Friday, June 8th.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION: KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK INDICTED
Konstanin Kilimnik, one of Paul Manafort’s most trusted advisers, was indicted earlier today on an superseding indictment against Manafort.
Kilimnik, a “former” member of Russia’s GRU, was charged along with Paul on the following charges:
- Conspiracy Against the United States
- Conspiracy to Launder Money
- Unregistered Agent of a Foreign Principal
- False and Misleading FARA Statements
- False Statements
- Obstruction of Justice
- Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice
Kilimnik is currently in Russia after Ukraine dropped their investigation into Manafort’s crimes as part of a quid pro quo for missiles from the Trump Administration (Daily Check-In 05/23/2018 and Daily Check-In 05/02/2018). However, if “Kostya from the GRU” ever tries to leave Russia for a vacation, he might have to get a connecting flight at Leavenworth.
Another major aspect of this move is that it makes a pardon of Manafort either a moot point or so beyond the pale that Trump would be removed from office by the end of the week. Kilimnik is now a co-defendant in the case. A pardon on one defendant doesn’t end the case. If anything, it opens the other co-defendant up to greater legal liability. Mueller continues the investigation against Kilimnik. If Trump were to pardon a member of Russian Intelligence who actively attacked the United States, that might finally be a bridge too far for Republicans.
Then again, Manafort accepting a pardon would also ruin his life, too. As I’ve discussed before in GTKYG-Pardon Limitations, a pardon only works on federal criminal penalties, not civil or state criminal charges. Notice how the indictment includes asset forfeiture? That’s right. If Manafort accepts a pardon, then the government can come after him in a civil case and take his shit. Then, as he’s left bankrupt, Virginia will come after him for criminal tax evasion.
So, let’s welcome Konstantin Kilimnik to The Indicted.
- Trump doesn’t rule out pardoning Manafort, Cohen
- Former US attorney says Manafort will likely go to prison Friday
- SCOOP: Trump Consigliere Roger Stone Didn’t Vote in the 2016 Election | The Capitolist
- Top Democrat on House Intel Committee seeks release of all Russia probe interviews
- Dems request threat assessment over Trump’s cellphone usage
JOURNALIST LEAK INVESTIGATION
- With moves in Senate staffer case, Justice Dept. ignites debate over leak crackdown
- Ex-Senate staffer faces charges in leak investigation
Keith Davidson is now suing Michael Cohen. During the back and forth on Twitter, Avenatti mentioned that Davidson’s stuff was raided on the same day that Cohen was raided. I’m not sure if that was a typo, weird phrasing, or the truth. We’ll wait and see.
Striking a note for transparency, a federal judge ruled on Friday that President Trump and his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, cannot proceed in total secrecy as they weigh in on the final stages of a laborious review of a huge trove of materials seized from Mr. Cohen during a series of raids by the authorities in April.
On Wednesday, the president’s lawyers, writing on behalf of him and Mr. Cohen, asked Judge Wood for permission to file their objections under seal directly to her, keeping them from the eyes of both the public and the prosecutors handling the case.
Within a day, the prosecutors responded with a more limited proposal, arguing that while Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen did not have to disclose the contents of the files they felt were privileged, there was “no reason why the government and the public should be deprived of access” to the legal analysis that led to their decisions.
In her one-paragraph ruling on Friday, Judge Wood sided with the prosecutors, saying that the Trump and Cohen legal teams had to submit their objections to the special master’s findings publicly “except for those portions that divulge ‘the substance of the contested documents.’”
A group of news organizations, including The New York Times, had written in support of the government’s position, claiming that the “public has a right to know” what categories of files Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen were trying to keep secret, if not precisely what was in them.
Kushner to Chaves to Cohen. That’s the route the money took.
One of the most obvious and blatant examples of money laundering involving Michael Cohen came when he flipped a series of 4 condos in New York, nearly tripling the purchase cost. Well, turns out it’s even more obvious than we knew.
That example had Herbert Chaves selling properties to Jared Kushner, and using the money from Kushner to purchase properties from Cohen for 3 times market value. That’s textbook Money Laundering.
- France’s Macron threatens rare rebuke of U.S. at G-7, Trump fires back
- The Washington Post: Trump calls for readmitting Russia to G-7 four years after it was expelled for its role in Crimean crisis
- The Washington Post: Trump calls for Russia to be reinstated to G-7, threatens allies on trade
- Trudeau says retaliation against US necessary – CNN Video
- Trump calls for Russia to be reinstated into G7
- Russia doesn’t play by the rules, says Freeland rejecting Trump’s bid to let country back into G7 | CBC News
- John McCain blasts Donald Trump for inviting Russia back to the G-7
- Dem lawmaker on Trump calling on Russia to rejoin G-7: He’s ‘loyal’ to country that elected him
At this point, it’s no longer a question of Trump being a traitor to the United States of America, but how much of this is him willingly destroying America’s place in the world, and how much of this is his fear that Putin will release the kompromat he has on him.
By the way, it’s a lot worse than hookers peeing on each other.
- Departure under duress, then death for local high school Dreamer
- Restaurants fear food delivery to Brooklyn Army base after ICE arrest – NY Daily News
- Eatery workers: Boycott Army base that called ICE on pizza delivery guy
- Sarah Silverman: The Nuremberg Defense won’t work for ICE
- GOP Senate candidate Martha McSally’s office removes video of her praising DACA
COLD WAR 2.0
- Chairman Wicker and Co-Chairman Smith Welcome Release of Bitkov Family from Prison | CSCE
- Trump is slighting U.S. allies so Putin doesn’t have to, says ex-U.S. envoy to Moscow
- Trump’s claim that an Obama administration effort on Iran was ‘totally illegal’
- Trump lashes out at allies, praises North Korea
- Euan MacDonald: Ukraine’s Friend & Foe of the Week | KyivPost
- China hacked a Navy contractor and secured a trove of highly sensitive data on submarine warfare
- Lawyer linking NRA and Russia helped lead Marsha Blackburn campaigns, documents show
- Democrats want answers from Betsy DeVos on why school safety panel won’t focus on guns
- Florida stopped doing gun permit checks for more than a year
- Unproven facial-recognition companies target schools, promising an end to shootings
- From fried chicken to used mattresses, the complete Scott Pruitt scandal dossier
- Republican senators scold embattled EPA head Pruitt — but stop short of asking for his resignation
- House Democrats Seek Criminal Investigation into Scott Pruitt
- Spicy Mic: DOJ Criminal Referral on Scott Pruitt
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- Muhammad Ali’s lawyer responds to Trump: ‘A pardon is unnecessary’
- Pelosi Statement on Trump Administration’s Health Care Sabotage – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
- Trump never cared about people with pre-existing conditions. Here’s the proof.
- Carson backs off plan to triple rents for poorest households
- Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic senators ask for inquiry into Trump’s ‘reckless’ jobs report tweet
- Sucking up has always been part of Washington culture. In the Trump era, it’s a sport.
FIXING THE INTERNET
- Facebook gave some companies access to data of users and their friends past 2015
- Wheeler Challenges Pai to Submit Net Reg Rollback to CRA Test
- Least Transparent FCC Ever Goes Dark as Former IT Chief Walks Back DDoS Attack Claims
- ‘I can understand about 50 percent of the things you say’: How Congress is struggling to get smart on tech
- Jeff Bezos Is Already $40 Billion Richer This Year—While the Typical Amazon Worker Has Made Just $12,000
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- Kobach can be investigated by citizen grand jury, Kansas Court of Appeals rules
- People are outraged after a sheriff fired the deputy running against him one minute after the polls closed
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
PROGRESS IS PROGRESS
- No longer ‘voiceless,’ Louisiana felons regain the right to vote
- Two major publishers reject Don Jr.’s ‘defense of daddy’ book
- Bernie Sanders won’t endorse his son for Congress, citing “dynasty politics”
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- President Trump Is What Happens After Republicans Spend Decades Rebranding Knowledge as Elitism and Ignorance as Bliss: OP ED
- This Is What 40 Years of Conservative Intellectual Ferment Looks Like: OP ED
- Court finds ‘compelling’ evidence of race-based redistricting in Ga.
- Alabama GOP nominates Roy Moore’s confederacy-obsessed protege to be chief justice
IN OTHER NEWS…
Earlier this morning, the news broke that Anthony Bourdain, award winning chef and television host that was one of the few Americans on TV showing that the world isn’t scary but exciting and thrilling, died of an apparent suicide.
His is the second celebrity suicide of the week. Fashion Designer Kate Spade was found dead on Wednesday. I didn’t cover that story because, until Wednesday, I’d never heard of Kate Spade. I just googled her, and I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around a $400 purse. Maybe it’s a ten year or fifteen year purse. Like with a great pair of shoes. Sure, the sticker price is $200, but they’re built to last a decade, and will be cheaper than owning 10 pairs of shoes from the discount rack at Payless, Walmart, or Target.
I had no connection to Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain was different. He was an inspirational asshole. He tried new things, went interesting places, and met great people along the way. Every place he went, no matter what it looked like in the news, Anthony made it look warm and inviting. He made the craziest food look delicious, and showed that the greatest way to destroy ignorance and bigotry was to get out and see the world.
Anthony Bourdain had possibly the greatest job in the world. He was paid a lot of money to visit cool places, meet cool people, try new things, and eat and drink like a baller. Yet, even through all of this, he still suffered from depression.
I know a little something about depression. I was diagnosed with it many years ago, and I fight against it every day. Some days are better than others, but it is a constant struggle to not give in. One day, I expect it to beat me for good. My battle is to make sure that today is not that day.
Here’s a BuzzFeed article on calling the Suicide Prevention Line. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 or text 741-741.
- NASA finds traces of ancient life on Mars
- MEGATHREAD: NASA’s Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life
- Mister Rogers wasn’t just a nice guy. This new documentary proves he was a quiet radical.
- Louise Neu on FARA
- Aliasvaughn on Kostya
- Louise Mensch and Spicy Mic on the Seth Rich lawsuit and subpoenaing several Alt-Right Twitter handles
That’s it for today. I’m going to try to get something up this weekend, but I have a lot of things to do in the real world. I will do my best to write, and I don’t plan on watching any Mister Rogers.
Kostya from the GRU has been indicted. That’s 20 people indicted so far. One of them has already served their prison sentence and been deported from the country. Two of them are preparing for sentencing. Two others are still cooperating.
Things are going to ramp up over the next week. June 15th is Paul Manafort’s hearing for witness tampering, and if he doesn’t strike a deal before that, he’s going to prison. The same day, Cohen’s team has to finish up with their review of the evidence in his case. Next week could easily end with Trump’s former campaign manager in prison and his fixer indicted.
If Manafort isn’t in prison, it’s probably because he’s working on a deal. That might be worse for Trump and Pence.
Keep your heads up, people. We’re in a war against tyranny. This isn’t going to be won overnight.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur