Friday, April 28th. This is going to be a long one.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION: VESELNITSKAYA IS A SPY, ADMITS TO BEING AN INFORMANT
The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election.
But newly released emails show that in at least one instance two years earlier, the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm.
Ms. Veselnitskaya also appears to have recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties. During an interview to be broadcast Friday by NBC News, she acknowledged that she was not merely a private lawyer but a source of information for a top Kremlin official, Yuri Y. Chaika, the prosecutor general.
- Veselnitskaya memo from Trump Tower Russia meeting
- Russian who promised Clinton dirt to Team Trump has deep Kremlin ties
- Lawyer in Trump Tower meeting admits to being informant for Moscow
Natalya Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with top Trump campaign officials at Trump Tower in 2016, admitted to being an informant for a top Kremlin official, reports the New York Times.
Why it matters: Veselnitskaya previously denied having ties to Russia’s government and insisted she was a private attorney. The revelation now raises questions about who she was working for when she met with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner in 2016. The meeting is a focus of Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation.
What she said: “I am a lawyer, and I am an informant … Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general.”
What she did: She “worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm,” the NYT’s Andrew Kramer and Sharon LaFraniere write.
How we know: Newly released emails, obtained by Dossier, an organization run by a former tycoon and anti-Putin campaigner, reveal Veselnitskaya’s ties to the Kremlin official. And when presented with the emails in an interview with NBC News’ Richard Engel, she revealed she had been informing the official.
Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian
Lawyer Spy that met with Trump’s team during the June 9th meeting, admitted in an interview with Richard Engle that she was “an informant” for the Crown Prosecutor of Russia, their equivalent of our Attorney General. She was caught editing legal documents that originated from the Crown Prosecutor, and modified them to work on a case she worked on.
The Swiss called her a spy a couple months back. (Daily Check-In 01/29/2018)
But the Russians only reached out to Trump before the election, right?
The outreach from the Russians after the 2016 election was one of the new details that stemmed from the release of the Republican report on the Russia investigation, as well as a lengthy Democratic dissent that disputed the Republican conclusion there was no evidence of collusion between Trump’s team and Russia.In the dissent, Democrats cite a November 28, 2016, email from publicist Rob Goldstone to Trump’s assistant, Rhona Graff, which said that “Aras Agalarov has asked me to pass on this document in the hope it can be passed on to the appropriate team.”“Later that day, Graff forwarded to Steve Bannon the email with Agalarov’s document regarding the Magnitsky Act as an attachment, explaining, ‘The PE [President Elect] knows Aras well. Rob is his rep in the US and sent this on. Not sure how to proceed, if at all.'”…Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Friday that Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya reached out to the Trump family after the election with a request to follow up on efforts to repeal the Magnitsky Act, the 2012 Russian sanctions the US enacted over human rights abuses.
Wow. November 28th, 2016. That’s less than a week before Jared Kushner’s and Michael Flynn’s meeting with the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak in Trump Tower. (Daily Check-In 12/01/2017). Of course, they wanted to talk about the Magnitsky Act.
But I’m sure that the Russians wouldn’t try to contact the Trump Team through other methods, right?
Washington (CNN)The National Rifle Association is setting aside years of documents related to its interactions with a Kremlin-linked banker, as the gun-rights group appears to be bracing for a possible investigation, according to sources familiar with the situation.The NRA has faced fresh scrutiny from congressional investigators about its finances and ties to Alexander Torshin, one of the 17 prominent Russian government officials the US Treasury Department recently slapped with sanctions. The gun-rights group has said it is reexamining its relationship with Torshin, who is a lifetime NRA member, in the wake of the sanctions.The renewed attention has highlighted the close-knit if sometimes uneasy alliance between top NRA officials and Torshin — a relationship that ensnared members of Trump’s team during the presidential campaign, inviting further congressional scrutiny.
Ok, so the Russians used the NRA to establish contact with Team Trump through Jeff Sessions and the Foreign Policy team. I’ve been on the NRA’s nuts like a tick on a dog’s dick for a while, (Daily Check-In 10/2/2017 and Daily Check-In 01/18/2018) but this is the first I’ve heard about them using the Keebler Nazi to get Trump to talk to the Russians.
But it’s not like these activities started back during the infancy of the campaign, right?
- Flynn And His Son Met With Russian Ambassador In December 2015
- Michael Flynn and Son Met With Russia Ambassador Before RT Gala
Oh, For Fuck’s Sake!
On their way to meet with Putin at the Russia Today Gala, they met with Kislyak at the Ambassador’s OWN FUCKING HOUSE?! Really?!
This not only puts the seeds of treason being planted, but also directly implicates Mike Flynn Jr. Flipping Flynn described several of their crimes, and that Flynn likely flipped to save his son’s life.
Of course, Mike Flynn is now a cooperating witness. I wonder if he thought for a second about his battle if he didn’t cooperate.
- Judge tosses ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s civil case challenging special counsel’s authority in Russia probe
- Judge Dismisses Manafort’s Civil Case Disputing Mueller’s Authority
- Spicy Mic: Manafort Complaint DENIED
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Fuck you Manafort!
This was a Hail Mary by Paul Manafort. He had no realistic chance of getting the criminal charges dismissed through a civil lawsuit, but he could disrupt things and force Mueller to expose his plans against him.
But fuck that noise.
- Former CIA Director John Brennan: Trump should ‘stay tuned’ on Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation
HIJINKS ON THE HILL: HOUSE INTEL REPUBLICANS CLAIM NO COLLUSION EVEN AFTER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MET WITH ADMITTED SPY, CATHOLIC PAUL RYAN FIRES CATHOLIC HOUSE CHAPLAIN FOR DOING GOOD CATHOLIC THINGS LIKE PRAYING FOR POOR PEOPLE
- House Republicans accuse U.S. intelligence community of ‘significant … tradecraft failings’ in report on Russian interference
- The House Intelligence Committee Just Released Its Report On The Russia Investigation. Read It Here.
- House intel panel releases final report on Russian election interference, marking end of its politically charged probe
House Intelligence Committee Republicans released a redacted version of their final reportfrom a year-long probe into Russia’s “multifaceted” influence operation, which accuses the intelligence community of “significant intelligence tradecraft failings” in determining that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 election to help President Trump.
The report generally absolves Trump and his associates of wrongdoing, finding “no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government.” The report does, however, criticize both the Trump and Clinton campaigns for “poor judgment and ill-considered actions,” such as Trump campaign officials’ decision to meet with a Russian lawyer offering compromising information on Hillary Clinton in Trump Tower in June 2016.
It also criticizes the Obama administration for a “slow and inconsistent” response to mounting Russian threats.
House Intelligence Committee Democrats refused to endorse the report, claiming that the GOP intentionally steered the investigation away from scrutiny of the president as well as manipulating the interview schedule, refusing to issue subpoenas, and otherwise undermining the integrity of the probe, which they believe is still incomplete.
House Intelligence Committee Republicans stated that the report is based on interviews with 73 witnesses and a review of over 300,000 documents.
The Republicans in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence just declared war on the United States Intelligence Community. It will not end well for the Republicans.
Giving it a quick glance, this is one of the most twisted, ridiculous, partisan hack jobs that has ever come out of Congress.
Nearly all of their findings can be debunked using OSINT (open source intelligence) like this blog, and ignore obvious things like facts.
The only thing it does, aside from piss off the IC, is give Trump the release and vindication he’s been looking for.
If I was in the prediction game, I’d say that we’re going to hear a lot about Devin’s role in leaking Intel to Portugal in the next week, and several other skeletons in his closet will be coming out soon.
- Minority View on House Intel Report, from the Democrats on the Committee
- Schiff: GOP Blocked Dem Effort To Learn About Trump Jr. Call Ahead Of Meeting
- No Collusion? 8 Key Takeaways from the GOP House Intel Committee’s Russia Report
- “Misleading and Unsupported By the Facts”: House Intelligence Democrats Slam GOP Russia Report
- Analysis | 3 ways the House Republicans’ Russia report directly contradicts the intelligence community
- House intelligence committee report recommends repealing law that experts say Trump campaign violated
- Caroline Orr on HPSCI Report
- Caroline Orr on the NRA Backchannel to Russia
I have not had a chance yet to read the minority view, but there was a ton of interesting information.
One of those pieces was the case of the blocked caller ID.
On June 9th, 2016, Donnie Jr. received three calls before the meeting. The first and last were from people known to the investigation and related to the meeting. The middle was a blocked number. So, the call log was Meeting Member, Blocked, Meeting Member. All right in a row on a private cell phone that wasn’t widely circulated.
So, who was the blocked number?
According to testimony and research, Donald Trump uses a blocked number. Karen McDougal confirmed this in her interview with Anderson Cooper. (Daily Check-In 03/22/2018).
Was the blocked number a bill collector, or Donald Trump? This sounds like an important piece of information, and an easy one to get. A subpoena or two to some telephone companies would identify the numbers and who owns them. This should be something that the whole investigation wants to get to the bottom of, right?
Wrong. The GOP blocked any and all efforts to find out whose number that was, and instead ran interference for the Trump Campaign.
Don’t worry about the phone number too much. Mueller has it.
He is the Republican representative from PA-7, and is the 45th Republican member of Congress to retire this in this session.
Funny how it is that as soon as old white men stand to make money from weed, there’s a consistent push to legalize it.
- House Chaplain Allegedly Forced Out by Paul Ryan for Slamming Tax Cuts for Rich – Friendly Atheist
- Ryan Mocked for Ousting of House Chaplain
- Paul Ryan Allegedly Ousted House Chaplain for Disrespecting His Tax Cuts
- House Chaplain Who Prayed About GOP Tax Bill Fired By Paul Ryan
The Hill reported that four different sources ― two Democrats and two Republicans ― said Conroy was told he had to quit or he would be fired. There’s been no reason given for why he was let go, but Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) tells HuffPost that his GOP colleagues have pointed him to a prayer that Conroy made on the House floor last fall amid the debate on the GOP tax bill.
I know good Catholics, good Christians, and good people. Paul Ryan is none of the above.
- Feds seized more than a dozen of Michael Cohen’s phones
- Federal Agents Seized 16 Old Cellphones in the Michael Cohen Raids. Everybody’s Going to Jail
My question is what was the condition of these phones, what types, and how old were they?
I can see how a family could easily have a bunch of old phones lying around from the last decade or so. Between my wife and I, we probably have a dozen iPhones floating around the house, but only two are in use at one time. The kid isn’t old enough for his own phone yet, but in the next upgrade cycle or two, he’ll get one of our hand me downs. In that case, I can see how a man would have 16 phones in his house.
That said, it’s still a lot of phones to have lying around, and the Feds aren’t likely to bust a search warrant by grabbing a pile of phones belonging to the family. They probably had phone numbers, s/n’s, sim card numbers, and a bunch of other identifying info from the last few months, which indicates that these phones were active over the last few months. That’s some shady ass shit.
- Michael Avenatti’s stunning prediction: We’ll depose Trump before Mueller
- Judge temporarily puts Stormy Daniels lawsuit on hold
The judge is putting this on hold for 90 days. Why 90 days? Because Cohen will likely be indicted by then.
So, the mobbed up lawyer who had to take out a second mortgage to pay a porn star $130,000 somehow had enough money laying around to loan $26 million to one of his buddies that owned a taxi medallion business?
COLD WAR 2.0
- North and South Korea agree to end Korean War in historic accord
- READ: Full declaration of North and South Korean summit
- North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Live updates
- The Washington Post: North and South Korea agree to work toward ‘common goal’ of denuclearization
- Korean War to be declared officially over after 65 years, following historic summit between North and South
- What playing Russian poker taught me about Putin
- How the UAE’s Chinese-Made Drone Is Changing the War in Yemen
- Deripaska agrees to relinquish control of sanction-hit Rusal
After 65 years, the two countries on the Korean Peninsula are finally ending their war. It’s about time, but I’m suspicious about all of the underlying factors.
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- Several White House medical unit staffers describe pressure to hand out meds
- DEA official: Jackson may have broken the law by handing out Ambien
I’m sure that if I worked at the White House, I’d need a ton of drugs, too.
Here’s a great post about how the bad people around Trump have suffered.
If you ever feel bad about 45, think of how good his associates’ lives would be if he lost in 2016 and enjoy a little schadenfreude:
Adm Jackson would be up for promotion – instead he’ll head towards retirement
Manafort, Gates and Cohen would be happily taking money from oligarchs
Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer would be running an RNC on the cusp of major 2018 gains
Steve Bannon would be a primary kingmaker with a fully funded outrage machine
Keith Schiller and Hope Hicks would be making good money as top aides to Trump TV
Melania Trump would have returned to a life of lazy luxury, easily ignoring her husband’s myriad affairs
Michael Flynn and Popadopalous would be rich from lobbying for authoritarian governments like Turkey
The Mooch ~~would still be married to his wife and ~~ would have witnessed the birth of their first child
Tom Price would still be a congressman and head of a major committee
would still be CEO of Exxonhave happily retired without being humiliated for a year before being canned on the can
Gary Cohn would still be at Goldman Sachs
H R McMaster wouldn’t have had to retire
And Finally –
Donald Trump wouldn’t have to wake up every morning knowing that he will fail in the biggest, most humiliating way possible, as his precious empire crumbles and the presidency he won turns into the dictionary definition of a Pyrrhic victory.
They made their choices. And they will all end up with nothing.
Edit: Mr. and Mrs. Mooch made up! You can make up the “suck his own cock” reference from there
Edit 2: for the “drain the swamp crowd”, this group consists of true public servants whose lives have been wrecked (McMaster), unqualified individuals who would never be near the White House in another administration, and individuals with sketchy/problematic pasts. These staffing failures begin and end with Trump’s belief in loyalty over quality.
A second note – he’s not “draining the swamp”. He brought a lot of this flotsam with him. Our institutions (the media, DoJ, FBI, the courts, congressional oversight) are pushing them out.
Edit 3: I forgot some!
Paul Ryan wouldn’t be retiring as Speaker
Rob Porter wouldn’t have been outed as a wife beater
Don Jr. wouldn’t have gotten divorced
- These Might Be Scott Pruitt’s Last Days. His Replacement Will Be Just as Bad.
- Mick Mulvaney Met With Lobbyist Donors While at Trump White House
- The Washington Post: Trump administration prepares to unravel Obama-era fuel-efficiency rules for automobiles
WORLD LEADERS AND TRUMP
- London mayor warns Trump that Britons will voice their ‘freedom of speech’ during his UK visit
- Britons are planning to make Trump’s visit to London very unpleasant
- President Trump meets Germany’s Merkel
- They Were Trained for This Moment
- David Hogg on the NoNRA petition
- Man who wrestled gun from Waffle House shooter raises $150,000 for victims’ families – CBS News
- Pence tweets thanks to Waffle House hero
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- The End of Republican Accountability
- Arizona, Colorado Schools Close For 2nd Day As Teacher Uprising Rages On
- The Republican Party, Not Trump, Is the Real Threat to American Democracy
- Virginia Newspaper Runs KKK Recruitment Flyer In Full On Front Page
- Bill making it legal to ban gays & lesbians from adopting passes in Oklahoma
- Once eager to tout Trump friendship, Rick Scott now plays it down
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
- Anderson Cooper Blasts trump’s ‘FOX & Friends’ Interview: President Is Like ‘A Crazy Person On A Park Bench’
- Trump Had ‘Great Time’ Doing Untamed Fox Interview, Wants To Return Monthly
- You could be flirting on dating apps with paid impersonators
- Claims by Joy Reid’s Cybersecurity Expert Fall Apart
- ‘Mass firing’ at conservative site RedState
I was almost starting to like RedState. They offered good insight from a conservative point of view without going full MAGA.
- Puerto Rico opens bid for statehood, enlists 5.6 million islanders in US
- Anger spreads across Puerto Rico over lack of basic services
I look forward to one day welcoming Puerto Rico into statehood for the United State of America.
Espero algún día darle la bienvenida a Puerto Rico a la estadidad para el Estado de los Estados Unidos.
I hope Google didn’t fuck me on that translation. Mi espanol es muy mal.
SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY
- U.S. economy slows in first quarter as consumer spending brakes sharply
- US economy slowed in first quarter after Trump’s $1.5tn tax cuts
Funny how it is that a tax cut for the wealthy that increases uncertainty on the middle class results in lower consumer spending. That’s crazy talk, like saying the grass gets wet when it rains.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- Source: AG gave Cole County prosecutor evidence alleging new crime by Greitens The Missouri attorney general’s office has turned over evidence to the Cole County prosecutor accusing Gov. Eric Greitens of knowingly filing false … amp.kansascity.com
- Tom Brokaw Accused of Sexual Misconduct — Including Groping — by 2 Women at NBC News: Reports
- Comey Responds To Trump’s Claim That He’s ‘A Leaker’: ‘He’s Just Wrong’
- Fifa refers to integrity rules after Trump’s threat over US World Cup bid
- Tax havens prepare to expose corrupt tycoons and oligarchs | News | The Times
- Yiannopoulos’ business implodes after death of crypto-billionaire
According to the sources, Yiannopoulos had been expecting to instead receive significant financial backing from the banking heir and cryptocurrency billionaire Matthew Mellon. But those hopes were dashed with Mellon’s unexpected death from an apparent drug overdose on April 16.
As sad as I would be about seeing Tom Brokaw get hammered on his accusations, I will doubly enjoy watching Milo suffer.
Besides, I’m getting used to watching my childhood heroes fall. I grew up in the 80’s with Hulk Hogan, Joe Paterno, and Bill Cosby as some of my idols.
TIME FOR A CIVICS LESSON
- A Memorial to Lynching Victims Opens Today in Alabama – The Daily Beast
- Connecticut lawmakers pass measure to give electoral votes to presidential candidate who wins popular vote | TheHill
Connecticut is looking to join the National Popular Vote Coalition. The idea behind this is pretty simple; states that join the coalition will pledge their votes in the electoral college to the winner of the national popular vote. When a plurality of the electoral votes are pledged to the coalition, then the winner of the popular vote will also automatically win the electoral college as well.
Currently, including Connecticut, 11 states have pledged 165 electoral votes. 270 is needed to win the election, so another 105 votes are needed to enact the coalition.
- Thread from TrickFreee about the HIC Report
- Eric Garland with a YouTube video about Middle East Foreign Policy
- Ale thread on Veselnitskaya’s emails
- Eric Garland thread on how crazy shit’s gonna get
I recommend reading all of the threads. Especially the craziness of the last one. Eric’s ideas only sound crazy when compared to normal reality, and not the clusterfuck of this timeline.
That’s it for today. This is one of the longest daily entries yet.
Thanks to the House Intel Committee, I have an idea for an article in the next week or two. I’m going to debunk their findings, using my findings, as far as possible, and see how much of their findings can be disproved using open source intelligence. I want to see how much I’ve gotten so far.
That assumes I get time to write this weekend. I have a very busy weekend ahead.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur