50 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-19-19

  1. The Russians are still trying to hide their latest failed weapons testing.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/11/russia-reportedly-tried-to-cover-up-explosion-of-skyfall-nuclear-superweapon/

    “Russia reportedly tried to cover-up explosion of Skyfall nuclear superweapon

    “The explosion was caused by the Skyfall experiencing a criticality accident””

    “Legal Insurrection readers may recall my post on the explosion off the coast of Northern Russia that killed several people and resulted in a radiation spike large enough to be detected across the Baltic. Nearby villagers were taking iodine as a precaution.

    It turns out the explosion was reportedly from a new Russian superweapon that is part of its Skyfall program and was triggered when its navy was attempting to salvage the failed missile. The reason for the dearth of news is that officials were covering-up the news.

    Russia covered up the deadly nuclear reactor explosion in August during the salvage at sea of one of Vladimir Putin’s new superweapons, a nuclear-powered cruise missile called Skyfall, a senior State Department official disclosed.

    The reactor exploded Aug. 8 off the coast of the northern Russian town of Nenoska, killing seven Russians on a barge in the White Sea as they were overseeing the recovery of a sunken Skyfall. The missile had been sitting on the seafloor for about year after a failed flight test, said State Department official Thomas G. DiNanno.

    “The explosion was caused by the Skyfall experiencing a criticality accident, an uncontrolled nuclear reaction that released a burst of radiation while Russian personnel retrieved it from the seafloor,” Mr. DiNanno said in an interview with The Washington Times.

    The reactor exploded in the Arkhangelsk region in Russia’s far north near populated areas and triggered concerns about fallout spreading to the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Sweden, Denmark and Finland, he said.

    “The missile sat on the seabed since its failed test early last year in close proximity to a major population center,” Mr. DiNanno said.

    Interestingly, several American diplomats were stopped recently from traveling to that area.

    The U.S. diplomats were reported on Wednesday to have been stopped and removed from a train travelling between the closed port city of Severodvinsk and Nenoksa, a village next to the test site on the White Sea in Russia’s Arctic.

    The American embassy confirmed the incident, but said the diplomats had informed Russian authorities of their travel in advance.

    Russia’s foreign ministry said the diplomats had told Russian authorities they intended to visit a different city, Arkhangelsk, which isn’t within a restricted zone, but then traveled to the closed area next to the test site.

    “Clearly, they got lost,” the foreign ministry said. “We are ready to give the U.S. embassy a map.”

    The ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told reporters on Thursday the American diplomats had made two attempts to reach the restricted zone, travelling to Severodvinsk, a port city that’s home to Russia’s nuclear submarine fleet, with the goal of travelling to an area near the test site.

    Skyfall (aka 9M730 Burevestnik) is a Russian experimental nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile. The missile is claimed to have virtually unlimited range.”

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  2. Once again, it’s not Trump destroying these norms……

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/11/the_department_of_defense_joins_the_coup_cabal.html

    “We like to think of military officers as political eunuchs, but that fairy tale is a smug myth. No American government institutions, including the military services, thrive or survive in Washington without vigorous internal and external political engagement.

    Outspoken flag officers have several things in common. Soldiers with integrity, vision, and conscience honor the wall between political and partisan, the ethic that allows for a distinction between policy differences, honorable service, and sedition. That ethic has been eroded by the post-Vietnam era class of flag officer. Consider a sampling of contemporary military officers whose behavior today is a toxic echo of George McClellan’s ugly Civil War sedition, something other than “duty, honor, and country.”

    We begin with General James Mattis, former Secretary of Defense, because he is just the latest erstwhile flag officer to step on his crank. Known to his disciples as the patriarch of Paris Island or Krishna Quantico, the monkish Mattis had legitimate policy differences with President Trump. Unfortunately, the general’s behavior since resignation is nothing short of puerile.

    After Mattis beat a petulant retreat from the Pentagon, Trump suggested that Mattis was “not a great general,” an admittedly insensitive recitation of the obvious.

