Trump presidency

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CorruptUser
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:50 pm UTC

Oh he's draining the swamp all right. The swampwater is being pumped out of Washington and into everyone's living rooms.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:12 am UTC

Spoilered for off topic--relative sizes of places (such as, say, Puerto Rico):

Spoiler:
I just stumbled across a fun site called Map Fight that allows you to compare the sizes of various places:

Puerto Rico vs. Rhode Island
Puerto Rico vs. Delaware
Puerto Rico vs. Connecticut
Puerto Rico vs. Dallas/Fort Worth Metro Area
Puerto Rico vs. the first Death Star
Puerto Rico vs. Rohan (in Middle Earth)

Is that circle representing the Death Star really proportional to its surface area? Hmmm.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:57 am UTC

(Looks like it's visually intended more to be a cross-section, but I'd have to do the maths on the varies-a-little-bit-even-in-canon size estimates and see if the factor of 4 difference atop the Pi.r² meshes better. But I've just woken up, and I've got better things to do. Like work out the comparative lengths, speeds and captains/pilots of the Rutan Voyager, the VG Voyager, Voyagers 1/2, V'ger, USS Voyager, Fantastic Voyage's Voyager and (for variety's sake) Discovery One.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:34 am UTC

"'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling."
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby rivulatus » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:44 am UTC

Only the first round, would be surprised if any one big is in here, and from what I have heard is that it is likely that this round is just trying to force people to turn evidence on people higher up the food chain.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:01 pm UTC

I came here to post about it, forgetting this is where I first saw it.

You know Mueller et al are doing their best to prevent the blame-taking-in-return-for-pardon that saved Reagan. I hope they're successful.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:02 pm UTC

The FBI special counsel's spokesman has just given us this statement:

"Paul J. Manafort, Jr., 68, of Alexandria, Va., and Richard W. Gates III, 45, of Richmond, Va., have been indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 27, 2017, in the District of Columbia.

"The indictment contains 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts."

From BBC Live Reporting. Link to full indictment: https://www.justice.gov/file/1007271/download

Anyone want to place bets on when Mueller is going to be fired?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby pogrmman » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:33 pm UTC

Well, Trump is trying to deflect blame off of Manafort.... Somehow he is trying to shift blame onto the democrats? I’m not exactly sure what he’s trying to get at with this tweet.

Also, it’s a blatant lie (assuming it did happen). In the very first paragraph of the indictment, it says “in order to hide Ukraine payments from US authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016...” (emphasis mine). So this was happening during the campaign. Trump says it was “years ago”.

I don’t think he’d fire Muller. That’d put him in some pretty hot water.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:56 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:I don’t think he’d fire Muller. That’d put him in some pretty hot water.

Would it? Obviously it'd look incredibly bad, but he's not seemed to give much of a shit about that up till now.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Quercus » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:01 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:I’m not exactly sure what he’s trying to get at with this tweet.

IMO, just more of the same tactic he's used all along. Lie, deflect, ignore, do whatever he needs to do to keep the received narrative simple and the blame firmly on the designated scapegoats. Standard element of the crappy leader's playbook throughout history, and terrifyingly effective.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:34 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:
pogrmman wrote:I’m not exactly sure what he’s trying to get at with this tweet.

IMO, just more of the same tactic he's used all along. Lie, deflect, ignore, do whatever he needs to do to keep the received narrative simple and the blame firmly on the designated scapegoats. Standard element of the crappy leader's playbook throughout history, and terrifyingly effective.

Pfft, Trump's tactics work a lot better if Trump wasn't in charge. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/tr ... out-trump/
Check out the Kentucky governor. All of Trump's disregard for institutions and none of Trump's incompetence. Truly scary, and a model for the future of the 32 Republican single party states in between the coasts. More and more GOP leaders are going to run under Trump's banner, but they actually be good at it. The future is dark for everyone in the heartland of America. *

*On the plus side, heartland is overrated, and exaggerates their actual importance. But still, a lot of people live there.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby pogrmman » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:56 pm UTC

Spoilers because long and not directly related to Trump:
Spoiler:
sardia wrote:
Quercus wrote:
pogrmman wrote:I’m not exactly sure what he’s trying to get at with this tweet.

IMO, just more of the same tactic he's used all along. Lie, deflect, ignore, do whatever he needs to do to keep the received narrative simple and the blame firmly on the designated scapegoats. Standard element of the crappy leader's playbook throughout history, and terrifyingly effective.

Pfft, Trump's tactics work a lot better if Trump wasn't in charge. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/tr ... out-trump/
Check out the Kentucky governor. All of Trump's disregard for institutions and none of Trump's incompetence. Truly scary, and a model for the future of the 32 Republican single party states in between the coasts. More and more GOP leaders are going to run under Trump's banner, but they actually be good at it. The future is dark for everyone in the heartland of America. *

*On the plus side, heartland is overrated, and exaggerates their actual importance. But still, a lot of people live there.


I’m worried this may well happen in my home state (Texas) now that Joe Straus isn’t going to be reigning in the extra-conservative wing of the GOP. I’m hoping that the Democrats and moderate GOP members, which together will probably have a majority over the conservative members in the next legislative session (2019), will step up and appoint somebody much like him. Fortunately, Texas has changing demographics going against it being a Trumpesque state. I hope the gerrymandering stuff that’s being argued against gets resolved before the next elections. Thank goodness there won’t be straight ticket voting in the 2020 elections. It’s a big problem in Texas.

Anyway, I disagree with your contention that the middle part of the country doesn’t matter. It most certainly does. Sure, it isn’t as densely populated as the coasts, but there’s still important stuff going on there. There’s plenty of business stuff in places like Chicago, Minneapolis, Des Moines and other cities in the middle of the country.


Anyway, with the additional news that Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI seems really important too.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:15 pm UTC

Former Trump advisor George Papadopoulos has also plead guilty to lying to FBI agents about connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. He is apparently cooperating with the investigation:

A “statement of the offense” document released by the special counsel’s office – which Papadopoulos agrees is accurate as part of his guilty plea – states that “on or about March 31, 2016,” Papadopoulos attended a national security meeting with Trump and other advisers, at which Papadopoulos stated that he “could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin”.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:21 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm guessing a ton of Trump campaign officials shit themselves over that charge.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:58 pm UTC

There is some sweet synergy between the two releases.

Trump's approval was already near the lowest it's been (and potentially slipping under, based on the latest Ipsos poll), so he's lacking the support that might sway a senator like Richard Burr.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:02 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Anyone want to place bets on when Mueller is going to be fired?


He never should have been appointed in the first place. There is a huge conflict of interest deal going on with just about everyone involved with his side of the investigation. It's nice to see that after a year's work trying to dig up every piece of dirt they could, all they could come up with was a charge on Manafort (which they've known about all along) for failing to properly disclose a lobbying connection to Ukraine.

The timing of the charges is a little suspect, too. Just when things are turning ugly for the Democrats over the Fusion GPS deal, Mueller jumps out with "We're filing an indictment! Look over here! Oh, but we won't tell you all about it until Monday. Still ... look this way all weekend. Talk about this, not about the real Russia collusion."
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:31 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:He never should have been appointed in the first place. There is a huge conflict of interest deal going on with just about everyone involved with his side of the investigation.

What conflict of interest?

Yablo wrote:It's nice to see that after a year's work trying to dig up every piece of dirt they could, all they could come up with was a charge on Manafort (which they've known about all along) for failing to properly disclose a lobbying connection to Ukraine.

The indictment is here: https://www.justice.gov/file/1007271/download
It includes: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

Yablo wrote:The timing of the charges is a little suspect, too. Just when things are turning ugly for the Democrats over the Fusion GPS deal, Mueller jumps out with "We're filing an indictment! Look over here! Oh, but we won't tell you all about it until Monday. Still ... look this way all weekend. Talk about this, not about the real Russia collusion."

Except that while the "Fusion GPS deal" is a big load of nothing, people from Trump's campaign are starting to face actual charges.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:33 pm UTC

(@Yablo) Ummm... If anybody has been saying "Look over here!" so kuch, it's Trump. So blatantly. Perpetuating the misguided belief that Clinton personally took Uranium to Moscow in her hand-luggage (as I've some of the Twitterati further as allegations, either maliciously trolling or due to being low-information blind-faith followers of those who are, CinC included).

I've no reason to believe that Hillary never overstepped the boundaries, but pretty much every (often overblown) accusation laid against her and her side by Donald seems to have been inspired by him having done exactly what he accuses, in his own way. But Donald had very rarely done anything to improve the lives of others, along the way. Of two possibly self-centred people given means and opportunity to bend rules, there's just the one who only has him, himself and his various (also disfunctionally asocial) childrens' father put first and foremost nine times out of ten.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:35 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Yablo wrote:He never should have been appointed in the first place. There is a huge conflict of interest deal going on with just about everyone involved with his side of the investigation.

What conflict of interest?

For starters, every person on Mueller's team is one or more of the following: Huge Democratic Party donor. former Hillary Clinton legal representative, U.S. attorney fired by Trump.

I don't see any evidence to support the Trump-side theory that Mueller and Comey are close friends, but they did work closely at the FBI. That isn't a conflict of interest in and of itself, but it does lend to the appearance of a conflict, and that's enough reason for him to step down or be removed.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:02 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:For starters, every person on Mueller's team is one or more of the following: Huge Democratic Party donor. former Hillary Clinton legal representative, U.S. attorney fired by Trump.

Really? Which one of these is Mueller?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:18 pm UTC

Mueller is a Republican, a Vietname War hero, appointed by Dubya and knows a thing or two about the law. So obviously anti-Trump.

(Isn't a prosecutor supposed to have an agenda, though? If there's enough to supoort that agenda it then goes into the law-courts, etc, to face up to those with the opposing agenda in front of actually supoosed neutral parties...)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:16 am UTC

Yablo wrote:The timing of the charges is a little suspect, too. Just when things are turning ugly for the Democrats over the Fusion GPS deal, Mueller jumps out with "We're filing an indictment! Look over here! Oh, but we won't tell you all about it until Monday. Still ... look this way all weekend. Talk about this, not about the real Russia collusion."
Are you serious? Are you legitimately trying to characterize Robert Mueller as a politically motivated operative doing the Washington Two-Step on behalf of the Democrats?

Robert "Republican" Mueller? Robert "Decorated Vietnam War Vet" Mueller? Robert "Appointed By George Bush" Mueller? Robert "Made Head of the FBI Literally One Week Before 9/11" Mueller? Robert "Was Also Voted In Unanimously" Mueller? Robert "Passed With Honors In Everything But Delegation" Mueller?

You think this guy is taking orders from the Democrats?

I'm sorry, did you forget to pick up your brain on your way to the internet, today? If you genuinely think Robert Mueller is using this investigation to try and help the Democrats put out fires, then constructive dialogue isn't even possible; you are so utterly invested in your narrow, tiny, ignorant little partisan narrative that you probably think Hurricane Maria was a Democrat plot to try and make Trump look bad.

Seriously: I try very hard to be respectful of other people's values, but you need to stop and do some heavy re-evaluation of your political views. They've reduced you to a partisan clown.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:33 am UTC

Trump supporters definitely seem to be getting increasingly desperate and shrieky lately. This Russia scandal just refuses to go away, while no matter what conspiracy theories and alternative facts they cook up none of their narratives seem to be sticking (outside of their own groups and Fox News of course). Yablo's post above is a particularly ironic example of the lookoverthereisms and whataboutisms that pepper Trump supporters' reactions to news lately, and I've noticed that everyone else seems to have started basically ignoring these transparent deflection techniques most of the time. Like it's clearly not even worth responding to. I've not seen that before, usually in the past that's worked and managed to derail a discussion into something else entirely, but it's not working anymore.

Anyway that's just the impression I'm getting from various Facebook and news article comment sections over the last few months.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:16 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Trump supporters definitely seem to be getting increasingly desperate and shrieky lately.


To be fair, a lot of the Trump opposition isn't any less desperate and shreiky... every other day it seems there is another headline that amounts to "this will be the thing that gets Trump impeached" written by someone who invariably doesn't understand how impeachment actually works. There are plenty of good reasons to want the Orange Turd removed from office - really, the list is fucking yuuge - but not every Tweet or ridiculously stupid statement is an impeachable offense. Likewise the constant prattling about the 25th Amendment...

This Russia scandal just refuses to go away, while no matter what conspiracy theories and alternative facts they cook up none of their narratives seem to be sticking (outside of their own groups and Fox News of course).


The fact that a scandal "won't go away" says absolutely nothing about it's validity, especially one that is so politically charged. After a full year of investigation there is no solid evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, or even of anyone on his campaign colluding on his behalf. You mention alternative facts... what facts are they an alternative to?

I'm not saying that he didn't collude, or that someone didn't collude on his behalf... all things considered it seems likely someone did... But the law requires actual evidence, not "it really seems like it happened..." and so far the only thing we have on both sides is speculation.

Don't get too excited about the charges against Manafort. Even assuming they stick, they don't suggest any actual connection to Trump.

Yablo's post above is a particularly ironic example of the lookoverthereisms and whataboutisms that pepper Trump supporters' reactions to news lately, and I've noticed that everyone else seems to have started basically ignoring these transparent deflection techniques most of the time. Like it's clearly not even worth responding to. I've not seen that before, usually in the past that's worked and managed to derail a discussion into something else entirely, but it's not working anymore.


Yablo's post is standard politicking. It happens all the time. The fact that Mueller has nine people on his team that donate to democrats is something that the other side is obviously going to point at... and if the roles were reversed and it was a democrat being investigated and there were nine republican donors on the team, you can be absolutely certain that the exact same thing would be pointed out. If you believe otherwise you're naive.

The reality is that it doesn't matter, legally, if nine of his investigators are true blue democrats - it's irrelevant. It's not a conflict of interest. But it makes for a good headline and it sways people - which is the point.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:32 pm UTC

cphite wrote:The fact that a scandal "won't go away" says absolutely nothing about it's validity, especially one that is so politically charged. After a full year of investigation there is no solid evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, or even of anyone on his campaign colluding on his behalf. You mention alternative facts... what facts are they an alternative to?


You mean other than the guy that worked for the Trump campaign who just confessed to colluding with Russia?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:44 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:You mean other than the guy that worked for the Trump campaign who just confessed to colluding with Russia?


He admitted to lying to the FBI not to actual collusion. They clearly don't have enough evidence to get him on collusion. Though I'm not sure what the actual crime would be there, presumably something like tampering with an election.

I'm surprised they released the knowledge of his plea now though. He was arrested way back in July and was basically an undercover agent for the government since then. He plead guilty at the beginning of Oct. Presumably that's what they want to do with Manafort and the other guy they just charged. None of the charges deal with the election anyways. They're trying to get these people to roll on Trump and/or people closer to Trump. I'm guessing they're not going to try the "wear a wire" thing with these two else they wouldn't have made all this so public.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:52 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:You mean other than the guy that worked for the Trump campaign who just confessed to colluding with Russia?


He admitted to lying to the FBI not to actual collusion. They clearly don't have enough evidence to get him on collusion. Though I'm not sure what the actual crime would be there, presumably something like tampering with an election.

I'm surprised they released the knowledge of his plea now though. He was arrested way back in July and was basically an undercover agent for the government since then. He plead guilty at the beginning of Oct. Presumably that's what they want to do with Manafort and the other guy they just charged. None of the charges deal with the election anyways. They're trying to get these people to roll on Trump and/or people closer to Trump. I'm guessing they're not going to try the "wear a wire" thing with these two else they wouldn't have made all this so public.

Read between the lines. There's a good chance he's been snitching on Trump's associates in exchange for a lighter sentence. The question of collusion is clearly answered. Now it's about how widespread it was. Like if Trump was a retard, and didn't know anything, then Trump can claim that it was some bad low level actors. Alternately, Trump or his family could be directly involved, which is way way worse. Nobody knows what Mueller has hiding in his back pocket. It could just be a confidence play to prevent Trump from firing Mueller and or scare others into squealing.
I'm honestly not sure if Trump was directly involved.

The interesting thing is that collusion isn't a crime with set legal definitions. Instead it's a political problem, and the factions are squaring off. If Trump's side is stronger, then the bar rises, but it falls if the opposition is in charge.... Like say after the midterms.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:59 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:You mean other than the guy that worked for the Trump campaign who just confessed to colluding with Russia?


He admitted to lying to the FBI not to actual collusion. They clearly don't have enough evidence to get him on collusion. Though I'm not sure what the actual crime would be there, presumably something like tampering with an election.


He admitted to setting up meetings between the Trump campaign and agents of the Russian government during the election. He wasn't charged with that part, but it's right there in the indictment.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:12 pm UTC

Julia Azari brought this up on yesterday's 538 podcast, that there isn't some mechanism that's going to get switched on once some level of "involvement" by the Trumps, Kushner, or whoever is established. By plenty of metrics, Trump has already demonstrated impeachable conduct while president. It's just a matter of having a willing Congress.

The (potentially) more interesting line of investigation, to me, is the allegation that the Trump campaign provided details of who to target with fake news accounts to Russians. Again, it's an open question whether Donald Sr was aware of anything.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:29 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:You mean other than the guy that worked for the Trump campaign who just confessed to colluding with Russia?


He admitted to lying to the FBI not to actual collusion. They clearly don't have enough evidence to get him on collusion. Though I'm not sure what the actual crime would be there, presumably something like tampering with an election.


Correct.

I'm surprised they released the knowledge of his plea now though. He was arrested way back in July and was basically an undercover agent for the government since then. He plead guilty at the beginning of Oct. Presumably that's what they want to do with Manafort and the other guy they just charged. None of the charges deal with the election anyways. They're trying to get these people to roll on Trump and/or people closer to Trump. I'm guessing they're not going to try the "wear a wire" thing with these two else they wouldn't have made all this so public.


Because news of the indictment is more important to them than the actual indictment. They're beating the grass to startle the snakes. There is simply no way a special prosecutor and his team of a dozen investigators are going to be even remotely satisfied with Manafort and this list of charges after a very high profile years worth of digging. Best guess, they're at a dead end and they want to see who slips up or changes behavior.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:35 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Because news of the indictment is more important to them than the actual indictment. They're beating the grass to startle the snakes. There is simply no way a special prosecutor and his team of a dozen investigators are going to be even remotely satisfied with Manafort and this list of charges after a very high profile years worth of digging. Best guess, they're at a dead end and they want to see who slips up or changes behavior.
Haven't they been after Manafort for a while, though? My best guess would be that they found something early on, realized they needed Manafort's testimony to make it stick, and then concentrated all their efforts on finding a way to get that testimony.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:54 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Haven't they been after Manafort for a while, though? My best guess would be that they found something early on, realized they needed Manafort's testimony to make it stick, and then concentrated all their efforts on finding a way to get that testimony.


I'd think it more likely they've "used up" Papadopoulos and need a new person they can flip for more information. I was questioning why you'd make this indictment so public compared to Papadopoulos' one. Papadopoulos probably had a good chance of getting current info if he were willing to wear a wire or something (he was arrested almost 4 months ago with relatively little noise). Why not at least leave that option open to Manafort too? Granted Papadopoulos is young and probably still fairly green, so maybe they didn't think they could actually flip Manafort and are just making it more public to put more pressure on him.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:39 pm UTC

Manafort has known it was coming for a while. I don't think it was known at all that Papadopoulos was facing charges, so I think his plea was really the big news; without it, I think the Manafort story would have been a lot easier to spin as "Hey, this is what he was fired for."
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:19 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:Because news of the indictment is more important to them than the actual indictment. They're beating the grass to startle the snakes. There is simply no way a special prosecutor and his team of a dozen investigators are going to be even remotely satisfied with Manafort and this list of charges after a very high profile years worth of digging. Best guess, they're at a dead end and they want to see who slips up or changes behavior.
Haven't they been after Manafort for a while, though? My best guess would be that they found something early on, realized they needed Manafort's testimony to make it stick, and then concentrated all their efforts on finding a way to get that testimony.


Except that the stuff Manafort allegedly did all took place between 2006 and 2014... which means that it's a bit of a reach to infer a connection with the 2016 Trump campaign. At least legally.

And all Papadopoulos is accused of is lying about something that ended up being nothing... which is frankly an incredibly odd thing for a special prosecutor to even give a shit about.

Honestly, your guess is as good as mine... but to me, this looks like a Hail Mary pass...

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:23 am UTC

The indictment says the money laundering continued through 2016.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:38 am UTC

Thesh wrote:The indictment says the money laundering continued through 2016.

At least 2016, in fact. And smart money says the Manafort/Gates indictment is more about pressuring them to flip and start cooperating on the main investigation, anyway.

As far as the Papadopolous thing being "nothing," well, for starters, it's a clear-as-day indication that the repeated claims that nobody in the campaign was seeking assistance from Russia are false - and if the latest development bears out, it was also not just him working independently within the campaign, as they've been trying to claim. And, um, his supervisor in the campaign was just questioned by a grand jury under the Mueller investigation last week, so there's that.

But no, you're right, cphite, this is all nothing and nothing will come of it. Nothing to see here, people, move along!
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:41 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Except that the stuff Manafort allegedly did all took place between 2006 and 2014... which means that it's a bit of a reach to infer a connection with the 2016 Trump campaign. At least legally.
Even if this was the case (and it's apparently not?), Manafort was part of Trump's presidential campaign. What I'm saying is that maybe they realized they had something on Trump, but they needed someone else's testimony to make it stick -- so they're going after Manafort to pressure him into giving them what they want on Trump.

The charges they're slapping Manafort with don't have to be related to what they want Manafort to give them. That's how flipping people works: You charge someone for being naughty, and make them a deal only if they help you charge someone else with being even naughtier.
cphite wrote:And all Papadopoulos is accused of is lying about something that ended up being nothing... which is frankly an incredibly odd thing for a special prosecutor to even give a shit about.
To be fair, when someone charges you with 'lying to the FBI', that's pretty much code for 'Be our stoolie or we're sending you to prison'.

Charging someone with lying to the FBI is like winning tickets at ski-ball: The only reason you're bothering is because you want to redeem your 'winnings' for a bigger prize.

EDIT: Like, seriously -- it's stupid-easy to charge someone with lying to the FBI. It takes almost no effort to set up, and carries fucking ridiculous sentences. Whenever you hear "they were charged with lying to the FBI", you should immediately replace those words with "they are basically being extorted by the FBI and must now say whatever the FBI wants".

I mean, not that this dude didn't lie through his teeth -- I don't know. But charging someone with "lying to the FBI" is and always will be absolute horse-shit. It's witness extortion in its purest form.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:41 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
Thesh wrote:The indictment says the money laundering continued through 2016.


At least 2016, in fact. And smart money says the Manafort/Gates indictment is more about pressuring them to flip and start cooperating on the main investigation, anyway.


The relevant stuff, if your intent is to establish a connection to Trump, happened prior to 2014.

As far as the Papadopolous thing being "nothing," well, for starters, it's a clear-as-day indication that the repeated claims that nobody in the campaign was seeking assistance from Russia are false - and if the latest development bears out, it was also not just him working independently within the campaign, as they've been trying to claim. And, um, his supervisor in the campaign was just questioned by a grand jury under the Mueller investigation last week, so there's that.


The only thing it indicates clearly is that Papadopolous was seeking assistance from Russia, and lied about it. It doesn't clearly indicate anything about the Trump campaign. And frankly, even if someone in the Trump campaign gave this kid a green light to meet with Russians because they thought the Russians might have dirt - that isn't illegal. It's not illegal to get dirt on your political opponents, not even from the Russians. In order for an actual crime to have occurred, they would need evidence of money or favors being exchanged, or at least offered, for said information. And since the meeting never materialized, that didn't happen.

That's why it amounts to nothing. Even if it strongly suggests that the Trump campaign was willing to break the law, and wanted to break the law, it still doesn't indicate them actually breaking the law which is what you need for an actual criminal charge. Papadopolous broke an actual law by lying to the FBI, but that doesn't prove anything one way or another about what he lied about.

But no, you're right, cphite, this is all nothing and nothing will come of it. Nothing to see here, people, move along!


Look... I'm not happy about the fact that nothing will come of it. I'm not defending Trump or his team. I'm just pointing out that legally they need more than this. Maybe they have it and they're just holding it back; but unless they do, this will fizzle out into nothing.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:46 pm UTC

Have you been following Marcy Wheeler?

https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/11/01/j ... nt-happen/

Because it sure doesn't sound like this whole thing is nothing.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:51 pm UTC

No one's saying we currently have a smoking gun for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, just that it sure looks like Mueller is getting there. Provided his investigation is allowed to run its course.


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