Author Topic: United States of Russia?  (Read 240104 times)

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1750 on: January 25, 2019, 08:38:55 AM »
Damned witch hunt.  Where's the collusion????!!!

This is like shouting "where are the animals????!!!" when visiting a zoo.  Motherfucker, this whole place exists for the sole purpose of the thing you're suggesting doesn't exist.

Next you're going to tell me that Trump is racist.

Glenstache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1751 on: January 25, 2019, 10:29:25 AM »
Adding this update on Kushner's security clearance lest it fall through the cracks of this shitstorm of an administration:
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/01/jared-kushner-security-clearance

Apparently the only reason Kushner got his clearances approved was because a political appointee overruled career security clearance personnel.

bacchi

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1752 on: January 25, 2019, 10:34:00 AM »
Adding this update on Kushner's security clearance lest it fall through the cracks of this shitstorm of an administration:
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/01/jared-kushner-security-clearance

Apparently the only reason Kushner got his clearances approved was because a political appointee overruled career security clearance personnel.

Eh. When POTUS potentially shouldn't have security clearance, it doesn't matter much that his son-in-law and senior advisor has it as well.

Just Joe

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1753 on: January 31, 2019, 12:47:10 PM »
Let's hope the NSA is applying their attention to all these Trump administration folks...

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1754 on: February 01, 2019, 02:09:14 PM »

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1755 on: February 01, 2019, 02:15:57 PM »

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1756 on: February 03, 2019, 08:50:27 PM »
"At a televised meeting with his foreign and defense ministers, Putin ordered his military to begin developing new ground-launched hypersonic missiles with an intermediate range, and to also begin converting previously sea-based cruise missiles for ground launch -- the deployment of which was banned under the treaty."
https://abcnews.go.com/beta-story-container/International/putin-orders-russia-develop-missiles-leaving-treaty-deploy/story?id=60798394

Doesn't anybody else find this alarming?????

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1757 on: February 04, 2019, 01:23:45 AM »
That's eastern Ukraine gone for certain, then.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1758 on: February 05, 2019, 10:18:43 AM »
Another big development:
the US attorney's office of the  Southern District of NY (SDNY) issued a widespread subpoena for documents on Trump's inaugural committee, with a focus on donations and spending.  According to the subpoena they are investigating crimes related to 'conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud and money laundering'.  The focus on donor roles and their country of origin suggests that the campaign may have accepted money from foreign entities (which is also a crime). Curiously, the subpoena specifically requests ''all communications' from one specific donor, a venture capitalist from Los Angeles, which donated $900,000 to the inaugural committee.


bacchi

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1759 on: February 05, 2019, 01:38:37 PM »
Another big development:
the US attorney's office of the  Southern District of NY (SDNY) issued a widespread subpoena for documents on Trump's inaugural committee, with a focus on donations and spending.  According to the subpoena they are investigating crimes related to 'conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud and money laundering'.  The focus on donor roles and their country of origin suggests that the campaign may have accepted money from foreign entities (which is also a crime). Curiously, the subpoena specifically requests ''all communications' from one specific donor, a venture capitalist from Los Angeles, which donated $900,000 to the inaugural committee.

Like Capone, Trump's empire will get taken down by financial crimes. Like OJ, he'll retreat to Florida to hide his assets.

Which brings up his taxes. The IRS knows so presumably a 3-letter agency also knows what's in them.

Why the reluctance to release them?

1) The empire has no clothes. His income has been declining for years. Maybe a trust fund is funding his lifestyle instead of his business acumen.
2) Someone with a Slavic name holds his mortgage and other liens.
3) It's a huge troll to waste Dem's time and political capital.

This is assuming that not only will personal returns be subpoenaed but also entity returns related to him. (It wasn't just Enron Inc. involved in the scandal; it was also Raptor and 1000 other LLCs/SPEs.)


nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1760 on: February 05, 2019, 02:08:59 PM »
Like Capone, Trump's empire will get taken down by financial crimes. Like OJ, he'll retreat to Florida to hide his assets.

Which brings up his taxes. The IRS knows so presumably a 3-letter agency also knows what's in them.

Why the reluctance to release them?

1) The empire has no clothes. His income has been declining for years. Maybe a trust fund is funding his lifestyle instead of his business acumen.
2) Someone with a Slavic name holds his mortgage and other liens.
3) It's a huge troll to waste Dem's time and political capital.

You left out:
4) both DJT and his company have violated so many laws that releasing them would reveal his 'success' was being a crook. 

Reporting by the NYTimes (and subsequently partially substantiated by the SDNY) showed how Trump and his family ran an illegal tax dodge to avoid paying hundreds of millions. The latest purge of undocumented workers by Trump properties suggests his businesses may have benefited by the intensional exploitation of a frequent scape-goat of his. 

And of course there's
5) he has all sorts of undisclosed interests in foreign investments which might shed light onto why he's favored a particular company or brow-beaten another.  Do any of his holdings benefit from the trade his trade tariffs (e.g. US Steel)?  How many of his properties are being propped up by special interest groups and foreign governments?

My personal bet is that it's a combination of 1, 4 and 5. He's not as rich as he claims he is (TEN BILLION DOLLARS!!) and much of what he has he's failed to pay taxes on and has broken many laws to get it.  And he's not above using his position as President to earn money for himself.

An irony completely lost on DJT is that many of these laws are there to protect the individual as well as the country..  But he's so arrogant I think he only sees them as a barrier which he should sidestep as long as he thinks no one will find out.

bacchi

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1761 on: February 05, 2019, 02:39:16 PM »
Why the reluctance to release them?

1) The empire has no clothes. His income has been declining for years. Maybe a trust fund is funding his lifestyle instead of his business acumen.
2) Someone with a Slavic name holds his mortgage and other liens.
3) It's a huge troll to waste Dem's time and political capital.

You left out:
4) both DJT and his company have violated so many laws that releasing them would reveal his 'success' was being a crook. 

Reporting by the NYTimes (and subsequently partially substantiated by the SDNY) showed how Trump and his family ran an illegal tax dodge to avoid paying hundreds of millions. The latest purge of undocumented workers by Trump properties suggests his businesses may have benefited by the intensional exploitation of a frequent scape-goat of his. 

Perhaps his returns would wilt under external investigation but obviously the IRS auditors weren't up to the job.

Quote
And of course there's
5) he has all sorts of undisclosed interests in foreign investments which might shed light onto why he's favored a particular company or brow-beaten another.  Do any of his holdings benefit from the trade his trade tariffs (e.g. US Steel)?  How many of his properties are being propped up by special interest groups and foreign governments?

Is that even a crime for a sitting President? It would be embarrassing but Trump's base has been whittled down to a core, he-can-put-on-blackface-and-they-won't-care, group.

Quote
My personal bet is that it's a combination of 1, 4 and 5. He's not as rich as he claims he is (TEN BILLION DOLLARS!!) and much of what he has he's failed to pay taxes on and has broken many laws to get it.  And he's not above using his position as President to earn money for himself.

An irony completely lost on DJT is that many of these laws are there to protect the individual as well as the country..  But he's so arrogant I think he only sees them as a barrier which he should sidestep as long as he thinks no one will find out.

1, 4, and 5 seem most likely. There might be some Russians in the closet, too, related to 5. That, or he's trying to earn thanks from his plutocrat idols.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1762 on: February 05, 2019, 02:50:25 PM »

Perhaps his returns would wilt under external investigation but obviously the IRS auditors weren't up to the job.

To my knowledge, the only people who have claimed Trump was under an audit have been Trump and his spokespeople.  The IRS doesn't comment and he hasn't provided any evidence that he has been under audit.  The Trump Organization is also a sprawling mass of LLCs and authorized licensees.  Perhaps intentionally the actions of one part is hidden from another (and the IRS)


Is that even a crime for a sitting President? It would be embarrassing but Trump's base has been whittled down to a core, he-can-put-on-blackface-and-they-won't-care, group.
Seems that using your elected position to intentionally enrich your personal business is textbook corruption. No idea what specific laws might be broken but defrauding the United STates (18 U.S.C. § 371) seems one of my potential crimes.  You are probably right that a large chunk of his base won't care - but that's immaterial when dealing with legal matters


Ultimately the only surefire way of knowing is for his tax records and business dealings to be investigated by a reputable party and/or the details made public and transparent. 

Glenstache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1763 on: February 05, 2019, 02:58:03 PM »

Perhaps his returns would wilt under external investigation but obviously the IRS auditors weren't up to the job.

To my knowledge, the only people who have claimed Trump was under an audit have been Trump and his spokespeople.  The IRS doesn't comment and he hasn't provided any evidence that he has been under audit.  The Trump Organization is also a sprawling mass of LLCs and authorized licensees.  Perhaps intentionally the actions of one part is hidden from another (and the IRS)
It is also likely that a routine IRS audit and an FBI forensic audit might be different and focus on different metrics. There is zero benefit to Trump disclosing returns and the attention used on asking for them is useful to him so I expect no willing offers to give them up.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1764 on: February 05, 2019, 03:56:59 PM »

Perhaps his returns would wilt under external investigation but obviously the IRS auditors weren't up to the job.

To my knowledge, the only people who have claimed Trump was under an audit have been Trump and his spokespeople.  The IRS doesn't comment and he hasn't provided any evidence that he has been under audit.  The Trump Organization is also a sprawling mass of LLCs and authorized licensees.  Perhaps intentionally the actions of one part is hidden from another (and the IRS)

It is also likely that a routine IRS audit and an FBI forensic audit might be different and focus on different metrics. There is zero benefit to Trump disclosing returns and the attention used on asking for them is useful to him so I expect no willing offers to give them up.
Probably true that there's no benefit to Trump in voluntarily releasing them.  However the House Ways and Means committee has the power to request review any citizen's tax records from the IRS and need not inform the individual that they have been obtained.  THe committee can then release those records to all members of congress with a majority vote - and Dems hold both the chair (Neal) and the majority (25/42).  There's a very big difference between refusing to release and telling a co-equal branch "you'd better not look there, even though you can and I can't stop you!"

The only question I have is how the Dems will play this and whether they'll get any GOP on board. Will they try to time it to inflict maximum political damage, or will they try to at least make it look like they are doing their constitutional oversight.  Guess we'll find out in the next ~22 months.  I think there's an almost zero chance it doesn't get leaked before the next election.

Cool Friend

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1765 on: February 07, 2019, 08:54:07 AM »
Interesting if deeply depressing article about Russian kleptocracy and modern American indifference to corruption.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/how-kleptocracy-came-to-america/580471/

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1766 on: February 07, 2019, 08:56:25 PM »
Interesting if deeply depressing article about Russian kleptocracy and modern American indifference to corruption.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/how-kleptocracy-came-to-america/580471/


disturbing

Glenstache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1767 on: February 07, 2019, 11:10:43 PM »

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1768 on: February 08, 2019, 07:02:33 AM »
Paul Manafort continued working on Ukrainian political matters in 2018, well after he had been indicted by the special council - according to transcripts released late on Thursday.

Also, at his invitation a former business associate of Manafort's attended the inaugeration - and was assessed by the FBI to have connections with Russian intelligence.

Can't tell whether that's  chutzpah or just extreme stupidity.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1769 on: February 11, 2019, 08:16:06 PM »

Can't tell whether that's  chutzpah or just extreme stupidity.

I'm going to go with both.  The fact is these guys have been pulling this shit for decades with so little risk of consequence that they quite reasonably expected no problems.  It's only now that they took the presidency that it is coming to light.  Mobsters are allergic to sunlight.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1770 on: February 14, 2019, 07:30:35 AM »
The special counsel’s office “has established by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant intentionally made multiple false statements to the FBI, [Mueller’s office] and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the investigation: his interactions and communications with [Russian citizen and suspected intelligence officer Konstantin] Kilimnik,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote on Wednesday.  The judge's findings voided Manafort's previous plea deal with the government.  Legal experts concluded that this could add 'years' to Manafort's ultimate prison sentence, which will be determined on March 13th.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1771 on: February 14, 2019, 08:12:48 PM »
It looks like Manafort could be facing essentially a life sentence because he's already 69 years old.

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1772 on: February 14, 2019, 10:13:21 PM »
It looks like Manafort could be facing essentially a life sentence because he's already 69 years old.

It looks like Manafort betrayed his country.  He was literally working for a foreign adversary.  A life sentence would be a mercy.

Glenstache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1773 on: February 14, 2019, 10:55:36 PM »
It looks like Manafort could be facing essentially a life sentence because he's already 69 years old.

It looks like Manafort betrayed his country.  He was literally working for a foreign adversary.  A life sentence would be a mercy.
Yeah, not losing much sleep over Manafort rotting in a cell.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 11:16:17 AM by Glenstache »

Wexler

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1774 on: February 15, 2019, 11:12:42 AM »
So Trump apparently believed Putin on NK missile capabilities over US intelligence reports.   Jesus Christ, I will never stop being pissed off at how stupid way too many voters and nonvoters in this country are. 

(I know, I know-calling them stupid just makes them vote harder for Trump)

I can only hope that one reason for his confusion is that our intelligence community is actively preventing sensitive material from reaching Trump's desk in bullet point form so that Trump can't blurt it out to Putin in their private meetings or so that Jared can't sell it to Saudi Arabia in exchange for help on his debts.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1775 on: February 15, 2019, 11:27:24 AM »
It looks like Manafort could be facing essentially a life sentence because he's already 69 years old.

It looks like Manafort betrayed his country.  He was literally working for a foreign adversary.  A life sentence would be a mercy.

I don't think there's any "looks like' (ie doubt) about it.  He entered a plea-deal where he pled guilty to two counts: one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice for tampering with witnesses.

Even after that a US district judge has ruled by a preponderance of the evidence that he continued to engage in activity which violated his plea agreement.

He is guilty.  He betrayed his country.  Then he was told not to do it anymore in exchange for cooperation and leniency at sentencing (a cap of 10 years) - and yet he kept doing it.
. Anything less than the minimum 10 year sentence at this point would be shocking, and my guess is it will be considerably longer given these latest revelations.  At age 69 Manaforts best chance of not dying in prison lies with a presidential pardon, but I think even Donny wouldn't issue one until he was on his way out the door, given the baggage Manafort now carries.

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1776 on: February 15, 2019, 11:43:42 AM »
It looks like Manafort could be facing essentially a life sentence because he's already 69 years old.

It looks like Manafort betrayed his country.  He was literally working for a foreign adversary.  A life sentence would be a mercy.

I don't think there's any "looks like' (ie doubt) about it.  He entered a plea-deal where he pled guilty to two counts: one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice for tampering with witnesses.

Even after that a US district judge has ruled by a preponderance of the evidence that he continued to engage in activity which violated his plea agreement.

He is guilty.  He betrayed his country.  Then he was told not to do it anymore in exchange for cooperation and leniency at sentencing (a cap of 10 years) - and yet he kept doing it.
. Anything less than the minimum 10 year sentence at this point would be shocking, and my guess is it will be considerably longer given these latest revelations.  At age 69 Manaforts best chance of not dying in prison lies with a presidential pardon, but I think even Donny wouldn't issue one until he was on his way out the door, given the baggage Manafort now carries.

Yeah, but . . .


nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1777 on: February 15, 2019, 11:53:05 AM »
Lol -

As has been pointed out (but let's review anyway), collusion is a colloquial term.  It has no strict legal definition, so one can claim "NO COLLUSION" to just about anything and from a legal standpoint not be incorrect.  You can substitute the words "shenanigans" or "tomfoolery" and it makes about as much sense.

"There's NO SHENANIGANS!  Dems are running wild, Where's the TOMFOOLERY?!!"

but of course most of us equate collusion with conspiracy or any coordinated effort to break the law, and we've had quite a bit of that already.  Gates and Manafort pled guilty to conspiracy. Stone's been charged as such.    Cohen has pled guilty to breaking federal laws and claims he lied at the instruction of DJT and the campaign.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1778 on: February 15, 2019, 11:56:25 AM »
Lol -

As has been pointed out (but let's review anyway), collusion is a colloquial term.  It has no strict legal definition, so one can claim "NO COLLUSION" to just about anything and from a legal standpoint not be incorrect.  You can substitute the words "shenanigans" or "tomfoolery" and it makes about as much sense.

"There's NO SHENANIGANS!  Dems are running wild, Where's the TOMFOOLERY?!!"

but of course most of us equate collusion with conspiracy or any coordinated effort to break the law, and we've had quite a bit of that already.  Gates and Manafort pled guilty to conspiracy. Stone's been charged as such.    Cohen has pled guilty to breaking federal laws and claims he lied at the instruction of DJT and the campaign.
I prefer the phase, "Where are the high crimes and misdemeanors?!" Just has such a nice constitutional ring to it, eh?

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1779 on: February 15, 2019, 11:58:10 AM »
Lol -

As has been pointed out (but let's review anyway), collusion is a colloquial term.  It has no strict legal definition, so one can claim "NO COLLUSION" to just about anything and from a legal standpoint not be incorrect.  You can substitute the words "shenanigans" or "tomfoolery" and it makes about as much sense.

"There's NO SHENANIGANS!  Dems are running wild, Where's the TOMFOOLERY?!!"

but of course most of us equate collusion with conspiracy or any coordinated effort to break the law, and we've had quite a bit of that already.  Gates and Manafort pled guilty to conspiracy. Stone's been charged as such.    Cohen has pled guilty to breaking federal laws and claims he lied at the instruction of DJT and the campaign.

And conveniently, if circumstances were to plainly indicate that the colloquial use of collusion did fit what actually happened, there's the easy transition to "collusion isn't illegal!" because there's no law that says so..

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1780 on: February 15, 2019, 01:17:16 PM »
I have it on great authority (the best really) that this is just a witch hunt with no collusion.


:P

Dabnasty

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1781 on: February 15, 2019, 01:48:36 PM »
I have it on great authority (the best really) that this is just a witch hunt with no collusiontomfoolery.


:P

I'm replacing all "collusions" with tomfoolery now because it makes me laugh. Hahaha.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1782 on: February 15, 2019, 01:54:08 PM »
I have it on great authority (the best really) that this is just a witch hunt with no collusiontomfoolery.


:P

I'm replacing all "collusions" with tomfoolery now because it makes me laugh. Hahaha.
my work here is done.

Poundwise

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1783 on: February 15, 2019, 06:14:43 PM »
"Special counsel prosecutors say they have communications of Stone with WikiLeaks"

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/politics/roger-stone-wikileaks/index.html

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1784 on: February 15, 2019, 07:28:13 PM »
I don't think there's any "looks like' (ie doubt) about it.  He entered a plea-deal where he pled guilty to two counts: one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice for tampering with witnesses.

Even after that a US district judge has ruled by a preponderance of the evidence that he continued to engage in activity which violated his plea agreement.

He is guilty.  He betrayed his country.  Then he was told not to do it anymore in exchange for cooperation and leniency at sentencing (a cap of 10 years) - and yet he kept doing it.
. Anything less than the minimum 10 year sentence at this point would be shocking, and my guess is it will be considerably longer given these latest revelations.  At age 69 Manaforts best chance of not dying in prison lies with a presidential pardon, but I think even Donny wouldn't issue one until he was on his way out the door, given the baggage Manafort now carries.

You have much more faith in the Republicans than I do. Why wouldn't Trump or Pence pardon him? What could they possibly have to lose? If they don't pardon him it's an admission that Trump was a traitor (or at least incompetent) all along. If they do pardon him then they can keep on repeating their "Democratic witch hunt" lies on Fox News, and a significant portion of the population will believe them.

OtherJen

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1785 on: February 15, 2019, 08:35:10 PM »
I have it on great authority (the best really) that this is just a witch hunt with no collusion.


:P

Tremendous. Covfefe.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1786 on: February 16, 2019, 01:26:15 AM »
I don't think there's any "looks like' (ie doubt) about it.  He entered a plea-deal where he pled guilty to two counts: one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice for tampering with witnesses.

Even after that a US district judge has ruled by a preponderance of the evidence that he continued to engage in activity which violated his plea agreement.

He is guilty.  He betrayed his country.  Then he was told not to do it anymore in exchange for cooperation and leniency at sentencing (a cap of 10 years) - and yet he kept doing it.
. Anything less than the minimum 10 year sentence at this point would be shocking, and my guess is it will be considerably longer given these latest revelations.  At age 69 Manaforts best chance of not dying in prison lies with a presidential pardon, but I think even Donny wouldn't issue one until he was on his way out the door, given the baggage Manafort now carries.

You have much more faith in the Republicans than I do. Why wouldn't Trump or Pence pardon him? What could they possibly have to lose? If they don't pardon him it's an admission that Trump was a traitor (or at least incompetent) all along. If they do pardon him then they can keep on repeating their "Democratic witch hunt" lies on Fox News, and a significant portion of the population will believe them.

Quite.   Trump has just appointed a new Attorney General whose speciality is sneaking out pardons for the guilty co-conspirators of the President who gave him the job, and everything points to his having been appointed to do the same again.