Daily Check-In 04/27/2018

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.

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?

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.

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.

 

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 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.

Here’s a link to the report.

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 9.02.32 PM

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.

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.

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.

 

COHEN/STORMYGATE

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.

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

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

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

Rex Tillerson would still be CEO of Exxon have 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

 

WORLD LEADERS AND TRUMP

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

I was almost starting to like RedState.  They offered good insight from a conservative point of view without going full MAGA.

PUERTO RICO

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

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

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

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.

 

RUMOR MILL

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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