Is Trump really gonna get there ?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by mongey, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    The charges: https://www.justice.gov/file/1007271/download against Manafort and Gates look pretty serious. Money laundering, tax evasion, lying to federal agents, and fraud...

    Meanwhile, Trump is saying on Twitter that George Popadopolis was just a gopher in the campaign.

    Sorry, but whether he was or not, how is that at all relevant. This is classic Trump making an argument that, if you actually think about it, makes him look much worse. Claiming that this guy was a gopher implies that he was acting on someone else's orders, since gophers in campaigns do not pull off schemes like this on their own impulse...

    But hey, whatever. The charges against these guys keep getting worse and worse. Whatever ace is the FBI holding onto still to play against Trump or Trump Jr.?
     
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  2. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    They're certainly doing everything they can it ignore the issue and hopefully "run out the clock".

    You've gotta look at it from their perspective. They're looking at this two fold, 1.) being Republicans, they're clearly in conservative districts, which have an interest in them pursuing a conservative agenda 2.) relevant to point one, they're looking to save their own skin. The tightrope congressional republicans are CURRENTLY walking is, does embracing Trump help or hurt their chances at re-election? The more Trump does to hurt his own public perception, the more he pushes Republicans to rebuke him.

    The X-factor is Bannon declaring open season on anybody naysaying Trump, Trump HIMSELF singling out anybody who naysays him or any of the assorted 'far right' sympathetic PACs with an interest in primarying in a more extreme candidates. It's an x-factor because there's a concerted effort to basically build the entire GOP field in Trump's image, there's just no clear answer whether or not those positions are going to resonate with voters, with a potential 'Trump-fatigue' creeping in.

    So yeah, current Congressional GOP are between a rock and a hard place. To hedge their bets, the BEST they can hope for is to not be forced into a position on Trump at all, so their tactic so far is to ignore and diminish this as much as possible. As such, you may see SOME distancing from Trump as the volume gets louder on this and they get closer to election time, but impeachement or a rebuke are not likely in the cards. And there's a good chance that being overly cautious on one end, and being cannibalized from the right on the other end costs them their jobs.

    Which brings me to that, 2018. Everything I've seen indicates that we might not be seeing a verdict on Manafort before the primaries are over with. A lot can happen in the next year (seeing as what's happened in the LAST year) but assuming the trend continues, you're going to potentially have a Democratic controlled Congress (one or both houses) who are put into a place as a referendum ON Trump, so there'd be a heavy interest in impeachment or at least neutering him.

    Where this potential (and to some degree, likely) scenario puts Trump in a tough spot is, he can either 1.) pre-emptively pardon Manafort and Co. and fire Mueller, both of which will turn up the heat on obstruction of justice chances, and likely fast track Democratic control of Congress, ergo, fast tracking impeachment likelihood 2.) keep quiet and let the process play out, which is IMO smarter but still a gamble, because BEST scenario for him, they nab a handful of underlings that were let-go from the campaign anyway or WORST scenario, the breadcrumbs eventually lead right to his office and you're back at populist push to impeach.

    Either way, the expectation or even the incentives for Republicans to act on this is very, very low. Patience will be an asset in this.
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Well, there's a legal side and a political side to this question.

    The legal side is, yes, doing so after Mueller has indicted them as part of an ongoing investigation into election meddling, is very likely obstruction of justice. So was firing Comey, and that's what brought us Mueller in the first place. Would it be enforced, though?

    That kind of brings us to the political side of this - would Congress let Trump get away with it? That's a much tougher question. His ~30% core supporters would consider the move an entirely justified way to take the teeth out of a stupid, pointless, and distracting witch-hunt. Likewise, the left would consider it an absolute abomination and a miscarraige of justice. So, right off the bat, I'd expect to see the constitutionality of the move challenged (which goes back to the legal side of it - it may be enforcible illegal). However, I think how it plays out politically is really going to depend on how moderate Republicans respond. There's been talk from the establishment left about trying to get prominent Republican congresspeople on record stating that they would consider either a pre-emptive pardon of someone indicted in the investigation or an outright removal of Mueller across a white line and grounds for potential impeachment proceedings for obstruction of justice. If nothing else, because knowing the GOP wouldn't accept it makes the outcome less likely.

    I do think, however, that independents (who are already largely united against Trump) and the center-right establishment type Republicans would have a major issue with Trump firing Mueller or pardoning associates who had been indicted.

    My read on yesterday's events - despite Fox's "Mueller Gets His Man" headline, neither Mueller nor Gates are the target here. Mueller thinks he can get someone above them for crimes related to the investigation. I don't think it was a coincidence he waited until after the arrests and Trump's "NO COLLUSION" tweet to announce Papadopoulos had been arrested in July and had accepted a plea bargain three weeks before. He also acted quickly and with little notice - word of the sealed indictments broke on Friday, but Manafort had been heard telling people over the weekend that because he hadn't been contacted and hadn't received any warning, he was comfortable it was someone else. He's signalling he's aiming high - Manafort is old enough that it's hard to see a plea bargain not effectively being a life sentence - but Gates is somewhat younger, and by announcing the (much younger) Papadopoulos' plea-bargain shortly thereafter he's swinging both the carrot and the stick here.

    I think while having Papadopoulos flip is the most immediately concerning development for Trump, since it does relate directly to the campaign and to Russian influence, Manafort could become incredibly problematic in the long run, since he was clearly compromised during the campaign, and since he very likely has direct knowledge of anything illicit that may have gone down. Mueller appears to have enough on him to make the rest of his life very unpleasant, so what happens next depends largely on what kind of terms Manafort is able to negotiate for his cooperation.
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    The other factor here, is that unpaid advisors are not at ALL unusual in presidential campaigns, so it's sort of an empty point, that Popadopoulos wasn't on payroll.
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Yes, but do you think Trump is capable of this? :lol:
     
  6. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    The simple answer is "no" :lol:

    The longer answer, SO FAR, he hasn't been taking direct shots at Mueller (since the indictments) or making attempts to defend any of those charged, which would've been the two MOST costly mistakes. He can still say "well, I don't really know those bums but while you're at it, you SHOULD be looking at HRC" without implicating himself in anything besides trying to be a distraction. I'm sure his lawyers are applauding his demeanor so far.

    We'll see if he can keep that up, though. History seems to say otherwise. Also, with the potential the indictments start to fall closer to home (DT Jr., Kushner, or even Flynn), the temptation to wade in might become too much.
     
  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I had a long conversation with a friend last night on how he'd respond to a DT Jr. indictment. Would he throw him under the bus? Would he go down with him? It's incredibly complicated to try to suss out. Flynn, as long as Flynn can't implicate Trump in any clear way, gets thrown under the bus, IMO (and if he spends any significant effort defending him, that speaks volumes). Kushner may be his son in law, but I imagine he gets cut loose too. Trump Jr, though... Remember, this is the guy who almost didn't name his son after him because "what if he's a loser?" I think Trump may, as silly as this seems, be too invested in his name to let him go down without a fight.

    Either way, if/when Trump Jr. gets indicted (and, I've made it clear that I think there's probably already enough evidence to charge him with conspiracy to commit a crime), it'll be fascinating political drama to watch how his dad handles it. And politics, after all, is a blood sport.
     
  8. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    It's worth noting that the Papadopoulos email exchanges in the court papers definitively show him communicating regarding the Russians with Manafort, Lewandowski, and with Sam Clovis, Trump's current appointment as Under Secretary of Agriculture.

    Oh, and Wilbur Ross, former officer at the Bank of Cyprus where Manafort hid his cash? Now Trump's Commerce Secretary.

    I'm sure there's a lot of actual evidence of written *and* recorded communications (remember, Papdopoulos probably wore a wire, which is a reason Mueller would have asked the judge to seal the conviction, to protect the ability to do so) which have yet to surface.

    The biggest thing to be revealed in the short term, I believe, will be that Sessions responded to the Papadopoulos Russia emails, and knew of the illegal attempts at collusion by the campaign.

    There's also still the matter of how Trump was confident enough to brag that there were hacked emails. It didn't happen through magic, and that same path might prove Trump's knowledge of collusion with the Russians.

    I was reading the Manafort daughters' texts, wherein they were bragging of their father's involvement with Trump. They claimed that Manafort interviewed Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon at Trump Tower and hired the pair.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Somewhere, Bloomberg, maybe, was reporting that in the emails that the press has seen, Papadopoulos told his Russian contact that the Trump Campaign had approved a meeting with the Russians, which if true would be a pretty major revelation. The article was careful to hedge, though, that he may have simply been talking a big game or making too much of something other than a definite commitment, as the fact it was not mentioned in the otherwise fairly detailed complaint could mean that Mueller was not able to substantiate his claim.

    To be fair, Trump has bragged about plenty of OTHER things that turned out to be false, like the largest inauguration crowd ever. :lol:
     
  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Trump is calling for the "DEATH PENALTY" (sorry about all caps, thought it was appropriate to quote Trump's capitalization here, though) for the NYC truck driving terrorist. Usually* the President of the United States of America never get's involved in the legal side of a case and trial, so this is highly unusual and, even though I agree that the court could seek the death penalty, I also think that the president tweeting about it could give ammunition to the defense lawyers to call for an unfair trial, regardless of how fair the trial ends up being now...

    (*Obama did once, and later apologized for the problems it went on to create for the courts).

    In the mean time, I know how much we love to talk about HRC, but now Brazile has a book out with some serious allegations against HRC. Hmm.
     
  11. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man Contributor

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    ^This might not be relevant enough to chime in with, but has there ever been a shittier case for a US defense lawyer? I'd request a hood and a vocal disguise.
     
  12. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    Not to be 'that guy' but I don't remember Trump having the same level of vitriol when a guy in Las Vegas killed over 50 people. I have a hard time believing that the only reason he's expressed some much more anger this time is because the NYC attacker is still alive and the Las Vegas shooter was not, so why the difference?
     
  13. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    Is it in Portuguese?
     
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  14. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Does Trump have ties to Las Vegas? I'm sure his ties are strong to NYC.
    On the opposite pole, maybe Trump feels the fact that a real gun was used in Vegas and a fake one in New York means that he can condemn this without backlash from the NRA or from his support base.

    But, most likely, I'll just say it, because we all know it, it's because this incident in NYC was a Muslim dude from a country that ends in "-stan." It's no secret that Trump wants to keep people like this from entering our borders. I don't even think Trump's supporters would deny it, and why should they, this time? They just got another example of what their premise in the spotlight.

    It doesn't appear that any translations are scheduled for release. Maybe a semaphore translation will be made available once the two-party system's ship starts sinking after the next major election. :p
     
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  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Her story doesn't add up, though, is the thing.

    Not the details of the Clinton campaign helping to finance the DNC - I have no doubt that happened.

    Rather, somehow Braizile, as a co-chair of the DNC, being totally unaware of these allegations, considering Sanders wrote a letter to the DNC about it in April of 2016 and in May the Washington Post wrote a headline story about the allegations Sanders was making in that letter. The fact she claims she had no clue about it until she became the acting chair makes just as much sense, in fact, as the woman who was fired by CNN for leaking a primary debate question to Clinton, suddenly becoming a champion of primary justice and unearthing shocking revelations of foul play giving Clinton an advantage over Sanders.

    Or, basically, this is Brazile doing damage control and using some pretty heavy handed revisionist history to throw Clinton under the bus in order to polish up her tarnished reputation. She's either a painfully naive co-chair and political commentator who was living under a rock in 2016, or she's lying through her teeth. Either way, I'll say the same thing I did when CNN fired her - the DNC needs to cut ties with her as well.
     
  16. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    Well, I still can't see why people put this lady up on a pedestal when it is becoming increasingly clear that more dirt is coming out on Crooked Hillary. It's pretty sad that it basically gets swept under the rug that this lady defrauded Bernie and the Democratic voting American public a fair shot at a Democratic nominee, all the while supporting and continuing to be married to a man who got a blowjob from an intern. I bring that up because in a recent interview when confronted about it, she wrote it off as not counting because that was in the past and it had been litigated. I find it a strange way to rationalize that behavior. How would the media react if Trump rigged the Republican nomination, or got a blowjob from an intern?
     
  17. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Probably the same way they've been reacting to the current news about him possibly colluding to rig an election?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  18. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    You have a good point... They definitely don't mind jumping all over him over hearsay and rumors, at the same time dismissing and ignoring concrete proof that Hillary is a crook.
     
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  19. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Are you pretending to be ignorant of confessed collusion and attempts at collusion by Trump campaign staff, and even Junior, Kushner and Manafort at the Trump Tower meeting?

    Or are you genuinely uninformed of current events, and therefore not really upholding the higher standards imposed on discussions on the P&CE forum here on SS.org?

    ----

    Humorously, there is a group of investigators which is dragging its feet regarding finally clearing the air about the meeting at Trump Tower between Trump Junior, Kushner, Manafort and that Russian lawyer.

    She's stated taht she is completely willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee... but only if her testimony will be made public. So far, they haven't agreed to that.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...russia-law-may-be-reviewed-moscow-lawyer-says

    She's also willing to be questioned by Mueller.

    It's interesting that the Senate doesn't want to immediately prove the innocence of Junior, Kushner and Manafort, and to remove the cloud from Trump, by just getting this done.

    What I'm looking forward to are the inconsistent statement from Republicans about how they won't be able to trust the intensions of the Russian lawyer... but then simultaneously defending the Trump team for attempting to collude (remember, Junior admitted this, not hearsay and rumor!!) with said untrustworthy Russian lawyer.

    It appears Putin is ready to dump Trump, doesn't it? Putin doesn't care about exposing this whole thing, yet also knows that Republicans are so corrupt that they will avoid exposing the truth and will work to protect Russian interests harder than the Russians themselves.
     

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