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The Russia Investigation: Trump Pardons Flynn


whoknew

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11 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

Prudence is the right course of action here - when there are many unknowns.  It does not matter where the reporting comes from - when you will be an arbiter of its veracity, you should wait to see the evidence yourself, rather than take a position sight unseen.

:goodposting:

Given the trickles of unofficial reporting prior to the Mueller report, JMHO the biggest risk to Democrats/left media is getting out over their own skiis. It could muffle a final report with opposing narrative of prior media/legislative bias of what was not in the report (but paraded as fact), rather than strict focus to what is in the report - which is likely damning enough in its own right. I'm ever the cynic, so of course it would not surprise me if certain side noise is actually being manufactured by Trump defenders for the sole purpose of baiting media/legislators into spreading misinformation, harming their credibility when they are legitimately crying wolf. While I personally love the entertainment value of leaks, in an ideal world media/legislators should be cautious dealing with it, and for my money should not use the term impeachment until the report is released,.

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1 hour ago, ren hoek said:

No, there is still no evidence that Trump campaign ‘colluded’ or ‘conspired’ with Russia to affect the election in some way. Zero.  

Even in Manafort’s case where he transferred spring 2016 polling data to Kilimnik- the only feasible instance of collusion so far, already extremely tenuous at best- Kilimnik’s “Russian intelligence ties” are unclear.  

Manafort’s employment of Kilimnik has fueled speculation because Mueller has stated that Kilimnik has “ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016.”

Yet Mueller’s only references that Kilmnik has Kremlin “ties” came in two court filings in 2017 and 2018, and it’s not clear what Mueller meant in either case. In April 2018, Manafort’s attorneys told a Virginia judge that they have made “multiple discovery requests” seeking any contacts between Manafort and “Russian intelligence officials,” but that the special counsel informed them that “there are no materials responsive to [those] requests.” “ 

In this interview Kilimnik talks about his work with Manafort on the failed deal to bring Ukraine to the EU, and his work for the State Dept.-funded IRI.  Kilimnik was born in Soviet-era Ukraine and attended the First Department of the Moscow Military Red-Banner Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR from ‘87-‘92.  Whatever evidence there may be of his ‘Russian intelligence ties’ in 2016 is secret, and conflicts with mainstream reporting.  

The point isn't to “defend Trump.”  It’s that this unfounded conspiracy theory- what appears to be a total fabrication paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC- has dragged the US into the dirt for 2 years, brought back McCarthyism, and is headed toward a new arms race.  It’s damaged this country’s civic wellbeing for years to come, and opened the door for technocrats/states to censor their platforms under the auspices of fighting ‘Russian disinformation’.  The media has crapped on the floor of journalism in the pursuit of this clickbait.  

If Mueller knows Trump is not a Russian “plant” and has let the country dabble in this conspiracy theory for 2 years, I think that’s a disgrace.  It’s long past time to end this charade.

Is this part of some sort of contest?  Does the one millionth person to conflate "evidence" and "proof" on the internet get free vodka and borscht for life or something?

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3 minutes ago, Skoo said:

So....we are currently witnessing the biggest scandal in US history, politics or otherwise.

Trump really does always have to be the biggest and best.

Obviously we don't have all the details but this looks like it might finally unthrone Watergate

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2 hours ago, Dedfin said:

I'm sure this is sarcastic. I presume the Cohen stuff doesn't really mean anything to you?

Clearly it’s a big deal if Trump advised Cohen to lie to congress.  I just don’t think the failed building negotiations are a big deal, or had anything to do with a supposed collusion plot.  

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1 minute ago, ren hoek said:

Clearly it’s a big deal if Trump advised Cohen to lie to congress.  I just don’t think the failed building negotiations are a big deal, or had anything to do with a supposed collusion plot.  

Thanks. Yeah what I was going to work up to is this: "What if Trump is actively trying to obstruct justice, not because of some his and russia's colluding against America's election system, but because he was money laundering or such all prior to his political life?" I'm doing my best to be open minded to the idea that russian-trump collusion didn't happen and Trump's suspicious activity (imo) could be explained by him trying to cover up his illegal business dealings only. I find it hard to disbelieve that Trump is doing what he can to make this investigation go away, but the reason why is cloudy to me.

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5 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

Clearly it’s a big deal if Trump advised Cohen to lie to congress.  I just don’t think the failed building negotiations are a big deal, or had anything to do with a supposed collusion plot.  

Well, you are assuming it was a building negotiation for one.  

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4 minutes ago, Dedfin said:

Thanks. Yeah what I was going to work up to is this: "What if Trump is actively trying to obstruct justice, not because of some his and russia's colluding against America's election system, but because he was money laundering or such all prior to his political life?" I'm doing my best to be open minded to the idea that russian-trump collusion didn't happen and Trump's suspicious activity (imo) could be explained by him trying to cover up his illegal business dealings only. I find it hard to disbelieve that Trump is doing what he can to make this investigation go away, but the reason why is cloudy to me.

 

Lets say that assumption is correct. Does it matter? 

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21 minutes ago, Skoo said:

So....we are currently witnessing the biggest scandal in US history, politics or otherwise.

Trump really does always have to be the biggest and best.

Yup.  We should start seeing a mad dash of republican leaders speaking out against Trump any minute now.

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For those who have not seen - here is the current White House approach to this, via FoxNews:

 

Kyle Griffin‏Verified account @kylegriffin1 59m59 minutes ago

More

W.H. spokesman Hogan Gidley is asked by Fox News three times whether Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. He does not answer all three times. Via Fox.

 

Video clip in link:  https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1086309787116191746

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3 minutes ago, roadkill1292 said:

As bad as the election collusion is -- and it's a really bad thing -- a candidate for the nation's highest office promising political favors in return for personal financial assistance seems even worse. I could be wrong about that.

####### commie

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1 minute ago, whoknew said:

 

Lets say that assumption is correct. Does it matter? 

Hey, I wanted to ask that :hot:

 

It doesn't matter to me. If Trump was a money launderer or has committed bank fraud or who knows all the other things he may have done, he should be punished for that. I am curious to know if anyone thinks it does matter.

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2 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

For those who have not seen - here is the current White House approach to this, via FoxNews:

 

Kyle Griffin‏Verified account @kylegriffin1 59m59 minutes ago

More

W.H. spokesman Hogan Gidley is asked by Fox News three times whether Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. He does not answer all three times. Via Fox.

 

Video clip in link:  https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1086309787116191746

The shocking part to me is that Fox News asked the question.

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1 minute ago, Dedfin said:

Hey, I wanted to ask that :hot:

 

It doesn't matter to me. If Trump was a money launderer or has committed bank fraud or who knows all the other things he may have done, he should be punished for that. I am curious to know if anyone thinks it does matter.

Plus he obstructed justice to cover up his crimes. Allegedly. 

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Just now, JuniorNB said:

The shocking part to me is that Fox News asked the question.

The folks at FoxNews are not dumb.  They tend to their sheep, but they recognize danger when they see it.

There have been a few instances - on the news side - where they have called out the emperor for not wearing any clothes.  They will cover for him when its not obvious - but even they have limits.

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The view from Baltimore local conservative talk radio -- the media has spent so much time embellishing stuff about Trump that the co-hosts weren't going to give any time at all to the Buzzfeed story, because the Buzzfeed reporter admitted that he hadn't seen the data himself. Therefore, he might have been making it up. 

It was basically 20 minutes of blasting the msm and no talk of POTUS suborning perjury. I'm telling yous all, Dick Nixon could really have used conservative talk radio because the stuff he did is a fraction of what Don allegedly has done.

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7 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

Well and the deal was worth an estimated $300 million dollars to Trump. For all we know the plan was to finalize it after Trump leaves office and had removed the sanctions from Russia.

:goodposting:

In the realm of likely scenarios, Trump choosing to scuttle a lucrative Russia expansion he's been seeking for 20 years seems the least likely.

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9 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:
11 minutes ago, JuniorNB said:

The shocking part to me is that Fox News asked the question.

The folks at FoxNews are not dumb.  They tend to their sheep, but they recognize danger when they see it.

There have been a few instances - on the news side - where they have called out the emperor for not wearing any clothes.  They will cover for him when its not obvious - but even they have limits.

I think there's another angle to this: sometimes FoxNews tries to help the President by tossing out softball questions that can easily be turned into propaganda soundbites. But Gidley must have left his script at home today, so instead of responding with "Absolutely not!", he gave an evasive "I'm not going to answer that" response.

