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Michael Cohen: Trump ex-lawyer 'happy' to aid Russia probe

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posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:26 PM
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You wrote:

"If meeting foreingers to get dirt on your opponent is collusion, then paying a law firm to hire a foriegn spy to get dirt on your opponent from the same oligarchs you are accusing them of getting dirt from is also collusion."

You are missing the point that one of those activities is constitutionally protected and legal, and the other is not. Five minute’s worth of research on Wikipedia would show you why.

It all goes back to Bill Clinton’s campaign of 1995. His campaign used some creative interpretations of the campaign laws to utilize contributions from the Chinese. After he was elected president, journalists uncovered the fact that the Intelligence Community and the DOJ had been aware of the Chinese “meddling” and had opened official investigations into the matter. (Sound familiar?). Republicans cried foul and made a big stink about it, holding an official House investigation that went on for about 2 years. (Sound familiar?). There were calls for an independent counsel investigation which, in my opinion, should have happened, but didn’t. The FBI director at the time, Louis Freeh, wrote to the Attorney General, Janet Reno, strongly arguing that because the allegations of wrong doing involved the President that a special counsel should have been appointed. She declined to do that and got away with it.

Naturally, the Republicans were pissed. When George W Bush came into office in 2000, there was a successful effort to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which happened in 2002. That amendment tightened up definitions of foreign contributions—effectively making sure that what Clinton had done in 1995 would be a definite violation of the FECA, going forward. Ironically, it is exactly that provision of the FECA, passed by the Republicans in 2002, that Trump is suspected of having violated.

The legal theory behind it is that US citizens have a Constitutionally protected right to participate in US elections, but foreign nationals do not. A US citizen (Hillary Clinton, for example) can legally use campaign money to pay for contractors (including foreign nationals) to gather “dirt” on an opponent. There is no law broken in doing this, as long as the funding is accounted for and falls within any funding limits. Trump could have done the same (and maybe did, for all I know). The critical distinction is that the motivation and funding for collecting the dirt originates with a US citizen, exercising their right to participate in an election. Conversely, if a foreign national or foreign agent approaches a US citizen with an offer to supply “dirt”, that motivation and any funding supporting it is coming from a foreign source that has no right to participate in a US election.

That’s why what Clinton’s campaign did is not illegal, but what Trump’s campaign did might very well be illegal.




posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: kurthall

You were right!



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: TheSubversiveOne

He sold trump out. That's the thing to take away from this. The corrupt moron is done.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: shooterbrody

Really?



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:42 PM
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a reply to: CrawlingChaos

Get your facts straight.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: intrepid

The Emperor has no clothes. And his lawyer is drunk.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:46 PM
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a reply to: Grambler

Nope. Paying an American for it isn't the same thing. Sorry Charlie.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:46 PM
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a reply to: Grambler

All you really want is Hillary in jail.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:47 PM
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originally posted by: Sillyolme
a reply to: shooterbrody

Really?


that is about the only answer one would expect from these people



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:53 PM
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originally posted by: Sillyolme
a reply to: CrawlingChaos

Get your facts straight.



And what facts are those Silly ? Let's have this discussion.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 12:55 PM
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originally posted by: Sillyolme
a reply to: Grambler

Nope. Paying an American for it isn't the same thing. Sorry Charlie.


Skripal and Steele are foreigners... As are the other Russian sources used...

EDIT as an important factor.... Not listing them as a campaign expenditure and how much each received is a violation of Law.
edit on 22-8-2018 by CrawlingChaos because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 01:05 PM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: CrawlingChaos


They're trying to tie a private Non-Disclosure Agreement, as an illegal campaign contribution. Which it isn't. So they trumped up other charges, with serious ramifications to make him plead guilty to the campaign violation without going to a jury. Because the Prosecutor knows it's a stretch and may lose the case.


Thank you -- I understand that part. As I understand it, because Trump had other common legitimate reasons (marriage and business reputation) for such a nondisclosure settlement, it cannot be attributed solely to his campaign.

But the quote from Lanny specifically describes the "crime" as Trump not signing the checks. I don't understand how that can be construed as a crime -- neither in personal, business nor campaign terms.


Usually not signing a check means its not legally active. Also Even if he did a canidate is allowed to contribute as much of their own money as they wish to their campaigns. This was a Play by cohen to get out of the TAX counts.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: 1947boomer

Nothing was gained so how was there a contribution?



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 04:52 PM
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First, the Russians offered "dirt" on Clinton. "Dirt" constitutes opposition research, for which someone would normally have to pay. For example, the Clinton campaign and some Republicans before them together paid for the Steele opposition research; this establishes that opposition research has value. The Trump campaign obviously intended to gain some political value from the "dirt", otherwise Don Jr. would not have said "I love it". Furthermore, the"dirt" was eventually released after Trump got up on national TV and asked them to do it, and in the manner which Don Jr. had requested ("especially later in the summer"). What is unproven so far is whether and to what extent Trump might have promised something in return--such as eliminating the sanctions on Russia (which he suggested last week in an interview with Reuters).

Second, the FECA law says that it is illegal to SOLICIT or accept foreign contributions. Don Jr. setting up a meeting with someone who he thought was a "Russian government attorney" seems like an attempt to solicit, even if you think that nothing of value was exchanged.

Third, if--as Cohen claims--Trump knew about the stolen Clinton material before the June 9 meeting, then there's a good case to be made that Trump conspired to solicit a thing of value from a foreign party, which might be a separate crime by itself.

reply to: yuppa



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 05:32 PM
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a reply to: 1947boomer

Will respond more later

But my reading of the law is that a thing of value may not be given by a foreign national directly or indirectly

This would mean going through a third party like fusion gos would not be legal

Can you show the amendment where this is not the case?



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: Cassi3l

wtf??



Joel B. Pollak
‏Verified account @joelpollak

"That may come down to Mr. Cohen's word versus Mr. Trump's."

@LannyDavis admitting to @chucktodd on @MSNBC just now that there is no additional evidence he knows about that would corroborate @MichaelCohen212's claim to the judge that @realDonaldTrump directed him to do anything.





Jonathan Petri
‏ @JonathanJPetri
20m20 minutes ago

Now lanny davis just told CNN that he wasn't saying cohen has information about russian hacking



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 06:18 PM
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originally posted by: OtherSideOfTheCoin

It must be very difficult for Trump and his supporters to see the light at the end of the tunnel of all of this because there are multiple scandals circling Trump and it only takes one of them to amount to anything and his presidency is at risk.


Yes, a "House of Cards".

It only takes one to fall - - for the others to follow.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: 1947boomer

I hope you didnt go anywhere, cause I think this is a great discussion.

I have been steadfast that paying a third party to get dirt from russians is no different legally than getting dirt from russians yourself, and so if you can show the law showing that I am wrong, I would be more than happy to admit that.

Now onto your points.

On your first point.

Firstly lets look at the law.



§30121. Contributions and donations by foreign nationals
(a) Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for-

(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make-

(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;

(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or

(C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or

(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.



uscode.house.gov...(title:52%20section:30121%20edition:prelim)

So you would say that don jr was accepting "a thing of value" the problem is how do we define that? Because the way its written, just about every campaign ever violates this.

Is information enough to be considered a thing of value? If a foriegn national, say a news reporter on the bbc, runs a story that trump was in the UK and made fun of a trans person their, and hillarys team uses that, hasnt a foriegn national just indeirectly contributed a thing of value to hillarys campaign?

Or even more to the point; if a foriegn offical contacted hillarys campaign and said "Hey, george papadopolous who works for trump was just drunkenly bragging he heard russians say they have emails on hillary" did hillary just acceot a thing of value from a foriegn national?

On your second point.

The idea of soliciting. To me, actively sending employees to get dirt from russians or foriegners is more soliciting than being willing to hear someone who came to you with dirt. and for the law to have been broken on just that, you still have to prove information is enough to be a thing of value.

Third point.

I havent seen cohen claim trump knew of the dnc hack. If he did, then all of this is moot anyways, because if he knew a foriegn government attacked a political organization and did not tell authorities, he should be charged anyways.

I have not seen any claims cohen said he knew this, or proof whatsoever. In fact, I havent seen any proof whatsoever that russia hacked the dnc, other than the intel communities word for it, but thats for another discussion.



Lastly, the law specifically says shal not directly OR INDIRECTLY accept.

That means that if dirt from foriegners is in fact "something of value" that constitutes a campaign donation, Hillary and the dnc are guilty as well for receiving this dirt indirectly, and then lying about it for a year.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 06:44 PM
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originally posted by: 1947boomer

You wrote:

"If meeting foreingers to get dirt on your opponent is collusion, then paying a law firm to hire a foriegn spy to get dirt on your opponent from the same oligarchs you are accusing them of getting dirt from is also collusion."

You are missing the point that one of those activities is constitutionally protected and legal, and the other is not. Five minute’s worth of research on Wikipedia would show you why.

It all goes back to Bill Clinton’s campaign of 1995. His campaign used some creative interpretations of the campaign laws to utilize contributions from the Chinese. After he was elected president, journalists uncovered the fact that the Intelligence Community and the DOJ had been aware of the Chinese “meddling” and had opened official investigations into the matter. (Sound familiar?). Republicans cried foul and made a big stink about it, holding an official House investigation that went on for about 2 years. (Sound familiar?). There were calls for an independent counsel investigation which, in my opinion, should have happened, but didn’t. The FBI director at the time, Louis Freeh, wrote to the Attorney General, Janet Reno, strongly arguing that because the allegations of wrong doing involved the President that a special counsel should have been appointed. She declined to do that and got away with it.

Naturally, the Republicans were pissed. When George W Bush came into office in 2000, there was a successful effort to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which happened in 2002. That amendment tightened up definitions of foreign contributions—effectively making sure that what Clinton had done in 1995 would be a definite violation of the FECA, going forward. Ironically, it is exactly that provision of the FECA, passed by the Republicans in 2002, that Trump is suspected of having violated.

The legal theory behind it is that US citizens have a Constitutionally protected right to participate in US elections, but foreign nationals do not. A US citizen (Hillary Clinton, for example) can legally use campaign money to pay for contractors (including foreign nationals) to gather “dirt” on an opponent. There is no law broken in doing this, as long as the funding is accounted for and falls within any funding limits. Trump could have done the same (and maybe did, for all I know). The critical distinction is that the motivation and funding for collecting the dirt originates with a US citizen, exercising their right to participate in an election. Conversely, if a foreign national or foreign agent approaches a US citizen with an offer to supply “dirt”, that motivation and any funding supporting it is coming from a foreign source that has no right to participate in a US election.

That’s why what Clinton’s campaign did is not illegal, but what Trump’s campaign did might very well be illegal.




The best, most straightforward explanation of the whole sorry mess I have read on these forums.
Thank you for clearing all the partisan nonsense and rhetoric out of the way.
When the legal implications are clear....it doesn't matter which horse you bet on, the only issue that should concern anyone with one iota of integrity has to be whether or not the election laws were broken.



posted on Aug, 22 2018 @ 06:49 PM
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originally posted by: cosmickat

originally posted by: 1947boomer

You wrote:

"If meeting foreingers to get dirt on your opponent is collusion, then paying a law firm to hire a foriegn spy to get dirt on your opponent from the same oligarchs you are accusing them of getting dirt from is also collusion."

You are missing the point that one of those activities is constitutionally protected and legal, and the other is not. Five minute’s worth of research on Wikipedia would show you why.

It all goes back to Bill Clinton’s campaign of 1995. His campaign used some creative interpretations of the campaign laws to utilize contributions from the Chinese. After he was elected president, journalists uncovered the fact that the Intelligence Community and the DOJ had been aware of the Chinese “meddling” and had opened official investigations into the matter. (Sound familiar?). Republicans cried foul and made a big stink about it, holding an official House investigation that went on for about 2 years. (Sound familiar?). There were calls for an independent counsel investigation which, in my opinion, should have happened, but didn’t. The FBI director at the time, Louis Freeh, wrote to the Attorney General, Janet Reno, strongly arguing that because the allegations of wrong doing involved the President that a special counsel should have been appointed. She declined to do that and got away with it.

Naturally, the Republicans were pissed. When George W Bush came into office in 2000, there was a successful effort to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which happened in 2002. That amendment tightened up definitions of foreign contributions—effectively making sure that what Clinton had done in 1995 would be a definite violation of the FECA, going forward. Ironically, it is exactly that provision of the FECA, passed by the Republicans in 2002, that Trump is suspected of having violated.

The legal theory behind it is that US citizens have a Constitutionally protected right to participate in US elections, but foreign nationals do not. A US citizen (Hillary Clinton, for example) can legally use campaign money to pay for contractors (including foreign nationals) to gather “dirt” on an opponent. There is no law broken in doing this, as long as the funding is accounted for and falls within any funding limits. Trump could have done the same (and maybe did, for all I know). The critical distinction is that the motivation and funding for collecting the dirt originates with a US citizen, exercising their right to participate in an election. Conversely, if a foreign national or foreign agent approaches a US citizen with an offer to supply “dirt”, that motivation and any funding supporting it is coming from a foreign source that has no right to participate in a US election.

That’s why what Clinton’s campaign did is not illegal, but what Trump’s campaign did might very well be illegal.




The best, most straightforward explanation of the whole sorry mess I have read on these forums.
Thank you for clearing all the partisan nonsense and rhetoric out of the way.
When the legal implications are clear....it doesn't matter which horse you bet on, the only issue that should concern anyone with one iota of integrity has to be whether or not the election laws were broken.


I agree it sounds good, but where are the sources?

I have searched everywhere, and the only law I could find regarding foreign national contributions was the one I cited above.

whether or not the law was broken depends on the definition of "thing of value". If dirt fits that definition, then yes, laws were broken in this and pretty much every federal election.

However, unless boomer can cite the amendment to the law that says you can pay a third party to accept contributions from foriegn nationals...

The law clearly states accept direct OR INDIRECT contributions, meaning that if trump broke the law by trying but not succeeding in getting dirt DIRECTLY from russians, then hillary and the dnc broke the law by paying a law firm to get dirt INDIRECTLY from russians



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