Patterico's Pontifications

9/29/2019

So Was Shokin Still Investigating Biden When He Was Fired, Or Not?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:08 am



There are a lot of different narratives floating out there about Viktor Shokin.

Washington Post:

Trump has claimed that Joe Biden in 2015 pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Shokin because he was investigating Burisma.

But the investigation had already been set aside when Biden acted. Yuri Lutsenko, a former Ukrainian prosecutor general who succeeded the fired prosecutor, told Bloomberg News that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.

But Shokin has submitted an affidavit, obtained by John Solomon, saying that the investigation was still active. Here’s Solomon:

In a newly sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin testified that when he was fired in March 2016, he was told the reason was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation. “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified.

“On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation,” Shokin added.

Shokin has reason to have a grudge against Biden, who has boasted about getting Shokin fired (although aspects of Biden’s story seem characteristically fanciful).

Other folks besides just Biden wanted Shokin gone. The New York Times reported in 2016:

The United States and other Western nations had for months called for the ousting of Mr. Shokin, who was widely criticized for turning a blind eye to corrupt practices and for defending the interests of a venal and entrenched elite. He was one of several political figures in Kiev whom reformers and Western diplomats saw as a worrying indicator of a return to past corrupt practices, two years after a revolution that was supposed to put a stop to self-dealing by those in power.

As the problems festered, Kiev drew increasingly sharp criticism from Western diplomats and leaders. In a visit in December, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said corruption was eating Ukraine “like a cancer.” Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, which props up Ukraine financially, said last month that progress was so slow in fighting corruption that “it’s hard to see how the I.M.F.-supported program can continue.”

. . . .

Foreign donors had complained about rot in the prosecutor’s office, not least because much of the money suspected of being stolen was theirs.

In one high-profile example, known in Ukraine as the case of the “diamond prosecutors,” troves of diamonds, cash and other valuables were found in the homes of two of Mr. Shokin’s subordinates, suggesting that they had been taking bribes.

But the case became bogged down, with no reasons given. When a department in Mr. Shokin’s office tried to bring it to trial, the prosecutors were fired or resigned. The perpetrators seemed destined to get off with claims that the stones were not worth very much.

For many Ukrainians, the case encapsulated a failure to follow through on the sweeping promises made during the heady days of the revolution to root out corruption and establish a modern, transparent state. Instead, there has seemed to be a return to business-as-usual horse-trading and compromise among the tightly knit Ukrainian oligarchic and business elite.

Since his appointment a year ago, Mr. Shokin had been criticized for not prosecuting officials, businessmen and members of Parliament for their roles in corrupt schemes during the government of former President Viktor F. Yanukovych.

The notion that this was just Biden is a partisan lie. But the fact that Shokin makes this accusation that he was still investigating Biden — while that accusation may be the dishonest grumbling of a disgruntled corruptocrat — should be more widely reported by the media. The fact that it isn’t fuels the suspicions of those who follow conspiracy theory Web sites.

I don’t know for sure what to make of all this, although when I read the NYT story from 2016, Shokin sure seems dirty. This is another complication in a story that Republicans hope to make as messy as possible, to give the widest latitude for conspiracy theories to take hold and save the hide of their corrupt leader.

P.S. If you’re upset about Hunter Biden’s $50k per month position and thinks that sounds corrupt, you’re right. I assume you’re also upset about the way Trump’s children take advantage of their father’s position for personal gain. Right?

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

275 Responses to “So Was Shokin Still Investigating Biden When He Was Fired, Or Not?”

  1. The price of admission for mocking conspiracy theories is not falling for any. (Collusion, anyone?). There’s a bunch of people jumping the turnstiles now, trying to catch that train.

    “P.S. If you’re upset about Hunter Biden’s $50k per month position and thinks that sounds corrupt, you’re right. I assume you’re also upset about the way Trump’s children take advantage of their father’s position for personal gain. Right?”

    Yes, right. I wish someone, anyone, in the media/blogosphere would take notice of corrupt nepotism in the Trump family. Just once. When are the media going to lay off the Bidens?

    Munroe (53beca)

  2. And yet it took a year and a half to reopen the case, after shokin was fired.

    Narciso (beeb9a)

  3. “This is another complication in a story that Republicans hope to make as messy as possible”

    We just had a shocking new Kavanaugh accusation from the Dems/media about a victim who said she wasn’t a victim.

    Then they followed up with a whistleblower who didn’t hear what he was blowing his whistle about.

    Then Schiff decides to open a hearing with different narratives ERRRR ‘quotes’ he pulled out his backside.

    If the Dems are going to mess the bed on a daily basis, maybe the R’s are just trying to catch up.

    harkin (58d012)

  4. Next to Shokin, another person to talk about is John Solomon, who is not an investigative reporter for The Hill. Rather, Solomon is not a journalist, he’s an opinion columnist, soon to not be employed at The Hill. Reporters have to issue corrections when they cock it up, opinion columnists seldom do.
    He uses sketchy sources, he doesn’t confirm his sources’ veracity, and it’s always one-sided. He’s a right-wing Greg Palast, which is not a compliment.
    He took at face value the words of a Russian spy (Kilimnik) who falsely claimed that the “black ledger” (which revealed Manafort’s corruption) was a forgery.
    He took at face value the words of Lutsenko, who told the blatant lie that Obama had a “do not prosecute” list, a lie that Lutsenko had to retract.
    After seeing such pap, a reasonable person would say, “Maybe I shouldn’t rely on this ‘journalist’ as a reliable source.” True-believing Trump supporters seem to say, “Yes! He’s telling me the narrative I want to hear! I don’t care if it’s true!”
    Shokin is a liar and he’s corrupt. His story that he was investigating Burisma/Zlochevsky/Hunter has been debunked over and over.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  5. More on John Solomon:

    The reason this whole nonsense has been resurrected is because a reporter named John Solomon has been writing about it at The Hill almost daily for the last week. To understand what’s up, it is helpful to know a little bit about his background. From 1987 until 2006 Solomon worked as a reporter for the Associated Press. Here is how Josh Marshall summarized his reputation among fellow journalists.

    He had a well-earned reputation as the easiest mark in the business for GOP oppo research hits. It was actually a kind of running gag among Republican campaign operatives. No one will run with a story you’re trying to float? Bring it to John Solomon.

    Since then, Solomon worked mostly for the conservative Washington Times before going to Circa News.

    You may remember that Circa was a startup with an ingenious but ultimately flawed or perhaps premature concept that debuted to much fanfare but ultimately shuttered. The URL and social media feeds of Circa were purchased by Sinclair Broadcasting, a hyper-right-wing media conglomerate, which is now buying up properties to bring its style of post-Fox News propaganda television nationwide. Sinclair put Solomon in charge of Circa and relaunched it as a Buzzfeed for right wing propaganda focused on millennials.

    His position at The Hill started this past summer.
    There are a couple of stories prior to this one that Solomon is known for. Back in 2006, while working for AP, he attempted to smear Harry Reid by suggesting he had ties to Jack Abramhoff. In doing so, he wrote about contacts between the two but failed to mention that the former majority leader voted against the bills Abramhoff was pushing.
    After his arrival at The Hill, Solomon was able to weaponize a story about how James Comey’s memos documenting his conversations with Trump contained classified information. That one made the rounds among right wing news sites. To demonstrate how that story was completely debunked, even Fox News issued a retraction. Even so, Solomon maintains a consistent presence on that network.

    Solomon is one of Sean Hannity’s main sources for pushback against accusations of the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russian officials. Solomon has appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News television program “four times in June and four in May,” according to Nieman Lab. Hannity frequently cites Solomon’s reports to tamp down accusations of the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election or the administration’s general improper behavior. On May 9, Hannity boosted one of Solomon’s reports to distract from fired national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials and instead hyped Trump’s claims that someone in former President Barack Obama’s administration unlawfully unmasked Flynn.

    That tells you a bit about the guy who is trying to sell these stories. Right wingers suggest that they have credibility because they are being published at The Hill, which is being described as “a distributor of leftwing agitprop.” That is simply absurd.

    It goes on to detail a string of his discredited stories, including his distortion of Hillary’s role in the UraniumOne deal.
    Conservatives who care about their credibility should steer well clear of this guy instead of embrace his “reporting”.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  6. No they are lying again and again, but you throw people under the bus based on the most ridiculous insinuation,

    Narciso (beeb9a)

  7. If there’s a person to blame for Trump facing an impeachment inquiry, some of that blame should go to John Solomon.
    After all, it was his dishonest hyperpartisan “reporting” on Biden/Ukraine that caught the attention of Trump-Giuliani, which motivated Trump to commit his impeachable offense.
    Not only did Trump’s quest to take Biden down blow up in his face, same goes for Solomon’s agenda.
    The guy who loyally carried Trump’s water from Day One is also the guy who helped take Trump down via his own irresponsible “journalism”. Thank you, Mr. Solomon! Well done!
    And we shouldn’t limit our thanks to Solomon, not when are so many other pro-Trump propaganda outlets out there who have amplified all of Solomon’s false and dishonest stories.
    So thank you Hannity and Big League Politics and Conservative Treehouse and Breitbart and RedState and InstaPundit and Gateway Pundit and NewsMax and so forth. You also share in contributing to Trump’s delusions that Biden did something corrupt, thus motivating our president to flout the law. You share in his likely impeachment and downfall. Congrats!
    And we shouldn’t stop our thanks there, not when there are so chumped commenters in the Internet (you know who you are), who have faithfully linked to all that FakeNews. Woo woo!

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  8. Narciso (beeb9a) — 9/29/2019 @ 10:32 am

    I predict that IF Trump is impeached in his first term, he will be impeached in his next term as well. Afterwards, in the future, it will be common for Republican Presidents to be impeached.

    felipe (023cc9)

  9. So explain to me why it took a year and half under a different administration to reopen the case, btw this was after tapes involving the president and the oligarch were uncovered.

    Narciso (beeb9a)

  10. What Biden did was influence peddling. I presume that Trump’s offspring use dad to some extent, but they may actually be bringing something to the table (e.g. capital). That would make a difference.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  11. In a word? “Gestation.”

    felipe (023cc9)

  12. How do people feel about the offspring of politicians trading on their parent’s fame to run for office themselves. Is that corrupt? Where do we draw the line?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  13. $50k per month position

    I’m curious about the sourcing of this oft-heard element of the story.

    $50K/month is a lot of money to us “normal people” but it’s $600K/year if paid for twelve months. That’s about 5x the effective 12-month salary of an impoverished academic like myself. It probably represents less work to be sure, but we CEO’s are paid in the tens of millions, so is it out of line for a board member to be paid $600K/year? Essentially it is a form of PR to reassure investors and capital markets of stability in a very uncertain environment, and while it is certainly a sweet gig, I’m less certain that it’s anomalous for the director of large corporation in a very lucrative industry .

    Dave (1bb933)

  14. *we hear of CEO’s paid…

    Dave (1bb933)

  15. That’s a pretty sophisticated hit job on the messenger there in #6. The only reason they are able to single out someone as an easy mark for the GOP is that there are so damn few who will even take the GOP’s phone calls.

    On the other side, there are no remarkable Democrat patsies only because they are so common. This is the same argument as the “Faux News” slam.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  16. I’m less certain that it’s anomalous for the director of large corporation in a very lucrative industry .

    I don’t think the pay is the issue, but the utter lack of qualifications OTHER THAN the corrupt ones.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  17. I predict that IF Trump is impeached in his first term, he will be impeached in his next term as well.

    Here’s a fun scenario. Trump wins re-election in a landslide, carrying the House and replacing a number of GOP and Dem senators with populist challengers. The lame-duck House impeaches him, and the lame-duck Senate convicts him.

    Who takes the oath of office in January?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  18. Thanks for those links, Paul. This post was, if anything, a plea for more information on this issue and you have provided it. I’ll review the links thoroughly. I am not generally a fan of the Intercept but here we may have statements against intereat, to the extent that they commonly shill for Russia and Trump.

    Patterico (8a3be0)

  19. you would think marshall would interested in some of this,

    https://www.steynonline.com/9755/hunted-biden

    but we know what the journalist is good for, what the echo chamber for ben Rhodes was, and the rizzotto tray circle that vetted every word of copy by Hillary’s campaign,

    narciso (d1f714)

  20. That’s a pretty sophisticated hit job on the messenger there in #6.

    It’s an easy hit job, Kevin, because Solomon has a long record of being provably wrong.
    And there are easy answers to these questions…
    Was it sleazy for Hunter Biden to take a high-paid, low-work job from a corrupt pro-Putin Ukrainian oligarch? Yes, but not illegal.
    Did VP Biden have the appearance of a conflict of interest? Yes.
    Did VP Biden stop an investigation into Burisma/Zlochevsky/Hunter by pressuring Ukraine to sack Shokin? There’s no evidence.
    Did Trump break the law when he enlisted Zelensky to dig up on Trump’s leading 2020 rival? Yes, per 52 USC.

    Paul Montagu (d1090f)

  21. 8. Paul Montagu (f2c051) — 9/29/2019 @ 10:41 am

    thanks to Solomon, not when are so many other pro-Trump propaganda outlets out there who have amplified all of Solomon’s false and dishonest stories.

    So thank you Hannity and Big League Politics and Conservative Treehouse and Breitbart and RedState and InstaPundit and Gateway Pundit and NewsMax and so forth. You also share in contributing to Trump’s delusions that Biden did something corrupt, thus motivating our president to flout the law. You share in his likely impeachment and downfall. Congrats! </blockquote. If Trump was relying on that, directly or indirectly, for his information, then pursuing it is NOT grounds for impeachment.

    And you will see certain Congressional Democrats, like Adam Schiff, trying to make it appear that Trump had nothing to rely on, and knew it was false.

