Trump presidency

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sardia
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:50 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Again IANAL. I'm sure the details change from law to law on this matter. But plenty of people have gone to a particular location to get a drug / contraband of some kind... only to be met by FBI Agents to arrest them. I don't think you necessarily need to buy contraband to get arrested, they just need to prove intent.


I am not a lawyer or any sort of law enforcement officer, but I'm fairly certain they can't do anything until there is a quid pro quo. They don't move on "john's" until money is exchanged. They don't take down a drug dealer or purchaser until money is exchanged.

Junior didn't, as far as I know, offer anything in return. He didn't say "we'll look into changing these laws in exchange for this information" No quid pro quo.

As you've said yourself, smoke but nothing beyond that.

And I still point to the ukrainian help given to the DNC that directly led to the resignation/firing of Paul Manafort. Absent some higher level of collusion between the Russians and Trump's campaign I don't see any difference between the DNC/HRC camp using information received from the Ukranians and what Don Jr. did.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/re ... -trump-jr/
Turns out that this is mostly a political crime, and Trump jr will only be"indicted" if Congress deems it to be a crime. With Republicans in charge, they have decided it's not yet a crime. Check back after the 2018 elections or if more shoes drop which tank Trump's support. Trumps approval rating is the proxy for reelection troubles which leads to them dumping Trump.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:05 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:I am not a lawyer or any sort of law enforcement officer, but I'm fairly certain they can't do anything until there is a quid pro quo. They don't move on "john's" until money is exchanged. They don't take down a drug dealer or purchaser until money is exchanged.

Junior didn't, as far as I know, offer anything in return. He didn't say "we'll look into changing these laws in exchange for this information" No quid pro quo.

The text of the law has been posted in this thread. Could you please highlight the part that makes demonstrating a quid pro quo necessary?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby iamspen » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:59 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:And I still point to the ukrainian help given to the DNC that directly led to the resignation/firing of Paul Manafort. Absent some higher level of collusion between the Russians and Trump's campaign I don't see any difference between the DNC/HRC camp using information received from the Ukranians and what Don Jr. did.


Well, one of those people is President of the goddamn United States and the other is not, so that's a pretty obvious difference.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:05 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:And I still point to the ukrainian help given to the DNC that directly led to the resignation/firing of Paul Manafort. Absent some higher level of collusion between the Russians and Trump's campaign I don't see any difference between the DNC/HRC camp using information received from the Ukranians and what Don Jr. did.

Quoting from a friend:

What is the difference between Trump operatives seeking assistance from Russia to get the "dirt" on Clinton and Clinton operatives seeking assistance from Ukraine to get "dirt" on Paul Manafort (Trump's campaign director)? The difference lies in the means by which they did assist.
The Ukrainians looked in their own newspapers to see that Manafort had been paid by the pro-Russian party, and eventually the Russians directly to promote pro-Russian candidates in Ukraine. They didn't have to break into any computers, they didn't have to create and propagate fake news, they didn't have to target districts or voters. They looked in their own newspapers for stories about the US politico openly operating in their borders. This is because getting "dirt" on Paul Manafort is like getting sand at the beach. Clinton didn't get any real news that wasn't already well documented. She got perspective on Manafort from the people he directly harmed.
On the other hand, when Trump solicited Russian aid, he got hacking, hundreds of misleading websites, thousands of "bots", trolls, and liars, stolen information, false information, and a lot of violations of US law, international law, and even a few Russian laws. And really, at the end of the day, he got little that qualified as "dirt".
So yes, both campaigns "solicited the aid of a foreign nation in a federal campaign". They both broke that law. I really don't care if both are required to pay the thousands of dollars in fines. But Trump's campaign is also complicit in fraud, theft, and computer fraud (hacking). and may be guilty of computer espionage, computer trespassing, damaging a protected computer, and trafficking in passwords. If he, or his campaign can be shown to have knowledge of these crimes, yet did not report them, or worse, encouraged them or provided some assistance, they are looking at conspiracy to commit.
So the difference? About twenty years.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby speising » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:18 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:I am not a lawyer or any sort of law enforcement officer, but I'm fairly certain they can't do anything until there is a quid pro quo. They don't move on "john's" until money is exchanged. They don't take down a drug dealer or purchaser until money is exchanged.

Junior didn't, as far as I know, offer anything in return. He didn't say "we'll look into changing these laws in exchange for this information" No quid pro quo.

The text of the law has been posted in this thread. Could you please highlight the part that makes demonstrating a quid pro quo necessary?

I guess the quid pro quo thing is only an evidence thing. As long as you don't give the hooker your money you can always claim you just wanted to ask for directions. The intent here is clear from the emails, though.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:26 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:I am not a lawyer or any sort of law enforcement officer, but I'm fairly certain they can't do anything until there is a quid pro quo. They don't move on "john's" until money is exchanged. They don't take down a drug dealer or purchaser until money is exchanged.

Junior didn't, as far as I know, offer anything in return. He didn't say "we'll look into changing these laws in exchange for this information" No quid pro quo.

