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Old 08-08-2018, 02:11 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is online now
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How did the Russians meddle in our election?

This is GQ, but it will be very difficult to keep it here. All I ask is that posters give it the old college try. So, two questions:

1. What specifically is it alleged that the Russians did to "meddle" in the 2016 election? People say that it is undisputed that Russia meddled. What did it do exactly? Hack voting machines? Give out vodka at the polling place?

2. What specifically it it alleged that Trump or representatives from his campaign did to "collude" with Russia?
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:28 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
This is GQ, but it will be very difficult to keep it here. All I ask is that posters give it the old college try. So, two questions:

1. What specifically is it alleged that the Russians did to "meddle" in the 2016 election? People say that it is undisputed that Russia meddled. What did it do exactly? Hack voting machines? Give out vodka at the polling place?
See this unclassified intelligence assessment: https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

Among the actions taken:
Quote:
Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with the 2016 US presidential election, including targets associated with both major US political parties.

We assess Russian intelligence services collected against the US primary campaigns, think tanks, and lobbying groups they viewed as likely to shape future US policies. In July 2015, Russian intelligence gained access to Democratic National Committee (DNC) networks and maintained that access until at least June 2016. ...

We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets. ...

Russian intelligence accessed elements of multiple state or local electoral boards. Since early 2014, Russian intelligence has researched US electoral processes and related technology and equipment.
 DHS assesses that the types of systems we observed Russian actors targeting or compromising are not involved in vote tallying. . . .

Russia’s state-run propaganda machine—comprised of its domestic media apparatus, outlets targeting global audiences such as RT and Sputnik, and a network
of quasi-government trolls—contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences. State-owned Russian media made increasingly favorable comments about President-elect Trump as the 2016 US general and primary election campaigns progressed while consistently offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.

Russia’s effort to influence the 2016 US presidential election represented a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations aimed at US elections. We assess the 2016 influence campaign reflected the Kremlin’s recognition of the worldwide effects that mass disclosures of US Government and other private data—such as those conducted by WikiLeaks and others—have achieved in recent years, and their understanding of the value of orchestrating such disclosures to maximize the impact of compromising information.
Quote:
2. What specifically it it alleged that Trump or representatives from his campaign did to "collude" with Russia?
This is more speculative, but some of the actions receiving scrutiny include:

* coincidences in timing between some of Trump's statements and the release of documents stolen by Russia in the hacking campaign
* direct communications between Roger Stone and Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks
* apparent communications between Carter Page and George Papadopoulos with Russian government officials (with Papadopoulos already pleading guilty to misleading investigators) with the apparent purpose of discrediting Clinton
* possible solicitation of additional Russian efforts, such as the Trump Tower meeting with senior campaign officials
* questions of a quid pro quo on making changes to the Republican party platform regarding Russia

Of course, the Muller investigation going on may be looking at other matters as well, but we just have to wait for that report to come out.

Last edited by Ravenman; 08-08-2018 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
This is GQ, but it will be very difficult to keep it here. All I ask is that posters give it the old college try. So, two questions:

1. What specifically is it alleged that the Russians did to "meddle" in the 2016 election? People say that it is undisputed that Russia meddled. What did it do exactly? Hack voting machines? Give out vodka at the polling place?

2. What specifically it it alleged that Trump or representatives from his campaign did to "collude" with Russia?
1) They used public media (Facebook, mostly) to plant disinformation designed to influence voters.
2) Trump's campaign asked the Russians for "dirt" on Clinton. It is unclear whether this is "collusion" or not, but getting a foreign intelligence service to help your campaign is questionable at best.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:42 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is online now
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Thanks. And yet another question.

Let's say I am running for President and my secretary schedules a meeting with an official from, say, Luxembourg. The official tells me that his country supports my candidacy and thinks my opponent would be very bad for his country and would like to help in any way.

Indeed, Ultravires, here is a picture of your opponent having sex with a goat. Then he leaves. Was there any law violated? What if I release the picture? What if we go to the local watering hole and have a drink that I pay for?
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:48 PM
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Don't forget the e-mails they hacked from key Democratic Party figures. Which is basically the same crime as in Watergate, except done online instead of by breaking into physical offices.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:04 PM
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They didn't. Investigators realized early on that there was" no there there." Instead liberals have concentrated their efforts on trying to overturn the election in other ways: preaching violence, shutting down websites they came are fake news, demonizing anyone who disagreed with them as racists, fools, traitors and fascists (N Y Daily News did this repeatedly and it has cost them much of their blue collar readership), calls for impeachment, harassing Trump admi istration figures, no condemnations of the Antifa groups equipped with masks, 2' by 4's with nails in them to stab police horses.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/...nd-presidency/


In October 2016 President Obama said our election process was safe. To question his ability or truthfulness means that you are a bigot, according to the left for the last decade (not to mention misogynistic since his attorney general was a woman). The 1980s are calling, they want their foreign policy back as he told Romney in 2012.

