Good to hear such a strong statement, but I wouldn’t count on the FEC to come to the rescue.
Any meaningful action would have to come from Congress, regardless.
ETA: I know you know this, but I want to emphasize: The statement from Weintraub was back in June, a month before Trump’s calls with Ukraine, in direct response to Trump saying he’d consider accepting campaign assistance from a foreign entity, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos. We know that memo crossed his desk. He cannot claim he didn’t know it was illegal.
So can this one be the high crime and/or misdemeanor? Surely this is enough right?
It should be enough of a “smoking gun,” if it checks out, to bring most of the Dems in Congress across the impeachment line. It might even convert a moderate Republican, like a Murkowski or Collins. But it’s not enough to accomplish conviction in the Senate. Just not realistic. They don’t care if President Biff does crime.
OK, but that isn’t what happened here.
If there is something illegal here I’m not seeing that in a clear succinct sentence.
The sub headline reads: “Trump says it ‘doesn’t matter’ if he talked of investigating Biden with Ukraine president (it does)” the last part in parenthesis “(it does)” is not shown or stated in the article.
So what specifically matters about this?
Soliciting something of value (oppo dirt) from a foreign entity. It doesn’t matter one whit whether there was quid-pro-quo, or whether there was a deal, or whether it was delivered or not. He asked, and that itself is a crime.
“Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election,“ wrote Ellen Weintraub, chairwoman of the FEC. “This is not a novel concept.“
OK, this Intercept article actually spells it out:
" House Democrats were already looking into whether Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani had pressured Ukraine to intervene in the upcoming U.S. presidential election by launching an anti-corruption investigation of Hunter Biden, who served on the board of directors of a Ukrainian Energy company. Giuliani admitted in a CNN interview Thursday that he asked Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden."
OK, so let’s see if the Dems do something about it.
@DukeTrout “Soliciting something of value (oppo dirt) from a foreign entity.” But we do that all the time. I’m sure we’ve done it with Israel, with England. We’re always looking for something of value. Isn’t that half of the CIA’s job.
What seems to be the issue, and the problem, is it being done in coincidence with an election.
Didn’t Clinton campaign seek dirt from Russian on Trump?
(Remember folks, one can hate Trump (I do) and still want clarity and facts.)
Huh? What the hell does this have to do with the CIA? This has nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with Trump, the candidate for president, pressuring a foreign head of state to dig up dirt on a political opponent. What part don’t you get?
Short answer: no
I don’t think so. They hired an investigator who did some digging. If he talked to Russians I don’t think that’s the same thing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but for all the shit I’ve heard about the Steele report, illegality of talking to Russian hasn’t been one of them.
If Trump wasn’t a complete idiot, he would have had a third party look for dirt.
A key difference being that hiring someone to do opposition research for your campaign doesn’t make you beholden to them. You hire them to do the job, they send you the bill, you pay the bill, you report the expense.
It’s a normal campaign expense (assuming it was reported as such), not an abuse of power or a secret conflict of interest for someone in a position to shape America’s foreign policy.
Accepting anything from a foreign entity is just asking for a shit sandwich. This is how other governments bring governments down. Who says the info is good? A Saudi prince? A Russian dictator?
Doesn’t seem that way:
I see. Thanks.
It would behoove the article to point that out.
But this time it wasn’t a campaign contribution! Trump was giving them taxpayer money to do it! Or maybe he wasn’t, in which case it was just an attempt to crack down on corruption! That only targeted the former vice president totally by coincidence! And this anti-corruption activity involved the president’s personal lawyer because Rudy is secretly running the whole anti-corruption operation for the government! It’s secret so that well-connected persons under investigation would have no idea there was an investigation! And Trump previously mentioned investigating this case as, er, a double bluff!
Are you buying any of this? Well, Trump’s supporters are.
Trump also clearly sees the government as something that exists to do his bidding, even for personal benefit (because he can’t distinguish himself from his office, either - he really does see himself as king).
I guess it might be a subtle difference to some, but in legal terms, there are miles of separation between a campaign staffer or party operative going to a source and doing original research, vs. asking for and receiving dirt on a political opponent. That The Hill article does a lot of rhetorical eyebrow-waggling, but it doesn’t actually describe anything other than Chalupa going directly to sources, such as Ukranian journalists and embassy staffers to ask questions. Moreover, there is no link to Clinton.
Contrast that with the candidate himself (acting as the President, no less!) pressuring a foreign official to come up with something, after that government has already made an official, public statement that there was nothing there.
That’s a massive difference. If you don’t see it, you’re intentionally not looking.
That article ends with the following remark:
For a Democratic Party that spent more than two years building the now disproven theory that Trump colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election, the tale of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington feels just like a speeding political boomerang.
The Mueller Report did not disprove the theory.
Upon announcing the formal closure of the Office of the Special Counsel and his resignation from the Justice Department on May 29, 2019, Mueller said “the report is my testimony” and indicated he would have nothing to say that wasn’t already in the report. He commented, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime”.
If you care to read the Mueller report and listen to the man, trump definitely comitted criminal obstruction.
Nobody’s daining to charge him because the only people who can are also people who are working for him.