The text of the law has been posted in this thread. Could you please highlight the part that makes demonstrating a quid pro quo necessary?


I was responding in the context of whether or not this is like a prostitution sting or a drug sting. Neither make for good comparisons.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:32 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Quoting from a friend:


The key thing in my statement "Absent any higher collusion" If the Trump campaign actively sought out Russian help in the hacking of the DNC servers and Podesta's emails then yes there is clearly a difference. But Don Jr. simply going to a meeting, as it has been portrayed thus far (I will leave room for potential grievances that may exist that we are unaware of right now), is no different than what the HRC/DNC camps did with Ukraine.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:45 pm UTC

I think that's taking a relatively narrow view of what's happened, but I agree there is a bit of room for interpretation or some "common sense" that we could disagree on.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Trebla » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:59 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
Zohar wrote:Quoting from a friend:


The key thing in my statement "Absent any higher collusion" If the Trump campaign actively sought out Russian help in the hacking of the DNC servers and Podesta's emails then yes there is clearly a difference. But Don Jr. simply going to a meeting, as it has been portrayed thus far (I will leave room for potential grievances that may exist that we are unaware of right now), is no different than what the HRC/DNC camps did with Ukraine.


Do you mean like when Trump very publicly (during the campaign) said he hoped Russia would hack Clinton's e-mail? And said they would "probably be rewarded mightily by the press"?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:07 pm UTC

One source is saying Veselnitskaya doesn't speak a lick of english. Does Don Jr. speak fluent russian? How were they communicating. Anyone know?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:15 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:One source is saying Veselnitskaya doesn't speak a lick of english. Does Don Jr. speak fluent russian? How were they communicating. Anyone know?

When in doubt, assume the story that backs Trump's side is wrong. She seems to speak very well when she defended herself on TV...
Again you guys are missing the point. Congress will decide if this counts as a crime. The public's only feedback is to remind Republicans that they could lose their seat if they stick with Trump. So far, that hasn't happened, which means there is no crime.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:52 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:One source is saying Veselnitskaya doesn't speak a lick of english. Does Don Jr. speak fluent russian? How were they communicating. Anyone know?


I read somewhere (I can't find the link right now, I'm at work) that there was another person present there acting as an interrupter, although there is near to no information on them. It'd be interesting to get them on the record.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby speising » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:09 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:acting as an interrupter.

I hate it when that happens.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:30 pm UTC

sardia wrote:When in doubt, assume the story that backs Trump's side is wrong.


I treat all news the same in today's 24 hour news cycle; with a great deal of skepticism. Particularly when it involves unnamed sources and very little to none primary sources. I miss the days of long investigative journalism pieces that take weeks or months to put together and can be 20 pages long when printed. Now it seems like everyone is in a rush to push garbage out the door faster than the next guy just to get the first blast of clicks and social media coverage. "BOMBSHELL" "EXCLUSIVE" "UNPRECEDENTED" are buzzwords that annoy me these days.

For instance I haven't mentioned anything about some of the things alt-right publications are saying about Veselnitskaya and her possible connection to the Podesta Group because they're just drawing their own conclusions based on what they want to believe exists. Until some sort of paper trail of primary sources or credible source produces anything conclusive I assume she doesn't even know who or what the Podesta Group did or does, and why a link between them and her could exist via Sberbank. It's just all conjectures. Nor have I asked anyone what their thoughts are on why she was even let into the country under an immigration parole order after having a visa denied (not to mention why she was seen in congress months after she was supposed to have returned to Russia).

I hope others treat news articles that draw conclusions based on conjecture and little evidence or named sources the same way. To be clear I don't think the topics in the previous paragraph are worth discussing. It's all a bunch of conjecture.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:52 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
sardia wrote:When in doubt, assume the story that backs Trump's side is wrong.


I treat all news the same in today's 24 hour news cycle; with a great deal of skepticism. Particularly when it involves unnamed sources and very little to none primary sources. I miss the days of long investigative journalism pieces that take weeks or months to put together and can be 20 pages long when printed. Now it seems like everyone is in a rush to push garbage out the door faster than the next guy just to get the first blast of clicks and social media coverage. "BOMBSHELL" "EXCLUSIVE" "UNPRECEDENTED" are buzzwords that annoy me these days.

For instance I haven't mentioned anything about some of the things alt-right publications are saying about Veselnitskaya and her possible connection to the Podesta Group because they're just drawing their own conclusions based on what they want to believe exists. Until some sort of paper trail of primary sources or credible source produces anything conclusive I assume she doesn't even know who or what the Podesta Group did or does, and why a link between them and her could exist via Sberbank. It's just all conjectures. Nor have I asked anyone what their thoughts are on why she was even let into the country under an immigration parole order after having a visa denied (not to mention why she was seen in congress months after she was supposed to have returned to Russia).

I hope others treat news articles that draw conclusions based on conjecture and little evidence or named sources the same way. To be clear I don't think the topics in the previous paragraph are worth discussing. It's all a bunch of conjecture.

