THE CREDULOUS APE: The criminalization of everything!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 2018

Part 4—The text of Inkblot 30121:
Did Donald Trump Junior commit a crime when he held that now-famous meeting?

As part of the criminalization of everything, tis a glory devoutly to be wished! In this morning's New York Times, Gail Collins expresses the mindset in question as she starts her column:
COLLINS (8/9/18): This is not the very best week for political sons.

First we have Cameron Collins, the 25-year-old offspring of Representative Chris Collins of New York, indicted with Dad on an insider-trading scheme. It is possible that they’re the first pair ever to be accused of conspiring during a congressional picnic.

Meanwhile Donald Trump Jr. is twisting slowly in the wind while the president denies he’s worried that his kid will wind up in the clink.
Yay yay yay yay yay! It isn't just Rep. Collins (presumably no relation); it's also his son! So too with President Trump's son, who may "wind up in the clink," with a Watergate reference thrown in.

Our reflexively martial, warlike species has always played it this way. When we invaded The Others' cities, we would impale their offspring too. We would carry the women away, to cook and to clean and do such.

This same mindset obtains today. Anthropologically speaking, do you think we're getting out over our skis? Who's being naive now, Kay?

Let's return to our question. But before we try to puzzle it out, let's note one minor point:

Trump Junior and his associates didn't seem to think they were engaged in a crime when they conducted that meeting.
The meeting was held in broad daylight, right there in Trump Tower. Half the Russian diaspora was allowed to attend the affair, along with a goofy British music promoter—and three major figures from the Trump campaign.

As a general matter, this isn't the way you conduct a meeting if you think you're committing a crime. That doesn't mean that Trump Junior wasn't committing some sort of crime. It does go to "consciousness of guilt," which cable pundits are eager to cite when it tilts a tale in their favor.

Back to our basic question—was Trump Junior committing a crime? Again today, the New York Times writes on second grade level as it helps us believe—Yay yay yay!—that the answer is yes.

The low-IQ piece by Buchanan and Yourish is bannered across the top of page A11 in our hard-copy Times. For reasons we can't explain, it doesn't appear in the list of reports at the Times' "Today's Paper" site.

That said, you can read the report here. At one point, they return to the amazingly childish formulation of Shear and Schmidt:
BUCHANAN AND YOURISH (8/9/18): It is illegal for a campaign to accept help from a foreign individual or government.
Borrowing from their superiors, the pair of reporters offer that childish account. Along the way, they also absurdly pretend that a Trump Senior tweet in July 2017 differs from a recent Trump Senior tweet about what happened at the meeting.

In that instance, the scribes are playing the Anderson Cooper game. We'll show you their work below.

It's illegal to accept help from a foreign individual? That's second-grade work by the Times. But this is what our species does when we start "killing the pig," as you can see, on any night, for hours on "cable news."

Second-graders of the tribe, unite! Is it really illegal for a campaign "to accept help from a foreign individual?"

Presumably, the reporters are referring to "52 U.S. Code 30121," the statute about which Brian Williams inquired, by name, earlier in the week. Cable stars have spent the week pretending to interpret its provisions, rarely saying the same thing twice as they stage their latest cable charade.

At any rate, how about it? Do the provisions of 30121 render the Trump Tower meeting illegal? When Brian inquired, Joyce Vance seemed to say that opinions differ. In his full-length analysis piece for that very same New York Times, Charlie Savage seemed to say the same thing.

If cable news was actually news, you would have seen this matter discussed a thousand times by now. More precisely, you would have seen the matter discussed in a serious manner.

Alas! "Cable news" is tribal porridge designed to entertain and affirm the prejudices of some particular target audience. For that reason, you've never seen any such discussion of Ink Blot 30121, which every pundit describes his own way but which basically tells us this:
52 U.S. Code § 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.
As the inkblot continues, it defines the term "foreign national," directing us to consult the language of 22 U.S. Code § 611, which you can peruse right here.

