Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2023

Donald Trump Again Chooses Russia’s President Putin Over U.S. Intelligence

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:50 am



[guest post by Dana]

This should be surprising or shocking, but isn’t. Instead, it’s completely expected, and shameful:

Donald Trump has issued his intermittent reminder that he trusts Russian President Vladimir Putin more than intelligence agencies for the government he once led.

The former president posted on his Truth Social platform Monday criticizing U.S. intelligence officials as “misfits” and “lowlifes” while sharing an article about Chris McGonigal, who led the FBI’s New York counterintelligence division before his 2018 retirement. McGonigal was arrested earlier this month over his alleged ties to a Russian oligarch and other charges, including money laundering.

In the post, Trump recalled the 2018 Helsinki summit where he infamously sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence when asked about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

A look back at Trump’s admiration for Putin (and for himself):

Speaking on the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show in February 2022, Trump described Putin’s tactic of recognizing two self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine and sending Russian troops to the regions under the guise of “peacekeeping operations” as “genius” and “very savvy.”

Trump doubled down on his praise of the Russian president, telling a crowd at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida that Putin was “pretty smart” as he had “taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions” just as the invasion of Ukraine was being carried out.

Trump has also repeatedly claimed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would never have happened if he was still president, and would be able to end it now if he was in office.

“My personality kept us out of war,” Trump said at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s annual meeting in Salem on Saturday, January 28…”And I told you before, [it] would have never happened with Russia. Putin would have never ever gone in. And even now I could solve that in 24 hours. It’s so horrible what happened. Those cities are demolished now.”

You can read much more here.

How is this not traitorous? And this guy wants to become the next President of the United States…

–Dana

119 Responses to “Donald Trump Again Chooses Russia’s President Putin Over U.S. Intelligence”

  1. He doesn’t deserve to be the leader of the free world.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. He doesn’t deserve to be a U.S. resident.

    nk (bb1548)

  3. No, I did not leave out the “P”. I meant r-e-s-i-d-e-n-t.

    nk (bb1548)

  4. Ummm…

    Have you seen the US’s intelligence agencies recent track record?

    “And this guy wants to become the next President of the United States…”

    Sounds good to me given Brandon’s (mis)administration.

    Please, how were things WORSE during Trump’s tenure?

    alanstorm (c98bb8)

  5. 18 uSC 115.2382:

    Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

    Trump has done both.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  6. Please, how were things WORSE during Trump’s tenure?

    I obviously can’t tell you because you LIKED all the terrible things from this traitorous, racist, pocket-stuffing president.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  7. I wonder, though, if quoting Trump’s screeds from “Truth” Social doesn’t play into his hands. Don’t feed the troll.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  8. And 30% of the GOP still thinks there’s no problem with Trump choosing a murderous dictator over his own intelligence agency….they will still choose Trump over the field. I’m with nk, send him to Russia. Trump seems far more comfortable with their system of government.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  9. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 10:33 am

    LOL!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  10. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 10:33 am

    Longer answer:

    The First Amendment clearly protects Trump’s statements. Any treason conviction for giving “aid and comfort to the enemy” would require specific overt acts (see Haupt v. United States, 330 U.S. 631 (1947) for what “aid and comfort” really looks like). Even John Walker Lindh wasn’t charged with treason after engaging in combat against American forces in Afghanistan.

    Once the US engages in direct combat with Russia you might have a case, though the First Amendment would still apply.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  11. As comment 4 demonstrates, there remain untold numbers of Americans who remain willfully blind, deaf, and dumb to who and what Trump is.

    While I understand, and even to a small degree agree with 7, I think the way to expose the risk a vote for Trump represents is by bringing to light everything he says. In this case, we are not talking about anything less than a traitorous statement. That alone should disqualify him from the presidency.

    Dana (70df42)

  12. #11

    The only thing that puts Trump beyond the pale with a certain class of the MAGA set is his support for the development of the COVID vaccine.

    We have spent the last 8-9 years listening to certain folks make with the gaslight on Trump’s support for Putin. They’ll keep doing it, no matter what their hero says.

    As for #7’s thought — I get the point. But people do need to be confronted with the fact — Trump takes the word of a genocidal dictator over the word of his own government. That’s more than the usual thuggishness. In wartime, that sentiment would land him in jail.

    Appalled (c737dc)

  13. Typical Trump. Again, interpreting it charitably as possible, I’d say Trump is intending to convey Comey and the rest are worse snakes than Putin because Putin doesn’t sanctimoniously pretend not to be a snake. I remember what Dick Cheney said when asked about George W. Bush looking into Putin’s eyes and seeing his soul. I think it was Cheney that said he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw KBG. For example: I’d much rather deal with one famously well known Russian nationalist serial killer assassin than a bunch of them draped in sanctimony inside an institution that is held by DC to be beyond reproach. (Although by definition anything held by DC to be beyond reproach obviously cannot be.)

    steveg (d9cc02)

  14. My point in using GWB was because people excoriated Bush for the text. I just figured maybe Bush saw a black soul, a tortured soul, an icy soul, a soul in a desert, a soul that looked like a rorschach blot etc but wasn’t trying to tell us he’d looked into Putin’s soul and saw cherubs and puppies

    steveg (d9cc02)

  15. GWB saw nothing-Putin has no soul.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  16. ‘As history demonstrates, there remain untold numbers of Americans who remain willfully blind, deaf, and dumb to who and what Richard Nixon was…’ And the The Big Dick was elected POTUS– twice.

