Daily Check-In 02/05/2019

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Trump Tower Moscow

BuzzFeed News released almost three hundred pages of Felix Sater’s communications involving Trump Tower Moscow from 2015 until July 21, 2016.  This includes printouts of mails and text conversations with Michael Cohen, copies of the signed and unsigned Letter of Intent, and several in-depth pdf’s of the Tower project which included artist renderings and site surveys.  The last entry was July 21, 2016.  That was a week before the news of the Russians hacking the DNC broke.  According to Felix, that’s when he walked away from the Trump Tower Moscow project. However, that contradicts his earlier interviews where he said he stopped working on the project on June 14th of that year.  (Daily Check-In 11/30/2018)

I’m not sure what’s happening with this, or what BFN is looking to accomplish.  I’ll go into that more in the Coda.

 

Manafort

Mercury Public Affairs (former Rep. Vin Weber), Podesta Group (Democrat lobbyist Tony Podesta) and Skadden Arps (former Obama WH counsel Greg Craig) are under federal investigation in for their work with Paul Manafort.🔥

Manafort hired Skadden to produce a smear of Yulia Tymoshenko (the opponent of Ukraine’s pro-🇷🇺leader), and hired Vin Weber’s and Podesta’s lobbying shops to push the false smear of Tymoshenko. Manafort paid them MILLIONS via a bank in Cyprus. NO ONE filed .🙄

Skadden now admits they were a FOREIGN AGENT for pro-🇷🇺leaders in and recently settled with DOJ and agreed to cooperate FULLY. Gates (Manafort’s bagman) is cooperating, too. Meaning: the Feds have receipts and witnesses.😎

van der Zwaan (a Dutch/🇷🇺 who worked at Skadden, pleaded GUILTY to lying. And Lordy, there are tapes‼️🤣

Kilimnik—“former” GRU 🇷🇺intelligence officer/ Manafort partner—was intimately involved with the scheme. Kilimnik has close ties with Oleg Deripaska.🙄 The lawyers (Skadden), lobbyists (Podesta), and former congressman (Weber) did NOT file .

The 🇷🇺probe is spread over MULTIPLE juridictions, including Mueller/DC, EDVA, and , so firing one guy won’t stop this train.😎 Justice is coming for all of those who sold our country for cash‼️

 

Tax Returns

I hate to use the cliche “Why worry if you’ve got nothing to hide”, but the lengths that Trump is willing to go to just to prevent his income taxes from becoming public long passed the point of strange curiosity and is living in the land of the cover-up.

The question becomes what is he covering up?

Personally, I think he’s covering up three major areas in his taxes.

First, the existence of severe financial crimes including money laundering, tax fraud, and every other white-collar crime under the sun.  He’s worried that since this is how they “took down Capone” that the Feds will do the same to him.

Next, he’s covering up how much, or more precisely how little he actually makes and is worth.  His whole persona is built around being a billionaire deal maker, but he doesn’t act like an actual billionaire.  He’s a poor man’s idea of a rich man.  Releasing his taxes to the public would show that he’s a con man, and not worth anywhere near the $12-15 billion he claims he’s worth.  His income is nowhere near a billion dollars a year, he’s underwater on almost all of his properties, and his licensing deals barely keep the lights on.  He doesn’t own a billion dollars worth of assets outright, at least not legally.  And claiming that he’s a billionaire when he owes so much on his buildings is like a dentist in California making $200,000 a year claiming to be a millionaire because he lives in a $1.3 million dollar home but owes $900,000 on the mortgage.

Finally, he could be hiding some crazy secret that he doesn’t want to get out that is listed on his taxes but isn’t known, like that he’s paying child support on a couple dozen kids or that he secretly donates money to NAMBLA or some shit like that.

I’d put money down on the first two, but given this timeline I’m half expecting him to claim Steven Segal’s love child as a grandchild that he’s supporting.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Inauguration

Remember yesterday (Daily Check-In 02/04/2019) how I said that we should expect to hear within 2-3 days how this new investigation came from the work that SDNY did with Cohen.

I was wrong.  It took 2-3 hours.

Also, these subpoenas came after the Feds requested interviews with several executives at Trump Organization.  And let me remind everyone that Andrew Weisselberg, the Trump Org CFO, was granted immunity for becoming a cooperating witness. (2018 Retrospective, Daily Check-In 08/29/2018)

According to reports, the focus of the interviews was on how much Trump Org coordinated with the Trump Campaign.  That, combined with how wide of a net they’re casting for the inauguration, the foundation, and anything else with the Trump name on it leads me to believe that we might be looking at a RICO case later this year.

 

Scotland

 

Trips

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

STATE OF THE UNION

I’m not going into this now.  I didn’t watch it, haven’t read the speech, or done anything else about it yet.  I’ll go into the reactions and details more on Wednesday.

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

A century ago, U.S. suffragists carefully chose the colors of their flag. Purple represented loyalty and was a nod to England’s suffragettes. White symbolized purity and contrasted with the flag’s darker colors. Gold paid homage to the sunflowers in Kansas, where Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton had campaigned for the right to vote.

The suffragists’ outfits of purple and gold sashes over white dresses were intended to look appealing in newspaper photographs, Boggs Roberts said. The white was also intended to look nonthreatening so people would have a harder time criticizing the women’s appearance as aggressive or masculine.

“When the biggest publicity tool was newspapers and images were black and white, (if) you make a good photo, it gets reproduced everywhere,” Boggs Roberts said. “And there is nothing they did that they did not consider the visual element to.”

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Tulsi Gabbard

 

Poll Dancing

 

SHS

 

Fact Checking

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Like I said yesterday, it’s going to be a crazy week.

So, what’s BuzzFeed News up to? Are they releasing all of their receipts to build credibility?  Are they trying to destroy a potential trial?  Or are they like Honey Badger, just not giving a fuck?

I’m not sure.  I don’t know.  And at this point, I’m not sure what direction they’re heading in.  The last couple days have seen them release more information about Trump Tower Moscow, and they’ve been ahead of the curve on that story.  At this point, I’m waiting for the White House to say “We didn’t do anything extensive on that building” only to find out that BFN has construction permits, vendor schedules, and the building is half constructed under a different name and will be renamed once Trump finds a way to get rid of the Magnitsky Act.

Also, I didn’t watch the SOTU.  I spent a long time reading the emails and texts from Felix Sater.  The bitchiness between him and Cohen reminded me of two wannabes acting like they’re harder than rock, but would cry like a little bitch the first time they get punched in the face.

In other words, the texts portrayed them perfectly.

A spoiler for Wednesday, there’s some secret shit going on in Mueller’s Cohen case, and Cohen has postponed his February 8th hearing with House Intel until February 28th.  Adam Schiff said it was done so that it wouldn’t interfere with any ongoing investigations.  Oh, and they also authorized the committee to send the official interview transcripts over to Mueller.

Expect some indictments in the next three weeks.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/04/2019

Monday, February 4, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Rinat Akhmetshin

A Russian-born lobbyist who attended the controversial Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 received a series of suspicious payments totaling half a million dollars before and after the encounter.

Documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News show that Rinat Akhmetshin, a Soviet military officer turned Washington lobbyist, deposited large, round-number amounts of cash in the months preceding and following the meeting, where a Russian lawyer offered senior Trump campaign officials dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The lobbyist also received a large payment that bank investigators deemed suspicious from Denis Katsyv, whose company Prevezon Holdings was accused by the US Justice Department of laundering the proceeds of a $230 million Russian tax fraud.

The Trump Tower meeting and those who attended it have become a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into whether the president’s campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. As part of that inquiry, banks were asked to pull financial information on the meeting attendees, and investigators at Wells Fargo handed over documents on Akhmetshin to the US Treasury in 2017. Those records were passed to Mueller’s team, but Peter Carr, a spokesperson for the special counsel, declined to say whether the transactions are under investigation. Congressional investigators also requested the financial information from the Treasury Department.

Just last month, Natalya Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer with whom Akhmetshin attended the meeting, was accused by US authorities of secretly coordinating with the Russian government while defending Katsyv in a money laundering case in New York.

Katsyv, the son of a powerful Russian figure, backed a lobbying campaign by Akhmetshin and Veselnitskaya against the Magnitsky Act, a US law imposing sanctions on a group of Russians officials connected to the suspected $230 million fraud.

So, the “translator” brought in for  the June 9th meeting is also a Russian lobbyist working on the Magnitsky case with Veselnitskaya AND was paid some serious cash for his work.

There are few things that grab the attention of compliance officers and forensic accountants quite like round numbers.  This is because round numbers are pretty rare in the real world.  We have these things called taxes, which make the math on purchases and payroll a pain in the ass.  It also means that perfectly round and large deposits like $250,000 stick out like a sore thumb.  Very rarely does a large round number show up on its own in the real by chance.  But they are used constantly in large illegal or illegitimate transactions.  It would take the bank about 4 seconds to flag that transaction as suspicious and authorize an investigation.

We mentioned Rinat a few times before like on Daily Check-In 04/30/2018 & Daily Check-In 8/30/2017.

I’d go into more detail, but this isn’t the biggest story of the day.  Not by a long shot.

 

Manafort

The judge in Paul Manafort’s DC case is hearing sealed arguments starting at 10am on the special counsel’s claim that Manafort lied after signing his plea deal. They’ve covered the little windows on the doors so you can’t see in. A redacted transcript will come out after.

Latest dispatch from the exciting and glamorous world of legal journalism: Manafort’s lawyers walked out of the courtroom, but they were just taking a quick break

We’re now three hours into sealed arguments over whether Paul Manafort intentionally lied after signing his plea deal. The defense lawyers came out once early on for a quick break, and that’s it

Update: There is now a one-hour break for lunch in today’s Manafort sealed hearing. Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing confirms Manafort *is* at the hearing

Manafort’s lawyers and the special counsel office lawyers (Weissmann, Andres, and Rhee + AUSA Asonye) are back inside the courtroom now and they’ve locked the door, so we’re back on

The sealed hearing in Paul Manafort’s case ended just before 3:30pm. The lawyers politely nodded to the reporters waiting outside, but no info on what went down (there’s still a gag order in place, you may recall). So they were before the judge for roughly 4.5 hours

NEW: The judge in Paul Manafort’s DC case has rescheduled his sentencing to March 13 at 9:30 am (was previously March 5). The judge also: – ordered the parties to submit proposed redactions for releasing today’s transcript by 2/6 – set *another* sealed hearing for 2/13

Given the additional sealed hearing set for Feb. 13 (supplemental submissions are due Feb. 8), it appears the judge is pushing back Manafort’s scheduling so that she can deal with the plea deal breach issue first

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Trump Inauguration Subpoenaed

Prosecutors in New York’s Southern District have subpoenaed documents from President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee, sources with direct knowledge told ABC News, indicating that even as the special counsel probe appears to be nearing an end, another investigation that could hamstring the president and his lawyers is widening.

The subpoena from the Southern District, which came from its public corruption section, is the latest activity focusing on Trump’s political fundraising both before and immediately after the 2016 election.

“We have just received a subpoena for documents. While we are still reviewing the subpoena, it is our intention to cooperate with the inquiry,” a spokesperson for the inauguration told ABC News.

Prosecutors are seeking documents and records related to the committee’s donors to the massive inauguration fund, according to sources familiar with the request. Prosecutors also are seeking information on attendees to the events surrounding the inauguration, including benefits to top-level donors such as photo opportunities with Trump, sources said.

SDNY has subpoenaed the Trump Inauguration Committee for their bank records, donations, donor lists, and any and all documents related to money.

Let the shitstorm begin.  But first, what does the Inaugural Committee do?

They’re supposed to organize the inaugural balls, parades, and parties. Think of it like organizing a couple dozen parties, a small town Memorial Day parade, and a concert in the park all for the same day. They also have to make sure that everyone has their hotel, security, and all that goes along with inviting a bunch of dignitaries and high rollers.

Where the problem lies with the Trump Inaugural Committee (TIC) is that they secured more than $100 million in donations, but didn’t spend nearly that much on the inauguration. They brought in twice as much as Obama did for 2009, but the Trump parties paled in comparison by size, cost, and number. Obama’s team spent almost all of their money and they had acts like Beyonce and Pre-Kardashian Kanye. Trump had a bunch of people who no one ever heard of, and even some of them got stiffed.

In total, Trump’s inauguration cost something like $16 million. They brought in around $107 million. That’s close to $90 million that went missing. Some of it was spent on a remodel of the Vice President’s residence, and approximately $26 million ended up with a friend of Melania. But the vast majority of it disappeared.

We’ve talked about the TIC more than a few times before (Where to Begin?, Daily Check-In 02/01/20192018 RetrospectiveThe Indicted).  The chairman of the TIC was Tom Barrack, one of Trump’s billionaire friends.  He and Roger Stone recommended Paul Manafort join the campaign in early 2016.  Barrack’s Chief of Staff on the TIC was Rick Gates.

Yes, THAT Rick Gates from Cooperating Witnesses.  How many times do I have to say that Mueller knows EVERYTHING about what happened?

But wait, this was SDNY, not Mueller!  Good, you’ve been paying attention.  I’m going to make a not-so-bold prediction that over the next 2-3 days that we’ll hear that the SDNY’s actions were based at least in part from their investigations into Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen (Daily Check-In 12/12/2018) and a referral from Special Counselor Robert Mueller.  Considering that they started looking into Cohen from a similar referral, it almost sounds a little meta.

Why the referral?  Mueller is authorized to investigate the Russian Affair and anything that leads from that, but some things are little too cumbersome or slightly out of scope.  And it’s not like he hasn’t already looked into the inauguration.  Remember Sam Patten? (Daily Check-In 08/31/2018)  He pleaded guilty to FARA violations and helping to launder Russian money into the TIC by using a cutout to purchase tickets to the inauguration, then got reimbursed by a Ukranian oligarch friend of him, Manafort, and Kostya from the GRU.  And did I mention Rick Gates, the Chief of Staff of the TIC Chairman?

SDNY has likely been on this case for a long time, and if they’re issuing these subpoenas now, it sounds like they have one hell of a case to bring against anyone involved with the inauguration, including Ivanka and Melania.

Yep, even Kremlin Barbie is up to her neck in this shit.  She was ostensibly in charge of the inauguration, but that’s like saying I put my infant daughter in charge of making dinner.  She ‘helped’ by getting in the way and being… well, being a Trump.  Remember how we heard reports of Ivanka raising the prices of services at the Trump DC Hotel and then charging that to the TIC? (Daily Check-In 11/20/2018, Daily Check-In 10/08/2018, Daily Check-In 12/14/2018)  That’s fraud.  And self-dealing.  And a few dozen other crimes, just from this event.

As far as Melania, she might want to give her friend the heads-up that the feds are looking into that missing money. (Daily Check-In 02/15/2018).

Expect some serious indictments later this year.  As Donnie Jr. said “I love it… especially later in the Summer.”

 

Undocumented Workers

 

Scotland

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

STATE OF THE UNION

 

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

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

Medical Opinions

 

CONGRESS

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

NORTHAM AND VIRGINIA

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

Tulsi, Greenwald, and the Kremlin

Any and all doubt that Tulsi Gabbard wasn’t bought and paid for by Russia just flew out the window.  Over the weekend, NBC News does a report that shows that the same Russian bots and trolls that pushed Sanders, Stein, and Trump are now pushing Tulsi Gabbard, the only Democratic Presidential candidate who likes Syria’s President Assad, thinks the Kremlin is okay, and pushes a Nationalistic agenda. (Daily Check-In 02/01/2019)  Instead of saying “Hey, strange coincidence” or “Screw the Russians”, Tulsi goes after NBC, the reporters who wrote the story, and anyone who isn’t on the Kremlin’s payroll.

That’s when traitor extraordinaire Glenn Greenwald shows up.  You know, the reporter who worked with Julian Assange to get Edward Snowden to spill the NSA’s secrets, helped Snowden leave the United States and ultimately end up in Russia, and helped Reality Winner get several years in prison by helping her leak NSA documents after she was cultivated by the hostile non-state group WikiLeaks?  By the way, Glenn is hiding out somewhere in South America.

Glenn joins the fray and, as the script goes, proceeds to spout every talking point he’s ever been fed from RT and Sputnik.  Of course, where Glenn goes, the trolls and bots follow.

There’s a quote I’ve seen floating around for the last few weeks.  “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”  This quote is attributed to FDR.  He made some damn good enemies.  Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito.   Tulsi Gabbard’s enemies are anyone who isn’t a traitor to the United States or on the payroll of Russian state-run media.  That’s more than enough for me to judge her.

 

Media

 

Fact Checking

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

MINI-THREAD on the Mueller Report 1) Folks are frettin’ because they’re afraid the Mueller Report will be hidden by the White House through Trump’s Attorney General and lackey, Bill Barr.

2) Remember this. This ain’t Mueller’s first rodeo. He’s rolled up mob bosses on more than one occasion and he’s clearly treatin’ Trump just like one. The only thing different about this probe is that this mob boss is the most powerful man on the planet.

3) Mueller ain’t stupid or naive in the least and there’s no way he’s gonna spend two years of his life on this investigation only to have it filed away in Bill Barr’s top drawer.

4) Mueller will ensure we see the entire report through the numerous indictments he is bringin’. The pleadings will grow in more detail as he unveils the conspiracy portion as we approach the end.

5) As a matter of fact, we’ve already seen the beginning of his report as he started at the bottom with the Russian hackers and is buildin’ up to the part where the Trump campaign gets involved with the dissemination of the hacked information.

6) Mueller is no fool and rest assured he will do everything possible to make sure the public has a full account of his findings. EOT.

Half the times, I’m not sure what the hell Ming is saying.  The other half, I’m not sure I want to know.  As far as the typos, I’m not going to jump down the rabbit hole of reading into each and every typo like we’re deciphering chicken entrails and reading tea leaves.

 

That’s it for Monday.  Damn.  If this is happening on Monday, then the rest of the week will be nuts.

Trump is supposed to deliver the State of the Union on Tuesday.  I’m half expecting a complete and total shitshow.  The other half is expecting a complete and total clusterfuck.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 02/01/2019

Friday, February 1, 2019 and the weekend

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Deutsche Bank

The plot thickens.  Trump went to Deutsche Bank for another loan in 2016, but this time was turned down.  Most likely that Trump’s profile had risen from glorified money launderer for Russian Mafia to Presidential Candidate, and there was a real chance that they’d have to foreclose on a sitting President of the United States.

 

Blocked Calls

The more I hear about Lorber, the worse this sounds.  It wasn’t Daddy calling his son before and after a meeting, but one of Daddy’s BFF’s that has experience dealing with Russians calling before and after a meeting with Russia, and calling the day after that BFF was in an all-day meeting with Daddy.  If anything, this adds even more questions, like “Was Lorber instructed to call, or did he call of his own volition?” and “How did Lorber find out about the meeting?”  Someone had to tell him about the meeting with the Russians, and more than just that a meeting was planned.  He needed to have details of who was there, where it was scheduled, and when it started and stopped.  He’d have to know how long it would last, and if it ran over or not.  And Junior would have to know that Lorber was calling him, too.  Who answers a blocked phone number these days?  There is a 99.9% chance that a blocked number is coming from someone you don’t want to talk to.  Which tells me that either Junior is an idiot and answers every call he gets on his special phone, or he knew that someone specific was calling.  While I don’t doubt the former, this sounds like something organized ahead of time.

 

Stone

 

Trump Tower Moscow

 

Deripaska

 

NRA

 

Legal Fights

new court filing submitted on Wednesday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed that a Russian troll farm currently locked in a legal battle over its alleged interference in the 2016 election appeared to wage yet another disinformation campaign late last year—this time targeting Mueller himself.

According to the filing, the special counsel’s office turned over 1 million pages of evidence to lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting as part of the discovery process. The firm is accused of funding the troll farm, known as the Internet Research Agency. But someone connected to Concord allegedly manipulated the documents and leaked them to reporters, hoping the documents would make people think that Mueller’s evidence against the troll farm and its owners was flimsy. The tactic didn’t seem to convince anyone, but it appeared to mark yet another example of Russia exploiting the U.S. justice system to undercut its rivals abroad.

Last year, I detailed how Russia has figured out how to use the U.S. immigration courts and so-called red notices issued by Interpol to harass and even detain its enemies. But it doesn’t end there. Experts say Kremlin proxies have targeted their rivals and other disfavored individuals by exploiting U.S. courts to pursue bogus claims via “superficially legitimate lawsuits,” Anders Aslund, a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said in a recent report. He worked as an economic adviser to the Russian government from 1991 to 1994. The Kremlin proxies have done so not only to perpetuate global harassment campaigns against their perceived enemies, Aslund argued, but also to “enrich themselves through bad faith claims made possible by the Russian state’s abuse of disfavored individuals and their businesses.”

When Mueller indicted Concord in February 2018, along with two other corporate entities and 13 Russian nationals allegedly connected to the Internet Research Agency, it seemed highly unlikely that the indictment would result in a trial, because Russians cannot be extradited to the United States. But Concord unexpectedly hired the well-connected American law firm Reed Smith to fight Mueller, arguing that the charges should be dropped because the special counsel was illegally appointed. The judge in the case, Dabney Friedrich, has twice refused to dismiss the case and recently lambasted Concord’s American lawyers for submitting “unprofessional, inappropriate and ineffective” court filings, and the legal battle has raged on.

Now, according to the Mueller filing this week, unidentified actors working out of Russia appear to have weaponized the U.S. discovery process to Concord’s benefit. More than 1,000 files on the website that hosted the leaked documents “match those produced in discovery,” the special counsel said. The documents were published from a computer with a Russian IP address, according to Mueller, and whoever released them clearly “had access to at least some of the non-sensitive discovery produced by the government.” But forged documents were mixed into the trove, too, apparently in an attempt to accuse Mueller of characterizing American websites and Facebook pages such as Occupy Democrats as Russian disinformation operations. The website also inserted irrelevant documents into folders with unique names—known only to those with access to the discovery materials—and characterized them as the sum total of Mueller’s evidence “in an apparent effort to discredit the investigation,” the special counsel said.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Reed Smith denied responsibility for the breach, claiming that the data at issue were hosted by a third-party vendor working for Concord and were never stored on Reed Smith’s internal computer systems. “Reed Smith and its lawyers have at all times complied with the protective order in this case,” the firm said. A Reed Smith attorney representing Concord didn’t return a request for comment.

In October, legal and national-security experts expressed concern to ABC News that, in the Concord case specifically, the Russian government may be trying to use the discovery process in a “graymail” strategy designed to make Mueller drop the case in order to prevent sensitive U.S. national-security information from being made public. Mark Zaid, an attorney based in Washington, D.C., who focuses on national-security law, said he viewed the latest incident involving Concord and the hoax website “as part of a consistent strategy by the Russians to hinder, obstruct, and derail” Mueller’s probe. “One wonders whether pursuing the criminal charges against the Russians was worth the difficulty and these current problems,” Zaid said, “particularly given the odds of ever gaining custody of any individual is unlikely.”

Michelle Estlund, a criminal-defense attorney who focuses on international criminal prosecutions and politically motivated prosecutions, told me last year that the problem is that while the U.S. courts operate in good faith to assist Russian authorities, the Russian courts frequently do not. “Our courts act like, and think that, they are operating on the same type of playing field as the Russians,” Estlund said. “But they’re not. The system there is completely different from here. And when the courts are properly responding to what appears to be a legally authorized request for assistance with discovery, often what they’re doing is assisting with an extremely corrupt court proceeding.” Another lawyer who follows this phenomenon closely and requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press echoed Estlund’s assessment. “The Russians have figured out how to weaponize this,” he said. “We have this tremendous system of justice here, which isn’t equipped to address nonjudicial questions like ‘Is this litigant seeking to abuse our entire judicial system?’ ”

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

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

A Lack of Intelligence

 

INF Treaty

 

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

NORTHAM

Republican Donald Trump’s past: -1973: Sued by Nixon admin. for refusing to rent to black tenants -1980s: Accused of discrimination for allegedly ordering black employees into the back when he and Ivana came into his casino -1989: Central Park Five ad (“modern day lynching”) 1/

Ronna McDanielVerified account @GOPChairwoman

Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam’s past: 1981: You had a racist nickname in your college yearbook.…

Trump’s past, continued: -1991: Says “laziness is a trait in blacks” – a comment he later admits to saying (http://www.playboy.com/articles/the-art-of-the-donald …) -1992: Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino had to pay a $200K fine for moving black & women dealers off tables to satisfy the demands of a high roller. 2/

Trump’s past, continued: -2011: Floats racist birther conspiracy to delegitimize first black POTUS. Not surprisingly, belief in birtherism is strongly associated w/racism. (https://wpsa.research.pdx.edu/papers/docs/Birthers.pdf …) -2011: Suggests Obama wasn’t smart enough for Columbia or Harvard Law. 3/

Trump’s past, continued: -2016: Still believes Central Park Five are guilty, despite DNA evidence. -2017: Called Nazis “very fine people.” -2017: Said people from Haiti “all have AIDS,” & that people from Nigeria would never “go back to their huts” once they saw America. 4/

Trump’s past, continued: -2017: Calls Haiti and African nations “shithole countries.” -2017: Defends the confederacy just days after Charlottesville nazi riot -Ongoing: Targeted racist attacks against black women, black reporters, and black athletes. https://shareblue.com/trump-charlottesville-anniversary-white-supremacists-racism-hate-groups-grow/ …

Trump’s presidency has awakened and emboldened the racists among us, from Charlottesville to Covington. Racists recognize their own kind, and they see a kindred spirit in the White House.

I wrote about Trump’s white supremacist supporters back in 2017, and the words still ring just as true today. White supremacists view Trump as a vehicle for their racist ideology, and he has proven them right at every turn.

So @GOPChairwoman, maybe you had a sudden change of heart and started caring about racism because of Ralph Northam. If so, go ahead and condemn Trump’s racist history, as outlined in this thread — or admit you’re only pretending to care about racism to score political points.

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

Electoral College

 

Texas

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

SUPER BOWL

 

RUMOR MILL

Thread. Could this be Individual-1’s defense team, the FARA-registered firm, Alston-Bird? They specialize in defending RICO, foreign corruption…

PS. It’s Bob Dole’s old lobbying firm where they represented RUSSIA, Taiwan, Montenegro, etc.

Ketchum was the PR agency that got Vladimir Putin an OpEd in the New York Times ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 of all days.

In Spicy’s latest brilliant thread, note that Trump’s morning shitter tweets went insane the day this docket moved forward in 2018.

The firm in this sealed case employed Bob Dole, who worked for sanctioned Russian oligarch OLEG DERIPASKA, the guy who bought Trump’s house for double.

 

 

That’s it for the last few days.  There’s a lot that happened, but a lot that I didn’t go into.  This was a weird weekend, the kind where I want Monday to show up just so I can put it behind me.

If there’s one thing that pisses me off, it’s a cheater.  Whether it’s a foreign government exploiting our judicial system for corrupt purposes, or a bunch of partisan racists acting like one shitty act from 4 decades ago is somehow worse than the gigantic pile of racist shit they did last week, or just watching the Patriots win yet another championship, it can be pretty disheartening.  Especially while trying to be one of the good guys.

I hate being one of the good guys.  Being a good guy means fighting by a code.  That’s all well and good when all of the fighters follow that code, but when my opponent ignores the rules, why should I follow them?  Why should I restrict myself when the stakes are high and my opponent is cheating to win?

Take the Northam stuff for example.  I promised my wife I wouldn’t go too deep on this subject, but I’m sick and tired of watching the Democrats eat themselves because they have a conscience while the Republicans literally have White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis, open racists, and indicted felons holding high offices in this country.  It makes me sick with anger.  Where the fuck was their indignation when Ron DeSantis called his black opponent a monkey during the campaign trail?  Or their disgust with dead kids locked up in internment camps along the southern border? Or their confusion that the same person who said that Neo-Nazis were “very fine people” less than a year and a half ago, and wasn’t the worst or most racist thing he’s done in that time, is calling for a man to quit his job because of a picture taken back in the 1980’s in Virginia?

Oh, by the way, let’s not act like rural Virginia was always some bastion of racial equality.  The capital of the Confederacy was Richmond.  And the 80’s were a good time for racists.  Blackface was still somewhat accepted.  Anyone remember Soul Man?  It was  a movie about a white kid who… okay, even the description is cringeworthy nowadays, but this was the 80’s.

Soul Man is a 1986 American comedy film about a white man who temporarily darkens his skin in order to pretend to be black and qualify for a black-only scholarship at Harvard Law School. The film was directed by Steve Miner[2] and stars C. Thomas HowellRae Dawn ChongArye GrossJames Earl JonesLeslie NielsenJames B. Sikking, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.[2]

The title refers to the Sam and Dave song “Soul Man“. The original soundtrack includes a version performed by Sam Moore and Lou Reed.

That’s as far as I’m going to go with this today.  I look forward to Monday because it’s a new day.

By the way, Fuck the Patriots and Fuck the Rams.  That was the most boring Super Bowl I’ve watched in my lifetime.  It wasn’t so much a defensive showdown as it was like watching paint dry.  The only player I was excited to see was Johnny Hekker, the Rams punter.  When a team is so bland that their punter is the best performer, they suck.  At least I can go back to hating Stan Kroenke for fucking over St. Louis.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 01/31/2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The Blocked Calls

From the ABC Story:

Investigators on the Senate Intelligence Committee have learned the identities of three blocked phone calls with Donald Trump Jr. just before and after the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, three sources familiar with the calls told ABC News.

The calls to blocked numbers, which came on June 6, and after the meeting on June 9, were between Trump Jr.’s cell phone and two family friends — NASCAR CEO Brian France and real estate developer Howard Lorber, according to the sources.

Both men have close ties to President Donald Trump and actively supported his campaign during the 2016 election.

Trump gloated about the news in a late-night tweet on Thursday, saying the call were “conclusively found NOT to be made to me.”

Interesting.  According to this, the two people who Donnie Jr. talked to from blocked numbers were the man who is single handedly destroying NASCAR and Howard Lorber. Who is Howard Lorber?  This is from the Washington Post:

Businessman and investor Howard Lorber already donated $100,000 to the Trump Victory fund, has been named as one of Trump’s “best friends” and even appeared once on “The Apprentice.” He is also president and chief executive of the Vector Group, a holding company that has various business interests in Russia. In 1996, Lorber brought Trump to Moscow to look for opportunities for Trump to lend his famous name to development projects there.

“Howard has major investments in Russia,” Trump toldRussian politician Alexander Ivanovich Lebed after his trip to Moscow with Lorber, according to a 1997 profile of Trump in the New Yorker. “See, they don’t know you,” Trump told Lorber. “With all that investment, they don’t know you. Trump they know.”

At that time, Trump and Lorber were discussing Trump building a huge luxury residential tower in Moscow as part of a project owned by a subsidiary of Lorber’s firm. The project never took off, but it was only one in a long line of projects Trump tried to start in Russia during his string of visits there dating back to the time of the Soviet Union.

Interesting.  According to this report (which I’m taking with a grain of salt) the calls were made to a real estate developer and investor who played a major role in at least two previous attempts to build Trump Tower Moscow.  Remember, Trump tried at least 4 times to build a tower in Moscow.

  1. Following his trip to Moscow in 1987.
  2. In the late 90’s.
  3. In the late 2000’s through to 2013.
  4. From 2013 until 2016.

Lorber was attached to at least the second and third attempts, and if he’s calling up Jr. right before and after the June 9th meeting.  What’s more interesting, and will need to be sussed out, is where was Lorber during this call.  We know that he was in Trump Tower the day before along with other rich guys doing some fundraising stuff.  It wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to think that Trump asked Lorber to do him a favor and call Jr. right before the meeting took place.  Hell, it was 2016.  There’s this thing called call forwarding.  Lorber could have forwarded Trump on directly, given a play by play, or relayed some messages.

Besides, as Steve Bannon said in ‘Fire & Fury’, “The chance that Don. Jr did not walk these Jumos up to his father’s office on the 26th floor is zero”.

Roger Stone

 

NRA

 

Clearances

 

 

Incoming!!!

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

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

New York Times Interview

 

A Lack of Intelligence

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

CONGRESS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, & ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

This hurts.  I don’t like to talk about myself that much here, but I went to AIP for my undergrad back in the 2000’s.  It’s where I met my wife, and where I made a lot of lifelong friends.  It was also a glorified diploma mill and for-profit school that didn’t give a flying rat’s ass about how much a student learned or how well they performed or what their career prospects actually were, as long as the school made money.  Back during my time the school was owned by EDMC, one of the poster children for the abuses performed by for-profit schools.  I could probably write a book about the shady tactics they used to get students to join, but one trick in particular was lying about prospective incomes for the graduates.

During my sales pitch, I was shown a series of salaries that while not earth shattering, were at least respectable, especially given the price tag of the school.  That helped sway me to enroll there instead of trying to apply at another university.  Fast forward three years to my last quarter, and a different “career adviser” came into a class and showed new salary numbers that were 20-30% lower across the board, and capped this off with a speech along the lines of “you’re screwed if you don’t have at least two internships under your belt.”  This bitch was saying this to a room full of students about to graduate in two weeks.  There was almost a riot.  I’ve been mad before, but this was one of those rare times in my life where I was “Choke a bitch in front of 30 witnesses” mad.  And I hate using the word bitch in a derogatory way against a woman, but this bitch deserved it.  Last I heard, she was fired after being the target of some investigations into the school’s admissions practices.

I’m sad, but also pissed off and relieved, too.  Sad because a major part of my past is gone.  Pissed off that a bunch of hedge fund managers ran a once proud school into the ground, and relieved that my kids won’t go there and repeat my mistakes.

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

THIS IS ENOUGH TO MURDER 37 MILLION PEOPLE. THE ENTIRE POPULATIONS OF METRO NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, AND WASHINGTON. 😡

COMBINED WITH THE PHILADELPHIA BUST, THIS WOULD ALSO KILL EVERYONE IN CHICAGO AND HOUSTON.

Add it to the Nebraska Fentanyl bust, and you murder all of Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, and St. Louis.

We are at war with the global Mob and several enemy nation-states. This is bioweapon lethality on the level of nuclear weapons, with the worst-case nuclear scenario death tolls. WAKE UP AND ACT LIKE WE’RE AT WAR. BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE WANT YOUR KIDS DEAD. AND YOU.

AND STOP FUCKING PUTTING THEIR AGENTS ON TELEVISION. THANKS.

 

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

Last year, the Trump admin got caught suppressing a federal study showing that two toxic chemicals were present at much higher levels in our drinking water than previously thought. Now, the Trump admin is refusing to regulate those chemicals.

My latest…

Trump team is trying to keep toxic chemicals in our drinking water The administration is refusing to protect Americans from cancer-causing chemicals in the nation’s water supply. shareblue.com       

The reason they’re refusing to regulate the two chemicals (PFOA & PFOS) under the Safe Drinking Water Act? Because corporations like 3M, as well as the Defense Department, would be on the hook for billions of dollars in cleanup efforts.

i.e., the Trump administration is putting industry interests and corporate profits over the health & safety of an estimated 110 million Americans who are at risk of being exposed to drinking water contaminated with toxic chemicals.

Here’s where the scandal started, when the Trump administration got caught covering up a major federal study on toxic chemicals in our drinking water because they wanted to avoid a “public relations nightmare.”

New emails reveal Trump’s EPA buried major toxic drinking water study The White House and the EPA suppressed a report showing dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in the U.S. water supply because they feared it would cause a ‘public relations nightmare,’ according to… shareblue.com       

 

ELECTIONS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arizona Sen. Martha McSally, whose fundraising practices have drawn scrutiny in the past, appears to have accepted more than $270,000 in excessive campaign contributions during the recent midterm campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Federal candidates can collect $2,700 from a single donor during a primary election, followed by an additional $2,700 from the same person during the general election.

But the federal agency flagged dozens of contributions to McSally from more than 60 donors that appear to exceed those limits, including one who cut a $10,000 check during the general election alone, according to an analysis of FEC records. The agency said in a letter on Monday that McSally has until early March to correct any record-keeping issues, or refund the money.

While many campaigns regularly cut refund checks when donors give too much, a spokesman for McSally said she can’t control how much her supporters give. He said that her campaign is reviewing the matter.

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

Oh hey, I told you this would be more interesting. Particularly Lorber and his relationship with Trump + Russians. Lorber leads to more RU. So why would Jr call a business partner who is a family tie to RU Business, involved in Trump Tower Moscow plans at one point, and getting RU to invest in Trump, during all this meeting with the RU about “adoptions” stuff? (Its an earlier iteration of Trump Tower Moscow) One last thing, Lorber was at Trump tower the day before(along with some other rich folks) as Trump was trying to raise funds. So we still don’t know the content of the calls obviously, but I imagine the cover will be “It was about fundraising”

 

 

 

That’s it for Thursday.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen on Friday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we get something weird.  Why?  It’s Friday, that’s why.  Weird shit always happens on a Friday.

If I hear anything else about those sealed dockets from DC, I’ll keep updating.  They could be anything, but they could be something too.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 01/30/2019

Daily Check-In 08/13/2018Wednesday, January 30, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Deza and Stolen Docs

In October 2018, one or more actors made statements claiming to have a stolen copy of discovery produced by the government in this case. The subsequent investigation has revealed that certain non-sensitive discovery materials in the defense’s possession appear to have been altered and disseminated as part of a disinformation campaign aimed (apparently) at discrediting ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. political system. These facts establish a use of the non-sensitive discovery in this case in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the protective order and demonstrate the risks of permitting sensitive discovery to reside outside the confines of the United States.

In short, Mueller is arguing that if non-sensitive information has been used in attempts to discredit his investigation, how much worse would things be if sensitive information was shared that “identifies sources, methods, and techniques used to identify the foreign actors behind these interference operations.”

“Unwarranted disclosure of that information overseas, in a country adverse to this litigation, would allow that country and actors in that country to learn of these techniques and adjust their conduct, thus undermining U.S. national security interests, including investigations into the conduct of those foreign actors,” he said, noting that there is no incentive for these foreign actors not to act in bad faith.

“The Court would have no ability to enforce compliance with the other provisions in the protective order by the ‘officers and employees of Concord Management and Consulting LLC’ because those individuals are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts,” Mueller said. “And Concord’s proposed order would apply to every piece of sensitive discovery in the case, including sensitive discovery containing personal identifying information and sensitive discovery implicating national security interests.”

I can’t say that I’m completely surprised by this development, but holy shit.  This is a big development, and shows just some of the lengths that the Russians are willing to go to to derail Mueller.

Concord Management is the company indicted alongside the IRA and Russian Troll Fram. (The Indicted). The company was the only entity from that indictment that responded in court, and they proceeded to go nuts, asking for everything from all work the CIA has ever done to trying to get the case thrown out because reasons.

Something that’s been bandied back and forth in these legal fights was Concord’s lawyers at Reed Smith argued that all evidence should be given to their client as part of discovery.  Remember that the Discovery Process is the part of a legal battle where the defense gets to view the evidence against them and build a defense.  Earlier this year, Mueller gave Concord’s lawyers access to non-sensitive documents and evidence.  Shortly thereafter, someone with a Russian IP address contacted a reporter and told them they had the Mueller documents.  The reporter forwarded that info to Mueller’s team, and what they saw was shocking.  The link led to a “unique folder structure” not used by Mueller’s team but known to them.  The documents inside were mostly junk files, with some stuff edited to make it look like Mueller had nothing.

There’s only two ways that the troll got their hands on this info.

  1. Reed Smith gave them direct access.
  2. Reed Smith gave Concord direct access, and Concord gave the troll access.

Either way, someone’s in some serious trouble.

 

Stone

 

Meeting Putin

 

NRA

From TDB:

A former NRA president hoped to win access to Vladimir Putin on a trip to Moscow, according to an email from one of the trip’s organizers. That organizer, Republican operative Paul Erickson, also said the trip could have “enormous diplomatic consequences.” The email, sent in November 2015 and reviewed by The Daily Beast, came just months before the Kremlin’s election meddling went into full gear.

In the email, Erickson wrote that an official with the Russian Central Bank had made a tantalizing, though tentative, offer to former NRA president David Keene: an interview for his newspaper with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the time, Keene was the opinion editor for The Washington Times, a conservative newspaper. He had previously helmed the NRA, and he maintained close ties with its top officials. And he was one of the small group of people on the trip.

From the ABC article:

The December 2015 trip, which involved meetings with senior Kremlin officials, has attracted increased scrutiny in the wake of the arrest and guilty plea of gun rights activist and alleged Russian agent Maria Butina, who was involved in planning the trip. After months of silence on the matter, the NRA’s outside counsel William Brewer told The New York Times that NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre “was opposed to the trip” and even prohibited staff members from joining the delegation out of concern that it would be perceived as officially sanctioned.

Emails sent by NRA officials before the trip, as well as photos taken during the visit, offer greater detail about the organization’s role in arranging the excursion.

In one email, an NRA employee appears to help Butina make travel arrangements for a delegation that included former NRA president David Keene, future NRA president Pete Brownell, NRA fundraiser Joe Gregory, NRA benefactor Dr. Arnold Goldschlager and his daughter Hilary, Outdoor Channel CEO Jim Liberatore, and prominent NRA advocate and Trump campaign surrogate David Clarke, then the sheriff of Milwaukee County.

So, we have the former President of the NRA trying to gain access to Vladimir Putin, and a group of NRA bigwigs going on a trip to Moscow during a presidential campaign.  The same campaign where they spent unprecedented amounts of money for the GOP after they moved to a Pro-Russian stance.

 

Deripaska

 

WikiLeaks

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

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

Putin

 

Biglyest Brain

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

CONGRESS & ELECTIONS

 

Voting Rights

Once again, the turtle says the quiet part out loud.

If your only defense against making it easier for people to vote is that they would vote against you, you are the problem.

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

Apple and Facebook have never gotten along, but this ups their acrimony to a whole new level.

Facebook used their internal development certificates to push a tracking app aimed at teenagers to trick them into spending money.  This is a blatant violation of the Apple Store guidelines and the Apple Development rules.  In response, Apple turned off Facebook’s ability to distribute and ultimately develop iOS applications.  This shuts down their in development apps and internal beta apps.

I don’t know how much longer this will go on, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this go either way.  They could agree to a quick fix, or they could escalate this into a full-scale digital war where Apple removes all of Facebook’s apps from their devices.  It shouldn’t get that far, but at this point in the timeline, I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, & ECONOMY

 

Eat the Rich

 

The Foxconn Con

This is what happens when we give public money to large corporations: they fuck us.  Wisconsin already gave Foxconn $4 billion, and they won’t see a penny of that. That could have gone to infrastructure, schools, pension funds, health care, or to developing the local economy, but now it’s wasted.

Get ready to hear a whole bunch of Wisconsin GOP members claiming that they have to cut social programs because of this.

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

Schutlz

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  Thursday’s looking like it’ll be a weird one.  Ben Carson has a photo op with someone he shouldn’t, we see more stuff about the NRA trip to Moscow in 2015, and the class war continues.

Thursday might be a little short or different.  It’s still very cold here, and the kids are sick.  That makes it difficult to spend as much time researching as I’d normally spend.  I’ll have something up, but not sure how in-depth it will be.

I’d like to write a story about this emerging battle between the billionaire class and the progressives.  I want to stay neutral in any story about those groups, but it’s very hard for me to do so.  I grew up in the world of Reagan, where the rich were treated as special and the poor as useless.  I’ll go into more detail later on, but I’m worried that anything I write about that subject will be tainted by bias.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 01/29/2019

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Trump Met With Putin…Again

A Kremlin official said today that, despite what the WH claimed, Trump & Putin had a sit-down meeting at the G-20 summit, during which they discussed Syria policy. Three weeks after G-20, Trump abruptly ordered US troops to withdraw from Syria. my latest

Context of the G-20 summit: -Trump & Putin were scheduled to meet -Cohen reveals damning new details about Trump Tower Moscow deal -Trump cancels Putin meeting -Kremlin refuses to accept cancellation -WH goes on the record saying no meetings, even pull-asides, are scheduled. 1/

Caroline Orr Retweeted Caroline Orr

So the Kremlin got the White House to go on the record saying there were no scheduled pull asides between Trump & Putin at G-20. And then two months later, the Kremlin leaks details of a sit-down meeting between Trump & Putin. 2/

Caroline Orr @RVAwonk

Context of the G-20 summit: -Trump & Putin were scheduled to meet -Cohen reveals damning new details about Trump Tower Moscow deal…

Putin was accompanied by a translator when he met with Trump after a dinner at the G-20 summit. Trump was accompanied by… Melania. “The four of them sat at a table and were among the last to leave,” 3/

It really looks like a strategic move by the Kremlin to get the White House to go on the record denying any plans for a G-20 meeting. Also strategic: Leaking details of the meeting just as the Trump admin takes a position on Venezuela that the Kremlin really doesn’t like. 4/

Was Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria part of a deal he discussed with Putin at G-20? Did Trump make any promises about Venezuela during that meeting? We have no idea. Trump didn’t bring a note-taker, translator, or anyone from his administration to the meeting. 5/

What we *do* know: Putin just fired a warning shot at Trump to remind him that he has receipts from all of their encounters, and he’s not afraid to use them. i.e., Trump is compromised. None of us know what else Putin is holding over Trump’s head. We just know there’s more. 6/

No, this wasn’t about G20 2017, or the Helsinki Meeting.  This happened during the G20 2018. (Daily Check-In 11/30/2018). Remember how there was no meeting planned between the two of them?  Looks like they met and talked.  Only Trump, Melania, Putin,  and Putin’s translator.

No Americans were present.  No members of the United States Government.  Just Trump and his handler.

What did they discuss? We may never truly find out. What instructions did Putin give Trump?  Let’s look at the timeline of events to find out.

  • Trump ramps up his rhetoric on shutting down the government.
  • Trump announces that the U.S. is pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan.
  • Word circulates that Trump wants to pull out of NATO.
  • He then removes sanctions on Oleg Deripaska, giving him a deal sweeter than Sweet Tea.
  • Reports come out about Trump going to ridiculous lengths to hide what he talked about with Putin.
  • U.S begins talks with the Taliban.
  • Trump declares victory over ISIS.
  • ISIS kills more U.S. troops in Syria.
  • U.S. Intel announces that Russia and China are already plotting to interfere in the 2020 election.
  • Trump once again attacks the Intel Community, claiming he knows more than they do.

Considering how far he’s gone to keep this meeting off the books, and that this isn’t the first time he’s done this, there are only one logical conclusion:

Donald Trump, the President of the United States, is an Asset of the Russian Federation, and is being used to forward their goals at the expense of the United States.

 

Roger Stone

Speaking of traitors who deserve to hang for their crimes, Roger Stone was arraigned.  As expected, he pleaded not guilty to the seven felonies he’s been charged with.  Also not surprising are his attempts to scream about how poorly he’s been treated, how this is a vast conspiracy, blah blah blah.

Remember, this fucktard recently lost a lawsuit and was forced to issue several apologies for lying on Infowars. (Daily Check-In 12/18/2018).  Why anyone would put him on the air and expect anything less than a lie is either an idiot or corrupted.

 

Here is a list of companies that do not fit the qualifications to be fighting Mueller subpoena battle: -Rosneft -VTB -Sberbank -Deutsche Bank -Bank of Cyprus -Gazprom

You can add Alfa Bank to this list as well. The company must: -Be WHOLLY owned by a foreign government -Have US office(s)

Qatar Investment Authority certainly seems to make the most sense here. It is fully owned by the Qatari government, Cohen met with QIA official during transition, has US presence.

Also: The subpoena was issued shortly after Cohen’s places were raided. Zainab Ahmad, a Mueller prosecutor and Middle East expert, was spotted at the courthouse.

My guess for this has been QAI and/or Glenncore, the company in charge of brokering the Rosneft sale.  Both have multiple offices in the United States, and can be pressured to comply with the government or lose business.

 

Deripaska

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Mnuchin

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

CONGRESS

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

Jussie Smollet

They tried to lynch Jussie Smollett. These 2 men reportedly hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him before beating him, yelling “This is MAGA country” as they left. Will we hear the president condemn this hate crime committed by his supporters? No. This is America in 2019.

An update on the “MAGA country” line: is reporting beyond what TMZ said. ABC reports “At the time of the attack, Smollett told police the suspects yelled “MAGA country.”” It was reportedly Jussie Smollett himself who claimed this was said.

Even more details. This fully explains the initial police statement denying that the attackers yelled “MAGA country.” We now have confirmation from Chicago PD that in a follow up interview, Smollett himself said “MAGA country” was yelled.

Remember last week when a bunch of obnoxious teens got in trouble for being racist little shits and the media world screamed that the Red Had wasn’t racist?

Yeah, fuck’em.

Here we have a situation with an actual attempted lynching of a gay black celebrity, and I’ll put money down that not one of those white ass hats will defend this young man who was almost murdered by the same kind of racist assholes that they spent last week surrounding and protecting.

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

. on gun violence: “We’re not missing good ideas. We could pass an assault weapons ban and universal background checks. We’re not missing tragedies. The very worst have happened. So what’s missing? People in the Congress who have the courage to act.”

“This is going to sound harsh, but I think somebody should have required every member of Congress to go into a room…with no press…and look at the autopsy photos of those babies [after Sandy Hook] and then vote their conscience.”

“We have to stop believing that false choice. You can be in favor of the second amendment and want smart gun laws. You can be in favor [of ] and understand there is no reason why we have assault weapons that can kill babies and police officers.”

“Too many communities are grieving the loss of lives that should never have been taken.”

This is a great idea and well overdue, but it should be expanded.  Take all of the members of Congress, all members of the Government, all of the lobbyists, all of the members of the NRA, everyone who wants to own a gun, hell take EVERYONE and take them to a morgue and show them the bodies of those who died from gun violence.  Make them see the bodies of the children who died needlessly.  Show them the crime scene photos as well.  Then, if they still think gun control is bad, take them to the grieving parents and make them tell these parents who get to bury their little baby why their child deserved to die and why they think that there shouldn’t be any type of gun control. And force these people to do this for each and every gun murder in this country.

Then, they can have all the guns their tiny little dicks can handle.

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

Schultz

 

Harris

 

 

RUMOR MILL

Howard Schultz is worth $3.8 billion. That he is somehow intimidated by a freshman Congressional rep is the dumbest narrative in history.

It’s more blazingly obvious media Op to distract from Mueller and the Dem House’s progress. If you want to keep a Republic, stop falling for every fake horseshoe clickbait Op they throw at you and ask: Why?

Also, if you think that business prepares you for political leadership, get your heart surgery done by a jazz guitarist. They studied a lot and have dexterous hands. That should cross-over easily, right? Test the theory.

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Things might be a little late getting posted for Wednesday.  I’m getting a late start to that post today, and my current work setup isn’t working well today.

I’m working from home today due to the cold.  Unfortunately, so is the wife.  When we both are he, I work in the basement.  It’s an unfinished basement with minimal heating.  I’ve had to venture upstairs every half hour to warm up.  Yeah, I’m just bitching about this, but it’s hard to type when my hands are cold.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

 

Daily Check-In 01/28/2019

Monday, January 28, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Roger Stone

A defense attorney for Andrew Miller, who’s fighting a subpoena from Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, learned Monday afternoon that the special counsel still wants witness testimony for a federal grand jury.

Paul Kamenar, the defense attorney, says the assertion from Mueller’s team made clear to him that Mueller and the Justice Department are considering an additional indictment of Roger Stone or have plans to charge others.

As I mentioned yesterday Daily Check-In 01/22/2019, things are going to get crazy from here on out.  There’s a couple directions this could go, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Stone’s associates get charged next, on the way to making the connection to Julian Assange.

 

Whitaker

 

Deripaska

According to bios released by En+, they include Nicholas Jordan, former co-CEO of Goldman Sachs’s Russia business; Carl Hughes, ex-vice chairman of Deloitte’s global energy and resources division; Joan McNaughton, who served as the UK’s director general of energy;  and Christopher Bancroft Burnham, chairman and CEO of Cambridge Global Capital LLC, a private investment advisory firm with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

“Mr. Burnham is a globally recognised expert in the implementation of accountability and transparency, and the implementation of best practice in government, corporations, and inter-governmental organisations, having served as Under Secretary General for Management of the United Nations [where he worked alongside Trump’s current national security adviser John Bolton] and Under Secretary of State for Management (acting),” the En+ release says. “Mr. Burnham is a former Vice Chairman at Deutsche Bank Asset Management and co-founded and led Deutsche Bank’s direct private equity group, RREEF Capital Partners. Mr. Burnham is also a former Assistant Secretary of State for Resource Management and Chief Financial Officer of the US Department of State.”

The En+ release makes no mention of one other notable position Burnham also held: member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.

Burnham’s office did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Deripaska’s. OFAC directed Quartz to a statement posted on its website but declined to provide further details about Burnham’s appointment.

Sounds a hell of a lot like a Quid Pro Quo to me.  Immediately after the sanctions are released, a member of the Trump Transition Team gets named to the board.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

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

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

CONGRESS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Azriel Clary, one of Kelly’s alleged victims featured in the Lifetime series Surviving R Kelly, was reportedly flown from Palm Springs to Phoenix to Orlando in May 2015. At the time, she was only 17 years old. Clary’s family says the flights were arranged by Kelly’s personal assistant. The family has not heard from Clary since 2016 and believe she may be Kelly’s “sex slave.”

If the allegations are true, Kelly would be in violation of the Mann Act — the federal law that makes it illegal to transport a minor across state lines for purposes of sex, debauchery or prostitution. Punishment for such a crime is up to 10 years in a federal prison.

R. Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, denied to TMZ that Kelly violated the law and said he was unaware of any investigation. Representatives for the singer also point to a handwritten note from Clary’s mother in which she gave Kelly’s assistant consent to care for her daughter.

The FBI has also been in touch with the family of Jocelyn Savage, another one of Kelly’s alleged sex slaves, TMZ reports.

Since the airing of Surviving R Kelly, there’s been renewed scrutiny over Kelly’s alleged misconduct. While his attorneys maintain that the singer is innocent of all allegations, Kelly himself has ben hiding out in Chicago’s Trump Tower and was recently admitted to the hospital with panic attacks. He’s also been dropped by his longtime record label, and his manager was arrested for making terroristic threats against Kelly’s accusers.

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, & ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  After the last couple days, it’s nice to get a little bit of a breather.  And by that, I mean that it wasn’t a complete and total clusterfuck.

Now that we’re in Phase III, expect to see some weird shit.  We’re about to see some historic levels of flailing around.  Not just from Trump, but also from those that benefit from him and the GOP policies.

Take Howard Schultz for example.  Here’s another rich guy who labels themselves as a “Centrist Independent” and is contemplating running, but won’t make up his mind until later.  If he runs, it’ll be as a third party candidate, and most likely against a Democratic nominee like Warren or Harris.  You know, one of those “evil lefty socialists” who think that rich people should pay their fair share of taxes.  The nightmare scenario is the “Centrist” (Read: Corporate Shithole) declaring a third party run and trying to siphon votes off of Warren/Harris, which would allow Trump to win.  Of course, this assumes a hell of a lot, like Trump will run in 2020.  I personally think that has a very small chance of happening, like less than 25%.

I’m not sure what’s coming around the corner, but I will always remember this phrase from a poster I had as a kid:

The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train.

I’m just one giant fucking ray of sunshine, aren’t I?

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur