Patterico's Pontifications

7/13/2017

Two Troubling Aspects to the Accusations Against Donald Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 am

But first, some commentary from Dan McLaughlin:

One of the rules you should try to follow, if you talk or write about politics, is to apply the same basic standards and rules for longer than just whatever gets you through the current news cycle. That’s true of what you think is right and wrong and scandalous, and it’s doubly true of what’s legal and illegal. The rule of law exists so that we know what rules apply to our friends and political foes alike. When it comes to yesterday’s big bombshell story, too many Trump defenders are forgetting to apply that to the question of what’s right and wrong, and too many Trump critics are forgetting to apply it to the law by throwing around words like “treason.”

. . . .

Don Jr. was wrong to take that meeting, full stop. It is a real scandal that he did so, period. No amount of comparison to other misconduct by anybody else mitigates that, no amount of amateurism on his part excuses it (if anything, this illustrates the problem with having a presidential campaign full of people of low character and no political experience). Conservatives defending Don Jr., or Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner (both of whom were told about the meeting and forwarded the email chain at the time) should be embarrassed. The fact that this looks like as much a Russian sting on Don Jr. as a legitimate attempt to help him shouldn’t change our view that the whole affair illustrates why Putin’s regime is malicious and a malignant influence on the politics of the U.S. and other democratic nations. And for Republicans, it should be a reminder of why the party’s prior two presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, took a hard line on Putin, as did most of the Congressional GOP until Trump became the party’s standard-bearer.

A couple of defenses have been offered. One is that anybody would have been interested in receiving incriminating evidence about their campaign opponent, and accepting opposition research from all sorts of shady sources is what campaigns do all the time. This is half true: I don’t blame Don Jr. for being intrigued by the offer. But anybody with half a brain and half a conscience would have realized, before sitting down to meet a source connected to the Russian government on behalf of a presidential campaign, that there was something very wrong with this picture. Maybe his inexperience in politics (unlike Manafort’s) made him cynically think that this is how it’s usually done, but he should have had at least enough skepticism to ask somebody who knows what campaigns do. And yes, it’s true that Politico reported in January that the Hillary campaign and the DNC worked hand-in-glove with the Ukranian government to get dirt on Trump, an effort that should give Democrats some humility about their own over-the-top rhetoric on this stuff. . . .

But that was bad too, and this was worse because of the overall context: while the Ukranian government has been populated by plenty of shady characters in the past decade, Russia is a much bigger and more hostile international actor than Ukraine, and Putin has a known, ongoing strategy of disrupting the democratic process in other countries (none more than in Ukraine). The Trump camp already knew that Russia was widely believed to be the source of the earlier hacks.

Another line of defense is that it shouldn’t be a big deal for the Trump campaign to meet with Russians to learn damaging information about their adversaries, because the media does exactly the same thing (indeed, in this very story, the Today Show interviewed Veselnitskaya to get the dirt on Don Jr.). But campaigns for high public office are different, because foreign governments know they are dealing with future American leaders. It’s still not the same thing.

But just because Don Jr. was wrong, doesn’t necessarily make what he did illegal. The word “treason” has been thrown around very loosely, even by Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary’s erstwhile running mate.

So, I said in the headline that I was troubled by a couple of things. What are they?

I’m not that troubled right now by the Democrat overreaching described by Dan, frankly. They just beclown themselves and they clearly can’t achieve impeachment on this thin gruel, at least until 2018 (and frankly never, if nothing else materializes), because Republicans won’t let them.

No, what troubles me are two other things.

First, this lawyer connected to the Kremlin is also connected to Democrat oppo researchers. And the facts surrounding her presence in the country seem curious. Read Erick Erickson for the full details I currently lack the time to set forth at length. There are some real questions raised there.

Second, I am troubled by this notion of treating political information (or statements) as a “thing of value.” Eugene Volokh has a piece (h/t commenter harkin) about the First Amendment concerns raised by an argument that it is a crime to receive information from any foreigner, as some lefty election law “experts” (hi Rick Hasen!) have argued. (Prof. Volokh says this might be different from receiving information from foreign governments, but says even this is not obviously criminal, giving the example of proffered information from an obviously friendly government (Canada) as an example.)

This has troubled me for some days now, on related but slightly different grounds. The left has long wanted to set limits on political commentary by calling it a “thing of value” that they can subject to their burdensome and unconstitutional laws. Opposition research even by domestic individuals can be controlled by the Democrat jackboots if you call it a “thing of value” for purposes of laws governing campaign donations. And indeed, Democrats, who have a virtual monopoly on Big Media with one or two exceptions, would be thrilled to essentially drum out of existence grassroots media of the sort that helped propel Donald Trump into the Oval Office.

I have long opposed proposed FEC limits on, for example, blog commentary as a “thing of value” that could be considered a donation to a political campaign. Let’s say that Patterico.com had come up with the single piece of oppo research that destroyed a Dem candidate and won the presidency for a Republican. What is the presidency worth? Eleven gajilliondy dollars. So therefore my contribution to the Republican could be valued at elevent gajilliondy dollars, which clearly exceeds the legal limit, and I could be put in prison. The more effective your oppo research, the more illegal it is. See how that works?

And do you see how a political party that controls the media, which they would not subject to the same rules (natch), might want to institute a rule like that?

So these are some of the things I have been thinking about as I watch this comedy unfold.

The remedy for unseemly actions like that of Donald Trump Jr. is the ballot box. I won’t be voting for Jr. any time soon! And if a voter thinks Daddy knew about this meeting — as I do — and is offended by it, then by God they can choose to vote for someone else next time around. But trying to criminalize what we have seen so far is not obviously the right move.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

179 Responses to “Two Troubling Aspects to the Accusations Against Donald Trump”

  1. The information was available in russia, it is just samuzadat here, like red queens part in destabilizing libys

    narciso (d1f714)

  2. Yes, what is ‘wrong’ is not always illegal and the energy being put into Russian influence could blow up at glazed public eyes. Emoluements have longer legs and tax records are key.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  3. After all, getting to that legendary $10b level is what drives him, not being a half-assed 007.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  4. FEC not FCC. Fixed in post.

    Patterico (3ad45c)

  5. But, this is about lawfare, you would think McLaughlin would be familiar with that comcept.

    narciso (9a1aaf)

  6. And now it comes out that John McCain was responsible for getting dirt from England to dish against Trump. Of course, you have to go to the Daily Mail for that.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  7. fascism is on the march and fbi turdboy Robert Mueller’s the new fuhrer

    this gives me pause

    is it good public policy?

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  8. But trying to criminalize what we have seen so far is not obviously the right move.

    No one is trying to do that. They are trying to generate so much smoke that people think there must be a fire. This whole thing serves 4 purposes:

    1. Shift blame from Hillary
    2. Cloud men’s minds about the failed Dem platform
    3. Tar Trump with wild claims, innuendo and other lies
    4. Derail his agenda.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  9. soft coup soft coup

    what ya gonna do

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  10. Ask Lewis libby how fake these charges. Also delay Perry Paxton. Mranwhile there diesmt seem anyway to hold red quuen accontable because shes paid off everybody.

    narciso (9a1aaf)

  11. Don Jr. was wrong to take that meeting, full stop. It is a real scandal that he did so, period.

    that’s silly

    when you’re in a fascist downward-spiraling slutstate like america

    and the media is weaponized against you

    and the corrupt fbi/doj/cia is weaponized against you

    you have to be pro-active

    you have to evaluate information for yourself

    nobody else is gonna do it for you

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  12. Absolutely, positively, completely YES!

    Volokh did a fine job with his critique of Hasen.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I am very interested in the law. The lawyers at this site and others, such as Volokh and Instapundit, provide me with a depth of understanding I wouldn’t have without them.

    I’ll read Erick Erickson next.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  13. Tell me,how this doesn’t sound like the same thing raw story did against rove.

    narciso (9a1aaf)

  14. Critical mass when?

    “”And no answer to our letter, and on you go,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

    “Why would the White House not respond to that question? Americans have a right to know whether Jared Kushner has a security clearance or not,” Scarborough said.

    “I think they’ve proven that whether Americans have a right to know or whether the answer is truthful doesn’t matter to them,” Whitehouse responded.

    They’ll say whatever is most useful in the situation of the moment, and whether that’s not telling the truth, like that bogus press release they put out of Air Force One, or whether it’s stalling information, they’ll do that. These people have no conscience about telling the truth or about being transparent.”

    “Thank God there’s a separation of powers, and let’s hope that people who work behind the building, Republicans and Democrats, work together to get answers that the American people have a right to know,” Scarborough said.

    “The temperature is climbing in Congress among Republicans,” Whitehouse warned.

    “They’re getting increasingly fed up with being put in harm’s way by presidential and White House misbehavior. I think it’s getting ready to boil over.”

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  15. Agree 100%.

    This is a political/ethical issue, not a legal issue.

    Answering one question posed by Erickson’s piece — why was the Russian lawyer still here after her parole period had ended? — I would say, based on my experience, that a foreign visitor’s departure following the end of a parole period is a completely voluntary act.

    During the last few years of the Obama Admin, there were no ICE agents looking for persons on expired parole for the purpose deporting them. Obama had pretty much shut down the immigration courts, and ICE was not in the deportation business.

    The Russian lawyer’s ability to remain in the US on expired parole was no different that visitors on visas ability to remain in the US past the expiration date of their visa — or illegal’s ability to remain in the US despite having no legal right to do so.

    If the Gov’t isn’t looking, there’s no reason to hide.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  16. Roole of Law proponents…heh.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  17. A democratic process in Ukraine following a violent coup d’etat that opened a civil war and forced a refugee crisis. Russia intervened to back the refugees.

    Something similar happened before WWII, when the Jewish separatists opposed the Nazis, and America intervened to back them.

    Both were, ironically, very “D”emocratic.

    n.n (4b1774)

  18. this Sheldon Whitehouse jackass was just recently palling around with Meghan’s slimy torture-turd daddy on an all-expenses paid anti-Trump strategy session they held in Afghanistan

    Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) were among the bipartisan group of senators that visited American troops stationed in Afghanistan for the Fourth of July on Tuesday.

    Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) also attended the trip.

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  19. Patterico,

    Just because it is an interesting coincidence, this was in an RSS feed that I had about intelligence services and thought this was interesting when all the news about this Russian Lawyer bubbled up.
    Yuri Drozdov, Soviet Superspy Who Planted ‘Illegals’ in Other Countries, Dies at 91

    “General Drozdov devoted his life to serving the Motherland and enhancing the country’s national security,” President Vladimir V. Putin, who was a lieutenant colonel in the K.G.B., said in a statement on the Kremlin’s website.

    At a 95th anniversary ceremony last month for a Russian foreign intelligence unit, Mr. Putin named General Drozdov a hero of what is known in Russia as illegal intelligence, which he said “helps identify and block external threats in a timely manner and protect our sovereignty and right to be a free and independent country.”

    The more tinfoil and almost JBS portion of my brain would want to scream that this woman might have been one of those “illegals” as the NYT puts it so delicately (side note, wonder if that is in the NYT style guide to refer to spies as illegals now?). While the more rational side says that this is just a coincidence but the timing is just so epic that it probably feeding some Infowars wannabe.
    ____

    Back on topic it is no surprise that the liberals and the DNC have been looking to weaponize political speech and find ways to eliminate the speech of those that disagree with them. It has only gotten worse in the last decade (maybe longer) with the attempts to define what is and isn’t “in kind” contributions. Heck, I live in WA State and taking some courses in public affairs related items for a degree program, the lectures are still talking about this court case where two radio hosts were sued and it went as far as the state supreme court to say that radio hosts speaking weren’t “in kind” contributions towards an anti-tax initiative. Add in how many times has Volokh, Reason, Popehat, NRO, Commentary, etc and a slew of other bloggers talked about vexatious litigation by politicians or even “concerned citizen groups” (to use another common style guide term for special interest groups) gone after bloggers or web pages or even pamphlet pushers that go against unions, politicians, government, proposed legislation or even grassroots organizations that maybe AstroTurf? The list is very long and very damning on both sides, but I seem to have seen again in the last decade that it has been the left doing more of the court cases to shut down this speech they don’t agree with rather than be willing to fight with ideas with ideas. The microscale version of this is the whole College campus with their safe spaces, riots and other shenanigans that appear to be affecting enrollment rates for the year. Effectively, if you believe the punditry; the idea that conservative speech or thought is effectively outlawed on college campuses because it hurts feelings. With that data point and a data point like this recent column in my newspaper of note about how my local big city politicians don’t have conservative friends (the chaser is here, where the columnist finds that belonging to the conservative or GOP brand is like being a leper ) all while the media is lamenting this increasing polarization in the nation. It just seems to say that we are in big trouble and its only going to get worse.

    Charles (24e862)

  20. I read the McLaughlin article and still have no idea how he got to “Don Jr. was wrong to take that meeting, full stop”

    Why was it wrong? What statute did Trump Jr. risk breaking? What ethical rule was at risk?

    No, the McLaughlin article is a classic of “begging the question”. He simply assumes taking the meeting was wrong without ever telling us why.

    If Trump and his people were required to refuse meetings which included dodgy people, they wouldn’t get much done.

    Trump Jr. seems to have understood that “he who sups with the Devil must use a long spoon.” and behaved carefully and properly during and after the meeting.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  21. “figured he was kidding. But when I called him, he proposed that he, a cheerful Republican, can provide nonjudgmental, right-leaning comment and perspective to any Seattleite who wishes it (he lives in Tacoma, which he said is much more relaxed about politics). He also can make himself available to show up at Seattle political mixers and government meetings, to be a sort of ambassador for conservatives”

    Glad to make similar outreach to all those disposed toward thinking Trump is a genius, which is 38% countrywide and about 85% @ patterico

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  22. This whole thing falls into my “Who Cares/Fake News” file. They apparently can’t get The Donald himself, so now they’re going after one of his kids. And if that doesn’t work, then they can go after Trump’s dog, his goldfish, etc …

    Eric (519dbe)

  23. Yes she could be an illegal or a front person for the bratva, remember the indicted spammer worked with officials with the fsb.

    narciso (d1f714)

  24. Why was it wrong? What statute did Trump Jr. risk breaking? What ethical rule was at risk?

    These National Review losers virtue signal so reflexively they don’t even bother coming up with rational justifications anymore

    But honestly the takeaway here is simply that this National Review codswallop buys into the idea that there are one set of rules for Republicans, and one set of rules for Democrats

    That doesn’t mean normal people have to buy into it as well

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  25. There was in information accept samizdat, which came from the Russian version of chishol. Or Ronnie earl.

    narciso (d1f714)

  26. Also some of our more industrious allies like pinochet and Marcos made aggressive action against their political opponents abroad.

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. Don Jr wasn’t wrong to take the meeting, he did it because an individual he knew assured him that information helpful to his father’s presidential campaign (that is: derogatory to Hillary) was being seripitiously offered to him by highly placed Russian government officials.

    Jr took the meeting, I would have, and so would the vast majority of MAGA supporters, but Jr cautiously and thoughtfully included both Kushner and Manafort in the meeting.

    Jr could have proceeded by himself and claimed exclusive credit for ferreting out dirt on Hillary, but he didn’t, he invited his father’s close advisors to sit in and judge for themselves the utility of what was supposedly being offered.

    The meeting took place, it was light years from living up to expectations and ended abtuptly.

    Nothingburgers…Yet, the subversive media keeps kicking that dead horse as if the knuckleheaded jackasses expected to ride it all the way to impeachment.

    Those the Gods have marked for destruction they first make blind to the consequences of their own obsessions.

    ropelight (a7d89c)

  28. Have we lost our national mind? YES! We continue to allow the Far Left, the Dem Party-Dem Operatives & the corrupt Lame Stream Fake News Media – to come up with one false or nonsensical breaking ‘news’ matter after another, to cause hysteria to drive or deflect and set – the daily ‘news’ agenda. Only to later find out it is not “news”, is not breaking, and usually is fake news or nonsense. I concur with nos. 8, 11 & 14.

    But then the RINO Repubs and Never Trumpers, also often pile on. For example this post and its reference to Dan McLaughlin’s column here “Two Troubling Aspects To the Accusations Against Donald Trump.” First, shouldn’t it be – Donald Trump, Jr.? Second, compare the rather trivial and manufactured Donald Trump, Jr. matter covered here (and nationally in the Lame Stream Fake News) – with the coverage that occurred on the REAL MAJOR, CONSTITUTIONAL crisis matter – where then AG Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton on her government jet at the Phoenix airport. Here is what McLaughlin wrote about that. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/437434/hillary-clinton-spent-three-and-half-hours-morning-fbi

    Consider all the overt the top condemnation of Trump Jr. now for his meeting – but he is not a lawyer, was never a long term holder of several high government career positions/offices, never ran for political office, was not the spouse (or relative) of someone THEN under an FBI criminal investigation and was not the THEN sitting Attorney General of the U.S. If Trump Jr. was wrong to take the meeting – what does that say about lawyer Lynch? say about lawyer Clinton? and then consider what it says about super lawyer Comey has said and done?

    So much for the Rule of Law, the Constitution. Spin, BS & PC rule the day. GLZ.

    The Fake News Media is no longer interested in separating the wheat from the chaff, or distinguishing the serious from the trivial. Instead it daily causes hysteria to drive, deflect and set – the daily fake ‘news’ agenda. GLZ.

    Gary L. Zerman (ab669e)

  29. I know a number of people who, by virtue of their jobs, are “mandatory reporters.”

    There have been attempts to make all citizens mandatory reporters for certain types of crime – I don’t know if any of these attempts succeeded.

    So do we now have a new type: “mandatory ignorers”?

    I think if such a new category is created, somehow Democrats will be exempted.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  30. Therevious thread:
    insider.foxnews.com/2017/07/12/donald-trump-russia-collusion-mark-steyn-rob-goldstone-azerbaijan-pop-singer-john-denver

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner was the source of the story about Junior, and these are the Democratic lawyers representing Kushner, who has given over $100,000 to Democrats and whose family members are life-long Democrats. Kushner hand-picked the lawyers to represent him and they had to tell him they were turnin over the emails over to the Special Counsel. Is there any world in which Jared wouldn’t tell Trump about this?

    This was a story created by Junior when he fell for a Russian trap, and it was revealed by one of the close Trump family members. If you want to blame anyone for this fiasco, blame the Trump family.

    DRJ (15874d)

  32. Even the Bush family knew better. If Trump weren’t so intent on showing everyone how perfect he is, he might have talked to a few people whow had been in the White House before.

    DRJ (15874d)

  33. I’m not going to blame the victims for the ongoing collusion farce. I blame the authors and enablers of the farce.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  34. That makes no sense, dry,

    narciso (d1f714)

  35. I blame those who buy into this dishonest smear, setting aside their integrity, simply because it advances a desired political outcome.

    We seem to live in a world in which winning is all that matters.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  36. I bet Trump agrees, narciso. His bankruptcies show he thinks there should be no consequence for anything, no matter how stupid the actions that put him there.

    DRJ (15874d)

  37. I don’t rush gorelick either, but I trust comey and Mueller, just slightly more,

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. Seeing that lynch bhaaras office, and apparently the passport office were involved as well as fusion gaps, suggests it was another motive altogether.

    narciso (d1f714)

  39. And if you lived in south Florida you might wonder how smart jeb’s judgment was in the 80s, recarey, corona, martinet, navqi just a few that come to mind.

    narciso (d1f714)

  40. Its settled then, #40 and #33: trust the “dark” son less than the others.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  41. Jeb was a banker and a developer, back in the 80s, and that led in all sorts of interesting places if you are going to cite Barrett and obrien I give you freedberg and morley

    narciso (206648)

  42. Why was it wrong? What statute did Trump Jr. risk breaking? What ethical rule was at risk?

    None. But he did exhibit lack of common sense.

    A higher up does not meet with dodgy players from outside the organization. He sends the dodgy players on his own team to meet them, and inserts enough deniability in the process to insulate himself.

    Especially if the outside dodgy player has Russian connections, because the presumption should always be that information from Russia is at best half truths carefully edited for Russia’s benefit.

    As for Comrade Natalya’s links to Fusion GPS, I think the most likely explanation is that Russia was playing both sides of the street.

    kishnevi (bb03e6)

  43. And I voted for Jeb twice as governor, keeping all that in mind.

    narciso (206648)

  44. W back in the 80s,served don jrs role, can we be serious,for a minute.

    narciso (206648)

  45. Tbe,first fellow was a hmo operator who skipped town all the way to spain, ahead of an indictment, the second a banker with hsbc type issues, an importer who was a generous investor, the fourth a member of bcci s south Florida operation.

    narciso (206648)

  46. Could a lack of common sense also be arrogance?

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  47. “We seem to live in a world in which winning is all that matters”

    Ends justify means? Neither side does that.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  48. I would be curious to know more about the internal dynamics of the Trump siblings.

    To the extent that we can discern — and its really a guess, nothing more — that Kushner’s attorneys provided the emails to the NYT, which was necessary after Kushner had to disclose the meeting on his security clearance paperwork, it does pit Ivanka v. DTJr. within the family inner circle.

    The working assumption has always seemed to be that Ivanka is very smart, and has a significant future ahead of here, while DTJr. is not that highly regarded.

    Don’t discount the idea that its Ivanka driving the action a bit here behind the scenes, offering up DTJr as a sacrificial lamb by having the fingers pointed at him for any intersection of the Trump campaign and Russia.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  49. @22 ben burn

    Maybe less genius and more “I have a cunning plan ” involving John McAdder inspecting the barrel of a cannon.

    Pinandpuller (48d309)

  50. 52, that’s actually very plausible given DJTJ’s raw politics and again, in jest mind you, being the least “Aryan” and the runt of the 5 siblings.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  51. So what explains this then;

    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/dirty-money-6365153

    narciso (82af23)

  52. Well, if you werent so averse to narco-fare, you could make one hell of a novela with that one.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  53. I don’t hear anything about Ivana. Is she still prisoner in the Tower?

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  54. @37 DRJ

    Do you think hiring a defense lawyer is proof that you don’t believe in consequences?

    Isn’t the year of Jubilee the Judeo part of Judeo Christian heritage?

    Pinandpuller (48d309)

  55. Less assumption of genius when Trump opens his Big Mac flap. It’s a genetic trait that spares no one of blood.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  56. The Onion has another troubling aspect…

    NEW YORK—Left aghast and upset after seeing her beloved firstborn son all over the evening news, a distraught Ivana Trump reportedly called her ex-husband at the White House Tuesday night to ask him what he did to her beautiful baby boy. “My sweet, sweet perfect boy. He was always such a precious angel, and now look—look what you’ve done to him!” the president’s first wife said in audible anguish, adding that all her “Little Donny” had ever wanted was to build houses and hunt with his brother, not get dragged into her ex-husband’s “sick, twisted world.” “Look at that sweetie-pie face sent straight from heaven—now it’s on every newspaper and every cable channel. Oh, my darling son! He was too pure, too delicate for this life. You’ve ruined him! Why? Oh, God, why?” At press time, the teary-eyed businesswoman and former model reportedly made President Trump promise he’d never do anything to risk the unsullied innocence of her “dearest beautiful pumpkin” Eric, contending that the boy was much too slow and dull to ever understand the circumstances he’d find himself in.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  57. @43 kishnevi

    Buffahs.

    Pinandpuller (48d309)

  58. To further extend the argument re: thing of value, could a Springsteen concert for a candidate be considered a contribution over the limit?

    Jim Breed (e15ec1)

  59. Don jr, a great white hunter, wasn’t exactly driving around Leopoldsville with the body of Patrice Lumumba in the trunk of his car.

    “We kill people too.” PDJT

    Pinandpuller (48d309)

  60. @44 narciso

    I thought Neil was the only banker in that family.

    Pinandpuller (48d309)

  61. Lumumba? They’re still putting Trumpty DUMPTY together again!

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  62. Ben burned, you’re much too slow and dull to ever understand the circumstances you presume to misrepresent.

    ropelight (a7d89c)

  63. rapelight sounds a lot like happy geek.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  64. @52 shipwreckcrew

    You might be interested in a little book series and tv show called “Game of Thrones.

    Pinandpuller (48d309)

  65. A trap set by Democratic assets and a post-coup d’etat Ukranian regime that is indebted for their comfort and aid.

    I guess you have to meet to know what it’s about.

    Speaking of illegal activity, what was the order of Obama’s FISA warrants targeting a Republican candidate and the Democratic/Ukrainian effort to disenfranchise Americans?

    Then there is the NYT that hopes to earns its keep by carrying out the WaPo strategy in a Watergate-like trial by press.

    n.n (d99e8f)

  66. “……….this illustrates the problem with having a presidential campaign full of people of low character and……” – Dan McLaughlin

    The implication is that Jr is a person of low character. He’s not my favorite, but this is just more hysteria.

    Richbert88 (ddc02c)

  67. Comments on this ought to be restricted to those who have actually run campaigns. Those who have know that turning down an offer of damaging information on your opponent – or turning down the chance to at least find out what the source has – is political malpractice. It is unilateral disarmament. It is stupid and unprofessional, if your profession is to win campaigns – while staying within the law of course. Any campaign operative who ignores such an offer should be fired – with prejudice. And as to the source of the info – who the F cares? The info will either be believable – and usable — or not. To coin a phrase – this ain’t beanbag.

    Cue the rush to the fainting couches and pearl clutching.

    t.

    Bill Saracino (ad0096)

  68. Yeah, the family of Trump apples rot from the inside, so nicely polished and yet wormfood.

    They can’t have had treason on their minds except as window-dresding for the RUMMAGE Sale of American Treasure as well as lining the pockets of those pants they twist on every morning. But avarice is only chief amongst their Seven Deadly Sins.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  69. Since Junior was so eager to “collude” with Putin’s people then there will be evidence of additional efforts likely in the database to obtain the promised Clinton Kompromat that the Brennan-Comey Russia counterintel cell surely would have been queried by now, right?

    crazy (11d38b)

  70. But at least Donaldus is recognizing the need for redemption and preying very piously with the Evangelicals. Is he seeking counsel for his avarice? Heh. He sure went to the right intermediaries.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  71. As I’ve been saying, just as WOODSTEIN prematurely struck and missed, leaving the Indians exulting, so too this Russia bizness could backfire. Tax records/emoluement is KEY.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  72. @37. His bankruptcies show he thinks there should be no consequence for anything, no matter how stupid the actions that put him there.

    It’s a capitalist tool available to every capitalist tool, DRJ.

    “It’s not personal… It’s strictly business.” – Michael Corleone [Al Pacino] ‘The Godfather’ 1972
    ______

    Today’s Beldar the Bitter ‘Watergate, Watergate, Watergate’ Words of Wonder:

    “I think if we pick up Time magazine and see that something’s leaked out, either out of the Bureau– I understand leaking out of the CIA, those goddamned cookie-pushers — but if it leaks out of the Bureau, then the whole damn place ought to be fired.” – President Nixon with John Ehrlichman and L. Patrick Gray ranting about FBI Watergate leaks, secret White House Oval Office tapes, February 16, 1973

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  73. Mr. Saracino thank you for the good sense what you have brought to this discussion

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  74. “I’m up to my kiester in leaks”

    St Ronaldus and his merry pranksters.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  75. here’s a quick read a friend remembered in the context of a discussion we had about David Brooks here at work

    it’s pretty apt i think

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  76. I’m just reading this now.

    “So, I said in the headline that I was troubled by a couple of things”

    I’m troubled that there is not a “Jr” after “Donald Trump”.

    Is that a typo? Everything in the body of the piece regarding a Trump seems to be about Jr.

    harkin (7ebb16)

  77. Trump could have hired Hercule Poirot, a Belgian national, to investigate Hillary’s attempts to corner the waffle market. He just had to pay him for it. And Hillary could have likewise hired Samovar Spadedev to interview illegal Mexicans working at Mar-al-Lago. She would have had to pay him for conducting the interviews, and reimburse him for any mordida he slipped the interviewees to get them to talk to him. I think it’s a stretch to consider the illegals’ answers to the oppo researcher’s question something of tangible value, but if you want to be safe pay them.

    As for the value of their answers, or of the oppo research itself, free market theory is also contract law. You do not have quantum meruit — “what is it actually worth?” — when there is an express contract. If the parties expressly agree to $X for the information, that is the end of the matter.

    nk (dbc370)

  78. What you cannot agree to pay them with is with political favors or other government largesse if you’re elected. That’s called graft, bribery and extortion.

    nk (dbc370)

  79. The more things change…

    “They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community,” he said.

    “They are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

    —- George Washington in his farewell address, regarding party politics and public discourse, 3 months before the 1796 election

    Lenny (5ea732)

  80. 83. nk (dbc370) — 7/13/2017 @ 2:14 pm

    As for the value of their answers, or of the oppo research itself, free market theory is also contract law. You do not have quantum meruit — “what is it actually worth?” — when there is an express contract. If the parties expressly agree to $X for the information, that is the end of the matter.

    This doesn’t apply when you are dealing with campaign finance law, or, for that matter, with items personally bought or sold by an officeholder.

    Somebody could deliberately undercharge with the intention of making a campaign contribution, or giving a bribe.

    This was actually an issue with a house, or land, that Barack Obama bought in Chicago.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  81. Of course when the law gets into these areas – i.e., we can’t accept what people agreed to and we need to know what is the proper charge if something would be of an arms length transaction, there’s really no way to settle it in a definitive way.

    And an honest person would certainly not want to give the advantage to the more connected, more lawyered up, more experienced candidates, which is what you would do by taking this to its logical extreme – except it wouldn’t go to its logical extreme, but it would be to the extreme advantage of whoever had the best lawyers or connections in the right places.

    THERE’S REALLY NO WAY TO AVOID LOOPHOLES.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  82. “What you cannot agree to pay them with is with political favors or other government largesse if you’re elected. That’s called graft, bribery and extortion.”

    Lincoln gave patronage jobs out without consequence. Now, mixing accounts and two sets of books is ez pz.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  83. Yes, that’s called in-kind contribution. And it’s definitely a tangible thing. We’re talking about “information”. And it begs the question.

    Why should we, how could we, have the same rules for Patterico in California who has First Amendment rights, and Patterocostoshevik in Belarus over whom the United States has no jurisdiction?

    nk (dbc370)

  84. “THERE’S REALLY NO WAY TO AVOID LOOPHOLES.”

    See nk. They can parse sausage into tofu.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  85. Lincoln gave patronage jobs out without consequence.

    Did he give them to foreign nationals looking to get themselves out of Magnitsky Act sanctions?

    Focus people: 1) Things of tangible value from 2) foreigners sticking their dirty hands into our elections.

    nk (dbc370)

  86. If you want to paint yourself into a corner, nk…

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  87. Here again is the e-mail chain, as sorted into chronological order by the New York Times, with Donald J. Trump Jr.’s Twitter comment or statement of July 11, 2017 appended:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/11/us/politics/donald-trump-jr-email-text.html

    Some events took place outside this chain. While there may not have been any action on this between Friday morning June 3 and Monday morning June 6 (because Goldstone just replies to Trump and asks when he can be free to talk with Emin) something happened between Monday June 6 at 4:38 pm and 24 hours later Tuesday.

    Donald J. Trump presumably did speak with Emin Agaralov, and maybe spokke also to Goldstone.

    When the email chain resumes, they now seem to know something about “ The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday” Goldstone also says that he believes that Donald J. Trump Jr is aware of “the meeting” so he doesn’t have to tell him about someone coming from Moscow for a meeting. He apaprently hasn’t talked to Donald J. Trump Jr, but heard from someone who has been in contact with him.

    But then he also says Emin asks him that he schedule a meeting.

    So what is the meeting? It’s not the one with Trump, is it? With whom? Or does Goldstone mean the plan to have a meeting? Or has someone else already agreed to one? Or is this a meeting between 2 Russians? Goldstone in fact says at 5:19 PM, that there will be two people meeting with him and he will bring “them.” Now taht could be Natalya Veselnitskaya and her interpreter because they’ve been saying she speaks no English.

    Later, Donald J. Trump then tells Goldstone who the other people are who will likely be at the meeting from his side. It seems like they’ve been talking on the phone, too.

    Then there’s nothing till the next morning when Goldstone asks that the meeting be postponed from 3 pm to 4 pm because he was just informed that the Russian attorney will be in court until 3.

    (Now we know there are some questions – did she really just arrive back in the United States? Was she allowed to practice law in the United States?)

    Don Jr suggests that day but Goldstone says she’s till on the plane.

    Then we get this e-mail:

    From: Donald Trump Jr.

    Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 12:03 PM
    To: Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort
    Subject: FW: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

    Meeting got moved to 4 tomorrow at my offices.

    Best,

    Don

    And that’s the last email we have. The meeting actually took place on Friday.,

    That was probably the last email in this chain that was forwarded to Kushner, who may have gotten the chain only once. We don’t know what developments took place after that last email, but Goldstone attended that meeting

    The fact that it stops here, is a very good indication, almost proof, that Kushner’s computer records, as searched by Kushner under Jamie Gorelick’s instrctions, and examined by Jamie Gorelick, is the ultimate source of this email.

    Congressional committees and others will no doubt ask what happened between late Wednesday and Friday, and who asked for the meeting to be postponed again and with what excuses. There might be some separate emails explaining this.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  88. 52. shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 7/13/2017 @ 11:56 am

    To the extent that we can discern …Kushner’s attorneys provided the emails to the NYT, which was necessary after Kushner had to disclose the meeting on his security clearance paperwork, it does pit Ivanka v. Jr. within the family inner circle.

    Unless there’s some important legal reason to do so, or she was ordered to do so by Jared Kushner, I can’t see Jamie Gorelick giving this to the New York Times, even if she wanted to help get rid of Trump. She might get disbarred.

    Now she maybe could have arranged for that but in much more indirect way, and even if she knew she most probablly went along with someone else’s scheme.

    The question is, who would have been shown the email chain? I mean Jared Kushner only needed to correct the record; he didn’t need to supply proof of what the meeting was about, or how he ddin’t arrange it, now did he?

    But this email would be highly interesting to some people. I can see this going to the Special Prosecutor or an intelligence committee.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  89. Kushner is under investigation for other, more substantive possible contacts that this gambit by DTJr.

    Putting the emails out – yes at Kushner’s instructions — helps to establish that whatever else went on in June 2016 with this episode, Kushner was just an observing party. He was invited to attend a meeting about something that DTJr had set up. He didn’t know the details or the parties, just that it might involve info helpful in the general campaign.

    He went, it was a joke, so he left.

    He is the father of Ivanka’s children. She’s going to push his interests ahead of her nitwit Brother’s, whose not even under investigation — and this likely doesn’t expose him to anything.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  90. There really are lots of questions here but not the questions the Democrats wnt to raise:

    https://act.myngp.com/Forms/7855950776208787456

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  91. kishnevi, we’re close, agreeing at least that no legal or ethical rules were broken.

    You do say that Jr. lacked common sense in going to the meeting and I read that as you and I assessing the risks differently, especially in light of your suggestion that Jr. should have sent some of Trumps dodgy players. Me, I have been to all kinds of business meetings with unknown people, some of them apparent or reputed crooks who treated me honestly and honorably, and some quite the reverse. Really, one never knows until the money is on the table and nobody is watching, so it’s unwise to refuse even to meet.

    Even so, maybe Jr. is intentionally one of Trump’s wide boys.

    Surely your casual acceptance of the fact that all political organizations have dodgy, wide boy, spivs would give Patterico the vapours.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  92. @37 DRJ

    Do you think hiring a defense lawyer is proof that you don’t believe in consequences?

    My comment referenced bankruptcies, not lawyers, so I’m not sure what you are talking about. Having said that, Trump has a reputation for not paying or listening to his lawyers. Is that what you were thinking about?

    DRJ (15874d)

  93. Junior didn’t have to be the one to take this meeting, and he should have been careful because he is family and especially careful has the same name as his father. The smart thing to do would have been to let someone from the Trump campaign handle the meeting, but this has been said before. My guess is that Junior handled it himself because he cared more about Winning! than being careful — a family trait.

    DRJ (15874d)

  94. Nice phrase, wide boys. Never heard it before.

    I think Donnie Jr is not one: not likely but not impossible. You never know with these New York clans. Maybe his role was planned as the expendable underling.

    What gets me grinding my molars is the apparent belief among some quarters that only Democrats have wide boys.

    kishnevi (1a529d)

  95. True, kishnevi. Living by their wits and not worrying about the consequences could be the Trump Family Motto.

    DRJ (15874d)

  96. But Trumps have bern Democrats for most of their lives, so it does fit the mold.

    DRJ (15874d)

  97. Wide boys is descriptive of carcasses in tennis shorts? Just asking..

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  98. Carcasses: sounds like lardasses.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  99. This is an interesting post. But I still think Dan McLaughlin (who’s doing great stuff at NR) is jumping over some premises en route to its conclusion, carefully stated as it it (emphasis his):

    Don Jr. was wrong to take that meeting, full stop. It is a real scandal that he did so, period.

    Why? Does “tak[ing] the meeting” imply a commitment beyond showing up and listening? Is listening equally wrong? If the Russian lawyer had tracked down Donnie Jr. at a strip club public venue and told him the same things she told him in the meeting, would that have likewise been obviously wrong and a real scandal? What if she was instead claiming to be a Russian whistleblower, opposing Putin and trying to expose U.S. corruption on the part of the Obama Administration or its SecState Hillary Clinton? Okay, what if she was a Canadian agent or whistleblower?

    When our host posed his “Bill Clinton meeting with ISIS” hypothetical the other day, my immediate reaction was: Russia isn’t ISIS. We’re not in a shooting war with Russia. In fact, except for the Russian “volunteers” who were flying MiGs over Korea on behalf of the Norks, there’s very rarely been much actually shooting between Russians and Americans, even though the diplomatic relationship between the two countries goes back to Revolutionary War (pre-Constitution) times.

    Is there a bright line here? If so, what is it? Because McLaughlin seems very sure that Donnie violated some bright-line rule, that it was wrong and a scandal. Okay, I’m easily convinced it was a bad idea. But I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me: Here’s the rule, including an explanation of its source and its boundaries.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  100. https://kidrock.com/blog/announcement/447744/once-again-the-press-is-wrong

    First Ted Nugent now kid rock think they’re Senatorial. BRAWNDO endorsements and Coca Cola ads on Air Force 1.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  101. Isn’t it grand that average wankers have political bona fides they can leverage for personal advantage.

    TRUMPLANDIA!

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  102. oh for the love of strawberry pop rocks someone please tell slimy brain-addled torture-turd John McCain that centipedes do not in fact have shoes

    #theydidsomethingtohisbrain

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  103. ABSOLOOTLY!

    “his new border wall, which will be be super-awesome and most definitely built real soon now, will have to be transparent.

    [B]ut you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall. And I’ll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them—they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs.”

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  104. 106
    If Al Franken can do it, why not them?

    Most Senators got to be Senators just by being politicians. And how many are good at it?

    kishnevi (1a529d)

  105. Axios reports Manafort “previously disclosed this meeting to congressional investigators before Trump Jr. leaked his emails — but he wasn’t required to disclose the content of it.” Besides being experienced enough to play possum during the meeting he’s also experienced enough to tip the emails discretely.

    crazy (11d38b)

  106. the content of the meeting is innocuous

    they could’ve met about doing a fun freegan cookbook taking a fond look back at Ivanka’s dumpster diving days when she was trying to highlight the issue of food insecurity among suburban strippers

    all that matter was that the person Mr. Jr. met with was a Russian

    and the corrupt CIA/NSA/FBI slutboys could use that as a pretext to do illegal wiretaps it might sound crazy but it ain’t no lie sleazy spy spy spy

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  107. Don, Paul and Jared all had the same email info and willingly attend the gig w/t Ruskie Ringo.

    “Love it.”

    “Moscow girls make me sing and shout…” ‘Back In The U.S.S.R.’ – The Beatles, 1968

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  108. Reagan started it with his ‘aw shucks’persona. Frankens not as funny now.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  109. Here’s the rule, including an explanation of its source and its boundaries.

    As you know, the only rules are FEC rules that apply to campaigns, but there are unofficial rules such as the candidate and his family should stay squeaky clean. Obama did it, too, but he had the good sense to do it through agents, not family.

    DRJ (15874d)

  110. What’s funny is where all this Populism is going.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  111. What’s funny is where all this Populism is going.

    I will give you a wild eyed conspiracy theory fully worthy of Infowars

    The Trump presidency is a big set-up by the Deep State whose goal is to discredit populism by means of a President who has no discernible moral or intellectual values, and is totally incompetent, so that at the end of the four years the populace will enthusiastically vote for whichever Establishment candidate their betters choose for them.

    kishnevi (1a529d)

  112. Obama met several times with a wealthy Hungarian anti-semite named George Soros, and accepted many information from him

    his closest advisor is a jew-hating Iranian woman named Valerie Jarrett, from whom Obama has accepted many information

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  113. I love when Chaoticians apply their specialty to human behavior, just.

    TRUMP arose spontaneously from the frog swamp with the prescient and democratic 38%

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  114. Just s/b kishnevi on 121.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  115. 120, then the next step is a monarchy…King George P. Bush, anyone? Maybe Queen Jenna Bush Harger if that’s a bridge too far.

    urbanleftbehind (c5a8f0)

  116. At 119, rather.

    urbanleftbehind (c5a8f0)

  117. ubu, I won’t say how far into my cheek my tongue was planted. But it does fit the facts so far.

    kishnevi (1a529d)

  118. 119 – “The Obama presidency was a big set-up by Big Bidniss whose goal was to discredit the Democratic Party by means of a President who had no discernible moral or intellectual values, and was totally incompetent, so that at the end of eight years the populace would enthusiastically vote to lower Democratic control of 63 House seats, 10 Senate seats and 12 governorships.”

    Fyp

    harkin (f5f8af)

  119. Harkin, that’s as true as far as it goes, but you need someone else besides Big Business as the master villian. They have too many tentacles into the DP to want it discredited.

    kishnevi (1a529d)

  120. But every lefty says capitalists need to go, to the slaughterhouses preferably.

    harkin (f5f8af)

  121. 128
    Then Sanders would have been the candidate.

    Remember, to the actual Leftists, Obama and Clinton are really just moderate Republicans. That’s why so many Berniacs sat on their hands when Hillary ran.

    kishnevi (1a529d)

  122. When our host posed his “Bill Clinton meeting with ISIS” hypothetical the other day, my immediate reaction was: Russia isn’t ISIS. We’re not in a shooting war with Russia. In fact, except for the Russian “volunteers” who were flying MiGs over Korea on behalf of the Norks, there’s very rarely been much actually shooting between Russians and Americans, even though the diplomatic relationship between the two countries goes back to Revolutionary War (pre-Constitution) times.

    Is there a bright line here? If so, what is it? Because McLaughlin seems very sure that Donnie violated some bright-line rule, that it was wrong and a scandal. Okay, I’m easily convinced it was a bad idea. But I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me: Here’s the rule, including an explanation of its source and its boundaries.

    I am too. My sense is that it is a matter of politics and perception. In such cases, partisan concerns seem to overshadow any semblance of application of objective standards. Which is why I think discussion of what those standards seems important.

    It does seem that, if we’re going to place politics and partisanship aside and apply objective criteria as Dan urges us to do, the identity of the country providing information is relevant to the issue. Volokh cites “what if Canada approached a candidate?” as an example and to be sure that does feel innocuous. I cite “what if ISIS approached a candidate?” and most people seemed not-OK with that.

    If the nature of the country as enemy or not-enemy seems to loom large, then I think it is worth talking about Russia’s status. Jim Mattis says they constitute our principal geopolitical threat, Not ISIS, but Russia.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  123. Donald Jr et al wouldn’t have been able to meet with the shifty Russian lady lawyer if Obama’s fatass doormat Attorney General, Lotetta Lunch, hadn’t personally intervened to circumvent visa procedures so the lady lawyer could do her thing.

    Lunch knows a thing or two about how important these sorts of little get togethers can be.

    ropelight (a7d89c)

  124. There are different kinds of threats.

    ISIS, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas — all non-state actors, all dangerous at one time or another, in varying degrees, to the U.S. and its allies.

    Russia and China are literally existential threats because they have nukes and the capacity to deliver them to U.S. soil. They’re rivals at best, and they’ve been enemies or near-enemies for decades, and we have thermonuclear war plans devoted to them as they do to us.

    That makes them unique, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the most acute threat at any particular time — even among members of the Nuclear Club. We worry more about India or Pakistan now more than we do the Brits or the French or the Israelis, but each of those countries can, have, and could act on their own in ways that we think are not just unproductive, but downright disturbing (see, e.g., Suez in 1956). Nevertheless, all of those state actors are categorically different because they have nukes, and the Iranians and Norks are scrambling to join their ranks. The “worst case scenario” from a war with members of the Nuclear Club is vastly different, which in turn ought counsel a special level of prudence and care in even private (patriotic) parties’ dealings with their governments and their citizens (including their businesses).

    Virtually all of the Dems currently wadding their panties about Trump and Russia were the same people applauding Obama in 2012 when he mocked Romney. They have a serious estoppel problem. Not one of them has clean hands, not one of them deserves any credence about Russia today based on what they’ve said about Russia since 1941 (when Hitler broke the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Stalin).

    But there are a ton of other countries, including nominal allies, who are also dangerous, to one degree or another and at one time or another.

    If there were to be further legislation — something more narrowly tailored, and thus more likely constitutional, than the Logan Act, for instance — I’m inclined to think that it ought to be of the “disclosure/sunlight” variety, rather than of the prohibidado sort of rules. The “contributing something of value” line is a useless one, because campaign dirt — or for that matter, the contents of the Zimmerman Telegram — doesn’t have an objective market value for any purpose other than political ones. And if there’s anything 2016 proved, it’s that the Dems’ old trope about the GOP buying the White House is a pile of garbage, otherwise we wouldn’t have a junk bond president.

    Trump tweeted encouragement to hackers and leak-republishers during the campaign. He’s hardly been flying a false flag; instead, he apparently reveled in being the kind of candidate who would indeed applaud anyone, including the Russians, who might even temporarily be the enemies of his enemy. It’s no different in his mind from a WWF tag-team match — show-business, a con-job, about as realistic as his body-slam of the CNN logo. If there had been a bright-line rule — “Every campaign vice-principal (someone with the power to hire & fire on behalf of the campaign) must report to the FBI and disclose to the FEC for public view the contact info of every foreign national or known representative of a foreign government or business or other entity” — and Donnie had filed FEC Form 29184x/33:j to report his meeting with this Russian lawyer, would that have changed a single vote? Maybe. Would have changed a single electoral vote? Almost certainly not.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  125. Bah. Not Brest Litovsk. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, I meant in #132.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  126. the sleazy chineser filth with the sneaky games they play

    and how they keep nurturing the deranged north korean nuclear ghetto-trash next door

    are getting off too easy

    cause they are far more dangerous than a bunch of stupid russians

    russia’s a tacky oft-time violent thugstate yes yes yes, but a thoroughly alcoholic one what’s enslaved to base, gawdy appetites

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  127. So McLaughlin says Jr was wrong to meet with the Russian attorney, and then cites McCain as someone who took “a hard line” on Putin …. when we know McCain met Veselnitskaya too.

    Gee, that sure was a great example.

    SPQR (a3a747)

  128. And for Republicans, it should be a reminder of why the party’s prior two presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, took a hard line on Putin

    there should also be a reminder that neither perverted Mitt Romney nor cowardly, useless John McCain have demonstrated that they possess any particular insight into how one goes about actually winning a presidential race

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  129. McCain, 80, put out a statement Wednesday saying that he was the bureau’s source of the controversial dossier. The Arizona Republican found out about the dossier’s existence while at a meeting in Canada and dispatched an emissary to hunt it down.

    holy pope poopies

    did we know slimy torture-turd John McCain had “emissaries” ???

    watch out khaleesi there’s a new player in town girlfriend

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  130. What is the controversy about the dossier? That it was not on recycled paper?

    nk (dbc370)

  131. the corrupt comey fbi used the bogus john mccain pee-pee dossier to trick a FISA court into authorizing illegal wiretaps

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  132. So on December 9, 2016 McCain gave the Russian fake kompradat to Comey, so Comey could use it to blackmail Trump into not firing him? I mean, I know that McCain is old enough to remember Hoover and his dossiers. I’m surprised that he does. He’s also old enough not to remember him.

    nk (dbc370)

  133. he’s not well, Mr. nk

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  134. If everybody knows it’s a fake put together by some tea-sipping Brit pansy James Bond wannabe, what is the controversy?

    nk (dbc370)

  135. sleazy fbi bimbo Jim Comey tricked a dork-ass FISA judge into thinking it was real

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  136. Unethical and unprincipled behavior has been a fixture of American presidential politics since 1796. It’s a sure bet that it will continue for another 200 years.

    The real story here is the sting. FusionGPS is the weakest link in this Kabuki theater. Go after them and the innermost layer of the babushka doll will be laid bare.

    Lenny (5ea732)

  137. So you think we’re going to see a lawsuit, citing the Emoluments Clause, over that lobster dinner Macaroon is going to buy Trump tomorrow?

    nk (dbc370)

  138. Hey Patt – if you answered I missed it.

    Is the thread title a typo or did you really mean to say Donald Trump and not Donald Trump Jr.?

    harkin (f5f8af)

  139. You’d think they’d quit trying:

    “CNN@cnn
    Ted Cruz’s so-called Consumer Freedom amendment to be included in new health care plan http://cnn.it/2uVdUIm
    12:49 PM – 13 Jul 2017

    _

    “Ted Cruz @tedcruz
    Weird… my search for tweets from CNN mentioning the “so-called Affordable Care Act” turned up no results.”
    2:23 PM – 13 Jul 2017

    harkin (f5f8af)

  140. So-called news networks like CNN really make it hard for me to be a NeverTrumper. I wish they’d go away.

    nk (dbc370)

  141. And the head of fusion declined to testify.

    narciso (d1f714)

  142. No it’s desinformatya masquerading as maskirovna, the last of the red sparrow series won’t be out till next msy.

    narciso (d1f714)

  143. nk

    Macronesia: A condition where you can’t remember how old your wife is.

    Rich Hall eat your heart out.

    Pinandpuller (1f75ea)

  144. @137 happyfeet

    He’s dispatched three emmisaries and five Tomcats.

    Pinandpuller (1f75ea)

  145. @106 Ben burn

    Ted Nugent and Kid Rock should definitely be be senators. There hasn’t been a Waitress Sandwich on the menu since August 25th, 2009.

    Pinandpuller (1f75ea)

  146. @37 DRJ

    Do you think hiring a defense lawyer is proof that you don’t believe in consequences?

    My comment referenced bankruptcies, not lawyers, so I’m not sure what you are talking about. Having said that, Trump has a reputation for not paying or listening to his lawyers. Is that what you were thinking about?
    DRJ (15874d) — 7/13/2017 @ 3:37 pm

    I guess my point is that there is a whole system in place for plaintiffs and defendants and judges to sort things out so I don’t look at Trump as immoral for exercising his rights under current law.

    And bankruptcies are chock full of lawyers, are they not? TV commercials would indicate yes.

    Pinandpuller (1f75ea)

  147. Allahpundit reports that 65% of those opposed to Donald Trump do so based on his personality, not his policies.

    ropelight (a7d89c)

  148. #130 — Patterico/Beldar. Here’s a bright line rule. If Russian lawyer comes with a “translator” with Russian intelligence connections, don’t take the meeting.

    I keep thinking this Trump Russia thing ought to be nothing, because nobody could be both so blatant and so stupid, but, doggone it, they keep proving me wrong.

    Appalled (96665e)

  149. Re my 153, he had been to the map clinic:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/sfrantzman?p=s

    narciso (d1f714)

  150. So that fellow malley, who wee actually in contact with hamas was he under criminal investigation

    narciso (d1f714)

  151. There was also officials in contact with the Colombian guerrillas,as I remember appalled you didn’t see anything wring with that. Nor his promisecto meet with the Iranians north lkoreand or Cuba, how has that worked out?

    narciso (d1f714)

  152. Unless further actual news, much a do about nothing
    https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2017/07/14/unconventional-wisdom/

    narciso (d1f714)

  153. narc (#165):

    Eye roll. Unless Iran or Colombia is coming up with dirt on McCain or Romney, it’s not the same thing.

    Appalled (96665e)

  154. He needs to go back to one l:
    legalinsurrection.com/2017/07/hawaii-judge-grants-post-scotus-injunction-as-to-how-trump-travel-order-applies

    narciso (d1f714)

  155. Allahpundit reports that 65% of those opposed to Donald Trump do so based on his personality, not his policies.

    ropelight (a7d89c) — 7/14/2017 @ 4:38 am

    Trump is not trustworthy, on steroids. He makes other national politicians look trustworthy, consistent and dependable — which makes him amazing but not in a good way.

    Here’s how bad it is for Trump: In addition to all the people who say they oppose or don’t support Trump, there are people like me. If someone polled me, I would tell them I don’t oppose Trump and I do support him, but only when he does conservative things. I bet there are a lot of conservatives like me, and he needs us. But he will only keep us as long as he does conservative things.

    DRJ (15874d)

  156. Pinandpuller:

    WH events get some live music.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  157. happy, the pre-Blago order of things – blue Chicago, red (good) suburbs, and purple downstate – is re-establishing itself:
    http://theillinoischronicle.com/republican-lawmakers-revolt-i-was-not-elected-by-governor-rauner/

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  158. The two murder victims seem to be Druze
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4989180,00.html

    kishnevi (4a421b)

  159. Allahpundit reports that 65% of those opposed to Donald Trump do so based on his personality, not his policies.

    Is being a lying sack of [insert scatalogical word here] a matter of personality or policy?

    Maybe personality . . . but it makes people suspicious about policy.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  160. I provided some perspective across two decades howvrepublicand have been slime don’t let me have to back to Howard kohn, conason and San moldea again

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-
    14/former-soviet-counter-intelligence-officer-attended-meeting-don-jr-nbc-news

    narciso (e81e98)

  161. I’m just reading this now.

    “So, I said in the headline that I was troubled by a couple of things”

    I’m troubled that there is not a “Jr” after “Donald Trump”.

    Is that a typo? Everything in the body of the piece regarding a Trump seems to be about Jr.

    Whose campaign manager was at the meeting?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  162. Allahpundit reports that 65% of those opposed to Donald Trump do so based on his personality, not his policies.

    Is being bat[insert scatalogical word here] insane a matter of personality or policy?

    Maybe personality . . . but it makes people suspicious about policy.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  163. Now witb that kind,of newsbytes in spy, rolling stone and regardies would you borrow a cup of sugar from any republican.

    narciso (e81e98)

  164. Meanwhile the razorback lannister can allow Haiti and Nigeria to be carved up for the highest bidder and no one says nee.

    narciso (e81e98)

  165. Whose campaign manager was at the meeting?

    So if feel you have enough evidence to accuse someone of wrongdoing, it’s OK to accuse the man he works for as well?

    I did not know that.

    harkin (536957)


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