Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 33606 times)

Crunch

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Ukraine
« on: September 23, 2019, 06:40:28 PM »
Ukraine, it’s the new hoax.

A leaker says Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Biden’s reported and self admitted threat to withhold foreign aid unless a prosecutor investigating a company his son Hunter was involved with  was fired. FYI, the prosecutor was fired, Hunter skated, the money flowed.

One problem is the leaker “didn't have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN.” Right. So it’s something off the rumor mill and, as Peter Suderman says, “So, a thing happened, and Trump was involved, and apparently so was a foreign leader, and someone in the natsec field became upset. But it's not clear what happened, or who the foreign leader was, or who is upset, or why?”

It’s second or third hand rumor. That’s it. It’s some anonymous leftwing, deep state apparatchik that’s throwing out wild rumor which the media reports as fact and democrats insist is impeachable. No need to look at the facts. Just like the Russian collusion hoax. Anonymous sources, rumor, innuendo. Nothing more so far.

The Democrats want the call transcript. The idea that Trump would talk to foreign leaders is apparently enough to warrant impeachment. But:

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Article II of the Constitution gives the president sweeping power to conduct foreign affairs, negotiate with leaders of other nations, make demands or offer promises.  The Constitution does not grant the power of review, approval or disapproval to spies or other unelected officials in the executive branch.

So congress has no grounds to demand *censored*. The president really does have authority to talk to foreign leaders. He can talk to them about anything he wants.

If we investigate further, it’s JoeBiden that gets burned- of course, the media will do its best to cover up Biden ‘s crimes.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2019, 06:50:41 PM »
I misspoke when I said they want Trump impeached. Over on MSNBC they just ran with this being something Trump should be executed for.  Seriously, that’s what they’re pushing over there. Nucking futters.

D.W.

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2019, 09:28:18 PM »
Nuke em both from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2019, 10:57:25 PM »
The weird thing about this rumor/story is that - wasn't Biden's son part of a huge scandal where Biden basically leveraged his political position into money and influence for his son in Ukraine? And if this is so, wouldn't Trump trying to get info on that...be equivalent to investigation into a high-level crime? As in, the kind of crime Trump was being investigated for? At the very least I would hope that reports on this would try to hang both Trump and Biden, the former for pushing weight around improperly (if the rumor is true) and the latter for, you know, being corrupt. The lack of the latter would seem to disqualify the validity of the former, regardless of any other information on the matter.

scifibum

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2019, 11:27:51 PM »
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wasn't Biden's son part of a huge scandal where Biden basically leveraged his political position into money and influence for his son in Ukraine

Wasn't he? No, he wasn't. What are you talking about? The frothy Fox News version is that Biden got a prosecutor fired to protect his son from an investigation - there's no evidence for this - but what you're describing is based on...?

Crunch is being ridiculous, as usual. The whistleblower complaint was vetted through the ICIG, who found it to be "urgent" and "credible". The ICIG is a Trump appointee. https://www.dni.gov/index.php/who-we-are/organizations/icig/icig-about-us/icig-leadership/icig-ig-bio

This nonsense about a deep state liberal whatever reporting 3rd hand hearsay is completely baseless. The ICIG would have killed it if that was what was going on. The ICIG is not required to pass along frivolous complaints.

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how does the ICWPA define “urgent concern”? The statute defines it as

(A) A serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operations of an intelligence activity involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters[;]

(B) A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress, on an issue of material fact relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity[; or]

(C) An action, including a personnel action described in section 2302(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, constituting reprisal or threat of reprisal prohibited under section 7(c) in response to an employee’s reporting an urgent concern in accordance with this section.


And, of course, what Congressional democrats are insisting on is reviewing the facts - of the whistleblowing report, and of course any surrounding documentation and testimony. Crunch prefers to say "no need to look at the facts" to cover up for the fact that the administration is trying desperately to hide the g.d. facts.


"The lack of the latter would seem to disqualify the validity of the former, regardless of any other information on the matter."

Sure, that makes sense. Let's ONLY hold the president accountable for impeachable offenses if the GOP is satisfied that we've sufficiently punished Biden for something else that they merely claim is equivalent in some way, regardless of the facts. This is why we only send murderers to prison if they are ALL convicted in their separate trials.

scifibum

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2019, 12:13:24 AM »
"So congress has no grounds to demand *censored*. The president really does have authority to talk to foreign leaders. He can talk to them about anything he wants."

Yeah, the law isn't the law. Trump can do what he wants. There's no law that says the DNI "shall" forward the complaint to Congress after the ICIG finds it credible and urgent, after all Trump can talk to foreign leaders, right? That changes the text of the law! That means the DNI doesn't have to do what the law says. Even better when there's reason to think the report contains damning information about the President - all the more reason the law doesn't apply, right?

The POTUS definitely has constitutional authority to defy election law and withhold duly appropriated funds in order to try to coerce a foreign country to pretend it has dirt on his election opponent. Congress can't do *** about that!

MAGA

*eyeroll*

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2019, 07:50:59 AM »
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wasn't Biden's son part of a huge scandal where Biden basically leveraged his political position into money and influence for his son in Ukraine

Wasn't he? No, he wasn't. What are you talking about? The frothy Fox News version is that Biden got a prosecutor fired to protect his son from an investigation - there's no evidence for this - but what you're describing is based on...?


There’s video of Biden bragging about getting the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden’s company fired or the Obama administration would withhold $1 billion in aid. Biden also confesses Obama was in on the deal to do this. The prosecutor got fired, the investigation halted. Hunter got richer.

There’s a metric *censored*load more evidence of criminal activity here than some leaker with third hand rumors.

Crunch is being ridiculous, as usual. The whistleblower complaint was vetted through the ICIG, who found it to be "urgent" and "credible". The ICIG is a Trump appointee. https://www.dni.gov/index.php/who-we-are/organizations/icig/icig-about-us/icig-leadership/icig-ig-bio

This nonsense about a deep state liberal whatever reporting 3rd hand hearsay is completely baseless. The ICIG would have killed it if that was what was going on. The ICIG is not required to pass along frivolous complaints.

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how does the ICWPA define “urgent concern”? The statute defines it as

(A) A serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operations of an intelligence activity involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters[;]

(B) A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress, on an issue of material fact relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity[; or]

(C) An action, including a personnel action described in section 2302(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, constituting reprisal or threat of reprisal prohibited under section 7(c) in response to an employee’s reporting an urgent concern in accordance with this section.


And, of course, what Congressional democrats are insisting on is reviewing the facts - of the whistleblowing report, and of course any surrounding documentation and testimony. Crunch prefers to say "no need to look at the facts" to cover up for the fact that the administration is trying desperately to hide the g.d. facts.


"The lack of the latter would seem to disqualify the validity of the former, regardless of any other information on the matter."

Sure, that makes sense. Let's ONLY hold the president accountable for impeachable offenses if the GOP is satisfied that we've sufficiently punished Biden for something else that they merely claim is equivalent in some way, regardless of the facts. This is why we only send murderers to prison if they are ALL convicted in their separate trials.
The ICWPA law defines the parameters of an “urgent concern” complaint as an abuse or violation of law “relating to the funding, administration, or operations of an intelligence activity involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters.”  A president’s conversation with a foreign leader does not fall under this definition.

The acting Director of National Intelligence agreed with that and directed general counsel to write a letter stating the complaint did not meet the ICWPA definition because it involved conduct “from someone outside the intel community and did not relate to intelligence activity.” This is why the DNI refused to forward the complaint to congress.

Anonymous accusations of third hand rumors about something within the president’s authority is meaningless.  It’s just another hoax.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2019, 08:16:08 AM »
Let’s add this into the fact list.

The third hand rumor is that Trump said he would withhold $400 million in military aid unless Ukraine investigated Biden. The money was released to the Ukraine.  There was no investigation.

The real story is that, fearing corruption which Ukraine is well known for, Trump asked for a hold on the release to be sure the money was going where it was supposed to go. There was some discussion internally and ultimately the money was released. The call with third hand rumor reporting was nothing more than a standard congratulations on being elected - the Ukraine confirms this.

This is what happens when you have a friend who knows someone that heard from some guy that something happened. It’s the gossip game.

Contrast that with Biden openly bragging about doing this.

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2019, 09:17:19 AM »
Anonymous accusations of third hand rumors about something within the president’s authority is meaningless.  It’s just another hoax.

Whistleblower vetted by the IG and Trump refusing to release the report to congress in violation of the law is a hoax? T.D.S.

And if Biden violated the US law in his dealings with Ukraine shouldn't the Trump appointees at the justice department be filing charges against him?

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2019, 11:53:38 AM »
Wasn't he? No, he wasn't. What are you talking about? The frothy Fox News version is that Biden got a prosecutor fired to protect his son from an investigation - there's no evidence for this - but what you're describing is based on...?

I'm no expert on the topic but I was basing it on this:

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/21/trump-ukraine-biden-1507051

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The controversy can be traced back to March 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in Eastern Ukraine, setting off an international crisis. As the administration’s point-man on Ukraine, Biden led the U.S. response.

That April, Biden’s son, Hunter, was appointed to the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, despite lacking substantive experience working in Ukraine or the energy sector. He received compensation that was reportedly as high as $50,000 a month.

At the time, Burisma was seeking to build inroads to U.S. Democrats as it faced investigative scrutiny. The same month Hunter Biden joined Burisma, the U.K. government froze bank accounts that allegedly belonged to its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, as part of a money laundering investigation.

Two years later, Joe Biden successfully pressured the Ukrainian government to remove its prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, who was unpopular with Western leaders, threatening to withhold loan guarantees if it did not. At the time, Shokin's office had open probes of Burisma and Zlochevsky. Shokin’s successor closed the investigations, but then reopened an investigation of Burisma last year.

I was referring less to Biden's push to remove the prosecutor, which claims seem to say was generally desired by the West, and more to how his son got this lucrative position in the first place in a very troubled region with tenuous ties to Western Europe and the U.S. The whole issue with Ukraine at the time was the tug of war between East and West for Ukraine's attention and business, with Russia suing them for oil deals while Western Europe (and more specifically, NATO) wanted Ukraine to be an additional buffer/strangle-zone against Russia. So yes, not only is it a question of nepotism in the common sense, but if you think bigger picture there's the issue of placing the Vice President's son on an important board position in a politically contested country. You may recall that many issues plaguing South America, for example, are cases where the local governments feel that their country's industry is being effectively hijacked by foreign business interests (which they indeed have been, repeatedly). Having American VIP's in positions to begin controlling Ukrainian industry could be seen as an example of that, and perhaps as a precursor to the industry being co-opted by American interests and investors.

I don't actually know enough about the Ukrainian economy to make positive statements about this so I can only speak in generalities. However I see plenty of evidence that there could have been plain corrupt nepotism, and potentially something worse, at work with Biden and his son, and it certainly didn't help that he then helped get rid of that prosecutor, even though I don't think that's the most alarming issue. But no, I'm not basing this on a frothy Fox News report.

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2019, 01:33:11 PM »
ElectorlaVote.com had a pretty good summary of the Ukraine/Biden controversy, IMHO:

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[T]he company at the center of all of this is Burisma Holdings, a natural gas concern in Ukraine. That company is owned by a client of Hunter Biden's law firm (former Ukrainian government official Mykola Zlochevsky) and shortly after Biden's colleague and business partner Devon Archer joined Burisma's board, Biden joined the board as well (this was in April 2014). Since Biden had no expertise in the area of natural gas, it was a curious choice, as was his generous compensation package (often as much as $50,000 a month). If all of this seems to have a slightly unsavory odor, well, that's a fair assessment. Not helping things is that Burisma had attracted the attention of government authorities prior to Biden joining the firm, and was under investigation by both the UK and Ukraine when he accepted his seat on the board.

As noted above, Joe Biden enters the story in 2016, while he was vice president. As the Obama administration and much of the international community had concluded that the Ukrainian prosecutor Shokin was rotten to the core, Biden—acting as an envoy for the administration—helped oust him, primarily by threatening to withhold aid from Ukraine as long as Shokin was in place.

At this point, Donald Trump's thought process becomes crystal clear. If Biden was acting with an eye toward helping his son, then he and Trump would have done literally the same thing: used U.S. foreign aid as leverage against Ukraine in exchange for personal concessions. The problem for Trump is that he's relying on a lie that Shokin told to Giuliani, and that is entirely unsupported by evidence. To start, although Shokin's office was technically investigating Burisma in 2014, there was little activity on that front by 2016, and indeed, the British had grown frustrated with what appeared to them to be obstruction, as if Shokin was actually trying to protect the company. On top of that, it wasn't just Joe Biden who thought that Shokin had to go. As Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council explained to the Wall Street Journal, "The whole G-7, the IMF, the EBRD, everybody was united that Shokin must go, and the spokesman for this was Joe Biden." And finally, for the Biden conspiracy to be true, Barack Obama would have to have been a willing participant. This is the same man who ran one of the most remarkably scandal- and corruption-free presidencies in memory.

In summary, one can look askance at Hunter Biden, who may have traded on his familial connections to claim a handsome salary from a shady Ukrainian company. However, there is no evidence that Joe Biden's actions vis-à-vis Shokin were undertaken to help his son, or had any other corrupt intent. In fact, there's an argument that getting rid of Shokin actually put Hunter Biden at greater legal risk, since an honest prosecutor was more likely to turn the screws on Burisma than a dishonest one. That means that if Trump is counting on a defense of "I did the same thing Biden did," then he's really stepped in it.

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2019, 01:50:49 PM »
Ultimately, however, any criticism of Biden in this context is a classic "Whataboutism."

If what Biden did was illegal/immoral/high crime, then that probably means what Trump did is, too.

If what Biden did was "politics as usual," then there should be no criticism of Biden's behavior. :)

And, of course, regardless of what Biden did or did not do, that has no bearing on Trump's behavior and whether it was a high crime or not.

You know, "whataboutism" is the reason why Trump would get away with shooting someone on 5th Avenue.

