Monday the 16th and the weekend.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION: NRA/TRUMP/KREMLIN BACKCHANNEL MARIA BUTINA ARRESTED
- Woman Who Sought Secret Meeting for Trump and Putin Is Charged as Russian Agent
- Russian gun rights advocate charged in U.S. with acting as a Russian Federation agent
- Russian National Charged in Conspiracy to Act as an Agent of the Russian Federation Within the United States | OPA
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.
- Russian activist linked to NRA charged with conspiracy
- Photos Show Links Between NRA Leaders and Alleged Russian Spy Maria Butina
- NRA Illegally Used Shell Company to Coordinate With GOP in Violation of Election Law, Complaint Says
- Manu Raju: Senator Feinstein and Dems wanted to interview Butina, GOP stonewalled them
- Scott Stedman: Dana Rohrabacher is the Congressman in Butina’s Affidavit
- Scott Walker met with woman now charged in Russian plot during his presidential bid
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.
- Mueller’s New Indictment Warns Russian Hackers Could Return for 2018 Election
- Seychelles meetings probed by Mueller included several Russians
- What Robert Mueller Knows—and 9 Areas He’ll Pursue Next
- How do Erik Prince, the Seychelles, and the inauguration fit in?
- How do the UAE, Qatar, and Jared Kushner fit in?
- What role did Sergey Kislyak, the GOP convention, and the finances of the Russian Embassy play?
- How do Roger Stone, Wikileaks, and other Americans and Brits fit into the GRU indictment?
- What did Mueller learn from George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, and Michael Flynn?
- What’s in those 291,000 Michael Cohen documents?
- What’s up with that Trump Tower meeting?
- 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?
- Do people like Carter Page and Felix Sater matter?
- Carl Bernstein: Trump’s ‘witch hunt’ defense is dead
- Trump calls Strzok ‘a disgrace to our country’
- Why Trump gives Putin a pass on Mueller investigation revelations – Axios
This was treachery that occurred before Helsinki.
- Russian theft of DNC data paralleled Trump camp strategy changes
- Ex-Nebraska Rep. Ashford says Russian agents hacked emails
- Indictment bombshell: ‘Kremlin intel agents’ hacked, leaked Hillary’s emails same day Trump asked Russia for help
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?
- FBI ‘investigating role of Breitbart and other right-wing websites in spreading fake news with bots’ | The Independent
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.
- Renato Mariotti: Delay in Manafort Hearing in “Rocket Docket” EDVA could mean that he’s negotiating a plea deal
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.
- The Washington Post: For Mueller, pushing to finish parts of Russia probe, question of American involvement remains
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.
HELSINKI SUMMIT: THE EVIDENCE OF TREASON
- Trump sides with Russia against FBI at Helsinki summit
- Trump is now repaying Putin for helping him win the presidency
- Trump just colluded with Russia
- Trump didn’t want note-taker in Putin meeting to avoid leaks
- Trump thanks Finnish president for support on NATO, forgets Finland is not in NATO
- Trump, asked to condemn Putin, instead goes on rant about Hillary Clinton’s emails
- Trump’s ‘Missing DNC Server’ Is Neither Missing Nor a Server
- Trump-Putin ‘Summit’ Is More Like a Meeting of Two Mob Bosses
- Trump’s Joint Press Conference With Russian President Makes Their Secret Love an Official Relationship
- Watch Trump Call on Russia to Find Clinton’s Emails, Tell Reporter to ‘Be Quiet’
- Trump blames everyone except Putin for bad US-Russian ties before Helsinki summit — and it’s a huge mistake
- Trump casts doubt on US intelligence, calls Putin’s meddling denial ‘strong’
- Trump confirms he believes Putin over his own intelligence agencies
- Trump Denounces U.S. Conclusions About Russian Hacking, Calls Putin’s Denial “Extremely Strong and Powerful”
- Trump finds Putin’s denial of election meddling ‘powerful’
- Trump just tried to discredit a major development in the Russia investigation by blaming Obama
- Trump kicks off Putin summit with blatant lie and Kremlin talking points
- Trump Believes Putin, Rejects American Findings on Election Hacking
- The Washington Post: ‘I hadn’t thought’ of asking Putin to extradite indicted Russian agents, Trump says
- The Washington Post: ‘Maybe he’ll be a friend’: Trump highlights common ground with Putin ahead of summit
- The Washington Post: Ahead of Putin summit, Trump faults U.S. ‘stupidity’ for poor relations with Russia
- Standing Beside Putin, Trump Calls Mueller Probe a ‘Disaster’
- Standing beside Trump, Putin makes a clear reference to the subject of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting
- Shock as Trump backs Putin on election meddling at summit
- Putin Denies Interfering In US Election, Offers To ‘Analyze Together’ Evidence
- Putin Keeps Trump Waiting, Arrives Late for Meeting
- David Dale live tweeting of Helsinki Press Conference
- Bill Browder: Putin wins summit before it even starts
- A Russian newspaper editor explains how Putin made Trump his puppet
- Aaron Rupar live tweeting of Helsinki Press Conference
- Ahead of Putin summit, Trump faults U.S. ‘stupidity’ for poor relations with Russia
- ‘I hadn’t thought’ of asking Putin to extradite indicted Russian agents, Trump says
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.
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…
To strongly worded rebukes…
To pointing out the obvious
To asking what kompromat Putin has on Trump…
To the flabbergasted…
To calls for resignations…
To people finally recognizing what this has been all along: treason.
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.
COHEN, SACHA BARON
- WATCH: Preview of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America? has to be seen to be believed
- YouTube clip from “Who Is America?”
- In video from Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show, GOP members of congress support arming preschoolers with guns
- Republican lawmakers advocate for arming toddlers in debut of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show – ThinkProgress
- Sacha Baron Cohen Didn’t Return to Humiliate Republicans. He’s Here to End Careers.
- Sacha Baron Cohen teaches the right what fake news really is – OpEd
- Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Disabled Vet’ Demands Apology From ‘Fake News’ Sarah Palin
- Sacha Baron Cohen’s New Show Is So Much Darker Than You Think
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.
- Detaining Immigrant Kids Is Now a Billion-Dollar Industry
- Judge halts deportations of reunited families who were separated by Trump administration
- The Washington Post: Federal judge calls Friday filing by HHS ‘cover’ for its failings in reunification process
- Let’s drop the euphemisms: Donald Trump is a racist president
- ‘Credible fear’ for US asylum harder to prove under Trump
- Trump declares ‘the European Union is a foe’ in latest assault on US allies
- Trump, in interview with CBS News, says “I think the European Union is a foe” ahead of Putin meeting in Helsinki – CBS News
- “I think the European Union is a foe,” Trump says ahead of Putin meeting in Helsinki
- EU chief fires back at Trump for declaring the EU an enemy
- How the BBC Lost the Plot on Brexit | by Nick Cohen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
- Carole Cadwalla: BBC Dropped the Ball on Brexit
- Elizabeth Denham: ‘Data crimes are real crimes’ | UK news | The Guardian
- Carole Cadwalla: It’s all connected
- Trump Says He Predicted Brexit From Scotland Before The Vote — But He Wasn’t There
- Theresa May: Trump told me to sue the EU
COLD WAR 2.0
- Atlantic Council: Plans on defending against Russia
- Congress Moves to Force Trump to Come Clean on North Korea Talks
- U.S. senators want ban on China’s ZTE, despite Trump action | Article [AMP] | Reuters
- U.K. Poisoning Inquiry Turns to Russian Agency in Mueller Indictments
- Trump fist-bumped Turkish leader Erdogan, said he “does things the right way”
- Princes Charles and William refused to meet Trump: report
- Germany: We can no longer fully rely on U.S. White House
- Russian National Charged in Conspiracy to Act as an Agent of the Russian Federation Within the United States | OPA
- Shannon Watts: Illinois passes Red Flag Law
- Shannon Watts: Person of Interest in other crimes
- The Washington Post: ‘Good guys with guns’: When citizens kill an active shooter, it’s not as simple as it sounds
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
- How the right-wing convinces itself that liberals are evil
- Overwhelming majority of Trump supporters sees MS-13 as a threat to US: poll
MAIN STREAM MEDIA JOINS THE PARTY
- James Comey: Trump interviewed Hannity and Tucker Carlson. Were RT and Sputnik busy?
- John Bolton Grilled About White House Decision To Cancel His CNN Interview
- Fox News’s Chris Wallace gives Putin the grilling Trump won’t
- Chris Wallace asks Putin why so many of his political enemies ‘end up dead’
- Fox News’s John Roberts: Consensus is Trump ‘Threw the US Under the Bus’
- ‘Ridiculous’: Fox News host blasts Trump’s tweets ahead of Putin meeting
- Maddow: Time for Americans to face ‘worst case scenario’ on Trump
- EXCLUSIVE: Former Fox News reporter warns that Trump team is ‘still colluding’ with the Russians
- Gowdy rules out Rosenstein impeachment
- Gowdy to Trump: Ask Putin where “we can pick up the 25 Russians” indicted in Mueller probe
- Gowdy: ‘Russia attacked this country in 2016’
- Trey Gowdy dismisses a House effort to oust Rod Rosenstein: ‘Impeach him for what? No’
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- ‘Art of the Deal’ co-author says Trump is losing his mind
- Sinclair-Tribune Merger Hits Roadblock as FCC Chief Opposes Divestiture Plan, Proposes Legal Hearing
- You’re paying for Trump to promote his golf courses
- Even Nixon supported this 100-year-old law protecting migratory birds. Now Trump wants to gut it.
- Pence family’s failed gas stations cost taxpayers $20M+
- Russia Hawk Axed From National Security Council Right Before Trump-Putin Summit
- Exclusive: “Under Trump, the government is worse than it has been before,” Jimmy Carter says
- From June 2017: I was an FBI agent. Trump’s lack of concern about Russian hacking shocks me.
- Don’t let Donald Trump pick a Supreme Court justice unless and until Mueller clears him
- Remember Merrick Garland? Democrats can’t let Mitch McConnell rewrite history ahead of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation
- The Supreme Court Doesn’t Need 9 Justices. It Needs 27
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.
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- A Planned Parenthood (That Didn’t Perform Abortions) Closes Due to Intimidation
- Yes, Normal Republican Elites Are a Threat to Democracy
- Every Republican Has a Choice: Their Country, or Trump
- Never Trumpers Will Want to Read This History Lesson
- Southeast Ohio Republican Party leader resigns over Trump-Putin meeting
- Polling data reveals a shrinking GOP filled with climate deniers
- GOP senators downplaying Russian interference shows how Trump has co-opted the party
- Record breaking number of neo-Nazis and white nationalists running for office in the U.S.
- If Elon Musk Cares About Climate Change, Why Is He Donating to a Republican PAC?
- Elon Musk Unmasked as Top Donor to House Republican PAC – The Daily Beast
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- 3 Kansas City, Missouri, cops shot; gunman killed in standoff with police, officials say | Fox News
- America has a nobility problem that lets leaders escape consequences
- Stormy Daniels’ arrest? That was some setup
- Plutonium went missing in San Antonio, but the government says nothing
ELECTION 2018: THE RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE EDITION
- Maryland election contractor has ties to Russian oligarch
- Russian bots, trolls test waters ahead of US midterms
- US official: Russia using social media to divide Americans
- DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Says Russia Isn’t Targeting Midterms Like 2016
I haven’t bullshit-coughed that hard since the first time I saw ‘Attack of the Clones’ and Chancellor Palpatine said “I love democracy.”
- Worker wages drop while companies spend billions to boost stocks – CBS News
- Will wages ever catch up in an era of weak unions, mergers, and rising inflation?
- Why There Must Never Be a Speech and Assembly Tax
- Be on the lookout: ‘Baby Trump’ is coming to New Jersey
- Ocasio-Cortez Floats a “Sub-Caucus” of Progressives Willing to Vote Together as a Bloc
- The Midwest eases its Trump swoon and flirts again with Democratic candidates
- Maxine Waters on Trump: He doesn’t even know how to spell his wife’s name
- Devin Nunes protects witnesses who might have committed perjury
- Rand Paul on Russian election meddling: ‘We all do it’
- Rand Paul Sides with Trump Over US intel
- Eric Garland on Rand Paul
- John Schindler: Rand and Ron Paul up to their necks in Russia
IN OTHER NEWS…
RUMOR MILL AND CITIZEN JOURNALISTS
- Greg Olear: Treason Roll Call
- Harry Siegel on Twitter
- Melissa Kester: Putin knows Trump is done
- Pussyrrriot: Some members still in jail
- Sarah Kendzior thread on Trump/Kushner, Putin, Netenyahu corruption
- Shannon Coulter: The Boycott List
- Spicy Mic on Ajit Pai
- Spicy Mic: Twitter is full of fecal matter
- Twitter Friend or FOE Part 3 of 3 – Mad Dog PAC
- Writesmitty(Formerly Sarah Smith): Maria Butina arrested
- Lululemew: Trump tweets from days mentioned in the indictment
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