Daily Check-In 02/27/2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Yes, stuff happened that wasn’t Michael Cohen.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Michael Cohen’s Testified Before the House Oversight Committee

Just with how much there is to parse through this, I’m not going to break the articles down by groups, but I want to go through what happened.  I watched the first 6 hours of the hearing, then listened to the last hour on the radio.

So, where to begin?  How about at the beginning.

Michael Cohen, former attorney as of yesterday Daily Check-In 02/26/2019, convicted felon, cooperating witness, and former personal attorney and fixer for President Donald J. Trump, testified before the House Oversight Committee on a range of topics covering Trump’s role in the hush money bribes to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, Cohen’s work on other Catch & Kill stories with the National Enquirer, Trump’s financial fraud, his racist actions, threatening his schools if they released his grades, and Trump’s ties to Russia.

At least, as much as he could talk about that isn’t under investigation by the Special Counselor, SDNY, the State of New York, State of Florida, the militant wing of the Salvation Army, and whoever else is looking to them.

Cohen’s opening statement brought straight fire.  He entered into evidence two checks that Trump used to reimburse him for paying off Stormy Daniels from his HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit).  He also talked about Trump inflating or deflating his assets when it pleased him or suited his needs.  To support this claim, Cohen included financial documents from 2011 to 2013.

He also included information about the abuses at Trump Foundation. One main example was using a straw bidder to pump up the price of a painting of Trump at an auction, then reimbursed him with money from the charity.

Cohen also talked about some of Trump’s racist actions.  While not illegal, they certainly speak to this lack of character.

As far as Russia goes, Cohen described two events that he had some knowledge of: Wikileaks and the June 9th meeting.

Cohen says that he was in the room when Roger called a couple days before the Wikileaks DNC email drop and told him that it was coming soon.  Trump said “Wouldn’t that be great.”

As far as the June 9th meeting, Michael says he didn’t know about it at the time, but does recall a meeting a few days earlier where Donnie Jr. walked behind Daddy’s desk and told him “The meeting is set.”  Trump Sr. responded with “Let me know.”  Michael thought it was odd because Jr. has, according to Trump “The worst judgement in the world” and nothing happens in Trump Org without his knowledge or consent.

As far as the hearing goes, it started off exactly as I thought it would: a shitshow.  The Republicans tried to cancel the hearing with some timing technicality bullshit, then spent the entire time attacking Cohen’s character.  Jim Jordan, the Ranking Member and congressman from the Ohio State Men’s Locker Room where he ignored institutionalized sexual assault, spent every second he could attacking Cohen as a liar, a cheat, a swindler, and a bad lawyer.  Most of the Republicans kept this up, even throwing in constant questions about a potential book deal or movie deal when he gets out of prison, as if he’s going on vacation and not heading to PMITA Prison.  (That’s Pound Me In The Ass Prison for those that didn’t watch Office Space).

The most fucked up moment for the Republicans was when Mark Meadows decided to refute Cohen’s claims of Trump’s racism by bringing one of Trump’s black aides to the stand and using her as a prop.  Mark’s argument was literally “how can Trump be racist when he employs her?”  Rashida Tlaib called his ass out at the end of the hearing, saying that was racist.  Mark became extremely upset, saying that he’s not a racist and his nieces and nephews are people of color, and that he was very upset with that.  Chairman Elijah Cummings came to Mark’s defense, and eventually things got cleared up.  Turns out that yes, you can do something racist without being a racist.  Especially if you don’t stop to think about it first.

While the Republicans went out of their way to attack Cohen, they didn’t defend Trump.  The only thing they could pretend to defend Trump on were the claims in which Cohen didn’t have hard evidence.  Not one person defended Trump for paying bribes to Stormy Daniels or defended using a charity as a slush fund or cooking the books to get a loan or commit insurance fraud.

Yes, insurance fraud. Cohen didn’t go into too much detail on this topic since it’s under investigation by SDNY.  This is part of their ongoing investigation into Donald Trump.

Oh, by the way, Cohen said that SDNY was investigating Donald Trump.

We also got a lot of names of people to follow up with, like Mark Calamari, Allen Weisselberg, and Ronna Graf.

We also got an explanation as to why the Stormy Daniels payment was done the way it was done: Cohen didn’t want his wife to find out.  Trump Org didn’t want to get caught making this payment during the campaign, and since they didn’t have another source, Cohen used his HELOC to keep his wife from seeing it.  If he withdrew the money from the checking account, he’d have a lot of questions to answer.

What do I think?  It’s complicated.  Cohen is a bad guy who did a lot of bad things, but he came off as remorseful and honest, in a shady way.  He admitted his guilt, owned it, and is trying to make amends.  The attacks from the Republicans made him pitiable.

As far as what’s next, look for more hearings coming up, and a lot of interest in Allen Weisselberg.

 

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

North Korea

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

THE ULTIMATE COCKFIGHT: BEZOS’S PECKER VS. DAVID PECKER

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  I’ve got to agree with Tea Pain.  This might be the beginning of the end.  Michael Cohen isn’t exactly the most trustworthy person, but he’s got receipts and provided evidence of multiple crimes for Trump, the family, and the organization.  Insurance fraud, self-dealing, local tax evasion, state and federal tax evasion, bribery, extortion, lying to Congress, fraud, money laundering, and a few other things.  We can’t base an impeachment off of Michael Cohen, but his info can lead to more and more evidence.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

Daily Check-In 02/26/2019

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Properly Appointed

Not that this was a surprise at all, but nice to hear.  It comes as part of Andrew Miller’s appeals process.  He’s one of Roger Stone’s cronies, and is very well connected for a ‘housepainter’ in St. Louis.  He’s racked up hundreds of thousands in legal bills fighting a subpoena to testify before Robert Mueller’s grand jury.

I assume that Miller’s next step will be to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court, but they are under no obligation to hear his case.

 

Cyber Defense

On the day of the midterm elections, United States Cyber Defense  took the Internet Research Agency offline.  We showed that we can hit them, and sent them a message.

Don’t fucking try it.

 

Notes

President Donald Trump’s lawyers said that special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation, has comprehensive notes taken by a former White House staffer detailing the president’s behavior.

According to a report published on Monday by The New York Times, Annie Donaldson, the chief of staff to former White House counsel Don McGahn, handed over detailed notes about the president’s conduct in the West Wing to the special counsel’s team.

The notes reportedly play a role in Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice by firing former FBI director James Comey or through his various attacks on the Department of Justice. The team also has information gathered from its hours of questioning Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner about the president’s actions.

The president fired Comey in May 2017, initially citing the former FBI director’s mishandling of the Justice Department’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email use. At the time, Comey was leading the inquiry into whether Trump campaign members conspired with Russian government officials in 2016. His firing made Trump only the second president in history to dismiss an FBI director. In a subsequent interview with NBC, Trump said he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he chose to fire Comey.

Trump’s attorneys told The Times that Donaldson’s notes about the president were a jewel in Mueller’s evidence that Trump may have obstructed justice.

This shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise considering that the White House Counsel’s Office work for the White House, not the individual serving as President, and withholding that information would make them an accomplice in Obstruction of Justice.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Cohen Goes to the Hill

Wednesday’s gonna be lit.

Congressional Witness Tampering

Matt Gaetz is a close friend of Roger Stone.  We first reported that he was the go-between for the Trump Administration and Roger Stone’s crew on Daily Check-In 12/13/2017.  The fact that the Representative from Florida tried to tamper with a witness before Congress the night before their testimony, and this is out of line even for him, it leads me to think that someone instructed Matt do to this.

 

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

North Korea Summit

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Whitaker

 

Wohl

Good fucking riddance.  This kid is an idiot, but has convinced himself that he’s somehow brilliant.  He tried manufacturing a sexual assault case against Robert Mueller, which was reported on Daily Check-In 10/30/2018.  He’s since tried a whole bunch of ratfuckery that ranges the spectrum from “shitty but technically not legal” to “Why hasn’t he been arrested yet?”  Now, it looks like he just lost his Twitter access because he’s an idiot.

Jacob went on the record in an interview bragging about how he set up a bunch of fake accounts to screw with the election.  Twitter didn’t like that.  Now they slapped him like the bitch he is.

Look at the bright side… when he eventually ends up in Federal prison, Roger will have someone below him in the food chain.

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

Emergency Declaration

 

Immigration

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

Kremlin Barbie on Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Funny how it is that someone who has never worked a hard day in their life knows what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck.  Socialism for the rich, Extreme Capitalism for the poor.

 

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT, MEDICAL, & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Cohen’s testimony will be the big story of Wednesday.  At least it should.  This timeline is so fucked, I wouldn’t be surprised if we get something even crazier as a distraction.

One little spoiler, and it answers a question that I’ve had for a while.  Why did it take so long for Michael Cohen to pay off Stormy Daniels?  They knew about her claims early on, but didn’t pay her until a few days before the the election.  What took so long?  Turns out that they were trying to figure out how to pay her off.  They didn’t have the money lying around.  They had to scavenge it up.  Doesn’t sound like an organization worth billions.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/25/2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Manafort

Emptywheel dives pretty deep into the weeds on this, but she pulls on something significant.  According to the footnotes from the Mueller filings on Manafort, and from Manafort’s own legal team, he handed over 75 pages of polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik.  75 pages.  That’s quite a bit of polling data making its way from the Trump Campaign chairman to a man with ties to Russian Intelligence.

 

Donnie Jr.

Crimes before the election don’t count?  This might be the dumbest thing he’s said this week.  Let’s think about the stupidity of Donnie Jr.

First, he’s trying to minimize the amount of trouble he’s in by saying that Mueller isn’t investigating “real crimes.”  He’s trying to say that no one did any “real crimes” like murder, only “fake crimes” like witness tampering, obstruction of justice, lying to investigators, lying to Congress, aiding and abetting treason, aiding and abetting espionage, money laundering, and fraud.

Second, his argument then implies that crimes from before the election should be off limits.

Using a very simple form of logic, this dumb mother fucker just admitted to “real crimes” before the election.

That, or he’s too stupid to realize he just implicated himself in a few dozen crimes.

 

The Mole

John’s hypothesis is that the mole isn’t a person but a compromised source of data, like a WhatsApp chat or a hacked phone.

While Team Trump is tearing itself apart looking for a person, they could still be compromised to this day.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

Obstruction

 

Sexual Assault

 

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

Spike Lee

 

North Korea Summit

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

For those that don’t follow football, from top to bottom the people on the left are the Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick who was caught illegally filming the signals of opposing coaches; Quarterback Tom Brady who was suspended for four games for playing with underinflated balls; Tight End Aaron Hernandez who killed a man, convicted of murder, then hung himself in prison while his case was on appeal; Wide Reciever Julian Edelman who was suspended for using performance enhancing drugs; Owner Bob Kraft who got a handjob on one visit to the spa and a blowjob the next day.  He was arrested on Daily Check-In 02/22/2019.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  Another day of craziness.  Tuesday brings the first day of Cohen’s three day testimony blitz.

