Daily Check-In 06/08/2018

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.

 

PDF of the Indictments

 

JOURNALIST LEAK INVESTIGATION

 

COHEN

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.

 

G7

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.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

PRUITT

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PUERTO RICO

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

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.

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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