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The Russia Investigation: Mueller - "Over the course of my career, I've seen a number of challenges to our democracy.The Russian govt's effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious."

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1 hour ago, Rove! said:

while you were busy chasing Russian Bogeymen, Congress passed and Trump signed the First Step Act as part of his criminal justice reform initiatives...more steps to come, I presume unless the old guard manages to take back power

Do you really think the legacy GOP guys are going to welcome back those that turned against the heard?  I don't.  I don't think you have to worry about the "old guard" any longer.  Time has passed them by.

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1 hour ago, Rove! said:

while you were busy chasing Russian Bogeymen, Congress passed and Trump signed the First Step Act as part of his criminal justice reform initiatives...more steps to come, I presume unless the old guard manages to take back power

I'm very aware. And it was a decent first step and I gave credit to Trump when it happened.

But lets not pretend like the guy who appointed Jeff Sessions as his AG is super into meaningful criminal justice reform. And, of course, that ignores the rank and file republicans who fall in lock step behind the police regardless of what they do.

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House Panel Investigates Obstruction Claims Against Trump Lawyers

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The House Intelligence Committee is investigating whether lawyers tied to President Trump and his family helped obstruct the panel’s inquiry into Russian election interference by shaping false testimony, a series of previously undisclosed letters from its chairman show.

The line of inquiry stems from claims made by the president’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, who told Congress earlier this year that the lawyers in question helped edit false testimony that he provided to Congress in 2017 about a Trump Tower project in Moscow. Mr. Cohen said they also dangled a potential pardon to try to ensure his loyalty.

In recent weeks, the committee sent lengthy document requests to four lawyers — Jay Sekulow, who represents the president; Alan S. Futerfas, who represents Donald Trump Jr.; Alan Garten, the top lawyer at the Trump Organization; and Abbe D. Lowell, who represents Ivanka Trump. The lawyers all took part in a joint defense agreement by the president’s allies to coordinate responses to inquiries by Congress and the Justice Department.

“Among other things, it appears that your clients may have reviewed, shaped and edited the false statement that Cohen submitted to the committee, including causing the omission of material facts,” the Intelligence Committee’s chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, wrote to lawyers representing the four men in a May 3 letter obtained by The New York Times.

He continued: “In addition, certain of your clients may have engaged in discussions about potential pardons in an effort to deter one or more witnesses from cooperating with authorized investigations.”

The lawyers have so far balked at the committee’s requests. Mr. Schiff is prepared to issue a subpoena to compel cooperation if necessary, according to a senior committee official. ...

 

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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NYT reports that Jr has reached a deal to testify in person. 

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Donald Trump Jr. and the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee reached a deal on Tuesday for the president’s eldest son to sit for a private interview with senators in the coming weeks that will be limited in time, an accord that should cool a heated intraparty standoff.

and now we know why.

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He told Republican Senate colleagues at a private lunch that Donald Trump Jr. had twice agreed — once in March and once in April — to return to the committee for a voluntary interview, only to later back out. It was only after he asked to postpone again in April that the committee authorized a subpoena to compel his appearance, Mr. Burr said.

 

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1 hour ago, prefontaine said:

NYT reports that Jr has reached a deal to testify in person. 

Per CNN, 2-4 hours, in closed session, 4-6 topics, including the Moscow Project and the Trump Tower meeting.

- Fwiw Burr has only conducted hearings behind closed doors as part of the SIC investigation.

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If Congress Won’t Act, Trump Will

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For Congress today to look at the conduct described in the Mueller report and decide that it does not merit impeachment is for it to acquiesce to Trump’s effort to establish his own corruption not only as the new norm, but as the way things have always been. 

 

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Just now, timschochet said:

Don Jr agrees to testify next month, but guess what? It’s in private. 

All of Burr's committee's testimony has been in private.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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What happened to the Trump counterintelligence investigation? House investigators don’t know.

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The Post: What, as you understand it, is the current status of that investigation into the president?

Schiff: The short answer is: We don’t know. Just as a reminder, this all began as an FBI counterintelligence investigation into whether people around then-candidate Trump were acting as witting or unwitting agents of a foreign power. So it began as a counterintelligence investigation, not as a criminal investigation. Now obviously a criminal case — many criminal cases — were spun off of this but we don’t know what happened to the counterintelligence investigation that James Comey opened.

We would get briefed, predominantly at a Gang of Eight level, up until Comey was fired. And, after that point, while we continued to get quarterly — although often they missed the quarterly nature of it — counterintelligence briefings, they excluded the most important counterintelligence investigation then going on, that involving Donald Trump.

The Post: Is there any reason to believe that the counterintelligence investigation has been closed?

Schiff: You know, I have not been able to get clarity on that. We have been seeking to get it, to get an answer from the Justice Department, from the counterintelligence division at the FBI, and we don’t have clarity, which is concerning.

There is a reference in the Mueller report to counterintelligence FBI personnel who were embedded in Mueller’s team [Volume One, p. 13] which then reports back to headquarters, although those reports may have dealt with counterintelligence issues that the special counsel felt were beyond his scope. But we don’t know whether the Mueller team itself or others in the Mueller team or others outside the Mueller team continued the counterintelligence investigation after the criminal probe was opened or whether at some point it was closed.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

All of Burr's committee's testimony has been in private.

Which is why the impact has been minimal. 

For all of the circus atmosphere that is the inevitable result of public hearings, it’s really the only way to get to the truth. Don Jr on TV would be forced to give much different answers than he will in a closed testimony. 

 

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Which is why the impact has been minimal. 

For all of the circus atmosphere that is the inevitable result of public hearings, it’s really the only way to get to the truth. Don Jr on TV would be forced to give much different answers than he will in a closed testimony. 

I'm not sure about that. I'm glad he's testifying, I'm even fine with the limitations. The goal here is for SIC to finish their report and put it out in a joint fashion, which will be an accomplishment.

I'll also point out that while the GOP has been pushing out transcripts from behind closed doors testimony, some of it obviously redactable as classified or relating to ongoing investigations, no one has released Junior's testimony yet. It will be one day though.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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I also heard that as part of the agreement, whenever Don Jr is asked about anything that he previously was asked about, he will be allowed to say “Please refer to my earlier testimony” and nothing further. 

I thought the whole point of him testifying again  was because the committee found contradictions in his earlier responses (ie he was lying.) Apparently that problem has been removed. What’s the purpose of this again? 

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3 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

I'm not sure about that. I'm glad he's testifying, I'm even fine with the limitations. The goal here is for SIC to finish their report and put it out in a joint fashion, which will be an accomplishment.

I'll also point out that while the GOP has been pushing out transcripts from behind closed doors testimony, some of it obviously redactable as classified or relating to ongoing investigations, no one has released Junior's testimony yet. It will be one day though.

:goodposting: 

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

I also heard that as part of the agreement, whenever Don Jr is asked about anything that he previously was asked about, he will be allowed to say “Please refer to my earlier testimony” and nothing further. 

I thought the whole point of him testifying again  was because the committee found contradictions in his earlier responses (ie he was lying.) Apparently that problem has been removed. What’s the purpose of this again? 

SIC is interviewing more people than Junior. I think they are clarifying prior testimony in light of recent reporting, Mueller and whatever else they have found, so they can write their report. Part of that means resolving conflicting testimony. Just as an example Cohen and Gates both say that Junior told Trump and the core leadership team about the TT meeting. There is also a lot of evidence now about the Moscow Project that does not line up with Jr's prior statements. - Totally up to him if he wants to stick on the cards he's got.

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Just now, SaintsInDome2006 said:

 

I'll also point out that while the GOP has been pushing out transcripts from behind closed doors testimony, some of it obviously redactable as classified or relating to ongoing investigations, no one has released Junior's testimony yet. It will be one day though.

The public doesn’t pay attention to written testimony or written reports no matter how damning it is. That’s the main reason that Trump hasn’t been impeached already. 

It was John Dean’s public testimony that changed public opinion about Watergate. If you want to do something about what Trump has done, you gotta get Muller, McGahn, Don Jr up there publicly. If you don’t nothing is ever going to happen. That’s the ballgame. Democrats need to realize this. Trump and the Republicans certainly do. NOTHING matters except that public testimony. If Trump were to concede everything else, yet find a way to stop these guys (particularly Muller and McGahn) from testifying in public, he wins. 

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I also heard that as part of the agreement, whenever Don Jr is asked about anything that he previously was asked about, he will be allowed to say “Please refer to my earlier testimony” and nothing further. 

I thought the whole point of him testifying again  was because the committee found contradictions in his earlier responses (ie he was lying.) Apparently that problem has been removed. What’s the purpose of this again? 

It's giving him more rope.  We have heard testimony that contradicts his.  He's heard it too.  If he wants to double down, that's his decision :shrug: 

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

The public doesn’t pay attention to written testimony or written reports no matter how damning it is. That’s the main reason that Trump hasn’t been impeached already

no...the public can't impeach him....they are NOT the reason.

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Just now, timschochet said:

The public doesn’t pay attention to written testimony or written reports no matter how damning it is. That’s the main reason that Trump hasn’t been impeached already. 

It was John Dean’s public testimony that changed public opinion about Watergate. If you want to do something about what Trump has done, you gotta get Muller, McGahn, Don Jr up there publicly. If you don’t nothing is ever going to happen. That’s the ballgame. Democrats need to realize this. Trump and the Republicans certainly do. NOTHING matters except that public testimony. If Trump were to concede everything else, yet find a way to stop these guys (particularly Muller and McGahn) from testifying in public, he wins. 

You and I have a different view on these things. I realize the political implications are important but SIC has a duty to finish the job. I'm glad they're doing it.

However obviously if there's going to be public testimony it's going to be from the House. Mueller and McGahn are on tap there.

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Just now, The Commish said:

It's giving him more rope.  We have heard testimony that contradicts his.  He's heard it too.  If he wants to double down, that's his decision :shrug: 

There’s no rope. So long as it’s not done in public, he’s at no risk. Even if he blatantly lies to the committee (sounds like he has already) there will be no legal charge, no contempt of Congress, nothing. Only public testimony can create that sort of pressure. 

Even if Burr issued a report that said “Don Jr lied to us” nothing would ever happen to him. 

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Just now, timschochet said:

There’s no rope. So long as it’s not done in public, he’s at no risk. Even if he blatantly lies to the committee (sounds like he has already) there will be no legal charge, no contempt of Congress, nothing. Only public testimony can create that sort of pressure. 

Even if Burr issued a report that said “Don Jr lied to us” nothing would ever happen to him. 

You know what would be public? The impeachment trial you don’t want to have.

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1 minute ago, The Commish said:

no...the public can't impeach him....they are NOT the reason.

They absolutely are. Impeachment is a political process; it will not take place unless the majority of the public are on board. 

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Just now, timschochet said:

There’s no rope. So long as it’s not done in public, he’s at no risk. Even if he blatantly lies to the committee (sounds like he has already) there will be no legal charge, no contempt of Congress, nothing. Only public testimony can create that sort of pressure. 

Even if Burr issued a report that said “Don Jr lied to us” nothing would ever happen to him. 

Hm, then why the issue of his pleading the Fifth in the first place? He may have done it in the GJ and it is obviously a concern for him here.

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Just now, Maurile Tremblay said:

You know what would be public? The impeachment trial you don’t want to have.

To tell you the truth, I’m almost leaning in that direction because of this very reason. 

But I still think you need to have something more than we do now. Public testimony by McGann implicating Trump, and/or public testimony by Muller disputing Barr’s conclusions, would probably be enough. But that probably needs to come first. If you go straight to impeach without it it’s a much weaker thing IMO. 

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33 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Don Jr agrees to testify next month, but guess what? It’s in private. 

You say that like there won’t be sensationalized leaks

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Just now, Rove! said:

You say that like there won’t be sensationalized leaks

Leaks that can be denied are not nearly as impactful as public testimony shown over and over on YouTube. Not even close. 

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FBI was right to deploy informant, senior GOP lawmaker says

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A senior House Republican who was part of a highly classified Justice Department briefing last week said on Tuesday that the FBI acted properly when it deployed an informant to gather information from advisers to President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said last week’s briefing, convened by the Justice Department under pressure from Trump, convinced him even further that the FBI’s information-gathering steps were appropriate.

“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got,” he said in an interview on Fox News. He added that the information also suggested that the effort had “nothing to do with Donald Trump.”

...According to Gowdy, the classified details also cut against the theory. In fact, he said, the FBI’s actions appeared to support what Trump himself has at times demanded: that investigators pursue any attempts by Russia to infiltrate his campaign and efforts by the Kremlin to interfere in the election.

“It looks to me like the FBI was doing what President Trump said: ‘I want you to do, find it out,’” Gowdy said. He added: “President Trump himself in the Comey memos said, ‘If anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it.’ Sounds to me like that was exactly what the FBI did.”

...

Gowdy said that Trump's repeated statements about a “spy” in his campaign was creating another opportunity for Mueller to question his facts.

“The president should have access to the best legal minds in the country,” he said. “I think he should take advantage of those.” ...

- Apparently this happened on Hannity.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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3 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Hm, then why the issue of his pleading the Fifth in the first place? He may have done it in the GJ and it is obviously a concern for him here.

Again, him pleading the 5th in public would be a huge deal (so much so that I doubt he’d ever actually do it). In private, not so much. 

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10 minutes ago, Rove! said:

You say that like there won’t be sensationalized leaks

How is this different from the GOP publishing whole transcripts of closed door testimony on its own without the chairman's permission?

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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Just now, timschochet said:

Again, him pleading the 5th in public would be a huge deal (so much so that I doubt he’d ever actually do it). In private, not so much. 

Ok, I meant about the repercussions. i was talking legal repercussions but you seem to be thinking of political ones. You may be right, I don't know how that would/will be received.

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

They absolutely are. Impeachment is a political process; it will not take place unless the majority of the public are on board. 

You're making my point.  The bold bar is set by the politicians.  It isn't law or even a general rule.  

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11 minutes ago, timschochet said:

There’s no rope. So long as it’s not done in public, he’s at no risk. Even if he blatantly lies to the committee (sounds like he has already) there will be no legal charge, no contempt of Congress, nothing. Only public testimony can create that sort of pressure. 

Even if Burr issued a report that said “Don Jr lied to us” nothing would ever happen to him. 

I don't know why you think all this would be kept quiet in the impeachment hearings you don't want to have, but I'm not trying to get inside your head either.  You've gotten yourself all twisted up into a bunch of different knots trying to push incompatible philosophies.

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16 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Hm, then why the issue of his pleading the Fifth in the first place? He may have done it in the GJ and it is obviously a concern for him here.

I imagine partly because of how corrupt the entire process has become.  Misremembering a detail or an incorrect official record that doesn’t concur with his account could destroy him.   I don’t imagine this is the system anybody envisioned even a decade ago, but here we are.

Edited by Rove!

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6 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I don't know why you think all this would be kept quiet in the impeachment hearings you don't want to have, but I'm not trying to get inside your head either.  You've gotten yourself all twisted up into a bunch of different knots trying to push incompatible philosophies.

I don’t think so. And I do want to have impeachment hearings; we just need to get a little more public justification for them first. 

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Just now, Rove! said:

I imagine partly because of how corrupt the entire process has become.  Misremembering a detail or an incorrect official record that do sent concur with his account could destroy him.   I don’t imagine this is the system anybody envisioned even a decade ago, but here we are.

