Monday, August 27th, 2018.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION
The talks between the defense and prosecutors occurred last week as the Virginia jury was deliberating, people familiar with the matter told the Journal. The newspaper said it was unclear what issues Mueller raised or what terms for a potential plea might have been proposed.Representatives for Manafort and Mueller declined to comment to the Journal.
- We’ve Officially Reached the Point Where Paul Manafort Actually Prefers Jail
- John McCain Reportedly Knew About Paul Manafort’s Russia Ties In 2008, Refused To Let Him Manage RNC
- McCain Refused Manafort’s Desire To Run ’08 Convention
- Manafort Sought Deal in Next Trial, but Talks Broke Down
- President Trump is so eager to pardon Paul Manafort he’s reportedly considering hiring a new White House counsel
Here’s the thing when it comes to making a deal with prosecutors; you have to have something they want and don’t already have. Rick Gates likely gave them everything already anyway. Whatever Manafort has that Gates doesn’t, like personal conversations with Trump or with Russian Oligarchs, he has to be willing to give it up.
- Roger Stone preemptively denies upcoming report on Trump’s knowledge of WikiLeaks dump
- Roger Stone says he may soon be indicted in Trump-Russia investigation
- ‘Sleeper’ case could torpedo Mueller report – POLITICO
- Alan Dershowitz: Investigation Into Trump Business is ‘Taking The Al Capone Approach’
- Bruce Ohr Fought Russian Organized Crime. Now He’s a Target of Trump.
WASHINGTON — When a lawyer for one of Russia’s most powerful reputed crime bosses arrived at F.B.I. headquarters one day around 2006, he wanted to cut a deal. The Russian, Semion Y. Mogilevich, had been indicted three years earlier by the department on charges of defrauding a company outside Philadelphia out of $150 million and could not travel for fear of arrest.
As the lawyer made his pitch, a supervising F.B.I. agent and a senior career Justice Department official, Bruce G. Ohr, both listened intently, according to a former bureau official who described the meeting. The case was significant for American law enforcement. It had made headlines and laid the groundwork for Justice Department efforts to combat Russian organized crime overseas.
Finally, the F.B.I. agent spoke. No deal, he said; Mr. Mogilevich must surrender. Mr. Ohr said little, but his unwillingness to negotiate was signal enough: The Justice Department would not compromise with the Russian mafia.
In nearly three decades at the Justice Department, Mr. Ohr has made a career of supporting and facilitating important cases that targeted Russian organized crime. Now he is a target of President Trump, who has put his security clearance under review and attacked him publicly, and allies. They have cast Mr. Ohr and his wife — who worked as a contractor at the same research firm that produced a damaging dossier of information about Mr. Trump — as villains, part of a pro-Clinton cabal out to destroy the president.
But Mr. Ohr, 56, is far from corrupt, friends and former colleagues said. An experienced law enforcement official, he has a deep understanding of the underworld of Russian organized crime, they said, including raising concerns about at least one oligarch whose name has resurfaced amid the scrutiny of contacts between Trump associates and Russia.
As part of this work, Mr. Ohr met a British spy who specialized in Russia, Christopher Steele, and the two men developed a bond based on their shared expertise. Mr. Steele went on to investigate ties between Mr. Trump and Russia for the same research firm, Fusion GPS, where Ms. Ohr was a contractor.
Those connections have upended Mr. Ohr’s once relatively anonymous life, dragging him into the maelstrom of the Russia investigation. Justice Department officials transferred Mr. Ohr, an associate deputy attorney general, to a less powerful post last year after learning about his contacts with Mr. Steele and the scope of his wife’s work. If he loses his security clearance, he would probably be forced to leave federal law enforcement after nearly three decades.
“Until 9/11, organized crime was one of the main priority criminal programs at the Justice Department,” said Mr. Lowrie, who retired in 2008. “Russian organized crime was a focus. Bruce knew a lot of the Russia stuff and traveled there.”
Mr. Ohr’s section supported the 2000 prosecution of Pavlo Lazarenko, the former prime minister of Ukraine, who was convicted of money laundering, wire fraud and extortion in a case brought by the office of the United States attorney in San Francisco at the time, Robert S. Mueller III, who is now the special counsel.
Mr. Ohr was a manager, not a litigator, who built bridges with law enforcement agencies around the world, former Justice Department officials said. He sent top deputies to Hungary to root out the nascent Russian mob in the early 2000s. F.B.I. agents viewed the commitment as a sign of his seriousness about combating Russian organized crime.
In 2006, Mr. Ohr was part of a group of government officials who revoked the visa of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire and aluminum magnate. Officials were concerned that Mr. Deripaska might try to come to the United States to launder illicit profits through real estate, a former law enforcement official said.
Mr. Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, has been tied to the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was convicted last week of tax and bank fraud. In 2016, Mr. Manafort offered private campaign briefings to Mr. Deripaska, raising concerns about the prospect of Russians wielding influence inside the White House. In April, the United States imposed sanctions on Mr. Deripaska.
In 2007, Mr. Ohr met Mr. Steele, who was still with MI-6, the British spy service, according to a former senior American law enforcement official who knows both men. Both governments approved their contacts, the former official said.
Mr. Ohr moved on to other senior jobs, starting in 2010 as counsel for international relations in the Justice Department’s transnational organized crime and international affairs section, where he bolstered partnerships with foreign law enforcement agencies. In 2014, he became the director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, distributing grant money to bolster prosecutorial work.
Bruce Ohr, everyone. The mid-level DOJ official who has fought against the Russian Mafia for the better part of 30 years, and according to Cult45 Public Enemy #1.
Think about this for a second. Trump’s Enemies List includes FBI Agents, Lawyers who investigated Russia, a former spy, members of the Intelligence Community, and a Politician who connected all of these people together.
Also, we’re finally getting Semion Mogilevich’s name in the paper. He is the Boss of Bosses in Russian organized crime, and runs Moscow. If there is one person that could control Putin, it’s this guy. Think of every shady, illegal, violent, and disgusting thing ever associated to a Russian criminal, and it all ties back to Semion.
Fuck Glenn Greenwald with a rusty spiked dildo.
- ‘Do not despair of our present difficulties:’ John McCain’s last statement, annotated
- Sen. McCain did not commit treason in Vietnam
- Senate drapes McCain’s desk in black cloth
- Trump ignores questions on John McCain 3 times
- Trump retreated when the American Legion stood up for McCain
- Veteran groups tell Trump to lower flag to half-staff to honor McCain
- Veterans group furious with White House over ‘disrespect’ following John McCain’s death
- When McCain questioned the nation’s generals and admirals in the Senate, the gloves came off
- White House flag no longer at half-staff days after death of John McCain
- White House flags should have been at half-staff for a week to honor John McCain. They’re already back up.
- White House re-lowers flag to half staff
- A New Low: White House Raises Flag Before John McCain Is Laid to Rest
- Cindy McCain may be named to fill her husbands Senate seat In death McCain has final message for Trump – MarketWatch
- Donald Trump’s Response to John McCain’s Death Reminds Us Just How Petty He Is
- Ducey aims to please Trump with McCain fill-in
- GOP Sen. Inhofe: McCain ‘Partially to Blame’ for Flag Ordeal Because He Was Mean to Trump
- GOP senator warns Trump: Anyone who trash-talks McCain ‘deserves a whipping’
- John McCain, in final message before death, says ‘do not despair of our present difficulties’
- John McCain’s death is a metaphor for the death of the old Republican Party
- John McCain’s sad legacy is that he helped build the type of GOP he once opposed
- John McCain’s spokesman says Trump will not be attending late senator’s funeral
- Michael McFaul: Think about this: President Trump has said many more kind words about Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin than American hero John McCain.
- Christina Wilkie: Hearing tonight from a surprising number of veterans and vets’ relatives who all say Trump’s handling of McCain’s death, esp the flag fiasco, did irreparable damage to their opinion of him, which had been positive until now. WH & GOP, take note: It’s more serious than you think.
Here’s the short, short version of Monday’s events at the White House…
The White House, like the rest of Washington, flew the flag at half-mast out of respect for John McCain. Trump is petty bitch who ordered it back to full height. Everyone called him out, including the American Legion. Trump cracked like a bitch and “ordered” it lowered back to half-mast. Fox News will say some shit like “John McCain deserved it” or “Trump’s not an asshole for this”.
Fuck him and anyone who defends Trump on this. If anyone ever tries to pull that “He loves the troops” bullshit ever again, show them this. Remind them of how Trump “honored” the memory of a Navy Veteran, POW, and Senator.
- Kushner Companies and Michael Cohen Accused of Falsifying Building Permits to Push Out Tenants
- Kushner Cos. fined $210K by New York for false documents
- Lanny Davis Says He Was A Source For CNN’s Trump Tower Story
$210,000 is a slap on the wrist. Meanwhile, they evicted dozens, if not hundreds of people from their homes illegally. Unless this is used to establish greater criminal charges, I’m pissed about this.
TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET
- Trump Was Involved in FBI Headquarters Plan, Watchdog Says
- Inspector general report: Trump involved in FBI HQ decision
- IG Confirms Trump’s Involvement in FBI Headquarters Project Across From His Hotel
- “Trump Is Nuts. This Time Really Feels Different”: Trump Rejects “War Council” Intervention, Goes It Alone
After Michael Cohen’s plea deal last week, Donald Trump spiraled out of control, firing wildly in all directions. He railed against “flippers” in a rambling Fox & Friends interview, and lashed out on Twitter at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department, and Robert Mueller. In the wake of his outbursts, White House officials have discussed whether Trump would listen to his closest New York City friends in an effort to rein him in. Two sources briefed on the matter told me that senior officials talked about inviting Rudy Giuliani and a group of Trump’s New York real-estate friends including Tom Barrack, Richard LeFrak, and Howard Lorber to the White House to stage an “intervention” last week. “It was supposed to be a war council,” one source explained. But Trump refused to take the meeting, sources said. “You know Trump—he hates being lectured to,” the source added. (Spokespeople for LeFrak and Lorber say they have no knowledge of a meeting. A spokesperson for Barrack didn’t comment.)
Trump is self-destructing. Not that any of this is a surprise to anyone paying attention, but he’s now trapped in his own bubble with the walls closing in. He’s lashing out at everyone and everything, unsure about what to do, but convinced he needs to do something, without realizing that any action he does will only make the situation worse. He can’t sit still and let things work themselves out, or let the experts do the work. He has to do something, anything, because in his broken, feeble little mind, he’s the only one smart enough to do anything to fix his problems.
Take the issue with trying to pardon Paul Manafort. I’ve gone into detail before about why that’s a bad idea, (GTKYG-Pardon Limitations), and all of the lawyers and smart people in the White House agree with me that Trump’s attempts to continue down this path are a bad idea. Trying to swing a pardon around like a hammer will break his presidency, but he can’t help himself. He won’t listen to anyone that doesn’t agree with him, and he’s too focused on himself to see that what he’s asking his lawyers to do will ruin their lives.
- President Trump tweets about incorrect approval ratings, ignores Jacksonville mass shooting
- Trump appears to make up job approval number in late night tweet
IMPEACHMENT AND INDICTMENT TALK
- Bret Stephens: Constitution demands impeachment of lawless president
- Trump’s real problem is that he obstructed justice, and Mueller can prove it. Here’s how.
- Duncan Hunter: Evidence will trump political agendas
- ‘Family Values’ Republican Blames His Wife For Criminal Indictments: The swamp is full of vipers.
- Secret message board drives ‘pizzagate’-style harassment campaign of small businesses
- ‘America’s Toughest Sheriff’ Joe Arpaio struggles in Senate bid
- No One Knows Why This QAnon Conspiracy Theorist Was in the Oval Office with Trump.
- Republicans are mired in a culture of corruption—and Democrats should say so at every opportunity
- Republicans Are Terrified of What Democrats Will Uncover If They Take Back the House
- House Republicans Have a Secret List of Trump Scandals They’re Covering Up
- Trump wants to fire federal employees at will. A federal judge said he can’t.
