Wednesday, July 27, 2016

We Need a Probe of Trump and He's not POTUS Yet

It's ironic the way Jelani Cobbs puts it.

So Putin is using the levers of media and transparency to empower an authoritarian republican who shares his opposition to free speech.

But this is the best way to look at it.

Donald Trump represents an existential threat to the possibility of American democracy. Full stop.

Sure, there is speculation as well as known fact. But there is more than enough to be really concerned.

There is real consensus among foreign policy experts that the DNC files were hacked by Russia. This is fact not speculation:

"American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence."

"But intelligence officials have cautioned that they are uncertain whether the electronic break-in at the committee’s computer systems was intended as fairly routine cyberespionage — of the kind the United States also conducts around the world — or as part of an effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election."

"The emails were released by WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency. It is unclear how the documents made their way to the group. But a large sampling was published before the WikiLeaks release by several news organizations and someone who called himself “Guccifer 2.0,” who investigators now believe was an agent of the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service."

There are also clear finanical ties between Trump and Russia-as well as Manafort and Russia. 

What we need is a Congressional probe.  So we need to probe Trump for impeachable offenses before he's POTUS-God help us if he ever is.

Donald Trump says all kinds of crazy things on the campaign trail. But this one could open him up to prosecution—if the Department of Justice was really willing to go there.

"Did Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump just call for a felony to be committed? On Wednesday, he urged a foreign government to hack an American citizen and release personal emails.

“Russia, if you're listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing” from emails that Hillary Clinton turned over to the State Department, Trump said in alengthy press conference in Doral, Fla. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That will be next. Yes, sir.”

"Trump himself has had financial interests in Russia. He has also praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and has said that if Russia were to invade NATO members, the United States might not come to their defense."

HT: Tom Brown.

So all the GOPers getting so tough about Putin in 2012-remember Romney?-are now saying Trump was just joking. Didn't really mean it.

"Minutes later, Trump’s vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, contradicted the candidate, calling for Russia to be held accountable should it be involved in the DNC hacking. The stolen emails were published last week by Wikileaks, and some security researchers believe the emails were provided by an agent of the Russian government. Pence released a statement Wednesday saying if Russia is interfering with the election, “I can assure both [political] parties and the United States government will ensure there will be serious consequences.”

"Trump allies were at pains to explain the nominee’s plea for Russian intervention. Newt Gingrich said Trump had simply made a “joke.”

"@MarcoRubio says Trump will learn on the job. " …
On the job, he'll learn not to ask Putin to hack his political enemies' emails even if he can gain from it politically.

Thanks Little Marco.

He'll hire great advisers. Reassuring.

Is the GOP consensus on Russia this big a tent?

Or was all this saber rattling never about national security but white nationalism?


  1. Mike, remember how Paul Ryan was trying to prevent Hillary from getting a national security briefing after the FBI announced the results of its email probe? Why isn't he screaming bloody murder about Trump getting one? Will Trump be able to bring his Russian agent / campaign staff into the room with him when he gets this briefing? This tradition of the briefing is a tradition going back to Truman... it's not a law nor is it part of the constitution. It's certainly not a national suicide pact!!

    I think it **SHOULD** be a law that any candidate for president needs to first pass a security review and GET a security clearance. I doubt that Trump would be able to get one based on his questionable connections (financial or otherwise) to our enemies. It should also be the law that candidates HAVE to make their tax returns available. That's probably part of the security clearance application process, but it should be made available to ALL of us, not just whatever security agency does his background check. And BTW, it should be a Top Secret level background check they have to pass. That should be done EARLY in the process so nobody can accuse the security agencies of weeding out people just because they don't like them. In other words this should be done as soon as the candidate announces his intention to run (in this case summer of 2015).

    1. (Jason Taylor in this case) continues to hammer Trump on is Putin connection:

      And Erickson goes on Glenn Beck's show and does the same regarding Trump's tax returns:

      Beck in a MAJOR conspiritard, so he should be able to take the substantial evidence that's there (which is PLENTY bad enough) and make it sound 100x worse (especially after folding in the Putin connection).

    2. Mike, assuming we dodge a bullet and Hillary wins, I think that should be her first order of business as madam President (and I think it might just be something her and the GOP congress could agree on): let's get some legislation through that requires ALL candidates for POTUS or vice-POTUS release at least the last five years worth of tax returns to the public at least six months prior to the election and that they also apply for and be granted a Top Secret security clearance by that same date.

      That would spare the GOP (and the Dems for that matter) from being hijacked in the future from the likes of security risks, foreign surrogates, and scandalous hucksters like Donald Trump.

      Plus it would give the GOP the chance to break free from the strangle-hold the right-wing entertainment industrial complex has on them right now. Think about it: most politicians would probably rather have a track record of accomplishment rather than repeatedly have to make unrealistic promises to their base that they KNOW they can't deliver on over and over just because they've been painted into a corner by John-Birch society lunatics and purists who's only motivation is self aggrandizement. I would think that freeing yourself from the likes of Limbaugh, Levin and Hannity would be profoundly liberating... like stabbing Marrat in his bathtub and sending Herbet to the guillotine, all rolled into one.

      And, if and when the Dems ever retake the house, I think they should undo the changes wrought be Gingrich in the mid-1990s: that is change the schedule so that congressman DON'T spend all their time back in their districts, but instead spend more time in DC socializing with the enemy (i.e. the other party).

      I'm all for a mini Erdogan-style purge of the right wing (and extreme left wing for that matter)... and perhaps HUAC II is the way to do it. Let's purge Putin's influence, and then purge Putin enablers (Rush, Ailes, Murdoch, Coulter, etc). If they could be successfully painted as real threats and traitors then it would be a wonderful rebirth for politics I think. The trick is getting the public on board with it. But once a certain tipping point is reached, I think it could actually happen.

  2. RedState on Rudy's fascist ideas:

    Also Marvin Bush, the youngest son of George H. W. Bush, has declared that Johnson is the President for him. Good for Marvin! (I had no idea he even existed until 30 seconds ago).

  3. Mike, a point I just made on Sumner's blog:

    Both party's could have saved themselves and the country a lot of grief had they had non-negotiable tax return disclosure rules (e.g. at least the last 5 years): it would have prevented Trump AND Sanders from running in the two major parties. I also made the point that Trump really had no business running as a Republican nor Sanders as a Democrat. Clearly Sanders should have run as a Socialist and Trump could have his pick: probably Traditionalist Worker's Party would have been the best fit for him.

  4. Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!