Daily Check-In 12/07/2018

Friday, December 7, 2018 and the weekend

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Cohen

I have been reading the Cohen sentencing memorandum, thinking “Yeah, ok…yeah, ok..” Not much of a reaction. Clearly Cohen, Trump et. al. are smarmy as hell. Then…OMIGOD! Trump Organization $ laundering, illegal campaign contributions, done in coordination with…someone..

2…it is jaw dropping. If Trump knew ANYTHING about this (which Cohen had said he does) he must not only be impeached, he must go to prison. Cohen borrowed $130,000 from his HELOC, washed it through a bogus corporation, paid Stormy Daniels. Ok, knew that. THEN, he goes back….

3…to the Trump Organization, submits a bill for CAMPAIGN expenses. He also submitted a $50,000 bill for campaign related IT expenses. The company then pays him $180,000, rounds it up so he breaks even on taxes (to $360,000), THEN kicks in a $60,000 bonus for $420,000. To….

4…disguise the nature of the payment – one massive payout in an illegal campaign contribution from Trump Organization – they break it up into multiple payments distributed over the year of $35,000 each. This is conspiracy, money laundering, campaign finance violations, fraud…

5…depending on how it reported on the books, it could also be tax fraud. If Trump knew ANYTHING about this payout, he is a criminal. When Fox bleats “nothing about collusion” it would be as if they said on B. Clinton “nothing about Lewinsky, ignore the bank robbery in there.”

So, where do we begin?

On Friday, there were three major court filings in Trumpland.

The first from SDNY was their sentencing memo, where they recommended nailing Michael Cohen to the wall, then setting the wall on fire.  Figuratively, not literally.  They said that while he was somewhat cooperative, he didn’t go all-in and therefore he can pound sand.  For his counts of tax evasion and campaign finance violations, they’re recommending a substantial prison sentence between 3 and 4 years.  They described in meticulous detail how he had broken multiple laws in coordination with and at the direction of “Individual-1”.

Who is Individual-1?

Individual1

As we saw in the August Guilty Plea (Daily Check-In 08/21/2018), Individual-1 is none other than Donald J. Trump, President of the United States.

The Department of Justice just said that Trump committed multiple felonies regarding campaign finance violations.  Those violations were in regards to covering up the payouts in 2016 to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

But that’s not even the worst part of the Cohen news.

The second filling came from Robert Mueller’s team, where they recommend a lighter sentence for this guilty plea for lying to Congress, and that it could be served concurrently with his other prison term.  They pointed out how forthcoming he’s been in regards to the Russian Investigation, and how much he’s helped them.  They even said that Michael Cohen reported an attempt by the Russians to strike “political synergy” with the Trump Campaign back in November 2015.

Wait, what?  The Russians reached out to Trump back in 2015?  And Cohen told Trump about it?  That’s changes things.  That means that according to this timeline Trump was approached by the Russians after they hacked the DNC and allegedly the RNC too.  The Russians wanted to work with Trump, and he wanted to work with them.

This is Collusion.  This is Conspiracy.  And this ain’t even the worst news of the weekend.

 

THREAD 1/Don’t worry, we’re going to do a deep dive in the next episode, but I wanted to clarify that while the Cohen and Flynn documents are sentencing recommendations, the Manafort document is the support to breach the plea agreement…

2/ Basically, the Manafort document is a “here’s how Manafort lied and why we’re blowing up the plea deal” and not “Here’s all the crimes Manafort committed”. Those crimes are still unknown and I think we will find out in superseding indictments…

3/ March 5th is his sentencing for the charges he’s been found guilty on, but if he’s hit with superseding indictments for conspiracy, he will have a chance to plea to those and we could go back to trial…#beans#conjecture

 

 

Manafort

Later on in the evening on Friday, Mueller’s team filed a submission against Paul Manafort as to why they’re cancelling the plea deal.  They laid out a ton of information outlining how often they met, how much Manafort participated, and the basis for his lies.

The submission details 12 meetings between Manafort and Mueller’s team, along with 2 Grand Jury appearances.  3 of those meetings were before his agreement in September (Daily Check-In 09/14/2018).  During this time, they discovered that Paul was lying to them on several material matters.  He actively lied about the following five major areas.

  1. Interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik
  2. Kilimnik’s role in the Obstruction Conspiracy
  3. Payment to a firm working with Manafort
  4. Another DOJ Investigation
  5. Contacts with the Administration

A lot of the first point is redacted, but as I literally read between the lines it looks like Manafort connected Konstantin, or “Kostya from the GRU”, to someone else in the conspiracy, and Manafort lied about those interactions.  He also likely lied about his connections to Oleg Deripaska.

The second part was Manafort lying about his witness tampering charges.  He insisted that Kostya wasn’t involved in the witness tampering, but then changed his story.  Daily Check-In 06/06/2018 and Daily Check-In 06/08/2018 covered those events.

The third point is about a payment from March 2017 and is heavily redacted, but was likely covered in his tax evasion trial.

We don’t know who the target of the investigation in the fourth point is, nor what his lie was.

The fifth point is the most dangerous to the Trump Administration.  By a long shot.  Manafort claims he didn’t have any contacts with any members of the Trump Administration while they were working there.  He had contacts, but either before or after they left.  He also said that he had no direct or indirect communications.  He had a text conversation on May 26, 2018 where he authorized a person to speak with an Administration official on his behalf.  (Daily Check-In 05/29/2018)  That was Memorial Day weekend, and he was battling Mueller in court that weekend to get his hands on classified info behind the search warrants into his stuff.  He also was in direct communication with an Administration official until February 2018.  My guess is his contact left the White House then.

 

Comey

I’ve been following this thread for a while.  ( Daily Check-In 02/13/2018, Timing, others), but as a tweet I saw over the weekend said, there’s a Pulitzer waiting for the person who uncovers Rudy’s ties to the FBI and how they leaked to him.

Here’s the short version:  Rudy has a lot of friends in the FBI NYC Field Office.  These ties go back to when he was the U.S. Attorney for New York, then it’s Mayor.  Not only are they friends with Rudy, they hated Hilary Clinton.  Like, REALLY hated her.  Even though they didn’t work on the HRC email case, they were convinced that she should go down for it.  At some point in September to October 2016, months after Anthony Weiner was arrested and his laptop seized and scanned, rumors float around that some of HRC’s emails ended up on it.  Anthony’s wife at the time was Huma Abedin, Campaign Chair for HRC.  Supposedly, she used that laptop a couple times to check her email, and in this process, mails that HRC forwarded to Huma ended up on the laptop.  This only works if she launched Outlook, Mail.App, or another mail program which downloads mailboxes.

Anyway, sometime before the election, this news made it’s way to James Comey, who had already been dragged through the mud for how he handled the HRC mail fiasco earlier by making it a press conference and spectacle when he said they wouldn’t press charges.  What really screwed him was saying if anything new arose, he’d inform Congress about it.  This lead to the hypothesis that GRU hackers were able to get HRC’s emails on the laptop through catfishing Weiner, but I still take that claim with a grain of salt.

However they ended up on the laptop, they were there, and only a handful of people knew.  The FBI techs who handled the laptop, the agents in New York close by, Comey and a couple agents who worked on the case and …. Rudy Giuliani?

In the interim between Comey finding out about this in the background and him announcing to Congress the reopening of the investigation, Rudy goes on television talking about how an “October Surprise” is coming out of the FBI New York office.  And he didn’t just say it once, but several times while stumping for Trump on television.  Something wasn’t right.

There had been rumors floating around for years regarding Rudy having friends in the FBI Office, but for the most part it seemed relatively benign.  In hindsight, especially taking into account LB’s work on the mob, his activities were anything but benign.

Comey asked for an investigation to be conducted on the New York office, but he was fired before it was completed.  That was almost a year and a half ago.

 

So where do we go from here?  Good question.  I’ll answer that down in the Coda.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Epstein

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

DaGoz [score hidden] 

Holy shit, you aren’t kidding. For those who didn’t see, here’s his Twitter feed, arranged into a more coherent(?) format:

Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest. And bye the way, wasn’t the woman in charge of prosecuting Jerome Corsi (who I do not know) in charge of “legal” at the corrupt Clinton Foundation? A total Witch Hunt…

….Will Robert Mueller’s big time conflicts of interest be listed at the top of his Republicans only Report. Will Andrew Weissman’s horrible and vicious prosecutorial past be listed in the Report. He wrongly destroyed people’s lives, took down great companies, only to be….

…..overturned, 9-0, in the United States Supreme Court. Doing same thing to people now. Will all of the substantial & many contributions made by the 17 Angry Democrats to the Campaign of Crooked Hillary be listed in top of Report. Will the people that worked for the Clinton….

….Foundation be listed at the top of the Report? Will the scathing document written about Lyin’ James Comey, by the man in charge of the case, Rod Rosenstein (who also signed the FISA Warrant), be a big part of the Report? Isn’t Rod therefore totally conflicted? Will all of….

…the lying and leaking by the people doing the Report, & also Bruce Ohr (and his lovely wife Molly), Comey, Brennan, Clapper, & all of the many fired people of the FBI, be listed in the Report? Will the corruption within the DNC & Clinton Campaign be exposed?..And so much more!

From a Reddit post I wrote earlier

The Justice League. Here’s a write-up I did of the lawyers working on the Special Counselor’s case.

In his tweetstorm, Tangerine Tojo attacked two members of the team specifically; Jeanine Rhee and Andrew Weissman. I’m not surprised at the attacks at Rhee, but it’s very interesting that he decided to go after Andrew Weissman directly. Weissman is THE expert on money laundering and financial crimes. He led the Enron Task Force from 2002-2005. Before his time breaking board members, he took down mob bosses for the Gambino, Genovese, and other crime families.

I wonder if Trump received some bad news last night?

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Pence Rumors

 

Tillerson

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

  1. Today I did the annual story on holiday decorations at the Governor’s residence. I’ve done it every year, for years. A very light but very fun story. Every year my reporting partner was Wendi Winters. This year, it was Selene. Wendi was murdered in June.

Joshua McKerrow added,

Donald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrump

FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!

  1. Selene did a great job, of course. And I really thought I could hold it together. I moved through the rooms with my tripod, focusing on the trees and ornaments. All I could think about was Wendi. I felt like she was with me, that she was actually present.
  2. Not in a “ghost” sense, I hope she has moved on to a better world then Capital feature stories : ) But she was there in my mind. I could almost hear her voice echoing through the empty rooms. “How many cookies are you making this year?”, her favorite question..
  3. I was ok til the very end. Interviewed the butler, like I have every year, and when we were done she took me aside and whispered, “I really miss Wendi. Next year I’m going to name a cookie for her.”
  4. And that was it. The tears started, and I’m standing in the Maryland Governors home weeping to myself about my dead friend. She died in The Capital newsroom on June 28th, shot by a man who wanted to kill every journalist he could.
  5. We don’t know what set him off yet. After years of silence. What finally pushed him far enough that he loaded his shotgun, drove the 40 minutes from Laurel, parked his car, walked through the busy lobby, barricaded our back exit, blasted the simple fragile glass door.
  6. Five people died, Rebecca, Wendi, Gerald, Rob, John. I always type their names in the order I think they were killed. I think, Rebecca first, at the door. Wendi charged him. Gerald and Rob were trapped in their cubicle. John, trying to get out the blocked exit.
  7. Wendi was no ones enemy.
  8. Every year Wendi made us all Oreo holiday cookies. except for the one year she made us jarred pesto. The question came up yesterday in the newsroom, who is going to make the cookies this year? Selene spoke up, I will.
  9. I don’t have a wrap-up to this story. I cried on and off all day. I miss her very much. I’m comforted that in a way she’s still with me, when I do the work that she loved to do. Journalism. Patriotic, truth telling, American. We’ll keep on doing the work.
  10. And if we die for it, someone else will pick up the threads, and report on the holiday decorations at the Governor’s house. Its what we do. -30-

 

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

I’m tired in a way I can’t quite explain. I’m heartbroken in ways that will take me a book to describe. There has been so much, for so long. And when this trial finally ends, I think all I’m going to do is sob, and be grateful for the release it brings. We still await a verdict

There’s a thing I haven’t talked a lot about. I’ve told parts of the story before. But maybe I’ve never framed it like this. Or maybe I’ve never made it explicit enough.

I was close to the attack. I know exactly where. There are photos and videos of me. I’ve said before I knew it was an attack right away.

I also experienced the violence of the torch mob the night before. And for those of you who have been following me since before the events, you know I spent a lot of time screaming about what was coming.

Because of that outspoken activism, I had been receiving dozens of death threats leading up to the event. And because of the violence the night before, my wife asked me to promise her I wouldn’t go near the front that day. I didn’t. But I ended up on the front when it came to us.

Because of those threats, I was armed. And because I knew it was an attack, the first thing in my head was that he might have a gun, that he might jump out and start shooting.

I was maybe 10-15 feet away from where he ended up, on the driver’s side. Not a lot of people between me and him. And that meant that if he did come out and start shooting, I was maybe the only person in position to shoot back.

For some people, August 12 was the day they almost died. For me it was the day I almost had to kill. And that leaves a mark on your soul, y’know? To be put in that place. And to be certain you would have.

We all tried so hard to save so many lives that day. You have no idea. You have no idea how much work was put in to trying to prevent the violence and the bloodshed.

When you work so hard to prevent violence and terror the last thing you want is to be forced into a position where that’s the only option left. It feels like failure.

That’s the trauma that I carry from that day. If I had been just a little bit closer to his car, James Fields might not have been here to stand trial. That’s what his trial means to me. That I didn’t have to.

