Trump as tragicomedy

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ochotona
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by ochotona » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:38 pm

technovelist wrote:
ochotona wrote:My understanding is the crime that is being looked for is obstruction of justice. Maybe the campaign contacts with non-US persons were legal, if they occurred, but one better not lie about them in an official interaction with authorities. The Martha Stewart effect.
But those crimes are the result, not the cause, of the investigation, as they would not have existed without the investigation.

So that doesn't answer the question that Maddy asked.
I agree with you in the abstract, obstruction charges, if levied, would be like a "secondary accident" spawned off by the investigation itself. One could argue in an alternative universe that if no one had ever investigated, no one would've had to "opportunity to lie" (if it happened... we don't know).

But America is the land of opportunity. We set up stings which give car thieves the opportunity to "steal" remotely controlled cars, and then get arrested. We give terrorists the opportunity to buy "bombs" from law enforcement, "detonate them" with cell phone codes and then get arrested.

I see the same principle at work here. Is it politically motivated? Without a doubt. Does that make an obstruction crime, if it occurred, any less of a crime? No. For me, the moral of the story is, don't conduct yourself and talk stupidly and catch yourself a case.
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by sophie » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:41 pm

I'm kinda with Maddy on this one. Mueller's investigation is way too open-ended - and to show that I'm not saying this due to a bias toward Trump I will also say that I hold the same opinion of Ken Starr's investigation into the Clintons.

Mueller's investigation started out as a probe of Russian "meddling" but has now evolved to an obstruction of justice case. That should never have happened, although the Flynn/Comey affair is certainly concerning and deserves to be investigated - but separately from the Russia investigation, and by another group.

The Russian meddling part has been conducted in such a way that it's not unreasonable for someone to conclude that it could be retitled "Investigate Trump because we want to impeach him and get rid of him because we don't like him." Regardless of how desirous that outcome may be, this is wrong-headed and frankly a dangerous precedent. Which was already, unfortunately, set by the Ken Starr investigation (at first going after Whitewater, then ending up with the salacious Monica Lewinsky affair).

Like Maddy, I don't think "meddling in the election" is specific enough to warrant a criminal investigation. You can't prosecute someone for an intention. They have to have acted upon it, before the law can get involved. So far, all we know is that some parties that probably included people from Russia (unclear if that means overseen by the government) hacked the DNC email server, and that one of those parties (unclear if Russian or not) then passed the info to Wikileaks. The content of the emails did the rest of the job, but as far as I know they were not altered in any way. To this has been added hints that this was done at the behest of the Trump campaign, but the evidence for this is circumstantial at best. An investigation into these facts was probably warranted, but when it came up against a dead end it should have stopped there.

Instead of closing as it should have, the investigation has shifted to Flynn/Comey. BTW I doubt Flynn will have anything of importance to say on the Russia probe, because if he did they'd have given him immunity to encourage him to talk. They have not.
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ochotona
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by ochotona » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:14 pm

sophie wrote:I'm kinda with Maddy on this one. Mueller's investigation is way too open-ended - and to show that I'm not saying this due to a bias toward Trump I will also say that I hold the same opinion of Ken Starr's investigation into the Clintons.
Maybe I just like the drama. I was cheering on Ken Starr, now I'm cheering on Mueller. You know who we have to blame for all this prosecutorial (over)reach? Nixon.
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by Maddy » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:50 pm

Russia-gate enthusiasts are thrilled over the guilty plea of President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador, but the case should alarm true civil libertarians.

What is arguably most disturbing about this case is that then-National Security Adviser Flynn was pushed into a perjury trap by Obama administration holdovers at the Justice Department who concocted an unorthodox legal rationale for subjecting Flynn to an FBI interrogation four days after he took office, testing Flynn’s recollection of the conversations while the FBI agents had transcripts of the calls intercepted by the National Security Agency.

In other words, the Justice Department wasn’t seeking information about what Flynn said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – the intelligence agencies already had that information. Instead, Flynn was being quizzed on his precise recollection of the conversations and nailed for lying when his recollections deviated from the transcripts.

For Americans who worry about how the pervasive surveillance powers of the U.S. government could be put to use criminalizing otherwise constitutionally protected speech and political associations, Flynn’s prosecution represents a troubling precedent.

Though Flynn clearly can be faulted for his judgment, he was, in a sense, a marked man the moment he accepted the job of national security adviser. In summer 2016, Democrats seethed over Flynn’s participation in chants at the Republican National Convention to “lock her [Hillary Clinton] up!”
The article goes on to recount, move by move, how the investigation itself was a set-up designed to manufacture a crime.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-0 ... mike-flynn
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by Desert » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:21 pm

Here's my summary:

The investigation was started to look into the Trump campaign conspiring with a foreign power (Russia) to influence the presidential election. It's well known that Russia did work to support Trump in the election; what's not known is whether the Trump campaign was involved. Comey was investigating that, and Trump asked him to give Flynn a break in the investigation. Comey did not, so Trump fired him. Now Flynn has agreed to cooperate with the investigation, and admits he lied to the FBI. Comey's firing required the obstruction of justice investigation. The two are obviously related, but not identical.

