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Tags Andrew McCabe , donald trump , George Papadopoulos , Michael Cohen , Paul Manafort , Robert Mueller , Trump controversies , Trump-Russia connections

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Old 14th March 2019, 12:07 PM   #1081
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To touch on Manafort appearing in court in a wheelchair. Back in October of last year it was reported (this is from Bloomberg):
Quote:
Manafort was wheeled into the courtroom, the same one where he had appeared daily in a business suit during his three-week trial. “There are significant issues about Mr. Manafort’s health right now,” defense attorney Kevin Downing told the judge. “A lot of it has to do with his terms of confinement.” Ellis responded: “I’m not the judge who ordered those terms of confinement.” Manafort, who’s been in custody since June 15, appeared in a jail jumpsuit after Ellis denied his request to appear at the hearing in street clothes. Link
Based on the lawyer's statement that Manafort's medical condition has a lot "to do with his terms of confinement," plus the failure to give any specifics as to exactly what that medical condition is, it does seem possible Manafort is trying to use his appearance to gain sympathy from the public (and Donald Trump?) plus leniency from the court. It reminds me of a New York Mafioso boss who, when he was on trial years ago, came to court strapped to a gurney with an oxygen mask attached. At one point the Mafioso's lawyer interrupted the proceedings to ask for a recess claiming his client was having a sudden medical emergency. That backfired because the court summoned NY City EMS who examined the defendant and pronounced his vital signs normal. But EMS then transported him to an emergency room as a precaution and that also backfired. The emergency room they took him to was in a city hospital and the doctors there reported finding nothing wrong. The court was not too happy.

At the same time, on a human level, I do sympathize with Manafort. He always appeared to me to be someone who was pretty soft, having led a life of privileged affluence. The situation he finds himself in now must be extremely stressful and stress can easily effect someone's health. Manafort is looking into the abyss. Faced with losing most of his money and having to spend years in prison. He must ask himself, "How the hell did I put myself in this position?" At the age of 69 he's pretty much at the end of the road. Very bleak future. Anybody would be profoundly depressed.

.
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Old 14th March 2019, 02:44 PM   #1082
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
To touch on Manafort appearing in court in a wheelchair. Back in October of last year it was reported (this is from Bloomberg):


Based on the lawyer's statement that Manafort's medical condition has a lot "to do with his terms of confinement," plus the failure to give any specifics as to exactly what that medical condition is, it does seem possible Manafort is trying to use his appearance to gain sympathy from the public (and Donald Trump?) plus leniency from the court. It reminds me of a New York Mafioso boss who, when he was on trial years ago, came to court strapped to a gurney with an oxygen mask attached. At one point the Mafioso's lawyer interrupted the proceedings to ask for a recess claiming his client was having a sudden medical emergency. That backfired because the court summoned NY City EMS who examined the defendant and pronounced his vital signs normal. But EMS then transported him to an emergency room as a precaution and that also backfired. The emergency room they took him to was in a city hospital and the doctors there reported finding nothing wrong. The court was not too happy.

At the same time, on a human level, I do sympathize with Manafort. He always appeared to me to be someone who was pretty soft, having led a life of privileged affluence. The situation he finds himself in now must be extremely stressful and stress can easily effect someone's health. Manafort is looking into the abyss. Faced with losing most of his money and having to spend years in prison. He must ask himself, "How the hell did I put myself in this position?" At the age of 69 he's pretty much at the end of the road. Very bleak future. Anybody would be profoundly depressed.

.
I don't feel sorry for someone whose daughters' describe as lacking a moral compass and questioning whether he's coerced their mother into orgies.
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Old 14th March 2019, 02:57 PM   #1083
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Yes, but at least some of the charges Manafort faced in the first trial involved bank fraud related to real estate. I'm just concerned that some of these new charges might get thrown out because they are related to incidents and charges he's been on trial for federally.
From Wikipedia...

Quote:
Conversely, double jeopardy comes with a key exception. Under the dual sovereignty doctrine, multiple sovereigns can indict a defendant for the same crime. The federal and state governments can have overlapping criminal laws, so a criminal offender may be convicted in individual states and federal courts for exactly the same crime or for different crimes arising out of the same facts.
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Old 14th March 2019, 11:14 PM   #1084
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I find it suspicious how quickly Mandatory went from a springy, sprightly gait before his confinement to a debilitating gout. Puttin' on a pity party, says I.

And about his age. Who frikkin' cares? Are we supposed to be so observant of what time remains of a criminal's miserable existence to greatly diminish his punishment? As I've pointed out previously, having lived for many younger and vital years off his illl gotten gains, Manafort should endure the same justice whatever his age. Otherwise society would essentially be telling the guilty to just avoid getting caught until into dotage, and thereby largely escape the worst of the Law's redress.

Why, I'll bet he'll be out quite soon on grounds of 'medical' issues. His backup against a pardon not coming...
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Old 15th March 2019, 01:55 AM   #1085
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Congress, bipartisanly and unanimously, passed a resolution for the Mueller report to be made public no matter what, then Lindsay Graham blocked it from the Senate
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Old 15th March 2019, 02:25 AM   #1086
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
I find it suspicious how quickly Mandatory went from a springy, sprightly gait before his confinement to a debilitating gout. Puttin' on a pity party, says I.
Why are you calling him Mandatory? Is that a joke, or an autocorrect thing?
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Old 15th March 2019, 03:31 AM   #1087
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
...

Quote:
Graham pointed to controversies surrounding a surveillance warrant on Trump aide Carter Page and text messages by two FBI employees that were critical of President Donald Trump.
**** you, Graham. Those "controversies" that are equivalent to the "controversy" being pushed by cdesign proponentsists in both honesty and purpose deserve no more time on the public stage.
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Old 15th March 2019, 04:32 AM   #1088
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Last December, Aleksej Gubarev's defamation lawsuit against Buzzfeed for publishing the Steele dossier was dismissed. The dossier said Gubarev's XBT company had been involved in the hacking of Democratic Party officials and in running social media bots. The judge dismissed the suit because he ruled that the publication of the dossier had a "fair reporting privilege," regardless of the accuracy of the claim. However, Rachel Maddow had a segment last night about the unsealing of court documents, and apparently a private investigation during discovery turned up proof that XBT servers had been involved in the phishing scams and the bots. So far, several items in the dossier have been confirmed, and none have been conclusively disproved (the closest being Cohen's denial of meeting Russians in Prague).
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Old 15th March 2019, 05:30 AM   #1089
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Trump Tweeted

“New evidence that the Obama era team of the FBI, DOJ & CIA were working together to Spy on (and take out) President Trump, all the way back in 2015.” A transcript of Peter Strzok’s testimony is devastating. Hopefully the Mueller Report will be covering this. @OANN @foxandfriends
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Old 15th March 2019, 05:38 AM   #1090
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Trump Tweeted

“New evidence that the Obama era team of the FBI, DOJ & CIA were working together to Spy on (and take out) President Trump, all the way back in 2015.” A transcript of Peter Strzok’s testimony is devastating. Hopefully the Mueller Report will be covering this. @OANN @foxandfriends
The idea that Peter Stzok's testimony is devastating is beyond absurd if you read it in its entirety. In fact, what it shows is a hard working dedicated FBI agent doing his job properly.
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:17 AM   #1091
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The idea that Peter Stzok's testimony is devastating is beyond absurd if you read it in its entirety. In fact, what it shows is a hard working dedicated FBI agent doing his job properly.
I can see how a hard-working, dedicated FBI agent doing his job properly might be devastating for Trump.
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:51 AM   #1092
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Trump Tweets

So, if there was knowingly & acknowledged to be “zero” crime when the Special Counsel was appointed, and if the appointment was made based on the Fake Dossier (paid for by Crooked Hillary) and now disgraced Andrew McCabe (he & all stated no crime), then the Special Counsel.......

....should never have been appointed and there should be no Mueller Report. This was an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime. Russian Collusion was nothing more than an excuse by the Democrats for losing an Election that they thought they were going to win.....

.....THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO A PRESIDENT AGAIN!
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:53 AM   #1093
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Did Trump just employ the rule of so?
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:57 AM   #1094
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Trump Tweets

So, if there was knowingly & acknowledged to be “zero” crime when the Special Counsel was appointed, and if the appointment was made based on the Fake Dossier (paid for by Crooked Hillary) and now disgraced Andrew McCabe (he & all stated no crime), then the Special Counsel.......

....should never have been appointed and there should be no Mueller Report. This was an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime. Russian Collusion was nothing more than an excuse by the Democrats for losing an Election that they thought they were going to win.....

.....THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO A PRESIDENT AGAIN!
Some days I think "Maybe the Mueller report won't contain anything more damming on Trump than what we already know".

But then these constant, ranting tweets keep coming. I have a hard time seeing any plausible reason for them other than that Trump is well aware the report will reveal serious crimes by him and his family and he wants to get ahead of it.

If Mueller has nothing to reveal, why on earth would he get so unhinged?
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Old 15th March 2019, 07:04 AM   #1095
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
Some days I think "Maybe the Mueller report won't contain anything more damming on Trump than what we already know".

But then these constant, ranting tweets keep coming. I have a hard time seeing any plausible reason for them other than that Trump is well aware the report will reveal serious crimes by him and his family and he wants to get ahead of it.

If Mueller has nothing to reveal, why on earth would he get so unhinged?
Because Trump is always vicious to all his opponents. Look at the stuff he said about Ted Cruz during the primaries. You're expecting some sort of proportionality to his response, but history doesn't give justification for that assumption.
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Old 15th March 2019, 07:09 AM   #1096
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Because Trump is always vicious to all his opponents. Look at the stuff he said about Ted Cruz during the primaries. You're expecting some sort of proportionality to his response, but history doesn't give justification for that assumption.
But Mueller isn't an opponent. He's not a politician. He's law enforcement. He is only an opponent if Trump believes he will uncover something serious Trump is hiding. Otherwise Trump could just as easily say that the report will exonerate him.
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Old 15th March 2019, 07:15 AM   #1097
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
Did Trump just employ the rule of so?
It will be a while before the "expert" can weigh in
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Old 15th March 2019, 07:19 AM   #1098
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Originally Posted by TheL8Elvis View Post
It will be a while before the "expert" can weigh in
Indeed!

At least a fortnight minus one day starting now.

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Old 15th March 2019, 07:52 AM   #1099
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
But Mueller isn't an opponent. He's not a politician. He's law enforcement. He is only an opponent if Trump believes he will uncover something serious Trump is hiding. Otherwise Trump could just as easily say that the report will exonerate him.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:04 AM   #1100
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
But Mueller isn't an opponent. He's not a politician. He's law enforcement. He is only an opponent if Trump believes he will uncover something serious Trump is hiding. Otherwise Trump could just as easily say that the report will exonerate him.
Mueller has already caused problems for Trump, even if the rest of the investigation exonerates him. That suffices to make him an opponent for Trump. And Trump attacks all his opponents. You're trying to analyze this as if Trump were a normal politician, but he isn't.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:18 AM   #1101
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Mueller has already caused problems for Trump, even if the rest of the investigation exonerates him. That suffices to make him an opponent for Trump. And Trump attacks all his opponents. You're trying to analyze this as if Trump were a normal politician, but he isn't.
That is a soft defense. One might as well say that we shouldn't criticize Trump for, say, the National Emergency declaration because, while a normal president wouldn't try to circumvent Congress to build a pet project primarily to appeal to his base, Trump isn't normal.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:20 AM   #1102
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
That is a soft defense. One might as well say that we shouldn't criticize Trump for, say, the National Emergency declaration because, while a normal president wouldn't try to circumvent Congress to build a pet project primarily to appeal to his base, Trump isn't normal.
I would have opted for risibly flaccid.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:26 AM   #1103
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Mueller has already caused problems for Trump, even if the rest of the investigation exonerates him. That suffices to make him an opponent for Trump. And Trump attacks all his opponents. You're trying to analyze this as if Trump were a normal politician, but he isn't.
I don't really see the problems the Mueller report pose for Trump. If the report exonerated him then it does him a massive favor. The indictments so far have not effected his polling or his agenda. They sent Cohen to jail, which, if you believe Trump, would be a massive favor as well since Cohen was so dishonest he was lying to Trump constantly.

"Trump is different" feels like a vague handwave.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:34 AM   #1104
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
I would have opted for risibly flaccid.
I've actually rethought my response. Here's what I think Zig was saying and what I was misinterpreting.

Posts in this thread have suggested that Trump must think that Mueller has dirt on him, because otherwise he would not react so vehemently to the investigation. But Zig is saying that Trump reacts to everything as if it's an important, personal attack and so his behavior here is poor evidence that Trump fears Mueller will discover anything nefarious.

He has a point, to be honest. Trump's immature antics are hard to suss sometimes.

In any case, we're all better off waiting for the report rather than reading indirect evidence. Unless, of course, the report presented to the public is woefully lacking content, at which point indirect evidence is all we have.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:37 AM   #1105
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If you take Trump seriously, being exonerated by Mueller would be the worst thing - after all, he has assured us that Mueller is a partisan hack out to get him.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:49 AM   #1106
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
If you take Trump seriously, being exonerated by Mueller would be the worst thing - after all, he has assured us that Mueller is a partisan hack out to get him.
Oh, please. He said the 2016 election was rigged, until it wasn't -- or at least not sufficiently (just enough to lose the popular vote). He said the unemployment figures were a fiction, but now they're not. And so on.

In fact, I think it's very difficult to take him seriously at all.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:50 AM   #1107
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I've actually rethought my response. Here's what I think Zig was saying and what I was misinterpreting.

Posts in this thread have suggested that Trump must think that Mueller has dirt on him, because otherwise he would not react so vehemently to the investigation. But Zig is saying that Trump reacts to everything as if it's an important, personal attack and so his behavior here is poor evidence that Trump fears Mueller will discover anything nefarious.

He has a point, to be honest. Trump's immature antics are hard to suss sometimes.

In any case, we're all better off waiting for the report rather than reading indirect evidence. Unless, of course, the report presented to the public is woefully lacking content, at which point indirect evidence is all we have.
Of course the final report will be the best evidence, but there's nothing wrong with speculation.

I think that while Trump DOES flail about a lot, of isn't so random as he wants it to look. The vast majority of his attacks actually do represent real interests. The press, Warren, immigrants. He has something to gain for all of those. He is not a wild unpredictable force, he's just a temperamental man. If he truly believes there would be nothing to hurt him in the report, it would be against his interests to mount such a direct and consistent campaign against Mueller.

Is there any other target Trump has rolled against so much with so much vitriol that didn't represent a clear interest?
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:00 AM   #1108
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
I don't really see the problems the Mueller report pose for Trump. If the report exonerated him then it does him a massive favor. The indictments so far have not effected his polling or his agenda. They sent Cohen to jail, which, if you believe Trump, would be a massive favor as well since Cohen was so dishonest he was lying to Trump constantly.
Losing Flynn early on was a problem for Trump. And the indictments might not have affected Trump's numbers, but it probably wounded his ego.

Quote:
"Trump is different" feels like a vague handwave.
He is different. Is that really in any doubt? And it's less hand waving than the assertion that he wouldn't badmouth Mueller if he wasn't scared of what he might report.
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:01 AM   #1109
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
Is there any other target Trump has rolled against so much with so much vitriol that didn't represent a clear interest?
Rosie.
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:06 AM   #1110
Cavemonster
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Losing Flynn early on was a problem for Trump. And the indictments might not have affected Trump's numbers, but it probably wounded his ego.
If Flynn were the issue, one might have expected more rhetoric then than now. But a long time has passed and the rhetoric is increasing in frequency and tone. I don't think Flynn explains that well. I don't see how the indictments wound his ego. They aren't him. Cohen is a lying loser. Manafort was barely involved with the campaign. The others were coffee boys. What does that have to do with Trump?

Quote:
He is different. Is that really in any doubt?
No, but he is not diffetent in a specific way that has strong explanatory power in this case.

Quote:
And it's less hand waving than the assertion that he wouldn't badmouth Mueller if he wasn't scared of what he might report.
You'll need to explain that a bit more. In what way is that a hand wave?
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:13 AM   #1111
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Losing Flynn early on was a problem for Trump. And the indictments might not have affected Trump's numbers, but it probably wounded his ego.
Trump's ego is invulnerable. How anyone can still not realise that escapes me.


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He is different.
Trump is special, no question about that.
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:16 AM   #1112
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
You'll need to explain that a bit more. In what way is that a hand wave?
It's an argument from incredulity. You don't know why Trump would attack Mueller if Mueller didn't have dirt on Trump. But that could be nothing more than a failure of your imagination.
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:24 AM   #1113
Cavemonster
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
It's an argument from incredulity. You don't know why Trump would attack Mueller if Mueller didn't have dirt on Trump. But that could be nothing more than a failure of your imagination.
If I were claiming absolute certainty, that might be an issue.

But in general predictive discourse "This pattern matches up well with X cause and we can't think of other causes that match up so well with all the evidence" is a fairly standard and solid basis to suspect X cause is the case.

If you really parse out the words and torture them, then EVERY conclusion that isn't logically inescapable could be cast as an argument from incredulity. Global warming predictions could be a failure to imagine that tiny alien robots are fudging all of our instruments!

The pattern of behavior fits well with a particular cause. It doesn't fit well with Trump being innocent of these charges. It is certainly possible that some unknown X factor exist which explains the apparent incongruity between this behavior and nothing to hide. But it is equally possible that ANY apparent cause is wrong. You're use of this fallacy would fallacize the majority of all speculation.
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:25 AM   #1114
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
It's an argument from incredulity. You don't know why Trump would attack Mueller if Mueller didn't have dirt on Trump. But that could be nothing more than a failure of your imagination.
Indeed. I can think of many reasons why Trump would attack the probe, even if he had no collusion with Russia. Just a few off the top of my head:

1) unrelated criminality will be uncovered by law enforcement scrutiny (see all his guys ending up in jail for non-russia related reasons)

2) the spectre of an long-running investigation is a nuisance for him, even if it will eventually show nothing.

3) paper thin ego. We already know that Trump is very sensitive about his marginal victory, such as in his attacks on the fact he lost the raw popular vote, or his poorly attended inauguration. Any implications that he didn't win on his own merits is an insult to his paper thin ego.

I would not be surprised if the investigation showed that there was no organized effort on Trump's end to coordinate with Russia, but rather just opportunistic use of the advantage given. Luckily for us, Trump has so many corruption sticks in the fire that there is still more than enough justification for his removal.
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:34 AM   #1115
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It's hard to think of reason why Trump would obstruct the investigations so much if he had nothing to hide.
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:42 AM   #1116
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Rosie.
A fair point. But don't believe he typed nearly so much about Rosie in a decade as he has about the Mueller investigation in the last couple months. And the majority of that was before he was an elected official and television personalities were among his primary concerns.

I'm not saying he can't be capricious at all. It is asking a certain suspension of disbelief to think that he is being random in this particular case.
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:47 AM   #1117
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Indeed. I can think of many reasons why Trump would attack the probe, even if he had no collusion with Russia. Just a few off the top of my head:

1) unrelated criminality will be uncovered by law enforcement scrutiny (see all his guys ending up in jail for non-russia related reasons)
I count this within the realm of the investigation finding something. In fact I think even if he has conspired with Russia, that will be impossible to prove and that, like Nixon, the crimes committed in the coverup would get him.

But again, my speculation is that he knows the report will uncover his crimes. I can't say which particular crimes.

Quote:
2) the spectre of an long-running investigation is a nuisance for him, even if it will eventually show nothing.
I can't see much of an effect on him. As previously discussed.


Quote:
3) paper thin ego. We already know that Trump is very sensitive about his marginal victory, such as in his attacks on the fact he lost the raw popular vote, or his poorly attended inauguration. Any implications that he didn't win on his own merits is an insult to his paper thin ego.
That's a stretch. And it doesn't mesh well with his changing rhetoric on the probe as it unfolds. If he believed the probe would exhonerate him then it would be the best thing for his ego and he'd encourage it to be published everywhere as soon as possible.


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I would not be surprised if the investigation showed that there was no organized effort on Trump's end to coordinate with Russia, but rather just opportunistic use of the advantage given. Luckily for us, Trump has so many corruption sticks in the fire that there is still more than enough justification for his removal.
Agreed.
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Old 15th March 2019, 09:57 AM   #1118
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
I'm not saying he can't be capricious at all. It is asking a certain suspension of disbelief to think that he is being random in this particular case.
I'm not saying it's random, I'm saying there are other likely explanations besides your proposed one.

For example, you mentioned that Mueller's investigation hasn't negatively impacted Trump's polling, and that this is a reason for him to not keep attacking Mueller. But you might have that causality backwards. His polling might be unmoved by Mueller in part because he keeps attacking Mueller.
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Old 15th March 2019, 10:02 AM   #1119
Cavemonster
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
I'm not saying it's random, I'm saying there are other likely explanations besides your proposed one.

For example, you mentioned that Mueller's investigation hasn't negatively impacted Trump's polling, and that this is a reason for him to not keep attacking Mueller. But you might have that causality backwards. His polling might be unmoved by Mueller in part because he keeps attacking Mueller.
And my magic rock might be keeping the tigers away.
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Old 15th March 2019, 10:06 AM   #1120
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Because Trump is always vicious to all his opponents.
If he's done nothing wrong, then Mueller isn't his opponent.
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