Question: Does Inkblot 30121 say that Trump Junior committed a crime in connection with that meeting? Tribally speaking, tis a conclusion devoutly to be wished. But does the inkblot say that?

All through our liberal enclaves, we're being told that it does. Under terms of this inkblot, information is "a thing of value"—or so our historically martial species' latest lynch mob says.

Tomorrow: Qu'est-ce que c'est "thing of value?"

Working on second-grade level: What's it like when major reporters work on second grade level? Consider the way Buchanan and Yourish quote Trump Senior concerning the Trump Tower meeting.

First, they quote this tweet from July 17, 2017: “Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!”

Then they quote Trump Senior again, this time from August 5, 2018. In this recent tweet, Trump Senior said that Trump Junior went to the meeting "to get information on an opponent which is totally legal and done all the time in politics."

As any third-grader can see, those two tweets, separated by 13 months, say precisely the same thing. Except in this morning's New York Times, where the reporters make it sound like the second tweet represents some sort of shift in position on the part of Trump Senior.

As we noted yesterday, Anderson Cooper played this same game on his silly sardonic broadcast this past Monday night.
According to major anthropologists, this is what our species is like when we're killing the pig.

54 comments:

  1. "According to major anthropologists, this is what our species is like"

    This is what you lib-zombies are like, Bob. Leave us, the human species, be; we're fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like a broken record, over and over, we get from you this "lib-zombies" crap. Does it apply to everyone who doesn't adore Trump, or is there a more narrow definition. I note from TV shows and movies on the subject that the necessary thing to do with zombies (see Walking Dead) is to 'kill' them, (though they are apparently already dead). I hope that isn't what you are advocating for "lib-zombies," could be gruesome. While you like to accuse the liberal media - and I agree they deserve criticism along the lines that you see from TDH - of being "Goebbelsian," the adjective surely fits you to a T.

      Delete
    2. Somerby is not a lib-zombie because he is not a liberal. He might be a Bernie-socialist-zombie or a Defender-of-the-Old-South-zombie. Mao is an ape.

      Delete
    3. Hello my name is Kallya from USA i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Ade have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the nest day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back he can also help you contact
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      Delete
    4. Mao is either a professional troll living in St. Petersburg surrounded by Czech whores, or a Wanker living in his parents basement in Idaho.

      Delete
    5. Good guess, but today Mao and Bob deserve each other.

      Delete
    6. Why doesn't Somerby edit out or block these spellcaster spam? They are annoying and this one has created a long blank space full of nothing. Can't he do something about that?

      Delete
  2. "As part of the criminalization of everything, tis a glory devoutly to be wished! "

    Yay yay yay...it isn't that Trump surrounds himself with criminals who engage in illegal behavior, the problem is that those awful liberals keep accusing Republicans of crimes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Trump Junior and his associates didn't seem to think they were engaged in a crime when they conducted that meeting."

    That's why they concocted a cover story for the meeting, saying they were talking about adoptions. That's why they lied about the meeting and only came clean when confronted by their own emails. Sorry, Somerby, but you aren't telling the truth about this meeting either. You're making shit up.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You have to ignore the entire context of the election in which this meeting took place, everything that happened before and after, to believe this was an innocent meeting. It just doesn't work. Events don't happen in isolation. Parsing a single campaign regulation cannot get Trump and his crew off the hook when there is other supporting evidence of their wrongdoing, as there is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, it is ridiculous to look at this one meeting in willful ignorant isolation from everything else that was going on in that den of liars, beggars and thieves.

      For example, well before the meeting, the trump campaign was told about "dirt" on Hillary promised by the Russians.


      According to court papers, Papadopoulos lied to federal agents about one of his key contacts: a London-based professor he met in Italy in March 2016, days after he joined the Trump campaign.

      In a subsequent meeting in April, the professor told Papadopoulos that the Russian government had "dirt" on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, including thousands of Clinton's emails.

      That conversation occurred weeks before the Democratic National Committee revealed that it had been hacked and believed that Russians were behind the attack. It also came about a month after an email account belonging to Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, was targeted with a phishing attempt that may have led to the hack of his emails. Podesta's emails were released by WikiLeaks in October 2016.


      This is absurd.

      Delete
  5. "As any third-grader can see, those two tweets, separated by 13 months, say precisely the same thing. Except in this morning's New York Times, where the reporters make it sound like the second tweet represents some sort of shift in position on the part of Trump Senior."

    If you have a tweet from 13 months ago and another tweet from the recent past, it can still represent a change of position if the recent tweet differs from the position taken immediately preceding it.

    Who is playing a silly game here? Trump shows no consistency on anything. Playing gotcha about a tweet 13 months ago would only make sense if the person in question held consistent opinions. Trump contradicts himself regularly and changes with every breeze. That's why they keep referring to his opinion as whatever the last person he talked to convinced him of. So it is silly to say that Anderson Cooper is incorrect that Trump has changed his stance, because there is a tweet from 13 months ago. As if Trump had been constant between then and now. Who is silly and who is playing a game? Hint: it isn't Anderson Cooper.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Trump Junior and his associates didn't seem to think they were engaged in a crime when they conducted that meeting."

    We have no way of knowing what they were thinking. What we know is that they lied about the meeting. We also know that Trump has gotten away with grifting and lying for decades. Jr. has spent his adult life in that environment. People get careless and start thinking that laws are for the little people.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "other thing of value"

    This refers to in-kind donations. Opposition research is something campaigns pay for. Donating such research constitutes an in-kind donation because it is supplying the campaign with something it normally pays for.

    Arguing that because no court has tested this specific situation, that Trump Jr and the campaign were doing nothing wrong is specious. The intent of the statue is clear and the violation of the spirit of the law is obvious. Holding out hope that because some court might find a loophole, especially a politically motivated court, doesn't change what is going on here. We are all capable of looking at this situation and seeing the intent to violate campaign laws by receiving "help" from a foreign national, in this case on behalf of a foreign government considered an enemy of the US.

    Courts are not idiots either. There is no reason to believe they would call Donald Jr. innocent.

    Somerby's "wait, wait, maybe Al Capone wasn't a gangster, he was railroaded on tax evasion but that doesn't make him a bad guy" type of argument is growing very old. Why is he arguing in support of the innocence of bad actors?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I took some time to look at 52 U.S.C. 30121. It states in subsection 1 in relevant part that it is unlawful "for a foreign national directly or indirectly to make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise [to do so] in connection with with a Federal . . . election." I checked to see how many published Court decisions there are under sec. 30121. It appears there are very few, and none that relate at all to the issue of whether "dirt" on a candidate constitutes an "other thing of value." From what I can gather in the Trump Tower incident, the invite to Don Jr. teased that there would be some "dirt" but I don't think there is evidence that any dirt was actually provided (probably to the disappoint of Don Jr. and the others associated with the campaign who attended. Subsection 1 makes it unlawful for the "foreign national" to make the contribution or donation - it doesn't apply to the recipient of the contribution or donation. If no thing of value, i.e., 'dirt' or 'opposition research' if you want to characterize it that somewhat loaded way, or no agreement was made to provide it, it appears that the foreign national has committed no violation.

      Subsection 2 does make it unlawful for "a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution described in [subsection 1]. Thus is Trump Jr. solicited, accepted or received a contribution described in subsection 1, he would violate the statute. There are 2 questions- is "dirt" (which has never been specified) on Clinton "money or a thing of value?" within the meaning of the statute? I see some problems with that type of interprestation. Literally, anytime any "foreign national" in connection with a federal (or state or local) election give someone information that is unflattering to one of the candidates, he or she and the recipient of the info would be deemed in violation of the law. Probably, the most reasonable interpretation of a "thing of value" is something like a car, or a condo, or tickets to a game etc. The other problem with thinking anyone is going to be imprisoned over this, or even charged, is that apparently no "dirt" was actually accepted or received at the Trump Tower meeting. The argument could be that Trump and his crew "solicited" the 'dirt', but accepting an invitation to a meeting where the Russkie held out the prospect of supplying this dirt doesn't seem to be soliciting. By the way, violating the "spirit" of a law isn't a crime; violating the law is what is the crime. And the spirit of this law more likely is accepting money or tangible things of value.

