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Old 09-21-2019, 07:53 PM
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Please explain to me why this Trump/Ukraine thing is a big deal


I mean, I get that it would take down any normal presidency, but I don't understand why people seem to be treating this like a bigger deal than all the other very unusual stuff that has gone on with this administration.

I'm trying very hard not to poison this well, but it seems like there has been some pretty obvious corruption, attempted obstruction of justice, election law violations, emoluments issues, personal enrichment (for example, removing some sanctions from a Chinese company right after the Chinese government makes a loan to the Trump organization), cozying up to dictators, throwing our allies under buses, ignoring congressional subpoenas, ignoring laws such as the requirement to cough up Trump's tax returns to congress, and probably other stuff I've missed. Let's just say that many norms have been violated, many things that would be lethal or nearly so to other administrations.

What makes this Ukraine/Biden/Trump thing different? Is there any chance it will change the mind of any Trump supporter, either regular supporters or in Congress? Does any Trump supporter here think this is a thing?
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:59 PM
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  • Congress voted around a quarter-billion dollars in aid to Ukraine, which would use it to fend off Russia.
  • Trump delayed sending that aid for weeks.
  • During that period he apparently told Ukraine several times ("eight" has been mentioned) that he wanted them to come up with a story that could sink the candidacy of his rival Biden, before he'd consider releasing the money.

It's as clear an abuse of power as we've seen, so far. Help me win my election or you don't get the money my legislature promised you is, it would seem, a bridge too far for even some (non-Congressional) Republicans to stomach.

Add to this the overt sabotaging of an established, written policy on how whistle-blowing is to be treated, and you have some genuine danger for Donald.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:07 PM
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I pretty much agree with RitterSport. It is quite a huge deal. And it will have no impact whatsoever on what happens to Trump. His approval rating will remain the same, and Republican politicians will continue to cover for him and carry his water.

That's all.

And I agree with the first part of Sherrerd's post. Good summary. I just disagree with the last few words.

There is no danger to Trump whatsoever with this latest treasonous action on his part, and not even with the subsequent orders to cover it up. The Trumpsters certainly don't mind, even if they are aware of it. The politicians are simply concerned with covering it up.

It's simply "fake news", it never existed, and it's just a witch hunt by the evil media (enemy of the people) and the deep state.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:15 PM
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At this point, the bar of impeachment is no longer what would have gotten any of the previous 44 presidents impeached. The bar is now set at whatever is so incredibly, obviously egregious that somehow it makes Republicans act on it.

Will this really be it? I don't think so. I think conservatives are happy to watch Trump sell out America to foreign powers if it triggers the libs.

At some point we are going to have to confront the fact that Republican political strategy is to piss in the campfire and blame the Democrats for the smell. You're missing the point if you're asking "how bad of a smell can they possibly stand?"
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
  • Congress voted around a quarter-billion dollars in aid to Ukraine, which would use it to fend off Russia.
  • Trump delayed sending that aid for weeks.
  • During that period he apparently told Ukraine several times ("eight" has been mentioned) that he wanted them to come up with a story that could sink the candidacy of his rival Biden, before he'd consider releasing the money.

It's as clear an abuse of power as we've seen, so far. Help me win my election or you don't get the money my legislature promised you is, it would seem, a bridge too far for even some (non-Congressional) Republicans to stomach.

Add to this the overt sabotaging of an established, written policy on how whistle-blowing is to be treated, and you have some genuine danger for Donald.
I just don't see how it's any different than all the other stuff that's been going on. Hopefully it's OK to call out specific posters in this forum -- HurricaneDitka, what's your take on this situation and Sherrerd's post? Shodan, I know you're not a big Trump supporter, but do you think this is an impeachable offense? Any other conservatives or Trump supporters want to weigh in?
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:20 PM
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Unfortunately, I'm going to have to agree with RitterSport. I don't want to. I want this to be the final straw, but apparently this camel is indestructible.

I'm betting the Democrats will make some noise on how horrible this all is, and maybe we should start thinking about possibly discussing doing some kind of inquiry on whether impeachment might be an idea. Before they get anywhere (not that they actually would, but before they could if they were going to), Trump will do something else outrageous and this will be forgotten. Just like the 1000 things that would sink any other administration Trump has done before now.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:24 PM
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The so-called president of the United States, allegedly while offering aid to a foreign country asks the foriegn country to dig up dirt on an American citizen. If that don't piss you right the fuck off, then I can't help you.

Last edited by bobot; 09-21-2019 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:31 PM
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I think the first act would be easily deflected and easily dismissed by the right.

It is blocking the whistle blower from Congress that caused a publication like the Wall Street Journal to make this front page news. I believe the WSJ is still owned by Murdoch's group isn't it?

I know those that supported Nixon at first dismissed Watergate as a minor incident. How could a break-in be connected to the President?
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RitterSport View Post
I just don't see how it's any different than all the other stuff that's been going on. Hopefully it's OK to call out specific posters in this forum -- HurricaneDitka, what's your take on this situation and Sherrerd's post? Shodan, I know you're not a big Trump supporter, but do you think this is an impeachable offense? Any other conservatives or Trump supporters want to weigh in?
Put in your earplugs, the silence is going to be deafening.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:13 PM
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I just don't see how it's any different than all the other stuff that's been going on.
IIUC one item that makes it different is that the previous "I'm fucked" issues, as Trump said, were issues that took place just before he became president. Of course, his attempts at obstruction came when he was president, but still the focus of Muller was to check if the President committed a crime before becoming president, and Muller ended with such uncertainty about that and what Agent Orange did as president regarding the Russia connections that it could make Schrödinger's cat spin in his grave or no grave...


And now we have today, were the issue is entirely pertinent as to giving a reason for impeachment: a very likely act of bribery, with other misdemeanors tossed in.

https://constitution.findlaw.com/art...otation18.html
Quote:
Article II, Section 4: Standards for Impeachment

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:58 PM
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And now we have today, were the issue is entirely pertinent as to giving a reason for impeachment: a very likely act of bribery, with other misdemeanors tossed in.
It never happened, it's fake news, the other guys are worse, and anyway, what's on TV?

When Trump called for his political opponent to be locked up, most of you just shrugged, and the rest were all in favor.

When Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and get away with it, he was not making a joke. He was making an observation. It's simply a fact.

I expect things to get a lot worse before they get any better. And I'm not convinced they'll get any better.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:01 PM
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What makes this Ukraine/Biden/Trump thing different? Is there any chance it will change the mind of any Trump supporter, either regular supporters or in Congress? Does any Trump supporter here think this is a thing?
...its not a big deal for Trump supporters. But that's the point.

Its a big deal for the Democratic leadership, who have held the line that they will not impeach, who are not holding anyone in contempt, who have chosen to not use the full array of powers that they have at their disposal to hold the President and his co-conspirators to account. As Elizabeth Warren argues:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren
After the Mueller report, Congress had a duty to begin impeachment. By failing to act, Congress is complicit in Trump’s latest attempt to solicit foreign interference to aid him in US elections. Do your constitutional duty and impeach the president.

A president is sitting in the Oval Office, right now, who continues to commit crimes. He continues because he knows his Justice Department won't act and believes Congress won’t either. Today’s news confirmed he thinks he’s above the law. If we do nothing, he’ll be right.

Mitch McConnell is also complicit. The Senate must vote on the bill, already passed by the House, to help states and localities protect themselves from the foreign attacks on our elections that the President has previously welcomed.

In 1974, Democrats and Republicans united in support of impeachment not out of mutual contempt for Nixon but mutual respect for the rule of law. Congress refused to be complicit in future law-breaking by Nixon or other presidents. It’s time for this Congress to step up and act.
https://twitter.com/ewarren/status/1175192494734266369

And this from Jamelle Bouie:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamelle Bouie
here's the thing: we are at the point where if pelosi stonewalls impeachment and trump wins reelection, "impeachment" as a constitutional remedy effectively doesn't exist.

constitutions don't enforce themselves and constitutional powers are use them or lose them. right now, pelosi is risking oversight and impeachment power for a *gamble* that trump will lose the white house.

it is profoundly irresponsible and an exact repeat of the "he is definitely going to lose" attitude that defined elite behavior (see: comey, james) in 2016
https://twitter.com/jbouie/status/1175143658426970113

The Dems are showing their cards. This is the strategy. Impeachment is off the table no matter what it is Trump does. He could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue and the worst we would get is a sternly written tweet.

You are looking at this all wrong.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:28 PM
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At this point, the bar of impeachment is no longer what would have gotten any of the previous 44 presidents impeached. The bar is now set at whatever is so incredibly, obviously egregious that somehow it makes Republicans act on it.



Will this really be it? I don't think so. I think conservatives are happy to watch Trump sell out America to foreign powers if it triggers the libs.



At some point we are going to have to confront the fact that Republican political strategy is to piss in the campfire and blame the Democrats for the smell. You're missing the point if you're asking "how bad of a smell can they possibly stand?"
That bar, however, drops down to Hermes Conrad limboing height when it's a Democrat in the Oval Office.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:52 PM
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here's the thing: we are at the point where if pelosi stonewalls impeachment and trump wins reelection, "impeachment" as a constitutional remedy effectively doesn't exist.

constitutions don't enforce themselves them. right now, pelosi is risking oversight and impeachment power
Don't be so absolutist. Impeachment power will still exist, and the constitution will still be enforceable .
Congress can issue the impeachment charges in November 2020. There is no need to do it right now.

Impeachment hearings will become a media circus bigger than the OJ Simpson trial.*
Pelosi may be right to defer it for a while, because starting the impeachment before the election will turn the election itself into a circus.


-------------------------------
*(just for fun: imagine if somehow there's a glove involved, and we get to watch Trump trying it on to fit his wonderful hands.)

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Old 09-22-2019, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
  • Congress voted around a quarter-billion dollars in aid to Ukraine, which would use it to fend off Russia.
  • Trump delayed sending that aid for weeks.
  • During that period he apparently told Ukraine several times ("eight" has been mentioned) that he wanted them to come up with a story that could sink the candidacy of his rival Biden, before he'd consider releasing the money.

It's as clear an abuse of power as we've seen, so far. Help me win my election or you don't get the money my legislature promised you is, it would seem, a bridge too far for even some (non-Congressional) Republicans to stomach.

Add to this the overt sabotaging of an established, written policy on how whistle-blowing is to be treated, and you have some genuine danger for Donald.
Just to point one thing out, only the first two are confirmed. The last (and impeachable) bit is just speculation. Personally I find it highly implausible. That he asked so little.

I mean I would have expected him to ask for much more. Dirt on Biden. And everyother democrat. And ‘Pub he doesn’t like. Increased supply of high quality mail order brides. A Trump tower or three in Kiev. And he would have tweeted all this. That would be Trump.

This is almost....Machiavellian. Really. Trump?
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:56 AM
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Don't be so absolutist.
...I don't think Jamelle Bouie will hear you. They aren't a member of these boards.

Quote:
Impeachment power will still exist, and the constitution will still be enforceable .
Congress can issue the impeachment charges in November 2020. There is no need to do it right now.
Of course there is a fucking reason to to it right now. The President has committed multiple impeachable offences. Waiting until the Dems loose the next election makes no fucking sense.

Quote:
Impeachment hearings will become a media circus bigger than the OJ Simpson trial.*
The OJ Simpson trial was a media circus. And that entire media circus could have been avoided by not taking OJ Simpson to trial. Maybe they could have left it a few years to see if OJ Simpson would murder anyone else. And the jury found him not guilty anyway, so why bother arresting him and charging him with murder? The whole circus could have been avoided by pretending that the murders didn't happen. That's obviously the best way to deal with this.

Quote:
Pelosi may be right to defer it for a while, because starting the impeachment before the election will turn the election itself into a circus.
You seriously don't think that the next election is going to be a bat-shit-insane-circus regardless of what the Dems do regarding impeachment? Have you seen whats happened over the last three years?

Quote:
*(just for fun: imagine if somehow there's a glove involved, and we get to watch Trump trying it on to fit his wonderful hands.)
There is nothing fun about this at all.
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:45 AM
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... HurricaneDitka, what's your take on this situation and Sherrerd's post? ...
It seems to me that President Trump was trying to remedy the wrong of Biden using his official position and the threat of withholding aid money to Ukraine to protect his son from an investigation by the Ukranian prosecutor. Sherrerd's post seems to me slanted to ignore Hunter (and Joe) Biden's wrongdoing. At least, that's how it seems to me from a first pass of what's been released so far.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 09-22-2019 at 01:46 AM.
  #18  
Old 09-22-2019, 05:40 AM
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I'm not sure that's an accurate representation of the facts, Ditka. Everything I've seen has said that VP Biden may have wanted the prosecutor replaced, but he was only one of many from several different countries who were advocating for that move.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:12 AM
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There's nothing in the realm of corruption (or mistreatment of women, for that matter) that Trump supporters would ever care about, at least by the words of his supporters on the Dope. When they've listed what would make them turn on Trump, it's been about guns, taxes, SCOTUS, etc., if my memory serves. It's never been about corruption. They literally don't give a shit about corruption, or mistreatment of women, unless it's from a Democrat.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:27 AM
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Oops, that was a silly use of "literally". Sorry, guys.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:28 AM
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Nm, duplicate
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  #22  
Old 09-22-2019, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
It seems to me that President Trump was trying to remedy the wrong of Biden using his official position and the threat of withholding aid money to Ukraine to protect his son from an investigation by the Ukranian prosecutor. Sherrerd's post seems to me slanted to ignore Hunter (and Joe) Biden's wrongdoing. At least, that's how it seems to me from a first pass of what's been released so far.
Thanks for replying!

It looks like you're saying that Biden was threatening to withhold aid from the Ukraine? Is that what's alleged to have happened during the Obama administration? I haven't read that, but I get most of my news from here.

The most serious allegation that I've heard is that Trump threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine unless they reopened an investigation into Hunter Biden. If that were the case, would you change your mind at all? Do you think it's the role of the president to try and force another country to investigate the alleged wrongdoing of an American? Because that seems very bizarre to me -- I could see withholding aid unless they free an American that they have in their jails or something, but not the opposite.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:12 AM
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I, too, commend HurricaneDitka for stepping up to the plate in this thread, and I look forward to his reply to both questions (1. Granted none of us knows all the facts, but does he have reason to believe the Obama administration threatened or pressured Ukraine in this way; 2. If true, would the alleged Trump quid-pro-quo threat to Ukraine be a serious offense?).

I ask Ditka keep these answers separate, though. His initial reply is too close to mere “tu qouque” — “maybe my guy did it, but it doesn’t matter, because your guy did it, too.” Just the kind of obfuscation we must avoid.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 09-22-2019 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:52 AM
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I ask Ditka keep these answers separate, though. His initial reply is too close to mere “tu qouque” — “maybe my guy did it, but it doesn’t matter, because your guy did it, too.” Just the kind of obfuscation we must avoid.
Although in this case it is "My guy did it, but it doesn't matter because maybe your guy did it too." Near as I can tell the evidence against Biden and his son is sketchy at best, while the evidence against Trump seems to be direct.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:29 AM
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It seems to me that President Trump was trying to remedy the wrong of Biden using his official position and the threat of withholding aid money to Ukraine to protect his son from an investigation by the Ukranian prosecutor. Sherrerd's post seems to me slanted to ignore Hunter (and Joe) Biden's wrongdoing. At least, that's how it seems to me from a first pass of what's been released so far.
Keep in mind that whatever he did was so alarming that someone relatively high up in the IC (high enough to be on a call with Trump) that they blew the whistle to the IG. And the IG found the matter credible and urgent. Let's take any spin off the table right now with trying to claim that he's seeking justice for America, because people don't blow the whistle on that.

Also, he's violating the law by not releasing the IG complaint to congress. Again, if he's doing right by America because Biden is bad, then why violate the law by blocking the IG complaint?
  #26  
Old 09-22-2019, 10:42 AM
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I, too, commend HurricaneDitka for stepping up to the plate in this thread, and I look forward to his reply to both questions (1. Granted none of us knows all the facts, but does he have reason to believe the Obama administration threatened or pressured Ukraine in this way; ...
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Thanks for replying!

It looks like you're saying that Biden was threatening to withhold aid from the Ukraine? Is that what's alleged to have happened during the Obama administration? I haven't read that, but I get most of my news from here. ...
Yes, that's exactly what happened. Here's Biden in his own words:

Here's the meaty bit of an article written back in April (so, well before this latest bit of reporting involving President Trump):

Quote:
But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Shokin told me in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”
Hopefully that adequately answers RitterSport's first question and JKellyMap's question #1

As for the second question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
2. If true, would the alleged Trump quid-pro-quo threat to Ukraine be a serious offense?). ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by RitterSport View Post
... The most serious allegation that I've heard is that Trump threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine unless they reopened an investigation into Hunter Biden. If that were the case, would you change your mind at all? ...
I admit my own thinking / feelings on this question are a bit fuzzier, but my initial hunch is that I think that's not particularly likely to change my mind, and that it doesn't, at least at this stage, strike me as a serious offense. It would depend somewhat on the specifics: If the "threat" from President Trump were worded along the lines of what Sherrerd suggested earlier ("he wanted them to come up with a story that could sink the candidacy of his rival Biden" - and I have not yet been given any reason to believe it was worded like that) that would obviously be more troubling and concerning than something more bland along the lines of 'we want you to continue the anti-corruption probes that were underway before, and we're withholding aid unless you do so'.

Anyways, I hope that serves to somewhat explain my early thinking on this matter. Feel free to follow up with whatever rebuttal or further questions you feel like.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:22 AM
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Yes, that's exactly what happened. Here's Biden in his own words:

.
Doesn't the fact that there were widespread calls from western leaders for that prosecutor to be fired make all that rather dubious as a smoking gun? I mean, do you think Obama just let Biden take all the decisions on that?
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:23 AM
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So sort of like if Trump said "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest? " That would be OK because he didn't directly order the Archbishop killed.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:23 AM
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AFAICT, no evidence has been presented that the Ukrainian prosecutor in question (Victor Shokin) was pushed out due to any involvement or investigation into anyone in the Biden family. AFAICT, the actual evidence strongly suggests that the reason he was pushed out was because he wasn't investigating corruption seriously (i.e. the prosecutor was corrupt and close to corrupt officials/persons), not because he was investigating anyone in particular. Numerous non-US partners, including the IMF and the EU, urged that he be fired because he wasn't going after corruption.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...thers-campaign

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 09-22-2019 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:48 AM
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....



Hopefully that adequately answers RitterSport's first question and JKellyMap's question #1

....
Yes it does, thanks! Looks like you're keeping an open mind on the second part, so let's see how that develops, I guess. Feels like there must be something serious for the justice department to block the testimony of the whistlevblower, but who knows. Maybe they just block any cooperation with the House.
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:00 PM
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Thank you, HurricaneDitka. Your Biden quote and the article you linked to helped me better understand that matter.

Okay...if we, for the sake of argument, assume the allegations against both Biden and Trump are true, then I think both deserve some sort of punishment (“punishment” in the broadest sense, to possibly include something as mild as a slight drop in favorablility polls) — BUT I think Trump’s punishment should be more severe, perhaps much more. Not because of my partisan bias, but because doing something as a party of one, specifically to “get” a single, specific person, where the only beneficiary is the same party of one — that is different than doing something with others, all of whom agree that the entire country (two countries, actually) would benefit from the action. That Biden’s son would happen benefit from the action more directly is an unfortunate coincidence, and I agree Biden should have been more frank about this. How hard would it have been for Biden to essentially “recuse” himself from this particular assignment? A mistake. “Appearance of impropriety,” indeed.

As opposed to Trump’s action which, if true, was clearly no mere appearance.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 09-22-2019 at 12:01 PM.
  #32  
Old 09-22-2019, 12:04 PM
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It never happened, it's fake news, the other guys are worse, and anyway, what's on TV?

When Trump called for his political opponent to be locked up, most of you just shrugged, and the rest were all in favor.

When Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and get away with it, he was not making a joke. He was making an observation. It's simply a fact.

I expect things to get a lot worse before they get any better. And I'm not convinced they'll get any better.
All things end.
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  #33  
Old 09-22-2019, 12:39 PM
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More details about the dubiousness (i.e. complete bullshit) of Giuliani's claims about Biden:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-s-biden-claim
  #34  
Old 09-22-2019, 03:32 PM
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Assuming that Trump did make an inappropriate request of the President of Ukraine, this would be significant because the Ukrainians at least would also know about it. This opens up an extortion/blackmail hold they could have over Trump.
  #35  
Old 09-22-2019, 03:49 PM
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Assuming that Trump did make an inappropriate request of the President of Ukraine, this would be significant because the Ukrainians at least would also know about it. This opens up an extortion/blackmail hold they could have over Trump.
Well, not anymore. Trump is acknowledging that he had a "perfectly appropriate" call with the Ukraine leader.

I guess my OP wasn't clear. I agree this seems bad, but the media sources I see seem to be treating it as really bad, a different kind of bad than all the previous cases of lying, corruption, potential obstruction of justice, violating of election laws, giving out of secret information, attacks on the press and our allies, cozying up with our rivals and dictators, and so on and so on.

I don't see why this is being treated as a bigger deal than all the rest. "Well, if this doesn't lead to impeachment, then impeachment as a remedy is dead" -- really? I don't see how this is a difference in kind from all the rest of the crap.
  #36  
Old 09-22-2019, 03:58 PM
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Maybe because it feels like a more direct clash of “personal interests” and “national interests” than anything we’ve seen before. We’ve seen Trump abuse his elected power for personal gain, and we’ve seen him trash what are surely clear national interests for stupid reasons....but I don’t recall such a clear clash of personal gain and national interest in a single action before (if it’s true) — that we know of, of course.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 09-22-2019 at 04:01 PM.
  #37  
Old 09-22-2019, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
More details about the dubiousness (i.e. complete bullshit) of Giuliani's claims about Biden:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-s-biden-claim
From the cited source:
Quote:
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is raising the specter that Joe Biden intervened in Ukrainian politics to help his son’s business.

But if that was Biden’s aim, he was more than a year late, based on a timeline laid out by a former Ukrainian official and in Ukrainian documents.

The official described to Bloomberg details about the country’s political dynamic in the run-up to early 2016 when Biden, then the U.S. vice president, threatened to hold up U.S. funding to Ukraine unless it cracked down on corruption. Biden’s chief demand was the ouster of a top Ukrainian prosecutor who he said had been ineffective. The episode has come under the spotlight in the last week because at one point, that prosecutor had been investigating a natural gas company where Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, sat on the board and received substantial compensation.

There’s little question that the Bidens’ paths in Ukraine held the potential for conflict, and in a tweet last week, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said the U.S. should investigate the matter. But what has received less attention is that at the time Biden made his ultimatum, the probe into the company -- Burisma Holdings, owned by Mykola Zlochevsky -- had been long dormant, according to the former official, Vitaliy Kasko.

“There was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against Zlochevsky,” Kasko said in an interview last week. “It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.”

Kasko’s assessment adds a wrinkle to one of the first political intrigues of the 2020 election season. It undercuts the idea that Biden, now a top Democratic presidential candidate, was seeking to sideline a prosecutor who was actively threatening a company tied to his son. Instead, it appears more consistent with Biden’s previous statements that he was pressing for the removal of a prosecutor who was failing to tackle rampant corruption: According to public reports and internal documents from the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office, U.S. officials had expressed concern for more than a year about Ukrainian prosecutors’ failure to assist an international investigation of Zlochevsky.
  #38  
Old 09-22-2019, 04:08 PM
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Thanks, mjm...well worth highlighting, methinks. You have just 78 posts in 16 years — but you’re choosing them well. This could be quite important.
  #39  
Old 09-22-2019, 04:23 PM
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Wow, that article from The Hill cited by HD seems really misleading if Bloomberg has it right. HD, given this (the apparent non-issue in the Biden thing), does this move the needle for you?

I don't mean to pick on you, but we don't have too many Trump supporters here, so you'll have to be my barometer.
  #40  
Old 09-22-2019, 04:43 PM
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From today's broadcast of Face the Nation, wherein (after discussion of the Iran/Saudi situation) former Secretary of State John Kerry was asked about the Biden/Ukraine story (transcript; linked page includes link for free streaming video of entire broadcast, and I'm sure they'd appreciate your webtraffic)

Quote:
MARGARET BRENNAN: You, obviously, served alongside Joe Biden in the Obama administration, the secretary of state seemed to be supporting, on this program, what Rudy Giuliani, the President's personal attorney, is doing in terms of calling for an investigation into Joe Biden.

JOHN KERRY: Well, first of all, it is entirely--

MARGARET BRENNAN: What do you make of this?

JOHN KERRY: --inappropriate for the President's personal attorney to be involved in another country trying to find dirt on a presidential candidate, number one. Number two, what President Trump has done is an abuse, if he has done it, and the way to prove whether he's done it or not is release the transcript of that conversation. That's how you get to the bottom of this, but there is just, you know, for the President of the United States to be leveraging American foreign policy, hocking it--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

JOHN KERRY: --extorting the leader of another country, if that's what has happened, is unprecedented. And the last time a President did that, Richard Nixon, the Republican Party stood up and held him accountable for the abuse of power. This Republican Party today is-- is running for cover and actually inadvertently supporting a cover-up, if-- if-- if what is alleged is true.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What--

JOHN KERRY: The only way to get at it is release the transcript. Let everybody see what the President said. And if he leveraged--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

JOHN KERRY: --American foreign policy and foreign aid to-- to get a President of another country to be the opposition research--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

JOHN KERRY: --arm of his campaign, that is a fundamental profound and deeply disturbing--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you know what--

JOHN KERRY: --abuse of power.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you know what Secretary Pompeo was talking about when he said election interference?

JOHN KERRY: I-- I don't, I have--

MARGARET BRENNAN: I mean, were you surprised he talked about that?

JOHN KERRY: --no idea. No, I don't. I don't know what that is.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is it an appropriate thing for the secretary of state to be talking about?