Imagine Trump standing on 5th Avenue with a smoking gun in his hand and a body at his feet.  His supporters would immediately surround him and start arguing:

"The Clintons murdered many people, like Vincent Foster, Seth Rich and so many others, and they were never prosecuted for their crimes.  So why do we suddenly want Donald prosecuted for shooting this man?  Politicians get away with murder all the time.  It's a normal thing in American politics.  The only reason people want to prosecute Donald is because he is a Republican and is getting Republican programs instituted, like the Wall, and the Democrats can't stand it.  Why, if Obama had shot someone on 5th Avenue, the mainstream media and Congress would have said practically nothing about it!  You know it's true!  This is just a political witch hunt like all the other witch hunts that Trump has endured.  We should be investigating Congress and the mainstream media about their corrupt use of their powers, not Trump!"

And they'd say this even as the blood puddled around them and soaked into the soles of their shoes. :)

Let's find out if Trump really did threaten to withhold American funds, approved by Congress, in order to pressure the Ukrainian President to come up with dirt on Trump's political opponent.  Because at the end of the day, that is what is really important now, not what Biden did.

If Biden did wrong, prosecute him for it.  But that has nothing to do with whether Trump did wrong or not.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2019, 02:16:51 PM »
Ultimately, however, any criticism of Biden in this context is a classic "Whataboutism."

If what Biden did was illegal/immoral/high crime, then that probably means what Trump did is, too.

If what Biden did was "politics as usual," then there should be no criticism of Biden's behavior. :)

Doesn't that ignore the possibility that Trump's action was literally a call to investigate Biden's action? They are not unrelated incidents that are 'alike' and so cancel each other out (as Whataboutism demands). I don't think you personally would have been against the Democratic party pushing their weight around to expose Trump's collusion with Russia, would you? That would have been a noble cause, to expose corruption in the government and stop collusion in a questionable territory. How is Trump's action different from that, assuming Biden did the same sort of thing Trump was accused of doing?

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2019, 02:37:41 PM »
Doesn't that ignore the possibility that Trump's action was literally a call to investigate Biden's action? They are not unrelated incidents that are 'alike' and so cancel each other out (as Whataboutism demands). I don't think you personally would have been against the Democratic party pushing their weight around to expose Trump's collusion with Russia, would you? That would have been a noble cause, to expose corruption in the government and stop collusion in a questionable territory. How is Trump's action different from that, assuming Biden did the same sort of thing Trump was accused of doing?

If Biden went rouge on getting that prosecutor fired then there should be lots of people in the state department and intelligence communities (in the US) that can provide evidence that Biden went out on his own to get rid of this prosecutor. In which case Trump shouldn't need Ukraine to investigate at all, he simply has to ask for a report as to why the aid package was tied to the firing of the prosecutor. If there was no legitimate reason then he has a case against Biden in the US. At this point if that were the case shouldn't we be seeing whistle blower complaints against that action as well. And when/if we do I want Biden to go down for it. But pressuring a foreign government to open an investigation that if true should be done in the US is completely outrageous.

But I know the Trump fan boys don't care because Biden is evil, the wall, and witchhunt, hoax, deep state, .... Make whatever excuse you want but Trump is literally defying the law by withholding the complaint from the congress. As long as your cool with that just keep making excuses for him, but please just understand that's what you're doing. If there is nothing wrong with what he did release the classified report to the congress and let them review it. Withholding it from congress in violation of the law makes him look guilty as hell.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2019, 02:47:47 PM »
If Biden went rouge on getting that prosecutor fired then there should be lots of people in the state department and intelligence communities (in the US) that can provide evidence that Biden went out on his own to get rid of this prosecutor.

Well, I personally don't know if the prosecutor thing would be worth pursuing or whether Biden had any bad complicity there. Maybe Trump's reference to that is off-base. I had personally heard about the link to Biden's son and his fancy Ukrainian job quite a while ago and it had even sort of left my radar until it was brought up again recently. It's more the "why was the Vice President's son being positioned in Ukraine" question that I was referring to above, and I already specified I'm not as interested in the prosecutor issue.

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2019, 03:13:42 PM »
As yossarian said, if Trump was legitimately "investigating" possible corruption by Joe Biden and his son, he would (should?) have gone though legitimate channels.  Would his asking the Ukrainian President for information hold up in a court of law?  Especially if it is shown that he threatened to withhold funds to the country to get the information (thereby influencing the outcome of the "investigation?")

It is obvious that he did not intend the information for use in a legitimate prosecution.  Thus, it was for the court of public opinion, aka his re-election campaign.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2019, 03:17:11 PM »
It is obvious that he did not intend the information for use in a legitimate prosecution.  Thus, it was for the court of public opinion, aka his re-election campaign.

Isn't this what the right wing says about the investigation into Trump's collusion, more or less? I'm not saying you're wrong, btw, about how Trump did this (or does anything). I'm just asking why the left seems to care a lot about Trump's ties to Russia and not about Biden's ties to the Ukraine. Wouldn't this be a good time to make a stink about this, earlier on in the primary race, rather than have to retroactively investigate President Biden? My question was less "could Trump's action be good" and more "shouldn't you be concerned about the thing he's theoretically investigating?"

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2019, 03:23:00 PM »

If Biden went rouge on getting that prosecutor fired then there should be lots of people in the state department and intelligence communities (in the US) that can provide evidence that Biden went out on his own to get rid of this prosecutor.

But I know the Trump fan boys don't care because Biden is evil, the wall, and witchhunt, hoax, deep state, ....

If Biden goes rouge then I will personally take it as proof of his witchdom and purity of his evilness.  It basically works the same way as tying them up and throwing them in a lake. 

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2019, 03:27:26 PM »
I do care about the thing he is potentially investigating. It smells bad but if it were true should be investigated in the US. Did Biden use his power/influence inappropriately? That is a question that can be answered by our state department and intelligence community, not by the new president of Ukraine who wasn't around when the act took place. Pawning this off on Ukraine, on the condition of withholding 250 million dollars stinks.

But at the same time the Biden story has been known for a while. Plenty of time to get the details behind it if you desired to. Instead we just see see Trump and his allies spreading rumors instead of doing actual investigating.

D.W.

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2019, 03:38:45 PM »
Quote
But at the same time the Biden story has been known for a while. Plenty of time to get the details behind it if you desired to. Instead we just see see Trump and his allies spreading rumors instead of doing actual investigating.
Sadly, neither side cares until it is ALSO politically useful.   :'(

Therefor the timeline is useless as an indicator of whether or not there is any there there.

rightleft22

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2019, 04:05:51 PM »
This debate is falling into the pattern as all the other political debates.
Understandable If truth is personal narrative with no obligation to be truthful, I assume to oneself or others.

So, what’s the point?

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2019, 04:18:04 PM »
Trump has committed to releasing the call transcript in its entirety tomorrow. Everyone can see for themselves what the leaker heard about. If Trump’s releasing it, obviously there’s nothing to it but we’ll see.

Interestingly, the Democrats now say we cannot trust the transcript. They wanted it and now that they’re getting it they say it’s not reliable and they must impeach.

This hoax is blowing up in their faces.

D.W.

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2019, 04:26:26 PM »
The point is to short circuit the race to the bottom and start holding everyone to SOME standard.  Even if it's one that no one is happy with.  We start enforcing laws even when, or especially when, it's not politically expedient to do so.  When we protect or defend the "chosen ones" of 'our team' everyone loses. 

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2019, 05:42:21 PM »
This is a fascinating story, with everyone seeing what they want to see (and only what they want to see).  The anti-Trumpers see absolute corruption in Trump apparently asking the Ukraine to investigate actual corruption, and tying aid to that investigation (the fact that it doesn't appear the aid was actually tied to it means nothing).  There seems to be some idea that Hunter getting paid large amounts of money for several jobs and by clients in several countries (including the Chinese government) at the same time as his father was the VP and often directly linked in time to official visits by the elder Biden to said countries is something it isn't worth looking into (by the same people who want to find emoluments violations in people paying the market rates at hotels), by the same people who think the President's son deserves prison for talking to a Russian lawyer.  There's no attempt to even apply some kind of neutral standard.

You also don't hear anything about why if this is so concerning, the Obama admin, the FBI and Clinton partisans meeting with Ukrainians to get dirt on Manafort prior to the election isn't also concerning, why is that?

On the other side, if you've been watching the fake news, the Russian collusion hoax and Adam Shiff repeatedly lie about evidence that never materialized, your looking at what appears to be a politically motivated second hand account being weaponized and not considering whether it is true.  I mean, granted you have all the hallmarks of the classic deep state action, you plausibly tie it to a known delay in aid (of a week), you plausibly tie it to a real phone call, you can file the actual whistle blower claim - and will almost certainly find a way to show up for Congressional testimoney whether legal or not.  You have the grand conflicting legal accounts, the IG says it has to be released the GC says it doesn't (without knowing more it's hard to know for sure who is correct, but I doubt the law actually authorizes spying on the President, which is what this is, and releasing his conversations).  You have the secret media tie ins, where once again we have the anonymous leakers with a straight line into the front page. 

Is it true?  Who knows?  Could it be true?  Who knows?  All we do know is that we have "absolute certainty" without any real facts.

Ultimately, however, any criticism of Biden in this context is a classic "Whataboutism."

It's literally not.  Much like I always say, if you have evidence of a crime bring it.  The defense of Biden is literally the opposite of that.

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If what Biden did was illegal/immoral/high crime, then that probably means what Trump did is, too.

Well, it depends on what Trump did.  You have Biden flat out saying he got the prosecutor investigating a company that his son was on the board of fired.   Whether you accept that he did if for good reasons alone, bad reasons only, or some kind of mix is probably just a function of what you want to believe.  The Mueller report, rejected repeatedly the actual reasons that were obvious, in many cases that Trump stated real time in both private and public in favor of what Comey wanted to believe he was doing for example.  Yet, I'm thinking you don't give the same credit.

So if Trump committed a crime, it's criminal, if not, it's not.  I doubt Biden was primarily motivated by his son's situation, but there's no way I could ever rule out that it didn't cross his mind.  There's also next to no way to describe Hunter's "success" as anything other than illegal or questionable and his father knew about it and clearly took no steps to create distance.  Pretty a wink, nod situation, but since he's a Dem he gets the pass.

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If what Biden did was "politics as usual," then there should be no criticism of Biden's behavior. :)

I have no criticism of Biden getting the prosecutor replaced, at least not without real evidence.  There absolutely should be criticism of the benefits to his son.

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And, of course, regardless of what Biden did or did not do, that has no bearing on Trump's behavior and whether it was a high crime or not.

That's true, of course you have no idea what that behavior was.  Hasn't stopped the outrage train.  Trump was doing his job if he asked the Ukraine to turn over what it has on illegal activities by Hunter or Joe, or even the Clinton campaign.  I think it's fascinating that the Ukrainian courts have apparently found that members of their government illegal conspired to aid the Clinton campaign, which is about a million times more evidence that was presented against the Trump campaign and there is no apparent outrage.

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You know, "whataboutism" is the reason why Trump would get away with shooting someone on 5th Avenue.

Imagine Trump standing on 5th Avenue with a smoking gun in his hand and a body at his feet.  His supporters would immediately surround him and start arguing:

"The Clintons murdered many people, like Vincent Foster, Seth Rich and so many others, and they were never prosecuted for their crimes.  So why do we suddenly want Donald prosecuted for shooting this man?  Politicians get away with murder all the time.  It's a normal thing in American politics.  The only reason people want to prosecute Donald is because he is a Republican and is getting Republican programs instituted, like the Wall, and the Democrats can't stand it.  Why, if Obama had shot someone on 5th Avenue, the mainstream media and Congress would have said practically nothing about it!  You know it's true!  This is just a political witch hunt like all the other witch hunts that Trump has endured.  We should be investigating Congress and the mainstream media about their corrupt use of their powers, not Trump!"

That's a fascinating insight into your mind.  Rest assured if Trump killed someone in broad daylight on 5th Avenue he'd be impeached and jailed by the Republicans, no matter what he said.

The craziness is that you can cite to multiple instances of Democrats actually getting away with the indefensible and still try to pin it on a "Republican" problem.

I mean heck, if this is to be believed, it is entirely possible you are calling to to impeach Trump for investigating crimes committed by Biden and his son, and that's the ultimate in victim shifting.

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Let's find out if Trump really did threaten to withhold American funds, approved by Congress, in order to pressure the Ukrainian President to come up with dirt on Trump's political opponent.  Because at the end of the day, that is what is really important now, not what Biden did.

Yes, look the other way, it's not Democratic crimes of corruption that are important, its whether there was too much vigor in the investigation of the other side.  I mean, the Democrats/Deep State would never collude with the Ukrainian government to bring down members of the Republican Campaign (except they literally did), or abuse the FISA process to illegally spy on and wire tap the Republican Campaign (except they did that too), or find a way to investigate the President unlawfully for a crime they knew he didn't commit in order to try and capture him in an obstruction charge (except they did that too, including seizing the files of one of his lawyers knowing full well the materials seized were privledged, but NOT CARING ONE BIT because they had already concluded they were not going to go to trial where such materials would be thrown out but rather to Congress where the due process rights of the otherside would be sacrified on the alter of polticial necessity).

Maybe Trump did it, maybe he didn't, but Democrats need to start going to jail.

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If Biden did wrong, prosecute him for it.  But that has nothing to do with whether Trump did wrong or not.

Doesn't it though?  If Biden acted illegally, is it not the job of the Executive branch to investigate that?  Can you point to any basis for the President or the DOJ being excluded from asking for help from non-US persons.

You are aware that the Ukraine has already established illegal activity in support of Hillary's campaign, that included meeting with and providing information to the Obama administration, Hillary supporters and the FBI and DOJ?

Why is it that  Democratic favorable politically motivated investigations are "legit" in your world, but following up on actual crimes that harm the Democrats are abuses of power?

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2019, 06:07:00 PM »
“In its most extreme mode, post-truth politics can make use of conspiracism.”

Chris Hayes, MSNBC:
Quote
Given what we know about how Trump pressures and manipulates civil servants to tow his line, I'm not *quite* sure we can trust the transcript itself as being accurate/comprehensive.

We are, officially, on extreme mode.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2019, 06:19:05 PM »
Well, the NWS was pressured not to criticize him over a non-event with no stakes, and that a staffer crudely modified a map at the last minute in response, so...

