Patterico's Pontifications

9/23/2019

Biden Did Not Act Corruptly, It Seems, But It Looks Bad and Facts Don’t Matter Anyway

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:02 am



How’s that for a headline?

The story that Biden was trying to squash an investigation into his son appears to be wrong on the facts. Not that hyperpartisans care about the facts.

Joe Biden traveled to Ukraine in March 2016 (it was not a phone call, as Trump claimed) and said the United States would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees (not $2 billion, as Trump claimed) unless Shokin was removed (it was not a demand to stop the Burisma prosecution, as Trump claimed, and there’s no evidence Shokin “was after” Hunter Biden).

The vice president’s trip was part of a longer push by the United States, Western allies and nongovernmental organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The goal was to promote reform in Ukraine and remove a prosecutor who allegedly was turning a blind eye to corruption.

Bloomberg News reported May 7 that “at the time Biden made his ultimatum, the probe into the company – Burisma Holdings, owned by Mykola Zlochevsky – had been long dormant, according to the former official, Vitaliy Kasko.”

“There was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against Zlochevsky,” Kasko, a former official in the prosecutor general’s office, told Bloomberg News. “It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.”

That said, Biden’s involvement presents an appearance of a conflict of interest. Of course, the idea that Trump superfans care deeply about conflicts of interest is hilarious.

I’m unaware of evidence directly showing that Biden knew of the investigation (which had apparently already been long shelved) but it smells bad.

That said, everything about Trump smells bad. If you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge that, publicly and forthrightly, forgive me if I don’t take you seriously about your alleged Principled Concerns about Biden.

I don’t think any of this gets any traction, any more than Trump’s BS usually does. The facts are messy and none of the nuance will make it into the public debate. Trump has gestured at this kind of thing before, albeit as a candidate (“Russia, if you’re listening”), and his superfans shrugged then. (Until I read the Mueller report and learned how deadly serious he was about finding the emails, sending Flynn to find them the same day he issued his entreaty to Russia, I thought he was just joking with that “Russia, if you’re listening” line. But he wasn’t.) If you were to give Trump superfans even a transparently false and phony story that Biden is dirty too, they would snap it up regardless of the facts. That is who they are and what they do. The fact that there actually is a genuine conflict of interest issue just emboldens them in a position they would hold anyway.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

210 Responses to “Biden Did Not Act Corruptly, It Seems, But It Looks Bad and Facts Don’t Matter Anyway”

  1. “That said, everything about Trump smells bad.”

    Looks like the Whaddabout buffet is open!

    Munroe (53beca)

  2. “That said, everything about Trump smells bad.”

    Looks like the Whaddabout buffet is open!

    So Trump did X, and Biden did not do X, but Trumpsters FEELZ like they want him to have done the thing he didn’t do, but since Cheeto jeezus said he did, they can say “see, they’re just like Trump”

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  3. “An American civil cold war began in 2016. Next year it will get hot.” – https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/the-long-civil-war/

    HT – Donald Sensing

    Horatio (0c91a4)

  4. #1: The story about Biden came up in the news as a deflection from a current story about Trump — not the reverse.
    The focus on Biden is meant to suggest that because he did something as VP that “looks bad,” or could be construed in a bad light (but might actually have a benign explanation), therefore it’s wrong to have any concern abut what the president right now is doing with the powers of his office. That’s the Whaddabout.

    Radegunda (1ad3e8)

  5. Well, maybe just a LITTLE BIT of collusion.

    Dave (1bb933)

  6. These arent the oligarchs you’re looking for, neither is hunters business partner, that went to jail for selling nuclear secrets to china.

    Narciso (ff6b13)

  7. “The story about Biden came up in the news as a deflection from a current story about Trump — not the reverse.”
    Radegunda (1ad3e8) — 9/23/2019 @ 8:23 am

    Ummm, what story about Trump? Try to answer without mentioning any Bidens.

    Munroe (53beca)

  8. So weve dispensed that shokin was covering up corruption now, drop that down the memory hole now.

    Narciso (ff6b13)

  9. Of course bloomberg and new yorker ignore the gobetweens actual desire

    Narciso (ff6b13)

  10. #8. This post mentions Biden and Trump. I was not injecting Trump as a deflection.

    If you’re not aware of the current news story about Trump in which the “but Biden” deflection came up, I suggest reading more widely.

    Radegunda (1ad3e8)

  11. Good to know Biden did not act corruptly. Whoever did that investigation works a lot faster than Mueller.

    Probably coulda saved a lot of time and $$ by using them on the collusion deal.

    harkin (dc1411)

  12. “Probably coulda saved a lot of time and $$ by using them on the collusion deal.”
    harkin (dc1411) — 9/23/2019 @ 8:44 am

    Peeing on a bed In Moscow invites a whole nother level of scrutiny.

    Munroe (53beca)

  13. Good summary post.
    12 comments in and your predictions were proven out.

    Time123 (de0f5d)

  14. He was obviously the good oligarch, unlike deripaska who steele worked for, or firtash who hired lanny davis and michael chertoff.

    Narciso (ff6b13)

  15. (1) The notion that Biden shut down a Ukrainian investigation into his son is FakeNews. It’s propaganda. Along with Patterico’s link, the story has been debunked here, here, here and here. The sourcing for the Biden story originated from Sputnik for crying out loud.
    (2) Because the above is FakeNews, there is no equivalence between what Biden did and what Trump did (or is doing).
    (3) At worst, Biden is guilty of an appearance of a conflict of interest. That’s it. Hunter Biden showed poor judgment by accepting the Burisma gig, but he did nothing illegal.
    (4) At best, Trump prioritized his personal ambition over our national security by demanding that the Ukrainian president dig up dirt on his likely political rival. To me, that is impeachable, especially after he obstructed justice on ten separate occasions and committed a felony FEC violation by paying hush money to a pornstar. With this president, it’s not America First, it’s Trump First.
    (5) This episode once again confirms to me that everything Trump says must be presumed false until proven true.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  16. Now two of my profanity-free comments are in moderation. What gives?

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  17. Good to know Biden did not act corruptly. Whoever did that investigation works a lot faster than Mueller.

    Well, they finished it in 2014/15, but according to the Trumpster, when Biden showed up in Ukraine in 2016, he also brought his time machine to ensure they called off the investigation from years earlier.

    Too bad he didn’t use the time machine to kill HitlerBaby, or force Austria to let Grandad Drumpf back in so DonnieJ would be their problem. But sure, there’s neither smoke nor fire. Doesn’t make the old geezer presidential material, unless you compare him with the current occupant, but any random person you pass on the street stacks up pretty well in that regard.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  18. It could be the spam filter, not the scold filter, Paul. Any words which might be misconstrued as an ad for something? For example, at SayUncle, “socialist” puts me in moderation because it contains the name of an ED medicine.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. I wish I knew what the trigger words were. Sigh.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  20. From the link in the post, regarding the China fund “fact check”:

    But a lawyer for Hunter Biden said he did not conduct any business related to the China investment fund on that trip, and was not an equity owner in the fund while his father was vice president.

    A lawyer for Hunter Biden told us the same…

    Therefore(!)…

    Looking at the facts publicly available, it looks more like smoke than fire to us.

    LOL

    Munroe (53beca)

  21. LOL

    So…you’re evidence of wrongdoing is the absence of evidence of wrongdoing?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  22. whereas as a communication with trump tower, headed by a fusion gps delegation, was collusion, even though there was no follow up,

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. “So…you’re evidence of wrongdoing is the absence of evidence of wrongdoing?”
    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c) — 9/23/2019 @ 10:04 am

    Yeah, like total disinterest is evidence of a “fact check”.

    Munroe (53beca)

  24. what was it, extreme carelessness or no controlling legal authority,

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/09/joe-biden-and-ukraine-is-hillarys-emails-all-over-again/

    narciso (d1f714)

  25. just like greg craig, lied on the timochenko case, but he didn’t intend to lie, or it’s the statute of limitation, he was represented by lois lerner’s atty by the way,

    narciso (d1f714)

  26. So…you’re evidence of wrongdoing is the absence of evidence of wrongdoing?

    So, you mean about Trump and Ukraine, right? Because what I glean form Munroe’s post is that the denial from the defendant’s lawyer is an LOL. However regarding Trump, per CNN:

    There is so far no public evidence that the whistleblower’s complaint pertains to this conversation or that there was any abuse of power by Trump.

    Also
    The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work

    PTw (894877)

  27. yes it was a bogus complaint based on third hand info, but this is how they went after lewis libby, when he pointed out how joe Wilson was all wet,

    narciso (d1f714)

  28. 12… “Good to know Biden did not act corruptly. Whoever did that investigation works a lot faster than Mueller.

    Probably coulda saved a lot of time and $$ by using them on the collusion deal.”

    Heh! Hacks don’t care about time expended or money. In fact, the longer it takes, it hamstrings the guy they don’t want to see in that position. Which was the fall-back objective.

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  29. My only problem with this is the constant attacking of “Trump superfans” as a group, rather than the merits of the argument. Just as I don’t much care for those who talk about “cucks” or “#neverTrump” or other pejorative terms for their opponents, I don’t much care for this type of group ad hominem either.

    That Trump has his facts wrong isn’t surprising though.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  30. or that there was any abuse of power by Trump

    He and his personal lawyer have both confessed to ordering a foreign head-of-state/government to manipulate their justice system against his potential opponent, in order to gain an advantage in a US election…and there is “no public evidence of abuse of power?”

    LOL…

    Dave (1bb933)

  31. #Sickoftehmooks

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  32. #Superanklebiters… #PomeraniansofPamplona

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  33. It’s amazing to me, when I think of it, that people can take a fact or two, like Biden arranging to fire a prosecutor, and supply a completely wrong explanation for it, and a lot of people can believe it.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  34. Whaddabout Trump?

    Munroe (53beca)

  35. William weld has gone ‘full Hungarian phrasebook’

    narciso (d1f714)

  36. Dave: This also applies to the case against Trump: People can take a fact or two, like Trump asking Ukraine to investigate the allegations against Biden, and supply a completely wrong explanation of it.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  37. The Bret Stephens types desperately need someone viable to vote for, and Biden is the last best hope.

    Munroe (53beca)

  38. It’s amazing to me, when I think of it, that people can take a fact or two, like Biden arranging to fire a prosecutor, and supply a completely wrong explanation for it, and a lot of people can believe it.

    TrumpWorld is not based on a true story.

    That’s what makes it such a magical place for the faithful!

    Dave (1bb933)

  39. There is so far no public evidence that the whistleblower’s complaint pertains to this conversation or that there was any abuse of power by Trump.

    That’s nice.
    You seem to forget that this is about Ukraine. Trump, and Guily, have straight up admitted they did it.

    Oh, and there is another issue, the whistle blower being silenced, which might have to do with Ukraine. It might end up as one thing, but you’re talking about two things, and pointing at the one on the left, while talking about the one on the right.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  40. Does anyone here think that Giuliani is not sincere?

    The principle can’t be that it’s political to investigate a Democrat, or stop an investigation of a Republican, but perfectly all right to investigate a Republican, or not investigate a Democrat.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  41. Whaddabout Trump?

    Who else is it supposed to be about?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  42. “Well, I was, not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over convincing our team, our, others to convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, try to guess the 12th, 13th time to Kiev, and I was going to, supposed to announce that there was another billion dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor, and they didn’t. So they said they had, they were walking out to a press conference, and I said no, I said I’m not going to, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said. I said call him. I said I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said you’re not getting the billion, and I’m going to be leaving here, and I think it was what, six hours. I looked. I said I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b*tch. He got fired.”

    —- Joe Biden

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  43. Straight up… admitting he done did it.

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  44. he was on his last jar of paste,

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/1176171407912255488

    narciso (d1f714)

  45. It’s amazing to me, when I think of it, that people can take a fact or two, like Biden arranging to fire a prosecutor, and supply a completely wrong explanation for it, and a lot of people can believe it.

    Well, the explanation that Biden “fired” a prosecutor in 2016 to make sure that the investigation closed, in 2015, requires magical thinking.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  46. Look. Take any hour of any of the 3 cable news networks, and use that as a baseline for truthiness. This won’t seem like much of an outlier.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  47. —- Joe Biden

    There is no argument that Biden didn’t go there in 2016 and get a bad guy fired. The point the investigation of the company his son was on the board with, was completed in 2015. Notice that 2015 is less than 2016.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  48. They said the Internet would bring us more information, and perhaps it has. It CERTAINLY has brought us more noise and the S/N seems to be declining.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  49. ‘Well, the explanation that Biden “fired” a prosecutor in 2016 to make sure that the investigation closed, in 2015, requires magical thinking.’
    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c) — 9/23/2019 @ 10:41 am

    No, it only requires that someone read the link in the post, touted as a “fact check”:

    There’s a dispute going on between Bloomberg and the Times over some aspects of this complex story. One area of dispute is whether the Burisma probe was ongoing while Biden was pushing for Shokin’s ouster.

    Munroe (53beca)

  50. he boasted of it to Richard haas, now it’s the prosecutor was corrupt, but the oligarch was not, (he was probably financing the other parliament members, or something)

    narciso (d1f714)

  51. I’m guessing not a super fan:

    Mediaite
    @Mediaite
    Trump Challenger Bill Weld on Ukraine Call: ‘It’s Treason … And the Penalty for Treason Under the U.S. Code is Death’

    _

    On the other hand, I’m sure the Never-Trumpers will call M Hemingway a hack:

    Media Corruption On Perfect Display In One Washington Post Paragraph

    Every single assertion of this paragraph isn’t just wrong, but the opposite of right. In each sentence, Trump is being blamed for things his political opponents have done.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/23/media-corruption-on-perfect-display-in-one-washington-post-paragraph/#.XYi5BL1Skhg.twitter
    _

    harkin (dc1411)

  52. that’s the Hungarian phrasebook, ‘my hovercraft is full of eels’

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. Yes, there no DIRECT EVIDENCE, that Biden did anything wrong, so lets just let it go and act like nothing happened. Of course, weirdly, none of the Democrats/Never-Trumpers EVER say that about Trump.

    Look, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Trump asking The President of the Ukraine to determine there was no corruption in Biden pressuring the Ukraine while VP. I mean if there’s no DIRECT EVIDENCE, then the Ukraine should be able to draft a memo for the record in one day and exonerate Biden. Unlike with Trump, where we needed 2 years a 900 page report to say “Maybe, Maybe not”.

    Here’s an idea, lets ask Mueller to go to Kiev and investigate Biden.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  54. none of the Democrats/Never-Trumpers EVER say that about Trump.

    Especially after reading the Mueller report, and the direct evidence of obstruction of justice.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  55. The problem with the Democrats, the never-trumpers, and the MSM, is you guys have ZERO credibility when it comes to Trump. They’ve – NOT PATTERICO – been claiming he’s been colluding with Russia, committing treason, lying under oath, obstructing justice, stealing money, yadda, yadda for 2.5 years. And they never need proof to accuse Trump, and they never prove Trump did anything wrong.

    This is just another big nothing-burger that will fade away in a week. And next week the MSM and D’s will find something else to attack Trump. Because ORANGE MAN BAD.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  56. Well, that and Trump and Guily admitting on live TeeVee.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  57. “As the now-completed Russia collusion investigation showed us, every American deserves the right to be presumed innocent until evidence is made public or a conviction is secured, especially when some matters of a case involve foreigners. The same presumption should be afforded to Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Devon Archer and Burisma in the Ukraine case.

    Nonetheless, some hard questions should be answered by Biden as he prepares, potentially, to run for president in 2020: Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden’s firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?”

    —- John Solomon

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  58. Colluding with Russia–Well, evidence of attempting it
    Committing treason–Prolly not because treason has a definition
    Lying under oath–Yup, and perennial lying to everyone, why’d an oath change that?
    Obstructing justice–Definitely, at least 10 times, that’s documented
    Stealing money–more like scamming, but yes
    Yadda, yadda for 2.5 years–More like 50 years

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  59. There was no direct evidence of obstruction. If there was Mueller would’ve said Trump obstructed Justice, and we’d be having an impeachment hearing right now.

    On to a generalization. I’ve learned that Liberal/Leftist just say stuff about R’s including Trump. They don’t care if its accurate. They don’t care if been proven false. They don’t care if its unfair. And they’ll keep repeating it, over and over. Same with Kavanaugh. They’ve started that fake controversy up again. Same with Clarence Thomas. They’re still lying about him. Frankly, it gets boring to react to it. The liberal/left almost wins by being sheer boring idiots – robotically repeating false accusations day after day after day.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  60. Especially after reading the Mueller report, and the direct evidence of obstruction of justice.

    Oh, my God. After all that beating the dead horse is standing up again.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  61. I cannot understand the willfully obtuse refusing to understand, that Hunter Biden would have been (a), hired by a Ukraine company and paid 50k a month, and (b), got a 10% equity stake in some Chinese Co after Joe’s visit, no matter who his father was. Some may says that seems odd, but Hunter says he never discussed it with Joe: you have their word for it! What else do you want? An investigation?

    Try to remember that most people are well-intentioned: countries and companies paid millions to the Clinton Fdn whilst HC was SOS: they didn’t pay it to curry favor. How sordid is your mind? The Fdn wasn’t a tip jar! They paid it because the Fdn’s good works could not be duplicated by any other charity, anywhere, ever.

    And of course its a fact that there is nothing to see here:

    “There is no argument that Biden didn’t go there in 2016 and get a bad guy fired. The point the investigation of the company his son was on the board with, was completed in 2015. Notice that 2015 is less than 2016.”

    And ignore this: “There’s a dispute going on between Bloomberg and the Times over some aspects of this complex story. One area of dispute is whether the Burisma probe was ongoing while Biden was pushing for Shokin’s ouster.” https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Fact-checking-President-Trump-s-wild-jabs-at-Joe-13878370.php

    So its done then: Biden’s son got on boards on his own admirable merits, and his dad had nothing to do with dismissing the prosecutor. Now hush!

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  62. 17. Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c) — 9/23/2019 @ 9:07 am.

    Well, they finished it in 2014/15, but according to the Trumpster, when Biden showed up in Ukraine in 2016, he also brought his time machine to ensure they called off the investigation from years earlier.

    That’s not the on;y absurdty here, although with this particular point you could say that maybe the investigation wasn’t over.

    The other absursdities is that this is portrayed as Biden acting on his own. He wss on;y arrying ouit adirective from Obama. And then there;’s his telling all this to the Council on Foreogn Relations, and today Rush Limbaugh had it that it’s universal for parents to help their children, and not just to get into college; and people in Washington or associated with the government are so used to this that Biden had no shame in telling the CFC that he’d gotten a prosecutor to lay off his son. (words to that effect)

    But the anti-Trump narratice is also absurd or spoiled by over-verification. Trump did not threaten to withold aid, the Ukrainians did not know that somebody was holding up their aid, the substance of the conversation is known from the Ukrainians, and there’s not the slightest reason to doubt that Trump was convinced that Giuliani might have something. And there ia legitimate legal issue about whether the whistleblower complaint had to be forwarded to Congress, at least the part that concerned Trump, because that’s not what Section 3033(k) of the whistleblower statute is concerned about.

    And it was wrong in its speculation.

    Too bad he didn’t use the time machine to kill HitlerBaby, or force Austria to let Grandad Drumpf back in

    That was Bavaria not Austria. Bavaria still had a limited amount of independence. Note that the presumption about migration was still completely different then. (1905)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  63. If there was Mueller would’ve said Trump obstructed Justice, and we’d be having an impeachment hearing right now.

    So you haven’t read section 2 of the Mueller report, 10 instances.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  64. they’ve turned it into tasajo, there are still legal challenges against subsidiary cases, like Flynn’s business partner, probably they will get away enough for the targets to have to liquidate their assets, that’s what ‘the process is the punishment’ means,

    the press cried so many tears over the Clintons, they filled lake eerie, with any republican it’s fry him, hang him kill him, if he turned up innocent, well too bad,

    narciso (d1f714)

  65. Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e) — 9/23/2019 @ 11:10 am

    but Hunter says he never discussed it with Joe:

    No, Joe says he has never

    “spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings”

    Hunter says his father onnce brought it up (in a general way)

    “Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.’ ”

    Of course this is what most fits the definition the founding fathers had of an “emolument.”

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  66. “I would get a Nobel prize for a lot of things, if they give it out fairly, which they don’t.” This guy, he’s so very, very funny. He’s not saying which Nobel, probably for science, with his big brain and all. Or literature, for all of his good words, he knows all of the good words. Wapner!

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  67. “Oh, my God. After all that beating the dead horse is standing up again.”

    Ride a painted pony let the spinning mooks spin…

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  68. Hunter Biden was quoted in this New Yorker article”

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign

    In December, 2015, as Joe Biden prepared to return to Ukraine, his aides braced for renewed scrutiny of Hunter’s relationship with Burisma. Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration’s special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter with Biden, but did not go so far as to recommend that Hunter leave the board. As Hunter recalled, his father discussed Burisma with him just once: “Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.’ ”

    Now Giuliani is going on to cast suspicion on Obama, where it would have to be if there was something wrong that Biden did here.

    By the way the New Yorker puts toether two things that probably hapepned at widely different times in the same paragraph.

    At least the things Giuliani says make mre sense than what Trump is saying.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  69. “He’s not saying which Nobel, probably for science, with his big brain and all.”
    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c) — 9/23/2019 @ 11:55 am

    Where are the fact checkers on this?

    Munroe (8715cf)

  70. I don’t think that running for President should exonerate you from being prosecuted for crimes of influence peddling.

    Pablo Panadero (a813bd)

  71. Colonel Haiku @42:

    Biden said he was on an assignment

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  72. “I would get a Nobel prize for a lot of things, if they give it out fairly, which they don’t.”

    Trump is partially right. They don’t give it out fairly. Compared to what Obama did to earn his Nobel, Trump would be more qualified than Barack when it comes to the peace prize. Of course, Trump is wrong about “for a lot of things”.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  73. Trump would get an Anti-Nobel for Science, Economics, Literature, Journalism, etc.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  74. “That said, everything about Trump smells bad.”

    Looks like the Whaddabout buffet is open!

    No, Munroe, whatabout is when a person dishonestly and hackishly avoids criticizing his preferred candidate by ignoring what they have done and attempting to divert attention to someone else’s alleged wrongdoing.

    You know, like every comment you leave here.

    It is quite a different move to forthrightly discuss wrongdoing without partisan favor and to note the hypocrisy of those who refuse to do so. That is what I have done here. You don’t understand my commentary because it is honest and you do not process honesty, it being foreign to your nature.

    Patterico (716a38)

  75. The video of groper joe saying he got the prosecutor fired is does “smell bad.” Now on to hunter bidens billion dollars he got from communist china so his father will sell out to red china.

    lany (e4bd42)

  76. I cannot imagine the Trump supporters ever giving any Democrat candidate an EZ Pass after the Russia Collusion biz, given how it started, how it operated, and how it ended.

    So, if the Bidens have nothing to hide, let the investigation prove it and let the “nuances” fall where they may.

    I will tell you this, however, in my time in the federal government, we were held to the “appearance of a COI” standard. That is, if it looked like it might be interpreted as a COI, it was absolutely verboten UNLESS we got a pre-release from legal.

    I know of one fed agency where, at a remote facility where the extended families of entity being regulated represented so much of the local population, that if a member of that agency had his/her kid being soccer coached, they had to file a memo and get it approved. If a single person were to date a local who was related to an employee of that entity, then Legal permission, etc.

    This Hunter Biden biz is sooooo far over that threshold as to be ridiculous.

    jim2 (a5dc71)

  77. My only problem with this is the constant attacking of “Trump superfans” as a group, rather than the merits of the argument. Just as I don’t much care for those who talk about “cucks” or “#neverTrump” or other pejorative terms for their opponents, I don’t much care for this type of group ad hominem either.

    You might want to do some remedial education on what an ad hominem argument is, and then re-read the post to find the substance you claim was missing. Someone reading your comment might believe I offered no substance and merely said “this argument is wrong because Trump superfans say it’s right, that’s all the argument I need.” That is a totally unfair and insulting characterization of my post.

    If I want to point out that a certain brand of Trumper will be a hypocrite about this (as several comments here are bearing me out), I can do so and that is not an ad hominem. If you don’t like my truthful observation, take it up with the people who are showing it to be true. Stop criticizing me for calling out hypocrisy; blame the hypocrites for making it necessary for me to do so.

    Patterico (716a38)

  78. ’The anonymous White House whistleblower suggesting President Donald Trump had an inappropriate conversation with a foreign power now known to be Ukraine reportedly made that claim based on hearsay.

    Fox News’ senior political analyst Brit Hume noted Saturday how CNN admitted that the political firestorm is all based on a whistleblower, thought to be a White House intelligence agent, with second-hand information:

    The CNN story cited by Hume suggests, “It is hard to see how any of this ends well” but doesn’t mention the whistleblower’s precarious grip on his inside information until the reader is deep within the report.

    “The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.”

    Meanwhile, on Saturday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko denied that the conversation between Trump and Ukraine involved any sort of “pressure” from the president.” ‘

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/09/22/whistleblower-no-knowledge-trump-call-just-hearsay/

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  79. “You don’t understand my commentary because it is honest and you do not process honesty, it being foreign to your nature.”
    Patterico (716a38) — 9/23/2019 @ 12:22 pm

    I’m all about honesty Mr. P, so I welcome any specific example of a dishonest comment I have authored.

    Munroe (8715cf)

  80. “I am butthurt when someone notes the truth” is not an argument.

    Patterico (716a38)

  81. Clapper to Tapper to Mooks

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  82. I’m all about honesty Mr. P, so I welcome any specific example of a dishonest comment I have authored

    Your dishonesty is intellectual dishonesty. You utterly lack the capacity to analyze issues without applying the distorting lens of partisanship. It makes your entire commenting career a set of stupid distractions.

    Patterico (716a38)

  83. Drug addict kicked out of the military goes overseas with dad and comes back with billions. Not a darn thing to see here. Please keep to the left and move along.

    mg (8cbc69)

  84. That may be, but I was looking for a specific example.

    Munroe (8715cf)

  85. 71. Pablo Panadero (a813bd) — 9/23/2019 @ 12:13 pm

    71.I don’t think that running for President should exonerate you from being prosecuted for crimes of influence peddling.

    But there is an argument for when a situaton like that comes up, and a president gets involved, he should contact numerous political figures about that and tell them what he is doing.

    So it;s agood thing thsi all has become public, and trump has taken responsibility for calling on Ukraine to check out Biden..

    I don’t knw=ow what the charge is. Maybe the charge is that Biden added the condition of firing the prosecutor on his own. I highly doubt that. Giuliani is now also targeting Obama.

    You can see that there;s nothing here that anybody bribed Obama.

    They didn’t bribe any member of his fsmily – his family is too small.he on;y has a sister his parents were dead and his children too young. His wife wwass pretty much precluded from taking any job and was subject to conflict of interest rules much more strict than when he was State Senator in Ilinois, where she wss put on the payroll of a hospital.

    They didn;t bribe the vice president.

    But they put on the payroll or made abusiness deal with a son of the vice president. The one who had, or had had, an alcohol problem, and also a drug problem and got kicked out of the naval reserve for it.

    The interesting question is, for the future: How do you outlaw that? How do you guard against this? It’s not even a spouse! They’re their own people, or could be.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  86. Haiku, is trying to fire a prosecutor to stop an investigation for personal reasons a bad thing?

    You have to think about it, don’t you? “Which prosecutor does he mean? Who is he talking about? Does the answer I want to give hurt my side or help it?”

    It’s liberating to be able to answer such a question without having to care which side my answer supports. I just offer my opinion and partisan BS be damned.

    Anyway I just asked you a question. Dance, rummy!

    Patterico (716a38)

  87. 84. Here’s the business about first joining, and then being kicked out of the military:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Biden

    In May 2013, Biden was selected as a direct commission officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, a program that allows civilians with no prior service to receive a restricted line officer’s commission after attending a two-week class covering topics such as military history, etiquette, and drill and ceremony, in lieu of boot camp. Because Biden was past the cut-off age for the program, he needed a waiver. Biden received a second waiver because of past drug use and drug-related arrests.[12][13][14][15] One month after commissioning, Biden tested positive for cocaine use and was discharged from the Navy reserve in February 2014.[16]

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  88. An exercise in partisan politics promoted and cheered on by some of the same people who deride partisan politics.

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  89. 88. The answer might also depend upon whether the investigation was fair and unbiased or not.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  90. Can we take a logical and pragmatic analysis of this alleged whistleblower complaint?

    1) We can reasonably assume that multiple WH staffers was on the call between Trump and the Ukrainian President.
    2) Likewise, we can reasonable assume that the States Department were also privy to this conversation.
    3) Then we can assume that the whole broad spectrum of the intelligence community are privy to this conversation as well.

    Any objections to these 3 points?

    Having said that, we find out that the whistleblower didn’t have direct access to the recording or transcript.

    Furthermore, taking the pragmatic analysis here… if what Trump said was so bad, out of all the folks who were privy to that conversation, it took an individual who didn’t have direct access to the record/transcripts to raise this complaint?

    Do I have this right?

    Isn’t this another example of a Rorschach Test in the era of Trump?

    whembly (51f28e)

  91. I think the only way to put this to rest is to hold hearings, and that should be done.

    Some Congressional committee, or maybe a special committee, should hold hearings, and they have to be fair and be perceived as fair.

    It should call Rudolph Giuliani to testify, and any witnesses he has, and former Vice President Joe Biden, and invite Donald Trump to send answers to questions and any witnessess he cares to supply.

    Probably nobody will come out looking perfect.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  92. #79 (Haiku) —

    ’The anonymous White House whistleblower suggesting President Donald Trump had an inappropriate conversation with a foreign power now known to be Ukraine reportedly made that claim based on hearsay.

    Fox News’ senior political analyst Brit Hume noted Saturday how CNN admitted that the political firestorm is all based on a whistleblower, thought to be a White House intelligence agent, with second-hand information:

    The CNN story cited by Hume suggests, “It is hard to see how any of this ends well” but doesn’t mention the whistleblower’s precarious grip on his inside information until the reader is deep within the report.

    “The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.”

    If all this is true, then our administration must be peopled by morons. Because this particulalr bit of scandal was spun up by Trump acting all cover-up-y. If the whistleblower was just spinning out second-hand gossip, it would be easy for the administration to send it to Congress with all the other blown whistles, and watch the whole thing sink into nothingness. Instead, they end up ginning up a big woop-di-doo, and the President goes out and pretty much admits most of the case against him.

    TThe Ukraine business has been pretty open and reported for a while and was not going anywhere. Now it’s a big stink. Good job, guys.

    This is how The Base ™ wants America governed. So this is what the GOP will defend, until the poll numbers sink below 20 percent or so. Lovely.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  93. 88. The answer might also depend

    The answer is sure to “depend” on something, but it’s not that. We both know what it is.

    It is not a difficult question for an honest person to answer if not blinded by partisanship.

    Patterico (716a38)

  94. “is trying to fire a prosecutor to stop an investigation for personal reasons a bad thing?”

    The Colonel can answer, but here’s mine FWIW:

    Yes, it’s a bad thing.

    The more relevant question: Is it illegal?

    That requires more details.

    Munroe (8715cf)

  95. On a strategic basis, I’m not sure that any of this was a good idea for Trump. I know he thinks it is, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.

    Now, this is JMO and I don’t know the inside baseball stuff, but as far as I can tell the Dems are pretty happy with all of their candidates. Some of the Bernie people get a little sharp about this or that particular other candidate, but even they are petty OK with the line up as a whole. Biden currently has the most name recognition and he works pretty well as a compromise candidate, but nobody seems to be really excited about him. The get-out-the-vote excited people in a Biden candidacy would be the vote against Trump group. Nobody else in the field has that handicap. Everyone else, as far as I can tell, has people who are enthusiastic THEM voters, not just NOT-TRUMP voters and if Trump takes Biden out of the field, his “eh, I guess he’s OK” people will migrate to other candidates who actually have OMG!THEM voters who might be able to energize the “eh” people and increase voter turnout. The best Trump might get out of this IMO, is maybe some slightly less interested moderates who just don’t vote for President, I don’t think it would gain him any votes.

    Nic (896fdf)

  96. “If the whistleblower was just spinning out second-hand gossip, it would be easy for the administration to send it to Congress with all the other blown whistles, and watch the whole thing sink into nothingness.”

    So. Much. This.

    Nic (896fdf)

  97. By the way, people are pushing back against the idea the whistleblower’s complaint is all second-hand:

    CNN had earlier reported, citing a source familiar with the case, that the complaint was prompted by concerns over communications between the President and a foreign leader. The alleged whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications that partly prompted the complaint to the inspector general, an official briefed on the matter told CNN on Thursday. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.

    The whistleblower’s attorney, Andrew Bakaj, had no comment when asked about the claim that the individual did not have direct knowledge of the communication in question. When asked if the complaint deals with Ukraine, Bakaj again had no comment.

    A source close to the whistleblower’s legal team pushed back strongly against the assertion that the intelligence Community’s Inspector General would accept “third-hand disclosures” and that what the official “outlined about lack of personal knowledge and not within their course of work seems like the beginning of a smear by those trying to discredit the whistleblower.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/19/politics/intel-inspector-general-not-sharing-details/index.html

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  98. Never, ever, ever forget: Joe Biden is a known plagiarist.

    A thief.

    Repeatedly stealing the words of others without crediting the source and then attempting peddle them as your own, for personal gain, is unforgivably criminal in thought and deed.

    And it’s lazy.

    Trump’s character flaws are there to see but he’s at least enough of a showman to excel at spinning his own yarns without having to rip off his act from somebody else.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  99. Whembly…the claim is that the whistleblowing was sparked by a series of things, of which the phone call was but one. Until/unless we know what the other things were, it’s not really possible to answer your question.

    It should also be noted that the claim that the whistleblower was acting on second hand information he gained outside his official duties is sourced to one anonymous White House staffer who himself has only second hand information (he “was briefed on the matter”, which may mean he has seen all the possible information on this, or that someone else gave him instructions on what to tell the press but nothing more…or anything in between).

    Kishnevi (b0adf2)

  100. 92. whembly (51f28e) — 9/23/2019 @ 12:50 pm

    we find out that the whistleblower didn’t have direct access to the recording or transcript.

    … if what Trump said was so bad, out of all the folks who were privy to that conversation, it took an individual who didn’t have direct access to the record/transcripts to raise this complaint?

    Do I have this right?

    That’s whqt all the information put together seems to say.

    It’s also pretty clear – and the Ukrainians are also a source – that Trump didn’t say in that conversation what the complaint suspects he might have said.

    And furthermore, Ukraine didn’t even know the aid was being held up.

    Now there might be something to the idea that spurious grounds were being used to stall or prevent the aid from being sent and the whistleblower compaint might have something about that, too but maybe nothing that pointed the finger at any individuals.

    The intelligence committees of Congress were not given that whistleblower complaint, so how do we know aoout it? What happened here?

    I don’t know, but apparently, for some reason, there was some testimony about it in Congress (so somebody first leaked to a member of Congress?) in which the legal issues concerning the whistleblower complaint were discussed but the substance was carefuly danced around.

    And then somebdy started leaking, first about the hearing and then some more details.

    The legal dispute about the whistleblowerr complaint (made on August 12 which included something about the July 25 telephone call) was caused by the fact that when the Director of National Intelligence asked the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (here’s more people who knwo about this) to rule on whether or not he was required to forwward it, they said that allegations against the president are not covered by Section 3033(k) of the whistleblower statute.

    But only things the intelligence community did are covered.

    But that even the substance of it might not be a proper whistleblower complaint, or perhaps not urgent at least once the aid was released. I dont know. The exact issues have not been revealed.

    However, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says that it doesn’t matter whether this was a proper subject for a whistleblower complaint – it was still, in fact, a whistleblower complaint made to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, and. as such, should have been forwarded to his committee because there’s no discretion about it written in the law.

    Of course he’s giving only half the argument and not being very clear about what he’s saying because he’s not saying outright that even a defective whistleblower complaint must be forwarded.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  101. did anyone forget that biden and Obama took the lions share of monies from sub prime players, and as a result there were only token prosecutions by holder, and investigations by khuzaimi (yes the same rat like a laser beam on Michael cohen), of course there was no prosecution of Corzine mf global, because senatorial privilege, same for chris ‘waitress sandwich’ dodd, friend of mozilo,

    the second hand nature of the gossipers rhyme, is how it triggered the ig, no audio no video, apparently because he was not a witness to the conversation, then they added the ‘aid stall’ by only talking to outgoing aids, like klimkin (who negotiated the original deal with the eu) and shevchev, (who was previously part of the finance section of the ministry) but they threw that story down the memory hole,

    narciso (d1f714)

  102. “is trying to fire a prosecutor to stop an investigation for personal reasons a bad thing?”

    Yes, it is.

    I’m awaiting info that identifies the whistleblower and position in the government… did he or she actually listen in on Trump’s call with the Ukraine PM?… did he or she have authority to listen in?

    If he or she didn’t listen to this conversation, from whom did he or she get this second-hand knowledge?

    What was specifically said during the phone call, and what was improper or – more importantly – illegal about it?

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  103. #102 ah… I see.

    Again… I’m a cynic here. Why now?

    I find the timing of this suspicious as this was reported shortly after it was known that the IG’s investigation over the alleged FISA investigations.

    Just seems like folks are trying to muddy the waters a bit prior to the public release of that investigation.

    whembly (51f28e)

  104. 67: Sammy: they were talking about their grandchildren!

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  105. About China, nothing may have happened on the trip Hunter Biden took on Air Force 2 in 2013 (beyond mayeb maybe being introduced to some people then!!)

    It was aew days after the trip that Days after the trip that Hunter Biden and a business partner announced a new investment fund with Chinese backing. He was not an equiity owner of the fund until after his fatehr’s term as vice presient expired, and at some point afeter that acquired a 10% interest “in the entity that versees the fund” but as of this May hadn’t received any money from it (but maybe reported it to abank as an asset?)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  106. who was biden’s business partner, on china allen ho, of gcn, who was slapped on the wrist, for selling nuclear secrets to the Chinese, I think that merits some more scrutiny,

    narciso (d1f714)

  107. After multiple allegations that are found to be overblown and/or hoaxes… collusion, racism, the horseschit around Kavanaugh, the U.S. is entering a recession, just to name a few, these efforts have grown tiresome.

    And seeing Google/YouTube trying to deep six the Biden video (where he admits his actions) every time it’s reposted, it doesn’t inspire confidence in the honesty of these people out to get Trump.

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  108. Firestarter, dials up to eleven, past favorite niece,

    https://hotair.com/archives/john-s-2/2019/09/23/greta-thunberg-green-new-deal-isnt-good-enough/

    narciso (d1f714)

  109. @88. Yes, it’s wrong. IANAL but I assume taking such an actions for ‘personal reasons’ means that there wasn’t a legitimate reason under the stature for such an action. If any of the lawyers here want to weigh in on if that makes an otherwise lawful action unlawful?

    For instance, if the city manager has the authority to fire the health inspector and does so for personal reason, such as their refusal close close down a rivals restaurant, i assume it would be illegal. If the fired the health inspector because they weren’t doing inspections where it was needed that would be legal.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  110. This obviously upsets the WaPo… and their tears are salty sweetness…

    ”Modi said as he introduced Trump. ‘He was a household name and very popular even before he went on to occupy the highest office in this great country. From CEO to commander in chief. From boardrooms to the Oval Office. From studios to global stage.’ The prime minister then repurposed his own campaign slogan in India to rally support for ‘my friend’ Trump in the United States: ‘Abki baar, Trump sarkar,’ meaning, ‘This time, a Trump government.’…. Once Trump arrived, live video of him and Modi walking down a red carpet winding through the bowels of the stadium played on the screens as a drum band played in anticipation of their grand entrance. The two strode onto the stage holding hands. As Trump stood at his side grinning widely, Modi said he admired Trump’s ‘concern for every American, a belief in America’s future and a strong resolve to make America great again… We are witnessing history in the making.'”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-plays-unusual-role-of-warm-up-act-at-massive-rally-for-modi-in-houston/2019/09/22/18cf7a2a-dd50-11e9-8dc8-498eabc129a0_story.html

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  111. Since Trump and his lawyer have both stated publicly that he was pressuring the Ukraine to investigate Biden’s son I don’t see what the whistle blower knew or didn’t know has much bearing at this point.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  112. So the federal government forcing a company to manufacture its products in the US is a good thing?

    There was a time in the distant past…as far back as 2015 and 2016…when US conservatives actually believed in the free market.

    Kishnevi (b0adf2)

  113. 88. The answer might also depend

    The answer is sure to “depend” on something, but it’s not that. We both know what it is.

    It is not a difficult question for an honest person to answer if not blinded by partisanship.

    For many of the people the comment here the only thing of value is to score points for their team. Outcomes aren’t important. If our country is made better or worse by an action isn’t really primary. The important thing is that their team not look bad publicly.

    I wonder if this is why they find the media getting a report about breaking news only partly right to be somehow equivalent to the president using the power of his office to have a rival’s family investigated by a foreign government for criminal wrong doing.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  114. The idea that anyone who points to the other side doing the same thing, is not a hack. There are certain things that are so wrong, they should be criticized by everyone, whether their own side does it or not. Examples, bribery, treason, perjury, murder, rape, etc. These aren’t “Subject to interpretation” or have varying degrees of offense, or extenuating circumstances.

    OTOH, there are “Standards” “Traditions’ “fashion” “Notions of acceptable behavior” “Civility” etc. which have changed over the years and are really dependent on BOTH SIDES playing by the same rules.

    If side x is going to attack and politically lie about side Y, there’s no obligation on Side Y to be a “Good loser” and never attack and always tell the political truth. If side x is going to hold your defensive lineman when the ref isn’t looking, there’s no obligation on side Y to NEVER Hold no matter what.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  115. And seeing Google/YouTube trying to deep six the Biden video (where he admits his actions) every time it’s reposted, it doesn’t inspire confidence in the honesty of these people out to get Trump.

    I think it’s pathetic and dishonest that you continue to ignore the point that what Biden was bragging about was getting a corrupt prosecutor fired. Even if you don’t believe that’s why he did it’s clear for the context that it’s what he was saying. I know you’re smart. So it really drives home the point that you’re untrustworthy.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  116. #114 —

    Your comment assumes the Ukraine is all there is to it. The reporting on the whistleblower’s complaint says there has been there is more than one issue identified.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  117. Time123 (ea2b98) — 9/23/2019 @ 1:49 pm

    I’m looking forward to volume 3 of the Mueller report, which will cover Mifsud, Azra Turk, etc.

    Munroe (8715cf)

  118. 115: Kishnevi:

    “Free” also meant “open markets.” But thumbs on the scale made anyone believing in “free” markets a sucker. Read the history of Brit manufacturing–holding on to “free” markets while the tariff protected Germans and the US decimated their manufacturing base.

    In the 70’s and 80’s tariffs, governmental obstruction of US auto, beef and other exports, was bad enough.

    Now we have a country that extorts technological data as a price or doing business; competes with low paid labor, having none of the government dictated benefits of US workers; and in which there is only a shimmer of a justice system.

    And we have US “manufacturers” hiding offshore, sheltering their taxes, while hiding behind the US military and using the justice system.

    “Free markets” is a fine phrase, but applied to international markts its a bit of a fantasy.

    Why should the US protect a company that gives its jobs to foreign countries? why not raise tariffs to induce that Co to site here?

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  119. Time123 @118.

    what Biden was bragging about was getting a corrupt prosecutor fired. Even if you don’t believe that’s why he did it’s clear for the context that it’s what he was saying.

    That’s not the only thing where I persistently hear (on the radio and wherever) people getting things wrong or using a wrong talking point.

    Another one is that Joe and Huner Biden discussed his business dealings because Hunter Biden said so, and they didn’t get their stoties straight etc. I heard this from somebody on the Sean Hannity radio show this afternoon. He claimed that the New Yorker magazine forced (how>) Hunter Biden to admit that.

    Never is it said precisely what Hunter Biden said to the New Yorker (but at leat he has the source)

    What he said was that at some point his father asked him if he knew what he was doing and he said yes. Not that he discussed any details. (Note: There was some rumbling in the State Department for instance)

    Sammy Finkelman (9a15c6)

  120. Maybe Thunberg is doing this Green doom bit as a way of not being in urban Sweden where a girl her age would be in a particular sort of danger not borne from emissions or polluted water.

    urbanleftbehind (d824c1)

  121. Anyway, Hannity’s guest said the fired prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. claims he was about to interrogate Hunter Biden, and that then-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko told him he was fired e=because he got Joe Biden angry at him because he was investigatng his son.

    I think the prosecuor really said that but I think it could be a lie. Another question is: How long has he been saying that, and to whom? And what does anybody else there have to say about this? And does Viktor Shokin have any credibility?

    Now here’s what one website has to say about that firing:

    (it’s not entirely clear to me by the way what’s it’s saying because this assuming some outside knowledge – it says his resignation was approved by the Ukrainian Parliament [??]

    https://heavy.com/news/2019/09/joe-biden-ukraine/

    …In March 2016, the Ukrainian Rada approved the resignation of Viktor Shokin was voted out of his position with an overwhelming majority. [sic]

    Viktor Shokin had much bigger issues than the corruption case against Mykola Zlochevsky. [Owmer of Burisma] Almost immediately after he was appointed, he started to cause almost irreparable harm to Ukraine’s legal system.

    For starters, he failed to prosecute any prominent members of the Yanukovych regime or anybody in the current government. He constantly blocked reform to Ukraine’s broken legal system. He was in charge of implementing the 2014 law on prosecution which the European Union had asked Ukraine to do for years.

    The law aimed to reduce to role of prosecutors who “were absurdly superior to judges in the Soviet legal system that persisted in post-Soviet Ukraine” according to Atlantic Council. It also called for a reevaluation of all prosecutors in order to weed out the more corrupt and incompetent ones. Shokin manipulated the process so that the old system mostly remained the same and minimal, ineffective changes were implemented.

    He was the largest obstacle to judicial reform in Ukraine. It wasn’t just Joe Biden calling for his ouster, it was the United States government and the European Union.

    Steven Pifer, a career foreign service officer who was ambassador to Ukraine under President Bill Clinton, told Politifact that “”virtually everyone” he knew in the U.S. government and virtually all non-governmental experts on Ukraine “felt that Shokin was not doing his job and should be fired. As far as I can recall, they all concurred with the vice president telling Poroshenko that the U.S. government would not extend the $1 billion loan guarantee to Ukraine until Shokin was removed from office.””

    The European Union also called for him to be fired and celebrated his removal. “This decision creates an opportunity to make a fresh start in the prosecutor general’s office. I hope that the new prosecutor general will ensure that [his] office . . . becomes independent from political influence and pressure and enjoys public trust,” said Jan Tombinski, the EU’s envoy to Ukraine, in a statement at the time.

    Yet this is all somehow a condition that Joe Biden, acting on his own, attached to the loan guarantees.

    Somebody is takinga true fact, (Biden’s forcing the firing of Viktor Shokin) and giving a totally wrong explanation of it.

    But there’s anti-Trump spin that’s false also.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a15c6)

  122. The idea that anyone who points to the other side doing the same thing, is not a hack

    The problem is with those who defend wrongdoing by their side with the claim that the other side does it, and we should therefore ignore wrongoing by their side.

    Mendacity Molly’s article linked upthread (comment 52) is a good example.

    She links a tweet that criticizes Trump. She then declares it to be a collection of false statements, and one by one advances “proof” of that “falsity”. (In fact, every statement in that tweet is true.) Except her evidence is a series of examples of Democrats Behaving Badly, combined with a series of distortions of the original tweet’s statements that try to make them say something they didn’t say.
    But for Mendacity Molly, apparently, the fact that the Clintons and Bidens are corrupt, means we shouldn’t care whether Trump is corrupt.

    Kishnevi (b0adf2)

  123. I think we can all agree that being corrupt and wanting to investigation corruption are equally bad.

    When its Trump. never forget: Orange Bad.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  124. Hannity’s guest also said that on the China trip, Hunter Biden took his Chinese partner along so he could be introduced to someone in China. (so what does it matter if he didn’t personally discuss businesss while his father was in China? Maybe his partner did.)

    He also says Hunter’s Biden’s business, before his father was elected Vice President, was as a lobbyist, principally lobbying for earmarks for educational institutions (I think I heard) and later for the online gambling people.

    He also said that John Heinz, the step-son of then Secretary of State John Kerry, deliberately disassociated himself from any Ukrainian dealings and told the State Department that (the email telling that was revealed by a FOIA request.)

    He also says there was a bank account belonging to some kind of a buisness from which Hunter Biden withdrew cash – he was the biggest beneficiary of that) and that there was money also coming into it from someone in Kazakhstan ad another LLC which they don’t know who or what that was.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a15c6)

  125. Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e) — 9/23/2019 @ 2:22 pm

    I am not saying that the US government shouldn’t put its thumb on the scale.

    I am saying that government keeping its thumb off the scale is a conservative principle, so let’s not pretend that government putting its thumb on the scale is a conservative thing to do. It’s not.

    Trump believes in big government. The only difference between him and the Democrats is that each wants to use government to squeeze different groups of people, for different reasons.

    Kishnevi (b0adf2)

  126. rcocean @127. I think the conventional media wisdom is simple:

    Wanting to investigate possible corruption is bad, if the target is a Democrat and not wanting to investigate possible corruption is bad if the target is a Republican.

    But you must never put it that way.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a15c6)

  127. @128. My suspicion is that we shouldn’t elect Hunter Biden as president. 😛

    Nic (896fdf)

  128. “I think it’s pathetic and dishonest that you continue to ignore the point that what Biden was bragging about was getting a corrupt prosecutor fired.”

    If this video supports what you say it does, it’s pathetic and dishonest of Google/YouTube to take each instance of posting it down within hours and of you for ignoring that.

    Colonel Haiku (94c32c)

  129. Isn’t it funny how the Never-trumpers (i exclude Patterico) have grand principles that they stand by no matter what. Yet these grand principles weirdly align 90% of the time with liberal Democrats. I’m trying to think of a single “Get Trump” or “Those R’s and white people sure are racist hicks” MSM story that david french, bill kristol, the bulwark boys, etc. didn’t side with the New York Times. You’d think with their grand “Conservatism” they’d at least disagree with the liberals, oh maybe 35% of the time? But it seems like they keep all their disagreement to things like Tax cuts for the Rich, cutting entitlements (read Social security) and bombing Iran.

    Oh but they disagree over abortion. Except, they never care about getting SCOTUS jduges who will overturn Roe v. Wade. OR get a 2/3 R majority to pass a Constitutional Admendment. So what does their “Pro life” position really mean? Practically? Just words.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  130. 124) well she was hanging with a Grimaldi of Monaco, two weeks ago,

    narciso (d1f714)

  131. At some point – and i think we’ve reached a stage with George Will and Bill Kristol – that no one who actually votes and cares about Conservatism in REAL LIFE, is going to think the Never-Trumpers are actually conservative. People will see them as Liberal-leftists who like wars in the Middle East and tax cuts for the Rich. Which is pretty much what most Liberal Billionaires are right now. So its hard to see their audience expanding past a few Neo-con rich guys and Tech millionaires. The Left will NEVER trust Kristol or Will, and they’ve burned their bridges to average conservatives. But then who is reading Bulwark? Who is reading National Review? Its not anyone who voted for Trump.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  132. @132 i have no idea what google is doing since you’ve provided no link or explanation.
    But way to pretend that you don’t understand the concept of “context”.
    Does that qualify as a lie of omission? Or is it willful ignorance.

    Time123 (d54166)

  133. This “Patterico” guy makes a lot of sense, and his honesty is refreshing.

    I wish he would post and comment here more often.

    :)

    Dave (1bb933)

  134. @130

    Investigation of corruption would be great. It’s too bad Trump’s either doing it /really/ badly, or not really trying to do it.

    But you know that.

    And you don’t care….so long as your team isn’t disrespected.

    Time123 (d54166)

  135. I guess they’ll be banning acid next,

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/09/uk-church-leaders-ask-government-to-ban-pointed-kitchen-knives/

    the price of a cosmopolitan city,

    narciso (d1f714)

  136. The Democrats apparently think that having Adam Schiff carrying the ball on this adds credibility. It doesn’t.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  137. It’s all part
    Of their NeverTrump fantasy
    It’s all part
    Of their NeverTrump dream

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  138. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 9/23/2019 @ 3:46 pm

    Who could possibly compete with Donald J. “cheated out of several Nobel prizes” Trump and Rudy “Truth is not Truth” Giuliani in the credibility department?

    Dave (1bb933)

  139. “My suspicion is that we shouldn’t elect Hunter Biden as president.”
    Nic (896fdf) — 9/23/2019 @ 2:49 pm

    But if he ran against Trump, the Bret Stephens types would face a huge dilemma.

    Munroe (8715cf)

  140. Jonah makes sense.

    But even if I’m wrong it doesn’t matter. Let’s assume Biden is guilty of something bad. We should still be appalled that the president of the United States would use his office to pressure foreign powers to do opposition research for him. I mean, my God, the day after Robert S. Mueller III testified to Congress about his report investigating whether the Trump campaign had colluded with one foreign power — Russia — the president got on the horn and encouraged another foreign power, Ukraine, to help with his reelection.
    If Trump threatened to withhold funds unless Ukrainian officials investigated Biden, that would make it worse, but the aid issue is something of a red herring. In the language of diplomacy, hectoring a foreign leader – eight times, according to the Wall Street Journal — to investigate a domestic political opponent is as subtle as wearing a sandwich board and clanging a cowbell.

    The law is pretty clear.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  141. nk the poster may be right- noticed that the censure vote for Sinemax in AZ got moved to January, no coincidence – NT will need an anti WarrenSanders Dem woth appeal to Buttigieg voters to pin their hopes on if Biden stumbles to an ignoble end in IA /NH.

    urbanleftbehind (d824c1)

  142. Just to clear away the veil of partisanship:

    I admit that Trump is a sleaze. Probably a criminal, Likely stupider than dirt. I doubt he has any “principle” other than “what’s in it for me?”. I hope that he passes from the scene sooner rather than later, as he is opportunity cost in motion.

    And yet I cannot side with his opponents on the Left. I wish that he had effective opponents on the Right, but he doesn’t. So, I will support him against the zombie menace, even though there are literally hundreds who would do a better job. Sadly they won’t try, and their moral cowardice is distressing.

    I don’t have a dog in most of these Trump-fights as most of them are too tediously stupid for words. To pick a side would be partisanship. At least for me.

    My concerns are more towards whether we will continue to slide towards socialism, towards uncivil society, towards mass ignorance, innumeracy and illogical governance. It galls me that Donald Trump is our bulwark and the irony is not lost. But for now he is.

    Don’t blame me, blame those who COULD act, but do not.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  143. The law is pretty clear.

    Except that Trump is above the law.

    “I have an Article Two where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

    Read it and weep, bitch.

    Dave (1bb933)

  144. Who could possibly compete with Donald J. “cheated out of several Nobel prizes”

    It’s the one for Physics that really galls me.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  145. Then again, Obama got one, so who knows what the standards really are.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  146. Patrick

    I prefer trump superfan and never-Trumper delivered without any embellishments. Its much better for civil discussions. I don’t mind being referred to here as a trump super fan, but I do take some offense when people append “droooling idiot” onto that superfan

    I think we might agree that threatening to withhold $1B and giving a six hour ultimatum window rises to a different level of obstruction. I’ve looked for instances where the USA has acquiesced to foreign request to fire our prosecutors, and found none (yet). I’ve also not found another instance where the US has threatened another sovereign nation regarding its own prosecutors.
    It all seems highly irregular for Joe to have been there, threatening the people of the Ukraine.
    Its not a case of all smoke no fire. Its a case that stinks like a dead fish. Somewhere there is a dead fish

    steveg (354706)

  147. many of zelensky’s early initiatives, like removing the former sbu officials, reinstituting charges of public corruption, have foundered, well who knows how many oligarchs are funding how many members of the rada,

    narciso (d1f714)

  148. It’s the one for Physics that really galls me.

    Indeed:

    Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you’re a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.
    Donald Trump / July 21, 2015

    Dave (1bb933)

  149. I know it doesn’t come from any of the fusion crew, that has underwritten this (redacted) show,

    https://twitter.com/SaraCarterDC/status/1176268964093186048

    narciso (d1f714)

  150. Harcourt Fenton Mudd, #63, has a point, although the sort of favoritism that helped Hunter Biden, or his firm, get lucrative deals from the Ukrainians and from China equally applies to persons connected to the R side of the aisle as well, even if the news is not focusing on them right now. Yeah, sure, the firm where the Vice President’s son worked had a unique expertise no other firm in the US had. But, no doubt — I mean it, am not snarking — everything Hunter Biden did was legal, and he made whatever disclosures were required, obtained permits or clearances that were needed, etc. No reason to break the law when you’re making such good money. And I’m sure if the truth were known we’d find plenty of children or relatives of influential R’s have turned out to have similar extraordinary abilities or luck totally unconnected to anyone’s power or influence in Washington.

    The real scandal, to me, is that no laws are broken in these sweetheart deals. Or maybe not — how you stop this sort of thing without repealing human nature is beyond me. I used to hope that if the Tea Party types and the “Occupy” types ever realized that they had a lot of similar populist ideas, they might put aside some of their differences on other issues and get together to effect some real change. But that was a foolish hope; even if that had started to happen what used to be called the Money Power would find a way to co-opt them. It always does.

    RL formerly in Glendale (40f5aa)

  151. R.I.P. Sid Haig, longtime character actor

    Icy (6abb50)

  152. @149. The negligence is clearer- something both you and I agreed on some weeks ago–and today, AOC is crisply on board as well.

    Our Captain is going to keep beating the raps and have other crippled or take the falls because he knows he can get away with it.

    He always has; be it from ex-wives, or mistresses or Wall Street banks. And more power to him for playing, ‘catch me if you can’– it’s his life story. As a kid, he never had the lesson of a big brother or parent takin him down a peg or two by beating the crap out of him. Even military school couldn’t discipline him. He’s emboldened.

    The real crime here rests with Pelosi. She has a report in hand, festooned with evidence and garnished by more events each week; it is Pelosi’s failure to act; to fulfill her constitutional responsibilities and initiate impeachment– even in the face of a Senate set to stop it– that is criminal negligence.

    She wants the voters to do her dirty work for her and reap the benefits rather than let it get torpedoed in the Senate– which would actually sink what is left of the ‘Republican Party’ anyway. Watching the likes of Graham, Cruz. McConnell and assorted GOP senators- particularly those near reelection- trying to defend Trump in trial would be self-destructive, although quite entertaining.

    The real ‘crime’ here is the failure of the U.S. Congress to follow their oaths of office and exercise their power as a co-equal branch of government.

    “You know why the Yankees always win, Frank? … ‘Cause the other teams can’t stop staring at those damn pinstripes.” – Frank Abagnale Sr., [Christopher Walken] ‘Catch Me If You Can’ 2002

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  153. 160… all those Coffy, blaxploitation movies… aarrgggg!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  154. The real ‘crime’ here is the failure of the U.S. Congress to follow their oaths of office and exercise their power as a co-equal branch of government.

    It is daft to suggest impeaching Trump if the GOP senate are going to let him skate. It has zero chance of removing him from office, and close to 100% chance of making his re-election more likely.

    The real ‘crime’ here is utter spinelessness of the Republicans-who-are-not-Beldar in abetting his corruption and malfeasance.

    Dave (1bb933)

  155. These leftist, climate-change fanatics use children as human shields much like Saddam Hussein and terrorists used innocent foreigners.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  156. 163… they’re stealing your future, too…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  157. Whether or not Joe and or Hunter Biden broke the law is irrelevant. There are proper channels by which the DOJ could get the information it needs to figure out whether to prosecute them. If they’re dirty, prosecute them. Hell, lock ’em up.

    The President shouldn’t be getting dirt on political rivals and/or making foreign policy contingent on his personal political interests. The DOJ should release the whistleblower complaint to Congress. Congress should remember that it is a co-equal branch of govt rather than acting like a bunch of scairdeycats.

    JRH (52aed3)

  158. 163… they’re stealing your future, too…

    Said the condor to the praying mantis
    We’re gonna lose this place, just like we lost Atlantis
    Brother we gotta go, sooner than you know
    The Gypsy told my fortune – she said that nothin’ showed

    – Neil Young, Like an Inca

    Dave (1bb933)

  159. @149 Actually, the law isn’t “very clear,” notwithstanding this person’s opinion of the law doesn’t make it so.

    See, contra for example, Fred Wertheimer, certainly no person enamored with Trump. He wrote in May, 2019: “Does the ban on soliciting a contribution or other thing of value from a foreign national prevent an agent of a presidential campaign (for example, the candidate’s personal lawyer) from asking a foreign government to conduct an investigation that could damage the campaign’s potential opponent?

    The answer to these questions should clearly be yes – these activities involving a foreign government’s intervening in our elections should be prohibited. But instead, these interventions appear to be legal under our existing laws, or at the least not clearly prohibited.”

    So, absent a court ruling otherwise, the law does not clearly make such actions illegal.

    Pete (3aedd6)

  160. 129:

    “…government keeping its thumb off the scale is a conservative principle, so let’s not pretend that government putting its thumb on the scale is a conservative thing to do. It’s not.”

    It assumes reciprocity by other countries, which many confused, ascot-wearing conservatives mainlining the National Review fail to grasp. Blind dedication to a principle everyone else ignores is not the basis of “Thou shall not kill.” Its not a command to embrace self immolation. Neither is “free trade.”

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  161. Tariffs benefit a small number of government-chosen winners at the expense of greater harm to the economy as a whole.

    The fact that special interests in other countries are successful in impoverishing their citizens with various tariffs doesn’t mean we should allow special interests in this country to do the same.

    Dave (1bb933)

  162. 167…
    Don’t cry no tears around me
    Don’t cry no tears around me
    ‘Cause when all the water’s gone
    The bullschiff lingers on
    Old teachers
    Ain’t beyond a squee
    Don’t cry no tears around me

    — Neil Dung, Don’t Cry No Tears

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  163. You know, if a message had to be sent to Ukraine, Joe Biden didn’t have to be the guy they sent. His visit is no less worrisome that Donald Trump’s calls.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  164. Would you be surprised to know that a superior court reinstated the charges against vlochevsky in june, after he had returned from abroad.

    Narciso (ff6b13)

  165. Tariffs benefit a small number of government-chosen winners at the expense of greater harm to the economy as a whole.

    Perhaps. Depends on the tariff. They could also benefit a large number of workers and employers going forward at the expense of harm to some consumers over a limited period of time.

    Consider the flip side where a country dumps a widget widely produced in the home market, and this is met with some tariffs. Shortly thereafter an agreement is reached banning said dumping. Lots of workers and companies benefit. Consumers also benefit from having stable markets and products whose quality and manufacturers are known.

    Not everything is reflected in the price of a thing, but even there you have competition among domestic and reputable foreign vendors, who probably aren’t cutting corners by flooding streams with chromium.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  166. You know, if a message had to be sent to Ukraine, Joe Biden didn’t have to be the guy they sent. His visit is no less worrisome that Donald Trump’s calls.

    Because it wasn’t the global requirement? Again the fact that Trump is corruption incarnate, doesn’t make Biden a worthy president, just that the current lie parroted by Orange jeezus is untrue.

    From February 2015 to March 2016, Viktor Shokin was prosecutor general of Ukraine. His ouster was the result of pressure from a large consensus of Western nations, including the United States, that were concerned Shokin was at the center of a lot of the country’s corruption. Their concern peaked when, in February 2016, Shokin’s own deputy prosecutor, Vitaly Kasko, resigned, citing the corruption and cronyism within the office. “The General Prosecutor’s Office has become a dead institution, which nobody believes is independent,” Kasko said at the time.

    Biden was one of the leaders of the effort to remove Shokin, and a month after Kasko’s resignation, he threatened to withhold American loan guarantees from Ukraine so long as Shokin was heading the prosecutor’s office. Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, also threatened to withdraw financial support for Ukraine unless it cleaned up its corruption problem. Pretty much everyone recognized Shokin had to go, and a month later Ukrainian Parliament voted to remove him from office.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  167. Timeline of Biden’s Ukraine Dealings

    Per John Solomon, The Hill

    Nov 2015
    Biden advised by NYT that his son was under investigation and his office acknowledged they were aware of the investigation by Ukraine authorities, but that it was Hunter Biden’s to deal with.

    Dec 2015
    Biden first pressured Ukrainian leaders to fire the prosecutor leading the investigation into Burisma holdings, the company that had paid Hunter Biden.

    March 2016
    Biden leveraged a billion dollars in US aid to get the prosecutor, who was probing Burisma and Hunter Biden, fired.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  168. @163. Except it’s not.

    The Speaker of the House is not the Senate Majority Leader. Going to the always effervescent, bayberry-scented-center-squared Lindsey Graham for the block would be most entertaining.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  169. I’m awaiting info that identifies the whistleblower and position in the government… did he or she actually listen in on Trump’s call with the Ukraine PM?… did he or she have authority to listen in?

    If he or she didn’t listen to this conversation, from whom did he or she get this second-hand knowledge?

    Who cares? We know what was said.

    What was specifically said during the phone call

    We want you to investigate Biden.

    , and what was improper or – more importantly – illegal about it?

    This is not difficult. If you haven’t figured it out by now, there is no point in trying to explain it to you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  170. Perhaps. Depends on the tariff. They could also benefit a large number of workers and employers going forward at the expense of harm to some consumers over a limited period of time.

    That’s bullshit. There is no tariff that benefits more workers than it hurts consumers. Wishing it to be so can’t make it so.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  171. Per John Solomon

    i.e. a lie.
    This is a reference to a part of the conspiracy theory developed by John Solomon, an opinion columnist for the Hill in Washington, who relied on the word of a disgraced Ukrainian prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnytsky. Last year, Kholodnytsky was wiretapped by Ukraine’s independent anti-corruption bureau and caught on tape advising suspects in a corruption probe on how not to get caught. Kholodnytsky told Solomon that the ledger “was not authenticated.”

    After Kholodnytsky was caught in that sting operation, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, the Obama appointee who was the top American diplomat in Ukraine until May, demanded that he be fired. Kholodnytsky retaliated by helping Solomon and other right-wing pundits smear Yovanovitch as an anti-Trump, deep-state plotter, prompting the State Department to recall her from Kiev.

    Solomon’s other main source for the claim that the ledger was false was Konstantin Kilimnik, Manafort’s former Ukrainian business partner, who has been linked to Russian intelligence.

    Despite the questionable nature of his sources, Solomon’s reporting that the black ledger records were fake has been accepted as fact by the president and his surrogates.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  172. 178… I care and I’ll wait for a less jaundiced person to weigh in. You’re hopeless.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  173. 178… I care and I’ll wait for a less jaundiced person to weigh in. You’re hopeless.

    Take a breather for two weeks.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  174. 182. Just two weeks? That’s awfully generous boss. I’ve noticed you’ve been engaging more here over the last couple of days. Have you had your blood pressure checked lately?

    Gryph (08c844)

  175. Acting like it’s a big mystery what was said is obfuscation. We have Giuliani’s televised admission. We have Trump’s tweeted admissions. We have the Ukrainian readout of the call. We don’t need the whistleblower.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  176. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/09/23/abcs_jon_karl_easy_to_understand_why_whistleblowerukrainebiden_flap_is_bad.html

    The moneyshot says that “if his name was Hunter Smith, he probably wouldn’t be getting paid”
    No shi#. What did he bring to the table? Nothing. What did his dad bring to the table that we know of? Threats.

    Then there is the China deal
    As Guliani says re: Hunters China deal, we are to believe that Hunter and Joe flew together on AF Two, Hunter lands a $1B investment from the Chinese (for which he again has no expertise to bring to the table) yet we are to believe that on the 18 hr plane ride home, Hunter does not discuss the biggest deal of his drug-addled life with his dad.

    Why the cover up? Why doesn’t Joe just say, “sure, we talked, I’m so proud of my son”?
    Nope. Joe seems to be lying. I know with Joe, the lie is baked in, yet even a storied and accoplished liar like Joe has to have people around him who whisper in his ear and say: “Joe, tell the truth on this one… trust me, its better”

    steveg (354706)

  177. “The moneyshot says that “if his name was Hunter Smith, he probably wouldn’t be getting paid””

    Are we suddenly caring about nepotism now?

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  178. “We don’t need the whistleblower.”
    Patterico (115b1f) — 9/23/2019 @ 7:23 pm

    OK. Therefore… what?? What do you want to happen?

    Trump hater Phil Mudd:

    “What the heck is over the line? The president can say what he wants to Putin, he can say what he wants to Kim Jong Un. He can say to Kim Jong Un, which I think is completely over the top, I’ll go meet you in the DMZ, the demilitarized zone,” Mudd added. “The president can say what he wants. It’s not the responsibility of the intel guys to go police the president and go snitch on him to the Congress. Ridiculous.”

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/ready-to-blow-a-gasket-cnn-analyst-loses-it-over-whistleblower-who-filed-complaint-against-trump

    Munroe (53beca)

  179. Because of the questionable nature of his sources

    FTFY

    Kishnevi (e95dc4)

  180. Rcocean, as evidence that you are wrong about NeverTrump,
    I give you George Will’s latest, which I have just started
    https://www.amazon.com/Conservative-Sensibility-George-F-Will/dp/0316480932/ref=sr_1_1

    I just started it.

    It does suffer from Will’s trademark verbosity, which would try even Mises.

    Kishnevi (e95dc4)

  181. Presidents harassing foreign leaders on behalf of American public…very good
    Ptesidents harassing foreign leaders on behalf of his own re-election campaign…corruption.

    Kishnevi (e95dc4)

  182. 187.

    OK. Therefore… what?? What do you want to happen?

    I can’t speak for Pat, but an admission that Donald Trump is just as corrupt as every other politician in Babylon-on-Potomac would be a nice start for me.

    Gryph (08c844)

  183. Who cares? We know what was said.

    Huh? We DON’T KNOW WHAT WAS SAID. We have anonymous sources. We have anonymous sources quoting anonymous sources. We got 2nd hand account or 2nd hand accounts. We have absolutely no idea what Trump SPECIFICALLY said the Ukrainian president leader.

    Unlike the MSM, i’m not going to JUMP To CONCLUSIONS. Not only that, but even if you believe Trump told the Ukraine to investigate Biden’s corruption, it still doesn’t matter. Because either Biden was corrupt or he wasn’t. And if he wasn’t – no harm no foul.

    All you people are being played. The real reason for this MSM Story is to get Joe Biden out of the race. The D Establishment knows Biden’s a loser, and they want Biden O-U-T. If they can damage Trump along the way, that’s just the icing on top of the cake.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  184. Isn’t it interesting that we never heard about Epstein, till the MSM thought it would hurt Trump’s Labor secretary. And now that he’s out, and Epstein is dead, its all just fading away. Isn’t it interesting, that this Corn Pop story just Pops (pun intentional) out of nowhere.

    The fact that the D establishment and the NYT/Wapo are running this whole scam to get who they want nominated or thrown out of office, just never occurs to anyone. Yeah, they’re all just objective Big Dan the Reporter man types, just out for a scoop. LOL. This whole Biden/Trump thing was set in motion to get rid of “Slow Joe” because they knew he was fading fast and would lose. So who do they want? They’re obviously backing Warren.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  185. just that the current lie parroted by Orange jeezus is untrue.

    All these words to prove argue that Trump told a lie?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  186. That’s bullshit. There is no tariff that benefits more workers than it hurts consumers. Wishing it to be so can’t make it so.

    The time-frames matter. If the agreement that results lasts 50 years and the tariffs last a week, it can.

    Reagan’s car quotas (an sort of a tariff in that it restricted supply) didn’t last very long and the result was such a sea change in Japanese business practices that generations of car workers benefited, while actually decreasing the unit cost of cars.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  187. *an

    Kevin M (19357e)

  188. That’s bullsh1t. There is no tariff that benefits more workers than it hurts consumers. Wishing it to be so can’t make it so.

    The time-frames matter. If the agreement that results lasts 50 years and the tariffs last a week, it can.

    Reagan’s car quotas (an sort of a tariff in that it restricted supply) didn’t last very long and the result was such a sea change in Japanese business practices that generations of car workers benefited, while actually decreasing the unit cost of cars.

    (must remember to bowdlerize our host’s comments to get through our host’s nanny filter)

    Kevin M (19357e)

  189. “I think it’s pathetic and dishonest that you continue to ignore the point that what Biden was bragging about was getting a corrupt prosecutor fired.”

    132. Colonel Haiku (94c32c) — 9/23/2019 @ 2:51 pm

    If this video supports what you say it does, it’s pathetic and dishonest of Google/YouTube to take each instance of posting it down within hours and of you for ignoring that.

    136. Time123 (d54166) — 9/23/2019
    @ 3:16 pm

    @132 i have no idea what google is doing since you’ve provided no link or explanation.

    After thinking a little bit, I think what he’s claiming is that every time someone posts on YouTube (which is now owned by Google or maybe I should say Alphabet, which is now the name of Google’s parent company – they re-organized a year or two ago bt anyway this is YouTube and not the Google search engine) – that every time someone posts on YouTube a video of this excerpt of a speech Joe Biden gave on January 23, 2018 at the Council of Foreign Relations it’s taken down.

    If so, this would most likely be for copyright reasons. Perhaps the CFR is claiming copyright.

    I posted a link the video speech and transcript of the entire speech on another thread. Here it is again:

    https://www.cfr.org/event/foreign-affairs-issue-launch-former-vice-president-joe-biden

    Sammy Finkelman (9a15c6)

  190. Has it occured to anyone that his crucial role in getting the prosector fired could be another one of Biden;s tall tales? (i.e. it was going to happen anyway)

    That doesn’t mean maybe that he avoided making a public announcement of the loan guarantees untl the firing happened.

    Here’s how Biden tells it:

    ….And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

    So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. [Meanng he’s not Obama] The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired….

    Sammy Finkelman (9a15c6)

  191. 193. rcocean (1a839e) — 9/23/2019 @ 8:28 pm

    The fact that the D establishment and the NYT/Wapo are running this whole scam to get who they want nominated or thrown out of office, just never occurs to anyone. Yeah, they’re all just objective Big Dan the Reporter man types, just out for a scoop. LOL. This whole Biden/Trump thing was set in motion to get rid of “Slow Joe” because they knew he was fading fast and would lose.

    It occured to me, but it’s not that he wold lose – it was that they were not connected to him, and there are people who don’t want Biden, not that they he can’t win and someone else could.

    Biden’s campaign of course is blaming only Trump, (did he start this controversy?) and saying this is happeneng because Biden is the strongest candidate. The timing, of course, suggests Democratic rivals, and the campaign itself suggests people closer to the Clintons than people around Biden.

    Biden’s campaign told the media that every story should say the accusation against him is unfounded and if they don’t put that in every story they are campaigning against Biden (paraphrase)

    So who do they want? They’re obviously backing Warren.

    At this stage it would seem like what it is, although maybe some would like more Kamala Harris I would guess.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a15c6)

  192. After thinking a little bit, I think what he’s claiming is that every time someone posts on YouTube (which is now owned by Google or maybe I should say Alphabet, which is now the name of Google’s parent company – they re-organized a year or two ago bt anyway this is YouTube and not the Google search engine) – that every time someone posts on YouTube a video of this excerpt of a speech Joe Biden gave on January 23, 2018 at the Council of Foreign Relations it’s taken down.

    Maybe, not really polite to discuss his points while he’s in a time out.

    Time123 (6e0727)

  193. Isn’t it interesting that we never heard about Epstein, till the MSM thought it would hurt Trump’s Labor secretary. And now that he’s out, and Epstein is dead, its all just fading away.

    Yes, the death of Epstein had robbed the story of new developments to drive additional media coverage. I can’t understand how that isn’t obvious to you.

    Isn’t it interesting, that this Corn Pop story just Pops (pun intentional) out of nowhere.

    Not really, he told a bizarre story in front of a Camera. His last few odd statements got coverage. This one was more humorous than saying he was in the wrong state. So it got more coverage.

    The fact that the D establishment and the NYT/Wapo are running this whole scam to get who they want nominated or thrown out of office, just never occurs to anyone.

    Crazy and stupid people are all over theories that everything we read in the media is because of some secrete cabal. This isn’t exactly a new fear.

    Yeah, they’re all just objective Big Dan the Reporter man types, just out for a scoop. LOL. This whole Biden/Trump thing was set in motion to get rid of “Slow Joe” because they knew he was fading fast and would lose. So who do they want? They’re obviously backing Warren.

    Who is ‘they’?

    Time123 (6e0727)

  194. Here’s what we know. An anonymous official in the intelligence community filed a whistleblower complaint to ICIG Atkinson, a man of impeccable character, who considered the complaint credible and serious and forwarded it to acting DNI Maguire as a matter of “grave concern.” At that point, the acting DNI should have forwarded the complaint to the relevant committees in Congress, as required by statute. Maguire did not do that, but instead consulted with the DOJ, meaning AG Barr, whose sole job apparently is to provide cover for the president. The DOJ determined that the complaint didn’t meet the standard set in Section 3033 of the Whistleblower Act, because it did not involve a member of the intelligence community, and decided to not forward the complaint to Congressional committees.

    What is in the complaint? We do not know, but subsequent reporting reveals that it is not limited to a single phone call to Ukraine but rather to several correspondences or incidences over a period of time, with one or more foreign entities, suggesting a prolonged pattern of improper activity. The ICIG considered it a matter of grave concern, but the DNI, under advice from the AG, buried it.

    All this talk about one phone call to Ukraine is a ruse, a distraction intended to direct attention away from what else is in the whistleblower’s complaint, which will probably never be made public. Trump knows there’s nothing in the transcript of the one phone call to incriminate him, no matter how many times he mentions the Bidens or obviously but inconspicuously pressures Ukraine to start an investigation on them, by threatening to withhold military aide until Ukraine complies to his wishes.

    Notice that he isn’t making similar overtures to China, even though he has his personal lawyer Giuliani touring the cable news shows, making accusations about the Bidens’ business dealings with China. Or are there correspondences with Chinese officials offering an end to the tariff war in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens?

    We don’t know. Everything is speculation, until the whistleblower’s complaint is made public, or at least referred to Congress. What we do know is that Trump not only courted but welcomed foreign interference in the 2016 election. He even bragged about it and said he had no problem with it and would do it again. Well, now he’s doing it again, only this time he’s using the full powers of the presidency to coerce compliance from foreign entities.

    And in broad daylight, for all to see, no less. He revels in it, blatant fraud and corruption, self-dealing and self-enrichment. He makes accusations and tosses out conspiracy theories to detract attention from his own malfeasance. And it’s working, or it has worked before.

    The Democrats are holding meetings this afternoon to consider whether to proceed with impeachment hearings. Speaker Pelosi has been cautiously hesitant, but really she’s just been waiting for an overwhelming majority of her caucus to demand to proceed, so as to provide her with political cover. If she had come out in favor of impeachment (which she undoubtedly is), she would have come across as vindictive, but if the majority of her caucus demands impeachment, then she can say she’s following the will of the majority.

    The question is, what will the Republicans do then? The Senate is not going to convict and remove the president–no Senate ever has, not when Johnson and Clinton were impeached. Nixon resigned before he faced impeachment, but only after he lost Republican support in the Senate. The thing about that though is the Republicans knew Nixon respected the institutions and integrity of the party. They knew he would go gently into that good night, fade into obscurity, and not cause any problems afterwards. Ford’s pardon may have cost him the election against Carter, but that defeat led to the Reagan revolution in the next cycle, because the institutions and integrity of the party remained intact.

    Trump has no such convictions. There isn’t a moral molecule in his entire body. He doesn’t give a damn about institutions, and he certainly doesn’t care one whit about the integrity of the party. He is not going to gently into that good night, but rise in the morning Tweeting up a storm of wrath and indignation, hurling insults, accusations and wild conspiracy theories. And his butt gerbil base will suck it up.

    Again, what are the Republicans going to do? They nominated him over far more experienced and qualified candidates; they elected him. Now the have no choice but to defend him, because they cannot admit to themselves that they put in office WorseThanObama and MoreCorruptThanClinton.

    I don’t know how these people look themselves in the mirror and see an honest face. I said from the beginning that Trump was a total fraud, utterly unfit for office. That’s why I didn’t vote for him last time, and that’s why I will not vote for him this time. The only difference now is that I will not vote for any Republican who supports or defends him, and that’s at every level–city, county, state, federal.

    The House has the Mueller report, which is damning, and are awaiting the whistleblower complaint, as if they needed it. The evidence of this president’s lawlessness is glaring like a neon sign. It’s not about past but ongoing misdeeds.

    Begin impeachment hearings. Call witnesses and take testimony, and broadcast it live. It doesn’t matter whether the Senate convicts and removes or not. Force the Republicans to defend or excuse this reprehensible behavior, and let them see, after all the evidence is made public, what it gets them. Screwed, and out of office, no doubt.

    This is not a waiting game. The time to act is now. Trump will relish impeachment, because he (mistakenly) believes it will make him more popular and guarantee his re-election. That’s all he cares about really, re-election. Validation. If the Republicans give that to him, it will destroy any credibility the party ever had.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  195. What’s getting lost or not noticed or realized, is that:

    Biden’s threat was basically a bluff.

    And he did it because he thought Ukraine was already 90% or 98% there toward firing the prosecutor -and in fact they had already agreed to do so, but maybe possibly, Biden thought, seemed to be trying to wiggle out of it – and he thought making the threat would be enough to push them over the edge. As he says in his Jan 23, 2018 speech “I’m desperately concerned about the backsliding on the part of Kiev in terms of corruption…I’ll give you one concrete example.”

    And that’s when he tells his story.

    It’s being (I pretty much have to say dishonestly because after awhile the facts should sink in) it’s being dishonesly portrayed like firing the prosecutor was a new idea. But even from Biden’s speech you can tell this had been a request for some time. It was only that now they were on the verge – or rather maybe were pulling back becuase they weren’t acting quickly enough.

    Now it is important to realize that the loan guarantee didn’t depend on the announcement.

    All the paperwork had already been signed – this is not a president signing a bill. No press ccnference would have been scheduled had not all the paperwork been completed in Washington before the press conference.

    All that they needed the press coference for was to get it more on the record and to affect the markets.

    But all the work was done. Now it was possible to back out in the same way a visa can be cancelled – but it was possible also even after the press conference. The Ukrainians maybe took Biden’s threat too seriously. Biden simply said he wasn’t going to announce it until <i< after the prosecutor was replaced.

    Here’s more context from that speech:

    {at another time] I said, look, it’s a simple proposition. If, in fact, you do not continue to show progress in terms of corruption, we are not going to be able to hold the rest of Europe on these sanctions, and Russia is not going to roll across the inner line here and take over the rest of the country with their tanks. What they’re going to do is they’re going to take your economy down, you’re going to be absolutely buried, and you’re going to be done.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  196. All this talk about one phone call to Ukraine is a ruse

    I don’t think it’s the Trump people who have been leaking that. It’s being leaked because it involves Trump personally, and the accusation is that he explcitly tied the aid toward re-opening the investigation. Not something that would come from anyone loyal to him.

    Now it’s reprted that Trump gave the orders to withhold aid, and that various different explanations were given to different people. hat doesn’t mean that you couldn’t figure out why ths happened or that pressure on the Ukraine over Biden was the reason. Ukraine didn’t even realize it was being explicitly held up.

    Everybdy in Congress was against that and that the day before the Senate apprpriations Commmittee was schduled to vote on a Durbin amendment to the 2020 defense spending bill to force the release of funds to Ukraine, the military aid, along with $145 million in State department funds, was suddenly released.

    We don’t know exactly why Trump apparently ordered a review, but that doesn’t mean his intention was to force Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Trump does a lot of things that don’t make much sense.

    We don’t know who, if anyone, suggested to him that the question of aid be reviewed, but the leak is now like Trump did this all by himself.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  197. Speaker Pelosi has been cautiously hesitant

    Speaker Pelosi wants at least some Republican votes. The impeachment doesn’t have to win in the Senate, but it has got not to appear partisan and uncalled for.

    MoreCorruptThanClinton.

    How do you get that? as for worse than Obama, most Republicans don’t think so.

    Begin impeachment hearings. Call witnesses and take testimony, and broadcast it live.

    You;ve got to llet Rudy Giuliani mazke his case, because that’s Trump’s big defense: His criminal referral to Ukraine was legitimate. And it could have been, even if completely wrong-headed.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  198. The latest thread, about Trump ordering the withholding of aid from Ukraine, seems to have disapeared. Is it being updated?

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  199. I seem to see links to it on;y when looking at this page. Is it off the main page?

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  200. Joe Biden traveled to Ukraine in March 2016 (it was not a phone call, as Trump claimed)

    What I read later (and I don’t know or sure that that is correct, is that the last time Biden was there was in December, 2015. What happened in March, 2015 was tgha Viktor Shokin was replaced, but it had no conection with any Biden visit, nor was it the final thing holding up the third $1 billion loan guarantee.

    Biden did not give a date for his visit to Kiev more recently spelled Kyiv) or for the firing of Shokin or for the iissuuance of the loan guanantees but each one of these things happened months apart.

    A good thing. Because Biden made much of the story up. Especially that tall tale of the e with the cancelled press ccnference.

    Now I have this only from a website I think Dave linked to here, but on the other hand there seems to be nothng supporting Biden’s version of events but that speech he gave to Council on Foreign Relations on January 23, 2018) and the chronology seems to be as follows:

    1. November 2015: Obama makes further loan guarantees coditional on reforms that are supposed to eliminate corruption.

    2. December 2015: Biden’s last trip to Kiev during this approximte time span.

    3. March, 2016: Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin is replaced. (by the way, Joe Biden has no special tole in approving his replacement – where did that come from?)

    4) Beginning of June 2016: The Ukrainian Parliament passes a package of anti-corruption legislation and the next day the $1 billion loan guarantee is made available, with the United States Ambassador to Ukraine formally signing them in Kyiv.

    It looks like Biden spiced up his speech with that (made up) anecdote.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

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