I’ll have an update over the next few days on a few things I’m working on.  I think I solved a problem, but I don’t want to celebrate until I’m sure it worked.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/22/2019

Friday, February 22, 2019 and the weekend.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Mueller Report

See, this makes a little more sense.  Mueller will finish his report when he finishes his report.

 

Manafort

Manafort had another bad weekend.  Mueller released his sentencing document with 800 pages of evidence.

800 pages.  To put that in perspective, George R. R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones” is 693 pages.  So using that logic, Paul Manafort is more fucked than Ned Stark.

And if he’s still holding out hope of a pardon, the state of New York has something to say about that.  They have charges ready and waiting to go the moment Tangering Tojo decides to try it.

Remember, a presidential pardon is useless against state charges, and there’s enough that Paul did in New York that’s under their jurisdiction to make sure he winds up in prison for the rest of his natural life.

 

Roger Stone

His gag order includes his associates.  He has a status update on March 14th.  Let’s see what happens.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, met last month with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, offering information about possible irregularities within the president’s family business and about a donor to the inaugural committee, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Cohen, who worked at the Trump Organization for a decade, spoke with the prosecutors about insurance claims the company had filed over the years, said the people, who did not elaborate on the nature of the possible irregularities.

While it was not clear whether the prosecutors found Mr. Cohen’s information credible and whether they intended to pursue it, the meeting suggests that they are interested in broader aspects of the Trump Organization, beyond their investigation into the company’s role in the hush money payments made before the 2016 election to women claiming to have had affairs with Mr. Trump. Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty last summer to arranging those payments.

The prosecutors also questioned Mr. Cohen about a donor to the president’s inaugural committee, Imaad Zuberi, a California venture capitalist and political fund-raiser, according to the people familiar with the matter, who were not authorized to discuss the confidential meeting. Around the time that Mr. Zuberi contributed $900,000 to the committee, he also tried to hire Mr. Cohen as a consultant and wrote him a substantial check, one of the people said.

 

Building Names

 

Taxes

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Kushner

 

Zinke

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

SOCIALISM: THE BOOGEYMAN OF THE RIGHT

 

CONGRESS

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Epstein

Taking a closer look at Judge Kenneth Mara’s opinion and order finding that the DOJ — and specifically then-US Attorney, now Labor Secretary Alex Acosta — violated the law in the Epstein plea deal. (Thread)

2/ First off, again, full credit to the amazing reporting by @jkbjournalistof the @MiamiHeraldfor “How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime”…worth a read:

3/ Judge Kenneth Mara presents these facts: “From between about 1999 and 2007, Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused more than 30 minor girls, including Petitioners Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2…”

4/ “Epstein and his co-conspirators knowingly traveled in interstate and international commerce to sexually abuse Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2 and others… Epstein directed other persons to abuse the girls sexually…”

5/ In 2005, the Palm Beach Police Department “received a complaint from the parents of a 14 year old girl about her sexual abuse by Jeffery Epstein.” PBPD found “20 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who were sexually abused by Epstein.” FBI began investigating as well.

6/ From Jan-Sept 2007, discussions took place between the office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida — Alex Acosta — & Epstein’s attorneys. At that time, Acosta’s office was also informing the victims of Epstein’s crimes of their rights…

  1. …specifically rights as established in the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, including “the right to be heard in public court proceedings relating to…acceptance of a plea bargain” and “the right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain” https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33679.pdf …

8/ On or about June 7, 2007, the FBI delivered to Jane Doe 1 the standard CVRA victim notification letter promising DOJ would make its “best efforts” to protect those rights, Jane Doe 1 “believed that the Government would protect those rights,” the judge wrote.

9/ Jane Doe 2 received her CVRA victim notification letter on or about August 11. At the time she was being represented by an attorney Epstein was paying for.

10/ US Attorney Acosta’s office and Epstein’s attorneys entered into a non-prosecution agreement – NPA – on Sept 24, 2007 “whereby the United States would defer federal prosecution in favor of prosecution by the State of Florida.” Did Acosta’s office inform the victims? …

11/ Judge Mara: “From the time the FBI began investigating Epstein until September 24, 2007—when the NPA was concluded—the Office never conferred with the victims about a NPA or told the victims that such an agreement was under consideration.”

12/ Not only that — but “Epstein’s counsel was aware that the Office was deliberately keeping the NPA secret from the victims and, indeed, had sought assurances to that effect.” Acosta’s US Attorney’s office, working with the accused, against the rights of the victims.

13/ The line prosecutor writes to the Epstein attorneys about how to achieve something “On an ‘avoid the press’ note”… filing something in “District Court in Miami, which will hopefully cut the press coverage significantly.” ???

14/ 9/25/07, the line prosecutor writes to Epstein’s attorney regarding three attorneys who might represent the victims: “I have concerns about whether there would be an inherent tension because they may feel that THEY might make more money (and get a lot more press coverage)…

15/ “…if they proceed outside the Terms of the plea agreement. (Sorry – I just have a bias against plaintiffs’ attorneys.) One nice thing about Bert is that he is in Miami where there has been almost no coverage of this case.”

16/ Epstein’s attorney to Acosta, 10/10/07: “Neither federal agents nor anyone from your Office should contact the identified individuals to inform them of the resolution of the case…”

17/ Epstein’s attorney tells Acosta that the attorney rep for the victims be instructed that “[t]he details regarding the United States’s investigation of this matter and its resolution with Mr. Epstein is confidential. You may not make public statements regarding this matter.”

18/ Epstein attorney thanks Acosta for their October 12 meeting “in which you…assured me that your Office would not…contact any of the identified individuals, potential witnesses, or potential civil claimants and their respective counsel in this matter.”

19/ Epstein agreed to plead guilty to state charges, and FBI agents tell Jane Doe 1 in Oct 2007 “that Epstein would plead guilty to state charges, he would be required to register as a sex offender for life, and he had made certain concessions related to the payment of damages.”

20/ Jane Doe 1 says they didn’t explain the NPA was signed. Her “understanding was that the federal investigation would continue.”

21/ At the end of November, the Assistant US Attorney prepares a letter to send the victims noting their “statutory obligation to notify the victims about Epstein’s plea to state charges that was part of the NPA”

22/ The proposed letter noted that because Epstein’s plea of guilty to state charges was “part of the resolution of the federal investigation,” the victims were “entitled to be present and to make a statement under oath at the state sentencing.”

23/ This was not acceptable to Epstein’s attorneys. 11/29/07, they sent a letter to Acosta “objecting to the proposed victim notification letter, stating that it is inappropriate for any letter to be sent to the victims before Epstein entered his plea or had been sentenced.”

24/ 11/30/07, Acosta writes to Epstein atty Ken Starr: “I am directing our prosecutors not to issue victim notification letters until this Friday at 5 p.m., to provide you with time to review these options with your client.” Ultimately NO letters to victims were sent in Dec 07

25/ Jan 08, Epstein “sought higher level review” within DOJ for his deal. The FBI tells Jane Doe 1 & Jane Doe 2 the “case is currently under investigation. This can be a lengthy process and we request your continued patience while we conduct a thorough investigation.” …

26/ Jane Doe 1 still believed “the Government would contact her before reaching any final resolution” and “she wanted to be consulted by prosecutors before any resolution.”

27/ June 30, 2008, Epstein enters a guilty plea to “violations of Florida statutes forbidding the solicitation of minors to engage in prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution.” Jane Doe 1 thought the US Attorney was still investigating and pursuing her case.

28/ July 9, 2008, U.S. Attorney Acosta’s Office “sent victim notification letters to Jane Doe 1” and other victims of Epstein. The notification “did not provide the full terms of the NPA.” You get the point by now, I assume.

29/ The judge: “it is undisputed that the Government entered into a NPA with Epstein without conferring with Petitioners during its negotiation and signing. Instead, the Government sent letters to the victims requesting their ‘patience’ with the investigation …

30/”..even after the Government entered into the NPA. At a bare minimum, the CVRA required the Government to inform Petitioners that it intended to enter into an agreement not to prosecute Epstein.”

31/ The judge goes on to say the US Attorney’s office CONCEALED the NPA and “mislead the victims to believe that federal prosecution was still a possibility. When the Government gives information to victims, it cannot be misleading.”

32/You can read the whole document here, courtesy @Buzzfeed

33/ Why did Epstein get such a cozy deal? And even if one disagrees with Judge Marra and sides with then-US Attorney Acosta’s office that they didn’t HAVE to let the victims know — why DIDN’T they? Why bend over backwards for a pedophile over the rights of his victims?

The Acosta scandal isn’t just about Epstein. The deal let Trump himself avoid investigation and possible prosecution. And Trump just happened to put Acosta in his cabinet?

Trump paid off state AGs, fired Sessions for not protecting him, and replaced him with a flunky. He’s upfront about shielding himself from the law. Of course he remembers the time Acosta illegally ended an investigation into his “partying” with minors.

Here’s a summary of the relevant parts of the Miami Herald series that broke the story. Better yet, read the whole series.

If you haven’t read this series yet, you should. It’s disturbing as hell and raises so many important issues. I can’t do them all justice. I’m just going to pull on one thread about Donald Trump and his Labor Secretary.

There’s a connection between the sexual assaults in Trump’s closet and the kidnapped children in his detention centers. He’s the abuser in chief of an abusive government. And like @C_Stroop says, abuse at scale is authoritarianism.

 

Robert Kraft and the Orchid Spa Human Trafficking Sting

 

R. Kelly

 

 

COLD WAR 2.0

Saudi Arabia

 

Venezuela

 

1MDB

 

Italy

 

ISIS

 

North Korea

 

Afghanistan

 

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

Deniers

 

Measles

 

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

Taxes

 

Stolen Data Promise

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

Spicy Mic Banned from Twitter…Again

Houston, we have a problem. @Twitteris now randomly silencing accounts such as @SpicyFiles,@ChristopherNeth. Full suspension.

.@omidkordestani@jack@TwitterSupport, it’s time to topside your malware. You ready? Let’s go.

Eric Garland Retweeted Michael Avenatti

Twitter has no problem with serial harassers on right, left, and fake center.

Michael AvenattiVerified account @MichaelAvenatti

You are a moron. How can you be this dumb and spew this much BS?

Twitter did not suspend hundreds to thousands of accounts for harassing and doxxing any and all who revealed the activities of Mob actors on democracy, here and around the world.

Now, @TwitterSupport, I’m not going to focus on your curious decision to tell me that you would give my metadata to a billionaire who owned a firearms company mere days after St. Louis police invaded my kids’ bedrooms without a warrant. Nope. This is about someone else.

You are in contact with @/SpicyFiles about a dangerous situation. You know it. Local law enforcement knows it. And you just banned that account during the process. This should be legally escalated, from where I’m sitting.

I have many questions, but they are better asked by prosecutors from @TheJusticeDept. In multiple Federal venues.

Twitter is publicly traded. It has a psychological, commercial, and political affect on the US and elsewhere. All of this is the business of @SEC_Enforcement@FTC@USSenate@USHouseNews.

Twitter needs to answer fully for its decisions, the access to its API by the enemies of democracy, and for 100% of its finances with the SEC.

Answer now. Don’t just use and abuse these platforms and steal transparency when suits you. Be transparent. Now. Or you should be torn down as corporate, social, and political entities. </>

This is some supreme horseshit.  I’m not privy to all of the details of what’s been going on for the last couple weeks, but Spicy was supposedly brigaded by bots, trolls, and some of Michael Avenatti’s overzealous supporters and reported several of her posts as abusive.  This is on top of some other stuff that’s been going on involving doxxing.

This isn’t the first time she’s been booted from Twitter.  Last time, she lost tons of data and research.  And I don’t know if she’ll get back on again.

Some of her threads are archived on this site.  Also, there are a lot of ThreadReader links to her work as well.  There’s a feature I just discovered with them that allow for saving PDF’s of threads.  I’ll see what I can do to help her retrieve her writings.

 

Other Friends of Trump Involved in Human Trafficking

 

Erik Prince

 

 

That’s it for the last few days.  Damn.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m working trying to get some stuff for Spicy’s work.  Also, I think I’ll save a backup of this site, just to be on the safe side.

As far as Robert Kraft goes, I guess fucking the AFC for the last 18 years wasn’t enough for him, he has to go to a rub and tug as well?

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

Daily Check-In 02/21/2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Mueller Report

Mueller’s mandate was a fact-finding mission. If he is indeed wrapping up soon, it’s because he has a clear idea of what happened in 2016. After the fact-finding is complete, the necessity of a Special Counsel almost goes away. Federal prosecutors can handle any future charges.

Which is why I emphasize again, Mueller finishing up his work is not synonymous with the Russia investigation ending. Quite the contrary.

A Democratic House ensured that matters that Mueller didn’t investigate (Russian money laundering into Trump properties, reportedly) will be run to ground by Congress.

This began with Trump firing Comey because the FBI was investigating Russia. It will end with local, state, federal and Congressional authorities picking up where Mueller leaves off.

 

Okay, I’ve been thinking about possible explanations for Mueller wrapping up and delivering a report as soon as next week. Here’s the most plausible take I have come up with… …and it’s more positive than negative. 1/

Mueller, as we know, is a Special Counsel not a Special Prosecutor. He was appointed as a specific result of Comey being fired and was effectively tasked with playing a role closer to a head of the FBI than a federal prosecutor. His role is primarily investigatory. 2/

We all see Mueller as more of a prosecutor than a head of the FBI though… even though his primary credential for the Special Counsel role post-Comey was his tenure as the Director of the FBI BEFORE Comey. When you view Mueller’s work through that lens it makes more sense. 3/

Mueller has been tasked with unraveling Russian election interference and any involvement by the Trump campaign. That is, overseeing the investigation right up to the point of potentially recommending charges and prosecutions… and then handing over the findings. 4/

That’s less toothless than it sounds. While it doesn’t feel like a route to justice, it is no different than how the FBI typically works. The FBI doesn’t prosecute per se. They unravel crimes and then engage prosecutors to seek indictments and pursue prosecutions. 5/

In a way, we’ve all been conditioned to see Mueller as a one-stop investigator/prosecutor. We’ve seen his work produce a long list of high-profile indictments and, naturally, played that forward to expect he’d drop indictments all the way to the Oval Office. 6/

However, if you look at those indictments through the above lens (Mueller as investigator not prosecutor) it seems clear he has primarily targeted valuable sources of further information. He hasn’t indicted any dead ends. He has targeted people with something to offer. 7/

It started with Flynn and Papadopoulos. Then Gates and Manafort. Then Cohen. Now Stone. He has targeted people with info and significant incentive to give it up. He has skipped people who will likely never roll over on Trump – like Junior. 8/

In other words, he has been pursuing indictments as INVESTIGATIVE TOOL first rather than as prosecution end points. Mueller’s explicit task was to unravel the full story of Russia’s election meddling and the Trump camp’s involvement. That’s what he has been doing. 9/

His task was never to oversee both the unraveling of the story AND the prosecutions of all identified law-breakers because again, he’s a proxy for Comey… not the Attoeney General. Which brings us to the news reports that he’s wrapping up his work and drafting a report… 10/

Following the above line of thinking, Mueller’s work would be completed when he felt he had satisfactorily completed the investigation. That is, when he had unraveled the story to the point of being able to lay it out in detail supported by evidence. 11/

If Mueller has reached the point of writing a report, it means he feels he has gathered all the evidence he needs to lay out the full Trump-Russia narrative. That is not only not a bad thing; it represents an inflection point that will be nerve-racking but likely positive. 12/

Mueller having a comprehensive story to tell is the tipping point. It’s the moment when we go from a slow drip-drip-drip of indictments to a firehose of information on the whole sordid affair. 13/

Before going further, let’s take one quick side trip to something Andrew McCabe revealed this week… In multiple interviews, McCabe explained that his primary focus in the days before Mueller joined was on Trump-proofing the evidence and investigations. 14/

Meaning, making it impossible for Trump or his allies to bury or destroy evidence or kill the investigation in one fell swoop. McCabe hasn’t explained what steps the FBI took but we can make an educated guess. 15/

The most logical way IMHO would be to both federate and matrix the work. Meaning: 1) Federate – distribute portions of the investigations to multiple teams in multiple places 2) Matrix – interlace the work across those teams so each was working as a leader and contributor 16/

By both distributing investigative work to multiple groups and having those multiple groups working collaboratively, investigations and evidence couldn’t be “disappeared” without essentially shutting down everyone and everything. Firing one person wouldn’t help… 17/

Bringing it back around to Mueller… Again, he was the former Director of the FBI. It is absolutely impossible to believe that McCabe didn’t both brief him on those safeguards and work with him to strengthen them over the past 21 months. 18/

A logical way to do that? Distribute the myriad cases resulting from Mueller’s work back down into the FBI. Federate and matrix. Doing so would eliminate the risk that justice could be thwarted by merely burying Mueller’s report. 19/

If Mueller’s report died in William Barr’s bottom drawer, Justice would die along with it. If each chargeable offense was independently being pushed forward by the FBI / DOJ prosecutors, Barr would have to thwart case after case after case one by one. Too public to stand. 20/

This is already too long, so I’ll wrap it up… If Mueller is truly writing his report, we can anxiously await its arrival with eagerness rather than dread. It will likely be comprehensive, damning and obstruction-proof. It isn’t an endpoint. It’s the turbo moment. 21/

Trump sees the Mueller report as the final chapter. A retrospective summary. A backward-looking document. Instead, it’ll likely be an analysis and roadmap. It’ll lay out the myriad cases against myriad actors… …and it’ll make clear those cases are already en route. 22/

Don’t lose sleep worrying about the Mueller investigation or report. The train can’t be stopped at this point. One big reason: it isn’t one train. It’s myriad trains on myriad tracks overseen by engineers far smarter than the orange-faced doofus in a conductor’s hat. 23/23

As I discussed a little yesterday Daily Check-In 02/20/2019, but it looks like we’re hearing more and more about how this report might be the real deal.  This will not be the end of the chaos, but will accelerate it.

 

Roger Stone’s Gag Order

Following the little stunt Roger pulled earlier this week (Daily Check-In 02/18/2019,Daily Check-In 02/19/2019), this is the best case scenario for him.  By all rights, he should be in jail.  Instead, he’s under a VERY strict gag order.  If he says shit about the case, Mueller, or anyone involved, he goes to jail.

I’ve got $20 that says he doesn’t last a week without doing something stupid.

 

McCabe

 

Saudi Arabia

Really?  In the middle of all of this, he’s having ANOTHER sit down with MBS?

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Inauguration

 

Cohen

This could get interesting.  The hearing is scheduled for next week.

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Epstein

Finally some good news on the Epstein case.  The plea deal that let this serial pedophile rapist get away with his crimes was done illegally.  The victims and government will have 15 days to reach an agreement on the immunity deal.

There’s a good chance that at least part of this case gets reopened.  Especially if one of the new women was moved across state or international lines for sex.  That’s trafficking, and there’s currently no statute of limitations on that at the federal level.

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

This is from Florida, so the story gets even more screwed up.

The SWAT showed up to arrest the mayor of the town for performing black market medical procedures and surgeries out of his house.  One of his patients had to go to a hospital to fix the mayor’s mistakes.  He was a doctor, but hasn’t had a medical license since 1992.

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

No, this isn’t the theory that Captain Picard is far superior to Captain Kirk.  This is the theory that in a criminal world, people will rise to fill a niche, if that niche is profitable enough and the risk/reward calculation is worth it.  It’s just like how a person might go about starting a small business to fill a market need, but with crime instead of something legal.

For example, let’s say John moves to a new town looking for some ass, but can’t find a hooker to save his life.  After thinking about it some, he decides that he’ll fix that by becoming a pimp.  He gets a few women to work for him while he provides protection, sets up client visits, and other things that prove the phrase “pimping ain’t easy.”  He could have done anything else in this town, but since there was a need for prostitution, he filled that void.  He may venture into other crime ventures in the future like selling drugs or selling mattresses with the tags ripped off, but for now he’ll stick to selling sex.  Since there is no legal alternative for selling sex in this market, John will continue to stay in business.

In this theory, organized crime arises to fill a void left by the market.   If people don’t have a legal alternative to acquire a good or service, they’ll resort to illegal methods.  Conversely, if there is no legal entity providing a service, the criminal organization will fill that void.

Need some real life examples?   Okay.  Remember the late 90’s and early 2000’s and the early days of the MP3?  Well, I’m old enough to remember.  In the pre-iTunes days, getting music on the internet was either a legal pain in the ass or illegal and easy.  No one figured out how to sell music without screwing things up.  Each label had their own way of selling music, and they all sucked.  They were either tied down with enough DRM to make the music nearly unusable, or the selection was terrible.  If you wanted any decent music, it was either buying a Compact Disc and ripping it, borrow it from a friend or the library, or go to Napster, Bearshare, or Limewire to download some sketchy files.  It wasn’t until iTunes came along and made purchasing music easier and better than stealing it.

During the collapse of the Soviet Union, things went to shit.  Businesses still needed their deliveries, but the cops weren’t getting paid and said Poshol nahuj, or Fuck off.  Products still needed to move and need protecting.  That’s where the mafia stepped up.  For a fee, they’d make sure that the trains ran and the food got delivered.  Over time, the Russian mafia would filter in to every aspect of Russian life, until the criminals and the government could no longer be separated.

 

 

That’s it for Thursday.  Almost time for the weekend.

Rachel Maddow had a great episode on the history of the decision making behind the OLC’s memo on whether or not a President can be indicted.  It’s definitely worth a look.  The main crux of the show, and the argument that I’ve made for a while, is that there is no clear and concise decision on whether a President can or cannot be indicted while in office.  I’m firmly in the indict camp since the decision is very flimsy.

A spoiler for Friday: Robert Kraft was busted for soliciting a prostitute in Florida.  He’s the owner of the New England Patriots.  I guess fucking the rest of the NFL for the past twenty years wasn’t enough for him.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/20/2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Let’s all remain calm and see where this goes.  I’m not sure what’s going on here and the sourcing is a little suspect on this story, but the timing does line up with what we’ve heard over the last several months.  We’ll have to see what happens in the next few weeks.

One thing to keep in mind with the Mueller Investigation is that this is an investigation, not a prosecution.  Ken Starr’s multiyear vendetta against Bill Clinton was a prosecution.

Another thing to keep in mind is the pace of the report getting released. Mueller’s team has been working this case for 21 months.  They’ve had a long time to pull this together and perfect it.  The question becomes how long until it goes from the Department of Justice to Congress, and then from Congress to the public?  How long until we see unclassified report?  Will the new Attorney General William Barr do anything to slow that down or obstruct it?

 

 

Keep this in mind when Trump talks about Venezuela.

 

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

 

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

Mark Harris’ fight for his hotly contested U.S. House seat may have just been undone by his own son.

On Wednesday afternoon, John Harris was called to testify before the North Carolina state elections board for what was the third day of hearings into the claims of election fraud coming from the Ninth Congressional District. The younger Harris, the assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, told the board that he informed his parents as early as 2016 that his father’s campaign may have been engaged with a group using unsavory and illegal electoral practices. Mark Harris did not respond to Splinter’s request for comment.

After beating sitting U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger in last year’s May primary, Harris, a Republican and a controversial pastor, appeared to narrowly defeat Democrat Dan McCready in the November general election when all of the ballots were tallied. That was before the validity of the election victory slowly unraveled, and local reporters revealed that political consultant Leslie McCrae Dowless and the firm he contracted for, Red Dome Group, almost certainly committed widespread election fraud by collecting absentee ballots en masse and stuffing the box. The testimony and emails provided by John on Wednesday contradict Mark’s prior claims of total ignorance, and confirm a December report from the Washington Post alleging that Mark was alerted to Dowless’ tactics as early as 2016.

Following a ten minute break, John returned to testify that his father and Dowless spoke regularly; he added that after John raised the issue of the Red Dome Group’s methods, Mark never mentioned him again in their talks. John told lawyers that he believed Dowless was lying to his parents and that he wrongly assumed his father’s campaign was closely monitoring Red Dome Group’s actions. As the 2018 election passed and the results were heavily scrutinized, John said that he slowly whittled down contact with his parents for legal purposes. According to John, he didn’t alert them that he would be appearing at the hearing on Wednesday.

Testifying against your parents—even when it’s becoming clearer and clearer that they maybe, probably at least knew about sloppily committed election fraud—has got to be tough as hell. But given the receipts, it’s hard to deny that John did just about everything in his power to help Mark out. Maybe next time his dad will listen to reason and…not employ someone committing blatant election fraud.

 

THINKING AHEAD

Deza Campaign

 

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  I’m running low on time, so I’m wrapping things up here.

I’m not sure what to make of the reports of the Mueller Investigation ‘wrapping up.’  There’s still a lot to do, like their Supreme Court case against Company A, but there’s also a lot they’ve done behind the scenes.  After the report comes out, things will now be in the hands of the courts, law enforcement, and Congress.

Something else to keep in mind is the timing of things.  Trump and Pence are both out of the country next week at the same time.  The tin-foil hat part of me thinks they’ll try to make a run for it, but that’s pretty absurd.

Then again, we have a failed Reality TV host with a long criminal past as President.  Nothing is too absurd anymore.  We live in the timeline of weaponized craziness.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/19/2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Saudi Nuclear Deal

Several current and former Trump administration appointees promoted sales of nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia despite repeated objections from members of the National Security Council and other senior White House officials, according to a new report from congressional Democrats.

The officials who objected included White House lawyers and H.R. McMaster, then the chief of the National Security Council. They called for a halt in the nuclear sales discussions in 2017, citing potential conflicts of interest, national security risks and legal hurdles.

Yet the effort to promote nuclear sales persisted, led by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser, and more recently by Energy Secretary Rick Perry. The possible nuclear power sale was discussed in the Oval Office as recently as last week.

Details about these internal White House battles are contained in a 24-page report released Tuesday morning by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The report is based on documents obtained by the committee and the account of unnamed whistleblowers inside the White House who said they were distressed at the continual effort to sell the power plants.

Committee Republicans said Tuesday they were not included in the drafting of the detailed report and had not received a copy until Monday night. They said they had not had a chance to fully assess it.

The report includes a wide range of allegations and suggests the involvement of a long list of high-profile people in Trump’s orbit.

Neither the White House nor individuals named in the report immediately responded to requests for comment Tuesday.

The Cummings report notes that one of the power plant manufacturers that could benefit from a nuclear deal, Westinghouse Electric, is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, the company that provided financial relief to the family of Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser. Brookfield Asset Management took a 99-year lease on the family’s deeply indebted New York City property at 666 Fifth Avenue.

“Multiple whistleblowers came forward to warn about efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act and without review by Congress as required by law — efforts that may be ongoing to this day,” the report says.

The whistleblowers also “warned about a working environment inside the White House marked by chaos, dysfunction and backbiting. They noted that White House political appointees repeatedly ignored directives from top ethics advisers who repeatedly — but unsuccessfully — “ordered senior White House officials to halt their efforts.”

The Oversight Committee report, which focuses on the first three months of the Trump presidency, may have special relevance this week as Kushner begins a trip to the Middle East.

This is part of what’s being called the Grand Bargain Theory. Even though the primary focus of the investigation is Russia and their efforts to attack America, they weren’t alone. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the partners in this mess.

One thing to keep in mind with this conspiracy is that not everyone involved had the same goals. KSA wants to build their own nuclear weapons. Russia wants to get rid of sanctions and the Magnitsky Act. Israel wants to keep Iran out of power in the Middle East. The Billionaire Class wants to recolonize the Middle East. (Why else did Tom Barrack name his project company Colony?) Criminal organizations want to have a place to easily launder and spend their money, and China wants to be the big player in the world.

The Saudi Nuclear Plants are just a part of this. KSA gets the tech they want to strike Tehran, the Russians get a crapton of money through building the plants, Qatar makes money through Brookfield and Westinghouse, and the U.S. makes money by providing security for the plants, and people like Erik Prince make money hand over fist providing the mercenaries for the project.

This is big.  Like Andre the Giant riding an elephant big.  Not only did several whistleblowers come forward about this, and that it helps illuminate why Trump has been so friendly to MBS, but now we know that the House Oversight Committee has opened an investigation into this.

 

Flynn

Remember, Michael Flynn spent a long time working on the Saudi Nuke Deal.  He’d been involved in this plan since before he was working with Turkey.

 

McCabe

Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here, but the biggest piece of news coming out from this today is that while serving as Acting FBI Director after James Comey’s firing, Andrew McCabe briefed the Gang of 8 on Trump’s Counterintelligence Investigation.

The Gang of 8 are the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Here’s who we know that were in the room:

  • Mitch McConnell
  • Paul Ryan
  • Nancy Pelosi
  • Chuck Schumer
  • Devin Nunes
  • Adam Schiff
  • Richard Burr
  • Mark Warner

I’ve gone into extensive detail about McConnell, Ryan, and Nunes helping Trump pull off attacking the United States, and I’ve also talked about this meeting or a meeting like this before, but here’s confirmation that this meeting took place, the Republican leadership knew, and that all of their actions they’ve taken to attack the FBI are not based in fact.  All of the maneuvers and tricks the Republicans have pulled in the last two years have been to derail an investigation that they were briefed on during its infancy, so all of the cries about it being unfair or a witch hunt are not only bullshit, but known bullshit.

McCabe wanted to keep news of this from getting to Trump, but as soon as he saw Devin Nunes walk in, he knew that the chance of that was less than zero.  Nunes was Trump’s mole in the House, and did everything he could over the last two years to trip up and derail any investigation into Trump.

 

Roger Stone

That happened faster than I expected.  Roger has a court date on Thursday.  His best case scenario is a complete and total gag order from the judge without jail time.  I’m expecting him to have his bail revoked and be remanded to prison.

 

Rosenstein and Rosen

I hope to have more information on this over the next few days.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI developed a backup plan to protect evidence in its Russia investigation soon after the firing of FBI Director James Comey in the event that other senior officials were dismissed as well, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.

The plan was crafted in the chaotic days after Comey was fired, when the FBI began investigating whether President Donald Trump had obstructed justice and whether he might be, wittingly or not, in league with the Russians.

The goal was to ensure that the information collected under the investigations, which included probes of Trump associates and possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, would survive the firings or reassignments of top law enforcement officials. Those officials included special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed eight days after Trump fired Comey in May 2017.

“I wanted to make sure that our case was on solid ground and if somebody came in behind me and closed it and tried to walk away from it, they would not be able to do that without creating a record of why they made that decision.”

It’ll be a long time before we find out the details of this plan, but I have a feeling this will be covered in history books of the future.  The Comey Firing and the days immediately following were the catalyst for the Special Counselor’s investigation, and everything that’s happened since.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was unequivocal when he told lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee that he did not discuss any investigations with President Donald Trump.

“At no time has the White House asked for, nor have I provided, any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel [Robert Mueller’s] investigation or any other investigation,” Whitaker said while testifying about his oversight of the Justice Department earlier this month.

But a bombshell report from The New York Times published on Tuesday raises questions about whether Whitaker was entirely forthcoming when he denied having any conversations with the president about ongoing investigations into him.

According to The Times, as federal prosecutors in New York investigated Trump’s role in several hush-money payments during the 2016 campaign to women who say they had affairs with him, Trump called Whitaker in an effort to exert control over the probe.

During the call, Trump reportedly asked Whitaker whether Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, could be put in charge of the rapidly expanding investigation. Berman is an ally of Trump and has recused himself from the investigation because of his ties to the president.

It’s unclear what Whitaker did after the phone call, but there is no indication that he took any concrete steps to exert control over the investigation. But The Times reported that he did tell associates at the Justice Department that the Manhattan US attorney’s office needed “adult supervision.”

“Adult supervision”?  That’s rich, coming from Mr. Big Dick Toilet Scammer.  Also, nice way to lie to Congress.  Ask Roger Stone how well that worked out for him.

If someone asks for an example of Obstruction of Justice, tell them the tale of the President who tried to get his buddy to take over an investigation into his other buddy.  And if Trump was asking this of Whitaker, it’s a godddamned certainty that he did this with Sessions, too.  How many times did he ask Comey to make the the Flynn investigation “go away”?

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

Bernie Sanders

Fuck. Bernie. Sanders.  Need a reminder why? Trump vs. Bernie is a good place to start, but since then the Independent senator voted against the Global Magnitsky Act and enacting sanctions against Russia.  He also readily accepts money from the NRA, and his online presence is fueled by Russian bots.

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Damn, that’s a lot of shit.  And it will keep accelerating over the next couple months.  Especially now that the Saudi Nuclear Deal is out in the public eye.

Like I said yesterday (Daily Check-In 02/18/2019) I think I’ll start working on the Grand Bargain page.  I should also update the Russian Hypothesis as well.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur