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Smoking Guns and Treason

Trump and his campaign originally (repeatedly) denied that the Russians interfered in our presidential election, but under mounting evidence of Russian hacking, they eventually admitted that the Russians did interfere, but that there was no collusion between the Russians and Trump or his campaign.

Well, that was a lie too. It turns out that last June, just after Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, his son, Trump Jr., along with his campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, met with a Russian lawyer who is connected to the Kremlin. What did they talk about?

Initially, Trump Jr. admitted the meeting, but claimed that they met to discuss the adoption of Russian children in the US. Yeah, right. Nobody believed that ridiculous story. So it took just over a day for him to change his story completely and admit that they had talked about campaign matters. In fact, the Russian lawyer had promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

So much for “no collusion“.

How bad is this? Richard Painter, the ethics lawyer for the second Bush administration says that the situation “This borders on treason, if it is not itself treason“. And that’s a Republican opinion.

UPDATE: Donald Trump Jr. released an email chain that shows that the Trump campaign knowingly colluded with the Russian government.


Also published on Medium.

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24 Comments

  1. ebdoug wrote:

    And Trump tells Congress “just get it done” about health care. He doesn’t care about the results. He just wants to win. Bet that went over well in the Senate.

    Monday, July 10, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    from Howard Dean: Says it like it is:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/news/341288-howard-dean-criminal-enterprise-running-the-country-now

    Monday, July 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink
  3. Wildwood wrote:

    Howard Dean says in the last sentence, “This is a criminal enterprise running this country right now,” Dean said on Sunday, referring to a Russian security agency.”

    The criminal enterprise is Trump Co. The Russians are aiding and abetting, but Trump runs, and has run for decades, a criminal enterprise. He molests women, he deals with the mob, he lies and breaks rules and laws with impunity, and his adult children do the same.

    And up till now, the Pubs have tried to ignore it. Not sure if this is the straw that breaks their back, but maybe.

    Monday, July 10, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink
  4. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Ohhh so much intrigue about nothing.

    Where was the interest and intrigue about the completely fake Trump Dossier.

    “Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the infamous Trump dossier, is again refusing to disclose the identity of political clients who financed the anti-Trump dirt-digging project.

    In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee sent on Friday, lawyers for Fusion GPS said that disclosing the information about the firm’s opposition research project would undercut its First Amendment privileges and violate confidentiality agreements.

    As has been widely reported, an unidentified Republican donor hired Fusion GPS in late 2015 to research Trump. But after the real estate magnate won the Republican primary, the donor dropped from the project. But Fusion GPS soon found another client, this one a Democratic ally of Hillary Clinton’s.

    Fusion hired former British spy Christopher Steele to research Trump’s Russia connections. He produced a series of memos now known collectively as the dossier. The salacious document, much of which has been debunked, was leaked to numerous news outlets and published by BuzzFeed on Jan. 10.”

    Or how some of the same people and companies represented by the lawyer who met with Jr. we’re working with Dem operatives before the election.

    “A London-based businessman who was investigated last year by the opposition research firm behind the so-called Trump dossier will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week, The Daily Caller has learned.
    Bill Browder says that he will “definitely” be testifying about a complaint he filed with the Justice Department last year in which he accused Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier, and a former Soviet intelligence officer named Rinat Akhmetshin of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a law requiring agents of foreign governments to disclose their lobbying and consulting work.
    Founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS investigated Browder last year as part of an influence campaign aimed at neutering the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law which allows for sanctions against Russians accused of human rights abuses.
    At around the same time, Fusion GPS hired former British spy Christopher Steele to research Trump’s activities in Russia. Fusion was working for an unidentified political ally of Hillary Clinton’s.

    Grassley has also asked the FBI about reports that the bureau informally agreed to pay Steele $50,000 to continue his research on Trump. That payment was reportedly never made, though it is unclear why. Both the FBI and Fusion GPS have avoided answering Grassley’s questions about the dossier.
    In his letters to the FBI, Grassley has cited a complaint that Browder filed with the Justice Department last July. In that document, Browder said that Fusion GPS was waging an opposition research campaign against him on behalf of a Russian businessman who was under investigation in the U.S. for money laundering.
    Fusion GPS had been hired by the international law firm, BakerHostetler. The law firm was in turn was working for Denis Katsyv, the head of a Cyprus-based company called Prevezon Holdings.”

    Sound familiar?

    Giant nothing burger, try again.

    Monday, July 10, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink
  5. Jonah wrote:

    What a nothing burger is https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2017/07/10/another-russian-nothing-burger/

    Had to look it up.

    Also an entertaining idea from trump on a cyber security team https://www.rt.com/usa/395844-senators-slam-trump-russia-cybersecurity/

    and what the bronx zoo cobra thought about it 🙂 https://twitter.com/BronxZoosCobra/status/884162640255348736

    Was an entertaining week in terms of Trump presidential antics. Well, i think its entertaining but its also nerve-racking to think this guy is in charge of this country. OR you can ignore him like everyone else is doing. For our sanity that may be the best course of action
    https://qz.com/1019901/its-time-to-start-ignoring-president-donald-trump/

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 3:02 am | Permalink
  6. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Jonah, the first link is opinion. And everybody’s got one, including you and I.

    Let’s deal in facts. I campaign looking for dirt on an opponent, yawner. They all employee armies of dirt diggers.

    Foreign govt’s attempting to help the candidate they want? Another yawner.

    The Ukraine was trying to help the Clinton campaign and Russia was trying to help the Trump group. However there is more credible evidence of direct involvement by the gov’t i of Ukraine colluding with both the DNC and Clinton campaign the from Trumps side.

    Do I like either scenario? Absolutely not. But it’s hypocrisy to call it out on Trump and not Clinton or not our own Government who has done the same thing in other foreign elections.

    That’s all I’m saying.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 4:13 am | Permalink
  7. Jonah wrote:

    If the democrats violated campaign law those responsible should go behind bars as well including Hillary. http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/11/donald-trump-jr-may-well-have-committed-a-federal-crime-experts-say.html

    Even the most die hard liberal probably is going to say anythings worth it if it leads to someone else other than Trump being president.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink
  8. il-08 wrote:

    Nothingburger – see Benghazi

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    If a Democrat were surrounded by such innuendo and suspicion the impeachment proceedings would have begun long ago.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink
  10. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I completely understand. Like my grandmother used to say “it’s just the pot calling the kettle black”.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  11. Iron Knee wrote:

    This is not a “nothing burger” — https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/from-russia-with-love/533235/

    Trump Jr. was explicitly told that this was a “Russian Government Attorney” and he responded “I love it” and agreed to meet with her. And he lied about it, twice. And failed to report it.

    Why are you still carrying water for Trump?

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink
  12. Iron Knee wrote:

    Also, why did Trump Jr. release these incriminating emails himself? Is he being blackmailed over something far far worse? Are the Russians blackmailing him? Did they set up this trap in the first place so they could?

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink
  13. PatriotSGT wrote:

    The lawyer did not work for the Kremlin, but she got the meeting because she said she had info on Clinton, and the guy who set up the meeting said it was from Russia.
    This is a sloppy mess. But don’t all campaigns look for dirt on their opponents? Didn’t the DNC and Clinton campaign jump all over the “rosier” that allegedly had Russian gov’t info?
    It’s pure hypocrisy, but it get more interesting. Read this article about who was sitting right behind Obama’s ambasador to Russia while he was testifying before congress, 1 week after Jr’s meeting. And her pal the entertainer mentioned by the times was next to her. You are aware that seats that close behind the speaker are reserved for VIP’s.
    Here ya go…

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/07/well-lookie-russian-lawyer-veselnitskaya-pictured-obama-ambassador-russia-8-days-trump-jr-mtg/

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink
  14. Ralph wrote:

    IK – if I’m not mistaken, I think Jr. had gotten a heads-up the NYT was planning to publish those emails soon, so it was apparently an attempt to get in front of the story with his own spin on them. Ironically, in the process he only ended up digging himself into a deeper hole with a series of contradictory statements and tweets. A chip off the old block. Or as I’ve heard it put another way, the douche doesn’t fall far from the bag.

    Patriot – I dunno, but this so-called “nothing burger” seems to be quickly morphing into a real shit sandwich. There’s nary a single GOP congressman who is now publicly defending Trump and more conservative members of the media have become much more openly critical. When you’ve lost Krauthammer, you know something’s (finally) hit home.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdojX5iBH7Q

    And earlier today, the National Review said this: “The Russian investigation isn’t a witch hunt anymore, if it ever was. It’s a national necessity.”

    But, you know, there’s always Hannity. And Fox & Friends. Oh, and Rush. And that Alex Chobani Pizzagate guy.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 8:55 pm | Permalink
  15. Iron Knee wrote:

    Ralph, even Fox News is saying: “Donald Trump, Jr. tweets reveal one thing: The American people deserve answers”.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/07/11/donald-trump-jr-tweets-reveal-one-thing-american-people-deserve-answers.html

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 10:31 pm | Permalink
  16. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Honestly, I think the Trump bunch is political amateur hour. Do I think any of this rises to treason? No. What this stupid crap does is take the focus off what needs to get done for America and is an endless stream of crap that we don’t need. The narrative is being driven by the opposition, and its fatiguing and taking away from important work.
    We need tax reform
    We need to fix healthcare
    We need to fix immigration
    We need to rebalance our trade agreements.
    And on and on

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 4:15 am | Permalink
  17. ebdoug wrote:

    Pence is meeting with many advisors and fund raisers getting ready for his turn.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  18. Iron Knee wrote:

    Ralph, even “Townhall” appears to have had enough of Trump.

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/07/11/and-now-a-brief-word-on-moral-relativism-partisanship-and-the-truth-n2353521

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink
  19. Jonah wrote:

    Agreed that there are other things politicians need to get done. Unfortunately Trump keeps shooting himself in the foot and the same can be said for his family. If Comey had not been fired I wonder where things may be right now. And despite all of this why isn’t a republican majority congress getting shit done? Were’t they supposed to be the ones who would keep the ocuntry moving. Perhaps if they worked with the democrats instead of being worse than them (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/10/us/republican-health-care-process.html) things may actually get done. Step 1 for the republicans and trump, stop being anti-obama and anti-democrat. The democrats in 2009-2012 got more things done than what the republicans have been able to achieve. Obama had an actual voter mandate that Trump doesnt have. All he has is an electoral mandate so if he has any pragmatism he would work with democrats and moderate republicans.

    A better solution to get out of this mess and get things moving. Get trump out of the presidency. Based on the Trump Jr developments it looks like the heads up was given by someone in the white house. Maybe pence leaked it. Get pence in. He’s less of an idiot and less likely to cause a nuclear holocaust. And then lets have democrats and republicans TRYING to work together and get stuff done.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink
  20. Wildwood wrote:

    Pat, I don’t want the Pubs to deal with those issues on their own. If I thought there would be any effort to work with the Dems and compromise, it would be easier to tolerate. Slightly. So maybe all this folderol is a good thing if nothing is getting done. I’ve thought over my many decades, that a do nothing Congress is often the best kind.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink
  21. Ralph wrote:

    Patriot – you won’t get any disagreement from me regarding the important issues you list that are being largely sidelined by the practically daily stream of scandals, real or inferred, emanating from this White House. Scandals, by the way, that have inarguably been generated solely by Trump’s own hand (there’s a joke there, but I refrain). Yes, it is political amateur hour and theater of the lowest common denominator. Like I’ve said from the day he descended his gold plated escalator to announce his candidacy, regardless of how you feel about our political and electoral process, the office of POTUS is not an entry level position, but I take no pleasure in being proven right on that score.

    But the GOP has foisted this fiasco on itself and has no one else to blame. Not Obama and his “death panels”. Not Hillary and her emails. Not the MSM and its “fake news”. They and they alone constructed, or at the very least enabled, this train wreck of an administration and now this so-called nothing burger is front and center on the menu and they must now contend with the indigestion, at home, in the polls and ultimately in the voting booths of their own districts. I don’t see any of them prepared to go to the mat for a guy who clearly has no compunction about throwing any one of them under the bus at the earliest opportunity to deflect blame or responsibility. I mean, who poses all smiles and thumbs-up with the GOP house members in celebration of the AHCA only to call it “mean” days later after becoming clear it had no chance in hell of passing? Who does that to (ostensibly) their own party? Trump does, because he is his own party, everyone and everything else is collateral damage. Who put the ME in A-ME-rica First?

    But Trump and his reality show on Pa. Avenue aside (or as Harry Shearer calls it, The Appresidentice), what has this GOP controlled Congress actually accomplished, or even marginally progressed on, with any of the issues you cite? After seven long years of crying repeal, they can’t even agree amongst themselves what to replace Obamacare with, unable to craft a bill capable of passing within their own ranks.

    They haven’t done a thing on tax reform because, let’s face it, their idea of reform is simply huge tax cuts for their uber wealthy patrons, and they can’t do that without blazing the trail with huge cuts in Medicaid/Medicare, which of course takes us back to their failed health care reforms. And of course, as we already discussed, cuts in military spending instead are not even on the table.

    Immigration control? Trump butchered that one with his blanket ban on several Muslim countries (that don’t have Trump properties involved anyway). Ok, he got some satisfaction from SCOTUS there, at least temporarily, but what’s the upshot? His crackdown with ICE, besides breaking up some families, has mostly irritated farmers now scrambling to find enough seasonal workers to harvest their crops. And what’s the latest on his signature campaign issue, The Wall? Setting aside the arguments against its necessity, haven’t heard much beyond more empty proposals, for example, to make it visibly attractive on the American side (yeah, that’ll make it more attractive for Mexico to pay for it too), or putting solar panels on it to generate energy. Irony of ironies! What, not enough “clean coal” out there after all? I guess that was some kind of lame carrot hung out there trying to make it more attractive to the tree huggers.

    Remember his promise to address our crumbling infrastructure? Yeah, me neither, barely. Haven’t seen any plans or proposals to date. But then, Trump’s MO has always been about posturing over planning, so don’t look for any.

    Isn’t it interesting though, for all the inconsistencies, backpedaling and contradictions we’ve already seen in these first ~180 days, the most consistent and predictable thing coming out of this White House had been Trump’s praise of Vladdy and his unrelenting drive to improve relations and cooperation with Russia, ironically (coincidentally?) where most of his financial backing has come from since alienating himself from Western institutions.

    “Endless stream of crap” indeed!

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  22. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Jonah and Wildwood, you’re both right. Both parties need to work together. It’s just in this hyper political climate it seems to be suicidal and that’s as much media driven as fringe driven. I think the only way to fix that is term limits. So instead of the main job of our elected officials goes from getting re-elected to re making America and getting something done.

    Ralph, as I have posted numerous times the republicans in the house and senate are as useless as a lawnmower in the desert. That also applies to the Dems, but since they’re not in power the majority of blame goes to the red team.
    Term Limits, term limits, we need them and we the people through our States are the only ones who can make that happen.
    Let’s take big money and politics out of D.C. And… we’ll.. politics.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
  23. Ralph wrote:

    Patriot – you won’t get any argument from me regarding your last post. Term limits are certainly a worthy goal, easily half or more of that bunch in Congress have passed their expiration date by any measure. The question is, what’s the mechanism, beyond a Constitutional Amendment (as for the prez)? And good luck with that. Many candidates have talked a good game around term limits, but once they get in there it falls off their radar.

    My far right brother and I have struck a truce lately to refrain from political debate, in the interest of family harmony. But I’ve argued with him in the past that both parties, though clearly different on many issues, are often like Frick and Frack, there’s a lot of under the table and behind closed doors stuff that clearly happens on both sides. He doesn’t buy it because, in his light, my frickin’ party is stocked with crooks and liars and baby killers and the country is getting fracked by illegals and takers and tree huggers and such. Oh, did I mention he’s an avid Rush fan? So yeah, tell me about hyper political!

    And the money flooding elections and into the halls of Congress are nothing short of obscene. Until Citizens United is repealed it’s only going to get worse. Add in the extreme gerrymandering and you get the paradox of “representatives” having a 90% reelection rate despite single digit approval numbers.

    Meanwhile, in Trumplandia, a shady timeline slowly emerges…

    Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  24. Jonah wrote:

    This is of all news outlets fox news on the “nothing burger” http://www.businessinsider.com/shep-smith-donald-trump-jr-fox-news-2017-7

    Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 3:21 am | Permalink

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