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 Post subject: Impeachment
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:21 am 
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I merged the posts from the Russian Investigation thread into this thread so that all of the posts about this subject were together - VtF

This could turn out to be a BFD (or not).

The acting director of national intelligence is withholding a mysterious whistleblower complaint of 'urgent concern' that may involve Trump

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:06 am 
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I heard about that last night Voronwë. Curiouser & curiouser. Constant norm breaking is not in the best interests of the country. The precedents being broken (and set for future presidents) is truly frightening. The bar is not only lowered, it almost doesn't exist. (Or should I say the Barr has been lowered?)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:25 pm 
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The latest word is that the whistleblower complaint involves a promise that Mr. Trump made to a foreign leader. (!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!) Trump's hand-picked acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, is continuing to refuse to turn over a copy of the complaint to the congressional intelligence committees despite the fact that the intelligence inspector general has deemed it a "credible and urgent" whistleblower complaint that the law requires be turned over to the congressional committees. Maguire's argument is that since the whistleblower complaint isn't actually about someone from the intelligence community, the law doesn't apply to it. A weak argument, but one that will allow them to delay indefinitely (and which might end up being successful in the Trump-supporting SCOTUS). Apparently the intelligence community IG is going to brief the House Intelligence Committee today about how he handled the complaint, but I don't think he will be turning the complaint itself over. Maguire is apparently going to appear next Thursday, but I'm not sure if that will be public or not.

Mr. Trump has now made the expected tweets:
"Another Fake News story out there - It never ends! Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem!
...Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially “heavily populated” call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!"

I suspect that eventually the details of the complaint will leak out, and Democrats will be outraged, and Republicans will be outraged at the Democrats outrage, and probably nothing will come of it. But who knows, maybe the details will be so outrageous that they can't be ignored. But I doubt it.

ETA: Apparently Maguire's appearance next week will be public. But I'm sure he will just repeat his position that he can't and won't turn over the complaint and that will be that.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:35 pm 
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I thought that I'd heard that if the complaint was ignored the whistleblower can take the complaint directly to Congress.. or at least that is what the rules/regulation/law reads on how to properly deal with the situation (?)

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Last edited by RoseMorninStar on Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:51 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
I suspect that eventually the details of the complaint will leak out, and Democrats will be outraged, and Republicans will be outraged at the Democrats outrage, and probably nothing will come of it.



Regardless of the outcome, I'll take that bet.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:07 pm 
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Quote:
...Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially “heavily populated” call.


You mean, more inappropriate than the stuff he says to foreign leaders in public, on tv, in front of news crews?? :neutral:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:29 pm 
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If there were such thing as "so outrageous it can't be ignored" with Trumpism, we wouldn't be here


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:27 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Mr. Trump has now made the expected tweets:
"Another Fake News story out there - It never ends! Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem!
...Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially “heavily populated” call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!"

(bolding mine)

YES. We do believe he'd be stupid enough to do something that dumb.
Case in point:

A General in the US military told Trump about the “wall” being wired with sensors but asked hm not to tell anyone about it because that would make it easy to sabotage this massively expensive electronic system.

And what does Trump do?

Standing in front of the press with all the engineers, border security people, and the aforementioned General:

“They’re wired, so that we will know if somebody is trying to break through.”

Turning to Lt Gen Todd Semonite, chief of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Mr Trump added: “You may want to discuss that a little bit, general.”

But he was told: “Sir, there could be some merit in not discussing it.”

Oh hell no. Trump wasn’t having any of that.

To nervous laughter from officials, Mr Trump continued: “Ok. I like that. That was a great answer. I’ll just tell you they’re wired, ok? They’re wired. They’re technologically very advanced, all set up for cameras any place we want.

“They’re all wired out for drone technology. Anything you want, we have.”

The fence posts themselves are steel tubes, filled with concrete and rebar and topped with flat panels. ”It’s the Rolls-Royce version,” Mr Trump said.

And the lesson for today is … if you want someone to break or destroy the wall, let Trump tell them how to do it. Then he can build another wall.

(paraphrased from Juanita Jean)

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Last edited by RoseMorninStar on Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:32 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
If there were such thing as "so outrageous it can't be ignored" with Trumpism, we wouldn't be here


I'm not convinced that is true. Will we ever get information (whether from this whistleblower complaint or Mr. Trump's tax returns, or some other source that he has been assiduously hiding) that reaches that tipping point? Probably not. But there is a reason why they are working so hard to hide this stuff.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:54 pm 
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I seem to recall (I was making supper and was only half listening) something from a couple of nights ago where (Eric Swalwell maybe?) said that there is a whole bunch of stuff coming up in (State courts/New York?) tax returns, etc.. that Trump cannot control with hand-picked appointees. (??)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:12 pm 
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That is perhaps referring to the fact that the Manhattan District Attorney has subpoenaed 8 years of Mr. Trump's and the Trump Organization's tax returns from Mazur's, the accounting firm that he has used for years, as part of its investigation into whether the Trump Organization violated state law in covering up the reasons for the payments reimbursing Michael Cohen and American Media, Inc. (the company that owns the National Inquirer) for the payments they made to the women alleging affairs with Mr. Trump. However, Mr. Trump has still sued to keep them from getting those returns, even though he has almost no viable legal argument to make, in order to delay or stop those tax returns from being turned over. Even if they are turned over, however, such information would be strictly confidential and only revealed to the grand jury, unless it is used as part of a criminal indictment.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:17 pm 
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RoseMorninStar wrote:
Constant norm breaking is not in the best interests of the country. The precedents being broken (and set for future presidents) is truly frightening.

I agree with this. The fact of the intelligence community regarding the President as an enemy of the country is not the norm and is not in the best interests of the country, and the precedent being set, of the intelligence community actively attempting to undermine the executive branch of government is truly frightening.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:28 pm 
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The fact of the President regarding the intelligence community as an enemy of the country is not the norm and is not in the best interests of the country, and the precedent being set, of the executive branch of the government actively attempting to undermine the intelligence community is truly frightening.

https://time.com/5518947/donald-trump-intelligence-briefings-national-security/
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/12/17/donald-trump-ignores-intelligence-community-presidents-daily-brief-column/2330573002/
https://www.newsweek.com/admiral-donald-trump-willful-ignorance-intelligence-community-1312193

See also: When the president believes foreign government leaders over his own advisers, when the president punishes the weather forecasters for being accurate, and when the president thinks government agencies need to be loyal to him personally.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:37 pm 
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The President is elected, the Intelligence Community is not. Furthermore, they have far too much unchecked power and a history of corruption, so I would much rather a President undermine them than the reverse.

This website claims to be a non-partisan government watchdog. While I know nothing about them, this article is full of pertinent information on the statutes involved in this situation:

https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2019/09/confrontation-over-intelligence-whistleblower-complaint-shows-laws-falling-short/

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:48 pm 
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You do realize that that article is saying that the law should make it easier for whistleblower complaints like the one being discussed to go to Congress for investigation, not less easy as you seem to be suggesting should be the case, don't you?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:10 pm 
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Here is another, even more informative article on the pertinent statutes, including some history:

https://www.lawfareblog.com/mysterious-whistleblower-complaint-what-adam-schiff-talking-about

Quote:
In 1996, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a memorandum addressing the issue of classified disclosures to Congress and congressional authority to legislate in this space. The memo asserted that no act of Congress may “divest the President of his control over national security information in the Executive Branch by vesting lower-ranking personnel in that Branch with a ‘right’ to furnish such information to a Member of Congress without receiving official authorization to do so.”


The bottom line, imo, is that it is impossible for the checks and balances represented by these statutes to work through the intended structure of 'dynamic compromise' when the Congress' starting point is that the President of the United States is a traitor and, as many of them still believe, a Russian agent.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:12 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
You do realize that that article is saying that the law should make it easier for whistleblower complaints like the one being discussed to go to Congress for investigation, not less easy as you seem to be suggesting should be the case, don't you?

I was not intending to suggest anything, just presenting the article as conveying some useful information.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:21 pm 
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That article even more contradicts your position than the other one. As the authors write:

Quote:
In the current circumstances, so far the Trump administration is honoring neither the letter of the law nor the spirit of good faith cooperation that the relevant case law contemplates. Maguire seems not to have notified the committee, in any form, that a credible issue had arisen. He blew through the statutory deadline with seemingly no attempt to communicate with the committee. It seems the only reason the committee found out about the issue was because of a letter sent to the committee chair by the inspector general. In addition, from what is public about the communications between Schiff and Maguire, it seems that the agency head is not calling the shots here—as Clinton’s and Obama’s statements about the legislation seemed to envision—but, rather, some “higher power” outside of the agency is doing so. None of this looks good.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:39 pm 
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As hard as it might be for some to grasp, I am not presenting these articles in support of a position. I am offering them because I thought they presented information that was helpful in understanding the situation.

edit

I wish I could easily find a particular comment from Pres. Obama that someone posted here either after Trump's election or after Trump's inauguration. It stuck in my mind because I typically didn't find much merit in the things Obama said (for reasons it's not necessary to go into here), and because yov commented on the quote, something to the effect of -- 'what sense does that make?' What Obama said, paraphrasing, was that the only way to proceed was to trust that everyone was acting in good faith (or with good will). What I took him to mean is that government will only work if our base assumption is that all of the actors love the country and are doing what they think is best for the country. I agree with Pres. Obama on that point. Just because I disagree with Republican policy, doesn't mean I can assume that Republicans are acting with evil intent. The problem with our current situation, imo, is that many of those who opposed Trump did make the assumption that he was evil and acting with evil intent, and have continued under that assumption, and that has poisoned everything. That was the assumption underlying the intelligence services' unfounded investigation of the Trump campaign (that and pure, unadulterated hatred and their own sense of entitlement that they had the right to determine who was and wasn't fit to be President), and that is the assumption underlying all of the Democrats' actions since Trump won the election. For all of their adulation of Obama, it's a pity the Democrats could not see the wisdom in that particular observation.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:14 pm 
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Quote:
That was the assumption underlying the intelligence services' unfounded investigation of the Trump campaign (that and pure, unadulterated hatred and their own sense of entitlement that they had the right to determine who was and wasn't fit to be President), and that is the assumption underlying all of the Democrats' actions since Trump won the election.


Or perhaps it is your "assumption" that this attitude towards Trump is unfounded that has led the country to accept the extraordinary danger sitting right in front of them as something that can be accepted in "good faith".

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