I'm the Trump Cheerleaders defense will be that the NWS never did that, or that there's no proof that the directive came from the White House, or the President, or some other excuse to show that Trump has never pressured anybody who ever worked for him.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2019, 06:21:26 PM »
Extreme mode.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2019, 06:46:29 PM »
Quote
The anonymous person who filed a formal, uncorroborated complaint against President Donald Trump for allegedly asking a foreign leader to investigate corruption related to Joe Biden now has a legal team that includes a Democratic operative who worked for Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Totally legit, right? Democrat operative represents the leaker making accusations based on second or third hand accounts. Completely trustworthy!

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The anonymous whistleblower has also admitted to not having firsthand knowledge of the conversations between the president and Zelensky.

Regardless, House Democrats again demanded Trump’s impeachment Tuesday following the claims despite not reviewing the complaint or the transcripts of the conversation between the two world leaders.

They have no evidence of anything at this point. It’s literally a rumor from an anonymous source directly tied to democrat operatives for Schumer and Clinton.

Extreme mode.

scifibum

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2019, 07:04:52 PM »
I see that Crunch is stuck on repeat. He's even got himself a new catch phrase to help quiet the cognitive dissonance.

All the noise doesn't change whether this impeachable offense happened: Trump apparently abused his office to try to get a foreign country to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. And he's trying to suppress the whistleblower's report.

(This of course is only one additional impeachable offense on top of the others still under investigation - investigations which Trump is trying to block of course.)

If it's nothing, then let it all come out. But that one call "transcript" (note: calls aren't "transcribed") isn't all of it.

scifibum

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2019, 07:08:10 PM »
"There absolutely should be criticism of the benefits to his son."

There would need to be some evidence of benefits for his son, I would think. What the evidence seems to show is that Shokin wasn't doing anything that remotely threatened Hunter Biden.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2019, 10:48:46 PM »
All the noise doesn't change whether this impeachable offense happened: Trump apparently abused his office to try to get a foreign country to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. And he's trying to suppress the whistleblower's report.

By using the phrase "dig up dirt" you seem to have concluded definitively that it's merely a smear job in progress and that Biden/Hunter did nothing noteworthy wrong. How could you come to that conclusion?

"There absolutely should be criticism of the benefits to his son."

There would need to be some evidence of benefits for his son, I would think. What the evidence seems to show is that Shokin wasn't doing anything that remotely threatened Hunter Biden.

Why are you going back to the matter of Shokin? Zero people (on this site) are making arguments about how getting the prosecutor fired is the main issue. A few of us, most recently Seriati, have mentioned how the original unwarranted jobs and payments toward Hunter were very strange. Did you really miss that? Seriati was talking about the board positions, not the 'benefits' of having Shokin fired. He literally preceded the part you quoted with this:

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I have no criticism of Biden getting the prosecutor replaced, at least not without real evidence.

Sorry to go in on you like this, but I am truly mystified that you answered this point by reference to how Shokin wasn't threatening Hunter.

D.W.

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2019, 11:34:42 PM »
Quote
(note: calls aren't "transcribed")
Is there a more proper term for this process?

Or are you suggesting that recordings to/from the White House are not converted into text?

cherrypoptart

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2019, 12:31:49 AM »
Well I guess avoiding even the appearance of impropriety is out the window. Big Biden brags about over a billion dollars he can either let flow or stop in its tracks. Little Biden is making hundreds of thousands of dollars in Ukraine. What is the timeline on that? When is it known that big Biden is the decision maker on a billion dollars going to Ukraine or getting held up and how does that date compare to when little Biden is getting paid all this loot? Quid pro quo. Of course you can never prove a quid pro quo which is what makes it so beautiful but if Ukraine knows that big Biden can send all that money their way and then after that little Biden gets some money thrown at him and then after that the money flows, is that not something somebody can ask questions about? Would asking such questions be illegal and even unConstitutional and even an impeachable offense? Does the fact that an American citizen asking such questions is violating the law explain why the Democrats and our media refuse to ask them?


I agree the prosecutor angle is neither here nor there. I also like how there is this assumption that if Trump asked such questions he broke the law and needs to be impeached. I'm pretty sure that asking such questions (for instance was there something fishy going on between big Biden controlling these purse strings and his son at the same time in the same place pocketing a wad of loot?) would be protected by the First Amendment, not to mention common sense. The American people have a right to know if that was a pay to play situation. I mean it's patently obvious that it was. Probably can never be proven, a good chance it wasn't even illegal because the lawyers lawyered it up sufficiently and there is enough plausible deniability to make sure nothing can stick, but it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out there was some palm greasing going on. It would be nice to have an investigation at least.

If we've all learned anything, it is that you always follow the money.

The prosecutor angle is such a distraction. Harping on how there was no motive there means nothing. That was never the motive for anything. The motive is what it is 99.9% of the time. Money. What exactly did little Biden do to earn it?

About as much as Hillary did to earn her hundreds of thousands for a speech to big bankers and nobody has any idea what she said? Pay for play. Money to buy influence. In short, bribery, and often as I said completely legal. Still completely valid to talk about though until they change the Constitution.

D.W.

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2019, 01:11:39 AM »
And if they are indeed for sale, why wouldn't one think that is probably still the case and worth offering or withholding cash to get what YOU want as well?  :P

I think Trump is still useful for draining the swamp.  Just like he told us he was.  Follow the man.  Pay attention to what he does.  Let him show you the way.  I think what he rakes up could be enlightening.  ;)

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2019, 07:11:20 AM »
Compare and contrast

All the noise doesn't change whether this impeachable offense happened: Trump apparently abused his office to try to get a foreign country to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. And he's trying to suppress the whistleblower's report.

(This of course is only one additional impeachable offense on top of the others still under investigation - investigations which Trump is trying to block of course.)

If it's nothing, then let it all come out. But that one call "transcript" (note: calls aren't "transcribed") isn't all of it.

"There absolutely should be criticism of the benefits to his son."

There would need to be some evidence of benefits for his son, I would think. What the evidence seems to show is that Shokin wasn't doing anything that remotely threatened Hunter Biden.

For Trump, no evidence but guilty already. Don’t need the transcript, don’t need the complaint.  Don’t need anything but a third hand accusation from a political operative. For Biden, millions of dollars in payoffs documented and there’s admission of guilt. Free pass!

This is what Trump Derangement Syndrome looks like.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2019, 10:55:07 AM »
The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 11:04:03 AM by Crunch »

Wayward Son

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2019, 11:34:48 AM »
Who is saying we should not investigate Biden?

If Trump wants to, let him open an inquiry with the Department of Justice.  Put someone in charge of the Department of Justice he trusts to do a good job.  That is how it's done.

So it's settled.  We don't need to discuss Biden anymore.  If someone wants to discuss Biden, let's start a new thread on it.

Let's stick to the subject at hand.  Did Trump unduly use the power of his office to try to get dirt on Biden for his re-election campaign?

Seriati, why did Trump withhold the funds to Ukraine?  You have at least four choices so far.  Choose your answer carefully (more carefully than the Trump Administration is). :)

The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

Huh-huh.  Sorry, I'm from Missouri.  If the conversation was completely legitimate and proper, then I want to know exactly why someone filed a whistle blower complaint about it and how it got an "urgent" and "credible" status and why it was not handed over to Congress as required by law.  Not to mention verifying that the conversation that Trump released is unredacted and the one in question.

I don't trust this President, and neither should you.  Let's look at all the facts before jumping to conclusions.

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2019, 11:43:40 AM »
The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

Seriously? The Ukrainian president brings up military support and Trump responds with a favor request.

Quote
...
We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it, if that's possible.

President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.

So military support is brought up (the support that had been put on hold), Trump asks for a favor about investigations and that's just business as usual?

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2019, 12:02:32 PM »
You mean we should get all the facts before jumping to conclusions, like say the speaker of the House announcing an impeachment investigation based on the clear violations of law, that once again appear not to exist?  That kind of jumping to conclusions?

What I saw in the transcript is Trump asking about whether the investigation was legitimately ended, and the Ukrainian President asserting that they are going to do a proper job.  There's nothing untoward about that.

And no Wayward, I'm not dropping discussion of the underlying crime, since you seem to be asserting that the President investigating a crime is somehow criminal just because it relates to his political opponents.  There's nothing there that reflects an improper focus.  It's not remotely like the abusive investigation that the Obama administration ran - also with Ukrainian officials - where they flew them into the United States and apparently pressured them and received what are likely fake documents implicating Manafort (not that he was innocent, just that the documents provided showed transactions in ways that it has been established they didn't occur - ie someone made them up to match certain details without knowing all the details).  No investigation there.  Or as noted by multiple sources, earlier this year 3 Democratic Senators pressured the Ukraine on an investigation for political reasons.

Again, I see no way a reasonable person looks at what the Dems are doing as a fair process, some parts of it have been criminal and unConstitutional.   The idea that we should "move on" to focus on what "really matters," which is defined largely as Trump successfully  frustrating those illegal and unConstitutional acts is nonsense.

You want to move on show the Dems hands are clean and that they are applying a consistent standard.

I posit there's no way to let Biden and his son go, against the backdrop you've created for Trump and his family.

There's no way to let Biden and his son go against the emoluments arguments that have been posited.

There's no way to let the Obama admin, the DOJ, the FBI and the Clinton Campaign go, for their collusion with the ousted Ukrainian government, against the backdrop of this conversation being "impeachable."

There's no way to let the authorization and conduct of the Mueller probe go, where it is clear as day they knew there was no collusion and kept the investigation open solely to try and trap the President through clear abuses of power, and claim that Trump should be indicted for his abuses of power (of which you've yet to actually show evidence).

There's no way to let the blatant prosecutorial abuse of authorizing spying on a US citizen without probable cause go, or conducting excessive and intentionally intimidating raids on old people, or seizing attorney records because you never had nay intention of bringing charges in court go and think Trump asking about whether a potential crime was actually investigated or corruptly dropped is somehow an abuse of authority.

Heck why were at it, you love complaining about process, where's the House vote for the impeachment?  Is it really your view that NOW AND FOR ALL TIME all it takes is the majority party of the House deciding to investigate.  You must be awful sure that either the Republicans are better people or that they'll never have control of the House again.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2019, 12:11:37 PM »
The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

Seriously? The Ukrainian president brings up military support and Trump responds with a favor request.

Quote
...
We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it, if that's possible.

President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.

So military support is brought up (the support that had been put on hold), Trump asks for a favor about investigations and that's just business as usual?

You’re making random connections.

The investigation he asked about was for the 2016 election and Ukraine’s involvement.

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2019, 12:17:59 PM »
You’re making random connections.

The investigation he asked about was for the 2016 election and Ukraine’s involvement.

You're making random assumptions. I didn't make any random connection. I said he asked for a favor about investigations (I didn't specify which ones) in response to the president asking to buy weapons. The fact that he ended up asking about two such investigations doesn't mean change the fact that Trump's response to a diplomatically worded request for military aid was followed up by "I would like you to do us a favor...".

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2019, 12:24:55 PM »
Several democrat senators (Leahy, Durbin, Menendez) sent a letter to Ukraine prosecutors last year asking them to investigate Trump. Are you going to demand their removal from office. Of course not!  It’s ok when Democrats do it.

The favor trump asked for was looking into the 2016 election meddling. Given that the left had just spent 2 years doing exactly that, it’s not a big deal to join that. Or is that another thing it only ok for Democrats to do?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 12:28:27 PM by Crunch »

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2019, 12:32:31 PM »
You're making random assumptions. I didn't make any random connection. I said he asked for a favor about investigations (I didn't specify which ones) in response to the president asking to buy weapons. The fact that he ended up asking about two such investigations doesn't mean change the fact that Trump's response to a diplomatically worded request for military aid was followed up by "I would like you to do us a favor...".

I...uh...I hate to say it, but I think Crunch is right that TDS is real. You are coming away with a reading that is completely artificial, that's in my opinion not even implied in the conversation. I'd like to point out that WS choosing to begin the quote where he did makes it sound like it corroborates his read on it, but here's the real context:

Quote
The President: I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she ·doesn't do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy: Yes you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I'm very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area if defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost. ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

The context is that Trump brought up that Europe should be doing more for Ukraine and that the U.S. has ended up being their biggest supporter even though it hasn't been entirely reciprocated (presumably by Zelenskyy's predecessor). Zelenskyy answers with enthusiastic agreement and makes it clear his administration will do better about that, and that they intend to continue to make defense purchases from the U.S. *Then* Trump moves on to asking for his favor, which is not anything to do with personal gain, but the very first item he lists is about the 100% proven scandal about Crowdstryke's "error" a few years back (which I personally think was no error but rather an arts and crafts project to create the desired result for their 'customer'). That is an actual issue about international security and possible propaganda and has zero connection to Trump's campain or to him personally. The very last item on his list of requests is about Biden and his son, and in context of that says he's going to get his attorney general involved. It's almost unimaginable that this transcript can be interpreted as evidence of malfeasance. I'm sorry but Crunch is right, and you (the general 'you') prove him more right than you realize in these attemps to scramble to accuse Trump of everything under the sun.

Shouldn't you be celebrating this conversation? It's Trump making ties to another country that's a contested territory with Russia, in a very amiable conversation where both sides pledge to improve relations. Zelenskyy literally says he'll continue moving in a pro-U.S. direction and you point a finger as if this is proof Trump is blackmailing him! My lord. It was the same back when Trump was trying to negotiate with NK, and everyone was accusing him of I don't know what...selling out to a dictator or kissing up to him or something. And when Trump says something to create distance with another country he's accused of ruining international relations. I absolutely do not want to join Crunch's "TDS is real" bandwagon...for heaven's sake don't make me!

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2019, 12:37:26 PM »
You will be assimilated. 2020 will get crazy
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 12:39:56 PM by Crunch »

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2019, 12:37:29 PM »
The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

I don't know what transcript you're looking at, but it sounds like they may be different transcripts. 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf

First, I have to agree that there is no clear conditions or quid pro quo in the transcript.  If House Democrats were looking for a smoking gun in the transcript, there is none.  There is plenty of smoke, but no gun.  Sounds like the Benghazi investigation again. 

But Trump is indeed the first person who brings up "doing us a favor", asking the guy to get with Barr and Giuliani. 

