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Author Topic:   The Trump Presidency
Percy
Member
Posts: 18431
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 2836 of 2871 (851116)
04-19-2019 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 2831 by Percy
04-19-2019 7:07 AM


Re: Sarah Sanders Lied about the Comey Firing
Sarah Sanders is covering up her lies with slander and more lies. Interviewed earlier today by George Stephanopoulos, Sanders again said that it was a mere "slip of tongue" when she said that the FBI rank and file had lost faith in then FBI director James Comey, the same characterization she provided in her Mueller testimony. Stephanopoulos challenged Sanders claim, saying that it couldn't be a slip of the tongue since she had repeated the same claim multiple times in the days following, continuing:

quote:
You said it was a ‘slip of the tongue’ when you talked about ‘countless FBI members,’ yet you repeated it twice the very next day. That’s not a slip of the tongue, Sarah, that’s a deliberate false statement.

Sanders excused her false statements by telling more lies:

quote:
I’m sorry I wasn’t a robot like the Democratic Party that went out for two-and-a-half years and stated time and time again that there was definitely Russian collusion between the president and his campaign, that they had evidence to show it, and that the president and his team deserved to be in jail. That he shouldn’t be in office, when really they were the ones that were creating the greatest scandal in the history of our country.

There were undoubtedly some immoderate voices among the Democrats, but by and large the Democrats have been fairly moderate in their characterization and analysis of the publicly available evidence as it became known, so it is worth enumerating Sarah Sanders' additional lies:

  • ...the Democratic Party...for two-and-a-half years...stated time and again that there was definitely Russian collusion between the president and his campaign,...

    The Democratic Party itself took no such position, and most Democrats only believed that because there were so many contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, and because lies were told about those contacts so often, that it deserved investigation.

  • ...that they had evidence to show it,...

    The Democratic Party made no such claim. Most Democrats were saying to wait for the Mueller report.

  • ...and that the president and his team deserved to be in jail.

    The Democratic Party made no such statement. But a number of people associated with the Trump campaign *did* deserve to be in jail, as they have either pled guilty or been found guilty or both. Some have served their time, some are currently serving their time, some have yet to serve their time, and some have been charged but not yet tried.

  • That he shouldn’t be in office,...

    This is true. Most Democrats have made no secret of their feelings that Trump is unfit for office.

  • ...when really they were the ones that were creating the greatest scandal in the history of our country.

    It's unclear what scandal Sanders is referring to.

--Percy
This message is a reply to:
 Message 2831 by Percy, posted 04-19-2019 7:07 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 2837 by Coragyps, posted 04-19-2019 7:24 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5387
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 4.2


(3)
Message 2837 of 2871 (851117)
04-19-2019 7:24 PM
Reply to: Message 2836 by Percy
04-19-2019 6:28 PM


Re: Sarah Sanders Lied about the Comey Firing
Percy, I feel it’s very clear what scandal she’s talking about: the terrible outrage of someone saying something less than fawning about her boss.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 2836 by Percy, posted 04-19-2019 6:28 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18431
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 2838 of 2871 (851129)
04-20-2019 7:16 AM


Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
Concerning obstruction of justice, here are a couple important quotes from The Mueller Report. This one's about prosecutions (volume 2, page 1, PDF page 213):

quote:
The OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion also recognizes that a President does not have immunity after he leaves office. And if individuals other than the President committed an obstruction offense, they may be prosecuted at this time. Given those considerations, the facts known to us, and the strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of the criminal justice system, we conducted a thorough factual investigation in order to preserve the evidence when memories were fresh and documentary materials were available.

Restating this more concisely, a thorough investigation was conducted now because everyone but the president can be prosecuted now while the president may be prosecuted after he leaves office.

This one's about impeachment (volume 2, page 8, PDF page 220):

quote:
With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President's corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.

This is pretty straightforward. It says that Congress has responsibility for protecting the country from the corrupt use of presidential power, an indirect reference to impeachment.

Impeachment now makes no sense because conviction in the Senate isn't even a remote possibility. High-profilers advocating impeachment are Elizabeth Warren and AOC. It isn't clear to me why they believe impeachment without conviction would be a better path to the truth than the investigations already initiated in the House.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 2839 by Diomedes, posted 04-20-2019 11:06 AM Percy has responded

    
Diomedes
Member
Posts: 851
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 2839 of 2871 (851134)
04-20-2019 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 2838 by Percy
04-20-2019 7:16 AM


Re: Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
This is pretty straightforward. It says that Congress has responsibility for protecting the country from the corrupt use of presidential power, an indirect reference to impeachment.

Impeachment now makes no sense because conviction in the Senate isn't even a remote possibility. High-profilers advocating impeachment are Elizabeth Warren and AOC. It isn't clear to me why they believe impeachment without conviction would be a better path to the truth than the investigations already initiated in the House.

There are two facets to this: one is criminal and the other is political. And unfortunately, with the way the system works, both have to be weighed.

On the one hand, if ample evidence exists that there was some level of impropriety, bordering on criminal behavior, by the President or the White House, that appears to warrant some level of action by the House. Either further investigations into the actions or impeachment proceedings. As you alluded to, Mueller essentially left that part open for Congress to determine.

Now comes the political component. Would continued investigations or an impeachment proceeding benefit the Democrats in upcoming elections in 2020? That is hard to quantify. But if I play Devil's Advocate for a moment: the primary focus in the Mueller investigation was the prospect of collusion with a foreign power. I.e. Russia. That seems to have been thoroughly debunked. If the Democrats now utilize Congress to continue investigations or push for an impeachment, they may end up playing into Trump's hands and reinforcing the narrative that its all a 'witch hunt'.

If I look at the Clinton impeachment in the 90s, that massively backfired for the Republicans. So there is a danger that a similar situation could manifest here and excessive fixation on the Mueller report could turn into a rallying cry for Trump and his base.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2838 by Percy, posted 04-20-2019 7:16 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2840 by Percy, posted 04-21-2019 11:11 AM Diomedes has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18431
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 2840 of 2871 (851237)
04-21-2019 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 2839 by Diomedes
04-20-2019 11:06 AM


Re: Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
Diomedes writes:

But if I play Devil's Advocate for a moment: the primary focus in the Mueller investigation was the prospect of collusion with a foreign power. I.e. Russia. That seems to have been thoroughly debunked.

Thoroughly debunked? Quoting the Mueller report, Volume I, page 1, PDF page 9:

quote:
The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign. Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

I don't myself see "thoroughly debunked" and "did not establish" as close in meaning, especially when the latter appears after a statement about the "numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign."

If the Democrats now utilize Congress to continue investigations or push for an impeachment, they may end up playing into Trump's hands and reinforcing the narrative that it's all a 'witch hunt'.

Impeachment seems a futile exercise given Republican control of the Senate and the requirement of a 2/3 majority for conviction, but about incidents like the Trump Tower meeting and the sharing of polling data the Mueller report gives legalistic arguments for not delivering indictments having to do with the difficulty of establishing intent and the value of certain information. And then there are all the obstruction incidents.

The Democrats might get a modestly improved benefit from impeachment if at the outset they clearly outline goals stating that they understand conviction isn't a realistic possibility but that they want to heed their constitutional responsibilities and also establish what really happened to the extent possible. But it would still be, as has been said, a political rather than judicial exercise.

If I look at the Clinton impeachment in the [late] 90s, that massively backfired for the Republicans.

This is often said but is not something I understand. Two years later the Republicans were in the White House, and now they're in it again. They've controlled the House for 20 of the last 26 years, and the Senate for 16.

I don't actually have a preference for which party controls Congress or is in the White House. My preferences are much more related to competence, professionalism, experience, and the ability to work across the aisle. Unfortunately both parties often behave reprehensibly, more so when in power. Anyone desiring a representational role in government at the state or federal level should be viewed suspiciously.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2839 by Diomedes, posted 04-20-2019 11:06 AM Diomedes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2841 by Diomedes, posted 04-23-2019 9:05 AM Percy has responded

    
Diomedes
Member
Posts: 851
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 2841 of 2871 (851381)
04-23-2019 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 2840 by Percy
04-21-2019 11:11 AM


Re: Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
I don't myself see "thoroughly debunked" and "did not establish" as close in meaning, especially when the latter appears after a statement about the "numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign."

Poor choice of words on my part. However, 'did not establish' is essentially stating that the evidence acquired did not seem to indicate willing collusion between Trump and Russia. Ultimately, the Mueller investigation is a fact finding mission. So he is presenting the facts as they were discovered. But based on the collusion portion, what Mueller is essentially stating is that the burden of proof is not met.

Now the obstruction of justice portion is a whole other matter. In that case, Mueller indicated there were SEVERAL instances of attempted obstruction of justice by Trump. And he also iterated that the only reason actual obstruction did not occur is that the checks and balances built into the system prevented Trump from acting on it.

However, attempted obstruction of justice is still something within the legal framework that is actionable. Incidentally, an attorney reviewed the Mueller report and put together a heat map of the instances as outlined.

Reference: https://www.lawfareblog.com/...stice-mueller-report-heat-map

Impeachment seems a futile exercise given Republican control of the Senate and the requirement of a 2/3 majority for conviction, but about incidents like the Trump Tower meeting and the sharing of polling data the Mueller report gives legalistic arguments for not delivering indictments having to do with the difficulty of establishing intent and the value of certain information. And then there are all the obstruction incidents.

The Democrats might get a modestly improved benefit from impeachment if at the outset they clearly outline goals stating that they understand conviction isn't a realistic possibility but that they want to heed their constitutional responsibilities and also establish what really happened to the extent possible. But it would still be, as has been said, a political rather than judicial exercise.

I am still waffling on this. But based on the numbers, I don't see impeachment as leading to anything other than just political wrangling at this stage. The Dems could potentially just start hearings and maybe even subpoena other individuals like Don Jr. or Jared Kushner. See if anything sticks there.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2840 by Percy, posted 04-21-2019 11:11 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2842 by Percy, posted 04-23-2019 9:57 AM Diomedes has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18431
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 2842 of 2871 (851382)
04-23-2019 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 2841 by Diomedes
04-23-2019 9:05 AM


Re: Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
Diomedes writes:

I don't myself see "thoroughly debunked" and "did not establish" as close in meaning, especially when the latter appears after a statement about the "numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign."

Poor choice of words on my part. However, 'did not establish' is essentially stating that the evidence acquired did not seem to indicate willing collusion between Trump and Russia.

When Russians offered dirt on Hillary Clinton Trump Jr.'s responded, "If it's what you say I love it." I don't see how that isn't a crime if followed through on, which he did by setting up and attending the Trump Tower Meeting. It's illegal to accept foreign campaign assistance, including anything of value (I quoted that particular law somewhere upthread, I can dig it out again if it's important). The Mueller report described difficulty in determining what was of value, but as Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said this weekend, opposition research is very valuable to campaigns. Trump Jr. tried to obtain something of great value to the Trump campaign (dirt on Hillary Clinton) from a foreign power, and that's illegal.

Mueller defined criminality as conspiracy to coordinate with the Russian government in their election interference efforts. The Russian government offered dirt on Clinton, Trump Jr. set up the meeting, and they had the meeting. That is coordination. Mueller demurred to charge a crime because:

  • Trump Jr. didn't know that accepting assistance from foreign governments was a crime (since when did ignorance of the law become an excuse?), causing Mueller to conclude that demonstrating intent would be a problem.
  • Trump Jr. didn't obtain anything of value to the campaign. This I truly don't understand. If you try and fail to murder someone, you've still committed a crime. It seems to me that trying but failing to obtain assistance from a foreign government is still a crime.

But based on the collusion portion, what Mueller is essentially stating is that the burden of proof is not met.

That's what Mueller thinks, but Schiff thinks the burden of proof *is* met. Who's right? Schiff's position makes far more sense to me than Mueller's, so I'll be closely following the committee's investigation.

The Dems could potentially just start hearings and maybe even subpoena other individuals like Don Jr. or Jared Kushner. See if anything sticks there.

By "hearings" I think you mean impeachment hearings? If so, I don't think impeachment hearings are necessary. I think the investigations the House committees already have planned are sufficient. I assume they'll subpoena people like Trump Jr. and Kushner and so on. The outcomes of the investigation will help inform any decisions on impeachment.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2841 by Diomedes, posted 04-23-2019 9:05 AM Diomedes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2843 by Diomedes, posted 04-23-2019 10:22 AM Percy has responded

    
Diomedes
Member
Posts: 851
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 2843 of 2871 (851383)
04-23-2019 10:22 AM
Reply to: Message 2842 by Percy
04-23-2019 9:57 AM


Re: Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
Diomedes writes:

But based on the collusion portion, what Mueller is essentially stating is that the burden of proof is not met.


That's what Mueller thinks, but Schiff thinks the burden of proof *is* met. Who's right? Schiff's position makes far more sense to me than Mueller's, so I'll be closely following the committee's investigation.

Schiff is a Democratic Congressman. I am not picking sides and have no love for Trump, but I hardly think Schiff is approaching this in an unbiased fashion. If the Dems start undermining Mueller's interpretations of the events or understanding of the law, then the entire situation is going to devolve into a 'he said, she said' between attorneys across party lines. Don't think that will help things and will just reinforce the Trump 'witch hunt' narrative.

By "hearings" I think you mean impeachment hearings? If so, I don't think impeachment hearings are necessary. I think the investigations the House committees already have planned are sufficient. I assume they'll subpoena people like Trump Jr. and Kushner and so on. The outcomes of the investigation will help inform any decisions on impeachment.

Sorry, didn't mean impeachment hearings. The existing investigations that are planned are the right way to go at this stage. Further hearings may become possible pending the outcome of the existing investigations.

My concern is still the political fallout. Which is why I am wearing two hats here. One is looking at the evidence resulting from the Mueller investigation and determining the legal ramifications. And the other is trying to gauge the political ramifications and fallout from investigative or potential impeachment proceedings.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2842 by Percy, posted 04-23-2019 9:57 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2844 by Percy, posted 04-23-2019 11:02 AM Diomedes has not yet responded
 Message 2845 by Taq, posted 04-23-2019 3:18 PM Diomedes has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18431
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 2844 of 2871 (851384)
04-23-2019 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 2843 by Diomedes
04-23-2019 10:22 AM


Re: Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
Diomedes writes:

Schiff is a Democratic Congressman. I am not picking sides and have no love for Trump, but I hardly think Schiff is approaching this in an unbiased fashion.

If I'm interpreting you correctly, this seems an argument for ignoring any politician. Schiff is a Democrat, Democrats are biased, therefore the opinions of Democrats should discounted. And by the same argument Republican opinions should be discounted.

I don't think I can go along with that. I will listen to anyone bringing rational arguments based upon established facts.

If the Dems start undermining Mueller's interpretations of the events or understanding of the law, then the entire situation is going to devolve into a 'he said, she said' between attorneys across party lines. Don't think that will help things and will just reinforce the Trump 'witch hunt' narrative.

Expectations of concurrence on events and the law might arguably not be practical. As I said previously, Schiff's position on the Trump Tower meeting makes sense to me, Mueller's doesn't. I can be persuaded I'm wrong, but I need to know what is wrong with Schiff's argument, and how my assessment of Mueller's argument is wrong.

My concern is still the political fallout. Which is why I am wearing two hats here. One is looking at the evidence resulting from the Mueller investigation and determining the legal ramifications. And the other is trying to gauge the political ramifications and fallout from investigative or potential impeachment proceedings.

Some Democrats are running from their own shadows. They have to leave the political ramifications aside and let them fall where they may. They should do their jobs and follow the evidence where it leads.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2843 by Diomedes, posted 04-23-2019 10:22 AM Diomedes has not yet responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7774
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 2845 of 2871 (851395)
04-23-2019 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 2843 by Diomedes
04-23-2019 10:22 AM


Re: Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
Diomedes writes:

My concern is still the political fallout. Which is why I am wearing two hats here. One is looking at the evidence resulting from the Mueller investigation and determining the legal ramifications. And the other is trying to gauge the political ramifications and fallout from investigative or potential impeachment proceedings.

Bill Clinton was impeached over lying about having sex in the White House, and possibly taking steps to cover it up. In a strict legal sense, Republicans had grounds for impeachment proceedings. However, the politics didn't work out for them. They lacked the votes in the Senate to kick Clinton out of office, and it did look like a witch hunt. Democrats should keep this piece of history in mind. The one difference is that Clinton was actually an effective and sane president.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2843 by Diomedes, posted 04-23-2019 10:22 AM Diomedes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2847 by 1.61803, posted 04-23-2019 5:12 PM Taq has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18431
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 2846 of 2871 (851397)
04-23-2019 5:11 PM


Searchable/copyable Mueller Report
Link to searchable/copyable Mueller report.

--Percy


    
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2831
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 4.8


(6)
Message 2847 of 2871 (851398)
04-23-2019 5:12 PM
Reply to: Message 2845 by Taq
04-23-2019 3:18 PM


Re: Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
Taq writes:

The one difference is that Clinton was actually an effective and sane president.

Unfortunately it seems the Cheeto in Chief and his progeny seem to be considered by Mueller to be too stupid to rise to the level of criminality.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2845 by Taq, posted 04-23-2019 3:18 PM Taq has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 2848 by jar, posted 04-23-2019 8:35 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30945
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.6


(2)
Message 2848 of 2871 (851399)
04-23-2019 8:35 PM
Reply to: Message 2847 by 1.61803
04-23-2019 5:12 PM


Re: Mueller Report Lays Groundwork for Impeachment and Post-Presidency Prosecutions
That's certainly a reasonable conclusion and honestly il Donald is hardly worth the effort to impeach. The world should simply continue to ignore the fool, refuse to commit the crimes he requests, let the courts continue to overturn his most stupid mistakes and let the whole rest of the world enjoy laughing at the US and il Donald.

At least he is a wonderful source for late night comedy.

Once he's out of office, follow the money and leave the whole family on the dole.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2847 by 1.61803, posted 04-23-2019 5:12 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18431
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


(3)
Message 2849 of 2871 (851418)
04-24-2019 10:23 AM


Trump Ignores Russian Threat to 2020 Election
According to a New York Times article (In Push for 2020 Election Security, Top Official Was Warned: Don’t Tell Trump), former Department of Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen was stymied in her efforts to protect the country from Russian interference in the 2020 election by Trump's disinterest.

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney instructed Nielsen not to raise the issue to Trump, saying that Trump still considered attaching any importance to Russian interference questioned the legitimacy of his presidency. Nielsen was unable to hold high level meetings:

quote:
Even though the Department of Homeland Security has primary responsibility for civilian cyberdefense, Ms. Nielsen eventually gave up on her effort to organize a White House meeting of cabinet secretaries to coordinate a strategy to protect next year’s elections.
...
While American intelligence agencies have warned of the dangers of new influence campaigns penetrating the 2020 elections, Mr. Trump and those closest to him have maintained that the effects of Russia’s interference in 2016 was overblown.
...
One senior official described homeland security officials as adamant that the United States government needed to significantly step up its efforts to urge the American public and companies to block foreign influence campaigns. But the department was stymied by the White House’s refusal to discuss it, the official said.

As a result, the official said, the government was failing to adequately inform Americans about continuing influence efforts.
...
“We continue to expect a pervasive messaging campaign by the Russians to undermine our democratic institutions,” Mr. Masterson said in an interview. “We saw it in 2018, continue to see it and don’t expect it to subside.”


Conspiracy through coordination with Russians in the 2016 election combined with obstruction of efforts to investigate that conspiracy are not the only impeachable offenses. Failing to protect the country from foreign threats also seems like a treasonable and impeachable offense.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : It wasn't an opinion piece - it was a news article.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2850 by Chiroptera, posted 04-24-2019 10:33 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6575
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.7


(5)
Message 2850 of 2871 (851420)
04-24-2019 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 2849 by Percy
04-24-2019 10:23 AM


Re: Trump Ignores Russian Threat to 2020 Election
Failing to protect the country from foreign threats also seems like a treasonable and impeachable offense.

On the other hand, they understood the threat to US security posed by mothers with children, so there's that.


Hell hath no fury like a white man scorned. If you take nothing else from the Senates confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, take that much. -- Kai Wright

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2849 by Percy, posted 04-24-2019 10:23 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
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