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Old 07-14-2017, 02:29 PM  
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Bungled collusion is still collusion

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...=.4cd5051349c0

The Russia scandal has entered a new phase, and there’s no going back.

For six months, the White House claimed that this scandal was nothing more than innuendo about Trump campaign collusion with Russia in meddling in the 2016 election. Innuendo for which no concrete evidence had been produced.

Yes, there were several meetings with Russian officials, some only belatedly disclosed. But that is circumstantial evidence at best. Meetings tell you nothing unless you know what happened in them. We didn’t. Some of these were casual encounters in large groups, like the famous July 2016 Kislyak-Sessions exchange of pleasantries at the Republican National Convention. Big deal.

I was puzzled. Lots of coverup, but where was the crime? Not even a third-rate burglary. For six months, smoke without fire. Yes, President Trump himself was acting very defensively, as if he were hiding something. But no one ever produced the something.

My view was: Collusion? I just don’t see it. But I’m open to empirical evidence. Show me.

The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s a Russian government effort to help Trump Sr. win the election, and as part of that effort he proposes a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” possessing damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Kremlin is willing to share troves of incriminating documents from the Crown Prosecutor. (Error: Britain has a Crown Prosecutor. Russia has a Prosecutor General.)

Donald Jr. emails back. “I love it.” Fatal words.

Once you’ve said “I’m in,” it makes no difference that the meeting was a bust, that the intermediary brought no such goods. What matters is what Donald Jr. thought going into the meeting, as well as Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, who were forwarded the correspondence, invited to the meeting, and attended.

“It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame,” Donald Jr. told Sean Hannity. A shame? On the contrary, a stroke of luck. Had the lawyer real stuff to deliver, Donald Jr. and the others would be in far deeper legal trouble. It turned out to be incompetent collusion, amateur collusion, comically failed collusion. That does not erase the fact that three top Trump campaign officials were ready to play.

It may turn out that they did later collaborate more fruitfully. We don’t know. But even if nothing else is found, the evidence is damning.

It’s rather pathetic to hear Trump apologists protesting that it’s no big deal because we Americans are always intervening in other people’s elections, and they in ours. You don’t have to go back to the ’40s and ’50s when the CIA intervened in France and Italy to keep the communists from coming to power. What about the Obama administration’s blatant interference to try to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in the latest Israeli election? One might even add the work of groups supported by the U.S. during Russian parliamentary elections — the very origin of Vladimir Putin’s deep animus toward Clinton, then secretary of state, whom he accuses of having orchestrated the opposition.

This defense is pathetic for two reasons. First, have the Trumpites not been telling us for six months that no collusion ever happened? And now they say: Sure it happened. So what? Everyone does it.

What’s left of your credibility when you make such a casual about-face?

Second, no, not everyone does it. It’s one thing to be open to opposition research dug up in Indiana. But not dirt from Russia, a hostile foreign power that has repeatedly invaded its neighbors (Georgia, Crimea, eastern Ukraine), that buzzes our planes and ships in international waters, that opposes our every move and objective around the globe. Just last week the Kremlin killed additional U.N. sanctions we were looking to impose on North Korea for its ICBM test.

There is no statute against helping a foreign hostile power meddle in an American election. What Donald Jr. — and Kushner and Manafort — did may not be criminal. But it is not merely stupid. It is also deeply wrong, a fundamental violation of any code of civic honor.

I leave it to the lawyers to adjudicate the legalities of unconsummated collusion. But you don’t need a lawyer to see that the Trump defense — collusion as a desperate Democratic fiction designed to explain away a lost election — is now officially dead.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:09 PM   #31
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Krauthammer is a conservative, and the first one that I've seen have this take.
Kraut****er is an establishment ball washer

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All kinds of people vote. Not enough of those people think highly enough of Trump to make him President but all kinds of people vote.
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So, if they were polling better than Trump and the primary goal was to prevent Hillary from becoming POTUS, perhaps it would have been a better strategic decision to nominate someone who actually had a chance of beating her and preventing that than nominating Donald Trump.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:10 PM   #32
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Kraut****er is an establishment ball washer

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Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:22 PM   #33
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Bite me, twat. I'm a conservative and Republican. I didn't make the Faustian deal you chose to make. Sorry that it's left a bitter taste in your mouth.

Oh wait. No, I'm not.
It's better that you're bitter than me being bitter.


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Old 07-14-2017, 04:26 PM   #34
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:28 PM   #35
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Bungled collusion may be collusion, but not all collusion is wrong. I think Trump critics still have a hurdle to clear on that point.

What if a Russian provided convincing information indicating that your political opponent is really a spy on the payroll of the KGB? Is it OK to receive that type of negative information or should you scrupulously avoid listening to anything anyone with a Russian accent has to say?

Unless you give sensitive information to the Russians, get involved in a quid pro quo with them to get information, or involve yourself in a conspiracy to commit a crime, I'm not convinced that "collusion" is wrong.

Even still, listening isn't collusion.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:31 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
Even still, listening isn't collusion.
Lyin' junior says that no dirt was given. Let's presume that he's telling the truth (big leap). Okay, he just wanted to get the dirt from a "Russian government attorney" and an ex-(maybe) spook. What do you think he was going to do with it? Nothing?
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:37 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Lyin' junior says that no dirt was given. Let's presume that he's telling the truth (big leap). Okay, he just wanted to get the dirt from a "Russian government attorney" and an ex-(maybe) spook. What do you think he was going to do with it? Nothing?

Presume.

Let's presume that if he got dirt, he would presumably use it. That's the "Red Handed" scandal here?

This gets funnier by the minute.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:38 PM   #38
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Since we're making presumptions, here's mine: I'm presuming that this whole thing was a political sting operation with the intent to get Don Jr. to pay for information, and it failed, but they're doing everything they can to huff this up because they're running out of cards to play.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:39 PM   #39
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You honestly don't think you should go right to the FBI in that scenario? They could determine whether they want use you and then you are covered.
Should? Yeah, probably. Have to to avoid getting in trouble with the law? I don't think so.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:40 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
Presume.

Let's presume that if he got dirt, he would presumably use it. That's the "Red Handed" scandal here?
Yes, presume. It's not like we can trust Junior, now is it?

Use it how?
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:41 PM   #41
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Even still, listening isn't collusion.
I think listening and then using the information is, broadly speaking, collusion. I don't think it's the kind of collusion that should cause you to end up in Leavenworth (or to be impeached).
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:43 PM   #42
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Son Donger is a GOPe guy. Such a Tory. Go home to England where your mind-set fits in better.
He's a conservative who doesn't trust Trump. It's hard to blame him for his reluctance on that count.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:47 PM   #43
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I tend to agree for the most part.

In the case of the spy or KGB, I would hope that any American's first decision would be to get that to the FBI.

Maybe we'll find out what actually was discussed at the meeting. I hope so, anyway. Based on what this woman and the spook have lobbied for, perhaps the quid pro quo was an easing of sanctions? Complete speculation.
Given the dishonesty we've experienced from the Trumps, I'm open to any speculative possibility at this point. I'm sure the investigation will sort it all out.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:47 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I think listening and then using the information is, broadly speaking, collusion. I don't think it's the kind of collusion that should cause you to end up in Leavenworth (or to be impeached).
Is there any proof whatsoever that Don Jr. received compromising information on Hillary, and if so, what actions did he take to leverage that compromising information.

And for that matter, what *is* the compromising information that is being discussed here. As far as I've seen, nothing has come to light on this point - everything is focused on "what if he got information from Russians," and nothing on the information he received itself. Which is the point that I think you are making: context matters.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:49 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
Is there any proof whatsoever that Don Jr. received compromising information on Hillary, and if so, what actions did he take to leverage that compromising information.

And for that matter, what *is* the compromising information that is being discussed here. As far as I've seen, nothing has come to light on this point - everything is focused on "what if he got information from Russians," and nothing on the information he received itself. Which is the point that I think you are making: context matters.
Suppose they had given him compromising information. I assume there's still not a democrap or RINO out there who'd give a shit if it was true or not.
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