Daily Check-In 07/26/2018

Thursday, July 28th

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION: COHEN SAYS THAT TRUMP KNEW ABOUT JUNE 9 2016 MEETING BEFOREHAND

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN. Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said.

Cohen’s claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July 2017.

Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources.

Yeah, that just fucking happened.

Michael Cohen, the former fixer and attorney for President Donald Trump, alleges that not only did Trump know about the June 9th meeting, but that Trump approved the meeting, and that Cohen has witnesses to back it up.

To be honest, I’m a little surprised at this.

Not that Trump knew, he’s a micromanaging prick and a domineering, abusive parent who crushed his children into starving for his attention.  Donnie Jr. doesn’t take a shit in Trump Tower without Daddy saying it’s okay.

Nor am I surprised that Cohen is looking to make a deal and is willing to work with Mueller.  Michael Cohen was loyal, but not 30 years in prison loyal.  Cohen would die penniless in prison with all of the crimes he’s committed, and he’s been fishing for either a deal or a pardon for months.

What I am surprised about is just how fucking petty Donald Trump is in all of this.  If he were any more petty, “Running Down A Dream” would start playing in the background.  As soon as the Special Master gave Trump and Cohen a list of protected items, Trump’s team leaked the existence of tapes containing the two of them talking about paying off Karen McDougal. (Daily Check-In 07/20/2018)  Trump loses his mind because how dare someone record a conversation of him, even though he’s admitted to doing the same thing himself.  That started a tit-for-tat between them were they upped the ante each day.  Trump tells Maggie about the existence of these tapes.  Cohen says there are more tapes.  Trump attacks Cohen and calls him a liar.  Cohen releases the McDougal tape. (Daily Check-In 07/25/2018)  Then Trump’s team leaks to the press that Cohen is going to testify that Trump knew about the June 9 meeting.

You read that last part right.  Trump’s team said that Trump’s lawyer wants to tell the Special Counselor that Trump knew of and approved the June 9th meeting with the Russians.

Why in the Crystal Pepsi Flavored Fuck would anyone do that to themselves?  Think about this for a second and try to put yourself in their shoes.  Your long time partner in crime is under investigation for some serious crimes, but everything they got points to some of your smaller crimes.  You’re worried about what they’ll say to the cops.  You decide to protect yourself, so you do that by…incriminating yourself in even worse shit?  Just to fuck the other guy over? That’s like admitting to the cops that your buddy watched you shoot a guy and said nothing about it at the time.  HELLO!  What was the first part of that sentence?

The only two things I can think of are that this is either misdirection or completely out of spite.  This is either to distract from something truly horrible happening, like the news that he paid women to have abortions or more indictments are on the way, or he’s so mad that he doesn’t care how much this hurts him, as long as it hurts  the other guy.

 

WASHINGTON — For years, President Trump has used Twitter as his go-to public relations weapon, mounting a barrage of attacks on celebrities and then political rivals even after advisers warned he could be creating legal problems for himself.

Those concerns now turn out to be well founded. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Several of the remarks came as Mr. Trump was also privately pressuring the men — both key witnesses in the inquiry — about the investigation, and Mr. Mueller is examining whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation by both intimidating witnesses and pressuring senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.

Mr. Mueller wants to question the president about the tweets. His interest in them is the latest addition to a range of presidential actions he is investigating as a possible obstruction case: private interactions with Mr. Comey, Mr. Sessions and other senior administration officials about the Russia inquiry; misleading White House statements; public attacks; and possible pardon offers to potential witnesses.

We’ve been on this for a while, but it’s nice to get confirmation from the White House about it.

Pro Tip: Maggie Haberman is an access journalist and Trump’s frenemy.  He calls her when he wants to bitch about something, or get a story out.  This is often to deflect from a worse story.  It is news, but more like a No-Shit-Sherlock kind of news.  But it might as well be confirmation from the White House.

Like I said, we’ve been on this for a while.  Trump’s tweets are evidence of Obstruction of Justice and Witness Tampering. Not to mention a few other crimes like Conspiracy Against the United States, Espionage, and Treason.

I wonder what they were covering up?

Watchdog: Mysterious Donor May Have Illegally Laundered Trump Super PAC Cash

A mysterious company that donated $325,000 to a leading Trump super PAC this year may be illegally hiding the sources of money it used to support GOP political efforts, according to a legal complaint set to be filed today.

The Campaign Legal Center alleges in a complaint with the Federal Election Commission that Global Energy Producers LLC, the company behind that sizable contribution in May to America First Action, has all the hallmarks of a financial “conduit” set up to funnel money into political contests in ways that mask the real sources of the funds.

The Daily Beast revealed two of the individuals behind the group, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, in a story Wednesday. Fruman told the Russian-language news website ForumDaily that he attended a March donor retreat at Mar-a-Lago. He was pictured there with President Donald Trump amid meetings about the president’s and his party’s political efforts in the midterms and the 2020 general election.

That may not have been the last time Fruman met with Trump. CLC’s complaint cites an interview that Fruman gave to the New York-based outlet Jewish World. Fruman said he and Parnas were among nine attendees at a private meeting with Trump in early May in Washington. They discussed the midterm election and efforts to retain Republican majorities in Congress.

The White House did not respond to attempts to confirm the meeting and Fruman’s account of it.

Fruman recalled the meeting taking place in the first few days of May. About two weeks later, Global Energy Producers made its sizable contribution to America First Action. Over the following month, Fruman and Parnas donated $111,000 to Protect the House, a joint fundraising committee supporting the National Republican Congressional Committee and a host of GOP House campaigns. They also gave to the re-election campaigns of Republican Reps. Pete Sessions (Texas) and Joe Wilson (SC), and to the Senate campaign of Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).

Nothing like laundering foreign money into the campaigns of the entire Republican Party to set them up as co-conspirators in a RICO case.

 

$20 says it’s Dana Rohrabacher.

When FBI counterintelligence agents plowed through the emails of alleged Russian agent Maria Butina’s networking around Washington, they discovered her plan to arrange “friendship and dialogue dinners” with influential Americans.

At one dinner, ABC News has learned, in February 2017 at the tony French eaterie, Bistro Bis, one guest who dined with the then-28 year old Russian was a California Republican congressman on the House Foreign Relations committee, Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher’s office confirmed he attended.

Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia, April 21, 2013.

It wasn’t their first meeting.

Two years earlier, Butina had helped arrange a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia that included Rohrabacher and her mentor, Kremlin-connected banker Alexander Torshin, federal officials have confirmed.

Russian Council of the Federation Deputy Chief Alexander Torshin is seen during a meeting, April, 3, 2012 in Maloyaroslavets, Kaluga region, Russia.

To Rohrabacher’s critics, these repeated interactions with a woman now jailed on suspicion of mounting an influence campaign at the behest of the Russian government, have added more fuel to longstanding questions about his Kremlin connections. This past weekend, anti-Putin crusader and businessman Bill Browder told a room of national security experts gathered in Aspen that he believes Rohrabacher is “on the payroll of Russia.”

“I believe he is under some type of influence by the Russian government,” Browder said.

Nailed it.

 

Senior National Rifle Association (NRA) figures in 2015 reportedly met with the wife of the billionaire who allegedly funded Marina Butina, the Russian woman who was indicted last week for allegedly conspiring to work for the Russian government by infiltrating organizations that have influence in U.S. politics, including the NRA.

The NRA officials met with Svetlana Nikolaeva, the wife of Konstantin Nikolaev, on a trip to Russia in 2015, according to The Guardian.

Svetlana owns a gun company that supplies rifles to the Russian military and intelligence services, according to The Guardian.

Konstantin Nikolaev, a Russian billionaire with ties to U.S. industries, financially supported Butina’s gun rights group, according to The Washington Post. Court filings from last week also suggest Butina sent messages about her “funder,” a Russian man who prosecutors said is worth $1.2 billion and often travels to the U.S.

Nikolaev was listed by Forbes this year as having a net worth of $1.2 billion. He has investments in energy and technology companies in the U.S.

The report that his wife met with NRA officials in 2015 adds to a growing controversy over ties between the NRA and Russian officials.

Butina and her alleged co-conspirator, high-level Russian government official Alexander Torshin, were reportedly “life members” of the NRA, met with top NRA officials and attended the gun lobbying group’s conventions.

First Alexander Torshin, now Nikolaev.  That’s at least two Russian Oligarchs that we know that were in league with senior members of the NRA, in just the last couple days.  That doesn’t include others like Deripaska, or lawyers like Veselnitskaya, or Intelligence members like Kilimnik.

War and Peace didn’t have this many Russians in it.  I think I have to make a section in the Cast of Characters just to keep track of the Russians involved.

 

Speaking of Russians, we now have the first confirmed attack by them on the 2018 election.  They tried the same old tricks on Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.  She’s a Democrat in a state that went for Trump in 2016, and an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin.

 

Yep, it’s Natalia.  We confirmed this back on Daily Check-In 04/27/2018, but it’s nice to get some more evidence and watch others come to the party.

 

COHEN: TRUMP CFO SUBPOENAED

A federal grand jury investigating President Donald Trump‘s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen for possible crimes has subpoenaed the chief financial officer of Trump’s company, Allen Weisselberg, to testify, a new report said Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the case, said that Weisselberg, who is an executive of the Trump Organization, is considered a witness in the ongoing probe of Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen.

The newspaper said it is not clear if Weisselberg has already testified to the grand jury, which is meeting in New York City.

Weisselberg, 70, was mentioned by Cohen in a conversation that Cohen secretly recorded with Trump in September 2016 that discussed buying the rights to the story of Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with the president. The recording of that conversation was aired earlier this week by CNN.

I mentioned Allan Weisselberg on Daily Check-In 07/25/2018 a little in relation to the McDougal Tape.  He’s mentioned by name as being the guy Cohen sought out for help in paying off the women and setting up Essential Consultants, LLC.  I was wondering why his name wasn’t making waves.

Those waves came in pretty quick yesterday.  Looks like Allan, the Chief Financial Officer of Trump Organization, as well as the accountant going back to the Fred Trump days, was subpoenaed to testify before the Grand Jury in SDNY about the Michael Cohen case.

The government has seized more than 100 recordings that Cohen made of his conversations with people discussing matters that could relate to Trump and his businesses and with Trump himself talking, according to two people familiar with the recordings. Cohen appeared to make some recordings with an iPhone — without telling anyone he was taping them.

A significant portion of the recordings is Cohen surreptitiously recording reporters who met with or questioned Cohen about Trump during the campaign and after Trump’s election, the people said.

Trump’s voice is on several of the recordings, but only in snippets — typically when he is returning a call from Cohen or asking Cohen on a voice-mail message to call him back, the people said. The only recording in which Trump and Cohen have a substantive conversation is the one that Davis released Tuesday, according to these people.

 

STORMYGATE

Hey, look at the timing.  I should have more details tomorrow, but it looks like Michael Avenatti has at least three more women that attest to being paid off by Cohen and Trump to keep an affair quiet, and at least one of them involved a pregnancy.

I’m waiting for the “Christians” to give Trump the “benefit of the doubt” for him paying for abortions.  Notice the plural tense.

 

EMOLUMENTS

Thursday’s the day that keeps on giving.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

11.  Out of 230 Republicans, they could only get 11 to get on board with the impeachment.  The people involved with this decision should be shamed into the corner of the room and told to stand there until retirement.

What the fuck did I just say?  GET IN THE CORNER JIM, AND DON’T COME OUT UNTIL YOU APOLOGIZE TO THE STUDENT ATHLETES LEFT IN YOUR CARE THAT YOU PUT IN HARM’S WAY!!!

Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House.  Then again, Dennis Hastert was a registered sex offender and couldn’t be left around children.  His ignorance of sexual depravity will fit in just fine.

 

FIGHTING BACK

This last part is what we need.  We need to apply the Magnitsky Law to each and every man, woman, and child that took part in the attack on the United States.  Freeze their passports, their visas, their bank accounts, their assets, all of it.  And not just the participants, but their families and associates, too.

You know how to get regime change in Russia?  Freeze the assets of every Oligarch, Mafioso, their friends, their families, and everyone who’s ever talked to them or looked at them until they put Putin’s head on top of St. Basil’s Cathedral.  Fuck with their money, that’ll get their attention.

 

IMMIGRATION

About 700 children still haven’t been reunited with their parents.  Know what that’s called? Kidnapping.

Here’s an idea.  Give the government a new deadline, like maybe a week.  If any kids still aren’t reunited by the end of the week, then the judge should hold the senior officials of the DHS and HHS in contempt of court.  Up to and most certainly including Secretary Nielsen.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

3D printing guns.  Providing people that shouldn’t be able to buy guns with the plans and technology to build their own.  What could possibly go wrong?

Fuck this.  If I can’t 3D print my own furniture without running afoul of legal restrictions, then guns are way out of the question.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

SAVING THE INTERNET

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

RUMOR MILL

I’ve talked about this before in Voter Rolls – The Easy Target.

 

That’s it for Thursday.  It was one hell of a busy day.  Friday’s so far starting off weird.  One of Avenatti’s new clients involved a pregnancy, and there was a weird run-in at the airport.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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