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  #51  
Old 09-23-2019, 02:05 AM
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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.
You're fine. I don't feel 'picked on', at least not more than usual. To answer your question: no, not really. I think your first sentence is accurate, but that "if" is a huge caveat. By the same token, the Bloomberg article seems really misleading if the Hill has it right, doesn't it?

There are some things here that I think everyone agrees on. For example, the answer to your first question earlier: Joe Biden pretty unambiguously threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine if the prosecutor was not fired. He said so in his own words, in a very detailed story. There's no real dispute there.

But there are other things that appear to be very much still in dispute, and the Hill and Bloomberg articles highlight one of those: what was the state of the Burisma Holdings investigation? Bloomberg reports "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." OTOH, The Hill reports that Shokin "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" and "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.”" So which was it? Was the investigation "long dormant" or still very much alive and being led by Shokin? Kasko says the former and Shokin the latter. According to Bloomberg, "In an interview with the Ukrainian website Strana.ua published on May 6, Shokin said he believes he was fired because of his Burisma investigation, which he said had been active at the time."

This seems like a fairly classic case of two men (Kasko and Shokin) telling conflicting stories. I doubt you or I, sitting at our respective computers in 2019, have the capacity to really ascertain with certainty which one (if either one) is telling the truth. Several posters in this thread seem content to take Kasko at his word. I don't feel so inclined, but I can't say for certain whether my attitude (or the attitude of the other posters) is influenced, or to what degree, by our preferred outcomes in this case. The New York Times summed it up this way:

I don't think that "considerable debate" has been settled yet, but YMMV.

Anyways, I'll do some further reading on this and I'm sure we can continue the discussion. As I've said, my thoughts / feelings are still rather fluid on the subject.
  #52  
Old 09-23-2019, 03:12 AM
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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.
Not so sure that I can get on board with this.
Aren't some of the traits of the US supposed to be fairness and justice?
What's fair or just about defending an evildooer because he's on your team?
Ensure his punishment is in line with your moral code is good, and that the evidence against him stacks up is the correct thing.
But not a blind defence of the guilty.

Brevity courtesy of phone typing sorry
  #53  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:31 AM
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But there are other things that appear to be very much still in dispute, and the Hill and Bloomberg articles highlight one of those: what was the state of the Burisma Holdings investigation?
One of those is a news article and the other is an opinion piece.
  #54  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:32 AM
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As it stands now, a US citizen or national is entitled to claim consular protection abroad, regardless of the evidence of guilt, the nature of the alleged crime, or the status of the US citizen. Even if they are Democrats. That first sentence was taken directly from the Department of State website and has been non-controversial for a long time now, I believe.

Yes, US citizens traveling abroad are subject to the laws of the countries they are visiting. But let’s take a more extreme example. It’s quite possible that Otto Warmbier actually did break the North Korean laws he was accused of breaking. Would you be outraged if Trump and Kim Jong Un had conversations to assure that he got the punishment that was his due under NK law? Or would this display of international cooperation appeal to your sense of fairness and justice?

I’d be outraged, myself. Human rights are very important to me and our strong defense of them is one of the things that makes the US a great country. And the Ukraine does not have a good human rights record and they use their criminal justice system as a political weapon. Our government should not be colluding with them in order to persecute our political enemies.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 09-23-2019 at 08:36 AM.
  #55  
Old 09-23-2019, 09:02 AM
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Shodan, I know you're not a big Trump supporter, but do you think this is an impeachable offense?
Anything's an impeachable offense if you got the votes.The Dems don't have the votes, and at least to date, this doesn't look to be something that will get them the votes. There is enough slop-over/both-sides-do-it that it will be difficult in the minds of the general public to use it to get Trump without hurting Biden.

I could be wrong - maybe more facts will come out. Allegedly now the whistle-blower wasn't in the room when the conversation took place. Biden has denied ever talking about it with his son, which may or may not be strictly true. If it turns out that Biden did discuss it, that might be innocent and he just forgot. But that plays into the narrative for Biden that he is old and loses track of what he is saying, or said.

But I don't know. Maybe this is finally the thing that the Dems can use to get Trump at last. But maybe not. No doubt there will be investigations, and then investigations of the investigations. And when and if Trump is re-elected, investigations of the investigations of the investigations.

Regards,
Shodan
  #56  
Old 09-23-2019, 09:14 AM
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Anything's an impeachable offense if you got the votes.The Dems don't have the votes, and at least to date, this doesn't look to be something that will get them the votes. There is enough slop-over/both-sides-do-it that it will be difficult in the minds of the general public to use it to get Trump without hurting Biden.

I could be wrong - maybe more facts will come out. Allegedly now the whistle-blower wasn't in the room when the conversation took place. Biden has denied ever talking about it with his son, which may or may not be strictly true. If it turns out that Biden did discuss it, that might be innocent and he just forgot. But that plays into the narrative for Biden that he is old and loses track of what he is saying, or said.

But I don't know. Maybe this is finally the thing that the Dems can use to get Trump at last. But maybe not. No doubt there will be investigations, and then investigations of the investigations. And when and if Trump is re-elected, investigations of the investigations of the investigations.

Regards,
Shodan
I'm asking whether you, Shodan, think this is something he should be impeached over. I get that there will never be support in the Senate for impeachment. For example, if it turns out that Trump was actually effecting bribing or extorting the Ukraine in order to investigate Biden, I think that would be impeachable, but my standard is lower than yours, since I think the obstruction, or attempted obstruction, laid out in the Mueller report was impeachable as well, and probably the removal of sanctions on a Chinese company for dealing with Iran when China made a loan to the Trump organization, and also probably the payoff using campaign funds to Daniels, and probably the various violations of the emoluments clause.

So, I'm not that interested in the politics of it, but whether Trump supporters or conservatives in general think that this moves the needle, that it's a difference in kind from all the previous stuff.
  #57  
Old 09-23-2019, 09:19 AM
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So, I'm not that interested in the politics of it, but whether Trump supporters or conservatives in general think that this moves the needle, that it's a difference in kind from all the previous stuff.
And if not, why not?
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  #58  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:12 AM
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I'm asking whether you, Shodan, think this is something he should be impeached over. I get that there will never be support in the Senate for impeachment. For example, if it turns out that Trump was actually effecting bribing or extorting the Ukraine in order to investigate Biden, I think that would be impeachable, but my standard is lower than yours, since I think the obstruction, or attempted obstruction, laid out in the Mueller report was impeachable as well, and probably the removal of sanctions on a Chinese company for dealing with Iran when China made a loan to the Trump organization, and also probably the payoff using campaign funds to Daniels, and probably the various violations of the emoluments clause.

So, I'm not that interested in the politics of it, but whether Trump supporters or conservatives in general think that this moves the needle, that it's a difference in kind from all the previous stuff.
That's fair enough. The answer being what I said - I don't know, at least not yet.

I am sure I can rely on CNN and MS/NBC and my friends at the Dope to present whatever facts they can find to present the case against Trump. The other facts, if any, I will have to glean from other sources. It would be, in my estimation, to take the word of the Democrats at face value or as if they were a complete analysis of the situation. At least to date.

It's not true that this could never amount to anything that would make me support impeachment. It's also not true that it has already.

Regards,
Shodan
  #59  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:15 AM
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That's fair enough. The answer being what I said - I don't know, at least not yet.

I am sure I can rely on CNN and MS/NBC and my friends at the Dope to present whatever facts they can find to present the case against Trump. The other facts, if any, I will have to glean from other sources. It would be, in my estimation, to take the word of the Democrats at face value or as if they were a complete analysis of the situation. At least to date.

It's not true that this could never amount to anything that would make me support impeachment. It's also not true that it has already.

Regards,
Shodan
Why are you relying on Democrats and the liberal media? Don't you trust Republicans and conservative media to investigate claims of corruption and illegal behavior within their own ranks? Don't Republicans care about those things?
  #60  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:23 AM
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And if not, why not?
Because, so far, it isn't any different from what Dems have been saying since Trump because President, and before that about emoluments and obstruction of justice and the inauguration and Russian hookers peeing on the bed and heaven knows what.
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Why are you relying on Democrats and the liberal media?
I'm not. I said I was confident that the Left will present every fact and semi-fact that they can find that makes this look bad for Trump. The rest of the facts - probably not so much.

Regards,
Shodan
  #61  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:41 AM
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As of now this is “allegations of ...”. That won’t move anyone who wasn’t moved already.

Solid proof would move a marginal few more.

It is barely hyperbolic to claim as he did that he could shoot someone in broad daylight and his core supporters would find a way to either disbelieve the fake news or support his murdering someone as the right thing to do.

Getting them to drop support to the level that two thirds of the Senate would vote to convict to impeach? I don’t know what could accomplish that. There’s more than a third of the states that have enough of those core supporters to make that not happen.
  #62  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:53 AM
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I said I was confident that the Left will present every fact and semi-fact that they can find that makes this look bad for Trump. The rest of the facts - probably not so much.

Regards,
Shodan
It's important to keep in mind that most facts and semi-facts presented by the Left are a result of malfeasance of the Trump administration and the complicit Republicans who obstruct investigations in order to keep semi-facts from being fully established. This is not the case of "alternative facts" being manufactured from whole cloth; Birtherism, for example. The game, as is evidenced in this discussion, is for the Right to maximize and maintain the veneer of implausible deniability for their base, which will see and hear no evil coming from this White House.
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  #63  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:26 AM
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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.
Quick take: Because this one is more "real". Remember the details of the McGahn obstruction of justice possibility that Mueller put in his report? Neither do I. Something about Trump telling McGahn to get rid of Rosenstein. It's all very murky, unless you read the report. This on the other hand is straightforward. The president is essentially trying to bribe a foreign government to do dirty work for him against an American citizen and possible opponent in the next election. Why Trump should or should not be able to get rid of someone in the DoJ isn't so cut in dried in the minds of the American people, I would imagine. No cut against them, it just isn't. We all understand what a bribe is.
  #64  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:43 AM
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Because, so far, it isn't any different from what Dems have been saying since Trump because President, and before that about emoluments and obstruction of justice and the inauguration and Russian hookers peeing on the bed and heaven knows what.
Its always the same thing. The Democrats wanted him removed when he picked someone's pocket on first avenue, stole a car on second avenue, mugged someone on third avenue, and robbed a bank on 4th avenue. So why should I pay attention to them now that he's shot someone on 5th avenue.

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  #65  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:50 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.
Biden in and of himself had no power to do anything. He was not the president. So answer me this: why would Obama authorize Biden to make such a threat just to protect Biden's son? Why risk his reputation for such a thing? It makes no sense. And also, please explain, with facts and evidence, what Hunter's "wrongdoing" was, other than making an absolutely indefensible decision to put himself into such a conflict of interest in the first place?
  #66  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:57 AM
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....and robbed a bank on 4th avenue....
You mean Lex, Park, or Madison.

(Sorry...carry on...)
  #67  
Old 09-23-2019, 12:14 PM
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There are some things here that I think everyone agrees on. For example, the answer to your first question earlier: Joe Biden pretty unambiguously threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine if the prosecutor was not fired. He said so in his own words, in a very detailed story. There's no real dispute there.
First let me say that I did not read the whole thread before my above response to you and I should have.

As for this, it goes to what I said earlier. Indeed, there is no ambiguity about what Biden said, since you quoted it. But just because he made a threat does not mean he had the power to come to that decision on his own. Unless Obama had just turned the whole of Ukraine foreign policy over to him. I see no evidence this was the case. So again, what was Obama's motive?
  #68  
Old 09-23-2019, 12:31 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?
Just ask Barack Hussein Obama himself, who's had his U.S. passport revoked for fraudulently claiming to be born in Hawaii.

We could ask Crooked Hillary Clinton, but all her time is taken up with all those investigations and criminal trials Trump's Attorney General began against her the day the President was inaugurated.

For another example of Trump's commitment to uncovering evil and righting wrongs, ask the humiliated Ted Cruz, who resigned from the Senate after Trump's investigation showed Cruz's father was involved in the JFK assassination, which also put an end to all those "who killed JFK?" conspiracy theories.

Oh, wait. . .

Last edited by Kent Clark; 09-23-2019 at 12:32 PM.
  #69  
Old 09-23-2019, 12:39 PM
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First let me say that I did not read the whole thread before my above response to you and I should have.

As for this, it goes to what I said earlier. Indeed, there is no ambiguity about what Biden said, since you quoted it. But just because he made a threat does not mean he had the power to come to that decision on his own. Unless Obama had just turned the whole of Ukraine foreign policy over to him. I see no evidence this was the case. So again, what was Obama's motive?
The Biden quote makes it clear that he was acting under the authority of the president and also made that clear to Ukrainian officials.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:21 PM
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You mean Lex, Park, or Madison.

(Sorry...carry on...)
As a New Yorker, I cannot let this go unaddressed in my own thread. There is, indeed, a 4th Avenue in Manhattan -- it runs from around 6th street to the south side of Union Square. The Simpsons even visited it on their visit to NYC, I believe.

OK, NOW you can carry on.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:43 PM
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... As for this, it goes to what I said earlier. Indeed, there is no ambiguity about what Biden said, since you quoted it. But just because he made a threat does not mean he had the power to come to that decision on his own. Unless Obama had just turned the whole of Ukraine foreign policy over to him. I see no evidence this was the case. So again, what was Obama's motive?
Just being frank, I don't know how much autonomy Biden had with Ukraine. In his CFR comments, he said "I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine." He's been described as "the administration’s point-man on Ukraine" and "in charge of U.S. policy toward" Ukraine. I don't know the exact degree of personal latitude Biden was given to fulfill the Obama administration's broader objectives. For example, it looks one way if Obama ordered Biden to specifically withhold the $1B until Shokin was removed, or do whatever is necessary to get him fired. It's a bit different situation if Obama wanted Biden to fight corruption generally, and was prepared to support his decisions on the matter, and Biden chose to pursue that mandate by going to the mat for the firing of Shokin. I just don't know how hands-on Obama was with the decision(s) regarding Ukraine. This is another one of those things about which I think there's some uncertainty still.
  #72  
Old 09-23-2019, 02:02 PM
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And look how much we're talking about Biden in a thread about an urgent and credible IG complaint against Trump that the administration is illegally blocking from congress. Well done, Ditka, you've completely hoodwinked everyone into playing your game.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:04 PM
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The Biden quote makes it clear that he was acting under the authority of the president and also made that clear to Ukrainian officials.
Yes, no doubt. He did not have to authority to do it on his own. Obama gave him the authority. It makes sense then that Obama/Biden would want the prosecutor fired because he wasn't doing his job, and for the record, other officials from other countries did. It does not make sense that Obama would want to do this merely to protect Hunter Biden. Therefore, there was nothing wrong here. No scandal. Obama/Biden were acting in the interest of the US, not themselves.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 09-23-2019 at 02:06 PM. Reason: typo
  #74  
Old 09-23-2019, 02:06 PM
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... Obama/Biden were acting in the interest of the US, not themselves.
AKA The good old days.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:16 PM
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Just being frank, I don't know how much autonomy Biden had with Ukraine. In his CFR comments, he said "I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine." He's been described as "the administration’s point-man on Ukraine" and "in charge of U.S. policy toward" Ukraine. I don't know the exact degree of personal latitude Biden was given to fulfill the Obama administration's broader objectives. For example, it looks one way if Obama ordered Biden to specifically withhold the $1B until Shokin was removed, or do whatever is necessary to get him fired. It's a bit different situation if Obama wanted Biden to fight corruption generally, and was prepared to support his decisions on the matter, and Biden chose to pursue that mandate by going to the mat for the firing of Shokin. I just don't know how hands-on Obama was with the decision(s) regarding Ukraine. This is another one of those things about which I think there's some uncertainty still.
Okay, I too am not aware of the intricate details about Biden regarding Ukraine. My point though, is that I find it highly unlikely that Obama would just give him carte blanche to do as he pleased there, therefore Bidens' actions would have been subject to the president's approval. Trump wants to make out that Biden did something unethical. All evidence points to the fact that getting that prosecutor fired was the important thing, that other countries also supported it, and Hunter Biden had nothing to do with it. If other facts come out to the contrary, so be it.
  #76  
Old 09-23-2019, 02:36 PM
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And look how much we're talking about Biden in a thread about an urgent and credible IG complaint against Trump that the administration is illegally blocking from congress. Well done, Ditka, you've completely hoodwinked everyone into playing your game.
*shrug* the OP specifically asked me for my opinion. I shared it. People asked follow-up questions and this is the direction the conversation went. This wasn't me hoodwinking everyone or playing games. I answered what I perceived to be a few sincere questions with sincere answers.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:55 PM
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*shrug* the OP specifically asked me for my opinion. I shared it. People asked follow-up questions and this is the direction the conversation went. This wasn't me hoodwinking everyone or playing games. I answered what I perceived to be a few sincere questions with sincere answers.
No, trust me, you hoodwinked everyone. You were asked about your feelings on Trump's actions and you immediately pivoted to Biden's. And the OP and others (but not everyone) took the bait. Bravo.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:06 PM
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And look how much we're talking about Biden in a thread about an urgent and credible IG complaint against Trump that the administration is illegally blocking from congress. Well done, Ditka, you've completely hoodwinked everyone into playing your game.
The Alt-Right Playbook: Control the Conversation.
  #79  
Old 09-23-2019, 03:51 PM
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No, trust me, you hoodwinked everyone. You were asked about your feelings on Trump's actions and you immediately pivoted to Biden's. And the OP and others (but not everyone) took the bait. Bravo.
Did I take the bait? Was I hoodwinked? Whatever you want to call it, I responded to HD. I said what I wanted to in direct response to the OP, had nothing particularly pressing to say about other's posts, so I addressed what I think was his erroneous idea that Biden was trying to help his son rather than do his regular duties as vice president. Fighting ignorance, and all of that.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:49 PM
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Here's the thing about the "Biden got the prosecutor fired because he wanted to protect his son's company" theory: it's bass-ackwards. The reason so many international organizations wanted Shokin ousted was that he was viewed as an enabler of corruption, and among his alleged wrongdoings was burying the Burisma investigation in return for bribes. This is a point obscured by Trump allies, and it's a complicated one, so grab a sandwich and open up some coverage from back in May, before the now-infamous phone call/whistleblower complaint:

A Republican Conspiracy Theory About a Biden-in-Ukraine Scandal Has Gone Mainstream. But It Is Not True. (Robert Mackey, The Intercept, 10 May 2019)

excerpt for the TL;DR crowd:
Quote:
To illustrate what he called “rot in the prosecutor’s office,” [New York Times writer Andrew] Kramer cited a notorious example, known in Ukraine as the case of the “diamond prosecutors,” in which “troves of diamonds, cash and other valuables were found in the homes of two of Mr. Shokin’s subordinates, suggesting that they had been taking bribes. But the case became bogged down, with no reasons given.” [ed. note: original article appears as next cite, below]

Among the most prominent cases of official corruption Shokin had failed to pursue was against Yanukovych’s environment and natural resources minister, Mykola Zlochevsky, who had oversight of all Ukrainian energy firms, including the largest independent gas company, Burisma, which he secretly controlled through shell companies in Cyprus. After Zlochevsky was forced from office along with Yanukovych in 2014, his gas company appointed Hunter Biden to its board.

“Shokin was fired,” [Daria] Kaleniuk[, an American-educated lawyer who founded Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center] observed, “because he failed to do investigations of corruption and economic crimes of President Yanukovych and his close associates, including Zlochevsky, and basically it was the big demand within society in Ukraine, including our organization and many other organizations, to get rid of this guy.”
Ukraine Ousts Viktor Shokin, Top Prosecutor, and Political Stability Hangs in the Balance (Andrew Kramer, The New York Times, 29 March 2016)

some key paragraphs:
Quote:
The United States and other Western nations had for months called for the ousting of Mr. Shokin, who was widely criticized for turning a blind eye to corrupt practices and for defending the interests of a venal and entrenched elite. He was one of several political figures in Kiev whom reformers and Western diplomats saw as a worrying indicator of a return to past corrupt practices, two years after a revolution that was supposed to put a stop to self-dealing by those in power.

As the problems festered, Kiev drew increasingly sharp criticism from Western diplomats and leaders. In a visit in December, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said corruption was eating Ukraine “like a cancer.” Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, which props up Ukraine financially, said last month that progress was so slow in fighting corruption that “it’s hard to see how the I.M.F.-supported program can continue.”

With this pressure mounting, Parliament on Tuesday voted by a comfortable margin to remove Mr. Shokin.

In the final hours before Parliament voted him out, Mr. Shokin had fired his reform-minded deputy prosecutor, David Sakvarelidze, with whom he had been feuding. It was not immediately clear whether that firing would remain in force.

<snip>

Since his appointment a year ago, Mr. Shokin had been criticized for not prosecuting officials, businessmen and members of Parliament for their roles in corrupt schemes during the government of former President Viktor F. Yanukovych. He also did not press cases for sniping by the police and opposition activists during the street protests in 2014 that killed more than 100 people and wounded about 1,000.
New York Times, Bloomberg square off over Biden-Ukraine reporting (Erik Wemple, Media Critic, The Washington Post, 09 May 2019)

Here's a excerpt, but you really should read the entire piece, because it touches on so many more aspects of the Ukraine/Biden/Shokin narrative(s):

Quote:
It’s funny how Giuliani’s investigative priorities are mirrored in the work of John Solomon, an opinion contributor for the Hill, spinner of flimsy journalism and mainstay of Sean Hannity’s conspiracy hour on Fox News. “Ukrainian to US prosecutors: Why don’t you want our evidence on Democrats?” reads the headline of a Solomon piece from last month. In another April piece — “Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived” — Solomon writes, “U.S. and Ukrainian authorities both told me Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor’s probe of Burisma and his son’s role.”
Sorry for the wall of text, but there's a lot to unpack.

TL;DR: That prosecutor Joe Biden got fired? Sure looks like he got fired for NOT investigating Burisma (Hunter Biden's employer) and other companies, in an extortion racket. But don't take my word for it; read and judge for yourself.
  #81  
Old 09-23-2019, 05:04 PM
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Just being frank, I don't know how much autonomy Biden had with Ukraine. In his CFR comments, he said "I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine." He's been described as "the administration’s point-man on Ukraine" and "in charge of U.S. policy toward" Ukraine. I don't know the exact degree of personal latitude Biden was given to fulfill the Obama administration's broader objectives. For example, it looks one way if Obama ordered Biden to specifically withhold the $1B until Shokin was removed, or do whatever is necessary to get him fired. It's a bit different situation if Obama wanted Biden to fight corruption generally, and was prepared to support his decisions on the matter, and Biden chose to pursue that mandate by going to the mat for the firing of Shokin. I just don't know how hands-on Obama was with the decision(s) regarding Ukraine. This is another one of those things about which I think there's some uncertainty still.
One inherent difference is that, even if Biden did so something inappropriate, he wasn't doing it as a method of discrediting a potential campaign opponent. It's one thing to try to protect your family. It's something else entirely to do it as a means of keeping yourself in office. Biden's son wasn't running for PotUS. It attacks the integrity of the voting process to have a foreign power attempt to sway the election in your favor.
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  #82  
Old 09-23-2019, 05:20 PM
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No, trust me, you hoodwinked everyone. You were asked about your feelings on Trump's actions and you immediately pivoted to Biden's. And the OP and others (but not everyone) took the bait. Bravo.
I don't think this is somehow disingenuous on HD's part. If a president is convinced by evidence that former government officials committed crimes while dealing with a foreign power, and the foreign power attempted to cover it up, I think the president is perfectly within his power to withhold funds until demands for a fair investigation are met. The fact that the former government official happens to be a political rival is just coincidental.

Of course, that narrative hinges upon the president actually getting real intelligence that crimes were committed, and not just pizza-gate level nonsense fed to someone easily persuaded by conspiracy theories.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:21 PM
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Did I take the bait? Was I hoodwinked? Whatever you want to call it, I responded to HD. I said what I wanted to in direct response to the OP, had nothing particularly pressing to say about other's posts, so I addressed what I think was his erroneous idea that Biden was trying to help his son rather than do his regular duties as vice president. Fighting ignorance, and all of that.
You should watch the video I linked above. The point is that you helped him change the subject by talking about what he wanted to talk about instead of the actual matter at hand. Jump to 3:12 to get right to the relevant part.

Last edited by duality72; 09-23-2019 at 05:21 PM.
  #84  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:08 AM
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Ultimately - whatever people think Biden did is completely irrelevant to this issue. The issue here is that the President of the United States used our nations foreign policy not to advance the best interests of our country, but to advance his own personal best interests. Quite frankly, it's astounding to me that this isn't universally seen as a bad thing. I guess I should stop being so naive . . .
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:24 AM
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Ultimately - whatever people think Biden did is completely irrelevant to this issue. The issue here is that the President of the United States used our nations foreign policy not to advance the best interests of our country, but to advance his own personal best interests. Quite frankly, it's astounding to me that this isn't universally seen as a bad thing. I guess I should stop being so naive . . .
We're shown, again and again, that millions of Americans value harming migrants, angering liberals, and other grievance-based values far, far more than "traditional" American values like patriotism, equality, common welfare, and even common decency.
  #86  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
... If a president is convinced by evidence that former government officials committed crimes while dealing with a foreign power, and the foreign power attempted to cover it up, I think the president is perfectly within his power to withhold funds until demands for a fair investigation are met. ...
Two things:
1) What evidence?
2) An investigation... by a foreign country?
Seriously??
  #87  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:56 AM
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If only we had a group that could investigate possible crimes committed by Americans. It'd probably need to be Federal so it could investigate Americans from any State. What to call this group? I don't know - maybe Federal Group of Investigators, or FGI for short? I don't know - the name needs work. But the idea is solid . . .
  #88  
Old 09-24-2019, 11:01 AM
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There's a group like that in Grand Theft Auto V. They call it the F.I.B.
  #89  
Old 09-24-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by duality72 View Post
You should watch the video I linked above. The point is that you helped him change the subject by talking about what he wanted to talk about instead of the actual matter at hand. Jump to 3:12 to get right to the relevant part.
Thanks for the link, but I'm well aware of this practice. In any case, if you choose to let someone get away with something you know, or seriously believe, to be false, fine. I don't like to do that. Hence my response. And why is HurricaneDitka being singled out? I just took a cursory glance at the first page. It took me all of 30 seconds to see numerous other posts not directly related to the OP. Finally, these threads always go off on tangents. Keeps 'em interesting.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:36 AM
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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?
I haven't read most of the other responses, but I think it's a big deal because I think it's going to push Pelosi to reluctantly pull the trigger on impeachment. From what I was reading earlier, she is on the brink now, and the pressure is to the point I don't think she can refrain. Whether it amounts to anything is another matter, but the Dems will finally pull the trigger on it (assuming what I've read is correct) and that IS a big deal. And why this is different than all the other shady stuff he's done. Think of this more like a camel, and this is not a straw but as a cinder block and the back breaking is Pelosi pulling the trigger on impeachment proceedings.

Me, I think Trump has had his Nixon moment with this one. It might not seem like a big deal compared to all the other shady shit he and his administration has done, but it might be the final cinder block...
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  #91  
Old 09-24-2019, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
This seems like a fairly classic case of two men (Kasko and Shokin) telling conflicting stories.
One story is consistent with the conclusion of pretty much every significant Western government that the Ukranian prosecutor was corruptly slow-walking or outright squelching investigations; the other is consistent with... well, a few partisan hacks who rant about the Deep State dumping chemtrails that turn their grass brown.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:05 PM
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One story is consistent with the conclusion of pretty much every significant Western government that the Ukranian prosecutor was corruptly slow-walking or outright squelching investigations; the other is consistent with... well, a few partisan hacks who rant about the Deep State dumping chemtrails that turn their grass brown.
This.

On one side John Solomon wanted to give Sean Hannity a reason to invite him on his show so he made up a fairy tale about Ukraine. Rudy has been on this like a dog with a bone ever since. This story falls apart with even the slightest scrutiny and doesn't even make sense if you believe everything they are claiming.

On the other side we have facts and reality.

The two sides are not remotely comparable in credibility.
  #93  
Old 09-24-2019, 01:16 PM
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Two things:
1) What evidence?
Might want to go back and re-read the post you were quoting from.
  #94  
Old 09-24-2019, 02:57 PM
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It's a big enough deal to move Pelosi to "GO" on impeachment.
  #95  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:02 PM
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Adam Schiff, 30 minutes ago:

We have been informed by the whistleblower’s counsel that their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so.

We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week.
  #96  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:33 PM
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How likely is it that Trump issues some kind of phony baloney privilege, and the whistleblower dummies up?
  #97  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:37 PM
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Moderating


Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
And look how much we're talking about Biden in a thread about an urgent and credible IG complaint against Trump that the administration is illegally blocking from congress. Well done, Ditka, you've completely hoodwinked everyone into playing your game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by duality72 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
No, trust me, you hoodwinked everyone. You were asked about your feelings on Trump's actions and you immediately pivoted to Biden's. And the OP and others (but not everyone) took the bait. Bravo.

Conversations are fluid. If you suspect there is a hijacking of a thread, report it rather than this type of actual hijacking.

[/moderating]
  #98  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:48 PM
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Jake Sherman, Politico:

Quote:
MCCONNELL has hotlined the resolution calling for the release of the whistleblower report. Schumer asking for unanimous consent for its passsage.
https://twitter.com/JakeSherman/stat...283184640?s=20

"Hotlining" is bypassing usual Senate rules. Here's a definition:

Quote:
A strategic procedure carried out by Leadership and their Cloakrooms. There are a few situations in which Senate Leadership might hotline a bill-- the most common is that they want to move it quickly. In that case a member of Leadership asks their Cloakroom to leave an outgoing message for the Senate that the measure will be called up to pass without a vote (by Unanimous Consent). If a single Senator objects to the bill they can phone the Cloakroom clerk, register their objection, and the bill is stopped. Sometimes the Majority leader doesn't really expect a bill to pass by Unanimous Consent but will hotline it anyway-- like a trial balloon to measure a bill's support.
http://www.howdemocracyworksnow.com/glossary/hotline

So:

1. MoscowMitch is moving soon as to make sure the Repubs don't break on this and he can get this voted down, or...
2. MoscowMitch is beginning the dance of separation

Time will tell...

Last edited by JohnT; 09-24-2019 at 03:49 PM.
  #99  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:56 PM
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Looks like my question is answered -- this was the straw (or cinderblock ) that broke the camel's back.

I guess it was the brazenness, the recency, and the obvious malfeasance that made it a winner for the House Democrats. Also, Barr didn't have a chance to inoculate the public before the story blew up.
  #100  
Old 09-24-2019, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
So:

1. MoscowMitch is moving soon as to make sure the Repubs don't break on this and he can get this voted down, or...

Time will tell...
If I understand the implication of 1., MoscowMitch will hotline this so that another subhuman, er, Republican senator, can immediately object, thereby creating a delay so that the acting DNI director, Joseph Maguire, won't have to worry about answering questions about it in his scheduled testimony on Thursday. Or am I off base?
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