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Thread: Opinion: Trump cannot keep his corruption hidden forever. Here's what's coming.

  1. #1 Opinion: Trump cannot keep his corruption hidden forever. Here's what's coming. 
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    Opinion: Trump cannot keep his corruption hidden forever. Here's what's coming.

    Greg Sargent, The Washington Post
    Published 8:13 am PDT, Thursday, July 26, 2018




    Opinion: Trump cannot keep his corruption hidden forever. Here's what's coming.

    Greg Sargent, The Washington Post Published 8:13 am PDT, Thursday, July 26, 2018


    Two of the biggest stories in Washington right now - President Donald Trump's battle with lawyer Michael Cohen, and a federal judge's decision to let a lawsuit alleging ongoing violations of the Emoluments Clause proceed - are both converging towards one end point. Both demonstrate the degree to which Trump places his personal interests before those of the American people, and both may shed light on that wretched reality in much more detail in coming days than Trump ever bargained for.

    Thursday morning, multiple news reports tell us that Trump's allies view future disclosures from Cohen - who released audio showing Trump was aware of a hush-money scheme to quiet an alleged mistress before the election - as a serious threat to his presidency. Meanwhile, the judge's ruling this week means the court battle over whether Trump is violating the Constitution with his business profits shifts into a new phase that could bring more revelations.

    In that ruling, a federal judge denied Trump's motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C., which alleges that Trump, whose businesses are regularly patronized by foreign officials, is violating the Constitution's ban on officials accepting emoluments from foreign governments (and state governments). The court rejected Trump's effort to define "emoluments" very narrowly, and instead accepted the plaintiffs' argument that they constitute "profit," "gain," or "advantage," i.e., the sort of profits that go to Trump's businesses. This means the case now moves forward to determine whether Trump reaped such profit, gain, or advantage from foreign governments.
    In an interview with me, Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which is involved in the lawsuit, laid out the next steps: D.C. and Maryland will now seek discovery access to the financial records of Trump's businesses - in particular, the hotel he owns in D.C. "We're going to seek records to show what benefits and payments the president got, and that's going to include extensive business and financial records," Bookbinder said.

    It's possible Trump could block the discovery process, through an unusual appeal or other means. But if he fails, Bookbinder says, the discovery process could "prove that the president has been receiving payments," demonstrating this in a new level of detail documenting "foreign officials staying at the Trump hotel," which could in turn show that "the president is violating the Constitution."

    The goal is to get the court to flatly declare that in accepting these payments, Trump is violating the Constitution, and even better, for the court to order Trump to stop. For instance, Trump might have to divest from his businesses (which he has refused to do), or his hotel might have to stop accepting forms of business that constitute the violation, among other possibilities. The case would probably go to the Supreme Court, and it's possible the plaintiffs could lose or only gain a partial victory, in which the courts declare that Trump is violating the Constitution without ordering an end to it. Another possibility, of course, is that Trump defies a court order to stop, which would precipitate a crisis.

    But whatever happens, along the way, we may well learn much more about the scope and nature of the payments themselves. This will boost pressure on congressional Republicans to exercise real oversight (which may only happen if Democrats take back the House). Barring that, the public will learn a good deal more about Trump's questionable profiteering - and about the congressional GOP's abdication in the face of it.
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    This case goes directly to the core of Trump's blending of private and public interest at the expense of the country. It is of course completely possible for Trump to continue to profit this way without letting it influence his decision-making. But importantly, this week's ruling explicitly confirmed that the goal of the Constitution's ban on emoluments is to remove any possibility that this might happen. The framers "made it simple," the ruling states. "Ban the offerings altogether."

    Trump's interests always come first

    The crucial point here is that Trump should not be receiving these payments - and should have divested in his businesses at the outset - to remove any doubt for the American people that in his official decision-making capacity, he is acting in their interests at all times, and not in his own. But Trump does not see any institutional obligation of any kind to reassure the people - all the people - in this regard. Instead he has placed his personal interests first - a form of corruption in its own right. This lawsuit may end up shedding new light on just how much this has lavished on his personal bottom line.
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    This is the through line to Trump's battle with Cohen. At a minimum, this week's released audio demonstrated that Trump knew during the election that his lawyer was making a hush-money payoff to an alleged mistress that functioned as a campaign-related expenditure, while not publicly disclosing it as such. Whether or not that is a crime, the Trump campaign falsely claimed "no knowledge of any of this" at the time, misleading the press and the public, thus putting Trump's seamy personal interests first. And this is only the beginning of what Cohen-related revelations may reveal, when it comes to Trump's prioritizing of his own interests over those of the rest of the country.

    * TRUMP TEAM WORRIES ABOUT MICHAEL COHEN: After Cohen released the audio of the phone call with Trump, The Post reports that Trump's allies are worried about more to come:

    "Within Trump's political orbit, the uncertainty about what other damaging information Cohen may possess - and if he plans to weaponize it against the president, as now seems possible if not likely - has allies worried. 'The general feeling inside and outside the building is that if there was anything, this would be the guy who would know it and now give it up,' said the operative close to the White House."

