Patterico's Pontifications

9/25/2019

White House Releases Account of Trump’s Call with Ukraine President

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am



So the White House has released, not exactly a transcript, but a memo that purports to quote the parties in Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president.

It starts, as any extortion attempt would, with Trump reminding the Ukrainian leader of all the good things the United States does for Ukraine:

We Do Things for You

But could you do us a favor?

He starts the favor requests, not with Biden, but with CrowdStrike:

I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike. I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

Here is the screenshot:

CrowdStrike

This part of the call will be initially overlooked but may end up being significant. CrowdStrike was hired by the DNC to investigate the hacking of its servers and concluded that the hacking was the work of the Russians. James Comey testified in 2017: “Leading private cyber security firms including Crowdstrike, Mandiant and ThreatConnect reviewed the evidence of the hack and concluded with high certainty that it was the work of APT 28 and APT 29 who are known to be Russian intelligence services.” Conservatives have made much of the apparent fact that the FBI did not examine the hacked server, and thus intelligence services had to rely on the CrowdStrike analysis.

Was Trump trying to get Ukraine to second-guess CrowdStrike’s conclusion, thereby letting Russia off the hook for the hacking? That’s how it looks to me.

Now we get to the part about Biden. Trump asks Zelensky to take a call from Bug Eyes Rudy, who as we know was all about pressuring Ukraine over Biden. Trump mentions Biden and Biden’s son by name and asks “if you can look into it”:

I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.

Here are the screenshots.

Biden 1

Biden 2 at 900

The prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was actually anything but a good prosecutor. He was thought to be soft on corruption by pretty much the entire West. The world wanted him gone.

This call is exactly what I thought it would be.

And it’s impeachable.

Trump will never be removed from office before the 2020 election. The hack Republicans in the Senate have already made that very clear.

But he may, and should, be impeached.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

357 Responses to “White House Releases Account of Trump’s Call with Ukraine President”

  1. Interested in thoughts from non-Trumpalos about this CrowdStrike thing. Am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Ain’t it a shame that the president has to moonlight as an investigative journalist?

    Munroe (53beca)

  3. Based upon public statements by the former VP that he orchestrated the firing of a foreign government official by threatening to withhold aid, the President urged the new leader of that foreign government to contact the top US law enforcement official. The same is true of the statement concerning Crowdstrike.

    If that is an impeachable offense, how are Biden’s admitted actions not potentially criminal, even if he were correct about the efficacy and legitimacy of the Ukrainian prosecutor? And if they were potentially criminal, what Federal Agency should the new president of Ukraine to connect with to discuss the matter, if not the Justice Department?

    If this were a communication between any other president and a foreign leader, only flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers would suggest anything untoward.

    Personally, I think you’re assigning motive where there isn’t demonstrably any evident.

    Advocaat (2526e9)

  4. That acme rocket cycle will work this time

    Narciso (cf3695)

  5. Crowdstrike is the source that muellee relied on, its the linchpin of his cas

    Narciso (cf3695)

  6. Ain’t it a shame that the president has to moonlight as an investigative journalist?

    — because if there’s one thing we know about Donald Trump, it’s that he cares deeply about truth and factual accuracy in all things …

    LOL

    Radegunda (1ad3e8)

  7. Interested in thoughts from non-Trumpalos about this CrowdStrike thing. Am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Patterico (115b1f) — 9/25/2019 @ 8:08 am

    I think so.

    Trump sincerely believes it’s a witch hunt. CrowdStrike’s analysis was *the* keystone that ended up being that Mueller investigation.

    Can you say, with zero uncertainty, that CrowdStrike is on the “up an up” with this? An outfit with known Democrat Party influence?

    In other words, are you willing to take CrowdStrike’s credibility on that analysis, even though the FBI couldn’t investigate the hack, despite being the entity who would be infinitely better equipped to conduct.

    whembly (51f28e)

  8. 1. I don’t think it’s a nothing burger, but I trust Trump haters to blow it way out of proportion anyway. (No, I don’t mean you, Pat).

    Gryph (08c844)

  9. Ain’t it a shame that the president has to moonlight as an investigative journalist?

    More like a National Enquirer journalist, but what should that be surprising, he’s spouting lies, conspiracy theories, and asking for illegal favors, so that lines up with what his “friends” at the Enquirer do.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  10. 2. Do you know who Donald Trump really reminds me of? William Randolph Hearst. Anyone who understands that comparison knows that it is not flattering.

    Gryph (08c844)

  11. Crowdstrike has no idea what Trump is talking about, and it’s likely that Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about either.
    It’s also likely that Trump didn’t understand or read the Mueller, particularly the part about Putin’s “sweeping and systematic” meddling in an American on Trump’s behalf and the part about all those Russians being indicted for hacking DNC emails.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  12. @Patterico. I think I have it.

    The way different folks interpret this transcript will be impacted by how one views Barr’s investigation on the origin of the Russian-Trump investigation.

    If you think Barr’s investigation is a political cover for Trump – then you’ll have a view like your post here.

    If you think Barr’s investigation is simply to determine the origins of the Russian-Trump investigation to get a full accounting – then this transcript reads simply as the POTUS asking for help from a very eager head of state.

    What makes this ordeal rather difficult is the gutter politic aspect of this… that is, looking at the same even, partisans will use it as a crudgel to brow-beat their views, such that “good faith” analysis is hard to find.

    whembly (51f28e)

  13. Eh. Mueller report. American election.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  14. Pelosi reminds me of Patty Hearst.

    Munroe (53beca)

  15. What will thet how dare you sect try next?

    mg (8cbc69)

  16. Montagu:

    Per your Vice link, Trump believes CrowdStrike is a Ukrainian company. He apparently said that it was during an AP interview in 2017. I don’t know whether that makes Trump’s blather comprehensible, but it is an explanation. It may be that the CrowdStrike reference links back to Trump’s theory that the FBI never got proper access to a DNC server during a hack investigation and Trump is hoping Ukraine can somehow help out.

    Appalled (851b9f)

  17. One of the things that always puzzled me was why Trump tried to obstruct the Russia investigation when the evidence didn’t show he was involved. I have 3 theories
    1. He didn’t know what the investigation would find. He knew what he did but didn’t know what people around him (such as Manafort and Don Jr.) had done.
    2. He didn’t want anything to tarnish his win. Getting help from Russia diminished his accomplishment in his eyes. Being able to attack the analysis as flawed would continue to support this.
    3. He’s so used to being corrupt that it’s habitual.

    The only reason I can see to bring up Crowd strike is #2. The US gov confirmed their findings based on the images of the servers so rationally attacking Crowdstrike makes no sense. But I don’t think Trump’s base cares about that very much. Nor do I think Trump would be inhibited by facts. So if they came back with something he could send out in a tweet attacking Crowdstrike he would use it and like it.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  18. If that is an impeachable offense, how are Biden’s admitted actions not potentially criminal, even if he were correct about the efficacy and legitimacy of the Ukrainian prosecutor?

    Biden didn’t pressure Ukrainians investigate his American GOP rivals. Funny how such a basic concept seems to escape the grasp of Trump’s most loyal followers.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  19. Conservatives have made much of the apparent fact that the FBI did not examine the hacked server, and thus intelligence services had to rely on the CrowdStrike analysis.

    Emphasis mine.

    Here’s a daily beast pc on the FBI server investigation. Based on the information available i don’t think it’s accurate to say that FBI relied on the Crowdstike analysis since they did a separate analysis using the server images. I’m not clear if you’re saying conservatives think the FBI relied on Crowdstrike. Or if you’re saying Conservatives are upset because the FBI actually did rely on crowdstrike.

    Kenn White, a security expert and former DHS adviser, agreed that the FBI wouldn’t have expected direct access to DNC’s computers, “The FBI had one of the best cyber security firms in the world giving them forensics, and going in depth and reverse engineering to the byte level these implants and turning it over.”

    In some versions of the servergate conspiracy theory now espoused by Trump, nothing less than physical possession of the hardware will suffice, because Crowdstrike, a respected security firm helmed by a former senior FBI agent, might be part of the deep state’s efforts to frame Putin. White scoffs at that notion, noting that National Republican Congressional Committee is one of Crowdstrike’s customers.

    “I’ve done incident response for defense contractors and healthcare groups, this is all standard practice,” said White. “It’s completely defensible in terms of best practices and what was going on.”

    It’s also consistent with the Department of Justice’s electronic evidence manual, which recommends capturing images when practical even when the FBI is executing a search warrant against a uncooperative suspect. When the computers belong to a cooperating victim, seizing the machines is pretty much out of the question, said James Harris, a former FBI cybercrime agent who worked on a 2009 breach at Google that’s been linked to the Chinese government.

    Time123 (14b920)

  20. “Trump sincerely believes it’s a witch hunt…”

    Huh. I guess Hillary Clinton sincerely believed there was a vast conspiracy to take her down, too. Self-serving narccicists with no morals might sincerely believe a lot of things. The question is, how long to we allow such people to lead us.

    JRH (52aed3)

  21. Ain’t it a shame that the president has to moonlight as an investigative journalist?

    Trump is the best investigative journalist, the very best, way better any of those working for the Enemy of the People. Who can forget his Pulitzer-level twitter journalism, convincingly proving to everyone Obama’s birth in Kenya, but the Nobel people won’t give him an award for that. Very unfair.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  22. Time123 (b4d075) — 9/25/2019 @ 9:15 am

    4. He knew, rightly, that whether he cooperated or not the investigation would hamstring his administration for years — which was the whole point.

    Munroe (8715cf)

  23. “Trump sincerely believes it’s a witch hunt…”

    Huh. I guess Hillary Clinton sincerely believed there was a vast conspiracy to take her down, too. Self-serving narccicists with no morals might sincerely believe a lot of things. The question is, how long to we allow such people to lead us.

    JRH (52aed3) — 9/25/2019 @ 9:28 am

    It certainly explains their behaviors.

    Maybe we ought to disabuse ourselves the notion in looking at a politician as some sort of shining paragon of virtues, and instead make the calculus for your support to be based on whether or not said politicians can advance your preferred policies.

    whembly (51f28e)

  24. Burisma like crowdstrike are tied to the atlantic council, which have a whole interesting set of donor overlap with hillary.

    Narciso (24997a)

  25. Crowdstrike and the Ukraine(from March, 2017):

    WASHINGTON – U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has revised and retracted statements it used to buttress claims of Russian hacking during last year’s American presidential election campaign. The shift followed a VOA report that the company misrepresented data published by an influential British think tank.

    In December, CrowdStrike said it found evidence that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, contributing to heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with pro-Russian separatists.

    VOA reported Tuesday that the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which publishes an annual reference estimating the strength of world armed forces, disavowed the CrowdStrike report and said it had never been contacted by the company.

    Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also has stated that the combat losses and hacking never happened.

    https://www.voanews.com/usa/cyber-firm-rewrites-part-disputed-russian-hacking-report

    BuDuh (6d4cf5)

  26. Another key question that I have not heard a deep dive into is assertions like this one: “The prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was actually anything but a good prosecutor. He was thought to be soft on corruption by pretty much the entire West. The world wanted him gone.”
    I’ve read that a couple of the prosecutors that were under him did not like him, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the U.S. government, foreign investors all didn’t like him, the Brits wanted details to bolster their suspicions on money laundering by an oligarch and Shokin blocked those.
    To me, that’s not the deep dive it looks like from the surface. To me, it looks like a bunch of corruptocrats squealing that Shokin wasn’t working towards their end…. the real question that matters today is: why did Biden get involved in strong arming the Ukrainians to fire Shokin.

    If Trump is as dumb as the neverTrumpers here say, he has no more dirt on Biden in this matter. If Trump is smarter than given credit, he has a couple cards left to play.

    My guess is when the dust settles, Biden is crippled as a candidate and Trump provides evidence to the Senate that will keep him from being impeached.

    My other guess is Trump will go absolutely scorched earth on the Democrats to avoid impeachment in the Senate

    steveg (354706)

  27. Some might ask if Never Trumpers here ever ponder things. Like:

    (1), Will life be better if Trump is impeached? Will Democrats come to their senses and act rationally, patriotically, for the good of the US, –or simply start on impeaching Pence?

    Of course, you’ll stand up for Pence until he too is attacked, and then you’ll abandon him too.

    (2), Will the US be better if the US impeaches Trump? Will Iran and Russia be impressed by it all, or emboldened by it?

    (3) Will the programs Trump has tried to implement continue? A cap on endless uneducated and benefit hungry refugees; a stop to people pouring over the border, washing our hands of that Money Transfer Agreement, aka Paris Agreement?

    (4) who will replace Ginsburg? How stained will Kavanagh be? Will the left demand his removal? As a tainted” justice? Will it help or hurt the federalist society?

    (5) Will it ensure fairness in US political life? Or merely reward the left who will move past it, and move ahead with their agenda? From Anti Straw to AntiFa?

    “But,” say the NT’s (who are pure), “this is a matter of honesty and justice! We hold those higher than any party!”

    “Do you now?” some might ask, while pointing to the questions above. But also these:

    We all know that no justice is going meted out to Democrats who did what Manafort did; or who misused the FISA court; or to Lois lerner..

    One could even say that Never trumpers are enlisting in a partisan attack on the one man who has done more to advance the interests of the US than the NT’s ever have.

    By attacking Trump-with relish– like the unloosening of a cocked spring-SOME might say that you’re not different than pre-WWII intellectuals, who criticized Britain for its occupation of India, its treatment of colonials, etc.–and were pilloried by Orwell– for always being against the west for its sins, and not the communists for theirs.

    Some-not me of course but some– might even go so far as to compare you to the ministers and educators-safe and warm at home – who protested the bombing of Europe and Japan, while others did the hard work of wining the war (yes, yes, we’re not in a declared war, have some nuance, deal with the point)

    Some might even say that you are piling on the easiest target, instead assuming the effort of opposing that which ought to be opposed (the left).

    Some might also ask “Standing for truth and justice? Or just piling on when you should be standing back?”

    And some might say: “please don’t take an easy response like “if you don’t see the issues you’re beyond hope” etc. Just let us know what benefit you think you’re “preserving” or “defending” in piling on.”

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  28. From Kim Strassel of WSJ twatter thing:

    2)As to call transcript itself: Trump’s actual “favor” is that Ukraine look backward, to what happened in the 2016 election. This is a legitimate ask, since election meddling looks to have come from both Russia and Ukraine.

    4)It is actually Zelensky who brings up Rudy Giuliani—saying they can’t wait to “meet him.” And it is Zelensky who references “that investigation,” as he goes on to promise that “all investigations will be done openly and candidly.”

    6)Trump’s several references to Giuliani are mostly to say what a great guy he is. He says he will have Giuliani and AG Barr call. He asks Zelensky to speak/work with both.

    8)Meanwhile, the IG back in August referred this to DOJ as potential violation of campaign finance law, based on whistleblower complaint. Criminal Division evaluated and determined no violation: “All relevant components of the Department agreed with this legal conclusion.”

    10)Media got all this so wrong. And Democrats look all the more partisan and radical to have moved toward impeachment.

    — Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) September 25, 2019

    whembly (51f28e)

  29. Interested in thoughts from non-Trumpalos about this CrowdStrike thing. Am I barking up the wrong tree?

    We know that Trump is obsessive and petty to the point of caricature (and beyond), so I think you’re right about this.

    The sheer incoherence and unmitigated banality of his words is shocking and embarrassing. This is a man who lives in the cartoon world of a seven-year old.

    Dave (1bb933)

  30. Maybe we ought to disabuse ourselves the notion in looking at a politician as some sort of shining paragon of virtues, and instead make the calculus for your support to be based on whether or not said politicians can advance your preferred policies.

    Since that’s what got us to the dumpster-fire election of 2016, and the wet-fart of an administration that followed it, maybe we should pay more attention, rather than less, to the character of the people we put in office.

    Dave (1bb933)

  31. 29 or a man who is alert to the possibility of being wiretapped, or having the call leaked.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  32. “Maybe we ought to disabuse ourselves the notion in looking at a politician as some sort of shining paragon of virtues, and instead make the calculus for your support to be based on whether or not said politicians can advance your preferred policies.”

    Yep and that absolutely seems to be what the Dems did in the 90s and what Cons are doing now with Trump. I guess it’s all about what you can get away with. If Cons in the Senate are happy with Trump being able to use his office for personal political gain then I guess he will get away with it like Clinton did his BJs and lying.

    JRH (52aed3)

  33. (1), Will life be better if Trump is impeached? Will Democrats come to their senses and act rationally, patriotically, for the good of the US, –or simply start on impeaching Pence?Of course, you’ll stand up for Pence until he too is attacked, and then you’ll abandon him too.

    Probably not, and also probably won’t be impeaching Pence. So we shouldn’t be doing the right thing because of a hypothetical. Reality exists today. If Pence does tries to get Spain to investigate that old Indian lady to help him get elected, then maybe.

    (2), Will the US be better if the US impeaches Trump? Will Iran and Russia be impressed by it all, or emboldened by it?

    Undoubtedly yes.

    (3) Will the programs Trump has tried to implement continue? A cap on endless uneducated and benefit hungry refugees; a stop to people pouring over the border, washing our hands of that Money Transfer Agreement, aka Paris Agreement?

    It would stop his moronic impulses, personal corruption, immorality; and nothing he’s actually accomplished wouldn’t also be done by Pence, or any generic (R).

    (4) who will replace Ginsburg? How stained will Kavanagh be? Will the left demand his removal? As a tainted” justice? Will it help or hurt the federalist society?

    Any generic (R), Pence included, or are you saying Pence would put up some liberal. If Trump stays, (D)’s win in 2020.

    (5) Will it ensure fairness in US political life? Or merely reward the left who will move past it, and move ahead with their agenda? From Anti Straw to AntiFa?

    Ensure, no, it would absolutely allow for a higher probability of it.

    It’s like you think that if Trump is impeached, that a Democrat gets to be president, that isn’t how any of this works. Pence is VP, is he some liberal? He’s a basic b**tch midwestern (R), he’s more reliably conservative than Trump, he’s as exciting as oatmeal, but he’s fine…fine. It would also allow for a selection of a (R) candidate that is not a moron man-child, which is a plus.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  34. I’m don’t think of myself as a never trumer but I’m definitely not a fan. I’ll take a swing.

    (1), Will life be better if Trump is impeached? Will Democrats come to their senses and act rationally, patriotically, for the good of the US, –or simply start on impeaching Pence?

    No, best would be if he lost the 2020 election to Ted Cruze or Rand Paul. Less good would be losing to someone else, which is what I honestly think was going to happen.
    Impeaching him does nothing to discredit his White Nationalist corrupt and conspiracy theory heavy movement. But, if he did what he’s accused of doing and tried to extort the Ukrainian government into a politically motivated prosecution of a rival he should be impeached. It’s not idea, but it is necessary by law.
    Of course, you’ll stand up for Pence until he too is attacked, and then you’ll abandon him too.
    Pence, while not great IMO on policy would be much better.

    (2), Will the US be better if the US impeaches Trump? Will Iran and Russia be impressed by it all, or emboldened by it?

    I doubt it will make much difference with Iran. I think it would be better for Russia to have Trump in office. I don’t care if we impress them or not. Seems like a silly thing to worry about to me. YMMV

    (3) Will the programs Trump has tried to implement continue? A cap on endless uneducated and benefit hungry refugees; a stop to people pouring over the border, washing our hands of that Money Transfer Agreement, aka Paris Agreement?

    I doubt Pence will deviate much on either immigration or climate change.

    (4) who will replace Ginsburg? How stained will Kavanagh be? Will the left demand his removal? As a tainted” justice? Will it help or hurt the federalist society?

    Not sure how impeachment impacts any of this.

    (5) Will it ensure fairness in US political life? Or merely reward the left who will move past it, and move ahead with their agenda? From Anti Straw to AntiFa?

    If he did what he’s accused of doing and tried to extort the Ukrainian government into a politically motivated prosecution of a rival he should be impeached. I’m fine with that precedent. I don’t see that good/bad for the left/right in the short term is the primary question. If one result of this is Republicans growing a converts zeal about corruption, as in actual corruption and not just a tool for short term gain it would be fantastic.

    We all know that no justice is going meted out to Democrats who did what Manafort did; or who misused the FISA court; or to Lois lerner.

    GOP had the presidency and congress for 2 years. They did NOTHING about the FISA court or Lois Lerner. I don’t think they actually are about these things. As for Manafort, feel free to investigate what corrupt Clinton creature you like. As long as you follow due process I’m fine with it.

    One could even say that Never trumpers are enlisting in a partisan attack on the one man who has done more to advance the interests of the US than the NT’s ever have.

    One could also say that Trump is lazy, and accomplished very little outside of judges and de-regulation. One could also say that If he did what he’s accused of doing and tried to extort the Ukrainian government into a politically motivated prosecution of a rival he should be impeached.

    Some might even say that you are piling on the easiest target, instead assuming the effort of opposing that which ought to be opposed (the left).

    I’ll bet you a 100$ donation to charity I can find a dozen posts on this site showing Patterico vigorously attacking the left. Will you take the bet?

    Some might also ask “Standing for truth and justice? Or just piling on when you should be standing back?”

    If he did what he’s accused of doing and tried to extort the Ukrainian government into a politically motivated prosecution of a rival he should be impeached.

    I answered all your questions as best I could.

    I have a 3 for you
    1. If he did what he’s accused of doing and tried to extort the Ukrainian government into a politically motivated prosecution of a rival by withholding aid that had been approved by congress should he be impeached?
    2. Do you feel the information currently available creates a reasonable suspicion that this happened? If not, what additional information is needed before you think the suspicion is reasonable?
    3. Do you honestly believe Trump was motivated by a desire to reduce corruption and not by personal gain in his conversation with the Ukraine?

    Time123 (b4d075)

  35. What was the urgency, that precluded legitimate investigations of long standing. I want to see the complaint because just like the comey memos they likely lied.

    Narciso (24997a)

  36. maybe we should pay more attention, rather than less, to the character of the people we put in office

    .

    This used to be conservative gospel. It was once argued that character matters because any leadership role brings unforeseen challenges and choices that cannot all be boiled down to a set of “policies” that are stated upfront, and character gives us some indication of how a leader might handle those unforeseeable challenges.

    Character also tells us whether a leader might abuse the public trust or use public power for personal interest. It may be that “all politicians lie” from time to time, but having a president who barely recognizes a difference between “truth” and “what benefits me” is a whole different territory. It may be that most politicians are tempted by the opportunities for self-dealing, but it boggles the mind how anyone could have thought the swamp was going to be drained by someone so overtly self-serving as Donald Trump.

    Radegunda (1ad3e8)

  37. There was a fraud presented to the fisa court, it was furthered in the intel assessmenf that strzok helped shape, the source was a partisan funded foreign operation, that moonlit for russian oligarchs

    Narciso (24997a)

  38. We have the firsr acquittal in flynns businesspartner, that was what they held over him.

    Narciso (24997a)

  39. Well, Trump will never win a Nobel Prize, but hey we could put him on Mount Rushmore. It would be a simple task, just carve a dunce hat on a mountain.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  40. @36. Yes. Conservatives have always said that moral virtue is one of their values, unless I am mistaken. Embracing Trump represents a rejection of one of the basic tenets of conservatism.

    And I kind of get it. I think people were tired of low key lying from politicians. I mean lets face it all Presidents lie to some degree. And all benefit from the office to some degree. Trump took these qualities and dialed them up to 11. If you can’t beat em join em, I guess was the calculus.

    JRH (52aed3)

  41. links back to Trump’s theory that the FBI never got proper access to a DNC server during a hack investigation

    Which, like all of Trump’s theories, recited breathlessly by his cultists, is complete horsesh*t.

    The FBI got full access to the backup tapes of the server’s disks. Since the hacking was not accomplished by physical compromise of the hardware, inspection of the server itself could have revealed NOTHING beyond what was contained in the disk archives.

    Dave (1bb933)

  42. One should look before one leaos into the pool, beside zelensky is in town you can enbarass yourself further

    Narciso (24997a)

  43. Obama provided no heavy weapons to ukraine unlike the ones the syrian rebels that ended up in the hands of al queda.

    Narciso (24997a)

  44. links back to Trump’s theory that the FBI never got proper access to a DNC server during a hack investigation

    Which, like all of Trump’s theories, recited breathlessly by his cultists, is complete horsesh*t.

    The FBI got full access to the backup tapes of the server’s disks. Since the hacking was not accomplished by physical compromise of the hardware, inspection of the server itself could have revealed NOTHING beyond what was contained in the disk archives.

    Dave (1bb933) — 9/25/2019 @ 10:29 am

    Dave, the problem with the server images was that the FBI got it way after the analysis done by Cloudstrike. It’s a bit of a red herring as the real issue is the timing of the ‘chain of custody’. It may be nothing… but still isn’t necessarily all kosher.

    whembly (51f28e)

  45. So if a certain candidate has great moral virtues, is kind to children and small animals, loves his wife, never cheated, never said a discouraging word, however truly, in his heart, sincerely believed that socialism will do the most good for the most people, such a candidate should be favored by truly conservative people rather than say someone who believes in capitalism, opposes “price gouging” laws, is (mostly) pro-life, has had a series of affairs (perhaps just in the past), has been known to drink like say John Tower, uses exceptionally salty language, and couldn’t hit the spitoon if his life depended on it?

    PTw (894877)

  46. Jay Nordlinger reminds us that the guy we’re supposed to be fighting to defend is the guy who thought George W. Bush should have been impeached over his handling of the Iraq War but also thought that Bill Clinton’s perjury, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering were no big deal.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  47. Trump took these qualities and dialed them up to 11. If you can’t beat em join em, I guess was the calculus.

    What’s weird is that even while Trump fans were making that kind of argument — e.g. “nice guys never got us anywhere, so we need someone who can fight dirty” – they were simultaneously arguing that we can totally trust Trump to serve the people’s interest; that he would always “tell it like it is”; that he might “exaggerate” but never actually lie to us; that he was the very best person to clean up Washington because he knows firsthand how the self-dealing game works; that he’s motivated by the purest love of country.

    While they say “We knew we were voting for a flawed man,” they get irate when anyone else speaks of his flaws and sins and general dishonesty.

    And if anyone notices that Trump’s pronouncements and behavior have become increasingly bizarre … well, it’s that person is manifesting “derangement”!

    Radegunda (1ad3e8)

  48. @45 No. That’s a silly hypothetical. Although either choice would be better than the 2020 Dem field.

    Time123 (14b920)

  49. I have to admit to being a Trumpster on a gut level, which makes it a struggle to stay rational and fair. That said, there’s something about the outrage over Trump’s obvious attempt to bully the Ukraine into investigating both Biden and Crowdstrike that doesn’t feel right. For more than two years, most of the people now claiming that Trump has really crossed the line with the Ukraine were also flogging the Russia collusion theory. Once that theory was disproved (or failed to gain traction, or was exposed as being largely speculative, whatever you want to call it) the move now is to attack Trump over the Ukraine, a country that he has provided aid to, which must have displeased his putative master Putin. This all has the feel of, say anything to get Trump!

    Also obviously the “most of the people” mentioned above does not include Patterico and a number of commenters here, whose honesty and conviction I don’t question, who regularly criticize Trump. But I’d like to be enlightened — why don’t we dismiss the Ukraine issue as “politics ain’t beanbag”? How is what Trump did different from the sort of score-settling that we know always goes on in politics? What am I missing?

    RL formerly in Glendale (40f5aa)

  50. the guy who thought George W. Bush should have been impeached over his handling of the Iraq War but also thought that Bill Clinton’s perjury, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering were no big deal.

    And the guy who, a few years ago, wondered if a president (i.e. Obama) might be impeached for “gross incompetence.”
    Now he thinks impeachment is a totally unprecedented notion, and evil to boot.

    Radegunda (1ad3e8)

  51. Now when an o’rourke contributor at the irs leaked tax records when a feinstein reporter slipped…a fisa file to a reporter, that is tilting the scales.

    Narciso (24997a)

  52. 34-excellent. Excellent. I don’t think pence would be anything but crippled, as Ford was, but that was a splendid response.

    “I have a 3 for you
    1. If he did what he’s accused of doing and tried to extort the Ukrainian government into a politically motivated prosecution of a rival by withholding aid that had been approved by congress should he be impeached?
    -NO
    2. Do you feel the information currently available creates a reasonable suspicion that this happened?
    -(wiggles shoulders uncomfortably, YES)
    3. Do you honestly believe Trump was motivated by a desire to reduce corruption and not by personal gain in his conversation with the Ukraine?

    -50/50: I don’t believe that Mueller’s people were devoid of a desire to “get Trump” either. But the presence of some overlapping sordid motive, does not erase a legitimate concern: here, that too many damn US politicians are taking foreign money, personally or via family. And one good place to start ending that is with a kid I am told was expelled from the Navy, and somehow wound up -like a regular guy-with a 50K a month position in the Ukraine, and a $1 billion fund in China.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  53. Narc,

    There is no conspiracy theory that makes Trump’s conduct with the Ukraine’s leader appropriate.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  54. @40 I think it was more to do with ‘owning the libs’ and getting back social status for their tribe. Combine that with a belief that the system is rigged against them and trump looks pretty good. A lot of it makes more sense if you assume trump’s strongest supporters are primarily motivated by showing superiority over people they feel haven’t shown them sufficient respect as a group.

    Look at many (not all) of the comments on this thread and count how many could be summarized as “The other side is bad, so this is OK.”

    Time123 (14b920)

  55. That’s a silly hypothetical.

    It’s a hypothetical. Not sure why it’s “silly”. There are such people in the world, are there not? I’ve known many heart-of-gold leftists. And more than a few SOB conservatives. Not everyone I like to drink beer with should be president and just because I don’t like a guy’s specific morals (to a degree) doesn’t mean he’s crap at his job.

    PTw (894877)

  56. The sheer incoherence and unmitigated banality of his words is shocking and embarrassing. This is a man who lives in the cartoon world of a seven-year old.

    I think it’s more like 11-year old, as I coach 5th grade peewee football. 70% of their dialog is trolling.

    The FBI got full access to the backup tapes of the server’s disks. Since the hacking was not accomplished by physical compromise of the hardware, inspection of the server itself could have revealed NOTHING beyond what was contained in the disk archives.

    Also, the DNC “server” was a virtual server sprayed across 140 servers, you know, the cloud, with the mail stores sprayed over virtual disks in a SAN storage pool, hosted in an vendor provided data center managed by a 3rd party. So there was never an option for a “physical server”. The image is the server, the backups are the server. This isn’t some miracled new tech, that was SOP a decade ago. Having access to your Dell to track down the hack is pure CSI TV drama, it’s unrelated to reality. The DNC was woefully unprepared, and should have just outsourced it to Microsoft.

    But of course, look at Podesta and his spearfished password, Colin Powell too, if some bad actor tricks you into giving them the login and password, that bypasses basic security. They should have been using 2 factor, at least, live and learn I guess, other people have lived and learned that lesson, in 1996, but whatever

    Now there was a different server for Hillary Clinton’s emails (that’s different than the DNC of course, why’d we assume Trump knows the difference) that started out as a physical server when she was SoS, but that migrated to a hosted image as well by the time of that data breach.

    The biggest problem with the whole argument was assuming the premise upon which it was built was valid, and it wasn’t, so building a conspiracy on a false assumption is just another problem with this whole Trump phenomena.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  57. Prediction, if Trump is impeached before the end of the year he will be convicted in the Senate. He will be far too damaged to lead the GOP in 2020.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  58. At every step of the way, there has been a partisan political figure from steele to strzok to comey to mueller to his staff, then you have the leaks fron the irs from thr intel committee

    Narciso (24997a)

  59. Second prediction: Everyone who hates what Trump was trying to do (shut down illegal immigration and fight for American interests in a Globalist world) will hate his successor more. The idea that impeaching Trump will lead back to the status quo ante is a silly one. Picture instead a smart, competent Republican carrying out the Trump agenda.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  60. HFM, thank you for the reply. The point I’d like to follow up on is this

    1. If he did what he’s accused of doing and tried to extort the Ukrainian government into a politically motivated prosecution of a rival by withholding aid that had been approved by congress should he be impeached?
    -NO

    To me it’s like this.
    -Congress allocated funds for Ukraine to use in their defense against Russia. (A policy I support BTW)
    -The President’s oath of office requires that he carry out the disbursement of these funds. I’m sure he’s given some latitude based on legitimate issues. Extorting a personal favor is an illegitimate issue. That the favor appears to be significant and corrupt in several ways makes it much worse.

    A president that violates their oath of office in a corrupt way, to further their own ambitions should be impeached.

    (FWIW i think Obama should have been impeached of his Executive order on DACA, but no one asked me)

    Do you say No because you don’t feel this issue is significant enough to justify that remedy? Is it more along the lines of lines of party loyalty? A tactical trade off for judges / other worthy ends? Or something else? If a Dem president did a similar thing would you say it was OK?

    Time123 (14b920)

  61. BTW, why don’t the Democrat’s repeated attempts to get Ukraine to investigate Trump and his minions rise to the level of a crime?

    And perhaps that Ukraine prosecutor had to go, but why did Biden have to be the messenger when his son was involved?

    There seems to be some hypocrisy here.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  62. @55, I think it’s silly because it’s a false choice. I mean, i’ll take the conservative in that scenario. But if she spits chew on the ground during the state of the union I’m going to criticize her for being a pig, and in a world full of people who bring the good stuff, without the bad, i’m not going to pretend she’s awesome.

    Time123 (14b920)

  63. Second prediction: Everyone who hates what Trump was trying to do (shut down illegal immigration and fight for American interests in a Globalist world) will hate his successor more. The idea that impeaching Trump will lead back to the status quo ante is a silly one. Picture instead a smart, competent Republican carrying out the Trump agenda.

    Heck, they could have just taken yes as the answer from the Dems way back when the Republicans had the house and immigration reform, and $30B in wall funding, would have been something, almost 2 years ago.

    Trump is nothing if not consistent, even with a tiny johnson, he steps on it at every opportunity.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  64. I am willing to bet that we could impeach each and every president of a crime if we had a recording of all his phone calls. Such as the guy who said that he’d be more flexible wet the Russians after he got past his re-election, or the same guy who JAILED someone to cover his lie about Benghazi, or the guy who nominated a known tax cheat to be Treasury Secretary..

    You can call this whaddaboutism, or you can admit that the book is thrown at some people and not others.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  65. 61 — There’s some hypocrisy on both sides. But too many people on “my side” are essentially declaring their own hypocrisy to be in the service of truth and goodness.

    Radegunda (1ad3e8)

  66. declaring their own hypocrisy to be in the service of truth and goodness.

    ALL hypocrisy is in the service of truth and goodness.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  67. You can call this whaddaboutism, or you can admit that the book is thrown at some people and not others.

    Trump takes normal, so 5 or 6, and turns it up to 11. But he’s a moron, so things that others do with diplomacy and subtlety, he does stupidly, blatantly and indiscreetly, in the worst possible way.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  68. I think it’s silly because it’s a false choice.

    How is it a false choice? I’m not understanding that. It’s a hypothetical, so “false choice” is pretty much implied. But it’s not silly. Except maybe for the tobacco bit. God forgive me for making a tiny little joke. To latch onto that would be a cop-out. But you would take the conservative. OK. I understand your position a little bit more. Though I’d be curious about some others here.
    Do you understand mine?

    PTw (894877)

  69. And there is no guarantee this is the end of Trump’s troubles. Melania could show up tomorrow with a black eye…

    Kevin M (19357e)

  70. But he’s a moron, so things that others do with diplomacy and subtlety, he does stupidly, blatantly and indiscreetly, in the worst possible way.

    And your point?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  71. ‘… and it’s impeachable…’

    Oh, hell, P– any number of events, particularly Helsinki, can be pegged a “impeachable.” He’s gonna beat the raps; it’s his life history. Besides, ‘country over party’ is not a ‘GOP family value’ these days in Senateland.

    Still, “transcripts” of Biden’s Ukraine call[s]and justifications for Kid Hunter’s peculiar qualifications for an oil and gas gig– and subsequent enrichment– would be revealing.

    ___________

    @#57. Prediction: Capitalist Trump will defeat Socialist Warren in the general.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  72. Patterico,

    Can you shed some light on the distinction that you make between a transcript and a memorandum? I looked at the Scribd document, which is in fact a memorandum. But, the content of that memo appears to be a complete transcript of the telephone conversation. So what, legally, is the distinction?

    Thanks.

    JoeH (f94276)

  73. BTW, why don’t the Democrat’s repeated attempts to get Ukraine to investigate Trump and his minions rise to the level of a crime?

    Because there hasn’t been any evidence that they misused their powers as elected officials to do so. Nor that they accepted the information as a gift/thing of value. AFAIK you can hire foreign nationals to work for your campaign, but they can’t give you anything of value for free.

    So if Trump had hired a PI or sent Rudy, his personal lawyer, to the Ukraine as a private citizen to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden it would have been legal. If Rudy had refrained from leaning on his proximity to the president it could also have been ethical. But even if that had been used to open doors it wouldn’t have necessarily been that big a deal.

    Where it crossed the line was in using his power as president to accomplish the same thing. If (and we don’t know this for sure) he was refusing to do his duty in executing a properly passed appropriation it’s even worse.

    Again, Trump is a complete moron. Another thing he could have done was appoint a prosecutor, someone with a good reputation for honesty and impartiality, to investigate corruption by family members of elected official and foreign countries. He could have tasked them to come back not just with indictments but with recommendations for laws that might prevent corrupt behavior that is currently legal. This would almost certainly have impacted members of both political parties, but I’m fine with getting rid of the scummy bastards regardless of party. But he didn’t do that. He specifically targeted just 1 country and 1 person.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  74. I want to see the complaint, what else did the whistler lie about, as well as what was told to dilanian and co, you can sell him half the brooklyn bridge

    Narciso (24997a)

  75. It seems to me some historical context is necessary.
    ▪ In 1994, the US and other nations stood behind the Budapest Memorandum, signed by Ukraine and the Russian Federation, where Ukraine gave all of their atomic bombs to Russia in exchange for Russia guaranteeing Ukrainian sovereignty. The agreement was affirmed in a 1997 treaty between the two nations.
    ▪ In late 2013, the Maidan protests came into flux, with protesters opposing Yanukovych (a Putin stooge) and his efforts at moving Ukraine away from the EU and toward Putin’s Dictators’ Club.
    ▪ Paul Manafort worked for Yanukovych and his Party of Regions, collecting millions in under-the-table “fees”. One of Manafort’s chief aides, Konstantin Kilimnik, is a Russian spy. In effect, Manafort was a one-degree-removed agent for Putin, for taking checks from pro-Putin hacks and for palling around with Kilimnik.
    ▪ In early 2014, Yanokuvych fled his office and fled his country, landing in Russia, thus avoiding arrest and prison for his corruption. Putin was not happy.
    ▪ Donald J. Trump has had warm feelings toward Putin for awhile.
    ▪ In February 2014, Paul Manafort lost his lucrative gig when his client, the pro-Putin Party of Regions, was ousted from power.
    ▪ Literally days after the Sochi Olympics, Putin welshed on the Budapest Memoradum and 1997 treaty by invading the Crimean region of Ukraine and, not long after, annexed this Ukrainian territory into Russia via phoney baloney referendum. The last person to invade and annex the sovereign territory of neighboring nation-state was Saddam Hussein.
    ▪ At the same time, Putin launched a massive propaganda/disinformation campaign about Ukraine, and it’s still ongoing. Polygraph.info can hardly keep up.
    ▪ Not long after taking the Crimean region of Ukraine, Putin launched an effort to take eastern Ukraine, and that little war is still festering. Spending-wise, the Russian military is literally eighteen times larger than the Ukrainian military ($66.3 billion versus $3.6 billion).
    ▪ Obama’s reaction to all this was half-assed, starting with his people calling Putin’s invasion an “uncontested arrival“. He finally got on board with sanctions, but he could’ve done much more.
    ▪ Around that time, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, headed by Zlochevsky, a pro-Putin oligarch who lost his job in the Yanukovych government because of the popular revolution.
    ▪ After the popular revolution, Poroshenko was elected yet the country was still beset with corruption.
    ▪ The corruption was so bad that it caught the attention of the US Ambassador and eventually Joe Biden, who told the Ukrainian government in March 2016 that we would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless their chief prosecutor, Shokin, was sacked.
    ▪ Shokin’s replacement, Lutsenko, was little better.
    ▪ It was well known in March 2016 that Trump had warm feelings toward Putin.
    ▪ Also in March 2016, Manafort joined the Trump campaign and was promoted to campaign chair three months later.
    ▪ Ukrainian-American Alexandra Chalupa worked for the DNC but left in mid-2016. She asked for and received information from the Ukrainian embassy on Manafort, Russia and Trump. There is no evidence of a conspiracy by Ukrainian leadership to meddle in an American election.
    ▪ Manafort resigned as campaign chair after a Ukrainian politician-journalist made public a “black ledger”, showing the millions Manafort received under the table from pro-Putin stooges.
    ▪ Trump wins the election. Did I mention that he has warm feelings toward Putin?
    ▪ From 2017 forward, Ukraine has been in a hard place. They’re fighting a bitter war in the eastern part of the country–with Putin providing materiel, rubles and personnel–and a bitter propaganda war against this same Russian dictator. But, at the same time, they need to maintain good relations with the new Trump administration, whose leader has warm feelings toward Putin.
    ▪ The United has the most powerful economy and military in human history. The Ukrainian military is 0.6% the size of the US military, spendingwise, and the Ukrainian economy ranks somewhere between the Las Vegas and Sacramento MSAs.
    ▪ When the president of the most powerful nation in human history calls the president of a small nation such as Ukraine, then a president like Zelensky will likely take a “favor” as a directive, especially when the American president is so mercurial and glandular, and especially when his personal attorney is sniffing around, looking for a scandal to pin on Trump’s chief political rival.
    ▪ Trump’s warm feelings toward Putin are unabated. Just a short time ago, Trump wanted the G-7 to be the G-8, with Russia being the lucky #8.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  76. Eight Democratic US Senators wrote to the Ukrainian General Prosecutor in May 2018 asking for his help in investigating—

    Can you guess? Hint he has orange hair.

    https://t.co/RXkZrrLGIX?amp=1

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  77. Prediction, if Trump is impeached before the end of the year he will be convicted in the Senate.

    I can’t believe we’d be so lucky.

    The one glimmer of hope is (as always) Trump’s pathological stupidity. He was documented as trying to obstruct Mueller’s investigation at least ten times. He does not act rationally ever, but especially not when he feels threatened and out of control.

    So the stress of impeachment may well lead him to do even more blatantly criminal and/or crazy things. Hopefully not involving nuclear weapons, but I think we should be prepared for anything.

    Dave (1bb933)

  78. This will accelerate the beginning of the end…

    For the Biden.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  79. ^the Biden campaign.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  80. PTw, sorry if i was being rude. I didn’t mean to be. I was trying to carry on the joke by having the Conservative be a women who spit chew on the floor during the state of the union. 😀

    Here’s what I meant by false choice.

    A false dilemma is a type of informal fallacy in which something is falsely claimed to be an “either/or” situation, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The false dilemma fallacy can also arise simply by accidental omission of additional options rather than by deliberate deception.

    I mean, it’s a matter of degree. If we start making the Conservative worse eventually I have to switch my pick. If the way that they’re bad does lasting damage to the country or policy goals i value it happens quicker.

    If you’ve got a hard working Libertarian candidate that has the skills to roll back the regulatory state though legislative changes I’m okay if they cheat on their wife, it’s a matter of character but not a public matter. If they’ll also fix the budget they can cheat on her with Goats, consensual goats of course.

    But if they make our already corrupt system more corrupt I’m out.

    Time123 (14b920)

  81. Can you shed some light on the distinction that you make between a transcript and a memorandum? I looked at the Scribd document, which is in fact a memorandum. But, the content of that memo appears to be a complete transcript of the telephone conversation. So what, legally, is the distinction?

    A transcript is a human person, or a good machine, translating the call word for word. Which this is not.

    A memorandum, which this is, is the conversation reconstructed from the notes and memories of the participants.

    Do you believe the actual words spoken would be more or less favorable when colored by the memory of Trump’s own people? Who knows, we do know that privately some (most?) of recognize he’s a moron, an f–ing moron to some previous folk. So do they make it seem better or worse for him, and what does Mulvaney do with the draft?

    This is what it is, damning, that Trump thinks it vindicates him is…challenging to a belief he’s mentally competent, he’s not.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  82. Manafort was working for the hapsburg group which hired kwasnievski to lobby european leaders, hes also on burismas board, apter from merrill morgan and renaissance capital.

    Narciso (24997a)

  83. #73: So, what you are saying is that ethics laws don’t actually prevent unethical dealings, they just require crooks to follow the proper formalities. If it seems I’m contemptuous of this portion of the law, well, maybe I am.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  84. Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e) — 9/25/2019 @ 9:48 am

    This reminds me of conversations that partisan Democrats were having 21 years ago, when Clinton was facing impeachment. All you have to do is switch a few words around…
    (1) Will life be better if Clinton is impeached? Will Republicans come to their senses and act rationally, patriotically, for the good of the US, –or simply start on impeaching Gore?
    Of course, you’ll stand up for Gore until he too is attacked, and then you’ll abandon him too.
    (2) Will the US be better if the US impeaches Clinton? Will China and Iran be impressed by it all, or emboldened by it?
    (3) Will the programs Clinton has tried to implement continue? Etc.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  85. for the Biden campaign.

    I can’t see how Biden comes out of this without serious damage. But Warren was going to be the nominee anyway.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  86. So, what you are saying is that ethics laws don’t actually prevent unethical dealings, they just require crooks to follow the proper formalities. If it seems I’m contemptuous of this portion of the law, well, maybe I am.

    Fundamentally that’s true, if you are trying to get a specific outcome, how you get to it matters.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  87. Thanks, Colonel Klink. In the future I should read the footnotes, especially when they are labeled “CAUTION”!

    JoeH (f94276)

  88. A false choice is:

    Either you are for Trump or your for Communists. THis supposes that there is no one who could replace Trump who is not a Communist. For at lest the next 6 months, it’s a false choice as some other Republican could challenge Trump.

    OTOH, I’m still waiting for one.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  89. *you’re

    GAH

    Kevin M (19357e)

  90. Fundamentally that’s true, if you are trying to get a specific outcome, how you get to it matter

    Yet another section of the Lawyers Full Employment Act.

    “The forms must be obeyed”

    — Dune

    Kevin M (19357e)

  91. The Gang Who Couldn’t Collude Straight

    Trump’s White House accidentally emails its Ukraine transcript talking points memo … to House Democrats.

    Dave (1bb933)

  92. Which one william ‘sweeney todd’ weld, joe ‘bananas’ walsh, mark ‘appalachian trail’ sanford.

    Narciso (24997a)

  93. The only way you can them out there.

    Narciso (24997a)

  94. #84

    If Clinton had resigned, his wife would not likely have been as important a figure in the Democratic party. And Gore stood a good chance of reelection in 2000, putting him in charge at 9-11, and probably not engaging in Iraq.

    So, in 2016, Sen Clinton is not the all dominating figure in the Dem primaries. And the GOP is not consumed with anti Bush rage aand anti Clinton rage.

    And…we don’t have a Donald Trup presidency. His TV show would be ending his successful run, and he would be divorcing Melania for a You-Tube influencer with a really great bod.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  95. Clinton cut defense and intelligence when al queda was on the march, he started the subprime bubble with the cra revisions, justice and hud. Hsame justice employed consent decrees against police departments

    Narciso (24997a)

  96. Alex Griswold
    @HashtagGriswold
    CNN in this clip excises 540 words in between “I would like you to do us a favor” and his mention of Biden’s son ”
    __ _

    The Cheese
    @thecheesefeed
    They didn’t even use ellipses (…) to denote the 540 word gap in the transcript. That’s literally the same as rewriting it.

    _

    Wonder why CNN doesn’t feel the real thing is strong enough.
    _

    harkin (58d012)

  97. So the stress of impeachment may well lead him to do even more blatantly criminal and/or crazy things. Hopefully not involving nuclear weapons, but I think we should be prepared for anything.

    There was recently a blog post somewhere about Stansilav Petrov, who said he wasn’t really a hero but just the right person there at the critical moment. He kept his wits and applied rational analysis to the facts at hand – before setting off a global catastrophe.

    While I’m not too worried that Trump will cause nuclear Armageddon, it’s abundantly clear that he utterly lacks the kind of calm temper and clear judgment that Petrov displayed.

    Radegunda (1ad3e8)

  98. Seeing as clinton failed to target ubl in 1996, at tarnak farms i dont they would have done anything more than a few cruise missiles.

    Narciso (24997a)

  99. You forget ted kennedy was colluding with andropov and chernenko at the time, the others like biden panetta kerry were repeating nuclear freeze propaganda.

    Narciso (24997a)

  100. Dont get me atarted at how many treasonous democrats should have hung from a jibbet add chris dodd ft worthless jim wright, tom red harkin, dodd was center square in the subprime scam

    Narciso (24997a)

  101. #73: So, what you are saying is that ethics laws don’t actually prevent unethical dealings, they just require crooks to follow the proper formalities. If it seems I’m contemptuous of this portion of the law, well, maybe I am.
    Kevin M (19357e) — 9/25/2019 @ 11:38 am

    No. What I’m saying is that it’s not illegal to purchase goods and services at a fair price from a foreign country to further a presidential campaign. It is illegal for them to give you those good or services.

    So in this case if you PAY for information that’s OK.
    If the Ukrainian government GIVES you the information that’s NOK.
    If the Ukrainian government gives you the information because you’re withholding military aid that’s REALY NOK.

    Let’s make it simpler.

    You can hire a British guy to be a campaign advisor. Or you can buy food from Mexico to use at a fund raiser. Or you can hire a Russian PI to do some investigative work.
    You can’t accept those thing for free because that could put you into the debt.

