The Trump Jr. Imbroglio
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-07-12 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 313 references Ignore this thread
The Trump Jr. Imbroglio
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There is a rather interesting question that has developed with regard to Donald Trump Jr. and the Russians.

See, he met with one of them.  A Russian attorney, who claimed to have dirt on Hillary.

She didn't, and the conversation quickly turned to Putin's killing off the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans, which turned out to be a fruitless avenue as well, since this Russian lady really wasn't connected to the Kremlin at all -- although she was relatively powerful within Russian "circles in influence."

This has led critics to scream Russia! once again, of course, but raises a rather novel question that I've not really seen addressed.  Indeed, it may be, if tested, a case of first impression, and it's one that bears some attention for that reason.

The central point is this: It is illegal to knowingly solicit, or accept (either through knowledge or lack of reasonable inquiry), anything of value in respect to a US Federal political campaign from a foreign national.

I've been the Treasurer for a US House run, and am quite-aware of this law.  It's why you have to disclose who you are, and affirm that you're a US citizen when you give money to a campaign.  But it's not just money -- for example, when I ran ads for Kerry Bentivolio during his US House run I had to report my best estimate of their fair market value to his campaign.  That's because the ads are valuable; if he bought them he'd have to pay me, and therefore since I gave them to his campaign I had to document that (and he had to report it.)  If I had not been a US Citizen for him to accept that donation would have been illegal.

This is a materially-different matter though.  The lawyer didn't offer money, or advertising, or anything of that sort.  She offered information which Trump Jr. was prepared to accept and in fact made every effort to obtain.

Is information something falls under the definition of "something of value" and thus subject to this law.

I don't know, to be frank.

My first impression is "No", but I'm a long way from certain that's right, and I sure as Hell wouldn't take my own counsel on the legality of that impression.

The implications here are profound.  Much information is in fact gathered, held and processed by people who are not US Citizens, or firms controlled by non-US Citizens.  Is it illegal for a US political campaign to, for example, use a database of information that passes through and is processed by a company in England?

Is it illegal for a US political campaign to use a cloud computing platform that has part of its operation in other nations if any part of the data passes through or is contained upon said systems, and derives any of its value from the acts of foreign nationals?

I don't know.

But this question is not a "nothingburger", and is going to consume the political process and debate for quite some time.  I think maybe it should too, because there is little doubt that enormous amounts of political information pass through and derive at least some of their usefulness from people and entities that are not entirely of US allegiance and citizenship.

If it's unlawful for Trump Jr. to have had that meeting then it is, under the same argument, similarly unlawful for anyone running a political campaign to derive any benefit from the use of information processing (e.g. cloud computing, databases, graphics design, political intelligence, etc) or related services from any firm or entity that obtains any of the value in same from foreign nationals, including holders of H1b visas which of course instantly implicates every single large technology company in the United States.

This is going to be fun to watch.

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Flappingeagle
Posts: 2621
Incept: 2011-04-14

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Would this not be an endless, unenforceable wormhole?

What if an H1b holder puts a bumper sticker on his car? The candidate is receiving a donation from a non-US citizen in the form of advertising. What if I put a sticker of the candidate I don't like on an H1b visa holder's car? smiley


Endless and unenforceable.

Flap

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Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave the Rat Race to the rats...
Penguinzee
Posts: 356
Incept: 2010-06-13

Tampa Bay, FL
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Information, by definition, has value-whether it's intelligence on your rivals, or how to set up a machine, or information that somehow improves your life, all of it has value... determining said value can be quite a bit tougher, since it's usually not in hard-goods form and easily converted into a commodity (think more along the lines of objets d'art). So for your first question, my answer is unequivically YES...

The whole cloud thing (why on God's Green Earth use that for sensitive info, as you've pointed out here repeatedly) I think is the function of technology outracing society, and the law... I agree it needs to be changed to include only US companies, and that said operations be performed only on US territory, though that could prove extremely difficult to monitor in real-time...

Trump & co. are way out of their league here... Putin and his cronies are grandmasters of political chess, while I'm not totally sure Trump even knows how to play checkers. The way I see this (and I read elsewhere part of this) is that this meeting with Trump Jr was testing the waters as to whether the campaign was willing to be sucked into collusion-the obvious answer here is an emphatic yes, since the meeting is confirmed to have taken place at Trump Tower, and apparently Trump Sr himself was in the building (although not in the meeting itself).

One of the things that has struck me about Putin is how well he has managed to avoid leaving a smoking gun lying around somewhere... always through third parties who may or may not have peripheral connections to the Kremlin, leaving enough tantalizing clues to stir the waters, but no "gotcha" evidence that would solidly implicate Putin...

As it stands, Putin has played Trump like a fine Stradivarius, and I'm not sure Trump even realizes this. Every move has played out like someone who thinks far ahead, and is in the process of boxing in the king. Putin got the candidate he wanted in the White House alright, not because he respects Trump (he doesn't) but because with a few clandestine meetings and political feints, he's managed to politically paralyze his greatest rival without firing a shot...

P

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Crime is far too lucrative a game to let the little people play.-popofthebright
Robc
Posts: 18
Incept: 2009-09-10

Cincinnati
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This reminds me of Snowden. If they are gifting information about a crime an American citizen committed it can't be illegal to receive it just because they are running for office. If you made a political deal for that info, like repealing the Magnitsky act I could see that being collusion.
Tdurden
Posts: 534
Incept: 2015-01-29

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(Doing my best Comey impersonation) Clearly he did not intend to break the law so no reasonable prosecutor would pursue charges.

Mistakes were made but we need to look forward, not backward.

I could prattle on like the crooks in DeeCee do but doing so will imperil my ability to keep my breakfast down.

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"I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next 10 generations that some favors come with too high of a price." -Vir Cotto Babylon 5
Traderdoc
Posts: 28
Incept: 2009-12-26

Morrison, IL
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Let the politicians imagine elections with no influence or donations from the Israeli's. Or maybe they're no foreign.
Traderdoc
Posts: 28
Incept: 2009-12-26

Morrison, IL
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Statement From the Office of Donald Trump, Jr.: For Immediate Release to All News Organizations
Also CNN

Mr. Trump, Jr.:

"The meeting I had with the Russian lawyer during the campaign was completely innocent.

We simply discussed my father selling Putin another 20% of America's uranium supplies while I would be giving speeches in Moscow for half-million dollar payments to the Trump Foundation.

Additionally, our campaign manager would become business partners with Putin in the energy business and accept million-ruble payments from Putin. If caught, those assets could be secretly transferred to a family member. And other family members could lobby for Sanctions Relief on behalf of Putin's Sberbank.

We also secretly conveyed a promised the Russians to be more flexible after the election on missile defenses in Poland.

Furthermore, we cut a secret deal with Putin: if he would help give us political cover with the Iran Deal, and supply our Iranian friends with uranium and missile defenses to protect their nuke factories, we would, in return, allow Russia to run amok in the Middle East and establish military bases there for the first time since America ran them out in 1973.

All these practices--and more!--are all standard, widely-accepted and approved practices in Washington, D.C..

They are completely unremarkable, commonplace collusions and occurrences that require no investigation whatsoever.

In fact, they are the hallmark of Good Government and All That Is Decent, Pure, Good and True(tm).

When Democrats do it."

https://donsurber.blogspot.com/2017/07/c....
Eli
Posts: 8523
Incept: 2007-09-10

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I understand the point about information having value and the underlining law about foreign donations in US elections.

But I think really it is a moot point in the United States of America as it now stands. The problem is there is no rule of law in the United States, laws are broken daily and we operate under a completely corrupt justice system. The US medical industry works like a monopolistic criminal organization that violates laws daily.

Actually, the situation in the United States with application of law is growing increasingly dangerous and unstable. The root of the problem is that bedrock foundation that the legal system was built upon has been completely destroyed.

The foundation that we have lost, and I think for evermore is the principle of Equal Protection Under the Law. That is ****ing gone gone gone. Equal protection not only means you have the same rights under the law but also everyone is subject to the law. The law's function is not just to prosecute the criminal but to protect the law abiding. When the powerful do not face prosecution for crimes, it results in tyranny over those who respect and follow the law.

The fact is the powerful in this country are above the law. The laws of this nation do not apply to them. The law as it now stands is just a tool for them to **** over those lack power and influence to enforce the law or those who lack the means to avoid being subjected to the law.

This current Trump Jr. situation is just an illustration of that fact. Jesus, how many black and white CRIMINAL laws has Hillary and Bill committed just in the recent past? Where is their prosecution?

I would not doubt at this point a prosecution and a conviction of Donald Jr., why? Because at the outset this whole investigation is being run clearly illegally. Muelller is good friends with Comey, under the law a special prosecutor and investigator is supposed to have no relations with people involved under the applicable statute. Guess what no one gives ****! The law is power that is it.


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If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
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Supertruckertom
Posts: 1306
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USA
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Eli just summarized what Bastiat wrote about back in the 1850's in his book The Law.

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Preparing to go Hunting.
Unknownsailor
Posts: 397
Incept: 2009-04-06

Bremerton, WA
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The whole thing smells very strongly like a set-up to me. The Conservative Treehouse does into the history of this lawyer quite extensively, and what he brings up makes it look like a deliberate setup: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/201....
Flyanddive
Posts: 2206
Incept: 2008-10-10

Detroit
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Yes, this entire thing is a setup by the Obama admin to spy on the Trump campaign. Don Jr, took the bait, oops.

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"I've seen people go into real poverty trying to pretend to be rich."
Mistered37
Posts: 9
Incept: 2009-07-30

Salem, OR
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Perhaps off-topic, but I thought this was humorous enough to post, noting the irony of a possible honey pot attempt on Trump Jr, and this ad showed up on the Ticker article. Russian babes!

Eli
Posts: 8523
Incept: 2007-09-10

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Interesting link Unknownsailor.

Also apparently not only was associated with Obama appointees she look at her face palm page. https://www.facebook.com/NataliaVeselnit....

She is posting photos of anti-trump rallies? Vlad holding Trump?

I think this was a setup as well, makes a lot more sense. Look at the hook they used, she was going to provide secret info on Hillary. Nothing was delivered.

But hey the email chain showed she was going to provide info directly from the Russia and it was going to be good!

The email chain would be enough to put under one of those secret FISA judges to start monitoring Jr. and everyone else.

They knew Hillary was going to win, but hey why not know everything Trump is talking about and planning?

Set up a fake meeting reel someone in and then, start reading all their mail and phone calls.

Edit for connections "Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS have worked for several years on the campaign to roll back the Magnitsky Act. Both Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS worked with the law firm BakerHostetler as part of an influence campaign to neuter the sanctions bill, which the Kremlin strongly opposes."

http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/12/does-t....

Okay, so there is a link between this lawyer and Fusion GPS which is the DNC opposition firm that paid for the******dossier?

And the guy who put together the dossier talks about how the Russians have been feeding Trump info for years before he ran? Smells like more bull****.

None of that makes sense, there is no way Russian intelligence would think Trump ever ever had a chance of winning. If the Russians were going to get a candidate who thinks they would pick Trump?


What secret info did the Russians give Trump that he used during the race? Remember the wikileaks hit the DNC before this Trump meeting. And the DNC never handed over the servers, they are the only ones who said the Russians did it. And of course Seth Ritch was killed in an armed robbery and the thugs were kind enough to leave his watch and wallet, but the FBI did go get his laptop. The police did such a good job investigating they did not even talk to the bartender who last saw him.


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If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
George Orwell

Nomullet
Posts: 7744
Incept: 2007-11-11

SW
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disallowing any unanimous foreign sources would be enough for me... Ie if you wanted to use a certain bit of information you must divulge the source

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A bad day of programming is better than a good day of management.
Flyanddive
Posts: 2206
Incept: 2008-10-10

Detroit
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The playbook involving neutering Trump appears to be this:
The forged crowdstrike report showed C2 malware was used, which is amateur hacking. My guess is the next bombshell to drop, would be that Trump's Russian billionaire friends, the same ones who setup the Don Jr meeting, will be the ones who did the hacking. Mueller, who was brought in specifically to protect the Establishment, will not actually charge Trump with anything. Instead he will issue the same statement as Comey did with the Clinton emails, i.e. Trump foreign business ties did the hacking, Trump didn't have intent, and no reasonable prosecutor will file charges, yadda yadda.

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"I've seen people go into real poverty trying to pretend to be rich."
Tickerguy
Posts: 149209
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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He CAN'T charge Trump until he leaves office. Long standing precedent.

But it can fuel an impeachment bid and destruction of any sort of agenda progress.


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Winding it down.
Flyanddive
Posts: 2206
Incept: 2008-10-10

Detroit
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I don't think it's about removing Trump, it's about grinding him to a halt, and demoralizing his base. This will stop any real reforms in this country.

As a side note, the person who carried out the hit on Seth Rich, is supposedly working for the union that represents the medical industry, and funny enough, Trump hotels.

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"I've seen people go into real poverty trying to pretend to be rich."
Crossthread
Posts: 5991
Incept: 2007-09-04

Wilmington, NC
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My question is this...

HOW,,, did the NYTimes Reporter, get/receive the E-mail Chain? As admitted by their OWN reporter,,, He had been setting on it ,, (chasing leads) for a full year?
Leaked through A FISA Warrant? NSA? Fusion GPS?
Some have noted....
If Trump jr. AND the Russian HoneyPot were BOTH Private Citizens at the time.. Were there ANY Laws broken? I think not..

Besides..

[bold]Dershowitz: I Dont See Any Crime That Donald Trump Jr Committed..[/bold]

Quote:
Alan Dershowitz was asked if he thinks Donald Trump Jr. did anything illegal or inappropriate. He responded by saying, I dont see any crime at this point. I think if there was any coordination, even if the worst case scenario as far as we know now is the Russians get in touch with Trump Jr. and say we have some dirt on Hillary Clintonand he goes and gets the information.

Dershowitz goes on to explain that its exactly what the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers. Thats what the Washington Post did and many other newspapers did with information from Snowden and Manning.

Youre allowed legally to use material that was obtained illegally as long as you had nothing to do with the illegal nature of obtaining the information, Dershowitz said.


Here is the link--> http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/07/....
This will be interesting on HOW this all plays out...
smiley #MAGA smiley

Oh & Dear Host..
2 Dems HAVE Filed "Articles of Impeachment" Today... smiley
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/....


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Cognitive Co-Dependency is when a normal rational person, internalizes irrational illogical presentations, and somehow reconciles them to fit their scripted indoctrination of logical analysis.
Quote:
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Wa9jml
Posts: 12
Incept: 2017-04-29

DeKalb, Illinois
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I don't know why Trump Jr. had to go all the way to Russia for dirt on Mrs. Clinton. There is enough evidence here to put anyone else away for life. Those of us who have had security clearances know full well that if we had done even a small fraction of her security breaches, we would be breaking rocks in Leavenworth for the rest of our lives.

Then, there is the influence peddling...

And the Clinton Foundation...

Tickerguy
Posts: 149209
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Yep.

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Winding it down.
Beango
Posts: 699
Incept: 2009-06-05

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It kinda feels like they keep trying to provoke Trump to react and do something drastic so that they can point and say "See! He's Hitler! Hang him by the neck!".
Themortgagedude
Posts: 10285
Incept: 2007-12-17

saint louis
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Anything to keep Trump from appointing smithereens prosecutor? Someone to dig into Seth Rich, Ukrainian collusion, etc.

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I think its time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that our founding fathers intended for us. Ronald Reagan 1964
Flyanddive
Posts: 2206
Incept: 2008-10-10

Detroit
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Beango, Congress is full of ass hats, they need a reason to act the way they do, otherwise the jig is up. Trump being a "Russian agent", is a great way to carry on with the asshattery.

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"I've seen people go into real poverty trying to pretend to be rich."
Bjonsson
Posts: 969
Incept: 2010-03-10

Ventura County, California
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I don't trust ANYTHING that the mainstream news is telling me about issues like this. They've blown their credibility, in my eyes. Not saying I side with the Trumps, but I certainly do not trust ANYONE with media power to give me a straight story.

I don't know if this was the work of the Russian government, or perhaps just an individual Russian? Or maybe this is all a CIA/NSA psyops drill designed to paralyze Trump and grease the skids on an oligarch-friendly replacement?

Sorry, I wouldn't put it past them. These are the same ilk who lied through their teeth to us regarding the Hillary Clinton email server fiasco, the health care ripoff, the true causes of the 2007 credit crunch, the "Saddam Hussein was seeking yellowcake" imbroglio, the Gulf of Tonkin, etc. The people who truly wield power in this country will LIE to us to achieve their agenda, and use the corporate mass media in whatever way is necessary to sell their narrative.

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"If you don't have borders... if you don't have laws... you don't have a country."
Clock
Posts: 1116
Incept: 2007-09-18

South of Billings Mt
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I thought maybe Donald Jr. might be acting in defense of this country (hence his father as President of this country) in seeking out possible information from this attorney that might be damaging to the United States. If there is a rule against that, then the rule needs to be changed IMO.

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~ Would anybody else like to see what Hillary's 'Get out of Jail' ticket looks like? ~

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