• Trump, Russia, the Birth Certificate and the Election That Will Not Conclude

    July 18, 2017

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Trump

    Too many people, many driven by racism, refused to accept the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

    The votes were clear, the will of the people overwhelming, but to minds blocked by disbelief, there had to be another way to prevent Obama from taking office or failing that, from legitimately exercising power.

    Enter the birth certificate. What could be more disqualifying than Obama not being an American citizen? Obama had already “admitted” his father was not an American citizen, and there were all those photos of him as a young man in Indonesia. The accusations played to the fear that someone not loyal to the United States (might he be a Muslim, too?!?) would occupy its highest office.

    The silliness of the idea that Obama was not an American citizen still lurks in some of the danker corners of the Internet. More significantly, the concept the birth certificate unleashed — maybe the election wasn’t ever going to be over — is now more than background noise. It is a real threat to democracy.

    Trump Won

    Like the Big Bang, disbelief that Trump actually won has been exploding ever-outward since November 8. The idea that the Russians had somehow “hacked” him into office surfaced even before the final vote tally. But first there were the recounts (the numbers couldn’t be right; they were.) The voter fraud (there wasn’t.) The Electoral College needed to be circumvented (it couldn’t be.) Or maybe actually it was the popular vote which mattered just this one time and Clinton should move into the White House (Nope, people who believe this failed 9th grade civics badly.)

    Following the Inauguration (with several prominent Democrats refusing to “normalize” it by attending), action overnight shifted to impeachment; when can things get started? Impeachment would be based on (as the media stumbled to remember 9th grade Civics) the Emoluments Clause, the Hatch Act, the Logan Act, denying the authority of the courts over immigration, nepotism, Chinese trademarks, sweetheart deals with dictators, Mafia money in real estate, firing the FBI director, or obstruction of justice. The 25th Amendment!

    Once-cogent pundits like Lawrence Tribe and Robert Reich morphed into human cottage industries proclaiming the impeach-ability of various Tweets, actions, and statements. Spiderman, save us!

    But with the apparent lack of traction behind any of those things, the boil burst into a giant pile of… Russia.

    Those Taxing Russians

    Then there are are demands for The Tax Returns.

    Beginning deep back into the campaign and continuing through today, Democrats and the media have created a strawman out of Trump’s taxes, insinuating smoking guns of shady Russian money must abound. Trump’s refusal to release the documents, for whatever reason, is twisted to be further proof of the explosive secrets they must hold (“nothing to fear, nothing to hide!”.)

    Unless each of us personally has the chance to comb through Trump’s 1040’s, no one will ever know The Truth.

    Left unsaid is that while Democratic politicians, media pundits, and the two of us have not seen Trump’s taxes, the IRS, FBI and Treasury Department have. Trump and his myriad corporate entities have been filing taxes forever, and have been subject to audits on an ongoing basis. Any investigations at the FBI and/or other agencies either have access to or can seek access to Trump’s taxes through subpoena, as well as decades of other financial disclosures and records. The pros have been at work for some time, literally since the 1980s or earlier, and nothing has emerged. That has been left out of the reporting on this issue.

    What the media seems to desire is a bit of paper showing Trump conducted some business with someone somewhere in Russia. The value of such a document remains questionable in proving… something bad. It is hard to imagine anyone involved in New York City real estate not working with Russian money at some point. Long before all this was the focus of such intense media attention, the New York Times wrote a non-partisan, deeply researched series of articles on foreign money in general, and Russian money in the specific, flooding the New York market. The Times concluded, without reference to Trump at all, that that “flight of wealth accrued in the chaotic capitalism of post-Soviet Russia has been a powerful force behind the luxury condominium boom reordering New York City’s skyline.” Russian money in New York real estate is, well, sort of normal.

    On the political side, contacts between foreign ambassadors and influential Americans happen constantly, sought by both sides. Our American ambassadors and State Department diplomats are specifically charged with building such contacts overseas. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who also met the Russian ambassador, did so at the Republican Convention this summer. The ambassador was attending, along with 80 other foreigners, as a guest of the Obama State Department, which brings foreign diplomats to the conventions to “witness democracy.” And yes, every country weaves its spies into that heady mix. Much has been made of the fact that the Russian ambassador has met with many people connected with the Trump campaign. It’s actually sort of normal.

    Or maybe none of this matters — Trump will be impeached for the next thing that happens! Yeah, that one!

    So… What Happened?

    If we blow away all the smoke, what is left?

    A set of more-or-less agreed on facts is nearly non-existent; even the official existence of actual investigation(s) is mostly based on leaks and general statements.