- Donald Trump is the worst president ever, 41 percent of Americans say in poll
- It Would Only Take a Single Senator to Check Trump
- Robert Reich: Don’t Just Impeach Trump—Annul His Presidency
- Stormy Daniels, Trump and the power of telling the truth
- Could Trump’s Missing Signature Force Him to Be Deposed?
- Large crowd in Reno protests U.S. Supreme Court nominee
- Rep Joe Kennedy: 10 days later and the Trump Administration has reunited just 37 of these children with their families. #FamiliesBelongTogther
- Mollie Tibbetts’s Father Ignores Trump, Thanks Hispanic Community for Search Help During Eulogy
- Mollie Tibbetts’s death is about violence against women, not immigration, says a family member
- ‘As far as I’m concerned, they’re Iowans with better food’: The father of Mollie Tibbetts pushes back on anti-immigrant rhetoric surrounding her death
- Mollie Tibbetts’s death is about violence against women, not immigration, says a family member
- Only Latino Employee Resigns From Anti-Immigration Group Over Racial Slurs
- This toddler got sick in ICE detention. Six weeks later she was dead.
COLD WAR 2.0
- For the first time, UN investigators say Myanmar’s army has committed genocide against the Rohingya
- US is now ‘worse off’ on North Korea than it was before the Trump-Kim summit, expert says
- Shannon Watts: My piece in @USATODAY: “The @NRA will blame “gun free zones” or claim there wasn’t adequate security, but no other high-income country relies on civilian crossfire or armed guards to stay safe. They rely on strong gun laws, while we make it easy for angry men to access arsenals.”
- After Jacksonville shooting, is it too early to talk about gun laws? Today’s talker
- Shannon Watts: After a fire, no one says it’s too soon to discuss codes. After a plane crash, no one says it’s too soon to discuss FAA guidelines. The most important time to discuss law that enable mass shootings is after a mass shooting. And I’ll continue to do so.
- Gary Sapp: Jacksonville Mass Shooting: STOP sending your thoughts and Prayers STOP thanking First Responders for doing their damned jobs. STOP lowering your precious flags to half mast. START raising your voices. START voting for candidates who support common sense gun laws.
- NRA-backed Florida AG ignores guns after mass shooting, warns about video game geotagging
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
- Revealed: Notorious Pro-Trump Misinformation Site True Pundit Is Run By An Ex-Journalist With A Grudge Against The FBI
- Black business ownership didn’t jump 400 percent this year
- Fox News Hasn’t Always Shared Robert Driscoll’s Credentials With Its Viewers
- Donald Trump’s “white genocide” rhetoric: A dangerous escalation of racism
- Donald Trump Jr. calls a reporter who helped uncover Watergate a “leftist hack” for his Trump Tower meeting story
- Coulter’s strange claim that Dutch settlers preceded blacks in South Africa
- InfoWars host Alex Jones ‘caught looking at transgender porn’ despite anti-trans rants
- Tucker Carlson: Why Would Trump Honor Someone He ‘Despised’?
- Kavanaugh should postpone his Supreme Court confirmation hearing until after Mueller probe
- Large crowd in Reno protests U.S. Supreme Court nominee
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- Top interior staffer who backed shrinking national monuments to join BP
- ‘Complicit’ Ivanka Trump Called Out Over Attempt To Celebrate Women’s Equality Day
TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY
- Student Loan Watchdog Quits, Blames Trump Administration : NPR
- Nation’s top official overseeing student loans resigns, citing White House hostility to protecting borrowers
- With Dodd-Frank Rollback, Even Bigger Banker Bonuses Are Ahead
- Trump’s farmer bailout will cost $4.7 billion
- U.S., Mexico reach partial agreement to resolve trade conflict, a step toward a NAFTA deal
- Kushner and Lighthizer Pressed for Deal Before Mexican President Leaves Office
- Trump announces separate U.S.-Mexico trade agreement, says Canada may join later
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- Florida Governor; Rick Scott and Ann Scott’s financial trail leads to Cayman Islands tax haven
- Rick and Ann Scott’s financial trail leads to Cayman Islands tax haven
- NC congressional districts need to be redrawn, maybe before November election, court rules
- Federal Court Strikes Down North Carolina Congressional Map Again
- Federal Court Throws Out North Carolina’s Congressional Districts, Again
- Judges say N.C. congressional districts unconstitutionally gerrymandered to help GOP; new districts may be required before November
- James Haning: Trump supporters continue to question if Arizona State Rep. Eric Descheenie, a Navajo American legislator, is here ‘illegally’. Let that level of stupid sink in for a moment.
- ‘Unite the Right 2’ Speaker Is Disbarred Ex-Lawyer Accused of Stealing From Clients
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
The FBI and Capitol Police want to talk with Rep. Maxine Waters’ 2018 Republican opponent about a fake letter he posted to Twitter that falsely indicated the congresswoman wants to resettle tens of thousands of refugees in her Los Angeles district.
The Republican candidate, Omar Navarro, said he will meet with FBI agents at his California campaign office Wednesday at their request.
In December, Waters formally asked the FBI and Capitol Police to investigate the letter,which appears to be on Waters’ House office stationery and includes her signature.
It is a federal crime to impersonate a federal official and misuse a federal seal.
Navarro told The Times after Waters filed the December complaint that someone he did not know sent his campaign the letter on Facebook, and he did not vet whether it was real before putting it online.
“I don’t know why they are looking into me since I’m not the one who fabricated the letter,” Navarro said Monday. He said he has not had contact with the person who sent him the letter since December.
Navarro has not deleted the tweet from his account and it continues to be retweeted, totaling more than 800 times as of this week.
He reacted online to the FBI meeting Monday, tweeting, “Let’s get this straight I tweet a letter which says Maxine Waters wants to bring 41,000 Somali refugees. I only tweet according to this document asking a question. Now the FBI is on me for her complaint. She threatens the president and his supporters and no investigation on her.”
Really? This ignorant mother fucker wants to play the victim card? Really?
Let’s start with him saying that he was given this forged letter and didn’t confirm the contents. That alone should disqualify him from running a fucking Wendy’s Drive-Thru window, let alone running for Congress.
Next we get to him still hosting it, even though it’s a proven fake. Making a fake letter on Congressional letterhead is illegal, but hosting a copy of the fake might not be, but he’s still disseminating it AFTER it’s been proven to be a fake. Any credibility this fucktard ever had is gone.
Then he wants to pull a case of Whataboutism because Maxine was mean to the Orange One and recommended peacefully calling out the racist, traitorous pieces of shit for what they really are, while his idol has literally called for his supporters to physically attack people they don’t like.
Fuck this guy. I hope the FBI break his fucking spirit.
- California diocese buys $2.3M home for retiring bishop
- These African American Pastors Who Sucked Up to Donald Trump Are a Disgrace
- Plastic straw ban? Cigarette butts are the single greatest source of ocean trash
- Court orders ban of top-selling pesticide, says EPA violated law, ignored scientific studies
- Michigan Democrat leaders: Don’t bet on ‘blue wave,’ build it
- Democrat Beto O’Rourke is creeping up on Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race – both in fundraising and polls
- New Emerson poll has Beto within 1 point of Cruz.
- NFL player plans to show Beto O’Rourke’s defense of kneeling to team owners
- Beto O’Rourke pens op-ed calling for Texas to lead the US on criminal justice reform
PROGRESS IS PROGRESS
- Countercheckist: “We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world.“ — John McCain
- Countercheckist: Everything the Republic stands for— liberty, justice, and equality— must be defended. They’re constantly under assault by those who stand to benefit in their absence. Do you want to live in a world governed by tyrants & criminals? Or one governed by law, freedom, and opportunity?
That’s it for Monday. I’d like to say I’m glad it was a little “slower” of a newsday, but I can’t. Right now I’m sitting in pain with a jacked up back, and everything hurts. It happens from time to time.
My next couple pieces, outside of the Daily’s, should be about Michael Cohen and the differences between the Democrats and Republicans. Not just the policy points, but the whole lawlessness and corruption vs. holding assholes accountable thing. That’s been overlooked recently.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur