Daily Check-In 05/23/2018

Wednesday, May 23rd.



The Ledes

Remember on Daily Check-In 05/02/2018 when it came out that Ukraine stopped working with the Mueller Investigation in exchange for missiles to defend themselves against Russia?  It turns out that they set the meeting up by bribing Michael Cohen.  A bribe of $400,000 set up a meeting between Ukraine and Donald Trump, which led to this agreement.

So not only is it straight up bribery, but this is also a FARA violation.

Lost in the noise of Kushner getting a security clearance from wife’s lover/father, last month Jared Kushner met with Mueller’s team for 6-7 hours worth of interviews.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said that the investigators don’t ask questions that they don’t already have the answers to, and 6 hours is a long time.

He was interviewed as a witness, not a subject or target.  Same thing was said of Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos as well.

George pled guilty to lying to the FBI back in October, but his sentencing was deferred while he assisted the investigation and provided evidence.

There’s a few things we can infer from this action…

First, Mueller doesn’t need George any more.  He’s either provided all that he can, or he’s no longer of use.  If they use him any more, they’ll have to file an addendum to this motion.

Second, the timing.  George won’t be sentenced tomorrow, but sometime in the next couple months.

Finally, the sentencing itself will be of note.  While there’s no hard rule about it, the more helpful a cooperating witness is, the less time they serve in jail.  What he pled to carries a maximum 5 year sentence, but normally results in a 2 year prison term.  If he gets a few months, or even a suspended sentence or probation, George delivered the goods.

Pompeo, who previously was Trump’s CIA director, was pressed by Democrats on whether he accepted that finding during testimony Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Yes, sir,” he said. But that was only after he initially said the judgment that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to help Trump win “was the least confirmed, that is, there was the least support for that” in the report issued by the CIA, the FBI and the National Security Agency in January 2017, a few weeks before Trump took office.

WASHINGTON – Three months before the 2016 presidential election, an Israeli social media specialist joined a Gulf Arab emissary and a former Middle East security contractor for a meeting with Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., to discuss ways they could help the Republican nominee beat his opponent.
The existence of the meeting in Trump Tower in New York City, first revealed on Saturday by The New York Times, has prompted US special counsel Robert Mueller to send investigators to Israel to probe the activities of the Israeli social media firm, which allegedly employed former Israeli intelligence officers and collects user data to help manipulate public opinion. The Israel Police is cooperating with the probe, the Times found.












FBI agents armed with a court order have seized control of a key server in the Kremlin’s global botnet of 500,000 hacked routers, The Daily Beast has learned. The move positions the bureau to build a comprehensive list of victims of the attack, and short-circuits Moscow’s ability to reinfect its targets.

The FBI counter-operation goes after “VPN Filter,” a piece of sophisticated malware linked to the same Russian hacking group, known as Fancy Bear, that breached the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 election. On Wednesday security researchers at Cisco and Symantec separately provided new details on the malware, which has turned up in 54 countries including the United States.

So, what should you do?

If a victim reboots an infected router, the malicious plugins all disappear, and only the core malware code survives. That code is programmed to connect over the Internet to a command-and-control infrastructure set up by the hackers. First it checks for particular images hosted on Photobucket.com that held hidden information in the metadata. If it can’t find those images—which have indeed been removed from Photobucket—it turns to an emergency backup control point at the hard-coded web address ToKnowAll[.]com.

On Tuesday, FBI agents in Pittsburg asked federal Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan in Pittsburgh for an order directing the domain registration firm Verisign to hand the ToKnowAll[.]com address over to the FBI, in order to “further the investigation, disrupt the ongoing criminal activity involving the establishment and use of the botnet, and assist in the remediation efforts,” according to court records. Lenihan agreed, and on Wednesday the bureau took control of the domain.


If there isn’t a button, just unplug the power cable, leave it out for 15 seconds to a minute, then plug it back in.

It’ll take a moment to come back on.

Ok, if your roommates, kids, or spouses are yelling about the WiFi being out, this is why.  Just make up something.  They’ll freak out less if they think the cable cut out for a second than if you tell them that the Russians are using were using your router to engage in espionage against the United States, and the guy in the quasi-conspiracy theory blog told you to do this.

Did it?  Good.



In Texas, Santa Fe High School had two armed, trained school resource officers who roamed its halls. The student who opened fire in it knew that full well. That did not stop him from bringing weapons onto the campus and opening fire.


He had a death wish and the means to execute it.


Not only was the deterrent effect nonexistent, but once the carnage was underway, the presence of two good guys with guns did not “solve the problem instantly.” Rather, the guards confronted the shooter within four minutes and intermittently exchanged gunfire with and negotiated with him for 25 minutes before he surrendered.














That’s it for today.  I’m not going to guarantee a post for both of the next couple days, but I’ll see what I can do.  The weekend is booked, but I want to write something.  Not sure what yet, but something.  But, that assumes I get a few hours.

There’s an overwhelming sense of desperation coming down the pipe from Trump’s camp.  Their actions aren’t thought out, they’re desperate and without direction, like throwing haymakers in a brawl.

These aren’t smart people.  They’re mobsters in way over their heads, going up against the best that Democracy has to offer.

We’ll get through this. But we have go through it first.


Thank you, and have a good one.


“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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