Daily Check-In 07/30/2018

Monday, July 30th.  The night before Paul Manafort’s trial begins.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

“The idea was that the attitudes and behavior of WL [Wikileaks] behind closed doors is relevant, especially their coordination of PR, propaganda and troll ops through assets that are public supporters but not publicly known to take cues from WL,” Emma Best, the freedom of information activist, told Motherboard in a Twitter direct message.

The DMs concern a particular group chat between the official Wikileaks account and several supporters. In the chat—dubbed “Wikileaks +10” due to number of participants—Wikileaks would coordinate smear campaigns against the group’s rivals, including journalists, according to the DMs. The official Wikileaks account, widely believed to be controlled by Assange, also pushed antisemitic and transphobic messages, according to the messages.

Various outlets have reported on leaks from this group chat before, including The Intercept and The Daily Beast. But now anyone can scroll through the lightly redacted messages themselves. In an accompanying post, Best says the redactions were made to protect the privacy and personal information of “innocent, third parties.”

 

COHEN

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

Why is Trump so uninterested in — and Republicans so passive about — the threat to election security? We have a couple of theories.

One theory is that Trump simply hates the topic of Russian interference (so his Republican allies hate it, too). Time and again, he has sided with Putin in denying that interference occurred, only to be forced to retreat (usually via a spokesperson). Rightly or not, Trump thinks that the involvement of Russia in the 2016 election on his behalf, if widely accepted, would undercut his victory in 2016 and delegitimize his presidency. If he takes the problem seriously now, the public will be more and more convinced of Russia’s role. This is the “Trump cannot bring himself to believe” theory.

The other possibility is that Trump actively wants the help from the Kremlin. He likes the bot farms, the disinformation in social media (which he and his aides have been known to pick up and echo) and, most of all, WikiLeaks. Why would he try to shut any of that down, or expose his BFF Putin’s election interference operation? (Goodness knows what he and Putin actually discussed in Helsinki on this topic.) He might not be publicly calling for Russia to find and release Hillary Clinton’s emails, as he did the day Russian hacking of the DNC began (according to the indictment of Russian hackers in the special counsel’s investigation), but in essence, he has agreed to remain asleep at the wheel.

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

TRADE WAR

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

THE OTHER COHEN

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  Tuesday, Manafort’s trial begins.  This is the first court trial from the Special Counselor’s investigation.  I look forward to reading the transcripts.

Never in my adult life before Trump came to power did I ever say “Gee, I look forward to reading the transcripts of a court case about money laundering.  This is how I want to spend my Tuesday night”  The things we do to protect this county.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 07/27/2018

Friday, July 27th and the weekend

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

As I mentioned in Daily Check-In 07/26/2018, Trump knew and the evidence is mounting for the public to see.  Part of this is the roll-up to the meeting.

On June 7, 2016, Trump had a big press conference where he said he’d have something big to say about Hilary in a couple days.  When does Cohen say that Trump approved the meeting with the Russians?

June 7, 2016.  Shortly before his press conference, if the reports are accurate.

So, we have a meeting with Trump, Cohen, and between 3-5 other people on June 7th to approve and prepare for this meeting with Veselnitskaya and the rest of the Russian team.

Who were the people in the prep meeting?  We know that Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Donnie Jr. were in the official meeting.  If, and this is a big if, if all three of them were at the June 7th meeting, leaves Cohen and one other.  Personally, I doubt that Jared was at the prep meeting, since he wasn’t mailed about it until the next day.  It’s more likely that someone at the meeting said that they should include Jared, as he’s the least of a fuckup out of all the males in the family.  That leaves two spaces open for the meeting.  My guess is that the following attended the prep meeting:

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Donald Trump, Jr.
  3. Paul Manafort
  4. Michael Cohen
  5. Trump’s secretary Rhona
  6. Rick Gates

Rick Gates.  As in, Cooperating Witnesses Rick Gates.  Why him?  He was Paul Manafort’s right hand man in the campaign, and was deeply involved in all of the minutia.  Paul and Rick were likely pulled into this at Trump’s behest as well.  As long as either Paul or Rick were there, Mueller has had the notes from this meeting for a long time.  With Cohen, we have two eyewitnesses to Conspiracy Against the United States, and a slew of other crimes.

 

COHEN

The fallout continues with Rudy committing witness tampering.

 

STORMYGATE

Three more women are coming forward, and one of them involved a pregnancy.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

ECONOMY

 

TRADE WAR

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

#METOO

The title is misleading.  Kimberly wasn’t the victim, she was a perpetrator.  One of her “hobbies” was sharing dick pics around the office and telling people who they belonged to.  Not who sent her the pics, but whose dicks they were.

 

ELECTION 2018

 

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM

 

REBUILDING

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for the weekend.  Things are coming along and picking up speed.  Manafort’s trial begins on Tuesday, and is expected to last 2-3 weeks. Expect a ton of rage tweeting and crazy attacks in the next couple weeks.

Meanwhile, the other threads are all weaving together like a tapestry.  I try to keep things separated for convenience sake, but the closer we get to the endgame, the more the random threads tie together.  Certain players were involved in multiple parts, like Michael Cohen.  Not only was he deeply involved in all of the dealings with women, he was also privy to the Russian meetings in June.  We can make an easy jump from one crazy part of this saga (Seychelles meeting with Erik Prince) to another random part (Maria Butina) in only a couple small steps.  It’s like a corrupt version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Let’s see who the next player is, and how they can connect Mark Burnett to David Pecker in less than four moves.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 07/26/2018

Thursday, July 28th

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION: COHEN SAYS THAT TRUMP KNEW ABOUT JUNE 9 2016 MEETING BEFOREHAND

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN. Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said.

Cohen’s claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July 2017.

Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources.

Yeah, that just fucking happened.

Michael Cohen, the former fixer and attorney for President Donald Trump, alleges that not only did Trump know about the June 9th meeting, but that Trump approved the meeting, and that Cohen has witnesses to back it up.

To be honest, I’m a little surprised at this.

Not that Trump knew, he’s a micromanaging prick and a domineering, abusive parent who crushed his children into starving for his attention.  Donnie Jr. doesn’t take a shit in Trump Tower without Daddy saying it’s okay.

Nor am I surprised that Cohen is looking to make a deal and is willing to work with Mueller.  Michael Cohen was loyal, but not 30 years in prison loyal.  Cohen would die penniless in prison with all of the crimes he’s committed, and he’s been fishing for either a deal or a pardon for months.

What I am surprised about is just how fucking petty Donald Trump is in all of this.  If he were any more petty, “Running Down A Dream” would start playing in the background.  As soon as the Special Master gave Trump and Cohen a list of protected items, Trump’s team leaked the existence of tapes containing the two of them talking about paying off Karen McDougal. (Daily Check-In 07/20/2018)  Trump loses his mind because how dare someone record a conversation of him, even though he’s admitted to doing the same thing himself.  That started a tit-for-tat between them were they upped the ante each day.  Trump tells Maggie about the existence of these tapes.  Cohen says there are more tapes.  Trump attacks Cohen and calls him a liar.  Cohen releases the McDougal tape. (Daily Check-In 07/25/2018)  Then Trump’s team leaks to the press that Cohen is going to testify that Trump knew about the June 9 meeting.

You read that last part right.  Trump’s team said that Trump’s lawyer wants to tell the Special Counselor that Trump knew of and approved the June 9th meeting with the Russians.

Why in the Crystal Pepsi Flavored Fuck would anyone do that to themselves?  Think about this for a second and try to put yourself in their shoes.  Your long time partner in crime is under investigation for some serious crimes, but everything they got points to some of your smaller crimes.  You’re worried about what they’ll say to the cops.  You decide to protect yourself, so you do that by…incriminating yourself in even worse shit?  Just to fuck the other guy over? That’s like admitting to the cops that your buddy watched you shoot a guy and said nothing about it at the time.  HELLO!  What was the first part of that sentence?

The only two things I can think of are that this is either misdirection or completely out of spite.  This is either to distract from something truly horrible happening, like the news that he paid women to have abortions or more indictments are on the way, or he’s so mad that he doesn’t care how much this hurts him, as long as it hurts  the other guy.

 

WASHINGTON — For years, President Trump has used Twitter as his go-to public relations weapon, mounting a barrage of attacks on celebrities and then political rivals even after advisers warned he could be creating legal problems for himself.

Those concerns now turn out to be well founded. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Several of the remarks came as Mr. Trump was also privately pressuring the men — both key witnesses in the inquiry — about the investigation, and Mr. Mueller is examining whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation by both intimidating witnesses and pressuring senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.

Mr. Mueller wants to question the president about the tweets. His interest in them is the latest addition to a range of presidential actions he is investigating as a possible obstruction case: private interactions with Mr. Comey, Mr. Sessions and other senior administration officials about the Russia inquiry; misleading White House statements; public attacks; and possible pardon offers to potential witnesses.

We’ve been on this for a while, but it’s nice to get confirmation from the White House about it.

Pro Tip: Maggie Haberman is an access journalist and Trump’s frenemy.  He calls her when he wants to bitch about something, or get a story out.  This is often to deflect from a worse story.  It is news, but more like a No-Shit-Sherlock kind of news.  But it might as well be confirmation from the White House.

Like I said, we’ve been on this for a while.  Trump’s tweets are evidence of Obstruction of Justice and Witness Tampering. Not to mention a few other crimes like Conspiracy Against the United States, Espionage, and Treason.

I wonder what they were covering up?

Watchdog: Mysterious Donor May Have Illegally Laundered Trump Super PAC Cash

A mysterious company that donated $325,000 to a leading Trump super PAC this year may be illegally hiding the sources of money it used to support GOP political efforts, according to a legal complaint set to be filed today.

The Campaign Legal Center alleges in a complaint with the Federal Election Commission that Global Energy Producers LLC, the company behind that sizable contribution in May to America First Action, has all the hallmarks of a financial “conduit” set up to funnel money into political contests in ways that mask the real sources of the funds.

The Daily Beast revealed two of the individuals behind the group, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, in a story Wednesday. Fruman told the Russian-language news website ForumDaily that he attended a March donor retreat at Mar-a-Lago. He was pictured there with President Donald Trump amid meetings about the president’s and his party’s political efforts in the midterms and the 2020 general election.

That may not have been the last time Fruman met with Trump. CLC’s complaint cites an interview that Fruman gave to the New York-based outlet Jewish World. Fruman said he and Parnas were among nine attendees at a private meeting with Trump in early May in Washington. They discussed the midterm election and efforts to retain Republican majorities in Congress.

The White House did not respond to attempts to confirm the meeting and Fruman’s account of it.

Fruman recalled the meeting taking place in the first few days of May. About two weeks later, Global Energy Producers made its sizable contribution to America First Action. Over the following month, Fruman and Parnas donated $111,000 to Protect the House, a joint fundraising committee supporting the National Republican Congressional Committee and a host of GOP House campaigns. They also gave to the re-election campaigns of Republican Reps. Pete Sessions (Texas) and Joe Wilson (SC), and to the Senate campaign of Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).

Nothing like laundering foreign money into the campaigns of the entire Republican Party to set them up as co-conspirators in a RICO case.

 

$20 says it’s Dana Rohrabacher.

When FBI counterintelligence agents plowed through the emails of alleged Russian agent Maria Butina’s networking around Washington, they discovered her plan to arrange “friendship and dialogue dinners” with influential Americans.

At one dinner, ABC News has learned, in February 2017 at the tony French eaterie, Bistro Bis, one guest who dined with the then-28 year old Russian was a California Republican congressman on the House Foreign Relations committee, Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher’s office confirmed he attended.

Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia, April 21, 2013.

It wasn’t their first meeting.

Two years earlier, Butina had helped arrange a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia that included Rohrabacher and her mentor, Kremlin-connected banker Alexander Torshin, federal officials have confirmed.

Russian Council of the Federation Deputy Chief Alexander Torshin is seen during a meeting, April, 3, 2012 in Maloyaroslavets, Kaluga region, Russia.

To Rohrabacher’s critics, these repeated interactions with a woman now jailed on suspicion of mounting an influence campaign at the behest of the Russian government, have added more fuel to longstanding questions about his Kremlin connections. This past weekend, anti-Putin crusader and businessman Bill Browder told a room of national security experts gathered in Aspen that he believes Rohrabacher is “on the payroll of Russia.”

“I believe he is under some type of influence by the Russian government,” Browder said.

Nailed it.

 

Senior National Rifle Association (NRA) figures in 2015 reportedly met with the wife of the billionaire who allegedly funded Marina Butina, the Russian woman who was indicted last week for allegedly conspiring to work for the Russian government by infiltrating organizations that have influence in U.S. politics, including the NRA.

The NRA officials met with Svetlana Nikolaeva, the wife of Konstantin Nikolaev, on a trip to Russia in 2015, according to The Guardian.

Svetlana owns a gun company that supplies rifles to the Russian military and intelligence services, according to The Guardian.

Konstantin Nikolaev, a Russian billionaire with ties to U.S. industries, financially supported Butina’s gun rights group, according to The Washington Post. Court filings from last week also suggest Butina sent messages about her “funder,” a Russian man who prosecutors said is worth $1.2 billion and often travels to the U.S.

Nikolaev was listed by Forbes this year as having a net worth of $1.2 billion. He has investments in energy and technology companies in the U.S.

The report that his wife met with NRA officials in 2015 adds to a growing controversy over ties between the NRA and Russian officials.

Butina and her alleged co-conspirator, high-level Russian government official Alexander Torshin, were reportedly “life members” of the NRA, met with top NRA officials and attended the gun lobbying group’s conventions.

First Alexander Torshin, now Nikolaev.  That’s at least two Russian Oligarchs that we know that were in league with senior members of the NRA, in just the last couple days.  That doesn’t include others like Deripaska, or lawyers like Veselnitskaya, or Intelligence members like Kilimnik.

War and Peace didn’t have this many Russians in it.  I think I have to make a section in the Cast of Characters just to keep track of the Russians involved.

 

Speaking of Russians, we now have the first confirmed attack by them on the 2018 election.  They tried the same old tricks on Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.  She’s a Democrat in a state that went for Trump in 2016, and an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin.

 

Yep, it’s Natalia.  We confirmed this back on Daily Check-In 04/27/2018, but it’s nice to get some more evidence and watch others come to the party.

 

COHEN: TRUMP CFO SUBPOENAED

A federal grand jury investigating President Donald Trump‘s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen for possible crimes has subpoenaed the chief financial officer of Trump’s company, Allen Weisselberg, to testify, a new report said Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the case, said that Weisselberg, who is an executive of the Trump Organization, is considered a witness in the ongoing probe of Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen.

The newspaper said it is not clear if Weisselberg has already testified to the grand jury, which is meeting in New York City.

Weisselberg, 70, was mentioned by Cohen in a conversation that Cohen secretly recorded with Trump in September 2016 that discussed buying the rights to the story of Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with the president. The recording of that conversation was aired earlier this week by CNN.

I mentioned Allan Weisselberg on Daily Check-In 07/25/2018 a little in relation to the McDougal Tape.  He’s mentioned by name as being the guy Cohen sought out for help in paying off the women and setting up Essential Consultants, LLC.  I was wondering why his name wasn’t making waves.

Those waves came in pretty quick yesterday.  Looks like Allan, the Chief Financial Officer of Trump Organization, as well as the accountant going back to the Fred Trump days, was subpoenaed to testify before the Grand Jury in SDNY about the Michael Cohen case.

The government has seized more than 100 recordings that Cohen made of his conversations with people discussing matters that could relate to Trump and his businesses and with Trump himself talking, according to two people familiar with the recordings. Cohen appeared to make some recordings with an iPhone — without telling anyone he was taping them.

A significant portion of the recordings is Cohen surreptitiously recording reporters who met with or questioned Cohen about Trump during the campaign and after Trump’s election, the people said.

Trump’s voice is on several of the recordings, but only in snippets — typically when he is returning a call from Cohen or asking Cohen on a voice-mail message to call him back, the people said. The only recording in which Trump and Cohen have a substantive conversation is the one that Davis released Tuesday, according to these people.

 

STORMYGATE

Hey, look at the timing.  I should have more details tomorrow, but it looks like Michael Avenatti has at least three more women that attest to being paid off by Cohen and Trump to keep an affair quiet, and at least one of them involved a pregnancy.

I’m waiting for the “Christians” to give Trump the “benefit of the doubt” for him paying for abortions.  Notice the plural tense.

 

EMOLUMENTS

Thursday’s the day that keeps on giving.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

11.  Out of 230 Republicans, they could only get 11 to get on board with the impeachment.  The people involved with this decision should be shamed into the corner of the room and told to stand there until retirement.

What the fuck did I just say?  GET IN THE CORNER JIM, AND DON’T COME OUT UNTIL YOU APOLOGIZE TO THE STUDENT ATHLETES LEFT IN YOUR CARE THAT YOU PUT IN HARM’S WAY!!!

Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House.  Then again, Dennis Hastert was a registered sex offender and couldn’t be left around children.  His ignorance of sexual depravity will fit in just fine.

 

FIGHTING BACK

This last part is what we need.  We need to apply the Magnitsky Law to each and every man, woman, and child that took part in the attack on the United States.  Freeze their passports, their visas, their bank accounts, their assets, all of it.  And not just the participants, but their families and associates, too.

You know how to get regime change in Russia?  Freeze the assets of every Oligarch, Mafioso, their friends, their families, and everyone who’s ever talked to them or looked at them until they put Putin’s head on top of St. Basil’s Cathedral.  Fuck with their money, that’ll get their attention.

 

IMMIGRATION

About 700 children still haven’t been reunited with their parents.  Know what that’s called? Kidnapping.

Here’s an idea.  Give the government a new deadline, like maybe a week.  If any kids still aren’t reunited by the end of the week, then the judge should hold the senior officials of the DHS and HHS in contempt of court.  Up to and most certainly including Secretary Nielsen.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

3D printing guns.  Providing people that shouldn’t be able to buy guns with the plans and technology to build their own.  What could possibly go wrong?

Fuck this.  If I can’t 3D print my own furniture without running afoul of legal restrictions, then guns are way out of the question.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SAVING THE INTERNET

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

RUMOR MILL

I’ve talked about this before in Voter Rolls – The Easy Target.

 

That’s it for Thursday.  It was one hell of a busy day.  Friday’s so far starting off weird.  One of Avenatti’s new clients involved a pregnancy, and there was a weird run-in at the airport.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 07/25/2018

Wednesday, July 25th

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION: MARK MEADOWS FILES IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES AGAINST ROD ROSENSTEIN

I can’t say I’m surprised by this move.  Hell, I was expecting it after what happened a couple weeks ago. (Daily Check-In 07/13/2018).  These articles have been sitting around for a while, but the timing on them is a publicity stunt.

Congress’s last day in session is Thursday.  After that, they’re in recess until after Labor Day.  Meadows and Jordan could have forced a voice vote on this, but decided no to.  Likely because they have little to no support.

Only 11 people sponsored this bill.  Here is the list so far…

  • Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)
  • Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ)
  • Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)
  • Rep. Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (R-AZ)
  • Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA)
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
  • Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
  • Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
  • Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)

All 11 are members of the Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party wing of the House.  Many of them have their own problems or tie-ins.  Matt Gaetz has ties to Roger Stone, (Daily Check-In 12/13/2017), Mark Meadows is closely tied to the Trump Organization, and Jim Jordan has spent the last month calling sexual assault victims liars (Daily Check-In 07/18/2018).  Paul Gosar is a dentist who claimed to know more about reading people than the former head of FBI Counterintelligence (Daily Check-In 07/12/2018).

The accusations are baseless and an obvious attempt to obstruct justice.  They claim that Rod Rosenstein has not provided enough information to the House in their “investigations” into Russia, even though the DOJ has handed over hundreds of thousands of documents.  Their basis for the claim is that some information is being withheld which is vital to an active investigation, and this Congress has shown no interest in honoring law enforcement practices or traditions.

Republicans filed impeachment proceedings against a Republican appointee as Deputy Attorney General who ordered an investigation into the firing of a Republican FBI Director by a Republican President, and appointed a Republican Special Counselor after the Republican Attorney General recused himself from the investigation.  Yet they’ll scream this is all the Democrats fault.

 

COHEN

We’re now to the point where the President releases a fake transcript of a recording his attorney made because the client is a lying sack of shit.

As this goes on, more and more tapes will come out, and the content will get worse and worse.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Nunes hasn’t read it because he doesn’t have the security clearance to read it.

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

EMOLUMENTS

 

TRADE WAR

I want to sit back and admire, just for a second, the sheer amount of stupid at play here.

Trump decides to start a trade war with China because reasons (treasons, more likely).  He places tariffs on the Chinese buying produce from the U.S., which causes them to say “screw it” and not buy that produce.  Farmers who depend almost exclusively on the Chinese and their 1.3 billion people to buy their products are about to lose everything.  Instead of rolling back the tariffs, Trump doubles down on them, and then says that they’ll help the farmers by offering them $12 billion in welfare to help them, but can’t make that money out of other programs because he signed a tax cut of more than a trillion dollars, so the only place he can get that money to pay the farmers suffering because of high tariffs on the Chinese are… the Chinese.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.

I’m not sure what’s coming on Thursday, but I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in the last few days on Reddit.  Normally on /r/politics, there are decent collection of varied stories on the front page, all about new stories from within the last day or two.  Recently, I’ve seen several examples of old stories, more than a week old, hitting the front page and sticking, and almost all of them are either non-Russia related, or have clickbaity titles.  This then buries new stories that are Russia related, or focuses the attention elsewhere.

I hope this is just a fluctuation and not a trend.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalits, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

Daily Check-In 07/24/2018

Tuesday, July 24th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

 

COHEN

TRUMP: Get me a Coke, please!

COHEN: They don’t have a legitimate purpose, so —

TRUMP: And you have a woman that doesn’t want this.

COHEN: Correct.

TRUMP: Who you’ve been handling.

COHEN: Yes. And —

TRUMP: And it’s been going on for a while.

COHEN: About two, three weeks now.

TRUMP: All you’ve got to do is delay for —

COHEN: Even after that, it’s not ever going to be opened. There’s no, there’s no purpose for it. Um, told you about Charleston. Um, I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David, you know, so that — I’m going to do that right away. I’ve actually come up and I’ve spoken —

TRUMP: Give it to me and get me a [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

COHEN: And, I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with …

TRUMP: So, what do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?

COHEN: … Funding . . . Yes. Um, and it’s all the stuff.

TRUMP: Yeah, I was thinking about that.

COHEN: All the stuff. Because — here, you never know where that company — you never know what he’s —

TRUMP: Maybe he gets hit by a truck.

COHEN: Correct. So, I’m all over that. And, I spoke to Allen about it, when it comes time for the financing, which will be —

TRUMP: Wait a sec, what financing?

COHEN: Well, I’ll have to pay him something.

TRUMP: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] pay with cash.

COHEN: No, no, no, no, no. I got it.

TRUMP: Check.

[Tape cuts off abruptly. Separate recording begins.]

MALE: Hey Don, how are you?

Allen Weisselberg is the CFO of Trump Organization.  David is either the pseudonym David Dennison, the one Cohen and Trump used in their NDA’s, or more likely David Pecker, Owner of AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer.  Karen McDougal sold her story to the Enquirer for $150,000. (Daily Check-In 01/12/2018)

Just reading this transcript makes my brain hurt.  Trump is a dipshit, a bull in a china shop with no understanding or concept of reality.  Cohen’s trying to come off as all slick and sly, using euphemisms and talking about “our friend, David” and “financing”, and Trump just blurts everything out like the dumbest fucking criminal on Earth.

As former prosecutor, 3 things notable about Cohen tape:

1) Clear Giuliani was untruthful when he said Trump didn’t know

2) Goal was to kill story before election, so campaign motivated

3) Regardless of cash or check, whole point of phony corp. was to hide campaign expenditure

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

TRADE WAR: THE FARMER WELFARE EDITION

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: SEX CRIMES DIVISION

Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman used her family fortune to buy an entire island, the private plane to get there — and, the feds say, to bankroll a sex cult.

On Tuesday, the 39-year-old — who is worth roughly $200 million — was busted on racketeering chargesfor her role in running Nxivm, alongside three other high-ranking members.

The arrests are part of an ongoing federal investigation into the group’s leader, Keith Raniere, and his right-hand woman, former ​”Smallville​”​ star Allison Mack.

Raniere and Mack are charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy for allegedly coercing women into joining a secretive master-slave society within Nxivm— where “slaves” were forced to pleasure Raniere, have his initials permanently branded onto their skin and perform free labor.

In Brooklyn federal court Tuesday, a gaunt Bronfman pleaded not guilty to allegations she conspired with Raniere to steal email passwords from his “perceived enemies,” racked up charges on the credit card of his dead ex-girlfriend and laundered money to help a non-citizen fraudulently gain entry to the US.

​Bronfman was part of an “inner circle” of loyalists who “committed a broad range of serious crimes from identity theft and obstruction of justice to sex trafficking, all to promote and protect Raniere and NXIVM,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement.

​She faces up to 20 years behind bars if found guilty — a stunning change in circumstances for a woman who could have had anything in the world she wanted.

Bronfman and her older sister, Sara, are the daughters of late Canadian billionaire Edgar Bronfman Sr. and a British barmaid-turned-socialite 20 years his junior. She was his third of four wives — and they were the youngest of his seven kids.

 

 

ELECTION 2018

 

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Tuesday.   I’m cutting it short today as I’m reaching way too late in Wednesday to be talking about Tuesday.  SecState Pompeo is set to testify before the Senate, and there are rumors of Cohen flipping, but I still think he’s trying to play both sides against each other.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 07/23/2018

Monday, July 23rd

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

A federal judge Monday unsealed the names of five witnesses granted immunity by special counsel Robert Mueller to testify at the upcoming trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The witnesses, who Mueller’s team had sought to keep from public view until they were called to testify, are:

  1. James Brennan
  2. Donna Duggan
  3. Conor O’Brien
  4. Cindy Laporta
  5. Dennis Raico

The unsealed court documents do not provide details about what the witnesses may be expected to testify about. None of the newly revealed witnesses have figured prominently in the case or the coverage of the case to this point.

A person named Dennis Raico was previously affiliated with Federal Savings Bank (FSB), a small Chicago bank that provided Manafort with $16 million in loans shortly after Manafort left the Trump campaign. FSB founder Steve Calk served as an economic adviser to the Trump campaign. NBC has reported that Mueller is investigating whether Manafort promised to secure Calk an administration position in exchange for the loans.

An individual identified as “J. Brennan” was allegedly included in several email chains that Mueller’s team plans to submit for the trial, according to their exhibit list. Brennan is allegedly included on chains with Raico and Laporta about tax returns and a loan agreement. A LinkedIn profile for a James Brennan lists him as vice president commercial and construction loan manager at the Federal Savings Bank.

“Both O’Brien and Laporta work for the accounting firm of Kositzka, Wicks and Company, according to the firm’s website. KWC was Manafort’s accounting firm, according to a person familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg reported.

A “D. Duggan” appeared several times on a list of exhibits filed by prosecutors in the case last week. Duggan was allegedly part of email chains involving proof of insurance for a property at 377 Union St. in Brooklyn, which is known to be a brownstone owned by Manafort that is referenced in his indictment.

Wow.  We’ve talked about Federal Savings Bank before (Daily Check-In 02/21/2018), but not Dennis Raico.  We talked at length about Stephen Calk, and how he allegedly extended these loans to Manafort for an appointment or Cabinet position.  My guess is Dennis Raico was likely a party to that matter.  If he were just a witness, there wouldn’t be a need for immunity.  I can’t say for certain without more research, but he could have been the loan officer that certified the paperwork.  James Brennan was the Vice President of the bank.

O’Brien and Laporta worked at Manafort’s accounting firm, and Duggan has ties to an insurance scam.

 

 

COHEN

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

This last one is kind of big for Jeff Sessions, as this comes awfully close to him.  This case goes straight to the heart of Alabama politics.

 

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

ELECTION 2018

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  This article is shorter than normal, not because stuff didn’t happen, but I was still catching up on the previous post.  Because of that, this post isn’t as in-depth as most of them are.

On another note, I didn’t notice this until early this morning, but I started this blog a little over a year ago.  July 21, 2017.  368 days and 270 posts later, here we are.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 07/20/2018

Friday, July 20th and the weekend

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION: REDACTED PAGE FISA APPLICATION RELEASED, BUTINA HAD MULTIPLE CONTACTS ACROSS GOP, INCLUDING MARK SANFORD’S THANKSGIVING DAY BBQ, MUELLER SUBPOENAS A MADAM

The Sheldon Cooper of Treason is back in the news.  This time, we get the FISA application and renewals.  Yes, they are heavily redacted, but we do learn quite a few things from what is and isn’t there.

First, the surveillance worked.  They gathered quite a bit on Carter Page.  For example, his list of known Russian Intelligence connections nearly tripled from the first application to the last.

Second, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that all of the Traitor Tots that screamed from the top of their lungs that this was poisoned fruit because of Christopher Steele were full of shit.  They lied about how much the FISA warrant was based off of Steele’s work, they lied about what was in the application, and they lied about how Carter Page was an innocent bystander.

Third, we see that the Traitor Tots of Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, et al, have no strategic forethought.  Out of all of the hills to die on, Carter Page was tactically unsound.  Carter Page has had years of contacts with Russian Intelligence, to the point that the FISA court consider him to be an asset of the Russians.  Even worse is that every time he opens his mouth, he sticks his foot in it.  His decisions have been borderline braindead (Daily Check-In 11/07/2017), and when he does decide on a story, he finds the worst way possible to spin it.  The best conclusion I can draw from the Traitor Tots going balls out to protect Carter Page is that they are caught working with him, and they’re assuming that everything Carter knows, the FBI knows.

More information came out about the Red Sparrow this weekend.  Not only did she have extensive communications with GOP high rollers across the government, but she likely influenced several White House hirings, including up to the Cabinet.  She did this by manipulating Paul Erickson, who then put pressure on his GOP friends to insist on hiring someone or not hiring someone.  They put pressure on Trump to not hire Mitt Romney as his Secretary of State, and pushed KT McFarland as Mike Flynn’s Deputy National Security Advisor.

Maria was also at Mark Sanford’s 2017 Thanksgiving Party.  There were about 300 people at his BBQ, and Maria was Paul Erickson’s plus 1.

She also had contacts with people at the Treasury Department.

So, I’d love it to hear someone explain to me how a 29 year old Russian National grad student was able to meet with so many different people in the government, in the lobbying world, and in all of these special interest groups, all the while no one thought her being around was weird or suspicious.

I’m taking a huge grain of salt since Glenn Greenwald wrote this, and he’s basically a stooge for Assange and Putin, but there could be something to this.  Keep an eye out over the next few weeks, especially if someone not Glenn Greenwald reports on this.

This might be the craziest thread I’ve followed in this whole investigation, but Roger Stone has connections to human trafficking, drug dealing, and prostitution.  This is gonna get pretty WTF, so bear with me.

Robert Mueller subpoenaed the madam that provided a high-end prostitute to former New York politician Elliot Spitzer.  This woman, Kristin Davis, is connected to Roger Stone directly through Andrew Miller, one of Stone’s aides who med with Mueller’s team earlier in the week. (Daily Check-In 07/18/2018).  After Spitzer resigned, Davis ran for public office because why the fuck not.  Her campaign manager was Andrew Miller.  In recent years, Ms. Davis has been arrested for providing drugs along with a piece of ass to her clients.

Here’s where it gets really fucked up.  Supposedly Stone, Davis, and Miller share connections to a group called NXIVM.  It’s one of these self-help pyramid schemes for rich people and almost rich people who want to be more right and well-connected.  If they sound familiar, I’ve mentioned them once or twice in the Crime and Punishment sections regarding Allison Mack getting busted for human trafficking, owning sex slaves, and blackmail. (Daily Check-In 04/20/2018).  The Frank Report has been on this shit like black clothes on a goth kid.  Anyway, Roger Stone supposedly has a connection with this group, and got into some trouble with them when he tried to hack to the email of the former leaders of the group looking for dirt on Hilary Clinton back in 2008.

To be honest, I wanted to avoid NXIVM like the plague.  I have enough conspiracy theories and crackpot shit to follow up on without adding a cult that makes look Scientology look normal to the list.  But, now that Roger Stone is neck deep in all of it, it warrants at least a cursory look.  I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that everything else I cover is connected in one way, shape, or form, and I wanted at least one weird thing to not be involved.  Now there’s a whole new level of crazy to look into.

Fuck.

 

COHEN: LORDY, THERE ARE TAPES

Speaking of weird shit, the New York Times released a story Friday afternoon after Maggie Haberman got a call from Trump and his lawyers bitching about how Michael Cohen recorded their conversations.  They then proceeded to tell Maggie the contents of one of the tapes, which was about Trump and Cohen talking about paying back the National Enquirer for them buying Karen McDougal’s story before the election.  This recorded information was not in the FBI’s possession because the Special Master reviewing the evidence determined that attorney-client privilege applied to this tape, but that Trump’s team of lawyers were getting this out in the press and were waving that right.

Confused yet?  Good.

Michael Cohen recorded a lot of his phone calls, including those with Donald Trump because Cohen is a slime ball who does this, and Trump is a lying narcissistic shit.  When the FBI raided his shit( Daily Check-In 04/09/2018), and they had a Special Master decide that out of millions of record, only a handful were protected by privilege, that information was shared with both Cohen’s team and Trump’s team.  Trump, a man who is famous for recording phone calls himself, lost his shit when he found out Cohen did the same to him, and likely called his enabler Maggie Haberman to bitch about this.  Unlike other times where Maggie released a story to block other bad news from getting out (Daily Check-In 01/25/2018,Daily Check-In 01/26/2018), this time it feels like Trump wasn’t trying to cover something up, but trying to throw Cohen under the bus.

By the way, there are more tapes out there.  I’ll have more on Monday’s post.

 

TRUMP FOUNDATION

Another story that flew under the radar Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under pressure following the initial civil lawsuit against the Trump Foundation to do more, so this case has been forwarded to the state tax agency for criminal investigation.

Remember, a Presidential Pardon is useless against state crimes.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

During the last couple years, I’ve changed a lot as I’ve learned things.  One of the things I didn’t want to learn was Rand and Ron Paul’s connections to Russia.  They have some long-standing ties back to Russia, and both spouted the same Pro-Russia stances, even when they were at direct odds with their libertarian philosophies.

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

WELCOME TO THE PARTY

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR AND THE ECONOMY

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

THANKS, OBAMA

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for Friday and the weekend.  Since I was late in posting Friday’s post, and the Carter Page stuff came out Saturday night, I said screw it, make it one post, and put it up sometime Monday.  That, and I needed a day or two off.

One of these months, I’ll finish the What’d I miss post from my vacation, as well as looking at old news through the lens of what we now know.  For example, we know that Trump has knows about Putin attacking the United States through his whole presidency, but we haven’t looked at previous stories now that we know.  Like, does knowing what we know make Devin Nunes’s hard-on for killing the 702(c) provision in the FISA Act fit with the new information?

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur