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Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool

News Purple revolution against Trump Recommended Links Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Was Eric "the leaker" Ciaramella a part of Obama Brennan "Trump Task force" ? Fiona Hill as Soros mole in Trump administration Comey and his leaks Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Obama administration directed the intelligence services putsch against Trump Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Final report of Special prosecutor Mueller is a failed hatchet job: disingenuous and dishonest Barr Senate testimony and the counter investigation of Spygate (aka Russiagate) Wolff revelations and slander of Trump administration Big Obstruction of Justice debate History of American False Flag Operations
FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Steele dossier Strzok-gate Attempts to backstab Barr Bannon leaks and Demise due to leaks to Wolff Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap? Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations  
National Security State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal Anti Trump Hysteria Michael Flynn   The Deep State
Deception as an art form The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neocons Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Non-Interventionism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction

The de-legitimization of the government via leaks,  using of a pack of rabid neocon dogs in the form of controlled by coup leaders MSMs ( leaks about corruption  is a traditional tool in color revolutions)  is the fundamental Color revolutions strategy. 

Launching  a color revolution  against  Trump via appointment of the Special Prosecutor was the  insurance policy that the neocon faction and neoliberal globalist faction of the US neoliberal elite decided to implement after 2016 elections.  The top brass of Justice Department was fully onboard (As Ohr behavior and the recent (Feb, 2019) rumor about Rosenstein volunteering to wear wire on his meeting with Trump attest) as was the State Department  -- a real neocon  wipers nest.  Moreover Trump administration was infiltrated by moles  like rabid and stupid warmonger  Fiona Hill and Eric Scaramella. So regular leaks were not accident. It was a de-legitimization strategy.

The desire to rule the globe  is etched in minds of Washington  political elite and without another financial crash similar to 2008 they probably will never abandon  this  over-ambitious idea of the USA led global empire rules from Washington.

In a sense Russiagate was a typical false flag operation, that are routinely launched by intelligence agencies. For any non-biased observer  it is clear that the main sources of influence in the USA Presidential elections are the UK (via MI6 links to CIA, as demonstrated by Steele dossier), Israel (via Zionist lobby within the USA and several Zionist  billionaires such  as Sheldon Adelson ) and Gulf monarchies (via money donations to politicians; see bailout of Kushner by Qatar and Saudi huge acquisition of the US weapons as two most recent examples).

A classic example of color revolution false flags is the falsified charge about "election irregularities." It was used in the several color revolutions in the past (the Orange Revolution in Ukraine is one example) to successfully to overturn the results of election.  That's actually one of the favorite tool of the State Department in such operations. So Hillary and her neocon supporters within the State Department should be well trained in this craft.

That's why after Trump's victory they have had the audacity to launch this dirty "insurance scheme" on the USA people. The idea of Russia influence in the US Presidential election is just variation of the same theme, an insurance scam to keep Trump in line with globalist ambitions of Washington political elite (which proved to be relatively easy task that does not requires such a complex machinery; Trump deflated in August 7, 2017,  a month before the appointment of the Special Prosecutor Mueller by Rosenstein ).

Initially Hillary actually tried using Green Party of a Trojan horse, but this failed. Then Podesta decided to try "Russian hand" to overturn the result of the elections and was considerably more successful.

The key role in the initiating this "insurance scam" was probably Obama and Brennan (With Clapper, Loretta Lynch and Comey in supporting roles). It was Brennan who amplified fake Steele dossier and then used it to created "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections. It was Brennan who provided the leaks of Steele dossier to key people in the government. Brennan efforts first helped to launch the Russiagate story, and after that to keep the story  hot to ensure Mueller appointment. 

 To what extent he coordinated his efforts with Her Majesty Government and, especially MI6 and GCHQ is unclear but most facts point to close and substantial cooperation.  GCHQ provided interception of communications of Trump close circle to Obama and other color revolution plotters, including some Hillary loyalists in the State Department (for example, Susan Rice and  Samantha Power. ) But the role in MI6 in Russiagate probably is even more significant.   Chances the Steele acted on his own are close to zero. The stakes were too high.

If a color revolution launched, it should have some objectives and potential benefits which in the eyes of the plotters outweigh  the risks (actually State Department color revolution honchos now used to live without taking into account any risks at all, due to hegemonic position of the USA on the world arena.)  If we assume that Trump was supported by patriotic part of military, who were deeply dissatisfied with Obama (and by extension by Hillary) foreign policies, then an important  objective was to keep in place an anti-Russian policy as an insurance for any changes of the course by the new administration. With the explicit goal to paralyze the administration. 

For some reason one of the main goals of the coup’s instigators was to prevent Trump from letting up on the pressure (sanctions) on Russia and from cooperating with Russia. Probably in order to avoid any possibility of cutting MIC budget.

The main coup force of was neocons fifth column ( or more precisely and without any ethnic scapegoating MIC lobbyists in Washington.) Neocon should not be viewed as an independent players with  some political agenda, but as a bunch of greedy and unscrupulous lobbyists of MIC, who are unable to earn good money by honest labor ( Max Boot is a good example here, Bill Kristol is another ).

A second objective was to maintain the positions, power, and influence of the coup’s seekers, which simplifying can be understood as  the alliance of neocon wing of the Republican Party (corrupt late Senator McCain is classic example here) as well as neoliberal interventionalist such as Samantha Power and Susan Rice who are virtually undistinguishable from neocons for all practical purposes  and Clinton beholden to Wall Street interests DemoRats (Senator Schumer, corrupt senator Bob Menendez, Nancy Pelosi, etc) The only difference between them is that neocon place Israel interests first while neoliberal interventionalists place the interests of transnational corporations first.  None of them care much about interests of ordinary Americans which were delegated to the  role of financial donors for those wars and also serve as the cannon fodder.

The initial goal of this particular set of leaks was to create a atmosphere of McCarthyism style "Russian are coming" hysteria which allows to appoint  a Special Prosecutor for Trump.  That's why this Neo-McCarthyism campaign were launched by major neoliberal MSM with great success and the public was very soon conditioned to the idea that  "evil Russians" (personified by Putin) helped to steal the elections.  Much like many American were convinced that Saddam Hussein was instrumental in destruction of towers on 9/11.  The level of isolation from the reality of US voters in the area of foreign policy is complete and probably exceed the level achieved by Bolsheviks in the USSR: MSM create real empire of illusions, that has nothing to do with reality and maintain it for an indefinite period of time.

Formal move of appointment of the Special Prosecutor was implemented by Clinton Trojan Horse in Justice Department, the same who recommended to Trump to fire Comey.  So this goal to implement "insurance policy" via launching the color revolution against Trump was implemented without or with minimal (McCain and a couple of other senators)  Congress support.

It is unclear why this idea about Russian corruption is being pushed after April, 2017, as it is clear that Trump folded to neocons. Probably the goal to remove Trump and install Pence as the President is still intact as Trump is too unpredictable to the taste of the US oligarchy. 

The net result of this very well financed and very dirty disinformation propaganda campaign  in which all major US MSMs play the role of "foot soldiers"/attach dogs of this color revolution was the atmosphere of Anti-Russian hysteria engulfing the country.  In less then a year  the majority of American were already successfully brainwashed and poisoned by anti-Russian witch hunt. And effects of this neo-McCarthyism campaign will lasts a decade or more. So neocons won again, and  American people were played as patsies the third time in a row which disprove Bush II quip:

The first tike when the US public was taken for ride happened during Bush II administration when the USA was pushed into war in Iraq. Next it happened with  Obama election when the US lemmings were easily sold the carrot of  "change we can believe in", and got a typical neoliberal stooge who continues to launch  foreign wars for maintaining and expanding global neoliberal empire and suppressing its potential adversaries (Obama Russia treatment remind me "Carnage should be destroyed" policy of imperial Rome). 

Trump is the third iteration of this sophisticated political game. Which actually validates the iron law of oligarchy -- common people do not matter unless they  are out with forks like now in France. In any case "Trump deception" is the third classic "bait and switch maneuver" in  less then 20 years.

This new variant McCarthyism, with Russia serving as a scapegoat instead of the USSR proved to be very efficient method to block any rapprochement with Russia and any attempts to stop neocons wars in ME, especially Syria adventure in which neocons side with Islamic jihadists and balkanization of Israel neighbors is the strategic goal of Israel in  the region.   And like in case of Senator McCarthy witch hunt, which actually lasted almost a decade, the whole political atmosphere in the USA was poisoned to the extent that  Russia has nowhere to go. It was firmly pushed into Chinese's hands.

Trump proved to a weakling unable to stop the series of very damaging leaks and fire and prosecute perpetrators on those acts. His decision not to prosecute Clintons was probably a grave mistake which sealed his fate. This decision allowed this campaign to be started by Podesta and friends.  Hillary actually know quite a lot about Watergate investigation, because she was a part of it. In 1974, Clinton became a member of the presidential impeachment inquiry staff during the Watergate scandal. I n 2008, a reporter named Dan Calabrese wrote an article that claimed that “when the investigation was over, Zeifman terminated Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation.” The article quoted Zeifman as saying: “She was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.” See also The Washington Post -- which naturally tried to swipe this information under the rug:

There is no actual quote from Zeifman saying he fired her. Moreover, in other interviews, Zeifman acknowledged that he did not fire Clinton. In 1999, nine years before the Calabrese interview, Zeifman told the Scripps-Howard news agency: “If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her.” In a 2008 interview on “The Neal Boortz Show,” Zeifman was asked directly whether he fired her. His answer: “Well, let me put it this way. I terminated her, along with some other staff members who were — we no longer needed, and advised her that I would not — could not recommend her for any further positions.

He still some chances to counterattack this dirty campaign if he take investigation of Seth Rich murder under personal control (and he  can direct FBI to investigate DNC corruption as well),  but other than that that he does not have any good counter moves. As of July 2017 with the Special Prosecutor firmly in place, the plotters are close to winning or already won if we view bombing of Syria on false pretences as a neocon win.  The problem with Trump is  that several members of his  close circle (such as Kushner and Ivanka) are staunch, rabid neocons which put the interests of Israel before the interests of the USA. 

In such cases as witch hunt you are guilty, unless proved to be innocent. After appointing of the Special Prosecutor it actually does not matter whether Trump Russia contacts contain anything illegal at all. Dirt will be found, because the Special Prosecutor is not bound to Russia probe and can dig the dirt on Trump from other areas, keeping him the hostage of "deep state" for all the term of his Presidency. So "perma0invetigation" will be effective even is the net results of it would be zero. They do not need to find anything. It is like The sword of Damocles hangs over Trump head and that's more then enough. Obstruction of justice is one "rubber stamp" changes in such cases and it will probably be used as a threat.   As Michael S. Rozeff  noted:

...This is a “seed crystal” coup. The model for the seed crystal coup is the Watergate scandal. The operational goal is to crystallize and solidify the disunited Trump opposition into a movement that has irresistible momentum. In much the same way that seed crystals can accelerate a phase change from liquid to solid, the coup perpetrators introduce reports, accusations, and leaks over time in order to create the impression that a widening scandal is occurring. Each component has no merit but the media accept them at face value and provide publicity that creates new adherents and coherence among the anti-Trump forces. The anti-Trump forces are anxious to replicate the success in getting Nixon to resign.

Q. What is the role of the establishment media in the coup?

A. The anti-Trump media are critical in this effort. The anti-Trump media keep up a drumbeat of anti-Trump reporting. They slant the news, manufacture stories, repeat them and create fake news. They try to convince the public that the coup’s promoters are on the side of the angels (as in protecting national security and the election system’s purity) and Trump is on the side of the devils (as in making concessions to a dangerous foe and being too respectful to Putin). The media must paint Russia and Putin as enemies for this propaganda effort to succeed. The media provide a focal point that coordinates the coup’s backers even if they never sit down and conspire with one another. Everyone can observe the media stories and through that the effects of their anti-Trump leaks, reports, and innuendos. This allows them to plan their next moves.

Q. What is the role of social media in the coup attempt?

 A. Social media have played a role in uprisings during the Arab Spring. The same thing can happen in America. There is a host of groups who are anti-Trump on grounds other than Russia. They can coordinate through social media. These groups seek to de-legitimize Trump so as to maintain items on their agenda. Aides to Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign are now piling on to the effort.

These groups are distinct from the coup’s perpetrators. They might launch a coup attempt of their own or they may become a front line of the existing coup, that is, merge with it as a force to reckon with that Trump has to address.

Q. How do you answer those who deny that there is an ongoing coup attempt?

A. Positing a coup attempt is the simplest and most comprehensive hypothesis that ties together and explains a host of known facts that we know have occurred. Being a model of events, it is imperfect; but it’s better than no model because it still helps us to understand what’s going on. We are not seeing a train of unconnected events that just happen to be anti-Trump. It is easier to understand it as a concerted effort going on to emasculate the Trump presidency and possibly see him replaced; and that effort is centered in the CIA.

The people behind the coup are operating partly openly and partly covertly. They are not so far using military means or physically threatening means so that the coup is not clearly recognizable as such. They are more like sharks circling their intended victims, with each one being hungry and attacking its own, as opposed to making pre-arranged attacks. Their coordination is achieved through publicity and a common goal.

We can see these attacks, and they show a pattern, a common goal and a recognizable origin, primarily among U.S. intelligence agencies, especially the CIA.

Q. What attacks are you referring to?

A. The first victim was Paul Manafort who resigned in mid-August 2016 as Trump’s campaign chairman. His lobbying efforts on behalf of the ousted head of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, resulted in a dirt campaign against him. That attack stemmed from anti-Russian sources in Ukraine whom the U.S. government supports. Attacks from foreign origins conceal their true U.S. origins. They are a sign of a CIA operation behind the scenes.

The second victim of the coup is Michael T. Flynn, who resigned as Trump’s National Security Advisor after only three weeks in that post. Leaks of tapped phone calls showed that intelligence operatives were behind this shark attack.

Q. Who is behind the coup attempt?

A. Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis.

Q. When did the coup attempt begin?

A. Its foundation was laid in 2016 by accusations of Russian interference in the election. The coup began in earnest as soon as the election in November 2016 made Trump the winner.

Q. What evidence points to the CIA’s role in the coup attempt?

A. A news report from September 5, 2016, reports that “U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence, and congressional officials said.”

On Jan. 14, 2017, a news report states that the CIA set up a task force in 2016 to investigate possible Russian funding of Trump’s campaign. The task force included the FBI, the Treasury, and Justice Departments, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Q. Why did the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump’s campaign?

A. Why did the CIA not set up a task force to investigate Hillary Clinton’s activities during and after being Secretary of State in response to receipt of mammoth amounts of foreign money that were laundered through the Clinton Foundation? The reason is that she was the candidate favored by the CIA leadership and Trump was not.

Early in 2016, Trump was raising very strong doubts in the intelligence community that he’d govern as they saw fit.

On February 24, 2016, ex-CIA chief Hayden said he’d be “frightened” of a Trump presidency. He said, “I would be incredibly concerned if President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign.” A news report told us “Former CIA director Michael Hayden believes there is a legitimate possibility that the U.S. military would refuse to follow orders given by Donald Trump if the Republican front-runner becomes president and decides to make good on certain campaign pledges.”

A month later, Hayden opined that Trump was a larger threat to national stability on security matters than Hillary Clinton.

On April 11, 2016, we learn that CIA Director “Brennan said on NBC News Sunday that he would not allow enhanced interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, even if a future president ordered it.” Trump wasted no time responding: “Donald Trump is taking on CIA Director John Brennan on torture, saying Brennan’s pledge not to allow waterboarding is ‘ridiculous.’”

On July 13, 2016, Brennan testified that he’d consider quitting rather than obey a president’s order to reinstate waterboarding, something that Trump had suggested. Another article says that even before that date, “[Brennan] has already expressed his distaste for Trump.”

There is ample evidence in the form of sharp public bickering between Trump and these two CIA chiefs, present and the past, that the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump’s campaign as a weapon against Trump and his possible election. The motive behind the investigation was not to ensure a clean campaign free of Russian influence but to work against Trump’s election chances. The CIA was dismayed by what appeared to them to be a possible president who was aiming to work with Putin and not against him.

Q. But wasn’t the CIA doing the right thing to investigate possible Russian funding of the Trump campaign?

A. The idea of Russian funding of Trump’s campaign was absurd. This investigation had no reason to be started other than a goal of smearing Trump and preventing a Trump presidency. It was absurd because foreign money given to American political campaigns is illegal and everyone knows it. Trump would not jeopardize his campaign for some trivial amount of money nor would his campaign officials; and a large amount would easily be spotted through the banking system. It was also absurd because the Kremlin would not operate and does not operate in this way. It would not risk being found out blatantly violating American law in this way, as that would greatly diminish its credibility. “Doing the right thing” for the American system was strictly a plausible and disingenuous device.

Q. If the investigation was absurd, what leads or allegations did the CIA have to set it up?

A. The excuse was an allegation that three of Trump’s associates had received campaign money from the Kremlin. This allegation came from a Baltic state and it was processed by the CIA and made into something worthy of following up. We read that the task force “…was set up after the director of the CIA, John Brennan, received a recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into Trump’s campaign coffers, the BBC’s Paul Wood reported. The recording was apparently passed to the CIA by the intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States.”

According to this, John Brennan is the key player in the anti-Trump movement. He wants to see Trump’s presidency brought to a quick end or otherwise neutered and made compliant to rule by the CIA. By their control over information and its interpretation, the leaders of the CIA have gained considerable power within the government. They’ve enhanced this by developing operational forces in the field.

As occurred during the propaganda campaign that preceded Bush 2’s attack on Iraq and as in the Ukraine case noted above, we again observe murky foreign sources that are given credence and validity by the CIA. The public and media have no viable way of checking on the story of Kremlin money except perhaps through off the record sources. Such stories can’t be traced through public hearings without subpoena power and a will to wash a lot of dirty linen in public. They are perfect for propaganda and cover-ups.

John Brennan has the CIA initiate an investigation on a flimsy basis and gets away with it. We know from his public statements at that time and later that he’s thoroughly anti-Trump and anti-Russia. This is why such an investigation went forward. Brennan had nothing to lose. If he found some dirt on Trump or his associates, he’d discredit Trump and lose him votes. If he didn’t find anything, the investigation itself would still raise suspicions about Trump and provide Hillary Clinton and her aides with anti-Trump ammunition. In fact, her campaign did use the alleged Russian connection against Trump.

Q. What else do we know of Brennan’s differences with Trump?

A. On Sept. 11, 2016, Brennan disagreed with Trump publicly: “CIA Director John Brennan pushed back against Donald Trump’s claim that he could read disapproval of President Barack Obama’s policies in the body language of the intelligence officers who gave him a confidential national security briefing.”

On November 30, 2016, we read that Brennan expressed another difference with Trump: “The director of the CIA has issued a stark warning to President-elect Donald J. Trump. Tearing up the Iran nuclear deal would be ‘the height of folly’ and ‘disastrous.’”

On January 3, 2016, Charles Schumer said that Trump was “being really dumb” for arguing against the assessments of the intelligence community on Russian hacking. He adds ominously: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

On January 15, 2017, we read “CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday had a stern parting message for Republican Donald Trump days before he assumes the U.S. presidency, cautioning him against loosening sanctions on Russia and warning him to watch what he says. Brennan rebuked the president-elect for comparing U.S. intelligence practices to Nazi Germany in comments that laid bare the friction between Trump and the intelligence community he has criticized and is on the verge of commanding.”

Q. What became of the allegations against the three associates of Trump?

A. The three accused men each strongly denied allegations of being paid by the Kremlin. On October 15, the FISA court granted a warrant to intercept communications from two Russian banks. The investigators were looking for evidence that money passed from Russia to the three Trump associates. No such evidence was found.

On January 19, 2017, the continuing investigation by “American law enforcement and intelligence agencies” was confirmed, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was mentioned:

“The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.”

Mr. Manafort has done nothing illegal, we learn. He has merely done some business in Ukraine and Russia. He merely came into contact with people with suspected links to a Russian intelligence outfit. They weren’t even known spies. Mr. Manafort has fallen victim to suspicion by association two or three times removed even from guilt by association.

The other two being investigated are Carter Page and Roger Stone, and we learn that they too are innocent of wrongdoing.

“The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said.”

So, we know that a concerted effort has been made to investigate three of Trump’s close aides. We know that the CIA was the instigator and that it used its typical murky and unverifiable tips to gain credibility. Finally, we know that this inquiry has produced no evidence of any illegal activities of Trump or his aides.

Q. What other evidence is there of an attempted coup against Trump?

A. On Oct. 7, 2016, there was released the “Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security”. This brief statement on behalf of U.S. intelligence agencies linked the Russian government to hacking: “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.” It stated its belief “that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

On Nov. 30, 2016, an outfit named PropOrNot with links to the U.S. intelligence community published a report that named 200 websites as propagators of Russian propaganda: “Russia Is Manipulating US Public Opinion through Online Propaganda”.

On Dec. 9, 2016, it was reported that “The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency…”

Dec. 29, 2016, arrived the FBI-DHS report: “Grizzly Steppe – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity”. This was widely denounced as lacking even persuasive circumstantial evidence, never mind direct evidence of Russian involvement.

On Jan. 10, 2017, the Golden Showers report was leaked, accusing Trump of having been compromised by Russian agents and therefore subject to blackmail. This report had been circulating for weeks in intelligence and media circles. It had supposedly been written between July and December by former British MI-6 agent, Christopher Steele.

Once again we observe that a spurious anti-Trump report is purported or arranged to have a foreign origination; but that it is carried to the public by means of the CIA and leaks within the U.S.

On February 13, 2017, the coup perps drew fresh blood when Michael Flynn resigned, despite no evidence of wrongdoing. Their success is attributable to their use of wiretapped phone calls and to leaking these to the media. Since intelligence agents have access to these calls that the NSA collects, we once again observe that intelligence circles are active in seeking to undermine Trump. This is consistent with the conclusion that a coup attempt is ongoing.

Q. Could you summarize, please?

A. In 2016 Trump and the CIA became foes of one another because of vast policy differences. Past and present CIA directors went public against Trump. They instigated a series of reports and leaks to discredit Trump and to link his campaign to Russian meddling in the election. They went after several of his aides, causing Paul Manafort to resign. After the election, they produced new anti-Trump material and managed to get his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, to resign. This adds up to an attempted coup that has had some success.

Q. What happens next?

A. The future is guesswork. We will be surprised at what happens, but here are some guesses. The coup attempt will not cease. There is nothing presently opposing it unless Trump is counterattacking behind the scenes, of which there is no evidence. Trump will eventually sense the coup’s efficacy and devise ways to stop it. The anti-Trump media will keep the pot boiling. They will need new stories to exploit. Anti-Trump elements in the CIA can be expected to come up with new, dubious and devious revelations aimed at discrediting Trump’s handling of foreign affairs. We can expect former intelligence officials to speak out against Trump at critical times and to recruit allies who will add what appears to be an even more independent criticism of Trump. The coup may transform into an effort to control Trump’s policies from outside his administration.

In other words the plotters already paralyzed Trump and his administration.

Self-destructive character of this exercise

Leaks destroy trust and create atmosphere of paranoia. They also increase inclinations to launch  "a small, victorious war" to distract from internal problems. On Foreign Policy website Micah Zenko wrote that there is a danger that the Trump administration might attempt to wage a war to lessen the pressure from Russiagate. Steve Bannon is probably the only antiwar member of Trump administration. Almost everybody else actually want a war, especially a war with Iran. Even even Bannon views are suspect (The Guardian, Feb 1, 2017)

WSJ is not happy with such a development as you can see from the column Anti-Trump Democrats Invite Chaos - WSJ by Ted Van Dyk published on May 21, 2017 5:44 p.m.  He makes several good point about self-destructing character of this exercise:

218 COMMENTS

‘A jackass can kick down a barn,” said the legendary Speaker Sam Rayburn. “But it takes a carpenter to build one.” Democrats should reflect on that wisdom as they consider the special counsel now appointed to investigate President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. In the short term, the inquiry will probably hurt Mr. Trump and feed attempts to drive him from office. But in the end the president’s attackers will pay a price.

The political and media hysteria surrounding the Trump administration lies somewhere on the repulsiveness scale between the Jacobin excesses of the French Revolution and the McCarthy era. Thus far the public knows of no presidential action that would justify impeachment. Never mind, the crowd cries, let us have the verdict now. We can do the trial later.

What about discussions between Trump campaign advisers and Russian or other foreign leaders? Don’t they count as high crimes and misdemeanors? No, such conversations take place all the time in national campaigns.

What about the firing of FBI Director James Comey ? Wasn’t that suspicious? No, Mr. Comey disregarded the Justice Department chain of command and the normal proprieties of his office. He made public statements about ongoing investigations. He allowed it to leak that the president had suggested leniency for Mike Flynn, the former White House adviser now under investigation. A presidential suggestion of that nature would be neither illegal nor unprecedented.

What about Mr. Trump’s disclosure of classified information during a meeting with Russian leaders? It’s a tempest in a teapot. The president has the authority to classify or declassify information as he wishes. I have witnessed other presidents doing it.

What about Mr. Trump’s executive order declaring a short-term pause on immigration from countries with active terrorist movements? It may have been poorly handled, but other presidents have done similar things.

What about all Mr. Trump’s flip-flopping? Shouldn’t a president be trustworthy and reliable? Yes, but when Mr. Trump has reversed his campaign pledges it has been mostly for the good.

If Mr. Trump were a conventional president, these missteps would be shrugged off as growing pains or considered worthy of only mild reproof. President Trump, it is true, lacks the knowledge, experience and temperament for the office. His crude narcissism is grating. He has carelessly contributed to his problems with heedless public statements. He nonetheless was duly elected and should be given the leeway that new presidents are traditionally afforded.

Critics, moreover, misread the temper of the American people. Most voters don’t much like Mr. Trump. But they like chaos less. I spoke recently to a Democratic group consisting mainly of Bernie Sanders supporters. Many were searching for a constructive response to the Trump presidency. They were people, as the saying goes, seeking to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. I suggested that they concentrate on developing alternatives to Mr. Trump’s proposals—on health care, taxes, the budget. “You mean we should help Trump?” someone asked. “No,” I answered, “you should help your country.” I was surprised by the outburst of applause that followed.

Democrats, in their all-out opposition to Mr. Trump, are missing real opportunities to influence policy. The tax-reform debate is a prime example. If Democrats were shrewd, they would try to negotiate a grand compromise, in which loopholes are scrubbed from the code and Social Security and Medicare put on sounder long-term footing. But to get there, purposeful polarization must give way to constructive engagement.

Trump haters disregard an old rule of politics and history: In the end, voters always choose order over disorder. Kicking Mr. Trump to the curb wouldn’t return the country to the pre-Trump status quo. It would likely bring forth new law-and-order leadership more disciplined and conservative than Mr. Trump’s.

Mr. Van Dyk was active for more than 40 years in Democratic administrations and campaigns, including as Vice President Humphrey’s assistant in the White House.

Comey testimony confirms the worst suspicions

In hearings at the Intelligence Committee of the US Congress the former director of the FBI Comey made great efforts to put Trump in a very bad light.

Comey testiphony: speculative….conclusory…..ad hominem…vague…petitio principii…..et cetera..
http://www.wben.com/articles/comey-testimony-video-clips-minute-minute-summaries

After Comey testimony it is clear that Trump fired him for good reasons and should have done this earlier, during the first week of his Administration. Trump did not have the courage to do this.  Among other things Comey artificially hold Trump Russiagate "hot" and Hillary "emailgate" frozen:

After six months of investigation the FBI had no evidence for any of the rumors about Russian interference [in U.S. elections] that were thrown around. It should have closed the case with a clear recommendation not to prosecute the issue. [...]

That Comey kept the case open was political interference from his side. Hearings and public rumors about the case blocked the political calendar.

Comey testimony proved to be damaging for Trump and some parts of it are definitely a  thinly veiled revenge of the fired FBI director. That's given. Comey tried to play Russian car on Flynn saying that the president, on February 14, told the then-FBI chief that he hoped he could find a way to not investigate National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a comment Comey saw as an attempt to influence him as a Director of FBI. That's a clear backstabbing. 

Note also salacious reminder  "had not been involved with hookers in Russia" in the following quote:

On the morning of March 30, the President called me at the FBI. He described the Russia investigation as “a cloud” that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia. He asked what we could do to “lift the cloud.” I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well. He agreed, but then re-emphasized the problems this was causing him. Then the President asked why there had been a congressional hearing about Russia the previous week – at which I had, as the Department of Justice directed, confirmed the investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Comey was the leaker to NYT

The most interesting part is that Comey was the actual leaker to NYT.  A very nice for FBI director behavior :-). Also the attempts to remove Trump in which he, Clapper and Brennan are engaged (which means efforts to install Pence)  can be traced to certain politicians (with the last names starting with C, O and  B) and the "Deep State", which since JFK assassination replaced the "surface" state (elected officials). Making the latter just a tool for the legitimization of the regime. In other words Bolshevism won in Cold War: Creation of three letter agencies by Truman completely poisoned the USA institutions and recovery is probably very difficult, if possible at all.  Welcome to the USSR, where KGB not so much the Politburo was de-facto ruler of the country and controlled the "semi-elected" government (Russians could only vote yes on no in elections; why they dd not borrow the two party system Is beyond my understanding as it provides the same benefits as one party system if you can control selection of candidates; rephrasing Stalin we can say: "It how not matter how people vote, what matter is who select the candidates for or against whom they are voting).

So it now looks like "Russiagate" from the very beginning was a "false flag operation" run by neocons and Clinton and Obama loyalists (especially in MSM) and certain members of two key intelligence agencies (with the active support of the State Department and the Department of Justice, and was designed to remove Trump;  or, better, paralyze Trump election-time  promises to electorate.

As unqualified as Trump proved to be as POTUS,  he still was elected by approximately half of the US voters (and if we remove results from NY, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles by the dominant majority of population).  Cosmopolitan city population preferred Clinton for obvious reason -- population of those cities get the most loot from the neoliberal globalization.

In other words, we now are watching yet another "soft coup", a color revolution implemented int he USA (State Department is the command center for such things in foreign countries -- in a way it is yet another 19th intelligence  agency in the USA).  And we can observe that the "Purple revolution" against Trump is based of series of well coordinated leaks and the artifically and very effective hysteria in MSM that the elections were hijacked by Trump using Russian hackers (the charge that election were corrupted by the winner is a typical theme of the color revolutions, for example the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine in 2004 which installed Viktor Yushchenko as president). 

The US MSM are playing the role of NGOs in "Purple revolution".  But continuing it after April, 2017 does not make much sense because Trump folded and adopted neocon foreign policy.  Still for some  not very clear reasons  is continued, probably, as a "insurance policy." 

 Pat Buchanan made some interesting observations on July 8, 2017 in his article  Pat Buchanan The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy (VDARE )

All the synthetic shock over what Kushner or Sessions said to Kislyak aside, this city's hatred for President Trump, and its fanatic determination to bring him down in disgrace, predates his presidency.

For Trump ran in 2016 not simply as the Republican alternative. He presented his candidacy as a rejection, a repudiation of the failed elites, political and media, of both parties. Americans voted in 2016 not just for a change in leaders but for a revolution to overthrow a ruling regime.

Also MSM try to present possible instances of corruption (which is a norm for both the businessmen and politicians under neoliberalism as the slogan is "Greed is good") as treason (Ann Coulter Press Barking (Mad) Up The Wrong Tree

Meanwhile, it is a known fact that the FBI is looking at Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. It is a known fact that the Kushner family has used its connections to President Trump to drum up Chinese investors for the family’s real estate portfolio. It is a known fact that Jared is looking for investors in his 666 Fifth Avenue building, which is underwater. It is a known fact that Jared met with the Russian ambassador—as well as a representative of a state-owned Russian bank—during the transition. It is a known fact that he neglected to mention those meetings on his security clearance forms.

All of this is probably perfectly aboveboard. But if you weren’t insane, the blindingly obvious question would be: Why did Kushner meet with the head of a state-controlled Russian bank?

That’s not what our media want to know! Reporters see all those facts, put 2 and 2 together and ask: How does this advance the narrative that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign to steal the election from Hillary?

This is why the press blared alarmist headlines about Kushner’s attempt to set up a “back channel” with Russia, a fact as important and disturbing as the square footage of Jared’s office.

Liberals are desperate for anything sneaky with Russia because, unfortunately, there is still neither a coherent theory, nor any evidence, of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign to sway the election.

The argument is that Russia hacked John Podesta’s emails and turned them over to Wikileaks in order to reveal to American voters that the Democratic National Committee … conspired against Bernie Sanders! And that would have swung the election against Hillary because—well, actually, there’s no theory on how it was supposed to work, exactly, but liberals believe that trained Russian spymasters thought it was a capital idea.

