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:
- James Brennan
- Donna Duggan
- Conor O’Brien
- Cindy Laporta
- 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.
- Feds Believe National Enquirer Publisher Acted as Political Supporter for Trump Campaign, Report Says
- Jill Stein’s Recount Cash Pays for Her Russia Legal Defense
- Judge Orders Witnesses Granted Immunity To Testify At Manafort Trial
- Manafort’s Chicago bankers may testify against him; two granted immunity
- Russian Hackers Reach U.S. Utility Control Rooms, Homeland Security Officials Say
- Trump Proposes Mueller Interview With No Obstruction Questions
- U.S. judge agrees five Manafort trial witnesses may testify with immunity | Article [AMP] | Reuters
- Shimonpro: 30 witnesses expected for Manafort trial, including 5 who were granted immunity
- Michael Cohen Prosecutors Get 12 Audio Recordings to Review
- “Did They Think I Was Just Going to Roll Over and Die?”: The Cohen vs. Trump Battle Ratchets Up
- Feds have 12 Michael Cohen audio recordings – CNNPolitics
TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET
- The White House Says Trump May Revoke James Comey’s Security Clearance, Which Does Not Exist
- White House: Trump ‘exploring’ idea of revoking security clearances of 6 former Obama officials who are Trump critics
- Benjamin Wittes: Comey doesn’t have a security clearance to revoke
- Can the President Revoke Former Officials’ Security Clearances? – Lawfare
- Clapper: ‘Very petty’ that Trump is considering revoking security clearance
- Donald Trump’s security clearance stunt quickly blows up in his face – Palmer Report
- Most Americans Think That a President Who Pardons Himself Should be Impeached
- Report: Intel officials may know what Trump, Putin discussed in meeting
- Trump Again Falsely Claims Russia Investigation Started With Steele Dossier
- Trump Has Now Walked Back His Walk-Back on U.S. Intelligence and Russia
- Trump is taking US down the path to tyranny
- Rand Paul says he’ll ask Trump to revoke former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance
- Rand Paul Is Pretending That He Might Not Vote for Brett Kavanaugh
- Rand Paul to ask Trump to revoke security clearance of ex-CIA chief Brennan
- Nunes attacks CNN when asked about FISA docs
- Donations to Nunes improperly used to charter a private jet, says complaint to FEC
- Wyden: Trump is starting an ‘enemies list’ with efforts to strip security clearances
- Swalwell Introduces Bill to Stop Trump From Using the Presidency to Enrich Himself and His Family
- Schiff: ‘Disturbing number’ of Trump campaign members met with Russians and lied about it
- Billy Joel Doesn’t Know Why More People Aren’t Cracking Nazi Skulls – Noisey
- CNN Analyst Josh Campbell Writing Book on FBI – The New York Times
- Fox News booked the wrong Democrat on a show. She used the spotlight to unload on Trump.
- Video: ‘Lock Him up,’ Protesters Chant As Trump Arrives at White House
- McFaul expected to meet with Trump’s top adviser on Russia at White House
COLD WAR 2.0
- The U.S. President Is Screaming at Another Country in All Caps on the Internet
- Most Germans think Europe can defend itself without U.S. help: poll
- David Hogg: Thread on Amer Miller
- ‘A grown man took away a child’s life.’ College-bound teen was killed for his iPhone, police say.
- Shannon Watts: Franklin Graham has had connections to Putin for years
- Shannon Watts: Lou Bartella opposes gun control, Bob Casey’s been on board since Sandy Hook
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
- Far Right Freaks Out Because Twitter Is Filtering Their Hate
- Alex Jones Threatens to Shoot ‘Pedophile’ Robert Mueller, Accuses Zuckerberg of Facebook ‘Shadow Ban’
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- Veterans Affairs nominee Robert Wilkie is confirmed by the Senate to succeed David Shulkin, who clashed with the Trump White House
- Trump administration officials dismissed benefits of national monuments
- America’s last flatware maker invited to White House; guests dine with spoons from China
- Ivanka Trump says she won’t tell her family’s own company to sign ‘Hire American’ pledge
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- Here’s how much money anti-net neutrality members of Congress have received from the telecom industry
- In a blow to states’ rights, Trump is reportedly trying to kill California’s clean car regulations
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- U.S. Breaks Up Fake I.R.S. Phone Scam Operation
- Virginia Man Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison for Traveling to Haiti and Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct | OPA | Department of Justice
- Federal Jury Convicts Lawyer and Coal Company Executive for Bribing State Legislator
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.
- NBC/WSJ poll: Support for Roe v. Wade hits new high
- Massachusetts Repeals 173-Year-Old Abortion Ban Amid Fears for Future of Roe v. Wade
- Millions of Black Voters Are Being Purged From Voter Rolls, Often Illegally: Report
- Mark Warner: Someone threw a brick through his field office’s window
- Lincoln’s Bible: Check out the thread about Mike Flynn and Graham Plaster
- Eric Garland: Who wants to write about Rand?
- Carole Cadwalla: Casting notice for protesters for Pro-Qatari protest
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