You didn't like the reporting that led to Flynn's resignation or how the NY times freaked out Trump jr with the collusion emails?
The signs of good reporting are multiple sources, clear details and cross-checking non vague statements. The nytimes and Washington Post have really good gum shoe reports where they run down leads to the point where the Trump campaign doesn't can't deny it happened. So it's not gone, there's still good reporting out there.

Anyone see the latest healthcare bill? Wapo is saying it's about to pass, which is pretty hysterical. Well, it's gonna be very close. They used the same tactic as the house bill: secure the conservative wing votes, and dare the moderates to veto it. Last time the moderates folded like a wet towel. It could happen again since I don't know who the 3rd no vote is.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:00 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:Anyone see the latest healthcare bill? Wapo is saying it's about to pass, which is pretty hysterical. Well, it's gonna be very close. They used the same tactic as the house bill: secure the conservative wing votes, and dare the moderates to veto it. Last time the moderates folded like a wet towel. It could happen again since I don't know who the 3rd no vote is.


I haven't dug into too much of it yet but I think a lot of the taxes are still in place which will likely make it hard to pass the house. Pretty sure the Freedom Caucus has a line drawn in the sand on that stuff. However, I doubt turkey neck would bring the bill back to the floor without having enough votes for it again so it will likely pass the senate. The Cruz amendment might be enough to garner some of freedom caucus though.

Does anyone think either side of aisle has learned yet that the public doesn't take kindly to the fact they keep wheelin' and dealin' in the backroom? I am somewhat happy to see that there was a little bit of back and forth in the public view. Just wish they had started with that from the onset.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:32 pm UTC

No, they learned from the Democrats of 2008. Stringing this out only serves the public interest at the expense of their majority. They want to get this over with quickly and move on to the rest of the agenda, aka cutting taxes. They know they'll lose seats over this.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:32 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Anyone see the latest healthcare bill? Wapo is saying it's about to pass, which is pretty hysterical. Well, it's gonna be very close. They used the same tactic as the house bill: secure the conservative wing votes, and dare the moderates to veto it. Last time the moderates folded like a wet towel. It could happen again since I don't know who the 3rd no vote is.


Source? Washington Post does have conservative writers who contribute lots of (less popular) opinion pieces.

IIRC, the last WashPo article I saw was that the Cruz Amendment is going through the CBO. And the Senate seems to care about CBO scores more than the House does, so I'd expect the vote to go down after the CBO assessment. There seemed to be at least 4-moderates who didn't like the bill as it was... and pushing it into a more conservative direction would seem to only make those four moderates angrier...

trpmb6 wrote:Does anyone think either side of aisle has learned yet that the public doesn't take kindly to the fact they keep wheelin' and dealin' in the backroom? I am somewhat happy to see that there was a little bit of back and forth in the public view. Just wish they had started with that from the onset.


The public doesn't give a shit about backroom deals. Its when deals are made in public when political capital is expended. If the news media get nothing to talk about, damage is mitigated.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:15 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
cphite wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:I mean, IANAL, but arguing that arranging a meeting with someone you're directly informed is acting on behalf of a hostile foreign power with the express purpose of helping them influence an election is no big deal because you didn't actually get what you were promised is like breaking into a Home Depot to crack the display-model floor safe and then being all "no harm, no foul, right?" because there was nothing in it.

Nah. It's more along the lines of going to the lot behind Home Depot because you heard there was drugs and hookers, and then being all "no harm, no foul, right?" because there weren't any drugs and hookers. It would look bad, but no actual law would have been broken.


It's more like when you go behind Home Depot a hooker comes up to you, you accept her proposition and then it turns out she's a cop and you're guilty of soliciting prostitution.


In your example, the crime is accepting the proposition. Simply being there isn't enough. That is why cops actually need evidence of an offer before they can bust for solicitation... There is no evidence that Trump Jr made or accepted an offer in exchange for whatever information was being peddled. On other words, we caught him hanging out behind the Home Depot - and it's pretty obvious why he was there - but without any evidence of an actual offer or exchange, there is no crime.

It's a crime to just solicit any contribution from a foreign national for a federal election campaign, even if you don't actually get anything.


First off, the law doesn't say "any" contribution, it specifies a contribution of value. A court could spend months deciding what "value" means, and whether or not information that turned out not to even exist can be considered value.

Second, we still don't have any evidence that he actually solicited anything. What we know is that went to a meeting, that he expected there to be damaging information about Clinton, and that he expressed interest in said information. That's more than enough for you and me and anyone else to say that yeah, the whole thing was shady... but it isn't enough for a criminal charge. There is no evidence that he actually made an offer, or accepted an offer, with said foreign national.

He should have called the FBI immediately, not gone to the meeting.


He should have called his lawyer immediately.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:20 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Mutex wrote:
cphite wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:I mean, IANAL, but arguing that arranging a meeting with someone you're directly informed is acting on behalf of a hostile foreign power with the express purpose of helping them influence an election is no big deal because you didn't actually get what you were promised is like breaking into a Home Depot to crack the display-model floor safe and then being all "no harm, no foul, right?" because there was nothing in it.

Nah. It's more along the lines of going to the lot behind Home Depot because you heard there was drugs and hookers, and then being all "no harm, no foul, right?" because there weren't any drugs and hookers. It would look bad, but no actual law would have been broken.


It's more like when you go behind Home Depot a hooker comes up to you, you accept her proposition and then it turns out she's a cop and you're guilty of soliciting prostitution.


In your example, the crime is accepting the proposition. Simply being there isn't enough. That is why cops actually need evidence of an offer before they can bust for solicitation... There is no evidence that Trump Jr made or accepted an offer in exchange for whatever information was being peddled. On other words, we caught him hanging out behind the Home Depot - and it's pretty obvious why he was there - but without any evidence of an actual offer or exchange, there is no crime.

It's a crime to just solicit any contribution from a foreign national for a federal election campaign, even if you don't actually get anything.


First off, the law doesn't say "any" contribution, it specifies a contribution of value. A court could spend months deciding what "value" means, and whether or not information that turned out not to even exist can be considered value.

Second, we still don't have any evidence that he actually solicited anything. What we know is that went to a meeting, that he expected there to be damaging information about Clinton, and that he expressed interest in said information. That's more than enough for you and me and anyone else to say that yeah, the whole thing was shady... but it isn't enough for a criminal charge. There is no evidence that he actually made an offer, or accepted an offer, with said foreign national.

He should have called the FBI immediately, not gone to the meeting.


He should have called his lawyer immediately.

The offer was right there in the email, by going to the meeting he was soliciting. And damaging information about an opponent is certainly an item of value.

Calling his lawyer would have worked too.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:15 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Again IANAL. I'm sure the details change from law to law on this matter. But plenty of people have gone to a particular location to get a drug / contraband of some kind... only to be met by FBI Agents to arrest them. I don't think you necessarily need to buy contraband to get arrested, they just need to prove intent.


I am not a lawyer or any sort of law enforcement officer, but I'm fairly certain they can't do anything until there is a quid pro quo. They don't move on "john's" until money is exchanged. They don't take down a drug dealer or purchaser until money is exchanged.

Junior didn't, as far as I know, offer anything in return. He didn't say "we'll look into changing these laws in exchange for this information" No quid pro quo.

As you've said yourself, smoke but nothing beyond that.

And I still point to the ukrainian help given to the DNC that directly led to the resignation/firing of Paul Manafort. Absent some higher level of collusion between the Russians and Trump's campaign I don't see any difference between the DNC/HRC camp using information received from the Ukranians and what Don Jr. did.


I think there's a couple things here that should be setting off alarm bells even if there is nothing explicitly illegal in this particular exchange. The first is that the Trump team has been steadfastly denying having any contact with the Russians for months, which was not only a lie, but which was a lie that directly implicates Trump's most senior advisors, if not the President himself. Moreover, the fact that a direct link from the campaign to Russia has now been established, suddenly every diplomatic action made by the administration with respect to Russia must be taken in a different light. The appearance of corruption is often just as bad as actual corruption, as far as governments are concerned.

As an aside, I really hope that this administration will finally put to rest the idea that "government should be run like a business" or that a businessperson with no political experience is remotely qualified to run for high office. I doubt that will be the case, but I live in hope.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:03 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
sardia wrote:Anyone see the latest healthcare bill? Wapo is saying it's about to pass, which is pretty hysterical. Well, it's gonna be very close. They used the same tactic as the house bill: secure the conservative wing votes, and dare the moderates to veto it. Last time the moderates folded like a wet towel. It could happen again since I don't know who the 3rd no vote is.


Source? Washington Post does have conservative writers who contribute lots of (less popular) opinion pieces.

IIRC, the last WashPo article I saw was that the Cruz Amendment is going through the CBO. And the Senate seems to care about CBO scores more than the House does, so I'd expect the vote to go down after the CBO assessment. There seemed to be at least 4-moderates who didn't like the bill as it was... and pushing it into a more conservative direction would seem to only make those four moderates angrier...

trpmb6 wrote:Does anyone think either side of aisle has learned yet that the public doesn't take kindly to the fact they keep wheelin' and dealin' in the backroom? I am somewhat happy to see that there was a little bit of back and forth in the public view. Just wish they had started with that from the onset.


The public doesn't give a shit about backroom deals. Its when deals are made in public when political capital is expended. If the news media get nothing to talk about, damage is mitigated.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpos ... story.html
The title is pretty tabloid esque.

Trump is a unique businessman, is the nice way of putting it. Like there aren't many companies who only sell the brand name of the CEO.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:08 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Nor have I asked anyone what their thoughts are on why she was even let into the country under an immigration parole order after having a visa denied.
She blonde, by any chance?

I'm guessing this doctor wasn't.
An Iranian cancer researcher traveling to Massachusetts to work at Boston Children’s Hospital was detained Tuesday at Logan International Airport along with his wife and children for several hours before being sent back.

