Tag: collusion

Impeachment? The answer is still no

Michael Cohen is on his way to jail for a very long time.  But as his ship sinks, he and his attorney are grasping for straws to reduce that sentence.  Cohen has agreed to sing if it means a reduced sentence.  But Mueller already passed on a Cohen plea bargain.

But what if everything Cohen is saying is true?  Is Trump in trouble?  According to precedent, the answer is no.  Let’s start with John Edwards.  Friends and megadonors paid nearly $1 million to Edwards’ mistress to cover up his affair right before an election.  The DOJ brought the charge that those were reportable campaign contributions because they were made to benefit Edwards’ campaign and influence the election.  Edwards was acquitted.  The DOJ could not successfully make the argument that those amounts to pay off his mistress should have been reported.

President Obama found himself in hot water after failing to report $1.8 million in campaign donations made through normal channels and for keeping donations that were in excess of allowed limits.  His campaign paid a $350,000 fine, the largest in history, and moved on with life as though nothing happened.

Bill Clinton lied about an affair during a sexual harassment trial that suddenly fell into the scope of the White Water special counsel.  But he was under oath.  He actually committed perjury.  But nothing happened to him.

In Trump’s case, he paid Michael Cohen a retainer as an attorney to represent him and to deal with issues like paying off people he had an affair with.  Does that make Trump a Clinton grade slimeball?  Of course.  Who didn’t know that already?  But even the leftovers from Obama’s DOJ are going to have a hard time turning a $130,000 payment into something they couldn’t get with the million dollars spent on Edwards’ mistress.  Additionally, the liar and singer Michael Cohen, who stated in the past that Trump didn’t know about the payoffs, never had affairs, etc is going to have to provide hard evidence.  So far the Cohen tapes have disappointed in that area.

From our analysis, the only charge Cohen has made that could put Trump in serious trouble is that Trump knew about the DNC hack before it happened.  Even then, knowing about it is a far cry from causing it.  But that could get Trump into enough trouble that a Democrat run House could at least introduce impeachment charges.  They would never get 75 votes in the Senate.  But more importantly, we’d have to see more than the word of a man on his way to jail being advised by Bill Clinton’s personal attorney, Lanny Davis.  Cohen would need to produce a tape of Trump talking about the DNC hack along with timestamp proof that it was before the hack took place.

I’m pretty sure if that existed, we would have heard it by now.  But who knows, maybe it’ll be an October surprise.

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Narratives crumble on eventful Tuesday

First let’s talk about media censorship.  As we’ve documented, reporters like CNN’s Jim Acosta went crazy when Trump suggested Fake News was the enemy of the people.  Over 200 newspapers wrote coordinated editorials attacking Trump based on the narrative that he was anti-Press.  But in West Virginia, Trump shot down that narrative by going after social media censors.  “I would rather have fake news than have anybody — including liberals, socialists, anything –than have anybody stopped and censored,” Trump said.  He added warnings about the dangers of censoring opposing viewpoints.

Trump makes statement opposing censorship of any viewpoints, including liberals

The Left is frothing at the mouth over convictions of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.  But there’s very little chance it will amount to anything.  The media also seems to be confused into thinking that paying people for non-disclosure agreements of affairs is somehow illegal.  What was illegal was Cohen submitting the payoff to one of Trump’s companies as some sort of expense reimbursement.  For investigators to even begin to think they have a crime to charge Trump with, they have to get evidence beyond Cohen’s unreliable testimony.  But beyond that, Trump can’t be indicted.  He can only be impeached if evidence of criminal activity can be proven.  An impeachment vote won’t pass with the current House makeup and even after November there is no way the Senate will have 75 yes votes on impeachment.

But more importantly, the Russian collusion narrative is once again proven to be dead.  Manafort’s convictions are all for pre-Trump campaign financial crimes that have nothing to do with Trump.  Despite Cohen’s willingness to sing like a bird to Mueller, he had nothing to offer when it comes to Russia.  These two were literally the best hope Mueller had of ever having anything on Trump when it comes to Russia.  Both flipped.  Neither one had anything to offer.  There was no Russian collusion with Trump.

Trump could be in political trouble, but won’t be impeached

In another Russia related story that the media is dutifully ignoring, Rick Scott announced Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security and FBI informed him that there is no evidence that Russia has infiltrated the Florida election system.  This was a wild and baseless claim made by his opponent Sen. Bill Nelson.  Nelson provided no evidence for the claims, but seemed to be indicating that it was classified.  After being called out on his claim by even the Washington Post, Nelson got quiet but hasn’t apologized for lying.

DHS and FBI confirm Bill Nelson lied about Russian meddling in Florida

Manafort and Cohen Guilty

On Tuesday, Paul Manafort was found guilty on 8 of the 18 charges against him.  The jury was hung on the other 10 charges.  All of the charges were related to Manafort’s actions before working with the Trump campaign.  They included tax and bank fraud and hiding a foreign account.  This was when Manafort was working with the Podesta Group.  None of the charges had any relation to Russian collusion or the 2016 election.

Michael Cohen plead guilty in a plea deal to tax and bank fraud and is facing 3-5 years in jail.  Cohen was Trump’s personal attorney.  While this had nothing to do with Russia, collusion, or election meddling, there is a charge with Cohen that could touch Trump.  Cohen is charged with two counts of illegal campaign contributions related to his paying off two porn stars who had alleged affairs with Trump.  The key here is that in Cohen’s plea he said he was directed by the candidate to make those payments.

If Trump directed Cohen to pay off Stormy Daniels, and then reimbursed Cohen from the campaign, that could be trouble for Trump.  However, if Cohen was paid by Trump’s company as a reimbursement as deputy US attorney Robert Khuzami explained, it could result in nothing more than an IRS issue for the President.  Even then, a prosecutor would have to prove that Trump knew Cohen’s invoice was fraudulent.  Cohen is less than trustworthy as a witness and had great incentive to rat on Trump.

Cohen also indicated that he would be willing to testify to Mueller that Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting between his son and a Russian attorney, but there doesn’t seem to be anything illegal about that meeting even if he did.

The two biggest takeaways from these huge stories is that Russian collusion still has not materialized, but that Trump likely has not been honest about his affair with Stormy Daniels.  That leaves Trump in the same boat as Bill Clinton in 1998, but without the perjury or obstruction of justice.

Twitter, Facebook, #metoo, and a rare rebuke from one liberal to another

First, James Clapper took John Brennan to task over the weekend over his rhetoric.  Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, said that Brennan says what’s on his mind, but that is becoming a problem.  Brennan is the former director of the CIA and recently lost his security clearance after becoming an MSNBC commentator and insisting that the President committed treason.  Brennan has offered no evidence for his claims except his heartfelt belief that Trump colluded with the Russians.

The problem with insisting on baseless claims of Russian collusion is that Brennan speaks as someone who has authority as a former CIA director, not just as as a political commentator.  Bill Nelson recently ran into the same problem when he claimed the Russians had infiltrated Florida’s election system.  It’s either a flat out lie used to influence an election, or it’s the illegal release of classified information.  Since John Brennan and Bill Nelson have not had criminal referrals for illegally giving out classified information, it’s clear they are lying.

Former Obama officials battle over the appropriateness of public accusations

If you thought Social Media platforms might have an inherent bias against conservative outlets, it’s because that is true.  Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted they have a left leaning bias, but said they are aware of their own bias and try not to let it affect their decisions.

Meanwhile, Facebook is in hot water for letting real estate companies and lenders violate the Fair Housing Act by using advertising that targets their desired demographics.  So apparently they aren’t quite as leftist when it comes to making money.  If a leftist company violates leftist principles, does anyone care?

Facebook violates 1968 Civil Rights Act by allowing advertisers to discriminate against minorities

Speaking of hypocrisy, one of the first accusers of Harvey Weinstein secretly paid off one of her own victims.  Ground floor member of the #metoo movement Asia Argento paid $380,000 to silence a male actor who she had raped when he was 17.  The payment came shortly after Argento accused Weinstein.  She was 37 and child actor Jimmy Bennett was 17 when she assaulted him.

Weinstein accuser pays off her own victim

8/11/18: Press coordinates attack on Trump to prove they aren’t biased

Trump has stated that the press is not the enemy of the people.  He said fake news is the enemy of the people.  Trump has maintained this stance and repeats it when the media lies about him or produces fake news.  The media, only all too happy to prove him right, has taken the phrase “enemy of the people” very personally.  Media outlets have continuously charged that Trump was calling all news the enemy of the people.  I suppose that’s their mea culpa.

Trump’s charge that the media is biased stems from their coverage of the Russian collusion fake story.  While Trump has never been the target of a Russian collusion investigation, and while Hillary Clinton is the candidate who demonstrably colluded with Russia, you can ask any friend on the left and they will tell you Trump colluded with Russia.  It’s a fake narrative created by the media.  Trump has good reason to criticize the media for bias.

The media isn’t helping themselves.  On Friday, Marjorie Pritchard of the Boston Globe called on media outlets throughout the country to write coordinated editorial attacks against Trump.  70 media outlets have agreed to the coordinated attack on Trump to prove they aren’t biased.

70 papers agree to coordinated attack on Trump to prove they aren’t biased fake news

The US Navy is back in the South China sea to enforce sanctions against North Korea.  North Korea has taken some symbolic steps towards peace and the end to their nuclear program, but continues to develop ballistic missiles.  The Trump administration had stated that sanctions would remain in place until Kim completely and verifiably eliminates their weapons of mass destruction program.

US sanctions on North Korea continue

Republicans and Conservatives are taking full advantage of the Ocasio-Cortez gaff machine.  And we are enjoying every bit of it.

 

 

Who colluded with Russia?

It’s time to play spot the criminal.  Who colluded with Russia?  See if you can figure it out.

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Hillary Clinton is the only person in the story who actually colluded with the Russians to try to meddle with the election.  She used her contacts in the Obama administration to get the phony information to the friendly FBI agents who were out to stop Trump.  The Trump Russia dossier bought and paid for by Clinton, and created by a British spy working with Russian agents was deemed “salacious and unverified” by none other than former FBI director James Comey.  If we are going to accuse anyone of Russian collusion, it has to be Hillary Clinton.

Need to Know 7/31/18

Republican candidate Austin Petersen had his Twitter account suspended for 12 hours after thousands of antifa communist Democrats are triggered by a Stalin gif he posted.  No, this isn’t the Babylon Bee.  Petersen posted the gif in response to one pundit’s ridiculous assertion that Petersen had paid the Russians off to hack Claire McCaskill’s email account.  Petersen is in an uphill battle in the Republican primary to take on McCaskill for her tenuously held Senate seat in Missouri.  He has caused a splash with his AR-15 and 3D gun printer giveaways through the campaign.

Communists triggered by Stalin gif

Is North Korea building new ballistic missiles?  That’s the claim by Washington Post citing unnamed US spies who decided to share classified intelligence with the news agency on the condition of anonymity.  Of course, we’ve seen so much fake news coming from unnamed sources through WaPo and others that there really can’t be too much stock put in this.  It would absolutely benefit Democrats in November to blunt the progress Trump has made with North Korea.  And it seems like a very big risk for people in our spy agencies to tell the Washington Post something so sensitive.  So for now, we’ll stick with the official story.

WaPo publishes classified intel on North Korea, claims anonymous sources

There was no collusion, and even if there was it’s not a crime.  That’s the latest from Trump attorney Rudy Guiliani.  Guiliani made the claim Monday on Fox & Friends.  Depending on the facts and circumstances, he’s correct.  If Trump didn’t commission hackers to break into the DNC’s servers or somehow cause them to break the law, then any other sort of collusion is meaningless.  Even if Trump arranged and met with the Russian attorney in Trump Tower, which he didn’t, it still wouldn’t be a violation of the law.  In fact, compared to hiring a British spy get paid dirt from Russian operatives and then giving that phony info to the FBI to start an investigation, even the worst allegations against Trump are trivial.

Considering Trump has never been the target of a criminal investigation having to do with Russia and considering Hillary Clinton colluded more than even the most wild allegations against Trump, I think it’s time to stop beating this dead horse and move on.

Trump didn’t collude, and even if he had it wasn’t a crime