JOHN KERRY: I-- I have no idea what he was talking about. So, I'm not going to-- I'm not going to make a judgment on that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You-- before you were secretary of state, you spent decades--

JOHN KERRY: I mean maybe he was referring to the Russian pieces or something. I don't know. But--

MARGARET BRENNAN: I asked him about Ukraine. So, he seemed to be linking it when he said election interference and Joe Biden.

JOHN KERRY: Yeah. But, can I say so one other thing?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

JOHN KERRY: The-- the Obama administration, as a whole administration, was working overtime to try to end corruption in Ukraine.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

JOHN KERRY: You couldn't move forward in a deal with Ukraine if it didn't end corruption. So, that was the focus. It was professionals in the State Department and-- and an ambassador who requested that we be involved to try to get a prosecutor--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

JOHN KERRY: --out of the way who was not able to move. That was an administration policy; it was the professional diplomats who requested that we try to do that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

JOHN KERRY: So, I think there is no equivalency here. The President's just as, you know, throwing up a distraction. The fact is that that transcript needs to be released in order to clarify whether or not this President has again colluded in a way with another country that is inappropriate.
  #41  
Old 09-22-2019, 05:10 PM
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Thanks, mjm...well worth highlighting, methinks. You have just 78 posts in 16 years — but you’re choosing them well. This could be quite important.
[PM hijack] Thanx for the kind words; in the interest of full and accurate disclosure, even though I joined long ago, I got distracted by a bunch of shiny objects soon after and didn't actually post anything until a coupla weeks ago. [/PM hijack]

[good-natured nitpick] It's clearly important, IMHO; I hope it also proves consequential. [/good-natured nitpick]
  #42  
Old 09-22-2019, 05:34 PM
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[PM hijack] Thanx for the kind words; in the interest of full and accurate disclosure, even though I joined long ago, I got distracted by a bunch of shiny objects soon after and didn't actually post anything until a coupla weeks ago. [/PM hijack]

[good-natured nitpick] It's clearly important, IMHO; I hope it also proves consequential. [/good-natured nitpick]
  #43  
Old 09-22-2019, 05:41 PM
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Is the Trump Administration pursuing diligent investigations of all possibilities of malfeasance under the Obama Administration, or is the focus of the requests to Ukraine focusing on Biden, who may be next year’s opponent in the presidential election?

If so, why is Trump focusing on this one suspected instance of treachery? Could it be BECAUSE Biden may be the opponent?

Or is it all just a crazy coincidence?
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Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 09-22-2019 at 05:42 PM.
  #44  
Old 09-22-2019, 05:46 PM
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Doesn't the fact that there were widespread calls from western leaders for that prosecutor to be fired make all that rather dubious as a smoking gun? I mean, do you think Obama just let Biden take all the decisions on that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
AFAICT, no evidence has been presented that the Ukrainian prosecutor in question (Victor Shokin) was pushed out due to any involvement or investigation into anyone in the Biden family. AFAICT, the actual evidence strongly suggests that the reason he was pushed out was because he wasn't investigating corruption seriously (i.e. the prosecutor was corrupt and close to corrupt officials/persons), not because he was investigating anyone in particular. Numerous non-US partners, including the IMF and the EU, urged that he be fired because he wasn't going after corruption.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...thers-campaign
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjmlabs View Post
From the cited source:
Quote:
... at the time Biden made his ultimatum, the probe into the company -- Burisma Holdings, owned by Mykola Zlochevsky -- had been long dormant, according to the former official, Vitaliy Kasko.

“There was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against Zlochevsky,” Kasko said in an interview last week. “It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.” ...
All this renders the tu quoque attempts to excuse Trump's conduct completely null and void. The right is seriously contending that the IMF and EU were intent on protecting a son of a vice president from a probe that had been dormant for years?? Then the right is making itself ridiculous.

Likewise with the 'Trump's requests of the Ukraine president were no doubt in the interests of the USA' defense: how can you spin that out of a whistle-blower complaint that was determined by the inspector general to be an "urgent concern"...? It's not as though those two people--the whistle-blower and the IG--could have made up this story out of whole cloth. The transcripts of the phone call (or calls) could easily be produced to demonstrate the truth of the matter, so lying about it would be a futile exercise.

I can't see how such defenses of Trump can be advanced in good faith. At the very least, an epic degree of doublethink must be required in order to offer these excuses with a straight face.
  #45  
Old 09-22-2019, 05:58 PM
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I can't see how such defenses of Trump can be advanced in good faith. At the very least, an epic degree of doublethink must be required in order to offer these excuses with a straight face.
You really should be a little more charitable. This wasn't some blasting across the headlines type news. It would be very easy for less scrupulous news sources to report facts selectively to make this sound bad. The fact that Bden was absolutely following the primary thrust of American foreign policy is what kills the conspiracy -- don't report that and it all looks suspicious.
  #46  
Old 09-22-2019, 06:11 PM
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You really should be a little more charitable. This wasn't some blasting across the headlines type news. It would be very easy for less scrupulous news sources to report facts selectively to make this sound bad. The fact that Bden was absolutely following the primary thrust of American foreign policy is what kills the conspiracy -- don't report that and it all looks suspicious.
Yes, there's no doubt that some in the right-wing bubble haven't been exposed to the relevant facts.

But notice that even when they finally do get access to those facts, they often cling to the bad arguments.
  #47  
Old 09-22-2019, 06:28 PM
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But notice that even when they finally do get access to those facts, they often cling to the bad arguments.
I'm sure that's true in some cases but in this particular case, HurricaneDitka hasn't actually returned to the thread since those facts were pointed out.
  #48  
Old 09-22-2019, 06:50 PM
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Wow, that article from The Hill cited by HD seems really misleading if Bloomberg has it right. HD, given this (the apparent non-issue in the Biden thing), does this move the needle for you?

I don't mean to pick on you, but we don't have too many Trump supporters here, so you'll have to be my barometer.
It's a John Solomon piece.

"Then again, Solomon has a history of bending the truth to his storyline."

"As a reporter for the AP and The Washington Post, he dug up his share of genuine dirt, but he also was notorious for massaging facts to conjure phantom scandals."

"Similarly, reporters who worked under Solomon as an editor—seven of whom were interviewed for this article—say he often pressured them to mold the truth to his vision of the story. 'He had this sort of thesis or idea of what the story was,' says one Center staff member. 'Facts be damned.'"

Something fishy?
John Solomon had grand plans for the digital future of the Center for Public Integrity. But there was always a catch...
  #49  
Old 09-22-2019, 07:17 PM
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It's a John Solomon piece.

"Then again, Solomon has a history of bending the truth to his storyline."

"As a reporter for the AP and The Washington Post, he dug up his share of genuine dirt, but he also was notorious for massaging facts to conjure phantom scandals."

"Similarly, reporters who worked under Solomon as an editor—seven of whom were interviewed for this article—say he often pressured them to mold the truth to his vision of the story. 'He had this sort of thesis or idea of what the story was,' says one Center staff member. 'Facts be damned.'"

Something fishy?
John Solomon had grand plans for the digital future of the Center for Public Integrity. But there was always a catch...
Quote:
Former religion reporter Julia Duin, who had been out of town when the bomb dropped, recalls returning to a sea of ransacked desks littered with crumpled notebooks and overturned phones. “Whole swaths of the newsroom were decimated,” she says.

Over the next few months, the ruthless cuts continued, and the paper was reduced to a flimsy string of wire copy. Inside headquarters, bills stacked up, basic maintenance went untended, and vermin began roaming the halls—at one point, according to The Washington Post, a three-foot blacksnake was spotted slithering through the newsroom.
Are you sure Solomon was not one of the Republicans for Voldemort?

  #50  
Old 09-22-2019, 08:37 PM
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It seems to me that President Trump was trying to remedy the wrong of Biden using his official position and the threat of withholding aid money to Ukraine to protect his son from an investigation by the Ukranian prosecutor. Sherrerd's post seems to me slanted to ignore Hunter (and Joe) Biden's wrongdoing. At least, that's how it seems to me from a first pass of what's been released so far.
I don’t think it’s uncommon for the US government to lobby on behalf of a US citizen that is facing legal problems in a foreign country, regardless of their factual innocence or guilt. We do it because we want to try to ensure fair treatment for all our citizens and we know that certain foreign countries do not always treat their defendants fairly and that they don’t respect the human rights of their prisoners.

And, partisanship aside, it’s what we should do.

What we should NOT do is encourage or pressure a foreign government to take legal action against a US citizen and subject them to a justice system that does not adhere to the same rules of fair play as ours does, and a prison system that does not respect the human rights of prisoners the way ours does.

Anyone with any sort of moral compass should see the difference, and it’s sad and a little scary that our government is urging a government that has a horrible and corrupt police and justice system to “go after” a US citizen. Even if that citizen did something wrong.
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