Your'e making an argument for releasing transcripts whole there, I don't disagree with you. If the SIC releases Jr's whole transcript rather than Dems leaking bits I am in agreement.

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I don’t think so. And I do want to have impeachment hearings; we just need to get a little more public justification for them first. 

You've stated over and over that you don't want impeachment hearings....what's changed?

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3 minutes ago, The Commish said:

You've stated over and over that you don't want impeachment hearings....what's changed?

I wanted more hearings but not impeachment. I thought it would be perceived as too partisan. 

Whats changed is Trump’s absolute refusal to comply with any of the House subpoenas. That refusal is in itself obstruction of justice, and he can’t be allowed to get away with it. 

I would still like to see Muller and McGann testify first. But if Trump can find a way to prevent this (and he’s trying) then I don’t see any choice.

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Yeah...its totally the system that is corrupt.  Not the group of people that denied contacts and meeting every happened, lied about them constantly and are now asked to talk about those things.

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

I wanted more hearings but not impeachment. I thought it would be perceived as too partisan. 

Whats changed is Trump’s absolute refusal to comply with any of the House subpoenas. That refusal is in itself obstruction of justice, and he can’t be allowed to get away with it. 

I would still like to see Muller and McGann testify first. But if Trump can find a way to prevent this (and he’s trying) then I don’t see any choice.

I always assumed he'd never do that. How you can't anticipate the same is troublesome. If he's allowed to duck and delay he will. The longer the wait for investment under an impeachment, the better for him. That's why impeachment has to happen as soon as possible if we want any chance at correcting the interference in our elections that's still going on, and will go on again in 2020 if these hearings don't get underway sooner rather than later.

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9 minutes ago, 2Squirrels1Nut said:

Hypothetically what happens if the House & Senate vote to impeach and Trump refuses to show?

Trump doesn't have to show up. The Senate will hold the trial with or without him. If they vote to remove him from office, then it's a simple matter of changing the locks on the executive residence.

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1 hour ago, Gr00vus said:

I always assumed he'd never do that. How you can't anticipate the same is troublesome. If he's allowed to duck and delay he will. The longer the wait for investment under an impeachment, the better for him. That's why impeachment has to happen as soon as possible if we want any chance at correcting the interference in our elections that's still going on, and will go on again in 2020 if these hearings don't get underway sooner rather than later.

 

@timschochet is an optimist. He still thinks the Trump GOP is going to behave in the best interest of the country - despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Just today (or yesterday, I forget), for example, he agreed with Biden that once Trump leaves the White House, the GOP will go back to being cooperative and reasonable.

Edited by whoknew

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2 minutes ago, whoknew said:

 

@timschochet is an optimist. He still thinks the Trump GOP is going to behave in the best interest of the country - despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Just today (or yesterday, I forget), for example, he agreed with Biden that once Trump leaves the White House, the GOP will go back to being cooperative and reasonable.

GOP are the grown ups in the room right now.  The Dems can't accept the results of the Mueller report and are throwing a temper tantrum.  America is thriving under Trump, enjoy it!

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Just now, Don't Noonan said:

The Dems can't accept the results of the Mueller report and are throwing a temper tantrum.

Do you think it's easier to identify prominent Democrats or prominent Republicans who've made false statements about what the Mueller report says?

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3 minutes ago, Don't Noonan said:

GOP are the grown ups in the room right now.  The Dems can't accept the results of the Mueller report and are throwing a temper tantrum.  America is thriving under Trump, enjoy it!

They have been throwing a temper tantrum ever since he got elected.

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6 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Do you think it's easier to identify prominent Democrats or prominent Republicans who've made false statements about what the Mueller report says?

Hmmm, both sides are definately guilty.  Does Comey slide over to the Dem column now?

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This is parallel to an ongoing court fight, but today the White House challenged Congress’ constitutional authority to conduct oversight.

- This is basically a redux of the JDA that Trump used to block Mueller.

- In the court case,  today private lawyers for Trump claimed that Congress did not have authority to conduct the Watergate and Whitewater investigations.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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