Daily Check-In 06/07/2018

Thursday, June 7th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Justice Department plans to brief senior lawmakers next week with additional details and documents about how the FBI investigated whether Trump campaign advisers had suspicious ties to Russia — a concession to Republican demands for more information about the politically charged probe.

A senior Justice Department official said the briefing will allow lawmakers “to review certain supporting documents that were made available during the prior briefing.” Officials “are prepared to brief members on certain questions specifically raised by the speaker and other members. The department and FBI will also provide the documents that were available for review but not inspected by the members at the previous briefing, along with some additional material,’’ the official said.

The briefing will be for the Gang of Eight — the senior Democrat and Republican in the Senate and House, as well as the senior members of each party on their respective intelligence committees.

Fox News host Sean Hannity encouraged witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe to destroy their personal phones to thwart investigators’ efforts to view any encrypted messages they might have. The conservative TV personality said on his show Wednesday night that witnesses should perhaps “follow Hillary Clinton’s lead” after Mueller reportedly asked witnesses to turn in their phones for examination. The request came after Mueller’s team accusedformer Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of using encrypted messaging apps to engage in alleged witness tampering. “Delete all your emails and then acid-wash your emails and hard drives on the phones, then take your phones and bash them with a hammer to little itsy-bitsy pieces, use BleachBit, remove the SIM cards and then take the pieces and hand them over to Robert Mueller and say, ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton, this is equal justice under the law,’” Hannity said. He went on to acknowledge this was “bad advice” before repeating it all again step-by-step.

He ghosted after the interview request.  Completely vanished.  Shut down his company, closed the website, the whole nine yards.

An ex-congressman has attracted scrutiny from the Senate Judiciary Committee, as it continues to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Moscow to sway the 2016 presidential election.

Curt Weldon, a Republican and former Pennsylvania congressman, lost his re-election campaign more than a decade ago following an FBI probe into his ties to two Russian companies. He has “connections to both Russia and the Trump campaign” that are raising suspicions among senators, a spokeswoman for Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said. Feinstein is the committee’s ranking member, and wants to interview Weldon, the spokeswoman said.

The reasons for the committee’s interest in Weldon are murky, but his ties to Russia are significant. Members of Congress believe, for example, that Weldon may lead to answers about why the Trump administration sought to lift sanctions on Russia in the aftermath of the 2016 election despite a public statement by intelligence agencies that the Kremlin tried to help Trump win. Weldon may also have information about the role a Russian oligarch may have played in trying to influence the Trump administration—though Weldon denied this when I asked him about it.

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s phone and email records this year in an investigation of classified information leaks. It was the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump.

The seizure — disclosed in a letter to the reporter, Ali Watkins — suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.

 

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COHEN

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said through a representative on Wednesday that the Treasury Department was not cooperating with his May request for information on Michael Cohen and his dealings with Novartis.

“Treasury refuses to respond to our request, let alone provide key financial documents related to Cohen and Cohen’s business dealings with Novartis. There is no excuse for this kind of stonewalling,” the representative, Rachel McCleery, said. “All other parties are engaging in the Committee’s inquiry.”

 

PUERTO RICO

 

SCOTT PRUITT

Just in case that tweet disappears, here’s a screenshot…

Pruitt Tally

 

ENERGY POLICY WRITTEN BY A COAL BARON

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Ralph Peters suggested during a CNN interview on Wednesday night that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “some kind of grip on Trump,” pointing to the US president’s documented affinity toward Putin, and his hesitation to speak critically of the Kremlin.

Peters, who trained in Russian studies, the Russian language, and has experience with Russian intelligence officers, indicated that what he sees in Trump’s behavior are the signs of someone who may be compromised by one of the US’s most formidable enemies.

“For years, I was glad to be associated with Fox. It was a legitimate conservative and libertarian outlet. And a necessary one,” Peters told Cooper. “But with the rise of Donald Trump, Fox did become a destructive propaganda machine. And I don’t do propaganda for anyone.”

Peters went on to say he believes the network in general and “particularly the prime time hosts” are attacking “our constitutional order, the rule of law, the Justice Department, the FBI, Robert Mueller,” and other intelligence agencies. “And they are doing it for ratings and profit,” he added. “And they’re doing it knowingly, and, in my view, doing a great, grave disservice to our country.”

Asked by Cooper if the prime-time hosts actually believe their own conspiracy theories about the “deep state,” Peters singled out Trump’s most loyal Fox News servant. “I suspect Sean Hannity really believes it,” he said. “The others are smarter, they know what they’re doing.”

“I want to cry out and say, ‘How can you do this? How can you lie to our country? How can you knowingly attack our Constitution, the bedrock of our system of government, the bedrock of our country?’” Peters said. “And when you go after the Constitution, you best beware, because you are doing a phenomenal, indeed immeasurable damage.”

One thing I truly enjoy from this mess is watching Rudy Giuliani destroy his reputation, his history, and everything he worked for to try to defend Donald Trump.

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE AND TARIFFS

 

MORE CABINET CORRUPTION

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

I’m old enough to remember when Republicans argued for Universal Health Care.  Up until 2009, when a black man was elected President and advocated the same thing they’d been asking for for 40 years.

Here’s another take on how bad this is…

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

NFL

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

OP-ED AND COLUMNIST PIECES

Retirement?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Between low employment, stagnant wages, student loans, day care, medical expenses, every other bill, 401(k)’s instead of pensions, and near zero percent APR on savings accounts, here’s the Millennial Retirement Plan.

Hope that you eventually find a job.

Change jobs every couple years because it’s the only way to get a pay raise or promotion.

Keep this up until you get old.

Hope that you die swiftly one day so as to not leave your loved ones with gigantic medical bills.

 

RUMOR MILL

I’m not sure I necessarily agree with Eric’s stance on this.  I don’t doubt that there’s some CI work going on involving the NYT, but I don’t see this case being related to it.  This sounds more like a “traditional” investigation into a reporters’s sources.  Then again, I might be missing something here.

 

That’s it for today.  I’m going to be away from the internet for a while tomorrow, so I might not catch as much as usual, but if anything big breaks, I should get it.

I’ve said this before, but at sometime over the next few weeks, I likely will disappear for a couple days.  I’ll tell you why then.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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