    Someone, probably connected in some way to some entity in Russia, exposed emails from inside the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign that reflected badly on how the Committee treated Bernie Sanders. How that did or did not help send Trump into the White House is pretty close to unanswerable.

    Separate from that, people connected to Trump had various interactions with Russians. Trump’s initial appointee as national security adviser, Michael Flynn, took money from Russian TV station RT.com, and lied about meeting the Russian ambassador. Neither action is illegal, though most people would agree neither was proper, and both served as grounds for his firing.

    Trump’s son(s) had a meeting with Russian persons to talk about what dirt they had on Hillary. They didn’t have any dirt. Not illegal, not smart, but not grounds for impeaching anyone.

    Where things get sticky is validating the next step: that some or all of those things and others — the leaked emails, Trump corporate entities doing business with Russia, contacts with Russian officials, Flynn’s lies — add up to the fact that a large number of Americans, arguably almost all of whom did not vote for Trump, believe now in some way Trump was helped into the White House by the Russians, and in fact may be fully under the control of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Decisions in the Oval Office itself are being made, they believe, based on how they can favor the Russians, not the United States. That’s a helluva accusation. It could impeach a president. It could destroy the Republican party. It could negate the 2016 election.

    Saving Democracy by Destroying It

    And so a frothy mix of Democrats and a media that by and large favored Candidate Clinton has emerged to prove that the president of the United States was helped into office by a hostile foreign government and/or is controlled in office by that government, claims unprecedented in American history. Maybe any nation’s history.

    First tries were offered to the intelligence agencies to “save” American democracy by unearthing information so unambiguous underlying a number of ambiguous acts that it would lead to a swift impeachment. Early in Trump’s tenure many on the left looked to the NSA or CIA to reveal intercepts that would take Trump down with his own words. Hopes were raised when some information almost certainly from intel sources was leaked to the Washington Post, and led directly to Flynn’s firing. A murky foreign intelligence service-connected “dossier” implying the Trump campaign interacted with Russian spies, flavored with some salacious details of golden showers, appeared, but was never shown to be valid and quickly faded from view.

    Hope shifted to the FBI, who allegedly had been conducting some form of old-school G-man style investigation since July 2016. The FBI would never confirm even the existence of such an investigation into Trump himself, but his firing Comey seems to have poisoned in the minds of Democrats any investigation that might exist. FBI Director James Comey, last seen by many Democrats as one of two individuals (Putin is the other, of course) who caused their candidate to lose to Trump in the first place, was reborn as Washington’s Last Honest Man.

    Enter the Special Prosecutor

    So with the FBI no longer trustworthy enough to help impeach Trump, enter a special prosecutor. Robert Mueller will impeach Trump.

    A special prosecutor is a lawyer appointed to investigate and possibly prosecute a specific potential wrongdoing for which a conflict of interest exists for the usual authority. So, Comey’s replacement, even though he would not be doing the prosecuting (and neither would have Comey) can’t be seen as independent enough to do the job. You need someone special.

    The people now strongly favoring a special prosecutor do have a few wires crossed. No matter who is in charge, the FBI only gathers evidence and does not determine whether a crime appears to have been committed. That decision rests with a prosecutor going to a Grand Jury, typically the Attorney General or someone below him in the Department of Justice. The desire of Democrats is a special prosecutor would do much more in this case, actually lead the FBI and others’ investigation. They would be “independent,” except that the system does not actually create a fully free-standing judicial system, and the special prosecutor in fact still reports to the Attorney General, the nation’s chief law enforcement official, in this case Jeff Sessions, who has himself recused himself from all matters Russia.

    That means a Special Prosecutor would instead report to Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General who helped fire Comey, and a Trump appointee himself. Rosenstein is able to veto the special counsel on decisions he doesn’t agree with, as well as request explanations “for any investigative or prosecutorial step.” Rosenstein would also be able to fire the special prosecutor.

    A Congressional Commission

    So even a special prosecutor would be under the authority of a Trump appointee. So maybe what’s needed, one hears some muttering, is not the NSA, CIA, FBI or a special prosecutor, but a Congressional commission. A commission like the ones Congress created to investigate the Kennedy assassination, or 9/11.

    Unlike the NSA and CIA, who look for espionage and full-on treason, or the FBI and a (special) prosecutor who look for actual crimes, a Congressional commission can just… look. And that seems to be the whole point, to set in motion a process that will keep questions about Russia and Trump in the news through at least the 2018 midterm elections, maybe beyond, freed from the complexities of legal standards of guilt and innocence.

    In the words of one prominent proponent of such a commission:

    A special prosecutor… seeks crimes. The criminal law is a heavy tool, and for that reason it is thickly encased in protections for accused persons.

    A select committee of Congress or an independent commission of nonpartisan experts established by Congress can ask the broad question: What happened? A select committee or an independent commission can organize its inquiry according to priority, leaving the secondary and tertiary issues to the historians. A select committee or an independent commission is not barred from looking at events in earlier years statutes of limitations. A select committee or an independent commission seeks truth.

    This is an intelligence question with policy implications, not a prosecutorial question with legal implications. For example, if Russia preferred Trump because Putin liked Trump’s pro-Russia campaign policies — well, policies can be changed. But if Russia preferred Trump because Russian entities have some financial or other hold upon him — that’s something the country would need to know now, even if no crimes were involved.

    There is No Smoking Birth Certificate

    Trump has been a public figure for decades, his actions as a real estate developer documented and reviewed by his enemies, opponents, and creditors. America’s intelligence agencies have always monitored transactions with Russia, Trump’s and everyone else’s, in detail. The New York Times and the Washington Post haven’t seen Trump’s taxes, but the IRS has, for decades. So even though Congress hasn’t passed judgement on them, law enforcement has. Meanwhile, if the FBI wants to arrest Mike Flynn or any other Trump associate for espionage they can that today, or could have in November, and implying that has not or will not happen because Comey was or is not the director is nonsense.

    Unless or until something fully unexpected emerges, there is no “birth certificate.”

    Instead, Democrats, assisted by a media that appears to have stepped over the line from watchdog to abetting conspiracy, are trying to undo an election. Their efforts are unlikely to succeed, as they did not succeed with Obama, but if you think this process won’t be used again against whoever wins in 2020, well, you’re being foolish. The clumsiness of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy, is nothing compared to the approach being tried with Trump-Russia. We’ve moved in a few months from Jill Stein demanding crowd-funded vote recounts to leaks of intelligence intercepts used to get the sitting national security advisor fired.

    People are getting more skillful at the game, learning more about the tools available. Stirring up the crowd, creating a yearning, setting a precedent that there is no need to accept the results of an election. A new political weapon has been unsheathed. America is playing with fire.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • RICH BAUER said...


      All good ideas. Here is another:

      Since this all a big nothingburger, Trump should announce he will never issue pardons to anyone connected to this nothingburger, and that he would never accept a pardon from presidense Pence. Since his tax returns are also a big nothingburger, Trump should be glad to release them. So what if he hasnt had to pay taxes, nothingburger, freedom fries, it is all a word salad anyway.

      07/18/17 8:32 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      Freedom…from war crimes:

      Nothingburger Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is planning to shut down the State Department office that focuses on war crimes, according to a new report.

      Several former U.S. officials told Foreign Policy that Todd Buchwald, the special coordinator in the Office of Global Criminal Justice, was recently told by Tillerson’s office that he was being reassigned to a new position in a different department. The remaining staff of the OGCJ may also be reassigned, according to FP.

      The Office of Global Criminal Justice advises the Secretary of State on issues surrounding war crimes and genocide, and helps form policy to address those atrocities.

      Since Merika has committed more war crimes, good idea to shut down the office that reports them.

      07/18/17 8:42 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      I’m one of those who refused to accept the election of Barack Obama- the 2012 one. We who voted out of naivete for him in 2008 clearly knew better by 2012.
      The disgraced celebrity news pundits who got the 2016 POTUS election very wrong are a vengeful group. They see an impeachment as the only way their credibility can be restored. Like Bush and his bogus reasons for invading Iraq the Hillary supporters will go with made up stuff -if that is what it takes.

      07/18/17 8:50 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      Made up stuff…like global warming. While we distract ourselves with our Game of Thrones, our winter is comng with a blast furnace.

      07/18/17 10:26 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Please give me the dates Obama and Trump joined the ICC Court in the Hague? We are #1 (repeat lemmings). Have a nice day.

      07/18/17 10:43 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Ike and Smedley Butler were right.

      07/18/17 11:26 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Don’t play with fire. It takes a spark. Will it be a false flag, or something else? Cops killing white people (protecting womens rights) and sexual assualts? Too Deep State? Russia? Have a nice day.

      07/18/17 11:31 AM | Comment Link

    • StarkNakedTruth said...


      There is no “smoking” birth certificate.


      Barack Obama, Sr is the former President’s father.


      RE: What do you do when you want a dog off the scent of the fox? You send the dog barking up the wrong tree.

      07/18/17 12:16 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      “You can’t handle the truth”. Amerika. Wave flags. James Brown “I feel good”. #1 (repeat, I saw it on the news).

      07/18/17 12:34 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      I love Capitalism. Pay me for my thoughts. “War Is A Racket”. “Jobs” “Empire”, etc. Enjoy! (Time Out).

      07/18/17 12:37 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      What are the Polls or #s for military recruitment in the U.S. the past few months? Is there a problem with the “Empire” killing and War Crimes? Have a nice day. Have High School kids who are failing weeks before graduation being offered credits to “Help fight the Terrorist’S”? It’s all about Job$ (MIC). It’s Deep. Save the world, or get off! Peas

      07/18/17 12:52 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Have any Dems or R’s proposed getting rid of Medicare D (a gift to Drug Co.s)? F-35’s?

      07/18/17 12:56 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Is Bernie against Medicare Part D rip off?

      07/18/17 12:57 PM | Comment Link

    • Glenn said...


      The reason Trump’s opponents want to see his taxes is not because there is necessarily illegal. Tehy want to see what potential conflicts of interest exist.

      To make something up let’s say that Country X has been paying 10 million dollars a year for services that were nebulous. If Trump declared that income on his taxes t would be legal so the FBI and IRS would be satisfied.

      As for this being new Whitewater was a nothing burger. That was apparent to anyone with a knowledge of the savings and loan debacle. The Republicans spent six years on that. So remember your history.

      07/18/17 2:05 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      The IRS would have busted his ass already. The D and R;s are Crooks.

      07/18/17 2:16 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Smoke and Mirrors sells. It usually does not help the people.

      07/18/17 2:17 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      (Correction, u.$.uallly, for profits, not people). FReedom isn’t Free. Kill your TV

      07/18/17 2:19 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Remember when Obama Pivots for u.$. profits for MIC and all (1%)? Trump pivots now. Who is in control? Get a backbone pigs. Should I run for Justice of Peace? Hope you did not spit out your coffee! P’s

      07/18/17 3:21 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Wow. Where is Assange free? Is there a problem people?

      07/18/17 3:34 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Are the Tuesday Kill lists by Drones still in effect? “God Bless America”, B.H.Obama (D).

      07/18/17 3:44 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...


      And people call Trump crazy??????

      How many different ways can someone be stalked???….. Like…. OMG !!!!!!!!
      There are laws against this kind of crap !!!!!!!

      Btw…. Strange….. For all those millions upon millions that never accepted obama’s presidency……all them there drunk, second amendment people…..you know…. The ones that act totally irrationality……( you know…. The ones that ambush cops and congress people….. Ummmm…. NOT !!!!)….( sarcasm alert).

      Also…… Memory check here….

      Where were the riots????… The protests????… The incredibly unlawful acts??????…. That completely overwhelmed the first several months of Obama’s Presidential terms????

      Where was Bush coming out to ‘lead’ the ‘ fight’ against Obama????

      You know….. Kind of like all the behaviors that dominate the news daily now….

      But…. Hey…. Trump is crazy…. Trump is dangerous….. Trump supporters are equally crazy and dangerous….

      ( snark and sarcasm alert in the preceding )

      Something to remember….. As a Very Great Man once said….. “words have power…. Use them carefully ”


      07/18/17 4:40 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Is Mitch a Russian name? Have a nice day! Chuckskeee (Off to watch Boris and Nastahsky) Tear Down the Wall.

      07/18/17 7:48 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      We don’t need no education….

      07/18/17 7:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...


      Nope…. Been to Russia though….. Great parties….

      Btw…. Chuckskeee….. Good thing you “don’t need no education “….

      Your guy Bernie, and his wife….. Yep….. They have taken dramatic steps to insure that there’s no education…..

      Pretty good look at the inner workings of the DNC… “I’m with Her”…. And Bernie…. And a nice little college…that doesn’t exist anymore….damn…. They will even rip off the church…

      Btw….. There’s law against this crap, too.



      07/19/17 7:38 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...


      Hey….. Well i’ll be…….

      Someone was working with Russia……. Opps…… Sorry……

      Bill and Kill….. Not Trump……. Hmmmmmmm…. How many postal workers can you buy….. For 500 K ???????




      07/19/17 7:47 AM | Comment Link

    • Linda Templet said...


      Oh there is a smoking gun alright. This Official Declaratory Congressional Judgment absolutely proves that Obama was not an eligible nominee for the office of the President.

      Statutes at Large, 43rd Congress, 1st Session, Volume 18, Part 1, Page 350
      “All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States”.

      Obama was born in Hawaii according to his birth Certificate but his fathers BIRTHPLACE was KENYA, EAST AFRICA.

      His birth certificate PROVES that Obama would be SUBJECT TO FOREIGN POWERS because his father was a foreigner who was BORN IN A FOREIGN LAND.
      This man was an ILLEGAL President and the Democrats have put our National Security at RISK!
      His father was a Senior Economist in the AFRICAN Government before his death.
      How can a man get elected into the Office of the President when the mans FATHER WORKED FOR A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT. This mad HAD FOREIGN TIES and STILL DOES. He cannot be trusted at all!

      Obama was born Dual Citizen. His citizenship and his Nationality is American–AFRICAN,
      He has AFRICAN and INDONESIAN brothers and sisters who live in TWO FOREIGN countries.

      What are American completely STUPID PEOPLE!!

      07/19/17 8:29 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      Surprise, Hillarious is just as corrupt as Demented Don. Is Demented dumber than the War Witch? Consider that Demented met with his boss alone for an hour. Other than talking about their moneylaundering business, what else could they have discussed? The clown had to know the optics under this scandal wouldn’t look good. Why do it? Getting his latest instructions? At this point, even his team have to be wondering: What’s the payoff? What is he really getting out of it? History lesson: Demented is only concerned about himself. The guy is looking to get out, and if the GOP goes down like a foreclosed casino property, Demented will come out on top.

      Trump’s approval rating is the lowest in modern presidential history, GOP-controlled Congress hasn’t passed any signature legislation, his party split on one of his major promises on the health-care bill, and all Trump has to show for it is a mostly intact group of Republican voters who say they still like him.

      The is dumb, but he aint stupid.

      07/19/17 10:24 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      Hey, the joke is on US:

      A lawyer, a spy, a mob boss, and a money launder walk into a bar. The bartender says: “you guys must be here to talk about adoption.”

      07/19/17 10:28 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      Putin: (handing over the peepee videotape). Here you go, Don. A deal is a deal.

      Trump: You didnt make a copy, did you?

      Putin: Buska, you can trust me.

      07/19/17 10:48 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      Too DEM BarBarack that meritocracism didn’t prevail in 2008, AND DingleBarry wasn’t a $erial Lying DEM RENEGER! Then, the presumptive ascension of Queen HELL and the Donald’s Trump card could never have been played !!

      07/19/17 11:28 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer get over the idea that Putin has stuff on Trump. Everybody has something over everyone else so one purported embarrassing video doesn’t mean much. I’d be more concerned about a populace that is entertained by sadism- like Westworld or Game of Thrones. what could wean them off such material?

      07/19/17 11:47 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      Even if Putin has a video of Trump bending Ivanka over a chair, his debased base wont give a shit.

      07/19/17 11:53 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      An “hour”….. At a dinner??????…… How about 90 seconds ?????…

      Awful lot to cover in 90 seconds…..

      Hey…. Question…… How many hours did you spend analyzing the handshakes?????

      Blue pill day, Rich…. Blue pill day.


      07/19/17 12:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      So…… Your hunting for the video of Ivanka being bent over a chair????….

      I keep hoping she does a guest shot on ‘Game of Thrones’.

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


      07/19/17 12:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Search this…

      State Department. email, filename 00002215.eml


      You ever get tired of being wrong?


      07/19/17 12:36 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...



      Been reading Wikileaks? Be careful. That got Peter fired.

      Speaking of being wrong, the experts predicted tax revenue from marijuana sales in Colorado could reach 10 million per year, but data from the Colorado Department of Revenue cannabis-related taxes from 2014 through mid-2017 totaled $506,143,635.

      If confederate Jeff Sessions thinks he can make all that go up in smoke, what is that clown smoking?

      07/19/17 6:49 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...



      Completely stupid? Well, you dou make your own point.

      07/20/17 2:10 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Linda does have a point…. Never thought of it that way…. Where was all the ‘outrage’ about all of the ties to foreign governments that Obama has????

      Btw…. trump is doing a bad job…. I mean only 13 congress people… 1 Senator…. Supported stop arming terrorists in Syria…. That’s all… So…. Must be the right thing to keep giving ‘Stingers’ to terrorists….right????


      But….. Trump must be doing bad to just order the program to end…. Right?…

      After all… According to you, he’s demented, dangerous… Etc.etc.etc….



      07/20/17 7:48 AM | Comment Link

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