Author Topic: United States of Russia?  (Read 220028 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. 

Glenstache

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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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rocketpj

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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.

rocketpj

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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.