"There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America's elections, there is no evidence that has happened in the past or will happen in the future".
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Thanks. And yet another question.

Let's say I am running for President and my secretary schedules a meeting with an official from, say, Luxembourg. The official tells me that his country supports my candidacy and thinks my opponent would be very bad for his country and would like to help in any way.

Indeed, Ultravires, here is a picture of your opponent having sex with a goat. Then he leaves. Was there any law violated? What if I release the picture? What if we go to the local watering hole and have a drink that I pay for?
Oh, I don't know. What do you do with the information? Do you recognize that accepting it would be a violation of the law, and therefore take the information to the FBI for appropriate investigation?

Or do you gleefully grab the illegally-obtained goat sex information and use it to further your own political aims, thereby becoming a co-conspirator with a foreign power in violation of the law?
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
1) They used public media (Facebook, mostly) to plant disinformation designed to influence voters.
This is the part that gets me. How easy marks Americans were/are to this kind of information, and the Russians knew it and exploited it to the full potential. Few read beyond the sound byte, few seek facts any more.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:15 PM
Tim@T-Bonham.net Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
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Based on the OP request to keep this in GQ territory, I'm ignoring Jim's son's post.

But another area not mentioned so far is money.
It appears that Russia funneled money to the Trump campaign thru various intermediaries, such as the NRA and Duetchsbank, for example.

That is specifically illegal under US law; I remember that a previous Presidential candidate (Al Gore?) took some heat for a Hollywood event where Japanese company executives (Sony?) attended and gave contributions.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Thanks. And yet another question.

Let's say I am running for President and my secretary schedules a meeting with an official from, say, Luxembourg. The official tells me that his country supports my candidacy and thinks my opponent would be very bad for his country and would like to help in any way.

Indeed, Ultravires, here is a picture of your opponent having sex with a goat. Then he leaves. Was there any law violated? What if I release the picture? What if we go to the local watering hole and have a drink that I pay for?
If I understand correctly:

You just received a gift from a foreigner that is valuable for your campaign. That's a violation of campaign finance laws, same as if your campaign received a check from Luxenbourg and cashed it.

Further, if that picture was obtained illegally, and you didn't report it, you may be in trouble for that, as accessory after the fact.

Hopefully you didn't have to lie about it to anyone, because if you did, you'd be guilty of obstruction of justice as well.

Last edited by scr4; 08-08-2018 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Thanks. And yet another question.

Let's say I am running for President and my secretary schedules a meeting with an official from, say, Luxembourg. The official tells me that his country supports my candidacy and thinks my opponent would be very bad for his country and would like to help in any way.

Indeed, Ultravires, here is a picture of your opponent having sex with a goat. Then he leaves. Was there any law violated? What if I release the picture? What if we go to the local watering hole and have a drink that I pay for?
Keeping this answer appropriate for GQ, 52 USC 30121 prohibits foreign nationals from contributing, or promising to contribute, anything of value to any campaign involved in any election. It also prohibits a person from soliciting or receiving such a contribution.

Some have questions whether a “thing of value” includes photographs or similar information. Note that title 52 contains specified exemptions from what constitutes a contribution, such as volunteering for phone banks, letting a campaign use a conference room, etc.

There’s more minutiae in how the law applies to specific situations, but I think it is fair to say that in your scenario, there would be legal concerns, not to mention the obvious counterintelligence concerns.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:17 PM
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Oh, I don't know. What do you do with the information? Do you recognize that accepting it would be a violation of the law, and therefore take the information to the FBI for appropriate investigation?

Or do you gleefully grab the illegally-obtained goat sex information and use it to further your own political aims, thereby becoming a co-conspirator with a foreign power in violation of the law?
That is my question. Is it a violation of the law? I am a lawyer, obviously not versed in campaign finance law, but from a layperson, I would believe that such a thing was part of a campaign.

It doesn't work the other way as an American? Can I get in trouble if I post stuff on Facebook urging our cousins across the pond to vote for Labour?
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:26 PM
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In trouble under US law, or under UK law?
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:28 PM
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In trouble under US law, or under UK law?
Either.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
That is my question. Is it a violation of the law? I am a lawyer, obviously not versed in campaign finance law, but from a layperson, I would believe that such a thing was part of a campaign.

It doesn't work the other way as an American? Can I get in trouble if I post stuff on Facebook urging our cousins across the pond to vote for Labour?
Not a lawyer but,

I don't think that there will be enough of a case for aiding and abeting as a form of Treason via 18 USC 2381 is one potential exposure.

This has been applied in the past.

https://www.justice.gov/archive/opa/...6_nsd_695.html

Trump Jr may be at risk of 52 U.S. Code § 30121 - Contributions and donations by foreign nationals

But as congress is not taking action like they did against Clinton or Nixon I doubt that they will target the fraud direction.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
That is my question. Is it a violation of the law? I am a lawyer, obviously not versed in campaign finance law, but from a layperson, I would believe that such a thing was part of a campaign.

It doesn't work the other way as an American? Can I get in trouble if I post stuff on Facebook urging our cousins across the pond to vote for Labour?
On the first question, look at my citation of the US Code for the specific statute.

On your second question, I’m sure there are countries that would have laws that prohibit even such a light-touch weighing in on their elections. I’m not aware of any US law that would prohibit you from posting your opinions on Facebook, however, as they would seem to enjoy total protection under the First Amendment.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:39 PM
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I don't think voting machines were hacked, but certainly not for lack of trying.

But there was a concerted (perhaps coordinated) effort to boost any and all of Hillary's major opponents. Initially Sanders, then Trump, with a side of Stein. I don't know if Hillary would have won absent that effort, but that's kind of the point. The interference can be document, but the effect can not be quantified.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:49 PM
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1) They used public media (Facebook, mostly) to plant disinformation designed to influence voters.
2) Trump's campaign asked the Russians for "dirt" on Clinton. It is unclear whether this is "collusion" or not, but getting a foreign intelligence service to help your campaign is questionable at best.
Clinton and Trump spent over 81 MILLION dollars on Facebook political ads and some Russia hackers spent around 100 THOUSAND dollars on political ads. These few Russian ads threw the whole election to Trump??? And about one third of the ads were pro Hillary! Have you seen the "ads"? If these kinds of ads actually convinced you to switch from one candidate to the other, you shouldn't even be voting.

Many, many people were "exposed" to these Russian ads, but who really knows how many read them and were "influenced" by them. I use Facebook for my business and scroll threw well over 100 ads a day. I actually read less than 10% of them.

https://www.recode.net/2017/10/31/16...e-tech-hearing
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:51 PM
Tim@T-Bonham.net Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
That is my question. Is it a violation of the law? I am a lawyer, obviously not versed in campaign finance law, but from a layperson, I would believe that such a thing was part of a campaign.

It doesn't work the other way as an American? Can I get in trouble if I post stuff on Facebook urging our cousins across the pond to vote for Labour?
For nearly 40 years, I've been a Treasurer for political party units and political campaigns. Mostly within Minnesota, but a couple Federal campaigns.

Campaign Finance legal questions often could go either way, unless there are actual precedents. But the basic principle used by courts is:
'Did the campaign receive something of value? Then they must report it.'
There are specific exemptions in the law for traditional campaign volunteering tasks; generally anything else must be reported.

For your specific question, if you volunteered your time & effort in writing a item on Facebook supporting a candidate or issue, here in the US that would not have to be reported as a contribution.* It's just like writing a letter to the editor for a newspaper, or talking to friends & neighbors about a campaign.

However, if you were paid for this, or for doing it many times or on many online sites, then it IS a contribution that has to be reported. If you were paid directly by the campaign, then they must report it as a campaign expense. If you work for a communication company that does such marketing efforts, and you did it on company time, then it has to be reported as a contribution to the campaign. If the campaign paid your employer, then it must be reported as a campaign expenditure. If they didn't, then it is an In-Kind contribution to the campaign, and they must report it. (There are of course, money thresholds for this. Small amounts don't have to be reported. Like a candidate is speaking at a rally, and you buy her a lemonade -- no reporting requirement. The minimum amount to report depends on the state or federal limits -- often something like up to $20 or $50 is non-reported.)

*This applies even if the campaign organizes the effort, and gives you (and maybe several others) sample suggestions of what you should write. As long as you all are unpaid volunteers, it's not a reportable contribution.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:54 PM
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Based on the OP request to keep this in GQ territory, I'm ignoring Jim's son's post.

But another area not mentioned so far is money.
It appears that Russia funneled money to the Trump campaign thru various intermediaries, such as the NRA and Duetchsbank, for example.

That is specifically illegal under US law; I remember that a previous Presidential candidate (Al Gore?) took some heat for a Hollywood event where Japanese company executives (Sony?) attended and gave contributions.
"It appears that........" ????? Do you have ANY evidence of this AT ALL?
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:00 PM
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It is quite clear that Russia engaged in a state-sponsored propaganda campaign during the 2016 election cycle. While you cannot tie any particular piece of Russian propaganda to any particular changed vote, if propaganda did not influence elections then we would not have so much domestically generated propaganda around elections. There has always been a very high correlation between the amount a candidate spends relative to the opponent and the success of that candidate. If there weren't, there wouldn't be so damned many campaign ads. Politicians wouldn't spend a majority of their time raising funds for their next campaign.

Any argument that a propaganda campaign cannot influence the outcome of an election is specious.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:11 PM
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Clinton and Trump spent over 81 MILLION dollars on Facebook political ads and some Russia hackers spent around 100 THOUSAND dollars on political ads. These few Russian ads threw the whole election to Trump??? And about one third of the ads were pro Hillary! Have you seen the "ads"? If these kinds of ads actually convinced you to switch from one candidate to the other, you shouldn't even be voting.

Many, many people were "exposed" to these Russian ads, but who really knows how many read them and were "influenced" by them. I use Facebook for my business and scroll threw well over 100 ads a day. I actually read less than 10% of them.

https://www.recode.net/2017/10/31/16...e-tech-hearing
Actually, the Russians spent over $1.25 million, not $100,000, and that's simply on ads. It doesn't include the social media presence that doesn't cost money. There's no way to measure the impact of Russian interference on the election, but that isn't the point. The point is that a foreign power actively sought to interfere with and influence a U.S. election. If it had helped Hillary Clinton and hurt Donald Trump, it would be every bit as much a concern. If it didn't affect a single voter, it would still be as much a concern.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:48 PM
Tim@T-Bonham.net Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
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I don't think voting machines were hacked, but certainly not for lack of trying.
There is some indication that the Russians did manage to hack into the voter database in many states. With this, they could eliminate from the registered voter list people they didn't want voting. (But it might be tough to distinguish this from efforts by Republicans to purge Democratic-leaning voters from the lists.)

Here in Minnesota, there were specific hacking attempts identified by the Secretary of State, but they managed to stop them. Though it wouldn't matter much here in Minnesota, because we have same-day election registration. (And the highest voter turnout in the nation -- not a coincidence.) But in many states, if your name was deleted from the list, when you get to the polls on election day, you won't be able to vote. That can be just as effective as hacking the vote-counting machines.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:55 PM
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I've asked this question before.

Here it is again:

Imagine that the Clinton campaign is approached in September 2016 by five Mexican nationals who are illegally present in the country. They reveal that they have been working at Mar-a-Lago Golf Club "under the table," for less than minimum wage, paid in cash, and threatened with deportation if they complained. They want to provide the Clinton campaign with any assistance it needs to tell this story: interviews, video of a Mar-a-Lago manager paying them/threatening them, etc.

Does the Clinton campaign's decision to accept this offer mean a crime was committed involving foreign meddling?
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:07 PM
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I've asked this question before.

Here it is again:

Imagine that the Clinton campaign is approached in September 2016 by five Mexican nationals who are illegally present in the country. They reveal that they have been working at Mar-a-Lago Golf Club "under the table," for less than minimum wage, paid in cash, and threatened with deportation if they complained. They want to provide the Clinton campaign with any assistance it needs to tell this story: interviews, video of a Mar-a-Lago manager paying them/threatening them, etc.

Does the Clinton campaign's decision to accept this offer mean a crime was committed involving foreign meddling?
In what way, in relation to adhering to Enemies and giving them Aid and Comfort?

Or as some foreign campaign donation?

Do you have any links on case law related to a bar for actions by a “agent of a foreign principal”?

If you ask in a form that is less leading we will probably answer it.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:09 PM
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I've asked this question before.

Here it is again:

Imagine that the Clinton campaign is approached in September 2016 by five Mexican nationals who are illegally present in the country. They reveal that they have been working at Mar-a-Lago Golf Club "under the table," for less than minimum wage, paid in cash, and threatened with deportation if they complained. They want to provide the Clinton campaign with any assistance it needs to tell this story: interviews, video of a Mar-a-Lago manager paying them/threatening them, etc.

Does the Clinton campaign's decision to accept this offer mean a crime was committed involving foreign meddling?
You're right, that's exactly the same as asking Russia to commit espionage on Trump's behalf. I've never thought of it like that before. Gee golly Bricker, you sure won this one!
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:11 PM
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New hypothetical question:

Elin Suleymanov, the ambassador from the Azerbaijan Republic to the United States, writes the following letter to the Washington Post editorial page, on September 20, 2016:

"I respectfully urge all United States citizens to consider carefully their choice for President next month. The Azerbaijan Republic strongly believes that a weak, ineffectual president in the White House will destabilize the world stage. Mrs. Clinton's terrible performance as Secretary of State and her vacillating on key world issues will make the United States lose influence it desperately needs. Donald Trump's forceful and direct leadership will serve as a needed bridge to the countries that fear lawless strongmen will topple their democratically elected governments.

"When you vote, citizens of the US, vote for strong leadership that will calm the simmering pot of world tensions. Vote Trump."

The Post publishes the letter.

Is any of that a crime?
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:16 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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You're right, that's exactly the same as asking Russia to commit espionage on Trump's behalf. I've never thought of it like that before. Gee golly Bricker, you sure won this one!
That's not an answer.

If we're discussing armed bank robbery, and I ask if a kid wielding a pen knife stealing the cash box from a lemonade stand is a crime, you might equally well respond in identical sarcastic tones, "You're right, a lemonade stand with eight dollars and forty-four cents exactly the same as a bank with thousands of dollars, and a pen knife is exactly the same as a semi-automatic rifle!"

But of course -- that wasn't the question. I'm not asking if they are exactly the same -- I'm asking if each describes a crime.

So to help you understand: yes, the pen knife-assisted theft of the lemonade stand cash box is also a crime.

Now, with that guidance, can you handle the original question?
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:18 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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In what way, in relation to adhering to Enemies and giving them Aid and Comfort?

Or as some foreign campaign donation?

Do you have any links on case law related to a bar for actions by a “agent of a foreign principal”?

If you ask in a form that is less leading we will probably answer it.
I don't understand the "in what way?"

I have no links. I'm asking if the actions I describe are, to your understanding, any kind of crime.

That's not a leading question, and even if it were, what of it? Why are you unable to answer a leading question?
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:20 PM
Snarky_Kong Snarky_Kong is offline
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That's not an answer.

If we're discussing armed bank robbery, and I ask if a kid wielding a pen knife stealing the cash box from a lemonade stand is a crime, you might equally well respond in identical sarcastic tones, "You're right, a lemonade stand with eight dollars and forty-four cents exactly the same as a bank with thousands of dollars, and a pen knife is exactly the same as a semi-automatic rifle!"

But of course -- that wasn't the question. I'm not asking if they are exactly the same -- I'm asking if each describes a crime.

So to help you understand: yes, the pen knife-assisted theft of the lemonade stand cash box is also a crime.

Now, with that guidance, can you handle the original question?
Yes, and the comparison of the comparison of two armed robberies is the same as the previous comparison you made!

Yes, I can't wait to discuss all the things with you in bad faith!
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:26 PM
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New hypothetical question:

Elin Suleymanov, the ambassador from the Azerbaijan Republic to the United States, writes the following letter to the Washington Post editorial page, on September 20, 2016:

"I respectfully urge all United States citizens to consider carefully their choice for President next month. The Azerbaijan Republic strongly believes that a weak, ineffectual president in the White House will destabilize the world stage. Mrs. Clinton's terrible performance as Secretary of State and her vacillating on key world issues will make the United States lose influence it desperately needs. Donald Trump's forceful and direct leadership will serve as a needed bridge to the countries that fear lawless strongmen will topple their democratically elected governments.

"When you vote, citizens of the US, vote for strong leadership that will calm the simmering pot of world tensions. Vote Trump."

The Post publishes the letter.

Is any of that a crime?
As you are the one who has passed the bar, how about quitting the rhetoric game.

I doubt it will go forward but remember that Trump asked Russia to commit computer fraud and they assembled a body of men and spent large amounts of money to do so. Would that possibly count as the following?

Quote:
"Letters of advice and correspondence and intelligence to the enemy, to enable them to annoy us or to defend themselves, written and sent in order to be delivered to the enemy, are, though intercepted, overt acts of both these species of treason"

Last edited by rat avatar; 08-08-2018 at 08:27 PM.
  #32  
Old 08-08-2018, 09:02 PM
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As you are the one who has passed the bar, how about quitting the rhetoric game.
It's not a game.

I'm trying to illustrate the contradiction in the position you seem to be suggesting: that foreign assistance directed to benefit one candidate in a US election is per se illegal.

Quote:
I doubt it will go forward but remember that Trump asked Russia to commit computer fraud and they assembled a body of men and spent large amounts of money to do so. Would that possibly count as the following?
Quote:
"Letters of advice and correspondence and intelligence to the enemy, to enable them to annoy us or to defend themselves, written and sent in order to be delivered to the enemy, are, though intercepted, overt acts of both these species of treason"
(color added for emphasis by me)

No. For several reasons, but the easiest type type is: because "enemy" is not "Russia."

Why? Because "enemy," is "a foreign power in open declared war with the United States."

Now, see that? You asked a question, and I answered it.

Can you answer my questions now?

Last edited by Bricker; 08-08-2018 at 09:02 PM.
  #33  
Old 08-08-2018, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
Yes, and the comparison of the comparison of two armed robberies is the same as the previous comparison you made!

Yes, I can't wait to discuss all the things with you in bad faith!
Neither of my comparisons are in bad faith. Both question illustrate important principles necessary to determine the existence of a crime.

Can you answer my questions now?

They must be terrifying.
  #34  
Old 08-08-2018, 09:07 PM
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I believe that the purpose of GQ is to inform, not to lead people into a Q&A session...

Here are a variety of, possibly, relevant laws and court cases.

https://www.justice.gov/usam/crimina...acy-defraud-us
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20
https://www.justice.gov/nsd-fara/fara-related-statutes
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030
https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-5th-circuit/1297051.html
https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A3Sec3.html

Which are relevant will obviously depend on your view of the matter.
  #35  
Old 08-08-2018, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
It's not a game.

I'm trying to illustrate the contradiction in the position you seem to be suggesting: that foreign assistance directed to benefit one candidate in a US election is per se illegal.



(color added for emphasis by me)

No. For several reasons, but the easiest type type is: because "enemy" is not "Russia."

Why? Because "enemy," is "a foreign power in open declared war with the United States."

Now, see that? You asked a question, and I answered it.

Can you answer my questions now?
As other posters have noted, I was just playing the same game but can you provide the articles of war related to this indictment for treason?

https://www.justice.gov/archive/opa/...6_nsd_695.html

Obviously a U.S. Citizen can be at least indicted on Treason for providing aid and comfort absent an official act of war.

Can you justify the exception in that case while ignoring Casus Foederis in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty related to Russia's use of chemical weapons on UK soil? Is the attack against a NATO state in defiance of the Chemical Weapons Convention not an illegal act of aggression?

While prosecution is difficult, I don't think this is as cut and dry as you claim.
  #36  
Old 08-08-2018, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
I've asked this question before.

Here it is again:

Imagine that the Clinton campaign is approached in September 2016 by five Mexican nationals who are illegally present in the country. They reveal that they have been working at Mar-a-Lago Golf Club "under the table," for less than minimum wage, paid in cash, and threatened with deportation if they complained. They want to provide the Clinton campaign with any assistance it needs to tell this story: interviews, video of a Mar-a-Lago manager paying them/threatening them, etc.

Does the Clinton campaign's decision to accept this offer mean a crime was committed involving foreign meddling?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
New hypothetical question:

Elin Suleymanov, the ambassador from the Azerbaijan Republic to the United States, writes the following letter to the Washington Post editorial page, on September 20, 2016:

"I respectfully urge all United States citizens to consider carefully their choice for President next month. The Azerbaijan Republic strongly believes that a weak, ineffectual president in the White House will destabilize the world stage. Mrs. Clinton's terrible performance as Secretary of State and her vacillating on key world issues will make the United States lose influence it desperately needs. Donald Trump's forceful and direct leadership will serve as a needed bridge to the countries that fear lawless strongmen will topple their democratically elected governments.

"When you vote, citizens of the US, vote for strong leadership that will calm the simmering pot of world tensions. Vote Trump."

The Post publishes the letter.

Is any of that a crime?
[Moderator Note]

This is GQ, not Great Debates. If you want to debate this question, start a new thread in GD. Otherwise comments should be addressed to the specific question in the OP.

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  #37  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
This is GQ, but it will be very difficult to keep it here. All I ask is that posters give it the old college try. So, two questions:

1. What specifically is it alleged that the Russians did to "meddle" in the 2016 election? People say that it is undisputed that Russia meddled. What did it do exactly? Hack voting machines? Give out vodka at the polling place?

2. What specifically it it alleged that Trump or representatives from his campaign did to "collude" with Russia?
1) They appear to have provided assistance to the Trump campaign in the form of Facebook postings, Twitter tweets, and similar social media content that favored Ztrump or disfavored Clinton. They also are alleged to have directly contacted Trump campaign staff with offers of helpful negative information on Clinton. Finally, they are alleged to have obtained negative information about the Clinton campaign and released it via Wikileaks, to the benefit of the Trump campaign.

2) I’m a bit fuzzier on that one, but I think the answer is: the above-mentioned contact with Trump campaign staff is the “collusion,” that is most often mentioned.
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  #38  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rat avatar View Post
As other posters have noted, I was just playing the same game but can you provide the articles of war related to this indictment for treason?

https://www.justice.gov/archive/opa/...6_nsd_695.html

Obviously a U.S. Citizen can be at least indicted on Treason for providing aid and comfort absent an official act of war.
The Authorization for Use of Military Force, Public Law 107-40, 115 Stat. 224.

The word “war,” is not necessary. The declaration by the Congress is necesssry.


Quote:
Can you justify the exception in that case while ignoring Casus Foederis in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty related to Russia's use of chemical weapons on UK soil? Is the attack against a NATO state in defiance of the Chemical Weapons Convention not an illegal act of aggression?
“Illegal,” meaning what? Punching my neighbor in the nose is an illegal act of aggression. The relevant question is: under US law, does that trigger a state of war?

Answer: no.

Quote:
While prosecution is difficult, I don't think this is as cut and dry as you claim.
You are mistaken.
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  #39  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:19 PM
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While I don't know if Russia can be classified as an "enemy" nation, it is pretty indisputable that they are a hostile one.
  #40  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
While I don't know if Russia can be classified as an "enemy" nation, it is pretty indisputable that they are a hostile one.
For the purposes of criminal law, you say it’s indisputable?

Criminal law is not enforceable if it relies on standards that are vague. Criminal law must give a person clear and unambiguous notice of what conduct is prohibited. Criminal laws that fail to provide this specificity are constitutionally infirm.

With that in mind, I do not agree that in a criminal law context, it is factually accurate to aver that it is “indisputable.”

But if the comment is not relevant to criminal law, and is simply a matter of opinion, then I don’t disagree.
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Last edited by Bricker; 08-08-2018 at 10:37 PM.
  #41  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
1) They appear to have provided assistance to the Trump campaign in the form of Facebook postings, Twitter tweets, and similar social media content that favored Ztrump or disfavored Clinton. They also are alleged to have directly contacted Trump campaign staff with offers of helpful negative information on Clinton. Finally, they are alleged to have obtained negative information about the Clinton campaign and released it via Wikileaks, to the benefit of the Trump campaign.

2) I’m a bit fuzzier on that one, but I think the answer is: the above-mentioned contact with Trump campaign staff is the “collusion,” that is most often mentioned.
AGAIN with the "They appear to...", "They also are alleged to...", "Finally, they are alleged to...".

WTF!!! Produce some concrete evidence instead of making this baseless allegations! Mueller has been at it for almost two years now, If there had been ANYTHING of real substance, it would had been leaked already.

Facebook postings and Twitter tweets??? There are millions of Facebook postings and Twitter tweets flowing into the internet every day coming from the far Left to the far Right and every place in between and yet somehow a few postings and tweets from Russians managed to influence the 2016 election to the point where one candidate won over the other one? Many of the Russian postings and tweets were anti Trump and pro Hillary. Are you really saying 100% of the postings and tweets were pro Trump?

The Right is often blamed for coming up with weird and crazy conspiracy theories, but this one from the Left takes the cake.

Trump was a better candidate than Hillary. Trump won, Hillary lost. Get over it! As Obama famously said, "Elections have consequences".

Funny how Hillary and the Left made a big deal about whether or not Trump would accept the results of the 2016 election, yet here it is almost 2 years after the election and Hillary and the Left STILL haven't accepted the result.
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  #42  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Thanks. And yet another question.

Let's say I am running for President and my secretary schedules a meeting with an official from, say, Luxembourg. The official tells me that his country supports my candidacy and thinks my opponent would be very bad for his country and would like to help in any way.

Indeed, Ultravires, here is a picture of your opponent having sex with a goat. Then he leaves. Was there any law violated? What if I release the picture? What if we go to the local watering hole and have a drink that I pay for?
As others have said, I do believe this would be illegal to use.

Now, the legal wrinkle appears to be that you can hire an investigator (or, more precisely, your attorneys can hire an investigator) to go to Luxembourg and obtain the picture. You just can’t coordinate it, or have verifiable knowledge of where it came from.

The answer to the collusion question is pretty blunt. The Russian government offered the Trump campaign stolen/hacked data from the Clinton campaign, which the Trump campaign gleefully accepted. And Trump knew, and approved of it all.
  #43  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
I've asked this question before.

Here it is again:

Imagine that the Clinton campaign is approached in September 2016 by five Mexican nationals who are illegally present in the country. They reveal that they have been working at Mar-a-Lago Golf Club "under the table," for less than minimum wage, paid in cash, and threatened with deportation if they complained. They want to provide the Clinton campaign with any assistance it needs to tell this story: interviews, video of a Mar-a-Lago manager paying them/threatening them, etc.

Does the Clinton campaign's decision to accept this offer mean a crime was committed involving foreign meddling?
IMNAL,
1> As far as I know Immigrant whistleblowers do not need to disclose their immigration status. cite : https://www.whistleblowersblog.org/2...-about-status/ So reporting a crime by immigrants to Clinton or the Authorities is not in itself a crime.

2> The 5 immigrants in this case have no relationship to the Mexican Government business in the US. Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm. cite : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/u...r-general.html

3> The 5 immigrants have not obtained any videos (or documentation illegally). It is well established that the Russians obtained the information illegally.

Come up with a better analogy, please. This one sucks.
  #44  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:22 AM
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The Mueller indictments give a pretty detailed account of how Russian agents phished for access and then installed keyloggers, worms and other malware in various computer systems.
  #45  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
Now, the legal wrinkle appears to be that you can hire an investigator (or, more precisely, your attorneys can hire an investigator) to go to Luxembourg and obtain the picture. You just can’t coordinate it, or have verifiable knowledge of where it came from.
Or just not receive it as a gift from a foreigner. If the campaign pays for it, then it's not a campaign contribution. And if the picture was obtained legally to begin with (e.g. photo taken by a paparazzi in public), then there would be no crime.
  #46  
Old 08-09-2018, 12:38 AM
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Actually, the Russians spent over $1.25 million, not $100,000, and that's simply on ads. It doesn't include the social media presence that doesn't cost money.
You mean, it doesn't include other costs. It does cost money to hire an army of trolls.
  #47  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Mangosteen View Post
The Right is often blamed for coming up with weird and crazy conspiracy theories, but this one from the Left takes the cake.

Trump was a better candidate than Hillary. Trump won, Hillary lost. Get over it! As Obama famously said, "Elections have consequences".

Funny how Hillary and the Left made a big deal about whether or not Trump would accept the results of the 2016 election, yet here it is almost 2 years after the election and Hillary and the Left STILL haven't accepted the result.

Moderator Warning

Mangosteen, you've been around long enough to know that political potshots are not permitted in GQ. This is an official warning. Do not do this again.

I remind everyone to stick to the subject in the OP.

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  #48  
Old 08-09-2018, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by am77494 View Post
IMNAL,
1> As far as I know Immigrant whistleblowers do not need to disclose their immigration status. cite : https://www.whistleblowersblog.org/2...-about-status/ So reporting a crime by immigrants to Clinton or the Authorities is not in itself a crime.

2> The 5 immigrants in this case have no relationship to the Mexican Government business in the US. Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm. cite : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/u...r-general.html

3> The 5 immigrants have not obtained any videos (or documentation illegally). It is well established that the Russians obtained the information illegally.

Come up with a better analogy, please. This one sucks.
[Moderating]

Let's not pursue this debate.
  #49  
Old 08-09-2018, 05:51 AM
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Sorry about your thread, OP.
  #50  
Old 08-09-2018, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
New hypothetical question:

Elin Suleymanov, the ambassador from the Azerbaijan Republic to the United States, writes the following letter to the Washington Post editorial page, on September 20, 2016:

"I respectfully urge all United States citizens to consider carefully their choice for President next month. The Azerbaijan Republic strongly believes that a weak, ineffectual president in the White House will destabilize the world stage. Mrs. Clinton's terrible performance as Secretary of State and her vacillating on key world issues will make the United States lose influence it desperately needs. Donald Trump's forceful and direct leadership will serve as a needed bridge to the countries that fear lawless strongmen will topple their democratically elected governments.

"When you vote, citizens of the US, vote for strong leadership that will calm the simmering pot of world tensions. Vote Trump."

The Post publishes the letter.

Is any of that a crime?
I am interested in the answer. Can you just answer your own question instead of asking other people?
Reply

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