    Philosophically the law can’t prevent all unethical behavior, though it tries, often too much. In this realm i think the law doesn’t go nearly far enough and isn’t enforced enough. But YMMV

    Time123 (14b920)

  102. 67:
    “But he’s a moron, so things that others do with diplomacy and subtlety, he does stupidly, blatantly and indiscreetly, in the worst possible way.”

    “Others do?” Like what? Not one GOP “Oh my god! The media is angry! What can I do to appease them!?” was proposing to do or would have tried to pull from Paris Agrt., close the border,, cap refugees, etc.

    if you mean immaterial pandering, then you’re right: he’s not one of those. His value is that he fights for the right things, and he is not deterred by worries that some professor, pundit, or junior journalist at WaPo might not like it.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  103. PTw, sorry if i was being rude. I didn’t mean to be. I was trying to carry on the joke by having the Conservative be a women who spit chew on the floor during the state of the union.

    NP. I wasn’t really sure but we cool.

    If we start making the Conservative worse eventually I have to switch my pick.

    OK, this is what I was getting at. Not that it’s a false choice but there is some point where the personality of the conservative is soooo severely bad that you would be willing to risk putting the country in the hands of a socialist. I am again reminded of the C. S. Lewis quote:

    “Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under the omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    But that’s just me.

    PTw (b7169d)

  104. In the last administration 20 million opm records were compromised to china, agent networks were lost in china and iran, russia hacked the exchanges,

    Narciso (24997a)

  105. 26 cont’d

    If Trump is as dumb as the neverTrumpers here say, he has no more dirt on Biden in this matter. If Trump is smarter than given credit, he has a couple cards left to play.

    Giuliani claims he has more. Now that may be an exploding cigar.

    I think he does think there’s more, because Rudy Giuliani told him there was. There’s a whole can of worms that’s hardly been opened about Hunter Biden and China. But it’s also that Trump probably feels that to defend himself he’s got to go all out on Biden, acting more certain than he really really is.

    Trump will go scorched earth on Biden until and unless he falls flat on his feet. Trump is now saying that Biden is one of the most corrupt politicians.

    Now in 2018 Biden had this to say about his net worth:

    I had—you know, I—when I did my financial disclosure as vice president, the headline in the paper was it’s probable no man has ever assumed the office of vice president with fewer assets than Joe Biden. (Laughter.) I assume they weren’t speaking intellectual assets. (Laughter.)

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  106. They hired a burnt british spy, who no one would willingly collaborate soecially surkov or other oligarch, re the kavalec memo.

    Narciso (24997a)

  107. @73. No, the ‘morons’ are those who actually believe ‘nobody is above the law’ in America and ‘rule of law’ is some equally applied holy standard of some kind.

    Felicity Huffman will do more time than Donald Trump ever will. And more than Richard Nixon ever did.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  108. Some of this was just dropped into Giuliani’s hands:

    https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/denzel-washington-on-the-club-that-made-him-the-man-he-is-today

    This began with someone coming to me saying, this information can clear your client about the corruption in Ukraine between the Ukraine, the Democratic Party, the ambassador, and the FBI agent who investigated the case.

    And who is Giuliani to look a gift horse in the mouth?

    The Kyiv Posdt mentions two people who were involved in steering Giuliani to sources:

    It turns out that Giuliani used some help from two Soviet-born Florida businessmen, an investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Buzzfeed found.

    The two men are well-connected in Republican circles and have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican causes and pro-Trump groups.

    Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman set up meetings for Giuliani with Ukrainian officials, including Shokin, Nazar Kholodnytsky, head of the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, and Lutsenko, the OCCRP reported.

    They also unsuccessfully tried to organize a meeting for Giuliani with Zelensky through oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, the president’s former business partner. Now who they might have bene working for is of course inn my limited reading, unknown.

    Maybe the first story they told him, about Democrats and Obama Administation officials helping to destroy Manafort, wasn’t checking out, so they steered him to the Biden story.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  109. No. What I’m saying is that it’s not illegal to purchase goods and services at a fair price from a foreign country to further a presidential campaign. It is illegal for them to give you those good or services.

    So say the Democrats. I don’t think that’s the law. Mueller’s team was divided on that point.

    And if that were the law, it would be a very, very bad law. Who and what would it protect?

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  110. I would like to hear the transcript of obama and the moolas about the 150 billion.

    mg (8cbc69)

  111. 88. Kevin M (19357e) — 9/25/2019 @ 11:43 am

    For at lest the next 6 months, it’s a false choice as some other Republican could challenge Trump.

    No, that would hae to be third party candidate (unless Trump was on the verge of being impeached)

    But Michael Bloomberg is afraid that that would help elect Trump.

    If the Democratic candidate is shaping up to be either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, though. he might jump in.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  112. Can any of the Trump defenders here offer a good reason why Trump should have a foreign government speak with his personal lawyer in a matter concerning a political rival?

    Is that not another piece of evidence – if more were needed – that Trump sees no real distinction between the national interest and his own personal interest?

    Are Trump apologists so invested in Trump that they don’t see a difference either?

    Radegunda (1ad3e8)

  113. 111. mg (8cbc69) — 9/25/2019 @ 12:28 pm

    I would like to hear the transcript of obama and the moolas about the 150 billion.

    Any calls probably involved Kerry not Obama, were not directly wih the mullahs, and you can’t hear them, but only read them, because they are only transcripts.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  114. Just Security has a helpful timeline of our involvement in Ukraine, and they have a note on pro-Trump hack John Solomon.

    Solomon was moved to the opinion section at The Hill, and announced Sept. 18, 2019, that he was leaving the publication.
    The full video wasn’t available at this publication, but the text accompanying it says Lutsenko alleged that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who took office in August 2016, gave him a “do not prosecute” list at their first meeting. The State Department says the claim was “an outright fabrication.” The article says Lutsenko was examining Ukrainian civil society activists who he suspected were misusing U.S. aid funding they had received, but he says Yovanovitch told him the U.S. Embassy is confident the funding was secure.
    Lutsenko also reportedly says he would investigate the head of NABU for the 2016 Manafort disclosure. Ukraine expert Melinda Haring of the Atlantic Council says Lutsenko is “woefully unqualified (he doesn’t have a law degree), has dragged his feet on every serious anti-corruption case since being installed, and protected his friends, including Poroshenko.” She continues, “Sean Hannity made Solomon the star of his prime-time show that evening. Trump watches Hannity, reportedly speaks with him multiple times daily, and tweeted the title of Solomon’s story. More than 25,000 retweets later, the Ukrainian collusion narrative went viral.”

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  115. No. What I’m saying is that it’s not illegal to purchase goods and services at a fair price from a foreign country to further a presidential campaign. It is illegal for them to give you those good or services.
    So say the Democrats. I don’t think that’s the law. Mueller’s team was divided on that point.
    And if that were the law, it would be a very, very bad law. Who and what would it protect?
    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c) — 9/25/2019 @ 12:25 pm

    IANAL but that’s my understanding of the law. I assume it’s intended to keep foreign countries from exerting influence on US elected officials by giving them things that help them get elected. But it’s hard to avoid buying stuff from foreigners in the global economy. So there’s a carve out for that. It kind of makes sense to me.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  116. How anyone at just security can call anyone a hack, is beyond me.

    Narciso (24997a)

  117. 67:
    “But he’s a moron, so things that others do with diplomacy and subtlety, he does stupidly, blatantly and indiscreetly, in the worst possible way.”

    “Others do?” Like what? Not one GOP “Oh my god! The media is angry! What can I do to appease them!?” was proposing to do or would have tried to pull from Paris Agrt., close the border,, cap refugees, etc.

    if you mean immaterial pandering, then you’re right: he’s not one of those. His value is that he fights for the right things, and he is not deterred by worries that some professor, pundit, or junior journalist at WaPo might not like it.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e) — 9/25/2019 @ 12:06 pm

    What’s funny about this take is that Trump seems more hyper focused on the media than any president i can remember.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  118. “Can any of the Trump defenders here offer a good reason why Trump should have a foreign government speak with his personal lawyer in a matter concerning a political rival?”
    Radegunda (1ad3e8) — 9/25/2019 @ 12:29 pm

    Isn’t it more fiscally prudent than having a bunch of intel hacks and FISA judges on the taxpayer dole do that for you?

    Munroe (8715cf)

  119. Yesterday you bought the notion the omb can redirect weapon shipment, who knows what you’ll believe tomorrow.

    Narciso (24997a)

  120. …Trump sees no real distinction between the national interest and his own personal interest[.]

    Are Trump apologists so invested in Trump that they don’t see a difference either?

    Radegunda (1ad3e8) — 9/25/2019 @ 12:29 pm

    Yup.

    Gryph (08c844)

  121. I see the laser pointer moving back to Kavanaugh’s genitalia.

    Munroe (8715cf)

  122. Oh joseph maguire did not threaten to resign.

    Narciso (24997a)

  123. But i imagine the sainted sue gordon had something to do with this

    Narciso (24997a)

  124. media is trying to attack trump over biden video without showing biden video crowing over getting prosecutor fired. Trump guilty biden totally innocent but we lost the biden video so was can’t show it to you and let you decide.

    lany (9100dc)

  125. I tracked back the records of the zylochevsky inquiry yesterday, from 2019 back to 2015.

    Narciso (24997a)

  126. Yeah, its NOT a transcript. We need the transcript. Because Trump is probably lying and hiding the REAL Truth!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  127. Reading between the lines, it seems that Trump is a Nazi and a member of the KKK. Oh wait, that was the wrong DNC script. Let me try this: reading between the lines, Trump obviously wanted Ukraine to investigate if the firing of a prosecutor had anything to do with Hunter Biden getting $3million for doing no real work. Which of course is a high crime. IMPEACH TRUMP NOW!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  128. What’s funny about this take is that Trump seems more hyper focused on the media than any president i can remember.

    And the media more hyper focused on taking down Trump than any President I remember. Well other than every other Republican.

    Inigo Montoya (846161)

  129. OFf topic: Lee and Romney just voted against Emergency funding for the Border wall. Thanks Utah! IMO, the Mormons are slowly but surely turning Democrat. They know the D’s will be the majority party in the next 10 years, and want to be with them. Look for Utah to elect a couple of D Senators in the 2020’s or for Lee/Romney to switch parties.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  130. Bring Mueller back. He’s tanned and rested!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  131. So if Trump gives Press confrences and tweets in response to the media, he’s “Hyper-focused”. But if he ignnored them, he would be a cowardly authoritarian who wanted to let “Democracy die in darkness”. Trump is “hyper focused” because the only one in DC who defends Trump is Trump. The R senators say nothing. Of course, they didn’t defend Bush II that much either.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  132. JRH: until the other tribe has been properly put in its place.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  133. Rcocean, 129 might be a gambit and smart R Trump partisans might ask “would you change your votes if…”?

    Also, Utah, Arizona and wildest dreams Idaho, meh (from the Electoral Vote perspective)…better to keep the entire I-75 corridor in perpetuity.

    urbanleftbehind (9f8458)

  134. Noted Liberal David French, taking time out from his Georgetown cocktail party, doesn’t think much of the Trump transcript:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-trump-ukraine-transcript-contains-evidence-of-a-quid-pro-quo/

    Other NR worthies (who might be forgiven if they were more involved in planning the next cruise) think that Trump was just doing what Trump does, so no big.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  135. No. What I’m saying is that it’s not illegal to purchase goods and services at a fair price from a foreign country to further a presidential campaign. It is illegal for them to give you those good or services.

    So say the Democrats. I don’t think that’s the law. Mueller’s team was divided on that point.

    No, that’s exactly what the law (52 USC 30121) says.

    Mueller noted that treating opposition research as “a thing of value” had not come up in any previous court cases. They also felt it could be difficult to establish that the value of the information met the threshold for a felony. Since opposition research is sold on the open market, at advertised rates, I find both of these reservations unpersuasive.

    Further, they had no answer to the defense “we were too stupid to know that soliciting campaign contributions from a foreign intelligence service was against the law.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  136. “Isn’t it more fiscally prudent than having a bunch of intel hacks and FISA judges on the taxpayer dole do that for you?”

    At any time over the last 3 years, Trump could have released the FISA warrant. Why do you think he hasn’t?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  137. Why do you think he hasn’t?

    President Trump would never, never, ever, jeopardize national security and intelligence sources for his own political benefit!

    IN. CON. CEIV. ABLE.

    How could you even suggest such a thing?

    Dave (1bb933)

  138. “Isn’t it more fiscally prudent than having a bunch of intel hacks and FISA judges on the taxpayer dole do that for you?”

    At any time over the last 3 years, Trump could have released the FISA warrant. Why do you think he hasn’t?

    Davethulhu (fab944) — 9/25/2019 @ 1:55 pm
    Because we haven’t had the full accounting yet from the IG investigators. This is where I think Trump is listening to his advisors… let the IG investigators do their work, then declassify when the investigation is concluded.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  139. “It starts, as any extortion attempt would, with Trump reminding the Ukrainian leader of all the good things the United States does for Ukraine”:

    From the WPost. in May, CNN reported that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake. Describing themselves as “strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine,” the Democratic senators declared, “We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump,” before demanding Lutsenko “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”

    “And it’s impeachable.”

    Biden is the one who loses here, while Trumps base with get stronger.
    Warren is next to get destroyed by her circular firing squad of a party.
    Trump wants to run against Bernie….

    steveg (354706)

  140. No… I think Trump wants to run against Biden.

    He still has the Obama baggage and Biden is… Biden.

    I can actually see Bernie or Warren taking it to Trump and win.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  141. Man… who making this stuff up?

    ADNI MAGUIRE STATEMENT:

    “At no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on Aug. 16, 2019. I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now.

    — Olivia Gazis (@Olivia_Gazis) September 25, 2019

    Another talking point bits the dust…

    I’m actually curious to watch the DNI’s testimony… he seems feisty.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  142. I’m actually curious to watch the DNI’s testimony… he seems feisty.

    He supposedly completed his SEAL training in 1977 with a broken leg.

    Dave (1bb933)

  143. #134 another weak world salad from liberal David French, the Conservative who wants liberals to win, have power, and rule. ’cause “conservative principles” (and some nice Google Cash).

    rcocean (1a839e)

  144. 141 whembly (fd57f6) — 9/25/2019 @ 2:10 pm

    .Man… who making this stuff up?

    I think there’s more than one side and one player doing this.

    The “Democratic” side is the leader in terms of sheer quantity (mass) and in passing things to the major media.

    The “Republican” side repeats the same talking points and it mostly circulates among Republican leaning media, (AM radio, cable networks, certain publications)

    The “Republican” side likes “proof,” and they try to prove things from the “enemy’s” own words.

    The “Democratic” side likes inside information (anonymous sources.)

    Sometimes what the “Republicans” make up is not exactly facts but specious arguments. I wonder where the Biden confession came from. At least Giuliani says he left out something. The problem is that there is nothing to indicate that what he left out (that Biden’s son was under investigation) is true.

    But there it was heard again shortly after 6 am in the mroning on WOR 710 Am in New York today.

    ADNI MAGUIRE STATEMENT:

    “At no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on Aug. 16, 2019. I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now.

    — Olivia Gazis (@Olivia_Gazis) September 25, 2019

    Another talking point bits the dust…

    I’m actually curious to watch the DNI’s testimony… he seems feisty.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  145. the campaign finance angle, not national security interests was what drew the attention of the icig, good grief what are they good for, do they understand the meaning of intelligence?

    narciso (d1f714)

  146. its defies logic, note there are ‘unnamed white house officials’

    https://twitter.com/ByronYork/status/1176896924898738182

    narciso (d1f714)

  147. @85. You can’t?! “See, here’s the deal, folks; this is the United States of America!!”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  148. “Rule” of law:

    Felicity Huffman will do more time than Paul Wolfowitz ever will.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  149. you misspelled Robert McNamara,

    https://twitter.com/SaraCarterDC/status/1176902458280435713

    narciso (d1f714)

  150. Jed Clampett had more experience w/t oil biz than Hunter Biden.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  151. @150. Felicity Huffman will do more time than dead Bob MacNamara ever did.

    Feel better now?! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  152. no McNamara, never believed in the cause he sent men to fight in, then he turned the world bank into more of a sauna for dictators,

    narciso (d1f714)

  153. 145. Sorry something I inadvertantly quoted at the end appered as if I was saying that. The computer I was using was freezing up and I barely managed to send it (and got no verification that I did)

    The last from me is: “But there it was heard again shortly after 6 am in the mroning on WOR 710 Am in New York today.”

    Again

    who’s making this stuff up?

    I think there’s more than one side and one player doing this.

    The “Democratic” side likes inside information (anonymous sources.) while..

    The “Republican” side likes “proof,” and they try to prove things from the “enemy’s” own words.

    The “Democrats” have been at it for over 40 years (but maybe it goes back to minor players in the 1960s) and the “Republicans” have been at it for around 25 years.

    In terms of sheer quanyity, there’s more mass and variety coming from the “Democratic” side/

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  154. 117:

    That’s like asking Kavanagh, “We’re just savaging your reputation, honesty and decency as a human being. Why so mad?”

    Trump can’t fail to remember how Nixon was savaged year in and out, and VP Agnew striking out at the “effete corps of impudent snobs,” who were the national press.

    No one his age could fail to remember Regan being savaged too: from the modest “an amiable dunce,” to blaming him for the homeless, AIDS deaths, whatever.

    How can he not be obsessed with the “media”? They question his honesty, his family, his weight, his health, the way he wears a tie. They worship a 16 year old Swedish girl, and cheer the expulsion of his associates from public places. Its been non stop disparagement and serial failed reports and predictions.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  155. 153: never was there a worse person in the government, except maybe Alger Hiss. McNamara was truly awful. “Sauna for dictators.” Love it.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  156. McNamara did much more harm than Hiss.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  157. if you’ve read victory forsaken, you realize how far he blundered, although averill harriman as head of the far east section of state, that sanctioned the diem coup, is a close third,

    narciso (d1f714)

  158. If it gets to the Senate, I’d assume the Trump Republicans there will talk a lot about combatting financial corruption and why Hunter Bidens pay from Burisma Group. $600,000 direct to Hunter Biden and about 3.1M total going towards Bidens company with Hunter having no relevant knowledge in the industry was a “red flag”.
    I expect them to quickly pivot to the BILLION or so that was wired through morgan stanley to Hunters company from Ukraine, China, Kazakhstan and others after Hunter and his Dad visited China together on Air Force Two.
    Trump survives impeachment…. Biden might not.

    On Crowdstrike, the FBI did not review the DNC servers. They were given redacted copies of the Crowdstrike reports with the assurance from the DNC that all the redactions were about remediating efforts that needed to remain secret.
    I am of the opinion that Trump thinks Crowdstrike has raw information from the DNC that would tie them to the fabrication of the Russia probe against him and he wants it. But he wants it via a legal investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 ie: hacking the DNC.
    I know a lot of people here think Trump is too dumb to use this event to wound the Democrat contenders, but that is exactly what he will do with this “crisis”. I predicted he wants to mortally wound Biden and Warren before the DNC convention. Of the top three Dems Bernie is the palooka

    steveg (354706)

  159. I also think that if Trump guts Biden and then Warren, forcing the Dems to run either Bernie or Oprah he can recover the house and solidify the Senate. Black and Hispanic turnout will dry up and white Democrats from Blue Dog states will flip to Trump.

    This reminds me more of the old story about the briar patch than the roadrunner cartoons… or even better the old admonition about avoiding wrestling in the mud with a pig

    steveg (354706)

  160. @153. 58,000 dead would tell you there isn’t a place in hell hot enough for him.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  161. Mittens has read the transcript and is very, very “Troubled”. Has this character ever said one bad word about Chuck Schumer? He’s been the same since 2008. He just loves to trash his own side, while being Mr. Guy to the opposition. No wonder he lost in 2012.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  162. Here’s another timeline, this one from Lawfare, but it’s really a story of how FakeNews was built on Ukraine/Biden, article by article, until Trump-Giuliani jumped on the FakeNews train, falsehoods and all, and now it’s one big political trainwreck.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  163. Mitt is one of those guys who would stroll into a crosswalk in front of a speeding 18 wheeler because, by golly, he’s got the right of way.

    Munroe (53beca)

  164. In this era, the only living American who can beat Trump at his own game is Oprah Winfrey.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  165. so the rogue soldier wanted to join the azov battalion, far right unit fighting for Ukraine,

    narciso (d1f714)

  166. From level trees to doggies strapped on the roof… Mitt is troubled.

    Speaks volumes about the cultists in Utah, too.

    ‘Nuff said.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  167. Mittens / Omar / 2020

    mg (8cbc69)

  168. There was a lot of ridiculous in the joint conference between Trump and Zelensky, but this comment by Trump takes the cake:

    “I really hope that Russia—because I really believe that President Putin would like to do something—I really hope that you and President Putin can get together and solve your problem,” Trump said at the United Nations on Wednesday, as Zelensky sat stone-faced. “That would be a tremendous achievement, and I know that you’re trying to do that.”
    “You’ve really made some progress with Russia,” Trump added, telling Zelensky that “it’d be nice to end that whole disaster.”

    The solution is easy: Putin gets the f**k out of Ukraine, and Crimea is part of Ukraine. Problem solved.
    I can’t help but wonder if Trump really does have “limited cognitive ability” and believes that Obama was somehow responsible for Putin invading and annexing Crimea, followed by engaging in a dirty war in Donbass.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  169. Russia will not get out of Ukraine, it’s like us giving up Texas, they’ve fought six wars to take and hold the territory, if you don’t understand that about Russia, you don’t know anything, now this administration, sent heavy weapons, while the other sent #hashtags and food rations, just like we have bases in Poland, missile interceptors, supplying natural gas,

    narciso (d1f714)

  170. @128. Nixon was obsessed w/t press. See the famed ‘enemies list’ for details.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  171. Romney is exactly who I’ve said he was for years and years. Why did so many of Trump’s megafans insist I was wrong when Romney was the Team R flavor of the week? Oh yeah: Partisanship is a form of dishonesty, that’s why.

    But if Trump’s fans are so upset by Romney not being a loyal footsoldier for Trump, maybe they should blame Trump for acting the way he did when Romney did indeed literally line up to be part of the Trump team. Trump’s ego is a hilarious thing when you don’t care about the GOP (which I certainly do not).

    Dustin (6d7686)

  172. But if Trump’s fans are so upset by Romney not being a loyal footsoldier for Trump, maybe they should blame Trump for acting the way he did when Romney did indeed literally line up to be part of the Trump team

    When did that happen? Mitt wanted to be Sec of State, after calling Trump a racist/nazi/Tax dodging grifter from Jan to November 2016. Mitt proudly announced he didn’t vote for Trump. Then in Dec 2016 he interviewed for the sec of state job. Otherwise, the only time Mitt has been on “Team Trump” was during May 2018 to November 2018 when he wanted to get elected Senator. He wanted Trump endorsement and got it. Once he took Office, his 1st step was to write an WaPo Op-ed attacking Trump.

    Romney is a jealous, backstabbing, unreliable, fake.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  173. Crowley/Mittens/2020

    mg (8cbc69)

  174. Mitt Romney fooled me in 2008. I knew nothing about him, and thought his rhetoric was sincere. Plus, next to “Maverick” John McCain he looked honest and somewhat conservative. After the election, he threw off the mask and started talking like an open borders globalist and “moderate”. Of course, when he ran in 2012, he put the mask back on, and was “serverly conservative”.

    I was hoping he would lose the nomination, but when he got it I reluctantly hoped he’d win, because I believed Mitt was about 1% better than Obama. After he ‘Chocked’ and died like a dog, I’d wished to go away, but its Utah just couldn’t wait to give him a Senate seat.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  175. Oprah tainted herself, with blind Obama support, which is the same finger prison that Colin Powell and black glitterati/crossover candidates Michael Jordan, Dwayne Rock Johnson, Denzel Washington, and Tiger Woods find themselves in.

    urbanleftbehind (9f8458)

  176. Well im an outlier, i opted for guiliani in the 2008 primary, of course i didnt know rick wilson and john avlon were steering it into a dumpsterfire

    Narciso (24997a)

  177. I was a D in 2008 but asked for an R ballot (IL let’s you decide as late as the election day judges table) and voted McCain, not as monkeywrench but out of pessimism that a majority of Americans would go for woman or black, so my mindset was least scary R. Romney in ’12 because I knew more O could lead to Trump.

    urbanleftbehind (9f8458)

  178. Giuliani / Gingrich is the only ticket/apparatus that could have beaten Obama in 2008. It would be Dinkins and Contract with America part deux.

    urbanleftbehind (9f8458)

  179. rcocean (1a839e) — 9/25/2019 @ 5:20 pm

    Did you agree with Donald Trump in November 2012, that Romney lost because his immigration policy was too “mean-spirited”?

    Dave (1bb933)

  180. I kind of sensed he was full of spit on that; he was already backtracking from self-d in the second (Crowley) debate. At the time yes it did rankle people in that community, but even then, he had his glimmers of Hispanic support (interestingly enough, there was a kind of “better to be deported by a white guy” stoicism in many quarters, since Obama picked health care as his bully pulpit issue when he had the 3 branches.

    urbanleftbehind (9f8458)

  181. Trump was not a convert until, and probably even then not much more than an opportunist, Coulter and Bannon got a hold of him in 2014/2015.

    urbanleftbehind (9f8458)

  182. Well that was the era of the gop inquest, like soylent green was more painful.

    Narciso (24997a)

  183. >Trump’s ego is a hilarious thing when you don’t care about the GOP (which I certainly do not).

    On the one hand I can see that, on the other hand, Trump’s ego is *also* damaging the country, and that’s not hilarious. :{

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  184. JoeH, @72: the document itself contains a footer on every page which says:

    “CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty officers and NSC policy staff assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form as the converstion takes place. A number of factors can affect the accuracy of this record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation. TThe word ‘inaudible’ is used to indicate portions of a conversation that the notetaker was unable to hear.”

    It’s technically imprecise and inaccurate to describe it as a transcript.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  185. Its as close as you’re going to get, so why did rhe whistleblower lie, or did the press misunderstand him.

    Narciso (24997a)

  186. From the steele dossier to the bakaj memcon, theree years of dashed hopes

    Narciso (24997a)

  187. Narciso, @187: without seeing the whistleblower complaint, I don’t understand how anyone could claim the whistleblower did or did not lie. We literally have no clue what the whistleblower *said*. We know the IG said it was a credible complaint, and we know what various congresspeople and Senators have said after reading it, that’s it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  188. I want to see it, i want the name of the official who swore to it, and his rank in the government,

    Narciso (24997a)

  189. In theory the administration is working on declassifying it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  190. Here’s a fairly comprehensive and heavily-sourced summary of Trump’s lies in regard to the Ukrainian prosecutors and Hunter Biden:

    Fact check: What Trump has been getting wrong on Biden and Ukraine

    Dave (1bb933)

  191. “Troubling.” “Alarming.” Disturbing.” So sings the chorus of the Congressdritters in their outraged soundbites. Gee, critters– mass shootings, perpetual war and this month’s hot topic– vaping– aren’t as dramatic, eh?

    Where the hell were you when our Captain steamed over our own tow line in Helsinki? Or when the Mueller Report told you who ate the strawberries? Hello NSA, CIA, Kremlin and Apple– what this drama is missing are some good ol’White House tapes.

    Without’em, this is just more scripted drama a seasoned, experienced reality TV star will take and run with to re-election. A sketch-pad, sorta-summary ‘memo’ debated by talking heads enhanced with the tick-tock of ‘Biden-time’- that’s not a literal, verbatim transcription is a gift.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  192. Ukrainians understood Biden probe was condition for Trump-Zelenskiy phone call: Ukrainian adviser

    When Ukrainians voted to elect comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy as their next president in the spring of 2019, the fledgling administration was eager to coordinate a phone call with Kyiv’s most important benefactor — the United States, according to an adviser to Zelenskiy.

    But after weeks of discussions with American officials, Ukrainian officials came to recognize a precondition to any executive correspondence, the adviser said.

    “It was clear that [President Donald] Trump will only have communications if they will discuss the Biden case,” said Serhiy Leshchenko, an anti-corruption advocate and former member of Ukraine’s Parliament, who now acts as an adviser to Zelenskiy. “This issue was raised many times. I know that Ukrainian officials understood.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  193. @192. Influence Peddling 101: if his name was Hunter Smith, and not Biden, the only oil and gas he’d have been near is as a manager at your local McDonald’s.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  194. #193

    This production is getting cancelled. Maybe sooner than we think.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  195. @195 – Cultist talking points. Biden has a law degree from Yale and has served on the boards of several large corporations, including Amtrak (appointed by GWB).

    Claiming he’d be working at McDonalds is just Trumpian ad hom.

    Dave (1bb933)

  196. Enough with helsinki, vienna almost led us to nuclear war, because jfk thought he could best that ukrainian muzik kruschev.

    The main point was that trump had suspended weapons shipment that was never true, bakajs client had no way of knowing the facta yet they are apouted to the post and the times as if theymattered

    Narciso (24997a)

  197. Splitting atoms with your mind again, yale,

    Narciso (24997a)

  198. The company is called burisma, the head of it is zylochevsky, he was wanted for a whole host of crimes from the janukovich era, none of that is spoken about.

    Narciso (24997a)

  199. “Biden has a law degree from Yale and has served on the boards of several large corporations, including Amtrak (appointed by GWB).”
    Dave (1bb933) — 9/25/2019 @ 6:40 pm

    LOL. Hunter stumbled into Yale the same way George Jr. did.

    Munroe (53beca)

  200. @197. Cultist? Pappa Joe’s Amtrak??

    See #151. “Wellll doggies!”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  201. Funny how progs have outfits like just security and lawfare, they always sanctify democrats as not only true and sacred, and republicans are always wrong unless they agree with progressives

    Narciso (24997a)

  202. Like the journolist, the rhodes echo chamber, the rizzotto tray set (the last is the largest circle)

    Narciso (24997a)

  203. It’s not the crime,
    It’s the slime.
    How sleazy can you get?
    First term, baby,
    You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    nk (9651fb)

  204. We’ll see how prime minister zoolander ends up.

    Narciso (24997a)

  205. 156. Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e) — 9/25/2019 @ 3:15 pm

    VP Agnew </blockquote. Giuliani says Biden s worse than Agnew. He said on Fox News Sunday this past Sunday:

    And, John, when the rest of this comes out, and when you look at China and the $1.5 billion that the — that the Biden family took out of China while that guy was negotiating for us, this will be a lot bigger than Spiro Agnew.

    But Spiro Agnew took money himself, and this was going to one of Biden’s sons. It’s more like Billy Carter and Neal Bush. Except maybe it was more.

    By the way, with Agnew it was no secret. It was printed in the paper. I read about it in the New York Post before there was a big story about it. Agnew was quoted as saying there were people giving him money. I don’t know what paper it was in, except that I think it was in 1971, but I read about it long before. I suppose the problem was, that this was tied in to earlier bribery, or close to it.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  206. Yes, the lowest common denominator is the only measure for Trump.

    nk (9651fb)

  207. Trump Monday in reference to why he delayed payment in July. “If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?” Of course, this was the 3rd of 5 excuses he used over 4 days.

    Except that the DoD and State Dept. certified it in May, when Trump signed off in it. Specifically citing that Ukraine had addressed it’s corruption to the satisfaction of the United States.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  208. The whistleblower complaint has been on Capitol Hill for almost six hours, and still hasn’t leaked.

    WTF

    Dave (1bb933)

  209. 180. urbanleftbehind (9f8458) — 9/25/2019 @ 5:39 pm

    Romney in ’12 because I knew more O could lead to Trump.

    What! You knew in 2012 that Donald Trump was going to run for president in 2016?

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  210. Thats why they reopened the investigation in june, see if you follow the trail going back 5 years you learn something.

    Narciso (24997a)

  211. 181. McCain could have beaten Obama, if only he understood his health insurance plan, and hadn’t taken the financial crisis as so much of an emergency. He made himself look like he couldn’t handle the job. That he had no way of evaluating how serious it was or was not..

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  212. He didnt care to sammeh, thats what the jones meno was about.

    Narciso (24997a)

  213. No. What I’m saying is that it’s not illegal to purchase goods and services at a fair price from a foreign country to further a presidential campaign. It is illegal for them to give you those good or services.

    Well, if the payment is from campaign funds, I’ll be able to find a lawyer who claims it’s a misuse, and if it isn’t, I’ll have to find a different lawyer. If the payment for political help is some kind of quid pro quo — like being flexible after the election — is that OK?

    The problem with all these ethics laws is that they attempt to enumerate and codify complex relationships, as if life and human interaction could be reduced to that. As they fail to exactly describe a situation, a legal tug-of-war ensues where what is legal and what is illegal depends greatly on whose ox is gored.

    See Duncan Hunter’s prosecution over his wife spending campaign funds on clothes, and compare that to Trump spending his own money on blackmail.

    As I said, I have contempt for ethics laws as they are largely useless — witness ANY city councilman and developers — and are used mostly as a political club to bash opponents, and especially populist opponents who have the common disdain for the legal class.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  214. 193. What Biden said was misrepresented, but what Biden said was also wrong:

    “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. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden said.

    The timeline here is fuzzy: Shokin was not actually terminated while Biden was in the country, as Biden’s story made it sound. Ukraine’s legislature voted to fire Shokin in March 2016; Biden’s last visit to Ukraine before the firing was in December 2015. Biden did have a phone call with Poroshenko the week before the dismissal.

    This was actually, it seems, another tall tale by Joe Biden.

    Everybody is staying true to character.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  215. narciso @215. McCain didn’t care to what? Learn the details of his healthh insurance proposal?)

    And what’s the Jones memo?

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  216. The problem with all these ethics laws is that they attempt to enumerate and codify complex relationships, as if life and human interaction could be reduced to that. As they fail to exactly describe a situation, a legal tug-of-war ensues where what is legal and what is illegal depends greatly on whose ox is gored.

    I disagree. In fact, the laws are pretty simple and major violations do not just happen due to honest misunderstandings or ambiguity.

    See Duncan Hunter’s prosecution over his wife spending campaign funds on clothes, and compare that to Trump spending his own money on blackmail.

    He was prosecuted over much more than that, including plenty of fraud he perpetrated himself.

    And Trump took active steps to conceal what he was doing with false names, under-the-table payments and third-party intermediaries.

    Neither one of these were close cases, nor was Jonathan Edwards.

    Dave (1bb933)

  217. And what’s the Jones memo?

    For god’s sake, don’t encourage him…

    Dave (1bb933)

  218. #186 – The new DNC talking point. We need to see the REAL transcript. Also, as Trump noted this is the 2nd conservation with the Ukrainian President so Mittens, Nancy P. and Chuck Schumer will DEMAND to see that. And also Pence’s conversations. And what about Rudy? We need him to testify. And bill bar too.

    Because that memo is really “troubling”. And a HIGH CRIME (somehow). We need special counsel.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  219. #213 McCain lost because he was a terrible candidate. People forget he got elected time after time in Deep Red Arizona and won in 2008 because the other R candidates were so terrible. I don’t remember any Conservative being enthusiastic about McCain. Even Bush was blase about him. And his “Lets suspend the campaign and go to DC and solve this crisis” was the dumbest stunt ever pulled in a POTUS campaign. As Obama snarked: “Presidents need to do more than one thing at a time”.

    Of course, what made it even stupid is McCain had NO plan for the crisis, and when he attended the meeting with Bush and the Congressional leaders he had nothing to say – except Platitudes. Bush was Gobsmacked, as he says in his autobiography.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  220. To win, his insurance wasnt so bad but after seot 15th he threw the match, maybe earlier.

    Narciso (24997a)

  221. In 1988 I was a county delegate to the state GOP nominating convention who voted for Jack Kemp. When they nominated George Bush, I left the Republican Party because I knew there was no “Reagan Revolution”, that Republicans were merely Democrats in the slow lane.

    Later, I’ve said many times, if you had put a gun to my head in 2008 and told me I had to cast the deciding vote between Obama and McCain I would have voted for Obama. If you had put a gun to my head in 2012 and told me I had to cast the deciding vote between Obama and Romney I would have told you to pull the trigger.

    The thing is, despite the GOP nominating the leftiest RINO’s imaginable, both McCain and Romney were regularly savaged as right-wing extremists and racists and Nazis and all manner of monstrous black-hearted evil villains imaginable during the general, after being praised during the primaries as “Maverick” McCain, always willing to work with Democrats and say nasty things about Republicans, and “Moderate” Mitt, the father of Romneycare and the one single Republican in the entire country who couldn’t possibly criticize Obamacare. In short, in 2008 and 2012, the media selected the GOP nominee and the GOP let them.

    Come now 2016 and the media selected Jeb! as their patsy but Trump didn’t get the memo. With enough people realizing that there really wasn’t much difference between the Democrats and the Establishment GOP, they turned to Trump. Not as a savior, but as a destroyer. Build The Wall, Lock Her Up, Drain The Swamp, Burn It All Down.

    I think the mistake here is in thinking the Rule of Law still matters. It’s been obvious for a long time that the rules don’t apply to the rich and powerful and there’s no reason for anybody to respect the rules if the rules only apply to one side. When you break the social contract, you get every man for himself and Devil take the hindmost. You get warlords. You get Trump. Nobody cares that Trump’s a liar and a crook and a fat-headed blowhard deranged clown because that was the old rules that kept people like Trump out of office. If those old rules were worth respecting, they would have kept Hillary out of office as well. But they didn’t, did they? To those who are fine with Hillary being allowed to show her face in polite company rather than with her head on a pike but not Trump, there’s a simple two-word retort to that, the second word is “you” and the first word is a four letter word that would get ne banned from the site. And that’s exactly what Trump’s supporters are saying. If you wanted us to give a rat’s patootie about how horrible Trump is, you should have given a rat’s patootie about how horrible the last few were.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  222. If those old rules were worth respecting, they would have kept Hillary out of office as well. But they didn’t, did they?

    Dude you might want to double-check Wikipedia.

    Dave (1bb933)

  223. 223. McCain didn’t care to win? I don’t think so. The problem with him and his heallth insurance proposal is that Obama misreorsented it in a debate and McCain didn;t know what to answer. His tax rebate wasn;t supposed to pay 100%. rcocean @222 descrobed well the “Lets suspend the campaign and go to DC and solve this crisis” I guess McCain expected ameeting itself to bring a solution.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  224. Except the 10 democrats want to tear the country down and make it impossible to get up again, the three republican rivals dont understand this.

    Narciso (24997a)

  225. Only losers, that’s all that Trump can be compared to. And he still doesn’t look good.

    nk (9651fb)

  226. Aphrael, you are right that Trump has harmed our country, but in a way, he’s a symptom of the disease that is extreme partisanship. The bar is lowered and lowered, and any sign of breaking with the team is hated more than anything else. Trump was the result. Could have been Hillary. Not sure I should care about the difference.

    Life’s too short. I’m happy to laugh about it. One of the first defenses these days for Trump is that it doesn’t really matter how poor a leader’s personal character is, and we should just try to get the policies we like with our scumbag. They know he’s a scumbag. They don’t care. That’s where the problem is. That’s why the deficit is so high and our foreign policy so poor.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  227. Let me add, to those of you clutching your pearls as you retire to your fainting couches over how Donald Trump is destroying America, take a good look at people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Ilhan Omar and AOC. The fact that these people are major-party representatives rather than living in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere are a pretty good argument that America has already been destroyed and she ain’t worth saving. Donald Trump may be rotten, but he’s not a cause of the decay, he’s a symptom.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  228. Even in texas, very few are going to stand for q serious cut in entitlements, not with mass off shoring, shriveling of pensions

    Narciso (24997a)

  229. nor was Jonathan Edwards.

    Sinners in the hands of an angry God was actually about campaign finance reform?

    Kishnevi (417b3c)

  230. Biden on January 23, 2018:

    And I remember going over, convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was 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. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars.

    The facts, according to Dave’s link at #183, and a second link, in turn, from that page:

    Biden’s last visit to Ukraine was in December, 2015. Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was fired in March, 2016. And Obama had announced the third $1 billion loan guarantee in November 2015, but made it conditional “on Kiev continuing to push reforms.” (that leaves open the possibility that something took place on an earlier visit by Biden)

    And there was a signing ceremony in Kyiv at the begining of June, 2016 that involved the U.S. Anbassador to Ukraine that took place “a day after the Ukrainian parliament passed legislation aimed at tackling entrenched corruption in the judicial system.”

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  231. The fact that these people are major-party representatives rather than living in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere are a pretty good argument that America has already been destroyed and she ain’t worth saving.

    So you hate America because not everyone who lives here agrees with you?

    Dave (1bb933)

  232. kishnevi @233. Obviously there was a mistake @219 for John Edwards.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  233. kishnevi @233. Obviously there was a mistake @219 for John Edwards.

    Yep, I dunno why I remembered him as “Jonathan”.

    Dave (1bb933)

  234. Profiles in Courage:

    “One Republican senator told me if it was a secret vote, 30 Republican senators would vote to impeach Trump.”

    (I suppose you could do impeachment on a voice vote…)

    Dave (1bb933)

  235. So here’s what’s coming: Democrats impeach the president over a phone call, we suffer through months of migraine-inducing media coverage, Trump wins the Senate vote … and then voters look around and ask, “Who the hell thought this was a good idea?”—

    And when they do, Liz Warren, they’ll be looking at you.

    https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/09/25/careful-what-you-wish-for-liz-warren-trump-impeachment-perils-loom/

    Munroe (53beca)

  236. “A sketch-pad, sorta-summary ‘memo’ debated by talking heads enhanced with the tick-tock of ‘Biden-time’- that’s not a literal, verbatim transcription is a gift.”

    That’s literally all the FBI ever does for its interviews, it’s what the Comey memo was, and if that was good enough for Mueller, should be good enough for you.

    But really, the whole Russia/Crowdstrike thing was probably just a gigantic distraction from the fact that the data theft was an inside job by some BernieBro super-disgruntled at Hillary’s super-obvious inside job, the Democrats didn’t want to admit it at the time, and so they went the route of loudly proclaiming that “WE WERE HAAAAAACKED BY EVIL RUSSIANS WHO DRUMPH WANTS TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH LIKE AN IDIOT” but never actually turned the servers into any government agency that had a chance of making any part of their internals a matter public record. Oh, and they also shot the most likely perp and passed it off as a random home invasion.

    This may or may not be true, but it makes far, far, FAR more sense than

    Was Trump trying to get Ukraine to second-guess CrowdStrike’s conclusion, thereby letting Russia off the hook for the hacking?

    Disrespecting and ‘second-guessing’ IT ‘security’ companies that are really about corporate PR and reputation management instead of following any best practices is normal, and should be done whether or not it ‘lets Russia off the hook’. Who cares? No one, least of all Trump, is going to actually trust them more or less because they might not have actually had their finger in THIS shady dealing!

    But now Trump seems to think or imply the Ukrainians have Hillary’s emails, or maybe the raw DNC data, just before the next election!

    It’s like poetry, you see, it rhymes. Maybe we’ll see a bunch more Seth Riches in the meantime! Or if not, at least we’ll be motivated to reconsider exactly what ACTUALLY happened to Seth and the DNC data…in a post-Epstein world.

    Ukraine Pain (d876e1)

  237. but never actually turned the servers into any government agency that had a chance of making any part of their internals a matter public record.

    This is a long-ago debunked lie.

    The FBI had full access to server disk images, and they were able to determine the source of the intrusion conclusively.

    Dave (1bb933)

  238. After Trump is impeached, should the Senate expel the Democratic members who last year sent a letter to the Ukraine whose threats, related also to investigating their opponents, were if anything more explicit than those of Trump in this call? If not, why not?

    David Pittelli (7d543e)

  239. When rino mitch votes to impeach Trump I hope you never Trumper pos are ready for WW 3.

    mg (8cbc69)

  240. “This is a long-ago debunked lie.”

    You’re wasting your breath, the guy brings up Seth Rich later on. Probably a qanon and pizzagate believer too.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  241. BTW, why don’t the Democrat’s repeated attempts to get Ukraine to investigate Trump and his minions rise to the level of a crime?

    Kevin M, what are you talking about?

    Patterico (b67cf7)

  242. You’re wasting your breath, the guy brings up Seth Rich later on. Probably a qanon and pizzagate believer too.

    The other day he was tarting up CoreyLewey and how he’s going to save New Hampshire from…something, and other nonsense words.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  243. Oh yes, lewandowski we got him now.

    Narciso (24997a)

  244. Kevin M, what are you talking about?

    I think he’s referring to the letters congress, including republicans, sent to Ukraine in 2017/18 about Paul Manafort’s money laundering and tax evasion with Ukraine as a lobbyist for the pro-Russian junta. You know, that thing he’s in jail for, prosecuted by Trump’s justice department.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  245. What podesta and weber and craig and davis got away with, since they revised their filing status, mulligan

    Narciso (24997a)

  246. Mueller must’ve already investigated this to death, right? Election interference, and stuff. Must’ve been volume 4.

    “A Department of Justice team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is separately exploring the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/sep/25/john-durham-probing-ukraine-as-part-of-trump-russi/

    Munroe (53beca)

  247. I think he’s referring to the letters congress, including republicans, sent to Ukraine in 2017/18 about Paul Manafort’s money laundering and tax evasion with Ukraine as a lobbyist for the pro-Russian junta. You know, that thing he’s in jail for, prosecuted by Trump’s justice department.

    In other words, attempts by members of Congress to support a lawfully predicated investigation by the US Department of Justice.

    None of them were running for office against Manafort either, I think.

    Dave (1bb933)

  248. There was a small industry of irresponsible “journalists” on the right who pushed the Biden-corruption-in-Ukraine story, and most of the allegations were bogus. James Risen originally wrote about the Bidens and Ukraine, concluding this:

    Hunter Biden was the family millstone around Joe Biden’s neck, the kind of chronic problem relative that plagues many political families. George H.W. Bush had his son Neil; Jimmy Carter had his brother Billy.
    Still, when Joe Biden went to Ukraine, he was not trying to protect his son — quite the reverse.
    The then-vice president issued his demands for greater anti-corruption measures by the Ukrainian government despite the possibility that those demands would actually increase – not lessen — the chances that Hunter Biden and Burisma would face legal trouble in Ukraine.

    But then the right-wing pro-Trump shills came into the picture.

    But somebody obviously read my piece, as well as others like it, because questions about the Bidens in Ukraine suddenly came roaring back this year. Giuliani, Trump, and their lackeys began spreading the false accusation that Biden had traveled to Ukraine to blackmail the government and force officials to fire the country’s chief prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, to derail an investigation into Burisma.

    Loyal Trump supporters should think of it this way. Had the likes of Solomon and Hannity and their noise machine not distorted this story beyond all reality, Trump-Giuliani would not have fallen for their hackery and would not have pressured the Ukrainian president to assist Trump in his reelection campaign and, importantly, would not be facing an impeachment inquiry. Trump supporters have not only been chumped by Trump, they’ve been chumped by his cadre of media operatives. It’s both sad and pathetic. This impeachment inquiry did not have to happen.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  249. John Durham is like the 2019 version of Fitzmas. Trump loyalist are going to be disappointed.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  250. So long as he’s not the 2019 version of Mueller.

    Munroe (53beca)

  251. From what I’ve been able to read, the head of Burisma was suspected of Trump-style corruption and self-dealing from the period when he was a government minister (2010 – February 2014). He was part of the Putin-controlled kleptocracy under Yanukovych, in other words.

    Hunter Biden was one of several non-Ukrainians added to the board of Burisma Holdings in 2014, the former president of Poland being another. By the end of the year, with corruption accusations against him, Zlochevsky fled the country.

    Given that:

    a) Zlochevsky’s alleged corruption occurred during the time he was a government minister, in a position to do favors for his own companies, and
    b) Hunter Biden joined the board of the company months after that government was unceremoniously thrown out of office,

    is there even a hint of what crime Biden was supposedly guilty of and needed to be investigated for?

    Dave (1bb933)

  252. Loyal Trump supporters should think of it this way. Had the likes of Solomon and Hannity and their noise machine not distorted this story beyond all reality, Trump-Giuliani would not have fallen for their hackery and would not have pressured the Ukrainian president to assist Trump in his reelection campaign and, importantly, would not be facing an impeachment inquiry. Trump supporters have not only been chumped by Trump, they’ve been chumped by his cadre of media operatives. It’s both sad and pathetic. This impeachment inquiry did not have to happen.

    But you forget the First Commandment of Trump-Chumpism: verily the faithful, even like the Divine Orange Ordure Himself, are incapable of sin. This gift He grants to all those in His favor.

    Dave (1bb933)

  253. Zlochevsky’s alleged corruption occurred during the time he was a government minister, in a position to do favors for his own companies

    There was one person Yanukovych and the government ministers, you might remember him from when he was the campaign manager for this one guy, Donald J Trump.

    You know that if Trump is claiming someone did a thing, in fact, he and his were absolutely doing that thing 7 days a week and twice on Sunday.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  254. ^one person involved with Yanukovych

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  255. The timing of Hunter’s joining the Burisma board (April 2014) is important. It wasn’t two months earlier that Yanukovych fled his office and his country because of a popular revolution, which also forced Zlochevsky out of his job. That same month (February), mere days after the Sochi Olympics, Putin invaded the Crimean region of Ukraine and started a war in Donbass.
    Hunter joined at a time when the country was in a volatile state. In June 2014, Putin cut the natural gas supply to Ukraine, causing more destabilization.
    Two years later, the chief prosecutor did nothing to hold corrupt Ukrainian elite accountable, including Burisma/Zlochevsky. Shokin’s firing would at least improve the possibility of fixing their corruption problem.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  256. @215. FWIW, Issa plans to announce a run for Duncan Hunter’s seat.

    @239. So in your universe, the FBI never tapes. ‘Kay. Now there’s is an impeachable source for ‘ya. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  257. @258. Not to mention his petroleum and credentials were bouncing on empty.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  258. ^ petroleum and gas credentials

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  259. Hunter being yet another “innocent victim of a witch-hunt,” in the Twilight Zone of TrumpWorld…

    Dave (1bb933)

  260. Well, apparently the whistleblower complaint will be released Thursday morning in slightly redacted version to protect the names of corroborating witnesses and/or possibly of collaborating participants. This days after the Senate unanimously (meaning every Republican) voted for release of the complaint, and hours before ICIG Atkinson is scheduled to testify before Congress.

    There will be fireworks. Early reports from officials and representatives who have read the unredacted complaint say they describe it as serious, concerning, and disturbable, without elaborating on the details. We’ll see how shocking it is soon enough.

    I think it was a mistake to release the memorandum of the phone call to Ukraine; it would be an even worse mistake to release the tape. Trump stupidly thought the “transcript” would make him come off as a skilled negotiator, but it made him look like a inept buffoon lamely using thinly disguised bribery and extortion for personal benefit. That however is not the mistake. It’s the loss of prestige. Now no foreign leader will want to discuss policy matters, defense or trade agreements with Trump over the phone, because those discussions might see the light of day at a moment’s notice. The President of the United States can no longer be trusted to conduct foreign policy in the eyes of foreign leaders. None of them want to get sucked into the crisis that this administration is.

    Moreover, he’s lost control of the narrative. Unlike with the Mueller report, which documented clear cases on obstruction of justice, that AG Barr was able to spin as nothing-to-see-here before its release, there isn’t an opportunity to fabricate alternative facts after the release of the memorandum, between the release of the complaint and before the testimony of the ICIG.

    It’s all spinning out of control. Trump will try to spin it back in his favor, and he’s about to go scorched earth, but peddling conspiracy theories isn’t the way to go about it. His approval rating is low enough as it is now, just wait to see how low it goes after weeks of investigations, hearings and testimonies. Since Speaker Pelosi initiated impeachment inquiries, the House committees, of which there are several–Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight, etc.–will have unfettered access to documents, transcripts, emails, phone calls, witness testimony, everything, and that applies not only to the whistleblower complaint but the Mueller report as well.

    Trump butt gerbils will squeal, what about . . . That lame distraction has long passed its shelf life. We’re taking about the here and now, about this president at this time. Everything else is irrelevant.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  261. So many pathetic democrats on this site. The how dare you sect. Pathetic fits you to a T.

    mg (8cbc69)

  262. Gawain, I believe that there is a reasonable suspicion that Trump tried to extort the Ukraine to launch a politically motivated investigation for his benefit. But there’s not irrefutable proof yet. And there’s more that we need to know. You may turn out to be right, but I think you’re way ahead of yourself on this and that we need to see how the investigation plays out.

    Time123 (14b920)

  263. That comment was worth it just for the “Trump butt gerbils will squeal, what about ….”.

    nk (9651fb)

  264. This is funny. Nice visual summary of the transcript.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  265. We know now that felt was no honorable civil servant, that sirica was colluding with the watergate prosecutors, that tape is played out.

    Narciso (24997a)

  266. I don’t think so. Don Corleone would never dream of calling up Don Mostaccioli and asking him to whack Don Ravioli. He would tell Tom Hagen to tell Clemenza to whisper a word to Don Mostaccioli’s caporegime who would pass it on to the Mostaccioli family consigliere who in turn would pass it on to the Don.

    nk (9651fb)

  267. Walls are closing in, the roadrunner is done for

    Narciso (24997a)

  268. The oligarch hired a career doj division chief to defend himself.

    Narciso (24997a)

  269. Senate unanimously (meaning every Republican) voted for release of the complaint,

    Trump was pushing for it.

    A New York Times story compared all this to a gambler pushing all his chips into the middle of the table.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/24/us/politics/trump-un.html

    …Shortly before heading into a lunch with the United Nations secretary general, he decided to release a transcript of his July telephone call with the president of Ukraine that is central to the allegations against him. In effect, he was pushing his chips into the middle of the table, gambling that the document would prove ambiguous enough to undercut the Democratic case against him.

    As a resukt we hear no more of Trump mentioning investigating Biden 8 times in the call. Not releasing documents enables lies to be told.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  270. 264. Gawain:

    Now no foreign leader will want to discuss policy matters, defense or trade agreements with Trump over the phone, because those discussions might see the light of day at a moment’s notice.

    This is mostly imaginary and is the sort of thing the professionals always say. Now there was nothing highly confidential said in that call.

    After the Wikileaks leak of State Department cables, how much really was the conduct of U.S. Foroign policy harmed? The dangers are mostly imaginary. (except maybe for real, real secrets and they usually have a special higher grade classification.)

    It;s anyway supposed to released after thirty years or so in most cases.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  271. Time123 (14b920) — 9/26/2019 @ 4:24 am

    there is a reasonable suspicion that Trump tried to extort the Ukraine to launch a politically motivated investigation for his benefit. But there’s not irrefutable proof yet. </blockquote. No, what's reasonable is that he wanted Ukraine to launch a genuine investigation – Trump never suggested anything otherwise – and he didn’t put pressure on Ukraine either, but gently asked for a favor, and he did it because he thought there was a reasonable possibility that Giuliani was on to something about Biden. And he was actually more interested in the allegations relating to Crowdstrike, whatever they are.

    Now, the way the Democrats see, to have it, it is just as bad to ask for a genuine investigation as to ask for a politically motivated one that would result in concocted charges, because in either case the reason could be presumed to be because it might help his re-election campaign.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  272. Not releasing documents enables lies to be told.

    And yet even releasing documents still enables lies to be told. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/09/25/multiple-outlets-chop-up-ukraine-transcript-focusing-only-on-trumps-comment-on-biden/

    PTw (894877)

  273. 244. Impeachment isn’t about criminal activity. It’s not written into the Constitution that way. It’s literally an “impeachment” of the president’s character and ergo is a political concept/maneuver. If the president and his bootlicking lackeys did commit a crime somewhere along the way, impeachment does not prevent them from being prosecuted.

    Gryph (08c844)

  274. Trump butt gerbils will squeal, what about . . . That lame distraction has long passed its shelf life. We’re taking about the here and now, about this president at this time. Everything else is irrelevant.

    I would never call Never trumpers butt gerbils but maybe the name is appropriate.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  275. The whisltelbower complain it worthless. First, the WB has no 1st hand knowledge of any of this. 2nd the statue was not written so anonymous bureaucrats could eavesdrop on the POTUS and provide Congress with their “spy reports”. Third, all the violation of the law citied are BS. Its obvious this WB was either an attorney or worked with one in drawing up this “Complaint”.

    Finally, you gotta hand it to liberals. They may be liars and hate America, but they’re smart. leaking all this data would have been illegal. But if you tell it to so-and-so at DNI and they file a WB complaint then it all becomes legal as driving with a green light. og course the DNI IG should be fired, since this complaint, has nothing to do with DnI Operations.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  276. And of course those backstabbing frauds Sasse and Mittens are out their saying how “troubled” they are. COuld someone primary Sasse? Please.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  277. Poor Macquire, subject to all these grandstanding fools. And most of all lickspittle hack Devin Nunes.

    JRH (52aed3)

  278. rcocean,

    Why is it all about what the enemies did, rather than what your President, and his administration did? You do remember that Watergate began with an effort to get dirt on an opponent, don’t you?

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  279. Guess which other romney official was on the biard of burisma, yes cofer black fmrly of bladkwater

    Narciso (24997a)

  280. I kind of like this guy macguire. Omg how did he end up in the cesspool that is DC.

    JRH (52aed3)

  281. og course the DNI IG should be fired, since this complaint, has nothing to do with DnI Operations.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 9/26/2019 @ 7:03 am

    Trump badly damaged our capability of conducting foreign policy through obviously corrupt actions, and the only guy you want fired is the one who had an ethical problem with that.

    And more of this ‘Romney is backstabbing’. LOL in what way is Romney backstabbing Trump, who chose to treat Romney like a bitter enemy? You can’t have it both ways. If you’re all about cynical politics, no ethics, what wins is what’s right, then why did Trump create so many enemies for nothing? If you’re all about justice and virtue, and Romney should be leaping in the way of bullets for the sake of sacred national honor of our presidency, why is it OK for Trump to obstruct, collude, and scumbag all the time?

    Dustin (6d7686)

  282. When we see one high profile democrat go down, but greg craig got off scott free,

    Narciso (24997a)

  283. Im tired of the richard clarkes and joe wilsons and kirikaous and carles of the word, and ned price, et al

    Narciso (24997a)

  284. When we see when theres a whistleblower ambulance service like vips founded by a schumer and clinton staffer.

    Narciso (24997a)

  285. Guess who honorable ig worked for?

    Narciso (24997a)

  286. og course the DNI IG should be fired, since this complaint, has nothing to do with DnI Operations.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 9/26/2019 @ 7:03 am

    Yeah, that would for sure have helped.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  287. The same people mccord and carlin, that handled the fisa warrant, its a classic circular loop.

    Narciso (dfe933)

  288. 280: the whistleblower’s description of the call is accurate, which lends credibility to the rest of the complaint.

    why did the administration order the transcripts of the call moved into a system used to store highly sensitive classified information?

    if the interpretation of the trump supporters (that this was just normal going about trying to stamp out corruption) is true, what makes it highly sensitive classified information?

    aphrael (3f0569)

  289. No its not, it has nothing to do with intelligence, this is why abqaiq happens without warning

    Narciso (dfe933)

  290. *laugh*

    y’all can focus on the the IG’s behavior if you want. it doesn’t help your case and actually makes Trump look worse: the President of the United States asked a foreign government to help him dig up dirt on a domestic political rival and then used the classification system to hide the fact that he’d done so, and you’re worried about the inspector general possibly misinterpreting the law to call for the information’s release?

    aphrael (3f0569)

  291. Dustin, on the one hand, yes, he’s a symptom.

    On the other hand, sometimes symptoms are destructive in their own right, and he is.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  292. Sammy: the notion that this is simply an investigation of corruption, while *barely* supportable in the document, becomes utterly unsupportable if the administration tried to hide it in the files of highly sensitive classified programs. That shows knowledge of wrongdoing and corrupt intent, *in addition* to being an abuse of the classification system.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  293. 280: the whistleblower’s description of the call is accurate, which lends credibility to the rest of the complaint.

    why did the administration order the transcripts of the call moved into a system used to store highly sensitive classified information?

    if the interpretation of the trump supporters (that this was just normal going about trying to stamp out corruption) is true, what makes it highly sensitive classified information?

    I address this in my latest post. I doubt Trump ordered that.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  294. mittens leaping from state to state to lobby for himself. A grifters dream.

    mg (8cbc69)

  295. Now we know why Pelosi was procrastinating on impeachment in September.

    DRJ (15874d)

  296. So bidens corruption doesnt matter, good to know

    Narciso (dfe933)

  297. So bidens corruption doesnt matter, good to know

    Narciso (dfe933) — 9/26/2019 @ 8:19 am

    Literally zero people in this thread have said that any corruption on Biden’s part doesn’t matter.

    Trump is the president right here and now, and it matters that we address his corruption here and now. Doing so does not mean we’re loving other corruption (real or imagined). The Ace of Spades style of extreme, bitter, it’s all about protecting some imagined or real evil tactic is entirely intended to change the subject from the here and now. It’s lazy thinking and you’re better than that.

    When Biden is elected president I fully expect you guys to start saying Trump’s corruption was in the past and doesn’t matter anymore. It’s incredible how flip floppy partisans are. Really, you should have just said nothing matters.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  298. Assuming all of the characterizations of Biden’s conduct are true, Biden misused the power of the United States to pressure a foreign government to help his son.

    Assuming all of the characterizations of Trump’s conduct are true, Trump misused the power of the United States to pressure a foreign government to go after Trump’s domestic political rivals.

    Trump’s alleged behavior is so much more damaging to the fabric of the republic than Biden’s alleged behavior that the comparison is farcical.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  299. Interesting: At one point (in May) Giuliani cancelled a trip to Ukraine, fearing he was being set-up.

    This is in fact, Round 2 or 3:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/11/us/politics/rudy-giuliani-ukraine.html

    Facing withering attacks accusing him of seeking foreign assistance for President Trump’s re-election campaign, Rudolph W. Giuliani announced on Friday night that he had canceled a trip to Kiev in which he planned to push the incoming Ukrainian government to press ahead with investigations that he hoped would benefit Mr. Trump.

    Mr. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, explained that he felt as if he was being “set up” by Ukrainians critical of his efforts, and he blamed Democrats for trying to “spin” the trip.

    “They say I was meddling in the election — ridiculous — but that’s their spin,” he said.

    Mr. Giuliani said on Thursday that he had hoped to meet in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, with the nation’s president-elect and urge him to pursue inquiries that could yield new information about two matters of intense interest to Mr. Trump. One is the origin of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The other is the involvement of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son in a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.

    Giuliani cancelled the trip because it had been publicized in the New York Times and Adam Schiff had tweeted:

    “Today, Giuliani admitted to seeking political help from a foreign power. Again,”

    And also called his plan “immoral, unethical, unpatriotic and, now, standard procedure.”

    And Senator Christopher S. Murphy, (D-Conn.) had sent a letter to the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee calling this “private foreign policy engagement.”

    Giuliani responded Friday night May 10, 2019 that “My only purpose was to make sure the investigation continued.”

    It was reported that advisers were urging the incoming Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, not to meet with Mr. Giuliani, and Giuliani hadn’t gotten the meeting confirmed.

    This was all BEFORE the telephone call, and explains some of the context.

    In the oourse of this July 25 call Trump asks Zelensky to speak with Giuliani saying:

    Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor bf New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you, along with the Attorney
    General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. Then Donald Trump , almost babbling, tries to tell him what the two issues Giuliani wants to speak to him about are.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  300. Assuming all of the characterizations of Biden’s conduct are true […]

    Assuming all of the characterizations of Trump’s conduct are true, […]

    aphrael (3f0569) — 9/26/2019 @ 8:27 am

    You just don’t get it. The purpose of political thought and discussion is to assume the worst of only one side, and the best of the other side. Treating both sides the same is the worst thing a person can do.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  301. I didn’t separate the quote from the sentence I added later. The quote tha I just posted from the Thursday, July 25, 2019 telephone call (probably highly accurate goes:

    … Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you, along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great… /bockquote>

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  302. Both Biden and Trump apparently used their government positions and power for personal reasons, and that is corruption. What this incident shows is that too many Americans only care about government corruption by the other side’s leaders.

    DRJ (15874d)

  303. I wish someone, anyone, in the media/blogosphere would denounce Trump’s behavior and corruption. Just once.

    Munroe (53beca)

  304. I wish Trump supporters here would denounce Trump’s behavior and corruption. Just once.

    DRJ (15874d)

  305. It’s easy for Democrats and the media to denounce leaders they don’t support, just as it was easy for Republicans to denounce Obama and Clinton when they did questionable things. Character means we should denounce our own leaders when they do questionable things.

    DRJ (15874d)

  306. Dustin: (6d7686) — 9/26/2019 @ 8:37 am

    You just don’t get it. The purpose of political thought and discussion is to assume the worst of only one side, and the best of the other side.

    I’m assuming the best of both sides, because I think neither is irredeemiably bad here.

    Trump believed the story, and Biden, well Biden didn’t get the prosecutor fired – he lied about that – there was almost certainly no dramatic scene where a press conference announcing loan guarantees was cancelled at the last minute – but even in the story Biden told, he did it on behalf of others and did not do it to stop an investigation of his son.

    Trump said:

    Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if
    you can look into it…[maybe the stenographer lost a few words or maybe Trump interrupted himself\
    It sounds horrible to me.

    But Giuliani doesn’t say that Biden bragged about stopping a prosecution or even Hunter Biden being called as a witness.

    He says, instead:,

    https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/denzel-washington-on-the-club-that-made-him-the-man-he-is-today

    GIULIANI: What does it matter, if the — if the son is under investigation? He didn’t disclose that.

    See, Giuliani is not making Biden into an idiot, and the audience into people who don’t care about cover ups. Trump heard that version maybe from somebody else.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  307. DRJ: similarly, it’s easy for me to denounce Biden, because I don’t support him, although i’d reluctantly vote for him in the unlikely event that he got the nomination.

    But I do strongly believe that using the power of the state to induce a foreign power to go after your political opponents is a more damaging form of corruption than using the power of the state to induce a foreign power to help your family.

    The trumpist argument would be more persuasive if, instead of focusing on biden, they were focusing on lerner and irsgate.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  308. “The trumpist argument would be more persuasive if, instead of focusing on biden, they were focusing on lerner and irsgate.”
    aphrael (3f0569) — 9/26/2019 @ 9:07 am

    We’ve been focusing on unmaskings, bogus evidence in warrants, surveillance of an opposition campaign the past three years. Well, precious few of us have. Did you notice?

    Munroe (53beca)

  309. It isn’t persuasive if the only corruption you care about is the other side’s.

    DRJ (15874d)

  310. Munroe: and none of you have been able to answer the question “what should the administration do when a representative of a foreign intelligence agency who we have good relations with approaches them and says ‘a member of a presidential campaign bragged to us that a foreign government is helping the campaign by spying on a different campaign and using information gained through that spying to help the first campaign’.

    Should such a claim by a representative of a foreign intelligence agency (specifically, of an agency that we generally consider trustworthy) be investigated? By whom and at what level?

    Until you can answer that and explain what you think an administration *should* do with such a report, it looks like your focus on “surveillance of an opposition campaign” is designed to distract and change the subject, just like focus on the alleged impropriety involved in the IG deciding that the whistleblower complaint was a credible matter of urgent concern.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  311. DRJ: i’m having a difficult time reading your response as not implying that you believe me to only be concerned about the other side’s corruption; my “would be more persuasive” comment in #312 hid an implicit modifier “would be more persuasive to me”.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  312. Come now 2016 and the media selected Jeb!

    The lamest of the lamer Trumpist canards. At no time the the GOP select Jeb!, and he never placed or showed in any primary or caucus. To say that the contest in 2016 was “Trump or Jeb!”, or even to imply that, is a base lie.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  313. *did the

    Kevin M (19357e)

  314. I do strongly believe that using the power of the state to induce a foreign power to go after your political opponents is a more damaging form of corruption than using the power of the state to induce a foreign power to help your family.

    Of course the fact that Donald Trump is the sitting president of the United States, and Joe Biden is not the president of the United States, nor has he ever been, is what makes the abuse of power, and corruption more egregious.

    Dana (05f22b)

  315. Mitt is one of those guys who would stroll into a crosswalk in front of a speeding 18 wheeler because, by golly, he’s got the right of way.

    And yet Trump seems to do this daily, with all his advisors screaming “Look out!”

    Kevin M (19357e)

  316. Dana, on the one hand, yes. On the other hand, I read ‘Biden’ as a proxy for ‘the Obama administration’ in such allegations — he was a highly placed administration official and the allegation is either that he *personally* abused the power of the office to help his son or the Obama administration *in general* abused the power of the office to help Biden’s son.

    At least that’s how I read what the Trump supporters are saying on the subject.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  317. Kevin M, what are you talking about?

    In May of 2018, Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wrote to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko asking the Ukraine government to keep four investigations open related to the Mueller probe into Russian election interference in the U.S. and indicated that their support for foreign aid to Ukraine could be in jeopardy.

    “As strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine, we believe that our cooperation should extend to such legal matters,” the senators wrote, adding that they were “disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these principles in order to avoid the ire of President Trump.”

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/25/democrats-asked-ukraine-to-investigate-trump-in-2018/

    Kevin M (19357e)

  318. I wish Trump supporters here would denounce Trump’s behavior and corruption. Just once.

    I occasionally support Trump [reasons], but I have no illusions about his honesty, behavior, intelligence or suitability for office. He is the worst possible President — except for all the Democrats who would have it.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  319. Since this is going to be a talking point today, here is the letter itself:

    https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/5-4-18%20Menendez%20joint%20letter%20to%20General%20Prosecutor%20of%20Ukraine%20on%20Mueller%20investigation.pdf

    You might want to mae note of the reference that there was a fear in the Ukraine the four prosecutions were being suspended becaus they might agitate the President. Wonder where that came from?

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  320. @233, Kevin do you see any difference in what Trump did and in publicly asking the Ukraine to support an official investigation? Also, can you point to where they threatened to oppose aid? Not expecting an explicit threat, just wanted to see where in the letter you felt that was.

    Time123 (14b920)

  321. What bothers me is that most posters have no clue what a member of a corporate board does. Usually, he attends a couple of meetings a year. He/she votes the way the C-Suite of the company wants him to vote. He collects a fee when it is all over.

    Putting Hunter Biden on a corporate board in the Ukraine is a clear effort to curry favor with the US by the oligarch in question. As our host noted, it does put Joe in an appearence of conflict position in dealing with the Ukraine. But the idea that Hunter Biden was in any legal jeapordy, and Biden stepped in to keep sonny boy out of jail is laughable. Corporate cases are remarkably complex, and the Board members never get arrested, because the people up to nefarious activity hide it from Board members, and board members don’t spend a lot of time looking for nefarious activity.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  322. Also, can you point to where they threatened to oppose aid?

    I didn’t say they did, just that they wanted the foreign government to continue to investigate Trump and his minions.

    Past that you are moving the goalposts. Besides, there is nothing in Trump’s conversation where he says “Do this or no aid!”

    Kevin M (19357e)

  323. I feared you might think that, aphrael, but I was actually commenting on Munroe’s response to you.

    As to your comments, I understand your point that using power to damage one’s opponents is more dangerous to the nation than using power to help one’s family. I believe your point is that the former corrupts the system while the latter is a lesser form of corruption. But IMO both are corruption for personal gain. I can’t draw the line on corruption and say that one is understandable and the other isn’t.

    DRJ (15874d)

  324. Kevin M,

    You have criticized Trump but you are “just one” person. That isn’t the same as asking every supporter here to criticize Trump “Just once.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  325. “Should such a claim by a representative of a foreign intelligence agency (specifically, of an agency that we generally consider trustworthy) be investigated? By whom and at what level?”
    aphrael (3f0569) — 9/26/2019 @ 9:30 am

    Accepting this claim was the starting point would, of course, discount any competing claims. Your question depends on exactly this assumption, and is therefore pointless.

    Try asking other questions, that might include pronouns like Mifsud and Turk.

    Munroe (53beca)

  326. We’ve been focusing on unmaskings, bogus evidence in warrants, surveillance of an opposition campaign the past three years. Well, precious few of us have. Did you notice?

    I have. Your allegations are fact-less nothingburgers, ginned up by sketchy pro-Trump partisans. But hey, there’s still the faint hope that Durham might do something.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  327. Munroe, I note that you *still* can’t answer the question, and your response is to dodge and deflect to something else.

    Accept for the purposes of philosophical exploration that the Mueller report is accurate when it claims that the FBI investigation started after a representative of a foreign intelligence operation (which we generally trust) contacted the US and told the US that a member of Trump’s campaign was bragging about the Russians helping the campaign by spying on the Clinton campaign and using the gained information to help Trump.

    *If that is true*, what was the appropriate response of the United States government?

    aphrael (3f0569)

  328. “Your allegations are fact-less nothingburgers, ginned up by sketchy pro-Trump partisans.”
    Paul Montagu (f2c051) — 9/26/2019 @ 10:10 am

    Alas, the allegations don’t have the imprimatur of a NYT byline, like the Kavanaugh allegations, nor a two year SC mandate into collusion.

    Munroe (53beca)

  329. DRJ, thank you for clarifying.

    I understand your point that they’re both corruption for personal gain, and that’s entirely fair.

    I wouldn’t say one is understandable and the other isn’t — both because either they’re both understandable or they aren’t, and because being understandable wouldn’t make them ok; something can be understandable but still intolerable.

    I suspect we’re in agreement on both of those points. :)

    I’m more concerned about one than I am about the other because, while they’re both corrosive, one is more highly acidic, which is basically how you characterized my position.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  330. Time123: I didn’t see an explicit threat in the memorandum. I saw an implicit leaning on debt and obligation — “we help you a lot, would you mind doing us a favor?”.

    If that leaning on debt and obligation had been for a public purpose rather than for a personal political purpose, it would have been normal diplomacy.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  331. ‘*If that is true*, what was the appropriate response of the United States government?’
    aphrael (3f0569) — 9/26/2019 @ 10:19 am

    *If that’s true*, nothing was amiss. Does that answer your question?

    Mueller didn’t know about Fusion GPS, didn’t mention Turk, etc., so…. what does that tell you? Anything? Does that tell you to accept the claim as true?

    Munroe (53beca)

  332. You have criticized Trump but you are “just one” person. That isn’t the same as asking every supporter here to criticize Trump “Just once.”

    Perhaps, but I can only speak for myself.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  333. Also, can you point to where they threatened to oppose aid?

    I didn’t say they did, just that they wanted the foreign government to continue to investigate Trump and his minions.

    Past that you are moving the goalposts. Besides, there is nothing in Trump’s conversation where he says “Do this or no aid!”

    The portion you quoted explicitly claimed they did that and I attributed that to you. Since it doesn’t seem like you think that, never mind the questions.

    But they weren’t asking a foreign government to continue to investigate Trump and his minions they were asking a foreign government to support a lawful investigation by the US Department of Justice. That difference is important.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  334. #336 apparently those things didn’t have much impact on his investigation.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  335. “But they weren’t asking a foreign government to continue to investigate Trump and his minions they were asking a foreign government to support a lawful investigation by the US Department of Justice. That difference is important.”
    Time123 (b4d075) — 9/26/2019 @ 10:57 am

    IANAL caveat. The FBI cannot spy on US citizens abroad. The CIA can, under restrictions. Getting foreign intelligence involved appears to be an intentional way to skirt restrictions. That will come out. If so, would that bother you at all?

    Munroe (53beca)

  336. well they do have legats, like the one that papadopolous met in London, and the company well has found ways of skirting that operation, in the past,

    narciso (d1f714)

  337. Besides, there is nothing in Trump’s conversation where he says “Do this or no aid!”

    In fact, Zelesky thanks him for the aid, and promises to buy U.S weapons.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  338. 336. aphrael (3f0569) — 9/26/2019 @ 10:24 am

    If that leaning on debt and obligation had been for a public purpose rather than for a personal political purpose, it would have been normal diplomacy.

    Trump characterized it as a public purpose.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  339. And if it had all been true, it would have been.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  340. Sammy, at 344: I disagree, and find myself (bizarrely) agreeing with Chris Christie.

    1. It would be one thing if the President had said “we’re super concerned about corruption in the Ukraine and here’s an example of the kind of thing we’re talking about”, but … that’s not what they said. (that was Christie’s point)

    2. I also take quite seriously lawfareblog’s observation that investigations are normally handled through channels, that this isn’t the proper channel, that there’s no good reason why this channel should be used instead of the proper channel, and that the choice to do that is suspicious.

    3. And if the whistleblower is correct that this was improperly classified after the fact, then any claim that this was for a public purpose goes by the wayside.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  341. IANAL caveat. The FBI cannot spy on US citizens abroad. The CIA can, under restrictions. Getting foreign intelligence involved appears to be an intentional way to skirt restrictions. That will come out. If so, would that bother you at all?

    Yes, whatever the rules are they should be followed. Where they aren’t appropriate actions should be taken. (e.g. re-training, disciplinary action, criminal charges as appropriate)

    But this is just a my standard thinking. I don’t think you’re correct on your premise.

    I think what you probably meant was that the CIA can’t spy on US citizens within the US. But that’s just my guess.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  342. “I think what you probably meant was that the CIA can’t spy on US citizens within the US. But that’s just my guess.”
    Time123 (b4d075) — 9/26/2019 @ 11:38 am

    No, I actually meant what I wrote.

    Munroe (53beca)

  343. Besides, there is nothing in Trump’s conversation where he says “Do this or no aid!”

    In fact, Zelesky thanks him for the aid, and promises to buy U.S weapons.

    Yes, that’s why the transcript is at best the basis to begin the investigation and not proof.

    Context matters in this. If I walk into a shop during a server storm and say “Beautiful place you have here. I hope it’s.” it could reasonably interpreted differently than if it came from someone you knew to be a thug on a clear day.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  344. You might want to mae note of the reference that there was a fear in the Ukraine the four prosecutions were being suspended becaus they might agitate the President. Wonder where that came from?

    There’s a reason the three Dem Senators wrote that letter when they did. A day or two earlier the NYT came out with a piece that suggested a quid pro quo, where Ukrainians would stonewall Mueller and, for their efforts, get rewarded with a batch of Javelin missiles. This maneuver has a familiar obstruction of justice smell.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  345. 347, than you have my answer, and a link showing you’re wrong on your premise. The FBI is authorized to operate over seas. Unless by “spy” you mean “investigate without a proper reason”, which i don’t think they’re authorized to do in any location.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  346. Time123 (b4d075) — 9/26/2019 @ 11:44 am

    Yes, you did answer. The point being that the “important” difference you stress @338 is not really a difference at all, if indeed restrictions were intentionally skirted.

    Munroe (53beca)

  347. Andrew McCarthy is becoming a bigger pro-Trump shill with every passing day. This one paragraph alone is filled with disinformation.

    But more to the point, the relationship of dependency intensified in 2015 due to the flight to Moscow of Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych. At that point, a new Ukrainian government more to the Obama administration’s liking, under President Petro Poroshenko, came to power. It was desperate for American help, financially and security-wise, which is why Vice President Biden was in a position to pressure it into firing the prosecutor who was conducting a corruption investigation of Burisma, the energy company that had appointed Hunter Biden to its board and was lavishly compensating him.

    One, Mr. Yanukovych fled to Putin’s Russia in 2014, not 2015, and he did so because of a popular revolution that would have led to his arrest and imprisonment had he stayed.
    Two, McCarthy is telling a half-story that the new Ukrainian government was “more to the Obama administration’s liking.” It was to the free world’s liking, and Poroshenko was legitimately elected in a legitimate election. It wasn’t to Putin’s liking, and apparently not to Mr. McCarthy’s liking either.
    Three, it is blatant provable lie that the prosecutor Biden wanted fired was “conducting a corruption investigation of Burisma.”
    McCarthy just keeps shredding his credibility. He’s a pathetic, factually-challenged hack.
    The cynic in me believes that he’s churning out these lies because he has a book to sell, and it’s the in-the-bag Trump true believers who are his target audience. As long as he properly kowtows to Trump, they’ll believe just about anything.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  348. Paul Montagu (f2c051) — 9/26/2019 @ 12:22 pm

    Three, it is blatant provable lie that the prosecutor Biden wanted fired was “conducting a corruption investigation of Burisma.”

    It’s probably a lie, but it’s not Giuliani’s lie.

    It’s probably Putin’s lie.

    And Giuliani says three former prosecutors went on the record as claiming that:

    https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/denzel-washington-on-the-club-that-made-him-the-man-he-is-today

    There are three videotapes of prosecutors on record, available on here, that nobody has covered for five months, because this town protects Joe Biden….

    …The reality is that there are three other prosecutors where all you have to do is go online, three others, that say that this was done precisely to get rid of Biden, to cover up Hunter, and to cover up Soros.

    I will give you their names. One of them is Kulik, Konstantin Kulik. The other is Shokin himself. And the third one is a prosecutor by the name of Inazdir (ph).

    They are present officials. Three of them were officials. One is still an official of the Ukrainian government.

    If you bothered to look, you could listen to them on tape telling you that. Now, they may all be lying, but Lutsenko may be lying also. But it’s 3-1.

    Now it is true that Biden is being protected, because the claim he made about getting the prosecutor fired – about that cancelled press coference – that’s also a lie!

    The whole story Biden told is a tall tale. It doesn’t check out. That’s an interesting twist, but if you think about it, it makes a great deal of sense.

    Of course, even in the story he told, Biden did not say his son was under investigation, or even going to called as a witness. Other people said that. But Giuliani only claims Biden conmcealed that investigation from his audience.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  349. In May of 2018, Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wrote to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko asking the Ukraine government to keep four investigations open related to the Mueller probe into Russian election interference in the U.S. and indicated that their support for foreign aid to Ukraine could be in jeopardy.

    “As strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine, we believe that our cooperation should extend to such legal matters,” the senators wrote, adding that they were “disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these principles in order to avoid the ire of President Trump.”

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/25/democrats-asked-ukraine-to-investigate-trump-in-2018/

    Kevin M,

    First, the Federalist’s claim that the Senators “indicated that their support for foreign aid to Ukraine could be in jeopardy” does not appear to be borne out by the letter, and when someone called you on that you appeared to disclaim that allegation even though it was part of the quote you provided in support for your earlier claim.

    I see your claim that I am hypocritical for not seeing this as precisely the same as what Trump did, and I label that claim bullshit. Making sure that a government does not, for political reasons, abandon investigations they are already conducting is quite different from asking a government to undertake an investigation for political reasons.

    It is desperate for you to draw such a false equivalence in order to label me a hypocrite. You should be embarrassed.

    Patterico (d3d5c1)

  350. I have always complained about his signing the omnibus and all the extensions for the budget. Shut it down. Also complained about him sending troops to Saudi Arabia. Could do without some of the tweets, but as long as the how dare you sect can’t take it, let er ride.

    mg (8cbc69)

  351. Mcintyre pointed out, gordon redesigned the form to allow second hand gossip as evidence.

    Narciso (beeb9a)

  352. aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/25/2019 @ 6:04 pm

    It’s technically imprecise and inaccurate to describe it as a transcript

    It’s probably better than a lot of transcripts or court reporters. They just don’t want to swear to it, so to speak.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)


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