 The detention of Dr. Mohsen Dehnavi, who holds a visiting work visa, comes two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could partially enforce an executive order banning people from six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the United States.
There's your President, protecting your cancer cells from Iranian interference.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:36 pm UTC

On NPR today Craig Unger was discussing his article in the latest issue of The New Republic, just out today, entitled "Trump's Russian Laundromat," so I looked it up. A fascinating read (although the format looks unbelievably crappy on my usual browser--apparently The New Republic only cares what their site looks like on Chrome).

A few paragraphs from the intro:

The very nature of Trump’s businesses—all of which are privately held, with few reporting requirements—makes it difficult to root out the truth about his financial deals. And the world of Russian oligarchs and organized crime, by design, is shadowy and labyrinthine. For the past three decades, state and federal investigators, as well as some of America’s best investigative journalists, have sifted through mountains of real estate records, tax filings, civil lawsuits, criminal cases, and FBI and Interpol reports, unearthing ties between Trump and Russian mobsters like Mogilevich. To date, no one has documented that Trump was even aware of any suspicious entanglements in his far-flung businesses, let alone that he was directly compromised by the Russian mafia or the corrupt oligarchs who are closely allied with the Kremlin. So far, when it comes to Trump’s ties to Russia, there is no smoking gun.

But even without an investigation by Congress or a special prosecutor, there is much we already know about the president’s debt to Russia. A review of the public record reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia. Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money. Some ran a worldwide high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower—in a unit directly below one owned by Trump. Others provided Trump with lucrative branding deals that required no investment on his part. Taken together, the flow of money from Russia provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics. “They saved his bacon,” says Kenneth McCallion, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration who investigated ties between organized crime and Trump’s developments in the 1980s.

It’s entirely possible that Trump was never more than a convenient patsy for Russian oligarchs and mobsters, with his casinos and condos providing easy pass-throughs for their illicit riches. At the very least, with his constant need for new infusions of cash and his well-documented troubles with creditors, Trump made an easy “mark” for anyone looking to launder money. But whatever his knowledge about the source of his wealth, the public record makes clear that Trump built his business empire in no small part with a lot of dirty money from a lot of dirty Russians—including the dirtiest and most feared of them all.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:37 am UTC

After reading a few of these Ukraine articles it does appear that the two scenarios are pretty similar. But the conclusion to that is that both sides should be investigated and punished (or not) accordingly, not that one somehow cancels the other out.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:38 am UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:On NPR today Craig Unger was discussing his article in the latest issue of The New Republic, just out today, entitled "Trump's Russian Laundromat," so I looked it up. A fascinating read (although the format looks unbelievably crappy on my usual browser--apparently The New Republic only cares what their site looks like on Chrome).

A few paragraphs from the intro:

The very nature of Trump’s businesses—all of which are privately held, with few reporting requirements—makes it difficult to root out the truth about his financial deals. And the world of Russian oligarchs and organized crime, by design, is shadowy and labyrinthine. For the past three decades, state and federal investigators, as well as some of America’s best investigative journalists, have sifted through mountains of real estate records, tax filings, civil lawsuits, criminal cases, and FBI and Interpol reports, unearthing ties between Trump and Russian mobsters like Mogilevich. To date, no one has documented that Trump was even aware of any suspicious entanglements in his far-flung businesses, let alone that he was directly compromised by the Russian mafia or the corrupt oligarchs who are closely allied with the Kremlin. So far, when it comes to Trump’s ties to Russia, there is no smoking gun.

But even without an investigation by Congress or a special prosecutor, there is much we already know about the president’s debt to Russia. A review of the public record reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia. Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money. Some ran a worldwide high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower—in a unit directly below one owned by Trump. Others provided Trump with lucrative branding deals that required no investment on his part. Taken together, the flow of money from Russia provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics. “They saved his bacon,” says Kenneth McCallion, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration who investigated ties between organized crime and Trump’s developments in the 1980s.

It’s entirely possible that Trump was never more than a convenient patsy for Russian oligarchs and mobsters, with his casinos and condos providing easy pass-throughs for their illicit riches. At the very least, with his constant need for new infusions of cash and his well-documented troubles with creditors, Trump made an easy “mark” for anyone looking to launder money. But whatever his knowledge about the source of his wealth, the public record makes clear that Trump built his business empire in no small part with a lot of dirty money from a lot of dirty Russians—including the dirtiest and most feared of them all.

Is there anything corroborating this story? The only thing I can find is this unrelated FBI investigation. Like is there another paper working on this?
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 42851.html

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:57 am UTC

It's something that's been heavily rumored for a long time, before anybody ever thought he'd be running for president, but yeah, I don't know whether there's a solid corroboration available for it.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:22 pm UTC

There was a New Yorker reporter-at-large article a few months ago on his dealings in Azerbaijan and his very sketchy ties to the corruption there - along with very probable involvement with shell companies for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/13/donald-trumps-worst-deal
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:52 pm UTC

Some of these connections seem earily similar to Podesta's various dealings. On the surface it may seem fairly devious, but once you dig in they turn out to be fairly innocuous. Fact is, if you want to do business in some of these countries you will inherently have to deal with some shady people. It doesn't necessarily mean you're in-cahoots with them. It just means those shady people have used their influence and corruption to get into the position they are in to control what happens in their countries. Not to dissimilar to the mobster days of our past (and to some extent still happens today in some localities) where you have to peddle influence with key players to get something built. You may not like that but that's the reality of things.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:07 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Some of these connections seem earily similar to Podesta's various dealings. On the surface it may seem fairly devious, but once you dig in they turn out to be fairly innocuous. Fact is, if you want to do business in some of these countries you will inherently have to deal with some shady people. It doesn't necessarily mean you're in-cahoots with them. It just means those shady people have used their influence and corruption to get into the position they are in to control what happens in their countries. Not to dissimilar to the mobster days of our past (and to some extent still happens today in some localities) where you have to peddle influence with key players to get something built. You may not like that but that's the reality of things.

It's actually illegal. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act requires that companies do proper vetting of business partners. You can't plead ignorance.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:41 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote: It doesn't necessarily mean you're in-cahoots with them.


Lets look at the facts, and I really mean the facts.

1. The emails state that Russia is trying to help get Trump elected, Team Trump knew about it, and attended meetings to confirm as early as June 2016.
2. Earlier this year, the man responsible for investigating the Russian matters (former FBI Director Comey) was FIRED from the job. Trump has not liked the Special Prosecutor Muller either.
3. The meager Obama-era retribution: the closing of a few Russian facilities here and there in Maryland / DC / Virginia, have been rolled back by the Trump Administration

At some point, the level of smoke becomes choking, and we really should just be discussing the obvious. Trump has Russian connections. Period. And those conflicts of interest seem to be weighing down on his Presidency and foreign policy.

------------

We are long past the point of proving a Russian connection to Team Trump. The only question remaining is the criminality aspect of it. Whether Trump was connected to the cyberattacks of the DNC last year. But yes, Trump is "in cahoots" with the Russians. The question is to what degree is the connection, and whether it is past a legal barrier of criminality.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:49 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
trpmb6 wrote: It doesn't necessarily mean you're in-cahoots with them.


Lets look at the facts, and I really mean the facts.

1. The emails state that Russia is trying to help get Trump elected, Team Trump knew about it, and attended meetings to confirm as early as June 2016.
2. Earlier this year, the man responsible for investigating the Russian matters (former FBI Director Comey) was FIRED from the job. Trump has not liked the Special Prosecutor Muller either.
3. The meager Obama-era retribution: the closing of a few Russian facilities here and there in Maryland / DC / Virginia, have been rolled back by the Trump Administration

At some point, the level of smoke becomes choking, and we really should just be discussing the obvious. Trump has Russian connections. Period. And those conflicts of interest seem to be weighing down on his Presidency and foreign policy.

------------

We are long past the point of proving a Russian connection to Team Trump. The only question remaining is the criminality aspect of it. Whether Trump was connected to the cyberattacks of the DNC last year. But yes, Trump is "in cahoots" with the Russians. The question is to what degree is the connection, and whether it is past a legal barrier of criminality.

I think he's referring to the Russian mafia owning Trump story. I can't find much to confirm it, and none of the major papers are running it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:49 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I think he's referring to the Russian mafia owning Trump story. I can't find much to confirm it, and none of the major papers are running it.


Correct.

Going back to the don Jr issue; Geraldo Rivera (a friend of the Trumps but by no means a supporter of his politics - particularly his stances on immigration) was on Fox and Friends this morning and laid out a fairly compelling point. Nothing Don did was illegal (similarly he mentioned the DNC-Ukraine stuff also do not point to any illegalities). What Don Jr did, however, (his words) was extremely amateurish and clumsy. He said it highlights the issue of an outsider running a campaign with very little political apparatus support (A point I might add is something KnightExemplar has made himself about the Trump Presidency right now, ie, they aren't politics savvy and struggling as such). Geraldo goes on to say that this should fall on the shoulders of Manafort. He was the one that should be raising the alarm bells about this type of meeting and he should have been the one controlling the flow of information in and out of the campaign. Not Don Jr. It kind of shows the kind of sleaze Manafort is and highlights his ineptitude if you ask me.

Also, it was reported on Morning Joe this morning that there may have been a 6th person in the room. Likely a translator. (not sure on the status of sourcing for this though, but it sounds like this is coming from Don Jr's lawyer).

As for Don Jr not remembering 100% of this meeting. I'll be honest, I don't remember most anything from meetings I had a year ago. I don't think it's really fair to castigate someone for not remembering if a 6th person was in the room or not. Or what color tie he was wearing that day etc.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:52 pm UTC

So you're saying it's reasonable to remember if I spoke with someone, but not if I suddenly learned Russian or had to use an external interpreter?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:56 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Correct.

Going back to the don Jr issue; Geraldo Rivera (a friend of the Trumps but by no means a supporter of his politics - particularly his stances on immigration) was on Fox and Friends this morning and laid out a fairly compelling point. Nothing Don did was illegal (similarly he mentioned the DNC-Ukraine stuff also do not point to any illegalities). What Don Jr did, however, (his words) was extremely amateurish and clumsy. He said it highlights the issue of an outsider running a campaign with very little political apparatus support (A point I might add is something KnightExemplar has made himself about the Trump Presidency right now, ie, they aren't politics savvy and struggling as such). Geraldo goes on to say that this should fall on the shoulders of Manafort. He was the one that should be raising the alarm bells about this type of meeting and he should have been the one controlling the flow of information in and out of the campaign. Not Don Jr. It kind of shows the kind of sleaze Manafort is and highlights his ineptitude if you ask me.


Donald Trump first ran for President in 2000. Made a 2nd running in 2012, ran a 3rd time in 2016 before finally getting elected. Mr. Trump explored the Presidency as early as 1988.

Mr. Trump is the only man to remain an "amateur" after doing something for 16 fucking years. But yes, its always someone else's fault. There's a certain level of "amateur hour" that Trump's campaign markets itself as. But the general apparatus of the man is not "amateurish" because of lack of experience.

Mr. Trump is simply incompetent, and will remain so throughout his Presidency.

---------

As far as Manafort: Trump chose him. The buck stops with Trump. If Trump didn't want to be brought into the Russia scandal, maybe he shouldn't have picked a Russian-backed campaign manager. Manafort's connections with Russia were well known early last year, and Trump didn't give a fuck.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Angua » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:38 pm UTC

WTF is wrong with this White House? They have literally just dox'd everyone who's sent in comments about the election advisory commision by releasing the full emails of everyone who's emailed in concerned about their privacy.

Literally I can download this pdf document and get the emails and at least 1 phone number from people who've responded. Apparently there are some addresses as well.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:46 pm UTC

Didn't you get the memo, Angua? They're just new at this! Cut them some slack!
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:02 pm UTC

Breaking: There was a Russian lobbyist and reported former Russian counterintelligence officer (of course he disputes any connection to Russia) at the meeting between DT Jr, Manafort, and Kushner, by the name of Rinat Akhmetshin. More smoke?

http://www.npr.org/2017/07/14/537219554 ... nd-russian
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:31 pm UTC

Sorry, I experienced lots of technical difficulties with the way I originally formatted this. Edited post below:

sardia wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:On NPR today Craig Unger was discussing his article in the latest issue of The New Republic, just out today, entitled "Trump's Russian Laundromat," [...snip]

Is there anything corroborating this story? The only thing I can find is this unrelated FBI investigation. Like is there another paper working on this?


I'm not sure what you mean by "is there another paper working on this?" Unger's article didn't reveal anything that hasn't already been reported elsewhere. Major news outlets have already been reporting the stuff Unger mentions for years. (A few recent examples below.)

But (as Unger, too, states in his article) no matter how much suspicious activity has been linked to Trump, there's nothing specifically illegal about suspicious activity, or about selling real estate to suspicious characters, per se. It may smell bad, but smelling bad isn't illegal, either, and since when has his bad smell cost Trump any support with his base? Say "suspicious activity, let's look into it," and they counter with "witch hunt."

But, as requested, here's corroboration for some of the drip, drip, drips mentioned by Unger:

The Financial Times, October 19, 2016: "Dirty money: Trump and the Kazakh connection: FT probe finds evidence a Trump venture has links to alleged laundering network.".

Quoted snippet:
Spoiler:
The Financial Times wrote:Ever since a series of bankruptcies left banks unwilling to lend to him, Donald Trump has been on the lookout for partners willing to fund the buildings that bear his name.

Over the years the US presidential candidate has assembled an eclectic collection of backers and collaborators. Some had chequered pasts, with links to organised crime or fraud schemes. But perhaps the biggest risk for Mr Trump’s complex, often opaque, business empire was that it might be used for a purpose US officials fear is rife in the country’s real estate sector: laundering dirty money.

A Financial Times investigation has found evidence that one Trump venture has multiple ties to an alleged international money laundering network. Title deeds, bank records and correspondence show that a Kazakh family accused of laundering hundreds of millions of stolen dollars bought luxury apartments in a Manhattan tower part-owned by Mr Trump and embarked on major business ventures with one of the tycoon’s partners.

As Mr Trump runs for the White House, the revelations raise questions about what steps his business takes to ensure that the funds that pour through it are clean.

Jennifer Shasky Calvery, then director of the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, warned in January that “corrupt foreign officials, or transnational criminals, may be using premium US real estate to secretly invest millions in dirty money”.


Bloomberg Businessweek (yes, I am aware of Bloomberg's ties to the Democratic Party), March 16, 2017: Behind Trump’s Russia Romance, There’s a Tower Full of Oligarchs: Down on his luck, the mogul found help from émigrés from the old Soviet empire

Quoted snippet:
Spoiler:
Businessweek wrote:Trump’s soft spot for Russia is an ongoing mystery, and the large number of condominium sales he made to people with ties to former Soviet republics may offer clues. “We had big buyers from Russia and Ukraine and Kazakhstan,” says Debra Stotts, a sales agent who filled up the tower. The very top floors went unsold for years, but a third of units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states, a Bloomberg investigation shows. The reporting involved more than two dozen interviews and a review of hundreds of public records filed in New York.

The 1990s were a sobering period for Trump, and it’s noteworthy that among those who helped him exit the decade are people to whom he’s shown deep loyalty. Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway and Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer, bought units. Cohen got his Ukrainian in-laws to buy, too. Most of the units were bought before the tower was built, and prices weren’t disclosed. Trump World Tower ended up as a model for future developments—with money drawn from sales in Moscow.

Two months before Trump broke ground in October 1998, Russia defaulted on $40 billion in domestic debt, the ruble plummeted, and some of the biggest banks started to collapse. Millionaires scrambled to get their money out and into New York. Real estate provides a safe haven for overseas investors. It has few reporting requirements and is a preferred way to move cash of questionable provenance. Amid the turmoil, buyers found a dearth of available projects. Trump World Tower, opened in 2001, became a prominent depository of Russian money.

Sam Kislin, a Ukrainian immigrant, issued mortgages to buyers of multimillion-dollar apartments in World Tower. It’s highly unusual for individuals to issue formal mortgages for U.S. luxury real estate, and the tower loans are the only ones Kislin ever made in New York, public records show.
Almost two decades earlier, Kislin had sold Trump about 200 televisions on credit. “I gave him 30 days, and in exactly 30 days he paid me back,” says Kislin, now 82. “He never gave me any trouble.” He says the televisions were for the Commodore Hotel, which Trump had bought in 1976 with Hyatt Corp.
Trump purchased the sets from an electronics store that Kislin had opened in New York with Tamir Sapir, an immigrant from Georgia. It was famous among Soviets who would buy VHS players and tape recorders to take back home. Sapir later grew rich trading Russian oil. He invested the proceeds in New York real estate, eventually becoming one of Trump’s development partners in Trump SoHo, a frequent focal point in inquiries about Trump’s financial ties to Russia and questionable Russian money. Sapir died in 2014.

Kislin became a fundraiser for Rudolph Giuliani’s mayoral campaign, bringing in millions for the future Trump surrogate. Investigated by the FBI in the 1990s for allegations including mob ties and laundering money from Russia, Kislin was never charged, and he maintains his innocence.


ABC News, March 21, 2017 (WARNING: SITE HAS AUTOLOADING VIDEO): Russian mafia boss still at large after FBI wiretap at Trump Tower

Quoted snippet:
Spoiler:
ABC News wrote:There, indeed, was an FBI wiretap involving Russians at Trump Tower.

But it was not placed at the behest of Barack Obama, and the target was not the Trump campaign of 2016. For two years ending in 2013, the FBI had a court-approved warrant to eavesdrop on a sophisticated Russian organized crime money-laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower in New York.

The FBI investigation led to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including one of the world’s most notorious Russian mafia bosses, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. Known as the “Little Taiwanese,” he was the only target to slip away, and he remains a fugitive from American justice.

Seven months after the April 2013 indictment and after Interpol issued a red notice for Tokhtakhounov, he appeared near Donald Trump in the VIP section of the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Trump had sold the Russian rights for Miss Universe to a billionaire Russian shopping mall developer.

“He is a major player,” said Mike Gaeta, the agent who led the 2013 FBI investigation of Tokhtakhounov and his alleged mafia money-laundering and gambling ring, in a 2014 interview with ABC News. “He is prominent. He has extremely good connections in the business world as well as the criminal world, overseas, in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, other countries.”


USA Today, March 28, 2017 (WARNING: SITE HAS AUTOLOADING VIDEO): Trump's business network reached alleged Russian mobsters

Quoted snippet:
Spoiler:
USA Today wrote:Trump told reporters in February: "I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia. I have no loans with Russia at all."

Yet in 2013, after Trump addressed potential investors in Moscow, he bragged to Real Estate Weekly about his access to Russia's rich and powerful. “I have a great relationship with many Russians, and almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” Trump said, referring to Russians who made fortunes when former Soviet state enterprises were sold to private investors.

Five years earlier, Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. told Russian media while in Moscow that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets" in places like Dubai and Trump SoHo and elsewhere in New York.

New York City real estate broker Dolly Lenz told USA TODAY she sold about 65 condos in Trump World at 845 U.N. Plaza in Manhattan to Russian investors, many of whom sought personal meetings with Trump for his business expertise.

“I had contacts in Moscow looking to invest in the United States,” Lenz said. “They all wanted to meet Donald. They became very friendly.” Many of those meetings happened in Trump's office at Trump Tower or at sales events, Lenz said.


The Washington Post cited the Financial Times, ABC News, and Businessweek stories in a March 24, 2017, opinion piece entitled It’s time for the feds to follow the Russian money.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:28 pm UTC

Wut?

(And is he using the same "transparent" as when defending his "open" family member? Really, I don't think Trump can substantiate his claim to "know the best words"...)


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