Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 75224 times)

yossarian22c

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #800 on: December 03, 2019, 10:05:59 AM »
https://republicans-oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/2019-12-02-Report-of-Evidence-in-the-Democrats-Impeachment-Inquiry-in-the-House-of-Representatives.pdf

Republican response to the hearings. I read the executive summary. I didn't find it all that convincing but I'm sure others will view it more favorably. I was surprised by the total length, I don't have the time or patience to read through 100+ pages.

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #801 on: December 03, 2019, 10:45:54 AM »
snips from the executive summary:

At the heart of the matter, the impeachment inquiry involves the actions of only two people: President Trump and President Zelensky. The summary of their July 25, 2019, telephone conversation shows no quid pro quo or indication of conditionality, threats, or pressure—much less evidence of bribery or extortion. The summary reflects laughter, pleasantries, and cordiality. President Zelensky has said publicly and repeatedly that he felt no pressure. President Trump has said publicly and repeatedly that he exerted no pressure.

The Democrats are alleging guilt on the basis of hearsay, presumptions, and speculation—all of which are reflected in the anonymous whistleblower complaint that sparked this inquiry. The Democrats’ narrative is so dependent on speculation that one Democrat publicly justified hearsay as “better” than direct evidence.‡‡ Where there are ambiguous facts, the Democrats interpret them in a light most unfavorable to the President. In the absence of real evidence, the Democrats appeal to emotion—evaluating how unelected bureaucrats felt about the events in question.

The fundamental disagreement apparent in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is a difference of world views and a discomfort with President Trump’s policy decisions. To the extent that some unelected bureaucrats believed President Trump had established an “irregular” foreign policy apparatus, it was because they were not a part of that apparatus. There is nothing illicit about three senior U.S. officials—each with official interests relating to Ukraine shepherding the U.S.-Ukraine relationship and reporting their actions to State Department and NSC leadership. There is nothing inherently improper with Mayor Giuliani’s involvement as well because the Ukrainians knew that he was a conduit to convince President Trump that President Zelensky was serious about reform.

There is also nothing wrong with asking serious questions about the presence of Vice President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, on the board of directors of Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian company, or about Ukraine’s attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Biden’s Burisma has an international reputation as a corrupt company. As far back as 2015, the Obama State Department had concerns about Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. Ukrainian anticorruption activists  noted concerns as well. Publicly available—and irrefutable—evidence shows how senior Ukrainian government officials sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in opposition to President Trump’s candidacy, and that some in the Ukrainian embassy in Washington worked with a Democrat operative to achieve that goal.


To me this is a reasonable summary of those who are looking at the situation stoicly. The idea of general "discomfort" and "feelings" that Trump's conduct was out of order is spot on. Too bad that feelings, discomfort and "seems like" don't translate into impeachable evidence.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #802 on: December 03, 2019, 11:45:01 AM »
To me this is a reasonable summary of those who are looking at the situation stoicly. The idea of general "discomfort" and "feelings" that Trump's conduct was out of order is spot on. Too bad that feelings, discomfort and "seems like" don't translate into impeachable evidence.

Need to rephrase that, because impeachment is a political act, not one about legality. On the legality side, you'd be correct, that evidence would be inadmissible in a court proceeding(outside of maybe Grand Jury testimony, but the grand jury only indicts, it doesn't convict).

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #803 on: December 03, 2019, 12:12:48 PM »
I get that, but one would presume that direct evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors would be a bonus when voting to impeach. Although apparently optics and presumptions will suffice in a pinch.

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #804 on: December 03, 2019, 12:34:40 PM »
Quote
There is nothing illicit about three senior U.S. officials—each with official interests relating to Ukraine shepherding the U.S.-Ukraine relationship and reporting their actions to State Department and NSC leadership. There is nothing inherently improper with Mayor Giuliani’s involvement as well because the Ukrainians knew that he was a conduit to convince President Trump that President Zelensky was serious about reform.

So Giuliani was a senior us official? What was his position? Let's see. He was named cybersecurity advisor in 2017. He was part of Trump's legal defense team. And that's all I can find.

Was he in the state department? DoD? Foreign service? Ambassador?

No. He's a jackass that does whatever Trump demands without question, and shows up on TV with mixed results trying to defend him. He has exactly zero qualifications in diplomatic relations. I'm surprised he can tie his own tie without asphyxiating himself. To think that I admired him a few years before and after 9/11 mortifies me.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #805 on: December 03, 2019, 12:37:51 PM »
Quote
There is nothing illicit about three senior U.S. officials—each with official interests relating to Ukraine shepherding the U.S.-Ukraine relationship and reporting their actions to State Department and NSC leadership. There is nothing inherently improper with Mayor Giuliani’s involvement as well because the Ukrainians knew that he was a conduit to convince President Trump that President Zelensky was serious about reform.

So Giuliani was a senior us official?

Three senior U.S. officials - Volcker (special envoy to Ukraine), Sondland (Ambassador), Perry (Secretary of Energy).

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #806 on: December 03, 2019, 12:47:18 PM »
Ah, sorry. I hadn't heard of Perry being in the mix. But it is glaring that the actual ambassador to ukraine (acting) isn't there. Neither is anybody senior from the department of state.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #807 on: December 03, 2019, 02:52:10 PM »
So started reading the Dem's report.  Heavy on the propaganda so far (the Republican report was excessively repetitive in comparison).  I note they included by favorite recent Schiff lie, that Mulvaney admitted that aid was tied to Ukrainian assistance.  If you haven't read the transcript on that yourself (I linked to it previously) you really should, it's one of those open and shut misrepresentations of what happened that Schiff passes off as true.  Very dangerous.  Wonder if this report is held to the House standard or the legal standard?  (can Shchiff openly lie in the report the way he can as a House member on the floor?).

TheDrake, at the time the 3 were delegate to run the show there was no Ukrainian ambassador.  As Taylor himself testified he was brought in on the process by those 3, and all testified (other than Perry) that the three were reporting regularly to State and the NSC.  So again, literally an appropriate process.  In fact, Voker and Perrry are more material to much of it than Taylor.  Sondland only slightly less so given the strategic importance of Ukrainian energy in to Europe as part of the US goal to isolate Russia (by the way, see the just inked deal between Rusia and China which is the literal result of that).

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #808 on: December 03, 2019, 03:03:37 PM »
I mean honestly, look at this:

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The President demanded that the newly-elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, publicly announce investigations into a  political rival that he apparently feared the most, former Vice President Joe Biden, and into a discredited theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Anyone see the testimony, anywhere, that establishes the President made this demand?  Schiff's off to the races on the 2020 theory, even though to my knowledge, not one witness testified about 2020 interference.

Or how about this:

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During a July 25, 2019, call between President Trump and President Zelensky, President Zelensky expressed gratitude for U.S. military assistance. President Trump immediately responded by asking President Zelensky to “do us a favor though” and openly pressed for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden and the 2016 conspiracy theory.

Note how he said "immediately" asked for a favor and referenced Biden.  It's funny how the Biden reference is way later in the call, yet Schiff pretends (again) that it was linked directly to he favor.

Also note how its the "2016 conspiracy theory," did you catch any witness testimony on that?  Nope, Schiff deliberately prevented any relevant evidence being presented.  Honestly, I don't think you can even dispute 2016 election interference.  You have documented interference by the Ukrainian ambassador, and by other Ukrainian politicians.  You have real time admissions that Trump was aware of those events, concerned about them and that some of those same politicians were still in the new government.

I'm very early on and its already clear that this is nothing but spin.

This by the way is exactly why we don't allow public release of grand jury testimony.  Several of you seem to believe that this "would be allowed" before a grand jury, and you're right, but that would never be allowed to go public.  There is absolutely no question that if you let a prosecutor publicise his case without rebuttal they can make an innocent person look guilty and prejudice the ultimate decision makers, and in fact that is expressly the strategy that Schiff and the DNC pursued at every stage. 

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #809 on: December 03, 2019, 03:30:54 PM »
Schiff repeatedly characterizes as "false allegations" Trump's statements about 2016 election interference and Biden's role with Burisma/Joe's involvement.  It looks pretty clear from the actual evidence that 2016 election interference by Ukraine occurred.  Schiff seems to "slide" around this by claiming that it was "debunked" that 2016 interference was by Ukraine and not Russia.  So what?  Everyone knows that Russia interfered, the logic of that sentence is self executing.  If B=False, then A + B = False without regard to whether A is True. in this case, A is true.   Both Russia and Ukraine interfered in 2016.  Ergo Trump's requests were not about "false allegations".  It's also undeniably  true that Hunter's position deserves scrutiny and very likely implicates foreign corrupt practices laws, whether Joe has a legit tie in would only be known after investigation - the exact investigation that Schiff obstructed.

There's absolutely no basis for statements by Schiff in his official report implying that these statements are false.  Schiff's team refused to investigate those claims, that does not make them false, and certainly doesn't prove them false.  This makes it 100% clear that this is not an inquiry seeking truth, just one seeking political gain or an excuse.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #810 on: December 03, 2019, 03:38:13 PM »
Read it if you want, it's going to be a hard slog for anyone with an open mind.  Every sentence of "narrative" is drafting to be as incriminating as possible, quotes are often fragment, as in pulling out two or three operative words then attaching them to narrative lead ins and exits that don't reflect the actual testimony.

This was not written to make a legal case or to recite facts.  This was written to try and force prejudgment in readers, it's literally political propaganda.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #811 on: December 03, 2019, 03:55:41 PM »
Here's another fun one:

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n the morning of July 25, Ambassador Volker sent a text message to President Zelensky’s top aide, Mr. Yermak, less than 30 minutes before the presidential call. He stated: “Heard from White House—
assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / ‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck!” Shortly before the call, Ambassador Sondland spoke directly with President Trump.

President Zelensky followed this advice during his conversation with President Trump. President Zelensky assured that he would pursue the investigations that President Trump had discussed  —
into the Bidens and 2016 election interference  — and, in turn, pressed for the White House meeting that remained outstanding.

The testimony was that a perfectly legitimate request about investigating and getting to the bottom of 2016 interference was key to a meeting.  Big shock, Trump expressly said from the beginning that he mistreated the Ukrainians in large part because people involved in the 2016 interference were still in the government.  That's also the subject of an ongoing DOJ investigation.

But not how when Schiff continues the narrative in paragraph 2, he puts back in a reference to the Bidens that didn't exist in the text.  He has too, because the 2016 election interference request is legitimate no matter what. And bringing the guilty to justice in not interference with 2020.

Take a look at the description of removing Voyanavitch, Schiff paints her as a practically the sole crusader behind bringing justice in the Ukraine.  Did he interview any of the Ukrainians that told a different story?  A story about how she was selective in the corruption that she was interested in ending?  Nope, didn't allow them to be called.  Clear now though why he called her, it was deep game to try and establish that Trump cleared the way of the "one person" that would have stopped him.  But how?  By raising flags to her superiors?  Never mind that Schiff rather inconsistently has already asserted that all those senior people were in the know and doing Trump and Guiliani's bidding.

He's also stated as fact that Rudy was directly Sondland, Volcker and Perry, notwithstanding that he has testimony of Sondland and Volcker that says, Sondland barely talked to Rudy and that Volcker never took any direction from him or felt that he was supposed to, in fact Volcker made it clear that he made it expressly clear to the Ukranians that Rudy had no authority and was effectively just a one way conduit for the Ukrainians to influence Trump.  But hey, when the testimony you collected doesn't do it, just write it up the way you wish it was.

Serious question, what should the consequence be for Schiff lying?  This is supposedly a serious matter, Schiff went into detail about how serious it is (and how reluctant he was to do this in the report - yeah right) so it must be serious right?  So if Schiff lies, should there be a consequence?

Pretty sure there isn't.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #812 on: December 03, 2019, 04:18:20 PM »
When a document like this reads like a novel, rather than like a fragmented account, and when you've already seen the record that produced it and it's no where near this complete it signals that a bunch of it is made up opinion and interpretation.   Even still I think it's a bold choice to cite the 8-28 story about the held-up aid - given that Schiff is the one that investigated that and leaked it, in the "narrative time line."  It really does go to show just how much of this sham was planned from the beginning.  This isn't about a crime being investigated, it's about a situation that provided for a basic framework around which a story could be created.

I liked too how he "dealt" with the biggest problem to the narrative.  Trump unexpectedly releasing the transcript by charaterizing it as if Trump had no choice but to release because of the public pressure.  He has to do that cause he has to pretend it was "hasty" or without choice to try and make the case that it's incriminating.  If it was released as Trump said, because it didn't show bad conduct, which is a legitimate interpretation of language that supports more than one reading, then its strong evidence of Trump's inten and that the intent was for the legitimate purpose and reading.  As that would kill the DNC case, which is heavily reliant on reading in intent that isn't in the words, they have to recharacterize it s a release that Trump couldn't stop.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #813 on: December 03, 2019, 10:39:12 PM »
This one should be criminal.  The real quote has been read thousands of times, and doesn't say this:

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On September 7, President Trump and Ambassador Sondland spoke. Ambassador Sondland stated to his colleagues that the President said, “there was no quid pro quo,” but that President Zelensky would be required to announce the investigations in order for the hold on security assistance to be lifted, “and he should want to do it."

It's nice when you get to pretend that the part you want to hear, was really there when it wasn't.  This isn't the first time for Schiff, so I ask should he be above the law? 

TheDrake

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #814 on: December 03, 2019, 10:45:54 PM »
If lying and spinning were a crime, most elected officials would be in jail, including potus.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #815 on: December 03, 2019, 11:05:28 PM »
That's true, but lying or scheming in a criminal investigation is a crime, even for a member of the House.  As is lying under oath, lucky for Schiff an impeachment isn't a real or important constitutional proceeding that should be held to such a high standard.  Oh wait....

rightleft22

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #816 on: December 04, 2019, 10:30:39 AM »
The shadow projection in this thread is... scary

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #817 on: December 04, 2019, 10:42:41 AM »
I don't think anyone doubts there are two movies being watched on the same screen.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #818 on: December 04, 2019, 03:36:26 PM »
That's true, but lying or scheming in a criminal investigation is a crime, even for a member of the House.  As is lying under oath, lucky for Schiff an impeachment isn't a real or important constitutional proceeding that should be held to such a high standard.  Oh wait....

Remember, the House investigation isn't actually a criminal investigation, it's political. So House Floor rules likely apply to the reports they generate, even if the people they demand to come testify before them do so under threat of perjury charges.

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #819 on: December 05, 2019, 09:18:36 AM »
Pelosi this morning: “The facts are uncontested.”

Regardless of where you land on this topic, how do you take someone who says this seriously?

ScottF

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #820 on: December 05, 2019, 10:06:23 AM »
At least she did add that they were doing all of this “with love in their hearts”.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #821 on: December 05, 2019, 12:48:01 PM »
Pelosi this morning: “The facts are uncontested.”

Regardless of where you land on this topic, how do you take someone who says this seriously?

Have they even established any facts of substance beyond where certain people were at certain times, and that Sondland(sp?) seems to be QPQ guy in all of this, by his own admission?

cherrypoptart

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #822 on: December 09, 2019, 12:54:10 PM »
https://www.yahoo.com/news/joe-biden-hunter-biden-i-dont-know-ukraine-005935684.html

‘I Don’t Know:’ Biden Says He Hasn’t Asked What Hunter Did In Ukraine

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he doesn’t know what work his son Hunter Biden did in Ukraine while serving on the board of an energy company there for five years, but noted that it didn’t matter “because I trust my son.”

“I don’t know what he was doing,” Biden said of his son’s work for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, in an interview with “Axios on HBO” on Sunday. “I know he was on the board. I found out he was on the board after he was on the board, and that was it.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That seems odd. Almost unbelievable. Definitely unprofessional. Certainly the Vice President of the United States should be better informed than that.

It's good to see the media finally asking questions.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #823 on: December 09, 2019, 02:38:10 PM »
On the nefarious scheming way of running things, it makes perfect sense for Joe Biden to not know. It would logically be one of those unspoken rules about children getting kickbacks because of their parents position. Don't ask, don't tell. So long as they don't know that is what happened, they can continue to pretend that everything is perfectly legit and "above board."

LetterRip

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #824 on: December 10, 2019, 02:58:45 PM »
That seems odd. Almost unbelievable. Definitely unprofessional. Certainly the Vice President of the United States should be better informed than that.

It's good to see the media finally asking questions.

My parents don't know what I've done at my jobs.  They might know a job title - programmer, instrument tech., etc.  It is pretty uncommon for parents to know what their children do at work - most familes talk about relationships and interesting stuff that actually matters to them.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #825 on: December 10, 2019, 03:08:03 PM »
And if there's a potential conflict of interest for the VP, keeping him out of the loop is a fairly standard response.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #826 on: December 10, 2019, 03:15:01 PM »
And if there's a potential conflict of interest for the VP, keeping him out of the loop is a fairly standard response.

Yes, CYB is understandable (but not laudable). LR's argument about parents typically not knowing what their children do wouldn't apply here, since anything that the VP should know is going to be briefed to him by 'his people' and other interested parties. In a contentious zone like Ukraine there is no way for any relevant politician and NGO not to be aware of Hunter's position there and to at least have ideas about what it might imply. Knowing what happens behind the closed doors is another matter, which might be need to know. Joe may well have deliberately made himself unaware of any details for deniability purposes, which is different from saying he had no idea what was going on. It's a similar thing that mafia bosses do (for the record: I am not using this analogy to call Biden a mafia boss).

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #827 on: December 10, 2019, 03:23:15 PM »
It's a basic method of avoiding a conflict of interest. If Biden doesn't know what his son is doing, it can't influence his decisions.

It doesn't address people attempting to take advantage of Hunter's relationships but it helps mitigate the situation.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #828 on: December 10, 2019, 04:39:52 PM »
It's a basic method of avoiding a conflict of interest.

In a case like this not knowing is a conflict of interest, because it's actually necessary to know such things in order to gauge the situation over there. For instance, and just as an example, if Hunter was receiving drug money in exchange for smoothing over their operations, the VP should absolutely be aware of such things; not because Hunter is his son, but because the VP - if he's involved in that area of the world - needs to know the score and what America's influence is over there, for better or worse. If Hunter was an agent sent in to hit Ukraine's sovereignty and ensure cooperation with America, likewise it would be sheer incompetence for the top-level diplomats to be unaware of such a thing. It would basically make them morons.

So the conflict of interest here, if there is one, is that to personally protect himself the VP may well have deliberately kept himself unaware of things he actually did need to know to do his job. And that is one reason (but only one) that the situation is potentially troubling.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #829 on: December 10, 2019, 04:50:46 PM »
If he was doing something actively illegal, you absolutely don't tell the VP until Hunter's in custody. Other people in the administration should know but giving the VP a head's up is just begging for undue exercise of power. I'm reasonably sure someone would tell Biden regardless but small corruptions are endemic to almost any system.

It's a different matter if Hunter was there as part of an official or semi-official program of manipulation but if he was there as a private citizen, even one making bank on political connections, Biden needed to maintain enough distance to prevent himself from acting in his son's interest rather than in the interests of the United States.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #830 on: December 10, 2019, 08:11:45 PM »
It's a basic method of avoiding a conflict of interest. If Biden doesn't know what his son is doing, it can't influence his decisions.

There's a concept called "willful blindness," it's not a basic method of avoiding a conflict of interest, it's a criminal method of avoiding your responsibilities.  In the case of Hunter, there's no chance given his career, the favors that Biden previously arranged for him (like joining the Navy after 40) and at the very least President Obama telling Joe that Hunter would have to terminate his lobbying activities if Joe wanted to be President, that Joe was doing any kind of legitimate conflict avoidance.

I mean my goodness, securities firms are required to monitor the trading activities of the children of routine stock brokers and traders or face felonies, the idea that no one is responsible for vetting what the children of a VP or President are doing taking on jobs for corrupt foreign corps, without relevant experience is insane.  It's so far insane that if it had been posited even 4 years ago no one would have agreed it was even plausibly okay.

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It doesn't address people attempting to take advantage of Hunter's relationships but it helps mitigate the situation.

It literally doesn't, it just lets Joe pretend that "helping Hunter" out has no other consequences, and protect his career by denying that he knew anything.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #831 on: December 11, 2019, 12:38:05 AM »
It's a different matter if Hunter was there as part of an official or semi-official program of manipulation but if he was there as a private citizen, even one making bank on political connections

It really wouldn't be a different matter at all, because most serious moves IMO happen in non-governmental capacities. The government makes the odd big overture that is 'official' but most the of the moves made are lobbyists from various international concerns getting together and trying to get their foot in the door. It may be the U.S. military making strides in Syria but it's oil companies sitting on the border waiting to move in. NGO's and private actors are not 'private' at all in the sense you mean it, as in, regular 'civilians' who are just doing business. I mean, they're 'doing business' in the sense that the mafia does business, in that they're getting stuff done. But it's not 'opening a McDonalds' kind of business.

I don't see there being much of a line between official and unofficial business other than PR, personally. If U.S. agents or lobbyists or whatever are in the Ukraine making waves, it is totally the concern of the U.S. government, and in any case it wouldn't happen without support from within it. That's how these things work; you don't just walk into a contested territory and start joining boards of governors just like that. The mistake, I think, is to think of the 'government' as if it was a single person with a single mind. Rather, it's a bunch of people with a bunch of agendas, many of them intersecting but none of them quite the same. If some people in Congress were working with Hunter to achieve certain operational goals, does that mean that "the government" was involved? Can you disentangle the person from the institution?

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #832 on: December 11, 2019, 10:07:06 AM »

There's a concept called "willful blindness," it's not a basic method of avoiding a conflict of interest, it's a criminal method of avoiding your responsibilities.  In the case of Hunter, there's no chance given his career, the favors that Biden previously arranged for him (like joining the Navy after 40) and at the very least President Obama telling Joe that Hunter would have to terminate his lobbying activities if Joe wanted to be President, that Joe was doing any kind of legitimate conflict avoidance.

I mean my goodness, securities firms are required to monitor the trading activities of the children of routine stock brokers and traders or face felonies, the idea that no one is responsible for vetting what the children of a VP or President are doing taking on jobs for corrupt foreign corps, without relevant experience is insane.  It's so far insane that if it had been posited even 4 years ago no one would have agreed it was even plausibly okay.

4 years ago before the President's kids got jobs in the White House? Or before the President "divested" himself by having his kids run his company?

Obviously, someone should be vetting family connections but it shouldn't be the family in question.

Seriati

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #833 on: December 11, 2019, 10:59:07 AM »
4 years ago before the President's kids got jobs in the White House?

Or 20 years after the President's wife was running major policy initiatives or what 50 years since a President appointed his brother AG?  Don't kid yourself on this.  You're about Trump because he's Trump not because there's anything unusual or untoward about using family in White House roles (appointing your brother as AG seems a bit of an outlier).  Especially where those trusted persons are literally acting as the President's representatives there's nothing wrong with that.

Now it'd be something else entirely if a President made nepotism his ruling philosophy in appointing roles outside of the Executive Branch.  Like for example, if he appointed one as a judge or used influence to put them into staff positions (rather than political ones) at Executive Agencies.

None of how a President operates inside the Executive Branch is even remotely relevant to looking the other way while foreign actors bribe a President or a Vice President's kids. 

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Or before the President "divested" himself by having his kids run his company?

Lol, you guys have been whining about that the entire time, yet that's about a thousand times the safe guards that Joe put in place with Hunter.  That's an entire level of formalism and separation past what occurred.   Not to mention that the entire press and most of the justice departments of several states have been hyper focused on that, as compared to - apparently - one person flagging it for the VP's office and them deciding not to bother him because of his other son's death.  They couldn't have raised it to anyone else?  To the President?  Considered what kind of safe guards or controls they needed?  Publically disclosed the limits he was going to operate under?

Nope.  None of that, because....   well, honestly, because Biden's a Democrat and therefore exempt from being attacked.

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Obviously, someone should be vetting family connections but it shouldn't be the family in question.

Depends on what you mean.  I wouldn't have had any problem if President Hillary had used Chelsea in executive tasks or sent Bill as a Special Envoy to Ukraine and I think you'd be lieing if you'd claim you would.

There's about a hundred ways this could have been handled and all we could do is "second guess" a reasonable judgement as you are doing with Trump.  Instead we got Biden's "Hear no evil, See no evil" approach.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #834 on: December 11, 2019, 11:17:55 AM »
And of course, if Biden had said he'd been thoroughly briefed on his son's activities you'd be here complaining about how he was obviously using family connections to some nefarious purpose. If you're going to accuse me of blind partisanship, could you at least recognize that partisan concerns are influencing your outrage?
'
Or do you really believe there'd be any sound and fury over this if Biden wasn't running for President? Though you seemed to believe the GOP was actually deeply concerned about Benghazi, so maybe you are that useful.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #835 on: December 11, 2019, 12:53:58 PM »
Or do you really believe there'd be any sound and fury over this if Biden wasn't running for President?

Even if it were totally true that this is only happening because Biden was running, it wouldn't follow from this point that investigating him would be a bad idea. The question may boil down to how much time and investment should be put into past politicians' misdeeds, compared to preparing for upcoming events and current problem. I've heard several people here suggest that because Hillary is now out of the government it's somehow misguided to focus on her alleged misdeeds. Let's focus on the present, the argument goes. So maybe that same argument would have applied had Biden been done with politics at this point, except he's not - he's running for President. D.W. and I seem to both think that this kind of position really ought to have incredible amounts of vetting that go into it, although in this instance we're not talking about blanket vetting but rather investigating a specific occurance in recent history.

So why should the fact that he's running make it a bad reason to take his potential misdeeds more seriously than if he had retired? That seems to be in accord with the general consensus here about Hillary.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #836 on: December 11, 2019, 01:12:13 PM »
Even if it were totally true that this is only happening because Biden was running, it wouldn't follow from this point that investigating him would be a bad idea. The question may boil down to how much time and investment should be put into past politicians' misdeeds, compared to preparing for upcoming events and current problem. I've heard several people here suggest that because Hillary is now out of the government it's somehow misguided to focus on her alleged misdeeds. Let's focus on the present, the argument goes. So maybe that same argument would have applied had Biden been done with politics at this point, except he's not - he's running for President.

I think this is a significant contributor as well in regards to Trump being impeached. He "broke the rules," unwritten as they may be, with regards to prior administrations. Generally speaking, the practice is NOT to open new investigations into past presidential administrations after they leave office. If you go back and look, there are very few investigations that happen in regards to a prior administration once a new one takes office. Of the ones that do happen, virtually all of those investigations started while that prior administration was in office.

I'm pretty sure you can me lamenting that very practice in regards to the Obama admin in 2016. That once he left office, a number of issues would be dropped and that would be the end of things.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #837 on: December 11, 2019, 01:19:50 PM »
The point about Clinton is that her misdeeds tend to be brought up as a defense of Trump, or at best to denigrate the sincerity of Trump's critics. It usually ends up sounding like "who cares about the President's corruption, the person who lost was also corrupt!" That's worth talking about, sure, but that doesn't mean we can't be concerned with the guy whose corruption is current and on-going. It especially doesn't mean we should sideline every conversation about Trump for two-minute-hate on Clinton.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #838 on: December 11, 2019, 03:33:59 PM »
The point about Clinton is that her misdeeds tend to be brought up as a defense of Trump, or at best to denigrate the sincerity of Trump's critics. It usually ends up sounding like "who cares about the President's corruption, the person who lost was also corrupt!" That's worth talking about, sure, but that doesn't mean we can't be concerned with the guy whose corruption is current and on-going. It especially doesn't mean we should sideline every conversation about Trump for two-minute-hate on Clinton.

But isn't the issue about having consistent standards? If the standard is "we'll throw your guy to the dogs but our guy is unassailable" then there's no reason to take any claims seriously made by that side. They've shown their stripes. Establishing a consistent standard is actually required as a first priority in order to anyone to take anyone seriously. Arguing that there's a double standard isn't a sideline or a distraction; it's the main event.

That being said, I was wondering about the logic of trying to impeach Trump for interfering in the 2020 election. Couldn't it be argued that the impeachment proceeding is analogous to Trump's desire to investigate Biden? If standards are to be consistent, wouldn't be perhaps be arguable that trying to impeach Trump is also an act of intereference in the 2020 election? If no one believes Trump was really concerned about Biden's conduct in 2016, maybe it would be fair to also not believe that the impeachment process is really about Trump's past conduct. Maybe either both should be considered as 2020 interference, or neither.

NobleHunter

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« Reply #839 on: December 11, 2019, 04:20:18 PM »
The problem is that it's being taken as a given that there's a double standard and so no criticism of Trump is valid unless accompanied by ritually burning Clinton in effigy.

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That being said, I was wondering about the logic of trying to impeach Trump for interfering in the 2020 election. Couldn't it be argued that the impeachment proceeding is analogous to Trump's desire to investigate Biden? If standards are to be consistent, wouldn't be perhaps be arguable that trying to impeach Trump is also an act of intereference in the 2020 election? If no one believes Trump was really concerned about Biden's conduct in 2016, maybe it would be fair to also not believe that the impeachment process is really about Trump's past conduct. Maybe either both should be considered as 2020 interference, or neither.

No. Trump was abusing his authority over congressional mandated spending to attack his political rival. Congress is exercising the most significant check on Presidential tyranny.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #840 on: December 11, 2019, 04:44:08 PM »
The point about Clinton is that her misdeeds tend to be brought up as a defense of Trump, or at best to denigrate the sincerity of Trump's critics. It usually ends up sounding like "who cares about the President's corruption, the person who lost was also corrupt!" That's worth talking about, sure, but that doesn't mean we can't be concerned with the guy whose corruption is current and on-going. It especially doesn't mean we should sideline every conversation about Trump for two-minute-hate on Clinton.

But isn't the issue about having consistent standards? If the standard is "we'll throw your guy to the dogs but our guy is unassailable" then there's no reason to take any claims seriously made by that side. They've shown their stripes. Establishing a consistent standard is actually required as a first priority in order to anyone to take anyone seriously. Arguing that there's a double standard isn't a sideline or a distraction; it's the main event.

Its politics, the Democrats gave decided this play is one that will energize their base, and demoralize/demotivate the Republican-inclined voters from voting in 2016. They're not concerned about giving the appearance of blatant hypocrisy, if anything, they're accusing those who speak on Trump's behalf as the ones being hypocrites. Which goes back to playing well to their political base and serving to demoralize the Republican base. As it puts them in a position of trying to defend the morally grey while they pretend the issue is black and white.

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That being said, I was wondering about the logic of trying to impeach Trump for interfering in the 2020 election. Couldn't it be argued that the impeachment proceeding is analogous to Trump's desire to investigate Biden? If standards are to be consistent, wouldn't be perhaps be arguable that trying to impeach Trump is also an act of intereference in the 2020 election? If no one believes Trump was really concerned about Biden's conduct in 2016, maybe it would be fair to also not believe that the impeachment process is really about Trump's past conduct. Maybe either both should be considered as 2020 interference, or neither.

I'd agree with you, most conservatives and many independents are likely to agree as well. It was a blatant political move to use the Impeachment process to achieve a political end, with the sole intent of influencing the 2020 election with it, the moment they started impeachment proceedings on the basis of a Whistleblower's Report they hadn't even been able to legally read at the time they did so.

And they've been deflecting on that front because what they're doing is "different" from what Trump did because he involved a foreign government, while their process is entirely domestic in nature. For them and their base, that is all that evidently matters.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #841 on: December 11, 2019, 04:49:04 PM »
The problem is that it's being taken as a given that there's a double standard and so no criticism of Trump is valid unless accompanied by ritually burning Clinton in effigy.

No, in this case, the ritual burnings would involve the current leadership of the Democratic House of the Representatives. Hillary is a distraction with no relevance to what is happening now.

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No. Trump was abusing his authority over congressional mandated spending to attack his political rival. Congress is exercising the most significant check on Presidential tyranny.

How so? The aid was delivered within the legally obligated time frame  They haven't even managed to connect his action with 2020 in any testimony that would be admissible in a jury trial. Heck, it's questionable that much of the testimony(not to be confused with other evidence--see call summary) they have in regards to 2016 would be admissible in such a trial. And considering he's "a threat to democracy" in association with the 2020 elections this presents a considerable problem for the Democrats to overcome. Something that should be plainly evident to anyone who isn't being a blatant partisan on the matter.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #842 on: December 11, 2019, 05:02:22 PM »
How so? The aid was delivered within the legally obligated time frame  They haven't even managed to connect his action with 2020 in any testimony that would be admissible in a jury trial. Heck, it's questionable that much of the testimony(not to be confused with other evidence--see call summary) they have in regards to 2016 would be admissible in such a trial. And considering he's "a threat to democracy" in association with the 2020 elections this presents a considerable problem for the Democrats to overcome. Something that should be plainly evident to anyone who isn't being a blatant partisan on the matter.

I've heard Congress actually had to amend things to get the money spent in time. Not to mention the money was supposed to be spent when Ukraine met certain legal obligations not at the President's whim. It was delayed and Trump's defenders have been notably inconsistent about the reasons for the delay.

It's a bit rich to disregard the evidence as hearsay or speculation when the people who would be able to offer direct testimony are obeying the alleged perpetrator's orders not to testify.

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #843 on: December 11, 2019, 05:24:57 PM »
It's a bit rich to disregard the evidence as hearsay or speculation when the people who would be able to offer direct testimony are obeying the alleged perpetrator's orders not to testify.

I'm expecting they will testify to congress, once called as a witness in the Senate.

The Democrats turned it into a highly adversarial process the moment they jumped straight to Impeachment, and I don't fault the President for forcing it through the Courts as a consequence of that decision by the Democrats.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #844 on: December 11, 2019, 05:34:22 PM »
You don't fault the President for denying Congress exculpatory evidence?

TheDeamon

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #845 on: December 11, 2019, 06:04:32 PM »
You don't fault the President for denying Congress exculpatory evidence?

As keeps being brought up:

Impeachment is a political process. If the President decides he wants to wait until it goes before the Senate to demonstrate that such evidence, that is likely to be within his political authority to do so, if the Democrats chose not to wait for the courts.

Last I checked, the Senate is a part of Congress. So he isn't denying it to Congress, he's simply denying the House access to (Executive Privileged) protected information while the House of Representatives goes about pursuing an unjust and political prosecution.

NobleHunter

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« Reply #846 on: December 11, 2019, 06:15:27 PM »
I find it telling that your response is to justify it by saying that Trump is allowed to do it. That has precious little to with whether or not he should. If he has proof that the House is "pursuing an unjust and political prosecution" he should present it so as to not waste everyone's time. It makes Trump as guilty of misusing the mechanism of government for partisan games as you claim the House is.

TheDeamon

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« Reply #847 on: December 11, 2019, 06:29:35 PM »
I find it telling that your response is to justify it by saying that Trump is allowed to do it. That has precious little to with whether or not he should. If he has proof that the House is "pursuing an unjust and political prosecution" he should present it so as to not waste everyone's time. It makes Trump as guilty of misusing the mechanism of government for partisan games as you claim the House is.

I consider it the system largely working as intended by the founders. Ultimately, it'll be the voters that decide things, in November.

Fenring

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #848 on: December 11, 2019, 06:31:24 PM »
If he has proof that the House is "pursuing an unjust and political prosecution" he should present it so as to not waste everyone's time.

How would he present proof of something where (a) it requires guessing about their intent, and (b) the evidence of their side of things may not be disclosed by them until all the cards are on the table? It's not like a discovery in court where both sides know what evidence there is in advance of a trial. In this situation Trump and the House both can (and almost certainly do) withhold private knowledge and details until it's worth it for them to reveal them. From what I'm hearing it sounds like this is based on the nature of the process. You don't even have to assume underhanded motives to people who would behave in this way, it's just superior strategy.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ukraine
« Reply #849 on: December 11, 2019, 06:40:43 PM »
He'd present proof by letting those first-hand witnesses testify that everyone's hearsay and suppositions are full of it. It may be politically advantageous for Trump and the Republicans but it demonstrates a certain hypocrisy when it comes to their pious complaints about partisan maneuverings.