Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 65919 times)

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #500 on: November 11, 2019, 03:38:18 PM »
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He was so concerned about it that he didn't pin anything down in writing...

Why?  Would something that Taylor put down in writing matter to you?  Would something that Taylor wrote at that time change you mind in any way?

Because from what I've heard, Taylor took "meticulous" notes at the time.  It's just that the White House has those notes, and refuses to provide them.

If those notes are one day released, and they corroborate Taylor's statements from memory, would that have any effect?  Is there anyone who is more "reliable" than that bold-faced liar, President Trump?

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #501 on: November 11, 2019, 04:08:29 PM »
The Drake - you seem to be ignoring the part where, on September 1, Taylor immediately told Sondland to push back on the president's position.  And then, when Sondland returned a week later responding that Trump was "adamant" that Zelensky publicly announce the investigations, Taylor responded with a text to Sondland, "expressing [his] strong reservations" ("My nightmare is that the Ukrainians give the interview and don't get the security assistance.  The Russians love it.  And I quit.") The following day, he followed up with both Sondland and Volker, stating, among other things: "We have already shaken [the Ukrainians'] faith in us... I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."

You also seemed to have missed that, at the time of Sondland's September 1 statements, Taylor had already sent a cable to his boss, Secretary Pompeo, "describing the folly of withholding military aid at this time, and that he could not and would not support such a policy."

The referenced texts and cables are, presumably, already in evidence.  If Taylor made those up, I can guarantee you that would have completely overshadowed the rest of his testimony.  Again, you may believe that Taylor is being dishonest, but to believe his memory invented multiple discussions with Sondland, and their specific contents, when there are numerous supporting documents referencing the very same concerns and topics, and where those documents illustrate how very focused and concerned Taylor was with those topics...  It is simply unreasonable to continue to hold that Taylor might have mis-remembered.

Again, I am NOT saying that Taylor did not lie about what he and Sondland discussed offline.  Maybe he is lying in ways that are consistent with the  documentary evidence.  But to believe, in the face of all that documentary evidence and his documented concern, and in the face of this being the most important issue of his then job, and in the face of him threatening to retire as a result... no, Taylor's testimony is irrefutably not a fabrication of a lapse in memory.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #502 on: November 11, 2019, 04:10:16 PM »
Yes, if his notes were available that would matter to me. The fact they are being withheld matters to me, and if they should be destroyed that would really matter to me.

We have these lovely text messages, which could have had more information, but Sondland invited him off the record in the cone of silence. Taylor obliged. He doesn't appear to have raised an objection with anybody at the time, detailing "Sondland just told me this horse****, is that really our policy?" If so, the recipient could corroborate, even though it is a second hand account. If he was so horrified, he could have been the whistleblower. He strikes me as much a co-conspirator, albeit somewhat unwilling, than he was this principled champion of truth. A co-conspirator would have much to gain by portraying things in their favor.

Trump's truthfulness has no bearing on whether Taylor was accurate or truthful.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #503 on: November 11, 2019, 05:13:20 PM »
You also seemed to have missed that, at the time of Sondland's September 1 statements, Taylor had already sent a cable to his boss, Secretary Pompeo, "describing the folly of withholding military aid at this time, and that he could not and would not support such a policy."

Just going to throw a sidewinder in here, but this supports my initial assumption that the state of affairs in general here was that the U.S. had always wanted Ukraine to arm up against Russia and that by doing so Ukraine would be complying with U.S. agenda, rather than requesting aid.

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #504 on: November 11, 2019, 05:15:09 PM »
We have these lovely text messages, which could have had more information, but Sondland invited him off the record in the cone of silence. Taylor obliged. He doesn't appear to have raised an objection with anybody at the time, detailing "Sondland just told me this horse****, is that really our policy?" If so, the recipient could corroborate, even though it is a second hand account.

Except the white house is directing everyone involved not to cooperate. At some point Perry, Pompeo, and others are going to have to testify under oath. I guess they're waiting for the Senate trial? Or is the Republican party okay with the white house just saying nothing and refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations into abuse of power?

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #505 on: November 11, 2019, 06:21:34 PM »
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Sondland invited him off the record in the cone of silence. Taylor obliged. He doesn't appear to have raised an objection with anybody at the time, detailing "Sondland just told me this horse****, is that really our policy?"
Ummm, what are you talking about?  Taylor had already raised the issue with Pompeo, then he pushed back on Sondland, and then got confirmation that Trump wasn't changing his mind, which triggered him to raise more objections... and then within 2 days, the policy was reversed, and the withheld money had been released.

Which again says nothing about Taylor's testimony being non-compelling due to his possible memory issues.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #506 on: November 12, 2019, 07:56:06 AM »
Further to Taylor not raising objections, this is from the deposition of Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper:
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I knew from my Kurt Volker conversation and also from sort of the alarm bells that were coming from Ambassador Taylor and his team that there were Ukrainians who knew about [the hold placed the security/military funding in August]
There is already so much corroborating testimony about the monies being withheld, and the number of people raising concerns, that it's hard to understand why people who should know better aren't aware of the statements and timelines, especially since this is the biggest news story of the past several weeks.

Again, I can understand being aware and disbelieving, but not even being aware..?

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #507 on: November 12, 2019, 09:26:46 AM »
We have these lovely text messages, which could have had more information, but Sondland invited him off the record in the cone of silence. Taylor obliged. He doesn't appear to have raised an objection with anybody at the time, detailing "Sondland just told me this horse****, is that really our policy?" If so, the recipient could corroborate, even though it is a second hand account.

Except the white house is directing everyone involved not to cooperate. At some point Perry, Pompeo, and others are going to have to testify under oath. I guess they're waiting for the Senate trial? Or is the Republican party okay with the white house just saying nothing and refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations into abuse of power?

This gets into Executive Privilege and the matter of 3 co-equal branches of government.

If the Trump Admin wants to preserve EP, they basically have to fight the House on this even if they are sitting on evidence which could exonerate Trump(because of the precedents it sets for what the House can get to). It basically is something that will be left until the Senate hears the case the House has built, and the White House has its chance to defend itself.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 09:37:23 AM by TheDeamon »

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #508 on: November 12, 2019, 09:47:01 AM »
This gets into Executive Privilege and the matter of 3 co-equal branches of government.

If the Trump Admin wants to preserve EP, they basically have to fight the House on this even if they are sitting on evidence which could exonerate Trump(because of the precedents it sets for what the House can get to). It basically is something that will be left until the Senate hears the case the House has built, and the White House has its chance to defend itself.

So executive privilege allows anyone working for the executive branch to ignore a congressional subpoena? If only Obama had know this the Benghazi investigation could have ended after a week. Every member of the executive branch could have refused to appear before congress, Clinton could have ignored the subpoenas for her emails and we would have never learned about her bathroom server.

It bothers me how broadly people are interpreting executive powers right now. Trump cannot be investigated by any civil authorities because if he really committed a crime he would be impeached. Also the president and everyone who works for him is exempt from congressional subpoenas and investigations because of executive privilege. Putting these two things together the argument is that the president is beyond the law, beyond even investigation into wrong doing since no one has the authority to investigate, so unless the president commits a crime openly and confesses in public he can't be charged or impeached. Am I missing something here?

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #509 on: November 12, 2019, 10:32:24 AM »

rightleft22

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #510 on: November 12, 2019, 12:28:38 PM »
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It bothers me how broadly people are interpreting executive powers right now

The impeachment investigation is working well for Trump. His war chest gets bigger every day impeachment says in the news and at the same time undermines the house, senate and media.  If you’re wanting smaller government, it’s looking good. Of course, if the next guy that comes along decideds he dons't like you anymore it might not seem so great. But whatever, its all about today who cares about tomorrow.

As a aside I was accused of repeating the same thing over and over as if that would eventually make it true a while back. Questioning my mental capability 
Isn’t this exactly the GOP strategy?



TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #511 on: November 12, 2019, 12:46:50 PM »
I was being very specific about his conversation with Sondland, which had been our topic all along.

He did at various other times raise concerns about the general issue.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #512 on: November 12, 2019, 04:48:58 PM »
And maybe that's why you think it's in any way possible for Taylor to have misremembered that discussion, TheDrake - because that discussion did not take place in a vacuum. It took place in the context of a months' long process where numerous people in the foreign service were concerned about the administration tying different types of aid to Ukraine to domestic policy issues, which was all coming to a head in early September - exactly when the Sondland discussion occurred.

This was Ambassador Taylor's job, and the highest priority file that he was dealing with.  It was a topic about which he had raised concerns internally, with his boss, with other ambassadors, and in certain ways with Ukraine government representatives. This concern of his has been corroborated by several other people's testimony already, and is supported by documentary evidence that could be made available to disprove his statements. Given this context, it is vanishingly unlikely that his memory of this conversation would be in any way significantly incorrect - certainly, not to the level of mistaking Sondland for somebody else, or mistaking the substance of what Sondland conveyed to Taylor about Trump's position.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #513 on: November 13, 2019, 05:35:27 AM »
What I think I'm hearing is that the "now there is no question" argument isn't really a thing, since all the previous evidence is so pervasive that you could draw a conclusion without it?

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #514 on: November 13, 2019, 06:19:33 AM »
No - it's really simple: I'm saying that the argument that one can doubt Taylor's testimony, and specifically his interactions with Sondland, due to the possibility of his memory being inaccurate is a non-starter. And it's a non-starter for all the reasons I listed. 

Doubt him because you think he is lying, sure.  Posit that there is a conspiracy to bring down the president.  But it's simply not rational to believe that Taylor's testimony about Sondland is wrong in the way you were suggesting due to memory failure.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 06:25:00 AM by DonaldD »

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #515 on: November 13, 2019, 10:42:58 AM »
I'm not sure I get the point of your argument though.  Everything Taylor knows about Trump's reasoning is either made up or hearsay.  Pointing to Sondland isn't helpful, because everything he knows about Trump's reasoning came from two direct interactions with Trump, the first where Trump expressed deep skepticism about the Ukraine's commitment to end corruption, and the second where expressly told him that he didn't want anything and that there was no quid pro quo.  The fact that Sondland "assumed" there was a quid pro quo doesn't make it true, and makes Taylor's knowledge useless.

A better question is to ask yourself why Taylor - in charge of the Ukraine mission - didn't take it upon himself to get clarity on the US policy.  What's grossly missing in all the testimony is what should have been there from the start, what was the official policy you were charged with enforcing.  Answer?  No quid pro quo. Not helpful to the Democrats.

Who is a position of political authority to change the policy on Ukraine directed you to do so?  Answer, no one.  Not helpful to the Democrats.

Where do you get the idea that a quid pro quo was required?  Answer, at the root, I made it up because I didn't understand the delay.  What political clarification did you get?  Answer, generally, none or didn't ask or why would I ask or the New York Times said.

Who sets our policy?  Answer the President.  Answer in the depositions?  The bureacrats themselves believe they do and that the President and the political officers changing it should be illegal.  By the way that came across clearly in Vindman, Taylor and the prior ambassadors testimony, and is openly false.

Why was the aid delayed?  Answer, Mick Mulvaney expressly stated that there were 3 reasons, none of which were the quid pro quo of helping in the 2020 election.  Not good for the Democrats.

Is it illegal or improper to investigate the illegalities of the 2020 election?  Nope.  In fact it's proper.

Is it illegal to ask the Ukraine for help?  Nope, in fact its proper.

Did the Ukraine interfere in the 2016 election?  Yep, and it's documented.

Did they do so at the request of the DNC/Hilary Campaign/Obama Administration?  Less clear whether they coordinated, but certainly more evidence of it that the Trump/Russia hoax.  We have the Obama DOJ and DNC staffers actively seeking and receiving information about Manafort, which was expressly used to aid the Dems in the 2016 election and set up the entire 2016 Trump/Russia hoax.  Hard to see how even if you believe this is about 2020 that would not mean the 2016 violation should be investigated.

Against that backdrop, at this point, I do declare that there is no there there.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #516 on: November 13, 2019, 11:11:22 AM »
And if you do believe that this is a legitimate impeachment query, I'm curious how you explain Shiff's rules?

Analogies to grand juries break apart completely when they are public.  Grand Jury secrecy is required expressly because there's no defense and no ability to challenge the prosecutor's case, putting that public is about miscarrying justice not providing it.  Do you think this is the right way to proceed?

What - legitimate - purpose is served by refusing witnesses that the minority calls that would provide evidence that the purported requests by Trump are legitimate?  Isn't the entire premise here that only the purported re-election benefit could be behind this?  Never mind the requests were for an investigation of conduct from 2016 that is part of an active investigate, and - if you stretch the transcript past its normal reading - of indefensible conduct by Hunter Biden and potentially of Joe Biden?

How does disallowing the President's counsel to ask questions advance the goal of getting to the truth? 

Of course that's not the real goal.  The real goal is political damage.  Can someone point out the part of the Constitution that authorizes the House to abuse it's power to cause political damage?  It's especially galling in an "impeachment" claiming that the investigated person breached his power to further his political interests, to see an entire process run nakedly for the political interests of a political party.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #517 on: November 13, 2019, 12:02:59 PM »
Meanwhile, Gordon Sondland admits that the military aid offered to Ukraine was dependent on Ukraine investigating Biden's son.

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After that large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks. I also recall some question as to whether the public statement could come from the newly appointed Ukrainian Prosecutor General, rather than from President Zelensky directly.

6. Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself. I do not specifically recall how I learned this, but I believe that the information may have come either from Mr. Giuliani or from Ambassador Volker, who may have discussed this with Mr. Giuliani.
(Emphasis mine.)

So there is no question now whether quid pro quo occurred.  The only question now is who directed it.

Climbing into the wayback machine to refocus. My entire point has been, all along, that this particular Sondland 2.0 testimony added little to the discussion, and was not particularly helpful. I still have concerns about Taylor's account, because it conflicted with Sondland 1.0 and to a lesser extent with 2.0.

That is all.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #518 on: November 13, 2019, 12:15:47 PM »
This entire debate is still contingent on yes/no to quid pro quo. But again, I don't even see the damage unless the quid pro quo was between Trump and Zelenskyy on behalf of himself only, aka a bribe. If it was a legitimate corruption investigation then it's irrelevant (as far as I can tell) that it would happen to benefit Trump personally as well, and quid pro quo - that is, asking a potential ally to work with you - is therefore no problem. The danger zone is when the deal benefits Trump alone rather than America, and despite what one of the posters mentioned above, no, I don't believe it also helping Trump suddenly makes it qualify as a bribe, because anything good for America will by definition be good for the individual people in America. The big wrinkle is that a current political opponent was involved in the investigation request, and that brings me back to my original question, which is whether Biden should have been immune to investigation through a joint U.S./Ukrainian effort. It really all hinges on that IMO, and I don't see what the rest of the issue is regarding 'quid pro quo'. That's just a buzzword now.

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #519 on: November 13, 2019, 12:29:21 PM »
This entire debate is still contingent on yes/no to quid pro quo.

Which is why it’s always been a loser if/when it’s countered with “of course! All worthwhile discussions at a leadership level are qpq”

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But again, I don't even see the damage unless the quid pro quo was between Trump and Zelenskyy on behalf of himself only, aka a bribe.

Correct, which gets to the theater of proving motive, aka reading Trump's mind. But to Seriati's earlier point, the win here isn’t actually about proving an impeachable action, but peeing in the well for the rest of Trump's term in hope that the public believes that removing Trump - full stop -  vs looking at competing policies and outcomes for dems vs Republicans is the only way dems get out of 2020 intact.


TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #520 on: November 13, 2019, 12:57:20 PM »
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels? Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended? Why hide the conversation in an irregular server? Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #521 on: November 13, 2019, 01:03:42 PM »
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels? Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended? Why hide the conversation in an irregular server? Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?

Going through ambassadors is irregular? I'll admit I don't know the day-to-day workings of the state department so I can't personally field this one. But I could see a case where Trump might have wanted to bypass the red tape and get on it personally, 'man to man', as it were? Especially if there was concern about leaking or people interfering in the process. As for hiding the conversation, do you mean the security precautions? Not sure what you mean on that one. I also don't have any problem considering the possible scenarios where it really is a bribe, I just don't see how we get from "this is irregular" to "we are now beyond any doubt this was a personal bribe."

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #522 on: November 13, 2019, 01:06:00 PM »
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels? Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended? Why hide the conversation in an irregular server? Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?

Then why would he ask for a public announcement from Ukraine, which would surely shine a spotlight on the whole conversation? Seems a bit counter to the idea he was looking to keep the entire thing on the down-low.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #523 on: November 13, 2019, 01:10:19 PM »
IRRC, the Ukraine announcement was supposed to sound like they'd found the corruption themselves. Trump's people wanted Ukraine to conceal their role in spurring the announced investigation.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #524 on: November 13, 2019, 01:16:03 PM »
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels?

There was nothing really "irregular" about the channels used, that's Taylor adding a gloss for the Democrats.  History makes it clear that President's have used actual irregular channels in the past (legitimately).  In this case, you're talking about Diplomats and Cabinet level officials as "irregular" and oh yeah Taylor (i.e., the official channel - at least in his mind) and Volker (also part of the official channel for Ukraine).

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Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended?

Volker, Sondland and Taylor are all state department connected, though I'm less sure on how connected Volker is as a Special Envoy.  Perry is literally the Secretary of Energy, which is the primary interest in the Ukraine.  Mulvaney was the White House Chief of Staff.  That's pretty darn official and a really normal group to be pursuing the President's and the countries policies.

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Why hide the conversation in an irregular server?

Same reason that other Presidential conversations are kept there as well, the "official" server has been leaked repeatedly and against the interests of the United States.  Really, this one is a no brainer.

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Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?

Because to do otherwise implies that Congress has the right to conduct foreign policy, not the Administration.  See the Constitution for why that's not true.

If this boils down to a policy difference (ie, the State Department staff wanted more Ukraine engagement than they felt the President was giving) then it's completely illegitimate as as an inquiry.  The "whistle blower" is already not a whistleblower under the statute, but if this is about policy differences then they wouldn't even be exempt if they were reporting legitimately on an intelligence official.

Congress doesn't have a legitimate right to demand access to Presidential records on these matters.  Now that can change, but the basic rule is no.  No more than the President or even the DOJ can demand that Congressmen turn over their own records or even those of their staff.  If you think this is troubling you should take a closer look at Congresses absolute privileges on these matters.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #525 on: November 13, 2019, 01:18:47 PM »
If it wasn't on behalf of himself, why all the weird irregular channels? Why not just use your state department as it is normally intended? Why hide the conversation in an irregular server? Why block people from testifying to how normal and above board it all was?

Then why would he ask for a public announcement from Ukraine, which would surely shine a spotlight on the whole conversation? Seems a bit counter to the idea he was looking to keep the entire thing on the down-low.

Isn't that obvious? He wanted the public announcement to harm Biden. He didn't want people to necessarily know that it had anything to do with him.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #526 on: November 13, 2019, 01:21:49 PM »
So the EU ambassador should have a central role in Ukraine? As opposed to the Ukrainian ambassador? And calling Sondland a diplomat is just laughable. Where was Guliani in all this? As opposed to the AG?

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #527 on: November 13, 2019, 01:27:07 PM »
Isn't that obvious? He wanted the public announcement to harm Biden. He didn't want people to necessarily know that it had anything to do with him.

I find this scenario highly unlikely. Trump isn't a sneaking around quietly kind of guy. Much more likely is that he wanted it to be a done deal prior to making any announcement, because a failure never happened if no one heard about it. Once the announcement was made he'd have no doubt taken full credit for it to the thunderous applause of his supporters.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #528 on: November 13, 2019, 01:28:12 PM »
So the EU ambassador should have a central role in Ukraine? As opposed to the Ukrainian ambassador? And calling Sondland a diplomat is just laughable. Where was Guliani in all this? As opposed to the AG?

Taylor wasn't strictly speaking the Ukrainian ambassador, he was an acting ambassador. Not sure how much this affects your point, but yeah, Europe has been part of the Ukraine tug-o-war with Russia for a while, so it should come as no surprise that the European delegation would be part of this.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #529 on: November 13, 2019, 01:32:01 PM »
I find this scenario highly unlikely. Trump isn't a sneaking around quietly kind of guy. Much more likely is that he wanted it to be a done deal prior to making any announcement, because a failure never happened if no one heard about it. Once the announcement was made he'd have no doubt taken full credit for it to the thunderous applause of his supporters.

Then why not announce it himself or tweet about it?

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #530 on: November 13, 2019, 01:32:58 PM »
Isn't that obvious? He wanted the public announcement to harm Biden. He didn't want people to necessarily know that it had anything to do with him.

