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  #251  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:35 PM
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Polling evidence from "second choice" polls suggests that Sanders and Harris would be the primary beneficiaries of a Biden dropout. But certainly it would also be a golden opportunity for Buttigieg and, really, every other candidate.
  #252  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:40 PM
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"No quid pro quo! No quid pro quo!" What a flimsy defense. He was holding the military aid package - already approved by congress (the keepers of the purse strings)) - behind his back while laying out his wish list. No quid pro quo. Ferchrissakes. When I make my dog sit and stay and walk ten feet away, there's no discussion of the treat in my hand; he just knows that when I say "come" he gets what I'm keeping from him.
  #253  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:41 PM
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I finally had a chance to read the memo. Not that anyone asked, but here's my read:
  • Trump is known for being Putin's bitch
  • Trump has stalled military aid to Ukraine
  • Ukraine is being bullied by Putin
  • Trump starts the call saying, "you know I'm your friend. I do a lot for you."
  • Zelenskyy says, "yes, you're a great friend" and asks for help defending himself from Russia.
  • Trump says, "Sure, but first I need you to find that DNC server."
  • Zelenskyy says, "yes."
  • Trump says, "and I need you to investigate Joe Biden Jr."
  • Zelenskyy says, "yes."
  • Trump says, "I look forward to seeing you at the White House."

This strikes me as a textbook protection racket. It's a fucking obvious quid-pro-quo! It's a Mario Puzo scene for god's sake!
Serious Q....im obviously not a lawyer...is it a crime? And what's the crime?
  #254  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:42 PM
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Actually, new polls posted today in the Bernie thread suggest that Warren and Sanders are now nearly tied (28-26 Warren) as the second choice of Biden voters, with Harris back at 10% and Buttigieg presumably somewhere below that. But this is kind of a hijack in this thread. Back to the pitchforks and torches!
  #255  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:43 PM
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Polling evidence from "second choice" polls suggests that Sanders and Harris would be the primary beneficiaries of a Biden dropout. But certainly it would also be a golden opportunity for Buttigieg and, really, every other candidate.
Kamala Harris might get a little bump as a result of this because an exchange she had with Barr back in May is trending a bit...

Harris: Has the president or anyone at the W.H. ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?
Barr: Um.
Harris: Seems you'd remember something like that and be able to tell us.
Barr: Yeah, but I'm trying to grapple with the word suggest.
  #256  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:43 PM
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Who cares if it is a crime? If the President threatens to drone strike Merkel unless she invents some oppo on Pete Buttigieg, does that warrant impeachment only if it is a crime?
  #257  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:43 PM
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Serious Q....im obviously not a lawyer...is it a crime? And what's the crime?
"High crimes and misdemeanors" is not specifically defined in the Constitution, and thus it's up to Congress (when it comes to the President). If you're asking if this would be a crime for some random non-Prez official to do, I don't know the answer.
  #258  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:44 PM
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I'll accept your representation, Thing Fish. But he's not going to drop out, and that's simply a political reality. Best to deal in reality, I think.

Don't get me wrong. I love Harris and Buttegieg. But this is a realpolitik election, and for me, that alters the calculus enormously.

ETA: Agree about the hijack. There are better threads in which to have this discussion. Gimme a pitchfork, please!

Last edited by Aspenglow; 09-25-2019 at 12:46 PM.
  #259  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:44 PM
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The White House mistakenly sent their talking points on how to downplay the call summary out to House Democrats. Four dimensional chess!
  #260  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:44 PM
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Who cares if it is a crime? If the President threatens to drone strike Merkel unless she invents some oppo on Pete Buttigieg, does that warrant impeachment only if it is a crime?
Obviously not (meaning that yes, this would obviously warrant impeachment). But it would be good to know whether this would be a crime if it were done by some random diplomat or other official -- that might help an impeachment case be more successful, politically speaking.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 09-25-2019 at 12:45 PM.
  #261  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:44 PM
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Serious Q....im obviously not a lawyer...is it a crime? And what's the crime?
Are we pivoting to the "it's not technically a crime" defense now?

Does this mean the "no quid pro quo" is officially over? Or can both be used at the same time?

- I did not steal that cookie
- Stealing the cookie is technically not a crime


(soon)
- The cookie did not taste very good anyway
  #262  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:45 PM
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The crime is Bribery and it's spelled out in the Constitution, guys. The Constitution is silent as to whether it's the offering or taking of bribes, so we may assume both are valid.

