Tuesday, May 8th.
COHEN/STORMYGATE: TRUMP LAWYER RECEIVED $500K FROM VEKSELBERG, $400K FROM NOVARTIS, $200K FROM AT&T DAYS AFTER ELECTION TO SAME COMPANY, BANK ACCOUNT USED TO PAY OFF STORMY DANIELS
- Chief among these suspicious financial transactions are approximately $500,000 in payments received from Mr. Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian Oligarch with an estimated net worth of nearly $13 Billion. Mr. Vekselberg and his cousin Mr. Andrew Intrater routed eight payments to Mr. Cohen through a company named Columbus Nova LLC (“Columbus”) beginning in January 2017 and continuing until at least August 2017.
- Columbus Nova is a private equity firm founded in 2000 with over $2 billion in assets. Mr. Intrater is the CEO of Columbus Nova. Columbus Nova is the U.S. investment vehicle for Renova Group, a multi-national company controlled by Mr. Vekselberg. Renova group holds investments in various interests, including mining, oil, and telecommunications.
You know the definition of stupid? Using the same LLC and bank account for accepting bribes and paying off witnesses.
Starting in the days following the election, Viktor Vekselberg paid Donald Trump’s personal lawyer half of a million dollars. It’s very likely that Stormy Daniels’s payment was reimbursed by Russian money.
But it wasn’t just Russia. Novartis, a pharmaceutical company that gained access to the White House, paid almost $400k to Essential Consultants, LLC. $399,920 to be precise. They made 4 monthly payments of $99,980. That’s $20 shy of $100,000. There are corporate regulations and legal requirements for wire transfers at certain thresholds. One of the big thresholds is $100k. At that level, there’s greater scrutiny over the nature of the wire transfer. Structuring payments to avoid regulatory reporting is a felony.
The timelines are converging, the streams are crossed. Stormygate has now merged over with Team Mueller’s Investigation to form some kind of corruption-busing Voltron. It’s just going to get more fucked from here on out.
- Stormy Daniels’ lawyer: Putin crony repaid Michael Cohen for hush money
- Michael Cohen Took Cash From Russian Oligarch After Election The Daily Beast can confirm Michael Avenatti’s claim made Tuesday about Trump’s lawyer. thedailybeast.com
- Stormy Daniels’ lawyer: Cohen was paid $500K by Putin-tied company after election
- Trump’s Two Biggest Scandals Converge In a Single Tweet
- AT&T confirms it paid Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for ‘insights’ on administration
Insights into the administration. While AT&T was trying to merge with Time Warner.
This is pay to play.
This is Bribery.
- Model claims she saw Trump cheat on pregnant Marla Maples
- Here’s a Theory About That $1.6 Million Payout From a GOP Official to a Playboy Model
On the lighter side of Cohen’s criminal activities, here’s a great breakdown of the hypothesis that it wasn’t Broidy that knocked up Playmate Shera Bechard, but Donald Trump. I’ve covered this before (Daily Check-In 04/13/2018 , Daily Check-In 04/16/2018, Daily Check-In 04/26/2018), but this hypothesis is sounding more and more realistic every day. So much so that I might move it from hypothesis to theory.
I wonder if the Evangelicals will stand by Trump when they find out that his attorney fixer paid a Playboy Playmate to have an abortion with laundered Russian money originally earned from drug and human trafficking.
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL: DOTARD VIOLATES TREATY AGREEMENT BY WITHDRAWING, IRAN AND E3 (GERMANY, UK, FRANCE) TO CONTINUE TO HONOR TREATY
- Trump expected to impede Iran deal, despite warnings from allies
- Majority say US should not withdraw from Iran nuclear agreement
- Joint statement from Prime Minister May, Chancellor Merkel and President Macron following President Trump’s statement on Iran – GOV.UK
- Trump Tells Macron the U.S. Will Withdraw From Iran Nuclear Deal
- Iran Willing to Remain in Nuclear Deal Even if Trump Exits, Rohani Says
- Fury abroad as Trump scraps nuclear pact
How much of this is undoing Obama’s legacy, priming the pump for a war in Iran, or forcing the Iranians to launder money through the Trump Hotel in Baku is up for debate, but I’d put money down that they’re all involved.
Yes, I really think that Trump would put the world at risk to make a few bucks. He’s that fucking petty.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION
- In Mock Mueller Interview, Trump Took 4 Hours To Get Through 2 Questions
- Mueller is Ready for Trump. The President and His Lawyers Can’t Say the Same.
- The House Intel Committee may force the FBI to tip its hand to Russia | TheHill
- Mueller team interviewed Putin-tied oligarch about payments to Cohen: report | TheHill
- The Washington Post: Risk to intelligence source who aided Russia investigation at center of latest showdown between Nunes and Justice Dept.
4 hours for 2 questions. Mueller interviewed Vekselberg weeks ago. We’re just catching up now.
- Opponents of Iran Deal Hired Investigators to Dig Up Dirt on Obama Aide – The New York Times
- Black Cube Admits It Targeted Obama Aides’ Wives
- Trump’s team snooped on Obama officials. That’s gutter politics
I covered this in more detail yesterday. (Daily Check-In 05/07/2018). Still, it’s pretty fucked up.
- Trump Mulls Barring Giuliani From TV Interviews After String of Gaffes
- State Department says Rudy Giuliani isn’t a foreign policy spokesman
- Trump chided Hannity over Giuliani interview
- Avenatti challenges Giuliani to face-to-face discussion on live TV
Rudy’s behavior is hard to explain. Is it dementia, he flipped and is attacking Trump from the inside, or is he just a shitty human being and lawyer? Most likely the last one, but this is 2018. Hush money to pay off of a porn star came from the same bank account that AT&T used to bribe the President.
COLD WAR 2.0
- ‘ISIS hackers’ threats against U.S. military wives actually came from Russian trolls
- Russians posed as IS hackers, threatened US military wives
Ricketts was one of five military wives who received death threats from the self-styled CyberCaliphate on the morning of Feb. 10, 2015. The warnings led to days of anguished media coverage of Islamic State militants’ online reach.
Except it wasn’t IS.
The Associated Press has found evidence that the women were targeted not by jihadists but by the same Russian hacking group that intervened in the American election and exposed the emails of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta.
The brazen false flag is a case study in the difficulty of assigning blame in a world where hackers routinely borrow one another’s identities to throw investigators off track. The operation’s attempt to hype the threat of radical Islam also presaged the inflammatory messages pushed by internet trolls during the U.S. presidential race.
Links between CyberCaliphate and the Russian hackers — typically nicknamed Fancy Bear or APT28 — have been documented previously. On both sides of the Atlantic, the consensus is that the two groups are closely related.
But that consensus never filtered through to the women involved, many of whom were convinced they had been targeted by Islamic State sympathizers right up until the AP contacted them.
“Never in a million years did I think that it was the Russians,” said Ricketts, an author and advocate for veterans and military families. She called the revelation “mind blowing.”
“It feels so hilarious and insidious at the same time.”
- Equifax reveals full horror of its data breach – 146 million people, 99 million addresses, 209,000 payment cards, 38,000 drivers’ licenses and 3,200 passports
- Equifax reveals full horror of that monstrous cyber-heist of its servers
- Senate Intel report says Russia waged ‘unprecedented’ cyber campaign against U.S. voting systems
The report finds that Moscow conducted an “unprecedented, coordinated cyber campaign” against the nation’s voting infrastructure. Through its investigation, the committee found that Russia-linked hackers were in a position to “alter or delete voter registration data” in a small number of states before the 2016 vote.
We are at war with Russia, we just don’t know it yet. It’s time for a regime change.
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
- Meyers: Trump Wanted Me To Apologize On-Air for Making Fun of Him
- Seth Meyers: Trump wanted me to publicly apologize for making fun of him in 2011 | TheHill
- U.S. Senate to vote to reinstate open internet rules
- Defector: WikiLeaks ‘Will Lie to Your Face’
He finally found what he sees as a kind of Rosetta Stone into Assange’s thinking in a leaked email Assange wrote way back in 2007 while soliciting support for the nascent WikiLeaks concept. One of the goals for WikiLeaks, Assange wrote, “is total annihilation of the current U.S. regime and any other regime that holds its authority through mendacity alone.”
WikiLeaks baffled some supporters when it started seeding or promoting fake news about Hillary Clinton’s health, Pizzagate, and even Democrats engaging in satanic rituals at the same time it was releasing genuine material stolen from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
This was not, as it might appear, a cynical bid to garner Donald Trump’s favor; nor was it simple pandering to a new funding base, argues Iain. It was part and parcel of Assange’s alignment with Russian President Vladimir Putin against their common adversary, the United States.
In retrospect, the shift was apparent way back in 2013, during Assange’s failed bid to win a Senate seat in Australia, Iain said. To that end Assange established the country’s WikiLeaks Party, with a platform built on government transparency and libertarianism. But just weeks before the election the party was roiled by a controversy over its ranking of other political parties in Australia’s ranked choice voting, preferencing, in two races, the white-nationalist Australia First Party and the right-wing Shooters and Fishers Party above the liberal favorite, the Australian Greens.
Wikileaks first attacked Australia back in 2013. They followed that up with Ukraine and Syria in 2014, Brexit in 2015 and the United States in 2016. Everywhere the Russians went, and always on their side.
Get the picture yet?
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA AND FACEBOOK
- Cambridge Analytica Won’t Be Revived Under New Company Name
- Facebook rolls out issue ad rules in new move to combat Russian meddling
- House Intel Dems preparing to release Russia-linked Facebook ads
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- Melania Trump’s new “Be Best” pamphlet was first published under the Obama administration
- Melania Trump faces new plagiarism row over cyber safety booklet
- Trump anti-family border policy tramples Melania message on kids
- New Documents Show That EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Did Not Face Serious Security Threats
- New Emails Show the EPA Has Kept Pruitt’s Appearances Secret Over Fear of Public Scrutiny, Not Safety Concerns
- Undercover to under scrutiny: Gina Haspel, nominee to head CIA, to face Senate grilling
- Democratic Sen. Jon Tester to vote no on Haspel: ‘I’m not a fan of waterboarding
- New York attorney general resigns after four women accuse him of physical abuse
- Bombshell report on Eric Schneiderman says he hurt himself badly while drinking, then blamed it on falling ‘while running’
- Eric Schneiderman resignation: Attorney general is replaced by state solicitor general
- Manhattan DA to investigate abuse allegations against outgoing N.Y. attorney general
- This Is The Toughest Gun Law In America | HuffPost
- Semi-automatic rifle, shotguns, handguns seized from teens with high school ‘hit list’
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- Welfare drug-testing program cost Arkansas $32,000 to test five people
- GOP on edge as West Virginia considers Senate bid of controversial coal baron – The Washington Post
TRUMP HATES BROWN PEOPLE
- Suicide rates climbs as Puerto Rico conditions worsen
- ‘Pele’s the boss’: Hawaii residents wait for volcano’s next move as spewing lava leaves some areas unrecognizable
- U.S. embassy cables warned against expelling 300,000 immigrants. Trump officials did it anyway. – The Washington Post
- Jeff Sessions: Parents and Children Illegally Crossing the Border Will Be Separated
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- Judge rules that Trump-branded condo can vote to remove name — here’s what that means for their property values
- Medical marijuana for PTSD and pain signed into Georgia law
- The U.S. Voting System Remains Vulnerable 6 Months Before Election Day. What Now?
- The Supreme Court is poised to make forced arbitration nearly inescapable
- Eric Garland: Finland, Sweden, U.S. make defense pact
- Sergei Prikhodko removed from Russian Cabinet. He met with Oleg Deripaska on the yacht video.
The above likely aren’t rumors, but I don’t read Finnish, Swedish, or Russian.
That’s it for today. We’re crossing the precipice today. Things are going to accelerate, and get crazier from here on out. As the scope, breadth, and volume of the corruption and scandals reach the populace, it will feel like everything has gone to shit and it’s falling apart. Just stay frosty, and keep your head on swivel.
Like I said yesterday, I might need to take a night or two off soon. I don’t know if it’ll be this week or next week, but sometime soon.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur