Patterico's Pontifications

12/12/2019

How Trump Acts Like a Guilty Criminal Defendant

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am



I have a piece at ArcDigital today titled They Sure Do Look Guilty. Here is an excerpt:

[D]efendants often have no real defense based on the facts and merits. So they and their lawyers try to make a simple, straightforward question seem very, very complicated. They attack the process. They scream that the prosecution is engaged in a witch hunt. They try to vilify law enforcement, whether it be the police or the prosecutors. The more unscrupulous defendants may intimidate witnesses, fabricate evidence, or tell falsehoods under oath.

But all guilty defendants who go to trial try to deny the reality in front of everyone’s face. They scream and yell and try to get the fact-finder upset, annoyed, distracted … anything but focused on the facts and evidence. And if they find jurors who are emotionally inclined to lean towards the defense, these tactics can work.

If you have followed impeachment, this should all sound familiar.

There is a clip in the piece that I ask people to watch, which contrasts the weaselly way that the Republican staff lawyer addresses the central part of the transcript of Trump’s “perfect” call with the straightforward manner in which the Democrat staff lawyer does. For whatever reason, Medium is unable to embed a YouTube video with timestamps, but below is the 80-second video:

Weasel vs. non-weasel. Simple.

58 Responses to “How Trump Acts Like a Guilty Criminal Defendant”

  1. ”[D]efendants often have no real defense based on the facts and merits.“

    Nor does the prosecution, which is how we get to a post intended to sway based on how a defendant acts, instead of “facts and merits.”

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  2. How a defendant acts can go to the merits — such as if they fabricate evidence or intimidate witnesses — and jurors are so instructed.

    Patterico (b620f4)

  3. Trump doesn’t want to admit even making a blunder although blundering is a good defense.

    Sammy Finkelman (5736b6)

  4. If the facts are against you, argue the law.
    If the law is against you, argue the facts.
    If the facts AND the law are against you, pound on the table.

    Dave (1bb933)

  5. On which you have placed a grocery bag that you brought in place of a briefcase. A stage prop by a clown with a law license doing his act.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. On the other side the Democrats have handled the process so poorly that even with the help of most of the news media the polls are shifting against them. Adam Schiff hasn’t acted like a prosecutor sitting on a mountain of facts.

    Mattsky (ba5355)

  7. The public doesn’t seem interested in the facts, as we learned from watching what happened to the Mueller Report.

    DRJ (15874d)

  8. Other than letting Trump get away with election tampering scot-free, which might have been the most politically expedient course, I’m not sure how the Democrats could have handled things much differently.

    Schiff lapsed into unprofessionalism during one moment of one hearing, clearly in frustration. Apart from that unforced error, the GOP’s strategy was to delegitimize the process no matter what the Democrats did; the Republicans would have never approached it soberly, or with any integrity.

    Dave (1bb933)

  9. Are there a lot of innocent defendants?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  10. If the impeachment vote was resrricted to those who were voting on the evidence rather than their political biases, there woulnd’t be a quorum.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  11. If the facts AND the law are against you…

    Since impeachment is a POLITICAL act, it’s unsurprising that all anyone hears is spin. The number of people who know (or care about knowing) the “facts” are minuscule. 95% of them are recapitulating their 2016 votes.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  12. Since impeachment is a POLITICAL act, it’s unsurprising that all anyone hears is spin. The number of people who know (or care about knowing) the “facts” are minuscule. 95% of them are recapitulating their 2016 votes.

    Those defending Trump are essentially “voting” that the President can use foreign aid to blackmail other countries into manufacturing dirt on their political opponents.

    Dave (1bb933)

  13. If people are not previously familiar with the facts they are not going to get tit from this debating. There’s too much shorthand. And they are not getting at each argument on point, and some of the arguments and counterarguments are wrong.

    The Democrats have said the facts are not disputed and the Republicans say they dispute it.

    Nobody comes up with an explanation that incorporates all the facts.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  14. The Washington Post gave Schiff Four Pinocchios. For a (D) to get 4 they have to be really full of crap. Was he frustrated when he gave us that ‘parody’? What the hell was that? It was like something out of Trumps twitter feed. So he’s had more that one unforced error and isn’t a bastion of integrity. When you’re going after a compulsive liar I think it helps to differentiate your self and not emulate.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/04/schiffs-false-claim-his-committee-had-not-spoken-whistleblower/

    Mattsky (ba5355)

  15. The article at ArcDigital was very good.

    DRJ (15874d)

  16. How a defendant acts can go to the merits — such as if they fabricate evidence or intimidate witnesses — and jurors are so instructed.

    Patterico (b620f4) — 12/12/2019 @ 8:17 am

    You mean the exact things that Horowitz says the FBI using the DNC dossier did to Trump?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  17. Those defending impeachment are essentially “voting” that govt. employees and politicians can lie (i.e. use unverified, manufactured dirt on their political opponents) to obtain FISA warrants.”

    Agree.

    harkin (15bd84)

  18. Schiff lapsed into unprofessionalism during one moment of one hearing, clearly in frustration. Apart from that unforced error, the GOP’s strategy was to delegitimize the process no matter what the Democrats did; the Republicans would have never approached it soberly, or with any integrity.

    Dave (1bb933) — 12/12/2019 @ 8:51 am

    You continue to support Schiff though he has lied repeatedly, at every step in this process. He lied about the phone call with Zelinsky, he lied about Nunes, he lied in his report about the Horowitz investigation. Over and over again. He’s lied about the reasons for this political impeachment.

    So why do you support him?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  19. At least the orange is not claiming it was a drug deal gone bad. (That’s a common “defense” to a mugging.)

    nk (dbc370)

  20. That’s weird, nk… how did you know I caught SuperFly on Netflix last night? That’s also been the go to defense for gay bashes.

    urbanleftbehind (214995)

  21. Bolton told Fiona Hill on July 10 to tell NSC top counsel John Eisenberg that he was not part of any “drug deal” that Nulvaney and Sondland were cooking up (Sondland had just mentioned semi-privately to two Ukrainian officials who were in the white House that you know a White House meeting is deendent on investigations – he;d sent Fiona Hill to listen to what he was saying tot hem after the meeting broke up and they had finished with pictures)

    I think the reason Bolton told her to say that is that he too, was opposing a meeting. But that was because he was afraid Trump would blurt out something stupid.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  22. He lied about the phone call with Zelinsky, he lied about Nunes, he lied in his report about the Horowitz investigation.

    His facetious description of the Zelinsky call was not lying.

    I’m not sure what the other alleged lies you’re referring to are.

    So why do you support him?

    I don’t “support him”. I support holding the president accountable for corrupt abuse of power.

    From what I have seen and read, Schiff has generally (apart from his dumb, inappropriate attempt at humor already noted) behaved in a reasonable fashion during the impeachment hearings.

    Dave (1bb933)

  23. Orange dindunuffin.

    nk (dbc370)

  24. @18 Don’t support any of these clowns. Since we have an opportunity to get sworn testimony I’m not given much credence to things people say (on either side) that aren’t under oath. So, pretty much nothing Schiff says.

    Time123 (a7a01b)

  25. Patterico, nice article, thank your for writing it.

    Time123 (a7a01b)

  26. @7. Facts usually matter to a routinely skeptical public, DRJ [unless you drift into JFK Land or live in Roswell, NM]- it’s a matter of how they’re packaged and presented. You can quill a 400 page report that’s a real snoozer– or season’n’sizzle all them facts up and produce a really tasty ratings grabber: ‘Jeopardy’.

    Alas, Bob Mueller was no Alex Trebek.

    ______

    How a defendant ‘acts’… that’s “theatre”- ‘impeachment’ has become just another piece of ‘entertainment’. Reality TeeVee Trump is already several steps ahead, trying to stage manage the trial production by dickering w/ director McConnell over how to produce the ‘show.’ The Donald wants to make it a mini-series with a parade of guest stars like the Bidens and Schiff for reelection PR spin while Mitch sees it as just a down and dirty one-hour special to package for broadcast between the college bowl games and the Super Sunday.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. “You continue to support Schiff though he has lied repeatedly, at every step in this process.”

    Trump fans complaining about other people lying are always a source of amusement to me.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  28. Plenty of Americans will insist they’ve read Gone With The Wind because they saw the movie.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. Trump fans complaining about other people lying are always a source of amusement to me.

    It’s another illustration of the principle: “The rules we apply to other people should never, ever be applied to Trump.”

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  30. Today Trump tweeted out a promo for one of his business properties and explicitly tied it to his presidential office (“the Southern White House!”).

    Meanwhile, his fans pretend to find it inconceivable that he could have abused presidential power for his own benefit.

    It must take a lot of determination to keep ignoring what’s staring you right in the face.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  31. So they and their lawyers try to make a simple, straightforward question seem very, very complicated. They attack the process. They scream that the prosecution is engaged in a witch hunt. They try to vilify law enforcement, whether it be the police or the prosecutors.

    That’s a concise summary of what the Republicans have been saying today in the Judiciary Committee.

    Paul Montagu (8a151c)

  32. Transcripts:

    https://www.rev.com/blog/house-judiciary-committee-impeachment-hearing-transcript-day-2

    All of the publicly broadcast impeachment hearing transcripts are here.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  33. That was a very cogent and persuasive article, Patterico. Thank you for writing it. If I were on the jury, assuming I could get through voir dire, I would vote to convict. Or cause a mistrial by refusing to acquit. But jury trials require a unanimous vote, as you know. This is a political process, so of course it’s theater.

    DCSCA, you’re right, people will claim to have read Gone With the Wind after they saw the movie. But that’s because so few people actually read these days. The novel is far more complicated than the movie, but the screenplay had to be edited for time constraints.

    If you read the book, the entire story comes down to one simple sentence at the end of the second paragraph on the first page–“He eyes were her own.”

    Scarlet loved Ashley. He was the son of a wealthy plantation owner. She was the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. It was just so right they should be together! But Ashley wouldn’t have anything to do with Scarlet, because she wasn’t southern gentry. The O’Haras were northerners who had simply moved to Atlanta and bought a plantation, whereas the Wilkes had been is the south for generations. That’s why Ashley married Melanie, because she came from ‘good stock’. In other words, she was born into southern gentry. Melanie was Scarlet’s best friend growing up, note the irony.

    Rhett loved Scarlet, because she was the girl he, a commoner, couldn’t have. So he joined the army, fought in the Civil War, and made a fortune running guns and bootlegging whiskey. Now rich, he returns to Atlanta, in the hope that his millions would earn him the love of Scarlet.

    Of course, he marries her and saves her plantation. They have a daughter, who unfortunately dies in a horse riding accident. Then Melanie falls sick and dies. On her death bead, she tells Scarlet, “Be kind to your husband, he loves you so.” And Scarlet says, “Rhett?” Because in her mind Ashley was her husband–“Her eyes were her own.”

    After the passing, Ashley wouldn’t have anything to do with Scarlet, not anymore than he would have before. It’s a southern gentry kind of thing. Then Rhett comes home, having wasted his millions to save Tara, knowing that his wife always loved another man. He confronts his wife and leaves, with nothing but the clothes on his shoulders.

    “Rhett! Rhett! Don’t go, don’t go!” Scarlet laments. “Where will I go? Where will I live?”

    He says, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

    It was the first movie in full color and the first movie to contain a curse word. Almost blasephous in 1939, but it won several Academy Awards.

    Fast forward to today. You have a New York fraud posing as President and expecting the pople to excuse his egregious behavior. And the people, who are being punished by his tariffs and trade wars, are saying, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

    This is what Trump cannot deal with, rejection. He has committed serial felonies before and after he took office. It’s time the American people held him accountable.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  34. His supporters/fans don’t think he did anything wrong, or, they’re willing to overlook it, because they think Democrats are worse. That’s pretty much where we are. The dude is very very well-loved by his base.

    JRH (14e837)

  35. The President of the United States is so corrupt, that in the end, Democrats were forced to write two articles of impeachment that have no defined elements of wrong doing. Why is that?
    Like today’s Impeachment markup, and comments here, Dems talk about all the crimes committed by the President. But crimes have black letter law, defined elements to prove the crime, not abuse of power, that means what ever you want it to mean. Democrats cannot prove elements of crime, they are forced to go with subjective analysis.

    iowan2 (e9c145)

  36. 34. JRH (14e837) — 12/12/2019 @ 5:29 pm

    The dude is very very well-loved by his base.

    No, I don’t think he’s loved. (by almost anyone, really)

    He’s trusted. (by most of his base)

    Which could sound like a strange thing, but they didn’t know Donald Trump before 2015/6.

    Also, just in general, they don’t know that much, so don’t know when he says, or even that he says, something off the wall, and they don’t know, or don’t trust, other sources of information or other politicians. At least not compared to him.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  37. There is a clip in the piece that I ask people to watch, which contrasts the weaselly way that the Republican staff lawyer addresses the central part of the transcript of Trump’s “perfect” call with the straightforward manner in which the Democrat staff lawyer does.

    I saw that exchange live. My impression was that the Democratic counsel (Barry Berke) was a little too sharp, and was trying to force Stephen Castor into saying something he did not believe, and that was, in fact, wrong. Castor was not fast enough (or didn’t take things slow enough) t think on his feet, bt I understood him.

    Barry Berke: (58:11)
    And then it also says, it goes on to say, President Trump asked President Zelensky if you can look into it, correct? Is that the words? If you can look into it, correct?

    Stephen Castor: (58:22)
    That’s what it says. And then he says it sounds horrible to me.

    Barry Berke: (58:31)
    So President Trump, am I right, President Trump was asking Ukrainian President Zelensky to have the Ukrainian officials look into Vice President Joe Biden, correct? Is that correct, yes or no?

    Stephen Castor: (58:45)

    I don’t think the record supports that.

    That’s correct. It does not

    In fact, I can be stronger. Trump most definitely was not asking Ukrainian President Zelensky to have the Ukrainian officials look into Vice President Joe Biden. He was asking Zelensky to look into it

    It he had meant Joe Biden he would have said: LOOK INTO HIM.

    What’s it?

    A specific allegation. That Biden stopped a prosecution. Not a general all-purpose investigation of Joe Biden. Barry Berke, by shooting questions fast at Stephen Castor, was trying to confuse him.

    I suspect that’s been seen at trials, too.

    Castor fell into the pitfall of trying to answer questions as fast as they were asked for fear of looking dishonest f=if he paused to think.

    Trial lawyers sometimes caution witnesses to answer questions slow.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  38. Barry Berke: (58:47)
    It doesn’t say can you look into it? President Trump is not asking him to-

    Stephen Castor: (58:51)
    I don’t think it supports that. I think it’s ambiguous.

    No, it’s actually quite clear that he’s not asking for an investigation of Joe Biden per se.

    But Castor is beginning to clarify his thinking. Before he can explain, Barry Berke switches over to Dan Goldman and feeds him a softball question, which he answers with a simple yes.

    Barry Berke: (58:54)
    Mr. Goldman, you’re an experienced federal prosecutor. I know that first hand. Is this President Trump asking President Zelensky to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden?

    Daniel Goldman: (59:08)
    I don’t think there’s any other way to read the words on the page than to conclude that.

    LIAR! He knows that’s not true.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  39. Then Barry Berke switches back to Stephen Castor and has him agree that (in general) when so,ebody sis trying to do something wrong he generally does not say he’s doing something wrongful. (He wants to take the sting out of Castor’s having said that Trump did not say that this was to help him in the 2020 election. Then he switches back to Goldman to get asomewhat stronger re-statement of the same idea.

    Then he asks another question:

    Barry Berke: (01:00:38)
    Thank you, Mr. Goldman. And Mr. Castor, getting back to you, you said that … You said about Hunter Biden and talked about it, Hunter Biden had been on the board of Burisma going back to 2014, correct?

    Stephen Castor: (01:00:49)
    Yes.

    Barry Berke: (01:00:49)
    President Trump supported Ukraine with aid and otherwise both in 2017 and 2018, correct?

    Stephen Castor: (01:00:58)
    President Trump has done a lot for the Ukraine.

    Barry Berke: (01:01:00)
    Yes. And sir, but isn’t it correct that President Trump did not raise anything about Hunter Biden and his father, Vice President Joe Biden, in 2017 or 2018. He only did it the year before his election in 2020 when both he and Vice President Joe Biden were leading candidates. Isn’t that true, sir?

    Stephen Castor: (01:01:19)
    I think what happened is the president saw this video of the former VP and I think it coalesced in his mind.

    Barry Berke doesn’t like that answer, which is very good, and does not want him to elaborate.

    And he pretends that Castor did not answer his question.

    Barry Berke: (01:01:26)
    Sir, please answer my question. He didn’t raise any of these issues in 2017 or 2018.

    Stephen Castor: (01:01:30)
    I don’t know that he did or he didn’t. I mean, that is not something that we’ve looked at.

    Barry Berke: (01:01:33)
    You’ve no evidence that he did, did you?

    Stephen Castor: (01:01:35)
    No, but I have no evidence he did not. I mean, this video is pretty remarkable.

    Then Berke drops the subject, because Castor might explain more.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  40. Impeachment is ‘entertainment’–

    Television rules: Nadler surprised GOP by delaying impeachment vote and ends late night committee meeting until Friday the 13th at 10 AM Eastern, 9 Central, in color — ‘in the light of day.’ Ratings, ratings, ratings.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  41. 35. Just because the dems ****ed it up doesn’t mean that Trump isn’t corrupt.

    Gryph (08c844)

  42. @38 What Goldman said is true and because you are an intelligent person you cannot be blind to that. Trump has zero interest in investigating Hunter Smith, which we know because he hasn’t had any interested at all in investigating any Hunter Smiths’ seats on the board of any Ukrainian companies.

    Nic (896fdf)

  43. Those defending impeachment are essentially “voting” that govt. employees and politicians can lie (i.e. use unverified, manufactured dirt on their political opponents) to obtain FISA warrants.”

    Agree.

    I defend impeachment. I do not vote for lying and manufactured dirt. harkin, if you think I do, get off my blog. Let me know whether you are retracting that statement as it applies to me, or declaring your wish to leave the blog. It is, as they like to say, a binary choice.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  44. But crimes have black letter law, defined elements to prove the crime, not abuse of power, that means what ever you want it to mean.

    Precisely. Impeachment is not criminal prosecution, as the Constitution makes abundantly clear.

    The laws are generally written to cover crimes that a significant number of people might commit. Due to the vast power he is entrusted with, there are countless things a president can do that essentially nobody else can.

    Writing laws to cover every possible corrupt act a president might commit would have been an absurd waste of time, at least prior to Trump.

    Is it your position that if there is no law forbidding use of foreign aid to entice a foreign government to manufacture dirt on your political opponent, that makes it OK?

    Let’s take a structurally identical but more extreme example. There is surely no law on the books prohibiting the president from threatening to bomb a country to get them to do his political campaign a favor. Moreover, the president’s powers as commander-in-chief of the military are virtually unlimited (unlike the disposition of foreign aid and other spending, for which Congress has the primary power under the Constitution).

    Is it your position that if there is no law forbidding the president to threaten use of the military to coerce a foreign government into doing a political favor for his re-election campaign, that makes it OK?

    Dave (1bb933)

  45. Trump is always like this. He claims to not remember knowing some shady character until photos and videos come out contradicting it. The behavior is like he has something to hide in almost everything he does. Either it is a really odd compulsion or he really does have something to hide.

    A smart guy would have summoned all the media and had Trump tower doormen wheel boxes of his tax returns out for public distribution. But he has created so many illusions that they cannot all be maintained simultaneously. The only thing people would remember is that his net worth is a lot less than he claims and that would drive him crazy (but not necessarily dent his supporters confidence).

    dirtyjobsguy (96cdc8)

  46. 43. I can think that Trump is unfit for office, ergo believing he should be removed, and believe that the Dems are going about this in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. A pox on both their houses.

    Gryph (08c844)

  47. 40. DCSCA (797bc0) — 12/12/2019 @ 8:54 pm

    Television rules: Nadler surprised GOP by delaying impeachment vote and ends late night committee meeting until Friday the 13th at 10 AM Eastern, 9 Central, in color — ‘in the light of day.’ Ratings, ratings, ratings.

    I don’t know what outlets were giving continuous coverage late last night, but they didn’t get this much this morning. WNYC 820 AM in New York (National Public Radio) didn’t have any plans to cover it except via the Internet (not on radio) but they did announce the time: 10 am. At 10 am CBS was broadcasting “Let’s Make a Deal” (I watch so little of it I thought it might be “The Price is Right” which, come to think of it, I think is no longer being produced.)

    But they broke into for a special report. Major Garrett was the lead, and only anchor. I think t was nothing but the impeachment vote itself, separately on the two counts. The only bit of drama was Louie Gomert saying four words ending with no, and later on, when Chairman Nadler said (pro forma) has every member voted who wishes to vote, wanting to be sure he was recorded, although the clerk had repeated after him, as she did after every member who votes “Mr (or Ms.) Name votes aye/no” A few Democrats voted “Yes” instead of “aye” but the were recorded as “aye” (Unless I got mixed up about which was the proper word to use when casting a vote there.)

    The Republicans last night had expected a vote (this was at about 11 pm EST) and were a little angry because they had just agreed to cut off debate, and many members had planes to catch Friday morning.

    (I guess if they knew a vote would not be held that night they could have not agreed to cut off debate and forced a postponement. Now with only a vote scheduled the committee met at 10 am. I think maybe one Democrat was missing.

    Nadler wanted a postponement, he said, in order to get members a chance to think it over overnight and vote their conscience. I translate that ass meaning he was still hooping that maybe he could get one Republican vote. Not with these articles, and without having been given a chance to participate in hearings.

    There was a proposal yesterday, not sure why, to change the name on the Articles of Impeachment from Donald J. Trump to “Donald John Trump” I would have thought the New York Times reporters would have known or offered a plausible reason. Maybe just an excuse to get in more debate? Major Garrett of CBS News, I think, said that the mood today was one of grim resignation. And something like that yesterday it was the kind of situation where, they say, everything has been said but not everybody has said it. I don;t think so. There are always knew things to say and the argument, if repeated enough can sometimes advance to a new point.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  48. 45. dirtyjobsguy (96cdc8) — 12/13/2019 @ 7:35 am

    The only thing people would remember is that his net worth is a lot less than he claims and that would drive him crazy (but not necessarily dent his supporters confidence).

    His tax advisers could have outwitted and played the IRS, you know.

    By taking some tax positions just for the purposes of conceding them in an audit, giving the auditor a huge “victory” and then having him or her go away because they won’t get a bigger bonus or whatever for recovering more.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  49. 42 Nic (896fdf) — 12/12/2019 @ 10:59 pm

    @38
    What Goldman said is true and because you are an intelligent person you cannot be blind to that.

    Goldman said he thought that there wasn’t “any other way to read the words on the page than to conclude that” asking Ukrainian President Zelensky to have the Ukrainian officials look into Vice President Joe Biden. And Barry Berke says “It doesn’t say can you look into it”

    But that’s precisely what it does say:

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

    The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.
    Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it

    Neither Joe or Hunter Biden is an “it” The antecedent is this specific allegation that Joe Biden stopped a prosecutor from investigating.

    But Barry Berke’s cross examination went:

    Barry Berke: (58:31)
    So President Trump, am I right, President Trump was asking Ukrainian President Zelensky to have the Ukrainian officials look into Vice President Joe Biden, correct? Is that correct, yes or no?

    Stephen Castor: (58:45)
    I don’t think the record supports that.

    Barry Berke: (58:47)
    It doesn’t say can you look into it? President Trump is not asking him to-

    Stephen Castor: (58:51)
    I don’t think it supports that. I think it’s ambiguous.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  50. Trump has zero interest in investigating Hunter Smith, which we know because he hasn’t had any interested at all in investigating any Hunter Smiths’ seats on the board of any Ukrainian companies.

    And Trump was not asking for Hunter Biden to be nvestigated.

    That’s what some Reoublicans want now.

    Trump wanted the allegation that Joe Biden had stopped a prosecution – and bragged about it – to be looked into.

    Was that true?” was his question.

