probably provide it to the authorities - I'm sure you think of yourself as a law-and-order kinda guy, so that should be something you would be keen on doing.
Wut? ::)

Crunch

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #45 on: December 18, 2018, 11:13:52 PM »
Meanwhile, back in Ocasio-Cortez world...
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Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t yet started her new job, but she’s already taking a break.
The Democratic Socialist said Monday that she’s taking time a week off for “self-care” after feeling burned out and lamented that her political activity changed her lifestyle.
“I am starting a week of self-care where I am taking the week off and taking care of me. I don’t know how to do that though, so I would appreciate any and all self-care tips,” she said in an Instagram video.
“For working people, immigrants, & the poor, self-care is political — not because we want it to be, but bc of the inevitable shaming of someone doing a face mask while financially stressed. So I’ve decided to take others along with me on IG as I learn what self-care even means and why it’s important,” she added on Twitter….
“Before the campaign, I used to practice yoga 3-4x/week, eat nutritiously, read and write for leisure,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Instagram. “As soon as everything kicked up, that all went out the window. I went from doing yoga and making wild rice and salmon dinners to eating fast food for dinner and falling asleep in my jeans and makeup.”….

It’s so hard being great.

DonaldD

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2018, 07:05:40 AM »
"Wut?"

Try to figure it out, Crunch.  I know it means reading several posts for their content, you know, the words actually written, but with time and patience (and maybe a little help) I'm confident you can do it - I believe in you!

Seriati

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #47 on: December 19, 2018, 10:31:11 AM »
Unfortunately for Trump and those "in his orbit" (do you really not understand what was meant by that - seriously?) there is now a critical mass of evidence suggesting numerous violations of law.  Is that "proof?" Of course not - that is for a court proceeding to decide.

Is it?  So you think the violations of privacy without probable cause that have occurred and are ongoing are acceptable?  Even where they violate the Constitution.

Forgotten, for example, in the case of Flinn is that he was recorded without any suspicion of a crime on his part or the part of those he was talking to.  Show me where the Constitutional authority is provided to record the conversations between a member of the US government and a foreign diplomat?  Maybe there's a consent form out there Flynn executed?  I doubt it.

But that's even scarier here, as there's no legitimate national security interest, in demanding extensive disclosures from "everyone in Trump's orbit" to require they prove they've never committed a crime.  That's literally the opposite of what the Constitution demands.

You can't fix that by hand waiving that they are only going to prosecute the guilty (when they're going to abuse the rights of the innocent to find those guilty).  The entire "premise" of such an investigation is that they are all guilty, and we just have to find the evidence - which again is NOT PROBABLE CAUSE sufficient to justify an invasion of privacy.

I'm terribly troubled that the application of basic civil rights seems to be so confusing.


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Would you really have reacted differently if James had worded her statement differently, such as "anyone in his orbit who is strongly suspected of violating the law" or "where there is evidence suggesting they violated the law"?

I would react differently if she said they are investigating those for whom they have probable cause to believe they committed a crime (not a vague bad thing, a specific articulated crime), as is required by the Constitution.    I would react differently if they hadn't dog whistled their bias by linking the matter to people in his orbit, which makes it clear that they are not pursuing crimes to the people to which they lead, but pursuing people in search of crimes!

The way it  was phrased expresses a profound abuse of discretion.  The fact that it's not deemed outrageous, is just one more brick in the wall of proof that the left no longer defends civil liberties.

TheDrake

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #48 on: December 19, 2018, 10:40:22 AM »
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Show me where the Constitutional authority is provided to record the conversations between a member of the US government and a foreign diplomat?

Flynn wasn't a member of the US government in December of 2016, was he?

As for people in the orbit, I think it is standard practice when you find somebody involved in shadiness to investigate their close associates within the bounds of what is allowable. You wouldn't be able to get a wiretap on them, but you could follow them around and ask questions.

DonaldD

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Re: Abuses of Power
« Reply #49 on: December 19, 2018, 10:44:43 AM »
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So you think the violations of privacy without probable cause that have occurred and are ongoing are acceptable?
a) Look at what I wrote - nothing I wrote presumes violations of probable cause, unless you are suggesting that witness statements somehow violate other defendants' probable cause rights.
b) Do you have evidence of these violations?