The Russia Follies, Chapter 58

The advantage of being on vacation is that I can watch an entire Trump news cycle play out before commenting on it. So it is with the latest Russia scandal. Apparently, Jeff Sessions, our Attorney General, denied meeting with the Russians during the campaign. But it has now been revealed that he met with the Russian Ambassador twice. Today has brought more revelations of unreported meetings and unreported business ties.

As is usually the case with revelations about this Administration’s contacts with Russia, it provoked an instant reaction of “Treason! Impeachment! Worse than Watergate!” followed by the refractory period of, “OK, we’ll look into it.” as more facts come out. For example, most of these contacts between Trump officials and the Russian ambassador took place at the RNC … at an event organized by the Obama Administration State Department.

A few things to unpack from this.

First, one of the big claims is that Sessions perjured himself in his testimony to Congress. Having thought about this for a while and read quite a bit of online commentary, I’m inclined to think he didn’t. There’s enough leeway in his answers that he can honestly say he didn’t discuss the campaign with Kislyak. One of the most hilarious figures in this mess is now Claire McCaskill. After she claimed to have never met the Russian ambassador, it took ten seconds for conservative Twitter to show that she had. Sessions may have forgotten these meetings or regarded their content as insignificant. His answers were problematic, no question. But sticking a charge of perjury on them requires a lot of facts that are not yet in evidence.

Questions of perjury aside, I agree with the calls for Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the ongoing Russia investigation (after I drafted this, Sessions agreed to recuse himself). I also think Sessions needs to give a full account of his conversations with Kislyak to determine if he did perjure himself before Congress.

And I agree that there needs to be a full independent Congressional investigation into this matter. At minimum, we’re talking about members of the Administration potentially using their positions to advance their business interests. At worst, we’re talking about the subversion of Administration members by a foreign power. Even if you are a Trump supporter, you can not have this cloud hanging over him for the next four years. There is a tendency for partisans to hunker down and not want to “give in” to the other side. That’s a bad instinct. Bad for America. And frankly bad for Trump. Investigate now. Investigate fully. This isn’t some Daily Kos conspiracy theory any more.

(I suspect, incidentally, that the explanation here is closer to the “business interests” side of the spectrum than the “treason” side. The Trump Administration is filled with amateurs who have no idea how important disclosure is and filled with business people who have ties to Russia and potential conflicts of interests — all the way up to the President himself. If it were shown that the Administration is subverting American interests in favor of Russian ones, that would be one of the worst scandals in American political history. But I find that unlikely to be the case, especially with Sessions who is a notorious hawk on Russia.)

I’ll be honest. We’re a month and a half into the Trump years and I am frankly getting tired of this clown show with the Russians. This entire thing could have been avoided had Trump released his tax returns and disclosed his business interests (and not done his whole, “Putin, if you’re listening” routine). One thing that needs to come out of this is full financial disclosure from both the President and his advisors. Releasing tax returns can no longer be optional. And while we’re on it, we should make medical disclosure mandatory too. We don’t need another JFK hopped up on five kinds of prescription meds trying to navigate a potential nuclear war.

Comments are closed.

  1. West Virginia Rebel

    At the very least it has exposed the hypocrisy on the Democratic side (again.)

    I think the Russians are going to find out soon enough that they won’t be able to control Trump like maybe they thought they would.

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  2. AlexInCT

    Forget the Russia follies. The revelation that the very democrats screaming the loudest about anyone being in the same room with Russians indicated some manchurian connection, now all are being discredited with pictures showing they did the same. And while this by itself is awesome to see play out, I think we now get a real peek behind the curtain at how the democratic machine works, and whom is likely behind all this the resurging red scare bullshit

    This is the most explosive political allegation in many years, far more explosive than Watergate. Is it true? I assume it has some basis in fact, e.g., Trump’s security people may have told him that they detected a tap on one or more of his phone lines. I have no idea how that works, or why it would only be detected now, or how the presence of a wire tap could be connected to the Obama administration. But it seems unlikely that Trump would make such a dynamite allegation without some kind of support.

    I always said Nixon was spinning in his grave because Obama got away with the things he was accusing of wanting to do due to a dnc operative with bylines infested machine pretending to be an independent media and the fact republicans were playing by rules no democrat ever would. My bet is that this is just one of many such abuses of the law and power committed by the Obama administration some morons, especially here, keep pretending didn’t establish an anti-American pattern of behavior. There is far, far, more than anyone could ever dream I bet. Obama used the US government, after he filled it with traitorous scumbags whose alliance was to him and the DNC, and not the people, to go after political and other enemies. A complicit press helped him do that even while he targeted them as well.

    Americans need to know about how Obama weaponized government in preparation for the final marxist putsch. Especially since it will clarify the radical behavior from the left now that they realized that the machine they created is in the hands of someone that can actually turn it on them. You have to imagine the surprise of these people that now desperately trying to accuse Trump of doing exactly what they actually did – rigging the election – because despite that. things did not go their way.

    Of course, I expect the usual suspects to all suddenly act as if the only people reaching for straws, after they actually have spent the months since the election doing just that, are the ones that point out that this Trump=Hitler shit is all bullshit, because the real anti-American evil fucks is the democrats and their machine. The left fucked itself over by putting the one guy that actually had no remorse of playing the game the way they do it into the position to win the WH. Now they are going to get unraveled because in their desperation to block him from using the machine they set up to fuck us plebes over, they are going to end up being the ones revealed as the villains they are.

    Stay tuned baby! This is going to be awesome!

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  3. ilovecress

    Democrats aren’t screaming about being in the same room. They’re screaming about being caught lying about it.

    As for the WireTap thing – does it really seem unlikely that Trump would make a claim like this without facts? I know you’re in the ‘benefit of the doubt’ camp…

    But IF it is true – that means that the FBI got a FISA warrant to investigate Trump. Something that we already knew. Which means the FBI had probable cause at the time. So there’s that.

    I’m really trying not to get conspiracy theorist about this – I’d be really keen to hear what people here think the innocent explanation is. I know Alex’s explanation is “But Democrats Suck and teh Marxist horde is coming” – but Rich? What say you?

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    Alex, you really need to read something other than Breitbart and other crazy conservatives.

    Forget the Russia follies. The revelation that the very democrats screaming the loudest about anyone being in the same room with Russians indicated some manchurian connection, now all are being discredited with pictures showing they did the same

    Yes … as I said, the problem is the lying.  These meetings were public and open.  Hell, one of the Trumper claims is that Obama met with the Russian Ambassador, which OMG THE PRESIDENT MET WITH AN AMBASSADOR!  Really stretching here.

    And see my post on the wire-tapping.  Unless Trump has something new, this was the FISA investigation into members of his staff who were alleged to be working with the Russians to get Trump elected. You remember that whole thing?

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  5. AlexInCT

    Alex, you really need to read something other than Breitbart and other crazy conservatives.

    Even if that was the case, I ask why? I prefer to know the bias I am dealing with , instead of what the lying dnc operatives that pretend they are objective and neutral, peddle. Especially since they lie and lie constantly. But you, I am certain, you eat that shit and ask for seconds. That’s because we all know while you may not admit it, you are one of them.

    Yes … as I said, the problem is the lying. 

    Shit, funny how nobody has had problems with lying for 8 years. And the ones that feigned indignity only feigned it, because nobody was ever held accountable. But yeah, the problem is the lying. Sure..

    These meetings were public and open.  Hell, one of the Trumper claims is that Obama met with the Russian Ambassador, which OMG THE PRESIDENT MET WITH AN AMBASSADOR!  Really stretching here.

    The party of lying is throwing a tantrum because.. they didn’t win the election.

    Maybe you like to pretend the Clinton years and the last 8 years didn’t happen, but I lived through it, and people that spent that time lying and defending lies, have no ground to stand on today. However, suddenly, anything that doesn’t fit the narrative, is lying. Fuck the lot of you.

    And see my post on the wire-tapping.  Unless Trump has something new, this was the FISA investigation into members of his staff who were alleged to be working with the Russians to get Trump elected. You remember that whole thing?

    What I remember is that a pissed off left, angry that someone showed the voters their dirty laundry and cost one of the most corrupt and despicable people on the planet to lose an election they were sure they had already stolen, suddenly discovered the red scare, and then, all because they lost that election and now need to discredit the guy that beat them so he doesn’t turn the destructive machine they built in the last 8 years on them. The left always accuses others of doing what they are actually doing. Trump didn’t fly to Moscow to make a deal with Khrushchev to bead Reagan: that was Ted Kennedy. I would not at all be surprised to find out that Obama/Clinton made a deal with the Russians, reneged on it, and were fucked by them for it. now they need to prevent Trump from succeeding, because that means their end.

    I am willing to bet money Obama knew and ordered this shit, and this FISA crap is just something to give what they were doing a veneer of legitimacy. Just like he did with fast and furious, ordering the IRS to target conservatives, using the DOJ to pursue his personal and political enemies, the massive lies told to win a second election, tapped the idiots that still shill for the left today and treated them like enemies when they dared challenge his criminal behavior, a slew of other crap, basically acting like the tyrant he is. And when that comes out, you and the other dnc operatives with bylines will all try to pretend it was done because of good reasons.

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  6. ilovecress

    Even if that was the case, I ask why?

    Because you can’t know what bias you’re dealing with if you don’t see the alternatives.

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  7. AlexInCT

    Because you can’t know what bias you’re dealing with if you don’t see the alternatives.

    What alternatives are you talking about? The dnc operatives with bylines? That’s a grand waste of time. I have other places that are more reliable than these scumbags are. Fuck the National Enquirer does a better job than CNN, NYT, MSNBC, WaPo, LA Times, or any of that other dreck.

    Pass. If I wanted to see serious stupid, I would watch SNL or one of the late night comedians that passes for leftist intelligence. At least there I have a chance to get a laugh, even if it is at how stupid I think people that think these idiots are something special are.

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  8. ilovecress

    Alex, you’ve demonstrated time and time again that you don’t actually know what the ‘other side’ is actually saying. You straw man so much that you show that you don’t even know what the issue is that’s being discussed in the thread. Even if you disagree with the NYT, it might help if you actually knew what was being discussed.

    You’re not a credible voice on this blog. When the Russia stuff happened, I thought “Hmmm… i wonder what Rich and WVRs take is on this, I expect I’ll get a different view from the one my Twitter feed is showing.”

    I just knew your take would be something about how Obama was the worst thing ever and how collectivism (that’s turned to Marxism in the last couple of weeks. Be interesting to see where that change came from) is inches from the US shores via a secret conspiracy of Democrats, Liberal Hollywood actors and the New York Times. And then also a bit about how awesome you are for totally schooling some liberal that we won’t meet because she went to another school. To be honest I just skip your posts and comments. Pro tip, a paragraph break every now and again might help.

    Rich/WVR/Icon – really keen to get the point of view of a credible conservative on this one – This Russia stuff is weird, right?

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  9. richtaylor365

    Cress, first let’s establish what is and is not a lie.

    Here are lies;

    “If you like your doctor and healthcare plan, you can keep them”

    “I tried to get Republican feedback while I crafted Obamacare”

    “Benghazi was the result of a youtube video”

    “No corruption, not even a smidgen of corruption in my administration”

    This is not a lie ,”As a surrogate for the Trump campaign I had no contact with Russian officials”.

    As for all this Russia stuff being weird, my opinion is that the dems have overplayed this by a mile. The Russians hacked the DNC and Podesta emails, they tried (but unsuccessful) to hack the RNC, this is not evidence that they favored Trump over Clinton. All this yammering about them influencing the election, where is the proof? Show me anything at all that connects Russian interference with the election outcome, anything. Does it bug me that the Russians hacked any part of our political institutions? Absolutely. Does it bug me that Trump is seemingly unaware of Russian sins in the world and that he thinks (just like Obama) that by din of personality, he is going to separate them from their revanchism? Again, yes. And do I think an independent congressional investigation (not just into the alleged Trump dealings but into all Russian actions within our political system) is needed? double yes.

    But let’s look at this logically. We know that Obama campaigned hard for Clinton and we have seen how he has weaponized  subordinate executive arms under him. We know that the CIA suspected possible connections between 2 Russian banks and the Trump campaign, back in June  and alerted The Justice Dept. who applied for a FISA warrant. This was denied. They tried again in July, denied. After judge shopping they finally found one in October to buy off on the wiretap. I will grant  for sake of argument that there was sufficient probably cause, absent any pressure or politicization from Obama, to grant the warrant. Now we know that there exists within the IC, folks who are looking for any evidence at all to discredit Trump, hence the Flynn debacle and all the other leaks.  Do you really think that a tap that has been active since October, if it produced even a scintilla of culpability or wrong doing regarding anyone involved with the Trump campaign, do you really think this evidence would not have been leaked already to the NY Times and WaPo?

    During the entire campaign every MSM outlet had dozens of reporters out beating the bushes trying to find any Russian connection of collusion with Trump. We have this active wiretap running since October, any evidence so far? As of today there exists not one single shred of evidence to even suggest that the Russians and Trump colluded to influence the election. Such evidence could materialize tomorrow or in the future, but until something concrete surfaces, the dems look desperate, weak, and delusional with their Russian bogymen fixation. I need real verifiable evidence before going off half cocked, you should to.

     

     

     

     

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  10. CM

    ” I need real verifiable evidence before going off half cocked, you should to.”

    Eight years too late but better late than never.

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  11. Hal_10000 *

    What I remember is that a pissed off left, angry that someone showed the voters their dirty laundry and cost one of the most corrupt and despicable people on the planet to lose an election they were sure they had already stolen, suddenly discovered the red scare, and then, all because they lost that election and now need to discredit the guy that beat them so he doesn’t turn the destructive machine they built in the last 8 years on them.

    Yes, except that the FISA warrant was issued before the election because Trump had an unsecured server communicating with Russian banks and multiple people in his staff who had taken money in the past to advance Russia’s interests.  Remember Manafort?

    As for all this Russia stuff being weird, my opinion is that the dems have overplayed this by a mile. The Russians hacked the DNC and Podesta emails, they tried (but unsuccessful) to hack the RNC, this is not evidence that they favored Trump over Clinton.

    They absolutely favored Trump, as confirmed by our intelligence agencies (although probably more to hurt Clinton were she elected than because they liked him specifically). And they DID hack older RNC e-mails but did not release anything.  And then stopped trying to hack them.

    After judge shopping they finally found one in October to buy off on the wiretap.

    You can’t judge-shop the FISA court.  They got the warrant eventually because they made a more narrow request focusing on four Trumpers.

    do you really think this evidence would not have been leaked already to the NY Times and WaPo?

    Pick a lane Rich.  Either they are leaking information to discredit Trump or there’s nothing to leak.  Or maybe the investigation is ongoing as has been stated multiple times.

    I don’t think the Trumpers colluded with the Russians to steal the election. As I said before, I think this is plain old business interests and financial corruption.

    I DO know that if this stuff had come out about Obama, you guys would have gone fucking apeshit and be calling for his impeachment yesterday.

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  12. richtaylor365

    Pick a lane Rich. 

    I am picking a lane, its called the highway of “Don’t make wild ass accusations unless you have some evidence to back it up”, it is a multi lane highway, plenty of room for you to use.

    The simple fact, apparently lost on you, is that with the dozens (maybe hundreds, who knows?) of reporters beating the bushes for proof of Trump/Russian collusion, and with an active wiretap since Octobers listening in, you still got jackshit for real evidence. Even with Obama sicking 5 different executive branch entities on Trump, all coming back holding their cranks.

     I think this is plain old business interests and financial corruption.

    And again (seems to be a recurring theme with us, you making wild claims with zippo as evidence), when you have anything at all that points to “corruption”, provide it and we’ll talk.

    And they DID hack older RNC e-mails but did not release anything

    Maybe because there was nothing “there” to release? But yeah, go ahead and imply collusion, even when you don’t have anything.

     And then stopped trying to hack them.

    Ya think maybe because the RNC had better security features in place? naw, couldn’t be that, doesn’t fit the narrative.

    you guys would have gone fucking apeshit

    You mean like “you guys” and your “Russian under every bed” hysteria?

    Interestingly there were reams of evidence pointing to Clinton’s Russian ties and her remuneration over these ties, yet Obama’s 5 attack dog agencies never sought a FISA warrant on her.

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  13. AlexInCT

    The simple fact, apparently lost on you, is that with the dozens (maybe hundreds, who knows?) of reporters beating the bushes for proof of Trump/Russian collusion, and with an active wiretap since Octobers listening in, you still got jackshit for real evidence. 

    Which is why I wondered WTF these idiots saying that the issue isn’t with the Trump people, but the lies they told, were actually thinking.  See, someone on team Trump thinking an encounter everyone knew about doesn’t count is definite proof lying, but the fact that after months of insane shrieking of how the Russians are coming, including the tapping of a political opponent by the Obama admin, they have absolutely nothing but this shit, tells me they really hope you don’t see the double standards and the fact that they are full of shit.

    Maybe because there was nothing “there” to release? 

    Actually, it is well know that there was nothing to release, because whomever was behind the hack only got content off an old and obsolete backup server. The real RNC servers/network was not hacked, because apparently they actually worried about security. In the mean time the revelation that the WH bugged political enemies – in this case Trump – is not the first time they did this and got away with it either. But hey, our resident pissed of sore losing leftists sure as hell want to make like the problem isn’t the corrupt Obama administration getting away with shit Nixon couldn’t have dreamed off.

    You mean like “you guys” and your “Russian under every bed” hysteria?

    This is basically nothing but the left, led by the Obama administration, undermining the elected president and his ability to do anything (as I said: they are scared to death Trump shows how inept and corrupt the 8 Obama years were). Sedition of the worst kind. I hope the republicans take note and remember to do the same when the next democrat runs.

    Interestingly there were reams of evidence pointing to Clinton’s Russian ties and her remuneration over these ties, yet Obama’s 5 attack dog agencies never sought a FISA warrant on her.

    That’s because what they are really busy at is sabotaging Trump’s presidency.

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  14. richtaylor365

    Cress, to further answer your question; would it surprise me in the least that evidence does turn up linking  Trump impropriety re: the Russians? Nope. The one thing Obama/Clinton/Trump all have in common, all morally challenged, all having a murky sequestered grasp of “truth”, and all will bend a few rules (even break them when they think no one is looking) to further their own ends.

    But clearly you can see the desperation in playing this Russia hand, without even as much as a pair of deuces. If they had anything substantive, we would have seen it by now. Delay the cabinet and sub cabinet nominations, yell “Russians over there” daily, resist, obstruct, and delay, that is some game plan they have.

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  15. Thrill

    If they had anything substantive, we would have seen it by now. Delay the cabinet and sub cabinet nominations, yell “Russians over there” daily, resist, obstruct, and delay, that is some game plan they have.

    I fully agree with Rich here.  Even if I wasn’t up to speed on the whole Russian story, I would still be very reluctant to treat it very seriously because it really is, to me, so blatantly a red herring that is being used as a part of this overall plan to resist Trump for the sake of resisting Trump rather than anything helpful, productive, or wise.

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  16. richtaylor365

    You can’t judge-shop the FISA court. 

    Yes, you can.

    After being denied on their original FISA request, they then appealed to the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review), made up of 3 different judges, BTW all 3 Bill Clinton appointees. This action of appealing the original FISA denial is so rare that it was done  only 2 other times, 2002 and 2008. Getting a second bite at the apple with a judge more sympathetic to your cause, sounds like textbook judge shopping to me.

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  17. Hal_10000 *

    See my comment on the other thread.  May I remind you that we investigated things like Benghazi for YEARS and you insisted that this just proved we needed further investigation.  Same with Fast and Furious. Same with the IRS scandal.  You guys really are the God damned Democrats in Red Clothing.  Two months into an investigation and you’re already saying, “THERE’S NOTHING TO SEE HERE! OBAMA SUX! LIBRUL! 111!!”

    Now that Trump controls the executive, it is imperative that this investigation be run independently.

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  18. Hal_10000 *

    And this is what I mean by getting news elsewhere.  Every conservative and Republican ass-kisser is repeating the same talking points this morning: that a few months of investigation and one FISA warrant is sufficient to conclude that nothing happened here. No sir.  Nothing to see.  I’ll agree that this is more smoke than fire at this point.  But <em>that’s why we investigate</em>.  At the very least, we need a congressional inquiry.

    And, srsly, Rich? You’re trying to defend Trump with Hillary’s corruption by linking to Trump’s site? SERIOUSLY?! Yes, I’m sure their analysis is totally objective. FFS. (Note that it mentions the uranium thing, which is canary in the coal mine for a massive fail).

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  19. ilovecress

    Cress, to further answer your question; would it surprise me in the least that evidence does turn up linking  Trump impropriety re: the Russians? Nope

    But clearly you can see the desperation in playing this Russia hand, without even as much as a pair of deuces.

    So what you’re saying here is that you think it likely that the President of the United States has engaged in something illegal and/or damaging to the country. But because it’s the Democrats who are making the allegations, you’re going to let it slide?

    By the way, the irony of “Don’t make wild ass accusations unless you have some evidence to back it up”, is stunning (not necessarily from you, but PizzaGate, Benghazi, Birtherism anyone? Hell – what about “Obama illegally wiretapped Trump”?)

    To be clear – I am also on the side of making sure there’s evidence. But to obtain said evidence, you’ve got first to establish that there’s enough there to properly investigate – rather than rely on leaks and journalists. So my question to you is exactly that. Is there enough there (in your opinion) that this needs to be investigated?

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  20. richtaylor365

    SERIOUSLY?!

    Instead of being lazy and attacking the source, show me where they are wrong, I will listen.

    And we can always tell when Hal’s arguments desert him and he gets flummoxed, he calls us names like “Republican ass-kissers” :)

     May I remind you that we investigated things like Benghazi for YEARS

    Bad analogy because there was something “there” with Benghazi, 4 Americans were killed while Clinton ignored all pleas for more security and the Obama administration lied about the cause, a youtube video. With this Russian thing, there is no there, as yet, no evidence of collusion whatsoever, the outgoing DNI even admitted as much.

    Why is it so hard for you to put the horse before the cart, to wait until there is evidence of wrong doing before proclaiming as much without the proof to back it up?

     

     

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  21. richtaylor365

    So what you’re saying here is that you think it likely that the President of the United States has engaged in something illegal and/or damaging to the country. But because it’s the Democrats who are making the allegations, you’re going to let it slide?

    jesusonastick, come on Cress, that is not even remotely close to what I said, read it again.

     But to obtain said evidence, you’ve got first to establish that there’s enough there to properly investigate 

    They got (through judge shopping) their FISA warrant approved and have been “listening in” since October. A major part of “properly investigate” is building a case through evidence collection, they have been doing this all along, so far nothing.

     Is there enough there (in your opinion) that this needs to be investigated?

    Asked and answered, several times, if what you are talking about is an independent congressional investigation free to go where ever the evidence leads. But again, to be clear, I want this investigation not to find dirt on Trump (although if it happens, so be it) but to thoroughly investigate Russia’s interference into our political institutions, and to provide concrete guidance to deflect any similar attempts in the future.

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  22. Hal_10000 *

    Bad analogy because there was something “there” with Benghazi,

    And this was discovered instantly. Within months, we knew everything about.  Susan’s Rice’s talking points.  The security request. We knew everything. Without any Congressional investigation.

    Instead of being lazy and attacking the source, show me where they are wrong, I will listen.

    1) They are wrong about the uranium deal, which was approved by many people in the Obama Admin without controversy and simply gives a Russian company a stake in an American company.  The US is a net importer of uranium and uranium can not be exported with a specific State Department-approved export control for each sale.  People go to jail for screwing up export control.

    2) The reason we know of Clinton’s shady ties is because their finances were disclosed.  Trump has not disclosed.

    3) Any investment in Russia will be tied to Putin and his associates.  This is the entire point.

    4) The point is not that Clinton was not corrupt.  The point is that that is not a defense of Trump.  Clinton is not President; Trump is.

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  23. ilovecress

    Rich, reading again, you said:

    would it surprise me in the least that evidence does turn up linking  Trump impropriety re: the Russians? Nope. 

    So you’re saying you wouldn’t be surprised if there was something illegal going on. It sounds like we agree.

     …an independent congressional investigation free to go where ever the evidence leads.

    Again, we agree. What are we arguing about again?

     

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  24. richtaylor365

    And this was discovered instantly. Within months, we knew everything about. Susan’s Rice’s talking points. The security request. We knew everything. Without any Congressional investigation.

    We knew that there was a terrorist attack, that 4 Americans died, and that the Obama administration lied about it the next day. There was something there, yes, this Russian collusion thing, there is nothing there, so far, see the difference?

    1)

    OK, my bad, I should have linked to the dozens of other sources that document the Clinton/Russian ties, other than the Trump website (it was the first one I saw and TBH, this was not not a major bone of contention because I know that you are aware of these, right?) Here is just one;

    Examining these relationships is worth doing. Still, those pushing the narrative of troubling ties to Russia lose all credibility by wholly ignoring the far deeper and more troubling relationships the Clintons and their closest aides have maintained with Russian government officials for years, including while they were in public office. Unlike the revelations so far concerning Russian ties in the Trump camp, the Clinton deals involved hundreds of millions of dollars and enormous favors that benefitted Russian interests.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton received large sums of money directly and indirectly from Russian officials while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Bill Clinton was paid a cool $500,000 (well above his normal fee) for a speech in Moscow in 2010. Who footed the bill? An investment firm in Moscow called Renaissance Capital, which boasts deep ties to Russian intelligence. The Clinton Foundation itself took money from Russian officials and Putin-connected oligarchs

    2)

    Some of Clinton’s were disclosed, not all of them;

    Equally troubling: some of those donations were hidden and not disclosed by the Clintons. President Obama required the Clinton Foundation to disclose all contributions as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming Secretary of State. But that did not happen. The only reason the hidden donations ever came to light is because we uncovered them by combing through Canadian tax records.

    3)

    Your point, maybe, but that’s not what we are hearing from The Hill, they want Trump blood, that is their primary motivation.

    4) The point is not that Clinton was not corrupt. The point is that that is not a defense of Trump. Clinton is not President; Trump is.

    And who, anywhere on the planet, has used that as an argument?

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  25. richtaylor365

    Cress, saying ,”I would not be surprised if”, is NOT the same thing as saying ,”I think it likely that”, the first imply’s no weight of evidence one way or the other, the second does, putting more weight on the affirmative.

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  26. richtaylor365

    Question for Hal, or anyone else wanting a crack at it. We know that the FBI, through their FISA warrant, has been listening in on a private server in Trump tower. How many people have access to that server and are being spied on by their own government, doesn’t seem to bother any one here, these same folks who claim to be big supporters of privacy and civil protections. So the spying has been going on since October, when does this intrusion terminate? How long does the FBI get to wiretap the Trump server, forever?

    Search warrants (as limited by the 4th Amendment) have to be narrowly defined, you get to search this place for this type of evidence, period. And none are open ended, just because you did not find what you are looking for does not mean you can come back everyday forever and keep looking. This “fishing expedition” has been going on for 5 months, when does it end? That’s all I want to know.

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  27. ilovecress

    I’ll take a crack at it.

    As long as the warrant was obtained through the correct channels and with demonstration of probable cause – no it doesn’t bother me – whether that’s Trump or anyone else.

    This “fishing expedition” has been going on for 5 months, when does it end? That’s all I want to know.

    Objection, supposition. Your premise assumes that this is a ‘fishing expedition’ and that it doesn’t end. My assumption is (and happy to be challenged on it, Googling isn’t helping here) that the FISA warrants are specific, and don’t just allow you to spy on a US citizen for the rest of their lives just because you got a warrant once. So it ends when it ends. Perhaps it ended already?

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  28. richtaylor365

    Objection, supposition.

    I don’t think so, here is my argument; The FISA warrant must be narrowly focused, as all warrants have to be, it must be limited to the targets (those 4 folks, whoever they are) who were named in the request. Now if they (the FBI) were limited to say just the cell phones of those 4 individuals, that would in my mind not be a fishing expedition, assuming that probable cause was presented identifying those 4 as possible “agents of a foreign power”. But no, they went after a private server, a server that could conceivably be used by dozens of other people not named in the FISA request; secretaries, lower level functionaries, even the night janitor in the building, all being spied on by their own government, that is a fishing expedition.

     Perhaps it ended already?

    I hope it has, and I hope the Trump lawyers take a hard look at the whole process. To think that a sitting president could oversee the spying of an incoming opposition president, chilling on it’s face.

     

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  29. Hal_10000 *

    The man objection was always warrantless surveillance, which Trump and his supporters were OK with until yesterday.  But no, I don’t like open-ended warrants either.  The truth of this matter is something that could come out in a full investigation of the Russia matter.

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  30. AlexInCT

    The man objection was always warrantless surveillance, which Trump and his supporters were OK with until yesterday.  But no, I don’t like open-ended warrants either.  The truth of this matter is something that could come out in a full investigation of the Russia matter.

    As I posted here already, we will only have a chance to get that from this. We now have an active civil war raging in our government, where a shadow holdover from the most corrupt administration ever, is fighting hard to hide what they have been doing and to destroy the guy that might end up holding them accountable after exposing it all.

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