    Intriguingly, The Post reports, both Trump and Cohen privately are angry at each other for what they see as betrayal. No honor among thieves . . .

    * COHEN HAS LOTS OF TAPES. PROSECUTORS HAVE THEM: Another key nugget from The Post story:

    "The government has seized more than 100 recordings that Cohen made of his conversations with people discussing matters that could relate to Trump and his businesses and with Trump himself talking, according to two people familiar with the recordings. Cohen appeared to make some recordings with an iPhone - without telling anyone he was taping them."

    There may be only one tape that features Trump speaking at any length, The Post reports, but there's no telling what Cohen said about Trump in the other ones.

    * ANGRY COHEN SEEN AS 'GREATEST THREAT' TO TRUMP: The Associated Press reports on their rapidly deteriorating relationship:

    "Cohen . . . is viewed by many in Trump's orbit as the greatest threat to the former businessman's presidency. . . . Cohen . . . now feels increasingly isolated and burned by the attacks against him by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and by the president's efforts to play down his former fixer's role."

    Nothing gets a self-respecting fixer more worked up than downplaying his fixer prowess. Sad!

    * A TRUCE IN TRADE WAR, OR JUST A LULL? Trump and the European Union have backed away from a destructive trade war and have pledged to negotiate to lower tariffs, but the New York Times points out:

    "It was hard to say, given Mr. Trump's bluster and unpredictable negotiating style, if the agreement was a genuine truce or merely a lull in a conflict that could flare up again. Twice, Mr. Trump's aides have negotiated potential deals with China, only to have him reject them and impose further tariffs."

    The problem: It's never clear what Trump will need to declare victory, because he often rails at mistreatment of America that isn't real. If he starts feeling like a loser again, all bets are off.

    * DRIVE TO IMPEACH ROSENSTEIN PUTS GOP IN TOUGH SPOT: House conservatives allied with Trump have introduced impeachment articles against deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. But The Post reports:

    "House Republican aides said that if a member tried to force a vote on the measure, leaders probably would move to send it to the House Judiciary Committee for further review, effectively bottling it up indefinitely. But that could still be an uncomfortable vote for many Republicans who are under pressure from conservative groups - and the voters who follow them - to unseat the man who oversees the investigation Trump routinely denigrates as a 'witch hunt.'"

    So GOP leaders don't want a full vote on this to happen. Let's see if they strongly defend the integrity of the investigation and forcefully denounce this bad faith nonsense for what it is.
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    Just a bunch of poppycock!
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    Just another tremendous thread.

    Appeals Court Orders Dismissal Of Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump

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    ​I am getting sick of winning! I am just all Trumped up!
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    RX Wizard NFLTrends's Avatar
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    Any updates when all this is coming??? Its almost been a year!!

    Or... wait... is this yet another abandoned thread?
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    Conservatives, Patriots & Huskies return to glory Willie99's Avatar
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    Awesome, another thread we get to add to our list of the dumbest threads started by some fucking idiot, it was getting a little stale

    Do you think he realizes that when we see one of these threads we all start laughing at him? Then we laugh for months, then years, then we bump his threads and laugh some more

    the one thing they're useful for, their purpose in life, to make us laugh and to make us appreciate all we are and everything we're not

    Bless their little hearts
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    Quote Originally Posted by NFLTrends View Post
    Any updates when all this is coming??? Its almost been a year!!

    Or... wait... is this yet another abandoned thread?
    Gosh darn it, I thought this was anew thread
    "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter". "A rising tide raises all boats". "MAGA"
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    "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter". "A rising tide raises all boats". "MAGA"
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    I like our President!
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    Yup!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gas Man View Post
    and yes the misspell was intentional
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    Over the course of nearly 5 years now, the FBI has investigated him, the House investigated him, the Senate investigated him, then the FBI again, then a special prosecutor investigated him using the help of over 3 dozen FBI agents and, collectively, these investigations came to the unanimous conclusion that "we've got nothing." But TDS sufferer Sargent, working for TDS infested WastePoo has it all figured out?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbal View Post
    Over the course of nearly 5 years now, the FBI has investigated him, the House investigated him, the Senate investigated him, then the FBI again, then a special prosecutor investigated him using the help of over 3 dozen FBI agents and, collectively, these investigations came to the unanimous conclusion that "we've got nothing." But TDS sufferer Sargent, working for TDS infested WastePoo has it all figured out?
    You left out

    They tapped his phone lines
    They spied on him
    They arrested associates hoping to flip them
    They raided his attorney's office and retrieved confidential files
    They "flipped" such attorney, who violated attorney client privileges


    AND THEY STILL HAVE NOTHING, their failures are has complete and horrific as the policies they pass to fix problems they create

    They're fucked in the head, it's genetics people
    "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter". "A rising tide raises all boats". "MAGA"
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    See no evil, hear no evil, vote no Democrat. HamGlaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gas Man View Post

    I like this. If a picture is worth a thousand words then this picture is worth an eulogy of Duhhbitches politics.
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    Your screen name should be ....... dafinch the dumbass, lol
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  25. #25  
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    Hey Finky

    Where ya at?

    Another abandon thread?
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