The Russia House: Pope or Kafka?

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 July 16, 2017|
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Not the Pope, Francis the anti-American environmentalist Jesuit. No, I mean Alex, the 18th-century English poet.

Here’s my question: Is the whole Russia-meddled-in-U.S.-election/Donald-Trump-colluded-with-Putin-to-snatch-the-presidency-from-its-rightful-owner,-H.-Clinton narrative an example of what Pope talked about at the beginning of The Rape of the Lock?

What dire Offence from am’rous Causes springs,
What mighty Quarrels rise from trivial Things . . . 

Or is Kafka’s book The Trial a better entrée into the fevered and surreal swamp that has Democratic, and not a few Republican, heads exploding with conspiratorial visions?

Poor Josef K.: there was no crime, there wasn’t ever even a trial, only a suffocating atmosphere of menace populated by malevolent state actors: clean, well-dressed chaps who show up at your front door and take you away—There! Was that Max Boot and Gabe Schoenfeld? Or maybe Ralph Peters and Richard Blumenthal and Robert Mueller? In this light it’s so hard to see. But they’ve latched on to the fellow—Josef., Don Jr., whatever—and you know how it ends: “the hands of one of the gentleman were laid on K.’s throat, while the other pushed the knife deep into his heart and twisted it there, twice.”

I don’t think it’s going to end like that. I think the whole RussiaRussiaRussia “investigation” will end as did the world in T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men,” not with a bang, but a whimper. It is like Gertrude Stein’s famous judgment of Oakland, California: there is no there there. All there is is foaming-at-the-mouth hysteria.

Foam: The other day, the former news outlet CNN devoted 93 percent of its morning show to RussiaRussiaRussia.

But what’s the news? Are you ready? Here’s the stop-the-presses revelation that has the credulous classes in a swivet: In June 2016, Donald Trump Jr., having been pinged by Rob Goldstone, a British-born “entertainment publicist” (really: look him up), met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who claimed to have incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

Oh my God, can you believe it? And just like Hillary Clinton—oh, wait, I mean unlike Hillary Clinton—Don Jr. released the relevant emails leading up to this awful meeting in Trump Tower. On June 3, Don Jr. wrote back to Goldstone saying “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

My, how the anti-Trump press pounced on that. There’s the smoking gun, all right: “I love it”! Can you believe it? According to Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), former vice-presidential aspirant, “To meet with an adversary to try to get information to hijack democracy: the investigation is now more than just an obstruction of justice investigation; it’s more than just perjury; it’s a treason investigation.”

Treason, mon ami! You know, like what Benedict Arnold or the Rosenbergs did.

Don Jr. meets with a Russian lawyer—who, curiously, got to the United States courtesy a special pass from the Obama administration—and that’s treason? Yes! According to Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) “these emails are a textbook example and evidence criminal intent that is potentially a violation of the espionage act, yes, treason.” Poor Blumie. But then, he is clearly delusional. Remember, he is so far gone that he thinks he served in Vietnam, but as even the New York Times acknowledges, he didn’t.

The other day, my friend Andy McCarthy, casting his eye over the Russia mess, wrote a sober piece explaining the ins-and-outs of impeachment. He pointed out, inter alia, that impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one. That is, impeachment is first of all a safeguard against an individual’s violation of a public trust: incompetence, maladministration, “the misconduct of public men,” as Hamilton put it: “the abuse or violation of some public trust.” By that standard, I’d say that both Tim Kaine and Richard Blumenthal might well have committed impeachable offenses, groundlessly accusing someone of treason in their hysterical efforts to hobble the Trump presidency and repeal the 2016 election.

But Donald Trump? Or Don Jr.? He, together with Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer and a Russian-American lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin. He took the meeting because a seedy PR guy said they had compromising information about Hillary Clinton. As it turns out, they didn’t. Too bad, of course, but it didn’t really matter since Hillary Clinton was a walking compendium of opposition research against herself. The private email server, the 30,000 erased emails, the shadowy money-laundering scheme known as the Clinton Foundation . . . really, it is quite a tale.

Let me summarize my thinking about this whole preposterous narrative.

1) Vladimir Putin is a bad guy. He has journalists who criticize him murdered and does other nasty things. He also regards the United States as a rival if not an enemy and he does what he can to thwart our interests.

2) Donald Trump knows this.

3) Trump also knows that, in this imperfect world, one has to deal with people and countries that are not our friends, including Putin. It would be better, as Trump said during the campaign, to get along with Putin than not.

4) This means that people like Ralph Peters and Max Boot, who are triggered like Pavlov’s dog by the sound of Putin’s name, have taken leave of their senses. If you don’t believe me, watch how they perform in their conversations with Tucker Carlson. Really, their loved ones should be worried about their sanity.

5) There are people working on the campaigns of all presidential candidates who engage in opposition research, i.e., digging up dirt on their rivals. Unpleasant, but true. Mitt Romney presented a difficult case because he is a supremely decent man, always has been. But that didn’t stop the hyena press from saying he was like Hitler and shouting from the rooftops that he had once teased a kid in high school and had even driven with a dog on the roof of his car.

Donald Trump was easier prey. There was the Billy Bush/“Access Hollywood” incident, of course, and the phantasmagoric “dossier” compiled by an ex-MI6 intelligence officer with “ties to Russia.” Then there were the Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump’s candidacy. “Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country,” Politico reported. “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office.” This is how our politics work. Unsavory. But there it is.

Ergo:

6) Don Jr. did nothing wrong by meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya who, by the way, had no known ties to Putin (though I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that Vlad and she have been sharing a vodka or two in the last few days).

What’s the big picture here? I’d say it was this: Vladimir Putin really would like to do anything he could to thwart the United States. But in this ambition, his allies have been not Donald Trump but institutions like CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, and unwitting individuals like Max Boot and Ralph Peters whose hysterical anti-Putin animus has played right into Putin’s hands.

Ask yourself this: What would make Putin’s day? How about hamstringing the president of the United States, distracting him from his agenda of making America great again by harping endlessly on a fabricated non-story about supposed collusion that never happened? I suspect that Putin begins each morning with a little prayer to people like Boot and Peters, thanking them for doing more than he could ever hope to in weakening and delegitimizing the leader of the free world.

The good news is that it is not working. CNN is impressed by the fake scandal. Peters, Schoenfeld, Boot and their confrères in The Resistance (snicker) are obsessed by it. But who is paying any attention to them? Robert Mueller? Maybe. Throw enough lawyers at anything and a bad smell will inevitably occur. But we’ve had various investigations on the Russians going on for almost a year. And what have they turned up? Nothing.

This whole story is one part partisan animus—Richard Blumenthal, Tim Kaine—mixed with three parts wounded pride—the anti-Trump commentariat—underwritten, I have no doubt, by a chortling Russian disinformation machine that must be loving it, just loving it, that they have been able to get CNN to devote 93 percent of its morning show to a story that is not even a story.

Meanwhile, the real news is in Donald Trump’s judicial appointments, the strong jobs figures his policies are bringing home, the new-found confidence of America’s energy industry, the revitalization of America’s military, Trump’s strong endorsement, in his Warsaw speech, of the values of Western civilization and his promise to safeguard Poland’s access to alternative sources of energy: these are bullet points in a long agenda of renewal. Believe me, Vladimir Putin doesn’t like any of that one bit. I don’t expect professional pols like Blumenthal or Kaine to care about that: all they care about is their own power, not the good of the country.

But smart folks like Max Boot and Ralph Peters? How can they not see that their unfounded hysteria serves, if I may so put, to give aid and comfort to America’s enemies? Aren’t they, just a little, ashamed of themselves?

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About the Author:

Roger Kimball
Roger Kimball is Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion and President and Publisher of Encounter Books. Mr. Kimball lectures widely and has appeared on national radio and television programs as well as the BBC. He is represented by Writers' Representatives, who can provide details about booking him. Mr. Kimball's latest book is The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine's Press, 2012). He is also the author of The Rape of the Masters (Encounter), Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse (Ivan R. Dee), and Art's Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity (Ivan R. Dee). Other titles by Mr. Kimball include The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America (Encounter) and Experiments Against Reality: The Fate of Culture in the Postmodern Age (Ivan R. Dee). Mr. Kimball is also the author ofTenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education (HarperCollins). A new edition of Tenured Radicals, revised and expanded, was published by Ivan R. Dee in 2008. Mr. Kimball is a frequent contributor to many publications here and in England, including The New Criterion, The Times Literary Supplement, Modern Painters, Literary Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Public Interest, Commentary, The Spectator, The New York Times Book Review, The Sunday Telegraph, The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard, National Review, and The National Interest.
  • Peter63

    Very well said. Thank you, Mr Kimball!

    There is method in the madness of the Mainstream Media, the Dems and the Left generally. Its objects are twofold: (1), as you remark, to delegitimize the President and his administration; and (2), yet more perhaps, to explain away to themselves their failure to bamboozle the public at large with their false narratives (about everything) any longer.

    They, and those few members of the Republican establishment who may be slightly awake, see a tide turning.

    As Mark Steyn has pointed out, in the 2016 General Election campaign there was a man who had never been elected to a school board; had no ground game; whose campaign was chaotic; and who spent less money than anyone since Chester Arthur (1880). Furthermore he veered erratically off message. Addressing rapturous crowds of 10,000-30,000 at a time, he would talk about making America great again and then suddenly lunge off into mentioning how Macy’s stock had tanked since it stopped selling Trump ties.

    And it was THIS – to all appearance completely unprofessional unseasoned unpractised – candidate who beat the opponent that had spent her whole career in the higher echelons of politics, whose message was (bland and void if you like but) well-honed (with such things as 12 people composing her tweets for her in committee), had the whole massive well-greased Democratic Party machine running at top speed nationwide for her, had the organised ground-game, and raised and spent $1 billion on her campaign.

    This phenomenon signifies that the public is at or near the final end of its patience with politics-as-usual; i.e. left-wing government from the Democratic Party AND from a Republican Party which only offers Democratic Party rule with minor tweaks.

    For the political Establishment and the Left, the reproof offered by Donald Trump’s election is like a self-besotted emperor learning that one province after another is rebelling against his rule. In his long-matured smug self-conceit he cannot bear to examine himself and what has been wrong with his government. He HAS to find an explanation (however obscurantist, unlikely, silly) for the leaching away of his power. He cannot on other terms cope with the burden of being and the problem of consciousness, any more than a snail can manage without its shell.

    Hence the Russia-collusion-with-Trump fiction and all the other distractions flung up like frantic anti-aircraft flak all the time.

    The flak will die away if and as the Dems lose contest after contest (their rhetoric and behaviour is so evidently bullying and unfair, this is likely) and the Republican change-blockers in Congress – all but six of the GOP members, according to Ann Coulter – are replaced by genuine patriots eagerly enacting the principal planks of Candidate Trump’s 2016 platform.

    Already Kid Rock appears to be running in Michigan in order to support the President. Hurrah!

    • JJS_FLA

      They need us more than we need them.

    • Dan Warren

      I’ve said for a long time that the American People would get fed up with the Leftist FAKE Narrative……and the Democrat party would implode…yet, it took Trump to actually set this sea change into action.

      The Trump supporters and president Trump can further this 2nd American Revolution by actively TAKING OUT the traitorous RINO’s such as McCain, Ryan, McCONNEL…and expanding the the new republican party by bringing in the people that I can see are warming up to president Trump……

      I would change the name of the republican party to jettison that baggage, but retain the rights to the name so the RINOs have to start their own party from scratch.

      We are in the 2nd American Revolution….

      One Picture Equals 1000 Words……

      https:[email protected]/29939961583/in/dateposted-public/

      • Jake G

        You’re really scary. Get help.

    • Very well written, and hopefully, prescient.

      • Dan Warren

        Yeah, I am going to save this post and just may attach it to one of my memes……..great post.

        • Jake G

          Yay…

        • Jake G

          You seem like a special level of clown to me for some reason. Like, you stick out, even among all the sad crazies here. You’re the saddest one aren’t you?

          • Peter63

            Your posts are too cryptic. We need to hear more from you. There is so much of interest you could tell us; for instance, what the view is like on the wrong side of history.

            Think of what we would all give for a live interview with a French aristocrat of the year 1790 who thought the Revolution was a brief hiccup in France’s immemorial order and that it would soon be squashed. It would not be as gripping, philosophically, as talking in person to Diogenes or Lucretius (I mean, the Roman poet), yet it would be substantial, the revelation of a mindset of true historical significance.

            If you would be so kind as to set out for us en règle the latest assumptions of the current and long-successful alliance, now mercifully upstaged, between Big Money (the billionaires, the banks, Wall St, the Chamber of Commerce) and the Political Left – who each have their own, different, goals in trying to turn the USA, and the whole world, into a version of present-day Brazil – it would make fascinating reading and we would be much obliged to you.

          • Jake G

            How can you opine about billionaires and Wall Street with Trump’s cabinet of billionaires and Goldman executives? You’re pure projection at it’s absolute worst.

          • Peter63

            1. I really do share your concern at Goldman Sachs once again making economic policy within the White House, as it did for Obama and previous presidents; but

            2. That is not the whole story of the Trump administration’s make-up;

            3. Time and again Candidate and then President Trump does or says something which gives me a very queasy feeling; and in 8 cases out of 10 it turns out he is either being sensationally lucky OR rather awesomely skilful (in an intuitive gut-instinctual kind of way), for what he has done or said turns out to advance the platform he ran on 2015/16 – which was excellent from start to finish except in the matter of healthcare.

            4. We all need to keep two things separate in our minds. (A) Mr Trump, a very imperfect but courageous dynamic man who does not put up with the utterly disgraceful nonsense (e.g. in the media) which previous administrations habitually have tolerated and genuflected to; and (B) His election to the presidency as symptomatic of a turning of the tide in national opinion.

            It is the same sort of thing with Brexit. All the pundits and powerful public figures mock the Leave campaign and its supporters with the jeer ‘You voted for Brexit without having a plan for exactly what Brexit MEANS, what happens now you’ve won your referendum – contemptible fools!’

            Howsoever true that may be in each individual voter’s case, the critics are missing at least half the big picture: i.e. that here is another western country where a majority declared ‘Enough already!’ to the rule of the world by globalism, crony corporatism, and Big Money and the Left’s agendas.

            If you put on productions, with excellent singing and instrumental performance, of a whole season of modern compositions at the Metropolitan Opera House; and half of those who normally attend refuse to go, that MAY indicate (in your view) benighted stupidity on their part; but they are in fact telling you something – especially the holders of the (always expensive) season-tickets who are refusing to use the costly vouchers they have already paid for.

          • Jake G

            His election will be remember as a colossal mistake. Trump will be remembered as a failure and the worst president ever elected. That queasy feeling is your conscience gnawing at you.

    • Jake G

      Kid Rock is who you’re looking up to now?!? You guys are just LOST. Just lost in the mental woods of irrationality.

  • tassius

    Max Boot and Ralph Peters smart? These neocons are anything but.

    • jack dobson

      The don’t even rise to the “Blind Pig Finds an Acorn Now and Then” level. Boot literally has been wrong about every single foreign policy position he’s held.

      • It’s amazing to me, but when I was a “lock-step conservative” Boot and Peters seemed great to me. It took Donald J. Trump to show me a different way to look at the world. Who woulda thunk it!

        • ChiefIlliniCake ✓ᴰᵉᵖˡᵒʳᵃᵇˡᵉ

          Donald Trump has been the tour-guide for millions to experience their own “Road to Damascus” conversions from the old Republican religion.

          And once you see the world with this new pair of eyes, there can be no going back again.

          • Peter63

            EXACTLY! What a horror such conversions are for the Establishment.

        • Peter63

          With a mind which is open to argument and reason and a world-view which can develop, you must personally be a nightmare to any leftist.

  • Senhorbotero

    You know after watching that tucker Carlson vid it would appear to be exhibit A in the case against the deep swamp and raises serious concerns that these were/are the type of people involved in government decision making….that was truly terrifying…If ever there was a display of hasbeen thinking I just watched it…pure idiocy.

    • Peter63

      Nature abhors a vacuum. If the nation leaves its politics to everybody else to provide and deal with, the scum of society become its legislators.

      • Senhorbotero

        Certainly seems so….i had not seen Peters in a long time and Max Boot was new to me but what a pair of incredible ideologues running towards insanity…

    • jack dobson

      Yes. While Boot, Peters and Co. are ludicrous and discredited, they remain very dangerous people.

      • Senhorbotero

        True…incredibly dangerous….

  • JJS_FLA

    My view is that the Clintons raised $millions in pay-to-play bribes from Mafioso in 3rd-world hellholes all on the assurance from Bill that Hillary had a lock on the White House. This based on Bill’s unmatched knowledge of the American Electorate. The whole “Russian Influence” imbroglio is a smokescreen for foreign consumption, an attempt to dissuade the collection of refunds. CNN Global is playing its parts.

    • Peter63

      Good points, if I may say so. I hadn’t thought of them myself, but they ring true. There have been a lot of motives – all very base and bad – for this Russia (and other nonsenses) hysteria.

      • JJS_FLA

        Bill and Hill have Secret Service protection. Folks like Podesta have to worry about a knock on the door from Tony Soprano.

        • Zeke Clinton

          “Pizza delivery”

        • Miek D.

          Tony Soprano would send his cousin Tony Blundetto.

    • jack dobson

      It is reasonable to assume the Clintons fear many domestic donors as well. As we know from the book “Shattered,” assignment of blame away from the campaign began the night of the election. People likes Soros can make life grim or end for their puppets fairly quickly.

    • disqus_mfERPWUv3H

      Brilliant post.

      Refunds? Wow, never thought of that. Good luck with that.

    • Dan Warren

      The Clinton’s [and many other Democrat pols are worth bundles , too, due to feeding at the gov’t trough] are worth a few hundred million $$$….yet they never worked outside of gov’t other than a brief stint by HiLIARy, where she got in legal trouble, too.

      How these people accumulate vast fortunes by selling out the American People’s interests for fractions of pennies on the dollar needs to be exposed…..yet the traitor FBI director, Comey, deliberately destroyed any investigation into Clinton, by giving everyone around her immunity……for NOTHING in return.

      • Jake G

        The projection is so insanely strong in you my friend. It’s almost funny, but really just sad. You could literally pop Trump’s name in there and it would be 110% accurate.

  • Joel Mathis

    “6) Don Jr. did nothing wrong by meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya who, by the way, had no known ties to Putin (though I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that Vlad and she have been sharing a vodka or two in the last few days).”

    But according to the emails Don Jr himself made public, it was represented to him that the lawyer possessed dirt on Clinton as part of a Russian intervention into the election on Trump’s behalf. And Manafort then showed up! Treason? Maybe not, but certainly not as innocent as Mr. Kimball describes. There appears to have been intent to collude, at the very least.

    I honestly don’t get how the MAGA crowd, so concerned with defending the sovereignty of American borders, is just shrugging about this. Some of this might be tribalism. But some of it might just be that Trumpism is Trump, and Dear Leader must be defended no matter what he does, at any costs.

    As for the Ukraine bit: If it happened, it was wrong. There’s little evidence, however, that Ukraine’s actions were as dramatic or effective as Russia’s in intervening in our election. It’s not just “working with” our enemies – which of course must happen (though why doesn’t this apply to Cuba or Iran for conservatives?) – but colluding with them to obtain power. One is diplomacy on behalf the country’s interests; one is acting against the country to further your own.

    There are a few people I know who I used to think were able to draw these distinctions who apparently cannot. Or maybe they can, but power is the only thing left that matters.

    • BarksintheCountry

      Collude? To do what?

      • Joel Mathis

        Perhaps you should read the news.

        • exdemocrat

          perhaps you should answer the question. “intent to collude”?? good grief.

        • Jake G

          Playing dumb is way easier…

    • Senhorbotero

      Out of curiosity how do you know what Don Jr would have done with the info if he had found out that Hillary had done something wrong….he certainly had every reason to consider that she might have, given the state of things and that the activities of the time and her past would indicate that she would ….what if he had intended to find out and inform on her….do you honest to God really suspect, as a reasonable man that the Trumps are traitors to this country….do you really beleive it is possible…the man sacrificed everything to do what he thought would help…..he has billions and you suspect that he would trade all that off and his good life because he is a traitor……btw, my father is being held captive, he needs someone to transfer ten thousand dollars to in order to pay his ransom….i just need your bank account number and I will deposit the cash

      • Joel Mathis

        We know what he didn’t do: Call the FBI.

        We also know the Russians *did* intervene in the election on Trump’s behalf.

        We also know Trump himself publicly asked the Russians to release dirt on Hilary>

        Are all these dots connected? We may just find out.

        • Senhorbotero

          But there was nothing there and he apparently left the meeting, honestly given what was obviously going wrong in the admin over the last eight years why would anyone have called the fbi, i would have gotten the info first then called the fbi….otherwise if something had been discovered the fbi would have buried it..and how do we know the russians influenced the election….did they not have a rather cozy relationship with hillary…did she not sell them uranium and offer the russian reset….and Trump publicly asking the Russians to release info on Hillary is a red herring….we cannot kmow his real intent there and frankly, why not if they had the info…our justice system had been stalling on her for quite a while, we now see that things were not as they seemed…comey, lynch were in fact colluding and stalling on her behalf….the real dots, i think are running back to obama and his admin…..and clinton is implicated there as well but nothing is being said let alone done to investigate them…..this all stinks…this is no effort to eliminate corruptions on the part of the establishment, it is nothing more then an attempt to undermine the elected president by the swamp and they will do anything to keep their corrupt controls in place….

        • exdemocrat

          “We know what he didn’t do: Call the FBI.”
          – to tell them what??

          “We also know the Russians *did* intervene in the election on Trump’s behalf.”
          – no, we don’t.

          “We also know Trump himself publicly asked the Russians to release dirt on Hilary”
          – he made a joke, idiot.

          “Are all these dots connected? We may just find out.”
          – there are indeed dots here that, when accurately connected, point only to the credulousness/disloyalty of leftist fools.

        • ian Chapman

          He had no obligation to call the FBI. Only those with specific sorts of clearances would be required to do this under these circumstances. It’s also worth noting (based on my direct personal experience) that it’s very likely the FBI would have asked him to take the meeting (for what should be obvious reasons).

        • johnnydavis1

          Connect those “dots” and you have…absolutely no criminal act.

    • jack dobson

      Quit making excuses for Hillary Clinton. She was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Saudi government, among others, as are all neo-cons and liberal interventionists.

      • Joel Mathis

        She could’ve been a much better candidate. That doesn’t preclude the possibility the Trumps acted badly.

        • exdemocrat

          where “acted badly” = “beat crooked Hillary/the criminal DNC/ and the entire MSM.”

          • jack dobson

            She could’ve been a much better candidate.

            Incredible understatement about a person who committed hundred of violations of the Espionage Act.

          • ian Chapman

            I used to work for the NSA. If I had done what Hillary had done, I’d have spent ten years in jail.

    • ian Chapman

      *I* would have been obligated to call the FBI in that situation, but that’s because I have a TS/SCI clearance (inactive). Part of my agreement with the US Govt when I left the service having had this clearance was (among many other things) to report any come-on contacts by ‘hostile foreign powers’ of which Russia is one (Ukraine is another btw).

      To my knowledge, Don Trump Jr does NOT have any obligation, nor does any private citizen. There is a difference. The point is that Trump Jr did nothing wrong. In fact (based on my personal experience) the FBI likely would have told Trump Jr to take the meaning anyway and see what (if anything) got smoked out.

      • Joel Mathis

        I don’t know about legal obligations. What I do know? Don Jr didn’t act honorably. Legality doesn’t cover every instance.

        • ian Chapman

          What a bunch of bull. We *know* how Clinton would have reacted (Hint: Ukraine). The only difference is that Clinton would have used a cutout. Same goes with most campaign. Any politician that tells you differently is lying to you and probably picking your pocket.

    • Jake G

      I agree completely. I don’t understand the attempt to defend this indefensible act on the part of the Trump[ campaign… Plus, why even bother when there’s so many shoes left to drop. This is a setup to be forced later to defend literally ANYTHING. It’s idiotic.

  • jack dobson

    Lewis Carroll is my candidate. From the always helpful “Alice in Wonderland”:

    “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”

    The odd part is we all know the verdict will be a full acquittal. The sentence was supposed to be a forced resignation or impeachment, but that didn’t and won’t happen so the Lewis quote works to describe the theory rather than hard fact.

    As for T.S. Elliot, yes, it will end with a whimper (and sort of has a time or two already). I find Herbert Stein, though, to have the better quote about what actually will happen:

    “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

    The American people are not the most patient lot–we constantly move, build, reinvent, and seldom wait–so to expect infinite patience from us while this charade plays out is ridiculous. Even those who didn’t vote for Trump will force this madness to stop sooner rather than later.

  • Bob Acker

    Still carrying water for that ignorant, clueless dunce. What does that make this–pimp or kaka?

  • SophieA

    Shame? Boot and Peters haven’t even a passing acquaintance with shame.

  • ian Chapman

    Tucker-2, Neocons-0

  • owenmagoo

    The thing about asking the audience to believe the latest incident of collusion is that it renders all previous tales as false.

    The fact that no one is trying to salvage a previous narrative suggests that even the media knows that they have failed.

    • ian Chapman

      Not buying it. There was no collusion and there never was. There also wasn’t any (apparent) contact with Russian officials by the Trump campaign INCLUDING this meeting.

      The press got WAAAY over their skiis here.

      • Jake G

        You’re in a DEEP state of psychological denial. Just because you voted for Trump, it does not obligate you to defend his disgusting behavior. That is not your fault. No need to excuse the inexcusable.

        • Ray Runge

          You paid little piece of troll. Soros did the homework on you. No brain to disturb the inculcation of talking points.

        • ian Chapman

          Projecting much? Look up the word collusion and get back to me. There was no collusion by the very definition of the word. That’s the simple truth which you can not seem to understand because of your Trump derangement syndrome.

          • Jake G

            Not projecting whatsoever, 0%…

            This meeting was agreed to based on an email that literally offered “sensitive, secret information about Hillary Clinton” as “part of the Russian government’s support for your father.” He replied “if it’s what you say it is, I love it.”

            If that doesn’t bother you, I can’t give you the necessary morality or patriotism required to care. You’ve put your party over your country. Congratulations.

            I’m an American brother, I KNOW the Russians do not have our best interests in mind. They wanted Trump because he’s so easy to use. Please wake up and take annhonest look at this.

            If the meeting was so legitimate, why did they lie about what happened and who was there SIX different times??? You have your blinders on, you need to take them off and get back to me.

          • ian Chapman

            *cough* Ukraine *cough* The acceptance of the meeting was conditional, and there was NO COLLUSION because no information actually changed hands and no coordination took place. At worst he might have been open to the idea, but that’s not a crime.

            I know what Clinton would have done because she DID collude with the Ukraine which is listed as a hostile power.

          • Jake G

            As soon as you’re forced to turn to whataboutism, it’s pretty clear you’ve lost the argument.

            You’re essentially admitting it’s immoral and potentially illegal behavior. So now your defense of the indefensible is “but Hillary did it too.” Which A, doesn’t excuse Trumps behavior in any way and… B, this Ukraine collusion story is completely spun and overblown. The two things aren’t even similar, let alone the same.

          • ian Chapman

            I am not forced to turn to anything. The meeting was legal, there was nothing wrong it it, it was not with Russian officials, and there was no coordination and therefore no ‘collusion’.

            I am pointing out your hypocrisy.

          • ian Chapman

            This was such a nothing meeting (and Russia wasn’t even on anyone’s radar at the time), it’s very possible (even probable) that he forgot. Do you remember everyone you’ve met in the last year? I doubt it. In fact the only reason this came out at all was because Jared was doing a records review to submit to the FBI. (Three guesses who leaked this initially and the first two don’t count…..hint it starts with F and ends in I)

      • Jake G

        The meeting was literally WITH RUSSIAN OFFICIALS. You’re trying too hard here. Your entire argument is terrible.

        • ian Chapman

          No. It was a meeting with RUSSIANS. There were no Russian officials there. Even if there were, collusion requires coordination to do something illegal and unsavory. There WAS NO COORDINATION and indeed no information changed hands.

          You need to go back to remedial reading and look up collusion (which btw outside of anti-trust trade law is NOT illegal). There was NO COLLUSION.

          • Jake G

            There were TWO “ex” Russian intelligence agents there. The lawyer has done several high profile cases for the Kremlin. The meeting was set up by the agent of a Russian oligarch with very well known ties to Putin.

            On top of that, the Trump team then lied about the occurence of the meeting, they then lied about who was there, then they lied about what was discussed. THEY even knew the meeting was shady, unethical and potentially illegal.

            Please explain why they lied SIX different times if the meeting was so legit? You’re not asking/answering the right questions. You’re just looking for any excuse to defend Trump.

            Stop, you don’t owe him anything, and there’s many more shoes left to drop that will further proove you wrong, so stop apologizing until we have ALL of the facts.

          • ian Chapman

            First of all, there was a former Soviet Officer there who was NOT an agent. If he were he would not have been allowed to become a US Citizen. He did serve in a GRU unit, but that doesn’t automatically make him an agent. Even if it did, that does NOT mean they were working for the Russian govt now (in either case).

            In fact if you dig in the social media accounts as well as business associates (and why the Lawyer was even in the US w/o a visa), it’s a lot more reasonable that they were working for the Dems and this was an Obama DOJ set-up.

          • Jake G

            One of these guys you claim are so harmless, his specialty was literally stealing emails. That was what the guy did for a living essentially, and three of Trump’s top campaign people and family members met with this individual.

            That, my friend, is nefarious, your defense of it is totally insufficient. Their actions were immoral and highly, highly questionable.

            The FACTS, in this particular situation, look absolutely damning for Trump and his team. I’m sorry, the facts are the facts brother. That’s what we have to go on.

          • ian Chapman

            Evidence? Even if that were his speciality so what? The FACTS show that no law was broken and absolutely nothing improper took place including no actual contact with a foreign govt.

            However, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory. Tinfoil hats for everyone!

          • Jake G

            No, not facts. Your opinion. That’s it.

            I’m just telling you what this guy’s job with the FSB was. His specialty is obtaining hacked emails. I’m NOT making this stuff up man.

          • ian Chapman

            First of all, he wasn’t FSB, he was in a GRU unit. Secondly like with other military intelligence units around the world, just because you were in one does NOT make you a foreign agent. The guy is also a naturalized US citizen. This would not be possible if he were a GRU agent (they ask and they do check).

          • Jake G

            I don’t know all the ins and outs of it, I’m just telling you what his specialty is believed to have been. A lot of people in Russia have employed him to dig up dirt on their rivals. One of the ways he does this is through obtaining hacked emails. He did it for the government and in the private sector in Russia.

          • ian Chapman

            You are taking the word of media sources that have had very questionable veracity *at* *best* and accepting it as unvarnished fact.

            You may want to rethink that. As I said, though, even if what you said was so (and it wasn’t because he was a naturalized US citizen and that requires a background check and excludes foreign agents), there is still nothing wrong or illegal about the meeting.

          • Jake G

            Like I saud, you’re talking about the second guy they lied about, the eighth person at the meeting. I’m talking about the first guy they lied about, he came with the lawyer and interpreter.

          • ian Chapman

            The eighth person has no connection to the Russian Govt or Russian intel. That was confirmed today.

          • Jake G

            I’m talking about the first guy they lied about not being there, you’re talking about the SECOND guy they lied about not being there.

          • ian Chapman

            I am talking about the first guy as well. The other two (besides the Lawyer) had no connection to the Russian govt at all.

          • ian Chapman

            What law was broken?

            We’ll wait.

          • Jake G

            My best guess is it’s conspiracy to commit election fraud.

          • ian Chapman

            Nope. If so then any use of oppo would be illegal. It’s not. See First Amendment. You’d have to show that there was actual coordination to illegally change votes. There is NOTHING CLOSE to this.

            In short, you got nothing.

          • Jake G

            First of all, they were coordinating with a hostile foreign government to get illegal opposition research.

            Secondly, the email literally said “as part of the Russian government’s support for your father…” That was the pretense for holding the meeting. That is the meeting they believed they were going to. That is intent towards conspiracy to commit election fraud.

            (Further, I am far from convinced that nothing was exchanged or set up in that meeting.) Manafort is talking to the FBI because he’s going to go to prison for several shady actions he undertook. That’s a ticking time bomb for your lame defense of this ridiculously immoral abd unpatriotic meeting.

            Where is the point where you would turn on Trump? Does that line exist somewhere in your mind or no???

          • ian Chapman

            Nothing wrong with any of that. Nothing.

          • ian Chapman

            It also doesn’t rise to collusion even if that were a crime (and it isn’t). There was no information exchanged, no coordination made. You really ought to look up the definition of collusion assuming you can get past your Trump hatred enough to bother.

          • Jake G

            No information was exchanged huh? Cause they’ve been so “transparent” and forthcoming so far… You do NOT know that with any certainty whatsoever, so please spare me that line of thinking. Further, one of the Russian guys said the lawyer DID leave a packet of information.

            Look, if ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD, lied to you six times about a story, you wouldn’t trust a single thing they said after that would you? Why is this any different brother?

          • ian Chapman

            Prove it. All this sturm and drang and it comes down to there is absolutely NO PROOF that anything wrong was done. Even IF information were exchanged (and there is absolutely no evidence that it was), that STILL wouldn’t be wrong. Otherwise the Washington Post could have been charged for Espionage for publishing the Pentagon Papers.

            In short you are wrong. Period. End Of Discussion.

          • Jake G

            You, nor I, can personally prove anything. But it absolutely needs to be investigated vigorously.

          • ian Chapman

            Pfft. If this is all there is after THIRTEEN MONTHS of investigation, then go right ahead and delude yourself. Don’t expect anyone sane to take you seriously.

          • Jake G

            And during all that time they said, “no meetings, at all, with any Russians”… Don Jr posted his OWN email PROVING that was a lie. Why would we stop looking now? Get real my friend. This how the world works.

          • Jake G

            This is what happens when you get caught red-handed in a huge lie. This scandal is JUST getting started.

          • Jake G

            You seem like an intelligent guy, so I know you get this. When you’re the president, you can’t just lie for months on end, get caught lying red-handed, and just have it go away. That’s not the American way.

          • ian Chapman

            I doubt he remembered. This was apparently a 20 min meeting that amounted to nothing. I wish he hadn’t have said that, but that doesn’t mean anything wrong was done. There wasn’t.

            There is still no there, there.

          • Jake G

            Your attempted defense of this stuff is getting lame now. This last comment is just lazy. You’re reaching now claiming little wannabe boyscout Don Jr forgot a single detail. It’s laughable.

            He was probably about as thrilled with himself as he’s ever been. The latest defense of him boils down to “he’s ALMOST full retard, so give him a break.” His IQ probably is south of 70, but that excuses NOTHING.

            It’s as nefarious as it gets.

          • ian Chapman

            I have no need to defend him. He did nothing wrong. Period. End of discussion

    • Jake G

      For SIX months, Trump said there were zero contacts with the Russians. Now, all of the sudden, after being caught red-handed, their story changed to, “yeah we met with the Russians but it wasn’t illegal…”

      What is going on here? Why the constant lying? He’s decimated his own credibility beyond the point of no return. There’s a reason he’s the most unpopular president of all time. It’s not a fluke.

  • JohnnyClams

    Talk about useful idiots.

  • joenyc

    ‘there is no there, there’ is well stated but this is a slow motion left wing coup, since Day One and before, from left AND right, and exists to prepare for future campaigns, and is now paralysis, and should be seen as such, judging intentions from effects
    =
    Trump’s support has not changed from his supporters , nor his foes, so imho the coup-people, playing for the next election, are playing ground Hog Day

    meanwhile, mr trump, sir, the job is unpredictable,
    =
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Harold_Macmillan#Disputed

    Response to a journalist when asked what is most likely to blow governments off course.
    The quote is also given as
    “Events, my dear boy, events”,

    the word “my”, but it may never have been uttered at all.

  • Luke

    Objection: There is no evidence that Max Boot is smart.
    The abysmal track record of his favored foreign policies, and his willingness to favor the interests of foreigners over the interests of his fellow citizens, are sufficient evidence to refute the claim.

    • ian Chapman

      Think Max Boot is smart? Look at his last run-in with Tucker.

  • Zeke Clinton

    These media operatives have already shot their credibility. They are now at work permanently “soiling” themselves at least up to the ankle. Reading their drivel is infuriating until one realizes how vigorously they are punching themselves in the face. Carry on!

  • Historybuff

    Unbelievable…

    mr. kimball writes…
    “There are people working on the campaigns of all presidential candidates who engage in opposition research, i.e., digging up dirt on their rivals.”

    Evidently… mr. kimball… the president’s inner circle & family… meeting with representatives of an enemy to the United States… with the intention of accepting their intelligence service’s dirt on a political opponent

    If perfectly OK for an American candidate.

    Mr. Kimball: YOU are an embarrassment to your country, and a disgrace to Conservatives.

    Disgusting.
    HB

    • Ray Runge

      Good to see you are spreading your closet full of fantasy to other sites. All deserve the privilege to soak up some of the ranting.

    • Jake G

      Yeah, this apologist behavior is literally humiliating.

    • Cjones1

      Obtaining information on traitorous behavior by the Clintons in receiving payments in the Uranium One deal does not make Trump, Jr. a traitor.

      • Historybuff

        YOU are the only one talking about trump jr. being a ‘traitor’.

        Is there something you would like to say?
        HB

        • Cjones1

          I think many Democrats fit the description. Sources and methods were given away in the zeal to undermine the Trump administration.

          • Jake G

            No you don’t, you’re smarter than that.

          • Historybuff

            Such as?
            HB

          • Cjones1

            The leaks revealing the survellance methods in the monitoring of the Russians. Too obvious.

          • Historybuff

            You state what is clearly an opinion… vague at that.

            Have you anything to back up your assertion? Something that applies to your statement?
            HB

      • Jake G

        The minute you mention the Clintons, it does nothing but tell me you have no way to excuse Trump’s behavior. It’s like an admission that you have nothing.

        • Cjones1

          Republicans are used to witch hunts as a political modus operandi by Democrats and also do not mind investigations into the actions of the government officials and their campaigns. They do object to double standards and the abuse of agencies to surveil, harass, unmask, persecute, strongarm, and blackmail political opponents as the Obama administration did. Ms. Clintons was obviously quilty of national security violations, among other things, but the Obama administration and Mr. Comey violated their oaths of office by intervening and obstructing the investigation of her misconduct..For example, A special Prosecutor Mueller appointment with no evidence of a crime, but no Special Prosecutor when the facts of a crime were obvious in the Clinton investigation.
          Republicans are always proud to be held to a higher standard, but expect the laws of the land to be applied equally – which the Democrats seem incapable of.

      • pogden297

        So your position is “two wrongs make a right?” And you seriously want to go with that position?

    • pogden297

      I couldn’t agree more with this post. Real Americans, those who love this country, know what Donald, Jr. did was wrong.

  • Jake G

    Wow, this is ridiculous. Their intent is out of the question, Trump Jr was caught absolutely red-handed. If this was the Dems, you all would be LOSING IT. But because it’s your beloved, dear leader Trump, anything is OK. For 6 months it was, “there’s absolutely ZERO collusion….” Now, all of the sudden it’s, “collusion is OK, it’s not illegal…”

    Wake up my fellow countrymen, Trump is rotten to the core. We cannot allow this type of traitorous behavior to go unpunished. I’m sorry, we can’t.

    Trump has completely delegitimized himself, he didn’t need any help.

    • Ray Runge

      What is the traitorous behavior?

      • Jake G

        The circumstances under which that meeting was held is absolutely dangerously close to traitorous, if not outright.

        I can tell you the truth, but I can’t GIVE you the morality needed to grasp it. If you really can’t see what’s wrong with what Don Jr and the campaign did by taking this meeting and lying about the details again, and again, and again, 5 or 6 separate times, I cannot help you.

        • Cjones1

          Trump, Jr. was promised information of Hillary and the DNC receiving payoffs from Putin’s friends. The NYT had already reported the quid pro quo payments from Russia for the Clinton assistance in the Uranium One deal in April…the FBI under Comey and the Obama DOJ didn’t care and were derelict in their duty.

        • ian Chapman

          Look up the definition of Treason in the constitution. You are making a fool of yourself.

          • Jake G

            I said traitorous, not treason. Their actions arguably were traitorous in many ways, and we don’t have all the facts. Trump/Don Jr have NOT been forthcoming or “transparent” either. That is a joke. It’s just him spitting in the face of the American people and lying to us like we’re stupid once again.

          • ian Chapman

            Traitorous is a variation of treason. You know this. The bottom line is no law was broken and nothing wrong was done.

            Tell me what law was broken, we’ll wait.

          • Jake G

            I told you dude, I think it’s conspiracy to commit election fraud. I don’t know the number of statute.

          • ian Chapman

            There is NO EVIDENCE of that at all. Even if the info were stolen, it still wouldn’t be fraud let alone election fraud. Try again,

    • johnnydavis1

      I think you need to look up the definition of traitorous…you might find a picture of Hillary Clinton.

      • Jake G

        Just saying “what about Hillary” is a terrible and lazy way to fail at defending Trump’s inexcusable behavior.

  • Left Coaster

    Ridiculous.

    Sometimes people make the mistake of putting their pens to paper and allowing others to see their thoughts.

    You need to understand that Russia is not our ally if the US no matter how many white, male Christians live there.

    Russia’s success requires our nation to fail.

    That Trump even smells a little bit of Russia is not good.

    And Trump is stinking.

  • Dan Warren
  • From the beginning, the narrative that Russia favored Trump has never made sense to me. The most important thing on Russia’s agenda, one must assume, is energy, and it’s leverage over Europe via natural gas supplied to them.
    Trump promised during the campaign to expand American energy production, and even mentioned wanting to sell natural gas to Europe. He has taken action on both fronts since he has been president. You also have the missile defense system, which Obama rejected, and Trump is working to reinstate.
    Putin knows Hillary can be bought, because he’d already taken advantage of the sale. It just seems unfathomable to me that Putin would prefer Trump, whatever he make think of Hillary on a personal level.

  • Assistantref

    Is this piece a joke? Did I really just read something that doesn’t quote the part of the email stating that the “Russian lawyer” is acting on behalf of the Russian government as part of that government’s support for Trump, and then goes on to claim the person had no ties to Putin? Seriously?
    It doesn’t matter whether she really had ties to Putin or not. The point is she said she did, she was presented as being a government lawyer acting on behalf of the Russian government in supporting Trump, and Trump’s idiot son and son-in-law still happily went to the meeting having been explicitly told it was a meeting with a Russian government lawyer who was acting on behalf of the Russian government in supporting Trump.
    How do you look at yourself in the mirror each morning after writing something like this that completely ignores the actual facts? Have you no shame?

  • alainny

    Trump is doing more to defang Russia than Hillary could even dream of. It’s the energy independence thing, you know. As the USA becomes a larger, and larger oil and gas exporter, Russia’s significance as a world economic power diminishes. It is only a matter of time before our energy exports bring Russia and the Mid-east oil states to economic ruin.

    • Jake G

      You live in a fantasy. Just because thinking that makes you somehow feel better about voting for the most unpopular president ever, but it doesn’t make it the truth. Trump has done absolutely NOTHING to defang Russia AND he’s going to work with them again in 2020. If the Democrats start colluding with Chinese hackers, I’ll assume you’re cool with it…

      It doesn’t pass the “shoe on the other foot test at all.” You know this, I know this. Come on brother.

      • Cjones1

        The Democratic email links in the Uranium One deal and other deals opened the door to Russian hacking. I am confident the Chinese have hacked the Democrats as well.
        Al Gore was prophetic about there being no controlling authority to stop Clinton foreign or domestic money grubbing as evidenced by the collusion by Mr. Comey and the Obama DOJ in Clinton’s national security violation investigation.

        • Jake G

          Do you even understand what that uranium deal was? It was NOT giving our uranium to anyone, it was literally just the right to dig it out if the ground and give it to us, not to anyone else…

          I don’t understand why that’s even a “thing”…

          • Cjones1

            Putin is reported to have crowed about his controlling vast parts of the uranium market after the Uranium One deal.
            This was from a NYT article dated April 23, 2015:

            As The New York Times reports, “The commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellow cake to Canada even though it does not have an export license.”

            The Times report continues:

            Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.

            Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.

            The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of it.

          • Cjones1

            Putin is reported to have crowed about his controlling vast parts of the uranium market after the Uranium One deal.
            This was from a NYT article dated April 23, 2015:

            As The New York Times reports, “The commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellow cake to Canada even though it does not have an export license.”

            The Times report continues:

            Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.

            Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.

            The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of it.

          • Cjones1

            Putin is reported to have crowed about his controlling vast parts of the uranium market after the Uranium One deal.
            This was from a NYT article dated April 23, 2015:

            As The New York Times reports, “The commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellow cake to Canada even though it does not have an export license.”

            The Times report continues:

            Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.

            Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.

            The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of it.

          • Jake G

            I agree with you about one thing though, the Russians are clearly really shady and are NOT our friends at all. I’m not sure why Trump literally LOVES them and seems fine with having them help him manipulate the next election as well. This is NOT ok brother.

          • Jake G

            Doesn’t look too nefarious to me, what do you think?

      • alainny

        Dear Jake: Thank you for calling me brother. I believe what I said. Falling oil prices and increased supply from the USA will damage the Russian economy bigly. And I have no regrets about supporting Trump. If there is a fantasy world out there, the folks who inhabit it are the ones who believe in the whole Russia conspiracy thing.

        • Jake G

          Your welcome, you’re my countrymen and my American brother. It’s so important that we learn what others really think and discuss it in a respectful manner.

          I do feel like I have to express that I think the Russia scandal was essentially PROOVEN to be a fire when Don Jr validated and released his emails literally prooving to us that the Russian collusion angle is much more than mere smoke. There’s a fire blazing there.

          As Trump continues to throw his surrogates and allies under the bus. To me, personally, I find it sad and more than a little embarrassing. Trump lacks the dignity to represent the good, hardworking people of our country. This can’t go on much longer I hope.

    • Cjones1

      Merkel’s Germany inked a pipeline deal for natural gas supplies from Russia. Poland wants independence from Russian natural gas and the U.S. will help.

  • If you are interested, I wrote a very detailed series of posts on the alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election a few months ago (https://necpluribusimpar.net/trump-russia-media-hacking-democratic-party-private-cybersecurity-companies-part-1/), where I also criticize the US intelligence report and the media’s uncritical acceptance of its conclusions. More recently, I published a very detailed post about the scandal of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails (https://necpluribusimpar.net/trumps-collusion-russia-add-nothing-nothing-get-still-nothing/), which I called “On Trump’s collusion with Russia, when you add nothing to nothing, what you get is still nothing”. In particular, I explain the connection to the Magnitsky Act, which is very important to understand this story but glossed over by the mainstream media because it doesn’t serve their narrative. Indeed, I carefully document a shocking amount of bias on the part of the New York Times and other news organizations, which is par for the course on that issue. Among other things, I show that The Hill recently changed a piece it published on this story by removing a claim that was unsubstantiated, though without even acknowledging the modification.

  • Jake G

    All the mentions of Clintons in the comments is the most obvious deflection from the fact that Trump is in bed with the Russians (who are the farthest thing from our friends or allies)… This is sad display of mental weakness and a total lack of patriotism. Reagan is rolling over in his grave right now.

    • willothewisp

      If the Russians are so bad…why so many favorable deals by Clinton? Bill getting huge speaking fees right after, just a coincidence, right? And what is the obvious evidence Trump is in bed with the Russians? I seemed to have missed that.

    • HistoryMatters

      Not really. Reagan fully believed and embraced the notion of “Trust But Verify” when it came to Russia. A concept that encouraged open dialogue and mutual back scratching when it was beneficial. As for Clinton. The accusation stems from a pre-imposed notion that Trump did something unusual or improper. Clinton is the campaigner of the past two decade and his opponent, so it is against her actions that Trump’s accusation must be weighed in order to determine if he was doing something unusual. Clinton’s campaign went to Ukraine and her supporters paid money to Steele for the express purpose of contacting Russian operatives to dig up dirt on Trump. Who are these Russian operatives? Who are these Ukraine operatives. You do know that Ukraine is full people connected to Russia, right? So, when Trump Jr. received word from a former business associate that he could provide proof of Hillary’s illegal payments by the Russian government, it is part and parcel less than what Clinton did, but certainly no more. Therefore, it was neither unusual or inappropriate. Indeed, the it is the Democrats that have opened the door for a full scale propaganda war against a sitting POTUS based on rumors collected in the back alleys of Moscow by the most unsavory and secretive fellows.

      • hollywood

        What you call rumors are allegations that are being investigated by Mueller among others. Of course, Trump is now threatening to can Mueller, Rosenstein, McCabe, Sessions, et al. He wrongly thinks the FBI and the Justice Department answer to him and him alone. In his fantasy world, he’s a tinpot dictator.

  • pogden297

    Ridiculous. Meeting with a foreign national to get opposition research, which is a thing of value, is a crime. That is Campaign Finance 101.

    • HistoryMatters

      That may be Campaign Finance 101, but “information” – even “official documents” is not a “thing of value” within the Campaign Finance Law. Certainly, the law will not stretch to create the absurd circumstance that “information regarding the illegal activity of your opponent” is a “thing of value.” because it is the illicit nature or salacious character of the information that imbues it with any “value” at all.

  • hollywood

    Gosh, Roger! A world class money laundering/shell corporation specialist, an anti-oligarch sanctions attorney and a hacking coordination specialist walk into a bar, er, Trump Tower. And there’s a promise of oppo research. Gosh, what could these folks want in return? And, gosh, the Trump folk forget to report this meeting on their disclosure forms. And, gosh, Trump does an unauthorized (under usual protocols) bonus meeting with Putin with only Putin’s translator present. And, gosh, Trump won’t reveal his tax returns and investments that would apparently (per DJTJ) show significant Russian/oligarch investments. Gosh, is the money launderer-in-chief going down? I have to believe he is. Now, he may try to axe Mueller around Labor Day, but my sense is others would step up to the plate to continue his work. So, nothing to worry about alt-right Roger? Dude, honest reply now.

    • HistoryMatters

      Dude. Trump has been under audit for years. His company’s involvement with Russian investors are well known by the government and others. Such investments and connections were actually encouraged during the “Reset”. There is no crime. There is no mystery. There is no inappropriate behavior. The entire meme is the cart leading the horse. Everyone “in the know” has better access to many of the facts you rely on to support your hypothesis that Trump “colluded” with Russians. But like most, you have missed the point that there is no such thing as “collusion” in the abstract. It requires both an illegal stratagem and an intent to cheat. What is “cheating” if its not illegal? The term was coined by John Podesta and the HRC campaign as an excuse, plain and simple. It is a third-grader’s cry “They Cheated!!” Or crying “cheater” in sports when you don’t know the rules. (Example – HRC probably thought Barack Obama cheated by calling her and Bill racists during the 2008 election – he stole her signature move!!.) What you miss is that the music producer works and has an office in Manhattan, the “hacker” has been a Washington lobbyist and US citizen for 20 years or more, the two real-estate moguls are international business people who do business in the US. One is a California resident. The Russian lawyer was in the US legally to apparently engage in lobbying. In other words, all of these people were lobbyists of some sorts who left Trump Tower to lobby all sorts of Democrats in DC. They are the exact people that meet with political candidates and the meeting was not secret before or when it happened. It produced nothing and by who and whether it needed to be disclosed is really not that cut and dry.

      • hollywood

        Let me explain this to you. Money laundering is illegal; it’s not “international business.” Hacking the election is illegal. Colluding with a foreign power to hack the election is illegal; it’s not “lobbying.” Lying on your security clearance paperwork is illegal. Bankruptcy fraud is illegal. Tax fraud is illegal. Using the White House as a business opportunity should be illegal.
        Some or all of these folks are going down: Carter Page, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and, yes, Donald J. Trump.
        Get the facts, not the Fox News fiction. https://www.vox.com/2017/7/18/15983910/donald-trump-russia-putin-natalia-veselnitskaya-collusion

        • HistoryMatters

          Let me explain this to you. None of those “illegal” things, such as money laundering, tax fraud, and bankruptcy fraud have been alleged. But who knows, right? However, because Trump has been under audit for decades by the IRS – who would certainly look at tax fraud – I’ll wait for a more concrete set of facts. As for security clearances, I know Don Jr. had no disclosure obligation and Manafort, Paige, Stone, and Flynn are not in the administration anymore, so likely didn’t. Even your accusation of “Lying” on security forms requires proof of “intent” to be criminal instead of administrative. “Hacking the election” doesn’t even have a definition that I can find, and “collusion” is not “illegal” as you claim without “coordination” or “conspiracy” to commit an illegal act. It also requires an intent to “cheat.” So – if you want to explain how you “cheat”on an election without actually encouraging voter fraud (like the democrats do among undocumented immigrant communities), or “explain” some factual basis for your conclusionse, then I’ll read it. And you can’t seriously cite to Vox in a sentence directing me where to get more reliable news.
          So, until then, the only crime ever alleged is the hack of a computer the FBI never examined and the publication of real and accurate information. In other words, the only “evidence” of criminal activity is the conclusions of a panel of people from three intelligence agencies, who by-passed normal vetting procedures to agree with the analysis of a politically connected computer consultant that decided it was “the Russians.” Since that firm (Crowdstrike) has already retracted some of its conclusions, that evidence is pretty weak. And since James Comey and Jim Clapper are proven liars, it’s even weaker. So talking to “Russians” who are US citizens engaged in lobbying efforts, and Russians who are legitimately doing business in the US, and Russians who are not listed anywhere as representatives of a foreign government (accompanied by a US State Department translator and in the country to attend a presentation by a US lobbying firm in DC), are all people you can legally talk to without necessarily needing to report it on your security form. So, while Kushner needed to amend his forms, it is not clear at all that there was anything illegal about it. Read things besides Vox.

  • Paladin13

    Andy McCarthy is wrong that impeachment can occur with a violation of a “public trust,” which is a broad category. Could Obama have been impeached because of the Iran deal and him returning to Iran billions of $$$ to Iran with no strings attached, such as don’t use any of the returned money for terrorism or development of nuclear weapons? The Constitution says that the President can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, not violation of a public trust unless the violation of the public trust resulted from high crimes and misdemeanors.

    • HistoryMatters

      McCarthy is actually right. From its history under the common law, a high crime is one that is political in nature and involves a basic violation of the public trust usually attached to a dereliction of duty or abrogation of some sort. While there is very little American legal precedent, impeachment is an entirely political matter and there is no recourse for a President who is voted out by the 2/3rd standard. It is important to know these subtle issues because it drives the narrative by the media and Democrats toward those ends. For example, Trump is accused of “colluding” with “Russians” is a ridiculous charge unless you can convince the citizenry that Russia is somehow qualitatively different than Mexico.

      • Paladin13

        Thank you for the response. I did some inquiry and it appears that high crimes refers to crimes that people in high positions commit and would be prosecuted for. So if such a crime were committed, that would be a violation of the public trust. I still believe a crime is necessary, as the Constitution at Article II, Section 4 refers to “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. The public trust can mean anything, as in Obama saying if you like your healthcare or your doctor, you can keep them. No crime but certainly a violation of what I perceive to be the public trust (blatantly lying to the citizens for his health care bill to pass so to minimalize opposition to it). I never considered Obama’s lying and deception to be impeachable.

        • HistoryMatters

          I agree with you and think that any Representative that moved Articles of Impeachment without articulating a crime would be stopped in his tracks. With that said, though, I think it remains a political questions. If so, after a motion did advance, it would then be up to the Chief Justice presiding over the impeachment to entertain the Constitutionality – maybe. Not really sure. Perhaps a fun exercise for a panel discussion.
          My guess is that the solution lies in understanding the old forms of pleadings and the difference between an action at equity or an action at law where the Plaintiff was forced to bring the case in one or the other forms, depending on remedy. It affected the types of proof and available remedy. Where removal from office would appear to be an “equitable remedy” a strict illegality might not quite be necessary if the actions “shock the conscience” – such as a fiduciary’s self dealing. Again maybe. But this is what the President’s opponents understand and it is how and why they craft their attacks the way they do. The President’s defenders need to realize this and counter it before cede the high ground.

  • Excellent behaviour, Roger Kimball! Thank you very much…