Daily Check-In 12/27/2018

Thursday, December 27, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

WASHINGTON – A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say.

During the same period of late August or early September, electronic eavesdropping by an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom remarked that Cohen was in Prague, two people familiar with the incident said.

Both of the newly surfaced foreign electronic intelligence intercepts were shared with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, people familiar with the matter said. Mueller is investigating Russia’s 2016 election interference and whether Trump’s campaign colluded in the scheme. Mueller also is examining whether Trump has obstructed the sweeping inquiry.

McClatchy reported in April 2018 that Mueller had obtained evidence Cohen traveled to Prague from Germany in late August or early September of 2016, but it could not be learned how that information was gleaned.

If the foreign intelligence intercepts are accurate, the big questions now are whether Cohen has acknowledged to investigators that a meeting in Prague occurred, informed them what transpired and revealed what, if anything, he told Trump about it.

Four people spoke with McClatchy on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of information shared by their foreign intelligence connections. Each obtained their information independently from foreign intelligence connections.

The story they’re talking about was released on Daily Check-In 04/13/2018, but the new part is McClatchy has more sources and each source is independent of one another.  So they’ve got four spooks saying that an Eastern European Nation **coughRomanianscough** were listening to the Russians and caught them talking about meeting with Michael Cohen.  Even better, one of Cohen’s phones was caught pinging a cell tower in a suburb of Prague in 2016.

Here’s the thing with cell phone towers.  If your phone has even the slightest amount of battery charge, it’s going to try to get a signal.  It will send a request out to any nearby cell phone towers, and if one is available, it will respond with a time to return the message.  Since we’re dealing with electricity and the speed of light, this happens in milliseconds.  If there’s only one tower in range, there will be a record saying the phone is a certain time away, which can be calculated to a distance pretty easily, but all that means is that the phone is a certain distance from one tower.  Most places, like a major city like Prague, will have multiple towers for the phone to ping.  When multiple distances from known points are calculated together, that is called triangulation.  The triangulation is usually accurate to within 50 feet.  It’s not enough to find it in your apartment, but accurate enough to find what building it’s in.  We’re not even talking about GPS yet, either.

The phone, the tower, and the provider all have a record of this transaction.

I wonder who he supposedly met.

It said Konstantin Kosachev, a longtime member of the Russian Senate and chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, “facilitated” the gathering.

Wow.  The same person that Rand Paul met on behalf of the Russian Government also worked on the Cohen Prague meeting.  What a coinkidink.

Jan Neumann, the assumed name of a former Russian intelligence officer who defected to the United States years ago, said that Cohen’s electronic cell tower trail appears to reflect sloppy “tradecraft.”

“You can monitor and control cell phones in Europe same as you do it here in US,” Neumann told McClatchy. “As long as the battery is physically located in the phone, even when it’s turned off, the mobile phone’s approximate location can be detected and tracked. Any attempt to use an app, to get mail, send texts, connect to a Wifi network, your phone and your location will be detected.”

“It would not be very professional to take your phone to a secret meeting,” said Neumann, who has consulted for the U.S. intelligence community. In this case, he said, “it would be more logical to leave it turned on and connected to a WIFI network in a hotel in Germany.”

It was during the same late August-early September time span in 2016 that an Eastern European intelligence agency eavesdropped on a conversation in which a Russian official advised another that Cohen was in Prague, two of the sources said.

The sources could not definitively pin down the date or dates that the intelligence indicated Cohen was in the vicinity of Prague. Cohen has insisted that he was in Southern California with his son from Aug. 23-29, 2016, but his public alibis have not been so airtight as to preclude flights to and from Europe during the relevant period.

-McClatchy, citing 4 sources, says Cohen was in Prague-area in Summer 2016 -2 sources tell me that another major news org has confirmation. -Cohen tweets he has never been to Prague -WSJ says Cohen told them he went to Prague in 2001.

Greg Gordon of McClatchy told a colleague of mine 10 days ago, “We publish what we have nailed down to an editor’s satisfaction…I can’t help noting that I was a Pulitzer finalist and also contributed to our Pulitzer Prize-winning work on the Panama Papers three years ago.”

McClatchy has updated their story to include Cohen’s recent denials. Privately to me, a source tells me that they “absolutely” stand by the story.

This is one of the last major pieces from the Steele Dossier that hasn’t been completely confirmed yet, along with the Rosneft sale and the Pee tape.  Even though we’ve seen things pointing to those parts, we haven’t gotten hard confirmation from the mainstream press yet.

Yet.

I guess you could say that we’re making… Prague-ress on this story?

How about that this story… Czech’s out?

The Pun Jar is now at $250.

Most likely, this is a nude selfie of the troll, but it might be worse.  Much worse.  Like Chris Christie or Sam Clovis naked worse.

 

 

 

 

SHUTDOWN: DAY 6

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Whitaker

 

Mercer

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

IMMIGRATION

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

  1. NEW: FEC filings released today reveal Cindy-Hyde Smith is NOT honoring requests from corporations for refunds of their campaign contributions. Union Pacific, Boston Scientific, Walmart, Leidos, AT&T, Pfizer, Ernst & Young, Facebook and Walgreens did not get their money back
  2. Two entities, MLB and Amgen, were able to reverse their contributions but only by canceling their checks. (Cattlemen’s Association refund appears unrelated.)
  3. Hyde-Smith did return money from the majority owner of the San Francisco Giants and his wife. (They are major GOP donors so perhaps there was pressure from above.) She also returned 5K to Peter Zieve after a http://Popular.infothat showed he was an outspoken racist
  4. Hyde-Smith is not legally obligated to return the money, but it may make it harder for her to raise money in the future. It’s like a clothing store that stops accepting returns. She’s strapped for cash. Only about 60K on hand and another election in 2020.
  5. I’ll be continuing to closely monitor this story in 2019. We’ll see who donates when they think no one is watching. To support the independent journalism that forced these companies to repudiate Hyde-Smith, please subscribe to my newsletter.

Popular Information Original research and fresh insight into the political news that matters most. popular.info          

 

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Thursday.  I’m planning on doing a retrospective piece this weekend along with Friday’s Check-In.  As far as next week, I’d like to not carry anything across the year change, so the weekend and Monday will be one post, then New Year’s Day for another.

There’s also some housecleaning I need to do with this site.  I’d like to get that done as well.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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