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Old 02-19-2018, 06:15 PM   #351 (permalink)
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Traditionally, the FBI has been a group of Republican boy scouts. Not right-wing, and yeah, some Democrats, but boy scouts through and through.

Which is why no one has bothered them that much, even Democrats, until now.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:55 PM   #352 (permalink)
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:40 AM   #353 (permalink)
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The Indictments Seem to be Accelerating...

London-based son-in-law of Russian businessman to plead guilty

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The London-based son-in-law of one of Russiaís wealthiest men is set to plead guilty Tuesday afternoon in Washington to making false statements in special counsel Robert S. Mueller IIIís probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to a new court filing. . . . U.S. prosecutors in Muellerís office said the case was related to former Trump 2016 presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort, . . .
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Old 02-20-2018, 05:49 PM   #354 (permalink)
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You mean, other than his own comments?
I think that SHOULD settle the matter, but I'm worried they could convince a court that his comments only reflect how impulsive he is.

We agree he should get obstruction charges, but I have a bad feeling that the courts won't do the right thing.
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:39 PM   #355 (permalink)
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Problem is the only real "court" that matters will be the House of Representatives. Even Nixon was never indicted in a criminal court: he was named as an "un-indicted co-conspirator" in the trials of the Watergate conspirators. If Ford had not pardoned him, it is not clear if Nixon would have been tried, but a sitting President can not be indicted, they have to be impeached by the House and removed from office by a 2/3rds vote of the Senate first.

eta: I should say it is not clear if a sitting President can be indicted. So far it has not happened.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:07 PM   #356 (permalink)
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I don't think it's a settled case that a sitting president can't be indicted.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:43 PM   #357 (permalink)
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You are absolutely correct. It has not been tested. Harding had the good sense to die before he was personally connected to the corruption in his administration. The prosecutors in the Watergate case took a cautious approach and once the White House tapes were released Congress was fully on board with impeachment. Ford's pardon took criminal charges off the table.

With Congress seemingly working to protect the President, Muller could make this the test case. Legal scholars are divided as the wording of the Constitution is not entirely clear on this point.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:54 PM   #358 (permalink)
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I'm sure, if the crime is egregious enough, a sitting president can be indicted without going through the formal impeachment and removal proceedings. If they're necessary, they could be done after-the-fact.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:50 PM   #359 (permalink)
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A federal grand jury has indicted Manafort and Gates on dozens of new tax evasion and bank fraud charges, these in addition to the ones they were already facing of course.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:20 AM   #360 (permalink)
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And now Gates is set to plead guilty and cooperate

Gates worked for Manafort, both before and during the campaign. So even if Manafort continues to fight the court case, his assistant has turned, and was involved in most everything they did.
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:33 PM   #361 (permalink)
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:55 PM   #362 (permalink)
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And now Gates is set to plead guilty and cooperate

Gates worked for Manafort, both before and during the campaign. So even if Manafort continues to fight the court case, his assistant has turned, and was involved in most everything they did.
Depends on what the evidence is like, of course, but once in a complex fraud case I saw the line of defence "My then finance director, who is now the main prosecution witness, did it and he's now trying to put the blame on me to save his own skin" leave the jury sufficiently confused that the defendant, the CEO, was acquitted on almost all charges.

Obviously I don't know what the jury thought but, had I been on the jury, I would probably have ended up thinking "I'm pretty sure it was the CEO but I'm not so sure it wasn't the finance director that I'm prepared to convict the CEO."
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:36 PM   #363 (permalink)
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Gates pleaded guilty earlier this afternoon, and still another indictment against Manafort has just rolled out this evening.

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Washington (CNN)New charges were filed late Friday against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in the special counsel investigation.

Prosecutors allege that Manafort, with the assistance of longtime business partner Rick Gates, "secretly retained a group of former senior European politicians to take positions favorable to Ukraine, including by lobbying in the United States."

The new indictment came less than two hours after Gates pleaded guilty to two criminal charges in federal court and pledged to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia and the 2016 presidential election.

Prosecutors say Manafort orchestrated a group of former European politicians, called the "Hapsburg group," to pose as independent voices. Yet they covertly pushed positions favorable to Ukraine as paid lobbyists. Manafort used offshore accounts to pay the former politicians 2 million euros.

Manafort also allegedly used $4 million from an offshore account to fund a report on the trial of a political opponent jailed by his clients. A lawyer involved in the report -- Alex van der Zwaan -- pleaded guilty to lying to investigators earlier this week.

The new charges, which sweep up some information Gates has conceded to investigators and other information in charges filed Thursday in Virginia federal court, include money laundering, foreign lobbying violations and making false statements.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:00 PM   #364 (permalink)
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"Hapsburg group"... really?

Did they also practice moustache-twirling and laughing manically?

Why not just call yourself Spectre or Injustice League?

That group seems to include a former chancellor from Europe. Considering that this isn't a very common job title, I know exactly who it is.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:49 AM   #365 (permalink)
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Manafort has spent decades working with Russian oligarchs, so he's obviously a risk-taker with nerves of steel. You don't swim in those waters if you're faint of heart.

My take on the situation is that Manafort knows the worst Mueller can do is send Manafort to prison. This falls short of what the Russians could do to Manafort if he squeals. When your criminal employers will happily throw you out a 5-story window or poison you, and possibly take out a few family members to send an unequivocal message, then law enforcement doesn't have much leverage.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:27 AM   #366 (permalink)
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Manafort has spent decades working with Russian oligarchs, so he's obviously a risk-taker with nerves of steel.
Nerves of steel, maybe. But his tech skills? ...

Manafort Left an Incriminating Paper Trail Because He Couldnít Figure Out How to Convert PDFs to Word Files
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:17 AM   #367 (permalink)
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My take on the situation is that Manafort knows the worst Mueller can do is send Manafort to prison. This falls short of what the Russians could do to Manafort if he squeals. When your criminal employers will happily throw you out a 5-story window or poison you, and possibly take out a few family members to send an unequivocal message, then law enforcement doesn't have much leverage.
When you're affiliated with the Habsburgs, defenestration is the way to go.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:44 AM   #368 (permalink)
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When you're affiliated with the Habsburgs, defenestration is the way to go.

Okay, this sounds like an idiom, and I'm very curious. What does it mean.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:03 PM   #369 (permalink)
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Okay, this sounds like an idiom, and I'm very curious. What does it mean.
"Defenestration" means to cause great bodily harm by throwing someone out the window. The Habsburg connection has to do with a dispute between the (Catholic) Habsburg representatives and the (Protestant) Bohemian local government. This led to the outbreak of the 30 Years War.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenestrations_of_Prague

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Old 02-27-2018, 07:56 AM   #370 (permalink)
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I don't think it's a settled case that a sitting president can't be indicted.
I will go out on a limb that donnie thinks it is settled that he can not be. It is far from settled and when a president has done something of that level they may legally get off but the public hardly went 'all right, fine'.
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:00 AM   #371 (permalink)
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You have to love it when criminals have not realized after all these decades that computer forensics is a thing.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:46 AM   #372 (permalink)
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Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin — apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants, according to people familiar with the matter.

In January 2017, Erik Prince, the founder of the private security company Blackwater, met with a Russian official close to Russian President Vladi≠mir Putin and later described the meeting to congressional investigators as a chance encounter that was not a planned discussion of U.S.-Russia relations.
As an aside, Erik Prince is the brother of Betsy DeVos.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:03 AM   #373 (permalink)
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If I'm up for linking to Politico, you know the news must be good.

Manafort could face ‘rest of life in prison,’ judge says
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U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who is based in Alexandria, Virginia, and is assigned to a newly filed indictment against Manafort dealing with bank fraud and tax evasion, said the veteran lobbyist and political consultant posed “a substantial risk of flight” because of his assets and the gravity of his legal predicament.

“The defendant is a person of great wealth who has the financial means and international connections to flee and remain at large, as well as every incentive to do so,” Ellis wrote in an order setting the terms of what the judge called “home incarceration” for Manafort, 68, who lives in Alexandria but also has homes in Florida and on Long Island.

“Given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent weight of the evidence against him, defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison,” wrote Ellis, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan.

That 'appointee of Reagan' bit causes the glee to sting my eyes.
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Old 03-15-2018, 02:22 PM   #374 (permalink)
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WASHINGTON ó The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents, including some related to Russia, according to two people briefed on the matter. It is the first known instance of the special counsel demanding documents directly related to President Trumpís businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the president.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/15/u...er-russia.html

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Old 03-22-2018, 12:07 PM   #375 (permalink)
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Not normally good news when the lawyer sacks his client...

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WASHINGTON ó The presidentís lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation, John Dowd, resigned on Thursday, according to two people briefed on the matter, days after the president called for an end to the inquiry.

Mr. Dowd, who took over the presidentís legal team last summer, had considered leaving several times in recent months and ultimately concluded that Mr. Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice, one of the people said. Under Mr. Dowdís leadership, Mr. Trumpís lawyers had advised him to cooperate with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating Russiaís election interference and possible ties to Trump associates as well as whether the president obstructed the inquiry.

The president has instead in recent days begun publicly assailing Mr. Mueller, a shift in tone that appears to be born of the presidentís concern that the investigation is bearing down on him more directly. He has also privately insisted he should sit for an interview with the special counselís office, even though Mr. Dowd believed it was a bad idea.

Mr. Dowdís departure marks the most prominent shake-up for the presidentís legal team since he took over from the presidentís longtime personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/22/u...T.nav=top-news
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