    The Lyndon Johnson tapes: Richard Nixon’s ‘treason’
    https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21768668

    George Will Confirms Nixon’s Vietnam Treason
    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/08/12/george-will-confirms-nixons-vietnam-treason

    DCSCA (1aa216)

  17. Glenn Kessler

    So….did Trump forget he walked back his comments in Helsinki….or has he finally admitted that he did not misspeak at all?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  18. Trump has done both.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 10:33 am

    For about the hundredth time, Kevin, no, he hasn’t. Colloquially, sure, but legally no. So please stop it. It only undermines the legitimacy of charges for the numerous crimes he did commit to accuse him of ones he clearly didn’t.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  19. naturally, the focus is on what Trump said instead of NeverTrump Russia Collusion

    yeah, Putin is actually worse than our intelligence services — Congratulations

    JF (3ff670)

  20. naturally, the focus is on what Trump said…..

    Well, he is running for President. He should be accountable for what he says.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  21. I remember when Trumps Nationalism!! was a huge concern but wasn’t aware it was USSR Nationalism. I remember when Trumps Isolationism!! was a huge concern, but was unaware that was so Putin could bring back the USSR. I remember when Trump scorched the Germans for low GDP defense spending and for relying on Putin for natural gas but was unaware it was reverse psychology, knowing that Germany would mulishly oppose any Trumpiness. I remember Trump ravaging NATO allies for not carrying their load and for being too reliant on the US “arsenal of democracy” appearing dangerously weak in front of an unnamed, vague, possibly ethereal geopolitical foe somewhere near maybe to Europe? Europeans reacted with mocking and offense.

    steveg (d9cc02)

  22. In this case, we are not talking about anything less than a traitorous statement. That alone should disqualify him from the presidency.

    Why this one and not others? I think ignoring Trump is a better plan, and the one he would least want.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  23. Donald Trump is merely trying to justify himself. He knows better. Notice, by the way, that Trump is not even saying that Putin was more trustworthy but that his “instinct” “at the time” was that there were
    really bad people” (at the FBI.) At the end of his Truth Social “truth” he doesn’t say that his answer was correct, but asks people what they would choose.

    As for what he said in 2018, he may have wanted not to disturb relations with Russia, interpreting it charitably as possible, t pick up a phrase from steveg (it also sort of helped him with his supporters.)

    Of course Russia meddled in the 2016 election, with the Wikileaks leak, if nothing else. Trump was saying maybe it wasn’t Russia. Now the top leadership of the FBI was unreliable, but you didn’t need them to conclude that Russia was responsible for the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s GMail account.

    I don’t think Trump has yet fully conceded that it was Russia (although he said when being badgered about this at a press conference in July 2016 “Russia, if you’re listening maybe you can find the Hillary Clinton emails (which everyone knew Hillary said she had destroyed but some could interpret as meaning maybe they could leak them if they had obtained them before)

    Nobody knew at the time that some of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails were stored on Anthony Weiner’s computer (why else would they be there) , nor that there would come a legal way for the FBI to look through them (but you could have guessed they would avoid them being seen by
    human eyes)

    In Congressional testimony, James Comey later said that the emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer had been sent to him by Huma Abendin to be printed, and over the weekend had to backtrack, and the next thing you knew, James Comey had been fired. It turned out, however, not to be the grounds Trump used, and Trump didn’t have the wit or the instinct to seize upon this and switch grounds.

    Trump had laid a plan under which he fired Comey for actions that Democrats had criticized, namely expressing opinions on the Hillary Clinton case or causing the public to know that the investigation had been re-opened (but he had made a promise which he thought he would never come to pass – that if the investigation was re-opened, he would tell Congress, and he did and Republicans in Congres made it public)

    In response to Trump firing Comey, his deputy, Andrew McCabe opened a criminal investigation into Donald Trump on the grounds it might have been an attempt to cover up something.. Rod Rosenstein felt he could not allow this to stand, but he didn’t want to close it himself and so he first attempted to persuade Trump to appoint Mueller as the new head of the FBI, and failing that, appointed Mueller a special counsel. In either case, McCabe would not be running that investigation, and someone respected by Democrats and also regarded well by Republicans would.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  24. For about the hundredth time, Kevin, no, he hasn’t. Colloquially, sure, but legally no.

    The man sent a mob to kill Congressmen. He did so in public. That’s treason.

    He adheres to Putin’s Russia, by his own words, and gives them aid and comfort. You say it is only speech, but there ARE limitations to speech. But whatever. You’d let him off on a technicality, but he’s still a effing traitor.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  25. I find it kind of funny that people who call renting a hotel room an “emolument” think that siccing a mob on the Vice President isn’t a crime.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  26. But Trump did not sic a mob on the Vice President. He merely tried to excuse it.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  27. It only undermines the legitimacy of charges for the numerous crimes he did commit to accuse him of ones he clearly didn’t.

    You mean like accusing someone of “theft of government property” for stealing an envelope? Frankly, I see most of the petty charges that are being levied as the real problem. Nobody who is not a lawyer gives two f**ks about whether he obstructed justice, or spent campaign money to pay off campaign blackmail, or deducted his used underwear on his taxes.

    What they care about is J6, and Trump’s part in it. Maybe it was only incitement (a law that criminalizes speech), or maybe he intended an insurrection. Or maybe he intended for the mob to kill government officials as part of a coup. Charge it all and let the court sort it out.

    Or is you argument that an attempted coup is not treason?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  28. The man sent a mob to kill Congressmen. He did so in public. That’s treason.

    We’ll see if he charged with treason, insurrection, or sedition. I doubt he will be charged with anything related to January 6th.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  29. But Trump did not sic a mob on the Vice President. He merely tried to excuse it.

    No, he just told the mob just how disappointed he was in Pence and how he was betrayed. He never expected them to take that seriously, and “hang Mike Pence” was just kind of a cheer.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  30. I doubt he will be charged with anything related to January 6th.

    Then what was that Committee doing? What was the second impeachment about? Do you think that the first impeachment had more weight?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  31. Trump’s worst treason, however, is in intentionally destabilizing the US electoral system, striking at the very core of the Republic. The only questions is whether he did this for himself, for Putin, or maybe both are true.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  32. ………Nobody who is not a lawyer gives two f**ks about whether he obstructed justice, or spent campaign money to pay off campaign blackmail, or deducted his used underwear on his taxes.

    What they care about is J6, and Trump’s part in it. Maybe it was only incitement (a law that criminalizes speech), or maybe he intended an insurrection. Or maybe he intended for the mob to kill government officials as part of a coup. Charge it all and let the court sort it out.

    It would be easier to prove whether Trump obstructed justice (or the Electoral College) or spent campaign money to pay off campaign blackmail (actually he is accused in NY of reporting the Stormy Daniels payoff as business expense (legal fees to Michael Cohen)) than proving he committed insurrection or sedition, let alone treason. It like how they got Al Capone-despite his many crimes and murders, he was nailed for tax evasion.

    And you correct, an attempted coup is not treason.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. He did it for himself, but maybe because of free advice coming ultimately from Vladimir Putin.

    But he didn’t do all that Putin (?) wanted him to do. Mike Flynn wanted him to declare martial law.

    Putin didn’t understand the United States political system. Maybe only someone as unfamiliar with the United States as a Russian could conceive that storming the Capitol would do any good for Trump. (it may have worked for Yeltsin in 1993 but the two countries weren’t identical)

    And it didn’t do anything, except wreak destruction, in Brazil, either, two years later.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  34. 29. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 2:01 pm

    No, he just told the mob just how disappointed he was in Pence and how he was betrayed. He never expected them to take that seriously, and “hang Mike Pence” was just kind of a cheer.

    Trump’s tweet came after the “hang Mike Pence” chants were heard. He was trying to justify that, because he still thought the crowd could help him.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  35. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 1:49 pm

    The man sent a mob to kill Congressmen. He did so in public.

    No he didn’t send a crowd to kill Congressmen, and the best proof of that is that he wanted to be there himself. (Something brought out by the Jan 6 committee)

    In the second impeachment he was accused of LYING about being there(wanting to be there) but the Jan 6 committee proved he was telling the truth. Somehow they twisted the new version of the truth (which really was true) to also be bad for Trump.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  36. Then what was that Committee doing? What was the second impeachment about? Do you think that the first impeachment had more weight?

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 2:02 pm

    The J6 Committee was created to establish a record of what happened between November 3, 2020 and January 6, 2021. The Trump criminal referrals (obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the government, making knowingly and willfully materially false statements to the federal government, and inciting or assisting an insurrection) were the icing on the cake. However, they have no legal force themselves, the DOJ needs to act upon them.

    I thought the first impeachment was the more consequential, but both were doomed to fail. Unfortunately, the House managers for the second impeachment didn’t have the volumes of evidence that the J6 Committee had developed. Since it was conducted one week before his term ended, it seemed like a waste of time.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/31/2023 @ 2:11 pm

    o r spent campaign money to pay off campaign blackmail

    It might have been an illegal campaign loan by Michael Cohen, because from his point of view of view the only motive would have been to help Trump get elected, but from Trump’s point of view it was (also) a personal expense and Trump could have been in trouble had he routed the money through the campaign. This angle apparently has been dropped and it would be only a federal offense.

    (actually he is accused in NY of reporting the Stormy Daniels payoff as business expense (legal fees to Michael Cohen)

    Trump wanted to write a personal check, and it was Michael Cohen and others who insisted on disguising it. And he didn’t work out the details.

    And it was legal from Michael Cohen’s point of view because a lawyer does not have to be truthful in what he writes on billing statements so long as the client understands.

    It was not legal for the Trump Organization because this was not a business expense for the company but a personal expenditure on the part of Donald Trump. But they could argue that a lawyer can charge what he wants and if the client agrees it is all legal. Who cares if he agrees because he wants to overpay him or pay him for nothing?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  38. Please, how were things WORSE during Trump’s tenure?

    alanstorm (c98bb8) — 1/31/2023 @ 10:20 am

    If you can’t point to anything that was worse under Trump (not policy, but big picture), then I suspect you are a blind partisan who fell in love with the man.

    Once you fall in love, you’ll overlook all kinds of things.

    norcal (862cdb)

  39. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/31/2023 @ 2:27 pm

    Since it [the second impeachment] was conducted one week before his term ended, it seemed like a waste of time.

    But it could have barred Trump from running for office again.

    Except they never seriously tried to make it come off.

    It could have helped to be more accurate and truthful and drop this incitement business.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  40. The second impeachment in fact was tried after Trump left office. The only practical effect could be to bar him from office.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  41. It might have been an illegal campaign loan by Michael Cohen, because from his point of view of view the only motive would have been to help Trump get elected, but from Trump’s point of view it was (also) a personal expense and Trump could have been in trouble had he routed the money through the campaign. This angle apparently has been dropped and it would be only a federal offense.

    The statute of limitations has passed on campaign finance violations, which is why the Manhattan DA (Bragg) is pursuing the illegal business expense angle against The Trump Organization.

