If You Were Out to Get Donald Trump, Russiagate Is Not How You’d Do It

If you were in charge of a Democratic Party committee scheming to get rid of President Trump, what would be the low-hanging fruit? Most likely you’d start with his bizarre personality. The Founding Fathers created impeachment as a way to get rid of a mentally incompetent president. You’d certainly consider his sleazy businesses. How many laws has he broken there? What you almost certainly would not do would be to gin up a conspiracy theory in which he enlisted a foreign country to hack Democratic Party computers to obtain information to discredit his opponent.

32 thoughts on “If You Were Out to Get Donald Trump, Russiagate Is Not How You’d Do It

  1. I can see it’s time for a review of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy Theory vs. the Mueller report:

    VLWC: The very idea that those kindly Russians would interfere with our election is an absurdly absurd absurdity
    Mueller: The Russians interfered with our election

    VLWC: The DNC hack was a hoax
    Mueller: The Russians hacked the DNC

    VLWC: The cyber psy-ops campaign was a hoax
    Mueller: The Russians orchestrated the cyber psy-ops campaign

    VLWC: A Bernie Bro leaked the emails
    Mueller: Russia leaked the emails

    VLWC: All the cybersecurity agencies were bribed
    Mueller: All the cybersercurity agencies were right

    VLWC: The NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, DOJ, DOS and DIA were conspiring to restart the cold war
    Mueller: The NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, DOJ, DOS and DIA were right

    VLWC: Hillary
    Mueller: Russia

    VLWC: McCarthy
    Mueller: Russia

    VLWC: No evidence whatsoever
    Mueller: “a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities” … “documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government” … “multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign” … “the Russian conspiracies” …”criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities” … “sets out evidence on both sides of the question” … “the evidence developed” … “the evidence does not establish” …

    VLWC: Innocent
    Mueller: Not exonerated

    So, that’s ten statements of fact which have been blown out of the water – leaving only “The DNC lied about collusion” as the only one left standing. 10 / 11 = 90.1% blown out of the water.

    But then “The DNC lied” has no evidence whatsoever to support it, while the Mueller report does imply that there was some evidence to support the premise that Trump really did have a hand in things.

    • To CrazyH,

      That’s a lot of verbiage to ultimately admit that there is no proof of the, therefore, STILL ALLEGED, primary, over-arching, dwarfing-all-others*** crime of collusion between the, then, Herr Hair (aka “Trump”) campaign and “the Russian government” (still undefined) … to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.

      Now, IF, PURELY HYPOTHETICALLY, proof of said monumental crime were to condense out of the atmosphere,^^^ please give us your considered opinion of what, exactly, those bulwarks of democracy and ultimate complainants on the issue, i.e., DNC plus both Dem congressional caucuses, would DO ABOUT IT?

      To be clear, this is distinct from what should they do about it. (Here please note my preemptory, hearty guffaw in anticipation of any hint on your part that “would” = “should”°°°)
      ——————
      *** paraphrase of your own characterization of its relative importance
      ^^^ with Bob “what, me exonerate?” Mueller gone it is not clear from where else it might appear
      °°° here refer to March 11 web NY Times article in which Ms Pelosi, is quoted as saying “impeachment is not worth it” … DAYS BEFORE THE MUELLER REPORT IS DUE OUT

      • I’m afraid you’ve missed my point entirely. I’ve made my views on DastardlyRussiansGate well known. I’m happy to discuss those separately.

        The post above is about the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. The deniers have been insisting for three years that it exists, I am asking for proof thereof. It’s not a matter of “is DRG true or false?” It’s a matter of “is it a hoax created by the DNC to explain Hillary’s loss”?

        Above, I documented many of the claims made by deniers in the past, and showed how they were debunked my Mueller. In my mind, that severely weakens the VLWC theory. We now know that a Dastardly Russian Conspiracy really did happen – the only remaining question is whether Duh Don was in on it. (which, BTW, is what I’ve been saying for quite some time.)

        Addressing your concerns –

        – DO ABOUT IT?

        Whine, piss, and moan? most assuredly. Impeach? hopefully. Succeed: doubtfully. Put DJT in jail: oh, hell no.

        – dwarfing-all-others?

        According to federal law, treason trumps business crimes of the more domestic variety. Of course, this whole ball-o-wax includes business crimes of the international variety, and that does muddy the water somewhat.

        – “impeachment is not worth it”

        Sadly, I agree with her. It is conceivable that the D-controlled House could draft Articles of Impeachment – but it is not conceivable that the Senate would find Duh Don guilty. ergo: it is not worth it.

      • To CrazyH:

        Simply because I don’t address the attempted point does not mean I have missed but, instead, means I chose to deal with another point … perhaps one you made mistakenly.

        However, I do appreciate your candid answer to my query. Looks like the recent moral high horse broke a leg in the final turn!

        Now we need only sit on a hot stove waiting for a treason indictment from Trumps Atty General^^^ and ultimate SCOTUS*** agreement with lower courts to convict.

        Self-pardoning will be a real gas, too!!!
        ————–
        ^^^ Judging from Uncle Obumma’s guy at Justice, I don’t expect much from the next Dem president’s appointment either.
        *** the majority composed of justices, not a attogram significantly less atrocious, nor pernicious, as His Hairness but certainly better able to publicly disguise it

      • falco – peace be with you, my friend.

        And if not ‘friend’ then at least we share many of the same goals (and many of the same enemies.)

      • OK, we’ll be friends … at least until you again feel compelled to assert that my mental faculties are no more acute than those of familiar, domestic representatives of the lower vertebrates. At that time I reserve the right to reassess the characterization of our relationship.

        As friend-to-friend I feel compelled to clarify a some crucial points you have been making regarding Atty Gen Barr’s summary of the Mueller report. (Note, first, an aside: you have been erroneously referring to “the Mueller report.” Like “VLWC,” it may have more zing, and a better ring, not to mention more authority, but it is simply inaccurate.)

        Main point: Re-NOT EXONERATED

        Note: To my discredit, I had not read the Barr summary of the Mueller Report until a few minutes ago, so, perhaps, you have not actually read it either. Since I have justification to avoid reading every word that describes and comprises the continuous Beltway Kabuki Dance, I suspect you do too.

        However, now it must be made clear: His Hairness was deemed “NOT exonerated” by Mueller but ONLY on possible charges of obstruction of justice.
        You appear, above, therefore, to interpret, incorrectly, that “not exonerated” applies to any and all possible crimes.

        You also wrote: “the Mueller report (sic) does imply that there was some evidence to support the premise that Trump really did have a hand in things.”

        This is not true as a quote from the Barr summary shows. It includes the wording of actual Mueller report (within single quotation marks, below): “In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that ‘the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference’,”

        Below is reproduced in full the “not exonerated” section from the Barr summary of the Mueller report. It says that while Mueller did not exonerate HH of obstruction charges, both Barr and Rosenstein (D-Deputy AG) concluded that HH must be exonerated from said obstruction charges PRECISELY because Mueller found NO evidence for underlying crimes of collusion, to which service of justice, therefore, could not and need not be sought … much less obstructed. The link is included.

        From the Barr summary: “Obstruction of Justice. The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President — most of which have been the subject of public reporting — that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards regarding prosecution and conviction but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel’s report states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

        The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.

        (Footnote 2: See A Sitting President’s Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution, 24 Op. O.L.C, 222 (2000).)

        In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.”

        “Barr Summary”

      • @falco – I offer the same agreement to everyone on the internet. “I’ll play nice if you’ll play nice.”

        All our conversations on rallblog are recorded for eternity, preserved exactly as they were originally written. I suspect that if you go look, you’ll find that I was not the one to initiate hostilities.

        I offer the same agreement in meatspace. I don’t go around poking people in the nose. But if someone pokes me in the nose? I absolutely will poke them back, repeatedly, kick below the belt, beat them up, knock them down, and do the funky chicken on their navel.

        But I’d actually prefer to join forces and go fight the real enemy.

      • @falco – I’m not going to try to respond to an entire novel. Could you condense it down to one or two succinct points? Happy to discuss.

        – CH

      • To CrazyH:

        Re: “@falco – I’m not going to try to respond to an entire novel. Could you condense it down to one or two succinct points? Happy to discuss.”

        In a word, “no.”

        The argument and supporting information has been spelled out for you and primary reference given.

        Remain proudly, aggressively and arrogantly ignorant as you please.

      • Ok, goldfish, here we go.

        “the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

        That’s a direct quote. In fact, Barr repeated the bulk of it three times. THREE. It’s almost like he’s following the advertising mantra, “Repeat, Repeat, Repeat” – but I digress.

        First up: “Did not find.” He didn’t say “found innocent” – he does speak of evidence, but not in direct relation to this matter. Given the obvious spin, it is significant that the *didn’t* say “found no evidence whatsoever.” ‘cuz I am 98.6% certain he would have done so if that were the case.

        Next up: “conspired or coordinated”

        Consider this:
        “Did your client steal the car?”
        “Your honor, I examined the evidence and concluded it is insufficient to support a charge of Grand Theft Auto and speeding”

        See what I did there? That’s exactly what Barr did. Barr is a lawyer; “collusion,” “conspiracy,” and “coordination” are all well-defined legal terms. It’s not hair-splitting. Just like there’s big difference between “murder” and “manslaughter” there’s a big difference between these three crimes.

        Example: A gas station raises its price by a nickle. The next day, the only other station in town raises its price a nickel. The next day the first station raises its price and the second matches it.

        Assuming their costs haven’t increased, this is called “price fixing” and it’s illegal. Note that it can work even if the two owners never talk to each other. They don’t need to: each can see what the other is doing, and each can make an illicit profit by playing along. The legal term for this is “collusion”

        If they meet every morning to discuss what the day’s price will be, this is “cooperation.” If they planned it out together beforehand, it’s called “conspiracy.”

        We have yet to see Mueller’s opinion on collusion.

        Next: “With the Russian Government.” Well of *course* nobody met with anyone having an official title. Putin is a well-seasoned international politician who cut his teeth in the KGB. He knows better than to leave any direct evidence lying around. Note that the Trump Tower meeting didn’t happen in the Kremlin, and it didn’t happen with Putin’s son. Trump, on the other hand is a fucking idiot for letting it go down like that. (even if he’s innocent, it’s a unbelievably stupid thing to do)

        What do we know? We know that there were “multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

        We know that DJTJR offered to peddle the president’s influence. Even if Jr thought he was dealing with a Russian Oligarch rather than the Kremlin itself, it is still a huge freaking federal crime. If Trump, Sr, was in on it, then it absolutely is an impeachable offense. And if you don’t think Sr was in on it, I’ve got some nice ocean-front property available in Arizona…

        So, have you made any progress whatsoever finding evidence that it’s all a hoax perpetrated by the DNC?

  2. The subheading to the lead article in the Nation this week (hardly a pro-Trump outlet, but not quite a radical journal like, e g, Counterpunch), entitled What We Should Learn From the Mueller Report reads as follows :

    Mueller debunked claims of conspiracy with Russia, but the indictments and convictions resulting from his investigation should spur both Democrats and the media to focus on the full scope of Trump’s misrule.

    One would think it hardly possible to disagree with this view, which one hopes will put a bit of a damper on the resurgent McCarthyism so prevalent among the DNC crowd, but some – including one particularly foul-mouthed troll that frequently posts to this forum – manage to do so vociferously (95 % – corrected to 75 %), etc, etc,. Others, more concerned with doing something about the parlous situation in which political life in the United States (and therewith the world) finds itself, than with pursuing their own follies, will perhaps take the leader’s closing words ad notam :

    What it [i e, the Rosenstein/Mueller investigation] should do is inspire us to get more serious, more engaged, and more focused on the genuine evidence of presidential wrongdoing that is already at hand—and to offer progressive ideas that will define the 2020 campaign and take back the White House.

    Henri

  3. To CrazyH:

    Your first misconception is that the DNC has anything to do with “Left Wing.”

    Having its collective political nose shoved waa…aay up the ass of the GOP, the DNC is well within a small-pebble’s-throw from whomever one uses to represent the current day Attila the Hun.

    You can break your proposed infinite loop by noting that the DNC are idiots because they chose the second-ever most-hated presidential nominee to run against (polling) history’s most-hated candidate.

    They did so ACTIVELY since, in the process, they had to reject the most-popular ever US presidential candidate.

    This is the definition of idiocy … ALL the rest is idiocy fall-out.

    • PS: “DNC,” is used, above, to signify both the entire Democratic National Committee and all members of the House and the Senate Democratic party caucuses – who, of course, constitute the majority of the supremely, super STUPID delegates (see “presidential nominee,” above) of the Democratic National Committee.

    • Hey, falco – I wholeheartedly agree that the DNC is neither smart nor ‘left.’ The ‘Vast Left Wing Conspiracy” moniker is a riff on the old “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” – it could just as easily be called the “Vast DNC Conspiracy” but it doesn’t have the same ring to it.

      But that’s not the point, would you accept the argument “Trump is guilty because he is an idiot”? I wouldn’t.

      I think people have missed the wordplay here. Ted’s original question is actually a complex question, AKA a trick question no different than “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

      A complex question can always be broken into two questions: “Do you beat your wife?” and “have you stopped beating your wife?” Note that the second question is only relevant if the first answer is “yes”

      Ted’s question can be broken into “Is there a Vast DNC Conspiracy?” and “why did they pursue it if there were low hanging fruit available?” Again, the second question is only relevant if the first answer is “yes”

      I turned it on its head – as an argument against the VDNCC. Yes, they would be quite stupid to pursue it – assuming it *is* a lie. OTOH, if it is true, then it is their sworn duty as officers of the government to pursue it.

      Still waiting for any evidence whatsoever that it is a lie, especially in light of the fact that Mueller just blew 95% of the VDNCC out of the water.

  4. Corruption, the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Why would Democrats kill the goose that lays the golden eggs just to spite Trump?

    What would be the point of winning the office without its spoils, knowing that their turn to kiss the ass of the goose is bound to come again?

  5. The Trump-Russia conspiracy?
    Funny. How does Trump get away with all the shit he does? Like him or not, Trump only gets caught doing things that are in bad taste. Selling tough steaks and lousy vodka, being a D-lister, talking locker-room talk in a secretly recorded conversation. I bet there are more photos of Joe Biden creeping out women by touching them inappropriately than there are of Trump doing so.
    The secret of Trump? It’s the same gimmick Hillary (I Heart Henry Kissinger) and Bill Clinton used for 30 years. It’s the same gimmick the LATimes used on Ted. The intermediates do all the dirty work, and everyone up and down the line knows exactly what’s expected of them … if they want to keep their jobs.
    The Clintons want to get power and money funneled into the Clinton Foundation in a quid-pro-quo arrangement where everyone pays a shakedown fee? OF COURSE no one shows up with an envelope of $20s tucked under a homemade pie in a box and hands it to Bill. That money goes to “help” the Clintons do their “good deeds” and the donors get a tax deduction for it. All aboveboard. Bill, Hill, and Chell all draw their salaries from the foundation, travel around the world, staying at the best hotels (on the foundation’s dime), and when someone who made a donation to the foundation gets a key piece of legislation passed JUST BY COINKYDINK, why that’s just a remarkable set of events, nothing crooked at all.
    I leave it as an exercise to the student to try to figure out how the LATimes’ entire course of action is predictable from the moment the cops sent them the unintelligible tape recording.

  6. Ted, the στρατηγός at the right is correct ; that’s obviously the way to go. Corruption is, as we all know, endemic in Washington – indeed the fundament for the activities that take place there, so one is hardly going to energise the base by pointing out that Mr Trump is demonstrably corrupt – or a tax dodger, money launderer, psycopath, etc, etc, ad nauseam. What’s left ? The tried and trusted device of the foreign plot and threat to something called «democracy», which worked so well for Tail Gunner Joe and many before and after him. The important thing is to learn from other’s mistakes ; the DNC apostles will certainly, unlike Joseph Raymond, avoid attacking the patriotism of leading members of the Armed Services (and certainly won’t discuss the utility of those 800+ foreign military bases or, to take another example, the the million million plus USD to be devoted to «upgrading» the nation’s (?) nuclear weapons. Thus having covered their arses, all systems are go….

    Henri

  7. Why Russiagate became an obssion, the Dems needed to explain the Great Hillary’s lost to DT and none of DT’s low hanging fruit could cover up her lost but in Russia they found their big bad boggieman that explained the loss. The Dem party couldn’t look hard at their policies that contributed to the loss.
    .
    Many people knew a lot of the items on the DT list and still voted to shake things up instead going with
    Hillary. The candidate that didn’t have a plan for jobs in the rust belt, hardly even visited
    there. She didn’t denounce NAFTA…or her cosy relasion ship to Wall Street….ect. Then there is what happened to Sanders…..

    • Okay, so you’re still clinging to the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy Theory, in spite of the fact that 95% of it just got blown out of the water.

      Do you have any evidence to support this theory, especially in light of the fact that Mueller has evidence that collusion really did happen.

      • I think it was bone head maneuver to blame Russia to cover Hillary’s loss but pointing at Russia was better for many Democrats than looking in mirror and seeing that Democratic party was out of touch.

      • > I think it was bone head maneuver to blame Russia to cover Hillary’s loss

        Of course it is – assuming it’s a lie the DNC pulled out of their ass. If, on the other hand, it happens to be true, then it is their sworn duty to bring the perps to justice.

        I repeat, “Do you have any evidence to show that Vast Left Wing Conspiracy Theory is, in fact, true? (especially in light of the fact that Mueller has evidence that collusion really did happen.)”

      • CrazyH,
        Although I never bought into PizzaGate, I think that were Hillary “Henry Kissinger Makes Me Weak in the Knees” Clinton and Bill Clinton investigated, in a real and rigorous fashion, the ensuing disclosure of provable corruption and misdeeds would actually put the Borgias to shame.
        This will never happen of course because the Clintons, in their quest to become their own empire, have become too useful to both sides (both sides working for the same corporate ownership) for that to be a viable option.

      • @Alex – that’s altogether possible. I’d start with the suspicious donations to the Clinton Foundation.

  8. But lots of Democrats are corrupt, and I don’t doubt that some of them have some ties with organised crime. Would be awkward to attack someone for that, and might have some added undesireable consequences. And someone being an idiotic psychopath is more difficult to prove beyond all reasonable doubt than you seem to think. So perhaps this really was the best they had. Also, of course, it’s useful for controlling Trump’s foreign policy. I don’t think the Democrats really thought they could impeach him, or even really wanted to do that (and, what, put Pence in charge? Yeah, that’s real great for them). They wanted to hamstring him before the next election.

    • @Daniil – you continue to show a better grasp of US politics than the vast majority of Americans. Ted usually does, too, it’s just this one subject where he’s really gone off the deep end.

  9. That’s right, Ted. In fact that’s the rightest you’ve ever been on the subject. Why would the DNC go to such ridiculous lengths as you claim when there is better low hanging fruit available? (We can add that to the list of questions deniers will never answer.)

    To quote you, Only an idiot would believe in a vast Machiavellian conspiracy. I’d say that one comprising every cybersecurity agency, every spy agency, every tech giant, Republicans & Democrats both, and including DJT junior himself, all supporting the same hoax just because they’re sad Hillary lost would qualify in spades as something only an idiot could believe – yet here you are espousing exactly that even after Barr’s report confirmed 75% of DastardlyRussiansGate.

    i.e. The Russians really, truly, did hack the DNC and mount a cyber-psyops campaign to benefit Donald Trump. His report doesn’t even mention Hillary, let alone lay any blame at her feet.

    I’m not even going to comment on the intelligence level of someone who thinks a report that refutes his theory somehow validates it. Don’t you remember telling us over & over that the DOJ was lying? Now, all of a sudden it brings the Holy Writ down off the mountain? Doesn’t it hurt your neck when you do such an abrupt about-face?

    • hmmm, I need to walk that last post back a bit. I owe a sincere apology to Machiavelli. He would never have approved of such a convoluted, nonsensical and most of all *failure prone* conspiracy as Ted proposes.

      No, no, he would have gone with the ‘small number of like minded individuals with clear-cut goals, motives, means, and opportunity.’ conspiracy. So in that, Ted *is* 100% correct.

      Ted’s conspiracy theory would be better described as “RubeGoldbergian”, “WileECoyotein”, or perhaps even “LewisCarrollian” … but Machiavellian?

      Certainly not!

    • Why? Ted answered your question: because they are effing idiots.

      Even if Russia did collude, it’s a lot harder to prove than the other obvious crimes Ted highlighted. The special prosecutor should have been tasked with investigating mafia ties, tax evasion, and bribes. If that were the charter, well stormy Daniels might have mattered.

      Actually I’m not sure they didn’t do it because they are idiots. I think they might not want to investigate corruption because investigating bribe taking might be a rabbit hole they’d rather not go down. Looking in the mirror and all

      • > because they are effing idiots.

        Okaayyy …

        They started the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy because they are idiots, and the proof that they are idiots is that they started the VLWC.

        In the programming world, we call that ‘infinite recursion’ How do you propose we break out of that loop?

      • @Andy, just for the record, I *DO* believe that the DNC is composed of idiots. I just do not believe it is sufficient evidence to prove the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy Theory.

      • @Daniil – HA! You got me. I fully admit that I change that list almost as often as the deniers change theirs. As soon as they clear it up, I’ll post a definitive list.

        I’ve been dying to ask: what’s your and/or the most Russians’ opinion of the whole hacking/collusion thing?

        (and my apologies in andvace should your reply cause the deniers to descent upon you like a pack of wolves.) (Although, you’ve already shown you can hold your own.)

Leave a Reply