Author Topic: United States of Russia?  (Read 232202 times)

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1650 on: November 15, 2018, 02:57:44 PM »
Trump is back to punching out some batshit crazy Tweets about the Russia meddling probe.

Seems he had another 'Lester Hiolt' moment, this time with the Daily Caller.  When asked about who he might select to be the next AG, Trump pivoted - without being prompted - to talking about the Russia Investigation and how it never should have happened.

He's practically shouting to the world "I'll do whatever I can do shut down the investigation focused on me and my campaign!"

MasterStache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1651 on: November 15, 2018, 03:21:03 PM »
Trump is back to punching out some batshit crazy Tweets about the Russia meddling probe.

Seems he had another 'Lester Hiolt' moment, this time with the Daily Caller.  When asked about who he might select to be the next AG, Trump pivoted - without being prompted - to talking about the Russia Investigation and how it never should have happened.

He's practically shouting to the world "I'll do whatever I can do shut down the investigation focused on me and my campaign!"

Well so far it's been the most productive political "witch hunt" in history with all the indictments. 

Crease

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1652 on: November 16, 2018, 06:30:39 AM »
A common refrain is "he's just punching back." I hate that. Even giving President Trump the benefit of doubt here, "punching back" against key institutions like the intelligence agencies, the Justice Department, courts, and the free press is in my opinion damaging and selfish use of power.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 07:12:09 AM by Crease »

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1653 on: November 29, 2018, 07:44:29 AM »
Well chalk up another 'guilty' plea:
Michael Cohen pled guilty today to lying under oath to congress about Trump's real-estate dealings in Russia.

Well the cover-up is certainly bad (and incredibly poorly executed).  Now about the underlying crimes...

PathtoFIRE

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1654 on: November 29, 2018, 11:15:45 AM »
Well chalk up another 'guilty' plea:
Michael Cohen pled guilty today to lying under oath to congress about Trump's real-estate dealings in Russia.

Well the cover-up is certainly bad (and incredibly poorly executed).  Now about the underlying crimes...

The timing of this week's Special Counsel movements is very important. First, we have confirmation that Trump has turned in answers to the SC's questions. Then the SC's office turns right around and ends the cooperation agreement that Manafort was supposedly involved with, indicating that he had been lying. Now Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress about Russian deal(s) that Trump was making during and after the campaign (note, Cohen's main public-until-now charges had been handed off to SDNY, and many thought Mueller was essentially done with him; now we know that's not the case). There are many more actors and transaction involved that just Trump, Manafort, Cohen, and the Trump Moscow deal, but is starting to look like the beginning of the end. There is a virtually 0% chance that Manafort's and Trump's statements to the SC match what Cohen (and Felix Sater) have told; presumably there are documents, phone records, etc. to back up one story or the other.

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1655 on: November 29, 2018, 05:27:50 PM »
The timing of this week's Special Counsel movements is very important.

Did you see the news about Trump cancelling his meeting with Putin this week, immediately after Cohen reported that Trump was actively pursuing a Moscow hotel deal during the campaign while claiming "absolutely no business in Russia"?  Of course, he blamed the cancellation on the Ukraine conflict instead of the terrible terrible optics of repeating a Helsinki-style Putin love-fest immediately after his conflicts of interest with Russia hit the news, but it's hard not to connect the dots on this one.  Trump may be an idiot, but he's keenly aware of public perceptions of his performances.  He is, first and foremost, a showman.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1656 on: November 29, 2018, 06:49:45 PM »
I'm very interested to see whether today's raids on Deutsche Bank in Germany on money laundering charges turn out to be linked to Trump.

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1657 on: November 29, 2018, 06:52:31 PM »
I'm very interested to see whether today's raids on Deutsche Bank in Germany on money laundering charges turn out to be linked to Trump.

I think it's probably inevitable.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1658 on: November 29, 2018, 07:47:06 PM »
The timing of this week's Special Counsel movements is very important.

Did you see the news about Trump cancelling his meeting with Putin this week, immediately after Cohen reported that Trump was actively pursuing a Moscow hotel deal during the campaign while claiming "absolutely no business in Russia"?  Of course, he blamed the cancellation on the Ukraine conflict instead of the terrible terrible optics of repeating a Helsinki-style Putin love-fest immediately after his conflicts of interest with Russia hit the news, but it's hard not to connect the dots on this one.  Trump may be an idiot, but he's keenly aware of public perceptions of his performances.  He is, first and foremost, a showman.

According to NPR, after defiantly saying the meeting with Putin was still on before boarding Air Force 1 for the G-20, Trumpís aids talked him out of it citing how incredibly bad the optics would be (ď..remember Helskinki sir?Ē)
The kicker is that Trump then announced there would be no meeting on Twitter - without notifying the Kremlin first, who were doing their own PR blitz about how great it was that Putin would have yet another private meeting with the leader of the US.

So he was pressured into reversing course (which he hates) and he pissed off Putin at the same time.  Iím left wondering what Putinís response might be, how dour Trumpís mood will be at the G-20 and what else heíll say about Cohen (besides ďheís a liarĒ - his latest insult).

Oh - and meanwhile heís supposed to be searching for a trade Ďwiní with China?  Wonder how thatís going to play out.  /S

PathtoFIRE

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1659 on: November 30, 2018, 07:48:51 AM »
I'm very interested to see whether today's raids on Deutsche Bank in Germany on money laundering charges turn out to be linked to Trump.

Don't forget one of Trump's former tax attorneys also had the feds show up, show everyone the door, and cover up the glass with brown paper to conceal their activities. These two raids are most certainly not a coincidence, and the Mueller investigation has very clearly crossed Trump's "red line" regarding his personal finances.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/418928-federal-agents-raid-office-of-tax-firm-that-previously-worked-for

Aelias

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1660 on: November 30, 2018, 08:07:59 AM »
I'm very interested to see whether today's raids on Deutsche Bank in Germany on money laundering charges turn out to be linked to Trump.

Don't forget one of Trump's former tax attorneys also had the feds show up, show everyone the door, and cover up the glass with brown paper to conceal their activities. These two raids are most certainly not a coincidence, and the Mueller investigation has very clearly crossed Trump's "red line" regarding his personal finances.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/418928-federal-agents-raid-office-of-tax-firm-that-previously-worked-for

Was just coming here to add this.  As far as I can tell, this one is pretty far under the radar, given the avalanche of Russia news in the last 24 hours.  But two simultaneous, unannounced federal raids on two entities connected to Trump's finances? That would be one hell of a coincidence. 

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1661 on: November 30, 2018, 08:48:49 AM »
the Mueller investigation has very clearly crossed Trump's "red line" regarding his personal finances.

This whole "red line" argument just cracks up. 

He's like a serial killer covered in blood when the cops ring the doorbell, and he says "Come on in, officers, you can look anywhere except in the freshly dug holes in my back yard."  Did he really think that naming the location of the evidence was going to be an effective defense mechanism?  Does he think he can just stop law enforcement from doing their jobs by telling them they can't investigate what he's done wrong?

At this point, I think Trump has abandoned all pretense of being exonerated by the investigation.  He knows he broke the law in ten different impeachable ways, so his only defense is to try to convince the public that the entire FBI is just another liberal plot.  I expect the Mueller investigation to publish a report with the full cooperation and backing of every US law enforcement agency, along with a bunch of foreign law enforcement agencies that also cite the evidence against him, just so that he can't claim it's a single rogue prosecutor making stuff up.

Aelias

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1662 on: November 30, 2018, 09:11:47 AM »
the Mueller investigation has very clearly crossed Trump's "red line" regarding his personal finances.


He's like a serial killer covered in blood when the cops ring the doorbell, and he says "Come on in, officers, you can look anywhere except in the freshly dug holes in my back yard."  Did he really think that naming the location of the evidence was going to be an effective defense mechanism?  Does he think he can just stop law enforcement from doing their jobs by telling them they can't investigate what he's done wrong?


Um, yes.  That's exactly what he thinks.  That's what he assumed the Presidency was all about -- the power to force anyone and everyone to do your will, especially people in the government.  He thinks the federal government belongs to him personally and should serve him personally.  The idea that entities within the American government might have higher loyalties--to the Constitution or the nation as whole--is inconceivable.  I don't think he's actually capable of imagining the interests of the nation as separate from his own.  And he doesn't give a single well-formed shit about the Constitution.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1663 on: November 30, 2018, 09:23:25 AM »
This whole "red line" argument just cracks up. 
[1]Did he really think that naming the location of the evidence was going to be an effective defense mechanism? 
[2]Does he think he can just stop law enforcement from doing their jobs by telling them they can't investigate what he's done wrong?
1. Yes.
2. Yes.


At this point, I think Trump has abandoned all pretense of being exonerated by the investigation.  He knows he broke the law in ten different impeachable ways, so his only defense is to try to convince the public that the entire FBI is just another liberal plot.  I expect the Mueller investigation to publish a report with the full cooperation and backing of every US law enforcement agency, along with a bunch of foreign law enforcement agencies that also cite the evidence against him, just so that he can't claim it's a single rogue prosecutor making stuff up.

I think you are half right. He certainly means to cast doubt on any findings presented by any government agency which don't exonerate him; he's been laying that groundwork since Day 1 ("a hoax!", "Witch hunt!", "led by Angry Democrats", "in Chaos!", "Clinton supporter", "Hired by Obama", "prosecutor gone rogue"...).  He's even repeatedly rebuked the findings of our own federal agencies, snubbing them on their findings about Russian meddling, Khashoggi, Climate change,  Monetary policy and more.

But I think his defense is much more basal now; the laws are unfair to him, so of course he hasn't followed them. He straight-up admitted to pursuing a real estate deal with Russia while simultaneously campaigning: "When Iím running for president, that doesnít mean Iím not allowed to do business". At no time does he actually stop and contemplate whether one should do these things, only whether it would burden him not to do them.

ETA:  This nugget, reported today by the WSJ, just smacks me with the level of absurdity:
the proposed plans for the 2016 project included giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse, long-time Trump associate Felix Sater said in an interview. Mr. Cohen loved the idea, Mr. Sater said
So: The GOP nominated a real-estate mogul with direct ties to sketchy oligarchs, who continued to do pursue business deals in Russia even after becoming the presumptive party nominee and was trying to gift Putin a $50MM penthouse to make it happen, and Trump has (recently and repeatedly) said he sees absolutely nothing wrong with this.
Let them eat cake?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 12:39:26 PM by nereo »

Glenstache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1664 on: November 30, 2018, 09:45:19 AM »
ETA:  This nugget, reported today by the WSJ, just smacks me with the level of absurdity: the proposed plans for the 2016 project included giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse, long-time Trump associate Felix Sater said in an interview. Mr. Cohen loved the idea, Mr. Sater said
So: The GOP nominated a real-estate mogul with direct ties to sketchy oligarchs, who continued to do pursue business deals in Russia after becoming the presumptive party nominee and was trying to gift Putin a $50 penthouse to make it happen, and Trump has (recently and repeatedly) said he sees absolutely nothing wrong with this.
Let them eat cake?

Don't forget that it is also a clear violation of the foreign corrupt practices act. The penthouse would be an obvious bribe, and therefore is corrupt.

Aelias

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1665 on: November 30, 2018, 10:34:38 AM »
The Putin penthouse bit is . . . just so naÔve. It's like a child buying a toy they would want as a gift for an adult. Trump thinks big fancy apartments are the be all and end all, so he assumes offering one to Putin would seal the deal.  Putin, obviously, has bigger fish to fry and would want other, bigger concessions from Trump.  Like, say, softening the Republican party platform toward Russia's presence in the Ukraine.  Or getting rid of the Magnitsky Act. Just as a for instance.

PathtoFIRE

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1666 on: November 30, 2018, 10:57:27 AM »
I think that Trump's thinking was a little different, he would give Putin the penthouse, and then could jack up the prices of the remaining units and just sit back and wait while all the Putin oligarchs and lackey climbed over each other bidding to get an apartment in the same building as their Dear Leader. I also want to point out that Ivanka is knee deep in all of this, for whatever reason she always seems to get a pass in the media.

Also, I want to point out that while this thread and the other Trump/Russia thread have been a little more quiet, I have noticed almost complete radio silence from the few Trump defenders and apologists around these parts. I am not naive enough to believe that any minds have changed, I'm just enjoying the signs that the Trump movement, at least here at the MMM forums, appears to be suffering from severely low morale.

Wexler

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1667 on: November 30, 2018, 12:36:22 PM »
After Trump has progressed from "NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA" to "eh, maybe a little light treason" the Trump base is just waiting to get its talking points on why this is OK.  I'm guessing it will be something about how he's a businessman and how anyone who objects to him brokering real estate deals in exchange for policy deference or giving Ivankas' husband a loan in exchange for a list of the Crown Prince's enemies hates capitalism and is a dirty commie.  Also, Hillary once sent some emails, so checkmate.

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1668 on: November 30, 2018, 02:11:24 PM »
After Trump has progressed from "NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA" to "eh, maybe a little light treason" the Trump base is just waiting to get its talking points on why this is OK.  I'm guessing it will be something about how he's a businessman and how anyone who objects to him brokering real estate deals in exchange for policy deference or giving Ivankas' husband a loan in exchange for a list of the Crown Prince's enemies hates capitalism and is a dirty commie.  Also, Hillary once sent some emails, so checkmate.

I suspect his defense in this case will be the same one that Sarah Huck-Sands has repeatedly offered up at the white house press briefings: "The American people voted for him anyway."  In essence, her arguments has been that all of these illegal activities were things Trump was well known for before the election, and by voting for him anyway the populace declared that they don't mind if he breaks these laws, so clearly the laws don't apply to him.

She used it with the DC hotel deal.  She used it with the Saudi bribes and the Russian money laundering.  She used it with the pussy grabbing and the adultery NDAs.  It's like the entire administration thinks that the law doesn't matter as long as you win the election, because electoral victory somehow means the people support you no matter what.  I suspect Trump is going to be outraged when he finds out that we're nation of laws after all.

Good TV ratings do not exonerate you for you crimes, Donnie. 

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1669 on: November 30, 2018, 02:27:51 PM »
After Trump has progressed from "NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA" to "eh, maybe a little light treason" the Trump base is just waiting to get its talking points on why this is OK.  I'm guessing it will be something about how he's a businessman and how anyone who objects to him brokering real estate deals in exchange for policy deference or giving Ivankas' husband a loan in exchange for a list of the Crown Prince's enemies hates capitalism and is a dirty commie.  Also, Hillary once sent some emails, so checkmate.

I suspect his defense in this case will be the same one that Sarah Huck-Sands has repeatedly offered up at the white house press briefings: "The American people voted for him anyway."  In essence, her arguments has been that all of these illegal activities were things Trump was well known for before the election, and by voting for him anyway the populace declared that they don't mind if he breaks these laws, so clearly the laws don't apply to him.

She used it with the DC hotel deal.  She used it with the Saudi bribes and the Russian money laundering.  She used it with the pussy grabbing and the adultery NDAs.  It's like the entire administration thinks that the law doesn't matter as long as you win the election, because electoral victory somehow means the people support you no matter what.  I suspect Trump is going to be outraged when he finds out that we're nation of laws after all.

Good TV ratings do not exonerate you for you crimes, Donnie.

... or we will be disappointed to find out that we are selective in our application of laws. We already know this is true, but this would be a particularly brazen example.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1670 on: November 30, 2018, 06:23:20 PM »
Twice now, immediately before the summits in Helsinki and Argentina, Mueller has dropped bombshells about Russia.  This timing isn't coincidence, so it appears Mueller has chosen to highlight the Russia issues when Trump is going into high profile meetings with Putin.

Everyone says that Mueller is a straight by the book guy.  So why would he do something so deliberately disruptive? So calculated to weaken Trump's position, to the point this time of stopping him even meeting Putin?

The answer I think has to be that Mueller is stone cold certain that Trump is guilty of conspiracy with the Russians and that he is a traitor to the USA.  He is using this timing to point out how big a security risk Trump is, in advance of being able to complete all the work necessary to get it all proven in court or in his report to Congress.  There can be no doubt now that Trump is going down hard, with no escape.  It's just a matter of time.  And all the Trump businesses will be going down with him.  That will highly likely take down Don Jr and Ivanka too.

I was brought up to believe that gloating over someone else's downfall was not a good character trait.  In this case, I don't care.
 

Freedom2016

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1671 on: December 01, 2018, 07:15:01 AM »
Twice now, immediately before the summits in Helsinki and Argentina, Mueller has dropped bombshells about Russia.  This timing isn't coincidence, so it appears Mueller has chosen to highlight the Russia issues when Trump is going into high profile meetings with Putin.

Everyone says that Mueller is a straight by the book guy.  So why would he do something so deliberately disruptive? So calculated to weaken Trump's position, to the point this time of stopping him even meeting Putin?

The answer I think has to be that Mueller is stone cold certain that Trump is guilty of conspiracy with the Russians and that he is a traitor to the USA.  He is using this timing to point out how big a security risk Trump is, in advance of being able to complete all the work necessary to get it all proven in court or in his report to Congress.  There can be no doubt now that Trump is going down hard, with no escape.  It's just a matter of time.  And all the Trump businesses will be going down with him.  That will highly likely take down Don Jr and Ivanka too.

I was brought up to believe that gloating over someone else's downfall was not a good character trait.  In this case, I don't care.
 

please please please please please please please please let this be true

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1672 on: December 02, 2018, 12:24:28 PM »
Interesting take, that Mueller is willing to lose evidence that proves Trump's guilt (Trump making deals with Putin), because he'd rather prevent further damage at this point.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1673 on: December 05, 2018, 09:39:38 AM »
This is interesting...

Mueller is recommending no jail time for Michael Flynn, because of his 'substantial assistance' with several ongoing investigations in a heavily redacted court filing released yesterday.  In it, Mueller wrote that Flynn had provided ďfirsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials"

According to the Washington Post, Flynn met with the special council 19 times after his guilty plea to discuss the investigations as a cooperative witness.
 
Flynn joined the Trump campaign in 2016 and was later appointed Trump's National Security advisor in 2017. This strikes at the heart of Trump's claim that the transgressions revealed so far were from events that happened "long ago" (Manafort, Gates, Cohen) and with people that had 'no part' in his campaign (the 13 Russian nationals, Pinedo). If true, this is yet another link between team Trump and Russia, and suggests that there is a great deal more to come from the special council's office in the months to come.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1674 on: December 05, 2018, 09:43:57 AM »
No jail time for Flynn should make it even easier for Mueller to get Trump's long list of indicted buddies to talk . . . I wonder how they will balance that offer against Trump's offer of a pardon.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1676 on: December 05, 2018, 10:29:12 AM »
The only real reason I can think that Trump is so beholden to Putin is that they have dirt on him.  Not some salacious sex tape, which he could probably bluff his way out of.  More like decades of corrupt money laundering and flagrant law breaking, which is so comprehensive, detailed and true that Trump knows one leak from the Russians will mean he, his family and most of his friends will go to prison for the rest of their lives.

In a situation like that a patriot would confess, approach the FBI or whoever and take the punishment while looking for leniency by cooperating.  Trump on the other hand is going the other way, and getting deeper every day.

All the work Mueller is doing is really important.  Whenever Putin decides Trump has moved from an asset to a liability, we can expect a massive dump of evidence from the Russian side that fully implicates him in a wide array of corrupt and (probably) treasonous behaviours.

Trump's only hope is that he dies before it all comes apart, so he can become a martyr to the wingnuts.  Alternatively he can become so obviously addled/senile that he is 'unfit' for any legal action (in time honored mob boss tradition). 

I'd be very conscious of the 2 year anniversary of his inauguration, beyond which it becomes technically possible for Pence to take over and run in the 2020 and 2024.  It won't be long after that point that the GOP thinks about jettisoning Trump and family, cleaning house and getting Pence into office. 

After Pence gets in we will all be so relieved that someone with at least the competence of an adult has taken over many of us will stop paying attention.  The Democrats will continue their time honored tradition of rolling over and playing dead for money, and Pence will get to work on making a live action version of the Handmaid's tale.  Those of us who are white/male/straight and can pass for Christian will get to pretend it is still a democracy.

I hope I'm wrong.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1677 on: December 05, 2018, 03:16:37 PM »
No jail time for Flynn should make it even easier for Mueller to get Trump's long list of indicted buddies to talk . . . I wonder how they will balance that offer against Trump's offer of a pardon.

Anyone with any sense would know that Trump's loyalty can change with the wind. I'm surprised Manafort trusts him. Manafort must really like his ostrich jacket.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1678 on: December 05, 2018, 03:50:44 PM »
No jail time for Flynn should make it even easier for Mueller to get Trump's long list of indicted buddies to talk . . . I wonder how they will balance that offer against Trump's offer of a pardon.

Anyone with any sense would know that Trump's loyalty can change with the wind. I'm surprised Manafort trusts him. Manafort must really like his ostrich jacket.

I doubt either trusts the other - instead its more of a "mutually assured destruction" kind of 'friendship'.  Manafort is facing life in prison on 18 counts, including conspiracy and fraud.  if he loses Trump and (by extension) the DOJ he's out of options (eg a pardon or clemency).  Trump is his last hope.  Likewise, if DJT's own campaign manager went on record saying "yeah, we colluded with the Russians, then conspired to cover it up" - well there goes the last shred of legitimacy for #45.
Either that or they are both truly innocent. 

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1679 on: December 05, 2018, 09:07:23 PM »
Either that or they are both truly innocent.

Ummmm, Manafort has already pled guilty.

He also has a long and complicated history working for the Russians before and during the time he worked for Trump.  I expect that his eventual convictions will directly implicate not only Trump, but a variety of Russian oligarchs as well.  This is going to be one of those disappointing stories where the big murder-mystery whodunnit reveal turns out to be the obvious suspect from chapter 1.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1680 on: December 05, 2018, 10:15:14 PM »
Either that or they are both truly innocent.

Ummmm, Manafort has already pled guilty.

He also has a long and complicated history working for the Russians before and during the time he worked for Trump.  I expect that his eventual convictions will directly implicate not only Trump, but a variety of Russian oligarchs as well.  This is going to be one of those disappointing stories where the big murder-mystery whodunnit reveal turns out to be the obvious suspect from chapter 1.

The disappointing part will be when the detective makes the big reveal, and then everyone tut-tuts, then goes back to business as usual and the deeply criminal and treasonous behaviour gets barely punished, if at all.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1681 on: December 07, 2018, 08:12:43 AM »
What RocketPJ said.

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1682 on: December 07, 2018, 03:35:00 PM »
In today's news, Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is going to receive "substantial" prison time for the crimes he committed at the request of Donald Trump.  Those crimes include campaign finance violations, tax evasion, and bank fraud, all three of which were basically Trump's bread and butter before he became President.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1683 on: December 10, 2018, 07:38:57 PM »
Something I've been thinking about is that there were so many different Russian attempts to get to the Trump campaign.  It's been suggested that this was because Putin sent out a general wish "see if you can get to Trump" and got unco-ordinated efforts to that effect from lots of different parts of the Russian secret State.  Which was self-defeating - they got in each other's way, and confused the message being received.

The stupid thing from Putin's part is that he didn't need to contact Trump at all.  Trump was already more in the Russian/Putin pocket than he could possibly have guessed.  All those years of Trump laundering Russian money, and wanting to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, plus his utter lack of loyalty to the USA, meant that Trump was already primed to do anything Putin wanted without any further covert action on Putin's part.  If Putin had limited his interference to behind the scenes influencing stuff without trying to get to Trump himself, and just suggested after Trump was elected that a Trump Tower Moscow was waiting for him at the end of his term as President he would now be sitting back and reaping all the rewards he could ever have wanted.

partgypsy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1684 on: December 12, 2018, 10:22:48 AM »
In today's news, Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is going to receive "substantial" prison time for the crimes he committed at the request of Donald Trump.  Those crimes include campaign finance violations, tax evasion, and bank fraud, all three of which were basically Trump's bread and butter before he became President.
Trump Twitter -did he cover all the bases here (no collusion, cohen's fault, Obama, witch hunt". Only new twist is admitting it and saying it is only a private transaction...

"Democrats canít find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comeyís testimony. No Smocking Gun...No Collusion.Ē @FoxNews  Thatís because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,..."

 "....which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obamaís - but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyerís liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT!"
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 10:33:55 AM by partgypsy »

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1685 on: December 12, 2018, 11:09:28 AM »
Also in today's news, the president has finally shifted from claiming "no collusion" to saying that his business with Russia is "peanut stuff".  You know, like just a little bit of collusion, not like anything big. 

This is right on script with his denials of other crimes.  Just like with Stormy Daniels, first he had never heard of her, then he knew her but didn't sleep with her, then yes she was paid to keep quiet about the affair but he didn't know about it, then okay he knew about it but didn't direct it, then yes he directed it but it wasn't illegal, then yes it was illegal but only a little bit illegal.

Now the Russia investigation is following the same pattern.  First he had no contact with anyone from Russia and no business in Russia, then some of his secondary campaign staff might have talked to some Russian citizens without his consent, then most of his senior staff was talking to Russia because he asked them to, then his staff was taking payments from Russia to advance Russian interests but that's totally legal, then his staff secretly met with Russian spies to trade information about Clinton but he didn't know about it, then he knew about it but it was probably legal, and yes I was engaged in quid pro quo real estate deal for a Moscow hotel well into the campaign but it's not explicitly illegal to do business with hostile foreign powers while running for office, and now finally fine we colluded with Russia but it was only a little bit of collusion.  Peanut stuff!

He's like a mobster that denies everything including his own name, until the cop slaps down the photographs of the crime scene with his fingerprints all over it.  I'll give him one thing, he's at least making sure that the federal case against him is absolutely air tight, forcing prosecutors to document every tiny little step along the way, challenging every piece of evidence on every grounds.  He has to lie to the American public every day to do it, but it's probably his best defense legally because he might be able to get some of that evidence overlooked or discarded.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 11:11:46 AM by sol »

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1686 on: December 13, 2018, 03:41:24 PM »
News reports that Trump's inaugural committee is under criminal investigation:  https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/13/politics/trump-inauguration-spending-investigation/index.html?adkey=bn

Why is this in the Russia thread?  Because if you remember all the way back to 2016, one of the myriad of corruption stories published in the media and then quickly forgotten was that at least one Russian oligarch made a "donation" to the inauguration committee in exchange for front row seating (and thus access to his candidate).  It is, of course, illegal to give someone money in exchange for political favors, and it is illegal to accept money in exchange for political favors.  It's colloquially known as bribery.

This is one of the stories that was outrageous when it was first published, but then two days later Trump says he wants to french kiss Kim Jong Un, or he calls a wounded veteran a dirty slut, or some such other assault on common decency, and the press quickly moved on from literal crimes to something with more moral outrage but less legal consequence.  I'm glad to see that the FBI didn't forget like the rest of us did.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 03:55:34 PM by sol »

turketron

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1687 on: December 14, 2018, 07:55:18 AM »
ProPublica's "Trump, Inc." podcast did an episode about the Inauguration back in March and I remember listening to it at the time and wondering why no one else had been talking about it or looking into it. That episode (and the podcast as a whole) is worth a listen if you haven't heard it, and might still be worth listening to given what more we know now: https://www.wnycstudios.org/shows/trumpinc


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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1688 on: December 14, 2018, 09:09:05 AM »
Lock him up!!

(-:

Crease

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1689 on: December 18, 2018, 10:33:21 AM »
Meanwhile, at his sentencing hearing, Michael Flynn and his lawyers are getting reamed out by Judge Sullivan (Reagan appointee). Sullivan is clearly pissed that Flynn's sentencing memorandum implied prosecutorial misconduct when the 302s about his interview do not bear this out. "How is raising those contentions about the circumstances under which Mr. Flynn lied consistent with acceptance of responsibility?"

Sullivan gave Flynn one final shot to withdraw his guilty plea, but Flynn declined and admitted guilt. Sullivan also led Flynn's attorney through a colloquy asking if it was the defense's contention that the FBI was legally obligated to remind Flynn that lying to the FBI is a federal crime or that Flynn was entrapped by the FBI. "No, your honor." Flynn also admitted he "was aware" that lying to FBI investigators was a crime when he did so over interactions with Russians.

The proceeding escalated from there.

Sullivan asked the government whether Flynn could have been charged in the unsealed indictment in Virginia yesterday, could have been charged under the Logan Act, or even "treason." "This is a very serious offense -- a high-ranking senior official of the government, making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while on the physical premises of the White House." Also, "so all along you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country, while serving as the National Security Advisor to the president of the United States."

The court is now in recess because Sullivan has asked Flynn to consider whether he still wants to be sentenced today, or whether he wants to wait until his cooperation is complete in hopes of getting more credit.

UPDATE: Sullivan granted Flynn's request for a delay in sentencing to get additional cooperation benefit from the ongoing Virginia case.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 10:59:55 AM by Crease »

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1690 on: December 18, 2018, 10:35:49 AM »
@acroy - still arguing that there's no evidence of collusion?

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1691 on: December 18, 2018, 10:39:03 AM »
@acroy - still arguing that there's no evidence of collusion?
He was banned a few months ago for repeatedly violating the forum rules, including trolling posters & threads

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1692 on: December 18, 2018, 10:41:16 AM »
@acroy - still arguing that there's no evidence of collusion?
He was banned a few months ago for repeatedly violating the forum rules, including trolling posters & threads

Oh.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1693 on: December 18, 2018, 10:48:43 AM »
@acroy - still arguing that there's no evidence of collusion?
He was banned a few months ago for repeatedly violating the forum rules, including trolling posters & threads

Oh.
A bit of a shame, as his posts on other topics were often incredibly useful.  But for some reason he couldn't resist popping in on threads he didn't agree with only to call the posters 'sheeple' and other insults without actually participating in the discussion.
I've never understood why some people find enjoyment in trolling.   

Maybe we need to start a trolling hall of shame....

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1694 on: December 18, 2018, 11:00:08 AM »
Meanwhile, at his sentencing hearing, Michael Flynn and his lawyers are getting reamed out by Judge Sullivan (Reagan appointee). Sullivan is clearly pissed that Flynn's sentencing memorandum implied prosecutorial misconduct when the 302s about his interview do not bear this out. "How is raising those contentions about the circumstances under which Mr. Flynn lied consistent with acceptance of responsibility?"

Sullivan gave Flynn one final shot to withdraw his guilty plea, but Flynn declined and admitted guilt. Sullivan also led Flynn's attorney through a colloquy asking if it was the defense's contention that the FBI was legally obligated to remind Flynn that lying to the FBI is a federal crime or that Flynn was entrapped by the FBI. "No, your honor." Flynn also admitted he "was aware" that lying to FBI investigators was a crime when he did so over interactions with Russians.

The proceeding escalated from there.

Sullivan asked the government whether Flynn could have been charged in the unsealed indictment in Virginia yesterday, could have been charged under the Logan Act, or even "treason." "This is a very serious offense -- a high-ranking senior official of the government, making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while on the physical premises of the White House." Also, "so all along you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country, while serving as the National Security Advisor to the president of the United States."

The court is now in recess because Sullivan has asked Flynn to consider whether he still wants to be sentenced today, or whether he wants to wait until his cooperation is complete in hopes of getting more credit.

UPDATE: Sullivan granted Flynn's request for a delay in sentencing for the last modicum of cooperation benefit in the Virginia case.

Thanks for this.
Here is some reporting on the sentencing from WaPo:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/michael-flynn-trumps-former-national-security-adviser-scheduled-to-be-sentenced/2018/12/17/19ce1bb4-0247-11e9-b5df-5d3874f1ac36_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.386b3f958f08

Just Joe

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1695 on: December 18, 2018, 11:08:59 AM »
Can anyone remind us of why Russia preferred the Trump team in the White House?

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1696 on: December 18, 2018, 11:23:26 AM »
Can anyone remind us of why Russia preferred the Trump team in the White House?
because under the Obama administration, SoS HRC denounced Russia's annexation of Ukraine.  Also, DJT had all sorts of COI with Russia (starting with his ongoing efforts to build Trump Tower Russia), which still makes him easier to manipulate.  The GOP had spent the last two decades airing out HRC's dirty laundry, so is/was little additioanl leverage on her.

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1697 on: December 18, 2018, 11:50:21 AM »
Can anyone remind us of why Russia preferred the Trump team in the White House?

If you're in competition with another sports team, do you want your competitors to:

- Have a competent and observant coach with years of experience
- Have a coach with a history of making failing calls, no experience in your sport, who owes you some money

?

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1698 on: December 18, 2018, 12:52:43 PM »
Meanwhile, at his sentencing hearing, Michael Flynn and his lawyers are getting reamed out by Judge Sullivan (Reagan appointee). Sullivan is clearly pissed that Flynn's sentencing memorandum implied prosecutorial misconduct when the 302s about his interview do not bear this out. "How is raising those contentions about the circumstances under which Mr. Flynn lied consistent with acceptance of responsibility?"

Sullivan gave Flynn one final shot to withdraw his guilty plea, but Flynn declined and admitted guilt. Sullivan also led Flynn's attorney through a colloquy asking if it was the defense's contention that the FBI was legally obligated to remind Flynn that lying to the FBI is a federal crime or that Flynn was entrapped by the FBI. "No, your honor." Flynn also admitted he "was aware" that lying to FBI investigators was a crime when he did so over interactions with Russians.

The proceeding escalated from there.

Sullivan asked the government whether Flynn could have been charged in the unsealed indictment in Virginia yesterday, could have been charged under the Logan Act, or even "treason." "This is a very serious offense -- a high-ranking senior official of the government, making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while on the physical premises of the White House." Also, "so all along you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country, while serving as the National Security Advisor to the president of the United States."

The court is now in recess because Sullivan has asked Flynn to consider whether he still wants to be sentenced today, or whether he wants to wait until his cooperation is complete in hopes of getting more credit.

UPDATE: Sullivan granted Flynn's request for a delay in sentencing to get additional cooperation benefit from the ongoing Virginia case.

Two things stood out to be during Flynn's court appearance:
 
1) the judge at one point asked the prosecution whether Flynn could be charged "for treason"
2) In response to Flynn Acknowledging that he worked to further Turkey's national interests while serving as the National Security Advisor to Trump, Judge Sullivan* pointed to an American flag behind him and said: "Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out.
"

Talk about a bad day in court...

*District court judge Emmet G. Sullivan is a republican first appointed by Reagan in '84, then by Bush Sr in 1992.

Crease

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1699 on: December 18, 2018, 01:48:33 PM »
Meanwhile, at his sentencing hearing, Michael Flynn and his lawyers are getting reamed out by Judge Sullivan (Reagan appointee). Sullivan is clearly pissed that Flynn's sentencing memorandum implied prosecutorial misconduct when the 302s about his interview do not bear this out. "How is raising those contentions about the circumstances under which Mr. Flynn lied consistent with acceptance of responsibility?"

Sullivan gave Flynn one final shot to withdraw his guilty plea, but Flynn declined and admitted guilt. Sullivan also led Flynn's attorney through a colloquy asking if it was the defense's contention that the FBI was legally obligated to remind Flynn that lying to the FBI is a federal crime or that Flynn was entrapped by the FBI. "No, your honor." Flynn also admitted he "was aware" that lying to FBI investigators was a crime when he did so over interactions with Russians.

The proceeding escalated from there.

Sullivan asked the government whether Flynn could have been charged in the unsealed indictment in Virginia yesterday, could have been charged under the Logan Act, or even "treason." "This is a very serious offense -- a high-ranking senior official of the government, making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while on the physical premises of the White House." Also, "so all along you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country, while serving as the National Security Advisor to the president of the United States."

The court is now in recess because Sullivan has asked Flynn to consider whether he still wants to be sentenced today, or whether he wants to wait until his cooperation is complete in hopes of getting more credit.

UPDATE: Sullivan granted Flynn's request for a delay in sentencing to get additional cooperation benefit from the ongoing Virginia case.

Two things stood out to be during Flynn's court appearance:
 
1) the judge at one point asked the prosecution whether Flynn could be charged "for treason"
2) In response to Flynn Acknowledging that he worked to further Turkey's national interests while serving as the National Security Advisor to Trump, Judge Sullivan* pointed to an American flag behind him and said: "Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out.
"

Talk about a bad day in court...

*District court judge Emmet G. Sullivan is a republican first appointed by Reagan in '84, then by Bush Sr in 1992.

Not great! That said, federal sentencing hearings are often theater. For a variety of reasons, the judges' comments are meanest when they're about to go light on you.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 01:54:38 PM by Crease »