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Author Topic: Donald Trump: 45th President of the United States (Certified Dishonest)  (Read 219 times)

Offline greentara

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Offline greentara

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Re: Donald Trump: 45th President of the United States (Certified Dishonest)
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2018, 11:38:36 PM »
Mueller Exposes Putin's Hold Over Trump
Steve Denning | 17 Dec 2018

Just over a week ago, on Friday December 7, the Special Counsel’s Office headed by Robert Mueller for the first time outlined in a court filing the grand narrative of the Russia Probe. The court filing revealed what many had long suspected, that Trump and his family had used, or tried to use, his presidential candidacy, and then his presidency, to enhance their own wealth.

We also learned finally what hold Russian President Vladimir Putin has over Trump. It’s not as some suspected, a money laundering episode from more than a decade ago. It was something that happened in real time during the presidential election itself. Thus, Trump himself repeatedly stated since entering the presidential race in June 2015 that he had no business in Russia and no interactions with representatives of Russia. It now turns out that Putin knew what the American people didn’t, namely that Donald Trump was throughout the 2016 presidential primary campaign secretly negotiating to build a huge and lucrative hotel in Moscow, which required the personal support of Vladimir Putin. The fact that Putin knew about Trump’s secret dealings, while the American people didn’t, meant that if Trump didn’t do what Russia wanted, Russia could expose Trump’s lies and so bring him down.



The filing revealed that Mueller’s Office is now investigating the hypothesis that Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates participated in a massive election fraud, through five interlocking conspiracies—arguably the worst set of crimes against the United States in its history.

For some time, it’s been obvious that Donald Trump has been acting in a weird way towards America’s adversary, Russia. Until recently, the miscellaneous bits and pieces of the Trump-Russia jigsaw puzzle didn’t fit together in any coherent way.

Mueller’s Grand Narrative Outlined

Mueller’s probe initially focused on the Russian dimension of the case. The “core crime” is that the Russian Federation and its associates illegally conspired to intervene in the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. In February and July 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted the Russian entities GRU and IRA, along with 13 Russian nationals and 12 Russian intelligence officers, for these crimes (which we might call collectively “the Russia Intervention”). The indictments describe the illegal interventions in minute detail.

Now the Special Counsel has turned to the American dimension of the elections. The Special Counsel now appears to be exploring five interlocking criminal conspiracies, building on the core crime of the Russian Intervention. Thus on December 7, the Special Counsel’s Office filed a court document that gave us important new clues as to the main hypotheses being explored.

    Conspiring with Russia: Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates knew of the intent of the Russian Federation to carry out the Russian Intervention as early as November 2015. Upon learning of that intent, instead of alerting the FBI to the likelihood of a foreign government trying to commit a crime, Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates illegally conspired throughout the 2016 presidential election to encourage and enable the Russia Intervention. The result was to defraud the American people of a free and fair election.
    The Moscow Trump Tower Project: Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates illegally conspired to expand its involvement with Russia beyond the Russian Intervention itself, through efforts from November 2015 at least until June 2016, to negotiate and build the Moscow Trump Tower Project. The Project, if realized, would bring “hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues” to Donald Trump, his organization and some of his associates.
    Currying Favor with Russia: The Moscow Project “was a lucrative business opportunity,” the Special Counsel notes, “that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government.” Accordingly, Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates illegally conspired to curry favor with the Russian Federation in order to facilitate the Moscow Trump Tower Project and to promote their own financial interests, thus depriving the American people both of a free and fair election and of an independent government solely devoted to their interests.

    Hiding the conspiracies: Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates illegally conspired to hide (1), (2) and (3) from the American people and to lie about them to Congress. According to the court filing, this was done “in order to (1) minimize links between the Moscow Project and [Donald Trump] and (2) give the false impression that the Moscow Project had ended before the Iowa caucus and the first presidential primaries, in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations being conducted by Congress and the [Special Counsel’s Office].”
    Enabling hard kompromat: Through Donald Trump’s lies to the American people, of which the Russian Federation was aware, Donald Trump made the U.S. Presidency a potential victim of blackmail (aka kompromat) at the hands of the Russian Federation and in so doing illegally compromised the legitimate interests of the American people.



Is This Beginning of the End for Trump?

On December 7, the New York Times asked, “Is This the Beginning of the End for Trump?” Such a question had already been asked more than a hundred times since Trump’s election. All too often, the question reflected wishful thinking. On this occasion, however, we do appear to be at a turning point, since we finally know what hold Putin has over Trump. Yet, we may be rather “at the end of the beginning,” in that we finally know how and why Trump became president.” The beginning of the end” will come once there is a viable path towards doing something about it.

While the liberal media highlights the salacious aspects of the payments to cover up Trump’s affairs with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, and the Russian spy Maria Butina’s interactions with the NRA, and trumpets the claim that Trump himself became a felon  by directing felonious campaign finance contributions, Trump’s defenders have scoffed. Breaches of campaign finance legislation might be felonies in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion they are unintelligible technicalities:

    “Ok, Trump’s lawyer didn’t file the right report at the right time. Not Trump’s fault! Paying off women with whom Donald had an affair? Boys will be boys! Didn’t Clinton do something similar?”

Moreover, Trump’s defenders also note that in order to prove that Trump committed a felony by instructing his lawyer to make illegal campaign contributions, the Special Counsel would have to show that Trump did so “willfully” i.e. that he knew that the payments were illegal under the notoriously complex campaign finance law. This may be difficult, given that the liberal press has spent two years seeking to prove that Donald Trump doesn’t understand the law of anything.

It is noteworthy that Mueller has handed off the prosecutions of the hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal and Maria Butina’s involvement with the NRA to other parts of the Justice Department.

In effect, the Special Counsel’s Office gives every sign of focusing sharply on the larger narrative with Russia. It is investigating the possibility that Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates, participated in a set of criminal conspiracies with Russia to defraud the United States both of a free and fair election and of a government solely devoted to its interests (18 U.S.C. § 371).

Where’s The Crime That Trump Supposedly Committed?

Trump’s defenders—and Donald Trump himself—contend that the Special Counsel has yet to allege, let alone prove, that Trump committed a crime in the sense that “Trump’s fingerprints are on the murder weapon.” There’s no “smoking gun.”

What these contentions overlook is the law of criminal conspiracy.

    Guilt in a criminal conspiracy doesn’t require that every participant in the conspiracy commit a criminal act. All it requires is that there is an agreement by two or more people to commit a criminal act and that at least one of the co-conspirators commits an overt act towards the accomplishment of the conspiracy.
    Nor is it necessary that the goal of the conspiracy has been successfully accomplished: it is enough if at least one overt step has been taken towards implementing the conspiracy.
    Nor is it necessary that co-conspirators know the identity of the other members of the conspiracy.
    Nor does the conspiracy have to be planned in secret.

Repeated actions by Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates appear to fit this definition of criminal conspiracy in multiple instances. At least, that is the possibility that the Special Counsel’s Office is investigating.

How Trump’s Campaign Joined Russia’s Criminal Conspiracy

The “core illegal act” at the heart of the Russia Probe is the conspiracy of the Russian Federation and its agents to intervene in the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump and so defraud the American people of a free and fair election (the Russia Intervention).

It is irrelevant whether the Russia Intervention was successful in its efforts to affect the outcome of the election and whether Trump would have won anyway. All that is necessary to prove a criminal conspiracy is that there was an agreement for a foreign government to intervene illegally, combined with overt acts to intervene (of which there were multiple instances outlined in the Special Counsel’s indictment of several dozen Russians).

We learn from the Special Counsel’s filing of December 7 that Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates knew of the intent of the Russian Federation to effect “synergy” (aka collusion) with Trump’s campaign at least as early as November 2015. We know that multiple members and associates of the Trump campaign had meetings with representatives of the Russian Federation, and in many of these interactions, they demonstrated willingness to collaborate, encourage and enable the representatives of the Russian Federation to continue intervening. They did not, as they should have done, contact the FBI.

We also know that on July 27, 2016, Donald Trump himself spoke on national television and invited Russia—“Russia, if you are listening”—to intervene in the election and “find Hillary Clinton's 30,000 missing emails.” It seems that Russia was listening: just the next day, Russians illegally hacked into the Democratic Party’s computer system stole files. Redacted sections of the Special Counsel’s filing suggests that there is further evidence of collaboration that has yet to be revealed.

It therefore seems likely that the Special Counsel’s Office has evidence to prove that Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates illegally conspired throughout the 2016 presidential election to encourage and enable the Russian Intervention so as to defraud the American people of a free and fair election.

Participation in a criminal conspiracy is itself a crime, even if the illegal acts were committed by someone else, in this case, agents of the Russian Federation. Participation in such a conspiracy is a felony, whether or not the Russian Federation was successful in affecting the outcome of the election.

How The Conspiracy Expanded To Include Trump Tower Moscow

Trump’s involvement with Russia wasn’t limited to getting assistance to win the election. What we learned on December 7 from the Special Counsel’s filing is that Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates effectively expanded the Russian Intervention by endeavoring, from November 2015 at least through June 2016, to launch the Moscow Trump Tower Project. The filing notes that this Project would, if realized, bring “hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues” to Donald Trump, his organization and some of his associates.

The Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that “likely required, the assistance of the Russian government.” The Trump campaign, organization and associates sought that assistance at a time when the Trump campaign knew that the Russian Federation was trying to commit the crime of intervening in the U.S. election.

This is why Senator Rand Paul is mistaken when he said on the Meet the Press on December 9 that “Nothing’s wrong with Donald Trump pursuing a hotel deal in Moscow while running for president.” Pursuing a hotel project in Russia that effectively required the consent of the President of Russia made Donald Trump beholden to President Putin and prevented him from independently reflecting and representing the interests of America.

The continued pursuit of the Moscow Trump Tower Project thus explains why Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates repeatedly tried to curry favor with the Russian Federation, by pursuing policies consistent with the goals of the Russian Federation and even proposing to offer the President of Russia a $50 million penthouse in the Moscow Tower.

Those efforts attempted to advance the financial interests of Donald Trump, his organization and some of his associates, but they were in tension with the interests of the American people. Thus, the efforts defrauded the American people both of a free and fair election and of an independent government solely devoted to the interests of the American people.

How Trump Conspired To Hide The Conspiracies

The Special Counsel’s filing also shows that while participating in these conspiracies, Donald Trump, his campaign, his organization and his associates systematically sought to hide them from the American people. Donald Trump and his campaign repeatedly denied that he or his campaign had any interactions with representatives of the Russian Federation or business with Russia. It now appears that at least 14 members and associates of Trump’s campaign interacted with representatives of the Russian Federation in the course of the presidential campaign, in some cases encouraging or enabling the Russian Intervention.

Until this month, Donald Trump, his campaign and his associates repeatedly maintained that Moscow Trump Tower Project was abandoned in January 2016, i.e. before the primaries of the U.S. presidential election. The Special Counsel’s filing of December 7, 2018 says those statements are false.

The Special Counsel alleges that efforts to bring the Moscow Trump Tower Project to fruition continued at least through June 2016. Indeed, the fact that Donald Trump still argues that there was “nothing wrong” with pursuing the Moscow Trump Tower Project while engaged in the presidential election campaign may indicate that Donald Trump even today continues to pursue the Moscow Trump Tower Project—despite the obvious conflict of interest with his duties as president. This possibility may shed light on why Donald Trump continues to curry favor with Moscow by pursuing a foreign policy closely aligned with the goals of the Russian Federation and at odds with the entire thrust of U.S. foreign policy over the last 70 years.

How The White House Tried To Guide Other Witnesses

The filing by the Special Counsel’s Office on December 7 also states that Michael Cohen not only gave false testimony in August 2017 in private sessions to the Congress and the Senate to the effect that the Moscow Trump Tower Project was abandoned in January 2016, i.e.  before the 2016 presidential election. Cohen, in collaboration with associates, also issued a public statement at the same time.

The filing also states that Cohen “amplified his false statements by releasing and repeating his lies to the public, including to other potential witnesses.” [italics added] In effect, the filing is suggesting that Cohen’s unusual public statement about the content of a private hearing was a signal to other witnesses who were due to give evidence before Congress to align their testimony with Cohen’s falsehood. If, as the filing implies, Donald Trump, his campaign or his associates followed that signal in giving testimony, it is possible that they too committed perjury.

How Trump Put Himself At Risk Of Kompromat

There has of course been much theorizing about what the Mueller probe might come up with. Among the most comprehensive analyses was: “What More Do We Know About L’Affaire Russe?” by Quinta Jurecic, and Benjamin Wittes in July 2018. Based on what was known at the time, this article argued that Trump was probably the victim of “soft kompromat” i.e. he himself didn’t know whether the Kremlin had anything on him, but was treading carefully on the chance that it might. As New Yorker writer Adam Davidson explained:

    “A decade or so ago, Trump, naïve, covetous, and struggling for cash, may have laundered money for a business partner from the former Soviet Union or engaged in some other financial crime… He fears that there is kompromat out there—maybe a lot of it—but he doesn’t know precisely what it is, who has it, or what might set them off.”

That may be true. But on December 7, the Special Counsel’s filing goes further. In addition to any soft kompromat from shadowy dealings a decade ago, the Special Counsel’s filing points to the risk of hard kompromat from Trump’s dealings in the here and now—the Moscow Trump Tower Project.

Thus, the Russian Federation knew that Trump and his campaign were lying to the American people about the pursuit of that Moscow Project in the course of the presidential campaign of 2016 and subsequently as presiden6t. Since the Russian Federation knew what Trump was up to—while the American people didn’t—Trump himself is at risk of becoming a victim of hard Kompromat and in effect turning himself into a Russian intelligence asset.

A Massive Election Fraud Against The American People

“Until now, you had two different charges, allegations, whatever you want to call them,” Jerrold Nadler of New York, the incoming Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in an interview on December 8. “One was collusion with the Russians. One was obstruction of justice and all that entails. And now you have a third — that the president was at the center of a massive fraud against the American people.”

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2018/12/16/mueller-exposes-putins-hold-over-trump/#2a1350b748f6
Source 2: https://www.vox.com/2018/12/7/18130805/michael-cohen-sentencing-memo-mueller
Court documents (PDF) Cache: https://goo.gl/jyAxL1