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54 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

Is this part of some sort of contest?  Does the one millionth person to conflate "evidence" and "proof" on the internet get free vodka and borscht for life or something?

Who cares? The campaign manager gave private polling data to Oleg Deripaska’s right hand man, a former GRU translator who lives with his family in a multimillion dollar house just outside Moscow. His lawyer admitted it in a signed filing. 

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1 hour ago, Sabertooth said:

Like Trump ran with the birther stuff?  Why do you insist the Democrats fight clean but not the Republicans?  

How about we all expect our leaders and the media to tell the truth and call out the lies and liars?

:lmao: I know... sometimes I crack myself up.

Edited by Ignoramus
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Just now, TobiasFunke said:

What's the backstory to Trump bringing up Cohen's father-in-law? I have no idea what it's all about.

Good question - I don't have the answer, but it seems like the father-in-law may have some fo his own liability from the Taxi medallion business that Cohen got caught up in.  But I have not really seen any reporting on that.

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3 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

What's the backstory to Trump bringing up Cohen's father-in-law? I have no idea what it's all about.

From Washington Examiner - so you know its true:

 

President Trump invoked a different figure Saturday when talking about the ongoing Russia investigation: his former attorney Michael Cohen's father-in-law.

In order for Cohen to get his sentence reduced, he thought, "I have an idea, I'll give you some information on the president. Well, there is no information," Trump said during his 20-plus-minute phone interview, in which he often rambled on, with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro on Saturday night. "He should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that's the one that people want to look at."

Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in November and to eight counts of campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud in August, in part related to hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal over their alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen has been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election, despite once saying he would take a bullet for the president.

When Pirro asked the name of Cohen's father-in-law, Trump came up empty-handed.

"I don't know, but you'll find out, and you'll look into it because nobody knows what's going on over there," he said, an unusual statement by a president regarding a private citizen.

Cohen's father-in-law, Fima Shusterman, reportedly loaned millions to a Chicago cab company owner, who was mentioned in the FBI warrants used to raid Cohen's home and office. In the interview, Trump described the raid as a break-in.

"I was a client. He has a law firm. They broke into his law firm sometime early in the morning," Trump said of Cohen.

Shusterman loaned an estimated $20 million to Yasya Shtayner, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Shtayner, along with her husband, Semyon Shtayner, manage more than 350 Chicago cabs, including 20 owned by Cohen.

Trump previously mentioned Cohen's father-in-law, though not by name, in a December tweet.

Shusterman, who pleaded guilty to income tax fraud in 1993, owns a condo in Trump World Tower in New York. He and Shtayner both own condos outside Miami in another Trump development, which Shtayner used as the collateral for the loans from Shusterman.

"He's in trouble on some loans and fraud and taxi cabs and stuff that I know nothing about," Trump said of Cohen in the interview.

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7 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

What's the backstory to Trump bringing up Cohen's father-in-law? I have no idea what it's all about.

It doesn't really matter, this is another blatant attempt at witness tampering  and obstruction of justice by indirectly suggesting some sort of possible harm to Cohen's family.

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4 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

What's the backstory to Trump bringing up Cohen's father-in-law? I have no idea what it's all about.

It's just Trump trying to make Cohen look bad by implying that he married into a crooked family.

Cohen's father-in-law loaned millions of dollars to a taxi company. It may or may not have been a shady deal, but the only person making that allegation right now is Trump.

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8 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

It's just Trump trying to make Cohen look bad by implying that he married into a crooked family.

Cohen's father-in-law loaned millions of dollars to a taxi company. It may or may not have been a shady deal, but the only person making that allegation right now is Trump.

Yeah, it would be tremendously embarrassing to have a parent engaged in shady financial schemes.

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Since this is likely to surpass Watergate, we really need to get a name for this whole thing.

It's about time we stop adding -gate to every scandal anyway.

So, what will this eventually be called?

Trump Tower? (too boring)

TrumPutin?

Russia Puppet?

 

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

so Trump can't lie on his on behalf?  why wouldn't Trump tweet it out like he does in every other case?

 

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Countdown until this story changes...

 

 

(I actually think this is true.  I think it is a nuanced look at what probably happened - which is that Trump approved of Cohens written testimony to Congress in advance - but did not specifically tell Cohen to lie.  Its also possible that Trump told someone else to tell Cohen to lie...)

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Guiliani went on to imply that this is a desperate move by Cohen which seems to suggest that even though there are other sources they were fed by Cohen; to which one of the Buzzfeed reporters announced, “that is ####### bull####.” 

facts, schmacts

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Obviously if this is true it’s enough to impeach Trump and perhaps remove him. But it still doesn’t prove he colluded with the Russians. Trump may have decided, after the fact, that ANY connection with Russia made him look bad and therefore attempted to cover it up, instructed Cohen to lie about it, etc. That’s still an impeachable crime but it is not treason. To me it’s just as plausible at this point. 

Of course if he actually worked with Putin either before or after the election, that would be treason. 

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Just now, gianmarco said:

Since this is likely to surpass Watergate, we really need to get a name for this whole thing.

It's about time we stop adding -gate to every scandal anyway.

So, what will this eventually be called?

Trump Tower? (too boring)

TrumPutin?

Russia Puppet?

 

Trumpuppet

Executive Apprentice

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12 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Since this is likely to surpass Watergate, we really need to get a name for this whole thing.

It's about time we stop adding -gate to every scandal anyway.

So, what will this eventually be called?

Trump Tower? (too boring)

TrumPutin?

Russia Puppet?

 

I love it later in the summer?

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4 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

CNN just had someone that used to work at the Trump Org.

Said it's not uncommon for Trump to dictate to other people what he wants said. I wonder if he thinks that insulates him somehow? 

he did the same thing with the Trump tower meeting...he dictated it, lied about it and said that this was Don Jr's response which it clearly was not.  In the wake of that 2 WH lawyers quit over the next week or so.  Why is it a stretch of any kind to think Trump would do the same exact thing here....they are both surrounding the same thing, Russia, that he and everyone in campaign, transition team, administration has lied about for 2+ years.  It would be more surprising to me if Trump WASN'T involved...I just didn't know that they'd have the proof to tie Trump to the conspiracy.

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12 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Since this is likely to surpass Watergate, we really need to get a name for this whole thing.

It's about time we stop adding -gate to every scandal anyway.

So, what will this eventually be called?

Trump Tower? (too boring)

TrumPutin?

Russia Puppet?

 

Peegate

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Obviously if this is true it’s enough to impeach Trump and perhaps remove him. But it still doesn’t prove he colluded with the Russians. Trump may have decided, after the fact, that ANY connection with Russia made him look bad and therefore attempted to cover it up, instructed Cohen to lie about it, etc. That’s still an impeachable crime but it is not treason. To me it’s just as plausible at this point. 

Of course if he actually worked with Putin either before or after the election, that would be treason. 

what would you consider proof of collusion?  

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3 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

Really? After all we know, you're still there?

Afraid so. I’ve got doubts based mostly on the fact that not everything Trump has done as President is to Putin’s liking. There is also the fact that the things that Trump does that Putin likes best fit neatly within Trump’s isolationist philosophy; finally, a lot of Trump’s actions can be explained by a combination of chaos and incompetence and a refusal to consider that he might have been helped in winning the 2016 election, which would then put an asterisk on it. 

Those are my doubts. It doesn’t make Trump any less a criminal (provided he instructed Cohen to lie.) 

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6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Obviously if this is true it’s enough to impeach Trump and perhaps remove him. But it still doesn’t prove he colluded with the Russians. Trump may have decided, after the fact, that ANY connection with Russia made him look bad and therefore attempted to cover it up, instructed Cohen to lie about it, etc. That’s still an impeachable crime but it is not treason. To me it’s just as plausible at this point. 

Of course if he actually worked with Putin either before or after the election, that would be treason. 

All due respect GB, but who gives a ####?

In fact I'll go even further than that- pretending this dated question is still somehow vital amounts to pro-Trump propaganda.  It's fairly clear at this point that his last line of defense is going to be that he personally didn't collude with Russia and that this is all therefore a "witch hunt."  But we're way past that now. Collusion-related crimes are just a narrow segment of the vast criminal and national security allegations he and his administration are facing. Don't play their game.

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