Daily Check-In 07/17/2018

Tuesday, July 17th.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Five witnesses being offered immunity for their testimony.  This is pretty interesting.  This could be part of why the judge offered a delay in the previously scheduled hearing. (Daily Check-In 07/16/2018)

A grand jury has formally indicted Russian national Maria Butina on two charges, conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent without prior notification of the attorney general. She is alleged to have tried to infiltrate U.S. political organizations on behalf of a high-ranking Russian official over several years. At one point during the presidential campaign, she and the official tried unsuccessfully to broker a meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictment states that the 29-year-old Butina, who was arrested Sunday, entered the U.S. in August 2016 on an F-1 student visa. On her visa application, Butina stated she had been previously employed as special assistant to a Russian official, Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, but her employment with him had ended on May 20, 2016. In April 2018, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Torshin.

Acting as a foreign agent.  That’s legalese for being a spy.  This felony carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

 

HELSINKI FALLOUT

Previously, on Treason: The Series

When offered the opportunity to state, for the record, how he feels about the IC’s unanimous finding that Kremlin spies meddled in his election, Trump did not obfuscate, he did not meander: he made abundantly clear that he considers the word of the Kremlin boss, the man who meddled in our 2016 election, to be as valid as the assessment of our vast, highly informed, 16-agency Intelligence Community.

Trump showed the world that he is Putin’s bitch.

Walkback

Don’t buy this for a second.  Trump has only apologized publicly once before, after the Billy Bush tape dropped.  Trump read a prepared statement with the enthusiasm of a hostage video, then within days started attacking everyone related to the video.  Within a few weeks, he claimed the video was “faked” and that it wasn’t him.

Senator Warner might be a little generous.  I’d be sadly unsurprised if by Thursday he wasn’t tweeting attacks at journalists “twisting his words” into “fake news”, only to breathlessly slob on Putin’s nob once again.

UPDATE: Trump denies Russia is targeting U.S. at Cabinet meeting .  Really?  He can’t stay on script not even one fucking day?!  Time to start day drinking.

 

Kompromat

Remember when talks about the Pee Pee tape were considered the realm of jokes and conspiracy theorists?

Welcome to the party.

 

Congress

1:50 p.m.

House Republicans have used a party-line vote to block a Democratic measure aimed at condemning President Donald Trump’s stunning comments in Helsinki, Finland, about Russia. It was the first vote testing how Congress will react to Trump’s remarks.

On Monday, Trump stood beside Russian President Vladimir Putin and challenged American intelligence agencies’ findings that Moscow had interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections. He seemed to accept Putin’s insistence that his government had done nothing.

By 230-183, the House rejected a Democratic measure endorsing Speaker Paul Ryan’s remarks criticizing Russia. The Wisconsin Republican said “there is no question” Russia interfered in the elections and said there is “no moral equivalence” between the two countries.

The two-page Democratic proposal summarized Ryan’s points and said the House “expresses its agreement” with them.

In case anyone is wondering why the GOP would vote down a statement criticizing Russia, check out the list of people Maria Butina’s been in contact with.

 

Bill Browder

In addition, the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign has investigated and found the $230 million that Sergei Magnitsky exposed and was killed over. There are now a number of live law-enforcement investigations around the world determining just who benefited from this crime. These have resulted in tens of millions of dollars of frozen assets. Furthermore, these investigations don’t only put at risk the beneficiaries of this crime, but the benificiaries of many other similar crimes. These people are ready to kill to keep their money. Losing it would be devastating.

Putin’s latest allegation that I donated $400 million to Hillary Clinton is so ludicrous and untrue that it falls into delusion. I’ve never made a political donation to Hillary Clinton or any other political candidate. It’s in the same category as other Russian government allegations against me: they accused me of being a serial killerthey accused me of being a CIA/MI6 agent determined to destroy the Russian government; and they accused me of somehow stealing $4.8 billion of IMF money back in the 1990s that was destined for the Russian Treasury. These guys have seriously lost their cool and are beginning to make mistakes.

The biggest mistake that Putin made in his offer today to effectively swap me for the 12 Russian agents is that he went to the wrong head of state. Although I was born in America, I emigrated to the United Kingdom 29 years ago and am a British citizen. If he really wants me, he better go talk to Theresa May, who might have a few choice words for him after Russian agents spread the military-grade nerve agent Novichok across the cathedral town of Salisbury, England.

Bill’s a Brit now, not a Yankee.

 

Protests

Protests aren’t just physical, they can take place anywhere on the internet, too.

 

Attack on the United States

I prefer the phrase “Act of War.”

 

Republicans

It’s nice to see that some of them are still Country of Party types.

 

Impeachment

Remember, Impeachment starts in the House, and is not removal from office.  That second part is done by the Senate.  GTKYG-Presidential Removal Processes.

 

Staffers Caught By Surprise

 

MH17

 

Players Speak

Obama’s been quiet for a long time, he doesn’t speak unless something big is going on.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

IMMIGRATION

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE: DEFENDING TREASON EDITION

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

The nation’s top voting machine maker has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, raising questions about the security of those systems and the integrity of elections that were conducted with them.

In a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in April and obtained recently by Motherboard, Election Systems and Software acknowledged that it had “provided pcAnywhere remote connection software … to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” which was installed on the election-management system ES&S sold them.

The statement contradicts what the company told me and fact checkers for a story I wrote for the New York Times in February. At that time, a spokesperson said ES&S had never installed pcAnywhere on any election system it sold. “None of the employees, … including long-tenured employees, has any knowledge that our voting systems have ever been sold with remote-access software,” the spokesperson said.

ES&S did not respond on Monday to questions from Motherboard, and it’s not clear why the company changed its response between February and April. Lawmakers, however, have subpoena powers that can compel a company to hand over documents or provide sworn testimony on a matter lawmakers are investigating, and a statement made to lawmakers that is later proven false can have greater consequence for a company than one made to reporters.

In May 2006 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, ES&S technicians used the pcAnywhere software installed on that county’s election-management system for hours trying to reconcile vote discrepancies in a local election, according to a reportfiled at the time. And in a contract with Michigan, which covered 2006 to 2009, ES&S discussed its use of pcAnywhere and modems for this purpose.

The presence of such software makes a system more vulnerable to attack from hackers, especially if the remote-access software itself contains security vulnerabilities. If an attacker can gain remote access to an election-management system through the modem and take control of it using the pcAnywhere software installed on it, he can introduce malicious code that gets passed to voting machines to disrupt an election or alter results.

Wyden told Motherboard that installing remote-access software and modems on election equipment “is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.”

By the way, those are the same machines used in Allegheny county to this day.  We need paper ballots yesterday.

 

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Things are starting to come together, the threads are meshing together.  The American Project included several vectors of attack, and we’re seeing more of them converge.  We’ve already seen Michael Cohen’s shady business deals tie in with the Russians, now it’s the NRA’s turn.  As more comes out, the weirder this will get.

In the meantime, I’m adding Maria Butina to The Indicted.  She may not be charged by Mueller, but she’s involved.  She’ll go in the other section.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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