Daily Check-In 09/20/2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has participated over the last month in multiple interview sessions lasting for hours with investigators from the office of special counsel, Robert Mueller, sources tell ABC News.

The special counsel’s questioning of Cohen, one of the president’s closest associates over the past decade, has focused primarily on all aspects of Trump’s dealings with Russia — including financial and business dealings and the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign and its surrogates to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.

Investigators were also interested in knowing, the sources say, whether Trump or any of his associates discussed the possibility of a pardon with Cohen.

Over the 16 months that Mueller has been investigating, the president has repeatedly bashed the investigation as a partisan witch hunt, insisting there has been no collusion and no obstruction of justice.

The interviews with Cohen took place in Washington, D.C., and New York City. They were also attended in part by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.

Cohen’s participation in the meetings has been voluntary — without any guarantee of leniency from prosecutors, according to several people familiar with the situation.

ABC News has also learned that Cohen is also cooperating with a separate probe by New York state authorities into the inner workings of the Trump family charity and the Trump Organization, where Cohen served as an executive vice president and special counsel to Trump for 10 years.

The news of Cohen’s dealings with federal and state investigators comes close on the heels of another potentially perilous legal development for the president: the guilty pleas last week from Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who struck a deal with Mueller’s prosecutors in exchange for his cooperation.

As the Manafort deal was taking shape — Mueller’s team had already been talking to Cohen.

And given Cohen’s prolonged time spent in proximity to Trump, his family and the inner-workings of the Trump Organization, some insiders consider his cooperation with authorities to be one of most serious potential legal threats to confront the president.

At a plea hearing in August, Cohen told a federal judge that he had arranged for the payments to two women “in coordination with, and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” referring to then-candidate Trump, and added that he participated in the transactions with the principal purpose of influencing the election.

Those statements, under oath, were an about-face from Cohen’s public comments about his role in the deals with Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels. Cohen had previously insisted that he’d paid Clifford with his own money, on his own initiative and without the knowledge of Trump.

The president has long denied the allegations of the affairs with McDougal and Clifford and has claimed he did not know in advance about the deals Cohen secured. On the day of Cohen’s court appearance, the president openly mocked him on Twitter.

Since entering his guilty pleas last month — Cohen has also been in contact with the New York Attorney General’s office, according to multiple people close to the matter.

In June, the acting New York Attorney General, Barbara Underwood, filed a civil lawsuit accusing Trump’s charitable foundation and its directors of having “operated in persistent violation of state and federal law governing New York State charities” for more than a decade by paying off legal bills with charitable funds, promoting Trump hotels, and purchasing personal items.

The lawsuit names Trump, his sons Don Jr. and Eric, and his daughter, Ivanka, as defendants.

A representative of the Trump Foundation called the lawsuit, “politics at its very worst.”

Underwood’s office has not ruled out launching a state criminal investigation into the foundation if evidence warrants it. And she has also asked the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission to look into the charity’s operations.

Oh, shit.  While Manafort was negotiating his plea deal and starting his proffer, Cohen was already talking to Robert Mueller’s team.  (Daily Check-In 09/14/2018)  That means Mueller’s team met with both Trump’s Consigliere  and his Campaign Chairman in the same week.

Cohen can put Trump in the pre-meeting meeting for the June 9 Trump Tower meeting with the Russians.  He also implicated him Campaign Finance violations, and admitted to bank fraud to further those violations.  That’s just a couple of the thousands of shady things he’s been accused of participating in.

According to the Steele Dossier at AnnotatedDossier.com, Cohen was involved with previous attempts to open a Trump Tower in Moscow, met with Kremlin agents in Prague, served as a liaison between the Trump Campaign and the Kremlin, and tried to cover up Manafort’s Ukrainian scandal and Carter Page’s meetings with Rosneft.

Now, Mueller has verbal confirmation from Cohen on all of it.

Mueller almost certainly had this information for a long time, but now he’s got the confession.  One rumor I’m hearing that will be in Friday’s post is that Cohen had his personal phone with him on the Prague trip.  I feel like I’ve mentioned this before, but I wanted to say this again.  If Cohen had his normal, personal, not a burner phone with him on this trip to Prague, then it wouldn’t take much to track his movements.  Hell, even a burner or international phone could be tracked, if they knew what to look for.

How?  Tower triangulation, to start.  Every active cell phone is looking for a connection, and the companies running those towers have to keep track of them, so that they can route calls from one tower to the next.  If Cohen is on a train or driving, the phone will ping multiple towers, looking for the one with the best signal, and the network will route the call.  The carrier will have it in their logs that Cohen’s phone pinged the following towers at the following times with the following response times.  Using a little bit of math, his location can be pinpointed within a dozen or so meters for the entire trip.  If he made calls or texts to other numbers when he was up to some shady shit, then the investigators will do the same with those numbers, and if they’re within a few meters of each other at any point, Bingo.  This is also assuming they didn’t hotmic his phone, or have surveillance on him or the people he communicated with.

More importantly, Cohen is working with the New York State Attorney General’s Office on the several state investigations into Trump Organization and Trump Foundation.  As much as Mueller is the largest threat to Trump, New York is the dangerous for different reasons.  As I’ve mentioned many times before, state charges cannot be pardoned by the Federal government.  If Cohen delivers Trump and his family to New York State, he’s toast.  His only hope then would be to never leave office and hope that he can’t be removed due to state criminal charges.

Something of note, there is no public cooperation agreement between Cohen.  Not saying that there isn’t a private one, but I find that part interesting.  That tells me that either Cohen is hoping for a deal, they have a private one, the prosecutors want to see what he knows first, or Cohen doesn’t care and just wants to bury Trump.  There’s probably some combination of factors, but I really like the last idea the most.  Remember when Trump leaked the information about the McDougal payoff after the Special Master in the case decided that it was privileged information? (Daily Check-In 07/20/2018)  Cohen talking to Muells is payback for Trump fucking Cohen.  At least in part.  There’s probably the whole not-dying-in-prison-or-tried-for-treason thing too, but the fact that revenge is a motivator makes me feel all warm inside.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

See above.  I try to keep these separate, but pretty soon the crossovers will look like one of those CW Superhero specials with 38 shows working together for a very complicated theme.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

Agency officials aren’t assenting to Trump’s demand for “immediate declassification” of some materials related to the Russia investigation, and are likely to push for redactions, according to people with knowledge of the matter. At the same time, the FBI is willing to probe sexual assault allegations that have jeopardized Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court — despite Trump’s claims otherwise — but it can’t do so without a formal White House request.

The tension adds to an already fraught relationship between the president and the law enforcement agencies he oversees. Trump has repeatedly attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for failing to quash Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling in the 2016 elections, and he’s accused the Justice Department and FBI of targeting him and Republicans because of political bias.

The controversies are seen as a test for FBI Director Christopher Wray, who has repeatedly vowed to defend the agency’s work from political manipulation. While Sessions has taken the brunt of the president’s ire, the FBI was on the receiving end last month when Trump said he’d “get involved” if the Justice Department and FBI didn’t “start doing their job.” He accused the agencies of turning a blind eye to possible ties between Democrats and Russia, and instead focusing on him and his campaign.

 

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS & #METOO – THE KAVANAUGH RAPEYTIME ADVENTURE SERIES

Ford might choose to appear on Monday, and make a powerful opening statement accusing Republicans of running a sham investigation. Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has figured out it would be a good idea to interview her in advance of Monday’s hearings, but the staffers conducting the interview would be unlikely to have the ability or the will to follow up on investigative leads. Ford can and should refuse to give her inquisitors two bites at the apple. When she gets in front of the cameras, she should remind the country:

• This concerns attempted rape, something far more serious than the allegations raised by Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas during his 1991 confirmation hearings.

•  The FBI investigated Hill’s claims within three days (Republicans could have sent the FBI and gotten a report back by now if they hadn’t been stalling).

• Mark Judge allegedly witnessed the attack, but Republicans refuse to call him as a witness, so we can assume that they regard him as a person who would harm Kavanaugh’s defense.

• Republicans’ insistence that Ford provide even more detail is hypocritical (since they don’t want an FBI investigation) and misguided, given the large body of research concerning memories of victims of sexual assault (e.g., gaps in memory are common).

• If Kavanaugh was an excessive drinker in high school, as has been alleged, he’s in no position to testify accurately as to what he did and didn’t do.

• The unsubstantiated attacks on Ford by members such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reveal that they have predetermined the outcome of the hearing. (“She had plenty of chances to bring it up, she did not,” Graham said. “We’re not going to play this game anymore. We [want] Miss Ford to be heard but clearly to me, in August, she hired a lawyer who’s a very activist lawyer, who does not like President Trump and paid for a polygraph.”) But this is no “game,” and Ford has every right to seek counsel to fend off attacks like the very ones that Republican senators are making.

• There is no need to rush to a vote in the next few days. None. Republicans have set an artificial deadline for fear that more damaging information might come out.

In short, Ford can use the hearing to put the senators, who have behaved shabbily, on defense.

Ford has another option: Hold a news conference with her own experts and make the case directly to the American people. She can sit down for an interview with a respected TV journalist. She can say whatever she wants, make certain that experts are heard and even recount the much more extensive investigative efforts undertaken when Hill stepped forward. To make her case to the American people and convince them that she is sincere, honest and credible, Ford doesn’t need the Senate.

Ford also might have the ability to go to local police to investigate if the White House refuses to activate the FBI. The Hill reports: “Can Brett Kavanaugh be investigated for an attempted rape he allegedly committed over three decades ago? In Maryland, it’s entirely possible under the law, according to some experts. Now members of the American public are calling for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh to open an investigation, especially if the FBI doesn’t.” That would be a process over which neither the Senate nor the Trump administration would have any control.

At least he’s got the approval Kiddie Diddler Crowd.

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

Nothing will change for the better in their home market, they and other D.C. vendors say, until the sellers form a union to take on Levy, EMS, and Skins management. A group of peeved vendors showed up at FedExField on Sunday to hand out union cards and information sheets about the pay discrepancies between their hometown and others.

There was also a movement to get vendors to boycott FedExField this coming Sunday, when the Skins will play the Packers. The Eagles and Ravens will also have home games, and vendor organizers advised those that weren’t already planning on staying away from FedExField to do so.

“I will not work there,” Harol said. “I will not contribute to what they’re doing.”

Skins spokesman Tony Wyllie told Deadspin that while the team is responsible for bringing the new concessionaire, Levy, into the stadium, vendor issues are not the team’s problem. “Our deal is with Levy,” Wyllie said. “[Beer sellers] are not Redskins employees. We have no insight on what they pay. We don’t make the deals.”

 

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

It’s not 2Pac, but at least he’ll spend most of, if not the rest of his life in jail.

 

PRIESTS

 

ENVIRONMENT, HURRICANES, AND SCIENCE

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PUERTO RICO

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Thursday.  If history is any clue, Friday will be nuts.

One of these days, I’m going to go through all of these posts to find the posts I’ve talked about doing.  I keep saying I want to write this or that, but then I get distracted by the next shiny object or ball of twine.

I wonder what Friday’s Ball of Twine will be.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 09/19/2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

In July 2016, Steele reportedly sent an FBI agent in Rome the information he had collected. That agent then sent the opposition research to an agent in the FBI’s New York office, according to ABC’s sources. The documents were sent to the “wrong person,” ABC’s sources said, and the documents sat untouched in the field office for weeks, as counterintelligence officials in D.C. began looking into former Trump campaign associate Carter Page and chairman Paul Manafort.

“It took a long period of time for the New York field office to see it and realize what it was,” another source told ABC News. FBI officials in D.C. did not receive the dossier until September 2016.

I just finished listening to Russian Roulette yesterday, and Steele’s trip to Rome was discussed.  Steele gave the first memos from the Dossier to his FBI contact, who gave them to his superiors in the NY office.  Meanwhile it got “misplaced” and ignored for more than a month while the DC office started the Crossfire Hurricane operation.

I can see two explanations.  The first, and most likely, is it got lost by accident.  Things happen in an office, emails get missed, paperwork gets sent to the wrong person.  Shit happens.

The second and more sinister explanation is that someone in the NY office, which contained some notorious Anti-Clinton people, buried it on purpose.  By the time it came to light, it was only two months before the election.

Most likely, it was the first.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen emails and memos get lost in a sea of information.  However, I’m not ruling out the second one yet.  There was enough weirdness with the Weiner Laptop and Giuliani’s involvement that I don’t rule anything out.

 

By early August, the sense of alarm had become so acute that CIA Director John Brennan called White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. “I need to get in to see the president,” Brennan said, with unusual urgency in his voice.

Brennan had just spent two days sequestered in his office reviewing a small mountain of material on Russia. The conference table at the center of the dark-paneled room was stacked with dozens of binders bearing stamps of TS/SCI — for “top secret, sensitive compartmented information” — and code words corresponding to collection platforms aimed at the Kremlin.

There were piles of finished assessments, but Brennan had also ordered up what agency veterans call the “raw stuff” — unprocessed material from informants, listening devices, computer implants and other sources. Clearing his schedule, Brennan pored over all of it, his door closed, staying so late that the glow through his office windows remained visible deep into the night from the darkened driveway that winds past the headquarters building’s main entrance.

The description of Brennan and this article is adapted from “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy,” a Washington Post book, which will be published Oct. 2 by Custom House.

Looks like I’ve got another one for the book club.

I wish I could say I was surprised, but no. No, I’m not surprised.

I’m not surprised that Donald Trump, a man who has not shown even the slightest bit of intellectual curiosity and has likely never read a full book in his entire life, would listen to a bunch of television hosts and producers for his propaganda outfit over the real professionals and experts in the White House.  They want to talk about a scandal, and are not above making up one to suit their narrative.  They did it with Seth Rich (Daily Check-In 8/3/2017).

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

WOODWARD AND THE ANONYMOUS OP-ED

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

We should note that if Trump even bothered to pretend the Russia investigation should be conducted with professionalism and objectivity, he would agree that it doesn’t matter whether it’s being overseen by the attorney general, the deputy attorney general or any other official. The only reason why it would be “unfair” for Sessions to follow Justice Department guidance and recuse himself from the Russia investigation is that it means he can’t protect Trump.

All this is familiar, but it offers a reminder that, for Trump, all this — the Russia investigation, the identity of the people who are in senior leadership at the Justice Department — is intensely personal. When he’s feeling wronged or put-upon, he lashes out. Which is why, after November, his cold war with the Justice Department could turn hot.

If the Democrats take control of the House after the midterm elections, they will immediately move to provide the oversight of the administration that has been absent over the last 20 or so months, which means a raft of investigations and a mountain of subpoenas. That will certainly include investigations of the Russia scandal (and when Republicans claim they’re making too big a deal out of an unprecedented attack on the American electoral system by a hostile foreign power, we might remember that Republicans launched seven separate investigations of Benghazi).

These investigations will involve demands for documents, administration and campaign officials being called to testify, televised hearings, and a drumbeat of negative news that no amount of tweets shouting “No collusion!” will make disappear. Trump will inevitably become enraged.

We know that, more than almost any other president who came before him, Trump chafes at the restraints of the job — a Congress that won’t do what he wants, media that criticize him instead of celebrating his limitless greatness, courts that tell him what he can and can’t do, and pesky laws that limit his ability to see his every impulse carried out. If he finds himself “unfairly” besieged by congressional Democrats who suddenly have actual power, how is he likely to react? Probably by using what power he does have to strike back.

That will, in all likelihood, mean lashing out at a Justice Department that he feels has unfairly failed to protect him. Which would mean not just saying “I don’t have an attorney general,” but firing the one he does have and replacing him with one who knows where his primary loyalty is supposed to lie. He’ll probably fire Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, too. Then that new attorney general can do the “fair” thing, fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, and shut this whole “witch hunt” down. And for good measure, maybe initiate a purge of the whole department, rooting out and jettisoning anyone whose loyalty to Trump is in question.

Trump already believes there is a conspiracy in the Justice Department to undermine him — what he calls “a cancer in our country” — and has been doing things such as ordering the disclosure of documents he think will prove embarrassing to the department. Next year, he may find ways to go after them that we haven’t even thought of yet. He’ll be scared and angry and desperate, so there’s no telling what he might do.

I’ve been trying to wargame this out, but honestly, I don’t want to get my hopes up by predicting events if good things happen, and Trump is cornered like a wounded animal.  However, I do see a timeline forming.

If the Democrats win the House, regardless of what happens in the Senate, Trump will go nuts and fire people during the Lame Duck session.  Lame Duck is the term used for a politician or legislative body for the time period between the election of their successor and their last day in office.  In a normal universe, nothing happens in this time aside from some last minute bills or ceremonial functions.  Occasionally, if the Lame Duck Congress was voted out and would cause a major shift in policy or procedure, they’ll try to pass all of their wish list items that they couldn’t before.

Anyway, back to my point.  If the Democrats win the House, Trump will fire a bunch of people because he’s a petulant bitch and he’ll blame everyone but himself for his behavior.  Anyone who wasn’t “loyal enough” to him will get fired.  For most, this will be a blessing, as they no longer have to work with this dipshit.  Trump will blame Jeff Sessions, and will fire him and try to appoint Lindsay Graham or Chris Christie or Matlock to the Attorney General’s job, hoping that they will kill the Mueller Investigation.  Not only will this not end the investigation, but would only give them 45 days to appoint a new Attorney General and get them through the Senate before the next session starts and they have to start all over again.  That’s a very small window.

If the Dems win both the House and Senate, Trump’s screwed.  Any firings that require an appointment will have to go through the new Senate.  McConnell might try to force through as many appointments as he could, but there wouldn’t be enough time to replace half the Cabinet.  Any appointments that come through will have to be a compromise.  Any SCOTUS replacements, any Cabinet officials, any Ambassadors, any and all of them can be held up, and should.  This is on top of the dozens of investigations that would start up in January 2019.

Worst case scenario is if the Republicans keep both houses of Congress.  Trump will feel emboldened to do whatever the fuck he wants, and he’ll still screw shit up.

All I can predict is we’ll see some crazy shit.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS AND #METOO – THE KAVANAUGH RAPEYTIME ADVENTURE SERIES

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

HURRICANES

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  I could really use a nice, slow, meandering day, but screw that.

I’m not sure what’s coming around the bend on the Kavanaugh stuff.  The GOP are posturing, demanding a show trial without any investigation into the claims, and without any other witnesses.  It’s a shit show.  Out of the ten Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, only 1 is running for reelection, and that’s Ted Cruz.  Only one of these fuckers are facing the voters this year, and he’s so despised by everyone no one on the committee will miss him.

I don’t know how this will go.  Whatever happens, I’ll cover it.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/18/18

Tuesday, September 18th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Here’s why what Trump is proposing with exposing sources is dangerous.

There’s a difference between declassifying documents while keeping identities and methods redacted vs. full on declassification without redaction.

In the first, which is what we got back in July when the Carter Page FISA application was released with blocks of text blacked out ( Daily Check-In 07/20/2018), showed a completely by-the-book process but hid several key parts, mostly regarding intelligence sources. Those sources didn’t work on just the Carter Page case, but are working on other cases as well, as needed. Those sources could be anything from intercepted phone calls and texts to actual spies talking to US and Allied spy agencies.

What Trump’s trying to do is expose all of the methods and spies used to gather evidence against Carter Page. Even if the names are left out, the events can be reverse engineered to show who was the spy.

For example, let’s say that Carter Page and 5 people were in a room talking about the Rosneft deal. Out of those 5, one of them took notes on the Criminal Fucking Conspiracy and told the CIA what they saw.  These details were originally redacted, but the unredacted version gives details that only these 6 people would know. It won’t take them long to reverse engineer who talked to the CIA, and that person would be as good as dead.

It’s not just real people, either. If the UK secretly hacked the cell phone of the Rosneft board member who negotiated with Carter Page, releasing this info would burn that source. That board member would destroy their phone and get the IT department to do a full and complete sweep of the building.

That’s why this is a big deal.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, EMOLUMENTS, AND OTHER LAWSUITS

I sincerely apologize for this in advance.

A copy of the book, Full Disclosure, was obtained by the Guardian. In it, Daniels describes her mounting disbelief as Trump began to win primary contests in 2016 for the Republican presidential nomination. Former castmates whom she had not heard from in years, but who had heard her story about sleeping with Trump in 2006, would call her up to marvel at the news.

“It will never happen, I would say,” Daniels writes. “He doesn’t even want to be president.”

But as Trump kept winning, Daniels writes, she began to think she might be in danger. The story she had to tell about Trump seemed more sensitive the more he won. And she had already been threatened once, years earlier, and warned never to tell the story about Trump, she has claimed.

No, not that.

The crux of the book, however, follows Daniels’ decision to go public with her story about Trump just before the election, after years of hiding the affair, she writes, from her then-husband. Going public meant that she and her daughter would be less vulnerable to attack, she reasoned. She recounts a story she has told elsewhere, of being approached by a large man in a gym parking lot in 2011 and warned not to tell the story about Trump. Trump has said the parking lot story is “a total con job.”

No, not that either.

The memoir narrates Daniels’ first experiences as a stripper while still in high school, and how she broke into the porn industry, through which she rose to become an award-winning director, writer and star.

It was in that role that Daniels attended a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, California, in 2006, where she and two colleagues greeted golfers between holes. There she first sees Trump: “He had a red cap, a Trump crest as a placeholder for the MAGA slogan not one of us could see coming.”

Trump’s bodyguard invites Daniels to dinner, which turns out to be an invitation to Trump’s penthouse, she writes, in a description of alleged events that Daniels has disclosed previously but which in the book are rendered with new and lurid detail. She describes Trump’s penis as “smaller than average” but “not freakishly small”.

Close.  Disgustingly close.

“He knows he has an unusual penis,” Daniels writes. “It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool…

A toadstool.

“I lay there, annoyed that I was getting fucked by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart…

Toad

WHY??????   WHHYYYYYYYYYY????

“It may have been the least impressive sex I’d ever had, but clearly, he didn’t share that opinion.”

Aside from being happily married, this is why I would never fuck a porn star. But mostly because my A-game isn’t even her warm-up.  This would be like playing catch with Tom Brady or fighting Ronda Rousey.  It’s the greatest achievement of your sports life, but for them it’s a pity play with some crazy fan.

Daniels’ alleged relationship with Trump included one moment in 2007, she writes, in which she is with Trump in a hotel room watching a Shark Week broadcast on cable television when he receives a phone call from Hillary Clinton, then running against Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Then, to make it crazier, Hillary Clinton called,” Daniels writes. “He had a whole conversation about the race, repeatedly mentioning ‘our plan’…

“Even while he was on the phone with Hillary, his attention kept going back to the sharks.”

What in the actual fuck?  The timing is a bit nuts, but not completely out of the question.  At the time, Trump was still a Democrat, at least in name.  He didn’t leave the party until the black guy won.  Just like a lot of other old racists that I know.

Since I described Trump’s unimpressive, mushroom shaped flaccid tiny little pecker, here’s some eye bleach.

Box of puppies

Starbucks Kitty

Pittie

Pair

 

 

Now, here’s a question for you as we head for the November midterm elections, sure to be seen as a referendum on the president: Could Donald Trump be a one-man version of either Enron or Lehman Brothers, someone who cooked “the books” until, well, he imploded?

Since we’ve never seen his tax returns, right now we really don’t know. What we do know is that he’s been dodging bullets ever since the Justice Department accused him of violating the Fair Housing Act in his operation of 39 buildings in New York City in 1973. Unlike famed 1920s mob boss Al Capone, he may never get done in by something as simple as tax evasion, but time will tell.

Rest assured of one thing though: He won’t go down easily, even if he is already the subject of multiple investigations and a plethora of legal slings and arrows. Of course, his methods should be familiar. As President Calvin Coolidge so famously put it, “the business of America is business.” And the business of business is to circumvent or avoid the heat… until, of course, it can’t.

 

TRUMP THE MUSHROOM DICKED RUSSIAN ASSET

Kavanaugh

Fuck them.  They didn’t have to leave their home and go into hiding because of these allegations, like Dr. Ford’s family.

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is unable to account for the whereabouts of nearly 1,500 migrant children who illegally entered the United States alone this year and were placed with sponsors after leaving federal shelters, according to congressional findings released on Tuesday.

The revelation echoes an admission in April by the Department of Health and Human Services that the government had similarly lost track of an additional 1,475 migrant children it had moved out of shelters last year.

In findings that lawmakers described as troubling, Senate investigators said the department could not determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,488 out of 11,254 children the agency had placed with sponsors in 2018, based on follow-up calls from April 1 to June 30.

The inability to track the whereabouts of migrant children after they have been released to sponsors has raised concerns that they could end up with human traffickers or be used as laborers by people posing as relatives.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

SCOTUS AND #METOO – THE KAVANAUGH RAPEYTIME ADVENTURE SERIES

Absofuckinglutely.  Maybe, just maybe, if someone was afraid of a sexual assault they performed as a kid would haunt them the rest of their lives, they might not do it in the first place.  Besides, like I said yesterday in Daily Check-In 09/17/2018, this “Boys will be boys” bullshit only applies to white men in privileged upbringings.  The same old white men using this excuse today would be lining up to try a 17 year old black male as an adult for the attempted rape of a 15 year old white girl.

Tanya Harrell was working at a McDonald’s in New Orleans, making $8.15 an hour, when a co-worker approached her and then touched her “in my private areas,” she says. “He was very aggressive. And I just never thought that he would do something like that.”

When Harrell tried to report the incident to her managers, “they didn’t take it very seriously,” she told the Cut. Then, she says, a different co-worker forced her into a bathroom stall at work. He “did a lot of uncomfortable things towards me,” she recounted, emotion building in her voice — including, she claims, exposing himself to her. “When I was telling him to stop he didn’t stop,” she said. “I almost got raped, I got assaulted, I got treated unfairly … he didn’t show me no respect.”

After what happened when she reported the first incident, she didn’t even bother speaking up. “The owners really don’t care,” she said. “I really feel like they don’t care at all.”

In May, Harrell and nine other McDonald’s employees filed a federal complaint against the company. Four months later, they say they haven’t received any response — so today, they’re going on strike to protest what they describe as the company’s inability, or unwillingness, to prevent sexual harassment in its restaurants. Today’s action is not just bold, but historic, advocates say: This is the first-ever nationwide strike against sexual harassment, and it’s led by working-class women of color in a moment of reckoning that tends to be dominated by accounts of the wealthy and privileged.

Today’s action will take place during the lunchtime rush, in ten cities simultaneously: Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Orlando, New Orleans, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Durham. This is wholly unprecedented, according to Annelise Orleck, a professor of history at Dartmouth College. “A multi-state strike on the same day at the same time? Yes, this is the first,” she told the Cut. “We’re starting to see strikes again being considered viable options among workers … This strike is a sign of a very different kind of labor movement” — one that’s “led by women of color.”

“There’s a lot going on among workers,” she added. “It’s not just a handful of actresses in Hollywood.”

The ten women behind the May sexual-harassment charges, which were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with the help of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, say they experienced lewd comments, propositions, groping, and even sexual assault while working at the fast-food chain. They also say that when they reported what had happened to them, they were ignored, if not retaliated against.

But these charges have yet to get McDonald’s attention, it seems. “They have not reacted at all,” Harrell said.

I’m officially triggered. I’m furious. I’m speaking now mostly to the women coming out in defense of . How absolutely dare you. Just because someone is a “nice guy”, a pillar of the community, a good husband, father, or basketball coach, does not mean he never assaulted anyone. Just because he didn’t attack you doesn’t mean he never attacked anyone. Super seemingly nice people do horrible things. It’s incredibly hard to step forward and speak your abuse story. I myself have not yet done that. It’s even harder when someone is respected, seemingly a good person. The fact is, not ONE person publicly shaming was there. Not ONE of you can say what definitively took place. How dare women film commercials or sign their name professing what a great man he is. Not ONE of you were there. Don’t get me started on the Men. You know who you are, dudes who know they have their own skeletons, terrified that one day their victims will bravely step forward. She deserves to be listened to. She deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. She deserves to be believed. I’m shaking. Shame on  trying to sweep this under the rug. None of you were there.None of you felt her fear. None of you have ANY RIGHT to come to his defense.The hypocrisy of the rushing through this candidate is despicable, & so is every single person who comes to his defense.

 

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

The Supreme Court today denied a stay, and lifted a temporary stay by Chief Justice Roberts, in Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s (CREW) landmark dark money case against Crossroad GPS and the Federal Election Commission (FEC). This decision, following similar decisive decisions by the district court and court of appeals this week, means that effective immediately, anyone making more than $250 in express advocacy ads — ads that tell viewers who to vote for or against — must now disclose the identities of all contributors who gave more than $200 in a year. They must also identify who among those contributors earmarked their contributions for express ads. Because of this decision, the contributors for a major category of dark money spending this fall will have to be disclosed to the public.

 

HURRICANES

 

ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  I’m thinking of shifting some sections around, and also looking to get back to some regular story posts.

I’m not sure what’s coming around the bend this week, but there’s two points I’ve seen.

First, the Kavanaugh nomination has gone sideways faster than a drift car.  Rumors are floating around that the GOP expected a sexual harassment or assault allegation to arise at some point, but not this one.  They had that letter of 65 women ready to go too fast.  Plus, character witnesses from the school across town saying that he didn’t try to rape any of them is a pretty shallow thing.  Also, Kavanaugh’s story has already changed.   One spokesperson said that the two were just having some rough play, but that counters his earlier claims that he was never at the party.  We’re only a couple days in, and it’s gone weird.  Trump’s general silence on the matter is interesting as well.  No 4AM tweetstorms calling her out, no rushing to Kavanaugh’s defense, and no full-throated support for him.  We’ve gotten Trump’s standard don’t-believe-the-woman response.  It’s almost like they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Second, the Carter Page push.  Why now?  Why make this push to out all of these sources now?  Remember, Manafort flipped on Friday ( Daily Check-In 09/14/2018), and the first thing he did on Monday (Daily Check-In 09/17/2018 ) was order this release.  He’s desperate and grasping at straws.  He can’t fight this in court, he’s tried firing Mueller, Rosenstein, and Sessions multiple times and failed, and his allies now the minute the Democrats win the House, his number is up.  They’ll tie him up in investigations from now until the heat death of the universe, even after Impeachment.  His only shots at avoiding a disgraceful exit are hoping the Supreme Court rules that he’s above the law, or that there’s enough doubt about the investigation due to sources getting blown or witnesses not being able to show up.  With Kavanaugh looking like things might blow up for him, his only other tactic is blow everything up.  I mean that in the metaphorical sense, hopefully not the literal one.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/17/2018

The weekend and Monday, September 17th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Manafort

Just as a reminder from Daily Check-In 09/14/2018, Paul Manafort is a convicted felon and cooperating with the Special Counselor’s Office.

 

Ken Starr

“And so it’s all the more helpful that Paul Manafort has said, ‘You – you have me and I’m going to give you the truth and nothing but the truth,'” Starr said. “So I think this is this is really good for the country… Let’s get to the truth of the matter.”

Thank you.  That’s all we’re looking for is to get to the truth.  Each piece of information that comes out, each lead, each leak, each story gets us one step closer.

 

Declassification

Here’s another braindead idea from Dipshit Cowpoke Devin Nunes and “I didn’t see it” Jim Jordan.  They’re once again picking the Carter Page Hill to die on. This time, they’ve convinced Trump to declassify EVERYTHING regarding the investigation, in their never-ending efforts to prove a non-existent conspiracy in the “Deep State”, hurt American Intelligence and Crime fighting, get spies killed, and try to protect themselves and Trump, they’ve convinced The Dotard to declassify everything regarding Carter Page’s FISA Applications.  They’re hoping this will “redeem Trump”.  All it will do is give Fox News a chance to scream about typos or try to pretend that there is some massive conspiracy, when the rest of the world will see that Carter Page is a goddamned spy for the Russians.

This will be right up there with the Nunes Memo (Daily Check-In 02/02/2018) and the first Carter Page FISA Application release (Daily Check-In 07/20/2018).  Both of those went over like a fart in church.

 

Flynn

Looks like Flynn has served his usefulness, for now.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, EMOLUMENTS, AND OTHER LAWSUITS

 

WOODWARD AND THE ANONYMOUS OP-ED

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

Declassification

 

Puerto Rico

 

FEMA

 

Mattis

 

Russia

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Julian Assange

The Nov. 30, 2010, missive is part of a much larger trove of WikiLeaks emails, chat logs, financial records, secretly recorded footage and other documents leaked to the AP. The files provide both an intimate look at the radical transparency organization and an early hint of Assange’s budding relationship with Moscow.

The ex-hacker’s links to the Kremlin would become increasingly salient before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, when the FBI says Russia’s military intelligence agency directly supplied WikiLeaks with stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and other Democratic figures.

In a statement posted to Twitter, WikiLeaks said Assange never applied for the visa or authored the letter, naming a former associate of his as the alleged source of the document. WikiLeaks did not return a follow-up email seeking clarification on whether Shamir applied on his behalf, or whether a lawyer or someone else at WikiLeaks might have drafted the letter. The Russian Embassy in London said it doesn’t discuss the personal details of visa applicants.

WikiLeaks has repeatedly been hit by unauthorized disclosures , but the tens of thousands of files obtained by the AP may be the biggest leak yet.

The AP has confirmed the authenticity of many of the documents by running them by five former WikiLeaks associates or by verifying non-public details such as bank accounts, telephone numbers or airline tickets .

One of the former associates, an ex-employee, identified two of the names that frequently appeared in the documents’ metadata, “Jessica Longley” and “Jim Evans Mowing,” as pseudonyms assigned to two WikiLeaks laptops.

All five former associates spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, in some cases because they didn’t want their past association with WikiLeaks to become public, and in others because they feared legal retaliation or harassment from the group’s supporters.

Among other things, the documents lay out Assange’s campaign to avoid being arrested and extradited to Sweden over allegations that he sexually molested one woman and raped another during a trip to the Scandinavian country in August 2010.

Gee, what a surprise.  Right before Julian Assange got trapped in the closet at the Ecuadorian Embassy, he tried to get a visa to enter Russia.  This was when he was avoiding extradition to Sweden for charges of sexual assault and rape.

Assange, the “surprise sex enthusiast”, couldn’t wait for the Russians to respond, and ran to the Ecuadorian Embassy for asylum, where’s been waiting since then, attacking democracy around the world.

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

SCOTUS

Ok, let me explain… There is no time, let me sum up.

Over the weekend, more details came out surrounding the sexual assault claims against Brett Kavanaugh, from the accuser herself, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor and clinical researcher.  When he was 17, he attempted to rape a 15 year old girl at a house party.  He grabbed her on her way to the bathroom, dragged her into a bedroom, threw her on the bed, and pinned her down with his body.  When she tried to scream for help, Brett covered her mouth and turned the music up.  Brett’s friend, Mark Judge, tried to join in, but was so drunk he bumped into Brett and knocked him off of her while Brett was trying to get her clothes and swimsuit off.  That gave her the window she needed to escape.  She bolted out of the bedroom and locked herself in the bathroom for a couple hours.

That took place in the early 80’s.  She didn’t tell anyone about that until 2012, when she told her therapist the details.  Since then, Dr. Ford has only told a few close friends and family members, until Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  That’s when she wrote her Congresswoman and Senator.

Since then, it’s been a shitshow.  Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh will testify next Monday, in the same Senate hearing.  This might be the first time they’ve been in the same place since he tried to force himself onto and into her.

Meanwhile, this has turned into a full-blown crisis for the GOP and a rallying cry for the #MeToo and #BelieveHer movements.  The trolls are crawling out and attacking Dr. Ford, wondering why she didn’t come forward 30 years ago.

30 years ago, back when “Boys will be Boys”, “She was asking for it”, and all of the other victim blaming euphemisms used back then.  Hell, it’s still used today, but the early 80’s was even before “No means No.”

A man accused of attempted rape is being recommended for the Supreme Court to make abortion illegal.

And his friend, Mark Judge, is a creepy videographer and writer.  Check out the Rumor Mill section for more.

Women are fed up, and rightly so.  The GOP is trying to ram Kavanaugh through, against the cries of women across the country.  If they keep this up, the GOP will lose women for good.

By the way, this whole bullshit about “He was just a kid” is just that.  Bullshit.  He was a 17 year old, football playing boy going into his senior year of High School, who along with a buddy tried to rape a 15 year old girl.  He got away with it because he could.  He was a jock, a meathead, one of the popular kids, and went to a private school for wealthy kids.  I knew kids like that growing up, and there was almost always this sense of entitlement that they should get whatever they wanted.  Hell, I saw that shit at public school at the suburbs in the 90’s after the beginnings of the “No Means No” movement.  The crap I saw and heard from private school kids was far, far worse.  Besides, change that from a white kid in the suburbs to a black kid in the city trying to rape a 15 year old white girl and he gets labeled a thug and tried as an adult.

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

THAT’S RACIST

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS

 

ELECTION 2018

 

HURRICANES

 

ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

CONSTITUTION DAY

A Crime A Day: On this day in 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia. It would give Congress the power to provide for the punishment of three federal crimes and defined just one of them: Treason. Today, 18 USC §2381 still makes it a federal crime for a person owing allegiance to the United States to levy war against the country, or adhere to the country’s enemies, giving them aid and comfort in the U.S. or elsewhere. And other federal statutes still punish the other two crimes mentioned in the Constitution — counterfeiting money and being a pirate.

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for the last few days.

It’s been a ride.  And it gets weirder from here.  On Tuesday, Stormy Daniels’s book comes out.  I don’t want to have to talk about Trump’s penis, but there’s quite a few stories about it.  I will do my best to add some eye bleach to the stories.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/14/2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

MANAFORT FLIPPED!!!!!!!!!!

Paul Manfort, Campaign Chairman for President Donald J. Trump’s election campaign in 2016, pleaded guilty to Witness Tampering Conspiracy and Conspiracy Against the United States in DC District Court.  In addition to this, he also agreed to plead guilty to the leftover charges from his EDVA case that resulted in a hung jury.  As part of this deal, Manafort agrees to cooperate completely with any and all investigations going forward.

Paul Manafort, the go-between for the Trump team and the Russian Mafia, lobbyist for the Party of Regions and Opposition Bloc in Ukraine, advocate for tyrants, criminals, and the most despicable humans of the late 20th and early 21st century, has turned state’s witness.

Paulie Walnuts has flipped on Trump.

This is big, possibly “Game Over” big.  Manafort was involved multiple aspects of the campaign, and directly ties Trump to the Russians.  Manafort was at the June 9th meeting, and also was supposedly at the pre-meeting a couple days earlier with Michael Cohen and Donnie Jr.  (Daily Check-In 07/26/2018). Manafort also organized the change in language at the RNC that softened their stance on Ukraine to favor Russia.

 

Penalties

Manafort’s not getting off with a slap on the wrist.  He’s forfeiting $46 million in assets and cash, including a life insurance policy and 4 homes.  One of those homes is his an apartment in Trump Tower.

The Federal Government now owns property in Trump Tower, and can do with it whatever the fuck they want.  Normally, they would sell this property in an auction, but I’m really hoping they do something else with it, like turn it into a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.  Maybe the John S. McCain III Memorial Veterans Affairs Office?

 

Co-Conspirators

It’s not just Trump who’s shitting bricks right now, but every lobbyist, banker, politician, criminal, tailor, judge, donor, and anyone else who’s ever done anything even slightly shady in the last 30 years is panicking.  Remember how Bob Dole joined the board of AUB? (Daily Check-In 08/28/2018) The playmakers who made that happen are the same people in this mess.

The first up on the shit list are the Hapsburg Group and Greg Craig.  They were specified directly in Manafort’s plea deal.  Craig was a former member of Obama’s White House Counsel’s Office in his first year.  I’m looking forward to the mental gymnastics that will take place to explain Manafort was framed into lying about this, but the Democrat was obviously guilty.

Documents

These are definitely worth a read.

 

Pardon

Before anyone says Trump will just pardon him out of this, I think the window’s closed on that option.  Not only was it a horribly bad idea to begin with (GTKYG-Pardon Limitations), but now the government has what they want from Manafort, and it likely has even more on Trump.

If Trump tried to pardon Manafort now, not only would it screw over Manafort it would obviously be a corrupt and criminal action meant to cover up crimes he’s connected to.

There’s a rumor about a delay that I’ll cover in the Rumor Mill section.

 

Response from the White House

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

 

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

WOODWARD AND THE ANONYMOUS OP-ED

  

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

  

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS

On Thursday, Senate Democrats disclosed that they had referred a complaint regarding President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the F.B.I. for investigation. The complaint came from a woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were both in high school, more than thirty years ago.

The woman, who has asked not to be identified, first approached Democratic lawmakers in July, shortly after Trump nominated Kavanaugh. The allegation dates back to the early nineteen-eighties, when Kavanaugh was a high-school student at Georgetown Preparatory School, in Bethesda, Maryland, and the woman attended a nearby high school. In the letter, the woman alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her. She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. She was able to free herself. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result.

 

 

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

HURRICANES

 

ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Friday.  This was one hell of a day.  Like I said earlier, there’s a rumor going around about a delay showing up at the courthouse.

According to some reports, Paul Manafort’s team and the Special Counselor’s team arrived at the courthouse earlier in the morning, around 9:00 to 9:30, but didn’t appear before Judge Berman until an hour an a half later, around 11:00AM.  While this delay isn’t completely unheard of, one rumor going around is that Manafort was led into the Grand Jury convened for the Russian Investigation and was asked some questions, specifically about the June 9 meeting and whether or not Trump knew about it ahead of time.  That way, in case Trump tried a pardon, they would already have Manafort’s information on record.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/13/2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

It looks like Friday’s going to be one hell of a day for Manafort and Mueller news.

Before the National Rifle Association dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to flip a competitive, Democratic-held Senate seat, the gun-rights group’s chief lobbyist apparently gave the race’s Republican challenger a heads-up.

Chris Cox, the top political strategist for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), assured Montana Republican Matt Rosendale that the group would spend heavily to support his bid to unseat Sen. Jon Tester, Rosendale told attendees at a July event in Washington.

PAY DIRT exclusively obtained audio of Rosendale’s remarks, which good-government groups say raise serious questions of potentially illicit coordination between Rosendale and an independent political group supporting his campaign.

“I fully expect the NRA is going to come in… in August sometime,” Rosendale said in response to a question about independent political spenders in the race. “The Supreme Court confirmations are big. That’s what sent the NRA over the line. Because in ’12, with [Republican Senate nominee Denny Rehberg] they stayed out, they stayed out of Montana. But Chris Cox told me, he’s like, ‘We’re going to be in this race.’”

Rosendale was slightly off in terms of timing, but the NRA did come through as Cox apparently promised. Early this month, the group spent more than $400,000 on ads hitting Tester over the precise issue that Rosendale mentioned—the senator’s votes on Supreme Court nominations.

Rosendale’s remarks are potentially problematic, as the NRA-ILA, a 501(c)(4) “dark-money” group, is legally barred from coordinating its ad buys with a federal campaign. As explained by nonprofit tax law attorney Holly Schadler, illegal coordination may occur “if the organization has substantial discussions with the campaign about an expenditure, or if the organization informs the campaign about a planned communication related to the campaign and the campaign signals its agreement with the suggestion to make that communication.”

The NRA, who was working with the Russians, coordinated political ads with a senate candidate in Montana in the summer of 2016.

It might not seem like it’s connected at first, if it wasn’t for ALL of the Russian connections to the NRA.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

WOODWARD AND THE ANONYMOUS OP-ED

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

MENTAL STATE

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SCOTUS

 

BOSTON

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS

 

#METOO

 

HURRICANES AND THE ENVIRONMENT

So, they’re sending half a million cans of Bud Light and Coors Light?

 

ELECTION 2018

 

dark money spending

  1. U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  2. Crossroads GPS
  3. Americans for Prosperity
  4. National Rifle Association
  5. American Future Fund
  6. American Action Network
  7. League of Conservative Voters
  8. National Association of Realtors
  9. Americans for Job Security
  10. 45Committee
  11. Americans for Tax Reform
  12. Patriot Majority USA
  13. 60 Plus Association
  14. VoteVets Action Fund
  15. Planned Parenthood Action Fund

According to FactCheck.org, all of them except Patriot Majority USA, VoteVets, and Planned Parenthood are Conservative/Republican groups.  Not a single Liberal/Democratic group cracked the Top 10.  The NRA spent more than the Liberal groups did combined.  Also, look at the groups and what they focus on.  Free trade, tax cuts for the wealthy, gun sales, and home construction.

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Thursday.  Friday looks big, as some major Paul Manafort news is coming down the pipe.  It’s almost like I’m typing this on a Friday afternoon, just hours after the information came out.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 09/12/2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

 But secret documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News reveal a previously undisclosed aspect of the meeting: a complex web of financial transactions among some of the planners and participants who moved money from Russia and Switzerland to the British Virgin Islands, Bangkok, and a small office park in New Jersey.

The documents show Aras Agalarov, a billionaire real estate developer close to both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, at the center of this vast network and how he used accounts overseas to filter money to himself, his son, and at least two people who attended the Trump Tower meeting. The records also offer new insight into the murky financial world inhabited by many of Trump’s associates, who use shell companies and secret bank accounts to quickly and quietly move money across the globe.

Now, four federal law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News, investigators are focused on two bursts of transactions that bank examiners deemed suspicious: one a short time after the meeting and another immediately after the November 2016 presidential election.

The first set came just 11 days after the June 9 meeting, when an offshore company controlled by Agalarov wired more than $19.5 million to his account at a bank in New York.

The second flurry began shortly after Trump was elected. The Agalarov family started sending what would amount to $1.2 million from their bank in Russia to an account in New Jersey controlled by the billionaire’s son, pop singer Emin Agalarov, and two of his friends. The account had been virtually dormant since the summer of 2015, according to records reviewed by BuzzFeed News, and bankers found it strange that activity in Emin Agalarov’s checking account surged after Trump’s victory.

After the election, that New Jersey account sent money to a company controlled by Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a longtime business associate of the Agalarovs and their representative at the Trump Tower meeting. Kaveladze’s company, meanwhile, had long funded a music business set up by the person who first proposed the meeting to the Trump camp, Emin Agalarov’s brash British publicist, Rob Goldstone.

Bankers were suspicious for a number of reasons. For one, Kaveladze was an employee of the Agalarovs’ Crocus Group, their sprawling construction and real estate empire based in Russia. Why, bankers wondered, would the funds start in Russia, briefly make a pit stop in Emin Agalarov’s New Jersey account, and finally be sent to Corsy International? Balber, the attorney for Kaveladze and the Agalarovs, would not address questions about specific transactions, but said they were all legitimate.

Second, bankers noted that Kaveladze — who after the election pushed for an additional get-together with the Trumps and some of the original Tower meeting participants — had previously been investigated for money laundering. According to a Government Accountability Office report published in 2000, Kaveladze established more than 2,000 corporations in Delaware for Russian real estate brokers, then set up bank accounts for them in the US. The brokers used these accounts to launder about $1.4 billion, the report found. Kaveladze was never charged with a crime and he referred to the GAO’s probe as a “witch hunt.”

Finally, bankers focused on the New Jersey address of Corsy International: a small, windowless office in an unremarkable building near the Hudson River. It was suspicious, officials reported, that such large sums flowed through such a nondescript location. When examiners began investigating this address, they discovered at least eight other companies located there, all of them controlled by Kaveladze, Emin Agalarov, or their associates.

The headquarters for these companies is Suite 309. There is no sign on the door. When a reporter visited last month, a man refused to open the door and said he was unable to talk or even accept a business card.

But in July 2017, after the New York Times broke the news of the Trump Tower meeting, there was another flurry of financial activity. This time, it centered around the man who first reached out to the Trump campaign — Rob Goldstone, Emin Agalarov’s publicist.

During his congressional testimony, Goldstone said that Emin Agalarov was his only client. But he said he didn’t know the “chain of command” of who paid him.

The documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News show that most of the funds flowing into Goldstone’s music business, Oui 2 Entertainment, and his personal checking account came from Corsy International, Kaveladze’s company. Between July 2015 and January 2017, Oui 2 received more than half a million dollars from Corsy International. Bank examiners found this suspicious because Corsy was an import-export business, while Oui 2 was involved with music. It didn’t make sense, bankers reported, for these two companies to conduct transactions with one another.

Bankers were also concerned that Goldstone set up the meeting and received money through Kaveladze, who had previously been investigated for money laundering involving Russians.

While they couldn’t explain these transfers, bankers flagged additional suspicious behavior in Goldstone’s account shortly after the Trump Tower meeting came to light.

By July 24, 2017, about two weeks after the New York Times broke the story about the meeting, Goldstone had left for Bangkok. He told congressional investigators that he wanted to take time off, equating it to a college student’s “gap year,” so he could write a book. But bank officials questioned his financial behavior there, particularly a series of 37 ATM withdrawals totaling about $8,400. The last of those withdrawals was made in November 2017. His business partner, David Tominello, appears to have traveled to Bangkok as well, making 51 withdrawals during the same period for about $7,600. Bankers noted that the withdrawals came shortly after news broke about Goldstone’s role in the Trump Tower meeting.

On Aug. 31, 2017, while they were still overseas, Goldstone and Tominello tapped into a home equity line of credit to withdraw money. The two received the loan on an apartment in New Jersey and used the funds to transfer about $32,000 to Oui 2. Examiners said the two men were essentially using a loan to make “payroll,” which bankers thought was unusual, especially when they had such a lucrative source of income through Kaveladze’s company. They also found it “concerning” that the home equity line of credit funded ATM cash withdrawals in Bangkok.

Four Federal Law Enforcement Officials? Assuming that it’s not 4 people on a team all talking to the reporter at once, this is huge. BFN got 4 people to go on the record for this, and they have enough detailed information to trace the cash flow.

The money flow itself is incriminating enough, but combined with the dates, then Team Trump is screwed. June 20th is right after the Trump Tower meeting, the day that Manafort was named the Campaign Chairman, and before any changes were made to the Republican Party platform regarding Ukraine. The second time, November 21st, is right after the election, and right when Michael Cohen started accepting bribes for Trump. Manafort was closing on his fraudulent loan around this time, too.

So, the guy that worked with Trump to host Miss Universe in Moscow and get on Putin’s good side made a lot of suspicious, large payments right around the time of the meeting, and they expect us to believe this is all coincidental?

 

WOODWARD AND THE ANONYMOUS OP-ED

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

POLLS

 

SCOTUS

Q&A

Collins

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

STUDENT LOANS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

DRUGS

 

PRIESTS

 

#METOO

 

HURRICANES

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

I recommend checking this thread out.  She links to a few of the threads I talked about yesterday (Daily Check-In 09/11/2018), as well as some new ones.  She talks about how to explain the Weaponized Craziness to others.  It’s important that we do going forward.  This shit is too crazy for most people.

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  It’s a little lighter than normal, things are little nuts in the real world today.  I hope to get back to a slight level of normalcy for Thursday and Friday.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur