Daily Check-In 05/29/2018

Tuesday, May 29th.



For the second time in six days, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has moved to begin the process for sentencing a cooperating defendant in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, this time a California man charged with a Russian Internet trolling operation in February.

Richard Pinedo, 28, of Santa Paula, Calif., pleaded guilty Feb. 12 in Washington to creating hundreds of bank accounts, often using stolen identities, and selling some to unidentified offshore users, including suspects connected to the Russia probe.

And when individuals like that are in the orbit of a major political campaign in America, the FBI, who is in charge of counterintelligence investigations, should look at people like that,” Rubio said. “But they’re not investigating the campaign, they’re investigating those people.”

Read that last sentence again.  They’re investigating the people.

Here’s a question that Trump’s team has never answered.  Why did his campaign have at least four foreign agents working on it?

“Mr. Trump, who had told aides that he needed a loyalist overseeing the inquiry, berated Mr. Sessions and told him he should reverse his decision (to recuse from the Russia investigation), an unusual and potentially inappropriate request.”

Yeah, anyone who’s wondering, that’s not the reaction of an innocent man.

Arkady was shot and killed in Kiev earlier today.





Michael Avenatti, the attorney for the adult-film actress known as Stormy Daniels, released emails on Tuesday that he claims show that The Wall Street Journal sat for months on a story about the $130,000 hush-money payment made to his client days before the 2016 presidential election.

The emails were between Wall Street Journal reporter Joe Palazzolo — one of two reporters to break the story on the Daniels payment earlier this year — and Keith Davidson, Daniels’ initial attorney who had negotiated the agreement between Daniels and President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen.

In sharing the emails between Palazzolo and Davidson, Avenatti wrote that The Journal “had the story in the closing days of the campaign but sat on it” and “Davidson lied to them and conspired with Mr. Cohen in 2016.”

“This is why we have demanded to see all of Davidson’s” documents for months “and will sue if need be,” he tweeted.

The email exchange showed that Palazzolo reached out to Davidson just before the 2016 election to ask him about women he was representing in connection to Trump. Palazzolo did not make any mention in the email of Daniels, a hush-money agreement, Cohen, or women such as Karen McDougal, a Playboy model whom Davidson had represented in a similar hush-money agreement before the 2016 election.


The special master assigned in the criminal case against Michael Cohen announced Tuesday that Cohen, President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization had made 252 claims of privileged or “highly personal” material out of the initial items reviewed.

Investigators seized the materials during raids on Cohen’s home, office and hotel room on April 9.







She might be in New York for good.  Check the Rumor Mill for more details.







The tweet came early in the morning.  The anger on Twitter was palpable by lunchtime.  How long will it take ABC, the network airing Roseanne’s show, to respond?

Well, that was quick.  By early afternoon, a couple hundred people were fired from their jobs because the star, creator, and executive producer of their show is a racist pig.



We’ve covered Missouri politics a little bit here, but

SAN FRANCISCO—A 23-year-old man who hacked into Gmail accounts on behalf of Russian intelligence was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday, less than the government sought in a case trumpeted as a warning to cybercriminals and foreign intelligence services alike.

Karim Baratov, a Canadian citizen born in Kazakhstan, pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and identity theft charges last November in connection with a black market no-questions-asked hacking service he operated from 2010 until his arrest in March 2017. Baratov charged customers about $100 to obtain another person’s webmail password, using phishing attacks that tricked users into entering their passwords into a fake password reset page. He cracked more than 11,000 accounts in Russia and the US before he was caught.

One of Baratov’s clients was an officer with Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, who used an alias to commission hacks on 80 targets in all, including people in other Russian agencies, and government officials in neighboring Eastern European nations. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of seven years, 10 months in prison, in part to make other hackers think twice about offering their skills—knowingly or unknowingly—to hostile intelligence agencies.







Pace has had a couple interesting tweets over the past weekend about Melania Trump’s whereabouts.

According to Pace, Melania left D.C. for New York at least a week ago.  She spent the last couple days at the Waldorf Astoria, and spent today looking for a new condo.

He has a source that’s a recently retired Secret Service agent.  Considering he is one, and has posted proof in the past backing up this claim, that part is feasible.  I’m not making any claims on the accuracy of them, simply reporting what’s being reporting.  I’m also not inferring that Melania left the Dotard.

But, I wouldn’t surprised if she’s finally had enough.



That’s it for today.  Most of Washington is still on break, so it’s a bit of a “slow news day.”  Ok, by the new definition of slow, in which we get to watch the complete collapse of a cultural icon in less time than it takes to make chili in a CrockPot, the death toll in Puerto Rico is about two orders of magnitude greater than originally told, enough details come out about Trump trying to obstruct the Russian Investigation that there’s no doubt about his guilt, Mrs. Trump hasn’t been seen in public in two weeks, and a corrupt governor resigned right before he got bitchslapped by his own party.


Thank you, and have a good one.


“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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