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Trump Aided and Abetted Russia’s Attack. That Was Treachery. Full Stop.

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Trump Aided and Abetted Russia’s Attack. That Was Treachery. Full Stop.

The scandal may not be a crime. It’s a betrayal.

Trump-walking-away-1.jpg?w=990

On Sunday afternoon Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to Congress noting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” The message also noted that Mueller could not exonerate President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice, but that Barr himself had decided that the evidence Mueller developed was “insufficient to establish” that Trump had obstructed justice. Trump proclaimed it was “complete and total exoneration.” And Trump champions popped the cork and declared case closed, nothing to see, end of story, no need for further investigation, Trump did no wrong. 

Well, that is fake news.

Barr’s note is clear that Mueller did not uncover evidence Trump and his gang were in direct cahoots with Russia’s covert operation to interfere with the US election and boost Trump’s odds. But the hyper-focus on this sort of collusion—as if Trump instructed Russian hackers on how to penetrate the computer network of the Democratic National Committee—has always diverted attention from a basic and important element of the scandal that was proven long before Mueller drafted his final report: Trump and his lieutenants interacted with Russia while Putin was attacking the 2016 election and provided encouraging signals to the Kremlin as it sought to subvert American democracy. They aided and abetted Moscow’s attempt to cover up its assault on the United States (which aimed to help Trump win the White House). And they lied about all this.

And, yes, there were instances of collusion—not on the specifics of the attack, but secret scheming between Trumpworld and Russia.

None of the evidence underlying this is in dispute. No matter what Mueller report contains, a harsh verdict remains: Trump and his gang betrayed the United States in the greatest scandal in American history. 

The Moscow Project

Let’s start with Trump. Shortly after he leaped into the 2016 contest, Trump began pursuing a grand project in Moscow: a sky-high tower bearing his name. It could reap him hundreds of millions of dollars. His fixer,  Michael Cohen, was the Trump Organization’s point man in the negotiations.

Trump signed a letter of intent, and the talks went on for months through the fall of 2015 and the first half of 2016. At one point, Cohen spoke to an official in Putin’s office, seeking help for the venture. And throughout this period, Trump the candidate, when asked for his opinions on Russia and Putin, issued curiously positive remarks about the thuggish and autocratic Russian leader.

Trump willingly placed himself at the mercy of a foreign adversary—as it was preparing a covert operation to corrupt an American election.

Trump also claimed throughout the campaign that he had nothing to do with Russia—no business there, nothing. And when he was asked whether he knew Felix Sater, a wheeling-dealing developer and one-time felon who was the middleman for the Moscow project negotiations, Trump claimed he was “not that familiar with him.”

That was a lie. 

The Moscow deal did fizzle at some point, but Trump had engaged in the the most significant conflict of interest in modern American politics. He was making positive statements about Putin on the campaign trail, at the same time he needed support from the Russian government for his project. Yet he hid this conflict from American voters and lied to keep it secret. (After the election, Cohen lied to Congress about this project to protect Trump, and that’s one reason Cohen is soon heading to prison.)

It’s deplorable that a presidential candidate would double-deal in this manner and deceive the public—insisting he was an America First candidate, while pursuing a secret agenda overseas to enrich himself. But Trump’s duplicity also compromised him.

Putin and the Russians obviously knew about this deal Trump was hiding from American voters. So at any time they could reveal it and expose Trump’s mendacity. He willingly placed himself at the mercy of a foreign adversary—as it was preparing a covert operation to corrupt an American election. And Trump literally and secretly signaled to the Kremlin—which was still facing harsh economic sanctions for Putin’s intervention in Ukraine—that he wanted to do business with it. Trump was betraying the public trust before being elected.

The Trump Tower Meeting

The betrayal continued after Trump became the de facto presidential nominee of the Republican Party. On June 9, 2016, Trump’s three most senior advisers—Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner—met with a Russian emissary in the Trump Tower in New York City. They had been informed that she would deliver them dirt on Hillary Clinton and that this was part of a secret Kremlin initiative to assist the Trump campaign.

The meeting, the Trump team has claimed, was a bust. There was no useful derogatory information. But by this point, the Russians had already stolen tens of thousands of emails and documents from Democratic targets and were, no doubt, pondering what to do with the swiped material. This meeting was another signal conveyed to Moscow: the Trump crew didn’t mind Russian meddling in the election and was even willing to covertly collaborate with Russia on dirty tricks.

Thus, Trump’s top men were encouraging a repressive regime to clandestinely intervene in American politics. And when this meeting was revealed, long after the election, Trump concocted a false cover story for Trump Jr. to issue: this get-together had been nothing more than a conversation about the issue of adoption in Russia. Why did they lie? It seems obvious: to cover up significant misconduct. 

The Hacked Emails

Trump’s collusion with Putin’s office regarding his secret Moscow deal and the Trump advisers attempt to collude with a secret Russian scheme to help their campaign were not directly related to the hack-and-dump operation mounted by Russia that targeted the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. Yet when that attack happened, the Trump camp did openly assist the Kremlin by denying this assault was underway.

After more than 20,000 emails and documents stolen by Russian hackers were released by WikiLeaks at the start of the Democrats’ presidential convention in July 2016, the Clinton campaign pushed the point that its candidate—and the American election—was being assaulted by Moscow. In response, Trump Jr. and Manafort publicly proclaimed this was nonsense and a lie being promoted by the Clintonites for political gain. (A month earlier, when the Democratic Party revealed it had been hacked by Russia, the Trump campaign accused them of cooking up a hoax.) 

If anyone had reason to believe the Russians were behind an operation seeking to disrupt the Democratic convention, it was Trump Jr. and Manafort. With the Trump Tower meeting the previous month, they had been informed Moscow was aiming to intervene in the election to harm Clinton and help Trump. And the Russians were presumably aware that Trump’s inner circle knew this. With their false denials, Trump Jr. and Manafort were assisting the Moscow cover-up. (The Russian government was claiming it had nothing to do with the hack-and-dump operation.) How else could the Russians interpret the actions of the Trump campaign other than as further encouragement and a sign of approval?

Not to mention that at this time, Trump himself publicly called on Russia to keep hacking: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Clinton] emails that are missing.” That night, according to a Mueller indictment, Russian hackers for the first time tried to penetrate Clinton’s personal email. They knew to take a hint. 

By echoing Russian disinformation—after being informed the Kremlin intended to mess with the presidential campaign  to assist Trump—the Trump campaign was making it easier for a foreign power to undermine a US election.

The Colluders

And there’s more: as this attack proceeded, the Trump campaign kept trying to secretly engage with Russia and Russian interests. The Mueller indictment of George Papadopoulos—the Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who met with various Russian cut-outs and who was told that Moscow had dirt on Clinton in the form of thousands of purloined emails—noted that during the summer 2016 he was trying to establish a back-channel connection between the campaign and Putin’s office. And Papadopoulos was doing this with the approval of senior campaign aides. Here was another clear signal to the Kremlin: Trump and his team had no problem with the Russian attack on the election and still desired a secret hook-up with Moscow. There was no need for Trump to conspire directly with Putin. He and his campaign were repeatedly flashing a green light at Moscow and aiding the Russian cover-up. 

Manafort, though, was directly conspiring. With Russians, including a Russian oligarch. On August 2, Manafort took time away from his duties as Trump’s campaign manager to meet at a ritzy cigar bar in Manhattan with Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Ukrainian-Russian business colleague who, according to several Mueller court filings, has been assessed by the FBI to be an associate of Russian intelligence.

Though much of the details about this meeting have been redacted in the relevant court filings, it seems that the rendezvous was arranged at the behest of Oleg Deripaska, a Putin-friendly Russian oligarch. At this get-together, Manafort supplied Kilimnik polling data from the campaign. (Kilimnik, according to the New York Times, subsequently passed this information to two Ukrainian oligarchs, and it’s unclear if he shared it with others.)

Hobnobbing with the enemy, lying about it, and bolstering Moscow’s cover-up. Then Trump took it up a notch.

At this meeting, the two discussed a supposed peace plan for Ukraine that would benefit Russia. And what’s known about the meeting suggests that Manafort was signaling to the Russians that the Trump campaign was amenable to a policy that would lift the harsh economic sanctions imposed on Russia. 

This meeting was occurring at a time when cybersecurity experts and American intelligence officials were being cited in news reports saying Russia was behind the cyberwarfare being waged against Democratic targets. Any private sign from Manafort that Trump was indeed keen to remove the sanctions—a position that Trump had publicly demonstrated sympathy for—would provide more encouragement for the Russians. (A week or so before this meeting, Manafort had declared he had no connections with Russians, which was a lie: throughout the campaign he used Kilimnik to communicate with Deripaska, with whom he had done business for a decade.)

Hobnobbing with the enemy, lying about it, and bolstering Moscow’s cover-up. Then Trump took it up a notch.

In mid-August, as the official GOP nominee, Trump received a classified intelligence briefing that included the intelligence community’s assessment that Moscow was the perp in the hack-and-dump operation. Yet for the rest of the campaign, Trump repeatedly downplayed or denied Russian involvement. He did this in public statements and at the debates.

This stance turned Putin’s attack into a political dispute. Top Republicans (and Trump-cheering pundits in the media) generally followed his lead and declined to rally against the Russian assault. This prevented the coalescing of a focused national response to Putin’s war on the election. 

A candidate seeking the job of defending the United States was facilitating an attack on the nation.

That helped the Russians. Perhaps it emboldened them. On October 7, 2016, the Obama administration released a statement declaring Moscow culpable for the cyber-attacks on the Democrats. An hour or so later, the Access Hollywood video of Trump boasting of sexually assaulting women appeared. And shortly after that, WikiLeaks began releasing the personal emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta that were stolen by Russian operatives. For weeks, WikiLeaks dumped a new tranche of Podesta emails on practically a daily basis and hobbled the Clinton campaign in the final stretch of the race. 

Despite this attack and the official Obama announcement, Trump stuck to his false line: the Russians should not be held accountable. An overseas foe was striving mightily to undermine a US election. Trump had been told this privately by US intelligence, and the US government had issued a public declaration. Yet Trump echoed and amplified Moscow’s denials. He was siding with the enemy.

A candidate seeking the job of defending the United States was facilitating an attack on the nation. And after winning the White House, Trump would keep on protecting Putin by dismissing Russian involvement and the significance of the attack.

If neither Trump nor a Trump emissary communicated explicitly with the Russians about the specifics of the operation, that is not the end of this scandal. Trump knew the attack was happening, and he helped. So, too, did Donald Trump Jr. and Manafort—and probably others within the campaign. This is the core of the Trump-Russia scandal.

By asserting that the issue is only whether or not he directly colluded with the Kremlin plot, Trump has diverted attention from the fact that he facilitated an assault on his own country. That may or may not have been illegal. But it was betrayal. It was treachery. 

Mueller’s job was to seek out possible crimes to prosecute. It was not to evaluate actions that did not rise to the level of criminality. Nor was it his charge to tell the public the whole truth.

Yet so much of the truth is already out there. And the bottom line was established before Mueller submitted his report: Trump committed what is probably the most significant political misdeed in American history. The public did not need the Mueller report to confirm this. The foundation of this scandal—Trump’s villainy—has for long resided within plain sight. 
 
 

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Dan Daniels

RUSSIA

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Pastor of Muppets

Ask yourself how you would feel if Obama or Clinton acted in this manner?

“How do we know there was no intent without an interview?” she continued, noting that Trump only submitted written responses to the special counsel. “There’s no way that Mueller could follow up and try to determine the intent.” 

Barr has gone “out of his way, as though he were a defense lawyer, to explain the pressure that the president was under coming into office with all of the allegations against him,” Mitchell continued. “That is not his role.”

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grieker
On 4/18/2019 at 11:25 AM, Pastor of Muppets said:

Ask yourself how you would feel if Obama or Clinton acted in this manner?

“How do we know there was no intent without an interview?” she continued, noting that Trump only submitted written responses to the special counsel. “There’s no way that Mueller could follow up and try to determine the intent.” 

Barr has gone “out of his way, as though he were a defense lawyer, to explain the pressure that the president was under coming into office with all of the allegations against him,” Mitchell continued. “That is not his role.”

I felt horrible when they did it and still feel horrible that they did it - however, Trump isn't being blamed for the death of any Americans because of what he didn't do.

The conspired barrage of attacks on Trump by the lyin'progressive, fake news media machines and their dolts 24 hours a day starting even before he attempted to foil the coronation of Hillary, has been unprecedented.  

I can think of no other human that would have been able to stick with it as long as he has.

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Farmer Vincent

As a reminder, McConnell is partly to blame for blocking the possibility of a bipartisan response to Obama's effort to alert and curtail the campaign and election interference by the Russians as reported by the FBI.  

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grieker
11 minutes ago, Farmer Vincent said:

As a reminder, McConnell is partly to blame for blocking the possibility of a bipartisan response to Obama's effort to alert and curtail the campaign and election interference by the Russians as reported by the FBI.  

RUSSIA is STILL interfering to this very day - no different than they were in 2016.  It's like global warming - can't stop it - period.  As long as there is an WORLD WIDE WEB it will happen.

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grieker
1 hour ago, Pastor of Muppets said:

That is a good point. You are a strong border security guy, why are we as a country allowing FB, Twitter, etc. for Russians to make fake accounts and act like Americans? I would not be surprised if Charlottesville were the handi-work of IRS, the Russian troll farm. If foreigners can get us to fight each other, they don't have to fight us.

If only Americans were intelligent enough not to believe the crazy BS memes coming out of Russia, we would all be better off.

You can open an email account ANYWHERE as ANYONE, you can also create accounts WORLD WIDE - I'll be damned - it's called WORLD WIDE WEB for a reason.

Anyone can create an account here on Lanctalk...  We only catch the stupid ones - smart criminals never get caught.

 

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grieker
13 hours ago, Farmer Vincent said:

You should not be okay with Trump ignoring Russian interference in our electoral process and deferring to Putin when he says they didn't.  You should also not be okay with Trump fighting against our own security agencies with their investigation into Russia's interference.  McConnell too.  

As I've said, and you continue to ignore, I am not okay with anyone interfering with American Elections even though America interferes with foreign elections.  Trump is NOT and was NOT fighting with American security agencies.  He was and is calling out the traitors within those agencies that have been mentioned numerous times.

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Pastor of Muppets

The "traitors" are the ones stopping him from breaking even more laws. Trump is not fighting with our own intelligence agencies, he just ignores their advice at every turn.

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Farmer Vincent
2 minutes ago, Pastor of Muppets said:

Can you think of one instance that hasn't pleased Putin? His refusal to enforce sanctions, his agreeing with Putin's lies over our own intelligence agencies, changing the republican platform to cater to him... I can't think of any time he pissed off Putin.

He did sign off on sanctions against Russia two years ago.  But he also didn't sign another one he was required to.  

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Pastor of Muppets
5 minutes ago, Farmer Vincent said:

He did sign off on sanctions against Russia two years ago.  But he also didn't sign another one he was required to.  

I remember him signing off the sanctions 2 years ago. It is my understanding that they aren't enforced today. I could be wrong.

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grieker
22 hours ago, Farmer Vincent said:

When he does things like revokes Brennan's security clearance, disallowing him to act as a valued consultant on international security issues, he's diminishing our security which I'm sure pleases Putin.   

Brennan is in fact a member of the deep state Vince.  As were Comey, Lisa Page, Peter Strozk and ahandful of others.

Brennan is a ditry actor who played a part in the whole bullshit investigation which Mueller should have stopped before it started.

Remember the congressional investigation on Cohen's visit to Prague - well by golly, Cohen never visited Prague.  How about that?  From Mueller's report...  "In early May 2017, Cohen received requests from Congress to provide testimony and documents in connection with congressional investigations of Russian interference in the 2016
election.953 At that time, Cohen understood Congress's interest in him to be focused on the
allegations in the Steele reporting concerning a meeting Cohen allegedly had with Russian officials
in Prague during the campaign.954 Cohen had never traveled to Prague and was not concerned
about those allegations, which he believed were provably false."

 

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Farmer Vincent
7 minutes ago, grieker said:

Brennan is in fact a member of the deep state Vince.  As were Comey, Lisa Page, Peter Strozk and ahandful of others.

Brennan is a ditry actor who played a part in the whole bullshit investigation which Mueller should have stopped before it started.

Remember the congressional investigation on Cohen's visit to Prague - well by golly, Cohen never visited Prague.  How about that?  From Mueller's report...  "In early May 2017, Cohen received requests from Congress to provide testimony and documents in connection with congressional investigations of Russian interference in the 2016
election.953 At that time, Cohen understood Congress's interest in him to be focused on the
allegations in the Steele reporting concerning a meeting Cohen allegedly had with Russian officials
in Prague during the campaign.954 Cohen had never traveled to Prague and was not concerned
about those allegations, which he believed were provably false."

 

Your deep state conspiracy theory has long been frayed around the edges.  Do you dispute the Mueller report?  

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grieker
Just now, Farmer Vincent said:

Your deep state conspiracy theory has long been frayed around the edges.  Do you dispute the Mueller report?  

Dude - the deep state is about to be investigated so let's not eat crow just yet.

Mueller report is an excellent OP ED piece that clearly indicates there was no COLLUSION ANYWHERE by Trump and since there is no COLLUSION crime there cannot be any obstruction.  Do you remember Trump's reason for firing Comey?

"The President's termination of Comey. On May 3, 2017, Corney testified in a
congressional hearing, but declined to answer questions about whether the President was
personally under investigation. Within days, the President decided to terminate Corney. The
President insisted that the termination letter, which was written for public release, state that Corney
had informed the President that he was not under investigation. The day of the firing, the White
House maintained that Corney's termination resulted from independent recommendations from the
Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General that Corney should be discharged for mishandling
the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But the President had decided to fire Corney before
hearing from the Department of Justice. The day after firing Corney, the President told Russian
officials that he had "faced great pressure because of Russia," which had been "taken off' by
Corney's firing. The next day, the President acknowledged in a television interview that he was
going to fire Corney regardless of the Department of Justice's recommendation and that when he
"decided to just do it," he was thinking that "this thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."
In response to a question about whether he was angry with Corney about the Russia investigation, the President said, "As far as I'm concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly,"
adding that firing Corney "might even lengthen out the investigation."

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Farmer Vincent
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, grieker said:

Dude - the deep state is about to be investigated so let's not eat crow just yet.

Mueller report is an excellent OP ED piece that clearly indicates there was no COLLUSION ANYWHERE by Trump and since there is no COLLUSION crime there cannot be any obstruction.  Do you remember Trump's reason for firing Comey?

"The President's termination of Comey. On May 3, 2017, Corney testified in a
congressional hearing, but declined to answer questions about whether the President was
personally under investigation. Within days, the President decided to terminate Corney. The
President insisted that the termination letter, which was written for public release, state that Corney
had informed the President that he was not under investigation. The day of the firing, the White
House maintained that Corney's termination resulted from independent recommendations from the
Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General that Corney should be discharged for mishandling
the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But the President had decided to fire Corney before
hearing from the Department of Justice. The day after firing Corney, the President told Russian
officials that he had "faced great pressure because of Russia," which had been "taken off' by
Corney's firing. The next day, the President acknowledged in a television interview that he was
going to fire Corney regardless of the Department of Justice's recommendation and that when he
"decided to just do it," he was thinking that "this thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."
In response to a question about whether he was angry with Corney about the Russia investigation, the President said, "As far as I'm concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly,"
adding that firing Corney "might even lengthen out the investigation."

Doing investigations as a political ploy is what Republicans do.  The continual investigations on Hillary wouldn't have happened if she wasn't going to run for president.  Now these threatened investigations are going to be an attempt to keep Trump in power.  It'll be their political safe space to claim that they can't vote on any impeachment bid as long as their investigation is endlessly dragging on.  

Edited by Farmer Vincent

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grieker
3 minutes ago, Farmer Vincent said:

Doing investigations as a political ploy is what Republicans do.  The continual investigations on Hillary wouldn't have happened if she wasn't going to run for president.  Now these threatened investigations are going to be an attempt to keep Trump in power.  It'll be their political safe space to claim that they can't vote on any impeachment bid as long as their investigation is endlessly dragging on.  

Nadler and his boys and girls are the ones that are endlessly dragging it on, with the help of the Mueller OP ED.

 

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grieker
14 minutes ago, grieker said:

Nadler and his boys and girls are the ones that are endlessly dragging it on, with the help of the Mueller OP ED.

 

NOW the chant from the lyin progressive fake news media machines and progressive ass-hats is to destroy Barr.  Shifty Schiff, who was pressuring Bill Barr to break the law, just this morning chastised Barr. So not all the media is in like Flint.

What was the predicate (probable cause) to initiate the investigation?  There wasn't any.  Zero evidence of any Americans conspiring with RUSSIANS - per Mueller's OP ED.

Other things left out of the Mueller OP ED are FUSION GPS nor the Steele Dossier' the "perceived" origin of the infestation.

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prettylight

 

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skeptic2mod
On 4/18/2019 at 11:18 AM, Dan Daniels said:

RUSSIA

Problematic that the lies have become so normal

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grieker
32 minutes ago, skeptic2mod said:

Problematic that the lies have become so normal

Correct skep and the lyin progressive fake news media machines won't stop.  Even with the Mueller OP ED being released they continue.

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Pastor of Muppets
Just now, grieker said:

Correct skep and the lyin progressive fake news media machines won't stop.  Even with the Mueller OP ED being released they continue.

The Mueller Report is hard core facts, even though you disagree with them.

The only OP ED is your parroting the Russian talking points.

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grieker
2 minutes ago, Pastor of Muppets said:

The Mueller Report is hard core facts, even though you disagree with them.

The only OP ED is your parroting the Russian talking points.

Many hard core facts.  One fact - no COLLUSION.  Another fact - no charges or recommendations for persecution.  Another fact - NO INTENT!

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Pastor of Muppets
1 minute ago, grieker said:

Many hard core facts.  One fact - no COLLUSION.  Another fact - no charges or recommendations for persecution.

Wrong. It is a road map for congress to explore 11 instances of obstruction that are quite obvious to anyone but the hard core bunker-dwellers.

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grieker
4 minutes ago, Pastor of Muppets said:

Wrong. It is a road map for congress to explore 11 instances of obstruction that are quite obvious to anyone but the hard core bunker-dwellers.

ZERO intent bud.  Even Mueller's OP ED says prosecution unlikely since there is no INTENT.

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Pastor of Muppets
1 minute ago, grieker said:

ZERO intent bud.  Even Mueller's OP ED says prosecution unlikely since there is no INTENT.

Intent everywhere.

Why, Americans wonder, would Trump be “fucked” if he hadn’t done something so awful as to cause its revelation to “fuck” him?

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