    In this they will have the help of Donald Trump, who will not want to say: “I had things all wrong”

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  22. I have a lot more links, Patterico, and it would make it easier if you could take theforvm *dot* .org off your ban list.

    Paul Montagu (d1090f)

  23. That’s a pretty sophisticated hit job on the messenger there in #6. The only reason they are able to single out someone as an easy mark for the GOP is that there are so damn few who will even take the GOP’s phone calls.

    You don’t know who the “messenger” is with the whistleblower, but he’s bad because you don’t like the message.

    John Solomon is a known messenger, known to lie, and push (at a minimum) dishonest conspiracy theories, for at least a decade, relying on the least dependable sources because he likes the story an it makes his guys look good, damn the facts. He’s perfect for Trumpworld. In this case a source who is the epitome of corruption, he literally was blackmailing companies by threatening them with prosecution if he didn’t get paid.

    Anders Åslund, a resident senior fellow at Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington, agreed that criticism of Shokin was widespread.

    “Shokin was perceived as utterly corrupt and very close to President Poroshenko,” Åslund said. “His corruption was exposed by his two young and obviously honest deputies” who were forced out.

    The case that attracted the most negative attention to Shokin involved the arrest of a Kyiv city prosecutor, Åslund said. During the arrest, authorities seized several million dollars worth of diamonds at the prosecutor’s home. Not only did Shokin release the prosecutor, but he also returned his diamonds.

    “The steady complaint was that Shokin blocked all attempts to have the Yanukovych crooks arrested or any of the billions they had stolen recovered,” Åslund said. “Shokin successfully blocked any asset recovery, and he did so in a very blatant fashion.”

    Domestically, Shokin’s corruption was the cause célèbre of repeated street protests organized by anti-corruption activists.

    And there are the actual official words of the actual government of Ukraine that call out the lie, and they have a vested military and economic reason to kowtow to the Trump narrative, and still aren’t.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  24. Is there any evidence, by anyone other than Shokin, that the investigation was ongoing?

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  25. I don’t think the pay is the issue, but the utter lack of qualifications OTHER THAN the corrupt ones.

    Companies aren’t necessarily looking for experience in the industry. “Non-executive directors” (which is what Hunter Biden and the rest of the Burisma board are) supposed to have a more broad-based view of finances and business.

    Condi Rice is a Director of C3, an energy software company, and previously served on the boards of Hewlett Packard and Dropbox. How much background does she have in energy, or electronics, or software?

    Lynne Cheney served on the board of Lockheed (she resigned when her husband was inaugurated in 2001).

    Arne Sorenson, the President and CEO of Marriott International, is on the Microsoft Board of Directors – how much does he know about software?

    And speaking of Marriott International, guess who has served three different stints on their Board of Directors? A certain Willard M. Romney, well-known expert on the hotel industry – not. Mittens served on the Marriott board of directors from 1993 – 2002, 2009 – 2011 and 2012 (post-election) – 2018.

    The list could go on indefinitely.

    I just don’t think it’s all that anomalous. Having names that people recognize, and regard as trustworthy in some sense, on your Board is something that a lot of businesses apparently think is good for them.

    Dave (1bb933)

  26. 21. Paul Montagu (d1090f) — 9/29/2019 @ 11:15 am

    Did Trump break the law when he enlisted Zelensky to dig up on Trump’s leading 2020 rival? Yes, per 52 USC.

    Not according to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/house-intelligence-committee-releases-whistleblowers-complaint-citing-trumps-call-with-ukraines-president/2019/09/26/402052ee-e056-11e9-be96-6adb81821e90_story.html

    While the inspector general sought to alert Congress to the concern, lawyers at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that it should not be shared with Congress. The Justice Department decided it was not a proper whistleblower complaint because it involved the conduct of the president, who is not an employee of the intelligence agencies.

    Instead, the complaint was relayed to the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in late August as a possible violation of campaign finance laws. After reviewing the matter, lawyers concluded last week that the law had not been broken and closed the matter without opening a formal investigation, according to senior Justice Department officials.

    See also:

    https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Four-government-attorneys-find-themselves-469757.php

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  27. of course they can’t be bothered to examine the relevant local papers,

    https://archive.fo/tq19t#selection-389.56-389.75

    I remember from ‘three days of the condor’ that’s a good part of intelligence gathering,

    narciso (d1f714)

  28. Who takes the oath of office in January?

    No mystery, the answer is written right in the Constitution. It would be the VP-Elect.

    Amendment XX:
    Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

    If impeached and convicted, Trump would be ineligible to hold office (again, based on the literal text of the Constitution itself), so would “fail to qualify.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  29. (The later 25th Amendment made clear that when the president is unable to serve, the VP would not just “act” as President, but actually become president).

    Dave (1bb933)

  30. so it turns out the atlantic council was demanding shokin’s ouster, yet burisma was part of the atlantic council,

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. so it turns out the atlantic council was demanding shokin’s ouster, yet burisma was part of the atlantic council,

    LOL.

    Try again.

    20 September 2019
    The International Energy Group Burisma along with other top Ukrainian business leaders has committed itself to 15 key principles of rule of law and economic policy in Ukraine developed by the Atlantic Council of the United States, the leading U.S. think tank in the field of international affairs.

    Dave (1bb933)

  32. 25. Davethulhu (fe4242) — 9/29/2019 @ 11:22 am

    Is there any evidence, by anyone other than Shokin, that the investigation was ongoing?

    Well, yes, sort of.

    Giuliani has copies of affidavits from 2 or 3 other former prosecutors (previously Giuliani, I think, said 3 including Shokin, now he says three besides Shokin – I don’t know if he’s miscounting) saying the same thing.

    And he says there’s one prosecutor denying it.

    Of course the bigger question would be, did Hunter Biden know that, if true. You could also argue, if you want, that maybe Biden thought the prosecutor was going after his son, or that Biden really wanted to keep the prosecutor and ddi not thin to get him fired but lied two e=years later about his extreme efforts to remove him. I mean Trump could just reverse all the assumptions and have his accusation against Biden.)

    Anyway here is Giuliani today citing his evidence, by anyone other than Shokin, that the investigation was ongoing:

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

    ….GIULIANI: Maybe you all are so blinded because this is a Democrat you’re not doing your job properly. The Prosecutor General you should have spoken to is the one .who was fired, who has said in this affidavit that he was fired specifically because he was investigating Joe Biden’s son. This has been online for six months. And the Washington media just closes their eyes to it. That’s the wrong prosecutor general you’re talking to.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: The prosecutor general you’re referring to–

    GIULIANI: Even- even- even a simple–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –is–

    GIULIANI: –even- even–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –Viktor Shokin and that is online. You shared that with our team and we did look at it and he was called to be fired–

    GIULIANI: Did you also–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: — not just by the United States, but other organizations–

    GIULIANI: But- but he- he–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: who said he wasn’t investigating. In fact, he was fired–

    GIULIANI: But he- he–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: for the thing he- he- you’re saying he- he wasn’t doing.

    GIULIANI: But MARGARET, he says the opposite under oath.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: In an Austrian court–

    GIULIANI: He says the opposite under oath.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –you’re showing there, yes.

    GIULIANI: Did you also —

    MARGARET BRENNAN: And that’s a court filing–

    GIULIANI: Also- also–

    Margaret BRENNAN: –on behalf of a–

    GIULIANI: I invite–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –another individual whose facing extradition–

    GIULIANI: I invite–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –to the United States.

    GIULIANI: I- I invite your reporters, who I’m sure are interested in digging out corruption, to see if this isn’t corroborated by three other prosecutors who say the same thing. The one that you interviewed is the one who was corrupted.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Mr.–

    GIULIANI: And there are a lot-

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Mr.- Mr. Mayor–

    GIULIANI: –of allegations about-

    MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask–

    GIULIANI: –other areas in which —

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –you about something that has developed in–

    GIULIANI: –he dropped cases..

    (meaning the replacement prosecutor dropped cases. That is genrally believed to be true, but it is not believed that Shokin was a good prosecutor.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  33. Dave @32. No the vice president is onl;y Acting President so lon as he president is disabled.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  34. Has anybody ever mentioned what law Hunter Biden supposedly violated?

    Dave (1bb933)

  35. 26. Bad or dishonest management wants compliant Board of Directors. They also want an appearance of impartiality.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  36. Amendment XXV
    Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

    Dave (1bb933)

  37. 37. The only thing I heard was some statement by a Ukrainian that there was no crime found because a board of directors can pay its directors whatever they want.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  38. 39. Death or resignation, not disability. In case of disability he continues to collect his salary and live in the White House.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  39. If Trump was relying on that, directly or indirectly, for his information, then pursuing it is NOT grounds for impeachment.

    I think it’s pretty clear that Trump-Giuliani were relying on Solomon’s “reporting” on Lutsenko, and it’s impeachable because Solomon told them what they wanted to hear and they didn’t verify its veracity, which calls into question Trump’s judgment as Commander-in-Chief. Trump has the best access to the best information by dint of his job yet he deliberately chooses sketchy partisan hacks to bolster his sketchy partisan narratives.
    Oh, and if the House does impeach Trump on those grounds, then those grounds are inherently impeachable.

    Paul Montagu (d1090f)

  40. SF: Trump could just reverse all the assumptions and have his accusation against Biden.)

    1. Viktor Shokin dishonest, not honest.

    2. Joe Biden NOT trying to fire the prosecutor but lying about having done so.

    I’m not ready to go there.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  41. Another possibility for Kevin’s scenario (Trump re-elected and then convicted by impeachment before Inauguration) is that electoral votes for Trump are challenged and rejected on the basis of his ineligibility (after being impeached and convicted) and he never becomes the constitutional president-elect.

    But the votes would be counted by the incoming Congress, who could, if they wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis, try to ignore the constitution.

    Dave (1bb933)

  42. In case of disability he continues to collect his salary and live in the White House.

    OK, but in Kevin’s scenario Trump ceases to be president the moment the Senate convicts him, and is constitutionally ineligible to ever hold any government office in the future.

    Dave (1bb933)

  43. 42. Paul Montagu (d1090f) — 9/29/2019 @ 12:01 pm

    I think it’s pretty clear that Trump-Giuliani were relying on Solomon’s “reporting” on Lutsenko, and it’s impeachable because Solomon told them what they wanted to hear and they didn’t verify its veracity, which calls into question Trump’s judgment as Commander-in-Chief.

    Bad judgement is not malfeasance in office.

    It’s Iran contra maybe.

    It’s maybe a na rgument that this man should not be in charge of feoign policy. Depending on his big or harmful a blunder it is.

    Anyway, epect the Democrats calling for impeachment to avoid any kind of a claim that Trump was a fool. And Trump – he’s not likely to make that claim.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  44. Anyway nobody can be vice presdident who is not constitutionally eligible to be president. (last sentence of thw 12th amendment)

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  45. * Errata @46:

    It’s maybe an argument that this man should not be in charge of foreign policy. Depending on how bad (not big) or harmful a blunder it is.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  46. A few things of note:
    1. Hunter Biden’s website says that he was on the Board of Burisma until April 2019. Everything I’ve seen has him being replaced in 2017. Curious about this???
    2. Shokin gave a sworn statement in an unrelated case in an Austrian (I believe, maybe Belgium) court prior to any of us knowing anything about any of this. In it he testifies under oath very specifically about what happened with Biden and how he was replaced. He says the investigation was very active. Everything we hear defending H.Biden and disparaging Mr. Shokin comes from press reports. Sworn testimony trumps hearsay.
    3. Nobody talks about why Burisma was being investigated. Questionable energy leases, if you were wondering.
    4. Nobody asks what happened after Shokin was forced by Biden to resign. He was replaced as prosecutor with someone that was not an attorney (not sure how that works???) who immediately dropped all charges against Burisma. They did receive Joe’s billions.

    DanJ1 (3cbb3d)

  47. 47. That wouldn’t be an issue if we were still electing the vice president the way the constitution’s framers intended for it to be.

    Gryph (08c844)

  48. Bad judgement is not malfeasance in office.

    Of course it is, if congress so determines.

    Dave (1bb933)

  49. Klink, you miss my argument entirely.

    There are so damn few journalists who will accept the GOP message at face value, and every last one of them is accused by many of being “known to lie” since, after all, they are pushing GOP ideas.

    On the Dem side it is nearly impossible to isolate any such people, even if they DO lie, since 99% of journalists seem willing to take a DNC press release as gospel truth.

    When Fox News publishes a report that the “traditional” press ignores, are they liars? Doe the lack of confirmation mean much?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  50. …..Bad judgement is not malfeasance in office.

    Of course it is, if congress so determines.

    The Gerald Ford theory of Impeachment. You could go further here and say “conduct unbecoming” was also malfeasance.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  51. That wouldn’t be an issue if we were still electing the vice president the way the constitution’s framers intended for it to be.

    Ah yes, the Trump/Clinton administration!

    Dave (1bb933)

  52. Dave (#26):

    Yes, and count the generals on Boeing’s boards over the years. But none of them are in office at the time, and none are there as the offspring of people in high office. Each of these are there because of demonstrated judgement and achievement. What they bring to the board is inherently THEMSELVES.

    Even outside of government you see these things, when Microsoft might have a Symantec or Intel executive on their board. It’s not that they want to corruptly influence these other companies, but that they want to have useful connections and feedback.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  53. Ah yes, the Trump/Clinton administration!

    Or Bush/Gore (or would it be Gore/Bush? Those pexky Floridians!)

    Kevin M (19357e)

  54. The LBJ/Goldwater administration would ahve been interesting.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  55. OK, but in Kevin’s scenario Trump ceases to be president the moment the Senate convicts him, and is constitutionally ineligible to ever hold any government office in the future.