LOL.  Personally, I think it's very bad that the transcript was released, because it's going to damage both our relationships with Germany, who is crucial.  They really burn Merkel on the call, lol.  Possibly for good reason, but good luck getting any cooperation now.  The transcript should have been classified and released to the various committees.  But, that's the Trump method. 

I'll admit, I don't read many of these.  So I don't know what is typical.  But the amount of ass-kissing that typically surrounds Trump always astounds me.  The President of Ukraine can't help saying how much of his success he owes to Trump, how he stays at Trump Tower, how such good friends they are.  I dunno, maybe they kissed Obama's and Bush's asses like that too. 

LOL, I also think it's funny that RIGHT after Ukraine mentions buying more Javelin missiles, Trump mentions Ukraine doing the US a "favor".  The whole thing sounds like an FBI wiretap on the mafia.  That's what the entire thing sounds like to me. 

My summarization:

Trump:  Congratulations on your victory. You did a terrific job.  It's fantastic. 

Zelenskyy:  You're so right.  We won big.  We learned how to do it from YOU.  We used your skills and knowledge.  We should have more elections so you can congratulate us more.  (WTF? LOL)

Trump:  That's a great idea, LOL.  (asskissing approved)

Zelenskyy:  We are working hard to drain the swamp here.  We have many new people.  You are a great teacher for us. 

Trump:  So nice of you to say that.  (asskissing double approved).  We do so much for Ukraine.  We do much more than the EU.  Merkel is all talk.  A lot of other europeans countries are the same way.  But we've been very good to the Ukraine. 

Zelenskyy:  You are so right.  1000% right!  (LOL, wut?)  I talked with Merkel and Macron.  They're not enforcing sanctions on Russia.  Europe should be our best friend, but you're our best friend.  I'm very grateful to you.  Thank you for your military support.  We are ready to buy some more Javelins from you. 

Trump:  I'd like you to do us a favor.  I would like you to find out what happened in Ukraine since they tell me you have the server there.  A lot of things went down.  (WTF is all this disambiguation?)  I would like you to call and talk with Barr and Giuliani.  That whole nonsense ended with a poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance.  But they tell me it started in Ukraine.  Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if it's possible.  (the most powerful man in the world just asked for a favor and said it's important). 

Zelenskyy:  It's important to me as well.  It's important that we have future cooperation (whatever you want as long as you stick with us).  I have just gotten you a new ambassador.  I hope you like him.  It's important to me we have a good relationship.  One of my assistants have already spoken with Giuliani.  We hope he can travel and meet us over here.  I just want to assure you that we are your friends.  Nobody here but your friends.  We are great friends. I plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to the investigation you are asking about, I promise it will be open.  I assure you. 

Trump:  Good.  Because I heard you had a really great prosecutor and he was fired and that was really unfair.  A lot of people are talking about that, how some very bad people shut your prosecutor down (Biden and Obama, asps, very dangerous, you go first).  Giuliani is a highly respected man (LOL.  Depends who you talk to).  He was a great mayor.  I will ask him to call you, along with Barr.  If you could speak with him, that would be great.  The former ambassador to the Ukraine, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with were bad news. 

The other thing... there is a lot of talk about Biden's son.  That Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out what happened.  So whatever you can do with Bar would be great.  (Yeahhhhh, if you could come in on Sunday too that would be greaaaaaaaaattt.  Yeahhhhhh).  Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you could look into it...it sounds so horrible to me.  (LMAO.  What a tool!) 

Zelenskyy:  I want to tell you about that prosecutor.  I know about it.  The next prosecutor will be my guy and he will look into it.  We have to make sure to restore the honesty.  If you have any other information you can provide us, that would be helpful.  It was great that you told us that your ambassador was so bad.  She never liked me anyways.  She didn't accept me as President well enough. 

Trump:  Well, she's going to go through some things.  I will have Rudy give you a call and have Barr give you a call and we'll get to the bottom of this.  (Neither one of them gave Z a call.  Either Trump forgot to tell them or they're not stupid).  I'm sure you'll take care of things.  I heard your prosecutor was treated very badly and was very fair.  Your economy is going to get better and better.  You have a lot of assets.  You're a great country.  I have many Ukrainian friends.  You're incredible people. 

Zelenskyy:  I have lots of Ukrainian friends who live in the US.  Last time I was in New York, I stayed at Trump Tower (accept my gift o great one!).  I hope to see them again.  I assure you we will be very serious about the investigation.  We are buying American oil to assist with energy independence (from Russia).  I want to thank you for your support. 

Trump:  Thank you.  I will tell Rudy and Barr to call you.  Whenever you want to come to the White House, let me know.  Look forward to seeing you. 

Zelenskyy:  Thank you very much.  I would be happy to come and meet you.  Looking forward to it.  I invite you to Kiev.  I will be in Poland in September.  We can take my plane to Ukraine. 

Trump:  Ok, we can work something out.  See you in Washington and Poland. 

Zelenskyy:  Thank you.

Trump:  Congradulations on a fantastic job. 

Zelenskyy:  Thank you.  Bye-bye. 


Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2019, 01:06:10 PM »
But Trump is indeed the first person who brings up "doing us a favor", asking the guy to get with Barr and Giuliani.

Who else was going to bring up that Trump wanted Zelenskyy to do him a favor? And since literally every single word out of Zelenskyy's mouth as ass-kissing, thanking Trump, and promising good diplomatic and business relations, literally any time Trump brought up a favor it could technically be said to be following a promise by Ukraine. He thanked Trump for his help and then Trump brings up a favor? Aha! It means Trump helped him in exchange for his favor. He promised to work with Trump's team, and then Trump asks for a favor? Aha! It means that Trump's team will do something for Ukraine and Ukraine something for him. Do you see? Literally any placement of the favor request could (in an deconstructivist sense) be taken to be proof of some kind of quid pro quo. Basically nothing means anything and therefore means anything the reader wants. 

As a side note I find the idea funny that establishing diplomatic quid pro quo between nations is somehow a bad thing.

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I'll admit, I don't read many of these.  So I don't know what is typical.  But the amount of ass-kissing that typically surrounds Trump always astounds me.  The President of Ukraine can't help saying how much of his success he owes to Trump, how he stays at Trump Tower, how such good friends they are.  I dunno, maybe they kissed Obama's and Bush's asses like that too. 

I think we'd all be embarassed at how much most leaders have to kiss the U.S. President's ass as basic routine. It's kind of like you're Quentin Tarantino, and now every stranger you meet is fawning all over you, wants to show you their scripts, and would kill to have coffee with you. It comes with the territory and is not restricted to people who are personally narcissistic. It's probably very difficult for non-narcissists to deal with, although that's also probably not a problem for most U.S. Presidents.

Grant

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2019, 01:34:16 PM »
Who else was going to bring up that Trump wanted Zelenskyy to do him a favor?

OK Fenring.  I'm going to do everything but diagram this out.  The particular quote of mine that you are referencing, was a direct response to a quote that Crunch made, that I quoted in my post.  Specifically:

Crunch: Zelensky brings up investigations first

Grant:  But Trump is indeed the first person who brings up "doing us a favor"  (The "favor" in this case being investigations)

And here is where you come in Fenring--

Fenring: Who else was going to bring up that Trump wanted Zelenskyy to do him a favor?


So this is what the conversation has been like---

1:  Buzz Aldrin was the first man on the moon.

2:  Actually Neil Armstrong was the first.

3:  Actually, Buzz Aldrin was on the moon.

This is very frustrating to me.  I cannot stress how much. 


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literally any time Trump brought up a favor it could technically be said to be following a promise by Ukraine

But it wasn't following a promise by Ukraine.  It was following a request.  "We'd like some more porridge (Javelin missles) please". 

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As a side note I find the idea funny that establishing diplomatic quid pro quo between nations is somehow a bad thing.

Nobody is saying that quid pro quo between nations is bad.  People are saying that quid pro quo between national leaders is bad.  Because then you have conflict of interest.  Does Trump want these investigations because it's good for America, or is it good for him personally? 

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2019, 01:56:08 PM »
That's an interesting way to interpret the Javelin line Grant.  Most people would see that as a big offer by Ukraine to send a lot of money to the US, not a begging to be allowed to purchase them idea.  In fact, the way I read that (and a couple other places in the convo) is that Trump was probably going down a list of topics and checking them off as he covered each.  That literally looked like the end of that point and the start of new.  I don't see anything that would even remotely imply that Trump was turning down a lucrative arms deal "unless" the Ukraine did a second favor, is that what you think you see?

In any event I can't see anything wrong in asking for the actual evidence that "people say" Ukraine has, including apparent the "server" (is that Hillary's server?) and the background on what was shared that started the Mueller investigation (a question I have repeatedly asked and NEVER seen a legitimate answer to).

If you guys think you're being fair, I'd be curious in your response to this write up, https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/462658-lets-get-real-democrats-were-first-to-enlist-ukraine-in-us-elections.  It walks through any number of express linkages by the DNC and their allies seeking Ukrainian help in interfering in our elections, including threats to their aid, all of which seems to be both worse and more express than what is included here that you seem to be outraged about.


Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2019, 02:33:59 PM »
OK Fenring.  I'm going to do everything but diagram this out.  The particular quote of mine that you are referencing, was a direct response to a quote that Crunch made, that I quoted in my post.  Specifically:

Crunch: Zelensky brings up investigations first

Grant:  But Trump is indeed the first person who brings up "doing us a favor"  (The "favor" in this case being investigations)

And here is where you come in Fenring--

Fenring: Who else was going to bring up that Trump wanted Zelenskyy to do him a favor?

Ok I'll wade into this because on subjects like this I have a bit of a pet peeve of arguments stemming from not reading the facts the same way. Crunch's point was that Trump did not (as others have claimed) suddenly bring up that he wanted an investigation done that would advantage him personally, right after Zelenskyy mentioned buying U.S. weapons. He mentioned it later, after Zelenskyy himself brings up the issue of investigations being done openly. Here is the quote:

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Zelenskyy: We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved.

The investigations in question were those Trump mentioned previously in the conversation, about Crowdstryke and about a possible Ukrainian involvement in what led up to Mueller's investigation. Once Zelenskyy mentioned the investigations would be open and candid *that* led to Trump mentioning a case where an investigation was perhaps not open and candid, that of the previous prosecutor. To be honest I'm not sure if he means that the prosecutor wasn't being open and honest, or whether the process of him being oustest wasn't open and honest, but either way the context is he's responding to a comment about openess and honesty in Ukrainian investigations, and yes, this includes into the company Hunter was working for. The question being asked by others on site was never whether Trump brought up investigating Crowdstryke after discussion U.S. weapons purchase. The claim being made is that Trump brought up investigating Hunter Biden in answer to discussion about weapons purchase, and that is patently not the case from the sequence and context of the conversation.

So while my comment may have looked to you like a non sequitor, my point is that your comment was a non sequitor to Crunch's point, which in turn was an aswer to the argument that investigating Hunter was being held over Zelenskyy after he mentioned wanting to buy weapons. Not true.

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literally any time Trump brought up a favor it could technically be said to be following a promise by Ukraine

But it wasn't following a promise by Ukraine.  It was following a request.  "We'd like some more porridge (Javelin missles) please".

I think this reading of Zelenskyy's comment bespeaks a misunderstanding of the situation in the Ukraine. Here is the full quote for clarity:

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I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost. ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

What was happening a few years back is Russia was suing with Ukraine for preferential oil deals so that Ukraine would be more connected to Russian than to Western European interests, and the economic connection would help (from Russia's perspective) prevent Ukraine from being another hostile missile-laden anti-Russian site looming over Russia like other countries have been in the past. Around this time there was a coup, which was either a regime change CIA operation, or else some local disturbance that went wild; we'll leave that point aside. Shortly after was Crimea. Meanwhile the new government was more pro-West, but apparently not enough because Zelenskyy is now saying that Ukraine will further connections with the West and America in particular. It is not Ukraine, but NATO, who really really wants Western missiles in the Ukraine, looking over Russia. It's true that the Ukraine no doubt likes the idea of being able to defend itself as well, and this interest is tied into the fact that NATO has been trying to spread its net closer and closer to Russia ever since the Berlin Wall came down, even though it had made an agreement to the contrary. A huge part of the foreign policy there has been to tighten the noose around Russia by trying to alienate every country from them (for better or worse).

In this context, reading Zelenskyy as begging for more missiles is really off-base, I think. The more reasonable interpretation is he's announcing he's ready to comply with U.S. foreign policy and do what they've wanted Ukraine to do for years and move more pro-West. He is saying that he's moving to Trump's camp, and this is - don't forget - in context of him thanking Trump profusely for his help and advice, and that they want to improve relations. He is in the process of kissing Trump's butt, not asking for favors. And it's the wet dream of U.S. foreign policy to have foreign leaders say they're ready to buy U.S. weapons. They fall over themselves to create conditions where this will happen, no less that close to Russia, so it's silly to then suppose that in mentioning he wants to continue purchasing Javelins he's somehow asking for a favor. On the contrary, he's kneeling down and declaring fealty.

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Nobody is saying that quid pro quo between nations is bad.  People are saying that quid pro quo between national leaders is bad.  Because then you have conflict of interest.  Does Trump want these investigations because it's good for America, or is it good for him personally?

I can see a potential conflict of interest here too, but is it avoidable? Suppose that a Trump opponent is actually conducting criminal activity. By investigating that person Trump benefits, of course, because how could you not benefit from an opponent being investigated, but it's also a legitimate investigation since it's actually going on. I'm not sure what could be done about this type of conflict, and how to legally separate it from abuse of power to damage an opponent. Maybe Seriati's repeated mention of probable cause is the answer to that one, but I don't know enough to offer a point of view on that. Maybe this issue is an artifact of the Executive being connected to law enforcement. Maybe those should be separated; I don't know.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 02:39:16 PM by Fenring »

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2019, 02:36:00 PM »
In any event I can't see anything wrong in asking for the actual evidence that "people say" Ukraine has, including apparent the "server" (is that Hillary's server?)

I think he was referring to Crowdstryke, and the data used to come to their conclusion about the origin of a missile attack a few years ago. My memory is foggy on the details but the thread derails in that direction I'll look it up again. I don't think it had to do with Hillary.