Daily Check-In 06/13/2018

Wednesday, June 13th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

In a public court filing, Mueller’s team released two memos from 2013 detailing Manafort’s involvement in efforts to influence debate in Congress and in the U.S. press about the imprisonment of Yanukovych’s main political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko.

In what appears to be an incomplete, draft memo titled “US Consultants — Quarterly Report” and addressed to Yanukovych, Manafort wrote that he had “organized and leveraged the visits of” two Hapsburg group members “to make critical in-roads in how policymakers view Ukraine.”

The memo is dated April 22, 2013. Romano Prodi, a former Italian prime minister and a member of the Hapsburg group, had visited Washington and met with Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and congressional staffers the month before.

“The strategy for the first quarter of 2013 was to heavily engage with the UGS [sic] and US Congress, using a strategy I built called ‘Engage Ukraine’ which focused the dialogue on positive key issues, and away from” Tymoshenko, Manafort wrote in the memo. “One of the most critical goals that we have achieved during this quarter is to prevent the application of any sanctions against the GoU or its officials. We have been able to accomplish this by implementing key messages from the ‘Engage Ukraine’ strategy, many of which resonate with key U.S. officials.”

The memo, which is clearly written with a desire to play up the impact of Manafort’s work for Ukraine in the U.S., goes on to boast about placing op-eds in American publications like the Hill and the Christian Science Monitor and about “pitching our narrative and messaging to key reporters and editors at the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and New York Times.”

Manafort is manaucked.  Friday’s the day he either strikes a deal or goes to prison.

The special counsel Robert Mueller’s office filed a protective order Tuesday to limit evidence sharing in the case against the 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities indicted in February as part of the Russia investigation.

They were charged with conspiring to interfere in the 2016 US election by mounting a social-media disinformation campaign to sway voter opinions during the presidential campaign.

In its motion on Tuesday, Mueller’s office cited the risk of revealing to Russian intelligence the identities of “uncharged individuals and entities” believed to be “continuing to engage in interference operations” in the US.

“The evidence in this case will also include numerous reports and affidavits filed in connection with this investigation that describe investigative steps, identify uncharged co-conspirators, and disclose various law enforcement and intelligence collection techniques,” the document said.

Do not be shocked if more indictments against Russians, especially the hackers that did the deeds.

National security adviser John Bolton was paid $115,000 in the past year to participate in two panel discussions sponsored by the foundation of an Ukrainian steel magnate — including one in Kiev last September, during which Bolton reassured the audience that President Trump would not radically change U.S. foreign policy.

Bolton’s appearances at the Kiev event and at another event in Munich this February were paid for by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, according a financial disclosure form released Monday by the White House.

A spokeswoman for Pinchuk, Natalia Vovk, said the group invited Bolton to speak as part of an effort to “attract the best speakers who represent different points of view from the political spectrum of their countries.”

The payment from the Pinchuk foundation was the largest single speaking fee Bolton received in the past year, according to his disclosure. In all, Bolton reported making $747,000 in speaking fees and $2.2 million in total income, including $569,000 from Fox News, for which he was a paid contributor.

Pinchuk has donated more than $10 million to the family foundation of former president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. In 2011, Pinchuk met with one of Clinton’s aides at the State Department to relay a message from Ukraine’s president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych. The meeting was described in Clinton emails later released by the State Department.

In 2015, when Donald Trump was a leading Republican candidate for president, Pinchuk’s foundation donated $150,000 to Trump’s personal charity. The payment was for a 20-minute speech to the Yalta European Strategy group’s 2015 meeting in Kiev, made by video conference. The New York Times later reported that Michael Cohen — Trump’s personal attorney — was involved in arranging the payment.

John Bolton accepted money from a Ukrainian oligarch, and the payment was arranged by Michael Cohen.

During the Trump campaign, Mr. Barrack was a top fund-raiser and trusted gatekeeper who opened communications with the Emiratis and Saudis, recommended that the candidate bring on Paul Manafort as campaign manager — and then tried to arrange a secret meeting between Mr. Manafort and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Barrack was later named chairman of Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee.

But Mr. Manafort has since been indicted by the special prosecutorinvestigating Russian meddling in the presidential election. The same inquiry is examining whether the Emiratis and Saudis helped sway the election in Mr. Trump’s favor — potentially in coordination with the Russians, according to people familiar with the matter. Investigators have also asked witnesses about specific contributions and expenses related to the inauguration, according to people familiar with those interviews.

Tom Barrack was the head of the inauguration committee.  Rick Gates was his chief of staff.  Barrack worked with George Nader on setting up the meeting with the Saudis.  Both of those men are Cooperating Witnesses.

COHEN

There could be a completely innocuous reason why Michael Cohen is getting a new legal team and telling all of his friends that SDNY was getting the paperwork ready to arrest his ass.

Most likely, Cohen flips.  If he flips, he has to cooperate with any and all cases in any jurisdiction.  That means Mueller’s work as well.

 

IMMIGRATION

What can we do?

Whatever you do, don’t click on the tweet above.  If you do, please don’t look up the nearest location and collect supplies like baby formula, diapers, books, and clothes.  And don’t tell others about it, either.  It would be a shame if thousands of people showed up at each and every detention center. /s.

For those unaware, the /s indicates that the previous statement was sarcastic.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

How in the Crystal Pepsi flavored fuck did we end up in the timeline where the President of the United States is threatening Canada, but praising North Korea?

Oh, that’s right. Trump is a traitorous piece of shit doing the bidding of China and Russia.

Yes, I put soccer shit in the Cold War section.  With the amount of corruption associated to the previous couple choices, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some grift involved.

 

#NEVERAGAIN

I can’t wait for the NRA to attack the American Medical Association.  No, really.  I want to see this shitstorm.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

The media is the enemy?

Ok, you narcissistic, parasitic, daughter fucking, racist, rapist, traitorous piece of shit.

I see it as my solemn duty as an American, a believer in Democracy, Decency, and the Rule of Law to stand up against you and your ilk.

I have tried for more than two years to find one redeeming quality about you, and I can’t find anything.  Not one piece of information, not one story, not one anecdote that even implies that you have even the slightest shred of humanity, integrity, humility, or decency.

Everyone else, even the criminals you surround yourself with, have something going for them.  Mike Flynn is a devoted father.  Paul Manafort is organized.  Michael Cohen is hard working.  Steve Bannon was devoted to his cause.

You… You have nothing.  You are duller than a 15 watt light bulb, thinner skinned than a piñata, a complete failure as a businessman and without a shred of creativity.

Either Democracy survives or you stay in power.

I look forward to your perp walk.  I may name my next kid after the person that puts you in handcuffs.

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP:  THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

Rep. David Valadao, R-California, confirmed Tuesday his family was no longer operating their dairy farm after the Los Angeles Times reported a bank seized the property following his failure to resolve more than $8 million in loans that have not been repaid.

 

PUERTO RICO

 

ELECTION 2018

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

THE ENVIRONMENT

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

Each star represent an American member of the CIA lost in the field in the line of duty.  Their actions, and even their names, are classified.  Odd are we’ll never know who they were, or what they were doing.

This is a thoroughly stupid idea with its roots in Russian propaganda.  The groups behind this push get their online support from the Russian Troll Farm.

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for today.  This week is building to some pretty big stuff.  Friday, both Cohen and Manafort have a day in court, and at least one of them is going to flip to avoid a harsher sentence.

UPDATE:  This from Business Insider just came out with the names of the witnesses that Manafort tried to tamper with.

The individuals are Alan Friedman and Eckart Sager, both former journalists based in Europe. Friedman and Sager spearheaded efforts by the Hapsburg Group — a lobbying group consisting of former European leaders — to lobby on behalf of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in Europe and the US.

They wrote a story about the Hapsburg Group, saying that they worked in the US and Europe.  Manafort contacted Friedman and Kilimnik reached out to Sager to tell them to change their story and their tune in that the Hapsburg Group only worked in Europe.  The journalists contacted Mueller’s team with this information.

The next couple days are gonna be crazy.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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