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Post 05 Feb 2018, 3:43 pm

freeman3 wrote:Rumors that Trump ordered Mueller fired? Now you're getting ridiculous. The New York Times, the Washington Post and New York independently report it...and it's just rumors to you.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.co ... don-mcgahn


So, you deny that if Trump were determined to fire him that he couldn't do it? Really?

I don't care if you were in the meeting when it was *discussed,* he didn't order him fired. If McGahn defied him and Trump wanted it done as badly as these breathless, Trump-hating "journalists" claim, he would have fired McGahn.

Ultimately, Trump *can* fire Mueller. There would be terrible political cost. But, he hasn't done it. I don't care how many wannabe Rachel Maddows say he did.

Sure...the Trump campaign meets with the Russians in order to collude, they have a guy connected to Russian oligarchs (Manafort) start running their campaign and replace Lewandowski for no apparent reason (after all they had just run the Republican primary), several Trump campaign people meet with Russians and lie about it, Flynn calls the Russian ambassador five times on the day Obama enacted sanctions against Russia in an effort to mollify Russia (and then lies about it to the FBI) Kushner meets with a Russian state bank that is under sanctions (and also tries to set up secret communications outside of US surveillance with the Russians) ...and then Trump fires Comey and then tries to fire Mueller (and oh repeatedly urged Senate Republicans to end the Russian investigation)...and to top it off Trump's contemptuously refuses to comply with additional sanctions against Russia which Congress had approved by 98-2 in the Senate and 417-5 in House (and he had signed into law) by merely repeating a list of Russian oligarchs from Forbes.


What is the price of tin foil right now? It seems like a good investment.

Emotion is no substitute for reason. I guess tin foil will do the trick though.
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Post 05 Feb 2018, 4:11 pm

fate
So, taking a meeting that resulted in nothing is bad, but hiring a foreign agent to engage with the Russians for dirt . . . that's honorable

Sometimes you get so tied up in a pretzel logic..
Yes, taking a meeting that results in nothing is bad. If the meeting was an attempt at collusion. (In the same way, attempted murder, attempted fraud are still crimes...etc. you don't get a pass because you are an incompetent criminal. )
Which, on the face of the emails preceding the meeting , it sure seems like the meeting was at least "attempted collusion". BTW the Russian Attorney who attended the meeting has been named in a Swiss corruption case...
The Moscow operation behind the now-infamous Russian-Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 included a direct attempt to enlist a foreign country’s law-enforcement official as a virtual double-agent, according to a court case in Switzerland.
One of Switzerland’s top investigators has been fired after allegations of bribery, violating secrecy laws, and “unauthorized clandestine behavior” in meeting with the very same Russian actors linked to the Trump Tower encounter.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-tow ... ption-case

On the other hand, if the meeting was meeting with someone doing "opposition research", and thats' okay .... then why is Steele's research a problem?
The problem is that Trump was meeting with known agents of Russia.
Steele, on the other hand, delivered his research to the FBI because he thought they should know what he'd learned. The same way Australia first reported to the CIA and FBI that Papadopoulos was being trolled by Russians...
Steele, was on America's side against Russia...
Trump? On his own side only.
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Post 05 Feb 2018, 6:21 pm

rickyp wrote:fate
So, taking a meeting that resulted in nothing is bad, but hiring a foreign agent to engage with the Russians for dirt . . . that's honorable

Sometimes you get so tied up in a pretzel logic..
Yes, taking a meeting that results in nothing is bad. If the meeting was an attempt at collusion.


Really? What law is there against your charge, not proven, of “attempted collusion?” Can you even define that “law?”

(In the same way, attempted murder, attempted fraud are still crimes...etc. you don't get a pass because you are an incompetent criminal. )


Same question. Go ahead. What law was it? What is collusion? What’s the penalty?

Which, on the face of the emails preceding the meeting , it sure seems like the meeting was at least "attempted collusion". BTW the Russian Attorney who attended the meeting has been named in a Swiss corruption case...


