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Thread: The Trump Presidency

  1. #2221
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    The evisceration of Michael Flynn


    In a surprise twist today, a federal judge delivered a withering brushback to anyone hoping Michael Flynn would get off easy for lying to the FBI.
    The big picture: Prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan for leniency. But in the courtroom today, Sullivan lashed into Flynn, suggested leniency wasn't coming and told the retired general he should consider delaying the sentencing.

    • "I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense," Sullivan told Flynn.
    • “This is a very serious offense — a high-ranking senior official of the government, making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while on the physical premises of the White House."
    • "Arguably, this undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out," Sullivan said, referencing Flynn's undisclosed lobbying for Turkey.

    Between the lines: Sullivan also pressed Flynn on statements made by his defenders and lawyers in recent weeks, which suggested he was a victim of the FBI.

    • Flynn statement last week: "General Flynn’s case differs from that of Alexander Van der Zwaan ... a trained attorney who was represented by counsel during the interview; he was interviewed at a time when there was a publicly disclosed, full-bore investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election; and he was given a warning that it is a federal crime to lie during the interview."
    • Flynn today: The retired general declined opportunities to withdraw his plea and said he was "aware" lying to the FBI is a crime. His lawyer also told the judge that Flynn was not entrapped by the FBI.

    What's next: Flynn's sentencing will now be delayed into 2019 as he wraps up his cooperation with the Mueller investigation.
    Go deeper: Here's what Michael Flynn has admitted




    Trump agrees to shut down his charity amid allegations he used it for personal and political benefit
    New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Tuesday that the foundation is dissolving and distributing its remaining funds as her office pursues a lawsuit against the charity, President Trump and his three eldest children, who oversaw the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
    The shuttering of Trump's charity comes after stories in The Post documented apparent lapses at the foundation. Trump used the charity’s funds pay off legal settlements for his private business, to purchase art that decorated one of his golf clubs and to make a prohibited political donation.
    In its investigation, the attorney general’s office found “a shocking pattern of illegality,” Underwood said.
    Read more »
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  2. #2222
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    As a child growing up i was exposed to the wild west [in the movie sense] Black and White matinee was the focus of many weekend afternoons. Some characters!! Ronald Reagan was one.
    Somewhere between Cagney and Bogart i figured the Presidency could be bought.

    Good business choice if you're a ''businessman.''
    Happiness is an inside job.

  3. #2223
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    The US gubmint shutdown which despite current statements to the contrary is Spanky"s doing, affects 7 of 15 cabinet departments and about 800, 000 employees. About half are on furlough, forced unpaid vacation, and half are required to work without pay. They'll get paid when the dispute is resolved, which will definitely be after Thursday, and looks increasingly likely after Jan 3.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  4. #2224
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Sealed Vs. Sealed, the court case driving Washington crazy.


    This much is known.


    An unnamed foreign government owned company (Russian/Chinese/other?) has been subpoenaed by someone, (possibly/likely Mueller) to provide records to a Grand Jury, and is fighting that subpoena. The district court rejected the company's arguments, and it appealed. There was an appellate hearing on Dec 14, where officials cleared an entire floor of the building, so that reporters could not see which lawyers etc. were involved.



    The appellate court ruled against the company, and the company appealed to the Supreme Court to intervene. On Sunday Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts took the very unusual step of staying the district and appellate court's rulings, plus the $500,000 a day fine for contempt, until the Supremes decide if they want to intervene in the matter. The government has until Dec 31st to respond to Roberts.




    Typically, a party appealing to SCOTUS, files a petition for a grant of certiorari, that is public. Not in this case, and the speed with which Roberts acted is also unusual. If SCOTUS decides not to hear the case the appellate decision stands. If they do decide to hear, it would be unheard of for them to do so in private.


    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/12/14/p...mpression=true



    https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/23/polit...ena/index.html


    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  5. #2225
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    THE INVESTIGATIONS -- "Cell signal puts Cohen outside Prague around time of purported Russian meeting," by Peter Stone and Greg Gordon in McClatchy: "A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump's former lawyer and 'fixer' Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say.


    "During the same period of late August or early September,electronic eavesdropping by an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom remarked that Cohen was in Prague, two people familiar with the incident said. The phone and surveillance data, which have not previously been disclosed, lend new credence to a key part of a former British spy's dossier of Kremlin intelligence describing purported coordination between Trump's campaign and Russia's election meddling operation.


    "The dossier, which Trump has dismissed as 'a pile of garbage,' said Cohen and one or more Kremlin officials huddled in or around the Czech capital to plot ways to limit discovery of the close 'liaison' between the Trump campaign and Russia. ... Both of the newly surfaced foreign electronic intelligence intercepts were shared with Special Counsel Robert Mueller." McClatchy


    -- COHEN REPLIES ... @MichaelCohen212 at 4:21 p.m.: "I hear #Prague #CzechRepublic is beautiful in the summertime. I wouldn't know as I have never been. #Mueller knows everything!"
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  6. #2226
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    THE INVESTIGATIONS -- "New Jersey AG has obtained evidence of possible crimes at Trump's golf club — and Mueller, FBI are involved in probe," by N.Y. Daily News' Chris Sommerfeldt: "New Jersey prosecutors have collected evidence that supervisors at President Trump's Garden State golf club may have committed federal immigration crimes — and the FBI as well as special counsel Robert Mueller have played part in the inquiry, the Daily News has learned."N.Y. Daily News


    -- "A Holiday Mystery: Why Did John Roberts Intervene in the Mueller Probe?" by Nelson Cunningham in POLITICO Magazine: "A mysterious grand jury subpoena case has been working itself through the D.C. courts since August. ... Speculation heightened two weeks ago when the D.C. Circuit cleared an entire floor of reporters assembled for the oral argument, in order to protect the identity of the litigants. ... And then ... on the Sunday before Christmas, Chief Justice John Roberts personally intervened in this matter."POLITICO Magazine


    MANAFORT LATEST -- TIME'S SIMON SHUSTER in Rhodes, Greece: "Exclusive: Russian Ex-Spy Pressured Manafort Over Debts to an Oligarch": "A months-long investigation by TIME ... found that [Victor] Boyarkin, a former arms dealer with a high forehead and a very low profile, was a key link between a senior member of the Trump campaign and a powerful ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin." Time
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  7. #2227
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    Yesterday, in a court filing, Manafort's lawyers inadvertently revealed information that provides the strongest evidence yet of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians.



    THE INVESTIGATIONS -- "Manafort Accused of Sharing Trump Campaign Data With Russian Associate," by NYT's Sharon LaFraniere, Ken Vogel and Maggie Haberman: "As a top official in President Trump's campaign, Paul Manafort shared political polling data with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday.


    "The document provided the clearest evidence to date that the Trump campaign may have tried to coordinate with Russians during the 2016 presidential race. Mr. Manafort's lawyers made the disclosure by accident, through a formatting error in a document filed to respond to charges that he had lied to prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, after agreeing to cooperate with their investigation into Russian interference in the election.


    "The document also revealed that during the campaign, Mr. Manafort and his Russian associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, discussed a plan for peace in Ukraine. Throughout the campaign and the early days of the Trump administration, Russia and its allies were pushing various plans for Ukraine in the hope of gaining relief from American-led sanctions imposed after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine." NYT
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  8. #2228
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    More trouble piling up if the Buzzfeed report is true............


    "Democratic leaders reacted with fury and demanded an investigation [late last night] following a new report that President Trump personally directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the president’s push for a lucrative condo project in Moscow in the lead-up to the 2016 election," per the WashPost:




    • The report by BuzzFeed News' Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier "cites two unnamed federal law enforcement officials who say Cohen acknowledged in interviews with [Mueller's office] that the president directed him to deceive Congress about key facts linking Trump to the proposed deal in Russia."




    • "Democrats said that if the report is accurate, Trump must quickly be held to account for his role in the perjury, with some raising the specter of impeachment."



    From BuzzFeed: "Trump vehemently denied having any business interests in Russia. But behind the scenes, he was pushing the Moscow project, which he hoped could bring his company profits in excess of $300 million."




    • "[T]wo law enforcement sources said he had at least 10 face-to-face meetings with Cohen about the deal during the campaign.




    • "Trump ... supported a plan ... by Cohen ... to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet ... Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations."

    "Make it happen," the sources said Trump told Cohen.



    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  9. #2229
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    The US gubmint shutdown which despite current statements to the contrary is Spanky"s doing, affects 7 of 15 cabinet departments and about 800, 000 employees. About half are on furlough, forced unpaid vacation, and half are required to work without pay. They'll get paid when the dispute is resolved, which will definitely be after Thursday, and looks increasingly likely after Jan 3.
    How's matters going now? [18th January]
    Happiness is an inside job.

  10. #2230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trow View Post
    How's matters going now? [18th January]
    Well, the previous longest shutdown was 21 days, we're now at 31 days, and the D's rejected Trump's latest offer last Saturday, in which he offered the D's a temporary concession if they gave him a permanent one. Then he tried to freeze Nancy Pelosi out of the negotiations but that didn't work either. Donny is running out of options and being pushed toward a solution he doesn't want, declaring a "State of Emergency". That would set a precedent that a future D Prez could use to bite the R's in the ass. A hostage to fortune........
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  11. #2231
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    House Dems plan vast Russia probe


    Mueller is just the beginning. House Democrats plan a vast probe of President Trump and Russia — with a heavy focus on money laundering — that will include multiple committees and dramatic public hearings, and could last into 2020.

    • The aggressive plans were outlined yesterday by a Democratic member of Congress at a roundtable for Washington reporters.
    • The member said Congress plans interviews with new witnesses, and may go back to earlier witnesses who "stonewalled" under the Republican majority.

    Why it matters: The reporters, many of them steeped in the special counsel's investigation, came away realizing that House Dems don't plan to depend on Robert Mueller for the last word on interference in the 2016 election.

    • Instead, Dems will use their new subpoena power to produce a voluminous exposé of their own.

    Here's the congressional blueprint, as outlined by the member:

    • At least three committees are already involved: The House Intelligence Committee is taking the lead, coordinating with House Financial Services on money-laundering questions and with House Foreign Affairs on Russia.
    • Democrats are considering ways to uncover what was said in a Trump private meeting with Putin, "whether that's subpoenaing the notes or subpoenaing the interpreter or other steps."

    On Trump family finances, the member said the president is "not in a position to draw red lines."

    • "I am concerned that he may have drawn a red line that the Department of Justice may be observing."
    • "If we didn't look at his business, ... we wouldn’t know what we know now about his efforts to pursue what may have been the most lucrative deal of his life, the Trump Tower in Moscow — something the special counsel's office has said stood to earn the family hundreds of millions of dollars."
    • "Now, most of his stuff isn't building anymore: It's licensing, and it doesn't make that kind of money. So, this would have been huge."
    • "[T]he fact that the president says now: 'Well, it's not illegal and I might have lost the election. Why should I miss out, basically, on all that money?' He may very well take the same position now: 'I might not be re-elected, and so why shouldn't I ... still pursue it?"
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  12. #2232
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    This morning Spanky blamed Michael Cohen's congressional testimony for the failure of his talks with Kim.........in case you were wondering.........

    Republicans are worried about 2020 financing. So far, they've been unable to find anyone to lead their fundraising effort. Qualified candidates are saying no, and big donors are getting nervous





    House Democratic leaders worry impeachment proceedings could backfire if they move too fast.
    So they plan to pursue a slow-bleed strategy with lengthy public hearings and scores of witnesses to methodically pick apart President Trump's finances and presidency.

    • What's new: In an investigation being coordinated among six to eight House committees, Trump will essentially be on public trial for months to come, with topics that include abuse of power, obstruction of justice, conflicts of interest (including profit from the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue) and money laundering.
    • Why it matters: Democrats want to create a large, damning public record of testimony, documents and investigative reports.

    Speaker Pelosi and other top Democrats don't want to take up impeachment if it's going to go nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate.

    • So with huge energy in the party pushing for impeachment, leaders are using the congressional investigation to buy time.
    • A source close to the House leadership told me: "Many in leadership believe impeachment could help Trump get re-elected," and instead will try to "pivot the anger to defeating him on the campaign side next year. ... The last thing they want to do is help Trump like it eventually helped Clinton."

    Top Democrats say an opening area of attention is Trump's attacks on the FBI and intelligence agencies, and the long-term ramifications for national security.

    • House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler told George Stephanopoulos yesterday on ABC's "This Week" that the committee will issue document requests today to more than 60 people, including White House and Justice officials, Don Jr., and Trump Organization CFO Alan Weisselberg.
    • Nadler said the mission is "to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power."
    • Nadler said that "to sabotage a fair election would be an impeachable offense," but added: "Impeachment is a long way down the road."

    A key part of the House strategy is to engage the public on all those hot topics.

    • So expect lots of public hearings and aggressive pushes for the release of documents, most especially the Mueller report and all the investigative materials that went into it.

    Be smart: Garrett M. Graff of WIRED told me the House strategy reflects the fact that what's most likely to move public opinion isn't any single crime or bombshell, but "when a pattern of behavior is so clear it becomes un-defensible."
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  13. #2233
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Six Trump Scandals.............

    Here’s how crazy — and perilous — the next 18 months will be for President Trump:

    • Even without seeing Robert Mueller's report, or knowing what prosecutors with the Southern District of New York have unearthed, or what congressional investigators will find, we already have witnessed the biggest political scandal in American history.
    • Mueller has already delivered one of the biggest counterintelligence cases in U.S. history, author Garrett Graffpoints out — up there with Aldrich Ames (a former CIA officer convicted in 1994 of being a KGB double agent), or Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (executed in 1953 for spying for the Soviets).

    Historians tell Jim VandeHei and me that the only two scandals that come close to Trump-Russia are Watergate, which led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974, and the Teapot Dome scandal of the early 1920s, in which oil barons bribed a corrupt aide to President Warren Harding for petroleum leases.

    • Watergate yielded more charges than Mueller has so far: A total of 69 people were charged in Watergate; 48 people and 20 corporations pleaded guilty. Mueller so far has indicted 27 people; seven have been convicted or pleaded guilty.
    • But historians say that both Watergate and Teapot Dome were more limited because a foreign power wasn't a central player, and a much narrower band of potential offenses was under investigation.
    • A fourth notable scandal, the Iran-Contra affair of the mid-1980s — in which arms were traded for hostages held by Iran, with the money used to fund rebels in Nicaragua — also involved a more limited range of issues.

    The "biggest" realization might strike Trump supporters as overblown or plain wrong. But consider what we already know about actions of Trump and his associates:
    Scandal 1: Trump secretly paid hush money to two mistresses on the eve of his presidential victory, and lied about it. His longtime personal lawyer is going to prison after carrying out the scheme on his behalf.

    • The historical parallel: Bill Clinton was impeached (but acquitted by the Senate) for lying under oath about an affair with a White House intern.
    • Clinton impeachment Article 3, passed by the House, was obstruction of justice.
    • Earlier presidents, or their friends, had also been known to pay off mistresses.

    Scandal 2: During the presidential campaign, Trump confidantes continued negotiating for a tower in Moscow, potentially one of Trump's most lucrative deals ever. He hid this from the public and lied about it. His lawyer is going to prison for making false statements to Congress about the deal.

    • The historical parallel: None.

    Scandal 3: Russian officials had more than 100 contacts with Trump associates during the campaign and transition, including his son, his closest adviser, his lawyer, and his campaign manager. The Russians offered assistance in undermining Hillary Clinton. The FBI and other government authorities weren't alerted about this effort to subvert our election.

    • The historical parallel: None.

    Scandal 4: Michael Flynn was national security adviser at the same time U.S. intelligence officials believed he was compromised by the Kremlin. He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.

    • The historical parallel: None.

    Scandal 5: Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, and told NBC's Lester Holt it was at least in part because of the Russia investigation: "[T]his Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."

    • The historical parallel: In the "Saturday Night Massacre" of 1973, Nixon tried to stop the Watergate investigation by abolishing the office of Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox; and accepting the resignation of Attorney General Elliot Richardson, and firing Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, when they refusedto fire Cox.

    Scandal 6: Trump overruled the advice of his lawyers and intelligence experts, and granted his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top-secret clearance. This so alarmed his White House chief of staff John Kelly that he recorded his opposition in a memo. Trump and his family repeatedly denied he had interfered.

    • The historical parallel: None.

    The big picture: Presidential historian Jon Meacham tells us that this "transcends scandal — it’s a national crisis in the sense of a period of elevated stakes, high passions, and possibly permanent consequences."

    • "We’re in the midst of making history more than we are reflecting it."

    Be smart: Trump himself might survive all of this — and even more. Republican voters seem basically unmoved by the mounting evidence.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

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