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The Michael Sussman Trial: Special Counsel Durham's Probe Into The Origins of Russia Collusion Hoax.


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8 hours ago, Westside said:

I seriously hope you stay. I respect your opinions and find you very willing to actually engage in a conversation without mudslinging. 
 
I appreciate that. There are some good posters down here who would be willing to converse like adults. Then there are those who choose not to. I’m sure you will figure it out. But please stay and help bring some civility down here.

 

You expect civility in the politics section?

 

Are you out of your mind.?😁

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Posted (edited)

In keeping on topic let's go back and look at Durham's first guilty plea. Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI attorney who altered evidence and lied to  FISA court in order to keep spying on Carter Page and by extension the Trump orbit.

 

Not so insignificant when you have a lawyer at our most powerful law enforcement agency fabricating evidence in order to spy on private citizens. But thats just me.

 

Let's go back and look at how this was covered in two media outlets.

 

The headline here states the facts.

 

And this one kind of leaves out that he lied to a friggin FISA court. Burying the lede indeed.

 

Additionally, what he altered was an email from the CIA confirming that Carter Page WAS a CIA informant to instead read that Carter Page WAS NOT a CIA informant so that they could lie to the FISA court to keep spying on him. 

 

Finally, if you read the Axios article this was their "bottom line"

 

Quote

The bottom line: The Justice Department’s independent watchdog last year found "serious performance failures" by some FBI officials, but concluded that the investigation into Trump's campaign was not tainted by political bias.

 

 

No evidence of political bias was found in the IG report. This is a laughable conclusion that was the mantra sung by nearly the entire media.   In the 17 "serious performance failures"  that the IG found, that weren't political mind you, its amazing that every single one of them went against Trump and instead were "errors"  that allowed  the investigation to move forward. If these were simply process errors that had no political motivation, shouldn't at least one or two gone the other way?

 

I recommend everyone read the IG report. At minimum the executive summary.

 

https://oig.justice.gov/reports/review-four-fisa-applications-and-other-aspects-fbis-crossfire-hurricane-investigation

Edited by DRsGhost
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Going back and reading the IG report here is what it concluded about political bias:

 

Quote

We did not find documentary or 
testimonial evidence that political bias or improper 
motivation influenced the decisions to open the four 
individual investigations.

 

Documentary or testimonial evidence. In other words, FBI agents, most of them lawyers,  weren't dumb enough to write in official documents or state in official forums that they had bias or animus towards Trump. Shocker.

 

Yet we had two key agents involved in crossfire hurricane exchanging these texts:

 

“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page texted Strzok.

“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.

 

No evidence of political bias or motivation there at all. ^_^

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17 hours ago, ChiGoose said:

Well... this is starting to get out of hand...

 

This thread was originally started as a discussion about the Sussman trial and in two pages it has devolved into sh!tposting, mudslinging, and talk about being triggered and Putin for some reason.

 

I think there are valid disagreements to be had, but since I've really tried to get involved on this board over the last week or so, it seems that people are more interested in yelling at each other and making broad sweeping claims rather than actually engaging on any particular topic. It really feels like everybody tries to sort every post into either Left or Right and then brings all of their assumptions and accusations to bear based on that assessment regardless of the actual discussion at hand.

 

I will give credit to DrsGhost, Tiberius, Doc, Westside, and Buffalo Timmy for trying to stay on topic, but I feel like this thread is on the cusp of falling into the same scrapheap of garbage threads littering this part of the forum.

 

Anyhoo, I'd suggest reading the Mueller Report. It's dense but heavy on facts and citations. The media has done an absolutely terrible job covering what is in it, but it is very clear from the record that the Trump campaign had many connections to Russians and even collaborated at some points. That does not mean that Trump is a Russian toadie or in Putin's pocket. Both groups were interested in a Trump victory (or at least damaging Clinton should she succeed), but it does not appear they engaged in an agreement to corporate on that goal. At the time of the 2016 election, I still considered myself a Republican, but Trump and the party's support for him were too much for me to endorse and I ended up leaving. It's ok to change course sometimes.

 

I still maintain that the Sussman trial is being made out to be much more than it is, and that it is not going to end in some big unraveling of a Clinton conspiracy. That being said, if Sussman is convicted and then Durham starts securing convictions up the chain, I reserve the right to change my mind.

 

If anyone wants to actually seriously discuss the actual facts of the Sussman case (or any other interesting topic) and where they may lead, I'm down for it. But if this is going to just devolve into the rest of the garbage I see on the PPP part of the message board, I suppose I can log off for a couple years and see if things get better.

 

It happens with every thread.  

Hell, most threads are simply started just for one "side" to try to ***** on the other "side".

 

As for the Sussman case, the bigger picture, to many people, is that it looks like there was a pattern during the 2016 campaign when it came to Trump and Russia.  If there wasn't anything true or meaty to throw at Trump, they went to the press with B.S., and also went to the FBI with the same B.S. so that the press could report that the B.S. allegations were being investigated. 

 

Same thing happened with Carter Page (resulting in four bogus FISA warrants), and maybe with Papadopolous (set up by Misfud with false information, perhaps).  Manafort was busted for things that weren't actually related to the Trump campaign even though it was known that he shared polling info, and his own business partner rolled over on him. 

 

It looks a lot like people were investigating Trump and whoever was involved with Trump to try to find dirt.  They weren't trying to investigate something that occurred -- they were trying to find something that occurred.  It is an important distinction.  To date, nobody actually knows whether the Russians hacked and stole any information.  The cases against the Russian trolls which came out of Mueller's investigation went nowhere.  No institution--but only a private company ever investigated the Dem Party servers to see whether they were hacked or not.  Maybe there was a Russian hack, but wouldn't people who allege that a hack occurred want to come out with the proof of it?  I mean, there was a lot of time, sweat and allegations spread over more than 4 years for that to be ignored.

 

I think Sussman will probably get acquitted.  There's enough doubt the defense can come up with to present to the jury, and from reports, it looks like the prosecution witnesses are acting sort of squirrely.  That being said, I don't think Durham is done, and I think there's another trial coming up against the guy who fed false info to Steele for his infamous dossier.

 

 

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On 5/18/2022 at 11:11 AM, ChiGoose said:

 

Here's an article from two years ago outlining who was indicted and who plead guilty or was convicted: https://www.axios.com/2019/11/15/trump-associates-convicted-mueller-investigations

 

Collusion is not a legal term and it's a big reason why the media coverage on this was so bad. Mueller specifically noted in the report on page 2:

 

The report then goes on to document a myriad of interactions between individuals in the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, including sharing internal polling data with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. However, because conspiracy requires an agreement between parties, Mueller was not able to state affirmatively that there was a conspiracy. Coordinating and working with Russian agents towards a shared goal is not enough if you do not have an actual agreement between the parties.

 

That being said, the report also detailed numerous instances that meet or may meet the standards of obstruction of justice. In setting the stage for that part of the report (Volume II), Mueller states that he was not making a prosecutorial judgement because the sitting president could not be indicted under guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Stating that the president committed a crime without indicting the president would not allow him a chance to clear his name through a trial. Therefore, Mueller would not make a decision on indictment.

 

However, he did note the following:

 

Volume II then details out 10 instances where the president may have committed obstruction of justice, including several instances in which all prongs of obstruction are strongly supported by the evidence. 

 

This is a helpful chart for understanding the obstruction of justice evidence in the report: https://www.lawfareblog.com/obstruction-justice-mueller-report-heat-map

 

In terms of impeachment? That's a political process. It was highly unlikely, no matter the facts, that any president would be removed on impeachment in our currently polarized time if it required a significant number of votes from their own party. Also, one must never underestimate the ability of the Democratic Party to fumble every opportunity it is handed.

 

Thanks for sharing this information.  It's always interesting to read the thoughts of people on the other side of the issue.  After reading the lawfareblog, I walk away thinking exactly what I thought at the conclusion of the Mueller investigation:  

 

The government--in this case represented by Mueller and other political animals--had the time, money and resources to crush anyone or anything in it's path.  Most importantly, the notion of Trump and Russia conspiring to undermine democracy was debunked completely.  It didn't happen, it was a manufactured crisis designed to appeal to supporters of Clinton and those who despised Trump regardless of party affiliation.   In laymen's terms, it was an elaborate ruse. 

 

That said, it seems clear the collusion issue really just set the stage for the endgame--that being the pursuit of obstruction charges.  We can see from the variety of opinions on the subject that obstruction is one of those crimes that often depends on perception.  The lawfareblogger tips her hat to that, taking great care to suggest her view was contrary to the views of others.   As a matter of common sense, given that Russia was manufactured, the best and perhaps only play Trump had was to fight for his political life, and fight he did.   We saw the old adage repeated here many times by those supporting the Red Scare:  "If there's nothing to hide, why not just cooperate?".  Of course, most thinking people know that's usually the most disastrous and foolish course of action to take.  

 

As far as I'm concerned, the last word on that absurd political theater came from AG Barr in his four page summation of the Mueller report.  I started to link some key paragraphs, but the reality is it's an easy read.  No collusion per Mueller.  No decision on obstruction made by Mueller.  No intent to obstruct, especially in light of the fact that Mueller concluded there was no collusion to begin with.   

 

The reality is pretty simple--they came for him, they failed, and he walked. 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/03/24/us/politics/barr-letter-mueller-report.html

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, leh-nerd skin-erd said:

Most importantly, the notion of Trump and Russia conspiring to undermine democracy was debunked completely.  It didn't happen, it was a manufactured crisis designed to appeal to supporters of Clinton and those who despised Trump regardless of party affiliation.   In laymen's terms, it was an elaborate ruse. 

 

This notion is really hard to square with the pages and pages of evidence of the Trump campaign working with individuals working on behalf of the Russian government in the Mueller report.

 

I would like to think that if we had the same amount of evidence of the Clinton campaign working with the Chinese to help her get elected, we would be outraged as well.

 

In any event, it is clear from reading the actual report that Mueller did not specifically accuse Trump of committing crimes solely because he felt he could not indict a sitting president (giving him the opportunity to respond and clear his name via trial) and not because there was no evidence of crimes.

 

Given that Sussman going to the FBI was not the predicate to launch the Mueller investigation, and that Mueller actually found ample evidence of connections between the Trump campaign and Russians, I have a hard time believing that this Sussman trial is the loose string that Durham will pull to unearth some vast conspiracy. Like I've said before, if Durham gets a guilty verdict here and then starts getting guilty verdicts up the chain of the Clinton campaign, I'll change my mind. But I'd wager the chances of that are fairly slim. Even if Sussman is found guilty (which he may be), I'd expect that'll be the high water mark of Durham's investigation or at least close to it.

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3 minutes ago, ChiGoose said:

 

This notion is really hard to square with the pages and pages of evidence of the Trump campaign working with individuals working on behalf of the Russian government in the Mueller report.

 

I would like to think that if we had the same amount of evidence of the Clinton campaign working with the Chinese to help her get elected, we would be outraged as well.

 

In any event, it is clear from reading the actual report that Mueller did not specifically accuse Trump of committing crimes solely because he felt he could not indict a sitting president (giving him the opportunity to respond and clear his name via trial) and not because there was no evidence of crimes.

 

Given that Sussman going to the FBI was not the predicate to launch the Mueller investigation, and that Mueller actually found ample evidence of connections between the Trump campaign and Russians, I have a hard time believing that this Sussman trial is the loose string that Durham will pull to unearth some vast conspiracy. Like I've said before, if Durham gets a guilty verdict here and then starts getting guilty verdicts up the chain of the Clinton campaign, I'll change my mind. But I'd wager the chances of that are fairly slim. Even if Sussman is found guilty (which he may be), I'd expect that'll be the high water mark of Durham's investigation or at least close to it.

Yet, given all the said "evidence" Mueller accumulated on collusion with a foreign government the entire investigation went nowhere after the release of the report.  What happened?   

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1 minute ago, All_Pro_Bills said:

Yet, given all the said "evidence" Mueller accumulated on collusion with a foreign government the entire investigation went nowhere after the release of the report.  What happened?   

 

Politics.

 

Mueller felt he could not indict a sitting president so he essentially treated the report as a roadmap for impeachment. However, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. You could have unassailable evidence that the President committed crimes but it basically comes down to how many Senators are from the opposition party, not the actual truth of the matter at hand. We saw this with Clinton's impeachment too. In fact, until Trump's second impeachment, no Senator had ever voted to remove the President of their own party.

 

Now, the DoJ could still indict Trump but that raises many of the same political concerns I've outlined previously. Even if the evidence is ironclad, the DoJ would be immediately called out as a political actor who is only going after Trump because of politics. Given the hits to the reputation of the DoJ over the last several years, an institutionalist like Garland may be reluctant to pursue that path.

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5 minutes ago, ChiGoose said:

Politics.

 

Mueller felt he could not indict a sitting president so he essentially treated the report as a roadmap for impeachment. However, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. You could have unassailable evidence that the President committed crimes but it basically comes down to how many Senators are from the opposition party, not the actual truth of the matter at hand. We saw this with Clinton's impeachment too. In fact, until Trump's second impeachment, no Senator had ever voted to remove the President of their own party.

 

Now, the DoJ could still indict Trump but that raises many of the same political concerns I've outlined previously. Even if the evidence is ironclad, the DoJ would be immediately called out as a political actor who is only going after Trump because of politics. Given the hits to the reputation of the DoJ over the last several years, an institutionalist like Garland may be reluctant to pursue that path.

 

If he committed treason, he should hang for it, regardless of party.  The only logical conclusion to be drawn is that they have nothing real against him.

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2 minutes ago, Doc said:

 

If he committed treason, he should hang for it, regardless of party.  The only logical conclusion to be drawn is that they have nothing real against him.

 

There is evidence for obstruction of justice in the Mueller report, though, not treason.

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5 minutes ago, Doc said:

 

If he committed treason, he should hang for it, regardless of party.  The only logical conclusion to be drawn is that they have nothing real against him.

 

Where did treason come from? That's never been part of the discussion.

 

And as to the evidence, I would really suggest checking out the actual Mueller report. It has a significant amount of evidence.

 

Concluding that because someone was not charged with a crime means that they did not commit a crime would be assuming a perfectly operating legal system that does not exist in this country or any country. My wife has made me watch enough Dateline to know that sometimes people get away with crimes for years and years before they are eventually charged (if they ever are).

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33 minutes ago, ChiGoose said:

Where did treason come from? That's never been part of the discussion.

 

And as to the evidence, I would really suggest checking out the actual Mueller report. It has a significant amount of evidence.

 

Concluding that because someone was not charged with a crime means that they did not commit a crime would be assuming a perfectly operating legal system that does not exist in this country or any country. My wife has made me watch enough Dateline to know that sometimes people get away with crimes for years and years before they are eventually charged (if they ever are).

 

Colluding with a foreign country is treason.  Especially since many Dems (still) think Trump gave Putin something(s) in return for "helping him win."

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https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/23/7-glaring-omissions-mueller-report-kill-credibility/

 

Quote

Excluding Relevant Information About Numerous Actors
It is simply stunning the level of exculpatory evidence or at least needed context the Mueller report omits. While Steele and his dossier merit their own section, here are several other significant examples:


•    Steele’s benefactor and Fusion GPS colleague, its founder Glenn Simpson, are never mentioned by name.

•    Relatedly, critical information about Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya is missing. In relevant passages about Veselnitskaya and the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower “bombshell” turned dud meeting she led, the Mueller special counsel fails to mention that Veselnitskaya (i) worked with Fusion GPS on behalf of Russian clients, and (ii) met with Simpson the morning of the Trump Tower meeting, as well as the night before and after it. Was the Trump Tower meeting, as journalist Lee Smith has hypothesized, a setup? The Mueller report omits the critical details that would underpin such a theory. Also unclear, and undisclosed, is why the Justice Department granted Veselnitskaya special entry to the United States multiple times in 2015 and 2016.
 
•    In discussing Page’s background, the Mueller report notes his contacts with Russian agents, who supposedly tried to recruit him as an asset, beginning in 2013. The report notes that those agents were charged by U.S. authorities in 2015. What the Mueller report omits is that Page effectively served as an FBI asset in helping the bureau make the case against at least one of the agents. Further, one of the agents charged described Page in a secret recording as an “idiot.” Are not these facts relevant when Page was put under FISA surveillance and treated as a traitor?
  
•    The Mueller report describes Felix Sater as a “New York-based real estate advisor” who worked with and lobbied disgraced former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen extensively in an effort to execute the Trump Tower Moscow project, touting its political benefits and the ability to garner support from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Not mentioned is Sater’s colorful background: The Soviet Union-born Sater spun a stock swindling conviction into a lengthy career as a major CIA, DIA, and FBI asset, participating in numerous critical operations. Was Sater planted in the Trump organization? While he disputes it, should not the special counsel have included this full background, and sought to remove all doubt?
 
•    The Mueller report ties former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to Russia by way of his prior work for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Not mentioned: Deripaska had served as an asset to Mueller’s FBI dating back to 2009; he was sought out by senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr and FBI in 2015 to help on organized crime investigations; FBI agents reportedly floated the theory of Trump-Russia collusion to Deripaska two months before the 2016 election, which Deripaska dismissed out of hand. None of this was mentioned in the Mueller report. Why?
 
•    The Mueller report references Roger Stone and Trump campaign advisor Michael Caputo’s contacts with a Russian citizen named Henry Oknyansky. Oknyansky and an associate supposedly came to Stone by way of Caputo seeking to sell “derogatory information” on Hillary Clinton. Stone rebuffed them. Left unstated: Oknyansky, according to federal court filings and 14 visa waivers, has been an FBI informant for nearly two decades. Did he approach the Trump campaign in such a capacity?
 
•    Last but not least, intelligence informant on the Trump campaign Stefan Halper, who made contact with both Papadopoulos and Page, is never mentioned in the Mueller report.

 

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58 minutes ago, ChiGoose said:

 

Politics.

 

Mueller felt he could not indict a sitting president so he essentially treated the report as a roadmap for impeachment. However, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. You could have unassailable evidence that the President committed crimes but it basically comes down to how many Senators are from the opposition party, not the actual truth of the matter at hand. We saw this with Clinton's impeachment too. In fact, until Trump's second impeachment, no Senator had ever voted to remove the President of their own party.

 

Now, the DoJ could still indict Trump but that raises many of the same political concerns I've outlined previously. Even if the evidence is ironclad, the DoJ would be immediately called out as a political actor who is only going after Trump because of politics. Given the hits to the reputation of the DoJ over the last several years, an institutionalist like Garland may be reluctant to pursue that path.

I disagree, specifically because if there was indeed provable collusion with a foreign government in violation of campaign or criminal codes and law, there should have been a multitude of other campaign and administration officials besides the President that could have been indicted and brought to trial through the judicial process and not through impeachment.  But legal action through the Federal Courts was not taken.  And my expectation is the results of the Durham investigation, where I expect multiple indictments of familiar names, will provide clear evidence that all things Russia point to the fabricated contents of the Steele dossier and the Clinton campaign.  

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