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Unread 2017-05-19, 10:20 AM   #3401
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This opinion piece, authored by professor of law who specializes in constitutional law, doesn't think that the memo, as released, vindicates an obstruction of justice charge. So, we will see what all comes to light from all of this.

I have full faith in Richard Mueller to get to the bottom of this. I'm pretty happy that we now how a special counsel investigating this and that it seems to be the real deal, lead by a no-nonsense guy.

Quote:
Trump’s Statements Are Not an Obstruction of Justice
By ELIZABETH PRICE FOLEY MAY 17, 2017

Leaked portions of a memo penned by James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, have provided new ammunition to President Trump’s opponents. The memo purportedly memorializes a conversation between Mr. Comey and the president regarding Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser. In it, Mr. Comey asserts that the president stated, “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Widespread howls erupted, including by editors of this paper, asserting that President Trump obstructed justice. But as distasteful as the president’s statements may be, they do not constitute an obstruction of justice. Indeed, if they did, virtually every communication between criminal defense lawyers and investigators would be a crime.
Section 1510 of Title 18 of the United States Code addresses obstruction of criminal investigations. It is a narrow statute, criminalizing only willful acts “by means of bribery” that have the effect of obstructing the communication of information about crimes to federal investigators. Even assuming Mr. Comey’s memo is accurate, there is no indication that President Trump willfully attempted to bribe the F.B.I. director. As the Supreme Court stated in United States v. Sun-Diamond Growers of California, “for bribery there must be a quid pro quo — a specific intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an official act.”
There is no evidence of a quid pro quo. Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Trump intended an implied offer of continued employment in exchange for Mr. Comey’s dismissal of the Flynn investigation, it would be implausible for Mr. Comey to construe it as such. Mr. Comey was aware that he was an at-will employee who could be fired by the president at any time, for any reason. Indeed, when President Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in June 2016 — during the height of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Secretary Clinton’s private email server — it would have been similarly implausible for Mr. Comey to construe Mr. Obama’s pro-Clinton remarks as an implicit offer of continued employment, in exchange for dropping the Clinton investigation. Even though Mr. Comey dropped the investigation one month later, he presumably knew that although it would please both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, it would not insulate him from being fired.
But even if one adopted an unprecedentedly broad conception of bribery, Mr. Trump’s purported statement still would not violate Section 1510. The statute is designed to preserve the free flow of information, prohibiting only acts that obstruct investigators’ access to information. Bribery of a potential witness, for example, is behavior prohibited by Section 1510. But telling the F.B.I. director that someone is a “good guy” and expressing the hope that an investigation will cease does not obstruct the free flow of information.
Another, broader federal obstruction statute is Section 1505 of Title 18, but even this statute does not fit. Specifically, Section 1505 declares that anyone who “corruptly” endeavors to obstruct the proper administration of law “under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States” is guilty of a felony. Even putting aside the difficulty of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that President Trump’s brief and generalized words evinced the necessary “corrupt” mind-set, Section 1510 applies only to a “pending proceeding.”
In the almost 120 years since Section 1505 and its predecessor have been on the books, no court appears to have ever held that an ongoing F.B.I. investigation qualifies as a “pending proceeding” within the meaning of the statute. Instead, Section 1505 applies to court or court-like proceedings to enforce federal law. In addition to prosecutions (where charges have been filed with a court), such proceedings include actions of enforcement by federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission or National Labor Relations Board, in which the agency has broad powers not merely to investigate statutory violations, but also to enforce them via subpoena or other administrative proceedings.
The F.B.I., by contrast, possesses only a power to investigate — not enforce — federal criminal violations. When the F.B.I. concludes an investigation, it forwards the evidentiary fruits to the Department of Justice, which then decides whether to prosecute. Indeed, it was Mr. Comey’s arrogation of the Justice Department’s prosecutorial power that led to bipartisan calls for his ouster before the 2016 presidential election.
Because the F.B.I. lacks enforcement power, its investigations are not a “pending proceeding,” and courts that have considered the question have so concluded. The legislative history, moreover, confirms that Congress did not intend Section 1505 to reach F.B.I. investigations. The House Judiciary Committee report declared that “attempts to obstruct a criminal investigation or inquiry before a proceeding has been initiated are not within the scope of the proscription” of Section 1505 (italics added for emphasis).
No court has interpreted Section 1505’s “pending proceeding” language to include statements such as those purportedly made by President Trump for a reason. Such generic “he’s-a-good-guy-can’t-you-drop-the-charges?” statements are routinely made to investigators and prosecutors. Defending one’s self, client or friend is a natural instinct, and beseeching leniency is not tantamount to obstruction. Holding otherwise would endorse a breathtaking expansion of obstruction, and be utterly inconsistent with First Amendment freedoms.
Principled objections to Mr. Trump’s policies and leadership style should not blind opponents to the dangers of repeated, knee-jerk calls for criminal prosecution of the president of the United States. Let the evidence unfold, and reserve serious charges if and when the evidence warrants it. Crying wolf undermines the credibility of the opposition, further divides an already deeply divided country and breeds cynicism about American institutions that is as dangerous to our republic, if not more, than outside meddling.
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Unread 2017-05-19, 10:45 AM   #3402
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This opinion piece, authored by professor of law who specializes in constitutional law, doesn't think that the memo, as released, vindicates an obstruction of justice charge. So, we will see what all comes to light from all of this.

I have full faith in Richard Mueller to get to the bottom of this. I'm pretty happy that we now how a special counsel investigating this and that it seems to be the real deal, lead by a no-nonsense guy.
Interesting read, thanks for sharing.

Also NPR had a Rep on yesterday who described the special investigation announcement moment in DC... I'm paraphrasing but he said there was "a massive bi-partisan sigh of relief."
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Unread 2017-05-19, 11:23 AM   #3403
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Interesting read, thanks for sharing.

Also NPR had a Rep on yesterday who described the special investigation announcement moment in DC... I'm paraphrasing but he said there was "a massive bi-partisan sigh of relief."
Yeah, especially with Mueller heading it, I don't see many people on either side of the aisle complaining. The guy's reputation is amazing. This was definitely the best course of action to not only get to the bottom of the Trump admin-Russia investigation, but also to remove the debate about whether it is being handled in a partisan way or not.
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Unread 2017-05-19, 12:57 PM   #3404
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As per a former DOJ lawyer:



So ya, you just keep arm-chair lawyering, but an actual lawyer who worked at the DOJ doesn't see it as a de facto felony like you do.
Because DOJ doesnt have an IG or anything. Oh wait, they do.
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Unread 2017-05-19, 01:01 PM   #3405
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Because DOJ doesnt have an IG or anything. Oh wait, they do.
Ya, can't argue with that.

https://www.instagram.com/thejusticedept/?hl=en
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Unread 2017-05-19, 02:27 PM   #3406
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I wonder how many heroin addicts have been saved from Session's wrist band?
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Unread 2017-05-19, 04:22 PM   #3407
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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/u...omey.html?_r=0

Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation


“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Mr. Comey — reinforces the notion that Mr. Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.

The White House document that contained Mr. Trump’s comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting. One official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the account.


I'm sure this is just fake new guys.
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Unread 2017-05-19, 04:39 PM   #3408
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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/u...omey.html?_r=0

Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation


“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Mr. Comey — reinforces the notion that Mr. Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.

The White House document that contained Mr. Trump’s comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting. One official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the account.


I'm sure this is just fake new guys.

Here's what Spicer actually said, it was in your link... which isn't just "not disputing"... it's an explanation... and I think makes sense.

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“By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia,” Mr. Spicer said. “The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.”
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Unread 2017-05-22, 09:40 AM   #3409
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Here's what Spicer actually said, it was in your link... which isn't just "not disputing"... it's an explanation... and I think makes sense.
you think that makes sense? do you think its a reasonable explanation given everything else the President has said personally about this whole episode?

this WH has shown itself to be perfectly happy denying things that prove incredibly accurate later and yet when posed with a supposed quote from his meeting with the suspected Russian spymaster in America, where he says rather plainly that he believes he's relieved pressure on himself from an investigation involving that same Russian by firing the FBI Director, they balk at saying its not true/accurate? and you're thinking semantics are the important part...
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Unread 2017-05-22, 11:08 AM   #3410
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you think that makes sense? do you think its a reasonable explanation given everything else the President has said personally about this whole episode?

this WH has shown itself to be perfectly happy denying things that prove incredibly accurate later and yet when posed with a supposed quote from his meeting with the suspected Russian spymaster in America, where he says rather plainly that he believes he's relieved pressure on himself from an investigation involving that same Russian by firing the FBI Director, they balk at saying its not true/accurate? and you're thinking semantics are the important part...
Until there is more than the witch hunt I've seen so far, yep it makes sense. If you are a person who is most certain there is collusion between Trump/Russia, then I could see why this explanation is viewed as just more lies.

With the conviction, I've seen online from people hoping there IS collusion, and wanting to use that or ANYTHING to take down Trump... I feel I have to be a bit of devil's advocate... most of what's out so far is just conspiracy theory... more may come out, and there might be something to actually say this WH is more than just stupid.

Until that time comes, yep Spicer's version of 'defense' of Trump's comments works for me.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 11:10 AM   #3411
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Until there is more than the witch hunt I've seen so far, yep it makes sense. If you are a person who is most certain there is collusion between Trump/Russia, then I could see why this explanation is viewed as just more lies.

With the conviction, I've seen online from people hoping there IS collusion, and wanting to use that or ANYTHING to take down Trump... I feel I have to be a bit of devil's advocate... most of what's out so far is just conspiracy theory... more may come out, and there might be something to actually say this WH is more than just stupid.

Until that time comes, yep Spicer's version of 'defense' of Trump's comments works for me.
I'm not certain there is collusion. However I don't think Spicer has a great track record of truthfulness. Not to mention POTUS has contradicted him numerous times now on other matters. It's created a considerable amount of distrust for him for me in terms of the office.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 12:00 PM   #3412
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Until there is more than the witch hunt I've seen so far, yep it makes sense. If you are a person who is most certain there is collusion between Trump/Russia, then I could see why this explanation is viewed as just more lies.

With the conviction, I've seen online from people hoping there IS collusion, and wanting to use that or ANYTHING to take down Trump... I feel I have to be a bit of devil's advocate... most of what's out so far is just conspiracy theory... more may come out, and there might be something to actually say this WH is more than just stupid.

Until that time comes, yep Spicer's version of 'defense' of Trump's comments works for me.
I feel like you've got some kind of "try hard" thing where you want to always go against the grain so being some kind of a "Trump Truther" is in your nature but let's break down that defense that apparently makes sense and works for you:

Quote:
“By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia,” Mr. Spicer said.
I guess I didn't realize that it was Comey that was politicizing the investigation... now that he's gone, I'm sure the investigation will be devoid of politics. as to grandstanding, he was called to testify before Congress... beyond his open testimony to the Republican-controlled Congress where he answered the questions he was asked, what grandstanding had Comey done in relation to the investigation, exactly?

he definitely has a flare for grabbing the moment much to his own professional benefit and detriment but other than not leaking Trump's ham-handed Flynn pressure, not saying anything whatsoever about the Trump-Russia investigation last year while crowing about the Clinton investigation, having very little leakage as far as he could control it on the ongoing investigation since inauguration, I guess I'm just having trouble squaring that comment with reality. please help me
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“The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.
I don't think anyone has alleged that Comey's firing will end the investigation, I'm pretty sure the charge is that it's an attempt to OBSTRUCT it, which the President appears to be copping to in that statement that the admin isn't saying is false.

as to our national security? are they arguing that Trump endangered it during that meeting by signaling to our allies that anything they tell us privately can just be blurted out at any moment by the Idiot-in-Chief when he's trying to earn a gold star from his overlords? otherwise, I'm pretty sure the Russians know that we monitor their conversations and the rest have generally been leaks that directly contradict something the WH is apparently lying to the American people about so the argument would appear to be "those leakers put our national security at risk by exposing lies that we the liars are telling the American people about our actions"... interesting argument but it doesn't really pass the smell test - likely because its bullshit once you think about it for a minute.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 12:59 PM   #3413
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I feel like you've got some kind of "try hard" thing where you want to always go against the grain so being some kind of a "Trump Truther" is in your nature but let's break down that defense that apparently makes sense and works for you:
I definitely think when group-think / circle-jerk lines up in one direction so often, it's worth evaluating the opposing view. I do this on most topics. If I find there is merit to the opposing view, I'm definitely one to at least discuss it, even if I don't agree with that view. I don't think there is anything wrong with that...

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I guess I didn't realize that it was Comey that was politicizing the investigation... now that he's gone, I'm sure the investigation will be devoid of politics. as to grandstanding, he was called to testify before Congress... beyond his open testimony to the Republican-controlled Congress where he answered the questions he was asked, what grandstanding had Comey done in relation to the investigation, exactly?

he definitely has a flare for grabbing the moment much to his own professional benefit and detriment but other than not leaking Trump's ham-handed Flynn pressure, not saying anything whatsoever about the Trump-Russia investigation last year while crowing about the Clinton investigation, having very little leakage as far as he could control it on the ongoing investigation since inauguration, I guess I'm just having trouble squaring that comment with reality. please help me
All I can assume is they are referring to non-public information. I've got to assume the grandstanding/politicizing was occurring at the FBI, or perhaps it was happening there, and he didn't do enough to squash it. I agree with you, that there isn't much public info I can point to that corroborates Spicer's claim.

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I don't think anyone has alleged that Comey's firing will end the investigation, I'm pretty sure the charge is that it's an attempt to OBSTRUCT it, which the President appears to be copping to in that statement that the admin isn't saying is false.
I've seen all over reddit, and some on facebook people saying this was Trump's attempt to kill the investigation, many postulating it would/has worked. I agree the proper way to view it would be as an attempt to obstruct it... and he's explaining here that anyone who thinks this firing would obstruct is being obtuse... in no way does the firing obstruct it. I'm glad they put it on record what I think many should know inherently but appear not to.

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as to our national security? are they arguing that Trump endangered it during that meeting by signaling to our allies that anything they tell us privately can just be blurted out at any moment by the Idiot-in-Chief when he's trying to earn a gold star from his overlords? otherwise, I'm pretty sure the Russians know that we monitor their conversations and the rest have generally been leaks that directly contradict something the WH is apparently lying to the American people about so the argument would appear to be "those leakers put our national security at risk by exposing lies that we the liars are telling the American people about our actions"... interesting argument but it doesn't really pass the smell test - likely because its bullshit once you think about it for a minute.
I think he's just referring to the leaks that occuring in many goverment departments right now, while definitely some have turned out to be true and fit your description, I don't believe 'most' have as you put it. Just go back to near the inauguration when people were setting up twitter accounts to be the true/alt version of "dept of xyz"... much of that leaked info turned out to not be true, some did.

Overall the fact that Trump is so polarizing that it's causing government employees to leak info is a substantial story IMO... even if the "endangering national security" portion may be a bit exaggeration.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 02:43 PM   #3414
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I definitely think when group-think / circle-jerk lines up in one direction so often, it's worth evaluating the opposing view. I do this on most topics. If I find there is merit to the opposing view, I'm definitely one to at least discuss it, even if I don't agree with that view. I don't think there is anything wrong with that...
its not that I think there is something inherently wrong with it but when it causes you, an intelligent reasonable person imo, to go to such extreme lengths to deny the reality of what's been in front of you for months over and over again? I think its crossed a line to be working to your detriment in this case.
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I've seen all over reddit, and some on facebook people saying this was Trump's attempt to kill the investigation, many postulating it would/has worked. I agree the proper way to view it would be as an attempt to obstruct it... and he's explaining here that anyone who thinks this firing would obstruct is being obtuse... in no way does the firing obstruct it. I'm glad they put it on record what I think many should know inherently but appear not to.
you don't think that firing the FBI Director obstructs the investigation at all? does it not send a message that a desperate WH will flail about and destroy careers as they continue to be investigated? just in a practical sense, does it not stand to reason that firing the Director of the FBI will serve as a distraction to the agency as the hierarchy is put into flux? no, it won't stop it and anyone that argues it will doesn't understand what they're talking about but their ignorance aside, this was about distraction and deflection - trying to create a bit of breathing room (however temporary) by interrupting an on-going investigation.
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I think he's just referring to the leaks that occuring in many goverment departments right now, while definitely some have turned out to be true and fit your description, I don't believe 'most' have as you put it. Just go back to near the inauguration when people were setting up twitter accounts to be the true/alt version of "dept of xyz"... much of that leaked info turned out to not be true, some did.

Overall the fact that Trump is so polarizing that it's causing government employees to leak info is a substantial story IMO... even if the "endangering national security" portion may be a bit exaggeration.
you really are reaching on this one... the alt twitter accounts rarely contained any substantial information and like just about everything good on the internet, were likely setup as a joke that got out of hand and then was copycat-ed by others who were looking for a laugh, etc.

I wasn't referring to snide twitter accts but the leaking of information to reporters and I would hope that Spicer was too because if his comment was about twitter alts being "the real story" when compared against the Trump campaign/administration's undisclosed ties to Russian oligarchs and spies, that's pretty incredible even for Spicey...
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Unread 2017-05-22, 02:54 PM   #3415
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you don't think that firing the FBI Director obstructs the investigation at all? does it not send a message that a desperate WH will flail about and destroy careers as they continue to be investigated? just in a practical sense, does it not stand to reason that firing the Director of the FBI will serve as a distraction to the agency as the hierarchy is put into flux? no, it won't stop it and anyone that argues it will doesn't understand what they're talking about but their ignorance aside, this was about distraction and deflection - trying to create a bit of breathing room (however temporary) by interrupting an on-going investigation.
Agreed. Anyone who doesn't see that Comey's firing was meant to create a 'chilling effect' on anything related to the Russia investigation is out of touch with reality.

Trumps own words have pretty much confirmed his intent.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 05:36 PM   #3416
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Infowars has White House press credentials now. But CNN is fake news.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 05:57 PM   #3417
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Looks like trouble in paradise. What a sham of a marriage in the first place

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...s-america-does
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Unread 2017-05-22, 06:03 PM   #3418
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While he is an assignment it's pretty pathetic that there are multiple "articles" analyzing her hitting his hand away with no context.

It's the stupid shit like that that helped put the ass in the presidency in the first place.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 06:42 PM   #3419
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Looks like trouble in paradise. What a sham of a marriage in the first place

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...s-america-does
You talking about Bill and Hillary or you just hating on Trump.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 07:01 PM   #3420
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Predictable.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 07:09 PM   #3421
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You talking about Bill and Hillary or you just hating on Trump.
At least Bill and Hillary have a real partnership in some sense. Melania is literally just a prop for Donald.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 07:10 PM   #3422
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Predictable.
I know, you accept Liberal hypocrisy.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 07:23 PM   #3423
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I know, you accept Liberal hypocrisy.
I do eh? Feel free to go find any point in time when I defended the Clinton's relationship, or countered any topic with a "they did it too" type comment for that matter.

I'll wait.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 07:38 PM   #3424
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I know, you accept Liberal hypocrisy.
I feel like if you can run a successful business, it must be a cake walk. It gives me inspiration.
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Unread 2017-05-22, 08:37 PM   #3425
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Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.073044cf29d0

Drip drip drip

Quote:
In addition to the requests to Coats and Rogers, senior White House officials sounded out top intelligence officials about the possibility of intervening directly with Comey to encourage the FBI to drop its probe of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, according to people familiar with the matter. The officials said the White House appeared uncertain about its power to influence the FBI.


“Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?” one official said of the line of questioning from the White House
.
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