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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

An argument for abuse of power...

So the United States court system seems to believe that statements made during a campaign or during an transition can be seen as evidence that an otherwise honest action can be seen as unscrupulous or otherwise unethical. In fact, it doesn't necessarily even have to be a statement made by the person themselves. The courts have even ruled that statements made by other people can be used.

So using this as our basis of argument... we should all recall the fact that Donald Trump had made several disparaging comments about the FBI and Intelligence Community in general during the campaign. We should also recall that many people in the know suggested that this was unwise, as the Intelligence Community and the Deep State would find ways to make his life miserable, if they so chose to do so.

So with that as our backdrop, let's consider the facts:

  • We have an investigation into possible misdeeds by the Trump campaign. 
  • The investigation is a political liability for the Trump administration. 
  • So far, nobody within the Intelligence community can point to any evidence of any crime.
  • In fact, under oath, many leading members have testified that they have not uncovered any evidence even of the broader accusations of collusion, much less any crimes associated with it.
  • In spite of the lack of evidence, the investigation has been going on for nearly a year, continuing to cause political problems for the President and his administration.
  • People within the intelligence community have been routinely leaking damaging information (although nothing suggesting criminal behavior) to the press.
  • These leaks are considered to be felony crimes.
  • The FBI, under Jame Comey, had not been actively investigating the leaks, or had pointed to any attempts to try to stop the illegal leaks. 

To recap: People in the know stated that the Intelligence Community (FBI) would probably try to harm Trump. The FBI was actively pursuing a politically damning investigation in spite of no evidence of any crime. Meanwhile, people within the FBI were illegally leaking damaging information to the Press, and the FBI director had not ordered an investigation into that.

Can anyone tell me why, objectively, this should not be at least "considered" an abuse of power? Can anyone tell me why (other than political considerations) there would still be investigations into allegations that have yet to uncover any tangible evidence almost a year into it? Isn't the job of the FBI to "go where the facts take them"? At what point in time, does the lack of factual evidence "take you" to the conclusion that there isn't anything there?

To put this in perspective... the entire Clinton Email investigation took only a year. The evidence of criminal behavior (from a technical standpoint) was known almost immediately, and drove the investigation forward.

It all begs the question... was this a legitimate investigation that strictly went where the fact led them... or was it an abuse of power?

65 comments:

opie said...

So the United States court system seems to believe that statements made during a campaign or during an transition can be seen as evidence that an otherwise honest action can be seen as unscrupulous or otherwise unethical

Apparently the courts were correct in examining those statements since our Liar In Chief (LIC), has tweeted at least 3 times in the past 2 days that it was a TRAVEL BAN!!!! He's even turned on Sessions saying he should pursue tougher standards, in spite of the fact that the LIC signed them off. Great theatre for people li me and another opportunity for people like you to make stuff up. LOLOLOL Nice troll CH.

wphamilton said...

Those leaking damaging but inconclusive evidence should be locked up, but you "know" there is no evidence of collusion because no one has leaked it. Perhaps there is some evidence, and the investigators have some integrity? Or they don't want Coldheart et. al calling for their prosecution, and therefore haven't published it?

These allegations are strong enough, and plausible given what is known to the public, that an impartial investigation is the only way to put them to rest. Trump should welcome the FBI investigation.

wphamilton said...

Doesn't the Attorney General work for the President? What kind of CEO attacks his top executives in the press instead of having a sit-down on policy and strategy? It's almost like Trump doesn't have any idea about professional conduct, or administrating a government, or a business ... or his staff ignores him when he's unreasonable ...

opie said...

Three months after President Trump abruptly fired half of the nation’s 93 United States attorneys, following the resignations of the other half, he has yet to replace a single one.

It’s bizarre — and revealing — that a man who called himself the “law and order candidate” during the 2016 campaign and spoke of “lawless chaos” in his address to Congress would permit such a leadership vacuum at federal prosecutors’ offices around the country. United States attorneys are responsible for prosecuting terrorism offenses, serious financial fraud, public corruption, crimes related to gang activity, drug trafficking and all other federal crimes.

Seems the only thing important to the LIC is tweeting BS about the london mayor. Sad really sad.

opie said...

or his staff ignores him when he's unreasonable ...

He's running the WH just like he did his company, as an absolute tyrant who always got his way. I am sure he would be a thrill to work for unless you were related, just like now.

Commonsense said...

Doesn't the Attorney General work for the President?

Nominally so does the FBI. But Comey thought he was above the president and above the law.

opie said...

But Comey thought he was above the president and above the law.

Again, your unfounded opinion

wphamilton said...

Are you suggesting that Attorney General Sessions is an out-of-control loose cannon like Comey, thinking he's above the President? All this because Trump attacked him in the press for the watered-down travel ban?

I guess in this "new reality" the President has no control over his staff, and has to get his points across in the press instead of meetings. I shouldn't be surprised, since we already know that his own staff have had to resort to that with Trump. I hate to break it to you, but it looks like this guy doesn't know how to run ... anything. He has zero management skills. Everyone who voted for a business tycoon's executive skills, you've been had.

opie said...

Everyone who voted for a business tycoon's executive skills, you've been had.


Yep....he bs'd his way into a lot of voters minds. Saw a gallup poll yesterday showing major erosion of support in military counties. It's a matter of time before the sycophants here realize they've been had like you alluded to.

opie said...

Just like I posted yesterday, It turns out Pruit is another fraud who just makes crap up, Turns out he based his numbers on BLS mining sector which includes coal mining, as proof coal is making a HUUGE comeback. Oh well whats 50,000 additional jobs when reality says 1,000 or so is the reality. I love trump and his liars....good name for a rock and roll group. LOLOL

PA chief Scott Pruitt claims that ‘almost 50,000 jobs’ have been gained in coal. He isn’t even close.

The EPA administrator had a shiny new talking point to roll out on the Sunday morning shows as he defended President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris accord on climate change.

James said...

To add to the discussion:
From Quora.com:

Is it possible that Donald Trump is acting out of malice?

Either as revenge for real or perceived past indignities, out of contempt for poor and rural people, or out of simple sadism. He’s well past the point I could chalk it all up to genuine stupidity and inability to accept criticism and his own faults.

Angela Stockton, works at Law Firms
Trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, backing out of the Paris climate agreement, lifting the bans on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, trying to reverse Obama’s decision to designate Bears Ears as a national monument—if Obama did it, Trump is trying to undo it, no matter what “it” is. He’s a racist who hates Obama for simply being more popular and cerebral than he is, and he wants Obama to have no legacy.

Clayton Badeaux
The entire Republican party made that thier platform at one point and Donald Trump was a yuge part of that plan. I don't see how this is not obvious to everyone at this point.

BTW congrats Republicans on electing a president whos total policy plan was to make himself richer, make you all look bad, and undo the efforts of someone who doesn't even work in the government anymore.

Jeff Sievers
Your concise and accurate answer will help me as I respond to Trumpsters who cross my path. Thank you.

D. Braudrick
Trump's acts of revenge will come back to haunt him. No one is remembered favorably for what they undid. But, rather, what they did. The price one pays for revenge is so much higher than that of grace. And the rewards of grace are forever; revenge, only temporary gratification.

Jeff Saul
I agree that Trump is trying to obliterate everything Obama did as president. Most of the other commentaters believe this vindictiveness by Trump is due to racism. Although there is some evidence of this (Trump amplified the birther movement for example), I believe there is more to his animosity to Obama.

Trump is known to go after anyone who he thinks makes him look bad. In 2011 at the Whitehouse correspondents’ dinner, Obama basically roasted Trump. Trump is known not to take jokes at his expense well. I believe this is the moment he decided to run for president and obliterate any and everything Obama did as president.

Lisa Barth
And all those things mentioned will impact people and America in a negative way. Just the opposite of what he claims about making America great And his oh so phony concern for the American taxpayer.

C.H. Truth said...

WP - I think that becomes the big philosophical debate here.

Just because allegations are "strong enough" and that these allegations are seen as plausible to some... to what degree (and for how long) does that warrant an investigation. Perhaps the better question is what weight should the FBI give to serious political allegations, just because there are people wanting to "put it to rest"?

From the purest standpoint of our criminal justice system... assuming that all Americans have the same fourth amendment rights (including politicians)... isn't the job of the FBI and other agencies to prioritize their resources based on the most likely criminal acts, and the dangers associated with those criminal acts.


Seems to me, that your explanation of the situation (defense of Comey) is based almost entirely on the importance of this as a political situation, and because you believe it's what many Americans "want" investigated. (I would argue that the desire to see this investigated is largely partisan)

I don't believe that criminal justice should be poll driven or politically driven. Serious investigators suggest that they always go where the facts lead them... Never heard one state that they follow the desires of those who make the most noise.

James said...

Trump makes the most noise. That noise should sometimes be investigated.

opie said...

ust because allegations are "strong enough" and that these allegations are seen as plausible to some...

And amazingly, that is why they are investigating. It will come out in the wash whether they did or didn't. Instead of your constant speculating there is nothing there, let the pros finish their work, the truth will speak for itself. Something in the title of this blog is what you are looking for.

Loretta said...

Well said, CH.

wphamilton said...

Opie is right. This is no defense of Comey nor politicizing the investigation. I'm pointing out that if the evidence hasn't been leaked, you don't know about it. It is extremely inconsistent to call for prosecution of leaks, and yet conclude that there is no hard evidence just because you haven't read about it yet.

Let the investigation unfold before deciding that they're persecuting the President with no evidence.

C.H. Truth said...

WP...

I believe that you and Opie are missing one very important principal to the rights of Americans under the fourth amendment (and other legal precedent) that requires law enforcement establish a fairly clear probable cause to proceed with investigations... at least to the scale that they are investigating this.

We may lose sight of this, because of the high profile nature of the case. But Trump, Flynn, Kushner, etc... all enjoy the same protections from unwarranted intrusion by our law enforcement as you or I would.

Would you be okay if the FBI spent a year investigating you looking for evidence that they cannot find, because someone else tossed out a wild conspiracy theory about you... with zero evidence to back up their allegation?

Would you sit back and argue that having things written about you in the paper, and having your life torn apart by law enforcement is justified, because otherwise your accusers cannot "put it to rest"? Would you "welcome it" as you suggest, because you wanted to "clear your name"?

______________

Moreover, it's not just the lack of "leaked" evidence that would show a crime that is at issue, it's the fact that former intelligence agents as well as Comey himself has offered under oath that they had not come up with any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Moreover, evidence of collusion would very likely still "not" actually be evidence of a crime... as has been pointed out by many legal experts. Collusion is only a crime, when the collusion is to commit an actual crime. The only crime we can point to right now is the hacking of the emails. Something that took place by all accounts over two years ago. Certainly you cannot tie Kushner to 2015 hacks because he had conversations in Dec of 2016.

So for all practical purposes it appears these investigations are attempting to uncover "behavior" that would probably be damaging politically, but not legally a problem.

opie said...


I believe that you and Opie are missing one very important principal


The only thing I am missing is your bias and zeal to protect the liar in chief. Again you are speculating without basis. Let the investigation continue and be patient as WP pointed out, you don't have the data the feds have or know about.

Commonsense said...

Opie you're as noisy and as tedious as James.

You offer no rational contribution to the debate.

wphamilton said...

I am not missing "the rights of Americans under the fourth amendment (and other legal precedent) that requires law enforcement establish a fairly clear probable cause to proceed with investigations.."

because there is no such right under the fourth amendment, nor under any other jurisprudence.

wphamilton said...

"Would you sit back and argue that having things written about you in the paper, and having your life torn apart by law enforcement is justified, because otherwise your accusers cannot "put it to rest"? Would you "welcome it" as you suggest, because you wanted to "clear your name"?

If there were legitimate reasons that I was under suspicion - as there obviously are in Trump's case - then I would of course expect an investigation. If I were innocent, and the allegations public and damaging, then I would prefer that the investigation proceed.

wphamilton said...

... the fact that former intelligence agents as well as Comey himself has offered under oath that they had not come up with any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

When did Comey say this? All I recall from Comey to Congress was side-slipping questions. If you're talking about Clapper, we've already been through this ... he didn't say what you think he did. Nobody, not one of them, has said that there is categorically, no evidence of collusion. Every one of them has said something similar to what Opie and I are telling you: there is an ongoing investigation, and you don't and can't know what evidence they're looking at.

Commonsense said...

because there is no such right under the fourth amendment, nor under any other jurisprudence.

You are quite wrong in this WP:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated

Absent of probable cause, searches, (investigations) and seizures are considered unreasonable.

The 4th and 5th amendments were put in place to specifically prevent a government from persecuting individuals simply because they think they're bad.

wphamilton said...

Investigations are neither unreasonable searches, nor seizures.

Show me any case law holding that the investigation itself, rather than some specific action construed as a warrant-less seach, was a violation of the 4th.

C.H. Truth said...

WP - whether or not there is a reasonable suspicion is a matter of opinion.

Again, the word collusion does not in fact represent a criminal act. So reasonable suspicion of collusion means nothing.

As Alan Dershowitz and others have asked... where is the actual crime?

Other than you suggesting obstruction (which would be the byproduct of the investigation itself) what specific crimes would you say a reasonable person would believe have been committed.

Benefiting from foreign influence is not a crime.
Talking to Russians is not a crime.

The only real crime was the hacking of emails. Can you honestly say a reasonable person believes the Trump campaign was working with these hackers back in 2015 when the hacking was done?

Occams Razor. Is it more reasonable to assume that Kushner and gang were engaged in normal transitional discussions or more reasonable to assume they were post-actively colluding about hacked emails?

Your suspicion is something that makes less sense the more you think about it logically.

Commonsense said...

Show me any case law holding that the investigation itself, rather than some specific action construed as a warrant-less search, was a violation of the 4th

Katz v. United States

In this the government content that probable cause and a warrant was not necessary because they physically didn't enter the premise. The "investigation" by surveillance was enough.

Petitioner was convicted under an indictment charging him with transmitting wagering information by telephone across state lines in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1084. Evidence of petitioner's end of the conversations, overheard by FBI agents who had attached an electronic listening and recording device to the outside of the telephone booth from which the calls were made, was introduced at the trial. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction, finding that there was no Fourth Amendment violation, since there was "no physical entrance into the area occupied by" petitioner.

Held:

1. The Government's eavesdropping activities violated the privacy upon which petitioner justifiably relied while using the telephone booth, and thus constituted a "search and seizure" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Pp. 350-353.

(a) The Fourth Amendment governs not only the seizure of tangible items, but extends as well to the recording of oral statements. Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 511. P. 353.

(b) Because the Fourth Amendment protects people, rather than places, its reach cannot turn on the presence or absence of a physical intrusion into any given enclosure. The "trespass" doctrine of Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, and Goldman v. United States, 316 U.S. 129, is no longer controlling. Pp. 351, 353.

2. Although the surveillance in this case may have been so narrowly circumscribed that it could constitutionally have been authorized in advance, it was not in fact conducted pursuant to the warrant procedure which is a constitutional precondition of such electronic surveillance.

wphamilton said...

Other than you suggesting obstruction (which would be the byproduct of the investigation itself) what specific crimes would you say a reasonable person would believe have been committed.

It would be a byproduct of the investigation into Russian hacking. That doesn't make it illegitimate, nor harmless. Obstruction of this investigation would be a crime.

Given the frequent and unusual contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials affiliated with Russian intelligence, Occams Razor does suggest that Trump was dealing with Russian intelligence. Any alternative explanation requires adding some other entity ... are you sure you want to explore that dark alley?

I do not think that Trump was working with hackers in 2015. It would be no surprise, given what we know now, if someone in his campaign was subsequently coordinating the release of illegally obtained information. That would be a criminal conspiracy. Any degree of "collusion", whether or not you believe it to be prima facie illegal, would tend to make the criminal conspiracy more likely. You would likely need to show a quid pro quo to PROVE that a criminal conspiracy existed. We don't see that *proof of conspiracy* yet, but evidence abounds that some collusion may have happened.

Trump publicly asked these hackers to release more illegally obtained information, to politically damage his opponent. This is not in and of itself "collusion" ... unless ... there comes to light any suggestion from his campaign staff that something was offered. Such as Flynn's discussion of eased sanctions for example. These are both fairly compelling pieces of "evidence" in the context of a pattern of collusion. Let me reiterate that I do not suggest that this evidence, in isolation, rises to proof of a criminal conspiracy. Something more is needed for that, which the investigation has found, will find, or doesn't have. We - you and I, the media, and Congress - don't know yet.

Whether or not the FBI has, or may find, smoking gun proof of a conspiracy, it would be in Trump's interest to suppress an investigation finding even circumstantial evidence of any sort of collusion. Let me rephrase that for clarity: Trump will not want you to know about any collusion of any kind, even "innocent" and "legal" collusion. If Trump's desire (which Trump has overtly express) has transformed into obstruction, a criminal case may be made.

wphamilton said...

No, cs. The surveillance was an action construed as a warrant-less search. The fact that Katz was under investigation was not a violation of the 4th.

In fact, every case you can find will be like this. Because there is literally no 4th Amendment protection, nor any other jurisprudence, from an investigation. Only protections from specific actions that the investigators may take.

Commonsense said...

Government's position was that surveillance was not a search therefore no warrant was needed and no probable cause has to be shown.

The district court agreed with them.

That was the issue.

rrb said...

If there were legitimate reasons that I was under suspicion - as there obviously are in Trump's case -
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

uh, not so fast wp.

what you cast as a "legitimate reason" was born within 24 hours of the election by podesta, palmieri, mook, abedin, et.al, to explain away the defeat of the worst candidate of the modern era.

it was bullshit on the day they concocted it, and it remains bullshit to this day.

a pack of insufferable hacks got their asses handed to them, and hillary needed to save face. so the "russians hacked the election" meme was born.

no lesser legal lights than jonathan turley and alan dershowitz have not been able to determine a crime to pursue. so just because CNN and MSDNC want trump out of the white house doesn't make the effort legitimate.

wphamilton said...

Investigation ==/== surveillance. Surveillance is one method an investigation may utilize. Wiretap is one of the tools of surveillance. Wiretap of American citizens requires a warrant, because of the Fourth Amendment. The government, and the district court, were wrong.

The investigation into Katz was free to utilize other methods, not including warrant-less searches and wiretaps, because the investigation itself is not a violation of the 4th, nor any other constitutional right. The 4th doesn't even protect you from surveillance in general. He could even remain under surveillance, as could you or anyone else, in public areas where you have no reasonable expectation of privacy for example.

You, and Coldheart, are simply wrong that the Fourth Amendment protects you from an FBI investigation. You will find no precedent or case law showing otherwise. I'll be happy to critique whatever you can google up however.

wphamilton said...

what you cast as a "legitimate reason" was born within 24 hours of the election by podesta, palmieri, mook, abedin, et.al, to explain away the defeat of the worst candidate of the modern era.

it was bullshit on the day they concocted it, and it remains bullshit to this day.


I don't know what was cooked up in their feverish minds. But questions about Trump and his campaign, with respect to Russians, arose from the investigations into Russian interference and from Trump cabinet officials having undisclosed meetings with Russians. And the subsequent revelations of course.

Commonsense said...

Surveillance is one method an investigation may utilize. Wiretap is one of the tools of surveillance.

So is questioning and how does one conduit an investigation without using these tools?

So saying that search, surveillance or questioning does not equal investigation is illogical on its face.

wphamilton said...

RRB, Dershowitz said that Trump firing Comey "is no obstruction of justice here and I don't see any crime here at all".

I said the same thing, some time before Dershowitz got around to it. That doesn't say that Trump is not guilty of obstruction, just that firing Comey doesn't by itself rise to that.

wphamilton said...

Questioning is not subject to the 4th amendment. An investigation may, and I'd say the vast majority do, proceed without any form of surveillance. It isn't making much sense to argue that prohibiting unreasonable searches also prohibits an investigation in the first place.

Why don't you get back to looking for a precedent? The reasoning there is already laid out.

rrb said...



But questions about Trump and his campaign, with respect to Russians, arose from the investigations into Russian interference and from Trump cabinet officials having undisclosed meetings with Russians. And the subsequent revelations of course.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

oh, ok. so i guess mueller will be allowed to "back into" a crime, since no obvious crime has been committed.

i've seen this movie before, and it ended with scooter libby being convicted of absolutely nothing more than being an aide to a republican.

btw, this is a big contributor as to why we got trump in the first place. those deplorable rubes in the flyover states are smarter than you think. they're tired of the self-dealing and corruption. so what are we doing? giving them more of what they voted against in the first place.

genius.





Commonsense said...

Questioning is not subject to the 4th amendment.

No, that is the subject of the 5th amendment.

rrb said...

That doesn't say that Trump is not guilty of obstruction, just that firing Comey doesn't by itself rise to that.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

oh, so where we really are is here:

Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.

- Lavrentiy Beria

and this is exactly why the left wants this investigation to never end. mueller will find a way to back into some microscopic codicil of federal law, and trump's enemies will take it from there.

chilling. i must say i'm surprised you're on board with this, wp.


rrb said...



good point:



"Did the president obstruct justice? That's what everybody is waiting for. I don't think there's anything of great interest other than that. And [James Comey's] answer I think is going to be obvious. He will navigate to a point where he says, 'Well, you know, there might've been some pressure but it's not obstruction.' Why? Because if it were obstruction, then he is indicting himself."

—Charles Krauthammer


wphamilton said...

On board with it? I never figured Trump to be in bed with the Russians - just a dumb guy who runs his mouth. But what we've seen since, including the connections with the Russian bank, raise some legitimate questions. I want to see an impartial investigation, and I'd like to see it completed. All the facts laid out.

I've got no emotional attachment to this either way. I wanted Trump to beat Clinton, but I didn't vote for the fool. I wouldn't be unhappy if Trump is forced to resign, but if he doesn't I still have confidence in our system of checks and balances. I'm not "on board" with any of the political spinning, either side, but I do want to get to the bottom of it.

James said...

Getting to the bottom of it seems reasonable.

wphamilton said...

CS, protecting someone from being compelled to incriminate himself does not prohibit investigations. It doesn't even inhibit them, unless one thinks that compelling a confession is essential to investigations ... and certainly does not prevent the FBI from asking questions.

Are you seriously continuing to argue that the Constitution prohibits investigations, unless the investigators first have a warrant? It was just a brain fart on CH's part, it happens to everyone. There's no need to beat it into the ground.

Commonsense said...

Except James to you there is no bottom.

No matter how many times the FBI, Special Counsel, or various Congressmen and Senators from both parties say there is no evidence of wrongdoing you will insist there is something nefarious that hasn't been discovered yet.

You hate Trump so in your mind he must be a bad man who must have done some, as of yet undiscovered, evil.

Commonsense said...

Are you seriously continuing to argue that the Constitution prohibits investigations

Are you seriously saying that protection against malicious prosecution is not a civil right.

Because it is.

C.H. Truth said...

Given the frequent and unusual contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials affiliated with Russian intelligence

Nonsense - there was one report of Carter Page (who was barely affiliated with Trump's campaign) meeting with Russian intelligence in 2013. Pretty much all other meetings or contacts were with official government officials with the bulk of them being with the Ambassador himself.

Besides... I tend to not take Brennan's opinion at face value that such contacts were ultra-frequent or even unusual. Nobody has asked him to compare and contrast the Trump team contacts with those of previous administrations.

It would be no surprise, given what we know now, if someone in his campaign was subsequently coordinating the release of illegally obtained information.

Actually... I think it would be surprising (if not shocking) that Russian agents could't get that information to Wikileaks without the help of the Trump campaign.

Are you really suggesting that the entire Russian intelligence team was helpless to use that information without the help of someone from the Trump team?

Do you honestly believe that they needed Jared Kushner's help?

Seriously, WP... It feels very strongly like you simply refuse to open your eyes and look at this with even the slightest bit of logic.

opie said...

Seriously, WP... It feels very strongly like you simply refuse to open your eyes and look at this with even the slightest bit of logic.

CH, WP's eyes are wide open and his logic is impeccable. Your hysterics and opinions like discounting Carter Page being a menial player is BS. The longest journey starts with the first step, so discounting him as a bit player is nothing more than you rationalizing and wishing a problem away.

opie said...

Blogger Commonsense said...
Opie you're as noisy and as tedious as James

So says our Mr.2% who contends the constitution prohibits investigations . To me that ain't noise, it is just plain naive. LOL

C.H. Truth said...

No Opie... nobody is saying that the constitution prohibits investigation.

The absolute strawman argument, however, does prove that you do not have a reasonable argument to the main question.

The question is whether or not it would be proper for the director of the FBI to "continue" an investigation because there are certain "political" considerations... when the evidence doesn't otherwise warrant it.

But yes... the constitution does protect people from improper actions by law enforcement. Amendments four through eight all are protection against unfair law enforcement tactics. It certainly requires warrants and subpoenas (which require probable cause).

All that being said, my questions regarding Comey are more philosophical than legal. I believe it extremely likely that Trump had nothing to do with the hacking, the distribution of the hacked materials, or any other Russian interference. I am less confident that James Comey was investigating on good faith that there was a real case to be made, than I am confident that he was pursuing this because he felt the politics justified it.

wphamilton said...


Are you really suggesting that the entire Russian intelligence team was helpless to use that information without the help of someone from the Trump team?


Since I have taken great pains to emphasize that quid pro quo, something promised by Trump or his associates, would be *necessary* to prove collusion, I can only conclude that you're not paying attention.

C.H. Truth said...

WP...

I would offer you a little test of your theories...

Do they hold any water only with what we know can be proven?

Because it seems to me that your theories are little more than possibilities loosely held together by assumption after assumption after assumption... and a few well placed exaggerations of the truth tossed in for good measure.

Because if we take only what we know make no assumptions what-so-ever... there doesn't appear to be anything really unusual, unethical, and certainly nothing illegal happening between the Trump team and the Russians.

Even the worse of what has been leaked is that the there was some attempt to "establish" back channel communications... which would seem to suggest that such communications didn't already exist.


I might even argue that your behavior has become very similar to that of the Birthers... who even as the facts continued to show their theory was wrong, they kept holding out that we just hadn't uncovered all the stones yet...

james said...

Trump Dining with Two Intelligence Committee Members

Senate Intelligence Committee members Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) are scheduled to dine with the president Tuesday night — two days before their committee questions ousted FBI Director James Comey, the Washington Examiner reports.

____________________
Maybe Trump will ask them not to ask Comey any questions about him.

james said...

Sessions Suggested He Could Resign

As the White House braces for former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday, sources tell ABC News the relationship between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has become so tense that Sessions at one point recently even suggested he could resign.

“Trump’s anger over the recusal has not diminished with time. Two sources close to the president say he lashed out repeatedly at the attorney general in private meetings, blaming the recusal for the expansion of the Russian investigation, now overseen by Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller.”
_____________________________
Trump wants everyone to carry water for him, even when the water is absolutely filthy.

James said...

... who even as the facts continued to show their theory was wrong, they kept holding out that we just hadn't uncovered all the stones yet...
_______________________________

Ah, but in this case there is such an increasing smell or stench...

wphamilton said...

What theory are you talking about? The theory that there might have been collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?

I have to be the one to break it to you, but we currently have a Special Investigator, appointed by a Republican official, looking into that theory. It is supported by the facts that we know.

It is, literally, a conspiracy theory to deny that there are any facts supporting an investigation, that it's all fake, made up by shadowy powers and their Democratic puppets, having enough control to reach into Trump's inner circle and compel his own Justice Department leader to take it seriously.

C.H. Truth said...

So you believe that it was just coincidence that Rosenstein called for a special prosecutor in the wake of the James Comey firing? You don't see the facts supporting that this was done almost entirely for political reasons?

Perhaps you can explain why (if Rosenstein believed it necessary) that a special counsel wasn't appointed before?

Heck, our last special counsel (Patrick Fitzgerald Valerie Plame) figured out six weeks into it who "outed" Plame and admitted that it was not a crime... but continued to investigate (or continued to fish for something) for several months.

So the fact that a special counsel is called, does not mean (by conclusion) that there are actually any facts that support the idea that a crime was committed. We have historical examples of both legitimate and political reasons to appoint a special counsel.

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Time will tell which of us is wrong here, WP...

But I am of the opinion (based entirely on the logic and what we know) that we are more likely to uncover evidence of Bigfoot than we are likely to uncover evidence of criminal collusion for anyone tangibly relevant to the Trump team.

rrb said...

It is, literally, a conspiracy theory to deny that there are any facts supporting an investigation, that it's all fake, made up by shadowy powers and their Democratic puppets, having enough control to reach into Trump's inner circle and compel his own Justice Department leader to take it seriously.
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hardly. one must be terribly naive to believe that nothing in DC ever happens purely for partisan political reasons. this is reminiscent of the financial crisis when many were wondering why those evil wall street bankers weren't imprisoned. i remember having the conversation with many friends and colleagues, all wishing that we had locked up those responsible. it was when i simply asked what laws were actually broken that things got quiet very quickly.

and that's where we are here, wp.

look, i get it. the left is seething, frothing at the mouth, desperate to get rid of trump. and i fully expect this to go the way of the plame investigation. mueller will stretch this thing out as long as it takes to bust trump. even if it turns out to be the political equivalent of spitting on the sidewalk.

the end is practically preordained. what's left is how to get there.

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C.H. Truth said...

Rat - the problem is that Fitzgerald got a minor player for a crime that only existed because he continued to investigate a matter that otherwise had no crime.

I often wonder how he convinced 12 jurors that what Scooter Libby supposedly lied about was considered an important "material" matter to the investigation (which is one of the requirements for conviction of a perjury charge).

Considering there really wasn't anything one could consider "material" to an investigation that was little more than a fishing expedition. The entire investigation lacked "material" importance.

rrb said...

I often wonder how he convinced 12 jurors that what Scooter Libby supposedly lied about was considered an important "material" matter to the investigation (which is one of the requirements for conviction of a perjury charge).
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the venue was the DC district court. the jurors were already in his pocket. for chrissakes, one juror was a former WaPo reporter and self-described registered dem.

one cannot be too cynical regarding the machinations of washington politics.



wphamilton said...

So you believe that it was just coincidence that Rosenstein called for a special prosecutor in the wake of the James Comey firing? You don't see the facts supporting that this was done almost entirely for political reasons?

Conspiracy theory in full bloom there. The minority party of Congress, dancing on the puppet strings of the Dark State, forced Trump's man to appoint a Special Prosecutor with the goal of making firing Comey look bad. Um, yeah OK CH.

Perhaps you can explain why (if Rosenstein believed it necessary) that a special counsel wasn't appointed before?

I can but you won't like it. Basically they were OK keeping it in house until Trump ran his mouth about the Comey dismissal, contradicting and impugning Rosenstein, which compromised his position to the extent that he potentially lacked the credibility to be impartial. Trump forced his hand.

wphamilton said...

rrb - I haven't been shy about what laws are potentially broken, and what I think it would take to prove them, so you must be ignoring my answers again.

Laws "actually broken", no one can tell you because the investigation is still going. Stay tuned.

The most likely, hence most dangerous to Trump, is obstruction of justice. Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment for obstruction of justice. Clinton was impeached for obstruction of justice. It's apparently an occupational hazard for dishonest types in the White House, but whether this is an actual crime committed by Trump remains to be seen.

I don't see how there can realistically be an Obstruction charge unless, first of all, somebody is charged with collusion with Russian espionage, bribery or official corruption. Unless you have that, realistically nobody is going to care about the obstruction. Not Trump, that would be too destabilizing even for CH's Shadow Powers, but someone on his team has to take the fall. Technically, there doesn't have to be any other crime committed for obstruction, but realistically if they don't find one, there will be no recommendation of Obstruction charges.

C.H. Truth said...

WP - I seem to recall an almost instant call from the left for a special prosecutor to be appointed after Comey was fired. It came from the media, it came from the House, and Chuck Schumer was even supposedly thinking about shutting down Senate business until one was appointed.

Then the DAG appointed special counsel.


To me, that seems like an obvious correlation between politics and the decision to appoint special counsel. You obviously don't see such a connection.

We will just have to agree to disagree on this one I guess

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I can but you won't like it. Basically they were OK keeping it in house until Trump ran his mouth about the Comey dismissal, contradicting and impugning Rosenstein, which compromised his position to the extent that he potentially lacked the credibility to be impartial. Trump forced his hand.

Whether or not you feel Trump brought it on himself... this still feels a long ways from an argument that the special counsel was called because of all that evidence of criminal activity that you keep arguing is the reason we have special counsel.

wphamilton said...

There was a Justice Department investigation going on already, before the Special Counsel was appointed. Was that only political also, or were they looking into possible wrong-doing?

rrb said...

Laws "actually broken", no one can tell you because the investigation is still going.
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this has been my point all along. normally an investigation is launched when there is at least some evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, of a crime being committed. that's not the case here. the calls for an investigation emanated from the bullshit story concocted by team hillary to explain away her embarrassing loss. in other words, there was simply no legal basis to launch this investigation to begin with. the investigation is derived from political cries of wrongdoing coming from partisan democrats.

it's been a crock of shit from the start. and the "evidence" if there is any, is gossip coming from a memo comey supposedly wrote. probably as notes for a book he hopes to write.



"Technically, there doesn't have to be any other crime committed for obstruction"

actually there does. andy mccarthy speaks to this directly:

McCarthy adds, “To constitute an obstruction offense, the administration of law has to be impeded with a corrupt state of mind. Your disagreement with an exercise of discretion does not turn it into corruption. It may be a lapse in judgment, even a serious lapse; but that doesn’t make it a crime.”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/448362/can-trump-really-be-fed-sessions-after-just-four-months


this is a witch hunt motivated purely and solely by partisan politics. hillary was beaten soundly and humiliated to boot. therefore there had to be an explanation mustered to cover for her abject failure. so here we are.



rrb said...

There was a Justice Department investigation going on already, before the Special Counsel was appointed. Was that only political also, or were they looking into possible wrong-doing?
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i would call it an attempt at political appeasement that spiralled out of control. schumer, pelosi and the clinton's whined and cried and whined and cried. trump should have taken a page from the former administration's playbook and said...

"the election's over hillary and I WON."

the trump administration's first mistake was taking cries of russian hacking from democrats seriously.

james said...

Comey's testimony statement has been leaked. See the top thread up.