Daily Check-In 07/18/2018

Wednesday, July 18th



WASHINGTON — Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

The Jan. 6, 2017, meeting, held at Trump Tower, was a prime example. He was briefed that day by John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director; James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence; and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and the commander of United States Cyber Command.

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, was also there; after the formal briefing, he privately told Mr. Trump about the “Steele dossier.” That report, by a former British intelligence officer, included uncorroborated salacious stories of Mr. Trump’s activities during a visit to Moscow, which he denied.

According to nearly a dozen people who either attended the meeting with the president-elect or were later briefed on it, the four primary intelligence officials described the streams of intelligence that convinced them of Mr. Putin’s role in the election interference.

They included stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee that had been seen in Russian military intelligence networks by the British, Dutch and American intelligence services. Officers of the Russian intelligence agency formerly known as the G.R.U. had plotted with groups like WikiLeaks on how to release the email stash.

And ultimately, several human sources had confirmed Mr. Putin’s own role.

That included one particularly valuable source, who was considered so sensitive that Mr. Brennan had declined to refer to it in any way in the Presidential Daily Brief during the final months of the Obama administration, as the Russia investigation intensified.

Instead, to keep the information from being shared widely, Mr. Brennan sent reports from the source to Mr. Obama and a small group of top national security aides in a separate, white envelope to assure its security.

Mr. Trump and his aides were also given other reasons during the briefing to believe that Russia was behind the D.N.C. hacks.

The same Russian groups had been involved in cyberattacks on the State Department and White House unclassified email systems in 2014 and 2015, and in an attack on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They had aggressively fought the N.S.A. against being ejected from the White House system, engaging in what the deputy director of the agency later called “hand-to-hand combat” to dig in.

The pattern of the D.N.C. hacks, and the theft of emails from John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, fit the same pattern.

After the briefings, Mr. Trump issued a statement later that day that sought to spread the blame for the meddling. He said “Russia, China and other countries, outside groups and countries” were launching cyberattacks against American government, businesses and political organizations — including the D.N.C.

Still, Mr. Trump said in his statement, “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”

Mr. Brennan later told Congress that he had no doubt where the attacks were coming from.

“I was convinced in the summer that the Russians were trying to interfere in the election,” he said in testimony in May 2017. “And they were very aggressive.”

For Mr. Trump, the messengers were as much a part of the problem as the message they delivered.

Mr. Brennan and Mr. Clapper were both Obama administration appointees who left the government the day Mr. Trump was inaugurated. The new president soon took to portraying them as political hacks who had warped the intelligence to provide Democrats with an excuse for Mrs. Clinton’s loss in the election.

Mr. Comey fared little better. He was fired in May 2017 after refusing to pledge his loyalty to Mr. Trump and pushing forward on the federal investigation into whether the Trump campaign had cooperated with Russia’s election interference.

Only Admiral Rogers, who retired this past May, was extended in office by Mr. Trump. (He, too, told Congress that he thought the evidence of Russian interference was incontrovertible.)

President Trump, meeting with Mr. Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, said he accepted Mr. Putin’s denial of Russian election intrusions.Doug Mills/The New York Times

And the evidence suggests Russia continues to be very aggressive in its meddling.

I know that this is a giant block of text to open with, but this article, which came out late Wednesday, is behind a soft paywall at the New York Times, and cements down what I’ve suspected for a long time, and what anyone following along at home has likely put together.

Vladimir Putin ordered the attack on the United States 2016 Presidential Election, and Donald Trump has at least known about it since before he was sworn in as President.

He fucking knew.

This isn’t the smoking gun of him knowing early on in the campaign, that’s still to come.  But this article tells me three things.

  1. Expect high level Russians to be indicted before too long, possibly even Putin himself.
  2. Every time Trump deflected, obfuscated, or denied that the attack was done by Russians, he lied.
  3. We’re approaching the end.

After Monday’s clusterfuck where Trump committed treason in front of the world (Daily Check-In 07/17/2018), the Intelligence Community will not stand by any more and watch as Trump tries to destroy this country.

We know that this meeting took place a while back from a few direct sources.  Susan Rice sent herself an email about a meeting in the Oval Office preparing for this meeting ( Daily Check-In 02/12/2018).  James Comey mentioned it in his book, for fucks sake. (Daily Check-In 04/12/2018)  He described who was there and what each person did after receiving the information in the briefing, but didn’t describe the details of the briefing itself, other than it was a highly classified intelligence meeting.  The Trump Team acted weird AF.  From The Indy Star

“They were about to lead a country that had been attacked by a foreign adversary, yet they had no questions about what the future Russian threat might be,” Comey writes in A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership. “Nor did they ask how the United States might prepare itself to meet that threat.”

Instead, Trump’s team shifted into a strategy session about “how they could spin what we’d just told them.”

“You found there was no impact on the result, right?” Trump asked, according to the book.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper replied that while investigators found no evidence that the vote count was altered, they did not have the ability to analyze how Russia’s involvement affected the race.

Still, Comey writes, Pence was among those debating “how to position these findings for maximum political advantage.”

“I had been in many intelligence briefings with the two previous presidents and had never seen Presidents Bush or Obama discuss communications and political strategy in front of intelligence community leaders,” Comey writes. “There had always been a line.”

Pence has continued to misstate what Clapper says he was told at that meeting, including during a February interview with the news web site Axios.

“Irrespective of efforts that were made in 2016 by foreign powers,” Pence said, “it is the universal conclusion of our intelligence communities that none of those efforts had any effect on the outcome of the 2016 election.”

Clapper told NPR that while “I have great respect for Vice President Pence. … I must respectfully disagree with what he said.”

“The intelligence community has neither the authority nor the capability to make such a judgment as to whether there was or was not impact on the election, and we did not say that,” Clapper said in February.

I’m looking for the text from the book, but I’ve got an audio version, kind of a pain in the dick to convert to text and pull a page number.  But the point of the matter is that upon reading the fucking evidence that Putin ordered an attack on the United States, Mike Pence’s first reaction was how to spin this?

After both the Intel meeting and the Comey meeting, The Moscow Project reminds us that Trump spewed the following statement:

“While Russia, China, other countries, other groups and people are constantly trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our government institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democratic National Committee, there was no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines.”

Within three months of this meeting, several Russians with ties to the Intelligence world start dying of “accidents” and “heart attacks.”

Let’s put the pieces together…

We have an outgoing Presidential administration who just witnessed a hostile foreign power attack this country and steal the election for Donald Trump, but they can’t completely cut him out of everything.

We have a cadre of intelligence experts that brings evidence of the attack, including the marching orders from emails of the people involved.

We have one President-Elect who grudgingly accepts the results, but doesn’t act the way that an innocent person acts when shown evidence they were involved in a crime.

We have a Vice President-Elect who tries to see how he can twist this new information around to make it look good for his group.

We have the same President-Elect and Vice President-Elect who both issue statements immediately after this meeting, claiming that Russian didn’t attack the United States, and that said attack didn’t influence the election one way or another.

We have about dozen dead Russian spies over the next few months, all starting after January 6.

We have a President who spends the next several months asking the people at this meeting to go on the record by saying he’s not under investigation, or that it didn’t take place, or if they could make investigations go away.

Ladies and gentleman, these are not the actions of an American Patriot, but those of a Traitor to the United States.


This might be worth remembering.  Accessory  after the fact.

18 U.S. Code § 3 – Accessory after the fact

Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact.

Except as otherwise expressly provided by any Act of Congress, an accessory after the fact shall be imprisoned not more than one-half the maximum term of imprisonment or (notwithstanding section 3571) fined not more than one-half the maximum fine prescribed for the punishment of the principal, or both; or if the principal is punishable by life imprisonment or death, the accessory shall be imprisoned not more than 15 years.

Think of it like this…

Let’s say Bob robs an ATM.  His roommate Tom was out of town during the robbery, but when he comes home, he finds Bob flush with cash, paying rent, and buying nice things.  Tom figures out that Bob did something, but when he sees a news report of a man matching Bob’s description robbing an ATM, he gets suspicious.  Tom finds evidence of Bob stealing from the ATM.  At this point, Tom decides that instead of calling the cops on Bob, Tom instead helps Bob get out of town and covers for Bob by providing an alibi.

Tom is now an Accessory after the fact.

Each and every time Trump cried out on Twitter “WITCH HUNT” or said “Maybe it was someone else” or said “No Collusion”, he is knowingly breaking the law.

But why are we seeing this story now?  Why not months ago?  Why not after the story was first researched?

My guess is that the IC source that said “run this” knows that we’re fast approaching the next phase of this drama.  We’re getting to the point where spies will be prosecuted and and Americans tried as collaborators.

Speaking of spies…

The gun-loving Russian woman charged with being an unregistered foreign agent and cozying up to politicians to infiltrate the U.S. political system tried to swap sex for influence, prosecutors alleged Wednesday.

The “Red Sparrow” scenario was unveiled in a memorandum that laid out reasons why prosecutors believe Mariia Butina, 29, should remain jailed until trial. Butina, who allegedly conspired with a Russian politician and banker to push Moscow’s agenda in the U.S., is due in federal court in Washington on Wednesday afternoon for a detention hearing.

In arguing that Butina is a flight risk, prosecutors said her only tie to the U.S. is a “personal relationship” with an unidentified man — which is branded “duplicitous,” suggesting she was using him for her own means. According to The Washington Post, the man’s description matches that of Republican operative Paul Erickson.

“Butina appears to treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities,” the memo says. “For example, on at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than U.S. Person 1 sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization. Further, in papers seized by the FBI, Butina complained about living with U.S. Person 1 and expressed disdain for continuing to cohabitate with U.S. Person 1.”

In a new court filing, the FBI alleges that Butina during her time in the United States cohabitated with an unidentified 56-year-old man as part of her cover while conducting her work in the United States.

“Butina, age 29, and U.S. Person 1, age 56, are believed to have cohabitated and been involved in a personal relationship during the course of Butina’s activities in
the United States,” the filing states. “But this relationship does not represent a strong tie to the United States because Butina appears to treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities.”

To back up this assertion, the FBI goes on to claim that “on at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than U.S. Person 1 sex in exchange for a position
within a special interest organization.”

It is not known from the filing what job Butina was seeking or whether her offer of sex in exchange for the job was accepted, however.

Butina, who was arrested this week on charges of being an unregistered foreign agent, has worked for years to forge ties between Russia and the National Rifle Association.

Looks like Maria Butina was a honeypot, or Red Sparrow.  A honeypot is a trap used in spycraft that is too enticing to pass up, like an attractive woman used to lure in a middle aged man.  The woman will use her gifts to entice the man to do what she wants, then report back with the information she gathered.

Public Service Announcement: If you stuck your dick in Maria Butina, call a lawyer right away.

Dana Rohrabacher (R-Moscow CA ) should know that he has the right to remain silent.

Rachel Maddow had a great segment on this when she was reading the transcripts, and because Butina could go to any consulate or diplomatic vehicle to claim immunity, she is an inherent flight risk.

Which really ought to give pause to those who imagine that Russia is sincere in its supposed desire to unite with America’s religious conservatives over a putatively shared variety of Christian values. Why would anyone assume that Mr. Putin means what he says about spiritual matters?

The religious right thinks that it’s using Mr. Putin to advance its aims. But a far more plausible interpretation is that he is using them — to infiltrate, divide and weaken our country.

This is the tie-in I’ve been waiting for; the Religious Right.  Their name is about as Orwellian as the Ministry of Truth.  They are neither right as in correct, right as in conservative in how government works, nor do they follow any actual religious teachings other than twisting Jesus’s words around to fit their existing bigotry.

There will be a lot of Americans tied up in this.

“Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump,” the N.R.A. member and conservative activist, Paul Erickson, wrote. “He wants to extend an invitation to Mr. Trump to visit him in the Kremlin before the election. Let’s talk through what has transpired and Senator Sessions’s advice on how to proceed.”

“The Kremlin believes that the only possibility of a true reset in this relationship would be with a new Republican White House,” Mr. Erickson wrote to Mr. Dearborn, adding, “Ever since Hillary compared Putin to Hitler, all senior Russian leaders consider her beyond redemption.”

Congressional investigators obtained the email as part of their inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether Mr. Trump’s campaign aided the efforts. It appears to have caught the attention of senators as well. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, penned letters to several Trump campaign foreign policy advisers last week asking for all documents related to the N.R.A., Mr. Erickson, Mr. Torshin, Mr. Clay, Mr. Dearborn and others.

Mr. Erickson, a longtime conservative operative who has been involved in several presidential campaigns, presented himself in the email as a well-connected intermediary to the upper reaches of the Russian government. By “happenstance” and the reach of the N.R.A., Mr. Erickson wrote, he had been put in position to “slowly begin cultivating a back-channel to President Putin’s Kremlin” in recent years.

Mr. Erickson has known Maria Butina, a former assistant to Mr. Torshin and the founder of the Right to Bear Arms, a Russian gun-rights group, for several years. Ms. Butina, who helped Mr. Torshin make the request through Mr. Clay, hosted Mr. Erickson at a September 2014 meeting of the group at its Moscow office. And in February 2016, the two incorporated a company, Bridges LLC, together in South Dakota. What the company does is unclear.

In the United States, the hospitality was returned. Mr. Torshin and Ms. Butina attended the N.R.A.’s annual convention in 2014 and 2015. Ms. Butina told the conservative news site Townhall that she attended the N.R.A. Women’s Leadership Luncheon as a guest of Sandra S. Froman, a former president of the group. And in 2015, she was given a tour of the N.R.A.’s Virginia headquarters.

Paul Erickson.  Get ready to hear that name a lot in the coming weeks.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has received wiretaps obtained by Spanish police which implicate Donald Trump Jr. in a plot to meet with Alexander Torshin, a high-ranking official of Russia’s Central Bank, according to a federal prosecutor in Spain on Friday. And, the prosecutor notes, those wiretaps don’t bode well for the president’s son.

The above information was originally reported in May of this year but is receiving revived interest across social media because Torshin is said to have been the handler of alleged Russian agent Mariia “Maria” Butina. Butina was recently arrested on charges of attempting to influence U.S. politics and policy on the Kremlin’s behalf.

This Torshin-Trump meeting is alleged to have occurred at and during the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky in May of 2016.

Prosecutor José Grinda leads high-profile investigations into Spanish and foreign organized crime operating in Spain. According to Grinda, FBI officials recently requested and received transcripts of wiretapped conversations between Torshin and Alexander Romanov. The latter man, Romanov, was convicted of money laundering–after pleading guilty–in mid-2016.

On one such recording, Romanov apparently refers to Torshin as “El Padrino,” or the godfather.

Yep, Donnie Jr.’s gonna have a real bad time soon.  The Spanish got him trying to arrange a meeting with Alexander Torshin at the 2016 NRA Convention.

How’s the rest of Team Traitor doing today?

Lawyers for Andrew Miller, a former Roger Stone aide who is fighting a grand jury subpoena in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, as well as at least five attorneys from Mueller’s team spent nearly an hour and a half Wednesday in the D.C. courtroom of Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell.

I fully expect Roger Stone to have his indictment unsealed by the end of the month.



Like I said yesterday (Daily Check-In 07/17/2018), that rebuke didn’t last a full day.  In a few days, he’ll call all the anger against him “fake news.”

This is absolutely absurd.  This is some Grade A WTAF.  Any response to a request to send an Ambassador to a dictator for “questioning” that doesn’t begin and end with “Fuck You” is treasonous.  It betrays the men and women who serve this country.  What’s next, handing Marines over to ISIS for interrogation?



The split ballot was a pure Deza op from Russia.  Same with the secessionist movements.  And yes, we do need to either include Cyber in NATO (which it’s already in there, but needs better enforced), or a separate treaty for Cyber Warfare.































Last time there was a FEATHERS takeoff tweet was Daily Check-In 07/11/2018.  The landing tweet came on Daily Check-In 07/13/2018 with the indictments.  Laurie Brenner updated her spreadsheet, but I forgot to include a link.  2018 is a weird year.  I never thought I’d be this excited to see a spreadsheet updated after reading the tweet of an anthropomorphic bird talk about planes and runways.

I wonder if Roger Stone has any plans this weekend?


That’s it for Wednesday.  Thursday will be late coming up, but I’ll try to get it up a little sooner.  Thursday includes the list of evidence being used for Paul Manafort’s trial next week.  After a quick look, he is screwed worse than Maria Butina by a fat, middle aged, out of shape white politician.

I missed an article last week about new lawyers that were added to Mueller’s team.  I’ll update them to The Justice League soon.


Thank you, and have a good one.


“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

6 thoughts on “Daily Check-In 07/18/2018

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