    That’s not the same thing as calling for false accusations to be manufactured against Joe Biden, or a witch hunt, or a fishing expedition, or even, which is where things were heading in early September, but not before, for an announcement of an investigation even if he thought they would be honest enough not to make anything up in te end.

    That’s what Harry Reid waned the FBI to do Donald Trump in 2016: Announce an investigation, regardless of whether or not it had any chance of finding anything. Not what Donald Trump wanted to do to Joe Biden.

    Trump was sincere about that and it was his incompetence (and wrong decision to put am unannounced hold on the aid for other reasons that he mostly kept to himself) that led some of his subordinates to link the aid money to an announcement of an investigation.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  51. Sammy you twist yourself on knots on this stuff.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  52. Those defending impeachment are essentially “voting” that govt. employees and politicians can lie (i.e. use unverified, manufactured dirt on their political opponents) to obtain FISA warrants.”

    Such a bizarre and illogical attack.

    The impeachment charges against Trump have nothing to do with any FISA warrant.

    Further, nobody “lied” about the Steele dossier in any FISA application. The FBI had no way to know whether it was factual since that’s precisely what they wanted to get the warrant to determine, and they pointed this out explicitly.

    Dave (1bb933)

  53. It’s only because he’s orange. The wouldn’t be doing it to a white man.

    nk (dbc370)

  54. Is there an exact standard as to how an innocent person is supposed to act and defend themself

    steveg (354706)

  55. Probably not trying to fire everyone who investigates the crime would be part of it.
    Not employing Giuliani and a bunch of other slimeballs would be another part.

    Are we really going to use the word innocent to describe this creep? Really? Why are we pretending?

    Dustin (cafb36)

  56. I read Gone with the Wind until i needed a defibrillator to stay awake… same goes for the movie.
    Only thing worse was The Great Gatsby.

    They both remind me of Mark twain’s takedown of James Fenimore Cooper and his literary offences
    https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3172/3172-h/3172-h.htm

    steveg (354706)

  57. Only thing worse was The Great Gatsby.

    Heh, we agree on something!

    Dave (1bb933)

  58. 52. Dave (1bb933) — 12/13/2019 @ 2:48 pm

    The impeachment charges against Trump have nothing to do with any FISA warrant.

    The connection is supposed to be that Crossfire Hurricane has got something to do maybe with what Trump wanted investigated – by the way that is one thing it is absurd to assume that Trump on;y wanted an announcement about.

    By the way, it may not be coming through, but the FISA warrants against Carter Page couldn’t have much to do with political bias (beyond relying on Steele as a source) since Carter Page had nothing much to do with the campaign and most of it happened after the campaign was over.

    Further, nobody “lied” about the Steele dossier in any FISA application. The FBI had no way to know whether it was factual since that’s precisely what they wanted to get the warrant to determine, and they pointed this out explicitly.

    They omitted material facts, especially n the renewal applications.

    Steele was praised as the top Russian expert in MI-6 (he wasn’t) they said what he had found out before had been useful to the FBI (it wasn’t – it had only been “minimally corroborated”) and they interviewed Steele and got the name of his main Russian source from him. His main Russian source denied that he had presented what he (or she) told Steele as facts; claimed it was hearsay and was the result of things like conversations he’d had with friends over beers; and that Steele had misstated or exaggerated what he said or his access to Russian officials. The IG accepted what the Russian source told him as fact, but it’s unlikely – more likely is that he was backing off and had lied to Christopher Steele. If he had passed on Russian disinformation to Steele that is exactly the way he would have explained it.

    The FISA court was told one specific lie about Carter Page. There was the question of whether he was a U.S. agent. They asked the CIA. The CIA said he was (I think past a certain point in time) regularly debriefed about his contacts with the Russians. An FBI lawyer inserted the word “Not” in passing along what the CIA said. So supposedly Carter Page was meeting wth ussians and not telling some agency of the U.S. government about what was said.

    None of the major ellegations in the dossier were verified and some, like Michael Cohen’s trip to Prague were established as false. Most of what was corroborated related to time location and title information (like Carter Page’s job title) and much of that was publicly available.

    I could say that the practice of requiring a renewal of a FISA warrant every 90 days, is not useful

    Sammy Finkelman (54930a)


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