Daily Check-In 08/13/2018

Monday, August 13th

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Manafort Trial

The tenth day of the Manafort Tax Trial began in the early afternoon with the prosecution calling their last new witness James Brennan.  Brennan, a Vice President at Federal Savings Bank, testified under immunity on Monday.  He said that Manafort did not qualify for the loans after it was discovered that he hid two mortgages that he didn’t disclose, but he authorized the loans anyway after the bank CEO Steve Calk intervened on Manafort’s behalf.

The defense showed some of their strategy when they said that Paul Manafort had no requirement to claim the bank accounts of his business DMP LLC because he didn’t own more than 50% of the company.  Paul owns 50% and his wife Kathleen owns the other 50%.  They file jointly.  This argument has more holes in it than a colander.  If a husband and wife file jointly, it’s because they share responsibility over their finances.  If one screws something up, the other is also at fault.  Filing jointly is the same legally as two people claiming to be one entity.  That one entity has ownership over any controlled company, and the partners or married couple have shared responsibility.  If anything, the defense just implicated Mrs. Manafort in some tax evasion, too.

The prosecution recalled Paula Liss from FinCEN back for a few questions about Manafort’s company.  The prosecution never asked about the company, but the defense brought up that the offshore bank accounts could have claimed under Manafort’s company instead of on his personal tax form.  Paula testified that the bank accounts were not claimed by the company, either.

At this point, the prosecution rested its case.  The defense said they will file a motion to dismiss the charges, and the judge said he would review it.  I am not a lawyer, but this sounds like it is pretty standard for a criminal trial.  If the prosecution has failed to make a case, or made grievous errors, the case can be dismissed before the defense makes their case.  That does not seem likely in this situation.

 

Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who was the nations top spy hunter and who was dragged through the coals by Congress (Daily Check-In 07/12/2018) for texting his mistress/girlfriend was fired.  This whole thing stinks to high heaven.

The FBI’s HR office decided that his actions of sending personal texts from a secured phone warranted a demotion and a 60-day suspension, which he had already served, but that was overruled and he was fired by Deputy Director Bowdich.

Strzok has been a punching bag of the Right Wing Media ever since the whole text thing came out.  Their claims of “Deep State” have raged for about a year while doing nothing but serve as a distraction for the piles of shit coming out about Trump and his team.

He was also one of the last two people at the FBI that James Comey told about his meetings with Donald Trump in real time.  The only other person left at this point is the aforementioned Bowdich.

I’m not sure what to think on this.  Something is rotten about this action, and it’s almost absolutely politically motivated.  Hell, Trump couldn’t even wait a whole day before tweeting about the firing, which makes this look even more like it was politically motivated.

I have two questions.

First, was this firing carried out reluctantly or willingly?

Second, is there a paper trail?

 

I should make a post about all of the fake deadlines, deals, and comments that Rudy’s made since he joined as Trump’s lawyer.

Notice how he pulled this as a deadline with a shade over 2 weeks left in August, when most of Washington is on vacation and there is no plan for anyone to be around.  It’s like going on vacation, but telling your coworker that you can’t do a certain task after you get back because it will be too late, but you can’t do it while on vacation, then blaming the coworker for it not getting done.

Funny how each and every judge that hears these challenges seems to rule in favor of the Special Counselor.  It’s almost like they have some of the world’s best attorneys on their side, making sure that every i is dotted and t is crossed.

Oh wait, they do.  The Justice League.

A lawyer for Randy Credico, the radio host, confirmed Friday that he received a subpoena from Mueller’s office requesting that Credico testify before a grand jury in Washington on September 7. The attorney, Martin Stolar, said he believes prosecutors want to ask Credico about his contacts with Stone and also potentially about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange called into Credico’s radio show in 2016, and Stone has claimed Credico gave him information from Assange about plans to release hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton.

According to two people familiar with the matter, investigators also want to question Credico about a series of emails Stone sent him earlier this year, after Credico publicly disputed Stone’s claims about their interactions. “They said they saw some emails,” one of the people said, adding that the investigators are interested in the extent to which Credico perceived Stone’s statements as threats.

Of course they’re looking at Stone’s emails.  They’ve had them for months.  They want to know what Credico has to say about them.

In March 2016, as the U.S. foreign policy establishment shunned presidential candidate Donald Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner was invited to lunch for a think tank urging detente with Russia and struggling for influence in Washington.

The meeting at Manhattan’s Time Warner Center, which hasn’t been reported before, would prove significant for the Center for the National Interest and Kushner, who was still a little-known figure in the Trump campaign.

The main attraction of the March 14th event was Henry Kissinger, the center’s honorary chairman, who gave a talk that included analyzing U.S.-Russia relations for a small group of attendees. Kushner, who remained quiet and unobtrusive during the lunch, introduced himself to Kissinger afterward. He also met Dimitri Simes, the Russian-born president of the center and publisher of its magazine, The National Interest.

Questions have recently been raised about the center for its ties to Russia, including its interactions with Maria Butina, a woman accused of conspiring to set up a back channel by infiltrating the National Rifle Organization and the National Prayer Breakfast.

Trump Being Questioned by Butina: Video

Kushner meeting Simes at the lunch turned out to be a solid match. In the weeks following they discussed the possibility of an event hosted by the center to give Trump a chance to lay out a cohesive foreign policy speech. Simes’s organization, more pro-Russian than most in Washington, had invited other presidential candidates but none accepted. And Republican foreign policy analysts feared associating with Trump could end their careers. The center had the imprimatur of Kissinger, however, because it had been established by Richard Nixon who named him national security adviser.

A partnership with the center would help catapult Kushner to his role as a key diplomat in the White House. He and Simes organized Trump’s “America First” speech at the Mayflower Hotel the next month, with writing input and a guest list from the center.

It was at the Mayflower that Kushner first met Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, an encounter he left off disclosure forms when he initially joined the government. After Trump was elected, but before he took office, Kushner asked Kislyak whether the transition team could use the Russian embassy to communicate privately with Moscow.

March 2016, Kushner meets with Simes.  In April, everyone meets with Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel, where the Trump team allegedly asked the Russians for assistance in their campaign. (Scandal Speed Run2017 Retrospective).  This sounds like a back channel being formed.

 

The Department of Justice has added an attorney with expertise in weapons export and sanctions laws to the team prosecuting Maria Butina, the accused Russian agent whose handler was entwined with Kremlin-connected arms manufacturers banned from doing business in the United States.

The addition of Will Mackie brings to three the number of prosecutors pursuing the case against Butina. She faces charges of conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for what authorities say was her attempt to gain political influence through the National Rifle Association, part of a broader Russian campaign to install Donald Trump in the White House.

Mackie, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Justice Department’s National Security Division, has spent years prosecuting violations of U.S. sanctions and international arms embargoes. In 2008, he helped win a guilty verdict in the high-profile case against John Reece Roth, a University of Tennessee professor who passed secret military data to research assistants from China and Iran. More recently, Mackie was involved in the controversial prosecution of Marc Turi, an Arizona arms dealer who sought to sell sniper rifles, machine guns, and other weapons to Libyan rebels during the uprising against Muammar el-Qaddafi. (The charges against Turi were dropped after he reached a civil settlement with the State Department).

Weapons trafficking and sanctions.  Considering that Butina’s patron Alexander Torshin is under sanctions, and we’re looking at the NRA, this sounds like it’s right up his alley.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

Death threats.  Lots and lots of death threats.

What’s sad isn’t how far he’s taking these people, but how far they’re willing to go with just a little bit of encouragement.

Reminds me a bit of Ronald Reagan Jr.  He’s pretty much the polar opposite of his dad.

 

IMMIGRATION

Trump and my nephew both know their immigrant and refugee roots. Yet, they repeat the insults and false accusations of earlier generations against these refugees to make them seem less than human. — Almost every American family has an immigration story of its own based on flight from war, poverty, famine, persecution, fear or hopelessness. These immigrants became the workers, entrepreneurs, scientists and soldiers of America.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

Pavlov has engaged some of the world’s biggest law firms to act on behalf of him and his clients, has encouraged a former U.K. attorney general to lobby on his behalf, and has hired the consultancy firm part-owned by U.K. and Australian election maestro Lynton Crosby.

Yet he’s also embroiled in a huge international row over an alleged $230 million Russian fraud that left a lawyer tortured to death in a Russian prison; is closely tied to the Russian and Kazakh interior ministries; and is even alleged to have acted as a mediator between a Russian whistleblower and an alleged criminal gang, shortly before the whistleblower was found dead—with U.S. intelligence pointing blame for the death directly at Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Pavlov’s jetset lifestyle embodies the elaborate network of connections between the Russian state and Western elites that special counsel Robert Mueller is now charged with investigating. Like most people in this world, Pavlov has always been a closed book—until now.

The Daily Beast is able to shed unprecedented light on how Pavlov and those around him operate, thanks to a circumstance all too familiar to Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee, and others: The contents of Pavlov’s emails were leaked and posted online following what he says was a hacking attack to an obscure site used by hackers to dump their finds. (The identity of Pavlov’s hackers is not known, and Pavlov has not publicly speculated on it.)

This rare cache of documents, plus court records from cases across the U.S. and detailed reporting, give a rare insight into the complex nexus of connections in which Pavlov resides—a network that draws in interests connected to Putin and also business connections of President Trump.

Pavlov’s mails link him to everyone involved in the Magnitsky case, and link them to each other.  In any normal universe, this should be the top story.

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

SCOTUS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

Omarosa

There is no way that Omarosa was the only person in the Reality Show White House that was walking around recording everything.  Granted, that should be a very short list, but I’m not buying that she was the only one doing it.

As much as this should be a simple distraction, she likely has some serious dirt to work with.  It’s not like these are the best of the best she’s working with.  She worked there.

Trump is likely having a panic attack about what she has, what she’s released, and could still released.  Of course, this idiot only knows one move, and that’s attack.  Neither of these parties are thinking logically or strategically.

The newest talk is about Trump’s N-word tape.  You know, the ones that Tom Arnold has been chasing down for a while.  Supposedly, Omarosa has a recording of the Trump staff talking about that tape, and what that could mean.

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  If this is Monday, then the rest of week will probably be nuts.  I’d say I would like a nice,  quiet, slow day, but that is a lie.  At this point, I’m so used to the pace of the craziness that having a slow day would be jarring.  It’s like taking a day off from a workout routine.  It just feels… weird.

The Manafort Tax Trial should be wrapping up soon.  The defense will make their case on Tuesday, followed by both sides making their closing arguments.  The case would then go to the jury.  Most of the charges against him are paperwork charges, like not checking boxes or lying on forms.  Those are pretty open and shut charges.  I’m not on the jury, but the likelihood that the jury acquits him unanimously on all 18 charges is pretty damn low.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”  ‘

– Katy Tur

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s