    That second part is not necessarily so, witness Alcee Hastings. The Bill of Impeachment must include that condition. Let’s say it did not.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  56. Not according to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.
    It’s not up to the OLC (which is led by a Trump appointee) or the Criminal Division (which is led by a Trump appointee) to judge whether or not Trump committed a felony. It’s up to Congress.

    Paul Montagu (d1090f)

  57. So, Dave, your entire line of argument is incorrect.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  58. You could say a member of the Board of Directors needed to be so highly compensated not to do something but to NOT DO something or maybe just not disturb anything.

    There’s one version (almost certainly a lie) in which Hunter Biden was going to summoned as awitness in a few days (?) so his father giot the oprosecutor fired (as if he could anyway)

    You could argue that the job for Hunter was abribe to Joe Biden, or that is what the corrupt oligarch thouht it would be.

    I heard today someone on one of the news interview shows saying that Joe Biden’s other son, the one with a political career, called Beau Biden, was dying that year (2014-5) when Huneter took that job, and so Biden’s aides didn’t want to raise any issue with him of conflict of interest, and that Joe Biden operated on a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” basis about his younger son’s business activities ad thought that was enough.

    By the way, something is wrong with Giuliani’s descripton of Hunter and his partners taking $1.5 5 billion out of China. If anything would have been funds to invest. He doesn’t get asked about it. The defense seems to be he didn’t get some kind of positon in the hedge fund till 217 but before thatw as only – what?

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  59. Lindsay Graham says it’s “hearsay” and a “Democrat setup”. Rudy claims that the President was “framed”.

    OK. Even humble little noel can demonstrate how absurd those statements are.

    Aren’t the words “setup” and “framed” used when there is an appearance of guilt? And wasn’t it the White House that released the transcripts and the White House who failed to dispute their authenticity? Lastly, Lindsay fails to mention that the “hearsay” has been corroborated.

    What is the word? Gaslighting?

    noel (f22371)

  60. after being elected once, Trump would be eligible to be elected a second time, and be elected vice presdident like Gerald Ford in 1980.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  61. The Gerald Ford theory of Impeachment.

    Not sure what this means, but to take a random example, suppose the President ordered the military to conquer Denmark, to force them to cede Greenland to the United States. That would be a case of policy disagreement and bad judgment. It seems to me entirely appropriate to impeach a president who is using the almost unlimited potential powers of the office to do sufficiently damaging or destructive things, even if they violate no law.

    Would it be appropriate to impeach Trump for, say, imposing really stupid tariffs? That’s less clear, since Congress (with 2/3 majorities in each chamber) could undo them.

    Impeachment should be a last resort, but as such, I think it has almost unlimited scope (because it needs to, to protect us against the countless ways a corrupt president can abuse his office).

    If you say “but that is up to voters to decide at the ballot box,” what about a second-term president who runs amok and never has to face the voters again? (h/t Allahpundit for raising this very relevant point)

    And further, when the president is using the powers of his office to corruptly strong-arm foreign governments into the service of his political campaign, at the expense of his electoral opponents, it’s clear that you can’t just assume elections will be fair. “Letting the voters decide at the ballot box” presumes that the incumbent isn’t engaged in Putin-style gangster shenanigans, which is exactly what Trump was caught red-handed doing in this case.

    You could go further here and say “conduct unbecoming” was also malfeasance.

    Suppose the President filmed p*rn movies in the Oval Office and distributed them through the White House website. You don’t think that would be worthy of impeachment?

    Dave (1bb933)

  62. An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers to be at a given moment in history; conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office.

    Gerald Ford, Remarks in the U.S. House of Representatives in an effort to impeach Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (15 April 1970)

    Kevin M (19357e)

  63. Dave,

    The delegates to the 1787 Convention spent an inordinate amount of time on this topic, and went back and forth on it. In the end they were intentionally vague.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  64. That second part is not necessarily so, witness Alcee Hastings. The Bill of Impeachment must include that condition. Let’s say it did not.

    Now you’re just being silly.

    What would be the point of impeaching and convicting Trump after he won the election, if such a provision wasn’t included?

    But there’s no mystery here either. Like an accelerated version of Grover Cleveland, Trump would cease to be president upon conviction, and become president again as soon as he was inaugurated a second time.

    Dave (1bb933)

  65. You don’t think that would be worthy of impeachment?

    I actually think that Trump’s behavior is far more impeachable than any of the minor criminal charges or ethical charges that have been leveled. He has brought the office into disrepute, with behavior that would have embarrassed Jackson. Impeaching him for that seems quite valid.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  66. Conversely, I don’t think one should impeach a president for lying, or shady deals, or political collusion — these are all part of the second-oldest profession (politics).

    Kevin M (19357e)

  67. If I haven’t mentioned this before, this is a GREAT year to be a Dodger fan.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  68. Ford (a fine Michigan man, whose campaign I volunteered for as a 13-year old, and whose hand I shook at his second-to-last campaign stop in 1976, at the Wonderland Mall in Livonia) has it just about right, AFAIC.

    Congress should act in the best interests of the country, which includes due respect for the will of the electorate. Apart from that, it is ultimately up to them, I think.

    Dave (1bb933)

  69. What would be the point of impeaching and convicting Trump after he won the election, if such a provision wasn’t included?

    Spite?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  70. Spite?

    Seems like giving him the last laugh, if you ask me.

    It would be the greatest political gift in history, and be used to justify unfettered criminality in his second term.

    Dave (1bb933)

  71. Hunter Biden’s website says that he was on the Board of Burisma until April 2019. Everything I’ve seen has him being replaced in 2017. Curious about this???

    Yes, curious because it’s not. Please, provide you source for “Hunter Biden’s website”

    Shokin gave a sworn statement in an unrelated case in an Austrian (I believe, maybe Belgium) court prior to any of us knowing anything about any of this. In it he testifies under oath very specifically about what happened with Biden and how he was replaced. He says the investigation was very active. Everything we hear defending H.Biden and disparaging Mr. Shokin comes from press reports. Sworn testimony trumps hearsay.

    Again, source? There is a story pumped by John Solomon, again, weird how his PDF of the statement supposedly in an Austrian court is in…English…it’s such an obvious fake that people have to be pretty stupid to believe it, so sure, Trump and Rudytooti. It’s just another fabrication by a fabulist.

    Nobody talks about why Burisma was being investigated. Questionable energy leases, if you were wondering.

    Nobody, really? Have you heard of Google?

    Nobody asks what happened after Shokin was forced by Biden to resign. He was replaced as prosecutor with someone that was not an attorney (not sure how that works???) who immediately dropped all charges against Burisma. They did receive Joe’s billions.

    The main reason no one asks that is because it’s wholly untrue. Lutsenko, in case you needed his name, was The Minister of Internal Affairs which is the Ukrainian police authority, the president of Ukraine at the chose him, that’s how that works. The United States didn’t choose him.

    But seriously, none of your ascertains pass even a basic smell test. And Donald J Trump has also admitted using his noise maker and tweeter thumbs to doing the deed. Even if your fantasy was true, Trump still did it, according to him, who are you to call Cheeto jeezus a liar?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  72. Dave….. “unfettered criminality”

    That’s it. Exactly.

    noel (f22371)

  73. @11. Agree. Blatant influence peddling. If Hunter’s last name wasn’t Biden, doubt he’d have been offer an oil & gas gig w/no viable experience in the industry at that level at 50 grand/month. The Trump kids- particularly Ivanka, were raised in those private sector Reaganonics marketing days, took advantage of same and were schooled in and by the ‘family business’ environment of NYC by both The Donald and Momma Ivana– a fairly savvy business woman in her own right. The kids were doing okay in the private sector- particularly Ivanka- in their own way before The Donald got his current gig. Not that they wouldn’t try to leverage the present situation to further advantage– but the kids aren’t on the BoD of Aramco. They just like it when travelling execs from same stay at Trump resorts and hotels.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  74. Yeah, Trump’s kids have gotten rich off the old man being POTUS. Oh wait, they were rich BEFORE Trump become POTUS. So, why is that equal to Biden? Of course, I understand. the main thing is Orange man is ALWAYS bad. And if we criticize Biden, we must criticize Trump.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  75. Never Trumpers must always hit the sweet spot of being better than both sides.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  76. well, the MSM/Democrats have found the new trump-Russia. Too bad, it has no real legs and people are cynical and tired from 2 years of MSM Lying over “Trump is finished, Mueller’s got him now.” The MSM Critics aren’t sincere, they just will say ANYTHING to hurt Trump – true or not true. So their cries of outrage, and Triumph or concern trolling over “authoritarianism” are dull and unconvincing. We’ve seen it before, it played out for two years. And we don’t need the sequel, “Trust us, we’re right THIS TIME”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  77. Never Trumpers must always hit the sweet spot of being better than both sides.

    You say that like it’s somehow difficult.

    Dave (1bb933)

  78. BTW, that’s the Liberal/Left Modus Operandi. Always for the Left, ANY criticism of their side must be coupled with an attack on the other side. Usually they’ll right stuff like “No one hates the Right more than I do, and they have done xyz wrong in this matter, but the Left has also done things wrong, like…blah blah”

    Its only Conservatives who attack their own side without mentioning the other side. The Never Trumpers act like the LEft.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  79. I was on the board of a consulting startup a few years ago, and we had two retired congress people on the board, Oklahoma and Texas republicans, and over 3 years, neither one showed up at a single board meeting. One of them lived in Dallas, and the company meetings were in Dallas in the DFW Hyatt, in the airport. We, or I, didn’t get paid $50k a month, but we did get paid $10k plus expenses per quarterly meeting, plus equity in the company, which was a nice payday when they were acquired. This is literally the family business for most high level polititions that aren’t Romney/Rick Scott level rich.

    You may not like it, but it’s reality, and it’s legal. What Trump is admitting to isn’t, but if no one holds him to even the low bar of legal influence peddling, and pay for play, then nothing matters. He’s president, so prosecution isn’t happening, impeachment is the only option.

    You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic, if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role. Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  80. You say that like it’s somehow difficult.

    Their ability to keep thinking of reasons to say “A plague on both your houses” and still assert they are “Conservatives” in some way, is remarkable. Its why Bill Kristol and the Bulwark Boys will be writing “The Conservative case for President Liz warren” in about 4 months.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  81. 64. The Gerald Ford theory of Impeachment

    In 1970, House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford was pushing for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (on the court since 1939, but he;d grown incrasing radical, or divorced from the law, in recent years,

    Evidently in response to a question, “What for?” or “How can you” he responded by saying something like:

    “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Represenaatives thinks it is.”

    Which is true.

    This impeachment effort is also notable because at that time the House Judiciar Commtttee decided he was entitled to counsel, but in 1974, Hillary Rodham (actually acting under instructona from John Doar) tried to hide away, or actually did, the record in order to prevent minority counsel from seeing it and citing it in a counterargument that Nixon should be enttleds to counsel.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  82. I’ll tell you one thing, the GOP is going nuts trying to raise money off Trump’s misdeeds.

    I am getting 2-3 text messages a day now begging for money (5X MATCHING was just extended for another two hours – woohoo!)

    The auto-fill text on the phone’s text messaging app has my stock reply (“Trump is a disgrace to America and the Republican Party”) memorized by now, so I just push the default suggestion a few times to fill it in word by word before pressing send…

    Dave (1bb933)

  83. You may not like it, but it’s reality, and it’s legal.

    Biden Junior was paid $50,000 a month for 2 or 3 years for doing no work. And when someone tries to look into it and see if its Kosher, they get fired due to pressure from Biden Snr. Plugs then brags on TV about putting the screws on Ukraine to fire the prosecutor. It doesn’t look good. It should be investigated. And if Biden(s) did nothing wrong, they did nothing wrong. Case Closed. But we need to investigate.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  84. Trying to act like we should NOT investigate possible corruption by a former VP of the USA, is bizarre. Trying to assert such an investigation is an Impeachable offense is insane. But the D party IS INSANE. We’ll see how crazy the USA has become in the next 3 months.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  85. Patterico, I’m not a fan of The Intercept either, mainly because of the taint that Greenwald puts on that site, but Robert Mackey has put together several well-sourced and well-researched pieces on Ukraine.
    Also at The Intercept is James Risen, who did the first reporting on Hunter Biden’s gig at Burisma. He also noted how a number of Trump loyalists have distorted the story beyond recognition.
    There are a couple of Bloomberg pieces, here and here.
    I know your views on fact-checkers but, to me, another word for good fact-checking is reporting, and Kessler does some good reporting here.
    From what I’ve seen, there’s no evidence that VP Biden stopped the PGO from investigating Burisma/Zlochevsky/Hunter. If anything, the sacking of Shokin increased the chances of those entities getting investigated.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  86. Look, the House can do whatever they want. They can turn the House into a nudist colony and conduct their business naked. Clothing optional. But why should we cynically accept that excuse “Hey its their House”? No, its not their House. Its the American people’s house. Its OUR house. And they are supposed to be doing OUR business. And making life better for US. Not engaging in senseless, partisan, impeachments that are based on nothing and will go nowhere.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  87. Meh. In a magnificently hilarious, spot-on skit, the Emmy-Award-winning-SNL nailed the whole sack of potatoes last night — even w/a wardrobe goof:

    “Ain’t nuttin’ gonna happen…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiKrWUoTq4s

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  88. Its why Bill Kristol and the Bulwark Boys will be writing “The Conservative case for President Liz warren” in about 4 months.

    You’re projecting again.

    In fact, it’s your fellow Trump superfan Tucker Carlson who has already made that case.

    Click here and enjoy watching Tucker on FoxNews reverently reading almost three minutes from one of Elizabeth Warren’s stump speeches, verbatim, and lamenting that no Republican candidate would give it.

    Warren, according to Tucker, sounds like “Trump at his best.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  89. Bad judgement is not malfeasance in office.

    The bad judgment of committing a felony is impeachable, Sammy.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  90. Biden Junior was paid $50,000 a month for 2 or 3 years for doing no work. And when someone tries to look into it and see if its Kosher, they get fired due to pressure from Biden Snr. Plugs then brags on TV about putting the screws on Ukraine to fire the prosecutor. It doesn’t look good. It should be investigated. And if Biden(s) did nothing wrong, they did nothing wrong. Case Closed. But we need to investigate.

    Yes, the cased was closed. Biden brags about a lot, some of which actually happened, but he didn’t fire anyone, an international coalition forced Shokin out, Biden’s just doing a Biden and claiming he did it because he was one of many who made the demand. And his demand happened the year after Shokin closed the investigation on Burisma. Who would be surprised that Burisma was bribing people, it was required to exist in Ukraine, one of the reasons they wanted a US branded Biden on the board was because of the optics of Ukraine.

    If the company wanted to pay $50k a month for PR, their option.

    Paul Manafort was paid $10’s of millions to help Ukraine polish their image in the US. His problem wasn’t doing the advisory, it was the laundering of money that sent him to jail.

    BTW, Rudy is doing the exact same thing as Liddle (not lil’ or little, with the hyphen) Biden, all over the former soviet clients.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  91. Col Klink @74. It seems accepted everywhere that Hunter Biden quit the Board of Directors in 2019, saying his term expired, when Giuliani and others were making noises about it and when his father wass contemplating announcing he was running for president.

    Here is Wikipedia, which is composed by relying on an ensemble of sources:

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

    Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a major Ukrainian natural gas producer, from 2014 to 2019…Biden served on the board of Burisma until his term expired in April 2019,[13] receiving a salary of up to $50,000 a month.[8][14]

    This is footnote 13:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/us/politics/biden-son-ukraine.html

    This story, dated May 1, 2019, includes the sentence:

    Hunter Biden, who left Burisma’s board last month, was one of many politically prominent Americans of both major parties who made money in Ukraine over the last decade.

    The affidavits are real and were shown to CBS. Shokin;s was made to oppose the xtradition oof someone from Austria to the United States, according to CBS’s Margaret Brennan:

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

    GIULIANI: But MARGARET, he says the opposite under oath.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: In an Austrian court–

    GIULIANI: He says the opposite under oath.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –you’re showing there, yes.

    GIULIANI: Did you also —

    MARGARET BRENNAN: And that’s a court filing–

    GIULIANI: Also- also–

    Margaret BRENNAN: –on behalf of a–

    GIULIANI: I invite–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –another individual whose facing extradition–

    GIULIANI: I invite–

    MARGARET BRENNAN: –to the United States.

    GIULIANI: I- I invite your reporters, who I’m sure are interested in digging out corruption, to see if this isn’t corroborated by three other prosecutors who say the same thing. The one that you interviewed is the one who was corrupted.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  92. 87 And Stephen Miller seems to say they weren’t even asking for an investigation, but were tring to find out what, if anything, Ukraine or people in Ukraine, already knew.

    And he says either they knew something or they didn’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (4fd7a7)

  93. I’m sure that by American standards, Shokin is/was corrupt. So is the NYT (see latest Kavanaugh hit piece before calling me a conspiracy theorist… or just look at their story on Trump and quid pro quo that they’ve gone back and given a shave to)
    When the NYT tells me an investigation into Biden was over in 2015, before Joe strong armed the prosecutor… but then the NYT scrubbed the other ones that were still open in 2016…. well they lose my confidence.

    Russia, the Ukraine all have corruption issues. Part of the outfall from communist socialism where you have to work within the black market economy on the side just to survive, you pick up some real bad habits.
    Was Shokin corrupt on this issue? There’s no way to tell, but really ask yourself why Biden of all people got involved in Ukrainian inside baseball at this level?
    The simplest answer is that Biden had some self interest in it… maybe the arms dealer from the Ukraine who raises tons of money for Biden asked for a favor, maybe Shokin was going to expose Hunter, maybe Biden out of the goodness in his plain ol’ Joe soul was just trying to help the Ukrainian justice system

    steveg (354706)

  94. 92. Paul Montagu (f2c051) — 9/29/2019 @ 2:16 pm

    The bad judgment of committing a felony is impeachable, Sammy.

    This is not a felony if it’s bad judgement because tobe a campaign finance violation it had to be thing of value and the value of information about Joe Biden is intangible (and furthermore not merely for campaign purposes)

    Now this way out looks like aloophole. In truth the law as applied is incosistent.

    Held to be in kind contributons are travel, lawyers’ and accountants’ work, and use of rental property. Not an in kind contribition: A celebrity or rock star performing or autographing or using their ehtire home for s fundraiser. Is there any consistentcy to this? Not really.

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  95. Extortion of a foreign government to get dirt on a political opponent. Everyone sees it. Everyone.

    Oh. But. But. Biden jr. was on a board… or something. Oh. How awful. Lock junior up! Lock junior up!

    noel (f22371)

  96. Donald Trump is just one rabid case of psychological projection.

    noel (f22371)

  97. Rudy getting interviewed on CBS showing fake documents from Solomon, isn’t evidence of the documents being valid. A) all of the documents are written in American English B) The deposition was supposed to be in Austria, where it wouldn’t be in English C) The stamps at the bottom are suposedly from a Ukrainian notary. Which wouldn’t be on a Austrian document, also isn’t in English and isn’t called a notary.

    The document Rudy is toting around is an obvious fake.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  98. #99
    The record has been corrected to show that the Ukrainians had no idea any funds had been withheld during the call with Trump and did not find out until a month after the phone call.
    Trump in the transcript never mentions cash or withheld funds. He says he wants the EU to do more and singled out Merkel as all hat no cattle.

    steveg (354706)

  99. Trump hires illegals for years. Trump has his merchandise made in China. He had a “fake” university. Remember….”you’re the puppet!”

    Projection.

    noel (f22371)

  100. All a notarized document certifies is that the person who signed has shown sufficient identification to certify the signature.
    A notary cannot certify the contents of the letter as true or untrue, just that Shokin signed it.

    steveg (354706)

  101. All a notarized document certifies is that the person who signed has shown sufficient identification to certify the signature.
    A notary cannot certify the contents of the letter as true or untrue, just that Shokin signed it.

    A notary in Ukraine, which isn’t called a notary, or a notary in Austria, which also isn’t called a notary? It breaks down at the first level of applied logic.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  102. Paul. You cited Josh Marshall from TPM to slam Solomon?
    Those are two peas at opposite ends of the pod

    steveg (354706)

  103. Who cares about that?
    I don’t need to know any more about this than at the very best, all this would do is verify the signature, not the contents. Why the F would any sane person look into Austrian this, Ukrainian that etc when all you need to know is that at best this is just a signature.
    No further research required, but you go have fun doxxing this out like it is the Bush “fake but accurate” memo

    steveg (354706)

  104. The record has been corrected to show that the Ukrainians had no idea any funds had been withheld during the call with Trump and did not find out until a month after the phone call.
    Trump in the transcript never mentions cash or withheld funds. He says he wants the EU to do more and singled out Merkel as all hat no cattle.

    Which record is that? The record that they didn’t know in July that the White House was slow walking the aid. As reported everywhere in April and May?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  105. First level of logic needed no research. There was never any there there except possibly a signature.
    Second level of logic is to mind travel about all of Europe and then lecture on the subtleties of document verification therein.

    steveg (354706)

  106. Who cares about that?
    I don’t need to know any more about this than at the very best, all this would do is verify the signature, not the contents. Why the F would any sane person look into Austrian this, Ukrainian that etc when all you need to know is that at best this is just a signature.
    No further research required, but you go have fun doxxing this out like it is the Bush “fake but accurate” memo

    So it being fake is cool, as long as it’s backs up a narrative that you FEELZ should be true. You know, as opposed to actually being true.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  107. 99. noel (f22371) — 9/29/2019 @ 2:38 pm

    Extortion of a foreign government to get dirt on a political opponent. Everyone sees it. Everyone. </blockquote. No they don;t.

    Number 1 it was not extortion, but amild request, which Trump had doubts would be complied with. He was mainly looking for an agreement to meet with Giuliani.

    Number 2 Donald Trump was not looking for dirt in general (about Biden anyway) but trying to confirm, if possible, a story that Biden had gotten that prosecutor fired to protect his son.

    People seem mixed up about what the Crowdstrike and server story was but it seems not to be Giuliani's. He has some story about people in Ukraine trying to defeat Trump but the media are not doing agood job of explaining it.

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  108. Klink
    You seem to be an expert on googling the vagaries of the various european entities regarding signature verification.
    I’m sure you can handle it.

    steveg (354706)

  109. First level of logic needed no research.

    Right, just looking at it screams “I am a fake document, if you believe it you are a moron”. So Giuliani believed it, and has been bending the ear of Trump, who at least repeated it, because they are morons.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  110. Klink
    You seem to be an expert on googling the vagaries of the various european entities regarding signature verification.
    I’m sure you can handle it.

    The document must have been talking to you.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  111. I retract my compliment. Obviously you are in way over your head

    steveg (354706)

  112. 108. Zelensky was anxious for a meeting with Trump and also wanted to be good feiends. But the miitary aid was not at issue. Zelensy seems ot have taken advice as to how to deal wth Trump inclding from some U.S. government offivcials wo contacted himm the net day and told him how to respond. Zelensly did nothing about anything. He now says he;s not in charge of investigations anyway. Miller is saing they wanted to know what was alredy found out – i.e. secret Ukrainian records about Biden and Crowdstrke and whatever.

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  113. The affidavit is real. Your point shoud be that corrupt prosecutors lie under oath. (as well as tell stotries that are implausible and don’t check out but would check out of they were true.

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  114. Biden, good story.

    Of course, Trump’s not getting impeached by Biden, or because of Biden, but because of his corrupt heart and stupid brain.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  115. The American counsel to Burisma has all inquiries ending in Sept, 2016?
    Ukrainian Prosecutor General Vitaly Yarema opens an investigation of Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevskiy on suspicion of “unlawful enrichment.” (The investigation is referenced in the January 2015 U.K. court judgment, which concludes that the Ukrainian probe might have been started as a result of a misinterpretation of the British account freeze.) Zlochevskiy’s American lawyer, John Buretta, a former U.S. deputy assistant attorney general, says in a 2017 Q&A on the Burisma website that a court in Kyiv ordered the case closed in September 2016 because no evidence of wrongdoing had been presented. While suspicions remain over how Zlochevskiy obtained his wealth and what happened to taxpayer money while he held public office, the British judge in the January 2015 U.K. judgment observed, “Allegations of corruption against political opponents appear to have been a feature of Ukrainian political life at this time.”

    steveg (354706)

  116. Sorry he wasn’t counsel to Burisma but to the oligarch who led Burisma.
    The assertation was on the Burisma website and I got it crossed up.

    steveg (354706)

  117. @Col Klink:

    Q. Is Viktor Shokin , or any of the other ex-prosecutors, now denying signing or making their respective affidavits or statements, or denying that Giuiani has an accurate copy of them?

    Also: Are some other people denying it for them?

    Or is none of that right?

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  118. “P.S. If you’re upset about Hunter Biden’s $50k per month position and thinks that sounds corrupt, you’re right. I assume you’re also upset about the way Trump’s children take advantage of their father’s position for personal gain. Right?”

    (1), Ivanka Trump graduated from the Wharton school, cum laude, and had a successful business– before her father was elected; after 2016, genial democrats organized boycotts of her businesses;

    (2), The Trump’s including the other kids, had successful hotels and facilities-before he was elected.

    (3) The Trump people were manufacturing abroad and getting trademarks etc., before he was elected; they didn’t stop because he was elected.

    (4), Biden’s kid got a degree n history, served on the board of AMTRACK, and was expelled from the Naval reserve for cocaine use. He had no oil/energy experience. But was inserted onto a Board making $50,000 a month while Dad was VP. He became part of a hedge fund with Chinese backing at about the same time.

    Other than those minor distinctions, totally the same, for sure.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  119. Good grief. Nothing displeases me more than linking to a liberal website, but conservatives are too afraid to confront John Solomon’s dishonest journalism because they’ve bent the knee to Trump, and there’s even more dishonesty when it comes to DiGenova, who said nothing to Tucker Carlson about working “off the books” with Giuliani when he was calling Napolitano a “fool“. I wonder how much Shokin was paid to swear out that affidavit. Firtash has a net worth of $500 million, and he was one of Yanukovych’s corrupt oligarchs and is comrades with Manafort and a Russian mobster.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  120. 101. Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c) — 9/29/2019 @ 2:40 pm

    The document Rudy is toting around is an obvious fake.

    That could be. The media isn;t too good at this.

    So you say:

    1) it’s in English, and not even British English

    2) It supposedly was signed in Ukraine.

    4) It was filed, or not filed, in a court case in Austria where it should have been at least translated into German.

    This all adds up to:

    KGB-style forgery = Putin’s responsible for that.

