Collusion is a Crime

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by sanantone, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Well, we know Wikileaks was used by Russian intelligence. But the whole point is that anyone can use it.
  2. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I sorry for dragging this thread a tiny bit off-topic but the fact is that even if Trump dodges the collusion bullet he's very likely to get hit by a bomb labeled tax evasion & money laundering.
    Now before Bruce starts in again with his "Where's the evidence?" routine I'll give him his answer (which he already knows). The evidence is in the Mueller report (gee, I wonder why the Republicans don't want the report to become public knowledge?) and it's in the House committee investigations (which are now actually investigating rather than whitewashing). So be patient Bruce, you'll get your answer in due time. I know it's hard to wait but I'm sure it will be worth the effort.
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the late response.

    Actually, I'll be surprised if the Mueller report discusses tax evasion or money laundering, unless the violation touches on foreign collusion somehow. That would be outside Mueller's direction, as I understand it. I would expect the Southern District of NY to be where those investigations would be centered.
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Good point.
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member


    The report is released. When can we expect any evidence of collusion?

  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    You seem to be getting ahead of yourself. All we really know for sure is that the Mueller team is done and do not have any further indictments. We also know that there are ongoing investigations and pieces of the Mueller investigation that have been turned over to be handled in the normal manner by the DOJ. Current ongoing investigations that we know about are

    United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York,
    United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia,
    United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia,
    Department of Justice (Public Integrity Section),
    New York State and New York City,
    Other State Court Probes,
    House Intelligence Committee,
    House Financial Services Committee,
    House Oversight Committee,
    House Judiciary Committee,
    House Ways and Means Committee,
    House Foreign Affairs Committee, and
    Senate Intelligence Committee.

    After Mueller: The Ongoing Investigations Surrounding Trump

    Unfortunately, we don't even know what the Mueller report says about Trump. Hopefully it fully exonerates him of all suspicion of conspiracy with Russia. More likely though it will say that there is insufficient evidence. We don't even know what it will say about obstruction of justice.
  10. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Another thing that's been happening under the radar, largely upstaged by Mueller, is DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's ongoing review of DOJ behavior including a number of matters, including 1. Politically motivated DOJ leaks of confidential investigatory material to the press, 2. Gifts from the press received by DOJ officials, and 3., FISA abuse. There may or may not be criminal indictments. (Horowitz is the one who uncovered the Strozk/Page texts.)

    That separate investigation may or may not end up producing more eye-opening conclusions than Mueller's. It's still out there and remains to be seen. Speculation is that Horowitz was waiting for Mueller to conclude before he releases his findings. (Interestingly, there haven't been any grand media leaks from Horowitz or his people, as far as I know.)
  11. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    The summary of the Mueller Report has been released. Mueller issued some 2,800 subpoenas and questioned some 500 witnesses.

    He concluded that there is no evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign including Trump himself, in fact "no American person", conspired or "colluded" with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.

    Mueller's report didn't reach any conclusions regarding obstruction. But Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein have both decided that there was nothing in the Report that is sufficient to establish that Trump obstructed justice.

    So, it's about as good a result as President Trump could have hoped for.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  12. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

  13. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Actually "no evidence" is going a bit far. But otherwise basically correct.
  14. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Helpful2013 likes this.
  15. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    Having not watched broadcast television for many years, I had no idea what TV news was like in America anymore. That video is funny, but it is also a shocking example of bias, and coordinated bias at that. Open-minded people of every political stripe should take two minutes to watch it.
  16. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Evidence of collusion?



    Kizmet, no comment??
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

  18. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    It reminds me of the November night after Donald Trump won the 2016 election. For a couple of days, a few brave voices in the media noted that they had totally missed the story of the election. While they and all of their NYC and Beltway pundits were totally convinced that Hillary was a lock to win, none of them had even bothered to speak to voters out in "fly-over" states. Probably none of them even knew a Trump voter, at least knowingly.

    But that moment of introspection only lasted a couple of days and the vast majority of the media simply fell into line, sought emotional solidarity in their moment of uncertainty and doubled down, going into full "Trump Derangement Syndrome" mode. Trump was a "traitor!" He was a "Russian asset!" The 2016 election had been stolen by a hostile foreign power and Hillary deprived of her rightful throne! That had to be the explanation. It couldn't be that the self-important pundits simply didn't understand the United States and its people half as well as they thought they did. (They had ivy-league degrees! How could they possibly be mistaken??)

    Now once again, they've totally missed the story, a story that once again the much-derided (even on Degreeinfo) conservative media came a lot closer to getting right. And once again, a few brave voices are noting that failure of the much-vaunted (by themselves) MSM. Here's something from the Washington Post that's very true and honest and worth reading.

    Excerpts (it's a long article) in color.

    "Barr's announcement was a thunderclap to mainstream news outlets and the cadre of mostly liberal-leaning commentators who have spent months emphasizing the possible-collusion narrative in opinion columns and cable TV panel discussions.

    "Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media," Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi wrote in a column published Saturday, a day before Barr nailed the collusion coffin shut. He added: "Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population."

    Journalist and commentator Glenn Greenwald... tweeted his contempt for the media coverage on Sunday too: "Check every MSNBC personality, CNN law 'expert', liberal-centrist outlets and #Resistance scam artist and see if you see even an iota of self-reflection, humility or admission of massive error."

    He added: "While standard liberal outlets obediently said whatever they were told by the CIA & FBI, many reporters at right-wing media outlets which are routinely mocked by super-smart liberals as primitive & propagandistic did relentlessly great digging & reporting."

    The story undoubtedly was an important factor in shaping voters' perceptions before the 2018 midterm election, in which Democrats won control of the House.

    But the conclusion of the inquiry has put a question once hazily debated into sharp focus: Did the mainstream news media mislead?

    "Liberal journalists expected Mueller to build a case for scandalous collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government," said Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the conservative Media Research Center. Noting Mueller's broad findings, he said, "So now it's apparent the news channels merely channeled their wishful thinking. They had a grand denouement in mind, and it didn't happen. They mocked Trump for saying 'no collusion,' and that ended up being the truth... The voters should feel punked, swindled."

    While I generally agree, I suspect that most voters out in Mainstream America already distrust the Mainstream Media. This latest debacle isn't going to change their views of the media, it just underlines and reinforces their already dismissive view of "journalism" and "journalists".

    Remember the run-up to the 2016 election. Virtually every media outlet in the United States was quite explicitly #WithHer. Descriptions of Trump were typically over the top: Mussolini, fascist, authoritarian, 'racist', 'xenophobe', 'mysogynist', 'homophobe'... and on and on.

    Yet Trump nevertheless won. A victory that many interpreted as justification of their already dim view of the American people. (People who would willingly vote for all the awful things they said Trump was.) Others interpreted it as a Kremlin plot, wittingly or unwittingly reviving the Cold War that they themselves in their student days had once derided as a capitalist plot back when the Kremlin was occupied by communists.

    My own view is that Trump's election victory illustrates that the highly-touted (by themselves) Mainstream News Media has far less influence with Mainstream American voters than it likes to believe that it has. I think that the average American tuned their often hysterical opinions out years ago.

    We watch sports on TV and some entertainment shows, but I don't think that we listen a whole lot when they try to tell us what to think.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  19. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    The only halfway credible evidence of "Russian collusion" that I've seen is "former" British spy Christopher Steele (can that really be his name? Or is it a nom de guerre? It sounds like the name of a protagonist from a spy-novel) using as-yet unnamed highly-placed Russian sources (naming them would endanger their lives, don't you know?) to trash Trump in his "dossier".

    Of course there's all kinds of foreign collusion lurking in this sordid story that doesn't necessarily involve Russians. Most notably British intelligence, to whom the American "Deep State" seems to have outsourced a lot of its anti-Trump efforts in the last months of the Obama administration, prior to and subsequent to the election. Why were British and Australian leaders phoning Trump and begging him not to declassify the FISA applications and associated documents? How did they even know what was in these supposedly secret documents?

