Daily Check-In 07/16/2018

Monday the 16th and the weekend.



A criminal complaint was unsealed today in the District of Columbia charging a Russian national with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Maria Butina, 29, a Russian citizen residing in Washington D.C., was arrested on July 15, 2018, in Washington, D.C., and made her initial appearance this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was ordered held pending a hearing set for July 18, 2018.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, from as early as 2015 and continuing through at least February 2017, Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank.  This Russian official was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control in April 2018.

The court filings detail the Russian official’s and Butina’s efforts for Butina to act as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation. The filings also describe certain actions taken by Butina to further this effort during multiple visits from Russia and, later, when she entered and resided in the United States on a student visa. The filings allege that she undertook her activities without officially disclosing the fact that she was acting as an agent of Russian government, as required by law.

The charges in criminal complaints are merely allegations and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.  If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The investigation into this matter was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Here’s the affidavit

Holy crap on a crap cracker, this is big.  Huge.  I’ve got this as the main story on a day where Donald Trump gave Vladimir Putin a verbal blowjob in front of the entire world.  That’s how big I think it is.

I’ve been on the NRA is a bunch of money laundering, traitorous assholes like black clothes on a goth kid since at least Daily Check-In 10/2/2017.  Many of the players are well known at this point, including Alexander Torshin’s right hand woman, Maria Butina.  I first discussed Maria, also spelled Mariia, on Daily Check-In 03/09/2018, when a YouTube clip of her surfaced asking Donald Trump at a rally how he’d deal with Russia.

Before and after her time asking questions, she’s posed as a “gun rights enthusiast”, often showing up at NRA events alongside or representing Alexander Torshin.  She’s had meetings with everyone from Scott Walker to Rick Santorum to Sheriff David Clarke, both here in the U.S. and in Russia.

Sunday,  she was arrested for being an Agent of the Russian Federation without prior notification to the Attorney General.  That’s legalese for being an unregistered spy, diplomat, or lobbyist.  Spycraft gets a little weird on the laws surrounding it, but every country is allowed to have legal spies working for them in the United States, just so long as they register with the State Department and/or Justice Department.  They’re usually called diplomats or attaches, but in reality they’re legal spies.

Where Maria’s concerned, she apparently never registered, and like many Russians in the country, never intended to.   That’s one problem with Putin’s regime; everyone with ties to the Kremlin does some type of spycraft.

Maria has been a subject of an investigation since at least April, when the FBI raided her apartment and seized her laptop.  The arrest warrant was signed by the judge on Saturday, and she was taken into custody on Sunday.

What I think happened is that after the indictments dropped on Friday (Daily Check-In 07/13/2018), Putin made the call to his agents in the United States to either get home right away, or go to a country with no extradition.  Before she could get out of the country, she was tagged.

That’s why I think this is so important; she’s under arrest in the United States.  The GRU hackers will likely never see the inside of an American courthouse, but Maria is here.

She ties everyone together.  She ties together the Republican Party, the National Rifle Association, Dana Rohrabacher, Donald Trump, the Kremlin, the Russian banks, and all the intermediaries.  She can bring everyone down.

As of this writing, she’s being held in prison on a psychiatric hold.  Getting arrested for being a spy can screw with a person’s well being.


  1. How do Erik Prince, the Seychelles, and the inauguration fit in?
  2. How do the UAE, Qatar, and Jared Kushner fit in?
  3. What role did Sergey Kislyak, the GOP convention, and the finances of the Russian Embassy play?
  4. How do Roger Stone, Wikileaks, and other Americans and Brits fit into the GRU indictment?
  5. What did Mueller learn from George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, and Michael Flynn?
  6. What’s in those 291,000 Michael Cohen documents?
  7. What’s up with that Trump Tower meeting?
  8. How relevant is Cambridge Analytica and was there a coordinated effort by the Trump campaign or associates to gather intelligence or untoward opposition research on Hillary Clinton?
  9. Do people like Carter Page and Felix Sater matter?


This was treachery that occurred before Helsinki.

As we take more time to parse what we’ve learned, expect to hear more and more about the various “coincidences” that no longer are, like changes in Trump’s campaign strategies that line up perfectly with them getting their hands on HRC’s analytics.


So, where to next?

I’m a little suspicious of The Independent, but the idea that Breitbart, Daily Caller, Gateway Pundit and others helped spread Russian propaganda isn’t just smoke.  There’s a four alarm blaze behind it.


This is another interesting development.  Rachel Maddow covered this, but the short version is that yesterday the judge in Manafort’s case in the Eastern District of Virginia, known as the “Rocket Docket” for their breakneck speed, allowed a postponement in a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Tuesday.  While there’s many reasons for this, it could indicate that Paulie Walnuts is ready to make a deal.

Funny how a few days in the general population of a maximum security prison could make a person more willing to cooperate.


This should have been the biggest story of the week, but instead I’m bringing it to you as the “Steal of the Week!”

Yeah, enough hyperbole.

The big takeaway from this story is that Mueller’s team has been moving pieces of their investigation to other jurisdictions and areas of the government for them to prosecute.  This way, not all of the investigations into this sprawling mess are handled by one team, and it protects Mueller’s team even more by removing the “it’s all Mueller” talking point from the shills like Hannity.

He’s outsourcing the investigation to other U.S. Attorney Offices.  He’s already done this with Michael Cohen, and likely Maria Butina.  Many more will come.



Jesus fucking Christ.  I’m getting sick and tired of thinking that there is a set lower limit to how bad things can be, just to be proven wrong.

The President of the United States defended the head of a foreign power who committed an Act of War against the United States, then proceeded to verbally attack the country he’s sworn to protect.

Donald Trump colluded with the Russians in front of the entire world, and defended their actions in meddling in the election.

No, not just colluded.  Conspired.

Not just meddled.  Attacked.

Donald Trump committed treason.

Even if, in the infinitesimal chance he didn’t do so during the campaign and election (Spoiler Alert: He was involved in every step), Trump committed treason by siding with a foreign power against America’s interests.

As far as the narrow legal definition goes, he provided aid and comfort to a foreign power in a time of war.

That’s treasonous.



WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today issued the following statement:

“There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world. That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence. The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy.”

When the spineless one says this, you done fucked up.


The reactions ranged from the subtle…

Comey: ‘Patriots Need to Stand Up and Reject’ Trump’s Behavior

Crime A Day throwing some shade

Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: ‘Do you know which team you play for?’

Hillary Clinton: ‘Now we know’ which team Trump plays for

Schwarzenegger: Trump looked like a ‘little wet noodle’ during Putin press conference


To strongly worded rebukes…

Is this how a President should act like? Really shameful…

John McCain: Today was “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory”

McCain: ‘No Prior President Has Ever Abased Himself More Abjectly Before a Tyrant’


To pointing out the obvious

The CIA Had a Rule Against Meeting the KGB Alone. Trump Was Reckless to Ignore It With Putin.

Trump and Putin: what we know is damning

U.S. Intel Community Reacts with Fury to Trump’s Rebuke

Donald Trump Is Fulfilling All of Those Obama Conspiracy Theories

Vladimir Putin Sees Donald Trump As ‘Weak’ And ‘Incoherent’ After Phone Call In March, Former U.S. Ambassador To Russia Says


To asking what kompromat Putin has on Trump…

Donald Trump ‘Owned’ By Russia ‘For Many Years,’ Says ‘Art Of Deal’ Ghostwriter, Calls Trump ‘America’s Enemy’

Ex-CIA chief tears into Trump for one-on-one meeting with Putin: What is he hiding?

Ex-RNC chairman: Trump sounded like an ‘asset’ next to his ‘handler’

Pelosi: ‘The Russians have something on the president’

Who’s Your Vladdy? What does Putin have on Trump?


To the flabbergasted…

‘Shameful,’ ‘disturbing,’ and an ’embarrassment’ — Congress reacts to Trump’s press conference with Putin

“He Should Have Defended Us”: Even Fox News Is Sick of Trump’s Putin Worship

Anderson Cooper: Trump-Putin presser was “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president”

The Most Incompetent Demagogue In History | HuffPost

This Was Among the Most Disgraceful Moments in the Modern History of the American Presidency

We are a deeply stupid country


To calls for resignations…

If you work for Trump, quit now

It’s Resignation Time

Southeast Ohio Republican Party leader resigns over Trump-Putin meeting

Ohio Republican Party county chair leaves GOP after Trump-Putin meeting over ‘sense of duty’


To people finally recognizing what this has been all along: treason.

Dictionary.com shares definition of ‘traitor’ after Trump press conference with Putin

Donald Trump is the new Benedict Arnold

Opinion | Trump, Treasonous Traitor

The Way Trump and the GOP Deal with Russian Attacks is ‘Textbook Treason’

‘Treason’ Is Top Searched Word After Trump-Putin Press Conference | HuffPost

Yes #TreasonSummit, There’s Legal Basis For Impeaching Trump Now

That was treason, Donald Trump. We all saw it

July 16th, 2018 will be a historic day.  It’s the day that all doubt was erased about whether or not President Donald Trump is a traitor to the United States of America.  It’s the day that the world saw, many for the first time, how deep this rabbit hole goes.

I’m not going to ridicule, insult, or attack anyone who’s just now coming to the party.  I’m glad you finally arrived.  There’s punch and pie in the back.



This was funny and sad at the same time.  Funny because Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedic genius who can pull some truly messed-up shit out of thin air, and sad because it didn’t take much to get people like Dana Rohrabacher to go on camera and give a testimonial and endorsement of the Kinderguardian program.  Watch the clip and you’ll see what I mean.





















The battle over court packing is being fought on the wrong terms. Americans of all political stripes should want to see the court expanded, but not to get judicial results more favorable to one party. Instead, we need a bigger court because the current institutional design is badly broken. The right approach isn’t a revival of FDR’s court packing plan, which would have increased the court to 15, or current plans, which call for 11. Instead, the right size is much, much bigger. Three times its current size, or 27, is a good place to start, but it’s quite possible the optimal size is even higher. This needn’t be done as a partisan gambit to stack more liberals on the court. Indeed, the only sensible way to make this change would be to have it phase in gradually, perhaps adding two justices every other year, to prevent any one president and Senate from gaining an unwarranted advantage.








I haven’t bullshit-coughed that hard since the first time I saw ‘Attack of the Clones’ and Chancellor Palpatine said “I love democracy.”










That’s it for Monday.  Holy shit, that was crazy.  It’s Tuesday Afternoon, and I’m just wrapping things up.  I hope Tuesday will be lighter, but we’re in the shit now, someone’s gotta shovel it.

I’m not sure exactly what’s next, but expect protests and calls for action.  How Congress reacts I think will rely heavily on how screwed they think they are, and whom they’re more afraid of; their base or the masses.

One thing I didn’t include was a tweet I saw from Pace.  He said he received a tip from one of his USSS buddies that several GOP senators had an emergency meeting last night over the phone.  The timing was right after the Helsinki meeting, but before news of Butina’s arrest broke.  With two major stories breaking, the meeting could have been about either thing, or both.  As always take it with a grain of salt.

I just realized something.  The meeting took place in Helsinki, Finland.  It made me think of Die Hard, where they’re talking about Helsinki Syndrome.  It’s actually Stockholm Syndrome, but they’ve become somewhat interchangeable by this point.  Stockholm Syndrome is the psychological condition where one being held captive begins to feel attachment to their captors.  That might explain a little bit of the MAGA mindset…

Yeah, bad joke.  I’ll see myself out.


Thank you, and have a good one.


“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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