Category: Analyse technique Forex

BTC-E Says It Will Return Customers’ Bitcoins After Being Shut Down By DOJ

In what would be a surprising achievement, after the US government seized the site’s domain, BTC-e announced that it has somehow retained access to customer wallets and deposits nearly two weeks after the site was taken down by a collaboration between US and European authorities.

The announcement was published on a bitcoin forum account long associated with the shadowy exchange, so there’s no guarantee that it represents an official statement from the company, or whatever’s left of it.

Authorities arrested the BTC-e’s alleged founder, Russian-born Alexander Vinnik, in Greece late last month after unveiling a 21-count indictment against Vinnik and BTC-e, which included a $110 million fine for the mysterious digital-currency exchange, as we reported.

The full statement is below, translated from the original Russian by Google.

Vinnik was accused of using the exchange to operate a $4 billion money laundering scheme using cryptocurrency. According to the indictment, Vinnik helped the hackers who stole tens of thousands of customer bitcoins from Mt. Gox in the largest, and probably most infamous, cybertheft in digital-currency history. The Fed’s described BTC-e as the “exchange of choice to convert digital currencies like bitcoin to fiat money for the criminal world, especially by those who committed their crimes online.”

This isn’t the first statement purportedly released by BTC-e since Vinnik’s arrest. A day after the site was seized, the same account published a note assuring customers that they would get their money back.

Of course, that didn’t stop some on twitter from making uncomfortable Mt. Gox comparisons.

 

Too soon? #BTCe pic.twitter.com/g0XeycGyZT

— SirMeow UASF BIP148 (@OneSirMeow) July 27, 2017

 

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Jatras: “Isolated Trump Flails Helplessly, Bows To Irrational Policies On Russia & Europe Imposed By Congress”

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

President Donald Trump has signed the sanctions bill against Russia, North Korea, and Iran. With the near-unanimous, veto-proof margin by which the so-called «Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act» was passed by both the House and the Senate, Trump was in a lose-lose position.

In the signing statement issued by the White House, Trump and his advisers tried to put a brave face on what can only be seen as a humiliating defeat. Despite some cosmetic changes –

«– the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.

 

«Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary». [Emphasis added]

To suggest this absurd, dangerous, and unconstitutional law can be characterized as representing a desire «to see Russia take steps to improve relations» with the US is the opposite of the truth.

The conscious purpose of this law is to make sure that no steps to improve ties can be taken for decades to come. In that, it will be a success. The US Deep State has boxed Trump in, there’s nothing he or anyone else can do about it. Cold War 2 will almost certainly be a fact of life – for many, many years.

Unless we stumble into a Hot War between the US and Russia, which could be of considerably shorter duration…

Trump’s ubiquitous critics slammed his disparagement of the bill even as he signed it. «I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars», Trump jabbed. «That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress». True of course. But this is less defiance than helpless flailing at the air. Trump is alone. He knows it, and so does everyone else.

Not only is Congress almost totally united against his foreign policy campaign positions, almost everyone in his own administration is too. Personnel selections in foreign and national security policy are overwhelmingly from the neoconservative and Republican «Never Trump» camp informally led by former losing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Trump loyalists and people who might actually agree with his campaign positions are systematically blackballed. Those getting jobs in the administration are sometimes, to the extent humanly possible, even worse than the Obama appointees they are slowly supplanting. On Russia, anyway, it seems about the only Trumper in his administration is the president himself. Even his cutoff of CIA weapons to al-Qaeda linked jihadists cannot be secure as the «al-Assad has no role in the future governing of Syria» meme returns.

In the end, Moscow has accepted the reality that «US politics have been captured by the Russophobic forces that have been pushing Washington toward the path of confrontation». While pro forma Russia continues to hold out the principle that it still «stands ready to normalize bilateral relations with the United States and cooperate on major international issues… on the basis of equality, mutual respect and a balance of interests», they know the real score. The new law signed by Trump is tantamount to a «full-scale trade war», conceded Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. «The hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished». Finished.

No one can take seriously the spin from Vice President Mike Pence that the US continues «to believe that if Russia will change its behavior, our relationship can change for the good and improve for the interests in both of our countries and the interest of peace and stability in this region and around the world». Putting aside the air of lecturing an unruly child, «behavior» has nothing to do with it. Moscow could hand Crimea back to Ukraine, escort Kiev’s troops into the Donbass on a red carpet, and hang Bashar al-Assad from a Damascus lamp post, but the sanctions would remain and be progressively tightened. Look how long it took to get rid of Jackson-Vanik far after its ostensible purpose was long since moot.

Note that the Vice President’s comments took place on a tour of Estonia, Montenegro, and Georgia, three countries (one really can’t call Montenegro a «nation») that are totally useless for defending America against Russia or anyone else but constitute part of a «C»-shaped loop around Russia’s western perimeter. Also note that Macedonia may soon also get pulled in, stepping up the pressure for Serbia’s and Bosnia-and-Herzegovina’s absorption. Even the mafia-ruled, terror-rife pseudo-state of Kosovo it getting come-hither looks.

The more the merrier! Tighten that noose! When all’s said and done, the Russophobic impulse controlling US policy is not about what the Russians have done but who they are: Russia delenda est. Hostility toward Russia is not a means to an end – it is the end.

Meanwhile, American prestige media post literally irrational headlines like «Russia’s Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression». This refers to circumstances where (1) we pull in «allies» that are useless in defending us but are ideal forward offensive platforms, (2) we string our military bases around Russia, and (3) make a big show of provocative troop, air, and naval movements right on the Russians’ borders and on the edge of their territorial waters, but (4) they’re the provocative and «aggressive» ones for moving troops around on their own territory.

With this bill now signed into law, we presumably will see some Russian response, without the delay of the ill-founded delusion that restraint will be rewarded. But the fact is, when it comes to sanctions ping-pong, Russia is in an inherently weaker position. While western observers often overestimate the damage sanctions do to the Russian economy, there’s very little Russia can do to the US economy. The volume of bilateral trade is too low, the disparity in economic and financial power is just too great, the US role in the world financial system is too pervasive, as is our hold over our subservient satellites, who will likely suffer more damage than Russia.

Perhaps the Europeans will begin to see that the people making policy in Washington are not really their friends, though that would require both courage and wisdom from the likes of Merkel, Macron, and May – not a good bet. So far, it’s just noise:

«European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned of potential collateral damage to Europe’s energy market, as the sanctions could inadvertently hit European companies involved with Russia’s energy-export pipelines. One such pipeline, the Nord Stream 2 [JGJ: The EU Commission didn’t worry about their policies’ «collateral damage» to South Stream, when the beneficiaries would have been southern Europe and the Balkans], which aims to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, involves several European companies. ‘«America First» cannot mean that Europe’s interests come last,’ Juncker said, adding that the Commission would be ready to act ‘within a matter of days’ if their concerns were not addressed». 

The irony of course is that it’s not Trump’s «America First» that is responsible but exactly the opposite: the efforts of the US establishment – which the EU loves, and vice versa – to torpedo Trump! But if Trump’s unpopularity in Europe can be used as a means to rally opposition to the US sanctions, it may have some value. Hypocrisy has its uses.

As we move forward into an increasingly dangerous world perhaps Moscow will focus less on striking back against the US than on self-protection: breaking off reliance on the US dollar, refocusing their energy and other vital sectors toward Asia and Eurasian economic integration. If the Europeans are smart (big «if») they will think in that direction themselves.

If so, that would lead to another, supreme irony. An article of faith of western Russophobes is that Moscow’s top goal is to «decouple» the US from Europe. If that ends up happening, to whatever extent, Trump’s enemies may end up accomplishing it for them. Perhaps Trump isn’t the Russian plant – perhaps his domestic opponents are.

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Vicente Fox Drops F-Bomb Live On CNN; Says Trump Just “Trying To Save Face” With Voters On Border Wall

Last night the Washington Post dumped it’s latest ‘bombshell’ White House leaks in the form of full transcripts of Trump’s calls with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull from back in January…which, in Trump years, feels like it was about 20 years ago (we covered it here: Trump Phone Call Transcripts Leaked: “New Hampshire Is A Drug Infested Den”).

Among other things, the full transcripts revealed Trump describing the border wall as a politically important issue but otherwise the “least important thing that we are talking about,” an admission that will come as a surprise to a lot of folks who voted for him.  Meanwhile, he also attempted to hedge his insistence that Mexico pay for border wall by proposing a “formula” that would allow the two countries to split the costs, a compromise, and likely the goal of his grandstanding all along, that would seemingly allow both candidates to declare victory politically.

Here are some of the relevant exchanges from the January call:

Trump:

“Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.  But in terms of dollars — or pesos — it is the least important thing.”

 

“On the wall, you and I both have a political problem.  My people stand up and say, ‘Mexico will pay for the wall,’ and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall. I have to. I have been talking about it for a two-year period.”

 

“We should both say, ‘We will work it out.’ It will work out in a formula somehow.  As opposed to you saying, ‘We will not pay,’ and me saying, ‘We will not pay.'”

 

“We cannot say that anymore because if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.”

 

Pena Nieto:

“This is what I suggest, Mr. President — let us stop talking about the wall.  I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall.”

Meanwhile, and not surprisingly, former Mexican President Vicente Fox appeared yet again on CNN this morning to blast Trump for the transcripts which he used as evidence that Trump’s continued interest in the border wall is nothing more than an attempt to “save face” with voters.

Former Mexican president Vincente Fox: In leaked call with Peña Nieto, Trump is “trying to save face” with voters https://t.co/h3VXA6l3Ft

— New Day (@NewDay) August 4, 2017

 

And what border wall discussion with Vicente Fox would be complete without another twitter effort to get “#FuckingWall” trending again?

.@realDonaldTrump, once again I tell you: we’re not paying for the #FuckingWall! Don’t try use us for your own good. https://t.co/nUeDipDVsI

— Vicente Fox Quesada (@VicenteFoxQue) August 3, 2017

 

Are you not entertained?

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Shocking Footage Of Saudi Siege Against Own Citizens

The Saudi regime is in the midst of an extreme and brutal crackdown against its own citizenry in the country’s Eastern province – a situation now spiraling out of control with rising civilian deaths, entire neighborhoods turned to rubble, and new reports that water and electricity have been cut to the now completely besieged town of Al-Awamiya. Though local activists continue to upload shocking ground level videos to social media revealing that entire districts have been leveled, international and US media have remained largely silent.

Tensions have been simmering in the heavily Shia populated Qatif governate throughout the past year, especially after the January execution of prominent Shia cleric and Al-Awamiya native Nimr al-Nimr. Additionally, 14 Shia citizens, among them young Mujtaba al-Sweikat – a student enrolled at Western Michigan University – currently await execution upon the signature of King Salman. The torture and mass trial of the group, charged with “protest-related” crimes has further inflamed tensions in the region. Large protests against the Saudi monarchy and security services have been frequent in Qatif going all the way back to the start of the so-called “Arab Spring” – though major international media outlets have tended to ignore such protests occurring under US/UK friendly regimes.

This was especially the case when in 2011 hundreds of Saudi tanks crossed the King Fahd Causeway to quell a popular uprising against neighboring Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy. Western media treated the event as a relatively minor hiccup, with some reports even subtly framing Saudi actions as actually motivated by the protection of civilians from Bahraini security forces, while in reality it was a massive show of force pitting tanks against civilians in order to preserve the embattled Bahraini autocratic regime.

This week, things have escalated dramatically as Saudi authorities have concentrated a barrage of fire on Awamiya’s four-hundred year old walled historic Al-Mosara neighborhood, including reported use of air power, heavy artillery, RPGs, snipers and armored assault vehicles in the area. Earlier this year the Saudi regime announced plans to demolish the neighborhood and hand it over to private developers in a kind of Saudi version of “eminent domain”; however, the presence of Shia militants hiding amidst its narrow roads and concealed alleyways appears the be the real motive for razing the district. Though sporadic fighting has occurred throughout the summer, the siege began in the last week of July when bulldozers and armored vehicles poured into the town to initiate demolition while security forces simultaneously attempted to root out Shia militants. Multiple Middle East based news outlets reported at least 5 civilians killed during the initial entry of Saudi forces – online activist accounts are now reporting many dozens slain since the start of the recent incursion.

Screenshot of Al Mayadeen News broadcast footage purporting to show a Saudi soldier firing into Awamiya town from a rooftop.

Before and during the start of the siege local citizens were promised government-sponsored “relocation”, though activists describe it as a concealed sectarian-based cleansing of the Shia population, which has been historically persecuted by the Sunni Wahhabi state. Regional news outlets have published footage which they say reveals active sectarian anti-Shia cleansing on the part of Saudi forces currently underway:

This is how #Saudi regime displaced #awamiyah residents, forcing them to raise white flags as they left their houses! | #Awamiasiege #Qatif pic.twitter.com/Y706wQUib2

— Alahednews English (@AlahednewsEn) August 2, 2017

Photo purporting to show destruction in Awamiya. Photo source: Albawaba News citing activist social media.

An activist originally from Awamiya named Ameen Nemer told Middle East Eye that there is a conscious effort on the part of the authorities to forcibly change the identity of the town:

What I see from the first day there is a collective punishment… there is a plan for forced displacement. It has nothing to do with Al-Mosara and development, it has to do with punishing this town for being vocal for calling for rights, calling for reforms since 2011.

press release issued in May by the UN Human Rights Commission responded to previously announced Saudi plans to demolish residential areas for commercial development. The UN statement hints that the town’s identity is indeed what is at stake here:

The UN experts warned the development plan for the Al-Masora quarter threatens the historical and cultural heritage of the town with irreparable harm, and may result in the forced eviction of numerous people from their businesses and residences.

UN experts seemed to have forewarned that the the whole initiative would involve forceful evacuation using extreme coercive measures, yet stopped short of condemning the plans outright:

Residents have been pressured in many ways, including through power cuts, to vacate their homes and businesses without adequate alternative resettlement options, leaving them at best with insufficient compensation and at worst, with nowhere to go…

 

It appears that the demolition has been announced without any meaningful consultation with the residents, and without having considered less damaging alternatives, like restoration, or adequate notice informing them about the demolition plans.

Destruction of #Mosawarah of #Awamia followed by SSSF bullets. #Awamiasiege #Qatif #Saudi pic.twitter.com/qUrjWarQdn

— Angry Qatifi (@AngryQatifi) August 1, 2017

Gunfire as government bulldozers destroy civilian infrastructure: ground footage of Saudi authorities razing Shia neighborhoods in the country’s eastern province. Some videos are reportedly being uploaded to personal social media pages by Saudi soldiers themselves to brag about their role in the siege, after which the footage is culled by opposition activists.

And now the assault has reached a violent crescendo. On Thursday Al-Masdr News reported that Saudi regime forces fired upon a civilian bus as it tried to flee Awamiya, killing the bus driver (other unconfirmed reports further mention the wounding of women and children). A Reuters report, however, presented conflicting accounts of the incident, while also attempting to justify the whole brutal siege of Awamiya merely as Saudi security attempting to apprehend “gunmen behind attacks on police.” While details and the accuracy of various reports of atrocities are unclear, with activists citing dozens of civilians killed at the hands of the government and state-aligned media claiming Shia fighters have killed multiple police, lack of independent media access has made assessing the day to day situation difficult.

This week, Beirut-based Al Mayadeen News was the first Arabic language satellite broadcaster to feature video footage coming out of besieged Awamiya. The report references military jets flying over the town and shows a uniformed man firing an RPG into an urban area. Saudi opposition activists say the man is a Saudi soldier. View the report with English subtitles here:

.@AlMayadeenNews report on #AwamiaSiege with English subtitles talks about the dire situation in the Shia town in the Qatif region in #KSA pic.twitter.com/8xLQCMREav

— Walid (@walid970721) August 3, 2017

Meanwhile, Middle East Eye has obtained a document which activists say is being placed on homes in and around the besieged town. It is a property seizure notice ordering residents to relocate and is stamped by the Saudi government’s National Joint Counterterrorism Command (NJCC). It gives instructions on relocation procedures – Middle East Eye cited activists as saying displaced families have yet to be rehoused.

Requisition order stamped by the Saudi National Joint Counterterrorism Command (NJCC) and obtained by Middle East Eye.

Though still not widely reported in US press, the Canadian government has come under fire for providing armored military vehicles that the Saudis may be using in their crackdown against civilians. In 2013 Canada struck its own record breaking deal – worth over $13 billion – to supply Saudi Arabia with an undisclosed number of Light Armored Vehicles manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS).

Last week Canada’s The Globe and Mail published an investigative report which found that, “video footage and photos have surfaced on social media allegedly showing the Islamic kingdom using Canadian weaponized equipment against Saudi civilians” specifically as part of the Awamiya assault which resulted in civilian deaths. The report confirmed, based on expert analysis, that Canadian vehicles are being used – though images analyzed showed Gurkha RPVs, made by Terradyne Armored Vehicles (based in Newmarket, Ontario) – and not the General Dynamics vehicles of the 2013 contract. It appears other private companies in Canada have been making their own deals with the Saudi government – all of which are now coming under scrutiny.

Footage out of Awamiya shows Canadian made armored vehicles in civilian neighborhoods.

Another Canadian-made @TerradyneArmor appeared used by #Saudi SSSF in #Awamiasiege against citizens. #Awamia #Qatif pic.twitter.com/F6oxZkoOCv

— Angry Qatifi (@AngryQatifi) July 30, 2017

The report prompted a response by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “We are looking at these claims very seriously… and have immediately launched a review”. Various Canadian parliamentarians have urged the current Liberal government to cancel the contract on the grounds that it allegedly violates Canada’s weapons export-control rules. Rights monitoring groups also weighed in. Amnesty International Canada secretary-general Alex Neve called on the government to stop all armored vehicle exports, saying:

Indications that Canadian-made armored vehicles are perhaps being utilized as Saudi forces mobilize in the east of the country highlight how crucial it is that the government intervene and put an immediate end to the Canadian/Saudi LAV deal.

The US and UK remain Saudi Arabia’s largest suppliers of advanced weaponry and have a long history of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses. Ironically, the kingdom’s increasingly restive Shia population is concentrated in an eastern region which produces much of the world’s oil. In 2012, a pipeline explosion possibly at the hands of Shia militants in the same region, caused the price of crude to momentarily rocket upward on fears that the “Arab Spring” had entered the oil-rich province.

It’s been widely acknowledged that since Saudi Arabia’s founding, Shia citizens have been marginalized on religious grounds by the official Wahhabi state religion which sees them as heretics in league with Iranian interests, especially since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Saudi Shia communities have been perpetual historic flashpoint areas witnessing cycles of protests, shootings, mass detentions, and long-term economic neglect. Demonstrations have long been banned throughout all of Saudi Arabia – a fact rarely highlighted in Western press reports. 

Currently, unconfirmed reports issued by Iran-aligned media claim Yemeni opposition fighters have sacked Saudi bases and small outposts in the southwestern Jizan region, inflicting troop casualties on Saudi soil for the first time. While Qatif in the east spirals out of control, blowback from Saudi Arabia’s two year long air war on Yemen is looking increasingly likely.

As we’ve reported recently in Saudi Arabia’s March Towards Civil War combined tensions and fissures at multiple levels of the Saudi state, including within the royal family itselfare nearing a breaking point. Could this latest round of extreme measures against Shia dissent – which appear increasingly desperate and are now going public – mark the beginning of a permanently fractured kingdom?

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Bitcoin Surges Towards Record Highs As ‘Cash’ Crashes Over 70%

While Bitcoin Cash (the product of the weekend’s fork) remains the third largest cryptocurrency (by market cap), it is rapidly collapsing in price as ‘supply’ picks up after Coinbase folds and will allow its clients to access their ‘cash’ coins. At the same time, Bitcoin is surging back towards $2900 on its way to record highs.

As CoinTelegraph reports, Coinbase has had to put up with the ire of its users, as well as threats of a lawsuit, in regards to the decision not to support Bitcoin Cash, and it looks as if that pressure has forced their hand.

In the lead up to the hard fork of Bitcoin on Aug. 1, which resulted in a new digital currency called Bitcoin Cash, many exchanges announced they would not be supporting the fork which was expected to be a small event.

In the end, Bitcoin Cash surged despite its low hashing power, hitting upwards of $700, and because the fork was off Bitcoin, it meant that any person holding the original currency was entitled to an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash.

However, that required exchanges to support both forks, and Coinbase was not one of them. This led to people threatening lawsuits as it was pointed out that this was a breach of property common law rules.

A change of heart

Coinbase now seems to have flip-flopped on their decision as they announced on their site that they planning to have support for Bitcoin Cash by Jan. 1, 2018

Coinbase has spent the last couple of days since the fork evaluating the activity of both the forked currency and Bitcoin itself, seeing how the Blockchain matures and if there’s the appropriate level of mining activity. Liquidity can be determined through this, and that is vital.

Coinbase has said that it was being cautious in not plunging head-long into the controversial forked coin stating it was balancing the technical stability, security or compliance of Bitcoin Cash.

Contingency plan

Coinbase has said on their site that they were never going to be able to safely support Bitcoin Cash on the day of its launch and that they were advising users to transfer their Bitcoin away from Coinbase if they wanted immediate access.

However, since they have decided to go ahead with supporting Bitcoin Cash, the exchange has made the following points clear:

  • Both Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash remain safely stored on Coinbase.

  • Customers with balances of Bitcoin at the time of the fork now have an equal quantity of Bitcoin Cash stored by Coinbase.

  • We operate by the general principle that our customers should benefit to the greatest extent possible from hard forks or other unexpected events.

Thus, once the support is fully in effect, customers will be able to withdraw Bitcoin Cash. However, Coinbase has also stated that it will make a decision on trading support at a later date. But in the meantime, customers Bitcoin Cash will remain safely stored on Coinbase.

And, among other things, that additional supply of BCC that was previously hidden, is weighing on prices. Bitcoin Cash has fallen from an all-time high of $974 to $262 today…

 

And at the same time, Bitcoin is rallying back towards record highs (as we suspect BCC sale proceeds are reinvested back into BTC)…

CoinTelegraph does note one last wild card…

So far Bitcoin has been largely unaffected by the chain split. After briefly dropping from $2,900 to $2,600 shortly before the split, Bitcoin’s price has stabilized in the $2,700 range. Virtually all Bitcoin miners are still mining Bitcoin, with almost none having switched to Bitcoin Cash. However, this could conceivably change, although it’s unlikely.

The only remaining wild card is the following scenario. What if the Bitcoin Cash network stabilizes, exchanges open up Bitcoin Cash deposits, and the price somehow remains stable (or drops then quickly rebounds)? In such a situation, Bitcoin miners might see that it is more profitable to mine Bitcoin Cash, and enough miners might switch over to cause a small increase in Bitcoin block times.

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Krauthammer Issues Stark Warning Over Mueller Investigation: “We Should Be Treading Very Carefully Here”

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer issued a stark warning to America last night in an interview with Tucker Carlson, calling the idea of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s witch hunt and the slow march towards impeachment “a catastrophic mistake.”

In an earlier Fox segment, Krauthammer responded to news that Mueller had impaneled a grand jury for the investigation, saying “Tonight’s news is not just a threat to Trump and his entourage but it is [a threat] to constitutional stability.”

He later told Carlson, “The danger here, the pity here is that we’re still discussing the legitimacy of an election of a president, 6 months in. That is never healthy for a democracy,” Krauthammer added “This has never happened to us, and that’s why I hope people would tread carefully.”

Power to the people

During yesterday’s rally in West Virginia – the state won by the largest margin – President Trump gave a particularly rousing speech, painting a picture of corrupt, Russophobic D.C. politicians trying to invalidate a fair election, rendering their votes meaningless. Trump told the crowd “We didn’t win becaues of Russia. We won because of you.”

Krauthammer’s take was that Trump’s packed rally was a reminder to the establishment that true power lies with the citizenry. “I think that the appearance that he did in W. VA tonight is a way of saying “my numbers may be down, but I command a formidable army,” adding “I think we should be treading very carefully here. This is where we are. We’re sort of sleepwalking into this.

Tucker: From the very first day, people were saying we’re gonna take him out, now this investigation looks like it has the potential to do that. If that were to happen, some of these voters might conclude that they’re not really allowed to pick their own President.

Krauthammer: That’s why I think we’re really headed into really choppy and dangerous constitutional waters. We know what the Democrats want to do, they want to get control of the House, and on day one they’re going to start impeachment.

In July, up to 25 House Democrats reportedly began working on a bill to start impeachment proceedings against Trump – though the proposal has yet to be sponsored.

 Mueller Time

While discussing the Robert Mueller’s deep-dive investigation into whether or not the Trump team colluded with Russia, Krauthammer reminded viewers that any investigation needs to start with evidence of an actual crime.

Now, I happen to think, as you know I opposed the Trump candidacy. I don’t think he’s very well fit for the presidency. But fitness is not a reason for impeachment and removal. High crimes are. Here we have a prosecutor looking for high crimes.

With Watergate you started with a crime and then you tried to find out how it happened. Here, they’re looking for a crime, perhaps they’ll find one – I don’t know. Collusion is unseemly but it ain’t a crime. 

This is an investigation in search of a crime. Show me the crime, I’m open to empirical evidence. If they show it, I’ll be open to say well maybe this ought to be prosecuted. But as of now, it is something that’s closing in, and it is very dangerous. Charles Krauthammer

Krauthammer is absolutely right. The Mueller investigation was based on the flimsy Comey memo, much like the Russian interference probes in the House and Senate are largely based on a largely discredited report.

As Trump loyalists are purged by Natl. Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and General John Kelly insulates the President – much like Nixon’s final weeks, one can’t help but wonder if we are truly living in a banana republic if a democratically elected President can be removed from office simply because the establishment doesn’t like him.

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