    Read the rather eye-opening account here: (We don't know if everything in this story is true, but it does seem at the very least to justify further investigation.)

    Keep in mind FiveEyes and the Snowden revelations.

    So GCHQ was surveiling Trump's communications. (At least that's what the the Guardian was reporting.) Circumstantial corroborating evidence was the GCHQ Director's abrupt resignation two days after Trump was inaugurated. It's certainly the kind of thing that Snowden claims FiveEyes was set up to facilitate.

    Meanwhile on the ground, a cast of murky characters like Mifsud, Halper, Downer and assorted others (most of whom have rather obvious British intelligence connections) were aggressively working Trump campaign figures like foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, passing information to him that the Russians had dirt on Hillary, then trying to get him to repeat that same information over drinks and reporting the news with great flourish through intelligence channels to Washington where (along with Hillary's bought and paid-for "dossier", itself authored by another individual with British intelligence connections) it was all used as justification for launching a counterespionage investigation.

    So assuming however hypothetically that British intelligence was working overtime to try to wreck the Trump candidacy, why would they even involve themselves? Trump's support for Brexit might have been a motive. But almost certainly because they were asked to do it through existing intelligence cooperation channels by Obama administration intelligence figures. My own guess is that it was coming from Obama's CIA Director John Brennan. (Whether Obama himself was involved, I won't speculate.) Talk is (I saw it on the Wall Street Journal opinion page) that Brennan was the one originally shopping the "Russia collusion" story around Washington. The way it went is that Comey and the FBI initially didn't give it much credence. But since it was coming from the Director of the CIA, they had to take it seriously.

    Then it was leaked (by multiple sources, including Brennan I'm guessing) to the MSM and it took off from there.

    When Hillary lost, the "insurance policy" Strozk (the FBI's counterintelligence chief) and Page referred to kicked in, the MSM clinged to it like a life-preserver of hope that kept them psychologically afloat and it became a non-stop sensation for the better part of 3 years. (Including right here on Degreeinfo.) Investigations! Accusations! Hysteria! Madness!

    Further investigation is obviously called for and if there is any truth to it, then the role of the "Deep State" both domestic and foreign, in trying to subvert a United States Presidential election (and with it American democracy) needs to the thoroughly exposed to the light of day.

    That's where I believe the real crimes will be found.

    It's ironic. Donald Trump was elected in part on a promise to Drain the Swamp. And in their rush to destroy him, the Swamp may have given him precisely the means to do it.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  20. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I really have no energy to argue this, again. But something caught my eye:

    So to take just one example: a U. S. Army immigrant recruit was deemed a security risk for having "foreign ties", namely: calling his mother in Thailand. And we're discussing POTUS (who has, let me remind, the highest security clearance theoretically possible) who's on first-name basis with the Agalarov clan, who are oligarchs so politically exposed they should only bank in Sberbank of Russia. I mean, in addition to being wealthy Moscow developers (so, by definitionin Putin's inner circle), Don Jr's pal Aras (the pop singer) is an ex-husband of and has a kid with the daughter of President of Azerbaijan (in turn, son, successor and heir of a powerful Politburo member and 60-year KGB veteran Comrade Geydar Aliev. Politburo members got front page obits in Pravda when they dies, and that one was more powerful and devious than most). That is not mentioning lesser ties like working with a minor mobster Felix Sater, doing Trump Tower Baku project with a money launderer for Iranian Revolutionary Guards, exchanging e-mails with Dmitry Peskov (Putin's mouthpiece and possessor of suspiciously expensive watches), and being one person (convict Paul Manafort) removed from Russian spy Kilimnik and the scariest of the tier-one Russian oligarchs, Oleg Deripaska. Tell me how all this makes you feel safe and secure; I really want to know.

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