Author Topic: United States of Russia?  (Read 185047 times)

gentmach

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1550 on: May 23, 2018, 03:46:31 PM »
@Wexler Thank you sir. We can agree that we should hold our politicians to higher standards.

@MasterStache I'm not defending the indefensible. We can do our best efforts and still come up short.

@sol That is the thing I was talking about before we went on a tangent. There was a second meeting at Trump tower, this time with Saudi and UAE people offering help.

Now since we can agree that foreign intervention in our elections (even offering to) is absolutely unacceptable. So I expect to hear Democrats demanding investigations, sanctions and expelling diplomats.

Even our allies must be held to account for this ghastly tresspass.

One might also expect Republicans to demand the same things.  In normal world.

The world has always been mad. You just never noticed.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1551 on: May 23, 2018, 03:54:30 PM »
Well shit. I guess we should just throw in the towel.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1552 on: May 23, 2018, 06:14:14 PM »
Well shit. I guess we should just throw in the towel.

That's the reasoning that got Trump elected.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1553 on: May 24, 2018, 04:50:16 AM »
@Wexler Thank you sir. We can agree that we should hold our politicians to higher standards.

@MasterStache I'm not defending the indefensible. We can do our best efforts and still come up short.

@sol That is the thing I was talking about before we went on a tangent. There was a second meeting at Trump tower, this time with Saudi and UAE people offering help.

Now since we can agree that foreign intervention in our elections (even offering to) is absolutely unacceptable. So I expect to hear Democrats demanding investigations, sanctions and expelling diplomats.

Even our allies must be held to account for this ghastly tresspass.

One might also expect Republicans to demand the same things.  In normal world.

The world has always been mad. You just never noticed.

In other words, they get a free pass. They sure didn't hold back with Benghazi. On all 8 investigations. 

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1554 on: May 24, 2018, 05:54:01 AM »
@Wexler Thank you sir. We can agree that we should hold our politicians to higher standards.

@MasterStache I'm not defending the indefensible. We can do our best efforts and still come up short.

@sol That is the thing I was talking about before we went on a tangent. There was a second meeting at Trump tower, this time with Saudi and UAE people offering help.

Now since we can agree that foreign intervention in our elections (even offering to) is absolutely unacceptable. So I expect to hear Democrats demanding investigations, sanctions and expelling diplomats.

Even our allies must be held to account for this ghastly tresspass.

One might also expect Republicans to demand the same things.  In normal world.

The world has always been mad. You just never noticed.

In other words, they get a free pass. They sure didn't hold back with Benghazi. On all 8 investigations.

Speaking of Benghazi, Pompeo's latest testimony - thi time in from of the House Foreign Affairs Committee over the security of diplomats abroad - got pretty testy. Pompeo argued that diplomatic security was a primary concern of his and that his 45% proposed cut in security did not undercut this in any way. Rep Meeks (D - NY) and Pompeo had a testy exchange when Meeks said that Pompeo did not bring up security once in his Senate confirmation hearing, despite grilling HRC about it in hours of testimony and despite him wanting to cut the security budget by 45%.  Pompeo countered that dollars spent don't matter.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1555 on: May 24, 2018, 06:41:03 AM »
@Wexler Thank you sir. We can agree that we should hold our politicians to higher standards.

@MasterStache I'm not defending the indefensible. We can do our best efforts and still come up short.

@sol That is the thing I was talking about before we went on a tangent. There was a second meeting at Trump tower, this time with Saudi and UAE people offering help.

Now since we can agree that foreign intervention in our elections (even offering to) is absolutely unacceptable. So I expect to hear Democrats demanding investigations, sanctions and expelling diplomats.

Even our allies must be held to account for this ghastly tresspass.

One might also expect Republicans to demand the same things.  In normal world.

The world has always been mad. You just never noticed.

In other words, they get a free pass. They sure didn't hold back with Benghazi. On all 8 investigations.

Speaking of Benghazi, Pompeo's latest testimony - thi time in from of the House Foreign Affairs Committee over the security of diplomats abroad - got pretty testy. Pompeo argued that diplomatic security was a primary concern of his and that his 45% proposed cut in security did not undercut this in any way. Rep Meeks (D - NY) and Pompeo had a testy exchange when Meeks said that Pompeo did not bring up security once in his Senate confirmation hearing, despite grilling HRC about it in hours of testimony and despite him wanting to cut the security budget by 45%.  Pompeo countered that dollars spent don't matter.

This exchange alone should be enough to disqualify Pompeo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1556 on: May 24, 2018, 07:14:38 AM »
What gets me is the selective justification for budgetary increases and decreases.  This WH has argued that our Military needs $52B+, Homeland security needs another $3B, and Veterans affairs needs another $4.4B.  In these cases more money is urgently needed to improve function and fix problems 'neglected' by the previous administration.

At the same time they argue that we can diplomatic security (-$1.6B), education (-$9.8B) and others, and use vitually the same argument but with the opposite conclusion - namely that they are in bad shape because of neglect from the previous administration, but in this case less money is what is needed to solve these problems.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1557 on: May 24, 2018, 07:47:04 AM »
With Kushner's new permanent security clearance approved, it would seem that he's no longer a focus of the Mueller probe, no?
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1558 on: May 24, 2018, 08:05:24 AM »
With Kushner's new permanent security clearance approved, it would seem that he's no longer a focus of the Mueller probe, no?
Unless he (and Trump) are being lulled.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1559 on: May 24, 2018, 08:17:41 AM »
Possible, Kushner's attorney mentioned an additional 7 hour meeting with Mueller's team in April, and claims that Kushner's businesses were not a topic of discussion, but didn't elaborate on what the discussion was about. The attorney also failed to indicate what level of clearance Kushner now has. His temporary clearance was revoked in February, and is now being described as "restored".

Perhaps he's not a target of Mueller's probe, or perhaps Mueller isn't ready to share his findings with any part of the administration that made the security clearance determination. Remember Mueller's probe is mostly siloed away from the permanent investigative federal agencies. Presumably only Mueller and Rosenstein know the full extent of the investigation to date (Mueller's team and those interviewed and/or subpoenaed to the grand jury individually know only parts related to their work), and I honestly don't know if Rosenstein had to approve Kushner's clearance.

It certainly gives Trump a PR win, and it may very well be that Kushner is only guilty of repeatedly failing to disclose foreign contacts, requiring numerous revisions to his disclosures over the first year of this administration.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1560 on: May 24, 2018, 08:25:34 AM »
With Kushner's new permanent security clearance approved, it would seem that he's no longer a focus of the Mueller probe, no?
Unless he (and Trump) are being lulled.
I'm skeptical the FBI would take this approach - giving someone very high security clearance and access to daily presidential briefings would be too risky if they thought that information could later be compromised. 
Unlike his FIL, Kushner did divest his holdings. This doesn't mean Mueller won't find some criminal activity in his past - just that in the FBI's view other nations can't leverage him now.
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sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1561 on: May 24, 2018, 08:38:17 AM »
With Kushner's new permanent security clearance approved, it would seem that he's no longer a focus of the Mueller probe, no?
Unless he (and Trump) are being lulled.
I'm skeptical the FBI would take this approach - giving someone very high security clearance and access to daily presidential briefings would be too risky if they thought that information could later be compromised. 

You're all thinking about security clearances in the wrong way.  A clearance is not a privilege, it is a burden.  It subjects you to all kinds of rules and regulations, limits your foreign travel options, requires reporting of your personal dealings, and gives the government a lifetime option of interviewing and possibly imprisoning you. 

In this case, I suspect that Trump basically voided the "access to information" part by just giving Kushner full access to classified documents, meetings, and systems.  Whether or not the FBI thinks this is prudent doesn't matter, because Trump was just going to ignore them anyway.  Since Kushner was going to be exposed to classified information whether or not he's actually a Russian spy (or whatever), it makes sense to then give him the clearance and make it official.  That way you can at least keep tabs on him forever.

A regular citizen without a clearance who discovers classified information (say in an improperly redacted government report) and then publishes that information so our enemies can find it has not technically committed a crime.  A person with a security clearance who does that HAS committed a crime, and will disappear into a deep dark hole.  If Kushner is going to have access to classified information by virtue of living/working in the west wing, then I want him to have a clearance.  Also an ankle bracelet.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1562 on: May 24, 2018, 08:53:01 AM »
With Kushner's new permanent security clearance approved, it would seem that he's no longer a focus of the Mueller probe, no?
Unless he (and Trump) are being lulled.
I'm skeptical the FBI would take this approach - giving someone very high security clearance and access to daily presidential briefings would be too risky if they thought that information could later be compromised. 

You're all thinking about security clearances in the wrong way.  A clearance is not a privilege, it is a burden.  It subjects you to all kinds of rules and regulations, limits your foreign travel options, requires reporting of your personal dealings, and gives the government a lifetime option of interviewing and possibly imprisoning you. 

In this case, I suspect that Trump basically voided the "access to information" part by just giving Kushner full access to classified documents, meetings, and systems.  Whether or not the FBI thinks this is prudent doesn't matter, because Trump was just going to ignore them anyway.  Since Kushner was going to be exposed to classified information whether or not he's actually a Russian spy (or whatever), it makes sense to then give him the clearance and make it official. That way you can at least keep tabs on him forever.

A regular citizen without a clearance who discovers classified information (say in an improperly redacted government report) and then publishes that information so our enemies can find it has not technically committed a crime.  A person with a security clearance who does that HAS committed a crime, and will disappear into a deep dark hole.  If Kushner is going to have access to classified information by virtue of living/working in the west wing, then I want him to have a clearance.  Also an ankle bracelet.
As usual Sol - you've brought up a thoughtful counterpoint.
I guess time will tell whether Kushner ever winds up in jail for divulging classified material or enriching himself or his family with this information.

ETA:  If Trump had given Kushner access to classified material, would he - as President and Commander in Chief - broken any laws? IDK...
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 08:56:00 AM by nereo »
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DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1563 on: May 24, 2018, 09:30:30 AM »
Kushner lied on his SF-86 more than 40 times.  That's a felony.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1564 on: May 24, 2018, 09:38:01 AM »
Kushner lied on his SF-86 more than 40 times.  That's a felony.
Perhaps, but not the question I was asking...
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gentmach

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1565 on: May 25, 2018, 08:45:47 AM »
Perhaps it is a good time to repeat what our own agencies have said about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

From the joint-report filed by the FBI, CIA and NSA in January 2017:
Quote

    We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

    We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

From the Senate Intelligence Committee's co-chairs Burr (R - NC) and Warner (D - VA), filed just last week:
Quote
The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton

To the best of my knowledge, nothing even remotely similar has been found and disclosed about Saudi, UAE, Israeli, or any other nation's efforts to interfere with our elections.  For any presidential election.

Sources:
US Intelligence Agencies report (opens PDF)
US Senate Intelligence Committee Statement (opens PDF)

That seems rather narrow and specific doesn't it?

We know there was an informant in the Trump campaign. One foreign company was hired while a second foreign company offered assistance. Niether of those were mentioned though.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1566 on: May 25, 2018, 08:50:31 AM »
Perhaps it is a good time to repeat what our own agencies have said about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

From the joint-report filed by the FBI, CIA and NSA in January 2017:
Quote

    We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

    We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

From the Senate Intelligence Committee's co-chairs Burr (R - NC) and Warner (D - VA), filed just last week:
Quote
The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton

To the best of my knowledge, nothing even remotely similar has been found and disclosed about Saudi, UAE, Israeli, or any other nation's efforts to interfere with our elections.  For any presidential election.

Sources:
US Intelligence Agencies report (opens PDF)
US Senate Intelligence Committee Statement (opens PDF)

That seems rather narrow and specific doesn't it?

We know there was an informant in the Trump campaign. One foreign company was hired while a second foreign company offered assistance. Niether of those were mentioned though.

Source?

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/389274-dems-after-briefing-no-evidence-spy-placed-in-trump-campaign

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1567 on: May 25, 2018, 08:54:25 AM »
Perhaps it is a good time to repeat what our own agencies have said about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

From the joint-report filed by the FBI, CIA and NSA in January 2017:
Quote

    We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

    We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

From the Senate Intelligence Committee's co-chairs Burr (R - NC) and Warner (D - VA), filed just last week:
Quote
The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton

To the best of my knowledge, nothing even remotely similar has been found and disclosed about Saudi, UAE, Israeli, or any other nation's efforts to interfere with our elections.  For any presidential election.

Sources:
US Intelligence Agencies report (opens PDF)
US Senate Intelligence Committee Statement (opens PDF)

That seems rather narrow and specific doesn't it?

We know there was an informant in the Trump campaign. One foreign company was hired while a second foreign company offered assistance. Niether of those were mentioned though.
The words I would use to describe it are precise and unequivocal.

Our own agencies - those with missions and budgets specifically allocated to detecting such things - are releasing public statements that an unprecedented and coordinated effort by the Russian State to interfere and influence our federal election in 2016.
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DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1568 on: May 25, 2018, 09:30:23 AM »
The tin-foil hatters are smarter than our Intelligence Agencies.  LOL.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1569 on: May 25, 2018, 10:19:22 AM »
let's keep the discussion civil and not resort to name calling (whether intentionally directed at specific people or a broader group)
(forum rule #4)
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gentmach

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1570 on: May 25, 2018, 11:21:22 AM »
Perhaps it is a good time to repeat what our own agencies have said about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

From the joint-report filed by the FBI, CIA and NSA in January 2017:
Quote

    We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

    We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

From the Senate Intelligence Committee's co-chairs Burr (R - NC) and Warner (D - VA), filed just last week:
Quote
The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton

To the best of my knowledge, nothing even remotely similar has been found and disclosed about Saudi, UAE, Israeli, or any other nation's efforts to interfere with our elections.  For any presidential election.

Sources:
US Intelligence Agencies report (opens PDF)
US Senate Intelligence Committee Statement (opens PDF)

That seems rather narrow and specific doesn't it?

We know there was an informant in the Trump campaign. One foreign company was hired while a second foreign company offered assistance. Niether of those were mentioned though.

Source?

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/389274-dems-after-briefing-no-evidence-spy-placed-in-trump-campaign

https://theintercept.com/2018/05/19/the-fbi-informant-who-monitored-the-trump-campaign-stefan-halper-oversaw-a-cia-spying-operation-in-the-1980-presidential-election/

Also links to the Washington Post and New York Times in that article.

@nereo

Yes. They keep releasing information on Russia. Supposedly Putin is the only one with a means, motive and opportunity to pull this off.

However,

"Collusion or Not, Saudi Arabia and the UAE Are Getting Everything They Want From Trump
The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are longtime U.S. allies, but neither was happy with the Obama administration’s foreign policy. President Obama not only set up the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, their enemy, but supported the Arab Spring — a groundswell movement which targeted the region’s dictatorships — and opted against intervening more forcefully in the Syrian civil war. During the first year plus of the Trump administration, however, the two countries have gotten virtually everything they wanted.


President Trump has closely aligned himself with both countries, making Saudi Arabia the bizarre first stop of his first foreign trip as president. Almost right after he left, the U.S. shockingly abandoned another key ally in the Gulf, Qatar, as Saudi Arabia and the UAE led an effort to isolate, punish, and contain the rival country, cutting off all economic and diplomatic ties, and even hacking into Qatari state media and planting fake news to spur the crisis. Trump supported the blockade, despite well-reasoned pushback from State Department and Defense Department officials, and despite the fact that Qatar is probably America’s most important military ally in the Gulf, as the U.S. Central Command maintains its forward headquarters there. While officials scrambled to contain the damage, Trump nonchalantly tweeted that Qatar was funding terrorism, echoing the Saudi and Emirati line. Instead of bringing Qatar back into the fold and easing tensions, the blockade drove Qatar deeper into the open arms of Iran."

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/05/understanding-the-new-trump-campaign-collusion-story.html

So using the same metrics that are used for Russia, (secret meeting, getting what they want, Trump never criticizing them) Saudi Arabia appears in the same boat.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1571 on: May 25, 2018, 12:14:31 PM »
@gentmach
I don't dispute that all countries try to curry favors with the United States, nor that multiple countries have had apparent success by personally appealing to DJT.

I do strongly disagree that 'using the same metrics' this is 'in the same boat'.  It is NOT the same boat.  We're not even comparing mega-yacht to a kayak. Russia has been revealed to have systematically broken both US laws and international treaties in a coordinated effort to disrupt and influence our democratic elections.  By all evidence these other countries sucked up to Trump and got favorable policy responses. The former is nefarious cyber attacks; the latter is the diplomacy of kissing ass. It's entirely possible that Trump (the US president) violated the emoluments clause (we will have to see), which is very different from Russia's actions.

As I read your posts and the article you linked it becomes clear that you are, at least in part, talking about whether DJT colluded with other nations, and if so that he may have done as much with more than just Russia.  Its possible and we shall see.  But this focus on whether DJT specifically - not just his campaign - colluded entirely misses the hostile actions of Russia. Perhaps when you said "Russia-gate" upthread you were specifically talking about collusion; that's why I asked for clarification.  Regardless, Russia's involvement  been established by criminal indictments and by four major intelligence entities  - so 'Russia-gate' resulted in some 1st-class news.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1572 on: May 25, 2018, 12:48:10 PM »
But this focus on whether DJT specifically - not just his campaign - colluded entirely misses the hostile actions of Russia.
Good point.

It's equally wrong to say "Russia broke some laws therefore Trump broke some laws" as it is to say "Trump didn't break any laws (concerning Russian activities) therefore Russia didn't break any laws."

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1573 on: May 25, 2018, 01:37:06 PM »
Perhaps it is a good time to repeat what our own agencies have said about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

From the joint-report filed by the FBI, CIA and NSA in January 2017:
Quote

    We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

    We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

From the Senate Intelligence Committee's co-chairs Burr (R - NC) and Warner (D - VA), filed just last week:
Quote
The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton

To the best of my knowledge, nothing even remotely similar has been found and disclosed about Saudi, UAE, Israeli, or any other nation's efforts to interfere with our elections.  For any presidential election.

Sources:
US Intelligence Agencies report (opens PDF)
US Senate Intelligence Committee Statement (opens PDF)

That seems rather narrow and specific doesn't it?

We know there was an informant in the Trump campaign. One foreign company was hired while a second foreign company offered assistance. Niether of those were mentioned though.

As there should have been. You have Russia trying to recruit Carter page as an intelligence asset (Halper knew Page from a conference on US foreign policy). Then you have Papadopoulos drunkenly bragging to an Australian diplomat about Russia offering him “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, which he later lied about. I would say the FBI had every reason to suspect members of the Trump campaign and possibly Trump himself were "in bed" with Russia. The informant wasn't there to destroy or undermine his campaign as Trump would like you to believe. He is doing everything he can to discredit this investigation. As many folks have been saying for quite some time, he is not acting like an innocent person.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1574 on: May 25, 2018, 04:45:10 PM »
@gentmach
I don't dispute that all countries try to curry favors with the United States, nor that multiple countries have had apparent success by personally appealing to DJT.

I do strongly disagree that 'using the same metrics' this is 'in the same boat'.  It is NOT the same boat.  We're not even comparing mega-yacht to a kayak. Russia has been revealed to have systematically broken both US laws and international treaties in a coordinated effort to disrupt and influence our democratic elections.  By all evidence these other countries sucked up to Trump and got favorable policy responses. The former is nefarious cyber attacks; the latter is the diplomacy of kissing ass. It's entirely possible that Trump (the US president) violated the emoluments clause (we will have to see), which is very different from Russia's actions.

As I read your posts and the article you linked it becomes clear that you are, at least in part, talking about whether DJT colluded with other nations, and if so that he may have done as much with more than just Russia.  Its possible and we shall see.  But this focus on whether DJT specifically - not just his campaign - colluded entirely misses the hostile actions of Russia. Perhaps when you said "Russia-gate" upthread you were specifically talking about collusion; that's why I asked for clarification.  Regardless, Russia's involvement  been established by criminal indictments and by four major intelligence entities  - so 'Russia-gate' resulted in some 1st-class news.

It seemed straight forward when it was only Russia who interfered. But now we have two other foreign groups that have interfered. Groups with possible connections and resources. It doesn't even need to be state actors to interfere  because the tools are available online.

The guilty pleas appear to be more in response to the crippling cost of defense more than anything.

The FBI, NSA and CIA are three agencies. You're saying four. NPR still says seventeen. It's getting confusing.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1575 on: May 25, 2018, 05:04:53 PM »
Quote
We know there was an informant in the Trump campaign.

As there should have been.

Just to be clear, we do NOT know that there was an "informant" in the Trump campaign.  We do know that many campaign staffers and associates were blatantly violating campaign laws, including in some cases in ways so criminal they are currently in prison, and that the FBI has been investigating these crimes since roughly the time he won the primary.  Others have agreed to testify against the campaign in exchange for reduced sentences (e.g. Flynn, Papadopolous, Gates, Pinedo, Zwaan).  All of those people provided "information" to the FBI about ongoing criminal activities.  That does not make them "informants".

Other people have released supposedly confidential information about the campaign but have not been charged with crimes (Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, etc.) and they are not informants either.  They are all staunch Trump supporters to this day. 

Trump's conspiracy seems to suggest that the FBI or other federal law enforcement agency planted a law enforcement officer within the Trump campaign for the purpose of discerning criminal activity, but this is a somewhat nebulous charge when you're talking about a campaign that willingly and gleefully accepted FBI security details for multiple persons (because it is flattering).  ALL of those FBI agents were looking for criminal activity, that's their job.  That doesn't make them spies, that makes the FBI agents.  Invited FBI agents.  If a presidential candidate who is under FBI protection commits a crime in front of an FBI agent, that agent is of course going to report the crime he saw.  He would be negligent not to.  That still doesn't make him an informant.

And in the current "campaign spy" conspiracy theory, classified briefings on what really happened caused Democrats to say "Yep, the FBI sent agents to interview Trump campaign staffers involved in criminal activity" and Republicans to say "Uhhhhh, nothing to see here, move along..."  If that isn't definitive resolution for you, what is?

So I don't know what Trump is really trying to say, and I suspect that he doesn't either.  This whole thing reminds me of the time he said Ted Cruz's father assassinated Kennedy, or the nine year period when he insisted Obama was a secret Kenyan Muslim, or that Clinton was so sick she was weeks away from death, or that he actually won the popular vote if you discount illegal immigrants, or the Muslims danced on rooftops on 9-11, or that Obama wire tapped Trump tower.  It's just wanton just lies, free of consequence.  He requires no evidence, and he only says these things because they play to the fears of his most rabid supporters.  I suspect that the "informant" conspiracy theory is the same game all over again, completely fabricated but it pushes all the right buttons for Billy Bob in the MAGA hat who still believes the evil Obummer took away all our freedoms.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1576 on: May 25, 2018, 05:33:55 PM »

It seemed straight forward when it was only Russia who interfered. But now we have two other foreign groups that have interfered. Groups with possible connections and resources. It doesn't even need to be state actors to interfere  because the tools are available online.

Russia is the State where we have conclusive statements and mounds of evidence that they interfered, breaking US laws, international treaties and diplomatic norms. There is nothing even comparable for the other nations mentioned. 
If you are trying to say we must be vigilant of other entities, then I agree with you.  If you are saying equivalent illegal acts have already been committed, what evidence can you provide?

The guilty pleas appear to be more in response to the crippling cost of defense more than anything.
I disagree.  The guilty pleas are almost certainly the result of mounds of evidence and collaborating testimony that these individuals broke the law. Flynn & Papadopoulos lied under oath. Pinedo set up bank accounts under stolen identities, which were then used by Russians (in violation of US banking laws). Gates laundered tens of millions from Ukraine through several different countries while not registering as a foreign but working as a lobbyist abroad.
You can read each of their plea deals online and get a sense of what they did and what evidence was against them.
Generally speaking, people who are on the up-and-up do not go bankrupt defending themselves, because the charges can be tossed out. The insinuation that these individuals pleaded guilty because they could not afford competent defense counsil is aburd; Papadopoulos & Gates are worth tens of milions and could certainly have afforded the best legal council for years.  Flynn is similarily worth several million and has a lucrative military pension. By pleading guilty they face jail time and (particularly Gates & Pinedo) massive fines; guilty pleas will actually cost them far more than if they had paid for top-tier legal teams and beaten the charges.


The FBI, NSA and CIA are three agencies. You're saying four. NPR still says seventeen. It's getting confusing.
I provided the statements released earlier.  The 'fourth' in my statement is the US Senate Intelligence Committee, an entity which has the power to investigate, subpoena and has access to classified material.  The 17 agencies that NPR is referencing are are the 16 federal agencies that form the US Intelligence community plus the Senate intelligence committee, led by Dan Coats who has also released numerous statements consolidated from the IC detailing Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1577 on: May 25, 2018, 06:29:20 PM »

It seemed straight forward when it was only Russia who interfered. But now we have two other foreign groups that have interfered. Groups with possible connections and resources. It doesn't even need to be state actors to interfere  because the tools are available online.

Russia is the State where we have conclusive statements and mounds of evidence that they interfered, breaking US laws, international treaties and diplomatic norms. There is nothing even comparable for the other nations mentioned. 
If you are trying to say we must be vigilant of other entities, then I agree with you.  If you are saying equivalent illegal acts have already been committed, what evidence can you provide?

The guilty pleas appear to be more in response to the crippling cost of defense more than anything.
I disagree.  The guilty pleas are almost certainly the result of mounds of evidence and collaborating testimony that these individuals broke the law. Flynn & Papadopoulos lied under oath. Pinedo set up bank accounts under stolen identities, which were then used by Russians (in violation of US banking laws). Gates laundered tens of millions from Ukraine through several different countries while not registering as a foreign but working as a lobbyist abroad.
You can read each of their plea deals online and get a sense of what they did and what evidence was against them.
Generally speaking, people who are on the up-and-up do not go bankrupt defending themselves, because the charges can be tossed out. The insinuation that these individuals pleaded guilty because they could not afford competent defense counsil is aburd; Papadopoulos & Gates are worth tens of milions and could certainly have afforded the best legal council for years.  Flynn is similarily worth several million and has a lucrative military pension. By pleading guilty they face jail time and (particularly Gates & Pinedo) massive fines; guilty pleas will actually cost them far more than if they had paid for top-tier legal teams and beaten the charges.


The FBI, NSA and CIA are three agencies. You're saying four. NPR still says seventeen. It's getting confusing.
I provided the statements released earlier.  The 'fourth' in my statement is the US Senate Intelligence Committee, an entity which has the power to investigate, subpoena and has access to classified material.  The 17 agencies that NPR is referencing are are the 16 federal agencies that form the US Intelligence community plus the Senate intelligence committee, led by Dan Coats who has also released numerous statements consolidated from the IC detailing Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

"It is unclear, however, whether a proposal was ever executed, and details on who commissioned it remain in dispute, the Times reported.

On Sunday, Warner also said he would like to understand whether the reported meeting was indicative of a pattern that should be investigated.

"There's this pattern that other countries were offering, and clearly the Trump campaign was receptive to these kinds of offers -- how that is not the beginnings of evidence of stuff that needs to be investigated," he said.

The House Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat, California Rep. Adam Schiff, also said Sunday that the specifics of the meeting with the Gulf emissary, as they were described by The New York Times, "were certainly new" to his committee"

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/20/politics/mark-warner-trump-tweets-russia-investigation-cnntv/index.html


We've got a Democrat from the Senate intelligence committee's saying more investigation is necessary. The house Democrat didn't have the specifics. If they don't know the extent of interference, how can we?
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1578 on: May 25, 2018, 06:36:20 PM »
We've got a Democrat from the Senate intelligence committee's saying more investigation is necessary. The house Democrat didn't have the specifics. If they don't know the extent of interference, how can we?
You are not being logical.  You sound as though you are trying to say "we know that it started, we don't know where it ends, and so because we don't know where it ends we can't say that it's started."  Do you see the problem with that?

You can't deny that there was interference just because we can't yet say how bad the interference was, or how many people or countries were involved.

Although I'd bet that Mueller has a pretty good idea by now.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1579 on: May 25, 2018, 06:48:35 PM »
We've got a Democrat from the Senate intelligence committee's saying more investigation is necessary. The house Democrat didn't have the specifics. If they don't know the extent of interference, how can we?
You are not being logical.  You sound as though you are trying to say "we know that it started, we don't know where it ends, and so because we don't know where it ends we can't say that it's started."  Do you see the problem with that?

You can't deny that there was interference just because we can't yet say how bad the interference was, or how many people or countries were involved.

^This... Plus... I'm also reading this very differently from you, @gentmach. The insinuation above is that TRUMP gave favorable treatment to specific countries after meeting privately with their diplomatic teams. Perhaps this is because he was persuaded by some convincing diplomacy, perhaps this was because he (Trump) was offered certain quid-pro-quos (e.g. fast-tracking permits for his hotels), perhaps it was because they had compromising material on him.  Whichever it may be - and it could be more than one - this was diplomats meeting with Trump & his team to influence policy.  That is very different from hundreds of state-sponsored individuals interfacing directly and under false pretenses with US citizens in a coordinated attempt to sow discord and spread false information about the candidates.
Yes, the former *should* be investigated, and it is entirely possible that only Trump - or even no one at all - actually broke any laws.  But we are certain that Russia did break laws.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1580 on: May 25, 2018, 07:19:14 PM »
We've got a Democrat from the Senate intelligence committee's saying more investigation is necessary. The house Democrat didn't have the specifics. If they don't know the extent of interference, how can we?
You are not being logical.  You sound as though you are trying to say "we know that it started, we don't know where it ends, and so because we don't know where it ends we can't say that it's started."  Do you see the problem with that?

You can't deny that there was interference just because we can't yet say how bad the interference was, or how many people or countries were involved.

Although I'd bet that Mueller has a pretty good idea by now.

I'm not denying there was interference. There was lots of interference. We just went over this.

The way I see it, Democrats have attempted to set themselves up as "Defenders of the American Republic." That where ever foreign interference showed up, Democrats would investigate, sanction and stop it dead.

Now if they sincerely believe that our elections need protection, we know their next move. Investigate. Sanction. Expel diplomats. And beat the drum til we have 5 investigations going on at once.

If the Democrats are covering for the 2016 loss while setting up for midterms, we might get a token investigation, no sanctions, no expelling of diplomats. Nothing as dramatic as what we got with Russia.

Now the ball is in the Democrats court to see what they will do. And considering Trump can't go anywhere without corrupting everything around him, those investigations should be gold mines.

Yes. Trump is corrupt. I understand that Russia interfered. This is more of a litmus test to see how corrupt our whole government is. (Russia being a relatively safe target while Saudi Arabia is probably a potential political minefield.)

Also a quote,  “If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they’ll be with us.” former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/24/the-clinton-campaign-warned-you-about-russia-but-nobody-listened-to-us/?utm_term=.f833841021f2&tid=a_inl
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1581 on: May 26, 2018, 05:21:22 AM »
We've got a Democrat from the Senate intelligence committee's saying more investigation is necessary. The house Democrat didn't have the specifics. If they don't know the extent of interference, how can we?
You are not being logical.  You sound as though you are trying to say "we know that it started, we don't know where it ends, and so because we don't know where it ends we can't say that it's started."  Do you see the problem with that?

You can't deny that there was interference just because we can't yet say how bad the interference was, or how many people or countries were involved.

Although I'd bet that Mueller has a pretty good idea by now.

I'm not denying there was interference. There was lots of interference. We just went over this.

The way I see it, Democrats have attempted to set themselves up as "Defenders of the American Republic." That where ever foreign interference showed up, Democrats would investigate, sanction and stop it dead.

Now if they sincerely believe that our elections need protection, we know their next move. Investigate. Sanction. Expel diplomats. And beat the drum til we have 5 investigations going on at once.

If the Democrats are covering for the 2016 loss while setting up for midterms, we might get a token investigation, no sanctions, no expelling of diplomats. Nothing as dramatic as what we got with Russia.

Now the ball is in the Democrats court to see what they will do. And considering Trump can't go anywhere without corrupting everything around him, those investigations should be gold mines.

Yes. Trump is corrupt. I understand that Russia interfered. This is more of a litmus test to see how corrupt our whole government is. (Russia being a relatively safe target while Saudi Arabia is probably a potential political minefield.)

Also a quote,  “If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they’ll be with us.” former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/24/the-clinton-campaign-warned-you-about-russia-but-nobody-listened-to-us/?utm_term=.f833841021f2&tid=a_inl

If you truly believed that then there isn't any further discussion. Let the investigation play out. Stop trying to make excuses and label Dems. Stop trying to downplay everything and muddy the waters. You are playing the politics game. Not everybody plays that game. There are Republicans supporting this investigation as well. Remember over 30% of Americans still support this President in spite of the lies and corruption. That's scary! 

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1582 on: May 26, 2018, 07:25:11 AM »
We've got a Democrat from the Senate intelligence committee's saying more investigation is necessary. The house Democrat didn't have the specifics. If they don't know the extent of interference, how can we?
You are not being logical.  You sound as though you are trying to say "we know that it started, we don't know where it ends, and so because we don't know where it ends we can't say that it's started."  Do you see the problem with that?

You can't deny that there was interference just because we can't yet say how bad the interference was, or how many people or countries were involved.

Although I'd bet that Mueller has a pretty good idea by now.

I'm not denying there was interference. There was lots of interference. We just went over this.

The way I see it, Democrats have attempted to set themselves up as "Defenders of the American Republic." That where ever foreign interference showed up, Democrats would investigate, sanction and stop it dead.

Now if they sincerely believe that our elections need protection, we know their next move. Investigate. Sanction. Expel diplomats. And beat the drum til we have 5 investigations going on at once.

If the Democrats are covering for the 2016 loss while setting up for midterms, we might get a token investigation, no sanctions, no expelling of diplomats. Nothing as dramatic as what we got with Russia.

Now the ball is in the Democrats court to see what they will do. And considering Trump can't go anywhere without corrupting everything around him, those investigations should be gold mines.

Yes. Trump is corrupt. I understand that Russia interfered. This is more of a litmus test to see how corrupt our whole government is. (Russia being a relatively safe target while Saudi Arabia is probably a potential political minefield.)

Also a quote,  “If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they’ll be with us.” former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/24/the-clinton-campaign-warned-you-about-russia-but-nobody-listened-to-us/?utm_term=.f833841021f2&tid=a_inl

If you truly believed that then there isn't any further discussion. Let the investigation play out. Stop trying to make excuses and label Dems. Stop trying to downplay everything and muddy the waters. You are playing the politics game. Not everybody plays that game. There are Republicans supporting this investigation as well. Remember over 30% of Americans still support this President in spite of the lies and corruption. That's scary!

Yes. We have to let the investigation play out. Thank you all for helping me work on how to frame this.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1583 on: May 26, 2018, 09:46:13 AM »
Remember over 30% of Americans still support this President in spite of the lies and corruption. That's scary!

It's not nearly as scary as you think it is.  That's about the same percentage as pass basic high school math numeracy, and about the same percentage as believe in evolution.  So when you think about, there's this ~40% chunk in the middle of the American spectrum that doesn't believe in evolution, yet still recognizes that Trump is a liar and a crook.  That's pretty good, right?
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1584 on: May 26, 2018, 12:24:54 PM »
Remember over 30% of Americans still support this President in spite of the lies and corruption. That's scary!

It's not nearly as scary as you think it is.  That's about the same percentage as pass basic high school math numeracy, and about the same percentage as believe in evolution.  So when you think about, there's this ~40% chunk in the middle of the American spectrum that doesn't believe in evolution, yet still recognizes that Trump is a liar and a crook.  That's pretty good, right?

I guess. I mean 40% don't believe in evolution doesn't exactly inspire confidence. But I get what you are saying.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1585 on: May 26, 2018, 01:52:58 PM »
I guess. I mean 40% don't believe in evolution doesn't exactly inspire confidence. But I get what you are saying.

Last I checked, it was 70% of people who don't believe in evolution, and 30% who do.  And yet some of that 70% necessarily doesn't support Trump.  That's the only silver lining I can see here.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1586 on: May 26, 2018, 05:30:07 PM »
I guess. I mean 40% don't believe in evolution doesn't exactly inspire confidence. But I get what you are saying.

Last I checked, it was 70% of people who don't believe in evolution, and 30% who do.  And yet some of that 70% necessarily doesn't support Trump.  That's the only silver lining I can see here.

I believe that has changed. When I looked at several polls conducted lately it looks like only roughly 30% believe purely in Creationism and roughly the same number believe purely in natural evolution. A larger percentage believe in God-guided evolution. Belief in pure evolution (non god-guided) has more than double since 1982. So there is hope.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1587 on: May 27, 2018, 06:28:42 PM »

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1588 on: May 28, 2018, 05:05:18 PM »
I guess. I mean 40% don't believe in evolution doesn't exactly inspire confidence. But I get what you are saying.

Last I checked, it was 70% of people who don't believe in evolution, and 30% who do.  And yet some of that 70% necessarily doesn't support Trump.  That's the only silver lining I can see here.

I believe that has changed. When I looked at several polls conducted lately it looks like only roughly 30% believe purely in Creationism and roughly the same number believe purely in natural evolution. A larger percentage believe in God-guided evolution. Belief in pure evolution (non god-guided) has more than double since 1982. So there is hope.

Still shockingly high, but here are numbers as of last year: http://news.gallup.com/poll/210956/belief-creationist-view-humans-new-low.aspx

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1589 on: May 30, 2018, 05:53:24 AM »
More bad news for Micheal Cohen - ~300,000 of his files have already been given to the DA of the southern Distrtict of NY as potential evidence in crimes after clearing review of the 'taint team'. Another million digital documents are set to be released this week from three of Cohen's cell phones.

If nothing else we ought to give Cohen a facepunch for having three cellphones.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1590 on: May 30, 2018, 09:57:39 AM »
More bad news for Micheal Cohen - ~300,000 of his files have already been given to the DA of the southern Distrtict of NY as potential evidence in crimes after clearing review of the 'taint team'. Another million digital documents are set to be released this week from three of Cohen's cell phones.

If nothing else we ought to give Cohen a facepunch for having three cellphones.

Well, to be fair at least one of them probably has to have a keyboard in Cyrillic.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1591 on: June 05, 2018, 08:42:49 AM »
Paul Manafort has now been accused of witness tampering while under house arrest.

Inexplicably he allegedly encouraged several people to lie in their testimony, and communicated with them electronically. Somehow Manafort thought that his communications would not be detected, despite the fact that he's indicted on electronic bank fraud, tax fraud and money launderying (among 15 other charges).  Worse, it was the people whom he contacted who contacted the FBI.

I'm trying to decide whether this was an act of sheer bravado, hubris or stupidity. 
Reminded once again of the saying; It's not the crime that gets you, it's the attempted coverup.

Will this latest failed attempt (and a potential revokeation of his cushy home confinement) cause Manafort to finally give up and cut a plea? Will he try something even more stupid/desperate and dig his hole deeper? Will DJT pardon an indicted conspirator against the US and throw even more gasoline onto this dumpster fire?  stay tuned...
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1592 on: June 05, 2018, 09:50:56 AM »
Paul Manafort has now been accused of witness tampering while under house arrest.

Inexplicably he allegedly encouraged several people to lie in their testimony, and communicated with them electronically. Somehow Manafort thought that his communications would not be detected, despite the fact that he's indicted on electronic bank fraud, tax fraud and money launderying (among 15 other charges).  Worse, it was the people whom he contacted who contacted the FBI.

I'm trying to decide whether this was an act of sheer bravado, hubris or stupidity. 
Reminded once again of the saying; It's not the crime that gets you, it's the attempted coverup.

Will this latest failed attempt (and a potential revokeation of his cushy home confinement) cause Manafort to finally give up and cut a plea? Will he try something even more stupid/desperate and dig his hole deeper? Will DJT pardon an indicted conspirator against the US and throw even more gasoline onto this dumpster fire?  stay tuned...

Honestly, the common thread amongs all of these players is that there is an attitude that the law simply doesn't apply to them; laws are guidelines for rubes.  This week Trump made that point of view absolutely explicit in stating that he has the absolute power to pardon anyone including himself. The deck is generally stacked against law enforcement due to the constraints of due process, so for those who intentionally skirt the law it has been easier to skirt and avoid consequence so long as you don't make yourself too big a target. This may have bred some overconfidence in self for Manafort and company, and made them have too little regard for those on the other side of the law.

Manafort's recent tampering actions are thus entirely consistent with prior, and likely future, actions. Why would expect him to suddenly start obeying the law now?
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1593 on: June 08, 2018, 05:40:47 AM »
Honestly, I'm not sure how much more evidence we need that Russians are dominating certain parts of Washington

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1594 on: June 08, 2018, 12:11:48 PM »
It's *another* Grand Jury Friday.

https://www.justice.gov/file/1070306/download
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1595 on: June 08, 2018, 12:35:51 PM »
Donald Trump wants to include Russia in the G-7

Manafort Associate Konstantin Kilimnik Indicted In Mueller Probe
Robert Mueller’s team also added charges against Paul Manafort.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/manafort-indictment-konstantin-kilmnik_us_5b1ac1afe4b0adfb8268db07

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1596 on: June 08, 2018, 01:02:58 PM »
Donald Trump wants to include Russia in the G-7

Manafort Associate Konstantin Kilimnik Indicted In Mueller Probe
Robert Mueller’s team also added charges against Paul Manafort.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/manafort-indictment-konstantin-kilmnik_us_5b1ac1afe4b0adfb8268db07
Does this mean we finally have confirmation that Kilimnik is "Person A"?

Mueller continues to throw the book at Manafort.  If he only gets the minimum on half these charges its still life for him. He's got to pray for either a pardon or a full acquittal... wonder which is more likely?
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Poundwise

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1597 on: June 11, 2018, 06:31:45 PM »
Donald Trump wants to include Russia in the G-7

Manafort Associate Konstantin Kilimnik Indicted In Mueller Probe
Robert Mueller’s team also added charges against Paul Manafort.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/manafort-indictment-konstantin-kilmnik_us_5b1ac1afe4b0adfb8268db07
Does this mean we finally have confirmation that Kilimnik is "Person A"?

Mueller continues to throw the book at Manafort.  If he only gets the minimum on half these charges its still life for him. He's got to pray for either a pardon or a full acquittal... wonder which is more likely?

It's really important that New York flips the state senate this November.  Then we will be able to close the presidential pardon loophole in double indemnity.  Once that happens, Trump's minions will turn on him.  Tell all your New Yorker friends!

DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1598 on: June 11, 2018, 07:37:13 PM »
This witch hunt has brought about 75 criminal charges against 20 different witches. So weird!
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DavidAnnArbor

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1599 on: June 12, 2018, 08:11:25 PM »
There's also potentially 7 congressional districts in California that can turn Democrat, and at least 2 in Michigan.
Hopefully this will all add up to a party change in the House.
The Senate is a different story, a few Democrats are vulnerable there.