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  121. Old journalist rule: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  122. This is not a felony if it’s bad judgement because tobe a campaign finance violation it had to be thing of value and the value of information about Joe Biden is intangible (and furthermore not merely for campaign purposes)

    Specious argument, Sammy. You can go to the Mueller report and see that the monetary threshold is $25,000 in cash or “other thing of value”. It should be clear to anyone that it’s well worth more than $25k to Trump to drag Biden through the political mud by having Zelensky start an investigation on him.
    And it is a felony for Trump to enlist a junior-partner foreign government to investigate his frontrunning 2020 rival.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  123. If you read the article I linked you’d have seen the parts I’m going to put in bold.
    First it shows that investigations were ongoing.
    Second the author does assert that none of this has anything to do with Biden, which seems a little far fetched given that if Hunter Biden is on the board at the time of the corruption charges at Burisma, it was Hunter Bidens problem. Now we know that Hunter was an inept, cocaine addled boob at the time so I doubt his figurehead post on the board really would give rise to his actual doing of stuff board members do when the owner is corrupt, but Joe might have wanted to protect doofus kid.
    None of this proves Joe was trying to cover for his son. But… it isn’t hard to believe he might have

    Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau, set up at the insistence of the country’s Western partners, is investigating two cases against Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevskiy. Neither has anything to do with the Ukraine-Biden connections that Trump has been tweeting about. It appears that the bureau, which has a strong record of resisting any kind of political pressure, has managed to hang on to the shreds of the Burisma case that three Ukrainian prosecutors general tried hard to bury between 2014 and 2017.

    steveg (354706)

  124. Given the standards set by the current flock of Democrats, it seems a serious, no-holds-barred investigation is in order to answer this specific question.

    Maybe a Special Counsel could be appointed – say, one who worked for a law firm solidly aligned with the GOP, who would then select a slew of lawyers who have worked for, and almost exclusively make political donations to Republicans just to assure a proper and complete investigation.

    MJN1957 (6f981a)

  125. they really don’t care about the facts, steveg, I’ve tried to introduce items from their local papers at the time the events happened, the previous prosecutor’s office, botched the London case, it’s unclear whether tramontano, painter, and buretta, were involved at that point,

    narciso (d1f714)

  126. Those are two peas at opposite ends of the pod

    Like I said, steve, it gives me no pleasure. As I see it, Shokin is a fired 66-year old with a well-earned reputation for corruption. It would be easy (and perhaps familiar) for a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch like Firtash to cut Shokin a big fat check to write a fictional affidavit.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  127. This is all a smokescreen anyway. Biden is not available to be impeached at this time.

    I guess it’s interesting that we’ve all decided we want Lizzie Warren as President, though. I mean, you ruin both Trump and Biden in the impeachment investigation, where else are the votes going to go?

    Nic (896fdf)

  128. It would be easy (and perhaps familiar) for a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch like Firtash to cut Shokin a big fat check to write a fictional affidavit.

    Trump has a well-documented record of using fraudulent checks to re-write history too.

    Dave (1bb933)

  129. Paul

    Please show me the statute on the felony you are asserting.

    Here is Jonathan Turley’s take at the Hill

    “The transcript lacks a critical element needed for impeachment, which is evidence of a quid pro quo. Trump never connects the investigation with the roughly $400 million in military aid. While he discusses the aid, he never suggests he will not send it. That does not mean a case for impeachment or criminal prosecution cannot be made. Unlike the prior impeachable offenses suggested by Democrats, this allegation of self-dealing could be both an impeachable offense and a federal crime, though neither would be easy to prove.

    Past suggested impeachable offenses either have been facially ridiculous, like the comments Trump made about Charlottesville or his criticism of national anthem protest kneelers, or legally flawed, like the Russia intervention or obstruction theories. The closest viable claims are his payments to alleged former mistresses that are in the criminal plea agreement of his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

    This is different. If a quid pro quo was proven, it would be self-dealing and an abuse of public office, and that can be a crime. Just ask disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. He was convicted after calling other political figures to leverage the appointment of a new United States senator, to replace the newly elected President Obama, for his own political gain. While some of us were highly critical of that prosecution, because politicians routinely use such decisions to their own benefit, Blagojevich was found guilty and his conviction was later upheld.

    Yet such cases have a mixed record. Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell was convicted of using his office to benefit a businessman who gave him and his wife various gifts. I was also critical of that prosecution, and it was later overturned by the Supreme Court. Then there was the prosecution of Senator Robert Menendez, who helped a wealthy doctor and donor with various government problems. The doctor in turn spent lavishly on Menendez, who actually pressured officials in cases benefiting the doctor, and helped him secure visas, yet Menendez was acquitted.”

    steveg (354706)

  130. I guess it’s interesting that we’ve all decided we want Lizzie Warren as President, though.

    Speak for yourself (and Tucker).

    Although between Trump, Biden, Sanders and her, she might be the least morally repugnant.

    The best case scenario is that Trump is either convicted, or so hamstrung by impeachment that a real Republican is nominated instead.

    All that stands in the way is about 20 spineless Republican senators.

    Dave (1bb933)

  131. Here is Jonathan Turley’s take at the Hill

    I read it. Turley makes zero mention of 52 U.S.C. § 30121(a)(2), which doesn’t require a quid pro quo, thus scuttling his argument. Quid pro quo is an artificial threshold that Turley and true-believing Trump loyalists are trying to establish, in effect saying that if Democrats can’t prove quid pro quo, there’s no impeachable offense. They’re wrong, IMO. There’s an impeachable offense under 52 USC 30121, and it would be gravy if a quid pro quo is established in addition.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  132. Klunk
    “So it being fake is cool, as long as it’s backs up a narrative that you FEELZ should be true. You know, as opposed to actually being true.”

    you are an idiot.
    I never said that at all, the only possible thing that could be verified at this point on that document would be the signature. So I didn’t believe any of it except maybe the signature which you went to huge lengths to debunk. The document isn’t worth the paper its printed on from the jump, but you spent all of your genius on the signature.
    The content is unverified. The signature? Who cares. You’ve got your monocle stuck in your butt again… you are supposed to read with your eye hole that attaches to the brain, not the one in your butt

    steveg (354706)

  133. “Good grief. Nothing displeases me more than linking to a liberal website, but conservatives are too afraid to confront John Solomon’s dishonest journalism because they’ve bent the knee to Trump, and there’s even more dishonesty when it comes to DiGenova, who said nothing to Tucker Carlson about working “off the books” with Giuliani when he was calling Napolitano a “fool“. I wonder how much Shokin was paid to swear out that affidavit. Firtash has a net worth of $500 million, and he was one of Yanukovych’s corrupt oligarchs and is comrades with Manafort and a Russian mobster.”

    The only greater argument it all develops into is ‘corruption in the Ukraine is fine when OUR State Department and OUR corrupt scions of corrupt families with no knowledge of the industry or the local language does it!’, which is a fine bit of realpolitik and even sorta/kinda like an “America First!” position but not especially convincing. The interests of the US State Department’s employees in having easy postings in relatively civilized (but still ruined enough to send lots of money to) countries are not, in actuality, equivalent to the interests of America in not having to constantly send billions of dollars to clients who never seem to get around to actually rebuilding their country enough to not require constant billions of dollars worth of State Department intervention. I guess supporting actual, no-really actual Nazis like Right Sector in the fight against ‘Russian influence’ isn’t ‘corrupt’ either, but it’s certainly…ironic.

    Trump made a simple proposal: “Give me your corrupt people and I’ll give you my corrupt people.” Then Congress and the CIA started howling with rage. Pretty good indication of who was in on the grift the whole time!

    “But Trump personally benefits“….yeah, and so does everyone in America who doesn’t want to keep getting involved in Ukrainian shenanigans for the sake of a few hundred State Department employees with going concerns in the region.

    Bootleg Vaper (69e9ef)

  134. Wow.

    Via Allahpundit – Chris Wallace reports on FoxNews Sunday that Joe diGenova – who appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show in the guise of a dispassionate legal analyst of the Trump’s corrupt dealings with the Ukraine and famously called Andrew Napolitano a fool – has actually been involved with Rudy in his contacts with Ukrainian officials on the matter:

    According to Wallace, diGenova is working with Giuliani on the Biden business with Ukraine. The guy whom Tucker invited on as some sort of dispassionate legal analyst to counter Napolitano turns out to be a secret participant in the matter that’s being analyzed, Trump’s interactions with Zelensky and his government. I didn’t see the first Tucker segment with diGenova but you can watch the second here. He’s introduced merely as a former U.S. Attorney, and Carlson prefaces their conversation by noting that legal opinion is split on the point about a “thing of value” that Napolitano had made. In other words, diGenova was presented to the audience as nothing more or less than a seasoned lawyer whose acumen led him to a different opinion than Judge Nap’s. Tucker even laughed at one point at Shep’s claim that diGenova is a “partisan.”

    Now here comes Wallace to imply that the entire segment was basically a fraud, with diGenova concealing a glaring conflict of interest.

    This must be part of that terrible media bias and dishonesty I keep hearing so much about.

    Dave (1bb933)

  135. @136 Paul, you can cite the opinion of one member of the FEC all day long, it is just her opinion.
    In contrast, the Trump exchange was examined by the DOJ and “the criminal division concluded that the information they had gathered did not amount to a criminal violation of campaign finance law because nothing “of value” was clearly promised or exchange as a result of the call. The official said there was no disagreement among the prosecutors in the criminal division, even among career prosecutors, that the call did not amount to a potential campaign finance violation.” https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trumps-doj-clears-president-violating-campaign-finance-law/story?id=65849857

    Pete (3aedd6)

  136. Trump made a simple proposal: “Give me your corrupt people and I’ll give you my corrupt people.” Then Congress and the CIA started howling with rage. Pretty good indication of who was in on the grift the whole time!

    Well, actually what Trump said is better summarized as “do me a favor and investigate my political opponent even if there’s nothing to actually investigate. And oh did I mention I’m President of the United States?”

    Kishnevi (2d5df1)

  137. Trump made a simple proposal: “Give me your corrupt people illegal campaign assistance and I’ll give you my corrupt people the taxpayer-funded foreign aid you can’t survive without.”

    FTFY.

    Dave (1bb933)

  138. Pete (3aedd6) — 9/29/2019 @ 4:31 pm

    Something of value to Trump’s campaign was clearly being solicited, which is illegal. He even called it “a favor”.

    And by the way, in our legal system, questions of fact (did the president violate the law or not?) are normally decided by juries, not by political appointees working for the accused. Since Trump – according to OLC – is conveniently immune to normal criminal indictment and prosecution, Congress is the only institution that can fill that role.

    Dave (1bb933)

  139. Trump made a simple proposal: “Give me your corrupt people illegal campaign assistance and I’ll give you my corrupt people the taxpayer-funded foreign aid you can’t survive without.”

    “And it is a felony for Trump to enlist a junior-partner foreign government to investigate his frontrunning 2020 rival.”

    But not, apparently, a felony when Hillary and the Democrats solicited Ukrainians for Trump dirt, am I right? You keep talking big about IMPEACHABLE FELONIOUS CONDUCT that never gets prosecuted, people might just assume you’re full of Schiff and do it themselves when they get into power, right?

    “even if there’s nothing to actually investigate.”

    Papadopolous spent at least two weeks in jail for bragging, and I’m pretty sure Biden did a lot more than just brag about it in the years since. But we won’t know that until we investigate, will we!

    Dave, Kish, Paul, sweeties, your analysis is, quite frankly, garbage. But Steyn’s run-down of Biden’s tenure is, to be frank, exquisite:

    In April 2014, a sleazy Ukrainian oligarch called Mykola Zlochevsky put Hunter Biden and Hunter’s business partner, Devon Archer, on the board of Ukraine’s biggest oil-&-gas company, Burisma.

    How did it get to be so big?

    Well, Mr Zlochevsky and his business partner Nikolay Lysin were respectively Minister of Natural Resources and the chairman of the Natural Resources parliamentary committee for much of the previous twelve years. There is a rule in Kiev that no Member of Parliament should have any business beyond his parliamentary responsibilities – so, as Messrs Zlochevsky and Lysin’s parliamentary responsibilities included oil and gas, they happily spent their terms of office handing out oil and gas licenses to companies they personally controlled (for which Burisma is the overarching holding company).

    Mr Lysin did not live to enjoy his oil-gotten gains. A healthy fortysomething, he swerved to avoid a rabbit in the road one night and ploughed his Lamborghini at 150mph into (appropriately) a set of gas pumps. That’s the official story. So now Mr Zlochevsky owns all of Burisma.

    That said, it is not, technically, a Ukrainian company. It’s registered in Limmerssol, the second biggest city in Cyprus but one that the locals now call Limmerssolgrad, because it’s the preferred destination for Russian money-launderers. As to how preferred it is with Ukrainian launderers, by the time Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board virtually the entire national economy was Cypriot: In 2014 92 per cent of Ukraine’s outward investment went to Cyprus.

    As I said to Tucker, Hunter Biden joined Burisma the same month Britain’s Serious Fraud Office froze $23 million of Mr Zlochevsky’s money and launched a criminal investigation. Putting the Vice President’s son on the Burisma board was intended to deter the US government from doing likewise, and indeed to stymie UK efforts. So Biden Jr got to make millions from a non-job in a country where the average income was two-and-a-half grand per annum.

    Is there anything that a man even The Guardian called an undistinguished corporate lawyer could have done to earn that money legitimately? He and John Kerry’s step-son and the Kerry kid’s college roommate, Devon Archer, had founded a so-called private investment fund. For some reason, that always reminds me of the Sixties pop group Dino, Desi & Billy, founded by Dean Martin Jr, Desi Arnaz Jr and their pal Billy. Two-thirds of the private investment firm of Hunter, Chris & Devon wound up on the board of Burisma, even though neither was an investor in the company. The third member, Theresa Heinz’s son Christopher, parted company with his pals over the Ukrainian deal: That’s to say, Hunter Biden was too sleazy even for fellow Dem scions milking their family rolodexes.

    So the son of the Vice President of the United States was part of the industrial-scale looting of Ukraine. And he continued to loot Ukraine until this year, when he resigned from Burisma the same month his dad launched his presidential campaign. (Ukraine used to be “The Ukraine”, but the looting was such that evidently someone eventually filched the “The”; it’s probably in Limmerssol by now.)

    Can Hunter plead ignorance? Well, if he ever attended any actual board meetings, he might have noticed this was a non-board: His only fellow directors were Zlochevsky’s daughter Karina, whose business experience consists of an alligator-shoes boutique she owned in Kiev; the former Polish president (and secret policeman) Aleksander Kwaśniewski; and a trio of Limmerssol lawyers and accountants who perform the same local services for a zillion Ukrainian companies registered in Cyprus.

    Oh, Hunter Biden was later joined on the board by a Mitt Romney advisor. If an impeachment trial ever happens in the Senate, will Mitt vote to remove Trump from office?

    Trump is a businessman: He has spent his life going around the world putting up hotels and golf courses, and making money from those who use them. By contrast, the Bidens and the Clintons are just part of the new corruptocrat class: you’re not renting tee time or a junior suite, just their surnames and a little familial proximity to power. Running a centrist kleptocrat didn’t work last time round, and the Dems aren’t going to take a flyer on it again.

    The Ukraine seems to be nothing if not a feeding trough for the worst and most hypocritical Democrats, NGOs, and RINOs in the world, whose main objection to the Russians was that they weren’t letting them in on that action enough.

    It is NOT treasonous, felonious, or traitorous to investigate people who enriched themselves from it. The democratically-elected President Trumps the permanent civil and foreign service. Sorry to break it to you all.

    Bootleg Vaper (7ff815)

  140. I guess supporting actual, no-really actual Nazis like Right Sector in the fight against ‘Russian influence’ isn’t ‘corrupt’ either, but it’s certainly…ironic.

    That has been a staple of Putin propaganda. The irony is that the real fascist in this scenario is Putin, not the Ukrainian government. There are extremists like Right Sector out there, but they’re not in leadership.
    The point that should be emphasized here is that, ever since Holodomor, Ukraine has been the victim. More recently, they’ve been victimized by losing the Crimean region of Ukraine to Putin, they’ve being victimized by Putin’s money, material and troops who are trying to occupy eastern Ukraine, and they’re victims of a massive propaganda campaign, which started shortly after Yanukovych fled the country and continues to present day.
    In WWII, Ukrainians had the awful choice of siding with Stalin, who literally murdered millions of Ukrainians by starvation, or taking their chances with Hitler. A number of them picked the latter, but what a terrible choice to have to make.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  141. In contrast, the Trump exchange was examined by the DOJ…

    Pete, the DOJ Criminal Division is led by a Trump appointee, which is why this matter should be judged by Congress, not Trump’s subordinate.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  142. @145 Yep, all the career prosecutors who examined the case found no violation, but that was only because the head of the criminal division is a Trump appointee. Weak sauce, but an expected reply.

    Pete (3aedd6)

  143. It is NOT treasonous, felonious, or traitorous to investigate people who enriched themselves from it.

    I don’t give a rip if Hunter or Joe are investigated. At issue is whether it be done illegally (the way Trump did it) or legally (having the DOJ do it). We are a nation undergirded by the rule of law, right sweetie?

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  144. Call with Ukraine:

    Zelensky: “I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps, specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes…”

    President Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor though…”

    (Yea. Go ahead. Try to make that seem innocent. A Republican game of Twister.)

    noel (f22371)

  145. @144 Mr. VPN guy.

    So what, Trump did a bad thing, blah blah blah, whatabout some other people

    Yeah, and Cheeto jeezus has straight said he did the thing you think is bad, and he’s getting impeached for it. The senate will try him, he’ll be booted or not, if not, he’ll be re-elected or not, if not, he’ll be indicted for his crimes, or not. But his bad thing, which you admit is a bad thing, is still a bad thing, even if other people at other times did another bad thing.

    By all means, impeach Hillary when she’s president for things she does when president, same thing with anyone else who’s president.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  146. Whistleblower Under Federal Protection, Fears For Life

    Holy heck he has dirt on Hillary too?

    harkin (dc1411)

  147. Weak sauce, but an expected reply.

    Pete, it’s the fundamental reason why the OLC concluded that a sitting president cannot be indicted. The only folks who have the true authority to evaluate whether a president violated his office is another co-equal branch of government, not the people who work for him.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  148. Way too many political families are cashing in on their connections. Both parties. That fact has nothing to do with this abuse of power by the President. Unless Donald Trump is investigating Republicans too. No?

    noel (f22371)

  149. noel (f22371) — 9/29/2019 @ 5:20 pm

    Shame on you for not including President Trump’s full remarks:

    President Trump: “Nice country you have there. Shame if anything should happen to it. I would like you to do us a favor though…”

    Dave (1bb933)

  150. The only folks who have the true authority to evaluate whether a president violated his office is another co-equal branch of government, not the people who work for him.

    The Trumpers Monarchists want him to be immune from indictment AND immune from impeachment.

    Dave (1bb933)

  151. Dave. Very funny tonight. 🙂

    noel (f22371)

  152. “The Monarchists want him to be immune from indictment AND immune from impeachment.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 9/29/2019 @ 5:29 pm

    Actually, the Monarchists want to be immune from elections, much like #NeverTrump.

    Munroe (04d79e)

  153. In the Mueller report, 52 U.S.C. § 30121(a)(2) was considered in the infamous Trump Tower meeting. Starting on page 192 of the PDF, Mueller described a “contribution” as…

    any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office.” 52 U.S.C. § 30101(8)(A)(i). It excludes , among other things, “the value of [volunteer] services.” 52 U.S.C. § 30101(8)(B)(i).

    It also “excludes, among other things, news stories and non-partisan get-out-the-vote activities,” so political dirt would qualify as a contribution, which is probably why Mueller also stated that “the phrases ‘thing of value’ and ‘anything of value’ are broad and inclusive enough to encompass at least some forms of valuable information.”
    The reason Mueller didn’t establish an illegal act under this US Code was this:

    There are reasonable arguments that the offered information would constitute a “thing of value” within the meaning of these provisions, but the Office determined that the government would not be likely to obtain and sustain a conviction for two other reasons: first, the Office did not obtain admissible evidence likely to meet the government’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these individuals acted “willfully,” i.e., with general knowledge of the illegality of their conduct; and, second, the government would likely encounter difficulty in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the value of the promised information exceeded the threshold for a criminal violation.

    Page 194. The release of the report itself should dispel the notion that, going forward, Trump people would be unaware of the illegality. After Trump’s trainwreck interview with Stephanopolous, the Chair of the FEC also did some dispelling.
    The threshold is $25,000 but Veselnitskaya didn’t provide any inkling of the information she purportedly had, so there was no way to establish a value. In the present case involving Trump, the value to Trump of the negative PR on Biden should well exceed $25,000.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  154. Wild speculation here.
    How do we know Joe wasn’t being vindictive towards Shokin for his past investigation of Burisma?
    In other words Joe’s quid pro quo could have been over revenge.
    Not sayin thats what happened but its hard to prove or disprove without an investigation and with what the new whistleblower rules say they should look into it.

    P:S: Said tongue in cheek for the knee jerk dullards

    steveg (354706)

  155. Actually, the Monarchists want to be immune from elections, much like #NeverTrump.

    Bad acts by presidents aren’t addressed just every 4 years. Bill Clinton besmirched the office of the presidency by both getting, and lying about, a BJ in the oval office. And that’s teenage stuff compared to Trump.

    Trump is dumb Nixon. You don’t need tapes, he just flat tells you about it.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  156. Way too many political families are cashing in on their connections.

    Relatives do not lose their rights when a politician takes office.

    The size and scope of government has reached the point where there is little, anywhere in the world, that it doesn’t have some contact with. Where could the child of a president or vice president work that might not find itself involved with the federal government in one way or another? What kind of parent would tell their adult child “sorry, you have to give up your career because it’s in the way of mine?

    Corruption flows in two possible directions – the relative may influence the politician to do something in their official capacity on behalf of their employer, or the politician could influence the relative to have the employer do something for the benefit of their personal political ambitions. Or both.

    There is not a shred of evidence that either occurred in the case of the Bidens. As Paul has pointed out, by demanding that the Ukraine government be more aggressive in pursuing corruption, Biden was increasing – not reducing – the legal risks that his son might hypothetically encounter. And the decision to do so was based on clearly understood and documented public policy reasons at the time, not because Joe Biden wanted a personal favor. All this is obvious to anyone not viewing the world through orange-colored glasses.

    Dave (1bb933)

  157. BREAKING NEWS. The word-for-word transcript is not available (yet), but we have video!
    Part I
    Part II

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  158. “Bad acts by presidents aren’t addressed just every 4 years. Bill Clinton besmirched the office of the presidency by both getting, and lying about, a BJ in the oval office. And that’s teenage stuff compared to Trump.”
    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c) — 9/29/2019 @ 5:44 pm

    Clinton wasn’t up for re-election.

    Munroe (04d79e)

  159. P.S. If you’re upset about Hunter Biden’s $50k per month position and thinks that sounds corrupt, you’re right. I assume you’re also upset about the way Trump’s children take advantage of their father’s position for personal gain. Right?

    How does the Whataboutism Fallacy work? I think I missed that day.

    BuDuh (e20d25)

  160. Who’s paying for Giuliani’s basic travel budget to Ukraine? A business class ticket, he’s not flying coach, is $3k. He doesn’t travel alone, so $6k, hotel’s and incidentals for at least 2, $500/day, minimum. That’s running $10k per trip, at least, first class and an actual nice hotel, double or triple that. He’s probably not doing it for free, or without a return on investment somehow.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  161. Actually, the Monarchists want to be immune from elections, much like #NeverTrump.

    Real conservatives (and all loyal Americans, for that matter) should want foreign governments to keep their hands out of our elections.

    But we know of at least three documented instances now where somebody named “Trump” illegally invited them in.

    Dave (1bb933)

  162. Actually, the Monarchists want to be immune from elections, much like #NeverTrump.

    The Monarchists in four states do want to be immune from elections

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Republican_Party_presidential_primaries#Cancellation_of_state_caucuses_or_primaries

    Florida, slightly to my surprise, has not followed suit. Perhaps they see a way to make some money. A candidate who wants to run in the Presidential primary and is not the incumbent can get on the ballot by submitting the appropriate number of first-ever petitions, or by paying the state GOP $25,000. If you are the incumbent, you need only send in a letter saying you intend to run for re-election.( There’s a third way, but that is available only when the incumbent is a Democrat or a GOP not running for re-election.)

    Kishnevi (e3cbf2)

  163. Wait a sec… Google managed to change “voter signed” to “first ever” in that last comment…

    Kishnevi (e3cbf2)

  164. Clinton wasn’t up for re-election.

    Oh, my bad. It should have just been ignored then, never mind, he should have just played out the string.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  165. I happen to know a person or two that became a highly paid “board member” after a family member was elected. And given that salary absent any appropriate experience for the job. l admit that I don’t know how to write the legislation to stop it but I’d sure like to see a lot less of it.

    noel (f22371)

  166. What the Bidens did has every appearance of being unethical, but also legal and actually SOP throughout business.

    Trump could have easily kept pounding away at the unethical action, but in typical fashion mishandled it and mangled it until the focus became his own unethical actions. Perhaps he’s been so immersed in sleaze for so long that he simply doesn’t understand the negative appearance of being sleazy can have.

    Kishnevi (e3cbf2)

  167. ‘Real conservatives (and all loyal Americans, for that matter) should want foreign governments to keep their hands out of our elections.’
    Dave (1bb933) — 9/29/2019 @ 5:58 pm

    Yep, love those loyal Americans. It’s just that we don’t want to leave the decision in their hands.

    Munroe (04d79e)

  168. Yep, love those loyal Americans. It’s just that we don’t want to leave the decision in their hands.

    Well, that’s why Trump, and I guess you support it, are trying to get help from Russia, Ukraine, China, whomever.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  169. We are a nation undergirded by the rule of law, right sweetie?

    Not since the day Obama jailed someone to prove his lie was good.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  170. So then Hillary is guilty because she paid someone to pay for the Steele Dossier.
    I think that one is a huge reach because “thing of value” is something every campaign has gotten.
    It may be against the law if I rely on Mueller, but when Ted Kennedy directly asked the Russians for dirt on Reagan I didn’t hear anyone yelling about a felony

    Trump never said he wanted info for the election. He was asking for info regarding corruption involving Hunter Biden. If info gets collected, it gets given to parties looking into corruption then leaked to the media where it becomes a news report. Trump doesn’t use it for the election until after it hits the news cycle. Thats how the Steele dossier started the FBI probe into Trump where they leaked the dossier to yahoo and the daily beast, engaged in a bit of circular citation and boom, it was legal. The FBI seems to have a whole legal team involved in how to legally put together a leak. Ask James Comey. His leak was legal.

    Trump’s talk about election issues was about CrowdStrike possibly having info on Russian interference into the 2016 election. He doesn’t mention Biden as being part of that.

    Turley says that as of now there is nothing there… he should know. He’s one of the few people alive who has been a Senate expert at an impeachment

    steveg (354706)

  171. Whistleblower Under Federal Protection, Fears For Life

    That requires an awful lot of Orange-Bad Kool-Aid to believe. Trump is going to HIT him? Really? If he really thinks that Trump is that evil and the system that corrupt he ought to let them try so we can get this impeachment thing done quickly.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  172. Perhaps he’s been so immersed in sleaze for so long that he simply doesn’t understand the negative appearance of being sleazy can have.

    The possibility of his own words or deeds being at fault is not something his lizard brain can process. Rather, his words and deeds actualize what it means to be right and good.

    He’s like an incarnation of the fully realized and perfected Orwellian state.

    Dave (1bb933)

  173. Trump is dumb Nixon. You don’t need tapes, he just flat tells you about it.

    I’m kinda warming up to Nixon these days. I’m pretty sure I’d trade Trump for Nixon at his prime.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  174. Not since the day Obama jailed someone to prove his lie was good.

    Didn’t happen.

    Dave (1bb933)

  175. The Monarchists in four states do want to be immune from elections

    Well, if Weld and the other not-Trumps can embarrass Trump in NH, this may all change. Yes, Republicans all say that hey support the man, but 1) they may do something else in the polling booth, and 2) Trump is not going to skate through the next 4 months.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  176. The egyptian copt filmmaker

    Narciso (beeb9a)

  177. Didn’t happen.

    So, a filmmaker who produced a silly video that had NOTHING TO DO with Benghazi did not go to jail — very publicly — just as Obama was blaming the “surprise” attack (and his feckless inaction) on the same filmmaker?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  178. We dont even know which of the 57 genders pertains.

    Narciso (beeb9a)

  179. The Republican-led hearings on Benghazi were a largely worthless grilling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but they did yield one important piece of evidence: emails from Clinton to her daughter Chelsea to the Egyptian prime minister on the night of the attack saying, “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack—not a protest.”

    link above

    Kevin M (19357e)

  180. yeah but the cover for jailing the filmaker was that he was forbidden by law from operating film equipment like cameras, computers etc (if I remember correctly)
    I don’t think anyone doubted he was the chosen stooge to make the narrative work, but it was legal to jail him. Shameless but legal.

    steveg (354706)

  181. Trump never said he wanted info for the election.

    That’s true. It’s just a coincidence that, of all the things Trump wanted the leader of this country to check into, he wanted him to look into a faux story about hacked DNC emails and to investigate his chief 2020 political rival. It’s just not believable, steve.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  182. So, a filmmaker who produced a silly video that had NOTHING TO DO with Benghazi did not go to jail — very publicly — just as Obama was blaming the “surprise” attack (and his feckless inaction) on the same filmmaker?

    By all means, impeach Hillary, or Obama, or something. Republican’s had the house. It was possible, because you don’t need a crime to impeach a president. I know this because Lindsey told me so.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  183. So, a filmmaker who produced a silly video that had NOTHING TO DO with Benghazi did not go to jail — very publicly — just as Obama was blaming the “surprise” attack (and his feckless inaction) on the same filmmaker?

    The “filmmaker” in question was a convicted felon who had used false identities and the internet to perpetrate numerous acts of fraud, and who was let out of jail early on probation/supervised release under the condition that he not access the internet without prior permission from his probation officer or use aliases.

    After nevertheless producing a video under a pseudonym almost immediately after release, and publishing it on the internet without permission, he was taken back into custody, pled guilty to four charges in some kind of plea bargain, and was returned to jail for violating the terms of his probation and for making false statements to law enforcement in regard to his role in the film.

    AFAIC, this is exactly what should have happened, under the circumstances.

    Dave (1bb933)

  184. I know this because Lindsey told me so.

    It’s about cleansing the office!

    Dave (1bb933)

  185. After protests against The Innocence of Muslims began on September 11, 2012, “Sam Bacile” (one of the aliases used by the “filmmaker”) called the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal, claiming to be an Israeli and that the movie was funded by Jewish donors.

    Thus, he drew the first attention to himself by trying to implicate (and presumably redirect the violence stirred up by film toward) Israelis and Jews.

    Within two days, the AP had figured out who he really was, and so had the Feds.

    Not my idea of any kind of hero or martyr. YMMV.

    Dave (1bb933)

  186. @151. Theater.

    See #90: “Ain’t nuttin’ gonna happen.” – ‘Quincy Maddox’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  187. @178. You’re young. That’s chilling: I’m certain I wouldn’t.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  188. It had nothing to do with the assasination of an ambassador by al queda elements ons of them freed from the egyptian spring.

    Narciso (beeb9a)

  189. @91. Only a proctologist could “enjoy watching Tucker.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  190. Embarassing one entitled pol, who had the press in her pocket, compared to compromising confidential cable traFfic (dejavu) or signal intelligence intercept (that same press couldnt hey enough of that)

    Narciso (beeb9a)

  191. Arrgh! I tried to post a comment with a long quote from Wikipedia, and it got moderated!

    The quote was about grounds for impeachment and how someone can be impeached for abusing the powers of office and neglect of duty even when the behavior is not illegal.
    Here’s the part that was no quote


    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_the_United_States

    Has Trump abused his office? Yes, and Democrats complain and Republicans at least condone what Trump does.
    Did Obama abuse his office? Yes, and Republicans complained and Democrats approved of what Obama did, or at least condoned it.

    Which proves they are all hypocrites, but is not an argument for not impeaching Trump. Stonewalling investigations, even if they are partisan witch hunts, is abuse of office. For that alone, both Obama and Trump should have been impeached.

    (Just to be clear…my reference to Republicans was to the ones in DC, not to anyone here.)

    Kishnevi (14a2e1)

  192. #187

    I agree, but a lot of unbelievable things go on in this world that don’t rise to the level of a crime.
    Look at destruction of evidence. The FBI wiped the phones of agents being investigated after being told to preserve evidence. Coincidently I’m sure, the FBI sent “routine” notice to the agents supervisors that it was time for their phones to be wiped and exchanged for new ones and those rules were followed to the “t”.

    Made me wonder if the FBI has both a dept. in charge of how to leak legally, and another that handles how to destroy evidence legally.
    Evidently the DOJ has a lot of lawyers in charge of finding legal loopholes. James Comey laughed at the naivete of Flynn compared to the slick operations run by insiders like Bush and Clinton.
    Clinton had lawyers destroy evidence for her legally. Claiming the emails were all personal… trust us… and the FBI said…”well they followed the law perfectly as allowed”…

    A lot of the legal advice given in the beltway seems to be of this nature: “If you do it like this, then this, then this and leak it to these guys and then act on it, voila no crime”
    We make fun of Trump for Cohen, but most of the inside the beltway laughter was that Trump showed up with a complete amateur compared to Clintons David Kendall

    steveg (354706)

  193. Dave. (187):

    Sure. He was on probation or something. But he was jailed because it was convenient for the lie, not because it was inevitable he would be jailed. Just because there is a cover story does not mean it is the truth.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  194. 187 189

    Kevin M (19357e)

  195. I agree, but a lot of unbelievable things go on in this world that don’t rise to the level of a crime.
    Look at destruction of evidence. The FBI wiped the phones of agents being investigated after being told to preserve evidence. Coincidently I’m sure, the FBI sent “routine” notice to the agents supervisors that it was time for their phones to be wiped and exchanged for new ones and those rules were followed to the “t”.

    A thing that didn’t happen, only a conspiracy theory.

    Made me wonder if the FBI has both a dept. in charge of how to leak legally, and another that handles how to destroy evidence legally.
    Evidently the DOJ has a lot of lawyers in charge of finding legal loopholes. James Comey laughed at the naivete of Flynn compared to the slick operations run by insiders like Bush and Clinton.
    Clinton had lawyers destroy evidence for her legally. Claiming the emails were all personal… trust us… and the FBI said…”well they followed the law perfectly as allowed”…

    i.e. looking for people breaking the law. Not that impeachment requires criminal acts. Read Federalist 65 if you want to know what the founder’s thought.

    A lot of the legal advice given in the beltway seems to be of this nature: “If you do it like this, then this, then this and leak it to these guys and then act on it, voila no crime”
    We make fun of Trump for Cohen, but most of the inside the beltway laughter was that Trump showed up with a complete amateur compared to Clintons David Kendall

    Yes, if you want outcome X, how you get it matters. Some ways are legal, some are not. That Trump, and his team, are both too stupid and lazy to do that, is why he’s getting impeached, won’t get re-elected, and may go to jail.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  196. Not my idea of any kind of hero or martyr. YMMV.

    That’s a cheap shot, if not a knowing lie. No one ever said he was a martyr, just that he was a convenient scapegoat for a crooked President and SecState. Obama and Hillary needed to cover up their fecklessness of sitting and REPEATEDLY turning down rescue options — some of which would have worked had they done them right off the bat. So they used this clown who had conveniently put his head on the block.

    Question: if government jails someone solely for the government’s propaganda purposes, does it matter if the guy is guilty of something?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  197. I do know one thing that got Obama and Hillary off their asses that night — Romney criticized their inaction and they had a response in minutes.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  198. Question: if government jails someone solely for the government’s propaganda purposes, does it matter if the guy is guilty of something?

    Sure that’s bad, but what are you talking about, since your initial claim was a flat out lie, or you just didn’t know that actual facts.

    And who cares, how does that have anything to do with Trump, or even the fake story about Biden?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  199. But he was jailed because it was convenient for the lie, not because it was inevitable he would be jailed.

    The fact is that he drew attention to himself by giving a false story to the AP and the WSJ, and their follow-up investigation would have inevitably led to him (as it in fact did, within two days), his record of felony convictions, and ultimately his probation officer.

    The guy was a crook, an idiot AND an @sshole, and he deserved to be sent back to jail.

    More to the point, you made it sound like some innocent guy who just decided to make a film was falsely rail-roaded into jail by Obama, in violation of his rights to free speech and due process, and as I’ve shown that is a false narrative of Trumpian proportions.

    Dave (1bb933)

  200. I get a twofer! Trump impeached and biden’s exposed as corrupt. Hunter like paul manafort forgot to register as foreign agent. Also chi=coms gave hunter’s investment company 1.5 billion to buy cmc which is now being prosecuted for giving military secrets to communist china.

    lany (7180c2)

  201. This was what I wrote over seven years ago: http://www.theforvm *dot* org/diary/bird-dog/riot-and-film-maker-round
    Obama wanted a perp walk on this guy, even though he did nothing wrong. His video had been out there for months prior to the riots. He was exercising his right to free speech. It truly was a low point of his presidency. That, and his consistent lying about the nature of the terrorist attack in Benghazi. That, and his targeting American citizens for death without a shred of due process.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  202. Hunter like paul manafort forgot to register as foreign agent.

    Well, working for a foreign company isn’t illegal. Being a lobbyist for a foreign company/or state, isn’t illegal, Manafort and Giuliani have made a fortune doing it. One of them didn’t actually register, and then didn’t report the income, and laundered money, so that’s not a problem.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  203. I hate to say it Paul, but you were just plain wrong, and Glenn Reynolds’ tendentious and inflammatory “Obama is literally Hitler” rhetoric is no more accurate:

    By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration

    The man had agreed not to use aliases, and agreed not to use the internet. If he hadn’t agreed to those things, he would have still been in jail for the felonies was convicted of. That is documented, undeniable fact. When questioned about those violations of his probation agreement, he then proceed to lie to law enforcement.

    THAT is why the guy went (back) to jail.

    Dave (1bb933)

  204. Hunter like paul manafort forgot to register as foreign agent.

    He was not a foreign agent or required to register as one.

    Working for a foreign corporation does not make you a foreign agent.

    AARGH!

    Dave (1bb933)

  205. Unlike podesta and weber who actually did the lobbying yet were allowed to go scot free.

    Al queda is dead, gm is alive remember that slogan

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  206. He then paid for psas in pakistan to further the meme that islamophobia (a term invented by the political agent in the territories) were the reason for the attack.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  207. 210 How about what hunter biden did for china for 1.5 billion like buying cnc. His old man says china not a trade threat and will open the flood gates to donor class free traders.

    lany (7180c2)

  208. How about what hunter biden did for china for 1.5 billion like buying cnc. His old man says china not a trade threat and will open the flood gates to donor class free traders

    Please, give it a googs before posting. It’s got to get old being wrong all the time.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (6e7a1c)

  209. Oh that whistleblower letter, not so much.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  210. But enough about corzine jackson lee and grijLva

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  211. POLITICO
    @politico
    CBS reported that “60 Minutes” obtained a letter indicating the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower was under federal protection. Two hours later, an attorney for the whistleblower said the letter was “completely misinterpreted.”

    _

    harkin (dc1411)

  212. They needed a lead in for their sunday bloc.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  213. I hate to say it Paul, but you were just plain wrong…

    Well, I respect your opinion, Dave, but this was orchestrated by Obama for political reasons. The guy’s video was literally out there for months. If you’ve seen the offending video, there’s no reason it should’ve been the match that ignited that whole thing.

    Paul Montagu (f2c051)

  214. Reading the letter, 60 min could have misinterpreted it when the lawyer thanked the gov for their increased security measures. However, it does look like the lawyer was definitely asking for further protection, both of the information security kind and possibly of the more tangible kind.

    (I did not watch 60 minutes this week, my cable box died and I haven’t had time to deal with it.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  215. Well, this is interesting. Team Biden on Sunday sent a request to major network and cable shows, asking them to stop booking Giuliani for interviews.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-campaign-demands-tv-news-execs-stop-booking-rudy-giuliani?ref=home

    Their argument is that Giuliani is not a member of the administration or a government official, and that he uses his airtime to spout debunked conspiracy theories and make false allegations and unfounded accusations against political opponents. The implication is that booking him for interviews gives credibility to his fringe nonsense.

    Yeah, he’s not doing his client any favors when he mumbles incoherently on television. Several Senate Republicans wish he’d shut up.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  216. Well, I respect your opinion, Dave, but this was orchestrated by Obama for political reasons. The guy’s video was literally out there for months.

    There WERE protests against the film in multiple Islamic countries on 9/11/12. That by itself is of course no justification for any legal action against the filmmaker, but the coincident protests and attack on Benghazi obviously brought sudden attention to the film, as did the filmmaker’s self-initiated contact with news organizations on that date using an alias and attempting to shift blame to the Jooooze.

    My understanding is that any reasonable suspicion of crime a law enforcement officer encounters in their normal duties is fair game for follow-up. If a cop pulls you over for a broken turn signal, and discovers you’re drunk, or have a warrant out on you, or are a sex offender too close to a school, etc, it is most certainly NOT the second coming of the Night and Fog Order when the cop places you under arrest, whatever Glenn Reynolds (who should and does know better) may say in the fevered final months of a presidential campaign.

    Dave (1bb933)

  217. @217. More theater.

    “Ain’t nuttin’ gonna happen.” – ‘Quincy Maddox’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  218. Also, according to Wikipedia, promotional trailers in English were posted in July 2012, but a version of the film dubbed into Arabic was not posted on the internet until early September. A two-minute excerpt dubbed in Arabic was shown on Egyptian TV on September 9. That broadcast (in Arabic) is still on YouTube.

    So it is not really true that the video was available in the form that would generate the most backlash “for months”; in fact the opposite is true.

    Dave (1bb933)

  219. Well, this is interesting. Team Biden on Sunday sent a request to major network and cable shows, asking them to stop booking Giuliani for interviews.

    Translation: “Oh no Brer Fox(News), please don’t throw me in that briar patch!”

    Dave (1bb933)

  220. Never would have imagined the hate this site could produce by never trump democrats and rinos.
    Well done, comrades.

    mg (8cbc69)

  221. Trump: “Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser…” “I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the ‘Whistleblower.’ Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!”

    Where to begin?

    The President clearly wants to be exempt from whistleblower complaints. Trump accuses him/her of illegal acts and spying for following the whistleblower statutes. He promises “consequences”.

    “Consequences”??

    Look at those tweets. He is threatening not only the whistleblower/informants but putting on notice any future government official who dares expose illegal/unethical acts.

    Threatening whistleblowers. That one tweet alone is reason enough to impeach him. Then convict him.

    noel (f22371)

  222. Terrorist directed what i called the shawwal offensive starting in cairo then benghazi tunis and the bastion in afghanistan and obama did nothing to challenge then

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  223. Documenting calls that a President makes. That is spying? Was Trump unaware that those calls are monitored by the White House? And, of course, the other end of the call as well?

    As we know, part of the reason they are often transcribed is precisely to prevent other leaders from distorting them. And to give the cabinet and others knowledge of the conversations.

    But, to Trump, it’s spying. The guy never lets reality get in the way of a spicy tweet.

    noel (f22371)

  224. Theres less and less to this pantomine, once youve read the book, there less to the play, dossier, emolement, koi pond.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  225. Interfering with the legitimate foreign policy aims of the us, one might call it sabotage.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  226. Now it appears the late jacques chiraq was less motivated by principle than assumed.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  227. He is demanding to meet his accusers. Because they told the truth? He admitted the call was authentic.

    noel (f22371)

  228. So I notice this morning that the President figures that if he is removed by a Constitutional process, there will be Civil War. (Yes, I know he is quoting some Fox News crazy. But he is endorsing the sentiment by quoting it in his Twitter feed.)

    So, which one of our pro-Trump posters will be manning the barricades? Or is there a point too far for our group?

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  229. Facts not in evidence, the content of the call was at variance with the complaint

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  230. I do fault salman for being sloppy, no one ever heard from manuel galindez again, he went the wat of jimmy hoffa

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  231. Pinochet had letelier blown up on a busy dc street killed an american along for the ride.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  232. Trump re-Tweet: ….If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNew

    Of course. Scraping the bottom is what they do. Well… President Trump won’t be impeached if there is not significant public support for it. And when that happens, the likelihood of civil war is low. Nice try though.

    And if, as Trump suggests, a successful impeachment “will never be”, why try to scare us with Civil War talk, Donald?

    noel (f22371)

  233. Trump in 2016: “I’m telling you, November 8, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged,” Trump added. “And I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”

    Yea. He was trying to drum up a civil war then too.

    noel (f22371)

  234. Civil war? Dream on, Bonespur Buffoon! You’re a Lot in reverse. You’re not going to find 100 Americans willing to get killed for you, Demented Donna.

    nk (dbc370)

  235. Yes everything that came after it, including last weeks events proved it

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  236. What youre going to cite convicted criminal hacker kevin poulsen now.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  237. Narciso —

    Who are you taking to? What are you talking about? I literally can’t figure it out, and I do pretty well with T.S. Eliot and William Faulkner.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  238. Whatever sam and dave are going to dredge out of the beast later, like a shiny penny.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  239. So what precisely has trump done in office to merit impeachment?

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  240. Trump tweeted what Jeffress said. Approvingly. Not denouncingly.

    nk (dbc370)

  241. Narciso….. “So what precisely has trump done in office to merit impeachment?”

    Well, Rip Van Winkle, you have some catching up to do.

    noel (f22371)

  242. The immigration pause was quite reasonable and warranted, next.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  243. Splitting atoms with his brain, I think.

    Dave (1bb933)

  244. No thats your speed, firing comey as soon as was practical, threatening counterforce to kim the dynast well within parameters

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  245. And Trump does have a right to confront his accuser, but I noticed that he wrote “meet” not “confront”, and that’s perfectly understandable, I can see how he would want to avoid the words “con” and “front”.

    nk (dbc370)

  246. Trusting paul ryan, that probably wasnt warranted, but there is a bias in the caucus to stasis.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  247. Atoms can only be split with the brain, being only theoretical constructs to explain physical phenomena and not anything that anyone has actually observed, measured, or weighed.

    nk (dbc370)

  248. We should know if the accuser ever wore blackface, or was a gang rapist like Kavanaugh.

    Munroe (53beca)

  249. Its a joke like civil administration in illinois, so commercial real estate isnt really big there.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  250. Civil War? The second Mike Pence raises his hand to take the oath, that possibility is gone. He’ll throw Trump overboard before your Russian made AK-47 musket can fire.

    noel (f22371)

  251. Our host is on twitter, noticing the Presidential tweets. (And agrees with nk at #252).

    In answer to narc’s #146, I think it’s clear the President is unfit, and unwilling to perform his duties under the constitution. Congress can impeach for a President’s incapacity. It’s actually a mistake to go down the rabbit hole of trollish legalisms in dealing with this. The evidence of his incapacity is all over his statements, his twitter feed, his public statements. Would be fascist dictators don’t get to stay President, when they attempt to act on their fascist whims.

    I wonder how Barr will react to the presidential call that Schiff be investigated for Treason for Schiff’s odd performance art at the Congressional hearing last week. (For those who have not kept up, Schiff, apparently indulging in parody, significantly exaggerated what Trump did in his phone call regarding Hunter Biden in the Ukraine phone call.)

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  252. Noel is right. There will be grumbling, but Pence would be accepted. Not because Pence is some great guy, but because the left would start condemning his social politics, verifying the right’s loyalty to him. The binary choice would roll on.

    I find it very hard to believe the GOP would convict Trump. It would make me a Republican if they did.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  253. #151 CBS is lying again. Their source for the “death threats” is the WB’ers legal team, which says there are no death threats. And here’s a question: How does one make credible “death threats” against an anonymous person whose name is unkinown”?

    Death threats to “Who may it concern” – LOL. Liberals ALWAYS lying & ALWAYS scamming. Trump gets “Death Threats” all the time. So does every member of Congress. But we’re not hear that we can’t see the WB’er in public or have his name reviled because… he’s scared for his life. LOL. What a transparent tactic. Its like Blaisy FORd “Oh, i can’t testify, I’m afraid of FLying” – And all the Dumbo’s bought that lie. Lets see they buy this one.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  254. That’s the Avtomat Kalashnikova – 47. I believe.

    noel (f22371)

  255. Somewhat off topic. Flakey-flake is back and trying to help the Democrats with a new WaPo Editorial. And of course another R “Maverick” -some weirdo R from Illinois – is attacking Trump for “Trying to start a Civil war”. LOL. You can’t make this up. Next: Bob Corker will bob up and attack Trump to be followed by Mittens Being “troubled” and “concerned” and demanding a full hearing of the all the issues.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  256. Has Mittens EVER attacked Schumer or Pelosi? Nope. He only attacks Republicans. LOL

    rcocean (1a839e)

  257. Atoms can only be split with the brain, being only theoretical constructs to explain physical phenomena and not anything that anyone has actually observed, measured, or weighed.

    You are incorrect. Single atoms have been observed, measured and weighed.

    And manipulated. Here’s what IBM Research calls The World’s Smallest Movie, A Boy and His Atom made by moving around and imaging individual atoms:

    Dave (1bb933)

  258. Flake should be chasing gazelles, on the serengeti, corker well he should be under criminal investigation,

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  259. #259

    Trump is trying really hard to put all that to the test, isn’t he?

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  260. 265 —

    Corker — under investigation for what? What’s today’s deflecting conspiracy theory?

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  261. They hate pence even more than trump, a sincere evangelical, weve seen this pattern before.

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  262. Narciso, did you say Pence and sincere in the same sentence?

    noel (f22371)

  263. Tax fraud with his auto dealership

    Narciso (dceb8c)

  264. Flake is trying to help the Republicans, not the Democrats.

    Dave (1bb933)

  265. Trump retweeting some Fox fanatic’s Civil War fantasy, while not a call to arms, foments hyperpartisan division. It’s also delusional if he thinks half the country would rise up against the other to defend his egregious behavior on a bloodstained battlefield. More hyperbole than anything else, and disturbingly so, it reflects his malignant narcissistic belief that he, Donald Trump, is the United States, and that any criticism of or disloyalty to him is a crime against the country itself. This is the sort of mad medieval monarchism that lost George III the American colonies. It won’t lead to violent revolution, but it will result in mass defections from the Republican party, an acceleration of the resignations and decisions not to seek reelection seen over the last year. The only Republicans-in-name-only left will be the cowardly few who excuse, defend and rationalize the inexcusable, indefensible and irrational antics and rantings of a paranoid psychopath, in the name of policy and appointments of course, as disgusted voters depart in droves.

    In the same vein, it was the following Tweet that is cause for more consternation.

    https://reason.com/2019/09/30/trumps-civil-war-tweet-isnt-criminal-this-other-tweet-might-be/

    A President of the United States accusing a member of Congress, in either the House or the Senate, of committing “Fraud and Treason,” and demanding said member be questioned, investigated and by implication prosecuted for delivering a floor speech in his or her chamber is literally unconstitutional, and that is impeachable.

    Likewise, ordering a whistleblower to be identified so as to be confronted, i.e. intimidated, goes directly against the protections the Whistleblower Act was passed to provide. It would be an illegal act, and that is impeachable.

    Trump doesn’t have the right to confront his accuser. He would in a criminal proceeding in a court of law, but that is not the case here. Impeachment is a political, not a legal, matter. High crimes and misdemeanors, such as dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, abuse of power, etc., are more in line with the military code of justice and need not involve violations of statutory law, although they certainly could include such violations, like perjury, witness tampering, refusing to comply with subpoenas, etc.

    The whistleblower is not making an accusation or filing a criminal complaint, merely forwarding information of urgent concern to the ICIG. It is a falsehood that the whistleblower need have first-hand knowledge of the information. That has never been the case. The responsibility of discerning whether second- or third-hand knowledge is serious and credible rests solely with the ICIG. If the information is determined to be of urgent concern, it is to be forwarded to the DNI, who then by law is required to forward it to the relevant congressional committees. It is not the responsibility of the DNI to request a second opinion from the DOJ, because the determination that the information is serious and credible, and a matter urgent concern, has already been made. It is not up to the DOJ to nitpick legalese and decide otherwise. That’s not how the process works.

    Besides, the whistleblower complaint has been verified by the president and his personal attorney! The release of the memorandum of the call to Ukraine proves it, but there might also be other information from other calls or involving other actions in the complaint, which itself has not been released. But at least the relevant congressional committees have it now.

    The whistleblower has every reason to ask for federal protection. He or she has done nothing wrong, other than follow protocol. We’ve seen how frenzied Fox fanatics can get, and how violent Trump supplicants under thrall can be. At Charlottesville, in rallies and protests–Trump did publicly promise to pay for their defense, so anything goes.

    Still, the whistleblower is granted anonymity under the Act, which is the law, but I doubt his or her identity will be kept secret for very long. He or she is scheduled to testify before committee, and there’s very little chance that won’t get out.

    This is a lawless, paranoid president, and his followers, excusers and defenders, explainers away, are fanatical. He’s stoking the fires of resentment with his Tweet storms. His personal lawyer, who is not a government official or member of the administration, is out there on TV, spouting debunked conspiracy theories, making wild accusations, desperately trying to coerce foreign governments to investigate political opponents on the flimsiest of evidence, mumbling contradictory statements incoherently, and generally making a fool of himself and his client.

    This is a presidency? This is idiocy. The administration is staffed with acting officials, because the competent with self-respect left. The Republican party is bleeding representatives, senators, governors, state legislatures, and voters like a hemophiliac with a jugular vein wound. But don’t worry, it will all be over soon.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  266. Pence is acceptable by 1/2 the other side – dont let the screechings of alphabet soup weird and loose women fool you. He learned whom really to heel to after the other famous Mitch laid waste to the Toll Road and took hatchets to everything else.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  267. “What’s today’s deflecting conspiracy theory?”
    Appalled (d07ae6) — 9/30/2019 @ 7:35 am

    Oh, the upcoming IG and Durham reports, for example. Those will be a “defection”, even though they’ve been in the works for many, many months.

    And, of course, the second hand intel guy “whistleblower” exploiting an oh so coincidental form change is not a deflection from investigations into the intel community. No, not at all.

    Munroe (04d79e)

  268. oh that Bankshot against mrs pence, turned out to be a dud,

    narciso (d1f714)


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