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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#13781 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 08:55

Dr. Marcy Wheeler nails it by explaining:

Quote

Trump’s continued efforts to pursue policies — foreign and domestic — that personally benefit him don’t just amount to breathtaking corruption. But they provide foreign countries more and more leverage to use against Trump to limit his policy options. Every time Trump does something scandalous with a foreign leader — and he does it all … the … time — it means those foreign leaders can hold that over Trump going forward and in so doing, limit his negotiating position. So not only do Americans lose out on having a President who makes decisions based on how they benefit the country rather than himself personally, but they also get a far weaker President in the bargain, someone who — if he ever decided to prioritize American interests over his own — would have already traded away his bargaining chips to do so.

Through his actions thus far as President, Trump has guaranteed he cannot pursue policies that would benefit average Americans, and he has done so not just with Russia and Ukraine, and not just because of his executive incompetence.

There is an impact that Trump’s “collusion” and corruption have on everyday Americans, whether they wear pussy hats or MAGA caps, an impact that Democrats have permitted Republicans to obscure. Trump’s actions effectively rob Americans of the powerful executive on foreign policy issues that our Constitution very imperfectly sought to ensure, without stripping the weakened Trump of the tools he can wield to punish those who call him on his weakness.

Because he always self-deals, Trump has made himself an intolerably weak President, one who makes the US less secure at every step.


This is exactly what the counter-intelligence investigation McCabe started should have shown. Unfortunately, of maybe fortunately, we the people don't get to see the conclusions of CI investigations.
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#13782 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 09:33

Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe tweets:

“The massive White House coverup of Trump’s abuse of power vis-a-vis Ukraine & Biden, including evidence concealment, is now clearly documented. Bill Barr is up to his eyebrows in the criminal conspiracy. He’s Trump’s John Mitchell. Mitchell ended up in prison. It’s all unraveling.”

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#13783 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 10:06

A short-medium length summary of the timeline outlined in the complaint. I am missing out lots of details of meetings between Giuliani and various Ukraine officials that are important but probably of little interest to the majority of readers. Essentially there is an abuse of office - withholding military aid to create leverage; an improper act - involving a foreign government in a U.S. election; a cover-up - WHite House officials attempting to bury information and misusing a confidential computer system to do so; and a reference to additional, undisclosed acts - the fact that such cover-ups have occurred on other occasions. Pretty amazing stuff that needs to be taken seriously by all concerned and not just swept under the carpet along party-political lines:-

Quote

Starting in mid-May, I heard from multiple U.S. officials that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani's circumvention of national security decisionmaking processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between Kyiv and the President. These officials also told me:

- that State Department officials, including Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, had spoken with Mr. Giuliani in an attempt to "contain the damage" to U.S. national security; and

- that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland during this time period met with members of the new Ukrainian administration and, in addition to discussing policy matters, sought to help Ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the one hand, and from Mr. Giuliani on the other.

During this same timeframe [] the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to "play ball" on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani.

On 21 June, Mr. Giuliani tweeted: "New Pres of Ukraine still silent on investigation of Ukrainian interference in 2016 and alleged Biden bribery of Poroshenko. Time for leadership and investigate both if you want to purge how Ukraine was abused by Hillary and Clinton people."

On 18 July, an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official informed Departments and Agencies that the President "earlier that month" had issued instructions to suspend all U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. Neither OMB nor the NSC staff knew why this instruction had been issued. During interagency meetings on 23 July and 26 July, OMB officials again stated explicitly that the instruction to suspend this assistance had come directly from the President, but they still were unaware of a policy rationale. As of early August, I heard from U.S. officials that some Ukrainian officials were aware that U.S. aid might be in jeopardy


Early in the morning of 25 July, the President spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. [] the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia:

- initiate or continue an investigation into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;

- assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cyber security arm which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the networks in 2016; and

- meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem.


In the days following the phone call, [] senior White House officials had intervened to "lock down" all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced - as is customary - by the White House Situation Room. This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.

The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call. They told me that there was already a "discussion ongoing" with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials' retelling, that they had witnessed the President abuse his office for personal gain.

White House officials told me that they were "directed" by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.

Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.

According to White House officials I spoke with, this was "not the first time" under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive - rather than national security sensitive - information.

(-: Zel :-)
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#13784 User is offline   andrei 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 10:08

View Postcherdano, on 2019-September-24, 05:22, said:

Still waiting for andrei's response (or any of the other Trump supporting posters here).
If it helps, by "these accusations" you can take the claim that the Trump administration blocked congressionally authorised financial support for Ukraine, and that Trump made clear in a phone call that they'd wish to see investigations into Hunter Biden in exchange for lifting the block.


View Postcherdano, on 2019-September-25, 09:25, said:

When you play hide-and-seek with a toddler, and they cover their eyes, you pretend not to see them. That's what will happen here - the Trump administration will cover their eyes with a "see no explicit quid-pro-quo discussed!" shout, and most of Republicans in congress will pretend not to see the corruption standing in front of them.


Moving the goalposts much?
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#13785 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 10:12

Bill Barr's footprints are all over the testimony this morning, i.e., Joseph Maguire's testimony.

It's such an incredibly circular argument. Summarizing from three sources: (Maquire) Complaints about the president should go to the DOJ, (Barr) and the DOJ is controlled by the president and who can shut down any investigation he wants, and this complaint because it has to do with the president (Barr) is not a crime so the FBI can't investigate and (OLC) the complaint does not have anything to do with an intelligence concern.


What a coincidence that Barr uses the Office of Legal Counsel in the same manner that Trump uses Barr.

Democracies may die at the hands not of generals but of elected leaders—presidents or prime ministers who subvert the very process that brought them to power. How Democracies Die
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#13786 User is offline   andrei 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 10:14

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-September-25, 22:31, said:

After viewing the whistleblower complaint relating to President Donald Trump,
Rep. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House intelligence committee, said the whistleblower has exposed “serious wrongdoing.”
Schiff said the complaint was “well-written”


View Posthrothgar, on 2019-September-26, 07:12, said:

Whistleblower complaint is now live
https://t.co/TCR0lE5cF9?amp=1


It is out and it sounds like a Maggie Haberman piece.

I have never seen/heard anything, but unnamed sources have told me that ....
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#13787 User is offline   andrei 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 10:24

BTW

The emoluments clause you are raving about on a weekly basis here, does it apply to VP's also?

Curios about the qualifications Hunter B has in order to get 600K/year from the Ukrainian gas company.
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#13788 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 10:56

View Postandrei, on 2019-September-26, 10:24, said:

BTW

The emoluments clause you are raving about on a weekly basis here, does it apply to VP's also?


The emoluments clause reads: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

It quite obviously applies to the VP. With this said and done, I think that the question you want to ask is whether this apply to the VP's son.

Unless the VP and his son have tangled their finances it does not.

Quote

Curios about the qualifications Hunter B has in order to get 600K/year from the Ukrainian gas company.


I think that it is quite obvious that Hunter Biden makes money by giving the appearance of influence peddling.
He might even do so.

He also got booted from the Navy for abusing cocaine.
His marriage broke up because he was ***** his brother's widow.

So what?

None of this excuses the actions that Trump took.
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#13789 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 11:01

View Postandrei, on 2019-September-26, 10:24, said:

BTW

The emoluments clause you are raving about on a weekly basis here, does it apply to VP's also?

Curios about the qualifications Hunter B has in order to get 600K/year from the Ukrainian gas company.

Curious why Burisma would still be offering him a new contract in 2019 if his consultancy was doing a poor job and his position would obviously be more of a hindrance than an assistance in gaining influence with the American government.
Forbes overview
WP on the most recent news from Ukraine

I find it difficult to understand how any intelligent person could not see the difference between this and most of the emoluments accusation against the current POTUS. A more comparable case would be the >$90 million in foreign funding being funnelled through Cadre since the inauguration except that that has far more leeway to involve corrupt or illegal activity. Anyone bringing up Hunter Biden in Ukraine and ignoring Jared Kushner is being completely disingenuous. And anyone using Hunter Biden to deflect from emoluments accusations against Dodgy Donald is providing a pure smokescreen that only the most naive person would not be able to see through immediately.
(-: Zel :-)
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#13790 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 11:35

Maquire's testimony this a.m. reminded me of someone who is very concerned about being scapegoated. Did anyone else who has some knowledge or history of working in a large bureaucracy get the same feeling from watching that testimony?


On a separate note, the House needs to look for today's Alexander Butterfield, i.e., the person who is responsible for physically moving the transcript of this call from normal storage to the super-secret storage device. That person needs to be called to testify as to who ordered him to make that move, and then that chain of orders needs to be traced back to its originating source.
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#13791 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 12:28

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-26, 06:54, said:


BTW, your "unambiguous" claim isn't a fact, it's an opinion. Don't try to pass it off as a fact.


Fine. It's a boring day at work. Let's try to step through this all and see where the disconnect is happening.

I make the following claims

1. President Trump solicited a foreign government to intervene in a US Presidential campaign
2. President Trump solicited a foreign government to conduct investigations into the affairs of a private US citizen
3. President Trump solicited a foreign government to investigate a US citizen for political purposes

Do you

A. Agree that this is shown by the transcript
B. Deny that this is shown by the transcript
C. Deny that these are impeachable offenses
D. Other
Alderaan delenda est
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#13792 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 13:03

Let's hear from a conservative whose lips aren't blue from drinking the KoolAid:

Quote

“It’s pretty clear in this summary the president asked the leader of a foreign nation to investigate a political foe,” said Jennifer Horn, a former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Republican Party and a prominent Trump critic. “To hear Republican leaders that I previously had deep respect for to come out and give that knee-jerk response is stunning.”

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#13793 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 13:15

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-26, 06:42, said:

How is it that virtually every MSM outlet seems to be using the exact same language in describing Trump's action as the Dems spokespersons? Seems like they get their talking points straight from the Dems. Maybe, they're just lemmings and following the leader. Or maybe it's a case of monkey see, monkey do.


Words have meaning

When one is dealing with nuanced issues such as the law, impeachable offenses and the like, precision is a good thing.
The suspect that the reason that people are adopting a standardized descriptions is the desire to be precise about their claims.

The reason that these claims seem to be popular and are being advanced by a lot of people is far more likely to reflect the fact that they are true than some kind of grand scheme on the part of the Democrats.
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#13794 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 13:29

View Postandrei, on 2019-September-26, 10:14, said:

It is out and it sounds like a Maggie Haberman piece.

I have never seen/heard anything, but unnamed sources have told me that ....

In other words, you think we shouldn't trust the report, but instead hope it gets investigated properly?
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#13795 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 14:07

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-September-26, 13:03, said:

Let's hear from a conservative whose lips aren't blue from drinking the KoolAid:

Ben Sasse, who your favorite troll admires, has abstained from drinking KoolAid this time (so far).

BTW, +a gazillion for resisting the troll bait so far and a few more for the Laurence Tribe post and the Marcy Wheeler post. To Wheeler's point re: self-dealing, there was zero discussion of U.S. business by Trump in that phone call.
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#13796 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 14:52

View Posty66, on 2019-September-26, 14:07, said:

Ben Sasse, who your favorite troll admires, has abstained from drinking KoolAid this time (so far).

BTW, +a gazillion for resisting the troll bait so far and a few more for the Laurence Tribe post and the Marcy Wheeler post. To Wheeler's point re: self-dealing, there was zero discussion of U.S. business by Trump in that phone call.


It's just that I'm thirsty. B-)

If you like her thoughts, Marcy Wheeler has a great blog at emptywheel.net. She is a really talented analyst.
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#13797 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 15:03

The following is being reported by the Associated Press, rated very high in factual reporting by Media Bias/Fact Check, and if it is proven to be accurate after a thorough investigation I suggest this will end up being:

Mr. Camelsback? Meet Mr. Straw

Quote

Those officials told the whistleblower that “this was ‘not the first time’ under this administration that a presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive -- rather than national security sensitive -- information,” the complaint said.

The whistleblower said that White House officials had tried to suppress the exact transcript of the call that was produced -- as is customary -- by the White House Situation Room, according to the complaint.

The officials told the whistleblower they were “directed” by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.

“This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call,” the report said.

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#13798 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 15:46

View Posthrothgar, on 2019-September-26, 12:28, said:

Fine. It's a boring day at work. Let's try to step through this all and see where the disconnect is happening.

I make the following claims

1. President Trump solicited a foreign government to intervene in a US Presidential campaign
2. President Trump solicited a foreign government to conduct investigations into the affairs of a private US citizen
3. President Trump solicited a foreign government to investigate a US citizen for political purposes

Do you

A. Agree that this is shown by the transcript
B. Deny that this is shown by the transcript
C. Deny that these are impeachable offenses
D. Other

Some other facts:

1) The Manchurian President sent Giuliani to Ukraine as early as January this year to pressure them to investigate Biden
2) About a week before the July 25 call, the Manchurian President told his chief of staff to put a hold on the distribution of nearly 400 million in Ukrainian aid that was supposed to be given to Ukraine. There were 3 or 4 different and mostly mutually exclusive reasons given for withholding the aid.
3) The authorization for the aid expired September 30 (end of fiscal year) so if the distribution of aid was delayed past that date, a new aid package would have to be written up and a new legislative process would have to be completed and voted on. The Criminal in Chief could then veto the new package and there would be no aid at all for Ukraine.
4) Threatening to stop the Ukrainian aid unless Ukraine helped dig up dirt on Biden is nothing less than extortion. Thus the quid pro quo.
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#13799 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-26, 16:02

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-26, 06:17, said:

Does that mean that Obama is still culpable for abuse of power by weaponizing the government departments to go after political opposition?

Remember US Attorney John Durham is investigating the origins of the Trump collusion investigation. I'm just waiting to see what he finds and think he will be fair.

But enough government documents are becoming public that make it clear that the FBI was aware that the Steele dossier wasn't reliable. Yet the FBI presented it as credible to the FISA court, that's potentially perjury by some high ranking FBI officials. Was it an oversight or deliberate misleading of the court?

Even the Papadopolous incident which allegedly fueled concerns over collusion is unravelling. His "Russian contact" is proving to be someone very close to foreign friendly intelligence agencies.

If you understand that nothing militarily happened in the fight against ISIS in Iraq without White House approval, then you understand how that White House tried to micromanage everything. It would be easy to believe that such a domestic intelligence operation as the Trump collusion investigation would also have to have a go ahead from the White House.

I really hope that Durham finds the culpability ends with a few rogue FBI officials. But I'll wait to see what he finds before making any judgments. There are a lot of arms and legs to what happened that need to be investigated and made public.

Let's get everything out in the open in the light of day and let the chips fall where they may.

Why don't you address the fact that the Manchurian President openly tried to extort and collude with a foreign government to influence the 2020 US presidential election. I'm waiting ........

If Obama abused his office to go after political opponents, that would be a crime. There is no evidence that this ever happened except in ultra right fringe conspiracy blogs.

Barr instructed the DOJ to investigate the Russian collusion origins :lol: :lol: :lol: All he had to do was read the Mueller report (which he apparently never did) to see there was overwhelming evidence of Russian collusion, and a subsequent coverup.

Nothing in the Steele dossier has been proven incorrect. Not everything has been verified yet, but an overwhelming amount has been proven true which means it is a very credible report. BTW, the FBI did their own investigations on the points they investigated and found there was reason to expand their probe.

In conclusion, repeating my first point, why don't you address the fact that the Manchurian President openly tried to extort and collude with a foreign government to influence the 2020 US presidential election. I'm waiting ........
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Posted 2019-September-26, 16:18

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-26, 06:42, said:

Speaking of talking points, how is it that virtually every MSM outlet seems to be using the exact same language in describing Trump's action as the Dems spokespersons? Seems like they get their talking points straight from the Dems. Maybe, they're just lemmings and following the leader. Or maybe it's a case of monkey see, monkey do.

BTW, a new poll out asked conservatives, independents, and liberals about impeachment. Right now, 58% of independents are against impeachment. That should be a BIG worry for the next election unless progressives can convince the independents that impeachment is indeed completely justified and necessary. Right now, all the impeachment claims are just preaching to the choir, If impeachment is seen as frivolous by independents, Dems will pay a severe price in the next election. Remember that the Dem majority was obtained by Dems in normally red districts who promised to work with the President and won close races. Those seats could easily flip back if the independents can't be convinced.

Well done to dig up a poll that was conducted before the latest and probably biggest scandal hit the news. The polling was done Sept 19-23, before the Ukraine call summary was released, and before the release of the whistleblower's report.

You might have also pointed out that until the Ukraine call summary was released, almost 50% of House Democrats had not come out in favor of impeachment. Since Monday, over 80 House members have indicated they are now in favor of impeachment.

Remarkably, there is a new poll about impeachment that was just released

Support for impeachment jumps in new poll

Quote

The poll, which began after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her support for impeachment proceedings on Tuesday, shows 43 percent of voters think Congress should begin the process of impeachment, while an equal number of poll respondents say Congress shouldn’t begin impeachment proceedings. Another 13 percent of voters are undecided.

Quote

Support for impeachment is up 7 points from the previous poll, which was conducted last Friday through Sunday. In that survey, only 36 percent of voters supported starting impeachment proceedings, while 49 percent opposed them.

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