I agree with the first part. But he's not stupid, there's virtually no possibility his call and subsequent memo wouldn't get exposed once a public statement was made. Which means the more realistic explanation is that he was fine with his "perfect" call being out in the open.

"Please make a public statement about this investigation" and "let's keep the origin covert" are simply not compatible.


ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #531 on: November 13, 2019, 01:34:00 PM »
Quote from: NobleHunter link=topic=795.msg33331#msg33331
Then why not announce it himself or tweet about it?

Because it would be seen as more damning and less partisan coming from another country vs someone who tweets diarrhea on the regular.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #532 on: November 13, 2019, 01:35:04 PM »
This isn't him being involved, its him being the conduit of information from the president. It would be like having the Japanese ambassador relaying the President's orders to the Australian ambassador. Possibly more likely for a career diplomat, but instead you have a political appointee (not uncommon for ambassadorships) being the goto guy, instead of career diplomats with broad experience. As opposed to a hotelier. What Trump could count on is Sondland's loyalty as a sycophant.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #533 on: November 13, 2019, 01:39:33 PM »
Quote from: NobleHunter link=topic=795.msg33331#msg33331
Then why not announce it himself or tweet about it?

Because it would be seen as more damning and less partisan coming from another country vs someone who tweets diarrhea on the regular.

That, and from what I can see I'm not 100% the "done deal" happened quite in the way Trump wanted. Trump would no doubt tweet about it after Zelenskyy made the public declaration as Trump wanted him to, to claim credit for it.

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #534 on: November 13, 2019, 01:52:33 PM »
Exactly. In his mind, this was a "perfect" call. The last thing he was trying to do was hide the fact he was ultimately making it happen, for the overall good of 'merca.

The idea that this also constitutes "digging up dirt" on a political opponent (QPQ or not) is not only 100% true, but irrelevant. Under these circumstances, these two things could literally never be mutually exclusive.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #535 on: November 13, 2019, 01:55:15 PM »
So the EU ambassador should have a central role in Ukraine?

Yes.  Are you confused about this?  Our official policy under Obama AND Trump was to encourage more EU-Ukraine connections and specifically to get the EU to purchase energy from the Ukraine rather than Russia.

If you read Sondland's testimony that is EXACTLY how is roll functioned. 

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As opposed to the Ukrainian ambassador?

In what way was he opposed?  Sondland worked with Taylor extensively, and with Volker and with Perry.  He wasn't the primary contact with anyone. 

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And calling Sondland a diplomat is just laughable.

Sure.  Calling political ambassadors "diplomats" is laughable, I mean they literally are the head diplomat, but sure its "laughable." 

I'm not of the view that "professional diplomats" who clearly follow their own agendas and feel entitled to do so, rather than following the official democratic policies of the Administration are a better choice.  I used to think there was a case there, but revealing the cooking process here made me question whether we should bar them from senior roles.

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Where was Guliani in all this?

Who cares?  Or rather, why do you care about Guilianni but not say, Alexandra Chalupa?  Walk me through the legitimate distinction there.

In any event, are you under the mistaken impression that Guillianni was not allowed to pursue the President's interests?

I've yet to see any testimony that says someone heard Guilianni convey a directive from the President.  And Volker, who Sondland says wast the one talking to Guilianni, actually directly said there was no order about a quid pro quo.

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As opposed to the AG?

In what way is he opposed to the AG if he's investigating actual crimes?  Answer he's not.  Is it illegal for a private citizen to investigate actual crimes?  Nope.  Is it illegal for the President's lawyer?  Nope, in fact, it's probably his duty to do so given that such information would be relevant to a defense of the President.

In what way is he opposed to the AG if he's out there looking for political dirt?  Answer he's not.  Is it illegal to look for dirt?  Not a chance.  Is it illegal to look for it in foreign countries?  Nope.

I get the need to have a "bogey man" but walk me through the exact conduct you think is problematic and the FACTS that support it.  As of right now there is zero evidence that Trump,  or even the administration, directed a quid pro quo. 

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #536 on: November 13, 2019, 02:10:45 PM »
You're confusing illegal with irregular.

If Sondland wasn't the primary contact, why is it that Taylor had to figure out from Sondland what the White House wanted? Why wasn't it in an official state department communication with talking points spelled out?

