No matter how much Trump may want to, he can’t ‘give’ Ukraine to Putin, Piontkovsky says

Trump / Putin (Images: Getty)

 

Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

“However much he may desire it, no [US president including Donald] Trump can give Ukraine [to Russia]” because Vladimir Putin by his actions has alienated all Ukrainians and failed to provide a single compelling reason why they or anyone else should want to live under Kremlin rule, according to Andrey Piontkovsky.

Andrey Piontkovsky, prominent Russian scientist, political writer and analyst

Andrey Piontkovsky

In a commentary today, the Russian commentator suggests that many in Moscow think that the coming of Trump to office will represent a complete change in the situation, thus ignoring both the limits of any one leader to achieve that and the limits Russia has imposed on itself by its failures and its aggression.

Piontkovsky argues that Russians have suffered from this “pleasant delusion” since Trump won office on November 8 and that some of them have behaved the way Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels did when he learned on April 13, 1945 that Franklin Roosevelt had died. “The whole course of the war is changing,” he told Hitler in the bunker.

Russian officials have some reason for maintaining their view of Trump, the commentator says. After all, Trump has been unceasing in his enthusiasm for Putin and for establishing close ties with the Kremlin in order to fight terrorism. “We need the Russians,” the incoming president has repeatedly said.

This is “sweet music … not only for the power holders in the Kremlin but for the entire Russian political class, from ‘Yabloko’-types like Arbatov and Lunkin to open neo-Nazis like Dugin and Prokhanov,” Piontkovsky says. They all believe a new Yalta is ahead, one in which Trump will recognize “at a minimum” the former Soviet space as Russia’s sphere of influence.

But they should all stop this silly dreaming because “nothing of the sort is going to happen.” The reason lies not with Trump but with Russia and Russians, he argues.

“All American presidents over the last quarter of a century – Clinton and Bush and Obama – began with efforts to reach agreement with [Moscow] because this really would correspond to the interests of both the US and Russia. But all of them were seriously disappointed” because of the position Moscow has adopted.

Moscow has again and again “demanded the impossible.” It has demanded more than that Americans should love Russia; it has demanded that the Americans ensure that all of Russia’s neighbors will love it to. And when the US can’t deliver on that, as it certainly can’t, Moscow gets angry and blames the US for the outcome.

The reason Moscow has failed to win friends lies not with Washington but with Russia itself. No one on the post-Soviet space needs Moscow; indeed, no one “in any other region of the world” does either. Russia has been and remains an aggressor and a supporter of vicious dictators like Syria’s Assad.

“Putin’s Russia cannot be attractive for anyone, not for the millions of Ukrainians and Georgians who have chosen a European vector of development and not even for the Central Asian dictators who do not need a master in the Kremlin,” he writes. Russia has lost Ukraine “forever,” regardless of who is president of the US.

Trump doesn’t have the power to “give Moscow the love of Ukrainians.” No one does. And when he seeks to make Putin an ally against the Islamic state, he is going to discover that the Kremlin leader is anything but a useful one given Putin’s games with the Iranians and with radicals in the Middle East.

The incoming president will certainly be told about all that by US intelligence agencies, and it is thus likely, being a tough-minded businessman who wants to make a deal, that he will have “serious doubts about the usefulness of such an ally in the struggle against ‘the Islamic State.”

Trump may then try to make a deal with Putin as an ally to help contain the rise of China. In this, he would have the same ally Richard Nixon did more than 40 years ago, except that then Henry Kissinger wanted a US rapprochement with China in order to contain the Soviet Union, Piontkovsky continues.

Because of Russia’s own problems, that is unlikely to lead to a grand bargain of the kind so many are talking about. Instead, what is likely to happen after an initial burst of activity is what has happened before: disappointment on both sides and anger among the leaders of each against those of the other.

And there is an additional reason for doubting that Trump will deliver something without getting something back: the attitudes of the US Congress. These people aren’t “’the lame ducks’” and “political corpses” that the Russian foreign ministry is complaining about. They are people who are going to be around and that Trump will have to take into consideration.

The American legislators will insist that the US get something if it gives up something and thus they will reinforce Trump’s own inclination to make demands for a real exchange. If Russia can’t offer anything of value – and it seems unlikely that it can – then there won’t be a new Yalta or anything like it, regardless of what Moscow and its allies abroad think.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • focusser1

    Excellent article, describes the Russia to a tee, we demand this that and the other. After the fall of the Soviet Union did the Russia try to make friends with former slave states, no? They threatened, invaded, annexed parts of countries. They demand to be treated as an equal to the US, they demand respect, if they want those things, go out and earn them, bombing civilians in Syria is not going to do it. Threatening to nuke countries will not do it either, time for the Russia to get into the 21st century.

  • laker48

    I’ve been writing almost the same since the very moment Trump won the US presidential elections. Trump is much more likely to become another Ronald Reagan and bankrupt RuSSia, than another Bill Clinton extending financial lifelines or Barack Obama failing to deliver on most of his promises. Syria is a perfect venue for Trump to send RuSSia float belly-up, especially in light of Obama’s executive order to send modern US antiaircraft weapons to anti Assad rebels in Syria. This will have a similar effect as sending to Afghanistan by Carter SAM Stingers decimating Soviet helicopters and forcing the Soviets to leave Afghanistan in 1989 after almost 10 years of war. Two years later the Soviet Union was no more..

    • Oknemfrod

      >a similar effect as sending to Afghanistan by Carter SAM Stingers<

      In principle, you're right, however, detail-wise, it was a bit different, and there's enough difference to influence the principle. This is because the whole effort of letting the Afghans have the Stingers was initiated and spearheaded not by Carter – or even Reagan – but by the Congress and still more specifically, by the House of Representatives, where Rep. Charlie Wilson (R, TX 2nd district) played the crucial role of pushing the funding through. In the end, it was the House's power to hold the purse strings that did the trick. The reason I'd like to stress it here is that, like you've said, the current situation with Ukraine harks back to the one with Afghanistan in the 1980's. Famously, Wilson said in 1983 "The U.S. had nothing whatsoever to do with these people's decision to fight … but we'll be damned by history if we let them fight with stones.". Methinks an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the House, and indeed the Congress, holds the same view now, and the only reason the Russian tanks are still roaming Donbas is Obama's active resistance to arming Ukraine appropriately stemming from his peacenik proclivity to vacillate where resolve is due (in particular, amply demonstrated in drawing endless "lines in the sand" and doing nothing after they are crossed). All Trump needs to do to end such resistance is to do … nothing and merely let the House handle the matter. In case if, as a result, the dwarf should raise he11 over it, there's always the retort that in the US, the president is not a tsar and can't overstep the separation of powers.

      • laker48

        I was mistaken. It was the Reagan administration that dispatched the Stingers to Afghanistan in 1986. My memory failed me. Here’s the link to an interesting WSJ story. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204138204576598851109446780
        It took lass than three years and the Soviets were gone from Afghanistan and a bit more than five years and the Soviet Union was no more.
        Happy New Year!

        • Czech Mate

          laker laker, and there I was thinking you would know your history… sorry, but the great movie Charlie Wilson’s War is a must watch then!

  • albertphd

    An excellent article that reveals the truth behind the Trump-Putin relationship: if you expect nothing, you cannot be disappointed!

    Although it is wise for a super-power (as the USA undoubtedly is) to try to convert enemies into friends, the Russian Bear will be just as happy and friendly to the USA as it makes up it’s mind to be! This ‘silly dreaming’ (as the author describes it) has really nothing to do with Trump–for this ‘sweet [Russian] music’ can easily end on a sour note!

    I like in particular the analogy to FDR’s death which the Nazi Propaganda Minister, Goebbels, fantastically viewed as a boon for the collapsing Nazi Reich. (Desperate men will clutch at straws?!). Likewise, some people may tend to think that because Hillary Clinton lost the election (a ‘death’ of the Democratic Party in some way?!), that the Republicans are now throwing roses to the Russians?! That somehow this defeat in the US Election works into a Russian Victory? How idiotic?!

    All this hype (hyperbole) that Trump is a bedfellow to Putin is from Western Media still drunk from ‘sour grapes’! The election rhetoric is over–or it ought to be?! In this one minor point, I agree Putin is right: the Democrats are simply sore losers!
    But the reverse questions remains: ‘Will Putin have the last laugh?!”.

    I agree that Trump may have that proverbial ‘beginner’s luck’ to strike an accord with Putin, but as this author correctly articulates: the Russians suffer from a ‘pleasant delusion’ that somehow Trump will agree to give them something for nothing?!

    The Trump (that I see) is for America FIRST; and, if Putin doesn’t have what it takes (or thinks he can ‘take what Trump has’?!), he’s in for a ‘serious disappointment’!

    But let us dare to be gracious (once again?!): If Russia and Turkey and Syria can at least bring a peace accord this next month (as they promise to do!) to the thousands of innocent Syrians who are being slaughtered like sheep, perhaps there is a faint hope clause for PEACE on Earth, GOOD Will to all men during this time of year?! But, we need to ask: PEACE, on what terms?

    As in East Ukraine (the Donbas), where the fighting has greatly accelerated during this Christmas Season, there should also be some effort by the RF (Russian Federation) to put an end to such senseless suffering. Ukrainian boys and men and women are dying and suffering serious wounds daily–of which the world is largely totally unaware! But this tragedy of war is arguably caused and sustained solely by Russia–as an aggressor nation–from the beginning!

    So, is this the Christmas spirit? To feign a truce, a ceasefire in the Luhansk & Donetsk regions in East Ukraine, in order to kill and maim more Ukrainian volunteers (who are simply fighting the good fight of freedom, to keep their country free from pro-Russian invaders)?!

    Putin will have to answer that question to Trump? And as the author says, the Republican Party (including their leader, Donald J.), are not a bunch of ‘lame-ducks’ or ‘political corpses’! Putin will surely have to give something of GREAT value to satisfy the Republican Party, perhaps, all of the Donbas, if not the Crimea as well?! (After all, it was largely the Republican Party that voted 7 to 1 to grant Ukraine lethal weapons to fight Russia back in March 2015! [which action was vetoed by President Obama under an Executive Order–as he clearly feared confrontation with Putin!])!

    Granted that Ukrainian Christmas is just around the corner (7th January 2017), let us pray that reason will prevail, that in some small (perhaps miraculous way?) the stony heart of Russia’s Pharaoh may let the Ukrainian people GO!

    For even if Putin were to capture all of Ukraine (as the Nazis did all of France in 1940), he would likewise not be able to govern the country for long–unless he can win the love of the people! The Nazis never learnt that simple lesson that: ‘Might does not make right!”. If Putin is to finally grow up and work with Trump, he will need to learn (from Trump?) “How to win friends and influence people”! Perhaps in this regard, this ‘friendship’ is actually the mutual attraction of opposites?!

    Especially now at Christmas time, let us dare to say a little prayer to end man’s inhumanity to man and to reflect upon that anti-war song by John Lennon:

    “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” as viewed on youtube:

    [WARNING: video graphic violence!]

    • laker48

      Thank you for a fantastic insight! Have a merry Orthodox Christmas and a happy New Year!

      • Quartermaster

        And a Happy Old New Year! :-)

    • Forewarned

      As a Democrat, I can assure you I’m not a sore loser. This as a contention is something most of us do not consider. Donnie Dirtbag lost the popular vote by 3 million voters and benefitted from a fake investigation drummed-up by the FBI two weeks before the election. Also, sore loser would describe the entire 8 years of Obama’s presidency and those sore loser republicans who opposed him every step of the way. Remember birthers and tea-baggers? I do.

      So to call us sore-losers is somewhat amusing at this point. Sore loser implies pettiness of action which I assure you will not apply to someone like myself. We are ready to take to the streets if Donnie tries anything funny. Bigly.

      • Turtler

        “As a Democrat, I can assure you I’m not a sore loser. This as a
        contention is something most of us do not consider. Donnie Dirtbag lost
        the popular vote by 3 million voters and benefitted from a fake investigation drummed-up by the FBI two weeks before the election.”

        And yet you do not see how utterly contradictory the first and last sentences of that are.

        And not ONCE in your sordid, ignorant little comment do you consider three things:

        A: If the FBI investigation really was “fake” and “drummed up”, how and why did Obama and Lynch let it happen? After all, they DO have oversight.

        B: If this investigation really was drummed up “weeks” before the election, why was the FBI busy doing it for MONTHS before?

        and

        C: How do you explain the fact that even when recommending against persecution, Comey revealed that Hillary Clinton LIED under oath to Congress?

        And that’s the real fact that the sorest losers- those who do not even bother being accountable to reality- fail to clarify.

        The fact of the matter is abundantly simple. The mere existence of Hillary Clinton’s private server constituted guilt of SEVERAL extremely severe Federal crimes. The perjury, destruction of evidence, and obfuscation that followed constitute several more. And all of which are far worse and more guilty than anything “Donnie Dirtbag” can be accused of.

        Now, to get to someone who wraps the case up even more eloquently than I ever could, using direct quotes from the Criminal Code and video text of Comey’s testimony under oath.

        Now, do you have ANY Counterargument to this?

        Because if you cannot refute EVERY SINGLE POINT in this video- and particularly Comey’s testimony- then the fact is Hillary Clinton was guilty, and the investigation proved that.

        “Also, sore loser would describe the entire 8 years of Obama’s presidency and those sore loser republicans who opposed him every step of the way.
        Remember birthers and tea-baggers? I do.”

        As do I, as a Tea-Bagger (but not a birther).

        But the fact remains nowhere during the Obama years were they nearly as sore as the Left is here.

        Romney did not throw things around and curse behind the stage before conceding. There were no “Tea Bagger” riots in the streets like there were after this. There was no high budget attempts to sway the Electoral College to undermine the results of the popular vote. There was no attempt to blame the results on rigging by hostile powers.

        And I could go on. Because I HAVE been a Conservative Republican for a long time, and I’ve been around the bush long enough to confront several of the dregs on my side of the aisle. So I know how they behaved And even they could barely have contemplated conduct like this.

        “So to call us sore-losers is somewhat amusing at this point. Sore
        loser implies pettiness of action which I assure you will not apply to
        someone like myself. ”

        You are welcome to assure as much as you want, the fact is *I don’t believe you.*

        The fact is your conduct and your willingness to twist the facts- including the blindingly obvious and undisputed facts (like the length of the FBI investigation) shows otherwise. The fact is you probably have no response, let alone refutation, to videos like that. Or more importantly, the legal code and Comey’s testimony that underline it. You cannot respond to the fact that Hillary Clinton was caught committing perjury before Congress and running a deeply illegal and ludicrously insecure email server.

        And the irony is stupendous. Because if at Any point during this investigation the Democrat Party or President Obama had placed the interests of the American Republic over party partisanship and insisted that the investigation be carried on until the end and that Hillary be indicted, she would probably have been replaced by a FAR stronger and more competent Democrat forerunner who would have had a significantly better chance of defeating Trump.

        But we know the road that was actually taken, don’t we? And that is why you quack like a sore loser, type like a sore loser, utter the myths of a sore loser, and use the vocabulary of a sore loser even when assuring us you are not.

        “We are ready to take to the streets if Donnie tries anything funny. Bigly.”

        Considering how some of the latest “taking to the streets” have resulted in violence, better be careful that is not a threat.

        • Forewarned

          So Lynch and Obama could have stopped the “investigation” without appearing partisan, impeding the “independent” judgement of a law enforcement agency, and potentially causing more damage? Really now? So this unprecedented interference in our election process goes without comment I suppose? If this would have happened to Trump you hypocrites would have been screaming bloody murder. You’ve screamed bloody murder about lesser lies than these.

          Speaking of which, what were the results of these email “investigations?” Just curious.

          Or was it similar to Colin Powell’s private email server or the 22 million deleted Bush emails? Again, hypocrisy from the right.

          Fact of the matter is, we ain’t sore, we’re mad, just like you were 8 years ago. We’re going to work every day to make sure Dirtbag Donnie gets nothing done and is out in 4 years or less.

          BTW, thanks for showing us the blueprint of extreme obstruction. I’m sure you’re aware that turn about is fair play.

          • Turtler

            “So Lynch and Obama could have stopped the “investigation” without
            appearing partisan, ”

            It’s a bit late to complain about appearing partisan after you have a private meeting with the spouse of the prime subject of an investigation. Ultimately, appearance are appearances. What matters is the substance.

            “impeding the “independent” judgement of a law enforcement agency,”

            Again, see above.

            “and potentially causing more damage? Really now? ”

            Compared to what? What Hillary was accused (and the proof indicated as per under oath testimonies said she had actually done) was?

            Again, you write all this, but it is about *optics.* Your complaint was not about actually being partisan or impeding it, it was about *appearing* so. The problem is being the chief executive and one of the Law Enforcement heads means the ability to prioritize substance over Optics. To do something even if it might appear a little itty bitty bad.

            “So this unprecedented interference in our election process ”

            It’s not unprecedented, nimrod, just ask the CPUSA (who have launched similar complaints about the FBI’s investigating their ties with Soviet intelligence and other foreign influence peddlers, and the general allegations that the CPUSA was Soviet front group dedicated to terrorist activities.

            The fact that the CPUSA was in fact a Soviet front group dedicated to terrorist activities was something that got overlooked).

            But let’s ignore this fact and pretend it is in fact unprecedented. So what? Unprecedented does not necessarily mean bad or improper. And if the situation truly warrants it- as the actual unprecedented leakage from a single government official was in this case (while plenty of Soviet and even Scientology spies have come close, none really combined both the security clearance and the power here) then it is in fact Proper.

            “goes without comment I suppose? ”

            Again, this is all about the complaints about appearance, and furthermore interference.

            Nevermind the merits of the case! Nevermind about whether or not Hillary in fact has any legal ability to hold a government position after violating Federal laws about intelligence! How dare those meanie FBIs (under the famous RNC plans Comey and Lynch) investigate this at all, months before Trump was even a significant blip on the radar!

            “If this would have happened to Trump you hypocrites would have been screaming bloody murder. ”

            No, it would not.

            Because you know what, fool? I actually value the LAW above petty partisan bickering. That is why I go toe to toe with Nixon apologists all the time, and why I honestly think all those previous (and in the case of Kerry later) Secretary of States should have been forced to face the music about their own well documented malfeasence regarding classified information, as documented by the Office of the Inspector General. Regardless of their party affiliation. Even though their issue was negligence, Hillary’s was not.

            In fact, I am not even a big fan of Trump. Personally, I dislike him because he’s a crude boar who talks out of both sides of his mouth.

            But that is because I have *principles* above party.

            But it is very interesting that your very first response to me was not to refute my claims of “That’s Bogus, these charges are bogus, and this video is wrong and here’s how”, it was not to protest Hillary’s innocence

            It was to accuse me of being politically biased, and that I would be happy with a traitor who has no legal right to hold any government office from her crimes usurping the Presidency so long as she had a nice freaking Hyphen-R after her name.

            Now that has nothing to do with how I actually am, but it does seem quite revealing about your own priorities.

            “You’ve screamed bloody murder about lesser lies than these.”

            And this is wrong why?

            “Speaking of which, what were the results of these email “investigations?” Just curious.”

            Do you want the format in video or text?

            But the overwhelming result was that Hillary Clinton had done several actions that constituted

            “Or was it similar to Colin Powell’s private email server or the 22 million deleted Bush emails? ”

            No, it wasn’t. Because for the latter, Bush as POTUS actually had the *authority* to decide whether those emails could be legally deleted or not. Hillary Clinton did not. Especially not after leaving the office of Sec State.

            And as for the former, Colin Powell’s email server was related to Gmail, and involved him negligently sending and recieving work related emails. It did not involve a conspiracy to set up an unsecured email server in a bathroom to avoid FOIA requests and coordinated stonewalling and perjury.

            But don’t believe me.

            Take a look at the Inspector General’s report and compare/contrast.

            https://oig.state.gov/system/files/esp-16-03.pdf

            “Again, hypocrisy from the right.”

            No, the hypocrisy is the insistence that investigating credible evidence about illegal activity and then bringing that up when one of the suspects (and frankly guilty parties) was nominated, but then insisting “O LOOK U DID THAT TOO!” (In spite of the differences in that).

            And again, you bring absolutely no countearguments or evidence to prove that Comey’s investigation was bogus, that his findings were bogus, or that Hillary Clinton was actually innocent.

            Which is the crux of the matter.

            “Fact of the matter is, we ain’t sore, we’re mad, j”

            Sore mad.

            “just like you were 8 years ago. ”

            I didn’t threaten to go out to the streets online, demand that the Electoral College overturn the results, or insist that Trump receive an early swearing in. Among others.

            And again, I certainly did not claim that people in my party should receive a pass on any illegal activity they conducted and complained about any investigation targeting them as biased merely because they had an R after their name.

            Because again, principles.

            “We’re going to work every day to make sure Dirtbag Donnie gets
            nothing done and is out in 4 years or less.”

            If you had worked even a fraction of that time to keep your own administration and party honest and ensure that Wikileaks/the Russians/DNC insiders/whoever could not use the information about Hillary Clinton’s corruption to beat you over the head with it at the worst possible moment, you probably would have won.

            But hey far be it for me to demand you place the wellbeing of the Republic over party politics!

            “BTW, thanks for showing us the blueprint of extreme obstruction.”

            Obstruction?

            Do you even know what that term means in a legal context, moron?

            Can you even describe how it was obstructive?

            “I’m sure you’re aware that turn about is fair play.”

            No, it isn’t.

            Especially not when it involves FEDERAL CRIMES AND HIGH TREASON.

            Thank you for being ignorant and biased enough to confess to anybody who happens to be reading this where your real priorities lie.

            When I say I will be watching Trump like a hawk for any misbehavior (of which I expect much) ranging from the merely immoral like letting Putin off the hook to the actually criminal like abuse of libel laws, I can safely say that without risk of hypocrisy or dishonesty. Because that is actually how I roll.

            You on the other hand? You bastardize the law into “turnabout’s fair play” or “it isn’t a crime if you don’t get caught or called out.”

            And yet you expect me to trust your word on something?

          • Forewarned

            Let me tell you something, just because your fat little fingers can crank out massive amounts of irrelevant arguments and informal fallacies doesn’t mean what you write is worth a damn.

            We were talking about Comey, not Bill Clinton and Lynch. That’s called a “Straw Man.” Going on about optics is a “Red Herring.” Comey went public with a meanless investigation, 11 days before the election. That is unprecedented interference. Comey really needed to “prioritize” looking into Anthony Weiner’s email for a flimsy and sham investigation? It wasn’t justified or proper and was highly political.

            Comey figured, before the “investigation” that Trump would fire him if elected President because Trump accused the FBI of not fully investigating this entire trumped up b.s. about Clinton’s email in the first place. Comey knew that he needed to hedge his bets because if he investigated and Trump lost, he couldn’t be fired because Clinton would appear vengeful with the implication that she was guilty. If Trump won, he’s happy Comey did it and keeps his job. Either way, Comey would remain as FBI director. All these machinations seem to escape you but that’s okay, try to keep up.

            Again, what was the outcome of the investigations? Any wrongdoing proven? If so, where are the charges? Answer the simple question.

            I don’t accept Breitbart or Faux News as “sources.” That’s the unsupported fake news that Trump’s friend Putin perfected in the 21st Century.

          • Turtler

            “Let me tell you something, just because your fat little fingers can
            crank out massive amounts of irrelevant arguments and informal fallacies
            doesn’t mean what you write is worth a damn.”

            Indeed, that is quite true! And the same can be said of your own, and every other message. Just because claims and arguments exist does not make them true.

            That is where the *merit* of an argument comes in. You know, things like facts, evidence, logical argumentation, and the other stuff to prove whether or not what one is typing is true.

            Now about that: are you actually going to provide any for your own long list of claims? Do you have anything of more import than uttering a falsehood about how long Comey’s investigation lasted or when it started, or catastrophically misjudging me?

            “We were talking about Comey, not Bill Clinton and Lynch.

            We were talking about Comey, and particularly whether his investigation was fake or not and when it started (whether just “weeks before the election” or months). And why people with oversight would let a pointless, meritless, or “false” investigation continue.

            Then YOU talked about Obama and Lynch, and asked why they would do such a thing when it would “look partisan” and seem to be interfering.

            Then I mentioned how “coincidences” and unprofessional conduct like Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac (something that is in extremely poor conduct, as you as a lawyer should know).

            And now you’re trying to go up and shout “BU BU YOU CHANGED DA TOPIC!”

            “That’s called a “Straw Man.” ”

            No, it’s not.

            It is called unrprofessional contact and possibly evidence of a conflict of interest.

            You ignoring the logical connection between your objection to my argument about “Obama and Lynch wouldn’t stop even a baseless investigation because that would look partisan” and a high profile case where Lynch DID look partisan and above all was unprofessional is the straw man. And your attempt to flip a shiny coin in the air to try and distract from that and make the claim I just brought this up out of nowhere is a falsehood.

            “Going on about optics is a “Red Herring.” ”

            It’s a red herring you introduced into the equation, moron.

            And I quote:

            “So Lynch and Obama could have stopped the “investigation” without
            appearing partisan, impeding the “independent” judgement of a law
            enforcement agency, and potentially causing more damage? Really now?”

            By making the decision to claim that they would not act against even a baseless investigation because of even the APPEARANCE of partisanship made it relevant to ask whether they had committed any actions regarding the investigation that had the appearance of partisanship and the rest. And it turns out there is, in the form of- among other things- the utterly unprofessional meeting between Comey’s boss and the husband of the woman Comey was investigating.

            Yet you want to have it both ways. You want to introduce something for one of your arguments, and then dismiss that very thing as a red herring when I bring it up.

            But you can’t actually have it both ways.

            “Comey went public with a meanless investigation,”

            Proving that Hillary Clinton broke Federal Law and perjured herself before before Congress is not meaningless.

            Proving that Hillary Clinton broke other Federal Laws regarding some of the most important classified intelligence in America is not pointless.

            Launching an investigation of the crimes outlined in that video is not pointless.

            Conducting an investigation into several THOUSAND new classified emails discovered on an unauthorized pervert’s laptop is not meaningless.

            “11 days before the election. ”

            Except he didn’t, moron.

            The investigation was public WELL BEFORE THAT TIME.

            Or do you by chance remember this? http://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/lahontan-valley/fbis-comey-recommends-against-persecution/

            Or does anybody else remember that? Considering you apparently remember Birthers, Tea Partiers, and how Republicans felt 8 years ago, you damn well should.

            The issue is that the investigation- already public for months- was reopened in light of NEWLY FOUND EVIDENCE. Namely the stuff on Weiner’s laptop.

            Unless you can prove that the FBI, Comey personally, the RNC, or both planted that evidence, it isn’t pointless.

            “That is unprecedented interference. ”

            I already addressed the “unprecedented” bit already. Unprecedented does not necessarily mean uncalled for. And when your best argument against this is-again- lying about the time line and then claiming that a cache of utterly secret intelligence was found on America’s most eminently blackmailable spouse, you’re just drawing out rope to hang your argument with.

            “Comey really needed to “prioritize” looking into Anthony Weiner’s email

            for a flimsy and sham investigation?”

            Yes. Because it was not flimsy or a sham (and if you can prove otherwise, please contact the authorities).

            Especially since it had regular contact with an already illegal internet server that regularly sent vulnerable classified intelligence outside of the approved fashion.

            “It wasn’t justified or proper and was highly political.”

            No, it was completely justified. Because Weiner did not have the intelligence clearence to have access to even a fraction of the work related emails on that server, and considering how it is SOP to see whether or not classified communications went to uncleared spouses, it makes sense to check.

            But then I was a bit of a spy history nerd before I was political, so little things like due diligence matter to me.

            And this goes back again to it: If Hillary Clinton had not had a highly illegal server, handled in a highly illegal fashion, it would not have been necessary for the FBI to investigate At all, let alone for them to take a look at Weiner’s laptop so late in the game as part of due diligence.

            So in trying to shove the pointer finger at Comey for being unjustified and highly political, four fingers go back to point at the Clinton staff.

            “Comey figured, before the “investigation” that Trump would fire him if elected President because Trump accused the FBI of not fully investigating this entire trumped up b.s. about Clinton’s email in the first place. ”

            Except it isn’t trumped up BS.

            As the Inspector General’s Report stated.

            And the testimony differences show.

            http://video.usnews.com/Flashback-Comparing-Email-Testimony-From-Clinton-and-Comey-31110714

            And you probably know it, or are at least arguing as if you do. Because you aren’t actually saying anything that proves the email crimes WERE BS. All you’re doing is complaining that Comey investigated it.

            “. All these machinations seem to escape you but that’s okay, try
            to keep up.”

            Which goes back to the other points.

            A: If even a fraction of this is true, why the heck did Obama and Lynch not do *THEIR LEGAL JOB* and deal with Comey as is in their power?

            And no, saying “They would appear vengeful and partisan” is not a valid excuse for derelection of duty, for not doing the job the law DEMANDS they do.

            and more importantly

            B: For all your grandiose conspiracy theories and ideas of courtiers moving in ornate spider webs of plots, you lose yourself to the most basic point.

            That none of what you said whatsoever addresses Comey’s testimony under oath contradicting Hillary Clinton’s own testimony and that of several aides. None of what you said contradicts the leaks we have from her server.

            And none of it addresses the fact that the server was in fact illegal on its’ face, and had it not existed the FBI would not have been able to investigate it and the people connected to it. Let alone be able to investigate Weiner for being the spouse of one of those party to the server and having a laptop that communicated with it.

            So for all the “WAH WAH COMEY!!” stuff, you miss the most basic point. It wasn’t Comey’s fault this all started. It was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s.

            And so in the end, there is nobody more at fault than that.

            “Again, what was the outcome of the investigations?
            Any wrongdoing proven?”

            Yes, as the video shows.

            Or did you not bother to read it?

            Or do you assume that the laws listed were false, or that somehow “no, we found thousands of work related emails” that Clinton was supposed to have turned over has a different legal meaning when it is about Clinton?

            “If so, where are the charges? Answer the simple question.”

            Probably “Coming.”

            Because as the repeated and suspicious case of unprofessional contact between Obama, Lynch, and Clinton indicates, the investigation was likely hampered and under significant pressure to wrap up. Particularly because- as Huma’s leaked emails showed- Obama himself communicated with the illegal server using a screen name and thus might be liable.

            But considering how a Federal Court recently beat the FBI behind the ears for not taking further steps to secure the server and computers early on and ordered further action, we will not be seeing the end of it so quickly.

            http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/JW-v-Kerry-Appeal-Victory-16-5015.pdf

            “I don’t accept Breitbart or Faux News as “sources.” ”

            Thiiiis just in: Stupid thinks that the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General is a part of Breitbart or Fox News.

            Is the DC Appellate Court the same?

            “That’s the unsupported fake news that Trump’s friend Putin perfected in
            the 21st Century.”

            Dude, seriously, have you seen Putin’s fake news?

            I’ve skirmished with his trolls and apologists for years, and they really, really are not convincing. Let alone “Perfected.”

            So again, we come back to where we were at the start: All you have done is accuse Comey of behaving improperly because he supposedly behaved in an unprecedented manner. All without addressing the donkey in the room of whether or not the case had any actual merit, or bringing up any evidence.

            The fact that I’m the one citing government documents and you’re the one who can’t get even the basic timeline right shows who is off base.

          • Forewarned

            Oh you do drone on. You are getting TL;DR very quickly. So let’s keep this brief. We are talking about Comey’s investigation 11 days before an election and whether or not it was political in nature, I arguing it was, you saying that Comey was able to “prioritize” his investigation, whatever the **** that means.

            First, American’s do not use the term “mate” in that way, comrade. That’s a feature of British, Aussie, or Kiwi English, not North American. It’s a funny thing because most Russians are taught British English. Also, your obfuscation of the point is typical troll if I do say so myself. I’m impressed that they have assigned a master troll like yourself to me. I’m flattered. Let’s continue.

            Second, I took logic when I was in school. I know the informal fallacies and how to use them. Look that subject up sometime because I haven’t got the time for it here.

            Third, IT WAS YOU WHO BROUGHT UP LYNCH AND OBAMA, vide supra.

            Lastly, I defy you to again show me where Clinton was charged with anything. Show me any criminal wrongdoing. Show me charges of any kind. Multiple investigations failed to find anything, ANYTHING. Ramble all you want about this that and the other thing but if you can’t show me proof of any wrong-doing after multiple investigations, some going on for a very long time, then I assume this wasn’t something that should have been given that much attention other than for the fact that it was political. Republicans hounded her for years and found nothing. Or show me where they found any wrong-doing?

            So we have a subject that had been gone over many times in the past, that had been proven to be a dead-end investigation, that Comey decides to reopen, if that’s even the word given that this was Weiner’s computer, the investigation, 11 days before the general election? Your argument is that this is Comey “prioritizing” his ability to ferret out the truth. Bullsh*t and it was confirmed as such because he admitted that NOTHING WAS FOUND after everything was said and done. If you are going to drop a bombshell like that before the elections, at least find something. That’s where the hedging of bets comes in.

            I ask you, what is wrong with keeping a lid on your investigation until after the election? Why let such a trivial piece of potential evidence screw up a presidential election, especially when you could be wrong and damage that candidate, WHICH IS PRECISELY WHAT HAPPENED?

            Oh but political hacks like Comey don’t spin webs I suppose. Listen buddy, political hacks on a federal level play games you could hardly even understand. This is child’s play compared to what goes on. He did to keep his job regardless of who got elected.

            Your argument about Clinton not having the authority to delete her email but the President having that ability is a laugher too. Obama was the President when HRC was SOS. That’s his appointment and ultimately his department, like all the rest. So, unless he said she couldn’t, his authority was delegated to her. How’s that for a legal argument?

          • Turtler

            “Oh you do drone on.”

            Yeah, I know, And I apologize for that. But I do not apologize for being thorough.

            “You are getting TL;DR very quickly.”

            Better TL;DR than Too Stupid and Wrong to Read.

            “So let’s keep this brief.”

            IDGAF about being brief. I give a damn about being accurate.

            “We are talking about Comey’s investigation 11 days before
            an election”

            Which was a continuation of the pre-existing one. Which is why it was REOPENING an old one. Hence the exact phrasing in the letter:

            http://media.washtimes.com.s3.amazonaws.com/media/misc/2016/10/28/Comey_Letter-Oct28.pdf

            “… to assess their importance TO OUR INVESTIGATION.” Not to open a new one.

            So there was one investigation that received information from an unrelated one. Not two, like you want to believe.

            “and whether or not it was political in nature, ”

            No, we’re not. Because whether or not it was political in nature is ABSOLUTELY insignificant compared to whether it was legal or proper. If it is tough, it doesn’t matter if Comey was a Manchurian Candidate cloned straight from under St. Basil’s Cathedral.

            Whether or not it was proper to do so trumps political convenience or inconvenience.

            “First, American’s do not use the term “mate” in that way, comrade. ”

            Yes, some of us do. For the same reason there are battalions of WASP English and the like who use the term “Waifu” if you look around. I just happen to crib a bit off of the media I’ve used.

            “That’s a feature of British, Aussie, or Kiwi English, not North
            American. ”

            And surprise surprise, I consume a fair bit of media from the Commonwealth and elsewhere, and i have some Australians, British, Canadians (including Quebecers), French, Germans, and an Indonesian as a friend. And so I picked up a few things from being exposed to so much Schiesse.

            And in part because it helps get past some Disqus censors. For the same reason I often use “NSDAP” for Natzi Party.

            “It’s a funny thing because most Russians are taught British
            English.”

            ….. no, you F U C K ING IDIOT.

            While it is true Russia kept some contacts with England from the Renaissance onwards (and so it what you say makes sense for then) those were never particularly intense. And after the Communist coup in 1917 and the slow isolation and decline of British power from the interbellum to WWII (as well as their complete unwillingness to do business with the Bolsheviks) that changed.

            Firstly because the US became the Soviet Union’s largest trading partner (Germany’s militarists being the close second and useful for non-legal stuff). And people like Albert Kahn and others went to Stalin’s “Worker’s Paradise” to help build the factories and railroads that would produce the trains, tanks, artillery, other armored fighting vehicles, and whatnot that the Soviets proved unable to make themselves.

            Couple that with the literally thousands of American migrants that came into the USSR to work during the depression and the growth of the US as a global power in WWII, and Stalin quickly realized which dialect would be of more use.

            Which is why the Central Committee made the decision to have the secret police and GRU focus more efforts on learning American English rather than British English. Yezhov started the turnover in late 1936, it stalled for a bit, and then Beria finished it in 1944 while Mitrokin detailed it from the archived records.

            As seen here:

            https://www.amazon.com/Sword-Shield-Mitrokhin-Archive-History/dp/0465003125

            A few years later in 1958, and the civilian education started doing the same. For obvious reasons, by this point in time American English was sweeping the world and it was the USSR’s greatest enemy. That trait in schools has remained the same except for some low level/elementary English classes to this day.

            I would know, had to help bundle some text books for charity back before I moved out of the land of fruits and nuts on the Left Coast.

            And secondly: They did not *need* to devote as much effort to it was because the Soviets had a far, far, far more powerful spy network of British sympathizers or outright traitors than they did in the US. So they didn’t need to spend as many agents in the UK when local Quislings could do the legwork.

            So the obvious attempt to paint me as some kind of Kremlin Troll is merde on its’ face, and the history proves it.

            “Also, your obfuscation -”

            I’m not obfuscating, I’m the one providing sources and quotes. You being too lazy to read them does not make it obfuscation. Take some farqing responsibility for your own conduct.

            Now moving on:

            “Third, IT WAS YOU WHO BROUGHT UP LYNCH AND OBAMA, vide supra.”

            And you brought up the idea that A: The investigation was groundless (which raises the question of WTH those in a position to stop it did not do their job) and B: that they would somehow not do their jobs for fear of “appearing partisan” or interfering in the election. And now you’re complaining about me bringing up those issues.

            Any questions?

            “Lastly, I defy you to again show me where Clinton was charged with
            anything.”

            Charging will probably happen in the future, and it should. Absence of prosecution does not mean absence of crime any more than the idea that Al Capone’s sole conviction meant he was only guilty of tax evasion. It might mean charges were not brought because there was no merit to the case and they were indeed innocent, but that was not so here.

            The fact remains we can prove she perjured herself before Congress about the issue, and nothing you have said remotely changes that. And the rest… the rest falls into place.

            “Show me any criminal wrongdoing. ”

            I did. You just didn’t want to acknowledge it. Also: Criminal Wrongdoing / = / Charges Filed. As Putin’s h*llhole shows.

            “Show me charges of any kind. ”

            See above.

            “Multiple investigations failed to find anything, ANYTHING.”

            “there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

            Even in that watered down format, it is a crime. Or are you denying Comey said that? Or denying it was true?

            “So we have a subject that had been gone over many times in the past, that had been proven to be a dead-end investigation,”

            Except by Appellate court ruling, it is NOT a dead-end investigation. Not yet.

            “and it was confirmed as such because he admitted that NOTHING WAS FOUND after everything was said and done. If you are going to drop a bombshell like that before the elections, at least find something.”

            So your complaint is that Comey (if he was being honest and did somehow vet all those emails in a fraction of the time it took to do others) should have been psychic and understood that even though the laptop repeatedly sent and received messages from the illegal server and Weiner is uncleared and poor about his Personal secrecy, there was nothing relevant?

            Yeah, that doesn’t work. The bottom line is that Clinton and her staff were responsible. There should not even be a QUESTION that makes the FBI do this. It should not even give an opening for a Republican-Russian Manchurian Candidate that had somehow been appointed FBI head by Obama could even have to look at.

            And again, given the Appellate Court disagrees with you and sent the FBI back to the case, it’s likely not true on there either.

            “I ask you, what is wrong with keeping a lid on your investigation until after the election? ”

            If it’s relevant to the matter and it involves the election of the President, then it is. And yes, that goes for Republicans too. It is also why I am not butthurt about the investigations into Trump College being public. The problem is this was a vastly worse case, and it went straight to the heart of Hillary’s legal ability to run for President.

            “Why let such a trivial -”

            Further breaks in confidentiality are not trivial. Even the possibility of them are.

            “piece of potential evidence screw up a presidential election,
            especially when you could be wrong and damage that candidate, ”

            The Clinton campaign should have been the one asking itself that. The FBI’s job- as it is- should be to obey the law. Handling optics is the politician’s issue.

            Especially since the most damning information was- again- true.

            “Oh but political hacks like Comey don’t spin webs I suppose.”

            Oh, sure they do. And I expect them to. It just doesn’t matter as much as whether what they dug up is accurate or not. And what they already did dig up proved Hillary Clinton was a felon.

            “Listen buddy, political hacks on a federal level play games you could hardly even understand. ”

            As somebody who studies the federal level and some of their games, I am more skeptical about that. I don’t know all the ins and outs, but I am not a neophyte. Unlike the moron who thinks Russians still mostly study British English.

            “Your argument about Clinton not having the authority to
            delete her email but the President having that ability is a laugher too.”

            The fact that you’re too stupid to do basic research on clasification- or how not all high level Presidential appointments have access to all classified information and not all classified information they have access to is free for them to do WHATEVER THE FARQ THEY WANT WITH- is.

            “Obama was the President when HRC was SOS.”

            And? There are some classified information that the SOS is not privy too. And more importantly, the SOS does not have a blank check to handle classified information improperly. Nobody does.

            They found both on Hillary’s unsecured server.

            ” How’s that for a legal argument?”

            Retarded, as detailed above.

            In contrast to this:

            http://usapoliticsnow.com/sorry-mark-cuban-hillary-clinton-unquestionably-guilty/

            You seem to think Cabinet Members can do whatever they want with classified information. They can’t. And now you’re butthurt about Hillary being called to account for the greatest breach of those laws in recent history.

          • Forewarned

            Really?

            https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/usa-politics-now/

            As to language, a few thoughts Mr. Confusion maker: 1) there is a difference between speaking and writing English. Advanced English study usually involves reading English literature, which if one goes back far enough to the communist era, American literature might not have been so favored and probably wasn’t over British texts, 2) English at your level would require full-immersion if it was not your first language. The nearest locales for a Russian would be in the EU which primarily teaches British English or is Britain, and 3) you may have learned English in Russia before 1953. So things aren’t so clear-cut are they Sherlock?

            I can do this for each and every one of your points all day and night if you’d like. I don’t like my time wasted so I’ll attempt to find your point and respond. Otherwise I’ll go insane chasing your arguments around the circles they are skating.

            So, to make my point, no charges. Thank you. Second, the fact that charges MIGHT be leveled in the future doesn’t make a point. Lastly, negligence is not usually a crime and certainly not in this case. For criminal negligence to apply you normally require a homicide. This isn’t even gross negligence. So that doesn’t get you there.

            So we have Comey, reigniting talk about the fruitless and much distorted email investigations, which showed no misconduct up until that time and had been throughly investigated by partisans in Congress (who likewise found nothing), 11 days before an election, which he couldn’t postpone or conclude quietly BEFORE the election (which he obviously could have done because he did finish it before the election)? Not political you say? Hmm. I just don’t believe that.

            See Comey may have had some inside intelligence. 538 had said for months it was closer than everyone thought. If Trump won, Comey would be seen as in collusion with Clinton and a partisan. Trump had heavily criticized him before the election for just that. If Clinton won, he might not be safe either having been involved with the investigation anyway. It was a master stroke coming from such an innocuous source, doing what he did. It was almost certainly political, that is, he was saving his own skin.

          • Turtler

            Drop the Ad Hominem, because that is ultimately what your link is. If it is of Any use whatsoever, it’s an indication of the folly and bias of the arguments that website has made before (and thus lack of reliability), not a substitute for explaining it.

            The fact is, it does involve an interview by a former intelligence official who explains what happened and why this is bad. Merely shouting “OOO DAT WEBSITE’S BAD” is pointless as farq because it does nothing to refute that point, and the truth is the truth even if it comes out of the dishonest mouth of Adolf Hitler yelling that his soldiers did not commit the Katyn Massacre. (And they didn’t, surprisingly.)

            SO we go back to the previous issue: You can’t actually refute any of the claims that have been said. You merely try and smear and dismiss the sources out of hand. It doesn’t work like that. It never has.

            “As to language, a few thoughts Mr. Confusion maker: ”

            I suppose I should be flattered that I have made you confused, but it isn’t.

            “1) there is a difference between speaking and writing English. Advanced English study
            usually involves reading English literature, which if one goes back far
            enough to the communist era, American literature might not have been so
            favored and probably wasn’t over British texts, ”

            Which is true, and speaking is usually easier to do than reading (especially in extreme cases like Mandarin and Japanese). But the fact remains that British and American English are mostly mutually intelligible in both, and particularly in the form of speaking where the main giveaways are accent and slang (hence the “Mate”, amigo)..

            While it is almost certain that Russians have been spending more time pouring over British texts than they have American English ones (given the massive honking time difference), that does not mean it was the only one. And it also does not mean that they stayed that way when one moved beyond it.

            And again, the Soviet government quite clearly saw the importance in American English instruction, especially for those who would need it most like spies, diplomats, or translators. Hence the early English.

            if anything- though this is my conjecture based off some snide comments Khruschev made- it almost seems like before the surprise affiliation of post-Independence India with the USSR American English might have become the universal standard.

            “2) English at your level would require full-immersion if it was not your first language.”

            And it is. I have been fully immersed in the land of my birth, the US of A. And it shows.

            I can’t speak Russian, let alone read it in the Latin alphabet. Let alone read it in the *Cyrillic* Alphabet. For the same reason I can’t read or write in any other language (though I have some aiblity to understand Germanic and Romance ones).

            As for Russian. at most I have picked up some slang and terms (you Suka Biyat), and can read some common words.

            “The nearest locales for a Russian would be in the EU which primarily teaches
            British English or is Britain,”

            And most of Russia’s other neighbors- including China, Turkey, and increasingly Greece and Romania- teach American English and have for a while (in the case of China, a very long while; it got introduced on par with American English in the 19th century).

            “and 3) you may have learned English in Russia before 1953. ”

            My *parents* weren’t even born by 1953.

            Though I suppose it says something that you think I really am an Octogenarian?

            “So things aren’t so clear-cut are they Sherlock?”

            No, they’re not, but then the facts stand. And Russia continues to primarily educate in American English, especially since while full immersion is desirable there is

            A: Other nations that primarily teach American English for full immersion (for instance, Japan, which did a fair amount of exchanges with the Soviets, as Boris Akunin can testify).

            and

            B: Again, British and American English are mostly intelligible. If you’re not worried about getting busted for an accent the main issue is dealing with the different terms, slang, and spelling. And even if you are you can practice elsewhere.

            “I can do this for each and every one of your points all day and night if
            you’d like.”

            Then why haven’t you?

            “I don’t like my time wasted so I’ll attempt to find your
            point and respond. ”

            That makes two of us.

            “Otherwise I’ll go insane chasing your arguments
            around the circles they are skating.”

            Judging from your conduct and irrational belief in Ad Hom-ing sources to death, you seem to already be so.

            “So, to make my point, no charges. ”

            Yet. But plenty of grounds for them.

            I suppose by this logic, Colin Powell’s admitted legal screwups regarding intelligence don’t?
            ” Second, the fact that charges MIGHT be leveled in the future doesn’t make a point. ”

            The fact that the groundwork for them has clearly been stated by official, non “Fake” news sources like the Inspector General does.

            “Lastly, negligence is not usually a crime”

            About that: It is in this case.

            Did you even bother watching the video?

            See Paragraph F

            https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

            Classified intelligence charges don’t give a damn how they happened or whether there was any intent whatsoever. Because it is both hard to prove and almost pointless for the damage the action would cause.

            Case in point: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/20/us-navy-sailor-jailed-for-taking-photos-of-classified-areas-of-nuclear-submarine

            and certainly not in this case. For criminal negligence to apply

            ” This isn’t even gross negligence. ”

            Extreme Carelessness is legally synonymous with gross negligence. It is even there in the legal dictionary.

            “So we have Comey, reigniting talk about the fruitless and much distorted email investigations, which showed no misconduct up until that time and had been throughly

            investigated by partisans in Congress (”

            Except that is not true, as detailed above.

            I’m not even going to bother dealing with the rest, because for an alleged lawyer it is obvious you are deeply ignorant of this case and deeply ignorant of the relevant laws.

            The fact that I was the one that had to point out to you how the standard for persecution regarding losing defense information (or improper gathering and transmission of it) is “Gross Negligence” Just underlines it.

            Ultimately, Comey’s motives and morals (or lack thereof) are irrelevant to the merits of the case. If his claims are baseless, why are you having such a hard time proving it?

            And if they’re not, why are you trying to make it about a criteria that is irrelevant?

          • Forewarned

            So no charges right?

            Puking up a bewildering amount of facts as related surfeit or tangential poppycock, while at times amusing, doesn’t necessarily help your arguement. Which to begin with was what?

          • Turtler

            And what happens if there are charges later? Then what happens if your main argument goes away?

            The fact is charges do not have to be filed in order for something to have gone wrong. You yourself admitted that point earlier. But nooo. Your argument seems to be that Nobody Charged Hillary, therefore she must not have done anything wrong! Nevermind the actual investigation or what it found!!!!

            That isn’t poppycock, moron. That is the fact.

          • Forewarned

            18 U.S.C. § 793

            “with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation…”

            See where it says “intent or reason to believe?” That’s the mens rea component to this crime and loosely translated means “guilty mind.” I’m not going to explain criminal law to you here. You’ll have to go to law school like I did.

            Read sub (f) carefully and understand that gross negligence isn’t the crime, it’s not reporting it.

            Again, any charges?

          • Quartermaster

            Mishandling classified material, at a lower level than Clinton did has put people in jail for long periods. Comey sold his soul to let Hillary off the hook. You DimoKKKrats think everyone is as stupid as you are.

          • Turtler

            “See where it says “intent or reason to believe?”

            Yes.

            And the latter explicitly means that a charge can be brought without having to prove that you had intent (note the exclusive OR, stating that both parts of the formula are not needed).

            So even if somebody had absolutely no intent to commit treason or cause harm, if they acted in a way that there is reason to believe their actions will cause injury to the US, they can be charged.

            That is why I linked to the story of the sailor. To demonstrate a story of where the “reason to believe that information is to be used” was sufficient.

            “Read sub (f) carefully and understand that gross negligence isn’t the crime, it’s not reporting it.”

            Which is related to the previous crimes. And if you’ll read more carefully, Hillary Clinton known OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that this illegal server was- well, illegal. And that it was illegal to pass extremely classified data to it, and so she should have stopped her staff from setting it up or using it, or reported them to the authorities. Which as we established, SHE DID NOT DO.

            For Christ’s Sake, it’s bad enough I have to look through the criminal code for a supposed lawyer, but now I have to parse *the stuff you copypasted here* too?

          • Forewarned

            I can’t handle all this crizzap you spew. Lol.

            One thing did me laugh. Bush had the legal authority to delete his emails? Where pray tell is that in the government codes and why wouldn’t it apply to other high level employees? Oh Clinton couldn’t because you idiot liars wanted to conduct a witchhunt.

            More “do as I say not as I do” Republican hypocrisy?

            Off topic but I got a question: what would Ronald Reagan think of a Republican president getting into bed with a former KGB agent and tyrant like Putin? I always knew Republicans were hypocrties and liars that would say anything to get elected but treason? Say it ain’t so.

          • Turtler

            “I can’t handle all this crizzap you spew. Lol.”

            That’s your problem mate. Not mine.

            You’ve been spewing more [email protected] than I have and with none of the evidence I have cited, but I can somehow muster through you.

            “One thing did me laugh. Bush had the legal authority to delete his emails? Where pray tell is that in the government codes”

            Glad you asked. Though why someone who claims to be a lawyer is asking a non-lawyer to do their own bloody legal research is beyond me.

            https://www.nctc.gov/docs/pl108_458.pdf

            See: Section 1018, which puts the Office of National Intelligence (which in turn oversees US intelligence and security agencies as well as their clearance system) under the control of the President.

            “and why wouldn’t it apply to other high level employees? ”

            The answer of Gary Hewitt here sums it up better than I can.

            https://www.quora.com/Does-the-U-S-President-have-the-highest-level-security-clearance-in-the-U-S-When-are-U-S-Presidents-vetted

            The President is the SOURCE of the clearance system the US has in his role as Commander in Chief, and thus he (or she) is cleared to see all, and to define policy about classified information unless checked by the FOIA. That includes oversight about the deletion of classified information or messages about it. Presidents can still be persecuted for abuse of those oversight powers (as Nixon was going to be before he resigned regarding his tapes), but that does not mean they are not able to exercise them. They merely have to face oversight from Congress and the Judiciary.

            They also have oversight about what security clearance is given to any given high level employee, because clearance is a privilege not a right. And that purview is BROAD, for instance, Truman didn’t know a thing about the Manhattan Project until after he was sworn in, in spite of serving as FDR’s Vice President.

            “Oh Clinton couldn’t because you idiot liars wanted
            to conduct a witchhunt.”

            This is so stupid I don’t even know what to say.

            So apparently because High Level Employees do not have the unlimited security clearance (for lack of a better term) Presidents have ,Hillary Clinton falling afoul of her station, clearance, and the regulations about handling them is a witch hunt?

            Dude, learn Need to Know and basic confidentiality sometime.

            “More “do as I say not as I do” Republican hypocrisy?”

            That’s the difference.

            You say, I show.

            “Off topic but I got a question: what would Ronald Reagan think of a
            Republican president getting into bed with a former KGB agent and tyrant
            like Putin? I”

            Probably significantly less caustically than someone who deeply compromised national security by stealing classified information from its’ proper place (like SCIF facilities), putting it on an unsecure server to avoid FOIA actions, and then conspiring to perjure herself in the face of an investigation. Or who did not stand in the way of Russia acquiring vast amounts of the US’s Uranium supply (as Hillary and many others- so don’t complain to me about making it out like it’s all her- did not).

            As I stated before, I am not a personal fan of Trump, and his butt kissing of tyrants like Putin is his most supremely ugly trait. But it is STILL less ugly than someone who shed on American law.

            “always knew Republicans were hypocrties and liars that
            would say anything to get elected but treason? Say it ain’t so.”

            See above, moron.

            Unfortunately for you, I don’t think you are a hypocrite (even if you profess double standards). Hypocrisy is the alimony vice pays to virtue, and you’ve already demonstrated that your concern for the law and obedience to it in government breaks down along party lines. And that “Turn About is Fair Play” even regarding some of the most important intelligence laws in America.

            That’s simple amorality.

            Now tell me, were you nearly as concerned about Putin the Psychopath when it was Obama getting into bed with him during the 2008 election, or when he gave them the codes for Trident Missiles we gave to the UK without Britain’s approval and to their horror?

            Somehow I doubt that highly.

          • Quartermaster

            Republicans were hypocrties and liars
            You are hilarious! Go look in the DimoKKKRat. Go look and weep you d***ed hypocrite.

      • Quartermaster

        The entire margin of the popular vote you reference was in one state alone. We elect presidents nationally, not in one state. Such outcomes is why the founders established the Electoral College. They were exceedingly wise to do so.

        • Forewarned

          Regardless, does Trump have a “yuge mandate?” That’s the question here. No one is disputing that Trump won what is the majority of the electoral college or that there are plenty of morons like yourself out there who could vote for him.

          The whole point is that I’m not sore, I’m angry, just like you were 8 years ago. You and the other guy have an issue with my personal beliefs in that regard. I don’t care what you think actually.

          • Quartermaster

            Trump won, Hillary lost. “Mandates” are overblown. Trump is the next POTUS, so get used to it. I wasn’t angry 8 years ago, and couldn’t care less how miffed you are that people didn’t want the moron you voted for.

            Suck it up dude and live with it. You’re going to have to live with it regardless and what you loony leftists think is something that matters not a whit to me.

  • anonymous

    I agree that President Trump will not be able to give Ukraine … I agree that President Trump will not be able to make anyone love Putin. However, Russia does have something to give in any “deal” – trillion(s) stolen from the Russian people. That is what President Trump and his billionaires will get in the “deal” to end sanctions. Trump supporters will get high paying jobs. As for his Republican Party majority, President Trump will have their support. Normalization of relations was Trump’s election position and that is what will be done by the Trump administration. A few loud, empty, meaningless propaganda statements by some Republican senators does not change the Trump administrations position; pro Putin through and through. The grand bargain will be made by President Trump. This does not mean an end to Ukraine as the US will no longer be the leader of the free world. Ukraine may receive more assistance from the rest of the west than is now because there was some following of the US. That role will not be for the Trump administration and others will move ahead will the US cooperates with the Putin criminal organization.

    • Murf

      No it won’y.
      What Trump needs Putin won’t give and what Putin can give…well he has little to give.
      Trillions?
      Putin can’t pave roads and is selling off precious state assets like a 19% share in Rosneft.
      Trump doesn’t need Putin’s oil and indeed will be a growing competitor.
      There may be a few sweet hart deals to be made but ask your self is Russia more useful as an ally to Trump after the brutality of Aleppo or as a threat that he can use for his friends in the defense sector?
      Syria?
      Even Assad has said the war will continue for years. The ceasefire will not hold(none of the others have) and the Syrian forces can only fight one major battle at a time.
      So Russia’s help against ISIS is negligible.
      Yalta happened because Stalin had something to offer. He was kill massive amounts of Nazis.
      Putin is not fighting our enemy. A case can be made they he is indirectly helping them by attacking the Syrian Rebels. Freeing ISIS to concentrate on us.
      We don’t need you.

      • anonymous

        All very logical except while Russian government officials stole trillion(s) dollars from the Russian people has already happened while roads were not repaired. That money is outside Russia in thousands of businesses ready to do business with the US billionaires. Sanctions and scrutiny from the administration has slowed that flow of laundered money. Putin can survive low oil prices but cannot survive low oil prices and sanctions. President Trump’s position and his supporters position and the Trump Republican Party position is pro Putin through and through. Do business with the criminal and make billions and a few good paying jobs. Trump business motivation is what will run the country not democratic principals. As for the civil war in Syria, Assad cannot lose with Russian military support. President Trump will join in helping Assad stay in power.

        • laker48

          “As for the civil war in Syria, Assad cannot lose with Russian military support. President Trump will join in helping Assad stay in power.”
          This alone is neither in Trump or the US’s interest; to the contrary, it runs against the Israeli and US interests to open the Bekaa Valley for oil and gas pipelines from Israel, Lebanon and the Arabian Peninsula to Turkey, and further to Europe. Such a measure would kill RuSSian oil ad gas industries, so the war in Syria will be carried on until RuSSia and Assad are kicked out of Syria, or RuSSia is bankrupted, what basically boils down to the same final result. RuSSia is fighting in Syria for its very survival and the US won’t stop until there’s no fascist RuSSian Federation.

          • anonymous

            I agree that there will be no end to the civil war in Syria. What is in President Trump’s interest is to work with Putin. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get along with Russia better, is the Trump position, Trump supporters, and the Trump Republican party position. Get along with Putin means helping him achieve his aim in Syria; current pro Russian government in power and a continuing civil war. Trumps statements are the position of Trump administration until they are directly contradicted by Trump. With the end to sanctions, the Russian economic future is not great but sustainable. Absent strong measures by the real western democracies (not Trump’s US), Putin and that criminal organization will sustain there criminal enterprise indefinitely. President Trump will end sanctions to save the Putin criminal organization. The Republican Party and Congress will do nothing (except some loud, empty, meaningless talk) to sanction Russia.

          • laker48

            You’re either extremely naive or coming up with a pro-RuSSia trolling attempt. Trump and the anti-RuSSian bipartisan US Congress won’t give Putler a dead rat’s a** for nothing, especially after US anti-aircraft MANPADs are shipped to the anti-Assad rebels inn Syria.

          • anonymous

            You are either deaf to Trump’s words or confused by the few Republican Party senators making loud, empty, meaningless propaganda statements to confuse the true position of Trump, Trump supporters, and the new Trump Republican Party; pro Putin through and through. The Republican Congress has done nothing to sanction Putin, nothing. Obama did it and he is out and sanctions are out. All the obfuscation by Trump aides, Trump insiders, and some Republicans is propaganda to confuse the true position of the US administration and Republican Party. I am not pro Putin. I just know a Putin apologist when I hear one. I know the goals of breaking the western democracies through corrupt use of money. The US is now lead by such corruption. If others of the Western democracies follow in such way, …

          • laker48

            “ou are either deaf to Trump’s words (…)”
            Talk is cheap, especially during US presidential election campaigns. I hope you can tell when politicians are lying.
            BTW, Obama has enough time and bipartisan Congressional support to legislate all old and new sanctions as a bill, what will need 2/3 majorities in the House and the Senate to lift them, as it’s the case with the Cuban sanctions that persist for over half a century.

          • anonymous

            Trump was and is a Putin apologist and the talk is what got him support enough to get elected. There is no reason to believe in anything other than his stated position. After a call with Hollende (France), the French president said Trump would make his position on Ukraine clear soon. Time is up and Trump’s position is clear; no need to make any statement. President Trump will end Crimea and Russian sanctions in one pen stroke. As for the Maginsky Act, he will not enforce (it is up to the administration to apply) or get it repealed by his Republican Party. Either way its business with the Putin criminal organization. All the empty talk of aides, republicans, etc is just to confuse you of the real position of the US and the US administration. I am not naive and I do not believe Trump’s campaign words are just talk. Trump is the first Putin apologist to come to power in the western democracies. He will not be the last and it is up to the rest of the west to take over the leadership role the US has played for a half a century. That will be the Trump legacy.

          • laker48

            Dream on! I see Trump more like the late Ronald Reagan who patted Gorbachev on the shoulder while keeping in mind that a kick in the a** is less than two feet lower. Reagan sent the Afghan mujahideens SAM Stingers and bankrupted the Soviet Union. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204138204576598851109446780

            Trumps is going to increase US defence expenses by 20%, roughly $120 billion a year and send to central and eastern European NATO member states that meet their 2% of GDP defence budgets 25 to 50 thousand additional US troops. Happy New Year and may all your wet dreams come true!

          • anonymous

            Dream on Trump apologist. Yes, President Trump will sign the budget bill increasing military spending passed by the Republican Congress. By ending sanctions, Russian will have twice that to add to their military budget. Great deal, deal maker Trump supporter and pro Putin Republican.

          • laker48

            The US has no interest in making RuSSia stronger, as it’s the main existential threat to the US, not China that can be esily destabilised by the US Fed’s open market operations leading to a significant free market appreciation of the renminbi that is grossly undervalued, what will make Chinese exports significantly less competitive and may lead to severe internal unrests in China. Remember that Trump knows the money game inside out.

          • anonymous

            I know that Trump knows the money game; he went bankrupt in the gambling industry and made a fortune while our banks lost 100’s of millions; a genius businessman. Trump already got a taste of the laundered Russian peoples money from Bayrock. Trump will end sanctions and his family and billionaire friends will make billions off the Putin criminal organization; Make America Great Again.

          • laker48

            Dream on! :)

          • anonymous

            It is not a dream it is the Trump administration position (normalize relations with Russia), Trump supporters position on high paying jobs (end sanctions), and the Trump Republican Party position (do nothing to oppose the President’s foreign policy decisions). It is not a dream, it is the nightmare of a Putin apologist leading the previous leader of the free world. Make Russia Great Again

          • laker48

            See you in 100 days from the 20th of January!

          • anonymous

            Why 100? President Trump will end sanctions very quickly. President Trump will normalize relations with Putin on day one. Trump has made clear his position. All else is propaganda.

          • laker48

            LOL! You’ll be waiting a proverbial RuSSian month or, in Arabic, until “bukra”.

          • Quartermaster

            The geopolitical situation will not allow him to normalize relations. You need to get over the campaign talk and start paying attention to the real world.

        • Murf

          Russia only made a trillion off the ten years of the oil boom.
          The Russian economy at best was only 2.2 trillion.
          So where are are all these trillions?
          No they have cash and plenty of it . That would have been a big inducement before but Trump is playing on the next level now.
          So when I say “show me the money” I am only talking metaphorically.
          Plus you need to see Trump for what he really is in Washington.
          An outsider who has never even run for dog catcher.
          He has a LOT to prove if he is going to be respected beyond his office.
          So if you want a deal; show him the money!

          • anonymous

            All the trillion(s) are in businesses outside of Russia. Ready to do business. Trump already had a taste of that money with Bayrock which was Russian (Kazakhstan ???) illegal money for which Trump was not charged because it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he knew the money was laundered; could not be proved that he knew that 100 million dollar investment came from somewhere. Trump has seen the money and has made deals with some of those trillion(s) and there is more where that came from; much more. Getting that money in deals is just a matter of the administration turning a blind eye. President Trump does not want or need respect or legacy or whatever you might think any president wants. He is an outsider businessman who wants wealth not democracy or respect for the US as a leader of democracy and the rule of law. Trump wants friendship and a good relation with the most powerful criminal organization in history; Putin’s Russia and he wants Putin’s respect more than western democracies leaders respect.

          • Quartermaster

            Putin has run quite short of cash. He’s been burning through reserves for the last 3 years, and the end is not in sight. Spending cuts have been made across the board and pensions are not being fully paid. Putin’s Russia is in deep trouble. Deeper trouble than Gorbachev’s Soviet Union.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Pedo Putolini can sell 19% of Rosneft because he knows he can easily confiscate those 19% any time he chooses. Anyone who has bought shares in Rosneft or any other Dwarfstanian company is an idiot, as “ownership” is meaningless in a country where the law is what the dwarf says it is- this today, that tomorrow, something else next week.

        • laker48

          He actually diluted shareholder equity by printing and offering new shares to Qatar.

    • Czech Mate

      hear hear, as much as I don’t like this, I feel this is as close to Trump’s position and intent as can get. Let’s not pretend Donnie the Con is another Ronnie for he is NOT, never was and never will be! It all stands and falls on his “advisors” which as we see do not promise much.

      So yea, welcome to the oligarch party where the boys in the club who talk to each other can make good deals with each other because nobody else matters…

      The stage the article and commenters are talking about is yet to come and it Trumpo will have to be openly & publicly forced into it.

      • Quartermaster

        The most important foreign policy advisor Trump will have is Mattis. The SOS nominee is an oil man and will have the tendency to look at things much differently than Mattis. Mattis is far better versed in the things Trump will have to deal with, and far better educated about the real world outside of business. If Trump does normalize relations with Putin, then he will have ignored Mattis, and the country will be in deep trouble.

  • zorbatheturk

    ” No one needs Moscow…” Very true. The ruSSia and Putin have nothing to offer anyone. Except misery and despair…

  • veth

    Happy New Year, everybody!

    • Quartermaster

      And, Happy Old New Year too!

  • Murf

    “The American legislators will insist that the US get something if it gives up something and thus they will reinforce Trump’s own inclination to make demands for a real exchange. If Russia can’t offer anything of value – and it seems unlikely that it can – then there won’t be a new Yalta or anything like it, regardless of what Moscow and its allies abroad think”

    This is what I a have been saying all along.
    Trump has been making nice with Putin in order to have a positive initial relationship.
    BUT
    Trump is a hard nosed US business man from the cut throat world of New York business.
    They don’t play there. In the old USSR the best and brightest joined the KGB. Where they were trained to be calculating and ruthless.
    The New York business world is America’ equivalent.
    As the saying goes. “If you can make in New York you can make it anywhere.”
    It’s not because they are the nicest guys.
    Trump will not,and can not give away the farm just to have some vague idea of “good relations” with Putin.
    Support for Ukraine in congress is bi partisan(it’s one of the few things the do agree on) and nearly unanimous. McCain and Graham have been in Ukraine and said they will not allow Ukraine to be sold out.
    Nor are they are not going to let him walk away from negotiations empty handed.

    So Russians need to start asking them selves what are they willing to give up to normalize relations and get the sanctions removed.
    Because it is going to mean some hard choices.

    • laker48

      Exactly! Trump is not a friend of Putler or RuSSia. Period! He will also give a hard time Poroshenko and other Ukrainian oligarchs who haven’t stopped robbing the country blind.
      Happy New Year!

    • Czech Mate

      ahem, is giving Crimea back, leaving Donbas and paying war compensations an act of “giving up”? Do not think so!

      Let’s not play little pootie’s silly games. ruSSkies will pay to the last rabble and then some…

  • More

    Article says:
    “However much he may desire it, no [US president including Donald] Trump can give Ukraine [to Russia]”

    The above is correct as Trump is controlled by the Neoconservatives just as much as the recent Presidents of the USA, i.e. Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.

    However Russia has no interest in Ukraine other than to safeguard the rights of Russians in that country as well as sell sell oil and gas to Ukraine.

    For Russia, it is better for Ukraine to be associated with and financed by the EU so that payment is forthcoming for oil, gas and resources that Ukraine buys from Russia.

    • laker48

      By 2020 Ukraine will buy oil and gas from Poland ad perhaps won’t have to buy any gas at all, as it has its own untapped reserves, dear spik. Ukraine may become a net gas exporter by 2020.

      • Quartermaster

        Ukraine was about to sign exploration contracts for the Black Sea bed when Putin decided to invade. The Black Sea would appear to be a treasure trove of oil and gas.

        • More

          Quartermaster
          “…The Black Sea would appear to be a treasure trove of oil and gas…”

          More fantasy as usual.

          Russia has had to run oil and gas pipelines supply across the Kerch to Crimea at a cost of many US$ Millions.

          • Quartermaster

            Such a shame Putin didn’t agree with you. Lies are all you have. Note I call them lies, because you aren’t deluded. You know quite well you are full of Putinist lies.

      • More

        laker48
        “…By 2020 Ukraine will buy oil and gas from Poland…”
        “…Ukraine may become a net gas exporter by 2020….”

        Your fantasy opinions never cease to amaze, LoL:)))

        If Ukraine had oil and gas deposits, it would have already started to extract these instead of freezing its citizens every winter.

        The above also applies to Poland.

        Reality:
        The important thing is Russia is taking market share from countries like Qatar, Norway, etc.

        Russian gas share of Europe’s market are:
        2014 33%
        2015 40%
        2016 So far up to end of November 2016, Gazprom sales of Gas to Europe has increased as follows:

        Germany +7.5%
        UK +54.6%
        France +20.4%
        Austria +27.5%
        Greece +47.3%
        Holland +91.8%
        Denmark +149.4%
        Poland +16.7%

        http://tass.com/economy/909948

  • Vol Ya

    Why is Putin spending so much money and effort to spread anti Ukraine propaganda.
    Maybe it is because he doesn’t want to talk about Russia’s problems. Their GDP is declining for 3 years now. They have a huge budget deficit. More importantly
    their population is declining, alcoholism rates are increasing, and life expectancy
    is declining in Russia. In short Russia is dying a slow death. So instead of fixing
    russia’s problems Putin focuses on attacking Ukraine. That won’t fix any of
    russia’s problems.