White House releases summary of call where Trump asked Ukraine president to investigate Biden

He made his bones as a US Attorney in the SDNY supervising very, very good attorneys prosecuting organized crime cases and then taking credit for their work. He was generally well respected, but his abilities of self-promotion were substantially better than his actual abilities as a lawyer.

(and, let’s not forget, in a just world he also would have had to answer for his decisions to put the emergency response center in the WTC against advice and common sense, which literally cost people’s lives but ran counter to the America’s Mayor narrative that we wanted at the time)

I think the bitterness of old age combined with cognitive impairment explain a lot. Hitching his wagon to Trump has made him an Important Person again who gets to be on the teevee and have his ass kissed by a whole new crop of folks. And having something genuinely wrong with his noggin explains why he literally can’t keep his own talking points straight from one minute to the next when he’s riled up. At the risk of running afoul of house rules, I’d bet my mortgage payment that an examination by a medical profession would result in a diagnosis of something that would prevent him from holding any position of authority requiring insurance.


To me it looks like Trump wrote the whole non-verbatim transcript himself. Putting his own worlds in someone other’s mouth happened before…You remember his health evaluation from his physician in 2016?:nauseated_face:


Trump and several others have already acknowledged that he brought it up, but insisted it was totally unconnected to the cuts to military aid that happened just days before.

Its weird over about 48 hours they went from a fairly consistent denial, and hardline stonewalling. To escalating acknowledgement, and just handing over the shit that was getting subpoenaed and sued for.

For previous stuff the stories were never consistent, changes and admissions spooled out over weeks. And they’re still fighting disclosure and subpoenas months and months later.

It’s very weird. The attacks are the same. But its all moving much faster and the admissions are more direct.

Apparently, partially for Nixon reasons, its not common to record these sorts of conversations. But notes are taken by multiple CIA agents tasked to the White House or DNI. They put the official transcript together from those notes and file it. So assuming they followed protocol, and this thing is at least based on such a transcript. There were 3-5 non-White House intelligence officers present.

This thing also says multiple calls with Rudy Tooti took place, and that one with Barr was at least on the table. And there were apparently multiple Trump calls. I’m sure even if this thing hasn’t been altered, they picked the least incriminating thing to put out. But there’s a lot more stuff to chase after just based on that text.

It definitely flips the script. The non-insane now have the easy, clear claim. While team Trump gets to be bogged down in complex shit that’s hard to explain to the public.

The fact that they voluntarily released an official document containing a giant paragraph where Trump clearly and undeniably does the thing he’s accused of is pretty remarkable.

As I discussed above, there is unlikely to be a formal 100% transcript or recording. But there will be more notes, likely multiple sets. Along with multiple less Trump controlled witnesses

Plus what the fuck is Trump’s personal attorney, the guy who was supposedly representing him in the Mueller probe doing involved with this?

A guy with no official position or authority, who’s job is to personally protect Trump is making calls to foreign leaders on the White House’s behalf?

Primarily of RICO cases IIRC, but there’s some sketch on his record. Favors done, things that went away.

What he did was strip mine NYC for real estate developers. And even when he was New Yorks mayor he was a weird mother fucker who wasn’t without his personal scandals.

What happened is he became nationally famous after 9/11 for it’s 9/11 reasons, and became a TV talking head where he didn’t need to check his shit. Guy hasn’t generally practiced law in decades, and his law firm wasn’t exactly the classy sort.

Guiliani’s association with Trump and his ilk goes back a loooooong way. He’s essentially built his career on serving the ultra-rich, and he’s a consummate political cynic. He’ll believe whatever he needs to to further empower himself.


“their incredible people” These people are running the country.

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I haven’t listened to today’s Pod Save America yet, but (coincidentally?) it’s headlined “Rudy Likes Club Drugs”. I’m sure they’re joking. Of course. Ha ha. It is to laugh.

Or there’s always dementia, or if not that, then milder forms of cognitive impairment. Or why not both?

There’s no ice on that ice, it’s so thin. The statute doesn’t even mention quid pro quo. It prohibits solicitation of anything of value from a foreign person. Just asking the “favor” was a crime, by itself.



“Psssst, hey, lets get our stories straight…”


From Trump’s “incredulous” reaction to how this has gone, it seems like his gambit was to be as ‘transparent’ as possible by just handing stuff over and admitting it, thinking that would be a good way to defuse things. Somehow he’s not processing that openly admitting to committing a crime (one that he’s committed before, thus nicely establishing a pattern of uncontrolled lawbreaking) doesn’t stop it from being a crime.


Exactly. Is anybody in his administration properly literate?

They have relied on the theory that committing a crime in the open means it’s not a crime before, such as the “Russia if you are listening…” line and on obstruction of justice. It’s worked until now, hardly seems fair that we don’t let them keep getting away with it (that is, I expect Trump to be pounding fists against something and yelling, “not fair! not fair!” around now).


See? Democrats use aid money strings to accomplish their goals too. No one complains. But when Trump does it… /s

The favor was for us, as in U.S. Trump was just asking for the Ukraine to tackle it’s corruption problem, because that’s in the U.S.'s interests.
And another /s


Reading this I was deeply embarrassed to have this man represent me. He holds what is the presumptive most powerful position in the world and responds to sycophantic ass-kissing by fawning for more.

Also, since this isn’t addressed for some reason, if either Biden broke the law they could be investigated by U.S. authorities which answer to the president. The only reason to go to the Ukraine for this is either to fabricate dirt or to get evidence that wouldn’t legally hold up.


Republicans would like everyone to be thinking that because a quid pro quo is not perfectly plain in the released text of the call that nothing bad happened. Here’s the law he broke. It’s very illegal. (no quid pro quo needed) Never mind he does this constantly with his properties. But in this case it’s very clear.
translated into plain English (because laws are written like a multiple choice puzzle, ha): It shall be unlawful for a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value from a foreign national in connection with a Federal, State, or local election. (Dirt on your political rival clearly being a thing of value).

52 U.S. Code § 30121.

(a) Prohibition It shall be unlawful for—
(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—
(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;
(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or
© an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or
(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.


Yes “their” running (and ruining) it

Giuliani is an emolument whisperer.

This is obviously not a verbatim transcript. Obviously he meant to say he was a very fine prosecutor.


Just in case anyone thinks this whole thing is some kind of a 11-dimensional chess move or a cunning trap set by Trump and the GOP for the Democrats, this should put those fears to rest.

“Gentlemen, they may look like idiots, and talk like idiots, but don’t let that fool you. They really are idiots” – Paraphrasing Groucho Marx.


Ok, I don’tr know much about the former ambassador Yovanovitch, but this sounds super ominous:

PZ: Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

DT: Well, she’s going to be going through some things.

(Edited to add context)

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I just had an unpleasant thought. Chief Justice John Roberts will run the Senate trial after the house impeaches. The Supreme Court in recent years has consistently changed the standard legal view of government officials needing to avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption that might undermine public confidence to a much harder line if its not quid pro quo it doesn’t count. (see the Citizens United decision for a clear example of this)

I’m suddenly fearing Roberts setting the trial rules to be expressly limited to quid pro quo providing complete cover to Senators by not allowing conviction-worthy evidence


As was pointed out this AM on NPR, that itself is a violation of the Logan Act…


There’s other smarter people involved, and they’re certainly trying to put out something they can claim is transparent and an exoneration.

But the startling thing is how fast and how far they’ve gone with it. Its not all that different from what they’ve done before. It’s just much more of an admission and it took them days instead of months.

Along with the fact that “yeah we did that” is their defense. Like this is what they’re hiding behind? A transcript of Trump literally, unequivocally doing what he’s accused of. Its a little startling. It seems like they’re a lot more afraid of this one than anything that’s come before. And why would that be unless the dreamed of silver bullet isn’t there?

The few people who’ve actually seen the details here seem pretty convinced it’s serious, and it’ll stick. Before there’s anything public to indicate that.

Oligarch masseuse.


And potentially more. Does the guy even have security clearance?