 

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

Barr

 

Pruitt

 

Nauert

 

Kelly

NEW: White House chief of staff John Kellyn was interviewed by special counsel Mueller’s team in recent months, per 3 sources w/ knowledge of the matter. Kelly answered Q’s as part of the obstruction probe, focusing on Trump’s attempt to fire Mueller.

Kelly responded to Mueller’s questions after White House lawyers initially objected to the request to do the interview earlier this summer. Kelly is widely expected to leave his position in the coming days & is **no longer on speaking terms with Trump**

White House officials have repeatedly and consistently claimed that they’ve cooperated fully with Mueller’s probe. But per : “The White House counsel’s office initially fought [Mueller’s] request.” Emmett Flood reportedly wanted to make sure “ground rules” were negotiated.

One of the older rumors was about John Kelly.  When he leaves, it’s endgame.  He was sticking around to make sure Trump didn’t do anything momentously stupid like start a war with France or launch a nuke at the Moon.  Supposedly, his leaving means that everything is over but the crying.  Once again, take that with a grain of salt.

 

Ayers

Nick Ayers turned down the job for Presidential Chief of Staff, presumably because he’s already accepted a position to run a Dark Money PAC.  Which says a lot about how bad being Chief of Staff to Trump is.  The CoS position is a kingmaker job.  People who do this are typically set up for life.  Unless the POTUS is an unrepentant assclown like Trump.  In which case, this job is an albatross around the neck of one’s career.

Of course, it could also be that Nick doesn’t want to answer questions about how he made $54 million through his “political connections” by his mid-thirties.

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT LOANS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

Wisconsin

 

North Carolina

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

GEORGE H.W. BUSH

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

Puff, Puff, Pass

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

 

That’s it for the last few days.  Owww.  That’s a lot for 72 hours.  Hell, that’s a lot for a month.  But where do we go from here?

Keep an eye out over the next couple weeks for who says what and when.  I know that’s vague and cryptic, so let me clarify that a bit.

How much does the narrative change among Trump’s enemies, the media, and his allies, and his co-conspirators is of great importance.  Trump has now been named by his own Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in multiple felonies at the very least.  Serious conversations about whether or not a President can be indicted will begin in earnest among his enemies and unfriendly media.  Places like Fox News will probably talk about pandas mating at the zoo, caravans of widows and children invading the U.S. and making us eat avocado toast, and how anyone who doesn’t say Merry Christmas is a dirty “globalist.”  His allies will try to prop him up until it’s no longer in their best interest, leaving only his co-conspirators.  They’ll be the only ones left.

When Fox News abandons Trump, he’s done.  When they start with the “Pence is great” stories, he’s finished.

This feels different, but I want to wait a few days.  This should be beginning of the end for Tangerine Tojo, but I’ve thought that before at least a dozen times.  At this point, until I see an Impeachment resolution hit the House Floor for a vote, we’re still in the thick of this battle.  Even then, we’re still fighting for our country and our democracy.

A spoiler for Monday, it looks like Maria Butina’s about to cop a plea deal.  I can’t say that I’m surprised by that at this point, and I’m wondering what she’ll plea to and admit, but at this point she still looks like the linchpin in the NRA/GOP/Russia connections.  She inserted herself into situations with the NRA to get close to GOP operatives, who then used those positions to get close to other groups and spread Russia’s influence by being, well, a spy.  Butina was instrumental in getting Trump to chose Rex Tillerson instead of Mitt Romney to be his first Secretary of State.  She influenced multiple people like J.D. Gordon and Paul Erickson to exert influence to put Rex’s name in the running, even though no one in the White House knew a thing about him.  He had an hour and a half interview for one of the most important and powerful positions in the government, and he’s coming in with absolutely no government experience.  Whom did he beat out?  Former Republican Presidential candidate and current Senator-Elect from Utah Mitt Romney.  Russia didn’t want Mitt because Mitt knew as far back as 2012 that Russia was an aggressive state and a current and future enemy.  Rex, on the other hand, was a long time friend of Russia who would personally benefit from removing sanctions on them.

Butina ties together a lot of this fucktangular mess.  Her ties to Alexander Torshin and Putin’s Krelmin got her an in with the National Rifle Association.  That connections got her close to other power players in the Republican party, and those connections helped her spread Russia’s message.

It’ll be interesting to see where we go from here.  I don’t know what other Mueller news is coming out this week, but Cohen’s sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday.  Let’s see what happens.

And that puts this post at over 10,000 words.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

2 thoughts on “Daily Check-In 12/07/2018

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