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Russian Government Helped Trump Win Election

 
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Rteacher



Joined: 23 May 2005
Location: Western MA, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:57 pm    Post subject: Russian Government Helped Trump Win Election Reply with quote

We all pretty much knew this was true, but concrete proof of collusion with Trump campaign has been lacking. Now, it looks like some cement has been added to the concrete mix ... https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/us/politics/donald-trump-jr-russia-email-candidacy.html
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Non



Joined: 22 May 2013

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(52 U.S.C. 30121, 36 U.S.C. 510) wrote:

(b)Contributions and donations by foreign nationals in connection with elections. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.

...

(g)Solicitation, acceptance, or receipt of contributions and donations from foreign nationals. No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section.


Are the elements in place for Don Jr. to have committed a federal crime?

(b) A foreign national promised a "thing of value" (damaging info on HRC) to Don. (Or is it significant that "thing of value" is left out of the "expressly or impliedly promise" clause?)

(g) Don knew the attorney was a Russian national--the email chain he posted mentions that she was a "Russian government attorney." So "knowingly" seems to be met.

The meeting was reportedly a dud and he "received" nothing of value, and so "accepted" nothing of value, though he attended the meeting hoping, expecting and intending to receive something of value. The emails make that clear.

Did he "solicit" a "thing of value?" What does that mean?

§ 300.2 Definitions. wrote:
(m)To solicit. For the purposes of part 300, to solicit means to ask, request, or recommend, explicitly or implicitly, that another person make a contribution, donation, transfer of funds, or otherwise provide anything of value. A solicitation is an oral or written communication that, construed as reasonably understood in the context in which it is made, contains a clear message asking, requesting, or recommending that another person make a contribution, donation, transfer of funds, or otherwise provide anything of value. A solicitation may be made directly or indirectly. The context includes the conduct of persons involved in the communication. A solicitation does not include mere statements of political support or mere guidance as to the applicability of a particular law or regulation.


Although the whole thing seems to have fallen into Don's lap, by replying to Rob Goldstone in the affirmative, he was asking/requesting/recommending, if not for a foreign national to provide a thing of value, then for a meeting to explore that option.

How much wiggle room does he have here?
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Rteacher



Joined: 23 May 2005
Location: Western MA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even if his father gets impeached, it's very likely that Don Jr. - if ever convicted - would be pardoned by whatever Republican becomes the next (more-or-less illegitimate...) President.
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Rteacher



Joined: 23 May 2005
Location: Western MA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Junior releases the entire email chain: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/11/us/politics/donald-trump-jr-email-text.html
At least he "loved" the idea of getting help from a foreign (adversarial) power ...
Pappa Trump - supported by most Republican "leaders" in Congress - will probably keep lying (with a straight face) about any knowledge or involvement on his part ...
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The meeting was reportedly a dud and he "received" nothing of value, and so "accepted" nothing of value, though he attended the meeting hoping, expecting and intending to receive something of value. The emails make that clear.


The DNC emails had some value. Especially since Assange dropped them strategically, such as right after the Access Hollywood tapes.

Combine this with Trump's dismissal of Comey.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/11/donald-trump-jr-emails-smoking-gun-robert-mueller-240414

Quote:
The smoking gun, according to the attorneys, is the wording throughout the emails that Trump Jr. exchanges with a broker for one of his father’s former Russian business partners. At one point, Trump Jr. responds “love it” at the prospect of material that would “incriminate” Clinton. In addition, the source of the material says the offer of the material is “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

“Extremely damaging,” said former Justice Department prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg. “Certainly shows an intent to collude with Russian government.”


On a more humorous note:

http://cdn-users2.imagechef.com/sketchpadmeme/170712/meme91efea6f97ed355c.jpg
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read several articles on this issue this morning, and what I've noticed is that the expert commentary is not only generally vague to the point of meaninglessness, sounding very harsh while not actually outlining any real criminality, but it also seems fairly homogeneous in character, implying "expert shopping." I also noticed that at least some media commentators and politicians are issuing implicit accusations of treason, which is hysterical; when politicians and media actors engage in hysterics, are they usually defending a sound case, or trying to convince the public of an unsound one? Were I Mr. Trump, I don't think I'd be feeling especially worried right now, unless there are a few much worse skeletons in his closet, which is something I am not positioned to know.

That aside, trying to define the receipt of hypothetical true information as "something of value" in order to open it to regulation through campaign finance law is perverse -- a direct assault on the First Amendment. It is not quite as bad as, "Truth is treason if the truth comes from Russia," of course, but still by no means charming. To be frank, if the Russian government actually did have damning information regarding Mrs. Clinton's interactions with it, I would be entirely comfortable with them sharing that information; their motives may not strictly align with United States interests, but the electorate still benefits from being informed, and a more informed electorate is strengthened, not undermined. No action which reduces to sharing true information can be meaningfully described as "undermining our democracy." In fact, there's a certain irony in watching a group of people who are systematically attempting to undermine a sitting, elected President bemoan anything "undermining our democracy." I'm not saying they don't have the right to do that, but there's a certain element of hypocrisy involved. Doubly so given the parties in question not uncommonly rely upon people who are themselves violating the law as sources. Watching a group of people who have no respect for laws regarding the disclosure of government information trying to leverage campaign finance law in order to accuse someone who was willing to accept information of something between criminality and treason is more than a little absurd.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
To be frank, if the Russian government actually did have damning information regarding Mrs. Clinton's interactions with it, I would be entirely comfortable with them sharing that information; their motives may not strictly align with United States interests, but the electorate still benefits from being informed, and a more informed electorate is strengthened, not undermined. No action which reduces to sharing true information can be meaningfully described as "undermining our democracy."


This is substantially too deferential, at least after Trump fired a sitting FBI Director after attempting to influence his investigation into Russia (and Trump admitted so to Lester Hold).

Donald Trump wrote:
As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know—there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity . . . I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.


It appears as if there was collusion between the Trump campaign and a foreign entity on its face.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kuros wrote:

It appears as if there was collusion between the Trump campaign and a foreign entity on its face.


More precisely, it appears that his campaign at the very least would have been willing to collude, which is believable enough. Elevating that premise to "there was collusion" would require both parties explanation of what happened during that meeting to be false, which is certainly possible, but would require additional evidence. And further elevating it to "there was morally problematic collusion" would require even more (though I don't think our news media would concern itself with that, given it treats Russia as implicitly evil). We'll have time to see if anything occurs.

Regarding Mr. Comey, many of the same people taking issue with his firing expressed concerns about his job performance, so it's extremely hard to take that seriously. His hearing came and went, he was provided his platform, and not much came of it. The President has the right to dismiss the Director of the FBI, the investigation into "Russia Stealing The Election And Undermining Democracy" continues, and it's not clear to me what, if anything, has been obstructed. And as far as what Mr. Trump said to Lester Holt, he said this:

Quote:
Trump told NBC's Lester Holt: "And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said 'you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won'."

...

"I want that to be so strong and so good," he said. "I want to get to the bottom. If Russia hacked, if Russia did anything having to do with our election, I want to know about it."


So are we taking the words of the President as meaningful or not? If we are, then his complaint regarding Mr. Comey seems to revolve around the story (which he bemoans), not the investigation (which he suggests he supports), which is to say, governmental leaks. That's not to say we need to take the President's words as meaningful; he often lies, often says incorrect things which he might believe are true, and is not always clear and consistent in communicating in general. But that's the impression which arises when I read what he said, and I suspect it's the idea he wanted to get across.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:

Regarding Mr. Comey, many of the same people taking issue with his firing expressed concerns about his job performance, so it's extremely hard to take that seriously. His hearing came and went, he was provided his platform, and not much came of it. The President has the right to dismiss the Director of the FBI, the investigation into "Russia Stealing The Election And Undermining Democracy" continues, and it's not clear to me what, if anything, has been obstructed. And as far as what Mr. Trump said to Lester Holt, he said this:

Quote:
Trump told NBC's Lester Holt: "And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said 'you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won'."

...

"I want that to be so strong and so good," he said. "I want to get to the bottom. If Russia hacked, if Russia did anything having to do with our election, I want to know about it."


So are we taking the words of the President as meaningful or not? If we are, then his complaint regarding Mr. Comey seems to revolve around the story (which he bemoans), not the investigation (which he suggests he supports), which is to say, governmental leaks. That's not to say we need to take the President's words as meaningful; he often lies, often says incorrect things which he might believe are true, and is not always clear and consistent in communicating in general. But that's the impression which arises when I read what he said, and I suspect it's the idea he wanted to get across.


Fox,

You also know that Trump threatened Comey with a release of tapes around the time of his testimony . . . and Comey did not even blink, expressing a hope for tapes (although he did say "Lordy" far too much). And then Trump came up empty on the tapes. That is the context within which we are supposed to believe that Trump dismissed Comey in May for decisions Comey made before January (concerning how he handled Hillary's emails) and admissions (and yes, prevarications I think) Comey made well before May.

I also wonder whether Donald Junior would have come forward without Mueller poking about his business as special prosecutor.

Donald Trump is a real estate mogul from New York who extols bare-knuckle toughness and winning as his pre-eminent virtue. This is a guy who pulled a brilliant con with his tax returns. This is the same guy who benefited from DNC email leaks just as he suffered the release of damaging information or difficult news cycles.

Yeah, I think after Donald Trump Junior's revelations, we can begin to believe the guy likely colluded. More likely than not, anyway.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kuros wrote:

Fox,

You also know that Trump threatened Comey with a release of tapes around the time of his testimony . . . and Comey did not even blink, expressing a hope for tapes (although he did say "Lordy" far too much).


He may not have blinked, but I have no idea how such a threat impacted his potential actions. For example, leading up to his hearing, it was insisted that "... one source said Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation," and that, "Comey is going to dispute the president on this point if he’s asked about it by senators, and we have to assume that he will be. He will say he never assured Donald Trump that he was not under investigation, that that would have been improper for him to do so." And yet, in his actual hearing, that didn't happen; quite the opposite, in fact. Did it not happen because it was never going to happen, and CNN was promoting falsehoods with no credible source at all? Or was it the potential threat of actual recordings that ensured it didn't happen, despite what their source thought? More to the point, was it the potential threat of recordings that led to the Comey hearings beings so devoid of narrative-driving content at all? From our position, of course we cannot know, but to to say, "Trump came up empty on the tapes," is to make a fairly large assumption about both his intentions in suggesting he might have had some in the first place, and his honesty in his later claim that he had none.

Kuros wrote:

Yeah, I think after Donald Trump Junior's revelations, we can begin to believe the guy likely colluded. More likely than not, anyway.


Well, he was certainly interested in accepting information from a Russian source, so if that's "collusion," then he was willing to do so, and the dictionary definition of "collusion" could support such a reading. Yet nothing about that strikes me as intrinsically damning, so if by "collusion" you mean something either unethical or outright illegal, which I imagine you do and at the very least most people do, I'm not prepared to assume that yet. Essentially he stands guilty of not hating and mistrusting Russia on principle. As someone who also doesn't hate and mistrust Russia on principle, how upset can I be about that?
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Essentially he stands guilty of not hating and mistrusting Russia on principle. As someone who also doesn't hate and mistrust Russia on principle, how upset can I be about that?


Not at all. We accuse Trump of collusion.

Is there another election campaign in American history that sat down with a connection to a foreign power to receive opposition research? Podesta's emails were hacked; they were not leaked by someone with authorization (it is fair to question whether Russia hacked them, since the DNC foolishly did not cooperate with the FBI).

This will get ugly. It appears Kushner failed to disclose this meeting on his mandatory security disclosures.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kuros wrote:

Is there another election campaign in American history that sat down with a connection to a foreign power to receive opposition research?


I resisted including this article in my last post because I didn't want to come off as engaging in some sort of tu quoque, but you directly asked the question, so here's the answer: if we accept that Presidential campaigns are intrinsically linked to their party conventions, and we should, then yes, there is. Yes, the DNC and the Clinton campaign were much smarter about it than the Trump campaign, because they're highly experienced political operatives, but it's also much more obvious that it actually happened, and went beyond a mere transmission of information. Despite that, few people seem to really care about it, and I'd say they're right not to care overly. But think about that for a moment: we actually do have blatant, obvious evidence of "collusion" between the Ukraine and the DNC, and no one cares, but a single email illustrating that the President's son was willing to listen to hypothetical information from a Russian source is cause for anger? That's not internally consistent.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jared Kushner discloses meetings with ONE HUNDRED foreigners in update to security form which led to Don Trump's lawyer contact being revealed

Quote:
Kushner has been providing 'updates' to his SF-86 national security form, after it was revealed he did not disclose any foreign contacts on his initial form.

. . .

his meetings with Russians are of particular interest to investigators who are probing contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russia following the intelligence communities conclusion that Russia interfered in the presidential election.

Kushner is now known to have had three contacts with Russians during the campaign: One with outgoing Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, one with Veselnitskaya, and one with Sergei Gorkov, chairman of state-owned Sberbank.


Oof. You have to disclose these things, Jared.

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/11/russian-oligarch-plotted-aid-trump-named-private-intelligence-dossier/

Quote:
Steele’s report, commissioned by Fusion GPS, a “strategic intelligence” firm in Washington working for anti-Trump Republicans and Democrats — published by BuzzFeed in January — includes repeated references to intelligence on Clinton gathered by Russian spies during her trips to Russia.

According to Steele’s sources, however, the material did not include details or evidence of embarrassing or unorthodox behavior, but was comprised mainly of bugged conversations during which Clinton made comments “which contradicted her current position on various issues.”

. . .

Steele reported that at least two sources said that information of some kind on Clinton had been provided to the Trump campaign by Russia. One of those sources, described as “a close associate of Trump who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow,” reported in June 2016 “that this Russian intelligence had been ‘very helpful.'”

One of Steele’s sources also claimed that the theft of emails from Democratic officials, later provided to WikiLeaks, “had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of Trump and senior members of his campaign team.”

Stolen emails were not mentioned in the plot to help Trump described to Donald Jr. by Goldstone, but it was just three days after the June 9 meeting with Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower that Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, first revealed that he had obtained what turned out to be emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee.

Later in his report, Steele said that two sources in another Russian city, St. Petersburg, claimed that Trump had illicit sexual encounters there during another trip. Both of those sources claimed that a business associate of Trump, Aras Agalarov, “will know the details.”
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/14/just-six-days-after-trump-jr-s-meeting-guccifer-2-0-emailed-me-but-there-was-one-key-difference/


Sam Biddle wrote:
Donald Jr. now says the meeting was a dud, and Veselnitskaya didn’t have the goods, but it was interesting enough that all of the participants conveniently forget to mention it at any point since then.

Just six days after the Trump/Veselnitskaya meeting, and 12 days after the initial contact by Goldstone, while working as a reporter for Gawker, I received an email tip, including official strategy and financial documents from the Democratic Party:

[email snapshot in link]

It’s possible that a British music publicist wasn’t exactly plugged in to the alleged activities of Russian military intelligence and got the nitty gritty wrong in his email to Trump Jr. It’s possible the offer emailed to Trump Jr. was just a means of testing how receptive he was to the idea of state-sponsored opposition research (very). It’s possible these people are all smarter than they look, and deliberately did not refer to the actual nature of the hacked documents in writing. It’s possible Goldstone and company were entirely separate from Guccifer, a second, discrete branch of campaign dirt-digging. It’s possible these are coincidences — if so, it would behoove Trumps old and young to explain why the most notorious hacker persona of the modern age started shopping around Hillary-related documents less than a week after similar documents were promised to the campaign.


I wonder what dots Mueller's team has connected.
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