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#1497172 --- 03/30/17 07:14 PM Trump Admin. Implodes
Timbo Offline
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BREAKING - Michael Flynn Asks For Immunity In Exchange For Testifying On Trump’s Russia Ties:

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser to President Donald Trump, is seeking immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying on the president’s ties to Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

According to the report, Flynn made the offer to the FBI, the House intelligence committee and the Senate intelligence committee. All three entities are currently investigating whether Trump’s associates had contact with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. According to the Wall Street Journal, none of them have yet accepted Flynn’s offer.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/mike-flynn-offers-to-testify-in-exchange-for-immunity-1490912959
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#1497173 --- 03/30/17 07:56 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Timbo]
Formermac Offline
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One more example of the blatant hypocrisy coming from the GOP, remember Flynn's speech at the Republican National Convention when he incited the crowd to scream "Lock her up"? All the time, he was committing crimes worthy of major incarceration.
Do you think that Flynn's move will start an precedent in regard to other Trump surrogates getting nervous and they too will step forward? Based on the findings of that last week, this whole debacle will be equal closely to Watergate.

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#1497174 --- 03/30/17 08:31 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Formermac]
Timbo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Formermac
One more example of the blatant hypocrisy coming from the GOP, remember Flynn's speech at the Republican National Convention when he incited the crowd to scream "Lock her up"? All the time, he was committing crimes worthy of major incarceration.
Do you think that Flynn's move will start an precedent in regard to other Trump surrogates getting nervous and they too will step forward? Based on the findings of that last week, this whole debacle will be equal closely to Watergate.

On an order of magnitude WORSE. You can bank on it.
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#1497175 --- 03/30/17 11:17 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Timbo]
Timbo Offline
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According to the Wall Street Journal, Flynn’s offer has not been accepted:

According to the Wall Street Journal, none of them have yet accepted Flynn’s offer.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mich...kushpmg00000009
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#1497176 --- 03/31/17 01:26 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Timbo]
kyle585 Offline
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Registered: 02/18/09
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George Takei‏Verified account @GeorgeTakei 5h5 hours ago

Flynn hopes to win the Immunity Challenge, but in "Survivor: White House" America gets to vote all those bastards off the island.
160 replies 2,729 retweets 9,198 likes

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#1497177 --- 03/31/17 06:56 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: kyle585]
Formermac Offline
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Registered: 10/22/12
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Loc: Above ground
Trump tweeted this morning that he thinks Flynn should plead for immunity due to "This witch hunt" One is reminded of parents deeming their child a prodigy but in reality the poor kid falls well below even that of a normal progressing child. It's must be disconcerting and embarrassing to attempt to make every teacher and educator liars now that YOUR kid can't make the grade, all which we're witnessing, Trump is and was a bad choice as a candidate but surrogates can not accept the reality, the kid is mentally unstable and has unacceptable grades.

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#1497179 --- 03/31/17 07:22 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: kyle585]
cwjga Offline
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Report: Former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn Agrees to Testify for Immunity
Lauretta Brown

President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has agreed to testify on the President’s ties with Russia in exchange for immunity, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening, citing unnamed officials with knowledge of the matter.

Flynn offered his testimony to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees but has no takers, according to the Journal.

Flynn resigned in February after controversy arose over his failure to disclose phone communications with Russia’s ambassador about U.S. sanctions on Moscow.

Update: Flynn's lawyer, Robert Kelner said in a statement that “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.”

“Notwithstanding his life of national service, the media are awash with unfounded allegations, outrageous claims of treason, and vicious innuendo directed against him. He is now the target of unsubstantiated public demands by Members of Congress and other political critics that he be criminally investigated,” Kelner added.

“No reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution," he said.

Update: A Spokesman for the House Intelligence Committee disputes the report, telling the Guardian that no such offer was made. The statement allegedly from Flynn’s lawyer has not been verified.

------------------------------------------------

More fake news from the left. crazy
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#1497181 --- 03/31/17 07:39 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: cwjga]
Formermac Offline
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Flynn request immunity but will it be granted? You don't know, it's been known from past incidents that the request is based on the type of information the person has to offer. Why should he be granted immunity, only to offer what the Intel already know? Bottom line, Flynn knows that the Feds have to goods on him and he's willing to take others down with him. So it's in his best interest to forth right and honest or there will be Hell to pay not only himself but everyone starting with Donald J. Trump. Truth is, the bottom is falling out and this entire debacle will create one of the biggest scandal since the Nixon administration. Of course you know that, which is the reason, you're embarrassed, rightfully so.

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#1497182 --- 03/31/17 07:58 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Formermac]
Formermac Offline
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Registered: 10/22/12
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ROTFLMAO, when the time come, "fake news" will result in "real" criminal charges. Funny cwjga, how the narrative changed only in several months when Clinton wasn't given the benefit of the doubt but by your own words, guilty as charged, now distinguish the difference? This whole entire debacle is refreshing, revealing as well as the fact the Conservatives have proven themselves nothing more then lying hypocrites who attempt to establish two sets of standards. grin

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#1497188 --- 03/31/17 08:30 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Timbo]
luckyduck Offline
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Rather than take the word of the media spin machines why not read the actual statement yourselves. He's not asking for immunity, he's asking for "assurances against unfair prosecution."

https://www.infowars.com/read-flynns-ful...out-of-context/

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#1497190 --- 03/31/17 08:37 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: luckyduck]
Formermac Offline
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Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 8069
Loc: Above ground
He's asking for immunity. The spin machine is entirely a falsehood Trump surrogates created to deflect from the truth and in this case, truth will place him (Flynn) in harm's way, thus the reason he needs assurance that he will not be prosecuted when he tells the truth.

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#1497200 --- 03/31/17 09:34 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Formermac]
luckyduck Offline
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Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 248
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Flat out wrong - he's asking for assurances against UNFAIR (or politically motivated) prosecution. Immunity would imply protection against ALL prosecutions.

I would think that even the Dems could attempt to be fair if they really want to know the whole story.


Edited by luckyduck (03/31/17 09:35 AM)

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#1497201 --- 03/31/17 09:41 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: luckyduck]
Formermac Offline
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Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 8069
Loc: Above ground
A matter of how you look at it and in this case, why would he voluntarily testify if he receives only unfair treatment, why not just spare himself the frustration? He lied and committed a criminal act, thus the reason for the immunity request. Nice try wink

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#1497202 --- 03/31/17 09:51 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Formermac]
luckyduck Offline
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Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 248
Loc: NY
He committed no criminal act. Speaking to Russian officials as incoming NSA chief is not illegal. If it was then many administrations before this should have been charged. He lost his job because he wasn't completely honest with Pence, which is also not illegal.

The story I would really like to hear is that of John Podesta's company receiving $35 million from RUSNANO while serving as advisor to Hillary's state department. How easily the Clinton's get away with sweeping their dirt under the rug, but then I guess it's not an issue when all of mainstream media and most establishment politicians actively work to protect you. Possibly if they can keep the heat on the fake Trump-Russian story no one will notice the other Russian news being reported on real news sites.

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#1497203 --- 03/31/17 09:59 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: luckyduck]
Formermac Offline
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Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 8069
Loc: Above ground
You don't know what he did or did not do, unless you're Flynn or God himself. Now lets follow your logic, Flynn voluntarily makes himself the sacrificial lamb for who and what purpose? he request that when he comes to them "Please be kind to me and not make an disastrous mockery of my reputation or treat me harshly" ROTFLMAO, How about this scenario, if Flynn is subpoenaed, his only recourse would be what?
Again, nice try!!!!

Sounds to me that if he'll just keep his mouth shut, every thing will work out in his favor, no admittance of guilt in any form whatsoever.

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#1497204 --- 03/31/17 10:16 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: luckyduck]
Formermac Offline
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Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 8069
Loc: Above ground
Ever hear of the perfect crime? I haven't but many criminals have returned to the crime scene or the crime haunts them to the point of sleepless nights and insurmountable guilt. Now tell us, why would any FOOL place him/her self in this type of mental anguish just to be user friendly toward the judicial system? What does Flynn garner for volunteering his services? Bottom line Lucky, usually when a crime is committed, common sense, guilt and logic has a way of coming to the forefront and overshadows lies and deceit.

I have a Son who has made me and his Mother very proud by educating himself, taken over the family business etc. When he when through the youthful indiscretion age, we told him not to hang around certain kids because they weren't properly taught in the area of ethics and honesty and how he would make for an poor excuse for a criminal because he had nightmares and have a obvious look of guilt for days. In Trump's and Flynn's case, they're pathological liars and have learn to live with themmselves, sadly what type of individuals protects and support liars and straight faced justify the unethical acts?

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#1497205 --- 03/31/17 10:56 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Formermac]
kyle585 Offline
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http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/jason-chaffetz-michael-flynn-immunity-donald-trump-236749

President Donald Trump shouldn’t talk about whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn should be granted immunity, a top House Republican advised Friday.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening that Flynn has informed the FBI and House and Senate Intelligence Committees – which are investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election – that he will agree to be interviewed if granted immunity from prosecution. Flynn was asked to resign last month after misleading Vice President Mike Pence and others about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the transition.

Trump tweeted Friday morning that “Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told Fox News he disagrees with the president’s characterization of the Russia investigation, as well as the commander in chief’s decision to comment on it.

“No, I don’t think it’s a witch hunt,” Chaffetz said. “Look, it’s very mysterious to me, though, why all of a sudden General Flynn is suddenly out there saying he wants immunity. A, I don’t think Congress should give him immunity. If there’s an open investigation by the FBI, that should not happen. I also don’t believe that actually that the president should be weighing in on this. They’re the ones that actually would prosecute something.”

Chaffetz suggested he was being just as critical of Trump as he was of former President Barack Obama, specifically, he said, when Obama commented on the IRS targeting scandal before he had all the facts.

“And I don’t think Donald Trump should be weighing in on this at this point,” he said. “But I don’t think there should be given immunity, either. I mean, immunity from what? We don’t know what that is.”
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Flynn’s past comments about immunity resurfaced soon after the Wall Street Journal report. The former Trump campaign adviser said in a September “Meet the Press” interview with host Chuck Todd, “When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime.”

Asked if Flynn’s request for immunity indicated that he may be guilty of something, Chaffetz conceded that “it doesn’t look good.”

“If all of a sudden you have somebody stand up and say, ‘Hey, I need immunity,’ you know, it kinda raises your eyebrows,” he said. “Even General Flynn back in the day said and used that same thing against Hillary Clinton. So, you know, it comes around to bite you, and I just think they need to get to the facts.”


“There are some swirling things that need to be answered,” he added.

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#1497206 --- 03/31/17 11:21 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: luckyduck]
kyle585 Offline
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Originally Posted By: luckyduck
Rather than take the word of the media spin machines why not read the actual statement yourselves. He's not asking for immunity, he's asking for "assurances against unfair prosecution."

https://www.infowars.com/read-flynns-ful...out-of-context/

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/trump-infowars-alex-jones-clinton-conspiracy-theories

The phrase was popularized by Infowars.com, the conspiracy theory site run by the radio host Alex Jones. Jones' online store started selling "Hillary for Prison" T-shirts in the fall of 2015, alongside other merch calling 9/11 "an inside job" or warning about fluoridation. But its revival as a catchphrase of the Republican candidate was fitting. Never before has a presidential campaign, from its paranoid messaging to its white nationalist backers, been rooted so deeply in the fever swamps of the right-wing psyche.

One of the most popular items at this year's Republican National Convention was a navy blue T-shirt that at first glance looked terribly out of place. "Hillary," it read in large letters. Beneath was the punchline: "for Prison." You could find the slogan everywhere—on stickers, signs, and buttons, on a banner towed by an airplane over Cleveland, on the lips of convention speakers such as Patricia Smith, whose son was killed in Benghazi. "Hillary for Prison" quickly became a rallying cry synonymous with Donald Trump's presidential campaign—but it did not originate with the Republican nominee.

The phrase was popularized by Infowars.com, the conspiracy theory site run by the radio host Alex Jones. Jones' online store started selling "Hillary for Prison" T-shirts in the fall of 2015, alongside other merch calling 9/11 "an inside job" or warning about fluoridation. But its revival as a catchphrase of the Republican candidate was fitting. Never before has a presidential campaign, from its paranoid messaging to its white nationalist backers, been rooted so deeply in the fever swamps of the right-wing psyche.
"Hillary for Prison": From T-shirt slogan to GOP rallying cry Patrick Fallon/Zuma Press

Consider Trump's inner circle: Campaign CEO Stephen Bannon is on leave from Breitbart News, the conservative site he helped turn into a one-stop destination for breathlessly reported stories like "Muslim Prayer Rug Found on Arizona Border" (on closer inspection, the "rug" was probably a track jacket). Trump's deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, a peddler of many of the wildest Clinton conspiracy theories of the 1990s, once made a documentary alleging that Hillary Clinton had murdered a critic's cat. Trump adviser Roger Stone, a former Nixon campaign aide and political dirty trickster, wrote a book claiming that Chelsea Clinton got four plastic surgeries to mask the identity of her real father.

Populist movements have long flirted with what political theorist Richard Hofstadter, writing about Barry Goldwater in 1964, called the "paranoid style in American politics"—the penchant for framing opponents as the tools of a powerful but shadowy fifth column. But Trump has embraced and normalized the political fringe in unprecedented ways—and that could have far-reaching effects.
"It is surreal to talk about issues here on air, and then word-for-word hear Trump say it," Alex Jones confessed.

That Trump would devote much of the substance of his campaign to wild claims and ominous innuendo is not surprising: This is what first made him a conservative star. Five years ago, Trump embarked on a national press tour to question the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate. Obama, Trump suggested, was actually a Kenyan-born impostor named "Barry Soweto." Establishment Republicans may have snickered, but Trump's strategy was an unmitigated success. A CNN poll showed that his support among likely GOP voters nearly doubled once he started talking about the birth certificate. He became a regular guest on Fox & Friends, a sought-after speaker at conservative dinners, and a campaign prop for Mitt Romney, who flew to Las Vegas to accept Trump's endorsement. In just a few months, Trump showed how intoxicatingly viral the netherworld of conspiracies could be. (Even when he finally conceded that Obama was born in the United States, he claimed the birther rumors originated with Clinton.)

From the day he kicked off his 2016 presidential campaign, an air of paranoia has infused almost everything Trump has said or done. He demanded a border wall on the grounds that Mexico was sending killers and rapists into the country, boosting his claims with an Infowars video he'd seen on the Drudge Report. He promised to "bomb the shit out of" ISIS, while insinuating that the current commander in chief harbored sympathies for the terrorist group ("There's something going on"). After Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep, Trump fanned theories of an assassination. He trumpeted a National Enquirer story suggesting that Ted Cruz's dad was involved in the Kennedy assassination (even though Stone had written a best-selling book fingering Lyndon B. Johnson).

Trump has floated so many conspiracy theories that he's developed his own rhetorical flourish to reinforce them. "A lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there," he said about the possibility of Islamist training camps on American soil. "A lot of people are very skeptical as to what happened and how he died," he remarked about former White House deputy counsel Vince Foster, whose 1993 suicide spawned countless conspiracy theories and a quixotic congressional probe. (As the Art of the Deal author is probably aware, pushing a position by neutrally introducing it as the opinion of others is Negotiation 101.)

Nowhere is Trump's embrace of oddball ideas and cranks more evident than his courtship of Jones, a 42-year-old Texan who built a lucrative media empire by hawking anti-radiation tablets and fulminating about "false flag" operations and the globalist cabal. It was previously unthinkable for a major-party nominee to appear on Jones' show (broadcast from "FEMA Region 6"), but Trump is an exception. Stone has appeared regularly on Jones' daily program, and the two were inseparable at the GOP convention, where they co-hosted a pro-Trump rally. Campaign aides and Donald Trump Jr. have promoted Infowars stories on social media. And Trump himself, who phoned into Jones' show last December for a friendly chat, has welcomed the host's support and parroted his message to a degree that has shocked even Jones. "It is surreal to talk about issues here on air, and then word-for-word hear Trump say it two days later," Jones confessed on the air in early August.

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#1497207 --- 03/31/17 12:02 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: kyle585]
kyle585 Offline
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http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/31/opinions/flynn-immunity-callan-opinion/index.html

Ordinarily, there is nothing unusual about a defense lawyer seeking an immunity deal in exchange for his client's cooperation.

When, however, the client is the former national security adviser to the US president, the situation is highly unusual. He stands next to the president with a duty to safeguard the nation and its secrets. If he seeks immunity to tell the truth, the country has the right to know why.

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#1497209 --- 03/31/17 12:24 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Formermac]
Timbo Offline
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Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 13423
Loc: CNY
Originally Posted By: Formermac
Flynn requests immunity, but will it be granted? You don't know, it's been known from past incidents that the request is based on the type of information the person has to offer. Why should he be granted immunity, only to offer what the Intel already know? Bottom line, Flynn knows that the Feds have to goods on him and he's willing to take others down with him. So it's in his best interest to forth right and honest or there will be Hell to pay not only himself but everyone starting with Donald J. Trump. Truth is, the bottom is falling out and this entire debacle will create one of the biggest scandal since the Nixon administration. Of course you know that, which is the reason, you're embarrassed, rightfully so.

Senate Intelligence Community Shoots Down Immunity:

WASHINGTON ― Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, once one of President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters and then his national security adviser, is scrambling to save himself from prosecution in exchange for telling Congress what he knows about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 elections. And to do so, he has hired a lawyer who has been a vocal opponent of Trump.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mich...kushpmg00000009
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#1497210 --- 03/31/17 12:29 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: luckyduck]
Timbo Offline
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Originally Posted By: luckyduck
He committed no criminal act. Speaking to Russian officials as incoming NSA chief is not illegal. If it was then many administrations before this should have been charged. He lost his job because he wasn't completely honest with Pence, which is also not illegal.

The story I would really like to hear is that of John Podesta's company receiving $35 million from RUSNANO while serving as advisor to Hillary's state department. How easily the Clinton's get away with sweeping their dirt under the rug, but then I guess it's not an issue when all of mainstream media and most establishment politicians actively work to protect you. Possibly if they can keep the heat on the fake Trump-Russian story no one will notice the other Russian news being reported on real news sites.

Are you kidding???

He committed a federal offense (felony) by perjuring himself in statements to to the FBI.

Guilty as charged.
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Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

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#1497235 --- 03/31/17 05:42 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Timbo]
luckyduck Offline
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Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 248
Loc: NY
Not according to the FBI but I'm sure you know better.

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#1497238 --- 03/31/17 05:53 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Timbo]
luckyduck Offline
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Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 248
Loc: NY
FBI gave 5 Dems immunity for their testimony in Clinton's email server investigation. We're those 5 people guilty?

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#1497243 --- 03/31/17 06:56 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: luckyduck]
Timbo Offline
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Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 13423
Loc: CNY
Originally Posted By: luckyduck
FBI gave 5 Dems immunity for their testimony in Clinton's email server investigation. We're those 5 people guilty?

Don't be obtuse, Schmucky-Duck.


FACTS:

• Clinton's server was never compromised, nor was it illegal to do as she did. It was a policy violation not a law. It was utterly unenforced on countless previous similar occasions.

• Nor was it collusion with a hostile foreign power.

• Those who were given immunity were found to have committed NO crime. In fact, the immunity agreements were limited in scope and did not cover statements made to investigators or to potential testimony before Congress. They were supeonaed as witnesses ONLY.


Now quit trying to change the subject.
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Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

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#1497317 --- 04/02/17 05:00 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Timbo]
kyle585 Offline
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Registered: 02/18/09
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Loc: Somewhere out there
I can't find it anymore but someone rewtweeted this saying that May was going to be "grab a pussy" month. frown

Huffington Post‏Verified account @HuffingtonPost 18h18 hours ago

Accused sexual predator proclaims April National Sexual Assault Awareness Month http://huff.to/2nMiwPr

*********************************************************

President Donald Trump, who has been publicly accused of sexual assault by more than 15 women and was caught on tape boasting he could grab women “by the pussy” without their consent, has officially proclaimed April 2017 to be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

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#1497322 --- 04/03/17 07:56 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: kyle585]
Formermac Offline
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Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 8069
Loc: Above ground
Trump is so screwed up that he chooses to tweet this morning about Hilary not apologizing over being given questions for the debate adverse to responding in regard terrorist attack in Russia.

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#1497329 --- 04/03/17 01:31 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: kyle585]
cwjga Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9834
Loc: NY
_________________________
Annoying liberals, it's just too easy. Hard to believe how easy it is.

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#1497377 --- 04/04/17 03:10 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Timbo]
Timbo Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 13423
Loc: CNY

Trump's Birthday Video Call to Russian Mobsters Captures a Telling Moment in His Russia Connections:

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/a-birthd...ia-connections/


Several businessmen and celebrities from the former Soviet Union gathered on the Turkish Riviera in June 2005 to celebrate the grand opening of what was billed then as the country's most luxurious hotel.

The owners were from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and it was the birthday of one of them, Tofik Arifov, a former Soviet official turned real estate developer with offices in Manhattan's Trump Tower.

There was food, drink and song. There was also a video conference call from a well-wisher from America who couldn't attend but who, according to a Russian news account, urged the celebrants to raise their glasses.

"Tofik is my friend!" Donald Trump said through the phone. "Let's toast Tofik!"

That moment, revealed in sealed documents obtained by McClatchy that were part of a British lawsuit involving several Russians, captures Trump in a milieu that has since cast a cloud over his presidency. The court documents focused on what law enforcement calls Russian "OCGs" — organized criminal groups.

Among those court papers was also a story about the birthday party that appeared in Izvestia, the Russian news agency, on June 20, 2005. It was written by Bozhena Rynska, a lingerie-model-turned-columnist who is followed by millions of Russians, drawn to her insider tales of Russia's rich and powerful.

Arifov and at least two others at the party, Alexander Mashkevich and Tamir Sapir, both billionaires with roots in the former Soviet Union, have been linked to allegations of illegal activities, according to court documents, diplomatic cables and news accounts. Mashkevich has been linked to allegations of money laundering. He and Arifov have been alleged to have associations with organized crime. Sapir has been accused of nonpayment of loans for his New York real estate empire, as well as illegally importing rare animal parts.

All three were also involved in a Lower Manhattan real estate project known as Trump SoHo, developed by the Bayrock Group, once headquartered in Trump Tower and which partnered with the Trump Organization. The result would be bankruptcy and a tangle of lawsuits, some still unresolved.

The White House referred questions to the Trump Organization. Its attorney, Alan Garten, did not respond to three requests for comment.

Trump has denied having any "dealings" with Russia, but he has dealt with oligarchs, the uber-rich industrialists who emerged — with the Kremlin's blessing — after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Any due diligence would have shown the Trump Organization that the backgrounds of some of the guests at the Turkish hotel birthday party would have raised questions.

"The normal constraints of reputational risk ... just don't apply to him," said Jack Blum, a former Senate investigator and expert on money laundering. "And that is one of the reasons I think the Russians liked him so much. What they understood was he didn't care. He didn't see them as a reputational risk."

If there has been one persistent question about Trump's stunning odyssey over the past two years, from media and business mogul to party nominee to president, it is: What exactly is his relationship with Russia?

It dogged his campaign and now looms over his presidency. FBI Director James Comey has testified that his agency is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to affect the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

Two top-ranking administration officials have acknowledged contacts with Russia during the campaign and afterward. One — former national security adviser Michael Flynn — was forced to resign as a result of being less than forthcoming about those contacts. The other — Attorney General Jeff Sessions — had to recuse himself from his Justice Department's own investigation.

Several Trump political associates will reportedly be called to Capitol Hill to talk about Russian involvement. Trump's son-in-law, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, also is supposed to appear.

Besides a previously known meeting with the Russian ambassador during the transition, Kushner met with officials of a Russian development bank under U.S. economic sanctions resulting from President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Crimea.

Even as Trump labels anything having to do with him and Russia as "fake news," Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI would pursue the investigation "no matter how long that takes."

For Trump, the year of the Turkish birthday party had been good. In 2005, he had married his current — and third — wife, Melania. He was becoming a hit TV star as a result of "The Apprentice," a show on which he played himself, a bombastic tycoon who immortalized the phrase "You're fired!"

And in 2005 he reported taxable income of $150 million and paid $38 million in federal income taxes, according to a leaked copy of the first pages of his IRS filing for that tax year.

It was also the year his Atlantic City casino empire emerged from bankruptcy again and when he established Trump University, a private, non-credit school touted as the place to learn the secrets to his real estate success. It closed in 2010. Trump settled lawsuits alleging fraud last year for $25 million.

The video from the "Access Hollywood" set that surfaced during the campaign and showed the future president of the United States lewdly boasting about assaulting women also was shot in 2005.

Here's a closer look at three men mentioned in the Izvestia column as attending the birthday party who were involved with Trump.


Tofik Arifov

Known in the U.S. as Tevfik Arif, he was born in Kazakhstan and had been an official in the Soviet Ministry of Commerce and Trade. He co-founded Bayrock in the early 2000s, the development group headquartered in Trump Tower.

A spokeswoman for Bayrock declined to comment about the 2005 birthday party in Turkey for Arif, Trump's telephone call and his celebratory toast, as reported by Izvestia and cited in British court documents.

Bayrock was the driving force behind a Trump-branded luxury residential and hotel project in Lower Manhattan called Trump SoHo. Trump had sold the rights to use his name and had been given an ownership portion in the project.

Arif partnered in Bayrock with Felix Sater, a Russian-American from New York once imprisoned after stabbing a man with a broken margarita glass during a bar brawl in 1993. Sater became an FBI informant in the late 1990s as a result of his involvement in a securities fraud scheme involving the Mafia and some Russians.

That raises questions about Sater's role with Bayrock, with its intertwining threads of Trump's brand and Russian money, while he, presumably, was still on the FBI's payroll. Even after he left Bayrock, Sater remained in the Trump orbit, according to various accounts. Trump has said he barely remembered him.

Trump engaged with the Bayrock SoHo project around 2001-02, according to Sater, quoting from his deposition in a lawsuit filed in 2010 by former Bayrock Chief Financial Officer Jody Kriss.

Kriss sued Arif and Sater in 2010, painstakingly spelling out in a 165-page complaint how the pair allegedly used loans from Bayrock to pay themselves and avoid tax obligations. He alleged money laundering and that cash was skimmed off as it came in from investors in the United States, Russia and Kazakhstan. He claimed the company had received money from Russia through Arif's brother, "who had access to cash accounts at a chromium refinery in Kazakhstan."

Kriss also alleged that Sater had threatened to kill him.

The lawsuit went through two more versions after Kriss' attorney was sanctioned for using stolen information. In Kriss' latest suit, which dropped some of his original claims against Arif, Sater and others, a judge ruled that his revised allegations, which include fraud and racketeering, could go forward.

Arif, through a Bayrock spokeswoman, declined to comment. But he and the other defendants denied the allegations in Bayrock's response to Kriss' most recent filing.

Kriss also declined to comment.

More recently, Sater, along with Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was involved in an effort to deliver a proposed peace plan for Ukraine and Russia to Trump that would have removed U.S. economic sanctions.

Arif was connected, the British court document suggests, with Gafur Rakhimov. A 2006 State Department cable from Jon R. Purnell, U.S. ambassador to Uzbekistan at the time, calls Rakhimov one of that nation's two "top mobsters."

The Treasury Department blacklisted Rakhimov from the U.S. financial system on Feb. 23, 2012, for his alleged participation in organized crime. The agency listed an address for him in Dubai, but efforts to reach him there were unsuccessful.

Arif made headlines in 2010 when Turkish authorities, dropping down from helicopters, arrested him on the Savarona, a yacht built for the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Attaturk. He was charged with running an international prostitution ring amid allegations of minors aboard, but was acquitted in 2012.


Alexander Mashkevich

One of three men who collectively became known as the Kazakh Trio, together they made their fortunes in minerals and mining following the collapse of the Soviet Union when government-controlled industries were privatized.

He is on the Forbes magazine list of billionaires, with a net worth in March of more than $1.9 billion. He also holds Israeli citizenship and is known as a philanthropist for Jewish causes.

At the time of Trump's birthday call to Arif at the seaside Turkish hotel, Mashkevich and his partners — Alijan Ibragimov and Patokh Chodiev — were facing money laundering allegations from the1990s in a long-running Belgian court case. It was settled in 2011 without an admission of guilt.

Bayrock's marketing materials listed Mashkevich and his deep pockets as a strategic partner. By the time the Trump SoHo project was unveiled in 2007, the mining oligarch was already a serious concern to the U.S. State Department.

McClatchy has learned he was eventually denied a visa to visit the United States. Attempts to reach Mashkevich via his companies were unsuccessful.

A former top U.S. diplomat in the region, speaking on the condition that his name not be published because of the sensitivity of the matter, said that "all-source information at that time linked Mashkevich to organized crime, and that was the reason for his visa refusal."

Mashkevich's mining companies were also linked to official corruption in Congo, a country infamous for the illicit diamond trade.

The Kazakh Trio's company, Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., also appears in the Panama Papers, the trove of 11.5 million documents about secret offshore companies that became public April 3, 2016.

The documents show that the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca took pains to continue working with international pariahs, such as relatives of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. They drew the line in 2015, however, with Chodiev, one of Mashkevich's partners.

Oligarchs like Mashkevich enjoy their wealth at the tolerance of the Kremlin and allied leaders in the region.

"When Putin came to power in 2000, it's pretty well documented that he made deals with the oligarchs," said Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia in the Obama administration. "He would let them continue doing their deals, but they would support the state. To keep what you have, you are mindful of what it is the state requires."


Tamir Sapir

Originally from Tbilisi, capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the man who headed the Sapir Organization owned a castlelike estate on Long Island Sound and maintained a residence in Trump Tower. He, too, would become a major player in a Bayrock project.

His son Alex would be photographed next to Ivanka Trump during the SoHo project's grand opening. They touted themselves at the time as the next generation of their respective families' luxury development business.

The 2005 Izvestia column about Arif's birthday party in Turkey describes Sapir arriving aboard his 150-foot, five-deck yacht, presumed to be the M/Y Mystere, known at the time as one of the world's most luxurious.

His was a rags-to-riches story; he drove a cab in New York, plowed his earnings into distressed real estate and then struck it big investing in the Russian energy sector. He eventually built a commercial development empire in New York.

A top lieutenant, allegedly involved with the Gambino and Genovese crime families, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and extortion in connection with a Sapir project for New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Sapir also got mixed up in charges against his offshore company of illegally importing wildlife parts when authorities found the heads of a Bengal tiger and a zebra, as well as elephant tusks and numerous pelts, on his yacht. Sapir, who died in 2014, reached a plea deal with the federal prosecutor at the time — Alexander Acosta — Trump's choice now to head the Labor Department.

"In the absence of knowledge about who has invested in Trump properties with close ties to the Russian government, Trump's disposition toward Russia always looks suspect," said Matthew Schmidt, an assistant professor at the University of New Haven who's an expert on Russia and national security. "It may be that there's nothing there, but no one can be sure, given where those funds come from."
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Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

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#1497380 --- 04/04/17 03:31 PM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: luckyduck]
Timbo Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 13423
Loc: CNY
Originally Posted By: luckyduck
Flat out wrong - he's asking for assurances against UNFAIR (or politically motivated) prosecution. Immunity would imply protection against ALL prosecutions.

I would think that even the Dems could attempt to be fair if they really want to know the whole story.

No... YOU are flat-out Wrong.

Flynn has informed F.B.I. and congressional investigators involved in the ongoing Justice Department inquiry into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election that he "would be willing to appear before the House and Senate intelligence committees on the condition that he is shielded from future prosecution."

Robert Kelner, Flynn’s general counsel wrote in a statement: General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.” “No reasonable person who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances from unfair prosecution.”

You would think that idiots parroting nonsense from the likes of pathological liar Alex Jones, would want to know the facts before they puke forth verifiably moronic falsehoods one would expect from such a clown.
_________________________
Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

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#1497490 --- 04/06/17 09:51 AM Re: Trump Admin. Implodes [Re: Timbo]
Formermac Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 8069
Loc: Above ground
One of the foxes guarding the chicken house decides to step aside.


House intel chairman stepping aside from House Russia investigation
CNN Digital Expansion DC Manu Raju
By Tom LoBianco and Manu Raju, CNN
Updated 10:41 AM ET, Thu April 6, 2017






(CNN)House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes announced Thursday he was temporarily stepping aside from leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections.

Nunes cited a series of ethics complaints filed against him alleging that he violated terms of discussing classified material following his clandestine meeting at the White House just over two weeks ago.
"I believe it is in the best interests of the House Intelligence Committee and the Congress for me to have Representative Mike Conaway, with assistance from Representatives Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney, temporarily take charge of the Committee's Russia investigation while the House Ethics Committee looks into this matter," Nunes, a California Republican, said in a statement.
RELATED: Who is Devin Nunes?
He added, "I will continue to fulfill all my other responsibilities as Committee Chairman, and I am requesting to speak to the Ethics Committee at the earliest possible opportunity in order to expedite the dismissal of these false claims."
Nunes stepping aside is the second high-profile ally of President Donald Trump to become a political casualty of a widening investigation into potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian operatives, following Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from any relevant investigation in the Justice Department.
The California Republican alerted the White House of his decision Thursday morning, a senior administration official told CNN.
Nunes did not directly cite his trip to the White House in his decision, but the ethics complaints stemmed from his visit two weeks ago. Top Democrats have called for him to recuse himself since it was revealed he collected his intelligence on the White House grounds, but Nunes had resisted those calls until now.
The ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said respected Nunes' decision, he said, was made "in the best interests of the committee."
"I look forward to my continued work with the Chairman on the whole host of other important issues that our committee oversees every day," he said in a statement.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement that he trusts Nunes, but also supports his decision to step aside.
"In the meantime, it is clear that this process would be a distraction for the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in our election. Chairman Nunes has offered to step aside as the lead Republican on this probe, and I fully support this decision," Ryan said.
The Wisconsin Republican said he's confident that Nunes' replacements on the investigation will conduct "a professional investigation into Russia's actions and follow the facts wherever they lead."
In public, House Republicans, including Ryan, had expressed confidence in Nunes and said he should continue leading the investigation. But behind the scenes, some rank-and-file members had quietly raised concerns.
The House intelligence committee met earlier Thursday, but Nunes did not tell members during that meeting of his decision, a source said. Schiff described the mood in the meeting room Thursday morning as "somber."
"I learned about it as you all did when the chairman issued a statement," Schiff said.
RELATED: White House evasive as House Intelligence Committee grinds to a halt
Conaway, a Texas Republican, who will now lead the Russia investigation, said he hopes to work with the committee's Democrats to get the Russia investigation back on track, but said he'll need their cooperation.
"We're going to pursue the investigation, follow every lead to its logical conclusion," Conaway said. "We're going to conduct the investigation and I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pursue every lead."
"I'll need cooperation from both sides to make that happen," he added.
Gowdy declined CNN request for comment.
At least one Democrat on the committee sounded optimistic about the change in leadership. Rep. Eric Swalwell said he learned of Nunes' resignation from news reports.
"I have confidence in Mike Conaway," the California Democrat said. "Hopefully, now we come back with a clear path to an independent, credible investigation."
Trump elevated Nunes' clandestine White House visit this week by painting a target on former national security adviser Susan Rice and saying the evidence he has seen proves former President Barack Obama was spying on him.
That evidence, first revealed by Nunes two weeks ago, has become the center of its own power struggle in the Russia investigation -- with Democrats accusing the White House of withholding that intelligence from them.
Trump was asked by The New York Times Wednesday if he would reveal that intelligence, but he said he did not want to talk about it.
The House investigation has been rocked by turmoil since FBI Director James Comey announced in late March that the FBI has been investigating possible collusion between top aides of Trump's campaign and Russian officials who sought to sway the US election.
One day after that stunning revelation, Nunes secretly visited the White House to review evidence that is now at the center of Trump's counter-offensive. The ensuing chaos rocked the House investigation and led some lawmakers to declare it dead, but Republicans and Democrats have slowly been setting it back on course.
Speaking to reporters, Schiff maintained Thursday, "the investigation never went into hiatus."

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