      Delete
    2. The law isn't intended to regulate foreign nationals. It regulates campaigns. Penalties are assessed on campaigns, not foreign nationals.

      Your naive acceptance of the statement that nothing of value was received is charming, but these guys have lied about everything, so why believe them now?

      Violating the spirit of the law speaks to the likelihood of a court decision finding that this was a crime. People keep wanting to evade what occurred on technicalities. The intent of the framers of the law (e.g., spirit of the law) is also taken into account when breaking new territory with a legal decision.

      Information is tangible. A database of contributors, files containing emails, photos of a sexual liaison, receipts for purchases. These all constitute various forms of information. Rumors aren't "information." Dirt would have to be substantiated and that "research" is what is given and received.

      Both the receipt of in-kind donations and the solicitation are illegal. These are actions of the campaign -- not the foreign national. Trump and his staff are expected to know and follow these campaign laws, so they should have known not to accept the meeting invitation. When they attend, they are committing an action that could be construed as solicitation, whether they received useful info or not.

      Personally, I believe they discussed the hacking and removal of sanctions as a quid pro quo for that help with the campaign. You could argue that the Russians got paid (via removal of the sanctions) but that then is bribery and much more serious than a campaign violation, not to mention treason.

      Delete
    3. AC/MA: you're adorable, looking for loopholes. How lovely.

      apparently no "dirt" was actually accepted or received at the Trump Tower meeting.

      And you know this, how exactly? Donny Jr. or Boris?



      Delete
    4. Violating the spirit of the law speaks to the likelihood of a court decision finding that this was a crime.

      That sounds good. Do you have anything to back up your claim? Based on the right to substantive due process, I think courts are usually strict on that letter-of-the-law thing. There’s also the principle of lenity that requires that ambiguities be resolved in the favor the accused. That can be trumped (no pun intended) by evidence of legislative intent. Got any?

      Information is tangible.

      No, information is intangible. The media containing information may be tangible, but no one thinks that the law prohibits Russians from in general handing disk drives to Don Jr. It’s what’s on the drives that’s valuable and thus problematic.

      When they attend, they are committing an action that could be construed as solicitation

      Could be? By whom? The FEC defines solicitation as a direct request. There are some things that are implied requests, e.g., sending instructions on how to contribute without asking directly, but they’re not germane here.

      Personally, I believe….

      Personally, I’m more interested in what you know.

      Delete
    5. anon. 2:14, as I've mentioned previously, I am a lawyer - for over 40 years. I'm not an expert in this area, few if any are, but I think I know more than you do about statutory construction. Nothing fancy - I looked at the statute straight. I see you believe they discussed and the removal of the sanctions as a quid pro quo - what you believe they discussed is irrelevant, the prosecution would need to present admissible evidence. The prosecution has the burden of proof - beyond a reasonable doubt. Not believing the Trumps is not evidence about what happened is not evidence of what happened. I don't want to spend the time necessary to rebut you point by point, but you largely don't seem to know what you are talking about. I'll defer to the valid points made by Deadrat.

      mm- I'm glad you think I'm adorable. Few do. It's not a matter of "looking for loopholes." There seem to be some real big holes. I'm no fan of Trump - more the opposite. Even assuming that a foreigner's providing dirt somehow is made illegal under this statute, it's not whether I know that dirt wasn't provided - I wasn't there. It's whether there is admissible evidence that it was provided. There is a difference between wishing something is true, and it being true.

      Delete
    6. Should have edited comment better.

      Delete
    7. @AC/MA

      It doesn't matter if the dirt was actually provided.

      Delete
    8. Well, AC/MA, can you wait until Mueller is finished and there is actually a legal setting to determine that? You said apparently no "dirt" was actually accepted or received at the Trump Tower meeting.

      I asked you what you based that on. The only people talking about that meeting are documented proven liars.

      We do have a little clue about what the Russians were trying to push that day.

      Kevin Drum used a little logic and deduced a very plausible explanation for this meeting between the top level members of Donny Chickenshit's campaign and Russian spies.

      •A year later, when the New York Times learned about the Trump Tower meeting, Trump conferred with Putin and then explained that they talked “about adoption.” This now makes sense: (a) the $400 million supposedly came from friends of Bill Browder, (b) Browder is the force behind the Magnitsky Act, which Putin loathes, and (c) after the act was passed, Putin retaliated by banning American adoption of Russian babies. So talking “about adoption” is just a hop and a skip away from talking about that $400 million that Hillary hoovered up in Browder cash.

      https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/07/about-that-hillary-clinton-dirt/

      Delete
    9. AC/MA, if you are a lawyer (as you claim), you should start sounding like one. Mueller has interviewed most of the people present at that meeting. He knows what was discussed, he knows who told what lies. He is probably not going to charge anyone with violations of the statute Somerby keeps talking about. He has bigger fish to fry.

      My own speculation was clearly labeled as such, so telling me I have no proof because I wasn't there is a waste of words. Isn't that pretty obvious? But you weren't there either and neither was Somerby, who wastes no time assuming Trump Jr. and his buddies are innocent of everything.

      There is a conspiracy going on, Mueller will prove it, and Trump and his helpers will go down hard. And I'm glad. I felt sorry for Nixon but Trump gets no sympathy.

      Best not to make your decision until Mueller has presented his case. Short of that EVERYONE is speculating, including Somerby (except he doesn't seem to know it).

      Delete
    10. 6:20

      “He knows what was discussed, he knows who told what lies.”

      “There is a conspiracy going on, Mueller will prove it…”

      “Best not to make your decision until Mueller has presented his case.”

      Put all of your quotes together, and try to find the logical flaws. I dare you.

      Leroy

      Delete
    11. You seem to think there's a contradiction. I don't agree with you that we must pretend to know nothing because we cannot yet know everything. There is plenty of evidence of conspiracy but Mueller still needs to tell us the details about it.

      Delete
    12. 8:26

      “I don't agree with you that we must pretend to know nothing because we cannot yet know everything.” Hm. I don't recall ever writing that.

      You didn’t take me up on my dare. Let me do it for you.

      “He knows what was discussed, he knows who told what lies.” How can he know that? Those are some dog-like powers you bestow to Mueller.

      “There is a conspiracy going on, Mueller will prove it…”

      Objection! Witness is leading the jury.

      “Best not to make your decision until Mueller has presented his case.”

      My favorite, as you proclaim that “There is a conspiracy going on…” I shall name you Zika. It’s a pretty name, actually.

      Leroy

      Delete
    13. Mueller knows things we don't beach he has access to evidence and testimony.

      We know there is a conspiracy because the public has access to some of that info, a subset of what Mueller knows.

      So, we can know there is a conspiracy without knowing the details about it, which Mueller will eventually divulge.

      No contradiction.

      Delete
    14. And I shall name you Toilet Scum. It's a pretty accurate name, actually.

      Delete
    15. This refers to in-kind donations
      Something readily converted to and from cash. Opposition research is something campaigns pay for. We could, for example, examine invoices for such. How about stolen emails? Not so much, eh? Sure that dolt Don Jr called the topic of the meeting opposition research, and it would great to see him hoist on that petard. But was he right?

      Arguing that because no court has tested this specific situation, that Trump Jr and the campaign were doing nothing wrong is specious.
      But, of course, nobody is arguing that. The Trumpsters were doing something wrong, something that less cautious polities would label treason. But that’s not the question, which is (just to remind you) whether the Trumpsters did something criminal. And because there’s been little guidance from the courts on the matter, it’s wise not to be dogmatic about whether the Trump Tower meeting was illegal.

      The intent of the statue is clear and the violation of the spirit of the law is obvious.
      Even if you’re right about the spirit of the law, that says nothing about the intent of the statute, which is not clear to one of McDonnell’s guests, a former USA. There are good reasons to be cautious, so why aren’t you?

      receiving "help" from a foreign national
      Which is legal in some circumstances. Foreign nationals may donate their time to a campaign as long as they don’t take managerial roles.

      There is no reason to believe they [courts] would call Donald Jr. innocent.
      No court would call anyone innocent. But there is, as I’ve explained, reason to believe they might call him not guilty. There’s no reason to believe that courts would necessarily find my reasoning dispositive. But that’s different.

      Why is he [TDH] arguing in support of the innocence of bad actors?
      He’s not. He’s proposing that people who claim that these bad actors are obviously guilty of a particular crime are obviously guilty of overstating their case.

      What’s so hard about this?

      Delete
    16. @deadrat:

      Somerby is indeed saying that the TV people are guilty of overstating their case. But Somerby, ironically, overstates HIS case by saying that "no sane person" would find Don Jr guilty or that it is "ludicrous" to believe any illegality occurred. Can't you see that that is what gets commenters complaining about Somerby's dishonest argumentation? He is guilty of the thing he accuses others of doing.

      Delete
    17. There’s one problem with your argument. In spite of the fact that you’ve used quote marks around no sane person and ludicrous, TDH hasn’t used those words in his blog entries about the Trump Tower meeting.

      In fact, in his 8/8/18 post (”HE CREDULOUS APE: Beverly Hills 30121!”), TDH quotes Lawrence O’Donnell saying that the meeting in question was “totally illegal” and then writes this, emphasis mine:

      <quote>
      Was Lawrence right in what he said? We can't tell you that.
      <quote>

      Far from saying that Don Jr couldn’t be guilty, TDH actually says he doesn’t know.

      Aren’t you the slightest bit embarrassed by your comment?
      If not, why not?

      Delete
    18. There is a kind of recursiveness here, where deadrat works just as hard defending TDH as TDH works to defend the innocence of various Trump lackies. The sheer effort expended to exonerate one Trump defender who is working so hard to defend the other Trump defender, who in turn is defending Trump himself is kind of hilarious. How does Trump manage to inspire so much defensive energy?

      Delete
    19. No one likes a good meta-analysis more than I do. Except my wife … and some of her friends. Come to think of it, everyone likes a meta-analysis more than I do.

      First of of all, my “work” isn’t hard. All I really have to do is read what TDH writes, something few of the Anonymi seem to be able to do.

      Secondly, neither TDH nor I defend Trumpsters. I think they’re all a bunch of grifters, and not one of them has had an innocent moment since time out of mind. My (borrowed) motto is “Fuck Trump and fuck you for voting for him.” TDH has made one point here, namely that given what we know, the law isn’t clear about the legality of the Trump Tower meeting. This is different from the meeting being disgraceful.

      Lastly, I don’t think you know what recursion means.

      I’ve given my reasons for not making blanket statements about the law. TDH has noted that a former USA has done the same thing. Do you have anything substantive to add to the topic?

      I didn’t think so, but nice meta.

      Delete
    20. @deadrat
      Somerby described Joyce Vance, former USA, in these two completely compatible ways:

      "Joyce Vance appeared on The 11th Hour and, in fairness, said the matter isn't as clear as all that."

      "Vance went on to interpret the law in such a way as to suggest that the Donald J. Trumps, Junior and Senior, will soon be rotting in jail."

      We leave it as an exercise for you to determine whether Somerby was referring to the same appearance.

      Delete
  8. So if the Trump campaign had offered (or had intended to offer) payment in exchange for the apparent “dirt” on Hillary, then would the foreign nationals’ offer have been legal - or at least not run afoul of 52 USC 30121? Isn’t that why Trump supporters are wrong when they claim that the Dems’ receipt, from a British national, of the oppo research that became the Trump dossier also violates 30121 - because they paid Steele to collect it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Campaign spending to foreign companies or individuals is permitted. For example, those MAGA hats were made in China.

      A foreign company cannot make an in-kind donation. It must be paid.

      The DNC paid for the Steele dossier which was put together by an opposition research firm (not Steele, who is a foreign national). Hillary gave funds to the DNC, not that research firm and not Steele.

      The Trump campaign not only held this particular meeting to receive opposition research (an in-kind donation since campaigns typically pay for it), but they solicited campaign donations from foreign nationals. That is certainly illegal and no one seems to be mentioning it, even though it is relevant to this discussion.

      Delete
    2. The Hill is not a particularly liberal website. Here is their report:

      http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/288031-trump-campaign-solicits-illegal-foreign-donations-despite-warnings

      Delete
    3. Right. so imagine DJTJ says "sure I wanted the dirt and I was prepared, after I confirmed that it was good, useful dirt, to offer fair market value, but we never got to that stage." Then 30121 doesn't apply.

      Delete
    4. 30221 states that it is illegal "solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation ". The solicitation is illegal. It doesn't matter if they decided to pay for it or ultimately rejected it.

      Delete
    5. Under FEC rules, a solicitation is a direct request. There are indirect requests that are so blatant that they count as solicitation, but if DJTJ got an unprompted offer he was prepared to accept, he’s not guilty of solicitation.

      Delete
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  10. In 2008, Obama received campaign contributions from Palestinians, and the calls to investigate it went nowhere.

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-105667

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/05/AR2008100502288.html?noredirect=on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The article you reference talks about a bunch of small contributions that Republicans were in an uproar about but that turned out to be small mistakes (staff took GA to mean the US state of Georgia not Gaza, for example). There was nothing there except supposition and the article is full of "could have" and "may be" kinds of accusations. That's typical politically motivated noise making.

      With Trump, when you investigate deeper you always find more corruption. With Obama, when you investigate the whole accusation falls apart.

      But nice try. Whataboutism and Look-Over-Here are standard conservative ploys whenever a candidate is accused of wrongdoing.

      Delete
    2. Okay. How about this one?

      Palestinians phonebank for Obama

      https://townhall.com/columnists/amandacarpenter/2008/05/13/palestinians-phonebank-for-obama-n1114010

      Delete
    3. Not a problem. Foreign nationals may volunteer for campaigns as long as they don't hold managerial positions.

      Delete
  11. There is a serious issue here, and it's possible distortion by the media is worth exploring and investigating. But Bob's insults and invective are so crude his take is really not worth considering. Second grade indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Trump senior also went along with the adoption meme, and participated, apparently, in the creation of a statement to the press along those lines. Bob, you ignorant slut.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "The criminalization of everything"

    "Everything"? Does that include insider trading?

    Is Somerby arguing that what Chris Collins is accused of doing shouldn't be illegal and/or shouldn't be prosecuted?

    And the issue of Collins' criminality is separate from the way it is reported. Collins was investigated and charged by federal law enforcement officials, not the press or anyone else. And these officials apparently believe they have a case.

    Why does Somerby include the Collins matter in a post mainly about the Trump Tower meeting? He clearly connects the two ("So too with President Trump's son").

    Somerby sees bias in the reporting on the Trump Tower meeting. But he isn't content to point out what he sees. He argues that what transpired was *not* illegal.

    One can point out bias without being oneself biased. Either the Trump Tower meeting was legal or it wasn't, and its legality is separate from what the pundits or others say or think about it; it's up to the courts to decide that. There is a very plausible case to be made opposite to the one Somerby makes. But he seems to want to accuse the press of bias by deciding that they are wrong about the law.

    That is why his inclusion of Collins' arrest for insider trading is odd. Insider trading is clearly illegal. Why would you then offer up the "criminalization of everything" as a criticism as Somerby does in his headline?

    ReplyDelete
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