Trump was being investigated by the FBI for acting as a Russian agent before Muller was appointed

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Before Trump fired Comey, the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation against Trump.  Comey likely knew this was coming, which is why he was unwilling to tell Congress that the president was not a target of any investigation, but merely a subject.  It turns out that Trump became a target even before Comey was fired.  

Muller has Trump's iCloud data, and likely every email and text sent by anyone in the White House.  If it turns out that Trump knew about this before he fired Comey, he will be indicted for obstruction of justice and almost certainly convicted on that charge alone.  

More ominously, if it turns out that Trump was in fact doing the Russian government's bidding (as seems increasingly more likely given his actions from the 2016 Republican convention to present, to the point that it is a near certainty among those who have been paying attention and who do not view the world through the blinders of "loyalty" to Trump), he will be indicted, prosecuted, and convicted of treason.

Examples of treason:

1.  Changing the US's foreign policy platform in relation to intervention in Ukraine in exchange for something of value from the Russian government.
2.  Conspiring with agents of the foreign government, directly or indirectly, to change US policy related to intervention in Syria in exchange for something of value from the Russian government. 
3.  Relieving or promising to relieve, or refusing to enforce or implement, sanctions of any kind, including in particular, those against Oleg Deripaska and those generally targeted by the Magnitsky Act, in exchange for something of value from the Russian government.
4.  Offering, or promising to offer, any particular US citizen, or former US Citizen, including Bill Browder, to the Russian Government, in exchange for anything of value from the Russian government. 
5.  Receiving, conspiring to receive, or knowingly directly or indirectly benefitting from election assistance of any kind from the Russian government or any agent of group of agents from the Russian government; in exchange for anything of value to or from the Russian government; either on an isolated basis, or on an ongoing basis. 



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How do you feel about the current ineffective Congress? How can they get 2/3 for impeachment when they can't even get 2/3 to get the government running again?
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Before Trump fired Comey, the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation against Trump.  Comey likely knew this was coming, which is why he was unwilling to tell Congress that the president was not a target of any investigation, but merely a subject.  It turns out that Trump became a target even before Comey was fired. 
Now, this contradicts the NYT story from last Fri



Can you clarify if you are disputing the present reports?

he will be indicted, prosecuted, and convicted of treason.
I'm fairly convinced that Trump merits such a fate but the actual range of potential outcomes seems far broader to me.  What do you suppose are the National security consequences of a trial and conviction?  Do you foresee a sentence of death?  Will he be tried with co-conspirators?
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The NYT article is not inconsistent with what I said.  The counterintel investigation was in play before Comey was fired.  
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Before Trump fired Comey, the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation against Trump.  Comey likely knew this was coming, which is why he was unwilling to tell Congress that the president was not a target of any investigation, but merely a subject.  It turns out that Trump became a target even before Comey was fired.
That doesn't prove Trump's corruption, it proves FBI corruption. There was no evidence and no warrant but they investigated him anyways.

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As usual, you are wrong on every level.
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As usual, you have nothing to say because I have you beat.

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I also read that the FBI investigation was Retaliatory for the firing of Comey.

New York times..recent article.


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The amount of disinformation from right-wing sources is incredible.  The counter-intel investigation into Trump was in play before Comey was fired, and it was being developed even when Comey told Trump that he was not a "target" of any investigation but merely a "subject".  Comey knew that Trump was going to become a target of investigation, which is why he refused to speak to congress on the subject.  

Further, the suggestion that the FBI "retaliated" against Trump begins and ends in conspiratorial absurdity.  The Special Counsel's office took over that investigation after Muller was appointed, meaning that the FBI was not running point at that time.  So, how could the FBI have "retaliated"?  They couldn't have.  After all, the DOJ is what caused the Special Counsel's office to come into existence.

If you want to go article by article, from the right wing nut jobs... feel free.  We'll speak facts to fantasy, though not quite "truth" to "power" because the right wing has no power, now.  The only power held by these right wing media figures is over the minds and imaginations of people like MHarman, who believe in the fantasy that Fox News and their compatriots have created for their viewer-base.  Basically, Fox News is to Republicans what North Korean Media is to Kim Jong Un's loyal worshipers. 

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NYT is a Right wing conspiracy rag?
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NYT has not contradicted what I said.  
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1st paragraph of the article.

WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.


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That has nothing to do with retaliation, and does not contradict anything I have said.  You misinterpreted the article. 
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You say before, the article says after the firing.
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You are misinterpreting the article. 

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From what I heard, the main accusation against Trump was that he helped a large number of Russian oligarchs launder their money. If so:
1. Did this involve helping them evade US sanctions (presumably from 2014 and beyond)?
2. How has this harmed the interests of the United States?
3. Has the damage to the United States caused by Trump (supposedly, at this point) colluding with Russia exceeded the damage caused by the erosion in the public's faith in the government caused by these long, drawn out, and very public investigations into a sitting president commenced by the Democratic party and senate Republicans?
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All great questions.  I can't answer these briefly.  This will take a lot of time.  Stay tuned.  Ask more if you want.
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When will Mueller finish?
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From what I heard, the main accusation against Trump was that he helped a large number of Russian oligarchs launder their money.
That is correct, but that's not the end of the story.  Trump's relationship with Russians in the KGB began when he was identified as a potential agent of influence who could be useful to them in the future.  He was invited to Russia and went there many times, where he has engaged in a number of questionable activities.  Some of those activities you may have heard about, which would be the golden shower tape.  Other activities you may not have heard about, like a certain video of Trump with a prostitute in the late 1980s in a hotel in Moscow.  This is called "compromat" in the form of a honey pot trap.  But, even though this is basically standard operating procedure for the KGB, the KGB are much more sophisticated than merely luring someone like Trump into a sexually compromising position.  

Where the KGB's talent really comes through is in their business acumen, and to understand this, you have to go back to what happened after the sort of privatization (read: theft of state assets) that occurred in the 1990s after the fall of the USSR.  While the process isn't really all that important for our purposes, a very small number of people got very rich, very quickly.  But, no one in what was then Russia knew anything about asset valuation and so they undervalued nearly everything... until people like Bill Browder started throwing money around (that's another story for another day, though).  Once people figured out how to gain private ownership of state assets, political alliances solidified.  Though there was a period of relative freedom, state power quickly consolidated by about 1997-1998.  By that time, though, Yeltsin had made a lot of very real enemies.  He needed someone who would protect him and his family.  Putin was that person. 

I have a lot of things to say about Putin, but what matters about Trump and Putin is that the oligarchs Putin empowered in some cases, or created in others had a problem.  Their problem was that they had amassed spectacular wealth in Russia because of their theft of state assets, mostly in raw materials exports (petrochemicals, nickel, phosphates, aluminum, etc.).  So, the challenge was "how do we get the money from Russia to a place more stable?"  This was a real problem, because the Ruble is a really precarious currency (take a look at how it changed between 2000 and when Bush invaded Iraq, and then how it fluctuated until the present day.  What, then, do you do if you are an oligarch in need of protecting your stolen assets?  It's not like you can just walk up to Goldman Sachs and say "hey, I'd like to invest!"  You've got all kinds of problems that anything approximating a minimally adequate level of due diligence would reveal.  

So, you want stability.  You also want to be able to spend your money on things in the West.  You want to be able to do that without the trivialities and inconveniences of, say, taxes... to the extent they can be avoided.  But, you can't really just buy these things yourself.  Holding companies that own mysterious LLCs that own mysterious LLCs that own mysterious LLCs that own mysterious LLCs need to be set up.  For most people, when you've got someone going to such a great effort to obscure the source of their money, that's a red flag, and that red flag is a problem, and that red problem means that I'm not going to do business with you because of various US laws, like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and my potential criminal liability for doing business with you.  But, if you've got an all-cash transaction from the bottom LLC?

Trump didn't ask questions.  Maybe because he was too stupid to ask; maybe because he didn't care.  Money was money.  This was very helpful for Russians who needed to move money out of Russia and move it into the United States.  Trump was the way to launder money into the United States.  Trump got a cut, too.  The properties were almost uniformly overvalued, which is the other thing that's nice about residential real estate... valuation is pretty subjective.  This makes condos an ideal currency to launder money with.  It turns out, that's how most of Trump Towers' condos in every US City with one and Canada got purchased.  Most of them aren't even occupied.  





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But Trump had a problem, too.  Trump couldn't get loans from conventional sources because he was a deadbeat, in every sense of the word.  He stiffed everyone, even his lawyers.  Even, in the end, Michael Cohen.  No one would lend to him.  That put Trump in a bit of a bind.  Enter, Russia.  They solved that problem.  They lent to him.  They financed him when no one else would.  They facilitated funding from DanskeBank and DeutscheBank to fund Trump Tower in Chicago.  They paid for the beautiful golf course in Scotland.  

1. Did this involve helping them evade US sanctions (presumably from 2014 and beyond)?
Not likely.  The deals between Trump and Russia now are more in the fashion of "relieve" sanctions on Putin and his people, in exchange for dream business deals with Russians in general and Russian Banks to finance more Trump Tower projects in particular. 

2. How has this harmed the interests of the United States?
This in itself is the kind of post I'm going to have to come back to, because the categories of US interests that are harmed are not limited to one category or another.  They are both domestic and international; on military, diplomatic, and economic axioms.  Generally, Trump has ceded US power and influence to hostile foreign powers, forsaken US alliances, and created conditions for global instability of every possible kind because he has withdrawn America from the world.  We have never been closer to a total war than we are, now.  This is ironic, because the Trump people claimed that in fact it was Clinton who would start WWIII.   The domestic harms, though, predominate.  Trump conspired with a hostile foreign power to undermine American democracy.  

3. Has the damage to the United States caused by Trump (supposedly, at this point) colluding with Russia exceeded the damage caused by the erosion in the public's faith in the government caused by these long, drawn out, and very public investigations into a sitting president commenced by the Democratic party and senate Republicans?
I reject multiple premises within that question.  Because there are so many premises that have to be broken down, this is a topic I'll have to return to later. 
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>When will Muller finish?

Muller will finish by the end of March, unless something else happens.