ChrisWeigant.com

Beyond Sessions, Trump's Russian Scandal Is Here To Stay

[ Posted Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 – 17:21 UTC ]

As is frequently said in Washington, it's not the crime but the coverup that gets you. It's looking like that theory is going to be tested sooner than anyone might have expected, in the Donald Trump administration. No matter what happens now, they may have already done permanent damage to themselves in the eyes of the American public. The underlying theme of Trump being no more than a stooge for Russia's Vladimir Putin seems to be growing by the day, at this point. Which means that everything they do to fight this image is going to have the flavor of "Methinks they doth protest too much" about it. At this point, they can't avoid it.

We've now entered into the freewheeling phase of political scandal where everything gets tossed at the wall just to see what sticks. We've already had one prominent Trump administration official step down amid allegations of inappropriate contacts with Russia -- and then lying about it, even to Vice President Mike Pence. Now we've got another high Trump official who is currently dancing around "it depends what your definition of 'is' is" Clintonesque statements, in an effort to explain why he was just misleading Congress under oath, and not actually lying and committing perjury to them. And once again, team Trump appears completely blindsided by the entire crisis -- apparently they only heard about Jeff Sessions having meetings with the Russian ambassador by reading them in the newspaper like everyone else. This brings up the real possibility that Sessions -- like Michael Flynn before him -- has previously lied to the White House about the existence of such meetings. Which, if you'll recall, was the reason why Flynn was fired.

Sessions was forced into recusing himself today from any investigations into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia, but he certainly didn't look very happy about having to do so. He had previously resisted calls for him to recuse himself from the investigation, which as Attorney General he'd be officially overseeing, but the recent revelations were too serious to sustain that position anymore. Even prominent Republicans in Congress were calling for his recusal, after the Russia story broke. This pressure would only have increased, so Sessions was smart enough to fall on his sword before his entire party deserted him.

But the recusal only increases pressure -- so far, mostly from Democrats, but with a few notable GOP exceptions -- for a truly independent investigation, by a special prosecutor. This would be a major step, which is why the Trump administration is going to fight against it as hard as they possibly can. A completely independent prosecutor would have free rein (or even free reign, for that matter) to look into anything concerning the Trump campaign that he or she felt like, and it's hard to imagine one not beginning this process by subpoenaing Trump's tax returns. From there, the investigation could go wherever the wind blew, completely unrestrained by anyone else in the government.

Ken Starr, just to remind everyone, was appointed as one of these independent prosecutors, to look into a real estate deal in Arkansas called Whitewater. That's where he started. He wound up making Bill Clinton squirm over his affair with Monica Lewinski, which led to his impeachment. When Starr was appointed to look into Whitewater, Clinton's dalliances were not even an issue, but Starr just kept digging until he uncovered something. That's why the Trump White House will fiercely resist a special prosecutor this time around -- because once someone starts rooting around in the gold-plated Trump closets, a whole bunch of skeletons might just fall out onto the carpet.

In the meantime, Trump's Russia problem just keeps getting worse. The appearance of shady dealings with a country that has historically been our biggest adversary for the past 70 years or so is, at this point, impossible to deny. Whether such shady dealings took place, and what they comprised of, is the real target of both the ongoing investigations and possible future investigations. This is making the Republicans on the oversight committees in Congress very, very nervous, because they are already taking heat from their constituents over refusing to properly investigate Russian interference in an American election. That wall of resistance crumbled a bit, earlier today, when the Sessions story became impossible to defend. So far, Republicans only called for Sessions to recuse himself, not resign. He has now done so, which certainly will significantly ease the pressure he's getting from his own party over the whole issue.

Democrats, on the other hand, have no reason to defend either Sessions or the Trump administration. Their cries of "Coverup!" are only going to get louder. The picture they're painting is of a man hopelessly compromised by Russia who is now our president, and who might just put Putin's interests above American interests. That's a pretty damning picture, no matter how true it turns out to be. Their defense for overstating the case is pretty easy to make as well: "If the same accusations were made towards Hillary Clinton, how do you think Republicans would have reacted? Think they would have called for a special prosecutor if she were president?" It's pretty obvious to see, given the last few years (see: Benghazi, email server), that the Republican bar for investigating political figures over scandals is set pretty low. If Clinton were now president, we'd be in the midst of multiple congressional hearings into the botched Yemen raid, just to give the easiest example. The more Republicans resist investigating Trump scandals, the more hypocritical they're going to appear -- a fact which is not lost on a lot of their own voters.

The question everyone's asking today is whether Jeff Sessions will survive as attorney general. Will he, in the end, be forced to make the same walk of shame that Mike Flynn just made? So far, probably not. A cabinet official is different than a national security advisor, so Sessions stepping down would be even more of a black eye for the Trump administration, politically. At least, unless further questionable facts emerge. The Sessions story just broke, after all, so who knows what else is going to come to light when the journalists really start digging?

The bigger political damage to the Trump administration has already happened, though. Nobody's going to ignore the Russian influence scandal any more, and Republicans in Congress who have been attempting to brush it under the carpet may now be rethinking that position. Two high-ranking administration officials have now been caught lying about their contacts with Russian officials -- one in his testimony to Congress. Trump insists he has no ties to Russia at all, but won't release his tax returns to prove it. However, a few years back (before Trump decided to run for president), his son was publicly bragging about all the business the Trump empire was doing with Russia.

After the Sessions scandal begins to fade (as it inevitably will, no matter what the ultimate outcome), Democrats should lean hard on Trump's taxes. They should dig up all the video clips of Trump when he was the country's loudest "birther" -- and then loop endlessly all the snarky "What has he got to hide?" comments. If Trump really has no financial ties to Russia, then whyever wouldn't he prove it by releasing his tax returns? The more the pressure to release them increases, the likelier it is Trump's tax returns may just eventually leak out anyway (if the past month has been any indication of the leakiness of the executive branch under Trump). After all, one year of his taxes (from long ago) actually did leak, during his campaign.

The new Sessions scandal feeds directly in to the overarching theme of Russians influencing Trump both before and after the election. Sessions might survive the scandal and keep his job, but politically he'll take a big hit if he stays. Who in Washington is going to trust a man who already deceived Congress, after all? But no matter what happens with Sessions, the impression that Trump is no more than a Russian stooge is now a permanent feature of the Trump presidency. As a measure of this, I fully expect to see some heavily-accented "Boris and Natasha" style jokes in the near future, on late-night comedy television.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

69 Comments on “Beyond Sessions, Trump's Russian Scandal Is Here To Stay”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    I have to admit, I thought about finishing this article with one more sentence:

    "Or perhaps some other people noticing how much Sessions resembles a well-loved cartoon character."

    But then I decided that was too snarky. Heh.

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Dopey? I take your point, but I think Sessions more closely resembles the Keebler Elf. Ernie Keebler, who lives in a tree.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/258822537/ernie-keebler.jpg

    It may take a bit of Elfin magic to avoid doing some jail time....he flat out lied under oath, on video. To Al Franken. I suspect Session's resignation will be on Trump's desk in a few days.

    Reading a speech like a normal person got Trump one good day.

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    The more the Republicans try to brush this under the carpet, the more political capital the Democrats can make of it.

    Currently the Republicans are cosy in their belief that they have a "Red Wall" protecting their Senate and House majorities, but we have seen how quickly these walls can collapse.

    We all knew 45 was a con man, but the venality of the Republican "royalty" is a surprise to me - they are turning out to be even bigger pond scum than I anticipated.

    This could save Nixon's relative reputation - we could have an even more corrupt White House in the making.

  4. [4] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    What about Elmer Fudd?

  5. [5] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I still think that Russia is the misdirection, the shiny object to keep the audience's eyes focused on the wrong thing. The Orange Queen is an ignoramus and a cunning con artist. Who knew that the nation's health care system was a Rube Goldberg machine?

  6. [6] 
    neilm wrote:

    Russia could be the can opener for the Pandora's box. An independent investigation that subpoenas 45's taxes and digs into Bannon's activities is likely to be devastating to the clown that tries to tell us that he and his fanboys are the only patriots.

    It looks like the real patriots are the people who haven't been working with the Russians. Like me, for instance ;)

  7. [7] 
    neilm wrote:

    Turns out Pence is using a private email account for government business.

    Is this guy as stupid as he looks (rhetorical question).

  8. [8] 
    Paula wrote:

    And then there's Pency: http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/02/pence-used-personal-email-state-business----and-hacked/98604904/

    Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.

    As we know, in Republicanland the only person who is damned to hell for using a private email account is Hillary Clinton -- Republicans are doing it all over the place right now in Trumps administration, and Saint Pence was using AOL while gov of the unfortunates in Indiana.

  9. [9] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    John,

    What about Elmer Fudd?

    Sessions had too much hair. I'd love to see actor Leslie Jordan (he played the Republican-closet case Beverly Leslie on Will & Grace) portray Sessions on SNL. He sounds just like him.

    I don't think Russia is one of Trump's misdirections, especially since Sessions has recused himself from overseeing any investigations into Putin-puppet's campaign. This is way too embarrassing for Trump!

  10. [10] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Why hasn't the press picked up on the fact that Trump's daughter and her advisor-to-the-president hubby decided to up and leave their key roles in the middle of Trump's campaign to go vacation in Croatia with Putin's girlfriend? Are we really supposed to write this off as some weird random coincidence?

    Are we to believe that while the gals were out and about taking pics and posting them on Instagram to make the trip seem credible, that Jared wasn't meeting with Putin's people? Maybe they should be asked if Trump's campaign had any "indirect" contact with Russia during the campaign?

  11. [11] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    If Sessions met with the Russian ambassador on matters of Senate business, what was it?

    He claims he didn't discuss the campaign, so what were they talking about?
    Did he ask for the meetings or did the ambassador?
    If it was the former, was it private initiative or at the request of someone else?
    If private initiative, why?
    If someone else, who?
    Was it a large campaign donor?
    Why wasn't the committee informed?

    It seems like these questions need to be answered even now that Sessions has recused himself.
    It may not be Trump campaign related, but something stinks.

    A

  12. [12] 
    altohone wrote:
  13. [13] 
    michale wrote:

    Once again I have to ask, knowing I won't get an answer... Which is an answer in itself??

    Where was all ya'all's anti-Russia hysteria when candidate Romney warned us about Russia being our number one geopolitical foe??

    The facts CLEARLY show that ya'all don't care about Russia or are concerned about anything to do with Russia..

    The facts clearly show that you just want to attack President Trump and Russia is the latest convenient excuse to do so..

    And yes.. The Russia faux-scandal will be gone as soon as ya'all find something new and exciting to attack the President over..

    Who would have thunked that ya'all would be acting EXACTLY like the hysterical rabid attack dogs ya'all accused the Republicans of being over Obama??

    Oh wait.. I think it was me!! :D

  14. [14] 
    michale wrote:

    Turns out Pence is using a private email account for government business.

    And, you can PROVE that, right?? :^/

    Is this guy as stupid as he looks (rhetorical question).

    Ahhhh the epitome of Left Wingery "tolerance"... Attacking a person for how they look...

    Why are you complaining??

    Pence is the guy ya'all want to be President... :^/

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    Where’s the outrage?

    Democrat Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer continues to push the Russia conspiracy.
    But it was Schumer who met with Putin in New York City – not Trump.

    http://16004-presscdn-0-50.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/shumer-putin-575x328.jpg

    Where's the outrage??? Where's the hysteria???

    Oh.. That's right.. Schumer has a '-D' after his name so it's perfectly acceptable...

    Once again.. I wish ya'all could take a step back and see how utterly ridiculous ya'all look screaming, "THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!!"

    :D

  16. [16] 
    altohone wrote:

    re comment 11

    After perusing some other outlets, I am glad to see that others (Franken, Klobuchar, etc.) are still demanding answers from Sessions despite his recusal.

    Spicer lying to try to cover for Sessions lie is too funny... like his job wasn't hard enough already.

    A

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump's advisers push him to purge Obama appointees
    Frustrated by the gush of leaks, the president's allies say it's time to take action.

    Advisers to President Donald Trump are urging him to purge the government of former President Barack Obama's political appointees and quickly install more people who are loyal to him, amid a cascade of damaging stories that have put his nascent administration in seemingly constant crisis-control mode.

    A number of his advisers believe Obama officials are behind the leaks and are seeking to undermine his presidency, with just the latest example coming from reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice last year with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and apparently misled senators about the interactions during his confirmation hearing.
    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/trump-obama-appointees-advisers-purge-235629

    Yep.. This is EXACTLY what needs to happen...

    Clear out the treasonous scumbags...

  18. [18] 
    michale wrote:

    This Russia thing is nothing but the Left Wingery's version of Benghazi..

    Except, in Benghazi, Americans actually died...

    But RussiaGate won't have the staying power of Benghazi because A> No Americans died with Russia and 2> The Left Wingery is notoriously fickle and will find another bright and shiney to play with...

  19. [19] 
    altohone wrote:

    13

    Sessions wouldn't lie under oath for no reason.

    He knows the game.
    He knows the consequences.
    Yet he chose to lie anyway.
    Why?

    Isn't there a pamphlet for formers LEO's about who is allowed to lie under oath that starts and ends with the word "nobody"?
    Is whataboutery your only response?

    A

  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    Isn't there a pamphlet for formers LEO's about who is allowed to lie under oath that starts and ends with the word "nobody"?
    Is whataboutery your only response?

    And, if AG Sessions had lied under oath, you would have a point..

    But he didn't, so you don't..

    No one here has posted ANY facts that show AG Sessions lying under oath..

    And, if you don't have audio or video to back it up, it's nothing but fake news.. :D

    So says a Weigantian Founder... :D

  21. [21] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/03/02/gregg-jarrett-no-ms-pelosi-attorney-general-sessions-did-not-commit-perjury-or-crime.html

    These are the facts, people..

    All yer hysteria is nothing but fake news in a vane attempt to bring down President Trump..

    That is ALL it is...

  22. [22] 
    michale wrote:

    Isn't there a pamphlet for formers LEO's about who is allowed to lie under oath that starts and ends with the word "nobody"?
    Is whataboutery your only response?

    Apparently, "whataboutery" is NOT my only response..

    Unless of course, you mean, "Whataboutery the FACT that ya'all have absolutely NO FACTS to support ya'all's hysterical accusations"??

    I guess one might call that a "whataboutery".. :D

    What was it that was posted yesterday??

    As with many things in a politically-divided America, it mostly depends on your politics as to how you saw this moment.

    That's the WHOLE issue in a nutshell...

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    "At this point, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!!!???"
    -NOT 45

    What goes around, comes around my friends...

    Karma's a bitch!! :D

  24. [24] 
    michale wrote:

    “I’ve met with the Russian ambassador with a group, in my capacity, with a group of other senators. That’s in my official capacity. That’s nothing. That’s my job.”
    -Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va

    All of this is "NOTHING"..... So says a *Democrat* Senator!!

    Once again, the Democrats are getting played by the hysterical Anti-Trump media...

    There is, LITERALLY, nothing here....

  25. [25] 
    michale wrote:

    Claire McCaskill ? @clairecmc
    I've been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years.No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of Foreign Rel Com.
    7:06 AM - 2 Mar 2017

    Claire McCaskill ? @clairecmc
    Off to meeting w/Russian Ambassador. Upset about the arbitrary/cruel decision to end all US adoptions,even those in process.
    10:25 AM - 30 Jan 2013

    Senator McCaskill blatantly and unabashedly LIED...

    Where is ya'all's condemnation of that??

    Proof positive that LYING is NOT what ya'all care about..

    Ya'all only care about attacking Trump, facts and reality be damned...

  26. [26] 
    michale wrote:

    And again, MORE facts...

    The Perjury Allegation against Jeff Sessions Is Meritless
    http://tinyurl.com/jgw6hm7

    To even CONSIDER a charge of perjury, it is up to the QUESTIONER to make absolutely crystal clear what the question is.. It's not up to the ANSWERER to make absolutely crystal clear what the answer is..

    When it comes to perjury ANY ambiguity, no matter how slight, goes to proof of innocence...

    AT WORST, Franken messed up and allowed enough ambiguity in the question to allow Sessions to answer honestly and truthfully if not completely...

    You people have absolutely NO FACTS to support yer claim that Sessions committed perjury..

    You people have absolutely NO FACTS to support yer claim that Sessions lied...

    NONE... ZERO.... ZILCH.... NADA...

    All ya'all have is hysterical TDS.... That's it...

  27. [27] 
    michale wrote:

    The Democrats call their scorched-earth attacks on the new president “the resistance.” But it is accurately described as “an insurrection.” They’re determined to destroy a duly elected president of the United States, by resignation or impeachment if they can, and if that doesn’t work, maybe something more sinister will be employed. We’ve never before seen anything like this. We’re sailing in uncharted water.
    -Wesley Pruden

    A-frakin'-men to that!

    Look at yourselves... Ya'all are drooling with glee at the prospect of the US Intelligence Community is actively trying to take down a duly and legally elected President Of The United States...

    Imagine, at the beginning of CW.COM over 10 years ago, if I would have told ya'all, "Ya know?? There will come a time when the US Intelligence Community will actively pursue and try to bring down a duly, legally and fairly elected POTUS and ya'all will not only support and condone such an action, you will actually do so with glee and happy abandon.."

    Ya'all would have thought I was totally nuts..

    And yet, that is EXACTLY what is happening..

    Stig himself said as much.. Schumer said as much...

    I don't recognize you people anymore...

    And that's the sad and honest fact...

  28. [28] 
    DecayedOldBritishLiberal wrote:

    Michale:

    TL;DR.

  29. [29] 
    michale wrote:

    TL;DR.

    Thanx :D

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (27)-
    Are you sure you didn't say that ten years ago ? :D
    I would contend that no president has been fairly elected since before I started voting 40 years ago.
    In fact no Democrat or Republican has been fairly elected to Congress or the Senate either.
    But fairly is a fairly subjective word.
    Let's explore another word that you left out- constitutionally.
    Under current election law when you vote for a candidate in the general election you not only cast a vote to elect the candidate to office, you also cast a vote to establish the status of that candidate's party for the next election cycle. When a party gets enough candidate votes in the general election of one election cycle they achieve minor or major party status for the next election cycle.
    When a party achieves major party status they get many benefits, including participation in the primaries.
    Because only the Current Major Parties can win in the general election, they are the only ones that can get enough votes to qualify for major party status in the next election which makes them the only ones that can win that election.
    I call this the Cycle of Inevitability.
    This is unconstitutional.
    The issue of which candidate a citizen votes for in the general election in one election cycle and the issue of which party a citizen wants to vote to establish for the next election are two separate issues, for two separate elections.
    The Supreme Court has ruled that contributing money is an act of free speech. If contributing money to a candidate, party or cause is free speech, then certainly voting for a candidate, party or cause is also free speech.
    So the current election law is unconstitutional because it forces citizens to sacrifice their free speech on one of these issues in one election cycle in order to exercise their free speech in the other election cycle.
    Think of how different 2000 and every election up to 2016 could have been if in 2000 citizens could have voted for Bush or Gore (and Dem or Repub congressional candidates) while casting a separate vote to establish a third party for the next election cycle.
    Current election law is not only unfair and unconstitutional, it is a scam that those who condemn things should vociferously condemn. :D

  31. [31] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Altohone-12

    That's a hoot!

    Has anybody else received e-mails from WH.gov with vague, yet glowing, accounts of how much Trump has accomplished in such a short time?

    Each time I get one, I check the "take me off the list" box...but like everything else Trump I have ever encountered, it doesn't work as advertised.

    I'm still calling every day, and not just my own reps (this abbreviation can be decoded as "representatives" or "reprehensibles" depending on the phone number).

    When calling outside my state, I remind the staff member that his/her boss is, for practical purposes, represents everybody on the planet, not just ones who can vote him/her in or out of office. When I call small states, I add that their state gets more representation per voter than I do in my much more populous state. Staff are uniformly polite, I assume the calls are taped "for quality control."

    Trump has opined that reporters should not be allowed to use anonymous sources. That privilege is apparently reserved for Lord Trump. I'll take that point up with the Ministry of Information...a Mr. Goebbels I believe.

    "A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth" - Mr. G.

  32. [32] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH - 30

    "Because only the Current Major Parties can win in the general election, they are the only ones that can get enough votes to qualify for major party status in the next election which makes them the only ones that can win that election. [ ] This is unconstitutional."

    How is that unconstitutional? What articles/sections/amendments are being violated?

  33. [33] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    Why do you keep asking me questions that are already answered ? (not that I don't appreciate the discussion)
    First amendment- Right to free speech.
    The explanation starts right after "This is unconstitutional."
    And "This is unconstitutional" refers to the current election law that is described up to that point, not just the one part about the results of the law you picked out of the description.
    I would have thought that would be obvious. Maybe I'm giving you too much credit.

  34. [34] 
    michale wrote:

    Don,

    Are you sure you didn't say that ten years ago ? :D

    Abso-tively..

    Because I know for a FACT that **NEVER** in my most wildest and fevered imaginations that I would come up with the wild idea that the entirety of the Left Wingery, including everyone here, would actually CHEER the Intelligence community as they worked to tear down the freely, duly and legally elected President Of The United States...

    I would contend that no president has been fairly elected since before I started voting 40 years ago.

    Depends on how one defines "fairly"...

    But fairly is a fairly subjective word.

    Yes it is.. :D

    So the current election law is unconstitutional because it forces citizens to sacrifice their free speech on one of these issues in one election cycle in order to exercise their free speech in the other election cycle.

    Forgive me, but that sounds like the kind of reasoning that Texans give that "proves" Texas is not really part of the United States...

    It sounds logical, rational and reasonable, but it's completely incompatible with the here and now..

  35. [35] 
    michale wrote:

    "A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth" - Mr. G.

    I continue to ask, but NEVER have gotten an answer that is logical and factual..

    WHERE is the "lie" that AG Sessions allegedly told??

  36. [36] 
    TheStig wrote:

    First Amendment:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

    Your issue, with paragraph structure:

    " The issue of which candidate a citizen votes for in the general election in one election cycle and the issue of which party a citizen wants to vote to establish for the next election are two separate issues, for two separate elections."

    OK, accept as written for sake of argument...

    "The Supreme Court has ruled that contributing money is an act of free speech. If contributing money to a candidate, party or cause is free speech, then certainly voting for a candidate, party or cause is also free speech."

    Paid advertising is free speech. Let's accept that voting is an act of free speech.....

    "So the current election law is unconstitutional because it forces citizens to sacrifice their free speech on one of these issues in one election cycle in order to exercise their free speech in the other election cycle."

    How so?

    You get to vote in both cycles. You've exercised that aspect of free speech, if you choose to vote. You can comment on the election, you can complain it was unfair, all aspects of free speech. Free speech does not mean that YOUR free speaking ultimately sets the agenda. If it did, you would violate other peoples free speech by violating their personal agendas which disagree with yours.

    Your free speech argument falls apart. Free speech gives you the right to argue argue about the rules.
    It doesn't grant you the right to win.

  37. [37] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The first suspect in the bombing threat campaign against the Jewish community has been arrested.

    Juan Thompson, 31, Saint Louis MO. Generic Loser

    Juan, Be thankful you are dealing with the US justice system. It beats having to deal with the long arm of Mossad.

  38. [38] 
    michale wrote:

    Juan Thompson, 31, Saint Louis MO. Generic Loser

    Sounds like a DNC staffer....

    Juan, Be thankful you are dealing with the US justice system. It beats having to deal with the long arm of Mossad.

    Word.....

  39. [39] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    stig (36)-
    Yes, you get to vote in both cycles.
    But you don't get to vote in the second election on the issue of which party is established as a major party in that election. That vote is taken from the vote you cast on the different issue of which candidate you voted for in the previous election.
    What the current law does is take the vote cast for a candidate to be elected to office in one election cycle and uses it in the NEXT election cycle for the different issue of which party to establish as a major party for that election cycle.
    Not allowing citizens to cast separate votes on these two separate issues for two separate elections limits their free speech by not allowing them to vote on one of these issues. This prevents me from exercising my free speech in the voting booth, which you conveniently left out of your list of free speech unrelated to the constitutional question at hand.
    Just because you claim I could vote doesn't cover it. If I'm not allowed to vote for the candidates and parties I choose to vote for then I am not in reality being allowed to vote.
    One vote on what is two issues whether they are in two separate elections or not, and depending on the citizen could be two disparate issues, is one vote short.
    For example, would you say that it would be unconstitutional if the election law said that the vote you cast for Congress would be used also as your vote for president ?

  40. [40] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Juan Thompson, 31, Saint Louis MO. Generic Loser
    Sounds like a DNC staffer....

    Sounds like a faux-left faux news commentator.
    What's-his-name? Juan somebody...

  41. [41] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (34)-
    Not familiar with the Texas argument.
    Please explain how this and the "incompatible with the here and now" have relevance to whether the election law is unconstitutional.
    As I have said before, if I don't know what your objection is, I can't tell you why you're wrong. :D

  42. [42] 
    michale wrote:

    Michale (34)-
    Not familiar with the Texas argument.

    Towhit, that the United States never properly ratified the treaty that acquired Texas blaa blaa blaa blaaa....

    Even IF it's accurate, do you HONESTLY believe that people are going to upend the entire country over it??

    It's the same with your explanation about elections being unconstitutional..

    Even if it were factually accurate, do you honestly believe that the entire election process is going to be upended to radically change it to what you suggest??

    Even if you are 10000% factually accurate??

    Nope.. Not gonna happen.. :D

    Basically reality beats theory any day of the week and twice on Sunday...

  43. [43] 
    Paula wrote:
  44. [44] 
    TheStig wrote:

    "Not allowing citizens to cast separate votes on these two separate issues for two separate elections limits their free speech by not allowing them to vote on one of these issues."

    Not so. You didn't speak early enough, and/or effectively enough to get your idea on the ballot. The Constitution doesn't give you a printing press, or a sales team, those elements are up to you. Free speech does not equate with equal speech. Not all speech is equal in the marketplace of ideas. You don't seem to get that.

    You have been selling VV for some time. Nobody has stopped you from talking about, but as far as I can see, very few have bought into your idea. You have failed in the marketplace of free speech.

    You are a crank. A crank has one idea. A crank is congenitally incapable of seeing basic flaws in their pet project. They can never produce working models of their ideas. They make links, but never make a working chain. The role call includes inventors of perpetual motion devices, anti-gravity fields, Way Back machines and utopian governments....

    Sorry to break it to you, but that's how I see it.
    The Constitution doesn't protect me from wading around crank speech, but TamperMonkey does.

  45. [45] 
    michale wrote:

    You are a crank. A crank has one idea. A crank is congenitally incapable of seeing basic flaws in their pet project. They can never produce working models of their ideas. They make links, but never make a working chain. The role call includes inventors of perpetual motion devices, anti-gravity fields, Way Back machines and utopian governments....

    Wow.....

    It's like I have always said.. Left Wingers are some of the most intolerant and mean and nasty people there are...

    I just never thought I would see it put into practice so blatantly... ESPECIALLY when it's not directed at me...

    The Constitution doesn't protect me from wading around crank speech, but TamperMonkey does.

    Yea.. Gods forbid you should be exposed to ideas you don't like..

    Run away to yer safe space, little snowflake.. :^/

  46. [46] 
    michale wrote:

    After Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of “splitting hairs” over Jeff Sessions’ reported meetings with the Russian ambassador, she did the very same thing when she was asked a similar question.

    “You’ve been in Congress a little bit and you’re in leadership, have you ever met with the Russian ambassador?” Politico reporter Jake Sherman asked Pelosi on Friday.

    After an awkwardly long silence, Pelosi answered, “Not with this Russian ambassador, no,” before quickly trying to move on.

    “Is it normal to meet with ambassadors?” Sherman asked.

    “Yeah,” Pelosi responded.
    http://www.theamericanmirror.com/video-awkward-silence-pelosi-asked-shes-ever-met-russians/

    Once again, Democrats are made to look like complete and utter fools...

    They keep digging themselves deeper and deeper into a hole....

  47. [47] 
    michale wrote:

    Hay Paula,

    Trumpers: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/brandon-davis-accused-running-down-men-sccoter

    Anti-Trump Communist Arrested For Jewish Community Center Bomb Threats
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/03/anti-trump-communist-arrested-for-jewish-community-center-bomb-threats/#ixzz4aHywmNNx

    Anti-Trumper... AKA Democrat NOT-45 Supporter...

    "I can do this all day."
    -Captain America

    :D

  48. [48] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (45)-
    Thanks.
    But the rant just shows the desperation behind the fact that he can't address the issue at hand so he tries to change the debate by introducing unrelated issues.

  49. [49] 
    michale wrote:

    Hay Paula,

    Trumpers:
    talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/brandon-davis-accused-running-down-men-sccoter

    Anti-Trump Communist Arrested For Jewish Community Center Bomb Threats
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/03/anti-trump-communist-arrested-for-jewish-community-center-bomb-threats/#ixzz4aHywmNNx

    Anti-Trumper... AKA Democrat NOT-45 Supporter...

    "I can do this all day."
    -Captain America

    :D

  50. [50] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    NO. The issue IS on the ballot.
    You cannot vote for a candidate in one election without also having that vote counted as a vote to establish the status of that candidate's party in the next election.
    "Not all speech is equal in the marketplace of ideas."
    True. But we are not talking about the marketplace of ideas. We are talking about free speech in the voting booth and the election laws that affect that free speech. The 14th amendment (equal protection under the law) is clear on that fact that the free speech IS equal in the voting booth.
    But let give you another example, so maybe you will get what you are not getting.
    In NJ we have public questions on our ballot that require a yes or no answer. Many states also have I&R with the same yes or no choice.
    (before you go saying it's up to the state constitution, state constitutions cannot take away rights granted under the federal constitution.)
    Let's suppose a citizen was in favor of a carbon tax and against fracking.
    If there were a question or I&R that was in favor of the carbon tax the citizen would want to vote yes. The citizen would also want to vote no on a question or I&R that was in favor of allowing fracking anywhere in the state.
    If the state law said that a citizen could only cast one vote for all public questions which would mean that a citizen could not even vote on one question and not vote on the other, wouldn't that be an unconstitutional violation of their right to free speech ?
    "You are a crank. A crank has one idea."
    Let's see in just the last week there has been discussion on VV, the idea for point source power generation and the issue of separate voting for parties and candidates that we are discussing now.
    By your own definition I am not a crank.
    But you are certainly acting cranky (which I may have contributed to with my attempts at humor like that. Sorry if the little bit of Don Rickles lurking in the background slips out every now and then).
    "A crank is congenitally (that better not have anything to do with my genitals) incapable of seeing basic flaws in their pet project."
    VV is not generation one.
    Many years ago there was an attempt to start the Hundred Dollar Party.
    The idea was that with the ability to vote separately for parties and candidates that third parties would enable the party to qualify for a primary without having to spend millions of dollars and many years running candidates that can't win to try to establish the party.
    This would allow the party to be started with just one campaign and small contributions of 100 dollars until the party is established, which could then be applied to the candidates that we would field in the primaries.
    As I learned that citizens didn't have the balls to stick in there for third parties and people could not understand the separate voting concept (our discussion case in point) I adapted and created VV that doesn't require forming third parties, can be used by all citizen on all parties and can create viable competitive small contribution candidates both within and outside of the two party system.
    Again, not a crank by your own definition.
    But thanks again for the discussion. I do appreciate the parts you have actually addressed.

  51. [51] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And just because I am still talking about separate voting still doesn't make me a crank.
    It is still unconstitutional.

  52. [52] 
    altohone wrote:

    20

    The video of Sessions responding to Franken is unambiguous. There weren't any weasely qualifiers.
    Sessions lied under oath.

    Denial and whataboutery qualify as different responses, just not valid ones.

    A

  53. [53] 
    altohone wrote:

    TS
    37

    Juan Thompson was a reporter for The Intercept who was fired for fabricating quotes in his articles about a year and a half ago.

    He mentioned his name when making some of the threats and tried to blame them on his ex-girlfriend.

    Pretty amazing it took them so long to catch him after he identified himself.

    It sounds like he may have a pretty good insanity defense though.

    Unfortunately, he is only responsible for 8 of the threats, so someone else, or multiple people, are responsible for the other 100.

    A

  54. [54] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    Still not sure how it applies to Texas.
    Pretty sure the First Amendment was ratified many years ago.
    "Even if it were factually accurate..." implies it is factually inaccurate.
    What is about this is factually inaccurate ?
    "Do you HONESTLY believe that people are going to upend the entire country over it ?"
    Not anymore. (covered in comment 49)
    But to also answer the question about the entire election process I do believe that if the Supreme Court were to rule on this issue (highly unlikely because it would receive a favorable summary judgement in the initial federal court filing that would make any appeal to a higher court pointless) they would certainly rule in my favor.
    And as for upending the entire election process in general- you say that like it's a bad thing.

  55. [55] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [156] {moved forward}

    No, he did not..

    Sessions was asked if he ever met with any Russian officials and discussed the election.

    He answered "NO"..

    What part of full disclosure has you confused? What part of the "whole truth" is unclear to an LEO? Not only did Sessions lie in his confirmation hearing, he lied in his press conference when he volunteered:

    SESSIONS: "I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign, and the idea that I was part of a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government is totally false. That's the question that Senator Franken asked me during the committee hearing."

    A total BS lie from the Attorney General of the United States. Obviously, everyone understands that politicians lie, but why lie about something at the beginning of your press conference that is easily provable to be a complete and total fabrication? So what did Al Franken actually ask Sessions in his confirmation hearing?

    *****

    FRANKEN: CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week that included information that quote, "Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump." These documents also allegedly say quote, "There was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government."

    Now, again, I'm telling you this as it's coming out, so you know. But if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?

    SESSIONS: Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn't have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it.

    *****

    Franken asked Sessions what he would do if the information CNN had reported were true. Sessions volunteered the false information, and he now admits to meeting with Russian officials... twice. So I ask you: What part of swearing to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" is confusing you? Sessions is also now saying that in retrospect he should have disclosed the meeting with the ambassador. It's no big secret that lawyers understand the concept of "full disclosure." LOL

    https://youtu.be/saByf9QAmCY?t=10m18s

    If you have ANY facts to support your claim that this is a lie, let's see them..

    If you have any facts to support your claim that he didn't speak about the election, let's see them. And since we're talking about the United States Attorney General and proof: Did anyone... ANYONE... have any proof whatsoever regarding what Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch discussed on the tarmac? Not a living soul, including you, but the Trump advocates insisted it was nefarious... funny how that cuts both ways. :)

    Now that the FACTS are aired, ANYONE who claims that Session lied is lying...

    Anyone who insists he isn't lying under oath both orally and written when asked to provide the "truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" is either delusional or has never gone through a government security clearance. You don't have to be perfect to pass the clearance, but you are expected to provide the truth and give full disclosure. You can't have committed multiple felonies by violating a federal law thousands of times and expect to pass scrutiny, but if you've got a few dings, you're fine as long as you follow full disclosure and tell them before they find out about it. The issue isn't whether you're perfect; the issue is whether or not you're trustworthy. This ain't rocket science, Mr. LEO. He was under oath. :)

  56. [56] 
    TheStig wrote:

    ALtohone-52

    The FBI press release paints Thompson as a low hanging fruitcake with false flag motives against his ex- girlfriend. Still, it was terrorism, and cracking this case will a deterrent effect. Good job FBI and other agencies involved!

  57. [57] 
    TheStig wrote:

    My latest New Yorker magazine just arrived, and
    the venerable Eustace Tilley annual cover has undergone a major makeover this spring.

    http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/58b01b6701fe5818378b4a60-837

  58. [58] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I like that cover. heh!

  59. [59] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Tamper monkey test-
    Stig-
    I guess your non answer to comment 49 means you are no longer reading my comments.
    I guess it really doesn't matter if that's how you surrender since most of the the time you didn't really address the issue at hand anyway.
    Since you are no longer paying attention (and some of your comments had already put that in doubt) I guess it would be a waste of time to point out that I actually addressed the issues in your responses while you failed miserably in that regard.
    Hey, this is fun. Can I get tamper monkey to block my comments from stig when I want to insult him so he won't know I'm doing it if he unblocks me and sees my comments again ? :D

  60. [60] 
    Paula wrote:

    [48] Um, no. See, the Trumper, in his attack, yelled "You're in Trump country now!" (between his other slurs and threats).

    Juan Thompson did not include in his bomb threats: "I'm doing this because I'm a Democrat!" or "I'm threatening you because I vote for Progressives!" He's an asshole who's been stalking his girlfriend (who had the sense to break up with him), and who was FIRED by the Intercept for making stuff up.

    You won't find Dem/Prog leaders or voters running around talking about how they applaud and support Thompson or his acts. But Trump holds rallies to praise his thugs.

    FALSE EQUIVALENCY and refusal to admit Trump encourages thuggery and the GOP lets him do it.

  61. [61] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS [56]

    My latest New Yorker magazine just arrived, and
    the venerable Eustace Tilley annual cover has undergone a major makeover this spring.

    Akh, Vladimir, khozyain fashistskoy Cheeto. :)

  62. [62] 
    dsws wrote:

    This is going nowhere.

    There are checks and balances in our system. But the electorate also has the ability to override the checks and balances, by electing one party to all parts of government. We have done so. We knew the (R) stood for Russia when we did it.

    We can't quite say that Russia won the elections fair and square. But they did win them, for every branch, at all levels above municipal, in a way that does not invalidate the outcomes. We have fixed terms, so short of the "second-amendment remedies" that Republicans used to like so much, we're stuck with Russia in charge.

  63. [63] 
    michale wrote:

    FALSE EQUIVALENCY and refusal to admit Trump encourages thuggery and the GOP lets him do it.

    You would be right..

    Except for the fact that it has already been mutually agreed here in Weigantia by people with more than 2 brain cells to rub together that Candidates or Presidents are not responsible for the actions of their supporters..

    If they were, then yer morons, Obama and NOT-45 would have been locked up a long time ago for his responsibility in all the riots and violence and destruction caused by his supporters..

    I get it, I really do.. It's just too hard for you to put down the whine and sour grapes...

    Your NOT-45 couldn't close the deal and Donald Trump is president..

    These are the facts.. Deal with it..

  64. [64] 
    michale wrote:

    What part of full disclosure has you confused? What part of the "whole truth" is unclear to an LEO? Not only did Sessions lie in his confirmation hearing, he lied in his press conference when he volunteered:

    SESSIONS: "I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign, and the idea that I was part of a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government is totally false. That's the question that Senator Franken asked me during the committee hearing."

    What part of that was a lie???

    Answer: None

    You have absolutely NO FACTS to support that Sessions lied or that Sessions committed perjury..

    NONE... ZERO.... ZILCH.... NADA......

    This is nothing but a Democrat hysterical attempt to attack President Trump..

    Ya'all have PROVEN you don't care about lying over and over again because Dims lie all the time and you don't say boo...

    So, what else could this be about, except for attacking President Trump with a useless hysterical nothing-berger...

  65. [65] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [63]

    SESSIONS: "I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign, and the idea that I was part of a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government is totally false. That's the question that Senator Franken asked me during the committee hearing."

    What part of that was a lie???

    Answer: None

    It's a real time saver when you provide the proof of your own ignorance. :) LOL

    Anyone reading the transcript can plainly see that this is NOT the question that Senator Franken asked him; it's simply the question he wants everyone to think he was asked.

    You have absolutely NO FACTS to support that Sessions lied or that Sessions committed perjury..

    LEO who doesn't know the meaning of "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Sad! #IgnorantLEO

    Sessions is a lawyer who knows full well about disclosure, which is why he's already admitted he should have been more thorough in his answer and why he's taken steps to mischaracterize the question Franken actually asked him. It would be truthful if Sessions said he might have misunderstood the question, but it is a flat out fabrication for him to restate the actual question he was asked by Franken. I've already stated that I did not believe the evidence so far rose to the level of perjury. Try to keep up. :)

  66. [66] 
    michale wrote:

    Anyone reading the transcript can plainly see that this is NOT the question that Senator Franken asked him; it's simply the question he wants everyone to think he was asked.

    Really??

    FRANKEN: CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week that included information that quote, "Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump." These documents also allegedly say quote, "There was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government."

    Now, again, I'm telling you this as it's coming out, so you know. But if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?

    It's completely clear from YOUR OWN posting of Franken's question that it IS exactly what Franken was asking..

    Thank you for proving your ignorance..

    LEO who doesn't know the meaning of "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Sad! #IgnorantLEO

    And ignorant snowflake doesn't know the meaning of perjury or lying..

    THAT is what is sad..

    I've already stated that I did not believe the evidence so far rose to the level of perjury.

    WOW.. You actually have a brain cell!

    OF COURSE it's not perjury.... THAT is what I have been saying the WHOLE time...

    Duuuuuhhhhh..

  67. [67] 
    michale wrote:

    Here's the ONLY relevant part of Franken's question..

    “a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.”

    Sessions answered:

    “I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”

    Absolutely NOTHING about AG Sessions answer was false.. NOTHING was a lie..

    It was ALL completely and 1000% factual and truthful...

    Sessions didn't NEED to go into Senate meetings with the Russian ambassador because, as a sitting Senator, Franken would *KNOW* that such meetings between foreign officials and sitting Senators is routine and common place...

    Franken asked about meetings that Sessions had with any Russian **"AS A SURROGATE OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN"** and AG Sessions answered honestly and truthfully that there were none..

    Ya'all have been WRONG, WRONG, HYSTERICALLY WRONG about this whole thing...

    As the **FACTS** clearly show....

    Once again...

    DDUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHH

  68. [68] 
    michale wrote:

    JL,

    Help me out here...

    Ya LOVED to equivocate when NOT-45 is being accused of lying.... :D And, as much as I hate to admit it, you are more or less reasonable about it..

    Weigh in here....

    Did AG Sessions lie??

    Did AG Sessions commit perjury??

  69. [69] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    did he lie? No. Refusing to answer the question you're asked is politics 101. Franken asked one question and sessions answered another different question. That's not perjury it's politics.

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