Patterico's Pontifications

11/25/2019

What Exactly Did Rudy Offer This Criminal in Return for Dirt on Joe Biden?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:00 am



There’s a lot to digest in this New York Times story about Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to get dirt on Joe Biden, including Giuliani’s contacts with an oligarch under indictment, for whom Giuliani appears to have done some high-level criminal defense legal work:

In the case of Mr. Firtash, an energy tycoon with deep ties to the Kremlin who is facing extradition to the United States on bribery and racketeering charges, one of Mr. Giuliani’s associates has described offering the oligarch help with his Justice Department problems — if Mr. Firtash hired two lawyers who were close to President Trump and were already working with Mr. Giuliani on his dirt-digging mission. Mr. Firtash said the offer was made in late June when he met with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both Soviet-born businessmen involved in Mr. Giuliani’s Ukraine pursuit.

Mr. Parnas’s lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, confirmed that account and added that his client had met with Mr. Firtash at Mr. Giuliani’s direction and encouraged the oligarch to help in the hunt for compromising information “as part of any potential resolution to his extradition matter.”

How would Giuliani have any sway over an extradition matter supervised by federal law enforcement? It’s not Rudy knows some guy in charge of federal law enforcement who wants dirt on Biden and loves Russia and has the power to do something about a federal criminal prosecution…

OK, fine, but it’s not like Giuliani actually did anything for this Firtash guy. Or did he? Remember this other New York Times story?

Several weeks ago, Brian A. Benczkowski, the head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and lawyers from the division’s Fraud Section met with Mr. Giuliani to discuss a bribery case in which he and other attorneys were representing the defendants.

That meeting took place before the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan publicly charged the two Giuliani associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with breaking campaign finance laws and trying to unlawfully influence politicians, including former Representative Pete Sessions, Republican of Texas. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were part of Mr. Giuliani’s effort to push Ukraine for an inquiry into Democrats.

“When Mr. Benczkowski and fraud section lawyers met with Mr. Giuliani, they were not aware of any investigation of Mr. Giuliani’s associates in the Southern District of New York and would not have met with him had they known,” said Peter Carr, a department spokesman.

So who was the client in the bribery case? Giuliani’s meeting with DoJ officials was first reported by the New York Times here. I can’t seem to find a source in which the client is identified, but the piece does describe it as a very, very sensitive foreign bribery case related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act:

A few weeks ago, Mr. Giuliani secured a meeting, along with some other defense lawyers, with the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division and attorneys in the fraud section. They were there to discuss a foreign bribery case for a client that Mr. Giuliani described as “very, very sensitive.”

. . . .

In the case of his recent meeting at the Justice Department, Mr. Giuliani declined to identify the client or subject covered, saying, “None of your business.” He said he was one of several lawyers working on the case who attended.

“It’s a completely privileged meeting,” he said, “but it was a perfectly appropriate meeting.”

Mr. Giuliani requested the meeting to discuss a case related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars Americans from bribing foreign officials, according to people familiar with the meeting. They said it was attended by Brian A. Benczkowski, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

So how did DoJ describe the indictment of Firtash? You guessed it! It’s a very, very sensitive foreign bribery case related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act:

A federal indictment returned under seal in June 2013 and unsealed today charges six foreign nationals, including a Ukrainian businessman and a government official in India, with participating in an alleged international racketeering conspiracy involving bribes of state and central government officials in India to allow the mining of titanium minerals. Five of the six defendants are also charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), among other offenses.

. . . .

One defendant, Dmitry Firtash, aka “Dmytro Firtash” and “DF,” 48, a Ukrainian national, was arrested March 12, 2014, in Vienna, Austria. Firtash was released from custody on March 21, 2014, after posting 125 million euros (approximately $174 million) bail, and he pledged to remain in Austria until the end of extradition proceedings.

What a coinkidink!

You tell me, but to me it sounds a lot like Giuliani promised this Firtash guy help with his case — and delivered, using his connections with Trump to leverage a meeting with the guy running the Criminal Division (a guy, Brian Benczkowski, who has ties to a prominent Russian bank, by the way, who helped Barr make an instantaneous determination that the Ukranian mess was not criminal action on Trump’s part) — apparently in trade for help with getting dirt on Biden.

Another day in Donald Trump’s America.

216 Responses to “What Exactly Did Rudy Offer This Criminal in Return for Dirt on Joe Biden?”

  1. Another day in Donald Trump’s Vladimir Putin’s America.

    Dave (1bb933)

  2. Not only “Orange Man Bad”, but anyone who works for Orange Man is also bad.

    Darth Chocolate (82840a)

  3. Yeah, where’s there’s smoke there’s fire. Like with Micheal Cohen or Russia Collusion or Stormy Davis, or….

    Too bad we didn’t have an independent press in the USA, that would investigate why all these Senators (R and D) are so worked up about the Ukraine, why all these Ukrainians are in the USA and lobbying and bribing our Congressmen to get special favors, and why our Former VP was OK with his son being on Ukrainian Company Board of Directors, despite knowing nothing about the Gas Industry or the Ukraine. OR why China put $$$ in his son’s hedge fund.

    Everyone in DC seems be lobbying for foreigners or getting $$$ from foreigners. And a lot of that is just kickbacked from the $20 billion in aid we hand out. Its why all the Senators squealed like stuck pigs when Trump wanted to cut foreign Aid. But one seems to care, unless it hurts Trump.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  4. Rudy Seems to be another one of Trump’s DUMB friends, and incapable of keeping his mouth shut or saying stupid things. Its hilarious to think back to 2008 when “smart guys” Like David Frum were touting Giuliani as the next POTUS.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  5. But [no] one seems to care, unless it hurts Trump.

    Whether Trump personally gets hurt is really not the primary concern of everyone who criticizes him, but it certainly appears to be the primary concern of a great many of his defenders.

    Rudy Seems to be another one of Trump’s DUMB friends,

    It’s a mystery why a stable genius like Trump would chosen someone so DUMB to be his personal lawyer + shadow foreign policy director.

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  6. It’s amusing that the norms of limited government are being pulled down at high speed by the Republican Party.

    Wait to see what that looks like once the Democrats realise the futility of running dignified candidates and make a hard push to get Michael Moore into power with no guard rails on his behaviour.

    Bob (32b51d)

  7. New York sewer scum clump together. Giuliani has always been a political thug, a fixer, and a dirty tricks peddler (not necessarily in that order), with a sideline in adultery, spousal abuse, and public displays of self-pity.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. I wrote about the Trump-Ukraine corruption links, and they all stink (http://www.theforvm *dot* org/trump-giuliani-firtash-digenova-toensing-shokin-solomon-dowd-parnas-fruman-connection)
    ♥ Firtash is connected to Russian organized crime, so maybe he’s connected to “Foreign National 1″ in the Parnas-Fruman indictment.
    Bloomberg described Firtash as “Putin’s handpicked surrogate” in the Ukrainian natural gas industry.
    Firtash was a business associate of the corrupt and convicted liar, Paul Manafort, and part of the reason for bringing Firtash to the US is to see if prosecutors could learn “new revelations” about the one-degree-removed agent for Putin.
    ♥ Viktor Shokin, the corrupt prosecutor who was fired for his corruption, thanks in part to Biden, gave an oral “witness statement” (in Russian, of course), serving as a character witness for Firtash and claiming that he really really was investigating Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden before he was sacked, despite all the countervailing evidence. Shokin did this at the request of Toensing-DiGenova. At some point the “witness statement” was translated to English (probably by Parnas) and John Solomon uploaded it to Scribd.
    ♥ The Toensing-DiGenova legal team is representing Firtash in his extradition and bribery case. Toensing-DiGenova also worked “off the books” for Giuliani. They are also representing John Solomon, the pro-Trump hack who used all kinds of sketchy sources in his “reporting”. They wanted to work for Trump but they had a conflict (they represented one or more parties in the Special Counsel investigation), but that hasn’t stopped them from showing up on FoxNews to defend Trump and call Napolitano a “fool”.
    ♥ Giuliani minion Igor Fruman worked for Firtash in an “unspecified capacity”.
    ♥ Giuliani minion Lev Parnas worked for Firtash in an “unspecified capacity”. Parnas was later hired by Toensing-DiGenova as a translator on Firtash’s behalf.
    ♥ John Solomon is in the bag for Firtash, claiming there’s no case against Firtash, despite the ruling from the Austrian court that permitted extradition. I suspect that Solomon’s sources are either Parnas or Giuliani or DiGenova/Toensing. Giuliani praised this bit of “reporting” from Mr. Solomon.
    ♥ It is a fact that Devin Nunes and three of his people flew to Europe last December. Parnas is saying that Shokin told him that the ex-prosecutor met with Nunes & Co. met in Vienna, the city where Mr. Firtash is under house arrest.
    All of what Giuliani and Toensing-DiGenova are doing serve to help Putin and Trump. Putin cannot want his guy Firtash extradited to America.

    Paul Montagu (e1a7bb)

  9. Please release my comment from moderation. It has good stuff in it, if I say so myself.

    Paul Montagu (e1a7bb)

  10. So I have this burning question, well a couple questions, that I’m real curious about…Let’s say that the evidence is, as many here believe, overwhelming that Trump should be removed from office. Suppose every piece of evidence against him is true. Let’s assume that Trump will be impeached and convicted.

    Given all of the above, with the DOW at around 28,000 or so today:

    1) Where do you all think that number will be at that point he is impeached? It should go up, correct? By how much?
    2) Same question but where do you suppose it will be when he is convicted in the Senate?

    PTw (894877)

  11. 1) Who knows, and who cares?
    2) Who knows, and who cares?

    Is this how you conduct your analysis of prosecuting wrongdoing? By how it will impact the stock market?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  12. Leviticus, PTw’s argument is pure evil.

    It’s a weird way to try to bribe us to ignore this other bribery thing. It’s also hilariously dumb. Obama’s economic gains were dismissed as unrelated to the presidency.

    But to answer the question, yes, of course the DOW will go up. The truth is that the DOW always eventually goes up. It would go up if the president was replaced with a hot dog and every day they waved the hot dog in front of a podium as a gag for 4 years. The US economy grows every time any fair transaction takes place. It isn’t like Trump is helping the economy (obviously!).

    Dustin (cafb36)

  13. Is this how you conduct your analysis of prosecuting wrongdoing? By how it will impact the stock market?

    No, I said nothing about wrongdoing or why. Wrong doing should be prosecuted, no matter who did the doing and no matter where the stock market goes. I’m just asking a question…ok, two questions. I’m curious what other people think about these things. If you’re not interested in answering my questions, that’s fine. Ignore it. But in response to your questions, it would seem to me a lot of people care. But I might add, if you think those questions only relate to money and the stock market, you’re not thinking very deeply or broadly about this subject.

    PTw (894877)

  14. It would go up if the president was replaced with a hot dog and every day they waved the hot dog in front of a podium as a gag for 4 years. The US economy grows every time any fair transaction takes place.

    Really? During the Nixon impeachment, the stock market fell around 45%. Political uncertainty is definitely bad for economic outlooks well beyond the market itself. Evil questions? Seriously? Somewhere Socrates is spinning in his grave.

    PTw (894877)

  15. Really? During the Nixon impeachment, the stock market fell around 45%

    Did it go up?

    Yep.

    It does really suck that Nixon caused the stock market to go down. Sucks that Trump’s misconduct has done the same. It is not the cop’s fault the drunk driver goes to jail, or that there are fewer ambulances available when he calls one to the scene of a drunken car accident.

    Trump is not a victim of giuliani’s misconduct.

    The DOW would go up. If you really care about it, you want a consistent, reliable legal system.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  16. It does really suck that Nixon caused the stock market to go down. Sucks that Trump’s misconduct has done the same.

    The DOW would go up. If you really care about it, you want a consistent, reliable legal system.

    OK, I’ve never, ever asked this question seriously…but seriously, what color is the sky in your world?

    PTw (894877)

  17. mr. PTw is a very smart man who lives in the real world and knows everything about everything

    when he talks, e f hutton listens

    so there

    nk (dbc370)

  18. @4 I often have conversations with parents in which they express a wish that their child not associate with their problematic peer group. Sometimes the same parents with 3 or 4 different peer groups that their child has chosen. They appear to have difficulty understanding that it isn’t the other kids that are the problem. Their child is a problem peer that other parent should worry about.

    @10 IMO It won’t make any long-term or even medium difference in the Dow one way or the other. It seems unlikely that Pence would make significant policy changes in the next year.

    Nic (896fdf)

  19. mr. PTw is a very smart man who lives in the real world and knows everything about everything

    Why thank you, nk. That’s a very nice compliment. Though your perception of my influence with Mr. Hutton, God rest his soul, is a bit exaggerated. BTW, how’s the ‘mater plants doing? But seriously…my original two questions, any thoughts?

    PTw (894877)

  20. OK, I’ve never, ever asked this question seriously…but seriously, what color is the sky in your world?

    PTw (894877) — 11/25/2019 @ 10:59 am

    I understand you are just regurgitating the talking point of the day. We see this every day.

    But the DOW would definitely go up. It wouldn’t go up in a nanosecond, but it would go up. Because it always goes up. Guess what happened when Clinton was president? It went up. Guess what happened when George W was president? It went up. Guess what will happen if Liz Warren is president? It will go up.

    Trump isn’t some mastermind making secret phone calls with Nokia and Texaco all day saving our economy from minorities or whatever you guys think is happening.

    Yes, bad news and instability will harm the economy. That’s really your fault as much as anyone’s. By rolling your eyes at a very dishonest man getting so much power, you opened the door to instability. In the long run, it will be very very good for the USA’s long term economic health if we know that no man is above the law.

    You might think fear and greed in the short term is a good argument (again, I realize you’re regurgitating) but that’s how it works in Russia. The right men are above the law there and therefore there’s less reason to do business there.

    Stop being a partisan and think about it.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  21. PTw, you’re right. During a period of uncertainty equity values tend to decrease. Especially as people with positions based on expectations about Trumps future actions sell off those positions to minimize losses.

    However, if you believe the value of the stock is based on the economic value of the company it’s reasonable to expect the drop to transient. I don’t have any way to predict how long it would take. But I would expect that if the DOW is at 28,000 now, and he’s impeached, it will be back at 28,000 shortly after Pence is sworn in. If is worth 340 Billion $ today based on sales and expected growth it should be worth about that under a president Pence.

    I don’t see the point of the question.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  22. @10 IMO It won’t make any long-term or even medium difference in the Dow one way or the other. It seems unlikely that Pence would make significant policy changes in the next year.

    OK, a serious answer. I’ll take that. But per my comment further up:
    During the Nixon impeachment, the stock market fell around 45%. Political uncertainty is definitely bad for economic outlooks well beyond the market itself.

    Shouldn’t we see a significant correction? It’s not all about policy, there’s a political stability issue to consider. Nixon went quietly and yet a huge drop. Trump has shown every indication, including a bravado “Bring it on”, so I’m guessing he won’t go quietly.

    PTw (894877)

  23. Patterico, really interesting post. At the point it seems likely that Trump was doing a number of unethical things in an effort to get dirt on Joe Biden.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  24. Michael Moore = pre-Keto diet Tucker Carlson, why the worry?

    Rudi Giuliani has now entered the realm of acceptable sacrifice.

    urbanleftbehind (92b2e4)

  25. Too bad we didn’t have an independent press in the USA, that would investigate why all these Senators (R and D) are so worked up about the Ukraine, why all these Ukrainians are in the USA and lobbying and bribing our Congressmen to get special favors,

    It’s more that people in this country don’t bother to read articles about these sorts of things. The media would write surrealist poetry if it brought them add dollars.

    Besides, few care about the non-illegal but unethical behavior of people they support. Look at your reaction to this one that Patterico put together. You respond like most people will. You make excuses for your team and complain that other team isn’t getting the same level of scrutiny.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  26. BTW, how’s the ‘mater plants doing?

    Not bad, thank you for asking. Have you double-checked that you don’t have any unused personal days? And will you be getting a new cubicle any time soon?

    nk (dbc370)

  27. Media has more important things to report:

    Kate Bennett
    @KateBennett_DC
    .
    @realDonaldTrump
    talked about what a dangerous and vicious dog Conan was while
    @VP
    simultaneously petted it and put his hand near his mouth. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    __ _

    Stephen Miller
    @redsteeze
    ·
    Add this to articles of impeachment.
    __ _

    @heuristic_light
    @heuristic_light
    ·
    This president clearly using dog to political advantage.
    __ _

    Easton Croy
    @CroyEaston
    ·
    I’m just waiting for an image of Hitler petting a German Shepherd to be flashed on CNN and the day with be complete.

    _

    harkin (337580)

  28. I don’t see the point of the question.

    Stock markets are forward looking, correct? See my @22. Nixon impeachment dropped it 45% or so. He hadn’t been accused of anything anywhere near as corrupt as Trump, going so far as to treason and such. The DOW didn’t recover for five years. But if Trump is so bad for the country, why is the market at all time highs? If his removal from office is impending, shouldn’t it be dropping?

    PTw (894877)

  29. The bidens are crooked. As the woman playing tulsi gabbard said saturday night on snl “I smell your fear!”

    asset (456676)

  30. FTFY

    Besides, few care about the non illegal but or unethical behavior of people they support.

    Manatour (c67e0d)

  31. The bidens are crooked. As the woman playing tulsi gabbard said saturday night on snl “I smell your fear!”

    How nice. Now, about Rudy, the personal lawyer for the president and shadow secretary of graft…err…state.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  32. Giuliani has always been a political thug, a fixer, and a dirty tricks peddler (not necessarily in that order), with a sideline in adultery, spousal abuse, and public displays of self-pity.

    Just curious, were you saying that back in 2008 or 2001? I don’t remember a lot of anti-Rudy sentiment then.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  33. Politics is hell. Politics is all hell. This little trip into the sausage factory comes up with some really ugly stuff, but it’s hardly unique — other than it being investigated in depth.

    I wonder what $100 million of investigation would show about that drunk-driving revelation that “some guy” revealed 3 days before the 2000 election. Or the collusion and editing involved in the Romney 47% video.

    Just because you see this crap clearly under the streetlamp does not mean there isn’t far worse off in the dark.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  34. The S&P 500 is a better market measure so I’m going to use that.

    Looking at the 1970’s the S&P 500 peaked at 108$ in July of 1973 and began dropping prior to impeachment. Large decreases happened during the Nixon impeachment in 1974 and the S&P bottomed out at 63$ in Sept of 1974. 3 month later in Jan of 1975 the S&P was up to 77$. By Jan 1 of 1976 the S&P had returned to pre-impeachment highs and closed at 101$

    While it’s clear that uncertainty caused a decline in equity values 3 months after he left off the trend was upwards and 9 months after he resigned the S&P was higher than when the process started. Also worth noting that the highest point in the decade was shortly before the impeachment began. So the impeachment had transitory impact on the market.

    The data is below, for years outside of the impeachment I’m only taking January and June closes.
    Sorry for the formatting, I don’t have time to put it into an HTML table. But if you go to Yahoo Finance you can download it.

    Date Close % Change
    1/1/1970 85.02
    6/1/1970 72.72 -14%
    1/1/1971 95.88 18%
    6/1/1971 98.70 3%
    1/1/1972 103.94 5%
    6/1/1972 107.14 3%
    1/1/1973 116.03 4%
    6/1/1973 104.26 -10%
    7/1/1973 108.22 -3%
    8/1/1973 104.25 -7%
    9/1/1973 108.43 1%
    10/1/1973 108.29 3%
    11/1/1973 95.96 -8%
    12/1/1973 97.55 -10%
    1/1/1974 96.57 -7%
    2/1/1974 96.22 -11%
    3/1/1974 93.98 -13%
    4/1/1974 90.31 -6%
    5/1/1974 87.28 -11%
    6/1/1974 86.00 -11%
    7/1/1974 79.31 -18%
    8/1/1974 72.15 -23%
    9/1/1974 63.54 -30%
    10/1/1974 73.90 -15%
    11/1/1974 69.97 -19%
    12/1/1974 68.56 -14%
    1/1/1975 76.98 7%
    6/1/1975 95.19 24%
    1/1/1976 100.86 16%
    6/1/1976 104.28 3%
    1/1/1977 102.03 -1%
    6/1/1977 100.48 -2%
    1/1/1978 89.25 -8%
    6/1/1978 95.53 7%
    1/1/1979 99.93 -3%
    6/1/1979 102.91 3%
    1/1/1980 114.16 4%
    6/1/1980 114.24 0%

    Time123 (b0628d)

  35. You make excuses for your team and complain that other team isn’t getting the same level of scrutiny.

    Sorry, I don’t make excuses for “My Team”. I just refuse to be a sap, and attack “My team” for things the “other team” approve of or don’t care about. And what about “your team”? Or are you a supposed “Team of one”?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  36. It goes, date close %change over previous month.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  37. @35 So either you don’t care about the underlying behavior in question or you find it less important than you team ‘winning’. The rest of it is the justification. Just be straightforward and say you don’t care about this if a Republican does it because you want them to win. I mean your explanation of what your thinking is basically what i said. ‘excuses’ is the only thing we’re differing on.

    I honestly don’t feel kinship with either political party right now.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  38. Not only “Orange Man Bad”, but anyone who works for Orange Man is also bad.

    Well, yeah, that’s been pretty well proven. In the taxonomy of People Still Willing to Work for Trump, Giuliani lies in:

    2) Straight Grifters. Use Trump to extract money (or other future value) from the government and the public. Much of Trump’s Cabinet including the current Commerce and Treasury Secretaries; the former HHS and Interior Secretaries; and the former EPA Administrator. Also, any number of hangers-on to various Trump 2nd and 3rd-ring functionaries/family members.

    By the way, the categories are:

    1) Dim & Disgraceful (credit to WaPo’s Max Boot)
    2) Straight Grifters
    3) True Believers
    4) Stone Cold Transactalists
    5) Cult of Trump
    Some people incorporate more than one trait and indeed, Rudy also shows some #2 Straight Grifter tendencies, though that could be just for show of course.

    Purple Martin (34703c)

  39. @38. Sorry, last line should have been “Rudy also shows some #5 Cult of Trump tendencies…”

    Purple Martin (34703c)

  40. Thank you for a serious response Mr. Time…So to my point, prior to impeachment inquiry starting in late October of ’73, using monthly data we have:
    10/1/1973 108.29

    After RMH resignation in August of ’74:
    9/1/1974 63.54

    a 63.54/108.29 = 58.68%, a 41.32% decline. If you want to take 101 in Jan. of ’76 as equal to 108, fine by me as quibbling over those specifics was not where I was going with this. While I am, of course, concerned about the actual degree of impact, my question still stands as to where people expect those numbers to be if Trump is actually impeached (unlike Nixon) and convicted (unlike Clinton). The stakes being much, much higher this time around but I suppose one could argue otherwise. Surely we should see some turmoil in the markets, correct? To be clear, I can think about this several ways:

    1) Bad Trump/Market Agrees This Is Bad For Economy – This scenario, it would seem that the market would be anticipating better conditions with Trump’s removal. Thus the market going up, right now, would make sense. Though the market going up since his election does not make sense.

    2) Bad Trump/Market Thinks Trump Good For Economy – This scenario, it would seem that the political turmoil we are seeing should be causing, markets being forward-looking, some degree of deterioration. Yet the market, after a bit of a pause, seems to have gotten a second wind in the last few months.

    Now I’m not saying those two things are the only possibles. These things are definitely very, very complicated and the market being any which way at any one time can be due to a number of factors. Based on the news that I see in the MSM, Trump is on the ropes. So then #1 is in play and thus I would expect a surge, or at least some indifference, when he is impeached. I don’t really know what is going to happen, but I’m curious about other people’s thoughts on this.

    PTw (894877)

  41. @22 If you look at various analysis of impeachments, there are a bunch of factors that play into how the markets react to impeachment. During the Nixon impeachment, there were a number of downtrending economic factors, for example the oil crisis of 1973. We are not having an oil crisis or really anything of significant economic impact happening right now, so the reaction of the markets during the Nixon impeachment is probably not the best model to use.

    Nic (896fdf)

  42. ”You tell me, but to me it sounds a lot like Giuliani promised this Firtash guy help with his case… — apparently in trade for help with getting dirt on Biden.“

    Above sentence with Giuliani, Firtash, Biden —> Boo!
    Above sentence with Mueller, Flynn, Trump —> Yay!

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  43. Mueller was law enforcement investigating a president who was obstructing the investigation every way he could. Giuliani was a criminal investigating a president’s foe by using funds necessary to oppose Putin’s aggression, those funds being intended to stabilize the area and promote national security.

    Indeed, yay and boo. Amazing anyone would suggest that’s not how it should be.

    Dustin (c30dc4)

  44. The NYT goes into Giuliani’s ties with two Ukrainian oligarchs, Firtash and Kolomoisky, the latter being a “patron” of Zelensky and who is reportedly under FBI investigation. Interesting how Giuliani has been hobnobbing with corrupt individuals in his quest to find corruption in Biden.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  45. PTw, We’re in complete agreement on the facts. Rou’re right that 101 is not 108 but I didn’t have time to look at daily closes and when impeachment rumors started and to try and nail it down.

    If Trump get’s impeached I honestly don’t know what will happen in the short term. It will drop but how much and for how long? I can’t say.

    The S&P has been going up since 2011. I’m not sure how much of it is optimism but if Trump get’s impeached and the market drops 45% I’m going to start buying when it’s dropped in expectation that not all of that 30% is related to fundamentals and it will come back. I can afford to wait a year for 20%+ return. How many other’s will make the same assessment? If it’s a lot of people it’ll come up fast.

    If the market drop sparks a contraction in the real economy it could last longer.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  46. ”You tell me, but to me it sounds a lot like Giuliani promised this Firtash guy help with his case… — apparently in trade for help with getting dirt on Biden.“

    Above sentence with Giuliani, Firtash, Biden —> Boo!
    Above sentence with Mueller, Flynn, Trump —> Yay!

    Legal investigation based on reasonable suspicion -> Yay!
    Private effort to manufacture a scandal -> Boo!

    do you see the difference?

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  47. PTw,

    Much of the enduring strength of the economy over the years is the perception that our courts are fair, tge government is somewhat impartial and professional, the economy is not rigged, and outcomes are not arranged by government fiddling. Trump absolutely rots these underpinnings of our economy with his conduct, his scapegoating of certain bad guys, and his tariff love. The charges underlying impeachment get to behavior that uses the mighty powers of the government to destroy enemies. This will scare away investment used to thinking of us as a safe haven.

    You need to look at long term effects. Not just what EF Hutton is listening today. Because old EF has no attention span.

    Appalled (12823d)

  48. ”Interesting how Giuliani has been hobnobbing with corrupt individuals in his quest to find corruption in Biden.”
    Paul Montagu (00daa1) — 11/25/2019 @ 1:06 pm

    Because Biden’s son could’ve just as easily gotten the same sort influence peddling deals in much less corrupt countries like Denmark or Liechtenstein.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  49. ”Legal investigation based on reasonable suspicion -> Yay!
    Private effort to manufacture a scandal -> Boo!
    do you see the difference?”
    Time123 (ca85c9) — 11/25/2019 @ 1:14 pm

    Sure. Which one is which?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  50. You should have just said “no”.

    Time123 (d54166)

  51. The investigators who are looking into Giuliani’s minions, Igor and Lev, are now digging into Giuliani:

    According to people familiar with the ongoing case, investigators are scrutinizing Giuliani’s consulting business and eyeing donations made to America First Action, the main pro-Trump super PAC set up by his advisers and allies after his election, as well as its affiliated nonprofit group.
    As part of the probe, federal prosecutors are examining a raft of other potential crimes, including destruction or alteration of documents, aiding and abetting federal crimes, and foreign nationals contributing to U.S. candidates, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  52. Because Biden’s son could’ve just as easily gotten the same sort influence peddling deals in much less corrupt countries like Denmark or Liechtenstein.

    Hunter Biden was on the board of Amtrak. Was he involved in “influence peddling deals” there? The problem here is you have no evidence of corruption from either Hunter or Joe. You’re lead-heavy on allegations and helium-light on facts. You do have evidence that Zlockevsky laundered money, but it was Shokin who not only refused to cooperate with UK officials, he wrote a letter to Zlochevsky that said he was exonerated.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  53. Just curious, were you saying that back in 2008 or 2001? I don’t remember a lot of anti-Rudy sentiment then.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 11/25/2019 @ 11:58 am

    TDS makes them throw under the bus anyone associated with Trump because “Orange Man Bad!”

    NJRob (c5f2e2)

  54. #37 Is simply depends on the “Behavior”. If you think I’m going to attack Trump for Jaywalking while the Democrats/MSM excuse Hillary or Obama for committing murder, you’re right.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  55. @54 You know what truly convinced me that Obama and Hillary had done absolutely nothing illegal? Trey Gowdy. He was a pro and he seems to have gone into Congress as an honest believer. The only thing he materially worked on was that Clinton mess and, in the end, he quit Congress in disgust. If he couldn’t, in an honest attempt, going hard, find anything and was so disgusted as to quit, there wasn’t anything there. It was just a partisan trump-up and in the end, he couldn’t stomach it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  56. How would Giuliani have any sway over an extradition matter supervised by federal law enforcement?

    He doesn’t and he didn’t.

    Lev Parnas lied to Dmitry Firtash.

    He’s a fraudster.

    He was paying Rudolph Giuliani a tremendous amount of money to do legal work for him. He was the one who was finding interesting (but probably mostly false) things to tell Giuliani.

    It’s not Rudy knows some guy in charge of federal law enforcement

    It’s not Donald Trump who would need to be part of such a deal, but Attorney General William Barr, the head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Brian A. Benczkowski, and the relevant U.S. Attorney, and there’s nothing I read or heard that would indicate there’s a possibility that any such thing could be true, even if you want to say William Barr could be part of something like that.

    Giuliani did not represent Dmitry Firtash (although he might have represented another person in the same case). The article is quite clear that Dmitry Firtash’s lawyers were the married couple of Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova.

    Unless Giuliani was an additional lawyer for Dmitry Firtash, but the October 20, 2019 New York Times story seems to indicate he was not representing the main potential defendant in that case.

    The article is informative, bit you have to realize that it is only the individual pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that are true, and not necessary the way they are put together.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  57. 52. Paul Montagu (00daa1) — 11/25/2019 @ 1:41 pm

    Hunter Biden was on the board of Amtrak. Was he involved in “influence peddling deals” there?

    That very thing has been suggested.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/466057-turley-why-more-questions-remain-after-hunter-bidens-interview

    And Master Card.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  58. Joe Biden in the middle of all this corruption. Hunter Biden, by numerous new accounts, is &3,5000,000 richer that when he first went to Ukraine.

    The two Bidens are the only honest people in this whole story.

    Yep, sure who wouldn’t believe this?

    Now do a risk benefit analisis on this. What benefit does President Trump or Rudy,etal gain by engaging in illegal activity? For what return?

    This is all a scripted show. There is nothing here.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  59. Interesting how Giuliani has been hobnobbing with corrupt individuals in his quest to find corruption in Biden.

    How would you investigate corruption? Hobnob with the Nuns at the nearby Monestary?

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  60. How would you investigate corruption? Hobnob with the Nuns at the nearby Monestary?

    By enlisting credible people, for a start. Giuliani has relied on two corrupt, now ex-prosecutors, and fraudster like Parnas, an indicted Ukrainian oligarch, and a pro-Trump hack “investigative reporter” who also uses sketchy sources.

    Paul Montagu (7cae46)

  61. 60. So you’re smarter fighting corruption, than a prosecutor, who has actually success in locking up corrupt actors.

    This is a silly back and forth. I have no idea what Rudy was doing. I haven’t been following along. Mostly because what the media doesn’t get wrong because they just aren’t very bright, they lie about to advance DNC talking points.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  62. Breaking-
    Donald McGahn Must Testify to Congress, Judge Rules; Appeal Is Expected
    A federal judge on Monday handed a victory to House Democrats in their fight to overcome President Trump’s stonewalling, ruling that the former White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II must testify before impeachment investigators about Mr. Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Mueller investigation.

    Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the Trump administration’s sweeping claim that top presidential advisers are absolutely immune from being compelled to talk about their official duties — meaning they do not even have to show up in response to a subpoena. …..

    But the ruling carries broader implications at a time when the White House has also invoked the same expansive immunity theory to block witnesses about the Ukraine affair from cooperating in Democrats’ impeachment inquiry in the House.

    Several potential witnesses to what Mr. Trump said and did in connection with his pressuring of Ukraine to announce investigations that could benefit him politically — like his former national security adviser, John R. Bolton — have declined to testify because of the administration’s constitutional theory that they are immune…..

    But Mr. Trump, who had openly vowed to stonewall “all” oversight subpoenas after Democrats took control of the House in the 2018 midterm election, instructed Mr. McGahn not to cooperate. His administration put forward the theory that top aides to the president like Mr. McGahn were absolutely immune from being compelled to testify about their officials duties — meaning that they do not even have to show up. …..

    Rip Murdock (ff876c)

  63. 59. Giuliani made his bones prosecuting mafia figures in the 1970s and 1980s. He left the hobnobbing with the criminals up to undercover FBI agents like Joe Pistone.

    Gryph (08c844)

  64. “Another day in Donald Trump’s America”

    Trump ‘screws the pooch:’ gives Conan medal and certificate; keeps cheeseburger for himself.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  65. Subpoena indicates federal investigators interested in Giuliani’s business
    Federal prosecutors investigating associates of Rudy Giuliani have launched a broad investigation that could include criminal charges ranging from conspiracy, obstruction of justice, campaign finance violations and money laundering, according to a subpoena sent to at least one witness and seen by CNN.

    The grand jury subpoena describes the range of charges that are being considered and appears to signal that prosecutors are also looking at the associates’ relationship with the President’s personal lawyer and specifically Giuliani’s business. The Wall Street Journal first reported the subpoena.

    The broad range of charges encompassed in the subpoena include conspiracy to defraud the US, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, obstruction of justice, making false statements to federal officials, wire fraud, money laundering and violations of federal election laws that prohibit the use of straw donors and foreign money in US elections. …..

    The subpoena, which asks for documents and communications with or relating to Parnas and Fruman, also seeks any records relating to Giuliani, his security firm Giuliani Partners and any related people or entities. Prosecutors are asking specifically for any documents relating to any actual or potential payments made to Giuliani, his firm or others. In addition, prosecutors are seeking documents relating to political contributions to America First Action, the super PAC. America First said it is voluntarily cooperating with prosecutors and has not been subpoenaed. …..

    Rip Murdock (ff876c)

  66. So you’re smarter fighting corruption, than a prosecutor, who has actually success in locking up corrupt actors.

    Giuliani hasn’t been a prosecutor for 30 years, and the main impression I’ve recently gotten from him on cable news is that he has a screw loose, or three.

    Paul Montagu (7cae46)

  67. @32. He’d worn out his welcome; anti-Rudy sentiment was fairly strong around NYC on September 10, 2001. That evaporated the next day for time. Today bodies are falling all around him again, but not from the sky.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  68. Could This Be the Guy Who Wrote Anonymous’s Warning?

    … I suspect, based on my own close reading of the text, that the author is an apolitical retired Navy commander who became chief speechwriter for former Defense Secretary James Mattis. If so, he behaved ethically when he wrote an unsigned op-ed and contracted to expand it into a book. ……

    My entry in the guess-who-wrote it sweepstakes is the former Pentagon aide Guy Snodgrass, who would know about many events described in the book. He would have honorable reasons to render his judgments. And revealing the author to be an apolitical Navy officer, not a renegade Republican operative, would elevate the nature of his very serious concerns about Trump’s fitness to hold the office of the presidency. ……
    …..

    Having closely read A Warning and the original op-ed, as well as Holding the Line, Snodgrass’s recent memoir of two years with Mattis, I find that my instincts tell me that the same person wrote both books. Why did I suspect Snodgrass enough to buy his book? First, A Warning and the original op-ed both read like they were written by a speechwriter. They both feature short sentences and one-line paragraphs, the frequent use of alliteration, and “reversible raincoat” constructions (Lincoln had a “team of rivals,” Trump has “rival teams”). The two texts also repeat the same words or phrases but in different contexts (as in, “The United States can have an open door without having open borders.”) These tics all reflect a speechwriter’s mandate of writing for the ear as well as the eye. ……
    …….
    Reading Snodgrass’s Pentagon memoir, Holding the Line, makes the clues to Anonymous’s identity apparent. As in A Warning, the sentences and paragraphs are pithy and punchy. Every chapter in both books begins with an inspiring but not cliché quotation from a historic figure. Many passages in the books are remarkably similar: the ordeal of conducting a Pentagon briefing for Trump; national security staffers exchanging appalled asides about Trump’s conduct of foreign policy via Twitter; and the arguments for why American alliances strengthen national security and why immigration policy shouldn’t be based on building a border wall. In particular, both books stress that, when briefed about international alliances, Trump derails discussions by griping about how allies are stiffing the U.S., from allegedly miserly NATO contributions to ostensibly one-sided trade policies.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (ff876c)

  69. Giuliani made his bones prosecuting mafia figures in the 1970s and 1980s. He left the hobnobbing with the criminals up to undercover FBI agents like Joe Pistone, until he could personally cash in as much as possible, with really rich criminals.

    Fixed it for you.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  70. Just curious, were you saying that back in 2008 or 2001? I don’t remember a lot of anti-Rudy sentiment then.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 11/25/2019 @ 11:58 am

    TDS makes them throw under the bus anyone associated with Trump because “Orange Man Bad!”
    NJRob (c5f2e2) — 11/25/2019 @ 1:49 pm

    That’s funny, because it’s rcocean who said that Giuliani is DUMB (emphatic). Why? Obviously it’s because he says things that don’t reflect well on Trump.
    Trump Idolatry Syndrome makes people throw anyone who doesn’t flatter Trump under the bus, because “Orange Man Cult-Hero.”

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  71. How would you investigate corruption? Hobnob with the Nuns at the nearby Monestary?

    iowan2 (9c8856) — 11/25/2019 @ 3:04 pm

    1. I’d task it to the Department of Justice.
    2. There’s been no testimony that Trump was legitimately interested in fighting corruption. There has been multiple testimony that he wanted an announcement of an investigation.
    3. I can’t find any examples of Trump fighting corruption in other areas.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  72. #37 Is simply depends on the “Behavior”. If you think I’m going to attack Trump for Jaywalking while the Democrats/MSM excuse Hillary or Obama for committing murder, you’re right.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 11/25/2019 @ 2:07 pm

    I think you mean “wrong” and not “right”.

    And I don’t think anything could make you criticize Trump.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  73. Now do a risk benefit analisis on this. What benefit does President Trump or Rudy,etal gain by engaging in illegal activity? For what return?

    It appears they want to find or create information that could be used against Biden politically. That’s the motive.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  74. National Enquirer company chief David Pecker talking with New York prosecutors

    David Pecker, the head of the company that publishes the National Enquirer, has spoken with prosecutors with the New York district attorney’s office as part of its investigation into the Trump Organization’s handling of hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with President Donald Trump, sources with knowledge of the meeting tell CNN.

    The America Media Inc. chairman’s late October meeting with prosecutors from the major economic crimes bureau could provide key details on discussions that took place involving Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who allegedly had an affair with Trump, and agreements that were made with former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the sources said.

    Cohen is cooperating with the investigation. Pecker is expected to continue talking with prosecutors, sources said.

    The meeting between Pecker and the local prosecutors shows that investigators are still trying to connect the dots between Trump and the hush money payments. The meeting could result in Pecker being a potential critical witness down the road in any legal action against Trump or the Trump Organization.
    …… I

    If ever was a person more aptly named, it’s him.

    Rip Murdock (ff876c)

  75. Just curious, were you saying that back in 2008 or 2001? I don’t remember a lot of anti-Rudy sentiment then.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 11/25/2019 @ 11:58 am

    TDS makes them throw under the bus anyone associated with Trump because “Orange Man Bad!”

    I’ve never liked Giuliani. As far as I was concerned, he was New York sewer scum in 1992, he got no better in 2001, and it’s news to me that he ran for President in 2008. What was no surprise to me was that he would hook up with the orange. Two corrupt peas from the same sick pod.

    nk (dbc370)

  76. From the judge’s ruling that “Presidents are not kings”:

    “Today, this Court adds that this conclusion is inescapable precisely because compulsory appearance by dint of a subpoena is a legal construct, not a political one, and per the Constitution, no one is above the law. That is to say, however busy or essential a presidential aide might be, and whatever their proximity to sensitive domestic and national-security projects, the President does not have the power to excuse him or her from taking an action that the law requires.”

    Amen.

    Dave (fcd131)

  77. 73. Have you watched Biden? Nobody believes Biden makes it halfway through the primaries. That’s my point. Risk, no return. Yes, I know, President Trump is a halfwit that turned some millions, into $Billions. What ever lets you get to sleep.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  78. 74. New York district attorney’s office as part of its investigation into the Trump Organization’s handling of hush money payments

    Now NDA’s are “hush money payments”

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  79. Now NDA’s are “hush money payments”

    When accompanied by six- or seven-figure checks and signed with false names, ya…

    Dave (fcd131)

  80. Actually turning billions into millions is a better description.

    Kishnevi (170c4a)

  81. 77. Trump talks about what a genius he is in business, but he’s rather tight-lipped about his actual business’ paper trails. The “evidence” that Trump has turned millions into billions wouldn’t hold up in a court of law, but I know all too well how it plays to his fans/jurors in the court of public opinion.

    For the amount of money Donald Trump inherited from his father, and from what we know about his public successes and failures (mostly by way of business bankruptcy proceedings), it is reasonable for me to assume that I could have done better sticking the same amount of money in an index fund than Donald Trump did playing around in real estate.

    Gryph (08c844)

  82. Yes, I know, President Trump is a halfwit that turned some millions, into $Billions.

    He bankrupted casinos. That takes a special kind of genius.

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  83. He also destroyed a football league and a commuter airline.

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  84. PTw (894877) — 11/25/2019 @ 10:55 am

    During the Nixon impeachment, the stock market fell around 45%.

    There was arecession during that time! High inflation, which really took off at the beginning of 1973, and the Arab oil embargo in October, 1973. The Federal Reserve Board had raised interest rates. Of course the stock market dropped!

    It was considered the most serious postwar recession (but the recovery was fairly quick)

    https://www.nber.org/chapters/c9101.pdf

    You’d be better off arguing that the recession caused the impeachment process to begin.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  85. @77 There’s ample evidence Trump disagrees with you.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  86. 80.81.82.83. All the people of means I have gotten to know, will tell you they have lost more money than they ended up with. But people that opt for security, rather than success, can’t grasp the concept. But if mocking a @billionaire improves your deflated self worth, go for it.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  87. @75. Second City envy. 😉 BTW, NBC News reports if you’re having a stroke, don’t have it in Chicago; their 911 system is an antique.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  88. 86. What part of “there is no publicly available evidence that Donald Trump actually is a billionaire” did you miss, Trumpster? There is publicly available evidence that I could have done better with an index fund. That’s not envy or hatred talking. Just me pointing out how fundamentally dishonest Trump was, is, and continues to be. There’s absolutely no reason to believe he’s all of a sudden speaking honestly because he talks about what a (supposedly) great businessman he is and how many bajillions of gazillions of dollars he has.

    Gryph (08c844)

  89. 85. Yes, my grandkids have a vivid fantasy world the play in too.

    ( is that “ample evidence” just like Schiff’s evidence of Trumps conspiricy with Russia?)

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  90. There is publicly available evidence that I could have done better with an index fund.

    I suppose. They tell me that’s why Warren Buffet lives in such a nice house. Index funds.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  91. Why are we arguing about how much money trump has when we could be arguing about if it’s an abuse of power to use with hold military aid until an ally does you a political favor and announces a baseless investigation of a political rival?

    Cux Pauper or Price I say it’s wrong that he did that and he should be removed from office.

    If this sets off a war of tit for tat where any abuse of power by an elected official is ruthlessly punished I’ll buy the first round.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  92. Paul Motagu @8

    Toensing-DiGenova also worked “off the books” for Giuliani.

    What does that mean?

    That phrase seems to come from an anonymous U.S. official quoted by Chris Wallsce of Fox News in September.

    https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/highlights-from-chris-wallaces-interview-with-iranian-president-hassan-rouhani

    WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.

    As House Democrats pursue the possible impeachment of President Trump, we have new information to report.

    FOX News has learned the president’s private attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was not acting alone in trying to get dirt from Ukrainian officials on 2020 rival Joe Biden. Two high-profile Washington lawyers, Joe diGenova, who’s been a fierce critic of the Democratic investigation, and his wife Victoria Toensing, were working with Giuliani to get oppo research on Biden.

    According to a top U.S. official, all three were working off the books apart from the administration. The only person in government who knows what they were doing is President Trump.

    Then the Washington Post ran a story saying that actually came from the New York Times in May. I can’t directly access that now, but it might be referring to this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/09/us/politics/giuliani-ukraine-trump.html

    Mr. Giuliani has been working on the effort with other allies of Mr. Trump whose involvement has not been previously reported, including Victoria Toensing, a lawyer who was named last year, along with her husband, as part of the legal team representing the president in the special counsel’s investigation. The appointment was rescinded less than one week later amid concerns about conflicts of interest, but Mr. Trump’s legal team suggested that Ms. Toensing and her husband, Joseph E. diGenova, would assist the president “in other legal matters.”

    On social media and in regular appearances on Fox News, the couple advanced the theory that the special counsel’s investigation was the result of a Justice Department effort to frame Mr. Trump. They increasingly began pushing the claim that “the real collusion began in @Ukraine,” as Ms. Toensing put it in a post on Twitter in March.

    The tweet spotlighted a story in the conservative media in which Mr. Lutsenko, Ukraine’s top prosecutor, announced he was opening an investigation into whether Ukrainian officials tried to help Mrs. Clinton during the 2016 presidential election by disseminating documents related to Mr. Manafort’s work in Ukraine before 2014.

    Ms. Toensing has also met with Mr. Lutsenko, the Ukrainian prosecutor who has pushed the investigations, Mr. Giuliani said. (Mr. Giuliani had previously said that Ms. Toensing was representing Mr. Lutsenko, but after this article published, he said that he had been mistaken.)

    Ms. Toensing will accompany Mr. Giuliani to Ukraine, he said, explaining that she was “concerned” for Mr. Lutsenko and wanted the incoming president to “promptly understand what he’s trying to do.”

    Asked about the trip and her interactions with of Mr. Lutsenko, which have not been previously disclosed, she responded, “I’m not going to talk to you about this matter.”

    Also involved in planning the trip and pushing the investigations is Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman who knows Mr. Giuliani well.

    Mr. Parnas turned up in Kiev, presenting himself as a representative of Mr. Giuliani seeking information about Mr. Lutsenko’s claims, and about Hunter Biden’s involvement in the Ukrainian gas company, according to people familiar with Mr. Parnas’s activity.

    He organized a phone call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Lutsenko, as well as a separate call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Lutsenko’s predecessor in the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office, according to Mr. Giuliani. He said Mr. Parnas also helped arrange a trip to the United States for Mr. Lutsenko in January. During it, the prosecutor met for hours with Mr. Giuliani in New York.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  93. Sammy @84, yes there were many things going on, but there was a significant correlation. I agree that not ALL of that recession was attributable to the impeachment. The constitutional issues were much more limited relative to what we are seeing today. But that is why I’m asking. Other factors are much less complicated today. This impeachment has been churning along for many more years than the full term of the Nixon process ran, beginning to end. It has consumed the media, the implications that a POTUS has done the sort of bad things this one is supposed to have done has far greater reach than anything related to Nixon. So per my two questions above, I’d be real curious as to your opinion. If Trump is 1) impeached and then 2) convicted, what effect do you think that will have on the stock market? Trump has had much, much more structural impact on the existing establishment than Nixon did. Nixon for better or worse was establishment.

    PTw (aa8b14)

  94. 91. I’m much more interested to know how and why the Obama FBI, and DoJ are using the FISA court to spy on a rival political campaign. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. A court created to spy on American Citizens thought to be conspiring with foriegn terrorist..instead spying on a political campaign. If only Nixon could of used a FISA court.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  95. What I’m curious about is the “insurance” Giuliani has mentioned twice when asked about the possibility of the orange throwing him under the bus. Is anybody else curious about that? Could Giuliani be subpoenaed by Congress and made to tell what that insurance is? Wouldn’t that be great?

    nk (dbc370)

  96. 91.we could be arguing about if it’s an abuse of power to use with hold military aid until an ally does you a political favor and announces a baseless investigation of a political rival?

    ya’ll better slow your roll. Your Grand Wizard, has turned wishy-washy on you. Sunday, when asked if he would vote for impeachment, Schiff said he would go back to his district and confer with his constituents. So even Schiff isn’t sure if he has an impeachable offense.
    Now his letter to the full house, “further more we will be forced to infer from such obstruction”…

    Check with his district, and impeach from inference. Yep, even Schiff is unsure

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  97. @94 I think we are waiting on IG Horowitz report for that. I imagine there were probably be a post on it once it comes out. In the mean time, it’s all speculation that isn’t particularly relevant to the topic at hand.

    Nic (896fdf)

  98. At least the truth is coming out about who pretended to be conservative, but is just as happy with leftists destroying America as long as they are from the political elite.

    https://twitter.com/davereaboi/status/1198954781441691651/photo/1

    And then there’s Bloomberg, pulling a CNN and other networks saying they won’t investigate Democrat candidates, but Trump is fair game for all the lies that are fit to print.

    https://freebeacon.com/politics/bloomberg-news-tells-reporters-not-investigate-2020-democrats/

    NJRob (4d595c)

  99. 90. Warren Buffett owns Berkshire Hathaway, which is a publicly-traded conglomerate and must disclose certain financial information. We’re not talking about Buffett, we’re talking about Trump who does not have to make such information public and refuses to. I don’t deny that he lives nicely, but he is a trust fund baby who is living on inherited wealth. And until you can at a minimum tell me exactly what Donald Trump’s net worth is, you won’t convince me otherwise.

    Gryph (08c844)

  100. I’m much more interested to know how and why the Obama FBI, and DoJ are using the FISA court to spy on a rival political campaign.

    LOL

    The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    Despite TrumpWorld’s best efforts, Russia is still a foreign country.

    Dave (1bb933)

  101. Or at least it was in 2016.

    Dave (1bb933)

  102. @95. Wouldn’t that be great?

    Depends on if he shows up in flats or heels – OTOH, seems he appears comfortable in either:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LOUHO7SVPM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zHhGByRznU

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. Quid pro quo in everything:

    If Donald Trump gets his wish, he’ll soon take the three convicted or accused war criminals he spared from consequence on the road as special guests in his re-election campaign, according to two sources who have heard Trump discuss their potential roles for the 2020 effort.
    Despite military and international backlash to Trump’s Nov. 15 clemency—fallout from which cost Navy Secretary Richard Spencer his job on Sunday—Trump believes he has rectified major injustices. Two people tell The Daily Beast they’ve heard Trump talk about how he’d like to have the now-cleared Clint Lorance, Matthew Golsteyn, or Edward Gallagher show up at his 2020 rallies, or even have a moment on stage at his renomination convention in Charlotte next year.

    I can see Trump in a conversation with those war criminals: “You don’t have to thank me but, since I did you a favor, you could do me a favor. I want you on the campaign trail and at the convention, and you’re just the guys to do it. Remember when I told Comey that I expect loyalty. Well, he wasn’t loyal, and you saw how that turned out, believe me.”

    Paul Montagu (457ba9)

  104. I find it interesting that so many people describing the legal war between Trump and Biden write of attempts by Trump associates to find “dirt” on Biden. In a serious legal matter, why is such an inexact metaphor used, rather than more specific and literal words? It would be more straightforward to write of attempts to find “evidence” of Biden’s “corruption.” And if the point is that the evidence is weak, or that the Bidens were not corrupt, would it not be clearer and more straightforward to make such a claim explicitly?

    I can only conclude that the writer choosing “dirt” is thereby demonstrating that he knows it is risible to claim that Hunter Biden’s employment with Burisma was not corrupt. No one can explicitly say with a straight face that Burisma would have had any non-corrupt reason to put Hunter Biden on its board for $83,000 a month, given his total lack of experience in the gas industry, and in Ukraine, and given his then-recent expulsion from the Navy for cocaine use, among other issues which would be disqualifying for anyone else seeking such employment.

    David Pittelli (7d543e)

  105. How long until Ponticus Pilate Nan drives the bus over never trump idol Schifforbrains?

    mg (8cbc69)

  106. 99. Buffett is a trust fund baby? Google is your friend. Use it. You have some serious jealousy problems. From the 60’s to the 90’s when major stocks gained 11%, Buffett’s return was 28%. A great example of dumping your cash in index funds, and start shopping for a Jet. In your snark you proved my point. Those with the greatest wealth took the greatest risks.
    BTW, Buffett lives in a nondescript house in Omaha.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  107. 100. OHHH I see, Page conspiring with Russia! That’s what the FBI, was tracking for two years, and then handed it off to Mueller,(the 3rd extension of the Foreign Surveillance warrant) while he investigated for another 2 years. Carter Page was so dirty the had to use a secret Foriegn Surveillance warrant, for a full year, to gather up all the dirt on President Trump.
    I must have a bad source for the Mueller Report, I cant find the 100 hours of Mueller/Page interviews.
    Wait a minute, it seems Mueller never interviewed him. NEVER. With a whole years worth of dirt generated by Page, not a single interview. How is that even possible?

    I know why. Do you? (be careful here, narrative destruction in danger)

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  108. Paul @ 103. Maybe he thinks he found his Luca Brasi?

    nk (dbc370)

  109. 107. No. Buffett isn’t a trust fund baby. Trump is. Maybe your reading comprehension needs work, Trump humper.

    Gryph (08c844)

  110. I can only conclude that the writer choosing “dirt” is thereby demonstrating that he knows it is risible to claim that Hunter Biden’s employment with Burisma was not corrupt.

    There is the other conclusion that, since Trump expressed “concern” about corruption in Ukraine, and then in the next breath talk about investigating the Bidens, that he was seeking dirt on his chief political rival in order to damage him, thereby helping Trump’s chances. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  111. Speaking of exchanging dirt for getting elected, why is the American media embargoing Ilhan Omar’s trial in Florida?

    https://www.jpost.com/American-Politics/Ilhan-Omar-working-for-Qatar-Florida-court-hears-609003

    NJRob (4d595c)

  112. Spying for a foreign, hostile nation, getting funding from a foreign power to get elected, it’s all there. But not a peep. I wonder why?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  113. 108 LOL

    Page was already under FISA surveillance as a Russian agent in 2014, long before he joined the Trump campaign.

    And Mueller was hired, not because of Page, but because Trump fired the FBI director in an inept and corrupt attempt to thwart investigation of Russia’s intervention on his behalf in the election.

    Page admitted to the FBI, before Mueller’s investigation began, that he knew he was meeting with Russian spies, and hoped one of them could help him get rich off an energy deal in Russia. The report says:

    “In interviews with the FBI before the Office’s opening, Page acknowledged that he understood that the individuals he had associated with were members of the Russian intelligence services, but he stated that he had only provided immaterial non-public information to them and that he did not view this relationship as a backchannel.”

    That’s walking a rather fine line, wouldn’t you say?

    And if Page was surveilled to “spy on a rival political campaign”, as you allege, isn’t it rather odd that the political campaign in question told the American people, categorically, “He’s never been a part of our campaign. Period.” and “We are not aware of any of his activities, past or present.”?

    Surely the Trump campaign wasn’t lying to the voters!

    Dave (1bb933)

  114. @112-
    Speaking of exchanging dirt for getting elected, why is the American media embargoing Ilhan Omar’s trial in Florida?
    Because she’s not on trial, but was mentioned in a deposition without any evidence backing up the claim?

    The claims came during testimony by Kuwati-born Canadian businessman Alan Bender, who was giving evidence in the trial of Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani. The Qatari emir’s brother stands accused of ordering his American bodyguard to murder two people, and of holding an American citizen hostage.

    Rip Murdock (ff876c)

  115. I can see Trump in a conversation with those war criminals: “You don’t have to thank me but, since I did you a favor, you could do me a favor. I want you on the campaign trail and at the convention, and you’re just the guys to do it. Remember when I told Comey that I expect loyalty. Well, he wasn’t loyal, and you saw how that turned out, believe me.”

    Paul Montagu (457ba9) — 11/26/2019 @ 12:36 am

    Please state for the public what war crimes you are referencing? Let’s start with Navy Seal Edward Gallagher since he’s been the crux of the case.

    Or are you just insulting a man because the President showed him some support?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  116. Since this is all tangentially related to Russian propaganda, given that Putin has been trying to lay blame on Ukraine for the electoral sabotage he committed…
    1. How Putin weaponized social media and got away with it, using savvy Internet marketing, “narrative laundering”, and a “hack and leak” strategy. The part that was news to me was this:

    By 2016, Russia had started more than 20 campaigns in 13 countries. Forty percent of these campaigns were on Facebook and nearly 90 percent were on Twitter, according to a report from Jacob Shapiro and Diego Martin at Princeton University’s Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

    We know that Putin infiltrated the UK Brexit referendum, but there were 11 other countries, too.
    2. Trump literally spewed Putin propaganda on FoxNews, lying about Crowdstrike being a “Ukrainian company”, and the best retort the hosts could come up with was, “Are you sure?” When Trump said, “Well, that is what the word is,” there was no follow-up about where Trump actually got this “word”.
    3. The subhead to this piece says it all: “Moscow has run a yearslong operation to blame Ukraine for its own 2016 election interference. Republicans have used similar talking points to defend President Trump in impeachment proceedings.”

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  117. Let’s start with Navy Seal Edward Gallagher since he’s been the crux of the case.

    Try the DoD Law of War Manual, Section 7.7.1.1

    No Disrespectful or Degrading Treatment of the Dead. Enemy military dead must be protected from disrespectful or degrading acts. For example, mutilation or cannibalism of dead bodies is prohibited. In addition, posing with bodies for photographs or leaving a “calling card” on a body are also inconsistent with the respectful treatment of the dead.

    Gallagher was convicted of that crime, sentenced to time served and a demotion.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  118. But I do note your bad faith question, NJ.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  119. Gallagher was convicted of that crime, sentenced to time served and a demotion.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1) — 11/26/2019 @ 7:48 am

    He was convicted of that crime after all the other trumped up charges were dismissed and the prosecuting team was caught trying to get witnesses to perjure themselves and other offenses.

    Does taking a picture of a dead terrorist make one a “war criminal.” Please elaborate further.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  120. 120. Actually, according to the UCMJ, posing for a photograph with an enemy’s corpse is a crime. Or were you not paying attention to #118?

    Gryph (08c844)

  121. 94. iowan2 (9c8856) — 11/25/2019 @ 6:48 pm

    I’m much more interested to know how and why the Obama FBI, and DoJ are using the FISA court to spy on a rival political campaign.

    They didn’t really do that. In the first place, it wasn’t exactly “the Obama FBI” (there are problems with the FBI though, going back at least to 1993, and really 1992 and before) and in the second place the FBI made a deliberate effort not to spy on “the campaign” The FISA warrants were not issued on anyone who was at that time working for the campaign, if I am right. Although there was an effort to get a spy [Joseph Halper] in the campaign, but he may have done this mostly on his own.)

    They were not looking for political information and didn’t deliver any to the Hillary for president campaign, so it is just incorrect to speak of “spying on” the campaign.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  122. 117. It is kind of getting lost that this (social media campains and sockpuppeting even maybe some hacking and leaking) was going on in many countries.

    In some countries it is worse than others.

    It’s particularly bad in Mozambique, Cameroon, Sudan and Libya, and they are improving their tactics, although only sporadically and in part.. (one of the new tactics is using compromised and stolen Facebook accounts) It is getting larger in scale.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/30/technology/russia-facebook-disinformation-africa.html

    Unlike past influence campaigns from Russia, the networks targeted several countries through Arabic-language posts, according to the Stanford Internet Observatory, which collaborated with Facebook to unravel the effort. Russians also worked with locals in the African countries to set up Facebook accounts that were disguised as authentic to avoid detection.

    Some of the posts promoted Russian policies, while others criticized French and American policies in Africa. A Facebook page set up by the Russians in Sudan that masqueraded as a news network, called Sudan Daily, regularly reposted articles from Russia’s state-owned Sputnik news organization.

    The effort was at times larger in volume than what the Russians deployed in the United States in 2016. While the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency posted on Facebook 2,442 times a month on average in 2016, one of the networks in Africa posted 8,900 times in October alone, according to the Stanford researchers

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  123. In the Gallagher case, you know the medic said he covered the mans breathing hole which led to his death. Because Isis was going to take him and torture him. In the military court records. The film they said they had on Gallagher killing him actually showed him giving aid. In the military court records. They then went to Gallaghers home as his wife was away and yanked his 17 year old son and 8 year old daughter out on the street while they went through the house. Kids being humiliated in front of neighbors – Stone Style.
    Never trumpers no matter what the facts will continue to show the white stripe.

    mg (8cbc69)

  124. Mg, got a link to any of that?

    Time123 (eb4e8f)

  125. 93 PTw (aa8b14) — 11/25/2019 @ 6:46 pm

    Sammy @84, yes there were many things going on, but there was a significant correlation. I agree that not ALL of that recession was attributable to the impeachment.

    I didn’t say any of it had to do with the impeachmen. I said you could only make a connection by saying the recession caused the impeachment.

    You could make it the other way if you wanted to say that the political divisiveness that caused the impeachment also caused, or prolonged, the recession because Congress didn’t pass a tax rebate until
    Ford was president.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Reduction_Act_of_1975

    But I don’t believe that fiscal policy has much to do with the condition of the economy, (only monetary policy really does) and even for the who did, this tax bill came too late, after a recovery was well under way.

    So per my two questions above, I’d be real curious as to your opinion. If Trump is 1) impeached and then 2) convicted, what effect do you think that will have on the stock market?

    Probably an improvement, as it removes tariff uncertainty, and maybe increases the chances that a “tax the wealthy” Democrat will not win the 2020 presidential election.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  126. Does taking a picture of a dead terrorist make one a “war criminal.” Please elaborate further.

    If photographic evidence and a direct quote from Law of War manual won’t convince you, then I’m not going to waste my time, especially after that little motive-impugning bullsh*t you just pulled.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  127. @104 There are legitimate channels through which Trump could have requested an investigation if what he wanted was an actual anti-corruption investigation. Instead he tried a backdoor extortion attempt. He wanted dirt on the Bidens.

    Nic (896fdf)

  128. Trump did not want “dirt” on he Bidens. He had some very specific allegations he wanted checked out.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  129. 104. David Pittelli (7d543e) — 11/26/2019 @ 3:38 am

    I find it interesting that so many people describing the legal war between Trump and Biden write of attempts by Trump associates to find “dirt” on Biden.
    Because they don’t want to give Trump the defense that he didn’t think the allegations he was making were baseless. They removed the whole idea of specific allegations.

    It would be more straightforward to write of attempts to find “evidence” of Biden’s “corruption.”

    That’s not it either. It is that Biden supposedly engineered the firing of a prosecutor because it was in the interest of his son, Hunter Biden, to do that.

    And if the point is that the evidence is weak, or that the Bidens were not corrupt, would it not be clearer and more straightforward to make such a claim explicitly?

    No! That opens up a line of defense for Trump. That he was not cynical, but stupid, and the latter is not grounds for impeachment, and in addition, might lead to Trump confessing he blundered.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  130. 104 cont’d:

    I can only conclude that the writer choosing “dirt” is thereby demonstrating that he knows it is risible to claim that Hunter Biden’s employment with Burisma was not corrupt. No one can explicitly say with a straight face that Burisma would have had any non-corrupt reason to put Hunter Biden on its board for $83,000 a month, given his total lack of experience in the gas industry, and in Ukraine, and given his then-recent expulsion from the Navy for cocaine use, among other issues which would be disqualifying for anyone else seeking such employment.

    Well, Anderson Cooper of CNN made a valiant attempt: (he didn’t even wait for Joe Biden to make the claim there was nothing wrong. But then he asked him why is Joe Biden acting like it would be a problem in the future?)

    Transcript of 4th Democratic Presidential debate Tuesday October 15, 2019:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/15/october-democratic-debate-transcript

    COOPER: Thank you, Congressman. The impeachment inquiry is centered on President Trump’s attempts to get political dirt from Ukraine on Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter. Mr. Vice President, President Trump has falsely accused your son of doing something wrong while serving on a company board in Ukraine. I want to point out there’s no evidence of wrongdoing by either one of you.

    Having said that, on Sunday, you announced that if you’re president, no one in your family or associated with you will be involved in any foreign businesses. My question is, if it’s not okay for a president’s family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it okay for your son when you were vice president? Vice President Biden?

    BIDEN: Look, my son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. And that’s what we should be focusing on….

    …COOPER: Hold on, sorry, just to follow up. Mr. Vice President, as you said, your son, Hunter, today gave an interview, admitted that he made a mistake and showed poor judgement by serving on that board in Ukraine.

    Did you make a mistake by letting him? You were the point person on Ukraine at the time. You can answer.

    BIDEN: Look, my son’s statement speaks for itself. I did my job. I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have. We’ve always kept everything separate. Even when my [other] son was the attorney general of the state of Delaware, we never discussed anything, so there would be no potential conflict.

    My son made a judgment. I’m proud of the judgement he made. I’m proud of what he had to say. And let’s focus on this. The fact of the matter is that this is about Trump’s corruption. That’s what we should be focusing on.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  131. Thank you, Tucker, for showing your true unpatriotic and un-American colors:

    “Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? I’m serious. Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which by the way I am.”

    Tucker rooting for Putin means he’s rooting for Putin’s shooting down a civilian airliner that murdered hundreds of souls, he’s rooting for the invasion and taking of sovereign soil that isn’t Russia (in violation of treaty and international law), he’s rooting for Putin’s ongoing disinformation campaign (part of which is his trying to divert blame for his 2016 electoral meddling onto Ukraine), he’s rooting for the ousted and corrupt Yanukovych and his key political advisor Manafort (a convicted liar and fraudster), he’s rooting for Ukraine joining Putin’s dictator’s club instead of the EU.
    I could go on. Tucker Carlson is Putin’s useful idiot and a sh*tty American.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  132. Tucker Carlson is worse than a useful idiot, because he has no honest, even if deluded, reason to root for Russia. I mean, he;s not talking indifference (i.e. it doesn’t mater to me)

    A comment to hat Twitter post says:

    Tucker followed this segment with a bizarre attack on the decision to bomb Syrian chemical weapons factories in 2018. Russia and Syria have been engaged in a long-standing campaign claiming the 2018 chemical weapons attacks in Duoma were “staged” (Pt. 1/2)

    … After having clearly been tipped off that his comment is recieving backlash, Tucker ends the show with an “of course i’m joking”

    I don’t think he’s loyal to Putin. I don’t know who it would be, though. Who wants this?

    Is he trying to indicate he is a cultist to someone who might hire him?

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  133. Trump says he would ‘love’ for administration officials to testify but claims he is protecting the presidency
    President Trump said Tuesday that he would “love” for several senior administration officials to testify in the impeachment inquiry, but he claimed the White House was preventing them from doing so to protect the institution of the presidency.

    His comments came ahead of a trip to Florida, where Trump will stage a campaign rally as House investigators pull together a report on his conduct toward Ukraine that will inform the House Judiciary Committee as it weighs articles of impeachment.

    Rip Murdock (ff876c)

  134. Actually, according to the UCMJ, posing for a photograph with an enemy’s corpse is a crime. Or were you not paying attention to #118?

    Gryph (08c844) — 11/26/2019 @ 8:33 am

    As I posted to Bird Dog, words have meanings. Does posting with the dead body of a terrorist make one a “war criminal?”

    Please stop deflecting.

    NJRob (1b0086)

  135. As I posted to Bird Dog, words have meanings.

    … except when we’re directed to “Take Trump seriously, not literally,” or told that “an exaggeration is not a lie,” or “He’s just trolling,” etc.

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  136. Paul Montagu (00daa1) — 11/26/2019 @ 7:48 am

    Gallagher is a war criminal like Kristian Saucier is a classified information criminal and Hillary is not.

    Funny how that works. Of course, it’s all rationalized by “whaddabout”.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  137. except when we’re directed to “Take Trump seriously, not literally,” or told that “an exaggeration is not a lie,” or “He’s just trolling,” etc.

    Radegunda (d2a4ef) — 11/26/2019 @ 12:19 pm

    I’ll ask you then since we aren’t talking Trump or your what about isms. Is Gallagher a “war criminal?”

    NJRob (7f0cc5)

  138. 138 — So, nothing to say about whether “words have meanings” applies to what the president says?
    The story of Gallagher has much to do with Trump, who chose to override military authorities concerning what’s a war crime and what constitutes good order and discipline. And if words don’t mean what they mean when Trump uses them, then why fuss over the meanings of words in the UCMJ? Why not just settle for “Trump can do whatever he wants”?

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  139. Radegunda,

    Who is a war criminal? Why is it that so many on here deflect to Trump rather than answer the question to hold themselves accountable for their speech?

    NJRob (0871f5)

  140. 133. I found that Jonah Goldberg made a comment about Tucker Carlson in the G_File of November 15. (He may have misjudged him because what Paul Montagu says puts him in the other category. On the other hand Jonah Gldberg actually puts Tcker carlson somewhat on both categories.

    In speaking about the “two archetypes of Republicans in the age of Trump,” he wrote:

    I think of them as playing a position vs. playing the man (even though it’s not a perfect sports metaphor). Both men took their jobs to get things done, to be in the mix, to enhance their political positions, and all that. But Bolton had ideas, agendas, principles, etc. that were more important than being a Trumper or being seen as a Trump loyalist. He wanted nothing to do with Giuliani’s “drug deal.” He opposed the holding up of aid to Ukraine. We’ll no doubt learn more when his book comes out, but it’s obvious that he prioritized the policies he believed in. Oh, I have no doubt there were compromises and humiliating moments of suck-uppery. But the truth of it is still clear.

    As for Pompeo, he plays the man. He’s been willing to lie and compromise for Trump in ways Bolton wouldn’t. I’m sure he’s tried to steer the president away from all kinds of mistakes behind the scenes. But, when push comes to shove, he puts the president’s cult of personality—and perhaps the hope of inheriting his mantle—ahead of everything else. All of this Ukraine stuff has happened because Secretary of State Pompeo allowed it to happen under his nose. He may not have liked whatever drug deal Giuliani was cooking up, but he lacked either the will, the ability, or the courage to stop it.

    Ultimately, it’s the difference between two kinds of people. There’s those who—for whatever reason—start from the view, at least publicly, that Trump is right and then reverse-engineer their arguments to fit what he did. And then there’s those who may praise or flatter Trump, or excuse his behavior, but do so in pursuit of something more important to them.

    These two styles can be found all over the GOP and Trump world generally. Mitch McConnell plays the position. Lindsay Graham plays the man. Matt Gaetz is a Trump man no matter what. Liz Cheney plays her position. Tucker Carlson for the most part tries to play the position but Sean Hannity definitely plays the man. Neal Cavuto is a position guy. Lou Dobbs is almost literally high on Trump’s musk. Mulvaney was a position guy, but he seems to have crossed over. (The same is true of Elise Stefanik, who has shocked a lot of people in Washington by seemingly deciding to follow in Jim Jordan’s footsteps when it was totally unnecessary for her politically.)

    Mike Pence wants the world to think there is no contradiction between these two orientations, which is why it is so painful to have the sound on when his lips are moving these days.

    I think this distinction is useful for everybody interested in this fecal festival. For the audience at home, the best Trump defenders are the position-players, for the simple reason that you know they’re not going to start from the premise that Trump is always right. But for the audience at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the best Trump defenders are the ones who insist that the world has never seen a genius like Donald Trump’s. A lot of elected Republicans need more than the Trump base, so for them condemning the impeachment “process” was the safest play. That was a play-the-position move. But Trump keeps yelling at people that they should defend him on the substance—i.e., start playing the man.

    This explains the weird compromise: Exaggerate how unfair the process is beyond all sanity or reason (David French wrote about this yesterday, and I did too in my column). You can curry favor with Trump by pretending this is a “coup,” “an inquisition,” an “attack on democracy” etc. It’s none of those things. But only through these exaggerations can you ingratiate yourself to Trump by making this all seem so much more unfair than it is (and we all know Trump passionately believes in the principle of fairness).

    And that brings us to where we started. So long as Trump insists the call was perfect and he did absolutely nothing wrong, playing the man means hemorrhaging credibility outside the Trump base. (And honestly, I don’t think it necessarily always helps there. Trump likes to make his defenders into beta males and supplicants and his fans eat that stuff up. How many of the MAGA hatters at Trump rallies really admire Pence or see him as a manly figure these days?) And playing the position leaves you saying things like this isn’t as outlandish as it could be.

    Here it is online: https://gfile.thedispatch.com/p/playing-the-position-vs-playing-the

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  141. Gallagher is a war criminal like Kristian Saucier is a classified information criminal and Hillary is not.

    Opine how you want, Munroe. The fact is that Gallagher was a convicted war criminal before Trump pardoned him. What’s more, there’s enough information from his colleagues to suggest that he did a lot worse than pose for pictures with dead Islamic State terrorists.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  142. Paul,

    Taking a pic of a dead terrorist makes one a war criminal in your mind. Good to know. I’ll judge you accordingly

    NJRob (7f0cc5)

  143. Taking a pic of a dead terrorist makes one a war criminal in your mind. Good to know. I’ll judge you accordingly

    That was one of the charges, the one he was convicted of, and according to the UCMJ is a war crime.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  144. And since words do mean things, a war crime is “an act carried out during the conduct of a war that violates accepted international rules of war.”
    Specifically, disrespecting the dead falls under Additional Protocol I in the Geneva Conventions. Although the US is not a signatory, we have basically adopted this protocol as customary international law and codified it in both the DoD Law of War Manual and 10 US Code §950t Paragraph 20.
    Gallagher was jailed for time served for what he did, so our military justice system took this war crime seriously, and we are supposed to be a nation that upholds due process and the rule of law.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  145. Taking a pic of a dead terrorist makes one a war criminal in your mind. Good to know. I’ll judge you accordingly.

    Thank you, NJ. You’ve gotten personal with me multiple times in the past and, now that you’ve done it again today, you’ve confirmed my assessment of your character.
    BTW, it’s not a war crime in my mind, it’s a war crime under law, so double thanks for your mischaracterizing.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  146. You already made it personal with words that you bleeped out to get past the filter. And you as Klink did take the cowards way out as I asked repeatedly why you called him a war criminal and I even put it in quotes because no level headed person would consider taking a picture of a dead terrorist to make someone a “war criminal.” Calling him such is to muddy the waters and make others think he committed genocide or some other atrocity that is commonly associated with being called a “war criminal.”

    All because you think it would hurt Trump. Sad.

    NJRob (c302cc)

  147. 135. UCMJ defines such behavior as a crime. One who commits a crime is a criminal. I guess whether you’re going to split hairs over whether to call Gallagher a “war criminal” depends on if what he did was an act of war. I’m not going to pretend to be a military authority on such things, but I’ll say it again for your sake, Captain Obtuse: The UCMJ defines Gallagher’s behavior as a crime, ergo he is a criminal. Whether I would call him a “war criminal” or not is absolutely not germane to the issue we are discussing here unless all you want to know is my opinion.

    Gryph (08c844)

  148. 148. It boils down to that, doesn’t it? It can’t be true because it hurts Trump, ergo it’s false. SMDH

    Gryph (08c844)

  149. You already made it personal with words that you bleeped out to get past the filter.

    You don’t get it, NJ. You don’t understand the commenting rules, so you’ve just confirmed something else to me.
    You impugned my motives, which is personal. I responded by calling your impugning, not you personally, bullsh*t. There’s difference between attacking comment, which is within the rules, and attacking the commenter, which is not.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  150. Whether Eddie is guilty
    Or whether Eddie is not
    Trump messed with the process
    From the beginning
    Cause he’s a big, slimy pile of snot.

    And it’s not only Eddie Gallagher. There’s the other guy who was actually convicted and sentenced and whom Trump pardoned, as well as the guy who will never be tried at all now.

    See, Trump thinks he’s sucking up to the military, the way his butt-buddy Roy Cohn sucked them off in public restrooms on 42nd Street. He doesn’t know any better. He’s third generation draft-dodger. He has no clue about military discipline, order and cohesion, and unit morale.

    nk (dbc370)

  151. Paul,

    Taking a pic of a dead terrorist makes one a war criminal in your mind. Good to know. I’ll judge you accordingly as a reasonable person who cares about justice.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  152. Continuing with Putin’s useful idiot, Tucker Carlson:

    It should be noted that Carlson’s comments about Russia weren’t the only time on Monday’s broadcast that he defended an authoritarian leader. During a segment immediately following his discussion with Goodstein, Carlson defended Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad by questioning whether he was really responsible for committing war crimes against his own people — a position at odds with a mountain of evidence indicating that Assad is in fact responsible.

    I wonder if Tucker is also rooting for Putin and his war crimes in Russia, the ones where Russian jets repeatedly attacked and bombed Syrian hospitals, proven beyond reasonable doubt. And Mr. Wemple points out another Carlson classic.

    Over the summer Carlson did indeed aver that white nationalism is a hoax — a false claim of the gaslighting variety. In truth, white nationalism is alive and, unfortunately, thriving. It even has a champion in the White House. Another point Blake might have noted is that Carlson has accused Democrats of hating their own country, even though Carlson remains a registered Democrat.

    Tucker co-founded The Daily Caller, a periodical that employed all kinds of racists, including the white nationalist who helped organize the infamous Unite the Right in Charlottesville. I lament the America that is giving Tucker the ratings that keeps him on FoxNews.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  153. Er, war crimes in Syria, not in Russia.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  154. Cows don’t have fingers and can’t insult Devin Nunes on Twitter, court filing says

    A Democratic strategist is refusing to disclose communications that could reveal the identity of anonymous Twitter users who criticize Rep. Devin Nunes, arguing in a new court filing that the accounts are clearly satirical expressions of political speech.

    Nunes, R-Tulare, has sued Twitter and anonymous social media users who run accounts known as Devin Nunes’ Cow and Devin Nunes’ Mom. Nunes’ attorney last month issued a subpoena demanding records about them from former Democratic National Committee employee Adam Parkhomenko.

    In a new filing to quash the subpoena, Parkhomenko’s attorney argues that the Twitter accounts’ language “does not constitute defamation” and that courts are tasked with protecting anonymous communications in the interest of freedom of speech.

    “No reasonable person would believe that Devin Nunes’ cow actually has a Twitter account, or that the hyperbole, satire and cow-related jokes it posts are serious facts,” reads the filing in Virginia’s Henrico County Circuit Court. “It is self-evident that cows are domesticated livestock animals and do not have the intelligence, language, or opposable digits needed to operate a Twitter account. Defendant ‘Devin Nunes’ Mom’ likewise posts satirical patronizing, nagging, mothering comments which ostensibly treat Mr. Nunes as a misbehaving child.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (ff876c)

  155. Gallagher did something that, by the Geneva conventions, would probably count as a very minor war crime. How much or any jail time is probably debatable, but what he did was both illegal and dishonorable and, IMO stripping him of his Trident pin and processing his retirement would have been appropriate.

    Nic (896fdf)

  156. 154. Monday night Tucker Carlson predicted that former first lady Michelle Obama will eventually be the Democratic presidential nominee. The one thing you can say about that is that it is total nonsense – and it keeps on getting repeated.

    It is done, I suppose, to make people feel smart, and maybe also, to allege connections between people that don’t exist.

    The question is: Who is Tucker Carlson trying to lend credibility to with this totally off the wall prediction? Michelle Obama is not Hillary Clinton – and she ran for the Senate first..

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  157. I think nic has it about right @157.

    Gallegher may actually have killed that man (and someone else falsely took responsibility to help Gallegher get off because he knew he would not hurt himself with that)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/us/navy-seal-trial-verdict.html

    And a key witness changed his story on the stand to favor Chief Gallagher.

    The witness, Special Operator First Class Corey Scott, a SEAL medic who was given immunity from prosecution by the Navy, stunned prosecutors by testifying that he, and not Chief Gallagher, had killed the captive, by covering a breathing tube inserted in the captive’s neck. His testimony also deviated in other significant ways from what he had told investigators before trial; the Navy has indicated it is considering charging him with perjury.

    This somehow overcame several eyewitnesses to the crime and text messages that appeared to admit guilt. His superiors were slow to take up the reports, there were numerous leaks as the case went on and the prosecutor was thrown off the case on charges of attempting to spy on defense lawyers. Too much has been going on.

    But taking a picture and giving it a callous caption is all that has been established in a court martial. The Navy Seals are so compromised they were not used to go after Baghdadi. Although I thk they have several teams.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  158. Regarding investigations, liberal and left-leaning media are overreacting to Pompeo’s comments. In fact, the title to this DDID piece is misleading:

    Pompeo says Trump’s debunked Ukraine conspiracy theory is worth looking into

    But Pompeo didn’t say that. I can’t find the original question asked of Pompeo, but the best available is this:

    Pompeo was asked at a news conference if the United States should probe accusations of Ukrainian election meddling that Trump’s fellow Republicans have raised in the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives probe into whether Trump abused his power for domestic political gain.

    This was Pompeo’s answer, which was actually a non-answer:

    “Any time there is information that indicates that any time any country has messed with American elections, we not only have a right but a duty to make sure that we chase that down,” Pompeo replied without naming Ukraine. He added that even a suggestion of interference should be probed.

    It was a general response to a specific question, in effect a non-answer. Of course the US should investigate legitimate allegations of meddling, but Pompeo wasn’t talking specifically about Ukraine. Instead, he answered hypothetically. Pompeo is a smart guy, and he knows how to be clever and evade questions, and this is just the latest example. It’s probably good that he’s Trump’s SecState because Trump could have chose worse and stupider.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  159. Rudy, meet bus:
    Trump Denies Sending Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine for Biden Probe

    Donald Trump denied directing Rudy Giuliani to go to Ukraine to look for dirt on his political rivals, in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

    “No, I didn’t direct him, but he is a warrior, he is a warrior,” Trump told O’Reilly in an interview streamed on the internet on Tuesday.

    Giuliani has said publicly that he conducted an investigation “concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption” on Trump’s behalf.

    Asked by O’Reilly what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine, Trump said “you have to ask that to Rudy.”

    “ Rudy has other clients, other than me,” the president added. “He’s done a lot of work in Ukraine over the years.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (ff876c)

  160. Stomach stapled Stalinist Nadler is the never trumpers next hope and change act. LMAO at you people.

    mg (8cbc69)

  161. Anybody else notice that the same Senate Putin stooges in the Snowden affair are the same Trumpablican butt-gerbils now?

    nk (dbc370)

  162. Stomach stapled Stalinist Nadler is the never trumpers next hope and change act. LMAO at you people.

    mg (8cbc69) — 11/27/2019 @ 4:00 am

    So Nadler is a very hated figure amongst Trump fans. Even though there’s no reason to associate conservative Trump critics with him, really whatsoever, the stigma of even a completely fictitious link is considered a powerful argument.

    MG, I doubt any ‘nevertrumpers’ writing at this blog have ever donated to Nadler. Trump has donated to Nadler, for numerous consecutive years. He’s donated far more to democrats than Republicans, and generally to nastier ones that today are considered laughing stocks at best (Anthony Weiner) or beyond the pale demonic (Hillary Clinton).

    It’s profound how often the actual facts about something are completely ignored these days.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  163. actual facts are the very best kind Mr. Dustin cause of they stand up to scrutiny

    happyfeet (6f4522)

  164. Caught a little bit of Trump’s FL rally. He does not look or sound well. He shouted more and slurred his speech more than usual. He had trouble with the words “stock market” and “millions.”

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1199486215856066560

    JRH (52aed3)

  165. @168. Safe bet he knows he’s in Florida; you’re thinking of JoeyBee, who is always at home in a confused state.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  166. dave @162.

    Donald Trump denied directing Rudy Giuliani to go to Ukraine to look for dirt on his political rivals, in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

    To refute which, you cited:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf

    “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.”

    How is that Donald Trump directing Rudolph Giuliani to LOOK for dirt?

    He’s telling Zelinsky that he will (he probably actually didn’t) tell Rudy Giuliani to DELIVER derogatory information to Ukrainian president Zelinsky.

    As he explains further:

    The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that.

    Derogatory information about whom? Ukrainians. Derogatory information that happened when? Not (here) mainly what happened in 2016 (Biden/Burisma) but what’s happening now – present tense = 2019. That’s what he wants Giuliani to tell Zelinsky. The names of the people who should be blackballed for government positions.

    If that’s not what he means, the whole mention of the Ambassador at that point is a non sequitor.

    Let’s also look at Trump’s previous use of the present tense of the word “happen”

    …the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening [N.B. in 2019 – SF] that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine…..

    He also explains the relevance of 2016 to Zelinsky:

    The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, [in 2016] the whole situation. I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people.

    Now Trump doesn’t say more, but he presumably wants Giuliani to brief Zelensky on who are the bad people in Ukraine.

    Next question: Did Trump SEND Giuliani to Ukraine?

    There doesn’t seem to be any evidence of that. There’s everything to show that Giuliani was a self-starter. What’s the problem with Trump’s claim?

    What did Giuliani do? At first, before the Mueller investigation was completed, he was interested in that story he got told about how Russia didn’t do the hacking or whatever it was. This morphed into the case against Ambassador Marie (Masha) Yovanovich because, among other things, she was allegedly associating with some of the same individuals allegedly involved in Ukrainian interventon on the side of Hillary Clinton in 2016. Not too many dsdetails about the case against Marie Yovanovich got published, but Giuliani sent a whole package of information to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo through the white House, after Pompeo apparently was avoiding delivery. It just got made public, and the file, as delivered to Congress, also contained letters from Democrats praising her.

    And then – although this was all going on simultaneously, Giuliani got told about Biden and Burisma and about Joe Biden having coerced Ukraine into firing a prosecutor because of his son. And he got shown proof: Biden boasting of a crucial role in getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired. (although he didn’t say it was to stop an investigation, or that he did it to help his son Hunter, but that was the spin supplied to Giuliani.)

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  167. Paul Montagu @160.

    What the Republicans on the Intelligence Committee talked about was different from the Putin -> Ukrainian agents -> Giuliani -> Trump incoherent theory about the servers, and about Crowdstrike being a Ukrainian owned company.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  168. actual facts are the very best kind Mr. Dustin cause of they stand up to scrutiny

    alternative facts are even better Mr. Feet cause of they can be whatever you want them to be

    Dave (1bb933)

  169. Caught a little bit of Trump’s FL rally. He does not look or sound well.

    Oh yeah? Get a load of this:

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1199718185865535490
    (warning: image may cause Chris Matthews-like tingles to Trump superfans)

    Dave (1bb933)

  170. all never trumpers live in the same flock

    mg (8cbc69)

  171. As a final remark to close my case, none of the soldiers pardoned were charged with war crimes. So calling them a “war criminal” is a factual lie.

    But continue to libel men because “Orange Man Bad.”

    NJRob (4d595c)

  172. Paul Montagu (00daa1) — 11/26/2019 @ 5:20 pm

    Er, war crimes in Syria, not in Russia.

    He did that in Russia, too, before.

    https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/164659

    12-15-16

    Putin Is Doing to Aleppo What He Did to Grozny: Flatten the Place Scud missiles fired from the neighboring republic of North Ossetia (later home to Russian bombers that would bomb Aleppo) descended on a Grozny hospital and the city’s main outdoor market, as it was packed with shoppers, killing 137 people in a horrible instant in October 1999. Far from apologizing for this all too typical wanton murder of civilians, the Russian government subsequently described the targets of the wildly inaccurate missiles as “well known terrorist centers.”

    That’s even before Yeltsin resigned, and turned the government over to him.

    Another citation:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/12/opinion/putin-in-syria-chechnya-all-over-again.html

    . If you can bomb a hospital, then another hospital, then two more, with hardly anyone in your own country publicly intervening to stop you, you are in a strong position. It was thanks to the relentless bombardment of Grozny that Mr. Putin won his war in Chechnya…. Today some suggest — as Russia has done in the last week — that Western states are just as bad. But they aren’t. They can’t be: Any Western government that did what Mr. Putin did to Grozny, or is doing to Aleppo, would fall, and would deserve to.

    Also see:

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

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  173. Killing unarmed civilians and wounded prisoners for the fun of it is a violation of the Geneva Convention as well of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    nk (dbc370)

  174. Orange Man 42nd Street pervy poofter boy.

    nk (dbc370)

  175. As a final remark to close my case, none of the soldiers pardoned were charged with war crimes. So calling them a “war criminal” is a factual lie.

    Wrong.

    Gallagher was charged, among other things, with murdering a POW and sniping at civilians. Both are war crimes.

    The Navy Times story begins:

    Charged earlier this month with multiple war crimes in connection with the 2017 stabbing death of a detainee in Iraq …

    Lorance was convicted of ordering the murder of unarmed civilians who posed no threat to his men in cold blood. He was also convicted of ordering his men to fire at civilians, including children, to frighten them, and then filing false reports to justify the shooting and ordering men under his command to lie.

    Golsteyn confessed to murdering a prisoner in cold blood.

    The Army Times describes all three as “war crimes cases”:

    President Donald J. Trump plans to “take action” in the cases of two soldiers accused of war crimes, one of whom was already convicted …

    Dave (1bb933)

  176. As a final remark to close my case, none of the soldiers pardoned were charged with war crimes. So calling them a “war criminal” is a factual lie.

    Bullsh*t.
    A soldier posing with a dead enemy combatant is an act carried out during the conduct of a war that violates accepted international rules of war, which is literally the definition of a war crime.
    A soldier who ordered his men to open fire on three Afghans who were not presenting any threat to his platoon is an act carried out during the conduct of a war that violates accepted international rules of war, which is literally the definition of a war crime.
    A soldier who executed an alleged bombmaker while in his custody is an act carried out during the conduct of a war that violates accepted international rules of war, which is literally the definition of a war crime.
    Words do mean things. So does the law.

    Paul Montagu (887e56)

  177. https://amgreatness.com/2019/11/26/prudence-and-presidential-pardons/

    They had the option of charging them with war crimes, none were.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  178. The fact that these soldiers committed war crimes has nothing to do with Trump. Their crimes stand on their own, so judged by courts martial under the UCMJ. The only reason this became an issue is that Trump pardoned those war criminals’ war crimes.

    Paul Montagu (887e56)

  179. Not “war criminals.” Thanks.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  180. Words do mean things. So does the law.

    Not in TrumpWorld!

    Dave (1bb933)

  181. NJRob (4d595c) — 11/27/2019 @ 10:47 am

    I think I’ll trust the professionals at the Army Times and the Navy Times over some random gerbil churning out agitprop for “The Journal of American Greatness,” thanks.

    Dave (1bb933)

  182. The purpose of American Greatness is to provide an outlet to praise Trump 24/7, no matter what he does. Their content is less surprising than sunrises.

    Paul Montagu (887e56)

  183. Dave (1bb933) — 11/27/2019 @ 11:12 am

    Understandable. You wouldn’t want to read a balanced piece that might let facts get in the way of your name calling.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  184. It just gets better and better. Turns out Rudy was angling for a cool $200K payday from the same Ukrainian prosecutor he was working with to manufacture dirt on Biden:

    Giuliani was in talks to be paid by Ukraine’s top prosecutor as they together sought damaging information on Democrats

    President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, negotiated earlier this year to represent Ukraine’s top prosecutor for at least $200,000 during the same months that Giuliani was working with the prosecutor to dig up dirt on Vice President Joe Biden, according to people familiar with the discussions.

    Because the best (and most lucrative) way to “investigate corruption” is to participate in it!

    Dave (1bb933)

  185. 188. I don’t think Giuliani was the initiator here. He got brought this information.

    The people said that Giuliani began negotiations with Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, about a possible agreement in February. In the agreement, Giuliani’s company would receive payment to represent Lutsenko as the Ukrainian sought to recover assets he believed had been stolen from the government in Kyiv, those familiar with the discussions said.

    Deteronomy 16:19

    יט לֹא-תַטֶּה מִשְׁפָּט, לֹא תַכִּיר פָּנִים; וְלֹא-תִקַּח שֹׁחַד–כִּי הַשֹּׁחַד יְעַוֵּר עֵינֵי חֲכָמִים, וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִם. 19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons; neither shalt thou take a gift; for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.

    Giuliani’s judgement was badly corrupted.

    But Lutsenko was not his only source,and now he’s saying Lutsenko is not trustworthy.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/giuliani-turns-honest-ukrainian-prosecutor-who-says-bidens-did-nothing-n1060941

    Facing a subpoena by House Democrats, who want to know the nature of Giuliani’s interactions with Lutsenko and other Ukrainian officials, Giuliani swiftly turned on the man who he’d been corresponding with for months. “Mr. Lutsenko has been fired by the current president. Mr. Lutsenko is exactly the prosecutor that Joe Biden put in in order to tank the case,” Giuliani told CBS News Sunday.

    Daria Kaleniuk, director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center in Ukraine, told NBC News that Giuliani probably “needed” Lutsenko to “connect the dots in a story that looked like it was real but was not.” Lutsenko’s comments, she said, were “probably something Giuliani was not expecting and that’s probably why he was angry.”

    Incidently this artivle has the idea (consistent with the Whistleblower complaint) that Trump wanted Lutsenko retained, but that reading of the July 25, 2019 phone call in untenable.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  186. Giuliani says he wasn’t asking for that.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-rudy-giuliani-on-face-the-nation-september-29-2019

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Why wouldn’t the president reach out first to law enforcement, to his own agencies if his concern was truly about corruption? Why bring this up in a phone call with the leader of Ukraine?

    GIULIANI: Well listen- I mean this goes back actually to November of 2018. I- I wasn’t asking for this. Someone came to me, a very well-respected investigator, American citizen and told me that in- in- in Ukraine there were a number of allegations of interference in the 2016 election. That appear to be real and truthful unlike the Russian collusion hoax. And that it was really ironic that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, our embassy there, was collecting dirt going back to the early part of 2016 on the Trump campaign, on people who operated in the Trump campaign, on the president and that there were witnesses, quite a few of them that would support this. And they’ve been trying to get it to the FBI for a year to a year and a half and they have been frustrated in- in doing so. So, having gotten that as his defense lawyer, I had to pursue it. They would not–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Sorry Chris Wray–

    GIULIANI: talk to the FBI because they–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –the FBI director appointed by President Trump, you’re saying refused to look at this?

    GIULIANI: I didn’t say he refused to look at it. I said they were afraid–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: You just said the FBI wouldn’t look at it.

    GIULIANI: I said they were afraid to go to the FBI because they had been turned down so often. And one of the central figures in it is a FBI agent who appears to be involved in the gathering of dirt, work with a particular company owned by George Soros that was collecting this information. That company is one of the companies where Biden’s bribery of Poroshenko. He got that case dismissed, people were ignoring that, that Biden played a role in getting these collusion allegations covered up. By having the case against AntAC dismissed. So it was all one piece. The reason I investigated it is–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

    GIULIANI: –as his defense lawyer, it’s my job to show if there is an alternative explanation that proves him innocent–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Well–

    GIULIANI: –I got it to the point- let me finish. I got it to the point of affidavits. I put them all online. Here’s one of them–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: A- a- Sorry–

    etc etc.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  187. march 2016 artile about the dismissal of Ulrainian Prosecutor general Viktor Shokin:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/30/world/europe/political-stability-in-the-balance-as-ukraine-ousts-top-prosecutor.html

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  188. So now we have slack-jawed civilians (or so I presume) trying to change the definition of “war crime” in order to paint Donald Trump in the most flattering light possible. Such strange times we live in…

    Gryph (08c844)

  189. Reading through this…I have one thing to say regarding the high horses some people are on here regarding “war criminals”. We have a very serious problem in our military with young soldiers committing suicide. Given my admittedly limited but very personal study of combat veterans, especially enlisted infantry combat veterans, it doesn’t surprise me in the least. The insane RoE that has been expected of our troop, starting in the Vietnam era, though the chrysalis does go back to at least the Aleutian campaign in WWII, is in my mind nothing better than gaslighting and psychological warfare on them. No soldier in history has had to put up with this degree of idiocy except the US GI. By today’s standards, every soldier in WWII was a war criminal. Many several times over. I have in my own possession ‘evidence’ of ‘war crimes’. It’s what happens in war. To sit here and read such ranting, from so-called ‘conservatives’ no less…well, suffice it to say several of you people disgust me.

    PTw (b3fdbb)

  190. We have a very serious problem in our military with young soldiers committing suicide.

    The suicide rate in the military is no different from that of society as a whole:

    The suicide rates for the military services — data that help Pentagon leadership understand the scope of the issue compared with civilian populations — are not generally published by the individual services. They are calculated based on the number of deaths and population of the services and published in an annual DoD Suicide Event Report, or DoDSER.

    The last DoDSER was for 2016, when the rate across all the military services was 21.1 deaths per 100,000 active-duty service members.
    Rates for the individual services that year were:
    19.4 per 100,000, based on 61 deaths, for the Air Force;
    26.7 per 100,000, based on 127 deaths, for the Army;
    15.3 per 100,000 based on 50 deaths, for the Navy;
    and 21 per 100,000, based on 37 deaths, for the Marine Corps.

    According to the Navy, the adjusted rate of suicide in the civilian population for men of the same age as those who serve in the armed forces, is 26.8 per 100,000.

    The latest figure for the military in 2018 was still below the civilian rate:

    The rate of suicide among active-duty troops was 24.8 per 100,000 people in 2018. In 2017, that figure was 21.9 per 100,000 troops. Five years ago, the suicide rate among troops was 18.5 per 100,000 service members.

    Sorry, but if you can’t face another day without murdering civilians and prisoners in cold blood or terrorizing children with sniper fire, maybe you shouldn’t face another day.

    Dave (1bb933)

  191. ”Sorry, but if you can’t face another day without murdering civilians and prisoners in cold blood or terrorizing children with sniper fire, maybe you shouldn’t face another day.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 11/27/2019 @ 1:43 pm

    Those sorts of things never seem to happen in your bookshelf war games with cardboard chits, do they?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  192. What would Cadet Bone Spurs know about any of these things? When Mattis tried to tell him, he would start talking about the military parade he saw in Paris. Basically, he’s a poofter who gets man-crushes, this time on guys in uniform.

    nk (dbc370)

  193. Munroe, this Dave character is a very ignorant and yet over-educated clown. As you say, a bookshelf understanding of these things. A significant problem with our world today.

