Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Re: Corruption reply

Bob Bridges

I haven't yet read Christo's reply to this; I expect it'll be germane.  But I keep getting busy during the day and not catching up to this discussion, and I decided I'm just going to have to take the time to reply even if it's not as well thought out as I'd like it to be.

Here's my problem:  I have lived (as have you) through a few decades now of wild name-calling on both sides.  Before the US invasion of Iraq we learned that GW / Rumsfeld / et al were Hitler.  Before that I was earnestly told that the Clintons are responsible for the murders of their political opponents.  Obama wanted (and presumably still wants) to make this a Muslim country and put us all under Sharia.  And so on.

For years now, political opponents have said pretty much anything about their opponents that they could think of.  The boy has cried "wolf" too many times; I now disbelieve pretty much everything.

Is the wolf really among the sheep this time?  Is Trump guilty of corruption?  Sure, maybe.  But I can think of no evidence you can point to that I'll believe.  Something written in the LAT or NYT?  Let's not be silly.

I realize that I asked you, and you replied.  I didn't set out to hit you with a bait-and-switch; it isn't until now that I've discovered how disconnected I've become.  And I see that this looks like I've given up prematurely; and maybe I have.  Still, there it is:  What can I believe?  I can still contest accusations that seem to be based on nothing, or that simply aren't credible.  But just now that seems to me like an empty exercise; I can disbelieve, but I have no serious belief (about politicians, I mean) to offer in its place.

On Sat Jan 27, Max wrote
>Bob, the corruption case against Trump is so well documented that there really isn’t any point in mass citing a year’s worth of news reference and analysis.

>Simply put, Trump accepted hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from Putin connected criminal oligarchs. The money laundering has been well documented. In particular, you have the London private banking division of Deutsche Bank. What many Americans don’t understand is that private bankers in Europe are more like stockbrokers in the United States than the federally regulated banking structure. Deutsche Bank was exposed as a money launderer in Europe. Deutsche paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines. The head of the London branch is on the run in a variety of extradition proof countries. A similar investigation in New York was put on hold. The purpose was to not run afoul of the US federal investigation.

>That New York State investigation is the hammer that is going to come down hard on the Trump family. You see, no matter how many federal investigators you fire or violators of federal statutes you pardon, the president has no power over state prosecution. New York State routinely goes after big money violators. New York State is firmly Democrat. New York State is waiting for the federal investigation to play out, or, be successfully obstructed.

>As matters stand the Trump corruption case is straightforward. Trump, his family, and the entirety of his inner a political circle had numerous and undeniable meetings contacts and connections with Russian political agents. Uniformly they have all lied under oath about these contacts. I think the number of Trump family and transition team members that are eventually going to fall under obstruction and perjury charges is 19, so far. Two of these have already pled guilty and are busy assisting the prosecution of the rest. Where Trump gets pulled in is an already well documented series of attempts to influence and hinder the corruption investigation. This includes firing the director of the FBI. This includes lying about why the director of the FBI was fired. Most recently this includes an attempt a month later to fire the special prosecutor. Individually these two actions alone constitute an obstruction case. Taken within the context of the criminal activity that is being investigated and the badly orchestrated attempts by dozens of Trump Associates to cover up these activities, you will have in the coming year a simple and easily understood case of money laundering, tax evasion, and fraud.

>Another forum member presented the usual defense. I didn’t bother to reply because I don’t see that it would convince anybody. If any other forum member cares, the defense is always one of two things: either “straw man” or “squirrel”. In strawman the defender site something the accuser never said and presents a defense of that. In squirrel, it’s simple misdirection. For example, in response to “Trump is attempting to obstruct a criminal investigation” will receive some accusation about Bill or Hillary Clinton. In response to “the president is lying almost daily about things provably not true (the size of his inaugural crowd)”, you will get back something about the California economy or blather about the hordes of rapist immigrants threatening the existence of the Republic.

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