Buttressing this crackpot theory, there is, helpfully, zero evidence. Despite the FBI investigating alleged Russian collusion for nearly one year now, there’s still not a speck of evidence that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign, only insinuations and dramatic headlines.

The FBI itself never investigated the DNC email leaks, but outsourced review of the Democrats’ servers to a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC. It raised no red flags with our Jacques Clouseau-like FBI that the DNC’s chosen investigator, CrowdStrike, is affiliated with a fanatically anti-Russian Ukrainian billionaire

CrowdStrike’s smoking gun proving a Russian plot to elect Trump was the fact that the malware program used against the DNC was identical to a malware program used by the Russians to disable 80 percent of Ukraine’s howitzers in its war with Russian separatists in 2014.

Except then it turned out that: a) Russia isn’t the only hacker with that malware; b) Ukraine’s howitzers hadn’t, in fact, been disabled; and c) Ukraine’s howitzer app had never even been hacked.

Other cyber-security firms scoffed at CrowdStrike’s report, explaining that the “Fancy Bear” malware allegedly found in the DNC hacks may have originated with Russia, but once Russia had used it, every hacker had it. As cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr explained to The Miami Herald, malware isn’t “a bomb or an artillery shell. (It) doesn’t detonate on impact and destroy itself.”

As long as we’re calling for investigations of any kook theory, how about an independent commission to investigate whether Sen. Chuck Schumer is a child molester? Schumer was Anthony Weiner’s mentor, which is already more evidence than the media have for their Russian collusion story.

True, I don’t have proof that Schumer is a child molester, but I just started this investigation! Was there collusion between Schumer and Weiner in the selection of the underage girl Weiner sexted with? Neither man has yet issued a full and convincing denial.

Obviously, the point of an independent investigation isn’t to find any actual wrongdoing. It’s to hurt Trump. But if that’s your objective, American media, as loath as I am to give you helpful suggestions, the wafer-thin evidence that exists all points to Kushner, not collusion

Looks like DemoRats (Clinton neoliberal democrats and neocons) are destroying remnants of election democracy in the USA, if we assume that such remnants still exist (Trump now is just a placeholder, not a real president; foreign policy issues are decided by other people in dark suits). 

But at the same time neoliberalism is on retreat despite successful counterattacks in Argentina, Brazil and France.  The problem is the  we have no viable alternative to neoliberalism, as the return to the New Deal capitalism is now probably impossible: the management  class switched sides in 80th and now is aligned with capital owners, destroying the political coalition which made the New Deal Capitalism possible.

The Bush II period joke that the  Congress and US government are "neocon occupied territories" within the USA (much like Palestine in Israel)   sounds now even more true then before 9/11. 

And have currency outside alt-right (which should be understood as anti-war right, not  as neo-nazy right as NYT tried to paint them; look at Bannon platform) And the fact that none of neocons went to jail for staging Iraq invasion (Wolfowitz was slapped on the wrists by blowing out his dalliance with World Bank employee; they send him packing from this lucrative position but preserved his pension)  confirms that :-)

I also like the girl who leaked NSA document to Intercept. Especially the name :-).   How 25 years old got access to documents related to Russia being a translator from several Arabic languages (and probably pretty dumb as a computer user)  is a very interesting  question to ask.  Somebody probably helped her.  At least Snowden was a system administrator.


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Old News ;-)

[Dec 14, 2019] You Backing The Russians, Boy - Illinois Man Charged With Threatening To Murder GOP Congressman

Looks like Professor Karlan operated on the level very close to this man.
Notable quotes:
"... Rodney Lee Davis ..."
"... "I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?" ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

It would appear all the escalating rhetoric from a month of impeachment hearings - including one Democratic congressman asking fellow lawmakers to imagine the teenage daughter of Ukraine's president tied up in Trump's basement - have sparked more than just verbal assaults on Republicans ( just as Maxine Waters would had suggested previously ).

The Hill reports that a man in Illinois has been charged after allegedly threatening to shoot Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and accusing the congressman of "backing the Russians."

Rodney Lee Davis

64-year-old Randall Tar of Rochester, Ill. was charged with communicating threats to injure a person and threatening to assault, kidnap or murder a federal official, according to court documents released this week (full release below).

Contacted at his home Thursday, Tarr said he saw a television ad in which Davis, a Republican from Taylorville, claimed that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections , and it angered him enough to call.

Prosecutors say Tarr called Davis's district office last month and left a profanity-filled voicemail, saying:

"I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?"

"Stupid son of a bitch, you're gonna go against our military and back the Russians?" he allegedly added.

"I'm a sharpshooter. ... I'd like to shoot your f---ing head off you stupid motherf---er."

Tarrlater reportedly told The Associated Press :

"I screwed up," Tarr said.

"I don't even have a weapon to do it, is the silliest thing."

"I wish I could just take it all back and just say he's a lousy (expletive) for backing the Russian theory."

Of course, the only problem with all this is that the Democrats' constant spewing of the narrative that Ukraine did not 'meddle' in the 2016 election is entirely false .


Dr Anon , 45 minutes ago link

The bigger story is the number of mentally unstable Americans. When you go driving next, remember that about 20% of them are gorked on prescribed medications. The behavior you will observe makes complete sense in that context.

greek mafia , 46 minutes ago link

Damn...64 and still stupid as hell

Pendolino , 47 minutes ago link

" I'm a sharpshooter "

Well he certainly knows how to shoot his mouth off.

[Dec 14, 2019] Trump Impeachment Is Approved While Republicans Rant by Jonathan Bernstein

Neoliberal shill about failed impeachment ;-)
Dec 14, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

It's surprisingly easy to get bogged down in the nonsense of the moment when this is what's actually happening: the impeachment of the president, and a struggle over the power of the presidency and of the Congress, over the integrity of elections in the United States, and over the Constitution and the republic.

We're almost certainly heading for a party-line vote in the House with only a handful of defections, and there's every reason to believe the Senate trial will yield similar results. But there are some unanswered questions that could prove quite important in the long term.

Will Trump, and will future presidents, be more restrained because even impeachment and acquittal is still a sufficient punishment? Or will it backfire? Will Trump believe, if he is not removed, that pressuring a foreign nation to help his re-election bid and then stiff-arming Congress when they investigate it now has a seal of approval? We don't know. Nor do we really know how the specifics of the Senate trial -- whether witnesses are called, what the final vote is -- will matter.

[Dec 14, 2019] Federal Judge Unseals Nancy Pelosi's Alcoholic Treatment Records ALLOD Bustatroll.org

Dec 14, 2019 | bustatroll.org

Judge Marcus Alfonso Paralapalos of the conservative 51st District Court of Warrants, has ordered the medical treatment files for Nancy Pelosi's alcoholism unsealed and available to the general public. While technically a violation of about 11 laws, Judge Paralopolos stands by his ruling, fully expecting it to be overturned:

Harvard Study Shows How to Stay More Youthful LCR Health x Ads by Revcontent Find Out More > 15,514

"The public has a right to know if the Speaker of the House is undergoing treatment for alcoholism and bloogie addiction. The 9th Circuit Court will certainly overrule this, but I cannot in good conscience deny the motion to the plaintiff."

The plaintiff, Rudy Giuliani on behalf of the people of the United States, will now have to find a way to convince a panel of liberals that it's in the country's best interests to see the private treatment notes of one of our most powerful elected officials.

Let's face it. Even Trump had his doctor weigh in on his mental and physical well-being, calling him the healthiest 78-year-old of all time. It's not like they're asking for her tax returns. Nancy Pelosi should have to be seen and certified by a mental health professional. She sits way too close to power not to.

[Dec 14, 2019] Will Pelosi have the Votes to Impeach by Renée Parsons

This whole Schiff-Show is just bizarre. Why are the Dems doing this? In an election year to boot? There is just zero chance that the Senate will remove Trump from office, and the case against him is a total laughing stock anyway. All that's going to happen is that the senators are going to start discussing L'affaire Biden openly and loudly, thereby killing the Dem's current front-runner. Is that what Pelosi wants? Meanwhile, none of their other three dozen or so candidates are going to get any media at all, once this impeachment sucks all the oxygen right out of the room. Is that intentional?
Notable quotes:
"... Stating that he had not voted for Trump in 2016, GWU Law P rofessor Jonathan Turley who is a registered Democrat (as is yours truly) opened with a brilliant statement as he set the tone for an extraordinarily compelling testimony throughout the day, carefully explaining to the Democrats why they had not met a credible legal threshold for impeachment. ..."
"... Factually concise with rational, impartial explanations, Turley effectively disputed Democratic claims that an abuse of power stemming from a presumed effort to help one's own re-election is " inferred " and does not constitute proof of intent or direct knowledge of what was in the President's mind. ..."
"... What the Democrats fail to grasp is the double-standard that every politician makes decisions based on what is best for their reelection just as the Dems are hoping to benefit electorally in 2020 with the farcical impeachment. ..."
"... After his testimony, Mr. Turley tweeted. " Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with (death) threatening messages and demands that I be fired from GW. " ..."
"... For instance, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala) asked the defining question regarding the purpose of the hearing with "no fact witnesses " via a process that has been " insufficient, unprecedented and grossly inadequate ." Roby pointed out that the Dems had apparently not considered: that a constitutional law panel should come " only after specific charges have been made known and underlying facts presented in full due to an exhaustive investigation. How does anyone expect a panel of law professors to weigh in on legal grounds for impeachment prior to knowing what the grounds brought by this Committee are going to be ? ..."
"... Did any of those 31 notice when the Constitutional law experts were asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz " Can you identify one single material fact in the Schiff Report? – all four remained silent. ..."
"... As the Democratic party appears to have lost whatever is left of its sanity and integrity, the question remains why are the Democrats willing to sacrifice losing some of those 31 House seats in 2020? ..."
"... You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum." ..."
"... It is always good to hear of committed political activsts demanding that their own party stick to fundamental principles of justice, adherence to the Constitution etc etc. There does come a point when you have to ask whether this is temporary insanity or metastatic terminal cancer. If it is the latter, America needs new political parties ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Despite an inadequate performance last week by Constitutional law experts before the House Judiciary Committee, Chair Jerrold Nadler released a unilateral committee report on Saturday entitled " Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment ." The Report came the day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi's press conference in which she directed the formation of Articles of Impeachment.

As has become apparent to any objective observer; that is one who prefers facts over fiction, the Democrats remain locked in an imaginary world struggling to maintain relevance, a stature of standing that no longer exists.

Presumably with no Quid Pro Quo, no allegation of criminal conduct, no legally substantial evidence or factual basis and no bipartisan support, in defiance of previous impeachment norms, the Democrats are hell bent on making public jackasses out of themselves.

In a hearing with Constitutional legal experts expected to score big legal points in support of impeachment, the witnesses instead turned out to be smug, hyper partisan activists as they were consistently unpersuasive and unimpressive .

All three displayed not a wit of objectivity or neutrality while touting their own personal political agenda with a foreign policy ax to grind, leaving the unmistakable impression that their testimonies were nothing short of conflated.

Condescending as if pontificating to a class of mediocre law students, Professor Noah Feldman had suggested in 2017 that Presidential tweets could be grounds for impeachment, indicative of the depth of his thinking as he repeatedly impressed himself with his own rhetoric.

Professor Pamela Karlan opened with a shrillness that grew into a hyperbole spewing divisiveness among the American people and went on to revisit the Russiagate and foreign electoral influence myth ad nauseam. Those dim witted Democrats on the committee repeated the mantra as if held in a spellbound trance whenever "Russiagate" was mentioned. There was no mention of Israel interference in US elections. Testimony of Professor Michael Gerhardt .

Stating that he had not voted for Trump in 2016, GWU Law P rofessor Jonathan Turley who is a registered Democrat (as is yours truly) opened with a brilliant statement as he set the tone for an extraordinarily compelling testimony throughout the day, carefully explaining to the Democrats why they had not met a credible legal threshold for impeachment.

Factually concise with rational, impartial explanations, Turley effectively disputed Democratic claims that an abuse of power stemming from a presumed effort to help one's own re-election is " inferred " and does not constitute proof of intent or direct knowledge of what was in the President's mind.

However, it did not appear that any of the Democrats had the acute sensibility to understand Turley's point as there is an edge of lunacy to the collective Democratic mind these days.

What the Democrats fail to grasp is the double-standard that every politician makes decisions based on what is best for their reelection just as the Dems are hoping to benefit electorally in 2020 with the farcical impeachment.

After his testimony, Mr. Turley tweeted. " Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with (death) threatening messages and demands that I be fired from GW. "

While it was surprising that there was no Democratic Star on either the Intel or Judiciary Committees who stepped forward to make a credible, cogent case for impeachment, it was somewhat surprising that the Republicans had an energetic array of participating Members not limited to Intel ranking member Devin Nunes (Calif), Judiciary ranking minority Rep. Doug Collins (NC), Rep. Jim Jordan (Oh), Rep. John Ratcliffe (Texas) and Rep. Mark Gaetz (R-Fla) all of whom can be expected to continue their Bulldog approach as the Committee begins preparing Articles of Impeachment.

For instance, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala) asked the defining question regarding the purpose of the hearing with "no fact witnesses " via a process that has been " insufficient, unprecedented and grossly inadequate ." Roby pointed out that the Dems had apparently not considered: that a constitutional law panel should come " only after specific charges have been made known and underlying facts presented in full due to an exhaustive investigation. How does anyone expect a panel of law professors to weigh in on legal grounds for impeachment prior to knowing what the grounds brought by this Committee are going to be ?

At her news conference the day after the Judiciary committee hearing, Pelosi was asked by a reporter " Do you hate President Trump ?" Pelosi responded with a shaky false piety as if she knows the votes are not there:

We don't hate anybody. Not anybody in the World. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is full – a heart full of love and always pray for the president, And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time, So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

It is a curiosity that with the 2020 election a scant twelve months away, the Democrats have not made the case for the urgency of why impeachment needs to occur right now, immediately, before the Christmas holidays when the Spirit of Good Cheer, Universal Love and Peace for all Americans should take precedence over the Democrat's divisive animosity, pitting one American against another.

In 2018, thirty-one new Democrats were elected to the House; predominately from districts that voted for Trump in 2016 assuring a tough 2020 re-election campaign.

Let's assume that every one of those 31 newbies have been paying very close attention to the Intel and Judiciary committee hearings with two questions in mind:

Is there sufficient legal evidence to convince my constituents to support Articles of Impeachment and is this flawed impeachment campaign worth losing my seat in Congress?

Did any of those 31 notice when the Constitutional law experts were asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz " Can you identify one single material fact in the Schiff Report? – all four remained silent.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-0SC) has already indicated that he does not intend to 'whip" the Dems in preparation for an Impeachment vote on the House floor and that the Dems "expect to lose some votes."

Let's do the math: With 233 Dems and 197 Republicans, if 18 of the 31 House newbies do not vote to impeach, the Democratic Motion to approve Articles of Impeachment will fail with a tie of 215 votes. Whether the Dems lose 18 votes or less, the damage will be irreversible.

As the Democratic party appears to have lost whatever is left of its sanity and integrity, the question remains why are the Democrats willing to sacrifice losing some of those 31 House seats in 2020?


Seamus Padraig ,

This whole Schiff-Show is just bizarre. Why are the Dems doing this? In an election year to boot? There is just zero chance that the Senate will remove Trump from office, and the case against him is a total laughing stock anyway. All that's going to happen is that the senators are going to start discussing L'affaire Biden openly and loudly, thereby killing the Dem's current front-runner. Is that what Pelosi wants? Meanwhile, none of their other three dozen or so candidates are going to get any media at all, once this impeachment sucks all the oxygen right out of the room. Is that intentional?

All I can say is, you have to really dig all the way to the bottom of the tinfoil-cooler to find an explanation for this one. Others it makes no sense whatsoever.

wardropper ,

This person has made herself ridiculous by refusing to impeach GWB in 2003, when she knew he was lying about Iraq's weapons.
What has Trump done which is comparable to that death toll?
Proof enough that Washington has nothing more to say to human beings.
The place belongs in The Book of Revelation – and not in the optimistic part

George Cornell ,

So your argument consists essentially of name-calling to exercise your own demons. You make Trump look good, like the other stark raving lunatics opining on this , many in the Democratic Party. You have zero chance of unseating Trump by impeachment and by the looks of things that might not be such a bad thing, he said, making the sign of the cross and mouthing pagan incantations, begging forgiveness from the ether.

You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum."

Rhys Jaggar ,

Would Ms Parsons like to write an OpEd on the US Senate pushing forward false narratives that Russia is 'a promoter of terrorism'?

The biggest promoter of terrorism workdwide since 1945 is the USA, be it through OSS, CIA, or other outsourced channels of coup-promoting violence .

Is it not time a motion were voted upon in the UN on precisely that postulate?

wardropper ,

Unfortunately, as you know, the UN, like NATO, to all intents and purposes actually IS the USA, and vetoes all criticism of itself. And if vetoing doesn't work, it just ignores the criticism. Other recent farces at the UN show the US and Israel sitting alone while the rest of the world condems them, and the condemnation is simply shrugged off.

Astonishing that educated adults put up with it, but there it is.

Rhys Jaggar ,

It is always good to hear of committed political activsts demanding that their own party stick to fundamental principles of justice, adherence to the Constitution etc etc. There does come a point when you have to ask whether this is temporary insanity or metastatic terminal cancer. If it is the latter, America needs new political parties

wardropper ,

This person has made herself ridiculous by refusing to impeach GWB in 2003, when she knew he was lying about Iraq's weapons.
What has Trump done which is comparable to that death toll? Proof enough that Washington has nothing more to say to human beings.
The place belongs in The Book of Revelation – and not in the optimistic part

[Dec 14, 2019] The impeachment

Dec 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The impeachment . The two articles of impeachment are so anemic as to invite ridicule.

1. "Abuse of power" by expressing concern over thievery by Ukrainians and Americans? This is a charge? The Washington Post has been running a series of articles based on "leaked" US Afghan IG reports and interviews with people involved in that wretched place. These articles reveal the massive scale of the thievery that lost America enormous amounts of money taken through graft and bribery. Was it unreasonable for this president to solicit the Ukrainian president's cooperation in trying to deal with a similar situation in that country. He mentioned Uncle Joe Biden and his drug addled son? Well, why not? The younger of the two has IMO been used as the family bag man for collecting protection money. Joe Biden himself looks to me to be a political version of Jimmy Hoffa the mobbed up Teamsters boss of long ago, but, with less charm, "a little for you, a lot for me," etc. He was potentially a rival for the 2020 election? He was not then a candidate. Is every human or semi-human to be exempt from investigation and prosecution because he MIGHT become a political rival? The Democrats know full well this would be absurd.

2. "Obstructing congress" What we are seeing in the behavior of the Democratic majority in the House and minority in the senate is an attempt to seize control of the federal government using the constitutional powers to "advise and consent" on appointments and the ability to impeach in the House.. They have not yet tried to impeach federal judges appointed by the other party but IMO they will try that soon. In this article of impeachment they claim that the president has obstructed their function by relying on the doctrine of Executive Privilege to deny them access to his present and past staff. Trump did not invent this doctrine. It is a well established feature of American law. Without it no president could conduct internal policy discussions or confidential discussions with foreign leaders. The Democrats know full well that the principal of Executive Privilege is often contested in the courts. That is what they should have done this time, but instead they have chosen to charge the president for impeachment for claiming Executive Privilege. They do not claim this is a violation of law. They merely stamp their feet and scream that they are unhappy and want him gone.

This farce will end in a trial in the US Senate with the Chief Justice of SCOTUS presiding. The Republicans control the senate and will not allow Trump to be deposed. The senate can dismiss the charges by a simple majority vote and that is what Senator Lindsey Graham wants to see happen. Trump does not want that. He wants to be tried for the purpose of turning the tables on the Democrats.

I think he is correct in wanting that. If that occurs, witnesses must be subpoenaed and examined in open court. The Bidens must be so called to demonstrate the reasonable nature of Trump's concern over their behavior in Ukraine . pl


Enrico Malatesta , 13 December 2019 at 12:52 PM

I don't think that Trump gets what he wants from the Senate - the Swamp is too deep in the US Congress.
James Lung , 13 December 2019 at 01:21 PM
Just wondering. Suppose the Senate dismisses the Impeachment. Won't the Chief Justice have to rule on the question of whether or not there is at least probable cause for the democrats' determination that this is probable cause to Impeach?
Factotum said in reply to James Lung... , 13 December 2019 at 09:32 PM
Chief Justice could rule on a demurrer which would dismiss the case without a trial - failure to present prima facie elements of the underlying charge. Therefore nothing of fact is triable - case dismissed.

Which is probably why Democrats ditched the more specific treason, bribery and extortion charges, leaving only the garbage can of "abuse of power" and "obstruction" behind. By what standards of evidence are both those remaining elements - abuse of power and obstruction -- even tried, let alone judged?

blue peacock said in reply to srw... , 13 December 2019 at 03:10 PM
That's obvious.

Biden on camera bragging about a quid pro quo to fire a prosecutor examining corruption at a company where Biden's son is on the board taking a fat paycheck with no experience or expertise to have that position.

Bill Wade , 13 December 2019 at 01:39 PM
Am wondering if President Trump can force the trial or if he has to defer to Senator Graham's wishes? TIA
Diana C , 13 December 2019 at 01:41 PM
I agree that Trump should get his wish. He has endured a lot of false "reporting." And those untruths need to be shown for what they are. I wonder if Mitch McConnell would be able to arrange that despite Graham.

I know that Trump's personality attracts that sort of shocked response from some people. Heck, I'm a Republican and was first also opposed to Trump because of his personality. But I'm of the opinion that the Democrats and their fawning media characters have earned a lot of the same sort negative responses and disgust on the part of the people because their personalities are pretty off-putting also.

I'm still suffering from cognitive dissonance because Adam Schiff has somehow actually remained in his elected position. I can't imagine a high school principal allowing someone who does "parody" to continue as a student council candidate.

I do believe that Nancy Pelosi may be really sinking into dementia or alcoholism--just on the basis of her inability to control her dentures. To have those two criticize the character of Trump really seems strange. I feel that I'm watching a Dickens novel performed on national news each day. I can't laugh, though, because this is happening in reality.

JohninMK , 13 December 2019 at 02:04 PM
Given the corruption on both sides of the Senate it is probable that no-one wants an in depth trial during which unwanted facts might accidentally appear. Much better to whisk it through without it touching the sides so to speak.

OK so Trump doesn't get the exoneration he wants but then nothing will explode in his face. Its not a win win but then its not a lose either and it is unlikely to seriously affect his chances next November. Plus as a quid pro quo he might have got his defence spending increase and the trade bill through.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 02:57 PM
johninMK

"the corruption on both sides of the Senate" OK Brit. Explain to us in detail what you think is the "corruption on both sides of the seanate."

John Merryman said in reply to turcopolier ... , 13 December 2019 at 10:14 PM
I'm trying to remember the site I read it on, maybe south front, where the point was made the graft flows through these governments we give billions to, back through the various institutes and global initiatives the US politicians set up. McCain and Clinton being the two mentioned. So neither side wants it looked into too deeply.
turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:02 PM
SRW

A conversation between two heads of state is not and should not be conducted as though the subject matter of the conversation is subject to the rules and assumptions of a court of justice.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:04 PM
james Lung

No. Their vote would end the matter. The chief justice would not have a role if the senate votes not to have a trial.

blue peacock , 13 December 2019 at 03:15 PM
Col. Lang

Graham has a vested interest in not having an extensive trial with many witnesses as it may uncover his own culpability in the Ukraine corruption. And of course may drag in Saint McCain too!

His and Mitch's argument to Trump likely would be, that with no trial they can guarantee acquittal but with a trial they can't.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:20 PM
blue peacock

There is no chance that that the senate will remove Trump from office. None!

Paul Damascene , 13 December 2019 at 03:39 PM
An article in the Duran indicates that and why Senate Republicans may buck Trump's wishes, as they are as deep in Ukraine corruption as any of the Dems are. Lindsay, the late John M and Sleep Joe are perhaps the most deeply planted ...
Fred -> Paul Damascene... , 13 December 2019 at 06:37 PM
Paul,

You mean that with the same investigative power the Obama administration had he has none of the alleged evidence on senators you allude to? What a wonderful implication from a Cyprus based media outlet founded in 2016 and run by the host of an RT political show.
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-duran/

Dave Schuler , 13 December 2019 at 03:46 PM
As of today Trump's approval rating is 43.9% and Congress's approval rating is 24%. I gather that the House Democrats don't realize how unpopular they are and how many Americans support "obstruction of Congress". Are they trying to turn Trump into a national hero?
Harper , 13 December 2019 at 03:57 PM
In the legitimate focus on the impeachment, a stunning revelation in the Horowitz report has been largely overlooked. In January 2017, the FBI conducted three interviews with the key source to Christopher Steele for his dossier. He told interviewed on all three occasions that the material he passed on to Steele was gossip and second and third-hand rumors with no proof. He even said that the sexual allegations were actually a joke and he never meant for them to be taken serious. The FBI in seeking the follow-on FISA warrant merely reported they interviewed Steele's source and he was "cooperative and candid." No content reported.

In addition, Horowitz found email exchanges between FBI and CIA, in which the FBI inquired if Carter Page was a CIA source. Three times the CIA responded "yes." But the FBI agent preparing the affidavit for the FISA renewal lied and wrote "no" to the question of Page's CIA work. That was the false statement Horowitz referred to.

These are serious crimes by FBI officials and they should not go unnoted in the MSM or left to be ignored. I hope that Durham is carefully reading every word of the Horowitz report for points of criminal misconduct to present to his Federal grand jury.

You can't fully discuss impeachment of Trump without going back to the first cause, and in this case it was clearly criminal misconduct by Federal law enforcement.

Cortes , 13 December 2019 at 04:59 PM
b of Moonofalabama speculates

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/12/the-impeachment-deal-between-the-house-and-the-senate.html#comments

that a bipartisan agreement exists that the Democrats can introduce the impeachment but the majority Republicans will vote it out without trial.

An approach which seems plausible. But after nigh on four full years of a campaign against initially a candidate and for the majority of the time the holder of the presidential office involving lurid allegations might not a trial be helpful in restoring some public confidence in the body politic? And in reducing the levels of vitriol.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 06:25 PM
cortes

I have warned people against using SST as a bulletin board for other blogs. why should I not ban you?

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 06:31 PM
Paul Damascene

What is "the Duran?"

robt willmann , 13 December 2019 at 09:14 PM
Earlier today a person asked me what was going to happen in the impeachment trial, and I said that the senate will decide that after the case gets to them. The rules of procedure and rules of evidence (if any!) will be determined by the senate.

The U.S. Constitution says in Article 1, section 3 that--

"The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: and no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.

"Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, trust, or profit, under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law".

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Repub. Kentucky) appeared on the Sean Hannity television show on FoxNews and said in essence that how a trial will proceed is up in the air, as he explains at the 1 minute mark until 2 minutes and 17 seconds into the video--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ-qnp9QLV8

McConnell, as usual, carefully maintains his position, and says that everything he does about an impeachment trial, "I am coordinating with White House counsel". And, "There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can".

What McConnell is obviously doing is protecting himself no matter what the political effect of the content of the trial may be.

He says: "We all know how it's going to end. There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office".

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 10:24 PM
John Merryman

It is worse than that. Groups of current or former high level employees band together to bid on large scale development contracts. They have local partners and the loot is tremendous.

[Dec 14, 2019] In politics there are no accidents by Harry Truman

Notable quotes:
"... While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home. ..."
"... Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

squid, 7 hours ago link

They want to do it by Christmas in the vain hope that this circus will all blow over by November. I think not.

While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home.

Part of me, however, thinks back to something that Harry Truman said, "in politics there are no accidents" .

Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

The Republicans will have both houses when in 2024 the the tax take will barley cover interest.

Meme Iamfurst , 6 hours ago link

designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

Been thinking along the same lines. May be the last thing they want is to be "on line" in 2021. I even wonder if CNN and BSNBC, etc, are there to DRIVE the decent Democrat to the Republicians.

I do think that things are not adding up.

[Dec 14, 2019] To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Md4 , 8 hours ago link

No reputable legal authority would fear ensuring due process for an accused, unless it had no evidence of an actual crime to justify prosecution...but DID have ulterior motives and nefarious purposes for doing so.

Let's be clear.

To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election.

***.

Nada.

We have the opinion of domestic intelligence agencies, but we have no physical or direct evidence.

On the contrary, we have as much reason to believe some or all of them interfered in the Trump campaign, to orchestrate and execute a foreign interference hoax against Trump, before and after his election.

Daily, and throughout this sick prog left congressional abuse of power, we have repeatedly heard claims of an "ongoing war with Russia" in Ukraine.

Which war is this? Is this a continuation of the non-invasion of the Donbas in 2014? The specious and false claims of Russian troop concentrations, and tanks rolling, that even spy satellites didn't see? Are we still lying about this? If so, where are the media reports of Russian airstrikes, burning Ukrainian villages, or body bags?

In any "on-going" war with Russia, we would've been treated to near-constant news video of Russian armor all over eastern Ukraine. Have we? Perhaps this war they keep telling us about is like the Russian "invasion" of Crimea that didn't happen either.

We clearly remember the two Crimean-initiated referenda which put them back in their ancestral Russian homelands, but none of that had anything to do with invading Russians, who already had a substantial military presence in Crimea for decades.

No sir, Professor Turley. ​​​​​​

There is no basis whatsoever for Trump's impeachment.

There is mounting evidence of a continued coup against this president, and the substantial number of Americans who actually elected him.

We too are closely monitoring the actual situation...

[Dec 14, 2019] Warmongeing is the national sport for the neoliberal elite in the USA

As Tony Kevin reported (watch-v=dJiS3nFzsWg) at one small fundraiser Bill Clinton made an interesting remark. He said that the USA should always have enemies. That's absolutely true, this this is a way to unite such a society as we have in the USA. probably the only way. And Russia simply fits the bill. Very convenient bogeyman.
Notable quotes:
"... The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Twolfe , 10 Dec 2019 16:30

One aspect of this report in the NYT is very troubling but not a great surprise to those who pay attention to Asian affairs.

The reports that US military leaders had no idea of what to do in Afghanistan and constantly lied to the public should rouse citizens in America to take a different view of military leaders. That view must be to trust nothing coming from the Pentagon or from spokespersons for the military. Included must be any and all secretaries of defence, and all branches of the military.

It is totally unacceptable that 1-2 trillion dollars and several thousand lives were spent by America for some nebulous cause. This does not include many thousands of civilians.

During the Vietnam disaster, it became obvious that American military was lying to the public and taking many causalities in an unwinnable war. Nothing was learned about Asia or Asian culture because America entered Afghanistan without a real plan and no understanding of the country or it's history.

The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium.

[Dec 14, 2019] A Determined Effort to Undermine Russia

Highly recommended!
The USA "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine requires weakening and, if possible, partitioning Russia.
Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin tells the audience that Skripals poisoning was a false flag operation. 7:00
He also point several weak points in Western politicians narrative about MH17
Notable quotes:
"... Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America ..."
"... Putin made it clear when he said the next war would not be fought inside Russia. The troglodytes in the West are unable to grasp not only what that means, but why he said it. ..."
"... The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans). ..."
"... I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!) ..."
"... There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause". ..."
"... Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic. ..."
"... "Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly. But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined." ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin, in conversation with former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, says the West is unnecessarily determined to undermine Russia.

A t an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause.

When Kevin said he returned to Russia after more than 40 years in 2016 he realized he "had to take sides" in the U.S.-Russia standoff when all Nato countries boycotted the Moscow celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

"I had to take a moral position that it is not right for the West to be ganging up on Russia," Kevin says in his conversation with the former Australian foreign minister.

The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate.

Watch the hour-long in depth discussion which was filmed and produced by Consortium News' CN Live! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dJiS3nFzsWg?feature=oembed

Tags: Bob Carr Russia Russiagate Russophobia Tony Kevin Vladimir Putin


Tom Culpeper , December 11, 2019 at 16:03

Putin & the Russian citizenry play chess on this 3-dimensional world.! The Americas and their inane elites attempt checkers on their flat Earth . Pity, some such as Noam Chomsky are admirable world citizens..! Pity again.! WE will miss men of this honest calibre and down- to-earth intelligence. Bob Carr is of this cohort.

Eugenie Basile , December 10, 2019 at 03:36

The 'Russia did it' mantra is a gift for the powers in the Kremlin. It rallies most Russians behind their leaders because they are proud of their country and don't accept the West's moral hypocrite grandstanding.

Just recently the WADA proclaimed sporting ban against Russia is a perfect example. It excludes all Russian athletes because they happen to represent their country while U.S. athletes who have been caught cheating in the past are allowed to participate .

Jerry Alatalo , December 10, 2019 at 00:30

It is very encouraging to know there are good people like Mr. Tony Kevin and Mr. Bob Carr alive and sharing their powerful wisdom at this dangerous historical point on planet Earth. Mr. Kevin and Mr. Carr's immensely important and courageously honest discussion should become – immediately, and for many years to come – required study in university classrooms and government halls around this world.

Peace.

ElderD , December 9, 2019 at 15:03

Tony's (especially!) and Bob's sane and sensible view of this dangerous and destructive state of affairs deserve the widest possible distribution and attention.

George McGlynn , December 9, 2019 at 13:27

A quarter century has passed since the fall of the Soviet Union, and little has changed. Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America. The further we distance ourselves from the end of the Cold War, the closer we come to its revival. Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured.

peter mcloughlin , December 9, 2019 at 10:45

It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is.

Lois Gagnon , December 9, 2019 at 17:30

I agree. Putin made it clear when he said the next war would not be fought inside Russia. The troglodytes in the West are unable to grasp not only what that means, but why he said it.

AnneR , December 9, 2019 at 07:48

The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans).

Then there were allegations – of those "highly likely" (therefore one knows to be untrue and unadulterated propaganda to increase Russophobia) sort – about Russian hackers (always giving the impression that the "Kremlin" is behind itl) being the Labour Party's source of the Tory party's US-UK trade deal which would/will deliberately and finally destroy the NHS and replace it with (of course) US "health" insurance company profiteering.

(Always the Tory intention from the NHS's initiation in May of 1948; only its popularity among many Tory party supporters among the working and lower middle classes prevented them from a full-frontal killing off the NHS; the Snatcher's government began the undermining, via installing a top-heavy bureaucratization, siphoning off a sizable proportion of the funds that would otherwise have gone to medical care, demanding that hospitals not "lose" money – a concept completely beyond the remit of the NHS as originally conceived and constructed and like exactions.)

Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency).

Someone even suggested that President Putin needed to be diplomatic. Really? From what I've read the man is the most diplomatic and intelligent politician (not just political leader) along with Xi Jinping and the Iranian government that exist on the world stage. None of them are hubristic, solipsistic, eager beaver killers of peoples in other countries. Unlike their western "world" political counterparts.

Jeff Harrison , December 8, 2019 at 18:30

Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing.

St. Ronnie's whole thing back in the 80's was to outspend Russia militarily and it worked well. We're trying to do it again but Russia isn't playing the same game this time and now it is the US that has a mountain of debt and Russia that doesn't.

SIPIRI tags US military spending at $650B and Russian military spending at $62B. But we know that the $650B number is bogus because it doesn't include our in-violation-of-the-NNPT nuclear program which is in the energy department or our veteran's expenses which are in HHS. I don't know what's missing from Russia's $62B but I'll bet they can sustain that a whole lot better than we can sustain our $650B and rising bill.

Antonio Costa , December 9, 2019 at 13:17

Good point regarding Russia's downsizing the Soviet Union. From Gorbachev to Putin there was NEVER a surrender, intended in any way. The intent has been multilateral partnerships. For Russia the US/West won nothing at all except the opportunity to live and work in peace. (By the way this policy has a long Russian history.)

They gave up the Warsaw Pact and America with our worthless "word" expanded NATO.

The US foreign policy has lost even the semblance of sanity. Our naked aggression is clear as never before, a mad man throwing a global fit armed with megaton nuclear projectiles on trigger first strike alert. What could go wrong?

nondimenticare , December 8, 2019 at 15:56

If, magically, Consortium News/CN Live! were a mass-distribution network/magazine (hence universally consulted), allowing the light in for the mass of the viewing and listening public, it could change the world – both an exalting and despairing thought.

Lily , December 8, 2019 at 09:52

It is a great joy to listen to this conversation!

I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!)

I wish people would have the courage to break away from the group pressure originated by a nation which has been started by killing more than 90% of the indigenous people in their country and since then has turned the worl into a very insecure place.

Chapeau, Tony Kevin! Thanks to Bob Carr and Consortiums News.

Lily , December 9, 2019 at 01:18

It seems that some facts are beginning to be realized in the military department.

www(dot)zerohedge(dot)com/geopolitical/pentagon-alarmed-russia-gaining-sympathy-among-us-troops

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 8, 2019 at 07:30

"At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause."

The American establishment's problem with Russia is simply that Russia is the only country on earth capable of obliterating the United States. Not even China has yet reached that capacity.

"Carthago delenda est"

Skip Scott , December 9, 2019 at 06:13

There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause".

Bruno DP , December 8, 2019 at 02:34

The West is ganging up on Russia? Replace "West" by "United States of America", and I will agree.

Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic.

Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.

But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined.

Martin Schuchert , December 8, 2019 at 17:33

I'm German, living in the US, and I agree with your comment. I especially love the last two sentences:

"Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly. But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined."

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment trial would be amusing to watch. However, the end result is a lose-lose for The United States no matter who wins.

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

D. Fuller , December 13, 2019 at 6:31 pm

It would be amusing to watch. However, the end result is a lose-lose for The United States no matter who wins.

Crook(D) v Crook(R) is the perception – much as it is with impeachment with Pelosi playing the part of Biden – with Trump standing a good chance to win. As of right now, the 2020 election is Democrats to lose. They are doing a great job of that so far and it is not even 2020.

Centrist Democrats will be trying to court the same voters – suburban center-right Republicans – that Trump will be angling to get. Should it be Biden that wins the nomination.

If Sanders somehow is nominated and Trump refuses to engage in debats? Run a "Trump Tucks Tail and Runs" campaign with a massive highlight of his policy failures. Trump excels in the arena of personal attacks. Biden would lose. Sanders could keep it clean and focused on policy, dropping nuke after nuke on Trump. With Biden? Given how Centrist Democrats and Republicans are both guilty of cooperating on issues such as Syria, Libya, Wall Street, torture, Iraq, etc?

Centrist Democrats have no powder or if they do? Their powder is all wet. It was amazing the number of policy attacks and opportunities that Centrist Democrats had to use against Trump in 2016 yet were too afraid to. Opting for personal attacks. I still remember that ambush by Andersen Cooper and Hillary Clinton against Trump at the 2nd(?) debate discussing the allegations against Trump regarding rape, etc.

Never mind that Hillary Clinton had Bill with his prior allegations of sexual abuse. That was the lamest ambush I've ever seen. You could practically see Hillary Clinton's vein pop out on her forehead when Trump responded. I thought she was going to have a stroke. That ambush wasted approximately 25 minutes of debate time and achieved less than nothing.

As we've seen with the latest funding bill? Centrist Democrats gave Trump what he wanted. So, what do Centrist Democrats have to run on?

Practically nothing.

[Dec 14, 2019] McConnell: There's No Chance The President's Going To Be Removed

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In a rare interview on Fox News' "Hannity" Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed certainty that President Donald Trump would stay in office despite the fact that there has yet to be a vote on impeachment .

"There's no chance the President's going to be removed from office," McConnell told Hannity.

Further, McConnell said he expects all Republicans and even some Democrats to vote against impeachment.

"This is a thoroughly political exercise. It's not like a courtroom experience, It's a political exercise. They've been trying to do this for three years. They've finally screwed up their courage to do it," McConnell said.

He continued,

" It looks to me like it may be backfiring on them particularly in swing districts that the Speaker's party managed to win in order to get the majority. Most of the nervousness I see on this issue with politicians since it's a political process is on the Democratic side."

House Democrats charged the President with abuse of power and obstruction of congress earlier this week. Soon after, the House Judiciary Committee began debating those charges. They were expected to hold an official vote late Thursday after debating the articles for fourteen hours, but the Committee's Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delayed that vote .

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment vote represents a trap for Sanders

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , December 14, 2019 at 12:54 am

When the Impeachment gets finally voted on in the Senate, what will Sanders do? He will do best by being true to his own self, regardless of what votes he loses whichever way he votes.

But I hope that being true to himself involves voting NOT to remove. Because depending on how bitter the Democratic Convention is, a Nominee Sanders may get few or zero Clintonite Democratic votes by definition, regardless of what he does. Whereas if he votes TO remove, he will lose any votes, or even respectful hearing, that he might have had otherwise among the deplorables.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Impeachment Deal Between The House And The Senate

Notable quotes:
"... the Deep State is "deep" because it is supposed to be hidden far below ( "deep" below) surface appearances. The fact that people are now openly discussing it in and of itself constrains the actions of the Deep State. If this attention on the Deep State continues it could lead the public to demanding legal remedies, and you can safely bet the Deep State doesn't want that to happen. ..."
"... the Congress Critters are principally servants of the business elites (and Big Finance elites most of all) and that the Deep State is a tool used by those business elites to get their way, so why would those elites deliberately hamper their own servants and damage their own tools? ..."
"... damage control on these two points is precisely the reasoning behind the impeachment deal that our host discusses. ..."
"... First, the empire is ruled by an oligarchy, but the oligarchs all have differing bases of power and wealth. The most powerful of the oligarchs are, of course, the Big Finance power brokers... the bankers, basically. They make money with money. They need almost no fixed capital to maintain and feed their wealth. The finance oligarchs are not tied to any location and can easily move their wealth from place to place as their profit needs dictate. At the other extreme are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon real estate. These oligarchs cannot shift their wealth around to avoid local problems. In between are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon tangible fixed capital (factories, for example) who can move their wealth around somewhat, but such moves impact their profits. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:23 utc | 57

Hopefully readers can now clearly see that the bunny persona is disingenuous and is here primarily for spin management.

psychohistorian @36 , on the other hand, is quite legit and raises points that are worth discussing.

So we have to ask, cui bono? Lets start answering that question by identifying who is not benefitting:
  1. The American public economically...except the top X%
  2. The Congress Critters that are being made to look corrupt
  3. The Deep State of various branches of government
  4. Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations

Point #1 is no big surprise. The elites (including Trump) firmly believe that what is good for them personally is good for everyone. What is good for the lord of the land is good for his serfs, right? There is, however, a caveat to this that I want to touch on later.

Points #2 and #3 are problematic. ...the credibility of the Congress Critters is undeniably taking a severe hit. As well the Deep State is "deep" because it is supposed to be hidden far below ( "deep" below) surface appearances. The fact that people are now openly discussing it in and of itself constrains the actions of the Deep State. If this attention on the Deep State continues it could lead the public to demanding legal remedies, and you can safely bet the Deep State doesn't want that to happen.

So points #2 and #3 are absolutely true, but they are problematic because they conflict with the narrative that the circus we've been watching play out in D.C. since the 2016 elections is all intentional and choreographed by the elites. I don't think anyone here would dispute that the Congress Critters are principally servants of the business elites (and Big Finance elites most of all) and that the Deep State is a tool used by those business elites to get their way, so why would those elites deliberately hamper their own servants and damage their own tools?

No, these two points by themselves expose the falsity of the notion that what we are witnessing playing out in the imperial capital was the intended outcome of the 2016 elections. Furthermore, damage control on these two points is precisely the reasoning behind the impeachment deal that our host discusses.

Point #4 about who is not benefiting, "Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations" , is related to the caveat that I mentioned above.

First, the empire is ruled by an oligarchy, but the oligarchs all have differing bases of power and wealth. The most powerful of the oligarchs are, of course, the Big Finance power brokers... the bankers, basically. They make money with money. They need almost no fixed capital to maintain and feed their wealth. The finance oligarchs are not tied to any location and can easily move their wealth from place to place as their profit needs dictate. At the other extreme are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon real estate. These oligarchs cannot shift their wealth around to avoid local problems. In between are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon tangible fixed capital (factories, for example) who can move their wealth around somewhat, but such moves impact their profits.

The reader should be able to see that not all oligarchs are created equal. While all of the oligarchs share the imperative of maintaining the oligarchy itself and expanding the empire that it operates within, their interests begin to diverge outside of those issues. In particular, finance oligarchs and real estate oligarchs have a natural antagonism. This antagonism also exists between the finance oligarchs and the fixed-capital oligarchs. Current imperial policy strongly favors the finance oligarchs. The other oligarchs are willing to accept that so long as the economy continues to grow in real terms, but that hasn't been happening for years now within the empire. Because of this we are now seeing infighting among the oligarchs, with Trump being on the side of the non-finance underdogs.

Does this mean that the reader should become a fan of Trump? Not if one is prone to latching onto powerful individuals as saviors. If, on the other hand, personal emotional attachment can be kept at the level of rooting for one stranger in a drunken bum fight over the other stranger then it should be perfectly acceptable. It doesn't hurt to cheer the oligarchs on when they fight among themselves.


William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:26 utc | 58

"Do I have that right?" --polecat @50

That sounds about right!

vk , Dec 13 2019 13:41 utc | 59
@ Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

The problem is that you don't got to change the rules when they don't fit you anymore. The USA has deprived the rest of the world of "dignity" for 70 years. Now that China is being better than the USA at its own game, it's going to change the game?

Unfortunately to the likes of Rubio, that's not how the real world works, because the real world is not a game.

--//--

Speaking of the USA:

American households see increasingly heavier debt burden

The aggregate household debt balances in the U.S. increased to a record high of $13.95 trillion, or 73 percent of the country's GDP, in the third quarter of 2019, said a recent report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Mortgage balances accounted for 2/3 of the total household debt balances, followed by student loans that took 11 percent of the share. Besides, auto loans and credit card balances also stood at a high level.

Each household in the U.S. carrying at least one form of debt owed an average of $144,100, said a report issued by America's Debt Help Organization.

For comparison, the American manufacturing sector makes only 12% of its GDP. Manufacturing is so tiny in the USA that we had recession in the sector this year and that didn't moved its GDP growth rate at all.

That's why the USA -- which has been failing in this trade war against China -- will ultimately fail in its Trumpian attempt to revert to isolationism: the empire is now essentially a financial superpower. To maintain your status as a financial superpower, you have to keep yourself economically open, otherwise the financial architecture that sustains the Dollar Standard will crumble (since the USD is fiat money).

If your country wants to be the world's sole superpower in a capitalist world, it has to have two titles/belts: financial and industrial superpower.

In 1946, the USA was both, hence it was the sole capitalist superpower. When Germany and mainly Japan threatened its title as the sole industrial superpower in the 1970s, the USA maneuvered to curb their developments in the Plaza Accord of 1985, which forced both nations to value their respective currencies in relation to the Dollar.

The maneuver was providential, but it worked. Germany and Japan would enter into recession in the early 1990s, to never recover again. However, it came with a cost to the USA: it had to outsource its manufacturing sector to China and content itself in being just to retain the financial champion belt, scattering the industrial champion belt around Asia, thus letting this "title" vacant. It stayed "vacant" for 20 years, until China, thanks to its socialist doctrine, was able to free itself from the commodity cycle and middle income traps to launch itself in the direction of gaining the industrial superpower status.

div> Some people seem to think that for an entity to be classified as an "empire" there needs to be a guy at the top who likes to wear shiny metal hats. If such individuals cannot update their archaic definitions then perhaps it would be better for the discussion if new terminology were introduced that does not contain baggage for those individuals. Maybe something like "supranational wealth extraction gang" would help?

Posted by: William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 60

Some people seem to think that for an entity to be classified as an "empire" there needs to be a guy at the top who likes to wear shiny metal hats. If such individuals cannot update their archaic definitions then perhaps it would be better for the discussion if new terminology were introduced that does not contain baggage for those individuals. Maybe something like "supranational wealth extraction gang" would help?

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 60

Cynica , Dec 13 2019 14:23 utc | 61
@William Gruff

Excellent posting thus far. Just one thing to add to your analysis: the non-finance oligarchs are more dependent on the finance oligarchs than the other way around.

ohm , Dec 13 2019 15:01 utc | 62

b's posting says:
"The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi.."

I can't see those two trusting each other on anything. And the Senate Majority Leader, McConnell, appeared on Fixed News last night and insisted that he will defer to Trump's lawyers in all strategic matters, including whether or not to call witnesses. Given that the House Democrats have threatened that if this impeachment doesn't work, they will impeach him again on some other matter; plus Trump's insane craving for vindication; or for the need to produce juicy sound bites for the re-election campaign; or simply to stretch out the process past the Iowa caucuses, it is likely that this impeachment will have a more or less full process, saving the summary treatment for the predictable follow-on impeachments.

Who was it that said "Repeating the same mistake, over and over, and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity"?

J.L.Seagull , Dec 13 2019 15:25 utc | 63
This strikes me as a George Zimmerman style impeachment.

Zimmerman's prosecutor purposefully charged him with murder, a case doomed to fail, rather than manslaughter, where it was likely to fail but would have been more damning in the failure -- i.e. more facts would have been brought in and a big mess would have been created.

Pelosi purposefully charges Trump with a very narrow impeachment, which is doomed to fail in the Senate, rather than conducting a months-long investigation that would dig up what Biden was really doing in Ukraine and who he got permission from to operate there. The investigation wouldn't have made impeachment more likely to succeed, it would have just made a bigger mess.

joseph k jr , Dec 13 2019 16:09 utc | 64
interesting that trump's numbers have risen so spectacularly in the last couple of weeks with this impeachment thing in my view because it puts him (falsely or not) squarely back into the "maverick" role that the Public is ravenous to see, with all its anger and desire to strike back at "the government" which is not doing well by the way (60% country moving in the wrong direction; 17% approval of congress)--so, to me, the question is: Can Donald resist playing his cowboy savior maverick role and pretending to straighten things out or not. Will he "do a deal" because McConnell is so convincing to him and he can pass up a wonderful opportunity to put the Dems on trial for their obvious bullshit in the past three years, including what impetus will be (coming right up) from Durham? I tend to believe the Donald Ego will welcome a Big Fight in The Impeachment Corral much as he once delighted in phony wrestling.

interesting times, at least we could say that

Johnny Law , Dec 13 2019 16:42 utc | 65
Deal is as follows:

--Patriot Act renewed
--New NAFTA passed this week
--New massive Defense bill passes
--New Paid Parental Leave for Fed employees(Clinton and Obama ignored this)

--Maybe a budget or at least easy continuing resolutions.

--Jews now nationality??? not too sure, more like the usual Trump stuff like moving embassy.
This stuff all happened in the last week or so after nothing happened for years.

Perimetr , Dec 13 2019 17:39 utc | 66
Everyone is in on the deal. LOL

"Government is the Entertainment Division of the Military-industrial Complex." Frank Zappa

Piotr Berman , Dec 13 2019 19:12 utc | 67
To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump.

Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

Posted by: Ed | Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5

=====================

The imperialist foreign policy entails "bipartisan consensus", "interagency consensus" etc. Sometimes I think that establishment Democrats are patriots [in their self-image] who prefer a political calamity over the betrayal of that consensus. Trump is an incoherent idiot and he may be attacked in many ways. Should he be attacked for disastrous breach of international agreements, starting with the crown jewel of Obama's tenure, multilateral agreement with Iran? Or for a mockery he made from negotiations with North Korea? Or inflicting misery across the globe with "maximal sanctions" policies, pretty much against everybody*? No, no and no.

As some of the incoherent statements of Trump were "friendly toward Russia" (while he continued Nuland-Boland policies), THAT was selected as the main target. So we are going back to 2016. In 2018 Democrats switched gears for the duration of election campaign focusing on health care, something that Trump monumentally botched, but the imperialist circus is back. Lamentably, the "deplorables" are not impressed and the electorally wobbly Rustbelt may be lost again in 2020 because of this inanities, but the consensus (bipartisan, inter-agency etc.) will be preserved. History will remember the selfless sacrifice of these idiots.

=====
* I read an article in Russia, full of gleeful satisfaction, about Lithuanian dairy producers being hit by a round of Trumpian sanctions, in spite of indefatigable efforts of Lithuanian government to be the most obedient (if often neglected) poodle of USA.

Piotr Berman , Dec 13 2019 19:22 utc | 68
[Rubio's] Defending against the global mercantilist aspirations of China is a very responsible course of action for a policymaker.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

I wonder if Rubio will stay on this topic for full 15 minutes. It is actually very much against GOP ideology, industrial policy coordinated by the federal government -- is a 5-year plan (as Stalin practiced) next? Or will he revert to plan B, assuring that American families live better than those in the Marxist hell that is Venezuela through sanctions, sabotage etc.? Plan A, actually doing something about USAians having decent jobs, would make the likes of Rubio vomiting and defecating uncontrollably as they couldn't digest it. So my bet is that he will stay with plan B.

Lorna MacKay , Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69
Maybe I am dim, but I have read the transcript of the infamous phone call between Trump and Zelensky several times and I do not understand how it is being interpreted as Trump trying to pressure the Ukrainian president to smear Biden. As I read the transcript, the favour Trump asked was for Ukraine to look into Crowdstrike. It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought, not the main thrust of the conversation.

I'm not American, maybe I am missing something that is culturally obvious to Americans? Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't? Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

Not trying to derail the discussion here, but genuinely puzzled.

Russ , Dec 13 2019 20:18 utc | 70
Posted by: Lorna MacKay | Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69

"Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't?"

Only the ones that are Trump-Deranged. Everyone else sees what you saw, standard operating procedure among all US elites including of course all presidents and high officials. Both Obama and Sec. of State Hillary made dozens of calls exactly like that.

polecat , Dec 13 2019 20:20 utc | 71
Lorna MacKay @ 69

I'll give it a 2-finger shot. The Credentialed 20%ers, along with their center-left-turned-right House masters are furiously clutching their rosery bead (heres hatin on you and your pitiful brethren, Nancy!) .. while the Red Senators are all taking turns hold Satan's pitchfork, hoping they don't get pricked .. or worse!, as the republican mope's support starts to melt away like an iceberg at the equator !!

polecat , Dec 13 2019 20:29 utc | 72
As an aside .. all one has to do is read the comments over at the Hedge, to see that many (but not all, by far ..) have, over these past 3+ years, have gone through a phase-change, seeing the blatant bs .. from both legasy parties, without eyes wide shut !
wagelaborer , Dec 13 2019 20:43 utc | 73
Both Trump and Zelensky were elected on platforms of peace with Russia. What was in that phone call that got Pelosi onboard with impeachment, after years of taking it off the table?
I doubt very much that it was the claimed statement of Trump asking for help with a corruption investigation. (Which is perfectly legal under a 1998 Treaty signed by Clinton).
Something got that CIA spy running to Adam Schiff, and something got Pelosi to move forward. Did Trump and Zelensky speak of the Forbidden thing, making peace?
Biden was not the front runner until they needed him to be. You would be hard pressed to find an actual Biden supporter. They are telling us this, because otherwise the ridiculous impeachment charge would not make sense. (Not that it makes a whole lot of sense anyway).
In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?
Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.
Lorna MacKay at 69, when the media tells you something, it doesn't mean it is true. Of course, the transcript doesn't show anything wrong. The only Americans who are culturally programmed to see anything there are the ones whose brains have been turned to mush by TDS. (Trump Derangement Syndrome).
It's not you, it's us.
Really?? , Dec 13 2019 20:55 utc | 74
Joseph K @ 64

Agree.

If I had money to put on the impeachment trial in the Senate, it would be on Donald NOT doing a deal to save various butts and FOR going for the Dems' jugualar(s) and let the chips fall where they may on the Repug side.

I just cannot see him acting "statesmanlike" and forgoing seeking vindication after the provocations of the past three years.

Would you? I mean, even normal-size egos have a "Make my day" threshold. I reckon that Trump's threshold was the beginning of the actual impeachment "hearing."

We'll soon see.

Jackrabbit , Dec 13 2019 21:40 utc | 75
Lorna MacKay @69:
It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought

This is what I have contended. Trump didn't need to mention Biden at all.

Did he do it innocently? Was it an ego-driven mistake?

Maybe.

But Trump has done other things that suggest that he did so as kayfabe . He engaged in a heated campaign with Hillary and promised to have a special prosecutor investigate her if he was elected. But within days of being elected announced that he would not do so (his first broken promise). Was the Hillary-Trump battle really as contentious as it appeared?

Trump invited Nancy Pelosi to a White House meeting days before the vote for Speaker of the House. This gave Pelosi a boost at a time when Democrats were grumbling that she didn't deserve to be Speaker (she had worked closely with GW Bush Administration). Result: Pelosi was elected Speaker.

Lastly, it's strange that Hilllary and Pelosi were adamantly against impeachment wrt Russiagate (the Mueller Report cited possible obstruction of justice), saying that voters should decide in 2020 but approved impeachment for Ukrainegate where the grounds for impeachment are arguably worse. Their refusal to allow impeachment after the Mueller Report was widely seen (by progressives) as the establishment protecting Trump. Impeachment over Ukrainegate conveniently ended such speculation .

Impeachment over Russiagate could have brought unwanted public scrutiny of CIA-MI6 and the Deep State. Instead, AG Wm Barr will make sure things are 'sorted' in a way that safeguards the Deep State. Not surprisingly, he just announced that the FBI acted in "bad faith" - a mild rebuke that almost guarantees that no one will be held accountable.

Some believe that the political disaster that Democrats reap from impeachment will be hung around the neck of the progressives that clamored for impeachment in Spring 2019 (after the Mueller Report). IMO that 'hunch' is likely to prove accurate.

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 21:49 utc | 76
Paul Damascene #21
Whereas it is very likely that not just Hunter but Joe Biden can be brought down, it would come at the expense of a massive draining of a bipartisan Congressional / Senatorial money laundering swamp, with millions, perhaps billions in US tax dollars being recycled back into campaign contributions, etc. Many heads might roll, including several on the Republican side of the Senate chamber.

Thank you and exactly that.

There has been brief mention of Biden shenanigans in China too but now studiously avoided. Perhaps the same boondoggle there as well or maybe that is the country behind the threat from Biden to Lindsay Graham re going down big time.

They are a bunch of thieving thugs.

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 21:57 utc | 77
Lorna MacKay #69
Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

I fully agree with you. The Crowdstrike bust would give Trump the material needed to truly unravel the CIA (Brennan) and FBI (Comey/Mueller)saboteurs. These pigs set out to smash Trump and his family, and Presidency. He will no doubt find a way to extract revenge as he is known for that.

Pressing Zelensky on the Crowdstrike element is mighty good politics as it would likely disable the Democrat machinery for many election cycles if the dogs of war are loosed on the DNC internal malevolence.

Jackrabbit , Dec 13 2019 22:08 utc | 78
continuing @75:

The Agreement to have limited charges (nothing related to Russiagate!) and no calling of witnesses (Bidens are safe) was likely agreed in late Spring 2019 when the kayfabe was arranged.

Also, although there's been much hand-wringing about Joe Biden's electoral prospects, the kayfabe has helped Biden as he now says that Trump focused on him because Trump fears him as a political opponent. This plays into the establishment's main electoral ploy: electability!

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 22:10 utc | 79
wagelaborer #73
In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?

Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.


Fascinating proposition. The Senate calls no witnesses and votes for impeachment? Unlikely, but I wont dismiss either that or a drawn out trial and votes for impeachment - or not. Strange theatre this stuff.

One thing for sure - if the Senate votes to impeach all hell will break out in the Repugnant party. The USA political serenity has been totally disturbed by Trump's election (or should I say Hillary Clinton's capitulation and not campaign in three key states).

[Dec 13, 2019] In the Shadow of Impeachment, Neoliberal Democrats Hand Trump a Victory With USMCA (NAFTA 2.0)

Dec 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

If Trump gets re-elected, if Big Tech continues to evade accountability, if imperial adventures continue abroad, if migrant farmworkers cannot feed their families, you can trace it back to this Tuesday, and the actions a House Speaker took while nobody was paying attention .
-- David Dayen, The American Prospect (emphasis added)

As the Impeachment Drama lumbers to a 2020 conclusion, morphing into its variant selves and sucking life from every other story the media most folks attend to are inclined to tell, unwatched things are happening in its shadow.

Nancy Pelosi has used end-of-year urgency and the impeachment distraction to pass four pieces of major legislation, three of which will become law, all on the same day.

NAFTA 2.0 is one of them. Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, agreed under pressure to approve Pelosi's House version of NAFTA 2.0, rebranded "USMCA," or United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, for obvious reasons. This is a deal he should never have made, yet he made it.

Consider who Trumka is -- a bridge between the neoliberal mainstream of the Democratic Party and the (presumably further left) labor movement that supports and sustains it. In other words, he's the person who blesses neoliberal policies as "progressive" (thus retaining mainstream Democratic Party approval) while modifying those policies in the margins to be less terrible (thus retaining the approval of progressives, who want to think of him as opposed to neoliberalist policies).

He's the person, in other words, who makes the labor movement look less like a puppy of the Democratic Party establishment to progressives, while keeping the labor movement (and himself) firmly in the Party establishment tent. The drama of "Will Trumka approve USMCA?" we recently witnessed exemplified this role.

To anyone with two cells in their brain, it was obvious as soon as the question was asked that he would approve USMCA. The stage was set; his arrival on it announced; the spotlight was ready and bright. Would he really walk onto this stage at this late date and say no to Party leaders? Of course not.

Would he have been able to stay in his lofty perch if he had? His job was to bless the cake after it had been baked, not to unbake it.

What pressure was Trumka under? First, obviously, from the Democratic Party and its billionaire donors, to give them what they and the Republicans -- and Donald Trump -- all wanted, a neoliberal-lite trade deal that could become in Nancy Pelosi's words "a template for future trade agreements a good template."

Second, Trumka was under pressure from his union base itself (so say some, including David Dayen in the piece linked below), many of whom are Trump supporters, to give President Trump a signature first-term victory, just in time for the start of his second-term campaign.

Do I believe this latter explanation? No, but I believe Trumka believes it. And if indeed it is true that Trumka has to serve Trump, at least in part, in order to serve his own base, it's further evidence of the careerism of his actions, in contrast to behavior from actual labor-movement principles.

Here's Dayen on this sordid tale (emphasis added):

Pelosi got AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka to sign off on the U.S.–Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), handing Trump a political victory on one of his signature issues. Predictably, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham immediately gushed, calling USMCA "the biggest and best trade agreement in the history of the world."

It's, um, not that. Economically, USMCA is a nothingburger; even the most rose-colored analysis with doubtful assumptions built in shows GDP growth of only 0.06 percent per year. There's one good provision: the elimination of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision that allowed corporations to sue governments in secret tribunals over trade violations. There's one bad provision: the extension of legal immunity for tech platforms over user-generated content, put into a trade deal for the first time. This will make the immunity shield, codified in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, much harder to alter in the future. Pelosi has called this deal a "template" for future agreements, though trade reformers have called it a bare minimum floor.

Pelosi tried to remove the immunity shield , but abandoned the request. She did succeed in removing a provision for Big Pharma that extended exclusivity periods for biologics. The Sierra Club has termed the deal an " environmental failure " that will not have binding standards on clean air and water or climate goals. But the threshold question on the USMCA was always going to be labor enforcement: would the labor laws imposed on Mexico hold, improving their lot while giving U.S. manufacturing workers a chance to compete? There was also the open question of why the U.S. would reward Mexico with a trade deal update when trade unionists in the country continue to be kidnapped and killed.

In his statement, Trumka lauds the labor enforcement, noting provisions that make it easier to prove violations (including violence against workers), rules of evidence for disputes, and inspections of Mexican facilities, a key win. But I've been told that the AFL-CIO did not see the details of the text before signing off, which is unforgivable , especially on trade where details matter. There was no vote by union leaders , just a briefing from the AFL-CIO.

At least one union, the Machinists, remains opposed , and others were noncommittal until they see text. The Economic Policy Institute, which is strongly tied to labor, called the agreement " weak tea at best ," a tiny advance on the status quo that will not reverse decades of outsourcing of U.S. jobs.

Meanwhile, back at the Trump re-election ranch:

While the economics are negligible (and potentially harmful on tech policy), on the politics activists are losing their mind at the prospect of a Trump signing ceremony, with labor by his side, on a deal that he will construe as keeping promises to Midwest voters . "Any corporate Democrat who pushed to get this agreement passed that thinks Donald Trump is going to share the credit for those improvements is dangerously gullible," said Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, in a statement. Only a small handful of Democratic centrists were pushing for a USMCA vote, based mostly on the idea that they had to "do something" to show that they could get things done in Congress. Now they've got it, and they'll have to live with the consequences.

I guess helping re-elect the " most dangerous president ever " pales in comparison to passing bipartisan-approved neoliberal trade deals.

One of Richard Trumka's jobs, if he wants to stay employed, is to make sure neoliberal Party leaders like Nancy Pelosi are happy and well served while simultaneously keeping progressives thinking that Big Labor is still in their corner even on issues the donor class most cares about.

At that he does very well, and did so here.

[Dec 13, 2019] NY Post Editorial Board Names Eric Ciaramella As Whistleblower

Notable quotes:
"... Ciaramella notably contacted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) office before filing his complaint , on a form which was altered to allow for second-hand information, after going to a Democratic operative attorney who will neither confirm nor deny his status as the whistleblower. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

NY Post Editorial Board Names Eric Ciaramella As Whistleblower by Tyler Durden Fri, 12/13/2019 - 10:30 0 SHARES

The New York Post Editorial Board has named CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella as the whistleblower at the heart of the Trump impeachment saga, confirming an October 30 report by RealClearInvestigation 's Paul Sperry which has been widely cited in subsequent reports.

Eric Ciaramella poses for a photo with former President Barack Obama at the White House. (Via the Washington Examiner )

Whistleblower lawyers refuse to confirm or deny Ciaramella is their man. His identity is apparently the worst-kept secret of the Washington press corps . In a sign of how farcical this has become, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said his name as part of a series of names during a live hearing Wednesday night aired on television. He never called him the whistleblower, just said he was someone Republicans thought should testify, yet Democrats angrily denounced the "outing." If you don't know the man's name, how do you know the man's name? - New York Post

Ciaramella, a registered Democrat, is a CIA analyst who specializes in Russia and Ukraine, and ran the Ukraine desk at the National Security Council (NSC) in 2016. He previously worked for then-NSC adviser Susan Rice, as well as Joe Biden when the former VP was the Obama administration's point-man for Ukraine. He also worked for former CIA Director John Brennan, and was reportedly a highly valued employee according to RedState ' s Elizabeth Vaughn. He also became former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's personal aide in June 2017, was called out as a leaker by journalist Mike Cernovich that same month.

He also worked with Alexandra Chalupa , a Ukrainian-American lawyer and Democratic operative involved in allegations that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 US election by releasing the so-called 'Black Ledger' that contained Paul Manafort's name.

In 2017, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon wanted Ciaramella kicked off the National Security Council over concerns about leaks.

Earlier this year, Ciaramella ignited the Democratic impeachment efforts against President Trump when, using second-hand information, he anonymously complained that Trump abused his office when he asked Ukraine to investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as claims related to pro-Clinton election interference and DNC hacking in 2016.

Ciaramella notably contacted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) office before filing his complaint , on a form which was altered to allow for second-hand information, after going to a Democratic operative attorney who will neither confirm nor deny his status as the whistleblower.

Mzhen , 3 minutes ago link

Steve Bannon was only on the National Security Council for two months, and was removed in early April 2017 at the direction of the President. So the story about Bannon valiantly trying to save the day is probably more of his resume padding.

Epstein101 , 5 minutes ago link

He looks like the sort of guy who follows Rachel Maddow on Twitter, and is still 'friends' with several of his ex-girlfriends.

[Dec 13, 2019] Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about the wars the USA is engaged?

Notable quotes:
"... This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

yemrajesh , 10 Dec 2019 16:54

Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land.

The pentagon with the full cooperation of MSM will sell it as we are defending our ways of life by fighting a country 10,000 kms away. This show the poor literacy, poor analytical thinking of US population constantly brain washed by MSM, holy men, clergy, other neo con organisations like National rifle club etc.

sorrymess , 10 Dec 2019 15:00

i been to Cambodia a few years ago.

I never knew USA dropped 2.7 millions tons of bombs and now so many left unexploded and its same in Vietnam, Cambodia as neutral,
but i met so many injured kids etc from the bombs,.

the total MADNESS OF USA IS NAZI SM AT ITS BEST,.NO SHAME OR COMPASSION FOR THE VICTIMS.

I cannot comprehend the money it cost USA,. AN ALSO PROFITS FOR SOME,.

Heisham , 10 Dec 2019 14:10
With the exceptions of two attacks on American soil-Pearl Harbor and 911- the American people and for the most part their legislative representatives in Congress- will always remain cluless what the United States Government does overseas.

This country runs on its own drum beats. The ordinary man on the street needs to take care of his economic needs. The Big Boys always take care of themselves. That includes the military establishment, that is always entitled to an absurd amounts of monies, fueled by an empire building machinery, pushed by the elites that control the fate of economic might, and political orchestra that feeds its ego and prestige.
Time and again, our American sociopaths in power have a strangle hold on us, regardless of the destruction and animosity they heap on distant peoples and lands the world over in the name of national security and the democratic spiel, as they like to tell us ....
Richard Nixon, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson- Vietnam and the South East Asian countries of Laos , Cambodia, are an example .
Years later, the establishment manufactures blatant cover-ups with lies upon lies to accuse on record, as general Powell eloquently presented at the United Nations: That Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and needs to be held accountable.And now, this report on Afghanistan with all this pathological violence.

Is it reasonable to conclude that our democracy and its pathological actors in government and big business will always purchase it by demagoguery and self vested interest, because the ordinary man whose vote should count will never have the ultimate say when it comes to war and destruction!

[Dec 13, 2019] The True Soviet History of Lt. Col. Vindman by Andrew Rosenthal

Nov 01, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In testimony before Congress this week, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, an Army officer with more than 20 years of service, told lawmakers that he had heard the president try to pressure Ukraine's president to unearth dirt on a political rival. In response, the president's allies have decided to make an issue of Vindman's birthplace. They say his infanthood in Kiev -- he left at age 3 -- reveals something about his character and his allegiances. They are right, but in exactly the wrong way.

Here, you should pardon the expression, are some facts and a little bit of history. When Vindman was born on June 6, 1975, Ukraine was enveloped in the Soviet Union. At birth, Vindman would have been added temporarily to his parents' internal passports, a document that all Soviet citizens were required to carry starting at 16, mostly to make sure they were not residing somewhere without official permission.

That passport contained the infamous "fifth line" or "pyati punkt," in Russian, which had been created under Josef Stalin and listed the holder's "nationality." Vindman was born in Ukraine, but that line would not have said "Ukrainian" unless his parents had chosen to defy the law. It would have said "Jew."

In the Soviet Union, Jews were considered separate and apart from other nationalities, especially in two of the republics, Russia and Ukraine, where the local party enforcers were particularly happy to do the Kremlin's dirty work. You could be born in Minsk or Pinsk, or Omsk or Tomsk, or even Alexandrovsk or Petropavlovsk, and if you were born to Jewish parents, your passport was likely stamped "Jew."

When I first learned this, upon arriving in Moscow in May 1983 as a reporter for the Associated Press, I was outraged. I saw it like the Nazi's yellow star. I couldn't imagine how Jewish people could stand it.

Until one day, I put that question to Naum Meiman, a Jewish mathematician who was part of Andrei Sakharov's circle of dissidents. The answer was simple and humbling.

He didn't want "Russian," or any other so-called Soviet nationality, in his passport. Russians didn't consider him Russian, officially or otherwise, and he didn't want the label. "I'm a Jew who is forced to live in Russia, not a Russian," he said more than once.

I am certainly not speaking for Vindman, whom I do not know, but I have never met a Jew who fled the Soviet Union and felt any kind of loyalty to the country -- one where Jews were spurned from birth and then imprisoned within the state's borders until it decided to allow them to leave. In those days, the Soviet Union revoked émigré's citizenships, in what was supposed to be a final act of deep humiliation, but was invariably a badge of pride.

"Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president's interest," Fox News host Laura Ingraham told viewers Monday.

The circumstances of Vindman's birth argue for a different interpretation. They show him to be part of a tradition of 20th century Eastern European Jews who suffered under tyrannies of the left and the right. These people fled the first chance they had to a country that would accept them as fellow citizens, one where they would not be constantly questioned about their loyalties. For many decades, that country was the United States.

To contact the author of this story: Andrew Rosenthal at andyrosenthal269@gmail.com

[Dec 13, 2019] Looks like Vindman spend two years in Moscow including one during US sponsored colore revolution which failed

Dec 13, 2019 | news.yahoo.com

Retired Brigadier General Peter Zwack spoke to "Nightline" ahead of Vindman's testifying before the House Intelligence Committee during a public impeachment hearing of President Trump.

Former democrat

21 days ago Mr Vindman looks more like a doorman, than a Army Officer in that uniform ! Larry

21 days ago

What's that "thing" on his ring finger (appears wooden)? Is that from his partner "Husband"? In my US Army years, soldiers were dishonorable discharged from this "Criminal Offense" !

[Dec 13, 2019] Retired Army Officer Remembers Lt. Col. Vindman as Partisan Democrat Who Ridiculed America Flopping Aces

Dec 13, 2019 | www.floppingaces.net

A retired Army officer who worked with Democrat "star witness" Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in Grafenwoher, Germany, claims Vindman "really talked up" President Barack Obama and ridiculed America and Americans in front of Russian military officers.

In an eye-opening thread on Twitter last week, retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Jim Hickman said that he "verbally reprimanded" Vindman after he heard some of his derisive remarks for himself. " Do not let the uniform fool you," Hickman wrote. "He is a political activist in uniform."

Hickman's former boss at the Joint Multinational Simulation Center in Grafenwoehr has since gone on the record to corroborate his story.

Hickman, 52, says he's a disabled wounded warrior who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who received numerous medals, including the Purple Heart.

The retired officer said that Vindman, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Ukraine, made fun of the United States to the point that it made other soldiers "uncomfortable." For example, Hickman told American Greatness that he heard Vindman call Americans "rednecks" -- a word that needed to be translated for the Russians. He said they all had a big laugh at America's expense.

Vindman, who serves on the National Security Council (NSC), appeared last week before the House Intelligence Committee and testified that he'd had "concerns" about the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman's testimony rested on his negative opinions of the call, rather than any new facts about the call.

Vindman's former boss, NSC Senior Director for European Affairs Tim Morrison, threw cold water on Vindman's claims in his own testimony later in the week, saying he didn't have concerns that "anything illegal was discussed" in the phone call. Morrison also testified that Ukrainian officials were not even aware that military funding had been delayed by the Trump Administration until late August 2019, more than a month after the Trump-Zelensky call.

"Completely Beyond Reproach"

Hickman said he decided to come forward because Vindman "disobeyed a direct order from the commander-in-chief, his boss," made his testimony "about his foreign policy opinions versus facts," and "wore his Army service uniform to make a political statement" against the president.

"Then right on cue, the mainstream media began calling him a war hero with a purple heart, and completely beyond reproach," Hickman wrote in a statement to American Greatness and another journalist. "Knowing his political bias, backed by his somewhat radical left-leaning ideology, it was my obligation, indeed my duty, to come forward with this information. I couldn't go to the same mainstream media to put it out, nor could I go to the Army, as they're backing Vindman, so I took to Twitter, a source for getting the truth out," he added.

According to Hickman, Vindman was the Defense Department attaché at the Russian embassy in Germany when he met him in 2013. He told American Greatness that he also met Vindman's twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman while he was stationed in Germany.

"I know LTC Alex Vindman from a Combined US-Russian exercise called Atlas Vision [13] in Grafenwoher," Hickman wrote on Twitter. "He worked with the Russian Embassy and I was assigned to the JMTC (Joint Multinational Training Command), within USAREUR (US Army Europe). He worked coordination w/the Russian 15th Peacekeeping Brigade, and I was in charge of all Simulations planning, as well as assisting the USAREUR Lead Planner as the Senior Military Planner."

[Dec 13, 2019] Eugene Vindman, Alexander Vindman's Twin Brother: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know by Jessica McBride

Nov 19, 2019 | heavy.com

Like his twin, Eugene Vindman has forged a career in White House civil service. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported that it's possible Eugene Vindman might also be called to testify. Alexander Vindman has stated that Eugene Vindman, also called Yevgeny Vindman, "witnessed (the) decision to move Trump-Zelensky call's transcript to a top secret server," The Journal reported of the president's call to the president of Ukraine.

Vindman's twin brother lists his title as attorney at the White House on his Facebook page. Born Yevgeny Vindman, he goes by Eugene Vindman on social media.

The twin's Facebook page explains that he is an attorney at The White House and a former Attorney at Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army. He also says that he is a former Senior Trial Counsel at U.S. Army and former Major at United States Army.

According to JTA , Eugene Vindman is a lawyer on the national security council. CNN called Eugene Vindman "the chief ethics counsel at NSC."

His Facebook page also provides the following biographical details about Eugene:

Studied Law School at University of Georgia
Studied General Administration at Central Michigan University
Studied at UGA School of Law
Studied History at SUNY Binghamton
Went to Franklin D.Roosevelt High School
Lives in Washington, District of Columbia
From Brooklyn, New York


2. Eugene Vindman Was a Campaign Strategist for a Democratic Congressional Candidate

The Vindman brothers.

Eugene Vindman's Facebook page also describes him as a "former Campaign Strategist at Bobby Saxon for Congress (GA District 10)."

Saxon ran as a Democrat. According to an article in The Red & Black , Saxon was running for public office for the first time and called himself a "regular guy."

The 2008 article describes him as saying, "I'm 46-years-old, and I've never run for an office. Most of all, I'm a frustrated American who's mad that politicians have no clue what it's like to be one of us. We need regular people with common sense in Washington D.C."

Like Eugene Vindman, Saxon had an Army background. "I'm a major in the Georgia Army National Guard," he explained.


3. Eugene Vindman Was Involved in Efforts to Find Roadside Bombers in Iraq

A 2010 NPR article on the U.S. connecting dots to find roadside bombers quoted Eugene Vindman. "Maj. Eugene Vindman, a JAG officer, or judge advocate general" said that a "network analysis course put him and other military lawyers in a better position to carry out oversight responsibilities in Iraq," the article stated.

"[You could] maybe do a little bit of analysis on your own or ask some intelligent questions of the targeteers," Eugene Vindman said to NPR, "to make sure that the target they've identified is not a guy that might have made a wrong phone call to a bad guy but actually has enough links to that bad guy through other activities to actually be a bad guy and therefore be a legal military target."

Alexander Vindman is also similarly invested in American government work. "Since 2008, I have been a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia," he wrote. "In this role, I have served in the United States' embassies in Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia. In Washington D.C., I was a politico-military affairs officer for Russia for the Chairman of Joint Chiefs where I authored the principle strategy for managing competition with Russia. In July 2018, I was asked to serve at the National Security Council."

... ... ...

There is another Vindman brother. He's older than the twins and his name is Leonid Simon Vindman.

Leonid Simon Vindman is the "Founder and Managing Partner, Tungsten Capital Advisors" and "has approximately thirty years of experience in the financial markets," his company website states.

"During the past twenty five years, he has been focusing predominantly on Central Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia where he completed some of the biggest investment and advisory transactions in the region," according to the website. "He also completed transactions in the Middle East, and traveled extensively in Asia and Africa."

The page continues: "Prior to founding Tungsten he was a Managing Director responsible for investment banking origination and client coverage activities for Russia and CIS region at UniCredit Group – the largest international bank in Central and Eastern Europe at that time. Previously he worked as a Vice President Investment Banking at JPMorgan Chase, Principal Banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the EBRD), Senior Associate at Bankers Trust and Manager at Central Europe Trust."

Leonid Vindman "received his Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business," his company website says.

The company's founding and managing partner Maria Starkova-Vindman is described as "an art historian and art advisor" who previously "worked at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow as an assistant keeper and curator, and taught on the Courtauld MA course on global contemporary art."

[Dec 13, 2019] Vindman reveals that he had been offered a position as defense minister of Ukraine

Dec 13, 2019 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

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Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman admitted that he had been offered to serve as minister of defense for Ukraine.

Vindman, 44, explained during his impeachment testimony that he had been offered the position three times but declined the position because of his loyalty to the United States. The lieutenant colonel was born in Ukraine, but his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was a toddler.

Vindman claimed he did not know why he was offered the high ranking position of defense minister.

[ Watch: House Intelligence Committee holds public impeachment hearing featuring Vindman ]

"Every single time, I dismissed it. Upon returning, I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about the offer," said Vindman, later adding, "I think it would be a great honor, and frankly, I'm aware of service members that have left service to help nurture the developing democracies in that part of the world."

He declined the offer and told Congress, "I'm an American. I came here when I was a toddler, and I immediately dismissed these offers. I did not entertain them."

Vindman added that he found the offer "rather comical," saying, "I was being asked to consider whether I would want to be the minister of defense, I did not leave the door open at all. But it is pretty funny for a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army, which really is not that senior, to be offered that illustrious of a position."

He explained that he had no follow-up questions about the position with his chain of command. Vindman said he was not concerned about a "perception of a conflict of interest" following his offer because he only valued the opinion of his American colleagues.

"Frankly, if they were concerned with me being able to continue my duties, they would have brought that to my attention," said Vindman.

Vindman is the top Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council. He testified that he raised concerns about President Trump's phone call with President Zelensky, calling it "improper."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_xjVgO3oJ8Y

[Dec 13, 2019] 'Pushing a coup' Fellow soldiers slam Vindman for testifying in uniform

Dec 13, 2019 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

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'Pushing a coup': Fellow soldiers slam Vindman for testifying in uniform by Russ Read | November 08, 2019 03:49 PM Print this article S ome of Alexander Vindman's fellow soldiers have blasted him for testifying in uniform during the House impeachment hearings, accusing him of politicizing the military by stating personal opinions that were highly critical of President Trump.

Vindman, 44, the National Security Council's Ukraine director , was thrust into the political spotlight when he testified before Congress on Oct. 29 as one of the few people who listened in on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

His appearance in uniform has been a point of contention. Military members detailed to the NSC typically wear suits but Vindman gave his testimony in uniform, and was lauded for having been awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded in Iraq, and a Combat Infantryman's Badge.

"This is a bad look for him to be in uniform," an active duty military officer stationed at the Pentagon told the Washington Examiner. "He makes it look like the Army is behind this. Like the Army is pushing a coup."

Another officer was concerned that Vindman's testimony veered too much into personal assessment. "I don't care what he thinks, he's entitled to his opinion," the officer said. "But it's an opinion and he should give it without the uniform."

A third officer said that Vindman's weight indicated he would be unlikely to pass the Combat Fitness Test even though he had achieved a Ranger tab earlier in his career.

Matt Zeller, an Afghanistan veteran and fellow at the American Security Project, defended Vindman. "I think he's a patriot, and how he's been treated is an abomination," Zeller told the Washington Examiner . "All he is is a public servant doing his duty."

Vindman might have been required to wear his uniform, Zeller said, although where Army regulations come down on the issue is unclear. The Army's Training and Doctrine Command did not respond to questions from the Washington Examiner .

H.R. McMaster, who was an active duty lieutenant general in the Army during his tenure as national security adviser, did not normally wear his uniform at the White House.

Military personnel such as Vindman detailed to the NSC operate within a unique system. Unlike other troops who report to military commanders, military NSC staffers fall under directors within the NSC itself. As a Ukraine expert, Vindman reports to civilian Andrew Peek, who replaced Tim Morrison as the NSC's senior director for European and Russian affairs after Morrison announced his departure last Wednesday, one day before he testified before the House impeachment proceeding.

Military detailees generally are assigned to a unit within the Department of Defense for administrative issues such as leave and pay. Performance reports, however, are handled by the individual's boss on the NSC.

Most NSC staffers are drawn from the military and various other government agencies. They generally are recruited via word-of-mouth, another change from typical government agencies that are notorious for their long application processes.

The Reagan administration's NSC included Lt. Gen. Colin Powell and Lt. Col. Oliver North, . Powell was national security adviser from 1987 to 1989 and went on to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State . North was on the NSC from 1981 to 1986 and testified in uniform during the Iran-Contra hearings.

Vindman returned to work after his testimony and is expected to stay on at the NSC until his appointment ends next summer.

[Dec 13, 2019] Rudy Giuliani Can Barely Contain Himself Over His Ukraine Findings

Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Rudy Giuliani Can Barely Contain Himself Over His Ukraine Findings by Tyler Durden Fri, 12/13/2019 - 17:05 0 SHARES

Rudy Giuliani is grinning like the Cheshire cat. His standard smile.

For the past several weeks, the personal attorney to President Trump has been in Ukraine, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence to shed light on what the Bidens were up to during the Obama years, and get to the bottom of claims that Kiev interfered in the 2016 US election in favor of Hillary Clinton. He has enlisted the help of former Ukrainian diplomat, Andriy Telizhenko, to gather information from politicians and ask them to participate in a documentary series in partnership with One America News Network (OANN) - which will make the case for investigating the Bidens as well as Burisma Holdings - the natural gas firm which employed the son of a sitting US Vice President in a case which reeks of textbook corruption.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zi2UWTO2DyY

According to the Journal , Giuliani will present findings from his self-described "secret assignment" in a 20-page report .

Trump and Giuliani say then-Vice President Biden engaged in corruption when he called for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had investigated a Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden served on the board. The Bidens deny wrongdoing, and ousting the prosecutor was a goal at the time of the U.S. and several European countries . - Wall Street Journal

( Note the Wall Street Journal's use of a straw man when they write: "The allegations of Ukrainian election interference are at odds with findings by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia was behind the election interference ."

Apparently the three journalists who collaborated on the article didn't get the memo that two countries can meddle at the same time, nor did any of them read the January, 2017 Politico article: Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire - which outlines how Ukrainian government officials conspired with a DNC operative to hurt the Trump campaign during the 2016 election - a move which led to the disruptive ouster of campaign chairman Paul Manafort).

Rudy Giuliani's trip to Kyiv this month, which he described as a "secret assignment," included a meeting with Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach. PHOTO: PRESS OFFICE OF ANDRIY DERKACH/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Telizhenko, the former diplomat, tells the Journal that the plan for the series was conceived during the impeachment hearings as a way for Giuliani to tell his side of the story. The former Ukrainian diplomat flew to Washington on November 20 to film with Giuliani, while in early December he accompanied America's Mayor on the Kiev trip - stopping in Budapest, Vienna and Rome.

Rudy comes home

Upon his return to New York on Saturday, Giuliani says he took a call from President Trump while his plane was still taxiing down the runway, according to the Wall Street Journal .

" What did you get? " Trump asked. " More than you can imagine ," answered the former New York mayor who gained notoriety in the 1980s for taking down the mob as a then-federal prosecutor.

According to the 77-year-old Giuliani, Trump instructed him to brief Attorney General William Barr and GOP lawmakers on his findings. Soon after, the president then told reporters at the White House, " I hear he has found plenty ."

Rudy has been working on this project for a while. In late January, he conducted phone interviews with former Ukrainian prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yiury Lutsenko. On the call was George Boyle - Giuliani's Chief Operating Officer and Director of Investigations. Boyle started as a NYPD beat cop in 1987, and was promoted to detective - eventually joining the Special Victims Squad. In short, the ever-grinning Giuliani has some serious professionals working on this.

" When he believes he's right, he loves taking on fights ," said longtime Giuliani friend, Tony Carbonetti.

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That said, Giuliani's efforts have not gone off without a hitch. In October, two associates - Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both of whom assisted with his Ukraine investigation, were related in October on campaign-finance charges. Both men have pleaded not guilty, while Giuliani denies wrongdoing and says they did not lobby him. Parnas, notably, was also on the January call with Shokin and Lutsenko as a translator.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tc4nQD6eiW4

In pressing ahead on Ukraine, Mr. Giuliani has replaced the translation skills of Messrs. Parnas and Fruman with an app he downloaded that allows him to read Russian documents by holding his phone over them . But on his recent trip, he said, "despite whatever else you can say, I missed them." - Wall Street Journal

Trump opponents insist Giuliani is conducting shadow foreign policy and orchestrated the ouster of former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch - who Ukraine's new president Volodomyr Zelensky complained on a now-famous July 25 phone call accused of not recognizing his authority.

In the impeachment hearings, witnesses accused Mr. Giuliani of conducting a shadow foreign policy and orchestrating the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. He was described as "problematic" and "disruptive" and, in testimony that cited former national security adviser John Bolton, likened to a "hand grenade that's going to blow everybody up." Mr. Giuliani has said he kept the State Department apprised of his efforts and that he was working at the president's behest. - Wall Street Journal

" Just having fun while Dems and friends try to destroy my brilliant career ," Giuliani wrote in a text message while conducting his investigation overseas.


Surftown , 8 minutes ago link

If it doesn't fit the Mueller narrative.

It doesn't fit the Horowitz narrative.

It fits the impeachment narrative.

- Pelosi, Podestas, Bidens, Clinton, Soros, washing foreign aid money, -- So the manufactured whistleblower handlers including DNI IG are dirty.

- But if nobody heard a conversation they Only heard "about" -- who in NSA or CIA ( Ciaramella) gave the illegal surveillance to Schiff?

That sounds like Brennan still doing his dirty work.

His name was Seth Rich.

J S Bach , 12 minutes ago link

Never forget... Giuliani was up to his neck in the treasonous happenings on 9/11. For that, he can NEVER be forgiven... no matter how much dirt he digs up in this inane Ukranian circus.

SolidGold , 6 minutes ago link

I get it. 911 was a deep state, CIA, Mossad type deal.

Giuliani was just the mayor.

rosiescenario , 12 minutes ago link

Maybe Rudy discovered just what the Ukraine arms dealer got in return from Pelosi and Schiff for their money?

precarryus , 18 minutes ago link

Three j ournalists also wrote a WSJ piece October 22, '19; one author same as December 13 piece. ( Identify a narrative?)

Excerpts:
" Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani have repeatedly promoted an unsubstantiated theory that Ukraine was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election, and that a related computer server is now located there. That theory is sharply at odds with the findings of a special counsel investigation and a 2017 U.S. intelligence community report that found Russia was responsible for the hack and leak of Democratic emails as part of a broader operation intended to aid Mr. Trump."... ...

... ... " Mr. Giuliani, who didn't respond to a request for comment, had for months pressed for Ukraine to investigate issues related to the 2016 election as well as Mr. Biden, a potential 2020 rival of Mr. Trump. As vice president under President Obama, Mr. Biden led an anti-corruption drive in Ukraine at the same time as his son received $50,000 a month for sitting on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, an arrangement Mr. Trump has called corrupt. Mr. Biden and his son have denied any wrongdoing, and no evidence of wrongdoing has been presented. "

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-diplomat-urged-ukrainian-president-to-convince-trump-he-would-investigate-corruption-11571770997?mod=hp_lead_pos6

[Dec 12, 2019] The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas: the problem is with the absence of the evidentiary record. It remains both incomplete and conflicted

This deal confirms the hypothesis that the DNC is fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump and another against the socialist faction of its own party.
Notable quotes:
"... Professor Turley correctly points out that there are several other serious issues over which Trump could (and should) probably be impeached. So why did House Speaker Pelosi allow only such a narrow and weak impeachment resolution? The text of the impeachment resolution is currently in the Judiciary Committee where it will be discussed today. The language may still get sharpened a bit but there will be no additions to its core. ..."
"... The Senate could interrupt the campaigning of several sitting Senators who run in the primaries to stand as the Democratic presidential candidate. It could call Joe and Hunter Biden and the 'whistleblower' as witnesses. It could dig deeper into Russia-gate. The risk for the Democrats during this process would be enormous. ..."
"... The piece goes on to say that the Republicans allegedly fear that they may not have the votes to call witnesses. That is of course nonsense. The Republicans have 53 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. And digging into the sleaze of Joe Biden would surely bring additional voter support and not risk any Senate seats. ..."
"... The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi. The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome. ..."
"... That a deal was made explains why Pelosi has chosen impeachment and not censure even as polls were showing opposition to impeachment. It explains why she allowed only a narrow resolution based on weak evidence. It explains why the House agreed to Trump's ginormous defense budget in the same week that it produced an impeachment resolution against him. It also guarantees that there would be no deeper digging by Democrats against Trump. It guarantees the he will under no circumstances be found guilty and impeached. ..."
"... Both sides can live with the results of this narrow process. The Democrats demonstrate to their core constituency that they are willing to take on Trump. The Republicans show that they stand with their president and against the lame accusations. ..."
"... my hunch is that he is in on the deal. The narrowness of the impeachment resolution prevents that some other dirty deals by him might come to light. It makes another real impeachment process more unlikely. It guarantees his political survival. ..."
"... So, after indulging her caucus, Pelosi has thus cut a deal to make sure it ends quickly. I think the double-dealing is harming her health, both physical and mental. ..."
"... I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump. Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment. ..."
"... The "political circus" is ongoing like some crazed Broadway production for 3+ years already and destined for more. That genuine articles of impeachment that ought to gain a conviction weren't employed is glaringly obvious to those few patriots that are watching. But the Congressional insanity continues as noted in my other comments made today. ..."
"... The average Republican in the Senate still does not like DJT. The average Republican in the Senate does not like where the DJT-phenomenon is leading the country (into the light) and therefore prefers a course of action to not only minimize the gain that POTUS could incur as a result of a full-blown impeachment, but also minimizes the damage to Democrats and their constituents that are still littered with true-believers suffering from massive TDS. ..."
"... he Repub decision for an expedited impeachment benefits everyone, including Biden, except Trump! ..."
"... Biden is still the front-runner (to my great surprise). A show in the senate could sink him, and then someone else would be nominated. Someone stronger, perhaps. Thus, tactically it might make sense to let Biden get the nomination, and then attack him with full force... ..."
"... If Biden was disposable, the impeachment would go on in its full or there would be simply a censure. The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode. ..."
"... Yep, and not just centrism, but the whole neo-liberal philosophy. Not to worry though, big organised $ will win the day. ..."
"... ...another reason might be that a lot of politicians from both parties are so corrupt that going after Biden could open a flood of scandals. ..."
"... I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Impeachment Deal Between The House And The Senate

Two weeks ago we analyzed the consequences of an impeachment process of President Donal Trump. We found that the Democrats would lose by impeaching him and would therefore likely censure him instead . We were wrong. A week later Pelosi announced to proceed with impeachment.

Only today did I understand where I was wrong and what had since happened. Let me walk you through it.

The earlier conclusion was based on this table of possible outcomes of an impeachment resolution:

If more Democratic swing-state representatives defect from the impeachment camp, which seems likely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a big problem. How can she proceed?

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

Looking at the choices it is quite curious why Pelosi took that decision and there has been so far no in-depth explanation for it.

The rather short House Resolution (also here ) Pelosi let pass has only two articles of impeachment of Trump. The issues over which he is supposed to be impeached for are very limited :

Democratic leaders say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, and then withheld $400 million in military aid as the U.S. ally faced an aggressive Russia.
They say he then obstructed Congress by stonewalling the House investigation.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky himself said that he did not know that Trump withheld the $400 million for Ukraine when he had the phone call with the president in which Trump asked him to dig into the Burisma/Biden affair. The request itself is legitimate as Biden has lots of dirt in Ukraine. But there was no quid-quo-pro and no bribery, at least not in the phone call the CIA 'whistleblower' and some of the witnesses complained about. Where then is the evidence that Trump abused his power?

The obstruction of Congress accusation is equally weak. Trump had rejected the House subpoenas to his staff because he wanted a judicial review of their legality. They might indeed infringe on certain presidential privileges. The court process would take several months but the Democrats simply do not want to wait that long. So who is really obstructing the legal process in this?

Law professor Jonathan Turley, who is not a Trump fan and had testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee, finds both points the Democrats make extremely week :

For three years, the same Democratic leadership told the public that a variety of criminal and impeachable acts were proven in the Mueller investigation. None of those crimes are now part of this impeachment.

Why? Because it would have been too easy an impeachment? Hardly.

Instead, the House will go forward on the only two plausible grounds that I outlined in my testimony - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Unlike the other claims, the problem is not with the legal basis for such impeachable offences but the evidentiary record.

This record remains both incomplete and conflicted. The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas rather than build a record to support such charges.
...
This is now the fastest investigation with the thinnest record supporting the narrowest impeachment in modern history.
...
The Democrats just gave Trump the best Christmas gift he could hope for under these two circumstances ...

Professor Turley correctly points out that there are several other serious issues over which Trump could (and should) probably be impeached. So why did House Speaker Pelosi allow only such a narrow and weak impeachment resolution? The text of the impeachment resolution is currently in the Judiciary Committee where it will be discussed today. The language may still get sharpened a bit but there will be no additions to its core.

The House will then vote on it within the next week. The Senate will launch the impeachment trial in January.

Which brings me back to the possible outcomes table:

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

The Senate could interrupt the campaigning of several sitting Senators who run in the primaries to stand as the Democratic presidential candidate. It could call Joe and Hunter Biden and the 'whistleblower' as witnesses. It could dig deeper into Russia-gate. The risk for the Democrats during this process would be enormous.

But Pelosi still took that way and allowed for only a very weak impeachment resolutions. That led me to assume that a deal was made that allowed Pelosi to go that way. But there was no sign that such a deal was made. Only today do we get the confirmation, as open as we will ever get it, that a deal has indeed been made.

The Republican led Senate will not dig into the Democrats but will vote against impeachment without using the process to hit at the political enemy :

Senate Republicans are coalescing around a strategy of holding a short impeachment trial early next year that would include no witnesses , a plan that could clash with President Trump's desire to stage a public defense of his actions toward Ukraine that would include testimony the White House believes would damage its political rivals.

Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus.

"I would say I don't think the appetite is real high for turning this into a prolonged spectacle," Senate Majority Whip John Thune (S.D.), the chamber's ­second-ranking Republican, told The Washington Post on Wednesday when asked whether Trump will get the witnesses he wants in an impeachment trial.
...
Most notably, a quick, clean trial is broadly perceived to be the preference of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) , who wants to minimize political distractions in an election year during which Republicans will be working to protect their slim majority in the chamber.

The piece goes on to say that the Republicans allegedly fear that they may not have the votes to call witnesses. That is of course nonsense. The Republicans have 53 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. And digging into the sleaze of Joe Biden would surely bring additional voter support and not risk any Senate seats.

The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi. The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome.

The narrowness and weakness of the impeachment resolution that can not hurt the president was in exchange for a no-fuzz process in the Senate that will not dig into Biden and will not hurt the Democrats during next year's election.

That a deal was made explains why Pelosi has chosen impeachment and not censure even as polls were showing opposition to impeachment. It explains why she allowed only a narrow resolution based on weak evidence. It explains why the House agreed to Trump's ginormous defense budget in the same week that it produced an impeachment resolution against him. It also guarantees that there would be no deeper digging by Democrats against Trump. It guarantees the he will under no circumstances be found guilty and impeached.

Both sides can live with the results of this narrow process. The Democrats demonstrate to their core constituency that they are willing to take on Trump. The Republicans show that they stand with their president and against the lame accusations.

Trump will loudly claim that he does not like that the Senate will shut down the issue as soon as possible. He will twitter that the Senate must tear into Biden and other Democrats. He will play deeply disappointed when it does not do that.

But my hunch is that he is in on the deal. The narrowness of the impeachment resolution prevents that some other dirty deals by him might come to light. It makes another real impeachment process more unlikely. It guarantees his political survival.

The question left is if there were additional elements in this deal. What could those be about?

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Posted by b on December 12, 2019 at 18:44 UTC | Permalink


c1ue , Dec 12 2019 18:52 utc | 1

Don't forget Sanders. Pelosi pulling back from any impeachment attempt would only serve to underscore the pusillanimity of the Democratic leadership. If the Democrats *must* do an impeachment but would be hurt by a Republican Senate hit back, this deal makes perfect sense.
M , Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 2
Clearly Trump doesn't care about doling out money to corrupt countries. If he did, he would be stopping aid to Israel where Netanyahu has actually been indicted on multiple counts of corruption.
rucio , Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 3
So, after indulging her caucus, Pelosi has thus cut a deal to make sure it ends quickly. I think the double-dealing is harming her health, both physical and mental.
M , Dec 12 2019 19:07 utc | 4
Dems will be able to paint swing state republicans that have been trying to distance themselves from Trump as Trump lackeys for their 2020 reelection bids. Saying these GOP senators are perfectly fine with inviting foreign interference into elections.
Ed , Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5
To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump. Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

dbriz , Dec 12 2019 19:29 utc | 8
@c1ue #6

Not sure. McConnell may actually prefer working against a Dem prez than working for a Pub. Especially a Pub loose cannon like Trump. To date, McConnell has a better record in obstructing Dem execut8ve plans than passing GOP proposals.

Bernard makes a lot of sense today. The swamp is on the verge of eating its own and neither Pelosi or McConnell desire that.

karlof1 , Dec 12 2019 19:32 utc | 9
rucio @3--

Pelosi remains alive only through the deal she made with the Devil decades ago which she continues to honor daily.

This quote from the cited WaPost article is too funny:

"Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus ." [my emphasis]

The "political circus" is ongoing like some crazed Broadway production for 3+ years already and destined for more. That genuine articles of impeachment that ought to gain a conviction weren't employed is glaringly obvious to those few patriots that are watching. But the Congressional insanity continues as noted in my other comments made today.

Someone wrote that this is the season of pantomime, and to that I must agree. Fantasies and falsehoods peddled as realities all for the purpose of further enriching the few while the many rejoice in their collective gullibility. Please, add another shot of brandy to my eggnog!

Nemesiscalling , Dec 12 2019 19:33 utc | 10
B, you are right that deals have been made, but you are wrong to think Trump is in on it.

He may go along with it, but that does not mean he is arguing from a point of weakness.

Here is the fact:

The average Republican in the Senate still does not like DJT. The average Republican in the Senate does not like where the DJT-phenomenon is leading the country (into the light) and therefore prefers a course of action to not only minimize the gain that POTUS could incur as a result of a full-blown impeachment, but also minimizes the damage to Democrats and their constituents that are still littered with true-believers suffering from massive TDS.

If they look weak towards POTUS, the Dems will have signaled their acknowledgment that this whole affair is in fact a distraction.

Therefore, you can see that the Repub decision for an expedited impeachment benefits everyone, including Biden, except Trump!

It can be inferred that the Repubs are still dreaming of DJT's eventual dethronement and a return to the standard operating procedure of the pre-DJT era.

Thank you for helping me understand it more, b!

Mao Cheng Ji , Dec 12 2019 19:35 utc | 11
Biden is still the front-runner (to my great surprise). A show in the senate could sink him, and then someone else would be nominated. Someone stronger, perhaps. Thus, tactically it might make sense to let Biden get the nomination, and then attack him with full force...

Who knows. They have consultants to tell them how to play the game.

vk , Dec 12 2019 19:42 utc | 12
This deal confirms my long-held hypothesis that the DNC is fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump and another against the socialist faction of its own party.

If Biden was disposable, the impeachment would go on in its full or there would be simply a censure. The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode.

LIkklemore , Dec 12 2019 19:46 utc | 13
On mobile and Unable to link to the

Two articles on Zerohedge citing Wapo and Derskowitz

ben , Dec 12 2019 19:57 utc | 14
vk @ 7 said;"The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode."

Yep, and not just centrism, but the whole neo-liberal philosophy. Not to worry though, big organised $ will win the day.

Mao Cheng Ji , Dec 12 2019 20:03 utc | 15
...another reason might be that a lot of politicians from both parties are so corrupt that going after Biden could open a flood of scandals.

I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat.

[Dec 12, 2019] The FBI - Pushed By John Brennan - Lied To The Court Seven Times To Spy On The Trump Campaign

Highly recommended!
And behind Brennan we can can see the Nobel Peace Price winner.
Notable quotes:
"... A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA. ..."
"... One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign. ..."
"... The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with. ..."
"... The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors. ..."
"... That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published ..."
"... That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs. ..."
"... (This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .) ..."
"... Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism. ..."
"... "Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted." ..."
"... ... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ... ..."
"... It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed. ..."
"... Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story). ..."
"... Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others. ..."
"... physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns. ..."
"... So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

On January 6 2017 this author concluded :

When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump.

The ultimate aim of the cabal is to kick him out of office and have a reliable replacement, like the Vice-President elect Pence, take over. Should that not be possible it is hoped that the delegitimization will make it impossible for Trump to change major policy trajectories especially in foreign policy. A main issue here is the reorientation of the U.S. military complex and its NATO proxies from the war of terror towards a direct confrontation with main powers like Russia and China.

...

A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA.

One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign.

The Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department Michael Horowitz has investigated the FBI operation against the election campaign of Donald Trump. Yesterday he published his report, Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane Investigation (pdf). It is 480 pages long and quite thorough but unfortunately very limited in its scope.

Horowitz finds that the FBI was within the law when it opened the investigation but that the FBI's applications to the FISA court, which decides if the FBI can spy on someone's communications, were based on lies and utterly flawed.

Your host unfortunately lacked the time so far to read more than the executive summary. But others have pointed out some essential findings.

Matt Taibbi remarks :

The Guardian headline reads: " DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser ."

If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a "clearing" of the FBI, never clear me of anything. ...

Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz's conclusion that there was no evidence of "political bias or improper motivation" in the FBI's probe of Donald Trump's Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had "authorized purpose" to conduct.

...

However, Horowitz describes at great length an FBI whose "serious" procedural problems and omissions of "significant information" in pursuit of surveillance authority all fell in the direction of expanding the unprecedented investigation of a presidential candidate (later, a president).

...

There are too many to list in one column, but the Horowitz report show years of breathless headlines were wrong. Some key points:

The so-called "Steele dossier" was, actually, crucial to the FBI's decision to seek secret surveillance of Page. ...

...

The "Steele dossier" was "Internet rumor," and corroboration for the pee tape story was "zero." ...

John Solomon finds :

Appendix 1 identifies the total violations by the FBI of the so-called Woods Procedures, the process by which the bureau verifies information and assures the FISA court its evidence is true.

The Appendix identifies a total of 51 Woods procedure violations from the FISA application the FBI submitted to the court authorizing surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page starting in October 2016.

A whopping nine of those violations fell into the category called: "Supporting document shows that the factual assertion is inaccurate."

For those who don't speak IG parlance, it means the FBI made nine false assertions to the FISA court. In short, what the bureau said was contradicted by the evidence in its official file.

The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with.

The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors.

That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published . Here is what we wrote about it at that time:

The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous compatriot that two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claimed to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin.

They assert that Trump was supported and directed by Putin himself five years ago while even a year ago no one would have bet a penny on Trump gaining any political significant position or even the presidency.

There is a lot more of such nonsense in these new Hitler diaries. It is bonkers from a to z.

Those who thought otherwise should question their judgment.

It is now claimed that the FBI is exculpated because the Horowitz report did not find "political bias or improper motivation". But that omits the fact that at least four high ranking people in the FBI and Justice Department who were involved in the case were found to be politically biased and were removed from their positions.

It also omits that the scope of Horowitz's investigation was limited to the Justice Department. He was not able to investigate the CIA and its former director John Brennan who was alleging Russia-Trump connections months before the FBI investigation started:

Contrary to a general impression that the FBI launched the Trump-Russia conspiracy probe, Brennan pushed it to the bureau – breaking with CIA tradition by intruding into domestic politics: the 2016 presidential election. He also supplied suggestive but ultimately false information to counterintelligence investigators and other U.S. officials.

The current CIA director Gina Haspel was CIA station chief in London during that time and while several of the entrapment attempts of Trump campaign staff by the FBI investigation happened. Horowitz spoke with neither of them.

Peter Van Buren concludes :

The current Horowitz Report, read alongside his previous report on how the FBI played inside the 2016 election vis-a-vis Clinton, should leave no doubt that the Bureau tried to influence the election of a president and then delegitimize him when he won. It wasn't the Russians; it was us.

That is correct, but the whole conspiracy was even deeper. It was not the FBI which initiated the case.

My hunch is still that the FBI investigation was a case of parallel construction which is often used to build a legitimate case after a suspicion was found by illegitimate means. In this case it was John Brennan who in early 2016 contacted the head of the British GCHQ electronic interception service and asked him to spy on the Trump campaign. GHCQ then claimed that something was found that was deemed suspicious :

That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs.

The FBI was tipped off on the issue and on July 31 2016 started an investigation to construct a parallel legal case. It send out British and U.S. agents to entrap Trump campaign members. It used the obviously fake Steele dossier to gain FISA court judgments that allowed it to spy on the campaign. Downing Street was informed throughout the whole affair. A day after Trump's inauguration the UK's then Prime Minister Theresa May fired GHCQ chief Robert Hannigan.

One still open question is to what extend then President Barack Obama was involved in the affair.

There is another ongoing investigation by U.S. Prosecutor John Durham. That investigation is not limited to the Justice Department but will involve all agencies and domestic as well as foreign sources. Durham has the legal rights to declassify whatever is needed and he can indict persons should he find that they committed a crime. His report will hopefully go much deeper than the already horrendous stuff Horowitz delivered.

(This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .)

Posted by b on December 11, 2019 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink


Antoinetta III , Dec 11 2019 16:27 utc | 1

Do we have any idea when the Durham report will be coming out?

Antoinetta III

casey , Dec 11 2019 16:30 utc | 2
Anyone taking bets on Durham/Barr making indictments in this mess? My guess is a whole lot of horse trading is going on behind the scenes now, as in, "I'll trade you a censure for all potential indictments going down the memory hole."
Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 16:54 utc | 3
Typical dog and pony show which will change nothing relating to interventionist foreign policy and the new cold war with Russia. Too many saw benefits from the corruption in Ukraine to dig deep there; the Bidens were just the most blatant, Lindsey Graham and others from both parties were involved so don't expect much from the Senate hearings. The bipartisan major goals are a fait accompli; universal acceptance that Russia worked to undermine our elections (and to destroy our "Democracy") and are thus an enemy we must fight, and it's universally accepted by all that we MUST provide Ukraine with Javelin missiles and other lethal aid to fight "Russian Aggression" (with little mention that even Obama balked at that reckless option). All of these proceedings are great distractions, but the weapons of war will not be diminished.
c1ue , Dec 11 2019 17:08 utc | 4
@Kabobyak #3

Very possibly, but the Afghanistan papers have made an impact on some people: American Conservative editor is outraged, including militating against his children serving in the military and taxpayers funding it

jayc , Dec 11 2019 17:10 utc | 5
Another candidate for Steele's "primary source" is Stefan Halper. Svetlana Lhokova suggested that this past Sunday.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 17:12 utc | 6
Unfortuneately, few will question the findings of these investigations or consider the possibility that the investigations themselves are misdirection/cover-up.

Repeating my comment from yesterday on the Open Thread :

IMO the Lavrov-Pompeo presser is notable mostly for Lavrov's discussion of Russiagate (about 6 minutes in).

Lavrov tells us that the Russian's repeatedly sought to clarify their noninterference by publishing correspondence - which the Trump Administration didn't respond to. And he actual mentions McCarthyism!

Wait, wot?

Yeah, during the worst of the Russiagate accusations, Trump wouldn't do things that would've helped to prove that Russiagate was a farce!!

So, during the election, Trump called on Putin to publish Hillary's emails (the very act of making such a request is likely illegal because at the time it was known that her emails contained highly classified info) but he wouldn't accept Russia's publication of exculpatory info about Russiagate?!?!

This would cause cognitive dissonance galore in an Americans that hear it - so one can be sure that it will not be reported.

Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism.

Meanwhile in bizarroland (aka USA), Barr says Russiagate is a fantasy based on FBI "bad faith" - yet Pompeo still presses on with the "Russia meddled" bullshit.

!!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:24 utc | 7
thanks b... i like your example in the comment - ''those who thought otherwise should question their judgment''.. good example!

i am a bit concerned like @ 2 casey, that most of this is going to go down the memory hole and there will be that made in america stamp on it - ''no accountability''... i wish i was wrong, but getting worked up at the idea anyone is going to be held accountable for any actions of the usa, or the insiders playing the usa, is clearly a fools game at this point.. all i mostly see is the needed collapse and waiting for that to happen..

Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 8
@c1ue #4

Thanks for that, there are definitely cracks in the armor and we should promote that narrative as you do in your link. Tulsi Gabbard has also expanded the awareness, hopefully she will make the upcoming debates despite strong efforts to silence her. I'll try more to focus on the positive!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 9
@ 6 jr.. there is a press release on all what was said here for anyone interested..

lavrov quote and etc. etc.. "We suggested to our colleagues that in order to dispel all suspicions that are baseless, let us publish this closed-channel correspondence starting from October 2016 till November 2017 so it would all become very clear to many people. However, regrettably, this administration refused to do so. But I'd like to repeat once again we are prepared to do that, and to publish the correspondence that took place through that channel would clear many matters up, I believe. Nevertheless, we hope that the turbulence that appeared out of thin air will die down, just like in 1950s McCarthyism came to naught, and there'll be an opportunity to go back to a more constructive cooperation."

evilempire , Dec 11 2019 17:44 utc | 10
I continue to believe that the FBI and Horowitz perjured themselves in the FISA report. To correct a mistake in a previous post I made, I believe they lied when the claimed the Steele Dossier was not a predicate for opening crossfire hurricane. How can the Steele dossier not be instrumental in the opening of the investigation when bruce ohr's wife nellie ohr was working at fusion gps when bruce ohr met with steele to discuss the dirty dossier.

In other words, the FBI was concocting Operation Crossfire Hurricane prior to the time they had any knowledge of the phony Papadopoulus predicate that the russians were proferring the clinton emails to the trump campaign.

The FISA report claim that Operation Crossfire Hurricane was predicated solely on the Papadopolous allegations is therefore a lie. There was, in fact, no real predicate for Operation Crossfire Hurricane. The predications cited were all fictions and inventions fabricated in a conspiracy between MI6(the FFC or

friendly foreign country cited in the Horowitz report), the DOJ and the FBI. Operation Crossfire Hurricane was a massive Psyop from its inception.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 18:19 utc | 12
james @9

What major publications have picked up this info from the State Dept PR? Which of them are questioning why Trump didn't agree to let the Russians publish the exonerating information? And how many of those are linking this strange fact to other strange facts and thus raising troubling questions about the 2016 election?

<> <> <> <> <> <>

It's not just that Trump refused to publish exculpatory material. Anyone that's been reading my comments (and/or my blog) knows that Trump also:

- hired Manafort - whose work for pro-Russian candidates in Ukraine had drawn the ire of CIA - despite Manafort's having no recent experience with US elections;

- helped Pelosi to be elected Speaker of the House by inviting her to attend a White House meeting about his border wall (along with Chuck Schumer) prior to the House vote to elect a Speaker.

- initiated Ukrainegate by talking with Ukraine's President about investigating an announced candidate - he didn't have to do this(!) he could've let subordinates work behind the scenes .

And then there's a set of suspicious activity that is difficult to explain, such as: ...

- Kissinger's having called for MAGA in August 2014 (Trump announced his campaign 10 months later and he was the ONLY MAGA candidate and the ONLY populist in the Republican primary) ;

- London as a nexus for the US 2016 campaign (Cambridge Analytica; GPS Fusion; Halper, etc.) ;

- Hillary's making mistakes in the 2016 campaign that no seasoned politician would make;

- the settling of scores via entrapments of Flynn, Manafort, and Wikileaks/Assange (painted as a hostile intelligence agency and Russian agent).

All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate.

!!

Piotr Berman , Dec 11 2019 18:28 utc | 13
The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous asserted compatriot what two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claim to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin. <-- Perhaps it is too much to add that the entire conversation happen in a pub, like an eyewitness account of a trout caught by an angler that was larger than a tiger shark [the trout was so large, not the angler].

Really?? , Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14
James #11

I am a great fan of Dmitri Orlov and have just read a large portion of his linked post.

What I do not see Orlov doing is taking into account--in his takedown of "scientific" models---evidence of global warming/change such as *actual* observations of *actual, current* phenomena that are being measured today, such as the condition of the world's coral reefs; the rate of melting of permafrost and release of methane gas; the melting of Greenland (and other) glaciers and release of fresh water into the oceans; acidification of oceans; and quite a lot of evidence for sea level rise, such as saltwater intrusion into freshwater swamps, aquifers, etc.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 18:38 utc | 15
More can be gleaned by the manner in which BigLie Media spin the investigation's results. At The Hill , Jonathon Turley makes that clear in the first paragraph:

"The analysis of the report by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz greatly depends, as is often the case, on which cable news channel you watch. Indeed, many people might be excused for concluding that Horowitz spent 476 pages to primarily conclude one thing, which is that the Justice Department acted within its guidelines in starting its investigation into the 2016 campaign of President Trump."

The further he goes the worse it gets for the Ds. And he's 100% correct about the biases present in reporting about the Report. Remarks made by Lavrov at the presser were likely done prior to anyone from Russia's delegation having digested any of the Report. What I found important was the following revelation by Lavrov:

"Let me remind you that at the time of the first statements on this topic, which was on the eve of the 2016 US presidential election, we used the communications channel that linked back then Moscow and the Obama administration in Washington to ask our US partners on numerous occasions whether these allegations that emerged in October 2016 and persisted until Donald Trump's inauguration could be addressed. The reply never came. There was no response whatsoever to all our proposals when we said: look, if you suspect us, let's sit down and talk, just put your facts on the table. All this continued after President Trump's inauguration and the appointment of a new administration. We proposed releasing the correspondence through this closed communications channel for the period from October 2016 until January 2017 in order to dispel all this groundless suspicion. This would have clarified the situation for many. Unfortunately, this time it was the current administration that refused to do so. Let me reiterate that we are ready to disclose to the public the exchanges we had through this channel . I think that this would set many things straight. Nevertheless we expect the turbulence that appeared out of thin air to calm down little by little, just as McCarthyism waned in the 1950s, so that we can place our cooperation on a more constructive footing." [My Emphasis]

Lavrov on Mueller Report: "It contains no confirmation of any collusion." End of story. But we do have all this compiled evidence within our communications we're ready to publish is the USA

agrees.

The Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) organization has yet to publish anything about the report. However, Matt Taibbi often writes for that outlet, so his reporting at Rolling Stone ought to be seen as a proxy FAIR report.

Michael Droy , Dec 11 2019 18:42 utc | 16
Great stuff as ever. How useful is it that Skripal is Unavailable but not Dead? For example does it affect redaction of material linked to him?
Jon Carter , Dec 11 2019 18:59 utc | 17
Now that we know Carter Page was working for the CIA as an informant in 2016, is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?
GeorgeV , Dec 11 2019 19:11 utc | 18
The Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Micheal Horowitz's report on the move to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is clear proof of the massive rot that lies at the heart of the US' political system. If this matter is whitewashed over by the MSM, then one more step will have been taken to a violent and bloody revolution in the US of A.
JR , Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20
By now Steele's credibility is zero. Time to revisit Steele's involvement with the debunked "Russia bought the soccer World Champion games", the Litvinenko polonium poisening and the Skripal novichok poisening. The timing of the Skripal matter deserves some scrutiny in relation to Skripal possibly being Steele's source for the infamous Trump dossier. There might be a motive hidden there.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 19:44 utc | 21
Jon Carter @17:
... is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?

And then there's Simon Bracey Lane in the Sanders campaign as described here: British Spies Infiltrated Bernie Sanders' Campaign?

Plus we have the strange goings-on of Halper and Mifsud as well as Gina Haspel in London also.

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 11 2019 20:04 utc | 22
karlof1 #15

Thank you for posting Lavrov's words. Between those words and the IG report the kabuki farce is revealed. Why was Trump ignoring the Russian offer you might ask. Because it suited him to have this nonsense dominate the news cycle, you might conclude. Trump and Comey and Brennan deserve each other.

Lavrov's words condemn the three of them.

S , Dec 11 2019 20:25 utc | 24
Twitter account @Techno_Fog lists MSM shills who assured the public the FISA warrant on Page was not based on Steele dossier (h/t Zero Hedge).
james , Dec 11 2019 20:26 utc | 25
just like 9-11... this is an inside job... does anyone really think the truth is going to come to light in any of it?? i'm still with @ 2 caseys view...
karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 20:48 utc | 27
uncle tungsten @22--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, agreed, and I'd add Obama and Clinton. Lavrov also held another presser at the conclusion of his visit that provides additional info not covered in the first. The following is one I thought important:

"Question: The day before, US Congress agreed on a draft military budget, which includes possible sanctions against Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream. Have you covered this topic? The Congress sounds very determined. How seriously will the new restrictions affect the completion of our projects?

"Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted."

I must emphatically agree with Lavrov's opinion and was very pleased he answered forthrightly. What seems quite clear is the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate, with bipartisan Congressional backing. That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned. So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance made reality by that policy goal. That a supermajority in Congress remain deluded is clearly a huge problem, and those continuing to vote for the War Budget need to be removed.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:03 utc | 28
b posted, in part;"When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump."

It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
This tweet sums up things nicely in ways BigLie Media won't:

With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:18 utc | 30
Jrabbit @ 12 said; "All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate."

YEP!!!!!

Paul Damascene , Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

Karlof1 @ 29--

Are you aware of any means by which a member of congress or of a congressional committee can be impeached or otherwise censured for the misconduct of official duties? That would at least be Schiff...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

james , Dec 11 2019 21:25 utc | 33
@ 31 john.. i didn't know i had to read the orlov article to say what i did to you!! your post @11 never make any internet link to orlov... what am i missing? does this mean i can only speak with you after i have read another orlov article? lol...
james , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 34
i see it now.. my comment still stands though... people seem especially pugnacious today..
William Gruff , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 35
"It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO." --ben @28

Ah, but that would be legitimate deligitimization, like attacking his actual policies. Those are rocks that would break the Democrats' own windows as well as Trump's.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:30 utc | 36
29 Cont'd--

And Congress continues to alienate allies :

"So far on Dec 11:

1. Senate Foreign Relations Comm passed Turkey sanctions bill

2. Pentagon Chief warned Turkey moving away NATO

3. U.S. lawmakers introduce legislation to curb Turkey's nuclear weapon obtainment"

Finally, the pretense of being nice to Turkey has come to an end. It will now intensify its looking East, and pursue its national interests. IMO, the Eastern Med's energy issues will now become a major headache.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:40 utc | 37
karlof @ 29: The head Dems know their pushing the " Russia did it"meme is weak, but the PTB

insist on it, to keep the MIC funds flowing.

The "no-brainer" charges should be; "Obstruction" and "Emoluments" violations. Charges the public can grasp.

What happens if you, or any average person, ignores a summons to appear? They are arrested.

Funneling govt. funds for personal gain is a violation of law, if you are POTUS.

These are violations average Americans can grasp, not the current circus of he said, she said, going on in D.C. lately.

Guess my point is, this hearings are built to fail, because most of our so-called leaders like things the way they are. The rape of the workings classes will continue.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:41 utc | 38
Paul Damascene @32--

Yes. The impeachment process is the same as for Trump. Censuring is much easier but doubt it will occur as too many are deserving. We're seeing the reason Congressional elections are held every two years--vote 'em out if they're no good!

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 22:01 utc | 40
karlof1 @27:

... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ...

I don't agree that the baton would be passed to Clinton. The Deep State uses the two-party system as a device. It's not tied to partisan concerns. If the Deep State and the establishment really wanted Clinton elected, they would've made that happen. Few expected Trump to win and few would've been outraged if he had lost. Yet he won. Against all odds. Furthermore, Clinton wasn't the MAGA candidate as called for by Kissinger - Trump was. And he was from the beginning of his candidacy.

Russiagate was based on suspicions of a populist that was compromised by Russia. Hillary has too much baggage to play populist or nationalist - including Bill's involvement with Epstein.

Also, you're forgetting the set ups of Manafort, Flynn, and Wikileaks/Assange - which were important parts of Russiagate and also a convenient way of settling scores. These set-ups required the Russiagate-tainted candidate (Trump) to win.

And Trump's beating Hillary makes him the classic come-from-behind hero - giving Trump a certain legitimacy that an establishment candidate wouldn't have. That's important when contemplating taking the country to war in the near future.

It's strange to me that people can think that Hillary was the 'chosen candidate', and be OK with that but find a possible selection of a different candidate (Trump, as it turns out) to be outrageous and inconceivable.

=

... with bipartisan Congressional backing . That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned.

Since the Deep State and the Establishment desired an effort to restore the Empire, they would turn to whomever could most effectively accomplish that task.

Once again: It didn't have to be Hillary that was selected. In fact, for many reasons (that I've previously expressed) Hillary would have been a poor choice.

=

So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people ...

FSD is US Mil policy, not a political goal. It states that US Mil will strive to have superiority in weapons and capability in every sphere of combat.

Politically, FSD is just one of several means to an end. IMO that end is the maintenance and expansion of the Anglo-Zionist Empire (aka New World Order).

Also, your dominance theory doesn't answer the question of WHY NOW? (more on that below)

... regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance ...

Firstly, US Deep State believes that it is possible. And I personally don't buy the notion that Russia and China are fated to prevail. If that were obvious, then the moa bar would have no patrons.

Secondly (and again), WHY NOW? The Sino-Russo Alliance was long in the making. Why did USA suddenly take note?

It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

I've written many times of Kissinger's Op-Ed and of indications that the Deep State selected MAGA Trump to be President while also initiating a new McCarthyism. Why is it STILL so difficult to believe a theory that makes so much sense?

!!

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:08 utc | 41
ben @37--

Yes, the status quo is very generous to the Current Oligarchy and its tools, but not so for the vast public majority which is clamoring for change. IMO, much can be learned from the UK election tomorrow, of which there's been very little discussion here despite its importance. I suggest following the very important developments from the past few days at Criag Murray's Twitter and at his website , the linked article being a scoop of sorts.

Also harder to follow but important as well are ballot initiatives within the states. This site has current listing . I just looked over those for California where there are a few good ones, but the threshold for signatures is getting higher, close to one million are now needed in CA.

Cortes , Dec 11 2019 22:34 utc | 43
Lavrov's comments about the offers to open up normally closed communications really only highlight two obvious issues:
AshenLight , Dec 11 2019 22:38 utc | 44
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

You'd think so, but somehow the numbers pretty much reverse when these same people consider their own rep, and the incumbency reelection rate is shockingly high (haven't looked recently but IIRC it has hovered around 90% for decades). Apparently it is amazingly easy to convince the masses that their guy is the one good apple in the bunch.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:39 utc | 45
Jon Schwartz reminds me why I don't stop and peruse magazine stands anymore. Seeing the words and this picture would've sparked lots of unpleasant language:

"The best part of Michelle Obama explaining she shares the same values as George W. Bush is she was being interviewed on network TV by Bush's daughter. There's nothing more American than our ruling class making us watch them discuss how great they all are."

And the escalation wasn't rigged for Clinton to initiate--yeah, sure, whatever the rabbit says.

steven t johnson , Dec 11 2019 22:42 utc | 46
Until there is some comparison of how the FISA court usually works, none of this chatter means a thing. Violations of Woods procedures and assertions not supported by documents are SOP. The FISA court is always a joke.

Delgeitimizing Trump, reversing the election, all simple-minded drviel, as only nitwits see Trump as anything but the loser.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 23:08 utc | 48
Jen, that's a really interesting post. Thanks.

Skripal knows something that US-UK either 1) don't want the Russians to know OR 2) don't want ANYONE to know.

What could that be? 1) That Steele dossier is bullshit? We know that. 2) That Steele dossier was meant to be bullshit ? Well, that raises a whole host of questions, doesn't it?

!!

Kabobyak , Dec 12 2019 0:45 utc | 51
Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story).

Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others.

daffyDuct , Dec 12 2019 2:26 utc | 56
c1ue @4

The Afghanistan report outlines a *massive fraud*. $14 billion/month, 90% of the world's opium, no "progress", oh, and lying to Congress for two decades.

ben , Dec 12 2019 3:24 utc | 59
OT, but this seems to be going around..Eh?

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/11/jeremy-corbyn-faces-russiagate-smear-campaign-before-uk-vote/#more-17822

ben , Dec 12 2019 4:47 utc | 62
physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns.
Piotr Berman , Dec 12 2019 5:03 utc | 63
Fox News, now: Biden blames staff, says nobody 'warned' him son's Ukraine job could raise conflict. In a TV comedy Seinfeld, one of the main characters, George, is a compulsive liar with a knack of getting in trouble. Sometimes he has a job. Final scene of one of those jobs:
evilempire , Dec 12 2019 5:34 utc | 64
I have theory about why Horowitz did not bias in the FBI. The definition of bias is to harbor a deeply negative feeling that clouds one's judgement about a person or subject. However, the conspirators' judgement was not clouded in this case. Their negative feelings focused their intent to destroy the object of

their feeling. The precise term for this is malice.

So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice.

Perimetr , Dec 12 2019 6:03 utc | 65
Re Really?? | Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14 and AshenLight | Dec 11 2019 19:36 utc | 19

I agree with you. Orlov is a brilliant, insightful analyst, who is also very funny. But he is off the mark with his dismissal of global warming and also with his endorsement of nuclear power. The immense amounts of waste from uranium mining all the way to hundreds of thousands of tons of high-level waste in spent fuel pools pose a huge threat to current and future generations . . . like the next 3000 generations of humans (and all other forms of life) that will have to deal with this. Mankind has never built anything that has lasted a fraction of the 100,000 years required for the isolation of high-level wastes from the biosphere. Take a look at Into Eternity which is a great documentary on the disposal of nuclear waste in Finland.

Orlov's analysis is superficial, unfortunately, in these areas.

[Dec 11, 2019] The belief that Trump is the victim of a vast and ongoing conspiracy is a crucial element of the president's enduring appeal to his supporters.

Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

If the allegations against the president are all completely false, then his supporters can continue to back him with a clear conscience, because anything and everything negative they hear about the president must be false. The consistency of that message is more important than the actual details, which frequently end up contradicting complex explanations for the president's innocence that are often incongruous with each other, such as the insistence that Robert Mueller's investigation was a "total exoneration" of the president, but also " total bullshit ."

[Dec 11, 2019] The neocon narrative that Ukraine did not interfere in 2016 elections started to crumple

Notable quotes:
"... Meet the Press ..."
"... Yes, something happened, but it was because Ukraine did it and not us ..."
"... David Hale, an undersecretary in Trump's own State Department, expressed that concern at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. When asked about the national-security ramifications of the rhetoric, Hale said pointedly, "It does not serve our interests." ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

This new front opened when Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, repeatedly insisted during last month's impeachment hearings that Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election against Trump. That drew a stern rebuke from one witness asked to testify, the former Trump National Security Council adviser Fiona Hill, who warned that congressional Republicans were spreading "a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves."

Read: The first impeachment witness to go after Republicans

But Hill's words have not stopped Republicans from reprising those arguments. In late November, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana claimed during a television interview that Ukraine, not Russia, might have hacked the Democratic National Committee's computers in 2016. After retreating from that claim , he went on Meet the Press on Sunday and equated public criticism of Trump by some Ukrainian officials with Russia's systematic interference campaign in 2016. The Senate Intelligence Committee, during its investigation of 2016 election meddling, found no evidence of Ukrainian interference . But when asked about Kennedy's comments this week, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the committee's chairman, came closer to endorsing rather than repudiating them.

"Every elected official in the Ukraine was for Hillary Clinton," Burr told NBC . "Is that very different than the Russians being for Donald Trump?" Burr went on to liken Russia's massive intelligence and hacking campaign to occasional public comments by Ukrainian officials critical of Trump. "The president can say that they meddled because they had a preference, the elected officials," Burr said . Other Republican senators, including John Barrasso of Wyoming, offered similar arguments this week. The report released on Monday by House Republicans likewise blurred the difference. "Publicly available -- and irrefutable -- evidence shows how senior Ukrainian government officials sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in opposition to President Trump's candidacy," the report insisted.

Tucker Carlson took these arguments to new heights on his show Monday night, not only minimizing Russian involvement in 2016 but questioning why the U.S. was opposing its incursion into Ukraine at all. "I think we should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine," Carlson insisted.

Republican foreign-policy experts are still worried about the attempts by GOP leaders to defend Trump by disparaging Ukraine.

"For starters, you end up validating the Kremlin line which they have been peddling since 2016: Yes, something happened, but it was because Ukraine did it and not us ," says Richard Fontaine, who runs the nonpartisan Center for a New American Security and was the top foreign-policy adviser to the late Senator John McCain of Arizona. "It's one thing if Putin says these things, or if Kremlin spokespeople say these things; people, I hope, will take it with a gigantic mountain of salt. But when you have U.S. elected leaders saying these things, it gives it a significant dose of credibility, and that's not a good thing."

David Hale, an undersecretary in Trump's own State Department, expressed that concern at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. When asked about the national-security ramifications of the rhetoric, Hale said pointedly, "It does not serve our interests."

The accusations against Ukraine have drawn forceful pushback this week from Democrats, but only a few Republicans -- most directly Senator Mitt Romney of Utah -- have openly condemned them. "What you are seeing unfortunately is Republicans wanting to just adopt and parrot the Trump talking points, which also coincide with the Putin talking points," Van Hollen said.

[Dec 11, 2019] Senate Republicans To Let Bidens Off The Hook May Skip Witnesses In 'Expedited' Impeachment Trial

Notable quotes:
"... According to the Washington Examiner , the GOP-controlled Senate have no plans to call key witnesses to testify in an impeachment trial. This means Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, John Kerry's stepson, Alexandra Chalupa and Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the Burisma case won't set foot in the Senate. ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... That may not play well with Trump's base, who was expecting to see a doddering Joe Biden and his cokehead son Hunter answer tough questions about Ukraine. ..."
"... Without witness testimony, the Senate proceedings would take roughly two weeks according to the report. ..."
"... On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. Notably, there is no mention "extortion" or "quid-pro-quo" - accusations Democrats have been pounding on throughout the process. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 Senate Republicans To Let Bidens Off The Hook? May Skip Witnesses In 'Expedited' Impeachment Trial by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/10/2019 - 19:45 0 SHARES

While House Democrats are about to impeach President Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for what looks like obvious corruption - Senate Republicans have no interest in calling witnesses to determine whether Trump's request was justified in the first place.

According to the Washington Examiner , the GOP-controlled Senate have no plans to call key witnesses to testify in an impeachment trial. This means Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, John Kerry's stepson, Alexandra Chalupa and Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the Burisma case won't set foot in the Senate.

Their reasoning? Senate Republicans have "no appetite" for it.

Senate impeachment rules require a majority vote to call witnesses, and with just two out of 53 votes to spare, there is no "appetite" among Republicans to pursue testimony from people that Democrats blocked Republicans from subpoenaing during the House investigation . Indeed, Republicans might forgo calling witnesses altogether, saying minds are made up on Trump's guilt or innocence and that testimony at trial on the Senate floor would draw out the proceedings unnecessarily. - Washington Examiner

Instead, top Senate Republicans are leaning towards calling a quick vote to acquit Trump once House Democrats and the White House have delivered their arguments.

"At that point, I would expect that most members would be ready to vote and wouldn't need more information," said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming - the #3 ranked Senate Republican. "Many people have their minds pretty well made up."

"Here's what I want to avoid: this thing going on longer than it needs to," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). " I want to end this. "

The president is not in danger of being removed from office by the Senate, a move that requires 67 votes.

But in a trial, he is seeking exoneration . Some Republicans question whether that's possible without hearing from witnesses, whether it be these or other less politically charged figures. " Not sure how you have a fair trial without calling witnesses ," said one Trump ally in the House.

But with some Senate Republicans facing uncertain 2020 reelection contests and others privately unhappy with Trump's behavior, mustering 51 GOP votes for Trump's dream witness list appears impossible.

" How many senators would enjoy a Trump rally? That's probably your whip count for calling Hunter, " a Republican senator said, requesting anonymity to speak candidly. Senate Democrats are not expected to provide any votes to call Biden or the others. Or they might ask so high a price, demanding that in exchange, they be allowed to call Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence, that Republicans balk. - Washington Examiner

"It becomes endless motions to call people, and I'm not sure what anybody gains from all that," said #2 Senate Republican, John Thune of South Dakota.

That may not play well with Trump's base, who was expecting to see a doddering Joe Biden and his cokehead son Hunter answer tough questions about Ukraine.

"President Trump's allies will want to see witnesses called. How many, and which witnesses, will quickly become a dividing line," said former Trump adviser Jason Miller, who co-hosts an impeachment-centric podcast with Steve Bannon.

Without witness testimony, the Senate proceedings would take roughly two weeks according to the report.

On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. Notably, there is no mention "extortion" or "quid-pro-quo" - accusations Democrats have been pounding on throughout the process.


LEEPERMAX , 39 seconds ago link

AS PREDICTED: LINDSEY GRAHAM DOES NOT WANT SCHIFF OR OTHER CONGRESSMEN TO TESTIFY AT SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

American Thinker

07564111 , 1 minute ago link

ROFLMFAO @ americans

The swamp will NEVER be punished.

The Swamp will NEVER be drained.

Both teams are in on the scam.

Justapleb , 1 minute ago link

Calling us stupid:

But with some Senate Republicans facing uncertain 2020 reelection contests and others privately unhappy with Trump's behavior, mustering 51 GOP votes for Trump's dream witness list appears impossible.

Oh, you mean their own corruption will be exposed.

They take us for idiots.

Bear , 2 minutes ago link

Democrats will claim that it was a rush to 'Political Judgement' and that they did all the investigating and the Senate did nothing ... which will be true.

We need a complete Senate trial to bring to light the truth ... the IG report did not do it and the DOJ seem impossibly incapable ... only chance is complete witnessed Senate trial

south40_dreams , 5 minutes ago link

Impeachment is to distract from the HUGE money being laundered through Ukraine and many many other countries. The numbers must be staggering

surf@jm , 7 minutes ago link

I,m just curious to see if anybody has the balls to publish the names of all the grifting family members of Senators and Congressmen and the details of what they are skimming and where.......

I Guess Peter Schweitzer is the closest we will get.....

A true unsung hero.....

Collectivism Killz , 7 minutes ago link

Well, I just watched Nadler's Articles of Impeachment presser. Jeez, I never saw the dems so scarred and glum. Nancy looked like a zombie, as did all the rest. Check out the fat, ugly bitch in the red jacket near Adam Schiff. Tells you all you need to know about the dems.

[Dec 10, 2019] FBI Didn't Tell Surveillance Court That Carter Page Was Operational Contact For CIA With Positive Assessment

Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI Didn't Tell Surveillance Court That Carter Page Was "Operational Contact" For CIA With "Positive Assessment" by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/10/2019 - 07:55 0 SHARES

Authored by Chuck Ross via National Interest,

The FBI failed to inform surveillance court judges that Carter Page was an "operational contact" for the CIA for years , and that an employee at the spy agency gave the former Trump aide a "positive assessment," according to a Justice Department report released Monday.

The finding is included in a list of seven of the FBI's "significant inaccuracies and omissions" in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page, a longtime energy consultant who joined the Trump campaign in March 2016.

(emphasis ours)

The report said the FBI "omitted" information it obtained from another U.S. government agency about its prior relationship with Page.

The agency approved Page as an "operational contact" from 2008 to 2013, according to the report.

"Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application," the report stated.

Page told the Daily Caller News Foundation he believes the agency in question is the CIA. Page has previously said he provided information to the CIA and FBI before becoming ensnared in the bureau's investigation of the Trump campaign.

The report stated an employee with the CIA assessed Page "candidly" described contact he had with a Russian intelligence officer in 2014. But the FBI cited Page's contact with the officer to assert in its FISA applications that there was probable cause to believe that Page was working as a Russian agent.

The IG faulted the FBI for failing to disclose to FISA judges that Page was an operational contact for the CIA for five years, and that "Page had disclosed to the other agency contacts that he had with Intelligence Officer 1 and certain other individuals."

The report also stated that the FBI omitted that "the other agency's employee had given a positive assessment of Page's candor."

The IG said the FBI's failure to disclose Page's relationship with the CIA "was particularly concerning" because an FBI attorney had specifically asked an FBI case agent whether Page had a current or prior relationship with the other federal agency.

***

[editor's note: Not only that, an FBI employee - undoubtedly 'resistance' lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , altered an email to specifically state that Page was "not a source" for the CIA . ]

The FBI agent falsely asserted Page's relationship was "outside scope" of the investigation because it dated back to when Page lived in Moscow from 2004 to 2007.

"This representation, however, was contrary to information that the other agency had provided to the FBI in August 2016, which stated that Page was approved as an 'operational contact' of the other agency from 2008 to 2013 (after Page had left Moscow)," the IG report stated.

The report also said Page's CIA contacts considered him to have been candid about his interactions with a suspected Russian intelligence officer who was later indicted for acting as an unregistered agent of Russia.


Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 8 minutes ago link

I sometimes think Page was a plant- he's vigorously defended Trump and slammed the CIA and the hoax of the spying- but that could all be a ruse.

In my mind the jury is still out.

Papadopolous on the other hand- was clearly used, honey pot and all.

SnatchnGrab , 13 minutes ago link

Is the phrase ""significant inaccuracies and omissions" code for LYING?

Asking for a friend.

Old Hippie Patriot , 29 minutes ago link

The entire "Russian collusion" investigation is another example of the Feds manufacturing false evidence. Mitsud, supposedly a Russian agent, was actually an asset of US intelligence. Ever since the foisting of the 17th Amendment, which destroyed the veto of the several states of Washington excesses and corruptions, Washington D.C. has been the only REAL enemy that the people have ever had.

Teamtc321 , 42 minutes ago link

Rudy is going to take a huge Trump Dump, right on the heads of the Libtards this week....... Open wide Retards..........

=============

Breaking: Ukrainian Official Reveals Six Criminal Cases Opened in Ukraine Involving the Bidens

Trump told the waiting reporters that his personal attorney former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani "found plenty" of "good information" during his recent trip to Ukraine and Europe.

Trump then added that he believes Giuliani wants to present a report to the Attorney General William Barr and to Congress. Trump added Giuliani has not told him what he found.

Giuliani reportedly traveled to Budapest and Ukraine this past week to meet with several Ukrainian officials about corruption.

OAN reporter Chanel Rion has been traveling with Rudy Giuliani and reporting on his investigations in Hungary and Kiev, Ukraine.

In her report released on Sunday night Chanel Rion mentioned that Ukrainian officials showed her six criminal cases involving the Bidens, Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/12/breaking-ukrainian-official-reveals-six-criminal-cases-opened-in-ukraine-involving-the-bidens/

Charlie_Martel , 48 minutes ago link

The CIA-FBI put a lot of "assets" into and around Trump's 2016 campaign to rig the election for Hillary.

simpson seers , 1 hour ago link

FBI employee - undoubtedly 'resistance' lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , altered an email to specifically state that Page was "not a source" for the CIA . ]

if it's murican and it's mouth is open it's lying.......it's been a tradition since 1776.....

two hoots , 1 hour ago link

A more powerful force is at work here, the agencies are their tools, operators. We need to get our heads out of the weeds if we are to identify the source. Whatever it is, it is likely internal, thought a higher cause and convincing as CIA, FBI have bought in?

enough of this , 1 hour ago link

DOJ IG Horowitz delivered up another costly whitewash, just like he did with his investigation of the FBI's handling of Clinton's emails.

https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/doj-inspector-general-michael-horowitz-does-it-again-with-another-whitewash/

Drop-Hammer , 1 hour ago link

I read the linked article. Quite fascinating that Hillary and her minions were treated with kid gloves (and nothing at all about Obama, Lynch, Holder, Jarrett, et al) and extended every courtesy and soft-pedal, yet Roger Stone and Paul Manafort were greeted with platoons of FBI ninjas and armored vehicles in early morning raids akin to those in Stalinist Russia.

Equinox7 , 1 hour ago link

The FBI didn't tell the FISA court a lot of things. The FBI failed to tell the FISA court the interview with Papadopoulos revealed there to be absolutely NO Russian collusion. The FBI deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence that would have freed General Flynn and ended the investigations.

Instead, the FBI covered up the truth with omissions and lies. That what I call bias.

Call it willful blindness by omission, but I prefer to call it a criminal act and sedition against a President.

tedstr , 1 hour ago link

This guy is an Annapolis grad and CIA contact and they destroyed him. Hes gonna get very rich with lawsuits now. The thing that amazes me no one is talking about.........motivation. All of these major and minor infractions add up to one thing.....an orchestrated attempt to frame and over throw the President.\ of the United States

[Dec 10, 2019] Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Exposes Yovanovich Perjury, George Kent's Motive To Impeach Trump by Sundance

Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress . ..."
"... What is outlined in this interview is a problem for all DC politicians across both parties. The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently. ..."
"... Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family. This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch. ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Exposes Yovanovich Perjury, George Kent's Motive To Impeach Trump by Tyler Durden Mon, 12/09/2019 - 19:40 0 SHARES

Authored by Sundance via the Conservative Treehouse

In a fantastic display of true investigative journalism, One America News journalist Chanel Rion tracked down Ukrainian witnesses as part of an exclusive OAN investigative series. The evidence being discovered dismantles the baseless Adam Schiff impeachment hoax and highlights many corrupt motives for U.S. politicians.

Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KgKGjoIkaXU

What is outlined in this interview is a problem for all DC politicians across both parties. The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently.

Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family. This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch.

Imagine what would happen if all of the background information was to reach the general public? Thus the motive for Lindsey Graham currently working to bury it.

You might remember George Kent and Bill Taylor testified together.

It was evident months ago that U.S. chargé d'affaires to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, was one of the current participants in the coup effort against President Trump. It was Taylor who engaged in carefully planned text messages with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland to set-up a narrative helpful to Adam Schiff's political coup effort.

Bill Taylor was formerly U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine ('06-'09) and later helped the Obama administration to design the laundry operation providing taxpayer financing to Ukraine in exchange for back-channel payments to U.S. politicians and their families.

In November Rudy Giuliani released a letter he sent to Senator Lindsey Graham outlining how Bill Taylor blocked VISA's for Ukrainian 'whistle-blowers' who are willing to testify to the corrupt financial scheme.

Unfortunately, as we are now witnessing, Senator Lindsey Graham, along with dozens of U.S. Senators currently serving, may very well have been recipients for money through the aforementioned laundry process. The VISA's are unlikely to get approval for congressional testimony, or Senate impeachment trial witness testimony.

U.S. senators write foreign aid policy, rules and regulations thereby creating the financing mechanisms to transmit U.S. funds. Those same senators then received a portion of the laundered funds back through their various "institutes" and business connections to the foreign government offices; in this example Ukraine. [ex. Burisma to Biden]

The U.S. State Dept. serves as a distribution network for the authorization of the money laundering by granting conflict waivers , approvals for financing (think Clinton Global Initiative), and permission slips for the payment of foreign money. The officials within the State Dept. take a cut of the overall payments through a system of "indulgence fees", junkets, gifts and expense payments to those with political oversight.

If anyone gets too close to revealing the process, writ large, they become a target of the entire apparatus. President Trump was considered an existential threat to this entire process. Hence our current political status with the ongoing coup.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain meeting with corrupt Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko in December 2016.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out , because, well, in reality all of the U.S. Senators (both parties) are participating in the process for receiving taxpayer money and contributions from foreign governments.

A "Codel" is a congressional delegation that takes trips to work out the payments terms/conditions of any changes in graft financing. This is why Senators spend $20 million on a campaign to earn a job paying $350k/year. The "institutes" is where the real foreign money comes in; billions paid by governments like China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Ukraine, etc. etc. There are trillions at stake.

[SIDEBAR: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds the power over these members (and the members of the Senate Intel Committee), because McConnell decides who sits on what committee. As soon as a Senator starts taking the bribes lobbying funds, McConnell then has full control over that Senator. This is how the system works.]

The McCain Institute is one of the obvious examples of the financing network. And that is the primary reason why Cindy McCain is such an outspoken critic of President Trump. In essence President Trump is standing between her and her next diamond necklace; a dangerous place to be.

So when we think about a Senate Impeachment Trial; and we consider which senators will vote to impeach President Trump, it's not just a matter of Democrats -vs- Republican. We need to look at the game of leverage, and the stand-off between those bribed Senators who would prefer President Trump did not interfere in their process.

McConnell has been advising President Trump which Senators are most likely to need their sensibilities eased. As an example President Trump met with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski in November. Senator Murkowski rakes in millions from the multinational Oil and Gas industry; and she ain't about to allow horrible Trump to lessen her bank account any more than Cindy McCain will give up her frequent shopper discounts at Tiffanys.

Senator Lindsey Graham announcing today that he will not request or facilitate any impeachment testimony that touches on the DC laundry system for personal financial benefit (ie. Ukraine example), is specifically motivated by the need for all DC politicians to keep prying eyes away from the swamps' financial endeavors. WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HnMb1R1XsyM

This open-secret system of "Affluence and Influence" is how the intelligence apparatus gains such power. All of the DC participants are essentially beholden to the various U.S. intelligence services who are well aware of their endeavors.

There's a ton of exposure here (blackmail/leverage) which allows the unelected officials within the CIA, FBI and DOJ to hold power over the DC politicians. Hold this type of leverage long enough and the Intelligence Community then absorbs that power to enhance their self-belief of being more important than the system.

Perhaps this corrupt sense of grandiosity is what we are seeing play out in how the intelligence apparatus views President Donald J Trump as a risk to their importance.


bhakta , 48 minutes ago link

It is all about cash. Nothing else matters to these people in DC.

Helg Saracen , 42 minutes ago link

Everyone loves money. I like money. The only question is how to earn them. Neither I, nor you, nor many of us will cross a certain moral and ethical line (border), but there are people without morality, without ethical standards, without conscience. We all look the same outwardly, but we are all completely different inside.

Colonel Klinks Ghost , 59 minutes ago link

Jesus Christ I'm glad McStain is gone. So many other corrupt officials need a good brain cancer.

Helg Saracen , 47 minutes ago link

You are an evil person. It was a tragedy. Surgeons failed to save the unfortunate tumor from McCain. ;)

Helg Saracen , 1 hour ago link

Ukraine is Obama's **** , this is not Trump's ****. Trump's stupidity was only one - he got into this ****. I wrote, but I repeat - USA acted as the best friend in relation to Russia, having taken off a leech from Russia and hanging it on itself. Do you know such an estate of Rothschilds - called Israel and its role in the life of USA?

So, Ukraine was for the Russians the same Israel in terms of meaningless spending. Look at Vlad, in 2014 he looked like a fox who was eating a chicken, and on January 1, 2020 he will look like a fox who eating a whole brood of chickens. I think he has portraits of Obama and Trump in his bedroom.

Cat Daddy , 4 hours ago link

Yes, indeed. Lindsey will bury the story, he is on the take. Your tax dollars at work. By the way, the Fed picked up all of the Ukies gold for safekeeping at 33 Liberty St. NY, with Yats permission, of course.... https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/ukraine-admits-its-gold-gone

hanekhw , 4 hours ago link

A glimpse into how elected officials accumulate millions, retire wealthy, pampered and privileged....and I'm not talking pensions I'm talking corruption. Obama, Biden, Hillary, Kerry, Holder, Rice and ALL the senior Obama Administration officials knew of each other's corrupt sinecures.

Soloamber , 4 hours ago link

I am willing to give Graham the benefit of doubt because the alternative means some serious **** is coming .

The politicians have gotten comfortable that people will do nothing . BIG mistake .

Biden seems see oblivious to what he's done and perhaps this explains it . It's ******* routine .

Lets see their financial records from the day they were elected to the present .

SoDamnMad , 20 minutes ago link

You will find very little information. City of London offshore trusts cover their tracks.

Dumpster Elite , 4 hours ago link

The author actually seems to know what's going on behind the curtain, and not just blindly speculating.

docloxvio , 2 hours ago link

Well, it is based on a OAN story. Believe it or not, they actually sent a reporter to Ukraine to talk to people with knowledge of the matter and look what they came up with. Kind of makes you wonder why other well funded news organizations never thought to do something like that.

peippe , 2 hours ago link

it's been known for at least weeks that the embassy Kunt withheld travel visas for Ukraine State attorneys.

so this in endemic,

till Trump. I love this.

Soloamber , 4 hours ago link

How does Obama buy a $ 11+ million water front estate ?

Book sales ? Nah don't think so .

You know what it costs to operate a house and property that big each year plus all the other trappings ?

He ain't driving a 64 Cricket automatic .

Gore left politics with what $2 million and now has over $200 million .

Saving the planet pays big doesn't ?

If Lindsey Graham is part of this where does it end ?

The politicians and central bankers are bankrupting the country , dumping $trillions in debt on kids that can't vote

and now we find out they are taking massive bribes ?

Really not sure if Trump can fix the broken system by himself .

If this is true the Senate will vote him out .

Serrano , 4 hours ago link

Sen. Graham tells Maria Bartiromo he will end impeachment quickly: 1 min. 27 sec.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DZDDzoG-SI

Birdbob , 5 hours ago link

Shocker Lindsay Graham willing to betray public trust for Dollars? That is what we deserve.

Lord Raglan , 4 hours ago link

I don't know that we deserve this. We are all working people, with families to raise, taxes to pay and the Dems and Commies have been working against us 24/7. And most of them get paid to do so from government jobs that pay them 8 hours a day when many work 1 hour a day, all the while scheming against us.

If Trump wins a second term, he is gonna **** these people up good.

PrideOfMammon , 3 hours ago link

No he isnt. He IS these people.

teolawki , 5 hours ago link

Now that I've read the article, I'm both shocked and appalled at learning that Ukraine is a money laundering operation for the politically connected. (They provide many other 'perks' as well.)

I've warned about light in the loafers Lindsey as well as McConnell before and more than once. Sessions should also be denied a re-admission into the swamp. There are others.

[Dec 10, 2019] It is common knowledge that Congress, too, is corrupt and sells out the national interest in favor of their own political and personal interests on a daily basis. They have no moral credibility here by saying:

Dec 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

Clyde Schechter 6 hours ago

I agree with everything you say in the article, Mr. Larison. And yet, I have serious qualms about whether Congress should impeach and remove Trump.

From a purely legal perspective, they should. But impeachment is a blend of legalism and politics. And the politics here are murky at best. The problem is that Congress does not come to these issues with clean hands. It is common knowledge that Congress, too, is corrupt and sells out the national interest in favor of their own political and personal interests on a daily basis. They have no moral credibility here; who are they to judge the President? Neither the impeachment itself, nor the subsequent, apparently inevitable, acquittal by the Senate will be seen as legitimate, except by partisans of the respective acts. It is all the more problematic because an election is less than a year away.

Yes, I want Trump out of office, too. But unfortunately our Congress lacks the moral legitimacy to do this; the impeachment and trial will serve only to reinforce each party's views of the other as treasonous. The impeachment will be seen as an attempted coup, and the acquittal will be seen as a whitewash and cover-up. (If by some odd circumstance he is removed rather than acquitted, it will be seen as a successful coup, an undoing of the 2016 election.)

There are no really good outcomes from this scenario. It would, I think, be better for the the country were the Democrats to reverse course and leave the removal of Trump to the people next November. We have survived nearly three years of him, we can survive one more. I fear the fallout from impeachment and trial will create more problems than are solved.

likbez Clyde Schechter
I agree. I also respectfully disagree with Larrison's judgment and consider this development as very dangerous for the Republic. We need to weight our personal animosity toward Trump with the risks of his forceful removal on dubious charges.

Please remember that nobody was impeached for the Iraq war. That creates a really high plank for the impeachment. And makes any Dems arguments for Trump impeachment not only moot but a joke.

The fundamental question is: How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this entrapment impeachable?

The furor over Russian interference in the election, which was extremely minor, if existed at all, compared to what Churchill did in 1940, was primarily about excusing the corrupt and incompetent Clinton wing of Democratic Party leadership (Neoliberal Democrats.) Political "shelf life" for whom is over in any case as neoliberalism is dead as an ideology and entered zombie ( bloodthirsty ) stage. Hillary political fiasco taught them nothing. Russiagate was and still is a modern witch hunt, the attempt to patch with Russophobia the cracks in the neoliberal facade. Neo-McCarthyism, if you wish.

In view of the Iraq war, the impeachment of Trump means the absolute contempt for the plebs. Again, Trump's election happened because neoliberalism as ideology died in 2008, and plebs in 2016 refused to follow corrupt neoliberal democrats and decided to show them the middle finger. They will not follow the neoliberal elite in 2020, impeachment, or no impeachment. So the whole "Pelosi gambit" (and from the point of view of Nuremberg principles she is a war criminal like Bush II and Co ) will fail.

The House Democrats did not act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, and provide the equality of procecutor and the defense in the process which is the fundamental part of the Due Process prior to filing charges. A large part of their witnesses (Karlan, Hill, Vindman) were just "true believers" (Karlan) or corrupt Deep Staters (Hill, Vindman) taking a stand to defend their personal well-being, which is based on warmongering. And protect their illegal role in formulating the USA foreign policy (actually based on the quality of Fiona Hill book alone, she should be kept at mile length from this area; she is a propagandist not a researcher/analyst)

Among State Department witnesses there could well be those who were probably explicitly or implicitly involved in the money laundering of the US aid money via Ukraine (Biden-lights so to speak)

The article of impeachment saying:

Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

opens a huge can of worms (this is essentially the Moscow show trials method of removing politicians.) This is equivalent to a change in the Constitution, introducing the vote of no confidence as the method removal of the top members of the executive branch.

Impeachment is always a political decision. And here I am not sure the "Pelosi gambit" will work. I think many independents, who would stay home or would vote for Dems in 2020 now will vote for Trump as a protest against the abuse of impeachment by the Neoliberal/Corporate Dems.

[Dec 10, 2019] Sad old political clown Pelosi forgot her behaviour when the House tried to impeach Bush II for Iraq war by Lambert Strether

Notable quotes:
"... This is merely political theater and a way to stiffen their spines of jello for their coup. Heaven forfend that President Evo Morales Donald Trump be ousted in a coup by the American Deep State. Our ruling class and their servants really are stupid enough to believe that destroying the norms, both written and unwritten, that our society is actually governed by is a good thing. ..."
"... For the powers that be war crimes are not impeachable offenses. ..."
"... The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian. ..."
"... Turley says he is now getting threatening phone calls as well people trying to get him fired as professor because he dared to pooh pooh the case for impeachment. ..."
"... The insanity of [neo]liberals strikes me as the actions of the philosophically bankrupt, the hysterical demonizing of Trump being their desperate way to avoid recognizing that fact. ..."
"... Nadler, like Schiff before him, is putting on a diversionary show. The big rush in both shows has been to construct narratives to sow doubt in the minds of viewers and voters, on a tight schedule. That schedule has been known for some time, with a big component dropping today in the IG report. ..."
"... Whether it's Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and any others I've missed, I want to know how many of these rats had / have financial interests in these wars ..."
"... The verdict is prepared before the charges! ..."
"... The House Dems started to boil when Trump suggested the Magnitsky Act was not impartial and Browder might be a crook, heaven forbid. But when Trump really started to focus on the Ukraingate stuff the House shifted into high gear. ..."
"... Schiff started to look like a cornered animal, the expression on his face went from moral superiority to downright angst. His eyes started to bug out. Nancy went from no impeachment to, almost overnight, yes impeachment. And Rudy Giuliani was accused of Treason for questioning their favorite operative, Joe Bagman. ..."
"... Let the last stage of the Great Looting of the Planet begin. ..."
"... I think there are too many moving parts to allow any meaningful analysis of such a soon-to-be-fait accompli. Justice, fairness, Constitution, "rule of law" are the shibboleths of the weak. None of those are anything but fig leafs over tumescent power, mentioned occasionally and clearly without adherence or conviction by that tiny set of front people and spokespersons for the even smaller set that actually move the levers of power. In the end, of course, as with all the climax events of the last few generations, we mopes will never get more than a modified limited hangout of an inkling to what actually happened, and not even that while the play's afoot. ..."
"... "However hurried a court may be in its efforts to reach the merits of a controversy, the integrity of procedural rules is dependent upon consistent enforcement because the only fair and reasonable alternative thereto is complete abandonment." Miller v. Lint, 62 Ohio St. 2d 209 (1980). ..."
"... Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither. ..."
"... A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege. ..."
"... JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial. ..."
"... As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. –Matt 23:24

Patient readers, I had originally intended to compare and contrast the statements of the four lawyers (Feldman, Karlan, Gerhardt, and Turley) appearing before the House Judiciary Committee . But I changed course, for a few reasons: First, Feldman, Karlan, and Gerhardt simply didn't produce serious documents; all were short, and Karlan's wasn't even footnoted, whether to facts, or to law.

Turley's statement at least showed signs of legal reasoning, as opposed to preaching to the choir, but there's no point my summarizing it; you can just read it .[1]

Second, since the House Judiciary's report on the " Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment " followed so soon after the lawyers' testimony that it could hardly have been influenced by it, their testimony was evidently for show. Finally, this abbreviated Season 2 of Impeachment! , "UkraineGate," reminds me of nothing so much as Gish Gallop : There's too much to track in the time frame available, the few trustworthy interpreters are overwhelmed, and that's by intent. (Season 1, "RussiaGate," was more of a Gish stroll by comparison.)

So I'm going to do something completely different. Conventional wisdom agrees that when impeaching a President, the House plays the role of the prosecutor, and brings and prosecutes the indictment; and the Senate then tries the case. From Senate.gov , just as a change from citing the Federalist Papers, which I too shall get to:

In impeachment proceedings, the House of Representatives charges an official of the federal government by approving, by majority vote, articles of impeachment. A committee of representatives, called "managers," acts as prosecutors before the Senate.

(The Senate has a useful potted history of impeachment as well.) One of innumberable quotes to this effect: " The House is just acting like a prosecutor or grand jury, deciding on charges to be filed."

The question nobody seems to be asking is whether the House, in this impeachment inquiry, is acting as a prosecutor should act[2]. That is the question I will ask in this post. (I'm sensible that we have actual prosecutors in the readership, and so I'm going out on a limb here; the fact that nobody I can find has gone out on this particular limb doesn't mean that it is, or is not, a good limb to go out on. We'll see!)

So, assuming the House to be performing the role of a prosecutor, how should a good prosecutor act? From the American Bar Association, " Criminal Justice Standards for the Prosecution Function ":

The primary duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice within the bounds of the law, not merely to convict . The prosecutor serves the public interest and should act with integrity and balanced judgment to increase public safety both by pursuing appropriate criminal charges of appropriate severity, and by exercising discretion to not pursue criminal charges in appropriate circumstances. The prosecutor should seek to protect the innocent and convict the guilty, consider the interests of victims and witnesses, and respect the constitutional and legal rights of all persons, including suspects and defendants.

What then is justice? Philosophers differ, but here is a defintion from which "the rule of law" (of which we hear so much) can be derived. From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy :

The third aspect of justice to which Justinian's definition draws our attention is the connection between justice and the impartial and consistent application of rules – that is what the 'constant and perpetual will' part of the definition conveys. Justice is the opposite of arbitrariness. It requires that where two cases are relevantly alike, they should be treated in the same way . Following a rule that specifies what is due to a person who has features X, Y, Z whenever such a person is encountered ensures this. And although the rule need not be unchangeable – perpetual in the literal sense – it must be relatively stable. This explains why justice is exemplified in the rule of law, where laws are understood as general rules impartially applied over time. Outside of the law itself, individuals and institutions that want to behave justly must mimic the law in certain ways (for instance, gathering reliable information about individual claimants, allowing for appeals against decisions).

The Law Dictionary conceptualizes the requirement for "impartial and consistent application of rules" as fairness. From " The Four Pillars of the Rule of Law ":

It's one thing for the laws to be written fairly, but if they are enforced in such a way that is either arbitrary or unfair then the rule of law begins to break down. For example, if a jurisdiction passes laws against drug use, but then only enforces those laws against a particular ethnic minority or social group, then the laws are not being enforced fairly. Citizens living under a rule of law system have a right to know that the laws are being administered and enforced in a way that is fair and accessible.

There are many theories of justice, but surely the "impartial and consistent application of rules" is understood by lay readers as fundamental. From the Washington Post, " The U.S. court system is criminally unjust ":

We like to believe that decisions made in U.S. courts are determined by the wisdom of the Constitution, and guided by fair-minded judges and juries of our peers.

Unfortunately, this is often wishful thinking. Unsettling research into the psychology of courtroom decisions has shown that our personal backgrounds, unconscious biases about race, gender and appearance, and even the time of day play a more important role in outcomes than the actual law.

Having established that the House, when impeaching a President, acts as a Prosector, that the duty of a prosecutor is not merely to seek conviction, but justice, let's now ask ourselves whether the House, assuming it to have impeached Trump, will have acted in accordance with its duties, or not.

As a sidebar, it may be urged that unlike a prosecutor's office, the House has no permanent prosecutorial function. Indeed, House.gov seems, unlike the Senate, to have no page on impeachment at all; and the House is structured very differently :

The House is the only branch of government that has been directly elected by American voters since its formation in 1789. Unlike the Senate, the House is not a continuing body. Its Members must stand for election every two years, after which it convenes for a new session and essentially reconstitutes itself -- electing a Speaker, swearing-in the Members-elect, and approving a slate of officers to administer the institution. Direct, biennial elections and the size of the membership (currently 435 voting Representatives) have made the House receptive to a continual influx of new ideas and priorities that contribute to its longstanding reputation as the "People's House."

It could be argued, then, that the "rules" for impeachment need only to be consistent during the two years of a House session, and could then be changed at the next session, an evident absurdity since the President serves for four years, and could presume himself acting unimpeachably for two years, and then be impeached, for the same acts , in the third. Clearly, some sort of institutional memory of what is impeachable and what is not, even if tacit, must be shared among the three branches of government and the public -- even if not adhered to by all. Fortunately, for Trump's impeachment, we have such repository in the person of the Leader of the House -- one might call them the Chief Prosecturor -- Nancy Pelosi, to whose remarkable statement I now turn. End sidebar.

Here is how Nancy Pelosi describes her past exercise of her prosecutorial function (in this case, declining to prosecute:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Former Pres. Bill Clinton was impeached "for being stupid." #PelosiTownHall https://t.co/F4LwDf7emf pic.twitter.com/jVu5yxZ5GY

-- CNN (@CNN) December 6, 2019

Here is the transcript, which is extremely verbose :

DEAN CHIEN, STUDENT, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: So, Speaker Pelosi, you resisted calls for the impeachment of President Bush in 2006, and President Trump, following the Mueller report earlier this year.

This time it's different. Why did you impose – why did you oppose impeachment in the past? And what is your obligation to protect our democracy from the actions of our President now?

PELOSI: Thank you. Thank you for bringing up the question about – because when I became Speaker the first time, there was overwhelming call for me to impeach President Bush, on the strength of the war in Iraq[3], which I vehemently opposed, and again not – again, I – I say "Again," I said – said at other places that I – that was my we – all has always (ph) Intelligence.

I was Ranking Member on the Intelligence Committee even before I became part of the leadership of Gang of Four. So, I knew there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq . It just wasn't there.

They had to show us now – to show the Gang of Four all the Intelligence they had. The Intelligence did not show that that – that was the case. So, I knew it was a – a misrepresentation to the public. But having said that, it was a, in my view, not a ground for impeachment. That was – they won the election. They made a representation . And to this day, people think – people think that that it was the right thing to do.

If people think that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11, I mean it's as appalling what they did. But I did – and I've said, if somebody wants to make a case, you bring it forward.

(Remarkably, or not, Pelosi kept her knowledge that the Iraq War was built on lies secret from the public. This doesn't strike me as the right approach to " a Republic, if you can keep it .") First, apparently a President's "misrepresentation to the public" that led to war -- a war that resulted, even in the early years of the war, in tens of thousands of civilian deaths, thousands of American deaths, hundreds of billions of dollars, and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal -- is not a "high crime or misdemeanor." Pelosi would have us believe that Bush's disinformation campaign was not, as Madison writes in Federalist 65 , a case of "misconduct of public men, or, in other words the abuse or violation of some public trust." And why? Because "[Bush] won the election." Except Pelosi gets the timeline wrong. Bush won his election in 2004. The Democrats took back the House in 2006 -- how we cheered, then; it was almost as satisfying as Obama's inaugural -- based in large part on Bush's botched handling of Iraq. Pelosi "won the election." And then didn't do anything with her power.

Let's ask a little consistency from our Chief Prosecutor, shall we? Because that's what justice demands? If "misrepresentation to the public the public" in service of taking the country into war -- the aluminum tubes, the yellowcake, all the whackamole lies that Bush put forth -- is not impeachable, then how on earth is what Trump did, even under the very worst intepretation, impeachable? Are we really going to convict Trump because he -- Bud from Legal insists I insert the word "allegedly" -- tried to muscle Zelensky? Here is what Turley, who approached his statement as a lawyer would, did with that accusation . I'm going to quote a great slab of this, because the whole thing ticks me off so much:

Presidents often put pressure on other countries which many of us view as inimical to our values or national security. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama reportedly put pressure on other countries not to investigate the U.S. torture program or seek the arrest of those responsible.103 President Obama and his staff also reportedly pressured the Justice Department not to initiate criminal prosecution stemming from the torture program.104 Moreover, presidents often discuss political issues with their counterparts and make comments that are troubling or inappropriate. However, contemptible is not synonymous with impeachable. Impeachment is not a vehicle to monitor presidential communications for such transgressions. That is why making the case of a quid pro quo is so important – a case made on proof, not presumptions. While critics have insisted that there is no alternative explanation, it is willful blindness to ignore the obvious defense. Trump can argue that he believed the Obama Administration failed to investigate a corrupt contract between Burisma and Hunter Biden. He publicly called for the investigation into the Ukraine matters. Requesting an investigation is not illegal any more than a leader asking for actions from their counterparts during election years.

Trump will also be able to point to three direct conversations on the record. His call with President Zelensky does not state a quid pro quo. In his August conversation with Sen. Ron Johnson (R., WI.), President Trump reportedly denied any quid pro quo. In his September conversation with Ambassador Sondland, he also denied any quid pro quo. The House Intelligence Committee did an excellent job in undermining the strength of the final two calls by showing that President Trump was already aware of the whistleblower controversy emerging on Capitol Hill. However, that does not alter the fact that those direct accounts stand uncontradicted by countervailing statements from the President. In addition, President Zelensky himself has said that he did not discuss any quid pro quo with President Trump. Indeed, Ambassador Taylor testified that it was not until the publication of the Politico article on September 31st that the Ukrainians voiced concerns over possible preconditions. That was just ten days before the release of the aid. That means that the record lacks not only direct conversations with President Trump (other than the three previously mentioned) but even direct communications with the Ukrainians on a possible quid pro quo did not occur until shortly before the aid release. Yet, just yesterday, new reports filtered out on possible knowledge before that date -- highlighting the premature move to drafting articles of impeachment without a full and complete record.105

Voters should not be asked to assume that President Trump would have violated federal law and denied the aid without a guarantee on the investigations. The current narrative is that President Trump only did the right thing when "he was caught." It is possible that he never intended to withhold the aid past the September 30th deadline while also continuing to push the Ukrainians on the corruption investigation. It is possible that Trump believed that the White House meeting was leverage, not the military aid, to push for investigations. It is certainly true that both criminal and impeachment cases can be based on circumstantial evidence, but that is less common when direct evidence is available but unsecured in the investigation. Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.

Put Turley's justifiable polemic against a childish West Wing view of international relations aside. Just look at the triviality of the subject matter, whether you think Trump is guilty or not . White House appearances. Military aid. Corruption investigations. How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities im peachable? When it's the same prosecutor declining to indict for Iraq, and deciding to indict for Ukraine? Whatever this is, it's not "the impartial and consistent application of rules", and that means the House is failing in its prosecutorial duty to seek justice, and not merely conviction.

NOTE Yes, I'm leaving the national security aspects of Ukraine aside. We can take up the question of whether the interagency process should run foreign policy, or the President, and the Blob's peculiar view of the national interest another time.


Lee , December 9, 2019 at 5:50 pm

The detestable in full pursuit of the deplorable.

With apologies to Mr. Wilde.

JBirc4049 , December 9, 2019 at 6:21 pm

I agree with this analysis, but Madam Speaker Pelosi and her fellow players are not doing what they are doing for the Republic's, the law, ethics, morality, and certainly not for justice's sake. If they were, Pelosi would not have mentioned her prewar knowledge of President Bush's and his Administration's lies on the reasons given for going to war.

This is merely political theater and a way to stiffen their spines of jello for their coup. Heaven forfend that President Evo Morales Donald Trump be ousted in a coup by the American Deep State. Our ruling class and their servants really are stupid enough to believe that destroying the norms, both written and unwritten, that our society is actually governed by is a good thing.

Maybe TPTB truly believe that an increasingly ungovernable, immiserated, and desperate society in an increasingly unpredictable climate is just another chance to consume the poor instead of the poor consuming them.

rob , December 10, 2019 at 7:41 am

I agree

The democrats couldn't go after the bush administration for falsely leading this country to invade iraq, for one big reason . they were JUST as guilty . They, including clinton; voted, and went on all the air waves, did op eds; all justifying the charade, that was the run up to the iraq invasion.

People ought not forget,

EVERY bit of information proving the iraq war was a lie . was in plenty of places BEFORE the invasion. And every establishment shill did their level best to not only ignore the truth, but to discredit it with pathetic lies and rhetoric.

The democrats were just as guilty for iraq as the republicans.

And when the terrorists who were used as a ploy to blow up the twin towers, were being protected by the fbi between 1998 and 2000.(look at Robert Wright and John Vincent fbi agents from chicago office, who were told by superiors to "let sleeping dogs lie".. after a two year investigation of two of the "were to become terrorists"and yasin al-qadi. their money man who was a co owner of P-TECH(above top secret clearances at :cia,fbi,nsa,faa,secret service,norad,nro,etc.) and later a donor to the MITT Romney campaign) The clintons and the democratic elite were right there pretending nothing was happening. And have since pretended that "the war on freedom",,,,or as they call it "the war on terror" is justified.
whether it was the democratic party or the new york times or la times or washington post of the weekly standard or fox news or PBS EVERY media powerhouse was on the side of "the big lie"..

Pathetic logic fails were fed to the american population 24/7/365 The truth be damned and still is

Michael Mooney , December 10, 2019 at 6:37 pm

When you have a Democrat do away with Glass-Steagall, who needs Republican villains. Both totally corrupt parties are beholden to the banks and corporations, and need to be voted out of office.

Anthony G Stegman , December 9, 2019 at 6:21 pm

For the powers that be war crimes are not impeachable offenses.

Jeotsu , December 9, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Question, is there a statute of limitations for impeachable offenses? Because the Speaker of the House admitted on the public record of implicitly participating (by her silence) in an orchestrated lie that led to the deaths and maiming of thousands of American soldiers. Should we be taking that public statement and calling for her impeachment? Can you impeach the Speaker of the House?

d , December 9, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Congress and senators are impeachable. impeachment only applies to judges, president and vice president. and very very few others

inode_buddha , December 9, 2019 at 11:01 pm

Congress and senators are impeachable. impeachment only applies to judges, president and vice president. and very very few others

Time to impeach Pelosi, then. I'm not in Cali, but I wonder what it would take to get that ball rolling.

The Rev Kev , December 9, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Maybe the Democrats are hoping that once it reaches the Senate, that one of their number will step up, make a stirring West-Wing style speech which will cause all those present – Republicans included – to rise to their feet and clap and cheer as they vote for Trump to be finally kicked out of the White House. Then in their newfound maturity, they will make Mike Pence the new President of the United States as they work together for a better country with new respect for each other.

The End.

clarky90 , December 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm

The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian.

"Nadler's committee will likely vote to impeach Trump. In a report defining what it considers impeachable offenses, the committee states that even if Trump did not actually break any laws in his supposed "quid pro quo" dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he can still be impeached for his unstated motives.

"The question is not whether the president's conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the president's real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate, " it stated."

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980918000328

Certainly they are working on mind wave tech, to scan us for "unstated motives" as we live our day to day lives?

Carolinian , December 9, 2019 at 7:42 pm

Turley says he is now getting threatening phone calls as well people trying to get him fired as professor because he dared to pooh pooh the case for impeachment.

There has been a vast and irrational response to Trump from day one–perhaps based on the fantasy that the presidency really is like The West Wing whereas the reality is likely closer to the HBO comedy Veep. From "now watch this drive" Dubya to Obama and his "propeller heads" our presidents are a series of vain peacocks with Trump merely the extreme case. Impeach them all–or none.

flora , December 9, 2019 at 7:49 pm

The party of unprincipled, self-interested grasping. I'm not talking about the GOP. Thanks for this post.

DJG , December 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm

This observation by Lambert Strether sums it up: "Karlan's wasn't even footnoted, whether to facts, or to law." She is supposedly a professor of law, supposedly advising the Congress about the process of impeachment. She didn't even try to do her job. One may not agree with Turley, although the long excerpt brings a broad perspective to what is criminality and to how much criminality we now consider normal in the U.S. government. To his credit, Turley marshals facts into a synthesis.

What the Republicans don't seem to get is that will to power isn't all that matters and that their commitment to economic degradation and looting the citizenry have thrown them into a crisis (as the paleo-conservatives keep pointing out). Among liberals like Pelosi (and Karlan), the cluelessness is breathtaking. American liberalism is in a profound crisis, with Karlan's disquisition being particulary breathtaking for clichés-a-minute, sheer vulgar thinking, and kitsch.

This is the end. For those of us on the left, and I hesitate to advise non-action, it may be time simply to let these two rotten structures and ways of thinking collapse. It is like watching two ghost ships engaged battle, desparately trying to sink one another into a putrid ocean.

On a lighter (!) note, I will quote Gramsci:

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying away and the new cannot yet be born; during this break in continuity, unhealthy events of every kind are happening.

La crisi consiste appunto nel fatto che il vecchio muore e il nuovo non può nascere: in questo interregno si verificano i fenomeni morbosi piú svariati.

Antonio Gramsci -- Prison Notebooks

Dirk77 , December 10, 2019 at 12:15 am

I think your last quote hits the nail on the head. It should be painted on every highway overpass. The insanity of [neo]liberals strikes me as the actions of the philosophically bankrupt, the hysterical demonizing of Trump being their desperate way to avoid recognizing that fact. I can understand that almost all people crave certainty, but Jesus its time to let it go and strike out to elsewhere.

flora , December 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm

An old lawyer adage: If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither the facts nor the law , pound the table.

Karlan was pounding the table.

Off The Street , December 9, 2019 at 8:47 pm

Nadler, like Schiff before him, is putting on a diversionary show. The big rush in both shows has been to construct narratives to sow doubt in the minds of viewers and voters, on a tight schedule. That schedule has been known for some time, with a big component dropping today in the IG report.

They had seen enough in SCIFs and elsewhere to know that Team Dem was going to get slammed due to its supporters in the FBI and DOJ. That much is evident in reviewing the report and scores of other documents available to the public. What hasn't been made available, like the Atkinson piece, also provide further support to the Schiff and Nadler accelerants.*

In a way, I almost feel sorry for Rep. Schiff as he was sent on a fool's errand. History will be unkind to him, among others.

Of greater concern during their proceedings is the absolute lack of regard for the principles like Due Process established in our US Constitution, and the rule of law.

*Accelerant – fuel in arson cases.

Henry Moon Pie , December 10, 2019 at 4:08 am

"Rep. Schiff as he was sent on a fool's errand"

At least they had the right man for the job.

ChrisPacific , December 9, 2019 at 8:48 pm

So Pelosi didn't support impeaching Bush because she was an accessory?

urblintz , December 9, 2019 at 8:58 pm

exactly

Elizabeth , December 9, 2019 at 10:35 pm

Then she's a war criminal too! I also remember her saying, "well, we didn't want to ruin our chances" (in the next election). My fondest wish is that GW Bush, Jr. and the gang who lied us into the war in Iraq be prosecuted and convicted for war crimes. A somewhat hopeless wish – that.

ChrisPacific , December 9, 2019 at 11:17 pm

She can be surprisingly frank about these things sometimes. She is saying the same thing in this quote ("people think that that it was the right thing to do" = opposing this would have cost us votes). I can't understand why anybody would ever trust her again after a revelation like that.

Shiloh1 , December 9, 2019 at 11:02 pm

Whether it's Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and any others I've missed, I want to know how many of these rats had / have financial interests in these wars including daily drone-fests a few years ago.

The war drums have been beating on the Ukraine vs Russian for a few years now. Pelosi is worth over $100,000,000 on mere $200,000 humble public servant salary, many others on both Team Blue and Team Red similar.

If Team Red Senate votes to summarily dismiss impeachment it is the tell that there were / are many more cockroaches they do not want to expose, such as Lindsey Graham, Mitt, McCain, Kerry, not to forget Rummy, Wolfe, Condi, Cheney, W, O, Hillary, Poppy and so on.

Any 20 somethings in those households die or maimed "over there"? Let them all hang, dig their corpses up if you have to. Trump should double-dog dare them all to do it.

I voted for Trump solely as a bull in the china shop, with everything preceding him the past ~ 40 years as the china shop. Andy Jackson was not on the ballot 3 years ago, so I had to settle.

Samuel Conner , December 9, 2019 at 8:53 pm

I agree that DJT's misdeeds (at least the ones we know about) do not approach those of the Bush/Cheney presidency (the ones we know about). I wonder what lies beneath the D determination to impeach. I have been getting emails from various D-oriented organizations asserting that control of the Senate is within reach for the Ds in 2020, and asking for funds.

Given the near certainty that the Senate will not vote to convict (either through ~20Rs voting with Ds or ~30Rs simply not voting), perhaps it is hoped that a failure to convict in the Senate would help Ds make the case for an extra heavy base turnout in 2020 to deliver the Senate to the Ds.

They can't, or won't, govern. But with control of both houses, they might be able to impeach and convict.

JBird4049 , December 9, 2019 at 9:29 pm

If the Democratic Party refuses to govern, just why should they be in office? Unless it is Goldman Sach, Jeff Bezos, and their fellow oligarchs, it is just mendacity masquerading as seriousness. The Republicans also do not govern, but loot the lower 80% of the population while dismantling the government.

Just before the Civil War, Republican Party replaced the American Whigs and the Democratic Party split in two and looked like it too was going away as well. Let's have a clean sweep this time and maybe prevent another war.

oaf , December 9, 2019 at 9:01 pm

The verdict is prepared before the charges!

Susan the Other , December 9, 2019 at 9:05 pm

It seemed that the Democrats started out focused on a Trump connection to laundered Russian money. They didn't like his friendliness toward Putin. The FBI and Mueller went straight for Manafort and got him cold. It's possible they can't get Trump because he dealt through DeutscheBank and DB has been protected so far from prosecution.

Every bank in the EU seems to have laundered Russian money. So to start prosecuting would/will be a total circus.

The House Dems started to boil when Trump suggested the Magnitsky Act was not impartial and Browder might be a crook, heaven forbid. But when Trump really started to focus on the Ukraingate stuff the House shifted into high gear.

Schiff started to look like a cornered animal, the expression on his face went from moral superiority to downright angst. His eyes started to bug out. Nancy went from no impeachment to, almost overnight, yes impeachment. And Rudy Giuliani was accused of Treason for questioning their favorite operative, Joe Bagman.

And how impolite of Trump and Rudy to suggest that Joe's doofus son could be up to the same corruption as daddy. So the fear in the House is visible. I'm thinking there are lotsa members who might be not just complicit in the coup but complicit having received money for favors. Or in the case of Browder, helping an international thief and conman with high connections here and in the UK. High connections usually means political bribes. So Trump knows where the skeletons are buried imo and it freaks them out beyond any possible just proceeding. And Nancy's an idiot with a gavel.

John , December 9, 2019 at 9:11 pm

Prosecutors seeking justice? On what alien planet do you suppose that might be happening? Prosecutorial misconduct, caprice, and inconsistency is a hallmark of the US criminal carcerial system. Our Gulag doesn't just fill itself it needs prosecutors to keep the ball rolling. Sorta like insurance delivering healthcare.

Katniss Everdeen , December 9, 2019 at 9:11 pm

How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities impeachable?

It's not. The system has broken completely down, although many americans don't know it yet. The democrats need to back off, although I wouldn't put money on it.

Vegetius , December 9, 2019 at 10:11 pm

If not one puts a stop to it, Unsettling Research is going to fatally undermine the foundations of Liberalism as such. Then what?

JTMcPhee , December 9, 2019 at 10:16 pm

Good to remember the ultimate frame that bounds this Gong Show Trial: "In the long run we are all dead."

What's going on here seems to me to have the same overall flavor of what's happening in Britain. Let the last stage of the Great Looting of the Planet begin.

I think there are too many moving parts to allow any meaningful analysis of such a soon-to-be-fait accompli. Justice, fairness, Constitution, "rule of law" are the shibboleths of the weak. None of those are anything but fig leafs over tumescent power, mentioned occasionally and clearly without adherence or conviction by that tiny set of front people and spokespersons for the even smaller set that actually move the levers of power. In the end, of course, as with all the climax events of the last few generations, we mopes will never get more than a modified limited hangout of an inkling to what actually happened, and not even that while the play's afoot.

And what good would it doe us to know all the details? What power do American mopes, for sure, atomized and fearful and befuddled, have to "bend the arc of history toward justice"?

inode_buddha , December 10, 2019 at 8:09 am

Well, I think we made a credible effort to bend the arc of history in 1776, and again in 1865. I have little doubt that history will eventually repeat itself, or at least rhyme quite nicely.

Rhondda , December 10, 2019 at 9:41 am

Strong, evocative words, JTMcPhee. Memorable and worth remembering. Thank you.

"Justice, fairness, Constitution, "rule of law" are the shibboleths of the weak. None of those are anything but fig leafs over tumescent power "

Besides, who would want Pence for president?

ambrit , December 10, 2019 at 2:21 am

Pence represents a large cohort of Evangelicals who are not averse to using 'direct action' to advance their causes. Think of the abortion doctors who were shot by 'right wing nutters,' and the horrific tactics used against women trying to enter and leave abortion clinics.

One of Pence's strengths is his unswerving adherence to a particular ideology. He has focus, and that aspect of his character gives him strength and purpose.
Even Napoleon realized the value of the Moral in human affairs.

Also consider groups within the Government and Military aligned with the Evangelical mind set. Pence has ample resources to manage the job of President. History shows that relatively small groups of committed and coordinated True Believers can take over and run governments. Pence is the figurehead for such a group. Beware.

Carolinian , December 9, 2019 at 10:58 pm

Biden was asked if he would comply if subpoenaed for the Senate trial and he said no. So Trump is to be impeached for his "crimes" while his potential opponent defies the law and that's ok because .why was that ok again?.

Stupendous Man - Defender of Liberty, Foe of Tyranny , December 9, 2019 at 10:55 pm

"However hurried a court may be in its efforts to reach the merits of a controversy, the integrity of procedural rules is dependent upon consistent enforcement because the only fair and reasonable alternative thereto is complete abandonment." Miller v. Lint, 62 Ohio St. 2d 209 (1980).

"We have granted discretionary review because a majority of a Court of Appeals panel has refused to follow a long line of decisions of the highest court of this state in violation of S.C.R. 1.030(8)(a) which provides:

'The Court of Appeals is bound by and shall follow applicable precedents established in the opinions of the Supreme Court and its predecessor court.'

The rule is fundamental and is absolutely necessary in a hierarchical judicial system. If every tier of courts in the judicial hierarchy were free to disregard the decisions of a higher court, the Court of Appeals could freely disregard the decisions of the Supreme Court, the circuit courts could freely ignore the decisions of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court and our District Courts would be bound by no law at all, free to ignore the decisions of all higher courts. The result of that course is anarchy." Special Fund v. Francis, 708 S.W.2d 641 (Ky. 1986).

The above favorable articulations notwithstanding what I've been seeing the past decade, or so, is something much more akin to "The Rule of Whimsy," with said rule of whimsy having replaced "The Rule of Law."

JeffK , December 10, 2019 at 12:10 am

I don't think the comparative impeachable offenses argument adds any clarification. The distinction is that the current proceedings are about potential extortion that impacts the next election; the impeachable lies and corruption that led to the Iraq war took two years for the public to perceive. Future versus past. Even if Kerry won in 2004, there would not have been convictions because the conflict was still in progress. Besides, those that carry out orders are the ones that get convictions, not the commanders. Oh, and let's not forget "the fog of war" – a very useful alibi for top military advisers and political leaders.

I think the problem with the current impeachment mess can be Venn diagrammed. Imagine two circles. Once circle titled political leverage, the other circle titled extortion. Move the circles together to partially overlap. Where they overlap is titled Joe Biden. A distinction can usually be made between political leverage and extortion by asking who the stakeholders are. Leverage (with military aid) is always going on, and it benefits "regional stability" and "national security". Extortion benefits the requester, weakens his rivals, creates a compromising dependency the supplicant. In the overlap area the extorted political smear gets executed and the goods get delivered. I think the GOP's argument is that as long as the goods get delivered it is acceptable political leverage. They want to minimize the effect of smearing Joe Biden on the election. They want to blur the distinction between extortion and leverage.

Back to future versus past: The current mess may originate with an lack of conflict of interest oversight during/by the Obama administration by sending Joe Biden and John Kerry to Ukraine to negotiate anti-corruption deals favorable to the US, knowing that their family members were involved with Burisma. Surely there were others in the state Department that could have been direct envoys of the administration. If Burisma wants to stack their board with influential people and pay them a ridiculous sum for doing nothing – just to attract investors – well you can chalk that up to corporate stupidity. It's not necessarily corruption, especially if it works. How many US private equity firms have high-visibility dead weight board members?

inode_buddha , December 10, 2019 at 6:47 am

It took me all of one week to connect corruption with the Iraq war, back when it was beginning. The comparison of past with present is quite useful because it highlights the injustice that is going on right now. Even if Trump committed impeachable offenses, does not give the House any moral authority to engage in selective prosecution for the exact same type of behavior that they themselves, and past presidents have engaged in. This whole circus is nothing but politics, it certainly isn't about justice, nor doing what is actually good for the country. Disclaimer: I voted for Jill Stein. Deal with it.

SteveB , December 10, 2019 at 6:33 am

I can only watch small snippets of the "impeachment hearings" before screaming at the TV like an insane man. Even if one accepts the argument that Trump was using leverage to influence US election: BIDEN WAS NOT THE NOMINEE !!!!!!!!!!! there were many others vying for the position. How can you use leverage for personal gain on an event which hasn't and may not occur ?

It only works if he becomes the nominee. Trump was very effective at portraying his opponents as he wanted during the 2016 campaign ("Crooked Hillary" ) with all the self inflicted gaffs "Uncle Joe" makes it would seem to be shooting fish in a barrel for Trump in 2020 Why work through Ukraine, when he'd have it so easy destroying him on national TV while stroking his own ego at the same time

@pe , December 10, 2019 at 9:13 am

So, in Myanmar, should the Hague not act because it's hands aren't clean? It hasn't acted against the US, for example, which was a much more dangerous agressor in the ME recently (not to speak of other cases), and so clearly, the investigation into Myanmar is "merely" political. Even if investigating the US is impractical, it could investigate smaller countries that have been involved in that case -- but they haven't, since this is merely "political".

In fact, following this to the reduction to absurdity, no court ever has clean hands -- everything is corrupt to some extent, self-interested and hypocritical. Do we abandon all pretense at systems of justice? Or is the case presented here "special" in some sense, whereby we should look at the goals of the accusers beyond and above the acts and goals of the accused?

katiebird , December 10, 2019 at 10:10 am

Thank you, Lambert this is a great piece. I haven't been able to follow this impeachment thing at all. But your final question and answer pulls it together for me.

It doesn't make sense because it really doesn't make sense. Also why now, when we are about to have an election?

I just wish I had the nerve and moral strength to share your post.

katiebird , December 10, 2019 at 12:31 pm

OK. I posted the link to Facebook. I really wonder what my family and friends will say. (Yikes!)

Lambert, I really like this post. Thank you.

inode_buddha , December 10, 2019 at 12:01 pm

So, you're ok with liars and hypocrites not only representing us, but also causing mass deaths? OK, gotcha.

Matthew G. Saroff , December 10, 2019 at 11:27 am

The are two answers to the question, "How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities impeachable?"

The optimistic answer is, "Because the former is a matter of statecraft, and the latter is using official power to derive a direct personal benefit, and the standards for impeachment based statecraft are much higher." (Congress in rejected Cambodia based articles of impeachment in 1974)

The cynical answer is, "Because everyone in Washington, DC has sad-sack children who get jobs because of their political power, and Trump must not be allowed to infringe on our privilege."

The thing is, BOTH answers are true for different people.

For folks like Pramila Jayapal or AOC, I think that they see this as bribery and an abuse of office for personal gain. (This group has been calling for impeachment for a while)

For someone like Nancy Pelosi, whose kids have clearly had opportunities as a result of her position, I think that it is the latter.

How these two categories are split in the Democratic caucus, and there are probably some in the, "Both," camp, is beyond me.

However, even by a relatively strict interpretation if impeachable offense, we have obstruction of justice in the Mueller report, obstruction of Congress right now, tax and bank fraud (though those were done when he was a private citizen), connections to the mob, both domestic and Russian, witness intimidation, and bribery off the top of my head. (Ignoring campaign finance violations, because seriously, who cares)

I have always felt the the furor over Russian interference in the election, which was minor compared to what Churchill did in 1940, was primarily about excusing the corrupt and incompetent Democratic Party (mis)leadership, and you will notice that I have not included any of that, though obviously the cover-up flowed from that in some cases.

synoia , December 10, 2019 at 11:31 am

I'm sensible that we have actual prosecutors in the readership

Spellcheck strikes again?

The problem with computers is they they flawlessly execute one's mistakes. Over and over and over again.

Ames Gilbert , December 10, 2019 at 11:55 am

No, one of the meanings of 'sensible' is, cognizant of. A little out of fashion, perhaps, but correctly used.

David in Santa Cruz , December 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

As Lambert knows, I'm retired after working as a prosecutor in Silicon Valley for 32 years. I think that Lambert is "on to something" here, but doesn't quite hit the mark. Selective Prosecution is a huge issue in this country, but it isn't the issue here.

I agree that for years , Presidents have been committing "impeachable offenses" without being impeached. Unlike the decision to prosecute an ordinary citizen, impeachment is a political decision . However, the question being asked by the House Judiciary Committee, whether attempting to extort the investigation of a political rival through the withholding of foreign aid or favors to a foreign head of state is only one small facet of the impeachment inquiry. If Trump were to have engaged in such conduct, I believe that it would certainly constitute an impeachable offense . Whether to proceed with an investigation into such an offense is a political decision. I happen to agree that Trump is a turd and that he should be investigated.

Once this political decision has been made, the potentially impeachable offense must be investigated and prosecuted . The House leadership are engaging in the typical mistake of the rookie prosecutor: saying to him/herself " I know he's good for it " and filing charges without conducting a complete and thorough investigation . This is where Professor Turley is correct:

Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.

A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege. JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial.

This is where hard evidence such as tapes and transcripts of the actual words used become critical. This evidence apparently exists, but House Democrats have failed to file suit to obtain them. Only when we know the words used and the surrounding circumstances can we draw inferences about the subjective intent of the actors. In the criminal law we draw such inferences about an actor's subjective intent all the time . However, we apply special rules when drawing inferences about a person's intent. Those inferences must not only be reasonable , they must be the only reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the facts and circumstances presented.

As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence.

David in Santa Cruz , December 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

As Lambert knows, I'm retired after working as a prosecutor in Silicon Valley for 32 years. I think that Lambert is "on to something" here, but doesn't quite hit the mark. Selective Prosecution is a huge issue in this country, but it isn't the issue here.

I agree that for years , Presidents have been committing "impeachable offenses" without being impeached. Unlike the decision to prosecute an ordinary citizen, impeachment is a political decision . However, the question being asked by the House Judiciary Committee, whether attempting to extort the investigation of a political rival through the withholding of foreign aid or favors to a foreign head of state is only one small facet of the impeachment inquiry. If Trump were to have engaged in such conduct, I believe that it would certainly constitute an impeachable offense . Whether to proceed with an investigation into such an offense is a political decision. I happen to agree that Trump is a turd and that he should be investigated.

Once this political decision has been made, the potentially impeachable offense must be investigated and prosecuted . The House leadership are engaging in the typical mistake of the rookie prosecutor: saying to him/herself " I know he's good for it " and filing charges without conducting a complete and thorough investigation . This is where Professor Turley is correct:

Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.

A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege.

JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial.

This is where hard evidence such as tapes and transcripts of the actual words used become critical. This evidence apparently exists, but House Democrats have failed to file suit to obtain them. Only when we know the words used and the surrounding circumstances can we draw inferences about the subjective intent of the actors. In the criminal law we draw such inferences about an actor's subjective intent all the time . However, we apply special rules when drawing inferences about a person's intent. Those inferences must not only be reasonable , they must be the only reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the facts and circumstances presented.

As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence.

[Dec 10, 2019] FISA Report Reveals Clinton Meddled In 2016 Election

Notable quotes:
"... If Russia spending $100,000 on Facebook ads constitutes election interference, and Donald Trump asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is too - then Hillary Clinton takes the cake when it comes to influence campaigns designed to harm a political opponent. ..."
"... The article suggests that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page "has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials - including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president." ..."
"... Steele told us that in September [of 2016] her and Simpson gave an "off-the-record" briefing to a small number of journalists about his reporting, " reads page 165 of the FISA report, which says that Steele "acknowledged that Yahoo News was identified in one of the court filings in the foreign litigation as being present. " ..."
"... Put another way, Hillary Clinton paid Christopher Steele to feed information to the MSM in order to harm Donald Trump right before the 2016 election . Granted, there were intermediaries; the Clinton campaign paid law firm Perkins Coie, which paid Fusion GPS, which paid Steele. And if asked, we're guessing Clinton would claim she had no idea this happened - which simply isn't plausible given the stakes. Whatever the case - the act of Simpson paying Steele to peddle fiction to the media for the purpose of harming Trump, by itself , constitutes blatant election meddling by every standard set by the left over the past three years. ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

If Russia spending $100,000 on Facebook ads constitutes election interference, and Donald Trump asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is too - then Hillary Clinton takes the cake when it comes to influence campaigns designed to harm a political opponent.

Contained within Monday's FISA report by the DOJ Inspector General is the revelation that Fusion GPS, the firm paid by the Clinton campaign to produce the Steele dossier, " was paying Steele to discuss his reporting with the media. " ( P. 369 and elsewhere)

(h/t @wakeywakey16 )

And when did Steele talk with the media - which got him fired as an FBI source ? Perhaps most notably was Yahoo News journalist Michael Isikoff , who says he was invited by Fusion GPS to meet a "secret source" at a Washington restaurant . That secret source was none other than Christopher Steele , who fed Isikoff information from his now-discredited dossier - and which appeared in a September 23, 2016 article roughly six weeks before the election - which likely had orders of magnitude greater visibility and impact coming from a widely-read, MSM source vs. $100,000 in Russian Facebook ads.

The article suggests that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page "has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials - including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president."

This claim was found by special counsel Robert Mueller report to be false . Moreover, the FBI knew about it in December, 2016, when DOJ #4 Bruce Ohr told the agency as much.

Steele told us that in September [of 2016] her and Simpson gave an "off-the-record" briefing to a small number of journalists about his reporting, " reads page 165 of the FISA report, which says that Steele "acknowledged that Yahoo News was identified in one of the court filings in the foreign litigation as being present. "

Put another way, Hillary Clinton paid Christopher Steele to feed information to the MSM in order to harm Donald Trump right before the 2016 election . Granted, there were intermediaries; the Clinton campaign paid law firm Perkins Coie, which paid Fusion GPS, which paid Steele. And if asked, we're guessing Clinton would claim she had no idea this happened - which simply isn't plausible given the stakes. Whatever the case - the act of Simpson paying Steele to peddle fiction to the media for the purpose of harming Trump, by itself , constitutes blatant election meddling by every standard set by the left over the past three years.

We're sure Hillary can explain that if and when she jumps into the 2020 race.

[Dec 10, 2019] Watch Live Dems Present Plans For At Least 2 Articles In Impeachment Push

Schiff behaviour was egregious and as such it is now DemoRats liability...
Goldman finding are all bogus as they can't be compared with crimes on Obama and Clinton family.
Notable quotes:
"... Castor accused Democrats of sustaining a months-long quest to find an issue on which to impeach Trump. After Mueller's investigation didn't deliver the results they wanted, he said Democrats now are focusing on Trump's interactions with Ukraine, particularly his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. ..."
"... "The record in the Democrats' impeachment inquiry does not show that President Trump abused the power of Congress or obstructed Congress," Castor said. "To impeach a president who 63 million people voted for over eight lines in a call transcript is baloney." ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

Here's the Democratic position, according to their lawyers...

"The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power" by trying to get Ukraine to help his prospects for re-election by announcing an investigation into a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden," said Barry Berke, counsel to House Judiciary Democrats.

He and Daniel Goldman, counsel for Democrats on the Intelligence Committee, also cited numerous instances of the Trump administration withholding documents and other evidence sought by Congress in connection with the Ukraine probe.

...and the Republican position.

The panel's Republican counsel, Steve Castor, reiterated one of the chief defenses of the president that's been put forward by Trump allies: "The impeachment inquiry's record is riddled with hearsay, presumptions and speculation."

He accused Democrats of pursuing an "artificial and arbitrary political deadline" to overturn the 2016 election and impeach Trump's before the Christmas holiday.

Goldman detailed what he called four "critical" findings from the investigation, according to Dems. All of these points will likely feature prominently in the articles.

  • Trump used the power of his office to pressure and induce the newly-elected president of Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election for Trump's personal and political benefit.
  • In order to increase the pressure on Ukraine to announce the politically-motivated investigations that the president wanted, he withheld a coveted Oval Office meeting and $391 million of essential military assistance from Ukraine.
  • Trump's conduct undermined the U.S. election process and poses an imminent threat to our national security.
  • Faced with the revelation of his pressure campaign against Ukraine, Trump directed an unprecedented effort to obstruct Congress' impeachment inquiry into his conduct.

Meanwhile, Republicans insist that the Dems' impeachment drive was a waste of time because it doesn't show abuse of power.

Castor accused Democrats of sustaining a months-long quest to find an issue on which to impeach Trump. After Mueller's investigation didn't deliver the results they wanted, he said Democrats now are focusing on Trump's interactions with Ukraine, particularly his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

"The record in the Democrats' impeachment inquiry does not show that President Trump abused the power of Congress or obstructed Congress," Castor said. "To impeach a president who 63 million people voted for over eight lines in a call transcript is baloney."

Unfortunately, the impeachment hearing blitz has done little to shift public opinion. Poll averages compiled by FiveThirtyEight and RealClear Politics show that Americans are evenly divided with roughly 47% to 48% supporting impeachment and 44% to 45% opposing. Some individual polls have found that more than eight in ten people say their minds are made up.

Though Nadler says he hasn't yet made a final decision, it looks like evidence from the Mueller probe will be left out of the articles of impeachment by Democrats (probably not a bad idea).

[Dec 10, 2019] Those geriatric crazies like Pelosi, or Hillary, or completly corrupt, bought by lobbies politicos like Schumer or Schiff, and their stooges like "linguist" Ciaramella, "politruk", master of arts in Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian studies Vindman, or Soros-connected rabid neocon Fiona Hill do not know what seven minutes on launch means

They poisoned with the USA with Russophobia for decades to come, and that really increases the risk of nuclear confrontation, which would wipe out all this jerks, but also mass of innocent people.
Notable quotes:
"... The only way to prevent it, IMHO, is having a Western public shifting just 5 % of their "breads and circuses" paradigm to that issue. Just 5. Not holding my breath I am afraid. ..."
"... Which proves the main point of mine: access to information means shit in the real world of power play. Sheeple didn't care then; they care even less now (better distractions). ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

peterAUS , says: December 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm GMT

O.K.

I was, actually, thinking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pershing_II#Protests Or, just follow this trend of "who has a bigger dick" as it is.

Sooner or later you'll have this, IMHO: Reaction time 7 minutes . You know, decision-making time to say "launch" or not. The decision-maker in the White House, Downing Street and Elysees Palace either a geriatric or one of this new multiracial breed. Just think about those people

Add to that the level of overall expertise by the crews manning those systems, its maintenance etc. Add increased automation of some parts of the launch process with hardware/software as it's produced now (you know, quality control etc.).

It will take a miracle not to have that launch sooner or later. Not big, say .80 KT. What happens after that is anybody's guess. Mine, taking the second point from the fourth paragraph .a big bang.

The only way to prevent it, IMHO, is having a Western public shifting just 5 % of their "breads and circuses" paradigm to that issue. Just 5.
Not holding my breath I am afraid.

My 2 cents, anyway.

Anon [138] Disclaimer , says: December 10, 2019 at 9:30 pm GMT
@peterAUS The rational actor false supposition has it that the biologics can't be used because they don't recognize friend from foe.

Rational actors? Where? Anthrax via the US mail.

One rational actor point of view is that you have to be able to respond to anything. Anything. In a measured or escalating response. Of course biologics are being actively pursued to the hilt. Just like you point out about Marburg.

But, the view from above is that general panic in the population cannot be allowed, and so all biologics have to be down played. "of course we would never do anything like that, it would be insane to endanger all of humanity". Just like nukes. So professors pontificate misdirection, and pundits punt.

So don't expect real disclosure, or honest analysis. "We only want the fear that results in more appropriations. Not the fear that sinks programs." Don't generate new Church commissions. Hence the fine line. some fear yes, other fears, no.

peterAUS , says: December 10, 2019 at 10:23 pm GMT
@Anon

Rational actors? Where?

Well Washington D.C.
Hahahahaha sorry, couldn't resist.

So don't expect real disclosure, or honest analysis.

I don't.

But I also probably forgot more about nuclear war than most of readers here will ever know. And chemical, when you think about it; had a kit with atropine on me all the time in all exercises. We didn't practice much that "biologics" stuff, though. We knew why, then. Same reason for today. Call it a "stoic option" to own inevitable demise.

Now, there is a big difference between the age of those protests I mentioned and today. The Internet. The access to information people, then, simply didn't have.

Which proves the main point of mine: access to information means shit in the real world of power play. Sheeple didn't care then; they care even less now (better distractions).

Well, they will care, I am sure. For about ..say in the USA ..several hours, on average.

We here where I am typing from will care for "how to survive the aftermath" .. for two months.Tops.

[Dec 10, 2019] The revealed face of the the USA ruling class during Trump impeachment is Neo-Orwellian.

Dec 10, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , , December 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm

The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian.

"Nadler's committee will likely vote to impeach Trump. In a report defining what it considers impeachable offenses, the committee states that even if Trump did not actually break any laws in his supposed "quid pro quo" dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he can still be impeached for his unstated motives.

"The question is not whether the president's conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the president's real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate, " it stated."

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980918000328

Certainly they are working on mind wave tech, to scan us for "unstated motives" as we live our day to day lives?

[Dec 10, 2019] Nation reporter to Tucker: Strange to see media pretending Ukraine meddling didn t happen

Dec 05, 2019 | www.foxnews.com

'The Nation' contributor Aaron Maté tells 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' host Tucker Carlson that pundits attacking Sen. John Kennedy are ignoring facts

It's "strange to see" mainstream media pretending Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election didn't happen, The Nation contributor Aaron Maté said Wednesday.

Appearing on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Maté said Ukraine's efforts to tamper in the election are "no secret."

"Ukrainian officials -- they leaked information that exposed some apparent corruption by Paul Manafort and it was consequential. It led to Paul Manafort's resignation from the Trump campaign," he said. "And, the stated intent of Ukrainian officials was to weaken the Trump campaign because they wanted to help elect Hillary Clinton ."

TRUMP RIPS 'SLEEPY EYES CHUCK TODD' FOLLOWING FIERY INTERVIEW WITH SEN. KENNEDY: 'MEET THE DEPRESSED!'

Yet, when Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd Sunday that reports from various media outlets indicated that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko favored Clinton over now-President Trump, Todd accused him of parroting Russian President Vladimir Putin's talking points.

"Are you at all concerned that you've been duped?" Todd asked.

"No, just read the articles," said Kennedy.

Video

On the same network, anchor Nicolle Wallace and her guest The Bulwark Editor-at-Large Charlie Sykes echoed Todd, agreeing that Kennedy "comes off as an addled Russian asset on television" after "peddling Vladimir Putin's talking points."

"I don't understand the proactive work on behalf of Putin's Kremlin," said Wallace.

Maté told Carlson that what these pundits are trying to do is "conflate that with a different theory by Ukrainian meddling. Which is not proven -- it's true."

"And, that is the one that Trump tried to put forward in this phone call with Zelenksy where he appears to be saying that it wasn't Russia that was behind the hacking of the DNC and that it might have been Ukraine," he continued.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

"It's true there's no evidence for that theory, and it's fair enough to point out that. But. what's also ironic here is that the people who are indignant about that claim by Trump are accepting the claim that Russia hacked the DNC," Maté stated, adding that journalists should be demanding to see the underlying evidence used by U.S. intelligence to draw that conclusion.

Carlson said the mainstream media now accuses anyone who questions their narrative of being a "traitor to the country" and supporting Russia. Julia Musto is a reporter for Foxnews.com

[Dec 10, 2019] The level of Neo-McCarthyism and the number of lunitics this NYT forums is just astonishing: When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

Highly recommended!
The tread is reproduced as is. And out 100 posts available in NYT "all view mode 90% can be classified as plain vanilla Neo-McCarthyism
If they are representative sample of the country, the country is crazy.
This editorial can also be classified as lunatic. But in reality it is much worse: the paper became completely subservant to intelligence agencies. Should probably be renamed the Voice of the CIA. .
Dec 10, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
Opinion With Trump, All Roads Lead to Moscow

Monday's congressional hearing and the inspector general's report tell a similar story.

By Jesse Wegman Mr. Wegman is a member of the editorial board.

When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

That's the most important lesson from the two big events that played out Monday on Capitol Hill -- the House Judiciary Committee's hearings on President Trump's impeachment and the release of the report on the origins of the F.B.I.'s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

One of these involved the 2016 election. The other involves the 2020 election. Both tell versions of the same story: Mr. Trump depends on, and welcomes, Russian interference to help him win the presidency. That was bad enough when he did it in 2016, openly calling for Russia to hack into his opponent's emails -- which Russians tried to do that same day . But he was only a candidate then. Now that Mr. Trump is president, he is wielding the immense powers of his office to achieve the same end.

That is precisely the type of abuse of power that the founders were most concerned about when they created the impeachment power, and it's why Democratic leaders in the House are pressing ahead with such urgency on their inquiry. They are trying to ensure that the 2020 election, now less than a year away, is not corrupted by the president of the United States, acting in league with a foreign power. "The integrity of our next election is at stake," said Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "Nothing could be more urgent."

On Monday morning, lawyers for the Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees presented the clearest and most comprehensive narrative yet of President Trump's monthslong shakedown of the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, for Mr. Trump's personal political benefit. They explained in methodical detail how the president withheld a White House meeting and hundreds of millions of dollars in crucial, congressionally authorized military aid to Ukraine, all in an effort to get Mr. Zelensky to announce two investigations -- one into Mr. Trump's political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, and another into Ukraine's supposed interference in the 2016 election.

David Leonhardt helps you make sense of the news -- and offers reading suggestions from around the web -- with commentary every weekday morning.

Who would benefit from these announcements? Mr. Trump, who believes his re-election prospects are threatened most by Mr. Biden, and Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who has been working for years to make Ukraine the fall guy for his own interference in the 2016 election. Mr. Putin has not fooled serious people, like those in the American intelligence community who determined that his government alone was responsible for meddling on Mr. Trump's behalf . But he has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press.

... ... ...


sdavidc9 Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut 12m ago

Republicans are in lawyer mode, advocating for Trump as if he were their client. Lawyers make the best case they can for their clients. It helps if they believe in the case, but it also helps to know the case's weaknesses so they can avoid them. The best lawyers can do both at the same time. Republicans are called on by the Constitution to exit lawyer mode and enter juror mode (which is, or should be, similar to why-did-this-aircraft-crash mode). So far, they are not heeding this call. From all appearances, they are mouthing the words of the Constitution while avoiding or refusing to hear or understand them. They took an oath to support the Constitution, but they are deaf to its call, or have moved to a place beyond understanding it.
Mark Larsen Cambria, CA 26m ago
The issue of whether to impeach was made by the President when he engaged in an abuse of his office for personal gain and then obstructed Congress' oversight function. We all understand the political downside arising from an acquittal in the Senate but that interest needs to be secondary to doing the right thing. On these facts, the decision representatives must make of whether to impeach really is no decision at all. Just do the right thing.
Twg NV 26m ago
When Senator John McCain died, he scripted his own funeral as a full bore defense against Trumpian Nationalism, and as an admonishment against a GOP too willing to sell the soul of our nation out to a cultist repudiation of objective fact, truth, and Constitutional order. McCain was a controversial maverick –a person I both admired and disliked in equal proportion. But there is one thing I will always admire him for: his final letter to the nation. It was a warning! He blew a golden bugle to sound the alarm against those entities both within and without our nation who wish to do our democratic republic harm. McCain, whether you agreed with the premise of the Vietnam war or not, was an American hero who served his country and his fellow soldiers with incontrovertible valor and love. President Donald Trump has no concept of what that dedication and sacrifice entails – and sadly, neither do many of the GOP members who continue to lie and make excuses for a president who is clearly abusing his office for personal gain. McCain characterized Trump's actions in Helsinki as an unfathomable 'abasement of the U.S. presidency.' All I can say is the GOP sure ain't the party of my father who fought in WWII against fascism and autocracy. It aggrieves me to no end to witness what too many members of Congress have become: tyrants toward the very meaning of American democracy. God save us from our own duplicity.
Jagmont Rousel Fresburg, Ca. 12m ago
@Twg Well said, and though I sometimes did not agree with McCain on matters of policy, I wish he were still with us, hopefully to show his fellow republicans what integrity looks like, and what America is supposed to be about. The Republican party I have known and respected is alas, like Senator McCain, no longer with us.
Consiglieri NYC 34m ago
Americans have to realize that the whole world is mocking us, and that doesn't necesarily inspire respect. That cold be dangerous. Many medical professionals have noticed a decay in the mental abilities of the president, and certain abnormalities. It would be wise to suggest to the family that maybe the best way forward, with minimal losses would be to motivate a retirement. That would be face saving for them, and save the country from a bitter impeachment spectacle that would not be positive for the USA.
Jennifer Francois Holland, Michigan 1h ago
I'm waiting for Trump's financial info to be released. There's something in there he doesn't even want his base to know . I think the logical conclusion is that whatever financials DJT has hidden do indeed lead to Moscow. Actually, all of this is very, very alarming. Does Putin have a political asset planted here? Y or N I wish the answer was no and that we had a different President. Can we as a nation hold things together when our leader wants to tear us apart?
AL NY 1h ago
All roads lead to the highest bidder(s). 21st century America in the era of Citizens United. Market pricing and the government is open for transactional business domestic and international. Alternate realities per GRU/FOX/GOP misinformation. Combine foreign money carefully grooming an in-need Trump, and a party worshipping money and you have a perfect storm removing any sense of civic duty. Hundreds of years to build and unwound in a few decades, the breathtaking and tragic fall of greatness and hope in our lifetime. It's not fiction, and every day I have to check if it's really happening, and shockingly it is.
DO5 Minneapolis 1h ago
There was no Russian meddling, only Ukraine who meddled in 2016 and they are still at it. Listening to the Judiciary Committee hearings, it seems that the Russians have hacked into the Republican Party servers and are sending talking points to Republicans who are defending the indefensible president.
We'll always have Paris Sydney, Australia 1h ago
At some point, Republicans have to ask themselves which is better for their party and the country. Slavish devotion to Trump, or losing an election and leaving Democrats a mess to clean up, as in 1932 and 2008?
Mike S. Eugene, OR 2h ago
Block witnesses from testifying, then say that the hearing is incomplete. Romney told America at the Republican Convention in 2012 that Russia was our biggest enemy, DJT wanted them to help Republicans win in 2016, said he believed Putin in 2018, and wants to convince us that it was really the Ukraine in 2019. The House has to impeach, even if politically it may be a bad move, because it is the right thing to do; indeed, the very actions I've seen in the past several weeks has given me glimmers of hope for the country.
Federalist California 2h ago
Trump will be reelected for the reason that the Russian intelligence agencies are still able to hack our election results, because Trump has blocked fixing the weaknesses. That is what happens when a Manchurian candidate is elected and then allowed to obstruct justice. It is not clear the US will survive Trump. One key thing he did was arrange to have the teams at DHS that watch for smuggled nuclear bombs were stood down and disbanded. See the report in the LA Times last July "Trump administration has gutted programs aimed at detecting weapons of mass destruction".
David Rochester 2h ago
I don't suppose a constructed transcript of Trump's meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tomorrow will be offered up as a token of our leader's transparency.
Markymark San Francisco 2h ago
It's clear now that AG William Barr isn't interested in enforcing the rule of law with fellow republicans, and especially the president. How can there be no recourse when an attorney general completely sells out to a criminal president? Can the employees of the Justice Dept hold a vote of no confidence in the AG? Can 10,000 attorneys nationwide express the same? The prospect of Trump and Barr running roughshod over the rule of law for another year is truly frightening.
Aluetian Contemplation 2h ago
65,845,063 voters knew clearly who this man was from the beginning and voted for what would have been a better now and future. It was never any secret. 62,980,160 voters also knew clearly who this man was and voted for him anyway. If the Democrats can ensure that we have a fair election in 2020. I'm confident they will win the majority in the house and senate and retake the White House and the end game for Trump will be jail. The problem is, he might not be the only one who's crimes come to light and I suspect a good lot of the GOP are threatening and blackmailing each other to hold the line. If there's any good men or women left in the GOP, your country and history are calling you.
Edwin a physician, scientist and realist 2h ago
It has easy to predict Trump's next move for the last 3 years. Just ask, "What would both benefit Trump, and benefit Putin?" Trump supporters = Putin supporters.
Kevin CO 2h ago
Do you know the American people are fed up with the discourse of all politicians. The republicans are fed up with any decency for the republic. The democrats are fed up with the republicans not facing the common sense of a exec not capable of being the President of the United states. I as a person am fed up with a political system that is not working for all people, just a select few. It's time too have term limits for all positions in gov't. That means all people that serve the people whether it be judges, senators or congressmen/women. It's time to find common sense again in our society as a whole society. We on this earth are all HUMAN.
Eben Spinoza 2h ago
Unfortunately their are serious problems with term limits. Just consider yourself in the role of a Congressional Representative limited to 4 terms. You know that in 8 years, you'll be be back on the job market. You can selflessly work for the public and damage your ability to get a job or tend to people who can hire you after you leave office. You're rational. Which future would you pick?
REBCO FORT LAUDERDALE FL 2h ago
Trump needs to keep Putin happy lest he unleash with all the damaging info he has collected on Trump and his financial crooked deals with Russians over decades. THe Russian mob reports to Putin as a former KGB agent he knows how to collect compromat on a politician and how to use it to get Trump to break into a giddy smile when he sees Putin his master it's obvious to most keen observers.
M. Barsoum Philadelphia 2h ago
Folks it is simple. Can we hear what Trump and Putin said to each other a few months ago. It is recored and on a server it should not be on. I am not sure why nobody is talking about these transcripts.
Nelly Half Moon Bay 2h ago
Finally! We get someone stating the obvious fact of Trump/Putin. Why are the Dems not talking about this all the time? Why are Congressmen and women not asking the witnesses about this? This is the ONE thing the Republicans are afraid of, so it is the one thing Democrats should do. I have been disappointed that the Russian asset thing hasn't been brought up....It's as if it is purposely bold. Trump is a Russian asset, either witting or unwitting. I doubt if there is one upper Intelligence Official that wouldn't say this. So find the right one and have them sit as a witness for this inquiry. And now the Russian big wig Diplomat and KGb spy, Lavarov, is visiting tomorrow. Good grief! Everyone is thinking this, so get out and say it Dems! Dr. Fiona Hill tried to lead into this direction but still the Dem Committee would take it up and aske her what she thought. Say it: All of Trump's Roads Lead to Russia.
Ro Laren Santa Monica 2h ago
Any American adult who has made an effort to educate himself or herself about Mr. Mueller's investigation or these impeachment proceedings understands that yes, with Trump all roads lead to Russia. Now if the poll numbers mean anything, Trump's crimes and Russia's involvement only matter to about 60% of us. As Trump's poll numbers remain steady, some 40% of Americans don't care what lawbreaking he is involved with or whether other nations now control our elections. Stop and think about this for a minute. Trump supporters know but literally do not care that Russia is tampering with our elections (2016 and 2020). Their cult-like support for Trump is why the Republican Senate will not remove him. There is no other reason Trump will remain in office. Trump has mesmerized his supporters like a modern day Rasputin. They will do literally anything for him, and Senate Republicans know this. Trump voters do not mind that Putin controls our nation at the highest levels of decision making. Again - think about this - they know he does, and they do not care. So I ask the rest of us. Is this the America we want to live in? To raise our families in? Where a large, rabid minority is in thrall to a lunatic puppet whose strings are firmly in Putin's hands? Because this is very much the America we live in now. The time will come, though, when we, the majority, will no longer tolerate the Trump/Putin regime. But the longer we wait, the harder it will be oust these tyrants.
Tracy Washington DC 2h ago
In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. said Russia was an important source of funding for the Trump businesses. American banks wouldn't lend him money. Saudi Arabia likely bailed out Jared's disastrous real estate investment in NYC. Follow. The. Money.
Huge Grizzly Seattle 2h ago
You say that Mr. Putin "has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press." You are correct on all counts, except that the Republicans have not been fooled by Putin. They have gone along, headlong and absolutely willingly, in a complete sellout of personal and national principle and integrity. They should not be forgiven for this conduct, any more than Mr. Trump should be forgiven for his sellout of America.
Look Ahead WA 2h ago
For Republicans who believe so fervently in their counterfactual narrative, there is an immediate remedy. Bring facts and evidence to the Committees and testify under oath. Without witnesses and evidence presented under oath, all of the GOP antics simply look foolish and very much like they are defending the guilty. It is unfortunate that there is no penalty for elected officials who share unfounded conspiracy theories, engage in innuendo and obstruct process in official Committee hearings. It is also regretable that this President is not held accountable for trying to intimidate witnesses in real time during testimony. And it is a sad reality that one of the most corrupt rulers in the world, who rules a hostile power, has managed to entirely win over one of our major parties.
Gerard PA 2h ago
The strangest defense advanced today was the idea that the alleged state of the economy was reason not to impeach the President: the Republicans assert that America, the Constitution, the principle of our government are for sale to be bought by the rising stock market and a plethora of low-wage jobs. We are Faust, and the smell of sulphur is nauseating.
richard wiesner oregon 2h ago
If the IG's report on the 2016 Russia investigation had found the only problem was that two of the agents involved had horrible hangnails, Barr and Trump would have condemned it.
Asian Philosopher Germany 2h ago
Whatever Trump is doing, he always care about his main benefactors, Putin and MBS. This is the first time I have witnessed in history that an American president became a Russian puppet with all his Republican followers at the Congress and Senate. American constitutional crisis happening right in front of the world. I heard the cries of James Madison, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin from their graves.
trudds sierra madre, CA 2h ago Times Pick
Sir, do you honestly think that House Republicans have been "fooled" by Mr. Putin? On the contrary, it's pretty obvious they understand and believe the conclusions from our Intel community. These are instead willful lies for political gain. And while some Americans may actually be misled by the theater presented as rebuttal to the impeachment, it's hard to imagine for most it's once again, not conviction but convenience that places such "patriots" solidly in Russia's back pocket.
Michele Seattle 2h ago Times Pick
The pattern of behavior is clear and compelling: Trump is selling out this country, its national security, its integrity and sovereignty, in order to keep power and avoid his own prosecution, and protect his financial interests. We must get the truth about his relationships and indebtedness to Putin, the Saudis, and Erdogan. Our country has been hijacked and Trump will continue to corrupt the US and turn it into an autocracy if he is not stopped and held accountable under the law.
Linus Internet 2h ago
The country voted for this President knowing he is a flawed man in many ways. I don't think anything changes here - the Senate will speedily acquit him and the voters in the swing states will have to decide if they want to give Mr. Trump a second chance while the rest of the country impotently watches.
David CT 2h ago
If one looks at all of his actions as "How could this benefit Russia?" most of it makes sense. Why start a trade war with China and Western allies? Why withdraw from Syria? Why try to polarize the American public? Effectively showing this to the public is critical.
Mark New York 2h ago
Excellent piece. We all know Trump, Inc. turned to Russian oligarchs after '08 for condo sales. It just so happened that those same oligarchs (read as kleptocrats) were laundering money through Deutsche Bank, who was the only bank willing to lend to Trump. Trump's loan officer amazingly was SC Justice Anthony Kennedy's son. Trump was and is a desperate man in need of cash/ Putin is a desperate man who knows that the geyser of oil money that funds his national budget, and has done so since the 1920's, is coming to an end. Russia has no large material economic exports other than oil and gas, but it does still have a large military, hence the military incursions into Moldova, Ossetia, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. Desperate men do desperate things, and desperately try to project power with weak hands.
turbot philadelphia 2h ago
The Republicans in Congress were not fooled by the Russians. They believe in Trump no matter what the Russians do. The bottom line is - What does Putin have on Trump
stan continople brooklyn 2h ago
I don't understand why there hasn't been more of a pushback by the military. They went heavily for Trump in 20116, with many bases in the South and many recruits from economically devastated areas, but in the interim, they have seen his reckless, lurching foreign policy, worship of Putin, and clear evidence that somehow everything he does benefits Russia. A commander's first obligation is to their troops, so knowing the man in charge considers their lives subject to both Trump's whims, and Putin's whispers should provoke some reaction. No?
Steven Auckland 3h ago
Unfortunately - to put it mildly - impeachment will have no effect on the conduct of the 2020 election. The wheels are already turning, everyone knows their part, and only a massive commitment by an honest intelligence apparatus (if there is one) can stop it. One can only hope that, in 2020, the American people make a statement so overwhelming that there can be no doubt as to their intent, despite whatever meddling there may have been. It is entirely possible that there will never be a truly credible election again as long as there are bad actors who are power hungry or bent on destabilizing democratic governments. And make no mistake, these threats are coming from right wing autocracies, and they are in the ascendancy all over the world. American centrists and liberals are the only force that can change that. Are those stakes big enough for you?
Michael Kittle Vaison la Romaine, France 3h ago
We may finally have the answer as to why Trump is so accommodating to Putin. Trump has so many investments in Russia dependent on Putin's support. Trump financial reports will reveal this collusion between Trump and Putin. This should not come as a surprise to attentive Americans. Think of the worst an American president can do and that will bring you close to understanding Trump.
Ray Haining Hot Springs, AR 3h ago
Nobody's saying how Trump withholding military aid to Ukraine would benefit Putin and Russia in their WAR against Ukraine. It was, indeed, MILITARY aid he was withholding, was it not? I understand that this is not the impeachable offense of attempting to enlist a foreign government to win an election, but I believe this aspect of the situation should be brought out.
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 3h ago
The Republican Party has been officially reduced to a giant miasma of fraud, fiction, fantasy, conspiracy theory, deflection, misdirection and prevarication. After tax cuts for rich people and rich corporations...the GOP has no other public policy ideas (except for bankrupting the government). A civilized country needs little things like infrastructure, education, technology, voting rights, law and order, regulations, fair taxation and facts to move forward. But none of those things are ever mentioned by the Republican Party; conspiracy-mongering and tax cuts are now the official governing planks of the Grand Old Propaganda/Grand One Percent party. This is no way to manage a nation anywhere except into the ground. Americans need to hit the Trump-GOP eject button before these Lord of the Fly Republicans take us over a very steep right-wing cliff of insanity.
Bob Hudson Valley