Art 2, Sec 4:

"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."

Last edited by JohnT; 09-25-2019 at 12:46 PM.
  #263  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:46 PM
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Precisely because of the kind of thinking illustrated PERFECTLY in Annoyed's posts:


The question is, how prevalent is this misguided refusal to see reality among voters?
No, the real question is whether anyone who thinks like this ever really at risk for voting Dem. it’s not like they’re thinking “gee, if only the Dems hadn’t demanded a impeachment inquiry...totally would’ve been on Team Biden.”
  #264  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Obviously not (meaning that yes, this would obviously warrant impeachment). But it would be good to know whether this would be a crime if it were done by some random diplomat or other official -- that might help an impeachment case be more successful, politically speaking.
Meh. It may well be a campaign finance violation or bribery. But I think it is a mistake to try to analyze it as a crime. The application of those laws to this kind of conduct is never going to be so black-and-white as to satisfy skeptics, and it only reinforces the obviously incorrect notion that it matters whether it is a crime.

The Mueller report talks about whether helping the campaign with information is a "thing of value." Mueller thought it was. But it is an open question, legally speaking. It would be a big mistake to go down that rabbit hole again, IMO.
  #265  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:48 PM
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Meh. It may well be a campaign finance violation or bribery. But I think it is a mistake to try to analyze it as a crime. The application of those laws to this kind of conduct is never going to be so black-and-white as to satisfy skeptics, and it only reinforces the obviously incorrect notion that it matters whether it is a crime.

The Mueller report talks about whether helping the campaign with information is a "thing of value." Mueller thought it was. But it is an open question, legally speaking. It would be a big mistake to go down that rabbit hole again, IMO.
Fair enough, thanks.
  #266  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:49 PM
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Are we pivoting to the "it's not technically a crime" defense now?
Are we mind-reading now? You could just answer the question at face value. That's what "Serious question" means.

It means, lets skip all the bullshit and answer the question please.

Last edited by Dale Sams; 09-25-2019 at 12:49 PM.
  #267  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:50 PM
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Senate Republicans split over Trump urging Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden
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Originally Posted by WaPo
Several Senate Republicans were stunned Wednesday and questioned the White House’s judgment after it released a rough transcript of President Trump’s call with the Ukraine president that showed Trump offering the help of the U.S. attorney general to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

One Senate Republican, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly, said the transcript’s release was a “huge mistake” that the GOP now has to confront, even as they argue that House Democrats are overreaching with their impeachment effort.
Side note: I know some people grouse about links to articles behind paywalls. Washington Post is doing some outstanding reporting on this whole thing, including a few scoops. If you've been on the fence about throwing some cash their way, maybe now's the time?
  #268  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:53 PM
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Also you can be sure that every single angle and "rabbit hole" will be throughly explored by the most distinguished of scholars and constitutional experts. So i don't think "What's the crime", "Is it a crime" and "Can one only be impeached for a literal crime" is off-limits *here* in this bastion of non-partisan debate.

Last edited by Dale Sams; 09-25-2019 at 12:54 PM.
  #269  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:54 PM
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The White House mistakenly sent their talking points on how to downplay the call summary out to House Democrats. Four dimensional chess!
Whoa. I had no idea the Onion would go that far to make a joke. Changing their website branding and all just for a wacky story. Bravo!




Oh, wait....Ha! What a bunch of maroons.
  #270  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:54 PM
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If you guys had so much support you wouldn't need Russian assistance, Ukrainian assistance, voter suppression and purges, gerrymandering, dirty NRA money etc to squeak out a victory based on a few tens of thousands of votes in 3 states. And you still lost by 3 MILLION votes. 3,000,000 votes.

If what you say is true, then lets have a true open election, no interference, no shenanigans, everybody votes, every vote counts. Let's do that and see how badly your side gets trounced. Unless you are willing to do that, you should go ahead and shut up about the last election and the things your side stole as a result.
Even Moscow Mitch knows this. He has said that making voting readily accessible works in favor of Democrats.
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  #271  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:56 PM
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Republicans: There is no crime to investigate without explicit magic phrases of quid pro quo.
Also Republicans: Biden needs to be investigated because of vague connections for his son working in Ukraine or something.
  #272  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:57 PM
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Also you can be sure that every single angle and "rabbit hole" will be throughly explored by the most distinguished of scholars and constitutional experts. So i don't think "What's the crime", "Is it a crime" and "Can one only be impeached for a literal crime" is off-limits *here* in this bastion of non-partisan debate.
I am not suggesting it is off limits.

I am suggesting that before we go there we ought to acknowledge that it doesn't matter and that "technically, the element of U.S.C. 23452(c)(3) isn't satisfied if it happened on Wednesday" will be how Trump defenders try to defend the indefensible.

I'm all for an academic discussion of federal crime. I just think we ought to do a little place-setting first.
  #273  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:58 PM
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The crime is Bribery and it's spelled out in the Constitution, guys. The Constitution is silent as to whether it's the offering or taking of bribes, so we may assume both are valid.

Art 2, Sec 4:

"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."
Sounds more like extortion. i point this out only because

1. If it gets bad for Trump enough you can be sure this distinction will be made.

2, "I did not attempt to bribe the man. I can prove it because it was extortion." is a hilarious defense.
  #274  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:59 PM
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Serious Q....im obviously not a lawyer...is it a crime? And what's the crime?
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
"High crimes and misdemeanors" is not specifically defined in the Constitution, and thus it's up to Congress (when it comes to the President). If you're asking if this would be a crime for some random non-Prez official to do, I don't know the answer.
iiandyiiii took my answer. I dunno if it's a crime. I'm just hoping (in spite of everything I've seen over the past four years) that enough Republicans think it's bad enough to remove Trump from office.
  #275  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:59 PM
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I am not suggesting it is off limits.

I am suggesting that before we go there we ought to acknowledge that it doesn't matter and that "technically, the element of U.S.C. 23452(c)(3) isn't satisfied if it happened on Wednesday" will be how Trump defenders try to defend the indefensible.

I'm all for an academic discussion of federal crime. I just think we ought to do a little place-setting first.
Ahh. Gotcha (no sarcasm)
  #276  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:59 PM
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Senate Republicans split over Trump urging Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden

Side note: I know some people grouse about links to articles behind paywalls. Washington Post is doing some outstanding reporting on this whole thing, including a few scoops. If you've been on the fence about throwing some cash their way, maybe now's the time?
Perhaps, but could you answer one question about this from the story. Are the Reps not questioning the judgement of the release of the partial transcript? That is, the precedent it sets?

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 09-25-2019 at 01:03 PM.
  #277  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:03 PM
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The article strictly talks about questioning the release of the partial transcript, not questioning the president's "Nice aid package you got, shame if something happened to it" rhetoric within the call. They're concerned about campaign strategy, not about national security or governmental ethics.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 09-25-2019 at 01:03 PM.
  #278  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:03 PM
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...

Side note: I know some people grouse about links to articles behind paywalls. Washington Post is doing some outstanding reporting on this whole thing, including a few scoops. If you've been on the fence about throwing some cash their way, maybe now's the time?
No, fuck them, I hate paywalls.
  #279  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:04 PM
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No, fuck them, I hate paywalls.
Have a cookie!
  #280  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:05 PM
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The White House mistakenly sent their talking points on how to downplay the call summary out to House Democrats. Four dimensional chess!
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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Whoa. I had no idea the Onion would go that far to make a joke. Changing their website branding and all just for a wacky story. Bravo!




Oh, wait....Ha! What a bunch of maroons.

That "mistake" has GOT TO BE deliberate on the part of a staffer who has just had enough of the bullshit.
  #281  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:09 PM
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Ahh. Gotcha (no sarcasm)
FWIW, the federal bribery statute says it is a crime if the President (or any public official):
"directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for being influenced in the performance of any official act."

Here, it would be seeking information or other assistance with his presidential campaign in exchange for agreeing to release military aid to Ukraine. The transcript has Zelensky talking about the need for the US aid that Trump himself suspended and Trump saying, "I would like you to do us a favor though," before asking for information in two categories: (1) related to his conspiracy theory that the DNC framed Russia for the 2016 email hack, to help him counter the narrative of the Mueller Report; and (2) derogatory information about Joe Biden.

The main question is whether the assistance sought from Ukraine is "anything of value." It is an unsettled question. The Mueller Report said this on the subject:
Quote:
A campaign can be assisted not only by the provision of funds, but also by the provision of derogatory information about an opponent. Political campaigns frequently conduct and pay for opposition research. A foreign entity that engaged in such research and provided resulting information to a campaign could exert a greater effect on an election, and a greater tendency to ingratiate the donor to the candidate, than a gift of money or tangible things of value. At the same time, no judicial decision has treated the voluntary provision of uncompensated opposition research or similar information as a thing of value that could amount to a contribution under campaign-finance law. … Those questions could be especially difficult where the information consisted simply of the recounting of historically accurate facts. It is uncertain how courts would resolve those issues.
  #282  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:10 PM
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If there was an alien observing this, s/he might think Earth is a mishmash of parallel universes,
Or they might be able to see the larger view, and note that so far this could be no different from Watergate. ("The Myth of Watergate Bipartisanship --
The Republicans stuck with their president, right up to the end
," New York Times.)
  #283  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:14 PM
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Sounds more like extortion. i point this out only because

1. If it gets bad for Trump enough you can be sure this distinction will be made.

2, "I did not attempt to bribe the man. I can prove it because it was extortion." is a hilarious defense.
My call to Cornyn and Cruz, today:

"Trump is bribing the President of Ukraine with the Taxpayer's money.

As a taxpayer, I find this bribery impeachable. And bribery is defined as such in the Constitution under Article 2, section 4.

Do you need anything else? Thank you."

Just keep it simple - this isn't a criminal investigation, it's a political one, and what they're truly investigating is whether The American People (meaning... us) is going to stand up for this. And the best way to let them understand the answer is "yes, we will not let this stand!" is to call your Reps and Senators and say the above.

Today. Now. And repeatedly.

Last edited by JohnT; 09-25-2019 at 01:17 PM.
  #284  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:15 PM
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https://twitter.com/mitchellreports/...01688139165697

Quote:
On whether Senators would vote for impeachment,
@murphymike
says, "One Republican senator told me if it was a secret vote, 30 Republican senators would vote to impeach Trump."
If this is accurate, then some Republicans may work in secret to help the Democrats find something very, very damning against Trump.

But who knows? We live in a very, very silly time and place.
  #285  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:16 PM
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FWIW, the federal bribery statute says it is a crime if the President (or any public official):
"directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for being influenced in the performance of any official act."
No point in diffusing the Ukraine problem that way. If that is going to be an impeachment article, it's a much more direct link to the Trump Hotel in DC. The routine direction of USAF crews, and funds, to Turnberry is just ordinary low-grade corruption.
  #286  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:18 PM
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Republicans: There is no crime to investigate without explicit magic phrases of quid pro quo.
And There Was No Collusion!

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 09-25-2019 at 01:18 PM.
  #287  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:18 PM
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Yeah, my point is that fitting this into a federal crime box at all is a mistake. It is obviously an egregious abuse of power to even ask for foreign assistance in a US election, much less withhold military aid to achieve that end.
  #288  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:21 PM
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Hey I'm just spitballing trying to figure out what actual official defense we will hear in the end:

"I was not bribing anyone. They (The Ukranian govt.) broke their own laws by squelching the investigation into Biden. All I did was demand they follow their own laws before i would release the taxpayers money that has been allocated to them."


Edit: That's not gonna work is it? Sorry Donnie...I did my best. You're on your own.

Last edited by Dale Sams; 09-25-2019 at 01:23 PM.
  #289  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:24 PM
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Lawfare: Don't Over-Legalize Impeachment.
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This is an understandable impulse, but it should be resisted, at least for now. The question is not whether Trump broke federal criminal law. The question is whether he has failed to uphold his constitutional duties and should be impeached and removed from office.
Another article, So You Want to Impeach the President lays out how to do that and what not to focus on.
Quote:
This is why it is critically important to be disciplined at this juncture—to base articles of impeachment only on that activity which is not merely a plausible basis for removal but is unambiguously justified as a basis for removal. That means that anything that is a matter of policy—no matter how much one might disagree with the policy or how abhorrent one might find it—should not be included. For example, Congress should strongly resist the temptation to include disputes over border security—including both spending on the wall and the grotesque policy of family separation—in any articles it might draw up.

It also means that Congress should avoid issues that implicate Trump’s conduct before he became president.

<snip>

It also means ignoring for impeachment purposes Trump’s likely criminality with respect to the Daniels and McDougal payments. While this activity spilled over into his presidency, it is predominantly pre-presidential.
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Finally, articles of impeachment should not include alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause in connection with the operation of the Trump Organization’s many commercial properties.
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In short, Congress should focus for impeachment purposes only on matters of unacceptable presidential conduct that are provable on the basis of currently available evidence and that are thus easily presentable to the Senate for judgment.

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 09-25-2019 at 01:54 PM. Reason: URL fixed per poster's request
  #290  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:29 PM
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I would like to note that in this call the bribery goes both ways:

1. Trump received a bribe by the Ukrainian President stating he stays at Trump properties.
2. Trump offered a bribe of taxpayer funds for the Biden investigation.

Lastly... didn't Ukraine receive a mysterious additional $140m on top of the $250m authorized by Congress?

Bribery. That's the crime. And it goes both ways: offering and receiving.
  #291  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:31 PM
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Here's the bribe:

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-s...draws-scrutiny

Quote:
On support for Ukraine, extra $140 million draws scrutiny

It didn't cause much of a stir at the time, but the Associated Press ran a report two weeks ago that may be relevant anew. It noted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced at a conference that the United States had released $250 million in military aid -- with an additional $140 million on top of that sum.

The Trump administration said Thursday [Sept. 12] that it has released $250 million in military aid to Ukraine that had been held up. It didn't mention additional funds.

Zelenskiy's deputy chief of staff Kirill Tymoshenko confirmed to The Associated Press after the president's speech that Ukraine is indeed expecting an extra $140 million from the U.S., but he wouldn't give detail on the source or designation of the funds.

There may very well be nothing to this, but it was a curious series of events. The Trump administration was supposed to give Ukraine $250 million, but that money was on hold when the American president spoke via phone to his Ukrainian counterpart -- a conversation in which Trump reportedly pressed Zelenskiy eight times about investigating Biden.
It's all right there, guys: Trump gave $140 million of taxpayer money to Ukraine so they may open the Biden investigation.

Last edited by JohnT; 09-25-2019 at 01:32 PM.
  #292  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:31 PM
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Bo: That's what it should be, sure. However, one other thing the Republicans did in the Clinton case is get it widely accepted that impeachment is simply how the criminal justice system operates for Presidents (so, you see, they had to do it, it was required by law. ). That was even though the Constitution explicitly says the opposite. A corollary, also bullshit but still out there, is the notion that impeachment is not permissible if the conduct is not criminal, but is simply political spite. That all needs to be cleared away.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 09-25-2019 at 01:32 PM.
  #293  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic View Post
That "mistake" has GOT TO BE deliberate on the part of a staffer who has just had enough of the bullshit.
I doubt it. It was sent by Tori Symonds, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Government Communications. Er, EX-Special Assistant to the President and Director of Government Communications, that is.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 09-25-2019 at 01:33 PM.
  #294  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
So Trump says this:


And the folks over on r/Conservative agree wholeheartedly. The whole transcript is a nothingburger, they say, and it shows a perfectly normal call, nothing bad in it, nope, everything's fine.

So that's the angle. Commit wrongdoing right out in the open and pretend it's not wrongdoing.
It wasn't me.

I didn't do it.
  #295  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:37 PM
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The article strictly talks about questioning the release of the partial transcript, not questioning the president's "Nice aid package you got, shame if something happened to it" rhetoric within the call. They're concerned about campaign strategy, not about national security or governmental ethics.
Oh, for a minute I got my hopes up. Seriously though, thanks for the reply.
  #296  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:41 PM
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The redacted (...) sections are about the $140 million. I'd bet next months mortgage on that*.

*Disclaimer: Not a betting man.
  #297  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:42 PM
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Trump is speaking.

Guys, he's just too emotional to hold office.

LOL, he ended his co-statement with Zelensky by declaring Pelosi is no longer Speaker of the House. (Trump said this, not Zelensky.)

https://twitter.com/ZekeJMiller/stat...886162944?s=20

"Nancy Pelosi, as far as I'm concerned, unfortunately, she's no longer the Speaker of the House"

Last edited by JohnT; 09-25-2019 at 01:44 PM.
  #298  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:43 PM
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No, fuck them, I hate paywalls.
Yeah! Everything should always be free! No one should charge for legitimate products or services!
__________________
* "Former President Trump" -- saying it until it becomes true.
  #299  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:43 PM
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Watching Trump and a couple Republicans on Fox, it appears they're going to play the "Democrats are wasting time and blocking important legislation on gun control, infrastructure, and drug prices." When the Senate acquits they are going to go fucking nuts about his "innocence." We are truly fucked. This was an impetuous move that changes nothing regarding the investigation, but opens us up to look like idiots.
  #300  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:44 PM
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Yeah! Everything should always be free! No one should charge for legitimate products or services!
You are every Democrat running for President and I claim my five pounds.
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