Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 72764 times)

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #600 on: November 21, 2019, 07:02:51 PM »
You’d have to be sitting right next to the person with the phone. The claim is that it was in a restaurant. I find it incredibly difficult to believe he overheard the conversation with sufficient clarity to understand what the conversation was about.

Then, the person talking would have to be oblivious to the point of brain dead not to notice an eavesdropper getting in on his call. Couple that with talking to the president of the United States and you’re that oblivious? I don’t care who the President is, you got him on a call you’re just not gonna look around?

And Fredo Cuomo trying to prove it could happen, that was hysterically stupid. Watching that blow up in his face was comedy gold. It encapsulates the entire Democrat impeachment push in one scene.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 07:07:43 PM by Crunch »

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #601 on: November 21, 2019, 08:29:34 PM »
Sondland confirmed, under oath, that Holmes' recounting of the phone call was, to his recollection, accurate.  The one exception was that Holmes testified he heard Sondland say "Biden" whereas  Sondland did not remember saying "Biden".

So we have Sondland confirming that what Holmes said he heard is accurate.  Are you all simply arguing that Holmes coincidentally manufactured a recollection of the phone call that just so happened to have been completely accurate? (BTW, it hardly matters since Sondland copped to having said what Holmes repeated, so the substance of what Holmes recounted is effectively a corroborated fact.)

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #602 on: November 21, 2019, 09:09:01 PM »
Of course, we also have the problem of Sondland being less than reliable when it comes to memory in these hearings to date. He could be remembering an amalgam of any number of phone calls.  8)

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #603 on: November 21, 2019, 09:34:43 PM »
Of course it's possible that two people misremembered the same phone call in exactly the same way (or should I say, one of them fabricated it, because personal gut feels tells us that it's not possible to overhear a phone conversation of two loud talkers...)

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #604 on: November 21, 2019, 10:12:18 PM »
Of course it's possible that two people misremembered the same phone call in exactly the same way (or should I say, one of them fabricated it, because personal gut feels tells us that it's not possible to overhear a phone conversation of two loud talkers...)

Sondland now has a history of changing testimony to match the testimony of others. As to what you're trying to imply, of course Taylor would be able to hear Sondland's side of the conversation, as he was right next to Sondland. What is more questionable is his ability to hear Trump's side of the call.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #605 on: November 22, 2019, 06:44:47 AM »
There's no way Taylor could have heard either side of the conversation. 🙂

And yes, Sondland has a history now of admitting/remembering more things, as the inquisitors bring to bear direct questions that force him to admit more, where previous questions weren't pointed enough to do so. The risk of being held in contempt is actually a good motivator.

Crunch

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #606 on: November 22, 2019, 07:52:44 AM »
Of course it's possible that two people misremembered the same phone call in exactly the same way (or should I say, one of them fabricated it, because personal gut feels tells us that it's not possible to overhear a phone conversation of two loud talkers...)

Personal gut feeling has nothing to do with it. We all saw Cuomo literally prove it, live on CNN. You can watch that and see it for yourself or even do it on your own, have a friend make a call when you’re in a restaurant and see if you can hear the other person. Look, you know that “overhead Trump on the call” thing is bull*censored*. We all do. It’s a laughable story, so stupid only a child would believe it.

The most likely thing is those two got together and concocted the story they wanted to tell and Schiff coached them through it, just as he did with the original leaker. Then they needed a plausible way to have the information flow between those two so they came up with the overheard phone call comedy bit rather than it being yet another intentional leak, make it seem more legitimate ya know. At this point, it’s at best 50/50 that the alleged phone call they talk about ever even occurred.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 07:55:50 AM by Crunch »

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #607 on: November 22, 2019, 08:49:49 AM »
More likely Sondland doesn't want to go up for perjury charges, so unless he's 100% certain he can prove something did not happen, he'll instead risk perjuring himself by agreeing with whatever other people have testified to having happened rather than trigger an investigation into who is right and find out he was wrong.

oldbrian

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #608 on: November 22, 2019, 09:08:55 AM »
I have actually done that exact thing, Crunch.  My wife was sitting across from me at a table in a restaurant, talking to her father with her cellphone up to her ear - and I could hear everything he said.
I don't know how the noise levels compare to the place they were at, or how close they were to each other.  These variables are what was being referred to above.

But yes, you are absolutely correct: one person failing to recreate the situation invalidates every other time that it was successful.
If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit!

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #609 on: November 22, 2019, 09:18:52 AM »
As to what you're trying to imply, of course Taylor would be able to hear Sondland's side of the conversation, as he was right next to Sondland. What is more questionable is his ability to hear Trump's side of the call.

He was asked directly about this if you want to go read the testimony. He testified Sondland had the volume loud and was holding the phone away from his ear. He said that later in the call Sondland turned the volume down or Trump quit speaking as loudly and Sondland put the phone up to his ear and he was no longer able to hear Trump's part of the conversation.

Really the simplest explanation here is that Taylor and Sondland are telling the truth. Neither has anything to gain from lying. Sondland is likely to loose his ambassadorship over this and I can't imagine this being good for Taylor's career as long as Trump is in office.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #610 on: November 22, 2019, 09:21:09 AM »
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Personal gut feeling has nothing to do with it. We all saw Cuomo literally prove it, live on CNN.
Really?  Cuomo had a recording of the Sondland/Holmes lunch, and specifically, that part where the phone call took place, from Holmes' exact position?  Again, if you don't know what the words "prove" and "literally" mean, it would be best if you avoided them.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #611 on: November 22, 2019, 09:43:51 AM »
I posted it because it was funny, but you guys are getting a bit hung up on it.  It's certainly not impossible.  It does seem like Sondland is flirting with perjury, where he "remembers" things after others testify to them.

The bigger problem is that the "best" witnesses the Dems brought forward, in a process designed to be as one sided as possible, have no real facts on their side.  Best you can get on a direction from Trump, is Sondland "presumed" and it was somehow common knowledge without anyone ever hearing it.  At best, you have some kind of state department incompetence.  Other than that it's not even "hearsay" as they didn't hear anyone actually say anything proves the case, they just reported their feelings (and that was largely about policy disagreements).

Meanwhile they've pretty much proved the existence of a deep state at the State department, with the self righteous testimony of multiple unelected officials complaining that the President was somehow "interfering" with their "official" policy, notwithstanding that he's actually the source of the official policy.  Vindman was terrible on that front.

Go ahead and impeach a President on these "facts," you'll deserve the future it brings.  I'm just annoyed you're gonna drag me down with you.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #612 on: November 22, 2019, 09:50:49 AM »
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More likely Sondland doesn't want to go up for perjury charges, so unless he's 100% certain he can prove something did not happen, he'll instead risk perjuring himself by agreeing with whatever other people have testified to having happened rather than trigger an investigation into who is right and find out he was wrong.
That makes little sense - if Sondland really did NOT remember and wanted to avoid perjuring himself, then he would NOT have confirmed Holmes' characterization of the call.  By confirming Holmes' version, he is actually opening himself up to perjury charges, unless he is confident that Holmes' statements were factual.

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #613 on: November 22, 2019, 09:53:23 AM »
Go ahead and impeach a President on these "facts," you'll deserve the future it brings.  I'm just annoyed you're gonna drag me down with you.

What was Rudy's role in all this? Seriously - the president sending out his personal lawyer to conduct or coordinate foreign policy or get concessions isn't okay. Should we be impeaching Trump for it, debatable but what he did isn't okay. And the fact that Pompeo, Rudy, and Mick Molveney won't walk down there and testify to what happened and how okay it all is should tell you something - and not just that Trump is defending executive privilege (because Rudy has none).

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #614 on: November 22, 2019, 09:59:29 AM »
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Best you can get on a direction from Trump, is Sondland "presumed" and it was somehow common knowledge without anyone ever hearing it.
No, Sondland's presumption is actually one of the weaker pieces of supporting evidence, but, and I'm sure this is coincidental, it happens to be the one point that Republicans keep glomming onto and repeating ad nauseum.

There was a months' (plural) long process of withholding a commitment to a meeting and of threatening to withhold aid, and that one waffle word by Sondland doesn't make the other witness' statements, nor the rest of Sondland's statements, disappear.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #615 on: November 22, 2019, 10:08:43 AM »
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and not just that Trump is defending executive privilege
Does anybody here honestly believe that this has anything to do with executive privilege?  That Rick Perry's or Mike Pompeo's or Mick Mulvaney's interactions with Giuliani or Ambassador Sondland are in any way reasonably protected by executive privilege?  It certainly wasn't the case during the Nixon impeachment proceedings, nor during the Clinton impeachment, where both attempts failed in court, and these refusals would also have been challenged and overruled today if an election wasn't looming in less than a year.

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #616 on: November 22, 2019, 10:41:58 AM »
Is Guiliani working for Trump in that capacity illegal or not allowed by some other statute? Not a gotcha question, I genuinely don't know if it's literally against the rules (whatever rules might be in play), or simply being highlighted as "sketchy" and a way for Trump to insulate himself from the presumed dirty work.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #617 on: November 22, 2019, 10:51:13 AM »
No, Sondland's presumption is actually one of the weaker pieces of supporting evidence, but, and I'm sure this is coincidental, it happens to be the one point that Republicans keep glomming onto and repeating ad nauseum.

Probably because if you actually read the depositions, Sondland was the "source" for Taylor and Morrison, and derivatively for the others of the idea there was a quid pro quo.  If he made it up, then it wasn't Trump's or the admins position, no matter how many state department flunkies got confused.

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There was a months' (plural) long process of withholding a commitment to a meeting....

Why do you think that is evidence?  By all accounts, Trump's initial reaction was to not have a meeting, and the entire State Department was trying to change his mind.  That's exactly how the process should work if the State Department disagrees with the President, but it doesn't change the fact that the meeting NEVER happens if the President doesn't want it.

So it's kind of "fudgy accounting" to claim that a "month's long" withholding is evidence of anything nefarious.

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...and of threatening to withhold aid,...

That's an interesting claim, can you prove there was a "threat" of withholding aid?  Seems like exactly the evidence that the Dems wanted and NEVER FOUND.  Again, every one of the witnesses (that even had knowledge discounting the multiple witnesses that left months earlier) stated that THEY DID NOT KNOW WHY AID WAS WITHHELD.  The only way to take a "lack of knowledge" and convert into proof of a threat is to make it up in your own head (or provide actual evidence).

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...and that one waffle word by Sondland doesn't make the other witness' statements, nor the rest of Sondland's statements, disappear.

True, but what makes the "disappear" is the fact that they are almost completely just statements of their opinion.  In court, and possibly  in the Senate, you'd hear "move to strike calls for speculation" and "move to strike hearsay" before or after just about every statement that you are relying on.  Just about the only thing Sondland said (at least until the lastest "reveal") that was relevant and actually admissable is from his direct conversation with Trump, where he got the 'I want nothing, no quid pro quo line.' 

I understand it's confusing, when you watch a show trial it causes confusing, that's exactly why what Schiff and the Democrats have done is no part of the actual American judicial system or any part of a system that is seeking justice.

What was Rudy's role in all this?

Given who you heard from as far as witnesses, shouldn't that have been obvious?  The fact that it wasn't tells you a lot about how useless these witnesses actually were.

Best I can tell, only Volcker had more than passing contact with Rudy, and he said he never saw and wasn't aware of any efforts to tie Biden to the process.  I think he related one conversation about Biden, where Rudy had asked him about it and he conveyed he didn't think there was a there there. 

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Seriously - the president sending out his personal lawyer to conduct or coordinate foreign policy or get concessions isn't okay.

Why do you think that?  Seriously, what's the basis for that belief.  Would you really think it was bizarre if Obama had sent a lawyer that had subject matter experience on some issue that was important to his policy to be part of the process?  We all know that you wouldn't, I guaranty - even now - you have no idea and have never looked into how common or not it was to send non-governmental persons as part of delegations.   From the witnesses you can tell that G was not directing their activities, most of them had no interactions with him.

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And the fact that Pompeo, Rudy, and Mick Molveney won't walk down there and testify to what happened and how okay it all is should tell you something - and not just that Trump is defending executive privilege (because Rudy has none).

Actually, I think he's defending the separation of powers more than executive privilege, but really it's both.  This investigation is illegitimate, it's based on lies that at their heart are about policy.  Trump wasn't pursuing the Ukrainian policy in the way career guys at State wanted it to happen, and they were resisting and now "fighting back."  They are literally exceeding their legal and constitutional authority in doing so.  The House is exceeding its authority and stepping on the exclusive authority of the executive branch by dressing up a foreign policy disagreement as an impeachable offense to pretend it's in their mandate.

Even on the "worst" set of facts its a real stretch to get to wrong doing.  Especially, since the "favor" was connected to an active investigation.  On Burisma, I don't really know how anyone can look at it and see it as above boards.  Hunter clearly traded on his father's position, and I seriously doubt Joe was completely oblivious to that (no one else was, including Obama), but that doesn't mean that getting the prosecutor fired was done for a corrupt purpose.  That would take evidence (see there's that word again), and it's fascinating to me that you guys find asking for that information, if it exists, corrupt in the same thread you seem to believe that Congress has an absolute right to conduct an actual politically motivated investigation that ignores all bounds and encroaches on the executive branch.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #618 on: November 22, 2019, 11:03:46 AM »
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This investigation is illegitimate, it's based on lies that at their heart are about policy.
One might choose to believe many things about the results of the public  hearings, but that there is significant evidence of Trump using his position as president to benefit himself personally is incontrovertible.  Notice I say that the existence of the evidence is incontrovertible, not that one will necessarily believe or interpret the evidence in such a way as to support impeachment.

As such, claiming that the investigation is "illegitimate" is just silly, transparent partisanship. I won't attempt to guess whether it is honestly naive partisanship or purposefully disingenuous partisanship, but it's partisanship nonetheless.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #619 on: November 22, 2019, 11:12:05 AM »
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Is Guiliani working for Trump in that capacity illegal or not allowed by some other statute? Not a gotcha question, I genuinely don't know if it's literally against the rules (whatever rules might be in play), or simply being highlighted as "sketchy" and a way for Trump to insulate himself from the presumed dirty work.
I would be surprised that hiring a 'civilian' to work on behalf of the administration, even internationally, is legally problematic.  This happens all the time in other countries; I can't imagine it would be any different in this case.

The issue, rather, is what Giuliani has been asked to do.  In this case, he has been tasked with communicating to the Ukrainians that in order to get their desired oval office meeting, and in order to free up the promised military aid, they would need to announce investigations into the Bidens.  Heck, just asking them to interfere in domestic US politics, as a proxy for the president, would be problematic.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #620 on: November 22, 2019, 11:25:06 AM »
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Why do you think that is evidence?  By all accounts, Trump's initial reaction was to not have a meeting
This is completely counter-factual.

Here is an extract rom the memo of the April 21, 2019 congratulatory phone call between President Trump and President-elect Zelensky (https://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/editorialfiles/2019/11/15/CLEAN%20UKRAINE%20CALL.pdf
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Well, I agree with you about your country, and I look forward to it.  When I owned Miss Universe, they always had great people.  Ukraine was always very well represented.  When you're settled in and ready, I'd like to invite you to the White House. We'll have a lot of things to talk about, but we're with you all the way.
Oh, and military aid was approved by congress in early 2019, so...
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 11:28:00 AM by DonaldD »

LetterRip

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #621 on: November 22, 2019, 11:27:31 AM »
Personally I can hear a conversation from a seperate story (30 ft away up a flight of stairs) over background noise for certain callers.  Some people just talk really loudly and distinctly.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #622 on: November 22, 2019, 11:28:33 AM »
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This investigation is illegitimate, it's based on lies that at their heart are about policy.
One might choose to believe many things about the results of the public  hearings, but that there is significant evidence of Trump using his position as president to benefit himself personally is incontrovertible.  Notice I say that the existence of the evidence is incontrovertible, not that one will necessarily believe or interpret the evidence in such a way as to support impeachment.

This feels very much like the Big Lie, as it's historically described. Something so loudly stated, so many times, just cannot be a lie because it's beyond belief that it could be. That's so easy to happen that we all need to watch out for it. I think it happens A LOT. Personally I find your claim strange, even head-scratching. Sure, I can totally get an interpretation of what's going on as 'well duh, Trump insulated himself like all mob bosses do so he can claim he never gave the order.' That's not an irrational speculation to have, especially if you don't trust the guy from the get-go. But I don't see how to get to "incontrovertible evidence" that he's done all this to benefit himself. Where's the benefit? Did he get that benefit? Where's the "evidence" that it was not done for U.S. interests? Show your math! I see no math, just repetitions of the same claims over and over, which have been relentlessly begging the question. Jumping from "I just know he did it" to "can't everyone see it's already been proven" is exactly why communications break down in the U.S. You don't just want to have an opinion, everyone needs to delegitimize disagreement so that all bridges are burned.

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As such, claiming that the investigation is "illegitimate" is just silly, transparent partisanship. I won't attempt to guess whether it is honestly naive partisanship or purposefully disingenuous partisanship, but it's partisanship nonetheless.

If you look at a series of data with the two-column approach - one which believes various claims made, the other which believes they are spurious and disjoint - then you'll have an easier time understanding this. It's very simple to see why someone reading column 2 would think none of this is legitimate, since they would view each line item as being self-serving, self-referential, and generally propagandish. But to be fair column 1 must not be discounted - that these things are real and that as expected Al Capone isn't going to leave an easy trail leading back to him, and uses cronies as fall guys with "no one ever hearing it come from him". I get it. I just don't get how you can fail to see the position of the other side, and the danger to your society if they're right. That's a serious danger, man!

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #623 on: November 22, 2019, 11:35:21 AM »
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This investigation is illegitimate, it's based on lies that at their heart are about policy.
One might choose to believe many things about the results of the public  hearings, but that there is significant evidence of Trump using his position as president to benefit himself personally is incontrovertible.  Notice I say that the existence of the evidence is incontrovertible, not that one will necessarily believe or interpret the evidence in such a way as to support impeachment.

I'd like to see the "incontrovertible" evidence.  Can you provide a link to that document? 

Or heck, even a direct quote from Trump or someone that talked to Trump where he indicated that this was the case?

I think you mistake the meaning of both "signficant" which there is no question is not applicable, and "incontrovertible" since there isn't actually any evidence that such a policy originated with Trump.

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As such, claiming that the investigation is "illegitimate" is just silly, transparent partisanship.

Nah, it's definitely true.  You have a fake whistleblower, making a false claim, most likely because he's a complete partisan, that the House DNC has structured and investigation around where there is not even the appearance of fairness.

Why does it look like Trump has no defense?  Oh yeah, because the Dems expressly excluded his lawyers from putting one on, expressly excluded Republican members from calling witnesses they wanted, and themselves only called persons with a lot of policy disagreements with Trump and no actual contact with him or direct knowledge.  It's  literally nonsense made to impress the gullible on tv. 

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I won't attempt to guess whether it is honestly naive partisanship or purposefully disingenuous partisanship, but it's partisanship nonetheless.

There's a reason every Democrat thought he was guilty before they even heard a charge or testimony, and that some of them have been calling for impeachment for over two years without even knowing a cause.  That certainly is partisanship.  I'm guessing we never get this sham investigation if the Democratic presidential candidates were looking stronger. 

I'm actually of the view that there's more than a 50% chance that the House either changes this to a censure, or impeaches but refuses to refer it to the Senate.  This whole thing is literally a political sham and they have no interest - at all - on these "facts" in putting it in front of a tribunal they can't control, or even in letting the people see the President's actual defense.

I guess we'll see, but if we don't get the Senate referral it pretty proves that this wasn't about truth and only about political fakery.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #624 on: November 22, 2019, 11:48:41 AM »
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I'd like to see the "incontrovertible" evidence.  Can you provide a link to that document?
Reading comprehension: I said the existence of the evidence is incontrovertible.  I went out of my way NOT to characterize the evidence itself.  The existence of the evidence is what was required to initiate the proceedings, not the subjective evaluations thereof.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #625 on: November 22, 2019, 11:50:43 AM »
You have a fake whistleblower, making a false claim, most likely because he's a complete partisan

Assuming we're talking about a conspiracy to dethrone Trump, I would highly doubt someone would put themselves out there just because of partisan sentiment. It's all about money and influence to people like them. You get in with the right people and it's worth it. You take a calculated risk that your team wins, you get a plum assignment plus a vacation package. Your team loses, you might be out of a job but you could always move to the private sector (as they inevitably do).

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #626 on: November 22, 2019, 11:55:53 AM »
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You have a fake whistleblower, making a false claim
I think the Kool Aid has infiltrated your eyes and ears :)
What is a "fake whistleblower"?  Do you doubt the existence of the person who reported the activity?  If so, how could a non-existent person have made any claim, never mind a "false" one?  Or maybe they were not really blowing the whistle when they blew the whistle?

Through a less partisan lens, every single point raised by the whistle blower has now been corroborated by other witnesses.  Sure, they could all be lying, all those career bureaucrats hired by Republicans and Trump's administration, as well as the whistle blower (all of whom must have collaborated with said whistle blower)

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #627 on: November 22, 2019, 12:19:32 PM »
What is a "fake whistleblower"?  Do you doubt the existence of the person who reported the activity?  If so, how could a non-existent person have made any claim, never mind a "false" one?  Or maybe they were not really blowing the whistle when they blew the whistle?

I assume a "fake whistleblower" would be someone blowing the whistle on something that is not illegal. The idea is supposed to be that you observe a breach of established law, like for instance mass surveillance and data recording done by the NSA, and you can't live with yourself knowing this is going on, so you break the protocol of your employer by blowing the whistle on it, risking your job (and safety) in the process. What breach of law was going on here that required the whistle being blown? Normally you blow the whistle to alert the proper authorities; but in this case it seemed that plenty of authorities already knew about it, so what was it about then, leaking it to the public? That's not a whistleblower if that was the aim, but just a leaker. And if it's not even clear that the law is being broken then it's not whistleblowing by definition, it's just objecting to policy in public. What Seriati keeps asking for is what is the actual law that's been broken?

On a separate point, whistleblowers have not been treated well in the past 8-10 years, so I find it interesting that this particular one is being held up as a great hero when Snowden, who revealed a truly vile breach of rights, is a fringe character on the run who is frequently threatened. And then there's Hillary asking whether we couldn't just drone Assange. You should find it super-strange that this whistleblower is being given all kinds of nice help while most others are crushed under the boot of either the administration or the system. It's almost as if he's doing exactly what people wanted. Tell me, does it seem like this whistleblower was taking a significant risk doing this? Might there be prosecution on them for it? If these boxes aren't checked off then I don't see how it's a whistleblower.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #628 on: November 22, 2019, 12:32:14 PM »
Fenring, there is so much partisan word salad in there, it's hard to know what to grab hold of...
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I assume a "fake whistleblower" would be someone blowing the whistle on something that is not illegal. The idea is supposed to be that you observe a breach of established law
No.  Not by common usage, nor as specifically described by law.  Without getting into from whom a whistle blower is protected, the relevant wording of the law is "to protect federal employees who disclose "Government illegality, waste, and corruption" from adverse consequences related to their employment."

Waste and corruption are listed separately specifically because those two may exist absent illegality.  This misunderstanding of yours invalidates most of your previous post, including that bit about "what is the actual law that's been broken?"

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but in this case it seemed that plenty of authorities already knew about it
Who are the relevant authorities in this case?  Why, those responsible for oversight of the executive branch.  Ar you suggesting that the House and the Senate were both already well aware of the details of the administration potentially requesting a foreign government to investigate one of the president's political rivals?

 

« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 12:34:58 PM by DonaldD »

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #629 on: November 22, 2019, 12:46:05 PM »
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Is Guiliani working for Trump in that capacity illegal or not allowed by some other statute? Not a gotcha question, I genuinely don't know if it's literally against the rules (whatever rules might be in play), or simply being highlighted as "sketchy" and a way for Trump to insulate himself from the presumed dirty work.
I would be surprised that hiring a 'civilian' to work on behalf of the administration, even internationally, is legally problematic.  This happens all the time in other countries; I can't imagine it would be any different in this case.

Kurt Volker was a special envoy hired by the US government and reports up through the state dept. Rudy is a private citizen in the personal employment of the President, do you understand the distinction? The government can hire on individuals to do specific tasks but their employer is the US and they have to abide by the ethics regulations that are part of that employment. Rudy is only beholden to the president and all of his records are outside the reach of congressional oversight and FOIA requests. Do you understand the difference? Why private employment leaves much more room for corrupt practices?

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #630 on: November 22, 2019, 01:03:33 PM »
yossarian, this may all be true, but it doesn't make a civilian doing tasks for the president inherently illegal. It doesn't even necessarily make a civilian doing foreign policy work illegal, as long as it can be shown that he is doing it at the behest of the executive (or at least, that is what I have heard described recently). 

cherrypoptart

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #631 on: November 22, 2019, 01:08:07 PM »
The biggest problem with all this is that investigating the obvious corruption and influence peddling of the Bidens is NOT a crime. In fact, it is the exact opposite of a crime. Dems are impeaching Trump for fighting crime. Just like they are against him for fighting the crime of illegal immigration. Democrats have gone off the rails and are the embodiment of corruption as Tulsi said about Hillary which applies to the whole apparatus that supported her and we still see in action.

Investigating the corruption of the Obama administration including Hillary, Biden, and Obama himself is one of the most important reasons why Trump was elected. We knew if Hillary won everything would get covered up. And if she had won would we even know anything about this Biden corruption here? Probably not. Trump is exposing who these people really are. The Democrats in Congress are taking up the job Hillary lost by attempting a coverup of the corruption of their party.

Trump is doing exactly what he was elected to do and that's precisely why the Democrats are so hell bent on taking him out.

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #632 on: November 22, 2019, 01:12:17 PM »
Investigating the corruption of the Obama administration including Hillary, Biden, and Obama himself is one of the most important reasons why Trump was elected.

But that isn't what is happening. If Joe Biden committed crimes, the investigation is a US one not a Ukrainian one. If he did what Trump claimed and got the prosecutor removed to benefit his son then there should be all kinds of people at the state department who could testify to the fact that no one knew the reason for the policy other than Biden.

But keep believing pressuring Ukraine to state there was an investigation into the Biden's is a real investigation of corruption and not a self serving political tactic.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #633 on: November 22, 2019, 01:53:36 PM »
Fenring, there is so much partisan word salad in there, it's hard to know what to grab hold of...

Not sure what part of my post was either word salad (it was pretty clear) or partisan (I'm not a partisan on this issue).

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Without getting into from whom a whistle blower is protected, the relevant wording of the law is "to protect federal employees who disclose "Government illegality, waste, and corruption" from adverse consequences related to their employment."

Waste and corruption are listed separately specifically because those two may exist absent illegality.  This misunderstanding of yours invalidates most of your previous post, including that bit about "what is the actual law that's been broken?"

Unless the bolded terms mean something very obscure that no layman could understand, both "illegality" and "corruption" imply some kind of breach of the law. How can you have legal corruption? Is that even a thing? I guess if the system itself is broken you can abide by it and have corruption without illegality (like corporate lobbying) however that would be a very technical use of the term and would fail to mean what it's generally taken to mean, which is to say government officials doing things they shouldn't, for profit or gain. So that leaves "waste." Is it your argument that the whistleblower was blowing the whistle on government waste? If not then that brings us back to breach of law, in which case I don't really know what you think makes my post word salad.

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Ar you suggesting that the House and the Senate were both already well aware of the details of the administration potentially requesting a foreign government to investigate one of the president's political rivals?

I doubt they knew about it before the fact, while Trump was still trying to get it to happen. But once the call was made and the announcement by Zelenkyy made? Yeah, they'd have known about it since as I mentioned before I'm sure Trump would have paraded it out as a big triumph for him (cleaning up Ukraine and all that). So "blowing the whistle" on a thing that's literally meant to be made public is really not a thing. The one thing that was maybe secret in all that was the alleged holding back of aid in exchange for this public statement, but as it's already been pointed out this isn't even how it played out.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #634 on: November 22, 2019, 02:04:51 PM »
No, "corruption" does not necessitate illegality.  Neither does "waste"

cherrypoptart

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #635 on: November 22, 2019, 02:05:51 PM »
Biden admitted it. He bragged about it. We have it on tape. That's how outrageous these people are. And if Hillary had won he would have gotten away with it.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/rudy-giuliani-alleges-joe-biden-tried-to-bribe-ukrainian-president-to-fire-prosecutor

Does it help Trump to point out and prove Joe Biden is a corrupt politician? Yes, but even more it helps out America because we have a right to know. Trump is doing the vetting on Biden that our so called press refuses to do for Democrats.

Yes, the U.S. should do it's own investigation but we need the cooperation of Ukraine. If the situation were reversed and a foreign country were investigating one of their own politicians for corruption that took place with an American company, how far would they get on their own without the cooperation of American law enforcement?

Biden's son was pocketing millions following his dad around and peddling influence. We really don't even need an investigation. That's corruption, prima facie. All we really needed was what Trump did which was to shine a light on it. And that is his crime. That's why the Democrats are impeaching him, because he shines the bright light of truth on their corruption.

I understand that we're not going to agree. That's fine. But at least it will be understood where the Trump support is coming from and why. People seem confused because they think they've proven the point on quid pro quo but what they don't understand is how irrelevant that is when the real point is that Trump is allowing everyone to peak behind the curtain of the corruption rampant in our government, corruption that the Democrats covered up for eight years under Obama and are willing to destroy their own party to keep covered. They have obviously calculated that the damage they are doing to themselves with this clown circus is less than the damage that will be done to them when the full truth about them gets out

cherrypoptart

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #636 on: November 22, 2019, 02:14:12 PM »
> Donald:

> No, "corruption" does not necessitate illegality.  Neither does "waste"

That is a good point. I agree with that completely. I even made that point myself.

What Biden and son did wasn't even necessarily illegal.

With the best highest priced lawyers often times corruption is perfectly legal.

Look at all these people who got caught up in the college admissions scandal. They went about it the wrong way when there is a perfectly legal way to buy your child into college which involved donating directly to the college such as the mega rich do by buying a building or something. It's more expensive but perfectly legal.

So that makes my point even more about how Trump did this correctly. Doing an investigation while it's a great idea isn't necessarily the be all and end all. You could have the investigation conclude that no crimes were committed, no laws violated. That's not the same thing as there was no corruption. That's reflected in this impeachment process. No crimes need to have been committed for the President to be impeached. It's political. It's about exposing him for what he did. That's fine. That's a good idea. Get to the truth and expose it. Just like with Biden. The justice system can decide whether or not a crime was committed and the electorate can decide whether or not corruption occurred regardless of criminal status but we need the information to make that determination.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #637 on: November 22, 2019, 02:32:53 PM »
No, "corruption" does not necessitate illegality.

I think we're stretching language a lot to make room for an admission such as this one. What does 'corruption' mean in the regular use of the term? Here's what the Google thinks:

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cor·rup·tion
noun
1.
dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
2.
the process by which something, typically a word or expression, is changed from its original use or meaning to one that is regarded as erroneous or debased.

It's interesting to think about #2 but let's leave that off and focus on #1, the main event. It basically means bribery, with some room for other kinds of palm greasing. Sure, you *could* use the word corrupt to refer to slimy nepotism, like, dad is powerful and so - duh - that got me my job. You *could* call that corruption but (using #2) that's a bit of a corrupt use of the term. Maybe that's unethical in some way or just eye-rolling in the way that we all feel when the rich get richer through power and influence. But it's not corrupt; not unless there's illicit payment involved. A company hiring VP daddy's son is not in itself a corrupt act, although it would be if favors came with it (bribery) or if the payment to said son was through dirty money (as was alleged above), or if the appointment of Hunter had some other nefarious reason (like for him to be a point-man on an illegal operation).

Corruption *is not* doing shady things that are legal but which are sort of against the spirit of the thing. That's not corruption, it's just you're a shady character. "Corrupt" means you're on the take, owned by someone in a conflict of interest (like a judge owing a favor to a mob boss), or in some other way grossly and directly in dereliction of your stated duty. Any other use of the word "corrupt" is more of an obscure usage and doesn't really fit with how it's usually used.

So if Trump is "corrupt" in the manner which warrants a whistleblower, it would mean Trump is taking bribes, or exchanging illegal favors, or things of that manner. In the case of a President that would indeed be illegal, so I don't see the need to try to lay out a case of technicalities where in some obscure sense "corrupt" could maybe involve something perfectly legal. That's not really what the word means, so in the case of "illegal, waste, corrupt" if we remove 'waste' from considering then in the case we're discussing we're left with illegal and illegal. There's no way in which a President can be legally corrupt in any normal usage of the word.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #638 on: November 22, 2019, 02:48:17 PM »
The problem with basing evaluating criticisms of the President on the idea of legality, especially within constitutionally defined areas of authority, is that it can be difficult to make the conduct of the President illegal. That's also true when criticizing the legislature which has the ability to make its conduct legal.

That Trump's supporters often have to resort to "it's not illegal" suggests that Trump's conduct is not defensible on more substantial grounds.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #639 on: November 22, 2019, 02:54:01 PM »
I'm going to take issue with the whole bribery angle on this against Trump. Our Constitution wasn't concerned with our President using our money to bribe people in other countries to do what we want them to do. That's the backbone of most of our foreign policy. That's how we fight most of our wars. So for Pelosi and company to go after Trump for trying to bribe Ukraine is nonsense. The same thing with Biden bribing them to fire the prosecutor IF we didn't have his son involved. No, the bribery our Constitution was concerned about was a foreign power bribing our own officials to do THEIR bidding. And that's exactly what was going on with the Bidens. That's the corruption. Biden's own staff warned him about it but were told he had enough on his plate and didn't have the energy to worry about the optics and the appearance of impropriety with his son taking big money from a government while Biden held their purse strings. This all looks exactly like a kickback. Joe Biden gives them over a billion and they kick his son back millions or hundreds of thousands or whatever it was. I doubt this would be legal even in a real estate transaction but politicians exempt themselves from many of the laws that cover us proles.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #640 on: November 22, 2019, 03:16:00 PM »
Fenring:
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dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
Neither "dishonest" nor "fraudulent" necessitate illegality.  Even "bribery" is not necessarily illegal... and this is generally understood.  How do we know this?  Because many people, legislators in fact, are making the claim that the "quid pro quo" that Trump engaged in, i.e., that bribery, was skeevy, it was untoward, but it is not considered "impeachable" (not that impeachment even necessitates statutory illegality, but whatevs.)

You can debate word definition all you want, but you're not going to convince anybody who isn't already on-side.  If you want, here's another definition:
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Corruption is the misuse of public power (by elected politician or appointed civil servant) for private gain. ... Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power (by heritage, education, marriage, election, appointment or whatever else) for private gain.
There are lots of misuses that simply do not rise to the level of illegality, or have simply not been previously envisioned.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #641 on: November 22, 2019, 03:27:05 PM »
Ok Donald, even if we grant that there are "legally dishonest" things a politician can do, and "legally fraudulent" (although this one especially sounds questionable), why are we monkeying around with these terms when the main thing under that definition is "bribery", which is exactly what Trump is being accused of. The accusation seems to be that Trump was demanding a bribe (an investigating into his opponent) in exchange for the promised aid. Now as cherrypoptart mentioned that's not the tradition corruption-type bribe in the sense of paying of Trump to do their bidding; but it is certainly like the type of bribe we see in corrupt countries like India, where all public works come with the automatic kickback required for it to actually get done, or else no dice. That would seem to be the type of bribe implied here, that Trump requires personal payment to agree to do the thing he's meant to be doing as part of his job. Right? If this is so then I don't see the purpose in playing with definitions since this type of situation would definitely be illegal, and this is exactly what he's being accused of. Or am I missing something? What the heck else are we talking about?

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #642 on: November 22, 2019, 03:27:10 PM »
As an example, it was not illegal for the IRS to target conservative charities. Many people considered it corrupt and an abuse of power.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #643 on: November 22, 2019, 03:33:27 PM »
As an example, it was not illegal for the IRS to target conservative charities. Many people considered it corrupt and an abuse of power.

You need to be more specific about things like this, because in cases where activity goes on that's questionable, the way U.S. law works it out is to wait until someone sues you in order for a  judge to rule on it. Tons of what municipal governments do is almost certainly in violation of the written law in various ways but often nothing will be done about it because "you can't fight city hall"; I mean you can, but it means suing the city and hoping for a ruling against them, which is a pain for ordinary citizens to do. In the case of the IRS any legality is inconclusive until there's a suit, in which case it will be ruled on and retroactively (and henceforth) called either legal or illegal. That they were doing it does not mean it wasn't illegal, it just means they weren't sued successfully. The same can be said for the obviously illegal data collection that went on in the early 2000's, which although not "ruled illegal" was clearly a violation of the law even though there was basically nothing anyone could do about it. So taking for granted that the IRS was unfairly targeting based on political motivation, the lack of a judge's ruling means we can't really say whether it was legal or not; all we can say is they got away with it (assuming it happened at all). That's the way the legal system works here; very few things are specified outright by law, compared to what is humanly possible, and whatever isn't expressly forbidden is in the grey zone. You find out if it's illegal only if you get sued and lose, basically. "They did it so it must be legal" is IMO probably not an accurate statement, although Seriati or Pete would be able to answer this exact point much better than I could.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #644 on: November 22, 2019, 04:01:49 PM »
I'm actually of the view that there's more than a 50% chance that the House either changes this to a censure, or impeaches but refuses to refer it to the Senate.  This whole thing is literally a political sham and they have no interest - at all - on these "facts" in putting it in front of a tribunal they can't control, or even in letting the people see the President's actual defense.

I guess we'll see, but if we don't get the Senate referral it pretty proves that this wasn't about truth and only about political fakery.

I'm agreed that the Democrats will stop short of actually impeaching him, censure is likely to be the option they ultimately go for. The last thing they want to do is refer it to the Senate where the Republicans and Chief Justice John Roberts are the ones presiding over the more formal trial.

While the pundits would likely try to lambast Roberts for exercising proper jurisprudence in having most of the testimony stricken from the record, they also know they're then stepping into the crosshairs of legal analysts who'd have a hard time saying Roberts was wrong to do so, whether those legal analysts are friendly to the Democrats or not.

Of course, that they'd be able to claim the Senate was rigged in Trump's favor, between the Republican Majority being able to set the rules, and a Supreme Court Justice appointed by a Republican(Bush 43) to preside, they might give it a shot... But I seriously doubt they're going to try for that. Too many chances for the Trump Admin to shred their case in multiple ways, including allowing the people with 1st hand knowledge to testify on behalf of the PotUS. Rather than the case being built on heresy and innuendo in the House.

LetterRip

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #645 on: November 22, 2019, 04:02:06 PM »
As an example, it was not illegal for the IRS to target conservative charities. Many people considered it corrupt and an abuse of power.

Actually it would have been illegal to target conservative charities.  That wasn't what happened.  Instead they increased their scrutiny of all political advocacy related 501c3 and 501c4 appliications,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRS_targeting_controversy

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2017-11-20/gop-surrenders-cherished-irs-scandal-at-last

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #646 on: November 22, 2019, 04:04:46 PM »
You have a fake whistleblower, making a false claim, most likely because he's a complete partisan

Assuming we're talking about a conspiracy to dethrone Trump, I would highly doubt someone would put themselves out there just because of partisan sentiment. It's all about money and influence to people like them. You get in with the right people and it's worth it. You take a calculated risk that your team wins, you get a plum assignment plus a vacation package. Your team loses, you might be out of a job but you could always move to the private sector (as they inevitably do).

The Whistleblower is likely to be set for life at this point, I doubt the whistleblower will be pulling less than 100K/year for the rest of their life. Unless they get thrown in jail, but as long as the WB was careful enough, they should be safe enough from that, maybe.

DonaldD

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #647 on: November 22, 2019, 04:06:03 PM »
Quote
the main thing under that definition is "bribery", which is exactly what Trump is being accused of.
Not quite - the bribery certainly is one aspect of his abuse of power, but without him targeting his domestic political opponents, there would be no issue with the bribery... for instance, Trump could have "bribed" Zelensky to provide more intelligence cooperation with the CIA, or with committing to use a specific % of the military aid to be spent on US suppliers, or with opening up particular markets to US industry, or any other of a number of things that would have benefited the country instead of himself... and that would not have been an issue, never mind impeachable, never mid illegal.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #648 on: November 22, 2019, 04:19:45 PM »
Quote
the main thing under that definition is "bribery", which is exactly what Trump is being accused of.
Not quite - the bribery certainly is one aspect of his abuse of power, but without him targeting his domestic political opponents, there would be no issue with the bribery... for instance, Trump could have "bribed" Zelensky to provide more intelligence cooperation with the CIA, or with committing to use a specific % of the military aid to be spent on US suppliers, or with opening up particular markets to US industry, or any other of a number of things that would have benefited the country instead of himself... and that would not have been an issue, never mind impeachable, never mid illegal.

No, you've got it backward. We're not talking about Trump bribing Zelensky with aid. The aid was already 'supposed to happen'. The argument being made is he was withholding it unless Zelensky would do personal favors for him; thus it would have been Trump demanding a bribe. If there is no bribe then there is no problem. Trump going after a political opponent is not any kind of problem - not even doing so with foreign help - if it's to help rid America of corruption. Granted we don't need to pretend Trump is so high-minded as that, but unless it's to profit himself personally (a bribe) then there is no QPQ that matters. I fail to see how people keep avoiding recognizing this. ScottF and I have mentioned it above but it feels like some industrial lubricant keeps making the point slip away.

And I will keep insisting as I have before that if Trump really was asking for a bribe then I would want him gone too. If that could be shown then I'd be upset too. I'm not making the "well prove it" Al Capone defence. I'd be ticked off for real. But what ticks me off just as much as playing language games and refusing to just hone in on what the problem is and discuss it. This is excactly what's been making rightleft22 crazy lately. Either we're talking about a bribe or we're not. If we're not then it seems like we're just talking about nothing.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #649 on: November 22, 2019, 04:27:43 PM »
No, you've got it backward. We're not talking about Trump bribing Zelensky with aid. The aid was already 'supposed to happen'. The argument being made is he was withholding it unless Zelensky would do personal favors for him; thus it would have been Trump demanding a bribe. If there is no bribe then there is no problem. Trump going after a political opponent is not any kind of problem - not even doing so with foreign help - if it's to help rid America of corruption. Granted we don't need to pretend Trump is so high-minded as that, but unless it's to profit himself personally (a bribe) then there is no QPQ that matters. I fail to see how people keep avoiding recognizing this. ScottF and I have mentioned it above but it feels like some industrial lubricant keeps making the point slip away.

Ah, but they're coming from the position that the Bidens are completely innocent of any and all possible wrong doing, and the "bribe" Trump was asking for wasn't for an investigation per say, but rather Trump was actually asking them to create evidence to justify a prosecution of Hunter Biden.

You're also supposed to ignore the logical disconnect between "There is no reason to investigate the Bidens" and "We must investigate Trump to determine if there is wrong doing." Because after all, the real ask that Trump was making of Ukraine was that they create evidence which could help him in his re-election bid during 2020.

Never mind they currently seem to have problems simply establishing Trump was simply asking for an investigation of any kind, sketchy, honest, or completely fabricated.