So what?

Here’s the problem you tin foilists have: you’re trying to spin a LeCarre novel, but you have little/no evidence and no actual violations of law. It’s all very conspiratorial, but there’s no evidence of this grand conspiracy—what it was to do or how it was to do it.

Did you know Trump was in the grassy knoll?

On the other hand, if the meeting was meeting with someone doing "opposition research", and thats' okay .... then why is Steele's research a problem?


For starters, he was paid by a group hired by the DNC and Clinton Campaign. That would *seem* to be a conflict of interest.

:eek:

The problem is that Trump was meeting with known agents of Russia.


Carter? “The idiot?” Really?

Where is the evidence of wrongdoing? Just any will do.

Steele, on the other hand, delivered his research to the FBI because he thought they should know what he'd learned.


Did the FBI pay Steele? If so, did he have a motive to make it worth their while? What makes Steele reliable and unbiased?

Put your hat back on.
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Post 05 Feb 2018, 7:05 pm

When the head of the FBI admits that he has participated in leaking sensitive information to the public, that agency gets a D minus for allowing such a fool to head it up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWZKLrEFWJw

ANY loss of credibility that the FBI has now suffered falls squarely on Comey's shoulders.
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Post 05 Feb 2018, 9:07 pm

One of the statutes violated is 52 USC 30121,36 USC 510:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20

"A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election."

That's the first part of the statute. "Or other thing of value" would include say damaging information about a political opponent.

The second part applies to Don, Jr.:

"No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law]"

Did Don, Jr solicit information from the Russians by attending that meeting in order to get dirt on Hillary? Yes he did!

And there is also a conspiracy theory where parties agree to do a criminal act and take some steps toward its completion.

I am not sure about attempt because federal law does not have a general attempt statute. And I don't feel like seeing if this statute can be violated by an attempt.

Happy?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.co ... es-illegal
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 5:46 am

freeman3 wrote:One of the statutes violated is 52 USC 30121,36 USC 510:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20

"A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election."

That's the first part of the statute. "Or other thing of value" would include say damaging information about a political opponent.


We agree. Hillary is guilty. Well done.

The second part applies to Don, Jr.:

"No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law]"

Did Don, Jr solicit information from the Russians by attending that meeting in order to get dirt on Hillary? Yes he did!


Did you tape it? If not, good luck. Define "solicit." Because that looks like the opposite. Someone contacts him offering info. That's not "solicit."

And there is also a conspiracy theory where parties agree to do a criminal act and take some steps toward its completion.


Uh-huh, except we do not have an underlying criminal act. Oops.

I am not sure about attempt because federal law does not have a general attempt statute. And I don't feel like seeing if this statute can be violated by an attempt.

Happy?


Sure, because you've demonstrated, quite capably, you've got no case.
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 7:06 am

fate
For starters, he was paid by a group hired by the DNC and Clinton Campaign. That would *seem* to be a conflict of interest
.
So when Trump Jr. Manafort and Kushner met with Russians who "had dirt on Hilary Clinton" , and who took the meeting even after being told by his friend this:
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin.
What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?


That doesn't make you think they were working with the Russian government? Just taking the meeting was collusion. Freeman has answered you though...


dag
When the head of the FBI admits that he has participated in leaking sensitive information to the public, that agency gets a D minus for allowing such a fool to head it up.


What was sensitive about the memo he released?

On May 16 Comey released his internal FBI memo he had written after a February 14 private meeting with the president. It said Trump had asked him to end the FBI's investigation into Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor. The dismissal, the memo, and Comey's subsequent Congressional testimony were interpreted by some commentators as evidence of obstruction of justice and became part of a widening investigation by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel appointed to probe Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.[17]


Comey may be a bit of a fool for some of the things he did, and the ways he did them. But letting the public know that the President was trying to obstruct justice, was both smart and courageous.
Standing up for the rule of law, hang the consequences, is whats required to keep a democracy from becoming a dictatorship. Especially important in an executive system of government which can more easily be co-opted by someone willing to flout legal norms and expected norms of behavior.
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 10:08 am

rickyp wrote:fate
For starters, he was paid by a group hired by the DNC and Clinton Campaign. That would *seem* to be a conflict of interest
.
So when Trump Jr. Manafort and Kushner met with Russians who "had dirt on Hilary Clinton" , and who took the meeting even after being told by his friend this:
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin.
What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?