    The district attorney for Manhattan has reportedly empaneled a special grand jury that is considering whether the Stormy Daniels payments involved a legal violation on the part of the Trump Organization.
    ……..
    …….(T)he repayments to Cohen were identified as “legal expenses,” the New York Times reports, could open up the company to charges of falsifying business records, a misdemeanor. If, however, that falsification was in service of covering up another crime, it could lead to felony charges.

    Here, too, there’s a statute of limitations in play — again, five years. Trump has mostly been outside the state for the intervening period, though, which could allow prosecutors to extend that limit for another five years.

    The other, possibly trickier hurdle is the idea that the charges could be upgraded to a felony. The Times suggests that the other crime that the allegedly falsified records were meant to hide was a violation of “a New York State election law.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  42. Since it [the second impeachment] was conducted one week before his term ended, it seemed like a waste of time.

    But it could have barred Trump from running for office again.

    It was a waste of time because there was no chance of conviction, let alone a bar to office (which would have required a separate vote).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  43. The man sent a mob to kill Congressmen. He did so in public. That’s treason.

    No. It’s not. It’s just not. Words in criminal statutes don’t mean what you want them to mean. They mean what courts have adjudicated them to mean. Sending a mob to kill Congressmen (assuming that’s what he did) can be any number of crimes. But absent more evidence, it’s not treason.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  44. He adheres to Putin’s Russia, by his own words, and gives them aid and comfort.

    And Russia, as malevolent and opposed as it is to our interests, is not our enemy under the Treason statute. We’ve been over this too. Please don’t make me re-post links I’ve shown you before. You wouldn’t like them any more the second time.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  45. I find it kind of funny that people who call renting a hotel room an “emolument” think that siccing a mob on the Vice President isn’t a crime.

    Is that directed that at me? Because I’ve neither said nor believe either of those things.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  46. Frankly, I see most of the petty charges that are being levied as the real problem. Nobody who is not a lawyer gives two f**ks about whether he obstructed justice, or spent campaign money to pay off campaign blackmail, or deducted his used underwear on his taxes.

    I’m sorry that the crimes Trump provably committed aren’t the ones you’d like him to be charged with.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  47. What they care about is J6, and Trump’s part in it. Maybe it was only incitement (a law that criminalizes speech), or maybe he intended an insurrection. Or maybe he intended for the mob to kill government officials as part of a coup. Charge it all and let the court sort it out.

    The day it’s acceptable to charge Trump with crimes, based not on a dispassionate assessment of the law and facts, but on what would be popular, is the day we’ve descended into populist despotism.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  48. Or is you argument that an attempted coup is not treason?

    That’s right, Kevin. Unless it independently satisfies the elements of the treason statute, an attempted coup is not treason. Committing one serious crime doesn’t make one guilty of a different serious crime just because.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  49. On the US intelligence agencies recent track record: As far as I can tell from open sources, they’ve done an excellent job in Ukraine, warning Ukraine before the invasion and providing considerable tactical intelligence since then.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  50. They also warned Russia, and told China to tell Russia that they knew.

    But Russia did not take the Battle of Tannenberg to heart.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  51. I think the way to expose the risk a vote for Trump represents is by bringing to light everything he says.

    Everything:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpwkdmwui3k

    Kicking freeloading NATO ass and taking names.

    DCSCA (617b91)

  52. lurker (cd7cd4) — 1/31/2023 @ 3:07 pm

    The day it’s acceptable to charge Trump with crimes, based not on a dispassionate assessment of the law and facts, but on what would be popular, is the day we’ve descended into populist despotism.

    They’ve done that already with the 5 Memphis policemen – with identical charges.

    This cannot be based on a dispassionate assessment of the law and facts.

    But it doesn’t mean all fails, and even in cases like that there is still jury trials, and they have not been denied bail.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  53. And you correct, an attempted coup is not treason.

    Says the Appellate Court of Rip. Really the only case on point is Burr’s, and that hinged on there not being two eyewitnesses to an overt act. There are plenty of people who saw and heard Trump tell his mob to go down to the Capitol and “fight.” Is that an overt act? I guess people might differ, but that’s really for a jury to decide.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  54. A successful coup, however, is never treason.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  55. 41.

    The statute of limitations has passed on campaign finance violations, which is why the Manhattan DA (Bragg) is pursuing the illegal business expense angle against The Trump Organization

    I think amore fundamental reason would be that that is not a state crime. Are the possible campaign finance violations by George Santos, New York State crimes?

    Santos, by the way, met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday and announced today that he is leaving his committees (until issues concerning him are resolved)

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/31/politics/george-santos-committee-assignments/index.html

    Santos later told reporters the choice to step back from his committee posts was his.

    “Nobody tells me to do anything,” Santos said. “I made that decision on my own that I thought best represented in the interest of the voters.”

    House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters that Santos will “have a voice here in Congress, and until he answers all those questions, then at that time he’ll be able to be seated on committees.”

    “I met with George Santos yesterday and I think it was an appropriate decision that, until he can clear everything up, he’s off the committee’s right now,” McCarthy told reporters.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  56. Faced with a series of softball questions on One America News, Santos allowed that he was wrong to have lied about his education, saying, “It was a bad decision, poor judgment. I felt the need to do it because I felt that without a diploma, I’d be looked down on and ‘less-than’ the other people.”

    “I’ve learned my lesson,” Santos added, “and now I can guarantee you that from now on, anything and everything is going to be above board. It’s largely always been above board, I’m just now going to go the extra step to double check, cross reference, everything.”

    OAN didn’t ask him about anything that had criminal implications.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  57. The day it’s acceptable to charge Trump with crimes, based not on a dispassionate assessment of the law and facts, but on what would be popular, is the day we’ve descended into populist despotism.

    Where have you been? Jefferson had Burr charged with treason with no real evidence. Iva Toguri was convicted of treason due to public sentiment, only to be pardoned decades later. The Rodney King police were acquitted before they were convicted, causing a riot that forced federal charges.

    It happens all the time. Usually to guilty people.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  58. @15. GWB saw nothing-Putin has no soul.

    ROFLMAOPIP: “I found him [Putin] to be very straightforward– and trustworthy. I was able to get a sense of his soul. I wouldn’t have invited him to my ranch if I didn’t trust him.”– GW Bush.

    _________

    Everyone should WATCH THIS:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCCTf17ZiIs&t=26s

    Twenty Years of Putin Playing the West in 3 Minutes | NYT Opinion

    ‘Vladimir Putin, especially these days, is widely reviled. To some he’s a war criminal, to others he’s a dictator, and to many he’s simply a very bad man. But it wasn’t always this way.

    We trawled through video footage from 20 years of international summits, speeches and news conferences and discovered a man who once basked in high regard: the one who went fishing and dancing with George W. Bush, who fell into warm embraces with Tony Blair and whose jokes had NATO’s leaders rolling on the floor with laughter. As the Opinion Video above starkly reveals, Western leaders once considered Vladimir Putin not just an ally, but also, apparently, a friend.

    Even if they were simply giving him the benefit of the doubt for political purposes, they were taking a naïve gamble of historic proportions: Be nice to Putin, and maybe he would be nice back. It’s true that this brand of personal diplomacy scored some significant security victories. Arms control treaties were signed, and Putin allowed U.S. jets to strike the Taliban from bases in Russia’s satellite states.

    But as Russian tanks rolled into Georgia in August 2008, Bush learned that his eight-year friendship with the Russian leader had earned him zero leverage over Putin’s territorial ambitions. While it’s debatable whether Western governments could have foreseen the bloody horizon of Putin’s vision, let’s now be clear about one thing: Personal diplomacy doesn’t work when you need it most.’ – NYT.com

    Trump is correct, whether you like it or not; Putin was smart suckering, outsmarting multiple Western leaders and playing the willing enablers for two decades… and getting his thrills entertaining the chumps singing ‘Blueberry Hill’…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbkGkr0iceI

    DCSCA (617b91)

  59. Unless it independently satisfies the elements of the treason statute, an attempted coup is not treason.

    And nothing that Trump did amounts to an overt act? I think that Ms Cheney would disagree.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  60. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 3:52 pm

    A successful coup, however, is never treason.

    https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/john_harington_173129

    Treason doth never prosper.
    What’s the reason?
    For if it prosper,
    None dare call it Treason.

    Sir John Harington (4 August 1561 – 20 November 1612)

    Quote revived by a book title by John A. Stormer written for the 1964 presidential election. You could find this among used paperback books years later.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  61. It was a waste of time because there was no chance of conviction

    From what Patterico has posted, I’d say that if McConnell had voted to convict, he would have been convicted.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  62. I’m sorry that the crimes Trump provably committed aren’t the ones you’d like him to be charged with….

    The day it’s acceptable to charge Trump with crimes, based not on a dispassionate assessment of the law and facts, but on what would be popular, is the day we’ve descended into populist despotism.

    I’m sorry that you are so naive. When you charge a political figure like Trump, and you do not want him to be a martyr, you have to charge crimes that resonate with his supporters. If you jail him with “bullsh*t” charges, you just make him stronger and you weaken they system you attempt to defend.

    Cheney understands this. You did not see her committee focus on anything other than his insurrection. Maybe it technically wasn’t treason (I disagree), but sedition, insurrection and incitement to riot are all available none the less.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  63. Quote revived by a book title by John A. Stormer

    Yes, I have a copy (as you say they were not hard to find) along with “The Conscience of a Conservative” (which was rather harder to come by).

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  64. 53. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 3:51 pm

    There are plenty of people who saw and heard Trump tell his mob to go down to the Capitol and “fight.” Is that an overt act?

    It wasn’t incitement to commit any act of violence!

    Trump’s defenders quite destroyed that line of argument by creating a montage of many Democrats, including Senators trying the case, urging people to “fight.”

    Besides which, Trump wanted to be there in person. The Jan 6 committee brought that out. It’s not consistent with him wanting them to storm the Capitol. During the impeachment trial, the House managers said that when Trump said “I will be there” he was lying.

    TYhere were other accusations where words in the speech were interpreted to mean things. But his speech had nothing to do with what happened – it was all planned before – and it did not carry the meaning some peole attempted to put on it.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  65. And yet, the people there went down and did those things. Trump speaks to his people in code, and they know what he means and what he doesn’t mean. Again, this is for a jury to sort out.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  66. 42. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/31/2023 @ 2:53 pm

    a bar to office (which would have required a separate vote).

    For which, by all accounts, you would only have needed a simple majority. (in contrast to the 2/3 needed for conviction itself.)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  67. Really the only case on point is Burr’s, and that hinged on there not being two eyewitnesses to an overt act. There are plenty of people who saw and heard Trump tell his mob to go down to the Capitol and “fight.” Is that an overt act? I guess people might differ, but that’s really for a jury to decide.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 3:51 pm

    Burr was charged with treason for leading a small group of armed men into the southeast United States to wage a rebellion that would lead to several states leaving the Union.

    Source

    There is no evidence that Trump conspired with Russia. As you state, “There are plenty of people who saw and heard Trump tell his mob to go down to the Capitol and “fight.” Is that an overt act?” which sounds more like sedition (conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state) or insurrection (an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government) rather than treason. Trump’s speech didn’t betray the United States to Russia (or any other foreign power).

    A treason charge will never get before a jury.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  68. For which, by all accounts, you would only have needed a simple majority. (in contrast to the 2/3 needed for conviction itself.)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 1/31/2023 @ 4:27 pm

    Getting that two-thirds wasn’t going to happen.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  69. Really the only case on point is Burr’s…….

    There have been a number of persons convicted of treason by the US, just not under your definition.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  70. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 4:21 pm

    And yet, the people there went down and did those things. Trump speaks to his people in code, and they know what he means and what he doesn’t mean. Again, this is for a jury to sort out.

    Not most of these people, and those who did were egged on by people at the scene, and what code that nobody understood?

    This deflects responsibility from those who planned it, and from those who ignored or even altered the intelligence.

    https://patterico.com/2021/06/08/senate-report-on-jan-6-events-at-u-s-capitol-widespread-and-unacceptable-breakdowns-in-intelligence-gathering

    Released Tuesday, the report shows how an intelligence arm of the Capitol Police disseminated security assessments labeling the threat of violence “remote” to “improbable,” even as authorities collected evidence showing that pro-Trump activists intended to bring weapons to the demonstration and “storm the Capitol.”

    I later looked at some of that report.

    Pay careful attention to page 45.

    But as for Trump: This was not something that Trump expected to happen. He had other plans for stalling the proceedings. None of which was ever mentioned in all the January 6 committee proceedings except obliquely.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  71. The assessment changed after January 3. Who did that?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  72. When you charge a political figure like Trump, and you do not want him to be a martyr, you have to charge crimes that resonate with his supporters. If you jail him with “bullsh*t” charges, you just make him stronger and you weaken they system you attempt to defend.

    And charging Trump with treason is just such a BS charge that would turn him into martyr.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  73. 68. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/31/2023 @ 4:29 pm

    Getting that two-thirds wasn’t going to happen.

    Not by the time the trial took place.

    It might have required working with Mitch McConnell. I don’t know.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  74. Not by the time the trial took place.

    It might have required working with Mitch McConnell. I don’t know.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 1/31/2023 @ 4:37 pm

    Given that McConnell voted to acquit after the second impeachment I don’t see why he would be helpful.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  75. I won’t say that Trump is a traitor, because treason has a Constitutional meaning, but he betrayed America by choosing to believe a hostile foreign actor over our intelligence community that took a similar pledge to defend and uphold our Constitution as Trump.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  76. Just like Trump betrayed America when he tried to work a real estate deal with Putin while running for president, putting his personal greed above his country.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  77. “Our” intelligence community is pledged to defend the wants and desires of the MIC. Guess you’ve never read the Pentagon Papers and understood why ‘the community’ wanted them kept under wraps.

    DCSCA (10cb18)

  78. It happens all the time. Usually to guilty people.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 4:00 pm

    “It happens all the time” isn’t a principled argument. Dirty Harry was a movie. When you abandon principles for the guilty, you can be sure it will be used against the innocent.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  79. When you charge a political figure like Trump, and you do not want him to be a martyr, you have to charge crimes that resonate with his supporters. If you jail him with “bullsh*t” charges, you just make him stronger and you weaken they system you attempt to defend.

    I just explained why I reject that realpolitik. But not only is burning the village to save the village wrong, it doesn’t work. I don’t know where you got the idea that Trump supporters would be more amenable to a treason prosecution than to obstruction of justice, but I’ve seen no evidence of it. Whenever a NeverTrumper advocates for baseless, implausible charges like treason, it only feeds Trump’s persecution complex and his supporters’ #WitchHunt narrative.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  80. I think amore fundamental reason would be that that is not a state crime. Are the possible campaign finance violations by George Santos, New York State crimes?

    They could be, I am not familiar with the NY State Election code. The Santos campaign violations are Federal violation because he was running for Congress.

    Rip Murdock (800c1a)

  81. The Santos campaign violations are Federal violation because he was running for Congress.

    They also involve contributions to and expenditures by himself and his campaign committee.

    Rip Murdock (800c1a)

  82. When you charge a political figure like Trump, and you do not want him to be a martyr, you have to charge crimes that resonate with his supporters.

    What possible criminal charge against Trump would “resonate” with TrumpWorld and not make him a martyr?

    Rip Murdock (800c1a)

  83. Trump has always been a propagandist, and propaganda, for Putin. He is our national disgrace and our international shame.

    An American who loves America wants to be proud of America. How can we be proud of having a lowlife slime like Trump in our list of Presidents? How can we be proud of having elected him? How can we be proud of still having him around?

    nk (bb1548)

  84. And yet, the people there went down and did those things. Trump speaks to his people in code, and they know what he means and what he doesn’t mean. Again, this is for a jury to sort out.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/31/2023 @ 4:21 pm

    You sound like a radical leftist screeching about codes and racism.

    Good way to preach hate and further divide people. Don’t become what you claim to deride

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  85. An American who loves America wants to be proud of America.

    LOL

    ‘What America needs are leaders to match the greatness of her people.” – Richard Nixon, August, 1968

    ‘I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.’ – Richard Nixon, August, 1974

    DCSCA (af0241)

  86. Supreme court chief justice roberts wife under investigation for ethics violations.

    asset (58e79d)

  87. Jim Miller. Trump was clearly talking about the FBI, but yes the CIA and the DIA have done well

    steveg (4c123c)

  88. “It happens all the time” isn’t a principled argument. Dirty Harry was a movie. When you abandon principles for the guilty, you can be sure it will be used against the innocent.

    Sure: “Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

    Of course Thomas More was such a man of principle that he ardently burned heretics for the Church, so he indeed gave the Devil free run..

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  89. I’m proud American, but LA’s homeless camps are still shi-holes and the politicians that steal all the money, spending $500K per unit are still crooks. Cops in Memphis beat a guy to death, cops in Fullerton beat a mentally ill guy to death, cops in Long Beach shot to death a drunk guy sitting on his friends patio holding a garden nozzle. To be a proud American I have to look past a lot of BS. I am still proud Americans elected a guy with no political experience as President. I’m tired of what we get from the political grooming process where people run for school board, work for non profits doing f-all, climbing the political ladder. The Trump experiment didn’t exactly shower my wonderful country in glory but at least he beat the political power family who sold the influence of the White House via WH sleepovers and the office of the Senate and Sec State via a fraud of a non profit foundation. Was it worth it to me? Yeah. To watch the Germans tut tut Trump when he told them Russia was going to bite them in the ass? Torpedoing the wannabe Clinton political dynasty? Sure. Even Trumps so called treasonous moments were thankfully obvious compared to the behind closed doors treason of selling out to China and Russia for a few millions here and there. Worst people in US government are the smart hard working industrious but soul-less people who make it to the top and think they are better than everyone.

    steveg (4c123c)

  90. Honestly, that’s understandable, Steve.

    Dustin (a87c64)

  91. Supreme court chief justice roberts wife under investigation for ethics violations.

    Leftist find reason to say that women should be barefoot in the kitchen.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  92. Wednesday WORDLE in 3, same starting words.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  93. Supreme court chief justice roberts wife under investigation for ethics violations.

    No, they are not.

    nk (bb1548)

  94. Honestly, that’s understandable, Steve.

    From a toddler going through the terrible twos.

    nk (bb1548)

  95. Lurker,

    I don’t think busting Trump for paying off Stormy Daniels or impenetrable financial crimes really provides the social sanitation we need. What Trump did wrong against this Democracy was stay in power after being voted out. I really prefer that the Georgia case be the one that gets him, because it involves an element of that plot.

    I agree that just arresting Trump for “treason” is awfully banana republic. However, in actual wartime (like WWI or WWII), we have a habit of overlooking these niceties and throwing people that in jail or banning them from communicating.

    Appalled (4a3eac)

  96. I meant “trying to stay in power” and doing so by dodgy means.

    Appalled (4a3eac)

  97. @75

    I won’t say that Trump is a traitor, because treason has a Constitutional meaning, but he betrayed America by choosing to believe a hostile foreign actor over our intelligence community that took a similar pledge to defend and uphold our Constitution as Trump.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/31/2023 @ 5:24 pm

    True.

    Congress missed their window honestly. They should’ve on 1/7, initiated impeachment hearings for simply ‘dereliction of duty’ (particularly for his hesitancy to sending more police/troops to pacify the riot) and avoid trying to apply criminal penal codes. By the end of the week, the should’ve been able to impeach/remove Trump from office.

    House Democrats waited too long, and imo, lost their window of opportunity because there were naked partisan reasons to tarnish every GOPers and Trump voters.

    whembly (d116f3)

  98. Mr. “It’s irresponsible” has his beach home searched

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/01/politics/fbi-searching-joe-biden-home-rehoboth/index.html

    JF (0eeb63)

  99. You are like the Bible’s Nathan, NJRob… among the clueless. Witness the excuses, the cover-ups and the lies.

    Colonel Haiku (4f159b)

  100. https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/31/the-astounding-saga-of-hamilton-68-illustrates-scope-of-americas-institutional-rot/

    Matt Taibbi’s Hamilton 68 should be on every news site and, especially the right, should be expressing outrage.

    This, here, is the sort of “collusion” that affected politics to the scale that the left accused of the right.

    There’s no way around this, other than legacy media used this outfit to push partisan misinformation designed to amplify Democrats and progressives.

    whembly (d116f3)

  101. Congress missed their window honestly. They should’ve on 1/7, initiated impeachment hearings for simply ‘dereliction of duty’ (particularly for his hesitancy to sending more police/troops to pacify the riot) and avoid trying to apply criminal penal codes. By the end of the week, the should’ve been able to impeach/remove Trump from office.

    House Democrats waited too long, and imo, lost their window of opportunity because there were naked partisan reasons to tarnish every GOPers and Trump voters.

    whembly (d116f3) — 2/1/2023 @ 7:28 am

    It was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who prevented a swift second impeachment trial.

    Minutes after the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump (on January 13, 2021), McConnell suggested in a statement that Trump’s Senate trial will not start before Jan. 19, the chamber’s next scheduled business day. It’s also the day before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated as president and about the time Democrats take over majority control of the Senate. The timetable essentially means McConnell is dropping the trial into Democrats’ laps.

    “There is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial” could end before Biden takes office, McConnell wrote. He said it will “best serve our nation” if the government spends the coming week “completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power” to Biden.
    ………
    The Senate is in recess but can be summoned to return for an emergency session if the two party leaders, McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agree. Schumer wanted an emergency meeting to hold the trial and remove Trump from office before his term expires, but a McConnell spokesman said GOP aides told Schumer’s office that McConnell would not agree.

    In any case, there is no evidence that two-thirds of the Senate would have voted to convict Trump no matter how fast the impeachment trial was held. Even McConnell voted against conviction.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  102. Supreme court chief justice roberts wife under investigation for ethics violations.

    asset (58e79d) — 1/31/2023 @ 8:30 pm

    No she’s not.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  103. Hence I’d argue House Democrats missed their window.

    By waiting too long, Trump and his allies had enough time and pressure to stave off removal.

    In addition, the House impeachment tried to use penal laws to remove Trump.

    Again, had they started the impeachment at 1/7 and pressured McConnel to start up the removal hearing on 1/8 or so for simply ‘dereliction of duty’, there’s a very good chance that removal would’ve been much closer, even if it ultimately failed.

    Congress can impeach POTUS for any reason… doesn’t have to be an act that breaks the law. Hence why, I argued that House Democrats either made an honest mistake in taking that strategy, or took a calculated gamble to maximize the GOP’s pain at the expense of having any shot of removing Trump. (I would argue the latter than the former).

    whembly (d116f3)

  104. Again, had they started the impeachment at 1/7 and pressured McConnel to start up the removal hearing on 1/8 or so for simply ‘dereliction of duty’, there’s a very good chance that removal would’ve been much closer, even if it ultimately failed.

    Since McConnell was opposed to a quick trial (and voted to acquit) I don’t think any pressure from the Democrats would have been effective. McConnell’s statement was pretty clear that he wasn’t going to agree to a special session.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  105. Here is a timeline of the second impeachment. Of course, it is all water under the bridge at this point.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  106. In addition, the House impeachment tried to use penal laws to remove Trump.

    The second impeachment resolution does not mention any “penal laws.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  107. The second impeachment was entirely in McConnell’s hands. I had thought that he lobbied for conviction, but Patterico has posted several times that several other GOP senators looked to McConnell for guidance and when he said he was voting NO, they followed his lead.

    Had he chosen to vote for conviction, Trump would have been convicted.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  108. Why would the Democrats want Trump out of politics? He is their biggest vote-getter, eviscerating the GOP of viable candidates and draining the blood of its small donors.

    Got you NFTs yet?

    nk (bb1548)

  109. Yeah, nk. This is the biggest reason there will be no federal indictment. The gift still gives.

    “But that would be wrong.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  110. @108

    The second impeachment resolution does not mention any “penal laws.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/1/2023 @ 9:23 am

    Yeah, it does in a weasel manner:

    “Incitement”

    whembly (d116f3)

  111. @109

    The second impeachment was entirely in McConnell’s hands. I had thought that he lobbied for conviction, but Patterico has posted several times that several other GOP senators looked to McConnell for guidance and when he said he was voting NO, they followed his lead.

    Had he chosen to vote for conviction, Trump would have been convicted.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/1/2023 @ 9:45 am

    Hence why I thought they waited too long, and was dumb to try the “incitement” argument.

    Just ding him for his horrid, slow reaction to the riot on that day. That, more than sufficed for removal imo.

    whembly (d116f3)

  112. Just ding him for his horrid, slow reaction to the riot on that day. That, more than sufficed for removal imo.

    whembly (d116f3) — 2/1/2023 @ 10:05 am

    I agree, but he still would have been acquitted.

    Rip Murdock (800c1a)

  113. @115 My point, Rip, was that McConnell (and other GOPers) were irate at Trump at the time. There was a window where a removal is “possible”, or at the very least, a VERY close chance as needing only 10 GOP Senators to vote for removal.

    The longer the decision it takes from 1/6, the less chance removal had.

    Removal for “dereliction of duty” had a chance simply because Trump had no defense for it. Whereas trying him for “incitement of insurrection” had legal definitions that gave Trump and his allies enough opening to argue the basis of such impeachments.

    Furthermore, I don’t think anyone would disagree with me with the notion that McConnell is a savvy political tactician, and had Democrats came to him with an offer he couldn’t refuse, he’d surely would’ve taken it. The question I had: Did Democrats offer him anything? Or did that simply try to shame him? knowwhatimean?

    That’s why, I think Democrats didn’t even try, and simply wanted to use this event to create an albatross around GOPers for partisan reasons.

    whembly (d116f3)

  114. I don’t think busting Trump for paying off Stormy Daniels or impenetrable financial crimes really provides the social sanitation we need. What Trump did wrong against this Democracy was stay in power after being voted out. I really prefer that the Georgia case be the one that gets him, because it involves an element of that plot.

    I agree that just arresting Trump for “treason” is awfully banana republic. However, in actual wartime (like WWI or WWII), we have a habit of overlooking these niceties and throwing people that in jail or banning them from communicating.

    Appalled (4a3eac) — 2/1/2023 @ 6:28 am

    Yeah, and it’s a terrible habit. Social sanitation is no excuse for corrupting criminal justice. Nobody would celebrate Trump’s incarceration more than I would, so if he committed provable crimes, charge him with those, but only those. If the malfeasance we want him locked up for isn’t provably criminal, change the law. Get him next time or not at all. Don’t put a thumb on the scale today to fix what we didn’t criminalize yesterday. Neutral justice is more important than punishing any single malefactor, Trump included.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  115. whembly (d116f3) — 2/1/2023 @ 10:49 am

    It’s all speculation at this point.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  116. Well consider today’s news–that Hunter’s lawyers and Hunter now acknowledge that the laptop was Hunter’s after all–they are threatening anyone who uses the info on the laptop with lawsuits and claims of “stolen property” “invasion of privacy” and all that jazz—and that “51 former Intelligence officials” said that the laptop was “Russian disinformation”.

    And in light of that fact, can anyone “trust the US intelligence community”. Trump just may have a point.

    Comanche Voter (a15ae2)


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