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Jul 13, 17, 11:33 AM #16The 'What About Ukraine?' Defense of Trump Jr.'s Russia Meeting - The Atlantic
The '''What About Ukraine?''' Defense of Trump Jr.'''s Russia Meeting
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Jul 13, 17, 12:40 PM #17^ That was an interesting read. An opinion piece trying to minimize the case reported by Politico and trying to minimize the connection between Chalupa, the DNC, HRC, and the Ukrainian government.
However, the article admits this:
Lawrence Noble of the Campaign Legal Center told The Washington Post this week. “If the Ukrainian government did oppo[sitional] research in coordination with the Clinton campaign or the DNC and they knowingly accepted the information, there is a possible [illegal] foreign national contribution. But if Chalupa was gathering the information and passing it on, the question is who did the work and what did the Clinton campaign and DNC know.”
The Politico piece describes Chalupa and her actions like this:
A veteran DNC operative who previously worked in the Clinton White House, Alexandra Chalupa, worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists from both Ukraine and America to dig up Russia-related opposition research on Trump and Manafort. She also shared her anti-Trump research with both the DNC and the Clinton campaign, according to the Politico report.
[T]he former DNC staffer and the operative familiar with the situation agreed that with the DNC’s encouragement, Chalupa asked embassy staff to try to arrange an interview in which Poroshenko might discuss Manafort’s ties to [ousted Ukranian President Viktor] Yanukovych.
The alleged involvement of Chalupa is far greater than Don Jr. meeting with a foreign national lawyer. That involvement is conceded as a distinct possibility in the Atlantic article and stated out right in the Politico article. Chalupa, it seems, was actively seeking out info from a foreign government with the knowledge and encouragement of the DNC. Talk about a smoking gun.
Further, the Atlantic article makes a point that the Russian government’s attempt at influencing the U.S. election was more extensive than the described involvement of the Ukrainian government. This is a MOOT point. Whatever Putin and the Russian government tried to do they did it INDEPENDENT of Donald Trump. Trump was not involved therefore he is not responsible for what they did any more than you or me. However, the article in the Politico alleges Chalupa was acting as an agent of the DNC, with their knowledge and encouragement, and the DNC and the Hillary campaign received info from Chalupa. If so, they are much closer to the definition of collusion with a foreign government than Don Jr.
If the Atlantic wants to say that the DNC and HRC did not use the info gathered by Chalupa and are therefore innocent of wrong-doing then they should also say that Don Jr. is innocent of wrong-doing since he received NO information from anyone.
If the Atlantic is trying to make Don Jr's incident look more serious than the DNC-HRC/Ukranian government connection, they did a poor job.
Jul 13, 17, 01:16 PM #18I honestly don't care what the Slate article said or didn't say that PP quoted. I only made the quote to amuse myself. With that said, PP quoting a Slate article as support of any position he holds is funny in and of itself. I am even less interested in comparing Hilary and Trump, because I don't care for either (not to mention one is the POTUS and the other one has far less importance to me at this point); however, ...
If Hilary or the DNC violated the law - investigate and prosecute as warranted. It is possible to realize the current administration is a disaster and not automatically be in the Hilary camp.
Are there any Trump supporters who will just support continuing the investigation (without declaring it already a failure or witch hunt)??? If Donald Jr., Kushner, the POTUS, or any of his associates violated the law should we not investigate them and prosecute as warranted too? For people that have nothing to hide they very adept at looking guilty (lie, revise their security clearance forms, deny meeting with Russians, etc.). We have gone from there was no contact with Russia to there was nothing gained in our meeting with the Russians fairly quickly. Shouldn't we see if the path ends there or if it continues???
Jul 13, 17, 02:09 PM #19Originally Posted by oldgrappler
But the problem here is that Don Jr.’s meeting didn’t happen in a vacuum, and we are still nowhere near getting the complete story on the Trump team’s connection to Russia (or the result of this meeting, for that matter). This meeting is just one more piece of evidence confirming what many suspected – that there was communication between Trump’s team and Russia – and it’s another connection to Russia they have relentlessly lied about.
And what makes “collusion” so potentially explosive isn’t that some member of Trump’s staff may have violated an FEC rule (if that’s what this amounts to). It’s that 1) a hostile foreign power acquired information about an American candidate/political party through espionage and 2) Trump’s campaign may have coordinated the strategic release of this information with Russia or, worst of all, promised something in exchange for its release.
We obviously don’t know if anything close to that happened yet, but the “coincidences” and oddities continue to stack up in a way the public is owed a thorough accounting of what happened.
As I said yesterday, between Trump's bizarrely favorable posture toward Russia, Russia's use of espionage to interfere in the election on his behalf, the Trump team's incessant lying about an unusual number of meetings with Russians (how many times has Kushner amended his security clearance form now?), Trump admitting to firing the FBI director to thwart the investigation into Flynn (over lying to the FBI about talking sanctions relief with Russia!), and now incontrovertible evidence that Manafort (who previously worked for a pro-Kremlin politician), Kushner, and Don Jr took a meeting with a connected Russian national (arranged through Trump’s Russian business partner) under the auspices of getting "high level and sensitive information" that was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump" just before WikiLeaks began dumping docs during the DNC, this increasingly seems unlikely to be one big coincidence.
While almost all of those things can be argued individually, if there is something that links them all together then this is the biggest political scandal in our country’s history. I understand the urge to find a “but Clinton…” to dismiss what's going on, but the stakes here are much bigger.
Jul 13, 17, 02:48 PM #20
Jul 13, 17, 04:29 PM #21
My reason for doing so is that it seems to me that no one cared about suspicious activity when it involved HRC and the DNC. Definitely not the MSM who has a pattern of ignoring stories that would throw shade on the Democrat party and who have been besides themselves ever since Trump won the election. They are waging war on him. How many accusations have they made that have proven false? Or better yet, how many accusations have been proven right? You can disagree with me if you like, but I perceive a huge bias against Trump by the MSM. The DNC has them in their back pocket. Therefore, I parsed the articles to find what I thought to be the substance of each. It seems to me that there is more evidence of collusion on the DNC and HRC. So if there is to be an investigation of Trump, there should be one on the HRC. The MSM did not care then and does not care now. It will be swept under the carpet. I am pointing out the discrepancy in the way political stories are assigned significance based on party affiliation.
I bolded the two points you highlighted to address them from the stand point that I am not as concerned as you that they will play out in the hypothetical way you propose.
1). I have no doubt Russia, China, and other nations more and less hostile to the U.S. are always trying to find out information on U.S. politicians through espionage. They did so in the last election and are trying to do so now. But I don't think Trump was helping with this, authorized it, or had his people trying to develop this info. I'm not so sure about the DNC based on the perpetrators testimony as reported by Politico. There is no proof against Trump of any of this though the allegations have been flying with fury since November 2016. The way it is reported is that these accusations are almost certain. Then nothing comes of it and no one reports otherwise.
2) The Donald Jr. incident doesn't approach this. A Russian national attorney wanted to talk to someone with political clout to address an issue that was dear to her or client--a law that was blocking the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans. She told a fib to gain an audience. Don Jr. thought he would listen to what she had to say. She had nothing to say so the meeting was adjourned. Don Jr. thought he was going to fall into some information useful to his father perhaps. We have no idea what he would have done with it depending on what type of info it was--i.e. was it similar to the fake news story about urine in a hotel room or would it be information saying HRC took bribes to hand over uranium. Don Jr. could have acted very differently depending on which kind of information he received. He could have called the FBI if it was about uranium or he could have called the National Enquirer if it was about something seedy. We will never know. As it happened, there was NO information that required Don Jr to act. So, this was nothing.
Unlike the story of the DNC and the Ukranian government where there is apparent testimony from a principle actor saying she actively sought information from a foreign government n behalf of the DNC and the HRC campaign. What we currently know about both stories shows that the DNC story has much more detail that indicates collusion than the Don Jr story. But it is swept under the table. That makes me think the focus on Don Jr is not about the substance of the story but about the shade it throws on Trump.
I am not dismissing Don Jr's action by saying "what about Clinton..." I am saying there is nothing of substance to the Don Jr story as reported. The only thing we have is more unsubstantiated allegations. The MSM is making a mint on tabloid journalism. So i don't think there is much likelihood that the story on Don Jr will lead to the scenario you enumerated.
I will wait to see how it plays out.
Jul 13, 17, 06:11 PM #22DT Jr. is a liar. The swamp continues to grow.
Jul 14, 17, 07:56 AM #23@oldgrappler - you might say you aren't dismissing this by saying "what about Clinton", but you really are; however, you aren't alone. It is the battle cry of the Trump crowd. If Hilary would have been elected president and there were scandals then I would have been all for investigating wrongdoing. If they investigate her now that is fine too, but I will say my enthusiasm is much less given her lack of power.
I know you would like to declare that there is nothing to see here @oldgrappler and maybe eventually we will find that their is nothing; however, we aren't close to being there yet. This investigation is in its infancy. @Habib did a great job of laying out everything that has happened so far. A week ago, Donald Jr., Kushner, and Manafort would have still been denying they had any meeting with Russian national, but a week later we know that they have been lying about that for months and that Kushner revised his security clearance form (again). What do you think we might find out next week? Maybe nothing, but way too early to close the book on an administration acts like they are guilty and hiding plenty.
Jul 14, 17, 08:41 AM #24I think Ross Douthat, a conservative columnist (albeit unfavorable to Trump), hit this one on the head.
A Conspiracy of Dunces - The New York Times
And, almost on cue, we're finding out this meeting of four very bored people included a fifth participant. The almost Kryptonian-level aversion to the truth on display here is why I don't understand how anyone can take their explanations at face value any longer. As Douthat says "Here is a good rule of thumb for dealing with Donald Trump: Everyone who gives him the benefit of the doubt eventually regrets it."
Jul 14, 17, 08:53 AM #25I am not the Trump crowd. I did not vote for him. I would not vote for him if a new election were held today. Neither would I vote for Clinton, ever. Too many liars running for office. Too much corruption. I would write in a candidate as I did last November.
My disdain is for the MSM who gin up hear-say to sound like they have video and audio evidence then when it fails they change the story and emphasize another nuance as if they have a blockbuster Watergate-type revelation. I am tired of them crying wolf. I don't believe them. I won't until there is actual evidence. They report opinion as fact and that is dishonest.
This particularly sticks in my craw because of how they covered Clinton, and O'Bama. Gave them a pass at every turn. That's not a free press. They are in the back pocket of the Democrats.
I am not dismissing Trump by saying, "Look at Clinton, since both did it we will accept the behavior as normal." What I am saying is this smells of partisan, biased media coverage. As one bit of evidence of this bias I am offering the obvious case where they overlook the DNC gathering information from the Ukranian government and actively seeking dirt on Trump from a foreign government but when Junior takes a meeting with an attorney who is a Russian national and there is no information passed, they say this is a smoking gun. On the face of it, this is media bias.
The bias in coverage and the tone/slant used on literally every story about Trump is dishonest. I am calling it out.
If you don't make the distinction between someone who is a die-hard Trump supporter and someone saying, "This isn't what is being claimed and if you cared about this kind of stuff you'd be outraged over here as well" then you and I will not have a meeting of the minds. I am okay with that. But I won't accept the label of "Trump-supporter."
BTW, Hillary was Secretary of State, third in line for the Presidency, and she was not held accountable for her actions.
Jul 14, 17, 09:08 AM #26
1. His point that all of these revelations are the work of journalists and sources. None of this has the power of subpoena, which leads you to believe there could be more extracted.
2. Trump's motive for obstruction may not be himself. He may have fired Comey because the investigation was at or was leading to DJTJ and Kushner.
Poor Chris Christie
Jul 14, 17, 09:13 AM #27Habib. The guy made some excellent points, many of the ones you made in previous posts (I'm not suggesting you stole them just acknowledging the valid reasoning process that led to similar conclusions). And a terrific line: "Here is a good rule of thumb for dealing with Donald Trump: Everyone who gives him the benefit of the doubt eventually regrets it." That's in line with what I've thought of Donald Trump since I saw him in action during the Republican Primaries.