    Vietnam era flag officers will never be known as the “greatest generation.”

    Since the Vietnam fail, the Gulf War had to be fought twice. Iraq is still a hot mess. Syria has become another divided, surrogate killing field. After thirty years of American campaigning, Afghanistan is arguably worse off today than it was under Soviet occupation. Libya is still a smoldering Obama/Clinton era ruin. Now, North Africa has another Specified Command bureaucracy and another spasm of pyric small wars. And the global, so-called, “war on terror” might be the longest and most expensive bad joke in the history of military inertia.

    Adding insult to insanity, we now have a new Cold War with Russia. Much of this came to pass with Mattis and company at the helm in the Pentagon.

    Rather than disputing Trump’s jibe with facts, Mattis chose the low road and attacked the President’s character, Trump’s lack of military service in Vietnam. “Mad Dog” is fond of referring to those who did not serve in Vietnam as “pussies.” General Mattis fails to mention that the vast majority of American cats do not choose to serve in the military now or then.

    Ironically, Mattis’ pique validated Trump’s judgement. Seems the general can’t take a punch. No one will ever be able to say that about Trump.

    Indeed, “service” in the Oval Office today, midst a rolling coup, requires more moxie than killing tribal Toyotas with drones, cruise missiles, tanks, gunships, and fighter planes in a world replete with inconclusive small wars and Third World sierra hotels.

    Those who serve in the military, General Mattis, are not necessarily honorable, any more than those who do not serve are dishonorable. And not to put too fine a point on it, strategic competence is not all brass hats, fruit salad, and parade swords.

    Another USMC pyrrhic warrior runs a close second to Mattis. Nikki Haley now reveals that General John Kelly, Jr. was attempting to recruit insiders to “undermine” or resist the President while serving as White House chief-of-staff. Arrogant, unelected DOD mandarins, like their State Department, Intelligence Community, and Justice counterparts, have come to believe that the permanent Deep State is the only real state.”

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  3. Dirty Dem is at it again.

    Even when the evidence is obvious, the press averts their eyes from crooked Dems.

    And the Senate needs to do their job and get on this.

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/11/19/ilhan-omar-funneled-another-150k-to-alleged-lovers-consulting-business/

    “Ilhan Omar Funneled Another $150K to Alleged Lover’s Consulting Business”

    “Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) paid another $150,000 in previously undisclosed funds to her lover Tim Mynett’s political consulting group within three months after The New York Post first revealed allegations the pair were romantically involved, records show.

    The 37-year-old Minnesota congresswoman’s campaign has funneled $146,712.63 to Mynett’s E Street Group, for digital advertising, fundraising consulting and video production.

    When news of their alleged affair broke, Mynett had already received $223,000 through her campaign since 2018 for fundraising, internet advertising, digital communications, and travel expenses to the E Street Group — taking the latest total to $370,000.

    According to the Post, the federal agency investigating the campaign finance complaint against Omar does not have enough commissioners on the bench to investigate.

    “This is something every American should be very concerned about,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen.

    “We have no election cop on the beat. The Federal Election Commission essentially closed its doors so everyone knows they can pretty much do whatever they want to do and that’s the status of our political system today.”

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  4. Let’s stop pretending any of them are, because they’re clearly lacking.

    Every. Single. One.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/11/18/lets-stop-pretending-every-impeachment-witness-is-a-selfless-hero/

    “Let’s Stop Pretending Every Impeachment Witness Is A Selfless Hero

    It’s become clear that some witnesses in the impeachment probe have their own agenda, and not all of them are courageous martyrs for the truth.”

    “Throughout this impeachment charade we’ve been told by the media and House Democrats that a cadre of unelected career bureaucrats in the State Department and the National Security Council who are cooperating with the impeachment inquiry are heroes, patriots, and paragons of virtue and self-sacrifice for defying President Trump and proclaiming the truth about Trump corruption and self-dealing in Ukraine.

    Last week, the media portrayed former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as a courageous martyr recalled from her post by Trump for no reason and then viciously attacked by him on Twitter while she was testifying before the House Intelligence Committee. Trump’s attack was immediately characterized as “witness intimidation” by House Democrats and the media, who played up the notion that Yovanovitch was a victim being punished for nothing more than her commitment to the truth.

    We heard the same sort of praise for William Taylor and George Kent, the State Department officials who also testified last week, just as we’ve heard praise for all the career bureaucrats who have testified in closed-door sessions so far. Democrats and the media gave special praise to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the NSC Ukraine expert who told impeachment investigators he was alarmed by what he heard on the July 25 phone call between Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. As one of the only officials to have heard the call first-hand, Vindman was immediately hailed as a “star” witness in the impeachment probe, treated to glowing profiles in the New York Timesand the Washington Post, which said the Soviet émigré escaped to America with his family as a small child and grew up “determined to be as American as can be.”

    But of course the truth is more complicated. We learned last week, for example, that the Obama White House knew Hunter Biden’s lucrative appointment to the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma less than a month after his father was made the administration’s point man in Ukraine looked bad—looked like corruption. The administration was concerned enough about it that it coached Yovanovitch on how to answer questions about the Bidens and Burisma that might come up in her 2016 Senate confirmation hearing. This only came out under close questioning by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik.

    And yet earlier in the hearing, Yovanovitch claimed that no one in the Obama administration “ever raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me.”

    Then over the weekend we got a different perspective on Vindman. Transcripts of the closed-door testimony of Tim Morrison, former Russia and Europe director at the National Security Council, released Saturday by the House Intelligence Committee, reveal that Morrison had reservations about Vindman. He was concerned Vindman would “not exercise appropriate judgment as to whom he would say what,” and that when Morrison informed Vindman he wouldn’t be included in a trip to Ukraine, he made sure to have a witness in the room for that conversation.”

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  5. Here comes the pain for Ricky’s heroes. 🙂

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/11/18/fisa-abuse-hearing/

    “Senate Sets Date For FISA Abuse Hearing”

    “The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Dec. 11 to examine the findings from a Justice Department inspector general’s investigation into the FBI’s alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court during the Trump investigation, the committee said Monday.

    The report of the investigation is expected to be released soon after Thanksgiving. Attorney General William Barr said on Nov. 13 that the release of the report is “imminent.””

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  6. Poor media. 🙂

    Try again. 🙂

    ————–

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  7. Sigh.

    And this people, is why you don’t negotiate with terrorists. I mean you didn’t really believe that bowing to their demands would end it, did you?

    Suckers. And now you’ll lose actual customers over it, unlike the LGTBQXYZ’s, who weren’t eating there no matter what. Brilliant!

    Not.

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  8. Chad Greene tries to explain this to the Salvation Army, before they bow to the terrorists demands as well.

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  9. ————-

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  10. Yesterday morning, we had an extremely rude and unpleasant customer at our Chick-Fil-A who was whining, complaining, and refusing to be satisfied at a time when the staff was really busy.

    Southerners of a certain age know how to deal with such situations: Refusing to acknowledge the existence of the miscreant, three of us extended loud and exaggerated thanks and praise to the employees. Taking a cue from their elders, four male teenage Texans began to act similarly. Male teenage Texans are not known for subtlety, and for some reason the offender left in a huff during their performance while the whole restaurant broke into laughter.

    The teenagers were still laughing when I had finished my General Lee breakfast (biscuit and coffee) and headed out the door with cries of “Goodbye, Mr. Rick” from the employees ringing in my ears.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  11. Good thing, Mr. Rick.
    I was wrong at the time. But I supported the original efforts to remove tyrants from the Middle East. I didn’t realize, though Bush should have known.

    . Iran was better off with Salaam Husein running it than it is now. Same for Lydia. We (I) didn’t know it at the time, but the world is a better place when a tyrant is ruling a Muslim nation. They are better than the mullahs.

    We should have learned from the Russians. Leave Afghanistan alone. It is just a sinkhole of Muslim corruption. Nothing we can do about it.
    But we are stuck now. For several generations, or until the Lord returns.

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  12. I agree, Chas. There aren’t that many countries with people whose intelligence, morality, knowledge base and commitment to the rule of law allows them to successfully practice self-government.

    Germany, Japan and South Korea (along with many others) have been added to that list in recent decades. Unfortunately, we are now witnessing a very large country drop off that list. That deterioration is both sad and comical.

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  13. Speaking of which:

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  14. I am not sure this is correct. I am afraid the hearings are just widening and clarifying the divide between the educated and the uneducated.

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  15. Am I reading right what the American Thinker article at 6:33 is saying? Are they blaming the military for the quagmire in the areas we have sent our soldiers over the past 20 years or so instead of blaming the presidents who sent them there?

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  16. I have he hearings on, but it’s muted at the moment.
    Reminds me of a Shakespeare play. Though I have never seen “Much ado about nothing”.
    A large crowd op people there doing nothing.

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  17. Kizzie,

    That’s a gross oversimplification of what the writer is saying.

    Those president’s didn’t make those decisions on their own. They are made sometimes at the request and with the assistance and opinion of military leaders. President’s have wrongly believed they were the experts to defer too.

    Bush didn’t come up with the WMD idea on his own. It was the intelligence and military that convinced him and Congress that was true. While some were found, it was mostly overblown for the purpose of allowing those generals to do what they do, which is fight.

    When that’s what you do, it’s what you go to for solutions. Many presidents have made that mistake. That’s nothing new.

    But as any former or current military member will tell you, the rear echelon types like these are the last ones to listen too. They never fight the wars, they just encourage them.

    And every military member knows as well that playing politics and defying the CoC will get you in trouble. They are to be apolitical.

    What we have today are no such thing. Generals have become partisan politicians. That’s dangerous, and shouldn’t be tolerated. Serve your president honorably, or step aside for your betters who will.

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  18. Even the LawFareBlog, no ally of Trump, understands this.

    And they explain it far better than I.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/ethical-landmine-undermining-president-within

    “Before Donald Trump secured the Republican Party nomination in the summer of 2016, Lawfare and others hosted articles expressing concern about the potential impact of a Trump presidency on national-security and law-enforcement institutions—often focusing on the dilemma of whether or not career officials should continue to serve in a Trump administration. After the election, fears grew that Trump would shatter long-standing norms of decorum and governance, and the conversation continued. A loose consensus emerged: Career government employees could serve honorably under an ethically challenged president, but they—and their politically appointed superiors—would need to be prepared to resign if an illegal or unethical directive came their way.

    This discussion remained hypothetical until it wasn’t. As the theoretical became the actual, some officers quit, while most stayed on the job. A few, however, have sought a way out of this stark dilemma by remaining in place and undermining the president from within his own administration.

    They have deluded themselves. That path of subversion, even if initially well-intentioned, leads to an ethical minefield that should not be casually traversed.

    This axiom emerged as I found myself struggling to come to grips with the actions of “Anonymous,” the senior administration official writing in September in the New York Times as “Anonymous” acted. While calling the president’s manner “detrimental to the health of our country,” Anonymous claimed to be part of a group plotting behind the president’s back to “preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses.” Bob Woodward’s recent book “Fear” described similar conduct by officials working in the White House: He wrote, for example, that White House economic adviser Gary Cohn Cohn “stole a letter off Trump’s desk” to prevent the president from pulling the United States out of a free trade agreement with South Korea. Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster recently seemed to confirm that account in September, endorsing Cohn’s actions as “wholly appropriate.”

    In the weeks since the publication of Anonymous’s op-ed and Woodward’s book, my discomfort with these disclosures has rarely been far from the front of my mind. It resurfaced with a vengeance as I attended and interacted with the panelists of the “State of the Rule of Law in the U.S.” event hosted by the Brookings Institution on Oct. 3 and at the “Democracy Under Stress” event hosted by the National Security Institute at George Mason University on Nov. 1. Distinguished former government officials in both gatherings expressed sympathy with still-serving officials who are witnessing the violation of long-standing norms—and grappling with how to defend such norms without shattering other ones.

    It’s easy to understand the temptation to seek a middle path, a compromise, something (anything) to avoid the binary choice of either resigning or following an unsavory directive. It’s not as simple as “doing the right thing”; in practice, the toughest calls involving our values are gut-wrenching decisions between two or more bad options, often with a generous helping of imperfect information thrown in. And a seductive middle path may be the worst option of all, sacrificing the moral benefits that would have come with taking a clear stand one way or the other.”

    ———-

    “Let’s apply this to “Anonymous” and to the officials described by Woodward. These government actors, if faced with an unlawful or unethical directive, have a binary choice: faithfully serve the president, or resign. That’s it. Staying in office in order to commit sabotage against a democratically elected president acting lawfully, if not ideally—to protest the president’s violation of long-standing norms of governance by jettisoning a different one—is perilous.

    Anonymous could have embraced whatever the president’s “misguided impulses” were, even while suspecting they were divorced from the principles of good government. The president was elected by the American people, after all; Anonymous was not. Or Anonymous could have resigned, even while suspecting that others would go ahead and carry out policies based on those same “misguided impulses” anyway. Sacrificing one’s moral core is not a job requirement. He or she could have left and then used that finely tuned moral compass to honor and support the national interest in a different way.

    But, instead of making the hard ethical choice between those two paths, Anonymous chose a third way—to serve unfaithfully—and suggested that others in this administration did the same. They have been dutifully following the president’s orders when they passed some undefined test for appropriateness … and then actively undermining orders when that mysterious (personal) threshold was crossed.

    Danger lies both in the arrogance one must have to believe himself or herself best positioned to make the judgment to draw such a line and in the confidence one must have to believe himself or herself best calibrated to know precisely where that line should be drawn. And a person needs both absolute arrogance and unmitigated confidence to substitute his or her political, ethical, and policy judgment for that of a duly elected president of the United States.

    What is the limiting principle for such a violation of the norm of faithful service? Where does it stop—and with whom? Might someone use minor policy disagreements as excuses to subvert the chief executive? Stealing documents from the Oval Office to prevent presidential action crosses a rule-of-law line; the location of the new line could be almost anywhere. Or nowhere.

    And how many, among millions of well-intentioned federal employees, should have the right to pick and choose which policies to dutifully enact and which to ignore? If Anonymous and others can authorize themselves to “keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing,” as the New York Times op-ed claimed, and if the economic adviser can appoint himself worthy to pilfer presidential papers, what about lower-ranking appointees? Situation Room personnel? White House interns? Does the rule of law, as it pertains to the chief executive’s authority, retain any meaning?

    These questions highlight the danger in using any policy difference as an excuse to undercut the president instead of making a hard call between less comfortable options.”

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  19. Schiff exposes himself again.

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  20. ————-

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  21. Further evidence that Vindman is a fraud.

    I guess we now know what Zeldin referred to yesterday.

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  22. ——-

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  23. The rule of law means nothing to them.

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  24. ————-

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  25. ————-

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  26. I see the puppets at the NYT are doing their part.

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  27. Grenades! from Nunes. He’s right, and that’s what his detractors can’t stand.

    https://www.redstate.com/stu-in-sd/2019/11/19/rep.-devin-nunes-tosses-grenades-frag-democrats

    “Here’s a short summary of what we learned (which makes me wonder what else he knew that he couldn’t disclose for purposes of “House rules” or to protect intelligence sources and methods):

    The Ukraine gambit was an orchestrated and planned endeavor that commenced as a direct segue from the submission of the Mueller report which failed to deliver the goods (impeachment) to the Democrats.

    The people coordinating the Ukraine gambit all knew each other and were some of the same people involved in the Russia hoax.

    The NSC – the source of many of the Ukraine hoax witnesses – is still filled with Clinton-Obama-Democrat partisans who hate the President.

    Impeachment requires identifying actual crimes and testimony and evidence to support the allegations that those crimes were actually committed in order to develop real articles of impeachment. The Democrats have nothing.

    The Democrats are now going after poll-tested “bribery and extortion” in their impeachment inquiry. Levin pointed out that the Founders’ intent behind the use of the word bribery in the impeachment clause in the Constitution had to do with a president being paid by a foreign government (“bribed”) to betray the country – which does NOT apply to what the Democrats are claiming in their inquiry.

    The media are key players in the Ukraine gambit just as they were in the Russian hoax; they are directly involved in manufacturing and propagating the Democrats’ impeachment narrative. They used to hold government accountable; now they are part of the Deep State.

    If the Democrats vote to impeach the President, the Senate will require the whistleblower and fact witness Adam Schiff to testify, as well as others – and Democrats will rue the day.

    The House Intel Committee has been staffed by Democrats this term who are not doing the business of intelligence community oversight that needs to be done because those selected have no intel background and joined the committee to get in on the impeachment farce. There are no formal briefings being held on the real activities of the IC, including monitoring what the Chinese, Russians, North Koreans, and Iranians have been up to lately. The American people should be outraged.

    The Democrats refuse to acknowledge the legitimate ongoing investigation into the origins of the 2016 counter-intel investigation into the Trump campaign, including the continuing unlawful perversion of those same US counter-intel capabilities after the 2016 election.

    There is a decent chance that the kingfish himself – Barack Obama – will be held accountable for the abuses committed by his administration during its waning months. It all depends on what facts US Attorney Durham uncovers in his ongoing criminal investigation.

    Representative Nunes is a national treasure and should be commended for his steadfast pursuit of the truth, as well as his willingness to stand fast against the hurricane of abuse that has been thrown at him over the past almost three years. Remember that the Democrats will always identify those whom they fear the most by the ferocity of their attacks on that person. Devin Nunes is at the top of their list.”

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  28. You can change the charge, but you still got nothing. 🙂

    This also demonstrates why Schiff won’t let Biden’s dirty deeds be mentioned. He knows it’s just Dems projecting their crimes on the president.

    https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2019-11-16-the-trump-impeachment-what-is-the-crime-2

    “Biden v. Trump: Which One Is The “Bribe”?

    “It was right around the time that I was writing my last post (“The Trump Impeachment: What Is The Crime?”) that House Democrats started using the word “bribery” to describe what they are looking into. OK, that’s a start. Shall we consider it further?

    Bribery is a real crime, and it’s even mentioned in the Constitution as a basis for impeachment. But there are two major problems with trying to fit the square peg of the Trump/Ukraine fact pattern into the round hole of the impeachable crime of “bribery.” The first is that if providing to a politician some intangible political advantage can be characterized as a “bribe,” then most of what politicians do all day would become “bribery.” The second is that calling President Trump’s conduct as to Ukraine “bribery” invites comparison with the conduct of Joe and Hunter Biden in the same country, and calls for testing the conduct of each against the words of the applicable statute to see which is the better fit.

    As discussed in the previous post, it’s only a “crime” if you can fit within the exact words of some criminal statute passed by Congress. In the case of the crime of bribery of a federal official, the main statute is 18 U.S.C. Section 201(b). Here are the words of the relevant portion:

    (b) Whoever . . . (2) being a public official or person selected to be a public official, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for: (A) being influenced in the performance of any official act . . . shall be fined under this title . . . or imprisoned for not more than fifteen years, or both.

    If you have read that, perhaps your reaction was, “then why isn’t every politician already in jail?” The problem is that politics is inherently corrupt. Even if a politician is not “on the take” for personal money, it goes without saying that every incumbent politician regularly uses the powers of his office to obtain intangible political benefits to himself from third parties, for use against rivals. Every such action will also be justified as in some way benefiting the public. But is obtaining something of political advantage against rivals enough to make the exercising of government authority a crime, even where nothing tangible goes to the politician directly?

    Take some examples. The teachers union contributes millions to campaigns of New York politicians, and delivers votes by the hundreds of thousands, and in return charter schools are restricted and teacher pensions are increased (official acts), all in the name of “helping our public schools.” Bribery? Politician gives foreign aid to Africa (official act) and in return African country agrees to buy tractors from Caterpillar; politician then uses the African purchase by going to Caterpillar factory and proclaiming great success “bringing manufacturing jobs home,” resulting in thousands of additional votes. Bribery?

    Here’s one closer to the Trump/Ukraine fact pattern: Barack Obama Justice Department obtains assistance from “cooperating witnesses” to secure convictions of prominent Republican politicians like Bob McDonnell (Governor of Virginia) or Dean Skelos (Majority Leader of New York State Senate); Obama’s people reward the “cooperators” with pleas to reduced charges and lighter to non-existent sentences (official acts); and Obama and Democrats benefit politically by having prominent Republicans removed from competitive offices. Bribery? Or: Obama’s CIA or FBI pay a Stefan Halper or a Joseph Mifsud as a source (official acts) and in return those individuals provide the information to get the “Russian collusion” narrative going and help the Democrats attempt to remove Trump. Bribery?

    These kinds of things cannot be effectively prosecuted as bribery, and in practice are not so prosecuted. (The last example may be a crime under other statutes.). Of course every official act that a politician takes will be arranged to benefit himself in some way politically, even as such acts inevitably also have some public benefit that can be asserted.

    With that background, let’s try applying the words of the bribery statute to the conduct of President Trump and of Joe and Hunter Biden relating to Ukraine. First, I’ll break down the main elements of the crime of bribery, as taken from the statute:

    “demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally”

    “in return for . . . being influenced”

    “in the performance of any official act “

    First element — the “thing of value”

    The Bidens received a monetary “thing of value,” consisting of several million dollars, from Burisma. This element is definitively established as to them.

    For Trump, the alleged “thing of value personally” is the intangible political benefit of potentially getting some useful dirt on his rival Joe Biden. How different is this from the teachers union working the phone banks on election day, or the Africans buying tractors in Iowa with U.S. aid dollars? And if you can distinguish those, how do you distinguish Obama’s people getting useful dirt from various sources in prosecuting McDonnell and Skelos and plenty of others who were politically beneficial to take down? Needless to say, nobody is prosecuting Obama or the people from Justice who prosecuted McDonnell or Skelos. Moreover, Skelos was convicted and is in jail. (McDonnell’s conviction was reversed by the Supreme Court.) Should it count as to this element that the information sought against a political rival actually led to a conviction, thus establishing at least by that measure that prosecution of the political rival was justified? Or to put it another way, if there is probable cause to believe that Biden is corrupt, shouldn’t the government be able to pursue an investigation against him by all normal means, irrespective of whether he is a political rival of the sitting President?

    Second element — “in return for being influenced”

    As to the Bidens, you are undoubtedly familiar with the video of Joe Biden bragging about how he used the threat of withholding U.S. aid to Ukraine to get Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired:

    I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b-tch. (Laughter.) He got fired. “

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  29. Neither can anyone else with a functioning brain, so everyone not a Dem or NTer. They have them too, they just refuse to use them.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/470957-mcconnell-cant-imagine-a-scenario-in-which-senate-removes-trump

    “McConnell ‘can’t imagine a scenario’ in which Senate removes Trump”

    “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday that he can’t envision any scenario in which the GOP-controlled Senate would vote to remove President Trump from office.

    “I can’t imagine a scenario under which President Trump would be removed from office with 67 votes in the Senate,” McConnell told reporters in Kentucky, USA Today reported.

    Rebuking House Democrats for “Trump derangement syndrome,” he also argued that the impeachment effort would take up time that the Senate should be using for important legislative business.

    “Nothing is happening because House Democrats seized with Trump derangement syndrome are consumed with this argument with the president,” McConnell said.

    McConnell has vowed to let the impeachment inquiry go to trial in the Senate if Trump is impeached by the House, telling reporters last week that the rules on the issue were clear.

    “I don’t think there’s any question that we have to take up the matter. The rules of impeachment are very clear, we’ll have to have a trial. My own view is that we should give people the opportunity to put the case on,” he said.

    Some Republican senators have considered a plan to dismiss a House impeachment inquiry were it to proceed to the upper chamber, a plan that would require a simple majority of 51 votes.

    Republicans including McConnell have also slammed the House process, arguing that the president has not been allowed to defend himself in the inquiry.

    “They have denied President Trump basic due process and are cutting his counsel out of the process in an unprecedented way. House Democrats’ new resolution does not change any of that,” McConnell said late last month.”

    —————

    But that’s OK to some lawyers I guess, to whom the rule of law means little.

    Like

  30. I hope you guys have more than this Ricky, because these next 2 have nothing, except their opinion. Just like the first bunch, nothing.

    Boom!

    Like

  31. This article explains how the Founding Fathers foresaw a future President who would be as corrupt and dangerous as Trump when they created the power to impeach, though I seriously doubt that they anticipated how ignorant or comical he would turn out to be.

    Like

  32. Another of Ricky’s heroes from the last charade is exposed as an adulterous and traitorous fraud.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/doj-seeks-to-dismiss-strzoks-lawsuit-claiming-he-was-denied-due-process

    “DOJ outlines slew of Strzok ‘security violations,’ says wife learned of affair through unsecured phone”

    “The Department of Justice released documents Monday outlining a slew of “security violations” and flagrantly “unprofessional conduct” by anti-Trump ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok — including his alleged practice of keeping sensitive FBI documents on his unsecured personal electronic devices, even as his wife gained access to his cellphone and discovered evidence that he was having an affair with former FBI attorney Lisa Page.

    The DOJ was seeking to dismiss Strzok’s lawsuit claiming he was unfairly fired and deserves to be reinstated as chief of the counterespionage division at the FBI. In its filing, the DOJ included an August 2018 letter to Strzok from the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which said in part that Strzok had engaged in a “dereliction of supervisory responsibility” by failing to investigate the potentially classified Hillary Clinton emails that had turned up on an unsecured laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner as the 2016 election approached.

    The situation became so dire, OPR said, that a case agent in New York told federal prosecutors there that he was “scared” and “paranoid” that “somebody was not acting appropriately” and that “somebody was trying to bury this.”

    The New York prosecutors then immediately relayed their concerns to the DOJ, effectively going over Strzok’s head — and leading, eventually, to then-FBI Director James Comey’s fateful announcement just prior to Election Day that emails possibly related to the Clinton probe had been located on Weiner’s laptop.

    Additionally, DOJ and OPR noted that although Strzok claimed to have “double deleted” sensitive FBI materials from his personal devices, his wife nonetheless apparently found evidence of his affair on his cellphone — including photographs and a hotel reservation “ostensibly” used for a “romantic encounter.” Strzok didn’t consent to turning over the devices for review, according to OPR, even as he acknowledged using Apple’s iMessage service for some FBI work.”

    Like

  33. As for today’s other witness…..

    ————-

    Sure is. 🙂

    Like

  34. 6:41 An interesting post since members of The Cult idolize and all but deify the nation’s most prominent adulterous and traitorous fraud.

    Like

  35. I don’t think they’re buying it. 🙂

    ————

    Like

  36. Liar, liar….

    ————–

    Like

  37. An Article 88 at a minimum.

    ————

    Like

  38. ————

    Because they’re lying.

    Like

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