Daily Check-In 02/09/2018

Friday.  The opening night of the Olympics.  So, it’s a quiet night, right?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

TRUMP WILL NOT RELEASE DEMOCRAT MEMO ‘RIGHT AWAY’

Ok, raise your hands if you’re surprised by this at all?  Anyone?  Anyone?

So, it looks like Trump, for the first time in his life, is worried about secrets getting out.  Of course, when it comes to exposing his secrets, then he cares.

I’m sure this will be released right after his taxes, or Melania’s immigration paperwork, or Jared’s finalized SF-86 get released.

Of course, this isn’t over.  Not by a long shot.  Representative Adam Schiff also ran this past the DOJ and FBI to see if they had any problems with it, but they didn’t, aside from at most a couple small redactions.  The Democrats can still release the memo legally by bringing this to a vote in the House, or it could be read on the House or Senate floor.

 

ANOTHER WIFEBEATER RESIGNS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

Less than a day after Trump praised Rob Porter, a speechwriter who allegedly beat his wife resigned today.

Hiring wife beaters, criminals, and cheats isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.

 

RACHEL BRAND, NO. 3 AT JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, TO STEP DOWN

Rachel Brand stepped down from her position as the Third in Command at the Department of Justice today.  This is still a developing story, but one rumor is that a Fortune 500 company gave her an offer that she couldn’t refuse.

Why is this important?  Because of the ever-present threat of Donald Trump trying to fire Rod Rosenstein as Deputy Attorney General.

Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any matters involving the campaign, which includes the Russian Investigation, Jeff can’t do anything to remove Robert Mueller or stop his team.  If Rod Rosenstein is fired, then oversight of the investigation would fall to the Associate Attorney General, Rachel Brand.

But she just quit, so who’s next?  Well, that’s where things get interesting.

According to Executive Order 13787, the next in line is the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA).  Up until October, that attorney was Dana Boente, but he was fired by Jeff Sessions the weekend before Manafort and Gates were giving a matching set of bracelets.  Currently, the Acting US Attorney in EDVA is Tracy Doherty-McCormick.  She was named the first assistant back in October 2016.

Fun Fact.  EO 13787 revoked EO 13775 by changing the order of succession to the following:

(a) United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia;

(b) United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina; and

(c) United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

13775 had the following:

(a) United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia;

(b) United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and

(c) United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

But 13775 revoked EO 13672 signed by President Obama a week before he left office.  In that order, Obama changed the succession chain to the following:

(a) United States Attorney for the District of Columbia;

(b) United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and

(c) United States Attorney for the Central District of California.

Notice how he took EDVA out of the list?  Obama purposefully removed Dana Boente from the succession list.  At the time, people assumed that Boente must have done something wrong to piss off Obama.  When Trump signed this on February 9, 2017, this was seen as nothing more than a ‘fuck you’ to Obama.  Instead, Obama gave Trump a poison pill to swallow.

EDVA was already working with the FBI on the Russian Investigation in February.  Boente briefed Rosenstein on Trump and Russia.

By the time Sessions fired Boente, the first series of indictments were being delivered.  Dana Boente is now the FBI General Counsel.  Trump and Sessions can’t touch him now.

Obama played Trump like a fiddle.  He told him to not hire Mike Flynn, and he put this poison pill EO out there, knowing that Trump just couldn’t help himself in undoing what Obama did.

 

DUMBED DOWN BRIEFINGS STILL TOO HARD FOR TRUMP TO READ

Trump, by all standards, is functionally illiterate.  Not just illiterate, but wallows in his ignorance like a pig wallows in shit.

At this point, I’m surprised he was able to give the Russians any Intel from Mossad.  Did someone give him a coloring book with Mossad’s secrets in it?

 

JOHN KELLY WANTS TO STEP DOWN

Kelly supposedly offered his resignation, but it was refused.  As much as Trump hates people making him look bad, he hates confrontation more.

He might be wondering what he has to do to get fired.

 

SENATOR FEINSTEIN SHREDS GRASSLEY’S CRIMINAL REFERRAL OF STEELE

The short version is “I can’t say exactly why this is bullshit, but it’s bullshit on so many levels, it’s a video game of bullshit.”

 

TRANSCRIPT FROM FEBRUARY 5 HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE MEETING SHOW NUNES IS A TOTAL DICK

If you get time, read this.  The disfunction and partisan brinksmanship is astounding.  The entire GOP delegation wants to make this an investigation into Christopher Steele, while the Democrats ask “Why won’t you approve our subpoenas for Cohen’s bank accounts or travel records?”

 

DOZENS IN WHITE HOUSE UNABLE TO GET PERMANENT SECURITY CLEARANCE

This, of course, includes Jared Kushner.

There are many things that can cause the FBI to disqualify someone from getting a security clearance, but in normal times, one or two people not being able to get a clearance after several months would be a major scandal and embarrassment.  For Trump, this is barely a blip on the radar.

 

JONATHAN WINER: HIS STORY

Winer is likely to be the target in Devin Nunes’s next memo.  Winer, a former member of the State Department, passed the Cody Shearer memo on to Christopher Steele.  What really scared Winer was that these two different people both alluded to potential corruption and blackmail connections to Trump from Russia, and they did so with independent sources.

It’s like the Intel version of the Scientific Method.  If the research can be recreated, it fucking happened.

 

TRUMP MAD AT HOPE HICKS

Meanwhile, the President has told associates he’s dismayed at how the allegations involving his former staff secretary accused of domestic abuse were handled, but he isn’t certain how to solve the mushrooming controversy, a person familiar with the conversations tells CNN. Trump was not consulted when Hicks and several other aides drafted a White House statement defending Porter, and he is under the impression that Hicks has let her romantic relationship with Porter cloud her judgment, a source familiar said.

 

RAND PAUL: THE ONE MAN GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

Rand Paul, who just voted to cut taxes by $1.5 Trillion a few weeks back, decided that he didn’t want any more government spending increases, so he started a filibuster to prevent the Senate from voting on a spending bill until after Midnight.  This caused the government to shut down for a few hours.

Remember, this guy got the fuck beat out of him by his neighbor a couple months ago.

 

RUMOR MILL:  ALEX WALDMAN

This came in from Ale, aka @aliasvaughn around 8pm EST.

Remember last week or so when Sean Hannity got locked out of Twitter, and Julian Assange DM’ed a parody account saying he had some dirt on Senator Mark Warner?  Daily Check-In 01/30/2018 has the details on that.

Well, it looks like these men aren’t too bright.  Even after getting outed, Sean ran a story on his Fox News show claiming that Mark Warner was corrupt because he was texting with a lobbyist “connected to Clinton.”  Sean had screenshots of Mark texting a man named Alex Waldman, telling him to be careful.  Sean wanted to make this into a devastating scandal.  And it would have worked too, if Marco Rubio didn’t say on Twitter that Mark Warner told the committee about this conversation months ago.

While Sean tried to make this the next biggest scandal that will take down the Russian Investigation this week, Ale caught something interesting.

The man in the texts was Alex Waldman.  And according to Ale, he works for Oleg Deripaska.

Don’t know who that is?  Neither do I.  I can’t find much on Google about this guy, except a LinkedIn profile of a man by that name who works at Highline Capital Management in New York, and formerly for Kynikos Associates.  Both of these are financial companies that do mutual funds and investment stuff…I think.

So, why is a banker in New York being told by a United States Senator on the Intelligence Committee being told to be careful?  And what was Julian Assange doing with these texts?

I don’t know who he is, but he may be in danger.

I don’t know what Ale’s working at, or what she knows, but her research is solid and her hunches are usually spot-on.

 

 

That’s it for today.  I want to put together a story or two over the weekend, but I’ll see what I can do.  Next article up in the queue is about voter rolls versus voting machines, and why one is a much easier hacking target than the other.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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