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Old 01-17-2020, 07:19 AM
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Is Lev Parnas some sort of Putin plant?


His interview with Maddow seems almost too good (too horrible?) to be true. He implicated Trump, Perry, Barr, Giuliani, Pompeo, Nunes, and probably a couple of others I'm not recalling off the top of my head.

What happens if the Democrats run with it and Parnas is discredited? Does that get Donnie Two Scoops re-elected?

Sounds like the Manchurian Candidate or some other convoluted plot, but given our history the last few years and Putin's deep ability to conspire, I fear something like that could happen.

Parnas was loyal to Trump for years and suddenly turns coat? I'm not 100% sold.

Too paranoid? I hope so.

So far the Nunes connection has been verified. And, of course, there are lots of photos of Parnas with the Trump gang.

At this point at least Parnas should no longer have to worry about being the victim of Putin's hit squad since his assassination would verify what he's been saying.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:14 AM
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Putin doesn't need "plants." (That's so old-school.)

He has other ways. Just look At Trump.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:21 AM
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I hope this isn't a hijack, but the more people get implicated, the less confident I feel that justice will be served. If all of those people really are in on it, and incentivized to cover it up, then they probably have the numbers and the power to succeed at it. And while it isn't out of the realm of possibility that the Senate would vote to convict Trump (while not likely), it is unfathomable that they would do so under conditions that would elevate Pelosi to the office.

But to directly answer the question, no, probably not. Think of how vast a conspiracy something like this would have to be, involving so many people of such low character. There is no way that this could be orchestrated such that there isn't some loose end like Parnas hanging out there.

Last edited by Fiveyearlurker; 01-17-2020 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:25 AM
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Didn't see the interview with Lev and Maddow. But what the hell is the point? Trump himself released a transcript of his attempt to extort the leader of an allied country. On top of the obvious extortion, it was done for his own personal gain.

What the hell else do we need?
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:40 AM
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While I wasn't hanging on every word in the interview, I don't recall hearing anything in the way of a bombshell revelation (with the possible exception of Jay Sekulow's involvement). He provided a fair amount of detail, but nothing really new.

I think it's more likely he's a scared, mid-level goodfella who's 'way out of his depth and trying to get on the prosecutors' "nice" list (though as a couple of talking heads have pointed out, spilling his guts on television is an odd way to accomplish that). Also, as he said, there's less incentive to silence him now — though if I were him I'd check my doorknobs very thoroughly.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:41 AM
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What the hell else do we need?
Enough evidence to cause Republican Senators to believe.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:21 AM
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Enough evidence to cause Republican Senators to believe.
They already do, so that's not the thresh hold apparently.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:22 AM
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The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:48 AM
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Enough evidence to cause Republican Senators to believe.
As Fiveyearlurker says, they DO believe already. They just don't give a shit, as long as they can maintain power. Republican senators have shown that they have no integrity whatsoever. None.

McConnell has just perjured himself under oath. He has no intention of listening to ANY evidence or considering ANYthing at all that points to Trump's obvious guilt. He said this clearly weeks ago.
No shits given whatsoever.

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Old 01-17-2020, 12:10 PM
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I don't know why Lev Parnas is suddenly singing like a canary, but I think that a) it's because he's decided it's in the best interest of Lev Parnas, not America, and b) everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:49 PM
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The Trump administration probably has dozens of Lev Parnases working for it. So when we start shaking the trees, apples are going to start falling out.

People like Parnas don't work for an organization because they believe is some higher principles. They're there because they see an advantage for themselves. And when things start to go bad, they're going to see their self-interest now lies in turning on the organization.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:58 PM
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Didn't see the interview with Lev and Maddow. But what the hell is the point? Trump himself released a transcript of his attempt to extort the leader of an allied country. On top of the obvious extortion, it was done for his own personal gain.

What the hell else do we need?
I agree - this is nothing that's in itself new, it's just more of the same. We've known for months now that Trump was taking actions that harmed the security interests of the US, in an attempt to benefit himself personally. The phone call summary made that obvious, all the witnesses we've heard from say that the orders came from Trump, but no one has heard Trump himself say that he was behind it. Lev Parnas is just another one.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:20 PM
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I admit that Parnas' extreme flip is rather strange.

I've remained skeptical up to now, about him, but he seems to be providing documents that back his statements and that's basically the gold standard for your average criminal turncoat (given their reliability, otherwise). He also called Hyde a delusional nutball who he didn't believe 90% of what he said. That also strikes a note of reality, versus talking up the dramatic evilness of everyone else as much as he can. While, granted, not endearing of the man, it does defend Hyde from criminal responsibility.

As to his motives, I have no idea. Some theories that have run through my mind:

1) FBI plant. Possibly, someone who was out free on a deal to serve as a source for them, who they tasked with going all-in when Giuliani came to him.
2) He's sufficiently certain of his own guilt and Trump's unreliability that he's decided that he'd rather take a deal from the side of good rather than the side of nutball conspiracy theorists.
3) He believes that anyone related to the impeachment might be unpardonable, in accordance with that Constitutional limit, so going to the side of good is his only possible deal.

I do not believe that Putin set him up. Trump has given Putin pretty much everything that he could ever want (except the removal of most sanctions). Even if we assume that Trump did that fully of his own will, Trump's position as head of the USA is 100% to Putin's benefit.
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:19 AM
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But to directly answer the question, no, probably not. Think of how vast a conspiracy something like this would have to be, involving so many people of such low character. There is no way that this could be orchestrated such that there isn't some loose end like Parnas hanging out there.
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:23 AM
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I admit that Parnas' extreme flip is rather strange.

I've remained skeptical up to now, about him, but he seems to be providing documents that back his statements and that's basically the gold standard for your average criminal turncoat (given their reliability, otherwise). He also called Hyde a delusional nutball who he didn't believe 90% of what he said. That also strikes a note of reality, versus talking up the dramatic evilness of everyone else as much as he can. While, granted, not endearing of the man, it does defend Hyde from criminal responsibility.

As to his motives, I have no idea. Some theories that have run through my mind:

1) FBI plant. Possibly, someone who was out free on a deal to serve as a source for them, who they tasked with going all-in when Giuliani came to him.
2) He's sufficiently certain of his own guilt and Trump's unreliability that he's decided that he'd rather take a deal from the side of good rather than the side of nutball conspiracy theorists.
3) He believes that anyone related to the impeachment might be unpardonable, in accordance with that Constitutional limit, so going to the side of good is his only possible deal.

I do not believe that Putin set him up. Trump has given Putin pretty much everything that he could ever want (except the removal of most sanctions). Even if we assume that Trump did that fully of his own will, Trump's position as head of the USA is 100% to Putin's benefit.
My suspicion is 2) with a sprinkling of, "we were supposed to be in this together, so if you are abandoning me I am taking you DOWN!"
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:56 AM
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I don't see how this is complicated.

People higher up the Trump food chain than Parnas are in prison, and Trump has absolutely no history of personal loyalty to anybody who worked for him. The math is pretty simple enough for any mid-level mook.
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:14 PM
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The Trump administration probably has dozens of Lev Parnases working for it. So when we start shaking the trees, apples are going to start falling out.
Road Apples, in Trump World.
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:24 PM
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My suspicion is 2) with a sprinkling of, "we were supposed to be in this together, so if you are abandoning me I am taking you DOWN!"
Yeah, I think it's 2 and it just seems fast because - unlike Manafort and Cohen - Parnas had the ability to watch things happening to other Trump associates and see how it all ended up. He'd already decided what to do if the men in sunglasses showed up for him.
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:36 PM
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I don't know why Lev Parnas is suddenly singing like a canary, but I think that a) it's because he's decided it's in the best interest of Lev Parnas, not America, and b) everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.
Of course it should. That's why corroborating evidence by way of documents and testimony is necessary in any real trial. Do you think we don't try bank robbers in this country because one participant in the crime flips on the other, but -- oh, noes! -- he's a criminal, so we can't believe anything he says? Use your head.

Dems more than made their case against Trump during the inquiry phase of this process. But Parnas has brought the goods by way of text messages, emails, phone recordings, writings, etc. They dovetail completely (corroborate, IOW) everything Gordon Sondland testified to under oath during the televised impeachment inquiry, that "everyone" in the Trump administration knew what was going on.

So while it's true that Dems have already made a rock solid case against Trump, Parnas's evidence demonstrates how broad and deep the conspiracy goes across the entire cabal of thugs currently occupying the Executive Branch and beyond, clear into the Congress: Pence, Pompeo, Perry, Bolton, Mulvaney, Nunes, RNC co-charman Thomas Hicks, former Florida State party co-chair Harry Sargeant, former Texas congressman Pete Sessions, current Florida governor Ron de Santis -- and most importantly, William Barr.

We already knew Barr was involved based on Trump's own released call summary. In it, he tells Zelenskyy that he would like to "have the Attorney General call you," and then goes on to mention Barr 4 more times in the brief call. Parnas's information completely supports the assertion that Barr is deeply involved.

In addition to the above, Parnas made 2 points during his Maddow interviews that I thought were particularly striking:

1) That the only reason Zelenskyy and others in the Ukrainian government met with him, Parnas, is because they were told to do so on the authority of Rudy Giuliani and, by extension, Trump himself; and

2) That he was offering his information as a firewall. He is more frightened of Barr's DOJ than he is of anything else. He believes the release of his information provides an insurance policy against other harm that may be visited upon him; say, left alone in a cell unobserved à la Jeffrey Epstein.

Remember too how many times Rudy Giuliani has referred to having an "insurance policy" against Trump throwing him under the bus. I think Parnas feels that someone else may be thrown under the bus in lieu of Giuliani. Himself. He is trying to make sure this doesn't happen. Barr refuses to initiate an investigation against Giuliani. Only SDNY has done that, and you know, we haven't heard much about it for awhile. Did Barr stymie SDNY's Giuliani investigation and point them exclusively at Parnas? I think he did.

As for whether Parnas is a Putin plant...

Hard to imagine Parnas as a groomed operative. Useful idiot, more likely. Parnas is indicted for making illegal foreign campaign contributions. Those contributions are sourced to Russia, flowing via Ukrainian Russian-mob-tied oligarch Dimytri Firtash, already indicted in the US and fighting extradition from Vienna. The funds flowed through Parnas and on to Republican PACs and politicians. Firtash is definitely tied to Putin. Parnas likely knows this. Does that make him a Putin plant? Perhaps, in a broad sense.

Let's circle back to Barr one more time. Giuliani allegedly promised Firtash he could make the extradition efforts against Firtash "go away" in exchange for the funds given by Firtash to Parnas and Fruman. How could Rudy accomplish this, except with the direct assistance of William Barr?

I don't think Parnas's current actions are motivated by Russia's wishes. I think he is just genuinely scared of what Trump and his henchmen in the DOJ may do to him. We have a mafia-style government now.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:07 PM
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Parnas has a long history of fraud accusations and debt due to failed business ventures. He’s about as dirty as they come. He’s desperately trying to get on the other side of this conflict to deflect suspicion away from himself and possibly earn some goodwill from authorities.

It’s not to say he’s lying. But it shows how his motives are not that difficult to understand. He’s like any other guy in a criminal organization turning stool pigeon to save his own skin.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:21 PM
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It’s not to say he’s lying. But it shows how his motives are not that difficult to understand. He’s like any other guy in a criminal organization turning stool pigeon to save his own skin.
Yeah, so? What's your point? He's not a choirboy. We knew that.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:28 PM
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Yeah, so? What's your point? He's not a choirboy. We knew that.
He’s also unlikely to be a Russian spy or triple agent or any other kind of ridiculous conspiracy. His motives aren’t that hard to understand. That’s my point.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:39 PM
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Then we agree. What gets me is that this game is so high level, but natural low level mooks like him and Rudy--or Trump, even--are playing it. IRL they wouldn't rate ten minutes in a CourTV documentary.

It is embarrassing.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:59 PM
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His interview with Maddow seems almost too good (too horrible?) to be true. He implicated Trump, Perry, Barr, Giuliani, Pompeo, Nunes, and probably a couple of others I'm not recalling off the top of my head.

What happens if the Democrats run with it and Parnas is discredited?
Exactly the same thing that will happen if he is not discredited: Nothing whatsoever. Parnas cannot hurt Trump because it doesn't matter what Trump did; the GOP is behind him.
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Old 01-18-2020, 05:02 PM
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Parnas has a long history of fraud accusations and debt due to failed business ventures. He’s about as dirty as they come. He’s desperately trying to get on the other side of this conflict to deflect suspicion away from himself and possibly earn some goodwill from authorities.

It’s not to say he’s lying. But it shows how his motives are not that difficult to understand. He’s like any other guy in a criminal organization turning stool pigeon to save his own skin.
Except he has no proffer agreement with SDNY. In fact if he did, they would have told him to STFU. That's why I think his motives are somewhat more complex.

Also, he isn't trying to deflect suspicion away from himself. He readily admits his role in the conspiracy.

I agree he is about as dirty as they come. But so are lots of criminals who flip in RICO-type cases.
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Old 01-18-2020, 05:14 PM
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I don't see how this is complicated.

People higher up the Trump food chain than Parnas are in prison, and Trump has absolutely no history of personal loyalty to anybody who worked for him. The math is pretty simple enough for any mid-level mook.
That, plus the Epstein "suicide." I would be terrified to go to prison if I had undisclosed information that could hurt Trump, Pompeo, Barr, or people with similar power.
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:53 PM
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Excellent observations every one.

Let's not forget that Trump himself released the 'perfect' phone call transcript where he tried to bribe or extort (YMMV) the leader of an allied county. An ally that was being attacked by a hostile government. The leader of which that Trump has private phone calls and meetings with, and... well we may see what type of business dealings. How much does Trump owe Russia anyway? He couldn't get any loans from American banks.

Putin is having a great time playing our President as the fool he is. And it wasn't hard at all. We KNOW that Trump is a moron among his many 'attributes'. And a child emotionally. Putin's housekeepers gardeners helper could get Trump to do anything they want.

As long as they praised him. My dogs have more awareness than Trump does. They are not stupid.

I very much believe that Trump, The President of the United States never developed emotionally, or intellectually beyond about 8-9 years old. Stay with me here... If, as a child, you discover that you will never want for anything, and you will never be punished, how do you turn out?

For some, like DJT there would be no need to develop, or study. Or even examine the world. No point in it. Work is bothersome. Everyone else must be wrong.

That is the President of the United States.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:56 PM
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Trump has absolutely no history of personal loyalty to anybody who worked for him.
I've said before that I feel Trump groups everyone into four groups.

1. Donald Trump: the central figure of the universe
2. People who are useful to Donald Trump: they're good
3. People who cause problems for Donald Trump; somebody should remove them
4. People who are neither good or bad for Donald Trump: these people don't matter

The only "group" Donald Trump does things for is the first one. He doesn't do things for people in the second group; they exist to do things for him. And if they stop being useful to him, like by getting arrested while committing a crime for him, they immediately drop down to the fourth group.

You could work loyally for Trump for forty years and then one day you'd need a small favor. And it would never occur to him to give you the favor, even if it cost him nothing. Because giving you a favor would not benefit him and benefiting himself is the only motivation Trump has.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:03 PM
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Does Pamas sport Russian chloroplasts?
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:47 PM
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I've said before that I feel Trump groups everyone into four groups.

1. Donald Trump: the central figure of the universe
2. People who are useful to Donald Trump: they're good
3. People who cause problems for Donald Trump; somebody should remove them
4. People who are neither good or bad for Donald Trump: these people don't matter

The only "group" Donald Trump does things for is the first one. He doesn't do things for people in the second group; they exist to do things for him. And if they stop being useful to him, like by getting arrested while committing a crime for him, they immediately drop down to the fourth group.

You could work loyally for Trump for forty years and then one day you'd need a small favor. And it would never occur to him to give you the favor, even if it cost him nothing. Because giving you a favor would not benefit him and benefiting himself is the only motivation Trump has.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:30 AM
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I get really frustrated with threads like this.

Trump does not play intergalactic 35th dimensional chess. He's barely playing tic-tac-toe. Please repeat that as many times as necessary.

I do get it. Nearly always, he and, by association, the people around him do nearly inexplicably stupid things, lie about them, and brazen it out because they have been allowed to get away with outright fabrications. But in our search for a spec of intelligent rationale, we build byzantine theories so the world resembles the one we believe should exist.

We've all been turned into conspiracy theorists, but the conspiracy theory is that all people, especially the ones in high political office, have a modicum of basic human intellect and that they eschew their lizard brain instincts for well-considered actions. That's clearly not true for the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:51 AM
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I get really frustrated with threads like this.

Trump does not play intergalactic 35th dimensional chess. He's barely playing tic-tac-toe. Please repeat that as many times as necessary.

I do get it. Nearly always, he and, by association, the people around him do nearly inexplicably stupid things, lie about them, and brazen it out because they have been allowed to get away with outright fabrications. But in our search for a spec of intelligent rationale, we build byzantine theories so the world resembles the one we believe should exist.

We've all been turned into conspiracy theorists, but the conspiracy theory is that all people, especially the ones in high political office, have a modicum of basic human intellect and that they eschew their lizard brain instincts for well-considered actions. That's clearly not true for the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
All have been turned into conspiracy theorists? Maybe I'm not following you here.

I just go by the fact that Trump is a stupid asshole that doesn't give a shit about anyone but himself. He's proved that again and again.

Everything else just follows.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:53 PM
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I get really frustrated with threads like this.

Trump does not play intergalactic 35th dimensional chess. He's barely playing tic-tac-toe. Please repeat that as many times as necessary.

I do get it. Nearly always, he and, by association, the people around him do nearly inexplicably stupid things, lie about them, and brazen it out because they have been allowed to get away with outright fabrications. But in our search for a spec of intelligent rationale, we build byzantine theories so the world resembles the one we believe should exist.

We've all been turned into conspiracy theorists, but the conspiracy theory is that all people, especially the ones in high political office, have a modicum of basic human intellect and that they eschew their lizard brain instincts for well-considered actions. That's clearly not true for the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Can you point to what conspiracy you think anyone in this thread has bought into?

Speaking for myself, I have no notions of Trump playing intergalactic 35th dimensional chess. In fact, I think you've overestimated him if you think he's even playing tic-tac-toe. He's flailing like the malevolent juvenile ego he is, lashing out at everything in his efforts to avoid accountability. As he has always done. Shocking how well this reptilian tactic has worked in our American politics.

Trump isn't playing intergalactic 35th dimensional chess, and neither are the people nearest to him -- except perhaps Putin. But others with access have agendas they've long pursued and saw their best chance in a useful idiot like Trump. Have you noticed how many former Cheney people are slithering around Trump's den?

In case you're referring to the Epstein thing, if you've read any of my posts on the subject -- and I have no reason to believe that you have -- you'd know that I have never subscribed to the notion that Epstein was murdered, only that those in charge allowed the conditions to exist that might have given Epstein the runway he required to do what he'd already said he intended to do: Kill himself.

I will add, however, that Epstein's broken hyoid bone, a rarity in suicides, does give one pause on that score when taken together with all the other irregularities surrounding his death. There were lots of irregularities. Enough that were I Lev Parnas, I probably wouldn't sleep too well at the notion of being under the control of William Barr's DOJ without making sure that if something happened to me after I shared my information, it would be worthy of an in-depth investigation.

I think Parnas singing like a canary is down to not much more than, "If something happens to me when I'm in custody, you know where to start your investigation."
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:19 PM
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...were I Lev Parnas, I probably wouldn't sleep too well at the notion of being under the control of William Barr's DOJ without making sure that if something happened to me after I shared my information, it would be worthy of an in-depth investigation.

I think Parnas singing like a canary is down to not much more than, "If something happens to me when I'm in custody, you know where to start your investigation."
Agree. Not just the DOJ, Vlad has managed international assassinations, as Parnas well knows.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:27 PM
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In case you're wondering why he chose to name his company Fraud Guarantee....well, he wanted to confound anyone running a Google search for Lev Parnas fraud.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_...kraine_scandal
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:16 PM
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Can you point to what conspiracy you think anyone in this thread has bought into?
Read the OP. Heck, read the thread title.

Of course we’re “just asking questions”, right?
  #37  
Old 01-20-2020, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
Read the OP. Heck, read the thread title.

Of course we’re “just asking questions”, right?
I addressed the thread title specifically in my Post #19. Sorry you missed it.

I'm not really sure what burr is under your saddle about my opinions, but I'm entitled to mine about what motivates Parnas and the veracity of his statements. I care far less about what he says and far more about the documentary evidence he brings to the table.
  #38  
Old 01-21-2020, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
I addressed the thread title specifically in my Post #19. Sorry you missed it.
Then why did you ask such a stupid question?
  #39  
Old 01-21-2020, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic View Post
McConnell has just perjured himself under oath. He has no intention of listening to ANY evidence or considering ANYthing at all that points to Trump's obvious guilt....
The trial will be a pig-circus.

The ONE thing I would have tried to do as a Dem Senator is to get all Senators on video taking the oath. Instead of taking the oath all at once, I think every Dem Senator should have stood up and sworn the oath individually on camera. Dare the Republicans to do the same.

Every single thing about this trial will be sickening fraud. The most important part of the whole affair should have been carefully documented — 53 heinous excuses for human beings standing up and perjuring themselves before Man and God.
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