Friday, August 31, 2018
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION
Patten and Manafort
- Paul Manafort Associate Sam Patten Charged With Illegal Foreign Lobbying
- Paul Manafort associate who worked with Cambridge Analytica charged
- Manafort Ally Charged by U.S. Worked With Indicted Russian, Cambridge Analytica
- Manafort associate pleads guilty to illegal lobbying, will cooperate with prosecutors
- Manafort Associate Sam Patten Is Charged With Lobbying Violation
- Shimon Prokupecz: Significance of today: With Samuel Patten’s guilty plea we now have direct confirmation that foreign money was used to buy tickets to Donald Trump’s inauguration. Paid by foreigners through straw purchasers His cooperation with Mueller crucial now in that larger investigation
- Patten sought tickets to Trump inauguration for Ukrainian oligarch, prosecutors say | TheHill
- Among Other Things, Sam Patten Plea Signals that Mueller Referrals Will Include False Congressional Testimony – emptywheel
- Associate of indicted Russian admits to Trump inaugural ticket scheme
- Lobbyist charged with failing to register as a foreign agent
- READ: Plea Agreement For Newly Convicted GOP Operative – Talking Points Memo
- Robert Mueller got another cooperator
- Washington consultant for Ukraine party pleads guilty to violating lobbyist disclosure law – The Washington Post
- Mueller Makes Major Connection, Tying Secret Ukrainian Money to Trump Inauguration
- Paul Manafort associate who worked with Cambridge Analytica charged
A Republican political consultant linked to Paul Manafort, who also once worked for Cambridge Analytica, has been charged with operating illegally in the US as an agent for pro-Russia politicians from Ukraine.
Sam Patten is accused of “willfully” acting as an agent for the Ukrainian political party Opposition Bloc between 2014 and this year, according to a filing to federal court in Washington DC on Friday.
Patten, 47, was charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara) by failing to register with the US government as an agent for a foreign country.
The charge was brought by the US attorney’s office in the capital. The case was referred to that office by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian election interference, links between Trump aides and Moscow and potential obstruction of justice by the president.
There were rumblings from Daily Check-In 08/30/2018 that something big was coming down from Mueller’s office. Maybe an indictment, maybe some new arrests, maybe Roger Stone was FINALLY going away. Instead, we got something different. Sam Patten, a 47 year old Republican lobbyists, pled guilty to failing to register with the Attorney General under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) for his work in Ukraine alongside Paul Manafort. At first glance, this doesn’t seem too big. He’s just another dirty lobbyist in Washington who ignored the law and took a payday shilling for tyrants and terrorists. But a deeper dive shows this is far, far greater than just that.
Patten worked alongside Manafort representing the Opposition Bloc, the political party that rose in Ukraine following Yanukovitch fleeing to Moscow. This work was mentioned briefly in Manafort’s tax trial. Patten is pleading guilty to not registering as a lobbyist for them before working for them.
But there are three other very important takeaways from this deal.
Patten’s indictment mentions that he acted as a straw buyer to get Ukrainian money into Trump’s Inauguration Committee. A straw buyer is a middleman used for Money Laundering to hide the original source of payment. Since it is illegal for a foreigner to donate money to an American political campaign in any way, shape, or form, they’ll use middlemen to make the final purchase. A foreigner, let’s say a Russian using Ukrainian money, will pay Bob’s Legitimate Business their donation plus a “processing fee” to make sure that the donation to the campaign comes from an American company. Not only did Patten take part in this process, but he set it up. He had his choice of straw buyers, and chose to do it himself. He knows all of the players. So does Mueller.
Next, Patten lied to the Senate, and they caught him on it. The Special Counselor’s investigation into Sam Patten didn’t start with the criminal referral from the Senate Intelligence Committee, but it certainly helped spur it along.
Finally, and I think most importantly, Patten worked for Cambridge Analytica from 2014 to 2015. During the same time period he’s representing Putin’s cronies in Ukraine, he’s working for SCL/Cambridge Analytica testing messaging on Putin that was later used during the 2016 campaign. He knows who was involved, who did what, and who worked with whom.
And now Mueller has it all, too.
Now, why was Patten’s deal announced now? Because Paul Manafort’s FARA trial starts in a few weeks, and he will be a cooperating witness at the trial. And what better way to give Trump and his team a heart attack than to let them stew over the holiday weekend knowing that Robert Mueller has now tied money laundering and foreign money directly to his inauguration slush fund, and that he is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from tying Putin’s Russians directly to Trump. Hell, the connection’s been made, it’s just a matter of showing how many connections there are.
- Papadopoulos says Trump “approved” his proposed meeting with Putin ahead of the 2016 election
- Papadopoulos Sentencing Document Out
- Papadopoulos: Trump ‘nodded’ at suggestion of Putin meeting
In George Papadopoulos’s deal, he said that Trump approved of his attempts to set up a meeting with Vladimir Putin. We’ve discussed before his possible meeting with Putin in Greece (Daily Check-In 11/06/2017), and his connections with Russian Intelligence started long before that, whether he knew it or not.
Page. Papadopoulos. Sessions. Kushner. Erik Prince. The Mayflower Meeting. The June 9th Meeting. The RNC at Cleveland. And those are just the meetings that we know of.
It’s about fucking time. Robert Driscoll has been bitching about how poorly Butina’s been treated or how bad the case is against her for 6 weeks on Fox News, most of the time never disclosing that he is her attorney. That’s like hearing some formerly respected politician turned hack talking about how an anti-corruption campaign in Romania is bad for the stability of the country without finding out that the politician in question is a lobbyist for them.
Yes, I’m talking about Rudy.
- AP sources: Lawyer was told Russia had ‘Trump over a barrel’
- AP: Justice lawyer was told Russia had ‘Trump over a barrel’
- Does President Trump want Bruce Ohr fired because he’s so good at uncovering Russian crime?
- Eric Tucker: SCOOP from me and @ChadSDay: At a July 2016 breakfast between Chris Steele and Bruce Ohr, Steele told him that Russian intelligence believed it had Trump “over a barrel.” Details of that breakfast were shared this morning in a private interview with lawmakers
The part of the campaign against the investigation that really makes me scratch my head is looking at this from a distance.
Imagine, for a second, that you were talking to someone who just woke up from a coma, or time travelled from the 1980’s. Say, 1988, while Regan was President and before the Soviet Union fell. Imagine that this person, let’s call him Marty, asked for the TL:DR; on the Russian Investigation and what was happening in Congress because of it.
“The current President has multiple and repeated ties to the Russian Mob, and his only remaining defense is to use his allies in Congress to attack the FBI and Justice officials that specialize in fighting Russian Organized Crime.” When Marty asks which party it was that was getting all soft on the Ruskies, and he jokingly says the Democrats, you’d do a double take and say “Fuck no. It’s the Republicans. The Democrats are the ones fighting against Russia. The Republicans are bought and paid for by Moscow.” At that point, Marty tries to figure out what he screwed up to end up in this future.
Justice League Lineup
Prosecutors Ryan Dickey and Brian Richardson are no longer working for the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, the Justice Department confirmed.
Both lawyers were relatively junior but frequently spotted members of Mueller’s corps. Both have worked on court cases that Mueller opened as part of his investigation into Russian interference and coordination with the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential election.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel, declined to explain on Thursday what the departures mean for the state of Mueller’s office.
I’ll update The Justice League post shortly.
- “There’s Nothing Mueller Doesn’t Know”: How Valuable Is Michael Cohen to the Mueller Probe?
- Michael Cohen Makes $7M Flipping Apartments — While Crying Broke On GoFundMe
- Cohen’s Guilty Plea Solidifies Already-Strong Case for Dissolving ‘Fraudulent’ and ‘Criminal’ Trump Organization, Watchdog Says
- New York attorney general: No backing down on Trump lawsuit
- New York’s attorney general says Trump Foundation bankrolled political campaign, pursues lawsuit
Out of all of the lawsuits, investigations, depositions, dastardly deeds, criminal, and civil procedures progressing against the Trump Criminal Family, the most dangerous to him right now is the series of moves that New York State is pursuing. They are not beholden. to Federal DOJ memoranda or guidelines, and state charges are outside of a Presidential Pardon. Even if the Supreme Court rules that a POTUS can’t be charged by a state while in office, there’s nothing to stop New York from going after his children.
TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET
- The 43 most staggering lines from Donald Trump’s Indiana speech
- 6 takeaways from Trump’s Evansville rally
- Trump Announces Rally for Lyin’ Ted
- ‘Absolutely Repulsive’: After $1.5 Trillion Tax Giveaway to the Rich, Trump Cancels Modest Pay Raise for Federal Workers
- Just Hours After Ordering Pay Cut for Millions of Public Workers, Trump Proposes $100 Billion Gift to Richest 1%
- Trump calls North Carolina redistricting ruling ‘unfair’
- Trump Campaign Takes ‘Inexperienced Volunteer’ Who Blocked Photo ‘Off The Road’
- Trump confirmed that his administration may try a legally dubious maneuver to create a $100 billion tax cut that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy
- Trump is using taxpayers to enrich himself, his family and his friends
ATTACKS ON JOURNALISTS
- Shannon Watts: He gave this speech the same day a U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts arrested a Trump supporter for threatening to fatally shoot journalists. Thread
- Kaz Weida: Donald Trump has used the phrase “enemy of the people” to refer to the media 10 times in the last 3 months alone. (THREAD)
- Poll by sinking poll, Trump inches toward impeachment
- Poll: 49 percent say Congress should begin impeachment
- Poll: 60 percent disapprove of Trump, while clear majorities back Mueller and Sessions
- Poll: 63% approve of Mueller probe
- Poll: Nearly half of Americans say Congress should try to impeach Trump
- Poll: Trump disapproval rating hits 60 percent, a new high – AOL News
- Poll: Trump disapproval rating up to 60 percent
- Poll: Two-thirds of Americans oppose Trump pardoning Manafort
- Trouble for Trump: Disapproval at a high, half favor impeachment (Poll)
- Trump: Well Over Half of Women Want President to Be Impeached, Says Poll
- Donald Trump Impeachment Support More Than 10 Points Higher Than Approval Rating: New Poll
- 60 percent disapprove of Trump, while clear majorities back Mueller and Sessions
- Donald Trump’s approval rating sinks to lowest of his presidency
- Trump’s approval rating among black voters is a whopping 3 percent
Just 3 percent of black Americans polled said they approved of Trump’s performance, compared to the president’s 36 percent approval overall. An overwhelming 93 percent of black Americans, meanwhile, said they disapprove. Those numbers have plummeted, data over time shows; just months ago his approval among black Americans was nearly 20 percent.
Non-white respondents overall largely disapprove of Trump, with 78 percent saying that he’s handling the presidency poorly and 19 percent saying he’s doing well. Those numbers were on the upswing, but sunk back down to the consistent low marks that Trump has received since entering office. Women also disapprove of Trump at higher rates: Sixty-six percent of women disapprove of his performance, and 54 percent of men agree.
Among white respondents, 45 percent approve of the president, while 51 percent disapprove. Trump’s approval ratings are worse than ever among all demographic groups — 60 percent disapproval overall is the highest the Post has ever found.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted Aug. 26-29, reaching 1,003 adults by phone. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.
When the result is less than the margin of error, this could be interpreted as being statistically zero. It is so small as to be damn near non-existent. The result is so small that we’re not sure if it exists or if it’s a problem with the way the survey was performed.
- Giuliani preps report to rebut potential Mueller findings – CNNPolitics
- Giuliani: Trump’s legal team almost done with ‘voluminous’ counterreport to Mueller | TheHill
Fuck off, Rudy. We don’t believe a word you say, you’re borderline senile, and you probably shit yourself on the way to the Fox News Studio.
But here are two questions to this rambling ball of interest conflicts.
- How can you prepare a comprehensive counter report when the original report isn’t complete, submitted, or or even required, if his previous cries of “get off my lawn” are to be believed?
- Why would an innocent person need to preemptively prepare a counter report on criminal activity they allegedly committed?
- John McCain Is More Popular Among Democrats Than Republicans After His Death: Poll
- John McCain’s Funeral Was Designed to Be a Final Swipe at Trump
- McCain funeral: McCain lies in state at U.S. Capitol as Pence, congressional leaders honor late senator
- Meghan McCain glares at Vice President Mike Pence as he speaks at her father’s memorial ceremony
- Pence, McConnell, Ryan: Three men unfit to eulogize John McCain – The Washington Post
- Pence: John McCain will be remembered for serving the country honorably
- Active Measures: Homepage for the movie
- Meet PoppinKREAM, the Reddit Power User Fighting a One-Person Battle for a Fact-Based Internet
The citations linked back to Trump’s initial tweet, a fact-checking website, and the Washington Post. The comment went on to remind readers that “we know for a fact that Russia did hack the DNC and the Clinton Campaign,” and to reprint the indictment brought by Robert Mueller against 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the 2016 presidential election. Though the comment was soon “brigaded” by a passel of aggressive pro-Trump commenters who came over from The_Donald full of insults and yelling, the user’s work stood on its own: extensive, well-sourced, and convincing. Welcome to the world of PoppinKREAM, the most meticulous Redditor of them all.
It is generally safe to assume that everybody on the internet is, in one way or another, full of shit. This is especially true for internet comment sections—and especially especially true on Reddit—both of which combine discursivity and anonymity in ways that make it very difficult to easily tell if any given commenter actually knows what he or she is talking about. Millions of times per day, website commenters around the world make broad and vague claims about anything and everything, only to respond, when asked for links to articles that would support their arguments, by saying, “Google it. I don’t have time to do your research for you.”
PoppinKREAM is an exception to this very depressing rule. PoppinKREAM always has time to do your research for you. (That’s the PoppinKREAM difference!) A ubiquitous presence on r/politics and other newsy subreddits, PoppinKREAM eschews memes and banter in favor of extensive, endnoted comments that calmly and repeatedly establish a narrative of corruption in Trumpworld. In a sea of uninformed opinion and misinformation, PoppinKREAM stands out by sourcing their work.
Long time readers are very familiar with PoppinKREAM and their work. I’ve referenced their posts many times, and PK’s work was the starting ground for The Justice League. PK’s work is similar to what I do here, but different. I’m a longtime Redditor, but my posts are nowhere near as impactful as theirs. Also, I like the format of a website a little better. Reddit formatting can get a little wonky.
- Axios AM – August 31, 2018 – Axios Mueller’s Secret Files
- As Summer Ends, the Smoke Around Trump Is Leading to Fire
- The Trump Impeachment Threat Just Got More Real
- Eminem attacks Donald Trump on surprise album Kamikaze
- Senate cancels postal service hearing; Trump’s Amazon crusade delayed
- Federal judge refuses to shut down DACA program
- ‘Birtherism Is Now Federal Policy’
- Still separated: Nearly 500 migrant children taken from their parents remain in U.S. custody
- Trump officials identify 497 migrant children still in custody
COLD WAR 2.0
- Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko killed in explosion in Ukraine
- Ukrainian Separatist Leader Zakharchenko Killed In Cafe Bombing
- Steel exec mysteriously falls to his death within view of Kremlin
- Britain’s belated charm offensive in Africa – Doing the Brexit shimmy
- Calls for protests and cancellation of Donald Trump’s Irish visit
- Home | Sky News Australia: Trump Trip cancelled
- Shannon Watts: Highly trained police officers are able to hit a moving target about 30 percent of the time, but these armed, volunteer “marshals” are going to take out active shooters in crowded classrooms full of children. This is the Texas governor’s solution.
- School safety panel will recommend best practices in report
- Shannon Watts: The assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education confirms the agency plans to let states decide if they want to use federal grants to purchase guns for schools or to train personnel. We must stop this: https://every.tw/booksnotbullets #BooksNotBullets
- Former ER Actress Vanessa Marquez Shot and Killed By Police After Pointing BB Gun at Officers
- David Hogg: I have a senator that cares more about a flagpole in a movie than kids being shot and killed everyday in his own state. #ThisIs @marcorubio
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
- Fox News host: Trump ‘radicalized’ by Fox News
- Can U.S. Democracy Survive Russian Information Warfare? | Event | Zócalo Public Square
- Laura Ingraham show plays ‘Shock the Monkey’ song before interviewing Ron DeSantis about ‘monkey up’ controversy
- Sciutto: Trump’s latest conspiracy is a lie – CNN Video
- Fox News ‘Radicalized’ Donald Trump, Network Host Says
FIXING THE INTERNET
- Calif. Senate approves net neutrality rules, sends bill to governor
- California passes strongest net neutrality law in the country
- Golden State passes gold-standard net neutrality bill by 58-17
TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY
- White House tries to recover after leak of Trump’s off-the-record slam on Canada
- Trump Confirms His ‘Insulting’ Comments About NAFTA Talks With Canada
- Wilbur Ross Loses Key Aide as Trade Disputes Escalate
- Bombshell leak to Toronto Star upends NAFTA talks: In secret ‘so insulting’ remarks, Trump says he isn’t compromising at all with Canada | The Star
- Canada, U.S. NAFTA talks turn tense, Ottawa won’t sign ‘just any deal’
- Deep Texas-Canada ties hang in balance as Trump’s NAFTA deadline looms
- Trump reportedly said he won’t compromise with Canada on NAFTA
- US-Canada Nafta talks break up without deal
- Ford cancels Focus crossover model, cites Trump tariffs
- The economy may be booming, but nearly half of Americans can’t make ends meet
- Kavanaugh won’t commit to recusal from Trump, Mueller-related matters
- Trump administration withholds 100K Kavanaugh pages
- Trump administration withholds 100K Kavanaugh pages ahead of Supreme Court Justice decision
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- Trump’s Ftc Releases Nearly 500 Pages Of Material On Conflicts Of Interest — And Redacts It All
- Betsy DeVos sides with predatory for-profit colleges over America’s students
- President Trump is considering Washington litigator Pat Cipollone to replace outgoing White House counsel Donald McGahn
- Puerto Rico is asking for statehood. Congress should listen.
- Trump didn’t do ‘a fantastic job’ in Puerto Rico. Ask the loved ones of 2,975 dead
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- Former GOP leader in Connecticut resigns from party: ‘I blame President Trump’
- The White Nationalists in the Trump Administration Aren’t There by Accident
- Now People Are Getting Neo-Nazi Robocalls About Mollie Tibbetts’s Death
- County GOP official called NFL players who kneel ‘baboons’
- P.A. Republican County Official Resigns After Calling NFL Players ‘Baboons’ on Facebook: Reports
- Trump’s War On Mueller Is Backfiring And Splintering The Republican Base – Rantt
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- Former FIFA Executive, President of CONMEBOL and Paraguayan Soccer Official Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Racketeering and Corruption Offenses
- Former ER Actress Vanessa Marquez Shot and Killed By Police After Pointing BB Gun at Officers
- Real Estate Developer Charged In Manhattan Federal Court For Operating Years-Long Real Estate Investment Scheme In And Around New York City | USAO-SDNY | Department of Justice
- Arkansas State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson Indicted on Wire and Tax Fraud Charges | OPA
- Two Indicted for Making Corporate Contributions to U.S. Senate Campaign | OPA | Department of Justice
- Hacker sentenced to prison for role in Jennifer Lawrence nude photo theft
- Megyn Kelly: Obama ‘swung the pendulum too far’ in favor of college sexual assault victims
- Manchin leads Morrisey by 8 points in new poll
- Lawsuit requiring Georgia to use paper ballots in next election moves forward
- Why so many people are coming to see Beto O’Rourke: A revolt against Trump and a demand for compassion
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Demonstrates How Beto O’Rourke Could Beat Ted Cruz in Texas
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Being Held To A Higher Standard Than Men
- Kane Sworn in As the New Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee
- Racist robocalls tied to neo-Nazi group target Andrew Gillum
- Ron DeSantis Leaves Racist Facebook Group, Says He Was Unknowingly a Member
- John Kerry won’t rule out a 2020 presidential run
PROGRESS IS PROGRESS
- Republican lawmakers in this U.S. territory just voted to legalize marijuana
- It’s Not the ‘Future of Work,’ It’s the Future of Workers That’s in Doubt
- Molly McKew: Here’s the president’s son posting an article from a Russian disinformation channel. Friends don’t let friends zerohedge, folks.
- Countercheckist: There’s a lot of RUMINT flying around re: indictments today. Months ago I was told early September would see movement from OSC. @thespybriefhad the same info. Given McCain’s memorial, it’s possible we won’t see anything today. But don’t despair, good things are happening. 😉
- Lincoln’s Bible: Mob distinctions
- Louise Neufy: The fact that TRUMP = MOB is finally breaking though in MSM, hooray!
That’s it for Friday. I’ve decided to put the weekend events on Monday’s post. There was enough crazy shit that happened on in one day to include McCain’s funeral with this.
With the news of Sam Patten and the Mueller lawyers, I will have to update The Indicted, Cooperating Witnesses, and The Justice League. If I get time before Monday, I’d also like to update the Cast of Characters to include the Rumor Mill members and start up on a Russian page.
Also, we’re finishing up August and heading into September. For a while, I’ve reported on rumors that included something big happening in early September. Whether it be for political purposes to prevent influencing the midterm elections, or that’s just how things have proceeded, September has been looked at as a pivotal time in these events. The House was on break during August, and Manafort’s FARA trial starts up later this month, but one of the long-held rumors was that the Mueller Team would submit the first half of their report, focusing on Obstruction of Justice, to Congress. The report, which would almost certainly recommend impeachment and removal from offie to allow criminal charges to be pressed against Trump, would force the Republicans in Congress to make a choice: either serve the country or serve Trump. If they choose the latter, then they are all but conceding the House to Democrats in January, and only delaying the inevitable.
I wonder what will happen.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur