Daily Check-In 08/02/2018

Thursday, August 2nd

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial: Day 3

The third day of the Manafort trial started with more vendors talking about Paul Manafort’s lavish expenses and unusual methods of payment.  They all also included each of them being shown a fake invoice from their company.  What that’s establishing yet is unknown, but it’s building to something.  My guess is that it will establish a pattern of falsified business statements to cover the source of payments and to make it look like Manafort’s money comes from somewhere other than offshore.  Or, it could be part of his money laundering attempts.  If he used the fake invoices to justify moving money from one account to another, that could show that he deliberately falsified business records to pay less money on taxes.

After a while, his bookkeeper Heather Washkuhn took the stand for two hours and discussed how she worked for Paul, how he was in charge of how every penny was spent, and how Rick Gates worked with him, but Paul ultimately made the decisions.  She also testified that she had no knowledge of the offshore bank accounts that Paul used for purchases.

The day ended with Philip Ayliff, Manafort’s tax accountant , taking the stand.  He discussed the details of their working relationship in which Gates was his right hand man, but didn’t hide anything from him as Paul made the decisions.  He’ll take the stand Friday morning and go over the tax forms.

 

A former aide to longtime President Trump confidant Roger Stone must testify before the special counsel’s grand jury, a federal judge in Washington ruled Thursday.

The judge rejected a challenge from Andrew Miller, a former assistant to Stone who tried to block subpoenas from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The redacted opinion from U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell affirming the legal legitimacy of the special counsel’s appointment does not identify Miller by name, but his attorney confirmed that the ruling is in response to Miller’s request.

Howell’s ruling orders Miller to “appear before the grand jury to provide testimony at the earliest date available” and to provide subpoenaed records.

“We’re disappointed with the court’s ruling,” Miller’s attorney, Paul Kamenar, said in an interview. “But the judge obviously took our challenge to Mueller’s constitutionality seriously, as evidenced by the 93-page opinion.”

 

COHEN

I’m noticing a pattern with Michael Cohen in the news.  Something happens for a few days, then he disappears for a day or two.  After he disappears, he comes back with a vengeance, like a neglectful parent trying to make up for missing his little girl’s soccer game by taking her on a shopping trip to the Disney Store, or to the stables to rent a pony.

Today’s attempt at making up for not being in the news yesterday is him accepting a bribe to help get a $5 billion loan secured to build a nuclear plant in Alabama.

I should be pissed about the audacity of this move, but I’m honestly impressed.  $10 million as a finders fee for a $5 billion loan is a pretty small return on investment.  That’s like paying $1,000 to get a $500,000 mortgage.  People would kill for that kind of closing costs.

They’re all criminal shits, but I’ve got to give credit where credit is due.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

I’d like to say I’m surprised by Trump bitching about the “hoax” of Russian interference just a couple hours after his OWN FUCKING STAFF SAID IT’S HAPPENING, but I can’t.  Now, it’s almost like a game.  How many hours after his staff does something until he counters it?  Remember how he said he agreed with the Intelligence Community’s assessment on Russia only to say he didn’t less than 24 hours later? (Daily Check-In 07/17/2018Daily Check-In 07/18/2018)

 

This is the battle I’ve been waiting for.  Who will the rank and file Republicans back?  Will they side with the donors that bankroll their entire campaign, or with the demagogue who’s voting base could make or break their chances at reelection?

 

One advantage of Trump being as big of a narcissist as he is: he’s too self-absorbed to realize that he can’t out think the best lawyers in the world.  He also thinks he’s smarter than everyone telling him it’s a bad idea, and is driven completely by ego.

Tell him that Obama didn’t have the guts to sit down with Mueller.  Trump will schedule the interview right after Fox & Friends.

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Two words.  Merrick Fucking Garland.

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Harvey Weinstein‘s lawyer plans to ask a New York judge to toss the sprawling sex assault case against him on the grounds an accuser supposedly sent the disgraced movie mogul “exculpatory” emails, new court filings reveal.

The revelation came Wednesday in Delaware bankruptcy court filings involving Weinstein’s former movie company.

The lawyers representing Weinstein in the bankruptcy matter are asking a judge to let his criminal defense team file emails revealed in the company’s Chapter 11 case as exhibits in defense motions that are due Friday.

The emails are now under wraps because of a protective order.

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

WOOPSIE

 

RUMOR MILL

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has ever done media work or been around a campaign.  Everything is planned from the tiniest detail.  All of the crowd fillers, the signs, the banners, the questions, the people asking the questions, and the cute little photo ops are all screened and planned ahead of time.

This is a great thing to remember when we look back and see that Maria Butina asked Donald Trump a question about Russian sanctions at a campaign rally in July 2015. (Daily Check-In 03/09/2018)

 

That’s it for Thursday.  The trial continues on Friday, as the accountant will likely talk about how he didn’t know about Manafort’s offshore accounts.  Also, it looks like Maria Butina would brag about being a spy when drunk.

This is how I know this is real life.  If someone were making a movie about this and said that one of the villains would get shitfaced at a party and brag about their illegal deeds, it would get thrown out for being too ridiculous.

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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