That doesn't make you think they were working with the Russian government? Just taking the meeting was collusion. Freeman has answered you though...


Erm, to state the obvious, this is all nice and all, but it has nothing to do with Steele, the FISA Court, and conflict of interest.

And, I disagree that taking the meeting was "collusion."

Here, let me define "collusion" since none of you lefties have the moxie. Collusion would mean Trump and his campaign coordinating with the Russian government to alter the outcome of our election. Even if Don Jr. met with someone tangentially related to the government because that person purported to have dirt, some questions remain:

1. Was Don acting for the campaign at this meeting?

2. Was the Russian attorney acting for the Russian government at this meeting?

3. Did any election-altering magic come out of the meeting? Was it possible or probable that both of the first two conditions were met AND there was hope of information that would change the election, you might have "attempted collusion," if there was such a crime.

Good luck.There's more than just "Well, he's Donnie" and "She is connected to the government."


dag
When the head of the FBI admits that he has participated in leaking sensitive information to the public, that agency gets a D minus for allowing such a fool to head it up.


What was sensitive about the memo he released?


What was sensitive?

That's the standard? How about was he authorized to leak it?

NO! It wasn't his personal property.
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 10:51 am

Nice try in your defense of Don, Jr., DF. Solicitation in this context merely means did Don, jr, make an oral or written communication indicating that he was trying to obtain something of value ("dirt on Hillary") from the Russian government? It's pretty clear that he did so. As for conspiracy of course the solicitation would be a crime itself but apart from that the meeting itself could be construed as an "overt act" indicating that the conspiracy had gotten far enough along to be a crime and then Don, Jr. would have to prove he abandoned the idea.

So why hasn't he been charged? I am guessing Mueller would be reluctant to charge a member of the president's family and confront the president like that, at least until his investigation is at an end. It might also be thought that the case against Don, Jr--while a crime--was not strong enough as well. And the president could just pardon Don, Jr., as well.

I think that Trump knew about the meeting will be provable eventually because (1) common sense indicates he would about something so important, (2) it was in Trump Tower, (3) most importantly, Someone at the meeting will say he knew. The email chain indicates the Russian government was behind the meeting. It explicitly says so.
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 12:22 pm

freeman3 wrote:Nice try in your defense of Don, Jr., DF. Solicitation in this context merely means did Don, jr, make an oral or written communication indicating that he was trying to obtain something of value ("dirt on Hillary") from the Russian government? It's pretty clear that he did so.


Oh, I don't think so.

Russian lawyer to Donnie: "I have some dirt on Hillary."

Donnie: "I'd like to hear it."

That is not solicitation.

And, was there any dirt offered? Apparently not. If so, what was it? Why isn't Donnie hiding out instead of appearing on several TV shows? Is that brazen behavior? Inept lawyers? Or, has he done nothing wrong? Why hasn't he been indicted if it's so clear?

As for conspiracy of course the solicitation would be a crime itself but apart from that the meeting itself could be construed as an "overt act" indicating that the conspiracy had gotten far enough along to be a crime and then Don, Jr. would have to prove he abandoned the idea.


That's weird that a defendant would have to prove his innocence. Seems . . . French.

So why hasn't he been charged? I am guessing Mueller would be reluctant to charge a member of the president's family and confront the president like that, at least until his investigation is at an end. It might also be thought that the case against Don, Jr--while a crime--was not strong enough as well. And the president could just pardon Don, Jr., as well.


Oh, the pardon card!

You said it was "pretty clear." Huh. Well, maybe what you know isn't so? Maybe it's been filtered through a subjective and liberal media filter?

I think that Trump knew about the meeting will be provable eventually because (1) common sense indicates he would about something so important, (2) it was in Trump Tower, (3) most importantly, Someone at the meeting will say he knew. The email chain indicates the Russian government was behind the meeting. It explicitly says so.


1. "Your honor, it's common sense that Mr. Trump knew what his son was doing."

2. "Your honor, it happened in Trump Tower, therefore Mr. Trump knew about it."

3. "Your honor, we have some pretty good hearsay evidence that he knew."

I'm not really sure, but those seem kinda sketchy legal arguments.

You claim it "explicitly says so." And yet, we haven't seen it. The NYT relies on "three people" to buttress its claim that Trump Jr. "was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy." Who were those three people? What is their political background?

After the Steele and Isikoff revelations, I'm not taking anything the media says on face value, and I'm certainly not accepting your spin.

Investigative journalist Michael Isikoff said Friday that he was surprised to find out that an article he wrote about Carter Page prior to the election was used to obtain a spy warrant against the former Trump campaign adviser.

The revelation, which was made in a memo released by the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, “stuns me,” Isikoff said in an episode of his podcast, “Skullduggery.” http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/02/isiko ... rter-page/


I want to see it all.
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 12:27 pm

As for Mr. Steele:

The FBI secretly used the Steele dossier to convince a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to permit one of the most sensitive invasions of privacy against a U.S. citizen: electronic surveillance by the government. Top Obama and Trump officials signed four wiretap applications against Trump adviser Carter Page starting in fall of 2016 — a month before the presidential election — relying, in part, on the dossier. That’s according to House Republicans who, on Friday, released a summary of classified documents they reviewed.

The FBI’s reliance on the anti-Trump dossier is questionable because while the judge was reportedly told the author had political motivations, the FBI allegedly did not disclose who funded it: Donald Trump’s chief opponent in the presidential race — the Hillary Clinton campaign — and the Democratic National Committee.


Not only that, the newly-released criminal referral says Steele actually incorporated information that was funneled to him through Clinton associates and the U.S. State Department where Clinton had served as Secretary of State from 2009 to early 2013. In a memo dated Oct. 19, 2016, Steele wrote that a foreign source who was in touch with “a friend of the Clintons” passed him material through a U.S. State Department connection.

Even more problematic, the FBI may have violated strict rules — Woods Procedures — that forbid it from presenting even a single unverified fact to the special court, let alone a lengthy dossier full of them.

The criminal referral unveiled today says Steele's possible violations involve claims he reportedly made about his dealings with the media. Conflicting accounts arose as part of a lawsuit in Great Britain where Steele is defending a libel claim made by a Russian businessman. Steele publicly accused him of hacking the Democratic Party. The criminal referral is not a formal accusation of wrongdoing against Steele, but a request for an investigation.

Conflicts of interest?

In the bigger picture, the criminal referral highlights conflicts of interest questions emerging in the wide-ranging investigations:

The Steele criminal referral in essence asks the FBI to investigate a source with whom FBI officials collaborated, and whose evidence they used in a fashion that’s under congressional investigation.

The referral was addressed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who himself signed at least one of the questionable wiretap applications using the Steele dossier.

It was also addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray whose choice for general counsel, Dana Boente, also signed at least one of the wiretap applications. Boente replaced James Baker, a confidante of former FBI Director James Comey, who signed three of the wiretap applications. (Baker was reassigned in December after questions arose about leaks promoting the anti-Trump material in the dossier. Last June, Comey admitted that he secretly orchestrated a leak to the press to prompt a special counsel investigation of any Trump-Russia ties. Robert Mueller was appointed two days later.)


http://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/372 ... mp-dossier
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 1:24 pm

11 CFR 110.20(a)(6) which contains the relevant statutes cites to CFR 300.2(m) for the definition of solicitation

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20

CFR 300.2(m) defines solicit as follows:

"For the purposes of part 300, to solicit means to ask, request, or recommend, explicitly or implicitly, that another person make a contribution, donation, transfer of funds, or otherwise provide anything of value. A solicitation is an oral or written communication that, construed as reasonably understood in the context in which it is made, contains a clear message asking, requesting, or recommending that another person make a contribution, donation, transfer of funds, or otherwise provide anything of value. A solicitation may be made directly or indirectly. The context includes the conduct of persons involved in the communication. A solicitation does not include mere statements of political support or mere guidance as to the applicability of a particular law or regulation."

Solicitation in this instance has a broader meaning than you are making it seem (your interpretation maybe true say under solicitation for prostitution under California law, for example). Basically, in essence, the statute is saying is this a situation where one party is doing all of the heavy lifting in the violation of the statute or is it a two-way street? Was Don, Jr doing anything to convince the Russians to do something for the campaign? Don, Jr went to the meeting, he brought Kushner and Manafort with him, the meeting was in Trump tower, his emails showed that he was excited to get the information, he expressed interest in getting Hillary dirt. Do you think his response to the initial contact made the Russians more or less likely to provide Hillary dirt? I think the answer is clear that his response made it more likely that Russia would violate the law and therefore his conduct constituted solicitation.
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 2:02 pm

freeman3 wrote:Solicitation in this instance has a broader meaning than you are making it seem (your interpretation maybe true say under solicitation for prostitution under California law, for example). Basically, in essence, the statute is saying is this a situation where one party is doing all of the heavy lifting in the violation of the statute or is it a two-way street? Was Don, Jr doing anything to convince the Russians to do something for the campaign? Don, Jr went to the meeting, he brought Kushner and Manafort with him, the meeting was in Trump tower, his emails showed that he was excited to get the information, he expressed interest in getting Hillary dirt. Do you think his response to the initial contact made the Russians more or less likely to provide Hillary dirt? I think the answer is clear that his response made it more likely that Russia would violate the law and therefore his conduct constituted solicitation.


1. Don Jr. went to the meeting.

That's all you've got.

Did his response make the Russians more likely to provide dirt? Prove it. You have your beliefs, which are not, unfortunately for you, admissible.
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 2:30 pm

Russians: "We've got Hillary dirt."
Don, Jr: "Why Ivan...I love Hillary dirt. We're interested in spreading that dirt around the Battleground States..."

Once the Russians said that they had something illegal to offer the Trump campaign (Hillary dirt), all Don, Jr. had to do was show interest in getting that dirt. And he did that in various ways as shown. That's solicitation to violate the campaign finance laws prohibiting foreign contributions to US campaigns.Case closed. You don't get to play footsie with the Russians about their interference in a US presidential electon.
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Post 06 Feb 2018, 3:42 pm

fate
Don Jr. went to the meeting.

1. Was Don acting for the campaign at this meeting

He also brought along the Donald Trump campaign chairman, and Donald Trump seniors most trusted adviser.....So, yeah.

Fate
2. Was the Russian attorney acting for the Russian government at this meeting

from the original goldstone email.....

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin.

from a follow up email setting the meeting
Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday
.

Going into the meeting one would have to assume that the term Russian Government attorney has meaning.
She was just name by justices in Switzerland for conducting herself in the same manner in Switzerland.
LONDON—The Moscow operation behind the now-infamous Russian-Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 included a direct attempt to enlist a foreign country’s law-enforcement official as a virtual double-agent, according to a court case in Switzerland.

One of Switzerland’s top investigators has been fired after allegations of bribery, violating secrecy laws, and “unauthorized clandestine behavior” in meeting with the very same Russian actors linked to the Trump Tower encounter


fate
3. Did any election-altering magic come out of the meeting?

You don't have to be successful at a criminal act to be guilty of the criminal act.And the attempt that is criminal is conspiracy...
Collusion is not a crime, but basically the criminal equivalent is conspiracy," said former federal prosecutor Randall Eliason. "You could have a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by interfering with our election."