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

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