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Rich writes: "Trump is no Nixon: He doesn't possess the brains, the discipline, the decades of experience of political and governmental combat, or the laser-focused Machiavellian cunning to sustain a Watergate-style cover-up. By the standards of our impeachment-worthy presidents, Trump is a rank amateur."

President Donald Trump with his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (photo: Getty)
President Donald Trump with his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (photo: Getty)


After Flynn, Will Republicans Finally Stand Up to Trump?

By Frank Rich, New York Magazine

16 February 17

 

Most weeks, New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich speaks with contributor Alex Carp about the biggest stories in politics and culture. Today: the saga of former NSA Michael Flynn, President Trump and the press, and SNL’s surge.

n Friday, asked about reports that now-former national security adviser Michael Flynn had discussed sanctions with Russian officials, Donald Trump said, “I don’t know about that …I’ll look into that.” Since Flynn’s resignation Monday night, the White House line has been that Trump had been “looking into it” for weeks, and last night the New York Times and CNN revealed that Trump aides had spoken with Russian intelligence before the election, which the administration had also denied. With calls for a formal investigation only growing louder, how long until the official explanation of this scandal changes again?

I suspect the official explanation will change four times even while I write the answer to your question. When you create a White House of Lies from the Oval Office, as Trump has, and grant a license to your entire administration to lie with impunity, it soon becomes impossible for all the players to keep their stories straight whether they are talking to the press, or to federal or congressional investigators, or to each other. God knows Richard Nixon tried his considerable best to keep the lid on the rampant culture of lying that he erected in the White House; he was able to prevent the dam from breaking for well over a year after the Watergate break-in. But Trump is no Nixon: He doesn’t possess the brains, the discipline, the decades of experience of political and governmental combat, or the laser-focused Machiavellian cunning to sustain a Watergate-style cover-up. By the standards of our impeachment-worthy presidents, Trump is a rank amateur. Even the small-time grifter Warren Harding was able to keep the Teapot Dome scandals at bay for his entire presidency; the sordid news didn’t emerge until after he died in office. By contrast, the web of lies surrounding Michael Flynn started to unravel less than a month after Inauguration Day.

The lies, “alternative facts,” and “incomplete information” that Trump and his cadre have fed to the press and the public about Flynn are but the leading indicators of the depth of their mendacity. We now know that not only was Flynn lying to Mike Pence and the White House, but that Trump was also in essence lying to Pence by keeping him in the dark for weeks about what he knew about Flynn. Did Flynn lie to the FBI? Have others in the Trump orbit also lied to the feds to try to foil their investigation of Russian interference in our presidential election? We’ll get a sense of the scale of this cover-up before long, once all the president’s men are forced to lawyer up. Which in turn will lead to a further collapse of an underpopulated and overmatched Executive branch that already is essentially nonfunctional beyond its premature ejaculation of legally challenged presidential executive orders.

Yet Trump seems incredibly clueless about the gravity of the situation. His attempt to change the subject yesterday — the “real story” of the Flynn resignation, he tweeted, is “illegal leaks” — is self-impeaching. The president sees no problem in his national security adviser having done backdoor dealings with Russia; the only crime in Trump’s eyes is that Flynn got caught. It also doesn’t seem to have occurred to Trump that his White House is itself birthing many, if not most, of the leakers now dogging him. Those leakers are highly motivated both by a desire to save their own skins and by their internal power struggles within the isolated Trump bunker. Other leakers can be found at the intelligence agencies Trump managed to turn into enemies by trashing them before he was even sworn in. Such is Trump’s ego that he actually believed he was cleverer than they are; how quickly he is discovering that the reverse is true, by a landslide.

It will be fascinating to see if GOP leaders finally revolt to save their own skins. The same politicians who wanted to lock Hillary Clinton up for her private email server and who turned the Benghazi investigation into a fruitless two-year sinkhole of government waste are so far doing little to counter a president who (a) may be a wholly owned mole of the nation his own Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, declared the No. 1 foreign threat during his confirmation hearing; (b) ordered a botched raid in Yemen for which there has been no accountability; (c) invited fellow diners at Mar-a-Lago to eavesdrop on a confidential crisis meeting with a foreign leader; (d) fired the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, who had warned him about Flynn’s lies; and (e) hired Flynn in the first place. (I know that this national-security thread is merely a short list of the administration’s indignities.) Flynn! This is a guy whose first acts after being named national security adviser included obtaining a security clearance for his son, a mad conspiracy theorist who used social media to promote, among other hoaxes, the scenario that Clinton was masterminding a child sex ring from a pizza parlor in Northwest Washington. Flynn was a security adviser so cavalier about his own security that it seems not to have occurred to him that his communications with a Russian ambassador would be intercepted by American intelligence services.

How long will Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and their peers continue to slow-walk or kill any investigations into this morass? Will it take an international crisis involving Russia, Iran, North Korea, ISIS, or who knows who else, as America’s enemies seize their opening to capitalize on the chaos in Washington? Given the GOP leaders’ collaboration with Trump over the past year, we already know they care about party more than country. But circumstances beyond America’s borders may soon force them either to take action or go down with Trump’s ship.

Meanwhile, it looks like Trump is structuring his official press appearances to filter out the toughest questions. Can members of the press oppose this strategy effectively?

Unsurprisingly, Trump favors taking questions from right-wing outlets, most notably Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post and Wall Street Journal. (The latter’s editor had to hold a town hall meeting this week to address his own staff’s unhappiness with the Trump-coddling reputation their paper has earned under his partisan leadership.) But I don’t think Trump’s preference for softball questioners should or will make any difference in terms of press coverage of Trump. The real story, as Trump might put it, is not what he or Sean Spicer or Kellyanne Conway or Stephen Miller or any of the others say in their mostly fictitious public utterances, whether in the White House press room or on Sunday-morning talk shows, but what happens behind closed doors. And there are many first-rate reporters working in real news, as opposed to the Murdoch-Breitbart state press, competing for those scoops. Let’s not forget that Pence learned that Flynn lied to him not from any of his colleagues in the Trump White House but from a report in the Washington Post.

This administration promises to be one long night of the long knives, as the various courtiers competing for their mercurial boss’s favor sell out their rivals to anyone with a notebook. Trump could eliminate press conferences altogether, or have all the questions asked by the extras he hired for his campaign’s initial Trump Tower coming-out party, and the major real-news organizations would still not lack for compelling stories of Trumpian calamity.

After taking criticism for its role in Trump’s run to the White House, Saturday Night Live spent the postelection period extracting its revenge, and is seeing its highest ratings since 2011. All’s well that ends well?

This is truly a special moment for SNL. To be sure, there is if anything a surplus of smart anti-Trump comedy in late-night television right now. But Trump no doubt dismisses Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, and Stephen Colbert — if they are even on his very limited radar screen — as niche TV. When he’s not watching CNN or Fox News, Trump is mainly a consumer of mainstream broadcast entertainment television. SNL is at once a product of the network that made him a star, a fabled brand in its own right, and a show on which he has happily appeared. So he takes it seriously, much as he does “the failing New York Times,” no matter how often he derides it in 140 characters. SNL has the power to reach him and hit him where he lives.

It must have infuriated Trump, who has been mocking Arnold Schwarzenegger’s poor ratings on Celebrity Apprentice, when he learned that last Saturday’s SNL, with Alec Baldwin as guest host, drew higher ratings than Trump’s own SNL hosting gig during the presidential campaign. But as much as Trump may be affronted by the popularity of Baldwin’s devastating faux Trump, we’ve learned (from still more White House leakers) that he was even more enraged by Melissa McCarthy’s rollicking impersonation of Sean Spicer. Trump, as I don’t need to remind anyone, has a contemptuous view of women, particularly women who don’t resemble any of his wives. A brilliant female comedian playing his male press secretary is, for him, the ultimate emasculating indignity. So much so that when McCarthy revived her Spicer for a second appearance last weekend, Trump’s Twitter feed fell silent. That he did not attack SNL despite that provocation is a sign that the show really is getting to him. We know damn well he is watching.

We must hope that SNL keeps expanding its gender-flipping stunts. In McCarthy’s wake, Rosie O’Donnell has informally lobbied to play Steve Bannon. How about Kristin Wiig as Jared Kushner, Leslie Jones as Ben Carson, and Meryl Streep going public with the Trump impersonation she performed to much acclaim at a gala in New York last year? Trump is driving many Americans mad. SNL has the power to inflict damage of its own on what may be the most fragile psyche to find its way into the presidency since a Scotch-lubricated Nixon could be found late at night talking to portraits on the White House walls.

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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

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It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+54 # MD426 2017-02-16 14:32
The simple answer is "NO" With the exceptions of Graham and McCain, Republicans are still unwilling to stand up to trump. They still feel they can get something out of him, they are still fearful of his following and they don't believe the resistance will continue.
 
 
+29 # bcwik 2017-02-16 17:02
The Republicans have their agenda laid out and as long as there is someone sitting in the White house with enough neurons firing to sign his name on whatever they slide across his desk; everything else is irrelevant.
 
 
+48 # solartopia.org 2017-02-16 15:00
trump's day are probably numbered. it's watergate on steroids.

but let's remember that if/when he goes, we get mike pence/paul ryan/mitch mcdonnell and a much harder-core fascist fist ready to enforce the apocalyptic kleptocracy with a far more understated but effective bureaucratic terror.
 
 
-12 # harleysch 2017-02-16 15:04
Trump may be a "wholly-owned mole" of Russia?

I wonder how much further the anti-Putin, anti-Russian hysteria will go. In Germany, where I live, while there is a certain nervousness over Russia, there is also a disbelief that anti-Russian sentiment has gone so far in the U.S. that media can accuse Russia Today of turning the election to Trump!

It is getting so bad that soon I expect that anyone even speaking with Russian officials will be accused of being an enemy agent. If this is how foreign policy is being made, then we are in deep trouble.
 
 
+1 # virtualaudio 2017-02-17 10:53
Quoting harleysch:
Trump may be a "wholly-owned mole" of Russia?

I wonder how much further the anti-Putin, anti-Russian hysteria will go. In Germany, where I live, while there is a certain nervousness over Russia, there is also a disbelief that anti-Russian sentiment has gone so far in the U.S. that media can accuse Russia Today of turning the election to Trump!

It is getting so bad that soon I expect that anyone even speaking with Russian officials will be accused of being an enemy agent. If this is how foreign policy is being made, then we are in deep trouble.

I also suggest people be more discriminating regarding comments on the Admin & Russia; not only is it a path to a McCarthy-like hysteria, frankly there are a lot of good shows on RT. I watched Thom Hartmann regularly during the primary when he was supporting Bernie's candidacy & proposals.
No doubt Putin is someone to watch carefully & no doubt Trump has been (and will almost surely continue to be) reckless re Putin / Russia, but quick shallow quips can lead the masses right back to the 50s 'Red Scare' mindset. A shame, after Bernie did so much to decondition many people from the fear of the word 'socialism'.
 
 
0 # LionMousePudding 2017-02-19 02:57
Remember who restarted the anti Russian fervor: Hillary, the day the DNC was found to have worked against Bernie. Let's all remember this dishonest hysteria is simply such that the DNC, Democrats, and Hillary never have to ask themselves if they made any mistakes (duh) which led to Trump's win.
 
 
-2 # LionMousePudding 2017-02-19 02:53
Yes. And I just don't get why people down vote such sensible comments. I'm starting to think it's just a personality thing where some of you hate others, don't read their comments, and just down vote those in your disfavor and up vote those in your favor? This is simply what many of us here have been saying to receive up votes.
 
 
0 # RMF 2017-02-27 16:54
LMP:

You say ..."I just don't get why people down vote such sensible comments."

Could it be that those voting the red thumbs do so in disagreement with what they have just read?

I know I almost always disagree with what I read in your comments, and that substantive assessment is certainly why I click the red thumbs on your posts.
 
 
+20 # Elroys 2017-02-16 15:24
Hillary to America - "do you miss me yet?"
 
 
-4 # FarMor 2017-02-16 19:01
No! Not even now.
 
 
+15 # Nino 2017-02-16 19:52
No. I miss Bernie, with him in the run that SOB Donald Dumb would not have a prayer!
 
 
-8 # lfeuille 2017-02-16 23:19
America to Hillary - No!
 
 
+35 # gnashx 2017-02-16 15:40
Why is it that I get the feeling that V.P. Pence knew all along about Flynn?
 
 
+20 # RMF 2017-02-16 16:20
# harleysch

You miss the point -- the present focus on the Trump/Russia connection is not about a new red scare or antagonism toward the Russian people.

The investigation so far has shown frequent communications between Trump campaign honchos and Russian Intelligence -- why is this so significant -- because at the same time Russian Intelligence was breaking and entering the DNC server, and funneling that stolen info to Wikileaks for publication.

Hacking the DNC server is a serious felony and therefore demands an intensive investigation in it's own right.

And since the subject Russian hacking represented direct meddling in the US election, and arguably cost the Dems/Hillary the election, the need for an intensive investigation of full depth and breadth is made even more necessary.

The evidence disclosed thus far, though circumstantial, serves as an ample basis for reasonable suspicion and as a predicate for the present investigation.

Indeed, the evidence about the close ties between Trump campaign officials and Russian Intelligence shows both opportunity and motive, thus raising suspicion and requiring investigation.

The investigation must go forward to complete fruition, wherever that may lead. The great risk and fear is that the GOP may attempt to quash it though thuggish use of Congressional power. Should the GOP succeed it would be a blot on American electoral process of unimaginable proportions, representing a kind of coup for the Internet Age.
 
 
-7 # librarian1984 2017-02-17 09:54
"Russian hacking represented direct meddling in the US election"

No. This is exactly NOT 'direct meddling' which implies access to vote counts and voting machines. The most anyone has said is that Russians hacked Podesta's emails, thus making Clinton and her campaign look bad-- and there is no evidence that even that is true.

The most credible information comes from Assange, who says the source was not Russian. Podesta was hooked by a low tech phishing expedition and he has admitted that. No Russians needed.

Also, no one, including Podesta, has disputed the authenticity of the emails so, to the extent the content reflected poorly on the candidate and her campaign -- it was their own fault.
 
 
+3 # kalpal 2017-02-17 13:52
So the contentions of all intelligence agencies that the Russians hacked the e-mails is of zero value because American intelligence agencies are too incompetent to assert anything authoritatively unless Trump agrees to it in advance?
 
 
-1 # LionMousePudding 2017-02-19 03:00
Yes. Zero exactly because suddenly 13 intelligence agencies agree. For many reasons, but just let me point out one: 13 agencies would not be working all on the same project (let alone one as stupid as who leaked damning emails from the DNC).

The whole thing is such a farce but hey! A squirrel! It keeps Democrats from having to do any real work.
 
 
0 # RMF 2017-02-27 12:47
Librarian:
For a "librarian" your lexicon appears faulty -- but whether you wish to refer to the Russian meddling as "direct" or "indirect" is immaterial (and nothing more than an effort to dissemble.)

No matter your choice of adverb it remains clear that a "foreign state meddling...that is more than simple propaganda, but also...involves theft and unauthorized use of private intellectual property, is not consonant with US law and is in fact a violation of US law."

If that's not meddling then no such thing exists.

Indeed, it would not matter if it was the UK instead of Russia -- the interests of nations diverge, and the meddling of a foreign state in the US electoral process is a matter of extreme gravity, as it represents a palpable threat to functional American democracy.

Why is this so -- because at the core democratic elections are about information, and the use of that info to influence and persuade the voting public. And obviously misuse of that info holds great potential to distort, indeed defraud, electoral outcomes.

The Hillary-haters don't really care about the Russian meddling, but they may sing a different tune next time when it may be Stein and the Green party on the receiving end of Russian interference.

This affair goes well beyond "Radio Free Europe" or "Radio Free Moscow," but represents DIRECT meddling through theft and other unlawful conduct.

If the Russians succeed with this gambit they will only be emboldened at the next election.
 
 
+23 # CurtW 2017-02-16 17:15
A fish rots from its head. The rot continues to spread and deepen in the body of the Gas-and-Oil Party (GOP), as its phase of reality denial lengthens.
 
 
+28 # mashiguo 2017-02-16 18:49
Why would the liars in the GOP want to investigate anyone for lying?

They only investigate people for not being Republicans.
 
 
-6 # lfeuille 2017-02-16 23:35
It has never been proved that Russia was responsible for giving any info to Wikileaks. Too many people are just taking the word of the CIA the folks who invented disinformation. Hacking DNC servers is no more a felony than the CIA hacking just about every country on earth, including Russia.

Russian hacking did not affect any votes. It just revealed additional information to voters just like the leak of Trumps pussy tape, which was also probably technically criminal.

No facts have been released that make this event different than what happens in all presidential transitions.

It is all smoke and mirrors going back to Hillary's Russia baiting during the campaign. Trumps an ass, but the CIA has killed many more people and told more lies over it's history. It is not necessary to go on an anti-Russian crusade just to investigate Trump. His refusal to divest and his ignoring court orders gives plenty of cause.

harleysch is right. This an attempted coup on the part of the CIA and their followers in both parties that resent the fact that Russia is no longer playing patsy to the US like under Yelstin. It is an attempt to block the development of the "multi-polar" which will cause problem for the neoliberal order.
 
 
-3 # librarian1984 2017-02-17 10:01
Agreed. It is very short-sighted to go along with this fake story just because people don't like Trump. That does not mean we can or should start believing the CIA, for goodness sake. I find this one of the most remarkable phenomena of this election, and that's saying something. Why are liberals embracing the CIA?!?!

To swallow this nonsense coming from the intel agencies, who we now know have decided to withhold information from the president, is the heighth of foolishness .. a deal with the devil to get rid of a rat.
 
 
0 # RMF 2017-02-27 16:45
librarian1984

You ask "Why are liberals embracing the CIA?!?!"

Indeed, what exactly makes you think liberals are embracing the CIA?

Moreover, why do you persist in putting words in the mouths of others here in the comment section -- is it some sort of charade in avoidance of meaningful discourse. Apparently so.

By your lights ANY CONCERN OVER ELECTORAL INTEGRITY IN US is somehow conflated with embracing the CIA.

So I have a question for you -- what will you say when the Russians send their hacking team out to break and enter private info resources of Stein and the Green Party? Will it still be OK?
 
 
+3 # kyzipster 2017-02-17 12:41
Destroying the EPA once and for all, going back to Bush Jr and Bill Clinton era deregulation, adding $5 to $10 trillion more in debt is 'multi-polar?'

The possibility of being more peaceful with Russia while bullying any ally that does not bow to perceived American exceptionalism?

This is not the revolution I was hoping for.
 
 
+1 # kalpal 2017-02-17 13:54
I think it was 17 agencies with the agreement of the British spy who wrote the report about Trump. I understand that your religious faith precludes evidence but I think you are a dunce.
 
 
-2 # lfeuille 2017-02-17 19:42
All 17 agencies had the same boss who spoke for them. no dissenting voices were allow to reach the public.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-02-17 22:19
What do you think the likelihood of 17 intelligence agencies agreeing is? When do seventeen agencies agree on ANYTHING?

Instead, the Director of National Intelligence said it was so, and since the ODNI oversees the 17 agencies, it was reported that all 17 agreed. It is a misrepresentati on of the facts, which should raise your skepticism.

Memos have shown that the ODNI forbade any employee from contradicting the statement. Or maybe I made that up. That seems to be good enough for people lately.
 
 
-2 # lfeuille 2017-02-16 23:42
https://www.thenation.com/article/kremlin-baiting-president-trump-without-facts-must-stop/

Did the Deep State Facilitate Flynn's Resignation?
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=18412
 
 
+1 # davehaze 2017-02-17 09:02
Will the Democrats finally stand up to DT the way they stand up to Bernie Sanders and progressives?
 
 
+1 # LionMousePudding 2017-02-19 03:02
No
 
 
+4 # kyzipster 2017-02-17 11:01
No matter what plays out, I sense a win/win scenario for the Republican cause.

Establishment Republicans will tolerate Trump up to the point that removing him will be politically advantageous. If they move too soon, they will only martyr him and empower the Tea Party base that has successfully removed more sane Republicans from office in recent years. Bush was a shocking extremist 16 years ago, he seems like a tame pussycat next to Trump and the GOP base hates him for it.

If they can keep Trump in line and in office, his chaos will be a great distraction as they destroy regulations, chip away at the safety net and add $5 to $10 trillion more in debt with tax cuts as Trump promised.

No matter what happens, Paul Ryan and his extremist positions will appear as the voice of reason. He already appears that way.

Democrats may win the next election, there will be a huge turnout in coming elections, on both sides. Progressives may even somehow manage to get a Sanders-like candidate to run, but we will still be on a trajectory of right-wing extremism. From local and state elections to Congress. Trump's base is going nowhere. The media that fuels their insanity only grows stronger. I don't think it really matters if Trump fails to bring back middle class jobs to the rust belt, they won't turn to the opposition for solutions, their worldview won't allow it. A generation may have to die off before we head in a better direction, I really hope I'm wrong.
 
 
+5 # RMF 2017-02-17 11:26
# lfeuille

There is a clear link between hacking the DNC server and publication by Wikileaks.

Wikileaks published private confidential info obtained in the hacking, making it a felony of theft and trafficking in stolen info (a "fence") just same as if someone comes along and breaks into your house. (By analogy consider the recent Target and Sony hacking affairs, where a great outcry rose up about unlawful hacking of customer info -- no different here in the Wikileaks case -- private and confidential means just that -- and private property on DNC server trespassed against and seized for unauthorized use is commission of the felony of theft -- Congress has even adopted special law to cover it.

It's totally irrelevant what the CIA has done in it's mission gathering intelligence and influencing political events abroad, because THAT IS AUTHORIZED BY US LAW -- whereas breaking into the DNC server IS A VIOLATION OF US LAW. This may seem odd to you but laws are particularized in scope when criminalizing conduct and DO NOT HAVE UNIVERSAL APPLICATION.

It's pretty clear the hacking of DNC server released embarrassing and material info about the Hillary campaign so it's very likely to have influenced the election -- but even if not IT IS STILL COMMISISON OF THE FELONY OF THEFT.

Your are right about one thing only -- all the facts are not yet in -- BUT THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN INVESTIOGATION -- TO GATHER THE FACTS.
 
 
+6 # kyzipster 2017-02-17 13:01
Good points, and if the situation was reversed, if Hillary won and there were accusations of Russia tampering to get that result, real or made up, we'd be hearing very different reasoning from the Trump apologists on the left here at RSN.

I agree, that's the point of an investigation. If it is the CIA, we have a right to know.
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-02-17 22:41
No, it is not legal for the CIA to influence other countries' elections or to assassinate world leaders, and the Podesta emails were LEAKED not HACKED. Podesta has admitted he gave away his password. This does not seem like a difficult distinction to recognize but it is consistently ignored --- Podesta admitted he fell for a phishing scam and Assange has said he acquired the material from a DNC operative upset they were cheating against Sanders.

Regardless, releasing unflattering emails is NOT the same as hacking an election, which is how media outlets are presenting these events.

The same week the Podesta emails came out we were treated to the tape of Billy Bush and Trump. I'd say those two leaks were equally bad for the respective candidates, so perhaps Clinton's loss had something to do with her calling for war, ignoring progressives, insulting millennials, not going to WI, smearing Sanders, cackling about Qaddafi's torture-murder, giving secret speeches to Wall Street, demeaning BLM activists, calling black teens 'superpredators ', eschewing visits to rural America for fundraisers, calling for a world without borders, supporting TPP, ignoring Standing Rock, saying single payer would never happen, promoting fracking all over the world, telling us that after 40 years of material stagnation we should be satisfied with incremental improvement, and stealing the Democratic nomination.

Maybe those things had something to do with it?
 
 
0 # RMF 2017-02-18 10:50
I will explain this one more time (why do I have to explain this over and over to the same list of usual suspects?)

It does not matter whether the DNC Server was hacked or the info was stolen by a secret agent. IT IS THEFT OF PRIVATE CONFIDENTIAL INFO JUST THE SAME, WHETHER ACCOMPLISHED BY SECRET AGENT OR EXTERNAL HACKING. (If a secret agent or mole it's like that of an inside conspirator in a bank robbery or art museum robbery.)

Our legal system even has a special name for this type of private property -- it's called INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. And TRESSPASS OR THEFT of intellectual property carries the same legal implications as in the case of any other property, whether personal or real estate.

Librarian claims it's "not legal for the CIA to influence other countries' elections." While the veracity of that conclusion is highly suspect it is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT TO THE DNC HACKING CASE -- as explained above TRESSPASS TO, SEIZURE, and UNAUTHORIZED USE OF PRIVATE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is a violation of federal criminal law.

And finally, even if the DNC Server hacking did not influence the outcome of the present election (though questionable given close vote tallies in Wisc, Mich) IT MIGHT HAVE GREATER IMPACT when used in the next election. The implications for meddling in future US elections, perhaps using refined and improved methods from the intelligence community, imbues the DNC Hacking case with very great GRAVITY.
 
 
+1 # RMF 2017-02-18 11:21
PS
Librarian -- I would like to see a citation to federal law prohibiting CIA political actions in foreign nations -- indeed, that along with gathering intelligence seems the sine qua non of the CIA.

Indeed, by analogy, Trump just repealed by exec order that part of Dodd-Frank requiring US corps to disclose bribes paid to foreign govts. If US law provides such wide latitude for US corps to engage in political mischief in foreign countries what license must it then give to US intelligence agencies operating abroad?

I am not necessarily advocating that CIA meddle in foreign nations, but determining THE TERMS OF US LAW is a necessary precedent to any progressive action to improve political and economic global welfare. Wearing blinders doesn't cut it if the real objective is to improve global conditions.

Re the Trump interview -- that interview was conducted in a public space -- see the Glik case from the First Circuit for the law on recording for publication politicians and candidates. If you read that case (it's not too long) you will see once and for all why the DNC Hacking case and the Trump interview are totally inapposite in a legal sense.

While your string of mistakes Hillary committed are amusing, it's not relevant to the theft of property off the DNC Server. (Would you think it's OK for someone to hack your ISP, steal your embarrassing e-mails, and publish them on social media -- I think not.)

BOTTOM LINE -- THE DNC SERVER IS NOT A PUBLIC SPACE.
 
 
+1 # RMF 2017-02-18 11:59
More generally, it does not matter whether the DNC Server was hacked or the info was stolen by a secret agent. IT IS THEFT OF PRIVATE CONFIDENTIAL INFO JUST THE SAME, WHETHER ACCOMPLISHED BY SECRET AGENT OR EXTERNAL HACKING. (If a secret agent or mole it's like that of an inside conspirator in a bank robbery or art museum robbery.)

Our legal system even has a special name for this type of private property -- it's called INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. And TRESSPASS OR THEFT of intellectual property carries the same legal implications as in case of any other property, whether personal or real estate.

Librarian claims it's "not legal for the CIA to influence other countries' elections." While the veracity of that conclusion is highly suspect it is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT TO THE DNC HACKING CASE -- as explained above TRESSPASS TO, SEIZURE, and UNAUTHORIZED USE OF PRIVATE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is a violation of federal criminal law.

And finally, even if the DNC Server hacking did not influence the outcome of the present election (though questionable given close vote tallies in Wisc, Mich) IT MIGHT HAVE GREATER IMPACT when used in the next election. The implications for meddling in future US elections, perhaps using refined and improved methods from the intelligence community, imbues the DNC Hacking case with very great GRAVITY.
 
 
+1 # kyzipster 2017-02-19 15:47
The tape of Trump and Bush was released legally by NBC, not stolen or leaked. They did it after 20 women, Apprentice employees, accused Trump of lewd and inappropriate behavior and Trump denied it. I applaud NBC, I have full faith in Trump's willingness to sue if a law was broken.
 

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