I don't think this is terribly complicated, on a conceptual level. But the devil is in the details, as always. I wish Mueller good luck and godspeed.
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by Mr Vacuum » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:51 pm

Maddy wrote: The article goes on to recount, move by move, how the investigation itself was a set-up designed to manufacture a crime.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-0 ... mike-flynn
Thanks for the link, Maddy. If Yates’s motivation was as the article describes and Flynn innocently flubbing the FBI’s quiz is all the evidence they had to go on, it is, as they write, very troubling as an example of what can be done to someone using surveillance. But what do you make of Flynn’s statement about his faith in God and needing to set things right and the legal analysis that says prosecutors don’t give a deal like his unless they get real dirt on someone higher up the chain?
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by technovelist » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:20 pm

Maddy wrote:
Russia-gate enthusiasts are thrilled over the guilty plea of President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador, but the case should alarm true civil libertarians.

What is arguably most disturbing about this case is that then-National Security Adviser Flynn was pushed into a perjury trap by Obama administration holdovers at the Justice Department who concocted an unorthodox legal rationale for subjecting Flynn to an FBI interrogation four days after he took office, testing Flynn’s recollection of the conversations while the FBI agents had transcripts of the calls intercepted by the National Security Agency.

In other words, the Justice Department wasn’t seeking information about what Flynn said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – the intelligence agencies already had that information. Instead, Flynn was being quizzed on his precise recollection of the conversations and nailed for lying when his recollections deviated from the transcripts.

For Americans who worry about how the pervasive surveillance powers of the U.S. government could be put to use criminalizing otherwise constitutionally protected speech and political associations, Flynn’s prosecution represents a troubling precedent.

Though Flynn clearly can be faulted for his judgment, he was, in a sense, a marked man the moment he accepted the job of national security adviser. In summer 2016, Democrats seethed over Flynn’s participation in chants at the Republican National Convention to “lock her [Hillary Clinton] up!”
The article goes on to recount, move by move, how the investigation itself was a set-up designed to manufacture a crime.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-0 ... mike-flynn
That's what the whole plan has been, from the initial move of getting Sessions to recuse himself.

As soon as I heard about that, I said "So that's how the deep state plans to bring Trump down."

The amazing thing is that they have found NOTHING that is likely to accomplish that task, and now with the smoking gun evidence about the bias of the "investigative" team, it looks like the whole scheme is falling apart. See http://www.breitbart.com/big-government ... ler-cover/
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by dualstow » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:02 am

Money laundering, I believe, is one of them. Isn’t it?
Gold has passed 1645/oz
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by Maddy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:51 am

Mr Vacuum wrote:
Maddy wrote: But what do you make of Flynn’s statement about his faith in God and needing to set things right and the legal analysis that says prosecutors don’t give a deal like his unless they get real dirt on someone higher up the chain?
Your guess is as good as mine. I would surmise from what's transpired to date that the same characters who appear to have set a perjury trap for Flynn are not beyond manufacturing evidence of even bigger and better crimes. Or maybe there's something in his personal life that he's being blackmailed with. Can anyone seriously doubt that, once targeted by these lawless sociopaths, you either do things their way or you're done?

This government is not what we thought it was.
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by technovelist » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:04 am

Maddy wrote:
Mr Vacuum wrote:
Maddy wrote: But what do you make of Flynn’s statement about his faith in God and needing to set things right and the legal analysis that says prosecutors don’t give a deal like his unless they get real dirt on someone higher up the chain?
Your guess is as good as mine. I would surmise from what's transpired to date that the same characters who appear to have set a perjury trap for Flynn are not beyond manufacturing evidence of even bigger and better crimes. Or maybe there's something in his personal life that he's being blackmailed with. Can anyone seriously doubt that, once targeted by these lawless sociopaths, you either do things their way or you're done?

This government is not what we thought it was.
It is what I thought it was. :-\
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by Maddy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:24 am

And if all this doesn't make your morning crazy enough, it seems Kim Jong Un is one of Time Magazine's nominees for Man of the Year. Even more bizarre is the fact that this stroke of utter genius could, standing alone, avert a worldwide nuclear crisis.
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Re: Trump as tragicomedy

Post by technovelist » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:51 pm

Maddy wrote:And if all this doesn't make your morning crazy enough, it seems Kim Jong Un is one of Time Magazine's nominees for Man of the Year. Even more bizarre is the fact that this stroke of utter genius could, standing alone, avert a worldwide nuclear crisis.
Hitler was Man of the Year too. Time explains that this doesn't mean the best person, just the most important person (or now, possibly thing or group).
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