Daily Check-In 05/14/2018

Monday, May 14th.

 

COHEN:  FOLLOW THE MONEY

Introducing Ahmed Al-Rumaihi as the Elevator Man

Members of the Trump transition team appear to have met on December 12, 2016 with a group from Qatar that included Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, the former Qatari diplomat and current head of a division of Qatar’s massive sovereign wealth fund who is accused in a recent lawsuit of scheming to bribe Trump administration officials.

Back in December 2016, Ahmed Al-Rumaihi of the Qatar Investment Authority visited Trump Tower, just a couple days after QIA finalized a deal to purchase 19.5% of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company.  The 19% chunk stayed with QIA, but 0.5% of it disappeared.  According to the Steele Dossier, pages 9 and 30-31, that chunk was a brokerage fee paid to Trump as a bribe to promote a Pro-Russia policy stance.  In 2016 money, that comes out to $282 million, but could easily increase if policies were enacted that would cause oil prices to increase, like the United States leaving the Paris Climate Accords, relaxed sanctions on Russia, or the United States leaving the JCPOA, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Nearly every action that Trump has executed since then has aligned with the goals of increasing Rosneft’s value.  Increasing Rosneft’s value increases the value of the 0.5%.

The main players in this deal were Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and Michael Cohen.  Mike Flynn has already flipped (Cooperating WitnessesThe Indicted), and Carter Page is a known Russian asset.  That leaves Trump’s fixer, Cohen.

Cohen’s name is littered all over the Dossier, and with the events of the last few days, we know that he was openly soliciting money for “access and insights into the administration.”  Last week, Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels, released an executive summary detailing several payments to Essential Consultants, LLC., the shell company that Cohen used to pay off Daniels.  (Daily Check-In 05/10/2018)

Last week, Mr. Avenatti promised more information if involved parties didn’t come clean with what they did.  On Sunday, he delivered on that information, and Twitter went nuts.

Avenatti tweeted a few pictures, and links to a YouTube video that was a recording from C-SPAN on December 12, 2016.  Out of this elevator came Michael Cohen, and a man who remained unnamed for a few hours.  Later, that man, the Elevator Man, was revealed to be Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, of Qatar Investment Authority.  Two pics included Al-Rumaihi, one with him and Cohen.  The third pic was of Cohen meeting with Mike Flynn from the same day.  (Either that, or Cohen wore that ugly pink tie multiple times in December.)

This places QIA in Trump Tower within two days of the Rosneft sale being finalized, and puts Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn there as well.

Where was Carter Page?  Meeting with Rosneft in Russia. (Daily Check-In 11/07/2017)

Qatar has not been quiet about their desire to get in to the White House, or constrained in their ways of getting there.

The Qatari government reportedly attempted to court favour with key aides of President Donald Trump through the basketball league of hip hop superstar Ice Cube, a business associate of Ice Cube has alleged.

The rapper, real name O’Shea Jackson, and his business partner Jeff Kwatinetz claim in a new $1.2bn lawsuit that a prominent Qatari investor and former diplomat attempted to set up a meeting with Mr Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon by using them for access.

The suit, filed against several high-profile Qataris last month and first reported by Britain’s Daily Mail, alleges that investors from Doha used the pair’s BIG3 basketball league to get greater access to the inner circle of the US leader.

Ahmed Al Rumaihi, an alleged member of the Qatari royal family and the head of Qatar Investments, a $100 billion sovereign wealth fund of the Qatar Investment Authority (QNA), promised to invest $20.5m into the league.

But the high-level Qatari only paid $7.5 million and had other motives, according to the lawsuit. It alleges that he was acting as a front for the Qatari government and that his real target was Mr Bannon.

“Mr Al Rumaihi requested I set up a meeting between him, the Qatari government, and Steven Bannon, and to tell Steve Bannon that Qatar would underwrite all of his political efforts in return for his support,” Mr Kwatinetz said in the court filing.

He added that he turned down the offer and called it a “bribe” that had left him “appalled”.

Mr Al Rumaihi is also accused in the suit of bragging about giving money to other top aides to Mr Trump, including his now-fired former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The court document says: “Mr Al Rumahi laughed and then stated to me that I shouldn’t be naive, that so many Washington politicians take our money, and stated ‘do you think Flynn turned down our money?’”

Wait, what?  Ice Cube’s involved in this?  The QA test continues. (Daily Check-In 05/11/2018)

Ice Cube is suing a trio of Persian Gulf investors for $1.2 billion, claiming they tried to seize control of his fledgling Big3 basketball league even as they broke promises to fund it.

The suit by the legendary rapper and his talent-agent partner Jeff Kwatinetz alleges that the investors, connected to the royal family of Qatar, ponied up only a third of their $20.5 million commitment to Big3.

That, in turn, has crippled efforts to elevate the league’s 3-on-3 basketball games with former NBA stars like Allen Iverson, Julius Erving and Amar’e Stoudemire “to the professional setting of NBA-style arenas and broadcast games,” according to the suit.

I take ONE DAY off from following the Russian Investigation, and not only do we get evidence of a significant part of the Steele Dossier being confirmed (Rosneft bribing Trump through Qatar), but now we’ve got Steve Bannon and Ice Cube connected through their attorney.

Al-Rumaihi and QIA tried to use Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league to bribe Steve Bannon, because Ice Cube’s partner is Jeff Kwatinetz, who is Steve Bannon’s former Hollywood business partner.. While trying to bribe Kwatinetz, Al-Rumaihi namedropped Michael Flynn. The same Michael Flynn that flipped to Robert Mueller.

Ice Cube to Robert Mueller in 3 degrees of separation. 2018 is weird.

Below is the text from Kwatinetz’s legal filing in January 2018, tying Al-Rumaihi to this whole mess.

Declaration of Jeff Kwatinetz

Gregaros & Gregarso, APC

On or around Jaunary 2018, Mr. Al-Rumaihi invited me on a hike. I found this unusual, but I assumed we would be talking about the money the Defendants owed the Big3 since I was consistently requesting Defendants complete the funding they owed and had set a rapidly approaching deadline.

This hike was after the Michael Wolff book regarding President Trump was published and it was reported that Rebekah Mercer, and the Mercer family had pulled support from Bannon.

During the hike, Mr. Al-Rumaihi stated to me that he wanted me to convey a message from the Qatari government to Steve Bannon.

Mr. Al-Rumaihi requested I set up a meeting between him, the Qatari government, and Steve Bannon, and to tell Steve Bannon that Qatar would underwrite all of his political efforts in return for his support.

I immediately let Mr. Al-Rumaihi know that I was offended by this rquest, that I was trying to run a basketball league and need our money paid, and I stated that neither I nor Steve Bannon would ever take, or even entertain the concept, of a bribe of any kind. I was appalled.

Mr. Al-Rumaihi laughed and then stated to me that I shouldn’t be naive, that so many Washington politicians take our money, and stated, “do you think [Michael] Flynn turned down our money?”

Again, I flatly rejected Mr. Al-Rumaihi and stopped the conversation and told him to never offend me again by bringing this up.

I did not relay the message to Mr. Bannon and never conveyed any offer of any kind, nor would I ever.

Apparently, in response to the lawsuit, the Qatari government has issued public statements distancing itself from Mr. Al-Rumaihi. Yet, Mr. Al-Rumaihi told me that he was a relative of the royal Al-Thani family, and that Emir was “like a brother” to him, and that the Sovereign Fund was involved in funding the Big3.

Just a reminder that Fox News’ Tucker Carlson owns and runs Daily Caller.

Aside from the four companies that paid bribes, at least two others, Ford and Uber, were solicited by Michael Cohen.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that is barely scratching the surface.  I don’t have many nice to say about Short Bus Saul Goodman, but he at least works hard.  Nobody this corrupt, connected, diverse, and involved as Cohen could ever be called lazy.  Sloppy, forgetful, unoriginal, and stupid, but not lazy.

President Trump has a big decision to make. Unless he requests an extension, his personal financial disclosure report is due on Tuesday. Under the Ethics in Government Act, he has to disclose all liabilities that exceeded $10,000 at any time during calendar year 2017, even if he repaid them later that year. That includes his debt to Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment Cohen made in October 2016 to adult film star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford).

$20 says he files for an extension, then another, and another.

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

A year in, and the only thing I’m absolutely certain of is that Mueller is months ahead of the rest of us.  That, and this mess is far greater than any of us guessed at first.  And that the scope of this is historic.  And that I shouldn’t say “the only thing” before I count the points out.

The Ukrainian politician is Andrii Artemenko, and he was the one who allegedly handed a crazy-ass “peace plan” to Cohen to give to Trump.

 

THE ISRAELI EMBASSY

 

COLD WAR 2.0

Aside from a blatant violation of the Emoluments Clause, ZTE was accused and found to use American components in their phones, which were then specifically engineered to allow Chinese Intelligence to use them as listening devices.

Oh, it gets worse.

Ever wonder why you’ve never seen a ZTE phone at the AT&T store?  Or the T-Mobile store?  Or the Cricket store?  Or Boost Mobile?  Or as a burner phone from 7-11?  They were mostly sold on military bases, where their primary customers were American soldiers.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Not only was ZTE busted for spying on American soldiers, but they were banned from sales in the United States for 7 years.  Then, this morning, the Dotard tweets out that ZTE should be allowed back in the United States.  A few hours later, news comes out that Trump Org took out $500 million in loans from the Chinese government.

All it takes for Trump to sell out American security is money.  According to Dante, there’s a special place for traitors.

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

#NEVERAGAIN

“I support people who are passionate about the second amendment. It is a right, but we know with all rights come responsibilities, with all rights come restrictions,” said Andrea Halperin of Moms Demand Action Orlando.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

BLUE WAVE

Now it’s time to argue whether or not this clusterfuck is a sport.

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for today.  Over the next couple weeks, I’m planning on taking things a little easy.   I don’t like talking about myself or my family here, but let me just say that we’ve got a lot that we have to do by the end of June.  That means that I can’t spend as much time writing each night.

I still plan on doing these posts each day, as well as a few others as time permits, it’s just for the time being, I can’t spend as much time here every night.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

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