Daily Check-In 08/31/2018

Friday, August 31, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Patten and Manafort

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

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.

 

Butina

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.

 

Ohr

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.

 

Stone

 

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.

 

COHEN

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

 

ATTACKS ON JOURNALISTS

 

POLLS

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.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

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.

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Rudy

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.

  1. 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?
  2. Why would an innocent person need to preemptively prepare a counter report on criminal activity they allegedly committed?

 

McCAIN

 

FIGHTING BACK

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.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

SCOTUS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

PUERTO RICO

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

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 IndictedCooperating 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

3 thoughts on “Daily Check-In 08/31/2018

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