The Durham indictments prosecuting fake Trump 'collusion'

And don’t forget the one time Congress approved military aid money to Russia’s adversary in a hot war and Trump decided not to let them have the money because he wanted to shake him down first. Putin loved that one, but there was something in it for Trump, too.

And who benefited from Trump’s abrupt decision to abandon our bases in Syria? Certainly wasn’t the Kurds.

(There’s a Reuters story but I thought using the Moscow Times would be more fun.)

This is false.

The FISA court had already allowed the wiretap on Carter Page. Clinesmith’s actions were part of the renewal of the FISA warrant. Furthermore, Clinesmith altered an email to get out of doing extra work, had he done that extra work instead of altering the email, the renewal would have gone through. The renewal would have probably gone through if he left that part out entirely. There were a lot of good reasons to wiretap Carter Page.

Clinesmith did commit a crime, but Carter Page would have been surveilled regardless of Clinesmith’s actions and was already under surveillance before Clinesmith was involved.

There almost certainly won’t be a trial. Even if Sussman did lie, and that assertion is pretty weak, it is unlikely that any prosecutor will be able to show that this lie was material.

Yes. He asks the questions, you do the legwork. Somehow the legwork is never good enough to satisfy the questions, so the questions multiply. We’ll have another identical thread in 3-6 months. That’s how this works.

This doesn’t change one thing about the over one hundred pages of the Mueller report detailing many, many acts of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

And again, and again, and again, and again… :roll_eyes:

Much hay is made of the word “collusion” in the defense of Trump, his campaign and his inner circle. And if one adheres to a very strict interpretation, one can make a reasonable argument that while they met with - and then covered up the meetings with - Russia on several occasions, and that they benefited enormously from the extensive Russian efforts to promote Trump and the Republicans and hinder Biden and the Democrats during the 2016 election, the Trump campaign did not “collude” with the Russians because the Russians basically just did everything without direction from the campaign.

Of course, there is also a reasonable argument to be made that the reason the Trump campaign’s involvement in Russia’s efforts never rose to “collusion” levels was because the Trump campaign was incredibly fucking stupid. Consider, for example, the attempt to get Michael Cohen to liaise with Kremlin secretary Dmitry Klokov (as discussed in the Mueller Report). Cohen apparently thought he was supposed to liaise with the Olympic weightlifter of the same name and didn’t realize they were different people until the Mueller investigation pointed it out to him.

But let’s assume for no good reason that the Trump campaign was somehow completely uninvolved with Russia’s efforts to get him elected (Trump: “I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.”) Does that somehow mean everything is fine? Or should we not question why Russia put so much effort into getting Republicans into office, with Donald Trump in the top job. How did getting them elected serve Russia’s interests? Dana Rohrabacher aside, did Russia expect Trump and key Republicans just to do their bidding?

Or was it simply that Russia believed (with some reason) that having Donald Trump as President, supported by fellow Republicans, would - just by being Trump - weaken America’s global influence and foment domestic unrest, allowing Russia to expand its own global influence unchecked by its former foil? Because if we assume that there was no collusion and that Trump and the Republicans weren’t ‘stooges’ for Putin, the only other conclusion we can draw is that Russia knew they would hurt America just by doing what they were going to do anyway. And in hindsight, Russia would turn out to be right.

Which is not much of an exoneration at all. But if the people shouting “NO COLLUSION!” wish to continue to do so to drown out a much worse truth, I suppose I can’t blame them.

That’s what I think. Maybe they would have more influence because they have compromont on Trump, or he simple needs or owes money, and could manipulate him that way.

But if none of the above works, they know he’s a moron, is easily manipulated and would hurt the US. It’s a win win. For Putins entertainment if nothing else.

Has Trump ever sued someone for defamation for suggesting he was in cahoots in some way with Russia?

First you have to know who did it. That’s what’s going to come out at trial.

Has anyone else read the indictment? It’s so much more than simply a lawyer who lied for a client. There’s a pretty big conspiracy outlined in that indictment including a major tech executive, some data science guys, two internet companies, Perkins Coie, and several other unnamed co-conspirators.

If the allegations are true, the ‘tech executive’ exploited his access to non-public data at multiple internet companies to help oppo research Trump. The tech executive allegedly did this in coordination with Clinton Campaign people.

Tech executive-1 was allegedly offered a job as head of cybersecurity in a Clinton administration for his efforts. A computer researcher with the moniker ‘Tea Leaves’ ginned up the fake DNS file used to smear Trump.

Sussman lied to two different federal agencies, saying that he was not working for a specific client but brought the material in as a ‘concerned citizen’. Then he billed the meeting time with the Feds to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Lawyers I’ve read say there are some interesting side facts here: One is that it sounds like Durham has cooperating witnesses, one who sounds like James Baker, the FBI General Counsel, and another is that he appears to have gotten access to Perkins Coie’s billing records, which can only be subpoena’d if it can be shown that they contain evidence of crimes by the lawyer or law firm, and not the client unless the criminal activity is ‘ongoing’. IANAL, so if any actual lawyers would like to step up and either confirm or debunk that, it would be great.

Have the lawyers you’ve read conveniently been Republican or conservative writers? According to Lawfare, the evidence is extremely weak. We’ll see if it actually goes to trial. Wake me up if that happens.

“But this time Lucy won’t pull the football away the evidence will show we were right all along!”

Is it possible that some people on the left engaged in smear tactics during a presidential campaign? Sure - in fact, it’s highly likely. But it doesn’t remotely disprove that Russia was working with the Trump campaign to get Trump elected, and it won’t ever because there is a lot of evidence for that.

I’m with iiandyiiii - wake us up when something substantive happens.

Why don’t you cite the lawyers you’ve read?

You have already demonstrated in this thread that your summaries of legal matters can be pretty inaccurate (e.g. Clinesmith).

Stepping a side for a second, this is a real story (unlike, say, the Hunter Biden laptop thing, which is not newsworthy and is nothing more than rumor and innuendo). There was a real indictment by the guy Trump and Co were relying on. I’m skeptical that it will go anywhere, but this is a real story and I don’t have a problem with wanting to discuss it.

So, what criminal statutes do you think these people violated?

I know there’s this little right-wing fantasy that this is just the first step in something bigger. But the crime was his alleged lies to the FBI and this indictment was issued on the day before the statute of limitations expired. Which is a indication that there was a lot of wavering over whether to bring the charge, BTW.

Under what theory of time would the actions that he lied about (unless it’s murder or certain types of child abuse), which presumably happened before the alleged lie to the FBI, be chargeable?

I know some conservatives have convinced themselves that someone - presumably Hillary- is going to be charged for…….wait for it………lying to someone that lied to the FBI. LOL.

They probed through that investigation for years and found almost nothing improper - a minor irregularity in an application for a FISA warrant on a minor player in the scheme, presented to a court that, IIRC, has never denied a warrant*.

I think they were just desperate to charge anyone with anything.

It would’ve been highly irresponsible for the FBI to NOT investigate the Trump campaign once Paul Manafort, long considered a person of interest to law enforcement, with a reputation for rigging elections in Eastern Europe, shows up on the staff.

BTW- I’ve always believed that Trump was for the most part an unwitting Russian asset and had little specific knowledge other than “the Russians are helping us”.

And I believe that the Steele report has been proven to be exactly was Steele claimed it was, raw intelligence that was about 70% accurate. That means some things are not accurate. That’s why law enforcement investigates things. In every criminal investigation there will be leads that don’t pan out but they don’t cancel out the ones that do.

Lying to the FBI? Shit, Trump pardoned people for that. It’s wrong again?

Of course it is. Russia is going to prefer one candidate to the other in every U.S. presidential election. If you want to argue that such a preference is a black mark on the preferred candidate, then I won’t disagree with that.

But what is intellectually improper is to accuse the candidate of a myriad of malfeasance and when it is shown that the evidence used to attempt to prove that malfeasance was all lies to begin with, to just fall back and say that it was “much worse” that the candidate was simply preferred. In no relevant universe is this close to being accurate.

That’s understating what happened here by quite a large margin. I prefer Coke to Pepsi, but I haven’t engaged in a massive smear campaign against Pepsi or hacked PepsiCo’s servers or paid off multiple soft drink distributors to push Coke on their clients.

This is more akin to America’s long history of “preferring” certain candidates in third world countries over others. And like those examples, the results have not been of benefit to the country affected.

Well, when it’s shown to be “all lies to begin with” we can discuss that. Which it won’t, because as already noted there is a metric shit-ton of evidence to show that the Trump campaign was aware of and deliberately covering up Russia’s actions in the 2016 election. For example, the Mueller report set out eleven examples of attempted obstruction of justice by Trump himself - sounds like malfeasance to me (and that’s not even touching on the whole “standing on stage and asking Russia to hack the DNC servers followed by Russia immediately hacking the DNC servers” thing).

But the reason it would be “worse” is the implication that Trump qua Trump would take actions that would benefit Russia and harm America even without Russia’s prompting. Admittedly that’s a subjective view but either way the end result isn’t “And therefore Trump was good for America”.

I read it. It is very, very much unlike any indictment I’ve presented. As a general rule, the more basic an indictment, with only the most relevant, provable evidence to meet the basis of the charge, the better. It makes everything after the indictment so much more containable, limited, and easy to explain to the jury at trial.

So much of this indictment is superfluous and irrelevant to the actual charges. It reads more like a "here’s a list of bad stuff this guy has done, but we’re not going to/can’t criminally charge him " type magazine hit piece than a criminal indictment. I suppose it could be laying the groundwork for further indictments like you hope, but it is an extremely stupid way to indict someone. It’s a good way to try and make political hay when your time to file actual criminal charges is coming to an end though.

I fully admit to being unfamiliar with criminal charges for the “bad stuff” the indictment says occurred. So I’ll ask: Conspiracy to commit what? What crime were they “conspiring” to do? Why, if the prosecutors have all this information about the nefarious goings on, are there no other charges?

And, yet again, how does anything involved in this thread negate the findings of the Senate report, the intelligence communities, and the indictments of Trump’s friends regarding Russian attempts to influence our elections?