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #537 on: November 13, 2019, 03:04:19 PM »
You're confusing illegal with irregular.

Am I?  That's certainly the intent of Shiff and the Dems, to describe "irregular" as something sinister.  In any event, there's next to nothing irregular about the group that Taylor describes - for his own purposes - as an "irregular channel".  In fact, when it comes down to it, the "irregular channel" includes people that are actually entitled to set and communicate US policy, whereas his own "channel," which given his complete lack of testimony about recieving any official direction, largely consists of himself and his staff, does NOT INCLUDE ANYONE ENTITLED TO MAKE POLICY.

Honestly, if Taylor believed the "irregular" channel was pursuing a different policy, his duties were as follows:  (1) clarify if that was an official policy - he failed at this, and his efforts were underwhelming at best.  I would suggest that this failure is largely intentional, he had a clear policy preference and decided that "ignorance" of a change meant he could continue his own policy; (2) if policy had changed to implement the new policy, see the willful ignorance in (1), which meant he did not conform to the "new" policy that he believed was in force.  And lucky for him, since there was no new policy; and (3) if policy had not changed, raise massive red flags through the "official" channel about the difference.  Which again, his efforts on this front were tiny.

Taylor should in fact be removed and maybe prosecuted if he knew of a policy change and deliberately undermined it.

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If Sondland wasn't the primary contact, why is it that Taylor had to figure out from Sondland what the White House wanted? Why wasn't it in an official state department communication with talking points spelled out?

That's a great question.  The answers are obvious, there was no policy change, ergo no communication about one.

You should really read Mulvaney's press conference, Shiff's lied to you about what was in it (ie. the claim Mulvaney admitted a quid pro quo related to Trump or investigations is a deliberate lie), but what is in it is the factual reasons that aid was delayed, and a specific acknowledgement that the law required it be released no later than Sept 30th.

The fact that Taylor didn't know the actual reasons does not mean that he was correct to make up his worst nightmare reasons and decide they must be true.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #538 on: November 13, 2019, 04:27:41 PM »
Because to do otherwise implies that Congress has the right to conduct foreign policy, not the Administration.  See the Constitution for why that's not true.

It actually reaches a step further: It presumes The House of Representatives has an important role to perform in foreign policy, which is also false. That role falls to the Senate. If the Senate decided to launch an inquiry of their own...

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Congress doesn't have a legitimate right to demand access to Presidential records on these matters.  Now that can change, but the basic rule is no.  No more than the President or even the DOJ can demand that Congressmen turn over their own records or even those of their staff.  If you think this is troubling you should take a closer look at Congresses absolute privileges on these matters.

Going to disagree with this up to a point. The House has little claim to foreign policy oversight beyond budgetary concerns. The Senate, which is part of Congress, has a very significant claim to oversight of foreign affairs, but they're not the ones pushing this, the House is.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #539 on: November 13, 2019, 04:30:14 PM »
I find this scenario highly unlikely. Trump isn't a sneaking around quietly kind of guy. Much more likely is that he wanted it to be a done deal prior to making any announcement, because a failure never happened if no one heard about it. Once the announcement was made he'd have no doubt taken full credit for it to the thunderous applause of his supporters.

Then why not announce it himself or tweet about it?

Because have the Ukrainians promptly disavowing the existence of such an investigation wouldn't be good for his ego. If they announce it beforehand, he doesn't have the problem.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #540 on: November 13, 2019, 04:36:39 PM »
If Sondland wasn't the primary contact, why is it that Taylor had to figure out from Sondland what the White House wanted? Why wasn't it in an official state department communication with talking points spelled out?

We require more micro-management, delegation is so over-rated.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #541 on: November 13, 2019, 04:38:51 PM »
Because have the Ukrainians promptly disavowing the existence of such an investigation wouldn't be good for his ego. If they announce it beforehand, he doesn't have the problem.

Which would have been unwise if they hadn't gotten the money yet.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #542 on: November 13, 2019, 04:55:01 PM »
Going to disagree with this up to a point. The House has little claim to foreign policy oversight beyond budgetary concerns. The Senate, which is part of Congress, has a very significant claim to oversight of foreign affairs, but they're not the ones pushing this, the House is. 

The Senate's role is in managing the results, not in micromanaging the process.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #543 on: November 14, 2019, 07:32:20 AM »
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Some Republican senators and their advisers are privately discussing whether to pressure GOP leaders to stage a lengthy impeachment trial beginning in January to scramble the Democratic presidential race — potentially keeping six contenders in Washington until the eve of the Iowa caucuses or longer.

....

The discussions raise a potential hazard for the six Democratic senators running for president, who had previously planned on a final sprint out of Washington before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses and the Feb. 11 New Hampshire primary.

LMAO. That would be awesome. Just wreck the Democrat primaries and derail a few campaigns. Biden and Buttgieg would be really happy.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #544 on: November 18, 2019, 09:29:51 PM »
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I'm not sure I get the point of your argument though.  Everything Taylor knows about Trump's reasoning is either made up or hearsay.  Pointing to Sondland isn't helpful, because everything he knows about Trump's reasoning came from two direct interactions with Trump
Taylor's value as a witness was not as a direct witness to events but rather as a person who was aware of the different threads of the story.  Other people are direct witnesses, e.g, David Holmes:
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Holmes heard Trump ask Sondland on the call if the Ukrainians were going to "do the investigation," and Sondland responded, "He's gonna do it." 

<Snip>

 In his deposition, Holmes said Sondland later told at the restaurant that Trump "doesn't give a s--t about Ukraine," and that his primary focus was on "big stuff that matters to him, like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing."       

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #545 on: November 19, 2019, 12:29:42 AM »
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I'm not sure I get the point of your argument though.  Everything Taylor knows about Trump's reasoning is either made up or hearsay.  Pointing to Sondland isn't helpful, because everything he knows about Trump's reasoning came from two direct interactions with Trump
Taylor's value as a witness was not as a direct witness to events but rather as a person who was aware of the different threads of the story.  Other people are direct witnesses, e.g, David Holmes:
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Holmes heard Trump ask Sondland on the call if the Ukrainians were going to "do the investigation," and Sondland responded, "He's gonna do it." 

<Snip>

 In his deposition, Holmes said Sondland later told at the restaurant that Trump "doesn't give a s--t about Ukraine," and that his primary focus was on "big stuff that matters to him, like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing."       

The interesting thing for me is the testimony doesn't really seem to be pointing towards being impeachable. However, Giuliani might be up for some criminal prosecution.

The Impeachment narrative only works if Giuliani is working under Trump's orders. If Giuliani is off doing his own thing, and simply getting the President to sign off things, things move into really weird territory.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #546 on: November 19, 2019, 03:17:57 PM »
Today’s developments...

Vindman confirms that the call transcript was locked away in the secure system not because of a cover up but to just prevent leaks.

Vindman also confirmed that the call transcript was accurate.

We also now know that there were significant concerns about his lack of judgement and that NSC officials tried to have Vindman removed but it was blocked by an Obama holdover. Vindman was also offered the position of defense minister in the Ukrainian government 3 separate times.

So far, these witnesses are tanking the Democrats efforts.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #547 on: November 19, 2019, 03:35:19 PM »
Also, when asked why he went to a lawyer instead of his boss, Vindman says it was just a really busy week. Seriously. That’s his story.

Schiff is really stepping on a rake with the witnesses so far.


Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #548 on: November 19, 2019, 05:58:30 PM »
Vindman just keeps giving

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Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman admitted he made up elements of President Donald Trump’s call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an official summary.

Prior to the call, Vindman included a discussion about corruption in the talking points provided to the president but Trump did not use them in the call.

The summary Vindman wrote after the call read:
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President Trump underscored the unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – within its internationally recognized borders – and expressed his commitment to work together with President-elect Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people to implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption.

But Vindman clarified during his testimony that the president did not bring up the topic rooting out corruption during the phone call, but he included it in his summary of the call anyway.

With this one, we can definitively say that Vindman has established a pattern of lying about the call and its content.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #549 on: November 19, 2019, 05:59:19 PM »
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The Impeachment narrative only works if Giuliani is working under Trump's orders.
You do realize that Sondland and Giuliani are not the same person, right?  And that the quote to which you are responding had nothing to do with Giuliani..?

Also the quote to which you were responding... It was in reaction to the claim that all evidence against Trump is hearsay, because Taylor only provided 3rd hand knowledge..