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11 July 2017

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Fred

TTG,

I agree. There's less to this than the Pavel Datsyuk connection I wrote up in a comment to you months ago. Trump should have dumped this whole pile out there a while ago.

Larry Kart

Well, one current WH advisor, Jared Kushner, was at that meeting, and it has been suggested a) that he and Trump Jr. (and other members of the supposedly contentious Trump team) may not be on the same page, and b) that Kushner, himself under some potential investigative pressure, might want to deflect attention onto Trump Jr. Being on the inside in the WH, might Kushner somehow have gained access to "these tweets, e-mails or whatever they are" without Trump Jr. knowing of this? Further, If I were Trump Sr. and my son were as much a loose cannon as Trump Jr. seems to be, I might have taken steps to keep close track on him.

Walker

You're badly mistaken about the Christian Zionists. The Israeli lobby was heavily influencing US Middle East policy long before the Christian Zionists raised their heads.

If right-wing Christians are so politically powerful, why haven't they won success nationally with their other issues (abortion, gay rights, ect)?

mongo

Hello Sir,

I certainly don't know enough to form an educated opinion on this, but it does seem like a stretch to me to assume that the instigators of this "scoop" were prominent members of the previous administration. If someone were sitting on this since last summer, wouldn't it have had far greater impact (from a partisan perspective) to release it when Comey was fired? I find it somewhat more persuasive to think that there is some internecine conflict at work here.

Regards,
mongo

hans

What I gather from my lawyer friends is that the mob chasing T Jr. have hung their legal hat on the FEC law's prohibition against a campaign accepting "other thing of value"...
It doesn't seem to matter that T Jr. didn't actually get anything, but then we're in vendetta territory.

11 CFR 110.20 - Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals (52 U.S.C. 30121, 36 U.S.C. 510)....
§ 110.20
(b)Contributions and donations by foreign nationals in connection with elections. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20

turcopolier

Larry Kart

Your theory of the case is that JK released information about Donald Jr. to get out o the spotlight? Who are the other two NY Times informants? pl

MRW
I have a much harder time believing that three individuals from the previous WH somehow copied these files and now are spending their days, six months later, not moving on with their lives and careers, but on meetings with NYT and WaPo.
Naive. They can do both at the same time. Besides, lots of individuals from the previous WH are spending a lot of time now trashing the current admin with accusations.
MRW

Ditch everything from the ? on. Your link causes us, the readers here at Pat Lang’s site to be tracked. Here’s the link as it should be shown properly: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/11/us/politics/document-Donaldtrumpjr.html

Click on it. You’ll see it takes you to the same place.

Dante Alighieri

But why would SR, JB and JC be willing to risk felony charges? These are seasoned stagers and hardly so stupid to run that risk if the Veselitskaya affair were the best they can offer. If they are the culprits, they must have more. But that begs the question, why reveal only this, and why now.

Also I notice that the NYT speaks of three “advisers to the WH” who were “briefed on the meeting” and two “others” with “knowledge” of the meeting, plus “three ‘people’ with knowledge of the [Goldstone] email” (which is not the same as “knowledge of the meeting”), so I count already 8 people who were privy to this affair AND willing to leak it to the NYT.

BTW Colonel, I can only love a country where Dante is distributed at barbershops!

English Outsider

I think there are two separate cases here. One case in which all voters care about an issue and another in which only some voters care about an issue. It's when the second case applies that a minority can have a disproportionate effect.

I'd suggest that on such issues as abortion, gay rights, gun control, immigration, there are few American voters who don't have views, often strong views, and those views feed into the mix of considerations that determines their individual vote.

It's the politicians' job to work out or to intuit how to work that mix on the local and national level. Even in a clean system that would at first sight look like an impossibly complex job. But the politician observes that most voters don't mix their views on various issues in a random or unpredictable manner. The voter who inclines, say, to approving abortion might also be more likely to approve gay marriage. Enough voters clump their views predictably enough on enough issues for the politician to establish or maintain a platform, or coherent bundle of policies, on which he can stand.

It gets lopsided - you get a leveraging effect - when some voters add to their clump issues that are priorities to them but not to others. We see this effect at its clearest when, say, a hospital is to be closed and that meets with heavy local opposition. The contesting politicians already have their established platforms and usually those platforms are to some degree balanced. The politician who can add saving the hospital to his platform is likely to get more votes. In extreme cases, where local feeling is very strong, a politician can dispense with the rest of the platform and win on the hospital issue alone. That can let in a single ticket local independent because the established politicians standing on a national platform are necessarily more constrained in what they can promise on the issue. But such instances are rare because the established politician will try to stretch his platform to accommodate such issues. In the States where, at least to an outsider, national party platforms usually seem more flexible than here, the politician will almost certainly try to stretch his platform. Why not? If he can add single issue votes to his established mix then he's more likely to win. But his opponent will also be swayed by such considerations and the result is that both sides go for saving the hospital. Since no one much outside the area feels strongly about the issue, or even knows about it, then it's quite possible the hospital will get saved even though that might be dead against the national priorities of both parties.

That is, as I said, an extreme case and at least in this country one sees it very rarely. But the leveraging mechanism operates in far less extreme cases. If some voters care about an issue and the others don't then that issue is more likely to be supported by the politicians. They get the votes of the people who care and they don't lose the votes of the people who don't care.

Do Christian Zionists care enough about supporting Israel to add that issue to their mix? Do other Americans not care that much about the issue and therefore won't have it in their mix? If the answer is "yes" to both questions then that explains the near automatic support of Israel amongst American politicians. They are more likely to get the votes of the people who care. They are less likely to lose the votes of the people who don't care.

That also explains the extraordinary mess that is Western foreign policy generally. Unlike the domestic issues such as you mention like gay rights or abortion, where most people do care one way or the other, not all that many people care about or even have the time to attend to what is done abroad. Therefore the leveraging effect of what is quite often a small minority or interest group can be decisive.

And that's talking about a clean system - what the system is in theory. When you have a system where the politicians are sometimes bought and the normal sources of information often constrained then many voters not only won't care, they can't know what the foreign policy is. In those circumstances it's not surprising that disasters like the Ukraine or Syria occur. It's surprising there aren't more of them.

MRW

Who is the SR initials?

Fredw

For what it's worth, this today reports a more recent surfacing of the issue: "The emails were discovered in recent weeks by Mr. Kushner’s legal team as it reviewed documents, and the team amended his clearance forms to disclose it, according to people briefed on the developments, who like others declined to be identified because of the sensitive political and legal issues involved." https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/us/politics/russia-trump.html?_r=0

If true, that would indicate current leakers rather than leftovers.

Fredw

Another thread: http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/07/12/who-dished-the-dirt-on-donald-trump-jr/

English Outsider


Walker - apologies - "Single issue" above, not "single ticket". That is, an exceptional case where the voter is swayed by only one issue. Hope the rest is clear, though there's more to single issue minority voting than is looked at here.

Larry Kart

Good question. But why assume that the seemingly powerful Kushner doesn't have reasonably close allies among other WH advisors and/or people in the WH who have the same or similar enemies? Yes, the idea of JK and possible associates trying to deflect attention onto Trump Jr. in order to get out of the spotlight seems so short-term as to be hare-brained, but it wouldn't be the first such idea to emanate from inside or around this WH. If I can think one person to take a close look at here as a key potential conduit/braintruster, it would be JK's attorney Jamie Gorelick.

Babak Makkinejad

The Love for Israel permeates England, France and a number of other Western Diocletian states; this is an alliance-wide phenomenon and not confined solely to US.

New Zealand and Australia supply blank passports to Israeli assassins, did US put a gun to the heads of those governments to do so? I do no think so.

Stephanie

With all due respect, I think very few people anywhere on the political spectrum will agree with you there. We now know beyond any doubt that if collusion didn’t happen between the Trump campaign and Russian contacts, it was only because there was no dirt on Clinton that the Russians could deliver. There may or may not be any criminal act involved – there’s some argument about that – but regardless, Junior has taken a wrecking ball to his father’s administration’s defenses with regard to Russian interference in the election. If the newly chosen line of defense is that it doesn’t matter because nothing came of the attempted collusion……it is difficult to know what to say to that.

What will come of all this is a different topic. At the very least, Robert Mueller now has a whole new set of issues on his plate.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

‘The Love for Israel permeates England, France and a number of other Western Diocletian states; this is an alliance-wide phenomenon and not confined solely to US.’

If you will permit me to be slightly tongue-in-cheek, I think you are a bit like a ‘neoconservative’ back in 1989, convinced that because Soviet spokesmen ‘talked the talked’ they actually believed what they said.

People do not understand that the promiscuous exploitation of the ‘cult of the Shoah’ by Zionists has led to it being ‘Sovietised.’ It is part of the 'new Brezhnevism' which has taken over both in the United States and Western Europe.

What further compounds the problem is precisely the – distinctly Stalinist – suspicion of the ‘commissars’ that underneath the apparent conformity of the ‘goyim’ lie deep reservoirs of Jew-hatred.

See, for example, the April 2015 article published by the ineffable Jeffrey Goldberg in the ‘Atlantic’, under the title ‘Is it Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?’, at https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/is-it-time-for-the-jews-to-leave-europe/386279/ .

In fact, the disintegration of the cult is sending all kinds of people – including, crucially – Jews, in all kinds of different directions.

There is a kind of complex intellectual anarchy, as people search for new self-definitions, which needs to be ‘mapped out’. But for that, a ‘rectification of names’ is indeed required.

To give you an instance of the complexity: For me, whose culture is in critical respects Anglo-Jewish, when I try and locate Binyamin Netanyahu on a map of Jewish life in Britain, he looks like the kind of East End second-hand car dealer from whom, if you are once fool one to buy, you do not repeat the mistake. He has been busily smirking away the ‘cult of the Shoah.’

Moreover, one does not read the ‘Jewish Chronicle’ for intellectual stimulus. As part of ‘fieldwork’, I look at a lot of sites with whose point of view I may not particularly happen to agree.

Often, doing so provides intellectual stimulus. But writers like Stephen Pollard, Jonathan Freedland, and David Aaronovitch are beyond belief pedestrian and dull.

turcopolier


Stephanie

There is no crime entitled "political collusion." pl

Keith Harbaugh

WaPo has a rather illuminating story on Ms. Veselnitskaya
(BTW, why are Russian names so long? What does all that mean?)
“Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. has long history fighting sanctions”
By Michael Kranish, Tom Hamburger, David Filipov and Rosalind S. Helderman, 2017-07-12
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russian-lawyer-who-met-with-trump-jr-has-long-history-fighting-sanctions/2017/07/11/05e2467c-65b1-11e7-94ab-5b1f0ff459df_story.html

quote:

The story of how she ended up in the meeting can be traced to her role as an attorney representing a Russian-owned company,
Prevezon Holdings.

Veselnitskaya, 42, has deep experience in Russian political and legal matters. She has practiced law since 1998.
She served in the prosecutor’s office of Moscow Region for three years, where she has said her work included “overseeing the legality of statutes” adopted by legislators.
She founded a law firm, Kamerton Consulting, specializing in corporate and property disputes.
She has said that her firm’s clients include “large state-owned and private corporations, as well as clients from the real estate and banking sectors.”

Keith Harbaugh

Sorry, should have added this excellent Guardian story to the WaPo story:
“Who is Natalia Veselnitskaya: low-level lawyer or Kremlin power broker?”
by Shaun Walkdr, 2017-07-12
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/12/who-is-natalia-veselnitskaya-low-level-lawyer-or-kremlin-power-broker

This article adds the following tidbits:

Nevertheless, in recent years she had taken on a high-profile case
that aligned with Kremlin objectives and was followed closely by top officials.
A source who knows her also told the Guardian
she has a long-standing personal connection with
Yuri Chaika, Russia’s powerful prosecutor-general.

Chaika’s name is particularly relevant,
because it seems likely that Rob Goldstone,
the publicist who emailed Donald Trump Jr
suggesting he meet with the Russian lawyer,
was referring to Chaika as
the potential source of the information on Clinton.

According to the email chain that Trump Jr himself published on Twitter,
Goldstone said he was making the proposition after a Russian businessman, Aras Agalarov,
had met “Russia’s crown prosecutor”
and received information about Hillary Clinton.

...

She was the defence lawyer for Denis Katsyv,
a Russian businessman accused of laundering a portion of the proceeds from a $230m tax fraud uncovered by the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky,
who later died in jail and whose name was used in the sanctions act.

-------------

See also
“The story behind the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. last year”
by Eliza Relman, 2017-07-12
http://www.businessinsider.com/natalia-veselnitskaya-russian-lawyer-donald-trump-jr-2017-7

mike

The male version would be Veselnitsky. --skaya just indicates the gender. Vesel- or Весель in Cyrillic generally means jolly or cheerful

Freudenschade

Col.,

looks like the circle of people in the know about these emails is a little bit larger. See this NYT story about Kushner's legal team. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/us/politics/russia-trump.html

The conventional wisdom is pointing to figures in the Trump WH as the likely leakers. It will be interesting to see if your theory about Obama WH figures is confirmed or not.

Given my experience with runaway cc and bcc emails in private organizations, I'd be surprised if these emails were all that secret.

FourthAndLong

I think the conclusion that those email leaks necessarily came from with US IC or WH present or past betrays a lack of imagination wrt how numerous and varied Is Trump's opposition. From foundations concerned with climate change to Mexican or Chinese or German government Intel, and many points in between, his opposition is legion. And well funded and technically resourced.

Now that may sound silly, and certainly my initial reaction would have been identical to Colonel Lang's, who is very very likely correct here. But to a lawyer, as you mention, it is not legally rigorous.

Trump has made exceedingly powerful and sophisticated enemies. On the order of advanced sovereign states of the 21st century. Well able to slipstream within this apparently domestic media circus. Including organizations more than capable of penetrating US intel, up to the point infiltration

LondonBob

I am not sure the Obama people did leak this. I think this is very damaging for them, this looks like the event that was arranged to trigger the FISA request. This is almost the starting point to the whole spying campaign. For what it is worth our old friend Roger Stone blames JK.

I believe the lawyer lady, she was set up. Obviously they needed someone who could plausibly be tied to the Russian government, she had a working relationship with GPS Fusion so could be manipulated into meeting Don Jr. This Goldstone chap is tied in with the Azeris who owned the Miss World event and met Trump when he went to their event in Moscow, presumably he was chosen for this reason. No surprise the media has now duly raised this Trump relationship with the Azeris.

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