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06 March 2017

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The Twisted Genius

Is Kristof's soliciting of a felony on the part of an IRS employee on the same level as candidate Trump's soliciting of foreign espionage on Clinton and the DNC? Or were they both just engaging in sarcastic bullshit? If Trump would release his returns, he could prove that he's not in hock to Russian banks/oligarchs and that he's worth as much as he says he's worth. Wouldn't that take a lot of the wind out of the anti-Trumpers sails?

turcopolier

TTG

What Trump actually said was that if the Russians had HC's missing 33,000 E-mails, they should give them to Assange so that they would be public. I do not think that is soliciting a felony since the e-mails were not statutorily protected US government information. p

The Twisted Genius

pl,

You're right. those emails weren't classified or defense information, so it can't be espionage.

raven

No, it is not and you know it.

turcopolier

raven

What "is not?" I remind you that when you imply that I am a liar you skate on the edge of eternity here. pl

Fred

raven,

It sure sounds that way to quite a few people I know - of both political persuasions.

steve

So I broke a rule and clicked on a link to a World Net Daily piece. What Lynch said was that people needed to be willing to bleed or even die for the cause. Nowhere in this piece does she call for committing violence.

Would stealing tax returns be espionage? My guess is that Kristof is being just as serious as Trump as when he asked the Russians to release the emails. "“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the Republican nominee said at a news conference in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Steve

doug

TTG,

Tax returns to not contain net worth info. They deal with income. It's quite possible to be a billionaire with zero income or even a net loss in any given year. OTOH, you could have a $500M net income if you were lucky that year. And the business Trump is in is known for extreme fluctuations between profit and loss. They would, however, contain a lot of info about each of the partnerships he is involved in but any net worth estimates would be guesswork.

mike

Colonel -

Presidential Candidate Trump did not say "...if the Russians had HC's 33,000 E-mails".

What he said was "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails..."!

turcopolier

mike

I am indifferent to the microscopic difference. pl

Jackrabbit

How far will they go? (serious question)

The Twisted Genius

mike,

It really doesn't matter. He may or may not have been serious in encouraging Russia to hack the emails. What matters is that he was all for the disclosure of hidden information offered by whistleblowing and/or hacking at that time. I'm all for that, too. I'd like to see more of it. I'd like to see Trump's business and financial dealings with Russia, Saudi Arabia and others see the light of day. Sure it will wound him politically, but I bet the truth will dissipate all the innuendo about him being a Russian agent. He's a self-serving sleazy conman, not a spy. And that conman's desire to have a cooperative relationship with Russia is one of the most enlightened ideas on the FP front.

Valissa

Thanks for this post. I think it's very important to start naming the conspirators working to oust Trump. Soros has been a long time Obama backer so it's no surprise that Obama is still willing to do his bidding for a certain faction within the globalist elite. But I see then both as figureheads, especially Obama (long a professional 'front man')... people for the public to focus on while teams of high level lieutenants, henchmen (and henchwomen) and minions work mostly in the shadows as they strategize and enact their dirty tricks to attempt to take Trump down. These players and their networks are much more important in the greater scheme of things, INO, than either Soros (who is old) or Obama (who is not a warrior).

Some more sunlight on this 'shadow elite' would be a good thing. Expect there are investigative reporters already working on this, especially on the right.

Trump knows what's going on and has a game plan of his own. During the interview he did at the White House with several Fox News reporters, the day of this big speech to Congress, he was asked how he felt about Obama going after him, and with a very slight smile on his face he calmly dismissed it as "just politics." A very subdued and carefully dismissive response. Quite uncharacteristic.

Given past history, I bet on Trump to be victorious.

egl

I've been impressed that so far Trump's tax returns have _not_ been leaked in spite of the intense interest. I expect to be disappointed any day, but until then I have to acknowledge that there are faceless bureaucrats in the IRS who are doing their jobs and following the rules.

The Twisted Genius

Looks like the Senate Intelligence Committee has to be counted among the seditious conspirators. CNN reports “The Senate Intelligence Committee will gain access this week to the "raw intelligence" relevant to Congress' probe of Russia's role in the presidential election, Sen. Chris Coons said Monday.” In other news PBS reports Carter Page was “contacted by the Senate intelligence Committee about its investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. In response to the committee, Carter Page said he will “provide any information” that may be of assistance to the committee.” I don’t know if this means Page will testify before the committee or not.

Stumpy

Loretta Lynch, the closet Malcolm X-er? Heh. Soon to be board member in the Obama Foundation, no doubt.

In the 60's, at least there was a struggle to beat down segregation and racial injustice. Now it's more about getting a bigger piece of pie, not for victims of racism but rather for college loan debtors and underemployed hooligans.

Given the scandal surrounding denial of tax-exempt status to conservative non-profits by the Obama-era IRS, I think the dems are wise to duck the pendulum swinging back at them. If Trump isn't busy trying to hide efforts to beat the tax code, well, whose fault is it that the tax code is a bloated mess of loopholes and gotchas? If anyone has a case for which his tax returns would be admissible, let them throw the first stone. If it ain't broke...

P.S. When the likes of Kristof promises rewards from the press, demand cash up front.

johnf

Or, as Henry II once said within the hearing of three unsavoury knights "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?"

Henry II later had to crawl three miles on bare knees along the road to Walsingham as penance for those words. I can't see Lynch or Kristof doing the same.

Emad

Colonel,

I'd like the committee to consider the following possibilities:

1. Kristof's been assured by NYT lawyers or some such that he stands on a solid legal ground "soliciting" IRS employees to leak the Donald's tax returns. Putting it out there like that and not receiving the returns makes him look silly, but at this point in the fight, he doesn't care if he does. There's also a slim chance that he's already got the goodies; this is just posturing, and NYT will release them in due course.

2. Kristof's been told that he can get in trouble for this "solicitation", only if it can be established in court that someone leaked the returns due to his solicitation. This indicates the returns have been leaked, but they'll likely be published somewhere other than the NYT. For example, a leaker may have leaked the returns to NYT and other newspapers, but the NYT has decided to sit on the material. This may force other newspapers Kristof suspects have also received the returns to publish them, fearing that the NYT may beat them to it.

3. There's no leak. At least not yet. This is just to make the Trump administration believe the Donald's tax returns have been leaked or are about to be leaked, and to force Trump to release his tax returns to deprive the "opposition party" of the opportunity to time their publication for maximum impact. Trump is amenable to cave in to this play, if his returns were merely a museum of tax evasion shenanigans expected of a NYC real estate developer. He can get out in front of the story; shape the narrative, and do damage control. After all, it can't be worse than the Billy Bush episode, and Trump's base support him regardless. But what if there's more in those returns? What if even Trump doesn't know what's in them and how they can be spun?

For whatever it's worth, my money is on 1.

English Outsider


Colonel - The American President has now been successfully established here as a hate figure. By that I mean that for millions of Europeans, particularly the young, it is no longer necessary to examine his policies or his actions as we should normally do with politicians; he is automatically in the wrong and can therefore be opposed without needing to discuss why. I see this from personal experience in Germany, in what I read from other parts of Europe, and also here. This link shows we can now take for granted that "Trump bad, Trump Resistance good" is self-evident. It's a truth that no longer needs explaining.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39157525

The "populist" movements in Continental Europe are markedly different in origin and aim from those here and in America. So different that caution is needed before giving unqualified approval. For all those differences all these movements share a common theme: the taking of power back from the few and exercising it for the people as a whole. They are, in essence, reform movements and upon the success of that reform hangs the future.

That reform is of course opposed and the dominant elites of Europe are correct in identifying the Trump movement as being as much of a threat to them as it is to the American elite itself. Hence the surprisingly explicit opposition to the American President from European politicians; and the equally surprising volume of dismissive commentary on him in the newspapers and TV programmes. From what I see of the internet networks that is echoed there.

All this has its effect. From here it looks as if the old and corrupt regimes of Europe have successfully harnessed the idealism and enthusiasm of the young as those regimes fight to retain power. I do not find this a very cheering thought.

Clark H.

COL,

I agree that there was no solicitation of a felony by Trump in his comments about Hillary's emails, but for a different reason.

In July, when Trump inquired about HC's missing emails, her private server was safely air-gapped in the custody of the FBI in Quantico.

All Trump was doing (facetiously or not) was to ask the Russians to assist in the return of USG property that had been unlawfully destroyed against record preservation orders.

The FBI had good reason to suspect that since HC - having refused to accept an official State Dept email account - had mishandled official USG work product by using the private server. (They were right.)

Asking the Russians to share any HRC emails with the press that they may have collected while her server was in operation was a political stunt, but not likely criminal.

Nancy K

It's a horribly divided country, each side hearing what they want to.

turcopolier

TTG

Have I written or suggested that congressional investigations of this matter are inappropriate? I think not. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Reminiscent of character-assassination and smear campaign tactics in many Third-World countries with immature political processes.

Edward Amame

The video linked to is not, in any way, an appeal "to commit violence in the US in pursuit of the overthrow of a president." She was urging people to stand up for their rights, to march if necessary (which is not illegal). She noted that that is how we have done it in the past, and that it's never been easy, that people were injured and even killed, in the process -- that's just the facts.

Kristof was probably half joking, but who knows.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

No, you never did suggest that. The lead in to my comment was just me being a wise ass. I do think any congressional investigations of this matter are going to fuel Trump's anger and sense of persecution. It will trigger more pre-dawn tweet strikes. I also think the anti-Trumpers will be sorely disappointed that the truth is not as salacious as they hope it to be.

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