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Saturday, January 25, 2020

A full, 80-minute video of President Donald Trump calling for the ambassador of Ukraine to be booted out of her post was released by PBS News on Saturday. The recording also picked up Trump telling his associates to "get rid" of then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, adding that they needed to "take her out." read more


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to give House impeachment managers and President Donald Trump's legal team each 24 hours divided over two days for their opening arguments in the Senate's impeachment trial, ... a break from the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, when the 24 hours were split over a four-day period. read more


Monday, January 20, 2020

Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, has sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr requesting that he recuse himself from the investigation and appoint a special prosecutor, according to a new court filing. read more


Steve Benen - Should an American president solicit foreign interference in U.S. elections? It's a question that's near the center of Donald Trump's Ukraine scheme. It's a question that's been around for months. And it's a question Republicans still don't know how to answer. read more


Sunday, January 19, 2020

Chesley B. Sullenberger III: Regardless of how you feel about Joe Biden, or his chances of becoming the Democratic nominee for president; whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, or none of the above; whether you stuttered as a child or laughed at one who did; whether as a parent you try to protect your own stuttering child from taunts such as those made by [Laura Trump]; these words come without hesitation: Stop. Grow up. Show some decency. read more


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In his letter to Barr, Parnas' attorney cites the president's July 2019 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump mentions Barr as a point person for a possible investigation. It also notes the August 2019 whistleblower complaint, a call for recusal by Senate Democrats on the judiciary committee and one from the New York City Bar Association.

In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that aired last Wednesday, Parnas alleged that Barr was aware of the effort, now at the center of Trump's impeachment.

"Mr. Barr had to have known everything," Parnas said.

"Attorney General Barr was basically on the team," he added.

The letter says federal prosecutors have refused to meet with Parnas and delayed the production of discovery evidence in his case. As a result, Parnas "was rendered unable to comply with a duly-issued congressional subpoena in time for congressional investigators to make complete use of his material or properly assess Mr. Parnas as a potential witness," the letter says.

"Given the totality of the circumstances, we believe it is appropriate for you to recuse yourself from the ongoing investigation and pending prosecution of Mr. Parnas," reads the three-paged letter, which was signed by his defense lawyer Joseph Bondy.

Even though Barr can claim that he has no intimate knowledge about the Ukraine scheme, Trump's own words from the Zelensky call memo where he twice says to the Ukraine President "I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call," implicate Barr even if the aforementioned is true.

This will be interesting to watch play out.

On ABC News' This Week, George Stephanopoulos posed the question to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who said, "I don't know that has been actually proven. You know, that's all in dispute."

It's really not. We know this for certain in part because the White House released an official call summary of Trump's July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which the American president pressed his counterpart in Kyiv to "look into" Joe Biden. A week after that call summary was released to the public, Trump stood on the South Lawn of the White House and told reporters on camera, "China should start an investigation into the Bidens." The Republican added soon after, "I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens."

(M)any GOP lawmakers " most notably Iowa's Joni Ernst and Colorado's Cory Gardner " struggled mightily with the question, refusing to say much of anything.

In the months that followed, others in the party have tried to deny the existence of factual details altogether. Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), for example, was asked whether she believes it's all right for an American president to ask a foreign power to investigate a political rival. "He didn't," the congresswoman replied, reality be damned. "He didn't do that ... . He did not do that."

Trump did exactly that. It's not one of the debatable aspects of the scandal. (above link)

"Should an American president solicit foreign interference in U.S. elections?"
What did the founders say about the dangers of foreign involvement in American elections or a president who might solicit such corrupt involvement?

George Washington, in his farewell address at the end of his presidency, argued that one of the greatest dangers to the United States involved the "insidious wiles" of foreign powers and their multiple avenues to improperly influence our political system. Washington urged Americans "to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government."

Thomas Jefferson also sounded the alarm about "entanglements" between the United States and foreign governments, which he and other founders viewed with "perfect horror" due to the corruption that could result. Jefferson knew that a republic could not function if its chief executive would abuse his office"and the public trust"by soliciting personal political assistance from a foreign government.

John Adams had similar beliefs, writing to Jefferson in 1787 that he understood Jefferson's apprehension about "foreign Interference, Intrigue Influence." Adams, too, was concerned about corruption in the political system, leading him to assert that America should not conduct elections too often. "As often as Elections happen," Adams wrote, "the danger of foreign Influence recurs."

Alexander Hamilton warned specifically about a foreign power's ability to cultivate a president or another top official. In Federalist Paper Number 68, published in 1788, Hamilton wrote:

These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistry of the Union?

www.americanprogress.org

Renember, the charges are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Find these two in law.

#21 | POSTED BY PETROUS

In fact, there is no evidence that the phrase "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" was understood in the 1780s to mean indictable crimes.

On the contrary, with virtually no federal criminal law in place when the Constitution was written in 1787, any such understanding would have been inconceivable. Moreover, on July 20, 1787, Edmund Randolph, Virginia's governor, urged the inclusion of an impeachment power specifically because the "Executive will have great opportunitys of abusing his power." Even more famously, Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65 defined "high crimes and misdemeanors" as "those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust."

The logic of impeachment as applied to the presidency is that the president has unique authority conferred by Article II. If he abuses that authority for personal advantage, financial or political, he injures the country as a whole. That is precisely why the framers rejected the idea of relying solely on an election to remove an abusive president from office. Indeed, waiting for the next election is an option that is obviously insufficient when the abuse of power is directed at cheating in that very election.

Justice Joseph Story wrote in 1833 that there are "many" impeachable offenses, none of which is "alluded to in our statute book," because the abuses of power that constitute "political offences" are "of so various and complex a character, so utterly incapable of being defined, or classified, that the task" of enumerating them all through "positive legislation would be impracticable."

www.washingtonpost.com

just bringing this up is funny.

Why? Don't you know the reason he wrote this now?

Lara Trump mocks Biden: 'Let's get the words out Joe'

01/17/20 02:24 PM EST

President Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump went after former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday at a campaign event for Trump.

She seemed to be mocking Biden's well-documented stuttering problem, telling the crowd: "I feel kind of sad for Biden ... I'm supposed to want him to fail at every turn, but every time he comes onstage or they turn to him, I'm like, 'Joe can you get it out? Let's get the words out Joe.' "

Take a break slurping Trump's sack and maybe you'd be up on the news Mattress. Or are your tricks keeping you too busy?

In the two years since the first disclosure of the politically charged texts between Strzok and Page, Trump has subjected the pair to frequent public attacks, excoriated the two for bias and asserted that their actions at the FBI amounted to "treason."

Trump has also made crude salvos against them for engaging in an extramarital affair a staple of his campaign events. At a rally last month, he appeared to imitate Page having an ------. She responded by calling Trump's attacks "sickening" and saying they have devastated her life.

Strzok and Page filed separate lawsuits against the Justice Department last year, alleging that the release of their text messages violated the Privacy Act " an almost half-century-old statute that safeguards information federal agencies hold about private individuals.
___________________________________

Donald Trump seized on this opportunity by making up conspiracy theories about Strzok and Page, and by extension conspiracy theories about their boss at the time, Robert Mueller. Trump was eventually able to force Strzok and Page out of the FBI.... Trump was also able, via Bill Barr, to force a premature and stunted end to Mueller's probe.

Rod Rosenstein's decision to leak the Page-Strzok text messages can be seen as having played at least some role in the ultimate demise of the Mueller probe, which had initially been shot out of the gate like a cannon, but ultimately ended with a whimper. If Rosenstein was pulling stunts to sabotage Mueller dating back to 2017, it [may] mean that Rosenstein was trying to sabotage Mueller's probe all along.

Experts say the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens " the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment.

The Russian tactics are strikingly similar to what American intelligence agencies say was Russia's hacking of emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign. In that case, once they had the emails, the Russians used trolls to spread and spin the material, and built an echo chamber to widen its effect.

Then, as now, the Russian hackers from a military intelligence unit known formerly as the G.R.U., and to private researchers by the alias "Fancy Bear," used so-called phishing emails that appear designed to steal usernames and passwords, according to Area 1, the Silicon Valley security firm that detected the hacking. In this instance, the hackers set up fake websites that mimicked sign-in pages of Burisma subsidiaries, and have been blasting Burisma employees with emails meant to look like they are coming from inside the company.

The hackers fooled some of them into handing over their login credentials, and managed to get inside one of Burisma's servers, Area 1 said.

"The attacks were successful," said Oren Falkowitz, a co-founder of Area 1, who previously served at the National Security Agency.

I'm sure this was being done by Russia so that they could bury all the incriminating evidence showing the corruption and graft between the Biden family and Burisma. Everyone knows that Russia wants Joe Biden to defeat Donald Trump in November. At least that's what I hear that they're saying.....

#34

I'm not an expert on US military and it's direct involvement and coordination with NATO, but the short answer has already been shown to you in quoted context above.

There is a bold line difference between the US military taking orders through the domestic chain of command and US military assets under the control of NATO command.

Obama Sends Armed Drones to Help NATO in Libya War

President Obama has authorized the use of armed Predator drones to attack Libya government forces fighting the rebellion against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi as NATO struggles to regain momentum since taking command of the operation from the United States.

Other NATO nations do not fly armed Predators, although they have unarmed versions for reconnaissance and targeting purposes, and the decision by Mr. Obama to add these weapons to the Libya operation was viewed as another example of the struggle to fill gaps in NATO's capability to carry out a complicated, extended combat mission with significant American support.

Those gaps have become more apparent as the United States transferred command of the Libya operation to NATO and stepped back to a supporting role.

You, among others always try to infer that showing my sources is somehow untoward. I think just the opposite. No one cares what you think about anything as matters of fact unless you can back up your assertions with acknowledged details or considered opinions of others far better informed.

If you want to maintain that the US President is the only one who can give US drone personnel orders to strike while under NATO command, then present evidence in support of your notion. I just did in support of what I believe to be the truth.

Are really trying to put forth that NATO actions are separate from the US? Do you believe that's how the rest of the world sees it?

Let me answer your question with a couple other questions.

Why do you think Trump keeps threatening to leave NATO if it is simply just an extension of the US military?

No one is denying that the US President has a heavy influence on NATO policy, but on specific tactical actions such as this, there is no evidence showing that Obama was behind the specific orders and actions taken at that time.

That's not how Obama saw it when he took credit for it.

You are repeating the exagerations uttered by Trump's spokesperson Hogan Gidley. Here is the factual response:

Obama's former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor quickly replied to Gidley. Gaddafi was killed by Libyan rebel forces in 2011. His final moments were captured on video, showing him to be surrounded by a mob of rebels.

Under the Obama administration, the U.S. played mostly a supporting role in NATO military operations regarding Libya, but the White House did not have a direct role in his death.

Vietor pointed this out Gidley, saying that Gaddafi "was killed by members of the [Libya's National Transitional Council] - not by US forces."

Soleimani was killed by the direct order of Donald Trump through the use of the US military. The two are not the same.

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