    There’s a rule of thumb, never validated how close to accurate it is but I sure it’s in the ballpark, that in modern America only 1% of Americans serve in the military. Of those only 1% serve in what would be considered combat units. Of those combat units, only 10% ever see real combat. My suspicions are that even of that 10%, in modern US warfare, a minority see live action fire for weeks and months on end. It is amongst those top-of-the-spear infantrymen, those most impacted on a daily basis by the RoE, where suicide rates are high. Yet bookshelf idiots take that small sliver, spread it out across a larger dataset, and say there’s no problem. An intellectually curious person would compare conflicting information and ask why, dig into it, and understand these things. Not our Dave though. Nor many like him. They have their high morals to protect. And if a few gun nut baby-killers gotta die to preserve their principles, well what’s a few broken eggs, eh?

    PTw (b3fdbb)

  194. this Dave character is a very ignorant and yet over-educated clown

    And you are an abysmally ignorant, self-important, pompous jackass. In your favor, my tomatoes are doing much better since I started adding your comments to their fertilizer. Thank you!

    nk (dbc370)

  195. By today’s standards, every soldier in WWII was a war criminal. Many several times over.

    Which is why Geneva Conventions were established in 1949. Firebombing Dresden and killing thousands of German civilians wasn’t necessary to win the war. It was actually an atrocity.
    There are a couple of issues–rules of engagement and war crimes–that have been melded into one when they really should be separated. David French expresses it well (there’s no link, so I’m cutting-and-pasting from his newsletter):

    As the Twitter saying goes, two things can be true at once. First, for many years (especially during Obama’s Afghanistan surge) American warfighters were excessively handcuffed by onerous rules of engagement. Second, while onerous rules of engagement have generated justifiable sympathy for American soldiers, Trump’s pardons have nothing to do with handcuffed American troops and everything to do with excusing actual war crimes.
    Here’s the basic legal background. American soldiers in every war are governed by the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). This is the fundamental law of war, a complex web of statutes and treaties that attempt to govern the way nation-states fight. LOAC sets the lines that no American commander—and even no American president—can lawfully cross.
    Rules of engagement are something else. They represent rules imposed by commanders that place additional restrictions on the use of force that go beyond the requirements of the LOAC. For example, to take a real-world example, the law of war would permit American artillery to target a civilian structure if American forces are receiving fire from that structure. Yet during the Battle of Ganjgal, Afghanistan—a famous Afghan fight where Dakota Meyer earned the Medal of Honor for his heroic attempts to rescue a small team of Marines—American forces operated under a different standard. They could not employ air strikes or artillery fire against “residential compounds, defined as any structure or building known or likely to contain civilians, unless the ground force commander has verified that no civilians are present.”
    That’s not the law of armed conflict; that’s a rule of engagement, and it likely cost American lives.
    Rules of engagement like the misguided and dangerous rule above have built up an enormous amount of (justified) frustration in the ranks. I served in Iraq during the surge, and while our rules of engagement were looser and more forgiving, they still cost lives, including the life of a dear friend. As a result, particularly in Red America, there exists a very real sense that senior leadership doesn’t back the men on the ground.
    But, and this is very important, the rules of engagement have virtually nothing to do with Trump’s recent pardons and his recent intervention into the military justice and administrative process. Let’s briefly look at each of the men he’s helped.
    Trump pardoned 1st Lieut. Clint Lorance after Lorance was convicted of murder for ordering his men to open fire on three Afghans who were not presenting any threat to his platoon. He was also convicted of firing his rifle at random into a village and falsifying a report of receiving incoming fire.
    Trump also pardoned Maj. Matthew Golsteyn before the Green Beret stood trial on murder charges. He “allegedly told CIA interviewers during a polygraph test that he had killed an alleged Afghan bomb-maker and later conspired with others to destroy the body.” The bomb-maker was in Golsteyn’s custody, and Golsteyn allegedly summarily executed him.
    Trump reversed the demotion of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher and directed the Navy to preserve his Trident pin, maintaining Gallagher’s membership in the SEALs. A court-martial had acquitted Gallagher of murder charges but convicted him of posing for a picture with an enemy corpse. As a result of Trump’s action, Gallagher faced no lasting consequence for the crime (though he did endure substantial pre-trial detention.)
    Each of these cases involved true war crimes. They were not about American forces handcuffed or hamstrung by politically correct generals or weak-willed Washington politicians. Murder, for example, is a crime no matter the rules of engagement. Posing with an enemy corpse has nothing to do with the stress of restraining American forces in combat.

    I’ve criticized Obama for too-strict rules of engagement and for his making the final decisions on airstrikes when his generals were more than qualified to make them. Trump rightfully loosened the RoE and rightfully delegated decision-making down to where it belonged. But this has nothing to do with individual soldiers violating the rules of war.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  196. PTw (b3fdbb) — 11/27/2019 @ 5:00 pm

    Cool story.

    Except Lt. Lorance, to take one example, threatened to kill a civilian and chambered a round into his M-16 and aimed it at the head of the man’s child the very same day he took command of a front-line unit. Within a couple days, he had ordered his men to terrorize civilians, including groups of children, near his unit’s base, by directing unprovoked sniper fire near them. And he ordered his men to falsify reports about receiving fire to justify what he had done. And only three days after arriving at the front, he ordered his men to murder three unarmed civilians in cold blood (one survived).

    These aren’t the actions of a frustrated hero under the heat of battle, chafing at rules of engagement that left him and his men defenseless. They are the actions of a criminal. Having men like him in command makes everyone over there less safe, and makes it harder for the people risking their lives to defend us to do their jobs and come home safely. An officer setting an example like that for his men – disobeying orders and falsifying reports – is absolutely toxic to discipline and morale.

    Lorance was reported by his own platoon, who had faced the stresses of combat longer than he had, and he was tried, convicted and sentenced by military officers, not “bookshelf idiots”.

    Dave (1bb933)

  197. Written by the war criminal’s brother. The facts are indisputable that he posed for a picture with a dead Islamic State militant, and his motivation for the picture was clear when he boasted that he killed him with his hunting knife. I really don’t know why so many adoring Trump loyalists are in favor of the US military lowering its standards to Islamic State barbarian levels.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  198. I really don’t know why so many adoring Trump loyalists are in favor of the US military lowering its standards to Islamic State barbarian levels.

    because mr. president trump says so that’s why so there

    nk (dbc370)

  199. Did you enjoy the part where Gallagher’s undressed kids were drug into the street, Paul?

    BuDuh (60241c)

  200. Did you enjoy the part where Gallagher’s undressed kids were drug into the street, Paul?

    That has nothing to do with the war crime that Gallagher committed, but I do hope they have recourse for any legitimate grievances against NCIS.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  201. Did you enjoy the part where Gallagher’s undressed kids were drug into the street, Paul?

    If dad commits crimes, the investigation may get sloppy, his family might get embarrased. All reasons that committing crimes, getting caught, and convicted, isn’t a good thing all the way around.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (0c55cb)

  202. Equally my posting an informative link, where you learned about the actions of the NCIS, has nothing to do with “Trump loyalists” in “favor of the US military blah, blah, blah…”

    Your comment about the link was written in bad faith.

    BuDuh (60241c)

  203. If dad commits crimes, the investigation may get sloppy,

    Do you at least draw a line if the investigation gets criminal?

    It is an interesting op-ed written from a perspective none of us has and seemingly backed up in large part.

    Have a happy thanksgiving.

    BuDuh (60241c)

  204. It is an interesting op-ed written from a perspective none of us has and seemingly backed up in large part

    Even if what the brother says is completely true, it doesn’t change the fact that what Gallagher admitted to doing was enough to justify not merely throwing him out of the SEALS, but out of the military in general.

    There is also the fact that medic who “confessed” might well be lying on Gallagher’s behalf.

    It’s rather sad that expecting US soldiers and sailors to obey the laws of war is, for the author of that piece, nothing but a political agenda,

    Kishnevi (083e7a)

  205. That’s how cops in America conduct raids and SWATTings all the time. And I mean all the time. It’s standard procedure. That it happened to Gallagher and his family makes him neither special nor innocent. If the NCIS had followed Trump’s recommendation for arrests, they would also have have smashed his head into the door frame as they were putting him into the cop car. (There’s video at the link.)

    nk (dbc370)

  206. If the NCIS had followed Trump’s recommendation for arrests, they would also have have smashed his head into the door frame as they were putting him into the cop car.

    Also remember, “You have to take out their families.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  207. Your comment about the link was written in bad faith.

    No, it’s a legitimate question, and you should answer it, and I’ll put the question more succinctly: Why are you in favor of the US military lowering its standards to Islamic State barbarian levels?

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  208. “Hey kid you gotta know the righta peoples. Iffa you know the righta peoples everythinga come uppa roses.” — Vito “Cool Lips” Chericola, Chicago’s Mafia boss (fictional)

    May 24

    Marc Mukasey, a former law partner of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, delivers closing arguments for the defense in the Gallagher trial.

    Earlier this year, Mukasey worked to block release of Trump’s tax returns to a House committee. https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/politics/2019/11/27/timeline-gallahers-war-crimes-trump-intervention/4305986002/

    nk (dbc370)

  209. 95. nk (dbc370) — 11/25/2019 @ 6:59 pm

    What I’m curious about is the “insurance” Giuliani has mentioned twice when asked about the possibility of the orange throwing him under the bus.

    Well, he first time he mentioned it, he was following the metaphor of being thrown under a bus, and added that all his hospital bills will be paid. So if means anything, it is that he has good lawyers in case he gets investigated.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/14/rudy-giuliani-donald-trump-insurance-loyal

    In a telephone interview with the Guardian, in response to a question about whether he was nervous that Trump might “throw him under a bus” in the impeachment crisis, Giuliani said, with a slight laugh: “I’m not, but I do have very, very good insurance, so if he does, all my hospital bills will be paid.”

    Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, who was also on the call, then interjected: “He’s joking.”

    The second time was on Fox News, where you don’t have the clarification that it doesn’t mean he can turn on Trump, but that he can take care of himself if he is accused of anything.

    I don’t have a link to the Fox interview (although it should be online somewhere but Google doesn’t help with this) but I can get video

    https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1198292942797996032https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1198292942797996032

    and can find several websites that appear to quote it in full:

    https://www.newsweek.com/giuliani-trump-bus-insurance-1473723

    On the Fox News show America’s Newsroom, host Ed Henry asked Giuliani about the status of his relationship with the president.

    “Have you talked to President Trump in the last week or two? Have you met with him? Are you still his counsel?” Henry asked.

    “I do not discuss my conversations with my client,” Giuliani replied, talking over the host. “You can assume that I talk with him early and often and have a very, very good relationship with him, and all these comments—which are totally insulting—I mean, I’ve seen things written like he’s gonna throw me under the bus.”

    “Right,” Henry affirmed.

    “When they say that, I say, ‘He isn’t, but I have insurance,'” Giuliani added.

    As Henry let out an uncomfortable laugh, Giuliani resumed. “We are very good friends. He knows what I did was to defend him, not to dig up dirt on Biden,” he said, referring to an ongoing federal investigation that has so far led to the indictment of two of Giuliani’s former associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, on charges of campaign finance fraud.

    So from here, we have, “I have insurance” was becoming his standard answer to the question of whether they would split up. Even if it meant what it means n Mafia tales, the message was intended not for Trump, but for people he did business with – and was said so he wouldn’t lose clients.

    Could Giuliani be subpoenaed by Congress and made to tell what that insurance is? Wouldn’t that be great?

    Well, he should be subpoenaed anyway so he can tell the whole story of how he got into this – he said on Face the Nation he was presented with the 2016 story in November, 2018, and felt duty bound to follow it up. And later on they fed him other stuff.

    On November 23, 2019, after the Fox interview Giuliani issued a statement saying he had been sarcastic, and still later, on advice of his attorney, made a telephone call to Trump saying he didn’t mean to threaten him (or something like that) and told the press he’d made that call..

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  210. Giuliani Cannot Rely on Attorney-Client Privilege to Avoid Congressional Testimony
    …… the question has been raised whether the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, will testify before Congress. According to CNN, Giuliani has said that he would need to consult with Trump before testifying before Congress because of the attorney-client privilege. This reflects a fundamental misapprehension of how the attorney-client privilege might apply in these circumstances—and, indeed, whether it could provide a bulwark against compelled congressional testimony at all.

    At the outset, it is unclear that much of the information of interest to Congress regarding Giuliani’s conduct would even potentially be subject to the attorney-client privilege. The privilege exists to protect the confidential communication between a client and an attorney made for the purpose of obtaining legal advice. It does not protect, for instance, communications your attorney may have had with, say, foreign government officials—or, for that matter, with U.S. government officials.

    And, of course, the privilege wouldn’t reach communications where Giuliani was not acting in his capacity as a lawyer providing legal advice. Yet Giuliani himself just told The Atlantic regarding his work in Ukraine, “I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government.” And the conduct at issue—pushing arguments about potential corruption to foreign officials—does not appear to involve providing confidential legal advice. It is not even clear that Giuliani’s conduct constitutes legal work performed in his capacity as Trump’s attorney, even if it were charitably viewed as something other than political campaign work. ….

    First, it is Congress’s long-standing position that the attorney-client privilege does not afford protection against compelled congressional testimony. ……

    Second, attorney-client privilege can be waived. Under the third-party waiver doctrine, disclosure of privileged communications to a third party typically effects a waiver of the privilege. And in order to prevent the use of the privilege as both a sword and a shield at the same time, the subject-matter waiver doctrine holds that any waiver of the attorney-client privilege generally extends to the entire subject matter to which the disclosed communication related, not just the specific communication disclosed. ……

    Third, there is a crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege. ……

    If the attorney-client privilege is not available to Giuliani, what about executive privilege? The administration has recently claimed that executive privilege can shield the president’s communications even with some individuals outside the executive branch. But even setting aside questions about whether such an extension of the privilege is supportable, there is a separate reason it cannot be available here: Giuliani represents Trump in the president’s personal capacity, not his official capacity. ……

    Rip Murdock (42fdfa)

  211. First, it is Congress’s long-standing position that the attorney-client privilege does not afford protection against compelled congressional testimony. ……

    It doesn’t exist at all in that context?

    I think attorney client otivilege is more than just (legal) advice – it’s also research.

    In any case, that would kind of disappeared after March 24.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)


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