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The Russia Investigation: Trump Pardons Flynn


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Just now, Dedfin said:

Ehhh, it's a "throw it on the pile" story for me. The battle lines are already drawn. There will be no more defectors. The Rs have enough to pretend it's not bad and/or obstruct real justice here, so Trump will just get smacked around in the press until the next election, then the entire country will move on. We already paved this with the Iran Contra Scandal. Didn't HW say the country can't go through another Watergate. I mean that says it all. Rs will be fine pretending it didn't happen.

I'm not saying that you won't end up being right, but the November blue wave combined with the dreadful poll numbers this shut down  is causing the GOP might wake up a few of those up for reelection in 2020.  Trump's base isn't going anywhere.  They're voting for Trump and every other candidate with an R next to their name. Just as hardcore Dems aren't voting Republican regardless of what happens. But it's neither of those factions who win and lose elections. It's the humongous amounts of everyday folks who look and right and wrong and think of things objectively. The GOP is losing those people by the minute. The shutdown, plus this news of inarguable obstruction, plus Cohen's public testimony in a couple weeks is going to be devastating to Republicans. At some point, one or two key GOP members is going to have an awakening and decide he's not going down with the Trump ship. Not sure when that's going to happen, but when it does, they will slowly, one by one, decide that they have to distance themselves from the disaster that is Trump and this administration. Otherwise, 2020 is going to be a bloodbath.  I think Fox News may end up realizing it at some point and give the 'OK' to the team to split with Trump.  They control everything.

 

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16 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Conservative news sources this morning are on a completely different track: using Bruce Ohr’s testimony to show that this entire investigation is corrupt. Here is a sample: 

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/deep-state-fbi-justice-criminality/ 

Its like they’re on another planet. In their world, the FBI are the criminals here. 

I always find it odd when Trump supporters think it's a good thing when it's reported that the FBI's Russian counterintelligence director and the lead fraud, international operations, and terrorism investigators felt that Trump should be investigated as far back as summer 2016. Really, congratulations for raising that damning point.

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22 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Conservative news sources this morning are on a completely different track: using Bruce Ohr’s testimony to show that this entire investigation is corrupt. Here is a sample: 

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/deep-state-fbi-justice-criminality/ 

Its like they’re on another planet. In their world, the FBI are the criminals here. 

#RELEASETHEMEMO  #FISAGATE  

poor guys are just flailing around trying to find something that will excuse treason....

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5 hours ago, lazyike said:

It will be very interesting to hear what Republican Senators Kennedy, Graham, Collins, Romney, to name a few have to say about this in the coming days. Do they have any integrity to agree that if the documents are produced to prove he instructed Cohen to lie it is clearly obstruction of justice?

Graham's a funny guy.

- I have no idea why he drove Barr to the point of detailing that yes suborning perjury is obstruction, I guess to counter the claim that Barr's memo was really about blocking for Trump. But regardless he landed in the same place as Klobuchar.

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Let’s not forget that this is Stupid Watergate. Trump probably directly told Cohen to lie to Congress and Cohen has a tape of him saying it. As this story starts to unravel, I bet we find out that Mueller knew a whole lot and only allowed details to come out when the story was already publicly known like Stormy.

I hope we see an obstruction report for him soon because I think it will be damning enough to put Congress in motion.

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1 minute ago, Biff84 said:

Let’s not forget that this is Stupid Watergate. Trump probably directly told Cohen to lie to Congress and Cohen has a tape of him saying it. As this story starts to unravel, I bet we find out that Mueller knew a whole lot and only allowed details to come out when the story was already publicly known like Stormy.

I hope we see an obstruction report for him soon because I think it will be damning enough to put Congress in motion.

Narrator: In reality, Biff knew better

Edited by msommer
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1 hour ago, Sinn Fein said:

The corroborating evidence will be the key here - and it does sound odd that the evidence would come from the Trump Organization.

 

That suggests its information that pre-dates the presidency, and significantly pre-dates Cohen's testimony to Congress.  I worry that this corroborating evidence may be as simple as: "Hey, lets keep moving on the Trump Tower project, but we can't tell anyone we are moving forward."

 

For me - to suborn perjury - it would have to be something tied directly to Cohen's Congressional testimony - i.e. a specific instruction to not be accurate about the Trump Tower project in front of Congress.

Let's keep in mind about Trump Org that:

  • The CFO and maybe other execs have cooperated.
  • Key Trumpies maintained Trump Org email addresses even after the transition, heck maybe even now.
  • Cohen got paid through Trump Org and was himself a Trump Org guy.

Pre-inauguration matters because we still don't really have an end date for the Moscow Project. We don't even know if there was an end. Post-inauguration matters as Trump & Co. proceeded to gradually freak out about the blooming investigation.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
CFO, not CEO
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4 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Let's keep in mind about Trump Org that:

  • The CEO and maybe other execs have cooperated.
  • Key Trumpies maintained Trump Org email addresses even after the transition, heck maybe even now.
  • Cohen got paid through Trump Org and was himself a Trump Org guy.

Pre-inauguration matters because we still don't really have an end date for the Moscow Project. We don't even know if there was an end. Post-inauguration matters as Trump & Co. proceeded to gradually freak out about the blooming investigation.

 

:goodposting:

The evidence here isn't just emails and texts; Mueller is said to have "learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization."  So even if Trump is not party to the emails and texts as Tim proposes, it still appears that there will be other testimony to confirm Cohen's story that the order to lie came from Trump.

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14 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Let's keep in mind about Trump Org that:

  • The CEO and maybe other execs have cooperated.
  • Key Trumpies maintained Trump Org email addresses even after the transition, heck maybe even now.
  • Cohen got paid through Trump Org and was himself a Trump Org guy.

Pre-inauguration matters because we still don't really have an end date for the Moscow Project. We don't even know if there was an end. Post-inauguration matters as Trump & Co. proceeded to gradually freak out about the blooming investigation.

Wasn't it the CFO (but point stands)

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20 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Graham's a funny guy.

- I have no idea why he drove Barr to the point of detailing that yes suborning perjury is obstruction, I guess to counter the claim that Barr's memo was really about blocking for Trump. But regardless he landed in the same place as Klobuchar.

Maybe it’s the actions of someone getting blackmailed who still wants to see Trump go down. If Trump or someone else has compromising material on Graham and demands that he public supports Trump, that would help explain his recent behavior. And if Graham had knowledge of or strong suspicion that Trump directed people to lie to Congress/FBI, this line of questioning would be a good way to screw over Trump without publicly saying it. I have a hard time believing this was an accident.

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15 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Let's keep in mind about Trump Org that:

  • The CEO and maybe other execs have cooperated.
  • Key Trumpies maintained Trump Org email addresses even after the transition, heck maybe even now.
  • Cohen got paid through Trump Org and was himself a Trump Org guy.

Pre-inauguration matters because we still don't really have an end date for the Moscow Project. We don't even know if there was an end. Post-inauguration matters as Trump & Co. proceeded to gradually freak out about the blooming investigation.

All of that may be true.

But, its also likely that 3rd-party testimony will be insufficient to "prove" (to GOP senators) that Trump specifically instructed Cohen to lie to Congress.  

Its not enough that Trump told Cohen to keep the Trump Tower discussions a secret in 2016.  There needs to be evidence that Trump instructed Cohen to lie about his testimony to Congress in 2017.

And, we have seen the prosecutors very specifically accuse Trump of a felony when it came to the campaign finance violations.  Yet, there was nothing in Cohen's indictment or plea agreement about "Individual 1" instructing him to lie to Congress*.  Now, its possible that they wanted to keep that aspect under wraps - but for what reason?  Why accuse the president of breaking one law, but not the other.  That suggests, to me, that the evidence is less strong on the suborning perjury charge, than the directing payments to Stormy and National Enquirer.

 

We will see what comes out...

 

*Caveat - and it is not insignificant - but the campaign finance violations were prosecuted by the SDNY, while the lying to Congress charge was brought by Mueller.  And, the SDNY may have been more willing to go after Trump directly in the charges, where Mueller was more circumspect.

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38 minutes ago, SWC said:

if this is true then its time to build the rocket ship and fill it up with bees for a journey to the sun take that to the bank brohans 

Lol this whole thread is 2000 pages of you guys circle jerking about solar bee rockets but where is the evidence!?! Zero nada zip nilch

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8 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

So, the person filming that - were they:

 

A.  Brave

C.  Stupid

D.  Hired by GRU specifically to film this and distribute it to send a message to anyone else thinking of going rogue

E.  All of the Above

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27 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

I hope if/when he's eventually in prison that part of his sentencing involves a continuous running clip in his cell of the No Puppet exchange with Hillary.

I'd rather there be a loop of 'Lock her up' chants at his rallies

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4 minutes ago, randall146 said:

Lol this whole thread is 2000 pages of you guys circle jerking about solar bee rockets but where is the evidence!?! Zero nada zip nilch

The best part of it is I'm at the point where I can't tell the difference between a blind Trump supporter and someone mocking them.  Which are you?

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one time i saw this youtube video of the friends theme song where when the clapping started it just never ended so there was clapping in the background the whole time it was pretty awesome take that to the clap clap clap clap bank brochachos 

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11 hours ago, Bucky86 said:
Quote

Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.

I think there is more to learn about these constant plans in 2016 from more than one angle to get Putin and Trump together.

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2 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

Need someone to translate Russian...

Twitter has a "translate tweet" option that is in small text beneath the tweet:

Quote

At the airport twisted dangerous criminal-Nastya rybku. Her guilt is great: she was a prostitute on the yacht of billionaire Deripaska and filmed a video, which hit the vice prime Minister Prikhodko. So now Rybka's hands are spinning, and Prikhodko and Deripaska have no claims against the police.

The tweet came from Alexey Navalny, who is a prominent critic of Putin in Russia.  I think he ran against him in the last "election" and was imprisoned in connection with that.  Unclear if Navalny himself took the video.

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2 hours ago, Sinn Fein said:

Seems unlikely that President Trump would communicate via Trump Organization.

And, I thought Trump does not like to use email at all.

 

So - I worry that the corroborating evidence is less exciting than it sounds at first blush.   Very happy to be wrong - but reporters of all sizes frequently over-estimate the importance of information they get - particularly if it is legal in nature.

I think I just see Trump, the White House, and the Trump Org as pretty much the same thing.

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Former Trump lawyer reconsidering plan to testify to Congress: adviser

Quote

President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen is reconsidering his plan to testify publicly to the U.S. Congress next month because of intimidation by the president, an adviser to Cohen said on Thursday.

Lanny Davis, an attorney who has been advising Cohen on his media strategy, said in an interview with MSNBC that some remarks made by the Republican president about Cohen amounted to witness tampering and deserved to be criminally investigated.

"There is genuine fear and it has caused Michael Cohen to consider whether he should go forward or not, and he has not made a final decision," Davis said.

 

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Here is what I am envisioning as the corroborating evidence:

 

1.  Cohen prepares his written remarks for the congressional testimony.

2.  He wants to ensure that he and Trump are on the same page.

3.  He send a draft copy of the remarks to Don Jr. (Because Trump Sr. does not do email)

4.  Junior passes on draft to Senior (and perhaps significantly to other people who are now in legal jeopardy) for review

5.  Junior responds to Cohen with either edits or an OK from Senior to submit that testimony to Congress.  (ETA - knowing the testimony is false)

Edited by Sinn Fein
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Article One of Nixon bill of impeachment, approved by House Judiciary Committee, accused Nixon of “approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to...false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings."

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3 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

Here is what I am envisioning as the corroborating evidence:

 

1.  Cohen prepares his written remarks for the congressional testimony.

2.  He wants to ensure that he and Trump are on the same page.

3.  He send a draft copy of the remarks to Don Jr. (Because Trump Sr. does not do email)

4.  Junior passes on draft to Senior (and perhaps significantly to other people who are now in legal jeopardy) for review

5.  Junior responds to Cohen with either edits or an OK from Senior to submit that testimony to Congress.

Remember that according to the article some of the corroborating evidence is "interviews with multiple witnesses" by the special counsel's office, not including Cohen. 
So even if Don Jr copped to all this in talking to Mueller (which seems unlikely) there's still at least one other person out there corroborating.

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3 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

"Oh, hi there Chris Hanson.  Wow I sure didn't expect to see you here.  You see, I just drove over to visit what I thought was a 12 year old girl to warn her in person about the dangers of meeting strangers online."

"I was just going fishing."

"It looks like what you were fishing for was sex with a 12 year old girl!"

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Just now, TobiasFunke said:

Remember that according to the article some of the corroborating evidence is "interviews with multiple witnesses" by the special counsel's office, not including Cohen. 
So even if Don Jr copped to all this in talking to Mueller (which seems unlikely) there's still at least one other person out there corroborating.

Yeah - I was thinking maybe McGahn 

McGahn gets the prepared remarks - he does not know the details, so he runs it by Trump, who says that looks good - or something to that effect.

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9 minutes ago, dozer said:

Article One of Nixon bill of impeachment, approved by House Judiciary Committee, accused Nixon of “approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to...false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings."

Huh.

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Playing devils advocate but how concrete was the obstruction evidence against President Clinton when he was accused of telling Monica Lewinski to deny they had sexual relations in her affidavit? I believe not a single Democrat Senator voted guilty on the obstruction of justice charges.  Will this come back to haunt any potential impeachment of Trump? (All this of course is dependent upon “documents”proving Trump told Cohen to lie)

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1 minute ago, lazyike said:

Playing devils advocate but how concrete was the obstruction evidence against President Clinton when he was accused of telling Monica Lewinski to deny they had sexual relations in her affidavit? I believe not a single Democrat Senator voted guilty on the obstruction of justice charges.  Will this come back to haunt any potential impeachment of Trump? (All this of course is dependent upon “documents”proving Trump told Cohen to lie)

Clinton should have been removed from office, but wasn't.

It does not follow that Trump should remain in office.

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4 minutes ago, dozer said:

Article One of Nixon bill of impeachment, approved by House Judiciary Committee, accused Nixon of “approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to...false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings."

Assuming the reporting is accurate (and I have zero reason to believe otherwise), I count at least three no-brainer items ready for Articles of Impeachment as soon as Congress has done a satistfactory investigation to confirm the widely agreed upon facts:
 

- Obstruction of justice; suborning perjury w/ Cohen

- Felony campaign finance violation: directing Cohen to make hidden payments to Daniels, MacDougal and AMI

- Emoluments w/r/t foreign guests at Trump Hotel, a clear violation of the oath of office pledge to uphold the Constitution

Obviously there's several other possibilities that require much more investigation and analysis: broader obstruction of justice w/r/t the Russia investigation, pushing federal law enforcement to investigate political enemies (see Art 1 Sec 4 and Art 2 Sec 2 of the Nixon articles), bribery, endangering national security by leaking classified information to the Russians, and on and on and on. And the Dems should obviously take their time and compile all of it, you only get one bite at the apple here. But with this news I think we're past the point of wondering whether they should initiate an impeachment inquiry.

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15 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Clinton should have been removed from office, but wasn't.

It does not follow that Trump should remain in office.

Also consorting with the enemy is orders of magnitude worse than canoodling with an intern. Maybe the severity of the obstruction might matter.  

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